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It’s Time for A Nonviolent Revolution in South Sudan to remove all SPLM/A Leaders!

By: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, MAY/03/2017, SSN;

South Sudan has arrived at a point where SOMETHING HAS TO HAPPEN But what that something shouldn’t be, is VIOLENT. Changing governments through violence has never bred any peaceful, inclusive and democratic governance. Violent removal of leaders leaves behind bottled-up bitterness, which usually results in another violent removal.

But we all agree that the government in Juba is not only a failure, but also a destructive, myopic force for any peaceful coexistence of South Sudanese.

While I believe South Sudanese leaders have committed unspeakable and horrendous atrocities, I don’t necessarily see them as bad people. They are just horrible quasi-politicians, who failed to transition from a militarized tradition to a purely, democratized political system.

Additionally, I don’t see them necessarily, contrary to how Alex de Waal’s perceives them, as people who maliciously went out of their way to consciously design a destructive system. Disorganized and jittery of Khartoum’s attitude toward the South, and lacking creative leadership capacities, South Sudanese leaders got lost in the complexities of state-building.

SPLM leaders had no ideological base and creative internal avenues to solve their problems. Lack of leadership, tribalized politics and the general desire to be powerful and wealthy, destroyed South Sudanese leaders.

Instead of focusing on solving their internal political problems, they resorted to building their tribo-military bases to defend themselves against their imagined and real politico-military enemies. This helped create a system in which what politicians and military leaders did was to compete in a survivalist system.

It was about survival. And in a survivalist system, what you need are people you can trust and people who support you no matter what. Sadly, in South Sudan, these people turn out to be one’s fellow tribesmen.

Since these leaders have tribalized the military and politics in a survivalist system, it’ll be almost impossible for them to be the ones to make South Sudan a peaceful environment. They have to be forced out as they’ll not leave on their own accord. Nonviolent defiance is the only way to force these leaders to change.

In 2008, it had to take the intervention of elder statesmen like Joseph Lagu and Abel Alier to avert the crisis. In march of 2013, these leaders failed to compromise their differences so they postponed the problem. In December of 2013, instead of resolving their differences, they resorted to public ridiculing of themselves.

There was no reason why these leaders couldn’t reconcile their differences. Problem-solving is what leadership is about. What John Garang did in Rumbek in 2004 could have been a superb example. Sometimes the leader has to eat a humble pie to avert a crisis.

December 15 crisis was a result of lack of internal mechanism within SPLM to solve problems. This is the problem that continues to break South Sudan apart, and will continue to do so.

But once given a golden opportunity through the Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) in 2015, they shamefully squandered the only chance for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in July of 2016. Greed, incompetence and lack of strategic vision continues to plague South Sudanese leadership.

In the light of this, it’s time for South Sudanese from all walks of life and from all tribes in all towns and villages in South Sudan to shout ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.’ The war has to end!

But the war will NEVER end as long as SPLM is in charge. The current leaders need to be forced out. However, they can’t be forced out violently. They need to be forced out peacefully.

Students, women, youth, wounded veterans, civil servants, shopkeepers, religious leaders, police, prison wardens, need to occupy government offices and Dr. John Garang’s mausoleum until Juba accept to bring peace. Villages and towns should refuse to fight for any rebel groups. SPLM forces should refuse to fight for leaders who don’t care about anyone; those who have brought the country to its knees.

It’s time for the war to stop; but it’ll not stop as long as we continue to support these leaders. We praise these leaders when they brought the very conditions that are now killing civilians.

In 12 years, all that SPLM and SPLA have brought South Sudanese is misery. SPLM is too deformed to be reformed, to use John Garang’s words.

It’s time for Juba to be led by fresh and younger eyes. SPLA and SPLM have done their jobs. It’s time for the names of the mighty two to be archived as someone once suggested. President Kiir and senior military leaders need to be replaced by younger, non-tribal military leaders. You can tell me “good luck with that!” but that’s the necessary reality: they have to go!

There’s nothing left for SPLM leaders to bring to South Sudanese accept destruction, misery and destitution. The people of South Sudan are more powerful than a few politicians. Take your country back! It’s time for a South Sudanese revolution!

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese author living in Canada. For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.com

Crisis of the Judiciary of South Sudan: A Leadership Problem NOT Lack of Resources

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, LLB (Juba), LLM (Nairobi), Specialist in Law, Governance & Democracy
University of Nairobi, Kenya, APR/27/2017, SSN;

In the previous article I authored titled ‘The Nation Needs a New Face in the Judiciary NOT Justice Chan Reec Anymore,’ and another piece titled, ‘Why Too Many Judges and Justices are discontented with Chief Justice Chan Reec’s Leadership in the Judiciary?’ I explored hitherto issues that, if the judiciary of South Sudan could indeed position itself in its rightful place.

These articles plus many others were greeted with hostility by many stooges and kitchen supporters of the Chief Justice leadership. They turned a blind eye to the important issues tackled in the articles for a simple fact that they are beneficiaries of that messed up leadership and care less of the important place the judiciary occupies as an institution in our country.

In this article, I ironically intends to bring to forefront the crisis which has pervasively infested the judiciary of South Sudan which lies not in the judiciary as a juridical institution but in the leadership of the incumbent Chief Justice.

However, the malignant inertia, unruly and unscrupulous behaviour, that has rocked the judiciary since the current Chief Justice took over the administration could warrant unspeakable dysfunctionality of the judiciary and has intrinsically provoked mistrust of the institution trusted as the last hope in retrieving back rights infringed on and maliciously encroached upon aberrantly by the most powerful and untouchable mafias and oligarchs.

