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How likely are states to implement the US proposed arms ban on South Sudan?

BY: Mark Deng, a Law Ph.D Candidate, Univ. of Queensland, Australia, FEB/20/2018, SSN;

The Trump administration has recently announced an arms ban on South Sudan as a response to the seemingly intractable civil war in the country and the resultant humanitarian crisis. President Trump has called on both the regional countries in Africa and the UN Security Council to implement a global arms ban on South Sudan.

The arms ban came a few days after the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, called the government of South Sudan an “unfit partner” in the international effort to resolve the South Sudanese conflict.

While the comment may not have been an appropriate diplomatic thing to say to a foreign leader, and, indeed, an ally, it was made out of a frustration at the persistent failures of the South Sudanese leaders to make necessary compromises to break the impasse and bring durable peace to the country.

Adding to the frustration is the fact that the US government has invested over $11 billion dollars in South Sudan since 2011 to support the transitional process, peace talks, and development. Yet the situation in the country seems to be only getting worse.

The war has deeply divided the South Sudanese society and the arms ban was received in the country with mixed reactions.

The rebels and their supporters, on the one hand, welcome the ban as a necessary step to influence the government’s intransigent position on the ongoing consultations to resurrect and implement the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS) signed in 2015 between the government and the rebels.

The ARCISS collapsed in July 2016 after a ferocious fight erupted outside the State House in Juba between the presidential guards and the bodyguards of the rebel leader, Dr Riek.

Dr Riek instantly claimed that the incident was a government’s calculated attempt to assassinate him, prompting him to withdraw from the Government of National Unity in fear for his life.

The government’s response to the arms ban, on the other hand, has not been positive. The First Vice President of South Sudan, Taban Deng Ghai, was quoted recently in a newspaper, saying that the US is no longer a partner in peace.

The Vice President gave this statement shortly after the government of South Sudan recalled its ambassador to Washington in protest to the arms ban. It is unclear as to what these growing diplomatic tensions between the US and South Sudan would lead.

Whatever disappointments the arms ban may have caused to the government of South Sudan, however, the people of South Sudan should never see the US government as an enemy, bearing in mind the indelible role that the Bush administration played to help the South Sudanese achieve their independence.

It is clear that the arms ban raises with it a number of issues, one of which is state sovereignty. According to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, states are to respect each other’s territorial integrity. Put differently, no state should engage in acts that undermine another state’s capacity to maintain its national sovereignty.

The Treaty of Westphalia still holds today, however, it has come under heavy criticism. Some have argued that globalization and other factors that the treaty did not foresee and addressed have rendered the treaty ‘anachronistic’.

Mindful of the need to preserve the treaty, however, others have suggested that there should be exceptions to it. For example, it has been suggested that humanitarian crisis and breakdown of government in a state should be exceptions to the treaty.

I find myself in agreement with this view. A state sovereignty under which citizens do not enjoy the protection of their lives, rights, and freedoms serves no purpose.

The government of South Sudan may claim that the arms ban undermines its sovereignty but the ban, in my view, is justified as it is intended to stop human suffering in the country and further complications to the conflict.

However, the arms ban may have a justifiable ground, but it remains doubtful whether states will follow suit and implement it.

States are generally guided by their own national interests and international treaty obligations in implementing sanctions against a particular state.

The international arms trade is governed by the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) 2014, which is yet to earn the support of all states. As of present, only 93 countries out of the 193 UN member states have ratified the ATT. Among the non-signatory countries are China, Israel, Russia, and Ukraine, which all are the leading arms suppliers to South Sudan.

It is possible that Israel and Ukraine could implement the arms ban on South Sudan, given their close diplomatic ties with the US.

However, it is unlikely that China and Russia could do the same for two main reasons: (1) both countries have vested interests in mining the oil in South Sudan and may not be prepared to jeopardize these lucrative investments; and (2) they are not under ATT international obligations to implement the arms ban on South Sudan since they are not state parties to it.

In addition, the neighboring countries, particularly Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, may not be prepared to implement the arms ban on South Sudan. Aside from being members of IGAD, of which South Sudan is a member, these countries face the same issue of political instability as South Sudan.

On that basis, it is difficult to see how these countries can implement the arms ban on South Sudan due to the fear that any of them could suffer the same fate at any moment.

However, if these neighboring countries were to implement the arms ban on South Sudan, the ban could be effective. These countries are the channels through which arms enter South Sudan from arms suppliers.

