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Mr. Nice Guy and Mr. Whimsical: An open letter to Dr. Machar and Dr. Lam Akol

BY: KUIR E GARANG, ALBERTA, CANADA, OCT. 29/2012, SSN; So get your coffee or beer because this going to be a bumpy ride.
As someone who grew up under the enigmatic leadership of SPLM/A, and suffered through the unfortunate, yet incoherent split of SPLA/M in 1991, I think its time for me to write this piece. However, this piece is rather a policy position inquiry to our *learned* and *famed* PhDs.

For those who are prone to misunderstanding, the letter is meant to ask questions that would move the country forward. It is not to question why the SPLM split in 1991. I know the reasons presented in 1991 and the reasons that continue to be given. I am just inquiring as an inquisitive young South Sudanese poet and author.

Our country was born just over a year ago, but it is now suffering from the worlds famed ills of *Afronomy.* The chronic ailments in all African sociopolitical and socioeconomic environments are well-known so I am not going to delve into the contents of Afronomy.

To make this article sensible, I will start with some of the things our two leaders chronicled in 1991.
Chief of the complaints against Dr. John Garang was his dictatorial or one-man leadership style. SPLM under Garang was presented as an organization in which decisions were made without consulting the top leadership of the movement; people were killed anyhow (at time ritually) without any due legal procedure being followed. There was also no formalized leadership structure or coherent policy positions other than what Garang decided and instituted. For those who have read SPLM Manifesto; it is nothing but a piece out of George Orwells 1984.

The two PhDs also lamented Garangs incoherent and costly vision of *New Sudan* so they wanted to change course and fight for the total independence of South Sudan.

In short, the leaders wanted to liberalize and democratize SPLM, pitch a coherent and attainable cause and goal for the people of South Sudan and present Garang as a man who had confused his own political agenda and vision for the country, with the aspirations of South Sudanese.

Remember, I am paraphrasing, so forgive me if some points veer badly away. So that is my two cents. So what happened to the two *PhDs* since then? I will have to ask them some questions and make some comments.

So why only the two of us, you may ask?

I do believe the two of you are able to change South Sudan in a positive light. I chose the two of you because I know you had the chance to look at issues outside the SPLM circle for some times. The self-righteousness within SPLM is suffocating and disastrous for the country.

I believe if the two of you change course and start being doers not talkers, then good things can happen in South Sudan.

    Dr. Riek Machar: Mr. Nice Guy!

Dr. Riek Machar, you are the second most powerful man in South Sudan so I would assume you can now implement the agenda of 1991. I have to confess, for those who have read the policy paper of the two of you in 1991; the paper was appealing on face value. If all the things narrated in the policy position were implemented in the manner they were documented, South Sudan could be a different place now; a peaceful, prosperous place. But what happened? We know what happened.

The two of you ended up in Khartoum and back in SPLM. So Dr. Riek Machar, your vision for South Sudan was thwarted by your disagreement with Dr. Akol, your eventual split and your consequential tribalization of the national agenda. That was then.
But why are you not implementing your 1991 vision since you now have some power to do so?

Why are journalists being intimidated? Why is Kiir vested with so much power that everyone in Juba fears the Presidency? Why are the national security agents censoring newspaper articles? Why are young people not given programs to help them prosper? Why are church leaders being censored?

Why is our economy controlled by foreigners, who hardly pay taxes while our people languish in unemployment?

Why is SPLM still undemocratic? Why is the case that there is no coherent policy framework in the SPLM and the government of South Sudan? Is it not this part of what you lamented in 1991?

Why do you demean yourself in cases such as threatening to block the registration of SPLM-DC? You split with Garang, supposedly, because of such dictatorial tendencies so what in the name of the Jewish son are you doing? Why are you not presenting a clear strategic position of your government?

So when Dr. Garang did these things then they were bad but when you and Kiir do them then they are not bad. It looks like you are *Mr. Nice Guy* afraid to make mistakes. 1991 was a fundamental policy and principle differences terribly gone wrong

It appears to me that 1991 was orchestrated by Dr. Lam in its entirety and that you had nothing absolutely to do with the split. You were just used by Dr. Lam as a question of numbers advantage.

If I am wrong and that you actually had the interest of the country in heart then, why then are you quite on policy and human rights wise as the country continues to slide into uncertainty? You need to come out in force and represent your government just like you did (I think) in 1991 policy-wise, if at all you did actually contributed anything in 1991.

Young people are just wondering. You just postulate issues that make people like me wonder: Where has the brain of Dr. Riek Machar gone to? Has he attained the things he wanted so he does not care anymore about helping the country move forward? Or does he want to kowtow to Kiir for a chance to be anointed the next president? Or is he just twice shy?

Dr. Riek, I am confused and you need to come clean. I want to believe that you are not an opportunist, who has found what he wanted and does not want to ruffle feathers anymore. Speak up!

Dr. Riek Machar, many people admire your courage to come back to the SPLM after the atrocities of 1991. That was a selfless act and it shows critical minds that you at least have some interest of the people in heart (Well others might say …mmm… after what? …he had failed). But that is beside the point.

You are letting South Sudanese down and you are letting young people like me down. Those with you in the government have never seen things from the outside but you did. Speak up!

    Dr. Lam Akol: *Mr. Whimsical!*

With your savvy prose and suave political postulates (not arguments though), you have convinced (not that I did not know) someone like me that you were the brain behind 1991. From the time you were Sudans foreign minister to the time you formed SPLM-DC, to your absence during South Sudans independence celebration; all have something to tell South Sudanese. I must confess I admire your eloquence and evasive canniness.

I also admire your almost pious idealism. You have grandeur idealism that I only see with young people. What you need to know with South Sudanese though is that idealism is something they are yet to understand. As a foreign Minister, you were representing Sudan and that was what you did, efficiently. That was the ideal thing to do given your job description. However, South Sudanese wanted you to represent their voice. I just do not understand how you could represent the country abroad and talk against it! This is something South Sudanese did not grasp or did not want to grasp.

You accepted the ministerial post knowing that you had to present the Sudanese position to the world; and that position was not for the interest of South Sudanese people. This makes me wonder. Why did you accept this position with no qualm given that dilemma? Do not tell me it was Kiir because he had no idea what he was getting into. They wanted you to clean the Sudanese image abroad! Uh!

If your interest is South Sudan, then why did you represent the Sudanese position? If you were cornered by the role you had to play (Which I understand because that is the position you had to represent) then why did you accept the position? Or why did you not resign?

It all comes down to one thing: you did it for your own political agenda; to present your face to the world. This makes me wonder if you used Dr. Riek in 1991 in the same vain: at the expense of the people.

When you were removed from the ministry of foreign affairs, you went ahead and formed a party in a country that still has a long way to go to embrace liberal democracy. Why did you not take one ministry and make it exemplary for the rest of the country? You could have asked Kiir to give you one ministry, reform it, and make it immutable to the rest.

What we need now in South Sudan is not someone to tell people to do things. You have to show them how to do things. You are more than capable of changing South Sudan but your political ambitions just stand in the way of your helping our people.

If you had taken one ministry and made it exemplarily functional, you could have mocked the rest of ministers; telling them that *this is how you run a ministry!* You could have shamed them by telling them that *my ministry is almost free of tribalism, corruption and my achievements are there for the rest to see.* You can guess how South Sudanese could have regarded you. Good examples in deeds indeed!

Imagine yourself taking over ministry of Transport, take the funds allocated to the ministry and make the major roads functional; accounting for every dime. You could have been a messiah in South Sudan.

But you chose to form a party in a political landscape in which political opposition is a misunderstood phenomenon. You knew this very well but you went ahead anyway. I know you write press releases and present policy positions but SPLM is a party of despots and you know they will never listen to you. You split in 1991 and then again to form SPLM-DC. This sounds like deja vu even if it is under different circumstances.

And oh, your absence during July 9, 2011 independence celebration is selfish, unwise and detrimental to your political ambition in South Sudan. It tells me you do not put the interest of the country before anything else. Can you tell South Sudanese what, in the name of the living deities, did you not you come? So Kiir had to talk to you in Nairobi for you to come to your own country? A country for which you dodged bullets? Nice political stunt!

But who the hell is Kiir? South Sudan does not belong to Kiir. I might be young and naive but hey, Uncle Lam, you did not think that through.

Now, your brain is being wasted on theoretical propositions just like some of us. So you call sensitizing South Sudanese and an achievement? That is what the likes of us are supposed to do, Uncle Lam. Be a doer not a reminding mind of the doers!

You could have effected many changes within the deformed, to use Dr. Garang word, SPLM. Now outside, you understand this better than anyone in South Sudan; they will never take you seriously. They will always see you as a selfish political opportunist after his own political agenda. And you know they say things without any evidence. And people will indict you on those things because we are in a country in which people do not think for themselves. Cult of personalities!

Look at what your 1991 friend is doing! Whatever happened to Dr. Riek Machar in Juba beats the living logic out of me. He is just there. Now, you are outside the decision making process of South Sudan and you are just there.

Stop being an idealist and be pragmatic. The times for your kind of idealism will come with people thirty years younger; or leave it to us. Stop talking and start doing!

By the way, multi-party democracy is a necessity in our country, so do not get me wrong. Timing of such is also a necessity, and you know that.

Kuir e Garang is a South Sudanese author, poet, publisher and word artist living in Calgary, Canada. Kuir has authored four books and the upcoming nonfiction book, (Is Black Really Beautiful?) The book tackles Race, Color and Racism in a more Afro-centered manner. For more information visit Kuir webpage: www.kuirthiy.info. Or follow him twitter @kuirthiy

Mile 14 in the Security Arrangement: Failure, Arrogance or Lack of Popular Understanding?

BY: GEORGE GARANG AHER, WESTERN AUSTRALIA, OCT. 21/2012, SSN;
South Sudan politics is beginning to move along the customary of realpolitik. Just recently, the populace living on the new countrys borders voiced their misgivings over land issues in the governments agreement with Khartoum. Their grievances appear to have been ignored without proper explanations and the political latitude tilted towards religion. South Sudan is now sending her first independent black Muslims to Mecca on a presidential sanction to cast their pebbles at kaaba al musharraffa (the black stone) in a ritual move that will define one of the SPLMs premises of the New Sudan built on equality of all races and favouring freedom of religion.

As many South Sudanese do not hold any bad feelings towards those who have fought to have their freedom of worship recognised in the theology of colour-blindness, expectations are that the same support the president extended to potential black sheikhs, where they must travel to Saudi Arabia without having to go through any religious medium, be also extended to those who fought for so long to gain the land and oil resources within it.

Two days after South Sudan legislative assembly ratified the nine bilateral agreements including Mile 14 in a near unanimous vote, the Minister of Petroleum and Mining, Stephen Dhieu, ordered oil companies to commence operation with immediate effect through Sudans oil infrastructures. The timing could not be any perfect for the petrified and internationally cornered government of South Sudan that saw the first ever peaceful demonstrations by the citizens against it.

The people of Northern Bahr el Ghazal and other citizens who disapproved of the oil agreement did not see the security arrangement relating to Mile 14 as just a pen and paper temporary arrangement as mediators would want all to believe, but in terms of land and the legal backdrop attached to it.

