Category: National

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

Lost in Corruption: Where’s the nation called South Sudan?

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Lawyer, Kampala Uganda, MAR/12/2017, SSN;

Corruption has become meaningless since it has become a common topic in South Sudan. Because of that it no longer appeals to many people as it has become monotonous. However, what is clear is that corruption is increasing day and night in South Sudan as it is indicated by various reports. And each time the report on corruption is released corruption is shown to be eating the society to the core as it permeates every part of the system.

Thus, in this article, I intend to comment on the impact of corruption in general and with specific regard to the recent report on corruption scandals in the South Sudan Crisis Management Committee (CMC) of 2013.

The CMC was formed in the aftermath of the outbreak of civil war in 2013. It was made up of several Government ministers and some technocrats. The purpose of the CMC was to manage crises that were caused by the civil war in order to help citizens that were affected by the war.

Nonetheless, it was sad to discover through the report that the CMC became a Corruption Management Committee (CMC). Worryingly, the report on the CMC showed that the whole system of the Government of South Sudan is rotten. This is because it appears that majority of the people working in the government have lost the conscience, the spirit and the sense of humanity.

Hence, in this article as I have already pointed out above, I would like to comment on corruption scandals in South Sudan in general and in specific reference to the Crisis Management Committee or Corruption Management Committee as referred to above. For that reason, I have to begin with the meaning of corruption itself and then I discuss corruption in general and with specific reference to the corruption scandals that were reported in the CMC.

Thus, corruption t is a form of dishonest or unethical conduct by a person entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire personal benefit. It may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement, though it may also involve practices that are legal in many countries.

Government, or ‘political’, corruption occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain. Stephen D. Morris, a professor of politics, writes that [political] corruption is the illegitimate use of public power to benefit a private interest.

In addition, Economist Ian Senior defines corruption as an action to (a) secretly provide (b) a good or a service to a third party (c) so that he or she can influence certain actions which (d) benefit the corrupt, a third party, or both (e) in which the corrupt agent has authority.

Daniel Kaufmann, from the World Bank further extends the concept of corruption to include ‘legal corruption’ in which power is abused within the confines of the law as those with power often have the ability to make laws for their protection.

Corruption in general can occur on different scales. There is corruption that occurs as small favors between a small number of people (petty corruption), corruption that affects the government on a large scale (grand corruption), and corruption that is so prevalent that it is part of the everyday structure of society, including corruption as one of the symptoms of organized crime.

In relation to South Sudan, it has to be noted that corruption does not only affect the government on a large scale (grand corruption) but permeates everyday structure of society. According to U4 Expert Answer of Transparency International, in South Sudan corruption is present in all sectors of the economy and at all levels of the new state apparatus.

In this respect, U4 observes that corruption is manifested in various forms, including financial and political corruption, patronage, pervasive tribalism and misuse of power.

As cited in theU4 Expert Answer of Transparency International, the latest Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer found that those respondents who have had contact with nine public institutions (police, education, judiciary, medical services, land services, tax revenue, customs, registry/permit), reported paying bribes in the past 12 months.

The citizens’ experience with corruption is significantly high in dealing with the police (where of those in contact with the police reported paying bribes), registry/ permit services, and the judiciary, and land services.

Coming to the reasons for paying bribes, the Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer observed that the majority of Southern Sudanese stated that they paid bribe in order “to avoid a problem with the authorities” or “to speed things up” the process.

Sadly enough, corruption in South Sudan is something which is deeply rooted in the nature of the people and the system. The Government of South Sudan is dominated by the military elite which is strongly fragmented and marked by competing clientelist networks along tribal and ethnic lines (see; U4 above).

In reality, the diverging interests are kept in balance around the President Salva Kiir which makes the regime susceptible to the demands of the many competing groups and thus open to corruption and clientelism.

Corruption in South Sudan has its root in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), 2005. This is because the way the PA in 2005 was designed was only to favour warlords not to answer the issues of transparency and accountability.

For instance, the CPA established the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) that was only concerned with how to integrate potential rebels and rewarding allies by appointing them to senior lucrative or symbolic posts.

Such appointments consumed large proportions of the state budget with ministries, agencies and commissions growing in number. In fact, National and State Parliaments serve above all as instruments of patronage engineered by the President of Southern Sudan and now the President South Sudan.

The system became a cultural medium of corruption in which the deadly corrupt practices flourished. Hence, the government officials and army generals began siphoning national resources to the neighbouring countries where they built for themselves huge mansions. The recent report entitled: TheSentry.org War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay: Stopping the looting and destruction in South Sudan September 2016, supports this assertion.

The Sentry Report pointed out that several of the most powerful politicians and generals in South Sudan appear to have accumulated significant wealth in the decade since the 2005 signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the North-South war and laid the groundwork for the self determination referendum that resulted in South Sudan’s independence in 2011.

In addition, the report found that much of the wealth that has been accumulated by these top leaders is in the form of high end properties outside the country and extensive commercial holdings in both public sector and oil services contracting in South Sudan.

The Sentry Report further found that members of the families of both President Kiir and Vice President Machar reside in luxurious homes outside of South Sudan, including homes in one particular upscale neighborhood in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Sentry’s investigation indicates that Gen. Malong,(the Current Chief of General Staff) who makes roughly $45,000 per year through his government salary, has at least two luxurious villas in Uganda in addition to a $2 million mansion in a gated community in Nairobi.

The Sentry Report investigation further indicates that one of Gen. Malong’s houses in Kampala, Uganda, is located next door to a home maintained by Gen. Gabriel Jok Riak, a South Sudanese general subject to a UN mandated asset freeze and travel ban a move that should have effectively frozen any of his assets and barred him from traveling outside the country.

In addition, the same report pointed out that Gen. Malek Reuben Riak has a house inside a walled compound just a few miles away from Gen. Gabriel Jok Riak referred to in the above paragraph. The Report pointed out that unexplained wealth such as this should be enough to provide authorities with a reasonable basis for investigating the sources of that wealth and whether any wrongdoing occurred.

