Category: National

What is the future of education in South Sudan?

BY: Both Nguot Toal, SOUTH SUDAN, OCT. 5/2012, SSN;
When South Sudan became an independent state last year, many people hoped that the new nation will change the marginalization imposed on us by the Arab in the north when south Sudanese were not allowed to acquire education as their basic right. This resulted in mass immigration of many south Sudanese to East African countries as well as to the Western world to acquire knowledge, and some individuals went and studied in Khartoum. The few individuals who acquired knowledge were not allowed to work in government simply because they were south Sudanese and as result many students went to the bush especially the graduates. The others who accepted the remained in Khartoum were forced to work in the manual jobs such as building and farming in government projects such as Gezira schemes in eastern Sudan despite the fact that they (south Sudanese) have degrees and Diplomas.

On the other hand, some individuals who were discouraged by the situation left their studies and went back home for farming in south Sudan, others became Muslims just to get their daily services. Despite all these challenges facing south Sudanese in the old Sudan, the majority did not abandon their studies even though they were not allowed to get jobs in the government.

In those days, there were some missionaries schools operating in south, where south Sudanese to learn English since it was not accepted in the government schools in the old Sudan. From there some students were sent for studies abroad through missionaries schools and +acquired knowledge with excellence that they could compete internationally more than it is today.

Last year, South Sudan got its independence from the successive regimes of Sudan through a struggle which caused 2.5 million dead and displaced thousands to the neighboring states. That means southerners have been in war for 50 years. What are we supposed to do as an independent nation with its own sovereignty and as the country that has just emerged out from war?

Are we going to change the environment that we have been in for so many years or do we continue with the same situation created by Sudanese governments against our innocent people?

After the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) between the SPLM/A and the Sudan government, South Sudan as an autonomous region which had some powers to run its state policies without consulting the national government in Khartoum, was supposed to see the issue of education as its first priority so as to eradicate the rate of illiteracy from our huge population in south Sudan.

In this case, schools are to be built in every state rather than taking children to study in East African countries which cost a lot of money. Instead, government should have encouraged the citizens by constructing Schools and hiring teachers from abroad if the issue is because there are no teachers to teach in the country till we make our foundation.

Unfortunately, that did not happen as it was supposed to be. Instead, those responsible in government took their children somewhere else leaving the country without good education.

In south Sudan, the children of the poor families are the one studying in the country, why, because they do not have the ability of taking their children abroad, leaving the poor venerable.

For how long will our children continue studying in foreign countries while we are an independent nation? Is it difficult for government to construct Schools? If yes, what is its duty as a government? Who do you think will construct schools rather than government? Is it the responsibilities of UN, USA, EU or AU to continue supporting us even after we became an independent nation? I do not think so.

Therefore, as citizens of south Sudan who has been at war for a period of 50 years and who have seen all the events happening during and after the independence of south Sudan, we should look into the future of education in south Sudan and work hard for the goodness of our young generation to enjoy the fruits of our struggle.

If government is ignoring the system of education, what do we think the future education will be for the poor people who have no ability of taking their children abroad? What does it mean to be an independent nation if we are not able to promote education in our country?

Since we became an independent state, I do not see any reasons of continuing taking our children to east African countries for acquiring knowledge, instead, government must construct schools and train teachers from all educational sectors to teach our children locally rather than taking our resources to the neighboring countries without benefit.

The money you use for renting houses in those particular countries and the huge amounts you paid in dollars for the school fees of your children can educate twenty people from your relatives and build modern houses in south Sudan.

Since government officials are taking their children abroad, education in south Sudan will remain without any progress, simply because they are the ones running the affairs of this new nation. For instance, the minister of general and higher education, if his children are studying abroad, what do you think the minister will do in this country?

Even if there are no schools for so many years, they will not see it as a problem because their children are not here in south Sudan.

Therefore, for South Sudan to eradicate the rate of illiteracy in the country, the children of ministers who took our wealth to the foreign countries must return back to the country and study together with the poor families. That will be the time when we will see a change in the country. If not, South Sudan as a nation will never make any progress in any aspect whereby our country will continue with this spirit of tribalism, nepotism and other unlawful things that an educated people cannot do.

As a nation which has just come out from war, we have to consider education as our first priority so as to change the spirit of tribalism and to bring our people together for the development of this new nation and build a prosperous nation that respects the diversity, makes a stable state and lays the foundation for a united, peaceful and prosperous society based on justice, equality, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Therefore, for South Sudan to be a free nation is to avoid ignoring education and to adopt a good system of government that can lead its citizens not to be the victims of others but to enjoy the everlasting freedom of this new nation, rather than too much greed for wealth and desire of becoming rich quickly due to low life expectancy.

Finally, for the coming generation to live free and to allow the development to take place, the leadership of the country must look into this problem; because in a country where education is ignored, tribalism, nepotism and instability will not end.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and not of the website)

The Lack of Growth of our Economy should be blamed on Foreigners who disguised as Investors.

BY: JUMA MABOR, NAIROBI, OCT. 18/2012, SSN; The issue of foreign citizens influx into the nascent Republic of South Sudan has been very controversial and it is not without concern that various commentators have in the past ruthlessly given their strongest sentiments about the worrying occupancy of foreigners at every level of our economy.

At the personal level, I have had reservations on the outburst against the foreigners who go and/or come to South Sudan for business related activities and this position has been motivated and inspired by the consideration that south Sudanese during their struggle for independence were and are still scattered worldwide and the host countries have and had given them the hospitality that they then and now deserved.

However, these statuses were not without some obstacles here or there but determination was the underlying factor that the south Sudanese had as they endured all manner of mistreatment that come with being a foreigner in a far away borders.

It was also during these difficult times that south Sudanese learnt that, besides respecting and upholding the laws of the host state, there were also limitations and boundaries that foreigners cannot cross into with regards to business engagements and other related activities. South Sudanese also learnt that, there are in a host or foreign countries areas of jurisdiction that are non-accessible to foreigners no matter their status in that country.

South Sudanese also got it into their different skulls that their political opinions no matter how extra ordinary and idealistic they maybe are non-consequential in the political scenario of the host state and therefore were never needed. These and other limitations were very much adhered to by the south Sudan nationals in order for them to avoid an embarrassment of deportation and payment of huge and exorbitant fines from the police to the courts although even with all the observance of such laws, 99.9 percent of south Sudanese who went to foreign countries will agree with me that each if not all of them parted with money to support their documents as was the common phrase from our closer neighbors.

What am I aiming at by giving this story? The answer is simple, when I visited south Sudan recently, I, without much hesitations agreed with those who have been enlightening the citizens of South Sudan that the foreigners are the ones frustrating the growth of our economy and of course with the help of some few national perpetrators who intend to loot the meager resources of our infant and virgin nation.

These malicious intentions are being orchestrated at several levels of our economy including the employment of foreign citizens in our civil service but first thing first, I want to share with the readers some of the industries that are exclusively owned by foreigners and they are making a lot of money out of these areas with impunity and improper regulations.

For instance, let us talk about the transport industry and I urge my readers to understand this sector as including the airlines, the bus companies, the mini bus commonly known as (Matatu), the Bodaboda Motorcycle industries and all other means of transportation of people, goods and services which are all being controlled by not less than 99.9 percent foreigners and it is only in south Sudan that you would wake up and before you get to your office, take breakfast at the foreign owned canteen, purchase airtime from a foreign owned kiosk, ask the foreign shoe shiner to clean your shoe, ask a foreigner to take you to the main road to access an Eritrean owned Matatu to take you to your final work station and possibly at the office ask the foreigner (your secretary) to give you your days dairy activities and at lunch time take the same route to lunch at Ethiopian restaurant before you use all the previous means of transport and procedures to get back to your house as some of our civil servants do not return to office after lunch.

Now, the bottom-line for all these chronology is to show that it is only in south Sudan where foreigners can be drivers at the transport industry like Matatu, it is here that they can also be conductors and it is even here that they can engage in Bodaboda business and operate small kiosks without any piece of license stuck to their mischief made premises.

In countries especially that are neighboring south Sudan, some of their citizens in one an unforgettable encounter paralyzed the government functions by demonstrating before the offices of the president and the prime minister for several days on the basis that certain Chinese citizens, in fact very few of them have resorted to retailing the china made phones along one of the infamous street in the city and this actions by Chinese were perceived to be an intention to venture into businesses that are preserves for the locals.

Secondly, as south Sudanese in the same country, getting your change after paying your bus or Matatu fares is next to impossibility because giving back the change to a foreigner is not mandatory or right but a choice that is entirely at the prerogatives of the conductor and as a foreigner, you should have persuasive skills if you wish to get some returns from what you have initially paid.

This issue has caused most south Sudanese teeth and other bodily-inflicted injuries in their encounters with Matatu owners and the police in that particular country. On the other hand, any business that is seen to engage so many foreigners as potential customers like some indigenous food joints bring a lot of competition between such business owners and their competitors and ultimately, the people with such businesses end up being murdered or if lucky, forced to close down their businesses as a result of perpetrated difficulties to get them out of the market.

Do not be mistaken, these are all nationals of the same country but because the other one is engaging in the business that attracts foreigners as customers and get for him/her more money than the competitor, then the alternative as to be explore to get rid of him/her.

These are the extents to which other countries and their citizens can go to block out foreigners from taking up their business sector. There is no slightest opportunity for foreigners to do any business in such countries because for one, the competition is too steep and worse enough, there are those businesses that are exclusively for locals and no foreigner can be allowed to register them even when they have capital and interested to open such businesses. These kinds of businesses are like the ones on transport industry that I have mentioned above.

Another abused sector of our economy is the hotel industry where almost all the residential areas in and around Juba have been leased out to the Foreigners as hotels and particularly to Ethiopians and Eritreans investors or so they called themselves.

The worrying factor with these kinds of business is morally and economically obvious for example, in every city planning, there are areas designated for business activities and those that are residential and this is vital because its preserves the serenity of the household safety as well as comfort and observations of family morals and stability while noise pollution is avoided.

In Juba, Ethiopians/Eritreans have constructed hotels and neighboring them are family houses and in these hotels, there are private rooms, restaurant, bar and all avenues for leisure and herein the house adjacent to it is a family house with a young girl, a wife and a father who can in a blink of an eye access all the activities that takes place at the hotel and either become inspired or traumatized.