Unlike the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the two Sudans – a model of accomplishment that should have been adopted for peaceful deliberations by South Sudans ruling party (The SPLM) with Sudan which was first communicated to the citizens from grassroots to diaspora by late Dr. John Garang, the already missed savviest negotiator and architect of peace in the Sudan – oil agreement becomes visible to have been a shove down the throat to the citizens.

If there is anything that South Sudan government must be credited for, it is the sincerity and easy lending of its sensitive documentations, classified or otherwise. The nine bilateral agreements instantaneously hit the web the moment they were signed in Addis Ababa on the 27 September, 2012 and by the time president Kiir and his mediators arrived in Juba, South Sudan capital, the populace had already gurgled the contents of the agreement and were waiting to hear from their face-down heroes.

When this awareness took a little longer, mile 14 people, Abyei people and the people of Panthou, Karsana and other contested areas made no concealed articulation of their fears. They demonstrated on the streets of Juba and around South Sudan parliament amidst gunfire in the air. Inside the parliament the president was not substantively convincing the lawmakers to make the right decision but coerced them to ratify the agreement through his hard language and denigration of the protesters outside the building.

But what exactly is in the security arrangement involving Mile 14 between Sudan and South Sudan that warranted mediators and president arrogance in communicating with the South Sudanese affected by the agreement?

The agreement was actually simple. A high school student or a sophomore dropout without difficulty could understand it. It is this simplicity that the people quickly understood it. And in simple summary, it can be stated that the security arrangement over mile 14 deviated from the CPA path and the essence of fighting for the land and the negotiators, under pressure, created by admission of a problem from out of the blue thereby subjecting the land of Dinka Malual to future legal contest.

It had further exposed and compromised the security of the people in area who had for ages battled for their survival single-handedly in the hope that a future nation in which they would be part of would not kowtow under any stress but to stand with them.

This summary has no nonsensical legal jargon that needs consultancy. It is therefore surprising that South Sudanese mediators and the president would dare question the intellectual capability of millions who read the document in totality and who felt it was a game of oil flow but in a wrong calculation that will eventually haunt them.

I remember sitting a few meters from the SPLM negotiating panel at Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, Kenya in 2004 where Dr. Garang gave a lengthy deconstruction of the Machakos protocols and the intricate arithmetic of oil sharing. When asked about the reason behind equal oil quota allocation in wealth sharing agreement, his argument was fairly simple.

He urged his people to accept fifty percent and use their referendum vote to get the other fifty percent. It is therefore the leader that must have the propensity to make complex agreements clear before adopting them in a binding agreement rather than gloating in a manner suggestive of a reverse of an argument.

South Sudan negotiators, including president Kiir might have a completely different interpretation of the security arrangement about mile 14. This is not a new obsession in the Sudanese politics where the truth is often absurdly entrapped in the opposite plane in order to cause confusion, delay, suffering and domestic and international frustration.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement, negotiated by Dr. Garang, the then sage negotiator for the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army, SPLA, and a soft spoken but powerful vice president of the Sudan, Ali Osman Taha, whose portfolio went to John Garang immediately after the implementation modality went into effect, referred to Abyei referendum participants in two words: Ngok Dinka and others.

Legal experts during the Sudanese peace talks should have known that the word other was the only ambiguous word that any enemies would find any peace with. Abyei referendum is today held hostage by the simple, yet politically loaded term, other. And the word is dragging the Sudans into each other every minute of every day and putting the Ngok Dinka of Abyei and other proper in the abyss of the politics of survival.

It is this assigning of absurdity, double dealing, and what Eric Reeves, a Smith College professor with special interest in Darfur and now the Sudans calls a moral equivalence that differentiates, complicates and sets the parallels in the citizens understanding of the bilateral agreement and president Kiirs and mediators uncommunicated intention of the oil flow first.

The Sudanese and South Sudanese politicians seem to have been misled by past colonial agreements. However, colonial and condominium agreements in the Sudan were not right. Had they been fair, there would have been no wars.

The 1924 Munroe-Wheatley agreement described by Douglas H. Johnson in his book, When boundaries become borders, the impact of boundary making in Southern Sudan frontier zone, seems to have induced a campaign of the border between Sudan and South Sudan and with Rizeigat copying the notoriety that Messeriya Arabs play in Abyeis referendum exercise. We must remember that Munroe-Wheatley agreement initially built on other grazing and hunting rights arrangements of the citizens between Sudan, where Dinka Malual were subjects and Rizeigat, who were citizens of Darfur Sultanate, later annexed to Sudan in 1916.

In fact, and much to the chagrin of South Sudanese who were not at ease with the current security arrangement involving Mile14, the book, published in 2010, has hinted on page 45 that GoSS had earlier considered demilitarisation of mile 14. The predetermined demilitarisation will therefore leave many to question whether recent Addis Ababa oil agreement was a pre-emptive ratification of government policy regarding Mile 14 by the negotiators, and if so, what then were the security guarantees for the people living in the area?

Dissimilar to the Sudanese mediators who sometimes admit guilt and shed tears, their South Sudanese counterparts have no nonsense in the politics of apologies. Once confronted, as was the case of Mile 14, they beat their chests in a gorilla-style show of force and swing any blame back to the people in a new bag stamped on as lack of understanding and failure to read the agreement.

President Kiir had been on record where he is seen to have taken side in the row but took matters to a higher level. He boasted to the demonstrators outside the national assembly about the length of time he spent fighting for the land, which he was accused of surrendering to Sudan through admittance of contention over it. Little was he aware that in the crowd were SPLA veterans who, in 1982 had already joined the Anya Nya Two and fought for the land while he was still speculating whether to take to bush or not.

Logically, if arrogance and wealth were to be awarded in South Sudan based on the length of time in the service, then the lion share still has not found the right consumers.

Actions of South Sudan government following disagreement with the Sudan over oil transit fees are indeed a conjecture that should allow people to question the par excellence of SPLM political negotiations skills and gun-wielding bluffs.

The recent agreement that fits a relationship of commensalism with Sudan have raised doubts among the majority of the people, with some introspecting if late Dr. Garang were to be alive, whether he would have been threatened by a leak on oil pipeline, his nations vital artery to the point of summarily shutting it down without arrangements in place, or whether he would, as a consequence of oil theft during export, encourage South Sudanese, through adding more lands to the contest, to enter a post CPA relationship of commensalism with Sudan?

Even nobody knows what other leaders would do in a similar situation, proper imagination is that the nation house of law would implement the codes of democracy bequeathed upon it.

As for the legislative assembly of South Sudan, we are yet to witness its democratic independence where the power to ratify an agreement for oil flows has equal measure with the power to order a shut down.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author and not of the website)
Martin Garang is a South Sudanese living in Western Australia. He can be reached at garangaher@hotmail.com.

South Sudanese skepticism on security deal with Sudan is real

BY: ISAIAH ABRAHAM, JUBA, OCT. 19/2012, SSN; Juba leadership position on the Cooperation Agreement has started to be dismissive and abusive to those questioning some pieces in the agreement. Some of our lawmakers have joined the fray and are out to condemn whoever criticizes the agreement. They have even cracked as there are calling some sections of our society Northern Bahr El Ghazal people versus others. Legislators everywhere have a moral duty to protect the larger interest of the nation and not just their local constituents.

A constituent bigger like South Sudan is what binds us all. It was uncharacteristic, just unfair therefore for lawmakers to abandon local national pressing matters to specific individuals or groups to fight it out. Why leave the border matters to states affected, I have asked such question many times?

MPs for the areas of Mile 14, Abyei and Panthou, Hofra Al Nahas and Kaka are like any other MPs in Western Equatoria, Jonglei, Lakes, etc, whose lands have no dispute with the North.

I found it cruel when the matters in question were left to people affected to sort it out, while the rest of the country goes indifferent. This should not have been the case. The issues of Mile 14, Abyei, Panthou, Hofra Al Nahas are for the entire nation called South Sudan for Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Western Bahr El Ghazal, Western Upper Nile or Northern Upper Nile.

People everywhere are not happy that the negotiators allowed Khartoum a foothold on these lands. We have made a mistake to sign away Mile 14 under the pretext of a buffer zone. No amount of explanation will extinguish the fire of anger against the President and his team on this matter of Mile 14, Panthou and Hofra Al Nahas.

Abyei, Mile 14, Panthou, Hofra Al Nahas and others are becoming disputed because some has entered them by force. These places are 100% South Sudan lands. Our negotiators succumbed to pressure, and hence a failed test for our leadership.

President is to blame squarely on our lands being occupied by Arabs, and now he has gone further to sign away Mile 14. His statement that he will not cede an inch of land to the North comes too late, too little. We are not buying this belated chest thumbing statement from the man we all know his frequent promises. We know him better. No one has faith in Arbitration Court courses.

Who is this that wants to fool us that the argument is not about land but military disengagement? Someone argues that it is just a temporary arrangement to allow forces to disengage and later on the border demarcation will determine the real owners of the land. That is a lie.

Buffer Zone practice is applied when the two sides lay claims on an area. Mile 14 if it becomes a claim area, then we have already such claims areas where one side is left alone – recall Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) is firmly in Panthou, Hofra El Nahas, Kaka and Kofi Kingi, why did the policy of buffers not apply there?

The same way mediators avoided Panthou, Hofra Al Nahas and other lands that are disputed, where Sudanese Armed Forced are embedded or firmly in control, it should have been the case for Mile 14.

Mile 14 has never been a disputed land as do the Southern occupied lands. Mile 14 is used by Rezeigat Arabs during the summer, demilitarizing it after Sudan Army was chased away from there makes it an automatic disputed land.

Badme, a disputed territory at the heart of conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea was awarded in 2002 to Eritrea by UN backed Commission but to date the Ethiopians troops are firmly on the ground. Is that scenario not going to repeat itself in our case for Mile 14, Pantou, Hofra Al Nahas and other disputed areas? I do think so.

Majority of our people are stricken with fear that someone has not articulated well to protect the right of people on our land. We have lost out our rightful lands to Sudan through cowardly and ignorant decisions or both.

Why is it that our leaders want to play politics in the face of an anomaly? This is arrogance at best and skulduggery.

Our leaders know where the truth is, but are not telling it. The issue of Mile 14 and other disputed lands is not a small thing for the head of state to dare sarcastically the people who oppose the deal to go to war.

Sir, people will go to war with you first if you do not stop your clumsy approach to such critical matters of our existence. Khartoum has found a weak character they can manipulate.

In the face of challenges our president has clearly become another challenge to our people. Our people did not elect Kiir to give away our land, and then spew disparagingly at his disgruntled people.

Mr. President sharpened his derogatory remarks against those opposed to the agreement during his address to security officers on Tuesday that those who are unhappy with the agreement are people who were with the Jalaba/Diaspora, and never had time to fight with him in the bush.

How about me, sir, I was with you in one of the battalions (Tiger/Tumsah) you led, what will you say about me? I participated in the demonstration on Monday in Juba, all the way to parliament, to denounce the buffer zone dog for Mile 14. I went there but for reasons known to all. We had expected our lawmakers to reverse the arrangement on Mile 14 and go with the rest of the agreement.

