Category: National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To IGAD, AU and Troika: Time to Call off Addis Peace Talks & Declare Regime Change in South Sudan

By: J. Nguen, Commentator, analyst & advocate, FEB/14/2018, SSN;

The question today isn’t whether the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS) be revived or not, but rather, it’s whether those who invariably refuses the resuscitation of the agreement must be punished and held to account.

We know for certain that the ARCISS had collapsed on July 8th, 2016, when Dr. Riek Machar was violently pushed out of Juba in what many analysts characterized as a “well-organized assassination” attempt on the life of a man who came to Juba to implement the peace agreement.

We also know that the regional (IGAD) and the USA Administration under former president, Barack Hussein Obama, sided with President Kiir’s regime and placed Dr. Machar under house arrest in South Africa. These are tried cases, but hit dead end.

As a matter of fact, these desperate moves were falsely intended as shortcuts to end the contradictions and bring unfounded peace in South Sudan.

Without any doubt, these fraudulent efforts failed in earnest. Instead, suffering worsened and civil war spread like a wildfire across South Sudan.

In addition, for a year and half, President Kiir was licenced to rein terror on the lives of innocent South Sudanese –free hand; while the world watched on in deafening silence with no condemnations even on moral ground.

Uganda’s President Y. K. Museveni went as far as congratulating Salva Kiir for killing innocent South Sudanese. What a world!

Because of these hopeless contradictions, thousands of innocent of South Sudanese died in the mix. And this is tragic when a rogue regime is unleashed and left unchecked.

In this regard, Salva Kiir’s regime went on rampage, murdering, raping, displacing and destroying innocent South Sudanese’s lives and properties in this unscrupulous world of paradoxes.

After a year of extreme bloodshed, when no news was a good news, when facts there were news of mass murders, raping, displacement and destruction of properties in South Sudan. When hope was so far and beyond reach.

Then, by default, President Donald J. Trump came to power in 2017 in US. Remarkably, President Trump saw the appalling flights of innocent souls in South Sudanese, in an unforgiving million ways and in unforgivable world.

Then, President Trump, moved on moral grounds, sent his top ambassador, Nikkie Haley to south Sudan to see developments, first hand. Amb. Haley was so disgusted and appalled by the flights of decomposing South Sudanese in IDP camps inside the country and in the refugee camps in the neighboring countries.

Like any sane and moral human being, Haley was taken aback by the narrated stories and experiences shared by the victims concerning Salva Kiir’s “scorched earth policy” of ethnic cleansing on all tribes in South Sudan with the exception of Dinka, where Kiir belongs.

For Trump’s administration, this experience revealed the ugly side of Kiir’s regime, and the fact that Kiir doesn’t care about the life and suffering of South Sudanese. This revelation changed the course of President Trump’s administration and its approach toward the civil war in South Sudan.

As a result, President Trump through Amb. Haley, endorsed the resuscitation of the collapsed Peace Agreement in South Sudan in the name of High Level Revitalization Forum under IGAD.

As a result, on the 21st of December 2017, the Cessation of Hostility and unfettered Humanitarian Access Agreement was signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. However, before ink went dry, President Kiir violated the agreement by sending his lieutenants and First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai on offensive in Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei States.

As a result, thousands of civilians were displaced. And as I write, this violation continues, which in many ways showcase that Kiir and his lieutenants in crime can never be persuaded peacefully.

Despite Kiir’s intransigence, on February 5th, 2018, the High Level Revitalization Forum begun. The aim of the talks is to ensure that peace returns and prevails in South Sudan so suffering of people ends.

However, because President Kiir is so removed from the reality, so stubborn, and the fact that he does not care and fear no one, his troops continued to violate the Cessation of Hostility and restricted humanitarian access to the needy.

Not only that, the regime has arrogantly refused to follow through with the rules of the talks, by overcrowding the venue with un-commissioned personalities just to show defiance and arrogance.

To make matters worse, Kiir gave a middle finger to the IGAD, African Union, EU and Troika by refusing to sign the Declaration of Principles (DoP) for the talks.

Kiir’s delegation refused to sign the DoP on the ground that article 28 on the DoP, which states that “punitive measures” be taken against anyone found to be obstructing the implementation of the peace agreement, is unnecessary and not needed.

In this regard, in my view, this is a fine and explicit defiance and test case for IGAD, AU and the Troika countries. It’s also a serious indication that Salva Kiir is not committed to any peaceful political settlement aimed to end South Sudan’s conflict.

Furthermore, the regime has today sentenced Mr. James Gatdet Dak, former spokesman of Dr. Riek Machar to 20 years life in prison and death by hanging. Note, this is happening while the region and the world is searching for peace to return to South Sudan.

Without any doubt, these undertakings by Salva Kiir are aimed to derail any chance for peace in South Sudan. Salva Kiir rendered peace talks underway in Ethiopia irrelevant and useless.

The question now is, why do we bother for something considered dead on arrival by one party to the conflict? Is this not waste of time and of scarce resources?

In my honest opinion, moving forward with High Level Revitalization Forum is irrelevant, at this point. Therefore, what must be done moving forward, and to make sure that Salva Kiir listen, is a declaration of regime change agenda.

The prospect of the High Level Revitalization Forum succeeding is highly minimal and limited. Salva Kiir’s regime has made it very difficult and revealed that he will not respect it.

With all these signs written on the wall, it’s time for the world at large to change course and abandon this delusional view that Salva Kiir and cohorts might change their minds.

President Kiir believes in military Solution and will not change his mind any time soon, comes rain or sunshine.

As such, I proposed the following grand strategies and options to achieve desirable peace and positive outcomes for conflict in South Sudan:

1. That IGAD, AU, European Union and the Troika countries should immediately suspend peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It’s rather useless to force a donkey to drink when all the indications showed his/her unwillingness.

2. That Troika countries, European Union and the African Union must convene an urgent meeting of “coalition willing” with the Islamic Republic of Sudan, and requests the Khartoum authorities to immediately suspend transportation of South Sudan’s crude oil through its territories. In return, the Troika countries, EU, IGAD and the African Union will divert all the necessary aid.

3. That IGAD, EU, AU and the Troika countries must immediately impose more targeted individual sanctions and travel ban on South Sudan government officials including President Salva Kiir himself and First Vice President Taban Deng.

4. That IGAD, European Union, African Union and the Troika countries must suspend all diplomatic ties with Juba immediately.

5. That Troika countries, EU, IGAD and the AU must immediately impose blanket armed embargo on the Government of South Sudan and suspend all financial support both military and bilateral cooperation with any Eastern and Northern Africa country found to be supporting or colluding with Salva Kiir regime, even remotely.

6. That Troika countries, EU, AU and the IGAD must overwhelmingly support military “regime change” as the only option to depose Kiir regime from power.

These must be the options to walk away with. Because, under the current political configuration in South Sudan, the region’s stability is under serious threat. Under Salva Kiir’s regime, the region is unlikely to be stable.

Evidently, South Sudan is currently a hotbed for the Al-Shahab’s financiers. Secondly, South Sudan Government is harboring and supporting Ethiopian and the Sudanese negative forces -the rebel groups.

Therefore, with these indisputable facts, it’s imperative to note that “REGIME CHANGE” in South Sudan is ONLY the best option. It will bring needed peace in South Sudan and stability to the region.

J. Nguen is a South Sudanese political commentator, analyst and advocate living aboard. He can be reached at jamesnguen@gmail.com

The facade of the International Community in South Sudan

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, JAN/25/2018, SSN;

At long last the SPLM/A in its different guises together with its off-shoots have called the bluff of the international community. For four years now the international community’s handling of the peace talks and implementation of ARCSS leaves a lot to be desired. During this period, they have left footprints of bias everywhere.

Just before the start of the revitalization talks, the international community issued strong letters sending a message that this time round they meant business. This raised the hopes of South Sudanese and for the first time the people appeared to give the international community the benefit of doubt about their conduct of the talks.

Ms Rebecca Nyandeng Garang, the widow of the late leader of SPLM/A, Dr John Garang, captured the positive feeling of the South Sudanese people in her interview with Mr John Tanza on Voice of America on 2nd January 2018.

Nyandeng expressed optimism about the revitalization talks based on the assurance she received from IGAD. This is what she said, “And I was happy to hear that IGAD said they were speaking in the same voice. Because IGAD in the other hand also have to unite their ranks and file.”

Asked by Tanza, why she was saying so, Nyandeng explained, “I say so because IGAD was divided. From 2013, even during the 2017 there are some leaders in IGAD who are supporting leaders instead of supporting people of South Sudan.”

Given the numerous violations of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed on 21st December 2017 by the government, the international community initially went mute only to issue the usual statement loaded with condemnation wrapped up with moral equivalence.

Many people have been asking what the international community is doing given their latest tough statement. Nobody has the answer and unfortunately the hopes of the people have once again been dashed. Nyandeng must be very disappointed.

The South Sudanese people have for over a year now lost faith in the international community following the naked violation of ARCSS by President Salva Kiir’s regime and its subsequent silence followed by their endorsement of General Taban Deng Gai as a replacement to Dr Riek Machar.

Why the international community as guarantors of the agreement chose to ignore Juba regime’s destruction of the agreement remains to be explained? It is something that makes many people to date to scratch their heads.

Worse still, they have gone on to isolate and confine the victim, Dr Riek Machar, the leader of SPLM/A-IO in South Africa. Machar has his own blemishes, but to put the blame of what happened in Juba in July 2016 on him to the extent of victimising him is as unfair and unethical as to reveal the internecine bias by international community against an innocent person exercising his birthright in his country’s affairs.

Machar’s isolation has proven one thing beyond doubt. His absence has not brought any peace. The war has continued unabated and this should be a reason enough to exonerate this innocent man and release him from the crude illegal confinement in South Africa.

Democracy demands that there must be a level field for all to compete for the highest office in the land. At the moment that is not the case in South Sudan. An innocent man is illegally held against his wishes in foreign land while the culprit is allowed to roam freely mismanaging the country.

This culprit, the trouble maker is in Juba. He is called President Salva Kiir, an extremely dangerous tribalist-psychopath who has already committed ethnic cleansing and continues to pose serious risk to himself, the people of South Sudan and South Sudan the country itself.

The facade of the international community in relation to peace in South Sudan dressed up in statements like, “We care for the people of South Sudan”, “There will be consequences”.. etc is unravelling before the eyes of the people of South Sudan and the world.

The revitalisation of ARCSS was meant to be a serious business. Though speeches were delivered by Troika, African Union and IGAD as mentioned above, only for the regime in Juba to instantly rubbish it by violating the CoH openly without any consequences as promised.

    The international community has lost credibility in South Sudan.

The majority of South Sudanese now wrongly or rightly believe that the international community including IGAD are conniving with the government of South Sudan against them. In a sense, the international community is viewed as part of the problem and as such they are perceived as allies of the Juba regime.

Conversations in South Sudanese circles nowaday is riddled with expressions like, “We are fighting the whole world.” This collective belief can be seen from the outcome of the National Dialogue consultations results held in Uganda and Kenya.

Please see, ’19 Things Uganda Refugees Want: An Official Summary by the National Dialogue of South Sudan’ (https://www.ssnationaldialogue.org/press-release/uganda-refugees-want-change/) and ‘Official summary of South Sudan National Dialogue in Kenya consultation in Nairobi, Kenya.’ (https://www.ssnationaldialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/Nairobi-Consultation.pdf)

Gatluke Reat in his letter to Troika titled, ‘What is the difference between Hitler’s Nazi regime and Troika today in South Sudan’ compares the activity of the International Community in South Sudan with the appeasement of the Nazi regime in Germany by some European countries in 1940s.

Although South Sudanese understand that the reigning world ideology of globalisation has made everything to be seen in monetary terms including human life, they can not understand why lessons learnt from the holocaust are ignored. It is clear that the cost of appeasing totalitarian regimes eventually out ways the benefits.

Please see (https://africanspress.org/2018/01/02/what-is-the-difference-between-hitlers-nazi-regime-and-troika-today-in-south-sudan/).

Boumkuoth Gatkouth writing a week after the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement (CoH) questions whether the process would be fruitful. He highlighted the continuous silences of IGAD on the violation carried out by the government.

In his article, ‘The IGAD-led High Level Revitalisation Forum & Its Prospects’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/the-igad-led-high-level-revitalization-forum-its-prospects/), Gatkouth concludes that IGAD is not neutral and can not be trusted.

Why is the international community losing credibility in South Sudan? Primarily there are three drivers. These are: direct intervention of IGAD member countries in support of the Juba regime; the application of policy of moral equivalence by Troika; and the failure of African Union to protect the “African person”.

