Category: Most Popular

South Sudan: War without end

By Richard Dowden, Posted on March 26, 2015 by AfricanArgumentsEditor, SSN;

Last week President Salva Kiir of South Sudan rejected all the main proposals put forward by the African Union to bring peace to Africa’s newest state. Standing on the temporary podium erected for Independence Day just over three and a half years ago, he refused all attempts at compromise with Riek Machar, the former Vice President.

Standing in a black suit and cowboy hat, surrounded by praise singers, ministers, religious leaders, foreign ambassadors and school children, he read laboriously from a script. With a few thousand others I stood in the searing Sudan sun listening to his rejection of a peace deal.

No to more parliamentary seats, he said. No to more ministers. No to federation – unless the people demand it. That was, I suspect a private joke: no one is allowed to demand anything here.

There were no substantive concessions to anything that Machar, now at war with the president, is demanding. President Kiir rejected the idea of a ceremonial head of state with an executive presidency. “Riek must be number two to me,” he said. He did offer an amnesty but that they “must accept the line I give them”.

This means war.

The crowd was peppered with suited security men. Some of them stopped me and asked why I was not wearing a pass. I didn’t have one. They didn’t know what to do next so I wandered freely around the podium but as I, and two western journalists left, we were stopped and questioned. “Why are you leaving before the President finished speaking? You are insulting the President.” Of course I denied it but it would have been a perfectly sensible reaction.

What, I kept thinking, have the Southern Sudanese learnt from the rest of Africa’s post-independence mistakes over the last 50 years? How could South Sudan avoid the coups and bitter personal enmities that rivals tribalised to make war on each other?

Who was able to stop the gross theft of state funds? Why did so many African rulers live in paranoid secrecy and total security? Above all why did those rulers lack any interest in development for their own people? I had seen it in Idi Amin’s Uganda, in Moi’s Kenya, in Mobutu’s Congo, in Abacha’s Nigeria, in Houphouet-Boigny’s Cote d’Ivoire.

And here, now, in 2015, in Africa’s newest country all those criminals are being mimicked by this scarcely literate clown in a black cowboy hat.

The rival armies have already fought a few rounds. As the war develops further a few more fighters will be killed but thousands of South Sudanese, mainly women and children, will die of preventable diseases having been forced to flee from their homes. I was in South Sudan in 1991, the last time they fell out with each other. They seemed to fight with more bitterness towards each other than they fought the Khartoum government. Whole villages were sacked and burned and women and children slaughtered.

Maybe, despite being handed one of the most beautiful and potentially wealthy countries in the world, the leaders simply decided that killing, looting and raping were more rewarding than development.

There is not much to choose between the two warlords and their numerous fickle allies. Riek is admittedly a far better educated man. He holds a PhD from Bradford University in engineering and can discuss global issues with great insight and knowledge. He deploys great charm to foreigners. But he is allied to the White Army, a militia of young Nuer killers and rapists who have committed some of the worst atrocities. If the International Criminal Court had been a success, Machar would be a prime target.

Perhaps war is what they are most comfortable with. The region has been a warzone on and off for more than 1000 years. From the 10th Century, maybe longer, Arabs began to raid what is now South Sudan for slaves. In the 19th Century the British took over the region to control the Nile from the source to the sea, but their administration was more like an imperial military occupation than colonialism. There was no development for the people except what the Christian churches managed to organise. Each denomination was given an area to Christianize.

Independence came suddenly in 1956 and the south was then ruled from Khartoum. War broke out immediately but paused in 1972, which allowed 11 years of peace and a little development. That changed in 1983 when Colonel John Garang, one of the few southerners with a university education, launched the Sudan People’s Liberation Army – not to fight for independence, but to turn the whole of Sudan into a “united, democratic and secular Sudan”.

The war officially ended in a US brokered peace agreement in 2002 and South Sudan became independent with the agreement of the north nine years later. That brought another brief period of peace but also theft on a vast scale as some ministers have simply stolen the entire budgets of their departments.

In 2011 the American ambassador had some of these thefts tracked, made a list of the names and bank accounts, and handed it to the President. Nothing happened.

As Alex de Waal wrote in African Affairs in July last year: “Kiir’s strategy for managing the SPLM/A’s fractious leaders was to indulge their appetite for self-enrichment.” He argues that when the money ran out the recipients simply went back to war – it being what they were used to.

One positive thing that has emerged from this horrific tragedy is an African Union report that has been leaked. African Union reports do not normally leak and if they do, they are so anodyne and inconsequential that no one can be bothered to read them. But this report is different. It is bluntly honest, quotes ordinary South Sudanese, attributes blame to individuals – including the President – and recommends extraordinary measures.

It reveals that a South Sudan Army has never been created. It remains a collection of tribal militias amounting to officially, but improbably, 480,000 men. Each general – for which you can read ‘warlord’ – gets paid and is supposed to pay his men. Many do not. That is in part what caused the return to war.

Here are some of the gems from the report:

A quote from the street:

“They put a knife into what bound us, turned the crisis from political to ethnic.”

The population of South Sudan is 10 million people and its revenue is $5 billion. 75% of the population is illiterate. One in 50 dies at childbirth (this is the worst indicator in the world). There are a large number of returnees from Sudan. 70% of government budget goes to pay people in arms. Small arms are proliferating. Socially excluded youth have evolved into a volatile force, and a very large group of unemployed youth are ripe for manipulation.

The violence, which originated as a schism in the governing elite of South Sudan, targeted one particular ethnicity, the Nuer. Its intent and effect was to divide the civilian population along ethnic lines, to destroy the middle ground, thereby to polarize the society into ‘us’ and ‘them.’

“Every time we integrate, someone declares in Khartoum that we have a militia. We integrate them and give them a rank. Most of these militias are illiterate – led by illiterate Major-Generals. Even today, we have not integrated them. We tried to demobilize them, but that was difficult. You cannot demobilize someone who has a gun. You give him money under DDR. When the money is finished, he will go back to the bush.”

South Sudan has never had an election. Salva Kiir was elected Vice President of Sudan, but never President of a state called South Sudan.

It is wrong to think of South Sudan as a failed state – for the simple reason that South Sudan never was a state. There was no bureaucracy, no judiciary, there was nothing to fail. There were only fighting forces, most of the time fighting one another and a make believe state whose leadership was propped up and fêted by important sections of the international community. South Sudan may exist as a state on paper, but more as a juridical fiction than an institutional reality.

To think of South Sudan as a failed state is to overlook the simple fact that the very political foundation for the existence of a state – a political compact – has yet to be forged within the elite and between the communities that comprise the country.

Jok Madut Jok, a South Sudanese academic, described the looting spree during the CPA: “The period following 2005 was a period of entitlement, we are entitled to eat, we liberated this country. But…flagrant theft of public money created serious injustices.”

President Kiir publicly accused 75 top officials of being responsible for the cumulative theft of $4.5 billion. There are three main sources of corruption in South Sudan: oil money, government employment and land.

Haile Menkerios, former Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN (SRSG) to Sudan and South Sudan, told the Commission: “Oil revenue for Sudan as a whole was $50-60 billion from 2005 of which 50% came to South Sudan. There is nothing to show for it.”

He said oil is sold in two ways, in the open market and in the spot market: “None of the spot market money got into the bank. It is divided between individuals.” (Definition: Spot market is where the oil is sold for cash and delivered immediately. Contracts bought and sold on these markets are immediately effective. The spot market is also called the “cash market” or “physical market”, because prices are settled in cash on the spot at current market prices, as opposed to forward prices. Also, Crude oil is an example of a future that is sold at spot prices but its physical delivery occurs in one month or less—Investopedia, from Editor)

“International donors,” wrote Peter Ajak, the presidential advisor, “deployed legions of foreign technical assistants who, eager to showcase immediate results, ended up doing everything themselves, transferring little know-how to South Sudanese civil servants.”

The prime targets of large scale land acquisition, what has come to be called ‘land-grabbing’, are the areas of peasant cultivation in the south of the country, mainly Equatoria. The editor of Juba Monitor told the Commission: “Equatorians are very unhappy. Their major grievance arises from land grabbing. A lot of land around the President’s house was taken with no compensation.”

Elite reconciliation has evaded South Sudan for decades. The only program around in which different factions managed to come together was the campaign for independence. Since independence, the South Sudan political class has lacked a project around which to coalesce.

The responsibility for this falls squarely on the shoulders of those who designed and steered the six year transition period ushered in by the CPA. By focusing on Sudan to the north as the enemy to be confronted the CPA lost an opportunity both to confront its past failure at reconciliation and forge a national project around which the South Sudan political elite could unite.

The split in the SPLA in 1991 was never resolved – it was simply deferred. The accommodation that was made at Wunlit in 1999 was pragmatic, not principled. Former President Thabo Mbeki recalled 1991 as a recurring theme in his discussions with President Kiir: “Salva told us: Riek killed a lot of Dinka, and we will not give him the opportunity to do so again. Rebecca (Garang) said we agree with Machar that Salva must go but I will never allow Riek to be President – never a fellow who did that.”

Hilde Johnson, UN Representative, “This crisis is beyond anything we have seen in scale, magnitude and depth. A quick fix power-sharing agreement will not work – problems of the country and leadership are too deep.” She repeated, for emphasis: “We need to re-boot South Sudan – no quick fix, no deal, will do it.”

The ambassadors of the Troika (the U.S., U.K. and Norway) agreed that President Kiir should step down and, indeed, both Kiir and Machar should both step aside.

The British envoy: “Dinka without Kiir will not settle; Nuer without Machar will not settle; and yet, the two will not work together.” The US envoy said “there is so much hatred they can’t move forward even with both of them there.”

The Norwegian envoy concurred: “There is no reflection yet on why things went wrong.”

