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Deadly Clashes in Vice-pres. Wani-Igga’s Lobonok village between Dinka herders and Bari owners

Radio Tamazuj, Central Equatoria, Jubek State, Jan/11/2016;

Governors of two South Sudanese states met in Juba on Monday after clashes in Lobonok, Central Equatoria, between Dinka Bor herders and Bari farmers resulted in at least five deaths.

Philip Aguer, the newly appointed governor of Jonglei State, met the governor of the new Jubek State, Augustino Jadalla Wani, together with community leaders, to try to contain the situation.

According to a member of parliament representing the area, John Lodu Tombe, the two groups have been fighting each other over the past three days.

He told Eye Radio that at least five people have been killed and a young boy is still missing after allegedly being abducted. The official described the bodies as still unburied, saying communities had fled.

Lobonok, the home village of Vice President James Wani Igga, is located south of Juba on the east bank of the Nile.

According to a community leader, the current conflict in Lobonok is said to have been sparked when cattle keepers from Bor who are staying in the area were blamed for driving their cattle into a local’s garden.

The new governor of Jonglei says that the government is moving urgently to contain the conflict. He spoke to media after a closed-door meeting with his counterpart from Jubek State.

“We are here at the headquarters of Jubek State. We met with the governor of the state Honorable Jadalla and all of the heads of the Bari community and Dinka Bor community and we discussed the problems in Lobonok area between pastoralists and farmers in the area,” said Aguer.

“And we came to urgent solutions to stop the killing between the herders and farmers,” he said, noting that they resolved to form a joint committee to intervene in the situation.

Aguer also disclosed that a police force was sent on Sunday to intervene.

https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/governors-meet-over-clashes-lobonok
(More development following…….)

One Against 63: Where’s the Alley to Peaceful Coexistence?

By: Peter Lokarlo Ngrimwa* JAN/08/2016, SSN;

It would however be fair to assert that a sizable public opinion in South Sudan acknowledges that a significant contributory factor in the escalation of the turmoil that ushered in the harrowing development in the country is manifestly the handiwork of the Jieeng Council of Elders (JCE) alongside some opportunistic South Sudanese individual elements, accommodated on government’s pay list and who may or may not necessarily be aligned to the JCE.

This incontrovertible assertion is premised on the perceptible unconstructive practices and unconscionable conduct of this tribal entity in its plain role as the de facto Parliament and government of South Sudan.

A closer retrospective shufti and analysis of the reprehensible mayhem that occurred in Juba on the 15 December 2013 and the consequent poignant sagas that coalesced into the civil war in the entire South Sudan reveals a clandestine calculation of the JCE whose preoccupation is to entirely dominate and subjugate the people of South Sudan and rule them via a tribal iron fist.

Those innocent souls that have paid the ultimate price at the massacres and genocide in Juba in 2013 will indelibly be remembered for handing out the highest ransom in exchange for nothing other than their affiliation to Nuer ethnic group.

The JCE’s twisted logic seems to suggest that as long as a Dinka is involved in crimes against humanity, justice would not be permitted to take its natural course.

Ironically, the butchery in South Sudan has never held compassion in the hearts of those tyrannical and despotic JCE assemblages because those suffering are non-Dinka who should be forcibly dispossessed via an orchestrated policy of land grab.

Today, if anyone utters a word about accountability for those systematic murders conducted by the government with JCE blessings they are instantly castigated and threatened with further severe repercussions.

I am quite conscious that the point I make will be completely lost in the miasma of outrage, however, for any South Sudanese to have done nothing by way of exposing the subterranean façade of this malevolent Jieeng tribal outfit in such woeful settings in a country awash with misery is morally reprehensible.

The JCE had both authored and ordained the format and design of the 28 states in South Sudan, and simply handed to the President who runs the show to read out in a decree. The covert scheme has been designed with a three-pronged vindictive intention as follows:

1. The first vindictive intention or gambit is to diminish or effectively erode the historical name of “Equatoria” from South Sudan’s political lexicon. In accordance with the professed twisted philosophy of the JCE’s tribal flag-wavers, the elimination of the legendary designation “Equatoria” would essentially sever the umbilical cord of Greater Equatoria and the cohesion existing among the people of this vast region, so that no one state of Equatoria would get concerned with the affairs of the other two states during the process of divide and rule.

Perhaps the JCE’s fear stems from the old aphorism of the 1980s that says “when Equatoria coughs the whole Southern Sudan catches cold.” Thus, the formulation of the 28 states remains the most single majestic ploy and the last JCE’s Roulette to realize Dinka hegemonic ambition.

It has been anticipated by the tribal jingoists in Juba that this strategy would furnish the tribal bigots with both the wherewithal and instrumentality to begin the formal process of subjugation, not only of Greater Equatoria, but the entire South Sudan through the execution of divide and rule approach.

2. The second manoeuvre pertains to the possibility of JCE’s domination in a future democratic ambiance in the country after the expiry of the transitional government of National Unity.

Juxtaposing the map of South Sudan under the 10 states mandated by South Sudan’s interim constitution and the current controversial 28 states designed by the JCE would quickly reveal the underlying sinister intention.

A cursory glance at the map of the so-called 28 states shows that 12 of these are curved out of others’ territories that were originally possessed by either the Nuer or Shilluk in Greater Upper Nile region or a number of tribes in Greater Bahr El Ghazal and are now fraudulently and brazenly awarded them to the Dinka.

In the South Sudan rubber stamp Parliament that is overwhelmingly packed by the aficionados of SPLM Juba-faction, it would be easy to pass a piece of legislation that links voting systems and exercises to a number of states in South Sudan, and such a move would probably lend a golden bridge to the JCE to accomplish one of their majestic dreams of legitimately ascending to power and implementing their remaining programmes on the checklist, which includes among others, the imposition of Dinka as an official national language of South Sudan.

3. The third ploy is the control over the oil territories that belong to the Nuer people. The JCE is sentient that in order to manipulate and retain power, there must be a clearly defined access to the control of resources, namely the oil that remains the mainstay and oils the wheel of the country’s economy.

More than 5 billion US dollars’ worth of oil money have been stolen from state coffers since 2005 and no culprits have been brought to account for this staggering loss. A large number of these miscreants and reprobates who are linked to the JCE have stashed away the stolen money in foreign countries and are still shamefacedly determined to rule South Sudan for eternity by hooks or by crooks.

It is thus the duty of every peace stakeholder to understand that the sinister calculation of the JCE on the imposition of the 28 states is a real menace that portends an ominous, murky and bleak future for the world’s newest country, unless something is done to halt the tribal outfit from progressing further towards the execution of its nefarious scheme.

Regrettably, the government in Juba, buoyed by the JCE’s arcane dealings is bracing up in justifying the need to impose the 28 states decree in the country, in utter disregard of the stipulations of the Peace Accord that the vassal regime in Juba had promised to abide by.

The conflict now appears to be between 1 ethnic group – the ruling class of the Dinka (Not all Dinka) against the other 63 ethnicities that live in South Sudan, as all the 10 states have been engulfed in what could accurately be described as seething war with sporadic and coordinated assaults launched by government troops who are more often accompanied by tribal groups of armed cattle keeping militias affiliated to the JCE, against non-Dinka tribes living in Greater Equatoria; Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal regions.

Today the news emanating from Korokanda in Momoye area in Western Bahr El Ghazal is dire. Civilians have been killed; houses torched; rape sprees freely conducted as well as looting by SPLA government army in an apparent blatant disregard for the Peace Agreement on the table.

There appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel unless the haywire JCE and President Kiir altogether abandon their myopic, crackpot and unidimensional cogitations that do not have a counterpart in the real world and instead opt to work along the dimensions that create positive correlation and high degree of cooperation among all contending parties in the country in order to usher in an atmosphere of serenity and prosperity far divorced from the current ambience of lunacy created by the JCE that has utterly failed to put its finger on the pulse of South Sudanese public opinion.

