Category: Other

Lol State is a disaster like the rest of the country and Pres. Kiir says, “It isn’t my fault!” Who’s to blame then, Mr. President? The Jieng Council of Elders (JCE)!

From: Amma Emmanuel , Australia, DEC/10/2017, SSN;

Lol state is a disaster like the rest of the country and the president says, “It is not my fault”! Who is to blame then Mr. President? The Jieng Council of Elders (JCE)!

When Decree No. 36 of 2015— mandating the creation of 28 states in the Republic of South Sudan—was issued, the entire population of the then Raga County in Western Bahr el Ghazal, led by chiefs and intellectuals, rejected the decision to carve Raga County and merge it with North and West Aweil to form the current Lol state.

They wrote one memo after another, held rallies, and sent delegations to Wau and Juba to explain why they rejected the order. They said, as stakeholders, they were not consulted in the matter so as to express their views, nor were they aware of a study conducted prior to the order to reassure them their farms would be protected from the cattle belonging to the new settlers; their voices heard; and their democratic representation preserved from the mechanical majority decisions that the new status quo would bring.

In addition, they pointed out that this order violates Article 161 of the transitional constitution and breaches the August 2015 comprehensive peace agreement, therefore, threatening the peace in Raga and the area at large.

The people of Raga are known to be diplomatic, religious and law-abiding people; they lived peacefully with their neighbors from Aweil West and North for decades. The abduction of women and children or pillaging of villages, as regularly reported in other parts of the country, was unimaginable.

Thus, they believed that Decree No. 36 of 2015 was an attempt by enemies of peace to end this amicable relationship and set the area ablaze, as had occurred in other regions of the country.

In October 2017, President Kiir issued an order to the army to ensure withdrawal of pastoralists and their cattle from the Equatoria region and resettlement in their respective states in Jonglei and Lakes. The order cited complaints from farmers and chiefs from Equatoria that cattle were destroying their crops, their main source of livelihood.

This was not the first time that such an order was issued, nor the first time that farmers complained.

President Kiir issued a previous order to relocate the pastoralists in Western Equatoria to their respective states; however, farmers in Equatoria and Western Bah el Ghazal continued to complain about cattle destroying their crops.

The strife between farmers and cattlemen transcends contemporary times, dating back to the colonial era. It was on the basis of these differences in livelihood that British colonials delineated district and state boundaries; farmers remained in Western Bahr el Ghazal and Central and Western Equatoria, while the regions north and east of these areas—up to the border with Sudan— were designated for pastoralists.

Natural features, such as rivers, functioned as borders in some areas in Upper Nile. Over time, with the exception of minor incidents of cattle-raiding that occurred over the border, this solution brought sustainable peace between the tribes, leading successive administrations to maintain it after independence in 1956.

It is due to this history that when Decree No. 36 of 2015 was issued, the people of Raga were initially in disbelief. They thought it was an error that might soon be corrected; however, it became a nightmare when days passed and reality set in.

Why merge Dinka Malwal from Aweil— who are pastoralists— and Fertit from Raga— who are farmers— in one state at a time when President Kiir was issuing orders to pastoralists in Equatoria to move to their states in Jonglei and Lakes?

If the argument is to make public services more accessible to these rural communities, why not maintain Raga as a separate state?
Why risk people’s lives and resources on an arrangement that was deemed a failure from day one?

And why are some trying to damage the harmonious relationship between the two communities of Fertit and Dinka that existed for decades?

If it is about the unwarranted fear of unfounded old claims that the people of Raga wanted to be annexed to Darfur or that Khartoum wanted to take Raga, the Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders (JCE) needs to understand the following:

•When Khartoum claimed Abyei as a territory of Sudan, it was not because of its people or their religious affiliation, but because of the land and its resources.
•When Khartoum fought back to regain control of Panthow, it was similarly on account of the land and gas reserves.
•When they pushed the border of Darfur and Kurdufan further south to include Kafia Kenje, Hufrat el Nahas, Rodom, Abyei and other areas in Upper Nile during the Nimeri regime— continuing to occupy them up to this moment— it was because of studies that proved these areas were rich in minerals, gas, and other valuable resources.