This experience itself can have two fold impacts, one, it may destroy the moral status of our society as girls, young men and even house wives will find it easy to engage in immoral activities like fornication, infidelity or adultery and drunkenness because as, one Nigerian actor said, and I quote: Proximity is tantamount to accessibility.

I also think this can be used as stepping stone to venture into and overindulge in immoral activities by these vulnerable groups and citizens of our country.

Two, the peace, tranquility and comfortability that is usually associated with being in the comfort of your own home after a long day of activities is nonexistent in such neighborhoods as these hotels open loud music into the night for purposes of entertaining their customers. It is also during these times that the intoxicated/drunken forget their manners and caused havoc thus awakening or forcing the neighbors to remain awake as their utterances may sometimes sound unbearable.

In all these dramas, the funny scenario is that, unlike many business premises that operate in other countries including Eritrea and Ethiopia, every Ethiopian/Eritrean hotel in south Sudan operates like they are all five star hotels because the charges for both accommodation and foods are very exorbitant.

For example, you can pay a room for SSP 350 a night which is equivalent to U.S. Dollars 120 or so and I do not know how much this can be in Eritrean or Ethiopian Monies. Funny enough and again unlike other hotels in other countries, the licenses under which these hotels operate are nowhere affixed to the walls to tell the customers the limits and legitimacy of their operations.

Let us go again to another area of concern, which is water supply around Juba and its surroundings. I will only make some precise remarks about this area not because I lack information but because sometimes, it is prudent to leave some things to common sense.

Now in this area, the Eritreans/Ethiopians are the ones supplying water using their water tankers and again charging exorbitant fee to the locals. This is a project where revenues could be raised if the city council of Juba had initiated it and exercised the monopoly of being the only water supplier to its city residents. This can as well bring assurance as well as enabling the council to increase it GDP.

I am not saying private companies should not be allowed to engage in this business but all I am trying to contribute is that this is another obvious sector where easy money can be accessed by the city council. The private companies can initiate the same projects but it will only be left to customers as to which supplier they would choose depending on the charges and level of service delivery between the city council and the private companies.

In addition, I am not going to talk about the employment of foreigners in our government institutions not because I am not against the issue with all the consequences involved but simply because I have like many other colleagues who have previously commented about it, confirmed that the government has to the highest degree of contempt ignored this concern and I think it should be left at that as we all await the repercussions.

However, at this very juncture, I want to go straight to the way forward in the face of these glaring economic challenges.

One, the government and the people of the republic of south Sudan must know that there are some businesses that you cannot allow foreigners to engage in no matter their connections, these includes Bodaboda, Matatu industry with exception that the company can be owned by a foreigner but the employees like drivers and conductors should be locals.

Foreigners can not open kiosks, canteens in a foreign country, these are small business enterprises that are left to the locals who do not have enough capital to open bigger businesses, foreigners should not shine shoes or hawk in the streets of juba because this is absolutely prohibited and it is a bad practice for the country like ours because some poor foreigners can influx into the country with sub standard and counterfeit goods and hawk them to our illiterate population thus cheating them out of the monies and run away with our resources.

Secondly, the institution concerned with city planning must look into it that residential areas are separated from Hotels and ask those who leased their houses to foreigners to rectify their contracts in order to avoid the hotels being at the neighborhood that is meant to be a residential area.

The Authorities concerned with issuing business licenses must also ensure that all the businesses have their licenses available at a very visible place where any concerned citizen can easily see what the business is all about and for how long.

The ministry of commerce, trade and industry must also regulate on the prices of the hotels and other businesses because the foreigners are getting advantage of our people for most of them do not know the economic value of our money. If there is no law in place to control the prices, then the policy of free economy is being abused by foreigners on that basis and therefore the noble reason why the government should enact laws to that effect.

It is still in the hotel industry that I also want to recommend that, in every hotel owned by foreigners, 50 percent of its staff should be locals because this is legal as well as moral for the creation of jobs for our people. There is no way like it is now where a hotel is established and all its employees are foreigners. That only happens in south Sudan and something needs to be done and urgently done to save this situation.

Thirdly, the city council of Juba must take over the water project and revoked all the business licenses given to foreigners to supply water to Juba residence. This as I had said before can help the council raise enough revenues to initiate other developmental projects and help the people of south Sudan.

The private companies can do their own way but like in the hotel sector, the drivers and loaders should remain locals in order to create jobs for our population.

Lastly, the only modality that can be used to avoid this foreign exploitation of our economy is to plead with our government to listen to the voices of informed citizens like myself on what needs to be done to surmount these challenges and manage the effective growth of our economy and meet the expectations of our people.

In that order, it is relatively important for our government and specifically the institution in charge of registration of businesses and companies to ascertain the financial viability of the investor and how much it can contribute to the economy of the country and this can only allow the multinational business organisations and companies to come to south Sudan and improve our economic growth.

This can also be done in collaboration with South Sudan embassies and consulates abroad not to allow foreigners to just get visas and think that they are going to think about the kind of business they want to establish when they are already inside south Sudan. These are the kinds of people we see prostituting and hawking in our streets today and these kinds of businesses are not doing any benefit to the country.

In conclusion, I want to also urge fellow citizens of the republic of South Sudan to wake up and do something about the future of their country because even as we blame our government and foreigners for all our misfortunes and lack of progress, we have also contributed to this downfall by being too ignorant, lazy and proud for nothing.

Some people do not have sources of income and to even feed themselves and instead of going to work as conductors, drivers, motorcyclists, waiters/waitresses, shoe shiners, kiosk/canteen owners, hotel investors if they have that opportunities, we are just all over complaining about foreigners this and our government that yet we do not want to accept that we are also part of the problem.

And until we get this diagnosis correct, we shall never be proud of the freedom that our heroes and heroines sacrificed their blood to bring for us. Let us style up and save our country from being the breadbasket where the owner only ends up carrying the basket and the bread already been taken away by those who know its significance.

Juma Mabor Marial is not an economist but a Lawyer. However, they say, experience is the best teacher, and as such, his visit to South Sudan and seeing these happenings prompted him to write this very article. He is reachable at hussenjuma@hotmail.com

South Sudan Negotiating team should review its strategy

BY: Majok Nikodemo Arou Nyieth, RSS, OCT. 13/2012, SSN; A general consensus looms large in South Sudan, especially in the wake of signing of the Addis Ababa Cooperation Agreement that the negotiation team of the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) should review its negotiation strategy to address the hot remaining issues.

South Sudanese and observers worldwide feel the agreement is actually about the flow of the much-needed commodity, oil, which is badly needed by the two Sudans to keep their economies alive. However, the major issues of border demarcation and Abyie may put the deal in a tough test if they remained unresolved.

To the chagrin of many South Sudanese, Khartoum has managed to turn the territories of South Sudan into the disputed areas, of which the last are Panthou/Heglig and The Mile 14.

Since the two parties have agreed over the borders as they stood on 01/01/1956 in accordance with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the so-called disputed areas should have been referred to legally as the Occupied Territories. Because when a South Sudanese citizen or a negotiator representing him/her calls his occupied land as a disputed or a claimed one, then the territory in question is put in doubt.

So the legal term should be the Occupied Territories.

Experienced in international affairs, Khartoum lured the South Sudanese negotiators to reopen the issue of Abyie, whose verdict was issued in The Hague in 2009. The verdict clearly drew the borders of Abyie and stated who would vote in the referendum. Juba accepted the ruling despite some reservations, while Khartoum accepted the verdict but reneged later as usual.

Now it calls for the division of Abyie between Dinka Ngok and el-Miseriya Arabs. Tomorrow Khartoum will say no for the division and yes for the annexation of Abyie – a perennial brand camouflage tactic being adopted by Khartoum.

Regarding Panthou, Khartoum attempted to annex it by 2004, but encountered the fierce resistance from its South Sudanese allies in Khartoum. In 2008, Khartoum exploited the Population Census, which was a requirement for the holding of the referendum to annex Panthou and Majak Yeth (Kharsana). But with full focus on the referendum then, Juba pledged to settle the issue of the occupied territories after the referendum.

Like the then Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS), the fledgling civil society and media in South Sudan did not give the issue of border demarcation its due out of a false belief that our Western allies know where the borders lie. Yes they may know, but they exercise the moral equivalence as described by Eric Reeves.

Unfortunately, the mediators sometimes do not stick to the facts, but seek compromises!

Due to the experience in the international matters I referred to above, Khartoum now claims all the five areas, which all belong to South Sudan. It recently included the Mile 14. By doing so, Khartoum desperately eyes compromise, especially over Panthou. Hence, the Mile 14, South of the River Kiir, is another fresh bargaining chip after Kafia Kingi and Kaka for Khartoum.

Notwithstanding, South Sudan has the maps to substantiate the claim of its occupied territories. Juba needs what it takes to alert the civil society and media to educate the world about the actual map of South Sudan.

Instead of directing anger towards the negotiating team, our masses have to observe the following:

1)- the negotiating team should be encouraged to drop the phrase of disputed areas and use instead the phrase occupied territories. There is a sharp contrast between the words disputed and occupied, and,

2)- the civil society and media should take up the issue of the occupied territories to back the negotiating team through establishing forums to address the issues of the five occupied territories.

When dealing with foxes, you have to be one. It boggles the minds that when Khartoum insists on our territories, Juba keeps saying with good faith no they are our historic territories. It is time to take the ball into Khartoums court by claiming their territories, no matter what.

It is incomprehensible that Khartoum seeks compromise over the South Sudan territories, while Juba resists those claims in its own turf!

One believes our negotiating team did not compromise over the land. They had sacrificed their youth for the noble cause during the struggle. So to bolster their position, our masses should not sit in the back seat, but come forward to let the international community hear their voices.

The author is a South Sudanese journalist and reachable at majokarou1@yahoo.co.uk
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author and not of the website)

Public accountability absent from new Sudan and South Sudan oil deal

GLOBAL WITNESS, SEP. 29/2012, SSN;
Sudan and South Sudan’s new oil deal fails to guarantee citizens the basic information they need to hold their governments accountable for the vast amounts of money involved, said Global Witness today.

After several years of negotiations, Sudan and South Sudan yesterday signed a series of landmark agreements, including one on the terms under which South Sudan will export its crude oil via Sudan’s pipelines and port. [1] Both countries are heavily reliant on oil revenues and have previously fought for control of oil fields either side of their common border.

