Category: National

Last Word on Kiir’s National Dialogue: It’s no dialogue but a mockery of it

BY: DANIEL JUOL NHOMNGEK, KAMPALA, UGANDA, MAY/27/2017, SSN;

The swearing in of a 94-member steering committee to head the national dialogue should not be a source of joy for all of us but rather we should be prepared for more crisis or even future war.

It is the missed opportunity as the President has again failed this time to do what is required for the national dialogue to be successful and to bring a permanent peace in a country facing war like South Sudan.

It is sad to blatantly state that the current national dialogue of President Kiir is not national dialogue when tested on common sense principle but rather it is something which is like a “national monologue,” which in my opinion is but a mockery.

This Dialogue established by President Kiir is a recipe for future war in South Sudan. This is because it will not bring permanent peace in the country. Though, the war may stop now, that does not mean that it is the current national dialogue that has brought peace but the war has just been postponed for future generation.

For that reason, it is sad to see the country being bogged down in vicious cycle of violence and to also see the liberator turned president losing sight of the long cherished principles of justice, liberty and prosperity in South Sudan.

In fact, for South Sudan to realize these principles, there must be someone who is solely concerned with the protection of the lives and welfare of South Sudanese but not power and wealth.

These are what are understood to be the ultimate aims of politics in South Sudan, which is contrary to the leaders that South Sudan wants.

Leaders that South Sudan wants as already stated in the above paragraph are selfless individuals whose goals and objectives are that of the country guided by the principles of justice, liberty and prosperity for all South Sudanese.

Failure to get the leaders of the type as described in this paragraph to run the country will keep the country on prolonged war and indefinite crisis.

Once the crises have been the order of the day in any country it will be hard to end them quickly. South Sudan has reached that state of unending crises and once the armed stage has been reached in any conflict, it is always difficult to stop it and the longer an armed struggle continues, the more difficult this becomes.

In the unending crises like the case of an internal armed conflict like what we see in the context of South Sudan, the only viable option to such crises is to engage in a process of negotiations, which is an essential step in finding a solution.

This article, therefore, is the last word on the President Kiir’s dialogue which is a mockery of national dialogue in its real sense.

The president in fact disguised his plan to frustrate all attempts to solve the conflict which may affect his personal interest to remain in power by coming up with this substandard national dialogue.

For the National Dialogue to be described as such, it must be unconditional, which lacks in the present national dialogue of President Kiir.

It was therefore a mistake for the President to establish the National dialogue and then restricted it in respect as to who should participate in it and who should not. Restricting it as such as witnessed in the case of Dr. Riek Machar who the President refused to participate was the beginning of the failure of the said national dialogue and we are wasting time and national resources on what is not going to be successful in the end.

As I have already stated above, this article is my last word in this regard is that the current President Kiir’s National Dialogue, which is not a national dialogue nor is it a national monologue as many call, but it’s a mockery of national dialogue.

I have stated here that it is not national dialogue because of the following reasons—
First all, for the national dialogue to bring permanent peace it must be inclusive. This means that all key interest groups such as women, youth, opponents or rebels in the case of South Sudan and other hated groups should be invited to take part in negotiation.

Because of a need to create trust and deeper understanding among all the participants, the process of national dialogue must begin as a political process. For the process to be deemed as political process it must be accepted by all parties that must be inclusive, transparent, and consultative in the preparatory phase that sets the foundation for a genuine national dialogue after that.

In relation to the above, the decision on how a national dialogue should be made by all the parties to the conflict as was the case in South Africa in 1990s. For example, before the National Dialogue was conducted in South Africa, the opposition parties were all invited and in response to invitation, they formed the “Convention for a Democratic South Africa” or CODESA, whose aim was to form part of a political negotiating process.

The CODESA, as a whole was divided into various working groups that worked on the preparation for national reconciliation, which took a period of two years i.e. 1991-2. These Working Groups met and negotiated frequently and after that they eventually delivered their reports on their agreements and recommendations.

This example from South Africa clearly illustrates the fact that the national dialogue is almost like the real political process that results into ordinary peace agreements as was seen in the case of Compromised Peace Agreement (the CPA), 2015.

Nonetheless, the only difference between the ordinary peace agreements and the national dialogues or national reconciliations is that whereas on one hand the former is negotiated between the warring parties only as seen in the case of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), 2005, the national dialogue on the other hand, involves the whole nation.

Otherwise, the two are the same in a way that peace process involves intense political process as the dialogue itself.

To sum up on this point, for the national dialogue to be successful, there must be preparations, which are undertaken carefully and transparently by a preparatory committee that must be inclusive of all major parties to the conflict.

In respect to South Sudan in relation to this point, what the President ought to have done was to give independence and neutral party to the conflict responsibility to invite unconditionally all parties to the conflict including Dr. Riek Machar in South Sudan to negotiating table where they would agree on comprehensive and permanent cease-fire which will be followed by agreement on how national dialogue should be conducted.

Failure to do this confirms my last word on President Kiir’s Dialogue that it is neither a national dialogue nor a national monologue but it is a mockery of national dialogue.

The second reason I deem the present process in South Sudan not to be regarded as national dialogue is that it is not transparent since it lacks public participation.

The present so-called national dialogue is only composed all friends to the president who are not neutral and because of that it is in risks of or has lost legitimacy at the start. This is because there is a serious restriction on the public participation and also no way to keep the public informed about the process of national dialogue given the rampant insecurity in the country.

For the national dialogue to be successful, it must go beyond the delegates who are in the room. Hence, a national dialogue, should therefore, have mechanisms to include the broader population so that the public is able to understand the whole process and further able to contribute to the process of national dialogue.

Thus, the broad participation can only be achieved by linking local dialogue processes to the national dialogue, as well as through public consultations, regular outreach, and coverage in the media.

Failure to involve the greater public by the present proposed national dialogue makes not to be transparent which shows that it is very weak and consequently it will never achieve its purpose. This explains the fact that it is not a national dialogue as some people have perceived it.

Thirdly, a national dialogue must be led by a credible convener. The credible convener means the one who heads the dialogue. This is important as it helps to secure the participation of a wide variety of stakeholder groups since the process can be fair as it avoids the perceptions of biasness. Hence, a credible convener is very utmost important.

The convener may take the form of a single person, a group of people, an organization, or a coalition of organizations. Besides that, the convener must be a respected individual or group of persons or the convener should be respected by the majority of citizens and should not have any political aspirations or goals that would present an obvious conflict of interest.

The recent processes in Tunisia and Senegal for example, owe much of their success to the credibility of the conveners.

Relating this point to the present South Sudanese National dialogue, it is my contention that the convener appointed by President Kiir though may be neutral it is not credible as he is old and also his appointment is not sanctioned by all the parties to the conflict.

This may make him or two of them not credible conveners in the real sense and hence the said national dialogue is not national dialogue in the actual sense.

Fourthly, for the process to be termed as national dialogue, it must be topped by the agenda that addresses the root causes of conflict. This is because a national dialogue seeks to reach agreement on key issues facing a country.

It is for that reason, months or even years of pre-negotiation or consultation is needed purposely to allow the parties to identify and agree upon the fundamental issues that constitute the basis of the conflict.

The issues such as national identity, political rights, basic freedoms, institutional reforms or constitutional reform, equitable sharing of resources, election procedures, and the structure of government, which are central to the conflicts in South Sudan must be considered in the national dialogue negotiation or process.

Hence, a national dialogue’s agenda should provide for substantive conversation around the major grievances of all key interest groups in the country.

As seen in the above explanation the national dialogue must be started with the identification of the root causes of the conflict. This is important because once such root causes are identified and addressed, the permanent peace can be secured and the brighter future of citizens assured.

It is because of this fact the present proposed Kiir’s national dialogue is not a national dialogue in the real sense.

Fifthly, for a national dialogue to be called national dialogue and to achieve its purpose there must be clear mandate, structure, rules and procedures. This is because National dialogues often take place outside the existing institutions of government.

