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The SPLM (IG) & FDS Latest Cairo Declaration: It’s Regional Ramifications

BY: Ambassador Emmanuel Aban Ajawin, NOV/20/2017, SSN;

On the 16th November, 2017 Cairo witnessed the signing of an agreement between two factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, in the government (SPLMIG) and SPLM Former Detainees (FDs), which became known as the Cairo Declaration.

This declaration, unlike previous declarations/agreements inked by the fractured SPLM factions in their quest for elusive unity, presents a significant strategic shift in Egypt’s approach towards issues of peace and security pertaining to the Republic of South Sudan and the region.

The strategic shift is so not much in the geopolitical position of Egypt within the region and its direct involvement with the SPLM factions, but rather it is based on Egypt’s propitious timing in light of the recent statement attributed to President Abdul Fattah El-Sissi on the 8th November, 2017 at a news conference in Sharm el-Sheikh.

The President stated that ‘We view positively the developmental needs of our friends and brothers in Ethiopia and we are capable of protecting our national security and water which to us is a question of national security.’

The same sentiment was repeated on the 18th November after Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia failed to approve a study on the potential effects of the Ethiopia GRED.

In televised comment where he attended the inauguration of a fish farm in the Nile Delta province of Kafr el-Sheika, Egypt’s President stated that ‘water is a matter of life or death and that no one can touch Egypt’s share of water.’

Considering these Presidential statements against the recently signed Cairo Declaration in the Headquarters of the Egyptian Intelligent Services (GIS Mukhabarat) and witnessed by both the Egyptian chief of (Mukhabarat) and his Ugandan’s Counter-part, it is abundantly clear that the Horn of Africa and particularly South Sudan, will be witnessing a portentous future dominated by proxy wars.

The Egyptians are sending an unequivocal diplomatic statement that they have decided, without any reservations, to support the government of South Sudan and its ruling party the SPLM, under the tyranny of President Kiir and his ethnocentric regime.

The unification of the SPLM and preservation of the status quo as the ruling party in South Sudan, has become a matter of great importance for the Egyptian national security strategy.

Instead of standing in solidarity with the victims and the oppressed people of South Sudan, Egypt has cast the dice on the wrong side of history.

It has decided to align itself with a government that lacks legitimacy and which is responsible for the on-going infernal civil war, commissioning of heinous war crimes, crimes against humanity, displacement of millions and genocide.

The signed Cairo Declaration between the members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, SPLM-IG and Former Detainees (FDs), and which was facilitated and supervised by H.E. Abdul Fattah El-Sissi, the President of the Republic of Egypt and H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni the President of the Republic of Uganda, unfortunately, is just a pie in the sky and will not achieve durable peace and stability in South Sudan.

In fact, the political ills and quagmire that have befallen the nascent Republic rest squarely on the shoulders of the SPLM political and military elites.

Since the independence of South Sudan in July 2011, the SPLM members who signed the Cairo Declaration are the same leaders who failed to articulate and provide a comprehensive political, social and economic road map that would have scientifically addressed the prodigious and convoluted issues of state and nation building.

They became entangled in webs of corruption, embezzlement of public monies and money laundering with absolute impunity. Millions of dollars that were received from the international donors and from the oil revenues ended up in the pockets of the SPLM political and military elites leaving the majority of the population destitute, hungry and poor.

It is therefore, unfathomable and of poor judgement to think that salvaging South Sudan from imminent economic collapse, social break down and political disintegration, lies in the unification of various SPLM factions.

Solutions to social, political and economic ills in South Sudan are now beyond the confines of the SPLM political and military mafias.

The Arab Republic of Egypt in the distant past has played a positive and commendable role towards South Sudanese by providing academic scholarships to study in its various institutions of higher learning.

Currently, Egypt is hosting large numbers of South Sudanese refugees despite the economic constrain the country is facing. South Sudanese will always be grateful for the hospitality and generosity Egypt has rendered.

However, since the outbreak of the current civil war in 2013, Egypt has shifted its traditional approach towards South Sudan from humanitarian and educational spheres to political, diplomatic and military assistance of the oppressive regime in Juba.

In December, 2016 it has played an instrumental role at the United Nations Security Council in opposing an arms embargo resolution on South Sudan, introduced by the United States of America.

Militarily, South Sudanese opposition groups have allegedly accused Egypt of rendering logistical, technical and air support to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in its brutal war against the people of South Sudan.

Why is the Egyptian government spending its resources and tax payer’s money on a defunct and corrupt regime in Juba?

In answering the above question, it is imperative to note that Egypt’s foreign policy and security strategies towards South Sudan are heavily influenced by its strategy to ensure the uninterrupted flow of the Nile water which she entirely depends on for itsex istence as a nation.

Hence Nile waters have become the most important element of its national security strategy towards the Horn of Africa and South Sudan.

The notion that Nile waters could be shared amicably with the upstream countries, is an
intolerable reality for Egypt as it perceives such actions to be against its survival and
national interest.

The first serious attempt by Cairo to implement its water policy visa-vis South Sudan was the commissioning of the Jonglei Canal Project. In the 1980s, the governments of Sudan and Egypt embarked on an ambitious plan to build a canal that became known as Jonglei Canal Project.

The purpose of the hydro-construction project in Upper Nile Province at the time was to ensure the flow of 4.7 billion cubic meters of water annually, to be shared equally between Egypt and Sudan.

The problem with the Jonglei Canal was that the two governments didn’t consult the people of Southern Sudan extensively, and as a result it was unpopular, becoming one of the seminal reasons for the South Sudanese to take up arms against the regime of Jaafar Nimeiri in 1983.

What is left of the project is the destroyed $50 million gigantic bucket-wheel excavator, an enormous piece of German engineering. Its destruction was a testimony to the people’s resistance against imposed projects that didn’t take their views and concerns into consideration.

In fact the striking correlation between the doomed Jonglei Canal Project and the Cairo Declaration is that both were made with political allies that are unpopular, corrupt, undemocratic and dictatorial.

Egypt should have learned a valuable lesson from the Jonglei Canal that people and not governments should be its true strategic allies as far as South Sudan is concerned.

Supporting the illegitimate and dictatorial government in Juba would have negative ramifications on the future relations between Egypt and the people of South Sudan.

The Egyptian government should take a brotherly and catalytic role in bridging the prodigious political apogees between the various political groups in South Sudan, rather than supporting the unpopular SPLM regime.

The hosting of the SPLM reunification meetings in Cairo, and especially the involvement of its Intelligence Services (CIS-Mukhabarat) has created a perception, real or imaginary, that South Sudan could be used by Egypt in its proxy wars in the region, if diplomacy fails to resolve the current impasse on the Nile water negotiations.

In the past, Egypt has never hesitated to use its military might against countries that it perceived to be threat to its national security pertaining to Nile waters.

Egypt under the leadership of Khedive Ismail Pasha in 1875-76 invaded the northern region of
Ethiopia with the objective of controlling the source of the Blue Nile (Abay). Emperor Yohannes IV defeated the invading Egyptian forces at Gundet and Gura respectively.

Although, the battles of Gundet and Gura were the last physical confrontations between Egypt and Ethiopia, relations between the two countries for more than one hundred years have been characterized by deep suspicion, paranoia, diplomatic and proxy wars.