While the new agreement establishes mechanisms for internal information sharing and auditing, it includes no requirements for transit and financial data or audit reports to be made public. This lack of public accountability is particularly concerning given the allegations of high-level corruption that both governments are facing.

“Sudan and South Sudan’s citizens are the ultimate owners of their countries’ natural resources,” said Global Witness campaigner Dana Wilkins. “Yet they have been totally cut out of this new oil deal, with no way to verify the amount of oil and money that will be transferred between their governments.”

The fees paid by South Sudan for use of Sudan’s processing facilities, pipelines, and port will range between US$9.10 and US$11 per barrel, depending on the route by which the crude oil is piped out. Juba has also agreed to transfer an additional US$3 billion to help Khartoum fill the gap in its finances caused by the loss of oil reserves now controlled by South Sudan.

The new oil deal establishes a Petroleum Monitoring Committee including representatives from both governments and an independent chairperson appointed by the African Union. This Committee will be responsible for monitoring the operational and financial implementation of the arrangement. [2] Sudan and South Sudan also agreed to appoint an independent auditor to report on the operating companies and identify any problems.

Though the Committee and the independent auditor are potentially very useful mechanisms for building trust between the governments, neither is required to publish anything. Unless their reports and the relevant production and payment data are publicly disclosed, it will be impossible for citizens even to check whether these oversight mechanisms are working.

The new agreement also includes an article on transparency. However, this only requires that the Sudanese and South Sudanese governments be ‘mutually transparent’; each sharing relevant information with the other.

“The absence of real transparency—meaning full public disclosure—in this new deal could have long-term consequences for democracy and stability in both countries,” added Wilkins. “South Sudan has included many strong public reporting and accounting requirements in its new legal framework.

It is now all the more important that these are implemented without further delay. For its part, Khartoum should put in place public disclosure laws that enable Sudanese citizens to see how their leaders are spending their country’s share of the oil wealth.”

/ Ends.

Contact: For more information contact Dana Wilkins in the UK on +44 (0)7808 761 570, dwilkins@globalwitness.org or Mike Davis on +44 (0)7872600860, mdavis@globalwitness.org

Notes:

[1] Available at http://sites.tufts.edu/reinventingpeace/files/2012/09/Oil-Agreement-between-SudanSouth-Sudan0001.pdf

[2] The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement which ended the last civil war included a deal to split southern oil revenues 50:50 between the central government in Sudan and the semi-autonomous southern government. Though a Joint Technical Committee was set up to review the implementation of that deal, very little information was made available to the public.

Kiir’s $ 4 Billion stolen by 75 officials in South Sudan: Waiting for answer and clarity

BY  Dr. Leonard  Madu, Nashville, TN, USA

SEPT. 02/2012, SSN; On May 3, 2012, President Salva Kiir Mayardit sent a letter to 75 former and current government officials asking them to return the sum of $4 billion that they are alleged to have stolen. The letter also states that partial payments are also welcome. He also promised amnesty and confidentiality to those who return the stolen funds. If the President’s allegations are true, its impact on the economic well being of South Sudan cannot be minimized.

A brief look at the current condition in South Sudan would help drive the point home. Last year’s budget (2011/2012) was $10.2 billion. This year’s budget (2012/2013) is $6.2 billion. A budget shortfall of of about $4 billion. 98% of South Sudan’s income comes from oil, but since January this year no oil has been sold as a result of the dispute with Sudan.

So no money is coming in and inflation is about 80%.  Almost all development projects have been halted by the government, leaving international organizations to fill the void.

The healthcare and educational system are in disarray. Juba University has been closed for some time now and the few schools that have been built, have no equipments and trained teachers are not readily available. At 27%, South Sudan has the lowest literacy rate in the world, even worse than Afghanistan.

70% of children aged between 6-17 have never set foot in a classroom, and the completion rate is about 10%. Enrollment has doubled since 2005, but there are serious questions as to whether any of these anxious kids are learning at all. Currently, 6% of the budget is geared towards education.

In the healthcare sector, the situation is even grimmer. According to the United Nations Development (UNDP), and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the country has only 120 physicians and 100 registered nurses for a population of about 9 million. Neighboring Kenya has about 14 physicians per 100,000.

Although infant mortality rates have been lowered, maternal mortality rates remain the highest in the world. Currently it is about 2,000 deaths per 100,000 live births. Most of the physicians say they have to operate with cell phone flash lights because of electricity shortage. The good news is that the government says it has authorized the building of 100 more rural clinics and recruited about 512 foreign physicians.  It has also started a crash program to train more nurses.

The UNDP says that about half of the population are food insecure, and the World Food Program (WFP) expects to feed about 2.7 million people this year. The conflicts in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile State are exacerbating the refugee problem and adding more pressure on food sources. This has caused most international organizations to switch from developmental programs to humanitarian assistance.

South Sudan has the potential to be the bread basket of the region, but currently the government imports 70% of its food and only 5% of the land is cultivated.

Though the government is doing its best to improve the lives of its people, looting of government funds would not help this process.

The $4 billion allegedly stolen could have taken care of  all these problems easily. But there are a lot of questions surrounding this allegation made by President Salva Kiir.

Addressing a rally 3 weeks ago in Rumbek, Vice President Riek Macher poked holes into the allegations of the President. He stated that it was a smear campaign and a political witch hunt against the SPLM, which has been accused  of massive corruption by international agencies.

Macher was quoted as saying at the rally “four billion is too much to be taken by 75 officials”.  Vice President Macher is my good friend, but I hate to bust his bubble on this one.

Yes, 75 officials are capable of stealing more than $4 billion if they have unfettered access to the funds. Three examples will suffice.

1- At an inquest after the death of President Abacha in Nigeria, Wada Nas, then National Security Adviser stated that he went to the Central Bank and withdrew $1 billion with only a piece of paper from Abacha. No questions asked and no account rendered.

2- A former Governor, James Ibori, stole almost a billion dollars by himself. The Nigerian courts acquitted him, but the British courts got hold of him and sent him, his wife and girl friend to prison where they are languishing now.

3- In 1998/99, the prestigious Economist of London reported that the first half a billion dollars recovered from the late Abacha  was stolen and shared by President Abubakar and few members of his Armed Forces Ruling Council. Interestingly, President Abubakar never denied the report (I still have a copy of that report). So, 75 Wada Nases and Iboris are capable of  stealing more than $4 billion.

However, the question is -who is telling the truth?. The President or the Vice President? Some South Sudanese believe the President is telling the truth, but some believe there is a hidden ethnic agenda behind the accusations. If President Mayardit has evidence that these officials actually stole these funds, why can’t he turn their names over to the courts for prosecution?

On the other hand if he feels the judiciary cannot handle it because it is still a weak institution, then appoint a special prosecutor to carry out a thorough investigation and make the report public. He obviously has their addresses, so it would not be difficult to find them.

It is  laughable and disturbing for a President to send letters to people asking them to return stolen money.

On July 4, The Civic Society leader, Deng Athuai was picked up from his Nile Beach hotel in Juba and severely beaten for trying to uncover the names of the 75 officials mentioned by President Mayardit.

And in Washington, Senator Richard Leahy (D VT), author of the “anti-kleptocracy” law has said that he does not believe the State Department is doing enough to find the names of those who are responsible for the missing funds.

Millions of South Sudanese and people like me who participated in the struggle for the liberation and emancipation of South Sudan, are waiting for answers and clarity.

DR. Leonard Madu is President of the African Caribbean Institute and the African African Chamber of Commerce, Nashville, Tennessee. He is also a Fox Television analyst on foreign affairs. globalafrik@yahoo.com; 615-399-7955

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

Fudging the issue: President Kiir and corruption in RSS

BY: Elhag Paul, RSS

[The tears of honorable Matur Maker shed on 2nd November 2011 in the parliament in Juba during the presentation of the report of the auditor general Mr. Steven Wondu calls for rescue of South Sudan from the claws of the felons]

JUNE 22/2012, SSN; The corruption that is eating away South Sudan like a terminal cancer slowly spreading all over a healthy person is not something new.  This is a disease dating back to the inception of the movement.  The infection started when the founders of SPLM/A failed to put in place the necessary instruments, mechanism and structures as pillars of a robust organization.  The maxim invoked by architectural engineers that a robust foundation and corner pillars are a must for any sound construction was ignored here.

The fact that SPLM/A survived to this date against all odds as an amorphous organization beats my mind.  No doubt a research study on it may come up with an interesting unique theory in management.  Anybody studying for a higher degree in management may want to consider doing such a research.  It would benefit the advancement of knowledge in that area for human kind.

HOW IT STARTED: SPLM/A was founded at a very critical time in the history of Sudan.  Competing forces in late 1970s and early 1980s were violently trying to achieve their interests in the Sudan.  The Arabs under Nimeiri wanted to totally subjugate, Islamize and Arabise South Sudan and their strategy to achieve this was to foment massive divisions in the South.

In the South, internally, the Dinka using their smooth relationship with the Arabs wanted to establish themselves as the elites forcefully via corrupt behavior such as nepotism and tribalism.  Then, the government of Abel Alier Dinkanised the police force, and put it under the command of Reuben Mach as a tool to realize their already stated objective.  The Equatorians on the other hand were fighting to resist Dinka abuse and domination.  Internationally, America and Russia were fighting their cold war in the region using Sudan and Ethiopia respectively.

The dynamics of these forceful clashes led to the corruption in the Sudan army to give birth to SPLM/A.  Major Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, the commander of battalion 105 in Bor and his superior major general Sadiq El Bana in Juba were involved in financial embezzlement and illicit deals involving the smuggling of ivory tasks, leopard skins and the like.  Their disagreement over the proceeds of the loot as would be expected led both officers to use their positions and their forces to settle score.

The atmosphere by then was ripe for rebellion, especially given that Nimeiri had already repealed the Addis Ababa agreement of 1972 and ordered the transfer of the integrated 6000 Anyanya forces from South Sudan to the north.  Kerubino seized this highly charged political atmosphere to ignite the war on 16th May 1983 because he did not want to be crashed by his powerful superior whom he double-crossed.

It was true that at the time many South Sudanese in the Sudan armed forces were agitating for action and it was only a matter of time for a rebellion to take place in the South.  Do not forget that Anyanya 2 already was up and active operating in Upper Nile against Khartoum.  So Kerubino was clever enough to use this sensitive period for his own benefit to cover up his illegal activities with his superior.

