Category: National

LATEST NEWS: Dr. Riek Machar under ‘House Arrest’ by South African govt. in Pretoria

BY: Peter Fabricius and Denis Dumo, MAIL & GUARDIAN, Pretoria, DEC/13/2016;

South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar, who fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo in August after fierce fighting, is being held in South Africa to stop him stirring up trouble, diplomatic and political sources said on Tuesday.

Removing Machar from circulation would be a blow to his rebel SPLA-IO faction in its three-year war with President Salva Kiir’s mainstream SPLA, and could sway a conflict the United Nations fears is tilting towards genocide.

Over a million people have fled the world’s youngest nation since conflict erupted in late 2013 when Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, fired Machar, a Nuer, as his deputy. The cross-border exodus is the largest in central Africa since the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

In South Africa, a well-connected regional political consultant said Machar was being held “basically under house arrest” near Pretoria with his movements restricted and his phone calls monitored and controlled.

“If he wants to go to the toilet he has to hand over his phone and a guy stands outside the cubicle,” the source said.

Department of international relations and co-operation spokesperson Clayson Monyela denied Machar was being held against his will, describing him instead as a “guest” of Pretoria as South Africa tried to prevent the civil war sliding into genocide.

“Him being our guest here is part of our responsibility as a mediator,” Monyela said, adding that it was “difficult to predict” the duration of his stay.

“It’s very hard to put timelines on these peace and security situations.”

Dickson Gatluak, a Machar spokesperson in Ethiopia, denied there were any restrictions on Machar and dismissed the reports as misinformation. “This is not true. It’s baseless and unfounded,” Gatluak said in Juba.

“Dr. Machar is safe and doing his normal duties as usual. He is communicating to us daily, including his field commanders in the entire country.”

Attempts to speak to Machar in South Africa via his spokesperson were unsuccessful.

Kiir visited President Jacob Zuma, on December 2 to “review … the latest regional political and security developments on the continent”, according to a South African statement that gave no further details.

Refugee accounts and human rights reports point to both sides in South Sudan targeting civilians along ethnic lines.

Juba or Joburg: You decide:

Machar reached a peace deal in 2015 with Kiir but the agreement fell apart in July, leading to several days of intense fighting in Juba, the capital of the five-year-old nation.

Machar himself was wounded and after fleeing to Congo went to Sudan, a long-term supporter of his rebel faction, for medical treatment. He then turned up in South Africa in October for more treatment.

A diplomatic source said the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an eight-country East African group, had asked Pretoria to make sure Machar did not leave. The United States, Britain and Norway had supported that request, the source added.

“He keeps going back and mobilising his people and stirring up problems,” the source said. “It’s best to keep him here for a while.”

Machar flew two weeks ago to Ethiopia, which has also tried and failed as a mediator, but was refused entry and given a stark choice: go back to South Africa or get dumped in Juba, to be left at the mercy of Kiir’s troops, two of the sources said.

“The Ethiopians told him there were two planes sitting on the tarmac – one heading to Juba and one heading to Joburg – and told him he had 10 minutes to decide,” the political source said.

“It didn’t take long.” – Reuters

Land grabbing blamed for ethnic tensions in South Sudan– Latest

BY: Joseph ODUHA, THE EASTAFRICAN, NOV/112016, SSN;

Rampant land grabbing is fuelling ethnic strife in South Sudan’s Equatoria State, an official has said.

The National Land Commission Coordinator, Mr Butrus Apollo, said in Juba Tuesday that the situation could turn tragic if not addressed.

Mr Apollo said some disgruntled politicians were using the land grabbing issue to foment turmoil as they pursued their personal interests.

He noted the the matter was difficult to address without a policy or clear laws on the roles of the various land institutions in place.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have a land policy in place….that is the major reason. In 2009, a Land Act was passed into law, but it is not enough,” he said.

The South Sudan transitional constitution provides that land belongs to the people, but the government remains the custodian.

Mr Apollo disclosed that the national land agency had received at least six cases this year alone, while many others ended up in the courts.

After the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (2005), Juba experienced unprecedented population growth, accompanied by expansion and proliferation of informal settlements, characterised by numerous land disputes.

The disputes at times erupted into violence, according to the Norwegian Peoples Aid 2011 report on land grabbing.

An independent analyst, Mr David De Dau, said the land grabbing claims in Equatoria had taken a more political than socio-economic dimension.

He accused the leaders from the region of being holders of two passports, a situation that put to question their loyalty to the war-torn South Sudan.

“The fact that majority of Equatorians are double passport holders, has divided their loyalty, and a divided loyalty may mean less of patriotism and nationalism in most cases,” he said.

Many things going on in South Sudan that I’m not happy with

By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala Uganda, NOV/18/2016, SSN;

I am not happy with what is going on in South Sudan. All citizens are being held at the mercy of the leaders, whether in the bush or in the government.

Every day I hear the sad news is that the governor so and so in the state so and so has sacked employees and so and so employees have been removed or relieved from their duties.

Sadly, all sacking that are carried out are not followed by the reasons as to why the employees are being sacked.

In other circumstances, one hears the announcement over SSBC that the ministry so and so informs its employees who are absent to report to work within so and so days and the failure to report will lead to the decision being taken by the board and the decision of the board shall be final.

Such a statement that the decision of the board shall be final is a fallacy because in the country where there is a court of law, the administrative decisions are never final. It is always subject to the review by the Court of law and the decision reached by the Highest Court is always final.

On finds in some occasions that Judges are demanded to work according to the directives of the authorities and if they try to think and behave independently, they are fired. Hence, turning judiciary into mouthpiece of the executives, that fails to protect the rights of citizens.

As a result, citizens are being robbed by some authorities at daylight because they do not have avenues where they can claim their rights against authorities as Courts of law are in the pockets of the executive or power hungry individuals.

The uncertainty created by the actions of the authorities of frequently dismissing workers in the government creates insecurity in the employment and because of that it becomes one of the sources of corruption in the country. This is because an employee as soon as he or she takes office begins to steal the resources as much as he or she can since he or she expects to be removed at any time without being tasked to account.

In addition, the authority who removes the employee does not account by giving reasons for the removal of the employee.

such removal or sacking affects citizens negatively. For example, one finds the governor dismissing doctors or health workers from the hospital simply because they have demanded for the improvement of their working conditions.

In effect, we have fought the war but South Sudan has not got independence as it is part of Sudan that has mutated into South Sudan by replicating all the injustices that were in the North.

Thus, perpetuating the same injustices that we took arms against the Khartoum Regime. In fact, we I am talking about here should not be taken advantage of by the rebels.

To say the less, rebels are not saved from what the injustices I have just explained above. They have the same tendencies of using unwarranted authority. For instance, Riek Machar some time back was purporting to relieve some of the rebel commanders even when he did not have actual authority and control over them.

He was just power hunger and did not know what he was doing. Thus, Riek claims to be a democrat but like some government authorities in South Sudan he does not the rules of democracy in his rebellious mind.

In short, there are many things I hate in South Sudan and unless we change our attitudes towards and the perception of power, we shall never go anywhere.

The way we perceive power is something disturbing. We have perceived power in King’s style. This is why when a person is appointed he or she changes instance.

He or she changes from sociable person to isolationist individuals. It is very bad. Unless we change our perception of power, which is from absolutist views to democratic views then I am afraid, We shall fight endless wars.

When I talk of democracy I should not be mistaken to mean that which exists in the USA but I mean a situation where citizens are treated fairly and given fair hearing when they are wronged and authorities must also learn to be accountable not to the USA or another superpowers but to South Sudanese who are superpowers of South Sudan.

100 days in the Office: Is Gen. Taban Deng a Machiavellian Schemer or Unheralded Prince of Peace?

By Simon Yel Yel, Juba, South Sudan, NOV/13/2016, SSN;

If anybody had told me then, or over any succeeding ten (10) years from the CPA interim period to 15th December crisis in which he was then a Governor of Unity State and later the SPLM-IO chief negotiator, that he was a future First Vice President, I would have summoned those men in white coats. However, his unexpected rise to the country’s second top job is unprecedented political miracle which no one had ever thought of.