Commission therefore recommends a transitional period with three distinctive features:
–(a) a High Level Oversight panel to guide the period of transition;
–(b) a transitional government that excludes those politically accountable for the crisis; and –(c) a transitional program that address the question of justice in different forms.

Richard Dowden is Director of the Royal African Society.

Better sanctions than signing a bad peace in South Sudan

By: Taban Abel Aguek, Rumbek, MAR/19/2015, SSN;

The efforts for peace in South Sudan by IGAD and the International Community since the conflict broke out in December 2013 indicate how the world cares about South Sudan.

Much as the coup did fail in Juba, the carnage that has been precipitated by its overflow in places like Bor, Malakal and Bentiu remains the worst. It resulted in a piece of shame that we will never erase in the history of South Sudan.

For more than fourteen months now, IGAD, TROIKA and the UN have been exerting tireless efforts for peace in South Sudan. However, it is important to note that availing a wrong peace is worse than war itself.

It is a serious waste to place on table a peace agreement that will never stay.

It may be in the best interest of South Sudan and the region to expedite peace; but signing peace is one thing and keeping it is another.

That is why peace negotiations cannot be given a fixed time. And that is why peace is being negotiated between Palestine and Israel for years now. Maybe Kenyans are right in their saying, “haraka haraka haina baraka”, (hurrying up with things carries no blessing).

So, why rush with negotiations when tangible issues are not agreed? Human lives continue to be lost but that is due to the fact that Riek and his group fail to respect the cessation of hostilities agreement.

When making peace, it must be efforts of both the mediators and the negotiators to ensure a complete remedy is availed. All in all, peace can never be designed in a way that it serves the interests of one tribe in a country inhabited by more than 60 other tribes. Otherwise, it would result in another endless conflict.

The war in South Sudan is indeed a senseless war. But should not make it deserve senseless solution as well. Rather, it must be matched with solutions that are realistic and acceptable to all people of South Sudan.

If IGAD and TROIKA representatives have the same feelings as we do and try to put themselves in our shoes today, they could certainly see these useless demands by Dr. Riek Machar quite differently.

Dr. Riek’s demands at the peace talks are not only impossible but they also show the world that Riek does not want peace in South Sudan.

The Government of South Sudan has conceded a lot of issues at the talks just for the sake of peace; but that has been badly abused by the opposition. The opposition needed to have reciprocated the Government’s faithful concessions at the talks instead of using the same as the point of weakness to exploit.

The argument by the opposition to keep two armies in the country does not indicate any readiness for peace. Riek as reported in the media claimed that seventy percent of the army defected with him at the start at the conflict. But there is no baseline from which it can truly be placed. The Nuer tribe prior to the conflict had a big representation in the army but still it could not reach the claimed 70%.

It also happened because of the reintegration of several Nuer based militia groups that were aligned to Sudan before the South–South Dialogue.

Dr Riek should be made to drop the argument about the two armies or anything like amalgamation and go for the reintegration of the two armies under one command to ensure trust and togetherness in the SPLA once and for all.

Amalgamation of the two armies may plant in the SPLA the rebel White army that was mobilized and armed without proper training.

And the admission of the White army may amount to calling for the ‘gelweng’ of Dinka and the ‘Arrow boys’ of Equatoria to be included in the army. To allow this to happen may render the national army not only fragile and fragmented but also inflated and bloated.

Federalism has been a call by a section of South Sudanese. But it has no recorded public backing since it has not been put on a referendum. Still, even if all South Sudanese agree on federalism, there can be no way it can be applied straight away after the war.

It is necessary to have census conducted prior to re-division of states into 21 or more federal states.

There are more important things to do before we can embark on federalism. South Sudanese deserve a just peace and national reconciliation first before anything else.

It should be the transitional government to undertake issues that are deemed “firsts” before we embark on federalism now.

The wealth sharing is another issue that got many of us baffled. It is difficult to comprehend why in the first place was wealth sharing included in the talks. The demand for wealth sharing under the ratios the opposition have suggested is a straight call for war.

Dr. Riek and his group must tell us all what did they do in this country to earn them the right to sit and tell us how they want to share out wealth?

It seems the opposition wants to argue for a CPA-like agreement but the first thing they ought to know is that South Sudan was an entity that had existed like a country for decades.

South Sudan was granted semi autonomy and that enhanced for a model that was to suit a two states solution. It can never be applied here now and there is not a single justification for it in solving South Sudan crisis.

Countries like Kenya did experience violence over power in the recent past. And Uhuru Kenyatta should have an insight into what a tribal conflict is since he was accused of supporting his tribe, Kikuyu and in particular a sect of outlaws called ‘Mungiki’ in the fight against the Kalenjin tribe during the 2007 post election violence.

There was sense in sharing power in Kenya because the elections were contested by two parties, ODM and PNU.

But in our case, a former VP sacked under the constitutional jurisdictions of the President, that power be shared is a way to accept peace; otherwise, Dr Riek should have been asked to drop guns and come contest elections either in the party, SPLM or General elections.

South Sudanese are not ready to give away the country in the name of reforms. Reforms cannot be guessed in the faces of negotiators.

Riek is not a reformist; rather he is a disgruntled opportunist who is just trying to cling at every floating straw. His reform agenda is a hoax. He didn’t rebel because of reforms either. If Riek’s demands are the perceived reforms then there is no need for peace at all.

I believe that African dictators are made. And for sure, if Kiir becomes a dictator and South Sudan becomes a hostile state it will be blamed only on frustrations. Mugabe and Zimbabwe may have been frustrated to choose to stand against the West after the realities presented by Zimbabweans were neglected by some external powers.

The West and USA in particular, stepped into Kenyan issues prior to 2013 general elections and declared that “choices have consequences” in an attempt to sway Kenyans from voting-in both Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto. This made Kenyans to become even more defiant.

They chose to look no other way than to point in the eye of the US, voting in what Kenyans wanted and not what the external forces wanted them to.

The ICC was meant to intimidate and dictate what path Kenya should take, but it turned out to haunt its own proprietors. ICC became the launch pad from which the 2013 Kenyan Elections were based as tribal sympathies override the real issues that affect a common Kenyan citizen.

The threats of sanctions on South Sudan could serve the same purpose the ICC was for Kenya: to pressurize the government so as to hurriedly sign peace. Yet, signing a wrong peace agreement means a return to war.

South Sudan cannot manage the situation that happened in Egypt where leadership was swung all around like a pendulum. The talks in Addis Ababa can possibly produce a good agreement but only if the mediators keep away from external influence and stop condoning Dr. Riek’s impossible demands.

It is my belief that IGAD knows South Sudan very well. It is in the expectation of South Sudanese that IGAD and whoever that stands behind it – TROIKA or EU – be bold enough to ask Riek to shove or shelf all his impossible demands.

The circumstances under which the current war broke out are not comparable with those of the last North–South War. Therefore, there is no way whatsoever the same CPA mechanisms can be applied in the case of the current war.

Peace is all South Sudanese need but it must be a genuine one. For signing a wrong peace is signing a return to war.

Better sanctions than sign a wrong peace!

Taban Abel Aguek works in Rumbek – South Sudan. He can be reached at abelaguek79@gmail.com

IGAD-led peace has failed: It’s about time to invite Pres. Omar Bashir to bring lasting peace to South Sudan

BY: J. NGUEN, Canada, MAR/14/2015, SSN;

The value of this honest proposal is humanistic, logical and politically mature. If implemented, will have positive impacts in finding lasting peace in South Sudan and people can once again be at peace. Warmongers will perceive this as a short-sighted because their familiarity with South Sudan and Sudan politics is limited and their scope of understanding is informed by what they gain when this war continued.

Some might disagree with this proposal because they have axes to grind with Sudanese people (north and south) and want no peace to return to South Sudan whatsoever.

Logically, one of the benefits of this proposal is that it will bring normalcy to people’s lives and also prevent imminent collapse of the nation.

President Omar Bashir is a heavyweight political machine as far as South Sudan normalcy is concerned. We can no longer afford ignoring this reality.

To achieve a meaningful in South Sudan, President Bashir of Sudan, the Troika..i.e United Kingdom, Norway and United States must be involved. This is demanded of South Sudanese people since there was no progress in the peace talk and no consequences against those who obstructed peace.

At this point, I am sure most of us are convinced with the narrative that IGAD led peace wouldn’t prevail some days. The idea that IGAD was a formidable political machine capable of bringing lasting peace to South Sudan was a perfect fallacy and unrealistic.

This has been proven before our watchful eyes. Therefore, it’s about time for Sudanese and the world to do the unthinkable. It’s about time to rationalize South Sudan problem and find local solutions with international and region outlook.

Involving president Bashir to take lead in solving South Sudan problem is a positive initiative in the right direction. Involvement of the Troika countries, Norway, United Kingdom and United States in supportive role and in some decision making is also paramount. These countries are friends of South Sudan and will always be there for us when we needed help. Now, our people need their friendly hands.

The IGAD led peace for South Sudan has failed because most of the IGAD’s member states only positioned their representatives in South Sudan’s peace talks only for economic purposes. Call it economic gain if you may.

The IGAD intention was not to bring lasting peace to South Sudan but prolongation of war in order to prolong financial exploitation of South Sudan. This is the dominant motive behind the Uganda president involvement in South Sudan internal affairs.

While Kenya and Ethiopia on the other hand have the same interests using subsidiaries as third parties and back door deals to achieve the same financial ends. If for the same reason that IGAD never enforced any threat.

The problem we have in south Sudan needs sound approach and openness in order to find an amicable solution. This cannot be achieved with current approach because the prorogation is wrong.

Similarly, this sound approach will be counterproductive when only extoling current false political elites in South Sudan. The South Sudanese people are glad that IGAD’s head negotiator has admitted that the past approach aimed to bringing peace to South Sudan is wrong and must be altered.