In addition, the Report pointed out that immediate family members of South Sudan’s top officials have held commercial ventures throughout the country’s most lucrative business sectors contrary to South Sudanese law, which makes it illegal for the holders of constitutional office to be engaged in any business alongside the government business.

Apart from the Sentry Report cited above, the recent Report on how the CMC managed resources allocated to the war affected communities was managed further confirmed that South Sudan government system is rotten as the whole government system is corrupt to the core.

The Report on CMC 2013 listed the national ministers and other government civil servants, MPs and individuals with the amount of money in South Sudanese pounds (SSP) and dollars, which they have stolen.

For the sake of those who have not come across that report, I am going to list them below as they were reported as follows:—

—Hon. Obuto Mamur Mete, Minister for National Security is reported to have stolen 8,575,000 SSP;
—Hon. Akol Paul Kordit Deputy Ministers of Information is reported to have stolen 444,345 SSP;
—Bol Wek Agoth Acting Chief Administrator, Office of the President 173,594;
—Hon. John Gai Yoh Presidential Advisor for Education 233,437;
—Hon. Bol Makueng SPLM Secretary for Information and Culture 91,896;
—Hon. Machok Majong Member of Parliament, SSLA 412,500;
—Hon. Beda Machar Deng Former Minister of Agriculture 197,024 Hon.
—Kwong Danhier Former Minister of Transport 47,996;
—Hon. Lang Tap Luom 20,170;
—Hon. Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro Minister of Cabinet Affairs 400,000;
—Hon. Dr. Nadia Arop Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture 9,592;
—Hon. Lily Albino Akol Former Deputy Minister of Agriculture 25,579;
—Hon. Rebecca Joshua Minister of Roads and Bridges 27,356
—Hon. Mat Ruot Member of Parliament, SSLA 13,950;
—Hon. John Juac Member of Parliament, SSLA 22,560;
—Hon. John Manyual Member of Parliament, SSLA 13,950;
—Hon. John Chuol Member of Parliament, SSLA 26,900;
—Gen. Nang Chol 114,240;
—Jiath Yual 14,880;
—Hon. Ali Adian Member of Parliament, SSLA 43,400
—Hon. Chuol Rambang Chairperson of South Sudan Peace Commission 31,000;
—Hon. Niota 25,000;
—Biong Mijok Deng 45,000;
—Deng Kuol Awor 18,600;
—Dr. Tilahum Hailemariam 649,400;
—Deng Mador Deng Office Manager to Presidential Advisor on Military Affairs
—Hon. Gen. Awet Akot 130,800;
—Hon. Kom Kom Geng Member of Parliament, SSLA 148,500;
—James Daniel Chaung 605,000;
—Martin Mabil 10,146
—Domai Gatpan 13,603;
—Mrs. Mary Paul 51,648;
—Nhial Daniel 17,862;
—Hon. Stephen Wiw Bichok Member of Parliament SSLA 106,220;
—Mrs. Nyatut Mai 5,786;
—Biel Boutros Civil Society Activist 102,409;
—Stephen Yar 70,664; Peter Lam Both Former Governor of Latjor State 76,532;
—Deng Chol 70,545;
—Mrs. Cecilia Adeng Former Officer Manager of the President (now Senior Diplomat at South Sudan Embassy in United Arab Emirates) 112,494;
—Hon. Peter Bashir Gbandi Minister of Parliamentary Affairs 21,924;
—Kueth Kong Kueth 26,075; Puok Bol Mut 2430;
—James Gatkor Wedial 20,390;
—Mrs. Elizabeth Nyawai 17,468;
—Mrs. Adut Salva Kiir Daughter of the President 14,000,000;
—Mrs. Mary Yual Badeng 17,152;
—David Kueth 12,172;
—Kutin Bayak Gil 21,008;
—Sarah Benjamin Gabriel 34,560;
—Emelda Modi 48,500;
—Michael Chute Lul 33,120;
—Ali Atem Biar Jonglei State Coordination Officer 3,000,000;
—James Deng Wal Senior Cashier, Office of the President 4,000,000;
—Hellen Andrea Juma Senior Cashier, Office of the Vice President 26,690,416;
—Bosco Eluzai Mabe Private Secretary to the Vice President 1,000,000;
—James Deng Malim National Security Service Officer, Internal Security Bureau (ISB) 2,138,336;
—Clement Vito 1,500,000;
—Mabior Nhial Mabior Senior Cashier, Office of Vice President 45,924,600;
—Bass Petroleum Ltd 600,000;
—Everest General Trading 2,000,000;
—Office of the President 25,000,000;
—Internal Transfer 47,694,663.

The reports and other examples of corruption discussed above show that corruption in South Sudan is among the worst in the world. In reality, the nation’s elites have developed a kleptocratic system that controls every part of the South Sudanese economy. This system has taken shape quickly in a relatively short period (2005-2016).

In fact, South Sudan having won self-rule in 2005 while remaining part of Sudan, and having been accorded full sovereignty in 2011, it has become one of the most corrupt in the world as it ranked fifth on Transparency International’s 2014 list of most corrupt nations, preceded only by Somalia, North Korea, Sudan, and Afghanistan.

One of the things that make it hard to fight corruption in South Sudan is that the leadership itself is corrupt and because of that there is no political will to fight corruption. As a result, the authorities are not willing to come up with regulations to combat frauds and mismanagement of country’s resources among the senior government officials, especially among government procurement officials within the ministry of finance and economic planning.

For example, the degree of corruption and mismanagement revealed in the Auditor General’s report for 2005 and 2006 reportedly “brought some MPs in South Sudan’s National Legislative Assembly to tears.” A 2012 report on corruption found out that more than $4 billion in government funds had been stolen since the advent of self-rule in 2005.

Sadly, the major corruption scandal in the history of South Sudan is what so-called “Dura Saga.” “Dura Saga” came about in 2008 as at that time South Sudan was expecting a famine and because of that it paid nearly $1 million (according to a 2013 report by the Voice of America), for cereals that were never delivered. This became known as the “Dura Saga,” after the South Sudanese name for sorghum (Dura).

