Category: National

BREAKING NEWS: South Sudan Peace deal signed today…. A Return to Full-scale War sooner!!

SEPT/12/2018, SSN;

Breaking News: South Sudan Peace Deal Signed Today – but Fails to Address Federalism, Corruption and other important issues pended in Khartoum that are the root causes of the perpetual conflict and division among South Sudanese politico-military groups.

September 12, 2018 will be remembered as a day the people of South Sudan have again been betrayed…yet again by fellow Africans (IGAD) and the World. Cynically, it must be recalled that in 1972, the Addis Ababa Agreement between the South Sudan and Arab Khartoum was signed in the same venue but it was finally abrogated by the Arabs.

The peace deal signed today in Addis Ababa between the government of South Sudan and armed opposition groups has significant flaws. In fact, just before the peace was signed today, it was reported the Kiir’s government forces attacked Machar’s SPLA-IO forces in Yei River State of Central Equatoria Region near the borders of Uganda.

Disappointingly, those of Riek Machar of the SPLM/A-IO and the Lam Akol’s and Changson’s of the so-called South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) have clearly in broad daylight proven that they are simply spineless and mindless of their unforgivable betrayal of the people of South Sudan.

Bravo to those of Dr. Dario Hakim of the PDM and General Thomas Cirillo of the NAS and others who steadfastly and rightly objected to the fake and dangerous peace deal that is an impending and delayed disaster in waiting.

Furthermore, this new peace deal will be monitored by Arab Sudan and Museveni’s Uganda, both of whom are great beneficiaries of this peace deal (more than the people of South Sudan), as well as the being the main benefactors and supporters of president Kiir of South Sudan.

They are all complicit with killer president Salva Kiir in their participation and destruction of the nation and they all will be made to account on the day of reckoning.

Most importantly, the IGAD Council of Ministers in its meeting in Addis Ababa this afternoon nullified the five reservations expressed previously by the warring parties and instead adopted the peace document initialled in Khartoum.

This agreement failed to address the looting done by South Sudan leaders of state resources and revenues.

The five reservations pended in the Agreement are the following:
1- Federalism… which is the preferred system of governance in the country.
2- Number of States… that would be established in the country, that’s a drastic reduction in the current unsustainable number of states established by dictator Kiir.
3- Referendum demand by others that must be carried out before the pre-interim period.
4- Establishment of a Commission to look into the number of states that are to be established.
5- Accountability for war crimes committed etc….

Inevitably, these shortcomings by these capricious and selfish so-called ‘leaders’ could easily lead the country right back to yet another full-scale war.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project and Co-Founder of The Sentry, said: “Today’s peace deal lacks meaningful checks and balances on a presidency that already wields immense powers, which are primarily used to loot the country’s resources and deploy extreme violence against opponents. South Sudan’s vast oil revenues have been pocketed by high-level politicians and their families and carted out of the country.

This new peace deal fails to undo the theft of government revenue by entrusting the same corrupt politicians without any meaningful checks and balances.”

Brian Adeba, Deputy Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “This peace deal is simply a division of the spoils between the rival factions with the biggest guns.

The signed agreement reinforces the status quo and increases the odds of a full-fledged return to war, in its failure to address state capture by these politicians or reform in hijacked institutions.

The U.S. and other willing nations should impose sanctions and anti-money laundering measures on the networks of South Sudanese officials and their commercial collaborators who continue to loot the country’s resources and to deny them access to the international banking system.”

Nonetheless, the new Kiir-Machar & SSOA Agreement apparently resolved these four outstanding issues as follows:–

1- On the issue of the States, Annex D was reinstated.

2- The Quorum in the Council of Ministers shall continue as 23 provided that at least six (6) of them are from the Opposition.

3- Permanent Constitution making process: Articles 6.7 – 6.9 are deleted and replaced with the following provisions:
6-7. During the 4th month of the Transitional Period, a Workshop shall be convened for the
Parties to agree on the details of conducting the constitution process.
6.8. The Workshop shall be moderated and facilitated by an institute renowned
internationally for constitution making.

4- The issue of deployment of the RPF shall be handled through the engagement of IGAD and the UN Security Council.

(More updates, details and fallouts coming soon on the signed Addis Ababa peace deal coming………….)

Garang Malong Awan must stop biting the fingers that fed him: A friendly advice

BY: Sabrino Majok Majok, State Secretary General, Government of Aweil East State—Wanyjok, SEPT/04/2018, SSN;

Brother Garang Malong Awan, I am writing this message in regards to your series of Facebook posts about Hon. Deng Deng Akuei, Governor of Aweil East State.

At onset, I would like to underscore our ties as family of Wun-Anei. Your father, General Paul Malong Awan, despite his shortcomings remains my elder and I respect him. We had many years together during liberation struggle.

Furthermore, during his administration in former Northern El Ghazal State, I held key administrative positions; namely, director for administration and
finance in state ministry of education for 3 years and director general in state ministry of finance and economic planning for three and half years between 2008-2014.

I wholeheartedly thank him for such opportunities. Others such as your uncle Sultan Atak Awan, your mother, your step-mothers and entire extended family are dear to me and I respect them all.

Indeed, we are a community that respects leaders and elders irrespective of religion, political affiliation or social status.

Governor Deng Deng Akuei isn’t an exception. He deserves respect and
constructive discourse to say the least.

For the record, Governor Deng held prestigious government positions in former Northern Bahr El Ghazal State. He was a member of parliament, minister of agriculture, deputy governor, and now governor of Aweil East State.

He is not a simple person to abuse at will. Instead of abusing and defaming him, he should be respected and celebrated for his enormous contributions
in the region.

Brother Garang Malong Awan, the gist of my message is to disprove your
allegation against Governor Deng.

First, let me remind you that Governor Deng was one amongst those who
recommended your appointment as minister of youth and sports in the former government of Northern Bahr El Ghazal State.

Second, after creation of 28 States, Governor Deng readily appointed you as minister education and instruction in the Government of Aweil East State.

Sadly, it was observed that there was no any progress in the ministry. Therefore, Governor Deng re-appointed you as minister of agriculture and forestry.

Again progress was horribly lacking in the new ministry but numerous conflicts between you and staff (both classified and unclassified).

Acting in good faith and in your best interest, Governor Deng shifted you from ministry of agriculture and forestry to ministry of information hoping that you were not too deformed to be reformed.

But the opposite was true.

Third, Governor gave you membership of your father in SPLM State Liberation Council in a genuine attempt to mold you into a young leader in Aweil East State but all in vain.

Fourth, when young rebels came from Juba, you unlawfully decided to host them in your mother’s house in Malual-kon against advice given faithfully to you by colleagues, family member and friends.

Governor Deng too called you on many occasions to desist from associating with rebels and rebellious kind of activities but all in vain until rebels
crossed to Marem from your residence unfortunately.

