Category: Most Popular

‘Who will help South Sudan find peace?’

BY: Elhag Paul, Mar/10/2015, SSN;

The London Evening Standard paper recently ran a full page advert by Vice News asking: “Who will help South Sudan find peace?” file:///C:/Users/Rosemary/Downloads/Vice_news_advert.pdf (after accessing the link, please minimise the advert to see the whole advert)

Looking at this advert one can not miss concluding that the soldier appearing in it must be in some form of a transport vehicle on his way to a mission. Clad in light brown camouflage usually worn by western armies operating in desert terrain, this dominant soldier looking directly at you with squarish solid face reveals emotions of anguish. He holds the object of his trade, an AK47 with the barrel facing downwards presumably for safety reasons. He is surrounded by “comrades” to his right and back with one standing whose head is cut out of from the advert.

The bottom of the advert carries the print: “YouTube/Vice news + 974,066.” Another message in large print, partly in red and partly in black stands out on the right hand side saying, “You don’t just watch the news.” Careful study of the advert reveals two main messages. The primary purpose is business. Vice News is advertising itself to increase readership and expand its share of the media market.

The message that may get imprinted in the readers’ mind subliminally here is that Vice News will keep you informed by bringing you the rarest of news from the remotest and dangerous spots of the globe. So, don’t miss out. Subscribe!

The second message which luckily is highly noticeable is the enlightenment of the Western masses about the plight of South Sudan. While Vice News is certainly promoting its business interest it is also doing a very good service to the people of South Sudan. The question, “Who will help South Sudan find peace?” alone will prompt readers to research what is happening in that part of the world and hopefully they may be able to help by writing to their members of parliament for the issue to be taken up and looked at appropriately.

Vice News’ question has come at the right time. It coincides with the failure of IGAD in mediating the peace talks in Addis Ababa. It is now abundantly clear to the people of South Sudan that IGAD will not bring any peace for numerous reasons. Please refer to, ‘IGAD’s inadequate strategy in South Sudan’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201404140864.html

One complete year has now been wasted by IGAD in the erroneous belief that the re-unification of the rotten SPLM party will bring peace to South Sudan. This poorly researched if ever and baseless objective has now failed as expected with IGAD remaining discredited. This failure is likely to intensify the depressed state of affairs in South Sudan. One could argue that the current South Sudanese society in its collective is a disempowered society. The abuses it has undergone over the decades in the hands of Arabs of the Sudan and the SPLM in the latter part has deeply injured it and fragmented its constituent parts.

Independence in 2011 was looked at both locally and internationally as a chance to allow the society at last to have a healing space. Unfortunately, SPLM’s short sightedness coupled with its criminal mind and appalling behaviour pushed South Sudan into a very serious crisis in December 2013 leading into massive loss of life and displacement of nearly two million people.

Typical of SPLM leaders, President Salva Kiir, Dr Riek Machar and the entire SPLM machine do not care about the suffering of those displaced (within and without the country), especially those in the United Nations protection camps. What matters to them is their relentless pursuit of power. This is what preoccupies them. They are happy to destroy their tribesmen by arming them and unleashing them on each other in this endeavour without any concern for their safety and well being.

This senseless pursuit and vicious struggle for power combined with IGAD’s lack of creativity, lack of objectivity and poor mediation skills condemns South Sudanese to further destruction. Socially and psychologically broken, South Sudan’s confidence is taking serious blows from the bleak environment created by the massive failures of the three witches: SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and SPLM G-10.

The loss of confidence in IGAD (and the international community) inevitably removes any hope the people of South Sudan have in the global structures to deliver peace. Those displaced people imprisoned in the UN Protection camps due to their ethnicities and political affiliations, and those in government controlled areas policed by the brutal security system are likely to suffer deep depression with the vividly disappearing hope.

Essentially the current system under SPLM/A as always only produces a state of paralysis, state of fear and powerlessness. The people basically are cowed down through violence to allow the beneficiaries of the system to loot the coffers of the state with impunity. This state of affairs further exacerbates the disintegration of the already broken social system.

The downside to this relentless SPLM’s terrorism (which has been going on for three decades) may lead unexpectedly to a violent uprising. All the things happening in South Sudan now are the classical ingredients of revolutions. The literature on revolutions point out that all revolutions start by decay of authority, misery and suffering of the people.

South Sudan indisputably is fast moving into that direction with the masses gradually shading their fear. Note, fear is the very food that nourishes terror and enables the SPLM to prevail. The moment the people stop fearing, that will be the end of SPLM/A in South Sudan.

The prospect of peace and stability in South Sudan indeed looks bleak under the SPLM. Even if the IGAD talks were to succeed in reconciling President Kiir and Dr Riek and re-unifying the SPLM, that would not bring the yearned for security and stability in South Sudan because essentially it would be the entrenchment of the pre 23rd July 2013 alliance of Jieng and Nuer responsible for the status quo: a vicious tribal dictatorship. All the reason Vice News asks the crucial question: “Who will help South Sudan find peace?”

This question from the outset appears to give the impression that the help must come from outside and this means the international community. True to a point, but the international community through IGAD has clearly failed and so far the world powers seem to have no appetite in decisively and conclusively sorting out South Sudan.

For if they truly wanted to help they could simply set up a new mediating body or better still a new facilitating body led by the imminent persons as already suggested in appeals to the Troika. Such a new initiative should then bring all the stakeholders to the table to hammer out a lasting solution for South Sudan.

The United Nations Security Council could easily do that but unfortunately there appears to be no will and the possible reason for this could lie in the historical interaction of Europeans and Africans. If the ethnic cleansing and the naked abuse meted on the South Sudanese people by the SPLM was outside the continent of Africa, the probability is that the UN would have invoked all the powers it has to hold SPLM to account with peace enforced as in the former Yugoslavia.

So, the real answer to the problems of South Sudan lies with the South Sudanese themselves. But as stated above, the people have been abused and disempowered. However, all is not lost. No need to despair.

With or without peace agreement among the SPLM/A, South Sudan as stated above is already ripe for a change one way or the other. The silent majority without doubt is disgusted and fed up with the SPLM tribal dictatorship.

What the people are missing now is the managed connectedness. The conversations that affirm togetherness, the sharing of information and ideas among the oppressed, the articulation of what the people want in this thing called South Sudan, which will provide the fuel for political action.

This should now squarely fall on the Diaspora and the silent leaders to facilitate if SPLM is to eventually be banished once and for all to achieve real freedom, peace and stability in South Sudan.

Which brings us to the diabolical project of SPLM reunification? This fiendish idea has all along been spearheaded by the Jieng because they stand to lose if SPLM is dismantled.

Initially it was Luka Biong who bugled it with the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa and then the Ethiopian People Democratic Revolutionary Front (EPDRF) as healers. This went nowhere as it hit the buffers. Then the Jieng think-tank known as Ebony waded in with the support of foreign nongovernmental organisation (NGO) resulting into the Arusha SPLM meeting.

South Sudan Nation website has published a brilliant and incisive editorial piece on the issue. Please see, ‘Towards SPLM unification, again? What a tragedy for South Sudan’ http://www.southsudannation.com/towards-splm-unification-again-what-a-tragedy-for-south-sudan/

However, it is important to try to understand why IGAD leaders give such a daft idea huge significance. Most if not all the countries of East Africa are led by mass political movements. For example, the National Congress Party of the Sudan, the Ethiopian People Democratic Revolutionary Front of Ethiopia, the National Resistance Movement of Uganda, Chama Cha Mapinduzi of Tanzania and so on. These political movements/parties have a false belief that they represent all of their people in their countries. They are unable to separate a country from a party.

This belief persists even when the evidence is glaringly in the open.
Take for example in Uganda, in addition to the NRM, there are more than 3 credible parties with varied ideologies yet this fact is ignored. Though this perspective is important in understanding the problem, it is a topic by itself and I will not dwell on it in this article. Suffice to say that for the purpose of this piece, the attachment element in it is what matters.

The real problem blinding the countries involved in brokering peace in South Sudan is the issue of attachment or sentimentality developed between the liberation movements in Africa and the people. This allowed these movements to achieve a politically unassailable status such as the Chama Cha Mapinduzi of Tanzania.

Because SPLM rightly or wrongly is seen as a liberation movement, the members of IGAD have taken it for granted that it represents the people of South Sudan and therefore it should not be allowed to perish.

