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When Killing becomes more affordable than celebrating Independence!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, JUL/12/2016, SSN;

Even by South Sudan’s own standards, the people remain baffled by their President’s weird decision to choose a return to war as a celebratory gift for his people in this month of July 2016 which marks the country’s fifth Independence Anniversary.

Unfortunately that isn’t quite the end of the story. The truth is that the five years of independence have been marked by corruption, incompetence and lawlessness. The leaders even find no shame in openly declaring their lack of readiness to celebrate the country’s fifth independence anniversary because all the money has been spent on war gadgets, lethal weapons, and helicopter gunships.

When fighting broke out in Juba on Friday 8 July just hours ahead of the fifth Independence Day commemorations, there were many people who were not surprised that the fragile peace deal had broken down. It provided even more evidence for those wanting to believe that there will never be peace in South Sudan and crush the hopes of those believing that peace could one day come.

Characteristic of a failing centre of power, it came as a little surprise even after finding itself in this embarrassing situation – completely unable to pay salaries of workers and professionals for months and months and unable to spend on independence anniversary celebrations, President Kiir and his loyal ministers undeniably became mentally crippled.

No wonder they all failed to react quickly enough to prevent the country from sliding back to civil war following the halfheartedly formed transitional government of national unity. All the writings are on the wall for them to read, yet they chose not to.

Now based on the realities on the ground in Juba, South Sudan’s capital city and the seat of its transitional government of national unity, it hardly needs one to be a political scientist to concluded that like peace and democracy, the future of the August 2015 Agreement for Resolution of the Conflicts in South Sudan is hanging by the thread in this troubled country.

As of now the republic of South Sudan is on the verge of collapse unless of course there is some divine intervention. The renewed fighting in the country probably marks the end of the last chapter in the implementation of the peace agreement signed in August 2015.

As of now, and all rhetoric aside, the country has no responsible government in place. The fighting between the two factions who essentially formed the military component of the country’s divided transitional government of national unity institutions, have for all practical purposes long been rendered non-operational as of Saturday 9th July 2016.

In short, anarchy and absence of the rule of Law are now the orders of the day in the country. This may likely continue to be the case until further notice – or sometime to come when Almighty God, the Saviour Lord, chooses to re-bless the people of South Sudan again.

The reasons why the country is on its way back to an all-out far the nationwide, is because President Salva Kiir is not in position to implement the August 2015 Peace Agreement.

If every peace loving South Sudanese believes that the August 2015 Peace Agreement indeed offers the country with a second chance to come out of its conflicts, then they better reconsider President Salva Kiir’s position on the agreement.

Maybe it’s important to recall that President Kiir was very clear when he signed the August 2015 peace agreement and said that it could not be implemented.

In his own words, President Salva Kiir told the IGAD heads of state at the signing ceremony that the agreement was not made to be implemented. For those who have ears, they knew from day one that president Kiir wasn’t going to implement the very agreement that he was ‘forced’ to sign when he detailed the design flaws with the arrangement, saying that the structure of the transitional government of national unity “could be inevitably confrontational.”

He concluded by saying that “(T)he eminent result of trying to implement this agreement would be the total disintegration of the country.”

Of course President Kiir wanted to eat his cake and still have it, and that’s where he went wrong. Looking back from today, one can say that Kiir was aware of the risk he faced in trying to keep the hardliners in his camp on the side, while he compromises to implement the agreement.

It is now easy to conclude that all the foot dragging by Kiir in the implementation of the August 2015 Agreement and the subsequent return of the country to an all-out war at the back drop of the ongoing violence has not only proven that the peace deal has collapsed but it has also proven another important fact that Kiir has no control over his camp – both politicians and army generals.

This is probably the central reason why President Kiir can never implement this peace deal.

So when the suffering masses in South Sudan, especially those who have been displaced once or twice or several times or those who have lost one or several of their loved ones or those who have lost their wealth of entire livelihoods, helplessly hear the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) issuing routine statements like:

“We have urged South Sudan’s leaders to operationalize the security arrangements in the agreement, particularly by establishing Joint Integrated Police units to patrol Juba, empowering the Joint Operations Centre to ensure communication and coordination between forces in Juba, and directing the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission to operate continuously.”

Or hearing the African Union Chairperson saying:

“The peace partners should start working with the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), chaired by H.E. Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana, to ensure scrupulous adherence to the transitional security arrangements.”

The people of South Sudan are left to think that these organisations are not serious given the fact that they have said the same things over and over again but to no effect.

They are also likely to conclude that the thugs now turned rulers in South Sudan are indeed invincible creatures since neither the IGAD and the African Union (AU) on one side, nor the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on the other end, are capable of holding them accountable for the destruction they continue to inflict on these poor and helpless souls.

This time around the statements coming from both the United Nations Security Council and the African Union must be decisive and better still be followed by immediate actions. What the South Sudanese masses need at this crucial moment is action to set the country right.

Unfortunately, all that we hear now is rhetoric which only emboldens the dictator and his cronies to continue with impunity and impede any attempts for the peaceful settlement to the country’s multi-faceted conflicts while remorsefully destroying innocent lives.

Under the very watchful eyes of the international community President Salva Kiir and his chief of staff were still able to unleash their ethnically skewed SPLA soldiers to spread terror and havoc over the city of Wau in the Western Bahr Ghazal.

A house to house ethnic cleansing of the Fertit ethnic minorities was carried out by the president’s loyalist militiamen and SPLA troops, very identical to the Juba massacre of December 2013 in its execution, cover up and preparation.

With these entire track records, one can rightly say that the international community for reasons only known it, has chosen to entrust the implementation of the so-called peace agreement to a president who isn’t even in peace with himself to begin with!

The realities in South Sudan are exceptionally bitter. Everything is in a state of a free fall – from the national currency to the societal values, the human dignity and the virtues.

It is true that under a deranged leadership, a country with a collapsing economy can find it more affordable to kill its own citizens than provide them with the simplest form of independence anniversary celebrations for a hard won independence. This is now a lived with reality in South Sudan!

Author: Dr Justin Ambago Ramba. Reachable at: Justin_ramba@aol.co.uk

South Sudan: A Nation with Two Commanders-in-Chief

BY: Malith Kur, London, Ontario, Canada, JUL/09/2016, SSN;

The clashes that have occurred in Juba this week have not come as a surprise to most South Sudanese. It was a matter of time before those clashes could take place. They are a result of the political and military experiment that the Troika countries and their passive partners represented by the IGAD nations and the AU are trying in South Sudan.

The experiment to have two rival armies and two rival commanders-in-Chief in one country has no precedent in history. This arrangement was not designed to stabilize the situation in South Sudan, but it was designed in haste for a number of reasons.

First, the arrangement was planned to punish the government for expelling the UN envoy, Hilde Johnson, because of her open support to Mr Machar. Ms Johnson represented the interests of the Troika countries in South Sudan, not the interests of the UN.

The Troika countries feel that they are the guardians of South Sudan’s independence because they supported and sponsored the peace agreement between the Sudanese government and the SPLM/A up to the declaration of independence on July 9, 2011.

They are also the donors who support 90% of the developmental schemes and the humanitarian work in the country. For these reasons, they want to have a greater say in the political and military arrangements in the country.

As all of us followed the process of negotiations in Addis Ababa, the agreement was not a result of negotiations between the government of South Sudan and the rebels. The agreement was prepared and imposed on the country to counter the tendency from the political and military leaders in Kiir’s regime to ignore the interests of Troika countries.

Second, the Troika countries want to see a regime change in South Sudan. The clauses in this agreement have a potential to do just that. They want to install a government that listens and heeds their policies in the region.

Since South Sudan emerged as an independent nation in 2011, the policy makers in Kiir’s government have been leaning towards China economically and perhaps politically. These moves have strained the good relationships that once existed between South Sudan and the United States during George Bush’s presidency.

Therefore, the Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) was designed to facilitate the Troika nations’ policy of regime change to reduce Chinese influence in the country.

