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Taban Deng, Kiir’s vice president, formally rejoins SPLM ruling party: LATEST

By AFP, Today, MAY, 07/2018, SSN,

In Summary:
In the years since millions have been uprooted, triggering a regional refugee crisis, and millions more have been pushed to the brink of starvation, while tens of thousands have been killed, mostly civilians;

South Sudan’s vice president, former rebel Taban Deng Gai, on Monday formally folded his party into the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) of President Salva Kiir.

The move is aimed at bolstering the legitimacy of Kiir’s regime and undermining rebel leader Riek Machar, to whom Deng was formerly allied.

Deng split from Machar following heavy fighting in the capital Juba in 2016 and, siding with Kiir, took his former boss’s job and is seeking to strengthen his position in the government.

In a confusing move, both Deng in Juba and Machar, under house arrest in South Africa, continued to call their respective factions SPLM-IO (In Opposition) despite now being on opposing sides in the four-year-old conflict.

On Monday, Deng insisted he was implementing a political resolution to the conflict by officially rejoining the ruling party.

“Reunification of SPLM will give more power, more spirit, and more energy to the party to strive on the areas of making peace a lasting resort,” Deng told journalists.

The world’s youngest nation which achieved independence from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013 when Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup.

In the years since millions have been uprooted, triggering a regional refugee crisis, and millions more have been pushed to the brink of starvation, while tens of thousands have been killed, mostly civilians.

While originally siding with Machar, his fellow Nuer tribesman, Deng switched sides ostensibly to help bring peace, but fighting has continued since, and talks have faltered.

“The new rejuvenated SPLM will be fighting tribalism. We reconcile the communities, we stop child abduction, cattle rustling. We will continue with the disarmament of the civilians so that people are secure,” Deng vowed Monday. END

IGAD and the question of impartiality on South Sudan

By: Duop Chak Wuol, South Sudan, APR/29/2018, SSN;

One of the main reasons the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) was formed was to maintain peace in the East African region. In its mission statement, the bloc claims that it is the premier alliance for preserving peace in the region. This is an attempt to show why IGAD has not been neutral in its quest for peace in South Sudan.

There are irrefutable problems with IGAD being the lead player in South Sudan’s peace talks. The East African regional bloc began its search for a peaceful solution in 2014 as a capable agency.

For instance, in January 2014, IGAD brokered the first ceasefire agreement between South Sudan’s warring factions.

The pact was praised both locally and internationally. However, the supposedly peace-loving regional entity suddenly resorted to trying to sell Kiir’s tyranny to the people of South Sudan by imposing the August 2015 power-sharing deal and passing questionable resolutions.

IGAD’s protect-IGAD-head-of-states policy has enabled Kiir to commit more atrocities.

In any armed conflict, a lasting peace can only be achieved with the involvement of an unbiased mediator, and only when the root causes of such a conflict are properly addressed and the rival sides compromised reasonably.

It is good to remind people that Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni proclaimed two weeks after the war broke out in Juba that the entire East African region gave South Sudanese rebel leader, Dr. Riek Machar, four days to accept a ceasefire offer or face a collective military action from IGAD’s member states.

In addition, the Ugandan leader claimed that a deal to punish Machar was agreed upon by IGAD’s leaders in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Museveni was in Juba when he announced such a demanding warning to Machar.

Museveni’s assertion was never echoed by any other East African leaders.

It would be unnecessary for me to speak of Museveni’s support of Salva Kiir’s tyrannical regime since millions of South Sudanese were already aware of it before fighting erupted in Juba.

Museveni is a documented co-founder of South Sudan’s civil war. IGAD failed to uphold its mandates as a regional player and instead empowered Kiir to keep obstructing the peace and waging his brutal campaign against the people of South Sudan.

The 2015 agreement was not a plausible pact because the bloc forgot the fact that Kiir was prepared to hinder its peace implementation.

There are reasons to believe that the bloc has not been impartial in its search for peace in South Sudan.

In the 2015 deal, IGAD placed too much emphasis on assigning ministerial percentages to factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and other political parties, and little attention to peace execution.

The bloc gave Kiir’s faction 53 percent, whereas 33 percent were allocated to Machar’s group and 14 percent to Former Detainees (FDs) and other parties.

One of IGAD’s blunders is that when it assigned ministerial positions to all four main groups, it thought the establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) would succeed and that the agreement would be fully implemented.

The power-sharing deal also stipulated that Juba must be demilitarized and it called for an external force to take over security in the capital.

There was also a need to monitor locations and movements of rebel and government forces. IGAD was fully tasked with enforcing and verifying many mandates needed for peace to succeed.

Nonetheless, the regional bloc failed to enforce its own rules. Because of IGAD’s inaction, Juba was not demilitarized: government troops were simply re-positioned into different strategic areas in the capital, and there was no third-party force running the security in Juba.

Besides, when Kiir attempted to assassinate Machar in July 2016, IGAD was disgracefully silent.

As noted above, IGAD’s pro-Kiir position is real. In July 2017, the bloc shocked the people of South Sudan when it declared that it will not allow the South Sudanese rebel leader to participate in the peace revitalization talks.

The reaction against its decision was loud and clear. The people of South Sudan were furious.

After South Sudanese questioned the motive behind its decision, IGAD then turned around and claimed that Riek Machar’s ideas would be incorporated into the negotiations and suggested that the rebel leader send his representatives to the revitalization forum.

Most of IGAD’s actions are not those of a neutral mediator. The bloc acts as if it has been infiltrated by Juba’s regime. Any unconscionable person would argue that IGAD’s position on South Sudan’s conflict has been questionable.

One would argue that trusting the bloc is like trusting a cunning tyrant who tries to convince his people that his ruthlessness mysteriously evaporated into thin air overnight and that they should trust him.

I know for a fact that not all IGAD leaders want to prevent Machar anymore from participating in South Sudan’s politics.

The people of South Sudan know Uganda and Kenya either colluded with Kiir or at least represented his interests in the bloc. Other East African nations should tell Kampala and Nairobi that IGAD is not Kenyan or Ugandan — it is East African — and that ending the suffering of the people of South Sudan outweighs their self-interests.

Is IGAD really an entity for maintaining peace in the East African region as it claims in its mission statement, or a bloc merely meant to protect the leaders of IGAD’s countries?

Does IGAD conspire with Juba to prevent Machar from participating in South Sudan’s politics?

Is South Sudan’s oil money being used to bribe some members of IGAD?

Is there any external power influencing the bloc’s decision on South Sudan? Can the people of South Sudan still trust IGAD?

IGAD’s actions on South Sudan’s peace negotiations speak for themselves. The bloc has simply become a useful tool for Salva Kiir. Kiir uses IGAD’s anti-SPLM-IO resolutions to impede the revitalization of peace.

South Sudan’s peace can only be achieved if parties to the conflict compromise fairly and their concerns are addressed in a way that is acceptable to both sides.