In a sense the issue has become psychological and it depends on the subject of change and loss. The IGAD countries are terrified of change in South Sudan that sweeps SPLM away. The thought of SPLM atrophying scares the IGAD leaders because it exposes the vulnerability of these so called revolutionary movements. Thus it is seen as a contagious disease like Ebola which may infect them.

Look at it; all the movements/parties leading the IGAD countries have got their own problems and if they are to continue ruling they need to maintain the myth of invincibility. Therefore, SPLM must not be allowed to disappear and the best they can do is to patch it up.

As aging movements with mushrooming problems within them they are afraid of SPLM’s war with itself becoming a catalyst for speeding up divisions in their own movements/parties forcing a wider change in the region. This is something that the dictators of East Africa do not want at any cost.

To them if a “liberation movement” like SPLM can destroy itself without it being supported to unite and restore normality, it follows that their own movements may face such fate. This is a scary scenario for the dictators. Thus they do not want to see SPLM’s demise acting as an inspiration to their own citizens who may be enduring oppression like the South Sudanese.

Every change comes with a new situation which sweeps the old order away. What the new order brings to the dictators and their supporters is loss of power together with the unknown. The unknown generates or evokes a state of uncertainty and fear. Fear disables people and this is what makes change unwelcome to them, especially when what is coming or replacing the old order is not mentally imagined favourably.

Change always comes with loss. The system being thrown out is a loss to its leaders and supporters (beneficiaries). Loss comes with its own difficulties. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1926 – 2004) and others argue that loss occur in various situations. In death, and in separation of any sort temporary or permanent, it is met initially with denial, anger, and then blame before the final phase of acceptance when the inevitable is acknowledged. This is the bereavement process.

Now there are bereavement like situations that happen before the real loss. For instance, when somebody is struck with terminal illness like cancer. The moment the expected loss is announced, the intense pain resulting from the unexpected news bursts into denial, anger and blame and this may go on until the loss itself happens for the final part of the process of bereavement to be completed.

In politics such situation is very common because regimes and their supporters tend to know when their movements/parties’ decline and lose support of the masses; and also when the masses hate them and call for change as in the situation of South Sudan. When they sense this they basically sense atrophy of their beloved organisations and bereavement sets in.

They first begin to deny the reality and then angrily they move on to blame everybody for their predicament. This behaviour is now so common with the SPLM and its supporters. Just read the various comments in the South Sudanese websites to make full sense of the SPLMers bereaving. Their party is terminally ill and its health is fast deteriorating to death.

Therefore, the project of unification of SPLM started by Luka Biong and followed up by Ebony supported by IGAD is the initial process of bereavement. All of them are in denial of what is coming to SPLM as a “liberation movement”. They are in denial of SPLM’s already slow death.

They are in denial of the fact that SPLM does not represent the people of South Sudan. They are in denial that the people abhor the SPLM because it is a murderous organisation. They are in denial that the SPLM is a criminal organisation. They are in denial that the SPLM is divisive and has failed to govern. They are in denial that South Sudanese have other credible parties with capable leaders and so on and so forth.

Everything and everybody is to blame except the SPLM. This is the real problem of South Sudan under the mediation of IGAD. Unfortunately, IGAD and the other African countries like South Africa and Tanzania may not be aware of this blind spot because it is emanating from the unconscious mind of the organisation. They can not see it and they remain ignorant of it.

So, what can be gleaned from this behaviour of IGAD? The entire IGAD as an organisation may be depressed by the developing bereavement which may be affecting its ability to act rationally and objectively.

People familiar with knowledge of organisations as living entities afflictable by pathologies may easily see and understand the dynamics playing out here. This is the psycho-political perspective.

There is another perspective and that is the economic one whose core argument rests on the countries involved pursuing their own national interests only regardless of what happens to South Sudan. Please see ‘We must not hold South Sudan to ransom’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201410240119.html and ‘IGAD’s inadequate strategy in South Sudan’ whose URL appears above. Both perspectives appear not to offer South Sudan any hope as they do not take into consideration the welfare of South Sudan.

Given the above, IGAD should be pushed aside and a new body created to take the case of South Sudan forward. IGAD clearly is a pathological organisation needing help itself and should not be allowed to play havoc with fate of an entire country of approximately 8 million people.

Therefore, “Who will help South Sudan find peace?” The answer as stated is simple. South Sudanese have to help themselves to find peace. To understand why they must help themselves, South Sudanese need to familiarise themselves with ideas of Frederick Douglass (the American social reformer)in his historic speech, titled, “West Indian Emancipation” presented at Canandaigua, New York in 1857. For ease of reference here is the link http://www.blackpast.org/1857-frederick-douglass-if-there-no-struggle-there-no-progress

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul

elhagpaul@aol.com

The Leaked Excerpts of AU Commission of Inquiry’s Report & IGAD’s Threat of Imposing a Govt. in South Sudan

By: James Okuk, PhD, Juba Univ., MAR/07/2015, SSN;

On March 7, 2014 and based on decision of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) and after consultations with different parties involved in the outbreak of the mid-December 2013 conflict, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma appointed a Five-Member Commission of Inquiry [i.e.
1) H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo – Former President of Nigeria,
2) Lady Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo – Ghanaian and President and Justice of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights,
3) Professor Mahmood Mamdani – Ugandan and Executive Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research,
4) Ms. Bineta Diop – Senegalese and AU Chairperson’s Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security; and
5) Professor Pacifique Manirakiza – Burundian and Commissioner at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights] to “investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan, and make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities” based on the designated terms of reference: [i.e.,

1) Establish the immediate and remote causes of the conflict;
2) Investigate human rights violations and other abuses during the conflict by all parties from 15 December 2013;
3) Establish facts and circumstances that may have led to and that amount to such violations and of any crimes that may have been perpetrated;
4) Compile information based on these investigations and in so doing assist in identifying perpetrators of such violations and abuses with a view to ensuring accountability for those responsible;
5) Compile information on institutions and process or lack thereof that may have aided or aggravated the conflict resulting in violations of human rights and other abuses;
6) Make recommendations based on the investigation on the following:
a) appropriate mechanisms to prevent a recurrence of the conflict;
b) mechanisms to promote national healing and cohesiveness, particularly focusing on the need for all South Sudanese communities to live together in peace;
c) modalities for nation building, specifically focused on building of democratic institutions and post-conflict reconstruction;
d) and accountability mechanisms for gross violations of human rights and other egregious abuses to ensure that those responsible for such violations are held to account].

The Technical and Administrative Support Team for the Commission was based at the AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa. The Secretariat established necessary contacts with the AU Juba Liaison Office, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Juba, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and relevant stakeholders, so as to enable members of the Commission to amply carry out their mandate and finalize the required report.

The 60-page report was presented to the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on Jan 29, 2015 but restricted from publication so that it doesn’t spoil the atmosphere of IGAD-led peace talks. According to the excerpts from the leaked report by Reuters:

1) South Sudan’s president Kiir and his rival Riek be barred from transitional government because both of them are responsible for the political collapse in December 2013 and “the organized massacres and the large-scale violence that followed.” The violence “ethnically cleansed” the capital Juba of Nuer, who then sparked revenge attack. The conflict reopened ethnic fault lines, pitting Kiir’s Dinka people against Machar’s ethnic Nuer forces. The United Nations and aid agencies accuse both sides of Kiir and Riek of ethnic-based massacres and grave human rights violations including widespread rape and executions.

2) Ministers who were in power prior to cabinet’s dissolution in July 2013 “be barred from participation in the transitional executive” because they were accomplices in Kiir-Riek conflict and could have been involved in corrupt practices against the development and welfare of the Republic of South Sudan.

3) An AU-appointed and U.N.-backed three-person panel to effectively control and oversee a five-year transition and creation of an executive for South Sudan that would place all oil revenue in an escrow account overseen by the African Development Bank.

4) An African Oversight Force for South Sudan made up of troops “without prior involvement or direct interest in South Sudan” that would be under AU command and “the overall charge” of a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

5) The African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights, instead of the International Criminal Court, be given criminal jurisdiction over “high state officials individually responsible for war crimes and/or gross violation of human rights.”

6) United States, Britain, Norway and IGAD are to blame for creating “a politically unchallenged armed power” and “unaccountable political class” who have been acting with impunity and legitimized “rule of the gun” in South Sudan through the 2005 CPA deal. Particularly, the United States supported Kiir until it lost confidence in him in late 2013. Washington had hoped he could oversee a stable, oil-producing, majority Christian state allied to the West in contrast to neighboring Muslim-led Sudan, which is hostile to Washington.