That being said, if Khartoum one day wants to claim Raga it will be as a result of land and resources and not because of its people or their religious affiliation. The union of Raga and North and West Aweil and the formation of Lol State should not and will not be a condition for the two communities to come together and stand up against any foreign threats.

International borders are normally protected by the national government rather than the tribes or “Mathing Anyor”. A country incapable of coming to the defense of its people and borders is useless and, likewise, a government unable to defend its citizens is no government at all.

The government in Juba, carrying a guilty conscience after not being able to fulfill its responsibilities to Abyei and its people, has resorted to these divisive, destructive, and unstudied policies.

One of the most important responsibilities of a legitimate government is to protect its citizens from any internal or external threats. The constitution places that right in the hands of the national or central government with the national army and security organs positioned as tools to enforce executive and legislative decisions.

To delegate this power to any entity other than the government is inappropriate and disgraceful. Therefore, the government’s desertion of Abyei and betrayal of its people is a show of weakness and a symbol of failure.

Furthermore, the JCE’s imposition of North and West Aweil on Raga—on the premise of a false allegation of Raga wanting to be part of Darfur—is utterly a disguise for its immoral intentions.

To the unaware or absentminded, the 2010 referendum results showed that more than 97% of the people in the then Raga province voted for secession, making Raga one of the areas with the highest volume of votes in support of separation.

Furthermore, those who were displaced and resettled at the outskirts of Khartoum for years overwhelmingly voted for separation and immediately returned to their ancestors’ land and started development. Every single village in Raga country that was deserted during the liberation war has been rebuilt and normal life resumed. That is why Raga did not experience any shortage in food or hunger all this time.

Raga learned that if they wanted to keep their land from any foreign ardent desire to snatch or annex, they had to return, rebuild, develop, and rely on themselves. To them, Decree 36 and the creation of Lol state is synonymous with Khartoum’s ambition to take their land; this time, however, concealed under the façade of federalism- what they will resist teeth and nails!

People of Raga are patriotic; they value their land and honor their martyrs. Like many other people who had untold stories of patriotism during the liberation war that Khartoum deliberately distorted and/or never documented, Raga had stories of honorable youth –accused of being fifth column in the Anyanya movement—who were dragged from their homes and shot by the army in broad daylight, their bodies left on the streets.

These are the unknown soldiers who shed their blood so that Kafia Kenje and Hufrat el Nahas could be a part of Raga and the whole South.

The people of Raga will never dishonor their martyrs nor forget the sacrifices they made on behalf of liberation. They voted overwhelmingly to fulfill their dreams and to prove to their families that the bloods of their sons, daughters, husbands, brothers and sisters were not shed in vain.

Therefore, to accuse them of wanting to get Raga annexed to Darfur is smearing their struggle for the liberation of this land; it is just another imprudent attempt by the JCE to justify their unacceptable land grabbing policies.

Angelo Marak, a former speaker of the defunct Northern Baher el Ghazal legislative assembly, told Radio Tamazuj that the “two-state solution would be better option than unattractive unity between the two communities forming Lol State.”

He attributed the reason behind his suggestion to the fact that Raga community leaders completely rejected the Lol state decree due to fear of the destruction of their farms, the grabbing of their lands, and the alteration of their culture by the Dinka and their cattle.

Two separate memos, one from the intellectuals and youth from North and West Aweil in Juba and the other from the concerned citizens of the former Aweil North and West counties in the diaspora, appealed to the president for the creation of an Aweil state separate from Raga. They cited the same reasons above, stressing that both communities would live peacefully in separate states as they had done in the past.

In his article, Why Lol State should be partitioned?”, Kuac Deng stated that the creation of Lol state has put Aweil North and West in a precarious position, with rebellions and assassination attempts by the people of Raga who rejected to be part of the new state and a government in Juba with no solutions to offer.

He talked about the dire economic situation comprised of unemployment; mass out-migration due to insecurity, and lack of social services. Accordingly, he urged people of Aweil North and West to stand up for their rights and claim a separate state, stating, “Unity is a shared responsibility and cannot be forced” and a separate state will guarantee peace and harmony with itself and neighboring states.