World Bank auditors’ report on “Dura Saga” found in February 2013 that 290 firms were paid without ever having signed a contract and another 151 firms were overpaid significantly. A criminal probe launched in the wake of this audit sought to ascertain why the contractors were paid for goods that never arrived, why the prices were so high, and if government officials were involved in the scandal. The probe was to be led by Prosecutor General Filberto Mayout Mareng.

Moreover, a February 2012 report by the Sudan Tribune described the Dura Saga as the largest and most costly corruption scandal in South Sudan since the nation’s founding in 2005, and maintained that it involved the disappearance of not just one million but several billion dollars that had been allocated for the building and repair of grain stores and the purchase of grain.

In a June 2012 article written by Dr. Jok Madut Jok, Under Secretary of the National Ministry of Culture, put the missing amount at $4 million and added the funds are somewhere among the traders who falsely claimed to have delivered the grain, the governors who lied about the grain delivery or were criminally negligent, or the ministers of finance in Juba who approved payments for more than double the national budget.

In addition, it is reported that a list of 81 fake companies that had allegedly been involved in the scandal was posted online in January 2013, along with appropriated amounts for each firm ranging from 400,000 to 2,000,000 pounds.

Among those blamed for the scandal were Michael Makuei Lueth, Parliamentary Affairs minister, whose then-ministry had registered the companies, and Benjamin Bol Mel, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and owner of the ABMC construction company, ABMC, who wrote to President Kiir to insist payment for the bogus contracts.

In short, corruption in South Sudan has reached disproportionate level as it consumed the resources and because of that services no longer reach ordinary citizens who are now struggling for bare survival. I fear that the pending hunger will claim thousands of lives of ordinary South Sudanese who have nothing to avert the hunger.

Also, due to corruption, education and health sectors have been ignored as teachers live a life of dogs and beggars. This is because thieves have stolen money of the nation which they use for their personal benefits in seeking for personal medical attention abroad and also use in sending their children to study abroad.

Because of corruption, the vision of South Sudan of achieving justice, liberty and prosperity is lost and the question is: where is South Sudan? South Sudan died long time ago when it was symbolically buried in a coffin in 2005. In 2005 the government officials in collaboration with the army generals could steal money and carry it in coffins like a dead person. This was the time when we buried South Sudan symbolically.

Thus, even if we cry day and night about the need for reforms in South Sudan as a country but the fact is that South Sudan is lost it through corruption. The process of good governance is founded on good conscience and ethics. However, in a situation like one we have in South Sudan where conscience and good ethics are lost to amoral acts, good governance is automatically lost. Consequently, the nation of South Sudan is lost.

In summary, South Sudan is lost in corruption. In order to reclaim it, there is a need for all patriotic citizens to stage a war against mismanagement of national resources by marking those whose names appear on any corruption report as indicated above to make sure that they are relegated from politics.

Without fighting against corruption, South Sudan will remain in limbo of development and citizens will suffer due to poverty, hunger, illiteracy, ignorance and diseases. For instance, the current hunger reported to be at the horizon of South Sudan was partly caused by corruption and more hungers of the same magnitude are on the way unless we fight bad governance and corruption in general.

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

Nostalgia for Malakal: Pres. Kiir decreed Collo Land under Dinka occupation

By: Gwado J. Ador, United Kingdom, FEB/03/2017, SSN;

The feeling of nostalgia for homeland has been increasingly intensifying in my heart, while there was no any glimpse of hope for peace in the horizon.

Unbridled politics coupled by the use of subversive government machinery made it impossible for many of us and particularly our relatives set foot to the town we owe all our lives.

For the happy-go-lucky Aloungs, Chwangs, Jwacs, Thons, and Thucs, there was the momentum of ultimate joy, because, they were able to realise the long-cherished dreams of being in Malakal and other areas of their choices in the Collo Kingdom. Thanks for Salva Kiir ‘s unwavering decision to pay back in kind for tribal support and loyalty.

And for us ‘the Sons and daughters of Malakal’ obviously, the decision to award Padang the entire Collo land on the East bank of the Nile was the worst nightmare we have ever had since the independence of the whole Sudan in 1956.

As a matter of fact, such decision carries with a lot of prejudices. Basically, it means Collo by any stretch of the imagination, would not be able or allowed anymore to resettle or rejoice the habitual cultural activities and the ritual rites in the beloved land of their ancestors.

Following the sad incident of December 2013, Malakal town fell under Dinka practical occupation. The Kiir’s led-government prevailed declaring the town belonging to Padang. As a matter of principle, President Kiir allied with his cousins from ‘Ngok Dinka’ believing in the saying, ‘blood is thicker than water’.

At every opportunity, SPLA forces supported by foreign allies relentlessly and indiscriminately shelled Collo areas and the displaced camps using thus draconian methods to suppress and to keep Collo out in the wilderness.

For the last four years, most of the Collo surviving families, including children and elderly in appalling health condition were confined to UMISS protection camp under their mercy.

In the process, many who tried to venture outside the UMISS, especially women or minor girls looking for firewood or something to fetch for cooking, risk their lives or end up being raped.

As strangers in the newly acquired land and environment, Padang entrenched their grips to resettle, resisting thus any attempt by Collo people to set foot again or even to claim properties in Malakal.

Furthermore, they have vehemently opposed any idea aimed to discuss or to reverse the decision, which gave them legitimacy over Malakal as their rightful place.

Thus, their actions to change the landmarks, and features of the town have taken different turns. Padangs however, managed to accomplish their desired change in Malakal within a span of short space.

The hurling of events in changing the names of the streets and features of Malakal took Collo people, other political observers and the entire South Sudanese by surprise.

By and large, the changes were fast and enormous and they surpassed all the norms and procedures known in the history of the internal disputes and land grabs.