Now, by trying to connect the dots for sensibility of the report, you could detect from March 6, 2015 press release by the Ethiopian Prime Minister and Chair of IGAD after declaring the collapse of the latest session of Government-SPLM/A (IO) peace talks in Addis Ababa, that the region together with the UN could impose ‘by all means’ a transitional government for South Sudan by July 2015 (perhaps including the Cote d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo ousting model, justified by his illegitimacy in holding power beyond elections mandate and Angola Jonas Sabimbi’s crushing model, justified by his intransigency on continuous rebellion).

This might mean that the recommended joint AU-U.N ‘trusteeship’ would be effected to oversee a five-year transition and creation of an executive for the Republic of South Sudan and place oil revenue in an escrow account overseen by the African Development Bank.

It could be sensed that such AU-UN sovereign controllers would rule the country in collaboration with some selected South Sudanese technocrats. What is yet to be known in details is whether the proposed AU-UN panel that shall be handed sovereignty of South Sudan would be doing it by ‘remote or proximity control.’

It shall be impossible for one country to have many governments claiming the same sovereign power at the same time. That is, how will the AU-UN imposed government operate inside the country successfully side-by-side with Dr. Riek Machar’s declared federal bush-government and with President Salva Kiir’s city-government?

How would South Sudanese technocrats who shall participate in such imposed alien government be perceived by the public? May be betrayers versus patriots, depending on where someone who judges stands.

The possible aliens’ intervention into the Republic of South Sudan is now imminent if our leaders don’t come into their proper senses and see politics clearly the way critical analysts see it. “By all means” would then mean including military takeover of the government of South Sudan by AU-UN peacekeeping forces and crushing the rebels’ government if it doesn’t comply with peace that is imposed by the superpowers.

Surely, our political leaders are to blame for this unfortunate situation of opening the country to aliens’ intervention. This would have not come if the internal front of all legal political forces were united for securing the dignity of their country. The price of disunity is always fall and collapse of sovereignty, nationalism and patriotism. We might even reach a day to say “there was a country” called South Sudan, God forbids!

However, perhaps, the stalled IGAD peace talks is going to be a blessing in disguise for the serious and concerned nationalists of the Republic of South Sudan (intellectuals, politicians, religious leaders, civil society leaders and ethnic sages) to rethink out alternative internal avenues of finding a lasting peace and rescuing the hard won independence dignity of the Republic of South Sudan from aliens’ or betrayers’ grabs.

The IGAD mediation deadlock on peace negotiations could open a ripen opportune for an urgent calling of an inclusive national peace and governance conference in Juba before the AU and UN reach the tipping point of taking over the country from both the government and the rebels by July 2015.

It could be learning by hard ways after our leaders have knocked their heads on hard walls of tough choices between war and peace, and after they have gotten humiliated and chickened by threats of sanctions. Keep crying my beloved country!

It is now time for the honest nationalists of the Republic of South Sudan to come together as soon as possible and deliberate on available avenues of securing a dignified fate of their beloved and embattled country, before giving a foolish chance to outsiders to decide for them via regrets.

It is high time to abandon politicized selfishness and embrace altruism for the common good of the new nation in the making.

———————————————-
Dr. James Okuk is a lecturer and political analyst in the area of politics. He can be reached at okukjimy@hotmail.com.

Exclusive: Bar South Sudan Kiir & Machar from transition govt – AU Inquiry draft

Exclusive: Bar South Sudan leaders from transition – inquiry draft
Reuters News | Mar 05, 2015, SSN

By Michelle Nichols and Aaron Maasho;

(Reuters) – LATEST: Peace talks between South Sudan’s government and rebels adjourned on Friday and there was no date set for the next meeting, a mediation official said.

UNITED NATIONS/ADDIS ABABA – A much-anticipated African Union inquiry calls for South Sudan’s president and his rival, Riek Machar, to be barred from a transitional government and for the oil-producing country to effectively be placed under AU control, say sources and a draft of the report.

The recommendations are directly at odds with a peace deal being negotiated that would retain Salva Kiir as president and appoint rebel leader Riek Machar as deputy. The two are holding talks this week in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on forming a unity government.

Fighting between forces loyal to Kiir and rebels allied with Machar plunged South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, into a civil war in December 2013. At least 10,000 people have been killed and 1.5 million civilians displaced.

The inquiry blamed the United States, Britain and Norway for creating “a politically unchallenged armed power” by backing a 2005 peace deal that “ushered in an unaccountable political class”.

The findings were to be presented to the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on Jan. 29 but the body shelved publication of the report. The inquiry’s findings have not been released due to fears its publication could disrupt peace negotiations, say diplomats in the 54-state African Union.

Reuters obtained a 60-page draft of the inquiry, which a source close to the five-member inquiry panel said was produced in October. The same recommendations of barring Kiir and Machar from a transitional government were included in a new draft in January, the sources told Reuters.

Kiir sacked Machar as his deputy in July 2013, sparking the crisis. The United Nations and aid agencies accuse both sides of ethnic-based massacres and grave human rights violations including widespread rape and executions.

The United States supported Kiir until it lost confidence in him in late 2013. Washington had hoped he could oversee a stable, oil-producing, majority Christian state allied to the West in contrast to neighboring Muslim-led Sudan, which is hostile to Washington.

The conflict reopened ethnic fault lines, pitting Kiir’s Dinka people against Machar’s ethnic Nuer forces.

The violence “ethnically cleansed” the capital Juba of Nuer, who then sparked revenge attacks, said the draft of the inquiry obtained by Reuters.

The inquiry, led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, holds Kiir and Machar responsible for the political collapse in December 2013 and “the organized massacres and the large-scale violence that followed.”

“RULE OF THE GUN”

The draft recommended that members of the South Sudan government, including the president, vice president and ministers in power before the cabinet’s dissolution in July 2013 “be barred from participation in the transitional executive.”

It called for an AU-appointed and U.N.-backed three-person panel to oversee a five-year transition and the creation of a transitional executive that would place all oil revenue in an escrow account overseen by the African Development Bank.

It recommended the creation of an African Oversight Force made up of troops “without prior involvement or direct interest in South Sudan” that would be under AU command and “the overall charge” of a U.N. peacekeeeping mission.

It does not specify how many troops would make up the force. There are already some 11,500 U.N. peacekeepers in South Sudan.

Fighting has continued despite a truce signed a month ago by Kiir and Machar, who aim to form a transitional government of national unity by July 9. The current peace talks in Addis Ababa will extend beyond a Thursday deadline set by mediators.

The inquiry blamed some of South Sudan’s problems on the United States, Britain, Norway and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an eight-country Eastern African trading bloc known as IGAD, who were behind a 2005 deal paving the way for South Sudan’s 2011 independence from Sudan.

It said they helped to establish “a politically unchallenged armed power in South Sudan” that acted with impunity and legitimized “rule of the gun.”

Officials from the United States and Britain declined to comment on a document they said they had not seen. Officials from South Sudan, IGAD and Norway were not immediately available for comment.

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday urged public release of the findings. The United States, Britain and Norway last month called for the report’s release.

The draft obtained by Reuters recommends that the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights, instead of the International Criminal Court, be given criminal jurisdiction over “high state officials individually responsible for war crimes and/or gross violation of human rights.”

(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by David Storey, Jason Szep and James Dalgleish)

UN Security Council OKs sanctions for South Sudan

New York – (NEWS 24), MAR/04/2015, SSN; The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Tuesday creating a system to impose sanctions on those blocking peace in South Sudan, hoping it will press rival leaders into ending a conflict that has killed tens of thousands in the world’s newest country.

The Secretary-General takes note of the unanimous passage of Resolution 2206 (2015) by the Security Council this morning, establishing a sanctions regime on South Sudan. He reminds both parties that the best way to avoid the enactment of actual sanctions by the Security Council, is to strictly adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement of 23 January 2014, fully comply with International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, extend their full cooperation to United Nations and humanitarian personnel in the discharge of their mandates and duties, and conclude a Comprehensive Peace Agreement that places South Sudan back on the path to stability and prosperity.

The resolution drafted by the United States says an arms embargo is possible if the warring sides can’t stick to a peace deal. Talks between the government and rebels continue this week in Ethiopia, with a Thursday deadline to reach a decisive peace agreement.

“Those who frustrate peace must begin to pay the price,” US Ambassador Samantha Power said.

