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Crisis of the Judiciary of South Sudan: A Leadership Problem NOT Lack of Resources

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, LLB (Juba), LLM (Nairobi), Specialist in Law, Governance & Democracy
University of Nairobi, Kenya, APR/27/2017, SSN;

In the previous article I authored titled ‘The Nation Needs a New Face in the Judiciary NOT Justice Chan Reec Anymore,’ and another piece titled, ‘Why Too Many Judges and Justices are discontented with Chief Justice Chan Reec’s Leadership in the Judiciary?’ I explored hitherto issues that, if the judiciary of South Sudan could indeed position itself in its rightful place.

These articles plus many others were greeted with hostility by many stooges and kitchen supporters of the Chief Justice leadership. They turned a blind eye to the important issues tackled in the articles for a simple fact that they are beneficiaries of that messed up leadership and care less of the important place the judiciary occupies as an institution in our country.

In this article, I ironically intends to bring to forefront the crisis which has pervasively infested the judiciary of South Sudan which lies not in the judiciary as a juridical institution but in the leadership of the incumbent Chief Justice.

However, the malignant inertia, unruly and unscrupulous behaviour, that has rocked the judiciary since the current Chief Justice took over the administration could warrant unspeakable dysfunctionality of the judiciary and has intrinsically provoked mistrust of the institution trusted as the last hope in retrieving back rights infringed on and maliciously encroached upon aberrantly by the most powerful and untouchable mafias and oligarchs.

It has become a common saying that the judiciary is in abeyance where many judges, whether senior or junior, point fingers at the Chief Justice of not doing enough in addressing most pressing issues of concern both for them and for the institution to truly observe its boundaries of separation of powers, independence and impartiality which are the tenets of the true judiciary as a third arm of the government.

The gap between the Chief Justice and his colleagues grows wider every day and causes many judges to think of quitting the institution simply because it is not truly elegant as it should be.

Many judges and justices are discontented with the way the Chief Justice is running the Judiciary and this is manifested by judges and justices incessant strikes since 2013.

Even with intervention of H. E. the president and his learned Advisor on Legal Affairs to address judges and justices demands in 2016, the Chief Justice again went and slept on the rights of the judges and justices.

The president resolved judges and justices strike in 2016 by releasing vehicles that were parked for the last six years to be distributed to them but the Chief Justice went and took all the keys and stored them in his living room, in his residence.

The Ministry of Finance was directed by the President to release their long overdue salaries into the account of the Judiciary but again the chief justice, being the sole signatory to the account, refused to release the money to the judges and justices again, causing the current ongoing judges and justices’ strike.

This is not a problem of the state anymore, but a leadership problem within the judiciary in which our learned chief justice perceives the judiciary as his own private property with which he can do what he likes at his own discretion.

Why too many judges and justices are discontented with Justice Reec’s administration is a combination of these issues and that’s why it has become a leadership problem not a crisis that other arms of government created.

The Chief Justice is of course the head of the judiciary and one charged by law with day-to-day running or administration of the judiciary. It is on his directives that the director of judges affairs in the judiciary acted upon a communication and if he happens not to be in town, then no toilet papers, ream papers, no transport and no cleaner to clean the court-rooms and everything comes to a standstill.

The nation needs a new face in the judiciary to salvage the credibility of the judiciary and restore confidence and trust of the people in the judiciary.

The hedge is against the president to come to his senses and correct the image of the judiciary by relieving the indignant chief justice due to his heedless consideration of opposing views which heisted the people of South Sudan off their legal and constitutional rights of access to justice, a crux that will not only cost him dearly but the admired and most respected institution among all institutions of the government in the world.

The nation needs a new face in the judiciary, a face that is herald to meeting the demands of judges and justice for the people of South Sudan.

A face which doesn’t worship the appointing authority and turns his back at the institution and the people it’s meant to serve.

A face determined to reshape the chattered image of the institution of Judiciary because the administration of the judiciary under Chief Justice Chan R. Madut is heretical not only to the members of legal fraternity but to the general public which resort to judiciary as the only hope in getting rights they deserved.

Heretofore, the nation needs a new face that is not detached, divorced and disabled from the members of the judiciary, the legal community and general public.

The nation needs a new face in the judiciary not Justice Chan Reec Madut anymore. The judiciary, judges, advocates and the general public have suffered more than enough during his tenure as Chief Justice and President of Supreme Court of South Sudan.

It must be admitted that the crisis that have now engulfed the judiciary were brought about by his dictatorial and weak leadership style. It is leadership problem that is now facing the judiciary not because resources aren’t available.

South Sudan war strains Uganda’s generous refugee policy: Bidibidi Refugee Camp

From: NEWVISION, Kampala, APR/20/2017, SSN;

YUMBE – Ugandan motorbike taxi driver Sadiq Agotre grumbles as he waits for a rare client among thousands of South Sudanese refugees hoping to receive food rations in the outskirts of his town.

“Business is not good. These people don’t have money,” he says, gazing out over a vast area that in only eight months has transformed from scrubland and trees to the world’s biggest refugee settlement, Bidibidi, which houses more than 270,000 people.

Uganda has been praised for its warm welcome of refugees, but as civil war in neighbouring South Sudan continues to push more than 2,000 people a day into the country, local communities and aid agencies are buckling under the strain.

Many residents of Yumbe district — population around 500,000 — are frustrated that the massive aid effort in their backyard has not translated into more jobs but instead has spread already scarce resources even thinner.

“This (the refugee crisis) has changed the town so much. It has caused a lot of stress, stress for jobs. The food prices have gone up and up. It’s bad for our environment because they cut down the trees,” said Nachal Dovelay, a shopkeeper in Yumbe town.

Bidibidi opened in August last year to cope with a flood of people fleeing fighting when a peace deal between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his rival and former deputy Riek Machar collapsed, plunging the country back into a civil war that erupted in 2013.

In a matter of months it has overtaken Kenya’s Dadaab — hosting mainly Somali refugees — as the world’s biggest refugee camp.

But the 250-square-kilometre (97-square-mile) settlement is only the tip of the iceberg. A total of 830,000 South Sudanese refugees have entered the country and the UN expects this figure will reach more than a million by mid-year.

The number of refugees in the East African nation — one of the world’s poorest countries and the size of the United Kingdom — is comparable to the number of mostly Syrian refugees who fled to Europe at the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.

“This emergency is like a tsunami, you know, very high speed,” said Robert Baryamwesiga, the Ugandan government official in change of running Bidibidi.

Food rations stretched, delayed

On a recent afternoon a fierce dust-devil tore through a crowd waiting for food rations, sending people reeling and knocking supplies to the ground.

When calm returned, a girl aged about seven carefully raked up her family’s fallen maize kernels and scooped them back into a sack.

Every scrap of food is precious. Refugees who arrived in Uganda before mid-2015 have already had their rations cut by half. This month food distribution was two weeks late.

“We are hungry. The food is for one month but it lasts less than that and now it’s 15 days late. This is really challenging,” said David Kepo, 41, a traditional chief who fled fighting in his community three months ago.

Cheryl Harrison, the World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) deputy head in Uganda, admits that the logistics involved in delivering 15,000 tonnes of food per month are daunting.

“We try to ensure that everyone knows that we’re going to be late. If people have warning they’re able to cope. They reduce the amount of food they eat and try to make their resources stretch.”