Fifth, after your associates—rebels—departed, Governor Deng had never given up working with you but it was you, and only you, who were not ethically willing to discharge your duties as a minister.

Therefore, your disgraceful exit from Aweil East State’s Cabinet was all your
making not Governor Deng’s, whom you falsely accused.

Nobody in his or her fair judgment can blame your failure can blame your father, your mothers, nor your friends. You should blame yourself, brother Garang Malong. The ball is in your court!

Sixth, I excuse you for not having heard the historic arrival of Governor Deng’s family for one good reason: current challenges in your
“bush” life.

Yes, Governor Deng has children who are happily living and studying in Canada.

Seventh, during establishment phase of Aweil East State, we had problem with infrastructure. Fortunately, generous sons and daughters such as General Paul Malong Awan, uncle Athian Achiec (Mawengdit), member of parliament Oliver Majok Aleu, Dr. Luka Yel and so on donated buildings, furniture and freely transported farm equipment from Juba to Aweil East:

A. General Paul Malong hosted State Secretariat General for two.
B. Uncle Athian Achiec donated his house as Governor’s residence
including supplying furniture.
C. Comrade Oliver Majok Aleu donated furniture and freely transported
20 tractors
D. Dr. Luka Yel hosted State Governor after re-location from Malual
kon to Wanyjok to reduce travel time and distance.

Eighth, government of Aweil East State is proud to announce that Governor Deng Deng Akuei moved to newly built State House on July 9th 2018.

We are appreciative to those who assisted us during establishment phase and will always continue to appreciate future helping hands.

Ninth, our Governor has official residence in Aweil Town. This building was acquired during distribution of assets in former Northern Bahr El Ghazal State.

Therefore, Governor Deng doesn’t stay in anybody’s house when he visits Aweil Town.

Tenth, Governor Deng is an humble person who freely interacts with everybody old or young and when one concludes conversation with him he or she leaves with a smile on their faces.

If you don’t know this glaring fact, then you might not have given yourself enough time to know him.

Eleventh, unless you change your style from defamatory and destructive
writing to a measured and constructive discourse, this message serves as my last response to you, Garang Malong Awan.

Thank you,
Sabrino Majok Majok
State Secretary General
Government of Aweil East State—Wanyjok.

SSOA chooses the downtrodden over the elites at the Khartoum Peace Talks

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, AUG/01/2018, SSN;

The Khartoum round of peace talks provided many South Sudanese with a rare opportunity of knowing whether their political leaders meant what they propagate and preach.

The events of the last four weeks were quite discriminating in the sense that they revealed those politicians who care about the welfare of the ordinary citizens and those who don’t.

Khartoum may seem far away from the small towns and villages of South Sudan, but modern technology has made communications and the flow of news within reach of a significant number of the populace.

Do not underestimate how closely these peace talks were followed by our folks in the refugee camps in the neighbouring countries, in our towns and cities, and in the bushes of South Sudan.

The future of the homeland hangs in the balance thus every citizen is very much concerned and very keen to know what’s going on be it in Addis Ababa or Khartoum.

For the overwhelming majority of our people, South Sudan Opposition Alliance) SSOA’s stance and refusal to initial the Agreement on the Outstanding Issues of Governance represented a breeze of hope amid desperation.

Many never saw it coming. The majority of the observers thought at best there would be a split within SSOA (led by Mr. Changson and Dr. Lam Akol, Gen. Thomas Cirillo & others) and most likely two or three Movements would hold out and not succumb to the enormous pressure exerted on the delegates.

They were proven wrong, and SSOA defied the odds by remaining compact and steadfast to its original positions.

It might not be possible to gauge the magnitude of the widespread support that some SSOA members harvested by standing firm behind popular demands like federalism, the abolition of the illegal 32 States, and accountability.

But from the outset, a bombshell landed and exploded in the midst of the peace talks audience when the news of coercion, intimidation, and the obtainment of signatures under duress was leaked out.

That alone added a new dimension to how the public perceived the political leaders who went through that ordeal.

It depicted to many of them the idiom “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Some leaders have done themselves a great favour by standing their grounds. Others might not have known that they have curtailed their political future by giving in to pressure and personal gains.

It’s quite evident that SSOA’s popularity has surged as it’s increasingly being seen as the entity presenting real solutions to the root causes of the conflict.

As for the Riek Machar’s SPLM IO, its initialling of the Agreement on the Outstanding Issues costed it dearly. Its popularity has plummeted significantly.

It’s apparent that the SPLM IO is in turmoil due to Dr Riek Machar abandoning the fundamental objectives that persuaded many in the past to join the Movement.

….Riek Machar has dropped the three major issues namely, federalism, the abolition of the 32 States, and accountability. For many SPLM IO supporters, what he did amounts to a deal breaker.

It’s incredible that people like Dr Luka Biong seem to have turned 180 degrees against what they believed more than a couple of years ago. He was dismissed from his Juba University lecturing post following a direct order from President Kiir to the University administration. The reason was that he organised a public lecture to discuss the constitutionality and legality of the Presidential order number 36 to create the then new 28 States. The majority of the participants including himself were against the Presidential order. He had to leave the country hurriedly to avoid detention or even much worse.

Now, Dr Luka Biong has criticised SSOA for refusing to initial the Agreement on the Outstanding Issues of Governance that stipulates the maintenance of the 32 new States. So, how can he be against the new 28 States back in 2015 but now supports the expanded number of States in 2018?! It makes no sense at all!

His argument that SSOA shouldn’t have refused to initial the Agreement because it did sign the Khartoum Declaration of Agreement (KDA) relinquishing the sovereignty of the country to Sudan; is unconvincing. It’s not a secret that apart from the Former Political Detainees (FPDs), SSOA was never aware nor negotiated the KDA. Dr Luka Biong precisely knows how SSOA ended up signing the document. Signing an agreement in such circumstances means nothing. Appending a signature to some official document is not enough to constitute a deal, but a commitment to abide by it is all the most important. Contemporary history is full of such examples. Perhaps the most famous was the Munich Agreement of 30/09/1938 where Hitler gave the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain a white paper with his signature on it promising non-aggression before the invasion of Poland the next year. And why even go far, the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) was signed by President Kiir on 26/08/2015 and violated by him in July 2016.

Decrying the loss of sovereignty by signing the KDA is misdirected. Dr Luka biong should have known better as a former Minister of Presidential Affairs. South Sudan sovereignty continued to be compromised since the time he was in office. Was he unaware of the alien forces on South Sudan’s soil?! Did he not know that we do not possess a radar system and that Khartoum and Kampala are controlling our airspace?! Has he ever heard of a sovereign country that does not have full control over its territory and airspace? And being a senior member of the SPLM party, does he not think that his leadership bears the responsibility of firstly, failing to equip the country with a radar system? And secondly, signing the Khartoum Oil Agreement (KoilA) and the KDA? Finally, is it logical to pile up criticism on SSOA for its signature on the KDA while saying nothing about the ruling party?