It has become a common saying that the judiciary is in abeyance where many judges, whether senior or junior, point fingers at the Chief Justice of not doing enough in addressing most pressing issues of concern both for them and for the institution to truly observe its boundaries of separation of powers, independence and impartiality which are the tenets of the true judiciary as a third arm of the government.

The gap between the Chief Justice and his colleagues grows wider every day and causes many judges to think of quitting the institution simply because it is not truly elegant as it should be.

Many judges and justices are discontented with the way the Chief Justice is running the Judiciary and this is manifested by judges and justices incessant strikes since 2013.

Even with intervention of H. E. the president and his learned Advisor on Legal Affairs to address judges and justices demands in 2016, the Chief Justice again went and slept on the rights of the judges and justices.

The president resolved judges and justices strike in 2016 by releasing vehicles that were parked for the last six years to be distributed to them but the Chief Justice went and took all the keys and stored them in his living room, in his residence.

The Ministry of Finance was directed by the President to release their long overdue salaries into the account of the Judiciary but again the chief justice, being the sole signatory to the account, refused to release the money to the judges and justices again, causing the current ongoing judges and justices’ strike.

This is not a problem of the state anymore, but a leadership problem within the judiciary in which our learned chief justice perceives the judiciary as his own private property with which he can do what he likes at his own discretion.

Why too many judges and justices are discontented with Justice Reec’s administration is a combination of these issues and that’s why it has become a leadership problem not a crisis that other arms of government created.

The Chief Justice is of course the head of the judiciary and one charged by law with day-to-day running or administration of the judiciary. It is on his directives that the director of judges affairs in the judiciary acted upon a communication and if he happens not to be in town, then no toilet papers, ream papers, no transport and no cleaner to clean the court-rooms and everything comes to a standstill.

The nation needs a new face in the judiciary to salvage the credibility of the judiciary and restore confidence and trust of the people in the judiciary.

The hedge is against the president to come to his senses and correct the image of the judiciary by relieving the indignant chief justice due to his heedless consideration of opposing views which heisted the people of South Sudan off their legal and constitutional rights of access to justice, a crux that will not only cost him dearly but the admired and most respected institution among all institutions of the government in the world.

The nation needs a new face in the judiciary, a face that is herald to meeting the demands of judges and justice for the people of South Sudan.

A face which doesn’t worship the appointing authority and turns his back at the institution and the people it’s meant to serve.

A face determined to reshape the chattered image of the institution of Judiciary because the administration of the judiciary under Chief Justice Chan R. Madut is heretical not only to the members of legal fraternity but to the general public which resort to judiciary as the only hope in getting rights they deserved.

Heretofore, the nation needs a new face that is not detached, divorced and disabled from the members of the judiciary, the legal community and general public.

The nation needs a new face in the judiciary not Justice Chan Reec Madut anymore. The judiciary, judges, advocates and the general public have suffered more than enough during his tenure as Chief Justice and President of Supreme Court of South Sudan.

It must be admitted that the crisis that have now engulfed the judiciary were brought about by his dictatorial and weak leadership style. It is leadership problem that is now facing the judiciary not because resources aren’t available.

African Union: Which AU??…. Do not be vague, take them to The Hague

By: Samuel Atabi, South Sudanese, APR/27/2017, SSN;

In the last few weeks, discerning South Sudanese have detected a slight movement of the needle in the attitudes of the international community towards the government’s violence against its own citizens in their country.

First, the Rt. Hon. Priti Patel, the UK Secretary for International Development, called the scorched-earth campaigns of the Kiir’s regime, with its proper name, ‘Genocide.’

This was followed by the UN-appointed Panel of Experts on South Sudan’s letter which acknowledges that …[B]y far the largest-scale of campaigns have been planned and executed by SPLM/A in Government under the leadership of Kiir.’

Furthermore, the letter clearly states that these campaigns are carried out by a combination of tribal Dinka SPLA forces in conjunction with Dinka militia known as the ‘Mathiang Anyoor.’

Never before has a UN-inspired document been so explicit on stating the tribal character of the government forces.

Then, on April 25, 2017, the US Ambassador to the UN, Hon. Nikki Haley excoriated the Kiir government on the causes of the devastating famine and violence, while at the same time threatening arms embargo against the regime.

But can these welcomed and apparent shifts be viewed as hopeful signs for the much needed resolution of the conflict? Only time will tell.

But, while the same South Sudanese welcome these slight movements, they have also noted the reference, by these sources, to the African Union (AU) as a necessary partner in ending the genocide; most right-thinking South Sudanese do not envisage any arbitration role for the African Union in this war.

They view the prescription to involve the AU as a mistake because of the nature of AU and its track record in solving problems on the continent of Africa.

More specifically, South Sudanese’s historical experience with this institution is at the root of this rejection. The postures of the AU, and its defunct predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), have always been against the political interests of the people of South Sudan. Evidence exists to support this claim.

The OAU was founded in 1963, at the time when most African nations were gaining their political independence from the colonial powers. At that time, the prevailing unifying ideal for these young countries was that of Pan-Africanism.

This ideal had espoused solidarity and unity among African states. In conformity with this ideal, one of the OAU’s main aims was, and still remains, ‘to defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the African states.’

The South Sudanese war of independence, from the Sudan, had predated the birth of the OAU by eight years, and the war was therefore, seen, by the founders of this outfit, to be inimical to the unity that was championed by the new regional institution.

To prove their credentials as stalwarts for Pan-Africanism, the first crop of the African leaders in the 1960’s and 1970’s competed with each other in condemning this South Sudanese war of liberation.

The competition took the form of harassment, detention and even killing of South Sudanese refugees in countries such as Uganda.

In one particular prominent example, the founder and the first leader of the Southern Sudan Liberation Movement, Fr. Saturnino Ohure and his fellow priest, Fr. Leopoldo Anywar, were murdered in Uganda.