The resolution doesn’t explicitly name South Sudan President Salva Kiir or rebel leader Riek Machar as possible targets for sanctions that would include an asset freeze and travel ban, but it says people affected could include “leaders of any entity”.

Peace talks

Multiple cease-fires in South Sudan have failed during more than a year of fighting that has had ethnic overtones. Two million people have been displaced.

South Sudan’s rebels on Tuesday warned that the latest peace talks could fail if the government does not make concessions, especially on the issue of how to share power in a possible unity government. Kiir arrived in Ethiopia early Tuesday to attend direct talks with Machar.

The resolution comes after months of threats by the US and others to impose sanctions over the conflict, though some countries had wanted more support for the idea from regional actors such as the African Union. As time passed, international calls for action grew.

The UN director for Human Rights Watch, Philippe Bolopion, welcomed Tuesday’s approval after months of hesitation but said, “The elephant in the room is the long overdue arms embargo, sadly absent from this resolution”.

Monitoring groups have described South Sudan as being awash in weapons after its long fight to split from Sudan ended in its independence in 2011.

Power sharing agreement

South Sudan’s UN ambassador, Francis Deng, quickly warned the council that sanctions would be counterproductive, especially as the country’s people suffer. “What the president and the government of South Sudan need is encouragement and support, not condemnation,” he said.

Deng said he hoped the council will not actually impose sanctions.

Russia’s support was grudging at best. Deputy Permanent Representative Petr Iliichev said the decision to impose sanctions was hasty and that any negative effects of Tuesday’s action should be blamed on those who pushed the resolution in spite of Russia’s warnings.

“Pushing the protagonists into a corner will not change anything” and will further complicate the peace process, he said.

China’s ambassador spoke out on Friday against the resolution, saying he saw no logic in it, but Liu Jieyi on Tuesday simply expressed his hope that the warring sides would quickly reach a compromise. China’s interest is focused on South Sudan’s oil production.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement on Tuesday night urged Kiir and Machar to show leadership and “make the necessary compromises” for a power-sharing agreement that would help end the conflict.

– AP

You can’t straighten an object’s shadow without first straightening the object itself’

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, South Sudanese, FEB/28/2015, SSN;

Following the conspicuous absence of President Salva Kiir Mayardit from what is largely supposed to be final round of the IGAD mediated Peace Talks for South Sudan, many observers begun to doubt the sincerity of the Juba administration to realise an inclusive just peace in a country ravaged by a civil war of its own making.

Also of concern to all is the implication of what seems to be an ill-intentioned absenteeism given the fact that any backtracking from previous signed positions by any of the principals of the two warring factions will adversely destroy any chances of bringing peace back to this new African country.

However there is much that in president Salva Kiir‘s absence than that meets the eyes. In a personal interview President Kiir gave a statement to the Kenyan Daily Nation in its Thursday, February 26, 2015 edition under the heading: “Why Machar will not be my Number 2”.

You may forgive me for not being keen to go into the details of President Kiir’s interview with the Kenyan Daily Nation which can be accessed by following the link provided below :http://www.nation.co.ke/news/politics/Kiir-Why-Machar-will-not-be-my-Number-2/-/1064/2636950/-/7sx1q/-/index.html

However for the purpose of this article it suffices to know that contrary to previously signed agreements between himself and Dr Riek Machar, the president has abundantly made it clear that he is reneging on all those agreements and won’t be sharing any power with Dr Riek Machar Teny, a man who served as his deputy for nearly eight calendar years.

Yet it all seems to me that President Salva Kiir Mayardit was not only being blatantly obvious, but what he said should in fact have been the case from the very beginning given the great visionary disparity and apparent incomparability and incompatibility between the two men.

And to be very fair to all – it really takes a lot of sacrifice from any learned person to accept being second to an individual like Kiir who shouldn’t be presiding over a sovereign country to start with, although it was only those several unplanned events that brought him to the top office.

The African Union, the IGAD and the international community have all said that President Salva Kiir should have kept his word when he signed a deal to attend the final rounds of the Peace Talks that kicked off in Addis Ababa on 20/02/2015.

The United Nations Security Council and the US administration have both talked of possible sanctions plus or minus arms embargo on individuals or entities who directly or through their policies are seen to be blocking the progress of the peace talks.

Well to say the least, President Salva Kiir now squarely lies in that category of “spoiler” of peace and rightly deserves all sanctions from ban on global travel to freezing of assets, of course a heavy embargo on the flow of arms to his notorious army and allied militias.

It is equally important that the UNSC understand that the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) is part of the ongoing war in South Sudan and must also be included in the arms embargo and any other sanctions for that matter.

Any attempt to exclude President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda from facing similar sanctions as his partner in crime President Salvatore Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan will not bring about the anticipated outcome.

In fact the only way to have an effective and water-tight sanctions is by including the Ugandan military and political leadership into the lot as a share of their role in sustaining the crazy war and directly engaging in the battles.

Museveni and his UPDF must taste their share of the bitter medicine soon to be declared by the UNSC, be it in the form of sanctions or ban on foreign travels or freezing of all assets and a total arms embargo.

It will not be too much for international justice to demand that both Museveni and his friend Salva Kiir Mayardit enjoy equal level of punishment. Together the duo are partners in the crime of setting South Sudan ablaze. This should remain so until such a time that they are both prepared to negotiate peace in good faith. I rest my case.

As for my fellow compatriots in the reform camp, urgently reconsidering our priorities where we stand now could mean the difference between succeeding and failing.

To allow for a timely achievement of the tabled list of reforms, it is necessary to adequately reprioritise these programs, for otherwise there is a real risk of not being able to implement them any time soon.

Informed by the quickly changing dynamics of both the political and socio-economic parameters of our joint struggle for a peaceful coexistence and regardless of whether at this stage one believes in the IGAD mediated talks or not, certain things are much of foregone issues.

However there is one truth that all reformists in South Sudan need to know at this particular point in time and it is the one fact that Salva Kiir and reforms can never coexist in the same administration. In other words there is no daylight between the two. Each one will do everything to obstruct and eventually eliminate the other.

So if you are indeed a person or a group who is contemplating to see reforms dawn in South Sudan then you are practically only left with this one single priority and that is to partake in the removal and disposal of Kiir administration from power as a first step towards any anticipated national reforms.

Salva Kiir Mayardit and his administration are the very opposites of reform and they can never at any time become your partners in actualizing any dreams which are more likely than not to bring an end to their corruption riddled existence.

Everyone who believes in reforms for that matter should have long known that allowing Salva Kiir to continue running the country under any pretext is in itself a defeat to the very realisation of any reforms how big or small they be.

It doesn’t any more whether he extents his stay in power through a manipulated approval by his rubber stamped parliament or as a part of a hard won transitional government of national unity.

You are not expecting Salva Kiir to negotiate himself out of office and negotiate his bitter enemies (the reformists) into power, are you? I hope not, otherwise you are being naïve and rather simplistic.

For as top as Kiir is now on the list as the most powerful person in Juba (obviously not all over South Sudan any more), his removal from power should equally top the list of any constructive reform agenda aimed at salvaging whatever is left of our beautiful country.

It is only after getting the priorities right then and only then can reformists celebrate the start of a new dawn characterized by a good and focused campaign.

And regardless of how tough the implementation of each and every stage might seem, yet down inside we also know that every step the struggle takes is being informed by a total conviction not to compromise its very basics – the Peoples’ quest for Justice, Good Governance, Equality, Economic Prosperity, Accountability, Stability and Peaceful Coexistence which is now in full gear.

After all no one in their right state of mind will even for a second consider being second to Kiir as an end in itself.

In another turn of event I found it quite refreshing to read the article by Bol Mathieng A, titled: “Lack of Accountability and Causes of Current Political Instability: A Case of South Sudan,” which appeared in the southsudannation.com, Feb/26/2015, and SSN; http://www.southsudannation.com/lack-of-accountability-and-causes-of-current-political-instability-a-case-of-south-sudan/

Although it was ironically written entirely to project President Salva Kiir Mayardit as the only saint in the midst of SPLM political sinners, I still consider it another beautiful article in a long series of articles that not only condemn the rampant corruption that continues to engulf South Sudan, but also one that went on to suggest accountability as the way forward.

The article was absolutely on spot when it pointed out that the current sad state of affairs in the country could have been avoided if only we had a competent leadership and administration from the word go in 2005 to deter the widespread corruption and glaring impunity displayed by the incumbent Salva Kiir’s “rotten to core” administration.

