Category: National

Nhial Deng Nhial and Majak Ago’ot Atem… They die….

    JUST POLITICAL JOKE….. just for a good laugh!

BY: Holy Crook (an alias), JUBA, FEB/4/2013, SSN;

In the year 2099, Majak Ago’ot Atem and Nhial Deng Nhial die of old age; on the same day – December 31. They go straight to Hades. Hades lies between Heaven and Hell. It is a sort of a way-station. Just like any other institution, it has policies – rules and regulations. Authorities in Hell, Heaven and Hades work hand in hand. Hades coordinates the activities. It keeps copies of the lists of those who are destined for heaven and Hell. Anyone who gets there has his or her name ticked and shown a room to wait for instructions – whether to proceed to Heaven or Hell.

Hades
Here, Nhial and Majak share a bed because the place is congested as big numbers of people keep coming from earth. This is because people are dying in wars, and others, of fatal man-made diseases created by European and American scientists just to reduce the overwhelming world populations, particularly the poor.

Nhial and Majak recognize a lot of South Sudanese they knew way back on earth, mostly those who let down South Sudan during and after the liberation struggle. These were those who collaborated with Khartoum and consequently butchered their own people in exchange of food. Some were those who broke away from the government and worked to destabilize South Sudan during its infancy.

Amongst the old buddies they meet in Hades are Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, Gabriel Tanginye, Peter Gatdet, George Athor, Bapiny Manytuil, Olony, Samuel Gai Tut, Akuot Atem and many others. Each and every one of them narrates why he is spending such a long time in Hades without going to Heaven or Hell.

As they chat, Nhial spots two elderly men seated on a mat made of reeds. “Oh my God, am I dreaming or is that Abel Alier and Joseph Lagu?” In unison, they reply “yes.” immediately, Majak wonders: “What happened? I thought they were in heaven, considering how they participated in the fight against Khartoum regimes.”

The two dudes walk over to the elders and greet them. As the conversation gets interesting and deeper, Nhial chips a question in: “Uncles, we’re so surprised that you two are still here, what happened? We thought you were in heaven. What happened?” Being so old, Abel and Lagu say they can’t remember what went down.

The truth is, being the senior and wiser figures in their region then, they surprisingly and gullibly allowed President Numeiri to drive a wedge between them. President Numeiri had them fight one another after he successfully made Dinka Bor cattle destroy Bari farms. Both Lagu and Alier failed to resolve the problem amicably, leaving it to escalate into wider political conflicts involving students, civil service and other societal groups in the South.

In the beginning, Lagu was the best leader. He tried his best to keep the rebellion strong and progressive but he gave up in the middle of the revolt against Khartoum. He is a quitter. Besides, during his tenure as the Second President of the High Executive Council of the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region, Lagu got carried away by the goodies – including a big-breasted northern woman – offered to him by the then Khartoum regime, thus forgetting his people and their cause.

To make matters worse and like Alier, he relocated to Khartoum. Their decisions and actions, in many ways, caused incalculable suffering amongst their people.

To cut the long story short, Nhial and Majak are summoned into the boss’ office. The head of Hades, a huge dude with a big scary scar on his left cheek, briefs them: “Boys, you’re so lucky, you just got here and I have been instructed to ready you for an exit. I received a message from Heaven last night. It says your names have been screened and you were found sinless: you were good political leaders. You never got involved in corrupt practices. That’s it, boys. Prepare for your entry to heaven. You’ve a couple of hours.”

The two walk out of the room with faces shining with big smiles. Back in the dorm, they break the good news to their countrymen. Some express happiness for them. Others feel jealous. Tanginya is one of the guys who are unhappy about the good news.

He gets up and begins to attack the two verbally: “how come you guys are going to Heaven? God must be crazy. That’s not fair at all. You lazy dudes who let down South Sudanese. You were always silent about critical issues affecting the common man. Particularly you, Nhial, as a Foreign Minister, what good things did you do? All you did was bragging, all day all night, bragging about academic papers. When Khartoum was committing atrocities, killing and destroying structures in the country, when your Sudanese counterpart was winning sympathizers using diplomatic war tactics, like a statue, you sat in your chair, doing what you do best – keeping quiet.

You thought degrees and doctorates would work by themselves? You’re the type of people I rebelled against Salva Kiir’s government for. Had I entered Juba with my commandos, I would have shot you in the ear.

For you, Majak, who the hell do you think you are? Mister Parrot, do you really believe that you are without blemish; that you are going to Heaven? God must be kidding me. Let me count the bad things you did in South Sudan. One, you were involved in………”
Here scuffle erupts. One of Majak’s supporters punches Tanginya in the face, provoking the two sides to get at each other like lions.

They cause a big scene. A Kenyan man is overheard saying, “hawa watu wanapenda vita sana.”

Heaven
Majak and Nhial arrive at the Gates of Heaven. St. Paul and St. Peter are guarding the gates. “Hello, brethren. Welcome to Heaven. I’m your brother, St. Paul, and my brother here is St. Peter. Identify yourselves, please.”

As they undergo formal procedure, some people inside the walls of heaven begin to peep at them through the beautifully designed transparent gate. Nhial smiles and nudges Majak. “Look, do you recognize those people over there?” Majak said no. “I can’t blame you. It’s been long. I am seeing familiar faces. I can see Saturnino Lohure Hilangi, Majok Mac Aluong, Nyuon Bany, Malath Lueth, Arok Thon Arok, Ageer Gum, Peter Panhom Thanypiny, Francis Ngor, ……..”

“Brothers, let’s finish the routine first,” interrupts St. Paul. “We have scanned through the Book of Deeds and we found that you’re all clean. Welcome to the Garden of Eden, brethren.” Nhial and Majak happily walk in.

Before they reach the other crew who are eagerly waiting to hug and kiss them, St. Peter calls them back. “I’m afraid, there’s a little problem. We just realized we had not considered one side of you, brothers. Weren’t you members of a South Sudan’s political party called the SPLM?”

They exchange glances and hesitatingly say, “y-y-y-e-e-s-s, we-we-we were.”

“Well, thanks for admitting that. We’re afraid, there’s a little problem, brethren,” says St. Peter. “Any South Sudanese who supported SPLM especially after it negotiated the independence of the country, no matter how many good deeds he did while on earth, shall never enter the Kingdom of God.”

With tears rolling down their cheeks, Majak asks, “why, why, why, Brother Peter? We have been very good people. We lived exemplary lives among South Sudanese. You can’t do this to us.”

Peter shakes his head in disagreement.

The pair kneels and pleads with the holy men. “Look, guys,” narrates, St. Paul, “there is nothing we can do right now rather than allowing the rule to take its course. The SPLM issue is a big deal here in Heaven. Even some angels have been assigned to solely watch the activities of the once adorable party. And I think the best way we can explain this is to remind you of one of the quotes by Desmond Tutu:

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

The pair lets out deafening cries.

“Guys, stop weeping. Crying won’t help. Whether to enter Heaven or not is nonnegotiable,” continues Peter. “Tutu’s quote explains everything. When your colleagues in the SPLM government were raping South Sudanese politically, economically and socially, you chose to keep mum. You just watched the multitude writhe in pain. The SPLM did more destruction to the citizens than the successive Khartoum regimes. SPLM killed the hope for a better tomorrow, which helped them survive into independent South Sudan. After the international community granted South Sudanese independence, the SPLM turned into a group of shameless liars and thieves – a mafia.

Contrary to their promises they made to the public, the SPLM proved itself blind and deaf. It introduced social injustice. The former Bushmen pauperized the citizens who had counted on them during the long civil war. When it assumed power in 2005, the SPLM got involved in a number of grand malpractices. They neglected their roles and focused on self-enrichment. The poor got poorer. That’s it, Brethren. No single SPLM member shall enter Heaven. It’s written. Now, go to Hell. It’s not far from here.”

The pair had hoped that heaven was the place to be. With the breaking news delivered by the Holy Men, the pair faints. Hours later, they regain consciousness only to find themselves in the front gate of a fortified town guarded by some mean-looking horned men and women.

“Hey macs, you expect to be welcomed? Where do you think this is? Heaven,” Barks a Cerberus-shaped guard.

He grabs Majak and Nhial by the ears and drags them towards the entrance of the facility. He kicks them in the butts and bangs the door after them.

Hell
To their amazement, the new place looks more of an earthly penitentiary institution; contrary to the biblical frightful descriptions of Hell. It looks awful though. It’s afternoon. People are in groups. As the chaos in the new place mesmerizes them and with mouths wide open, they hardly believe what they are seeing. A huge crowd was mocking a small group of dark-skinned familiar men. As they get closer, they find out that it is some short man trying to stop a fight between two groups.

Unsurprisingly, these are all SPLM senior officials and members participating in a face-off with their former enemies on earth. The notable ones here are Salva Kiir, Pagan Amum, John Luk, Wani Igga, Ann Itto, Makuei Lueth, Kuol Manyang, Rizik Zachariah, Rebecca Nyandeng and many others.

Nhial approaches Barnaba Marial and without greetings asks him to explain what is going on. “It’s a very long story, brother. Kiir is bullied everyday as usual. Our enemies have resumed the earthly disagreements and hate here in hell. Lam Akol and a bunch of other unpatriotic South Sudanese have befriended Omar Bashir. Lam always harasses Kiir and when Kiir tries to discipline him, Bashir emerges with his crew members including Thabo Mbeki, Hu Jintao, Yau Yau, among others. Yesterday, Bashir himself broke Kiir’s jaw. Anyway, welcome brothers. At least your arrival is of advantage to us. We will always fight off Bashir and company.”

Few weeks elapse. Majak and Nhial learn a lot. It’s like many people hold grudges against the South Sudanese in Hell. Some of them are those who are retrying to retaliate for injustice committed by South Sudanese. One such a group is that of Ugandan businessmen who got cheated in the Dura saga.

They had lodged a case at their High Court, seeking for a declaration that the refusal of the South Sudan government to pay them as per the Memorandum of Understanding with Uganda is unlawful.

However, every noise they made went unheard. South Sudan turned a deaf ear. As a result, they, them Ugandans, mistreat the SPLM. SPLM members are the cooks, dishwashers, cleaners and all types of odd job doers. In other words, they’re living in hell within hell.

To be continued….

A Gloomy Future for South Sudan under the 2012 Political Parties Act!!

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, JAN/31/2013, SSN;

Many still believe that the lack of unity remains a leading cause of the political instability in the nascent state of South Sudan. But this shouldn’t be taken to mean that South Sudan political parties have no history of ever coming together in the presence of an important purpose.

An example in case here is when all the two dozen or so different political parties were quick to unify under the umbrella of the All South Sudan Political Parties Forum for the purpose of the Self Determination referendum. It was this unity of purpose that paved the way for the smooth conduction of the January 2011 plebiscite that eventually led to the Independence from the Khartoum-based Islamic government.

Nonetheless it is worth pointing out here that although the many small opposition parties are often willing and ready than not to join the ruling SPLM in finding out common grounds needed to navigate the difficult political and socio-economic paths which the country found itself stalling through, it is unfortunate that these readiness and willingness have been largely taken for granted by the SPLM and at times they have been outrightly misunderstood as a sign of weakness, obviously driven by the grandiosity of being the party that waged the liberation war.