Gen. Taban Deng is now 100 days old in the office and it is worth looking into what he has achieved. The 100 days parameter is being used as yardstick by press and public in advanced democracies for gauging presidency take off effectiveness.

This slippery terrain was first introduced into the global leadership framework in 1993 by the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Therefore, I think the South Sudanese should use this yardstick for gauging what Gen. Taban has achieved, if any, in his 100 days in the office.

In this regard, the top priorities vary from a country to a country. In South Sudan, Gen Taban’s top priorities as SPLM-IO chairman and the First Vice President range from improving the security in the country, striking harmonious working relationship with the President to reduce political temperature in Juba, establishing cantonment sites for IO fighters in the Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal, maintaining the ceasefire between the IO and government troops in the Upper Nile region, integrating the SPLM-IO forces into the national army (SPLA) and organized forces, striving to improve the international image of the country and government, and above all, jointly working with the President to implement the peace agreement in order to achieve peace, unity, reconciliation and stability in the country.

The nomination of Gen. Stephen Taban Deng Gai by the SPLM-IO leaders in Crown Hotel to take over the SPLM-IO leadership as a commander in chief of all SPLM-IO forces and fills in the position of the First Vice President is not only a rare event in South Sudan politics but also his leapfrogging over the SPLM-IO Secretary General and SPLM-IO Deputy Chairman to be the Chairman of the SPLM-IO.

It shows that he is a unifying figure and the SPLM-IO (military and political wing) can coalesce under his leadership than any other leader.

This is a great marque decision ever and it will go down in the history of this great nation as one of the most momentous event. It is a very courageous and surprising decision from SPLM-IO leaders to choose hope over despair; peace and congeniality over a boomerang of war; rebuilding a prosperous country over destruction of the country, to continue implementing the armistice under stewardship of Gen Taban over reverting back to war as Riek Machar has done.

Though he is being branded by enemies of peace as an opprobrium political ninja with posters of Chairman Mao, Machiavelli and Che Guevara on his face who could sacrifice anyone at high altar for a top seat; he will be remembered as a hero who rescued this nation from the war and destruction brought upon it by Riek Machar when the political history of 15th December failed coup attempt and J1 shooting on 8th July is finally recorded by our generation.

Watching Gen. Taban on his inaugural speech on 26th July on SSBC, I felt like watching the total and genuine peace coming to the country. In his inaugural speech, Gen Taban wept and said “you (President) are my commander in chief; this country can’t afford to have two armies.”

Contrast to his former boss, Riek Machar when he was sworn in on 26th April. Riek is a person with amorality and lack of affect; capable of violent acts without guilt feelings.

Unlike most rebel leaders in Africa, Taban acted in opposition of political principle of the SPLM-IO (Kiir Must Go First) inculcated by Riek but in pursuit of genuine peace, restoration of calm, and harmony in the country.

There is no doubt that Taban’s swift move to quash the issue of two armies which he negotiated clearly shows he is for peace and a born again nationalist who would not want their political differences to wreck the country and sweep off its hard won sovereignty.

The appointment of Taban was warmly greeted with mirth rather than derision in Upper Nile region and indeed in the country at large as it was conjectured. Taban has shown the world that he is a unifier and we have witnessed the return of many defection groups to the SPLM-IO like the group of Gen. Gatkuoth Gatkuoth following his appointment as First Vice President.

There was iota of fear that the SPLM-IO will dichotomize into many factions after his nomination, however he proved those doubting Thomases wrong and the SPLM-IO has now united its ranks and files than ever before.

Taban is a decent and team leader. I don’t mean courteous and polite, although he’s, I mean considerate, nationalist and leader. If anyone of his group member is in difficulty or feeling isolated, he surely calls them, to offer support, advice and brief them on day-to-day activities and future plans. In short, he likes teamwork. This is a rare quality in a person, but even rarer in a politician. His cheerful charisma and hospitality has always been able to attract camp-followers.

Below are some of milestone reached by Gen Taban in his 100 days in the office:

1. When Gen. Taban took office as the First Vice President, South Sudan was living in an Ivory tower in terms of foreign relations with the neighboring countries, IGAD, UN, International community, and the West. The foreign relation of South Sudan government with neighboring countries and International Community was at nadir. However, it is improving now, courtesy of Gen. Taban.

2. Immediately after he was sworn in, Gen Taban embarked on his first foreign trips to Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, UAE and the U.S. By these trips, the First Vice President had assured all these nations about their commitments and plans to implement the Compromised Peace Agreement. And now, there is no single country that doubts the velocity of which the Peace is being implemented in South Sudan, courtesy of Gen. Taban.

3. His visit to Kenya has been greeted with the proposal of the motion by Kenyan MPs to sanction and deport SPLM-IO members in Kenya who are spreading war propaganda. And the speaking witness is the deportation of James Gatdek Dak to Juba by Kenyan government for inciting violence; courtesy of Gen. Taban.

4. While his visit to Ethiopia has led to the historical visit of Ethiopian Prime minister and signing of the historical cooperation agreements with South Sudan government that include the joint military force to patrol at the borders to jettison the rebels, banishing the rebel leaders from taking refuge in Ethiopia, and support the Transitional Government under President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Stephen Taban; courtesy of Gen. Taban.

5. Successful maintenance of ceasefire in Upper Nile region and specifically in Fangak, Nasir and Akobo. It shows that the SPLM-IO military chain of command is more united under Gen. Taban than it was under Riek.

In conclusion, Gen. Taban sings a song of peace that the South Sudanese people – who currently despise almost every other SPLM politician in the pack—will crowd and listen to it seriously with their hearts and ears wide open raising a glimpse of hope that the peace and tranquility is on the door-step. They see Taban as the fat white hope, Francis of Assisi, El Gid, Joan of Arc, Indiana Jones, who is salvaging the nation from annihilation, reclaiming the lacerated political glory of the SPLM, and bringing this crisis to an end.

He is the unheralded Prince of Peace who appears at helm at the toughest time when the country is in a deep search of its lost patriotism and peaceful co-existence among the communities.

Can anyone imagine what would the state of affairs, nationhood, political and military sanity in South Sudan be like today if Gen. Taban and his current team had decided to follow Riek to DRC’s forest? Gen Taban and his team deserved to be given courage and support to continue implementing the Compromised Peace Agreement without any about-turn.

Simon Yel Yel, is the co-editor (with Paanluel Wel) of the book of the President Salva Kiir’ speeches and essential writings published as “Salva Kiir Mayardit: The Joshua of South Sudan” he can be reached at maandeng2017@gmail.com or +211955246235

To African Union & UN Security Council: The Composition of the proposed Regional Protection Force- from Equatorian Leaders

From: Equatorian Leaders in UK, NOV/11/2016, SSN,

To: The Chair, African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC)
The President, United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

CC: The Chair of IGAD-Plus, C/o H.E Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
H.E. Festus G. Mogae, Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC)

From: Equatorian Leaders in the Diaspora
Mr. Federico Vuni, Chair, Equatoria Community Organisation in the UK
Mr. Kwaje Lasu, President, Equatorian South Sudanese Community Association, USA
Mr. Joseph Modi, President, Equatorian South Sudanese Community Association, Canada
Mr William Orule, Interim Chair, Federation of Equatoria Community Associations in Australia

Dated: 9th November 2016

Your Excellencies,

RE: THE COMPOSITION OF THE PROPOSED REGIONAL PROTECTION FORCE;

1. We, the Equatorian Leaders in Diaspora, continue to welcome the overdue deployment of a Regional Protection Force (RPF) to Juba, as mandated by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2304. We urge that troop contributions must come from Western African and Southern African countries. Countries neighbouring South Sudan have conflicts of interest that will compromise their impartiality in discharging the mandate of the RPF effectively.

2. We acknowledge that the RPF alone will not bring lasting peace to South Sudan. But we believe the RPF is essential towards creating an environment in Juba that is conducive to the resumption of a credible and inclusive peace process by enabling all stakeholders to take an active role in its implementation. We also believe the RPF will be vital in providing the long suffering residents of Juba the opportunity to resume their lives free from the debilitating threat of insecurity, which the Government of South Sudan has been unable or unwilling to address.