To us, we thought that someone have given away our land in exchange for oil deal with Khartoum. The document should not have gone like that, people. Unfortunately, little did we know that Kiir has become another (Abyei Chief) Deng Majok who exchanged his ancestral land rights for a single meal.

Shame on Kiir and his cohorts! Kiir must go! He is a useless leader this country could have. His foul mouthing is not tolerable anymore.

Get it right and just to emphasize the matter we are trying to say, we are not rejecting the Cooperation Agreement with the Sudan, especially for an agreement that will last for a few years. But if the matter touches land, it becomes so complex to clear even after the expiry time.

The agreement is not all bad. People became happy that at least the oil production will flow again for the economy to resuscitate and that there will be relative harmony between Sudan and South Sudan, once belligerent countries.

But look, there are eight (8) agreements for the intended cooperation, but the one known as security agreement has spoiled the rest. The agreement has no meaning if the issues of Panthou, Kaka, Abyei, Hofra El Nahas and Mile 14 are not resolved. The security agreement should have been thrown out of the window by the lawmakers until grievances or grey areas surrounding these matters are resolved.

This is where we are coming, the issues of land are so grave for anyone to dip his/her fingers into.

Our president should own it up. This is what we are saying and he got to fix it. He failed to show leadership, so do the lawmakers in our land. Our legislators could have torn the document and made amendments before ratifying them.

What is this argument that if the president signs it the document, it cannot be challenged. Who is this god in South Sudan that when he does something it cannot be reversed? Whether Kiir or Garang signed it, people are more supreme. They can redo what has been botched for the good of all.

Mile 14 and Panthou are sold out for no reasons at all. Oil or no oil, we have been cheated by a ruthless clique in Juba. To them the agreement is excellent, the agreement has not been understood, the media has failed to articulate it to the people, reactionary forces are behind the rejection of the agreement, insignificant number in our society, people who objected to the agreement are diaspora and that they also opposed CPA but later cheered it when the flag was raised. That is utter nonsense.

Majority of our people are not opposing the agreement for the sake of it but had hoped that the leadership in Juba would do the necessary changes before going for a law. Bad deals create more troubles than solutions and hence uncalled for under the face of realities surrounding our rights.

My people have suffered under President Kiir and his heartless clique, I have no kind words again against these people. The demonstration we made as people of South Sudan on Monday, not as Northern Bahr El Ghazal people, will go down in history as the beginning of things to come.

Mr. President is not apologetic and this is worrying. The people of this country deserve a leader that respects their views. We have never had problems with him since he accidently ascended to power in 2005, because the situation dictated that people exercise patience.

For the past eight years we have learned bitterly that Mr. Kiir is the problem and should be removed. He has failed us in many fronts, and on this matter of land he must not be forgiven. Our men in uniform in Mile 14 therefore are to remain in their places and let Mulana Makuei, Mbeki or Pagan come and dislodge them by force. AU must deploy any troops around Mile 14. We will see how to go about Panthou and Abyei now that someone is selling our lands to Arabs.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author and not the website).
Isaiah Abraham lives in Juba; he is on Isaiah_abraham@yahoo.co.uk

The Lack of Growth of our Economy should be blamed on Foreigners who disguised as Investors.

BY: JUMA MABOR, NAIROBI, OCT. 18/2012, SSN; The issue of foreign citizens influx into the nascent Republic of South Sudan has been very controversial and it is not without concern that various commentators have in the past ruthlessly given their strongest sentiments about the worrying occupancy of foreigners at every level of our economy.

At the personal level, I have had reservations on the outburst against the foreigners who go and/or come to South Sudan for business related activities and this position has been motivated and inspired by the consideration that south Sudanese during their struggle for independence were and are still scattered worldwide and the host countries have and had given them the hospitality that they then and now deserved.

However, these statuses were not without some obstacles here or there but determination was the underlying factor that the south Sudanese had as they endured all manner of mistreatment that come with being a foreigner in a far away borders.

It was also during these difficult times that south Sudanese learnt that, besides respecting and upholding the laws of the host state, there were also limitations and boundaries that foreigners cannot cross into with regards to business engagements and other related activities. South Sudanese also learnt that, there are in a host or foreign countries areas of jurisdiction that are non-accessible to foreigners no matter their status in that country.

South Sudanese also got it into their different skulls that their political opinions no matter how extra ordinary and idealistic they maybe are non-consequential in the political scenario of the host state and therefore were never needed. These and other limitations were very much adhered to by the south Sudan nationals in order for them to avoid an embarrassment of deportation and payment of huge and exorbitant fines from the police to the courts although even with all the observance of such laws, 99.9 percent of south Sudanese who went to foreign countries will agree with me that each if not all of them parted with money to support their documents as was the common phrase from our closer neighbors.

What am I aiming at by giving this story? The answer is simple, when I visited south Sudan recently, I, without much hesitations agreed with those who have been enlightening the citizens of South Sudan that the foreigners are the ones frustrating the growth of our economy and of course with the help of some few national perpetrators who intend to loot the meager resources of our infant and virgin nation.

These malicious intentions are being orchestrated at several levels of our economy including the employment of foreign citizens in our civil service but first thing first, I want to share with the readers some of the industries that are exclusively owned by foreigners and they are making a lot of money out of these areas with impunity and improper regulations.

For instance, let us talk about the transport industry and I urge my readers to understand this sector as including the airlines, the bus companies, the mini bus commonly known as (Matatu), the Bodaboda Motorcycle industries and all other means of transportation of people, goods and services which are all being controlled by not less than 99.9 percent foreigners and it is only in south Sudan that you would wake up and before you get to your office, take breakfast at the foreign owned canteen, purchase airtime from a foreign owned kiosk, ask the foreign shoe shiner to clean your shoe, ask a foreigner to take you to the main road to access an Eritrean owned Matatu to take you to your final work station and possibly at the office ask the foreigner (your secretary) to give you your days dairy activities and at lunch time take the same route to lunch at Ethiopian restaurant before you use all the previous means of transport and procedures to get back to your house as some of our civil servants do not return to office after lunch.

Now, the bottom-line for all these chronology is to show that it is only in south Sudan where foreigners can be drivers at the transport industry like Matatu, it is here that they can also be conductors and it is even here that they can engage in Bodaboda business and operate small kiosks without any piece of license stuck to their mischief made premises.

In countries especially that are neighboring south Sudan, some of their citizens in one an unforgettable encounter paralyzed the government functions by demonstrating before the offices of the president and the prime minister for several days on the basis that certain Chinese citizens, in fact very few of them have resorted to retailing the china made phones along one of the infamous street in the city and this actions by Chinese were perceived to be an intention to venture into businesses that are preserves for the locals.

Secondly, as south Sudanese in the same country, getting your change after paying your bus or Matatu fares is next to impossibility because giving back the change to a foreigner is not mandatory or right but a choice that is entirely at the prerogatives of the conductor and as a foreigner, you should have persuasive skills if you wish to get some returns from what you have initially paid.

This issue has caused most south Sudanese teeth and other bodily-inflicted injuries in their encounters with Matatu owners and the police in that particular country. On the other hand, any business that is seen to engage so many foreigners as potential customers like some indigenous food joints bring a lot of competition between such business owners and their competitors and ultimately, the people with such businesses end up being murdered or if lucky, forced to close down their businesses as a result of perpetrated difficulties to get them out of the market.

Do not be mistaken, these are all nationals of the same country but because the other one is engaging in the business that attracts foreigners as customers and get for him/her more money than the competitor, then the alternative as to be explore to get rid of him/her.

These are the extents to which other countries and their citizens can go to block out foreigners from taking up their business sector. There is no slightest opportunity for foreigners to do any business in such countries because for one, the competition is too steep and worse enough, there are those businesses that are exclusively for locals and no foreigner can be allowed to register them even when they have capital and interested to open such businesses. These kinds of businesses are like the ones on transport industry that I have mentioned above.

Another abused sector of our economy is the hotel industry where almost all the residential areas in and around Juba have been leased out to the Foreigners as hotels and particularly to Ethiopians and Eritreans investors or so they called themselves.

The worrying factor with these kinds of business is morally and economically obvious for example, in every city planning, there are areas designated for business activities and those that are residential and this is vital because its preserves the serenity of the household safety as well as comfort and observations of family morals and stability while noise pollution is avoided.

In Juba, Ethiopians/Eritreans have constructed hotels and neighboring them are family houses and in these hotels, there are private rooms, restaurant, bar and all avenues for leisure and herein the house adjacent to it is a family house with a young girl, a wife and a father who can in a blink of an eye access all the activities that takes place at the hotel and either become inspired or traumatized.

This experience itself can have two fold impacts, one, it may destroy the moral status of our society as girls, young men and even house wives will find it easy to engage in immoral activities like fornication, infidelity or adultery and drunkenness because as, one Nigerian actor said, and I quote: Proximity is tantamount to accessibility.

I also think this can be used as stepping stone to venture into and overindulge in immoral activities by these vulnerable groups and citizens of our country.

Two, the peace, tranquility and comfortability that is usually associated with being in the comfort of your own home after a long day of activities is nonexistent in such neighborhoods as these hotels open loud music into the night for purposes of entertaining their customers. It is also during these times that the intoxicated/drunken forget their manners and caused havoc thus awakening or forcing the neighbors to remain awake as their utterances may sometimes sound unbearable.

In all these dramas, the funny scenario is that, unlike many business premises that operate in other countries including Eritrea and Ethiopia, every Ethiopian/Eritrean hotel in south Sudan operates like they are all five star hotels because the charges for both accommodation and foods are very exorbitant.

For example, you can pay a room for SSP 350 a night which is equivalent to U.S. Dollars 120 or so and I do not know how much this can be in Eritrean or Ethiopian Monies. Funny enough and again unlike other hotels in other countries, the licenses under which these hotels operate are nowhere affixed to the walls to tell the customers the limits and legitimacy of their operations.

Let us go again to another area of concern, which is water supply around Juba and its surroundings. I will only make some precise remarks about this area not because I lack information but because sometimes, it is prudent to leave some things to common sense.

Now in this area, the Eritreans/Ethiopians are the ones supplying water using their water tankers and again charging exorbitant fee to the locals. This is a project where revenues could be raised if the city council of Juba had initiated it and exercised the monopoly of being the only water supplier to its city residents. This can as well bring assurance as well as enabling the council to increase it GDP.

I am not saying private companies should not be allowed to engage in this business but all I am trying to contribute is that this is another obvious sector where easy money can be accessed by the city council. The private companies can initiate the same projects but it will only be left to customers as to which supplier they would choose depending on the charges and level of service delivery between the city council and the private companies.

In addition, I am not going to talk about the employment of foreigners in our government institutions not because I am not against the issue with all the consequences involved but simply because I have like many other colleagues who have previously commented about it, confirmed that the government has to the highest degree of contempt ignored this concern and I think it should be left at that as we all await the repercussions.

However, at this very juncture, I want to go straight to the way forward in the face of these glaring economic challenges.

One, the government and the people of the republic of south Sudan must know that there are some businesses that you cannot allow foreigners to engage in no matter their connections, these includes Bodaboda, Matatu industry with exception that the company can be owned by a foreigner but the employees like drivers and conductors should be locals.