The reason for conducting it outside the government is that the sitting government and existing institutions are unable to resolve the major issues at hand, either because they are seen as neither legitimate nor credible, or because they are unwilling to challenge the status quo.
It is for the above reason a national dialogue is supposed to have its own set of procedures and rules for making decisions, which should be transparent and carefully geared towards the goal of achieving its purpose which is permanent peace.

There must be procedures that should include mechanisms to break deadlocks if an agreement cannot be reached. Furthermore, there must be a clear mandate that gives authority to a national dialogue committee. This must be established either through a peace agreement, law, presidential decree, or some other manner.

For example, the clear mandate of Tunisia’s national dialogue allowed delegates to make steady progress toward four goals: selecting a caretaker government, approving a new constitution, establishing an electoral management body, and setting a timetable for elections.

In relation to South Sudan, the National Dialogue Committee should have been given clear mandate to achieve four clear goals as stated in the above paragraph. This is important because there is a need to establish a new system which will involve dismantling the current system.

Failure give the national dialogue committee mandate to carry out the activities as explained here makes the present national dialogue not a national dialogue in actual sense.

Sixth, for a national dialogue to achieve its purpose there must be agreed mechanism for implementation of outcomes. Hence, national dialogue should clearly lay out the plan that will ensure that the resulting recommendations from the pre- and national dialogue negations are implemented.

As already pointed out above, the plan mechanism should involve the enactment of a new constitution, law, policy, or other programs and it must also take into considerations the issues of transitional justice, constitution making, and elections.

It must be noted that without a clear implementation plan, a national dialogue is at risks of consuming extensive time and resources without producing any tangible results.

This is because the political transition achieved through wrong procedure, which is produced by hastily organized national dialogue is a failure.

For that reason, for a national dialogue to be successful in South Sudan, it must have clear agreed mechanisms that will guide the transitional government in implementation of the outcomes of the national dialogue, which importantly include a political transition.

Lastly but not least, what makes the present national dialogue not a dialogue in the real sense is because the President does not have powers to institute the National Dialogue Committee.

The committee and the convener that should be selected to constitute national dialogue needed in South Sudan must be agreed by all the parties to the conflict, which is not the case in our purported national dialogue.

In conclusion, my last word on national dialogue of Kiir as based on all the reasons given above is that it is not a national dialogue in the real sense. Thus, for it to be national dialogue it must meet the principles explained above which in brief are inclusiveness; transparency, credible convener; it must be able to address the root causes of conflict in South Sudan; it must have a clear mandate, structure, rules, and procedures and agreed mechanism for implementation of the outcomes.

Without meeting these principles, I am afraid the constituted national dialogue has failed from the start. This is my last word!

NB//: the author is the human rights law and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com

South Sudan makes us all look bad: Africa must advice or oust Kiir from power now

By Charles Onyango-Obbo, THE EASTAFRICAN, MAY/17/2017, SSN;

IN SUMMARY:
Africa needs to read the riot act to Kiir to piece the country back together, or marshal an invasion force and oust him if he won’t. South Sudan makes us all look bad.

The sacking of an army chief anywhere in the world, particularly Africa, is usually big news.

But the panicked reaction to the news that South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir fired army head General Paul Malong on Tuesday was extraordinary.

Many feared that the situation could get worse in the world’s newest nation, which has been ravaged by war since Kiir fell out with his deputy Riek Machar, resulting in savage fighting that made many ashamed of knowing the South Sudanese.

They had reason to be afraid. Malong was no longer an ordinary army chief. A polygamist with 40 wives and enough children to fill two villages, he was seen as the puppet master in South Sudan, and Kiir the puppet. He was the hardline Nuer iron fist behind the throne.

On Wednesday, Kiir trotted out the SPLA spokesman to say that Malong had withdrawn with his security guards to outside of the capital, Juba, but was not planning a rebellion.

Maybe he won’t, because the new army chief James Ajongo is alleged to been picked by Malong. He is a kind of Malong lite.

Hopefully, Kiir will now strike a more moderate posture, because he may still have a country, but will soon run out people.

More than 1.8 million South Sudanese have fled the country as refugees, according to the latest UN figures. Most have ended up in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Sudan.

Uganda hosts most of the refugees, nearly 800,000. In Kampala on Tuesday, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said the country would next month seek $2 billion at a UN refugee summit in Kampala to help fund relief operations for the South Sudanese refugees.

With a population of 12.4 million, South Sudan has made nearly 15 per cent of its population refugees in fewer than four years.

In addition, more than 3.5 million people have been internally displaced since the fighting erupted in mid-December 2013.

If the war doesn’t end, and intensifies, in another three or so years more than 25 per cent of South Sudanese could be refugees. And if the number of IDPs were also to double over the same period, accounting for those who will have been slaughtered in war, fallen to disease, or starved to death in the famine, virtually the whole population of South Sudan would be living outside their homes and off their land.

For a country like Uganda, the prospect of say two million South Sudanese pouring into the country by 2020 is scary, its much-praised refugee policy notwithstanding.
The only place where the South Sudanese are living properly at home could be the street on which Kiir lives in Juba.

That is overdramatised, yes, but it is to make the point that Africa must finally do something bold to stop the madness in South Sudan.

Among other things, it should ensure that Malong leaves South Sudan, either by force, or by being paid off Yahya Jammeh-style. He has a lot of prime real estate in Nairobi and Kampala, and a small country of a family to feed, so he may be susceptible to generous inducements.

And Africa needs to read the riot act to Kiir to piece the country back together, or marshal an invasion force and oust him if he won’t. South Sudan makes us all look bad.

Charles Onyango-Obbo is publisher of data visualiser Africapaedia and Rogue Chiefs. Twitter@cobbo3

INSIDE STORY: Why Kiir Sacked Malong & the Failed Assassination of Taban Deng

By: Dickens H Okello, CHIMPREPORTS, May/14/2017, SSN;

The attack on the convoy of First Vice President Taban Deng on Tuesday on its way to Bor was a planned assassination to frame army Chief Gen. Paul Malong, arrest and kill him in a staged rescue.

Trouble between President Kiir, Malong and Intelligence Chief, Akol Koor stemmed from plans to deploy SPLA in Bor.

The sacking of SPLA Chief of General Staff, Gen. Paul Malong on Tuesday evening was expected but also an audacious move by President Salva Kiir.

Since his appointment during the height of internal war in South Sudan in early 2014, Malong became so powerful in the army, trimming the influence of then Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juk.

It is widely believed that Malong was positioning himself to succeed Kiir due to his vast influence in the army.

Malong’s influence has undoubtedly been a challenge to those near the president and definitely Kiir himself.

This investigative website received and has been corroborating reports from intelligence sources in South Sudan and the region since Tuesday night.

Genesis of the trouble

According to a source at the National Intelligence and Security Service, the insecurity in Bor over tribal struggle between Murle community and Jonglei youths, caused disharmony between Kiir and Malong.

President Kiir reportedly issued a memo ordering the deployment of SPLA in Bor since Jonglei youths had refused to withdraw from Murle tribe territory.

Malong ignored the order and instead asked Kiir and the Director of National Intelligence Security Service in charge of Internal Security Bureau, Lt. Gen. Akol Koor Kuch to leave the matter to him.

A crisis meeting was immediately called by the president at the presidential palace commonly known as J1.

The meeting became so hot, generating serious verbal exchanges between Malong and Akol as Kiir watched them in disbelief.

Malong reportedly picked his small stick from the table and hit Akol on the shoulder though the aim was his head.

The meeting then ended without a resolution.

Assassination plot

After the open show of arrogance and power by Malong, a general in the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) was reportedly given orders from “above” to “handle” the belligerent army chief.

We have withheld the name of the NISS general for security reasons.

The visit of the First Vice President, Gen. Taban Deng to the same area (Bor) was due and hence the great opportunity to also get Malong.

The NISS strategists and operatives quickly arranged a plot to take out Taban Deng in a planned shootout and immediately release a report blaming Malong for the incident.

Malong would later be arrested and detained for killing the First Vice President.

A choreographed rescue attempt by the pro government militia, Mathiang Anyor who were largely recruited and trained by Malong, would happen, spark a deadly shootout and the latter shot in the struggle.

Malong reportedly got the intelligence and tried his best to foil the assassination.

