Category: National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From: Gwado Ador
Country: United Kingdom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By AFP, FEB/20/2017;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Humanitarians under attack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agriculture disrupted

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who authorized the Killing of Detainees at Mabur-Zeed Detention Center in Yirol?

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, Tong Law Chambers, Juba, JAN/20/2017, SSN;

When the people of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for an independent State, the choice of life over death, it was a choice made as to what kind of future we and the generation to come will enjoy, it was a choice made that we and our offsprings will have a life of freedom, justice and equal rights for all.

This, however, is not the case in Yirol. This hope has been dashed away by the inhumane acts perpetrated on the innocent and vulnerable persons whose freedom and liberties have been unlawfully and arbitrarily restrained.

Mabur-Zeed detention center in Yirol is such an illegal detention center in which most devastating, cruel, degrading and inhumane acts are being meted on the prisoners on daily basis.

As the title of this article suggests, not only did the authorities in Yirol authorized and ordered arbitrary and indefinite detention, incommunicado detention, intimidations and extortion which are common practices, beatings and torture are quite taking a toll as an order of the day.

But most heinous of all, the government ordered a shoot-to-kill on five (5) detainees without any proper due process of the law. The five (5) detainees were shot dead on the orders of the governor of the state in which one (1) died on spot, two (2) died lying on the ground around the detention center as they were refused any medical attention on the orders of the governor.

Worst still, the bodies of the other two (2) detainees were found floating on the waters of Lake Yirol, having been shot and left at the river-bank. This is the state of human rights in Yirol.

Yirol that was hoped by all to be the most peaceful, loving and respectful and the one that is said to be most stable, secured and would rapidly get developed among the 28 states, unfortunately is in complete pain of human rights abuses and violations.

In this part of the world, we’re being subjected to arbitrary, indefinite and incommunicado detention; and we’re being extorted and intimidated on daily basis if one speaks out on matters that concern the wellbeing and welfare of the state and its people and at certain point being killed.

Who authorized the killing of detainees at Mabur-Zeed detention center in Yirol?

Obviously, there’s just no any other person more superior in that particular part of the world other than the governor himself. Reports from most reliable sources and most truth-worthy verified information proved that it was indeed the governor himself who ordered the killings of the detainees under the pretext that they’re thieves who deserve not to live but be killed like chickens.

It was reported too from the close associated circles and right-hand people who fenced the governor that it was the same governor who refused the medics to attend to the badly injured detainees until they died of their gunshot wounds lying on the ground in Mabur-Zeed detention facility.

What kind of leadership is this? This practice of incessant violation of the individual’s rights amounts to a blatant violation of the provisions of article 11 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011, which guaranteed that every person has the inherent right to life, dignity and the integrity of his/her person which shall be protected by law; and no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life.

Not only that, continued indefinite and incommunicado detention of uncharged detainees is a clear violation of the spirit of article 12 of the TCSS, 2011, which as well stipulates that every person has the right to liberty and security of person; no person shall be subjected to arrest, detention, deprivation or restriction of his or her liberty except for specified reasons and in accordance with procedures prescribed by law.

A lot is desired to be said here. As the state authorities beginning with the governor himself have no any idea of what it means to observe tripartite principles of the rule of law, respect for human rights and dignity of the person as well as good governance, the law continued to be kept at bay and rights continued to be violated with impunity.

This is the case of detainees at Mabur-Zeed detention center who are subjected to torture on daily basis which violates the provisions of article 18 of the TCSS, 2011, which guarantees that no person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

Who does this law protect really? The worst of all is the violation of the right to life which is strictly prohibited under article 21(1) of the TCSS, 2011, that no death penalty shall be imposed, save as punishment for extremely serious offences in accordance with the law.

Nobody should be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life whatsoever the case. I wish the governor has a wise legal advisor to give him tips on how to deal with people who have come into contact with the law and those who are in conflict with the law, and if he does then I believe his legal advisor reads the law upside down or a fresh graduate who has no any idea of how to give wise legal advice concerning people who have come into contact with the law and those who’re in conflict with the law.