Millions of South Sudanese were stunned when they saw the rather dubious communiqué IGAD issued on March 26, proclaiming that it is ready to lift Riek Machar’s house arrest in South Africa and that it will relocate the rebel leader to a country outside the East African region.

The decision was not only baseless; it was a clear glorification of Kiir’s atrocities. The statement was clearly a resolution to protect Kiir’s regime. It baffles me that IGAD passed such a communiqué when the people of South Sudan have been patiently waiting for more than four years hoping that the bloc would find a reasonable solution to resolve the young nation’s crisis.

If there are entities that hinder the revitalization of the 2015 compromise deal, then IGAD likely qualifies to be in the cluster of organizations standing in the way of peace.

Most of IGAD’s peace proposals have been conducted in secret consultations with Juba’s regime. The bloc is no longer impartial and has proven itself to be an agent for Juba’s atrocious regime.

IGAD’s confinement of Machar is a colossal mistake. His house arrest did not stop the war — in fact, it only intensified the conflict.

If IGAD believes it is working for a real peace in the young nation, it must utterly release Machar. Relocating the rebel leader from South Africa to a different country should not be called a release: it is merely a change of location of the same arrest.

If the bloc really wants a lasting peace in South Sudan, it must also ask Kiir and other political leaders to denounce violence. IGAD’s complicity has allowed Kiir to obstruct the implementation of the 2015 deal, kill with impunity, and loot state resources.

Whether Juba uses plundered oil wealth to bribe several of IGAD’s leaders is another topic. The African Union (AU) and the international community should not allow IGAD to play with the lives of innocent people by crying for peace during the day and colluding with Kiir at night.

The East African regional bloc — which seems to be suffering from a crisis of credibility — is no longer a reliable body and cannot be trusted to play a leading role in the peace process.

If IGAD wants to regain its credibility, then it must stop acting as Juba’s agent. Protecting a murderous tyrant is rather reprehensible.

The author can be reached at duop282@gmail.com.

Vice-Pres. James Wani Igga cowardly and buffoonish attack on Church Leaders

From multiple sources, APR/24/2018, SSN;

The Vice President of the failed government in Juba has accused religious leaders of inciting churchgoers against the government, spreading violence and hate messages dissemination.

According to James Wani Igga, some preachers insult politicians openly during church services instead of advising them in person. Typical of his shameful cowardice and submissiveness, Igga avoided publicly naming any of the clergy, although it’s well known in the country that his greatest critics have been his own Catholic priests.

“Some clergymen have resorted to preaching against personalities in this country. They misinforming believers that President Salva Kiir and the government are bad,” he was quoted saying on Sunday.

He said some of them are misleading their faithfuls and this, he believes, cannot promote peace in the country.

“You just come and shout on the altar with the motive of misleading the Christians to turn against their government. That is counterproductive and even God will not accept it because it will end in violence,” said Mr Igga.

In March, 2017, Catholic Archbishop, Paulino Lokudu Loro said the government must choose between peace, unity, reconciliation and justice over rape, killings and arbitrary arrests.

“Mr President, go into the room [after this gathering] to pray for peace in your country,’’ he said.

The cleric warned further warned the president, stressing that torture, corruption, raping, arbitrary arrests and tribalism would continue if the latter misused his prayer.

He admitted that this has prompted some leaders to desert churches. Typical of his well-recognized cowardice, Wani Igga did not, dare to bring forth a name any of these clergymen he accused. It’s well known that whilst both President Salva Kiir and vice Igga are Roman Catholics, they’ve been directly and persistently castigated by their own clergy.

The Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Juba, Santo Lako, a critic of both Kiir and Igga, once said, “It is a joke to hear the president of the country calling prayers while at the moment, the soldiers are hunting people across South Sudan,”

Igga, while addressing the congregation at All Saint Cathedral Church of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan in Juba Sunday, claimed some said some clergymen were orchestrators of violence.

“Some clergymen have resorted to preaching against personalities in this country. They misinforming believers that President Salva Kiir and the government are bad,” he was quoted saying on Sunday.

“We should not mix politics with religion, but we are out to be advised honestly,” he added.

However, even the the bishop of the Episcopal Church of Wau Diocese, Moses Deng, in June 2014, explained in the diocesan newsletter that “the country is ruled by former rebel generals from the president to state governors down to the county commissioners.”

“The church has been playing a great role in peace and reconciliation. Had it not been for the church, South Sudan would not be where it is today, but could have been worse than Somalia,” Bishop Deng said.

Igga was speaking during the enthronement of the Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan at the All Saints Cathedral in Juba on Sunday.

Archbishop Justin Badi Arama, a former ECS Bishop for Maridi archdiocese, was elected in January this year.

He succeeds Daniel Deng Bul who retired in January months after the split of the church from the Sudan.

To Pres. Trump & US Congress: South Sudan Crisis Must Stop

FROM: Dr. George P. Imurro & Peter G. Kuel, Political Activists, APR/16/2018, SSN;

Dear, Pres. Donald Trump and the US Congress:

We, the undersigned representatives of South Sudanese activists’ civil society organizations in the United States, are writing to express our deepest appreciation for the direction you have taken about the crisis in South Sudan since you took office.

We, the South Sudanese American in US, thank you for your leadership for trying to bring to an end the suffering of people in South Sudan who are anguishing under their corrupt leaders.

The arm embargo, the sanctioned of some corrupt leaders and your administrations’ continue to support the ongoing peace effort in Addis Ababa, as well as the unwavering humanitarian aids to the displaced people in South Sudan have shown how much you as a person and the American citizens empathies and compassions for the humanity and thank you!

Indeed, we are concerned for the ongoing crisis in South Sudan and appealed to your administration to use its ultimate power as one of the world leaders with a special role to play in global politics to take strong measures and thrust South Sudan regime in order to implement possible solutions and halt the immense suffering of the people of South Sudanese.

Salva Kiir and Taban Deng Gai will never do anything to stop the killings if nothing touches them.

To date, it has been over 4th years since the conflict was unleashed on the South Sudanese people upon declaring a false coup by President Salva Kiir Mayardit on December 15, 2013 in Juba, South Sudan.

During this horrific conflict, the previous US Administration did not do much; consequentially, the regime’s perpetrators unrelenting with their violence and placements did not come to an end.

The regime in Juba had been enjoyed the absence of a decisive leadership from Washington DC, and that’s why the regime had never held on an agreement since no one made it accountable for the violations. The killing of innocent civilians have kept on the rise.

In the absence of serious, credible and dependable actions from the international community, especially the United States during the last administration, hundreds of thousands of innocent South Sudanese have been killed; more than 4 million people displaced with about 2 million internally displaced and sought refuge in neighboring countries assisted by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The US taxpayers spent billions of dollars to save the lives of the displaced persons in South Sudan while the regime, other the other hand, with help from Uganda and few other countries, was spending the Oil Revenue on weaponry to continue killing of its own people.