Buildings were demolished, and a new survey of the town was swiftly carried out, perhaps to erase certain features, and partly to prevent Collo owners from returning home.

Discreetly, Trees were uprooted and the official plots’ registry in the department of the survey were tempered with, and altered. New plots in place of old ones were awarded and handed out to Padang members, including allies from the North. There was a fast track of everything, and everywhere was there feast to celebrate this big gain and achievement.

In the hindsight, people fought bitter wars against their oppressive governments or foreign thieves for such behaviour and for being cheated or neglected. There were many examples today in Africa and elsewhere around the world.

Currently, Collo people feel the same way and vowed to fight for their rights on an end. Undeterred Collo sons and daughters have pledged to fight and recover the confiscated land from the grips of Kiir and his ‘Jieng Council of Elders,’ (JCE).

In Collo land, young men and women were mobilised and bound to fight to the last drop of blood until the final restoration of every inch of land still under occupation.

Yet still, Collo are determined not to leave a stone unturned in searching for justice and bringing about a lasting peace in that part of South Sudan.

Whether he did it unknowingly or not, President Kiir who usually issues ‘such lethal and life-changing pronouncements’ from his comfort zones in Juba might probably have come to terms with the long lasting negative impact on such decisions. The Presidential order No. 36/2015 however, has already caused lots of damages and havocs in the country.

Sadly enough, his reluctance to reverse the establishment order or engage in a serious and meaningful dialogue show lack of concern to resolve the ensuing problem in the country.

Ironically, he is determined to proceed with his scheme of Denkanization of the whole country. This is done by altering maps and encouraging members of his Dinka community to resettle wherever they chose as dividends for liberation.

Beyond any reasonable doubt, many people from the aggrieved communities have come to the conclusion that Kiir and his JCE have destroyed everything. The communal cordial relationship, including the sense of nationality, which was regarded by many South Sudanese, as sources of pride were not any longer being perceived as before.

Against all the odds, his government staggered to stave off looming threats facing his leadership. Often it uses bribes to silence his opponents or entices corrupt systems to extradite dissidents from abroad. It engages mercenaries to fight on their behalf in most of the eternal disputes.

In fact, his leadership was hit to the core by a number of crises; including economic failure and looming hunger leave alone the patchy sustainable defeat on the battlegrounds. The last wave of resignations among his top generals who hailed from other ethnic origins could be cited as an example.

Hence, The brave ones among the generals came out openly challenging Kiir’s leadership. In their latest statements of resignation from SPLA to the press, the Generals Thomas Cerilo, Henry Oyay Nyago, Khalid, Yau Yau and others resented the way things have taken shape and called for Kiir’s removal.

However, the stakes are very high, the discontent was not only felt within the army ranks and files, but the entire population of South Sudan were also tired and fed up with the appalling conditions in the country.

Generally speaking, other ethnic communities loathed the set-up of the government. They have extensively and openly spoken out about it, particularly, the issue of Dinka ethnic domination of top ranking positions in every facet of life.

Although President Kiir casts himself today as the leader of all the people of South Sudan, he consistently claims innocence and would always want to appear distressed or very serious searching for peace and harmony.

However, Kiir’s latest calls for convening a national dialogue or national prayers day were not seriously taken by many people in South Sudan, because of the devious mechanism set and the people behind them.

To many people in Upper Nile, his recent call for dialogue or prayers was regarded as a ploy. They have argued saying if Kiir was really genuine, as a good gesture, he would have had scraped his Order 36, and then dissolved the JCE from existence and as non-constitutional.

As a former freedom fighter, presumably, Kiir should have had known every corner or tribal composition of some areas in South Sudan. He should have known which tribes have the dominant presence in some various major cities of South Sudan and how did this come about. At least this would have discouraged him from the tendency of occupying other people’s properties.

The fact that he lived among Collo people in Malakal as a young intelligence officer, but unfortunately, and after becoming the President, he developed sentiments of dislikes and prejudices against them.

Apparently, his hatred might have been triggered by circumstances known to him alone. However, he was always found bias tipping the balance in favor of his Dinka fellows in every contested area.

Invariably, Collo people don’t like him either and don’t believe in him anymore, because of his segregative attitude and negative motives toward the Collo people of Malakal.

Similarly, the people of South Sudan who overwhelmingly elected him following the successful referendum are even more disgusted. They don’t like him too. They are fed-up with Kiir’s ways of handling affairs and would want him just to pack and quit the stage.

Although Kiir has failed to provide an honest platform for mediation between Collo and Padang over Malakal, Collo is yet still committed to dialogue and peaceful coexistence in that part of South Sudan.

Ultimately, Kiir should be held responsible and account for all the lapses and crimes against humanity. His deeds, including the poor management of the affairs, have proven very disastrous and divisive. Surely, his actions had already cost the people of South Sudan dearly.

Like any dictator known in history, Kiir will soon leave the stage in disgraceful manners and not sorry for. He will most likely go down in history as the worst leader ever known and certainly, without any comeback or glory to proclaim.

From: Gwado Ador
Country: United Kingdom

Who’s cleaner in govt. of South Sudan to be the first to throw the stone at Gen. Thomas Cirillo?

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, FEB/21/2017, SSN;

Sometimes when I see injustice being done against any South Sudanese, I forget my life because injustice is not a friend to anyone. This is because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere (Martin Luther King, Jr).
Justice done selectively is injustice done selectively. This is because when the law is applied equally and equitably then there is no injustice no matter how harsh the law may be.

Law is the content of justice, while the facts of the case provide the context for justice. When justice is being done, it is critical that the law is applied generally in accordance with the facts of the case.

It therefore implies that those who enforce the law must respect the law and work according to its spirit. The law must take its course but should not take the course to cause injustice to the innocent or to cause more pain to one group of criminals than others who have committed the same offence.

Thus, it is our common duty to detect injustice in our communities and to fight it wherever and whenever it raises its head. Though there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest (Elie Wiesel) against injustice.