These are two different categories of people you’re dealing with on daily basis. It is however highly recommended that a fact-finding committee has to be constituted to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of these innocent detainees and a proper recommendation as to who is responsible for their death be made public and those responsible be made to answer for wrong doing.

The writer is a Barrister at Law at Tong Law Chambers and can reached at tongbullen@gmail.com

Message of unity and hope to all the Opposition political movements in South Sudan

BY: David Lokosang, JAN/14/2017, SSN;

My 2017 message to all opposition movements in South Sudan is, you have to unite and you must unite to bring to an end the suffering of our people sooner than later.

Operating separately doesn’t only prolong the current criminal dictatorial regime in Juba but it prolongs the suffering of our people who deserve the rights for equal opportunities as equal citizens of our nation.

Let us learn from our contemporary history. We have endured more suffering in our quest for freedom than any other citizens in the world. Let us revisit our history in order to correct ourselves and devise a way forward how to put concrete democratic institutions that will bound us together for common good.

When we were divided in 1991 the result was catastrophic but when we united our ranks we were able to defeat our enemies militarily, politically and diplomatically. And it is only then we were able to force the regime in Khartoum for a genuine political negotiation which resulted to CPA agreement.

The recent fighting that took place in Upper Nile which resulted in the death of two generals from Lam Akol’s movement, reminded us of 1991 split which won’t help our endeavour for social justice, equality, freedom of speech, equal opportunities and socio-economic development. Let it not repeat in other places in the greater Upper Nile, nor Equatoria nor Bahr El Ghazal.

What is it that each group wants? If the objective is to change the current rotten system and put in place a robust system of governance, then you must all unite for common objectives acceptable for all.

Believe me or not, operating separately gives a wrong signal to the international community, to our friends and more division among our people. They will look at us as fragmented tribes and power hungry people. It is not about individuals rather the system. Individuals come and go but a good system of governance and the solid democratic institutions will remain.

Every day I see the suffering of our people, the killing of innocent people orchestrated by JCE and the war lord elite in Juba and by unknown gunmen in the name of Transitional Government of National unity or National Dialogue or whatever name they give, make me sick and make me feel I have wasted my time in the last 36 years proclaiming the vision of SPLM which proved to be difficult to achieve under the shallow minded leadership of Salva Kiir.

Kiir and all those war lords around him have failed us and have retarded us 200 years back in human history.

My advice to all political movements in South Sudan, I believe it is reasonable enough to urge all of you to initiate a forum in order to create a South Sudan Democratic Alliance with common objective.

The objective is to remove the current rotten system of government and put in place an interim system that will create solid democratic institutions that recognise freedom of speech, justice and equality, Socio-economic opportunities, rule of law, international human rights and accountability.

The region and the international community will reckon you as the genuine alternative if you are united but if you are fragmented, believe me or not, you are indirectly prolonging the regime and the suffering of our innocent people.

Logically, how are you going to unite the country if you are fighting along tribal lines? You must propagate unity among the fighting force and civilians under your control areas which will then be reflected in the activities of the day when you become the legitimate government.

There is a Chinese saying that ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ Therefore you must unite your ranks now with one objective that is easily to be sold to the general public and the international community.

If you are not united, if you cannot inform, persuade and remind your supporters, international community and regional key players, how then would you succeed to achieve your objectives?

In business, no matter how good your products and service are, if you don’t inform and persuade the potential and current buyers about their features and benefits they will never buy from you. Instead they buy from someone who has invested in major promotional activities.

The reason why East African countries are closing doors for the opposition is because since the events of July 8th 2016, the opposition group has not consolidated itself to mobilise its human resources to counteract the lies being played by the regime propaganda machinery.

I hope 2017 will be a year of change. God bless all of you and God bless South Sudan

David Lokosang
lokosangdavid@yahoo.com.au

UK, Norway plan Doha meeting to restore Sudan Sudan peace talks

By FRED OLUOCH, JAN/10/2017, TheEastAfrican, SSN;

IN SUMMARY:
***Igad will only be an observer in Qatar where a deal to review the peace agreement is top on the agenda.
***The EastAfrican has learnt that the main agenda is to bring back rebel leader Riek Machar as a key partner in the peace talks.
***Kiir and Machar sides concur that the Aug 15 peace pact has broken down and needs renegotiation.