Before the renewed fighting, WFP spent $6 million (5.6 million euros) per month on food aid for refugees in Uganda. That figure has now soared to more than $16 million.

The agency is $450 million short for the next six months.

Last month UN refugee chief, Filippo Grandi, described the situation as at “breaking point”.

Anger growing in host community

Getting water to the refugees in the arid area is another headache, with more than four million litres required a day.

Boreholes have been drilled but the vast majority of the water is trucked in from the River Nile at great expense.

The use of natural resources has lead to tensions with the host community.

In a desperate move local residents recently blocked access to one borehole for several hours, saying that they were not benefiting from the influx of refugees.

“The issue of the use of natural resources — building materials, wood, fuel — that one has been a disaster. With 272,000 people the effect is great and unemployment here is very high,” said local government official Jacob Batemyetto.

In February about 100 people, unhappy that nine local staff had been fired for misappropriating aid, held a protest, holding up signs threatening to attack the settlement, according to NGO staff.

And last month the chief government official in Imvepi — a newly opened nearby settlement — was taken hostage by a group of machete-wielding youths and marched around the area to see the poor living conditions local people are forced to tolerate before being released.

A very fragile situation

Uganda has long been praised for having one of the world’s most progressive refugee policies.

The government allows refugees to work and move around the country while communities in the north have donated land for settlements.

Refugees receive a plot of land to build a shelter and it was planned that land would be allocated for people to farm but in Bidibidi that has yet to happen.

“We can’t feed ourselves because they have yet to set up any agriculture programme and there’s no land,” said Wila James, 40, a former agricultural officer who fled to Uganda last year.

Bidibidi settlement chief Baryamwesiga highlighted the dangers of a growing population unable to produce their own food.

“They will automatically go and steal and stealing will create violence so you’ll find that the coexistence that we’re enjoying between refugees and the host community will collapse.

“It’s a very, very fragile situation.” END

Governing under Pres. Kiir & vice Taban Gai is more problematic than we expected

BY: Santino Aniek, New York, USA, APR/16/2017, SSN;

I have lived for almost 40 years; I remember the war between South Sudanese and Khartoum regime, the humiliation and the shameless rebellion of 1991, the assassination of John Garang in 2005, and the senseless war of 2013. But, until now, I have never been ashamed to be a South Sudan citizen.

I always believed that, whether SPLM-IG or SPLM-IO, our leaders are basically good people who are reasonable and thoughtful, even if I did not agree with them.

But President Kiir Mayardit seems be not reasonable, his decision against the will of Ruweng people is not thoughtful, and it is considered as a brutal betrayal.

The man who President Kiir and the FVP Taban Deng Gai have chosen is a fraudster, a man who have done business with the mob, a discriminator, and a hater who thinks the people of Ruweng are always there only to serve their interest, a man who knows nothing of the world, and has no curiosity about the interest of Ruweng people.

Moreover, I do not believe that these men are good and decent people, and if they were as other people think, they should not involved in this dirty business of the FVP.

For more than ten years, we have been hearing from the so-called leaders in Juba about how horrible those who rebel against the government were, and this was the best description they could come up with.

But when it comes to cake sharing, the same horrible people will be the best people to the government to share the power with. In fact, a cruel and a rush decision by President Kiir and his FVP Taban that does not seem to have any new ideas or a reason to fix the core problems in South Sudan that has been facing our people since 2005.

It is the same reason that causes many people in South Sudan to rebel against the government of President Kiir. And at this point, it seems to prove that his decision is always about creating a conflict and not actually trying to bring every lasting peace to South Sudanese people.

Now, the ball is firmly on the court of Ruweng people, either to reject or to accept this cruel and rushed decision by two men who seem to adopt Khartoum tactic. The two men control the government and they share power by playing dirty politics.

But President Kiir made a promise in the end by assuring every Ruweng citizens around the country to stay home, the Monday rally has been cancelled, and the dialogue should continue by bringing Ruweng people’s representative to Juba.

However, the question in each and every Ruweng citizens is, did President Kiir or the Presidential Advisor, Hon. Tor Deng Mawien has lied to the people of Ruweng?

Basically a version of as a bigger false promise by President Kiir that would be better tells by the people of Ruweng a fairy tale. And now everyone with the knowledge on this issue knew it that President Kiir is not going to keep his promise because he never did.

As always the case, it is actually has to be made up of words that lead to a false promise in the highest office in the nation. Hence, that false promise has to actually tell us something about who will win, who will lose, and the people of Ruweng are the losers while the FVP Taban is now the winner of this dirty game.

Consequently, it tells who will be marginalized and how much it might cost the people of Ruweng for short-term security. And knowing that Ruweng people have the FVP’S plan in place and our people’s interest is getting picked apart by his supporters and interest groups on all sides is serious concern that need President Kiir’s reconsideration.

Because the key is that the FVP Taban is starting to look as popular as ants at a picnic in South Sudan. Today, the people of Ruweng have to guess that with the FVP Taban is running the show in the entire country, our people in Ruweng land will not like the end result of this dirty game of interest.

Therefore, our powerful friends of Ruweng people should start lining up in opposition to the President’s decision in order to reverse this betrayal against the peace loving people in the nation. This harmful decision will make Ruweng people insecure and toothless in the era of Taban Deng Gai.

Yet, perhaps the most threatening to the long-term security of Ruweng people is the return of the FVP Taban to Wuhn Danluel.

As it shows that ninety nine percent of the Ruweng people are complaining about how rushed this cruel decision was and what will likely happen to the security of our people in Ruwëng State.

Meanwhile, the hardline of power seeking want to see this effort as some sort of Taban lighting up a light to them and also as a business as usual. And they are being propelled by outside groups to welcome this cruel decision.

As a result of this cruel and rush decision, there is a lot of bad analysis in the camp of the FVP’S power seeking about what the presidential decree meant in terms of the security in Ruweng land.

But ultimately, sadly, this will be decided by the people of Ruweng of the world whether to give up and let the FVP Taban to continue to marginalize our beloved relatives one more time in the twenty first century.

Nonetheless, when doing big things is never easy, but making a promise is a lot easier in South Sudan, and this is how Ruweng people once again find themselves in the country where venerable people cannot survive.

In this toxic environment, here we stand as people of Ruweng and President Kiir is swinging the full weight of his Administration behind his FVP Taban leaving the entire population of Ruweng State in a dark hole.

But however, maybe this will be enough to wake up the skeptical people of Ruweng who seem to be overwhelmingly opposing this cruel and rushed decision by President Kiir and his FVP Taban. Or maybe this effort will fall apart in spectacular failure in the history of Ruweng people and continue to do nothing as usual.

As a fact, President Kiir has promised people of Ruweng that he will listen to them and told them that Them Machar will not take the oath of office as a governor of Ruweng State until the matter is resolved amicably base on the popular views.

But, it is likely will dramatic political theater if President Kiir and his FVP Taban refuse to listen to this peace loving people in the nation. It is just a horrible shame that the stakes being toyed with thousands of Ruweng people and their security at risk by letting Taban Deng Gai continues to marginalize our people need a serious response now.

