Category: Most Popular

SPLM, a curse to South Sudan

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, JUL/06/2014, SSN;

This thing called the SPLM is a curse to South Sudan. Built on contradictions in 1983, it frequently implodes violently and morphs into different SPLM factions. In doing so the off shoots hog the mother organisation’s name defensively but differentiates themselves with mini adjectives without any clear identity in terms of what they stand for.

Now the SPLM has given birth to four SPLM factions namely: SPLM Oyee, SPLM-in-Opposition, SPLM DC and SPLM G11. Previously, in early 1990s there were other two which have now died out. These were SPLM Nasir faction and SPLM United. At least the latter two had a clear vision of what they wanted for South Sudan which was self determination contrary to what Dr John Garang wanted.

It is important to highlight here that the idea of self determination was neither the creation of Dr Riek Machar nor Dr Lam Akol. This was a vision laid down by the leaders of Anyanya One in early 1960s when both Riek and Lam were perhaps in primary school at the time.

So Dr Machar and Dr Akol picked up the idea and asserted the wish of the people of South Sudan against Dr John Garang’s clearly stated objective of a united Sudan.

As for the four SPLM factions now combining both groups with their opposing ideologies, no one knows what they really stand for since South Sudan is now an independent country. The issues of secession and unity are largely irrelevant now.

The crucial issue now facing South Sudan is how it can be managed for the well being of its citizens and the reality is that all these SPLM factions have no idea of what to do.

Now the SPLM and its off shoots are to all intent and purpose confused without any identity of what they stand for. This confusion reflects the minds of the so called leaders of these various SPLM groups. It manifests itself in the lack of clarity in these groups.

They do not know why they maintain the name SPLM which does not rhyme with the name of the new country they have violently imposed themselves to chaotically lead.

It also manifests the clouded mind of their leaders who can not see that they are confusing their organisation with the country, South Sudan. For instance, the flag of the SPLM/A has been imposed without consultation with the people of South Sudan as a national flag.

By default, this imposition assumes everybody in South Sudan is an SPLM/A. This fusion of organisation and country creates a detrimental enmeshment in the country.

Another off shoot in the Sudan (the country north of South Sudan) calling itself SPLM North also uses this very flag in their country. The rebels there wear the SPLM flag on their uniforms which also is the flag of South Sudan posing potential risks for a mistaken identity that could flare up in a conflict between the two countries since the army of South Sudan wear similar uniforms.

Another anomaly also lies in the fact that the army of South Sudan continues to be called SPLA. What is really going on here? Do these people not know that South Sudan is a different independent country and bigger than their party?

Until this confusion in SPLM/A and its mini groups is cleared out of South Sudan, our country will always remain unstable and confused.

As South Sudanese descended into Addis Ababa for the dialogue, it was hoped that the participation of the stakeholders would be able to deal with these serious issues.

Unfortunately, the symposium held in Addis Ababa at the beginning of June 2014 turned out to be a total farce. The reality was that the government in Juba violated the 9th May 2014 agreement. President Kiir’s security unconstitutionally denied the opposition travel to attend the meeting in Addis Ababa.

Unbelievably, neither the IGAD, nor the African Union, nor the Troika intervened to correct the oppressive action. IGAD by not intervening ended up colluding with the government of South Sudan and in the process it violated the very agreement it helped to broker.

Had the talks been inclusive, the stakeholders would be able to speak on behalf of the oppressed people of South Sudan thereby injecting a varied perspective that might help in reaching a positive outcome for the country.

As it is now the talks are actually between the SPLM factions while the real victims (the people) of this crisis are excluded.

SPLM G11 call themselves SPLM leaders. On which grounds are they leaders? President Kiir, the SPLM chairman stripped them from their positions in the SPLM party which means they no longer hold any positions of influence.

This further means they have lost authority and influence in the party. How then can they insist to call themselves leaders? By which authority are they calling themselves leaders?

It is about time they accepted their predicament which is that they are now ordinary members only like any other members.

A good number among them must also know that they were appointed by their tormentor President Kiir to the parliament and positions of influence against the wishes of the people.

Most of them failed to win any seats in parliament during the general election of April 2010 in the Sudan. The best they can do is to form their own party under a different name. They should forget the madness of hogging ‘SPLM’ because apparently “it is a historical party that brought independence.”

SPLM whether it brought independence or not is a party rotten to the core. Its name is tarnished beyond retrieval. The earlier they get this point the better for them and South Sudan.

As for their claim to being leaders – this needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Leaders are people who care about the masses. They spearhead useful programmes of developments in society. Manage public resources prudently and frugally for the benefit of all.

Do these so called “leaders” have any characteristics of leadership? Have any of them displayed such qualities? The evidence point to the contrary. For full understanding please see:

1-Tear down the SPLM http://allafrica.com/stories/201209030002.html
2-Power struggle in the SPLM http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/editorials/power-struggle-in-the-splm
3-Cattle camp” imperialism in RSS http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/editorials/cattle-camp-imperialism-in-rss
4-Corruption saga: The SPLM five big guns or quintet squirrels http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/corruption-saga-the-splm-five-big-guns-or-the-quintet-squirrels

If and when you have read the articles referred to above, would you still take the claim of SPLM G11 of leadership seriously? Think about it and you be the judge.

Having been rescued by Dr Machar from the jaws of the shark, the SPLM G11 disgracefully kicked their saviour in the teeth. Opportunistically, they distanced themselves from him in the hope of grabbing power with the help of IGAD countries.

This is another point that discredits IGAD as mediators in the South Sudan crisis. Please see, ‘Former detainees discuss South Sudan crisis with mediators ‘ http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article51021

Pagan Amum said, “As SPLM leaders, we are going to participate and engage first and foremost the two parties to stop this war and the conflict, so that we proceed with the negotiation to develop and agree on programmes to urge South Sudan into a transition to peace and democracy.”

Pagan goes on, “His team will fully participate with both parties in restoring peace and democracy in South Sudan as well as in shaping in every future of the country.”

Was South Sudan in peace and democracy before this crisis? If so, does Pagan remember what he said in December 2013 prior to the implosion of the SPLM? Was Pagan not the very person who shouted loud that President Kiir was becoming a dictator and South Sudan a dictatorship? Memories seem short.

What future of South Sudan does Pagan and his group want to shape? Where is their Blue Print? Have they told the masses what they intend to do differently for the country than what they have been doing for the last nine years?

Is the current mess not of their own collective making? And above all, how do they intend to shape the country? Under what ideology and programmes do they want to shape the country? Why did they not do so in the last 9 years?

Since coming out of their incarceration, have the SPLM G11 spoken about the suffering of the people? Have they spoken about their failures collectively in mismanaging the country?

Have they spoken about SPLM’s massive neglect of the country since 2005? These people are not serious. They are only interested in their stomachs. They lie to the people and themselves with speeches like, “The G11 have decided not to side to either party arguing no role in the ongoing conflict.” Really?

These are not leaders. Leaders must have “the capacity to care because this is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.” These are the words of Pablo Casals, the gifted musician.

So far in the context of South Sudan such virtues are possessed by the silent leaders of South Sudan and in my view it is these leaders who can rescue the country. They may enable South Sudan to experience what it means to be governed appropriately and fairly based on the rule of law.

Presently, the shoddy transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan is a redundant document. It means nothing at all to the people of South Sudan. The president and the SPLM refer to it when it suits them.

Otherwise, overall everything done in the country is based on the advice and recommendations of the Council of Jieng Elders.

SPLM regularly commits crimes against humanity with impunity. For example, the ethnic cleansing of the Uduk people of Upper Nile in late 1980s, the fratricide of the Nuer/Jieng of early 1990s, the massacres of the Didinga in late 1990s, the massacre of the Chollo from 2008 to the present, and the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer from mid December 2013 to the present.

In all these horrendous cases there have never been any enquiries or accountability.

As I write, President Kiir and the SPLM are seriously planning to commit another pre-meditated ethnic cleansing. This time the targets are Equatorians because of their legitimate call for federalism.

An extensive hit list reportedly signed by the president lists the governors of Equatoria, Equatorian party leaders, Equatorian officers of the various organised forces, Equatorian intellectuals and businessmen.

At the moment the Chief of the Army, General Paul Malong Awan is busy deploying army units predominantly composed of President Kiir’s tribesmen to the three states of Equatoria in preparation for this evil culling plan.

Although this information is now in the public domain, some naive people in Equatoria (together with the sell-outs) minimise its seriousness. The recent publicity of this vile plan of ethnic cleansing may save the lives of the governors but people like Peter Sule remain highly vulnerable in Juba.

The planned targeting of Equatorian leaders is a deliberate thing to decapitate the Equatorian body politic. It has a far reaching ramification in terms of the future identity of Equatoria, but also for South Sudan.