In 2015, for example, a Chinese cargo ship, carrying different types of Chinese-made weapons, docked in the Port of Mombasa, Kenya. The cargo was unloaded and the weapons were transported by land to South Sudan.

In 2014, it was reported that South Sudan and Uganda signed a military cooperation agreement. The particulars of the agreement have not been made public but it is generally understood that the agreement authorizes Uganda to purchase arms from third parties on behalf of South Sudan.

While nothing is set in stone in diplomatic relations, the close ties between South Sudan and its neighboring countries, as well as the uncertain future they all face in the region, make it unlikely for these countries to implement the arms ban on South Sudan.

Sure, the Trump administration could apply pressure of any sort to these countries to get them to implement the arms ban but how that would play out cannot be predicted with certainty.

When talking about arms bans, it is important to consult history. History shows that arms bans hardly work. An Arms ban was, for example, imposed on Sudan by the European Union in 1994, yet it did not seem to stop arms supply to Sudan.

Reports indicate that China and Iran, two of Sudan’s close allies, continued to supply Sudan with arms despite the ban.

So, the reality is that it is difficult to control the flow of arms effectively, and the reason is that the arms trade is an international multi-billion dollar business. The states and international arms sale companies will always to try to flout and circumvent the rules in order to continue to make profits from arms sales.

The ATT aims to prevent and eradicate illicit arms trade but its regulatory system does not seem to be effective enough, considering the fact that recent arms sanctions against Syria and Libya have not been successful.

So, in the absence of an effective mechanism that ensures compliance with the treaty obligations for all countries, doubts hang over the success of the proposed arms ban on South Sudan.

It is likely that countries like China and Russia will continue to sell arms to South Sudan and it will all be business as usual.

Mark Deng is a law PhD candidate at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Ending the Culture of Impunity in South Sudan: The Need to Fast-track the Establishment of Hybrid Court

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, LL.B, LL.M, Advocate & Lecturer, Univ. of JUBA, JAN/19/2018, SSN;

Successive crisis have beset the Republic of South Sudan since its independence from Sudan marked by rising militias and warlords fighting for petty interests and demands.

The most recent and more devastating one is the conflict which erupted on 15th of December 2013, due to failure of the SPLM leadership to amicably settled the procedures and mechanisms of voting within the SPLM primaries if need be, causing untold suffering and unspeakable human and material destructions. This was followed in July 2016 by another deadly dog-fight which suddenly erupted in and around J1 which is the presidential palace.

While the virulence of the violence which shook the country transcended into unprecedented scale in particular, its tribal dimension around which it crystallized the events constituted just one episode in a thorny political and security crisis resulting into the signing of the Compromise Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan in August 2015.

In this article hitherto, I intend to dissect, interrogate and endeavour to shed light on the crux of impunity which has become a norm and just means to ascend to power in South Sudan.

On the same vein, I concomitantly intend to bring to forefront why it is important to fast-track the establishment of the hybrid court for South Sudan in order to hold to account those who have blatantly committed these heinous crimes in a broad daylight.

As I have incessantly and extensively written quite a lot on this subject-matter since the advent of the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan in August, 2015 (herein referred to as “The ARCSS-2015”), it is to be essentially made clear that fast-tracking the establishment of the hybrid court for South Sudan to try those who have committed international crimes during and after the conflict provides a rear window of opportunity in bring justice to the victims of the conflict.

In the Agreement, chapter V, article 3 ushered in the establishment of an independent Hybrid Judicial Court for South Sudan thus far known as “The Hybrid Court for South Sudan”. The court shall inter alia be established by the African Union Commission to investigate and prosecute those bearing the greatest responsibility for the violations of international law and/or applicable South Sudanese law committed from 15th December 2013 through the end of the Transitional Period.

The establishment of the hybrid court, although it may not end the fastest growing magnitude of impunity in South Sudan, will send a very strong signal to the perpetrators and the would-be perpetrators that their actions aren’t condonable and that their conducts may have grave consequences and that hiding from accountability either under the cover of the state or abroad is no longer an option where there is a coordinated will to stamp out impunity.

As per the stipulations of the Agreement, the terms of the HCSS shall therefore conform to the terms of the Agreement and AUC shall provide guidelines relating to and including the location of the HCSS, its applicable jurisprudence, infrastructure, funding and enforcement mechanisms, number and composition of judges, privileges and immunities of the court personnel and other related matters thereto.

This is however, the theme of this article, ‘ending impunity in South Sudan: the need to Fast-track the establishment of the Hybrid Court’.