When the conflict broke out on 15th December 2013 with President Kiir targeting and cleansing the Nuer people around Juba, Uganda joined the Juba regime on pretext of stopping genocide.

The reality on the ground was completely different. It was the government of President Kiir that was committing genocide on the Nuer people. How could Uganda then stop genocide by aiding the genocidaire? This is a question that Uganda needs to answer.

Uganda even sent its jet fighters to bomb the Nuer who were fighting to defend themselves from the Juba regime in Bor using internationally banned cluster bombs.

In addition to this President Yoweri Museveni visited Juba on 30th December 2013 and said, “We gave him [Machar] four days [agreed that] if he doesn’t [comply with the agreement], then we shall have to go after him. That is what we agreed on.”

Please see, ‘South Sudan – Uganda’s Museveni threatens Machar over ceasefire’ (https://africasustainableconservation.com/2013/12/30/south-sudan-ugandas-museveni-threatens-machar-over-ceasefire/).

This declaration by President Museveni on behalf of the regional leaders clearly proves that the region sided with the Juba regime. This explains the fact that none of the countries in region condemned the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer by the Juba regime. The crime was hashed up.

The other country in the region openly siding with the Juba regime is Kenya. Both Uganda and Kenya to date often allow Juba regime’s security agents to kidnap South Sudanese exiles in their countries.

Now all these countries are members of IGAD and given their collusion with the Juba regime, is it any wonder why peace is difficult to achieve. We move on to the Troika.

When President Kiir unleashed his tribal militia known as Mathiang Anyoor on 15th December 2013 to cleanse the Nuer in Juba, everyone who was in Juba was horrifically shocked.

Hilda Johnson, former Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nation in Juba at the time records her observations of the grave crime in her book, ‘South Sudan The Untold Story: From independence to civil war’, on chapter 6 under the subtitle, The Nightmare. The Nuer cleansing in Juba was witnessed by the whole world.

When I talk about the world, I mean all the representatives of the foreign governments in Juba witnessed it. In spite of this fact, the world outside South Sudan was kept uninformed and as a result no country to date has condemned Juba for the grave crimes it committed. The UN and the Troika countries kept their mouths zipped up.

Following the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer and prior to April 2014, the international community did not condemn the grave crimes against humanity committed by the regime.

However in April 2014 when the Nuer wrongly and unacceptably retaliated by killing people in Bentiu, Akobo and Bor, the international community swiftly reacted by rightly condemning the opposition for these heinous acts.

Unfortunately from then on it embarked on a policy of moral equivalence. If the Juba regime commits a crime, the international community will wait until the opposition retaliates and thereafter it will condemn both sides equally.

A good example of their application of this policy is in the areas of sanctions and press releases. All the so called targeted sanctions in South Sudan have been equally applied on the warring parties.

Surely, this can not be right. In any conflict there must be a culprit and in the case of South Sudan the Juba regime without doubt is, yet it has never been held responsible.

Eric Reeves, senior fellow at Harvard University, elsewhere argues that the balancing of moral equities plays into the hands of the aggressors.

I agree with Reeves’ argument because in my view it psychologically distributes the guilt to all the actors which in a sense absolves the wrong doer from acknowledging the reality of his/her actions and the responsibility that accompanies it.

Further, this policy has the potential to fuel the conflict and keep it going endlessly as both sides get corrupted with time and believe that their position is right.

The problem with this policy is that it suggests those applying it do not have a moral position/responsibility on the issue at hand. But is this really true? What has happened to the values flowing from the instruments of the various resolutions of the United Nations?

What has happened to the Western values of justice and fairness? Perhaps South Sudanese are not perceived as humans enough and thus do not deserve to be treated as such.

The history of European interaction with Africa speaks for itself. Its vestiges may be what are in the policy of moral equivalence applied to South Sudan. Here is where African Union should have been of help, but perhaps it may have moved on and forgotten about the value of the “African person”.

The report of African Union Commission of enquiry in South Sudan (http://www.peaceau.org/uploads/auciss.final.report.pdf) which went through sieving many times before its release clearly captures what happened in Juba in December 2013.

African Union as the body with power over IGAD has been expected to play supervisory role to make sure that the issues presented in the report are addressed adequately to provide lessons for the future in relation to the continent.

Thus for the sake of the “African person” (the civilians, women, children and old persons being raped and killed) it should have exercised maximum supervision on the conduct of the peace talks and the implementation of August 2015 Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS).

So far the indication is that it did nothing. So, when the Juba regime violently destroyed the peace agreement by turning the city into a battle field in July 2016 forcing the former Vice President Dr Riek Machar out of the country into the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudanese expected the guarantors of the deal and the international community including African Union to hold the regime to account.

Surprisingly, like in 2013 they did not condemn the regime but went on to reward it for violating the agreement. Without exception they endorsed President Kiir’s blatant decision to install Mr Taban Deng Gai as vice president.

All these were done in a lightning speed without any enquiries on the fact that the population of Juba were criminally exposed to serious danger by the government.

Unlike IGAD, the West African regional body ECOWAS regardless of the interest of the member states seems more competent in handling political conflicts efficiently in that part of Africa. When former President of Gambia Yahya Jammeh was voted out in December 2016, he attempted to stick to power by depriving the winner Adama Barrow.

ECOWAS acted swiftly to protect democracy. It mobilised a regional force within a short time which saw Jammeh off with no violence, and the winner Adama Barrow installed in power. Well done ECOWAS for standing up for democracy in Africa. You make the average African person proud.

So South Sudanese for the last four years have been watching some of the regional countries openly supporting the regime that is tormenting them; Troika’s application of equal moral equities and the failure of the African Union to protect them helplessly while their suffering continues.

Now they are making sense of their experiences and translating that into a belief that they are on their own. Are they not right?

Whether the talks in IGAD succeed or not, it does not matter. South Sudanese are beginning to discuss ways of finding their own solution to their problem. That by default is empowerment.
[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com
@elhagpaul

The Opposition in South Sudan must either self-finance or perish!

BY: Samuel Atabi, South Sudanese, JAN/21/2018, SSN;

The African anti-colonial and independence movements fighting in 1950’s and 60’s were a lucky lot. There was a glut of military, financial and political support, coming mainly from the anti-capitalist socialist countries led by the Soviet Union and China.

Most of the post-independence African rebel groups were/are not that lucky; they had to struggle to get any support, not only from fellow Africans but also from beyond.

Among the post-independent strugglers for self-determination could be found our very own Anya-Nya, the separatist group that was first led by the Catholic priest, Fr. Saturnino Ohure.

The Anya-Nya had an uphill task of getting both recognition and funding. It was shunned by the newly-minted members of the Organization of African Union (OAU).

The OAU was against any group which sought to change the borders of the newly independent nations on the continent, as bequeathed by the departing colonial powers.

Further afield, the Anya-Nya message of separation from an Arab country elicited no sympathy: the national interests of the Western nations dictated them to side with the Arab north as petrodollars from the Arab Middle East were flowing into their financial market and economy.

The socialist nations, on the other hand, steered clear of the separatists as they negatively reminded them of their own separatist agitators back home (for example among the Tibetans and the Caucuses region).

Deserted by both fellow Africans and the world, the Anya-Nya was left to devise its own means to finance the war effort. It embraced trading with other ‘pariah’ movements like the Simba, a Katangese separatist outfit that was equally shunned by the world.

The Anya-Nya was able to batter ivory from our elephants, for guns and bullets which were supplied by the Simba.

But, the fortune of the Anya-Nya never remained bleak for ever, it changed dramatically, when, following the 1967 war between the Israelis and the Arabs, the former opted to give limited but crucial training support to the Anya-Nya.

Later, this limited relationship threatened to blossom into a very dangerous level (from the point of view of Khartoum) when General Idi Amin overthrew the government of Milton Obote of Uganda in 1971.

Obote was a fanatical believer in Pan Africanism, an OAU ideology that underpinned the inviolability of the colonial borders referred to above. He used to arrest and jail leaders of the Anya-Nya whenever they crossed into Uganda.

Amin was sympathetic to the cause of the Southern Sudanese and was therefore suspected of giving military support to the Anya-Nya. Amin was also very friendly to the Israeli.

Thus suddenly, the future looked bright for the Anya-Nya.

But then, the leaders in Khartoum saw this too and, to preempt any escalation in the war, it decided to make peace with the Anya-Nya. In 1972, the two sides to the war signed a peace agreement also known as Addis Ababa peace Agreement.

This proves one of the usually overlooked points about the leaders in Khartoum: they have the ability to recognize ripe moments for peace.

In 2005, they saw the writings on the wall and sued for peace, again.

The Addis Ababa agreement was shuttered in 1983, when the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (the SPLA) was launched to fight the Khartoum government. Like the Anya-Nya, the SPLA had no ready support on the continent, again for the same reasons.

However, this time, the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, who had overseen the Addis Ababa peace Agreement, was already deposed, and a ‘socialist’ government of Mengistu Haile Mariam was in-charge of the country.

At the time, Mengistu was embroiled in a war against a separatist insurgency in Eritrea. Ethiopia had suspected that Sudan was supporting the Eritrean insurgents.

This suspicion made it easier for Mengistu to support the SPLA but not before the SPLA publicly renounced separatism as its war objective. The Ethiopian support probably comprised mainly of territorial sanctuary, political cover and military training.

The real major military support for the SPLA is reputed to have come from the late Libyan leader, Col. Muamar Gaddafi.

The Libyan leader was known to be a generous military supporter of insurgent groups, particularly those fighting what he termed as imperialists.

He was accused of being the supporter of the Irish Republican Army, the IRA, which was battling the British in Northern Ireland to force the unity of the two Irelands.

In 1986, Gaddafi was reported to have supplied the IRA with a massive 105 tons of weaponry. On the ship which ferried the weaponry to Ireland were 40 general-purpose machine guns, 1,200 AK-47s, 130 revolvers, over a million rounds of ammunition, 20 heavy Russian-made DHSK machine guns, RPG-7 rocket launchers with grenades and a number of SAM-7 missiles (1).

The SPLA is believed to have received a similar amount of weaponry, from Gaddafi.

Financial support to the SPLA was and has been shrouded in secrecy, but is thought to have come from various sources including business adventurers, Arab sheiks, sales of illegal commodities (timber, gold, and diamonds) resale of relief goods and others.

Despite this support, the SPLA was unable, on its own, to force the Khartoum government to a negotiating table. This was basically because the SPLA system had lacked a coherent ideology and military discipline and was blighted by corruption.

The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the SPLA and Khartoum was a result of pressure exerted on the latter by the US and the wider international community.

The corruption, indiscipline and lack of clear vision, among the ruling SPLA leaders, of how to develop the new nation of South Sudan, have led directly to the present internecine civil war among the people of South Sudan.

Since 2005, the SPLA leaders have pillaged and stolen from the state coffers with abandon and impunity. Many of the SPLA leaders both in government now and those in the exile are very rich people.

Some of these leaders have formed armed groups to fight their erstwhile colleagues in Juba.

Like the Anya-Nya and the SPLA before them, these myriads of small armies cannot attract external military and financial support. Yet, their leaders are not prepared to fund these guerilla armies using some parts of the stolen monies.

The autocratic government in Juba, on the other hand, now has complete freedom to plunder the oil dollars and spend them freely to obtain weapons.

The government is also aware of the dire financial strait the opposition is in and has now come up with a strategy to sit them out by refusing to accept meaningful dialogues.

This government strategy of attrition has been given a boost by the attitude and the stance of the Mediator (IGAD, Troika, and AU).

It is now obvious that by leaning hard on Sudan, a country originally suspected of supporting the SPLA-in-Opposition (SPLA-IO), members of the Mediation have effectively cut weapon and ammunition supply to the rebel.

Yet, the Mediator has failed to curtail supplies of arms to the government, which should have provided a balanced approach.

Furthermore, the Mediator has contrived to decapitate the opposition leadership when they decided to put the leader of the SPLA-IO under house arrest, far away from the theatre of the war.

Again, there is no an equivalent action taken by the Mediator against the leadership of the government in Juba.

When these moves are combined with unfair mediation practices shown by IGAD (e.g. the government also has a seat on mediating team), one can very clearly see the overall game plan: that of strengthening military, political and diplomatic position of the government to defeat the outgunned, poorly funded and leaderless opposition.

The shortsightedness of these maneuvers by the government and its supporters in the mediation team is obvious.

It is not useful to rehearse here what the deleterious consequences of these moves are, but it is important to reiterate the legendary resourcefulness of South Sudanese freedom fighters to overcome adversities as happened in the past.

The emerging new leaders of the freedom movements will turn these adversities into a virtue.

The protracted nature of the next phase of war, wrought about by the government and the mediator machinations, will help to entrench the ‘hatred’ of the oppressive system and of those implementing it among the fighters and the wider population.