The South Sudanese internally displaced persons are living in dire conditions in UNMISS camps in Juba and around the country, while president Salva Kiir continued to receive financial support from other countries in the region and internationally.

By far, the last ambiguity of U.S. policy toward South Sudan has created an environment where the regional bloc – Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) started behaving dishonestly in bringing to an end the war.

Such ambiguity gives Salva Kiir’s regime undeterred leverage to inflict humanitarian sufferings and amass an unprecedented power to pursue an ethnic cleansing policy in all the three regions of the country.

There is no doubt that this war will continue to intensify if the United States Government does not take a decisive leadership role to end the war in South Sudan.

However and historically, it was the United States that made it possible for South Sudanese people to achieve their hard-earned freedom of statehood. Notably, it was during the Bush Administration that a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress known as the “Sudan Caucus” was enacted.

Those members of Congress, American Christians and Bush Administration worked very hard to ensure South Sudanese get the recognition they deserved from Sudan.

In 2005, a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed because of their hard work leading to 2011, where South Sudanese got their Independence from Sudan.

The South Sudanese American Activists and communities at large will rally today, April 16, 2018 in Washington DC, appealing to your administration Mr. President Donald Trump and The Congress to take the leading role and stop the war in South Sudan.

You have to bring President Salva kiir to face International Criminal Court for the human rights crimes such as:

• The genocide of Nuer civilians, women and children on December 15, 2013;
• The Massacre of Nuer civilians at the UN camps in Jonglei State on April
17, 2014
• The Massacre on Shilluk and Nuer civilians in the UN camps in Malakal-Upper
Nile state on February 18, 2015,
• The Massacre of Western Bhar Ghazal people in Wau starting from June 24,
2016,
• The targeting and continuing ethnic killing of Equatorian people,
• The rape and displacement of Nuer civilians in Bentiu,
• The case of “Unknown Gun Men” terrorizing citizens in Juba including
activists, foreigners, and Journalists.

We, therefore, recommend that the US enacts the following measures:

• Declare Salva Kiir illegitimate president for his role in the genocide of ethnic Nuer, Chollo, Equatorians, and Western Bhar Gazal’s Fertits in Juba and in other states,
• Ensure justice and accountability for the gross violations of human rights committed by Salva Kiir’s regime in order to end the culture of impunity in South Sudan.
• Impose targeted sanctions on the regime in South Sudan—including freezing all assets, and the Oil Company, Nile Pet and arms embargo.
• Assist the International Community to provide Humanitarian Assistance (health, education, food and shelter) to the war-affected areas in South Sudan.
• Assist UNMISS to increase protection of displaced persons who are stranded in UN protective camps across the country.
• Redirect Oil Revenue to Humanitarian assistance instead of leaving it to regime to buy weaponry to kill its own people.

We thank you, Mr; President Donald Trump, for you time and consideration.

Sincerely,

1. Alliance for South Sudan In Diaspora- Dr George Phillip Imuro,
imurot@yahoo.com
2. South South Sudan International Advocacy for Human Rights-
Peter Gatkuoth W Kuel peterkuel@yhoo.com

Cc: US Congress
Cc: South Sudanese-American Civil Society Council
Cc: file

Is Kiir allowing Egypt back again to dig the controversial Jonglei Canal as Nile talks fail with Ethiopia?

By FRED OLUOCH, THE EASTAFRICAN, APR/08/2018, SSN;

Egyptian politicians are said to be lobbying their government to negotiate with Pres. Kiir’s government in Juba to resume the digging of the controversial Jonglei Canal in South Sudan as an alternative plan as discussions on the use of the Nile waters aborted.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour on Friday announced suspension of the tripartite talks between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia without reaching a consensual solution regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Samir Faraj, former governor of Luxor region along River Nile is among those pushing for the revival of Jonglei Canal project, arguing that the canal would enable Egypt to get additional 4.7 billion cubic metres of water annually from the White Nile.

Since the start of the digging of the controversial Jonglei Canal in the late 1970’s, South Sudanese and environmentalists around the world wholly rejected the project because of its humongous negativity on the environment and the its deleterious impact on the lives of the riparian tribes along the Nile.

Then, at it’s announcement, students and citizens across South Sudan demonstrated against the digging of the Jonglei Canal and many heroic lives of students and citizens were needlessly lost during Abel Alier’s puppet government in Juba.

Egypt is embroiled in a dispute with Ethiopia over the Renaissance dam, which Cairo maintains is a threat to the flow of the 50 billion cubic metres of water the country receives annually from the Nile.

Cairo is worried that it will interfere with the flow of water to the Aswan High Dam, given that Blue Nile contributes 80 per cent of the waters to Egypt.

But Ethiopia remains adamant, saying that the $4.8 billion dam that is expected to generate electrical power of up to 6,000 MegaWatts, is for the benefit of its people.

This week, talks on the tripartite agreement on the utilisation of Nile waters and the impact of the GERD, resumed in Khartoum.

In Summary
***Egypt is embroiled in a dispute with Ethiopia over the Renaissance dam, which Cairo maintains is a threat to the flow of the 50 billion cubic metres of water the country receives annually from the Nile.
***Egyptian politicians are said to be lobbying the government to negotiate with Juba to resume the digging of the controversial Jonglei Canal.
***Those pushing for it say it would enable Egypt to get 4.7 billion cubic metres of water more annually from the White Nile

Fluid bilateral relations

The last time the issue of Jonglei Canal came up between South Sudan and Egypt was in 2008, when the then Sudan vice-president and now South Sudan President Salva Kiir visited Cairo and discussed the prospects of resuming work on the canal after Juba’s Independence.

The then Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Nazeef, told the media that the project was on the agenda of the Supreme Committee between the two countries.

Juba has not issued any statement on the issue as it remains emotive. But a diplomatic source in Juba told The EastAfrican that Cairo has dropped interest in the Jonglei Canal project due to the current political instability in South Sudan, and the fluid bilateral relations between Juba and Khartoum.

Egypt was the financier of the project, with loans from its development partners, and had hired the Bucket Wheel used for excavation from the French government.

Egypt wanted the additional water from Jonglei to help grow food for its burgeoning population. Since the mid-1970s, however, water has become the limiting factor for agricultural expansion in many parts of northern Sudan, since new irrigation projects need more water.

Ecosystem

Research had shown that the digging of Jonglei Canal would have serious repercussions on the delicate ecosystem of the Sudd region that include negative effects on the aquatic, wild, domestic plants and animals, and interference of the farming activities of the people in the region including displacement.

Other negative impact include reduction of rainfall as the region will dry up after the canal takes water to Egypt and Northern Sudan, because the Sudd moisture contributes to the formation of rain in the region.

Shuttle diplomacy:

Despite the environmental concerns, former director of water resources in Kenya, John Nyaoro, told The EastAfrican, Egypt would gain up to additional 10 billion cubic metres from the project.