As we write, some countries in the region are still involved in similar actions which now include kidnapping, forced disappearance and deportation of South Sudanese refugees who are residing within their borders.

The OAU was succeeded by the AU in 2002. The AU inherited the original objectives of the former as well as its hostility against any group intending to challenge the received colonial borders.

South Sudan was in the midst of a second installment of the independence armed struggle when this succession took place.

In an effort to avoid the hostility of the OAU/AU and its consequences, the then leader of this new independence movement (the SPLM/A), Dr. John Garang, had to disguise its true intention (that of secession) as that of a united New Sudan.

South Sudan became independent in 2011. Clearly, there is no goodwill among the members of the AU towards South Sudanese because of the perception that the latter have defied the objective of the organization as indicated earlier.

Therefore, the AU is incapable, unwilling and ill-suited to be an honest broker in the present conflict in South Sudan. For example, the AU has so far failed to create a Hybrid Court, as recommended by its own Commission, to try those who are suspected of having organized the on-going genocide in South Sudan.

Another hostile regional organization, which is being recommended as an arbiter in the conflict, is the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). This organization has even proved to be worse than the AU.

Its membership has opted openly to side with the Kiir’s regime in Juba.

The UN Panel has this to say about IGAD in their letter: ‘…The regional body has also fractured in its response to the conflict, and coordinated pressure within the region to enforce the (August 2015) agreement has dissipated in favor of bilateral arrangements between its members and SPLM/A in Government, dictated by these States’ national security and economic interests.’

To many South Sudanese, any insistence on further mediation role for IGAD in this conflict, as is espoused by the Russian delegation to the UN Security Council, will be viewed as a hostile act against their interests and a ruse to prolong their suffering in the hands of the rogue regime in Juba.

The perpetrators of what Hon. Patel calls a tribal genocide are known; they should not be allowed to get away with impunity.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the court of last resort and as the possibility of instituting the Hybrid Court recedes, because of the AU’s machination and subterfuge, the ICC should take over the responsibility for trying these genocide suspects.

The international community should be resolute in sending these people to ICC.

To quote the Kenyans during the debate on how and where to try their own suspects of political violence in 2007, we repeat, ‘Do not be vague; take them to The Hague’.

Samuel Arabi is a concerned South Sudanese. He can be reached at samuelatabi@gmail.com

South Sudan war strains Uganda’s generous refugee policy: Bidibidi Refugee Camp

From: NEWVISION, Kampala, APR/20/2017, SSN;

YUMBE – Ugandan motorbike taxi driver Sadiq Agotre grumbles as he waits for a rare client among thousands of South Sudanese refugees hoping to receive food rations in the outskirts of his town.

“Business is not good. These people don’t have money,” he says, gazing out over a vast area that in only eight months has transformed from scrubland and trees to the world’s biggest refugee settlement, Bidibidi, which houses more than 270,000 people.

Uganda has been praised for its warm welcome of refugees, but as civil war in neighbouring South Sudan continues to push more than 2,000 people a day into the country, local communities and aid agencies are buckling under the strain.

Many residents of Yumbe district — population around 500,000 — are frustrated that the massive aid effort in their backyard has not translated into more jobs but instead has spread already scarce resources even thinner.

“This (the refugee crisis) has changed the town so much. It has caused a lot of stress, stress for jobs. The food prices have gone up and up. It’s bad for our environment because they cut down the trees,” said Nachal Dovelay, a shopkeeper in Yumbe town.

Bidibidi opened in August last year to cope with a flood of people fleeing fighting when a peace deal between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his rival and former deputy Riek Machar collapsed, plunging the country back into a civil war that erupted in 2013.

In a matter of months it has overtaken Kenya’s Dadaab — hosting mainly Somali refugees — as the world’s biggest refugee camp.

But the 250-square-kilometre (97-square-mile) settlement is only the tip of the iceberg. A total of 830,000 South Sudanese refugees have entered the country and the UN expects this figure will reach more than a million by mid-year.

The number of refugees in the East African nation — one of the world’s poorest countries and the size of the United Kingdom — is comparable to the number of mostly Syrian refugees who fled to Europe at the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.

“This emergency is like a tsunami, you know, very high speed,” said Robert Baryamwesiga, the Ugandan government official in change of running Bidibidi.

Food rations stretched, delayed

On a recent afternoon a fierce dust-devil tore through a crowd waiting for food rations, sending people reeling and knocking supplies to the ground.

When calm returned, a girl aged about seven carefully raked up her family’s fallen maize kernels and scooped them back into a sack.

Every scrap of food is precious. Refugees who arrived in Uganda before mid-2015 have already had their rations cut by half. This month food distribution was two weeks late.

“We are hungry. The food is for one month but it lasts less than that and now it’s 15 days late. This is really challenging,” said David Kepo, 41, a traditional chief who fled fighting in his community three months ago.

Cheryl Harrison, the World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) deputy head in Uganda, admits that the logistics involved in delivering 15,000 tonnes of food per month are daunting.

“We try to ensure that everyone knows that we’re going to be late. If people have warning they’re able to cope. They reduce the amount of food they eat and try to make their resources stretch.”

Before the renewed fighting, WFP spent $6 million (5.6 million euros) per month on food aid for refugees in Uganda. That figure has now soared to more than $16 million.

The agency is $450 million short for the next six months.

Last month UN refugee chief, Filippo Grandi, described the situation as at “breaking point”.

Anger growing in host community

Getting water to the refugees in the arid area is another headache, with more than four million litres required a day.

Boreholes have been drilled but the vast majority of the water is trucked in from the River Nile at great expense.

The use of natural resources has lead to tensions with the host community.