Accordingly, I call upon the Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), Mr. Festus Mogae to take up the gauntlet and address the issue of the implementation of the Peace Agreement more resolutely before the country relapses back into another cycle of extreme violence. South Sudan is yearning for the Halcyon days expected to arrive after a comprehensive and candid execution of the Agreement in its entirety.

Peter Lokarlo Ngrimwa*
Former lecturer,
Graduate School of Business and Law (GSBL)
RMIT University
Emily McPherson Building 13,
379 – 405 Russell Street Melbourne
VIC 3000 Melbourne
Australia.

The decapitation of Equatoria by Pres. Salva Kiir & Jieeng Terror

From: Elhag Paul, DEC/30/2015, SSN;

The attack on Equatoria is evidenced by the series of abductions, detentions and killings of Equatorians in South Sudan and neighboring countries. The recent abduction and detention of Dr. Leonzio Angole Onek demonstrates this calculated attack to eliminate Equatoria leadership in South Sudan, as a means to render Equatoria leaderless, so as to be subject to control and abuse by the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE).

The objective of the JCE and The SPLM to destroy Equatoria is being recorded in contemporary history where a series of Equatorian leaders are presently unaccounted for, such as the elimination of Joseph Oduho, the elimination of Martin Kejivura, the elimination of Cecilia Oba Towongo, the elimination of John Nambu, the elimination of Equatorian police officers, the mysterious death of Dr. Wani Tombe, the unexplained disappearance of Justice Peter Sule and General Elias Lino Jada and many others.

Presently, this regime is actively terrorizing Joseph Bakasoro, the former Governor of Western Equatoria state. As I write he is being subjected to arbitrary detention afflicted with physical and emotional abuse.

If terror and death could extinguish the will for freedom and the ideas that go with it, South Sudan would not have been freed and born as a sovereign state; for the ideas and proclamations made by the pioneers of South Sudan liberation such as Emilio Tafeng, Paul Ali Gbatala, Joseph Oduho, Ezboni Mondiri, Fr. Santurlino Ohure, etc, would have atrophied with them.

However, their words and deeds became the fuel that ran the struggle against Khartoum for over half a century.

With the present oppression of Equatoria by the Jieng, the words of Peter Sule, Dr Wani Tombe etc.. will be the fuel that runs the emerging Equatoria resistance to the Jieng regime. Just listen to some of these words in this YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIcJ6IQw-SI

The abduction of Dr. Onek similar to the detention of Joseph Bakasoro further highlights the undeclared decapitation policy that the Jieng Council of Elders is promoting to destroy Equatoria. This Jieng’s policy eventually will intensify the resolve of the people of Equatoria to double their energies and efforts to assert their right.

The weakness pulling Equatoria down is the division that the SPLM has planted in its midst via vulnerable Equatorians, who are intimidated and bought with government posts. In addition to this the SPLM sets one tribe against the other.

Dr John Garang was the first to device the fragmentation of Equatoria by instituting a policy that any person wishing to join the SPLM must come as an individual. This policy that appeared simple and harmless on face value ensured that Equatorian leaders were stripped of their leadership and subsequently their following.

This was the initial process of decapitation of Equatoria. Please see, ‘The marginalisation of Equatoria’ http://southsudannation.com/opinion/articles/the-marginalisation-of-equatoria

The other SPLM factions similarly use the same intrigues to keep the Equatorians out of positions of power and influence; of all these techniques, the real problem lies in the pitting of one tribe against the other.

Presently, albeit the Equatorians are agreed that the current system in the country is their worst nightmare, they still operate as divided, with each tribe supporting their own in the ranks of the opposition.

For example, each tribe will collect material and monetary contributions to support the cause for their tribe. In this, the Equatorians have failed to see that without coming together under a clear objective and working as one there will be no headway.

Nimule, Wonduruba, Mundri, and Yambio will continue to burn and the other areas will follow too. This is the reality.

Politics, as Niccolo Machiavelli, the Italian thinker and author of the influential book “The Prince,” argues is about power, and getting power involves nasty things like those taking place in the mentioned towns in Equatoria. This is what is called realpolitik.

It is simply pragmatism and it has nothing to do with emotions and civility. Bari on their own means nothing, Moru on their own means nothing, Kuku on their own means nothing, Pojulu on their own means nothing, and Zande on their own means nothing etc.

Because Equatoria is fragmented the way it is, its enemies confidently find it easy to pick on them one by one.

For example, when President Kiir and the JCE abused Peter Sule, they did so, knowing that he did not have group support behind him. They are now abusing Dr Onek and Bakasoro knowing that there is a lack of regional group support.

The behaviour of President Kiir and the JCE is typical of predators preying on their quarry.

If Equatoria wants to regain its lost strength in order to be protective of its people, its people must discard short-sighted approaches and work as one, or Equatoria’s future in the jungle that is called South Sudan is bleak.

Simply put, if Equatorians cannot protect and sacrifice for their leaders, the future looks very bad.

This protection must start at home. First it is important for Equatorians to shun or distance themselves from Equatorian informers and lackeys of the “born to rule”. These informers should be shunned from the society in line with Equatorian cultures.

This is necessary for survival, as informers are used as tools by oppressors to aid in the subjugation and enslavement of a people(s). Addressing the issue of informers, allows for a group to begin addressing the oppressor; this is because the oppressor lacks leverage without informers.

The literature on conquest, social control and domination posits that for powerful groups to exercise their power over a target group that is to be dominated, the target group must not have leaders. Without this, it is next to impossible to succeed in colonising any people.

This is why the imperialists and colonialists in the past destroyed indigenous leaders and replaced them with handpicked leaders serving the masters.

In South Sudan, Equatoria’s handpicked lackeys include the Vice President, some of the national ministers, Equatorian apparatchiks of the SPLM, appointed governors, appointed members of parliament, and one or two appointed ambassadors who distinguish themselves by extreme subservience to the Jieng.

But why do the Jieng strive to colonise Equatoria? This is a big question that cannot be answered in one article. The genesis of this problem is explained in my previous article, ‘SPLM a pathological organisation’ http://www.southsudannation.com/opinion/editorials/splm-is-a-pathological-organization

In the mind of the Jieng, if they are to achieve their objective of establishing themselves as the elites in South Sudan, Equatoria must be destroyed. They believe that Equatorians hate the Jieng and as such it is the main obstacle to their project of ‘born to rule’.

This belief, though unfounded, is real to them.

In his book, ‘Sudan and South Sudan: from one to two’, Bona Malwal vividly conveys the feelings of the Jieng towards Equatorians. He argues that “Unfortunately, Equatoria, this rather unusual indeed non-existing constitutional being in South Sudan, has now got onto the bandwagon of Riek Machar Teny, hoping to defeat and overthrow the Dinka (Jieng) that Equatoria has always hated.”

The tone and sentiment expressed here speaks for itself. While the Jieng assume they are hated by Equatoria, what are the feelings of Equatorians?

In reality, the Equatorians do not hate the Jieng or any other social group in South Sudan for that matter. What they abhor is the uncalled for senseless violence of the Jieng. A good example is what is going on throughout Equatoria presently and the horrendous events of December 2013.

Equatoria, therefore, does not hate the Jieng people but certainly it hates their destructive and abusive behavior. If the Jieng could only discipline themselves and behave in a humane way, nobody in Equatoria would dislike their ways.

For example, the family of Gordon Ayom and the family of Khatir Jubara who hail from the Jieng, are integrated in Equatoria because they know how to interact with people with respect.

Now the United States has come to the same conclusion as the Equatorians about the behaviour of the Jieng and their government. Can President Kiir and the JCE really look the Americans in the eye and ask them as to why the US has a low opinion about their government?

If the Americans can not put up with the Juba nonsense, why should South Sudanese and Equatorians do so for that matter?

Please listen to the Senate Hearing titled, ‘Independent South Sudan: A Failure of Leadership’ http://www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/independent-south-sudan-a-failure-of-leadership-121015

The paradox in this bitter relationship between the Jieng and Equatoria is found in the Jieng Council of Elders whose actual leadership is not Jieng. The most vocal and hawkish ones who intensely execrate Equatoria are of Equatorian and Jur blood.