“He was lucky to get the intel before its execution. I think it’s beyond luck,” a source in NISS told ChimpReports.

On Tuesday morning at exactly 10:00am, the convoy of Taban Deng moving to Bor was attacked between Tameza and Sudan Safari area.

The official report from government said 3 bodyguards were wounded but according to sources about 2 dozen soldiers lost their lives.

“Bodies were littered everywhere. There was serious blood bath in about a football field (area),” the source who reached the scene some minutes after the attack said.

“It was a short lethal combat exchange. The attackers disappeared without a trace and no one was picked.”

Taban Deng on Tuesday didn’t use his convoy but instead took a plane to Bor. The change in the plan was reportedly made Tuesday early morning.

Meanwhile, Malong had started ferrying arms from the army headquarters in Bilpam, Juba to his home area in Aweil, immediately he got the intelligence to terminate his life.

The armory in Bilpam is now said to be “almost empty”.

“Guns have moved from Bilpam to Aweil. It’s a difficult situation for Kiir now,” a source at army headquarters said.

Malong left Juba on Wednesday early morning without handing over to his successor or communicating to Kiir.

Kiir confirmed in a press conference at J1 on Thursday that he had to initiate communication with Malong and ask him to return to Juba.

“Personally, I am communicating with the former Chief of Staff, General Malong,” Kiir said.

Succession

The original 3 allies of Kiir who were believed to succeed him after his departure are former Foreign Affairs Minister, Nhial Deng, Malong and Akol Koor.

Since December when Malong’s influence became a source of tension in the Juba regime, the succession talks zeroed on Nhial Deng and Akol.

It is now largely believed that Kiir wants the intelligence chief, Akol Koor to succeed him and he has been the first general to openly talk bad about Malong after latter’s sacking.

Pres. Salva Kiir sacks murderer and tribal ally, SPLA chief Paul Malong but appoints Malong’s Dinka relative as next chief

From Various sources, MAY/06/2017, SSN;

South Sudan President Salva Kiir sacked his powerful, hardline army chief Paul Malong on Tuesday, a government spokesman said.

General Paul Malong, long regarded as an ethnic supporter of Kiir’s majority Dinka tribe, was replaced by General James Ajongo Mawut, a close relative of the fired ex-chief. Not surprisingly, Malong has quickly made an about turn and is on his way back to Juba and possible reconciliation with president Kiir.

Not surprisingly to most South Sudanese, President Kiir chose to appoint another Dinka as Chief of Staff to replace the dismissed Dinka chief, a move seen by most other South Sudanese as a perpetuation of the tribal tyranny and domination as well as to continue with the tribal way currently being perpetuated by Kiir’s tribe against the majority.

Meanwhile, Ater Achuil Chol, representative of the Aweil leaders, thanked President Kiir for appointing James Ajongo as the new army chief.

“I am talking on behave of the leaders of Aweil. We thank the president for appointing our son James Ajongo as SPLA chief of staff, so we are very grateful, we stand behind our son to unite the forces to work for the unity of this country,” he said.

“The decrees are two: one for the relief of Chief of General Staff, General Paul Malong Awan, and another decree is for the appointment of former Deputy Chief of General Staff for Administration and Finance General James Ajongo Mawut as the Chief of General Staff,” Kiir’s spokesmen Ateny Wek Ateny told AFP.

Ateny said the move was a routine changing of personnel. “This is a position that can be held between two years and four years and Malong has spent three years so this is the prerogative of the president” he said.

In February several senior army officers resigned, accusing Malong of conducting an ethnic war against non-Dinkas and ruling with an “unqualified clique of friends and relatives”.

Among those who quit was Lieutenant-General Thomas Cirillo who has since announced plans to launch his own rebellion.

Malong is widely regarded as being the mastermind of fighting that erupted in the capital, Juba, last July killing hundreds and dashing hopes of a power-sharing government between Kiir and his former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar, a member of the Nuer tribe.

ECONOMY COLLAPSES: While critics say the economy of South Sudan has now “technically collapsed” and that no measures can rescue it, traders are calling for government intervention.

“The economy is now biting, people are suffering, prices of commodities have tripled. It’s only those in authority who can survive the current economic situation. Everyone in villages is crying out for help,” said Lojur Molu, a concerned South Sudanese.

Government officials in Juba, who earn about 1,500 SSP, cannot afford to feed their families and have opted to take their children and wives to refugee camps in Uganda, according to a senior Uganda police officer.

“In 2013, if a government worker was earning an equivalent of Shs700,000 as a salary per month, he would now earn only Shs2,000 if he continues to earn at the same rate,” the source told this newspaper last week, suggesting the crisis is compounded by the shortage of dollar.

“The government in Juba spent all its US dollars in the conflict,” the police officer said.

The Dinka and the Nuer are the two largest ethnic groups in South Sudan and have a history of bloody rivalry.

UN investigators were among those who blamed Malong for the bloody attacks in July in which civilians were killed and foreign aid workers raped.

The US subsequently failed to get Malong sanctioned and put on a UN blacklist, subject to an assets freeze and travel ban, for his role in the ongoing conflict.

South Sudan has been at war since December 2013 when Kiir fell out with Machar, accusing him of plotting a coup.

The conflict — characterised by brutality and human rights violations — has triggered famine in parts of the country, forced millions from their homes and killed tens of thousands so far.

Letter to Pres. Kiir: People are suffering and the future is bleak

Open Letter To the President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, President, Chairman of SPLM and the Commander in Chief of the SPLA
State House J1 Juba, South Sudan.

APR/30/2017, SSN;

Mr. President,
First, let me register that some of us who have never met you before and perhaps, will never meet you until you leave the presidency and we badly need to meet you in order to tell you what we think are wrong in and with the government so that you are able to change the method of governance for the better and to serve citizens of South Sudan better.

I need not to remind you by telling you that it is now going to four years while the war is still on. The last three years have never been easier for us citizens and I do not know whether you know that we are suffering.

It was good when the war started but as we progress from one year to the other in the war, things are becoming tougher and tougher day and night as US dollars have staged a second front against the country and citizens.

In actual sense, things are tough, which deeply worries us and further puts the country’s future in bleak.

Moreover, the population is in danger of being wiped out as it is trapped by your forces, the forces of the SPLM/A-IO, the forces of the National Salvation Front and criminals who are benefiting out of chaos or crises.

One thing you should be worried is about the scarcity of dollars, which has put prices beyond the reach of the ordinary citizens. Because of that there is extreme shortage of food and other necessity for life for all citizens.

Hence, citizens are dying of hunger everyday in Juba leave alone other parts of the country. Imagine, if citizens die of hunger within Juba, what about those who are far from capital city who are trapped in conflict!

In addition, Mr. President, hospitals are not in good conditions but you never know this for two reasons: first, those around you tell you that things are good when in actual sense it is the opposite and second to it you and other ministers, Members of Parliament and other civil servants have special arrangements which enable them to travel to other East African Countries, Egypt, India, Jordan, the UK, Australia, the USA, Italy and Germany for treatment.

This special arrangement has denied citizens, an opportunity for reform in the health sector as government officials including you do not need such improvement since there is no need for it. Hence, citizens are there to die of curable diseases every hour.

Mr. President, one thing that has even complicating the matter is the fact that some people who are around you and those working in your office have formed a group that prevents people from reaching you to explain to you their grievances.

They have done this in order to continue practice corruption in your office without your knowledge. Sadly enough, if some people write about their corruption, they threaten that person with arrest and even death.

For instance, there was a time I wrote an article concerning the dirty politics in your office and I was almost burned alive by those in your office. They demanded that I must apologize not because I have made false allegations against them but for having told the truth.

However Mr. President, I stood my ground and completely refused to apologize because I believe in truth and the fact that South Sudan needs the truth to prevail.

The personal experiences as explained above show that it is dangerous in South Sudan to tell the truth. In other words, the truth is a criminalized offence or considered treasonable in South Sudan and this is why those who tell the truth are viewed as rebels.

For that reason, all citizens are cowed into silence as they are being ruled by fear of being branded as members of the IO or rebels which can put them into the hands of manipulated security apparatus where they will suffer from arbitrary detention and arrest without any remedy.