In a desperate move local residents recently blocked access to one borehole for several hours, saying that they were not benefiting from the influx of refugees.

“The issue of the use of natural resources — building materials, wood, fuel — that one has been a disaster. With 272,000 people the effect is great and unemployment here is very high,” said local government official Jacob Batemyetto.

In February about 100 people, unhappy that nine local staff had been fired for misappropriating aid, held a protest, holding up signs threatening to attack the settlement, according to NGO staff.

And last month the chief government official in Imvepi — a newly opened nearby settlement — was taken hostage by a group of machete-wielding youths and marched around the area to see the poor living conditions local people are forced to tolerate before being released.

A very fragile situation

Uganda has long been praised for having one of the world’s most progressive refugee policies.

The government allows refugees to work and move around the country while communities in the north have donated land for settlements.

Refugees receive a plot of land to build a shelter and it was planned that land would be allocated for people to farm but in Bidibidi that has yet to happen.

“We can’t feed ourselves because they have yet to set up any agriculture programme and there’s no land,” said Wila James, 40, a former agricultural officer who fled to Uganda last year.

Bidibidi settlement chief Baryamwesiga highlighted the dangers of a growing population unable to produce their own food.

“They will automatically go and steal and stealing will create violence so you’ll find that the coexistence that we’re enjoying between refugees and the host community will collapse.

“It’s a very, very fragile situation.” END

Governing under Pres. Kiir & vice Taban Gai is more problematic than we expected

BY: Santino Aniek, New York, USA, APR/16/2017, SSN;

I have lived for almost 40 years; I remember the war between South Sudanese and Khartoum regime, the humiliation and the shameless rebellion of 1991, the assassination of John Garang in 2005, and the senseless war of 2013. But, until now, I have never been ashamed to be a South Sudan citizen.

I always believed that, whether SPLM-IG or SPLM-IO, our leaders are basically good people who are reasonable and thoughtful, even if I did not agree with them.

But President Kiir Mayardit seems be not reasonable, his decision against the will of Ruweng people is not thoughtful, and it is considered as a brutal betrayal.

The man who President Kiir and the FVP Taban Deng Gai have chosen is a fraudster, a man who have done business with the mob, a discriminator, and a hater who thinks the people of Ruweng are always there only to serve their interest, a man who knows nothing of the world, and has no curiosity about the interest of Ruweng people.

Moreover, I do not believe that these men are good and decent people, and if they were as other people think, they should not involved in this dirty business of the FVP.

For more than ten years, we have been hearing from the so-called leaders in Juba about how horrible those who rebel against the government were, and this was the best description they could come up with.

But when it comes to cake sharing, the same horrible people will be the best people to the government to share the power with. In fact, a cruel and a rush decision by President Kiir and his FVP Taban that does not seem to have any new ideas or a reason to fix the core problems in South Sudan that has been facing our people since 2005.

It is the same reason that causes many people in South Sudan to rebel against the government of President Kiir. And at this point, it seems to prove that his decision is always about creating a conflict and not actually trying to bring every lasting peace to South Sudanese people.

Now, the ball is firmly on the court of Ruweng people, either to reject or to accept this cruel and rushed decision by two men who seem to adopt Khartoum tactic. The two men control the government and they share power by playing dirty politics.

But President Kiir made a promise in the end by assuring every Ruweng citizens around the country to stay home, the Monday rally has been cancelled, and the dialogue should continue by bringing Ruweng people’s representative to Juba.

However, the question in each and every Ruweng citizens is, did President Kiir or the Presidential Advisor, Hon. Tor Deng Mawien has lied to the people of Ruweng?

Basically a version of as a bigger false promise by President Kiir that would be better tells by the people of Ruweng a fairy tale. And now everyone with the knowledge on this issue knew it that President Kiir is not going to keep his promise because he never did.

As always the case, it is actually has to be made up of words that lead to a false promise in the highest office in the nation. Hence, that false promise has to actually tell us something about who will win, who will lose, and the people of Ruweng are the losers while the FVP Taban is now the winner of this dirty game.

Consequently, it tells who will be marginalized and how much it might cost the people of Ruweng for short-term security. And knowing that Ruweng people have the FVP’S plan in place and our people’s interest is getting picked apart by his supporters and interest groups on all sides is serious concern that need President Kiir’s reconsideration.

Because the key is that the FVP Taban is starting to look as popular as ants at a picnic in South Sudan. Today, the people of Ruweng have to guess that with the FVP Taban is running the show in the entire country, our people in Ruweng land will not like the end result of this dirty game of interest.

Therefore, our powerful friends of Ruweng people should start lining up in opposition to the President’s decision in order to reverse this betrayal against the peace loving people in the nation. This harmful decision will make Ruweng people insecure and toothless in the era of Taban Deng Gai.

Yet, perhaps the most threatening to the long-term security of Ruweng people is the return of the FVP Taban to Wuhn Danluel.

As it shows that ninety nine percent of the Ruweng people are complaining about how rushed this cruel decision was and what will likely happen to the security of our people in Ruwëng State.

Meanwhile, the hardline of power seeking want to see this effort as some sort of Taban lighting up a light to them and also as a business as usual. And they are being propelled by outside groups to welcome this cruel decision.

As a result of this cruel and rush decision, there is a lot of bad analysis in the camp of the FVP’S power seeking about what the presidential decree meant in terms of the security in Ruweng land.

But ultimately, sadly, this will be decided by the people of Ruweng of the world whether to give up and let the FVP Taban to continue to marginalize our beloved relatives one more time in the twenty first century.

Nonetheless, when doing big things is never easy, but making a promise is a lot easier in South Sudan, and this is how Ruweng people once again find themselves in the country where venerable people cannot survive.