The Egyptian political gamble of supporting SPLM factions, will compel other countries in the region to search for allies within and outside South Sudan. This will undoubtedly compound the already complicated situation in South Sudan.

The battle ground for the region’s water wars would be fought in South Sudan with dire consequences on human lives and properties. South Sudan could slip into a perpetual state of war for many decades to come.

In the long term, these wars could lead to the collapse of South Sudan as a state, with its becoming a breeding ground for terrorist organizations including ISIS and Al-Qaeda affiliates.

Given the strategic geographical location of South Sudan, the regionalization of conflict within its borders will pose a serious threat to the international peace and security.

Therefore, it is prudent and incumbent upon the international community, AU, UN and Troika to exert pressure on both Egypt and Uganda to leave the people of South Sudan to resolve their political, social and economic crisis without interference, or the presence of various political forces in the country to fight their proxy wars. Enough is enough!

The international community should put an end to unwarranted interventions by some of the regional countries into the affairs of South Sudan.

The African Union (AU) and the United Nations should consider punitive actions against countries that are prolonging and profiting from the war in South Sudan, otherwise if these unwarranted state of affairs are left to continue unchallenged, the envisaged IGAD High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) may end up dead before it even commences. END

“South Sudan president regrets secession from Khartoum”

BY: Toria, NOV/05/2017, SSN;

Isn’t this the moment that Khartoum was waiting for? People of South Sudan, please judge it for yourselves and just take a moment to imagine what this means. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article63903.

Since 1955, when the first ever rebellion movement was started by mutiny in Torit. It was first lead by an ex-Catholic Priest by name Saturnino Ohure.

Today in their tombs our Founding Fathers are turning and twisting and boiling with anger that a worthless and lazy son of the nation that they dreamt of is kneeling down on his skinny knees to beg the Jellaba for forgiveness?

Pres. Kirr actually apologized for our Independence? Yes, he did. This is not a matter of jokes people; these idiots in Juba think they can play with millions of lives that perished in search of freedom and independence of South Sudan just like this?

Shame, shame, and shame, Salva Kirr brought the biggest shame upon us.

Salva Kirr and his groups with the crapulous advice from his Jieng Council of Elders have abandoned the people of Abyei right in front of our eyes, Kirr actually refused to discuss about the fate of Abyei because he was so scared that Beshir will not shake his hands?

Just because he wanted Omer al Bashir’s help to extradite his rivals and so “he washed his hands” from helping our Black African brothers and sisters whose blood poured on the soil of South Sudan just as much as South Sudanese with the hope that they too will one day live as free people in the lands of their ancestors.

The Nuba, the Blue Nile people, Ingasana and now Darfurians are originally African inhabitants just like us, but now Salva Kirr turned his back on them including our brothers in Abyei.

Nothing ever in our history like this has happened before, and so we must be very careful what is coming next.

I for one am under the impression that Salva Kirr actually might have sold us out already, and we should not be surprise in the near future if we see Sudanese Army marching back into South Sudan.

Because Salva Kirr has given up hope, he wants to go into grave with everyone.

GREAT PEOPLE OF SOUTH SUDAN OPEN YOUR EYES WIDE AND BE AWARE OF WHAT IS COMING. Pres. Salva Kirr is a traitor and he committed an unpardonable sin call TREASON. Only one option is left for Salva Kirr, to flee or perish.

Toria

Sanction the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE)- the obstructer of peace that’s hiding in the open

By: Samuel Atabi,South Sudanese, OCT/03/2017, SSN;

The recent sanctioning of three of Kiir’s henchmen by the US government is having a salutary effect on the slow progress towards peace in South Sudan. However, much more remains to be done, especially further identification of the main culprits of obstruction and anti-peace elements that must include the self-styled Jieng Council of Elders, the JCE.

To most South Sudanese, the JCE is the single most important candidate for sanctions, which it has so far evaded by hiding, under the cloak of a community-based organization, in the plain site of the sanctions investigators; the latter should now turn their searchlight on this shadowy and dangerous anti-peace outfit.

Evidence abounds on the obstructive role that this mafia-like organization has been playing in frustrating effort to achieve peace in our country. When in the past Kiir refused to sign the ARCSS in Addis Ababa in 2015, he gave an excuse that he wanted to first consult with his “people”; the people he meant was actually the JCE.

The same organization has also been responsible for several other objections by the Kiir regime on issues concerned with deployment of peace-keepers in South Sudan.

JCE and its members do not just obstruct peace; they also get involved in decisions of the military council and other security matters that have direct bearing on the war and peace in that country. Consequently, one must therefore, wonder what drives the JCE in playing this negative role in our body politics.

In order to answer this question, it is important to know where the JCE is coming from. JCE is what it is: it is a conspiratorial and tribal mafia-like organization whose main objective is arguably to advance the interest of the Dinka people at the expense of other non-Dinka South Sudanese.

It first came into being in the 1960’s when Southern Sudanese leaders decided to wage a war against the government in Khartoum for the right of self-determination. The war was largely fought in the region of Equatoria and was largely led by Equatorians. Names of leaders like Saturnino Ohure, Joseph Lagu, Pankrasyo Ocheng, Abu John, Gbatala, Jada, Aggrey Jaden, Joseph Oduho, all of whom are and were Equatorians, can easily be remembered.

The Dinka leaders were conspicuously absent in the movement; under the tutelage of Abel Alier, they chose to fight for the same cause in the enemy’s capital in Khartoum! It was there that the budding JCE ideology of ethnic dominance, captured in the epithet “Dinka are born to rule”, emerged.

At its very basic, the ideology postulates that the Dinka are born natural leaders and should prepare themselves to dominate political, military, and economic leadership in South Sudan.

But while expounding this Hitlerite ideology the JCE was also aware at that time that the educational, economic and social backwardness of the wider Dinka population then and now would not provide the necessary structural support for the actualization of this ideology.

To cure this weakness, they preferred that an alliance with the Arabs in northern Sudan was essential; as the power holder in the whole Sudan, the Arabs would hold the ring against their more advanced competitor, the Equatorians, while at the same time promoting the dominance of the Dinka elite in the South.

The opportunity to implement this policy presented itself in 1972, when the mainly Equatorian leaders of the liberation movement entered into peace negotiations with the Arab government, in Addis Ababa. The head of the Khartoum government delegation was none other than Abel Alier, the Chief Priest of the “Born to Rule” ideology.

This was the first evidential confirmation that the Dinka indeed were in alliance with the Arabs. The subsequent autonomous governments of the South which were the result of the negotiations were dominated by Abel Alier with his key lieutenants and acolytes that included an anti-Equatorian politician, called Bona Malual.

But the Equatorians did not take this dominance lying down. In a clever and dexterous political maneuver, Joseph Lagu, and other Equatorian leaders, managed to bring about the division of the South into three autonomous regions of: Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile.

Kokora, as the act of the division came to be called in the Bari language, made Abel Alier and his Dinka people to vacate Equatoria and return to govern and develop their own region. This move expectedly angered the Dinka elite as it spelt doom to their plan for dominating the whole South. The ire directly led to the creation of the SPLA/M.