This is the situation in Lol: rejection of Decree No. 36, rebellion, demands for two separate states, insecurity, hunger, no salaries for more than six months, corruption, lack of essential services, mass exodus to neighboring countries and more. Unfortunately, this is the situation all over the country and not in Lol alone.

The president was honest to say, “South Sudan is a disaster” as reported by the Washington Post, but whose fault is it and who should be held accountable? If the president denies responsibility, then who is responsible? The Jieng Council of Elders!

It is unthinkable for a sitting head of state to confess to the media that his country is a disaster or to exhibit indifference towards the suffering of his people. A president who refuses to bear responsibility for the mess and damage his government has created loses legitimacy and must cede power to someone who is competent, someone with a clear vision, someone willing to hold themselves and others accountable.

South Sudan deserves to be in a better position twelve years after independence, but here we are—according to many observers—a failed state littered with widespread corruption, a deficit in public services, and an indecisive governing body, among other issues.

South Sudan has become a playground for neighboring countries whose armies freely enter the region and whose aircrafts readily violate the country’s airspace. South Sudan is on the verge of collapse!

The IGAD Revitalization Forum to resuscitate the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARSC) will be held in mid-December of this year. It is the belief of the author of this article that IGAD will never bring a total, just, and lasting peace to South Sudan if Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri Museveni play a role in the Forum and become signatories to any agreement reached.

Museveni, whose soldiers defended Kiir, is part of the problem and Kenya is only interested in South Sudanese dollars—not its people.

A total, just, and lasting peace will come when all 64 tribes of South Sudan stand up and say enough is enough. Mounting calls for the dissolution of the JCE could be responsible for the JCE’s recent decision to rebrand itself as “The Concerned Citizens of South Sudan” and, as reported in the Sudan Tribune, the Aweil Youth have declared, “Kiir and his administration are responsible for failing the country and dragging South Sudanese to tribalism, segregation, and nepotism”.

Each day passes, South Sudanese are realizing how Kiir and his administration have failed the country and how they should come together before it is too late. These occasions are evidence of imminent change, the presence of a blurry, yet unfading, light at the end of the tunnel.

It will not be easy to effect change; it will be rough, thorny, and bloody; however, as Nelson Mandela famously stated:
“There is no easy way to freedom anywhere and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountain tops of our desires”.

Amma Emmanuel: vigilant@yahoo.com
Dec., 2017

Kenya has a Win-Win Choice in the Upcoming General Election

By: Agou Anyieth Kur, Political & Communication Strategist living in Canada, AUG/07/2017, SSN;

An appeal for a peaceful and fair democractic process.

As you go into the August general election, I want to draw your atten-tion to something that might not be too obvious in all the current hus-tle and bustle towards the general election. This concept of mine as given away by the title of this article is that contrary to the zero-sum narrative coming from your political class and the media, I implore you to view the forthcoming general election as a win-win contest and a celebration of your democratic journey and self governance: Madara-ka, as it is popularly known in your country.

“Siasa Mbaya”

In the East African region and other parts of the world, you have seen the suffering, destruction and death caused by Siasa Mbaya, to use the famous phrase by Mzee Daniel Arap Moi, the former president of Kenya. But what exactly is Siasa Mbaya?

If it will help, let me disclose right away that, I, the author of this article, I am from South Sudan. That must have rung a bell in your head even if you haven’t been keenly following the political happenings across the region and around the globe in the past few years.

At this very moment, the degree of human suffering happening in South Sudan is so despicable and un-imaginable for this century. Innocent civilians are needlessly dying and starving because of a recklessly-played politics that disregards the aspirations that many South Sudanese had for their country.

Syria and Yemen are comparable cases to South Sudan but I will stick to South Sudan for illustration since it neighbours your beautiful country and you possibly know it better than the two aforementioned coun-tries.

Having given this example, I hope I have laid bare the dire con-sequences of Siasa Mbaya without having to explicitly define it. From Siasa Mbaya, a chain of unfortunate events can transpire leading to an all-out war and needless suffering as is the case in South Sudan. When Thomas Hobbes, a 16th-century political philosopher wrote in his Leviathan about the state of war as being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”, I would say that he had South Sudan in mind.