In this toxic environment, here we stand as people of Ruweng and President Kiir is swinging the full weight of his Administration behind his FVP Taban leaving the entire population of Ruweng State in a dark hole.

But however, maybe this will be enough to wake up the skeptical people of Ruweng who seem to be overwhelmingly opposing this cruel and rushed decision by President Kiir and his FVP Taban. Or maybe this effort will fall apart in spectacular failure in the history of Ruweng people and continue to do nothing as usual.

As a fact, President Kiir has promised people of Ruweng that he will listen to them and told them that Them Machar will not take the oath of office as a governor of Ruweng State until the matter is resolved amicably base on the popular views.

But, it is likely will dramatic political theater if President Kiir and his FVP Taban refuse to listen to this peace loving people in the nation. It is just a horrible shame that the stakes being toyed with thousands of Ruweng people and their security at risk by letting Taban Deng Gai continues to marginalize our people need a serious response now.

Finally, I understand why so many South Sudanese communities are disenfranchised and disillusioned, why there is mistrust of the government, and deep-seated issues with President Kiir, but I never, ever thought that this will result in putting Taban Deng Gai over the people of Ruweng’s interest because this people stood with President Kiir long enough to be rewarded like any other community who are enjoying due to their minimal contribution.

It is true governing in the entire is difficult, but betrayal and difficulty are not the same. More importantly, I know many people believe that smart people and smart policies makers can fix our corrupt system of government in South Sudan. President Kiir seems to think this way.

I’m assuming that President Kiir suggested during the national prayer day that his government and the community relations could be improved meaningfully by accepting responsibility and accountability. Yes, a responsibility and accountability.

With this cruel and rushed decision, I no longer believe that Juba is willing to fix the problem, as though the leadership in Juba is anything other than a mirror reflecting back to us the true nature of our democracy.

They cannot fix the problem without a revolution of values and radical change to the basic structure of their leadership in Juba. Of course important policy changes can and should be made to improve government practices unless President Kiir reconsider this cruel and rushed decision, or it will cause in South Sudan.

Furthermore, if we are serious about having peace in our country rather than a government at war with its own people, then we are going to have to get honest with ourselves about whom our government actually serves and protect or else to unity.

Santino Aniek is a concerned South Sudanese in Upstate New York, U.S.A. He can be reached at santino.aniek5@gmail.com and find me on Facebook, on Skype and on twitter @saniek.

BREAKING STORY: Kiir signs suspicious oil agreements to turn around fortunes of economy

By: JULIUS BARIGABA, TheEastAfrican, APR/15/2017, SSN;

The South Sudanese government is signing deals with suspected wheelerdealers, some of whom may be out to take advantage of Juba’s financial crisis.

In less than four months, President Salva Kiir, who is presiding over a cashstrapped economy torn apart by a conflict that is teetering towards genocide, has received offers from agents of established companies, organisations and non-descript financing groups, all dangling deals worth billions of dollars that critics warn will mortgage the country and its resources for generations.

Critics in Juba worry that President Kiir’s desperation to get cash may push him into the hands of outright conmen and that even genuine companies could take advantage to secure sweet deals for themselves while leaving the country with peanuts.

International fixers are reportedly operating out of the regional capitals of Kampala, Nairobi, Addis Ababa as well as other African cities and some European capitals, setting up meetings between the president himself and other top government officials — the Juba teams are only too willing to go along.

First in was the Luxembourg-based investment fund Suiss Finance Luxembourg AG, which towards the end of 2016 made an offer of €10 billion ($10.5 billion) that could rise to €100 billion ($105 billion), to finance projects through joint ventures in infrastructure, transportation, oil and energy.

IN SUMMARY:
International fixers are reportedly operating out of the regional capitals of Kampala, Nairobi, Addis Ababa as well as other African cities and some European capitals.
Juba government is looking to new entrants and deals in its oil sector to boost oil production and provide an escape route from empty coffers.

READ:

President Kiir’s critics and Sudan observers immediately flagged this deal after it was publicised in the media.

A South Africa-based South Sudan academic familiar with goings-on in Africa’s youngest country warned the deal was bogus. Refusing to give his name for fear of endangering his family still trapped in the intricate war in the south of the country, the academic challenged journalists to dig deeper into the deal.

Investigations conducted by this newspaper revealed that shadowy Kampala businessmen had brokered the deal but efforts to get one of the principals to speak on it were futile as multiple phone numbers given as his contacts were unavailable.

On March 6, Juba signed a deal with Oranto Petroleum to invest $500 million in the country to develop South Sudan’s oil in Block B3 covering 25,150 square kilometres, paving the way for the oil company’s “comprehensive exploration campaign, starting immediately.”

South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum and Oranto Petroleum signed the exploration and production sharing agreement for the block, in which Oranto will be the technical operator and 90 per cent shareholder, while the Juba government’s Nile Petroleum (Nilepet) takes a 10 per cent stake.

The EastAfrican could not confirm with the South Sudanese embassy in Kampala, if the cash from any of these deals has come through as Ambassador Samuel Luate was reportedly out, attending a meeting, and the only official in the mission was “not in line to speak about the matter.”

Mr Luate’s office promised to respond later, but by press time had not returned our calls.

Another deal on oil and gas collaboration was signed on March 20, this time with Equatorial Guinea, to share knowledge and resources, promote investment and for Equatorial Guinea to provide training to South Sudanese personnel and advise on licensing as Juba’s current licensing round nears conclusion.

Details on the progress and execution of these offers so far remain scanty, although the Oranto deal has attracted the most criticism in Juba.

Apparently, technical officials in the Ministry of Petroleum compiled and handed over a report to Petroleum Minister Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth, indicating that Oranto lacked both the technical expertise and financial capacity to handle 90 per cent of the block.