After the division, the immediate objective of the Dinka leaders of the SPLA/M was to revert the South to the single entity that had existed before the division in order to restore their alliance with the Arabs and revive their plan for the South.

This, as we know, did not happen, instead, the South became independent with the Arabs permanently removed from the South’s political scene. This move again threatened their ideological objective and also incurred the loss of their essential ally.

To counter this loss of an important ally, and rescue their overall plan, the JCE had to go back to the drawing board to reformulate their ideology without their Arab benefactors. The consequence of this reformulation is what is now taking place in the Republic of South Sudan.

Now, the solution for countering the perceived educational, economic and social superiority of their nemesis, the Equatorians, is to devise a situation where the Dinka population, mainly the youth, is preferentially empowered through quality education in foreign countries in Africa and oversees. (Meanwhile schools and universities in South Sudan that cater for the rest and poor South Sudanese are starved of funds and government attention).

This accelerated educational program is fashioned on the Kenyan emergency plan at independence that uplifted young Kenyans to the US where they underwent intensive instructions in governance and administration to prepare them to take over from the departing British colonialists. (The father of President Obama, Obama Snr, was a beneficiary of this plan).

It is therefore not surprising that tens of thousands of Dinka youth are found in towns and cities of eastern African and overseas countries pursuing various levels of education, from nursery to university. These kinds of opportunities are not available to the Equatorians.

At the same time, schemes have been devised for ordinary Dinka to access plundered government money through bogus entrepreneurial companies to empower them economically. The infamous Dura grain scandal is one of the schemes. Other South Sudanese do not benefit from such unjustified favor.

The planners in the JCE further realized that for their plan to produce the desired outcomes there has to be a state of political confusion in the country for at least a generation (25 years). The state of confusion is provided for by the massive and unprecedented level of corruption and the equally massive displacement of South Sudanese through war, assassinations, rape and disappearances.

This tumult in the country affords a free and corrupt access to government money for the Dinka elite and their people and secondly, it delays and holds down any form of development in Equatoria so that, in the estimation of the JCE, the Dinka population can catch up or surpass the Equatorians.

At that future stage, the fundamental tenet, that of ethnic domination in South Sudan as espoused by the JCE ideology, will then be readily achieved.

The membership of JCE comprises of highly educated people, including strategists, diplomats and operators with keen knowledge of the working of governments in the White Hall, the White House, and the UN system. So far they have deftly and successfully managed to conceal this insidious and dangerous ideology from the gaze of the international community to evade a deserved opprobrium.

This Nazi-type of social engineering has no place in the present world, and if left unchecked, will have a devastating effect on the cohesion of the people of South Sudan.

The Chairman of JCE, Ambrose Riiny Thiik, is a well-educated man and a former Chief Justice, who also has lived in a modern and liberal country, the UK. Yet, he is at the apex of a Neo-Nazi organization orchestrating the killing and ethnic cleansing of his fellow citizens in South Sudan.

The US government sanctions committee should investigate him thoroughly with the aim of sanctioning him as a deterrent to his other equally dangerous confederates. Rumors have it that he is a landlord to the US Mission to South Sudan. If proven, this could provide a pressure point through which his divisive action can be curtailed.

His son is said to be a minister in the country’s ministry of finance and is said to be the man behind the recent hiking of the registration fee for international NGOs; the hike is a sinister move to frustrate the delivery of services to the famished and dying South Sudanese.

We look forward to the next list of individuals for sanctions that we hope will include the Chairman of JCE.

Samuel Atabi is a concerned South Sudanese and can be reached at samuel atabi@gmail.com

What have we learnt from “KOKORA” in South Sudan?

BY: Yakani Taban, AUG/10/2017, SSN;

At least every informed South Sudanese is aware of the political waves that wracked the south in the early nineteen eighties when the former military leader, Field Marshal Jaafar Mohamed Nimeri, issued a presidential decree dividing the then Southern region into three sub-regions of Equatoria, Upper Nile and the Bahr El Gazal.

The move was received with mixed reactions by the southern Sudanese masses; simply because of its implications, which denoted that Equatoria was for the Equatorians, Upper Nile for the people of the region and Bahr El Gazal for the Bahr El Gazalians.

While most Equatorians, led by the last president of the higher executive council, Joseph James Tombura, jumped at the decree, the people from Upper Nile and Bahr El Gazal regions, ground their teeth as they swallowed the above fire into their hearts.

No one can tell exactly the reasons behind that, however some just felt deprived from the symbolic capital of southern Sudan, Juba, while others had some major items in their heads.

At that very time the Addis Ababa agreement that halted the Seventeen years old Anyanya 1 guerrilla war was also brought to an end.

Coupled up with the Turabis baked Islamic September laws, Southern Sudan and other parts of the country were turned into blood fields.

Although not all the Equatorians supported the idea of the Kokora, they were all seen as the master minds behind the issuance of the decree. It was a concept that they did not like other people in their territory just because those people are different.

Indeed some differences existed between the Equatorians and people from the other regions of the South, but those ethnic difference per se did not pose any tension. On the contrary all the row that erupted were judgmental based on practical malpractices between the predominant pastoralists of the other regions on one hand and the mainly agriculturist Equatorians on the other.

Furthermore nobody could under estimate the level of political, social, security and economic crises southern Sudan was facing by then. Yet there were differences of opinions on the issue of Kokora which came at a time when people were still ignorant about the so-called federalism or decentralisation of power.

BUT the very big question that demands a critical answer is, why did some people opt for that Kokora? One may look into it as synonymous with asking the question, why did southern Sudanese demand a self determination from the Arab Islamic northerners?

Well, Sir Isaac Newton said, “to every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction”. Although Newton’s law is now fully engulfed in the text books of Physics, the day to day practices have proved that not all actions receive equal and opposite reactions.

Nevertheless every body reacts to a specific action in order to acquire a condition that will suit its status at that given time. So perhaps the demand that resulted to the attainment of the Kokora was simply a reaction to other events in the then integrated southern region for which Kokora was seen as a solution.

The single semi-autonomous Southern region under the Addis Ababa agreement might have fallen into hands that irrigated the germination of Kokora.

The idea of a “Kokora” [be divided], which emerged spontaneously among the people when other conditions could no more be tolerated by some in the then Southern region; did not just erupt because people wanted to live alone.

The sons and daughters of the greater Equatoria that embraced the kokora {the jungle federalism}, might have had their voices higher for some of the faults generated in the region; but the referees turned deaf ears to them. Whether it was because of ignorance that people did not know what was happening on the ground, no one could tell.

But the broad daylights revealed clearly the destruction of all those elements that are needed for human cohesion.

Men from different socio-cultural backgrounds can only be bound together by universal norms that are governed by basic principles of “Respect for one another” and abidance by the rule of law. Once the universal norms are undermined due to ignorance, tribal or selfish desires, then there is no any excuse for the fragments that follows.

So it should be made clearly that the new South Sudan that has emerged after the signing of the CPA should have been the direct beneficiary from the 1983 incident and embarked itself to provide the best for her people through proper governance.

It is not an easy task to accomplish as people are still recovering from poverty and post-war situation where the AK-47 rifles are still the best friends for some individuals. However more and more effort has to be exerted to allow a reasonable atmosphere for our minds to operate in so as to change the South for the better.