The current governance in South Sudan is too “deformed to be reformed.” For one, South Sudan as a nation is led by a weak and incompetence president. The South Sudan self-serving political class is splintered on tribal basis.

For instance, the G10 and the SPLM/A led by Dr. Riek are currently caught up in rather premature egocentric politics. Simply because the G10 has an axe to grind with Dr. Riek on personal basis and this led to rather a weak opposition.

President Kiir on the other hand has surrounded himself with ineffective tribal hooligans. This state of affairs opened South Sudan up to wolves and serious exploitation by well-established hyenas looking for profitable financial carcasses. The losers at the end of the day are the common South Sudanese people.

Since December 2013, President Kiir has lost constitutional legitimacy after administering the gruesome massacre of the Nuer nationality in the State capital, Juba. A heinous crime ever committed in the 21th century.

Now, the nation has no national army to keep Kiir and cronies afloat. Kiir opted for Uganda’s UPDF’s desperate offer and aimed only for financial prosperity. This useless deal is now keeping Kiir and disgruntled politicians around him afloat by using South Sudan’s petro-dollars while the country’s national identity goes to waste.

For Kenya and Ethiopia, South Sudan’s financial district around the country is run by the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and this has helped Kenya with immense financial growth in its GDP in the past 5 years. Therefore President Kenyatta is determined to keep this status quo alive whatever it takes without any humanistic remorse to the suffering South Sudanese civilians caught up in the senseless civil war.

Besides, every tea shop and water supply in South Sudan is owned and run by Ethiopian nationals. This gives Ethiopia as a country a financial incentive than ever before while South Sudanese citizens languish in the UN bases internally and in the neighboring countries.

Therefore, the only strategic plan used by Uganda, Kenya and Uganda is keeping our people engaged militarily while they continue exploiting the nation wealth.

Dr. Riek and his group plus the G10 have no financial capacities to strike the balance of the petro-dollars used by President Kiir, but instead, depend on handouts from goodwill friends. Because of this, the G10 and the SPLM/A-IO lack political influences over IGAD’s member States.

In fact, G10 is in the worse position compared to SPLM-IO. The group’s survival depends on President Kenyatta’s handouts and they lack political independence and in the course of this conflict will never flex political muscles.

In the view of Kiir and Dr. Riek’s factions, this group is misguided representing political paupers to say the least. The group has no military base anywhere in South Sudan to resort to should roundtable solution withered away like it has.

In the recent past, G10 has used angel-like politics to win supports from the international community particularly the TROIKA and the US but this has failed even though the group back- stabbed Dr. Riek and his SPLM/A -IO after the movement fought fiercely to secure their release from prison.

It was even alleged that Pagan Amum, the leader of G10 has stated that the killing of the Nuer civilians in their thousands should not take the country to civil war. If this is true, the question one needs to ask is what can take a country to war then if peoples’ lives no longer matters?

The South Sudan peace negotiation led by IGAD has failed and the country is now at a free fall. Precisely, the badly needed peace is no more even with strong support from the Troika countries and the United States.

As a result, empty political bickering from IGAD has taken a centre stage but counterproductive as usual. I should say, IGAD is good for nothing and can never be a vanguard to salvage a meaningful peace for my people.

They are toothless and their interests are solely financially motivated and the organization lacks financial and political leverages to stand it grounds.

For the last 15 months of South Sudan conflict, IGAD has made empty numerous political posturing of severe consequences against Dr. Riek and President Kiir Mayardit should peace fail.

Sadly, the result of such threats is that both parties showed defiance and failed to agree on every talking point. Also both warring parties have continued to dishonour signed cessation of hostilities and no single threat of severe consequences from IGAD has been actualized.

As it appears, IGAD made some of these threats against Kiir and Machar after being instructed to do so by TROIKA countries and United States. To date, IGAD has no tangible Plan B should South Sudan’s peace negotiation fail like it has.

All we heard time and again are endless empty political bickering of wanting to protect South Sudanese civilians caught up in the middle of the war.

On the 6th of March 2015, finally, a nail on the coffin was transfixed on South Sudan peace process. South Sudan’s peace process was indefinitely suspended by IGAD’s mediator citing disagreement over every major issue on the menu.

This is expected and every South Sudanese that I know of knew from the onset that IGAD peace process is doomed and destined to fail. The pronouncement made by IGAD only validates our common man’s knowledge on the matter.

As I write, there is no hope for peace anytime soon in South Sudan. Fighting between the two warring parties has resumed and suffering of civilians continues unabated. Death is relentless and no negotiation is expected in the near future. This is disappointing and must not be allowed to continue.

Therefore, to find the solution, there is only one avenue that has not been tapped, Sudan. Sudan has been ignored due to its president’s bad relations with the West and yet this country stands a good chance of bringing lasting peace to South Sudan if utilized effectively.

Sudan as a country is an IGAD’s member State but her president, Omar Al Bashir has been isolated due to indictment by the International Criminal Court regarding the Darfur issue.

Sadly however, the Darfur rebels and its northern Sudanese allies, the SPLM/A -North rebels have proven to be bad partners and merciless bandits who cannot be trusted. They are involved into South Sudan tribal killings as mercenaries.

As I write, they are fighting alongside a genocidal regime of president Kiir; a government that trained and armed troops to carry out the massacre of defenseless civilians on December 2013.

This showed that the Darfur rebel groups have lost their good political stand at the international stage and deserve no political and moral supports from anyone but instead ought to be condemned in the strongest terms possible for aiding in the death of South Sudan civilians.

As such President Omar Bashir should no longer be held back from playing an instrumental role in South Sudan crisis because of these trivial mercenaries/rebel groups issues.

As far as South Sudan’s crisis is concerned, Sudan’s president holds a very unique and important position. If utilized and given the leading role, he can have a positive and far lethal influence over both Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar financially and politically. This is what is lacking with the Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and Kenya but needed for peace to succeed in South Sudan.

If truth be told, the Republic of Sudan under President Bashir is the financier and life line of President Kiir and by extension the Uganda People Defense Forces (UPDF) and the SPLM/A-North, and in part the SPLM/A –IO led by Dr. Riek, according to Hon. Henry Odwar.

Sudan as a country has both political and financial leverage over these conflicting groups in South Sudan. The Ethiopians, Kenyans and Ugandans have zero leverage to gamble with.

Evidently, the Republic of Sudan allowed President Kiir to collect millions of dollars from oil production which flows through Port Sudan to the international market. Subsequently, President Kiir hired the UPDF and various Sudanese rebel groups to fight for him and against the SPLM/A rebels.

The same Sudanese rebel groups funded by President Kiir are the same group that fight President Bashir in the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile and the Darfur respectively. In reality, one needs no political science degree to figure out that President Bashir is directly or indirectly financing those who wanted to oust him by force from office.

President Bashir’s financial assistance to Kiir made president Kiir intransigent and refuses to make concessions in the peace process. If President Bashir takes the leading role in South Sudan peace talks, he can use this advantage to strangulate Kiir in case he decided to drag his feet and refused to compromise.

For SPLM/A-IO, if Hon. Henry Odwar’s utterance on the Canadian public Agency Channel early this month were true, that the SPLM/A-IO is receiving military backing from Sudan to counter Uganda involvement, then, it’s paramount to use president Bashir’s influence to bring both parties together or else.

In comparison, the Ethiopian’s Prime Minister is toothless and lacks political and financial leverages over the warring parties. For example, at any rate, if Kiir and Dr. Riek refused to negotiate peace in good faith, President Bashir can actually stop the flow of oil and support of the SPLM/A-IO if the allegation were true.

These can have positive and paralyzing influence both on the government of South Sudan under Salva and the rebels. As a result, the financial incentive for the UPDF will cease and they will call it quits while the Northern Sudan rebels’ support for Kiir will run short of supply.

On the same token, the SPLM/A-IO under Dr. Riek Machar can suffer the same fate.

This plan would be the quickest, efficient and paralyzing influence the world needs to solve South Sudan crisis. President Bashir is the only hope and paralyzing influence required to curb the rampage and intransigence of the warring parties.

Thus, without President Bashir, the Troika countries, United Kingdom and United States involvement, the pending UN’s sanctions and the Ethiopian’s Prime Minister’s empty threats will not help solve the South Sudan conflict.

Therefore, I call on the International Community and the Africa Union to endorse and support president Bashir to take leading role in efforts to bring lasting peace to South Sudan

J. Nguen is a concerned South Sudanese living in Canada. He can be reached at jamesnguen@gmail.com

‘Who will help South Sudan find peace?’

BY: Elhag Paul, Mar/10/2015, SSN;

The London Evening Standard paper recently ran a full page advert by Vice News asking: “Who will help South Sudan find peace?” file:///C:/Users/Rosemary/Downloads/Vice_news_advert.pdf (after accessing the link, please minimise the advert to see the whole advert)

Looking at this advert one can not miss concluding that the soldier appearing in it must be in some form of a transport vehicle on his way to a mission. Clad in light brown camouflage usually worn by western armies operating in desert terrain, this dominant soldier looking directly at you with squarish solid face reveals emotions of anguish. He holds the object of his trade, an AK47 with the barrel facing downwards presumably for safety reasons. He is surrounded by “comrades” to his right and back with one standing whose head is cut out of from the advert.

The bottom of the advert carries the print: “YouTube/Vice news + 974,066.” Another message in large print, partly in red and partly in black stands out on the right hand side saying, “You don’t just watch the news.” Careful study of the advert reveals two main messages. The primary purpose is business. Vice News is advertising itself to increase readership and expand its share of the media market.

The message that may get imprinted in the readers’ mind subliminally here is that Vice News will keep you informed by bringing you the rarest of news from the remotest and dangerous spots of the globe. So, don’t miss out. Subscribe!