What followed after the January 2011 referendum was and is in fact inconsistent with the anticipated reaction from the SPLM especially in the light of the plebiscite’s outcome. As if to remind the other opposition parties about how they [SPLM] intend to not only marginalize these parties, but also to adopt an NCP version of mock democracy, the SPLM immediately resorted to what can be referred to as the “muzzling politics.”

In so doing it went on to unilaterally impose a widely rejected transitional constitution on the country in defiance of all the concerns raised by the other political parties, the civil societies and the women’s associations.

Today this embattled and a rightly controversial constitution has plunged the country into a lot of political and socio-economic chaos.

This constitution is better known for the fact that it gave the country’s president a free hand in almost everything in the country.

It is sad to recall that in a country that claims to respect the choice of the people, a handpicked SPLM dominated constitution committee members went on and gave the Head of the State an unquestionable right to dismiss elected State Governors, without necessarily having to publicly state out the reasons behind such a decision.

Today the Lakes State is the first to experience such a presidential move when H.E issued his infamous decree that dismissed the State’s first ever elected governor from office. Tomorrow it will be either another elected state governor or an elected MP, and since all are meant to be taking place in the name of constitutionality, then who is out there to challenge it?

To confirm the above point and to the disappointment of those citizens who took to the streets of Rumbek Town, the state capital to
demonstrate in protest of the decree, together with those opinion writers who criticized it in the various media outlets, it didn’t take long before the SPLM-dominated National Legislative Assembly [NLA] in Juba came out openly as usually is the case and rubber stamped the dismissal of the elected governor.

Precisely it has now become the pattern in the new country of South Sudan that any crude decision ever uttered by the Head of State which is often done in the absence of any broader consultations, will always receive a rubber stamp blessing from this good for nothing, SPLM-dominated National Legislative Assembly in Juba.

First they approved the Transitional Constitution in spite of all the undemocratic articles that were intentionally insinuated in the document with the sole intent of giving the the president, his executive and kitchen cabinets the uncontested upper hand in the country’s politics.

The same parliament was quick to approve the relocation of the country’s capital to a certain swampy Ramciel without any tangible
technical or financial considerations. It [NLA] was as well supportive of the unstudied shutdown of the country’s only source of revenue – the Oil Industry, without setting in place a plan B, hence the current economic dilemma.

This same parliament, as if to confirm its rubber stamp nature, it went on to take a lukewarm stand on the Panthou [Heglig] war and its aftermath.

It was also quick to endorse the 27th September normalization Agreement with the Sudan in the absence of any real commitment from either government.

Putting these entire behavior patterns together, one can NEVER miss seeing how the SPLM dominated National Legislative Assembly has become a tool in the hands of President Salva Kiir Mayardit for approving wrong policies in the country.

Thus any attempt to correct the status quo must start by fully holding to responsibility these MPs and the NLA as an Institution for their roles in promoting the current state of bad governance, impunity, corruptions, embezzlement and lawlessness.

Although all the above may be obvious for most South Sudan citizens to see, yet there are other hidden disasters to which both the SPLM leadership as represented in the government and those good for nothing NLA – MPs are parties to.

The most worrying and likely to reflect negatively on the political process in the country is none other than the South Sudan
political Parties Act – 2012 which was signed into law by the president of the State on the 24th March 2012.

Every person who considers himself or herself as a South Sudanese intellectual, and a concerned citizen for that matter together with those so-called friends of South Sudan plus the best wishers must all have had a shock at this Political Parties Act document since it is more of a document formulated primarily to obstruct the realization of the much anticipated democratic transformation in the country.

This undoubtedly controversial document was frankly speaking prepared by the members of the SPLM party who dominate the Ministry of Legal Affairs, like it does with the rest of the ministries, then passed by the party loyalist who also dominate the cabinet of ministers and was finally blessed by the NLA as expected in the sole belief of making it impossible for any other political groups to register as legal political parties in the country.

Otherwise how do we interpret the following articles in the Act?

The following persons shall not be members of any Political Party:

(a) Members of organized armed forces and law enforcement agencies;
(b) Justices and judges of the Judiciary of South Sudan;
(c) Legal Advisers and Public Attorneys the Ministry of Justice;
(d) Civil Servants at all levels; and
(e) Diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Which of these are in actual fact applicable to the SPLM party itself?

Are they really serious in what they have written for this country as Political Parties Act, in the absence of any line that separates the above mentioned categories from being not only loyalists, but frank members of the dominant SPLM party?

An equally important point to highlight here is, given the very high level of illiteracy in the country, and knowing very well that the above categories of citizens in fact constitute the bulk majority of the few educated people in the country, can it not be argued that by sidelining them from taking an active role in party politics is in fact to leave the entire political process to those who hardly read and write?

And below is how Political Parties shall be qualified to be registered if:-

I) It has recruited as members, not less than five hundred registered Voters from each of more than at least eight states;
ii) The members referred to in paragraph (a) reflect regional and ethnic diversity, gender balance, representation of minorities, youth and special category groups;
iii) The political party shall have in its national governing body at least one member from each state.
iv) The political party shall have branches in all ten states and is, in addition organized in not less than eight states.
v) The composition of its governing body reflects regional and ethnic diversity, gender balance and representation of minorities and special category groups;
vi) It has demonstrated that members of its governing body meet the requirements of the Constitution and the laws relating to ethics;
vii) Observes democratic principles in its political activities and respect the peaceful transfer of power;
viii) The means of achieving its goals shall not include the establishment of paramilitary forces;
ix) Not engage in or incite violence or promote hatred among ethnic, religious or racial groups in the Republic of South Sudan; and
x) Not be a branch of any Political Party outside South Sudan.

The articles that regulate the registration of the political parties can be for discussion purposes categorized into two groups. The first group includes those from (I) to (v). These five subsections taken individually or together they all testify to a fact that the SPLM elements within the Ministry of Legal Affairs have undoubtedly and with a premeditated intention exerted a considerable effort to make the registration process of the opposition parties near to impossible.

The number of members in each state, and the minimal number of states required in this Act are not realistic for the realization of
Multi-party Democracy in the country. And by the way who are those registered voters, in the absence of a national census yet to be
conducted, constituencies yet to be decided and the voters themselves yet to be registered?

Again to insist that every ethnic group and all kinds of disabled categories of citizens MUST be compulsorily included in the membership of each and every political party sounded indeed strange for it clearly requests political parties to go out there and look for all these people whether they are politically active or not, let alone if then in fact they would want to join that particular party or its leadership.

The second group is from (VI) to (X). This particular group of articles is the very things that are lacking in the ruling SPLM party. These last five where frankly violated by the SPLM throughout the period from 2005 until this very moment of this writing.

Is the SPLM party [whose officials came up with this document] ever known to have observed any democratic principles since its inception in 1983 or does it respect the peaceful transfer of power within the party? Does it in achieving its goals NEVER got involved in the establishment of paramilitary forces? If it doesn’t, then to whom do the killing squads in Juba and the other main towns belong to?

The SPLM may not be a branch of another political party outside South Sudan, but with the confirmation from the international community, including the US administration, and President Obama himself, all believe that the SPLM is still linked with the SPLM – North.

We heard the party denying that on more than one occasion, however although we would like to believe them yet we find it very weird why South Sudan’s ruling party is still referring to itself the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) at a time when the territory it now rules is no longer part of Sudan, but rather an independent country of South Sudan?

A big party like the SPLM now sixteen months after the Republic of South Sudan has gained its independence by a 98.8% of its popular
vote, people are left with unanswered question as to why this party that prides itself in having championed the liberation remains
unwilling to change its name as if to undermine its South Sudanese reality.

But here we are. The people of South Sudan are unfortunately still forced to live under these SPLM contradictions as long as we continue to blindly follow their unpredictable, incompetent and often non-transparent leadership’s. They will continue to take us for granted and push ahead displaying their weird taste for politics that forms the core of every law that they hand down to us.

Some misleading apologists will tell you that this Political Parties Act for 2012 comes at a time where South Sudan is having over thirty or so political parties. But this isn’t the case in the Independent South Sudan for all the common political parties that drew their membership from both the Southerners and the Northerners e.g. the NCP [Omer Bashir] – Umma [Saddig al Mahdi] – NIF [Hassan al Turabi] – PCP [Hassan al Turabi] – Sudan Communist Party – DUP [Al Mirghani], better known as the northern or national Sudanese political parties, have all ceased to exist in the new Republic of South Sudan..

With the exception of the SPLM parties, whichever political parties that exist to date in this new country are indeed indigenous in origin and agenda. And the fact that they insist to operate independently of the ruling & bulling SPLM deserves the appreciation of all those who cherish pluralism ad multi-party democracy.

It may be important to involve the international community at some stage in order to assist with the formulation of the various bills that are needed to establish a democratic society in South Sudan; however the true responsibility should squarely lie with the South Sudanese.

They have to be seen not only writing and reading articles about the realization of political pluralism in their country, but should also walk an extra mile of personal and group sacrifices in order to achieve this noble goal.

For how do we establish the tradition of using the ballot to peacefully transfer power, when the SPLM-formulated political parties
Act clearly signifies an obstruction to multiparty democracy on one hand and lays the foundations for the emergence of a one party state under a totalitarian regime.

The problem here is that instead of establishing a ballot oriented system, under this infamous South Sudan Political Parties Act -2012, we may be gradually reverting to those times when bullets determine everything.

Does anyone in the absence of multi-party democratic system still doubt the possibility of the nascent country reverting to the old days of voting with rifles given the current state of affairs in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Western Bahr al Ghazal, Unity State coupled with the widespread disillusionment within the ranks and files of the SPLM and the SPLA? Is this so-called 2012 Political Parties Act not a clear recipe for the ‘Jongleisation’ of the whole country?

To save our country from these risky political uncertainties, we need to see to it that this so-called 2012 Political Party Act is
immediately repealed and replaced by a set of laws free of any hidden agenda.

We need a new set of laws that should clearly allow for the easy establishment of political parties unlike the current Act which
undoubtedly if not revoked will only promote the proliferation of regional, tribal and all kinds of militias, precisely as the only
potential political outlets for the numerous disgruntled political groups.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party [USSP]. He can be reached at: justin_ramba@aol.co.uk or
justinramba@doctors.net.uk

For how long will President Kiir fly on Ethiopian and Kenyan Airliners?

BY: Holy Crook (alias), JUBA, RSS, JAN/28/2013, SSN;

Wait a minute. I have a confession to make: I’m a fool, the greatest fool of all times. I’ve been a fool. Due to this folly, I’ve been relying on my President for protection. I’ve always counted on him to protect my life and of my children, relatives and South Sudanese in general.

Alas! I was wrong. If the President of the Republic, Salva Kiir, is insecure, who am I to complain about the growing insecurity situation in South Sudan? Who am I to rely on him? If my President sweats and panics every time he exits and returns to the country, who the hell am I to question why civilians are killed on a daily basis in Juba, in Wau and in the whole country?

If the President doesn’t care about his own personal security, life, why do I expect him to protect me? I’m a big fool. Don’t you agree with me? Is he safe? How safe is he?

Relax. The President is safe and there is no potential danger at all.

Do you ask yourself why insecurity is deteriorating in the country? Do you wonder why women and even 14-year-old girls are unarguably systematically raped in Juba and beyond?

Do you know why many citizens spend sleepless nights due to constant attacks and burglaries staged by armed and uniformed men? This is simply because the president himself is insecure; (I know I just assured you that he is safe). So, how do you expect somebody who does not value security to protect you? It is like asking a pauper for a piece of bread.