Good governance among others just entails avoidance of some elements, and adhesion to the universal norms which include the following:-

1-The rule of law:
Every body is equal before the law and no one is above it. As such the duty of every citizen is to respect and abide by what is rated as a law. In this respect a man who understands and respects the law will not be happy seeing some body stepping his feet on it while forcing others to be the prey.

It is also of much significance that the barrel of the gun remains as far away as possible to matters relating to laws to ensure that law and order are strictly observed. Equally important is the avoidance of judiciary biasness which is usually influenced by tribalism in areas where judges happen to be from one particular zone.

2- Avoidance of Nepotism.
A state grows rapidly when the right man automatically fits in to the right position regardless of where he comes from. And if the right man operates because of his capabilities, let him work in peace. However widespread practices of nepotism in both government and non-governmental organisations is a very serious disease that cripples every giant society.

No any sound society would tolerate selfish and greedy men rounding all their state properties for their relatives and friends and letting the vast majority go hungry; especially if the very relatives constantly prove to be incompetent.

3- No to Civil unrest.
Any normal person would not tolerate any sort of disturbance to his tranquility. It is crystal clear that the ultimate goal of every man on the earth is to have happiness or comfortable life. You can have all the resources but still will not be happy if you are constantly afraid of the uncertainty; not about the natural ones but those created by men’s barbaric behaviors.

Best examples include the use of force in what does not belong to you to the point of even killing the owner {i.e. banditry]. Let the fisherman, tailor, farmer, driver, butcher man etc, alone and they will be your friends. But you will be a worse enemy to a farmer if you happened to be his LOCUST, worst enemy to the trader if you are his bandit etc.

A lot of malpractices might have happened in the post-Addis Ababa agreement era that ultimately nursed the emergence of a group of people who felt that they would be better off alone than being constantly subjected to ways of life that do not please them.

“Kokora,” which is still a fresh history in people’s minds, was just the beginning of what is now being adopted as federalism in the whole country with the South having ten states instead of the three of 1983 being governed by people from the respective states.

There are those who saw that the division of the south in 1983 was the application of divide-and-rule principle intended to weaken the southerners; while others saw it as a decentralisation of power. Moreover, few enjoyed that status of keeping the fisherman near the sea, the teacher in a classroom and the pilot at the airport.

All the same, whatever it was, let its negative legacy be a lesion to every Southern Sudanese citizen. It has created a history that only the open-minded will benefit from. Wise man learns from his past mistakes.

As such it is my personal hope that our wise southerners will not let us down again by creating a vicious cycle. No man would wish to stumble twice on the same stone without thinking of either to remove or dodge it.

If Kokora was bad, and also other negative behaviours happened which resulted to the creation of Kokora; then it is time that people move with torches to avoid stumbling on the same stone again.

Southern Sudan is now in the era of the CPA where old wounds have healed and people are strongly working together to build a giant region.

No one should think it is now time to punish those who called for the kokora, or feel reserved because of the legacy created by kokora. As such negative thoughts will take the South to nowhere other than the journey to Rwanda 94, or to the former Yugoslavia.

So, unless people remove themselves from the African hang-over where one refuses to learn positively from his past mistakes, then the desire to create a solid southern region will just remain an illusion on the minds of the policy makers and our beautiful South will constantly be a region that will not hold her children.

Two to three generations will pass and the region will still continue supplying the rest of the world with malnourished deprived children.

No one is condoning the circumstances that produced Kokora or the existence of that perceived Kokora, as everybody is hoping for a stable South Sudan. And this stable South demands a stronger unity of minds that is free of all sorts of tribal, regional or selfish influences. END

Caught in South Sudan’s War: Dinka Juba govt abuses in Equatoria

BY: Audrey Wabwire, EastAfrica Press Officer, Human Rights Watch, AUG/03/2017, SSN;

One hot Tuesday afternoon last January, about 10 South Sudanese government soldiers came to Elizabeth’s village, Romoji, in Kajo Keji county, near the Ugandan border. Many of the farming villages in her area have become the front lines of South Sudan’s four-year civil war.

“The soldiers came close to the house around 4:00 pm,” said Elizabeth, a tall, slender woman in her thirties. “I was cooking at home when my son told me that soldiers had come. My husband Kristofer went outside the house to check. They shot him.”

When her two sons, aged 10 and 5, went out to check on their father, the soldiers shot them dead too. Elizabeth (not her real name), ran from her home, hearing soldiers firing their guns. One soldier chased her and caught her. He was tall, like the rest of them. He did not speak to her, but threatened her with a knife and twisted her arm, breaking it. Elizabeth believes he wanted to kill her, though she’s not sure what stopped him. “Maybe they let me go because they had already killed 3 people,” she says.

Despite a 2015 peace agreement, fighting between South Sudan’s government and rebel forces has spread to the country’s southern Greater Equatorias region, which had been somewhat insulated from the war until late 2015 when it began to spread.

As in elsewhere in South Sudan, the fighting split communities down ethnic lines – with mostly Dinka government troops and armed militia targeting the mostly non-Dinka communities they suspected of supporting the rebels.

The violence and abuses – largely committed by government forces during counter-insurgency operations in western parts of the country and in the southern Equatorias region – have displaced hundreds of thousands in the last year alone, mostly to Uganda, which now hosts almost a million South Sudanese.

Since the conflict started in December 2013, igniting in Juba and spreading north, more than 2 million people fled to neighboring countries with another 2 million displaced internally, making South Sudan the largest humanitarian disaster in Africa today.

Soon after this attack, Elizabeth’s mother and her 3 remaining children fled to Uganda. Elizabeth told Human Rights Watch how she hid in a riverbed nearby for four days, drinking water with one hand because her other arm was broken.

She said she ate soil to survive. When she came out of hiding, her village was abandoned. She managed to find transport with assistance from the UN, and came to Uganda, where she now lives with her family as a refugee.

Elizabeth’s past torments her and her future hangs in the balance. In May 2017, when Human Rights Watch spoke with Elizabeth, she could not stop crying.

Five months later, she is clearly still traumatized – not just psychologically but physically: her arm hangs limp by her side and it is difficult for her to find a way to care for her family. She worries about finding food and does not sleep at night, she says.

When she pauses in her story, Elizabeth stares listlessly into the horizon. “My husband was a farmer, why did they kill him? With one arm, how do I care for the children and my mother? I want to commit suicide,” she says.

Although the camp offers some security, no one truly feels safe. Family members who dare to venture across the border to collect food from home face further attacks. Elizabeth walks back to her tent to prepare an evening meal for her children, a task she used to enjoy, but now struggles to perform. END

Mayiik and Ateny: The Dead Woods in the Kiir’s Juba Palace (J1)

Quote: “The real prison is the wall of silence erected around you by your colleagues, which prevents you from seeing or hearing the truth, until I have arrived to this place (Paris), I didn’t know I have been overthrown in Khartoum” says Sudanese President late Jafaar Mohammed Nimeri in 1985.

By Kharubino Kiir Garang, Juba, South Sudan, JUL/20/2017, SSN;

One of the revulsions of history is that it often repeats itself. After dethronement of Mayen Wol Jong and Yel Luol Koor from J1 on financial scandals, there was hope that J1 is liberated from all sorts of corrupt cartels.