“While the waters that leave Lake Victoria through the White Nile is 40 billion cubic metres, only 20 billion arrives in Khartoum where it meets the Blue Nile from Ethiopia. If the Jonglei channels are opened to allow quick flow water, it would solve the problem of stagnation which results into loses through evaporation,” said Mr Nyaoro.

But the GERD remains a big concern to Egypt and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been crisscrossing the Nile basin countries trying to lobby against the dam and amendments to the 2011 Nile Treaty that allowed greater use of the waters by riparian states.

Egypt considers damming and major irrigation projects by the riparian states on the Nile waters as a major threat to the flow of water it receives.

-Additional Reporting by Joseph Oduha

South Sudan Suffering Population and the Indifferent Politicians

BY: DANIEL JUOL NHOMNGEK, KAMPALA, UGANDA, APR/05/2018, SSN;

When the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, made remarks at the Consultative Meeting on South Sudan with UN, IGAD and the African Union that — “first of all, it is clear to me and, I’m sorry to say so, but I’ve never seen political elite with so little interest in the well-being of its own people,” some people expressed outrage that it was against the sovereignty of South Sudan for him to make such remarks.

However, he was and he is still right up to now. In my opinion, he made a very precise observation about the conduct of South Sudanese leaders. The leaders of South Sudan do not have any interest in serving citizens as their interests solely lie in power and wealth.

The desire by the leaders to have power and resources has reduced the human values in South Sudan to nothing. This is because South Sudanese have become less human beings since what the leaders look at is not how to improve their welfare but how to enhance their power and acquire more and more wealth.

Thus, citizens have been reduced to objects and because of that they have lost intrinsic human values due to the indifferent conduct of the leaders of South Sudan.

In other words, in the politics of South Sudan, welfare of the citizens no longer matters.

But what matters in South Sudan to politicians are wealth and power. Hence, leaders use citizens just like objects to maintain their power and wealth.

Therefore, the way human values and citizenry are understood in South Sudan explains the problems being faced by the people at present. The following problems:

The first problem is the shortage of foreign currencies, which was caused by corruption facilitated among others through the Letters of Credit (LC). By implication, the shortage of foreign currencies has pushed up prices, which in turn has led to runaway inflation.

Unfortunately, the runaway inflation has become worse because it is not matched with the increase in salaries or business activities. The overall implication of this nature of inflation is the emergency of abject poverty facing all citizens except some of the leaders and their families.

The second problem is the deteriorating conditions of the citizens. The liberation war of 1983-2005 whose negative impact was not reduced and the present war which is the continuation of that war has had a negative impact on citizenry.

The war in particular has psychologically affected citizens but South Sudanese authorities have not come up with policies that deal with post-traumatic stress that result from the psychological consequences of the past war and the present.

In a study recently conducted by the US-based National Centre for Biotechnology information, it has been found that at least 40% of the participants asked across South Sudan showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress. The prevalence of post-traumatic stress caused by the war has made majority of the citizens live in hopeless lives.

The loss of hope has led many of the citizens to committing or attempting to commit suicide. Hence, on 15 September 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that South Sudan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

In addition, on 29/03/2018 News24 reported that suicide in South Sudan rises as years-long war grinds down South Sudanese. The many suicides in South Sudan are caused by the post traumatic stress that has affected the citizens uncontrollably.

Thus, the post-traumatic stress has had a great toll on many citizens though the authorities live as if things are normal with citizens.

The third problem is that of the Unknown Gunmen. Many citizens are being killed across the country and in Juba in particular, without accountability. It appears that the Unknown Gunmen is the government project intended to deal with its critics.

The government on many occasions has been accused of forming the unknown gunmen which is said to be an organ of the National Security.

In fact, what made many people to believe in that theory is that it is common with the unknown gunmen to target the civilians perceived to be against the government and those with property yet the government has never made any attempt to apprehend any member of the unknown gunmen.

The forth problem is the problem of communal violence among rural, and in particular, the cattle keeping communities. This is a type of violence perpetrated across ethnic or communal lines. It is where the violent parties feel solidarity for their respective groups, and victims are chosen based on group membership.

The above type of violence is the kind of violence that is eating up South Sudanese communities found in different states in South Sudan. For instance, this type of violence is common in Gok State, Western Lakes, Eastern Lakes, Tonj, and Gogrial State and in some of the states in the Upper Nile.

The presence of the communal violence has led to many citizens abandoning their original homes as their livestock are stolen or robbed and their crops destroyed yet the government does not even try to get a solution to this kind of violence, which shows that politicians of South Sudan are indifferent to suffering of ordinary citizens.

The fifth problem is the drilling of oil in disregard to the safety of the local citizens of South Sudan inhabiting areas where oil is found. This has resulted into waste water not processed being disposed of in unprotected areas.

Recently, the report prepared by the German NGO, Sign of Hope, estimated that 180,000 people face life-threatening risks from oil-related water pollution.

The Sign of Hope further reported that heavy metals, from leaking pipelines and refineries have affected the soil and citizens. This has further resulted into massive displacement of the people in oil producing areas.

Despite negative effects on citizens of unmonitored mining of oil, the government of South Sudan does not care about the welfare of citizens as it is busy drilling oil purposely to sustain the war against the rebels with illusive hope of winning it.

This fact has been confirmed by the recent report which made it clear that the leadership in South Sudan is using oil revenues from Nile Petroleum Corporation-NilePet and the National Oil and Gas Corporation of South Sudan to fuel the ongoing conflict.

Though the government rubbished this report by denying it in totality and instead put up a defence that it has been using oil money to pay salaries to the employees.

This is not true because civil servants including those working in different embassies of South Sudan are going to ten months or more now without being paid. This therefore confirms the fact that the government is lying, but in reality, it is using the money gained from oil to fund the war.

Sadly enough, as South Sudan‘s elite uses the country’s oil wealth to sustain the war as well as to terrorize the civilians and to get rich, the country is sinking deep into financial quagmires.

The economic uncertainty and limbo have made the country hostile for its own citizens to live in.

In general, South Sudan can properly be described as the sick man in East Africa since it is a country with suffering population but indifferent leaders.

In fact, the suffering has not spared any person including the soldiers who now beg on the streets though they are the ones defending the same leaders to remain in power.

Those widows whose husbands have been killed defending rebels or government are now begging on the streets because people in South Sudan are viewed like machines that become useless as soon as they are not able to produce more.

In summary, looking at the war as the war of power struggle not reforms, it is not easy for the leaders to reach compromise to achieve peace in order to save citizens. For that reason, there is no hope for achieving peace in near future.

This fact has been clearly confirmed by the recent statement from the First Vice President that he did not see any prospect of achieving peace very soon since the differences between the government and the oppositions are too wide.

NB// the author is South Sudanese Lawyer residing in Uganda and he can be reached through juoldaniel2003@gmail.com

Constant search for answers: The Case of South Sudan Crises

By: Ibrahim Juma, South Sudan, MAR/28/2018, SSN;

It is an indisputable fact that the current crisis we are in, came from power hungry politicians who’d and still put their interests first rather than the national interest. Concerned citizens like me are left to wonder in relation to how and who will address the followings issues that have befallen our nation.