World nations maintain one or more special planes to transport or fly their heads of state and other senior government officials. There are so many reasons why they do this. One of them is security concern which happens to be the most important one. Another one is prestige. For South Sudan’s case, trash prestige.

My point is: why does Mister President depend on hired commercial planes? Why does he fly on a chartered jet?

Come on. It has been seven and half years now. For how long will our beloved President continue to use Ethiopian and Kenyan airliners? Is it lack of money? Is it that he is too humble to have a presidential private jet? What exactly is gagging the old man?

South Sudan just emerged out of a bloody civil war which killed millions and displaced over four million others. Besides, the same people we have been at war with are still as violent as Islamic Radicals.

Practically, we are still at war with Sudan. Ask the people of Mile 14, Renk and Raja. And our borders are as porous and dangerous as ever.

The world economy is at the verge of collapse. No, it has already collapsed. This is sending all types of people- the bad, the good and the ugly – to South Sudan, which they believe is the new business hub. The influx of these questionable foreign nationals bespeaks a serious concern.

Most of these people are running away from their countries for a reason, just one reason – poverty. They are very desperate. That means they can do anything for money.

South Sudan charters a plane every time the Cowboy has to travel outside, to and fro. The common planes are the Kenya’s KQ and the Ethiopian Airways. He’s flown on these jets a million times. How safe is this type of transport? How much do we’ve to trust our cousins?

I’m not saying the two airliners can do us any premeditated harm but I would like you to look beyond the horizon. Think.

I know that many world leaders chose to travel on commercial flights, like the rest of the great unwashed. Australian Prime Minister John Howard, for instance, has his own plane but sits in an ordinary aircraft seat, rather than a reclining sofa. New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clarke, flies Air New Zealand. That’s fine.

And Malawian President Joyce Banda is an extraordinary woman. She travels by scheduled commercial liners. However, the beauty of this is that the said heads of states fly on their respective nations’ commercial planes, say, Air New Zealand or Air Australia.

Look around. All of our neighboring countries, including broke ones, have presidential jets. President Kibaki trudges in and out of his fifty-million-dollar Fokker 70. Museveni swaggers in a forty-point-two-million-dollar Gulfstream G550 private plane. This is very convenient for them. This special jet, say, Museveni’s, is serviced in Uganda by Ugandans. It’s kept in a hangar managed by Ugandans. It’s watched by Ugandan security agents.

Can South Sudan afford to buy a cheaper jet for the head of the state? Yes it can. I know the government is broke but there is an alternative – just squeeze hundreds of millions of dollars out of the four billion stolen by the seventy-five thieves.

I acknowledge the destructive monetary effects that come with a presidential jet but what difference would it make? The government has had its hand on billions of oil money all these years but it could not use it appropriately.

In actual sense, if we sum up all the money the state has spent on President Kiir’s chartered flights since 2005, the amount could buy a jet more expensive than Kibaki’s. Even if it would mean buying a second-hand plane, the parliament should do something.

South Sudanese would be more comfortable and relaxed to see the plane their President flies piloted by the sons and daughters of the soil.

Need I remind you of the past fishy events involving influential people in Eastern Africa, even our own? No, I don,t think so.

(NB. The author, who is authentic, has opted to use an alias for his own security.)

Solutions to Lakes state inter-clans’ fighting

BY: Bullen Bol, RSS, JAN/27/2013, SSN;

The inter-clans’ fighting in the Lakes state is not something new, I can called it a recurrent phenomenon. During the liberation struggle until now the state has been seen in several inter-tribal clashes. One may ask himself thus, why has Lakes state become a battle field over the years than any other state in which heads of cattle are reared?

Don’t worry yourself thinking much, this article will explore why the state has been involved in series of fighting, recommendations will also be availed, recommendations which are suitable for Lakes state’s problem and which may be relevant to any other state in which heads of cattle are reared.

The fighting has been recurrent because the following root causes have not been addressed in a satisfactory manner.

Wrangles over the grazing and water points
Grazing areas known as toch in Dinka language, has been a major source of problem, it was because of grazing land that caused fighting within Yirol East county in Lakes state particularly over the ownership of Amethmangon cattle camp early in 2007, and now it is the grazing land that has been responsible for the fighting between Agar communities.

Fighting concerning the ownership of the grazing lands ownership will continue to be a source of fighting as long as the ownership of a grazing land in question is not defined satisfactorily.

The claim for being superior by either clan
This has been seen as one of the causes of fighting not only in Lakes state but also among many Dinka tribes especially cattle keepers. Each clan can claim to be superior than the other clan in terms of fighting, the self-claimed superior clan can begin to ask questions like, “since when has clan X defeated us?”

Therefore, the need to maintain historical superiority by cattle keepers accounts for fighting.

Dowry problems
We have been observant over the years that dowry has been a source of fighting in Lakes state, if you can recall the inter-clans fighting in Cueitbet county in 1995 in which numerous people were killed, was dowry-related fight.

You can notice that it is because girls are married with a lot of cows that makes elopement of a girl to immediately trigger fierce fighting because an eloped girl is considered to have depreciated in value and parents of such a girl can be infuriated by the act since they will lose considerable number of cows with such a perceived loss of their daughter’s marital value.

At Yirol East roughly in 2008, fighting happened between Atuut of Yirol West county and Ciec of Yirol East county because a person had given out his calf in compensation of the debt, so when his calf turned out to be bigger and admirable, he returned and retook it, thereby provoking fierce fighting of that year. The owner probably admired it to be the best cow for his possible marriage.

It is because of the dowry problems that many carry out cattle raiding into the neighboring counties or states in search for cows necessary for marriages, for instance, Nuer and Dinka tribes have been doing that over the years.

Presence of weapons (rifles and others) in hands of the civilians
The presence of numerous ammunition in the hands of the cattle keepers has made cowards who would have not initiated the fight when they were using spears, to initiate the fight; this can also be true with cattle thieves.

Nobody could dare to go as far as Agar cattle camps to steal cows because he knows very well that he alone with his spear as a weapon cannot do any harm to the people whom he has stolen cows from in order to protect himself, besides, with spears as weapon, the thief may fear of his security because when he is caught with cows, he would be killed or he could narrowly escape death.

What perplexed me every time there is inter-clans fighting is where do civilians get weapons from after the disarmament? Do they get them from soldiers or are they obtained from relatively peaceful states? Do they get them from Khartoum or are they (weapons) obtained from the neighboring countries?

Are the rebels behind the resurfacing of weapons after disarmament? The list of questions is endless.

Having explored the above causes of the fight among cattle keepers in Lakes state, I would therefore like to give the following recommendations:

Simultaneous disarmament is all states that neighbored lakes States
A national disarmament program should be carried out simultaneously with priority given to states where heads of cattle are reared. This will allow civilians to willingly offer their guns to the disarmament team easily without hesitation because they will not be fearful of any possible attack from the neighboring states or counties.

The failure to carry out disarmament in states where possible attack is expected from is one of the reasons why reserve guns are kept by cattle keepers. The collected guns should be monitored to see whether there is a leakage or not i.e. illegal re-sale of the collected arms.

Executive chiefs should be brought closer to state government
By bringing executive chiefs closer to government, I meant, they should be fully employed with full salary, they should weekly report to their leader whom I can proposed to be a real judge appointed by the governor. They should be availed with motor-cycles so that transport should not be a hindrance to their weekly reporting.

Among their duties should be a task to monitor security in the cattle camps, they should acts as government spies as far as who wants to fight who and when are they likely to fight. Also, they cannot do this alone but they can be assisted by cattle camp leaders, sub-chiefs, and good leaders. All the leaders that work with him should also have telephones and transport materials like bicycles for good leaders and motor bikes for sub-chiefs, executive chiefs and cattle camp leaders.

The telecommunications networks should ensure that the whole of the State is covered, cattle camps inclusive.

Recently, clan fighters dodged where the SPLA soldiers were deployed with use of a mobile phone, that was why the fighting erupted in the cattle camp first but ended up intensifying in the villages leaving soldiers in the cattle camp.

By implementing this proposed measure, the government of state will all the times be updated about the entire state. When there is a looming threat, chiefs can easily enlighten the government and possible action can easily be taken immediately. This will enable the government intervene immediately, besides, the moral of the chiefs will be so heightened since they would be part and parcel of the government of state.

Rules should also be enacted so that whenever the chief goes astray in fulfilling his duties, he could be removed by governor’s decree.

Formulating and implementing laws which are more less jungle laws
Since our people do not act in line with stipulated laws which are in the constitution i.e. that is by pursuing legal procedures in settling disputes among themselves such as grazing land issues, and general aggression matters, I propose that ring leaders on both sides who initiate fighting should be made to compensate whoever was killed in the clans’ fighting.

They should also be arrested in harsh prisons so that their mistreatment becomes a lesson to others who may in future want to break legal procedures in settling disputes. With those laws in place, many may fear to bring both sides together in the context of initiating the fight.

If the number of those who were killed is exactly the same as the number of ring leaders, the ring leaders should be shot dead publicly i.e. inviting villages, make them sit down, finally the ring leaders should be shot dead in the presence of the public which is made to sit. But this process should be free from political support (where politicians take sides), this in my opinion should apply to thieves that steal heads of cattle, murders and any other crimes that correspond with such punishment.

This policy was used in the past and it had proved to be more effective in reducing the cattle theft and other crimes in Lakes state, so it is a matter of reviving the past method of governance.

Marriage laws
Many marriage-related laws are now in place in Lakes state and possibly in all four states of greater Bhar el Ghazal, for instance, 11 cows are paid to the parents of impregnated girl as cows for soothing the angry in-laws; seven cows are paid as punishment for having committed adultery.

All these laws are good but, however, the fact that marriage in Lakes state goes up to 300 cows for a competitive marriage makes the youth indulge themselves in stealing cows, cattle raiding, etc… so that they can accumulate more cows to meet such competitive marriage demands, because that is a factor which is fueling those crimes which culminate into a serious fight.

I recommend that: if a person steals one cow, he has to pay eight in return when confirmed a thief. Also, surveillance military base should be situated in the border of both states (Unity and Lakes) so that they will constantly monitor the security of the cattle and possible fighting that may erupt in the process of cattle rustling.

The maximum number of cows payable to the in-laws should range from 20 to 50 regardless of competition and the beauty of the girl. This will reduce of cows to meet expensive bride price. However, so this policy be effective, our leaders, such as executive chiefs, sub-chiefs to state government officials, should act as role models to the entire public.

Finally, the government should woo investors to invest in agribusiness so that considerable amount of redundant villagers are employed. Government can also invest alongside foreign investors. But government investment is meant reviving of old Sudan factories such as oil factory in Yirol west, establishment of irrigation schemes and infrastructural development.

These should not be only in Lakes state but also in other areas such greater Equatoria, greater Upper Nile and greater Bhar el Ghazal regions. When that is done, the youth will find no time to engage in fighting but rather they will care so much about their jobs.

At this juncture, I can robustly argue that it is because of lack of economic activities that the youth are engaged in these successive inter-clans fighting over the years. So, my appeal to the government is that it should create employment opportunities in agriculture and road construction when its current economic problems happen to change. No development without peace and no peace without economic activities that earn a living .