Unfortunately, here arose other bastards in J1 in person of Ateny Wek Ateny, the president’s spokesperson, and Mayiik Deng Ayii.

These dudes are not only administratively corrupt but intellectually bankrupt to serve in the highest office of the land. They erected the wall of lies to block the truth from reaching the president.

They control President’s ears, they determine what to give to the President to hear and what to ignore. They deprive him from hearing the truths from grassroots.

Not only that, but they are also depriving him of meeting good people carrying gospel messages. They are destroying him!

Honestly, his office is filled with people attributively incompetent. His office is packed of people that are either unschooled or functionally illiterate. Others are gifted bloviates, introverts and loquacious people. They are a disgrace to the Presidency in disguise.

They are unproductive and unappreciative. They helped a lot in destroying this man, a man of adjustable coats and characteristically humble. Socially cordial but politically less absolved. That believes in people and trusts them without verification; though he is a strategist, he is not decisive, wise but doesn’t have common sense, a strong leader but doesn’t command.

Nevertheless, by his side always is good luck.

A man that forgets more than he remembers, doesn’t evaluate the performance, fails to hire qualified ones, recycles the bad confidants and expects different outcomes. At times, he finds it hard to penetrate through political traps.

His patience and good luck are enormous that his match is rare. That is our President Salva Kiir described in few short sentences.

Like most elders from his ethnic extraction, he over-trusts. In most cases, he suffices within the circle of his foes.

Although his fickle personality has denied him the best description a revolutionist deserves, he still holds a significant respect within the circles of his society.

Despite these great characteristics, he can as well be well described with negative adjectives ordinarily to the considerable displeasure. He is a man who has allowed incoherent aides to encircle him and erected the bulwark to prevent truth from reaching him.

In other words, he will be remembered for his love of espousing the gossip mongering.

One such character is the perpetually bragger and eyeless Ateny Wek Ateny, the man in the President’s press room. He is a man with an open-mouth, a holder of a certificate in criminology and criminal justice, who pretends to be a lawyer.

To call a spade a spade, this creature is fit for a job of investigator and thus a true suitor for Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in the National Police Service.

He is a barricade to progress in the media sector of the big office. He has done nothing to shine the Presidency in media fraternity. In fact, he struggles to utter suitable English words when addressing the media.

He sometimes hire maverick writers to defend the Presidency if the Presidency comes under media attack. He has totally failed the Press office in the Presidency.

Another creature is the freaky Mayiik Ayii Deng who doubles as a functional illiterate. He never graduated from University.

Rumor-mongers and trust tellers have on equal note and in unison accepted that Mayiik Ayii Deng outsource the presidential speeches.

He cannot write a good speech. He can’t piece a significant document. The man is a thick-head. He is always cheesed off. An empty barrel, huge but hollow. Masura!

With their lots of nothingness, they are contributing very much to its downfall. Zilch —–success though they are kept there for decades.

They have projected the President in bad light. With Mayiik Ayii Deng, presidency became the centre for deals. Ateny has turned the Presidency as an honor to brag about. They have never created any positive image for the big man.

Reliably, both men have been alleged to might have failed to even read a page from the two volumes of a book that is a collection of President’s public speeches.

Like elsewhere, that book is an independent source of the part of the contemporary history of our liberation struggle. It is a very great book that President can appreciate if he is served with a copy.

Skeptically, they didn’t take a copy of the book to the President to read his well authored biography and a great collection of his own speeches including those he cannot even remember.

Had he gotten the book, I believe the President would have sponsored the publication of second edition because there are some errors in the book.

In other words, President Kiir would have called these writers that had volunteered to waste their time, resources and energy to compile the speeches for a ‘thank you’ meeting and handshake.

I bought one from the bookshop and it is appealing. It has great collections of the President’s speeches, interviews, articles and letters. These young men deserve appreciation for transcribing videos into scripts. Very hard work, just imagine transcribing ‘BBC Hard Talk’ video into a script!

One may wonder, where on earth would a president be surrounded by people who cannot do research? People who do not have ability to go through the compiled information? It is only in South Sudan!

These people have failed in many aspects. Ateny has never effected the job, instead he has been stammering while inconsistently addressing the media. He loves the cameras that he feeds it with falsehood that are indefensible.

It is as well alleged that majority of those in the office of the President depend on magic powers and that their passports would tell you how they frequently visit Nigeria in search for magic powers.

President should help himself by booting out all such dysfunctional dead woods.

To conclude, the strength of any leadership is determined by the intelligence of closet cohorts. It is pathetic that these cohorts of Kiir in J1 are worthless.

Starting from the perpetually inebriated Tor Deng Mawien, the mentally desiccated Gen. Awet Akot, to the legally dull Lawrence Korbandi.

Like the semi-illiterate group of Ateny and Mayiik, this group of blue blood people can’t produce anything good for the greatness of this country.

With ongoing shrinking of the President’s legacy, Kiir must sack them all to save his reputation and claim it back again. I have my own reservations but a lot can be said.

Writer can be reached at kharubinokiir83@gmail.com

Festus Mogae’s Moral Dilemma: Why he’d quit and go home

BY: Dr. Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, JUL/17/2017, SSN;

Bringing peace to a war-torn country is the pinnacle of political achievement that any politician would love to be associated with. It’s not in any way less important than the attainment of independence.

In fact, to some extent the two are interrelated. For Ex-Presidents, like Festus Mogae, it’s an opportunity for adding good things to their reputations and expanding their legacies from national to international and perhaps from continental to worldwide recognition.

It’s also a golden chance to keep them busy in their retirement and relative inactivity. It’s often difficult to adapt from having a high demanding job to a state of more or less redundancy.

Perhaps this is why Ex-Presidents occupy their time by establishing libraries, going around delivering speeches and lectures, running charity organisations, taking up consultancy jobs and getting involved in peace initiatives across the globe.

I would like to think that, when an Ex-President or an Ex-International official, is given the honour of helping to realise peace anywhere in the world – he or she, would be in the best possible position that any politician would like to have. It’s because of the following reasons:

Firstly – he or she is deemed a neutral figure, thus is not under any political pressure other than the need to expedite the peace process within the adopted time frame. And certainly, he or she is under no obligation to give in to pressure from any side or heed the demands of the lobbying groups.

Secondly – he or she is also free from the self-restrictions and hidden obligations of the career politicians who would do anything to keep their jobs.

Thirdly – Such personalities usually enjoy generous pensions and do have significant life insurances. They do not need the financial gains from their given positions, and to some, what is offered amounts to peanuts.

Hence, one would have expected Mogae to act with full impartiality, diligence and straightforwardness. Most importantly, people had hoped that he would call a spade a spade particularly in the case of peace spoilers.

We must remember that we have already lost tens of thousands of lives and still more lives are at stake due to the escalating war. There is no room for appeasements or half-solutions because they would not result in a lasting peace in a country that’s already on the brink.

Mogae’s recent statement to the 18th JMEC Plenary on 12/07/2017 raised many questions and evoked a lot of concerns. The general theme is overblown unsubstantiated progress regarding the implementation of the Peace Agreement and the downplaying of glaring failures.