Although the government of South Sudan reached a memorandum of understanding the AUC as was tabled before the council of ministers of the TGoNU last year and still lying before table of the TNLA for an adoption, the AUC has to exert more effort to mount unshakable pressure on the government to give way for the immediate establishment of the hybrid court for South Sudan.

On this token, and on the face of the records, it is apparent that hybrid courts are set up in transitional states like South Sudan, following a time in which serious crimes have been committed on a large scale during the armed conflict and where the national justice system is unavailable or incapable of conducting trials adequately, neutrally, impartially and independently.

However, since hybrid courts can be constituted and given both crimes under international law and domestic crimes, they may cover a more extensive catalogue of crimes than purely international or purely domestic courts.

Thus, to have the establishment of the hybrid court for South Sudan as enunciated in the agreement for the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan fast-tracked will send a very strong signal to those who always shed blood to climb to power and it will deter who have and are embarking on the same journey.

It is to be made succinctly clear that the culture of tolerating impunity for crimes committed against innocent civilians and against non-nationals in this country is coming to an end as those on the onslaught, attack, barrage and onrush to commit more atrocities and inhumane acts against the innocent civilians must be brought to book of justice.

As perpetrators of the most serious and heinous international crimes regularly find refuge in other countries, in particular in the aftermath of an armed conflict and a change of government in their respective countries, the experiences of the European countries provide for good lessons and best practices to be adopted if the hybrid court is fully established.

Equally put, suspects of such crimes who benefited from impunity in south Sudan do travel abroad to receive medical treatment, attend conferences and thereby provides an opportunity for their apprehension and investigation into their alleged conduct during the war and subsequent crimes alleged to have been committed under their watch.

On the same note however, the prosecutions of crimes under international law with help of international community and international experts will be instrumental in the promotion of the norms of international law in South Sudan.

At the same time, the involvement of the international community counteracts perceptions of bias and lack of impartiality that may be associated with trials carried out by judges and prosecutors who had worked under a prior repressive regime.

This is why the African Union Commission should consider fast-tracking the establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan to deter potential perpetrators who are embarking on the business of lynching the most innocent people. They have been on the onslaught, barrage and attack innocent population and it is high time that the court is establish to bring to book of justice the leaders of these criminals.

This is to ensure a long lasting legacy for the rule of law and human rights and equally contribute to ending a culture of impunity by ensuring the prosecution of particular serious crimes committed during and throughout the period of the conflict.

The cost of impunity has been very high on innocent South Sudanese and it is high time to end that culture. Establishing hybrid court for South Sudan to try those who bear greatest responsibility for grave and serious international crimes committed during the armed conflict appears to be an effective response to address the myriad challenges of handling serious international crimes at the national level.

The establishment of the hybrid court for South Sudan sends a strong signal to perpetrators that their actions may have serious consequences and that the culture of evading and subverting justice is coming to an end.

They must be held accountable for any crimes meted on any innocent South Sudanese whether during or after the war.

The author holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Juba; a Master of Laws degree (LLM) in Law, Governance & Democracy from the University of Nairobi; and a Second Master of Laws (LLM) Candidate at the College of Law of the University of Juba. He is an Advocate before all courts in South Sudan. He has extensively been writing on the independence of the Judiciary, judicial reforms, human rights, and comparative constitutional law, Peace & Justice, Good Governance and international criminal law. His areas of Research interests are in human rights, good governance, rule of law and access to Justice. He be reached at

The IGAD High Level Revitalization Forum: Wounded but still alive?

From: Peter Adwok Nyaba , South Sudan, DEC/15/2017, SSN;

Today, Friday, 15 December 2017 marks the fourth anniversary of mutiny in the Presidential Guards contingent of the SPLA, which turned out to be a trap into a well planned targeted killing of ethnic Nuers. The fighting in Juba that night and the following four days heralded the beginning of the civil war. Lest we forget the memory of all those who perished in that and the subsequent revenge genocidal actions in Bor, Bentiu, Malakal, etc. The killing is still continuing.

On Monday 18 December 2017 will be the beginning of the hyped IGAD ARCISS High-Level Revitalization Forum, whatever it means. On the surface, it is meant to revitalize or re-activate, resuscitate, revive the agreement on resolution of conflict in South Sudan, which the JMEC Chair, Mr. Festus Mogai diplomatically described as wounded but still alive.

But deep down the diplomatic and political brinkmanship, it is nothing more than to keep up the hope that some miracles will occur, and some international diplomats and civil servants keep their employments while the broad masses of South Sudan wallow in misery created by war.