These non-Jieng leaders of the Jieng have their own issues rooted in their childhood which unfortunately they internalised and turned them into depraved persons. They strongly hate their Equatorian and Jur traits.

By riding on the back of the entire Jieng they have found a convenient outlet to release their vent-up hatred towards their own people in Equatoria and Bahr El Ghazal.

This may come as a shock to many people as it sounds unbelievable. But it is the truth. Here we have a lost Equatorian and a lost Jur conniving to disguise their true identities in order to destroy the source of their very existence in this world. These are not the only ones in the JCE, there are more.

The behaviour of concealment is associated with many things chiefly among them is the feeling of shame. Shame often makes people feel inadequate and worthless. In order to feel better, some people suffering from shame will resort to cover up traits considered negative in their lives. The hawkish members of JCE appear to be doing exactly that.

Let us have a brief look at their background.

The Equatorian Jieng is a product of colonial intervention in Jieng cultural life. When the British came to Bahr El Ghazal they were shocked by the nudity of the Jieng. They decided to acculturise them, and the plan they put in place was to import Equatorian tailors into Jieng land specifically to produce Chabong – a half robe or ‘Nus Jalabya’ in Arabic.

Initially the British thought the locals would embrace the robe but the Jieng resisted. After a struggle the Jieng showed interest in Chabong. The preference to Chabong may have something to do with the comforts of air fanning the lower parts of the body.

It must be remembered that these specific parts are conditioned to free flow of air since time immemorial and the robe in its usual form blocks the entire body from receiving normal aeration. So the Chabong was the solution provided to introduce clothing to the Jieng.

Like most expats, the imported Equatorian tailors those days did not come with their women and as mother nature does not allow a vacuum, interaction with the local women ensued and there we have our Equatorian Jieng leader in the JCE.

So, in essence a combination of British resourcefulness, Equatorian ingenuity and Jieng nudity produced an angry individual who hates Equatoria, part of his own identity. This person has devoted most of his life to erase Equatoria out of existence.

As for the Jur, his story is tragic. When he was a young child, he was vulnerable and uncared for, he roamed the streets and found his way to Babanousa and then Khartoum through the weekly train service between Khartoum and Wau. Once in Khartoum he became a water boy in a house of an influential political family in Omdurman.

He grew up there in the nooks of the Arab kitchen feeding on daily leftovers under the supervision of Haja (an old Arab house wife). It is said that Haja used to refer to him in Arabic as – da walad kwes kalish, meaning this is a good boy.

The above is the brief background to the most hawkish of the JCE leadership. Is it any wonder why the JCE is doing what it is doing? These are people who are angry with the world.

People who have had a troubled and challenging childhood, and or those who have had an identity crisis, can experience internal conflict, low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. While some children grow up to be responsible adults who work through these conflicts, trauma and challenges, others grow to become destructive to themselves, their community and their society.

In the case of South Sudan, President Salva Kiir, who is another one with dubious background, refers to the JCE as dogs because he knows their background very well. These are individuals who have no loyalty to anybody on this earth but themselves.

They have now hijacked the Jieng tribe and they are using it to the maximum to fill the void in their lives to make themselves feel good. They do not care about the well being of the Jieng tribe.

Look at the emotional and mental destruction they are inflicting on the young Jieng boys they recruit into the killing machine of the Jieng militia armies (Dootku Beny, Mathiang Anyoor and Gelweng).

Malek Cook-Dwach in his article published by The Sudan Tribune, ‘Tribal politics is what is destroying our social fabric,’ correctly points out that the damages inflicted by the JCE’s war will have long term impact for the recovery of the Jieng youth to return to normality due to the economies lost, lack of education, physical and psychological trauma.

As for the overall consequences of the JCE’s evil plans, please see, ‘The Jieeng Council of Elders, the erosion of Jieeng values and the Jieengization of South Sudan’ http://www.southsudannation.com/jieeng-council-of-elders-the-erosion-of-jieengs-values-and-the-jieengization-of-south-sudan/

Therefore, the hatred of the JCE towards Equatoria is irrational and very dangerous as this group has set itself up to the task of destroying Equatoria. The destruction is being born out in two ways.

First, through the SPLM/A, the JCE is systematically eliminating Equatoria leaders and disempowering the whole community.

Secondly, the name Equatoria is being erased from existence in South Sudan through use of presidential decrees like the Decree 36/2015 Establishment Order. This decree fragments Equatoria into smaller states and wipes out the name Equatoria. Equatoria has no option left but it must rise to the challenge.

Now the abduction of Dr. Onek has its root in what has been expressed in this article. As a professor and a very intelligent person, the tribal system perceives him to be a threat because should he decide to lead his people one day it would be difficult for the JCE and President Salva Kiir to push him aside.

So, in line with Jieng policy of keeping Equatoria leaderless, Dr. Onek has been preyed upon. His abduction like the ongoing detention of Bakasoro is not only humiliation to him personally but in reality it is the humiliation of the whole Equatoria region.

Previously the system did this to the Kakwa chiefs, it did it to Justice Peter Sule whose story now remains an enigma, it did it to the chairman of the Equatoria caucus in the parliament, it did it to the paramount chief of Didinga, it did it to the chiefs of Madi and Acholi, it is doing it now to the former Governor of Western Equatoria, Joseph Bakasoro.

The message in all this is clear. If you are an Equatorian with potential, then your own survival is at risk because the JCE has decided to destroy Equatoria through decapitation. Their practice to achieve this objective includes arbitrary detentions, abductions, killings and terror.

The crucial question is: For how long is Equatoria going to be humiliated? The cases of Dr. Onek and that of Bakasoro are Equatorian cases and they must not be allowed to go on like what has happened to Peter Sule.

If the system has a case against Dr. Onek and Bakasoro, they must be brought to open court and let them have their day in court. It is just unacceptable that people are abused and oppressed to satisfy the ego of the JCE, because they are Equatorians.

This challenge demands the so-called Equatorian Front in SPLM-IO to do something about it because of their unique position as partner of President Kiir in the peace agreement.

If General Alfred Ladu Gore is an Equatorian leader as is claimed, he needs to speak out and ensure that Professor Onek and Bakasoro are safe and released immediately.

This is very important for three reasons. Firstly, this is because it is an act of solidarity. Secondly, it is an act to protect Equatoria, and thirdly and crucially it is an act of self protection – ensuring he does not fall in the same trap.

Equatoria community need to realize that their unity is a must if this predatory politics of the JCE is to be stopped once and for all.

So the Equatoria community in the country needs to write to the trio (President Festos Mogae, President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar) demanding the release of Professor Onek and Bakasoro together with an inquiry on why Dr Onek was abducted and Bakasoro detained. This very piece should serve the same purpose.

Finally in the larger context, the survival of Equatoria depends on the extent to which the people of the region (a third of the population of South Sudan) are prepared to resist in self defence.

President Kiir and JCE’s terror directed to Equatoria leaders and the people must be brought to a halt through a concerted multi-prong action.

If Equatoria wants its sons and daughters to stand for it, it in turn has to protect them by whatever means available. Otherwise the future of Equatoria is bleak in a system run by people who hold deep unfounded grudges against it for no rational reason.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

Is The Compromise Peace Agreement falling apart?

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, DEC/27/2015, SSN;

A quote from what president Kiir said on Wednesday 23/12/2015 reads as follows: “We will do everything to keep our commitments in the implementation of the peace agreement which we have signed with our brothers.” Kiir said that after meeting with representatives of the advance team of the SPLM-IO on Tuesday 22/12/2015 in Juba.

24 hours later he issued a presidential decree appointing governors for the newly created controversial states. This is an unequivocal violation of the compromise peace agreement as it is based on the legitimate 10 states.

The move is clearly not in the spirit of bringing peace and stability to the war-devastated country. It’s mind-boggling that a president could have two utterly different messages to his people within 24 hours. People heard a pro peace message on Wednesday only to be confronted with a pro-war message on Thursday embedded in the latest presidential decree.

So what do we make of what he said on Wednesday?! It does not qualify for political bullshit according to Harry Frankfurt philosophical definition of it. It was an outright lie.

