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It’s time for President Kiir to show Leadership or Leave!

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, AUG/21/2015, SSN;

A few days ago the president, without explanation, removed five state governors, some of whom being elected officials. It’s very clear the president has advisors who either have no idea what they are doing, or the president does things while occupying his own world. Everything coming out of this presidency makes no sense. It’s dividing us and killing civilians by the day!

Anytime government officials talk of the legitimacy of the president, they invoke the fact that ‘he’s a democratically elected president.’ However, these tired minds fail to show that the country is running not only on idiotic parameters but also on undemocratic fatalism: no reverse gear!

We are just going and going and going in the wrong direction!

This president is perhaps going to be the worst thing to happen to South Sudan if he doesn’t change to salva-ge what is left of his presidency.

The constantly unexplained, unjustified, undemocratic and unjustifiable removal of elected governors not only reminds us of the oppression South Sudanese fought against for more than five decades; it also reminds us of the terrifying reality of the developing Musevenism in South Sudan.

Museveni is an old man with no wisdom and human heart; a man who not only fears opposition but mobilizes state resources against people who’d actually make the democratic process in Uganda meaningful!

And our dear president not only copied Beshir’s government structures and mannerism, he’s also sniffing the dirt under Museveni’s armpits. Very dirty!

Copying Musevenism is the death of South Sudan as a nation with economic and political functionality.

How can you call yourself a democratically elected president when you not only violate the constitution, but also act in an atavistic, undemocratic foolhardiness?

Criticism of government is not to be against the government. It’s a way of letting the government know how it’s performing in order to improve its service provision.

I’m in my 30s but I know this fact to be the reality of all successful governance in the world! How the hell can’t old men in their 50s, 60s and 70s know this?

When will you ever grow up to steer this country ahead in a mature manner? When are you going to stop acting like small kids?

Blaming Riek Machar for everything is childish! Without any doubt, Riek Machar is a man who’s ready to die for the sake of leadership. He’s shown his own dictatorial mannerism: 1991-1994 and 2015!

Dr. Lam Akol, Dr. Peter Adwuok Nyaba, Major General Peter Gatdet Yaka and Major General Gatkuoth Gatoath Oathnyany are living witnesses of Riek’s one-man leadership. But Dr. Riek Machar is not the president of South Sudan.

As the president, Mr. Kiir, you have to show leadership by taking responsibility of the peace process and successful implementation.

How long will you depend on mindless, heartless opportunists in your government and foreigners such as the heartless Museveni to make decisions for you? Outsiders can now intimidate us because of your failed leadership! Where in the world is peace forced?

I agree with you that signing a conditioned peace under duress is irresponsible and detrimental to the integrity and human valuation of the South Sudanese people; however, you’ve shown that you are anything but a leader.

Your decisions are not independent and every decision you make has always proven disastrous to the country!

Grow up (politically that is) or stop listening to opportunists! Or even better, pack up and go to Akon! And as you do that, tell Dr. Riek Machar too to go to Leer! It’s time for you two to start farming not politiking!

Nhial Bol Aken is still facing a devilish force more fatal and brutal than the one he faced in Khartoum! How can a son of the land feel worse and more oppressed in his motherland than in a foreign, oppressor’s land? Shame on you, Mr. President!

What happened to the good old Commander Kiir Mayardit? When did you go from a humble, less ambitious High Commander to a ruthless, unprincipled, cold-blooded, irrational General and President? I couldn’t figure that one out!

We used to watch you humbly pass by us in your then slim body, small goatie and Castro-style cap as we played football next to your compound in Itang. You had no cowboy hat then! What happened to that man of the people?

Unashamedly, you recently warned journalists that you’d test the killing on them because they are ‘against the country.’ “If anybody among journalists does not know that this country has killed people,” you said, then “we will demonstrate it one day, one time. … Freedom of the press does not mean you work against the country.”

And indeed someone fulfilled your warning. Moi Peter Julius of citizen newspaper is shot dead! Bravo, Mr. President?

Criticism is meant to improve the country not to destroy it. Anyone who points out the wrongs you do isn’t your enemy! Your enemy is the one who doesn’t tell you what’s wrong! You are a human being and you are bound to make mistakes!

You also, like Museveni, don’t condone criticism, or someone who disagrees with your point of view.

Are you the one who decides to arrest opposition figures and dissidents, or is there someone else who tells you that arresting the likes of Dr. Lam Akol of SPLM-DC and Governor Joseph Bakosoro is a good idea?

How democratic is preventing Lam Akol and Joseph Bakosoro from leaving the country? What democratic principle says that free citizens have to be prevented from leaving? Have you made South Sudan a giant prison?

Arresting opposition leaders, like Dr. Lam, is a work of wicked, frightened small men. What scares you in being criticized!

If any opposition figure says something that’s not true then send your officials to the media to falsify it and clarify your position by presenting factual evidence.

What’s the point of intimidating South Sudanese citizens? South Sudan is not a prison but you are making it one!

I warned Dr. Lam Akol a few years ago about the undemocratic nature of SPLM and your government, and he condescendingly responded by questioning why I said democracy hasn’t yet come to South Sudan.

He can now understand the value of my words as he languishes under house arrest, which is a function of your needless fear, obsession and incompetence.

Doing a good job is the best response against critics. Bring peace to South Sudan and initiate development programs and you’ll see that critics will have less or nothing to say in criticism.

Besides, stop making South Sudan a Jieeng kingdom and stop speaking in Jieeng in public like you did recently during Independence Day commemoration. I know some of your officials and supporters will run around saying: “But Riek Machar is doing that too!” Riek is not the president of South Sudan!

1- Most if not all state police commissioners are Jieeng.
2- Most of the ambassadors are also Jieeng.
3- The people whose decisions matter to you are also Jieeng.
4- The government delegation is headed by Nhial Deng, a Jieeng and the delegation is under the tutelage, control and influence of Makuei Lueth, another Jieeng.
5- SPLA spokesperson, Philip Aguer Panyang, is Jieeng
6- The face of SPLA on SSTV, Malaak Ayueen, is Jieeng

You are right when you, after taking over as Sudan’s First Vice President, stated that your car will be running with no reverse gear. The current destruction can only be explained by such a car. I advise you as such:

1 – Start accepting criticism as part of your governance system so don’t arrest politicians who disagree with you. You are not building a nation of single opinion where you lead an army of ‘opinionless’ robots.

2 – See those who criticize you not as against the country but those who’d want to hold you accountable in order to improve your service provision.

3 – Those criminally liable should be tried in a competent court of law not just arrested anyhow at whim!

4 – Stop removing elected officials without constitutional provision that supports such removals. That makes you a dictator regardless of what you say.

5 – Democracy doesn’t only apply to presidency but to all elected officials.

I understand we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be controlled by outsiders like America and Europe, but we shouldn’t destroy the livelihood of our people just because we want to resist external influence.

You are not strong enough and that’s why you recruited the assistance of Museveni’s UPDF so don’t think you have a chance against an international force that has been in existence for more than three centuries.

Kuir ë Garang lives in Canada. For contact, visit or follow him on twitter @kuirthiy

Elders with no wisdom, that’s the Jieng Council of Elders!

BY: Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok, AUG/13/2015, SSN;

To begin with, having a council of elders is not a bad thing if members of a particular tribe wished to have one. Indeed it could be a positive undertaking provided the intentions and goals are towards furthering the unity of the country. The council could lend the government a helping hand in resolving local conflicts and fostering social cohesion.

In fact there are already multiple councils of elders all over the country though carrying different names. Any chieftaincy in the country is in essence a council of elders. This was not the case in the past as the chieftaincies used to enjoy much power and authority over their communities.

The Mundukuru’s in order to gain full control over the south, abrogated much of the powers from these chieftaincies reducing them essentially to ceremonial councils of elders.

At the present time the chieftaincies we have are the true councils of elders. They are mainly tasked with resolving tribal feuds, land issues and cattle rustling. In all the communities, change of power follow the rule of succession and a limited degree of democratic process. Usurpation of power is unusual in these chieftaincies.

Under normal circumstances, the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) by definition, would be none of my business. However it would have gained the respect and support of all the South Sudanese people, me included, if its deeds were conducive to harmonising our communities.

Clearly this is not the case here and the council is involved in activities quite far from what you would expect from such kinds of social bodies. When you hear the word “elder,” what comes into your mind is the notion of experience, integrity and wisdom.

These qualities are unfortunately at their nadir in the Jieng Council of Elders. It is a multifunctional body with unclear objectives or a secretive ones. At the present time it functions as a shadow government, a mini parliament, a political party and a lobby group all at the same time.

The stimulus for this article was the recent document presented to the IGAD-PLUS peace mediators as the position of the JCE on the “Proposed Compromise Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.”