3. We note the recent decision by authorities in the Republic of Kenya to extradite James Gatdet Dak, a prominent opposition spokesman and registered asylum seeker, to Juba. It must be assumed that his extradition was carried out in the full knowledge that detention and ill treatment at the hands of South Sudan’s security services would likely follow his arrival in South Sudan. We also note the decision by the Government of the Republic of Kenya to withdraw its peace keeper contribution from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) with immediate effect and to disengage from further involvement the peace process.

4. We note the repeated diplomatic and military interventions in support of President Salva Kiir’s administration by the Government of the Republic of Uganda. Ugandan authorities have recently agreed to support the government of South Sudan in the areas of border security and highway security, signing a memorandum of understanding in October that enables the Uganda Police Force to deploy on Equatoria’s roads. We are also aware of worrying allegations that South Sudanese security agents are allowed by Ugandan authorities to operate with impunity in northern Uganda, targeting refugees who have sought sanctuary in the area.

5. We note the series of cooperation agreements, recently signed between the Government of Federal Republic of Ethiopia and President Salva Kiir’s administration, following the visit of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, to Juba in late October. In Prime Minister Desalegn’s own words, these agreements promise to usher in a period of “strong army-to-army cooperation” between Ethiopian and South Sudanese armed forces in mutual pursuit of internal and border security.

6. We note the Republic of Sudan’s enduring concerns over the support given to Sudanese rebel groups by Salva Kiir’s administration. These concerns were echoed by the US State Department who, in an October statement, warned South Sudanese authorities to “cease harbouring or providing support for Sudanese armed opposition groups, as required by UN Security Council Resolution 2046.” We acknowledge that the imperative to ending this support is an overarching priority for the Sudanese government and bilateral agreements have been entered to with South Sudanese authorities.

7. And although not a bordering country, we acknowledge the willingness of the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt to actively participate in the RPF. We note the Egyptian authority’s interests in the contentious topic of the management of the Nile waters and their long standing engagement with President Salva Kiir’s administration in pursuit of these interests. We also take note of the Egyptian authority’s widely publicised aspirations for the resumption of the deeply unpopular Jonglei Canal Project, which promises to make more water available for Egyptian agriculture and inflict massive environmental damage while disrupting vital ecosystems and habitats, in South Sudan.

8. We acknowledge that each of these countries must prioritise their own national interest when approaching the regional challenge presented by the deteriorating security situation in South Sudan. It is precisely because of this consideration, that we feel they will be unable to exercise due impartiality as troop contributing countries of the RPF. Impartiality is essential to the effectiveness of the RPF in facilitating the implementation of the peace process to a genuinely sustainable conclusion, and addressing the shortcomings identified in the report of the recent investigation into UNMISS’ response to the July 2016 crisis in Juba.

9. Impartiality is also vital to the credibility of the RPF in the eyes of the people of South Sudan. It must be acknowledged that, irrespective of political affiliation, a significant proportion of South Sudanese remain deeply suspicious of the involvement of regional countries in South Sudan’s affairs. They are also highly sceptical of the efficacy of regional intervention in impartially resolving the conflict in South Sudan. We applaud the Governments of Uganda, Sudan and, most recently, Kenya for recognising the potential for a conflict of interest and excluding themselves from involvement in the RPF.

10. We, the Equatorian Leaders in Diaspora, would like to take this opportunity to advise both the AUPSC, as commissioners of the RPF, and the UNSC, as authors of the mandate of the RPF to:

a. Exclude all bordering countries from consideration as candidates for troop contributing countries to the RPF.

b. Exclude all countries with vested interests in supporting either of the major warring parties in the Republic of South Sudan from consideration as candidates for troop contributing countries to the RPF.

c. Consider Western African and Southern African countries for candidature of troop contribution for the RPF.

11. We acknowledge the very real challenges in mobilising and financing the RPF. We appreciate the efforts of the AUPSC and the UNSC in working towards the deployment of the RPF. It is our firm belief that, if approached and implemented correctly, the RPF can have an appreciable impact on the lives of the residents of Juba and help bring about lasting peace and stability to South Sudan and to the wider region.

THE EQUATORIA LEADERS IN THE DIASPORA:

Mr. Federico Vuni,
Chair, Equatoria Community Organisation in the UK

Mr. Kwaje Lasu
President, Equatorian South Sudanese Community Association, USA

Mr. Joseph Modi
President, Equatorian South Sudanese Community Association, Canada

Mr William Orule
Interim Chair, Federation of Equatoria Community Associations in Australia

For correspondence: Mr. Federico Awi Vuni; livi.hope@yahoo.co.uk

The Rights of Chollo People for Local Autonomy Rule (revised version)

By Jwothab Othow, South Sudanese, NOV/06/2016, SSN;

Introduction: The Chollo Kingdom is located in the Upper Nile state on both the west and east sides of the White Nile beginning from Lake No in South Sudan. On the eastern side, Khor Wol is the border between the Chollo and the Dinka. Since the CPA was signed in 2005 and after the independence of South Sudan in 2011, the rights of the Chollo people have been violated, human rights have been abused and injustices have been perpetrated against them and their land.

These violations include the deliberate burning of many Chollo sacred cultural sites by the Dinka dominated SPLM-led government and SPLA forces in 2009 and 2011. The violation of the Chollo Kingdom’s sacred site (meaning the survival of their identity) is at risk; therefore the Chollo have the right to work and advocate for autonomous rule in order to protect their cultural heritage.

The assaults on the Chollo community culminated in a mass slaughter of Chollo civilians as documented in Malakal and other Chollo areas in 2013 and 2014. It was committed by both the government and the so-called the SPLM-IO’s White Army militias.

The SPLM as the ruling party has failed the people of South Sudan terribly in order to create an inclusive harmonious society which accommodates all 64 tribes, but instead the SPLM has caused the current civil war based upon ethnic lines. When the violence erupted in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, on December 15, 2013, it awakened other ethnic groups about the threat from the Dinka dominated SPLM government and their political strategy to oppress the other ethnic groups in South Sudan.

Ethnic minority rights in South Sudan became an issue to many when violence erupted on December 15, 2013. Historically, South Sudan is a multi-ethnic country which is composed of 64 tribes. The dominant ethnic group is the Dinka.

The SPLM as a ruling party failed to transform itself into a meaningful political entity which established political institutions to regulate inter-group conflicts within each region, and as a result violence erupted.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was ratified in 1948 after the World War II laid the foundation for international human rights law.

The basic principles of inalienable human rights and the creation of a common standard of achievement for all people and all nations were formed. For decades we have witnessed human rights violations in South Sudan. No other historical period has witnessed greater violations of these rights. Under international human rights law, minority rights are applied to ethnic, religious, or linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples are integral.

The issue of autonomy for ethnic minorities surfaced in the first post-war international treaty that protects them from threats to their existence as established by the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948). The term “autonomy” was derived from the Greek: “auto” meaning “self” and “nomos” meaning “law”. Autonomy in the legal political vocabulary is self –government.

According to Hans-Joachim Heintze, “In international law autonomy means that a part or territorial unit of a state is authorized to govern itself in certain matters by enacting laws and statutes, but without constituting a State of their own.” Another definition of autonomy is “an intrastate region with a unique level of self-government”.

The question is will autonomous rule for the Chollo Kingdom is a viable solution to overcome the perpetual land conflicts between the Chollo and it neighbors who seek to possess their ancestral land? Suppose the answer is yes, do the Chollo have the political and military will to unify and the ability to achieve autonomy?

One would hope that the so-called Chollo political elites who did not know that South Sudan political setting is based along ethnic lines, learned after violence erupted in 2013. What can they learn from their past mistakes and what can they do different for the Chollo than what they have done in the past? One is absolutely convinced that the Chollo can achieve it, but it will require a unity of purpose among the Chollo in spite of their political differences.

Imagine the psychological impact on the Chollo people who have been forced to leave their homes and go to neighboring North Sudan as refugees as a result of this senseless war in South Sudan which was intended by the Dinka dominated government to achieve their goals.