By Bullen Bol.
You can reach the writer by mail: bolmathieng2011@hotmail.com

Dr. John Garang and question of South Sudan founding father: A reply to Elhag Paul

BY: Manyok Chuol, OTTAWA, CANADA, JAN/12/2013, SSN;

Elhag Paul, the prolific opinion writer and anti-Dinka activist, wrote an article which South Sudan Nation Website published on Jan/ 03/2013. Mr. Paul’s article is entitled: Is there anti-Dinka school of thought in South Sudan as claimed by Joseph Garang of New Sudan Vision? and this commentary is my respond to it. As in almost all the author’s previous articles, two key sentiments have pervaded again: anti-Dinka tirade and Dr. John Garang vis-a’-vis the question of founding father of South Sudan. The two are the only issues I’m responding to.

South Sudanese who have read most of Mr. Paul’s articles will have probably come to the same conclusion, as I have, that this writer harbors deep-seated anti-Dinka sentiments. It’s now also more apparent that Mr. Paul various attempts at denigration of Dr. John Garang and his legacy is in fact a subset of the author’s overall revulsion of the Jieng (Dinka).

I will only respond in detail to Elhag Paul’s argument against Dr. John Garang’s well-deserved and earned-most importantly, the recognition of Founding Father of South Sudan shortly. But Mr. Elhag Paul’s denunciations of the Jieng (Dinka) engender grave danger in South Sudan; I will only respond in passing because others have already advised him against his mis-characterizations and incitement against the Dinka. Unfortunately, Mr. Paul is obstinately impermeable still to their wise counsel.

Anti-Dinka diatribe versus legitimate government criticism
The Rt. Hon. James Wani Igga, Speaker of South Sudan Legislative Assembly, on 30th October 2012 cogently said, during his discussion with South Sudanese in Ottawa, Canada, that, “if we don’t bury tribalism, tribalism will bury us.”

But Elhag Paul, the inventor of the so-called Dinkocracy and associated paregmenon has consistently failed to see this abyss. He uses his right as South Sudanese to criticize the government as ruse to deplore the Jieng as he similarly incites other tribes against it.
Flaunting vanity aside, and I have no problem with it, Mr. Paul should expect South Sudanese to deserve better than the cheap but dangerous incitements he consistently propagandizes about in his articles.

If or when the other tribes rise up against the Dinka as is the goal of Elhag Paul, what is certain is that the Jieng will be forced to defend their collective right to existence and it would be utterly disastrous for our country if tribes fight each other in the way Mr. Paul envisions. By inciting tribes against a tribe, Mr. Elhag Paul should no longer claim to love South Sudan when his work can probably bring about a destruction of the country.

Let me be absolutely unequivocal and affirm that all citizens, including Elhag Paul, reserve the right to criticize the SPLM and the Government of South Sudan as national institutions. This is a right I have personally and numerously exercised. It’s unconscionable and totally unacceptable that citizens have lost their lives in exercise of this right. Isaiah Abraham killing sadly comes to mind and I fully hold the government responsible unless it comes clean but hoodwinking the public remains wholly deplorable.

Therefore, you can see this isn’t about denying Elhag Paul the exercise of such right; the issue really is the cowardly deliberate incitement of ordinary citizens against their compatriots, disguised as government criticism. All citizens reserve the right to criticize the government or the SPLM party regardless of tribe but Elhag Paul coaches his criticisms of national institutions in purely anti-Dinka rhetoric.

Such approach portends danger which Mr. Paul claims to be dispelling in the first place. There is a difference between an institution and an individual and indeed a difference exists between an individual and a tribe. Salva Kiir is an individual and also a Dinka (the tribe) in the same way that he is a South Sudanese national.

The government in Juba is for all South Sudanese. But Mr. Paul would not hold the government solely responsible as a governing national institution. Instead, he holds all Jieng guilty by association for government failures because the president is a Dinka!

But let’s also remember that President Salva Kiir is a South Sudanese national and if we are to start holding communities collectively responsible for shortcomings of individuals, Mr. Paul should use the same yardstick and hold all South Sudanese, including himself, guilty by association for their government failures as the presidency and government have a South Sudanese national association/identity.

But I say, let us not hold tribes guilty by association just because a national leader happens to be from a certain tribe. Let us therefore not hold all Jieng collectively responsible for the failures of a few. I also recognize that there may be tribalist Dinka leaders in government and such leaders should be condemned individually for abusing the public trust but it’s quite a stretch to extrapolate and suggest that all Jieng/Dinkas are tribalists for which the rest of South Sudanese must be incited against.

Let us not divide South Sudanese along tribal lines when we criticize the government. Instead, let us unite as South Sudanese in calling for reforms and an end to corruption in government as we should equally remain united in our quest for justice, equality, and prosperity – collectively as South Sudanese.

As I have stated in my opening sentences above, Elhag Paul has also on various occasions tried to put Dr. Garang’s unassailable place in our nation’s history as Founding Father of South Sudan in some kind of disrepute. Such attempts should be understood – correctly, I think, in the context of the author’s overall anti-Dinka disposition.

Dr. John Garang and the question of the founding father of South Sudan
Despite much of Mr. Paul’s objection to our nation’s recognition of Dr. John Garang as its founding father is possibly driven by his discernible abhorrence of Jieng, I continue – still – to willfully ignore all that and patiently await Mr. Paul reasons for his opposition, when he gives them.

In opposing Dr. John Garang’s being appropriately recognized as the Founding Father of South Sudan, Elhag Paul does not independently state his views or reasons in the article. He, however, chooses to grossly misrepresent the views of Dr. John Garang’s eldest son, Mabior Garang, in another interview which Mr. Paul referred to. After misrepresenting Mabior Garang’s views to affirm his biased opinions, Mr. Paul went on to forcefully claim:

“It should by now be clear [from Mabior Garang’s views which by now have been mischaracterized by Elhag Paul] to Joseph Deng Garang and those people who tirelessly try to elevate the late leader of SPLM/A into father of the nation that their consistent assertions are futile… So Dr Garang is not and can not (sic) be father of the nation he did not want to be born.”

This quoted part is the central argument/response of Elhag Paul to Joseph Deng Garang, a friend and a colleague of many years, who I surely don’t agree with his characterization of Justin Ambago as anti-Dinka. I hope readers will overlook the very many incongruencies contained in the article but carefully look at the fallacy of the central claim that “Dr Garang is not and can not (sic) be father of the nation he did not want to be born.”

Such is a claim of a person who harbors an agenda and is possibly impervious to rational arguments. I still wonder, nevertheless, how any honest and serious person can make a claim so audacious that it risked becoming utterly absolutist and to the extent facts could no longer corroborate or would seem to matter!

Those who have read Mr. Paul’s article will have noticed how his central claim was made through a sheer impulsive urge rather than through a reasoned presentation.

Let’s now, therefore, ask the question who a founding father is anyway. A founding father is widely recognized as a person who has established an important organization or idea or as one Wikipedia entry broadly defines national founding fathers as:
[T]ypically those who played an influential role in setting up the systems of governance, (i.e. political system form of government, and constitution), of the country. They can also be military leaders of a war of independence that led to the existence of the country [emphasis is mine].

Therefore, let’s examine and put the founding of South Sudan into this context and we will understand why Dr. John Garang is our nation’s indestructible Founding Father.

Established an important organization and fought in the war of independence
I fully recognize the important contributions of generations of leaders throughout our history, whether of political or military leaders, or of our chiefs and indeed ordinary citizens.

I’m not here to denigrate our people’s contributions or sacrifices; instead I’m here to defend a record of a man who led our people with brilliance and extraordinary skills. This man is our late leader and hero, the indomitable Dr. John Garang de Mabior.

Dr. John Garang fought alongside his South Sudanese compatriots in Anya Nya (I) and was absorbed into the Sudanese army following the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972. When Sudan’s President Nimeiry abrogated that agreement, John Garang with his colleagues including our current President, Salva Kiir, rebelled and formed the SPLM/A in 1983.

And because I’m not writing the biography of Dr. John Garang or indeed the SPLM/A, I only give you this brief history to show a lifelong sacrifice that Dr. Garang had lived fighting on behalf of his people and why he has been appropriately accorded his place as our nation’s founding father.

For 21 long years, the SPLM/A fought successive Khartoum-based regimes and came out victorious against many odds. In 2005, the SPLM which Elhag Paul now so derisively calls the Oyee Party negotiated a unique peace agreement. Unfortunately, Elhag Paul chooses to befuddle his followers who together now believe in imagined inevitability of South Sudan achieving independence without the contribution of the SPLM, including that of its late indefatigable leader, the shrewd and charismatic Dr. John Garang.

The CPA is an obviously historic achievement and many people including honest South Sudanese who do not belong to or support the SPLM recognize such feat. Only to Elhag Paul must this deed be ridiculed, downplayed, obscured and/or even denied.

But I remind Elhag Paul, despite suspecting that envy and loath of the Dinka are probably suffocating him, that the late SPLM leader negotiated the historic CPA, the peace agreement that virtually guaranteed the birth of a new nation in South Sudan. To claim Dr. John Garang did not want South Sudan born, a claim I have shown to be false, is a dangerous exhibition of willful ignorance or worst still a terrible case of amnesia on Mr. Paul’s part.

Not only is Elhag Paul’s claim mendacious, it may be revealing much of the unworthiness of Dr. Garang’s doubters of his founding father tribute.

Birth of a new nation in South Sudan
The nation of South Sudan gained independence through a plebiscite in exercise of the Right of Self-Determination, the overarching part of the 2005 CPA. All should be reminded, however, that the right of self-determination is not a concept original to South Sudan’s leaders contrary to the balderdash claim of the 28th August 1991 Nasir Coup leaders and their facts-free followers.

If the right of self-determination is not a creation of our leaders, then those who loudly claim they were the first to call for the right of self-determination, and without working hard for it, should recognize the achievement of those who actually fought and brought the independence of South Sudan.

Dr. John Garang and the SPLM crafted the CPA with skills and knowledge of the enemy and this unique peace agreement directly resulted in South Sudanese exercising the right of self-determination through the 9th January 2011 referendum vote in which our people so overwhelmingly voted for separation leading to the proclamation of independence on 9th July 2011.

The question, therefore, is: how can the late SPLM/A leader and the chief architect of CPA not be the founding father of South Sudan? If he cannot be, who else would as Elhag Paul is not admittedly opposed to South Sudan having a founding father?

How can resentment and jealousy so flagrantly scapegoat in such a way that would allow a person of apparent intelligence in Elhag Paul to make a decidedly bogus claim that Dr. Garang did not want South Sudan born when a schooled and objective reading of the CPA makes it abundantly clear that the SPLM and its late leader wanted South Sudan achieve independence.

It is for these reasons that Dr. John Garang is duly recognized as South Sudan founding father even as it irritates Elhag Paul.

In closing, Dr. John Garang was a visionary of immense intellect and political skills who outwitted his detractors in life. But it is astounding that the late SPLM leader continues to defeat his opponents even in death!

By: Manyok Chuol, Ottawa, Canada

Diplomacy and Economic Advancement in the Republic of South Sudan

Strengthening South Sudan’s Foreign Relation through Trade Initiatives

BY: Goy Leek, AUSTRALIA, JAN/8/2013, SSN;

As a new nation created in this magnificent techno-age of the 21st century, the Republic of South Sudan is faced with numerous challenges. One such challenge is the need to anchor the nation on a firm economic platform so as to advance the livelihoods of the populace. Being a new nation, she is now a witness to economic growth models of new emerging world economies. The countries with such economies have at times been dubbed as either “developing” countries or new global “economic partners.” These countries have at one stage of their emergence gone through the trails of turmoils currently experienced in South Sudan before gaining their economic stability.

