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Kiir repents: I sinned by ‘what I have done and what I have failed to do.’ Really???

President Salva Kiir has prayed for forgiveness for what he describes as sins he may have committed while exercising his duty as the Head of state. President Kiir also called for redemption of the people of South Sudan from the many troubles bestowed on the country.

South Sudanese political leaders have been taking to the podium at the Dr. John Garang mausoleum in Juba to pray on the National Prayer Day.

The prayers are led by religious leaders. Among the first to speak was the Catholic Archbishop of Juba, Rev. Paulino Lukudu Loro. Below is the excerpt of his speech.

“We have been invited to this National Prayer for Repentance and Forgiveness by the President. I very much hope, and I believe that the majority of us –so innocent, so good, so sincere in heart have really come to pray.

Your Excellency, the reason why I came here today for this prayer, is because I know the weak; the poor are the ones to come to pray. And that is why I really decided to come to pray, because as we are seeing them now bearing this heat, these sons are the very ones who are touched in their lives by the difficulties and the desperate situation of our country. We have come to pray so that God may open our hearts to accept what is really wrong with us in this country. Since we have been in this heat and in this moment, our repentance and forgiveness will have a meaning.

Your Excellency, we are praying that may God grant us the results of this prayer. This prayer, your Excellency, the way I look at it; this situation that we are seeing with us and among us and in front of us of our situation are a double-edge sword for us all. This prayer today, I think it is a dangerous prayer. It is a difficult prayer for us all. It is especially for somebody and a few of us who might have not prayed well with clear conscience, and who might not have prayed with the right intentions.

This prayer is dangerous today, because if you have come here, I believe this bitterness of our heat, will not go in vain, but God will reply to us. I therefore say, if this prayer is correct and is true, then its about our peace. We are standing for peace and we are praying for peace. Are we going to choose peace or evil?

Your Excellency, I want to question you; why did you call this people to the heat here like this; are they coming to choose evil or to choose peace? Is that what your intention is, to bring us here to suffer like this? I hope nobody will be sick today because of this heat. I believe you have invited us to see this suffering because you want peace.

Our government, which way are going to take and what is the government going to do after this prayer? Is the government going to choose evil or peace? Mr. President, take-heed after this. We are telling you that after this prayer, your Excellency, go into a room and pray and decide for peace in the country.

We expect peace, Justice, forgiveness, genuine dialogue, good governance, security, rule of law after this prayer. We expect after this prayer an end to; raping, torture, arbitrary arrests, corruption, tribalism. These things will continue if this prayer is misused.

My brothers and sisters, our way forward now is working, doing and choosing peace and not for war.”
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Kiir was the first among the Christian political leaders to go forward.

“I pray that you may not bring condemnation and punishment, but forgiveness and salvation to the people of South Sudan,” he said.

He prayed for God to give him a clear mind and an open heart. “Remind me, God, to be who you would want to be –regardless of what I am doing, or whom I am with,” he said.

“Most merciful God, through my shortcomings, I have sinned against you in thoughts, in words, and deeds by what I have done and what I have failed to do,” the President said.

“I humbly repent and ask for your loving mercy and forgiveness. Whatever is in my power to do for the people of South Sudan, please Lord Help me to be your instrument of love, service delivery, peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness,” he said.

Below is an excerpt from his prayer sheet:

“Powerful and ever living God, I thank you, for even though I am a sinner, your unprofitable servant – not because of my worth, but in the kindness of your mercy. You have fed me with the precious body and blood of your son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that you may not bring condemnation and punishment, but forgiveness and salvation to the people of South Sudan.

May you be a helmet of faith and a shield of good will. Holy God, on this day and all the days of my life, I entrust to your merciful heart my body and my soul. All my acts, thoughts, choices, desires, words, deeds, my entire life, so that with your assistance, all may be ordered to the good according to the will of your beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Help me God to seek you always and live righteously, to act courageously and to speak from your wisdom. Give me a clear mind and an open heart, so that I may witness you in our country. Remind me God to be who you would want to be –regardless of what I am doing, or whom I am with.

Grant, oh King of Heaven, that ever in my heart, I may have fear and love –alike for your most sweet son. That I may always give thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon me, not for my merit, but by your loving kindness. And what I may ever make a pure and sincere confession and do true penance for my sins, in order that I might deserve to obtain your mercy and grace.

Most merciful God, through my shortcomings, I have sinned against you in thoughts, in words, and deeds by what I have done and what I have failed to do. I humbly repent and ask for your loving mercy and forgiveness.

Whatever is in my power to do for the people of South Sudan, please Lord Help me to be your instrument of love, service delivery, peace, reconciliation and forgiveness.

Heavenly Father, lead me safely to everlasting happiness with you. I pray that you will lead me, a sinner, to the banquet where you with your son and Holy Spirit are true and perfect live, total fulfilments, Holy Spirit, everlasting joy, gladness –without end – and perfect happiness to your saints. Grant this God, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.” END of president Kiir’s prayers.
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Bishop Santo— A South Sudanese Catholic bishop has criticised a declaration of National Day of Prayer across the country on March 10 by President Kiir, describing it as “political” to blindfold the international community.

The Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Juba Diocese, Rev. Santo Laku Pio, told the Voice of America (VOA) on Thursday that he will not attend the prayer because the people of South Sudan are not in their homes.

The religious leader rejected President Kiir’s call for prayers, saying citizens in Equatoria and Upper Nile have been displaced from their homes and they are being killed by government army. END

South Sudan’s government-made famine: Kiir’s and others must be made to pay

BY: George Clooney and John Prendergast, Washington Post, MAR/09/2017, SSN;

Official, U.N.-declared famines are a rare phenomenon. The last one worldwide was six years ago, in Somalia. Famines are declared officially when people have already begun to starve to death. It is the diplomatic equivalent of a seven-alarm fire. That is where the youngest country in the world, South Sudan, finds itself today, as 100,000 face immediate starvation and another 1 million are on its brink.

The maxim is true that famine does not result from purely natural causes but is usually “man-made.” Such a description, however, avoids any real accountability for those who have caused the crisis. South Sudan’s famine would be more accurately described as “government-made.”

The most immediate cause lies in the tactics used by the South Sudan government and its principal rebel opponent in fighting the current civil war. Government and rebel forces attack civilian targets much more frequently than they attack each other. They target the means of survival of civilian populations deemed to be unsupportive.

In particular, they raid cattle in areas where cows represent the inherited savings and means of commercial exchange. Massive cattle raids result in complete impoverishment of entire communities and unleash cycles of revenge attacks that poison relations between neighbors and entire ethnic groups.

The government has also concentrated recent attacks on areas where agricultural production traditionally fed large parts of South Sudan, not only resulting in massive human displacement but also devastating local grain production, which leads to hyperinflation in food prices.

But destroying the means of food production is only one part of the equation that causes famine. If the South Sudan government allowed humanitarian organizations unfettered access to the victims of the attacks, which include approximately 3 million people who have been rendered homeless, then the aid agencies would have been able to prevent a famine from occurring.

But instead, the government has obstructed access by these organizations in a variety of ways, as have the rebels, thus resulting in huge pockets of populations — including tens of thousands of children — who have received little to no assistance at the height of their need.

The South Sudanese people fought for decades for their independence from a rapacious, discriminatory Sudanese regime. The government of Omar Hassan al-Bashir in Khartoum, which seized power in a coup in 1989, regularly attacked the means of food production and used starvation as a weapon against the rebellious South Sudanese populations, just as it is still doing in Darfur and the Nuba Mountains in Sudan.

This resulted in localized famines and about 2 million South Sudanese deaths during that North-South conflict. Now that the South Sudanese have won independence, the government of Salva Kiir in Juba is using the same destructive strategies that Bashir used against them.

South Sudanese will starve to death by the thousands, maybe by the tens or hundreds of thousands. As the images of starving babies begin to emerge, hundreds of millions of dollars in relief assistance will be delivered, as long as the South Sudan government follows through on Kiir’s promises to allow unfettered humanitarian access.

But if the only response to these images is a humanitarian one, and the structural causes of this famine are not addressed, then this cycle of death will begin again next year, and the year after.

Yes, the world must do all it can to treat the symptoms of this emergency, but there is also an opportunity, with increased attention because of the famine, to finally begin to address the root cause of the crisis.

In South Sudan today, war crimes pay. There is no accountability for the atrocities and looting of state resources, or for the famine that results. Billions in U.S. taxpayer dollars have supported peacekeeping forces and humanitarian assistance already, and one peace process after another has tried to break the cycle of violence.

But nothing attempts to thwart the driving force of the mayhem: the kleptocrats who have hijacked the government in Juba for their personal enrichment.

The Sentry, an initiative we recently co-founded, conducted an investigation into the wealth accumulated by Kiir and other officials who oversaw a military offensive that contributed to the current famine. We found that immediate family members of these officials enjoy luxurious lifestyles abroad, living in lavish estates while South Sudanese suffer.

There has been no effort to counter the networks that benefit financially and politically from the crisis. The international community needs to help make war costlier than peace for government and rebel leaders and their international facilitators.

Choking the illicit financial flows of the kleptocrats is the key point of leverage for peace available to the international community, given the vulnerability of stolen assets that are offshored around the world in the form of houses, cars, businesses and bank accounts.

The most promising policy approach would combine creative anti-money laundering measures with targeted sanctions aimed at freezing those willing to commit mass atrocities out of the international financial system.

A steep price should be paid for creating famine and benefiting from war. Even while the world responds to the famine, it’s time also to address root causes and make those responsible pay for their crimes.

What’s happening in South Sudan isn’t a National Dialogue: A Commentary

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, MAR/07/2017, SSN;

In most cases, majority of South Sudanese are being ruled by fear simply because if one comes out openly to say the truth then he or she is branded as either a rebel or the government agent. The existence of only two concepts of either being a rebel or the government agent in South Sudan has effectively suppressed the independent minds that will have been of help in finding the way out of crisis in South Sudan.

To make matters worse, the recent deportation program engineered by the Government of South Sudan in collaboration with neighboring countries has scared majority of South Sudanese to the bone. This is because it has led to the disappearance of honest or objective dissenting voices from the internet or social media leaving us on social media with warmongers who are not interested in peace but are interested in how to defeat the government or rebels, depending on the side which one falls.