The second message which luckily is highly noticeable is the enlightenment of the Western masses about the plight of South Sudan. While Vice News is certainly promoting its business interest it is also doing a very good service to the people of South Sudan. The question, “Who will help South Sudan find peace?” alone will prompt readers to research what is happening in that part of the world and hopefully they may be able to help by writing to their members of parliament for the issue to be taken up and looked at appropriately.

Vice News’ question has come at the right time. It coincides with the failure of IGAD in mediating the peace talks in Addis Ababa. It is now abundantly clear to the people of South Sudan that IGAD will not bring any peace for numerous reasons. Please refer to, ‘IGAD’s inadequate strategy in South Sudan’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201404140864.html

One complete year has now been wasted by IGAD in the erroneous belief that the re-unification of the rotten SPLM party will bring peace to South Sudan. This poorly researched if ever and baseless objective has now failed as expected with IGAD remaining discredited. This failure is likely to intensify the depressed state of affairs in South Sudan. One could argue that the current South Sudanese society in its collective is a disempowered society. The abuses it has undergone over the decades in the hands of Arabs of the Sudan and the SPLM in the latter part has deeply injured it and fragmented its constituent parts.

Independence in 2011 was looked at both locally and internationally as a chance to allow the society at last to have a healing space. Unfortunately, SPLM’s short sightedness coupled with its criminal mind and appalling behaviour pushed South Sudan into a very serious crisis in December 2013 leading into massive loss of life and displacement of nearly two million people.

Typical of SPLM leaders, President Salva Kiir, Dr Riek Machar and the entire SPLM machine do not care about the suffering of those displaced (within and without the country), especially those in the United Nations protection camps. What matters to them is their relentless pursuit of power. This is what preoccupies them. They are happy to destroy their tribesmen by arming them and unleashing them on each other in this endeavour without any concern for their safety and well being.

This senseless pursuit and vicious struggle for power combined with IGAD’s lack of creativity, lack of objectivity and poor mediation skills condemns South Sudanese to further destruction. Socially and psychologically broken, South Sudan’s confidence is taking serious blows from the bleak environment created by the massive failures of the three witches: SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO and SPLM G-10.

The loss of confidence in IGAD (and the international community) inevitably removes any hope the people of South Sudan have in the global structures to deliver peace. Those displaced people imprisoned in the UN Protection camps due to their ethnicities and political affiliations, and those in government controlled areas policed by the brutal security system are likely to suffer deep depression with the vividly disappearing hope.

Essentially the current system under SPLM/A as always only produces a state of paralysis, state of fear and powerlessness. The people basically are cowed down through violence to allow the beneficiaries of the system to loot the coffers of the state with impunity. This state of affairs further exacerbates the disintegration of the already broken social system.

The downside to this relentless SPLM’s terrorism (which has been going on for three decades) may lead unexpectedly to a violent uprising. All the things happening in South Sudan now are the classical ingredients of revolutions. The literature on revolutions point out that all revolutions start by decay of authority, misery and suffering of the people.

South Sudan indisputably is fast moving into that direction with the masses gradually shading their fear. Note, fear is the very food that nourishes terror and enables the SPLM to prevail. The moment the people stop fearing, that will be the end of SPLM/A in South Sudan.

The prospect of peace and stability in South Sudan indeed looks bleak under the SPLM. Even if the IGAD talks were to succeed in reconciling President Kiir and Dr Riek and re-unifying the SPLM, that would not bring the yearned for security and stability in South Sudan because essentially it would be the entrenchment of the pre 23rd July 2013 alliance of Jieng and Nuer responsible for the status quo: a vicious tribal dictatorship. All the reason Vice News asks the crucial question: “Who will help South Sudan find peace?”

This question from the outset appears to give the impression that the help must come from outside and this means the international community. True to a point, but the international community through IGAD has clearly failed and so far the world powers seem to have no appetite in decisively and conclusively sorting out South Sudan.

For if they truly wanted to help they could simply set up a new mediating body or better still a new facilitating body led by the imminent persons as already suggested in appeals to the Troika. Such a new initiative should then bring all the stakeholders to the table to hammer out a lasting solution for South Sudan.

The United Nations Security Council could easily do that but unfortunately there appears to be no will and the possible reason for this could lie in the historical interaction of Europeans and Africans. If the ethnic cleansing and the naked abuse meted on the South Sudanese people by the SPLM was outside the continent of Africa, the probability is that the UN would have invoked all the powers it has to hold SPLM to account with peace enforced as in the former Yugoslavia.

So, the real answer to the problems of South Sudan lies with the South Sudanese themselves. But as stated above, the people have been abused and disempowered. However, all is not lost. No need to despair.

With or without peace agreement among the SPLM/A, South Sudan as stated above is already ripe for a change one way or the other. The silent majority without doubt is disgusted and fed up with the SPLM tribal dictatorship.

What the people are missing now is the managed connectedness. The conversations that affirm togetherness, the sharing of information and ideas among the oppressed, the articulation of what the people want in this thing called South Sudan, which will provide the fuel for political action.

This should now squarely fall on the Diaspora and the silent leaders to facilitate if SPLM is to eventually be banished once and for all to achieve real freedom, peace and stability in South Sudan.

Which brings us to the diabolical project of SPLM reunification? This fiendish idea has all along been spearheaded by the Jieng because they stand to lose if SPLM is dismantled.

Initially it was Luka Biong who bugled it with the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa and then the Ethiopian People Democratic Revolutionary Front (EPDRF) as healers. This went nowhere as it hit the buffers. Then the Jieng think-tank known as Ebony waded in with the support of foreign nongovernmental organisation (NGO) resulting into the Arusha SPLM meeting.

South Sudan Nation website has published a brilliant and incisive editorial piece on the issue. Please see, ‘Towards SPLM unification, again? What a tragedy for South Sudan’ http://www.southsudannation.com/towards-splm-unification-again-what-a-tragedy-for-south-sudan/

However, it is important to try to understand why IGAD leaders give such a daft idea huge significance. Most if not all the countries of East Africa are led by mass political movements. For example, the National Congress Party of the Sudan, the Ethiopian People Democratic Revolutionary Front of Ethiopia, the National Resistance Movement of Uganda, Chama Cha Mapinduzi of Tanzania and so on. These political movements/parties have a false belief that they represent all of their people in their countries. They are unable to separate a country from a party.

This belief persists even when the evidence is glaringly in the open.
Take for example in Uganda, in addition to the NRM, there are more than 3 credible parties with varied ideologies yet this fact is ignored. Though this perspective is important in understanding the problem, it is a topic by itself and I will not dwell on it in this article. Suffice to say that for the purpose of this piece, the attachment element in it is what matters.

The real problem blinding the countries involved in brokering peace in South Sudan is the issue of attachment or sentimentality developed between the liberation movements in Africa and the people. This allowed these movements to achieve a politically unassailable status such as the Chama Cha Mapinduzi of Tanzania.

Because SPLM rightly or wrongly is seen as a liberation movement, the members of IGAD have taken it for granted that it represents the people of South Sudan and therefore it should not be allowed to perish.

In a sense the issue has become psychological and it depends on the subject of change and loss. The IGAD countries are terrified of change in South Sudan that sweeps SPLM away. The thought of SPLM atrophying scares the IGAD leaders because it exposes the vulnerability of these so called revolutionary movements. Thus it is seen as a contagious disease like Ebola which may infect them.

Look at it; all the movements/parties leading the IGAD countries have got their own problems and if they are to continue ruling they need to maintain the myth of invincibility. Therefore, SPLM must not be allowed to disappear and the best they can do is to patch it up.

As aging movements with mushrooming problems within them they are afraid of SPLM’s war with itself becoming a catalyst for speeding up divisions in their own movements/parties forcing a wider change in the region. This is something that the dictators of East Africa do not want at any cost.

To them if a “liberation movement” like SPLM can destroy itself without it being supported to unite and restore normality, it follows that their own movements may face such fate. This is a scary scenario for the dictators. Thus they do not want to see SPLM’s demise acting as an inspiration to their own citizens who may be enduring oppression like the South Sudanese.

Every change comes with a new situation which sweeps the old order away. What the new order brings to the dictators and their supporters is loss of power together with the unknown. The unknown generates or evokes a state of uncertainty and fear. Fear disables people and this is what makes change unwelcome to them, especially when what is coming or replacing the old order is not mentally imagined favourably.

Change always comes with loss. The system being thrown out is a loss to its leaders and supporters (beneficiaries). Loss comes with its own difficulties. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1926 – 2004) and others argue that loss occur in various situations. In death, and in separation of any sort temporary or permanent, it is met initially with denial, anger, and then blame before the final phase of acceptance when the inevitable is acknowledged. This is the bereavement process.

Now there are bereavement like situations that happen before the real loss. For instance, when somebody is struck with terminal illness like cancer. The moment the expected loss is announced, the intense pain resulting from the unexpected news bursts into denial, anger and blame and this may go on until the loss itself happens for the final part of the process of bereavement to be completed.

In politics such situation is very common because regimes and their supporters tend to know when their movements/parties’ decline and lose support of the masses; and also when the masses hate them and call for change as in the situation of South Sudan. When they sense this they basically sense atrophy of their beloved organisations and bereavement sets in.

They first begin to deny the reality and then angrily they move on to blame everybody for their predicament. This behaviour is now so common with the SPLM and its supporters. Just read the various comments in the South Sudanese websites to make full sense of the SPLMers bereaving. Their party is terminally ill and its health is fast deteriorating to death.

Therefore, the project of unification of SPLM started by Luka Biong and followed up by Ebony supported by IGAD is the initial process of bereavement. All of them are in denial of what is coming to SPLM as a “liberation movement”. They are in denial of SPLM’s already slow death.

They are in denial of the fact that SPLM does not represent the people of South Sudan. They are in denial that the people abhor the SPLM because it is a murderous organisation. They are in denial that the SPLM is a criminal organisation. They are in denial that the SPLM is divisive and has failed to govern. They are in denial that South Sudanese have other credible parties with capable leaders and so on and so forth.