President Kiir’s tribal militias (the so-called “Mathiang Anyoor and Dot Ku Beny”) have been committing war crimes and crimes against humanity targeting non Dinka since the war erupted on December 15, 2013. The Dinka militias have been given direct orders by President Kiir to massacre thousands of innocent civilians from other tribes in Upper Nile, Equatoria, and Bahr el Ghazal regions, as well.

Recently, on October 19, 2016, President Salva Kiir complained about the lack of support from Equatorians and the Nuer tribe in the presence of his two deputies, Taban Deng Gai and James Wani Igga, who hail from the Nuer tribe in Upper Nile region and from the Bari tribe in the Equatoria region. President Kiir said, it was not his fault and he had no choice because other tribes had allegedly deserted him. He added, “But where will I get people from if people of Equatoria have refused to join the army? Riek Machar has rebelled with his Nuer people.”

There is no doubt that President Kiir and his Dinka council of Elders is determined to go ahead with their plan of 28 states. President Salva Kiir has appointed 28 state governors already based on the so-called decentralization system which will allow the Dinka dominated government to give Chollo ancestral land to Dinka.

South Sudan’s former minister of Justice, John Luk once said the Jieng Council of Elders was formed in 2012 after a group of Dinkas met with President Kiir seeking the formation of this so called Jieng Council of Elders to execute what they are doing today in South Sudan. On December 31, 2015, President Salva Kiir said, “Everyone has to respect the will of the people.

The creation of the 28 states and the appointment of the governors were in fulfillment of the desire of the people, and if they are rejecting it, the people who have called for it must ask them to provide answers to why they are against what the people want.”

In fact, the creation of the 28 states and the recent appointment of the governors were indeed to fulfill the master plan and desire of the so called Dinka Council of Elders as a way to take Chollo ancestral land on the Eastern bank and give it to Ngok Dinka.

South Sudan has sworn in a national unity government based on the August peace agreement of this year to end more than two years of conflict in the country, but unfortunately new cycle of violence erupted again on July 8, 2016. We know that the 28 states is not part of the peace agreement which was signed in August of this year by President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, the rebel leader in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

If the transitional national unity government wants a lasting peace and security in South Sudan, it should reverse the 28 states and go back to the previous 10 states which is based on the boundary of 1956. There is no doubt that the Dinka led government created the 28 states at the expense of Chollo land.

President Kiir’s attempt to give Chollo land to the Dinka, would threaten the national security and peace of South Sudan because Chollo defense forces will never give up the fight for their land. They are determined to fight the Padang Dinka until President Kiir revokes the 28 states.

The political concept of autonomy was used to counter the authoritarianism of the larger majority and the more powerful ethnic group and was considered a condition for the satisfaction of the national pride of citizens of a particular city or nation. For example, there are about 21 countries in the world who have established territorial regional autonomy including Spain, Italy, Great Britain and China.

Also, there are at least 60 regions in the world vested with territorial autonomy defined along scientifically based criteria. Territorial autonomy has been successfully operating since 1921, when the Aland Island obtained their special status within Finland. Autonomy is an essential aspect of nationalism, which seeks to establish the independence of a national group based on language, political history, and cultural heritage. Historically, minority rights have existed under international law Treaty of Westphalia of 1648 A.D.

The League of Nations and the United Nations were established to promote peace and security by harmonizing the rights of sovereign states with the rights of minorities. For more than fifty years, the international community has developed a broad set of standards for minority rights relevant to all countries.

These are the rights of the indigenous minority according to the UN Charter (2007):
1. States shall respect the rights of persons belonging to minorities to participate effectively in decisions on the national and regional level concerning the minority to which they belong or the regions in which they live.
2. States shall respect the rights of minorities to participate effectively in public life, including through elections, holding public office and participating in other political and administrative functions.
3. States shall respect the rights of minorities to assemble and form associations and political parties and thereby aggregate their interests to make the greatest impact on national and regional decision-making.
4. States shall duly consider the best manner of achieving effective political participation of minorities, including autonomous arrangements.
5. States shall respect the rights of members of minorities to determine their own political status.

The basic human rights and fundamental freedoms which include autonomy for indigenous minority populations are entitled to be enshrined within the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. For example, in Canada, they established Nunavut but refused Quebec secession. In France, they set in motion a process to accord Corsica limited powers to run its own affairs. In Denmark in 2001, the United Kingdom granted various degrees of autonomy to Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

NATO took a drastic action in 1999 where its warplanes undertook a bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in order to force the latter to confer greater autonomy to Kosovo. The European Court of Human Rights has talked of a “democratic restructuring” without destroying the territorial integrity of Turkey with respect to its Kurdish population and so on.

As we know, there are 28 countries across the world practicing federalism or the federal system. Some of the countries who are practicing federalism are Australia, Canada, Ethiopia, Spain, South Africa, and United States of America, just to mention a few.

In a country like South Sudan, where the ethnic differences are highly politicized and where the political setting is based on ethnic lines, the federal system should be the only option that will provide local autonomy to distinct ethnicities in South Sudan in order to build a necessary trust among ethnic nationalists.

The decentralization referred by President Kiir and his so-called Dinka Council of Elders may result in greater ethnic mobilization and could lead to secession. Therefore, the right of Chollo for special status for local autonomy as a distinct ethnic group is the best solution to resolve their land dispute between their neighbors.

President Kiir himself and his dream for a Dinka Empire and the so-called Dinka Council of Elders have been the ones politicizing the ethnic land conflicts between Chollo and the Ngok Dinka since 2005. South Sudan is a multi- diverse ethnic nation which requires a federal system to accommodate its diverse groups. Giving the Chollo special status for local autonomy as a distinct ethnic group with its traditional territory is the best solution to resolve their land dispute between their neighbors.

Federalism is the demand of the people of South Sudan. The Federal Republic of South Sudan must be based on democratic rule whereby the power to govern is shared between national and regions/state governments. A good example is the United States which has a federal system of governance consisting of the national or federal government and the government of the individual states.

Puerto Ricans are considered United States citizens, and they freely travel between both the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico. Based on the federal system, Puerto Rico’s autonomy was granted by the US Congress in 1952. This is the kind of federal system the people of South Sudan are demanding, whereby the federal government can enact laws governing the entire country. Its powers are enumerated, or limited; it only has the specific powers allotted to it in the constitution. Under the federal system, the rights of the Chollo for local autonomy should be protected and guaranteed under the country’s constitution.

Federalism is concerned with the combination of self-rule and shared rule. The historical root of federalism is well connected with the Bible. The term was for theological purposes to define the partnership between humans and God as it is described in the Bible. This gave form to the idea of a covenantal relationship between persons leading to the formation of the body politic and between bodies political leading to the formation of compound politics. The biblical theological usage gave rise to the transformation of the term “federal” into an explicitly political concept today.

In accordance to the UN Charter, “Peoples in independent countries who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country, or a geographical region to which the country belongs, at the time of conquest or colonization or the establishment of present state boundaries and who, regardless of their legal status, retain some or all of their own social, economic, cultural and political institutions.

Based on this definition, things that distinguish indigenous people and minorities are that indigenous peoples settled the territory concerned as a heritage from their ancestors or at the time of conquest or colonization or the establishment of present state boundaries and they have a culture that has a nexus with their ancestral land and its natural resources”( 1989).

The autonomy system has been recognized as a peaceful means to avoid secession from a certain region or territory within a state. In the case of the Chollo, it is necessary for the government of South Sudan to recognize the rights of the Chollo for autonomous rule and to establish a federal system structure to protect the rights of the Chollo for autonomy. This will be a safeguard for the peaceful solution for the land conflict between the Chollo and its neighbors. The people of the Chollo Kingdom must struggle for and achieve their autonomous rule in their homeland.

The case of the Chollo is unique and distinct because of its traditional territorial integrity under His Majesty, the Reth (King) of Chollo. The Chollo Kingdom has been there for more than 500 years. This is a time for the Chollo to advocate and work for the special status of the Chollo Kingdom’s autonomy, but some argue that it is too early for Chollo autonomy. It is time for the Chollo to take action and to work for autonomy as a right with special status within a demarcated territory with an autonomous legislation, a local government administration and a judiciary system.