Because of being considered members of the rebels for telling the truth, Mr. President, there are now two types of population in South Sudan: the truth tellers who are majority but are branded as rebel members and those sycophants and miscreants who lie to you or to the government officials in order to get earn a living.

Mr. President, as I have already pointed out above, for one to survive in South Sudan from the hands of politicians, National security, State governors and other organized forces, he or she has to learn to be a liar or to join in multi-practice to corrupt the country and its system.

Nonetheless, I should not be quoted as if I am making accusations against all organized forces of South Sudan, what I am saying is that the government officials have penetrated the SPLM/A, National Security and all organized forces, which they pay to harass or even detain incommunicado their political opponents or private citizens who are critical with them in regard to the way they are running the offices.

Your government officials are deadly corrupt but they don’t want anybody to question their corrupt practices and if one at his or her will chooses to question them then he or she is threatened.

Mr. President, may I ask you this obvious question: what did Late Dr. Garang mean when he says that “take town to people,”? You try to implement this statement by creating and taking thirty two (2) states to people and I wonder whether you properly explained this meaning of this statement to your officials.

It is sad that instead of bringing services to people through creating more states, which Garang meant when he made such statement, it is the corruption and oppression of the youth which has been brought to the people.

As you struggle to ensure that those towns or states taken to people are given money to increase services to the people, Governors and their close associates are the ones building their own houses in Juba besides harshly taxing people while leaving states and the people there in more crises than before.

Let me tell you, Mr. President, the enthusiasm that we had when you created more states has been killed by your governors who are not only corrupt but they are also oppressing youth and all citizens leave alone services.

No services to people and I would advise you that if it is appropriate, why not reconsidering your position either to appoint good governors or take your town away from the people so that people remain in their peace because those towns have brought more problems to people than good.

Those governors and their associates are absolutely corrupt and moreover, their corruption is unchecked. Besides, the commissioners they appoint are like them. They are corrupting system while using organized forces to arbitrary arrest and detain people without trial for indefinite period.

One of the clear examples in this category is the detention of a director of education, Mr. Mathen Thook, in a county called Joth Mayar in Gok State who has been under detention in military barracks for over thirty days without charge.

Mr. President, another thing I wanted to tell you concerning what makes a strong nation and if South Sudan is to be strong you have to observe them. A strong nation must have two things: a strong army and strong rule of law.

Niccolo Machiavelli in his Book, the Prince, knows this fact when he says that “the main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones are good laws and good arms you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow”.

Our problems in South Sudan are caused by lack of strong army as the army which is there is now is full of militias, mercenaries and auxiliaries.

Machiavelli in the same Book cited above makes the following bad observations about mercenaries and auxiliaries that:— “They are useless and dangerous; and if one holds his state based on these arms, he will stand neither firm nor safe; for they are disunited, ambitious and without discipline, unfaithful, valiant before friends, cowardly before enemies; they have neither the fear of God nor fidelity to men, and destruction is deferred only so long as the attack is; for in peace one is robbed by them, and in war by the enemy.

The fact is, they have no other attraction or reason for keeping the field than a trifle of stipend, which is not sufficient to make them willing to die for you. They are ready enough to be your soldiers whilst you do not make war, but if war comes they take themselves off or run from the foe; which I should have little trouble to prove, for the ruin of Italy has been caused by nothing else than by resting all her hopes for many years on mercenaries, and although they formerly made some display and appeared valiant amongst themselves, yet when the foreigners came they showed what they were.”

As you can understand from the above quotation, South Sudan army is not a true army in the true sense but full of militias. Such an army is not good for you and for South Sudan.

As things stand today, there are separate armies for each tribe, for each general and for each militia group, which is not good for a nation like South Sudan. You need to reform the current army of South Sudan into the national army.

In order to reform the army in South Sudan effectively, you need to carry out survey in the army to get the total number of the army and where they are trained from. Then, after that call all the true SPLM/A forces of 1983-2005 so that they are deployed throughout South Sudan while all militias who are just incorporated in the army without military training background are all sent to military training camps where they are going to be subjected to serious training for the next three years. The same thing should be done in respect to the police and other organized forces.

At the same time, the recruitments of new groups whether in the army, police or other forces should stop for the next three years in order to organize the present police, army and other organized forces into strong organized forces. This will make it possible for you and other officials to know the size of the army which we do not know currently.

Mr. President, the final thing I wanted to tell you is something to do with some of your advisors. There are some advisors within those special advisors to you who are clearly working for your downfall and the downfall of South Sudan.

Their motive is to ensure that South Sudan must fail as they still hope that if it fails then it will be liquidated and added to Khartoum, a dream that will die with them without being realized.

To tell you the truth, one of the advisors I feel pain whenever I see him with you is that person related to you who personally ordered the execution of the SPLA officers during the liberation struggle.

Why I feel pain is the fact that he has become a king to those he personally executed which is unjust because this is not the state of Jesus Christ where the executor becomes the preacher.

If there is no accountability, at least, he should not be seen to be on the top of the government he persecuted in the first place. What will he offer to the government? This particular person though related to you is not suited to be an advisor to the governor.

Another person you appointed to be your special advisor on security issues who was an advisor to the President of Sudan during the war is not working for the interest of the SPLM as a party. But his interest is to see that South Sudan is divided forever so that it fails. He is not interested for the stability of South Sudan since such stability brings in more of his tribe-mates which is a threat to his political interests.

In addition, there are two people who are not within ten advisors. One is outside South Sudan while the other is a cabinet minister. These two people are not there for the interest of South Sudan this is why they keep on creating division within the SPLM so that original founders of the SPLM are chased away.

I am not saying that they should not be in South Sudan because they are South Sudanese rather what I am saying is that they do not know the vision of the SPLM and their goal is to destroy the SPLM. Therefore, do not bring them to the heart of the government.

As I pointed out last time in my article which caused commotion in that office, I would like to repeat in this letter that you need to appoint some people in your office who can serve the interest of South Sudanese and South Sudan in general not those who turn the office turn profit making venture.

Mr. President, I need to conclude this letter by advising you that if you are appointing advisors, you need to appoint those who are at least able to disagree with you on some matters not those who always ready to agree with you on all the matters for the fear of being removed. Advisors must be specialists in their areas of expertise and are also objective. This is why we talk of advisors as advisors are not those who protect their personal interest.

Respectfully,
Yours sincerely

Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Lawyer, Kampala Uganda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Power, burgeoning parasitic capitalism & ethnic nationalism: South Sudan Self-destruction

From: Peter Adwok Nyaba , South Sudan, APR/08/2017, SSN;

Introductory remarks:
The legendary riddle of ‘chicken and egg’ corroborates the current realities of South Sudan civil war, whose effects have rendered irrelevant its causes and triggers, but at the same time have left the culprits, the victims and the mediators bewildered.

The absence of policy tools to address the crisis (writes Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba) left the region and the international community with only two options: confine Dr. Riek Machar to South Africa, and give President Salva Kiir six months to clear the SPLM/A (IO). The consequences now register as dire humanitarian situation, refugees and famine.

A few days ago, Mr. Festus Mogae, Chairman of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) paid a visit to Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, the SPLM/A (IO) leader holed up in South Africa since November 2016. The purpose of the visit was to ask Dr. Riek to renounce violence, declare unilateral ceasefire and come back to Juba to join the national dialogue (ND) President Salva Kiir decreed last December. It was like adding insult to injury.

Mr. Mogae’s mission proves the very truth that the cause of the war is trying to catch up with its effects in view of the message he delivered. Mr. Mogae’s mandate is to monitor and to evaluate the implementation of the agreement on resolution of crisis in South Sudan (ARCISS).

Since July 2016, Mr. Mogae has been telling the world the opposite of what actually was happening in South Sudan. Intimidated by Information minister, Makuei et al, Mr. Mogae is reduced to a messenger; ferrying messages from President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) to Dr. Riek Machar.

This new assignment undoubtedly puts Mr. Mogae in an embarrassing situation of admitting that ARCISS is definitely dead and this necessitates a return to the drawing board.