As the voices are longer objective, the truth is no longer told and problems keep on persisting because the truth is not there. Therefore, it is upon this reflection that I have decided to hold the bull on its horns by telling the truth in this article that there is no national Dialogue though the Government is assailing the whole world preaching that the peace is coming through National Dialogue yet on the ground people are dying every day putting into question the truth of the national dialogue as the government claims.

Thus, as the subject matter of this article indicates in the title, this article is written as a direct answer to the question how national dialogue is national dialogue in South Sudan? Of course, in brief what is in South Sudan is not a national dialogue but something like it.

I know at this point, the authorities will be angered with my answer and will not read the whole article since the answer confirms their speculation that I am rebel because I have written an article that is critical of government, which is a great tragedy of our time.

It is the great tragedy of our time because many people survive on news or commentaries or opinions headlines without reading the opinion or the news in full. Hence, in South Sudan majority of the people do not read what is written but they only lift from the news or opinion headline and conclude from there that so and so writing is for the government or against the government.

What are saved in memories of the majority of South Sudanese are two words only: rebels or government. So, what individuals do is judged on the two angles as determined by the interest of the ones judging. If the one judging finds hat what the person has done favours him or her, then the person belong to his or her group, likewise with the other side.

The reason why the people as mentioned in the above paragraph are biased is because their interests override their objectivity. This makes them to remain in standby as they are searching for the way to fault the actor. In relation to reading news or articles, they do read in full what is written because they are not interested in truth but they are only interested in rumors which they use as a basis of judging a person they are monitoring and also the use news as the way of accessing leaders. This is why someone who has heard the news will run to the leadership who he or she thinks to have been attacked to tell that person and in return gets something. That is the survival in South Sudan.

And because our leaders have the culture of Arabs, they believe in gossips more than the truth and this is why they are easily persuaded by white lies which are maliciously twisted for the benefits of the informant.

Therefore, due to the truth discussed in the above paragraphs, leaders in South Sudan rely on falsehoods, which they jealously guard at the expense of the truth. For instance, if I say that there is no National Dialogue, which I am writing about in this article and in the real sense it is not there, the leaders of South Sudan in the government will not assess whether my assertion has merit or not but they will conclude that I am a rebel though I am not.

As soon as they reach the conclusion that I am rebel, instead of reading the opinion of the rebel, the authorities will look for how to deal with me either to eliminate me or collaborate with the State whose jurisdiction I am to deport me so that I am kept under the national security to keep quiet forever in the hell.

The reality of our government is that it has found deportation to be the easiest solution to the problems of South Sudan, which is a simplistic way of looking at and solving the problems.

On the other side, majority of the rebels except the First Vice President, General Taban and his Group, will be happy with me because they will believe that I am supporting their views and some may even try to contact me which will be a mistake because I am not interested in either rebels or government since they have destroyed the country.

This kind of a situation is sad indeed. The business of leaving the problem in the country and resort into deportation and detention of South Sudanese or condemning those who tell the truth concerning the problems facing people in the country is bad. What the government should understand is that deportation is not a solution or near to the solution at all.

Rather, it is a solution devised by those who have run out of ideas and are also bankrupt of the real solutions to the problems. There are many problems going on in South Sudan but rebels and government are stuck to the barrels of guns which the only know to be the solution hence misusing National Dialogue as the government does not know what it means in practice.

National Dialogue in practice means sacrifice and compromise. This means that when the National Dialogue is adopted as a way of solving conflict, then the leaders and every citizen must be ready to compromise and to forgive each to forge the way forward. It should be understand that when we talk of compromise we mean giving up everything that may be an obstacle to achieving the real and lasting peace.

The role of the people in national dialogue is to provide solutions to the problems during the National Dialogue, however, in South Sudan the citizens are under threat for what they say and because of that they have drawn into their own cocoons and comfortable zones as they no longer oppose lies due to the fear of reprisal from the authorities who may target them for having told the truth.

But as Jesus Christ clearly puts it ‘if you tell the truth the truth will set you free’, I therefore need to be set free by the truth by telling the truth concerning our national dialogue by saying that there is no national dialogue in the sense.

Though the national dialogue was announced in December 2016 and was expected to begin in March 2017, there is no national dialogue in the real sense. This is because what is taking place in the country is not a national dialogue.

A dialogue is defined to mean an exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue, especially a political or religious issue, with a view to reaching an amicable agreement or settlement (see; Dialogue/define dialogue at dictionary.com www.dictionary.com/browse/dialogue). In other words, dialogue is a literary work in the form of a conversation as discussed in a dialogue of Plato.

Looking to the definition of dialogue above, which is the exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue especially in political or religious issues with a view to reaching an amicable agreement or settlement, it is not hard to conclude that what is happening in South Sudan is not National Dialogue.

If what is in South Sudan were National Dialogue, it would have fitted in the definition of dialogue given above and would have had an element of amicable agreement or settlement…which gives understanding that there must be two parties who have been in misunderstanding or quarreling among themselves over certain issue and because of that the third party comes in to mediate so that the two parties reach understanding without cohesion and settle the matter amicably.

Having explained the meaning of dialogue above it is time now to go straight to the question of how National Dialogue is National Dialogue in South Sudan. As I have already answered above, I still maintain the same answer that it is not a national dialogue in the real sense due to the following reasons:-

First of all, for the dialogue to be called a dialogue it must be inclusive. This means that all the warring parties must be involved whether the authorities dislike them or not. In that regard, the question of leadership of the SPLM/A-IO in general must be determined.

Currently, we have two IO groups, one in the bush and another one in Juba. Whereas the leadership of the IO in Juba claims to be the Supreme Commander of the IO, the IO in the bush in Equatoria, Western Bahr El Ghazal and the Upper Nile Region are continuing to fight which shows that the leadership of IO Juba is not in direct control over the IO in the Bush.

This means that without determining the question of IO leadership, peace will never prevail in short run and because of that political environment in which a meaningful dialogue can be conducted is not there. Hence, no national dialogue in the real sense.

In order to be meaningful that will lead to amicable dispute settlement and establishment of the rule of law, the dialogue must be fair and unconditional as it was the intention of the present flawed National Dialogue and all the avenues of the conflict must be closed.

This means that there is a need to bring on board the IO in the bush in order to create conducive environment for the National Dialogue. The fact that the Government of South Sudan puts condition on dialogue as to who can take part in dialogue proves that there is no National Dialogue contrary to what the President of the Republic claim.

Secondly, for a national dialogue to be inclusive it must be conducted unconditionally. In other words, National Dialogue is a form of repentance which the parties who were bitter enemies meet to discuss, regret and eventually forgive each other.

However, even if the Government came up with the initiative of introducing the National Dialogue, the same government puts a condition on who to participate and who should not. The clear example is the refusal of the Government to allow Dr. Riek Machar to participate in the National Dialogue, yet it is undeniable fact that Riek comments substantial followers in South Sudan.

If the government were serious about bringing peace through National Dialogue, it would have invited all South Sudanese irrespective of who they are to participate in the Dialogue. However, the government appears not to be interested in achieving peace through National Dialogue and this is why it is not making the national dialogue inclusive so that all South Sudanese participate unconditionally. This takes me to the next point which is closely related to this point.

Thirdly, for a dialogue to be called dialogue in actual sense there must be a third a party who is accepted by both parties. A third is that person who does not have any interest in the matter and also has expertise in the process. The purpose of the third part is to faithfully mediate between the two conflicting parties while steering them towards the direction he or she wants until the two parties reach amicable agreement or settlement.

Nonetheless, in the situation like South Sudan where one party to the conflict is the head of dialogue as the President appointed himself to be patron which, means that he is above all persons participating in the process of the dialogue and the dialogue is under his control, the dialogue ceases to be dialogue as we know it.

This is because the conflict of interest will come in and the truth will never be said in the process and without the truth being said then there is no National Dialogue.

As part of mediation, National Dialogue is supposed to be conducted fairly by neutral person which will help to minimize the conflict of interest in the process. Conflict of interest is one of the serious issues that must be kept in check in the process of national dialogue as part of mediation. Otherwise, if we allow one part to the conflict to have an upper hand in the mediation process then the just solution will never be reached.

In national dialogue or mediation both parties must be satisfied with the outcome if lasting peace is to be achieved, which is not likely to be the case in South Sudan.

Fourthly and finally, in the dialogue, the parties to the conflict must all renounce the violence and ready to go into compromise. Without renouncing the violence and be ready to compromise to bring peace by all costs, it will be hard to achieve peace through dialogue as “extremists” on both sides “are eager to tie responsibility for past crimes and human rights violations to their ethnic… adversaries (see; Transitional Justice and Reconciliation: Theory and Practice by Martina Fischer).

This implies that the spirit of revenge will still be on yet the purpose of dialogue is to ensure that the previous torn relationship between the two conflicting parties is renewed through forgiveness and compromise.

However in South Sudan currently, parties are still absorbed in hatred and ill-feelings towards each which means that the violence cannot or be renounced easily by either side. This is even now more apparent in South Sudan because as long as the issue of the two IOs is not resolved in order to achieve comprehensive ceasefire, the extremist on both sides (i.e. on the side of rebels in the bush and the government) will keep on instigating the violence, and in such a case, there no National Dialogue.

In fact as I have mentioned in the above paragraph, the government is not telling the whole public of South Sudan and the world the truth that the dialogue is not going on as plan because what is taking place is not dialogue as it not fitting in the definition of dialogue as defined above.

In order to revive the dialogue and give it momentous to achieve peace as desired, it must be inclusive to engage and confront all South Sudanese who have different view and different feelings in a painful national dialogue that will make all citizens go into serious soul-searching, to find out the ills within South Sudanese communities that make abuses of human rights possible.

Furthermore, there is a need for more involvement of civil society which will help produce a sense of public ownership in the process, so that the dialogue actually leads to something. Otherwise, the way the national Dialogue is being conducted shows that South Sudan will never achieve peace except merely a nice history lesson, destined for the bookshelf (this expression is used by Martina Fischer as cited above.)