Political problems: Because of power hunger and lack of patience from Dr. Riek Machar, he triggered the 2013 crisis that lasted up to now.

Many people including me thought Dr. Riek would be the only hope for our nation given his education and experience, but through thorough observations, he isn’t fit to resolve South Sudanese problems.

He has failed to run the SPLM-IO properly, leave alone running the whole nation. He is currently running a rebellion whose objective is just to get power without telling the citizens what he’d do once he assumes power.

Several defects within SPM-IO are testimony to that effect.

Other rebels like Dr. Lam Akol and General Thomas Cirilo are also vision-less. This leaves us with no hope in these rebels as they’d be hopeless in resolving of Republic of South Sudan’s problems.

On the other hand, the government of President Kiir is a government of self-enrichment or self-service. Where on earth can someone who was accused of stealing money be appointed as Undersecretary?

What has his government done to the 75 top corrupt politicians? Or since inception, who has ever been prosecuted by the Anti–Corruption commission other than it being an institution for employment?

Furthermore, the government has gone ahead to adopt a system of provoking people to rebel, e.g. when Gen. Paul Malong was relieved and decided to go home, he was labelled as a rebel and soldiers were told to shoot him if he resisted arrest.

If it wasn’t because of former governor of Eastern lakes, Mr. Bor Philip, Gen. Paul Malong would’ve been harmed.

Recently, when Mr. Andrew Makur Thou fell ill, his son-in-law, Ambassador Telar Ring Deng went to take care of him in Khartoum, Mr. Ezekiel Lul (current minister of petroleum) quickly referred to Mr. Telar as “John Baptist” who went to Khartoum to prepare the ground for the arrival of Gen. Paul Malong.

Who told Mr. Ezekiel Lul that Telar has rebelled? Is it not provocation where those in power provoke others to rebel?

If Gen. Paul rebelled (God forbids), I won’t blame him but I’ll rather blame those who always labeled him as rebel.

So, the question is, what’ll the government get from series of rebellions? I’m forced to believe that they’re using war to continue looting the country’s resources under the pretext of war.

Similar to my final observation on rebels that relate to their incapability in resolving South Sudanese’s problems mentioned above, the current government is a nightmare to South Sudanese.

Thus nothing good will come from it except continuous corruption in all its institutions, nepotism, promotion of tribalism, consistent under-development as evidenced by lack of functioning road network countrywide that links Capital Juba to all the states.

Further, poor health system, lack of sound educational sector, more and more suffering of the poor as a result of the current economic hardships, and government actions that are making our nation a laughing stock in the eyes of international community among many others.

All the above are a result of lack of political will to put things right given that self-interest prevails on top of national interest.

Economic Issues : since there is inter-dependency between politics and how economy can be ran, one can’t deny that there is no way South Sudan’s economy can do well when those who are supposed to run things right are not doing their jobs right.

For instance, President Kiir appointed Othom Rago to be the bank governor in order to put the South Sudanese Economy right, but what he has forgotten is something relating to this saying, “when a cow chews its cud, baby cow calf is watching keenly.”

Mr. Othom can’t do anything right when he has been part of the team that allowed millions of Dollars to be taken away by politicians in Central Bank.

Central Bank, more specifically, has failed to perform its duties such as establishing sound banking system where commercial banks lends to general public, controls inflation and gives prudent advice to government in relation to any policy action…. etc.

Central Bank is supposed to work with Ministry of Finance and that of Petroleum in putting the nation right.

But in a country where there’s open corruption in those institutions, nothing good can happen.

You’re all aware of the famous 10% scenario in the ministry of Finance which I believe is still in existence up to date.

Corruption in the ministry of Petroleum has been exposed too by the latest Sentry report published in this month.

The Central bank has a joined the corrupt politicians and companies that hold huge checks issued by Ministry of Finance and Economic planning by facilitating their payment rather than having keen eyes to detect any fraud.

So there is no hope in those institutions unless very serious reforms are made.

Our economy is now characterized by high unemployment, high inflation rates, high capital outflows e.g. our country send lots of money to neighboring countries to pay for education, health, rental charges, purchase of houses, vehicles, banking of looted money overseas, dependency on imports rather than developing “import substitution strategy that later leads to “export of surplus output.”

Depreciation of South Sudanese pounds against foreign currencies notably USD, Euro among other currencies, lack of government parastatals that in return generate government revenue and create employment, diversion of funds by politicians who have opportunity to steal public resources.

Because we have self-enriching politicians, nothing good can be achieved economically since these current politicians define the operations of the above institutions.

Social problems: our social fabric is now characterized by high bride price which is preventing many youth from marrying, high prostitution resulting from this economic hardships where for the first time a South Sudanese lady can be found selling herself for money.

Adulterous acts – where married ladies are unfaithful to their husbands simply because she might get paid by her spare tire to augment what her husband gives her daily.

Flourishing of crime rates in Juba and various areas simply because youth cannot meet the high cost of living.

Cattle rustling among communities with intention of getting what one can use as bride price, cultural erosion exemplified by emergency of South Sudanese pornographic films. (See hot in Juba website)

This emanated from the lengthy war where children born in refugees camps don’t have south Sudanese values at heart, unemployment where many youth spend whole day playing cards, sitting at tea places simply because they have no papers to compete for the few jobs in NGOs sector.

Others are unemployed simply because they are Arabic literate which is contrary to English as official language in South Sudan.

More importantly because the number of jobs available are not equal to job seekers and depopulation of South Sudan due to current war and revenge killings.

Because of these social problems, there is increase in number of fake churches that promise success, that means our spiritual being is at stake.

In summary, after reading to the end, my question to you is, who will address all the above problems and restore our nation to pre-war period (2008-2011), since the savior is not yet known to us citizens as shown by the above observations?

The writer is South Sudanese Economist.

The Generation Too Deprived to Reason for Their Own Good: The case of the “Seeds of Nation, Terap, Jesh el Hamer of the [South] Sudan”

QUOTE: “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Theodore Roosevelt.

BY: Reuben G. Panchol,Former Red Army fighter, MAR/24?2018, SSN;

The objective of the article is to wake up my fellow Seeds of the Nation to think critically about the salvation of South Sudan’s innocent children and mothers who are displaced from their homes and are now living in displaced camps inside South Sudan or in neighboring countries as refugees.

Just take a minute and reflect on our olden days! If it pains you like it does me as well, then it is time to think strategically on how to save and shape the image of the South Sudan around globe.

Wake up! Gone are the days when we used to bury our age-mates in solidarity.

A doomed or failed nation is a nation where young generation are being deceived and misled; South Sudan is no exception.

Therefore, it is up to young leaders and followers to open their eyes and avoid a trap set forth by those few egocentric elites, who have copied and pasted a system which they had fought against for last 60 years.