The Equatorians must now seriously think about this very real threat to their own existence in South Sudan. They need to devise a plan to confront and respond to this threat appropriately. Those planning this criminal act should know that they will not get away with it and that they will be brought to book.

The troika and Human Rights Watch have already been alerted and should anything happen the responsibility lies squarely with President Kiir and the Council of Jieng Elders formulating and supervising these evil culling plans.

With the coming of peace in 2005 up to now South Sudan has been under the rule of predatory sharks. SPLM/A does not care about the country and the people. It does not believe in the common good but rather in advancement of its elite members only.

If these so called leaders (including President Kiir and Riek) had “the capacity to care”, South Sudanese would not be dying like flies in their hands.

They would have humanely managed the country with services adequately provided to the people in the pivotal sectors of health, education, housing, employment, and security.

But what have South Sudanese got on their hands? Ethnic cleansing, entrenched tribalism, orgiastic corruption and continuous empty rhetoric.

The contest over the name SPLM/A irrational as it is, is itself a fight against Jieng tribalism as well as a fight for power.

The multiple factions of SPLM in different forms and shapes hogging this name do so because they believe SPLM is the centre of unassailable power and also it is associated with the glory of liberation. They apparently want the timelessness of liberation and heroism associated with them.

The Jieng in their endeavour to wholly accumulate the glory of liberation have falsely convinced themselves that they own the SPLM. To them, since the formation of SPLM is attributed to Dr John Garang and Garang having hailed from Bor, SPLM to them is a Jieng property.

Hence, the declaration of the Jieng in a document of meeting in Ark hotel in Kampala, Uganda in 2009 stating’ “‘The Dinka are the SPLM/A and the SPLM/A are the Dinka’ The two are the two faces of the same coin”. Their motto is that ‘He who wins can not be in the wrong’. www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/benign-intervention-is-the-way-forward-for-republic-of-south-sudan

Now that SPLM is the centre of power associated with the liberation of South Sudan, according to them the Jieng are the liberators of South Sudan and the glory is theirs.

This anomaly makes the Jieng to crow “We liberated you.” “We are born to rule” hurting the feeling of others. They commit heinous crimes with impunity freely as with the case of the Nuer in December 2013. Unfortunately, they appear to draw pleasure and satisfaction from this barbarity.

This of course is not true for the following reasons. First Dr John Garang did not form the SPLM. He simply is an appointee of the Ethiopians into the SPLM/A. Please see ‘Dr John Garang was an appointee of the Ethiopian to the SPLM’ http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/dr-john-garang-was-an-appointee-of-the-ethiopians-to-the-splm

On this fact alone the Jieng claim to ownership of the name SPLM falters.

Secondly, although the Jieng through Dr Garang dominated the organisation, many South Sudanese from other tribes played a very crucial role in SPLM’s success. For example, in mid 1990s SPLM/A was practically defeated by the Arabs. The forces of President Omar Bashir captured most of South Sudan from the SPLM with it (the SPLM) pushed to the extreme periphery in Nimule.

If it was not for the Equatorians, SPLM/A would have been smashed by the Arabs and there would not have been an independent South Sudan now.

From this alone, the independence of South Sudan without argument is an outcome of contribution of all the tribes of South Sudan and the Diaspora. So the puerile nonsense of “We liberated you” the Jieng brag about is at best garbage and at worst utterance of lunatics.

But the foregoing should make South Sudanese question the basis of SPLM’s power. This is important to know if the people are to liberate themselves from this monstrous organisation.

SPLM is not the true centre of power in South Sudan. The real power lies with the people of South Sudan. If only the people can grasp this crucial point and its psychological dynamics, SPLM could easily be discarded.

The people just need to withdraw allegiance and membership and the SPLM would be nothing. The power they crow about would evaporate in an instance.

So the intimidation that President Kiir metes out to the supporters of federalism is sustained by the Equatorian allegiance and membership to the SPLM which indirectly gives the Jieng power.

The irony is Equatorians are fighting themselves. They empower SPLM and the Jieng and then they fight what the SPLM and the Jieng impose on them. This is madness. Just quit the SPLM and begin to organise to build a new centre of power to realise your objectives and interests.

Any South Sudanese who wants federalism should quit the SPLM today. Dr Riek Machar’s maintenance of the SPLM name psychologically gives credence to SPLM Oyee granting it higher status which feeds the psychological image of Jieng being invincible.

This is turn makes President Kiir to feel unbeatable and thus make irrational demands. For example, admonishing Equatorians not to talk about Federalism.

Thomas Schilling in his book, ‘The strategy of conflict’ tells us that when certain parties adopt an irrational position and fiercely guard it, it is because they have a reason. Often when this is seen from their perspective it makes sense in that it actually serves their intrinsic interest.

So, the hogging of SPLM’s name irrational as it is for the country, it actually perpetuates and massively promotes the interest of the Jieng.

This is why President Kiir preferred to plunge the country into chaos than to transfer power to Dr Riek Machar which to him would by default mean ceding power to the Nuer.

Thus if President Kiir were to change the name SPLM the only people who stand to lose are the Jieng. So, all the other SPLM groups follow this logic.

At the heart of this hogging of the name SPLM lies a false glory and an imagined fixed absolute power in SPLM. Every one of them wants this supposed power.

This belieF in the invincibility of the SPLM has nurtured a culture of abuse and impunity over the years with the members becoming disempowered to the influence and working of the organisation itself.

For example the unfortunate events of mid December 2013 mostly affected the SPLM (the organisation and the members), yet the victims like Dr Machar still fights tooth and nail to identify himself with an organisation that decimated his own identity.

Do you see the pathology griping the SPLM and its members? After what has happened, why should anybody desperately want to associate with such a dysfunctional organisation?

Dr Machar now is in a better position to ditch the name SPLM because South Sudanese joining him are doing so on principle of ousting the murderous regime of President Kiir and not because of the glory of SPLM.

Further Dr Machar would help the Nuer to heal psychologically faster by ostracising the organisation responsible for their ethnic cleansing. If Machar did that he would eventually emerge clean from the cyclical mess of SPLM with a new organisation formed by him lifting his stature and image.

SPLM is so dysfunctional an organisation that it is no longer good for anybody and the country.

When an organisation has an entrenched destructive culture that can not be influenced by its members for better, the best thing to do is either to overhaul it or to dismantle it and form a brand new one with a new name.

This is what the SPLM members need to do if the destructive culture of SPLM is to be gotten rid of.

Therefore to remove the confusion in South Sudan politics, and for the members of SPLM to liberate themselves from their mental enslavement to an organisation that only benefits a section of one ethnic group and allows this group to abuse the others, they need to throw their membership away and find something else.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com
Disclaimer: views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Agok Takpiny is a concerned South Sudanese in Melbourne Australia. He can be reached on agoktakpiny@ymail.com


Difference between Equatoria & Riek Machar call for federalism in South Sudan

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, JUL/01/2014, SSN;

Federal states have been in existence for the last two hundred years. Although there was no explicit mention of federation, it was in the Juba Conference 1947 that South Sudanese first voiced their fears of domination and marginalization by Northern Sudanese. In the Conference Southerners basically wanted safeguards that they would not be mistreated by Northerners. It can, therefore, be seen that indirectly Southerners were already calling for a federal system of government that would have guaranteed them equality with their Northern counterparts and also sustainable national unity.

As Southerners were not well informed and sophisticated enough like the Northern conferees, they were easily manipulated to go along with the concept of one united Sudan without concrete guarantees. They took what Northerners said by word of mouth in the Conference as a guarantee. This is because in the Conference Northerners stressed that they had no intention to dominate the South.

However, what the Northerners had stressed turned out to be a white lie or deception. It was to take the South two bitter and devastating liberation wars to get rid of Northern domination and marginalization.

Eight years later from the Juba Conference 1947 Southern members of parliament in Sudan put forward a condition for supporting the motion for independence from British colonial rule. They proposed a federal system of government for Sudan to safeguard the interest of the South. The Northern deceptive response was that the proposal for a federal system would be considered after independence of Sudan.

After independence and under no obligation Northerners rejected the federal system for Sudan without any convincing explanation. To add salt to injury Northerners instead drafted a constitution fit for an Arab Islamic State. The Southern call for a federal system of government for Sudan was unceremoniously outlawed. Nevertheless, the Southern response was nothing but an armed struggle for freedom.

The point that is being made here is that the call for a federal system of government in South Sudan is not unique. In 1955 the Southern call for a federal system was to make the unity of Sudan attractive as the basis of sustainable national unity.