When Mr Kiir fired Riek Machar as Vice President, the Troika countries saw him as the perfect man to oust Kiir from power. But when the possibility of overthrowing Kiir from power through military means failed, the peace agreement was devised to make it difficult for Kiir to retain power.

Third, some IGAD nations, particularly Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya are silently working to facilitate regime change in South Sudan. These countries have diverse interests in South Sudan. Ethiopia, for instance, wants to please its Nuer’s population and keep their support in favor of the ruling party in Ethiopia.

Addis Ababa has been the headquarters of Riek Machar for the last two years and has been providing refuge and training to the rebels. The Ethiopians are doing this work with the American approval.

Sudan, on the other hand, is a natural ally of Riek Machar. The alliance between the National Islamic Front (NIF) regime in Khartoum and Riek Machar dates back to the time when the SPLM/A split in 1991. This alliance allowed the government of Bashir to extract oil in the South during the war.

In addition to this alliance, stable South Sudan is not in the interest of Sudan because of Abyei and other border issues. As a result, Bashir provides weapons and other logistics to the rebels led by Riek Machar to keep South Sudan unstable indefinitely.

As for Kenya, the regime led by Uhuru Kenyatta has territorial ambitions in South Sudan and has found Riek Machar as an ally who could fulfill these ambitions.

Kenya, since the conflict began in 2013 in South Sudan, has been welcoming Riek Machar as if he were the president of South Sudan in waiting, and last year, on the eve of South Sudan’s independence, Riek Machar declared in Nairobi that Kiir’s government and all its institutions were null and void because its mandate had expired.

Can Kenyan opposition parties do this in Juba without protest from the government of Kenya? Mr Kenyatta wants to squeeze the regime in Juba to allow the annexation of the Ilemi Triangle to Kenya without opposition from South Sudan’s government.

Therefore, the agreement that was signed in August 2015 was a product of these competing interests, not for the interest of peace in South Sudan.

Had the agreement been designed for the consolidation of peace in South Sudan, the provision that set up two rival armies and two rival commanders-in-chief in one country should have never been contemplated, leave alone being part of the accord.

This accord is bound to fail and the Troika nations along with their partners in IGAD and the AU bear greater responsibility for trying something they cannot do in any other countries but only in South Sudan.

Most South Sudanese do not support the existing side by side of two hostile forces in the country, but because of the regional and international competing interests in the Republic of South Sudan, public opinion has been ignored.

The voice of the majority in the country is regarded by foreigners as a tribal agenda in order to weaken the authority of the government. This unrestrained outside interference in the political affairs of South Sudan has encouraged lawlessness and legitimized rebellion in the country.

But the government of South Sudan has its share in this game. The regime in Juba has squandered its legitimacy by allowing individual politicians a free rein to steal public resources without consequences. This practice has left the country bankrupt and dependent on aid.

Now the economic situation in South Sudan has deteriorated to the point of uncertainty. The country has become the largest refugee camp on the global map. At this point, the UN and its agencies are now the de facto government because they are the ones meeting the daily needs of the population.

The only thing that will stop bloodshed is for the signatories of the Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan to return to the drawing board and establish a clear political roadmap to build peace across the country.

The agreement in its current form — particularly the provision of having two rival commanders-in-chief and two rival armies in one country — will not work because it lacks popular support. The agreement needs to be reviewed for the interest of peace in South Sudan.

Malith Kur
London, Canada
Malith_kur@yahoo.ca

Eating human flesh is an extreme injustice venerable South Sudanese are subjected to

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Law Development Centre, Kampala Uganda, JUL/07/2016, SSN;

Vulnerable people of South Sudan are reported to be eating human flesh while in reality the government officials or public officers are driving the latest and most expensive cars which among others include: Mercedes Benz, Hammer, V8, Nissan, Bullet Proofs and some cars that can speak that “NO ROAD” where there is no tarmac road.

All the above mentioned cars cost the country thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars, money that would have been used to set off the shortage at this time of need, if the leaders had the interests of the people at heart.

However, leaders are keen in building personal wealth and empires which have led to patronage and snobbishness.

Thus, all the state machineries and apparatuses are being used to protect not national interest but the interests of the individual leaders who do not have any vision for the country.

Because of that, the country has been turned into a butchery and witch hunt ground for imaginary criminals who are being framed and killed while leaving the real criminals to roam about freely.

Leaders have disunited the country as the disunity of South Sudanese turns to support and benefit them by maintaining their own interests. Hence, South Sudanese are being used to kill each other just to protect interest of individual leaders.

Leaders have hijacked the liberation war and independence of South Sudan and South Sudanese; hence, turning South Sudanese into slaves in their own freedom and in their own country.

The status quo created by misgovernment that created disunity in the country as people struggle over limited resources is being maintained with blood and iron by the state authorities and their protectors.

Any person seen to be critical with the government is deemed as an enemy against the tribe not against the government because of the disunity created by the government.

The recent comment by the Catholic Priest in Juba that South Sudan is being ruled by “Monkeys and Devils” attracted a lot of attention and condemnation that he said something bad.

However, any patriotic South Sudanese would have never found any problems with that statement because if leadership does not protect the interests of the people then a patriotic South Sudanese can view such administration as less human because it does not have any moral authority to run the country.

When that Catholic priest made a comment, he did not intent to target a certain group as it was interpreted but he was attacking all government officials and public officers including the opposition.

His views are proved by what we are witnessing in the government now. The Opposition and the Government are on each other’s neck as they twitch-hunt and kill each other in daylight while the citizens’ interests are left at the periphery of the governance.

The two parties are at loggerhead over the power sharing and because of that the welfare of the people is disregarded.

Moreover, innocent people are being killed in Wau State, Western Lakes, Western Equatoria and the Upper Nile Region. The insecurities caused by the war and killings plus looting have left innocent citizens with no means of survival hence leaving them at the jaws of hunger.

As a result, the citizens have resorted into eating flesh of their fellow human beings because of hunger, which is an extreme injustice committed against vulnerable South Sudanese.

When a private South Sudanese citizen with concern points out these injustices with anger like that priest in Juba who said that South Sudan is being governed by moneys and devils, he is branded a traitor and looked at as someone who is against the government.

Moreover, his life might be in danger from the invincible State Security apparatuses for pointing out the truth. Simply because the State Security apparatuses have not understood the fact that what appears to be a horn-bill’s problem will become the problem of all in future.

The State Security agencies may protect individual leaders at the expense of South Sudanese and the implication is that in the long run they will be the victims as no system will protect them which will be a part of extreme injustice.

The desire for retaining or grabbing the power has left the country in tatters. Killers who support the government or opposition are left free while citizens who feel and talk against the government because of the problems are seen as enemies.

In summary, a patriotic South Sudanese who has no interest in taking part in the government but desires only to see good governance prevail will never stand aside to watch at things as they go to the dogs.

In order to end the crisis, the only viable solution now is for Kiir and Riek to step aside and leave the country to the committee that will work for the unity of the country.

Otherwise if things will continue like the way they are going on now, the country will reach a point of no return.

NB//: The writer can be reached through juoldaniel@yahoo.com

Optimism: Is there any hope to hope for in South Sudan?

BY: Ocholamero Otir Bure OROTO, JUN/29/2016, SSN

Attention:
His Excellency, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, President of the Republic of South Sudan.
His Excellency, Dr. Riek Machar, Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan.
His Excellency, Wani Igga, 2nd Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan;

The Sudan People Liberation Movement & Army (SPLM/A) had done great work and valuable tasks to rescue South Sudanese from the tyranny of Arabs’ government in the old Sudan. No one in South Sudan can pay any of the liberators for such a gift. I meant, no money can be enough as a token of appreciation to all the SPLM/A personnel who fought for the self determination of South Sudanese.

Allow me to bring to your attentions the following, as an ordinary concerned South Sudanese, who would like to see the best happen in this country.