The genesis of the crisis:

The Republic of South Sudan unfortunately did not avoid the pitfall most post-colonial African countries fell into on independence -organizing power and politics based on personality, ethnicity and regionalism instead of ideas and political programs.

We’ve somewhere attributed this to ideological poverty and the paradigm shift the SPLM made in the nineties in the context of thawing of the cold war and the collapse of Soviet Union. The recoil from revolutionary politics to liberal and neo-liberal brought in its wake the ethnicization of SPLM public power and authority.

The signing of comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) heralding the independence as especially following the tragic demise of Dr. John Garang de Mabior and the ascension of Salva Kiir Mayardit to the helm, the assumption that it was Dinka power, started to take roots.

The witch-hunt against the so-called Garang’s orphans was to remove from the SPLM/A hierarchy non-Dinka as well as non-Bahr el Ghazalians. There was no way of removing Dr. Riek Machar and the Nuers. So, the power configuration appeared Dinka-Nuer alliance in the political, military and civil service.

It was taken for granted that the Dinka (Salva Kiir) would be president because of their numerical weight. The Nuer (Dr. Riek Machar) would deputize him and the Equatorian (James Wani Igga) remain the Hon. Speaker of the National Legislature.

Translated into executive portfolios, in a cabinet of thirty, there were sixteen Dinka, six Nuer, two Chollo, one Azande, one Bari and one Balanda. This power arrangement engendered political exclusion, discrimination and marginalization of the smaller ethnicities.

In the army, the Dinka had the highest numbers in the officers’ corps while the Nuer were seventy percent of the soldiers.

The Dinka and Nuer controlled between themselves the civil service top positions not based on merits but political patronage. Many Dinka and Nuer people returning from the Diaspora especially US, Canada and Australia had no knowledge of skills demanded by the senior positions they occupied leading to paralysis of the system.

The political contradictions inherent in such a power configuration were bound to erupt into violence. This occurred on 15 December 2013 with the target massacres of ethnic Nuers in Juba.

Initially, the perception among many South Sudanese was that it was a Dinka-Nuer affair, explaining the indifference and lack of solidarity with the Nuer victims. This neutrality remained until combative Dinka ethnic nationalism now at the centre stage directing the war started aggressing and provoking other ethnicities to take up arms.

In August 2015, the government of South Sudan, the SPLM in opposition, the SPLM former political detainees, the other political parties, the Women Group, the Faith based Group and Civil Society Organizations signed the peace agreement.

In April 2016, the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) was established. Barely two months in the implementation of ARCISS war erupted again. Two factors contributed to this renewed war, namely, were the Establishment Order 36/2015 (EO36/2015) and the refusal to establish cantonment camps for SPLA IO in Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal.

The violent events in July 2016 leading to the collapse of both the TGoNU and ARCISS have created new realities

The rise of Dinka ethnic nationalism, with its ideology of Dinka (Jieng) ethnic supremacy über alles, and the formation of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) as a power broker around President Salva Kiir became the rallying point for unity of all Jieng sections and subsections in what apparently has become a Jieng war against all others.

This may appear simplistic, but the rise of Dinka ethnic nationalism has efficaciously transformed the character of the conflict into a ‘Dinka war,’ in the guise of the government of South Sudan (SPLA), against all other nationalities opposed to Dinka hegemony and domination.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit admitted this in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) on 19 October 2016 that “the Nuers have rebelled and the other ethnicities refused or have boycotted the SPLA and therefore I had nowhere to look for troops to fight the war” (sic).

The upsurge of Dinka ethnic nationalism and the formation of the JCE are sides of the same coin of right wing politics in South Sudan. It is not the first time the Dinka political elites have fostered ‘Dinka Unity’ as a counter to one of their number losing power.

The call for ‘Dinka Unity’ emerged in late seventies of the last century in order to protect Abel Alier’s presidency of the High Executive Council (HEC) in the defunct Southern Region. It has now emerged as an important factor in the conflict to protect the power of President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

However, unlike its past variant, Dinka ethnic nationalism (now organized under the auspices of JCE chaired by Justice Ambrose Riiny Thiik) has come against a backdrop of an alliance between the Dinka politico-military-business elite – a parasitic capitalist class, (Salva Kiir has nurtured since 2005) and the regional and multinational comprador capitalism interested in the extraction, development and exploitation of South Sudan vast natural resource potential.

Consequent to, and through this alliance, President Salva Kiir consolidated his hold on political and executive powers by engineering a totalitarian regime as a vehicle to facilitate this extraction.

To accomplish this he had to paralyze the organizational and political functions of the SPLM as the ruling party. Thus, instead of institutionalizing, President Salva Kiir personified power and governed through presidential decrees and orders.

He embarked on the formation of ethnic and regional caucuses in the legislative and executive organs of the state and encouraged the emergence of ethnic and regional associations and lobby groups as a means of entrenching a system of political patronage.

In the course of a few years, the Dinka ethnic nationalism, Salva Kiir’s kleptocratic totalitarianism, and the natural resource extraction opportunities blended into an explosive admixture, which drives the nefarious policy decisions fueling the conflict in South Sudan.

These policy decisions like the Executive Order 36/2015 speak to this explosive admixture in the context of capitalist utilitarianism in the form of land for investment in mechanized commercial agricultural farming and livestock ranching.

This makes the Order the most contentious piece of legislation. It not only divides South Sudan into 28 dysfunctional states, but also awards the Dinka 42% of South Sudan land area making it the most contentious piece of legislation.

This order, through alteration of administrative boundaries and creation of new states, dispossesses and transfers to the Dinka ownership ancestral lands of other nationalities in Western Bahr el Ghazal [Fertit in Raga] and Upper Nile [Chollo, Maaban, Koma and Nuer].

This decision was not in response to explosion of Dinka population but in a colonial pattern, to evict people, if necessarily by force of arms, to make land available to foreign investors.

That it also permits pastoral Dinka communities unhindered access to, and settlement with their herds in, sedentary agricultural areas in Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal has led to the growth of anti-Dinka sentiments throughout South Sudan with the consequence that innocent Dinka civilians were caught up in the fury.

The fallacy of existential threat:

The killing of innocent Dinka on the roads in Equatoria has prompted some Dinka intellectuals, to raise the point that there is an existential threat to Dinka people in South Sudan. This could not be further from the truth.

If there is any existential threat in South Sudan, it is the smaller ethnicities in Western Bahr el Ghazal who in addition to the socio-economic and political exclusion, discrimination and marginalization they have suffered over the decades, are now faced with brutalization, dehumanization, physical and cultural extinction consequent to annexation of Raga to some parts of Awiel.

The Acholi, Madi, Moro, Balanda and others face existential threat consequent to destruction of their livelihood and culture. The invasion by pastoral communities into their sedentary agricultural ecology is an existential threat.

The Chollo are facing an existential threat from their Padang Dinka neighbours who with the support of the government of South Sudan, in the person of President Salva Kiir, are dispossessing them of their ancestral lands on east bank of River Nile.

What I want to emphasize here is that it is the small ethnicities because they do not possess economic or political/military power who face this existential threat but not those large ethnicities in possession of state power.

These intellectuals, some feigning liberalism, have raised the existential threat only to justify their tacit support for Salva Kiir’s totalitarianism. Many of these intellectuals were known opponents of President Salva Kiir yet they refused to join the armed opposition to the regime.

They have not condemned the horrendous crimes ‘Dotku beny’ and ‘Mathiang anyoor’ (Dinka militias) committed since 2013. They have drummed up that due to this existential threat it has forced the Dinka to rally behind Salva Kiir and the JCE.

This is thrash and the only credible explanation for this rhetoric is ethnic solidarity. The truth is that the conflict has become one against sixty-three and that by whatever magic, the one cannot win against sixty-three.

This brings us to another disturbing reality linked to state formation and nation building in South Sudan. The ethnic and regional dimensions of the war are becoming prominent with the emergence and proliferation of armed oppositions groups ethnic and regional in character.