Unfortunately the dominant Black Arabs of Sudan were arrogant, insensitive and extremely stubborn to their Black African cousins in the South. The Arabs were only to regret when Sudan ultimately disintegrated into North and South with colorful and magnificent celebrations in the South as that was where most of the resources the Arabs had exploited were found.

Federalism in South Sudan

Equatoria, of the three regions of South Sudan, was the first in 2011 to pass a resolution in a conference that: A democratic federal system of governance should be adopted for the Republic of South Sudan, therefore the establishment of the new country as the Federal Republic of South Sudan.

The motive for the call of a federal system of government in South Sudan is not very difficult to comprehend. It is to promote justice where none is above the law in contrast to selective justice, it is for sustainable national unity in contrast to ethno-centricism and it is to promote prosperity for all in contrast to absolute poor service delivery.

The call for a federal system of government in South Sudan should be seen as a national agenda instead of being narrowly perceived as an Equatorian plot to segregate others. Federalism is for the benefit of all in South Sudan.

The essence of a federal system is its responsiveness to diversities and in defusing simmering tensions that may tear a country apart. The loud call for a federal system of government may co-relate to people’s experience of absolute poor service delivery. Things may therefore be different when a federal system is adopted.

Riek Machar’s call for federalism

Dr Riek Machar was the second most powerful man as the Vice President until July 2013 in the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. In December 2013 Dr Riek Machar declared openly that he was in rebellion against what he described as dictatorial tendencies of the President. In his rebellion Dr Riek Machar wanted support. Knowing very well that the call for a federal system was popular in Equatoria he wasted no time to make the call for federalism the top item on the agenda of the rebellion.

Dr Riek Machar must have calculated that by crafting federalism onto the agenda of his rebellion he would get automatic and total support from Equatoria. This, however, seems to have created a problem as Equatoria is now perceived sympathetic to the rebellion.

A critical analysis is therefore needed of the extent to which Dr Riek Machar’s call for federalism is the same as that of Equatoria. This is in order to allay fears that may cause unnecessary panic and also for people not to get confused.

To begin with Dr Riek Machar’s call for federalism is at best deceptive and at worst a betrayal of the genuine Equatoria’s call for federalism. People must recall that as the Vice President Dr Riek Machar at first supported federalism when the majority of members from Equatoria in the National Legislative Assembly in July 2011 endorsed federalism just before the day of independence.

However, at the last hour Dr Riek Machar rejected the very federalism for which he is now calling. People must take it with some caution as to why Dr Riek Machar is now turning around to claim to be the champion of federalism while he was comfortable in rejecting it.

The difference

The difference between Dr Riek Machar’s call for a federal system and that of Equatoria is crystal clear. The Equatoria’s call for a federal system is genuine while that of Dr Riek Machar is a ploy for support from Equatoria. Dr Riek Machar is unreliable and so it is doubtful that he will ever implement a federal system in South Sudan.

Did he not let down the people of Equatoria during the crucial vote for either federalism or decentralization on the eve of independence?

It is clear that the difference is that Dr Riek Machar sees federalism as a sure way to the presidency while Equatoria sees federalism as a national agenda that does not need the use of force to impose it on the people of South Sudan.

Federalism is a revolutionary agenda for the acceleration of socio-economic development for high standards of living in South Sudan.

In the communiqué that followed the Equatoria Conference 2011, it was affirmed that: “Mindful of the suffering of the people of Equatoria in the past decades, we will no longer accept Equatoria land to be used as a battle ground for any senseless bloodshed.”

This confirms that Equatoria has nothing to do with the rebellion. Equatoria is peaceful and development oriented. It will therefore not welcome to its soil such a rebellion that has caused untold destruction and mayhem in the country.

Conclusion

It is hoped that there won’t be any confusion again between federalism called for by Dr Riek Machar and that called for by Equatoria. Equatoria had called for federalism before the rebellion. The vision was that federalism would not be imposed but rather would be accepted or adopted through consensus. This means people will need to be educated and convinced through open discussions and debates.

People’s fears about federalism must be allayed and federalism must be thoroughly illustrated with examples from around the world.

Putting a redline to discussion on federalism is not helpful because people may be forced to discuss it behind closed doors which may be much more dangerous than discussing it openly for people to gain confidence.

In principle it seems many people in South Sudan have no problem with federalism. One prominent revolutionary and architect of the armed struggle that brought independence said in a function that “federalism is not bad but proposed at the wrong time.”

The implication is that South Sudanese support federalism but their fears must first be addressed and the time for adoption should be right. When should the time be right is the question.

The issue of rebellion and federalism could be addressed concurrently where the states should be involved as important stakeholders. Muzzling free thinking is not helpful in our search for a lasting solution to the problems of South Sudan.

In conclusion, no one appears to be against federalism but the fear seems to be the unseen devil in details of federalism which, therefore, needs our collective effort to reduce the fear for the common good of all.


Peaceful coexistence: How the Equatorians got it right!

BY: Dr Peter Kopling MD, South Sudan, JUN/29/2014, SSN;

The formulas to peaceful coexistence among all tribes in South Sudan already exist. The formulas for bloodshed and destructive coexistence between the tribes in South Sudan do also exist, it comes down to understanding these two paths and deciding what is it that our country needs most and which choice will get us there.

The responses to these two choices are already in plain view and we only need to look no farther than within our communities and we shall discover it has been there all along!

The bitter truth must be told, South Sudan has two regions, one that is stable and stabilizing and the other unstable and destructive. All we need to do is decide what we want, do we want peace, if this be the case then all we need to study are the stable and peaceful regions to see how they do it, how they live with each other, how they treat each other’s lands, neighboring tribes and their belongings to include lands.

If we want a conflicting South Sudan then all we need to do is study the way of life, perception of life and mindset of the unstable region of our nation. How they treat each other, and how they treat all that is important to them and their neighboring tribes.

There can never be peace if we do not take time to understand what is important for others and instead impose our cultural ways on others in their respective ancestral lands.

Colonialism tried this and failed! We are many nations under one, the fact that must not be ignored and the more reason it must be understood and approached delicately not with arrogance.

Without any doubt the Equatorian region emerged as the stable and peaceful part of South Sudan, while the Jiengs land, the destructive part of the Country.

Predating December 2013, the Jiengs land had numerous insurgencies already against the infant government.

So we need to study the prevailing mentalities in the Jiengs land and avoid this if we are to survive as a nation and we must prevent them from exporting these raw materials of death to other parts of South Sudan.

The honest truth is even if the Jiengs region were to announce today their desire to split and form a different country or join the Jalabas, believe you me, the rest of South Sudan will breath a shay and will not beg them to remain as part of the united South Sudan and the Jiengs nation will only end up tearing each other down as long as they maintain their current predatory mentality of glorifying bloodshed and vilifying peacefulness.

It must be pointed out the Equatorian region has numerous tribes of totally different cultures and mentalities although the Jiengs mischievously and derogatorily tend to refer to the Equatorians as if they are a single tribe!

But what they do not realize is they are acknowledging the fact that Equatorians have achieved brotherhood among the different tribes despite of their diversity, which must serve as a role model for South Sudan, if there is still any hope for us to exist as a nation!

What is commonly shared by majority of these Equatorian tribes however is that Godliness and goodness which is praised rather than savagery of bloodshed, disregards to the sacredness of human life misnomer by the Jiengs as bravery.

Equatorian tribes know their ancestral boundaries and they respect these boundaries while the Jiengs have nomadic mindsets! It seems they can go away from their ancestral land and never even miss them, and even bury their national hero away from home with cynical implications!

The Equatorian tribes respect the cultures of one another but more so each tribe loves their ancestral land as they love themselves! One’s very existence for Equatorian tribes are indistinguishable with one’s ancestral lands!

The land is where your father and forefathers are buried, time immemorial! It is what gives meaning to your existence and to life, it is what gives you food, it is also what gives you fishing and hunting’s rights, thus the land is sacred in Equatorian tribes, wars were fought in the past to protect and preserve them not cows, it is on this basis Equatorian initiated the war of independence to preserve this ownership and rights.

Just as the Jiengs protect their cows at all costs, they compose songs to their cows because this is their lifeline, their attachment to their lands does not carry the same significance as to Equatorian just as Equatorian attachments to cows is not the same as among the Jiengs who look at the land as a place for their cows to graze.

Equatorians look at their land as a place that gives them life but also that holds the meaning of their very existence and the ancestral souls and their bones are laid at rest in these lands. Thus it is very customary in most Equatorian tribes; they will go at great costs and heavy expenses to return the remains of their sons and daughters to be buried in their ancestral land among their ancestors for their souls to rest in peace otherwise will keep wandering around until rituals are performed to bring them to their ancestral home and into the family! This return of the dead sons and daughters of the land is from as far as the Americas!