Scepticism never truly parted with the peace process since its beginning. Extreme animosity, mistrust and leaders putting personal and tribal interests before country interests were and are still the order of the day.

The reservation about the peace deal that the president declared at the time of signing the document was a clear indication that a bumpy road is ahead of the peace process. It even became apparent that sabotage and delaying tactics were being employed to frustrate and disrupt the implementation of the peace agreement.

The government initially demanded to be provided with biographies of the advance team members beforehand. This was followed by a demand to limit the number of the advance team to 30 individuals only.

Of course both demands were rejected by SPLM-IO as there are no provisions in the compromise peace agreement that support the government’s demands. The purpose of such demands is unclear but certainly leads to suspicion and further erosion of trust between the two parties.

It was the pressure from the IGAD-PLUS peace mediators and the chairman of the Joint Monitoring and evaluation commission (JMEC), former President of Botswana, Festus Gontebanye Mogae, that brought about the breakthrough in the deadlock and led to rapid movement towards implementation of the peace deal.

Mogae should be applauded for the no-nonsense stance that he has exhibited by serving both parties of the peace agreement with a timetable for tasks to be completed within a timeframe. By doing so he managed to put both parties under pressure to start implementing the peace deal.

In the first meeting of the JMEC involving all the parties, he urged them to work vigorously to pursue their tasks even if it means they have to work during the holiday period. He was very keen to make up for lost time as the implementation of the peace accord is already behind schedule.

It’s somewhat embarrassing that a foreigner is fully aware of the plight of our people and has the understanding of the need to move fast to avert disaster while the government continues to drag its feet all along the way.

From the moment the SPLM-IO advance team arrived in Juba, it became clear that they are up to a rocky start. Neither the government chief negotiator nor the spokesperson of its negotiating team and the chief of general staff of the SPLA were there to receive them.

It has since been revealed that the military command council (MCC) of the SPLA is sharply divided over the implementation of the security arrangements.

The cantonment provision in the compromise peace agreement is facing a stiff resistance and was never adhered to by the SPLA high command. The chief of general staff of the SPLA and a number of high ranking officers are stubbornly opposed to the security arrangements and would not stick to what was agreed upon.

Furthermore, the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) was supposed to have started its work by incorporating the compromise peace agreement into an amended constitution before the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) next month.

All these tell us that the peace agreement is in deep trouble.

However the appointment of the governors has elevated the conflict to a higher level. It should be noted that Festus G. Mogae made it clear to all the parties in the JMEC meeting that there will be no room for re-negotiation of the peace deal.

Now that new dynamics have come into play, we as South Sudanese citizens should be clear about where the country is heading to.

Key provisions in the compromise peace agreement have been made redundant by the latest presidential decree. The NCAC will not be able to function as stipulated in the peace accord because the government with the help of the illegitimate National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has enacted its unilateral amendments.

With the naming of the new state governors, SPLM-IO has been effectively blocked out of taking up its share of governorships. Also the states that were allocated to SPLM-IO do not exist anymore.

The future looks quite bleak even if the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) is finally formed.

Just consider two characters out of many, Paul Malong, the chief of general staff and Michael Makuei, the minister of information – whether they are kept in or left out of the would be TGoNU, they would still cause problems and not relent in their endeavour to derail the peace agreement.

At this moment in time; it’s fair to say that the appointment of the governors has rendered the peace agreement obsolete unless President Kiir rescinds it or refers it to the JMEC for discussion.

Now is the time for the heavyweight stakeholders to stand firm in support of the compromise peace agreement. The situation has reached the point of ‘to be or not to be’ for the peace agreement.

Kiir and his ruling clique should be put under maximum pressure to reverse course. Mogae should be empowered and given the support he needs to carry on with his highly appreciated efforts.

At this critical stage in the implementation of the peace agreement, there should be no ambiguity and the possibility of a showdown between Kiir’s regime and the international community should be borne in mind.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Are the Governors of South Sudan True Citizens of Their States or Mere Political Proxies?

BY: Juma Mabor Marial, Advocate, DEC/24/2015, SSN;

Due to the civil war and economic hardships that have prevailed in the country for the past two years, citizens’ attention has been completely switched from scrutinizing their leaders to concentrating on how to achieve peace and exit from these unprecedented economic difficulties.

In doing so, the leaders especially politicians get it as a tolerable window of opportunity to loot and short-change the country and citizens at different levels.

This article is going to have a discussion about the Governors of the ten states, both present and previous and answer the question on whether or otherwise, these Governors are true citizens of their respective states or just but power hungry politicians who are seen around or within the states when elected and/or appointed to lead at different times.

The hypothesis on this question and which we shall, throughout our discourse, endeavor to qualify is that, almost all the Governors especially the former ones are not true citizens of their states although they may be of course, biological citizens of those states.

This conclusion is drawn from the fact that, once sacked from their positions, such Governors catch the next flight to Juba on transit to Kenya and Uganda while those who have homes and families in Australia, Canada, America and other western countries proceed there in few days after their dismissal.

These actions show that those who are elected/appointed as Governors are only interested in power but not the people and this is why they leave their states as soon as the power is no longer in their hands.

The consequences of these behaviors are that some of the Governors who go to rule some states in South Sudan do not have any essential rapport with the citizens of their states, hence the lack of proper delivery of services to the people.

The reason is that the Governors especially the appointed politicians are total strangers to the citizens of the states and because there has never been a social contract between them and the citizens, they don’t see any obligation to develop policies that would help them in implementing some of the programs that they might have promised the electorates.

Instead, they only do things that impress their appointing authority even when these are things that are at the expense of the state citizens.

Comical enough, most of the former Governors in the states of South Sudan do not have houses in their states and villages but they have bought houses in Nairobi, Kampala and in most of the western countries.

Once appointed, most of them accommodate in the state houses while others are rented some private premises using state resources and this compromised the delivery of services to the state citizens.

The few that have built themselves houses in their states in turn rent them to the state government for themselves, which is a manifestation of fully pledged corruption and conflict of interest.

I know of one incumbent Governor who has rented out his own house as a coordination office in Juba for the state that he is currently leading.

In other countries, once out of power, the best place to retire to is the rural village, the examples are President Moi of Kenya who after his presidency went to Kabarak in Nakuru where he participates and interacts with local populations, the dignitaries and politicians comes to visit him there.

Others are George Walker Bush (Senior and Junior), the former Presidents of the United States of America who retired to their homes in Taxes. Mandela, Mwai Kabaki and most retired African leaders are some of the leaders that retired to their native homes once out of power.

The situation in South Sudan is different, once out of office especially the Governors, instead of going back to their homes, they come to Juba or proceed to East Africa and beyond.

I am not sure whether President Kiir will go to Akoon when he retires, we shall see that when the time comes. The importance of retiring home is that, you get out of public life and concentrate on your private life which you were unable to enjoy when you were in the public office.

Another benefit is that you are able to share with the local people some of their problems and help in resolving them. The retired leader can also initiate some projects based on his connections to help the communities in terms of service delivery.

His presence also enhances stability in the village or state and last but more importantly, it shows the citizens of your state that you are not only there for power but you are there for them all the times whether in power or not.

With these analyses, you would realize that most of the Governors especially the former Governors do not deliver adequate services to their people in the state because they don’t have children to go to schools there, wives to give birth, sick to go to hospitals in the state as their families are in far away countries where such services are available on demand.

The only thing they can do is to expedite their looting and remit money to their families abroad in order to access these services. This is why some of them just go to their states when they are given power but do not care about what happens to the citizens of the state when they are not in power.

It is unfortunate that most of the Governors who are sacked come to Juba and lobby to be reinstated as Governors or get other senior government positions at the centre.