Dr Luka Biong could have alerted his President to the numerous encroachments on the sovereignty of the State by foreign powers since the inception of the Government of South Sudan. He was the Presidential Affairs Minister, and that was the closest one could be to the President and the decision making process. He chose to do nothing for reasons best known to him because I don’t think he was unaware of such glaring facts. It wasn’t an issue of affordability as a fraction of the loot from the oil proceeds would have provided the country with some of the modern radar systems in the world. He was a member of the cabinet when the South Sudanese people first knew about the list of 75 top-ranking officials who purportedly embezzled 4 billion USDs from the coffers.

Some of Luka Biong’s assertions were contradictory when put to scrutiny. On the one hand, he wants SSOA and the FPDs to form a unified opposition to challenge Juba from within while on the other he admits that Salva Kiir and Riek Machar may not provide a conducive environment for sustainable peace. Without the fundamental changes in the system of governance that made SSOA reject the Khartoum proposal, does he not think that it would be the same political environment that led him to flee Juba in 2015?

It’s inaccurate to say that SSOA has accepted President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar to lead the transition. SSOA has declared it time and again that it’s not seeking power-sharing (responsibility sharing) which would certainly not address the root causes of the conflict. SSOA wants the establishment of a government of institutions based on federalism and the devolution of powers to the States. Once the appropriate system of governance is in place, the participation of Salva Kiir and Riek Machar in the transition would depend on how they meet the requirements of such a system.

His claim that SSOA and the FPDs have got no moral standing to convince the South Sudanese people why they refused to initial the proposal is indeed the opposite. Some of the SSOA member organisations would have perished, had they betrayed their masses by initialling the agreement in the form presented to them. Gone are the days when people follow leaders blindly.

Of late we have seen the eminent scholar trying to position himself in the middle of the political debate between the government and the opposition. Well, actions speak much louder than words. In one of his articles, he suggested that President Kiir should be persuaded to step down amicably. What he alluded to would have been reasonable in a democratic environment whereby a leader was cleared of any wrong-doing but still bears the responsibility of mistakes committed by his subordinates. It isn’t the case in South Sudan. There’s a consensus nationally, regionally, and internationally that South Sudan hasn’t been well-governed since the SPLM party took power in 2005. The country tops the list of the Fragile States in the world (aka failed states) with Fragile State Index (FSI) of 113.4 points. Somalia comes second with FSI of 113.2 points and Yemen in the third position with FSI of 112.7 points.

On the corruption front, our country is number 2 behind Somalia with a score of 12 points on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) and above Syria. Somalia and Syria both scored 9 and 14 points respectively on the CPI. Luka Biong remains loyal to his previous boss otherwise he would have been vocal within his party asking President Kiir to step down. His political allegiance and views haven’t changed a bit although he is now tactically masquerading as a neutral figure.

I am under no illusion that the road would be easy for SSOA to realise a government of institutions, the upholding of the rule of law, and lasting peace in the Republic of South Sudan. Things would most likely get worse before they could get better. But SSOA has shown to the world the kind of leadership the masses are longing for. It deserves recognition and support from the regional powers and the international community.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Gen. Thomas Cirillo: Demand for Federal system and the 10 former states system

RadioTamazuj, Addis Ababa, JUL/24/2018;

Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka, leader of the National Salvation Front (NAS), said the opposition seeks to reduce the power of President Salva Kiir and strengthen institutions in the transitional period.

The disaffected army general quit his position in the military last year and formed a rebel group to fight against the government.

In an interview with Radio Tamazuj from Addis Ababa on Monday, General Cirillo, who secretly quit the on-going IGAD-sponsored talks in Khartoum, said the opposition rejected many power sharing proposals presented by the mediation team at ongoing peace talks for failing to address the root cause of the conflict.

He further said the current system of governance in South Sudan is awarding the office of the president wide powers.

The opposition leader underscored that excessive power in President Kiir’s hand is undermining the workings of the democracy and accountability in the world’s youngest nation.

“We don’t want to dwell on power sharing. We want to tackle the system of governance, so we are saying this is our top priority,” Cirillo said.

He pointed out that a fundamental weakness of the current system of government is the way in which it allocates powers and resources to the states and counties.

The opposition official said it is crucial that South Sudanese parties agree on a council of presidency with equal powers during the transitional period.

“We don’t want powers to be in one man’s hand so that he does whatever he wants to do in the country. If Salva Kiir will continue as the president, he should be part of the presidency where there should be a consensus based decision-making process during the transitional period,” he explained.

Cirillo said that the opposition will not religuish its demand to get power at the local government level during the transitional period.

He also said that the people of South Sudan demand for federal governance, a system in which sovereign powers are divided between federal and state governments.”

“The national government has too much power and the states are being weakened, so we are confident that the federal system will empower our people at the local government level. We reject any proposal saying the federal system will be introduced after the transitional period,” he said.

The opposition leader voiced support for a peace agreement that is widely inclusive of the views of the South Sudanese people and that engages civil society, faith-based groups and women.

Cirillo demanded that South Sudan should revert to the defunct 10 states as provided for in the 2015 peace agreement. “If the people of South Sudan demand more states, there will a referendum so that they can decide on the number of states. The current 32 states have caused conflicts in South Sudan,” Cirillo said.

He further said the opposition alliance will sign a peace deal in Khartoum on Thursday if their concerns are addressed by the mediation team.

Detail Copy of the Khartoum ‘Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance’ yet to be signed by Kiir & Opposition

Published by SSN, JUL/21/2018;

This is the failed/pending Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance to be signed by Kiir’s Government and the rebel/opposition movement.

**Mindful of their commitment under the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 to lay the foundation for a united, peaceful and prosperous society based on justice, equality, respect for human rights and the rule of law,

**Deeply regretting the scale of untold human suffering that had befallen their country and people as a result of disregarding this commitment,

**Determined to compensate their people by recommitting themselves to peace and constitutionalism and not to repeat mistakes of the past,

**Recognizing the prime significance of preserving the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their country,

**Cognizant that a federal system of government is a popular demand of the people of the Republic of South Sudan and of the need for the Revitalized TGoNU to reflect this demand by way of devolution of more powers and resources to lower levels of government,

**Confirming the commitments that they have solemnly undertaken in the ARCSS and the Khartoum Declaration,
–The Transitional Government of National Unity of the Republic of South Sudan(TGoNU),
–the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement Army-In Opposition(SPLM/A-IO),
–the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA),
–Former Detainees(FDs),
–Other Political Parties (OPP), referred to hereinafter collectively as the Parties, confirm their commitment to the agreed part of the Revised Bridging Proposal and hereby resolve as follows the outstanding issues on governance:

1. The Presidency:
1.1. As of the beginning of the Transitional Period:
a. H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit shall continue as President of the Republic of South Sudan.
(page–2)
b. The Chairman of SPLM/A-IO, Dr Riek Machar Teny, shall assumethe position of the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan.