Thus the significance of land for Equatorian has no equivalent in the Jiengs culture. Our Lands are more than the cows to Jiengs! To ignore and belittle the protectiveness of Equatorian with their ancestral land is to belittle their very existence in South Sudan thus to breed disunity!

Unity is indeed the natural result of respect of these things; supreme of them is land, for which we fought the Jalaba for 50 years! This is why we fell off with the Jalabas, how different if not worst are the Jiengs compare to the Jalabas in disregarding ancestral and tribal rights to lands, thus falling off will be a natural consequence unless we are saved by mutual respect AKA Federalism?

Now with these thousands of years of practice of land protections how do the Equatorian relate to each other’s tribe, and land without much of the violence found in the Dinka lands?

You will not find a group of Muru’s or Kuku going to Acholi land and lay claim of an area in Acholi heartland as their own land in disregard to the Acholis, for in the first place why will the Murus do this since they love their ancestral land and are tied spiritually to their lands and people? You will not see any group of Equatorian moving to other territory, forming their own chiefdom and tribal system in other people’s tribal land!

So is there or there is no Kokora between Equatorian tribes although they are many tribes not the same ones? The answer is NO! Migration happens freely and often but on an individual or family basis! Never a whole village uprooting themselves to go occupy the tribal lands of others in the name of whatever is promised to them by whoever! In the first place they will oppose such propositions, which they know outright breeds fights, deaths, and disrupts peace!

When an individual or Muru family decides to move to Acholi land, once they get there, they are always welcomed warmly as guests; they then live by the local norms and customs, as do the owners of the land!

They respect the locals and do not insult them as cowards or call them names such as Nyamnyam or we fought the Jalabas here so now we earned the right to be here. For you cannot visit your brother’s house, while he is hosting you, and start to insult his wife, abuse his children and expect to not be kicked out of your brother’s house simply because he is your brother!

Having fought for independence can not be used to dislodge others from their ancestral land otherwise it was not a war of independence but rather a war of Dinka expansionism and colonization, Otherwise it was not a war against the Jalaba but rather against the Equatorian for their lands.

Being in a relative’s house comes with first recognizing it is not your house but that of your brother, and you also have yours and you are a visitor which comes with responsibility of being beneficial to your host and not being a parasite or affecting your host negatively neither altering his way of life!

Indeed once an Equatorian moves to on other’s tribal territory, he learns the local language, he eats the local food, he practice the local tradition and become essentially one of the local tribe in another words becomes assimilated not disruptive and boastful! If he does not have appreciations of the new tribe he moves to, he simply stays back in his ancestral land and among his people not impose himself on the other tribe, making others miserable just as he is.

This is how peace is maintained among the tribes in Equatoria! No one tribe forcefully settle or grab someone else ancestral land equivalent of cattle rustling in the Jiengs land. This Jiengs government engineers the recent land strife we witnessed between the sisterly tribes of the Acholis and the Ma’dis!

The irony is, those who have no culture of peace try to preach peace to those who are peaceful! Those who have no notion, leave alone, the experience of peaceful intertribal coexistence try to forge what they called building a national identity, which is a red herring for ethnic cleansing given they have neither respect nor appreciation for other tribes thus leading to the Dinkanization project now ongoing to uproot other tribes from their ancestral land! Their war against the Nuer is part and partial of this.

They have no understanding other than that of nomadic life style leading them to preach if we are one nation then all ancestral boundaries are to be erased to allow them to practice their nomadic lifestyle at the expenses of others, from North to South and from east to west that are none Nomadic! This nomadic mindset and the revenge on Equatorian for Kokora are what drives then,even embedded in the Jieng written transitional constitutions.

It is thus only the Jiengs that trespasses all over South Sudan in disregards to other peoples backyard and they have no understanding why this is causing aches for their fellow countrymen, the Equatorian in particular, for this trespassing is in Keeping with Nomadic lifestyle which is never to be nationalized unless to our own perils for all we need to see is what it has done to the Dinkaland from which they are fleeing!!!

In the Jiengs lands, the cow reign supreme, and whoever can, will steal what he does not have in the process, shedding human blood! Thus it is a culture of thieves and bloodshed utterly incompatible with the prevailing Equatorian cultures! Indeed if there is any hope for the Jiengs, they must become like Equatorian, Hold human lives above cows life and the love for ancestral lands supreme above the love for cows. How can you love others if you do not love yourselves more than your love for animals?

In essence the federalism we are debating about is already practiced in Equatoria, each individual loving his family, tribes, their ancestral land, protecting it and building it, but also very much respecting that which belongs to other tribes, for if you caused them to lose theirs, someone else will cause you to lose yours.

Each individual, not an entire clan, tribe or bulk of people, is free to move to any part of eqautorian region and remain what sh/e is or take the identity and culture of the tribe that hosts him/her, no one forces, insights, neither prevents him/her to make this choice and sh/e in turn do not try to change the ways of, annihilate or obliterate other tribes.

The hope and formulae for South Sudanese unity is already being practice in Equatoria! It has been here all this time and no one seems to recognize it.

This is the model for South Sudan and federalism thus makes sense to Equatorian because it is already what they practice and what has given them peaceful coexistence, how they relate to each other on the basis of recognizing each other’s tribes and tribal lands, what is important to them and respecting each other in all aspects!

Federalism gives power to the individuals, people and regions! The government respects the people rather than the other way round; Master- slave relations.

Those who are opposed to this are those who want the people to worship the government and those who want to use the power of the government to impose on others and have no respects for other peoples’ cultures, way of life, aspirations and their lands.

The true brotherhood we all want is based on the model found in Equatoria and the intertribal relationships that exists in Equatoria for centuries. This is the case then no one has to fear Kokora happening due to federalism, there is no Kokora among Equatorian tribes, what makes it so? If loving your ancestral land and letting others do the same is Kokora then, so be it! If dislodging others from their ancestral land is what it takes to form a nation to the benefit of one tribe then is it any wonders that such is now heading straight to hell in our very eyes?

For in mutual respect is peace, not in master slave relation and others relinquishing their natural possessions and rights. Mutual respect has worked in Equatoria and they coexist peacefully!

One fact is clear, if there is federalism or not, the respect for land must reign supreme and the schemes for land thieving and dominance must come to an end, as long as this does not happen there shall be no peace in South Sudan, There shall only be oppressors and the oppressed!

If we truly want a land of the free, prosperity and justice for all then the tool to achieve this is federalism and encouraging the life styles of the Equatorian tribes.

Think of this as the relationship between you and your brother who is married and has his own house and cows, just as you! You respect his wife, children and property and he in turn respect yours. When he takes care of his house, it is not in opposition to you! Simply, you need to do the same for yours, for brotherhood does not negate your responsibility to your personal house. Just because you are brothers does not mean you need to merge houses and not having individual homes in pretense of fear of Kokora.

Mutual respect is how you keep brotherhood not by taking his wives forcefully or milking his cows forcefully in the name of brotherhood!

Federalism thus gives all South Sudanese, not just some, that power to protect one’s own house and decide what is for breakfast rather being dictated by the self proclaimed big brother, in the current system, regardless of who, will always be the oppressor!

South Sudan is ready for peace, which equals federalism; to say south Sudan is not ready for federalism is to say those who are having the lion share of the goodies are not ready to let it go and grant South Sudanese; Equality, justice, Liberty, prosperity for all and thus peace!

Without federalism in South Sudan, there shall only be oppressors and the oppressed!

Dr. Peter Kopling.


Kiir is a “Constitutional President,” not a “Democratically Elected President!”

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, JUN/29/2014, SSN;

Most of us in South Sudan are not independent thinkers even when we pretend we are! Some South Sudanese writers and thinkers in Southern States of the country support Federalism not because they’ve actually looked into the inherent benefits to the constituents of the region but because the majority of the citizens embrace it given their flimsy understanding of the system, or because vocal voices in their areas support it, or that, they believe, it’ll give them an opportunity to get rid of the ‘occupiers’ on their land.

None of the supporters of Federalism has ever advanced any convincing reason that’s not either reminiscent of the infamous 1980s ‘Kokora’ or the regionalized tribalism and regionalist sycophancy.

States have governors, parliaments, state MPs, State laws. We somehow have a system that’s structurally resembling other Federal Systems in the world. What is lacking is to actually give more powers to the states and limiting president’s interference in state affairs.

And those who oppose Federalism do so because they support the government and the government opposes it. And the government has absolutely no credible reason advanced in opposition to the system and why they think Federalism would be bad.

The only reason they have is that Riek has rekindled the flame of Federalism. This is not the first time Riek has done something like this. Riek feeds on popular aspirations of the people and exploits them.