The fighting in J1 (Presidential Residence) and Jebel Kujur in July 2016, which witnessed SPLM/A (IO) dislodgement from Juba and Dr. Riek Machar pursued to the borders of Congo not only wounded ARCISS but indeed killed it and collapsed the transitional government of national unity (TGoNU) that was its offspring.

If not because of intrigues driven by security and economic interests in South Sudan, ARCISS should have been declared dead when the fighting involved tanks, howitzers, helicopter gunships and drones broke out in Juba.

One year later, after pretending that he was monitoring and evaluating ARCISS implementation, Mr. Festus embarrassingly admitted half-halfheartedly that ARCISS had died but something could be still be undertaken to revitalize it; hence is the proposal for a high-level revitalization forum (HLRF) patterned on AU High-level implementation panel on Abyei, which produced nothing to date.

By the look of things, the HLRF trends to what Beshir Mohammed Saed said in March 1965 describing the Round Table Conference on the Problem of Southern Sudan as ‘a mountain that gave birth to a dead rat’. The government of Salva Kiir has already declared it is not for revitalization.

President Kiir’s undiplomatic letter to Prime Minister Desalegn is indicative of his ‘don’t care’ attitude towards the humanitarian disaster unfolding in the country. In fighting Riek Machar and the opposition groups Kiir wouldn’t mind South Sudan and its people going down the drain.

The HLRF is doomed to failure because, in my opinion, the South Sudan political leadership lacks the national instincts to let go personal agenda for power. I believe there was nothing terribly wrong with ARCISS and it could have satisfied all and sunder, return peace to the country such that our people could recreate their lives in peace and harmony.

Something went wrong with the implementation and the missing component of the peace mediators, guarantors and the international community in the form of enforcement mechanism. This enabled one party to play with the ARCISS.

The responsibility for the collapse of ARCISS lies with President Salva Kiir and in part with the SPLM/A (IO) leadership on account of its failure to mend its internal fences.

Taban Deng Gai’s unbridled fury and anger against Dr. Riek Machar for denying him the petroleum portfolio in the TGoNU which ignited the July conflagration leading to the collapse of ARCISS, remains a shame and speaks volumes of how some South Sudan leaders’ power ambitions and greed for wealth threatens the very existence of South Sudan.

It is possible that the government may not send a delegation on Monday. The fact that Dr. Martin Elia Lomoro and not the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Deng Alor, will be attending the IGAD Council of Ministers today already shows the government is divided with one leg in the opposition in the form of Former Detainees.

The opposition should therefore exploit the opportunity afforded by HLRF in Addis Ababa to forge a unity of purpose. Only the unity of the opposition will make the government of Salva Kiir and some of its elements who have become fabulously rich because of the war, to feel pressure for peace.

Short of that it will just be another talking shop.

Peter Adwok Nyaba

What are the Alternatives to Pres. Salva Kiir?

BY: Apioth Mayom Apioth, DEC/10/2017, SSN;

By the looks of things, Kiir Mayardit has no intention of steering the nation into the daylight. He has been the leading figure in the South Sudanese politics for twelve unimpressive years. He has become “Mr. Let’s wait and see how this problem is going to take care of itself.” His love of the leadership has blinded his conscientious self.

In ancient Africa, Kings or chiefs wielded enormous power and with this juggernaut of power came novelty. In most cases, they were principally wealthy and gave away their wealth to the downtrodden populace. For this, Kiir Mayar is trying to emulate how the traditional leaders had an open door policy and being all ears to countless number of people all at one go. He just sits there on his presumed throne and families of all kinds come to demand whatever they long for their livelihoods.

Even before his ascendancy to the upper echelon of the South Sudanese politics, his laid-back approach to everything cost many soldiers to lose their lives during our days in the bush. The first task of a leader is to be an initiator. The first to take the first step out. Salva Kiir sleeps on his duties. An influential leader cultivates trust. How does trust come about?

He/she is a selfless being that goes out of her comfort zone to make sure the lives of all individuals are secure from harm. Once the people are secure from danger, then what comes next is trust and a willingness for the general populace to heed his call for commandeering. Trust is garnered through three hard-earned steps.

First, the character of the leader must be put under the microscopic lenses for all to scrutinize. Integrity reigns supreme here. He/she is accountable and must follow through on his/her promises. Up next is competence. Is the leader in question qualified to lead the institution that he/she is vying for? Last, but not the least, is authority.

As things stand today, no one in his right mind would delegate any powers to Kiir Mayar so he can determine the fate of our nation. People began to lose trust in Kiir soon after he took over after the demise of Dr. John. Corruption became the name of the game. Insecurity was rampant and thus making everyone to fend for himself. Money was being carted away in boxes.