This hatred will provide the ideological underpinning necessary for perseverance in the fight against the enemy until victory is achieved.

Additionally, the absence of any external support to the opposition will provide the incentive to develop a home-grown means of generating funds to buy the necessary equipment and armament to prosecute the protracted struggle.

The opposition will sell gold, diamond, and even uranium, to all comers for arms or cash. In extreme cases, the opposition and their followers will change their Christian faith for Islamic one if that will bring them freedom.

This is not as outlandish as it sounds because those ruling in some neighboring countries did convert to Islam in order to obtain military support.

Historically, thousands of Jews, when being persecuted by the Nazi, had to accept Christian baptism to gain freedom (2). One cannot blame them for this.

It is not yet too late to solve the South Sudanese problem. END

References: 1. Ed Moloney (2002). A Secret History of the IRA. Penguin.
2. Giles MacDonogh (2009) 1938 Hitler’s Gamble. Constable.

Predicting South Sudan Future under Taban Deng and Pres. Kiir and problems to come

BY: DANIEL JUOL NHOMNGEK, KAMPALA, UGANDA, JAN/04/2018, SSN;

Perhaps, it may be important to begin this article with the quote from Margaret Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister and stateswoman who was once stated that, “power does not corrupt men, fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.”

This is exactly what is going in South Sudan, which is the subject of this article.

I cannot say that those who are in power in South Sudan are fools but if they corrupt power as they are doing now then they fit to be described as such.

This article therefore attempts to predict what will happen in some time to come in South Sudan if South Sudan continues to be run by both Taban Deng and President Kiir Mayardit.

In particular, the way Taban Deng is dealing with and relating to the president of South Sudan leaves much to be desired. Taban’s dealing with the President now appears that he has ulterior motive and there is likelihood that it will be too late before South Sudanese discover that Taban has already taken power.

Taban is going to take power in three or so years to come because he is now busy to apply the principles found in the Book entitled 48 laws of power.

In that Book, Robert Greene and Joost Elffer discuss the principles one must follow if he or she is to get into power. Some of those principles are—
….first, Never outshine the master;
….second, always make those above you comfortably superior;
….third, when you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy…
….Fourth, never put too much trust in friends,
….fifth, learn how to use enemies;
….sixth, conceal your intentions;
….seventh, always say less than necessary; eighth, make other people come to you—use bait if necessary;
….ninth, win through your actions, never through argument;
….tenth, learn to keep people dependent on you;
….eleventh, use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim; etc”.

The above principles are the ones Taban Deng is using in South sudan in an attempt to get power. Taban is trying to make President Kiir as much comfortable superior as possible. This implies in practice Taban has to be snobbish, sheepish and submissive in serving the president.

In other words, Taban does not want to question anything or say anything that is contrary to his boss, the president’s views as he always pampers him with all kinds of words such as “my president”.

This is despite the fact that though Taban may know that things are not alright in South Sudan, he does not want to question anything or say anything that the president may not like because his mission is not to serve South Sudanese but to be closer to the president as much as possible with the hope that he will get power with time, which is shown by steps he took so far to come closer to power.

The first step for Taban to power was (as majority of South Sudanese know), was overthrowing Dr. Machar through crookec means in 2016 hence throwing the country into further turmoil.

Therefore Dr. Riek was the first big causality of Taban’s quest for power even though many fundamentalists in the SPLM have not yet understood and what the target of Taban Deng Gai is.

The ultimate target of Taban is to become the president of South Sudan whether by fair or crooked means. Hence, Taban is using all means available within his reach to get to power.

In fact, I have described SPLM supporters above as fundamentalists because they do not accommodate opposing views contrary to what they believe in and any person who holds contrary views is branded as a rebel. This provides cultural medium to the maneuvering techniques of Taban to power since he is an appropriate candidate for SPLM party that likes praises and flatters.

The above observation in relation to Taban does not take a person much time to make as any person who might have been keenly observing South Sudanese unfolding problems since 2013 to date would have discovered that Taban is at the centre of the entire crisis that befell the country.

For instance, the study of the root causes of the present war pins Taban down as he is a major player in the outbreak of the war.

The actions of Taban has shown that he has been planning how to get to power and in order to do that he has to find a way of passing his superiors such as Dr. Riek Machar. Thus, the first plan for him was how to get resources. He put that plan into action by misappropriating resources that were intended to reconstruct the Unity State after the civil war between South and North of Sudan.

Taban corrupted oil money besides two percentages (2%) (That was intended to build area where oil is drilled from) during his governorship and it is that money he used later in 2013 to fund the present war before he joined the government in 2016.

As the events have disclosed in the process, the intention of Taban of financing the war using the money he corrupted was not to fight for Dr. Riek but to instigate the war that would lead to Riek leaving the SPLM party to make a room for him as he considered Dr. Riek as an obstacle to him getting power.

This plan succeeded in 2016. This fulfils common view he holds that one of the people who deny him power is Riek, and if Riek were to get out of the way, he would become the president of South Sudan.

After having done away with Dr. Riek, Taban has been confirmed by the President of South Sudan as first Vice President while Dr. Riek Machar is wasting away under house arrest in South Africa. However, the beneficiary of Dr. Riek Machar and South Sudanese suffering is South African Government of which unconfirmed report points out that it is now receiving $ 450,000 monthly as a fee for keeping Dr. Riek under house arrest.

In fact, with Dr. Riek out of political scene and Taban at the centre of power, his next move is to consolidate power and if possible to become the president of South Sudan sooner or later. There is a real fear that Taban is likely to get power in South Sudan as long as Kiir is still the President of South Sudan for the following reasons—

First of all, Taban uses money and because of that he corrupts the system to get as much money as he can in order to use the money later to buy people to support him. For instance, since he was appointed a governor until 2013, the two percent (2%) of oil money that was supposed to be used for development in Unity State was never used for the development as it was intended.

It was that money Taban used to finance the war since 2013 to 2015. Though he financed the war his intention was not to maintain the war in order to ensure he put Dr. Riek presidency but just to put Dr. Riek into deeper problems so that he has access to power easily which happened in 2016.

It is therefore hard to defeat a person like Taban in a country like South Sudan where poverty is high. The use of money and the weakness of the President make it likely that Taban will take power which will take the people of South Sudan by surprise.

Secondly, Taban has completely weakened the SPLM party as he is the real man behind the decision of the president of South Sudan to sack the members of the party and SPLA officers. Taban being a dealer, he has created a very strong network within the government as some of the ministers and advisors to the president are his friends.

These ministers and advisors are the ones who hold fate of all civil servants and army in South Sudan and whatever they have said is the law. Hence, whether the president likes it or not, whoever they have recommended to be removed or to be appointed can be removed or appointed as they wish.

It is in relation to the above we see General Malong and his associates being removed from power as a way of weakening Malong and by implication the president. This is because the approach of Taban in getting power is two-pronged: the first step is to weaken the government by smuggling in his right hand people who serve his interest.

The ultimate goal of Taban is to weaken the SPLM party that has been making it difficult for him to get power and instead to create the SPLM version that will work in his favour.

The plan of Taban is to isolate the president and other strong members of the SPLM so that he later does away with the president with ease. In actual sense, Taban is creating a SPLM party of dealers that will control the system not the country and then later use the system funded with the oil money to silence all the critics. At that point there will be no Dinka nor Nuer to support their leaders as it is the case now.

However, it is not that he will create a nation but he will create a super tribal body composed of different dealers from different tribes who will deal with their tribes either through fair or crook means hence weaken the spirit of tribalism as well as the spirit of nationalism.

Though this analysis (how Taban may get power) may be correct, the president of South Sudan and his supporters will never understand it or agree with it because they don’t accommodate different opposing views as they don’t like opposition or someone who tells them the truth; hence, they will rather be with Taban Deng who flatters them than someone who tells the truth.

Thirdly, as a strategy of remaining the First Vice President, Taban will never accept peace with Riek Machar or rebels as long as their coming back to Juba affects his position. Since he has all money it takes the whole South Sudan to have it, Taban will use as much money as possible to ensure that peace does not come.

It is because of the same reason the kidnapping of the members of the opposition is common in Kenya contrary to the international law. He might have bribed some elements in the Kenyan Government to help him achieve his unbridled desire for power by rooting the rebels out from Kenya.

Fourthly, Taban will never accept peace to prevail among civilians within South Sudan since some sort of peace will always be a threat to his position as citizens will be able to speak one voice and question his ability to be the First Vice President.

This is why he has been accused of leaving his national position and gets involved in the issues of tribal land back home between his tribe and Ruweng people.

And at the same time he and his friends inside the state house will always tell the president that things are going on well on the ground in different part of the country thus the president stays in J1 while lives of the citizens keep on deteriorating all the times due to rampant insecurity.

This strategy is to keep the president out of the reality and to keep citizens engaged in tribal war to ensure that he gets power with ease.

Fifthly, one of the reasons Taban is pushing for the reunification of the SPLM party is to ensure that he is confirmed in the position of the first Vice President. With the affirmation in that position, he will at any time become the next leader after the president or in case anything happens to the President he automatically take over.

Fortunately, FDs have understood this ploy and therefore not ready to risk, which explains the collapse of reunification deals many times.

Sixthly and finally, Taban Deng Gai is likely to take over power unless there is external intervention to oust him. This is because the president will not be able to control him given the fact that President Kiir does not analyze the movement of a person as long as that person does not show opposition to him.

After taking over power, the following are the problems as discussed below—
…..First of all, as soon as Taban takes over the power he will dismantle the SPLM part completely and move towards Khartoum by introducing the Arab style of governance. This is the system of governance where security apparatus protects the presidency not citizens, where the president is above the laws of the country while he or she is being protected by strong personal security sweet coated with national security title, consequently, the country will be highly insecure as citizens will be acting as informant on each other. All these will be intended by Taban to build power base for himself and his cohorts.

…..Secondly, Taban will run South Sudan like a king as he does not respect the law. His negative attitude towards the law was seen when Counsel Wani successfully challenged the decree of the president appointing ministers to East African Community Parliament.

At that time reacting to the news that the East African Court of Justice had nullified the Presidential decree, he was quoted to have said that the action of Wani was an embarrassment to the country and to the president because to him the action of the president is not supposed to be challenged in law.

This shows that Taban does not respect the law and if he becomes the president of South Sudan, the people will have to forget about the rule of law, which by implication means that corruption and bad governance in general will flourish under Taban Deng Gai.

…..Thirdly, disunity and unknown gunmen will be common in South Sudan. All these will result into South Sudanese rising against the President Taban and he will die like Gadafi or if not removed he will finally die in power leaving South Sudan in more crisis than now.

In summary, the above discussed predictions and problems will happen in South Sudan unless the citizens of South Sudan realize earlier that Taban is not a reformist but dealer that will use the state for his own benefits to their detriment and the only way to save South Sudan is not to allow him become president of South Sudan. END

The Author is a lawyer by profession; he graduated with honors in law from Makerere University, School of Law. He participated in various workshops and training in community law and community mobilization in awareness of their constitutional rights in Uganda.

He is the member of Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC) and NETPIL (Network of Public Interest Lawyers) at Makerere University; he is currently doing research with NETPIL on private prosecution; he is trained in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR); he participated in writing Street Law Handbook on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Uganda.

He can be reached through juoldaniel2003@gmail.com or +256784806333.

Administrative Corruption, Nepotism, Injustice and Discrimination in South Sudan

BY: Hüstin Läkü, USA, DEC/2017, SSN;

This paper discusses military, police, prison, customs, wildlife, foreign services officers and public servants promotions, assignments and deployments system in South Sudan. The paper argues that since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA 2005-2011) and Post-Referendum eras, promotions, assignments, deployments, recruitments, hiring and rehiring of organized force personnel, foreign services officers and public servants lack fairness, transparency and equity.

This is one of the many reasons that led the country into this current political and humanitarian crises as well as the culture of killings, rape of young girls, boys, women, and aid workers, land grabbing, looting of civilians’ properties with impunity, because Kiir, Gen. Malong, Gen. Achuil Tito and Jieng council of elders assigned and promoted illiterate, unqualified, incompetent, untrained, and inexperienced close relatives, son-in-laws, daughter-in-laws, and tribesmen/women in important and sensitive government institutions to run these government offices as Animal Farms.

The culture of discrimination, injustice, unpunished crimes committed by SPLA soldiers, killing, rape and land grabbing of non-Dinka in their areas, dated back to the liberation time and it is not something that started under Kiir, but during the liberation era.

It is said that the SPLM commanders and leaders brainwashed many young persons whom they recruited to ignore the ethnics of their culture all in the name of freedom from Khartoum.