In spite of the report, critics indicate that powerful figures and wheelerdealers in Juba were holding the government to ransom and pushing for the deal to be signed, regardless of any amount of criticism and queries over Oranto’s transparency and capacity.

Prince Arthur Eze, founder and chairman of Oranto Petroleum said his company is “at the vanguard of African firms exploring and developing African assets” but also hinted that the company would collaborate with “our partners to bring to light the immense potential of Block B3.”

Oranto is a subsidiary of Atlas Petroleum International Ltd, both forming the Atlas Group, a wholly owned Nigerian private firm.

“We believe the petroleum resources of Block B3 are vast. To reach our target of more than doubling current oil production, we need committed new entrants like Oranto,” said Mr Gatkuoth.

The sister companies of the Atlas Oranto Group own and operate 20 oil and gas acreages in 10 African countries in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal and South Sudan. Founded in Nigeria in 1991, the group is Africa’s largest domestic explorer by acreage.

But in a number of countries, Oranto has been cited in irregular deals that enabled it to get oil deals over the line, usually, acting as a middleman for big oil companies to whom it sells its exploration rights later on.

In 2006 and 2007, a report by the Liberian Auditing Commission named Oranto in a bribery scandal for allegedly paying a total of $118,400 to legislators as the company sought parliament’s approval to grant it the right to develop or sell concessions to bigger oil companies.

Oranto had negotiated production sharing contracts for three out of four concessions with the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) but the company needed parliament to ratify them before it could sell to another party, hence the bribes.

Rights to sell concessions
Once the lawmakers were handed the sweeteners, Oranto was granted the right to sell its three concessions to Chevron in 2010, and as of 2012, the US oil giant owned a 70 per cent stake in each of Oranto’s offshore blocks.

Industry watchdog Global Witness also says NOCAL awarded Oranto concessions without the oil prospecting firm ever putting in a bid, while in Mali, Oranto’s was one of a dozen exploration agreements cancelled in 2014 over “various offences.”

The manner in which the Nigerian firm acquired exploration blocks in Sao Tome and Principe was also characterised by irregularities.

By press time, Oranto had not responded to The EastAfrican over the issues of lack of transparency and the risks in investing in conflict-ridden South Sudan.

Yet the Juba government is looking to these new entrants and deals in its oil sector to boost oil production and provide an escape route from empty coffers.
“The government is working hard to reinvigorate the petroleum industry in South Sudan by creating an enabling environment for international oil and gas companies to invest and operate. It is up to the oil companies to come in, explore and produce. Partnership is what fuels the oil industry,” said Mr Gatkuoth. END

Kiir’s Dinka Army commits Ethnic Cleansing on the Fertit & Lou people of Wau

APR/11/2017, SSN;

Announcement by the Government of Wau Federal State in Opposition.

Government of Wau Federal State in Opposition would like to express its concern about the appalling situation in the state where there is increase of the Internal Displaced Persons in the UNMISS and Churches in the recent event of the ethnic cleansing and indiscriminate attacks by the government troops and its militias against the innocent civilians.

Since April 4th, 2017 the regime in Juba has launched a full scale offensive in Besselia, Baggari, Bazia, and Kuajena counties where the Kiir SPLM/A government troops have been defeated by the Western Bahar Al Ghazal Lion Forces WBGLF.

On Monday April 10, 2017 and specifically in the Wau city, the government troops and its militia, who are entirely from members of Dinka tribe, turned their guns on the civilians, searching house to house and killing unarmed population in areas inhabited mostly by Fertit and Lou tribes.

The Government of Wau Federal State in opposition would like to re-express its concern about the killing and the instigated Humanitarian crises in the state.

The government of Wau Federal State in Opposition strongly condemn the attack by the government troops and its Dinka militias, where the government troops killed in cold blood hundreds of innocent civilians.

The government of the state would like to ask the International Community, including United Nations and other Non-governmental Organizations NGOs to interfere and safe the lives of thousands of the innocent citizens in the state.

(N.B. The UN and the international community, in fact, today has declared what the Kiir government is doing is tantamount to ‘ethnic cleansing’ as particular tribes are severely targeted by the Army (SPLA) and Dinka tribal militia in the direct command of the government.

Already, since the start of this way, nearly 2 millions South Sudanese have crossed the borders as refugees fleeing from the ethnic war taking place in South Sudan).

The government of Wau Federal State in Opposition would like to ask the UN to call for urgent meeting, to discuss and to condemn the perpetration of ethnic cleansing against Fertit and Lou tribes, by Dinka militias.

Western Bahr Al Ghazal citizens around the world should be informed that their community back home, the Fertit and the Lou tribes, have been left alone by the International Community, to face the killing machine in Juba.

The International Community has been watching in silence the atrocities been committed against the Fertit and the Lou tribes by the regime of Salva Kiir Mayardit.

The government of Wau Federal State in Opposition would like to call upon all the people of Western Bahar Ghazal globally to come together, unite and help support their fellow citizens and beloved ones in the state back home.

The evil is still planning to eliminate your entire relatives from the motherland.

Major General Dominic Ukelo

Governor of Wau Federal State in opposition

National Democratic Movement (NDM) Condemnation of Wau Town Killing of Innocent Civilians by Kiir’s government

THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT (NDM), APR/10/2017;

Press Release:
The National Democratic Movement (NDM) condemns in the strongest terms the on-going killing and maiming of innocent civilians in Wau town (Western Bahr el Ghazal), by the genocidal and dictatorial regime of Kiir and its affiliated militias.

Today, the government of South Sudan embarked on scotched-earth policy in Wau town, where its militia are going house to house searching and killing people hailing from other non-Dinka tribes residing in Wau.