Self-determination wasn’t a darling of the SPLA/SPLM until Dr. Riek and Dr. Lam made it their focal point in Abuja I in 1992. It was only one of the alternatives in Dr. John’s famous multi-layered Vend Diagrams but not the preferred alternative. UNITY of Sudan was!

The two doctors wanted to outsmart Dr. John Garang. However, the way Dr. John changed astonished not only the doctors, but Garang’s friends in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Garang embraced Self-Determination to the chagrin of the Nasir duo and even made it central to Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA); giving birth to Referendum!

Riek and Lam had met an ideological propagandists, ideological chameleon, and also, an ideological wizard who couldn’t be outsmarted.

So folks who oppose Federalism are doing so because people they support don’t like it. They’ve not presented any convincing reason why they oppose it.

This is our major problem. We ally based on irrational positions we hide in ideological, tribalized regionalism and intellectualized tribalism. We don’t think for ourselves!

That’s why we hear time and again from South Sudanese officials and government supporters that President Salva Kiir Mayardit is a “democratically elected president” of South Sudan!

No! President Kiir was a democratically elected president of the government of ‘Southern Sudan.’ He’s a CONSTITUTIONAL President of the Republic of South Sudan. There was no election held after the independence of South Sudan! None!

We hear from many government officials that President Kiir is the legitimate president of South Sudan because he’s the democratically elected president. Yes, he’s the legitimate president of South Sudan because the Transitional Constitution (2011) says so not because he’s elected.

Chapter II, Article 97 (3) of the Transitional constitution states: “The incumbent elected President of the Government of Southern Sudan shall be the President of the Republic of South Sudan.”

It says elected president of ‘Government of Southern Sudan.’ It doesn’t say elected ‘President of the Republic of South Sudan.’

Article 100 states: “The tenure of the office of the President of the Republic of South Sudan shall be four years, commencing from July 9, 2011.”

What makes the president Legitimate in the Republic of South Sudan is because the constitution says so not because he is elected in an independent South Sudan.

Note that the president tenure is not being counted from the time the president was elected (2010). It’s starting from the independence of the Nation, January 9, 2011.

So it’s utterly wrong to say that President Kiir is a ‘democratically elected president!’ President Kiir’s current legitimacy started on July 9, 2011. Unless I’ve been sleeping between 2011 and 2013 and that a National Election was held then!

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese author and poet living in Canada. For more information, visit www.kuirthiy.info or www.youtube.com/kuirthiytv


Time for actual solutions for South Sudan: Replace IGAD with eminent persons at once!

BY: MARGARET AKULIA, CANADA, JUN/27/2014, SSN;

Failing to achieve peace in South Sudan after more than six months when the issues are so clear-cut is incompetence. Allowing a foolish, self-absorbed and murderous so-called democratically elected President who is also the accused, to “direct” the adjudication of his own case is preposterous.

Enabling a tyrant to protract his murderous rule through foolishness is culpable negligence.

The war in South Sudan is now entering a seven month period and IGAD has achieved nothing even after being “bailed out” by United States Secretary of State John Kerry.

The organization either lacks lucidity or it is in cahoot with the current lawless government of South Sudan!

Simply put, IGAD’S questionable activities have placed the people of South Sudan at risk of injury and death that is why the organization must be disqualified from its so-called mediatory role.

Complete cessation of hostilities, setting up strong security, a competent and trustworthy caretaker government should have been accomplished by now because the correct solutions for these three key areas would have provided the safe environment necessary for National Dialogue respecting Federalism and Healing!

Instead of achieving the three unambiguous deliverables, IGAD squandered money and time while South Sudan bled to death!

That is why the organization needs to pass the baton to a body of more competent, honourable and impartial eminent persons immediately.

TO READ JUNE 19, 2014 LETTER TO THE TROIKA COUNTRIES REGARDING IGAD PLEASE GO TO:
www.savesouthsudan.com/diaspora-ambassadors.html
Margaret Akulia is co-author of the sequel Idi Amin: Hero or Villain? His son Jaffar Amin and other people speak.

She brings to the South Sudan dialogue a multidisciplinary professional background including but not limited to “grassroots activism”.

Additional information at:

https://travellinglearningcircles.com/Save_South_Sudan.html

AND

http://www.savesouthsudan.com/home.html


Federal system of government strengthens national unity

By: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, JUN/22/2014, SSN;

A debate on any topic of interest should be seen as a way of increasing understanding for an informed decision. The debate may clear some ignorance about the topic. This should be viewed as something positively contributing to mutual understanding.

The current debate on federalism should be seen as something useful to increase understanding. Some people are expressing outright ignorance mixed with fear of what federalism is all about. Some are even losing their heads as the debate heats up which seems to have touched raw nerves.

Objectivity is fast disappearing, producing sycophants who are trying by all means to please their masters to sustain their high table positions. Intellectualism is being replaced with simplistic arguments where federalism is dismissed outright as non starter.

The sustainability of national unity does not depend on somebody’s subjectivity to prescribe what people should support. Rather it is an objective undertaking and collective responsibility born out of inclusiveness where people can instinctively identify with the nation.

Arguably, inclusiveness can be achieved through federalism when there is an active participation at the state level in addressing local issues that a centralized system is too remote to address.

As will be seen in the text there may be some hidden reasons why some people ardently reject federalism. However, as the debate carries on there will come a time when the majority will either reject or support federalism. Naturally as people gain knowledge of something it is expected that they will make an informed decision which may go either way, to reject or support federalism.

Something that is imposed on people may hardly be sustainable. People should therefore be contented that neither a federal system nor a centralized one will be imposed. Any system of government that will be adopted will hopefully be according to the will of the majority with the rights of minorities respected and dissenting views taken on board. Federalism will naturally be gaining ground.

Debate on federalism

The debate on federalism has produced proponents on one side and opponents on the other. The proponents of federalism are positive as they conceive federalism sustaining national unity.

In a federal system of government the federal constitution allocates power between the federal (national) government and the component units (states), determining which powers are the exclusive prerogative of each government and which powers are shared.

It is to be noted that when powers are shared, the federal constitution defines how conflicts among the governments with regard to these powers are to be resolved. In sustaining national unity the federal constitution regulates the relations among the states and between the federal government and the states.

Adopting a federal system of government should be seen as part of reforms to consolidate national unity in view of communal heterogeneity and complexity as for example in South Sudan. Federalism creates an environment that encourages full participation of people in running effectively their development affairs to improve living standards.

Who will object to services closer to home? Only the naïve may do so. This is in contrast to a centralised system where accountability may be wanting and most of the budget is retained at the centre with the peripheries nearly abandoned. This will hardly be the case in a federal system where peripheries are catered for.

Proponents of federalism are champions of equitable power sharing and distribution of resources for the benefit of all. On the other hand opponents are negative in their imagination and will do anything to reject federalism. They should understand that federalism is like a hedge in between that makes relations greener.

Conception of federalism

The opponents of federalism conceive federalism negatively. This has generated a lot of misconception of federalism. Arguably most of the misconception is based on ignorance, fear and deliberate misinterpretation. Ignorance may be associated with high levels of illiteracy.

Somebody somewhere in the debate on federalism has said, because of high illiteracy rate, 72 per cent, in South Sudan, the adoption of federalism must wait until the illiteracy rate is about 11 per cent. What a strange idea indeed.

On average the literacy rate in Equatoria is 32 per cent, in Bahr el Ghazal 22.25 and in Upper Nile it is 29 per cent respectively. It can be seen that the literacy rate in Equatoria is higher than in the other two former regions. However, the literacy rate in Upper Nile is higher than that of Bahr el Ghazal.

The higher literacy rate in Equatoria may explain the level of understanding of federalism here that the overwhelming demand is for a federal system of government in South Sudan. Partly due to its high literacy rate Upper Nile may also demand a federal system of government. This makes it unacceptable to hold Equatoria hostage because of the others’ low level of understanding of federalism.

In the debate fear is the only factor for the rejection of federalism. For example, somebody in a very simplistic way cited Munuki Residential Area as excluding non Equatorian residents from attending committee meetings. Is this a major issue that can lead to the rejection of federalism? Of course, this can simply be administratively tackled if a genuine complaint is raised.

The fear of federalism cited is that federalism will divide the people of South Sudan. How will people be divided is a mystery that only the fearful may have the answer. The fear that federalism will divide the people of South Sudan is an insult to the intelligence of the people as though they are simpletons who cannot think critically. The people of South Sudan will not be divided but only if they so desire.

Naturally the people of South Sudan are not one people as some would like to preach as if others are daft. However, one thing is certain. The people of South Sudan are of one destiny and this was their only strength that sustained them through the ages in the long and bitter armed struggle for dignity, freedom and equality. As in the old Sudan, in South Sudan we are still people of one destiny united in our quest for justice and fairness for all.