In summary, my recommendations are that: the Dialogue should be inclusive and this can only be achieved if the question of the leadership of the IO in the bush is determined. The government should also introduce the rule of law so that those citizens who return to the country to participate in the National Dialogue are protected under law. For instance, it is somehow perplexing to see the Government preaching dialogue while arbitrarily arrest and detention of the citizens goes on unabatedly.

How do we talk of national dialogue such a situation where citizens fear to express themselves openly?. The imminent threat that citizens always face shows that there is no national dialogue. This is because when talk of the National Dialogue people are supposed to say anything they thing is not going on well with the government but if we block citizens from saying what they think is bad, then how do we talk of national dialogue?

In fact currently, there is no National Dialogue in South Sudan and for it to be, citizens should be allowed to openly say what they do not want to continue in the country and if that is done then the Dialogue has achieved its purpose and the peace will prevail.

NB//: the Author is Human Rights Lawyer residing in Kampala Uganda and can be reached through: +256783579256or juoldaniel@yahoo.com

An attempt to be politically correct is the road to political hell: A response to Rebecca Nyandeng Garang

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala Uganda, MAR/03/2017, SSN;

Before I delve into this discussion, I’d like first to state one of the Seven Social Sins from a sermon given by Frederick Lewis Donaldson in Westminster Abbey, London, on March 20, 1925, in which he stated as “Politics without principle.” Exactly, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng Garang is playing a politics without principles.

When I talk of principles in this context, I mean an accepted or professed rule of action or conduct or fundamentals, primary, or general law or truth from which others are derived. In simple terms, principles are what we believe in or morals that govern our conduct.

Morals or morality according to Oscar Wilde is the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike. However, the fact remains that whether we like someone or not, we should not distort facts to suit our personal interests just because we want to harm someone we dislike.

The fact that Nyandeng Garang dislikes President does not warrant her to distort facts with the intention of destroying him politically; there must be a limit to politics when it comes to the national issues.

The institution of the Red Army is a matter of public importance and it is part of our national heritage which we must respect and value. However, reducing the whole institution into the institution founded by followers of food and services is something derogatory and done in bad faith by Nyandeng Garang.

To help those who have not had an opportunity to read the statement of Nyandeng Garang on the Red Army, I would like to briefly repeat what she said here. Nyandeng in an interview with Al Jazeera UpFront program, on the topic entitled who’s to blame for South Sudan’s civil war? (The interview can be accessed on: www.aljazeera.com/programmes/…/blame-famine-south-sudan-170221192501168.htFebruary 21, 2017) accused South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, of allegedly using soldiers from the Dinka tribe to commit atrocities on other ethnic groupings and called on him to step down.

When asked during that interview about her late husband alleged use of child-soldiers she rejected a previous Human Rights Watch report, which implicated her husband, John Garang for using child soldiers during the over two-decade civil war.

However, when the Presenter on Jazeera pressed her about the children among the soldiers, Nyandeng admitted, but justified the presence of the child soldiers as a necessity. She is quoted to have stated — “They children came with their parents and some of them just followed the army because sometimes when they go with the army they can find better services; food and things like that because we were in the bush. Some of the children even leave their parents and they follow the army. There was no official recruitment which was being done.”

As seen above, Nyandeng clearly rubbished the role and history of the Red Army in the liberation and creation of South Sudan which by implications means that the institution called Red Army Foundation should have not been established in the first place as its members are not important to the history of South Sudan.

What I can say about the above presentation by Madam Nyangdeng concerning the Red Army is misconceived and above all, it is a political error. It is the error because various reports contradict what she has said. For instance, the Report of Human Rights Watch indicated that in the early 1980s, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) recruited and began training boys as young as 12 to fight in its battle for independence from Sudan.

The child soldiers were called the Red Army (this is according to a 1994 Human Rights Watch report (pdf) and if you need it you can get this report online by writing it on google search engine).

In relation to the above, the Guardian.com (visit: https://www.theguardian.com › World › Development › Conflict and development) confirms the Human Rights Watch Report that the children who were later formed into the Red Army were not following soldiers because of food and services in 1980s but instead, they were inspired by liberation war.

For instance, the Guardian cited Adam Jaafer Manoah who joined the SPLA willingly or without being recruited. Adam Jaafer Manoah as the Guardian reported, left Yirol when he was 13 and trekked for nine months from his home in Yirol, in what is now central South Sudan, to a military training camp in neighbouring Ethiopia.

In the interview with the Guardian, Adam was reported to have stated that and I quote,”I was going to liberate my country,” he said.

As the Guardian reported, Adam joined the Red Army’s Zalzal (or Earthquake) Battalion and later became a political organizer and fighter.

Then, the Guardian concluded with comment that “the use of child soldiers is one of the more horrific moments in the history of South Sudan’s creation, though the former Red Army members do not shy about remembering their experiences. Instead, they are relying on the ties formed in combat to organise a new front”.

Apart from the above two sources, there are many other evidences from both primary and secondary sources that clearly show that Dr. Garang recruited Child-soldiers and also some children joined the army willingly.

The foregoing discussion proves beyond reasonable doubt that Red Army members were not going to the bush for the sake of food and good services. In fact, how can children leave home to join the Members of the SPLA who were depending on their parents?

The SPLA soldiers cannot deny the fact that since 1983 and partly up to date were and are still depending on the civilians who are the parents of the Red Army. This means that the argument put forward by Madam Rebecca Nyandeng to justify the presence of children in the bush is incoherent, erroneous and fallacious.

In addition, it is malicious as it is perplexing to see Madam Nyandeng Garang who considers herself as Mother of the SPLM/A denying the documented facts simply because she wanted to sound politically correct.

What she did not understand is that an attempt to be politically correct is the road to political hell sometimes. This is because it leads to political error and political downfall and political agony.

In this regard, if the people of South Sudan know their political rights and right political leaders, Nyandeng and other political gamblers would have been sanctioned and detained in the political limbo. Thus, Nyandeng Garang would have definitely been sanctioned politically because she is politically naïve and at the same time she is a political gambler.

In addition, when we analyze her statement carefully, we can also conclude that Madam Nyandeng wanted to deny the rights of Red Army members to history of South Sudan because they were not her children or children coming from where she comes from, Bor, Jonglei State in Upper Nile Region.

So, their contribution to South Sudanese history should be denied by all costs to make sure that they disappear in history. As a matter of fact, most of the children who served in the Red army were from Bahr El Ghazal area and this seems to be one of the motivation that pushed Madam Nyandeng into making political blunder.

In summary, denying the facts or distorting them just because we want to destroy someone we dislike in politics shows political immaturity of Madam Nyandeng. She is politically immature and also a political pathetic liar.

Nyandeng Garang must apologize to the Red Army because attacking their history shows her intention that she wants to destroy their history. It is injustice to deny the facts and the truth on which those facts are founded upon.

NB//: the author is South Sudanese Lawyer residing in Kampala Uganda and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com/+256783579256

Can South Sudan Survive Another Year of the Civil War?

By: Chap Phan, Masters in Economics, Business Analysts, MAR/03/20117, SSN;

Many people, including myself, have expressed concerns many times for Juba regime’s inability to bring peace and show leadership in ending the civil war. The regime has chosen to fight against the people with no victory in sight. War has spread to the wider country since the second outbreak at the presidential palace in July 2016.

It is not only Upper Nile region that has a raging war, but Eastern and Central Equatorial states as well, and part of Western Bahr al Ghazal. As reported by many sources, human rights violations have been recorded on daily basis.

The regime deployed tactics that overwhelmingly target civilians all around South Sudan including U.N protective sites. Externally displaced people have surpassed 1.5 million with additional 2 million people internally displaced (UN Report, 2017).

The daily human rights abuses by the regime, the displacement of the citizens into refugee camps, the kidnapping of the opposition leaders, the silencing of the press; the killings of journalists are clear evidence of power monopoly and true colors of a repressive regime.

Tri-factor
South Sudan is destroying itself day by day; many people are convinced that South Sudan will go bankrupt unless this senseless war ends. The war has put South Sudan’s economy in repetitive crisis, interlocking problems that required long term strategy.

Running large budget deficits, depleting foreign reserves and printing money to pay for civil war will always lead to economic crisis. Large budget deficits increase cost of borrowing and put the country at high risk in market place, which makes borrowing difficult.

Depleting foreign reserves devalue local currency, which make it expensive for import items. And for South Sudan which depends on imported items it means less buying power for South Sudanese.

Printing money creates hyperinflation and hyperinflation undermines purchasing power. In the long run, high inflation discourages capital formation and distorts investment in financial sector, it undermine long term economic growth. These kinds of policies ultimately fail because they are not sustainable, they weaken government and the economy.

For example, shortages of foreign currency and accelerating inflation rate forced South Sudanese government to abandon the peg against the US dollar in December 2015. Since then both inflation and exchange rate have continued to accelerate. (Refer to figure 1.1 and figure 2.1.)

The pound has deeply depreciated against US dollar by over 90 percent since the crisis begun. South Sudan inflation peaked at 835 percent in October driven mostly by rises in food prices. All of this means that average South Sudanese wealth has eroded and poverty rate has increased.

Many South Sudanese are poorer than they were in 2013 with debt on their backs. According to the data from International Monetary fund (IMF), real income has declined by over 70 percent since 2011.

(Figure 1.1 Sources: Data from Bloomberg, domestic authorities and the World Bank.)
(Figure 2.1 Sources: Data from Bloomberg, domestic authorities and the World Bank.)

South Sudan is mortgaged out
The war has ruined the economy, not only in the near term, but also for decades to come. According to the data from International Monetary fund (IMF), debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratios increased to 64 percent in 2015. By the end of the fiscal year, June 2017, South Sudan debt to GDP ratio is projected to top 91 percent, and it is projected to be 118 percent by the end of 2017 calendar year. (Refer to figure 3.1.)

The government relied on expensive loans to cover expenditures most of which went to military spending. Financing war through debt is poor strategy that has long term consequences.

High levels of government debt undermine future economic growth. High levels of government debt mean more government revenues must go toward paying interest on the debt. That means fewer revenues for social projects and investment that would grow the economy.

The risk of South Sudan defaulting on its debt service obligation increases as long as war rages on. High national debt is grave national security issue; it has social, economic and political consequences.