Finally, I understand why so many South Sudanese communities are disenfranchised and disillusioned, why there is mistrust of the government, and deep-seated issues with President Kiir, but I never, ever thought that this will result in putting Taban Deng Gai over the people of Ruweng’s interest because this people stood with President Kiir long enough to be rewarded like any other community who are enjoying due to their minimal contribution.

It is true governing in the entire is difficult, but betrayal and difficulty are not the same. More importantly, I know many people believe that smart people and smart policies makers can fix our corrupt system of government in South Sudan. President Kiir seems to think this way.

I’m assuming that President Kiir suggested during the national prayer day that his government and the community relations could be improved meaningfully by accepting responsibility and accountability. Yes, a responsibility and accountability.

With this cruel and rushed decision, I no longer believe that Juba is willing to fix the problem, as though the leadership in Juba is anything other than a mirror reflecting back to us the true nature of our democracy.

They cannot fix the problem without a revolution of values and radical change to the basic structure of their leadership in Juba. Of course important policy changes can and should be made to improve government practices unless President Kiir reconsider this cruel and rushed decision, or it will cause in South Sudan.

Furthermore, if we are serious about having peace in our country rather than a government at war with its own people, then we are going to have to get honest with ourselves about whom our government actually serves and protect or else to unity.

Santino Aniek is a concerned South Sudanese in Upstate New York, U.S.A. He can be reached at santino.aniek5@gmail.com and find me on Facebook, on Skype and on twitter @saniek.

BREAKING STORY: Kiir signs suspicious oil agreements to turn around fortunes of economy

By: JULIUS BARIGABA, TheEastAfrican, APR/15/2017, SSN;

The South Sudanese government is signing deals with suspected wheelerdealers, some of whom may be out to take advantage of Juba’s financial crisis.

In less than four months, President Salva Kiir, who is presiding over a cashstrapped economy torn apart by a conflict that is teetering towards genocide, has received offers from agents of established companies, organisations and non-descript financing groups, all dangling deals worth billions of dollars that critics warn will mortgage the country and its resources for generations.

Critics in Juba worry that President Kiir’s desperation to get cash may push him into the hands of outright conmen and that even genuine companies could take advantage to secure sweet deals for themselves while leaving the country with peanuts.

International fixers are reportedly operating out of the regional capitals of Kampala, Nairobi, Addis Ababa as well as other African cities and some European capitals, setting up meetings between the president himself and other top government officials — the Juba teams are only too willing to go along.

First in was the Luxembourg-based investment fund Suiss Finance Luxembourg AG, which towards the end of 2016 made an offer of €10 billion ($10.5 billion) that could rise to €100 billion ($105 billion), to finance projects through joint ventures in infrastructure, transportation, oil and energy.

IN SUMMARY:
International fixers are reportedly operating out of the regional capitals of Kampala, Nairobi, Addis Ababa as well as other African cities and some European capitals.
Juba government is looking to new entrants and deals in its oil sector to boost oil production and provide an escape route from empty coffers.

READ:

President Kiir’s critics and Sudan observers immediately flagged this deal after it was publicised in the media.

A South Africa-based South Sudan academic familiar with goings-on in Africa’s youngest country warned the deal was bogus. Refusing to give his name for fear of endangering his family still trapped in the intricate war in the south of the country, the academic challenged journalists to dig deeper into the deal.

Investigations conducted by this newspaper revealed that shadowy Kampala businessmen had brokered the deal but efforts to get one of the principals to speak on it were futile as multiple phone numbers given as his contacts were unavailable.

On March 6, Juba signed a deal with Oranto Petroleum to invest $500 million in the country to develop South Sudan’s oil in Block B3 covering 25,150 square kilometres, paving the way for the oil company’s “comprehensive exploration campaign, starting immediately.”

South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum and Oranto Petroleum signed the exploration and production sharing agreement for the block, in which Oranto will be the technical operator and 90 per cent shareholder, while the Juba government’s Nile Petroleum (Nilepet) takes a 10 per cent stake.

The EastAfrican could not confirm with the South Sudanese embassy in Kampala, if the cash from any of these deals has come through as Ambassador Samuel Luate was reportedly out, attending a meeting, and the only official in the mission was “not in line to speak about the matter.”

Mr Luate’s office promised to respond later, but by press time had not returned our calls.

Another deal on oil and gas collaboration was signed on March 20, this time with Equatorial Guinea, to share knowledge and resources, promote investment and for Equatorial Guinea to provide training to South Sudanese personnel and advise on licensing as Juba’s current licensing round nears conclusion.

Details on the progress and execution of these offers so far remain scanty, although the Oranto deal has attracted the most criticism in Juba.

Apparently, technical officials in the Ministry of Petroleum compiled and handed over a report to Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth, indicating that Oranto lacked both the technical expertise and financial capacity to handle 90 per cent of the block.

In spite of the report, critics indicate that powerful figures and wheelerdealers in Juba were holding the government to ransom and pushing for the deal to be signed, regardless of any amount of criticism and queries over Oranto’s transparency and capacity.

Prince Arthur Eze, founder and chairman of Oranto Petroleum said his company is “at the vanguard of African firms exploring and developing African assets” but also hinted that the company would collaborate with “our partners to bring to light the immense potential of Block B3.”

Oranto is a subsidiary of Atlas Petroleum International Ltd, both forming the Atlas Group, a wholly owned Nigerian private firm.

“We believe the petroleum resources of Block B3 are vast. To reach our target of more than doubling current oil production, we need committed new entrants like Oranto,” said Mr Gatkuoth.

The sister companies of the Atlas Oranto Group own and operate 20 oil and gas acreages in 10 African countries in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal and South Sudan. Founded in Nigeria in 1991, the group is Africa’s largest domestic explorer by acreage.

But in a number of countries, Oranto has been cited in irregular deals that enabled it to get oil deals over the line, usually, acting as a middleman for big oil companies to whom it sells its exploration rights later on.

In 2006 and 2007, a report by the Liberian Auditing Commission named Oranto in a bribery scandal for allegedly paying a total of $118,400 to legislators as the company sought parliament’s approval to grant it the right to develop or sell concessions to bigger oil companies.

Oranto had negotiated production sharing contracts for three out of four concessions with the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) but the company needed parliament to ratify them before it could sell to another party, hence the bribes.

Rights to sell concessions
Once the lawmakers were handed the sweeteners, Oranto was granted the right to sell its three concessions to Chevron in 2010, and as of 2012, the US oil giant owned a 70 per cent stake in each of Oranto’s offshore blocks.

Industry watchdog Global Witness also says NOCAL awarded Oranto concessions without the oil prospecting firm ever putting in a bid, while in Mali, Oranto’s was one of a dozen exploration agreements cancelled in 2014 over “various offences.”

The manner in which the Nigerian firm acquired exploration blocks in Sao Tome and Principe was also characterised by irregularities.

By press time, Oranto had not responded to The EastAfrican over the issues of lack of transparency and the risks in investing in conflict-ridden South Sudan.

Yet the Juba government is looking to these new entrants and deals in its oil sector to boost oil production and provide an escape route from empty coffers.
“The government is working hard to reinvigorate the petroleum industry in South Sudan by creating an enabling environment for international oil and gas companies to invest and operate. It is up to the oil companies to come in, explore and produce. Partnership is what fuels the oil industry,” said Mr Gatkuoth. END

National Democratic Movement (NDM) Condemnation of Wau Town Killing of Innocent Civilians by Kiir’s government

THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT (NDM), APR/10/2017;

Press Release:
The National Democratic Movement (NDM) condemns in the strongest terms the on-going killing and maiming of innocent civilians in Wau town (Western Bahr el Ghazal), by the genocidal and dictatorial regime of Kiir and its affiliated militias.