A GREAT PRESIDENTIAL FIELD

Despite the post-election doom and gloom being predicted by some pundits, how colourful the Kenya’s 2017 presidential field is should not go without getting noticed. It may appear obvious but it is worth the praise and pride of every Kenyan.

From Mr. Mohammed Abduba Dida, to Dr. Ekuru Aukot, to the front-runner duo of Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, Kenyans should be thankful of the diversity of the leadership that they can choose from and the state of their democra-cy.

It is not perfect but it can get better. In my opinion, this current Kenyan presidential campaign is less nasty than the 2016 circus show that ended up producing Donald Trump as the president of the United States.

I will pay much attention to the two front-runners for now since only both of them have considerably higher chances of winning the upcom-ing election in comparison to the rest.

To begin with H E. President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, some may question his ability but only a few may doubt his kindness, sincerity and good intentions. To the young people in East Africa and across our continent, President Kenyatta is well respected for his modern views and his desire to make Kenya a more developed nation.

Up to this point, he has done a hugely com-mendable job to that effect notwithstanding the corruption scandals that have been a little of a nightmare during his first term. Coming to the Former Prime Minister, the Rt. Honourable Raila Amolo Odinga, a lot of great things can be said about his illustrious career in Kenyan political scene.

Very few opposition leaders across Africa come close in comparison. From his progressive views of the world to his lofty ideals of what Kenya can be going all the way to his contributions (alongside others) to ensure that Kenya gets on a multi-party demo-cratic path, a progressive constition in 2010, it is not an easy task to find a living match for Raila across our continent.

Having Uhuru and Raila among those from whom Kenyans can choose their president in the August 8 election is another thing that you my Kenyan brothers and sisters should be proud of. I think no sane Kenya would opt to trade leaders with North Korea (where there is no diversity of leader-ship to choose from) or Zimbabwe (where our once revered African elder has now clung on to the presidency and would not let go to allow for diversity of leadership and fresh ideas to chart the future).

Kenya still remains a beacon of hope, peace, progress and democra-cy irrespective of the happenings of 2007/2008. Your elections may not be perfect (and elections never are in most parts of the world) but they are regular and your democracy is maturing with every election. 10-15 years from now, your democracy might be the closest thing to perfection in the whole of Africa.

That is, of course, if you build on the constitutional progress of the past few years. Any bystander, like I am, would seriously advise you not to squander that due to some short-sighted and hollow tribal vanity. You would not want your coun-try to go the South Sudanese way.

NEVER AGAIN?

As the 2007 Election violence had taught you, I have heard voices ranging from ordinary Kenyans to leaders saying that “never again should Kenyans shed blood because of an election.” But do you really mean those words?

Le me end with this recollection from 2008. When the National accord was signed, I was watching your parliament’s special sitting when it approved the National Accord. Sometime around noon after the Ken-yan army band had played the national anthem, they marched to the tune of the gospel song: “Baraka za Mungu kweli ni-za ajabu” , which translates to “the blessings of the Lord are truly miraculous.” That moment reflected your ideals and aspiration as a Godly nation of “Amani and Umoja” and it is what you should all aspire for ahead of the upcoming election. Don’t mess your country up.

Agou Anyieth Kur
Political and Communication Strategist living in Canada.
agoukur@gmail.com.

Money the root of all Evil: Assessing its veracity in the context of South Sudan

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, JUN/09/2017, SSN;

It has been a while since I thought about this topic concerning the role of money in crisis of South Sudan. When Comprehensive Peace Agreement (the CPA) between the Sudanese People Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and National Islamic Front (NIF) regime, Southern Sudan was created, which was administered as an autonomous region from Northern Sudan.

The autonomy of Southern Sudan was to last for six years (2005-2011), which should be followed by referendum, in which all South Sudanese or sixty four tribes currently in South Sudan have to decide whether to become independent nation called South Sudan or continue to be part of larger Sudan.

Indeed, after six years South Sudanese decided to vote for separation. Consequently, they voted for independent South Sudan and in July 2011 the current Official Flag of South Sudan was raised and the Flag of Sudan that many of us associated with all predicaments that were facing South Sudanese under Khartoum was lowered. As the Official Flag was being raised, the crowd was wild with joy while braving simmering sun of Juba.