For someone that is this inept and incapable of taking care of his duties; one may wonder how he survived the leadership upheaval under Dr. John. What did John Garang see in him that made him stand out from the crowd?

Salva Kiir is a quiet person by nature and by the same token, he hideously swallowed his true corrupt nature so he could feed that monstrous character once the power came his way. According to the United Nations, some 2 million people are taking refuge in our neighboring countries. Another 2 million people are internally displaced.

South Sudanese who first began the refugee life in 1987 have now spent thirty years in those makeshift camps. Thirty years more and they are in their sixties, still living the hard life of a refugee. These South Sudanese nationalities are not entitled to land rights, agricultural subsidies for farming, and low taxes in their host nations; they consistently live on the hand-outs from the United Nations where the daily meal is beans.

What are the alternatives to our current quagmire?

South Sudan as a nation has not fully healed from the traumas we put ourselves through during the liberation era. From the early eighties to the early nineties, SPLA was holding the high ground in our struggle for justice; major swathes of South Sudan was liberated with the exception of few major towns that comprised of Juba, Wau, and Malakal.

After the splintering of SPLA/M into SPLA/M-Torit/Mainstream and SPLA/M-Nasir, respectively, we began to turn on ourselves and chaos started to confuse our national identity. Our adversaries in Khartoum began to buy our loyalties with the simple words of mouth. We began to switch sides to Khartoum, thinking that we can find greener pastures on that side yonder.

No tribe was invincible to the manipulative machinations of Khartoum’s age-old doctrine of divide and conquer. Our leaders ranging from Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, Arok Thon Arok, Joseph Oduho, Riek Machar Teny, Lam Akol Ajawin and even to a certain extent, William Nyuon Bany, all decided to abandon our major struggle for an unknown promise from those we were fighting against.

We were stronger when we were one collective and united force, however, after the 1991’s splintering, Khartoum regime under Omar el Bashir started to push us back into a rabbit hole. Efforts were made to create a reconciliation project and the December of 2013 crisis has shown that the reconciliation efforts were ineffective at best.

Our best bet would be for the group of South Sudan Young Leaders Forum (SSYLM), which includes the likes of Peter Biar Ajak and Manasseh Mathiang to take over the mantle of leadership in the land. This group comprises of 70 bright young South Sudanese leaders who were drawn from all the tribes in the nation.

South Sudan is a highly conservative nation; a year ago, Kenyan girls were harassed in Wau for wearing skinny jeans. Our older generation would easily dismiss the likes of SSYLM members as mere children and thus incapable of taking over the reins from Salva Kiir.

What our people fail to grasp these days, is that our young and upcoming generation lives in two competitive cultures at the same time. They live in the Western culture of iPhone and popular culture, and traditional culture where they still pay the bride price for their betrothed brides. They are the ones that are good at juggling modernity and the old way of life, whereas the older cohorts could easily be manipulated to succumb to old tribal cliches.

The older generation wants to main the status quo and the old way of life, whereby an Azande traditional dance would be deemed inappropriate by Toposa people. The Toposa would see it as an impure custom, infringing on their pure cultured way of dance. The 34 years we have spent in the diaspora since after the eruption of second Sudanese civil war, have taught this young generation to be more tolerant of their differences. Some of them have lived their entire lives outside of South Sudan, coming only for a short family visit after the signing of the CPA.

In case the upper echelon of South Sudanese politics refuse to relinquish the leadership to SSYLM, then they can bequeath the reins to Pagan Amum. Why of all people Pagan Amum? Pagan Amum is neither a Dinka nor a Nuer. He is not an Equatorian indigene, too.

After the eruption of the crisis in December of 2013, it has been the Dinka vs Equatorians vs Nuer ever since. Many would complain again of the Nuer dominance in the government if we relinquish the leadership to Taban Deng Gai or Riek Machar. The same would be the case if we hand it to James Wani Igga or Thomas Cirilo Swaka, or Joseph Bakosoro.

Our situation is quite different from the one the Rwandans face after the 1994 genocide. Paul Kagame is a Tutsi and Rwanda has only two other tribes, namely of Hutu and Twa. The majority of the army that took down the Hutu-led government were collectively Tutsi by ethnicity. As one homogeneous ethnic group, the Tutsi easily understood each other and fought for justice as one collective unit.

After Liberia plunged into two successive civil wars, they elected Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was regarded as a nontraditional leader, because she is a female. Mrs. Johnson defeated the former World Footballer of the Year, George Weah in the general elections and Liberia has been stable ever since.