Therefore, in addition to bolstering prosperity, these countries have formed alliances such as the international economic body of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South African (BRICS) in a bid to combating economic dependency on large global financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Besides, there are the continental economic bodies such as Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations which were later merged to form the Union of South American Nations (UNSAN) with a single objective to establishing an economic platform within South America.

Regionally, there existed the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and East African Community (EAC) clearly aiming at intensifying economic activities through partnerships and cooperation. These allied countries have adopted a cohesive strategy of unionism through trade economic practices to achieve the goal of economic stability by amalgamating their resident economic sectors.

The cooperative approach identified by the above mentioned states to achieve the economic strength through the shared market and diverse resources utilization is something that has boosted local growth and development within the alliance. At the core of such formations of alliances, there is the existence of a fundamental and an amicable diplomatic protocol and policy agenda that aims to drive the programs of the coalitions forged. The battle waged against economic dependency as branded by most of these nations is a path that has been confirmed by many economists and capitalist nations as a practice of a progressive economic independence.

South Sudan therefore as a nation aspiring to establish its economic status regionally and internationally is not an exception in this scenario and thus requires an ultimate consideration of prioritizing its economic programs alongside its diplomatic discourses so as to create leverage in the world’s industrial and technological market for a profound economic stance.

At this juncture, the RoSS is also an observer to various trade and industrial activities of the already “developed” countries with established strong economic foundations. These countries are continuously strengthening their economies effectively through political and diplomatic leadership. As widely perceptible, most “developed” countries have limited economic resources and less agricultural activities to bolster their manufacturing and industrial sector. Therefore, they profoundly rely on the robust foreign markets for raw materials particularly in Africa. Their demands are being met almost instantaneously by the host ‘green states’ unfortunately at stumpy values.

The resource relation between the west and Africa which is intermittently silhouetted and embedded under an unreciprocated financial relief is indeed a delicate one. It provides the “developed” countries with greater advantage to advance their industrious business practices. On the other hand, the green states are entangled in myriads of debts unable to visualise the effects of the business practice.

So, however much the race is getting steadier and increasingly unrequited, the RoSS is also witnessing the challenges facing these ‘developing’ and ‘developed’ countries. These challenges range from the recent global financial crisis to the euro-zone economic crisis and from the political turmoils of the Arabian countries especially the Middle East, the northern and western Africa to the current second-phase neo-scramble for African resources by the west and the new economic super-power – China. These events though seemingly distant and outside our diplomatic and economic scope do require prominent considerations should South Sudan aspire to be considered globally while satisfying its economic agendas at home.

Comprehensively, the Republic of South Sudan needs a strategized global economic exposure through diplomatic proficiency given the involvement of the international community in most of the Republic’s affairs officially from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development era to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and onto the contemporary issues such as Abyei, the oil saga, internal insecurity and many more.

Our diplomatic participation in economic forums regionally and globally is highly crucial however sensitive the internal state of affairs are. The basic reason is that the policies for the new nation need to be represented accurately and candidly with maximized advantageous outcomes; this will prevent being misconstrued as a nation with a contrary agenda other than that popularized during the CPA under the banner of democratic reforms by means of secular transparent government.

The international community’s involvement in the affairs of South Sudan since its creation through to its infancy is nothing new and thus requires proper projection of the obligations and the fundamental pledges the nation made upon the inception of independence so as to retain the high-spirited jovial atmosphere of independence into the future for future generations. Thus, the best way for the Republic South Sudan to remain intact with local development which is a prime recipe in nation building is to equally brandish it’s foreign and public policy by prioritizing economic diplomacy to assert itself locally and globally.

Our nation’s foreign policy requires a world-class statecraft construction or otherwise refurbishment so that it reflects our need for economic growth as per foreign relation expectations internationally and at home.

During the endorsement of the first South Sudan’s foreign policy by the cabinet ministers three weeks after independence, the preamble of the document read out by the then caretaker minister of Information, Barnaba Marial Benjamin stated that “being the newest nation state vying to carve out a respectful position amongst the world body of nations, South Sudan is keen and resolute in establishing a democratic secular transparent system of government, reflective of established international norms and standards such as the observance of the rule of law and respect for human rights.”

These pledges are indeed appropriate and perhaps flamboyant; however, they can only reach their optimal impact when itemized in accordance with proper resource economic sector, suitable regulatory trade conduct and accommodating legislative programs of resident innovative potentials and skills.

Therefore, as much as we aspire to position ourselves as a nation on the global diplomatic stage, our principle objectives inclusive to the above mentioned obligations needs to also incorporate our readiness and strategic responses to immediate challenges experienced locally since they can gravely influence and overshadow our reputation internationally.

To achieve this, it is vital to encourage members of the public to participate in pioneering projects towards local businesses by primarily emphasizing on the promotion of transparent, free and fair economic practices through indispensable regulations. The promotion of local businesses and renewing the trade systems at home will highly give a recognizable credibility to our intercontinental trade partners that consider engaging in mutual and bilateral relations with the Republic of South Sudan.

With these few items on the list of initiatives that our foreign ministry needs to engage itself in, the nation will be best placed to operate and create a frontier and a market for our natural resources hence providing our societies with renewed sense of economic potency.

Furthermore, it will also be beneficial to engage our diplomatic missions to venture into appropriate representation of the need for economic relations by conducting robust generation of modern economic diplomacy. The frontline staff in the foreign missions should prioritize this task to effectively implement the agendas of the government.

Although it will be a daunting task for the sixty three identified foreign missions, the task to internationally represent and translate our government’s agendas will require reflective presentation though being the first Foreign Service officers from the republic of South Sudan. Their role will be met with intricacy requiring efficacy of their competence and expertise irrespective of acquired prior experiences.

Hence the needs for committing and engaging in the commercialization of our natural resources are far a greater benefit for the nation at large to administer its highly needed primary services such as healthcare, education and security.

As much as our foreign missions take their responsibilities into establishing long lasting relationships with foreign countries, the government of South Sudan should not do so at the expense of the local public. Firm and dignified foreign policies that are coherent will only thrive and prosper under the effective articulation and translation of our public policies that have comprehensive public rating and ultimate benefits to the local populace.

It has now been seventeen months since the endorsement of the first foreign policy document by the council of minister of the government of South Sudan; the intentions have been widely known such as to firstly adjust the nation’s diplomatic relations and concisely delivering on that premise.

Secondly, the platforms on which these ties were to be conducted have been laid out in the structures of embassies, consulate generals and permanent missions. Currently, the stages of establishing the foreign offices have now passed and the firm task of introducing and strengthening mutual bilateral relationships has begun. Therefore, lowering the guard or slacking on the policy could be highly detrimental on grounds of economic development.

The quest to build a knowledge-based foreign policy to foreign publics is highly dependent on how best our missionaries (ambassadors) will educate these foreign public on our economic and financial systems through making available means for free trade, safeguards and protection of prospective investors to embark on transparent market-based economies.

As much as our aim as a republic is to build close links with foreign public, our diplomats and all government officials should be encouraged to make use of this 21st century’s technological capability to reach out to our own home populace to reform and renew the economic sector so as to support our local industrial sector and not just focus on the foreign policy that could be void of substance when it comes to stronger economies.

So that our local economic activities remain to boost our foreign policy, the government of the Republic of South Sudan should consistently encourage our foreign staffers to innovatively create projects and programs that are aimed at enhancing the fiscal objectives of South Sudan’s foreign policy. These programs should include the likes of educational and internship scholarship programs, entrepreneurial empowerment, the enhancement of our social and public policies and even contemporarily on challenges such as the currently pending CPA protocols and various issues contributing to insecurity in South Sudan’s ten states.

Likewise, building and nurturing our young entrepreneurs to gain stability is an aspect of proper economic planning through economic diplomacy to instigate the utilization of local resources. Such an approach will give rise to an economically established society that is capable of supplying its local communities with basic products and services currently supplied by foreign bordering countries.

By doing so, the government of South Sudan is set on the right foot to empowering young people fulfilling some of their talents and potentials and hence strengthening our economy where the nation will be best placed to combat minor resident challenges while getting groomed to be own community problems solvers rather than remaining ardent consumers and a shallow dumping ground for international inadequate aid.

In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that South Sudan’s foreign affairs and international cooperation ministry is in the right direction in respect to its effective establishment of foreign missions and constant engagement in relative issues at regional and international levels.

However, we have to qualify a fact; the recent attempt by the RoSS to be included into the East African Community (EAC) was perhaps hastily presented. The fact that the application for membership was adjourned for further scrutiny and review against the union’s criterion presented a rather grim and an uncomfortable reality. South Sudan for so long and presumably just before the end of the CPA period had had the wild thought that it was going to be automatically amalgamated into the economic union of the Eastern African countries bloc.

The categorization for the acceptance based on the proposal was somewhat allocated into a very worrying basket – together with Somalia (nothing is surprising given the history of instability within the two regions). However, to those who are familiar with Somalia’s state of affairs, you will find it remarkably preposterous for the new nation to be in the same classification with Somalia at least as per the struggle agendas and the legacy of the dispute resolution through the accredited CPA process.

The reality of such a finding does not project a good reflection of South Sudan’s foreign policy especially in the EAC region as the region should have remained to be RoSS’s robust diplomatic stronghold. The Countries of East Africa; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi are all familiar with the situation of South Sudan, therefore, subjecting RoSS’s application for further scrutiny is grossly either a lengthy conduct inappropriate to the procedures or an outright scepticism and denial of granting entry into the union.

For the government of South Sudan, it is a sign that should have been closely followed with intensive probing and fact finding missions especially when the Government of South Sudan considers itself worthy of the inclusion and has shown admiration to the regional bloc.

Therefore, a stronger foreign relations policy with an enshrined economic aspect will noticeably ensure a stronger South Sudan with a capacity to address its internal issues without external interference pertinent to our sovereign values.

The writer currently resides in Australia. He can be reached through the private e-mail of; goymalualleek@hotmail.com

Appeal to all Concerned Citizens of South Sudan

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, JAN/7/2013, SSN;

Let me start by wishing you all a happy new year although belatedly. Nonetheless a new year is always a thing to be optimistic about. It is thus my wish that the year of 2013 will bring along with it the much needed political will from all the stakeholders in our new country which unfortunately was made to spend its eighteen months of independence in misery, misrule, corruption, lawlessness , insecurity, and impunity. In short we are a failed state right from birth if not from conception as such.

The challenges ahead of us are numerous, but there must be a way out of it. Many of us have unfortunately stayed behind instead of stepping forward to actively play their national duties. It is only the people of South Sudan who can sort out their own mess. Sticking one’s head in the sand and pretending that all is alright when everything around you is degenerating is but a betrayal of your country.

We have all witnessed how our country has rapidly degenerated into the dire socioeconomic and political chaos. Our economy which was in fact “a single item (resource)” economy has now been grounded by political amateurism. The other talk about the diversification of the economy is at its best a political rhetoric, much more so used by the leadership as a form of a political smoke under which much more money from the public coffers went missing. Or simply stolen as put by Salva Kiir the country’s head of state.