An independent eye witness recalled one of the commanders in the Rumbek area who started attacking unarmed civilians even though he fully knew it ran against the ethnics of the Dinka law never to slay an unarmed person and similar events of Rumbek are been repeated in the independent South Sudan.

Kiir has just perpetuated it and developed it to high level with the support of the unpopular Dinka militia groups known as Mathiang Aynor, Gelweng and Dothubany.

Further, it argues that the current dysfunctional state of affairs in South Sudan is clear evidence of a mess created by Kiir, Jieng council of elders (JCE), Mathiang Aynor, Gelweng and Dothubany.

Finally, it sheds light on study carried out from June to December 2017. As this is work in progress, the study faced some limitations in accessing complete data on some individual officers and foreign services officers.

The study shows that, there are injustices, discriminations, and lack of fairness and equity in recruitments, hiring, rehiring, promotions, assignments, and deployments of non-Dinka in government institutions. The paper offers concrete way forward and it commences with promotions, recruitments, hiring and rehiring policy in the Post-CPA and Referendum periods.

Only a year or two after the CPA came into effect, Gurtong online newspaper has published an article on the unfair distribution of positions in the Ministry of Justice under Michael Makuei. Gurtong made it very clear that, there was a dominance of Dinka in all Southern Sudan government institutions as well as organized forces.

Therefore, knowledge of this has been going on for a long time, but nothing was done or taken seriously by the international donors, African Union (AU) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The fear of dominance by the Dinka in the liberation movement was clear in the proposals of federalism coming from 64 ethnic intellectuals.

In the Post-CPA period, the promotions, recruitments, hiring, rehiring policy was designed to favor SPLA/M cadres of two ethnicities of Dinka and Nuer. Within SPLA/M non-Dinka cadres were deliberately deprived of promotions, deployments and assignments and most were placed on non-active lists, while their Dinka cohorts were promoted to high ranks and assigned to lead important and sensitive organized forces departments in non-Dinka states.

Dinka government in Juba is using similar tactics of former Sudan – suppressing opponents specially Equatorians, the fathers of federalism and Kokora…. It is payback time!

Below are some examples to illustrate administrative corruption, nepotism, discrimination and injustice against non-Dinka in organized forces, foreign services and public services. This same discriminatory policy under the Khartoum era that is, promoting northerners in higher military and public services positions over competent southerners is what led in part to the mutinies and liberation wars of 1956 and 1983.

Hence no surprise what occurred in the South. Same discriminatory patterns prevailed. The 2016 South Sudan Police Service promotions process was planned, and doctored at Gen. Achuil Tito’s, Chief of South Sudan Police, residence in Juba.

Maj. Gen. Salah Samsona was born in Juba, and citizen of Central Equatoria State (CES). Gen. Samsona is a graduate of a Conflict Resolution program and School of Management, school of law, Omduraman Al-Ahlia Universities (OAU) and Sudanese Police Academy.

Gen. Samsona was forced into early retirement and placed on non-active list, while illiterate Majak Akec Malok without formal education and police training was promoted three times in a short period of time from Colonel to Brigadier, Major General, finally to Lt. General and assigned as Director of Nationality, Passports, and Immigration.

On the other hand, highly qualified, experienced, competent, well trained and skillful non-Dinka officers who held similar positions in the former Sudan’s Directorate of Nationality, Passports and Immigration were either demoted, deprived of promotions, assignments and deployments or placed on non-active list.

Moreover, Gen. Salah Samsona is same cohort 47 as Lt. Gen. Syed Chawul Lom. Both officers worked in Khartoum for many years where Gen. Chawul was dismissed three times for breach of police work ethics and conflict of interest.

During the CPA period, both Generals were reinstated into South Sudan police services, and Gen. Chawul was promoted to rank of Chief of police while Gen. Samsona with a strong academic background in policing, law, conflict resolution and management and experience, was placed on non-active list (see the 2005-2016 South Sudan Police Service Promotion Lists).

Atem Marol is citizen of Jonglei State, SPLA soldier with no knowledge and experience and skills in policing. As a result of administrative corruption and nepotism Gen. Achuil promoted Marol to Major General and assigned him as Dean of South Sudan Police College in Rajaf, to replace Major General Martin Wani.

Gen. Wani is well qualified, experienced, professional Sudan Police Academy with many graduate and post graduate degrees in policing, security and legal studies.

These practices of Kiir’s government explain why South Sudan Police system is not efficient, and corrupt and the police are using color of their authorities to kill, terrorize, rape, and arrest non-Dinka and detain them at South Sudan National Security (SSNS).

The current detainees at the SSNS are all non-Dinka mostly from Equatoria States and there is no one detainee from Kiir’s home State of Warrap and JCE States (See detainees list of period of 2015-2017).

Maj.Gen. Rhabi E. Mujung was born in Juba, and citizen of (CES). Gen. Mujung is a graduate of School of Sciences Management with emphasis in Business, University of Juba, South Sudan; Sudanese Military Academy; the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) in London, U.K. Gen.

Mujung was a classmate and roommate of King Abdullah II of Jordan. He holds Certificates and Diplomas in Standard Military Course (SMC), and Regular Career Course (RCC) and Certificate in senior military Command and Leadership from the US-African Strategic Research Centre.

Gen. Mujung is well-respected senior military officer who commanded several fronts during the war of liberation and by far is the most qualified, experienced and skillful SPLA officer, but as a non-Dinka he was deprived of promotions and benefits such as vehicle and others for over 10 years, even though he is an SPLA officer who fought in Southern and Eastern Sudan bushes, while illiterate Paul Malong without formal education and military training was promoted to Lt. General and Chief of Staff of SPLA to preside over qualified, competent, experienced, skillful and senior non Dinka Officers (The 2005-2017 SPLA Promotions List).

Brigadier Joseph Kornelio is a citizen of Western Bahr Al-Ghazal and member of Fertit ethnic group. Brig. Kornelio is a graduate of Sudanese Military Academy 1978, cohort 27. Brigadier Kornelio is very senior and highly qualified having the rank of Brigadier, this is an example of a non-Dinka highly qualified, but reinstated at lower rank despite his extensive and outstanding military career experience.

Similarly Col. Juwang Taktak, is a member of Murle ethnic group. Col. Taktak is a graduate of Sudanese Military Academy in Khartoum in 1988/cohort 38. Col. Taktak was reinstated at the rank of Colonel, this is another example of discrimination.

Brigadier. Oben George, is a citizen of Upper Nile State and member of Shilluk ethnic group. Brig. George is a graduate of Sudanese Military Academy in Khartoum in 1981/cohort 30.

Brigadier. Obour Chol, is a citizen of Upper Nile State and member of Shilluk ethnic group. Brig. Chol is a graduate of Sudanese Military Academy in 1981/cohort 30.

Both Brigadiers George and Chol are very senior, highly qualified officers than both Paul Malong and James Ajongo, the current Chief of Staff. Both Malong and Ajongo experiences and academic backgrounds cannot match the two Brigadiers’ experiences and skills and will never come close to these non-Dinka senior officers.

But the worst case of all is William Philip Subek. Officer Subek is a citizen of Central Equatoria State. Officer Subek is a graduate of Sudanese Military Academy, reinstated in the organized forces in South Sudan, then demoted to rank of Sergeant, while his Dinka cohorts and illiterate Paul Malong and others such as Gordon Buay were promoted to full Generals, assigned and posted to D.C., as Deputy Head of Mission. Buay holds B.A., in legal studies from Carleton University in Canada, and never had any professional job in Canada nor a one-day military training.

Both Dr. James Alphonse and Dr. Lado Luate are citizens of CES, and graduates of School of medicine and Sudanese Military Academy. Both Doctors were placed on the non-active list without assignments in the country though there is a need of well qualified and experienced medical doctors.

Dr. Alphonse and Dr. Luate’s junior Dinka officers were assigned to take charge and be responsible in the military hospital in Juba. For further details about discrimination and injustice within the organized forces, please, consult the attached promotion lists.

Similarly, most of public service senior positions are filled in by unqualified Dinka and well-trained and competent non-Dinka lawyers and judges are either fired for no legal reasons, deprived of promotions and assignments.

Dr. Sam Taban, citizen of (CES). He holds Ph.D., in International Law (I/L) from Poland and worked abroad for many years and returned to help rebuilding broken legal system in South Sudan. Dr. Taban returned to South Sudan and joined Ministry of legal Affairs in 2011 and dismissed early this year 2017.

Justice Jeremiah Swaka, is a citizen of CES. Justice Swaka holds LLM, and law Degrees from University of Khartoum, and M.A., in Conflict Resolutions from University of Juba. Justice Swaka was a senior judge in Southern Sudan in 1980s and Khartoum in 1990s as well as legal Advisor to Sudan Council of Churches in Khartoum in 2000s.

Like Dr. Taban and Dr. Gerey Raimondo, Justice Swaka was dismissed early this year for no reason. Unfortunately, their dismissal occurred in a time where broken legal system in the country requires their expertise.

Ambassador Francis F. Nazario is a citizen of Easter Equatoria State (EES), and a member of Acholi ethnic group. Amb. Nazario holds Ph.D., and M.A., in Political Sciences from France and B.A., from Khartoum University. Amb. Nazario was South Sudanese Deputy Head of Mission in New York, was fired and replaced by a cook helper related to Kirr.

To be fair, and to its credit, Juba regime in fact did promote some non-Dinka loyalists, political disciples of JCE, and other Judases of injustice to high ranks and senior political positions.

The overall tactics and strategy of loyalists’ promotions are to suppress their intuitions, silence and buy their hearts through appointments to conceal the regime’s rape of foreign aid workers, land grabbing crimes, killing campaign against farming communities in Equatoria states and other parts of the country.

The promotions and appointments of non-Dinka loyalists and political disciples of JCE are meaningless if injustice, discrimination, and administrative corruption, domestic terror campaigns and land grabbing still continue.

The regime placed political disciples of JCE in key positions in order to protect the regime’s national and international images, as well as to protect JCE interests in the non-Dinka States.

As John Isbister, the Canadian economist, argues in his book, ”Promises Not Kept, Poverty and the Betrayal in 3rd World Development,” the former colonial systems sent sons of African middle classes to study in the U.K., France, Belgium and Portugal and the purpose was to condition them and later send back to Africa in the Post-Independence era to replace colonial masters/mistresses and to protect the latter’s interests in Africa (Isbister, 2006).

However, the good news according to the African liberation bible is that, some loyalists have realized that the era of self-interests and personal gains are coming to an end and change of hearts is a must, and as a result they formed military resistance and political opposition groups to effect change in the country.

On another hand, some loyalists and political disciples of JCE still maintain their positions within the corrupt system as well as turned blind eye to injustice, discrimination, administrative corruption, inequality and the policy of Dinka tribal dominance Kiir’s regime in South Sudan.

Here is a list of some promoted loyalists in the CPA and Post-Referendum eras, both non-Dinka and Dinka and JCE political disciples who saw the point of Isbister’s arguments and realized they were being used to further the colonialists’ agenda and decided to form opposition against Juba regime:
Dr. Riek Machar,
Angelina Teny,
Gen. Thomas Cirillo,
Gov. Joseph Bakasoro,
Dr. Lam Akol,
Paul Malong and
Suzanne Jambo, former SPLM National Secretary for External Relations.

In e-mails exchange with diaspora members, Ms. Jambo had this to say:
Landi and the good reverend Andrew Henry, Nyatom et al,You guys are so tired of washing dishes and doing dirty manual work in Europe, USA etc… you think your best bet is an 11th hour wake up call to ‘keyboard unguided missiles throwing serve’ your nation after 15th Dec 2013.
If you google some of us, you will see our remarkable career history – some of us are here purely to serve our Nation. So please don’t slither and salivate over nothing. More is yet to come brethren!

Now the former loyalists are fighting the injustice, discrimination, promotion, assignment, and deployment deprivations policy of Juba regime.

The injustice, discrimination, promotion, assignment, and deployment deprivations also include non-Dinka officer graduates of Sudanese military, police, prison, customs and wildlife academies and universities who have served under the national government of former Sudan with competency, efficiency and effectiveness have been reinstated and integrated into South Sudan organized forces at lower ranks, while their peers of the same class were promoted to ranks as high as Major General, Lt. General, Director and Director General.

The integrity of these services and the morale of the officers are threatened by a situation where officers who have been active in duty have been left behind, whilst those who have been out of service for many years or even abroad are reinstated and promoted to high ranks and assigned in high positions.

The issues of promotion, assignment, deployment deprivations were addressed to President and the First South Sudanese Minister of Interior, late Alison Magaya many times, but all efforts yielded no positive results.

Additionally, there are no mechanisms for countering such injustices and any move to resolve is blocked by Dinka Chief of Police and the Minister as well as all complaints landed in the hands of Dinka.