However, one thing was clear. One thing that was clear was money. Money, which is defined as any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a particular country or socio-economic context, or is easily converted to such a form, was becoming a great major player in the governance of South Sudan.

Nonetheless, though the Money was becoming so important to the extent that development of South Sudan was going to depend on its availability, another side of the money is that it is so corrupting that even the simple act of thinking about it can lead people to act in unethical ways (www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/16/money-corruption-study_n_3450724.html).Thus, this article assesses the veracity of the statement that money is the root cause of all evils in South Sudan.

But before we assess the evils caused by money in South Sudan, it is important to list all general evils that are associated with money worldwide, which are:

Money causes dishonesty just to earn more money; in addition money causes corruption as a person or authority operates under the conflict of interest; money leads to the abuse of political power; bribery; moreover, use of money has given rise to greed and exploitation of poor which has resulted into greater inequalities of incomes and wealth.

The economic exploitation caused by greed of money triggers social upheavals in different countries as was seen in the case of Arab spring in 2011; money helps in extending the scale of production, which after certain limits may result in a situation where production far exceeds the demand. This leads to fall in level of prices, unemployment, decline in incomes and thereby misery for the masses.

Money has encouraged many kinds of anti-social activities like gambling, fraud, robbery. It makes people greedy and acquisitive. It encourages tendencies of exploiting others. However, it cannot be denied that most of the evils listed above arise because of improper use of money.

Money has caused political corruption due to politics of money. The Government officials use powers for illegitimate private gain. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties, is done under color of law or involves trading in influence.

Forms of corruption money encourages includes bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, parochialism, patronage, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement. Money causes corruption which in turn facilitates criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, though is not restricted to these activities but to any unjust misuse of power against citizens or to the disadvantage of the citizens..