Today, the government of South Sudan embarked on scotched-earth policy in Wau town, where its militia are going house to house searching and killing people hailing from other non-Dinka tribes residing in Wau.

It is to be recalled that last week similar targeting and murdering of innocent civilians mostly from the Acholi ethnic group occurred in the village of Pajok in Eastern Equatoria.

These escalations of violence against civilians across South Sudan are consistent reminders that the tribalistic and dictatorial regime of Kiir has commenced its policy of ethnic cleansing against other nationalities that are perceived to be resisting its policy of tribal hegemony in the country.

Few months ago the United Nations adviser on the prevention of genocide, Mr. Adam Dieng, made a chilling remark regarding the looming genocide in South Sudan, sadly its predictions are becoming a reality under Kiir’s regime and his Jieng Council of Elders.

While the regime talks loudly about its unpopular project of national dialogue, the same regime is now busy committing gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

The National Democratic Movement (NDM) calls upon the international community, particularly, TROIKA, IGAD and UNMISS to hold the government of South Sudan accountable for the killing of innocent civilians in Wau town and to issue condemnation against the atrocities committed by the regime.

As the international community decry the killing of civilians in Syria, it is time for the international community to collectively put an end to the culture of impunity in South Sudan.

We also call on the United Nations Security Council, especially the United States of America as the penholder for South Sudan, to call for an urgent Security Council meeting regarding the unfolding genocide taking place now in South Sudan.

Enough is enough and it is time for the United Nations to take punitive actions against the Juba regime.

Long live the struggle of our people
Long live South Sudan
Aluta continua.

Ambassador; Emmanuel Aban
For/ the Spokesman
National Democratic Movement (NDM)
ojwokj@hotmail.com

South Sudan: A Country without Dignity, a Sanctuary of Corruption & untold Suffering

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, APR/04/2017, SSN;

In South Sudan, the system is rotten to the core. Corruption has eaten up everything. Money is the language of the day and no one thinks about a country called South Sudan.

Because of corruption and mismanagement, South Sudan and her people have lost their dignities as they are not respected internationally. This is why the leaders of South Sudan are given money and at the same time abused by other countries without responding to such attacks.

The clear example to support the above point is the recent remark made by Dutch Minister for International Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, who openly abused the President, Kiir, and other leaders of South Sudan that and I quote “The leaders of South Sudan are bastards who starve their own people.”

A bastard means illegitimate child, a child born to unmarried parents. It also means illegitimacy in English law. In simple terms, it means a narcissistic and annoying Character.

Under normal circumstances where the principles of state sovereignty governing international diplomacy and relation applies, South Sudan would have broken ties with the government of the Netherlands and recalled her ambassador unless that government apologizes.

But because we are a begging and dependent nation on other countries, then we have to allow our dignity and dignity of our nation to be trampled upon by other countries without any fear of reprisal.

Hence, South Sudan is a nation sacrificed for and slaughtered at the altar of corruption. South Sudan is a nation bleeding from and facing untold suffering caused by corruption which occupies the heart of our governance system.

However, though we are abused day and night, we must be just by admitting that all our problems have their roots in the poor governance and misuse of resources by our leaders.

Hence, the Minister from Netherlands was right to call our leaders “bastards” because they have annoying character, they’re corrupt and because of that they are illegitimate as they have rebelled against the will of the citizens of South Sudan contrary to social contract as provided for under Article 9 of the Constitution.

It is important to point out that social contract as provided for under Article 9 of our constitution provides that the government of South Sudan cannot have a right to obedience from South Sudanese unless it lives in accordance with the principles of social contract. This is not the case now in South Sudan.

As we have seen today in South Sudan, the people have been abandoned by their leaders, left in the lurch and have now become beggars while the leaders are enjoying all they need in life with their children abroad.

Hence, South Sudan as a whole has lost dignity as it has now become a begging nation as described below:—
— The streets of Juba are full of the people who are forced by the conditions to become beggars. Widows and children of the Soldiers who have been killed are now begging on the streets yet those soldiers died while defending the wealth of the cliques who hold power and wealth and who maintain such wealth through blood of the innocent citizens who are trapped and killed in the rivalry caused by corruption and power struggle among these top leaders.

— Citizens are dying of poverty and hunger amidst plenty. Youth are being recruited on daily basis to defend leaders not the country. They are not defending the country because currently South Sudan has lost it vast lands to the neighboring countries, which shows that soldiers are not defending territories of the country called South Sudan.

— South Sudanese children who are in camps are being denied national examinations, which is the destruction of the future of South Sudan. For example, on March 8, 2017 as it was reported, South Sudan leaders stopped about 900 students living in the United Nations protection of civilian camps at Jebel Kujur from doing nationwide secondary school examinations (see; reliefweb.int/report/south-sudan/s-sudanese-camps-halted-sitting-national-exams).

The reason for denying them examinations was that they must come out of the camps. How can a reasonable leader deny a child basic needs on such grounds?

This shows that South Sudanese leaders are not human beings but automated machines for power. If they were human beings they must have realized that denying children education is a violation of their right to education which will have negative implications on the future of South Sudan.

The action of denying children education alone shows that South Sudan is trapped in power struggle without aims and objectives. The government and the rebels are fighting for power without basis. The power with basis is the power with clear objectives and goals, which is not the case in South Sudan war. All mess in form of war is being done as motivated by corruption.

For the above reasons, it will take time for South Sudanese and South Sudan to recover from the present war. This is because the war has no aims or objectives that will guide those who are involved in war to reconstruct after the war.

However, the fact is that the present war is a war for an opportunity to dehumanize and corrupt the system to the detriments of all innocent citizens. This is why rebels and the government do not care for the welfare of the citizens who are trapped in the war.

In fact, it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that South Sudanese leaders on both sides do not care about people but only for what benefits them. We are ruled by corruption and because of that South Sudan has become synonymous with corruption and money.

This is supported by the fact that South Sudan Central Bank has been looted and left empty because of corruption. This was confirmed by the Minister of Finance, Stephen Dhieu, who recently came forward to break the good news to the president that all money has gone without any trace and the Central Bank is now empty and a house of rats.

The overall implication is that South Sudan has become a sanctuary of corruption as corruption has permeated all offices. The clear example is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Sudan which is the corruption house.

If it were not because of corruption, how on earth can a fresh graduate from University and those who have not finished Universities be appointed ambassadors?

In addition, in the same ministry of foreign affairs, when you go you will not be surprised to get the files of some of the staff without any papers except birth certificates and recommendations from big man in the government.

In summary, the proper definition of the government of South Sudan is that it is the government of corruption, self-services, a sanctuary and a house of corruption headed by corrupt government.

Citizens are therefore advised to unite and disown the government of South Sudan unless it carries out serious reforms. If they do not give heed to this advice the country will fall apart and that will mark the end of South Sudan and all South Sudanese citizenry.