Foreigners can not open kiosks, canteens in a foreign country, these are small business enterprises that are left to the locals who do not have enough capital to open bigger businesses, foreigners should not shine shoes or hawk in the streets of juba because this is absolutely prohibited and it is a bad practice for the country like ours because some poor foreigners can influx into the country with sub standard and counterfeit goods and hawk them to our illiterate population thus cheating them out of the monies and run away with our resources.

Secondly, the institution concerned with city planning must look into it that residential areas are separated from Hotels and ask those who leased their houses to foreigners to rectify their contracts in order to avoid the hotels being at the neighborhood that is meant to be a residential area.

The Authorities concerned with issuing business licenses must also ensure that all the businesses have their licenses available at a very visible place where any concerned citizen can easily see what the business is all about and for how long.

The ministry of commerce, trade and industry must also regulate on the prices of the hotels and other businesses because the foreigners are getting advantage of our people for most of them do not know the economic value of our money. If there is no law in place to control the prices, then the policy of free economy is being abused by foreigners on that basis and therefore the noble reason why the government should enact laws to that effect.

It is still in the hotel industry that I also want to recommend that, in every hotel owned by foreigners, 50 percent of its staff should be locals because this is legal as well as moral for the creation of jobs for our people. There is no way like it is now where a hotel is established and all its employees are foreigners. That only happens in south Sudan and something needs to be done and urgently done to save this situation.

Thirdly, the city council of Juba must take over the water project and revoked all the business licenses given to foreigners to supply water to Juba residence. This as I had said before can help the council raise enough revenues to initiate other developmental projects and help the people of south Sudan.

The private companies can do their own way but like in the hotel sector, the drivers and loaders should remain locals in order to create jobs for our population.

Lastly, the only modality that can be used to avoid this foreign exploitation of our economy is to plead with our government to listen to the voices of informed citizens like myself on what needs to be done to surmount these challenges and manage the effective growth of our economy and meet the expectations of our people.

In that order, it is relatively important for our government and specifically the institution in charge of registration of businesses and companies to ascertain the financial viability of the investor and how much it can contribute to the economy of the country and this can only allow the multinational business organisations and companies to come to south Sudan and improve our economic growth.

This can also be done in collaboration with South Sudan embassies and consulates abroad not to allow foreigners to just get visas and think that they are going to think about the kind of business they want to establish when they are already inside south Sudan. These are the kinds of people we see prostituting and hawking in our streets today and these kinds of businesses are not doing any benefit to the country.

In conclusion, I want to also urge fellow citizens of the republic of South Sudan to wake up and do something about the future of their country because even as we blame our government and foreigners for all our misfortunes and lack of progress, we have also contributed to this downfall by being too ignorant, lazy and proud for nothing.

Some people do not have sources of income and to even feed themselves and instead of going to work as conductors, drivers, motorcyclists, waiters/waitresses, shoe shiners, kiosk/canteen owners, hotel investors if they have that opportunities, we are just all over complaining about foreigners this and our government that yet we do not want to accept that we are also part of the problem.

And until we get this diagnosis correct, we shall never be proud of the freedom that our heroes and heroines sacrificed their blood to bring for us. Let us style up and save our country from being the breadbasket where the owner only ends up carrying the basket and the bread already been taken away by those who know its significance.

Juma Mabor Marial is not an economist but a Lawyer. However, they say, experience is the best teacher, and as such, his visit to South Sudan and seeing these happenings prompted him to write this very article. He is reachable at hussenjuma@hotmail.com

Sorry, the Vice President, Machar, is a Hypocrite

BY: Fanwell Edward, OCT. 18/2012, SSN;
Vice President Dr. Riek Machar has unfortunately never missed an opportunity to unintentionally convince the public that he is a hypocrite of the worst kind. The hypocrisy the VP has displayed on recent occasions is breathtaking. After travelling to New York at the end of September to deliver South Sudan speech at the 67th United Nations General Assembly on behalf of President Kiir, who was bogged down in negotiations with Sudan president in Addis Ababa, Dr. Machar went to the American Mid-West to address the mainly Nuer South Sudanese community in Omaha, Nebrasaka.

He, among other things, urged his audience to work together as South Sudanese regardless of their political affiliations. But in the same breath he announced to the same audience his intention to bar the registration of SPLM-DC and charge the leader of the second largest political party in South Sudan with treason.

The VP claimed that SPLM-DC Chairman, Dr. Lam Akol, is a leader of a group of militias fighting the government of South Sudan, and as such Dr. Akol must prove his innocence, failing which the Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan will charge him with treason!

This kind of talk, which late Dr. Garang would call as loose talk, is symptomatic of the utter failure of the current crop of our leaders to transition from the liberation mind-set to the mind-set of statesmanship guided by the rule of law and democratic principles.

It is therefore, urgent for the VP to appreciate the fact that neither he nor his office can usurp the powers of the judiciary to arbitrarily bar a political party from operating in South Sudan or compel Dr. Lam or any other South Sudanese, for that matter, to prove their innocence vis-a-vis trumped up charges.

Contrary to the VPs ill-advised pronouncement, it is known worldwide that the prosecutor is the one who bears the burden of proving his/her case in the court of law that the accused is guilty beyond a reason doubt of the charge (s) brought against them. This is the practice in all democracies around the world, and anything short of this is nothing but the rule of the jungle, abuse of power and utter political intimidation that must be treated with deserved contempt and outrage.

The VPs talk about treason rings empty in light of the fact that known rebel leaders who terrorized and killed countless South Sudanese citizens before and after independence of South Sudan have not been charged with even homicide let alone treason. Generals such as Tanginya remain in military cells without charges of treason brought against them.

In this respect it is to be remembered that it was none other than the VP who announced to the world in December 2011 that General George Athor was killed after a seven-hour battle with SPLA soldiers in Central Equatoria Morobo County in South Sudan. According to the VP, General Athor and an aide (an American citizen of South Sudanese origin) were the only casualties resulting from the pitch battle that purportedly took place in the jungles of Central Equatoria.

VP sources displayed a photo showing the Generals body in a pool of blood. That was no doubt that the body belonged to the former SPLA general, but there were some glaring discrepancy regarding the photo and the circumstances of the generals death. The General, who the VP claimed was engaged in a seven-hour long battle with the SPLA was clad only in civilian clothes with a pen visibly shining from the top pocket of the African suit.

The photo and the unscrupulously managed battle scene belied the VP claims of a long battle and confirmed the claim advanced by many informed South Sudanese that the Generals death was a direct result of a cold-blood activity by neighboring Uganda.

No wonder there has not been any further details about the Generals death just as there has not been further detailed investigation into the cause of the 2005 crash of late Chairman John Garang Ugandan presidential chopper.

One will be forgiven to assume that the holder of a high political office such as that of the Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan would be endowed with sound judgment, a very sharp sense of history and a keen awareness of the need to weigh his/her words delicately before they uttered.

Words such as treason cannot and must not be uttered carelessly for the sake of scoring political points against political foes.

Also to hold the ax of treason charges to the neck of any citizen who has not been so charged in a court of law is reckless and irresponsible especially when such utterances come from a leader whose checkered political history and current leadership record bear more holes than a Swiss cheese does.

In fact, Dr. Machar has the dubious distinction of being the only southern Sudanese leader whose agreement with the government of the Sudan carries the name Khartoum, whereas other agreements go by names such as Naivasha, Chukudum, Addis Ababa, Abuja, Asmara etc. Even the peace agreements signed by Dr. Lam were called Frankfurt (agreement for self-determination for South Sudanese) and Fashoda (signed in front of the Shilluk king in the seat of the Shilluk kingdom in Fashoda).

For four long years (1997 to 2001) Dr. Riek Machar served as the assistant to President Omar ElBashir as well as being the de facto ruler of southern Sudan. Therefore, unless one suffers from an advance case of political Alzheimer it is incomprehensible how one dares make such hypocritical, reckless and self-defeating pronouncements.

The VP showed his hypocrisy again recently when he dwelled on the issue of land grabbing during a speech he gave at the thanksgiving prayer celebrating the return from Germany of the ailing governor of Central Equatoria State, Mr. Clement Wani.

The VP babbled at length and waxed eloquence about the widespread practice of land grabbing in and around Juba. In a poorly scripted scenario, Dr. Machar, faking concern and interest, called on the Governor to fight the vice.

It is either the VP believes everyone is a fool or he in fact suffers from serious illusions and hallucinations.

Did he really think that the Governor and the people of Central Equatoria to whom he preached vigilance against land grabbing did not know that the VP himself is believed (rightly or wrongly) to be immersed from head to toe in grabbing the precious land of Central Equatoria State?

Anyone who happened to innocently walk around number 7 neighborhood near Munuki could not miss to notice the crowds of VPs fifth columnists unlawfully occupying tracks of land. Who is fooling whom or is the VP trying to deflect scrutiny by attempting to put additional wedge between the Bari and the Dinka?

The third incident of the VPs glaring hypocrisy concerns his attempts to downplay the amount of four billion dollars that president Kiir said was stolen by former and current government officials. For reasons known to him alone and without quoting an alternative amount or pointing out who misappropriated the amount, Dr. Riek Machar argues that the missing amount is less than four billion dollars.

While one does not know for sure whether the VP is among the 75 corrupt officials who received president Kiirs infamous letter, the VPs pronouncements on this grave matter throws cold water on efforts to shed more light on the loss a staggering amount of public funds.

Finally, Vice President Dr. Riek Machar allowed himself to be guided by self-interest and therefore allowed himself to be manipulated by Abyei Talibans (Dr. Luka Biong Deng, Edward Lino Abyei and Deng Alor) to present to the court of arbitration in The Hague a map of Abyei that recklessly included Heglig (Panthou).

As the head of the Southern Sudanese delegation and as a prominent citizen of Unity State within whose boundary Panthou lies per the January 1956 borders, Dr. Machar could not raise a finger against the flawed map for the fear of retribution from the powerful Abyei cartel. As expected, the judges at The Hague rendered their judgment on 22 July 2009 excluding Heglig from the territory of the nine Dinka Ngok.

As a result of that judgment the international community was outraged when SPLA troops captured Heglig on 10 April this year. Universal condemnation of Juba actions poured in from all directions including from the so-called our friends, forcing the leadership in Juba to frantically grope in the dark for friends before beating a hasty humiliating retreat from the oilfields.

It is worth mentioning that Dr. Riek had camped in Bentiu during the ten-day crisis presenting a picture of an army general directing the military campaign on our northwestern war front. Things did not go well there and Dr. Riek fell silent as soon as the big guns fell silent in Panthou.

Now that the Panthou war and the crucial rounds of Addis Ababa have claimed Panthou, Abyei and Mile 14 as it most prominent casualties and have left them in the hands of Khartoum, the VP is nowhere to be seen or heard on these matters.

Instead, like Emperor Nero who sang while Rome burnt in AD 64, Dr. Machar harped on an old song while he travelled in faraway lands. He is still peddling nonsense in Americas corn-belt whereas his former SPLA colleagues-in-arms from Northern Bahr elGhazal are up in arms against the inclusion of their territory in the latest security arrangements agreed with the Sudan in Addis Ababa on 27 September 2012.

Instead of mobilizing the people of his own home state against the current status of Panthou and other territories, the VP continues to characteristically speak and foam from both sides of his mouth on matters of less serious concern to the people of South Sudan.