The Dinka, Nuer, and Azande are the three largest tribes of South Sudan. By choosing Pagan Amum, we would be choosing a nontraditional leader who would stitch together the scattered parts of our nation into a wholesome and cohesive unit. For our people to continue to turn on ourselves for trivial matters as the competition for leadership is truly unfathomable.

We had it worse under successive Khartoum regimes and yet we haven’t learned a thing about how to live together as a nation. History has it that when a people went through a protracted suffering, they rise up from the ashes and used their tragic past to build better communal relations for their betterment.

Our people continue to flock to the SPLA-IO and National Salvation Front to continue to wage a non-victorious war against the inept regime of Salva Kiir. Why do we continue to lure our youth into the lion’s dent when we know better that Salva Kiir won’t budge one bit?

Even though we are one of the poorest people on earth, we should just let our youth rot in the refugee camps in our neighboring countries so they could at least live half-decently on daily meals of beans. Oh! being a refugee is way better than being dead and all bones in the coffin.

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.

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.


LATEST: Gen. Thomas Cirillo calls for new leadership without Kiir & Machar

Radio Tamazuj and Various News Agencies, OCT/24/2017, SSN;

Thomas Cirillo Swaka, leader of the National Salvation Front (NAS), has called for global support to a new leadership that excludes President Salva Kiir and his main political rival, Riek Machar, from power configuration, saying the two leaders have apparently failed to manage the national crisis after the outbreak of civil war in December 2013.

“We believe the old political configuration of Kiir and Machar is not capable of addressing the national crisis. A new leadership should be supported to introduce genuine political and socio-economic transformations in the country,” Thomas Cirillo Swaka, leader of the NAS rebel group, said in a statement dated October 17.

The former army official told the UN Security Council that South Sudan under Salva Kiir has been tribalized and the army has been turned into ethnic militias and that the art of good governance is unknown and non-existence.

He said the role of the regional and international actors, including the UN Security Council should not only focus their mandate on saving lives by halting the violence and assisting the supply of aid, but also creating an enabling environment for long-term stability to prevent future conflict and loss of lives safeguarded by holding those who have obstructed the implementation of the peace agreement and engineered the violence accountable.

The South Sudanese rebel leader urged the UN Security Council to empower UNMISS with clear mandates to protect civilians and enforce its own resolution on the deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF).

“We urge the UNSC to play a leading role in making sure that any new peace agreement is fully implemented. It is not enough to allow the regional actors to supervise the implementation of the agreement. They have already failed in implementing the signed 2015 peace agreement. It is important for the Security Council to speak with one voice on issues pertaining to peace and security in South Sudan. We noticed that different member states have different positions on how the conflict should be addressed,” Carillo said.

The rebel leader asked the United Nations Security Council to hold those obstructing the implementation of the peace agreement and committed crimes against humanity in the country accountable including the top leaders.

In March, Swaka resigned from his position as the deputy chief of staff for logistics and formed a new rebel group to fight against opposed President Kiir’s administration.


South Sudan’s government bears “primary responsibility” for incessant violence in the country, according to a new United Nations report that also criticises East African and US mediation efforts.

A UN Panel of Experts presented the starkly negative assessment in an update on the South Sudan conflict issued on Thursday.

The five-member panel established by the UN Security Council cited an absence of political will to implement a 2015 peace agreement and to address “the destructive governance practices and historical grievances that continue to drive the conflict in South Sudan”.

The experts attribute these failures to “the political and military elite of the country, with the primary responsibility for the ongoing violence resting with those in the government, led by the president, Salva Kiir, and the first vice-president, Taban Deng Gai”.

Neighbouring nations continue to experience adverse impacts of the nearly four-year-long civil war, yet are making no effective efforts to negotiate an end to the fighting, the report says.

Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and the four other member-states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) have not generated “a coherent political process backed by genuine pressure on the parties”, the experts found.

“Each Igad member is dealing with significant national challenges that, coupled with long-standing and complex regional rivalries, continue to undermine consensus on South Sudan,” the report adds.

An ensuing proliferation of uncoordinated diplomatic initiatives has enabled the warring forces to “forum-shop”, the panel warns.

The government and armed opposition groups “engage selectively in various processes while buying time for military operations, and avoid attempts to enforce a political settlement to the conflict”, the report says.

The Trump administration is implicitly criticised for failing to sustain US attempts to resolve the conflict.