Most of Dinka officers who were members of organized forces in the former Sudan and some have lived in the Western countries for many years with their knowledge of the organized forces system forgotten and out of date were reinstated, promoted, assigned high positions and deployed in important and sensitive organized forces Directorates; meanwhile, outstanding non-Dinka officers with excellent performance records, excellent academic credentials and strong experience are overlooked in promotions and deprived from constitutional rights as well as assignments and deployments.

Unfairness in the reinstatement and promotion process for the South Sudanese officers has demoralized the effectiveness of organized forces. An inequitable environment for job security and advancement in the service results in organized forces incompetence, inaction and corruption, rather than motivating officers to work hard to deter and prevent crime, such as the high rate of killings in Juba and other parts of South Sudan.

Officers have a right to ask why priority for reinstatement and promotion is being given to officers who spent many years abroad and promotions of one ethnicity of Dinka only.

Promotions, assignments, deployments, and postings are designed to serve interests and benefit of JCE members, while demotions and non-active list for non-Dinka especially, the Equatorians, Fertit groups and Nuer. Demotion, deprivation of promotions, assignments, deployments and disarming non-Dinka during Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Standards program (IDDRS) was a sign of one ethnicity hegemony and domination (See 2010-2011 Report of Lakes State Investigation Commission).

The Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Standards program (IDDRS) failed, because the Southern Sudan government plan under Kiir and JCE leadership was to disarmed non-Dinka only, armed Dinka and permit their cattle under security protections to graze in the land of farming communities in Equatoria State resulted in inter-communal conflicts. The policy of arming one ethnicity is the source of current violence, fighting and killings in Lakes region which left at least 170 dead. This is evidence of arming one ethnic group in Lakes, Warrap Northern Bhar Al-Ghazal and Jonglei against the others (Reuters News: December 12th, 2017).

For instance, below are some reasons why DDR failed in Southern Sudan.
Yet the participants from Wau and Aweil, who began the process [DDR] as late as mid-2010, appear equally ineligible. Instead, the verification process is flawed at multiple levels.
The verification problem persists today. Despite calls from the international community for better accountability, and with the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (SSDDRC) apparently unwilling to challenge the SPLA on candidate selection, there remains no external, independent verification process. As a result, there are few disincentives for SPLA state commanders to falsify information or use the DDR programme as a kind of social service to assist selected individuals who have already returned to civilian life (Small Arm Survey, p.7&8, Number 17, May 2017).

The deprivation of promotion, assignment, and deployment study shows that, JCE nepotism, administration corruption, discrimination and inequality is targeting well qualified and trained, experienced, skillful and competent non-Dinks officers in all organized forces as well as across government institutions. For instance; the recent unfair dismissal of Mr. Avelino Andruga, Head Teacher of Rumbek National Secondary School is another targeted non-Dinka qualified public servant (Ministerial Order Number 32/2017, November 30th, 2017).

The purpose of this study is to help the international community, Troika, IGAD, AU and Members of Opposition negotiation teams with valuable and substantive evidence of discrimination, administrative corruption and injustice in the current security sectors, organized forces and public services in South Sudan. It is also clear that, the country was built on the dominance of one ethnic group-the Dinka to control administrative, economic, military and political powers. Furthermore, this may explain why Nuer were targeted in the senseless December 2013 senseless civil war, because Nuer is perceived as a threat to Dinka hegemony, defeats JCE Master Plan and now the system turns against federalist supporters-the Equatorians.

This current injustice and discrimination in South Sudanese organized forces and public service serve as catalyst for future instability and spoiler for peace agreement implementation, nation and state building, peace building, power sharing and power division unless injustice, discrimination and deliberate demotions of non-Dinka issue should be address and give full attention in the current peace revitalization talks in Addis.

The paper argues that, the current peace revitalization in progress is litmus test for the stakeholders to consider the following issues: SPLA and all organized forces should be dismantle and new ones should be establish and rebuild from bottom up, new system of recruitment should be establish and must be based on entrance exams and merits to avoid future political crisis as well as administrative corruption, nepotism, injustice and discrimination in public services and organized forces. As some in the international community such as Hilde Johnson believes firmly that, the current war grew out of apolitical crisis and turned ethnic (Johnson, 2016). My paper shows that is only part of the story. It also grows out of an ethnic crisis in which one group wishes to dominate all the 60 ethnic groups.

The way forward

The administrative corruption, injustice, demotion and deprivation of promotions, assignments, and deployments are deliberately planned under the JCE Master Plan (See The 2015 Dinka Development Plan (DDP)), and for South Sudan to move forward, the peace revitalization process must factor into future Peace talks and agreements the following:

Political system: urgency to draft New Federal Constitutions, and dissolve current parliament.
Requirement to be an M.P.: Minimum: High School Certificate.

Electoral Constituencies: Redrawing Electoral constituencies map base on population’s size.

Council of States (120 Members): Its Members should be elected and in an event of appointment by President, it’s members should be representatives of 66 ethnic group. For instance, each ethnic group should have 2 members in the Council of States
Requirement: Minimum: High School Certificate.

Security Sector: dismantle current SPLA, security organs and organized forces and rebuild and develop national South Sudanese Army Forces (SSAF), police, prison, customs, wildlife, and other security organs that reflect national character. Recruitment should be based on quotas system, entrance exams, medical fitness, background checks as well as merit. The mandate of SSAF is to defend the country and it’s Constitution. Police and other sectors are for internal security only.
Requirement: Minimum: High School Certificate.
Promotions: Should based on performances, medical fitness, practical and written exams.

Public Services Recruitment: should be based quotas system on the three regions.
Requirement: Minimum: High School Certificate

Foreign Services Recruitment: should be based on quotas system of the three regions.
Requirement: Minimum: University Degree, and M.A., and foreign languages is an assessed

Governance system: Should be based on Confederation of the three regions of Equatoria, Bahr Al-Ghazal and Upper Nile. The Confederation system should be based on a consultative constitutional forums to decide Confederation, but Swiss model of Confederation is the most suitable for South Sudan. The Constitution Review should be based on the South African process that lasted over 2 years.

Negotiators should make sure that element of revitalization of peace agreement must include SPLA and other security sectors restructuring and complete rebuilding new national organized forces, otherwise South Sudan will revisit ordeal of July 2016.

Stability of the country and peace agreement implementation will only hold when newly trained, qualified, experienced and competent personnel are recruited and composition of new South Sudan defense forces reflects representatives of 60 ethnicity.

South Sudan has 60 ethnic groups (The House of Nationalities,2002, p.19,&53) and it is not fair for groups such as Swiss peace, United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Chatham House UK based Think Tank and other INGOs that keep promoting one sided ethnic view on the current political crisis in South Sudan rather than promoting inclusiveness. Through their consultative meetings, conferences and interns programs. The current behavior and practices of these groups are helping Dinka hegemony and domination in the country.

This past summer of 2017, Swiss peace organization hosted conference on South Sudan and invited only members of one ethnic group to participated in the conference in Switzerland, similarly, USIP hosted two interns one is Dinka and Nuer for couple months in the U.S., and Chatham House hosted several consultative meetings on the current political situations, but only extended invitation to members of one ethnic group to represent the country. I do hope Swiss peace; USIP, Chatham and other groups will not transfer Juba regime’s unfairness policy to international space as well as refrain from promoting one ethnic group through their intern programs, conference, and consultative meetings and be on the right side of history.

In a nutshell, the mess South Sudan is in today and current political and humanitarian crisis are result of unfairness policy, the one ethnic group domination, control of administrative, economic, military and political powers, and administrative corruption, discrimination, injustice and nepotism.

Peoples of South Sudan fought successive Khartoum’s regimes, because of unfairness, injustice, inequality, favoritism, preferential treatments and discrimination in the old Sudan, and some of South Sudan military, Police, Prison, customs and wildlife officers are experiencing similar administrative corruption, injustice, inequality, nepotism, and discrimination, nepotism, favoritism and preferential treatments in the current South Sudanese system. Peace without justice and equality is not a peace, it is tribalism.

© Hüstin Läkü,Sr

Is a native South Sudanese, and educated in South Sudan, Sudan, Egypt, Germany and Switzerland. His current research topic Title: Evaluating South Sudan Governance: From Perspective of Federated Forms and/or Devolution. Moreover, Hüstin has lectured on Sudanese issues in the United States, Canadian universities, the Canadian military academy in Kingston, Rome, Berlin, Innsbruck, Geneva, London, Slovenia and Amsterdam. Hüstin is recipient of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr life time Dream keeper Award, and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Model for Humanitarian. He speaks Arabic, French, and Deutsch and read and write Greek and Hebrew.

Juba Nuer Massacre and other Massacres like It: Need for accountability

BY: J. Nguen, DEC/19/2017, SSN;

This brief excerpt discusses the Juba Nuer Massacre and other Massacres like it. Juba Nuer Massacre is by fare one of the deadliest, most notable and tragic ever in South Sudan history and in African’s context.

Juba Nuer Massacre is the most noxious in terms of human cost and it has dealt a profound impact in the lives of all South Sudanese both the victims and villains – the perpetrators.

Today marked the 4th year when innocent Nuer civilians were murdered innocently in cold-blood on 15 of December 2013 by the Government of South Sudan. Members of the Nuer Community were murdered in their thousands in their houses, on the streets and hotel rooms simply because they were Nuer.

Thus marked December 15th, 2013 as one of the prime testimony when any sense of humanity and one’s citizenry were besmirched by men who call the shots in South Sudan, particularly the president.

By all accounts, President Salva Kiir was ill-advised and prompted to commit a callous mass murder of 20,000 innocent Nuer civilians based on their ethnicity.

Four years on, nobody in his/her right mind would deny that members of the Nuer Community were targeted and summarily executed in their thousands by the State.

The mass murder of innocent civilians Nuer was planned and directed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit himself.

Independent investigation reports such as the African Union Peace and Security Commission, led by former Nigerian H. E. Olusegun Obasanjo confirmed that Juba Nuer Massacre was a “state policy”. It was simply put as a State-sponsored massacre against one ethnic group, the Nuer by the State.

This narrative was also collaborated by Rights Groups such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, United Nations Security Council, and above all, through the way in which the mass murder was executed.

For example, members of Nuer Community were searched from house to house, identified and executed.

Other security reports also showed another disturbing detail on how innocent Nuer civilians were rounded up and savagely murdered in cold-blood.

These reports indicated that Juba was divided up into four quadrants –called killing zones. Each killing zone was assigned to one of Salva Kiir Mayardit’s lieutenants with specific instructions.

The instructions were search, identify and execute the Nuer. Without any doubt, this specific instruction was effected with remarkable precision and debilitating effects on the victims.

In four (4) days, Salva Kiir Mayardit and his lieutenants were able to kill 20,000 Nuer civilians and sent thousands of thousands to the United Nations’ Protection of Civilians (POC) bases in the capital, Juba.

By any major assessment, this marked the Juba Nuer Massacre by far one of the rarest and unique state planned genocide in African historical context.

As such, I would like to remind my readers that this is not the first time members of the Nuer Community were targeted, rounded up and murdered in cold-blood by a supposedly legal authority in the Sudan, particularly in Southern Sudan.

In 1985, Gajaak Nuer were mass massacred by the Sudan People Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A) led late Colonel Dr. John Garang de Mabior.

Thousands of Gajaak Nuer civilians were killed following a similar merciless lust to kill or take a human life at will without any ground as in 2013.

Evidence showed that Gajaak Nuer were massacred in their thousands in their huts, farmlands and cattle camps without any alleged crime committed.

In 1993, three thousand (3,000) innocent Gawaar Nuer civilians, women and children were put ablaze alive in Ayod, South Sudan by the same SPLM/A under late col. Dr. John Garang.

To put this into perspective, the men who commanded and executed this mass killing were Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk, the current Minister of Defence in the Republic of South Sudan and Gen. Pieng Deng Majok, the current General Inspector of the Police also in the Republic of South Sudan.

In this context, people may only recall and remember the iconic picture taken by South African photo journalist, Kevin Carter of child being plunged by a vulture while starving.

It’s good to stress that these mass murders against innocent Nuer civilians were committed by personalities from one community and this speaks volume in terms of tribal body politics in South Sudan.

However, the notable difference between these massacres such as the Gajaak Nuer Massacre in 1985, Ayod Gawaar Massacre in 1993 and the Juba Nuer Massacre in 2013 is the fact that South Sudan was not a sovereign state both in 1985 and 1993.

Also, even though the Gajaak Nuer and the Ayod Gawaar Nuer Massacres were so bloody, so nasty and as brutal as Juba Nuer Massacre in 2013, members of the Nuer Community were not fed with their dead relatives’ flesh in 1985 and 1993.