The view that dialogue is a tested means to resolve issues peacefully is a reality when people accept it, and I, the writer, is a proponent of peace through dialogue and reconciliation. But in a society where it appears that the leaders make ordinary people feel like they are not listening, it is difficult to see any progress.

There is no hope! It has been for a while now that people are regretting due to the fact that they voted for separation. Because many have not experienced such insecurity and brutal killings of innocent civilians when the country was not divided.

It appears clearly that the current government has failed terribly under the leadership of SPLM/A in the provision of good life and security in the country. The sole purpose of leadership is to lead by good examples.

If it appears that the government leaders are messing the playing field for peace and reconciliation, it is a waste of time for ordinary people or communities at grass root level to try their best in fostering peace and unity.

It is terribly sad to see how this country went from celebratory mode to the extreme mode of sorrows due to brutal killings in the hands of liberators! So to speak. Yes, South Sudanese need to create their own solutions, but it is clear that the leaders and influential figures are not showing any interest to return the country back to peaceful situation any time sooner.

It seems there are many deceptive information and abuse of power is so rampant! How could such behaviour facilitate peace and reconciliation in a dysfunctional newly created state without the sense and spirit of nationalism?

As leaders of the government and leaders of SPLM/A which is perceived to be the movement of the people, it is about time to work out what went wrong and work to correct it. In other words, identify the faults and correct them kindly.

It is the case in any given society that moral and ideological support can be given to the presiding leaders when they show interest and take visible actions that can give hope to the people.

Otherwise, what is clear at the moment is that under the current helpless situations, South Sudan will remain ‘a hell on earth’ for several years to come.

The answer to the truthful solutions to the current crisis is within reach, but consciously or unconsciously it appears that the leaders are beating around the bush and not doing enough to solve the real issues.

The ordinary community members are ready to reconcile and most of them do not have any inter-tribal issues, but, the current situations had instilled or reconstructed deeper inter-tribal dislikes over the years.

Some questions deserve some thoughts among others:
1. How could societal members change their minds when leaders are the factors of continuous mess?
2. How can peace be implemented in such a situation?

The SPLM/A top leadership should wear the onus of the security failure and they are in a better position to act in a humane manner to reverse the country from the current crisis.

Considering the current SPLM/A ideological malfunction and what most South Sudanese and the rest of the world call as a failure, there is no HOPE to hope for! Because, who else should “we” the South Sudanese turn to for security and peace?

It seems that South Sudan has become a deadly field of atrocities and unpredictable killings. Until further notice, there’s no sign of peace in South Sudan due to the political unwillingness of the SPLM/A top leadership.

At present, there is no projection for peace. The only sign that is visible is more brutish killings in the land of deception, rampant continuous immorality and dehumanising acts.

This is all what people are experiencing in the country not to forget the resultant effects of war like hunger-lack of food. How many will die of hunger this year alone? Just think about this and try to feel it.

Question 3. How could the situation in South Sudan be in 10, 15 or 20 or more years to come?
South Sudanese are yearning for peace. Taking the current trend in perspective, it is difficult to see peaceful co-existence and improved security in the near future.

This means SPLM/A will go in history as the worst movement known in the 21st Century. This will tarnish SPLM/A reputation for good. In other words, without taking steps to maintain peace and security in South Sudan, people will only remember SPLM/A for bad things and forget the many good that SPLM/A have done on aggregate.

Thus there is no sense in concealing the reality on the ground. The problem of South Sudan is in the hands of those who control SPLM/A (the leaders and their associates who could influence good policies and return to the good mission of the movement).

By the same token, SPLM/A as an entity under your leadership is the solution to all these problems. Nothing more and nothing less.

The ordinary citizens can only and only help when the leaders correct their errors of policies and correct their ideological mistakes and accept to correct themselves. Otherwise, they (the SPLM/A leadership) are running in circles. That mean attaining peace will never be an easy work without the change of minds and hearts of the leaders who wield the power at the moment.

Tentative recommendations:
1. Sudan People Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A) top leaderships, President Kiir, VP Dr. Riek, 2nd VP Wani Igga plus their associates, need to urgently act to curb these situations.

2. The top leadership needs to lead by examples and ensure the field is leveled for peace and reconciliation agenda to prevail. This will ensure peaceful dealings.

3. Please re-visit, revise the SPLM/A manifestos and deliver to the people what you promised e.g., the justice, equality, freedom of communication and prosperity.

4. Show people that the SPLM/A was, is and will be the movement of the people.

5. Show the world that South Sudanese can and have the ability to govern themselves peacefully.

6. Show people that South Sudanese are one people who struggled together and are willing to overcome these challenges collectively.

Excellency,
It is the case that however slow the vehicle of peace is travelling, if it is travelling in the right direction, there will come a time when the vehicle will reach the targeted destination.
The Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army, has the capability to steer this country toward peace within foreseeable future.

It is not too late to make a U-turn. I write to you out of concern and out of love to see the Republic of South Sudan prevails and attain the values that you fought for over the course of your lives. South Sudanese will be extremely happy to see that your offices work toward the attainment of ‘Justice, Liberty and Prosperity’ for all.

Once again, SPLM/A under your leadership is the surest solution to the current problems. Allow me to make this request; could you please shift the gear forward, Mr. President, speed up and you have the support of the concerned people to back you up in propelling the nation toward peace.

Therefore, is there any Hope to Hope for? Yes, there is!

Mr. President, the hope is your collective efforts to attain peace. With that in mind, I wish you all the best, may our good South Sudanese ancestral spirits guide you to steer this nation in the direction leading to peace and progressive development.
Yours sincerely,

Ocholamero Otir Bure OROTO.
A concerned South Sudanese
E-mail: ocholamero.oroto@uqconnect.edu.au

Accountability is the vehicle for stability in South Sudan

BY: Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok, JUN/21/2016, SSN;

The alleged joint letter by the President and the First Vice President that was published by the New York Times couldn’t have come at a better time. It provided the South Sudanese people with the opportunity to know early on how committed are the principal parties to the issue of accountability as stipulated in the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS).

The revelation of the hiring of a public relations firm in drafting the letter and in ensuring its publication on New York Times shows how desperate the regime has become in its bid to evade justice.

Ironically, the government that has mistreated and accused some honest citizens of undermining South Sudan’s sovereignty finds nothing wrong in enlisting the services of a foreign firm in a matter that has far-reaching national security implications.

It’s unbecoming of the President to incorporate the name of the First Vice President in a fake letter without his consent. One would have expected the President to come forward and state his case before the nation rather than trying to share the responsibility of his actions and positions with his First Vice President.

It’s a bizarre and a fraudulent act at the highest office in the land. The scenario is quite damaging to the office of the Presidency, and as usual, under Kiir’s reign, we ended up being ridiculed around the world.

Three weeks ago, Daniel Awet Akot, the Presidential Advisor on Military Affairs criticised the international community for pushing for the establishment of the Hybrid Court of South Sudan (HCSS) as prescribed by ARCISS. He argued that it would derail the peace process and that it should be delayed, and priority should be given to reconciliation and to building trust between the parties.

But how can we build confidence while criminals are left on the loose?! And how long should the formation of the HCSS be delayed? Will it be for the entire period of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) as suggested by some supporters of the regime?

And should that be the case, will it not interfere with the expected elections in 2018? President Kiir, who is topping the list of suspects has already unofficially declared his intention to stand for election in 2018; will that not result in a serious conflict of interest and hindrance to the functioning of the court?

The HCSS is an integral part of ARCISS; hence, the postponement of its formation is in itself a violation of ARCISS. Either we have an agreement that needs implementing in its totality or we haven’t got one. Forgoing one of the pillars of the peace deal would leave the door wide-open for reluctance or refusal to honour the rest of the commitments and a consequent collapse of the whole peace process.

It’s a calculated attempt to water down the provisions of the peace agreement. Accountability does not cancel reconciliation or vice versa. Both processes could be carried out side by side if a lasting peace is to be realised.