The struggle against Dinka ethnic nationalism and the burgeoning parasitic capitalist class, we categorized as the ‘explosive admixture’, in the absence of a unifying ideological thrust renders the three categories harbingers of South Sudan’s self-destruction. This plays out negatively.

First, the presence of many separate and competing armed groups without a political agreement to enable them cohabitate and operate against the regime in close proximity is bound to generate frictions, tensions and even violence. This occurred in January between the SPLM/A (IO) and the newly formed (Dr. Lam Akol’s) National Democratic Movement (NDM).

This weakened the two groups through loss of human life and military hardware thus playing into the hands of the government. The least thing opposition groups should do is to fight among themselves no matter how difficult the situation.

Secondly, the ethnic backlash pushes to the background, if not into the oblivion, the state formation and nation building objectives, which raise the possibility of South Sudan disintegrating into ungovernable pieces. The competing regional political, economic and security interests will definitely accentuate this scenario.

The military presence in South Sudan of Uganda and Ethiopia might encourage Kenya and the Sudan to send their troops under the guise of maintaining peace ala Somalia while in fact they are balance their respective interests.

Thirdly, proliferation of armed opposition spells their weakness thus prolonging the life of the totalitarian regime. This will have the negative psychological impact on the people, who politically and ideologically, have not sufficiently prepared for a protracted war. As their social and economic situation continues to deteriorate, in face of the deepening economic crisis of the regime and famine, many of them will flee into refuge in the neighbouring countries.

Fourth, in spite of the ethnic power fanfare and pride, the Dinka are not culturally homogenous. There is latent power struggle between the eastern (Bor) and western (Rek) Dinka, which could erupt into violence as the social and economic situation become untenable.

This plays into the second scenario accelerating the disintegration invoking the UN trusteeship peddled by some political leaders. UN trusteeship of South Sudan will freeze without resolving the fundamental contradiction, given the heightened ethnic furore.

What should be done?

South Sudan is going through an irreconcilable contradiction between the totalitarian regime and the masses of the people. The emerging ethnic character apart, the resolution of this contradiction will not be on the basis of power-sharing and effecting superficial reforms in the system.

The ARCISS is outmoded that any group hinging its hope on its resuscitation will be courting the perpetuation of conflict. The existence of many armed and opposition parties is indicative of the multiple layers of the problem, which therefore necessitates its deeper knowledge and scientific understanding.

It’s obvious we are aware of the problem facing the people of South Sudan. What seems not very obvious to all the political groups is that their continued independent actions work to prolong the suffering of the people of South Sudan.

In August 2016, Dr. Lam Akol initiated what was then dubbed “Consultative Meeting of the Opposition Groups.” It was one-step in the right direction. The political leaders might want to take the resolutions of that meeting a step further in the form of negotiating a charter and programme for working together to remove the totalitarian regime.

The region and the international community have no more policy tools for unlocking the impasse and it will be defeatist to continue waiting for them to come up with the solution while the regime is killing our people as happened a few days ago in Magwe County in Eastern Equatoria.

National Salvation (NAS), United Kingdom, of Gen. Cirillo rejects Jieng’s letter defaming Cirillo

National Salvation Front (NAS) United Kingdom
Date: 26th March 2017;

Response to JCE’s press release of 21st March 2017 in respect of General Thomas Cirilo Swaka

The JCE’s letter strives to depict General Thomas Cirilo Swaka and the Equatorians as enemies of Jieng and Nuer. In this false portrayal of General Swaka, the aim is to divide South Sudanese against one another.

This baseless claim that Equatorians wish to be annexed to Uganda or secede from South Sudan as an independent country is a ploy to delegitimize Equatorians as South Sudanese.

National Salvation Front is a movement championing the cause of all South Sudanese to rid the country of the current tribal system in Juba.

In paragraph 2 of the JCE’s letter, General Swaka is quoted out of context as he clearly referred to the incident of violence in July 2016, and not the power struggle that sparked the conflict in December 2013. Please see paragraph 2 of General Swaka’s resignation letter in its entirety.

The JCE argues that it has no violent agenda but that, “it is Thomas Cirilo himself who has done everything with his tribal death squads to target innocent Jieng on the Equatorian roads and towns.” This is not true.

The evidence of JCE’s violent agenda can be seen in their letters to the international community: ‘The Position of the JCE on the IGAD-Plus proposed compromise agreement’ (file:///C:/Users/Rosemary/Downloads/JCE%20-%20Position%20on%20Proposed%20Compromise%20Agreement%20(1).pdf) and ‘Jieng Council of Elders rejects imposition of peace on South Sudan’ (https://paanluelwel.com/2015/04/01/jieng-council-of-elders-rejects-imposition-of-peace-on-south-sudan/) and also the Obassanjo report: African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan.

As with regards to General Swaka being a leader of a “tribal death squad”, this is nothing other than a deliberate smear campaign to tarnish the image of General Swaka.

It is worth mentioning that General Swaka graduated from the Military College in Khartoum in 1984, that is nearly 2 years following the division of South Sudan into 3 regions of Bahr El Ghazal, Upper Nile and Equatoria by the then President Jaafar Mohamad Niemeri.

This division of the Southern Sudan resulted into the Jieng and the Nuer going to their respective regions. By the time General Swaka graduated from the military college and returned to Juba, arguably 99 percent of the Jieng and the Nuer had gone to their respective regions.

The crucial question then is: which Jieng and Nuer did General Swaka kill?

“The infamous White House” in Juba referred to by the JCE was created by President Omer El Bashir’s regime which came to power on 30th June 1989. The so called “White House” actually was the USAID office in Juba which the government took over and converted into a security office.

The name reflects the colour of the paint of the house. By this time literally there were no Jieng and Nuer in Juba save members of the security forces. Equally, there were no Equatorians in the other two regions as they had to return home. So what is the JCE talking about here?

General Swaka’s rebellion from the Sudanese army and his subsequent joining of the SPLM/A follows the massacre of Equatorian army officers, police officers, prison wardens, wild life officers and intellectuals by the Bashir regime in 1992.

Now if General Swaka were a Jieng hater, why would he have joined an organisation (SPLA/M) whose leader was a Jieng and dominated by the Jieng?

The JCE shamelessly claim that, “[m]ore importantly, the Jieng people possess the largest land mass in South Sudan and they are not in the business of territorial expansion. And so to suggest that The JCE has an agenda for forceful displacement of people from their ancestral lands is again a cheap lie by the general to win sympathy. The idea of tribal territorial expansion ended in the nineteenth century and the general must learn how to properly package his lies.”

This is rich coming from the JCE. When president Kiir issued a decree (Decree Establishment order 36/2015 in October 2015) the JCE was the first to jubilantly congratulate the president for this instrument of land theft from other tribes.

This decree annexed lands from the Chollo, Nuer and Fertit people to the benefit of the Jieng.

Furthermore the naming of places in non-Jieng territories by the Jieng using Jieng names is a attempt to psychologically lay claim of the area. For example Korok Hill in Juba the Jieng have named it ‘Jebel Dinka’, another example is the fact that the Jieng now call Nimule ‘Bor 2’.

If this is not evidence of territorial expansion endorsed by the JCE, why in their alleged civil capacity do they not speak out against it? Given this evidence, how can General Swaka be lying?

In relation to JCE’s claim made in paragraph 10 (last paragraph of page 3), the JCE claims that they have implemented the policy of affirmative action.

Aside from the patronising implications of that claim, please can the JCE provide evidence of this alleged policy which would be demonstrated by proportional representation of all the tribes and the regions in both the army and the government?

Paragraph 11 of the JCE’s letter states: “Another point worth responding to is point 10 of the letter which General Cirilo claimed that the JCE sits in military command meetings and that it gives directives to the military.

This is obviously a very cheap and baseless attack. The SPLA is a military organisation managing a civil war, so a civil body like the JCE has neither the knowledge nor the mandate to give instructions to military professionals.

What is clear is that General Cirilo is full of hate against the Jieng people and his wild claims against the JCE are simply his attempt to hide his hatred and his desire to tarnish the image of the Jieng people.”

The JCE is full of contradictions. Their claim that they are a civil body is utter nonsense. Their letter which we are responding to in itself is evidence that the JCE is not a civil society group because this letter without any doubt is advancing a political end.