For example, he claimed that good progress had been made by the National Constitutional Amendment Commission (NCAC) towards review and amendment of relevant legislation.

Do we call it a real progress, given the fact that it took over a couple of years to happen?

The provisions of the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) state that the NCAC should come up with the appropriate Constitutional Amendments before the commencement of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

It transpires that the unrecognised current TGoNU has got no Constitution. Then, where is the progress here?!

The JMEC boss admits that the graduation of the first batch of the joint integrated Police took place without adherence to the required vetting process. It’s certainly a major concern given the current environment of mistrust between the parties.

The question is, what did Mogae do to rectify the situation and avert a potential source of conflict?

His talk regarding the economy is merely for public consumption. It’s very unconvincing to speak about government institutions and public finances reforms when the layperson in South Sudan knows that the economy has tanked and corruption is on a large scale.

It’s even less believable that, the TGoNU has a 3-5 years national development strategy while unable to pay the wages of its employees for months. People have even started to entertain the idea of the government of South Sudan declaring bankruptcy.

The Hybrid Court of South Sudan (HCSS) which is supposed to be an independent entity, is now to be discussed with the “TGoNU.” So, how credible that accountability would be well-served through such a court?!

Lack of real achievements has reduced the JMEC boss into talking about and highlighting some insignificant events. For example, he pointed out the sensitization and awareness missions that were conducted by the Technical Consultative Committee for the establishment of the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH).

If he admits that the conditions for successful consultations are far from optimal, then what is the point of bringing the whole issue up?

Furthermore, there is no mention of the security arrangements and cantonment in the document. Everyone agrees that this single matter takes precedence over the other provisions in the Peace Agreement for obvious reasons. So, how could the JMEC boss talk about the CTRH while omitting the security arrangements that have a direct bearing on the reconciliatory process? It implies that the implementation of the security mechanisms and cantonment hasn’t moved forward in a meaningful way to allow the JMEC boss to talk about it.

Surprisingly, Mogae turns 180 degrees saying he is concerned that the permanent Constitution-making process is yet to commence and that they are clearly out of time. It sounds like he has inadvertently admitted failure to effect the full implementation of ARCSS in spirit and letter.

Now it seems the embattled JMEC boss is putting all his hopes for being relevant on the High-Level Revitalisation Forum (HLRF) that was prescribed by the IGAD leaders following his recommendations. If the JMEC could not effect a meaningful progress over a period of 2 years, how plausible that it would be successful this time?

Mogae has made it clear that the HLRF is not for renegotiation. Then, what would be the role of the so-called estranged groups in the forum? And how could the forum be inclusive and accommodative without taking the views of all the stakeholders into account?

A scrutiny of the measures suggested by JMEC boss reveals that what he is pushing for is point number (3) which is the development of a revised and realistic timeline and implementation of a schedule towards democratic elections at the end of the transition period.

Now they have realised that the clock is ticking and the moment of truth is drawing closer which is the end of the TGoNU next year as specified by ARCSS. So, is he pushing for preparation for elections without the recognised TGoNU ever being formed? Or that he wants the extension of its tenure before it even started?

The reality is that ARCSS is dead. There is no path to a lasting peace emanating from what Mogae and the JMEC would want us to believe.

It’s sad that the JMEC boss continues to issue statements like the following one, I quote: “The Peace Agreement is still alive but has been wounded, the revitalization forum formed by the IGAD heads of states on the 12th of June 2017 in Addis Ababa is set to get the Agreement back on track.” The audience could see how he contradicted himself in a single statement.

There are similarities between the tragedy in Syria and the one happening in South Sudan. Coincidentally, the situation facing Mogae is akin to what Ex- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan went through when he was the UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy for the Syrian Crisis. It only took Kofi Annan 5 months to tender his resignation on the 02/08/2012.

The following is an excerpt from his resignation letter, “My concern from the start has been the welfare of the Syrian people. Syria can be saved from the calamity – if the international community can show the courage and leadership necessary to compromise on their partial interests for the sake of the Syrian people.”

What Kofi Annan did compels everyone to bow to him in full respect. It re-inforces what I always believed that politics is not all about Machiavellianism and material gains, but there is a moral obligation tied to it.

Festus Mogae is, of course, free to follow his conscience but at this juncture, a real friend would advise him to go home right now. His presence is sending the wrong message that a peace process is underway while in reality, nothing of that sort exists. His departure would pave the way for genuine endeavours to find a solution to the crisis in our beloved country.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Not Yet Happy Independence of South Sudan

By: James Okuk, PhD. JUBA,JUL/10/2017, SSN;

July 09th every year marks a significant Day for Declaration of Independence of an additional country in the world that made the 193rd UN full member and 54th AU recognized brother/sister.

The first launching occasion in 2011 was jubilantly a thrilling event to the admiration by all, South Sudanese and foreigners alike, as they sang the dignified sacrifices of past liberation struggle as well as the expected future glory from hopes in dividends of “the land of great abundance” united in peace and harmony.

The following first and second anniversaries of such a rare Great Day in 2012 and 2013 were still euphoria despite the economic austerity measures that resulted from oil production shut-down by Juba due to bad politics with Khartoum, the conduit of its crude piping and marketing to international outreach.

The strength of the South Sudanese Pound was still competitive and attractive for business and purchasing power of the active citizens. The Bank of South Sudan was capable to have amounts of hard currency reserves from oil business incomes and remittances from donor countries and other foreign friends/partners.

Daily lives of the people was basically dignified and without serious political, economic and social hardships. Many of them ventured into successful micro-economic functions and they were happy.

Alas! The bad regrettable times for South Sudanese got launched by the destructive conflict of the SPLM/A leaders and their supporters in December 2013. From then, neither the Christmases, the New Years, nor the Independence Anniversaries (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) were meaningful to the majority of South Sudanese whose livelihoods got disrupted by ‘un-conscientious’ politics and abhorrent bad economy of the antagonistic selfish civil war.

Instead of leading their people wisely with collective enjoyments of the hard-won and deserved blessings of “land of great abundance” built firmly on sustainable peace foundation of its Eagle Vows (of Liberty, Justice and Prosperity), the power greed of South Sudanese leaders relapsed the country into a despairing and disgusting “land of great abandoned” disintegrated by massive displacement and unprecedented refuge of the population in the neighbouring countries.

The worst is for the government in Juba to abandon all-together the official celebration of the very national independence that gave it the power it has now.

Put under critical prism in regards to provision of basic life amenities and upholding of human rights, South Sudan can almost now be called “Republic of NGOs” surviving on mercy of foreign humanitarian sympathy and moral obligations of the natural law (enforced by human conscience).

Whoever is persistently proud in leading or wanting to lead such an abandoned powerless embattled country, must be a beast or a Lucifer who thrives on blood and suffering.

According to modern political definition a viable state is nothing much if not the integration of legitimate and sovereign land, people, government and international relations.

Evaluating keenly the 6th Anniversary of the Republic of South Sudan, we can evidently see the biggest challenge of abandoned land (surface, underneath and sky) with no utilitarianism.

We have also witnessed the conduct of government and opposition that have failed to protect the civilian population from grave bad news, and consequently the alarming displacement and refugees exodus.