BORN OUT OF CORRUPTION: There you are, SPLM/A was born out of the violence of corruption and led by the very people who were major actors in corruption in the Sudanese army.  Seeking support for its survival, SPLM/A turned to Ethiopia communist regime under Mengistu Haile Mariam and they adopted a Marxist management model which implemented an absolutist system generating an environment of terror within the organization.  Nobody could dare to speak against any wrong being done lest you get lynched.

In absence of instruments, mechanism and structures, Dr Garang became everything: the leader, the finance officer, the preacher, mini-god and what have you.  The fact that the management of the organization was a one man show, it meant that the necessary instruments for checking corruption like auditing and accountability were ignored.  Kiir lamented during the Rumbek meeting of November 2004 by saying, “corruption, as a result of the lack of structures, has created a lack of accountability which has reached a proportion that will be difficult to eradicate.”

This led to the worship of Dr Garang and the setting of the scene for rapid development of corruption.  Myint in his article in the journal of Asia-Pacific Development, vol. 7, No.2, Dec. 2000, titled, Corruption: Causes, Consequences and Cures, defines corruption as ‘the use of public office for private gain, or in other words, use of official position, rank or status by an officer for his own personal benefit.’  From this definition it is clear that the behavior of major Kerubino and his superior major general Sadiq El Bana were acts of corruption.  Consequently they led the country into crisis.

GARANG’S ABSOLUTISM WAS CORRUPTION: Similarly, the absolute control of the entire SPLM/A by Garang constituted an act of corruption in that he used the organization to build himself and perpetuate a personality cult.

Professor Robert Klitgaard in his influential article on the vice of corruption, ‘International Cooperation Against Corruption’ published in the journal of Finance & Development in March 1998 argues that monopoly of power is the number one culprit in perpetuation of corruption.  He defines corruption as C=M+D-A which stands for corruption equals monopoly plus discretion minus accountability.  So the acts of Dr Garang fit in well with Klitgaards definition of corruption because he wielded monopoly of power in SPLM/A with full discretion to do what he wanted without any accountability.

Extending this argument further on Dr Garang’s person throws more light on his character.  His acquired fame and status as a hero in the liberation war in itself is a product of corruption as argued elsewhere that he does not deserve to be called the “Father of the nation.”  There can not be honor in corruption.

The first corruption in the movement started with brain washing and the disablement of the free will of the person.  The consequence of this type of corruption was huge in that innocent lives of true freedom fighters were sacrificed on flimsy grounds without any serious legal enquiries being conducted.

Peter Nyaba in his book titled ‘The Politics of Liberation in South Sudan: An Insider’s View’, published in Kampala in 1997 by KPI, points out that Dr Juac Erjok, a veterinary doctor from Ngok Dinka, Mr Lokurunyang Lado, a leftist activist and member of the South Sudan Patriotic Front and a certain Yahyah, a trade unionist who joined the ranks of SPLA, were framed as agents of Nimeiri and executed by firing squad during the graduation of the first brigade of the Jarad division in 1985.  There was no investigation carried out and there was no appeal against the death sentences before execution.

Lam Akol in his book, titled ‘SPLM/SPLA Inside African Revolution’ published in Khartoum in 2001 by Khartoum University Press goes further to explain that Pagan Amum, Nyachugak Nyachiluk and Lokurnyang Lado were members of one group led by the latter.  Pagan and Nyachugak conspired against Lokurnyang, arrested him and handed him over to SPLA leading to his execution.  According to Lam, Pagan was a member of the firing squad that executed Lokurnyang Lado.  What a horrible injustice?

This was a shameful betrayal of comradeship and an unpatriotic act from people who call themselves freedom fighters.  But we must not forget this was a consequence of corruption in action.  Now that South Sudan is an independent country, it is only right that a truth and reconciliation commission is established to investigate the violations of human rights within its territory.  The severe punishment meted out on these freedom fighters should be investigated and if found innocent they should be righted posthumously so they can rest in peace.

Imagine destroying your own fighting force based on falsity knowingly. With hindsight now, how can such people be taken seriously as freedom fighters?  Kiir was right in his confrontation with Dr Garang in Rumbek to say, ‘there are people among us who are more dangerous than the enemy.’  Yes, even now as I write on this sensitive issue there are very dangerous people in SPLM/A.  Kiir himself is one of these dangerous people.  He supervised the dungeons of SPLM/A for 22 years under Dr Garang.  He also appointed ruthless and dangerous opportunists who betrayed the South to the parliament and the cabinet to support him.  It is a case of birds of the same feathers flocking together.

CORRUPTION GOT UNCONTROLLABLE: The lid came off the issue of corruption for the first time in SPLM/A publicly during the national convention of 1994.  Then Dr Garang said the fish had grown too big meaning corruption was getting out of control.  Garang being a suave talker, the issue was laid to rest without any further follow up.  I suspect fear was a factor in people keeping quiet.  It is unbelievable that Garang, a man of such formidable intellect could not have foreseen the seriousness of the problem.  It is certain that Garang knew well the corrosive impact of corruption but chose to ignore it because he was the major beneficiary of the practice and therefore he saw no reason to curb it for the good of the South.

If it is of any help, I just want to remind you that Garang in his speech of 3rd March 1983 way back at the start of the movement diagnosed corruption as the cause of inequality in the Sudan and committed himself to fighting it by fighting the system in the Sudan. How could he eleven years later then not take action against it?  It looks like there is utilitarianism in play here.

For 22 years until 2004, corruption existed in the bush with limited major players namely Dr Garang and his close confidantes like Deng Alor, Barnaba Marial, Wani Igga and late Dr Justin Yac mainly feasting on donations to the movement from friendly countries and aid coming in through SRRA.  On the field, the officers appropriated captured materials in form of vehicles and trucks which they sold out to traders in Uganda and Congo retarding the progress on the war.

At the other end in SPLM/A United, Dr Riek Machar was at it squeezing every penny out of the Arabs and defrauding UN aid agencies operating in areas under their control. Talk about vultures, here you have got them.

Low level corruption in the fighting force was rampant too with officers selling things like petrol and diesel intended for operations.  Even a bizarre form of corruption developed in Yei where the officers were selling prisoners of war (POW) back to the Sudan government through the Sudan embassy in Kampala.  The poor soldiers on the bottom were left with nothing but to help themselves to looting and raping the unprotected civilians in the liberated areas.  So in effect, SPLM/A was already a seasoned corrupt organization.

SPLM/A NOW CORRUPT ORGANIZATION: We now have a picture of corruption in the SPLM/A.  Hold it for now and let us move on to the government controlled areas of South Sudan in order for us to form a holistic understanding of the subject and how deeply it has become part of our daily culture.

Corruption surfaced in South Sudan with the coming of Addis Ababa agreement of 03/03/1972 into force which granted South Sudan regional autonomy.  The first president of the High Executive Council (HEC) Abel Alier initially started well in governing the South but gradually proved to be a tribalist sparking serious divisions within South Sudan that the Arabs (Nimeiri) exploited to repeal the Addis Ababa agreement.  As South was completely dependent on the North economically, it was deliberately starved of funds by the Arabs.  The only major employer in the South was the regional government.

Therefore, most of the people who lived in the towns relied for their survival on their employed relatives.  With meager salaries not being paid on time and sometimes taking couple of months, civil servants were forced to use their positions to make money to feed their families and extended relatives.  Bookkeepers, cashiers, store keepers and so on became corrupt.  Bookkeepers fiddled the books to steal money.  In some cases they collaborated with directors to include ghost names on the pay sheets.  Cashiers set up hurdles in paying out money to legitimate payees in order to extract bribes.  Store keepers stole materials from stores.  Drivers siphoned out fuel from government cars to sell in black market and so corruption flourished like wild fire and any hope of minuscule development vanished.

The politicians went for the lucrative corruption in quota distribution which rations essential commodities throughout the country by region.  They awarded quotas to their agents (Malakia boys and Arab traders) and relatives.  The documents of these quotas were sold for huge amount of money to the Arab traders.  In most cases the commodities concerned ended up in the North with citizens in the South going through painful suffering resulting from severe shortage of these essential commodities.

The South Sudanese political parties like Sudan African People Congress Party (SAPCO) led by Morris Lowiya and People Progressive Party (PPP) led by Eliaba Surur while using some of the proceeds from quota business, they also engaged in deals with the Northern parties where they received money in return for supporting Northern parties’ policies in parliament in Khartoum.

So the poverty in the South and the total economic strangulation of the South by Khartoum led to development of corruption for the sake of survival.  Most of the politicians like Arthur Akuen and late Dr Justin Yac who experienced and personally participated in this new emerging culture went to join the SPLM/A after the re-division of the South into 3 regions.  As the saying goes, people come with their baggage, Arthur and Dr Justin went to SPLM with their own baggage of corruption.

Those South Sudanese who continued to live in the government controlled areas had no way out but to live under this new culture, although there were changes of governments in the Sudan.  The replacement of Jaafar Nimeiri by General Suwar El Dahab and Suward El Dahab by Sadiq El Mahdi’s and the replacement of Sadiq El Mahdi by Omer Bashir in 1985, 1986 and 1989 respectively.  But this time the beneficiaries were the Malakia boys by virtue of their religion together with members of the new tribe of Muslim-Christians of Turbi and NCP who got themselves baptized by being branded with Quoranic versus in sensitive parts of their bodies.

The reason this group benefitted was simply because they assumed power as the new rulers of the South by proxy.  The Arabs encouraged corruption to keep the South Sudanese politicians sweet and contented.  Khartoum deliberately ignored corruption so long as it could promote its policies of Arabisation and Islamisation.  To achieve this objective Khartoum intended to destroy and prevent any emergence of a distinct South Sudanese identity to develop.  Development of South Sudan was not on the agenda and so the South Sudanese were allowed to destroy themselves in this vice.

So in effect corruption has been in operation in both the SPLM/A and the government controlled areas and this has gone on for 40 years (from 1972 to date).  As you can see, this is a long time and certainly corruption has taken roots and spread to every nooks and cranny of South Sudan society.  Look at the present government of Kiir which is saturated with felons from top to bottom.

CORRUPTION RAISED AT RUMBEK: Having now looked at corruption from a wider angel in the entire South Sudan, let us move back to pick the issue from the end of 2004, just weeks before the CPA of 2005.  Those in SPLM/A who lost out in the corruption game within the movement like Kiir found the opportunity to raise the issue in the Rumbek meeting of November 2004 as a weapon to nail Garang in their power dispute.