The freedom of speech is now a punishable crime in our country. When we differ on policies and views, it is meant to enrich the debate in order to find better and informed choices for solving our national problems. That is the essence of the debate.

As citizens of one country we can differ on opinions and that makes us rivals, but never ever as foes or enemies. The sad facts that marked the past eighteen months where the ruling SPLM-led government openly demonstrated to the world that it is not ready to hear dissent voices not even amongst its ranks and files, speaks volumes.

Incommunicado arrests of activists, intimidation of known SPLM supporters turned critics, of opposition party members and censoring their activities, harassment of civil society members and assassination of opinion writers have all contributed to taint a very nasty and horrible image of our nascent country.

What Hopes do we have in 2013

It is now an open secret that since its inception in 1983, the ruling SPLM party as a result of its gross mismanagement of the new country is currently suffering its ever major unpopularity amongst most sectors of the South Sudanese communities at home and in the Diaspora. It is against this background that the embattled and corruption ridden party is about to hold its convention in 2013. But the million dollar question still is will it come out with changes to the wider community?

Will the SPLM’s 2013 party convention find solutions to the countless and the immense mess that the party has got the new country into as a result of its amateuristic policies and conduct?

For if anything good is ever to come to the country then much change in the attitude of the ruling SPLM towards other political parties and civil societies that exist and operate in the country must be a priority, otherwise the result of failure to do so is everybody’s guess.

However better still we hope that the SPLM can be able to change its “rotten to core” leadership which has practically run out of ideas, otherwise what we are seeing is a country being rushed into a totalitarian rule under a one man dictatorship.

On the other hand the same year of 2013 can be considered a year for the opposition political parties to start preparing for the coming 2014 elections. They will need to start making plans for a strong coalition, strong candidates and start organizing themselves to lead a political campaign of their life time.

The memories of the 2010 Sudan General elections that brought the current corrupt politicians into office is still fresh in every one’s mind. All can still vividly remember how the SPLM internal electoral politics were carried out and the same can as well be reminded of how those who refused to confirm with the ruling party were made to pay the ultimate price.

The Sudan 2010 General Elections were widely fraudulent. All opposition candidates and their supporters were intimidated, harassed and the whole electoral process was terribly manipulated in favour of the SPLM. This must never be allowed to happen again, for despite the fact that all the above mentioned malpractices by the SPLM during that infamous election were tolerated, however those circumstances were different and they have so far changed. Any attempt to repeat any of the countless “politics of bullying” will no doubt have a detrimental effect on what is left of the new nation’s fabric of unity!

The anticipated Political coalition of the South Sudan’s opposition parties must see to it that the country’s new constitution comes into existence through the right process. In other words it has to be approved directly by the people through a popular ballot and never ever by the current SPLM’s rubber stamp parliament.

The Political coalition of South Sudan opposition political parties is the only way out to defeat the corrupt SPLM. There must be an end to what our beloved country is now going through. The inherently corrupt SPLM politicians and party officials have all stolen from the public coffers and many are squarely behind the gross deterioration in the security situation the country wide. To continue under this era is in fact to reverse our sense of independence and freedom.

The international community should still continue to play its vital role in helping this country to embrace democracy. It has to press very hard for the first ever post-independence election to be held on time. It must also start to prepare the platform for free and credible elections. Elections that’s far away from fraud, gerrymandering, vote stuffing and all kinds of political malice if we are to avoid the Kenyan experience of 2007.

To wind it up all, one must stress the importance of a free press and the freedom of speech. This has to start immediately if we are to mark a line between the dark moments that extended throughout the 2012 period. Without these freedoms not only the talk about a new constitution becomes meaningless, but even going for an election becomes an act of ticking the boxes and an outright political hypocrisy.

Hence there is only one conclusion here and that the year 2013 must be a busy year for all those who want to see South Sudan come out of its current man-made misery.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party (USSP). Can be reached at: justinramba@aol.co.uk or justinramba@doctors.co.uk

The Wau Massacre exposes lack of accountability in South Sudan

BY: Bol Garang de Bol, Canberra, Australia, JAN/5/2013, SSN;

South Sudan is both discomposed and confounded by the inefficient approach with which the Government continues to address insecurity in the Western Bar el Ghazal, Jonglei State and Lake State that has left a number of persons dead and many more injured. Sadly to
mention, the Wau massacre isn’t the first incident in which our Government has failed our people.

The Government has failed the citizens by not undertaking rapid response, efficient data collection of intelligence information, and measures to diffuse conflict in Mile 14, Heglig (known as Panthou) and Abyei. Instead the South Sudan government and the ruling party
(SPLM) seem to have adopted a “fire fighting approach” that responds only to a disaster instead of responding to signs and symptoms that could potentially prevent a disaster.

The way our government responds to threats of the security of the citizens is confusing and indefensible. The Government must have a proactive response to a threatening situation by assembling all national security machinery for collecting necessary intelligence
information that could circulate a volatile situation and the government could drag its feet to prevent death of innocent people.

The South Sudan government’s inefficient approach raises fundamental condemnation and distressing questions that leave our National Security in disbelief. The South Sudanese people may ask why the President and Commander in Chief of South Sudan Armed Forces
cannot command an immediate action to end the on-going massacre in Western Bahr el Ghazal, Jonglei State and Lakes State.

The recent incident in Wau undermined the eligibility of South Sudan police Inspector-General, Achuil Tito Madut, Minister for National Security, General Oyai Deng Ajak and all Directors of security organs to hold public positions.

The President has a moral obligation to the citizens of South Sudan under the Interim South Sudan Constitution which stipulates that the President shall ensure the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the rules of law. The people of South Sudan for the last seven years since 2005 have continuously witnessed the breakdown of the rule of law and the inability of the persons conferred with such responsibilities failing them every time and again.

We’re deeply concerned with reports that the aid agencies spoke of properties being looted and houses burnt. While the number of those killed by the SPLA has not been counted due to tight security situation in the town. The use of military personnel against civilians, and the use of brutal methods for extracting information from the suspects are unacceptable and should be condemned by all civilized societies.

I would like the South Sudan Government to take note that we condemn the violent killings in Western Bar el Ghazal that are as a direct result of the pressure that has been building due to failure by the State to uphold the rule of law.

I also note that the failure and delay by the Government to undertake security sectors reforms is undermining key changes that could enhance the performance of the security sectors to ensure sustainable peace in the country.

For the sack of national interests, I call on the South Sudan’s government to:–

1. To strongly and speedily stop and investigate the Wau massacre.
2. The immediate resignation of National Security Minister, General Oyai Deng Ajak and South Sudan’s Inspector-General of Police, Lt. General, Achuil Tito Madut.
3. The immediate disarmament of the general population
4. The South Sudan Government must take political responsibility by enforcing the rule of law so that such acts of lawlessness may not happen again.
5. The government must inform the public about what measures are in place to control future massacre.

I believe, not only me, but many Southerners now and in the near future will share the same idea with me by accusing this government of having failed to deliver to people’s expectations. The people of South Sudan under the current leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit are agitating for good service delivery, a corruption-free South Sudan, transparency in the Party leadership and public sectors.

The major issue in the Government of President Salva Kiir, is accountability. No one is being held accountable to the South Sudanese people… neither the President nor his Executive arm of government.

The President and his Executive keep denying if anything went wrong, therefore, who will the South Sudanese hold accountable for rampant corruption, Wau massacre, stolen $4 billion and malicious killings in Juba?

Giving critical analysis to the situation facing our country today under the SPLM Rule, you may find it that the Movement we joined 30 years ago isn’t the same Movement we’re having now. The SPLA/SPLM was formed as the Movement of the people for the people to liberate South Sudan through a change of government but in a civilized way.

I was assuming the people of South Sudan to go for service delivery government similar to those of UK, US, Australia, Kenya, South Africa which are responsible governments not that of “Fire Brigade” with only one or two with the vision for all. The government we need in South Sudan between now and 2015 is a transitional government which can represent the interest of South Sudanese people and protect them and their territory.

We don’t want the government which failed to negotiate the political fate of Abyei, Mile 14 and Wau massacre. The people of South Sudan at this critical time need a national leader that can build trust among ethnic communities on this momentum.

Bol Garang de Bol is a South Sudanese living in Canberra, Australia.
He can be reached at nicetobeme05@yahoo.com

Correcting the economic mess in South Sudan

BY: Bol Mathieng, RSS, DEC/31/2012, SSN;

Dear readers, on returning home, I thought the government through the Central Bank, has got rid of the money changers along the streets by asking the police to arrest such individuals in a bit to curb the incidence. On seeing them again, I immediately asked myself several questions like:

‘Why were they (street money changers) left undisturbed when in other countries you can rarely see them?’

‘How does the Central Bank regulate the amount of money in circulation when the money changers exist and actively go about their money changing business?’

‘How can limited hard currencies be rationed to meet the nation’s hard currency demand with the presence of money changers?’

‘How can fiscal policy successfully work when the money changers are not organized dealers with considerable level of experience in education necessary for book keeping which can be used to levy taxes?’

The list is endless. What is the way forward? The solution lies in the hands of policy makers in government (Central bank) to immediately get rid of money changers, and remain with Forex bureaus and commercial banks.

In my opinion, the numbers of Forex bureaus should be regulated, you can agree with me if you look at this view at the angle of extending credit to borrowers necessary for expatiating economic growth and development. Have you ever seen the Forex bureau extending credit here in Juba or anywhere in South Sudan?

What they are known for is exchanging money and transferring hard currency abroad to student, importers, sick people etc… to meet their hard currency demands abroad, but the number of commercial banks that extend credit to local people is limited in comparison with these numerous Forex bureaus. It should be noted that commercial banks in which I cherish increase in their numbers are the locally owned or jointly owned commercial banks.

So how will local entrepreneurs get credit and financial advice if some areas are not covered by the commercial banks? I was happy to see an indigenous bank known as Nile commercial bank operating well in early 2006, 2007 before it collapsed. What are our local businessmen waiting for? I have seen many of them opening Forex bureaus instead of commercial banks.

I am also pleased by the existence of National commercial bank as an indigenous bank, what is now needed is its expansion so that it can cover more areas country wide. Let me give you example of Centenary Bank in Uganda, the bank has the widest coverage in Uganda, interestingly, its share holders are not all foreigners. Of the shareholders are indigenous people (the Catholic Church, local individuals and few foreigners).

We can also learn a lesson from Rwanda, whose indigenous bank is doing great task in accelerating economic growth and development there through extension of credit to local farmers. In my opinion, an organized group of south Sudanese should pooled their resources together and form a commercial bank through partnership, or else the one which is now present should be encouraged to expand its services country wide by emboldening savers to opening many saving accounts with it instead of saving abroad or increasing consumption locally.

The next issue that did not impress me is a domination by foreigners of the informal economic sector. What will local individuals with relatively limited amount of capital invest in small businesses like bars, restaurants, tea selling, water selling through water tanks, hair cutting, bodaboda riding, taxi or public transport system, building of houses and fences etc…

These should have been owned and dominated by the citizens because they required limited capital and skills, but now the opposite is true, why? Can’t we do those jobs? Are they financially and physically hard for us to afford? The answer is no, people just need to wake up and recuperate their economy from foreigners.