And instead of working diligently to unite the people of this young nation the VP is hell-bent on creating disunity through his hypocritical pronouncements. The VP does not understand that the people of South Sudan are too intelligent to be fooled by a hypocrite.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author and not the website)

edwardpanwell@yahoo.com

Kiir’s Capitulation: From Independence to Dependence on jellaba

Editorial Analysis, OCTOBER 2012; Without a shred of any doubt now, and in spite of SPLM multiple refutations, South Sudan nation is painfully coming to the stark realization that the September 27 Addis Ababa peace deal President Kiir initialed with the jellaba Arab Sudan was a total capitulation and a sell-out.

Furthermore, it is becoming more clearer that President Kiir and his failed SPLM/A regime have reversed our hard-won independence into a real and absolute dependence, once again, on our former oppressors, through this peace accord whose implementation will be at the mercy of the Jellaba and not the South Sudanese.

Regardless of the unsurprisingly fast ratification by the national parliament, most South Sudanese are understandably reserved or openly opposed to the entire or articles of the September 27 Kiir-Bashir Agreement, especially those from areas directly and adversely impacted by some of the its sections.

What Kiir and his chief negotiator, Pagan Amum, are stubbornly not admitting in public is that the Addis Ababa deal was really a coerced oil-for-land trade off, which clearly is more advantageous to Beshir and the Arab Messeriya and Reizeigat vagabonds.

ABYEI: Watching one of the leading Abyei chief negotiators, Luka Biong, almost tearfully explaining the conundrum, it is a truly foregone conclusion that the Abyei accord reached is already stillborn, ostensibly, because will never ever be resolved in the lifetime of this accord. Biong ominously predicts that Abyei will end up in an international arbitration imbroglio, whose ruling if any, will not be implementable nor acceptable by the jellaba.

Forebodingly, Abyei will remain a political cancer on South Sudan, specifically because of its intractability, unless and until the ruling SPLM/A administration works out a modus vivendi, sooner rather than later, to move its resolution in future talks with Sudan.

This begets the tough question that neither Biong, Alor or Dr. Francis Deng or any Ngok leader want to hear: What percentage of the indigenous Abyei residents really want to move either South or North? As Biong aptly put is, Abyei is almost like a stateless State, neither South Sudanese nor Sudanese.

Perhaps with its oil revenues, it is now imperative for the failed Kiir government and his Abyei politicians to think of another solution such as having this region granted a special status under a UN-mandate until such a time that its resident citizens can decide in complete transparency where they want to belong.

GRAZING RIGHTS: This issue is inarguably one fatal mistake that President Kiir and the leaders of the border states of South Sudan so unwisely acceded to without imposing the necessary conditionalities needed, such as impressing a consensus on a time limit, after all, we are supposedly two separate and independent countries.

Indeed, there are no similar scenarios existing anywhere in the world today where nomads from another sovereign state get unfettered access into another independent country to freely exploit its economic resources because of some primitive and out-dated Wild West arrangements.

It simply borders on sheer political immaturity and lack of seriousness as to why the Dinka and Nuer leaders of Northern Bahr el Gazal, Warrap, Unity and Upper Nile states never jointly formulated some stringent conditions by imposing taxes, for instance, to gradually and finally phase out this one-sided economic exploitation of their traditional lands.

Ultimately, Kiir and his SPLM are just perpetuating our perpetual dependence on the jellaba at our own sovereign expense! Sooner, as typical of the SPLM system, all those Dinka and Nuer leaders from those impacted states will be coerced to accept these sell-out deals and things will be business-as-usual, which is unsurprisingly only symptomatic of political failure.

THE FOUR FREEDOMS: Combined together, and despite SPLM refutations and acclamation, these so-called freedoms are nothing but instruments for the perpetuation of our endless dependence, once again, on the jellaba Sudan and on the terms of the jellabas.

Collectively, the SPLM/A leadership disingenuousness stands out palpably since all the so-called Four Freedoms are virtual instruments for perpetuation of our unstoppable exploitation by jellaba Khartoum. Already, under Kiir leadership, the nation is quietly watching Islamization and Arab influence are once coming back due to the political castration of the leadership by its acquiescence to Middle Eastern dollar donors.

Moreover, it is only the leaders-cum-thieves of South Sudan, who have bought properties or invested in business ventures with jellaba, that are the main economic beneficiaries of these freedoms, and the South Sudan nationals will soon be massively overwhelmed by jellaba economic hegemony.

Inevitably, the jellaba will once again under-develop our nation as they have done for the last many decades of their colonization of South Sudan. Only a fool would be made to believe that the jellaba would like to see a South Sudan nation that is politically, economically, religiously, socially, etc..etc.. independent.

More importantly, however, we have cheaply sold away our freedom by acceding to the joint oil agreement whereby our oil will go northwards. Acceptably, President Kiir blundered when he unwisely shut down the oil production last January instead of first working out an alternative mechanism to sustain production and export.

Then, the SPLM and supporters blindly supported the blunders of Kiir, now the nation must painfully accept that the prosperity promised in our national anthem will remain for a long time only a dream except, once again, for the kleptomaniacal SPLM/A leadership who will keep corrupting the government.

Finally, the entire Addis Agreement is critically dependent on the unresolved wars in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and to extent, Darfur, all whose fighters and the leaders still maintain close links and suspected support- politically and materially- from the SPLM/A government in Juba.

President Kiir, like his unpopular counterpart, president Bashir, needed this Agreement to buy time and cleverly avert any sanctions from the United Nations Security Council, as well as to timely avoid the predicted economic collapse in the two nations.

More critical, Kiir had to unconditionally surrender to the increasing international pressure and the fact that he completely failed to garner any international financial assistance after shutting oil production in January.

Unfortunately, the nation is in a state of paralysis and people are genuinely frustrated by the political failure, lack of services delivery, and the ostentatious theft and corruption and absence of the rule of law.

As the president grows delusional about coups against his increasingly unpopular regime, the fate and future of our nation in very uncertain, especially now that our dependence on the jellaba in guaranteed by a mutual agreement.

Nuer Youth Demand The Release of Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel

Media Release: Nuer Youth Executive Council, Juba, South Sudan

    October, 16

    OCT. 17/2012, SSN; The Nuer Youth leadership in Juba is deeply troubled by the events which have been taking place in the city since October 11, 2012, the day Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel was arrested at work in Bilpam Headquarters. We thought that his arrest was something related to administrative issues until we read the press release of Jieng Community Association in Juba which categorically stated that Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec was incarcerated due to his support to Nuer Prophet Dak Kueth and Murle rebel commander, David Yau Yau. The legal department of Nuer Youth Association began to investigate the real cause of his arrest despite claims of Jieng Community Association and discovered that he was detained by Military Intelligence (MI) that was ordered by the Commander in Chief of the SPLA army, 1st Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit.

    The chief of MI told the leadership of Nuer youth that Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec was detained -because he was working with other politicians to stage a coup against the leadership of President Salva Kiir.

    The Nuer Youth dismissed the claims of MI because Juba has been rocked with rumors of coups since last year. It should be noted that there is no month that would pass by without a rumor of a coup in Juba. Last year, it was rumored that Deputy Minister of Defense, Dr. Majak Agot, was planning a coup to topple President Kiir. That rumor died down without any incident. In July this year it was also rumored that Presidential advisor on Human Rights, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng Garang met with some Bor officers and appointed Maj. Gen. Mac Paul to stage a coup against President Kiir. That rumor was even published in the media. However, it was discovered that Rebecca Nyandeng did not plan any coup and was being blackmailed in the media. Moreover, when the son of late Dr. John Garang de Mabior, Col. Mabior Garang de Mabior, gave an interview to McClatchy newspaper in Nairobi expressing his dismay on the leadership direction in South Sudan, it was also rumored in Juba that he was planning a coup.

    When the agents of Military Intelligence said that Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel was detained because of allegation of a coup, everybody dismissed it as another rumor mill in Juba spewing nonsensical charges against a respectable officer like Simon Gatwec. However, the Nuer Youth is shocked today, Tuesday, October, 16, when President Salva Kiir confirmed in the meeting with officers at Bilpam Headquarters that Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel was arrested because he and unnamed politicians planned to stage a coup against his government. The President said that Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec would be taken to court and if found innocent he would be released. The statement of the President put to rest the doubts of all those who were dismissing the allegations of a coup as the usual joke and began to ask serious questions.

    Sources within the military intelligence revealed that the coup leaders are Deputy Minister of Defense, Dr. Majak Agot and Hon. Dr. Riek Gai Kok, a member of South Sudan Legislative Assembly representing Akobo County of Jonglei State. However, when meeting military officers at Bilpam Headquarters on October, 16, President Kiir praised Dr. Majak Agot and Lt. Gen. James Hoth for foiling the coup while he was in Uganda. But the revelations coming from MI alleged that Dr. Majak Agot was in fact the leader of the coup who recruited Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec.

    The question every reasonable South Sudanese is asking is: If Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec was part of the coup, where are the other officers? Where are the politicians who organized the coup? Why did President Kiir not arrest Majak Agot and Dr. Riek Gai Kok who are named by MI as leaders of the coup?

    According to sources within the MI, Dr. Majak Agot was the one who gave President Kiir the list of 31 officers ranging from Brig. Generals to Maj. Generals as officers who planned to stage a coup. It is said that Majak Agot denied being part of the coup and told Kiir that -the Nuer are the ones planning to overthrow Dinka government-. The funny part of the allegation of a coup is that the politicians who organized the officers have not been arrested and only one man is targeted. That begs the question and the Nuer Youth are having difficulty believing President Kiirs version of events because it would be the first time on earth that one Maj. General could stage a coup alone without politicians backing him up.

    If the rumors which have been circulating since last year are being believed by the President, the question is: Why would the President not believe the previous rumors linking Majak Agot, Rebecca Garang and Col. Mabior Garang to the conspiracy of staging a coup against the government? Col. Mabior Garang is on record calling for removal of President Kiir when he gave interview to McClatchy newspaper. He never denied his interview but qualified it recently by saying that he was calling for -peaceful uprising against the government-. After the events of Tunisia, people know that the line between popular uprising and a coup is indistinguishable. Yet, President Kiir did not detain Col. Mabior Garang when he returned to Juba on October, 9.

    Dismissing Nuer Officers: After a thorough scientific investigation, the Nuer Youth discovered that Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel was not incarcerated because of allegation of a coup since all the facts revealed that the allegation of a coup is a lie. We have discovered that President Kiir wanted to implement a policy of purging the Nuer officers out of the SPLA army. This policy was delayed when Paulino Matip was alive because he was against it. After his death, President Kiir and his Dinka elites revived the policy and identified thirty five Nuer officers to be removed from the army so that the Dinka would firmly control the South.

    The allegation of the coup is a ploy to cover up the real plan. Using coup as the reason to detain Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel is a tactic to detain all the Nuer officers one by one because official retirement of all Nuer officers at once may raise suspicions. Salva Kiir himself said in August in a meeting with officers in Bilpam that he would be retiring military officers starting from Brig. General upward. He did not implement that plan right away because he was advised that it would create tribal tension.