Everything and everybody is to blame except the SPLM. This is the real problem of South Sudan under the mediation of IGAD. Unfortunately, IGAD and the other African countries like South Africa and Tanzania may not be aware of this blind spot because it is emanating from the unconscious mind of the organisation. They can not see it and they remain ignorant of it.

So, what can be gleaned from this behaviour of IGAD? The entire IGAD as an organisation may be depressed by the developing bereavement which may be affecting its ability to act rationally and objectively.

People familiar with knowledge of organisations as living entities afflictable by pathologies may easily see and understand the dynamics playing out here. This is the psycho-political perspective.

There is another perspective and that is the economic one whose core argument rests on the countries involved pursuing their own national interests only regardless of what happens to South Sudan. Please see ‘We must not hold South Sudan to ransom’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201410240119.html and ‘IGAD’s inadequate strategy in South Sudan’ whose URL appears above. Both perspectives appear not to offer South Sudan any hope as they do not take into consideration the welfare of South Sudan.

Given the above, IGAD should be pushed aside and a new body created to take the case of South Sudan forward. IGAD clearly is a pathological organisation needing help itself and should not be allowed to play havoc with fate of an entire country of approximately 8 million people.

Therefore, “Who will help South Sudan find peace?” The answer as stated is simple. South Sudanese have to help themselves to find peace. To understand why they must help themselves, South Sudanese need to familiarise themselves with ideas of Frederick Douglass (the American social reformer)in his historic speech, titled, “West Indian Emancipation” presented at Canandaigua, New York in 1857. For ease of reference here is the link http://www.blackpast.org/1857-frederick-douglass-if-there-no-struggle-there-no-progress

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul

elhagpaul@aol.com

The Leaked Excerpts of AU Commission of Inquiry’s Report & IGAD’s Threat of Imposing a Govt. in South Sudan

By: James Okuk, PhD, Juba Univ., MAR/07/2015, SSN;

On March 7, 2014 and based on decision of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) and after consultations with different parties involved in the outbreak of the mid-December 2013 conflict, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma appointed a Five-Member Commission of Inquiry [i.e.
1) H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo – Former President of Nigeria,
2) Lady Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo – Ghanaian and President and Justice of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights,
3) Professor Mahmood Mamdani – Ugandan and Executive Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research,
4) Ms. Bineta Diop – Senegalese and AU Chairperson’s Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security; and
5) Professor Pacifique Manirakiza – Burundian and Commissioner at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights] to “investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan, and make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities” based on the designated terms of reference: [i.e.,

1) Establish the immediate and remote causes of the conflict;
2) Investigate human rights violations and other abuses during the conflict by all parties from 15 December 2013;
3) Establish facts and circumstances that may have led to and that amount to such violations and of any crimes that may have been perpetrated;
4) Compile information based on these investigations and in so doing assist in identifying perpetrators of such violations and abuses with a view to ensuring accountability for those responsible;
5) Compile information on institutions and process or lack thereof that may have aided or aggravated the conflict resulting in violations of human rights and other abuses;
6) Make recommendations based on the investigation on the following:
a) appropriate mechanisms to prevent a recurrence of the conflict;
b) mechanisms to promote national healing and cohesiveness, particularly focusing on the need for all South Sudanese communities to live together in peace;
c) modalities for nation building, specifically focused on building of democratic institutions and post-conflict reconstruction;
d) and accountability mechanisms for gross violations of human rights and other egregious abuses to ensure that those responsible for such violations are held to account].

The Technical and Administrative Support Team for the Commission was based at the AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa. The Secretariat established necessary contacts with the AU Juba Liaison Office, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Juba, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and relevant stakeholders, so as to enable members of the Commission to amply carry out their mandate and finalize the required report.

The 60-page report was presented to the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on Jan 29, 2015 but restricted from publication so that it doesn’t spoil the atmosphere of IGAD-led peace talks. According to the excerpts from the leaked report by Reuters:

1) South Sudan’s president Kiir and his rival Riek be barred from transitional government because both of them are responsible for the political collapse in December 2013 and “the organized massacres and the large-scale violence that followed.” The violence “ethnically cleansed” the capital Juba of Nuer, who then sparked revenge attack. The conflict reopened ethnic fault lines, pitting Kiir’s Dinka people against Machar’s ethnic Nuer forces. The United Nations and aid agencies accuse both sides of Kiir and Riek of ethnic-based massacres and grave human rights violations including widespread rape and executions.

2) Ministers who were in power prior to cabinet’s dissolution in July 2013 “be barred from participation in the transitional executive” because they were accomplices in Kiir-Riek conflict and could have been involved in corrupt practices against the development and welfare of the Republic of South Sudan.

3) An AU-appointed and U.N.-backed three-person panel to effectively control and oversee a five-year transition and creation of an executive for South Sudan that would place all oil revenue in an escrow account overseen by the African Development Bank.

4) An African Oversight Force for South Sudan made up of troops “without prior involvement or direct interest in South Sudan” that would be under AU command and “the overall charge” of a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

5) The African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights, instead of the International Criminal Court, be given criminal jurisdiction over “high state officials individually responsible for war crimes and/or gross violation of human rights.”

6) United States, Britain, Norway and IGAD are to blame for creating “a politically unchallenged armed power” and “unaccountable political class” who have been acting with impunity and legitimized “rule of the gun” in South Sudan through the 2005 CPA deal. Particularly, the United States supported Kiir until it lost confidence in him in late 2013. Washington had hoped he could oversee a stable, oil-producing, majority Christian state allied to the West in contrast to neighboring Muslim-led Sudan, which is hostile to Washington.

Now, by trying to connect the dots for sensibility of the report, you could detect from March 6, 2015 press release by the Ethiopian Prime Minister and Chair of IGAD after declaring the collapse of the latest session of Government-SPLM/A (IO) peace talks in Addis Ababa, that the region together with the UN could impose ‘by all means’ a transitional government for South Sudan by July 2015 (perhaps including the Cote d’Ivoire President Laurent Gbagbo ousting model, justified by his illegitimacy in holding power beyond elections mandate and Angola Jonas Sabimbi’s crushing model, justified by his intransigency on continuous rebellion).

This might mean that the recommended joint AU-U.N ‘trusteeship’ would be effected to oversee a five-year transition and creation of an executive for the Republic of South Sudan and place oil revenue in an escrow account overseen by the African Development Bank.

It could be sensed that such AU-UN sovereign controllers would rule the country in collaboration with some selected South Sudanese technocrats. What is yet to be known in details is whether the proposed AU-UN panel that shall be handed sovereignty of South Sudan would be doing it by ‘remote or proximity control.’

It shall be impossible for one country to have many governments claiming the same sovereign power at the same time. That is, how will the AU-UN imposed government operate inside the country successfully side-by-side with Dr. Riek Machar’s declared federal bush-government and with President Salva Kiir’s city-government?

How would South Sudanese technocrats who shall participate in such imposed alien government be perceived by the public? May be betrayers versus patriots, depending on where someone who judges stands.

The possible aliens’ intervention into the Republic of South Sudan is now imminent if our leaders don’t come into their proper senses and see politics clearly the way critical analysts see it. “By all means” would then mean including military takeover of the government of South Sudan by AU-UN peacekeeping forces and crushing the rebels’ government if it doesn’t comply with peace that is imposed by the superpowers.

Surely, our political leaders are to blame for this unfortunate situation of opening the country to aliens’ intervention. This would have not come if the internal front of all legal political forces were united for securing the dignity of their country. The price of disunity is always fall and collapse of sovereignty, nationalism and patriotism. We might even reach a day to say “there was a country” called South Sudan, God forbids!

However, perhaps, the stalled IGAD peace talks is going to be a blessing in disguise for the serious and concerned nationalists of the Republic of South Sudan (intellectuals, politicians, religious leaders, civil society leaders and ethnic sages) to rethink out alternative internal avenues of finding a lasting peace and rescuing the hard won independence dignity of the Republic of South Sudan from aliens’ or betrayers’ grabs.

The IGAD mediation deadlock on peace negotiations could open a ripen opportune for an urgent calling of an inclusive national peace and governance conference in Juba before the AU and UN reach the tipping point of taking over the country from both the government and the rebels by July 2015.

It could be learning by hard ways after our leaders have knocked their heads on hard walls of tough choices between war and peace, and after they have gotten humiliated and chickened by threats of sanctions. Keep crying my beloved country!

It is now time for the honest nationalists of the Republic of South Sudan to come together as soon as possible and deliberate on available avenues of securing a dignified fate of their beloved and embattled country, before giving a foolish chance to outsiders to decide for them via regrets.

It is high time to abandon politicized selfishness and embrace altruism for the common good of the new nation in the making.

———————————————-
Dr. James Okuk is a lecturer and political analyst in the area of politics. He can be reached at okukjimy@hotmail.com.

Exclusive: Bar South Sudan Kiir & Machar from transition govt – AU Inquiry draft

Exclusive: Bar South Sudan leaders from transition – inquiry draft
Reuters News | Mar 05, 2015, SSN

By Michelle Nichols and Aaron Maasho;

(Reuters) – LATEST: Peace talks between South Sudan’s government and rebels adjourned on Friday and there was no date set for the next meeting, a mediation official said.

UNITED NATIONS/ADDIS ABABA – A much-anticipated African Union inquiry calls for South Sudan’s president and his rival, Riek Machar, to be barred from a transitional government and for the oil-producing country to effectively be placed under AU control, say sources and a draft of the report.

The recommendations are directly at odds with a peace deal being negotiated that would retain Salva Kiir as president and appoint rebel leader Riek Machar as deputy. The two are holding talks this week in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on forming a unity government.