Recommendations
In order to get rid of this habit of being visiting politicians to the states, the following recommendations should be considered:–

1. Random removal of Governors and replacing them with roaming politicians should be avoided so as to allow the citizens to scrutinize their leaders and elect only those that they know and the ones that are staying with them;
2. The President should try to appoint only those that are in the states to avoid politicians that pretend to be true citizens of the states in Juba to only achieve appointment to Governorship positions;
3. The citizens should also ensure that they reject those that are being imposed on them without knowing the concerns of the people;
4. All the politicians and those who aspire to be Governors should develop in them the spirit of nationalism and love for their states, they should do this by ensuring that they construct houses for themselves in their respective states;
5. The President or the citizens must make it as one of the mandatory criteria that, once appointed or elected as a Governor in any state of South Sudan, such individuals must bring their families to the state such that they can be able to offer the same services to all the people as if they were taking care of their immediate family. This will assist in building schools, hospitals, roads, among others, as no Governor would want the members of their family to die or be subjected to poor healthcare facilities or allow their children to go to sub-standard schools.
6. Last but not the least, it must be conditional upon the Governors to ensure that they stay in their states for at least six months before they could leave so as to show the citizens that they can stay in the state even if they are no longer in power.

Conclusion
The situation discussed above is not unique to the former Governors alone but it applies to all the politicians of South Sudan especially the state politicians.

This also tells us the reason why some politicians changed their political alliances as soon as they loose their political positions and some even become rebels.

In any case and for lack of better adjectives, one would easily accept the hypothesis that our politicians are only interested in power but care less about their people and the country.

I hope this habit will change with adoption of the above recommendations and the new reforms through the proper and timely implementation of the peace agreement.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year, 2016.

Juma Mabor Marial, Advocate
E-mail: jummabor@hotmail.com

Will South Sudanese also pray for Justice for the innocent victims of both Kiir’s & Machar’s war crimes?

EDITORIAL: DEC/24/2015, SSN;

QUOTE: “This war has been hell for the people of South Sudan, but it has also been very lucrative for their leaders. War crimes pay has been the message…..when there are no limits to the hijacking of state resources or consequences for the use of violence.” John Prendergast, Enough Project, 2015.

As we get to the Christian season of Christmas, most South Sudanese Christians and even some of their Muslims fellow countrymen and women, will fervently be indulging in serious prayers for the peace that has for long eluded them as war and death became the most common tragedies in the last two years.

Yes, there’ll also be prayers for the hundreds of thousands of those who needlessly fell victims and were murdered in a senseless war fought between two sides of the criminal and soul-less SPLM/SPLA, an organization of unrepentant murderers who are utterly fearless of God.

Truly, these so-called leaders of this autocratic, atavistic, clannish and tribal system of SPLM/SPLA governance have betrayed and wasted the opportunity for our people that the independence had provided after decades of fighting for liberation.

No question, there will be more prayers for forgiveness for the leaders-cum-killers and for their unimaginable crimes against humanity they overtly and covertly committed especially first when Kiir and his jieeng tribal commanders premeditated, commissioned and committed the murders on December 15, 2013 without remorse or repentance.

As sure as the Sun will rise every morning, murderer/president Kiir, Machar, Wani Igga, Kuol Manyang and Paul Malong, Pieng and the many SPLM/SPLA killers of their fellow Christians will surely go to their respective tribal churches and devoutly proclaim their faith as ‘good’ Christians.

However, and most poignantly, would our people and our pastors/priests also pray for real justice for the tens of thousands of the innocent victims and survivors of this war that wrecked our the nation?

The prolific American writer, Guy H. King wrote that, “No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayers than the devil, not that he practices it, but suffers for it.”

As our nation supposedly is coming back together, that’s with the return of the so-called ‘rebel’ SPLM/A-IO, we must first exert greater exhortation for God’s revenge on those who started the war in 2015 that led to the subsequent murders that followed before we rush to call for forgiveness.

The Obasanjo Report just released abundantly exposed the unimaginable magnitude of the atrocities that our so-called SPLM/SPLA national leaders committed which even included unimaginable acts of cannibalism, rape, castration and burning our young boys and girls alive.

Historically, South Sudanese have had the misfortune of never ever seeing any justice and accountability for egregious crimes that predated the December 15/2013 Kiir-Machar war, and this goes back to the very genesis of the SPLM/A in 1983, followed by the 1991 First Jieeng-Nuer internecine war.

In both previous instances and just like in the current predicament, instead for seeking justice first followed by forgiveness and reconciliation, the powers-that-be had chosen to conspiratorially circumvent any justice and accountability.

Unlike the Europeans or Americans, where if a leader commits such horrendous crimes in office or in his command, he or she automatically steps down on his or her own volition from that office and is ready for any legal course against him or her.

More poignantly, if such leader were a Japanese or Korean, he would simply commit suicide as an atonement and a repentance for his crimes.

One thing specifically stands out and cries loudly about us, South Sudanese, never has any single person in the current SPLM/SPLA leadership, from John Garang to Kiir and Machar, has ever publicly expressed or showed contrition about the killings they commissioned or effected.

If we do negate those killings done during the bush war on the grounds that then it was a just war, how about those since the SPLM/SPLA predators took power over a peaceful Juba since 2005?

By some credible experts’ estimation, the SPLM/SPLA war killed more South Sudanese than the enemy Arab North Sudanese killed during the same period.

Returning to our current predicament, it’s absolutely unacceptable that we can tolerate the blatant disregard for the rule of law by those entrusted by the people to lead the country. Inside the SPLM/SPLA, there are proven murderers walking absolutely free as they’re somewhat emboldened by the ineffective lack of due justice and accountability.

During the outbreak of the Kiir-Machar war in December 2013, the nation’s Inspector General of Police, Gen. Pieng, for instance, threw out his police uniform and the law, and hurriedly put on the murder insignia of the SPLA as he dashed to the war front-lines in Bor to abet in the killings of the Nuer.

Gen. Pieng was live on BBC at that time then, vowing seriously to kill the Nuer who at that time were supposedly marching to ‘capture’ the Capital, Juba. No wonder, now that he is back as Police Chief, Juba is now the top Murder Capital of Africa, where killings are breaking records daily and without accountability!

Peace, especially a lasting peace in South Sudan, is untenable unless there is absolute justice whereby those known perpetrators of the egregious crimes of killing innocent citizens, whether the victims are Dinka, Nuer, Azande, Madi or Pojulu in Wonduruba, must be brought and tried by the court of law.

In an ironical twist of tribal retributive justice, the jieeng worshipers recently drove ‘rebel’ Madame Rebecca Nyandeng, the widow of late SPLM/SPLA founder himself, John Garang, from their church for allegedly ‘betraying’ the tribe by her supposed family support to rebel Machar.

However, instead of desecrating their tribal church in such a lawless way, what those jieeng worshipers should have done was to file a case in the courts of law against Rebecca Nyandeng and family for any war crimes allegedly commissioned or committed by this once-First-Family in the nation.

Anyway, since the real people who executed the Dinka-Nuer War of 2013 are already in Juba and more are soon arriving into town, perhaps this will be a propitious moment for citizens to take to the rule of law by filing lawsuits against some of the commanders and soldiers whom they suspected to have carried out the murders of their relatives.

Once again, as the Archbishops, priests and pastors conduct the prayers on these holy days of December, they must, as an obligation, vocalize the urgency for justice before rushing with the call for forgiveness.

Incidentally as alluded to above, these blood-stained and conscience-damaged SPLM/SPLA leaders on both sides of the party, like the ‘devils’ that they practically are, fervently believe in the power of prayers as shown by their habitual public manifestations of their various faiths in their respective churches.

But deep down in their souls, they are terribly scared of the power of justice and retribution. It’s time to bring more heavyweight pressure on them, positively for the churches foremost so as to make them accountable in spite of their misplaced sense of invincibility.

Finally, let’s just put in the backs of our minds that this new Dinka-Nuer or better still, this new Kiir-Machar coalition governance being soon put into place is another marriage from hell…..sooner rather than later, it will unravel and splinter once again!

Though on paper the agreement deceptively appears as absolutely comprehensive, it is just as fragile and untenable because it is dependent on the good cooperation and commitment between Kiir and Machar, but those things seem to be lacking as the two protagonists have little incentives to do so.