Weakening/Isolating international relations and criticism has put South Sudan into top list of undesirable countries against good governance and sustainable development indices/perceptions.

Though famine has subsided for a short respite imposed by the natural grace of the rains season, yet hunger is still a hanging stick on many households, mainly due to man-made insecurity from havoc on population by the “gun-class” who are currently leading the monopoly of violence. The Responsibility-to-Protect is seen nowhere.

This abhorrent irrational civil war situation, if allowed to continue for some more bad times ahead, could become the un-making of the Republic of South Sudan. It adds to the evidence of Daron Acemoglu’s and James A. Robertson’s 2012 Book ‘Why Nations Fail’ when they fail from establishing institutions that keep the fundamentals of the origins of power and prosperity, and when they are incapable of addressing the recurrent abject poverty of their citizens.

It also validates freshly the facts/values of Peter H. Schuck’s 2014 Book ‘Why Government Fails So Often’ when it operates without realistic people-centred goals; worst acting ineffectively on morally hazardous policies, domestic and foreign.

The hot case in point as we officially un-celebrated the independence anniversary is the push by some heartless decision-makers in economic sector to lift the subsidy on the strategic fuel prices. Their flawed superficial argument is that South Sudan has become the fuel cheapest country in the region and the world at large.

But have these uncaring elites asked themselves the core question: What is the current price of an ordinary South Sudanese, especially those hired by the government, compared to that of the people of the region and the world?

As the real economy is supposed to be centred on the people (not mere marketing competition of commodities values of pricing calculus), especially the ordinary citizens, the answer to this question should form any prudent decision on the current fuel subsidy.

By the way, maintaining the fuel subsidy is the good thing so far the current government of South Sudan in Juba has done to the remaining resilient citizens living patiently in its controlled territory. Hence, removing fuel subsidy shouldn’t be attempted at all before the current poverty of our people is addressed first so that their normal purchasing power is back as it used to be.

South Sudan has been living under abnormal hardships of war and no culture of peace. It can’t afford any experimental comfort-zoning and theorising of elites on free-market economy. A war-torn country needs controlled and planned economy that supports the welfare of its suffering ordinary people.

Lifting fuel subsidy could become the final straw that will break the remaining camel back, perhaps, as it may spike “Fuel Revolution” akin to historic French “Bread Revolution”. Also blaming climate change for our current economic woes is misplaced argument.

The uncaring rich government’s top officials who spent millions of dollars on trips abroad should become sensitive to plight of deprived common citizens, the inevitable power house of South Sudan.

Despite the disappointments with current status of keeping the Republic, it is not yet too late to build a South Sudan that can last but with avoidance of “grand political corruption” from the behaviour/conduct of “our turn to eat”.

The political coalition and patronages who have captured the state or struggling to do so should reverse their gears and re-drive to the current IGAD’s and Partners’ move to revitalise fully the 2015 Addis Ababa Peace Agreement (ARCSS). END

The exile of Dr Machar: Did Pres. Obama repudiate Roosevelt’s anti-colonial doctrine?

By: Samuel Atabi, South Sudan, JUN/20/2017, SSN;

It is now confirmed: Riek Machar has been exiled and is under detention in South Africa. In a recent teleconference with the members of the UN Security Council, Machar himself cleared any doubt whether or not he has been exiled and detained in that beacon of self-determination and black freedom, the Republic of South Africa.

Exiling one on account of being a political or military leader was a tool extensively employed by the white colonial invaders of the African continent.

Even the Germans, who had the briefest presence in colonial Africa, forced into exile a number of leaders among who was the Paramount Chief of Kapando from Togo who was exiled to Cameroon, in 1913; the Germans had fear that he would lead an uprising against them.

The main practitioners of exiling leaders were the French and the British. This is not to disregard the roles of the other minor colonial powers such as the Portuguese, Belgians, Spanish, Italians, and the racist Afrikaner of South Africa.

The French operated mainly in parts of West Africa and the Maghreb. In one memorable episode, the French deposed Behazin, the King of Dahomey Kingdom and deported him as far as Martinique in 1894. The rest of the continent was under the domination of the British.

African traditional leaders, Chiefs and Kings in eastern Africa region were routinely exiled away from their homeland and followers.

An example of the British highhandedness, which resembles the present Machar’s predicament, was the exiling of the Buganda King to the UK in the 1950s.

The Governor in-charge of the then Uganda Protectorate, one named Cohen, demanded that Kabaka (King) Freddie of Buganda integrate his kingdom into the soon-to-be-born independent nation of Uganda. Kabaka Freddie refused. For this pain, he was removed and deported to London for a ‘comfortable’ exile.

Generally, these colonial exile cases did not achieve their main objectives. Some of the aims were directed at ending of dynasties, silencing defiant leaders, facilitation of wholesale seizure of land and forcible settlement of white settlers. The natives always fought back, some with extreme violence.

After the independence, a number of Africa heads of governments have behaved just like the colonialists. The case of the Angolan rebel leader, Jonas Savimbi will help to illustrate this view.

The path to independence of Angola from its colonial master, started in the 1960s, and was bedeviled by a vicious civil war among the anti-Portuguese and liberation movements.

The main protagonists were Jonas Savimbi of UNITA versus Agostinho Neto and Edwardo dos Santos of the MPLA. Independence was handed to the MPLA in 1975 but UNITA continued with armed struggle against the new government.

There were several attempts at negotiated end to the war between the two rival movements but all of them failed.

In 1989, during one of the attempts, a group of African leaders (an equivalent of IGAD?), from Angola (an interested party), Congo, Gabon, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe, met in Harare to get a peace agreement.

In an action similar to that meted out to Riek Machar in 2016, these leaders unanimously decided to exile Savimbi, also to South Africa.

They also recommended the integration of UNITA forces into the MPLA and its institutions in a similar manner to that being advocated for the absorption of the SPLA (IO) into the Kiir’s faction of the army.

As might be expected, Savimbi violently refused to go into exile and resumed fighting. Years later, Savimbi was killed in 2002 under suspicious circumstances.

We shudder at what might be the fate of Riek Machar. God forbid!

The African leaders at Harare imitated their past colonial masters in prescribing ‘exile’ as a solution to a complex and desperate political and military situation that existed in Angola at that time.

The secretive decision of the IGAD and its supporters to exile and detain Riek Machar in South Africa was a desperate attempt to imitate the Harare outcome; prescribing a palliative to cure a chronic and almost terminal disease ailing South Sudan body politics.

Most observers were not surprised by the decision of the IGAD et al to lure Machar into exile. After all, some of the key IGAD members have their own sinister interest in the current war in South Sudan.

What has really pained and surprised many in South Sudan and internationally, is the apparent acquiescence of the Troika countries, USA, UK and Norway in this unjust and devious scheme.

We in South Sudan continue to agonize over what might have been the aim of countries like USA in propping up the dictatorial regime in Juba. We are not alone in this agony.

In its report of April 28, 2017, an American think-tank, the Heritage Foundation, asserts that American government’s warnings and threats to the genocidal regime in Juba have been tepid.

It goes on to say that South Sudan armed forces targeted for physical abuse and tried to kill senior US diplomats without consequences.