Autonomy will give the Chollo political control over their territory. The Chollo have the right for autonomy that will guarantee Chollo as an ethnic group a degree of independence from the central government’s interference in matters of their Kingdom’s affairs for example if cultural customs and societal structures. To be clearer, autonomy means the legal recognition of the minorities’ rights.

The Chollo Kingdom should be able to enjoy various rights under autonomous rule which should be guaranteed in the constitution of South Sudan including exercising their rights of autonomy in the Chollo Kingdom such as selecting an administrative head. The Chollo should have the full right to use and to develop their language and the freedom to preserve their own customs.

As mentioned previously, the ancient Greeks defined autonomy as the independent self-governance of city-states. In a political context, a state has autonomy if its government has complete control over its affairs without the intervention of or control by any other power.

As we can remember, His Majesty King Kwongo Dak Padiet wrote to President Salva Kiir in 2011 to find a peaceful and lasting solution for the Chollo land occupation by the Dinka Padang in the Upper Nile State, but President Kiir has chosen to ignore the matter until recently. Therefore, I am convinced that the only alternative left for the Chollo is to work and advocate for the rights of local autonomy for the Chollo Kingdom. But, in order for the Chollo to defeat those who seek to occupy Chollo ancestral land, it will require Chollo in all political spectrums despite political differences among its sons and daughters to unite.

Our generation has a duty to carry on Nyikang’s promise to preserve Chollo land. It would be disgraceful if this generation of Chollo in this age of enlightenment would fail to preserve Nyikang’s legacy and keep his promise. The forces of persecution can only triumph if our generation decides to do nothing. As stated before, in order to achieve autonomy for the Chollo, the Agwelek, under the leadership of Johnson Olony Thubo Dak and other forces under the leadership Yoanes Okiech, need to organize themselves to work together as a united people in order to protect the lives of the Chollo people and their ancestral land.” The Agwelek and other Chollo forces are the only hope; they should have a precise military strategy and form a military council with a clear plan to achieve their objectives.

The SPLM, as the ruling party, failed the people of South Sudan terribly to create an inclusive harmonious society to accommodate all 64 tribes, but instead the SPLM has caused the current civil war based along ethnic lines. To defeat the Dinka Tribal Genocidal regime and the so called Dinka council of Elders, it will require unity of purpose within the Chollo political spectrum and unified political support for Chollo military forces. It is absolutely critical for Chollo society to change its destructive mindset to save itself from the total collapse of its society under the weight of internal contradictions.

The Chollo have the political will and the ability to achieve the quest for local autonomy. The August agreement signed by the SPLM in the government and SPLM-IO would not provide a tangible solution to the Chollo land issues based on boundaries of ‘Shilluk District’ as of 1956 because the agreement itself never addressed the Chollo’s grievances in the first place.

The federal system must be broad, it should be discussed and agreed upon by all 64 tribes in South Sudan, and it should recognize the rights of the Chollo for autonomous rule. The Chollo must think critically given the state of affairs in South Sudan. The attempts to create an inclusive society have been threatened by ethnic strife and chaos which have threatened other peaceful minority groups. Let us conceptualize the idea of the rights of Chollo for autonomous rule and the way forward for Chollo to work and to advocate the idea of autonomy.

Folks, this is about our destiny as a people whether 20 to 50 years from now and whether we will be able to live our way of life and maintain our existence if this tribal war continues to threaten our existence.

The Chollo must formulate a united political strategy to deal with the current threat imposed on us. Let us keep in mind that if the political environment continues in South Sudan, it would be a colossal mistake for us to fail to unite and put in place our political strategy in order to survive and maintain our existence. It will be too late! It is time for us to end flip-flop politics and take a clear stand on the issue of Chollo land and its destiny. It is time for Chollo intellectuals to start working and advocating for an autonomous region. One is glad that some of the Chollo intellectuals began to realize that Chollo must work to advocate the rights of autonomy for the Chollo Kingdom.

This must be taken seriously by intellectuals, who must begin working and advocating for the Chollo Kingdom’s autonomous rule within a united Federalist and Democratic South Sudan. A federal system must be built on a basis of creating an inclusive harmonious society that will accommodate all 64 tribes in South Sudan. There should be a clear and a well defined role between the Chollo Kingdom’s autonomous authority and the role of the Reth of Chollo.

Many Chollo have expressed their views that the Reth of Chollo should be a ceremonial head of the autonomous Chollo Kingdom but have no political powers. His Majesty (Reth) of Chollo role should only be a ceremonial head of the autonomous Chollo Kingdom which does not interfere with Chollo autonomy administration.

After the violence erupted in South Sudan in 2013, the Chollo as an ethnic group were targeted. As a result, hundreds of Chollo civilians were massacred based on ethnic lines. To ensure the protection of Chollo rights and their cultural survival, we must advocate and work for autonomy for the Chollo Kingdom.

According to Ruth Lapidoth, autonomy is to be understood as a special status granted to a territorial unit which makes it possible for the residents of that territorial unit to regulate their own affairs by themselves through autonomous legislation, government administration, and judicial administration. A claim to sovereignty is not linked to it. The autonomous authorities are to be precisely established in the laws of the State. Lapidoth argues the concept of autonomy for a minority group and its usefulness in resolving ethnic conflicts are very clear.

Lapidoth believes that autonomy is a means for diffusion of powers in order to preserve the unity of a state while respecting the diversity of its population. Autonomous rule has been suggested as a way to protect minority groups. The rights of the Chollo for autonomy should be recognized in principle under international law and their rights as a minority to be granted autonomous rule. Territorial political autonomy is an arrangement aimed to grant the Chollo Kingdom autonomy to govern themselves without interference from South Sudan’s central government.

The peaceful autonomy which was granted to Åland Archipelago west of Finland could serve as a model for resolving land conflicts between the Chollo and their neighbors. The case for Åland autonomy was based on a decision of the Council of the League of Nations in 1921 that resolved a dispute between Finland and Sweden over the islands and guarantees the preservation of the local language, which is Swedish, and the local culture.

Chollo autonomy must fundamentally include those areas of competence which are necessary for the national minority to maintain its cultural identity, such as the following: an educational system, including higher education (such as universities), which respects the values and needs of the minority in question; cultural institutions and programs; radio and television, and other communication means; the display of their own emblems; field of powers needed to ensure the functioning and welfare of the autonomous entity (its social and economic regulations); the use and control of natural resources; taxation for the purposes of the autonomous area; health care and social services including social welfare; transportation such as local roads, and airports; production of energy; environmental protection; control of commercial and savings banks and other financial institutions; local and regional police.

The Chollo Kingdom can create its own educational policy for primary up to 12th grade education and the languages to be taught should be as follows: Dhog Chollo, English, and Arabic. English and Arabic languages are useful for communication and business purposes. English will remain as the official language in all the government departments.

The challenge for Chollo intellectuals is to advocate for autonomy or local self-administration. What I mean by autonomy is not outright secession from the rest of South Sudan. The Dinka dominated government is not interested in a peaceful resolution to conflict which they created in order to position themselves to control the nation’s resources and to drive other communities off their land as we have seen in the case of the Chollo.

The Dinka (being a majority) are dictating to others. As Tocqueville argued, the majority will too easily tyrannize the minority. While it is clear that democracy must guarantee the expression of the popular will through majority rule, it is equally clear that it must guarantee that the majority will not abuse its power to violate the basic and inalienable rights of the minority.

Since the CPA was signed in 2005, the Chollo people have been constantly facing the threat from Dinka to eradicate the Chollo Kingdom. The most extreme danger to the Chollo Kingdom is that the Dinka led government is using the current civil war to drive out the Chollo population from their ancestral land and to inflict psychological harm on the Chollo population through violent means.

The worst example is when the Dinka led government denied humanitarian relief to the Chollo civilians this year and continued to carry out air bombardment against Chollo civilians. James Madison once said, “It is of great importance in a republic, not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part.”

President Kiir is determined to divide the country of South Sudan into tribal states whereby his tribe, ethnic Dinka, can oppress the rest of the 64 tribes in South Sudan. The Chollo was a nation in its own right before the Sudanese state became independence from the British colonies in 1956, and the Chollo will well if they achieve autonomous rule.