It is right time to find a sea to chase them (those elites) into, whether they are in J1 or in the bush/foreign lands; they all deserve a sea (courtesy of Dr. John G. Mabior – RIP).

Wake up! Gone are the days when we were forced by some of those elites to erect their fences and fetch water for them in the hot equatorial sun.

Why is it hard for the “Seeds of Nation, a.k.a Terap” to foster the ability of national unity which will save the nation rather then dividing themselves into kinship or sections?

Haven’t we (Terap) realized that today was the very “tomorrow” that was preached or sung to us, back in 1980/90s, to become the leaders; by none other than the incumbent elites?

Dear Seeds of the Nation, be informed that Kumbaya choiring is over. Wake up! Gone are the days when we used to go to bush to cut poles and grasses using stone, to build our huts.

Dear Seeds of the Nation, it is time to reflect on our olden days whereby we were promised to be Terap that will spring up and revitalize the nation of new Sudan (which happened to be the South Sudan) and resurrect it from the valley of the dry bones or deaths.

And, in case you are still under delusion of being addressed as ‘young people and not your time to lead,’ then let me inform you that, last time I checked, history told me that the independence of countries across Africa, from colonial powers, were championed by young leaders whose ages averaged in 30s and 40s.

For instance, those of Kwame Nkrumah, Mwalimu Nyerere, Jamal Abdul Nassir, among others, were all young leaders.

As a matter of fact our own, Dr. John G. Mabior, was 39 years old when he took to the bush and led the mighty SPLM/A. So, go figure out your own ages and wake up; for gone are days when we used to be called the leaders of tomorrow.

But, sad enough, the social fabrics and the sense of national unity which we fostered back in 80/90s had been ripped apart.

The South Sudan’s war of liberation has graduated to – Kill and you will be given a rank of general or governorship. Rebel and you are guaranteed a share of the pie (position), squander public resources and you will be appointed as an undersecretary at ministry of Petroleum.

That is where “economy is booming.”

Oppose national building ideas from lay women and men and you will be appointed to a position of Presidency spokesperson; hunt down and betray your friends and you will be a graduate of unknown gunmen’s class!

A nation that was fought for by all has become a dynasty of a few; it is all about me, I and myself; masterminded by the pocket and stomach!

Rebellion has replaced patriotism; because patriots are withering and culprits are flourishing.

Wake up, Terap! Gone are the days when jiggers (tuktuk) almost disabled some of our brothers, but some of us laboriously struggled to save their feet and fingers.

Before I bored you to death, let me leave you with this question and Dr. John G. Mabior’s last message to Terap; which can be interpreted as the passing of the torch to the Seeds of the Nation.

Who, in the world, is keeping South Sudan hostage while turning a blind eye on Innocent civilians’ agonies?

Is it the elites in Juba who don’t bother to visit and experience the life of their own constituencies at the grassroots (whom they claimed to represent), or the dissatisfied elites who are running around the globe with an imagery narrative of reform; expecting to change the nation while outside a fence (away from the truth on the ground)?

Or the Jesh el Hamer/Terap/Seeds whom their leader (Dr. John Garang Mabior – RIP) passed the torch/candle to, but ignored to accept the responsibility to carry it into the future (yet turned to singing Kumbaya to their kin and kith)?

And in case you might be wondering as to when did Terap’s leader pass the torch to them, here is an anecdote from Dr. John Garang, to the Seeds of the Nation during his last visit to USA in 2004 in Phoenix, Arizona.

“Your Movement had always wanted to prepare you to be the future leaders of our nation. This is still the purpose; you are the generation that shall develop the New Sudan (South Sudan for that matter).

Even though the difficulties and events of our struggle have separated many of you from the Movement and some have scattered all over the world, yet the aim is not lost.

I have come to wake you up and remind you that your day has come, tomorrow is already here and so take over leadership of your Movement, take over leadership of the SPLM/A.

You have very little time left to prepare yourselves to take over that leadership in whatever fields: in agriculture, carpentry, architecture, medicine, politics, economics, in raising a family…

All these require leadership and all contribute to building the New Sudan for which we have fought and sacrificed for over the last twenty one years.

I am confident in your ability to come together in a spirit of unity towards a greater good – bringing the world’s awareness to the plight of the desperate people in South Sudan.

I have great faith that you will conduct your business as responsible leaders, rising above factional and political differences.

As you speak, Phoenix will hear and learn about the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan, the children of Sudan’s war-torn countryside.

Millions of your people, including children, have lost their lives. Millions of your people have no voice, except through you. Millions of your people have no future, except through you.

Each one of you has my respect and admiration for enduring a life that no child should ever face.”

End of quote.

If this isn’t passing of the responsibility or torch/candle to next generation by an elder or a mentor, then I have no idea about what it is!

I don’t know your answer to the question above, but mine is that, the Seeds of the Nation are the ones keeping the South Sudan hostage!

Please, disagree with me, but convince me with evidences or facts base. Wake up! Gone are days when we used to prepare our meals in half drums and served on sacks (due to lack of utensils).

In conclusion, Dear Seeds of the Nation, my appeal to you is that, the nation which we were subjected to hardship at young age, is crying for our help.

The nation which has claimed the lives of our fathers; mothers; sisters and brothers, is yearning for our help.

The souls of our heroes and heroines that were scarified for liberation of the nation, are grieving; because we refused to exercise our duties.

Let’s unite, like the way we used to be back in our darkest days, to save our nation from being a second Biafra.

I am very confidence we can deliver the needed change if we work together. Because we did it during the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), referendum and we can do it again for the sake of the innocent orphaned children, and all our vulnerable people living in displaced camps.

It is time for us to decide our destiny and not allow ourselves to flow with the current via deceptions or actions that created the rifts among us along tribal tokens or individual’s benefits (remember, “loyalty ends where benefits stop”).

Wake up and let’s remember our hardship, during those darkest days of 80/90s, in solidarity and remembrance of the Terap/Seeds of Nation/Jesh el Hamer, who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Saving the nation will be the most honorable thing we could do to honor our fallen heroes and heroines.

Thanks for driving through this memory lane with me. Let me keyboard off here by quoting from Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in the creation, will be able to separate us from the love of the God that is in Christ, Jesus our Lord.”

Please, chillax and enjoy the ride and don’t forget to leave your comments at end of this piece, after reading it thoroughly; not only by scanning through it, Thanks.

The author, Reuben G. Panchol, is a member of “the Seeds of Nation (Jesh el Hamer a.k.a Terap)” which had been left to be consumed by Indian-meal Moth/grain moth (tribal politics aka NCP’s apologies who have hijacked the Mighty SPLM) prior to planting season. You can reach him via his email: reubenpanchol@hotmail.com

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Adds South Sudanese Oil Entities to Department of Commerce Entity List

Press Statement, Heather Nauert, Department Spokesperson, Washington, DC, March 21, 2018;

Today, the United States is taking action against these fifteen South Sudanese oil-related entities (published below) whose revenues have contributed to the ongoing crisis in South Sudan.