In short, nothing has changed very much, no transformative institutions have been set up first and those that are there are utterly inadequate.

Furthermore, the SPLM and the SPLA are two faces of the same coin, when the first gets the flu, the other one sneezes!

At the present moment, to reassert the experts’ deductions, Kiir can ‘never be the principal political vehicle for peace and reconciliation, just as neither the SPLM nor the SPLA, in their present form or in recreated “unified” forms, can ever act as unifying institutions in the country.

In the meantime, in this supposedly joyous season of birth of Christ, let’s all tell them that nobody is above the law and that all lives are sacred. This is my New Year message!

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Sowing and Harvesting One People, One Nation

By: Jwothab Amum Ajak, DEC/22/2015, SSN;

As we lament the state of disunity our people, the good thing is there is a hope still alive and a dream not yet dead. Therefore, this is not the time to bemoan. This is the time to work hard to revive the confidence and trust in the quickly fading away faith in the slogan of “one people, one nation” and make our people reunite once again.

Ultimately, reuniting our people and preserving our nation rests squarely on each of us. It is not only going to be the responsibility of the state alone but of us all. All are responsible to right the wrongs and dismantle the disservices done to that unity, each in his own sphere of influence.

But in order to restore our dwindling hope for a better tomorrow of “one people, one nation,” we need to stay firmly united, armed with objectivity, wisdom and knowledge in tackling our problems of disunity.

Yes, we can come together, because we haven’t reached a point of no return. But after the wounds have healed and after we have buried hatred and violence in the cemetery of yesterday and have worked out forgiveness, reconciliation and healing.

Hope never dies; they say. However, there must be something to sustain it otherwise it is no hope at all. What is that only remaining hope that will sustain our only hope in the hope of “one people, one nation?” An overwhelming majority believe it is the agreed-upon, federal governance structure, an alternative to the current status quo.

People believe federalism will not only provide a good rule foundation of governance based on justice, equality, the rule of law and fundamental human rights. But most importantly it will stop the war and save the lives of those who have not perished from this over 21 month’s ruthless war.

The TGoNU that will come out of the IGAD-mediated Compromise Peace Agreement CPA is important not for its sake but for its mandate to implement federalism. It is crucial for what it is going to do and do it differently and in a better way than the government it will replace.

Such as resource and financial management. That is the gist and crux of the matter. So let us wait and see what the coming days will reveal about that much-talked about transitional government of all political parties and of effective participation of all ethnic groups.

Our people look forward for a TGoNU capable to the task of nation-building. A TGoNU that will give adequate time to look deeper and longer into the underlying root causes of our long-standing communal strive and the unprecedented appalling brutality and violence as well as to address the cause of injustices and inequalities. Also find time to deal with many unresolved, overlooked, belittled, ignored and pushed under the carpet problems. These measures done in good faith will save us from the repeat of December 2013 worst ever tragedies and catastrophes our people has ever seen.

Importantly let it without delay pave the way for federalism, as a popular demand of the people. Let us experience it even as a pilot project that will be confirmed or not later through an informed referendum decision.

At the initial experimental stage what matter are the constitutional principles that provide balance and checks as enshrined in the separation of powers of the different government branches. The nitty gritty package character of the federal system can’t be left to a later date? Not that they matter less but will be decided as we go along our learning curve through the debate and experimenting of federal characteristics itself.

We look optimistically on the TGoNU and its era as a second chance, a second round, for the people of South Sudan to be transformed and begin, if they so decide this is what they want, sowing anew with the end in mind of “one people one nation.” In the past, I believe, we have not as individuals and as a government given our absolute to the programs and activities that unite our people.

To a country ravaged by war and divided on ethnic, regional lines the government of the day has been finding difficulty to sell this catchy mantra of “one people, one nation,”. Yet, even though we may differ with her on how it has been selling or approaching the slogan issue.

Still it is to be appreciated and encouraged for past and present efforts, activities and programs that have sought to drive the slogan’s message home after it had been driven out by bad blood, corruption, vicious tribalism, ethnic violence, racial hatred and stereotype between people of one nation.

Our only wish is the TGoNU start to walk the talk and follow the slogan by deeds. The world Great Teacher taught not only so much by word as by living the word. He was also the great example of the life He was preaching.

Our hope too is on the TGoNU to continue preparing the ground for the seed of “one people, one nation” to grow and to continue exerting real efforts of caring and watering the tree of unity such that we harvest the fruit of the seed sown. That is to say there is no short cut route to “one people one nation”. It is a process and like many processes in life it takes time and efforts.

So by our labour, life, character we shall reap to the full a well-earned fruit which we have sown. And we shall owe it to no one but ourselves. Because it is an eternal law that “no one harvest but from the seeds they have sown,” [and the seeds and the trees they have tended and cared for].

The Divine in His wisdom will not exempt us from the law of sowing and harvesting. Therefore we got to learn and apply the wisdom from Above, the wisdom of sowing and harvesting before we reap our dream of “one people, one nation,” And may the Lord bless our later end sowing more than the faulty less prepared beginning.

I will liken “one people, one nation,” to a fruit for simplification purpose. Peace, stability and harmony likened to the branches of a tree. Justice, equality and fairness likened to the roots. Good governance likened to watering of the tree.

The ground has to be prepared for the seed to grow and the tree has to be watered and taken care of, otherwise the tree will dry and wither away along with our expected fruit. A good fruit, therefore, comes from a good tree, the one which has been taken care of, the one, with healthy branches and roots.

So as the fruit is not only the work of the branches that proudly bear the fruit, nor the roots that uphold, nurture and nourish the branches with the necessary nutrients or to watering that carries the nutrients up to the tree. It is their work together.

The same is true peace, stability and harmony alone will not suffice to lead the country to” one people, one nation” we need justice, equality and fairness which enhance peace and social harmony and binds the people together.

But also we need good governance to sustain justice, equality and accomplish “one nation, one people.” lest the seed of “one people, one nation” will fail to grow shocked by hatred, violence, injustices and inequalities etc.

True a slogan cannot be fulfilled faster in a knee jerk reaction or instantly in the mystical fable fashion of Aladdin with the genie. The genie answering always with the statement “your wish is my command.” And there we have our wish of what we have asked for. In real world it is not going to be so. To realize a wish any wish including our slogan requires dedicated efforts to put down the right seeds and endure in weeding, pruning, so that it bears the good fruit desired.

Also true a slogan is not supposed to run indefinitely for eternity. Our slogan has run long enough. It is time to be subject to review, to examination, like any project, program or policy.

We got to review the slogan policy and reassess and revaluate its tools, methods and the modalities of its implementation and see why it has not been successful in achieving its objective outcomes or goals.

But before we proceed and do the review and analysis process we got to ask: is “one people, one nation” a feasible project? Yes or no. Yes, it was true some years back during the struggle and perhaps it will become so in future with real and sincere efforts. But now when tested and run through our minds and through the reality on the ground it is a near impossible mission to accomplish under the prevailing intense untoward circumstances of disunity. But let us be mindful that where there is a will there is away.

Implementing Monetary Policy on Exchange Rate: Devaluing the Overvalued SSP has been an overdue issue!

By: Ms Betty Imoya Angasi, 22/Dec/2015, Juba, SSN;

I would like to applaud the monetary and fiscal authorities in finally devaluing the overvalued SSP. This is a very positive move and an overdue process that would have taken place right in Aug 2012 after the RSS exhausted its oil reserve following the closure of oil pipeline, but it is a better move than not doing it at all.

This in fact is the first biggest achievement ever in the history of monetary policy instrument in this country.

It is understandable that the monetary authority has been very patient in trying to comfort the peoples’ will by upholding the irrelevant Fixed Exchange Rate (FER) regime throughout the economic difficulties that hit this country from Aug 2012-Dec 2015.

However, the purpose of this article is to answer a key question of: what is the right rate at which the exchange rate should have been devalued or unified that would be sufficiently credible to last?