(Figure 3.1 Sources: Data form Bloomberg, domestic authorities and the World Bank. 2017 debt to GDP ratio is projection.)

It assumes that no changes in term of revenues and oil production while reflecting increase in interest rate and drop in the GDP. Rising US interest rate means that global investors will likely demand even higher returns for investment in South Sudan given elevated political risk.

South Sudan can work with IMF and the World Bank to boost confidence and have access to discounted financing options, but only if the country genuinely ends war and takes strong economic reforms.

Sources of Revenues
South Sudan government main sources of revenues are derived from oil; about 95 percent of government revenues. Mismanagement and conflict have cut oil production from 350,000 barrels a day in 2011 to 130,000 barrels a day in 2016 (Reuters 2017).

Decline in the world crude oil prices and high fixed transit cost for using North Sudan pipelines means that South Sudan is getting less than 10 dollar per barrel on average and some of the money goes toward paying interest on the existing loans.

Because of the conflict, Juba lost most of financial aid it receives from development partners and friendly nations, it’s lost an estimated 100 million in remittances from South Sudanese overseas as well. Juba regime has largely coverd its operational expenses through borrowing on oil future revenues.

South Sudan needs inclusive peace to prevail.
South Sudan should do all possible to bring inclusive peace. The regime needs to end war and come up with strategy to prevent conflict and foster political inclusion. Peaceful resolution would immediately increase economic activities and increase oil production while opening up country for foreign direct investment that is desperately needed.

This would allow South Sudan to focus on equitable development where priorities are given to agriculture productivity and non-oil activities.

First Priorities would include restoring depleted reserves and focusing public spending away from military spending toward social sectors and infrastructure project.

For example, South Sudan has high potential in agriculture and forestry which are highly underdeveloped. This would minimize incentive for government to print money and give government a breathing room to balance its budget. It would help dampen inflation in the long run and give government enough leverage in economic reform agenda.

Summary.
South Sudan civil war has cost countless lives and the regime has mortgaged the country out. International community needs to do more to pressure the government to foster inclusive peace. They can apply appropriate economic pressure to the government to accept inclusive peace process that respects basic human rights.

International community should ensure that oil revenues are not used to fuel the conflict. An inclusive peace is the only path that will save South Sudan from impending economic collapse. Peace that addresses the underpinning of the conflict and that provides progress toward freedom and opportunity.

Chap Phan is Business Analyst; he holds master degree in Economics. You can follow Chap Phan in social media: pandeit@gmail.com. Tweeter @pandeit1, Blog at Mannaath.com and facebook; Peter pan.

References
African development Bank Report, 2016
Bloomberg News, https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/SSP:CUR
IMF World Economic Outlook, April 2016
Trandingeconomics, http://www.tradingeconomics.com/south-sudan/inflation
UN Report, 2017
World Bank, 2017, http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/southsudan

We’ve no link to South Sudan $10 million dollars (KSh1.03billion) cash allegedly banked by Gen. Cirillo, says Ecobank

By STAR REPORTER @thestarkenya, FEB/25/2017, SSN;

Ecobank yesterday denied any involvement in the Sh1.03 billion (10 million dollars) transferred from South Sudan by a former government official, and which is now a subject of investigations.

The South Sudanese government has reported tracing its missing money to accounts at three banks in Kenya. These are linked to Lt Gen Thomas Cirillo Swaka, a former SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of Logistics, and his kin Fueni Cirillo.

Ecobank said documents, including a bank statement, bearing its letterhead were falsified.

“We wish to confirm we neither hold the account number published in The Star newspaper nor have any accounts that bear names similar to what was mentioned in The Star report. Furthermore, the bank statements published in the newspaper are falsified,” the bank said in a statement.

Ecobank said there are glaring inconsistencies in the story and documentation relied on to publish the report, including a non-existent account number, non-existent account names and a wrong branch address.

“The story indicated that $10 million had been stolen from the South Sudan government and stashed in three Kenyan banks, among them Ecobank Kenya. We wish to emphatically state that we adhere to strong anti-money laundering policies, as well as Know Your Customer procedures in line with best practice and regulatory requirements,” the bank said.

“We conduct our business professionally, ethically, with integrity and in accordance with Kenyan laws and regulations, as well as international best practice and have put in place a robust vetting process aimed at ensuring Ecobank Group and all its affiliates are not used as conduits of money laundering.”

Ecobank said it has not received any official request from the authorities on the issue.

Sudan Chief of General Staff Paul Awan said the cash went missing after Swaka quit his job and defected from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

A letter dated February 9 shows that Awan asked Renish Omullo, a special envoy in charge of Germany international and regional affairs, to trace and return the cash, which was transacted in US dollars.

Omullo wrote to Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on February 10 requesting that bank accounts held by Swaka and Cirillo be frozen.

Swaka was described in the letter as a former SPLA officer and fugitive in Kenya who stole more than $10 million. In his resignation, Swaka accused President Salva Kiir and SPLA leaders of abuses and pushing the tribal agenda in the country.

=================================================== ORIGINAL ARTICLE BY THE STAR NEWSPAPER, NAIROBI, KENYA

South Sudan traces missing Sh1.03 billion to Kenyan banks

Feb. 21, 2017, 9:00 am
By MAURICE ALAL, @alalmaurice, The Star, Nairobi, Kenya.

The South Sudanese government has reported tracing its missing Sh1.03 billion to accounts at Ecobank, Kenya Commercial Bank and Co-operative Bank of Kenya.

These are linked to Lt Gen Thomas Cirillo Swaka – former SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of logistics, and his kin Fueni Cirillo.

Cirillo is reportedly a Human Resource Managament student at Mount Kenya University. But MKU has denied she is a student there. No further details were provided about her.

An Ecobank statement seen by the Star shows transactions on the money after it was reported missing from the South Sudan government this month.

These were for account 0040025032685901 belonging to Fueni.

Paul Awan, chief of general staff, said the cash went missing after Swaka quit his job and defected from Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

A letter dated February 9 shows that Awan asked Renish Omullo, a special envoy in charge of Germany international and regional affairs, to trace and return the cash which was transacted in US dollars.

Read: Kenyan woman appointed special envoy for South Sudan in Germany

Renish wrote to Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on February 10 requesting that bank accounts held by Swaka and Cirillo be frozen.

Swaka is described in the letter, also seen by the Star, as a former SPLA officer and fugitive in Kenya who stole more than $10 million.

“This office is under instructions from the Office of the President, Government of South Sudan to kindly request you to facilitate a freeze of these accounts and recover the money back to Bank of South Sudan A/C name – Military Strategic Division; A/C no – (USD) 0026921002607,” Renish says in her letter.

“However this letter has not gone through our embassy in Nairobi because of the sensitivity of the matter and conflict of interest at the embassy.”

Renish said the money had already been secured and would be rerouted back to South Sudan.

Reached for comment, Ecobank said in a statement: “We do not have such an account, neither do we have an official request on the same.”

Co-operative Bank and KCB were not immediately available for comment while officials at the Foreign Affairs ministry referred the Star to the Interior ministry.

In his resignation, Gen Swaka accused President Salva Kiir and SPLA leaders of abuses and pushing the tribal agenda in the country.

He becomes the second highest-ranking officer to resign after Gen Bapiny Monytuil since clashes erupted between government soldiers and opposition fighters in July 2016.

Read: How ‘false’ Facebook post caused death of 272 in South Sudan

A report revealed in September last year that South Sudan’s political and military elite had siphoned money from their country and bought expensive assets in Nairobi and other capitals within East Africa.

Among the many details outlined in the report are pictures of luxury villas, said to be owned by politicians and generals in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Australia.

Read The Sentry’s investigative report: War crimes shouldn’t pay: Stopping the looting and destruction in South Sudan

Who’s cleaner in govt. of South Sudan to be the first to throw the stone at Gen. Thomas Cirillo?

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, FEB/21/2017, SSN;

Sometimes when I see injustice being done against any South Sudanese, I forget my life because injustice is not a friend to anyone. This is because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere (Martin Luther King, Jr).
Justice done selectively is injustice done selectively. This is because when the law is applied equally and equitably then there is no injustice no matter how harsh the law may be.

Law is the content of justice, while the facts of the case provide the context for justice. When justice is being done, it is critical that the law is applied generally in accordance with the facts of the case.

It therefore implies that those who enforce the law must respect the law and work according to its spirit. The law must take its course but should not take the course to cause injustice to the innocent or to cause more pain to one group of criminals than others who have committed the same offence.

Thus, it is our common duty to detect injustice in our communities and to fight it wherever and whenever it raises its head. Though there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest (Elie Wiesel) against injustice.

In the society where injustice is the law, those who are fighting for justice must be guided by the words of Mahatma Gandhi who observes that let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day that, “I shall not fear anyone on Earth; I shall fear only God; I shall not bear ill will toward anyone; I shall not submit to injustice from anyone; I shall conquer untruth by truth; and in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.”

What happens to Lt.General Thomas Cirillo is bad and unjust. This is because two wrongs never make one right. We cannot apply injustice to solve injustice hoping that we shall get justice because in such a case there is no justice.

This is why the law prevents revenge or taking the law into one’s own hands except where the law allows the taking of the law into one own hands as in the case of self-defense or in defense of the property.

In this case, the government of South Sudan should not discriminate against Thomas Cirillo in fighting against corruption. If the law of freezing accounts is to be applied then it must apply from the top to bottom not somewhere in the middle.

As referred in the above paragraph, a South Sudanese army General stated that Thomas Cirillo resigned from the army some days back. The news of his resignation dominated the media, both national and international. After that it appears to have been a forgotten issue like any other issues of defections and resignations in South Sudan.

However, today (on 21/02/2017) I got the report (see; National, News » February 21, 2017 » By Talk of Juba – See more at: http://talkofjuba.com/news/kenyan-government-freezes-general-thomas-cirillo-sister-bank-accounts-10m/#sthash.KaChEWiE.dpuf) which states that the South Sudanese government has traced its missing $10 million (Kenyan Sh1.03 billion) to accounts at Ecobank, Kenya Commercial Bank and Cooperative Bank of Kenya.

That these accounts are linked to Lt Gen Thomas Cirillo Swaka – former SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of logistics, and his kin Fueni Cirillo.