If you have been in Juba, you must have read how the some foreigners testified how they made money from the jobs that are considered dirty, for example, one of the newspaper last year published a story of a chapati seller who made roughly 100 south Sudanese pounds in two days, assuming he is a good saver, he would have made considerable amount of money at the end of the year.

Domination of hotel services by foreigners
If you ask yourself a simple question like this: how are the citizens of south Sudan particularly residence of Juba city who happened to be neighbors of such hotels benefiting from the existence of the business in their area? The answer is no, they are not economically benefiting in any way.

Just take your time and tour hotels in Thongpiny, you will not fail in your survey to find that all the waiters and waitresses are all foreigners, why? Don’t we have young ladies that can do those jobs? If the criteria of choosing a waiter is based on beauty, then I can also ask a question, don’t we have beautiful girls that can occupy those vacancies that are now filled by foreigners? The answer is YES, we have beautiful girls that can suit that criterion.

Taxes alone are not enough, yes, government can obtain taxes from those hotels but what about the local population especially unemployed young ladies, where will they get employed?

I call upon the ministry of public service to look into that matter and employment in general, those who have academic documents should register with the ministry so that they are employed depending on their careers, those who lacks academic papers should also be registered and they should be employed in areas that do not need academic qualification.

Reduction of imports
Since the approach that our government has taken is seemingly people-based agriculture production system where government avails tractors to farmers, the individual states should take advantage of Juba city as their ready market for all their agricultural products in the first place before they would think of exportation in the future.

For example, Central Equatoria state citizens can take the advantage of its being the host of the national government and invest heavily in perishable goods like tomatoes, onions, all green vegetables such as Kudura, okra…etc, it can also invest in other crops that they can produce well. Each state can specialize in commodities it can produce better and leave the rest to other states. They can then have inter-states trade and this will definitely reduce importations of food stuffs and boost unity among states since traders will interchangeably carry out their trade.

In short, government should have agricultural farms, or they can relocate residents of Rank and use the entire region of Rank as an agricultural area in a bit to produce more output.

Establishment of National planning Authority/planning commission
Without a planning commission, the country can not be able to formulate, monitor and evaluate the plans effectively. This is true with perspective plan which is broken down into annual, five or ten-year plans. It should be noted that it was because of feasible plans that Indian commission formulate that account for Indian sustainable development, China had also followed the same suit while pursuing its developmental goals.

Therefore, my appeal to the government is that, when it gets resources once again, it should endeavor to form a planning commission. The saying goes thus: failing to plan is planning to fail. Planning commission is equally important like other commissions that republic of south Sudan are now having.

Formation of national examination board for primary and secondary school and national council for higher education for university education
Human capital development is one of the important aspects that every country needs to flourish in its economic development ambitions. Although the nation is still young, the formation of national examination board charged with reviewing the syllabus, setting and marking primary and secondary examinations is important, it is a strong foundation laid in primary and secondary education that give raise to quality graduates.

On the other hand, national council for higher education plays an important role of reviewing the qualifications that an institution has to award degrees, masters, and PHDs. These facts are not new to each one of you but I greatly wonder why such institutions are not in place when we have very experienced, knowledgeable professors like Prof. Machar Kachuol, prof. Cuir Riak, Prof. Job Dharuai and many other highly educated south Sudanese that I may not know but are qualified as well,

To proof to you that we are not well off educationally, just log on to Google and type top 100 African universities, you definitely find none of South Sudanese universities in the ranking. The massive search of quality education in our neighboring countries and overseas and is clear manifestation that we have a poor education system. But it is not too late to rectify it, it requires formation of the above institutions, establishing teachers training centers country wide, improving school facilities like classrooms, syllabus, and above all paying attractive salaries to all teachers and lecturers that are under government aided schools or institutions.

Our great nation needs strong education system that can even attract foreign students to study here in Republic of South Sudan. It will also reduce the need to study abroad because everything that overseas educational institutions have will be found here if the above measures are put into considerations.

In conclusion, I appeal to my fellow south Sudanese, both policy makers in the government and local people to do something about our economy, we have successfully achieved our political independence until we obtained the title of Republic, the next battle is economic independence, which requires everyone (policy makers in the government and public at large) to be involved, do any economic activity that earns you a living and stop dependency.

You can reach the writer by mail: bolmathieng2011@hotmail.com

South Sudan: Human Rights Deterioration and Possible Consequences

BY: Jwothab Othow, RSS, DEC/28/2012, SSN;

The purpose of this paper is to examine and identify the major human rights violations and their consequences that have occurred in South Sudan within the last 8 years since 2005. As citizens of South Sudan, we are deeply concerned about the deterioration in the rule of law in the country since the attainment of independence has raised questions on the fundamental principles of human rights. It has become common knowledge that the framework for establishing the rule of law in South Sudan has fallen short of the expectations of citizens and the international community.

The alleged extensive killings, disappearances, media harassment, detentions and torture were carried out by the government of South Sudan’s security forces. As we all know that human rights violation is an unlawful deprivation of individual rights considered inherent to all humans. Perpetrators of human rights violations within the security forces used numerous tactics of repression, with both physical and psychological consequences.

The government of South Sudan must be held accountable for human rights violations against it citizens and it is crucial as a deterrent, in order to ensure that these violations are not repeated. Therefore, by international law South Sudan is obligated to effectively investigate suspected breaches of human rights and prosecute those responsible. For example, we have witnessed what happened recently in Wau town whereby SPLA soldiers were killing peaceful protesters. Nine civilians were reportedly killed and several wounded. South Sudan must be held responsible for the protection of their citizens and therefore what is happening in Wau is not acceptable and the government of South Sudan must be held responsible for failing to protect its citizens.

On December 4, 2012, Isaiah Abraham was killed in his home in Juba by unknown gunmen. On December 17, 2012, Lawrance Korbandy who is the chairperson of the South Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC) called for the resignation of security ministers due to the killing of innocent civilians across the country, and in the capital, Juba, in particular; and to allow investigations into the death of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol to take place fairly. Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak who is the National Security Minister expresses his concern that, “I will not accept to work for an institution which kills people.”

One of the most difficult things for civilized people to comprehend is that these wicked barbaric acts of cruelty were not the actions of psychopaths, but soldiers. Their “enemy” was not an invading army from foreign borders, nor were they fighting for freedom against a repressive racist regime; the vast majority of the “enemy” was their fellow South Sudanese. This is a clear human rights violation of the fundamental right of freedom of expression and assembly.

According to Amnesty International in it reports on South Sudan human rights violations that time has come for accountability. There are assaults on the media, the political opposition, civil society activists, and human rights defenders; these are important components needed for a democratic society to prevail.

According to European Press Photo Agency reports on November 21, 2012 who visited the South Sudan two prisons: Rumbek Central Prison and Juba Central Prison which was built in 1948 by the British colonial government, Rumbek Central Prison houses some 600 prisoners who live in overcrowded cells with practically no access to basic health care, sanitation, as well as adequate food and nutrition. Many detainees have no legal representation and South Sudan has no functioning legal aid system. Many are also vulnerable to illness and diseases, which they rarely receive proper care, unless they can pay for medicine themselves. Ten inmates died in Aweil prison and at least five died in Bentiu prison in 2011 alone, most of treatable illnesses, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Arbitrary detention is widespread in South Sudan, according to HRW in its 2012 report. Conditions in South Sudan’s prisons evidently do not comply with international or domestic law or standards on prisoners’ welfare. South Sudan’s human rights deterioration could possible result in serious consequences against the government of South Sudan and possible isolation by the international community if it fails to improve its human rights conditions. It is also disturbing that United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) seemed to have failed to fulfill its responsibility to observe human rights violations carried out by the elements of SPLA in South Sudan since the country gained independence.

The whole world was shocked by the atrocities and abuses which were committed by SPLA in the Chollo (Shilluk) Kingdom in 2010. According to Aljazeera report which was broadcasting the video report on the Television network; it was clear that there have been serious human rights abuses against the civilian population in the name of so-called disarmament program in Chollo (Shilluk) Kingdom. The government of South Sudan’s security forces committed a range of human rights violations despite the presence of UNMISS in South Sudan to monitor and report human rights abuse both in Chollo Kingdom and Jongeli states. In 2010, the SPLA army clearly committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Shilluk Kingdom where Shilluk men and women were targeted as a result of Robert Gwang’s rebellion, women were raped and men severely tortured or killed.

The women were raped by SPLA soldiers to dehumanize them and as a form of punishment for their male family members, as rape not only humiliates the person raped but also the whole family and their community. It is clearly based on the evidence of ongoing human rights abuses against civilians in the Chollo Kingdom during the so-called disarmament. The element of Padang Dinka’s elites within the SPLM ruling party orchestrated their agenda to grab Chollo land using Robert Gwang’s rebellion as an excuse. Until now, the SPLA forces who committed odious war crimes and crimes against humanity have not been brought to justice.

Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the government of South Sudan under the leadership of President Salva Kiir has been engaged in extrajudicial and other unlawful killings; arbitrary arrest, torture; harassment on the media, and inhuman treatments or punishments against its citizens and those who are critical against his government. Arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention without trial is against international law and it is a serious violation of human rights. South Sudan’s security agents have been carrying out killings of civilians and journalists; e.g. a political commentator who are critical to the government and questioned the unconstitutional practices of the security forces.

South Sudan Security forces routinely commit political violence, including torture of citizens in custody, particularly in areas suspected of support for the opposition. For example, on July, 7, 2011, the SPLM-DC leader of opposition in South Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) and Deputy Chairman of SPLM-DC was harshly beaten by the SPLA Military Intelligence.

The government of South Sudan must reform it security forces because continuation of these abuses such as extrajudicial arbitrary arrest, indefinite detention without trial, torture, harsh prison conditions; restrictions on freedom of speech, the press, freedom of assembly, association; prevention of international human rights observers and discrimination against women and child abuse could lead to more deterioration of human rights abuses that will damage the nation creditability in the international community which could result in sanctions against South Sudan and isolation from the international community. If the South Sudan government wants a sustainable peace and to be part of the international community it must respect human rights and should demonstrate its commitment to international law by carrying out full thorough investigations into human rights violations nationwide. According to HRW researchers who have met scores of people sent to prison by chiefs who had no formal legal training, for crimes that do not appear in South Sudan’s criminal code.

South Sudan government should prosecute those responsible for any criminal acts within it security agency. According to HRW that, “The government of South Sudan should send a strong and clear message that it will not allow soldiers to abuse civilians or fail to protect them during clashes.” For example, the SPLA carried out operations against militia allegedly linked to SPLM-DC in Fashoda County, committing serious human rights abuses in the process. The SPLM leaders who are perpetrators for the crimes committed against civilians and are criminally responsible as are both military and political leaders who participated to implementing the policy that instigated tribal violence among the communities and human rights violations.

President Salva Kiir could be qualified for criminal liability as a leader and under whose administration crime which has been committed against civilians populations. South Sudanese civilians found themselves the target of mass atrocities at the hands of the government of South Sudan and SPLA forces.

The international community and regional and sub-regional bodies must act now to protect the populations. Call for SPLM/A to be held accountable for human rights violations against civilians. Since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed in 2005, civilians have been at risk of mass atrocities in the hands of SPLA forces. As we have witness the recent killing by SPLA forces shooting at protesters and peaceful demonstration in Wau. The government of South Sudan must uphold the responsibility to protect civilians. The SPLA armed forces and their leaders expressed clear intent to continue committing massive human rights violations against the civilians in South Sudan.