This Rumbek meeting provided the opportunity to deal with the issue of this vice culture of corruption at a very unique time, just before the signing of the CPA in preparation for good governance during the interim period.  But, unsurprisingly it was squandered when Garang argued against any changes to the status quo.

All the complaints against corruption and the demands for structures in the movement by the high ranking officers of the SPLA in this meeting came to naught with one simple sentence from Garang supported by Ambrose Ring Thiik.  Garang wittingly argued that, “Our imperfect structures have brought us to the present day. Let us not throw away these structures now. Otherwise we will throw ourselves away.”

Ambrose reinforced the point by saying, “Most of the things done are imperfect, but they have served us.” What an excellent expression of collective self interest coded with threat of self destruction?  Of-course as human beings, our instinct is always to survive and nobody wants to perish and thus Garang won the argument.

SPLM PEDDLING LIES: However, by arguing against positive change, Garang and his supporters failed the test of being true freedom fighters.  Morally, freedom fighters go to war to improve the whole lot of society and not for self gain or interest.  No wonder, we have chaos in SPLM and by implication in GOSS because the ideals sung are not driven by the right values.  What is said is different from what is believed and done.  Basically, SPLM peddles lies.  They are the problems of South Sudan.

Just compare and contrast Garang’s passionate defense for corruption here with his speech of 3rd March 1983 in which he bashed Khartoum on the subject.  This is what he said, “Nimeirism which was plagued by corruption is a regime in which a few people have amassed great wealth at the expense of the majority.”  Is this not similar to what is going on now in Juba?

Ironically, our liberators (SPLM/A) of yesterday have truly turned out to be today’s Nimeirists in Juba.  Is it any wonder honorable Matur Maker broke down in tears on learning the magnitude of the economic barbarity?

Garang’s argument against structures was not for nothing.  He was aware of what was awaiting them in the interim period – exercise of state power greased by oil money.  By this time he had already requested 60 million dollars from Bashir for rehabilitation purposes.  Do not forget that during the period of the peace talks he and his cohorts had began to embezzle millions donated by the Troika and others.

Garang’s close friends were buying mansions in Nairobi, Kampala and even as far as Europe, America and Australia.  Kiir in the Rumbek meeting was scathing about this behavior.  He pointed out in relation to rampant corruption that, “At the moment some members of the movement have formed private companies, bought houses and have huge bank accounts in foreign countries.  I wonder what kind of system are we going to establish in South Sudan considering ourselves included in this respect.”

SPLM/A DINKOCRACY NEEDED CORRUPTION: What poor Kiir did not work out was that Garang was intent on promoting corruption because having negotiated for himself the position of first vice president of the Sudan and president of South Sudan; he would need to use money to promote Dinkocracy.

SPLM/A strategy for promoting Dinkocracy necessarily needed corruption as a tool.  So they set out to ensure during the interim period and beyond that Dinka:—

1) —- control the police and judiciary.  The importance of these two organs in promotion of corruption can not be over stated.  In all the states of south Sudan, all the legal officers responsible for state business and contracts are Dinka.  Even in the 3 Equatorian states where Dinka are not inhabitants, the legal officers are Dinka in violation of the decentralisation policy in force.  This strategic control allow people like retired Brigadier Martin Malwal, the former member of the Ingaz revolutionary Council of Omer Bashir turned businessman to get away with millions supposedly for supplying South Sudan government with vehicles.  The vehicles turned out to be reconditioned second hand cars bought from Dubai not worth the contract.

It also allows for human rights abuses by Dinka to go unchecked.  It also allows people like Arthur Akuen to be released from detention by his tribes mates without consequences to enjoy the millions he stole with impunity.  It also allows people like Koul Athian to scheme with the justice department to defraud the state of over 4 billion dollars in grain contracts with impunity.

After having Dinkanised the police force, the ministry is now handed to a recycled non-Dinka NCP die hard whose business would be to oppress South Sudanese on behalf of the masters.

2)      2) —- Control mass media for continuation of indoctrination as well as to deprive others from voicing their life experience.

3)      3) —- Create a dummy Anti-Corruption Commission headed by powerless people.  In effect a commission managed and controlled by apparatchiks for Dinka interest.  The fact that this commission is toothless in the middle of sea of corruption is unbelievable, but true.  Instead of going after the real big fish, it wastes resource and time by pursuing non urgent cases of small value.  The truth is that this body was formed to deflect attention of the people from the real corruption.

Kiir who lamented corruption few months before he took over the presidency of the South Sudan after the unfortunate death of Garang was all talk without action.  Under his watch, over 20 billion dollars disappeared from the government coffers into the pockets of his people in the last six years.  Yet they go around the world asking for development money.  What a disgrace!  Michael Makuei Lueth, the legal brain of SPLM in Rumbek meeting was right to say, “The leadership is not committed to fighting corruption.”  There you are.  What more are we expecting from this lot and their SPLM party?

4)      4) —- Create a dummy Audit Commission.  This initially was a joke until the diligent Steven Wondu took over and did a wonderful job of exposing the depth of corruption committed in only one year (from 2005 to 2006) amounting to over 1.5 billion dollars unaccounted for.  Although Wondu’s report was clear when it came to pointing out who the thieves are president Kiir looked the other way and buried the issue.  Having been exposed by this report, auditing for the subsequent years appears to have been abandoned. Since GOSS came to power, they have not shown us any tangible evidence to hold thieves to account.

Believe you me, in Juba expensive government vehicles are being stolen daily without anybody raising alarm.  Would you believe it that 6 years on, most ministries have no idea what they own in terms of vehicles, machines, equipment and so.  Yet, we are supposed to have something called Audit Commission.  What a joke?

5)      5) —- Constitute a lame parliament packed with party functionaries and appointed, discredited, opportunistic, principle-less MPs who can not enact legislations against the interest of the masters.  In effect a rubber stamp organ to facilitate poor governance.

6)      6) —- Control finance.  In order to plunder the coffers, well experienced thieves were appointed to head the ministry of finance.  Their function was to disburse millions of dollars to fake Dinka businessmen.  In addition to that they created for themselves an exclusive limited welfare system under which favored tribes men would receive massive help.  This system is something called ‘assistance’ in the circles of the government offices of South Sudan.  Under this system, the ministers reserve the discretion to approve about 20 thousand dollars as assistance to anyone at any given time.  I do not have to talk of the beneficiaries of this blatant abuse of public money.  You can work it out for yourself.

7)      7) —- Do not allow audit.  In the last 6 years of SPLM’s administration.  No auditing of some government departments have been conducted simply because the Dinkocrats in these offices have bled the ministries dry.  This deliberate negligence is calculated to allow its members who are employed en masse without appropriate qualifications to loot the government without accounting.  The absence of auditing which is a clear sign of deliberate orchestrated poor governance leaves room for the record to disappear which then renders accounting impossible.

8)      8) —- Brain-wash the public by claiming that, ‘we are starting from scratch.’  This is a phrase well designed to divert attention of people, especially foreigners working with donor agencies from paying attention to details.  This phrase is so widely used in South Sudan to the extent that people now believe it.  When corruption or ill deeds are raised, it is immediately invoked and the matter becomes so minor.

Please see this YouTube clip: South Sudan Corruption Discussion hosted by Vincent Makori of Voice of America on 10th May 2012  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YnErNQalAw Also please see The Rape of the RSS by the ‘Oyee party’ published by South Sudan News Agency on 12th February 2012. http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/the-rape-of-the-rss-by-the-oyee-party

The impact of corruption to our society and country has been destructive and corrosive.  In terms of infrastructure development, we lost hundred of millions of dollars on the roads projects.  The amounts charged per kilometer by corrupt companies for asphalting roads around Juba are unbelievable. Despite millions being paid out in the last 6 years, to date the total mileage of asphalted roads in the whole South Sudan is less than 100 miles. Moreover the quality of the work itself is substandard and shoddy.  This is replicated in all the situation numbered below.

Lighting – the Sudan government had erected electricity poles around Juba made up of concrete.  These poles were perfectly OK and the lines were in order.   Without any good reason, the corporation decided to replace these good poles with wooden poles imported from Uganda costing millions of dollars.  The life span of these wooden poles surely will not last as long as the replaced concrete durable ones.

Again, instead of purchasing good modern electricity generators, our officials for no good reason went and acquired second world war diesel generators that are not able to light Juba town.  Today, receiving light in Juba is a lottery.  Sometimes, one can stay for weeks on end without any light.  As a result, Juba is like mini Lagos in Nigeria.  A town run by numerous privately owned generators producing noise pollution detrimental to healthy living.

Renovation of government building.  The entire renovation of the ministries is reported to have cost around 300 million dollars, yet when you look around, the work done would have cost less than 5 million dollars.  Despite the renovation, some of these ministries are leaking and there is no running water for the lavatories.  Go to Radio Juba and you would see the shock of your life.  Ever since the British left the Sudan, that building remains the same.  The only difference is that it is completely dilapidated.  I am not an engineer, but one glance told me that this building should have been condemned as it is a danger in terms of health and safety.  Nevertheless, it is still in full use.

Government properties.  The Dinkocratic governor of Central Equatoria, whose own biological daughter is his official office manager, without any sound legal basis in law is Dinkocratically privatizing and distributing government properties to his masters and foreigners to gain favors.  This action is being taken in the face of severe shortage of government accommodation.

It is worth mentioning that these properties were built by the former British colonial administration and they have rich history in terms of the personalities who lived in them and the role they played in the events that unfolded in South Sudan.  Any fit administration would actually list these buildings as heritage sites as they are part of our culture.  Proper planning would see these properties attracting visitors and tourists interested in the history of our country.  Now, the Dinkocrats are destroying this rich heritage for future generation due to their ignorance, lack of foresight and greed.

Contracts – most of the multi-million contracts are given out to incompetent companies which do not deliver such as the companies that cashed in on the 4 billion dollars intended to supply grain to the 10 states.  These companies are owned by none other than the family members of the masters.  Today, the consequence has been eye watering. Our innocent and peaceful villagers in Warrap, Unity and Upper Nile states are paying the price in terms of thousands of lives lost due to hunger.

Loss of life.  Due to deprivation, citizens are dying daily all over South Sudan.  In Juba and other towns, patients in hospitals simply die due to lack of oxygen, medications and so on.  Many people also die daily too due to lack of enforcement of building regulations.  Buildings constructed hastily without rules being followed collapse on people with impunity.