Fighting between forces loyal to Kiir and rebels allied with Machar plunged South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, into a civil war in December 2013. At least 10,000 people have been killed and 1.5 million civilians displaced.

The inquiry blamed the United States, Britain and Norway for creating “a politically unchallenged armed power” by backing a 2005 peace deal that “ushered in an unaccountable political class”.

The findings were to be presented to the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on Jan. 29 but the body shelved publication of the report. The inquiry’s findings have not been released due to fears its publication could disrupt peace negotiations, say diplomats in the 54-state African Union.

Reuters obtained a 60-page draft of the inquiry, which a source close to the five-member inquiry panel said was produced in October. The same recommendations of barring Kiir and Machar from a transitional government were included in a new draft in January, the sources told Reuters.

Kiir sacked Machar as his deputy in July 2013, sparking the crisis. The United Nations and aid agencies accuse both sides of ethnic-based massacres and grave human rights violations including widespread rape and executions.

The United States supported Kiir until it lost confidence in him in late 2013. Washington had hoped he could oversee a stable, oil-producing, majority Christian state allied to the West in contrast to neighboring Muslim-led Sudan, which is hostile to Washington.

The conflict reopened ethnic fault lines, pitting Kiir’s Dinka people against Machar’s ethnic Nuer forces.

The violence “ethnically cleansed” the capital Juba of Nuer, who then sparked revenge attacks, said the draft of the inquiry obtained by Reuters.

The inquiry, led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, holds Kiir and Machar responsible for the political collapse in December 2013 and “the organized massacres and the large-scale violence that followed.”

“RULE OF THE GUN”

The draft recommended that members of the South Sudan government, including the president, vice president and ministers in power before the cabinet’s dissolution in July 2013 “be barred from participation in the transitional executive.”

It called for an AU-appointed and U.N.-backed three-person panel to oversee a five-year transition and the creation of a transitional executive that would place all oil revenue in an escrow account overseen by the African Development Bank.

It recommended the creation of an African Oversight Force made up of troops “without prior involvement or direct interest in South Sudan” that would be under AU command and “the overall charge” of a U.N. peacekeeeping mission.

It does not specify how many troops would make up the force. There are already some 11,500 U.N. peacekeepers in South Sudan.

Fighting has continued despite a truce signed a month ago by Kiir and Machar, who aim to form a transitional government of national unity by July 9. The current peace talks in Addis Ababa will extend beyond a Thursday deadline set by mediators.

The inquiry blamed some of South Sudan’s problems on the United States, Britain, Norway and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an eight-country Eastern African trading bloc known as IGAD, who were behind a 2005 deal paving the way for South Sudan’s 2011 independence from Sudan.

It said they helped to establish “a politically unchallenged armed power in South Sudan” that acted with impunity and legitimized “rule of the gun.”

Officials from the United States and Britain declined to comment on a document they said they had not seen. Officials from South Sudan, IGAD and Norway were not immediately available for comment.

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday urged public release of the findings. The United States, Britain and Norway last month called for the report’s release.

The draft obtained by Reuters recommends that the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights, instead of the International Criminal Court, be given criminal jurisdiction over “high state officials individually responsible for war crimes and/or gross violation of human rights.”

(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by David Storey, Jason Szep and James Dalgleish)

UN Security Council OKs sanctions for South Sudan

New York – (NEWS 24), MAR/04/2015, SSN; The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Tuesday creating a system to impose sanctions on those blocking peace in South Sudan, hoping it will press rival leaders into ending a conflict that has killed tens of thousands in the world’s newest country.

The Secretary-General takes note of the unanimous passage of Resolution 2206 (2015) by the Security Council this morning, establishing a sanctions regime on South Sudan. He reminds both parties that the best way to avoid the enactment of actual sanctions by the Security Council, is to strictly adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities agreement of 23 January 2014, fully comply with International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, extend their full cooperation to United Nations and humanitarian personnel in the discharge of their mandates and duties, and conclude a Comprehensive Peace Agreement that places South Sudan back on the path to stability and prosperity.

The resolution drafted by the United States says an arms embargo is possible if the warring sides can’t stick to a peace deal. Talks between the government and rebels continue this week in Ethiopia, with a Thursday deadline to reach a decisive peace agreement.

“Those who frustrate peace must begin to pay the price,” US Ambassador Samantha Power said.

The resolution doesn’t explicitly name South Sudan President Salva Kiir or rebel leader Riek Machar as possible targets for sanctions that would include an asset freeze and travel ban, but it says people affected could include “leaders of any entity”.

Peace talks

Multiple cease-fires in South Sudan have failed during more than a year of fighting that has had ethnic overtones. Two million people have been displaced.

South Sudan’s rebels on Tuesday warned that the latest peace talks could fail if the government does not make concessions, especially on the issue of how to share power in a possible unity government. Kiir arrived in Ethiopia early Tuesday to attend direct talks with Machar.

The resolution comes after months of threats by the US and others to impose sanctions over the conflict, though some countries had wanted more support for the idea from regional actors such as the African Union. As time passed, international calls for action grew.

The UN director for Human Rights Watch, Philippe Bolopion, welcomed Tuesday’s approval after months of hesitation but said, “The elephant in the room is the long overdue arms embargo, sadly absent from this resolution”.

Monitoring groups have described South Sudan as being awash in weapons after its long fight to split from Sudan ended in its independence in 2011.

Power sharing agreement

South Sudan’s UN ambassador, Francis Deng, quickly warned the council that sanctions would be counterproductive, especially as the country’s people suffer. “What the president and the government of South Sudan need is encouragement and support, not condemnation,” he said.

Deng said he hoped the council will not actually impose sanctions.

Russia’s support was grudging at best. Deputy Permanent Representative Petr Iliichev said the decision to impose sanctions was hasty and that any negative effects of Tuesday’s action should be blamed on those who pushed the resolution in spite of Russia’s warnings.

“Pushing the protagonists into a corner will not change anything” and will further complicate the peace process, he said.

China’s ambassador spoke out on Friday against the resolution, saying he saw no logic in it, but Liu Jieyi on Tuesday simply expressed his hope that the warring sides would quickly reach a compromise. China’s interest is focused on South Sudan’s oil production.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement on Tuesday night urged Kiir and Machar to show leadership and “make the necessary compromises” for a power-sharing agreement that would help end the conflict.

– AP

You can’t straighten an object’s shadow without first straightening the object itself’

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, South Sudanese, FEB/28/2015, SSN;

Following the conspicuous absence of President Salva Kiir Mayardit from what is largely supposed to be final round of the IGAD mediated Peace Talks for South Sudan, many observers begun to doubt the sincerity of the Juba administration to realise an inclusive just peace in a country ravaged by a civil war of its own making.

Also of concern to all is the implication of what seems to be an ill-intentioned absenteeism given the fact that any backtracking from previous signed positions by any of the principals of the two warring factions will adversely destroy any chances of bringing peace back to this new African country.

However there is much that in president Salva Kiir‘s absence than that meets the eyes. In a personal interview President Kiir gave a statement to the Kenyan Daily Nation in its Thursday, February 26, 2015 edition under the heading: “Why Machar will not be my Number 2”.

You may forgive me for not being keen to go into the details of President Kiir’s interview with the Kenyan Daily Nation which can be accessed by following the link provided below :http://www.nation.co.ke/news/politics/Kiir-Why-Machar-will-not-be-my-Number-2/-/1064/2636950/-/7sx1q/-/index.html

However for the purpose of this article it suffices to know that contrary to previously signed agreements between himself and Dr Riek Machar, the president has abundantly made it clear that he is reneging on all those agreements and won’t be sharing any power with Dr Riek Machar Teny, a man who served as his deputy for nearly eight calendar years.

Yet it all seems to me that President Salva Kiir Mayardit was not only being blatantly obvious, but what he said should in fact have been the case from the very beginning given the great visionary disparity and apparent incomparability and incompatibility between the two men.

And to be very fair to all – it really takes a lot of sacrifice from any learned person to accept being second to an individual like Kiir who shouldn’t be presiding over a sovereign country to start with, although it was only those several unplanned events that brought him to the top office.

The African Union, the IGAD and the international community have all said that President Salva Kiir should have kept his word when he signed a deal to attend the final rounds of the Peace Talks that kicked off in Addis Ababa on 20/02/2015.

The United Nations Security Council and the US administration have both talked of possible sanctions plus or minus arms embargo on individuals or entities who directly or through their policies are seen to be blocking the progress of the peace talks.

Well to say the least, President Salva Kiir now squarely lies in that category of “spoiler” of peace and rightly deserves all sanctions from ban on global travel to freezing of assets, of course a heavy embargo on the flow of arms to his notorious army and allied militias.

It is equally important that the UNSC understand that the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) is part of the ongoing war in South Sudan and must also be included in the arms embargo and any other sanctions for that matter.

Any attempt to exclude President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda from facing similar sanctions as his partner in crime President Salvatore Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan will not bring about the anticipated outcome.

In fact the only way to have an effective and water-tight sanctions is by including the Ugandan military and political leadership into the lot as a share of their role in sustaining the crazy war and directly engaging in the battles.

Museveni and his UPDF must taste their share of the bitter medicine soon to be declared by the UNSC, be it in the form of sanctions or ban on foreign travels or freezing of all assets and a total arms embargo.

It will not be too much for international justice to demand that both Museveni and his friend Salva Kiir Mayardit enjoy equal level of punishment. Together the duo are partners in the crime of setting South Sudan ablaze. This should remain so until such a time that they are both prepared to negotiate peace in good faith. I rest my case.

As for my fellow compatriots in the reform camp, urgently reconsidering our priorities where we stand now could mean the difference between succeeding and failing.

To allow for a timely achievement of the tabled list of reforms, it is necessary to adequately reprioritise these programs, for otherwise there is a real risk of not being able to implement them any time soon.