Again their letters to the international community and their deadly involvement in the events leading to the cleansing of the Nuer in December 2013 reported in the Obassanjo report speak for itself.

Furthermore, what civic functions does the JCE perform?

For the JCE to deny their participation in military affairs of the Republic of South Sudan is beyond belief. As mentioned earlier, the Obassanjo report into the crisis in South Sudan clearly evidences the fact that the JCE is heavily involved in military affairs of the country.

The fact that they converted the army into Jieng militia cannot be denied and there is no way they can hide it. What kind of a national army would use the Jieng language as its operating language? Especially when Jieng is not the national language of the country, please see the evidence in this YouTube link, ‘The Mighty SPLA (Tiger Division)’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSQDSn3eaBo)

In paragraph 13 of JCE’s letter (paragraph 4 of page 4), the JCE intends to distort the land grab attempts of General Swaka’s ancestral land by members of the Jieng. Please see ‘Confronting the Jieng policy of land grab in South Sudan.’(https://pachodo.org/latest-news-articles/pachodo-english-articles/12156-confronting-the-policy-of-land-grab-in-south-sudan)

What the JCE is doing by their insinuations here is projecting their own behaviour onto the general.

In regards to paragraph 14 of JCE’s letter (paragraph 5 of page 4), the people of South Sudan have been victimised, abused and disempowered by the Jieng dominated government. The logical and natural result of such treatment is scepticism and resentment.

The JCE seeks to trivialise these natural sentiments by dismissing and projecting them as tribalism onto other non Jieng people. This is a dangerous policy because the JCE is living in denial of other communities pains.

Should the JCE continue to peddle this dismissive argument, the other communities may retaliate against the Jieng because the Jieng would not have had the time to reflect and change the behaviour that is alienating them from other South Sudanese communities. Please see, ‘The storm of change gathering to sweep Kiir and the JCE from power.’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/the-storm-of-change-gathering-to-sweep-kiir-and-jce-from-power/)

The attempted character assassination of General Swaka by the JCE is a clear example of the extent to which the JCE will go to discredit a credible opposition leader who has fought tirelessly for the liberation of South Sudan.

The lies fabricated about General Swaka being a foreign agent, corrupt, money embezzler and ‘a weak charactered man’ without any truth in it is intended to destroy General Swaka. We cannot be angry with the JCE for this letter because it is proof that they are clutching at straws to defeat a formidable opponent.

In conclusion, JCE’s ugly role in the destabilisation and destruction of South Sudan with its tribal agenda is openly known to every South Sudanese including children.

Their attempt to rebrand themselves as a civil society group, pursuing peace in the country in order to rebut General Thomas Cirilo Swaka’s evidenced assertion in his resignation letter, will not pull the wool over the eyes of the people of South Sudan.

Signed
NSF (NAS) UK

Truth telling and reconciliation go together, why’d South Sudan be exceptional?

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, MAR/19/2017, SSN;

In John 8:32, Jesus told His disciples, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Consequently as it has been observed by some people “the truth will set you free” has become a common saying in academic circles as a way of promoting academic freedom and the power of learning. As a result, many universities have this statement emblazoned on a sign near the entrance of a building.

When Jesus said the above well-known statement, he had just finished a speech at the temple where He delineated differences between Himself and His listeners. He told His listeners that “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:23–24). The result of Jesus’ message was that “even as he spoke, many believed in him” (verse 30).

Thus, my argument in this article is that unless we tell the truth in South Sudan peace will never be achieved and it is only when we tell the truth that is when the truth will set us free by terming with the truth and achieve lasting peace.

Hence, this article is about the National Dialogue of South Sudan. It is intended to draw the attention of the leaders of South Sudan to the fact that that if they have opted for National Dialogue as a way of bringing peace through National Reconciliation, then the truth telling in its real meaning must go hand in hand with it.

Without the truth telling, the National Dialogue will never achieve peace as it will be devoid of truth and as a result, it will be waste of time as the National dialogue and reconciliation cannot be achieved without the truth telling.

This is because National Dialogue and Truth Telling go together as seen in different countries where the National Dialogue was adopted as a method of bringing peace and South Sudan should not be an exception to that effect.

South Africa, for instance, Truth telling and Reconciliation were adopted together in the process of achieving peace after the devastating apartheid rule. In order to do that South Africa formed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which was an independent body. Because of being independent body it was able to deal comprehensively with serious crimes that were committed during apartheid rules as it is the case in South Sudan today.

In South Sudan, there were serious violations of human rights like what happened in South Africa. In its final report, the African Union (AU) Commission of Inquiry on the situation in South Sudan concluded that war crimes and crimes against humanity had been committed since the conflict erupted in December 2013 and recommends the establishment of accountability mechanisms.

In order to achieve peace in South Africa, Truth telling in the National Reconciliation process was adopted and consequently, it helped in achieving National Reconciliation. The reason the truth telling is required in the process of reconciliation is that truth telling is part of justice.

This is because by telling the truth the victims may be satisfied with the truth, which will eventually result into reconciliation and lasting peace.

In fact, truth telling is one of the methods of achieving restorative justice. In the case of South Africa as already explained above, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was providing truth telling and reconciliation process was described to be e a court-like restorative justice (see; Suffolk University, College of Arts & Sciences, Center for Restorative Justice, http://www.suffolk.edu/college/centers/15970.php What is Restorative Justice?)

The reason truth and reconciliation process achieved peace in South Africa despite some of the apparent limitations that were embedded in its process was that witnesses who were also identified as victims of gross human rights violations were invited to give statements about their experiences, and some were selected for public hearings.

In the same way, perpetrators of violence were also called upon to give testimony and request to be given amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution.

Hence, the TRC, the first of the 1003 held internationally to stage public hearings, was seen by many as a crucial component of the transition to full and free democracy in South Africa. Despite some flaws, it is generally (although not universally) thought to have been successful in South Africa.

In Canada, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was organized by the parties to address the inhuman treatments that were meted out of the Aboriginal men and women in which families were separated from their children.

According to the TRC report, the separation was done purposely to minimize the family’s ability to pass along their cultural heritage to their children. The commission spent six years traveling to different parts of Canada to hear the testimony of approximately six thousand Aboriginal people who were taken away from their families and placed in residential schools as children.

After the closing of the Indian residential schools, which, operated from 1870s to 1996 and when the TRC investigated it, it was found to be holding some 150,000 aboriginal children over the decades. In addition, some former students made allegations to the TRC of physical, psychological, sexual abuse and neglect.

The TRC studied records and took testimony for evidence of activities alleged to have occurred at residential schools, as well as the negative effects resulting from the schools’ stated aim to assimilate First Nations children into the majority culture. The matter of student deaths at these institutions and the burial of deceased students in unmarked graves without the notification or consent of the parents was an additional item on the agenda of the TRC.

In March 2008, Indigenous leaders and church officials embarked on a multi-city ‘Remembering the Children’ tour to promote activities of the TRC. On January 21–22, 2008, the King’s University College of Edmonton, Alberta, held an interdisciplinary studies conference on the subject of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee.

On June 11 of the same year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized for the role of past governments in administration of the residential schools.

As seen above in the cases of both South Africa and Canada, which the same with other countries were the TRC was adopted which are beyond the scope of this paper due to the limited space for the sake of the readers, it is important to observe that where the country opts to adopt the dialogue as a means of achieving peace then there must be truth telling accompanying the dialogue in achieving the reconciliation.

In the case of South Sudanese National Dialogue, there is no truth telling accompanying the reconciliation process which the authorities are trying to achieve through the National Dialogue. This is because there is a lot of hypocrisy on the side of the Government.

For example, the Government is claiming to be trying to bring true peace through National Dialogue yet it is the same government, which is using its state security apparatuses to oppress South Sudanese by subjecting them to arbitrary detention.

Hence, in the situation where there are a lot of intimidation then the conditions necessary for true dialogue are not there, hence, there is no true National Dialogue.

In addition, the government has seriously curtailed freedom of expression on National Dialogue. For instance, the Dialogue is badly structured but when any person expresses such concerns then he or she is seen as anti-peace.