From the very beginning there are fundamental questions insistently begging for answers. The letter is full of erroneous assumptions and is deceptive and misleading to say the least. To write about all the contentious points will need several pages of explanation.

I am going to confine myself discussing few crucial points. By doing so I am not suggesting any kind of support for the proposed compromise agreement. But I want to expose the fallacy of the JCE line of argument.

At the beginning of the letter, they brought up the statistics saying that the Nuer constitute 49.5% of the total population of the Upper Nile region and 15% nationally. The mere fact that they did not provide the Jieng percentages can only mean two things :

(a) that the Jieng are representatives of all the non-Nuers.

(b) They are speaking on behalf of the government.

The fact of the matter is that the 2008 population census is widely considered inaccurate by many South Sudanese, thus presenting the above percentages to an international audience could result in erroneous deductions.

If the Nuers are 49.5% of the population of the Upper Nile region, it will mean to a foreigner that the Jieng constitute 50.5% or close to that of the same population, giving the Jieng the majority. The same applies to the percentages nationally as the same foreigner would think the Jieng are 85% of the total population of South Sudan or close to that.

Therefore it would be deduced by the international audience that the JCE is reflecting the position of the rest of the population of the Republic of South Sudan. This misrepresentation is intentional as they could have provided the Jieng percentages of the population.

The JCE has got no right to speak on behalf of the other tribes and as far as every one knows, they have not been given a mandate to do so.

In regard to oil production, they were quick to provide the percentage of the oil produced in the Jieng territories, so now talking about the Jieng rather than the non-Nuers as shown earlier. The percentages given are 96% for the Jieng territories and 4% for the Nuers ones.

Many would bitterly dispute these percentages but there is a veiled message that you can read between the lines implying that the Jieng are the breadwinners of South Sudan.

The point (b) is reinforced by the recent letter sent by Salva Kiir to the Ethiopian premier that is almost a carbon copy of the Jeing position presented to IGAD-PLUS peace mediators. It shows that Salva Kiir is so weak that he is being pushed around by the JCE on one hand and president Museveni on the other hand.

The JCE still maintains with ridiculous stubbornness the fallacy that a coup attempt has occurred despite the fact that the whole world refused to believe it. Even president Museveni, Kiir’s mentor, denied that a coup d’etat actually happened.

As we all know, Pagan Amum was reinstated to his previous position before the conflict, is it not an admission of fault when you do that to someone who was accused of treason and could have received a capital punishment?!

On the issue of the Hybrid Court of South Sudan (HCSS), the JCE is unhappy for it being given the primacy over the national courts of South Sudan. They want issues of war crimes and genocide to be dealt with within our customary systems as well as the statutory mechanisms.

Is it really feasible to get justice for such crimes in our current judiciary system?!

If people who committed murder are set free from jail by their relatives in the SPLA, is there any hope under this regime that the situation will be any better?!

The JCE is making a big fuss about encroachment on the sovereignty of the state by the international community. It even went further to accuse the international community of an intention to take over the country.

There is no such thing as sovereignty when you are kept in power by a foreign force. It is rare for the international community to unanimously agree on a single issue due to different ideologies, interests and agendas.

Thus why would they conspire against a country they helped to create on the world map in the first place?!

This brings me to the issue of funding. How is the JCE being funded? If it is from government coffers as it’s certainly the case, then it is unacceptible and clearly demonstrates favouritism.

Suppose the other 63 tribes form their own councils of elders and demanded funding, how much will be the cost for the government coffers and will it be really cost effective?

If the other tribes decide to follow suit and send letters to the IGAD-PLUS peace mediators, so they get exactly 64 letters. What would the peace mediators think?!

Would they not think they are dealing with lunatics?! And mind you, they previously called Salva Kiir stupid which angered his supporters and triggered a move in the National Legislative Assembly (NLA).

The JCE comes out as a body with unrealistic beliefs, divisive activities and bent on promoting and spreading the seeds of tribalism in our communities.

The JCE could have done a lot towards bringing our communities together and cementing the unity of our country. It is through addressing the following three issues:

1. It is not a secret that the Jieng are universally disliked by the other communities, previously in the whole Sudan and now in South Sudan. In fact wherever they go people loathed them.

Governor Bakasoro was reported saying, “What is wrong with you people, wherever you go you cause havoc.”

It even spilled over across the borders. During Anynya 1 movement many South Sudanese went to Congo/Zaire. The Congolese had no problems with any tribe except one, the Jieng.

Despite being much less in numbers than the other South Sudanese tribes, they were the only ones singled out and disliked by the Congolese. Some of you may know that the Congolese came to Equatoria as refugees during the Congo war. They were in Juba and other towns in Equatoria.

People lived in harmony with no problems. Had they stayed longer they would have been totally integrated into the society. This displays a situation where you are more comfortable with a foreigner than with someone supposed to be your brother!

Again the Jieng went to Uganda and people did not like them. The situation is not any better in Kenya and now there is a definition in East Africa for a South Sudanese which is not very good. This bad reputation is gradually spreading over the globe and it’s not something to be proud of.

I learned that our reputation is at the bottom in Australia, thanks to the Jieng. If nothing is done, it will not take too long before the whole world treats the South Sudanese as an outcast people.

The question the JCE needs to ask themselves is, “Why do people hate us?”

Until they find an answer to that question and make amends, they will never be embraced wholeheartedly in any society they go to.

2. It is so often now you hear the Jieng talking about the oil being produced in their territories and bragging about it. If you ask a local citizen in Mongala, Nimule, Yei, Mundri, Maridi and Yambio, his opinion about the oil is, I can tell you what you will hear: “To hell with the oil! We never benefited from it! We don’t need the oil! We are self-sufficient!”

Self-sufficiency is a rare commodity in the Jieng land. What is the point of boasting about the oil and million heads of cattle if your people are still dying from hunger?!

Famine is a familiar and frequent visitor to Jieng land. It’s fair to say the Jieng have never been self-sufficient in modern history. This year like every year, there is hunger in Kuacjok, Aweil, Lakes state and the Bor area.

In reality, wherever the Jieng live, you find hunger. And not only that, they bring hunger along with them when they go to other places by land grabbing, crops destruction and causing insecurity that prevents the food producers from doing their job.

Is it laziness as V.P Wani Igga recently pointed it out or it is the culture that detest hard work?

The JCE could render the country an excellent service and boost our economy by addressing this crucial issue.

3. The Jieng community is the most violent community in the country. There is a state of continuous war between different tribal clans in Lakes State. In Warrap state the Aguok and the Apuk clans have been killing themselves recently. It is an on-going feud that never ends and happens every year.

The same trait is abundant among the Jieng in Northern Bahr El Gazal and Jonglei states. The conventional wisdom is that when your house is on fire, you try to put it out rather than running away to extinguish a bigger fire somewhere else.

Rather than indulging in national politics which is none of its business, the JCE should have been working tirelessly to resolve the on-going feuds in its community. There are even problems with some of the known members that disqualify them from being entrusted to deal with national issues.

Former Chief Justice Ambrose Riny Thiik, not long ago was accused by members of a clan in his constituency of supplying arms to a rival clan. Regardless of the validity of the allegation, the fact that his name was brought down that low, indicates he lacks respect among a significant portion of his constituency.

As for Aldo Ajou Deng his greed has got no limits. He is someone who can go against his people for personal gains. When the government of national unity was formed with Sadiq Al Mahadi as prime minister in April 1986, Aldo Ajo was nominated by the southerners to take up a ministerial post. But due to disagreement with the northerners, our politicians decided to pull out to maintain some bargaining power and leverage.

They asked Aldo Ajo to relinquish his ministerial post, he refused and sided with the Mundukuru’s. At that time one of his colleagues remarked that Aldo Ajo’s greed goes back to his school days where he eats everyone else’s food if he enters the dining room first.

At any rate, what is happening in Jieng land could be the norms in the medieval ages but certainly not the way a human being is expected to live in the 21st century.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Beyond Deadlock: Recommendations for Obama’s Plan B on South Sudan

BY Enough Team, AUGUST/2015, SSN;

South Sudan’s warring factions have one last chance to end their country’s 20-month civil war and sign a compromise agreement proposed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediators, who are leading negotiations.

The U.S. government has promised serious consequences if the parties fail to meet the August 17 deadline set by the international community.

During his recent visit to East Africa, President Obama convened a roundtable on South Sudan with the presidents of Kenya and Uganda, Ethiopia’s prime minister, Sudan’s foreign minister, and the African Union Commission’s chairperson to build consensus on the need to collectively pressure South Sudan’s warring parties toward peace.

In no uncertain terms, President Obama warned that the United States is prepared to move forward with additional available tools to apply greater pressure on the parties. When speaking to the African Union, he said that if the two sides miss the deadline, “the international community must raise the costs of intransigence.”