Informed by the quickly changing dynamics of both the political and socio-economic parameters of our joint struggle for a peaceful coexistence and regardless of whether at this stage one believes in the IGAD mediated talks or not, certain things are much of foregone issues.

However there is one truth that all reformists in South Sudan need to know at this particular point in time and it is the one fact that Salva Kiir and reforms can never coexist in the same administration. In other words there is no daylight between the two. Each one will do everything to obstruct and eventually eliminate the other.

So if you are indeed a person or a group who is contemplating to see reforms dawn in South Sudan then you are practically only left with this one single priority and that is to partake in the removal and disposal of Kiir administration from power as a first step towards any anticipated national reforms.

Salva Kiir Mayardit and his administration are the very opposites of reform and they can never at any time become your partners in actualizing any dreams which are more likely than not to bring an end to their corruption riddled existence.

Everyone who believes in reforms for that matter should have long known that allowing Salva Kiir to continue running the country under any pretext is in itself a defeat to the very realisation of any reforms how big or small they be.

It doesn’t any more whether he extents his stay in power through a manipulated approval by his rubber stamped parliament or as a part of a hard won transitional government of national unity.

You are not expecting Salva Kiir to negotiate himself out of office and negotiate his bitter enemies (the reformists) into power, are you? I hope not, otherwise you are being naïve and rather simplistic.

For as top as Kiir is now on the list as the most powerful person in Juba (obviously not all over South Sudan any more), his removal from power should equally top the list of any constructive reform agenda aimed at salvaging whatever is left of our beautiful country.

It is only after getting the priorities right then and only then can reformists celebrate the start of a new dawn characterized by a good and focused campaign.

And regardless of how tough the implementation of each and every stage might seem, yet down inside we also know that every step the struggle takes is being informed by a total conviction not to compromise its very basics – the Peoples’ quest for Justice, Good Governance, Equality, Economic Prosperity, Accountability, Stability and Peaceful Coexistence which is now in full gear.

After all no one in their right state of mind will even for a second consider being second to Kiir as an end in itself.

In another turn of event I found it quite refreshing to read the article by Bol Mathieng A, titled: “Lack of Accountability and Causes of Current Political Instability: A Case of South Sudan,” which appeared in the southsudannation.com, Feb/26/2015, and SSN; http://www.southsudannation.com/lack-of-accountability-and-causes-of-current-political-instability-a-case-of-south-sudan/

Although it was ironically written entirely to project President Salva Kiir Mayardit as the only saint in the midst of SPLM political sinners, I still consider it another beautiful article in a long series of articles that not only condemn the rampant corruption that continues to engulf South Sudan, but also one that went on to suggest accountability as the way forward.

The article was absolutely on spot when it pointed out that the current sad state of affairs in the country could have been avoided if only we had a competent leadership and administration from the word go in 2005 to deter the widespread corruption and glaring impunity displayed by the incumbent Salva Kiir’s “rotten to core” administration.

However when we talk about the introduction of accountability as suggested by the author, Bol Mathieng A, as a one important aspect which has completely been absent since the beginning of the CPA era of the SPLM administration under Salva Kiir Mayardit, it will be an impartial demand to see to it that all are held responsible – from top to bottom or better still to put it in the authors’ own words,” regardless of the title of the culprit”.

Being in total agreement with Bol Mathiang in his suggestion for a national pursuit of an impunity free South Sudan as an entrance to a peaceful and stable South Sudan, although I wonder how much thought has he given to the fact that for such line of thought to succeed, it is paramount to hold each and every one who wronged the people of South Sudan accountable beginning with those who abused the public office the most!

In such a top down approach the weeding of corruption must start right at the top from the office of the president – then the naming and shaming can successful be allowed to proceed down that gradient.

The logic is that had the person at the top acted promptly on corruption from day one, given the fact that he wields more constitutional powers in the country than anyone else, then we would be today living in a corruption and impunity free South Sudan.

However no one should attempt to sell us the “too cheap” narrative that the president was indeed a saint in the middle of a cabinet of sinners who in fact were his own buddies.

Birds of the same feather flock together – and this explains why the president never took an action past his “in famous” letter writing, to either pin corruption right in the bud or to weed it afterwards.

For all practical purposes when cannot be so blinded to the obvious that the true salvation of South Sudan lies outside the incumbent administration, given the fact the administration all across its decade long history has repeatedly resorted to corrupt means of extracting loyalty from the few that it succeeded to blackmail using what literary amounts to an institutionalized trend of a nationwide corruption and impunity network.

You may agree with me that, ‘you can never straighten an object’s shadow without first straightening the object itself’.

Author: Dr Justin Ambago Ramba. The Voice for the voiceless all across South Sudan.

The Problem of Nimule Jienge scramble for Ma’diland

BY DAVID AJU KANYARA, JUBA, FEB/28/2015, SSN;

The problem of Guru (Nimule) is like the Hydra; the daughter of Gaia, whose head when cut off, a few will spring up — even more dreadful than the previous! In the case of Guru (Nimule), Hydra is the goddess of greed and lust for power, personified in few individuals at the center of an intricate and big web (exclusive clubs) with their leaders in the center of each web.

Essentially we have four major nightclubs: Juba nightclub, Torit nightclub, Nimule nightclub and Kampala nightclub (still emerging).

Juba is the epicenter (the mother) of all the dramas in Ma’diland. Her ultimate goal is to take over Ma’diland, for the benefit of the Jieng and she is doing so with the help of a handful, less than 1 %, corrupt and greedy sons and daughters of Ma’di.

In the Words of Gen Martin Kenyi, these few are the loudest, I would add amplified by Juba.

The below chart illustrate the actors who are involved in scramble for Ma’diland:(Chart unavailable)

In Ma’diland the epicenter of the drama is Nimule, with late Kisire being the leader of the Nimule nightclub – for over the last 7 years. However his demise is switching the center of power to Abila (to the Ganyipira group).

During Kisire’s reign, the Abila group was subdued and Kisire’s nightclub had monopoly of power. His demise has left a vacuum in his nightclub, which now Abila group is trying to fill.

The demise of Kisire and his senior aide (the two were recently assassinated in Nimule) is subject to many speculations and conspiracy theories, but one can’t rule out the Abila group from having a hand. Both Abila group and Kisire group have Juba as their power base. It is widely believed that Juba fell out with Kisire and found favor with Abila group, which led to the demise of the former leader’s demise.

The epicenter in Torit is governor Lobong and his deputy Jerome Surur. Lobong survival in the past was due to partly his seemingly unwavering support to the power base in Juba. Some insiders also said he bribes Juba with kilos of gold, to remain in power. December 15 came as a blessing for Lobong to remain in power. Juba has power serious issues to deal with, than worry about removing Lobong from power.

For now Juba would rather keep him in power than fire him and risk the anger of the Toposa – if not a sizable number of disgruntled Equatorians.

Currently in the center of Nimule nightclub is the power-broker, little David Eriga, who acts as a go-between broker with Torit and Nimule. Eriga however has got no influence, neither in Nimule nor in Torit. The day he losses favor of Torit, he may face the fate of chief Ajugo.

Insiders from government have it that Ajugo found his death in the hands of a Dinka man sent from Juba. The security apparatus in Juba knows this well, but as a escape-goat to cover the plot, Ma’di community leaders got rounded up and jailed and tortured for months.

At the end, the case died without the killer of our chief being brought to face justice and to this date justice did not prevail to dry up the tears of mourning mother, wives and children of late Ajugo.

Bilal is also a power-broker just like little Eriga. In the past he had direct access to the power-base in Juba through a men like Salva Matok (Kiir’s close confidante and former interior minister). But over the last 24 months, things have changed dramatically for him, and Bilal’s relevance to Juba power-base has diminished much to ZERO.

In fact Bilal has no influence by himself and his power to intimidate his fellow Ma’di was taken away from him immediately after Salva Matok lost his power. Bilal’s survival depends on the expectations from the benefits of the promises he makes to Juba and Torit.

The day he losses favor of Juba, his fate may not be any different from that of Kisire and Gwanya. If and when that happens, many Ma’di boys will get themselves in detention falsely accused of murder.

Another pseudo-power, that of Igga Emilio, whose place in this complex of social dramas is worth head scratching. He is caught between the expectations of the Ma’di community and the interest of power base in Juba. The rather cozy relation Emilio has with Kisire’s group in the past made the Ma’di community to look at him with suspicion.

Months before coming to take his new job as Chief Area Administrator, the relationship between Emilio and Kisire’s group was already badly damaged. The demise of Kisire put a final nail on the relationship between Emilio and Kisire’s group (which’s almost now dismantled)!

Today the relevance of Emilio to Torit is also fast diminishing. The arbitrary arrest of his community members on allegations of being rebels of Gen. Kenyi has put Emilio in very awkward position. Emilio being trusted less by his power-base in Torit, and he is seen helpless if not irrelevant by many members of his Madi community.

Though he has a military background, a brigadier without any army to command is not commander. It is hard to speculate on Emilio’s fate but Juba is merciless to those who are not useful in the ploy to achieve its priced objectives- THE MA’DI LAND.

It is important the rest of South Sudan, Equatoria in particular, study this case very closely because it lays bare the playbook of the Jieng council of elders in turning South Sudan into Dinkaland! We are reminded of the Colonial powers, DIVIDE AND CONQUER!, the born-to-rule!

Somewhere outside the web, are Gen. Kenyi and his boys, who believe it is the personal responsibility for every Equatorian to rescue South Sudan from Juba. For now Juba thinks Kenyi is only a nuisance – mere irritations. But when that irritation starts to get more and more, Ma’diland will be an epicenter of a bigger drama – that may become serious concern to Juba leading to genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Ma’di people in the name of fighting rebels, playbook scenario seen in the Nuerland and Juba itself.