In the society where injustice is the law, those who are fighting for justice must be guided by the words of Mahatma Gandhi who observes that let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day that, “I shall not fear anyone on Earth; I shall fear only God; I shall not bear ill will toward anyone; I shall not submit to injustice from anyone; I shall conquer untruth by truth; and in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.”

What happens to Lt.General Thomas Cirillo is bad and unjust. This is because two wrongs never make one right. We cannot apply injustice to solve injustice hoping that we shall get justice because in such a case there is no justice.

This is why the law prevents revenge or taking the law into one’s own hands except where the law allows the taking of the law into one own hands as in the case of self-defense or in defense of the property.

In this case, the government of South Sudan should not discriminate against Thomas Cirillo in fighting against corruption. If the law of freezing accounts is to be applied then it must apply from the top to bottom not somewhere in the middle.

As referred in the above paragraph, a South Sudanese army General stated that Thomas Cirillo resigned from the army some days back. The news of his resignation dominated the media, both national and international. After that it appears to have been a forgotten issue like any other issues of defections and resignations in South Sudan.

However, today (on 21/02/2017) I got the report (see; National, News » February 21, 2017 » By Talk of Juba – See more at: http://talkofjuba.com/news/kenyan-government-freezes-general-thomas-cirillo-sister-bank-accounts-10m/#sthash.KaChEWiE.dpuf) which states that the South Sudanese government has traced its missing $10 million (Kenyan Sh1.03 billion) to accounts at Ecobank, Kenya Commercial Bank and Cooperative Bank of Kenya.

That these accounts are linked to Lt Gen Thomas Cirillo Swaka – former SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of logistics, and his kin Fueni Cirillo.

In part, the letter issued to the above banks to freeze the above accounts referred to above states that — “This office is under instructions from the Office of the President, Government of South Sudan to kindly request you to facilitate a freeze of these accounts and recover the money back to Bank of South Sudan A/C name – Military Strategic Division; A/C no – (USD) 0026921002607.”

Whereas I support such a move to freeze the accounts of those who have taken money of South Sudan and deposited it on foreign bank accounts, which has left the nation bankrupt, I don’t however support the way the freezing order is being applied in the present case. It is applied selectively, which is injustice. The rule is that if the order or law is to be applied then it must be applied equally.

Selective application of an order, or law like the way it is done in the present case amounts to injustice because it is discriminative. Hence, if the Office of the President was the one which issued the freezing order then, the President has caused injustice and forgot one essential element of justice.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, On the laws observes that “for there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions. Whoever neglects this law, whether written or unwritten, is necessarily unjust and wicked.”

Though I cannot use the term wicked against the President of South Sudan or his Office due to the respect I have for him, his order is unjust as it is used for political convenience but not the true tool of fighting corruption in the Government of South Sudan.

Freedom and justice should not be used selectively for the sole purpose to achieve political interest. On this point, Coretta Scott King observes, “freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.”

As observed by Coretta in the above paragraph, in relation to our case, the way the order has been applied is completely wrong as it is applied selectively and because of that it is unjust. It is unjust because the law should not be used as political tool to destroy the enemies but it should be used against everybody equally.

Thus, the question that comes to mind when looking at the case of Thomas Cirillo is: why Thomas Cirillo alone yet, there are some former and current generals in the army of South Sudan who have accounts with much more money than ten million dollars of which Thomas is being accused of.

Does it mean that the Office of the President has eyes for the accounts of Thomas Cirillo but doesn’t have for other generals’ accounts? Or what does it mean? But who is clean in the government of South Sudan to be the first to select Thomas Cirillo and cast the stone on him? (see; John 8: 7 New Testament in the Holy Bible).

The conclusion is that the whole project is intended to make Thomas Cirillo a scapegoat of the corrupt individuals in the government and the army.

The whole thing is done in bad faith and it is discriminative. Discrimination and marginalization are both of the same species. They are equal and interrelated. Marginalization is the long term product of discrimination as it in case of South Sudan is one of the major problems which was also identified by the SPLM during the liberation struggling against the successive Khartoum Regimes.

Marginalization in other words means exclusion from the resources. Hence, any nation without justice and full accessibility to resources will achieve peace as excluded will not accept subjugation by the majority. Therefore, the prerequisite for achieving lasting peace in South Sudan is to do justice.

Peace and justice go hand in hand as it was observed by Louis Farrakhan that, “there really can be no peace without justice. There can be no justice without truth. And there can be no truth, unless someone rises up to tell you the truth.”

The quotation above about the importance of justice in peace process by Louis Farrakhan is applicable to South Sudan. In South Sudan, peace will never be achieved unless we do justice to those who are wronged by punishing those who wronged them.

The above is the fact and it is the only way we can achieve lasting peace in South Sudan, if we are guided by principles of justice and fairness as provided for in our national anthem. No matter how much we move cross the world while holding conferences, consulting other nations in the search of peace but without justice peace will never be achieved.

It is even worse in South Sudan where justice is needed badly to see at the same time the seeds of injustice being planted as seen in the case of Thomas Cirillo. South Sudanese leaders should be reminded that the secret for peace is justice.

In summary, though stealing the money is bad but returning the money in unjust way is even worse. The law is not respected because of revenge but it is respected because it is just and justly addresses the needs for justice objectively to those who need justice.

The author is the South Sudanese Lawyer and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com or +2567839256

LATEST: Kiir’s Govt. declares famine in parts of war-torn South Sudan

By AFP, FEB/20/2017;

IN SUMMARY:
*** The famine classification is according to an internationally recognised sliding scale of hunger in which an extreme lack of food has lead to starvation and death.
*** According to the joint press statement, the number of people facing hunger is expected to rise to 5.5 million at the height of the lean season in July if nothing is done to curb the spread of the food crisis.
*** While the famine in South Sudan is man-made, millions more across the Horn of Africa are going hungry due to a devastating drought following two failed rainy seasons.

President Kiir’s South Sudan’s government said Monday that more than three years of war have led to famine in parts of the nation, a tragedy aid agencies criticised as “man-made”.