At a press conference in the region with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, President Obama explained, “we also think that [the United States] can be a mechanism for additional leverage on the parties, who, up until this point, have proven very stubborn and have not yet risen to the point where they are looking out for the interests of their nation as opposed to their particular self-interests. And that transition has to take place, and it has to take place now.”

Back in Washington, on August 4, President Obama warned, “If they miss [the August 17 deadline] then I think it’s our view that it’s going to be necessary for us to move forward with a different plan and recognize that those leaders are incapable of creating the peace that is required.”

In order to maximize the impact of an alternate plan (being called “Plan B” by many), the U.S. should urgently cultivate the strongest possible support for such a proposal.

Such a Plan B should include high-level asset freezes and travel bans, a global arms embargo, and the prosecution of grand corruption and atrocity crimes, including natural resource pillage as a war crime.

Pressure from President Obama and other world leaders at such a pivotal moment in negotiations has already set in motion the most serious peace deliberations to date.

The United States must be prepared to take swift action on the promised Plan B should the parties once again fail to agree to and implement peace.

The United States must follow through on the president’s strong words with equally strong action, both unilaterally and at the U.N. Security Council, where so far only six ground commanders—who hold little in the way of personal wealth or assets outside of South Sudan—have been designated for sanctions.

The most critical elements of an effective Plan B for South Sudan should include:

1. Implementation of high-level asset freezes, travel bans, and an arms embargo.
President Obama should request that the U.S. Department of the Treasury prepare dossiers to present to the U.N. Security Council on high-level targets and their financial backers and enablers.

If the two parties fail to sign the proposed compromise agreement by the August 17 deadline, the Security Council should be prepared to impose additional designations immediately.

Because many of the targets’ assets are in the region, the United States should urge Kenya and Ethiopia to ensure U.N. sanctions designations are enforced.

The United States should also support a global arms embargo on South Sudan.

Should these measures fail to gain the support of the Security Council, the United States should be prepared to build a coalition of countries that are willing to ratchet up the pressure on high-level officials from both sides, who undermine peace and are responsible for ongoing atrocities.

2. Measures to end impunity for economic and atrocity crimes.
The United States should fully support IGAD’s proposed Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS), including its mandate to investigate and prosecute pillage as a war crime and other serious crimes, including grand corruption.

The United States should offer technical and legal assistance to the court and South Sudan’s existing Anti-Corruption Commission, including specific expertise on asset tracing and financial crimes investigations.

The United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and others should also take steps to prosecute pillage cases involving South Sudan within their own legal jurisdictions to ensure that corporations do not benefit from the pillage of South Sudan’s natural resource wealth.

3. Strengthened regional capacity to enforce U.N. sanctions.
Building on efforts to tackle corruption and money laundering in the region, the United States should offer additional legal and technical support to improve regional sanctions enforcement.

The U.S. should prioritize programs that enhance the operational capacity of regional financial intelligence units to identify and freeze the assets of designated individuals.

The United States should also urge Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda to submit reports on their efforts to enforce U.N. sanctions as required by U.N. Security Council Resolution 2206.

4. A connection of regional infrastructure projects to peace.
The U.S. and Chinese governments should jointly review bilateral and multilateral funds earmarked for regional infrastructure projects in East Africa to assess the feasibility of additional investments given the risks presented by ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

This review should make clear that active regional sanctions enforcement will be considered a key risk mitigation factor.

5. Measures to return the proceeds of corruption back to South Sudan.
President Obama should direct the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI to provide inter-agency support to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative and focus on investigating instances of grand corruption in South Sudan.

The U.S. should also encourage Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda to actively contribute to global efforts to trace, seize, freeze, and return the proceeds of corruption to the people of South Sudan by sharing intelligence through the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network for Eastern Africa.

6. Amplification of civil society advocacy to increase beneficial ownership transparency. Donors should support efforts by South Sudanese civil society groups to advocate for the full implementation of existing beneficial ownership transparency rules and other public disclosure provisions laid out in the 2012 Petroleum Act and the Transitional Constitution of 2011.

Donors should also support civil society efforts in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda to demand increased transparency about the real owners of corporate assets and trusts, as well as information about payments made to governments for mining and oil concessions.

At the same time, the U.S. Treasury should revise its own proposed rule on beneficial ownership to include a look-back provision before the final rule’s publication later in August 2015.

7. Greater resources for civil society groups to fight corruption.
Donors should use South Sudan’s ratification of the U.N. Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) as an entry point for supporting efforts by grassroots organizations to hold their own leaders to account for the misuse and misappropriation of government funds.

Ensuring the provision of space for civil society participation during the transition, including protections for local journalists and news outlets, should be made a precondition for the resumption of donor assistance to the government of South Sudan. END


Without a soft landing for Kiir, the IGAD-Plus peace proposal is doomed

BY: JOHN GACHIE, The East African, Nairobi, AUG/8/2015, SSN;

In the past 20 months, South Sudan has swung between hope and horror.

The government of South Sudan, under President Salva Kiir Mayardit, blames fighting on an unbridled power-grab through a failed coup attempt by his erstwhile deputy turned foe, Dr Riek Machar. For the opposition under Dr Machar, the conflict is due to failure of leadership by President Kiir.

These opposing narratives cloud the search for a durable negotiated settlement. Any peace proposal must address these primary non-negotiable imperatives or risk failure.

This has been the persistent, fatal flaw of the numerous peace proposals by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) under the auspices of the African Union since early 2014, and the current peace proposal by Igad-Plus Five, which the two camps are expected to sign before August 17.

Is the Igad-Plus Five Peace Agreement really workable, enforceable and viable if not enduring and comprehensive?

No, it isn’t, for it does not provide sufficient soft-landing and face-saving formulas and, most important, a way out for the principals and their powerful supporters, allies and vested interests.

IN SUMMARY: That the Igad-Plus Five enjoys the support of both the African Union and the United Nations Security Council, giving their new peace proposal near universal endorsement is not in doubt; rather, the new peace proposal suffers from the same fatal flaw – lack of local context, traction and legitimacy; hence, will almost certainly suffer the same fate as others before it

The Igad-Plus Five key member countries are Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan, all with conflicting bilateral interests in South Sudan — ranging from trade and commerce, security and military interests, cross-border and trans-national ethnic kinship, and over-lapping cultural-cum-linguistic-religious affinities.

For the key Igad members, specifically Ethiopia, Sudan and Uganda and to a lesser extent Kenya, their neutrality and even engagement is suspect.

The international players are the so-called Troika countries of the United States, Britain and Norway, the original key countries in the lead-up to the Comprehensive Peace agreement of January 9, 2005, and newly inducted major investor in South Sudan’s oil sector, China, and Russia, a potential key player in a future peaceful and stable South Sudan.

For the Troika of United States, Norway and Britain, the Juba regime is not entirely convinced that they are not pursuing a regime change in Juba, despite their public declarations to the contrary.

For China, the key and overriding interest is to safeguard and protect their oil exploration and transport investments and are not loath to strike a deal with whichever party is in power or can guarantee their investments as they readily did at the height of the liberation war prior to the 2005 peace accord between Khartoum and South Sudanese liberation movement, the SPLM/A.

That the Igad-Plus Five enjoys the support of both the African Union and the United Nations Security Council, giving their new peace proposal near universal endorsement is not in doubt; rather, the new peace proposal suffers from the same fatal flaw – lack of local context, traction and legitimacy; hence, will almost certainly suffer the same fate as others before it.

Specifically, the Igad-Plus Five Peace Agreement isolates the power structure of President Kiir, and inadvertently creates a power vacuum in his regime, ostensibly in a bid to be fair to Riek Machar’s opposition coalition of desperate groups.

In its attempt to be neutral, the Igad-Plus Five proposal, commits the cardinal error of engaging in double-speak, by invoking the doctrine of moral equivalence. And by default, appears to reject and possibly denounce, President Kiir’s narrative of what actually triggered the December 2013 violence while validating Riek Machar’s.

It is this lack of convergence as to what really ignited the spark on those fateful days of December 2013 that serves as the original sin of all subsequent peace proposals including the new Igad-Plus peace proposal.

Anti Igad demonstrations

The current public demonstrations denouncing the new proposal in many towns in President Kiir’s bedrock support regions and in Juba, are a clear harbinger of the real feelings within the president’s core-support networks; and not least, the top leadership of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army/Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLA/M).

For political observers and analysts of South Sudan, the buy-in and or co-option of the core SPLA/M cadres in President Kiir’s corner is critical towards achieving peace and stability in South Sudan. As it is, the Igad-Plus proposal pays a rather less than serious attention to this aspect.