Social relationship.  Our social relationship is suffering because of the inequality, unfairness and the deprivation leading to bitterness in our communities.  In Juba seeing angry people is routine and if you bother to listen to some of these people you begin to get the sense of bitterness harbored towards some sections of the society.  This is understandable as the corrupt are living it large with their actions causing suffering all around.  This is not good for South Sudan as it perpetuates ethnic hatred and causes unnecessary divisions among us.

Development.  Corruption retards our development in the sense that it deprives GOSS of revenue, wasted time and resource necessary for provision of vital services such as health, education, employment, eradicating poverty and so on.

Image of RSS. Corruption demeans our image as a country and destroys our credibility.  It no doubt has effects on our official documents such as passports, driving license etc.

These are just few examples and I could go on and on and on, but there is no need.  To sum it up, the price we are paying for corruption is so huge that it is difficult to find words to quantify or express it.

Boris Begovic in his article, ‘Corruption: Concepts, Types, Causes and Consequences’ in the journal of Documentos, Year III, No.26, March 2005 highlights the huge damages corruption does to a society in both visible and invisible terms.  What Boris highlights is visible in our country on daily basis.

Today walking around Juba or any town in South Sudan does not fill the eye with joy.  One sees suffering all around.  You see children in rags playing, others defecating in open on the streets; emaciated children collecting stones for sale.  Empty plastic bottles strewn everywhere and garbage everywhere.

It is truly a disheartening environment.  Yet, you see the thieves in the most expensive cars driving around laughing happily.  The sobering images coming out of Juba hospital daily and the wailing of the mourners seem not to say anything to this group of people.  What a bunch of heartless people?  People who have lost their humanity to greed and violence.

These thieves believe that by defrauding the South Sudanese people to construct for themselves high quality of life and live it, they will inevitably get away with it when they die and thereby passing the proceeds of the loot to their offsprings as inheritance.  Since we the South Sudanese people are always forgiving we would forget and their families would remain established with vast economic and political advantage which they wrenched violently from the people.

To allow this situation to stand would be to endorse and accept Mafiaism.  Since the process of accumulating this economic and political advantage was/is illegal, it follows that the South Sudanese people should have recourse to legal recovery of these stolen resources regardless of the farcical pronouncements of president Kiir; the woeful work of the rubber stamp parliament and the disgraceful work of the anti-corruption commission.

What we the South Sudanese need to do now is to forget the façade of Kiir’s administration on this issue.  This government will not deal with this subject as it should because they are the beneficiaries.  In the bush SPLM/A fudged this issue.  During the interim period they encouraged it massively in presence of the dummy anti-corruption commission.  As you know, no arrests made, no convictions handed down, no nothing.  It is well known that SPLM/A has a well documented culture of resistance to investigation, accountability and good governance.

Peter Nyaba in his book mentioned above on page 127 tells us that Riek Machar, the current vice president is not only corrupt but he does not like to hear the words investigation or accountability.  He writes, “When SPLM/A United was disintegrating, the Bahr El Ghazal called for accountability.  Riek refused to investigate allegation of financial irregularities and misappropriation of public funds and protected his subordinates in defiance of the wishes of his colleagues.  Riek’s lack of transparency and accountability annoyed the Bahr El Ghazal group which began to distance itself from the Nasir faction.”

What hope is there for a government led by people of such characters to address the problem?

Klitgaard argues and rightly so that corrupt officials at the top are monopolists unwilling to sacrifice their loot and the source of their ill gains.  When corrupt rulers, corrupt civil servants and corrupt private companies gain with society being the net loser then a state of equilibrium in corruption has been reached.

This appears to be the case in RSS.  In such a situation as South Sudan’s nothing can be done to tackle corruption except change of the “agents” promoting corruption.  This has to be done root and branch for the good of the country.

So, the SPLM needs to be kicked out of power through the ballot box and a fresh blood brought in to address this cancer.  Where the top leadership is infested with corruption as now there can be no hope of change with these leeches being on the driving seat.

As RSS is already a failed state saturated with corruption, our strategy should be to work together towards addressing this disease in the future.  We need to do this with all the opposition parties, to work towards developing means by which to recover all the resources stolen from GOSS by these irreformable corrupt officials and feral politicians.

In the next elections, the public needs to be sensitised not to vote for any party that does not pledge to address the issue of corruption once and for all.  So we expect the next government to enact a legislation setting up a commission for Economic Recovery and Rehabilitation (CERR) with wide powers.  Such a commission in my view is to be led by a strong personality preferably by a credible and ethical judge or a retired army officer with legal background.  This body is to be answerable to a parliamentary committee and the president and should have among others the following remit:

      — Investigate all forms of economic irregularities as from 2005 to date in South Sudan.  Such investigation to cover everything ranging from individual activities to state transactions with individuals and other bodies

      — Investigate the near collapse or collapse of Nile Commercial Bank and its inability to perform in a virgin environment of a new oil rich country

      — In collaboration with ministry of justice, the commission is to prosecute offenders and recover assets of the state from individuals as well as other bodies; no matter where such assets are hoarded or stashed away in other parts of the world.

      — In collaboration with the audit commission, the commission is to pursue vigorously any irregularity discovered by the Audit Commission and to recovery any assets lost to the state.

      — Re-open and re-investigate thoroughly the disbursement of the 4 billion dollars budget for grain.

      — Review and where necessary re-open and re-investigate all the cases dealt with by the dummy Anti-corruption commission.

      — Investigate use of state resource by SPLM as a party which in itself is corruption giving one party advantage over the others.  SPLM office bearers and officials of South Sudan government involved in this illegal act to be held accountable.

      — Any lobbying or obstruction of the work of this commission to constitute a crime.  Therefore, the legislation giving it force must be robust.

      — Investigate any other acts deemed damaging to the economic well being of the country

SPLM/A as a product of corruption and a corrupt organisation is fond of claiming  successful program to itself and this is how it rejuvenates itself time and again.  Even in the battle fields when the SPLA won, the real commanders who commanded the battles, and were responsible for the excellent job got sidelined and the credit bestowed upon Garang or any Dinka officer.

Therefore to protect the idea of CERR from being stolen and watered down by SPLM, any negotiations on the subject should not accept anything less than a body with wide ranging powers and duties as suggested above.  We do not want to see CERR in the political graveyard like South-South dialogue.

Resting this issue, let us get to sensitize our people and organize to recover our country from the thieves.  This joint called SPLM is past its sell by date.  It is already rotten to the core and therefore it needs to be demolished and cleared for the real South Sudan to emerge.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

Democratize South Sudan: Tear Down the SPLM, please!

BY: Ayuen Panchol, JUBAAUG. 11/2012, SSN; For democracy, the real democracy “d-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y” not just the written, sung or spoken democracy that frequently flies out of our politicians’ mouths, to be realized, enjoyed, seen, smelled, tasted, felt, drunk or even eaten by all the people of the Republic of South Sudan, including the mute, deaf, amputees, blind and the one-eyed, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s top leaders must be incited against each other.

A seed of discord must be sown amongst them now and quickly. Confuse them; Make them poke out each other’s eyes! Let a rain of political teargas canisters rain on their Headquarters at Juba’s Thongpiny area. With watery and itchy eyes, let them grasp for fresh air.

Like what little boys do in preparation for a fight, make them roll up their pants and sleeves to break each other’s jaw politically.

In a plain language, our educated uncles and aunts describe Democracy as a regime where the rule is determined by the people. A democratic government is a government for the People by the People and of the people, meaning that the people run the government and the government is made to protect the people.

Now be sincere to yourself and your country, does South Sudan fit in the above description? Is the government democratic?

On this planet earth, every child is born into some screwed up group and it is up to him or her to fight his or her way out of it or remain loyal, depending on the mindset and level of intellectuality, both natural and academic or even the borrowed brains, he or she attained during his or her transition from childhood to adulthood.

With my father being a member of SPLM/A Battalion 105 aka Ashara-kamsa or Koriom, and my mother pregnant with me during the civil war in the late eighties, I was automatically born into the SPLM. That means I am an SPLM by birth. And since none of the opposition parties has what it takes to win my admiration, and as a good citizen, I have only two things to do and they are, one, to remain in the SPLM and two, to fight it from within. And here goes my bullet.

Let me begin with the word that I loathe the most – sycophancy, a word beautifully tattooed on many faces in the country. You need an extra eye to see the tattoo though. A sycophant is a servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.

That’s it. The ruling SPLM party is a sycophant-fortified city. Back in the day, in the bush, sycophancy was a necessity. It was an air, a ticket for survival. This was because the movement’s leadership was debatably tyrannical, militaristic, and vampiric. It had no time to play with dissidents. It was zero-tolerant to criticism.

Those who dared object to any decision made by the Late John Garang and seconded by his loyalists were frowned at and frog-marched to frog-ponds for punitive drowning. Some rot in dungeons.

On the battle grounds, hardliners were ‘shot in the back of their heads’ after they compulsorily led their respective infantries to frontlines. You can put that together.

The SPLM members who are actually the liberators, the ruling elite or even the gods of life are suffering from two diseases, chronic ones: highly exaggerated sycophancy and empty loyal-ness. The two diseases are viral and hereditary and they are the root cause of the irresoluteness in the government, the very reason it is weak-kneed.

Being loyal is not bad. But the saddest part of it is that SPLM loyalists got addicted to their role until they transformed into sycophants.

Inarguably, the country is in the pocket of a cultish group of the much-hyped influential figures, namely: Salva Kiir, Riek Machar, Wani Igga, Pagan Amum, Kuol Manyang, Rebecca Nyandeng, Hoth Mai, Gier Chuang plus some underpublicized souls, most of whom are wealthy businesspeople. They are all SPLM.

What they agree on is final, regardless of its potential impact on the common man. What they do, or fail to do, unveils their real faces. It indicates the exactitude of their unspoken intentions – to rid the country of the poor, which make up to 70 percent of the total population. That’s why they hardly criticize each other publicly.

They are all indebted to each other. Since I woke up from the teenage coma a couple of years ago, I have never heard or read any of them engaging each other in a decent disagreement over any national issue in the media.