1.2. During the Transitional Period there shall be four Vice Presidents of the Republic of South Sudan who shall be nominated as follows:
a. Vice President to be nominated by Incumbent TGoNU.
b. Vice President to be nominated by SSOA.
c. Vice President to be nominated by Incumbent TGoNU.
d. Vice President to be nominated by FDs, who shall be a woman.

1.3. Apart from the First Vice President, there shall be no hierarchy among Vice Presidents. The ranking in 1.2 above is for protocol purposes only.

1.4. Decision making in the Presidency shall be in a spirit of collegial collaboration. However, the powers and functions of the President, First Vice President, and Vice Presidents shall be delineated along the provisions of the ARCSS 2015.

1.5. The First Vice President and Vice Presidents shall oversee respectively the following Cabinet Clusters:
(a) First Vice President: Governance Cluster.
(b) Vice President: Economic Cluster.
(c) Vice President: Services Delivery Cluster.
(d) Vice President: Infrastructure Cluster.
(e) Vice President: Gender and Youth Cluster.

2. The Revitalized TGoNU:
2.1. The Council of Ministers shall be comprised of thirty five (35) Ministers that shall be organized in the abovementioned five (5) Clusters.

2.2. The three Clusters stated in the ARCSS shall continue having due regard to the amendments required as a result of creating new Clusters and new Ministries.

2.3. The Infrastructure Cluster shall include Ministries of Energy and Dams; Transport; Roads and Bridges; Information, Communication Technology and Postal Services, and any appropriate Ministry of the five new Ministries.
—(page..3)
2.4. The Gender and Youth Cluster shall include Ministries of Gender, Child and Social Welfare; Culture, Youth, and Sports, and any appropriate Ministry of the five new Ministries.

2.5. The additional five Ministries and their clustering shall be agreed by the Parties before or during the Pre-Transitional Period further to a proposal to be drawn by the IGAD and shall be included in the Revitalized ARCSS. The full list of the thirty five (35) Ministries shall be drawn at that time.

2.6. The Ministerial positions shall be selected as follows:
a. Incumbent TGoNU: 20 Ministers.
b. SPLM/A-IO: 09 Ministers.
c. SSOA: 03 Ministers.
d. FDs: 02 Ministers.
e. OPP: 01 Minister.

2.7. There shall be ten (10) Deputy Ministers in the following Ministries:
a. Cabinet Affairs.
b. Foreign Affairs.
c. Defense.
d. Interior.
e. Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
f. Finance.
g. Agricultural and Food Security.
h. General Educational and Instruction.
i. Public Services and Human Resource Development
j. Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

2.8. Deputy Ministers shall be nominated by the Parties by rotation from the above list according to the following ratio:
a. TGoNU: five (5) Deputy Ministers.
b. SPLM/A-IO: three (3) Deputy Ministers.
c. SSOA: one (1) Deputy Minister.
d. OPP: one (1) Deputy Minister.

2.9. No fewer than three (3) of the Deputy Ministers shall be women.

2.10. No Assistant Presidents, other Ministers or Deputy Ministers shall be appointed during the Transitional Period.
—(page…4)
2.11. If more than two Advisers to the President are appointed, the responsibility sharing ratio shall apply to their selection.

3. The Transitional National Legislature:
3.1. The Transitional National Legislature (TNL) shall consist of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) and the Council of States.

3.2. The TNLA shall be dissolved and composed of 550 members who shall be allocated as follows:
a. Incumbent TGoNU: 332 members.
b. SPLM/A-IO: 128 members.
c. SSOA: 50 members.
d. OPP: 35 members.
e. FDs: 5 members.

3.3. The Speaker of the TNLA shall be nominated by Incumbent TGoNU. One Deputy Speaker shall be nominated by OPP and the other, who shall be a woman, shall be nominated by Incumbent TGoNU.

3.4. The Council of States shall be dissolved and composed of 50 members or the closest figure that can be shared evenly by the States as per the number that shall be recommended by the IBC. However, the minimum number for the representatives of every and each State shall be two.

3.5. The membership of the Council of States shall be reconstituted as per the responsibility sharing ratio.

3.6. The Speaker of the Council of States shall be nominated by SPLM/A-IO and the Deputy Speaker shall be nominated by Incumbent TGoNU.

4. Number and Boundaries of States:
4.1. Within thirty (30) days of the signing of the Revitalized ARCSS, the IGAD Executive Secretariat, taking into account the decision of the 55th Extra-Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 30-31, 2016, shall appoint Independent
Boundaries Commission (IBC) for the Republic of South Sudan.

4.2. The IBC shall consist of fifteen (15) members with the necessary skills and expertise.
—(page…5)
4.3. Members of the IBC shall be appointed as follows:
a. Five (5) South Sudanese who shall be appointed by the Parties, one (1) each.
b. Two (2) representatives of the IGAD states that shall come from states with no boundaries with South Sudan.
c. Three (3) representatives of the Troika states.
d. Five (5) representatives of the African Union that shall be from the C5 states.

4.4. The IBC shall be chaired by one of its non-South Sudanese members who shall be of recognized standing and integrity and who should have had occupied a senior judicial, executive or administrative position in his home country.

4.5. The IBC may retain the services of a team of experts.

4.6. The IBC shall establish three teams, each consisting of five representatives and relevant experts, to be deployed at locations it will designate.

4.7. The function of the IBC shall be to consider the number of States of the Republic of South Sudan and their boundaries and to make recommendations on the same.

4.8. The IBC shall focus on studying the alternatives currently proposed by the Parties and any other viable alternatives in the light of guidelines that shall be drawn beforehand. The IBC shall also draw its own internal regulations.

4.9. The IBC shall strive to arrive at its recommendations by consensus. If consensus is not achieved, the IBC shall adopt its recommendations by simple majority.

4.10. The recommendations of the IBC shall be presented to the IGAD Executive Secretariat and shall be immediately communicated to the Parties.

4.11. The IBC shall complete its work within ninety (90) days, extendable to a maximum of ninety (90) days more. In all cases it shall make its recommendations on the number and boundaries of States during the Pre-Transitional Period. Thereafter it shall be dissolved.
—(page…6)
4.12. The Parties agree to abide by the recommendations of the IBC, and hereby authorize the IGAD Executive Secretariat to enshrine those recommendations in the Revitalized ARCSS. The Parties accept to implement the recommendations in full at the beginning of the Transitional Period.

4.13. In the unlikely event of the IBC failing to make its recommendations before the end of the Pre-Transitional Period, the Republic of South Sudan shall have as regions the old three provinces, as per their boundaries of January 1st 1956. This solution shall be adopted on
temporary basis until the number and boundaries of the States are agreed.