The SPLM ruling party are responsible for manufacturing ethnic conflict between the communities in South Sudan since 2005 as result of SPLM policy of provoking ethnic violence where it will remain free from challenge in the political arena. Until now the government of South Sudan has not addressed the land dispute between Shilluk and Padang Dinka communities that has turned violent on several occasions in recent year”s alienated Shilluk communities according to HRW.

According to Amnesty International Executive Director, Suzanne Nossel, who made the following comments in response to reports that the international hip hop artist and human rights advocate Emmanuel Jal had been seriously beaten by South Sudan police in Juba. His account of an unprovoked attack, preceded by the seizure of his mobile phone, must be immediately investigated and all those responsible must be held accountable. “We further call on the authorities to ensure that Jal is able to move freely and in safety while in South Sudan. Jal has been a dedicated advocate for peace and security in the region for years. His early years as a child soldier had made him extraordinarily credible as an advocate to prevent the use of children as soldiers worldwide to support the establishment of a global arms trade treaty and to defend human rights.”

The government of South Sudan must comply with international law and investigate all abuses by it security forces and end “horrific acts of violence” by security forces against it citizens. As a consequence South Sudan must and should address the atrocities committed against civilians by South Sudan’s security forces.

South Sudan civil society has been weakening due to consistent harassment and intimidation by security forces and its leader Mr. Deng Athuai Mawiir Rehan was once abducted and beaten badly. Also it is undeniable that the notions of tribal politics in South Sudan has weakened and divided the organizations such as civil society and the media to prevent them from taking a united concerted action against the repressive regime due their tribal loyalties. These organizations are important components and a cornerstone in the society to maintain social peace and defend human rights in South Sudanese society.

It is my sincere belief that if South Sudan is to be great, it must live up to her ideals for freedom, equality and justice for all. It must continue to fight against tribalism in order to succeed in her pursuits for an inclusive society that is base on the principle of equality for all, democracy, freedom, justice, human rights and lasting peace. South Sudanese must and should understand that tribalism is the most divisive and destructive element in our nation’s social fabric future.

South Sudan’s government has clearly failed to stop the security forces that have been committing these horrific acts of violence against its citizens. President Salva Kiir promised during an independence-day speech to respect and ratify human rights treaties. He also signed into force a new constitution that proclaims the country to be founded on justice, equality, and respect for human dignity and guarantees rights to due process, physical integrity, and protection from unlawful deprivations of liberty.

According to Human Rights Organization that, “The abuses committed by the government of South Sudan, including lack of the rule of law and lack of respect for the basic human rights. Arbitrary arrests by South Sudan’s Security Services targeting vocal journalists and active members of civil society are widely becoming a public concern these days in South Sudan.” Mr. Deng Athuai Mawiir Rehan who is the chairperson of South Sudan’s Civil Society Alliance was abducted in June and tortured because of Alliance’s outspokenness towards just and democratic governance including a fight against corruption in South Sudan. No group has been found responsible although the government had promised to conduct investigations to establish who was behind the kidnapping.

It is undeniable that the South Sudan government continues to use repression and intimidation to silence human rights advocates and to prevent them from exposing abuses and promoting respect for human rights. South Sudan authorities continued to stifle the media by arresting, detaining, and prosecuting journalists reporting on sensitive topics, and extra judicial killing and torture.
The government of South Sudan has failed to investigate the ongoing cycle of violence in Jonglei state, and to stop the violations committed in the course of civilian disarmament, and ensure that those responsible are held accountable. Lack of accountability for serious crimes is a longstanding problem in South Sudan, a country with limited law enforcement capacity and a vast territory.

President Salva Kiir has promised in many occasions to investigate the crime which has been committed by security forces and he has established a committee to investigate the violence and identify those responsible but nothing has been done until now. Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right and the government of South Sudan must ensure to respect and protect freedom of expression. According to Africa director of HRW, “South Sudan is a new country and badly needs an effective justice system that upholds human rights and dignity. It is a fundamental building block for establishing rule of law and accountability.”

Most of South Sudanese ruling elites within the SPLM party still behave as if they are still operating as guerrillas and not knowing they are no longer a guerrilla but statehood and they are require by the international law to comply with the international law as member of the international community. It is very important to highlight the series of human rights abuses in chronological order for the readers to understand the extent of serious human rights violations in South Sudan.

May 15, 2012, the police in Lakes State’s capital Rumbek arrested Ms. Ayak Dhieu Apar, the Radio Rumbek 98 FM journalist. She was detained for hosting a live radio talk show with the title, “How Could the Public Respect the Police?” which drew in callers, questioning the conduct and competence of the police.

February 06, 2012, Mading Ngor Akech, the New Sudan Vision Editor-in-Chief and the host of the popular ‘Wake Up Juba’ show on Bakhita FM was assaulted and humiliated at South Sudan’s parliament. According to a journalist who witnessed the scuffle in the August House, Mr. Mading “was manhandled by the security guys who tore his trousers to the extent of nearly exposing his underpants to the public.”

On June of 2012, Mayol Kuch, a South Sudanese American who was on a family visitation in South Sudan, was detained and beaten to death by SPLA soldiers in Bor, Jonglei State. The soldiers suspected him of having participated in “the violence that followed disputed elections in the village for chief of the Adol community” in which two people lost their lives. The case is yet to be solved, two months after it occurred.

In 2007, Nhial Bol Aken was arrested after his newspaper exposed “wasteful spending at the finance ministry, which purchased 153 cars for government officials.” According to Aljazeera, the price tag was $60 million, a staggering $400,000 per vehicle. On June 12, 2011, just before South Sudan independence, Mr. Nhial Bol “was arrested again on his way from a dinner party organized by the British Consulate in Juba at a hotel called Da Vinci, south of Juba’s main town and was threatened to back down from his activity or risk dying before July 9,” South Sudan Independence Day.

On October 1, 2011, Mr. Bol was arrested for the fourth time by police before being released “following his newspaper’s investigations into the business dealings” of a Warrap state minister, Joseph Malek Arop, who was reported to have unlawfully acquired 10% stake in the Chinese oil company, Tesco South Sudan Ltd.

Many South Sudanese citizens had publicly expressed opinions critical toward the government behavior whereby the state security continues to intimidate citizens who criticize the government and routinely arrest those who are critical of the government. The South Sudan security services have also to stop their brutality against the citizens of South Sudan that violated basic human rights and systematically denied civil society activists the right to peacefully assemble and associate.

South Sudan’s ongoing massive oil corruption which has benefited the political and military leaders within the SPLM/A led government for the last 8 years. They have been smuggling out of the country billions of dollars while leaving millions of South Sudanese facing severe food shortages and are dependent on emergency international assistance. The whole world is now aware that the SPLM’s ruling elite is corrupt and are profiting from the country’s oil exports at the expense of the poor. It is apparent that Kiir’s administration encourages and harbors those who have stolen billions of dollars from the people of South Sudan and they have never been arrested or prosecuted for corruption charges.

We know very well that when South Sudanese from all walks of life took up arms in 1983 against oppressors in Khartoum, people did not fight the war only to benefit the ruling elites or bourgeois at the end who are now the ones enjoying the benefit of freedom after South Sudan has gained its independence on July 9, 2011, which was fought by all the people. The US and European Union should maintain travel restrictions as well as freeze the assets on President Kiir and his inner circle until South Sudan carries out concrete human rights and institutional reforms.

You can go on and on, for example, Dengdit Ayok and Ngor Arol Garang of The Destiny Newspaper were forcefully detained on November 05, 2011, over a column article in The Destiny written by Dengdit Ayok, questioning the rationale behind President Kiir’s daughter’s marriage to a foreigner. As reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Gen. Akol Koor, the Director General of the South Sudan’s National Security Services, faulted the two gentlemen of “non-adherence to the media code of conduct and professional ethics and of publishing illicit news that was defamatory, inciting, and invading the privacy of personalities.”

In the same way Dr. James Okuk a former ambassador to Brazil was arrested on October 21, 2011, for allegedly “writing against President Salva Kiir on the internet.” In January 2012, the New Times editor, Richard Mogga and his counterpart, Badru Mulumba, were quietly “picked up by people claiming to be police.”

The South Sudan army’s also known as SPLA has been accused of human rights abuses in Jonglei state and other areas in South Sudan where deadly ethnic clashes erupted. In September of this year, the government of South Sudan has forced a UN human Rights officer to leave the country. Sandra Beidas, a human rights investigator with the mission, was ordered by the South Sudan Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ministry, to leave the country within 48 hours. The United States government was very concerned about South Sudan’s decision to expel a human rights officer working for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). This action by the government of South Sudan is evidence of how the human rights condition is deteriorating in the country.

The flight of South Sudanese journalists is well captured according to Ojja William Benjamin, a freelance journalist from the Eastern Equatoria State that, “It is becoming a habit these days that journalists are picked up and arrested by the powerful individual government officials and released without charges after spending long periods in jail. This is not acceptable! On December 31, 2011, Dr. Jok Madut Jok, an ewmployee in the government of South Sudan was beaten in Wau airport. According to Dr. Jok Madut Jok that, “I was brutally attacked, my arms tight by several men, a blow to the side of my head with the butt of a gun and several punches straight onto both of my eyes; no questions asked, not even any accusations of wrongdoing. I was tortured properly while I had quickly shown the soldiers my identity card, demonstrating that I am a senior official in the national government, undersecretary in the Ministry of Culture, but the ID thrown away and several men wrestled me to the ground.”

Late Dr. John Garang once said, “If the SPLM government will not provide basic services and security to the people under their care, then the people will throw them into the sea, and even if there is no sea around, they will definitely find one.”

Ngor Garang, Editor in Chief at The Destiny newspaper, and journalist for the online newspaper, The Sudan Tribune, was arrested on 1 November. He was summoned to meet with the Director General of South Sudan’s NSS concerning an article that had been published in The Destiny. He attended the meeting with two colleagues, who were released following a three hour interrogation. Ngor Garang remains detained without charge. On 5 November, two cars full of NSS personnel, six of whom were carrying guns, entered the offices of The Destiny and arrested one of its journalists, Dengdit Ayok. He also remains detained without charge. Both men are believed to be held in the NSS headquarters in Jebel. It is the failure of South Sudan civil society, social media and grassroots movement to put pressure on the government of South Sudan to make a meaningful institutional reform concerning human rights violations over the last 8 years.”

In conclusion, the government of South Sudan must uphold its international obligations to respect the fundamental human rights, freedom of expression, assembly, and association, and cease arrests, harassment, and detention of individuals based on their political views. The government of South Sudan must make serious reforms within it security forces because continuation of these abuses such as extrajudicial arbitrary arrest, indefinitely detention without trial, torture, harassment on the media, harsh prison conditions, restrictions on freedom of speech; restrictions on freedoms of assembly, association, prevention of international human rights observers and discrimination against women and child abuse which would lead to deterioration of human rights abuse that will damage the nation’s creditability in the international community which could result in sanctions against South Sudan and isolation from the international community.

My appeal to the South Sudanese citizens that they should demand their fundamental basic human rights to be respected by the government and to put pressure on the government to make institutional reforms and to educate society on their basic human rights and encourage South Sudanese civil society, human rights defenders, media, grassroots community, etc to stand together.

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