Isaiah Chol Aruai, the chairman of South Sudan National Bureau of Statistics, said some parts of the northern Greater Unity region “are classified in famine, or… risk of famine”.

A joint press statement from aid agencies said 100,000 people were affected by the famine, which threatened another one million people in the coming months.

“A formal famine declaration means people have already started dying of hunger. The situation is the worst hunger catastrophe since fighting erupted more than three years ago,” said the statement signed by the World Food Programme (WFP), UN children’s agency UNICEF and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).

South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, was engulfed by civil war in 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his rival and former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup against him.

An August 2015 peace deal was left in tatters when fighting broke out in Juba in July last year.

Violence — initially between ethnic Dinka supporters of Kiir and ethnic Nuer supporters of Machar — has since spread to other parts of the country, engulfing other ethnic groups and grievances.

The United Nations has warned of potential genocide and ethnic cleansing, and there is no prospect of peace in sight.

Humanitarians under attack

Unity State, a traditional Nuer homeland and birthplace of Machar, has been one of the flashpoints in the conflict.

“The convergence of evidence shows that the long term effects of the conflict coupled with high food prices, economic crisis, low agricultural production and depleted livelihood options” have resulted in 4.9 million people going hungry, Aruai said.

That figure represents 42 per cent of the country’s population.

The famine classification is according to an internationally recognised sliding scale of hunger in which an extreme lack of food has lead to starvation and death.

“The main tragedy of the report that has been launched today… is that the problem is man-made,” said Eugene Owusu, the United Nation’s Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan.

“The underlining drivers have been there for some time and we have all known that we have a major food crisis.”

He said conflict and insecurity for humanitarian workers, who had suffered attacks while carrying out their work, and the looting of “humanitarian assets” had exacerbated the crisis.

“I would like to use this opportunity to call on the government, the warring parties and all actors to support humanitarians to provide the necessary access so we can continue to bring lifesaving services to those in need,” he said.

Agriculture disrupted

According to the joint press statement, the number of people facing hunger is expected to rise to 5.5 million at the height of the lean season in July if nothing is done to curb the spread of the food crisis.

“Many families have exhausted every means they have to survive,” said FAO Representative in South Sudan Serge Tissot.

“The people are predominantly farmers and war has disrupted agriculture. They’ve lost their livestock, even their farming tools. For months there has been a total reliance on whatever plants they can find and fish they can catch.”

While the famine in South Sudan is man-made, millions more across the Horn of Africa are going hungry due to a devastating drought following two failed rainy seasons.

Famine early warning system FEWSNET has warned that if 2017 rains were again poor in Somalia — as forecast — “famine would be expected.”

Peace can’t be imposed but a home-grown concept: The case of South Sudan

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Lawyer, Kampala, Uganda, FEB/12/2017, SSN;

In most of the African countries that have been at war for a very long time, peace remained elusive. This is because peace and development have proved far more difficult and complex to achieve than the Afro-optimists envisaged in the immediate post-independence period, owing to a range of domestic and external factors (see; Peace & Conflict in Africa edited by David J. Francis).

Externally, Africa is perceived as a continent stricken by wars, poverty, perpetual political instability and armed conflicts, unrelenting economic crises, famines and diseases. Because of that the external powers who try to bring peace to Africa see it as hopeless continent, which prompts their decision to impose the peace as they understand it.

Consequently, they end imposing what is called Liberal Peace Project Tradition, in which peace building is understood in term of intervention designed to facilitate the establishment of durable peace and prevent the recurrence of violence. Such intervention as it has been observed by some writers peacekeeping, peace support operations, disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration.

The above approach is contrary to African indigenous peace approach and explains the reason why the peace has remained a mere dream in Africa. This is due to the fact that the peace is not people centred. Instead, it is externally driven, which turns to favour two parties to the conflict or strong party and the third parties who attempt to satisfy their own interests at the expenses of the citizens of the country by imposing the peace as they understand it.

In that respect, peace becomes an alien concept to the people and consequently people do not own it. Hence, the chances of the peace collapsing easily are very high due to the failure to involve citizens in the peace making process.

What those trying to bring peace in Africa and in particular South Sudan fail to understand is the importance of the involvement of the people in the peace process, which is supposed to give rise to the new constitution. Such a constitution like the Compromised Peace Agreement of 2015 can only stand the test of time if it were people centred.

However, as it was the constitution between the two warring parties, which did have support from the citizenry, the main consequence was the failure of that Agreement to achieve peace to greater extent.

To complicate the matters, those who want to bring peace in South put criminal justice above peace based on an argument that without justice there will be no peace. Whereas, the argument of that kind may be correct in other developed or western countries, in South Sudan typical criminal justice may not be desirable in bringing peace for a simple reason.

The reason being that criminal justice does not promote reconciliation as it only deals with punishment. In a country like South Sudan, if punishment is considered as the only way of bringing peace by deterring the war perpetrators as many are proposing, I am afraid that the peace will never be achieved in South Sudan.

Why? Because peace is value-driven and people respect peace when they are psychologically satisfied that there is peace. For that purpose, it is important to digress a bit in defining and explaining the word “peace” before I advance my argument as to why the peace makers should not much concentrate on criminal justice, peacekeeping or on the removal of the government, instead they should promote reconciliation and South Sudanese traditional justice as a means of bringing peace.

The peace cannot be defined in the context of South Sudan but it can only be described based on customs and cultures of South Sudanese communities who need peace as their concept of peace is latent with the concept of justice.

For that reason, peace can only be achieved when specific conditions that sparked off the war in the first place are understood or the culture that the war emanates from is analyzed properly.

It is for that reason the peace in Africa and in particular South Sudan should be understood to emanate from the values of South Sudanese who think that such values emanate from both God and human beings.

Hence, peace is a spiritual and moral value located in the religious belief systems of the people of Africa as handed down from one generation to another (see; Peace & Conflict in Africa. ibid), which is very true in South Sudan.