This action reflects the U.S. commitment to doing all it can to protect the innocent people of South Sudan.

By placing these entities on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Entity List, the United States will impose a license requirement on all exports, re-exports, and transfers of any U.S.-origin items to those entities.

The names of these 15 specific entities below published by the Federal Register of the US Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce included the following to a sanction list:–

1- Ascom Sudd Operating Company;
2- Dar Petroleum Operating Company;
3- Dietsmann Nile;
4- Greater Pioneer Operating Co.Ltd;
5- Juba Petrotech Technical Services Ltd;
6- Nile Delta Petroleum Company;
7- Nile Drilling and Services Company;
8- Nile Petroleum Corporation;
9- Nyakek and Sons;
10- Oranto Petroleum;
11- Safinat Group;
12- SIPET Engineering and Consultancy Services;
13- South Sudan Ministry of Mining;
14- South Sudan Ministry of Petroleum, and,
15- Sudd Petroleum Operating Co.

Technical questions regarding the details of today’s action should be addressed to the Department of Commerce.

The listed entities are a source of substantial revenue for the Pres. Salva Kiir’s Government of South Sudan.

Unfortunately, the South Sudanese Government, and corrupt official actors, use this revenue to purchase weapons and fund irregular militias that undermine the peace, security, and stability of South Sudan rather than support the welfare and current emergency food needs of the South Sudanese people.

We call on the region and broader international community to join us in limiting the financial flows that fuel the continuing violence in the country.

The Kiir’s Government of South Sudan can do better.

The United States expects it, as well as the armed opposition, to fulfill their commitments to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and to their own people to cease hostilities, allow unimpeded humanitarian access, and pursue a negotiated peace in good faith.

As the largest donor of aid to South Sudan, the United States is proud to uphold humanitarian values and deliver vital assistance.

The Government of South Sudan must not squander that generosity and should take concrete steps to provide for the vast needs of the South Sudanese people.

Today’s actions are part of our ongoing effort to hold to account those who foment violence, commit human rights violations, obstruct the peace process, or engage in illicit financial activities against the interest of the South Sudanese people.

We remain prepared to take additional actions, including sanctioning those who threaten the peace and security of South Sudan.

    Why is today’s announcement noteworthy?

The Entity List is a list maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce for broader export controls. It does not freeze assets but requires U.S. as well as foreign exporters re-exporting U.S.-origin goods and technology to get a license from the Commerce Department. This means that even non-U.S. companies with U.S.-origin parts or technology in their oilfield equipment would need to apply for a license, which is unlikely to be granted because there is a presumption of denial for all applications.

In their due diligence, banks and others in the private sector often include listed entities in the same filters as the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List. There is usually a flag that distinguishes the meaning of the Entity List and indicating that it means a license is needed rather than being a no-go; however, it clearly warns the user that these are high risk companies and ministries.

South Sudan is now the African country with the most number of entities on the Commerce Department’s Entity List, and the only African country with government ministries included.

    Joshua White, Director of Policy and Analysis at The Sentry, said:

“Today’s announcement by the Commerce Department is only the latest action taken by the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia to hold the Government of South Sudan accountable for its violent kleptocracy, which fuels the conflict in which millions of its people have suffered.
The corrupt elites of South Sudan only have to look to the cases of Iran and North Korea to understand the financial consequences that this strategy of pressure can have on those who commit human rights abuses, their supporters and broader networks.”

    Brad Brooks-Rubin, Managing Director at The Sentry and the Enough Project, said:

“Today’s action by the Commerce Department is an important use of non-sanctions measures to build pressure for peace in South Sudan. With these new requirements, South Sudanese entities will be forced to show that their work will benefit the country rather than provide funding to militias or line the pockets of corrupt leaders.
The private sector, including both the extractives and financial sectors, should follow these measures carefully and ensure that they are not facilitating further conflict and corruption in South Sudan.”

    Brian Adeba, Deputy Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said:

“This move is an important step in the search for peace in South Sudan. As the next round of the South Sudan peace talks approaches, it is important for the United States and its partners to continue to build leverage by increasing these types of pressures to target as wide a network as possible to ensure that the parties to the conflict change their calculations in favor of peace.” END

Where the Machar-led SPLM/A (IO) faltered: Latest Serious Criticism from Inside

South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA)

By: Peter Adwok Nyaba, MAR/05/2018, SSN;

On 1st March 2018, the eight-member South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) released a press statement on the launch of the opposition alliance. It was unbelievable that the SPLM/A (IO) was not among the signatories.

I made an inquiry on the PolitBureau forum and the Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, responded thus, “There are differences in the draft charter. They have a vision and we have another. They decided to go ahead. We agreed. Still we will continue cooperating meanwhile discussing those differences.”

I did not agree with the Chairman response. A colleague in the PB posted the SPLM/A (IO) response to the draft alliance charter. I was shocked that it was a dialogue between the Chairman and the deputy Chairman as can be gleaned from the quote below.

“… [After] sharing the Charter with the Leadership of my Organization (IO), I would like to give a summary of the changes (minor and major). You may question why major change after we agreed. Well, as I did explain on that Friday, I did not have the direct authority to make the ultimate decision, so I had to share the content of the draft Charter. The fact that an attempt is made to enrich the draft, it shows the seriousness IO has placed on SSOA. Please look at the changes as genuine concerns instead of taking the idea that IO does not want SSOA playing some delaying tactics.”

I thought it was out of order for the deputy chairman to tell the leaders of the other opposition groups that he did not have direct authority to make ultimate decision and so had to share the content of the draft, although that really goes without saying.

It makes him more of a puppet rather than SPLM/A (IO) deputy Chairman; worst, when it becomes public knowledge by his own admission.

I am hearing that Dr. Lam Akol circulated this response. This episode creates serious leadership crisis in the SPLM/A (IO) suggesting that the focal point is not up to the task and that explains the admission by the deputy Chairman of not having direct authority to make the ultimate decision.

The ultimate decision lies with the SPLM/A (IO) Political Bureau, which he and the Chairman short-circuited in what appears like an operation of Limited Liability Company dealings.

There are two or three things involved here.

First, the question of building alliance with other opposition groups. On 11 January, I circulated a paper where I discussed the necessity of forging a working relationship with the groups opposed to the ethnocentric totalitarian regime.

Nobody in the Political Bureau had the courtesy of either agreeing or disagreeing with it. Not even any in the so-called focal point discussed although they knew that they would come face to face with some of the issues I raised.

Secondly, the issue of internal democracy in the SPLM/A (IO). It is obvious the Chairman, the deputy Chairman and Dr. Riek’s appointed Secretary-General (because he unconstitutionally appointed Tingo Peter – the Chairman could have only tasked him in an acting capacity) have no knowledge and/or experience with democratic practice.