The Author is human rights lawyer and can be reached through juoldaniel@yahoo.com/+256783579256

People of Ruweng: The victims of power & appeasement policy

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, MAR/29/2017, SSN;

Ruweng State deserved good governance, therefore he should be reaffirmed. However, I was terribly shocked and disappointed to find out that Theja had been sacked from the post of Governorship.

The action of the president removing the governor of Ruweng State has confused me and I have lost all hopes that I had previously for any little reforms in South Sudan. It appears that President Kiir is an anti: reformation and good governance.

In fact, any true peoples’ government and president would have not even imagined of sacking Governor like Theja Da Adwad Deng. This is because Theja was a governor of the people.

I have been wondering since I received the news trying to term with the fact of his removal. But what crime has he committed? Is it because he has shown to be a good administrator or what is the problem?

The sacking of Governor of Ruweng State leaves more questions than answers. Some of the questions are those I have asked in the above paragraph and also some are: what does the President want? Who is running the office of the President? Does the President think before issuing the decree or does he just issue all decrees like animated object?

What was the main purpose for liberating South Sudan? Were South Sudanese liberated so that the SPLM use them as project for getting resources?

The above questions and others that you may add are the ones lingering in everyone’s one mind in South Sudan when the President acts unreasonably like what he has done in the case of Ruweng State.

A normal president could not remove a person like Theji in Ruweng State unless there is a hidden agenda. It appears that the President does not care about the welfare of citizens of South Sudan.

In addition, the SPLM as a party is dead politically because the President who is the head of the party is not interested in the future of the SPLM. What is the future of the SPLM? Like all other parties, future of the SPLM is the people and good leaders.

However, I doubt whether the SPLM values citizens and good youth who will be good leaders in future. If SPLM cared about good leaders and people, the President would have not removed Theji from the Governorship of Ruweng and also disobeyed the will of the people of Ruweng.

This is because Theja Da Adwad Deng is one of the people a party like SPLM would have brought up with the aim of preparing him for bigger post even the Presidency because little time Theja Da Adwad Deng spent in Ruweng proved that he would have been John Magufuli of South Sudan in future.

However, the President does not care about the future of South Sudan and her people this is because he never takes time to study the character of the people and also think about the future of the country.

A person who thinks about tomorrow and also thinks about the welfare of others is the leader for tomorrow. Nonetheless, where a person lives for today only he or she will always think for what is good for him or her based on today. In the same way, the only concern of that person is power and how to retain it.

In fact, the president of South Sudan is the type of the person I have just described above. This is because he is using anything to ensure that he remains in power even if it means sacrificing the citizens of South Sudan, which he has already done. As many as over 50,000 have died in the three-year conflict of South Sudan just because of power.

As seen above, south Sudanese are sold as they are being killed on daily basis just because they are made to kill each other in defense of power of one person who does not even care about their welfare.

Hence, it is not surprising to see the President removing the Governor of Ruweng State. This is because he wants to appease the Taban Deng Gai at the expense of the people of Ruweng State who have become the victims of power and appeasement policy of the president.

The removal was done just to appease Taban not the fake reason given that the removal was done to ensure the power sharing deal stipulated in the peace 2015. The government and Taban should not continue to hold people hostage with lies that there is still peace agreement: no peace in South Sudan.

If there is peace, then why did the rebels still capture Kajo-Keji on March 27, 2017 as it was reported by Sudantribune? Again, if there is Peace, why did the Sudantribune report that the AU on March 27, 2017 said that “the President, Salva Kiir, has accepted to declare a unilateral ceasefire?” Why do we need cease-fire if there is no war and who are fighting who and who controls those rebels”?

The fact is that there is no peace in South Sudan and government should not continue relying on Taban Deng because he does not have control over rebels in the bush. If he insists that he is the leader of the SPLM/A-IO, then he must be ordered them to stop his rebels from fighting. I doubt whether he has any influence over rebels and power to stop them.

My overall assessment is that there is no capable government in South Sudan. The Government which is there is the government for power in Juba not for people in Rural areas of South Sudan.

Hence, the people of Ruweng should know that there is no government in South Sudan because things have fallen apart and it is upon them to be prepared and protect themselves against Taban in case Taban uses the just appointed governor to their disadvantage.

Besides, the people of South Sudan should be prepared for two options either they will get finished defending the presidency of president Kiir not of South Sudan or they have to come out and tell Kiir that it is the time for him to go and a new leader who is capable comes in.

In summary, what I would like to tell the people of Ruweng State is that with the appointment of the new governor who will be controlled by Taban, they should be prepared for the worse because no one is sure about him. But there is a likelihood that he will not serve the people of Ruweng as if he will do that he will not be a fire to Taban unless he will dance to his tone.

NB// the author is South Sudanese human lawyer and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com;+256783579256

National Salvation (NAS), United Kingdom, of Gen. Cirillo rejects Jieng’s letter defaming Cirillo

National Salvation Front (NAS) United Kingdom
Date: 26th March 2017;

Response to JCE’s press release of 21st March 2017 in respect of General Thomas Cirilo Swaka

The JCE’s letter strives to depict General Thomas Cirilo Swaka and the Equatorians as enemies of Jieng and Nuer. In this false portrayal of General Swaka, the aim is to divide South Sudanese against one another.

This baseless claim that Equatorians wish to be annexed to Uganda or secede from South Sudan as an independent country is a ploy to delegitimize Equatorians as South Sudanese.

National Salvation Front is a movement championing the cause of all South Sudanese to rid the country of the current tribal system in Juba.

In paragraph 2 of the JCE’s letter, General Swaka is quoted out of context as he clearly referred to the incident of violence in July 2016, and not the power struggle that sparked the conflict in December 2013. Please see paragraph 2 of General Swaka’s resignation letter in its entirety.

The JCE argues that it has no violent agenda but that, “it is Thomas Cirilo himself who has done everything with his tribal death squads to target innocent Jieng on the Equatorian roads and towns.” This is not true.

The evidence of JCE’s violent agenda can be seen in their letters to the international community: ‘The Position of the JCE on the IGAD-Plus proposed compromise agreement’ (file:///C:/Users/Rosemary/Downloads/JCE%20-%20Position%20on%20Proposed%20Compromise%20Agreement%20(1).pdf) and ‘Jieng Council of Elders rejects imposition of peace on South Sudan’ (https://paanluelwel.com/2015/04/01/jieng-council-of-elders-rejects-imposition-of-peace-on-south-sudan/) and also the Obassanjo report: African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan.

As with regards to General Swaka being a leader of a “tribal death squad”, this is nothing other than a deliberate smear campaign to tarnish the image of General Swaka.

It is worth mentioning that General Swaka graduated from the Military College in Khartoum in 1984, that is nearly 2 years following the division of South Sudan into 3 regions of Bahr El Ghazal, Upper Nile and Equatoria by the then President Jaafar Mohamad Niemeri.

This division of the Southern Sudan resulted into the Jieng and the Nuer going to their respective regions. By the time General Swaka graduated from the military college and returned to Juba, arguably 99 percent of the Jieng and the Nuer had gone to their respective regions.

The crucial question then is: which Jieng and Nuer did General Swaka kill?

“The infamous White House” in Juba referred to by the JCE was created by President Omer El Bashir’s regime which came to power on 30th June 1989. The so called “White House” actually was the USAID office in Juba which the government took over and converted into a security office.