The question is: who is anti-peace, the one using force to silent the people or those who are suffering and complaining because of the sufferings?

The clear example in this category is the institution called Church. Some of the Church leaders have fallen victims in the hands of state security due to the fact that they have expressed dissenting opinion on the way the National Dialogue is being conducted while some among them are branded as rebels and kept under twenty four (24) hour surveillance of National Security cameras.

In the circumstances as seen above, the national dialogue will never be successful since in the national dialogue there is a need for the truth to be told in order to achieve reconciliation but where the truth is not told there is no reconciliation.

Hence, for reconciliation to be achieved in South Sudan through the current national dialogue, there must be truth telling and authorities must lift sanctions on the freedom of speech and expression.

In addition, in South Sudan, the national dialogue is not inclusive as the question of the leadership of the SPLM/A-IO is not resolved. Currently, there are two parallel SPLM/A-IOs: one in the bush and another in Juba.

Whereas SPLM/A-IO in Juba has clear leadership in person of Taban Deng Gai, the leadership of the SPLM/A-IO in the bush is not determined and as long as it is not determined, the Reconciliation which the Government needs to achieve through National Dialogue will never be successful, whether the Government likes it or not.

How can you talk of reconciliation if the enemy is not the one reconciling with you? Whom are you reconciling with? The government needs to acknowledge the truth that there is a need for comprehensive cease-fire as part of National Dialogue through which reconciliation can be achieved.

Above of all, before we talk of National Dialogue, there is a need for independent TRC to be established as the sole body responsible for the conduct of the National Dialogue and reconciliation as it was done in both South Africa and Canada.

The current joke of which the President who is a party to conflict is the Patron of the Dialogue should stop or be discarded and the law establishing TRC should be passed by South Sudan Parliament in Juba.

Finally, there is a problem with both the Government and the SPLM/A-IO. These two parties have committed terrible crimes or crimes against humanity and war crimes but they are not ready to acknowledge this truth and without acknowledging the responsibility of these crimes, the reconciliation will never be achieved.

The only way of achieving lasting peace in South Sudan is to account for the crimes committed against all South Sudanese starting from 1990s to date.

In summary, the question of the leadership of the SPLM/A-IO must be resolved to unite the rebels; there is a need for TRC to be established in order to take charge of the process; there is also a need for inclusive dialogue; further, there is a need for truth telling about the crimes committed in South Sudan.

Without the truth, the reconciliation will never be achieved.

What needs to be acknowledged honestly is the fact that terrible war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in all parts of South Sudan. Because of that the government and the Oppositions or rebels must confess and accept the responsibility for these crimes if lasting peace is to be achieved.

Denying the responsibility or using force to silence those who point out the truth about the war crimes and crimes against humanity in South Sudan will not help at all.

Rebels and the government, whether they like it or not, must in the future account for the blood of South Sudanese.

In general, as we have seen in the discussion above truth telling and reconciliation go together and without the truth reconciliation will never be achieved, this is why the two have been adopted in the peace process in various countries where TRC model has been adopted as a method of bringing peace.

If it is adopted in those countries, why should South Sudan be exceptional?

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

LATEST: Five year-old South Sudan nation breaking apart as inter-ethnic divisions worsen

By FRED OLUOCH, The East African, MAR/13/2017, SSN;

IN SUMMARY:
*** With more than 10 militia groups, observers say that the country — which is only five years old — could be divided into the three regions.
*** A failed peace agreement, lack of institutions of governance, economic collapse, lack of donor support due to embedded official corruption and increased ethnic cleansing are driving the disintegration.
*** A United Nations report says that South Sudan is experiencing ethnic cleansing and edging closer to genocide.

South Sudan is heading towards disintegration as various ethnic groups form militias to defend themselves against what they call Dinka hegemony and persecution.

With more than 10 militia groups, observers say that the country — which is only five years old — could be divided into the three regions that formed the South under the larger Sudan: Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr-el-Ghazal.

A failed peace agreement, lack of institutions of governance, economic collapse, lack of donor support due to embedded official corruption and increased ethnic cleansing are driving the disintegration.

What started as a political disagreement within the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) between President Salva Kiir and former vice-president Riek Machar has now metamorphosed into an inter-ethnic battle for survival, with the majority Dinka perceived as the common enemy by the 64 other ethnic groups. Most of the militias are emerging in the former greater Equatoria to defend their lands from Dinka invasion.

A United Nations report says that South Sudan is experiencing ethnic cleansing and edging closer to genocide.

Complicated network of rebel groups

In a recent interview with The EastAfrican, former president of Botswana Festus Mogae, who leads the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), said these new rebel groups that did not exist before are emerging and threatening the country’s unity.

“Some of the groups are driven by revenge along ethnic lines, others feel marginalised and excluded by the peace deal, which largely brought together President Kiir’s Dinkas and Dr Machar’s Nuers,” said Mr Mogae, adding that a complicated network of rebel groups with different agendas are joining the conflict.

Besides Dr Machar’s SPLM-IO that is largely based in Upper Nile, the formerly peaceful three Equatorias are now producing various militia groups to defend themselves against government atrocities, which have seen more refugees fleeing to Uganda to escape systematic killings, rape and burning of houses.

General Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the former deputy-general chief of staff for logistics, who resigned in February, has formed the National Salvation Front (NSF) movement to oust President Kiir from power, claiming that the military was dominated by Dinkas. They blamed the government for orchestrating the violations of the August 2015 peace agreement.

Gen Swaka, an ethnic Bari who hails from Rajaf in Central Equatoria — just six kilometres from the capital Juba — is gaining support from various militia groups that have emerged since renewed fighting started in Juba in July last year.

The Cobra Squad, led by Lieutenant General Khalid Botrus Bora and based in Pibor near the border with Ethiopia, dissolved itself last week to merge with Gen Swaka’s NSF with the target of toppling President Kiir.

Cobra Squad is mainly made up of the Murle ethnic a group — a close cousin of the Kalenjins in Kenya — and was started by David Yau Yau who defected to the government and has since been made Assistant Minister for Defence.

Arrow Boys

Also operating in Central Equatoria is Martin Kenyi, whose militia is allied to Dr Machar but who is responsible for attacking commercial trucks and buses along the Juba-Nimule Highway. Mr Kenyi, who leads the Equatoria Defence Force is from the Madi community who are mainly found around Nimule and have cousins across the border in Uganda.

Also present in the same region are the Mundare militia, led by former governor of Central Equatoria Clement Konga who was sacked by President Kiir. However, the Mundari militia have not issued any political statement since the outbreak of violence last July.

Then there are the Arrow Boys in Western Equatoria, which borders DR Congo and which has the only Bantu groups in South Sudan. The green and fertile Western Equatoria is home to the Azande, Moro, Avokaya and Baka communities, who are mostly farmers. The Arrow Boys claim they are defending themselves against mistreatment by government soldiers and invasion by Dinka pastoralists of their farms.

While the Arrow Boys are mainly concerned with local issues, former governor of Western Equatoria Joseph Bakosoro — who is currently in exile in the US — has offered to lead them. Mr Bakosoro was sacked by President Kiir last year and detained for several months, being only released following pressure from the international community.

In Upper Nile, Johnson Olony, a Shilluk who leads the Aguelek Militia allied to Dr Machar, has been battling government forces in Malaka town along the banks of the River Nile and its surroundings.

Mr Olony was previously allied to President Kiir when the civil war broke out in December 2013 but later changed and sided with the rebels. In the same region is the National Democratic Movement (NDM) belonging to former minister of agriculture Lam Akol, who resigned from the Cabinet last year and went into exile.

In an interview with The EastAfrican when he launched NDM in Nairobi in September last year, Dr Akol said President Kiir continued to violate the peace agreement, forcing him to take up arms to topple the government. However, Dr Akol’s forces have since become dormant after his commander, Gabrial Tenginya, was killed.

President Kiir called for a National Dialogue in December last year but it is proving to be a non-starter as various groups dismiss it as a gimmick to buy time and divert the world’s attention from the government’s failure to implement the 2015 peace agreement. END