In addition, misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is also considered political corruption caused by greed of money. This is because greed for money hates freedom of speech and expression. It is been reported that in worldwide, bribery alone is estimated to involve over 1 trillion US dollars annually. A state of unrestrained political corruption is known as a kleptocracy, literally meaning “rule by thieves”. Protect ion of political corruption has led to institutional corruption, which are distinguished from bribery and other kinds of obvious personal gain.
As Panama Papers leaks revealed, government officials secretly owned companies, many of which are based in the UK’s tax havens. Panama Papers were documents, which belonged to the Panamanian law firm and corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca, that were leaked in 2015 by an anonymous source, some dating back to the 1970s. The Panama Papers are 11.5 million leaked documents that detail financial and attorney–client information for more than 214,488 offshore entities. This law firm supported dictators, money launderers and tax evaders all over the world to escape taxes and also steal money from theirs nations.
The above are general evils associated with money and therefore it is true to say that money is the root of all evils. The same evils are seen in South Sudan as shall be discussed in the following examples—
There has been faking of qualifications in South Sudan since education is equated with money. Hence, the higher one is educated the bigger the salary or money one may earn. In order to get good post in the employment one must be educated so forging of academic qualifications become handy business in South Sudan. As a result, education has lost its values and importance in South Sudan because it is seen as a means to the end. This is because according to those forged documents the end of education is not knowledge but money.
To prove the above point, in 2016 Busoga University was closed after awarding 1,000 South Sudanese fake degrees in 60 days. In addition, there are also many forged academic documents in various offices in South Sudan because people see education in term of money not knowledge.
Moreover, we have seen in South Sudan rampant misuse of diplomatic passport because of money. It is not uncommon to get ordinary citizens holding diplomatic passport simply because it protects them from paying migration fee or ticket fee of fifty dollars or so. This is just to defraud the country with resources or money. This is because the burden always comes back to the country since it is the one to pay the money to foreign countries in term of diplomatic fee that was not charged against South Sudanese nationals holding diplomatic passports.
The government should collect all Diplomat passports from citizens who do not have any international work related to the business of South Sudan and at the same time they must be tasked to pay all whatever money they would have paid in all the travels they have undertaken. Otherwise, allowing them to use diplomatic passports though their works have nothing to do with diplomacy is abuse of a country and foreign affairs or foreign relations.
Because of money, there is also lucrative black market, evil practices caused by desire for more money. Many bank officials in both Central and commercial banks of South Sudan, for instance, horde hard currencies through the process of insider trading in order to sell them in blank market at higher prices just to get uncontrolled or huge profits. This, as a result, pushes up prices in the market to the economic detriment of the ordinary citizens.
There is much secrecy in dealings in different offices in South Sudan as Money, Politics and Power are interrelated and because of that transparency and accountability are hated in South Sudan. This is because of corruption caused by money. In 2010 during general elections, many youth sold the truth for money. For example, General Daniel Awet is a well-known General in Southern Sudan because of his role in liberation war but because of money the youth lied that he was not well-known simply because they need money; hence truth became an enemy to them.
Money causes corruption which in turn causes financial and political scandals. Politics in South Sudan is based on tribalism, discriminations and nepotism because of money. All is caused by politics of money and because of that money has destroyed unity among us South Sudanese as it has destroyed our traditional African morals that used to hold us together.
Due to the lost of morals, which are replaced by immorality, many of us have resorted into doing abominable things. For example, some people bury money under the ground; some put money in a coffin like dead people and hire people to cry for that money as a means of stealing the money to the neighbouring countries. This is a worse thing any human being with moral values can do but because money has made us to lose morals, we no longer care about integrity.
Because of money, many army generals have destroyed the army because they steal money from soldiers to build their own houses. In addition, many people join rebellion with the aim to get higher rank in order to get good position and a lot of money. This is why rebellion has become a good business as many who join rebellion do not join with the intention of bringing change but with the intention of getting position in the bush and when they join government later they will be incorporated or integrated into the SPLA with the ranks they obtained in the bush. Hence, the whole meaning of rebellion has changed.
Because of money, professionalism has been lost in almost all areas. The worst hit areas by the lost of professionalism are army and legal profession. This is because people working in these areas are only looking for money not practising their professionalism. This is why, for example, the army has been turned into where people in the government employed their own relatives who are not fit to serve in the army. All in the name of money.
In summary, money is the root cause of all evils in South Sudan. Greed for money is a ‘bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction’. Unless we have the law to control the people South Sudan will be sold for money. We already have that indication as there are agents of Khartoum working with the government. The work of these agents is to keep on informing Khartoum of all the latest development in South Sudan.
In addition, the office of the president of South Sudan is turned into business ventures and this is why there are no any secrets in that office. Those inside the office of the President are agents of undisclosed principals. My humble opinion is that the people who corrupt the nation should be sentenced to death once proved in court of law and found guilty in order to save the country from the present serious corruption caused by greed of money.

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

BREAKING NEWS: KCB (Kenya Commercial Bank) to close South Sudan branches due to war shocks

By DAVID HERBLING, THE EASTAFRICAN, MAY/03/2017, SSN

IN SUMMARY:

***KCB wants to cut its exposure in South Sudan where the bank took a Sh3.4 billion hit due to hyperinflation in 2016.
***The impending closure of branches in South Sudan is likely to lead to job losses, KCB warned, saying the actual number of workers to be affected will be known in due course.
***KCB ventured into South Sudan in 2006 and the wholly-owned subsidiary quickly rose to become the most profitable unit;

East Africa’s biggest bank by assets KCB Group plans to shut down some of its branches in South Sudan, citing civil strife, devaluation of the country’s currency, and hyperinflation which negatively impacted the lender’s earnings last year.

KCB, which has 19 branches in South Sudan, now wants to cut its exposure in Africa’s newest nation where the bank took a Ksh3.4 billion ($34 million) hit due to hyperinflation in 2016.

“KCB Group board of directors has approved the temporary closure of some branches in South Sudan, driven by logistical and operational challenges that have made operating some of these branches unsustainable,” the bank told the Business Daily.

“A change in the economic situation will lead to a re-assessment of the viability of branches.”

South Sudan’s inflation rate hit 830 per cent in late 2016, and the South Sudanese pound has been on a free fall — currently trading at 108 units to the US dollar compared to 2.95 units at which it was fixed until December 2015 when Juba adopted a free floating foreign exchange regime.

The impending closure of branches in South Sudan is likely to lead to job losses, KCB warned, saying the actual number of workers to be affected will be known in due course.