The name reflects the colour of the paint of the house. By this time literally there were no Jieng and Nuer in Juba save members of the security forces. Equally, there were no Equatorians in the other two regions as they had to return home. So what is the JCE talking about here?

General Swaka’s rebellion from the Sudanese army and his subsequent joining of the SPLM/A follows the massacre of Equatorian army officers, police officers, prison wardens, wild life officers and intellectuals by the Bashir regime in 1992.

Now if General Swaka were a Jieng hater, why would he have joined an organisation (SPLA/M) whose leader was a Jieng and dominated by the Jieng?

The JCE shamelessly claim that, “[m]ore importantly, the Jieng people possess the largest land mass in South Sudan and they are not in the business of territorial expansion. And so to suggest that The JCE has an agenda for forceful displacement of people from their ancestral lands is again a cheap lie by the general to win sympathy. The idea of tribal territorial expansion ended in the nineteenth century and the general must learn how to properly package his lies.”

This is rich coming from the JCE. When president Kiir issued a decree (Decree Establishment order 36/2015 in October 2015) the JCE was the first to jubilantly congratulate the president for this instrument of land theft from other tribes.

This decree annexed lands from the Chollo, Nuer and Fertit people to the benefit of the Jieng.

Furthermore the naming of places in non-Jieng territories by the Jieng using Jieng names is a attempt to psychologically lay claim of the area. For example Korok Hill in Juba the Jieng have named it ‘Jebel Dinka’, another example is the fact that the Jieng now call Nimule ‘Bor 2’.

If this is not evidence of territorial expansion endorsed by the JCE, why in their alleged civil capacity do they not speak out against it? Given this evidence, how can General Swaka be lying?

In relation to JCE’s claim made in paragraph 10 (last paragraph of page 3), the JCE claims that they have implemented the policy of affirmative action.

Aside from the patronising implications of that claim, please can the JCE provide evidence of this alleged policy which would be demonstrated by proportional representation of all the tribes and the regions in both the army and the government?

Paragraph 11 of the JCE’s letter states: “Another point worth responding to is point 10 of the letter which General Cirilo claimed that the JCE sits in military command meetings and that it gives directives to the military.

This is obviously a very cheap and baseless attack. The SPLA is a military organisation managing a civil war, so a civil body like the JCE has neither the knowledge nor the mandate to give instructions to military professionals.

What is clear is that General Cirilo is full of hate against the Jieng people and his wild claims against the JCE are simply his attempt to hide his hatred and his desire to tarnish the image of the Jieng people.”

The JCE is full of contradictions. Their claim that they are a civil body is utter nonsense. Their letter which we are responding to in itself is evidence that the JCE is not a civil society group because this letter without any doubt is advancing a political end.

Again their letters to the international community and their deadly involvement in the events leading to the cleansing of the Nuer in December 2013 reported in the Obassanjo report speak for itself.

Furthermore, what civic functions does the JCE perform?

For the JCE to deny their participation in military affairs of the Republic of South Sudan is beyond belief. As mentioned earlier, the Obassanjo report into the crisis in South Sudan clearly evidences the fact that the JCE is heavily involved in military affairs of the country.

The fact that they converted the army into Jieng militia cannot be denied and there is no way they can hide it. What kind of a national army would use the Jieng language as its operating language? Especially when Jieng is not the national language of the country, please see the evidence in this YouTube link, ‘The Mighty SPLA (Tiger Division)’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSQDSn3eaBo)

In paragraph 13 of JCE’s letter (paragraph 4 of page 4), the JCE intends to distort the land grab attempts of General Swaka’s ancestral land by members of the Jieng. Please see ‘Confronting the Jieng policy of land grab in South Sudan.’(https://pachodo.org/latest-news-articles/pachodo-english-articles/12156-confronting-the-policy-of-land-grab-in-south-sudan)

What the JCE is doing by their insinuations here is projecting their own behaviour onto the general.

In regards to paragraph 14 of JCE’s letter (paragraph 5 of page 4), the people of South Sudan have been victimised, abused and disempowered by the Jieng dominated government. The logical and natural result of such treatment is scepticism and resentment.

The JCE seeks to trivialise these natural sentiments by dismissing and projecting them as tribalism onto other non Jieng people. This is a dangerous policy because the JCE is living in denial of other communities pains.

Should the JCE continue to peddle this dismissive argument, the other communities may retaliate against the Jieng because the Jieng would not have had the time to reflect and change the behaviour that is alienating them from other South Sudanese communities. Please see, ‘The storm of change gathering to sweep Kiir and the JCE from power.’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/the-storm-of-change-gathering-to-sweep-kiir-and-jce-from-power/)

The attempted character assassination of General Swaka by the JCE is a clear example of the extent to which the JCE will go to discredit a credible opposition leader who has fought tirelessly for the liberation of South Sudan.

The lies fabricated about General Swaka being a foreign agent, corrupt, money embezzler and ‘a weak charactered man’ without any truth in it is intended to destroy General Swaka. We cannot be angry with the JCE for this letter because it is proof that they are clutching at straws to defeat a formidable opponent.

In conclusion, JCE’s ugly role in the destabilisation and destruction of South Sudan with its tribal agenda is openly known to every South Sudanese including children.

Their attempt to rebrand themselves as a civil society group, pursuing peace in the country in order to rebut General Thomas Cirilo Swaka’s evidenced assertion in his resignation letter, will not pull the wool over the eyes of the people of South Sudan.

Signed
NSF (NAS) UK

The storm of change gathering to sweep Kiir and JCE from power

BY: ELHAG PAUL, MAR/15/2017, SSN;

The culmination of events signified by the diverse resignations of military officers, collapse of the economy, raging famine, and an intensifying resistance to President Salva Kiir’s regime of terror, will spell the end of President Kiir’s and the JCE’s rule in South Sudan.

This development is forcing the Jieng to close ranks as it is becoming a case of survival resulting from fear of reprisal for the terrible things that this regime has done to the people of South Sudan. Fear is a bad thing. It disables and/or paralyses at crucial moments of expected change.

For those innocent Jieng and those who have not benefited a thing from Kiir’s regime may think that they have no option but to unite under President Kiir’s tribal regime, and fight to the death. Fear, especially the one emanating from guilt, unfortunately pushes humans to think along those lines and the Jieng are not any different.

Right now, the average Jieng is either delusional believing themselves to be invincible or death stricken by fear of what is awaiting them when the SPLM/A and its leader are swept aside. However, it should not be like that.

Choosing a suicidal option simply because few people (President Kiir, the JCE and General Paul Malong Awan) in your community have committed ethnic cleansing and grave crimes against humanity in your tribe’s name, does not imply you should buy-in into their foolish choice of fighting to the end.

The innocent Jieng have the option to rescue their wider community by joining their fellow country men from the other tribes and ensure that President Kiir, the JCE etc are removed from power swiftly and arraigned before the people to face justice while the Jieng community is saved from a brutal violent war.

It is important to emphasise here that the participation of the Jieng in the expected change is not in any way a crucial factor in tilting the balance of power. With or without the Jieng, the other tribes of the South Sudan combined are in the process of reclaiming their country and they will certainly get it.

Nevertheless, the imperative for innocent Jieng to join their fellow country men is for two reasons.

First, it is for them to reclaim their morality and humanity damaged by the tribal regime. They need to distance themselves from the heinous killings and various types of rape involving, women, children and men.