5. States and Local Government
5.1. The Responsibility sharing ratio at State level and local government level shall be as follows:
a. Incumbent TGoNU: 55%
b. SPLM/A-IO: 25%
c. SSOA: 10%
d. OPP: 10%

5.2. State and local governments shall be dissolved and reconstituted as per the responsibility sharing formula stated above.

5.3. The positions that shall be subject to responsibility sharing include: Governors, Speakers of State Legislatures, State Councils of Ministers, State Legislatures, County Commissioners, County Councils, Mayors and City Councils.

5.4. In sharing State and local government positions Parties shall take into account the relative prominence each Party has in the respective State or Payam and effective administration of that unit.

5.5. The FDs shall have three State Ministers in States of their choice.

6. General Provisions:
6.1. The Parties recognize that during the Pre-Transitional Period, the Incumbent TGoNU shall continue to exercise its powers as per the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011.
—(page…7)
6.2. At the beginning of the Pre-Transitional Period, the Parties shall issue a solemn commitment to their people and the international community at large confirming unequivocally that they will not return to war and shall work hand in hand diligently and collectively for the sake of peace and stability of their country. In particular, the Parties shall pledge to use the resources of the country wisely and transparently, for the best interests of the people of the Republic of South Sudan, and to put in place the efficient mechanisms required for achieving this paramount goal. In their solemn commitment the Parties shall also appeal to the international community for support and cooperation at this difficult time of the Republic of South Sudan.

6.3. The activities that shall be undertaken during the Pre–Transitional Period, which can take as long as 8 months, shall include:
a. Dissemination of the Revitalized ARCSS to South Sudanese People inside the country, in different cities and towns of Sudan, in refugee camps in neighboring countries, and in diaspora, so that the people can own it.
b. Carrying out the tasks entrusted to the IBC.
c. A process of national healing and reconciliation that shall be led by all Parties inside and outside of the Republic of South Sudan.
d. The agreed security arrangement activities.
e. Incorporation of the Revitalized ARCSS in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011.
f. Reviewing and drafting necessary bills as per the Revitalized ARCSS.
g. Any other activities agreed by the Parties.

6.4. Provisions of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan and ARCSS on participation of women (35 %) in the Executive shall be observed. In particular, Incumbent TGoNU shall nominate no fewer than six (6) women to the Council of Ministers, and SPLM-IO shall nominate no fewer than three (3) women to the Council of Ministers.

6.5. Having in mind that more than 70 percent of the population in the Republic of South Sudan is under the age of thirty and that youth are the most affected by the war and represent high percentage of refugees and —(page…7) IDPs, the Parties shall strive to include people of young age in their quotas at different levels. In particular, the Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports in the Revitalized TGoNU shall be less than forty (40) years old.

6.6. In selecting their nominees Parties shall give due consideration to national diversity, including regional representation.

6.7. Without prejudice to Paragraph 6.1. above, a National Pre–Transitional Committee (NPTC) shall be formed as follows by the President of the Republic of South Sudan within thirty days of signing the Revitalized ARCSS:

a. The NPTC shall be formed of ten members representing the Parties as follows:
— five (5) for Incumbent TGoNU,
— two (2) for SLPM/A-IO,
— one (1) for SSOA,
— one (1) for FDs, and
— one (1) for OPP.
The NPTC shall be chaired by TGoNU representative with two Deputy Chairs to be nominated by SPLM/A-IO and SSOA respectively, and shall adopt its decisions by consensus.

b. The NPTC shall be entrusted with the function of oversight and coordination of the implementation of the activities of the Pre–Transitional Period with the Incumbent TGoNU taking full account of all constitutional institutions and powers.

c. The NPTC shall draw the road map for implementing the political tasks of the Pre-Transitional Period, prepare a budget for the activities of the Pre–Transitional Period that involve the Parties, and address issues of VIP security and preparations for new Ministers, among others.

d. The NPTC shall start its work in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and shall move to Juba sometime during the Pre-Transitional Period. The NPTC shall be dissolved when the Pre-Transitional Period ends.

6.8. There shall be established a fund for the implementation of the political and security activities of the Pre–Transitional Period provided for in the Revitalized ARCSS. The fund, which shall be drawn from the proceeds of oil, shall be deposited by Incumbent TGoNU in an escrow account in a bank agreed to by the NPTC. The NPTC shall manage the fund (page—8) transparently and report on it monthly to the President of the Republic of South Sudan and to the Parties.

6.9. The Parties shall agree on Inter-Ministerial Mechanism for Implementation of the Revitalized ARCSS including reporting to JMEC. The IGAD led mediation and the Guarantors shall revitalize and
restructure all monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to ensure inclusivity of all Parties, including new Parties, and to enhance the effectiveness of all mechanisms. Such review and restructuring shall be included in the Revitalized ARCSS.

6.10. Within 12 (twelve) months of the beginning of the Transitional Period, the Reconstituted National Constitutional Amendments Committee (NCAC) shall revise relevant laws and draft new legislations pursuant to the Revitalized ARCSS.

6.11. The Parties reaffirm their agreement in the ARCSS that a federal and democratic system of governance that reflects the character of the Republic of South Sudan and ensures unity in diversity be enacted during the permanent constitution making process.

6.12. The Parties also reaffirm their commitment to the principle of lean government and to having national assembly that shall have a number of members commensurate with the number of population pursuant to the internationally recognized proportions. The Parties recognize that the high number of members of the Executive and TNLA is agreed herein on exceptional basis for the purposes of the Transitional Period only and that those numbers shall form no precedent or any precursor for the future.

6.13. This Agreement shall prevail on contradictory or incompatible provisions of ARCSS and the Revised Bridging Proposal.

Done in Khartoum, Sudan, this day 19th of July 2018.

To Be Signed:
For Incumbent TGoNU
……………………………………………………………
For SPLM/A-IO
……………………………………………………………………
For SSOA
……………………………………………………………………………
For FDs
………………………………………………………………………………
For OPP
………………………………………………………………………………
For the Republic of Sudan (Guarantor):
……………………………………………
For IGAD (Witness):
…………………………………………………………………………..

Salva Kiir’s kingdom of doom, killings and tyranny

By: Duop Chak Wuol, South Sudanese, JUN/17/2018, SSN;

Empires come and go, regardless of whether they’re good or bad. One of the chief measures employed by historians is an investigatory examination into the legacies the empires leave behind — these legacies are always methodically scrutinized by the people who the empires once ruled.

In South Sudan, the final report of Salva Kiir’s regime is already written on the wall. Kiir’s leadership isn’t just troubling; it’s a kingdom of destruction where his regime’s policy is heavily influenced by tribal interests instead of issues that’re of national importance.

South Sudan cannot be a stable country if we don’t tell the truth. Kiir’s presidency is indisputably an ethnic one.