Similarly, Nuer boys were never castrated and left for dead as in 2013. And more importantly, the SPLA’s soldiers were instructed to rape Nuer females, young or old and soldiers not instructed to set up rape camps in lieu of their rations as it was in 2013.

The other fundamental difference that ought to be mentioned in both instances is the style of leadership during these massacres. In fact, late Dr. John Garang never ascribed to any tribal inclination both in 1985 and 1993 as opposed to Salva Kiir in 2013.

So much so, Dr. Garang did not in any occasion had a slipped of the tongue fantasizing the Dinka X and Nuer Y as opposed to Salva Kiir in 2013.

As a matter of fact, President Salva Kiir has openly accepted that Nuer civilians were targeted and he was in charge.

Finally in this regard and to late Dr. John Garang’s credit, Garang maintained the composer and stature of being a national leader even though he was just a mere rebel leader under big trees in the bush.

Subsequently, this brings me back to today’s memorial, December 15th 2017. Across the globe, members of South Sudan communities are commemorating Juba Nuer Massacre and other Massacres like it.

Thus, it’s imperative to underline that this massive loss of lives and notable absence of the senses of nationhood and nationalism were perfected and promoted by Salva Kiir.

Salva Kiir’s mindless act in 2013 is to blame, Salva Kiir has destroyed South Sudanese’ social fabrics.

South Sudanese no longer see themselves as one people, whose relations were cemented by the blood of their martyrs who died during the 21 years’ war of liberation.

As a consequence, survival of fetish took a centre stage and became mode of ensuring existence and to prevent extermination of one ethnic group by the State.

In this regard, the Nuer -the victim community took upon themselves to rescue themselves from pre-mediated ethnic cleansing. Young men and women across Nuerland were forced to take arms and take to the bush to fight and die with dignity.

With these contradictions, South Sudan ceased to be a stable nation but a failed state. As such, our sense of nationalism evaporated and got lost in the mix.

The pride of nationhood for which many of my colleagues and I fought for in the bush for 21 years is thrown overboard.

Instead, criminal organizations such as the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) took the centre stage and the driver’s seat, perfecting their selfish interests in the name of the Dinka community. This has landed us in the abyss.

However, leading up to today’s commemoration, I saw some sense in the youth of South Sudan. This time around, I noted with keen focus that youth and learned young men from other communities, particularly from the Dinka Community came out and acknowledged the mass killing of members of Nuer community in Juba by the state.

This is a positive sign and right spirit in the right direction.

As such, I like to mention that Dinka as a community did not partake in the planning and execution of the Nuer civilians. Few brainwashed youth from Barh El Ghazal region were used.

But, it’s sensible to mention that Dinka community name was also used as pretext by Dinka selfish politicians.

Majority of the Dinka were dumbfounded by the magnitude of the crimes committed by their own sons against Nuer. The speed in which the massacre occurred traumatized many Dinka. As a result they didn’t know how to respond.

Now, the truth has been laid bare that President Salva Kiir is responsible for killing 20, 000 Nuer civilians. That the mass murder of the Nuer caused the current civil war in the country.

To this effect, I like to stress that we need to seize the opportunity by continuing acknowledging the truth before it’s too late.

Also, I like to urge all South Sudanese to not accept any peace agreement that does not include justice and accountability. Failure to hold those responsible for the crimes committed in South Sudan is a receipt to future revenge and possible scramble and partition of South Sudan.

J. Nguen is a South Sudanese advocate, analyst and political commentator. He can be reached at jamesnguen@gmail.com.

ARCSS and HLRF: Last or Lost Chance for Peace in South Sudan?

By James Okuk, PhD, Juba, DEC/13/2017, SSN;

“Tell people in power that something they tried didn’t work as expected” – Peter Ross. “A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation” – Edmund Burke.

The above quotes are the essential secrets of success or failure of countries. This wisdom from Ross and Burke should guide the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) and its outcome. The warring parties should seize the opportunity as the unavoidable last chance for sustainable peace. There is no room or patience left now for accommodating the unending senseless war any longer.

The Revitalization of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) must change the tainted image that the country has acquired since 2013 crises to date. It should rescue South Sudan from its current situation of hopelessness and fragility. It must prevent the new country from premature disappearance into annals of history due to its trifling resistance to change for dignified happiness.

It is high time for South Sudan to be confronted truthfully to quickly regain the confidence of its lucky territory (644,329 km2) and the inherent abundance of virgin resources (oil, gas, gold, teak, mahogany, ebony, gum arabic, sweet water, tame and wild animals, proud and liberal people, etc..) located in the naturally blessed tropical savannah climate of agriculture.

Article 1 (1)(2) of the Constitution of South Sudan has correctly defined it the sovereign Republic straddling Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile with boundaries of January 1, 1956, including Abyei Area of the Nine Ngok Dinka Chiefdoms transferred from Bahr el Ghazal Province to Kordofan Province in 1905 and as defined by the Abyei International Arbitration Tribunal Award of July 2009.

Article 1 (4) also provides for decentralized multiparty democracy and homeland for multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-racial people of South Sudan who should co-exist peacefully, including with their other African neighbors: Sudan (border of 2000 km) to the North, Ethiopia to the East, Kenya to the South East, Uganda to South, Democratic Republic of Congo to South West, and Central African Republic to North West. Egypt also claims to be a neighbor of South Sudan through links of history and Nile River.

Building on the international relations and long history of liberation struggle, the Republic of South Sudan has opened 29 Diplomatic Missions Abroad (with bigger number in Africa, followed by Europe and none yet in South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Oceania).

South Sudan has also become a member of multilateral international and regional organizations (e.g., UN, AU, IGAD, ICGLR, EAC, etc..) and has been obliged to commit itself to preservation of international peace, security and cooperation.

Many countries and international organizations have also established their diplomatic ties and opened their offices and residences in Juba. Numerous humanitarian agencies have also been operating in South Sudan, engaging the local counterparts and distribution agents, especially after 2005 and more from 2013 to date.

Nevertheless and despite all these interactions, South Sudan has remained vulnerable and upside-down state surviving virtually on humanitarian reliefs by NGOs and ‘Lords of Poverty’ promoted by ‘Masters of Crises’. Why? War and bad governance, stupid!

Given the above-mentioned circumstances, South Sudan shouldn’t be tolerated further or treated as an exceptional nuisance in flesh of the region and international community.

The heartbreaking statistics on its 13 million population (i.e., 64 tribes and communities) must not be taken lightly: over 2 million displaced to neighboring countries and more as illegal migrants without refugee records, about 2 million living as vulnerable IDPs even in Juba the Capital City, over 6 million living as food insecure in their original settlements and threatened by hunger during the dry season, over 70% living below and even beyond poverty line in urban areas alone, 3 digits of upper numbers defining hyperinflation in the market, unthinkable diminished purchasing power of public servants due to valueless salaries they receive late after months of waiting and resilience, severe humanitarian need for ordinary people who have no alternative means or lucrative tactics of survival, high rates of death from treatable diseases, alarming illiteracy magnitude with over 2 million children out of basic schools, uncontrolled migration of frustrated youth overseas and at times trying their luck in the deadly Mediterranean Route, Vicious Routines of attacks of residences by the known or unknown gunmen, etc..).

Faced with the despairing and disgusting dynamics of all the above bad news caused by the on-going civil war and man-made suffering, well-wishing keen persons should ask their conscience: Is it immoral from the international community and the region to impose peace into South Sudan by any means possible and without second thought on doing this immediately?

What good did political leaders of South Sudan in the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) achieve so far in the interest of ending the war and pursing real peace and legitimacy for them to continue ruling by getting free-of-charge extension of their term in public offices?

What is attractive and promising about the opposition outside the TGoNU that its leaders must be included in power sharing for the unending transitional periods in South Sudan?

What is new about the IGAD mediation and JMEC this time round that we should be really optimistic for safeguards of the long-awaited sustainable peace and development in South Sudan?

The last opportunity granted in the HLRF for South Sudanese leaders as well as for the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) and IGAD-Plus to commit themselves seriously and accountably to the revitalization of the ARCSS, should serve as final wakeup call for all.

The critical evaluative focus should be placed on ARCSS paralysis and its oversight ineffectiveness so that repeat of failure of ‘African-solutions’ is not regenerated intentionally.

Good governance, security, humanitarian assistance, economic dividends and credible democratization should be seen emerging urgently from the new approach for peace and progress.

The Terms of Reference for the HLRF are already clearer in this direction (i.e., Enforce Permanent Ceasefire, Implement the ARCSS Fully, and Revise the Scheduled Timelines Realistically for Elections to be Conducted Credibly Towards the End of Revitalized Transition Period).

The tricks and tactics used by many South Sudanese politicians and their attached armed groups to cling or ascend to power under pretexts of indefinitely extended transitional periods must not be entertained again.

It is commendable that the IGAD Special Envoy, the Cool Excellent Ambassador from Djibouti, has taken his time keenly to consult and know South Sudanese better before jumping into the conclusions of the HLRF, which will kick off on 18th – 22nd December 2017 in Addis Ababa and as new realities of the situation emerge.

Thereafter, it should be known in black and white who are the malicious ‘bad guys’ wanting the new country on the world map to be defined by vicious statistics and who are the virtuous ‘good guys’ working for peace.

It must also be underscored that the devil around peace deals in South Sudan is not really in the multiple mediations or negotiations and tendencies for ‘forum shopping’, neither in the inclusivity or transparency; but in the missed and messed pudding of implementation processes that often flop from scoring the targeted goals effectively in time.

Even if multi-dollar fund is poured in abundantly for peace-making, peace-keeping and peace-building or humanitarianism, still the absence of the necessary political will from leaders of South Sudan and the region shall continue to take us back to undesirable ‘Square One’ (especially when the same failed methodology and personnel are s kept intact to run the repeated futile show without facing the intransigence sticks).

This detrimental haggling misconduct and insensitive unchanging attitude raises this essential question for pondering: what is so honeying and milking inside government, military, political parties, and opposition groups of South Sudan that rigidly makes leaders and their supporters not to think of surviving in dignity elsewhere at private sector, civil society zone and faith-based institutions?

The bitter truth about the embattled South Sudan must be honestly exposed and confessed for the ARCSS Revitalization to succeed, including regaining the lost confidence in liberty, justice, penance, reconciliation and healing to prevail at last.

The Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) was signed in August 2015 by the Parties (GRSS, SPLM-IO, SPLM-FD and OPP), Adherents and other South Sudanese Stakeholders under Guarantors of leaders of IGAD countries and international witnesses of the Troika (i.e., U.S, U.K & Norway) as well as other international partners/friends.

All the parties, especially the GRSS and the SPLM-IO, were advised to withdraw their reservations.

They were also cautioned to avoid the mentality and precipitous interpretation of the ARCSS as if it was the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, where the original SPLM/A of Chairman Dr. John Garang and his lieutenants came back home from liberated areas and bushes of rebellion to share power and wealth (i.e., oil revenues mainly) with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in the 25 states of the Sudan.

Special upper control and privileges of autonomous government were accorded to the SPLM/A in the 10 states in the South and with capital in Juba.

Unlike the CPA,the ARCSS was launched with little hope and faint optimism in practicality of its ambitious roadmap for enabling South Sudan to rise up again in dignity during 32-months transitional period and beyond.

It was wished that the deal will stop the devastating hostilities of the civil war and its horrible human rights abuses and disgusting humanitarian law violations.

Hence, the JMEC’s Chairperson and his Deputy were rushed into Juba for a miracle but to find themselves in limbo of complications of ‘peace-war’ politics (local, regional and international), and without clarification by IGAD Mediation whose Three Envoys put off their hands on the ARCSS after it was finally signed by the President of the Republic of President at Freedom Hall in Juba on 26 August 2015.

These Envoys (all retired army generals) from Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya didn’t want to be bothered further as they thought to have accomplished their mission. Nothing was significantly heard about them again on the trap of ARCSS implementation.

The principal warring parties of that time (SPLM-GRSS and SPLM-IO) could only trust the show of their balance of military power, including VIP guarding units in Juba and troops deployed in other parts of their respective controlled territory in South Sudan.

Particularly, the SPLM/A-IO Leader was hesitant to set foot in Juba without seeing significant boots of his own trusted guards and relatives on the ground.

Planes and Cargos were hired to transport them and their heavy armaments to the Seat of the TGoNU, while at the same time pressing the GRSS to demilitarize Juba (except for a sizable Presidential and VIPs guards) to a distance of 25km outside.

The First Vice President was sworn in, Ministers were appointed, and Presidential Advisors announced without proper procedures and bases in the ARCSS and with impatient to wait for promulgation of the new transitional constitutional (which didn’t see light after that).

Also the parties to the ARCSS failed to collectively apologize to the people of South Sudan for the wrongs caused by their unworthy violent conflict in 2013 and onwards.