“The leadership of the United States and other nations that previously exerted leverage in the region has also waned considerably in 2017,” the panel said.

The report makes note of complaints concerning US support for the continued exclusion of opposition leader Riek Machar from peace-making efforts.

Some opposition groups view this refusal to include Dr Machar in the search for a settlement as an impediment to a neutral mediation approach by outsiders, the panel states.

The political impasse, along with government military offensives in recent months, have substantially worsened an already dire humanitarian situation in South Sudan, the experts conclude.

“The population faces intersecting threats of violence and insecurity, large-scale population displacement, extreme food insecurity and an escalating national economic crisis,” the report notes.

“The actions of South Sudanese leaders have done nothing to address these threats, and there is unlikely to be an improvement in the foreseeable future absent a significant change in the national and international approach to the conflict.”

Accountability, National Dialogue, and Elections: Which one of them comes first?

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, South Sudan, OCT/14/2017, SSN;

Conflicts or wars are the offspring of failures to have constructive dialogues in resolving problems between parties. The parties could range from countries, groups of allies, organizations, and others.

Even the mafia outfits and the drug cartels do fight wars among themselves. Civil wars are no different but are often the result of revolutions by peoples against their governments. They all represent the end of diplomacy and a way to bring into play new dynamics and realities on the ground or to strengthen the position of the winners in case of future negotiations.

Carl Von Clausewitz’s famous aphorism “War is the continuation of politics by other means”; is not always right. Terrorist organizations like AL Qaeda, Boko Haram, and ISIS believe in conquering the world to impose their ideology. There is no room for any democratic dialogue with them. It’s either their way or the highway.

Of all the civil wars that had happened in the world, the one happening in South Sudan right now; stands out. It’s unparalleled and senseless when you ponder over its causation. The American Civil War was triggered by controversy over slavery and States’ rights. In Europe, the Spanish Civil War was a struggle between ideologies – the Republicans, Communists and anarchists on one side, and the Conservatives and the Monarchists under General Fransisco Franco on the other.

What is seen in South Sudan never happened anywhere in the world. A bitter power struggle within the SPLM party; degenerated quickly into widespread hostilities. In the world of cool heads and common sense; a domestic fight would not be allowed to spiral out of control to involve the neighborhood let alone the city or the whole country. The irresponsibility and recklessness displayed by those who issued the orders and ignited the war are mind-boggling.

War is a grave and expensive undertaking. Thus, it’s the responsibility of the leaders to avoid it at all costs and more so when a Civil War looms. The Commander-in-Chief needs to think wisely before endangering the lives of ordinary citizens or sending troops in harm’s way.

Likewise, the high-ranking politicians and Generals have duties and obligations towards the citizens of South Sudan and shouldn’t allow themselves to be led like a flock of sheep by the Commander-in-Chief. Presidential orders that are against the Constitution and the interests of the South Sudanese people are non-binding.

The December 2013 Juba massacre of the Nuer civilians embodies the situation when leaders abandon their essential duties to the people and go against the Constitution. Instead of safeguarding unity and doing the people’s business, they got embroiled in a power struggle in pursuit of personal interests.

The South Sudanese people did not participate in starting the war but fell victim to it. The appalling lack of concern by the SPLM party leaders regarding what befell the common man and the country as a whole; amounts to treason.

Now the people who opened the gates of hell and pushed the country into a brutal civil war that was uncalled for, are very vocal regarding an urgent need for a National Dialogue. Let it be clear, national dialogue per se is not an option but a necessity because the very existence of South Sudan and indeed any viable State hinges on a vibrant national conversation.

In fact, national dialogue is not a one-off exercise but rather a continuous process. The moment that process stops, the State ceases to exist and disintegrates.

National dialogue, however, needs to be conducted within the context of full accountability and transparency. It’s only by doing so, that reconciliation and healing could be achieved.

It’s evident that the perpetrators of the conflict are working hard in a bid to use the controversial national dialogue as a vehicle to evade justice. They want the country to open a new page with the status quo maintained.

The tens of thousands of lives that have been lost seem not to matter to them. The destruction of the meagre infrastructure, people’s homes, and properties are to be swept under the carpet. No one is to answer for those heinous crimes.

They are propagating the lame argument that accountability and justice for the victims, would create more instability and impede national dialogue. Unfortunately, this notion is shared by some influential opportunists in the international community and the regional powers.

The fact of the matter is that national dialogue will never materialize in the absence of full accountability. It’s outrageous that the same leaders who brought death, disease, and famine upon the people of South Sudan, have the nerve of wanting to continue ruling the victims.