The man is not a president for all, although he claims to be such a leader only when he sees a real threat to his leadership.

Kiir surrounds himself with known tribal hooligans who’ve hate towards other South Sudanese ethnicities. For instance, the notorious Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), that’s by default a co-president of South Sudan, is consumed by a twisted belief that the Jieng should be the only tribe to lead South Sudan.

The South Sudanese believe that Kiir and the JCE don’t work for all South Sudanese, rather they work for JCE’s interests.

This seemingly ethnic thinking is also maintained by Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk, information minister Michael Makuey Lueth, and Presidential adviser Nhial Deng Nhial, among others.

But if one asks these three men if they’re for a tribal supremacy, they’d deny it and even try to kiss the soil to prove that they’re not tribalists. Kuol, Michael, and Nhial are known tribal freaks who always talk diplomatically during the day and tribally at night.

Salva Kiir always claims to be a man who cares for unity in South Sudan. History tells us that a good leader who cares for his or her legacy tends to focus mainly on policies that unite people and develop the economy.

Kiir’s a heartless tyrant who cares nothing for the suffering of the people of South Sudan because his immediate family members and close relatives don’t suffer the same way other South Sudanese do.

In addition, it appears that Kiir’ll only accept peace or act with care and consideration if, and only if, he’s confronted with a real threat striking at his very doorstep.

The man has been making surprisingly absurd claims about his leadership. Kiir believes that the people of South Sudan should recognize his leadership as the legitimate moral authority of the country.

However, investigations into his regime demonstrate that these claims are inconsistent with an actual, material state of affairs. Surely, any leader who cares for his people wouldn’t destroy his or her own country and demand respect from people at the same time.

What’s clear is that Kiir’s main focus is an imposition of a tribal supremacy on other South Sudanese tribes. This is a monumental mistake on his part. He forgets the fact that his presidency will be gone and that he’s placing an irremovable stain on his legacy and family members.

Kiir isn’t the good person he always wants people to believe. His background is spoiled with appalling crimes. In public, Kiir will pose as a national figure who deserves to be trusted by the South Sudanese. But in private, he’s a very dangerous man.

In Kiir’s world, anyone who glorifies his tyranny is a good person and anyone who questions his cruelty is a bad person. This is like a madman trying to blame his mental issue on bystanders.

In 2004, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) was fractured by rumors and factional interests. Kiir himself was furious about former SPLM/A leader, the late Dr. John Garang.

When the leaders of the SPLM met in Rumbek in late 2004, Kiir accused Dr. Garang of controlling everything in the movement. Kiir, who’s second in command of the SPLM/A at the time, also dispelled rumors about him being against chairman Garang.

He admitted during the conference that he’s for peace because his people, the people of Bahr El Ghazal, were the ones who’re hit hard by famine and attacks from Arab militias. Kiir also blamed Garang for allowing uncoordinated leadership conferences to take place.

A methodical analysis of Salva Kiir’s speech at the 2004 Rumbek meeting shows that Kiir’s now doing the very same things he once accused Dr. Garang of doing.

For instance, he cunningly changed South Sudan’s constitution to make himself an absolute dictator, imposed some provisions in the SPLM’s by-laws that allowed him to appoint his allies to the party leadership, and gave himself powers to appoint some members of the national parliament, including state governors, among others.

So Kiir’s claim of being a rational leader who wanted the democratization of the SPLM/A during the 2004 conference was a pure deceit and merely showed that he’s more dangerous than the people he always accused of wrongdoings.

Kiir’s tyranny didn’t begin when he took over the leadership of the SPLM/A in 2005. His brutality began in the late 1980s when he was the head of the SPLA military intelligence. His ruthlessness later developed to a serious stage.

In Itang, for example, Kiir was known as someone who’d summon any military commander he hated to his headquarters and execute him or her, using surprisingly similar techniques to those he now uses.

Another method was that Kiir’d abruptly tell a commander that he or she was ordered to immediately go to a frontline, claiming some changes in military command had taken place. When such an officer agreed to go, Kiir then ordered his own killing squad to eliminate the officer on the way.

For instance, Kiir’d tell the targeted person to travel in an SPLA car with a few bodyguards, carefully choose a road the individual would travel, and when the person began his or her fake assignment journey, he or she’d be stopped on the road by Kiir’s thugs and silenced for good.

After his orders were fulfilled by his killing squad, Kiir’d then turn around and lie to the family members of the deceased that he or she is still fighting on the frontline.

But when Kiir knew the family of the person he secretly eliminated was skeptical of his elaborate lies, he’d fabricate a story that the person in question was killed on the frontline.

As you can see, Kiir’s use of unknown gunmen today is deeply rooted in his blood. If there’re people who believe Kiir’s a good leader then, does this make you wonder why he’s a bad leader now? But as you can see, Kiir’s background speaks for itself.

Salva Kiir’s ambition to become an absolute dictator is real. For instance, when Dr. Riek Machar spearheaded the national reconciliation in 2012, Kiir was noticeably furious.

He employed his trusted sycophants who publicly accused Machar of running against Kiir. The irony is that Kiir now wants the national reconciliation he once labeled as “Machar’s campaign strategy” to oust him from the party leadership.

Kiir’s campaign of trying to hide behind a false concern for the nation can easily be tested if a non-Dinka tries to run against him for the party leadership or presidency.

This was what happened in 2013, when it was clear his then deputy Machar was going to take over the leadership of the SPLM. This was where Kiir’s political madness exploded.

At that time, most South Sudanese forecasted that there was going to be blood on Juba’s streets.

This prediction occurred in late 2013, when Kiir unleashed tribally-motivated attacks on Nuer civilians in Juba under the pretext of a bogus coup.

What some people do not know is the fact that Kiir’s decision to prevent Machar from contesting the party leadership was tribally-motivated.

Kiir’s a very cunning person. If his current First Vice President Taban Deng Gai decides to contest the chairmanship of the party while Kiir’s a candidate for the same post, I guarantee you that Kiir’ll go ballistic, and Taban and his followers will be slaughtered the same way Kiir massacred innocent Nuer in December 2013.

Kiir’s presidency is all about tribal reign, but because the case is somewhat sensitive, Kiir’d claim that he isn’t a tribalist. But nobody’d believe him except his tyrannical ring-lickers.

Kiir’s strategy isn’ot only limited to Dinka and Nuer decades of rivalry. This could happen to any non-Dinka person who tries to run for a position Kiir holds.

If you wonder why, then try to convince James Wani Igga to run for Kiir’s position and see what happens.

Kiir has built a kingdom that’s too destructive for the country. The people of South Sudan must stand up against this atrocious regime to free themselves.

We didn’t fight against Khartoum’s regime only to face the same brutality again. Kiir must be forced to accept peace or be confronted militarily until he’s buried in the same coffin with his doomed presidency.