Peace in the concept of Africans and South Sudanese in particular unlike the West which is based on prosperity and order, it is based on morality and order (see; ibid). This is the reason the death penalty never existed in most of the traditional African societies except those states that were ruled by Kings.

The reason the death penalty did not exist in most part of Africa is that the concept of justice was not based on the concept of individuality as it existed in the West. Rather, it was perceived in term of the communities and because of that a crime was seen as committed against the community but not individual.

Hence, when it comes to justice it was perceived in term of community justice but not individual as it exists under the criminal justice system.

Thus, it is important to understand the fact that when dealing with the issue of peace in South Sudan, the peace makers should not rely much on few educated elites and politicians because they are hybrid individuals who have mixed ideas and concepts about true values of South Sudanese as they do not understand them properly.

Because of that they struggle to see the alien concept of criminal justice imposed on South Sudanese.

The assertion I have just made in the above paragraph can be explained by the fact that majority of South Sudanese elites who acquired education from Khartoum, East Africa and the Western World do not have a clear understanding of what the true values of South Sudanese rural people are.

Moreover, the politicians of South Sudan have also failed to understand the values of the rural South Sudanese because of their personal interests. Majority of these politicians are not interested in achieving lasting peace as it is in their interests to see that their political opponents are punished through legitimate means such as courts so that they get an opportunity to get to power.

The above facts are the basis for various politicians such as the G10, SPLA/M-IO and the politicians in the government of South Sudan struggling to defeat each other so that their opponents are chased away from power or are kept far away from power or completely prohibited from taking power. The implication of the struggle for power is that the legitimate desire of South Sudanese is ignored.

The legitimate desire in South Sudan is to see that peace prevails. In fact, if the government and the opposition were genuinely interested in bringing peace to South Sudan, they would have compromised and the peace would have been achieved already, which is not possible now because of conflicting interests and loyalties exhibited by the main actors.

As I have already pointed out above that the concept of peace in Africa is based on morality and order, such understanding of peace has been the major factor that held South Sudanese together throughout the liberation struggle.

This is because they can easily come together to forgive and chart the way forward. For example, Nuer and Dinka people had never always been at peace with each other but every time they fought they could come together as members of one family and reconciled and then lived as before.

However, it is very difficult this time because the political opportunists on both sides have found a new trick of how to retain the power through war and to continue fighting for it. Besides, they are not ready to go into compromise to bring peace as their respective aims are to ensure that either of the side is defeated: a “cattle keeping mentality” coupled with politics.

I have mentioned words “cattle keeping mentality” above because the two parties are fighting like cattle keepers not people in charge of the nation. In cattle camp, for instance, there is no compromise as once the fighting has begun the two parties to the conflict will not compromise, which is disincentive to the nation building and unity.

Compromise is the first virtue in the nation building as interest of the nation must always be above the interest of any person. Thus, where the interest of an individual obstructs the national interest then the interest of the nation must prevail.

This is the basis for which some leaders resigned sometime back as it was seen in the case of Mubarak of Egypt and the President of Tunisia, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 respectively who resigned from power because the future of their countries was at stake.

The recent example of Romania’s Prime Minister, Sorin Mihai Grindeanu, who passed decrees exempting decriminalizing little corruption and initially refused to repeal those decrees that critics said would free corrupt officials from jail early and shield others from conviction, despite international condemnation and the biggest popular protests since the fall of communism.

However, when he saw that his action was going to destroy the national unity he accepted the demand of the people to repeal the decree that was passed to decriminalize small corruption. This is the spirit the country like South Sudan wants.

I have labored so far to explain how the search for peace in South Sudan should be rooted in the spirit of reconciliation and compromise and in that respect the peace process should be based on the concept of peace as known by rural people not politicians and intellectuals who are concerned with power only.

The peace process should be based on traditional concept of peace among traditional South, which is based on the method of conflict resolution like any other African societies which is guided by the principle of consensus, collective responsibility and communal solidarity (see; Peace & Conflict in Africa edited by David J. Francis at page 113).

In summary, my argument is that in order to achieve lasting peace, national dialogue should the only way forward in South Sudan because peace is a product of dialogue achieved through mutual trust and understanding. It cannot be imposed externally.

The international community should take over the current “national dialogue” to make it national and neutral in character. In its current form, it is not national dialogue. The international community should also be tough on those who are fighting yet there is a dialogue in the process.

In terms of justice, restorative justice should be adopted to ensure that the victims and the offenders are brought together to mediate a restitution agreement to the satisfaction of each, as well as involving the community. This is different from criminal justice that aims at retributive justice, which is punitive and does not heal the community.

NB//: the author is the lawyer residing in Uganda and can be through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com; or +256783579256

What’s a Bad Law: A Commentary on Gok State Taxation Act, 2016

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

A bad law refers to: a law that is oppressive; a law that causes injustice; dumb laws, which are particularly bizarre; a law that is erroneous or a law where an attempted statement of the law is inaccurate or non-law.

In relation to the Taxation Act 2016 of Gok State that imposes 1000 SSP, three tins of durra and three tins of groundnut to be paid by a tax payer, it is a bad law as it is oppressive; it causes injustice, it is dumb law, which is particularly bizarre and its proposition is erroneous as its attempted statement of the law is inaccurate or non-law.

In addition, the Gok State Taxation Act is one of the bad laws because it imposes burden on citizens of Gok State who do not have the source of income as they are struggling to make both ends meet or in other words to survive.

The authorities of State must know that the people of Gok State need support from the government not the government to tax them as seen above. The Taxation Act of Gok State does not follow the role of tax law in general and in Gok State in particular.

The role of taxation law in Gok State is to encourage hard work in a way that those who idly sit under trees all days should be taxed in order to force them to pay taxes that will make them go and work and as soon as they work then they should not be taxed unless they have surplus for sell as a result of their work.

In doing that, the conflict will be minimized as everybody will be struggling to work in order to pay taxes to the government. In addition, the taxation should be governed by the principle of taxation.