It transpires that some are worried about individuals who may well be targets for indictments by the HCSS thus would pose a threat to the peace process as a whole. Whether these concerns are genuine or a sort of scare tactics employed by the regime – Justice cannot be held hostage by a bunch of individuals who may well be criminals and continue to hold positions of authority.

I believe the South Sudanese are not in a position to appease those who have committed war crimes and are certainly not afraid of what such people might do. Many countries went through similar circumstances as South Sudan but they did the right thing.

In Rwanda, where an estimated 800,000 people were killed between April and June 1994 in the worst genocide ever on the African continent – the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was established on 08/11/1994 by the UN Security Council resolution 955. That was within 5 months from the end of the war. There was no such thing as delaying justice for the sake of building trust between the adversaries.

In the case of the massacres in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Security Council Resolution 827 for the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was passed on 25/05/1993, while the war was still raging in some parts of the country. The Srebrenica genocide where 8,000 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslims) men and boys were killed actually took place after the formation of the ICTY.

Therefore, the formation of the HCSS is most required sooner than later and is already overdue. Its establishment would bolster the chances of a genuine reconciliation between the communities as people would be encouraged to engage in a national dialogue for peace knowing that the rule of law is being upheld. It’s unlikely that a well-informed community would defend or hide a criminal even if he or she is one of its own.

President Slobodan Milosevic’ of Serbia, President Radovan Karadz’ic’ of the Bosnian Serbs and General Ratko Mladic’, the Bosnian Serbs Military leader were all extradited to The Hague to face justice for their roles in the Bosnian genocide through the cooperation of their people.

Some suspects may seem invincible to some people or they may think they are so but once the indictments are handed down by the HCSS – that invincibility would vanish in no time. As for those in the government who have threatened to follow the footsteps of Al Qaeda and cohorts – they should be mindful of the fact that the terrain in South Sudan is not similar to the Tora Bora mountain range in Afghanistan that facilitates hiding.

With the collapse of the economy and failure to pay salaries for the soldiers – our bogus Generals would likely find themselves on their own. The HCSS may have little to do tracking down the fleeing Generals as their soldiers would no longer be keen to protect them thus would rather hand them over to the court.

It must be clear the accountability we mean is the one that will bring all criminals from all parties to book. There should be no one above the law. It’s not just a matter of seeking justice for the grieving families and victims but is a moral obligation on our part as citizens.

It also sets up the foundation for a just, law-abiding and peace-loving society. Some may say atrocities have been committed since 1983, so why precedence is given to the December 2013 Juba massacre of the Nuer civilians than the others?

My answers to this valid question are as follows: Firstly, the HCSS has a specific mandate and jurisdiction that does not include war crimes committed before the December 2013 massacre.

Secondly, the trial of suspects for the recent atrocities does not negate setting up a special court for the previous crimes if deemed practicable. However, such a court would face insurmountable difficulties in collecting evidence for crimes committed over a quarter of a century ago. The forensic evidence has already been lost, and the credible eye-witnesses might have perished in the course of that war or indeed in the recent conflict.

Thirdly, the chances for the international community to establish a court for the previous atrocities are quite remote. The international law is based on precedents among other things. What happened before were atrocities committed by rebel factions in the absence of the rule of law. The international community has never set up a court in the past for trial of leaders of rebel factions. There is no precedence.

Therefore, such an undertaking by the international community is very unlikely. However, we do realise that some of the suspects in the previous atrocities are also suspects in the recent ones, hence, would not escape justice this time if proven to have recommitted crimes.

Many observers and even supporters have been wondering about what is going on in the SPLM/A-IO camp. The majority of the South Sudanese people would certainly give Dr Riek Machar a thumbs-up for his endeavours to reach out to the communities by delivering speeches at church congregations and private meetings. Organising public rallies would have been a much effective way of getting his message across to the populace.

He has been talking about reconciliation and the need for forgiveness which resonated very well with the majority of the people. However, it has been noted that the word accountability never came up in his speeches.

Despite the fact that the alleged joint letter has now been proven to be a scam, yet a cloud of suspicion continues to hang over Dr Riek Machar regarding his real position about accountability. A direct statement from him would have dissipated that cloud of suspicion immediately and for good.

It’s one thing when the Press Secretary, James Gatdet, refutes the letter and it’s another when the denial comes straight from Dr Riek Machar because it will not be merely a denial but a reaffirmation of his position.

The SPLM/A-IO leadership has much to lose with the delay or the abolition of the HCSS than SPLM/A-IG. In fact, Kiir and cohorts would like the HCSS to be no more, and should that happen; they would be the ultimate winners.

Therefore, the SPLM/A-IO should be wary of public support because it’s never absolute and could change rapidly simply because of lack of clarity or when politicians give mixed messages about important issues like accountability.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Taking a closer look at the controversial 28 states

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, MAY/29/2016, SSN;

Since the announcement of the presidential establishment order for the creation of 28 new states, the regime and its supporters have maintained the assertion that it was an answer to a popular demand. They sought to sell that line of argument which is false to foreign entities and individuals with little knowledge about what is taking place in South Sudan.

The central point that they failed to prove is that the 28 states were a topical issue in the media or among the populace before the presidential decree. In fact there has never been a nationwide debate regarding increasing the number of states. We never heard of proposals or deliberations whether at the level of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) or the Council of States’ level.

There was no mention of the involvement of a technical committee in conducting feasibility studies before the presidential order. Moreover, the opposition parties in the NLA and even the SPLM members were taken by surprise when the presidential decree was read over SSTV.

The first time the issue of increasing the number of states came to public attention was when SPLM/A-IO proposed establishment of 21 new states based on the British colonial districts during the peace negotiations. As we all know, the regime strongly opposed the proposal and even refused to discuss it in the negotiations.

The great irony is that the government that has refused new 21 states, came up with even a larger number of states based on nothing but ethnic interests.

It’s no secret that the 28 new states originated from the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE). Thus to say that it was the fulfillment of a popular demand by the government is nothing but an outright fallacy.

At best it could be viewed as a request by a portion but not the whole Jieng community. And even if the entire Jieng community supports the creation of the new states, it will remain the demand of one tribe out of the 64 tribes that form South Sudan.

The regime also propagated a claim that having more states would facilitate the delivery of services and bring about development to the remote areas of the country. It would, as its supporters insist, take towns to villages in agreement with a well-established SPLM objective.

Well, it’s quite easy especially in a dictatorship to enact a particular policy and use the government propaganda machine to organise public demonstrations in support of what the government did. But people would soon realise that their lives haven’t changed much and what were disseminated by the regime were just slogans for public consumption.

There hasn’t been any considerable development of our cities and towns at the expense of the rural areas. Over a decade in power hasn’t brought safe running water to the majority of the households in the capital city, Juba. Apart from the privileged people, the majority of the citizens drink water straight from river Nile ( Supiri ) or wells.

This alone exposes the weakness of the regime’s argument. If it could fail to set up a primary infrastructure like safe water supply for the capital, how plausible that it would succeed in building the far more costly infrastructures like highways, bridges and railways by merely increasing the number of states?

Little details have reached the public domain regarding the 21 states suggested by SPLM/A-IO during the peace talks in Addis Ababa. The proposal is far from being perfect or ideal for the following reasons:
— a) Although it sounds reasonable that it was based on the British colonial districts, however, it didn’t take into account the demographic changes and the economic realities that have occurred since the departure of the British. 60 years after the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium is quite a long time and with our reduced life expectancy this could well be the entire lifetime for a sizeable number of South Sudanese. It means the majority of the people in those districts is now composed of a new generation of South Sudanese. With a new generation of people, significant changes are bound to happen thus the British colonial districts may not accurately reflect the demographic and economic facts on the ground.

— b) Similar to the 28 states, there was no national debate about the pros and cons of having 21 new states. Therefore, it runs the risk of being viewed by some as non-inclusive or lacking a broad-based support.