Federalism will never ever divide the people of South Sudan as claimed by the opponents of federalism who tend to be too simplistic in their perception. The people have a bigger goal to achieve, South Sudan that is a paradise for all. Centralisation has obviously brought many problems that solutions are hardly available.

Deliberate misinterpretation of federalism

The opponents of federalism have been relentlessly engaging in deliberate misinterpretation. A crucial discovery can be made at this juncture from this deliberate misinterpretation of federalism. The demand for federalism seems to have uncovered something dangerous to the unity of South Sudan, a neocolonialist agenda of the supposedly informed opponents of federalism. In their fury against federalism the opponents have displayed their true colors and frustrations have got the better of them.

The target is Equatoria which is the lead in the call for a federal system of government in South Sudan. So arguably, the rejection of federalism is not because it is a bad system of government but because it is an obstacle to the neocolonialist agenda.

This is a contradiction to the concept and spirit of a liberation struggle to establish a fairer system of governance that delivers and meets people’s aspirations for a decent life. The turmoil we have may be due to such contradiction. So the venom is now spat out. Neocolonialism will not only target Equatoria but it will go beyond when the project in Equatoria is over.

Conclusion

South Sudanese are people of one destiny. They share the same aspirations for dignity, freedom, equality, justice and fairness for all. How true the saying is that one rotten apple spoils a bag of apples. Some opponents of federalism may have genuine concerns.

However, it is clear that others may have neocolonialist agenda. These people may hardly have the unity of people of South Sudan in their hearts but only their interest.

In conclusion, poor understanding of federalism can be addressed through an open debate and discussion, and possibly through talk show in the media. However, people’s freedom to express their views should not be muzzled.

The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 is clear and allows for freedom of expression and media as stipulated in Article 24(1). Opponents of federalism may need to demonstrate that they do not have neocolonialist agenda for their position is unconvincing.

Yes….. Kiir is ‘STUPID’….. and that’s our problem

JUN/17/2014, SSN;

EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: Absolutely, the calling of president Salva Kiir ‘stupid’ signifies the obvious political and diplomatic frustration by IGAD’s Secretary-general, Mahboub Maalim, especially when the same Kiir puts his selfish interest foremost than the terrible predicament he has now brought on the millions of South Sudanese.

Exacerbating his supposed ‘stupidity’ further, our supposedly stupid president has subsequently and in a typically primitive knee-jerk reaction, cancelled his government’s further attendance of the peace negotiations in Addis Ababa for his self-interest again because, as his information minister, Makuei, reiterated, ‘Kiir deserves an apology.’

What a selfish president! Does Kiir seriously care about the millions of South Sudanese citizens dying from the unnecessary war and the impeding famine he has created?

As further elaborated by the Ugandan Member of Parliament, Dr. Kenneth Omona, “the disagreement between Kiir and Machar didn’t warrant war but if they’re insisting on war they become STUPID. War is always the last resort… many fertile grounds of maturity were ignored. The entire political and military class should embrace dialogue… if not, then it’s STUPIDITY.”

Nothing wrong here with the criticism of the Ugandan politician which echoed what IGAD’s Mahboub Maalim first rationalized, after all, IGAD has already wasted 17 million US dollars on the seemingly futile and endless peace talks in Addis.

What’s really more important at this critical time in our nation– the political calamity South Sudanese are enduring because of Kiir’s blunders or, to put it bluntly, the protection of his obviously well-publicized ‘stupidity?’

However, what’d worry citizens of South Sudan more is the unstoppable and rapid political metamorphosis of Kiir into a typical murderous and genocidal dictator, a buffoon and an idiot, the likes of Gadafi, Bokassa and the Pol Pots.

It can’t be any more disputed now is the fact that Kiir had carefully premeditated, planned and executed the mortal annihilation of Dr. Riek Machar and his Nuer tribes-people by his creation and use of a predominately Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazel Dinka militia just as the then Hutu president Habalyimana created the ‘Interahamwe’ paramilitary milita that massacred a million Rwandese in 1994.

In all frankness, most South Sudanese unanimously and quietly applaud the critical observation of IGAD’s Mahboub Maalim on Kiir’s mental status when he called Kiir as stupid.

To contextualize the alleged characterization of Kiir as ‘stupid,’ perhaps Mr. Mahboub Maalim meant either one or all of the following definitions:
1- A stupid person as one tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes;
2- Lacking intelligence or care;
3- Having or showing a lack of ability to learn and understand things or
4- Not able to think normally because you are drunk.

Even though Mr. Mahboub Maalim’s so-called insult was meant for both Kiir and his nemesis, Riak Machar, it’s unarguably apparent that Kiir is the prime target since his is the most important player and the one surely impacted by all of the above qualifications as far as our current emotions are concerned.

What kind of leader is Kiir really? As a more diplomatic and civilized person, Mr. Mahboub Maalim even came to Juba recently and probably wanted to meet Kiir and iron out the problem, but, not surprisingly for most South Sudanese, Kiir flatly avoided meeting his so-called ‘insulter.’

That’s just another blatant diplomatic ‘stupidity’ by Kiir as Mr. Maalim would have most probably directly expressed his ‘apology’ as demanded by Kiir and the issue permanently resolved.

The great civil rights leader, Martin Luther is quoted having said the following: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

Exactly, these are the two most important drawbacks of president Kiir, his stunted formal education only serves to exacerbate his utterly shameful manifestations of ‘stupidity’ in all facets of his deplorable leadership.

Since ascending to power by default after Garang’s sudden death, Kiir has been a pawn easily and persistently manipulated by his Dinka tribesmen for their particular interest and to the fatal detriment of the nation.

From the likes of Bona Malwal against Garang during the liberation to the Arthur Akuein, Athorbei, Athian, Telar and the Paul Malong, billions allegedly stolen by these tribes-people and the country utterly now devastated, obviously with Kiir’s implicit connivance.

Going back to our current predicament, how many times has Kiir publicly promised the nation that he will ‘never take us back to war?’

According to Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, now permanently incarcerated by Kiir in Juba, in his letter of resignation from the SPLM to Kiir, aptly opined that, “the struggle for democratic reforms in the SPLM has resulted in the death of tens of thousands of our innocent citizens betrays an inner tendency to dictatorship the very antithesis of liberation, which united us in the SPLM.”

In his latest book also, ‘South Sudan: The state we aspire,’ Dr. Peter A. Nyaba further opined that “the leadership of Gen. Salva Kiir is such that it can permit perpetual political instability and squabbling, which indeed could spell the dismemberment of the SPLM and South Sudan.’

Since assuming the SPLM leadership and presidency, he stupidly averted tackling and resolving the simmering internal contradictions within the SPLM, and true to his poor leadership, he blatantly resorted to his one-man or one-clan rule/dictatorship.

True, not only has the SPLM and its SPLA disintegrated but South Sudan is now breaking apart as witnessed in the renewed call for federalism and possibly who knows, a federal Equatoria or Upper Nile state might in future break off and become two sovereign nations. Why not?

Furthermore, Kiir became a habitual liar, promising the people a million promises but delivering absolutely nothing except more death and more disaster.

Kiir persistently vowed to curtail the rampant corruption perpetuated by those in his inner circle including the J-ONE tribal aides who just opened the cash safes there and marched away with millions of dollars in their pockets while the president watched.

With sheer stupidity, Kiir publicly revealed those unnamed 75 thieves in his government who stole 4 billion US dollars and up to date, not a single suspect has ever been apprehended.

Just recently after returning from signing the Cessation of Hostilities with Machar in Addis Ababa, Kiir while addressing his supporters at Juba Airport, pointed with his hands at the mushrooming high rise buildings around, said the following: “These hotels are built by those people who stole money from Malakal and Bentiu.”

What a show of sheer stupidity by Kiir on SSTV! So he knows where the money was stolen from and who stole that money and built those towering hotels and yet he’s totally incapable to apprehend those people.

Many a times, Kiir promised to build a hundred schools periodically across the nation, nothing happened and education basically has collapsed.

How often has he promised to build hospitals in all states and improve service delivery and yet the people across the nation desperately lack basic necessities of life.

Security was promised and yet tens of headless bodies are constantly delivered openly at the Juba Morgue. The citizens across the country are forever living in fear. Even foreign embassies have advised their citizens to either leave the country or not even to come into the country.

Only under president Kiir has South Sudan, a country rich with oil revenues and other resources, but where billions of dollars disappear from the national coffers with no one held to account; a country where going into politics is synonymous with absolute sycophancy and with illicitly acquiring vast wealth with the cynical blessing of the president, a country where the expression of views against the ineptitude of the president or against the corruption and insecurity leads to sudden death in the hands of Kiir’s village henchmen.