However when we talk about the introduction of accountability as suggested by the author, Bol Mathieng A, as a one important aspect which has completely been absent since the beginning of the CPA era of the SPLM administration under Salva Kiir Mayardit, it will be an impartial demand to see to it that all are held responsible – from top to bottom or better still to put it in the authors’ own words,” regardless of the title of the culprit”.

Being in total agreement with Bol Mathiang in his suggestion for a national pursuit of an impunity free South Sudan as an entrance to a peaceful and stable South Sudan, although I wonder how much thought has he given to the fact that for such line of thought to succeed, it is paramount to hold each and every one who wronged the people of South Sudan accountable beginning with those who abused the public office the most!

In such a top down approach the weeding of corruption must start right at the top from the office of the president – then the naming and shaming can successful be allowed to proceed down that gradient.

The logic is that had the person at the top acted promptly on corruption from day one, given the fact that he wields more constitutional powers in the country than anyone else, then we would be today living in a corruption and impunity free South Sudan.

However no one should attempt to sell us the “too cheap” narrative that the president was indeed a saint in the middle of a cabinet of sinners who in fact were his own buddies.

Birds of the same feather flock together – and this explains why the president never took an action past his “in famous” letter writing, to either pin corruption right in the bud or to weed it afterwards.

For all practical purposes when cannot be so blinded to the obvious that the true salvation of South Sudan lies outside the incumbent administration, given the fact the administration all across its decade long history has repeatedly resorted to corrupt means of extracting loyalty from the few that it succeeded to blackmail using what literary amounts to an institutionalized trend of a nationwide corruption and impunity network.

You may agree with me that, ‘you can never straighten an object’s shadow without first straightening the object itself’.

Author: Dr Justin Ambago Ramba. The Voice for the voiceless all across South Sudan.

The Problem of Nimule Jienge scramble for Ma’diland

BY DAVID AJU KANYARA, JUBA, FEB/28/2015, SSN;

The problem of Guru (Nimule) is like the Hydra; the daughter of Gaia, whose head when cut off, a few will spring up — even more dreadful than the previous! In the case of Guru (Nimule), Hydra is the goddess of greed and lust for power, personified in few individuals at the center of an intricate and big web (exclusive clubs) with their leaders in the center of each web.

Essentially we have four major nightclubs: Juba nightclub, Torit nightclub, Nimule nightclub and Kampala nightclub (still emerging).

Juba is the epicenter (the mother) of all the dramas in Ma’diland. Her ultimate goal is to take over Ma’diland, for the benefit of the Jieng and she is doing so with the help of a handful, less than 1 %, corrupt and greedy sons and daughters of Ma’di.

In the Words of Gen Martin Kenyi, these few are the loudest, I would add amplified by Juba.

The below chart illustrate the actors who are involved in scramble for Ma’diland:(Chart unavailable)

In Ma’diland the epicenter of the drama is Nimule, with late Kisire being the leader of the Nimule nightclub – for over the last 7 years. However his demise is switching the center of power to Abila (to the Ganyipira group).

During Kisire’s reign, the Abila group was subdued and Kisire’s nightclub had monopoly of power. His demise has left a vacuum in his nightclub, which now Abila group is trying to fill.

The demise of Kisire and his senior aide (the two were recently assassinated in Nimule) is subject to many speculations and conspiracy theories, but one can’t rule out the Abila group from having a hand. Both Abila group and Kisire group have Juba as their power base. It is widely believed that Juba fell out with Kisire and found favor with Abila group, which led to the demise of the former leader’s demise.

The epicenter in Torit is governor Lobong and his deputy Jerome Surur. Lobong survival in the past was due to partly his seemingly unwavering support to the power base in Juba. Some insiders also said he bribes Juba with kilos of gold, to remain in power. December 15 came as a blessing for Lobong to remain in power. Juba has power serious issues to deal with, than worry about removing Lobong from power.

For now Juba would rather keep him in power than fire him and risk the anger of the Toposa – if not a sizable number of disgruntled Equatorians.

Currently in the center of Nimule nightclub is the power-broker, little David Eriga, who acts as a go-between broker with Torit and Nimule. Eriga however has got no influence, neither in Nimule nor in Torit. The day he losses favor of Torit, he may face the fate of chief Ajugo.

Insiders from government have it that Ajugo found his death in the hands of a Dinka man sent from Juba. The security apparatus in Juba knows this well, but as a escape-goat to cover the plot, Ma’di community leaders got rounded up and jailed and tortured for months.

At the end, the case died without the killer of our chief being brought to face justice and to this date justice did not prevail to dry up the tears of mourning mother, wives and children of late Ajugo.

Bilal is also a power-broker just like little Eriga. In the past he had direct access to the power-base in Juba through a men like Salva Matok (Kiir’s close confidante and former interior minister). But over the last 24 months, things have changed dramatically for him, and Bilal’s relevance to Juba power-base has diminished much to ZERO.

In fact Bilal has no influence by himself and his power to intimidate his fellow Ma’di was taken away from him immediately after Salva Matok lost his power. Bilal’s survival depends on the expectations from the benefits of the promises he makes to Juba and Torit.

The day he losses favor of Juba, his fate may not be any different from that of Kisire and Gwanya. If and when that happens, many Ma’di boys will get themselves in detention falsely accused of murder.

Another pseudo-power, that of Igga Emilio, whose place in this complex of social dramas is worth head scratching. He is caught between the expectations of the Ma’di community and the interest of power base in Juba. The rather cozy relation Emilio has with Kisire’s group in the past made the Ma’di community to look at him with suspicion.

Months before coming to take his new job as Chief Area Administrator, the relationship between Emilio and Kisire’s group was already badly damaged. The demise of Kisire put a final nail on the relationship between Emilio and Kisire’s group (which’s almost now dismantled)!

Today the relevance of Emilio to Torit is also fast diminishing. The arbitrary arrest of his community members on allegations of being rebels of Gen. Kenyi has put Emilio in very awkward position. Emilio being trusted less by his power-base in Torit, and he is seen helpless if not irrelevant by many members of his Madi community.

Though he has a military background, a brigadier without any army to command is not commander. It is hard to speculate on Emilio’s fate but Juba is merciless to those who are not useful in the ploy to achieve its priced objectives- THE MA’DI LAND.

It is important the rest of South Sudan, Equatoria in particular, study this case very closely because it lays bare the playbook of the Jieng council of elders in turning South Sudan into Dinkaland! We are reminded of the Colonial powers, DIVIDE AND CONQUER!, the born-to-rule!

Somewhere outside the web, are Gen. Kenyi and his boys, who believe it is the personal responsibility for every Equatorian to rescue South Sudan from Juba. For now Juba thinks Kenyi is only a nuisance – mere irritations. But when that irritation starts to get more and more, Ma’diland will be an epicenter of a bigger drama – that may become serious concern to Juba leading to genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Ma’di people in the name of fighting rebels, playbook scenario seen in the Nuerland and Juba itself.

Only few months ago when Jada Tibi struck two trucks on Nimule Juba-road, Juba become very concerned. It was not possible to ignore the irritation Kenyi caused to Juba. If only Juba can learn a lesson from the past, it will avoid making the same mistake again and again.

As for the power-base in Juba, its commitment to subdue Ma’di people and grab the land of the natives is something which seems to be a raison d’etre for people like Mathok and the belligerent, notorious information and official spokesman of RoSS Minister Michael Makuei Lueth.

Somewhere in the outskirts are Ann Itto, the acting secretary of SPLA, and Former Ambassador John Andruga, who are fighting for their political survivals. Whereas he has failed to find relevance in Juba, John Andruga is trying to rediscover himself through his farming project.

As for Anne Itto, she is just hanging around – without whatsoever predictable future. Both Ann Itto and John Andruga have no influence in Juba – either negative or positive. Their inability to explain their helplessness has put them in rather the bad books of a big block of the Ma’di community members.

For now the whole of Ma’di, community is left like a volcano waiting to explode. A volcano is a chaotic system, and in chaos one can only expect of strange attractor, either a subset of phase, where all trajectories strive.

The way things are, the global dynamics of the complex web where Hydra of Guru lives is difficult to predict with certainty. But one thing is sure, one problem temporarily solved in Ma’diland brings a new one, just like the new heads of Hydra spring up from a cut.

Now there is no brand of unknown faces coming in Nimule and Ma’di land in the name of peace and coexistence between the host community and their uninvited guests, the Dinka Economic Displaced Persons/EDPs, mainly from Jonglei.