That the fighting has acquired near total ethnic dimensions, should be enough for any serious negotiator(s) to ring alarm bells.

Unfortunately, for the Igad-Plus Five proposal, this has been given short-thrift under the guise of comprehensive security sector reforms, which is not really feasible in the current militarisation of the South Sudanese body-politic.

To many security and military analysts, both President Kiir and Dr Machar are almost held captive by their respective military-cum-security ideologues not averse to settling long-held and decades old grievances that were papered over in the CPA and post–CPA period.

The outbreak of open political competition and jostling for power by Riek Machar, including pre-planning, parallel power centres, support networks and an invisible military contingency support core force, was ever evident during the entire period between 2005 and 2013.

Tenacious fighter

Any peace proposal must take into account a less acknowledged factor, namely that President Kiir, notwithstanding his faults, is an accomplished survivor, obstinate and equally driven; a tenacious fighter, and not one to shy away from a bitter brawling fight.

In this regard, the new Igad-Plus Five proposal inadvertently commits the original sin — of stripping President Kiir of all trappings of power in a game of moral equivalence, and in the process, suffers from the fatal flaw of underestimating the mercurial nature of the president’s core support network and the man’s own sense of dignity and pride.

As one senior official in Juba put it: “… Even a good doctor asks his patient(s) if they suffer from an allergy, before prescribing a dose of pencillin,… the Igad-Plus Five proposal does not ask whether we suffer from an allergy… what kind of a doctor is that?”

The message? That the Igad-Plus Five deal was doomed to fail for failing to offer the two main protagonists, and specifically, President Kiir, a soft landing option that they could sell to core supporters.

To countenance and envisage a scenario where President Kiir is a president in name devoid of any semblance of power, authority and gravitas and to reduce him to a nominal co-president, and regardless of the extent of the downward spiral in the country, is a recipe for disaster.

To even subject him to such an exercise is akin to exposing him to a fatal dose of political and military allergy that will surely kill the patient! They will not stand for it and as he defiantly concluded, a bad peace deal is worse than war — for it only prolongs the inevitable.

For Igad-Plus Five negotiators, including the larger international community, the search must be expanded and intensified for a Solomon like end-game, otherwise, the people of South Sudan, the region and the international community must brace for even more difficult times ahead; notwithstanding the immense political, economic and military-cum-diplomatic pressure including targeted personal sanctions hanging over the principal players in the South Sudan tragedy. END

The Era of Heroic Errors in South Sudan

By Deng Mangok Ayuel, AWEIL, Northern Bahr el Ghazel State, AUG/07/2015, SSN;

In South Sudan, a writer or columnist faces two choices: turn away from reality to avoid intimidation and insecurity or conquer the reality and face its complexity at his/her own risk. However, a writer is supposed to take side with the powerless. And it’s rational to balance an opinion piece or story because there is no moral obligation to take side with oppressor or suppressor in a situation where things are not going well in our country.

Before I’m accused of being a Dinka, I urge my readers to face the reality as they go through this piece. This is a time to go against all political odds, time to call a spade a spade.

If we could judge the current war in South Sudan by the standards of political enmity within the SPLM, one would say individuals in the ruling party against their own party principles waged the war.

The rumor of ethnical rivalries and power struggles between Dinka and Nuer as ‘believed’ by the westerners is merely an imposture. There is no Dinka against Nuer as there is no Nuer against Dinka on ethnic lines.

We must set apart national issues or politics from ethnic dimensions. It’s also a big zero to believe that the current war in the country has a just tone. A rebellion led by looters is like a morning dew.

Is Dr Machar a right man to lead the rebellion if people are tired of President Kiir and the SPLM? Dr Machar was part of corrupt government in Juba when he was Vice President. He was in the list of alleged corrupt leaders in South Sudan. So he shouldn’t deceive grown up men and women with lifeless propaganda that he is an alternative for presidency.

We made our country a bastion of plights. Everything is fading into mist in our country. Legacy is almost erased by power hungry leaders who mutinied against legitimate government, corruption has rooted itself in our public institutions and constructed lies become truth on social media for individuals who don’t want to believe in the history of rebellion with Dr Riek but interested to get a new story of the same coin in the new nation.

Poverty has already reduced many of us to potential beggars. Many people fled the country. Masses were forced to live in the UMMISS camps. Others kept starving in their own huts in the villages due to lack of food. Call it Riekiiracy’s political era of errors. Are we on the axe of evil?

Besides, Lakes State is another unique place with its component of insecurity. I call it a ‘component of insecurity’ because there is no smoke without fire. Something must be wrong somewhere or there is a troubler somewhere.

On the other hand, coopted loyalists, MPs and toothed-public servants are the internal political enigma to our people. These people built political hives on social media and began waxing the public with unhealthy political rumors in order to instigate chaos for political gains.

People are complicated. There is no devil than a man. The real devil isn’t far from an educated person. Politicians are also different people – they devised ideas to become law they don’t follow and pleasingly enshrined their doings for the sake of society. Some of the law enforcing agencies are trouble igniters. So where is the real devil?

In a football game, a team is expected to defeat the rivals. Those who kept killing their own people are the losers. The societal complexities and the nature of killing in Lakes state are frustrating. Oh no, Rumbek is not the only place where there is insecurity.

Go to Yambio and the villagers in Nzara will tell you their own stories of insecurity. Or go to Warrap state and the Aguok or Apuk section of Dinka becomes the warriors of their own styles. Are we the mixtures of wrong generation at the right time in the new nation?

Do you know the kind of South Sudan we are creating through mutiny? Our political branded brains are allergic to democracy – that is why there is rebellion.

Some of our politicians who aspired to fulfill their political interests and dreams through power struggle, war and corruption have made democracy to be the wickedly weakest system of government for South Sudanese ever tried.

Democracy becomes a system of government where some of our people wake up in the morning and decide to loot public resources without accountability. It’s the government where people form consortiums within the ruling party for trouble-makings.

It’s the government where its security agencies unlawfully humiliate and arrest activists and journalists to please their bosses.

Now that people are afraid when they aren’t supposed to be afraid of their government, however, things may remain unchanged for a long time. It’s a democratic government that should be afraid of its people because democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

In heaven, all the interesting people are missing. Greatest poet, Aristotle didn’t find them there. And in South Sudan, Aristotle found everything – corruption, tribalism, nepotism and rebellion, all in one mind.

As the saying goes, “the greatest patriotism is to tell a truth when your country is behaving dishonorably, foolishly, viciously.”

Alas, we are mouth-folded. You can’t tell some people that their algebra or political arithmetic is wrong or say that all SPLM factions shall one day unite and the losers will be the innocent people.

We are in the era of Achebe’s Nigeria, ‘this house has fallen. Maybe, but some people are living fabulously wealthy lives amid the ruin. And others survive and get by. How? It’s a mystery. The secret lies in the layers of millions up millions of networks, personal ties, family links and ethnic loyalties’. Or call me a liar.

Deng Mangok Ayuel is a South Sudanese blogger and columnist. He lives in Aweil and can be reached via

Army Chief Paul Malong: The ‘General’ from Hell!

BY: Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok, AUG/05/2015, SSN;

Quote: “This so-called IGAD peace proposal is useless, we can’t accept it even if US forces us to do so.”
“I better be a rebel …you should know that those who are in Al-Qaida, Taliban, ISIL, Boko Haram, Al Shabab…they are human beings like us, therefore we should follow their footsteps than signing that fake peace.”unquote

These were the words of our army Chief of Staff “General” Paul Malong while addressing government supporters and loyalists on the occasion of Martyrs Day in Juba. Initially, I did not believe that those words were actually said by the army chief and it took me some time to ascertain whether his words were misconstrued or taken out of context.

But to my disappointment it turned out that those words were the offsprings of his mind. In such a situation, you would expect the minister of Foreign Affairs or the spokesperson either for the president or for the ministry of Foreign Affairs to come out and do some explaining.

Basically it will be a damage control exercise mostly saying what was published in the media was not true and does not reflect government policy. None of these happened which makes me believe it wasn’t a gaffe or a rhetoric to boost moral from the army chief, he actually meant what he said and his colleagues share that view.

With the new world order where the world is unipolar rather than bipolar as it used to be in the past and the global war against terrorism, every country especially those in the Third world, is wary not to be seen as complacent in regard to fighting terrorism.

Many will go to extreme lengths to distance themselves from any activities deemed to be terrorist acts or any links to terrorist organisations.

This is done in order to avoid the wrath of the super powers and the international community as a whole. Even countries like Iran which is the number one sponsor of global terrorism, persistently denies any links to El-Qaeda but justifies its support for Hezbollah of Lebanon as support for people fighting against Israeli occupation.