Unfortunately and finally, our nation, that was once the beloved darling of the world as the newest nation, is now a shameful laughing stock of the world.

Compounding our situation further is the “current moral deficit and decay” in the SPLM. As Dr Lual Deng noted in his book, some of these leaders go to church every Sunday and tell lies to the innocent congregation.

That fateful Sunday of December 15, 2013, Pres. Kiir postponed the closing session of the SPLM politburo to allow him and others to go pray in their respective churches (he went to Kator Cathedral of Archbishop Paulino Lukudu) and guess what, it was the very fateful night he executed the incredulous massacre of innocent fellow citizens.

This is clinically a man of split personality, a psychopathic and genocidal leader where Kator Catholic Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro’s many, many years of prayers and benediction have had no divine effect on Kiir.

Clearly, Kiir is not accepting the IGAD proposed Transitional government without him as leader as it’s looks ominous that a peaceful resolution to our national crisis is nearly unattainable and only war remains the only option.

South Sudan has failed, will continue to fail and stay at the bottom of all nations for the foreseeable future, thanks to Kiir’s now internationally acknowledged ‘stupidity.” END


A Case for Federalism in the Republic of South Sudan

BY: J. Omunu, SOUTH SUDAN, JUN/15/2014, SSN;

Let me dive in straight to the topic. Many would agree with me that the Republic of South Sudan is a one-party state with the political power vested in the central government. President Kiir has no constitutional restrictions in his exercise of power over political activities at all levels of governments. He can appoint and fire elected MPs, Governors, University Chancellors, members of Judiciary Branch with impunity etc.

Thus, the fate and prospects of South Sudanese political and socio-economic stability is now hanging on the establishment of a balanced federal system of government in South Sudan.

In this brief discussion, I argue that the problem confronting our new country is a highly centralized system of government disguised as “decentralized democratic system” under a retarded one-party system: the SPLM.

In this system of government, political power is centrally concentrated in the hand of one strong Big-Man: President Salva Kiir who is holding power over all public policies affecting the citizens.

In theory, federalism is all about the distribution of wealth, power and authority between central and states levels of governments, such that each level of government is self-governing in its assigned geographical area.

Many economists will argue that a federal state encourages development in areas where citizens are determined to work hard for the common benefit of all.

Strictly speaking, the centralization of power by the SPLM ruling elites since 2005 has produced contradictory end results. I would argue the current political system largely reflects the South Sudan’s messy and failed system of governance.

Surprisingly, after attaining its independence from the “old Sudan,” the SPLM ruling elites mostly from the Dinka forcefully argued for centralized and unitary government much like that of Sudan.

You may recall in the “old Sudan,” concentration of power at the center was considered a necessary prerequisite to maintaining the country’s territorial integrity and unity.

However, the supposed benefits of “decentralization” in South Sudan have proved illusionary if not absolute failure.

On the other hand, the post-independence Sudan has been rocked by tribal conflicts, military coups, and civil wars due to concentration of power in Khartoum, and specifically at hands of few Jallaba elites.

Therefore, although an argument for establishing decentralized government or one-party state that many would hope will help unify the various ethnic groups, the Sudan’s experience has been disappointing.

The experiment clearly shows that centralization/decentralization system does not cement the country’s unity or helps equitable distribution of power and resources that suits the various ethnic groups’ interests within the Sudan.

Like the northern ruling elites in the Sudan, members of a particular tribe in the newly independent South Sudan, see no problem with that same failed centralized political arrangement because they consider themselves not only different but more equal than others, to borrow words from Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Make no mistake about it, the ongoing senseless war and killings are but an illustration of the cases where members of a dominant tribe continue to dominate political and economic power at the expense of members of other groups.

Needless to say that the competition for political and economic control resulted in the massacre of innocent Nuer ethnic groups in Juba who had nothing to do with the power struggle within the SPLM, followed by subsequent revenge killings of innocent Dinka in Bor and Akobo.

Such are the results of skewed public policies designed to benefit a few and particular ethnic group at the expense of others. It is therefore difficult to validate the claim that the current “decentralized” government can unite the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious nation of South Sudan.

As noted above, the newest country in Africa is not only experiencing internal divisions and inter-tribal war but economic stagnation as well.

In brief, South Sudan is now a dictatorship by all accounts. The poor governance practiced in the country can be attributed to the bad South Sudan Transitional Constitution-2011, which clearly concentrated excessive powers in the hands of one strong-man (President Kiir).

This is the genesis of the problems and constitutional failures to address the conflicting interests of 64 ethnic groups in post-independence South Sudan.

Contrary to that Federalism allows equitable distribution of power and resources, and it allows individual groups to preserve their cultural heritage.

As we speak, it is only the incumbent President Kiir and his cronies or pro-status quo folks are the ones criticizing Federalism on the false premise that such a system of government reinforces tribalism. Their argument holds no water – simply because Federalism has never been tried before in South Sudan.

Bear in mind, South Sudan is a very huge country, which makes it more difficult for the central government in Juba to deliver basic services and serve local communities in remote areas of the country efficiently.

For example, the Murle people and many other small tribes have been forgotten by the central government in Juba. Their repeated calls for justice and a genuine political reform in the country have gone unanswered and ignored by those bourgeoisie sitting in their air-conditioned offices in Juba.

Juba has remained unresponsive to these demands for reform.

Paradoxically, the SPLM/A leadership raised the aspirations of ‘Junubin’ (South Sudanese) followers during the struggle for justice, freedom and equality with the promise of democratic rule, economic development, improved education, health care, basic service delivery and taking towns to the villages.

These promises helped to mobilize volunteer fighters from the various ethnic groups, and later with the 2011-referendum that led to resounding yes of 99.8% votes for independence South Sudan.

However, the unfulfilled expectations have created widespread frustration and armed rebellions against the ruling SPLM party that fails to fulfill its promises.

No wonder the so-called “disgruntled” members within the ruling SPLM party known today as the SPLM-in-Opposition decided to fight and push for change.

Most of all, the weak decentralization system currently in place proved to be the problem, therefore, federalism is more desirable than the latter and it can be the best prescribed solution for the South Sudan’s political and socio-economic crisis if there is a political will in the country.

As one of our South Sudanese respected elder and distinguished professor pointed out:
There are those who fear federalism so much, and want to convince others not to support it. While federalism may not solve all our current problems, it will go a long way to mitigate some of it. It has however to be implemented in tandem with other important reforms of our weak institutions.

Federalism, thus, would likely preserve unity, ethnic harmony, and above all, it is most likely to advance economic and individual freedom.

In conclusion, federalism will protect individual rights against a powerful central government or dictatorship.


Why Power-sharing between Kiir & Machar isn’t a solution to S. Sudanese’ Crisis

By: John Bith Aliap, Adelaide, AUSTRALIA, JUN/12/2014, SSN;

The Rep. of S. Sudan – which is the youngest nation on earth – has been gripped by unimaginable crisis, a situation that sends think tanks, regional and international leaders, academics and experts to shop for various solutions.

Riek Machar – a controversial figure in S. Sudanese’ politics – has in the last few months made a series of demands. Among them is a power-sharing government in an attempt to end his seven-month old rebellion, but finding a workable solution appears to be a mind-blowing exercise for concerned leaders.

This article seeks to explain why power-sharing deal which now hangs on IGAD’s lips is not an ideal solution to solve S. Sudanese’ crisis.

As the crisis reaches a tipping point as we speak, the regional leaders under the banner of IGAD are now considering the power-sharing government between Kiir and Machar’s rival groups, but does this deal hold weight to end the crisis?

The answer depends on which side of equation you’re in, but in my view, it doesn’t. The two men – Kiir and Machar – have recently put on the latest fashion of power-sharing deal. They have agreed on Tuesday this week to forge a transitional government within a 60-day deadline as well as completing the dialogue process within the same period on what, how, when and who would participate in the up-coming power-sharing/transitional government …. whichever way you can call it.

While IGAD’s leaders are considering to give a portion of power to Riek Machar and his loyalists so they can quench their leadership’s thirst in a well-intentioned agreement, “power-sharing”, this move contradicts the principles of democracy and it adds salt into a fresh wounds.

IGAD’s leaders seem to be unaware that power-sharing is not something new in S. Sudan. It’s been tried many times and it produced no results.

For example, most of current rebels’ commanders including rebel chief Riek Machar who now marshals the rebellion have in the past been integrated into the government under the power-sharing deal, but has anything changed in S. Sudan as a result of their integration into the government? No!

Their integration has in turn pushed the country into the abyss.