It is to be recalled that last week similar targeting and murdering of innocent civilians mostly from the Acholi ethnic group occurred in the village of Pajok in Eastern Equatoria.

These escalations of violence against civilians across South Sudan are consistent reminders that the tribalistic and dictatorial regime of Kiir has commenced its policy of ethnic cleansing against other nationalities that are perceived to be resisting its policy of tribal hegemony in the country.

Few months ago the United Nations adviser on the prevention of genocide, Mr. Adam Dieng, made a chilling remark regarding the looming genocide in South Sudan, sadly its predictions are becoming a reality under Kiir’s regime and his Jieng Council of Elders.

While the regime talks loudly about its unpopular project of national dialogue, the same regime is now busy committing gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

The National Democratic Movement (NDM) calls upon the international community, particularly, TROIKA, IGAD and UNMISS to hold the government of South Sudan accountable for the killing of innocent civilians in Wau town and to issue condemnation against the atrocities committed by the regime.

As the international community decry the killing of civilians in Syria, it is time for the international community to collectively put an end to the culture of impunity in South Sudan.

We also call on the United Nations Security Council, especially the United States of America as the penholder for South Sudan, to call for an urgent Security Council meeting regarding the unfolding genocide taking place now in South Sudan.

Enough is enough and it is time for the United Nations to take punitive actions against the Juba regime.

Long live the struggle of our people
Long live South Sudan
Aluta continua.

Ambassador; Emmanuel Aban
For/ the Spokesman
National Democratic Movement (NDM)
ojwokj@hotmail.com

South Sudan: A Country without Dignity, a Sanctuary of Corruption & untold Suffering

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, APR/04/2017, SSN;

In South Sudan, the system is rotten to the core. Corruption has eaten up everything. Money is the language of the day and no one thinks about a country called South Sudan.

Because of corruption and mismanagement, South Sudan and her people have lost their dignities as they are not respected internationally. This is why the leaders of South Sudan are given money and at the same time abused by other countries without responding to such attacks.

The clear example to support the above point is the recent remark made by Dutch Minister for International Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, who openly abused the President, Kiir, and other leaders of South Sudan that and I quote “The leaders of South Sudan are bastards who starve their own people.”

A bastard means illegitimate child, a child born to unmarried parents. It also means illegitimacy in English law. In simple terms, it means a narcissistic and annoying Character.

Under normal circumstances where the principles of state sovereignty governing international diplomacy and relation applies, South Sudan would have broken ties with the government of the Netherlands and recalled her ambassador unless that government apologizes.

But because we are a begging and dependent nation on other countries, then we have to allow our dignity and dignity of our nation to be trampled upon by other countries without any fear of reprisal.

Hence, South Sudan is a nation sacrificed for and slaughtered at the altar of corruption. South Sudan is a nation bleeding from and facing untold suffering caused by corruption which occupies the heart of our governance system.

However, though we are abused day and night, we must be just by admitting that all our problems have their roots in the poor governance and misuse of resources by our leaders.

Hence, the Minister from Netherlands was right to call our leaders “bastards” because they have annoying character, they’re corrupt and because of that they are illegitimate as they have rebelled against the will of the citizens of South Sudan contrary to social contract as provided for under Article 9 of the Constitution.

It is important to point out that social contract as provided for under Article 9 of our constitution provides that the government of South Sudan cannot have a right to obedience from South Sudanese unless it lives in accordance with the principles of social contract. This is not the case now in South Sudan.

As we have seen today in South Sudan, the people have been abandoned by their leaders, left in the lurch and have now become beggars while the leaders are enjoying all they need in life with their children abroad.

Hence, South Sudan as a whole has lost dignity as it has now become a begging nation as described below:—
— The streets of Juba are full of the people who are forced by the conditions to become beggars. Widows and children of the Soldiers who have been killed are now begging on the streets yet those soldiers died while defending the wealth of the cliques who hold power and wealth and who maintain such wealth through blood of the innocent citizens who are trapped and killed in the rivalry caused by corruption and power struggle among these top leaders.

— Citizens are dying of poverty and hunger amidst plenty. Youth are being recruited on daily basis to defend leaders not the country. They are not defending the country because currently South Sudan has lost it vast lands to the neighboring countries, which shows that soldiers are not defending territories of the country called South Sudan.

— South Sudanese children who are in camps are being denied national examinations, which is the destruction of the future of South Sudan. For example, on March 8, 2017 as it was reported, South Sudan leaders stopped about 900 students living in the United Nations protection of civilian camps at Jebel Kujur from doing nationwide secondary school examinations (see; reliefweb.int/report/south-sudan/s-sudanese-camps-halted-sitting-national-exams).

The reason for denying them examinations was that they must come out of the camps. How can a reasonable leader deny a child basic needs on such grounds?

This shows that South Sudanese leaders are not human beings but automated machines for power. If they were human beings they must have realized that denying children education is a violation of their right to education which will have negative implications on the future of South Sudan.

The action of denying children education alone shows that South Sudan is trapped in power struggle without aims and objectives. The government and the rebels are fighting for power without basis. The power with basis is the power with clear objectives and goals, which is not the case in South Sudan war. All mess in form of war is being done as motivated by corruption.

For the above reasons, it will take time for South Sudanese and South Sudan to recover from the present war. This is because the war has no aims or objectives that will guide those who are involved in war to reconstruct after the war.

However, the fact is that the present war is a war for an opportunity to dehumanize and corrupt the system to the detriments of all innocent citizens. This is why rebels and the government do not care for the welfare of the citizens who are trapped in the war.

In fact, it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that South Sudanese leaders on both sides do not care about people but only for what benefits them. We are ruled by corruption and because of that South Sudan has become synonymous with corruption and money.