In part, the letter issued to the above banks to freeze the above accounts referred to above states that — “This office is under instructions from the Office of the President, Government of South Sudan to kindly request you to facilitate a freeze of these accounts and recover the money back to Bank of South Sudan A/C name – Military Strategic Division; A/C no – (USD) 0026921002607.”

Whereas I support such a move to freeze the accounts of those who have taken money of South Sudan and deposited it on foreign bank accounts, which has left the nation bankrupt, I don’t however support the way the freezing order is being applied in the present case. It is applied selectively, which is injustice. The rule is that if the order or law is to be applied then it must be applied equally.

Selective application of an order, or law like the way it is done in the present case amounts to injustice because it is discriminative. Hence, if the Office of the President was the one which issued the freezing order then, the President has caused injustice and forgot one essential element of justice.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, On the laws observes that “for there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions. Whoever neglects this law, whether written or unwritten, is necessarily unjust and wicked.”

Though I cannot use the term wicked against the President of South Sudan or his Office due to the respect I have for him, his order is unjust as it is used for political convenience but not the true tool of fighting corruption in the Government of South Sudan.

Freedom and justice should not be used selectively for the sole purpose to achieve political interest. On this point, Coretta Scott King observes, “freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.”

As observed by Coretta in the above paragraph, in relation to our case, the way the order has been applied is completely wrong as it is applied selectively and because of that it is unjust. It is unjust because the law should not be used as political tool to destroy the enemies but it should be used against everybody equally.

Thus, the question that comes to mind when looking at the case of Thomas Cirillo is: why Thomas Cirillo alone yet, there are some former and current generals in the army of South Sudan who have accounts with much more money than ten million dollars of which Thomas is being accused of.

Does it mean that the Office of the President has eyes for the accounts of Thomas Cirillo but doesn’t have for other generals’ accounts? Or what does it mean? But who is clean in the government of South Sudan to be the first to select Thomas Cirillo and cast the stone on him? (see; John 8: 7 New Testament in the Holy Bible).

The conclusion is that the whole project is intended to make Thomas Cirillo a scapegoat of the corrupt individuals in the government and the army.

The whole thing is done in bad faith and it is discriminative. Discrimination and marginalization are both of the same species. They are equal and interrelated. Marginalization is the long term product of discrimination as it in case of South Sudan is one of the major problems which was also identified by the SPLM during the liberation struggling against the successive Khartoum Regimes.

Marginalization in other words means exclusion from the resources. Hence, any nation without justice and full accessibility to resources will achieve peace as excluded will not accept subjugation by the majority. Therefore, the prerequisite for achieving lasting peace in South Sudan is to do justice.

Peace and justice go hand in hand as it was observed by Louis Farrakhan that, “there really can be no peace without justice. There can be no justice without truth. And there can be no truth, unless someone rises up to tell you the truth.”

The quotation above about the importance of justice in peace process by Louis Farrakhan is applicable to South Sudan. In South Sudan, peace will never be achieved unless we do justice to those who are wronged by punishing those who wronged them.

The above is the fact and it is the only way we can achieve lasting peace in South Sudan, if we are guided by principles of justice and fairness as provided for in our national anthem. No matter how much we move cross the world while holding conferences, consulting other nations in the search of peace but without justice peace will never be achieved.

It is even worse in South Sudan where justice is needed badly to see at the same time the seeds of injustice being planted as seen in the case of Thomas Cirillo. South Sudanese leaders should be reminded that the secret for peace is justice.

In summary, though stealing the money is bad but returning the money in unjust way is even worse. The law is not respected because of revenge but it is respected because it is just and justly addresses the needs for justice objectively to those who need justice.

The author is the South Sudanese Lawyer and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com or +2567839256

Pres. Kiir and Jieng Council plan to hunt and kill General Thomas Cirillo: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

Feb/14/2017, SSN;

In the latest hysterical reaction to the bold and spectacular resignation of Lt.General Thomas Cirillo from the SPLA ‘tribal’ army, President Salva Kiir, in a top secret meeting with some special members of his ethnic Dinka so-called Jieng council of elders, resolved on the following resolutions:

1- To dispatch secret Dinka security agents to the neighboring countries with the special mission to locate and assassinate General Thomas Cirillo;

2- President Kiir ashamedly has offered millions of dollars whoever can bring to him the head of General Thomas Cirillo, and finally;

3- President Kiir and his nefarious tribal advisers, in desperation, have conspired and decided on launching a nefarious and genocidal plan of killing members of General Thomas Cirillo’s tribe, the Bari community. Already, as widely reported by other media sources, Kiir’s tribal SPLA soldiers have been widely dispatched to all the areas around Juba up to the neighboring East African states, to hunt down and kill General Thomas Cirillo.

As reported by several media sources, the SPLA government soldiers, desperate on the wild hunt for General Thomas Cirillo, raided Kobi village on the Juba-Nimule road where they reportedly committed massive crimes of raping on the women and many of these victims were brought to Juba for treatment.

Gen. Thomas Cirillo precisely accused Kiir and his cabal of Dinka advisers of turning the country’s military into a Dinka “tribal” army that has taken part “in systematic killings of people, rape of women and the burning of villages in the name of pursuing rebels in peaceful villages.”
Stand by for more developments…

Lt.General Thomas Cirillo’s Heroically resigns from Kiir’s “Tribal government:” What’s next?

FEB. 11/2017, SSN;

The best and the most popular top SPLA general, war hero and freedom fighter, General Thomas Cirillo Swaka has finally decided to quit today the so-called tribal government of South Sudan led by Salva Kiir Mayardit. Below is his resignation letter:

To: President Salva Kiir Mayardit,
President of the Republic of South Sudan,
Commander-in-Chief, Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army,
Juba, South Sudan. Dated: 11/02/2017

I, Lt.Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics, SPLA, hereby tender my resignation as Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics, and from the SPLA.

It has been my honor and privilege to have served the people of South Sudan during the liberation struggle and during the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which led to the conduct of referendum on self-determination and attainment of independence of South Sudan. I am proud to have been part of the Liberation struggle and generally in having served the people of South Sudan in numerous military and political assignments over the last three decades.

I am resigning from the position of Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics and from the SPLA because of the following reasons:

1. I am convinced the violence which erupted in Juba in December 2013 and swiftly spread to several parts of South Sudan, in due course becoming a devastating war, was planned and orchestrated by design. This TRIBALLY engineered war resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent lives and the displacement of at least two million people….mainly innocent civilians, women and children currently living in miserable conditions either as internally displaced (IDPs), virtually prisoners in the UN camps or as refugees.
In August 2015, after almost 2 years of civil war and suffering of the people, the warring parties signed a deal, the ARCSS, brokered by IGAD. Unfortunately, the Government of South Sudan deliberately orchestrated violations of the peace agreements which led to fighting in Juba in July 2016, total collapse of the Agreement and resumption of war in the country.

2. I am dissatisfied and have lost patience with the conduct of the President and Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C), the Chief of General Staff and other senior officers in the HQS of the SPLA as well as Unit Commanders. The President and these SPLA officers have systematically frustrated the implementations of the peace agreements and pursued the agenda of the JIENG COUNCIL OF ELDERS of ethnic cleansing, forceful displacement of people from their ancestral lands and ethnic domination.
I can no longer continue to be part of the ongoing destruction of our beloved country by the same army.

3. The SPLA is supposed to be transformed and professionalized into a national, non-partisan army as stipulated, however, President Kiir and his Dinka leadership clique have tactically and systematically transformed the SPLA into a partisan and tribal army. It’s a militia loyal only to its tribal leadership of Pres. Salva Kiir and Chief of General Staff, Paul Malong Awan. The SPLA has lost respect of the South Sudanese people and even the International community. Worst of all, it has shattered the dreams, hopes and aspirations of the people, and it has taken the lead or participated in the systemic killing of the people, rape of women and burning of villages.

4. Pres. Kiir and Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), which is the real Cabinet of the Government, failed to recognize the sacrifices and struggle of other nationalities and they even go to the extent of denying the contributions of other nationalities during the liberation struggle. The President and his tribal JCE have concentrated on entrenching Dinka ethnic domination, turning other organized forces and the SPLA into brutal tribal forces, terrorizing and intimidating their opponents.

5. To implement the above policies, the President and his clique systematically recruited Dinka in all security sectors and units, paying particular attention to promoting and appointing Dinkas from sections hailing specifically from Bahr el Ghazel region, the home area of the president and Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan. Most of these recruits are promoted to officer ranks and made commanders of most SPLA units. The same for the Police, Prisons, Fire Brigade, Military and National Intelligence, CID and Customs, all commanded by Dinkas. By design, other nationalist revolutionaries who fought the liberation war have been humiliated, demoralized and effectively demobilized from the service.

6. Mathiang Anyor and Dut ko-beng tribal militias who have taken over the SPLA have become an occupation force in some parts of the country, consciously in pursuit of a policy of ethnic targeting and a campaign of systematic rape, killing, mistreating, humiliating and torturing civilians. All these done in a culture of impunity. Mathiang Anyor have deliberately applied a policy of scorched earth by burning whole villages and grabbing land, especially in Equatoria, Chollo land in Upper Nile and the Western Bahr el Ghazel. For instance, during December 2013 and July 2016 violence, these tribal forces, including President Kiir’s own Tiger Division, brazenly went on the rampage killing, rape, torture and looting systematically in an unprecedented manner.

7. The continuous insecurity happening right now across the country is caused by the SPLA militia and other ethnically organized forces and security organs. They are the ones killing people in the capital, Juba, and other towns in the name of ‘Unknown Gunmen.’ In fact, these are ‘known gunmen.’ This is why many South Sudanese are fleeing to become internally displaced or refugees. The President and the Dinka political leadership only came out and condemned these kinds of atrocities when Juba-Yei road incident took place in October because the victims were from the Dinka ethnic group.

8. The SPLA militias and other security organs are looting government assets and hijacking government vehicles and taking those stolen properties to their states to use or sell, there is no remedy for the aggrieved.

9. Innocent civilians, especially Non-Dinkas, are being arbitrary arrested, detained and killed by the security organs all over the country. Those detained are subjected to torture and humiliation in what is called ‘Safe Houses.” In Jebel Luri, where the President’s special residence is built, and in Gorum military area controlled by Tiger Division of Kiir and the Mathiang Anyor militia, many innocent detainees are dying in these “prisons” falsely accused of either expressing opposing views or supporting rebels.