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

BREAKING NEWS: UN sanctions defense minister, butcher Kuol Manyang and Martin Lomuro

From different sources. MAY/27/2018, SSN;

The UN Security Council (UNSC) has slapped sanctions against South Sudan defense minister Kuol Manyang Juk over ceasefire violations and Martin Lomuro, the cabinet affairs minister for threats to the press and UN and foreign organizations.

UNSC said the crisis in South Sudan was being fueled by the conduct of leaders like ‘Butcher’ Gen Juk, who believed in violence, thus prolonging the suffering of the people.

During the SPLM/A war of liberation in the 1980’s, the notorious Kuol Manyang infamously earned the despicable title of ‘Butcher of Equatoria’ for the egregious killings and gross human rights he personally oversaw and allegedly ordered and committed as SPLA chief commander in Eastern Equatoria region.

In the Palotaka area of Eastern Equatoria alone, Kuol Manyang kept hundreds of young boys and girls in slave-like conditions whereby these kids were starved, sexually and physically abused by him and his tribal soldiers.

“Under (Gen) Juk’s command, SPLA forces violated the agreement on cessation of hostilities, protection of civilians and humanitarian access signed between government and rebels in 2017,” UNSC said in a statement following a Saturday meeting in New York.

It also said Gen Juk provided military support to the SPLM/A-N, the main Sudanese movement fighting the Khartoum regime, to attack Pagak, the rebel headquarters inside South Sudan.

The conflict
“Under (Gen) Juk’s command and his support to the Sudanese rebel group, the SPLM-N extended the conflict through offensive in South Sudan’s Pagak,” it says.

Cabinet Affairs minister Elia Lomoro was also sanctioned for threatening members of the press against critical coverage of the conflict in the country.
“Minister Lomoro threatened the press, obstructs humanitarian missions, and threatened to eliminate the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM).

“(Dr) Lomoro also obstructed the activities of the UNMISS,” the statement reads.

Two pilots
Sanctioned from the Dr Riek Machar’s camp was Gen Koang Rambang Cho, who is accused of leading an attack in Bieh State recently.

“He ordered his forces to restrict the moment of people working in humanitarian organisations. He was responsible for the detention of the two pilots delivering aid, obstructing their humanitarian activities,” the UNSC statement says.

The global security agency also renewed and extended to May 31, 2019 sanctions imposed on several other key South Sudan leaders namely; Information minister Michael Makuei, former army deputy chief of staff Malek Rueben and rebel leader Paul Malong. END

SPLM reunification: Is Taban Deng done politically in South Sudan?

By: Peter Gai Manyuon, South Sudan, MAY/08/2018, SSN;

Taban Deng Gai has been the First Vice President of South Sudan since 2016 after J-1 incident that killed thousands from both Kiir’s forces and Riek Machar’s forces.

Previously, he was the Minister of Mining and the Governor of the Unity State, a position he held before and after South Sudan’s independence in 2011 until 2013 when he was sacked by President Kiir.

On the 7th of May 2018, Taban came out with a press statement amalgamating his bodyguards or his forces to the Kiir forces claiming the reunification of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) when in fact his closed allies were not part of the decision and many from his group are currently confused about the unfortunate decision from their boss.

It should be noted, General Taban Deng Gai is done politically in South Sudan and what he (Taban) will enjoy now and beyond is the title former First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, nothing more.

You can’t tell me, General Taban will be President after President Kiir or whoever will be the President in South Sudan.

Why do I say so? In fact, general Taban has got four groups of enemies in South Sudan as per politics is concerned.

The first enemy is the general population of the Country because many masses have taken him as the only obstacle to peace in the Country after the collapse of the peace agreement in 2016 July. Taban was taken as an opportunist who only wanted destruction and position, not peace.

The second enemy is Kiir’s group, because they normally say frankly, Taban is the only Nuer man more dangerous than Dr. Riek Machar in South Sudan politics and therefore, he (Taban) covered himself with the name of SPLM in opposition as the only protector in Juba and in the region but now his position and resources are in serious risks.

Don’t ask me why now but ask me after two months from now so that I will be able to give you an answer.

Furthermore, Micheal Makuei Lueth (information minister), General Kuol Manyang (defense minister) and other extremists from Kiir’s camp will eventually introduce a methodology of finishing Taban politically in SPLM since they looked at him as the person who caused the 2013 crisis.

The third enemy is Dr Riek Machar’s group, where currently I don’t see any possibility of Taban assimilating or associating himself in the Nuer-Nation politics is 1% as per now and beyond.

Grassroots Nuer population have taken Taban as an obstacle to peace since Khartoum Peace Agreement and the 2015 agreement that Taban claimed the position of First Vice President through deception.

The fourth enemy to Taban are his supporters in Juba, mainly Hotels officials, there will be instructions from Kiir soon to evacuates the hotels’ accommodations to their various homes in Juba or the States.

In this case, many will defect from the government and rejoin any rebel factions in the Country because the aims of many who are with Taban is money, nothing else.

In summary, since Taban and his group denounced being part of the SPLM in opposition, then he should be ready for serious humiliation both physical and political, and most likely he will be sacked from being the first Vice President and will not also get any position either as deputy chairman of the Party or as Secretary General as he wishes.

Taban will go home in peace after sacking from the second top office in the country and all his supporters especially those in the hotels and other cities will disintegrate and merge with other political parties in the Country.

Peter Gai Manyuon, is an author, Independent Journalist, and Columnist who has written extensively on Human Rights and Democracy in South Sudan He can be reached at southsudanjournalist@gmail.com or independentjournalistpgm.wordpress.com.

Latest Breaking News: Why Army Chief of Staff, Ajongo, was killed by Pres. Kiir…

APR/21/2018, SSN;

It’s now emerging from various sources inside the Juba government that it was President Salva Kiir and others who decidedly conspired to assassinate by poisoning the SPLA Chief of General Staff, Lt.Gen. James Ajongo Mawut, who supposedly was announced to have died in Cairo, Egypt, last Friday, 20, 2018.

However, his death is shrouded in mysterious circumstances and even the exact cause of death.

Reportedly, during an important meeting at Bilpham, the SPLA Headquarters, that was attending by the President, Salva Kiir, the Defense minister, Kuol Mayang, the ruthless Chief of National Security, Akol Kur and some member(s) of the Jieng Council of Elders, the President ordered the Chief of Staff to travel to an unnamed country to purchase and bring CHEMICAL WEAPONS FOR USE IN UPPER NILE REGION against the opposition forces fighting against his Kiir regime.

Further, the Chief of Staff was informed that according to prevailing protocol, his presence and signature were necessary and important during the purchase and transportation of these chemical weapons, which are actually banned by the international community.

During the meeting, all the Army commanders in attendance and the Chief of Staff and his military commanders strenuously objected to the use of these banned weapons in the wars in South Sudan.