This is supported by the fact that South Sudan Central Bank has been looted and left empty because of corruption. This was confirmed by the Minister of Finance, Stephen Dhieu, who recently came forward to break the good news to the president that all money has gone without any trace and the Central Bank is now empty and a house of rats.

The overall implication is that South Sudan has become a sanctuary of corruption as corruption has permeated all offices. The clear example is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Sudan which is the corruption house.

If it were not because of corruption, how on earth can a fresh graduate from University and those who have not finished Universities be appointed ambassadors?

In addition, in the same ministry of foreign affairs, when you go you will not be surprised to get the files of some of the staff without any papers except birth certificates and recommendations from big man in the government.

In summary, the proper definition of the government of South Sudan is that it is the government of corruption, self-services, a sanctuary and a house of corruption headed by corrupt government.

Citizens are therefore advised to unite and disown the government of South Sudan unless it carries out serious reforms. If they do not give heed to this advice the country will fall apart and that will mark the end of South Sudan and all South Sudanese citizenry.

The Author is human rights lawyer and can be reached through juoldaniel@yahoo.com/+256783579256

People of Ruweng: The victims of power & appeasement policy

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, MAR/29/2017, SSN;

Ruweng State deserved good governance, therefore he should be reaffirmed. However, I was terribly shocked and disappointed to find out that Theja had been sacked from the post of Governorship.

The action of the president removing the governor of Ruweng State has confused me and I have lost all hopes that I had previously for any little reforms in South Sudan. It appears that President Kiir is an anti: reformation and good governance.

In fact, any true peoples’ government and president would have not even imagined of sacking Governor like Theja Da Adwad Deng. This is because Theja was a governor of the people.

I have been wondering since I received the news trying to term with the fact of his removal. But what crime has he committed? Is it because he has shown to be a good administrator or what is the problem?

The sacking of Governor of Ruweng State leaves more questions than answers. Some of the questions are those I have asked in the above paragraph and also some are: what does the President want? Who is running the office of the President? Does the President think before issuing the decree or does he just issue all decrees like animated object?

What was the main purpose for liberating South Sudan? Were South Sudanese liberated so that the SPLM use them as project for getting resources?

The above questions and others that you may add are the ones lingering in everyone’s one mind in South Sudan when the President acts unreasonably like what he has done in the case of Ruweng State.

A normal president could not remove a person like Theji in Ruweng State unless there is a hidden agenda. It appears that the President does not care about the welfare of citizens of South Sudan.

In addition, the SPLM as a party is dead politically because the President who is the head of the party is not interested in the future of the SPLM. What is the future of the SPLM? Like all other parties, future of the SPLM is the people and good leaders.

However, I doubt whether the SPLM values citizens and good youth who will be good leaders in future. If SPLM cared about good leaders and people, the President would have not removed Theji from the Governorship of Ruweng and also disobeyed the will of the people of Ruweng.

This is because Theja Da Adwad Deng is one of the people a party like SPLM would have brought up with the aim of preparing him for bigger post even the Presidency because little time Theja Da Adwad Deng spent in Ruweng proved that he would have been John Magufuli of South Sudan in future.

However, the President does not care about the future of South Sudan and her people this is because he never takes time to study the character of the people and also think about the future of the country.

A person who thinks about tomorrow and also thinks about the welfare of others is the leader for tomorrow. Nonetheless, where a person lives for today only he or she will always think for what is good for him or her based on today. In the same way, the only concern of that person is power and how to retain it.

In fact, the president of South Sudan is the type of the person I have just described above. This is because he is using anything to ensure that he remains in power even if it means sacrificing the citizens of South Sudan, which he has already done. As many as over 50,000 have died in the three-year conflict of South Sudan just because of power.

As seen above, south Sudanese are sold as they are being killed on daily basis just because they are made to kill each other in defense of power of one person who does not even care about their welfare.

Hence, it is not surprising to see the President removing the Governor of Ruweng State. This is because he wants to appease the Taban Deng Gai at the expense of the people of Ruweng State who have become the victims of power and appeasement policy of the president.

The removal was done just to appease Taban not the fake reason given that the removal was done to ensure the power sharing deal stipulated in the peace 2015. The government and Taban should not continue to hold people hostage with lies that there is still peace agreement: no peace in South Sudan.

If there is peace, then why did the rebels still capture Kajo-Keji on March 27, 2017 as it was reported by Sudantribune? Again, if there is Peace, why did the Sudantribune report that the AU on March 27, 2017 said that “the President, Salva Kiir, has accepted to declare a unilateral ceasefire?” Why do we need cease-fire if there is no war and who are fighting who and who controls those rebels”?

The fact is that there is no peace in South Sudan and government should not continue relying on Taban Deng because he does not have control over rebels in the bush. If he insists that he is the leader of the SPLM/A-IO, then he must be ordered them to stop his rebels from fighting. I doubt whether he has any influence over rebels and power to stop them.

My overall assessment is that there is no capable government in South Sudan. The Government which is there is the government for power in Juba not for people in Rural areas of South Sudan.

Hence, the people of Ruweng should know that there is no government in South Sudan because things have fallen apart and it is upon them to be prepared and protect themselves against Taban in case Taban uses the just appointed governor to their disadvantage.

Besides, the people of South Sudan should be prepared for two options either they will get finished defending the presidency of president Kiir not of South Sudan or they have to come out and tell Kiir that it is the time for him to go and a new leader who is capable comes in.

In summary, what I would like to tell the people of Ruweng State is that with the appointment of the new governor who will be controlled by Taban, they should be prepared for the worse because no one is sure about him. But there is a likelihood that he will not serve the people of Ruweng as if he will do that he will not be a fire to Taban unless he will dance to his tone.

NB// the author is South Sudanese human lawyer and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com;+256783579256