— c) Despite the fact that SPLM/A-IO represents all the communities of South Sudan, the 21 states’ proposal may not escape the accusation of being heavily pro-Nuer interests. However, the difference between the two is that the 28 states are being illegally operationalised while the 21 states’ system is a proposal subject to discussion and amendments.

Both the proponents of the two views can hardly demonstrate to or convince honest people that all communities in South Sudan have been consulted or their perspectives were taken into consideration.

The views of the Equatorians and the other tribes appear to have been largely ignored. It must be clear that there are on-going grievances in greater Equatoria even with the ten states’ system. The former three regions of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal have comparable population sizes. Therefore in fairness, there should have been an equal number of states as a result of breaking up the former regions.

Also looking at some of the new states with populations barely reaching 100,000 and meagre or non-existent infrastructure, you realise towns like Kajo Keji and Lainya with area populations of 196,000 and 89,315 respectively according to the 2008 census should have qualified to be made states in their rights.

The biggest grievance, however, is in the allocation of counties. Again the 2008 census showed the populations of Central Equatoria, Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states as 1,103,592, 1,200,000, 964,353 and 600,000 respectively. Only six (6) counties were allocated to Central Equatoria State (CES) while (11), (13) and (9) were assigned to Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states respectively.

Juba city, the most populous city in South Sudan with a population of 368,436 which is more than half the entire population of each of Lakes state (685,730) and Unity state as above, was maliciously “compressed” into one (1) county while Lakes state enjoys (8) counties.

The case of Mongalla in Jubek State, is kind of interesting hence making elaboration irresistible. Mongalla was the first capital of South Sudan before being moved to Juba in 1930. History tells us that it was the only town in South Sudan visited by the American President Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. A town of great economic potentials as evidenced by the fact that as early as the 1920’s the foundation for growing cotton and a textile industry were established.

A sugar processing factory and a clothing mill were operational albeit for a short period. There were even plans in place for a paper mill that depends on growing the eucalyptus plants. Yet Mongalla was never made a county until recently. It just shows how arbitrary is the process of allocating counties in the Republic of South Sudan.

The process is never straightforward or based on a sound selection criteria. It’s more often than not tainted with the whims and tribal inclinations of the rulers.

The question that comes to mind is – do we need more states? Which is more believable – that lack of development is caused by the ten states’ system or that it is the result of poor leadership coupled with corruption and incompetence?

It is a well known fact that 4 billion US Dollars was embezzled in Juba under the President’s very nose. Also, few incidents of theft and embezzlement involving thousands and millions of US Dollars occurred in the office of the President. With all that in mind – how likely that the situation would improve with the creation of the new 28 states and the expansion of the government apparatus?

In the context of good governance, the issue of the number of states is a secondary one. The primary issue is the system of governance that is acceptable to the people of South Sudan.

Historically, federalism has been the demand of the people since 1947 and remains popular among the overwhelming majority to this day. Therefore, and contrary to the regime’s rhetoric, the 28 states is not a popular demand, federalism is.

Moving the country forward requires visionary leadership, innovative planning, administrative and fiscal discipline and hard work. In essence, the decision to increase the number of states should be based on economic benefits rather than on political or tribal gains.

When a tourist planning to visit our country learns about the new states through the media, and being cognizant of the international norms, he or she would expect nothing less than airports, hotels, restaurants, highways, 24 hours electricity supply, Clean water supply and above all security.

Good Lord! We do not have a single easily passable road between Bor and Pibor. The Road between Malakal and Naser is seasonal and the same applies to many parts of South Sudan. The total length of tarmac roads in the whole of South Sudan is less than 150 miles.

Having a tap water supply in your household is a luxury in the 21st century South Sudan.

Rather than increasing government spending by creating more unproductive posts with the risk of increasing the number of embezzlers – why not use those funds in building the infrastructure all over the country?

Increasing the number of counties to ensure equitable representation in the NLA would be a wiser option at extremely low cost than increasing the number of states.

It has been recognised worldwide that big government seldom delivers the results that people have hoped to attain. It’s prone to maddening bureaucracy and rampant corruption. The keys to prosperity are small government, strategic planning, anti-corruption stance and fiscal conservatism.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Machar, Lam, Taban, Alor, Lado, Nyaba… et al: Back again to your dysfunctional & degenerate Kiir-led SPLM/A?

EDITORIAL, MAY/23/2016, SSN;

To call this new Kiir-Machar government as being made up of former “enemies” is an understatement. Without any doubt, this is still the same SPLM ‘comrades’ government made up of self-preserving, remorseless and immoral criminals and killers who are very much adept at mutating and recycling themselves back into these lucrative positions of leadership mainly because they shared the similar commonalities.

Verily, the road ahead for the new Kiir-Machar (SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO) is already heavily mined by mutual disagreements, obfuscations, dilly-dallying and endemic paralysis which will again end up in mutual self-destruction and another gargantuan disappointment for our people and the international community helping the new nation.

Once more, in their duplicitous and long political lives, Machar, Lam Akol, Lado Gore, Deng Alor, Taban Gai, et al…, have all come back, once again, to their degenerate SPLM political party and its dysfunctional government under their same incompetent leader, Kiir Mayardit.

South Sudan has within a historic world-record time become the most ungovernable country in East Africa not because of its patient and long-suffering people but principally due its so-called miscreant SPLM leaders that incorporates all of you, so-called SPLM In-and-Opposed to Government.

What’s really new or different this time in this SPLM/A new political marriage? For the second, third and God knows how many times, most of you all have been shamefully labelled as thieves and traitors; almost all of you were at one point, publicly dismissed, imprisoned and disgraced from this anarchic and archaic monstrosity called the SPLM/A by none other your Great Satan, Kiir Mayardit himself.

But again and again, like some Satanic incarnations, most of you, despite the imprisonment, near death-misses and public embarrassment, you all shamelessly have silently capitulated and crawled on your knees back to your ‘Almighty Devil’ Mayardit.

Poignantly, according to the latest analysis by “The Sentry.org,” South Sudan (presumably both SPLM’s) elites, after assuming power in 2005, “have built a kleptocratic regime that controls all sectors of the economy, and have squandered a historic chance for the development of a functional state. These predatory economic networks play a central role in the current civil war, because much of the conflict is driven by (SPLM) elites trying to re-negotiate their share of the politico-economic power balance through violence.”

The Report “acknowledges that the (Machar’s) rebels were also part of this kleptocratic system in the past, and are more likely to be involved again in the event of a negotiated settlement.”

The above assessment is absolutely indisputable, you had the privilege to once again ‘re-negotiate’ yourselves back into the politico-economic realm through a war that future generations of South Sudanese will furiously debate whether it was really necessary as a first alternative.

During your collective involvement pre-2013 political disengagement from Kiir’s government, EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU, whilst in the Kiir’s cabinet, illicitly benefited in one or multiple ways in the on-going massive corruption, either indirectly or directly.

IF ANYONE OF YOU WAS EVER CLEANER THAN YOUR ALMIGHTY KIIR, WHY HASN’T ANYONE OF YOU COME FORWARD AND POINT THE FINGER ON KIIR HIMSELF or OTHERS OF YOUR COMRADES WHO ARE UNASHAMEDLY AND LAVISHLY WALLOWING IN THEIR ILL-BEGOTTEN RICHES AS THOUSANDS ARE DYING OF HUNGER AND DISEASES RIGHT NOW ACROSS THE NATION?

In a rare show of honesty, President Kiir in 2012 shocked the nation by revealing that 75 of his officials had stolen a whooping 4 billion dollars but he stopped short of naming a single individual. Then all of you were in the government and top suspects. Why hasn’t Machar or anyone of you in the opposing SPLM come out and name somebody or all in the SPLM in government who are the suspects, just for political expediency?

Regardless, in the public opinion of most South Sudan, now wallowing in poverty and hunger, they know you are completely involved in the corruption and you are suspects till the end.