Given the above account, it’s quite shocking and incomprehensible for the army chief of staff to voluntarily declare that they would follow the footsteps of the likes of Al-Qaeda, ISIL, Al-Shabab and Boko Haram.

The implications of what the so-called general said are quite staggering.

Regionally and to the southeast of the country is Kenya, a country that has a long history with terrorist attacks and still reeling from them. It started with the US Embassy bombings in Nairobi in 1998 then bombings in Mombasa 2002, Westgate shopping mall 2013, Nairobi bus bombings 2014, Gikomba 2014, Lamu attack 2014 and finally the Garrisa university college attack on 02/04/2015.

Uganda had its share of being the target for terrorist attacks. Many of us still remember the simultaneous bombings in Kabalagala neighbourhood and at the Kyadondo rugby club while the victims were watching the 2010 FIFA world cup final.

These two countries are our close allies on the African continent and have given us significant support during the liberation war. Even in this ongoing conflict, Salva Kiir had to run to president Museveni of Uganda for help to save his neck.

So What will be the position of these two countries should our government implement what Malong has said ? Do you think they would sit idle while these terrorists and their allies are roaming about in South Sudan ?!

I wonder whether the army chief knows or understands that there is a concerted and well-coordinated effort to fight and defeat the perpetrators of terrorism. The coalition in this effort includes super powers, regional powers and the rest of the peace loving countries.

A variety of resources are there for use comprising of clandestine military operations, military drone attacks and using cruise missiles.

The Al shifa factory cruise missile attack in Khartoum Bahri on 20/08/1998 is a reminder of what could be in store for Malong and his fake generals.

In addition to that an economic war is being waged on those countries and organisations that participate in or sponsor terrorist activities. This comes in different forms ranging from freezing assets, travel ban, loan and money transfer prohibition to actual economic embargo.

You can see how a regional power like Iran faced economic collapse under the weight of sanctions and oil embargo.

In a landlocked country like South Sudan where cooperation with the regional and international community remains essential and much desired, what could possibly be the endgame if such an irresponsible policy is pursued by the regime in Juba?!

South Sudan will quickly be placed on the list of states that sponsor terrorism. Militarily, the super powers do not need to do much as there is absolutely no match between the super powers and the SPLA and Malong’s words are actually empty threats.

They can simply pressurise Museveni to pull the plug off and the regime rapidly collapses.

The other alternatives are: using the US special forces in the region to collect the top leaders or take them out, or to supply arms to the opposition to finish the job.

My main concern is that a lot of suffering will befall our citizens because being on that terror list brings about unwelcome consequences for the lay person. I will explain here one aspect of the consequences that will affect the lives of the normal citizens of the republic of South Sudan.

My personal experience is the example I am referring to. I have had problems late in the 90’s when I travelled to Nairobi via Addis Ababa. I was treated differently than any passenger on the plane at both airports. I was kept waiting for hours and the reason given to me was that they needed more time to do security checks on my profile.

In the case of Switzerland, I was refused the entry visa on the basis that they will not be able to complete all the security checks prior to my journey.

All those difficulties were due to the fact that Sudan was and still is on the list of the states that sponsor terrorism and I did carry a Sudanese passport then.

The consequences could even be far worse by limiting the chances for students to go abroad for higher studies, affecting access to specialised health care for those who can afford and preventing entrepreneurs from expanding their business.

Should there be a terrorist attack and the culprits were at large and you happened to be in that vicinity for whatever reason, you will be apprehended and perhaps much worse for suspicion of being involved because of your nationality.

Did the army chief think about the repercussions of what he said on his country and his fellow citizens?! Does he really care?! Most importantly, does he know the Islamists declared position towards us and their overall global agenda?!

It’s not secret that these people do not like us. They have likened our independence to loss of Islamic rule in Andalucia. The blind sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the leader of Al-Gamma’a Al-Islamiyya in Egypt, was in Khartoum for a while but ended up serving life imprisonment in the US following his implication in the first world trade centre (WTC) bombing in New York in 1993.

He and his followers like sheikh Yousif Al Garadawi called us infidels and our land in their view is an Islamic land. Osama Bin Laden was also in Khartoum and made contributions in terms of finance and logistics to the war waged on us by the Khartoum regime. Khaled Meshaal, the HAMAS leader, rubbished the declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Sudan.

And finally Iran which has been an ally to Bashir’s regime since it took power in 1989. I believe Iran has contributed to the killing of thousands of South Sudanese by supplying arms to the Islamist regime in Khartoum.

So does our army chief of staff really know anything about these Islamist groups?! It looks like he is about to shoot himself in the foot! There is absolutely no acceptable reason for those utterances that could be detrimental to our country future.

The so-called General, Malaak Ayuen, who was the army broadcaster and commentator on SSTV, was sacked by Kiir with direct influence from Malong. The reason was that he treaded into politics, a thing not included in his job description. I am not by any means defending Malaak Ayuen.

He has been a total disgrace by trying to create historical facts which were untrue using lies and falsehood. It’s though good riddance as he was one of the reasons that many South Sudanese stopped watching SSTV.

Malong has clearly overstepped his authority as an army chief of staff as his job is a military job and not a political one. His predecessor, General James Hoth Mai, was very careful and avoided giving any political statements and used to insist that army people should leave politics to the politicians.

What caused Malaak Ayuen removal was trivial as compared to Malong’s speech. The question is, would Salva Kiir dare removing Malong from office?! So far there is no indication that this will happen in the foreseeable future.

We may not be fair in putting all the blame on Malong simply because he can only do what he is capable of doing. What is happening is what you would expect from someone carrying a C.V similar to what Malong has.

So much of the blame goes to whoever put him in that position. The irony is that the person who gave Malong that position is also unfit to hold his own position.

As you can see I have used the title General between brackets all through for a reason. A significant number of the SPLA generals have never been in a classroom all their lives let alone attending military academies or colleges. They underwent an extraordinary transformation in their lives.

Just consider the scenario of a person who has been throwing spears, carrying a heavy stick, barely dressed or not at all and participating in cattle rustling. Then a massive change happened and he became a general with bright ornaments on his coat, millions of US dollars of embezzled money in his bank accounts and many wives…. perhaps concubines is the right word.

It is too easy for such a person to fall prey to grandiose delusions and a false sense of invincibility. The way Paul Malong conducts himself makes that kind of situation very likely.

Though he is physically in Juba at his post, he continues to bully his home state officials and the state M.Ps’.

South Sudan will be better-served if Paul Malong is sent back to attend to his 50 plus wives and his army of kids.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

IGAD–PLUS Juba demilitarization proposal is an occupation under another name

By: John Bith Aliap – Australia, AUG/04/2015, SSN;

When a country gives up its right to patrol its own borders and defend itself with its own military, you can call it what you want. It isn’t a nation state. As the war rages in South Sudan, a countless number of South Sudanese’ enemies under the banner of “IGAD-PLUS” have been working around the clock to bring the Rep. of Sudan Sudan to its knees through trouble-prone peace proposals that seem to depict the rebels led by former vice president, turned rebel leader Riek Machar as angels.

IGAD–PLUS, a mouth-piece of America in East Africa region has recently unveiled its grand controversial, insulting, recycled, copy and paste proposal dubbed as “a Compromised Peace Agreement” in an attempt to resuscitate Machar’s tribal movement, the SPLM–In–Opposition.

In that ill-thought proposal, Juba, the pride of South Sudanese, will be demilitarized and named as a Special Arrangement Area (SAA). Foreign forces from the United Nations will take charge of the security.

However, although the idea of Juba’s demilitarization may sound good to its architects, many South Sudanese including the author of this article aren’t willing to climb on Juba’s demilitarization bandwagon.

It is a disingenuous act that seems to tell South Sudanese to give away their hard-won right of freedom only for one power hungry man [traitor Riek Machar] to bounce back to power.

It’s alarming to see East African leaders … [Museveni of Uganda excluded] to float the idea of foreign troops deployment in South Sudanese’ national capital Juba.

This proposal, if accepted, will give foreign troops a green light to freely roam in every corner of Juba city including Kiir’s JI presidential palace.

IGAD–PLUS is extremely clear on its aliens’ troops deployment – “these troops are meant to stay in Juba as long as they wish and wherever they want”.

But for South Sudanese who dearly love their nation, the surrendering of their national sovereignty is unlikely; and those who are attempting to impose such rotten ideas on them will have their hands cut off.

It must be made absolutely clear that South Sudanese aren’t buying IGAD–PLUS idea of Juba demilitarization.

America, the evil country on earth, is deeply involved in South Sudan’s demolition project and it’s working underground hand-in-glove with its East African allies such as Sudan, the historical enemy of South Sudanese, Kenya and Ethiopia to topple Kiir-led government.

But Obama’s administration doesn’t know that any foreign-sponsored government in South Sudan as it’s what’s in Americans minds at the moment, can’t last for a day.