The Juba-based government has recently carried intimidation and bullying arrests, and constant disappearances including recent unlawful kidnapping of Deputy Lopirigo Lagu Jabakana, who was snatched– for a better word– kidnapped when he was attending the funeral of his relative in the village of Arapi, Amoria, Pageri boma.

He was snatched three weeks ago till this date nothing is known by his family of his whereabouts. It seems the government has succeeded in its bullying of the citizens into silence.

The new leader of Nightclub, supported by David Eriga with the money given by Reconcile International, a long local NGO based in Yei being funded by Danish Church Aid. These organizations have committed crimes by drafting irrelevant Memorandum of understanding between the Dinka Squatters in Nimule and these few corrupt indigents to attempt to legalize the squatters, displaced and robbers the Ma’di land.

This document if signed will give permanent habitat for the Jieng Nomads who decided to squat permanently and occupy the Ma’di land.

Again, let those with eyes see and those with ears hear what is happening in the Ma’diland where the playbook of the colonial and the born-to-rule dark policy of the Jienge is displayed in broad daylight, for after her, this shall be replicated all over South Sudan, Equatoria in particular.

The government of Kiir is using the country’s money to bribe, corrupt and starve the desperate indigents to the benefit of the Jieng. As it may seem believed but also uttered by them, they fought for their independence from the Arabs, now we have to fight them for ours!

They are forgetting, South Sudan’s journey to independence was unequivocally born in Equatoria, amplified by the Nuer (Anya-nya II) and celebrated in Juba (Equatoria land). While the Jieng fought and died for a united Sudan, the rest of the 63 tribes never wavered from an INDEPENDENT SOUTH SUDAN, for which we shed our blood and will continue to do so FOR THE NATURAL RIGHT TO LIVE IN OUR ANCESTRAL LANDS!

David Aju Kanyara

“The voice of the voiceless”

Machar shouldn’t be rewarded with position of first vice-president: Kiir

By: Fred Oluoch, NATION REPORTER, FEB/28/2015, SSN;

As the South Sudan peace process continues in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, President SALVA KIIR spoke with The EastAfrican at State House in Juba.

QUESTION-1: You have often complained about Igad mediators unnecessarily postponing talks even when the two parties are making progress. Do you believe Igad can successfully mediate a lasting peace?

Pres. Kiir: If they don’t change the current tactics which they are using, then they will not bring peace. Whenever there is a recess and the parties go back to their principals for consultations, they always have the agenda which was on the table.

But when the parties resume discussions with full briefing from their principals, the mediators often shelve the agenda that was on the table and bring new issues which the two protagonist parties did not consult about. Such an approach cannot bring peace.

QUESTION-2: As the president of South Sudan, why do you think your country is facing an internal war only three years after Independence?

KIIR: The conflict came as a result of personal ambitions of individuals who wanted to take power by illegal means because they were afraid that they would not be elected if they went to the people. They opted for a military coup; when they failed; they transformed themselves into a guerrilla insurgency.

Q-3: Your close associates have categorically said that Dr Riek Machar can never be your number two. Are you ready to work with Dr Machar without reservation or retribution?

KIIR: Well, my personal position and that of my party is that Dr Machar should not be the First Vice President. He can come in as number three like what was agreed on in Addis Ababa last August. He wanted the position of prime minster and I accepted despite the fact that we don’t have it in the Constitution.

But when the proposed government structure was put forward by the mediators, they put president, vice president, prime minister, two deputies and then the council of ministers. Dr Machar rejected it because he wanted to be an executive prime minister who will exercise all the powers in the country and the president becomes ceremonial. He was told ‘no, because this was an elected executive president.’

If you want to be an executive prime minister or president, then you wait for elections and keep out of this government.’ He wanted to share executive powers with the president and yet these powers were given by the people.

Q-4: The Arusha Accord of January 21, talked about reforms within SPLM as a way forward. Do you think the fighting could have been avoided if SPLM had initiated internal reforms earlier as had been demanded by Dr Machar’s group?

KIIR: Talks of internal reforms are not new because we have been talking about reforms in the SPLM even when we were fighting Khartoum. But the problem is that many of the people who are now spearheading the rebellion were not part of the movement and were co-operating with Khartoum. So they know less about SPLM than those of us who stayed.

Q-5: Do you believe the Arusha Accord that seeks to reunite the three factions of SPLM can be used as a stepping stone for a final peace settlement?

Kiir: I believe that it laid the foundation people can work from, if all of us are sincere about the wellbeing of South Sudan. But that is not what Dr Machar wants. He wants by all means to be the president and if he cannot get it on the negotiating table, then he has the military option to defeat the government and take over government

Q-6: It has been said that you also strongly believe in a military option.

Kiir: Well, I don’t believe in a military option because I have been fighting for many years and I know the difficulties of war. When we were fighting the Sudan government, Dr Machar was in Khartoum after rebelling against Dr John Garang in 1991 — just like he did in 2013. Slaughtering innocent civilians and later on enjoying the support of Khartoum and he was fighting us as the militia of Sudan.

But all the same, he was hoping that Khartoum would defeat us, which did not happen. So he decided to surrender fully, signed an agreement with Khartoum and became number four in the hierarchy of the National Congress Party. So he does not understand the dynamics of the war.

Q-7: Do you believe that this final session of the Addis Ababa peace talks will bring a lasting peace?

KIIR: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development [Igad] can only bring the conflict to an end if it can differentiate between coup plotters and normal conflict. The problem is that Igad is treating the coup plotters as innocent people who simply protested against the government, yet there was nothing wrong with the government.

We did not differ on our objectives or any issue. We were discussing internal issues within the ruling Sudan’s People Liberation Movement (SPLM). So the group which was not contented with whatever was happening in government, because they found themselves out of the government, resorted to violence. But the mediators in Addis Ababa are not taking these issues into account.

Q-8:Are you saying the issues of the coup and rebellion should be highlighted and not mixed up with the need to stop the fighting and people’s suffering?

KIIR: The situation in South Sudan is different, for instance, from what happened in Kenya in 2007/2008 where violence was caused by the results of the elections. That is why the region came in to talk about power-sharing between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga. This was definitely a conflict over the results of the elections but in our case, it was a coup.

Where in the world is somebody who planned a coup brought in to share power that he wanted to take wholly for himself?

Q-9: South Sudan has applied to be a member of the East African Community. But some in your government are wary that this could stifle the growth of the manufacturing sector. What is your position?

Kiir: I believe that joining the EAC has benefits. We are not producing anything besides the oil, but we believe that we can contribute to the EAC because we have abundant fertile land yet we have no capacity to engage in commercial agriculture for export.

People in other EAC countries have the technology and the capacity to do that. I believe agriculture will uplift the livelihood of our people, so the people who have fears will later on understand that joining EAC is in their best interest. END
————————

LATEST: South Sudanese Pres. Salva Kiir says he will not accept Dr Riek Machar, who led a rebellion against him, as the first vice-president in the current peace negotiations.

In an exclusive interview with The EastAfrican from State House, Juba, Pres. Kiir said he would only agree to Dr Machar coming in at position three as the second vice-president or non-executive prime minister.

PERSONAL POSITION

“My personal position and the position of my party is that Machar should not be the first-vice president. He can come in as number three as agreed in Addis Ababa in August last year. He wanted the position of prime minister and I accepted, despite the fact that we don’t have it in the Constitution.

“But when the pecking order was put forward by the mediators, they had the president, vice-president, prime minister, two deputies and council of ministers. Machar rejected it because he wanted to be an executive prime minister who will exercise all the powers and the president becomes ceremonial. He was told ‘no’, because this was an elected executive president. If you want to be an executive prime minister or president, then you wait for elections and keep out of this government. He wanted to share executive powers with the president and yet these powers were given by the people,” Mr Kiir said.

President Kiir added that the Igad talks in Addis Ababa after violence broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, could only end the conflict if the mediators acknowledged that Dr Machar’s men were “coup plotters”.

He also spoke about the pressure from regional leaders and his views on claims that Kenya supports the Machar group.

In Summary
President Kiir added that the Igad talks in Addis Ababa after violence broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, could only end the conflict if the mediators acknowledged that Dr Machar’s men were “coup plotters”.

In an exclusive interview with The EastAfrican from State House, Juba, President Kiir said he would only agree to Dr Machar coming in at position three as the second vice-president or non-executive prime minister.