They couldn’t act jointly to conduct public rallies in Juba and other parts of South Sudan to declare the end of war (with its pervasive incentives, distorted propaganda, irrational arrogance, mediocre pride, disrespect to the rule of law, and mobilization of fighters and supporters on destructive tribal and regional sentiments, etc).

They failed to build confidence in culture of harmony and peaceful socialization in South Sudan. They provoked the economy to ‘take up arms’ against the people, adding to the suffering caused by wild guns. The bad business went on as usual without change.

It was a wrong and false start for ARCSS implementation. The darkness haunted later as the tricky situation allowed the dwarf alligators to become giant crocodiles in the TGoNU, confusing the JMEC’s leadership to distinguish the hyenas in sheep skins from real peace agents.

The inherent ARCSS’ contradictions didn’t take longer to explode after the TGoNU was lately formed in 2016. The political will to move on as a coalition ‘government of bitter enemies’ was not seen around any corner of the TGoNU’s leadership.

It proved so difficult and itchy to allocate the First Vice President an Executive Office space adjacent to the Office of the President as it used to be in the past.

The RPGs and PKMs of his bodyguards were demonstrably lethal for a serene atmosphere to prevail.

The Presidency couldn’t agree on anything constructive and well-wishing in the interest of fast-tracking the ARCSS implementation, particularly after the complications of the unilateral Republican Executive Order 36/2015 for the establishment of 28 states to replace the 10 states and impose a de facto situation as a retaliation by the GRSS against what its politicians and council of elders detested as an imposed peace deal.

Also the SPLM/A-IO continued to operate in parallels on its 21 bush states, governors and commissioners, and with tribal communities and all types of opportunists flocking to the SPLM/A-IO Leader at his Pagak II in Juba’s suburb while troubles signs on the wall were clear for a possible bang.

The IGAD’s Council of Ministers’ Communiqué, which authorized a formation of boundary committee to resolve the complications of the 21 and 28 states, fell on deaf ears of obstinacy.

Even the TGoNU’s Council of Ministers couldn’t discuss anything critically relevant to the implementation of the ARCSS; sometimes it failed to meet for ‘lack of agenda’ but also for fear from possible backlash of the heavily armed troops guarding the President, First Vice President, Vice President, Minister of Defense, Minister of Interior, among other VIP guards.

Somatization of Ministries Complex and streets of Juba was real. The agreed demilitarization or cantonment of forces was just a dry ink on ARCSS Paper.

Nothing admirable was positively seen on the ground in the interest of Cessation of Hostilities, Permanent Ceasefire and Peaceful Security Arrangements as stipulated in Chapter II of the ARCSS.

Thus, it was not a surprise for many critical observers to witness the pungent military showdown in Juba when the guarding forces of the principal TGoNU’s leaders started searching and shooting themselves as legitimate targets in June 2016.

This culminated in the Real PlayStation Film and close-ranged Dogfight that took place among the Presidency Guards, letting loosed finally the clouds of hell that was hovering around the Presidential Palace (J1) during the extraordinarily emergency security meeting of the TGoNU’s top bosses.

The residents of Juba had to see the lethal live fireworks that they had never witnessed once, especially after the fifth Independence Anniversary was suspended two days before the show of SPLA military might.

From then the hope for peace via ARCSS was put into critical balance with the Old Man from Botswana and Representatives of International Community in Juba getting jumbled by the fast evolving renewed war situation, right on their helpless watch. Alas!

The First Vice President and his surviving 700 guards and some political supporters had to escape death narrowly after smelling terrible smoke from the sky and dust on the ground around their temporary residence in Jebel area (Pagak II).

The spree of shooting, killings, looting and raping of South Sudanese and foreigners alike became so scaring (e.g., spraying live bullets on bullet-proofed American Embassy’s Marked CD Car that was carrying high ranking staff, vandalizing Terrain Hotel and abusing its residents to the extent of fatality of a journalist, looting stores and warehouses of humanitarian agencies, all at a close vicinity and clear watch by the UNMISS Peacekeeping Forces).

The Airport and exits from key transportation installations in and around Juba became inaccessible and unsafe. Despair about the relapse to 2013 situation got renewably real.

The ARCSS was seen to have fallen apart, especially when some prominent Ministers of the TGoNU resigned and declared rebellion.

The UN Secretary-General was furiously stunned as he conducted an urgent press conference to condemn the unjustified renewed fighting, calling the ToNU’ Principals “failed leaders”.

The IGAD’s Council of Ministers had to convene urgently for an extraordinary meeting in Nairobi, especially when it was discovered that the 17,000 UNMISS troops were helpless to help in keeping peace at that tormenting moment (including inside their own camps and fenced civilian protection sites around them).

They didn’t want to die for the right cause of discharging their mandate of protecting the civilians and keeping peace using any means disposable.

Hence, Regional Protection Force (RPF) was recommended and authorized for deployment in Juba to stabilize the situation, protect the civilian, and guard the airports and key installations.

The RPF was endorsed unanimously and quickly by the AU and UN Security Council in 2016, attached with some targeted sanctions against fee individuals and possible arms embargo on the country as a whole in case the civil war failed to get deescalated and resolved.

Now with the unacceptable gloomy reality of war-torn South Sudan, what must and what should be expected sufficiently from the ARCSS revitalization?

Stopping the damning war in order to build and develop the naturally blessed South Sudan on fundamental pillars of human rights and civil liberties needed for realistic social contract between the people and their legitimate government of peace. No more destruction!

The post-war South Sudanese state must be reformed and restructured federally and democratically on this foundation and without losing the legacy of historical struggle of its ancestors against all forms of inhumanity.

It should adapt to the dynamics of political environment and establish strong institutions and functional processes of good governance, matching with globalization requirements.

It must also be acknowledged that the people of South Sudan and their well-wishing international partners and friends, have lost confidence in the TGoNU, in the opposition, and in the neutrals who have remained silent in the face of unleashed evils on the land.

Three years of the transitional period have almost been wasted against ARCSS implementation as promised and mandated legitimately for action by: 3 men in the presidency, 30 ministers and 8 deputy ministers in the 29 ministries, 400 MPs in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, 50 MPs in the Transitional Council of States, Civil Servants in all Public Institutions, Officials in the National Commissions and Parastals, Justices and Judges in the Judiciary, JMEC’s Members and Leadership, Political Parties, Media and Public Opinion, Civil Society Organizations and Academia, Faith-based Organizations, and other pressure or interest groups.

The revitalization process should avoid the ‘Nirvana fallacy’ of letting the situation sort itself on wrong perceptions.

It should also avoid keeping South Sudan as hostage of unending transitional governments, which is used by the unpopular politicians as the easiest gateway for ascending to power and capturing state resources on a short-cut treachery without real scrutinized mandate from the people.

Peter Schuck in his Book ‘Why Government Fails So Often’ (2014) cautioned for vigilance against entertaining politicians who are mostly short-sighted, selfish, partisan, lazy, opportunists and hypocrites, especially where citizens live in apathy, cynicism and ignorance.

Thus, all post-war eggs of South Sudanese Republic must not be put in politicians’ baskets. Some eggs should wisely be reserved for alternative baskets of strong independent Judiciary with robust Constitutional Court, for vibrant Civil Society, and for Honest Faith-based institutions, as a strategy of guaranteeing the safety and preservation of the South Sudan species against the deeper tipping cliff of any political dooming abyss.

There should be strict follow up mechanisms and sustained honest pressure, regionally and internationally, to enforce and safeguard the revitalized ARCSS implementation for good governance, stable security, serviceable humanitarianism, and economic recovery and growth.

Tough lessons must be learnt from past blunders on the ARCSS. The roots causes of the conflicts must be diagnosed correctly and settled amicably for good.

Legacy of ‘liberation-ism’ with its strong link to fallible faith in unconventional military victory must be shunned as untenable for the liberal tribal loyalty, difficult geographical terrains, infrastructural underdevelopment, and uncontrollable intrusion of neighboring countries or foreign allies into internal affairs of South.

The Senseless War must and should be declared as totally unsustainable for South Sudan. The bad situation has become like ‘big snake in tunnel’ whose poison sprays into all directions.

On one hand sufficient sticks must be prepared to knock down warmongers. On the other hand attractive carrots must be availed for awarding those who are willingly to implement the revitalized the ARCSS, in letter and spirit.

It is no longer a matter of inclusive power sharing and enjoyment but restoration of the lost dignity of the hard-worn Republic of South Sudan above any parochial interest of an individual or a tribe.

All the diverse people of South Sudan and their respective leaders must all be empowered without undermining anyone or entity, be it the smallest or the biggest on the land.

Armed forces must be distanced from active politics, from political parties or movements, and from tribes and regions of South Sudan, so that they are re-oriented and transformed into true national defense forces loyal to the unity of country than divisiveness of individual commanders or tribes.

Among all the scenarios, peace and sustainable security must be the only choice worth revitalizing for South Sudan. The war shouldn’t be given any further chance to eat away the original DNA of South Sudan (though 90% of its lifespan has been spent in war situation and humanitarian catastrophe).

The revitalized ARCSS should be supported sufficiently for it to create a fertile ground for seedling the terribly needed culture of peace and development in South Sudan.

Tenacious technocrats must emerge from within South Sudanese themselves (after serious character scrutiny) to help put their country on correct path of good governance with categorical rule of just law and strong non-partisan public institutions.

No last or lost chance. The Republic of South Sudan must and should become Peace, Peace and Peace!
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Dr. James Okuk is Professor of Politics in the University of Juba and Peace-building Consultant in South Sudan. He is reachable at okukjimy@hotmail.com.

Divided Rebellion, Indifferent government & the Politico-Military Impasse in South Sudan

BY: Kuir ë Garang, Author and commentator, NOV/12/2017, SSN;

“I need blankets. It is cold at night and I don’t want my children to get sick,” said the 23-year-old Rebecca Barnaba, a mother at Doro camp in Upper Nile State. But who’s listening?

It’s very clear in South Sudan that none of the political groups that claim to be the one with the interest of South Sudanese at heart is actually playing their verbal claims. They only attempt to exonerate themselves from Juba failures while consolidating their positions and potential power-sharing as future stakeholders.

Undoubtedly, South Sudan has reached a politico-military impasse. The rebels have markedly confused politico-military agendas and they have no strong military means or strategies to oust the leadership of President Kiir.

Their personal interest-driven agenda is actually turning them against one another. If their interest is political reforms or rescuing the country from descending even further into the proverbial rabbit hole, then their interests would have been aligned and united in a concerted strategy to launch a single front against Juba.

Unfortunately, we know that liberating South Sudan is far from the agenda of these once power-players in Juba.

Like the tribalized government in Juba, these rebel groups become the abode of tribal agendas dressed-up as liberation forces. How can a national leader recruit a tribal army and expect to have a national appeal?

How can such tribal militias whose purported agenda is to remove the failed Juba regime fight one another and expect to succeed?

Essentially, rebellion, as conceptualised and exercised by the current rebel leaders, is by no means a panacea to our political ills in South Sudan as such a strategic move requires wise, solution-focused, military-political strategist and an individual with an appreciable sense of selflessness.

So far, most, if not all, the satellite rebel groups, are after creating a negotiation and power-sharing front in the future political process.

As Aristotle once said, “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”

We are all angry in South Sudan – ALL OF US – but what are we using our anger for and who are we aiming it for? For rebel who purportedly took up arms against Juba, one wonders why they are ‘angry’ with their fellow rebels? It’s all about POWER!

However, these leaders will inundate us with exorbitant and ambitious claims of fighting to democratize Juba and bring freedom to the people of South Sudan.

By forming satellite, tribally-based rebel groups instead of uniting under a single force, these leaders have shown us that this is not about fighting for the people of South Sudan but power.

Since being a rebel with a fighting force makes one heard, rebelling to get a national and international profile, has become a normative, power-exercise reality in South Sudan.

However, the readers should know that I understand the reasons behind these leaders rebelling and I understand the extent to which president Kiir’s government is damaged and tribalized beyond redemption.

However, the manner in which rebellions are being formed and led will only lead to more suffering instead of positively bringing a complete political overhaul in Juba.

After forming his new rebel movement, National Democratic Movement in September of 2016, Dr. Lam Akol had this to say: “The National Democratic Movement (NDM) was born to wage the struggle, together with others in the field, against the totalitarian, corrupt and ethnocentric regime in Juba that is bent on dragging our country into the abyss.”

Akol added that, “It must be clear from the outset, the NDM is not just for change of personalities in Juba to replace them with others of the same feathers; it is out for a radical change in the country that will bring about genuine state-building and nation-building.”