10. Until this time that I am submitting my resignation, many years have elapsed without holding official meeting of Command of the Army, especially after General Paul Malong took over command of the SPLA. There is total collapse of the chain of command; the Commander in Chief (C-in-C) and the Chief of Staff mostly meet in their own residencies with close and trusted officers who are their tribesmen (tribal commanders).
These officers are labelled as “Loyal Officers.”
*** Strangely, included in these meetings are some members of the Jieng Council of Elders, (perhaps as ‘non-uniformed officers’- essentially tribesmen directing or advising the army).
*** All the powers in the army are confined to the Chief of General Staff who uses them to build and consolidate the military strength of “SPLA militia” for implementing the “Dinka Agenda” of subjugating, humiliating or destroying any of the other tribes who dare to stand in their way.
*** The small number of SPLA soldiers are deliberately neglected, without deployment, unarmed, even during emergencies.

11. Since 2005, after CPA was signed, most SPLA from non-Dinka (mainly from Equatoria Region) are deliberately deployed out of Equatoria to Bahr el Ghazel and Upper Nile regions.
*** As a policy, they have been kept out of Equatoria since the signing of the CPA in 2005, and even denied leave or permission to visit their families.
*** Those who have been in the Eastern Sudan from during the liberation war and were subsequently deployed to Upper Nile, Abyei and Bahr el Ghazel areas after the war, are still in those places up to this moment.
*** They have lost contact with their families, children and parents. Many have lost their lives in those wars after the CPA, during the wars with Sudan, Gen. George Athor’s rebellion, the Cobra wars of David Yau yau and the 2013 by the split within SPLM and the fight over power.
*** Upto this moment, these dear sons of our nation who offered their lives for the liberation and freedom of our people are being treated in an inhuman way just for the sake of massaging the egos of a small clique of people pursuing a futile agenda of tribal hegemony.
*** On the other hand, SPLA soldiers from the Dinka ethnic group have been strategically deployed and posted in non-Dinka areas to support the policy of land occupation and enforcing the agenda of forceful DINKANIZATION and domination of the country.

12. This discrimination and crimes against humanity are committed not only on non-Dinkas alone but also visited on the Dinkas who are opposed to the policy of discrimination on ethnic bases and destruction of the country. Such Dinkas are regarded as enemies as well.
*** The policy of ethnic domination and subjugation being pursued openly by the President and his close associates has made Dinkas to be painted with the same brush by the other communities/nationalities, without making distinction between the good Dinkas and the bad ones.
*** As a result, the Dinka community has come to be hated by their own brothers and sisters from other communities. Pursuit of this wrong-headed policy has also destroyed the fabric of South Sudan society.

13. All this time we have been talking to and persuading the C-in-C and members of the Army Command hailing from the Dinka ethnic group, especially those who are known to be members of Dinka ruling clique, to refrain from this tribally oriented policy that cannot promote nationalism and unity, and which can only destroy the country to no avail.
*** All these efforts went in vain as they have fallen on deaf ears. Therefore, it has become important at this crucial moment of our history not to continue working under the leadership of President Salva Kiir that is intentionally subjecting the people of South Sudan to unprecedented and unacceptable cycles of violence and human suffering.
*** This type of inhuman treatment and the human agony it entails has never happened before, even during the time when Khartoum was ruling South Sudan.

14. IN LIGHT OF THE ABOVE AND IN CONCLUSION, YOUR EXCELLENCY, I WOULD LIKE TO TELL YOU FRANKLY AND IN HONESTY THAT IN MY VIEW,
*****YOU HAVE DISGRACED YOURSELF AND THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC.
*****YOU HAVE DISGRACED THE DINKA PEOPLE AND MADE THEM TO BE HATED BY THEIR BROTHERS AND SISTERS FROM OTHER NATIONALITIES,
*****AND ABOVE ALL, YOU HAVE BECOME A DISGRACE TO OUR COUNTRY BECAUSE YOU HAVE CONSCIOUSLY, WILLFULLY, PERSISTENTLY, DEFYING ALL SENSIBLE ADVICE, AND BY DESIGN, FAILED THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH SUDAN.

Given the above reasons that are by no means exhaustive, I hereby resign from the position of Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics, and from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

Signed……………….
Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka,
Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics, SPLA.

cc: Minister of Defense
cc: Minister of National Security
cc: SPLA Chief of General Staff
cc: Deputies of Chief of General Staff
cc: SPLA Inspector General
cc: Director of National Security
cc: Directors in the G/HQS
cc: Sectors/Division Commanders
cc: Specialized Units Commanders
cc: Gallant Women and Men of the Historical SPLA
cc: The Public

E_N_D

The OXFAM should be guided by principles & goals, not become a branch of South Sudan Govt.

BY: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, FEB/06/2017, SSN;

The Organization called the Oxfam is a confederation of 19 affiliate groups of companies working in over ninety countries, all working as one Oxfam on six goals that support their shared vision of a just world without poverty.

The principle is that whether the Oxfam is running life-saving emergency responses, life-changing development projects or campaigning at the grassroots to tackle poverty, it’s work is always rooted in a vision of a world where women and men are valued and treated equally, able to influence the decisions that affect their lives and meet their responsibilities as full citizens.

In achieving the above-mentioned vision, Oxfam operates on six goals that put local communities and the voices of poor people at the centre of change. The purpose of these goals is to enable the Oxfam to end the injustice of poverty in the long run. (For more information visit: www.oxfam.org.uk › what we do › about us › How we work).

In sticking to those goals, Oxfam operates on the following principles as provided for under its constitution—

1- Humanitarian Principles:
In all their work, the Oxfam members aspire to uphold the humanitarian principles of humanity (responding to need), independence and impartiality. They comply with these principles when they give assistance to civilian populations. This is because the Oxfam and its affiliates are signatories and accountable to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Code of Conduct and the Sphere standards of humanitarian response.

2- Accountability and Learning:
The Oxfam and its members have internal control systems and professionally qualified staff to ensure that they are effectively using the funds of Oxfam. They aspire to be a learning organization, with real time evaluations, program reviews, a published accountability report, and complaints and whistle blowing policies. Through these procedures, the Oxfam and its members seek to hold themselves accountable to their supporters, partners, beneficiaries and the general public. The Oxfam and its members welcome all opportunities to discuss with any person their performance, and how they can improve. Oxfam is part of an on-going worldwide effort of nearly 70 international NGOs to assess their performance according to the views of the local partners that these NGOs help to fund and with whom they work.

3- Staff code of conduct:
Oxfam seeks to ensure that its entire staff is aware of its values and principles, and abide by them. Hence, the Oxfam has a staff Code of Conduct that forms part of its contract of employment. This Code establishes the behaviors that they expect staff to display in their work, and in their private life where this may affect Oxfam’s reputation. A staff member in breach of our Code may be disciplined.

4- Sharing Platforms:
Oxfam will not knowingly provide a platform to people or groups that engage in activities that are contrary to Oxfam’s values or principles. However, Oxfam may decide to share a platform with those who do express views contrary to its own, where the Oxfam believes it needs challenging and where sharing a platform is an appropriate and effective way of doing that. For that reason their decisions to provide platform is assessed on a case by case basis.

4-Political activities and campaigning:
The Oxfam allocates some of its resources to understanding the root causes of poverty. It does so to persuade governments, inter-governmental agencies, private sector bodies and citizens to change the policies and practices that are detrimental to its beneficiaries’ interests, and to encourage those that will improve their lives. The Oxfam undertakes its work in an objective manner, based on evidence and analysis. Some of the issues are controversial but the Oxfam will always seek to engage with its critics in a rational and open way, deploying argument and reason. This is because the Oxfam is a non-partisan organization and does not support any political party.

As seen in the foregoing discussion of the goals and principles on which the Oxfam operates, it may be realized that the intention of the Oxfam is good and it is an organization established to help vulnerable people over out of poverty.

However, the recent report I received from one of the States in South Sudan indicates that the Oxfam is not operating independently but being directed by the government officials on who and how to recruit the employees and how to give services. This is contrary to the Oxfam’s principles of humanitarian and human rights.

Sadly enough as seen in the above paragraph, the Oxfam, instead of protecting the right to equality, human dignity and values as provided for in its constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, it is now working according to the will of the government officials such as the commissioner and other county authorities in that particular State.

One of the disturbing issues I understood in that report was that the Oxfam staff accepted the demand of the county commissioner and other authorities to employ his wife and other people who did not apply for a job and sit for the interview or those who applied but failed the interview.

Unfortunately, and because of that, some of the applicants that applied for that job, interviewed and passed the interview were dropped in favour of the commissioner and county authorities. This created a lot of tension and hatred towards the government of that county.

Thus, I have found it necessary to remind not only the Oxfam and its members but also any other humanitarian organizations operating in South Sudan to stick to their principles but not to be influenced by the government officials to discriminate against South Sudanese in those states.

Of course, it is the duty the State governments to direct an organization like the Oxfam to employ the citizens of the State in which it is operating, however, it should not compromise its principles on fairness and equality through accepting the demand of the authorities to employ citizens they recommend to them because the authorities are not honest enough to give those who are qualified.

However, the State authorities act based on the political interests or motivation and are likely to recommend those who blindly obey them though not qualified. The Oxfam, therefore, should remember that in South Sudan all people are poor including the authorities and because of that they always work towards favoring their relatives leaving out the vast majority of citizens without anything.

Hence, it is the duty of the Oxfam and other Organizations to work in accordance with their principles and goals to ensure that the citizens of the State in which they are operating are treated and have access to services equally.

This means that the Oxfam and other humanitarian organizations should work on merit but not on political considerations.

Flowing from the above statement, it is logical to state that if the state authorities threaten the Oxfam or any other organizations to leave the states unless they have accepted their demands for who to employ or how they should deliver their services to citizens, then the best option is to leave those states instead of compromising their values and principles and creating division among the citizens of those states.

In other words, as long as they are operating within the laws of South Sudan, then, they should not accept any direction from the authorities on how to give services to South Sudanese because there is a risk of them becoming another branch of the government and because of that they may fail to follow their values and principles.