Lastly, it recommends that the US Congress should set up a Commission to study what went wrong with US engagement in South Sudan.

While we must await any outcome from such a Commission (if it will ever materialize), we are wondering whether the Obama administration, in giving a tacit encouragement to this antiquated colonial tool of exiling leaders, has in effect repudiated decades-long Roosevelt’s anti-colonial doctrine first enunciated at the end of World War II.

Like the Africans in colonial time, South Sudanese have characteristically reacted even more violently after the exiling of their leader; exposing the vacuity of the action.

The sooner Machar’s exile and detention are reversed the better for the future of South Sudan.

Samuel Atabi is a concerned South Sudanese and can be reached at samuelatabi@gmail.com

Response to Religious Leaders’ call for inclusive National Dialogue to end S. Sudan war: “You’re a brood of vipers”

BY: Rev Daniel Amum Odwel, South Sudan, MAY/23/2017, SSN;

First and foremost, the call for genuine inclusive dialogue is welcome by all, if it is initiated by a neutral patron who is not part of ongoing atrocities in South Sudan. Honestly, the religious leaders seem to support ‘national dialogue’ of Kiir and his inner circle groups blindly.

The public these days is too disappointed with contrary words uttered by the Bishop Isaac Dhieu who said “he denounced the voices that advocate war and glorify violence in the name of reforms.”

Those words were preached by the government against opposition, so when people heard those words in the month of Bishop Isaac, immediately they concluded that Bishop Isaac and his colleagues are agents of government in clerical robes.

Critically, Bishop Isaac and his colleagues were not authentic and genuine in their remarks. It is much easier to notice that they were supporting one side of the coin…that is the government.

Did they want to convince the public that violence is only caused by reform forces? In case the answer is yes, they must illustrate to the public that the massacre that took place in Wau town was committed by those for reforms?

Were the atrocities in the whole Equatoria regions committed by them? The exodus that’s taking place in Upper Nile at the moment, was it caused by reforms as you proclaim in your remarks?

Bishop Isaac and his colleagues, now you look odd in sight of the nation, for they see you as hardline supporters of Salva Kiir.

The Church must stand on its ground without wavering under worldly pressure, look at how John the Baptist was able to challenge the criminal leaders of his times by telling them that they are ‘a brood of vipers’ (Luke.3:7).

The true Church leaders should uphold the right things, and should never be conforming to the world but should be the transformers of the world into harmony and tranquility, peace and justice. Indeed, any church leaders who support a criminal entity, whether the government or opposition, are also criminals.

People thought that your position should have been to advise Salva Kiir, that he shouldn’t be the patron of the National Dialogue and also to plead with him that this dialogue can’t take place at this moment because the true owners of the dialogue, the communities in South, are on the run for their safety.

Look, Salva Kiir calls it inclusive but contrarily, he stresses that he doesn’t want Dr. Riak Machar to take part in this so-called national dialogue. To me it is not a national dialogue but party dialogue that has nothing to do with national issues.

Here, let me point out another loose, vague and compromised statement, that the church leaders, who support the government cited: “The country’s political leaders (should) use the national dialogue as the opportunity to resolve the differences and call on religious leaders to persevere in their role as educators, by preaching love and brotherhood within families, communities and places of worship”.

Who are the religious leaders you are indicating here? Your provocative statement betrayed the church and implied that you are government agents and appointed propaganda, and not God’s appointed leaders.

Ironically, any agent of the government or IO in clerical robes can’t play the role of educators or proclaim the gospel of love in the communities because they will only uphold the message of their party.

When they stand before the congregation, people will recall tragedies committed by their party on the communities, and people instantly become skeptical and suspicious.

Indeed, could such agent of government or IO in clerical rob reconcile such communities? I real doubt it; will the agents of the government be ready to admit offences and holocaust committed by their party against targeted communities?

The fact is, will church leaders who are supporters of the government, have courage enough to tell the members of their party to leave grabbing of land, the invaders to leave for their original land peacefully, and the raiders to give back livestock to true owners and the kidnappers of kids to give children back to the real parents?

Moreover, will the church leaders who support the government be able to encourage their party to come up openly to apologize nationwide and ask for forgiveness?

In case the church leaders, who are part of the system, failed to ensure what are mentioned above, then they shouldn’t speak about national dialogue or reconciliation. For it is hard for targeted communities in South Sudan to believe what had been initiated by killers.

In relate to extermination that was committed by warring parties in Bor, Bentiu and Malakal, Waw and Equatorial regions, what was the position of so-called Church leaders, the agents of doom in that regard?

Are the agents of the government in clerical robes ready to come out publicly to admit their deadly mistakes and accept their responsibilities? If not, it will be difficult to accomplish national dialogue.

The reconciliation at this moment is quite difficult to be attained because atrocities are fresh, vivid and obnoxious in the minds of people, for they are still mourning for loved or missing ones in the family.

In South Sudan, it is too hard to easily achieve the reconciliation in traditional societies where the idea of forgiveness is obscure and revenge is the only thing they know.

We know the ministry of reconciliation is God’s ministry that He entrusted to His appointed ministers, in order to maintain peace, harmony and tranquility among his creatures. For sure it can’t be accomplished by agents of government within the church.

Christ has given himself to die on the Cross as ransom to reconcile the world to God the Father. The question that poses itself is, will Kiir and Riak be ready to step down from their positions as ransom for reconciliation?

Reconciliation is God’s motto, this is why Christ reconciled us to God and gave the ministry of reconciliation to God’s agent that is the church, but not to church leaders who support criminal institutions that killed their own people.

Indeed, the church leaders, who are agents of government or IO couldn’t be peacemakers, peace builders or reconciliators because they are part of evil-doers.

Tell me, can a pastor that supports warring parties preach about reconciliation in communities murdered by their party members and be welcomed? The answer is big no.

Jesus Christ rendered his life for the sake of humanity, but tribal church leaders in South Sudan are part of the problem rather than being part of the solution. In most cases they politicized everything to pass as tribal agendas.

To champion the reconciliation in South Sudan, the church leaders should stop being partial in their approaches to public issues.

I strongly oppose that the government of Salva Kiir in the South Sudan can’t and will not champion national dialogue or reconciliation because he is a part of holocaust. Indeed, the question of national dialogue or reconciliation must be suspended because the government and its agents within the church are not qualified to shoulder that task.

Imagine there is good slogan used in South Sudan…”One nation and one people”, but the speeches and languages uttered by those who initiated the slogan are deadly poison and will not make South Sudan to be one nation and one people.

In case the government of Salva Kiir and its agents within the church are serious to achieve the national dialogue and reconciliation, than the following giant diseases must be dealt with first:
1- Laws must be put in place to avoid segregation, nepotism, favoritism, superiority and inferiority complexes among one people;
2- People must avoid undermining the rights of minority communities and discrimination of others at the expense of not being members of a particular party, and;
3- Provision of opportunity to every individual on equal basis using educational qualifications and skill experiences.

The war in South Sudan is continuously claiming many innocent lives because the church leaders lost the right path and started to worship the government and IO and forgetting why they were called.

Let me refer you to what God said to Jeremiah: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” (Jer.17:5, 7). END