In an interview with The Messenger in March this year, the leader of National Salvation Front (NSF), Thomas Cirillo Swaka, claimed that he is “Inspired by the spirit and need to create a new political dispensation in the country that is based on the principles of democracy, unity and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms anchored in a federal structure as the basis for uniting and rebuilding the country, the National Salvation Front is the movement determined to fight for a New South Sudan in which all its citizens will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.”

While these leaders have strong reasons for leaving Juba and the words quoted above appreciable, I doubt if their chosen methods to change the system in Juba would work. Until such time when these leaders unite, they’ll just be some territorial warlords in the bush.

What makes Lam and Cirillo think that they can do better than Dr. Riek Machar of SPLM-IO is something I would want to see. Reduced to a prisoner in South Africa with his movement only nominally functional and forces fighting without clear strategic plan, Riek Machar will have to admit his failure.

If he cannot use his leadership skills to prevail on South Africa to free him, then how can Riek Machar help South Sudanese?

Again, as long as these leaders believe they individually are the salvation torch-bearers, then rebellion will only be a negative feature in our country not a solution strategy.

What makes the above rebel position even more saddening is the fact that Juba is in no better position to seek an end to this impasse. The Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) is dead, but the government operates as if it’s still something they are implementing or have implemented.

The National Dialogue, which actually admitted in its first document that it can only make recommendations to the president, is being pedalled by the government as another way to solve this impasse.

National Dialogues should only be used to heal not end wars. Since the president knows the grievances advanced by various rebel movements but he doesn’t want to sit with them, it’s clear that Juba isn’t interested in ending this impasse. It only wants to end the crisis in a manner that leaves its power-bases intact.

Besides, the treatment of General Malong Awan, the former Chief of General Staff, is a clear testimony that president Kiir isn’t interested in ending the country’s crisis. Creating more problems is not an act of a man who cares about his own people.

While I agree with the former political detainees about giving Dr. Riek Machar and President Kiir an exit package, something I proposed a few month ago, the former political detainees need to understand that they are an opposition group and any of their proposals will only be seen as a self-interested agenda to remove the government.

No matter the soundness of their proposal, the mere fact that they oppose both the SPLM-IG and SPLM-IO, will always project them as using their methods to get rid of them.

While SPLM-FDs propose a government of technocrats, they’ve not clearly explained who these technocrats would be even if we know that they also exclude themselves, like Kiir and Riek, in a would-be transitional government of technocrats.

However, the FDs should make clear if they are mere opposition group or solution providers. Their existence as part of the government in Juba and at the same time as fierce critics of President Kiir and Riek Machar, make me wonder what exactly they are doing?

They can’t be both a part of a failed government and pedalling as solution providers.

While FDs is one group that proposes alternative forms of government, their murky political stand compromises their proposals; and this makes it hard for them to be taken seriously. They should either remain as critics or become solution providers.

They can’t expect Juba to take them seriously if they bitterly criticise President Kiir as the problem and then again expect Kiir to respect their political settlement proposals.

Unless they pull out of the government, stop criticising IO and IG and only remain as a neutral, objective think tank that’s only interested in helping Juba and opposition arrive at workable solution models. But I guess this would make them politically irrelevant so they would not be stakeholders in any future power-sharing government.

So what’s the solution?

I propose that all the rebel groups unite under one leadership and fight against President Kiir. This would also give the international community, which already knows how rotten Kiir leadership is, an impression that a united rebel front is after a real political change in South Sudan not a mere cult of personality augmentation and tribal agenda-dressed-up as political reform.

Since this is going to be nearly impossible, then it’s high time for South Sudanese to dispense with IGAD and meet in Addis Ababa, Nairobi, or Kampala, to agree on a peaceful way forward.

While the latter proposal sounds naïve, one needs to remember the naivety of bitterly divided rebel groups who expect to defeat Juba.

A government that’s run out of ideas and only channels money into political intimidations, and a divided, tribalized opposition that’ll see no victory, is a classic impasse that will continue to prolong suffering of South Sudanese civilians, more than 4 million of whom haven’t fled the home; more than 2 million of those displaced being refugees in neighboring countries.

…………..
*Kuir ë Garang is the author of South Sudan Ideologically and Is ‘Black’ Really Beautiful? For more information or to contact the author, visit www.kuirthiy.com

Agony and destruction by Dinka in the border town of Nimule

From: David Aju Kanyara, Nimule, South Sudan, OCT/01/2017, SSN;

The Nimule border town has witnessed and experienced dramatic, traumatic and imposed changes since the peace loving natives, the Ma’di people, were driven from their ancestral land into refuge in the neighboring Uganda, by the Dinka JCE regime of Salva Kiir Mayerdit, to give way for the Dinka cows to graze freely turning the Madiland into a cow-land.

My trip to Nimule has given me personal and intimate examinations as to how deeply this unnecessary war against civilians across South Sudan has its devastating effect particularly on the people of Madi.

As far as eyes can see, immediately after landing in what the local people called [Matara] loosely translated as airstrip, located along Nimule-Mugali road which has never been developed under the leadership of Kiir, the dusty feeder road which used to be busy is now deserted except for the armed-to-the-teeth Dinka squatters with their cows using it.

At this point it dawned on me even more clearly how profound effect this war of Dinka imperialism and scramble for resources and land of other people particular in Equatoria has brought on my people.

Driving from Matara to Malakia, we had to pass through several roadblocks, and very surprisingly, what drew my attention was most of the soldiers along the Matara-Malakia road looked frail and underage, majority looked malnourished and confused.

Observing their faces, my conclusion is they were collected from villages across Bahr el Ghazal and are primary school age kids.

I couldn’t help but ask, “are the Dinkas running out of their material Prima of this war, that Adult Dinka Militia men are no longer available that they can sacrifice their young men just to keep the one man in power?”

Nimule–Matara road used to be a very busy road as it links up the neighboring villages of Longu, and several bomas and payams of Mugali, but as we drove I noted the road was visibly empty and deserted.

Most of the huts along the airstrip were empty, looted while others are re-occupied by the foot soldiers and their families.

The driver who lives in Nimule cautioned me that I should not use my phone for taking photos or for making calls. I asked him why?

He told me if you are non-Dinka and not known to these soldiers, phone calls in Nimule constitute an arrest warrant and if the soldiers suspect you are making a long distance call they will arrest you and accuse you of being a spy of the rebel, and end up being tortured or dead.

As we drove through Nimule to one of the restaurants which used to be busy in the earlier days of peace, it is now mostly empty without customers, for nearly two hours we were the only customers.

When I asked the attendant why, she told me, “nowadays business is down and even some soldiers come and eat food and walk away without paying, when you ask them to pay, they will say we are here to protect you from your rebel, Martin Kenyi.”

They perceive every Madi people in Nimule as a rebel,” she added.

This narrative has given me a clear picture how the soldiers subject the people who remained in Nimule to constant harassment and dehumanizing treatments.

After dinner before 5 pm local time, I was advised to find place to sleep and never move out to buy airtime or anything past 6 pm, so I was taken by my friend to one of the lodges in Nimule. For his personal security I will withhold his name, and that of the hotel where I slept.

At around 6 pm I ordered soft drinks while sitting in the lodge’s lobby watching English premier league. Three soldiers and two men in plain civilian clothes joined to watch the game, roughly 20 minutes later the hotel staff motioned for me to come at the counter and told me that those men in plain civilian clothes were security agents and they were part of soldiers deployed in all the hotels and lodges in Nimule. He cautioned me that it might be time for me to retire to my room, which I did.

I asked him who pays for their bills for the hotel accommodation and food, I was amazed to hear the answer, he told me they eat and sleep freely, and when asked to pay their bill they can easily accuse you as being a rebel or sympathizer of the rebels, thus, they can at will whisk you away to the house of torture or simply penalize you up to an equivalent of 300 U$ to buy your freedom or else they will implicate you.

He concluded that this is happening because the soldiers have not received salaries for almost four months thus extortion of money from businesses has become part of their survival.

Demolition of houses:

The destructive ethnic war by Dinka in Madi land has its root in the plan of ethnic cleansing of the Ma’di people by displacing them to Uganda and demolishing their houses.

This is to deny the Madi people access from coming back to their houses. I have witnessed military vehicles as well as civilian numberless lorries carrying scrubs of iron sheets.

I asked another soldier from non-Dinka tribe where are the metal scrubs coming from and what do the soldiers do with them? He told me all the concrete building starting from Loa to Moli have been demolished.

He told me a shocking story, that to avoid rebel snipers because previously when the rebels spot anybody trying to remove iron sheets their snipers will take them down without a trace, in the process a lot of soldiers got shot dead or others fell with broken legs.

He said the soldiers have now become smart, they are using Ugandan contractors mainly people from Bantu origins to demolish the houses as the soldiers secure the surrounding to provide protection for the contractors.

The Ugandan contractors will be used to collect the scrubs and bring them to Elegu for a lucrative market sale.

Security in Nimule

When security personnel do not see you for a period of two weeks you are liable to be questioned, when you are coming to Uganda you have to get permit from army barracks. When your face is unfamiliar you are most likely to be suspect.

I was told by the unnamed civil servant in the office of executive director of Pageri County that the army is planning to impose tougher restrictions, and when such restrictions are imposed on the few people who live in Nimule, they will then be subjected to face tough security measures by the security personnel.

This according to him all non-Dinka residents of Nimule will be registered, and anyone above the age of 14 must be subject to be registered and should report to the military intelligence HQs in Nimule every day.

Market in Nimule

Vast majority of traders who are from native Ma’di have left either to Elegu or Adjumani inside Uganda, while others with small capital are operating in the largest refugee camp in Pagirinya, leaving a vacuum which cannot be filled by the Dinka traders who are not used to trading but being mostly consumers and money changers relying on the robbed national treasury, leave alone whether they have knowledge in trading.

Nimule main market is visibly empty, there only about three traders left with no profitable market, at time the whole day only two to five customers according to one of the remaining businessmen who asked for his name to be withheld.

He told me the numbers of the daily customers have dropped badly only two to five customers per day will visit his shop. Due to insecurity the foreign large-scale retailers and hawkers or vendors mainly dominated by Ethiopian and Eritreans all left Nimule.

In early days of peace Juba-Nimule highway, the busiest road in the country is nowadays the dysfunctional and most fragile risk road in the whole country. I saw long line of trucks packed waiting for the convoy to leave for Juba, but the problem according to security officers, the soldiers have become reluctant to escort the convoy as they have pay the price highly with their lives.

A Senior South Sudan army officer who got hit with bullet on his left side of his forehead during the last ambush in August, said the rebels are well organized and determined to execute their agenda, he added he lost colleagues and brave soldiers during the ambush.

He recounted that it was around 11:20am after they had driven halfway to Moli area when the bullets began to rain on them.

He added that before they could reorganize to respond and have clear point to see from which direction the attackers were firing, more than 15 soldiers were dead instantly.

He said the attackers had sophisticated military methodology in their ambushes. That is why they lost a lot of colleagues within shortest time and before they could reorganize themselves the enemy forces had deserted their position after they had achieved their mission.

He narrated in details saying the level of threat they face in Equatoria has proven the rebels have achieved high level of training and discipline.” This is a group well-organized with high level of training and discipline and it indicates the level of threat our forces are facing along Juba-Nimule road and in Equatoria at large than the three-year war in Upper Nile.

“It is a guerilla war we have not seen before” he concluded.

As I concluded my visit to Nimule after spending three nights of secret mission, I then realized the senseless new war of Dinka imperialism is meant to create fear and drive non-Dinka away from their ancestral land.

But at the same time the war of Kiir with his tribal associates has also traumatized his ethnic Dinka. As I crossed into neighboring Uganda, I have seen the anxieties on the Dinka faces.

They are talking of being most hated by other tribes and even Ugandans. The few I talked to in Alere camp told me they are crippled with fear for their lives even in Uganda for they feel unwelcome by everyone.

An elderly man who seems in his late 70s told me they, the jieng have been generalized but majority of them are victims themselves because of crimes committed by Kiir and JCE.

He concluded by saying he wish Kiir will quit and save his people the Dinka from such shame and hatred.

While such voices are heard here and there, the Dinka elites without the Materia prima, the Jieng young villagers the Jieng populace provides, Kiir as a single Dinka cannot achieve the destruction of South Sudan.

Maybe the time has come for the Dinka Populaces to say enough is enough and deny Kiir the fuel on which the burning of South Sudan requires, the blood of young Dinka village boys unplugged from their villages and brought to be sitting ducks in Nimule which shall surely pay even if the last of Ma’di Ajugo drops.

The most secret of our weapons are the Gods of the land and many enemy soldiers can testify their terrifying, unexplained and invisible encounters, however many did not live to tell their stories.

David Aju Kanyara

A voice for voiceless