(From The EastAfrican)

Lack of Accountability and Causes of Current Political Instability: A Case of South Sudan

BY: Bol Mathieng A, JUBA, FEB/26/2015, SSN;

Accountability can be defined in a layman’s language as giving an account on how a given action was taken or a sum of money has been spent, this has been lacking since formation of Government of South Sudan. The aim of this article is to show where the notion of accountability has been seen lacking, the article will give a way forward.

Accountability has been lacking in our governance system since 2005 as evidenced by the following arguments: In CPA, two percentage of total production of oil revenue was to be given to the producing area. That sounded developmental because the two percentage could cater for relocation of those affected villages in terms of developing the areas that they would be settled in.

The development was expected to bring into those particular affected communities or states at large, things like modern schools fully equipped laboratories, well stocked libraries and employing most qualified teachers that the oil money would fetch, hospitals, tarmac roads, electricity and employment of youth in various sectors.

In fact, given that the writer has never been to greater Upper Nile, the writer has been assuming that Unity state and Upper Nile state are the most developed states in South Sudan. However, Colleagues of the writer that have been there have vehemently refuted that fallacy.

Failure to make the governors (particularly for Unity state) to strictly account for the 2% of total oil revenues is widely believed to have boosted his ego for bigger positions in GOSS.

In other words, having looted the oil money, his accounts fattened and made him fund the coup and the current rebellion. If every dollar sent to those states was accounted for, they (governors) would have remained with their basic pay necessary for their families’ upkeep, but because they were not quarterly audited since they assumed offices as governors, their money accumulated and they thought that they could be bosses of themselves, if not top men in GOSS.

The next area where the accountability has failed to be seen and heard respectively, is at GOSS level. The publication of the 75 top corrupt people is evidence to that claim.

I also believe that if the stringent system was established since 2005, the so-called G10, SPLM-IO or whatever group, would have not been available. They would have remained loyal to the president or else, they would lose getting their basic pay necessary for their basic requirements.

The presidency should note that, in Africa here, weakening political opponents economically whether in the same party or in opposition, explains why some countries in Africa are not having serial rebellion.

Therefore, failing to make every government official accountable explains why, most of the former ministers looted some money and started their own companies, became critics of the government they were part of and eventually rebel when they were removed.

Corruption or lack of accountability is not a new phenomenon in South Sudan, just visit www.southsudannation.com, read particularly in the archives article titled “top 13 corrupt.”

In conclusion, if we want to live a peaceful life, and develop this nation by spending every coin rightfully as budgeted, and if the political opponents of the government of the day are to be tamed economically so that they cannot harm this nation through useless wars, accountability must begin from today not tomorrow and it has to be implemented in a merciless format regardless of the title of the culprit.

The writer is south Sudanese living in juba …you can reach him by mail bullenbolm@gmail.com

Can a Democratic Government extend its own Life?

By: Dr Lam Akol, SPLM-DC leader, JUBA, FEB/22/2015, SSN;

Last Thursday Feb. 19, the government tabled before parliament an amendment bill in order to amend the Constitution for the Government to extend its life for two more years. In a democratic setup, is a government allowed to extend its own term of office?

Before answering this question, let us consider our system and compare it to similar systems and experiences the world over.

Our system is a constitutional presidential democracy. In a Presidential Democracy, the president serves for a specific term and cannot exceed that amount of time. Elections too have fixed date not subject to change.

This is in contrast to a parliamentary system in which the Prime Minister may call for elections any time he sees fit but, even here, there is always a set number of years he cannot exceed without calling for a general election.

All these measures are necessary to ensure a basic requirement of democracy; and that is guaranteeing smooth transfer of power. The essence is that the political party that wins a majority does not lengthen its term of office using the same majority to deny the rest their opportunity to be voted to power by the people.

Such a move can be termed “Democracy Once” dictatorship; which is no democracy at all. If a need arises to change the terms of office, the matter must be referred to the people in one way or the other. These guarantees may be included in the constitution as explicit provisions or be understood as a given without which democracy is compromised.

We are governed through the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011. This constitution provides for a presidential system in which the president was to serve for four years up to 8 July 2015. This is the same period set for the election of a new Parliament.

By tabling an amendment to extend the terms of office of the President of the Republic and the National Legislature without returning to the people, the government is breaching a fundamental principle of presidential democracy.

If we accept its claim that it was elected by the people in 2010 up to 2015, by whose mandate does it want to rule up to 2017? Does the political party that enjoys the majority in parliament have the right to amend the constitution at will to continue in power for a period more than what the electorate gave them?

If this is allowed once, what prevents it becoming a precedent to be repeated time and again? Where will such a precedent leave the democratic requirement of the “transfer of power” between political parties through the mandate of the people?

True, our constitution has a provision that allows for amendments to be made to the constitution (Article 199). But does this provision apply to all articles in the constitution without affecting the nature of the state as provided for under Articles 1(4-5) and 2 of the same constitution?

For example, is parliament allowed to amend the Bill of Rights (Articles 9-34)? It is the contention of this author that it cannot. By the same token it cannot amend the articles on the cyclical “transfer of power” (Articles 66 and 100) without seeking the consensus of the people from whose will the Constitution is derived (Article 3).

These articles cannot be amended because they form the core of the constitutional presidential democracy we have adopted. This is the crux of the matter.

This matter becomes more critical if we look at the Parliament entrusted to amend the constitution on behalf of the people. The current National Legislature is composed of 332 members: 282 members of the National Legislative Assembly and 50 members of the Council of States.

Only 170 members of the National Legislative Assembly were elected to the Legislative Assembly of South Sudan in 2010. The entire membership of the Council of States was appointed by the President in 2011, who also appointed the other 112 members of the National Legislative Assembly.

Hence, the total number of appointed members in the National Legislature is 162 members. That is, 49%, which is about half the total membership< of the National Legislature is appointed. This is the body expected to make such a serious amendment!

The government was cognizant of this fact when it insisted on holding elections to renew its legitimacy. It was fully aware that it alone cannot amend the Constitution to attain that objective. If it did, that would be a breach of the Constitution on matters that are taken as given by practice and precedents.

When President Museveni did amend the Ugandan Constitution to run for a third term, the move was resisted. This was the same reaction in a number of other countries which underwent similar experiences, the most recent of which was what took place in Burkina Faso last October.

Beginning on 28 October 2014, the people of Burkina Faso went on the streets in Ouagadougou to protest against moves by President Blaise Compaore to amend the constitution so as to extend his rule by allowing him to stand for re-election in 2015. Indeed, the protesters did on 30 October force the MPs to suspend the vote on changing the constitution, leading to the overthrow of the President.

All this goes to underline the point that there are articles in the Constitution that cannot be changed without changing the rules of the game. And the only accepted game changer is the people.

We all know that the main reason why the 2015 elections were not possible is the destructive war that broke out on the 15th of December 2013 and is still raging in the country. Insecurity is also prevalent in some parts of the country that is not related to the civil war, notably in the Lakes state. The insecurity militates against conducting a free and fair election.

It was, therefore, obvious that attaining peace must be the priority so that the situation returns to normalcy, after which the people will be able to exercise their democratic rights including taking part in the elections.

However, both the government and the rebels could not make progress in the peace talks and, in fact, the Cessation of Hostilities agreement they signed in January 2014 was not respected and the fighting continues unabated. Despite this obvious reality, the government closed its mind and insisted on holding partial elections for the sole reason to gain legitimacy.

After spending money on a futile exercise it finally realized that it cannot proceed with the elections but did not give up its determination to cling to power by all means. Hence, came the idea of unilaterally amending the constitution.

The consensus of the South Sudanese to amend the terms of elected institutions stipulated in the Constitution may come about in either of two ways. First, if the stakeholders in the peace talks reach a peace agreement, then this agreement will be incorporated into the Constitution by carrying out an amendment that includes the term of office of the transitional government.

Second, if the peace talks are not conclusive, then all the political forces in the country shall hold an inclusive national conference that will deliberate on how to bring about peace to the country. The resolutions of the conference shall constitute the program of the new government of national unity.

It is this program that will determine the length of time it takes to get it implemented by the new government, and in turn, determine the amendments to be made to the constitution on the strength of this consensus.

The amendments tabled by the government on Thursday were unilateral lacking the consensus of the people as shown above. The government should have waited for the outcome of the current round of peace talks (which started on the 19th instant), which, according to the government and the rebels in their first of February agreement, will see the conclusion of a peace agreement.

If they conclude a peace agreement, then the first scenario becomes applicable. If they fail to reach a peace agreement then the second scenario becomes the course of action by default.