South Sudanese believe that they themselves have the power to decide what type of government they want and who can lead it and when.

The deployment of foreign troops in South Sudanese’ national capital, Juba, currently on IGAD–PLUS lips is an occupation under another name.

Climbing on Juba demilitarization bandwagon is a loss of nerve; and such loss of nerve raises the question about the commitment of the International Community and East Africa region to South Sudanese’ freedom.

John Bith Aliap holds two bachelor degrees in Social Work and Social Planning. He can be reached at

No Deal is better than a bad deal: The IGAD-Plus Peace Agreement

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, UK, JUL/31/2015, SSN;

I had the opportunity of reading through the Proposed Compromise Agreement On The Resolution Of The Conflict In The Republic Of South Sudan. This document as many of you know is the basis for negotiation to reach a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

It has been endorsed unanimously by IGAD-PLUS partners after the consultation that took place in Addis Ababa between 21 to 23 of July 2015. As we know, the peace talks are scheduled to kick off on 05/08/2015 with a deadline by the end of 17/08/2015.

A lot of hope and good wishes have been placed on the coming negotiations by millions of South Sudanese and many other peace loving people to finally bring peace and stability to the war torn young country.

President Obama on addressing the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, stressed that both Kiir and Machar must sign a peace agreement by 17/08/2015.

However, when you subject the above document to careful scrutiny, you quickly realise that something is wrong, indeed many things are wrong.

And gradually as you continue reading, you come to the conclusion that the document is full of flaws and missing some essential requirements that ensures the establishment of a just and permanent peace.

Firstly, I would like to address the issue of allocation of the presidency during the transition. As stipulated in the aforementioned document, Salva Kiir shall become the transitional president of the Republic of South Sudan for 30 months from the start of the transitional government of national unity ( TGoNU ).

This is a nonstarter and indeed a deal breaker from my perspective and I am quite convinced that many South Sudanese share the same view. The reasons are the following :

His deeds have blemished his reputation forever. To millions of South Sudanese, he is a genocidal ruler and a criminal. To others he is just a corrupt and a common thief. Still others consider him among the most tribalistic and divisive figures in South Sudan at the present time.

The presidency is not like any other job in the world. That is because it carries a lot in it. There is the national pride, the reputation of the country and it also provides an insight for the outside world about who we are.

What is seen in our president could be taken as a reflection of what we actually are as we are the people who allowed him to be on the helm.

The president needs to be a person of high integrity, good reputation and to be respectable. This relates to the fact that he serves as a role model for the school children, the youths and our future leaders. This is why children are often named after presidents.

Look at president Obama stance, he is a role model for the young and youths not only in his country but all over the world. His presidency has been uplifting to a whole generation of African Americans.

Who in his or her right mind would want their son to follow the footsteps of Salva Kiir Myardit?! Whatever good things he has done in the past, have been trumped or deleted in people’s memories by his heinous crimes.

It’s quite inconceivable that the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH) would succeed in delivering the goods if Salva Kiir is allowed to preside over the transition.

Just consider the following – many Nuer families have lost their loved ones during the Juba massacre and some are still grieving from the recent atrocities in Unity State and haven’t reached conclusion to their ordeals.

How would they feel when every day they watch the face of the person responsible for their grief on SSTV?! Will this really be conducive to speeding up the healing process?!

Do not be misled by the Nuer Wews who are siding with Salva Kiir. They are fanatic food lovers who can kill and unleash carnage for food. They represent a negligible portion of the Nuer people displaying opportunism and political prostitution at its worst.

One of the things that would expedite healing is when the criminals are hold accountable for their heinous crimes. There will be a clear conflict of interest if Salva Kiir remains the top authority in the land.

He is the top culprit in the atrocities but is it realistic that he would do the unbelievable thing of indicting himself or allow others to indict him?!

It will never happen under his watch, in fact he will try to manipulate, coerce or even dispose of any individual who attempts to uncover the truth.

What is worrying is that there is a phrase in the agreement document that reads (mass violations of human rights have profound historical roots in our society which pre-date the current conflict).

It sounds like an attempt to water down the gravity of the atrocities or at least draw similarities with what happened in 1991.

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a fundamental difference in terms of accountability between the Juba massacre and what happened in 1991. There was no government or rule of law in the rebel held areas in 1991.

What we have here is a government, recognised by many countries of the world and the UN. This brings on certain obligations and duties most notable are respecting human rights and protecting civilians against atrocities and genocide.

It’s clear that our government under Salva Kiir has violated the international law by committing heinous crimes against its own people. In a democratic society with no blind tribal allegiances, he would have been tried for treason because of plunging the country into civil war out of greed to maintain power.

The good news is that, Obama mentioned in his address that “the world awaits the African Union Commission (AUC) report because accountability for atrocities must be part of any lasting peace”.

This is music to my ears personally and certainly to the ears of the aggrieved families and millions of peace loving South Sudanese.

It is a matter of principles, Salva Kiir and his group of criminals should not be allowed to get away with murder. This is simply because what is the guarantee that it will not happen again in future perhaps to a much smaller tribe.

Nuer is a large tribe and losing 20,000 lives may not cause a catastrophic lasting effect. But we do have much smaller tribes some with a total number of less than 20,000 lives.

Just imagine what happened to the Nuers has befallen one of these smaller tribes, the entire tribe would have been annihilated. That is why we should not allow the people responsible for these ugly acts to go unpunished otherwise it will set a precedent.

Kiir has been in office for nearly 10 years with no tangible achievements in terms of developmental projects, provision of services and improving the lives of the South Sudanese people.

In fact the overwhelming majority of the people were much better off 10 years ago than they are now in regard to livelihood, access to health services and availability of schools for their children.

In addition to that they were even more secure during the war than they are now. If the above is Salva Kiir’s track record, how much can he possibly do for the South Sudanese people in 30 months that he failed to do in 10 years ?!

It will be a miracle if he comes up with something useful for the people of South Sudan. I will bet my bottom pound that it will be more of the same – corruption, tribalism, insecurity and absence of the rule of law.

The country needs a fresh start in the transition with a strong personality in the presidential palace. Salva Kiir has been proven weak time and again.

He is unfit to lead this country in the transition or any time in future. Who would want the infamous Jieng council of elders to pull the strings from behind the curtains or Museveni running the show by remote control?!

And it’s not only Salva Kiir alone as many of his top ministers and the SPLM officials are corrupt and may have blood in their hands in relation to the massacres hence unsuitable to be candidates for the presidency.

If people could agree, any one of the governors of the greater Equatoria states could do a better job in the transition than the current illegitimate president.

Even if people fail to agree on a politician why not try members of the clergy. Archbishop Paulino Lokudu Loro, Archbishop Daniel Deng or Bishop Parade Taban could be made president for the transitional period.

There are precedents for that, Archbishop Makarios III was president of Cyprus from 1964 to 1974.

In Africa, Bishop Abel Muzorewa was prime minister of Zimbabwe/Rhodesia from June to December 1979. At least he (the clergyman) will not be corrupt or lethal to our people and will be an asset in the process of healing.

There are those who will say that a clergyman will be weak for the presidency. That is not true plus you already had the weakest president in the history of the world, any one who comes along can only be better. Even the chief of my village could have done a better job.

Secondly, While the document acknowledges that the federal system of governance is a popular demand, yet it does not indicate establishment of the federal system during the transition.

It talks about the need for devolution of more power and resources to lower levels of government.

The aim is clearly to maintain the status quo and avoid real federalism. The only hope for South Sudan to remain united is federalism and it should commence with the beginning of the transitional government of national Unity (TGoNU+).

Thirdly, The power sharing allocations in the executive body is a very contentious issue. How did the peace mediators arrive to those percentages and on what basis?!

Why should the G10 which has become effectively G6 be given 7%?! Do they really represent any particular constituency?

These guys are made super citizens by the IGAD peace mediators as each one of them represents over 1% of the proposed TGoNU. The G6 will have a say in the TGoNU than entire tribes like Lopit, Lokoro, Murle, NDogo and the Broun of Maban.

The government has been allocated full control of greater Equatoria and Bahr Gazal states. Kiir and his government is very unpopular in Greater Equatoria states.

He also lacks popularity in Western Bahr El Gazal State due to the oppressive policies and unlawful killing of civilians in peaceful demonstrations. Even in the other Bahr El Gazal states SPLA/A-IO is gaining momentum.

Then how comes the government was given 100% control over those states and on what basis?!

They can not claim that there is no war in those states. We are in a state of total civil war which is getting worse by the day.

Despite granting the government full control, the peace mediators seemed to have overlooked the security for the opposition. I find this very strange and dubious.