“Naturally, any branch closures will lead to staff re-assessment but, as mentioned earlier, this is work in progress and we cannot therefore, at this time, quantify the number of staff who will be affected,” the bank said.

Juba woes

KCB ventured into South Sudan in 2006 and the wholly-owned subsidiary quickly rose to become the most profitable unit.

The macroeconomic troubles saw the Juba-based unit plunge into the red, with a loss of Ksh759 million ($7.59 million) last year from a net profit of Ksh17.8 billion ($178 million) in 2015.

But Stanbic, which reported a loss of Ksh1.1 billion ($11 million) from the Juba unit due to spiralling inflation, said the lender has no plans to withdraw from the troubled country despite the tough operating environment.

“Stanbic Bank is not withdrawing from South Sudan,” the bank told the Business Daily.

This is the second round of headwinds hitting KCB operations in South Sudan after the outbreak of civil war in December 2013 following clashes between government forces and rebels allied to former vice-president Riek Machar.

KCB in January 2014 shut three branches in the towns of Bor, Bentiu and Malakal, due to the conflict in the fledgling economy.

“Any business decision by KCB Group is made to protect the interests of shareholders,” said the bank.

All the four Kenyan banks with regional operations in South Sudan booked massive losses linked to hyperinflation and loss in value of the local currency.

Co-op Bank reported a Ksh498.3 million ($4.98 million) hit from the South Sudan hyperinflation, and Equity Bank suffered a Ksh129 million ($1.29 million) monetary loss.

Lack of ideology, moral politics & the rule of law: Causes of South Sudan problems

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Lawyer, Kampala, Uganda, MAR/26/2017, SSN;

Six years ago, South Sudanese overwhelmingly voted for separation from Sudan after over forty years of struggle for independence. Thus, independence made South Sudan become a sovereign state.

In that regard, when we talk of State sovereignty we mean the State responsibility and because of that responsibility the state has a primary duty to protect its citizens, which lies with the state itself (see; The Report of the International Commission on Responsibility of States to protect and Intervention and State Sovereignty December 2001)

Sadly six years down the road, South Sudan has lost the direction as it has fallen into some kind of a military dictatorship (though it is not a typical military government) that retains power through the use of political violence, kidnappings and other oppressive tactics.

These tactics are used solely to protect and maintain the interest of the cliques that have held the government and the president hostage in order to continue sacking the blood of South Sudanese amidst ruthless and aimless war.

Thus, South Sudanese are now trapped in war, famine and potential genocide though the beneficiaries of the war do not like to hear the word “genocide”.

In that respect, the recent report on South Sudan’s war, famine and potential genocide by the Enough Project entitled “How The World’s Newest Country Went Awry: South Sudan’s war, famine and potential genocide,” properly summarizes the State of South Sudan as a “den of thieves,” in which battles by profiteers over power and the corrupt spoils of power, including an “oil-fueled gravy train,” have fueled endless cycles of conflict.

In addition, the same report of Enough Project cited above pointed out that the current war is the cause the famine due to the war and political violence, which is likely to result into genocide.

This is because as report puts it, “The competing kleptocratic factions are fighting over a lucrative prize: control of the state, which in turn brings control over oil and other natural resource revenues, patronage networks, some foreign aid, massive corruption opportunities, immunity from prosecution and accountability, control over the army and other security organs, the ability to control or manipulate banks and foreign exchange, the opportunity to manipulate government contracts, and the chance to dominate the commercial sector”.

Looking at the report cited above which explains the problems of war, famine and likelihood of genocide facing the country currently, the immediate question that comes in mind is: what is the problem or what causes all these problems in South Sudan?

The simple answer is that all the problems facing South Sudan now have their genesis in the lack of ideology, moral politics and the rule of law.

Thus, where the country is run on proper ideology guided by the interest of the state and citizens, then a true, moral or proper politics develops. The true or moral politics is the politics that puts the nation interest above individuals.

Hence, where there is a conflict between individual personal political preference and that of a country itself, then those individuals who have political ideology different from the state are supposed to resign from the politics. This is the basis for which some politicians resign or are forced to resign from politics or from the government.