The Chollo, being a distinct ethnic group in South Sudan, have the right for territorial autonomy. Therefore, territorial political autonomy for Chollo is their God given right which grants them cultural, economic, education, language, religion, and social power within the federal democratic united South Sudan. In fact, autonomy is not a threat for the unity of South Sudan, but it is a solution to managing and preventing conflicts from arising between the majority and the minorities.

The Chollo autonomous rule will not clash with the interests of the state of South Sudan in preserving full integrity. The Chollo’s autonomous rule could eventually tackle the problem of land grabbing between Chollo, and their neighbors and it will provide protection for the Chollo in their traditional homeland, the Chollo Kingdom. The autonomy was first established in 1921 in Finland‘s Aland Islands. Furthermore, the concepts of Autonomous rule have been implemented in most countries in the world today.

In my opinion, autonomy will provide the solution and legal-political framework for the Chollo ethnic group to preserve their distinct cultural ethnic identity without threat to the sovereignty and unity of the rest of the country. Since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed in 2005, the Dinka led government has been a constant threat to the Chollo Kingdom’s existence.

The conflict which has led to ethnic divisions in South Sudan today was created by the Dinka led government and the ruling party SPLM, which set off a cycle of retaliatory battles and massacres across the country that have left tens of thousands dead. The SPLM Party has been an adversary since the first day of its inception in 1983 and has caused countless deaths among the people of South Sudan.

Since when the leaders of SPLM party and the President of South Sudan Mr. Kiir accused his former Deputy Machar of faking a coup which led to the country ongoing civil war , South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, has been locked in civil war. President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar should know that South Sudan will never be the same again because of the ethnic divisions they have created that set off a cycle of retaliatory battles and massacres across the country and have left tens of thousands dead. Chollo, as the third largest ethnic group, must work hard and advocate for local autonomy for its Kingdom.

The Chollo have been governed by numerous Chollo Kings for more than 500 years. They have never witnessed the level of destruction which was perpetrated on the Chollo people in Malakal and other areas of Chollo in February 2013, when the so called Nuer White Army were ordered by Dr. Riek Machar to massacre hundreds of Chollo civilians. To safeguard the Chollo Kingdom and its distinct culture, the demand for autonomy for Chollo is the way forward.

Under Chollo autonomous rule, they will have the unshakable power of territorial control over the Chollo Kingdom and will exercise public policy functions (legislative, executive and adjudicative) independently of other sources of authority in the state. Also, the role of the Chollo king must be defined by the Chollo and separated from autonomous authority.

The Chollo will be better off with a self-administering entity within the state of South Sudan which will give Chollo rights in terms of development in economic or cultural spheres. For example, the Murle administrative areas in Pibor resulted from an arrangement which was made by the executive power of the President of South Sudan within the framework of central legislation.

Chollo self-government will give the Kingdom the right to elect its own legislature; it will endow them with the authority to take charge of all executive and administrative functions usually provided by central state institutions. Under autonomous rule, the Chollo will be capable of granting significant judicial powers to their autonomous entity. The Chollo Kingdom will have a degree of autonomy granted to them, the country’s overall constitutional framework will be preserved, and Chollo autonomous territory will remain as an integral part of South Sudan under its constitutional control.

The Chollo Kingdom will have adequate representation as an autonomous entity at the central level, constitutionally guaranteed procedures for the resolution of land disputes between Chollo and its neighbors, or central government, and mechanisms that ensure the protection of the human rights of all residents in the autonomous entity, regardless of their ethnic identity, including the right to appeal to judicial institutions at the central level.

The Chollo Kingdom can serve to maintain South Sudan’s external borders and to preserve its sovereignty. Chollo will have the power to control social, cultural and economic matters that are important to them. The quest for Chollo territorial autonomy must be advocated by the Chollo in order to achieve it. To be very clear on this subject, it is not absolute independence but special status for the Chollo kingdom’s autonomy that the Chollo want.

The rights of the Chollo for autonomous rule can potentially cater to the interests of the Chollo Kingdom, which do not clash with the interests of the State to the preserve full integrity of their territory. The intellectuals should conceptualize the rights of Chollo for autonomy and start working and advocating the case for Chollo autonomous rule. The Chollo will be able to manage their autonomous affairs, enjoy self-government of their region, independently manage their economic construction, natural resources, and develop and manage educational, scientific, technological, cultural and public health.

The Way forward is for the Chollo intellectuals to advocate the idea of the Chollo Kingdom’s right for local autonomy. The rights of the Chollo kingdom for local autonomy must be respected. It is important for the Chollo to advocate for autonomy and to ensure the protection of the Chollo people and its unique culture. The Chollo Kingdom shall have rights under the autonomy system to run their own affairs without interference from the South Sudan’s central government.

According to Ruth Lapidoth, “Autonomy is a means for diffusion of powers in order to preserve the unity of a state while respecting the diversity of its population.”The Chollo Kingdom has the capacity to govern itself because in the 1800’s, Chollo was a nation which capably of governed itself. Remember now, that the Chollo governed themselves for more than 500 hundred years after the nation was founded in 1490 A.D. Chollo had an undisputable system of governance, and that is why it has survived for so long in Sudan despite the external forces who sought to destroy it for hundreds of years.

His Majesty the Reth of the Chollo Kingdom might have to adjust or reform some of his political policies with the changing world to meet the criteria of human rights, rules of law, social justice, equality and freedom of expression. It is vital and crucial for the Reth of Chollo to embrace and respect universal human rights and the rule of law.

For example, for many decades some of Chollo’s Kings have slain many chiefs or private citizens in Chollo society who disagreed with them. The Reth of Chollo should never take the law into his/her hands to kill their dissidents or those who oppose them without fair trials and due process. There are many issues which need fundamental reform in Chollo society.

The Chollo Kingdom will need to make fundamental reform and changes because contemporary Chollo society might not agree with the current state of social justice and the economic conditions of the Kingdom. The Chollo Kingdom might have to separate its power from political authority by allowing the people to elect politicians and to let the political process run according to democratic procedures without interference.

In conclusion, it is time now for Chollo intellectuals to start working and advocating for the Chollo Kingdom’s autonomy. The Chollo have the will and the ability to work toward obtaining autonomy for Chollo people. We are obliged to work and advocate for the rights of the Chollo people for autonomous rule. I have no reserves, no retreats, and no regrets for calling for the need for local autonomous rule; it will become an aspiration and a political reality for the Chollo people, whether in my lifetime or afterwards.

The author is a South Sudanese concerned citizen and independent opinion writer; he can be reached at jwothab@yahoo.com

Uganda should know better for support of Kiir regime

BY: Rigoberto Modi, OCT/31/2016, SSN;

One week ago, an article appeared in Monitor by a Ugandan journalist with a title ‘Machar now aims his fire at Uganda and Museveni’ by Bernard Tabaire. He catalogued the economic cost of the current war on Uganda. Tellingly, he even mentioned that beginning from ‘chapati’ makers to high level business owners, all are feeling the effect of the war in South Sudan. And when he moved to make a suggestion that is where he sounded very unethical and naïve. That Uganda should send troops in South Sudan to keep the road open.

Take a moment or two to think about this. First from military point of view. How many troops will secure the 195 kilometre road from Nimule to Juba? Every day how much does it cost in dollars to maintain that size of troops? From economic point of view in a country where everybody is leaving and looking for a way to get out, how much business opportunity still exists there to be exploited? I leave it to you to judge.

But the very motive of Uganda getting in South Sudan to protect its economic interest sounds very unethical. Uganda cannot rely on South Sudan’s weakness to solve its economic woes. That does not make sense and it can be a cause of war in future with or without Machar in the picture. Do you think South Sudanese are that naïve or uneducated on the modern economic system?

Facts are very bad in Uganda. Let me remind you if you do not know, every year over 33,000 people graduate for work in Uganda, but less than 1000 get jobs in formal sector. The rest end as ‘boda boda’ and ‘grasshopper sellers’.