The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan which was brought to existence by some of the clique’s learned members prohibits them from dealing in any profit-making projects, a trashy provision they seemingly smilingly dust off their shoulders. It decrees that:

“The President, Vice President, Presidential Advisors, Ministers, and Deputy Ministers of the National Government, Governors, state Advisors, state Ministers, and other constitutional office holders shall, during their tenure of office, neither practice any private profession, transact commercial business, nor receive remuneration or accept employment of any kind from any source other than the National Government or a state government as the case may be.”

Who amongst the senior civil servants is not running a commercial business, in or outside the country or both? The person who made that a law wasn’t foolish. He knew what it is like to mix civil service with personal business programs. When you’re a businessman, honesty flies out through the roof. You become vulnerable to cheating. Pillage becomes your hobby.

In February this year, a dubious written order exempting Vivacell, the largest mobile telephone company, from paying taxes for a period of about ten years got leaked:

“….the licensor hereby ensures to the licensee that the license is granted tax exemptions for a period of ten years at least, such tax exemption include custom duties, income taxes, sale taxes, etc. or any other taxes which may be imposed in the near future such as Value Added Taxes and the Licensor undertakes to indemnify the license in full in that respect. As such, the excise tax is not applicable on Vivacell.”

Why would the government free such an income generating company from taxes? Who owns Vivacell anyway? Is he an ordinary businessman or a senior government official, a South Sudanese or a foreign national?

On Wednesday, the Finance minister, after being fried, roasted and tossed around by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee over misappropriated millions of dollars he disbursed to some company, rightfully snitched on His Excellency:

“Yes, the money was disbursed, no contract agreement, the disbursement was based on the strength of the letter of H.E the President,” 

Very freaking unbelievable!! Did the President actually sign that paper himself or someone forged his signature? Or did someone lure the old man into such a self-degrading act?

In November 2008, a Lebanese paper carried a story about high-profiled SPLA generals on a visit to Beirut. The Generals, who are currently holding ministerial positions in the government, went to check out the progress of their 25 companies that they had created some years back. Beirut Business Weekly quoted a Lebanese official as saying:

“This significant visit will definitely help bring the two trading partners businessmen closer and also help strengthen the trading ties between Lebanese Businessmen and SPLA generals… Lebanese foreign trade with SPLA reached US 11.085 million in 2006 to 2007. There are 25 SPLA companies operating in Beirut and are registered with the Chamber.”

Are those companies public or private? Ain’t Lebanon the pit latrine where the SPLA soldiers’ salaries were intentionally dumped into, forcing the freedom fighters to become herbivorous, mango and grass eaters? 

If SPLM wasn’t a group of Freemasons, who among them would need a degree in rocket sciences in order to see the deliberate violations of the law by his or her colleagues?

If the SPLM wasn’t an acephalous organization of hardcore official criminals whose members find pleasure in crimes they do without fear of rebuke and severe punishment, who among them would hesitate to condemn the crimes committed by his colleagues; crimes that crippled and continue to cripple the young nation and its citizens?

Unless an internal democratic war erupts within my beloved party, the SPLM, never shall the country get democratic. I don’t have an idea what would cause such a war but I am very hopeful that it will happen. If it does break out, each influential official with presidential aspirations will civilly walk away and form his or her own political party with a manifesto, aimed at attracting all South Sudanese, despite tribal marks, height, weight, belly-size and et cetera.Ayeun Panchol is producer of Sudan Radio Service, Juba

email: payuen@sudanradio.org

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

 

Why Juba shouldn’t be a National Capital for many reasons

BY: Chier Akueny Anyithiec, UGANDA
AUG. 18/2012, SSN; Dear readers, I am actually writing in response to Hon. Luka Biong Deng, concerning his article titled; “Why Juba should continue to be a national capital of the new nation.” Surely, Hon. Luka has said lot of things here but some of them contain none other than untrue arguments because people of South Sudan are absolutely expecting tangible change but not just matter of continuous loggerhead over non-essential things. I say so because Juba was meant to be national capital and it should remain a national capital but not a state capital, which is the contradiction between Central Equatoria Communities, particularly the communities who own Juba e.g Bari.
Wrong ideas are never condoned in intellectual world, however, it is like what is happening concerning the University of Juba, for example, whereby particular people based it as a State University instead of being a national institution. This example also exactly support my next arguments against that article in particular.
We should work for the future but not for chance of playing negative political showground about national institutions. Therefore, Juba is being taken as a state capital instead of regarding it a national capital city. When you hear any gunshot, that could be the problem of land, when are we going to stop fighting for lands? 
Hon. Biong, I think solution is to shift the capital!
South Sudanese in particular did not expect such nasty behaviors concerning national capital of the new nation, South Sudan.  If I say, that people around Juba, those who are owners of Juba have never recognized the importance of naming Juba a national capital city.However this has brought up lot of problems which resulted in too many criminal activities amongst tribes of South Sudan. We anticipate Juba as a capital city which belongs to nobody but not few who claim and always swear of some specific tribes who dominated and grabbed lands.
Once down the line, the government of Central Equatoria State was told to shift their centre to any other side, which is either Yei, Lainya or any other strategic place; the answer was nothing less than a big No.
The Central government South Sudan has taken decision since it is the government of all people and wants to care for all of us.
Ramciel as I write this article is the next new national capital city of South Sudan and nobody should manage to obstruct this idea. This is something so implicit, and even though it happens through referendum, it will remain positive due to the fact that it is a desire of the majority.
I hope after this article. Mr. Luka Biong will remain alone with some few who thought negatively for that matter.
I would like to say that shifting a national capital is vital because people know too that Ramciel might be having more problems but not to the extent , whereby people feel tetchy against  particular tribes, who are part of greater nation South Sudan. Mr. Luka Biong can’t tell general public that capital vicinity as per we talk about Juba, should be controlled by that particular community that owned it. This is what is happening now.
But what do  you think will prevent government of South Sudan from executing  and planning a feasible shift of the capital city to any other convenient area because the struggle for the freedom, which all Southerners did heartedly with full patriotism wants to shrink.
I know very well that relocation of capital city is not to the interest of all people but major desire it because they have nothing to remain in Juba but few find it unproductive due to lot of resources they have used expecting Juba, to continue a capital but the communities restricted it and hence prevent capital from booming ahead.  This is majority interest vs minority nosiness.
I would like to say too to people of South Sudan that Ramciel will be better because; the land of Ramciel is situated in centre between Greater Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bhar El Ghazal regions; so it will have that specified hospitality because they will both feel proud that land partly belongs to all.
Also, I hope the same spirit of Dinka community will remain in dignified recognition. For those who may deny this statement should not ask me but they should wait and see how progressive and prosperous will new national capital of South Sudan become!
Dinka and Nuer communities will never come into wrong view again as land robbers as it is the case going on in Juba now. Hence Dinka community will never dare tarnish the idea generated by South Sudanese to make their land the capital.
These people of Ramciel will seriously know the importance of making that part of greater jungle, the capital of South Sudan and also people of South Sudan have never been allowed in Juba as a national capital to extent freely per the law of this nation. So, the country capital city should be developing as per well planned conduit and city which is regarded for the people and it belongs to all people of this country.
Now, why should we stick to community capital city? I hope Hon. Luka knows every well the dirty political development happening always here.
When I read and ponder over Biong’s article, it reveals nothing but struggling to make non important ideologies to better ones. I see, the government of South Sudan decided and took this bona-fide decision because it requires people of this nation to participate equally and do whatever possible to realize their potential.
For those who are often crying for shifting capital might be having hidden special interest that is not related to nation building but personal, however they are fewer than decisive population of this new nation who desire new capital city; because they would like something better than this.
My brother, Luka may also know that working on capital without plans, made some other cities exist in mess and important example is Kampala of Uganda. I am afraid to say this but fact. It is better to decide too early that it becomes too late like what had happened in afore-said city.
Does it mean that having buried our great leader, Dr. Garang’s body in Juba prevent this nation from shifting capital if the government met some unfavorable obstacles?  It is obvious that Juba is going to remain one of our ten states and it is too our important national town or a city and a part of South Sudan.
What I know so far, Juba will continue to be industrial and commercial town due to its proximity to both bordering States being Kenya, Uganda and DRC. Congo; even though I left Ethiopia in the eastern side not mentioned.
Finally, my brother, Biong also wants to forget slogan of our late visionary leader Dr. John Garang which says, taking towns to people is better than taking people to towns and that was his number one ideology.  If Mr. Biong does remember; why should you oppose the idea of taking town to the people? Hitherto, Ramciel is accepted because majority shouldn’t be stymied for the chances of few. Thanks to the National Assembly and Council of Members for putting this idea viable.
Writer is  called Chier Akueny Anyithiec,  South Sudanese concerned Citizen, and Agri-Business Graduate, now a teaching Assistant at South Sudan Christian University, in department of Agriculture and Natural Resources.  Can be reached at chieryako@yahoo.com.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

 

Kiir’s American advisor expelled from South Sudan for anti-corruption work

American expelled from South Sudan for anti-corruption work

By Alan Boswell | McClatchy Newspapers, AUG. 20, 2012.
NAIROBI, Kenya — The letter was as bold as it was explosive. Signed by the South Sudanese president and sent out with a news release, it chastised its powerful recipients for collectively stealing $4 billion from the world’s newest country, before it was even born.”We fought for freedom, justice and equality. Many of our friends died to achieve these objectives. Yet, once we got to power, we forgot what we fought for and began to enrich ourselves at the expense of our people,” the letter read. At least 75 officials were served with copies, which offered amnesty for the partial return of funds.That letter set off a firestorm in the media and added to the steady stream of bad publicity that South Sudan had received in its first year of existence.

Yet its origins tell of a much deeper story, one in which America’s newest friend in Africa has turned out to be far less friendly than hoped, and international efforts to create a reliable democracy in an unstable region are faltering badly.

The author of the letter detailing South Sudan’s corruption wasn’t a South Sudanese but an Ethiopian-American who previously had been an advocate for South Sudan in Washington and had very recently taken a job with the United Nations. Ted Dagne also had been appointed by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir as a special adviser.

Because of his anti-corruption work, Dagne was forced to flee South Sudan for his safety soon after the letter was released, and for now he isn’t allowed back into the country. The United Nations says Dagne remains on contract with its mission in South Sudan.

“He’s obviously very affected, very distraught,” said a friend who requested anonymity in order to speak freely. “I don’t know what kind of impact this is going to have. He was obviously very influential in Washington.”

U.S. officials declined to comment on the record or to officially condemn the incident. The South Sudanese minister of information, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, wouldn’t discuss Dagne and his role in the corruption letter. Kiir’s press secretary, Chaat Paul, also declined to discuss Dagne.