In summary, the Oxfam and any other organizations operating in South Sudan should try by all means to avoid becoming another branch of the government. They must be guided by human rights and humanitarian principles in delivering their services.

NB//: The author is human rights lawyer residing in Uganda and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com; or +256783579256

Uganda holds the key to South Sudan question: Prof. Miamingi explains problems the country faces

JAN/29/2017, SSN;

Before the signing of the Peace Agreement, we were talking about crimes, after the signing of the Peace Agreement, we are now talking about genocide unfolding in S.S.

The chaos goes on seemingly unabated in South Sudan. Uganda’s New Vision website Public affairs Editor Paul Busharizi sat down with human rights and governance expert, S.S Professor Dr Remember Miamingi, to understand the mess in the new country.

Question QN: What is the state of Affairs right now in South Sudan?

ANSWER: The state of Affairs right now in South Sudan at the moment is tragic and to put it in perspective before the Peace Agreement was signed in August 2015, S. Sudan had less than 200,000 internally displaced persons, less than 100, 000 refugees that we had outside the country.

After the signing of the Peace Agreement, today South Sudan has close to 2 million South Sudanese outside as refugees, over 500,000 internally displaced South Sudanese.

In 2013, we had around 2m people that were said to be facing famine. Today, 6 million South Sudanese are facing starvation in the country.

Before the signing of the Peace Agreement, we were talking about crimes, after the signing of the Peace Agreement, we are now talking about genocide unfolding in S.S.

So after the signing of the Agreement, the situation has deteriorated significantly that the UN, AU and international Agencies are now saying genocide is unfolding in S.S in a rate that is extremely disturbing.

QN: Who is perpetrating the genocide?

It is both ways; it is the armed practice to the conflict. But what has happened is that we had a political conflict which degenerated into an ethnic conflict and this ethnic conflict has been excavated by a rhetoric of dehumanising other people on the base of their ethnicity and that which started in 2013, you had a conflict which picked the Dinka ethnic groups and Nuer ethnic group.

But right now we are having ethnic groups within Equatoria region have taken arms predominantly in response to abuse they have received but also the government’s targeting other ethnic groups on response of their ethnicity.

So you have a gov’t that is embarked on a policy of ethnic cleansing on the base of ethnicity but you also have armed groups that have gone back to return the same policy and targeting communities, wiping out entire communities on the basis of ethnicity.

And when you have a country where ethnicity, ethnic hatred is as deep as we have in S.S where dehumanisation of others is a state policy while conflict has provided a symbol of context for it, and the economy has completely collapsed and there’s a war for survival, genocide in that context is devastating.

And so what we are seeing in S.S if not arrested will be than worse than what we witnessed in Rwanda.

QN: How many ethnic groups do you have in S.S?We have 63 ethnic groups in S.S. Sixty three a big number to have a genocide. Who would be killing who? Probably it’s not a genocide

What you have is that even though there are 63 ethnic groups in South Sudan, you have a gov’t that is predominantly one ethnic group and that is the Dinka. You have the rebellion that is predominantly one ethnic group and that is Nuer.

And so when the gov’t attacks the Nuer community through militias and armed groups, they wipe out the entire community not because they are rebels but because they are Nuers.

And when you target one ethnic group primarily and mainly on the basis of that ethnicity with the intention of wiping it out completely, that is the classical definition of genocide and you also have a return, that when this rebel group attack either predominantly Dinkas, they carry out the same policy.

So it is even though they are different ethnic groups, you have primarily two main actors that are engaging on a very devastating act of threatening to wipe out the ethnicity of the other in the context of war that is unfolding.

And so when we are talking about the genocide, we are not undermining the fact that there is massive killing, we are not undermining the fact that there is rape; the rate of sexual violence we have in S.Sudan, we have not witnessed it since we started fighting the Arabs for close to 30 years. The scale of brutality that we as S.Sudanese are meting on each other today, not even the Arabs figured it that way.

QN:So how did it come to this?

That is the 1 billion dollar question because S.S was born a Golden nation to so much virginity and potential with Good will in the region and international.

My answer to that question is that first, S.S suffers from leadership deficit; when we had independence everything was prepared and dreamt around Dr. John Garang de Mabior who was the vision of the movement and the man who articulated and provided direction to where the country was going and demised in 2005, providing a leadership vacuum and the comrades stepped into, who had no vision, had no national interest, they were completely committed to quality of their bellies, it was corruption, it was anything other than the nation building and therefore this leadership deficit led us to where we are today.

Secondly, in my opinion it was the capacity deficit, what we could have done as a country was to say we have a country, we have not governed before, we do not have experience in this, we could have gone to Uganda and say Uganda, we have one of the best civil services in the region. Can you second some men and women to come and help us? We could have gone to Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania and amass capacity to help us do institutions.

So in the absence of institution, in the absence of systems, we had a complete collapse between party, government, the state and the army.

In fact our parliament became like a cantonment area where generals would go if you did not find work somewhere else, you ended up in Parliament. So we had the entire system that was conflicted together because of capacity issues.

But thirdly, in my opinion, is that when we fought North Sudan, we had our own differences and problems and some atrocities that were committed by S.Sudanese against others. They were not addressed at all because we said let us first and foremost deal with the North.

Once we are finished with that, we will come and deal with our own nation and when we finished with the North, we had no opportunity to deal with those issues not that we didn’t have an opportunity, we did not prioritise solving our own post injustices, solving our own grievances and the same people we have in the North that we fought could easily capitalise; took advantage of those differences we had and from there could help in generating the kind of situation that we are having today.

We also got here in my opinion because of the role that our neighbours had played in Sudan in South Sudan during the war. Uganda sacrificed so much during the war and when for example Uganda was expected to play a role when the country was going forward and so was Ethiopia and Kenya.

And so that, different players playing with the different actors in S.S in trying to push one national interest against the other national interest and the conflict that arose also helped feed into the conflict that we are having today. SO it’s a number of issues from leadership through down to regional geo-political dynamics.

QN: What role did South Sudan’s neighbours have in the chaos we see now?

I want to agree that yes, the conflict we have in S.S today, apart from we can’t take responsibility away from National actors, but that our brothers and sisters in the region have also contributed in complicating a search for solution for the problem and I will also give a good example: Uganda played a significant role in fact if you are to rank countries together, the kind of support we receive from Uganda in liberating is monumental.

But when the conflict broke out in 2013, the government of Uganda took one side in the conflict; this was a fight between brothers. The government went in through Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) and then supported one side to that conflict and that was to the government.

Now of course government to government support is reasonable except that in the context of South Sudan, we had a government that was predominately bigger that have just been accused of committing crimes against humanity -war crimes and possibility genocide against another main ethnic group the Nuer.

And now when you dare come and help one side, you are actually strengthening one ethnic group against the other. And there strengthening the divide between the two ethnic groups.

Uganda has probably one of the most important opportunities to bring the conflict in South Sudan to an end. It is able, it is capable but I do not know if it is willing to do it.

Let’s go to Ethiopia, Ethiopia seeing Uganda on one side inevitably because of the different dynamics in the region, but also because of the sacrifices Ethiopia made in Sudan then. We had Ethiopia supporting the armed groups and so when you add this to Sudan who basically had interest in ensuring that S.Sudan was as destabilised as it can be, so that at least its armed industry can thrive and so that its own security might be strengthened by a weak South Sudan.

Now you have Egypt coming into this picture through Uganda and with support from Uganda to support Salva Kiir. The moment Egypt is in S.S, Ethiopia is with the rebels, the moment Egypt is in S.S, Sudan is with the rebels. So already all this put together, you have Kenya that has its own interest that has played significant interest in bringing together the Peace Agreement also having its own competition and its national interest.

So these national interests as valid and genuine as they are, not managed well, contributed significantly to the intractability conflict that we have today.

But there is no solution in S.S that is not a solution that is accepted by the region and that is why it is extremely important and we are already asking whether we need mediators to mediate the regional mediation because the differences between the different countries in the region have almost paralysed Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) the ability to provide mutual, impartial mediation to the conflict to the extent that IGAD as an institution has been compromised.

And so without the new incredible mediation and without a united regional front that the AU and UN will depend on to address the conflict in S.S. we are in a situation that as the conflict is deteriorating, solution is going further and the ordinary people in S.S are looking for leadership.

My coming to Uganda was basically to talk to Uganda leadership and so you have the golden opportunity, you can use your experience, you can use your expertise you can use your capacity and have a big nation as a big brother to rise above narrow personal relationships, narrow personal economic and political interests and provide leadership in those regions and if not for any other reason, the outgoing Chief of staff in Uganda in an interview just about a few days ago said the greatest security risk to Uganda remains S.Sudan.

So even if it’s not out of solidarity for S.Sudanese, from a security interest of Uganda, you have over 2m people crammed between the border of Uganda. These people are coming from some of the most traumatised experience, they are interacting with Uganda across that border. You have the flow of arms either to S.S or from there for survival along that border.

You have the social consequence that comes with a small country that was may be 5 or 20 or 30, 000 people right now hosting over 400,000 people in their communities. You have the socio-economic burden that brings in.

So it’s not just not a security threat in that sense but it is also an economic threat because the international community is not putting its money into United Nations system sufficient enough to provide for this.

It is the community that will subsidize them. It is the community that will carry the burden and those people are Ugandans.

It is also a social threat because nobody is providing social and psychological support to these people. Traumatised as they are, the cultural violence, the culture of treating things from the way they came from will begin to interact with local culture there and that is an issue Uganda will have to deal with tomorrow.

And so from that perspective we are saying, you can and you should because the Americans are not bearing this, Ethiopia is bearing this but not every other country in the region is carrying the burden. And we are just talking about those apart from so many 100s of 1000s of persons scattered across Uganda here in Kampala and everywhere who basically depend on this.

Students across the schools here can’t pay their fees because S.S has collapsed. Business men that had invested so heavily in S.S have gone bankrupt; they are having social issues to deal with here. So it is in the interest of Uganda as it is in the interest of S.Sudanese that as brothers, that we fix this.

QN: Where do you derive your confidence that Uganda holds the key to the resolving the situation?