There are people within the SPLM party and government who are true nationalists and patriots. They do not bear the responsibility for the atrocities committed by the regime though they carry the moral part of it.

Such people, who constitute a significant number of the government followers, would not be affected in a major way by the accountability process. The reason is that when Human Rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity do occur, you don’t go after the low-ranking officers or officials but after the leading officers and the prominent politicians.

In simple terms, if a battalion commits a massacre of unarmed civilians, you do not prosecute the foot soldiers but the commanders who issued the orders.

The Nuremberg Trials, over half a century ago, saw the prosecution and sentencing of top Nazi leaders. Goering, Ribbentrop, Keitel and others received capital punishments. The low-ranking Nazi officers and officials were spared.

In the far east, General Tojo, the Chief of the Imperial Japanese Army and afterwards Prime Minister of Japan and 5 of his colleagues ended up being hanged for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Closer to home, the perpetrators of the Rwanda genocide were prosecuted, and some were handed down death sentences. Still closer to home, in April 2012 former Liberian President, Charles Taylor was sentenced to 50 years in prison at The Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

People across the globe already know that gross Human Rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in the Republic of South Sudan. Our country is not an isolated island in the middle of nowhere.

We are part of this world and fall under the prevailing international law. The people of South Sudan expects the international community to desist from cutting corners or applying double standards.

What it needs to do is to follow the above precedents since they have yielded the desired results. The same remedy that brought peace and prosperity to Germany, Japan, Rwanda, and Liberia should be good enough for South Sudan.

Thus, many South Sudanese are dismayed by the mixed messages emanating from IGAD, the Troika, the regional powers and some in the international community. There appears to be a concerted effort by some well-known players to overlook accountability and allow the current regime to continue ruling the country.

In essence, they want more of the same with a bit of spices added to it. It all boils down to the fact that a regime change would bring along undesirable consequences to them. In the presence of a responsible government in Juba, their meddling into our internal affairs would abruptly cease.

Also, the unprecedented trade deficit coupled with the corrupt and unjustified leniency in government dealings would come under heavy scrutiny by qualified and competent South Sudanese. It would be the end of the extended honeymoon that they have enjoyed since 2005.

The policy of exuberant support to an unpopular regime by a neighbouring country is short-sighted and risky. It’s even much worse when the government of a neighbouring country engages in doing the dirty work for the regime at hand. It creates animosity between the oppressed people and that government which could spill over to instigate hatred between the two peoples.

Dictatorial regimes do get overthrown; people don’t. Hence, for the long-term, it’s wiser to be in people’s good books rather than being friendly with the regime while hated by its populace.

We all know how the unlimited support by the USA to the Shah of Iran played out. That policy not only failed to save the Shah regime from collapse but created extreme animosity for decades between America and Iran. Also, as a result, the US incurred trillions of Dollars losses in trade, and arguably the ordeal bred international terrorism.

Last February, while on a visit to Yei River State, Kiir announced his intention to stand for elections in 2018. It must be remembered that Kiir’s Presidency was never straightforward. He was elected as President of the Transitional Government of Southern Sudan in April 2010.

Presidential elections were never carried out following the independence of South Sudan on July 9, 2011. Sabotage by the SPLM party and the joy of freedom that blinded many South Sudanese, somehow, allowed Kiir to become the first President of the Republic of South Sudan without elections.

As we all know, no elections were conducted in 2015 and Kiir extended his tenure in office for three years along with the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). In reality, Kiir has been all along a de facto President rather than an elected one since independence from Sudan.

Many see Kiir’s contemplated candidacy as an audacity of the highest order. They wonder what achievements would the President run his election campaign on?! And most importantly, how would he rid himself of the responsibility for the Civil War to meet the requirements for candidacy?!

Free democratic elections need an environment of full security, free speech, free press and free movement across the country. Those elements are lacking in the prevailing situation in South Sudan.

With millions of citizens in the refugee camps across the borders, and more in the famine stricken parts of the country, how could the participation of such groups be guaranteed?! Moreover, where would the money to fund the elections come from if the economy is already in tatters?!

Genuine national dialogue cannot take place in the absence of accountability for the simple reason that, it’s all about resolving issues that fall under it.

Matters relating to atrocities and land grab must be settled before national dialogue could be realized.

Hence, in the context of the civil war, accountability and national dialogue are inseparable.

In my view, accountability should precede national dialogue, or both be conducted simultaneously. It must be understood that accountability does not only mean bringing suspects to book but also weeding out criminals from ever taking up public offices.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

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

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