This explains why they quickly reached a deadlock, which the Chairman categorizes as ‘difference’.

Differences in an alliance are to be expected but cannot be cause for isolation, unless we admit that we have run out of ideas and what remained in our heads is only power.

I believe once the focal point presented the draft charter, the Chairman should have triggered a discussion on the Political Bureau forum for those not in the focal point to ventilate and make suggestions.

This did not happen and became a two-persons dialogue, in which they acted subjectively occasioning the break.

Thirdly, the issue of SPLM/A (IO) operating in isolation of other political groups whether outside or inside the country.

I could understand the position of the SPLM Political Leaders (FPDs) but their refusal to join the alliance will definitely compound their dilemma of being in and out of government at the same time, which is the falsehood of SPLM reunification and attending various forums on that issue drive.

I am convinced that the SPLM/A (IO) action of boycotting the signing of the SSOA charter on grounds not known by many members of the PB will have resounding negative effect on our standing as people who want to transform the current situation in the country.

We faltered in this and I do not know how we’d mitigate this damage.

In the paper I circulated on 11 January, I said clearly that the opposition group leaders were members of the SPLM/A at one time or the other.

We were all in the national liberation struggle therefore we know each other, which should have been a rallying point to negotiate an alliance.

We in the SPLM/A (IO) seemed to have not learned a lesson. The eruption of violence in July 2016 and the return to war created a dynamically new and different political situation in the country, which required a strategic analysis and a different political thinking.

We assumed that people would just join us in a leadership structure ante. That is why some comrades castigated me when I accepted and committed the SPLM/A (IO) to the Consultative Meeting called by Dr. Lam in August 2016.

I believed and still believe it was the correct line of action. The outcome of that meeting is available for perusal. Whatever happened after that was not my responsibility.

The PB deliberated on it in Khartoum but nothing substantial came out. We were then the only known armed opposition.

However, as I said that a new and very different political situation arose and consequent to the oppressive policies of the regime, other opposition groups…armed or not, sprouted onto the political stage.

This was their inalienable right to be independent and to oppose the oppressive regime.

However, as the dominant armed group, we should have offered cooperation and agreed on how this cooperation would play out in terms of general principles, strategies, tactics and geographic domain of this cooperation.

I thought that was the essence of the Consultative Meeting in Nairobi in August 2016. A politician conversant with multiparty political engineering would quickly capture this evolving political environment and turn it to the advantage of his party and/or movement.

Nevertheless, to hope that others opposed to the regime would come running to join us would be the height of naivety or a demonstration of jejune character not appropriate in complex socio-political situations as obtaining in South Sudan.

The SPLM/A (IO) has failed to capture the political situation on account of the absence of clear political objectives. Whether it was regime change or reform that dominated the debate in the SPLM/A (IO) since its inception in 2014; however the reform agenda driven by Taban’s personal ambition to capture the petroleum portfolio in the TGoNU won the day.

This came to be because of the triangular socio-political relationship [Dr. Riek Machar – comrade Angelina Teny – Gen. Taban Deng (SPLM/A (IO) Chief Negotiator)] had always played the harbinger of SPLM/A (IO) lack of clarity, which Dr. Riek exacerbated through naivety, indecision and/or cowardice to break this triangular socio-political relationship until the disaster stroke in July 2016.

Do we in the SPLM/A (IO) believe others do not see this political/leadership weakness? Why would they follow a person who does not listen or treats his colleagues like pawns?

The SPLM/A (IO) lack of clear political objectives stems from Dr. Riek’s complete ignorance and lack of clear ideological underpinnings of South Sudan socio-economic and political context.

His ambition for power is completely detached from any ideology linked to the socio-economic and cultural underdevelopment of South Sudan and its people.

He believes he has ideas, which he can only implement when in power.

That explains for eight years as first vice Chairman of the SPLM and vice President of GOSS (2005 -2011) and deputy vice president of the republic of South Sudan (2011 – 2013), he remained dormant under Salva Kiir; neither departing to give room to those who would honestly and loyally work under Salva Kiir to make the country move forward.

Nor did his show dissatisfaction with the ongoings in South Sudan for eight years but was deeply involved as minister of housing overseeing the rehabilitation of dilapidated Southern Regional Government infrastructure instead of building new one with the huge budget he managed.

It is not enough to have ambition for power; one must have the ideological and strategic political clout to managed that ambition.

The SPLM/A (IO) started in 2013/2014 with nearly sixty thousand armed combatants [SPLA, Police, Prison warder, Wildlife wardens and Civil Defence officers].

In 2015, the Agwelek Forces under Gen. Johnson Olony joined the SPLM/A (IO), captured Malakal, Akoka, and Melut. They were poised on attacking in order to capture the oil fields in Adar and Paloich, when the Dr. Riek and Taban conspired to sabotage the operation by ordering the withdrawal of other forces from Lou and Jikany eventually leading to the government recapture of Malakal and Melut with the loss of life and the gunboat.

Now, how would Dr. Riek dream of capturing power from Salva Kiir when he lacked the strategic planning of denying Salva Kiir the financial and economic resources for prosecuting the war?

How would Dr. Riek win military victory without organizing and sourcing a combat-capable army but preferring to rely on the Nuer white army who do not subscribe to the laws of war or to the political objective of war?

What next after refusing to sign the charter on account of ‘difference’ with the other political groups?

This is my take on our dilemma, which is different from FPDs dilemma in that we are still the largest political military movement in the opposition but with diminished political and military clout.

Let me warn us here; what we have now is only potential political and military power, which also is diminishing at an exponential rate due to the obvious mistakes we make.

It is not true that the US administration sanctioned us because of the decision in the PB to pursue armed struggle. The US administration sanctioned us because we acted nuerly (announcing publicly our intention to war.

The very idea of publicly circulating classified SPLM/A (IO) documents is not only naïve but also a security risk.

No political party operates with its doors and windows opened to the public and expects to win genuine and actual political victories; perhaps may be only imaginary victories triggered by wishful thinking.

We could transform this potential power by acting strategically within the opposition looking not at the power sharing in the transition period but the long-term socio-economic and political engineering of South Sudan.

This should be the starting point with the opposition groups when the HLRF (IGAD-sponsored talks) resumes.

It is not the short-term gains the parties will collect from the revitalized agreement but rather the long-term impact of the agreement on South Sudan context, which should drive the relations among the opposition groups.

This requires looking at the issues or what the Chairman categorized as ‘differences’ from an objective and patriotic prospective.

The condescending and paternalistic attitude we display towards other compatriots has no basis and should cease henceforth.

We must accept that the Chairman and the deputy Chairman have faltered in deciding to let go the alliance on account of minor and non-fundamental ‘differences’ with the other opposition groups.

It puts the SPLM/A (IO) at par with president Kiir’s SPLM (IG) focused only on power and not the concern for the suffering people of South Sudan.

Kind regards

Peter Adwok Nyaba

2nd March 2018