In Equatoria, the Jieng specifically practiced what they call double deck rape and the rape of married mothers. In the former, the man is forced under gun point to have sex with his wife and then a Jieng soldier sodomize the man at the same time. In the latter, a troop of Jieng soldiers break into a family home then they rape the wife/mother in the presence of all the family members. These terrible things including constant killing of Equatorian leaders are done to Equatorians to break them down psychologically which has huge implications on the culture of Equatorians.

The prime objective is to destroy Equatorian leadership and instill helplessness leading into total subjugation for the Jieng to dominate and take over Equatoria. These horrible techniques of domination are copied from the literature of slavery in America by the American educated leaders of SPLM/A. In order to understand what I am talking about here, please watch ‘Buck breaking – hidden, untold, history’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg_13WJ4gDo).

Secondly, the innocent Jieng need to affirm their genuine and sincere belief in the state of South Sudan as a place where every South Sudanese regardless of tribe, creed, and gender are treated equally and protected by law and the state. Thus they need to condemn Dinkocracy wholesale.

The questions the Jieng people must ask themselves are: which is better, to fight and die to protect criminals like President Kiir, the JCE, and General Paul Malong Awan etc? Or, is it better to be ethical and patriotic by shunning these useless and hopeless criminals and save the Jieng people from losing many of their own in these useless wars?

There is no way of dismissing these questions, a choice must be made. The Jieng community either shun and hand in these criminals for a better future in South Sudan, or continue with the criminals to face an uncertain future. The choice is theirs.

If the innocent Jieng make a sensible decision, then they will have truly started the process of reconciliation and healing that everybody is yearning for in the country. Joining hands with fellow country men will show the others that not all the Jieng support the tyrannical regime in Juba. It will let the people of other tribes judge the Jieng individually rather than from a collective point of view, and that is how it should be.

But this requires the innocent Jieng to be brutally honest by pointing fingers at those in their community committing the crimes and condemning them unreservedly, as should all South Sudanese regardless of their tribe.

With this said, there is still room for the peace-loving Jieng to redeem themselves. President Kiir and the JCE have reduced the Jieng to become subjects of hate and ridicule.

Lt. General Thomas Cirilo Swaka captures this feeling vividly in his resignation letter by saying: “The policy of ethnic domination and subjugation being pursued openly by the President and his close associates has made Dinkas [Jieng] to be painted with the same brush by other communities/nationalities, (without making distinction between the good Dinkas and the bad ones). As a result, the Dinka community has come to be hated by their own brothers and sisters from other communities. Pursuit of this wrong-headed policy has also destroyed the fabric of South Sudan society.”

Expressions of hate against the Jieng are taking root in everyday language in the country and also in the social media. Daily horrible stories coming in of the Jieng militia committing unimaginable grave crimes against humanity in many parts of the country reinforces such hate.

For example, commenting in support of a Gatdarwich in the article, ‘Lt. General Thomas Cirillo’s Resignation Exposes The Tribal Regime Of President Kiir’ published by South Sudan Nation on 19th February 2017, Steve John had this to say: “I like your analogy very much. Even our peasant farmers know that you can put off grassland/bush fires with fire, what we in Arabi Juba call “gata nar”.

Only when all peoples of South Sudan arm themselves and be prepared to unleash revenge on the murderous jaangs can there be any meaningful discourse and reconciliation.

Peace is only possible under equals and anything short of that is subjugation and surrender. Meaning, you can choose to have Detente like what Reagen did with Gorbachov in the 80s, it worked very well during the arms race and neither (USA-USSR) of them ever thought of starting a nuclear war. If however, either of them were weak like Iraq of Sadam for that matter, this would only encourage bullying of the weaker by the stronger one.

As long as Kiir and his tribal militia procure weapons from third parties, they will opt for a military solution. The rebels or any non-jaang communities must as a matter of security, arm themselves. It is only then that the jaang be ready to talk. After all, they act and don’t sentimentalize issues. Anything short of this is simply foolish academic discourse that serves no purpose.”

Revenge, obviously, is undesirable and likely unlawful. People should not take the law into their own hands. The state is there to ensure that citizens get justice through the court system. Unfortunately, the law and the courts in South Sudan are hostile toward non-Jieng’s and blind to Jieng crimes. This makes it difficult to stem off the feelings of revenge in people. Hence, the feelings expressed above by Steve John.

Hannah Osborne in her article, ‘Obsession or justice… Why are we fascinated with revenge?’ points out that in “explaining revenge, Ann Macaskill, professor of health psychology at Sheffield Hallam University [UK], said: ‘When individuals are attacked in some way that feels unjust, they go through three psychological stages: a shock phase, an adjustment phase and a reaction phase.” (http://metro.co.uk/2013/07/05/obsession-or-justice-why-are-we-fascinated-with-revenge-3865404/)

Hannah has opted not to write anything on the first two phases, namely the shock phase and an adjustment phase. For the purpose of this piece it is important that something is said about the feelings covered in these crucial steps of the theory to show how such feelings have affected the people of South Sudan.

For a period of precisely three decades, that is from 1983 to 2013, the Jieng people through the SPLM/A have inflicted an unimaginable amount of cruelty on the people of South Sudan in their quest to assert themselves as the elites in the country. This shocked the people and paralyzed them for a long time.

The inaction of Equatoria to the poor governance of the country which the Jieng conveniently termed cowardice in reality is a result of shock. The Equatorians could not really understand and believe that they are witnessing the unbelievable.

For example, the killings of their leaders openly without accountability like the police officers in Yambio, the shooting of a doctor in Yei, the disappearance of Justice Peter Abdulrahman Sule, etc; the horrible normalised rape of their women; the dispossession of their land and the killing of Equatoria’s people of all age groups including chopping up of babies in Yei as reported in The New York Times article, ‘War Consumes South Sudan, a Young Nation Cracking apart’ by Jeffrey Gettleman on 4th March 2017. (https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/04/world/africa/war-south-sudan.html?_r=0&referer=)

The shock phase in Equatoria has taken decades, paralysing an entire society and almost breaking up the fibres of its historic organic formation, but also at the same time people have been reflecting and slowly rationalising the brutality they have been receiving and facing. While doing this, they slid into the adjustment phase.

Now they have adjusted and they clearly know who is responsible for their suffering and what they need to do to free themselves. Is there any wonder why the resistance in Equatoria is spreading like wild fire?

The crucial question then is: will Equatorians forgive the Jieng for treating them worse than the Arabs did? In fact what the Arabs did is about five percent of what the Jieng has done and keep doing as I write.

According to Professor Macaskill, “In the reaction phase they (aggrieved) will either decide to forgive, hold a grudge but do nothing – or take or plot revenge. Vengefulness is quite normal in many circumstances and evolutionary psychologists suggest that the ability to take revenge is part of human nature – it is hardwired into us.”

“Most of us were socially conditioned by our parents and so on to believe that the world should be fair. Revenge is one way of trying to get justice.” The challenge to South Sudanese as Professor Macaskill correctly highlights is: how can forgiveness be achieved in the face of the ongoing brutal Jieng aggression? Preaching forgiveness now can even be dangerous to the preacher, but it needs to be dealt with in a sensitive way. Therefore, forgiveness should only be given on a case by case basis.