A taxation law must put into consideration four principles that are: the system should be efficient, understandable and equitable and those who benefit from publicly-provided services should sponsor and pay for those services through taxes. This means that the government officials should be the one to pay taxes as they benefit from the services of the government but not the poor people in rural areas of Gok State who do not have access to services provided by the government.

Above all and in relation to the above paragraph, the taxation should be determined by a person’s ability to pay, which means that wealthier people should pay more taxes because they are able to do so. This specific principle is also known as a flat tax rate. For example, a tax of 10 percent would have far less of an impact on a person who makes a million dollars a year than on someone who makes $10,000.

However, the Taxation Act of Gok State of 2016 that imposes 1000 SSP, three tins of durra and three tins of groundnut to be paid by a tax payer, is a burden to the Gok people as it is insensitive and it is just intended by the law makers to destroy the communities through turning them into begging population as the taxation law makes them poor.

What the authorities in Gok State must understand is that the taxation law should not be made a means of making people poor on the ground that the government needs revenues. The law should help people to become rich not poor.

People in Gok State are generally poor as they depend on their educated people or their relatives living abroad. Hence, the question is if they are able to get such resources as demanded by the authorities then why should they bother their brothers and sisters from abroad to help them?

In short, such a law was enacted in bad faith as it is absurd since it defeats logic and common sense. It is simply unfair and unjust and citizens must unite to raise this issue before the governor. It is against the purpose of tax law.

The main purpose of taxation is to ensure income distribution so that the rich pay more than poor. Therefore, the tax policy and objective should be the resource allocation. The second objective should be income redistribution, which means that the tax law should be able to lessen inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth.

Above all, the objective of tax should be the stabilization of economy which is implemented through tax policy, government expenditure policy, monetary policy, and debt management. In fact, debt management ensures maintaining high employment and price stability.

The foregoing discussion points to the one fact that the Gok State Taxation Act, 2016 falls short of the above recognized principles of taxation law and because of that there is a need for amendment because it is making citizens poorer instead of helping them to achieve economic development.

Thus, the youth leader, Abraham Ater Dut Dong, who was arrested in Gok State because of appealing to the state Governor to initiate the amendments of the Taxation Act 2016 as Radio Tamazuj reported (in the Article entitled: Gok youth leader in detention over opposition to taxation bill published on its site on February 2, 2017) is right and should not have been arrested or even rebuked because it is the role of the youth in civilized society to fight against injustices.

One of the worst things in this world, worse than death is tax injustices, which mean taxing, people which providing them with services equivalent to the taxes they pay. In such a situation, the people have all rights to fight such taxation injustices, which include appealing to the authorities to reconsider their tax policy.

Thus, Governor of Gok State, Hon. Madhang Majok as I know is the governor of the people of Gok State as people elected him before he was appointed and the people have right to appeal to him without being arrested if the administration and taxation law in particular are unjust to them.

The Youth Leader whose name has been referred to above that was arrested because of appealing to the governor of Gok State about that bad Taxation Act was arrested illegally as it is contrary to the constitution of South Sudan.

The reason being that he has not committed any offence and the Commissioner of Wat Adol County, Hon. Makuer Majuec’s statement that he would be taken to court for investigation does not have any basis in law and the Court should set him at liberty.

In summary, the Taxation law of Gok State is a typical bad law, an absurd law and an exploitative law that should not be implemented. The SPLM authorities at higher level must intervene to amend the law in question as it defeats the policy of development which underscores the policy of taking the town to people and if the authorities fail to do that then the citizens of Gok area have all rights to ask the President of the Republic of South Sudan to take town back to town and leave people of Gok alone.

NB//The Author is the Concern Human Rights lawyer from Gok State and residing in Kampala Uganda and can be reached through: +256783579256 or email: juoldaniel@yahoo.com

Bombardment of Innocent Shilluk Civilians by the Kiir’s Juba Regime

THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT (NDM), 28th January, 2017, Press Release;

The National Democratic Movement (NDM) would like to inform and alert the region and the international community about the on-going killing and maiming of innocent Chollo civilians in the (Shilluk Kingdom) by the genocidal and
dictatorial regime of Kiir Mayardit using Antonov plane.

Last night, an Antonov plane belonging to the regime in Juba, dropped bombs on the civil population in Choll (Shilluk) villages of Pamath, Ogod and Wau. Large number of civilians were wounded, some of them very seriously.

This callous and cowardly targeting of innocent unarmed civilians by the bankrupt dictatorial regime must be condemned in the strongest terms possible by all and the concerned countries in the region and beyond should join hands to stop the unfolding carnage.

It is to be recalled that in the last three days, the regime’s forces have been battling the Agwelek forces around Bukieny, opposite Malakal airport west of the White Nile. These are the forces that rejected the deal reached by some of their leaders to abandon the struggle for Chollo land, and join the Bantustans of the regime.

It is worth mentioning that Chollo (Shilluk) land east of the Nile was grabbed by Salva Kiir in 2015 and gave it to his kith and kin, the Dinkas, through his decree that divided the country into 28 states.

Most recently, and as a result of underhand dealings with some weak-knee elements, Kiir’s Bantustans were increased to 32 hoping that the trick would go unnoticed by the gallant Chollo (Shilluk) fighters. This was not to be.

As a result, the regime unleashed its troops on the oppositions of the forces opposed to the deal. Bukieny was the most ideal for them to be used as a bridgehead to attack the civilian centres at Wau-Shilluk and beyond.

The National Democratic Movement (NDM) condemns this sinister action by the regime in Juba and renews its call for an arm embargo on the regime so it does not acquire more deadly weapons against its own people.

The Antonov plane used last night to bomb innocent civilians is a new acquisition by the regime.

We also call upon the United Nations Security Council, especially its humanitarian’s agencies to immediately come to the rescue of civilians in Shilluk Kingdom. Time is of the essence.

Long live the struggle of our People
Long live South Sudan
A luta continua

Amb. Emmanuel Aban
For/ the Spokesman,
The National Democratic Movement (NDM)
Email: ojwokj@hotmail.com