In order to answer this question, this note revealed the causes of changes in exchange rates behaviour; it analyses the history of Exchange Rate Regime in South Sudan; Disadvantage of Fixed Exchange Rate (FER) Regime; Advantages of Managed Float/Flexible Exchange Rate (FLER); the need for Harmonization of Fiscal & Monetary Policy in particular Areas; and draw conclusions.

To start with, fluctuations in exchange rate are a normal part of development stages. In South Sudan, the Exchange rate reacts to speculations, insecurity and global oil price.

Aware that the BSS (Bank of South Sudan) or MOF (Ministry of Finance) does not print USD or hard currency locally, there is not enough reserve (USD, Euro, GBP, nor Yen, or Yuan) in this country that can defend the FER regime anymore (1USD@2.96-3.17) as much as there is no export revenue to cover the FER gap.

If these institutions are again pushed to print more SSP for full scale salary adjustments, then be ready for 1,000% plus rise in inflation.

There is no country in the world that brings dollar or hard currencies for spoon feeding its citizen but rather citizens can contribute in bringing various hard currencies to their economy through their individual exports or from overseas remittances to top up the efforts of their Govt.

Uganda is a typical life example where citizens cultivate and export to SS and the dollars goes to the Republic of Uganda period, and there is nothing we sell to Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, or Sudan to bring back our USD indirectly, therefore making a kind of holocaust imbalance in regional and International trade because SS became the main sources of hard currency to some immediate neighboring countries, unfortunately.

The International oil price which is the only export commodity in this country has dropped from $100-$107 to $35 per barrel when the USA which was the world’s major oil consumer started drilling its own soil (sand) oil.

Besides not all oil field stations are operational in South Sudan since the beginning of the internal War from Dec 2013. The oil revenue the RSS was enjoying until 2011 has dropped by 76%, leaving the country in a complete paralysis stage.

As the saying goes, when the USA sneezes, 80% of the world can catch flu, this alone is a food-for-thought for some South Sudanese who had consciously and openly propagated against the USA in newspapers eluding that the USA is after the RSS oil.

If that is the case, why are some of you then dying after the USA dollar, a currency that belongs to your presumed foreign enemy??

History of Exchange Rate Regimes in South Sudan:
The fixed exchange regime (FER) as a nominal anchor for monetary policy was adopted by the BSS on July 2011 as South Sudan got its independence with a good intention to stimulate economic growth and ensure macroeconomic stability in the country.

From Aug 2012- Mar 2014, the exchange rate in the black market (parallel exchange rate) soared to 1USD@5.34 SSP and from Jan-Dec 2015 the maximum rate was 1USD@25 SSP, telling there was no enough reserve to supply the rising demand for dollars in SS.

Abusively, 84 forex bureaus & 28 banks emerged in SS much more than in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and other African Countries just for the sole reason of foreign exchange business using the FER, making the situation counterproductive to the economy.

Disadvantage of Fixed Exchange Rate (FER) Regime:
As a result between the periods of Aug 2012-13 Dec 2015, the FER regime under-served nothing but instead encouraged recycling of money, created rent-seeking behaviour (black marketeers), diverted Govt reserves meant for development for invisible purposes.

Some people who have access to USD became millionaires overnight by abusing the FER. The FER turns to auction or re-sale our oil in much lower price through subsidies (being it KSH, USH or USD allocations) because at the end of the day we tend to give out our hard currency on less value below the market demand value-subsidies.

The FER had a hypocritical banking system which turned to divert from basic banking business of lending to people for economic development to other unrealistic deals through LC’s Shilling transfers and exchange of USD.

The FER prohibits people who deserve and are direly in need of hard currency from accessing the hard currency; for instances how can you differentiate between a sick person or those with kids studying abroad from the ones who are not sick nor needed hard currency for external purpose if all had the same documents (Medical reports from the Medical Commission and Tuition fee papers)?

How can you as much prohibit LCs rent seekers who have access to hard currency using invisible companies from productive business people?

Where can the RSS get free USD or Euro to allocate to certain group of people every three to four months when there is no enough hard currency entering the economy/country in the first place?.

The hard workers are categories of people who earn their money through sweat; these are segmented group of people during the fixed exchange rate regime the black marketeers robbed their money from Aug 2012-Dec 2015 as they have no access to approvals for USD from the MOF, MOP, BSS, MOC to get the hard currency, and at the same time they want to keep their businesses running or children studying abroad as well cover their medical on their own.

This was a stage of economy of deprivation, imbalance and inequality that cannot bring macro-economic stability or equitable growth but rather nourish false millionaires in the face of rent seekers who have wide access to the little dollar that comes in and it encourages laziness.

Besides, the economic law of one price does not allow any market to clear at more than one price, hence the foreign (US dollar) exchange market obeys the same law and the exchange rate, which is the price in that market, should be unified. This is one of the key reforms of the economic program that the BSS should be highly applauded for finally coming to central bank consensus.

There shouldn’t be much reaction from the market because already prices of goods were throughout priced according to market exchange rate prices, and it is very clear in Uganda and Kenya, the SSP is rightly quoted in forexes according to its right value.

Advantages of Managed Float/Flexible Exchange Rate (FLER):
The Manage Float or rather Flexible Exchange Rate encourages competitions in banking sector and many banks will be willing to lend out money to the public to get profit other than relying on forex exchange profit.

The Banks can merge and reduce unnecessary opening of big forex bureaus under the umbrella name of commercial bank with quasi-business plans that do not contribute to the growth of the economy, it shall differentiate the work of banking and forex clearly.

The FLER is realistic and reflects the truth about an economy, it encourages people to work hard and gives chance for local production of goods and services in realistic price much lower than import goods. It gives opportunity for economies to diagnose and fix up things simply using right approaches, it reduces or clears out the parallel markets or black markets for dollars or fuel because these black markets businesses will not be profitable to the rent seekers any more as same prices will be applicable anywhere with slightly narrow differences of 1 or 2 SSP only.

Harmonization of Fiscal & Monetary Policy Areas:
There could be areas of harmonization needed in some areas especially for low income civil servants, the author suggest that a salary survey scale be carried out by the MOF and Public Services in countries SS trade with; Kenya, Uganda and Sudan to map the salary scales of civil servants of all levels in these countries such that an average salary plus slight addition be drawn for salaries of public civil servants in this country.

It is quite outrageous to note that from the onset of CPA and beyond, the finances that were used for paying civil servants in this country was 80% and development 20% making this country a complete paradox or drama in the world and upside down sort of country because in other countries it is the development finances that take 80% of the budget and 20% is for salaries.

While doing so, the said institutions should be careful in doing the financial adjustments while taking into consideration inflation pressures.

Maybe it is time we cultivate small garden farms in our backyards like before and advise the cattle herders to take care of their cattle from eating people’s farms.

We should be improving production of these cattle too for commercial purposes because we cannot claim to be among the countries with big number of livestock cattle while on the other hand importing meat from abroad- Uganda. We should be the ones exporting meat to others and get dollars from the meat exports not just faking to have the biggest number of cattle over the region with no proofs.

Conclusions:
The unification of the exchange rate has to be presented as a part of package of reforms designed to ensure macroeconomic stability, improve good governance of public resources, and create the conditions for inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

These reforms are supported by the international community, particularly the IMF. It is an economic law that the real market exchange rate is determined by the market forces of demand and supply of dollar for the case of South Sudan.

It is important to underscore that the proposed unified exchange rate is around the prevailing parallel exchange rate at the time of unification. There should therefore not be any negative impact on inflation, particularly of basic food items.

Given the perception among the public that are dealing in the parallel exchange rate as a legitimate business, the authorities should be careful to explain the benefits for the national economy of having one single exchange rate.

Therefore, based on the preceding exchange rate analysis, the newly implementation of a unified exchange rate or managed float, or flexible market rate, call it as in place that is market driven.

The Author is a financial economist in the Central Bank, she can be reached via: 0955322322; bettyangasi@gmail.com or betty.angasi.bss. Please note that this article reflects the views of the author as an individual

Commemorating cold-blooded Massacre of 20,000-plus Nuer Civilians on Dec/15/2013 by Pres. Kiir

From: J. Nguen, Dec/15/2015, SSN;

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of Dec. 15th, when 20,000-plus innocent Nuer civilians including women, elderly and children were summarily executed by their President, in cold blood. My own mother died too in this conflict. She was innocent and had to die because she was denied access to medical attention. My uncles and nephews summarily executed simply because they were Nuer.