Without any doubt, those currently running the tyrannical regime in Juba collectively have a case to answer. They are then followed by the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) and a good number of the SPLA officers. These groups must be made to account for plunging the country into turmoil and destruction of huge numbers of innocent civilian lives for no reason.

It is not going to be easy to make these people to account because of the hold they have on the reins of power. They will go to any length to escape court. The simple example is the audacity with which they ignited an unnecessary war in July 2016 to turn the Agreement on Conflict in South Sudan of August 2015 into a useless document.

All the people who lost their lives in that needless act, to President Kiir and the JCE are a price worth paying to save their skins from the proposed Hybrid Court in the agreement.

Nobody should therefore underestimate the mindset of the Jieng leadership. Pathologically impaired, their world view is framed along beliefs of supremacy, greatness and invincibility. They do not imagine themselves being out of power and it is here where the real problem lies.

The probability that they will cede power peacefully is very slim. They are happy with the status quo even when their own tribes mate in Warrap and Northern Bahre El Ghazal are collapsing on the streets due to hunger from famine.

President Kiir and the JCE are likely to cling to power until they are confronted and defeated. SPLM-IO had the chance to break the back of President Kiir’s regime but they failed. The simplest trick they should have adopted was to tactically shift the theatre of operation to Bahre El Ghazal, especially Warrap and Aweil.

That in itself would have deprived General Paul Malong Awan of a safe recruiting ground and there would have been no way for President Kiir to receive continuous replacement of Mathiang Anyoor from that area. Without the ability to replenish the tribal militia whose losses on the ground are concerning, President Kiir and the JCE would have bowed to peace and things would have been different.

Now, the storm of change is slowly gathering pace. The daily resignations of military officers, the economic collapse, the raging famine, and the fierce resistance have converged to create the only missing link in the change equation: unity of the oppressed. At long last, the people of South Sudan are coming together to truly determine their destiny. Will the Jieng regime cede power peacefully or it will be swept away by the coming storm?

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com
@elhagpaul

Kiir repents: I sinned by ‘what I have done and what I have failed to do.’ Really???

President Salva Kiir has prayed for forgiveness for what he describes as sins he may have committed while exercising his duty as the Head of state. President Kiir also called for redemption of the people of South Sudan from the many troubles bestowed on the country.

South Sudanese political leaders have been taking to the podium at the Dr. John Garang mausoleum in Juba to pray on the National Prayer Day.

The prayers are led by religious leaders. Among the first to speak was the Catholic Archbishop of Juba, Rev. Paulino Lukudu Loro. Below is the excerpt of his speech.

“We have been invited to this National Prayer for Repentance and Forgiveness by the President. I very much hope, and I believe that the majority of us –so innocent, so good, so sincere in heart have really come to pray.

Your Excellency, the reason why I came here today for this prayer, is because I know the weak; the poor are the ones to come to pray. And that is why I really decided to come to pray, because as we are seeing them now bearing this heat, these sons are the very ones who are touched in their lives by the difficulties and the desperate situation of our country. We have come to pray so that God may open our hearts to accept what is really wrong with us in this country. Since we have been in this heat and in this moment, our repentance and forgiveness will have a meaning.

Your Excellency, we are praying that may God grant us the results of this prayer. This prayer, your Excellency, the way I look at it; this situation that we are seeing with us and among us and in front of us of our situation are a double-edge sword for us all. This prayer today, I think it is a dangerous prayer. It is a difficult prayer for us all. It is especially for somebody and a few of us who might have not prayed well with clear conscience, and who might not have prayed with the right intentions.

This prayer is dangerous today, because if you have come here, I believe this bitterness of our heat, will not go in vain, but God will reply to us. I therefore say, if this prayer is correct and is true, then its about our peace. We are standing for peace and we are praying for peace. Are we going to choose peace or evil?

Your Excellency, I want to question you; why did you call this people to the heat here like this; are they coming to choose evil or to choose peace? Is that what your intention is, to bring us here to suffer like this? I hope nobody will be sick today because of this heat. I believe you have invited us to see this suffering because you want peace.

Our government, which way are going to take and what is the government going to do after this prayer? Is the government going to choose evil or peace? Mr. President, take-heed after this. We are telling you that after this prayer, your Excellency, go into a room and pray and decide for peace in the country.

We expect peace, Justice, forgiveness, genuine dialogue, good governance, security, rule of law after this prayer. We expect after this prayer an end to; raping, torture, arbitrary arrests, corruption, tribalism. These things will continue if this prayer is misused.

My brothers and sisters, our way forward now is working, doing and choosing peace and not for war.”
—-

Kiir was the first among the Christian political leaders to go forward.

“I pray that you may not bring condemnation and punishment, but forgiveness and salvation to the people of South Sudan,” he said.

He prayed for God to give him a clear mind and an open heart. “Remind me, God, to be who you would want to be –regardless of what I am doing, or whom I am with,” he said.

“Most merciful God, through my shortcomings, I have sinned against you in thoughts, in words, and deeds by what I have done and what I have failed to do,” the President said.

“I humbly repent and ask for your loving mercy and forgiveness. Whatever is in my power to do for the people of South Sudan, please Lord Help me to be your instrument of love, service delivery, peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness,” he said.

Below is an excerpt from his prayer sheet:

“Powerful and ever living God, I thank you, for even though I am a sinner, your unprofitable servant – not because of my worth, but in the kindness of your mercy. You have fed me with the precious body and blood of your son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that you may not bring condemnation and punishment, but forgiveness and salvation to the people of South Sudan.

May you be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will. Holy God, on this day and all the days of my life, I entrust to your merciful heart my body and my soul. All my acts, thoughts, choices, desires, words, deeds, my entire life, so that with your assistance, all may be ordered to the good according to the will of your beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Help me God to seek you always and live righteously, to act courageously and to speak from your wisdom. Give me a clear mind and an open heart, so that I may witness you in our country. Remind me God to be who you would want to be –regardless of what I am doing, or whom I am with.

Grant, oh King of Heaven, that ever in my heart, I may have fear and love –alike for your most sweet son. That I may always give thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon me, not for my merit, but by your loving kindness. And what I may ever make a pure and sincere confession and do true penance for my sins, in order that I might deserve to obtain your mercy and grace.

Most merciful God, through my shortcomings, I have sinned against you in thoughts, in words, and deeds by what I have done and what I have failed to do. I humbly repent and ask for your loving mercy and forgiveness.

Whatever is in my power to do for the people of South Sudan, please Lord Help me to be your instrument of love, service delivery, peace, reconciliation and forgiveness.

Heavenly Father, lead me safely to everlasting happiness with you. I pray that you will lead me, a sinner, to the banquet where you with your son and Holy Spirit are true and perfect live, total fulfilments, Holy Spirit, everlasting joy, gladness –without end – and perfect happiness to your saints. Grant this God, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.” END of president Kiir’s prayers.
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Bishop Santo— A South Sudanese Catholic bishop has criticised a declaration of National Day of Prayer across the country on March 10 by President Kiir, describing it as “political” to blindfold the international community.

The Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Juba Diocese, Rev. Santo Laku Pio, told the Voice of America (VOA) on Thursday that he will not attend the prayer because the people of South Sudan are not in their homes.

The religious leader rejected President Kiir’s call for prayers, saying citizens in Equatoria and Upper Nile have been displaced from their homes and they are being killed by government army. END