    The Nuer Youth would seriously advise President Kiir and the Dinka community at large that the politics of tribal domination and nation-building are antithetical. The same tactics being employed by President Kiir in targeting the Nuer were used by the Hutus rights after the independence of Rwanda in 1961 and led to first Rwanda genocide. After the resistance launched by the Tutsis in defending themselves from Hutus dominated government, the Hutus political elites decided eventually that the only solution was to exterminate Tutsis on earth and that policy culminated into the second genocide in 1994.

    However, South Sudan is a multi-ethnic society and the Nuer community is a heroic community that could not be dominated. For the last three hundred years, Dinka never defeated the Nuer in any battle. In 19th Century, the Nuer conquered Dinka lands and assimilated 30% of Dinka. In the 20th C, the Nuer is the only tribe in Africa which fought the British for thirty years with spears. The Nuer were the first to bring down British plane with a spear, an experience which shocked the British empire up to now.

    When the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed, the Nuer community came to conclusion that past conflicts with Dinka should be brought to an end because nation-building demands that South Sudanese people transcend tribal politics in order to forge a viable nation state. When Paulino Matip signed Juba Declaration on January 9, 2006, the Nuer community applauded the spirit of cooperation between him and President Salva Kiir. Despite the glaring mistreatment of Nuer for the last six years, our community endured humiliations in the name of South Sudan. Maj. Gen. Bol Kong in 2006 was the first SPLA officer that fought his own people of Lou Nuer to carry out the government disarmament program in the name of South Sudan.

    Today, the Jieng Community called him Nyagat (fifth columnist) after defending South Sudan from external threats because he is a Nuer. When war broke out between the North and the South in March this year, it was Maj. Gen. Bol Kong and other Nuer officers who heroically defended South Sudan border. More than 80% of SPLA forces along the North-South border are Nuer. More than five thousands SPLA soldiers killed in Heglig and Jaw battles were Nuer.

    It has become a habit that when there is a war between the North and the South, the first people President Kiir relies on are Nuer. In 2008 fighting between the SPLA and SAF in Abyei, it was Maj. Gen. Peter Gatdet who heroically defeated the SAF. After the end of the fighting, he was called Nyagat in Juba and denied medical benefits to go for treatment in Nairobi after a long fighting in Abyei. That was one of the reasons he left the government in 2011 and formed a rebel movement.

    After Peter Gatdet formed South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) in March, 2011 to fight the government of South Sudan, it was Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel and Maj. Gen. Bol Kong who convinced him to abandon rebellion. Indeed Peter Gatdet signed an agreement with the government and he is now the deputy commander disarming civilians in Jonglei. Had it not been for Nuer officers like Bol Kong and Simon Gatwec Duel who rejected rebellion, South Sudan could not have been independent last year. Today, all their work to save the South is thrown to dustbin because they are Nuer and the only reward they get is to label them as Nyagats.

    The Nuer Youth are aware that President Kiir wants to endanger the very survival of South Sudan as a viable state after achieving independence last year. However, the Nuer community refused to be part of the failure of the South and stood firmly in safeguarding the territorial integrity of South Sudan from external threats. The Nuer who died in the border war with the North died in defending the honor of South Sudan. Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel has more than five family members killed in action defending South Sudan.

    When Maj. Gen. Gabriel Tang, Maj. Gen. Simon Mabor Dhol and Brig. Gen. Gatwec Joak were illegally detained last April with orders of President Salva Kiir, it was Maj. Gen Simon Gatwec Duel and Maj. Gen. Bol Kong who calmed down the Nuer Youth. Up to now, Gabriel Tang and his officers have never received justice let alone being informed of the reasons for their detention. The South Sudan constitution states that any accused should be accorded due process in a short time possible.

    However, all the constitutional stipulations have been ignored because the accused individuals are Nuer. When Maj. Gen. Marial Nuor, a Dinka, was accused of raping girls and murdering an engineer in Juba, he was detained for few days but was produced before a judge. He was allowed to have a legal counsel who argued his case and today he is out of prison after being arrested for only two weeks. Up to now, the government dropped the case against him although the UN documented his abuse of girls at night in the city. The reason for his release is because he is a Dinka.

    Since his arrest on October, 11, 2012, Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel has been denied food for five days and his wife has been prevented from visiting him. He has never been accorded due process as stipulated in the Interim Constitution and was not allowed to retain a legal counsel let alone being told the reasons for his detention. While President Kiir is talking about justice, the only people who receive justice in South Sudan are Dinka, not Nuer because since April, 2011, Gabriel Tang, Mabor Dhol and Gatwec Joak have never received justice.

    The Nuer Youth are calling on President Kiir to release Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel as soon as possible without conditions from our community. The patience of Nuer community is running thin and President Kiir should not wish to return the South to dark days of 1990s when William Nyoun and Bol Kong defeated him at Magiri with only seven hundred fighters while he was commanding fifteen thousands. Nuers fighting spirit is unquestionable; however, the Nuer community resolved that ethnic fighting would destroy South Sudan and return our people to abject poverty and suffering. The number of Nuer and Dinka who died as a result of factional wars in 1990s far exceeds the number killed by the Sudan Armed Forces in the course of liberation struggle.

    When the Nuer Youth convened a meeting last year at Nyakuron Cultural Center, Maj. Gen. Bol Kong told the Nuer Youth that South Sudan should abandon violence and adopt the path of peace as the only way to achieve political power. Bol Kong advised South Sudan politicians to use ballot box as the only way to bring political change in South Sudan. Today, the Jieng Community labeled him as Nyagat after fighting his own people in 2006 to carry out government disarmament policy.

    The Nuer Youth would not release another press release again to advise President Kiir to abandon destructive tribal politics. Instead the President should consult history and release Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec Duel immediately. We have realized that Nuers pacifism is being seen by Dinka community as a weakness and some members of Kiirs elites have begun making presentations that -the Nuer are defeated-. This release is our last advice to the President because our patience is running out. The responsibility to keep peace in South Sudan is a responsibility of all people including Dinka community. It is the interest of every South Sudanese to see that peace reigns supreme in South Sudan. But if communities that have realized the importance of peace are being labeled as -cowards- or -being defeated-, the future of South Sudan is bleak.

    As youth, we believe that peaceful South Sudan is our priority and will benefit us more than President Kiir who is getting old. The future of South Sudan belongs to the youth and we are the last sector of Nuer community to see South Sudan on fire. However, the Nuer community has inalienable right to defend itself if President Kiir is pursuing policies of domination and extermination. If President Kiir is interested to impose war on Nuer although they do not want it, it is instinct of every human being to defend themselves when attacked. The right of self-defense is a right recognized internationally. But our hearts break to see that the President of a newly independent country wants to return the Nuer and Dinka to 1990s factional wars.

    We call upon peace-loving Dinka brothers to advise the President that the Nuer-Dinka war is the end of South Sudan. Such a war should not be promoted by anybody be it President Kiir or the youth of South Sudan who would be the losers. The future of South Sudan belongs to the youth and the next generation needs to see a culture of peace being promoted by our leaders.

    But the policies of President Kiir will return us to factional war of 1990s when he and Maj. Gen. Bol Kong fought for a month in Equatoria and wasted more than thousand lives of the people of South Sudan who should be now contributing to our countrys development.

    The Nuer are not cowards but our community resolved in 2006 that tribal wars would not take our country forward and there is a need to stay away from tribal tendencies which nearly destroyed South Sudan liberation movement in 1990s.

    For contact:

    Peter Tut Hoth

    President of Nuer Youth in Juba,

    South Sudan

    Email: nueryouthjuba@hotmail.com

SPLM brutality will destroy us all

BY: ELHAG PAUL, RSS, OCT. 13/2012, SSN; The violence unleashed on Emmanuel Jal on Saturday 8th September 2012 in Juba is not any surprise at all. Nobody in Juba is exempt from the barbarism of SPLM security people be they VIPs, diplomats, scholars, etc. We have had diplomats from very important countries in Africa slapped left and right in Juba by illiterate traffic police who have no idea of their own trade. Since the signing of the CPA in 2005 and the coming of SPLM/A to power in South Sudan, the country was swiftly taken back to the age of barbarism.

SPLM, an uncouth organisation right from its inception in 1983 while singing about liberation, it has always behaved contrary to the principles of liberation itself. It abused the very people it was supposed to protect and liberate. Having gained power, the SPLM/A just transferred their bush management style into the towns of South Sudan turning the lives of the average South Sudanese into a nightmare.

Stories of violence meted out on citizens has since then been a daily occurrence. Since GoSS is run by SPLM and it has no clear ideology or humane values, it has no clue of how to reign in on its militarized police forces. The failure to address this serious lapse in law and order unbelievably is lamented by the head of the state and his minister for Home Affairs.

Recently the president himself admitted that members of the police and security forces are responsible for most of the crimes committed in towns in South Sudan. Surprisingly, he did not explain how his government was going to deal with the problem. In a sense, he was openly admitting failure and demonstrating incompetence but refusing to take responsibility.

If south Sudan was the democracy the president always claims it is, he would have been asked to quit there and then. It is only fair to say that if the president and his government do not know their duties to the state and its people then they should just get out of those offices and let competent people take over.

But being a totalitarian leader of a tribally constructed organisation, the president continues to mismanage the country shamelessly knowing very well that the party militia will ensure he remains in power. Now we have Emmanuel Jal who has for no reason been attacked on the street, robbed and abused by the very people (police and security agents) who were supposed to protect him. If the security agents themselves are the criminals, who then is going to maintain law and order in the country?

Is there any wonder why the Republic of South Sudan is a failed state? There is talk of investigation to apprehend the culprits who abused Emmanuel Jal. So far it is almost one month since the incident happened and there is no indication of any success. I hope that this investigation yields fruits. If the history of such abuses is anything to go by, we might as well forget any justice for Emmanuel Jal.

Do you remember the cases of Professor Taban Lo Lyiong, Professor Jok Madut Jok, Mr Daniel Wani and honourable Arop Madut? These four cases are not the only ones but their importance relate to the fact that these gentlemen are of high standing in the community. Taban Lo Lyion is a professor and renowned international writer with books like (Another Nigger Dead) to his name. Professor Jok Madut Jok is an educationalist and the undersecretary in the ministry of culture. Daniel Wani is an engineer and the former undersecretary in the ministries of roads and wildlife. Arop Madut is a journalist, author and an appointed MP in the parliament. What is remarkable is that most if not all are staunch members of the SPLM party.

SPLM party membership consists of some of the most highly educated people in the country, but the sophistication of this section of the party unfortunately is neither portrayed in the party policies nor governance of the country. One wonders why such highly educated people continue to be part of a dysfunctional organisation where their views do not count. What makes them be part of this organisation?

I am baffled and my poor brain can not work out the reason. Even when they are brutally abused as in some of the cases mentioned in this article, they just carry on singing Oyee, Oyee, Oyee without putting a robust protest in defence of their dignity and humanity. Are they really that impotent in that organisation?

The circumstances in which these respectable citizens experienced the brutality of their own SPLM police and army proves beyond doubt that South Sudan is not only a failed state, but as described by Gerrard Prunier – a country run by idiots, rotten to the core.

It is unthinkable that people of such caliber in any other country would have been exposed or subjected to such violence.