Interestingly, your Almighty Godfather, Kiir Mayardit and his clown/vice, Wani-Igga, repeatedly and publicly have exposed the ONLY alleged 30 million dollar theft by Pagan Amum, (money given by Sudan’s el Bashir to build your Juba party headquarters), the now reappointed secretary-general of your party, who’s most unlikely to return to Juba because of the embarrassment, intimidation and threat of prosecution.

Your collective silence on and about the past or current corruption is a duplicitous conspiracy to save your own skins and to reassure the Satanic Kiir that you all agree not to rock the boat, a deliberate capitulation to ensure and guarantee your self-preservation even when one of your comrades, Pagan Amum, is being publicly crucified.

Further, it’s apparently indisputable that the recurrence of conflicts within your degenerate SPLM party and the dysfunctional governments shuffled and reshuffled by your almighty Kiir basically stemmed from the unending, long-running competition among you, the ruling elites, for more power and profits.

Interestingly, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, the most leading SPLM ideologue, frankly attributed all the past and present national problems to what he called ‘the SPLM original sin,’ and that the shortcomings of the Kiir’s Government of South Sudan (GOSS) are wholly pegged on the SPLM, the rot began in the SPLM and there is no way the SPLM leadership can escape responsibility for this cataclysmic failure.

Now surprisingly back once again as a minister in this Satanic government, Dr. Nyaba also once wrote that his ruling SPLM had drastically “cost the people of South Sudan more than 10 years of missed development opportunities,” and he clearly attributed this to the “ideology of these SPLM leaders as informed and shaped by their ethnic environment as the SPLM liberation ideology surely failed to penetrate this ossified jieeng ethnic ideology.”

In the most simplified deduction, therefore, the SPLM liberation ideology was subverted by and subsumed into the jieeng ethnic ideology; all other ethnic groups in South Sudan were, as a matter of fact, naively and inadvertently perpetuating jieeng supremacy and domination as now so clearly apparent.

The question is: Why are you so maniacally obsessed with your collective reincarnation back into this dysfunctional government and your degenerate SPLM party and its severely fractured and ill-famed military wing, the SPLA?

Isn’t this what Dr. Adwok Nyaba himself had once described that “Kiir survived by the malice of fate?”

Momentarily, the current tenuous peace will probably be effected under the JMEC monitoring but at the expense of any justice and accountability on a butch of very disagreeable and disingenuous ‘comrades-cum-leaders’ of an archaic, diabolical and self-destructive organization known as the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army, aka SPLM/A.

More infamously remembered for its historical episodes of horrendous and abominable murders, rapes and human rights abuses, practically every member of this SPLM/A without exception has contributed to the stigmatization of citizens of the nation by their collective criminality.

Thus, with this so-called peace accord, these criminals and murderers, be it president Salva Kiir, Riek Machar, Lam Akol, Taban Gai, Deng, Deng Alor… et al, are soon back to business as usual.

South Sudanese must be painfully reminded that right from the first existence of the criminal SPLM/A in 1983, its founder, John Garang, accompanied by those of president Kiir, Kuol Manyang, Malong and others, without any provocation launched the infamous Bilpham, Ethiopia, attack on the already existent Anya Nya liberation movement, mercilessly eliminating those heroes like Gai Tut, Akot Atem and many others.

Again, more infamously, when the same Riek Machar and Lam Akol launched their internal rebellion in 1991 against mainstream SPLM of Garang, thousands and thousands of South Sudanese were murdered and brutalized by either side, this reign of terrorism continued until their reintegration into the SPLM/A.

It is believed that more South Sudanese have been killed and severely traumatized by you, the SPLM/A leaders, Garang, Kiir, Machar, Lam…. et al, than by our erstwhile enemies, the jellaba Arab North Sudanese.

The current national circulation of the propaganda and euphoria of so-called heroes and peace is a falsification of the reality, what have president Kiir and Rebel Riak Machar seriously accomplished? Where is justice for those South Sudanese needlessly murdered by Kiir and Machar?

It’s only in South Sudan, a nation and a people the SPLM/A has so much traumatized, that criminals freely recycle and reincarnate themselves back into power without repentance, remorse or prosecution.

South Sudan is admittedly a failed state and an outlaw state that has in a stupendous world record time gone through the infamous combined ‘somalization’ and ‘Rwanda genocidal traumatization by its rebels-turned-leaders and with their return, the nation’s and people’s future is once more in the balance.

So, very soon, our murderers and thieves, Kiir, Machar, Lam, Taban, Manyang, Alor and all the infamous SPLM/A comrades will be unashamedly back into the top national leadership and once again recklessly and irresponsibly steering the nation’s ship into another calamity.

Dr. Lual Deng, another SPLM ideologue now sorrily relegated to a mere ‘SPLM headquarters office-boy,’ was rightly suspicious of President Kiir’s choice to replace the dead Garang and of Kiir’s inherent inability to leadership, by writing down that, “..the development of the promised land (South Sudan) is a different mission that requires a different leader, and we expect divine intervention in this respect….”

Has God really not abandoned South Sudan when priests, bishops, archbishops, deacons are immorally cohabiting with those ruling sinners of South Sudan, attending their ostentatious parties and dinners and even blessing the exotic foods, whiskies and beers while the majority of Juba residents are barely eating one meal a day?

Again, Dr. Lual Deng, Ph.D., further opined that, “A government that murders its own people has no moral basis or legitimacy to govern whatsoever,” in his book, ‘The Power of Creative Reasoning.’ He was directly referring to the Kiir Juba junta but sadly, this supposedly top SPLM intellectual, has been mysteriously sucked into this monstrosity, in spite of his hitherto vociferous writings against president Kiir failed and corrupt leadership, perhaps the tribal force known as ‘jieengism’ is more powerful than nationalism, as he’s unscrupulously abetting what he once called the “sclerotic management in the SPLM bureaucracy.”

In conclusion, from 1983 to 2013, most of you have again and again deliberately, conjointly or duplicitiously involved in the deadly and cyclical episodes of political and ethnic, as well personal rivalries in which innocent citizens have needlessly perished.

The conclusion reached by experts is correct: You, “the country’s elites have built a kleptocratic regime that controls all sectors of the economy, and have squandered a historic chance for the development of a functional state.”

Since independence, South Sudan has been controlled by a small, rotating set of elites who move seamlessly between positions in government and the frontlines of the rebellion, as political situations change.

TheSentry.org report ends by the conclusion that, “only reforming and forcing the South Sudanese state to actually serve its people, instead of its leaders, can the country actually move towards a more sustainable peace.”

There must be some accountability and transitional justice, these SPLM/A murderers can’t be simply allowed to evade justice for their habitual acts of criminality. END

The Government of National Unity: What does it entail and what will it bring?

BY: Marial Mach, A’duot, Australia, MAY/12/2016, SSN;

It’s always worth celebrating, at least, by the people with a moral compass, when the rage of war is abridged from the catalysts of disaster to the level of an isolated violence. Whether you are an inept campaigner of an exaggerated and mythical, political legitimacy of the ruler, and the challenger, or an advocate of the dying people, subjected to a war that was avoidable, there is one thing ostensibly inevitable.

The last two-half years, since the war broke out in December 2013, have resembled a netherworld for the impoverish civilians across our great land, as unswayed politicians, military leaders, and their unscrupulous apologists, savage the lives and hopes that were slowly salvaged, after the shocks of the nearly five decades of war with the north and innumerable internal strives.

From the outlooks of radioactive war lobbies, the current window of peace is not good enough to sell political and ethnic propaganda which are not, in any essence, capable of assuring both irrational promises of the regime charge, as posited by some sections of our politics or an illusion at the halls of the power, that the government functioned like a colonial despot with less or no accountability whatsoever.

Having said that, it does not imply the author is under any means of illusion that things will unexpectedly be normal, once comes the government of the national unity.

The new government won’t function from a purposive unitary standpoint, but it will be operated as a utility site where psychotic individuals will be deployed in what I unapologetically called a political psychopathy; a mechanism of political and social moral disengagement which is extensively playing a greater role in the political and military violence.