Two key sponsors of the South Sudan peace process are organising roundtable talks next month in Doha, Qatar, between the government, the rebel movement and other stakeholders to review the August 2015 Peace Agreement.

The talks being organised by two Troika members — United Kingdom and Norway, who have been the main funders of the peace talks together with the United States since the war broke out in December 2013 — are expected to begin in early February to look at the Peace Agreement and challenges facing its implementation.

The EastAfrican has learnt that the main agenda is to bring back rebel leader Riek Machar as a key partner in the peace talks.

The new efforts were initiated by the UK and Norway in conjunction with the African Union. The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad), which mediated the peace agreement, will be represented as an observer, but will not be an active participant.

This is because key Igad partner states such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, with the support of the US government, have actively participated in sidelining Dr Riek Machar after intensive lobbying by President Salva Kiir’s government. But the Troika feels that this has not improved security in South Sudan.

President Kiir’s government had declared that Dr Machar, who was replaced as first vice-president by Taban Deng Gai in August last year and is currently living in South Africa, should stay out of South Sudan and await the next elections, which is supposed to be held in 2018.

Mr Gai recently confirmed that regional countries have denied Dr Machar entry in their territories and he will be locked out for a foreseeable future.

The new initiative comes after both the government and the rebels concurred that the August 15 peace agreement had broken down – when war broke out again last July – and needs renegotiation.

But on December 14, President Kiir came up with the idea of a National Dialogue that will start at the grassroot. The rebel movement is sceptical about its success, especially without a permanent ceasefire.

Jimmy Deng, the South Sudan deputy ambassador to Kenya, said that the government is aware that Troika has initiated plans for fresh negotiations, but Juba is yet to be officially contacted on the issue.

Mr Deng, however, said that the government’s position is that there is no need for fresh negotiations because the August 2015 peace agreement is implemented.

“The National Dialogue Committee and top government officials are currently at the grassroots talking to people and promoting peace and national unity. We want the church leaders and chiefs to be involved because they represent the view of the grassroots, while the opposition is free to come back to the country because they have been given amnesty,” said Mr Deng.

President Kiir sacked Dr Machar from the Government of National Unity and replaced him with Mr Gai but this did not end the war.

Mr Gai’s biggest challenge is that he does not have sufficient following within the rebel movement to implement security arrangements such as the cantonment and the integration of soldiers from both sides as per the agreement.

Struggling to restructure

According to the latest report by the International Crisis Group, Mr Gai faces an uphill task to gain wider domestic credibility and bring armed opposition groups into the Government of National Unity.

The report says that since most cadres of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) rejected his elevation, the rebel movement, without an internationally recognised leader able to negotiate on its behalf, is struggling to restructure.

In the meantime, the government has been pushing for a military option.

The SPLM-IO presentative in Kenya Lam Jok said that the armed opposition is willing to dialogue with anybody anywhere, but first the security arrangement provision must be implemented if the talks are to bear fruit.

“Any efforts for peace, including the National Dialogue called by President Kiir, are good, but we must first silence the guns because you cannot talk while there is fighting,” said Mr Jok.

The SPLM-IO maintains that future talks should be preceded by the withdrawal of the Mathiang Anyor militias that fight alongside government forces, from the villages of Equatoria and Western Bharel Ghazal, where, according to UN Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide Adam Dieng, genocide looms.

Fighting has continued in the three Equatorias — West, Central and East — Bahrel Ghazal and of late in Upper Nile State, which had not experienced major fighting since the new conflict erupted in July 2016.

The United Nations Humanitarian Agency (OCHA) reported towards the end of December that the number of South Sudanese fleeing to Uganda continues to grow, with 3,046 new arrivals recorded daily from December 13.

President Kiir had proposed National Dialogue in three phases: Consultations at the grassroots to record grievances; regional peace conferences to discuss outstanding inter-communal conflicts; and the National Conference in Juba to come up with resolutions that would guide the country on the way forward.

But Dr Machar is proposing that the African Union and the international community support a new political process with a reviewed agreement to provide the roadmap for any national dialogue. END