One of the most important goals of the TGoNU is to prepare the country and set the ground for a fair elections by the end of the transition. This will involve campaigning freely in all parts of the country.

Do you think Dr Riak Machar, Dr Lam Akol or Peter Sule would be safe campaigning in Wau, Mundri or Chukdom?

The majority of us know how Dr Riak Machar’s guards were slaughtered in Juba during the massacre. In addition to that how can we be sure that the elections will not be rigged if SPLM officials are left alone to conduct the elections in those states.

Therefore to make the ground level for a free elections, the government should not be allowed full control of those states. In fact the percentages are flawed.

A more reasonable allocation would be 40%, 40% and 20% for GRSS, SPLA-IO and other parties/civil societies respectively. There is no room for the G10 or G6 as some of them have already joined the government and the rest are on their way either to join the government or SPLM/A-IO.

Fourthly, De-militarisation and Arrangement for the National Capital: This is one of the good things within the document but it is only limited to Juba.

What about Malakal that has been significantly destroyed and Wau where citizens live in a state of permanent siege. The de-militarisation should be expanded to include all the major towns and most parts of the country.

Citizens in towns like Nimule, Yei, Maridi, Mundri would be much happier if de-militarisation is extended to their areas. Indeed in the case of Mundri citizens, they have actually demanded the SPLA unit in the area be relocated due to gross misconduct, unruly behaviour and brutality against citizens.

Clearly the SPLA will not be missed in Equatoria due to the fact that it is the problem and not the solution.

Fifthly, The Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS): The document states that the majority of the judges on the panels whether trial or appellate, shall be composed of judges from African states other than the Republic of South Sudan. That means some of the judges would be South Sudanese.

This matter is quite a sensitive one and the future of the country depends on fair trials. I don’t think the African judges let alone the South Sudanese will be up to the task, because they do not live in a democratic environment that would protect them if they go against the rulers.

We have seen the case of Pagan Amum when he sued Salva Kiir before the conflict. A gag order was issued against him and his civil liberties were curtailed. But what happened to his case, no judge or court was willing to accept the case and in the end the Supreme Court of South Sudan threw it out.

The best option would be for the criminals to stand trials at the ICC in Hague.

Finally, there are some time bombs embedded in the body of the agreement document that will cause problems in future.

Do you really think people like Peter Gatdet will go along with Paul Malong and be in the same army?!

Integration of the forces will not work and it will be a waste of time and resources on a poorly trained tribal armies. They are undisciplined and lack understanding of the rules of engagement.

The best option is to disband the SPLA and to start building a new professional army that is inclusive to all the ethnicities in South Sudan.

Given the many flaws in the document, my conclusion is that it is far from the work of shrewd politicians. The possibilities are that the document was produced deliberately in that way due to the mediation team conniving with GRSS or it was a matter of political amateurism or both.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok,

No viable compromise in the IGAD-Plus proposed ‘Compromised Peace Agreement’

By Taban Abel Aguek, MP Lakes State Parliament, 28/JUL/2015, SSN;

The efforts for peace in South Sudan and the international community shall always never skip a mention. Even as people criticize IGAD, TROIKA or the negotiating teams, it’s good to appreciate their commitment to bringing peace in South Sudan. That makes stronger our belief in being members of the family of nations of Africa and the world.

But despite the efforts by IGAD and the International Community to bring to an end the war in South Sudan, it is a feeling of large masses that their mediators are not honest in drawing solutions to the conflict.

Each time the warring parties refused to sign an agreement, IGAD has always gone back to the drawing board but only to reappear with no significant improvements on the issues of the agreement that touch on the lives of common citizens.

Secondly, the IGAD mediators seem to care too much about what rebels want than anything else since the negotiations started in January 2014.

It’s why negotiations have stuck at the point of Dr Riek’s demands, referred to as ‘contentious issues,’ and not at the Government side.

These contentious issues are power sharing, system of governance, the issue of two armies, the compensation and reparation of the victims of the conflict.

Out of all these that were presented by the rebels and rejected by the Government through IGAD One, only federalism has been left out by IGAD Plus in their latest peace proposal.

And from here the word ‘compromised’ was forged. But is that enough to be called a compromise?

Instead of telling Dr Riek off, IGAD and the International Community have only had their legs spread all over the warring camps.

They have only been dividing threats and punishment in equal halves. Perhaps, IGAD and partners have not diagnosed what the problem of South Sudan is.

If not, then we are justified to a claim that there are ploys in South Sudan peace talks by major players guiding the talks.

When one looks at the IGAD Plus proposal there can be every reason to be suspicious.

Why does the Compromised Peace Agreement seem to carry some components of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (with Arab North)?

What relevance does this conflict have to the two decade long South–North war so as to import almost the same mechanisms of the CPA to solve the current crisis?

This proposal ought to brand Dr. Riek as the owner of Upper Nile and the negotiators seem to give him Upper Nile region in exchange for peace.

Giving 53% share of power to rebels almost look like granting Upper Nile a way to break away.

Yet, Upper Nile is home to many tribes.

The rebellion in South Sudan has been stronger in Upper Nile region not because Dr Riek is popular there but because it lies along the supply route from Khartoum.

South Sudan’s borders with Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia are open and porous. It has kept the logistics and supply of the rebels to flow, hence allowing them to achieve some victories in the region.

However, those victories have always short-lived.

Otherwise, there is no need to give a higher percentage to rebels who have not garnered the support of the Nuer tribe wholly, let alone the other tribes.

When Riek gets Upper Nile, what will Kiir give his Nuer supporters and other tribes in the same region?

Doing that presents a recipe for going back to war by those that will be left out in power sharing.

The issue of keeping two armies in the same country has not also been properly addressed in the current peace proposal by IGAD Plus.

Here there are two things involved: the duration of integration of the two armies and who are legible to be integrated into the national army.

The period of 18 months is too long because other hiccups on the way may result into another complete all-out war again before reintegration.

The White Army forms a bulk of the fighters used by Dr Riek Machar. It must be noted that gelwong (pres. Kiir own militia-Ed.), the equivalent of white army, is abundant across the Dinkaland.

To avoid inflating the army, only those that defected from their various divisions should be integrated into the national army but not everyone who carries a gun.

There are defectors that left from police, prisons, wildlife and fire brigade. They should go back unconditionally to their departments.

Too large untrained army drawn from the local youths may present a recipe number two for going back to war in less than 18 months.

Compensation and reparation, if accepted, is not a bad idea but it must go back to the period in 1991 when Riek Machar killed and displaced hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese people in Upper Nile and Bor in particular.

Every victim of this war is a victim of Riek’s quest for power and they should be compensated in his name.

The problem is that there are so many people to be compensated. I lost my close relatives in Bor, Malakal and Bentiu. I buried one of the rape victims myself. She was rescued but she died in my hands in Mapuordit hospital.

If Riek will get us that money to pay all these victims of Nuer, Dinka, shilluk, Uduk, Equatorians etc…, then we have no problem.

Those who will fail to get the compensation might take up arms and fight for their rights. That will be recipe number three for going back to war.

The call for dissolution of the National Assembly is not correct. The National Assembly and Council of States have their membership drawn geographically and proportionally from all South Sudan.

To dissolve and reconstitute another assembly of 400 members is not only unrealistic but it equally begs the same question of where do we get the money to pay them.

Isn’t it laughable to have such a parliament of 400 members against a population below ten million?

What should be ideal is allowing back all MPs that had defected at all levels of parliaments to their positions.

The SPLM is still one since the Arusha Agreement has reinstated Riek Machar back as D/Chairman of the party.

Moreover, the process may affect members who have not rebelled. Should these MPs pay a price for not having rebelled?

There should be nothing like that or else they do the necessary: go back to war, recipe for war number four.

The proposal also seems to test the resolve of South Sudanese people by suggesting the demilitarization of the national capital, Juba.

The dignity of our President and sovereignty of our country are very vital to the very existence of the country.

There is no one that owns our constitution to set a number of guards for our President.

There can be no way UNMISS or AU forces can do what our national constitutional is paid to do. That proposal is insulting and it must be scraped.

IGAD One was wrong in its peace proposals to end the conflict in South Sudan. IGAD two (IGAD Plus) is equally wrong in what they called a compromised peace agreement on south Sudan.

Two wrongs do not make a right!

If the mediators do not adjust the wrongs in this proposal and the parties fail to sign the agreement then there will be no need for IGAD or TROIKA (IGAD Three).

Since the beginning of talks, the Government of South Sudan has compromised a lot of issues. Some vital concessions have been made by government against the will of the people.

The government has implemented the Arusha Agreement in full and has heeded the call to suppress anything that was viewed as a blockage to peace.

It is our strongest feeling that IGAD this time urges the rebels to come to a complete compromise so as to pave way for peace in South Sudan.