Violence continues in South Sudan because there is no will to address it due to the nature of the gang system in the ruling party. Each gang protects its members and each gang is careful not to step on the others toes. So if one gang commits crime the others look the other way. This is what allows people like Jok Madut Jok to be humiliated by drank soldiers in full view of their superiors.

It is the same thing that allows the thieving lot to fleece the coffers of the government without fear of accountability. It is this very system that has turned the president into a spectator of violence and by implication an accomplice to it. This should not be taken as an excuse for the president inaction. He has duties to protect the citizens of South Sudan.

If he can not do it he should do the honorable thing – resign. There is no need for him to be warming the presidential chair while lawlessness is raging on all over the country.

Why are the people not reacting against the misrule and the abuse? To put it simply, violence and human rights abuses of all nature in South Sudan have been normalized by their daily occurrence. Since 1983 the people of South Sudan have been subjected to unbelievable abuses. The three decades of SPLM grip on power in South Sudan has caused immense damage to the country producing a traumatised society that has lost all semblance of normality and sanity.

The SPLM leadership itself confused without any governance skills and clue to how to address this sad state of affairs made the situation worse by indulging in orgies of looting and allowing lawlessness to spread like wild fire. South Sudan now is a failed state and worse still the people are de-sensitized to abuse.

The people having learnt that they can not get redress from the system have accepted violence as normal. They have internalised the rot because being weak in environment of violence calls for complete obedience in order to survive. Thus the helplessness of the people in turn make the abusers feel great.

SPLM is dehumanising South Sudanese by the second and minute. It is killing the peoples sense and moral fabric. This is dangerous because as we lose our humanity we all lose our cultural ability to preserve life itself and by so doing we self destruct. When we watch abuse without concern and action we too become dehumanised. In the end we will become abusers ourselves and this will be an indictment on our humanity itself.

Let me expand on this point as it is very important. The anger building up slowly among the people of South Sudan about the current situation in the country is surely brutalising the public. It is dehumanising the public. When this anger explodes, the people will resort to replacing the current system by using violence as it happened in Libya. It is here that people will then begin to realise how they have been brutalised and dehumanised.

Watching clips of the Libyan revolution is a chilling experience and should be a reminder to the SPLM regime and its supporters. They are not exempt from this process. People fighting for their freedom and political rights usually copy the same behaviour of their oppressors in the struggle to rid themselves of abuse. In Libya the masses discovering their power behaved towards Gadaffi regime supporters exactly in the same manner Gadaffi security men behaved towards them in their hay days. That is the once peaceful citizen turned abuser by the system ending up abusing their abusers.

So, all are losers including the country. The new system coming into force will not be any better than the old one. Do we all want to be losers? Ponder on the Libyan experience and the now ongoing situation in Syria. We still can save our country from unnecessary destruction.

South Sudanese should not accept this dehumanisation. SPLM is what it is because the people have become helpless spectators rather than actors who have rights. If most of the people vote by withdrawing their support from this organisation, they will be surprised to see fruiting change emerge from the ashes of South Sudan failed state. We the people have the power and we should use it responsibly by delinking from the SPLM to end the abuse and save our country.

If we do not want to see violence like the one in Libya, or orgiastic corruption, or theft, or misrule, etc then let us just walk away from this monstrous organisation. If we do this we would have done the most honourable thing in our lives by: 1) clearing our conscience by removing ourselves from being accomplice to crimes. 2) Freeing and saving South Sudan from the claws of vultures and vampires. 3) Participating in bringing about a historic peaceful change in our lives.

Liberating South Sudan from the vultures and vampires peacefully will offer a chance for South Sudanese to tell the world that we are humans and the government of SPLM does not represent us. It will restore the hard fight the South Sudanese put to gain sympathy of the world during the struggle.

The assault on Emmanuel Jal is an affront to the people of South Sudan. Emmanuel on his own contributed massively to the liberation of South Sudan. First as a child solder. When he picked up the gun the overwhelming majority of his age mates were either attending school or being cared for by their parents. He risked his life and was exposed to traumatising experiences while as a soldier. His life story which has been aired in TV programs around the world speaks for itself.

Tough as he was, he removed himself from this trauma and sought self healing through music of liberation which he performed well and in the process he became an ambassador of South Sudan. With this kind of achievements and contribution towards liberation of South Sudan, did Emmanuel Jal deserve to be treated like that?

There is no reason at all for the police and security people to abuse South Sudanese. Whether the security forces were traumatised by the war of liberation or not, that can not be an excuse. These people are not above the law. Like the rest of us, they are subject to the law of the land.

The failure of the system to hold security people to account is due to the fact that both the ministries of justice and interior like the others are fully packed with party functionaries hailing from specific tribes whose job is to ignore crimes committed by its members.

This is not acceptable. Something has to be done and that something is to quit this monstrous organisation called the SPLM Oyee. You can quietly without announcing it delink from it and when the elections come just vote it out of power.

All in all, the beating of Emmanuel Jal symbolises brand SPLM whose attributes consist of brute force, theft, lies and absence of duty of care. The longer it is allowed to govern in South Sudan, the more dehumanised we become and the nearer we inch to self destruction.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
Elhagpaul@aol.com
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author and not of the website).

South Sudan Parliament: A Presidential Approval Machine or the Voice of the People?

The Parliament: Presidential Approval Machine or the Voice of the People?

BY: KUIR e GARANG, ALBERTA, CANADA, OCT. 12/2012, SSN; Okay, take a deep breath for you will get annoyed in the process of reading this article. If you do not get upset at me then you will get angry at those idlers in Juba we call the Members of Parliament (MPs). See, the useless me has already annoyed you. We have all seen with annoying truth that our MPs are only there to approve whatever the president fancifully decides. This is one sad reality the parliament has to rectify if it has to maintain its legitimacy. Oh, I forgot: they do not care!

The purpose of the parliament is to check and put some brakes on out-of-control presidential and executive decisions so as to make decision-making process efficient, informed and broad-based.

Many South Sudanese have become very used to the cult of personalities that their ability to question the leadership has become nonexistent. Any decision made by the president and his fearful cabinet is applauded without any critical analysis. This always gets the MPs off the hook.

When the president decided to go to war because of Khartoum continued occupation of Panthou, the people were not well informed, or consulted. Decisions should not be made and executed whimsically because the president feels they are right, they have to be executed for the benefit of the people. The assumption that such decisions benefit the people without any rational, informed and empirical analysis should be stopped with immediate effect. You can laugh here!

When the president decided to chase away Beshirs soldiers, (not invade, because Panthou belongs to the South) the parliament just approved the decision made by the president. The parliament should have questioned the decision and asked the president if he had put into consideration the diplomatic cost, the human cost and the economic cost of the incident: verifiable figures should be given. None of these happened. The president decided so it must be good for us.

The parliament went ahead (like a good boy) and approved the decision. The parliament should be the voice of the people not the approval instrument for all the whimsical decisions by the president and his Kiir-wary cabinet. Kiir has so much power so I understand the fear! Damn, man!

Panthou is our land, no question, but in the todays world, the decisions have to be made in a manner that protects the people and the integrity of the country. The president, the cabinet and the parliament, all acted (and always do) out of gut feelings, which no state authority should ever do so.

When the president decided to shut down oil production, the parliament did not question the president decision about the cost of the shut-down to the economy and the civil population. Now, the inflation is still over the roof, the value of our pound has become miserably uncompetitive and costly, the commodity prices a painful reality, and people have gone for months without salaries. This is not an allegation or a fanciful imagination, it is a testable fact. When will the parliament stand up for the people they represent?

Again, the president made a dubious agreement with Beshir on oil fees and the resumption of oil production. I would admit, the deal is better than the previously proposed ones, however, the deal should be taken before the parliament and debated without fear of what the president would do to dissenters.

Malong Awan, the governor of Northern Bhar El Ghazal, has questioned the agreement due to the placement of Mile 14 as part of the areas to be demilitarized. It is the first time someone has ever stood up for the people. The MPs, not only from Northern Bhar El Ghazal, but others in the parliament, should thoroughly debate the agreement and question different clauses.

The Kiir-wary cabinet has already approved the agreement.

Questioning agreements, parliamentary motions, policy proposals and state initiatives in the parliament is the reason why MPs get elected. We can not all go to the parliament but we should not be electing people who divorce their electorates to marry presidential whims out of fear of losing their jobs.

It is time for the MPs to do their jobs and stop being approval machines for presidential and executive brusque decrees. Why are you there if you are only there to approve what the president decides? Why are workers going for months without being paid?

Why are there no accountability modalities being put in place to reduce corruption?

Why are South Sudanese citizens being treated by foreigners as dirty, stupid second class citizens in the country they fought and died for?

Why is our economy in the hands of foreigners who do not respect us? Why are foreign business people not investing their money within the country? Why are there no checks put in place for foreign workers? Why are restaurants owned by foreigners not employing citizens?

It is because we have sent to parliament a bunch of respectable men who do not want to annoy Your Excellency, Mr. President Sir, and the cabinet members, ministers who are bribed by foreigners in order to protect their (foreigners) interests at the expense of the people.

Do not get me wrong. I am for credible, respectful and locally beneficial investments, which respect the citizens and follow the laws of the land. I am against a bunch of indoctrinated opportunists out to exploit the citizens of a land with lose policies and careless or bribed law-makers.

Foreign businesses should be screened to see if they employ citizens. Fines should be imposed on foreign businesses employing less than 80% citizens. Yes, I said it, less than 80% South Sudanese citizen.

I am calling on our parliament to protect South Sudanese interest from foreigners and presidential whims. We were treated by the Sudanese government as second class citizens, and foreigners in Juba are showing the same disrespect to the poor, powerless South Sudanese. The president is getting into that zone: disrespecting the intelligence of South Sudanese citizen through lack of consultation.

Oyay Deng Ajak, is that what you fought for?

Pagam Omum, are you not wasting your time negotiating oil agreements that will only be controlled by foreigners, not the people you fought for?

Marial Benjamin, you annoy us every week with embarrassing positions not researched at all while the average person interest is being betrayed by you and your colleagues!

Hon. Wani Igga, you lead a parliament that is basically useless! Why are you not leading them into protecting the interest of the people they were elected to protect?

Mr. VP. Riek Machar, when you split in 1991 you had a roaster of grievances and governance strategy to reform the movement for the benefit of the people of South Sudan, you claim credit for championing the course for self-determination. Now we have it. Where has your brain gone to? Why can you not implement the 1991 political and reformist platform you and Lam Akol brandished as a reason for split? Are you very rich that you have forgotten that you meant to help the average South Sudanese?

Mr. Machar, you sadly told Aljazeera immediately you and Kiir decided to shut down oil production that South Sudan has reserves. Did you mean the reserves were to help run the government and pay those exorbitant salaries of workers who do nothing, or did you mean the reserves would help the average South Sudanese? You know many have gone for months without pay. Reserves!!?? Oh, you do not care about the average citizen, eh?

This is a sad state of affair and it is high time everyone in leadership starts to realize that cultic crusade should stop and the parliament should start representing the interest of the people, not the president.