The planning of human resource development is completely in chaos. Or it does not even exist. Ugandan youth who should be productive force spend their day in taxi parks in Kampala shouting ‘Muyenga, Lungujaa’ Rubaga’ etc… Something that is not needed. Just a board is enough to direct people to which taxi goes where? And in case the person cannot read, it is social capital that works. Someone can ask for the taxi they want and get it without paying for it. This is how it works in other countries.

But in Uganda this has become a job. And at the end of the day, how much do they earn anyway? Just 15,000/= which is equivalent to $3. These are people in productive economy who should be earning up to $ 200 a day. It has created kleptocracy in the country at a level not known anywhere in Africa. Literally in Kampala, there are more thieves than decent people. So you cannot trust the next person sitting to you in a taxi or even in the church. This is Uganda’s problem, not caused by South Sudan. And Uganda cannot use South Sudan to solve its problem.

In any case has this kind of solution ever worked? The cost to implement this kind of solution may be too high. Just take the case of American intervention in Vietnam. A super power pitched against a country of peasants and most people who read know the result. I do not know whether Tabaire is informed about that. The other problem is the narrative he used to arrive at the suggestion is false.

In South Sudan, officially there are 64 tribes but other sources later revised that data to 72 tribes. All of these tribes are up in arm against the Dinka government. Then is it sustainable for Uganda to take side on the single tribe that the whole of South Sudan is rising against? If Uganda reasons that way, the result will soon be seen. By the way some of the communities rising against Salva Kiir have their brothers and sisters in Uganda. What I will tell this journalist is ‘wait and see’.

It would be good if his morality is not corrupted by money. Going in there for business is too risky and anybody who goes there must know they are taking a lot of risk to the extent that insurance companies will not cover the kind of risk South Sudan poses for business people.

And from South Sudanese point of view, that there is war there and somebody is only interested in making money at the cost of South Sudanese lives is going to be very problematic. These Ugandans who go to South Sudan for trading become legitimate targets. In other words, they are legitimising a regime that is tribalist and involved in ethnic cleansing. Then why should they not be targeted?

By the way, do you know this far, Riak Machar has not got any support from any country. The weapons that are now being used to fight Salva Kiir are taken from his army. The same weapons procured from Israel and passed through Uganda are the one being used by SPLA-IO. That tells you the level of the commitment of the people to see the back of this regime sooner than later.

So Uganda is going to support a regime that is totally unpopular in South Sudan and it will definitely fall. What will Uganda gain out of it? Just take the statement of the president when he addressed his party a few days ago. Even those Equatorians who were compromising are now shown the real nature of the man whom they try to support. Ha, ha, ha,. Let Uganda keep its troops in South Sudan. I say ‘keep’, because we know they are there. They will be defeated together with Kiir’s army.

Rigoberto Modi

Israeli arms fuelling South Sudan conflict- Report

From THE EAST AFRICAN, BY: JOSEPH ODUHA, OCT/24/2016, SSN;

A confidential United Nations report accuses Israel of fueling the war in South Sudan through the sale of weapons to the government.

The Juba-based Miraya Radio said the report was discussed by the UN panel of experts last Thursday at a high level Security Council meeting.

According to the Miraya Radio, the report disclosed that there was substantial evidence to prove the arms deals between Israel and South Sudan, especially after the December 2013 outbreak of war in the later.

Bulgaria is also named in the report as an arms supplier to South Sudan.

“This evidence illustrates the well-established networks through which weapons procurement is coordinated from suppliers in eastern Europe and the Middle East and then transferred through middlemen in eastern Africa to South Sudan,” the report says.

It further says the bodyguards of former Vice-President Riek Machar, who were in the DR Congo, were armed with Israel-made automatic rifles that were part of a stock to Uganda in 2007.

The Bulgarian firm is also pointed in the report as delivering a shipment of small arms’ ammunition and 4,000 assault rifles to Uganda in July 2014, which were later transferred to South Sudan.

The South Sudan government was not yet to officially respond to the report.

South Sudanese government forces have acquired two jet fighters and truckloads of small arms ammunition and were seeking to manufacture bullets, while opposition troops have not received any significant arms shipments, UN sanctions monitors said in a confidential report seen by Reuters on Thursday.

They also said that armed government actors were imposing “debilitating movement restrictions” on UN peacekeepers and warned that the economy of the world’s newest nation has effectively collapsed due to government policies that include buying weapons instead of funding social services.

The report, on arms flows and security threats to South Sudan since a transitional government was formed in April, strengthens the case for an arms embargo, a move recommended by the monitors to the Security Council in January. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also called for an arms embargo.

“There is no evidence to suggest that more weapons are required in South Sudan for the government to achieve a stable security environment,” the UN monitors said.

“Rather, the continued influx of weapons … contributes to spreading instability and the continuation of the conflict.”

They said that while Sudan had provided small arms, bullets and logistical support to opposition troops, they “found no evidence to date that Sudan – or any other neighbouring country – has provided heavy weapons … which has limited the opposition’s ability to mount large-scale operations.”

However, the monitors received reports that government troops have made significant, ongoing arms procurements including the likely recent acquisition of two L-39 fighter jets.

“While the panel has received preliminary reports from two sources that the jets were serviced and painted in Uganda, the panel has not yet been able to confirm their origin or if these jets have been purchased or are on loan,” the monitors said.

Two truckloads of ammunition were transferred to the capital Juba from Uganda in June, while late last year South Sudanese army chief Paul Malong asked a Lebanese company to begin developing a small ‘arms ammunition manufacturing facility in Juba, the monitors said.

“It is not clear from currently available information whether this project has proceeded in the intervening period,” they added.

Arms embargo

In the wake of deadly violence in Juba in July, the council said it would discuss an arms embargo if Ban reports this month that the government was not cooperating with the deployment of 4,000 more peacekeepers and was obstructing 12,000 UN troops already on the ground. END

An Open Letter to the President of the Republic of S.Sudan on Brutal Killing of Defenseless Dinkas on the streets & Jungles of Equatoria Region

By: Luka Geng Geng, lukageng@gmail.com, University Campus, Wau, OCT/14/2016, SSN;

Mr. President,

With deepest frustration as I pen you this letter, I’d like to begin at the outset by sending my heartfelt condolences to the entire families, friends and relatives of the brutalized members of Dinkas whose lives perished in cold blooded war on the main streets and jungles of greater Equatoria region under the hands of merciless Equatorian youth against Dinka.

Back to the point, this letter is to appeal to you to do something fast and if you are already doing something to redouble your effort or to re-focus your compliance with the saying that “stitch in time saves nine.”

This is a matter of grave concern, you should know. The recent sadistic brutal murdering of innocent Dinka on Yei to Juba road and Juba-Nimule road are very disheartening not only to the families of deceased but equally to all Dinka communities across the country.

Why would innocent Dinkas people be killed on regular basis? You ought to know the answer to this question and come up with the solution.

Mr. President, I am obliged to deliver you this piece on open medium but I want to assure you if I had an opportunity to convey this message privately, I would not have hesitated to do so.

Since you are the only custodian of Dinka people constitutionally and all others tribes in South Sudan, I would like to state clearly to you that “what has been happening at your watch is a clear indication where the state failed not only to protect and insure the constitutional, legal and traditional rights of tribal people but
instead it sponsored crimes against tribal people”.

In this open letter, I would want to question your knowledge about the root cause of what is going on now in the country. Did you know why there is hating of Dinka tribe that much?

It is because you are president who comes from Dinka while other tribes are not happy with your ruling; this is a fact not a case, and so it is what you should know best. Nuers and Shilluk tribes have already demonstrated that to you which can also best prove my point here.

We believed that will it be too late though you might come up with whatever the solution. Do you think that being Dinka-born president, your tribe mates could be killed while you and your government are tied lipped because you come from Dinka tribe?

Is your presidency enough for these lives lost? I don’t think so. On daily basis, innocent Dinkas people are being targeted and cornered everywhere on the streets and jungles of Equatoria region creating a sense of insecurity yet your government couldn’t come up with a clear-cut solution to that.

In several occasions, we have seen that brutal killings of Dinkas have become a frequent occurrence and irrespective of whatever intervention your government will make thereafter, its persistence does nothing to engender faith in your government system’s ability to secure justice for the victims and the entire members of Dinkas living in Equatoria region whom I think are in the pecking order of heartless organized group against Dinkas.