Power-sharing has been widely used in Africa over the past two decades as a formula to managing political conflicts and crises. It has been rolled out in many African countries such as Angola, Burundi, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Comoros Islands, Congo, Coute d’Ivore, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

It has been accorded with special status to the extent that discussions of potential power-sharing are carried out even before the elections that are expected to be controversial are conducted, but despite its popularity as a conflict resolution instrument, its effectiveness is questionable.

Most countries that have used power-sharing to resolve their conflicts have not achieved any long-lasting stability nor have they been able to establish a credible system of multiparty politics.

Power-sharing shouldn’t be on IGAD’s list of solutions. IGAD leaders need to be crystally told that they should find a better solution than power-sharing.

Riek Machar’s political thuggery and slaughter of innocent people should not be rewarded with power-sharing of any type. Doing so equates to creating a blue print for thugs/murders ascension to power.

IGAD doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that S. Sudan is a baby nation and it needs a strong democratic foundation which shouldn’t be done on a basis of power-sharing – and rewarding coup staging power hungry individuals like Riek Machar with “power sharing” is a gross mistake.

What if other leaders put on Machar’s shoes and threaten a civil war unless they’re given some power… then what? That’s a dangerous path.

IGAD is setting a dangerous precedence in Africa when it decides to go for the power-sharing route…why should Kiir – who’s a democratically elected leader share power with Riek Machar who cannot contain his greed for power?

Since IGAD’s historic adoption of a co-presidency to end the post–election violence in most of African countries, there have been calls in other parts of Africa for the same.

My contention is that this is not only the easy way out of a political problem but also the wrong solution.

Riek Machar staged a coup against a democratically elected government and he brands a coup’s accusation as a fake and then insists on a coalition presidency.

A mutiny has taken place. Riek Machar has more or less claimed partial responsibility by calling on soldiers to bring down Kiir-led democratically elected government.

Riek Machar has a history of mutual tribal hatred and mistrust and expecting him to share the presidency with Kirr – who ranks top on his death list, consigns S. Sudan into a perpetual political limbo.

If Machar has some specific issues, he should bring them to the table or else he must be told, in no uncertain terms, that he has to wait for the next elections. Machar should not get any “inch of power” when he doesn’t deserve even a crumb.

For now, what IGAD should be pursuing is how to convince Kiir to pardon Riek Machar or allow him safe passage into exile.

It’s wrong for individuals who feel aggrieved to cause chaos in the hope of getting power. It’s wrong to seek power using selfish means at the expense of ordinary and innocent civilians.

It will never be right for the so-called African leaders to kill people en-mass to satiate their greed for power.

In conclusion, power-sharing deal is not encouraging news to democracy in S. Sudan and in other African countries. IGAD has set a wrong precedent by encouraging power-sharing deal in S. Sudan.

IGAD needs to make a U-turn and support people’s government of S. Sudan since cohabitation between Kiir and Machar under the proposed power-sharing government is a recipe for more troubles.

Power-sharing is killing democracy in S. Sudan and to encourage democracy, IGAD’s leaders should discourage this trouble-prone deal and back the government and this is the only way democracy can take hold in S. Sudan as a new country.

IGAD should abandon its current push for power-sharing and instead use a dual approach “using both negotiations and military intervention” in the form of peacekeeping mission to end the crisis.

John Bith Aliap can be reached at johnaliap2011@hotmail.com


Bravo Equatorians for support of Federalism

Quote “Those who opposed to the idea of Federalism will and cannot not be allowed to deny Equatorians their call for Federalism” Clement Wani Konga, Governor, CES.

By: Bol Khan Rom, SOUTH SUDAN, JUN/12/2014, SSN;

The people of Greater Equatoria Region deserve thousands congratulations for having openly in broad daylight declared their embracing of a Federal system of governance. Many people took Equatorians for granted that they are just the kind of human beings in South Sudan who would never ever say NO for any tabled idea even the one which isn’t in their interest.

Particularly, in a sensitive or threatening atmosphere like this. Unpredictably, here they are, openly saying NO at the watch of the destroying machine.

Ironically, it is not a light burden as I said, nowadays in Juba for one to express his/her dire needs bravely in front of sitting individuals.

Squarely, the three states’ Governors of Greater Equatoria region together with their governments’ officials and all grassroots have unanimously declared to go for federalism.

By summing this up, Greater Upper Nile region is also for federalism. Approximately, 50% of Greater Bhar el Ghazal region has also decided to go for federalism.

Then South Sudan is here for Federal system of governance. There should not be a question about that.

Clearly, a need for federalism is not necessarily an expulsion of other citizens from Equatoria or ways for certain regions to control their own resources. It is for these reasons that federal system of governance had been a grave demand by all South Sudanese for years of struggle.

So, Equatorians cannot be categorized as rebels just because they demand Federalism. It is not even the first time for Equatorians to favor or call for Federalism.

Vividly, after Independence Equatorians held regional conferences in late 2011, 2012 & 2013 consecutively and called for federalism.

Alas, their calls had always been turned down by the government of South Sudan. Because, some people within the bureaucracy call it a new-kokora (division) or regionalism.

However, during the closure of the last Equatoria conference in 2013 it was accepted by the government for the first time. Dr. Riek Machar, the then Vice President accepted the call but implementation was not made.

Afterwards, the bureaucracy had to oppose itself on how South Sudan can be governed peacefully. And it has embroiled itself alone into present abyss, promptly led to peace negotiations in Addis Ababa.

This is also a golden and last chance for other South Sudanese and Equatorians to forward their demands that had been turned down by the self embattled bureaucracy.

Greater Equatoria, Greater Upper Nile and fifty percent of Greater Bhar El Ghazal region are for federal system. This was an accessed fact.

More so, Federalism isn’t a means of dividing the people of South Sudan as it has been misinterpreted.

Rather, a means of dividing the powers, functions of government between a central government and a specified number of geographically defined regional jurisdictions.

A federal system falls somewhere between the unitary and confederate forms in the method whereby it divides powers among levels of government.

It has a minimum of two governmental levels, each of which derives its powers directly from the people (not from person or clique) and each of which can act directly on the people within its jurisdiction without permission from any other authority.

Each level of Government is supreme in the powers assigned to it, and each is protected by a constitution from being destroyed by the other.

Thus federalism is a means of dividing the powers and functions of government between a central government and a specified number of geographically defined regional (state) jurisdictions.

So it is not a call that divides the South Sudan according to tribes or regions. Instead it is a way of drawing a clear separation of powers or protecting constitutions of different levels of government from being destroyed by other.

Even in one region, Greater Bhar el Ghazal, for instance; the powers of NBG State will be divided with that of WBG state. Each of these states government is supreme in the powers assigned to it.

Mr. X or Y cannot interfere within the jurisdiction of one of these two states for the simple reason that they share Greater Bhar el Gazal Region. No!

Again, if the people of NBG state have elected Gen. Paul Malong as their governor in elections, Paul Malong must not be removed by Dr. Dhieu Mathok the President of central Government, for example, who would be seated in Ramciel, the National Capital.

There will be no interference from other levels of government at all. This is how federal system works/separates powers. And that is why it is being demanded by majority of South Sudanese.

Hence, it should not be twisted as Kokora—division or something else. It is the same federal system South Sudanese have been searching for, since 1950s.

Therefore, to the best of my knowledge Equatorians are not demanding it because they want to target or eliminate particular region/tribe based on proposed interim constitution. Nor it is a mechanism to join rebellion.

Australians are not Americans but both nations use or share an ideology of federalism. Likewise, rebels shouldn’t be seen as Equatorians and Equatorians shouldn’t be considered as rebels—Greater Upper Nilians for reason that they both demand Federalism.

After all, Equatorians are human beings in a democratic country, so they cannot swallow their dire need simply because somebody is opposed to it/somebody is demanding it somewhere.

IGAD led peace process in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, must be utilized by all stakeholders of South Sudan to settle and achieve what our bureaucracy failed to implement, right after independence in 2011.

That is, an equitable sharing of national resources; federal system of governance and genuine devolution of powers.

“How many of South Sudanese need federal system of governance to be installed in up coming permanent constitution?” This question was accessed by IGAD—mediators and the result was a populace need to install federal system of governance in South Sudan.

All Greater Equatoria and Greater Upper Nile are the leading regions in favor of federalism. Additionally, Greater Bhar El Gahzal favors the idea with about 50%.

Moreover, with this statistic in mind, South Sudanese people by majority have declared support for federalism. Paved by Equatorians, for if Equatorians had decided to side with the opposite party, ideologically; federalism would have failed legally/democratically.

Because, Greater Upper Nile alone plus 50% of Greater Bhar el Gahazal could only give us less than 50+1 of the (majority) whole country population needed. BRAVO EQUATORIANS FOR YOUR BOLD DECISION!!

The author is on bolkhan39@yahoo.com