Kuir e Garang is a South Sudanese poet, author and publisher currently living in Calgary, Alberta. He is the author of the newly released novel, The Pipers and the First Phase. For more information, visit www.kuirthiy.info
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author and not of the website)

Addis Ababa Deals: Fixing damages of leadership ineptitude

(In fact, the life of a private citizen would be preferable to that of a king at the expense of the ruin of so many human beings: Machiavelli)

BY: Dr. JAMES OKUK, JUBA, OCT. 11/2012, SSN; Tricky Agreements usually avoid clarity and specificity on critical issues of disagreements and conflicts. That is why the silent deals behind inks on white papers often push ahead and leave many windows for the future circumstances to determine the final outcomes. This is exactly what has happened with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the SPLM/A on behalf of Southern Sudan/Liberated Areas and the National Congress Party (NCP) on behalf of Northern Sudan/Government of the Republic of the Sudan.

The CPA addressed the details of how the two parts of the Sudan (Southern and Northern) could stay together peacefully, sharing wealth, power and security for an interim period of six years (2005 to 2011). The conduct of the referendum for the people of Southern Sudan (including Abyei referendum) was supposed to mark the end of the interim period. But nothing much was said about the aftermath of the referendum result, especially if it ended up in secession of Southern Sudan. Each side was left to seek what it thought could suit its utilitarian interest. This is the departing point where the conflict between the two split countries (Sudan and South Sudan) emanated.

On one hand, NCP Khartoum is used to economic wars and sanctions. It also knows the tactics of managing the tough times and dusty political weathers. Its leaders could turn as many stones as possible to find alternatives when the usual is lost. They do not easily resort to utopia and fantasy when it comes to economy. Thus, they have failed to fall under many upheavals that came across them except separation of South Sudan.

On the other hand, SPLM Juba is still novice on management of state affairs, especially the economic aspect of it. Its leaders thought that economic war is like gathering morale for holding a rifle (aka AK47) and destroying the enemy in the shortest time possible. They forgot that the wild life in the rebellious bushes is totally different from the civilized urban life in the peaceful states. Yes, the SPLM/A commanders had managed to run a pseudo-government in the bushes of Southern Sudan without monthly salaries and other privileges of comfort, simply, because life in the bushes and jungles does not depend on money but solely the will to survive.

Nonetheless, they failed to run the Republic of South Sudan on the same bush model because living in towns and cities necessitates periodic circulation of money within an atmosphere of viable economy.

There is no any experience known worldwide where a country can survive without money and other urban facilities. The SPLM Juba failed to establish such impossible precedent. Hence, it has to come back to its proper senses and strike deals of rescue from Khartoum with the help of African Union and the United Nations. As a result, Juba had to lick the unnecessary vomits it has sprayed all over. Its inept SPLM leaders had no choice but to rush to Addis Ababa in order to sign the nine deals so as to avert economic grave and political collapse. Now things have opened up with a breath of relief from the disaster that was about to happen. Praise the Lord, Alleluia!

I hope the child-like SPLM leaders in Juba have learnt their lessons that economic war is not a joke nor can it be won on mere propaganda that lack the sense of truth and care for the common good of the people. It is a war that can disturb super powers to the core, leave alone pretentious dwarf economy like the one still germinating in the nascent Republic of South Sudan. Also I hope they have been advised that becoming a foolish donor of multiple oil pipelines constructions while this resource is non-renewable is being unmindful of appalling living standards of masses in South Sudan. Why not build a diversifying railway that can last even if oil dries up in future?

As no country is left alone to behave like an island on the face of the United Nations, the African Union and other regional organizations, the governments of the Sudan and South Sudan were urged and pressured to negotiate out their post-secession disputes and strike some necessary bilateral deals. The two governments were even offered high level mediators to help them overcome their contentions. The chief mediator happened to be one of the former prominent presidents of a country that has wealth of experience in conflict and its resolution. Not only this but also he is well-experienced and respected internationally, particularly, in dealing with incompetent but cunning carless presidents of some poor African countries. He knows how to play into their nerves and pin them down conscientiously on what military dictators fear most- regime change/collapse.

That is the reason I am unhesitant to say that Mr. Thabo Mbeki of South Africa must be a silent tough man who knows how to tame troublemakers and train them to behave responsibly as statesmen. You can see how Mr. Pagan Amum has changed greatly after the agreed deals between Juba and Khartoum have been signed in Addis Ababa. From being a radical he came back as a moderate orator who has learnt to be a diplomat in his encounter with the opponents and the media. Perhaps, if he maintains this momentum he could gain confidence from some of us for future presidency.

Someone who is not interested in international history of conflicts and their comparative resolutions would tend to think that there was something new in Addis Ababa deals. Specifically, the SPLM novices in countries affairs might have got shocked to learn that history of inter-states conflict of interests did not and does not begin or end with them after achieving the dream of South Sudanese for a viable independent state.

Also most of those deals are what normally the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan would have been drafting/pursuing instead of the unnecessarily usurpation by the SPLM Secretariat without any sufficient justification in meddling into government affairs.

Put in order of importance, the bilateral deals between the Sudan and South Sudan could lexically be arranged with comments as follows:

1 – The Agreement concerning Oil and related Economic Matters: It is the center and driver of all the agreed deals. It was forced into the throats of the SPLM and NCP by the International Community. It is known that hungry people could be angry revolutionaries and both Juba and Khartoum have already started sensing this. Thus, they were seriously obliged to get the needed petrodollars into their pockets first and then continue politicking later at leisure on other contentious issues. Suffering of the common people and begging while sleeping on a valuable resource is regard as foolish and intolerable by the fatigued world donors. Also fantasy and emotional drunkard decisions do not help bring genuine solutions to real problems.

Hence, Juba was asked, first and foremost, to open-up the shut-down flow of South Sudanese crude oil to international markets via Sudanese ports. The United States of America and China do not joke or lie when it comes to economy. It is either do or die! Now President Salva Kiir has learnt to take orders and heed to commands from world superpowers. He had tried to be tough headed as a show off for no dignified end. A Good Cowboy Now!

2 – The Agreement on Security Arrangements: Not very different from that between Chad and the Sudan. The aim is to control rebels activities and discourage them from pursuing regime change in each others capitals. By this deal, Juba would help Khartoum control the activities of Sudanese rebels in Blue Nile, Kordofan and Darfur and discourage them from pursuing the change of NCP regime. On the other hand, Khartoum would neutralize the activities of South Sudanese rebels and discourage them from pursuing change of SPLM regime by barrels of guns.

Looked at critically, this deal is nothing much really but survival strategy for the ruling parties in the two-countries-with-one-system. With this deal, President Salva Kiir can think of sleeping in peace and remove all the coup preventing road blocks around J-One and near his residence in Juba. He can also remove the fear of travelling freely to different parts of South Sudan, especially to Upper Nile State for graduation ceremony next time. On the other side of the lake, the deal will relieve President Al-Bashir from escaping to Kanana again in fear of direct attack from rebels inside Khartoum. But it will not save his neck from chains of the ICC arrest warrant though Ocampo is retired back to Argentine.

3 – The Agreement on Trade and Trade-Related Issues: It similar to the ones done amongst many countries. It is about supply and demand with profitable but fair price to each trader and customer crossing to the divide-line. This deal will minimize the exploitation done on South Sudanese markets by the traders of East African countries and their local partners. Now they will face tough competition and diversification of commodities sources with low prices, especially the fuel and cement. Northern part of South Sudan and Sudanese traders will be the core beneficiaries of this deal.

4 – The Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the Other State: It is not very different (in principle) from that between Egypt and the Sudan, though its full implementation has never materialized up to the day. However, the four freedoms in the deal could work in terms of free entry visas to each others countries at any time and in any legalized place. It is a great relief to those who own properties and have business interests or investments across each the divide.

5 – The Agreement on a Framework for Cooperation on Central Banking Issues: It is similar to the ones done amongst many countries. It is about controlling inflation and value of each others currencies. This deal is necessary for a viable trade between the two countries and easy facilitation of monetary transactions. Now a South Sudanese could give a bold head of Dr. John Garang to a Sudanese without any offense.

6 – The Agreement on Certain Economic Matters: Division of Assets and Liabilities, Arrears and Claims and Joint Approach to the International Community are common normal practices worldwide between countries that have split peacefully. But this deal is of a great concern because it might involve international law suits, in case.

7 – The Framework Agreement to Facilitate Payment of Post-Service Benefits: It is a right, pursuable internationally whether there is agreement or not.

8 – The Agreement on Border Issues (including demarcation): Not very different from that between the USA and Canada (officially known as the International Boundary and the longest international border in the world). While Canada and the United States both boast their worlds longest undefended border title today, final placement of the border has not been without difficulties. But most concerns there have been about what goes across the border instead of where the border actually is located. The Sudan-South Sudan boundary is the longest in Africa and it will take time for its disputes to get finalized. Why then stop the rest of state life running because of some areas of the unmarked borders? A game of Tom and Jerry could be played by Juba and Khartoum on the unmarked and un-demarcated areas while life continues in the rest of the settled areas. After all the SPLM and NCP leaders are like Tom and Jerry behaviorally.

9 – The Cooperation Agreement: It re-affirmed the commitment of developing political will between Khartoum and Juba that will enable creation of good neighborhood of two viable states. This is the normal duty of diplomats in their diplomacy. That is why the Government of the Sudan rightly appointed one of its top notch Ambassadors to come to Juba for this purpose though South Sudan sent a lowly experienced Ambassador to Khartoum out of nepotism and misunderstanding of the purpose of international relations. I hope President Salva Kiir could correct this mistake as soon as possible.

The NINE DEALS did not consider Abyei Area as part of the Republic of South Sudan yet until its status is finally decided either by a referendum as agreed in Naivasha as stipulated in the CPA or by another new method agreed by Juba and Khartoum. Although the gentlemen of Abyei got disappointed to see the agreed deals working without the fate of Abyei and Nine Ngok Dinka being known yet, this time they failed to insert Abyei problem as conditionality among the negotiated issues of South Sudan.

The mediators prudence had it that the Abyei Area issue be tackled separately on a different agenda as it has proven since Addis Ababa Agreement in 1972 to be a complicating factor in good relations between the South and North of the Sudan. Though many of the Abyei people would prefer to remain in the Sudan, I would love to see them joining their real blood brothers in South Sudan in near future.

As for the former SPLM/A comrades, Malik Aggar, Yasir Arman and Abdelaziz Hilu, the time has come for Salva Kiir and SPLM in South Sudan to forget them despite the pledge at the independence declaration in Juba on 9th July 2011 that they shall not be forgotten. They need to get it well that the umbilical cord between them and South Sudan has been cut in Addis Ababa deals and there is no turning back. They have been left in the cold to carry their own cross and survive on their own the wrath of genocidal regime in Khartoum. South Sudan can only afford to host them as unarmed refugees without any dignity of struggle against marginalization left in them.

This is bitter but the heroes of Ingassina and Nuba Mountains must be regretting the day they fought a treacherous war in the same trenches with the Mother SPLM/A of South Sudan. They are like intimate brothers who ended up as strangers. May be those who are after Popular Consultations in these two areas will win, though this has become an internal affair of the Sudan where Juba has no much to say but advice only.
Dr. James Okuk is a lecturer at the department of political science at Juba University.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely of the author and not of the website)