It is a known fact that some nations, now coined in South Sudan as godfathers of rebellion, still have their hands in the dimensions of the Addis Ababa talks.

It is high time that these nations and individuals also consider to compromise of their own interests in South Sudan.

South Sudan is awake. It’s not time to seduce our country sign up to another bad war.

There is no thought that shall ever go without being interrogated by South Sudanese how much powerful the proposers of such opinion is.

South Sudanese are disillusioned in the quest for peace, but they cannot be arm-twisted to accept a peace agreement based on compromises that will come to haunt them just in a very near future.

A compromised peace agreement is one that asks Dr Riek Machar to relinquish all the impossible demands. His demands do not only hinder peace process; they may also plant future wars in the country if peace is signed under duress.

Taban Abel Aguek is a member of Lakes State Legislative Assembly. He can be reached at

Better focus on the unity of South Sudan

BY R. MODI, JUBA, 24/July/2015, SSN;

A lot has been written and some of the articles have made focus on Dinka versus Nuer or Dinka versus Equatoria. Logically, it is not possible to paint a whole tribe or group of people using the same paintbrush or in the same colour.

Whereas there can be a myth aimed at creating what is called ‘bonding social capital’, usually those myths are created and propelled by politicians to achieve their goals.

These kinds of politicians do not in fact care for the good or welfare of their so-called tribes Men & women, contrary to what their followers choose or are made to believe.

These political foxes are merely pursuing their goals and in order to get support, they play the ethnic card.

Just see how they keep their immediate families in lucrative government positions and what bank accounts they have all over the world.

How they are out of reach even for mere handshakes for their tribesmen. By this you will know the myth of tribe is just a bluff.

But many people fall for these tricks. This has to be challenged and changed. If we are going to build a nation out of many but one, clearly the nation South Sudan has proven very expensive to build and elusive, demanding our language to change.

We have to deal with human beings as they really are. Humanly speaking, there is no evidence that a group of people, because they come from the same tribe or ethnicity, all reason alike.

Scientifically, the evidence to such is miserably lacking. The way we reason is the function of socialisation. It is not attached to our DNA.

In fact what is called a tribe can be deconstructed to a level that it is a unit created in negotiated identity. Because in one tribe there are so many differences that in many case the neighbouring adjacent tribe has more similarity with a group of people than their other tribe members geographically distant to them.

Anyway to come back to the topic, there are few points in the case of South Sudan that needs to be focused on. The important one is this, the government has failed and it does not serve the interest of South Sudanese, regardless of ethnic identity.

It is hurting everybody, whether they are Nuer, Ma’di, Dinka, Moru, Zande, etc. Simply it is not the government we fought for. It has no respect for the rule of law and in that case it hurts others who are not even South Sudanese.

Is there any doubt that this government hurts East Africans? There was a case raised at the level of East African court against South Sudan.

That has nothing to do with Nuer, Ma’di, Anyuak, Shilluk, Muru or Murle etc. It is simple and clear, this is incompetent government and whoever sticks to it is serving his self-interest.

And those who are mobilised to support this government on the basis of tribe not good principle of governance are self-deluded.

It takes us to a point where we need to examine the bedrock on which this government was founded.

There was too many lies about the SPLA/M right from the beginning. Some people will feel bad about this, but Dr. John Garang did not tell the truth to everybody.

His message changed according to the environment or audiences.

I want to draw the attention of the reader to the book of Professor Peter Adwok Nyamba entitled ‘The Politics of Liberation’. So do not judge me, but read that book and find the point where he pointed out how mobilization was done.

When Dr. Garang spoke to Dinka Bor Youth, he told them to go and get guns so that they could defend themselves against the Murle. When he spoke to the larger Dinka community, he said the Kokora was the reason to rebel.

In fact back in 2014, somebody called Martin Manyang Mading, commented from Bor and said they went in the bush because of Equatorians. That article appeared as a comment in South Sudan Nation.

It was one of those incendiary and provocative statements. ‘Our enemy number one are The Equatorians. That is why we fought, used their intellectuals for our benefits, turned their ladies into machineries for procreation, colonised them and used their resources to settle in our colonies. Those who are dreaming about federal government, you must know that our colony is the first priority. We will not leave our colony and Equatorians will never go free. Practically, as of today, our number in some Equatorian villages or towns is about 3 times more than the number of the native people’.

Those are his words verbatim. It appeared on June 8, 2014 at 11:45 pm. Is this acceptable in a nation? Where is the difference between Nazism and this philosophy?

That is a mind-set that is not only tribalistic but falls in the category of Nazism. Any respectable people now will feel revolted by ideas like that.

Can we now put it that this is the way Dinka reason? I think NO; this is a demented and very unsophiscated person who is posing to speak on behalf of a people of varied philosophies and interests.

The Dinka have a great deal of contribution in the journey to liberations and so are the other 63 tribes.

It is not possible for a single tribe to single-handedly fight on behalf of 63 other tribes, in fact should only 1/3 of the 63 tribes reject such notion, it is doomed before it takes off the ground.

That is why we are a mosaic. Every community has a specialty and you cannot compare them. But people like Mading, are going to destroy South Sudan.

The same way Salva Kiir is doing when he spoke to their youth and told them they fought for this power and they have to keep it. Misinformed people followed that logic and it makes me wonder how poor they are. This cannot happen.

The world is global and you cannot dominate any tribe because their representatives the world over will react. And when they do so, you will be questioned at the level of United Nation.

That is what we are supposed to be, people who work together with the global society. Less than that you are ferial nation and who will respect a ferial nation?

So I do not believe Martin Mading represents the Dinka nation. That would have been impossible to imagine. Where he got that from, the answer is above.

He was totally misinformed on the reason for the struggle of South Sudanese. He went to fight, if he ever did, for exactly the opposite reason why most South Sudanese went to fight.

His narrative is different and with narrative like that, South Sudan cannot stand as nation. I am very confident on that conclusion.

If anyone should try to build a nation on such bad, racist, tribalist and obviously undemocratic principle, they are not going to get anywhere, not in South Sudan but also anywhere in the world.

Do we have to remind people on this? I think it is necessary. The quickest people but at the same time hardest to change are in Equatoria.

Even the Brits found Equatoria difficult to occupy. So they used the churches to calm the people. Any war in Sudan or South Sudan not supported in Equatoria is doomed.

Again, I am not being chauvinistic. I base myself on real evidence. For Garang to get where he got, he has to come to Equatoria. Haaa, that is the reality.

Conversely, if people in Equatoria feel bad it is impossible to hold a government in Juba. And now we feel bad. That government is going down. That preferential advantage is not what we play on. We want to work together with our brothers and sisters in all South Sudan.

We are keenly aware the different contribution you are bringing to the table. That is why we are mosaic and respected one. A few times I used to see it happen in Kampala or Nairobi.

Whenever you see somebody paying bus fares for people behind them, they are South Sudanese. That was obvious. In Khartoum we saw the same generosity.

So together we can make a better South Sudan. But for now South Sudan has to be salvaged from Salva and he has to go.

I could tell you something in the lines that follow. Garang and Salva would have been nowhere without Equatoria.

Because the link with Museveni which proved crucial especially in the battle of Aswa, Kaya, Pogee, Owinykibul, Yei and until close to Juba could never have been possible without the mediating link of Equatorians.

Forget about their meeting in Dar El Salam. People on the ground did the real connection because previously Dr. Garang had Ethiopia and Mangistu as his powerhouse.

When Mangistu was taken out in Ethiopia, SPLA was on the run and by 1993, when William Nyoun Kuach defected from Pageri, nothing remained of SPLA fighting force.

That was re-echoed in Rumbek during the meeting of the leadership. And Salva was the one who challenged Dr. Garang on his administration and Uyay Deng Ajak clearly said there was no more army to fight.

Had it not been for the Equatorian boys and Nuer, Torit was going to be recaptured or Kapoeta for that matter.

The commander who entered Kapoeta we know him and the same commander entered Torit. We know these things but we have been silent. No more.

Fellow compatriots, the best direction is to work for a government we wanted to have in the first place, one for which that first bullet of independence was fired.

One that respects the rights of our South Sudanese people and promotes peace. Such a government will make South Sudanese respectable in the international community.

We have lost too many in the process of finding a government of the people, by the people and for the people, not of a tribe, by a tribe and for a tribe.

We have lost too many and too much and have come too far for us to give up and we shall not give up until we get it.

Should those who now fight, politically or otherwise for such a people’s government fatigue out, or be bought out, history shall remember them harshly and the dead shall not forgive them.

South Sudan at the end of it all shall not fall, for many of her children are nationalists not against tribes but for all tribes, thus out of many, only ONE!

By R. Modi
Juba, RoSS.