Remember, as a chief servant of the nation or president, you are like a pilot of an aircraft flying in turbulence. Turbulence times bring out the best or worse of a pilot. We can no longer blame the turbulence on past enemies of South Sudan at this time though some figures within your government still point their fingers at former rebel leaders to be behind the killings.

Believe me or not, this time the buck rests at your desk if you fail to live up to the hype and hopes of million people across the country on the current situation because all believe that providing security for civilians is the primary responsibility of the state.

Mr. President, you need to know that even if we live in a country were almost everything is devalued including our local currencies, we wouldn’t accept our lives to be devalued, and in particular as Dinkas we are always calm, not known for the killing initiating characters but lethal on revenge if resorted to as the only option, something which I believe the same government of yours dragging foot on the current brutality will sweat on it so much sooner or later.

What the Equatorian brothers are doing against Dinka may turn bitter soon if Dinka tribes may respond to it. But why would you want Dinkas to revenge before your intervention Mr. president?

By writing this letter, I am neither inciting Dinka youth nor advocating for the Dinkas to rise and revenge but rather I want your serious intervention and that of your government, Mr. President.

I want you also to know that other non Dinka tribes across South Sudan are not happy with your ruling which is the chief reason Dinka are hated that much.

Mr. President you also know that you made us too weak in defending your government against your harsh critics because what we see sometimes with your government weakens our defense strategy. It could be wise for your government to be sensitive to such situations where the blood is poured. Everyone wanted your intervention on this situation.

In my personal point of view, the kind of interventional measures I would like your government to take are responding to such incidents by coming out with a high level judicial inquiry, legal action and fixing accountability on the brutality and cruelty of killing of innocent Dinkas and ultimately to strongly condemn this act of crimes against humanity which is also tribalism by its nature.

And if these ideas are not helpful in this particular situation, you may go as far announcing the state of emergency in the states like Yei and apply exactly the same formula which was used to solve the problem in Wau state.

Coming to Wau now you will really feel that the formula was really helpful in a situation were no body was expecting its quickest recovery owing to rampant killing which was practiced in Wau.

Mr. President, I wonder what kind of leadership is your government trying to run; in other countries, it is not surprising to see the heads of the state coming out to strongly condemn and send out condolences not even on the killing of less than two civilians but only in some occasions where only life threatening acts has been committed.

Why is it too late or too hard for your government to imitate such noble leaders? What will justify your silence in the ongoing killing of innocent Dinka? I will never understand!

In conclusion, I would like to urge the transitional government of national unity for immediate intervention to halt the ongoing onslaught in our country for the current trend may lead our country towards tribal warlordism which we don’t expect to exist in our beloved nation.

The current situation must end with a well calculated political solution. A restoration and consolidation of full protection of civilians which is well within the power of your government, Mr. President, can indiscriminate the horrors of brutal killing of innocent members of Dinka tribes.

The current insecurity created by some individuals with tribal ideologies may send our country to trash given the current situation in the country. However, my big fear is that we face a prospect of losing another generation of South Sudanese to conflict and misery should all the tribes be engaged in the ongoing killing of members of
tribes…up to here I rest my point.

The author of this piece is 6th year medical student in the University of Bahr el Ghazal; Wau. For contact, he can be reached at lukageng@gmail.com/0956661661

He died, rose from the dead and appeared to his disciples in Juba City: The case of the President of South Sudan

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, OCT/14/2016, SSN;

I really laughed when the last episode got over. The episode was the alleged death of the President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Kiir Mayardit. From that even, I had learned that Rebels were rebels as they who do not care of their actions, which shows that their propaganda was beyond political gimmicks but intended to break the political bonds of South Sudan.

The question is: was it intended to kill the president on the media or was it heard from the credible source from within the office of the President? If the source of the information on the death of the President was from the office of the President, then, there is a great threat to the President and the Country is under siege.

However if the information was invented by the rebels, then the media proved to be very destabilizing and effective tools for the rebels on that day. The rebels almost threw the country into mayhem. This was because death of the president would have been worse than his resignation from the power.

South Sudan is currently in a very dangerous state and what is helping it to at least still being seen as a country but not tribal nation is because there is a president and his sudden death may be worse than his resignation from power.

In the case of the resignation, the President might have planned for the next move of the country’s political direction after he or she has gone and also he will still be there to guide those in realm of power.

However, in the case of death, the President has not planned for the political organization that he or she was heading and everything is left ‘To Whom It May Concern.’

As a result, the so-called strong men or women that had been relinquishing at the edge of power may begin to struggle for power as there is a vacuum left by the president. In such a situation, the country may be thrown in chaos as struggle for power becomes real.

In fact, though, it had been the wishes from Rebels and other President’s opponents that he should die as shown by the way his death was faked, his death would have been worse for South Sudan and her people.

In other words, the Country called South Sudan would have been thrown into further upheavals like what happened in Rwanda immediately after the assassination of its third and former President, Juvénal Habyarimana.

Juvénal Habyarimana was on April 6, 1994 killed when his airplane, that was also carrying the President of neighbouring Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira, was shot down close to Kigali International Airport. His assassination ignited ethnic tensions that was already in existence in the region and helped spark the Rwandan Genocide.

The same scenario would have happened if the President of South Sudan was really dead. Many people may not agree with me on this analysis as their interests are in the positions in the government rather the future of the Country.

However, they have freedom to disagree with me on national issues although I know the fact that human beings always become wise after the event has occurred.

If the President had died and chaos ensued which were more severe than what we have now, they would have regretted and realized that they wished the president should have lived until he stepped down peacefully.

After all aside with the foregoing argument, what is important to me is that the President is alive because his presence is still holding South Sudan together which helps minimize the power struggle within the government, and hence, maintains some unity in the Country.

The above argument can be supported by the fact that the faked death of the president almost threw the country into chaos as there were fears everywhere when the news was received on the internet.

Thus, the fact that the president did not actually die has given me a hope that with small unity the president brings, there is still a glimpse of hope and I can say aloud “Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluiiiaaaaaa!” the president died, rose and appeared to his disciples in the City of Juba after more than twelve hours: Alleluia!

As I have already pointed out above, the death of the President would have thrown the whole country into confusion as witnessed through the shock people experienced on that day, the death of the president would have not been good for South Sudan.

For instance, why I think it is not good for the country is that the way the news concerning the death of the president spread like a petrol fire in South Sudan, to the neighbouring countries of Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya and Rwanda and to all other countries in the West where South Sudanese are/was something which showed that there was danger.

In fact, even the BBC later announced it on its news headlines during fifteen hours (15 Hours) GMT broadcast on that day. Though some people may disagree with me that even if the president died, the unity of the country would still remain, what I can say to such argument is that it is a matter of chance and the country should not be run on chances but the change should come as accepted by all.

Nonetheless, though I wish the President to live until we get true change in South Sudan, I was really annoyed with the President on one thing that I learned from him on that day. The President does not love the citizens of South Sudan because his conduct appears to confirm this assertion.

He loved himself and power more than anything in South Sudan. This is because he had never come out even a day since the war broke in 2013 to condemn the killings that have been going on until then.

However, on that day he did not only come out to tell the people that he had not died but he came out in open car and the people of South Sudan were able to view him physically not on South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) as he always did before that day.

The conduct of the president confirmed that what he cares for most is only power because as long as he remains in power it does not matter how many people are killed because of him or how divided the country is because what matters to him is that he has power and power only.

What the president should understand is that being the leader entails that one is a sacrificial lamb who should be ready to sacrifice anything even what one loves most. This was why Abraham accepted in the Bible to sacrifice his son though God later saved that son.

In short, though I loved the president to live as I am happy because he died, rose from death and appeared to his disciples, the citizens of South Sudan and I always pray to God for him to live until the true change comes to South Sudan, I would also like to tell the President that for the Peace to come to South Sudan he needs to make radical decisions which may involve personal sacrifice.

Otherwise, the action of the President exposes the darkest part of the president that he does not love South Sudan.

NB//: The Author is a South Sudanese Lawyer residing in Uganda and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com;