When the war of liberation in S.S was almost failing, failing because of the same compromises in the region, Uganda stood its ground. Uganda did not only provide material support, Uganda in certain circumstances put boots on the ground in S.S in support of the liberation war.

It did it despite the divisions, it did it despite that some people were compromised like Moi, like other people in the region by the government of Sudan.

So historically, Uganda has stood on the right side of history. But in addition to that, I personally do not see President Museveni, just as a president. He is an elder and a statesman who has been in this region long enough, to understand this region long enough, whose actions have impacted heavily negatively or positively on this region to build networks and respected beyond his region.

The utterances that President Museveni makes here become policies in Washington DC, the utterances that he makes here become AU policies sometimes. So there is a cloud. the only unfortunate thing is that that socio capita has been underutilised, that social capital has been limited because of what i perceive as complete distrust from the leadership in Uganda of the leadership of the rebel movement in S.S and because of that distrust, Uganda cannot come to see itself bringing these two people together; some body that you do not trust at all, you do not respect at all; that is causing havoc in the country.

I think as a leader and as an eldest states-person, it is incumbent that you, Museveni, bring these people together. Let there be peace and let South Sudanese be given opportunity to choose who their leaders are. All that they want is peace.

Today, if Uganda closed down the bank accounts of all the generals who are fighting in South Sudan, their monies are kept here, their houses are here and their children are here. Uganda has leverage. If it speaks today, Juba listens because if Uganda closes its door today, the government in Juba will collapse within days, it has the power.

And so I’m convinced from the historical perspective, we are connected as people, culturally we are connected, our burdens become your burdens. But also from the capacity of this country the experience of dealing with conflicts in the region, Uganda has the expertise to deal with us and to deal with our problems each and when it wants.

QN: The distrust between Uganda and the rebel side in S.Sudan. What is the genesis of the distrust?

My understanding and perception is that one of the greatest setback to the entire liberation project in South Sudan was when the rebel movement broke into two in 1991 and that break was instigated by Dr Riak Machar and in Lamako and that pushed the movement back 10 years.

So the effort that Uganda had put into and other countries was almost brought to a total failure but act of a man from a perspective of a Ugandan Government, That was selfish. There was ambition, and on top of that he went back to Khartoum where their image was, there so there was the issue of destruction.

But in addition to that there was history around the conversation to deal with the LRA, the negotiations that had to do with LRA, the understanding and I have no evidence is written down and I have spoken about, I have not verified myself, is that during that 1991 break, one of the conduits that Sudan was providing support to the LRA was through the breakaway movement of Riak.

And so even then when Riak came to Juba and was managing the peace conversation between the governments here, the trust on the side of the government wasn’t there. So the government here sees Riak… that is my perception from far, as not being a reliable leader and not being a true Nationalist and therefore not being a kind of core liberator that will go with a tradition of NRM and ZANU–PF and all those.

So when in 2013 the same Dr Riak Marhar again was alleged to have been involved in an attempted coup, which could have thwarted the project of the nation building, my thinking was that some people in this country had enough. And so it acted and allowed that personal hatred to then inform a national strategic approach.

QN: There was an issue too that the SPLA is not a coherent force and therefore the chaos?

The SPLA before 2005 was one of the most disciplined, professional forces in the region in terms of even though were rebels. Then came in 2005 and the finding of the disagreement under the death of Dr John Garang de Mabior now when Salva Kiir came to power one of the greatest threat to Salva Kiir control over the army was the so called Garang boys.

The Garang boys were the Generals, professional and the training core OF SPLA who probably didn’t have so much respect for General Salva Kiir and what President Salva Kiir then did was one by one, systematically eliminate these people.

These also owned the regional dynamic that Garang was from Bor and you had Salva Kiir come from Bahr el Ghazal and that before Salva came in, that all the people who were probably Dinkas from the Bor. So they then went ahead to balance that. So that was one major diluting factor.

Now the second diluting factor, was as we approach the referendum, Khartoum was busy providing arms to different rebel groups across South Sudan and to avoid these spoilers, spoil the chance of this country to vote in a referendum.

Salva Kiir invented these eviction policies where all those militias were incorporated into the SPLA, they came in with their ranks. That today, it is important to note that we have 745 generals in the army and these people came in with their culture, traditions, they had no training, they came in with the structure, they maintained their ranks; that second diluting factor then completely took away whatever professional advantage that the SPLA had.

The Third diluting factor is corruption when we got independence, S.Sudan suddenly had at that its disposal, it was dealing in billions of dollars from the proceeds of oil and when this money used to come in first, and we had no banking system. The money would come in cartons, millions of dollars in cartons that was kept at the SPLA secretariat.

The SPLA secretariat was the Minister of Finance. Suddenly people had to deal with money and with no accountability at all.

And so every other consideration gave way to corruption and patronage and so the professional disciplined solders that we had completely disappeared that today, it is even worse because when the conflict broke out in 2013, by that time because of these big tribes, most of the malice were from Nuer tribe. So when the conflict broke out, 70% of the army broke and went with the rebels.

So even within the diluted, 70% had gone. So what we have today, when people talk about SPLA today, it doesn’t exist, when people talk about the army, it doesn’t exist because what we have in S.S is a Coalition of miltias whose commanders and control are not to Salva Kiir as the commander-in-chief but it is to the different militias Commanders that brought them together, responsible for feeding them and their salaries and all that they get. So that is another complicating factor.

And that is why if Uganda had not intervened in 2013, ehh… (sighs) the war would have been over from the sense of the rebels because Juba would have fallen because there was no army to provide.

So his right one has not only destroyed the army in the country but has created the greatest security threat as a country. If Sudan attacked us today, we would have no army to fight with because we have finished our army, fighting ourselves.

QN: So how will this be resolved?

Yes, but we are hoping. The resilience of the S.Sudanese people. We started fighting on August 25, 1955. The resilience that saw the S.Sudanese all through those years is the only blink of hope. And that is why we are asking our brothers with the government, the people of Uganda, add your voice to these people, give them the moral support that you can because that’s all they need, the one that will bring about change. And we hope for support as we continue to talk to our conscience as Africans.

QN: You talked of lack of capacity in S.Sudan, the only figures I see is that S.S is two and a half times the size of Uganda, it has about only about 100 km the tarmac road, but what about the people, teachers, professionals and graduates?

Now as they maybe not in the same measure, with many rebel movements across the continent. When SPLA fought during those wars, so many S.Sudanese went into refugee camps and as a result of being in refugee camps, benefited from Education in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and other neighbouring countries and many of them got resettled in countries in the West and also went there to have education. So there is a reasonable size of S.Sudanese in all who have gone outside, who are well-educated and who are willing to return home to contribute.

But what happened Is that immediately we got independence, those who fought, felt that while they were busy here struggling and sleeping in the trenches, you went outside eating bread and butter and going to school and now suddenly you now want to come back, and say you’re Doctors, you’re this. NO. This is our time. In fact it is our time to eat. And that first closed the opportunity so that even the diaspora that returns, returns on personal or relational basis to contribute in whatever capacity that they did.

Even if we had the opportunity of bringing all our diaspora back, but still it will not be enough because the art of the governance is not in class. It comes through experience and those who were outside. Not all of there were in governance, they would do different things.

So we still need to depend on our brothers and sisters who in this region stood by us. But again pride. We fought the Arabs. We are capable just doing about anything. So that arrogance and that approach as if we had it all, closed the door. I do not know how many times the presidents of the region…. Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, UN all of them will come back to Sudan and say we can provide, we will pay for the capacity and bring people to support you.

I do not how much the president will say YES YES and nothing will be done. Because we use gov’t institutions and positions as a reward system that will then oil our patronage networks and keep up loyalty.

So bringing people (expertise) from outside we have no control over them, who have a name to protect, institutions where they were seconded from weakens that control and the entire network and therefore corruption will thrive and as a result, we sacrificed the future of our country for our personal and immediate benefits.

QN: Looking forward, what do you think happens given the current context you have described?

I sincerely believe that the war in S.Sudan right now has almost reached the point that is mutually hurting for all the parties. The government that is broke, it does not have enough money to buy loyalties like it should, for all its patronage networks, it is dealing with rebellions.

Right now, in 2013 we had about 14 rebel groups fighting across S.Sudan. Today we just published report, we have 40 across. Conflict was only in two areas in 2013 and now we have conflict across S.Sudan. So the scale of the challenge is enormous for any government even as callous as you can, you just cannot go to bed and sleep. Because you see the country collapsing.

Today we have inflation above 1000%, somebody that was earning 7,000 dollars in 2013 today is not more than 170 dollars’ worth. And so government no matter how proud it wants to be, no matter how strong it wants to appear, it is completely in a very vulnerable position.

So often the rebel movement controls the structure and command by virtue of these being scattered. The economic pressure you cannot sustain and control all these rebels outside, how do you feed them. They cannot continue fighting the war long enough and so this is an opportunity for the region to take leadership.

They have fought themselves to a stalemate.

It is a stalemate. A mutually hating stalemate and it is an opportunity for the region to come in right now and say you know what, we are tired of trying to accommodate you but have not succeeded.

We are going to act on behalf of those boys and girls, women and men who have no issues with what you’re fighting for; who are primary victims. This is for us a Road Map.

Let’s have a credible inclusive National dialogue. Uganda will host it. Kenya will host it. Let’s bring all those people together but also those men and women from the village. Let’s bring them here. Let’s have the Church – the African Council of Churches- the Council of Churches of S.Sudan. Let’s us have the traditional rulers. Let them facilitate this conversation, they have a history of doing it, a degree in comprehensive disagreements, they did it for people with disagreements, they can do it again.

Bring these people together. Let us talk. Whatever we agree on the round table, we are going to enforce. And we are going to put a threat that is crude but credible on the table. But anyone who then do not honour their commitment of S.Sudanese people will be isolated and will be dealt with.

I think there is that capacity in the region to be able to bring everybody together not only the political actors, but every S.Sudanese who has suffered to have a National Plan and Dialogue, agree on that National Plan of Action and solve that plan of action as we have seen the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) doing in Gambia; that is where we want to go. We cannot continue seeing few people spoiling the name of the continent.

– See more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1444981/uganda-holds-key-south-sudan-question#sthash.b5PDq5lq.dpuf