It will be an avenue for the civil war boosters to continue and have a second chance in the political spotlight and of course, a ticket to mug public funds. What may be affected slightly by the new government, I believe, is the notion of political laisser-faire and perhaps the cherished commitment to the use of violence to force the political change.

That, of course, is not proficient in changing the working hypothesis in the minds of aggravated masses; that no one who stumped for the war, or the current political crisis in the country should give advice about the catastrophe now, or should get listened to.

Hence, the incoming administration will ascend on challenges of enormous scales: peace to build, the war to end and prevent, economy to fix, and large-scale Internally Displace Persons (IDPs) and refugees to settle. And most importantly, preventing the threat of the entire country not only from collapsing but also from becoming resentful between those who have and those who have not.

This assumption lies in the simple truth that the disproportionate privileges enjoyed by those in power may in near future create cumulative inducements for those people who have nothing to demand a systematic change and that call has been violently resisted and it may lead to another crisis unless the leaders rapidly revise their extreme egocentricity and apply moral-political consciousness.

In contrast to these issues, the major question is what does the new government, yet to be formed anyway, bring to the country’s destitute population?
The easiest, straightforward answer is nothing to the population.

This conclusion may seem little too insolent, or to some extent, I may be accused of being ignorant. First, because new political and security arrangement between the two factions of the SPLM did actually end the major part of the war, and second, the transition may lead to long-lasting political consensus, sustainable peace, and stability.

These are probable, and they need to be acknowledged.

What could be said, however, is the reality that such political arrangement pointed to how disputants should be able to divide the stakes, political authority, for instance, but how such arrangement should support the building of effective, accountable, and democratic institutions and civil societies that meet the needs of people is elusive.

The above suppositions are true only in the creeds of the political concession theory and in the conflict resolution and they tend to function only when the war-crazy buffoons test the acrimonious part of the violence they engineered through their intellect of political immaturity and impunity, and that I believe, in not the case in our situation.

Our political leaders have not learned their lesson, nor does it seem to be any consequence for the initiation of the war. What is coming inevitably in the ways of the leaders, which in my opinion, have committed war crimes is the reward for incumbency and reinsertion.

That promise is celebrated in Juba and in a subterranean world of Fagak where the SPLM in Opposition set up their imaginary political capital, as well as in many other mongoose-burrows across the country.

Why this is the case is intricate, but a careful review of the record of our political system and leader’s behaviours show a number of continuities with liberation tendencies, notably concerning with militarized politics and great power presence in the hands of the core political and military leaders.

Thus, various political commentators and experts have ridiculed the surface idea of democracy on the lips of South Sudan’s leaders, and which is, in fact, a falsified euphemism of what really caused the current war that will bring about the power-sharing arrangement.

The experts’ conclusion is that SPLM, in all its factions, operate a kleptocratic system where the power is obtained and used for personal benefit rather than service delivery to the governed, and I am not contesting, I agreed with that accusation.

Kleptocrats, of course, stock the looted money away in foreign accounts to serve as the rainy-day fund in the event they lost the power and that is not foreign to our rulers either. So, what will come with the new administration is an absolute individual ticket to power.

President Salva will keep the continuity of the status quo on behalf of his supporters while Dr. Riek, as First Vice President, will reward his political and military allies for returning him to power, a job well-done. Like those who remained in the government, their position allocations will, of course, be used to access the scarce resources, as well as used as the source of political influence.

The key outcome in this case, is a perpetual continuity of political and economic savagery by the same old leaders through the tactics of violence or the threats that usually come when one feels aggrieved to mobilise an armed faction when dismissed or discharged from lucrative and influential roles in the government, or even in the various rebellion sectors as we have seen recently.

The conclusion of what the government of national unity means to the politicians is what Jean-François Bayart called ‘The Politics of the Belly’. Bayart’s context is a classic portrayal of the nature of many African states buried deep in the mass of the savagery of the present status of political practices.

Bayart emphasis lies on the persistence of deeply entrenched patterns of statecraft, and, insofar as he recalled the impact of despotic formal institutions on the extent of political and economic outcomes. Bayart emphasizes the ordinariness of African societies, referring them as ‘ordinary and particularly ordinary in their politics’.

Whereas most students of contemporary politics study corruption around individual responsibilities, the context of The Politics of the Belly’ includes the role played by the state in aiding and abetting political deficiencies and corrupt practices. It is this process that the current political scientists tend to refer as criminalisation of the state. The criminalisation of the state, if we had to take it in South Sudan’s context would mean chronicles totality of state-supported criminal activities.

The ordinariness of our politics lies in political practices and with leaders who see the forms of political normality in violent competition for power where one form his own militancy to force his employment, institutionalised fraud and the plundering of public resources, the growth of private armies, the privatisation of state institutions, and the development of economies of plunder.

Within these political imperceptiveness lies the weakness of our leaders. No one, especially those who seem to understand politics better ever had a dream to see changes overnight in a country emerging from war and lacking every institutional capacity and at the same time led by almost erudite revolutionaries.

But what is also true is that outright embezzlement in the form of the state-sponsored bourgeoisie, cling to power or attempt to seize it by force are now a historical artefact in some part of the world, even though some leaders in Africa make them seem little exotic.

South Sudan as new states have not reached such dictatorial stage yet, but it has failed or it is failing on multiple fronts and the questions worth debating is what to blame for the failure; the legacy of wars or a blind personal ambitions among the leaders?

To end this note, what the people of South Sudan will get from the incoming government is a constant pattern of despotic political opportunism at different levels. My assumption is that factionalism and political violence is not something that happens only as an accident, but a political scheme glossed in structural condition of the SPLM/SPLA’s politics.

It’s proceeding from a desire to liquidate influences and power into possessions. I believed that the precariousness of our political equilibria is not a demonstration of total ethnic hostilities or an inadequacy of the state, but it becomes the case only because of uncontrolled reciprocal greediness of political elites.

For all the benefits of the doubt, I should say freedom of thought entitled every person to believe, or disagree, and this article is not devoid of that fact either, on my behalf as an author and for others to contest what I said.

Marial Mach, A’duot, is a South Sudanese resides in Melbourne, Australia. He can be reached for comment at pandepiol@yahoo.com

Prioritising the Solutions to South Sudan’s Problems of Political & Tribal Bigotry

BY: Dr. Lako Jada KWAJOK, MAY/07/2016, SSN;

At this point, only a few among the countries of the world could rival South Sudan regarding the massive problems facing it. The simple fact that many tend to overlook is that the majority of these problems are man-made disasters. South Sudan didn’t suffer an environmental catastrophe but what we went through over the past couple of years resulted in devastation on the scale of a tsunami or a major earthquake. These disasters shouldn’t have happened in the first place and were entirely avoidable.

Political and tribal bigotry coupled with incompetence and corruption were what got us into the current sorry state. Clearly, we have a lot on our plates to handle at any particular time. In such a situation the conventional wisdom entails prioritisation as the best line of action to be taken by the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

Presently, the most pressing issues are the widespread insecurity and the absence of the rule of law in many parts of South Sudan. Insecurity is the single most crucial matter that needs to be resolved urgently by the TGoNU. I cannot overemphasise how important is the settlement of this issue for the full implementation of the peace agreement and for the maintenance of stability of the country.

People do realise that without significant progress in the way of improving the security situation in the country, there would be modest achievements or not at all on the other fronts. For example, those who have taken refuge in UNMISS camps all over the country, would not leave them if they don’t see tangible results that dispel their fears.

It would even be unrealistic to talk about mending what has been torn apart let alone enacting the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH) while insecurity remains rampant and unabated.

Furthermore, there would be no hope for a robust economic growth and a speedy recovery if the working class and the farmers continue to feel unsafe in their homes.

At any rate, the formation of the TGoNU is the way forward but is not by any means the endgame in the political saga involving the country. Quick and favourable results are needed badly by the populace.