Making a unilateral move to amend the constitution is a breach of the constitution as explained earlier since the proposed amendments are not backed by the consensus of the people of South Sudan.

22 February 2015

‘A government that wages war against its own people isn’t a legitimate government’

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, FEB/20/2015, SSN;

At the beginning of this month a phenomenal declaration was made by the South Sudan Catholic Bishops which under normal circumstance should have caused political tremors. However, surprisingly this extremely important event passed on without South Sudanese noting its importance as one of the most potent weapons to end President Kiir’s government.

It would be an abdication of duty to refrain from bringing this topic back to the attention of the people of South Sudan because that would be tantamount to condoning the wrong going on in South Sudan.

“Citing a Biblical passage (Mark 10: 42 – 45) in which Jesus criticizes the ‘rulers of the heathen’ for lording it over their people rather than serving them, the Bishops argued that a government that wages war against its own people is not a legitimate government.” Please see, ‘Bishops declare that South Sudan ‘has abandoned God’”. https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/bishops-declare-south-sudanese-nation-has-abandoned-god.

This bold declaration by the South Sudan’s Catholic Bishops offers the quickest solution to the ongoing conflict in the country. However, it appears that the Intergovernmental authority on development (IGAD) has brushed it aside in its quest to see the SPLM/A warring parties share power and wealth at the expense of the people of South Sudan.

This of-course is not a solution in any way as it does not address the root causes of the conflict. It is only a postponement of the conflict to some future date.

IGAD needs to note that the government of President Salva Kiir is illegitimate as highlighted by the Bishops and therefore there is no ground for allowing IGAD to dictate things in Addis Ababa. President Kiir is a war monger. He started the war based on the lie that there was a coup. Please see, ‘President Kiir’s strategy to cover up ethnic cleansing collapsed in London.’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201402241137.html

In the middle of 2013 President Kiir recruited and formed his own personal tribal militia in Bahr El Ghazal in violation of the constitution and against advice of the then Chief of the Army, General James Hoth Mai. He then relocated this force of over three thousand men to Luri, a Bari village south west of Juba for further training around October of the same year.

In the first week of December 2013 President Kiir made speeches rekindling the emotive event of 1991 schisms between the Jieng and the Nuer in the SPLM then under Dr John Garang. This prepared grounds for the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in Juba and country wide starting from 15th December 2013 and thereafter.

The Revolutionary Movement for National Salvation (REMNASA) in their document, ‘REMNASA: view on the South Sudan crisis and approaches to solving it’ provide the context for the grave crimes against humanity committed by President Kiir and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE). http://nyamile.com/2015/02/16/remnasa-view-on-the-south-sudan-crisis-and-approaches-to-solving-it/

Having plunged the country into a senseless war and prevaricated for 14 months President Kiir is now contemplating further violence. He confided in one of the IGAD head of the states on 26th January 2015 that “when I come back from Addis Ababa don’t expect me to obey your rules.” Please see, ‘South Sudan talks adjourned without power-sharing deal’. https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/s-sudan-talks-adjourn-without-power-sharing-deal

“This war is evil”, the Bishops strongly stressed. This observation of the clergy is something that most people familiar with South Sudan would completely agree with. President Kiir due to his limited education seems to believe that he can do anything because believing he is a legitimate president, when in actual fact as already noted he is not.

President Kiir’s continued insistence to legitimise himself by singing: ‘democratically elected!’, ‘legitimate government!’, ‘democratically elected!’, ‘legitimate government!’ etc is simply a load of trash. It is crass and demeans the office of the presidency.

The regime has lied to itself and the people so much so that it now believes its own lies. Confronted with the fast approaching expiry of the fabricated legitimate period, they are running around like headless chickens. Initially, they tried to stage a fake election to refashion their legitimacy which did not work. With lightening speed they switched to the parliament to get legal extension to allow them to govern for two more years.

Will this work? No, it will not. The reason being the parliament itself has no powers to extend life of a government and itself. Dr Lam of SPLM-DC has already made this point clear in his article, ‘South Sudan opposition parties welcome election cancellation, condemn terms extension,’ published in South Sudan News Agency. http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/

Even if the parliament were empowered to do so, it has no legitimacy because among the MPs in the House, there are over 66 legislators appointed on the whims of President Kiir. For example the NCP (National Congress Party of President Omar Bashir) converts and others. These MPs do not have any constituency in the country. They are cronies of the president in corruption and abuse of power. They represent no one but themselves.

Further, the parliament is supposed to uphold the constitution and it has not done so since coming into life at the time of independence. President Kiir breaks the law left and right without the parliament holding him to account, for example, in the case of Panthou war and the formation of a private tribal militia funded by the state. The real test was the events of December 2013 when President Kiir committed grave crimes against humanity. No one in the parliament raised a motion to debate the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer to hold the leadership to account.

That parliament is a joke. It is a house of dummies. Whether the parliament extends President Kiir’s term or not, it does not matter. The whole government with its three branches of judiciary, parliament and executive have lost legitimacy and the South Sudan Catholic Bishops have now certified it. What more?

Dr Luka Biong Deng in his self serving or rather Jieng serving article, ‘Why government is right to postpone election is South Sudan’ tries hard to present the Dinkocratic system as a democracy seeking the right legal avenue to remain in power. This kind of antics does not wash. He and the Jieng controlled SPLM should shed the delusions and accept that their entire system is illegitimate with or without parliament approval. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article54003

Now the South Sudan Catholic Bishops have given their verdict that President Kiir is illegitimate. They unequivocally stated that “a government that wages war against its own people is not legitimate government.” These words are weighty. Churches are known for discreet ways of approaching issues. Seldom do clergy make such statements unless the issue has really reached a critical boiling point endangering the country.

The declaration therefore is very significant because the Catholic Church represents a considerable percentage of South Sudanese people. The population of the Catholics in South Sudan according to World Christian Encyclopaedia is around 2.7 million people. This makes roughly 30 percent of the entire population of South Sudan. The other Christian denominations combined could make about 40 percent with the rest being people who practice traditional religions.

In South Sudan Christians do not segregate themselves according to their sects. They socialise and pray freely among themselves. They too respect all the clergy of the various churches. This is always evident in social occasions such as birth, celebrations, marriages, death and so on. In such occasions the Christian inter-mingle freely with each other regardless of their sects. This phenomenon is Characteristic of the South Sudanese, though it may astonish outsiders watching.

So the call by South Sudan’s Catholic Bishops would practically be taken seriously by all the Christians in the country. What does this mean? It means that the Church has expressed the will of its adherents who make up 70 percent of the country. Democratically speaking the edict of the clergy translates into a vote of no confidence in the government by majority of South Sudanese.

The illegality of president Kiir’s government is something that can no longer be disputed. His presidency from a legal point of view as well as on constitutional grounds can not stand. This view has been argued elsewhere exhaustively. However, with the church finding President Kiir illegitimate according to scriptures does not only concretise the facts but urges him to vacate the presidency at once.

Christians around the world must take South Sudan’s Bishops declaration as basis for action. The Vatican, Canterbury and others should now put pressure on their members of parliament s in their respective countries to ask their governments to cease cooperating with the ‘evil’ regime of President Kiir. This issue now is clearly more of a moral problem requiring instant action.

The South Sudanese Diaspora should now mobilise and wave the declaration of the Bishops to the clergy of their local churches as well as their members of parliament demanding their support in calling for their government to take action against the criminals in Juba. South Sudan’s Bishops recent declaration is a spiritual manifesto that no local church can ignore.

South Sudan’s Bishops declared position further means that the basis of the talks in Addis Ababa is now futile because there can be no grounds for negotiations with an illegitimate regime which basically, “wages war against its own people.”

Thus the talks in Addis Ababa should be re-opened under new impartial mediators, preferably under one or some of the eminent persons to bring all the people of South Sudan (stakeholders) to a table to hammer out an interim government with clear objectives.

In conclusion, the Bishops guided by the Holy Spirit have helped in shining light on the darkness in Juba. Now that the regime is certified as illegitimate it is up to the people to use this certificate effectively to realise a peaceful change in the country.

This said it must be remembered that the Bishops call is a duty to Christian people wherever they are to do their bit to rid South Sudan of evil. That evil is the SPLM/A in its totality.

In other words this call from the church endorses resistance against the evil doers in Juba for a humane and caring government that fears the Lord to be established to care for God’s people. So, “together let us once again make South Sudan a God fearing nation.

[Truth hurts but is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

elhagpaul@aol.com