They were considered enemy of the State because of their ethnicity. The African Union’s Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan’s Conflict Report rightly put it that the massacre of 20,000 Nuer civilians was a “state policy” sanctioned to erase one ethnic group from the map of South Sudan.

Because of this poorly thought out policy, my people, people of South Sudan were ruthlessly murdered in their houses on a door–to–door search-to-kill spree in Juba and across South Sudan.

They died bravely and with humility because they were not armed and did no provocation or had no political agenda but had to be executed because they were Nuer.

Their killers foolishly thought destroying their souls was an affliction on the Nuer Nation. Yes, immediately it was and as a result I will never see my uncles, nephews and mother again.

However, because of this twisted foresight thinking and exhortation of righteousness, South Sudan went in flame. Across this young nation, almost everyone is in anguish of sort.

As a result, the foundation of our nation is now challenged, wobbly to the core risking free fall at any time.

On a personal note, at the onset of this conflict, I promised my nation and my people that “I’ m alive not dead.” I promised I will use my talents to reverse the course of these horrific crimes.

I promised my dead mother that I will write about “your innocent demise to ensure that your blood and spirit will not go in vain.”

My goal was to expose and hold those who committed these crimes to account and do away with impunity. Others and I took this noble task with humility. We have written articles to inform the world that you were innocently murdered, with no apparent cause.

To some extent, we have made a head way given the African Union’s Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan’s Conflict Report, but I must state that there is much more to be done, which still required our collective actions.

President Salva Kiir and his thugs, militia allies from Bul Nuer, Darfur and SPLA-North rebels have committed horrific atrocities across Nuer Nation against innocent civilians. Crimes punishable by death when one is found alive or dead!

Therefore, I need not to remind you that Nuer women, young girls and elderly women were raped and burned alive after rape. I need not to mention that young Nuer boys were castrated and young Nuer girls had their breasts cut off and left for dead.

And I need not to say to you that elderly men in Unity State and Juba were forced to eat and drink the blood of their dead relatives and they were also killed afterward.

Finally, with gruesome brutalities, Nuer women were subjected to jump on fire for show and gang raped with sharp objects and allowed to bleed to death. These are heinous crimes committed by South Sudanese against their own fellow citizens.

It’s true that the scene of everlasting tragedy is set. To ease this tragic precedent, I call on all South Sudanese both at home and in Diaspora to commemorate December 15th of the Nuer massacre together as one people and condemn the wrong and those who took part committing these heinous crimes against our nation and our fellow countrymen and men.

J. Nguen

Shelf Those Mini-Tribal States and Implement the Peace Agreement!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, DEC/03/2015, SSN;

Bravo and congratulations to all those who came out boldly in opposition of the crazy idea being circulated in Juba aimed at gerrymandering political constituencies by restructuring South Sudan into yet 28 mini-tribal enclaves.

As I came across many well-articulated arguments against those 28 tribal enclaves, I thought it would add more power to this noble and patriotic position if I can stand up tall and throw my lot with those who oppose the move and the manner in which the government has gone about imposing it..

As I completely join hands with those opposing this crazy idea, I have no single doubt in my mind that no one will benefit from further dragging the country into more unnecessary tribal animosities simply because some myopic politicians see their ways into leadership only through the unfortunate creation of those mini tribal states.

My hat also goes off for those brave, patriotic and above all nationalistic Members of Parliament in Juba who chose to be on the right side of .

Their staging a walk out in protest of the unconstitutionality of the procedures adopted by the Juba regime to its malicious plans down on the South Sudanese masses is worth the risk taken.

Kiir and his JCE should never be allowed a free hand to impose anything on our people by the way of manipulating, bullying, harassing or blackmailing the peoples’ representatives in the August House.

Going back to the history of our people , one testify that for all practical purposes, the relationships among Southern Sudanese were far better in the 1960s and 1970s when the region existed as Three Provinces of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal.

What our people wanted throughout history was a federal system of government, to which the Jallaba in Khartoum were opposed.

In late 1950s, as the Southern Sudanese voices in favour of federalism grew louder, Khartoum moved in to silence it. Firstly, they used brute force and we resisted it until Addis Ababa Agreement was signed in 1972 and Southern Sudan won semi-autonomous status under a Regional Government structure.

However in order to stop the Autonomy in Southern Sudan from metamorphosing into a full blown federal arrangement , the same Jallaba and their agents in Juba adopted the divide and rule tactics and implemented the first ever move which saw the Southern Sudan region move from three Provinces to six.

Equatoria gave way to Western and Eastern Equatoria, Upper Nile gave way to Upper Nile and Jonglei and Bahr Ghazal gave way to Bahr Ghazal and Lakes.

Historically, the currently existing ten (10) states were created under the National Islamic Front (NIF) regime of Turabi-Bashir. The whole exercise was laid and hatched by Sheikh Hassan Abdalla Al Turabi with the sole aim of more ‘Divide and Rule’ policy.

As it can be seen from the above narratives, all throughout history the proliferation of administrative units (provinces/ districts/states/ counties) all came about as the central authority’s attempts at dividing the peripheries in the name of decentralization, while in fact centrally retaining maximum grip on the country’s resources and government power.

Today the voices calling for federalism are still high. What we are witnessing now is that the central authority even in post-independence South Sudan isn’t really any different from its Jallaba predecessors!

It has come with yet another further fragmentation of the periphery. It also came riding on the back of yet another false decentralization while all political powers in the country become even more concentrated in the hands of one individual who runs the centre as if he is running a private enterprise and not a country.

In reality South Sudan doesn’t need all these artificially, yet problematic divisions into those useless mini tribal states.

Why Not Federate on Basis of the “Three Historical Provinces “And Stop Those Mini-Tribal Enclaves!

Indeed ‘Our People’ were better off and happier when they were under the historical ‘Three Provinces’ of Equatoria, Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile.

What South Sudan clearly needs is to regain its lost history and reinstate those Three Provinces structures as the basis for a Three Federal Government unit that will form the Federal Republic of South Sudan.

Of course as with our own experience as South Sudanese, we must not forget that although federalism is meant to devolve most of the powers and resources from the centre to the peripheries, still good governance and rule of law are central to the success of any system of governance.

Let’s us stop all these madness of more states and go back to what we really were before the enemy manipulated us with its mini-tribal structures which are only meant to distract us from the real issues.

South Sudan’s salvation squarely lies in the adoption of a federal system of government based on our historical ‘Three Provinces’ structure and forget about these ill-advised mini-tribal enclaves that are only meant to further de-destabilize the country and its people instead .

However, to be fair to anyone who holds any different views to those here, I totally respect that.

What I would humbly suggest at this stage is since for all of us to join hands in the implementation of the IGAD Plus Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflicts in South Sudan (ARCISS).

As such it will be a good idea that all proposals concerning this matter (including the Kiir-JCE proposal of the Twenty Eight (28) mini tribal enclaves ) be deferred for the time being and be instead presented to the Permanent Constitution Making Process for consideration as enshrined in the Peace Agreement.

Again as the Peace deal is clear on Federalism and devolution of powers and resources, let’s assume at this stage that the battle on these areas has been partly won.

Rightly so, it should only be at the constitution making process that we can argue which way things should go in as far as the number of states or administrative units the to be federal system should embrace.

Whether South Sudan goes back to become what is was in the past when it was only made up of those ‘Three Historical Provinces’ or to the Six(6) Nimeri-Alier structures, or the Ten (10) Turabi-Bashir structures or the Twenty One (21) SPLM-IO structures or the Twenty (28) Kiir- jieng Council of Elders (JCE) structures will all be decided when we are making the Permanent Constitution.

Is it not high time those decrees are silenced once and for all , while we embrace constitutionality and Rule of Law!

Author: Justin Ambago Ramba. Reachable at: justinramba@doctors.org.uk