Regarding the issue of insecurity, the three Ministers required delivering sooner than later are the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Interior. The Minister of Defence, Kuol Manyang Juuk, represents the status quo and the way he works and conducts himself is well-known to many on this forum; hence, meaningful reforms are very unlikely under his watch.

However, some degree of change is bound to happen as a consequence of the implementation of the security arrangements and the fact that SPLM-IG is no longer the only political entity running the government.

As for Paulino Wanawilla, the Minister of Justice – he did express frustration with the state of affairs in his ministry back in November 2015. The following are what he said then: “I know in South Sudan corruption is not in one place, but it’s very sad when everybody is stealing. I know there is corruption. I have evidence of people in this ministry (of Justice) who are legal counselors and taking bribes.”

It’s unclear as to whether Wanawilla managed to get rid of his corrupt officials or not. Perhaps the new dynamics emerging with the formation of the TGoNU would offer the opportunity to prosecute and weed out those corrupt elements. A clean up at the top should go hand in hand with a real effort to facilitate justice delivery at the courts. Wanawilla is probably aware of what has become a common knowledge where criminals are apprehended one day and set free the next day without ever being tried in a court of law.

The real potential for reforms emanates from the Ministry of Interior under the newly appointed Minister of Interior, Alfred Lado Gore. Some may say he is not a newcomer to the government as he had previously held the portfolio for Environmental Affairs thus not much of a reformer.

Well, it could also be argued that advocating reforms and democratisation of the SPLM party were the very reasons that led to the purging of him and his colleagues from the government and the SPLM party.

Alfred Lado Gore is a dedicated leader with an unwavering stance. He is a sort of a perfectionist that often set him at odds with his corrupt colleagues in the SPLM party before the split. It’s no wonder that the regime’s cronies regarded him as a thorn in their sides. Also it explains why he was made to lose the 2010 Central Equatoria Governorship election through extensive vote rigging by the regime.

Addressing the issue of insecurity requires setting up a policy blueprint with achievable targets and measurable outcomes. The Minister of Interior, Alfred Lado Gore, certainly has the political will to bring about change in the way things are done in his ministry. He probably has plenty up his sleeve that would define his leadership style.

Nonetheless, talking about the obvious matters that need fixing without delay is worthwhile. There is a consensus across the board, particularly in communities hit hard by insecurity – that something needs to be done now and fast.

In the first instance, the Inspector General of Police, General Makur Arol, ought to be sacked. He has convincingly failed to contain let alone eradicate the cycle of violence that has plagued our cities, towns and villages. He appears to be following the footsteps of his predecessors, General Achuil Tito Madut and General Pieng Deng Kuol.

The infamous phrase, “Killed by unknown gunmen,” came into common use during Achuil’s tenure, flourished under Pieng and reaffirmed with Makur Arol at the helm. Their legacies as the first three Police Chiefs would ever be marred by that telling phrase. And if not an act of sheer tribalism, why the Chief of Police post remains the monopoly of one tribe, the Jieng, despite repeated failures?

Why not give the opportunity to serve the country to a competent officer from another tribe?

The Minister of Interior knows that to succeed, he needs to start with a fresh team at the top of his administration and never “inherit” the same old faces that have failed. An overhaul of the ministry and demotion or purging of incompetent officials can only boost his popularity among the South Sudanese people.

The insecurity in Juba would be the biggest challenge for the Minister. One could argue that the reason for lawlessness is the fact that hitherto the people who have been entrusted with the duty of policing Central Equatoria state, have neither the knowledge of the people and their cultures nor relation or strong ties to the area.

It’s a well known fact that a significant number of crimes have been committed by individuals in uniforms. The time has come for sons and daughters of Equatoria to take over the responsibility of policing their areas. There is absolutely no reason that the Chief of Police in Central Equatoria state should not come from its community.

By the same token, the Police Chiefs and the bulk of the police forces in the other states should be from the indigenous populations. There are clear benefits in adopting such a policy as enthusiasm to tackle crimes would be at the highest level possible if someone is assigned to work in his or her community.

On the other hand corruption and police brutality would be at its lowest as no one would like to be seen mistreating his people. Moreover, it would lead to a substantial revenue savings by cutting down the costs of policing our communities. For example, accommodation and travel allowances would be kept at their minimum as there would be no justification for them if officers are stationed in their areas.

Finally, one could only hope that those who have been calling for reforms and even putting their lives at risk for effecting them – realise that a lot are at stake including their popularity and political survival.

There should be no room for tolerance of incompetent officials or officers. Failing to deliver the goods should equate with getting kicked out of office.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Riak Machar lives as South Sudan’s greatest tragedy

By: John Bith Aliap, Australia, APR/29/2015, SSN;

After fearfully skipping several trips to Juba, Machar finally hit the highly militarist Juba International Airport Tuesday, April 26, in the afternoon. He was then rushed to J1 presidential palace, with a sheen of sweat covering every inch of his body and hurriedly sworn in as Kiir’s First Vice President.

As he now sips tea in his rebels’ capital Jebel Kujur, working out his next war strategies, the people of South Sudan are left scratching their heads, eager to know what Machar holds for them this time. But his supporters think otherwise. Machar’s stay in Juba would make their wretched land find peace at last.

But Machar’s loyalists fail to figure out that their boss has been the most important factor why war lingers in South Sudan for decades. When one war ends, he creates another.

Machar waged a vicious war against the SPLM/A in 1991 largely because he was not in charge of it. His Nuer tribal mates drifted away with him when he stormed off from the SPLM/A’s liberation van wagon largely out of tribal loyalty.

His Western in-laws – particularly the British, and his historical ally Khartoum’s regime which butchered 2.5 million South Sudanese supplied him with cash, missiles and manpower.

Viewed by South Sudanese as a global champion of liars, Machar tells his supporters whatever they want to hear. When he seeks military support from the internationally indicted Sudanese president Omer el Bashir, he tells him that he regrets the split of Sudan and that his movement envisions reunification.

He whispers in Bashir’s ears that he’ll reunite the two Sudans [North & South] when he ousts Kiir’s government.

To his Ethiopian allies, he bills himself as a bridge between Ethiopia and South Sudan and Ethiopians will freely roam South Sudan when he sails to power in J1 presidential palace in Juba.

When wooing support from the west, he pretends to be fan of democracy and human rights despite his track records of mass murdering available on the internet.

To his fellow members of Nuer Community, he presents himself as a king who would restore their ancient glory and drive the Dinka tribe out which he frequently blames for his usual madness into the sea.

Riak Machar perfectly fits the definition of a traitor. He spent a better part of his life running between foreign capitals – preaching the war against his own people while organising his tribal warlords into revolutionary cells.

Machar was popular when he caused mayhem to people’s movement, the SPLM/A in 1991, but now his popularity seems to be at its lowest level as his tactics grow vicious. In both wars – 1991 & 2013, Machar ordered his tribal militia to plant millions of mines in South Sudan’s fertile soil, raze down non-Nuer villages, rape non-Nuer women, loot non-Nuer livestock, drive hordes of refugees away from their ancestral lands so they can become a burden to the government and the international community.

As he now enjoys himself in Juba, a city he fled two years ago like a beheaded chicken, Machar’s officers whom he accused of power grab and other minor crimes when he was in the bush are now still lingering in his bush’s prisons.

Fearing that some of his officers might push him away from power, Machar showed them his brutality by having them killed. Others accused of attempting to pinch off Ngundeng’s rod – a rod of Nuer’s prophet who centuries ago allegedly prophesied his reign of power have been thrown into his unlawful bush prisons – deep pits, sealed with logs and earth, pitch black and inescapable.

With Machar back to Juba, South Sudanese should be reminded that Riak Machar’s war appetite isn’t yet over. He lives his life as a traitor, tribal warlord, despoiler, mass murderer, South Sudanese’ greatest tragedy who wields knife and gun in his hands.

John Bith Aliap is an Australia-based political commentator and can be reached at Johnaliap2011@hotmail.com.