After this, it’s reported that the angered dictator, President Kiir ordered the Chief of Staff and his officer commanders to exit from the meeting, whence thereafter the president and his inner group brought forward the plan to dismiss the Chief of Staff but his co-conspirators seriously objected to the idea.

Their reason was that this will seriously create a situation similar to that of General Paul Malong, who, after his dismissal as Chief of Staff, created a serious crisis that eventually ended with Gen. Paul Malong creating his own rebel group against Pres. Kiir.

Hence, the President didn’t proceed with idea of dismissal of Gen. Ajongo, instead, the next plan of the president and his conspirators was to kill Gen. Ajongo by poisoning.

Then, it’s reportedly said that the body was sent on a plane to Egypt where he was later officially declared as died.

Mawut, who joined the SPLM/A, southern Sudanese rebel movement in 1983, became army chief of staff in May 2017 after Gen. Paul Malong was sacked.

Is IGAD complicit in the confinement of Dr. Riek Machar?

By Duop Chak Wuol, South Sudanese, APR/05/2018, SSN;

In most organized societies, keeping someone in detainment who did not commit any crime is a criminal act punishable by law. However, in its 61st extra-ordinary session held on March 26, 2018 in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) released a communiqué stating that it decided to lift the house arrest it imposed on the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), Dr. Riek Machar.

In addition, IGAD demanded that the rebel leader must first denounce violence before it can decide where he should be relocated. The East African regional bloc also asserted that Machar must only be transferred to a country without borders with South Sudan and that a group of designated IGAD ministers will propose and decide where the armed opposition leader will be moved to.

If such a resolution sounds like a conspiracy to you, then you are probably correct, because it fits within the meaning of a carefully-orchestrated political plot.

The statement was not only unreasonable — it was, in fact, a glorification of Salva Kiir’s tyranny and an insult to those who lost their lives in the civil war.

IGAD’s decision to lift Machar’s unlawful imprisonment is a welcome move. I strongly believe that placing Machar under house arrest was questionable. By signaling the release of the armed opposition leader, IGAD identified its blunder for the first time.

However, I wonder why the regional bloc wants the SPLM-IO leader to be relocated to a different nation instead of allowing him to go to any place of his own choosing?

There is absolutely no rational explanation as to why a group of IGAD leaders united themselves to keep an innocent man in confinement against his will when, meanwhile, Kiir committed massacres and enjoyed freedom in Juba.

IGAD leaders should explain to the people of South Sudan why they are willing to punish Machar while simultaneously failing to bring the war to an end. The bloc should also explain why it is interested in preventing Dr. Machar from participating in South Sudan’s politics.

IGAD’s main goal is to work for a peaceful solution to the ongoing civil war, instead of choosing a seemingly one-sided approach.

If the bloc does not change its current stance on South Sudan’s situation, then I suggest that the African Union (AU) and the international community take over the peace process.

The South Sudanese are also interested in knowing whether IGAD is merely an entity for East African leaders to protect themselves or is instead interested in solving regional issues.

It is worth noting that South Sudan’s conflict has become a lucrative business for some countries. What these nations need to know is that tens of thousands of people have died because of Kiir’s political madness.

Protecting Kiir by passing pro-Juba resolutions will not only escalate the war but will increase South Sudanese anger towards Kiir.

The Republic of South Sudan should not be a testing ground where civil liberties and human rights are traded for money, regional interests, or hidden intentions.

If IGAD is working for the goodness of the people of South Sudan, then it must not justify Salva Kiir’s ruthlessness by coming up with motions that are contrary to its own vision.

The March 26th decision by IGAD to transfer the rebel leader to a country outside of the East African region only strengthens the suspicion already present in the minds of millions of South Sudanese that the regional bloc is marred by bribery, illicit deals, greed, and conspiracy.

Is the confinement of Riek Machar an act of complicity? What crime did Riek Machar commit against Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, or Eritrea?

Is IGAD conducting itself impartially in relation to South Sudan’s peace process? Why are the leaders of the East African regional bloc seemingly working in the best interest of Juba’s atrocious regime?

What exactly is IGAD trying to tell the people of South Sudan and the international community? Is IGAD trying to legitimize the regime of a murderous tyrant?

Dr. Machar did not commit a single crime against any IGAD member state. If the bloc’s resolution is not an act of collusion, then I am not sure what it really means.

I agree with the idea that leaders should denounce and condemn violence. However, the notion that Machar is the only leader who should denounce violence is rather fallacious. The conditions set by IGAD are absurd.

Transferring Machar from South Africa to another country should not be called a release — it is, in fact, an extension of his current confinement. The reality is that the bloc is not ready to release the rebel leader.

If IGAD is impartial in its quest for peace, then it must ask all South Sudanese leaders, including Kiir, to denounce violence.

IGAD has been somewhat instrumental before, but the people of South Sudan know that most of its decisions have been anti-SPLM/A-IO.

I am not quite sure whether this apparent help-Kiir-at-all-costs policy is influenced by Kiir’s ally, Yoweri Museveni.

There is nothing wrong with supporting your friend or counterpart, but giving your full support to a leader who slaughtered tens of thousands of his fellow citizens without any good reason is rather reprehensible.

The ethnic carnage Kiir carried out in December 2013 in Juba was so brutal that only a leader who does not care about the suffering of South Sudanese would support it.

The leaders of IGAD should work towards finding a lasting solution to the conflict and not allow themselves to be used by Kiir. Salva Kiir is a cunning person.

He used the 2013 fake coup as evidence to purge Machar and other South Sudanese leaders who he saw as a threat to his leadership. There was no such a thing as a coup in this instance, contrary to what Kiir would like everyone to believe.

The real coup was the bogus one he orchestrated in Kampala with the help of Museveni.

It is good to remind people that in 2016, when the SPLM-IO leader was forced to go to Juba to implement the August 2015 imposed peace agreement, he was nearly killed.

What I find ironic about this specific narrative is that when Machar survived the July 2016 assassination attempt and fled Juba, there was not a single IGAD leader who came out and criticized Salva Kiir.

One would argue that the only thing the East African regional bloc wants is to keep Kiir in power, regardless of what the people of South Sudan want.

Peace is better than war. I am certain that the South Sudanese want peace to return to their country. IGAD must know that peace will not be achieved by imposing anti-peace resolutions on the SPLM/A-IO leader.

Kiir is the one who started the current civil war and Machar is the victim.

Thus, for the bloc to insist that Dr. Machar should continue living in exile instead of completely lifting his house arrest to live a free life is not a plausible decision the armed opposition should endorse.

The bloc must choose between keeping its tainted image, or else risk being declared by the South Sudanese as “not a credible, neutral, or impartial entity.”

Complicit or not, the people of South Sudan are fully aware of IGAD’s pro-Juba stance.

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