Only few months ago when Jada Tibi struck two trucks on Nimule Juba-road, Juba become very concerned. It was not possible to ignore the irritation Kenyi caused to Juba. If only Juba can learn a lesson from the past, it will avoid making the same mistake again and again.

As for the power-base in Juba, its commitment to subdue Ma’di people and grab the land of the natives is something which seems to be a raison d’etre for people like Mathok and the belligerent, notorious information and official spokesman of RoSS Minister Michael Makuei Lueth.

Somewhere in the outskirts are Ann Itto, the acting secretary of SPLA, and Former Ambassador John Andruga, who are fighting for their political survivals. Whereas he has failed to find relevance in Juba, John Andruga is trying to rediscover himself through his farming project.

As for Anne Itto, she is just hanging around – without whatsoever predictable future. Both Ann Itto and John Andruga have no influence in Juba – either negative or positive. Their inability to explain their helplessness has put them in rather the bad books of a big block of the Ma’di community members.

For now the whole of Ma’di, community is left like a volcano waiting to explode. A volcano is a chaotic system, and in chaos one can only expect of strange attractor, either a subset of phase, where all trajectories strive.

The way things are, the global dynamics of the complex web where Hydra of Guru lives is difficult to predict with certainty. But one thing is sure, one problem temporarily solved in Ma’diland brings a new one, just like the new heads of Hydra spring up from a cut.

Now there is no brand of unknown faces coming in Nimule and Ma’di land in the name of peace and coexistence between the host community and their uninvited guests, the Dinka Economic Displaced Persons/EDPs, mainly from Jonglei.

The Juba-based government has recently carried intimidation and bullying arrests, and constant disappearances including recent unlawful kidnapping of Deputy Lopirigo Lagu Jabakana, who was snatched– for a better word– kidnapped when he was attending the funeral of his relative in the village of Arapi, Amoria, Pageri boma.

He was snatched three weeks ago till this date nothing is known by his family of his whereabouts. It seems the government has succeeded in its bullying of the citizens into silence.

The new leader of Nightclub, supported by David Eriga with the money given by Reconcile International, a long local NGO based in Yei being funded by Danish Church Aid. These organizations have committed crimes by drafting irrelevant Memorandum of understanding between the Dinka Squatters in Nimule and these few corrupt indigents to attempt to legalize the squatters, displaced and robbers the Ma’di land.

This document if signed will give permanent habitat for the Jieng Nomads who decided to squat permanently and occupy the Ma’di land.

Again, let those with eyes see and those with ears hear what is happening in the Ma’diland where the playbook of the colonial and the born-to-rule dark policy of the Jienge is displayed in broad daylight, for after her, this shall be replicated all over South Sudan, Equatoria in particular.

The government of Kiir is using the country’s money to bribe, corrupt and starve the desperate indigents to the benefit of the Jieng. As it may seem believed but also uttered by them, they fought for their independence from the Arabs, now we have to fight them for ours!

They are forgetting, South Sudan’s journey to independence was unequivocally born in Equatoria, amplified by the Nuer (Anya-nya II) and celebrated in Juba (Equatoria land). While the Jieng fought and died for a united Sudan, the rest of the 63 tribes never wavered from an INDEPENDENT SOUTH SUDAN, for which we shed our blood and will continue to do so FOR THE NATURAL RIGHT TO LIVE IN OUR ANCESTRAL LANDS!

David Aju Kanyara

“The voice of the voiceless”

Machar shouldn’t be rewarded with position of first vice-president: Kiir

By: Fred Oluoch, NATION REPORTER, FEB/28/2015, SSN;

As the South Sudan peace process continues in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, President SALVA KIIR spoke with The EastAfrican at State House in Juba.

QUESTION-1: You have often complained about Igad mediators unnecessarily postponing talks even when the two parties are making progress. Do you believe Igad can successfully mediate a lasting peace?

Pres. Kiir: If they don’t change the current tactics which they are using, then they will not bring peace. Whenever there is a recess and the parties go back to their principals for consultations, they always have the agenda which was on the table.

But when the parties resume discussions with full briefing from their principals, the mediators often shelve the agenda that was on the table and bring new issues which the two protagonist parties did not consult about. Such an approach cannot bring peace.

QUESTION-2: As the president of South Sudan, why do you think your country is facing an internal war only three years after Independence?

KIIR: The conflict came as a result of personal ambitions of individuals who wanted to take power by illegal means because they were afraid that they would not be elected if they went to the people. They opted for a military coup; when they failed; they transformed themselves into a guerrilla insurgency.

Q-3: Your close associates have categorically said that Dr Riek Machar can never be your number two. Are you ready to work with Dr Machar without reservation or retribution?

KIIR: Well, my personal position and that of my party is that Dr Machar should not be the First Vice President. He can come in as number three like what was agreed on in Addis Ababa last August. He wanted the position of prime minster and I accepted despite the fact that we don’t have it in the Constitution.

But when the proposed government structure was put forward by the mediators, they put president, vice president, prime minister, two deputies and then the council of ministers. Dr Machar rejected it because he wanted to be an executive prime minister who will exercise all the powers in the country and the president becomes ceremonial. He was told ‘no, because this was an elected executive president.’

If you want to be an executive prime minister or president, then you wait for elections and keep out of this government.’ He wanted to share executive powers with the president and yet these powers were given by the people.

Q-4: The Arusha Accord of January 21, talked about reforms within SPLM as a way forward. Do you think the fighting could have been avoided if SPLM had initiated internal reforms earlier as had been demanded by Dr Machar’s group?

KIIR: Talks of internal reforms are not new because we have been talking about reforms in the SPLM even when we were fighting Khartoum. But the problem is that many of the people who are now spearheading the rebellion were not part of the movement and were co-operating with Khartoum. So they know less about SPLM than those of us who stayed.

Q-5: Do you believe the Arusha Accord that seeks to reunite the three factions of SPLM can be used as a stepping stone for a final peace settlement?

Kiir: I believe that it laid the foundation people can work from, if all of us are sincere about the wellbeing of South Sudan. But that is not what Dr Machar wants. He wants by all means to be the president and if he cannot get it on the negotiating table, then he has the military option to defeat the government and take over government

Q-6: It has been said that you also strongly believe in a military option.

Kiir: Well, I don’t believe in a military option because I have been fighting for many years and I know the difficulties of war. When we were fighting the Sudan government, Dr Machar was in Khartoum after rebelling against Dr John Garang in 1991 — just like he did in 2013. Slaughtering innocent civilians and later on enjoying the support of Khartoum and he was fighting us as the militia of Sudan.

But all the same, he was hoping that Khartoum would defeat us, which did not happen. So he decided to surrender fully, signed an agreement with Khartoum and became number four in the hierarchy of the National Congress Party. So he does not understand the dynamics of the war.

Q-7: Do you believe that this final session of the Addis Ababa peace talks will bring a lasting peace?

KIIR: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development [Igad] can only bring the conflict to an end if it can differentiate between coup plotters and normal conflict. The problem is that Igad is treating the coup plotters as innocent people who simply protested against the government, yet there was nothing wrong with the government.

We did not differ on our objectives or any issue. We were discussing internal issues within the ruling Sudan’s People Liberation Movement (SPLM). So the group which was not contented with whatever was happening in government, because they found themselves out of the government, resorted to violence. But the mediators in Addis Ababa are not taking these issues into account.

Q-8:Are you saying the issues of the coup and rebellion should be highlighted and not mixed up with the need to stop the fighting and people’s suffering?

KIIR: The situation in South Sudan is different, for instance, from what happened in Kenya in 2007/2008 where violence was caused by the results of the elections. That is why the region came in to talk about power-sharing between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga. This was definitely a conflict over the results of the elections but in our case, it was a coup.

Where in the world is somebody who planned a coup brought in to share power that he wanted to take wholly for himself?

Q-9: South Sudan has applied to be a member of the East African Community. But some in your government are wary that this could stifle the growth of the manufacturing sector. What is your position?

Kiir: I believe that joining the EAC has benefits. We are not producing anything besides the oil, but we believe that we can contribute to the EAC because we have abundant fertile land yet we have no capacity to engage in commercial agriculture for export.

People in other EAC countries have the technology and the capacity to do that. I believe agriculture will uplift the livelihood of our people, so the people who have fears will later on understand that joining EAC is in their best interest. END
————————

LATEST: South Sudanese Pres. Salva Kiir says he will not accept Dr Riek Machar, who led a rebellion against him, as the first vice-president in the current peace negotiations.

In an exclusive interview with The EastAfrican from State House, Juba, Pres. Kiir said he would only agree to Dr Machar coming in at position three as the second vice-president or non-executive prime minister.

PERSONAL POSITION

“My personal position and the position of my party is that Machar should not be the first-vice president. He can come in as number three as agreed in Addis Ababa in August last year. He wanted the position of prime minister and I accepted, despite the fact that we don’t have it in the Constitution.

“But when the pecking order was put forward by the mediators, they had the president, vice-president, prime minister, two deputies and council of ministers. Machar rejected it because he wanted to be an executive prime minister who will exercise all the powers and the president becomes ceremonial. He was told ‘no’, because this was an elected executive president. If you want to be an executive prime minister or president, then you wait for elections and keep out of this government. He wanted to share executive powers with the president and yet these powers were given by the people,” Mr Kiir said.

President Kiir added that the Igad talks in Addis Ababa after violence broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, could only end the conflict if the mediators acknowledged that Dr Machar’s men were “coup plotters”.

He also spoke about the pressure from regional leaders and his views on claims that Kenya supports the Machar group.

In Summary
President Kiir added that the Igad talks in Addis Ababa after violence broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, could only end the conflict if the mediators acknowledged that Dr Machar’s men were “coup plotters”.

In an exclusive interview with The EastAfrican from State House, Juba, President Kiir said he would only agree to Dr Machar coming in at position three as the second vice-president or non-executive prime minister.

(From The EastAfrican)