Dagne, who worked for 22 years at the Congressional Research Service as an African specialist, was part of a tight-knit group of U.S. officials with close ties to the southern Sudan rebel group, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.

Advocates in Washington call Dagne the movement’s point man in Congress. He traveled frequently with the late Democratic New Jersey U.S. Rep. Donald Payne to Africa, where they often met with the southern Sudanese rebels. Dagne was known to play a personal voice mail from John Garang, the movement’s founder, to visitors.

His efforts and those of other American officials who were pro-Sudan People’s Liberation Movement paid off in a 2005 peace deal that led last year to an independent South Sudan. But Garang died six months after signing the peace accord, and Kiir took over as a consensus replacement. Unlike Garang, who had a Ph.D. from Iowa State University, Kiir had little education and had been a guerrilla fighter his entire life.

This January, Dagne left Washington and moved to Juba, South Sudan’s capital, on a U.N. contract to advise Kiir directly and work on curbing a plague within the nascent government that even friends of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement realized could prove fatal to their cause: a free-for-all looting of South Sudan’s oil revenue by the movement’s officials.

Besides his anti-corruption work, Dagne advised Kiir on international relations and at times wrote government news releases.

Dagne played another less official job: He served as an embedded go-between, and source of intelligence, for the U.N. and U.S. diplomats trying to make sense of South Sudan’s decision-making and direction. At no time was that more important than in April, when South Sudan advanced north and captured the disputed Heglig oil field. Kiir later ordered his military to withdraw, an unpopular decision domestically.

Dagne was brought into the mission by Hilde Johnson, a former Norwegian minister of international development who heads the U.N. mission in South Sudan. Johnson was backed for that position by Ambassador Susan Rice, the U.S. representative at the U.N. in New York. Dagne, Johnson and Rice all developed close ties to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement during their careers.

Johnson has referred to Dagne in conversation as a close friend and her best contact in Juba.

The public disclosure that South Sudan was missing $4 billion shocked South Sudan’s politicians, who’d spent years denying the scale of the problem.

According to a South Sudanese official who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, Kiir didn’t consult his ministers before signing Dagne’s corruption letter. An official government investigation afterward found Dagne responsible for then leaking the letter to reporters through one of Kiir’s press officers, the South Sudanese official said.

South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar, who’s a political rival to Kiir, has publicly disputed the $4 billion figure, and his spokesman said Dagne was responsible for picking that number.

“The $4 billion was not based on an investigation. It was an estimation,” said James Gatdet, the vice president’s press secretary. “It was this guy Ted. There was no other source.”

In response to emailed questions, the U.N. said it “is not familiar” with how the $4 billion figure was calculated.

Some in the South Sudanese government were also upset that Dagne, as a foreigner, held such a senior position in the president’s office.

Fearing for his safety, Dagne fled to Nairobi, Kenya, soon after the corruption letter was leaked. Kiir then passed a message to Dagne that he should remain outside South Sudan. Dagne later tried to return, but was refused entry.

McClatchy spoke with more than 10 people who are familiar with Dagne’s situation – friends as well as U.S., U.N. and African officials – none of whom were willing to speak on the record about his case because of the sensitivities around it.

Dagne’s fierce partisanship on the Sudan issue has made him a polarizing figure in Washington. His critics describe him as naive, or they say he hurt the reputation of the Congressional Research Service, whose website says its analysis is done “without bias.”

“On the Africa side, there’ve been researchers, and they’ve been pretty unbiased, and then there was Ted,” said a U.S. official who’s worked on Africa for years, who wasn’t authorized to speak on the record. The official described Dagne as “very smart” but as someone who “had an agenda and knew how to work the system.”

Dagne’s wide circle of loyal friends praise him for his tenacious commitment to the cause.

Eric Reeves, an English literature professor who worked with Dagne closely in pro-Sudan People’s Liberation Movement advocacy, said his friend had made enemies in Washington because “he was too direct, too determined and not sufficiently bound by State Department or congressional protocol, especially on Sudan.”

McClatchy interviewed Dagne in April in his Juba office – a prefab container inside the president’s open-air arid compound. Dagne vigorously denounced the international response to the ongoing border conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, which he viewed as one-sided in favor of Sudan.

Dagne said he wrote news releases on behalf of the government and was frustrated with U.S. policy on the two countries, which he said he was trying to change to be more pro-South Sudan.

Near the end of the interview, he turned pensive and gazed out his window. He spoke of the country’s corruption, the internal tribal wars, the lack of development outside Juba.

“I’m not even South Sudanese, but as someone who waited a long time to see the benefits (of independence), it is frustrating,” he said.

When reached by phone last week, Dagne declined to answer any questions, saying only that he was out of the region and with his family. According to a friend, Dagne is now back in the U.S.

“What he gave up to go to South Sudan, the danger he endured, the emails I received about his life there,” his friend Reeves wrote in an email. “I hope you at least understand – as Ted most certainly did – what a target he was by virtue of his role in helping root out corruption. Think of who that made his enemies! A lot of guys, with a lot of money, with a lot of followers, with a lot of guns.”

Boswell is a McClatchy special correspondent. His reporting is underwritten in part by a grant from Humanity United, a California-based foundation that focuses on human rights issues. Email: aboswell@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @alanboswell

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

South Sudanese WAKE UP and SPEAK OUT!

BY: Amanda Leitwa, SOUTH SUDAN

AUG. 23/2012, SSN; I am Sick of the South Sudanese mentality that currently condones the diabolical state of affairs in South Sudan. Statements such as ‘we are starting from scratch’ channel this dangerous and complicit idea through the South Sudanese psyche. What the South Sudanese spokespeople of this cryptic ‘We are starting from scratch’ message do not understand is the underlying damage this statement alone has caused to my generation, namely the under thirties.

It is breeding an acceptance of corruption, disorganization and materialism. It doesn’t take much to notice this developing trend among the young South Sudanese. Ask any under thirty who has a parent in the South Sudanese governmental system and you will discover their excessive support for the system or at best silence on the matter of governance in South Sudan.

I remember having a conversation with a South Sudanese man in his early-twenties about South Sudan. I expressed to him my extreme disappointment with the pathetic state of the South Sudanese economy, especially because South Sudan‘s economic potential is far from being exhausted. He replied me by saying that he thought the Government of South Sudan/SPLA (GOSS) was doing very well, he urged me to consider the fact that they are ‘starting from scratch’.

I have two main issues with this opinion expressed by too many South Sudanese, young and old. My first problem is, what then is to be said of the 1970s South Sudanese administration under Nimeiri’s May 25th revolution regime (Nimeiri regime), set up in accordance with the Addis Ababa agreement?

The second problem I have with the starting from scratch mentality is that, with the several years that South Sudanese have spent in the Diaspora and as a result the plethora of undergraduate and post-graduate degree holders we now have, why do we pretend to lack the brain power to generate adequate government?

Firstly, let us examine the extent of the administrative autonomy held by the Southern Regional Executive council under the Nimeiri regime. The Addis Ababa agreement stipulated in  Chapter four article eleven (Chp 4, art 11) that the High executive council for the then Southern region of Sudan was to have legislative capacity over a number of issues, for example “Promotion and utilization of Regional financial resources for the development and administration of the Southern Region.” This effectively meant that South Sudan could explore, develop and administer policies and schemes that would generate regional revenue for regional development.

What many of my fellow under thirties need to understand is that if our leaders in the seventies were as feckless as our current leaders, the resource that contributes to 98% of South Sudan’s current GDP namely oil, may never have been discovered.

Oil exploration had been taking place in what was then Northern Sudan since 1959 to no avail. The Nimeiri regime continued oil exploration in Northern Sudan with no intention or obligation to extend the oil exploration to what was then Southern Sudan.

In the late seventies the leader of the High executive council for Southern Sudan at the time approached and facilitated the exploration of oil by Chevron and as a result oil was discovered in Western Upper Nile (see:http://www.sudanupdate.org/REPORTS/Oil/08cn.html).

This is evidence not only of initiative but also an expression of interest in the development of the infrastructure of South Sudan. If this was the sort of activity South Sudanese leaders were taking part of in the seventies, surely South Sudan was not starting from scratch under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005.

In fact what is clear from the example given above is that, the sort of initiative and interest expressed by South Sudanese leaders in the past clearly lack in GOSS today. If that were not so why does South Sudan’s economy lack diversity?

After the six year interim period I cannot understand why South Sudan’s agricultural potential was not actualized.

If GOSS had taken its responsibility to the people of South Sudan seriously by appointing competent officials at the beginning of the interim period to manage the oil, GOSS would have been prepared for the Oil stoppage stunt they pulled at the beginning of this year.

They would have had hard evidence of the alleged unlawful diversion of oil carried out by the Sudanese government which would have strengthened their bargaining power in the recent talks held in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Therefore GOSS would have averted the severity of inflation currently in South Sudan as a result of the now diminished GDP.

However, instead of planning and thinking ahead, our leaders were busy stealing the oil revenue to feed their newly cultivated expensive tastes, wining and dining their international friends.

In all of this governmental debauchery what hurts any sane human being is the deprivation our brothers and sisters living in South Sudan are facing, with the cost of living in Juba ridiculously high and the quality of life shockingly poor.

Are our leaders thinking of anyone else but themselves? And what of we in the Diaspora watered, fed and educated?  In fact, is any South Sudanese person thinking of anyone else but themselves?

This leads me to my second issue with the statement ‘We are starting from scratch’. A recent graduate myself, with many South Sudanese graduates before me and the several educated who belong to my parent’s generation, is it plausible for anyone to believe that South Sudan lacks the capacity to govern itself effectively?

In fact it seems to be a strategic ploy by our incompetent leaders that the cream of South Sudan does not rise to the top, because if they did our government would look lean and nothing like it does today. The restriction of brain power in South Sudan is perhaps the one thing GOSS has strategically carried out effectively.

I find it sad that GOSS is successful at tasks that are counterproductive to the development of South Sudan.

I am honestly sickened to my core at the apathy my peers and in fact many of my parents’ peers have toward changing the state of affairs in South Sudan, we have developed a culture rife with immorality that is killing our people in their droves.

If we, all South Sudanese do not begin to speak out and effect change in South Sudan we may very soon find that we have no country at all.

Amanda Letiwa; Augustboudica@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.