As pointed out above, moral politics is supposed to guide the nation towards achieving the interest of the people which was supposed to have been the case in South Sudan. Nonetheless, in South Sudan as we see today, there is lack of ideology which has resulted into the lack of proper or moral politics and absence of the rule of law as the three are interrelated. How the three are interrelated shall be explained later in this work.

But the lack of ideology in South Sudan is the cause of ill-conceived and bad politics. Hence, politics in South Sudan is mixed with personal interest and because of that the government, political party and politicians are inseparable, which complicates the issues of governance in South Sudan.

In other words, due to the misconception of politics which is perceived as personal, the Government of South Sudan is run on patron-clientelism. This is ‘a patronage network that binds both patron and client together in a system of exchange in which the relationship is mutually beneficial but at the same time the power, control and authority lie with patron (see; peace and Conflict in Africa edited by David J. Francis p.10)’

In relation to the above paragraph and in relation to South Sudan, politics is based on patron-client relationship, which is replicated at different levels, including local, national and international, and between individuals, groups, communities and states. This is seen in Juba and in various states in South Sudan, which is a mode of governance.

This mode of governance though it is bad it is not easy to eradicate as they feed into and support each other.

The type of politics discussed above comes about due to the lack of political ideology. Lack of political ideology causes messy or bad politics characterized by the systems of governance, which involve the exercise of political authority based on an individual wishes, which is further used to serve the private and vested interests of the state power-holders, including the ruling and governing elites.

Hence, in such a state of affairs, the state resources are used for personal benefits and in oppression of the citizens to protect personal interests by authorities.

In the kind of system, as cited the above paragraph, the State governing institutions are appropriated, used, subverted, privatized, informalized and subordinated to the interests of the personalized ruler, the regime in power and its supporters as seen under the SPLM Government headed by President Kiir in South Sudan.

Therefore, in the country where the system as described above is adopted, there is no always a distinction between the public and the private sphere of governance and the political ascendancy as well as individual preferment is based on loyalty to the power holder.

Hence, the power-holder such as the president emerges not only as a personalized ruler and the prime purveyor of patrimonial resources (public resources) but also commands monopoly over all formal political activity, whereby the formal state and governmental institutions are subordinated to the ruler’s vested and strategic interests.

In truth, the state where the ruler personalizes the system, there are always organized criminal activities in the form of informalization and privatization of state governing institutions in which large scale of corruptions and fraud are legalized or carried with impunity against the citizens.

Innocent citizens who protest against bad governance or corruption as referred to above become criminals while the true criminals such as government officials who steal government resources perceive themselves innocent and prosecuted.

So, they end up organizing criminal activities sanctioned under the state laws and enforced by the State security apparatuses that go around tracking down patriotic citizens who complain against the misuse of state resources and power.

In addition, when they feel threaten and see the threat against their power, they form private militias and also privatize civil war that helps them remain in power in the pretext of protecting national interest, and consequently, there is a growth in an economy of plunder, and the ‘re-traditionalization of society’ through the use of witchcraft and occult practice in governance as seen in various government institutions in South Sudan.

The emergency and existence of the problems in South Sudan as discussed above are due to the lack of strong political ideology and the rule of law that should have guided South Sudanese leaders to lead the country to the desired direction in its development.

As mentioned above, the rule of law in simple language means the supremacy of the law. In other words, it refers to the situation where the authorities base their administrative decisions on law and everything done by the authorities must be done in accordance with the principles of law in their areas of administration and which must be in line with the Constitution.

Thus, ideology, politics and the rule of law are intertwined or closely connected. This is because where one of them is weak then the other two are weakened or become ineffective and by implication, citizens become the victims of bad governance.

In this respect, bad governance is the product of the absence of law or the rule of law. Where there is no law, there is always uncertainty and uncertainty creates anxiety among the citizens and where the citizens always experience anxiety caused by uncertainty in the governance, the citizens lose confidence in their leaders and hence politics experiences mayhem and eventual political crisis as seen in South Sudan.

Due to the lack ideology in South Sudan, there is no true or politics guided by morals and because of that the law has become an enemy to the leaders. The overall consequence of the absence of law in South Sudan is the outbreak of civil war and famine which have created a hell for South Sudan’s people. But at the same time it has created bloody and lucrative businesses for the country’s leaders and other commercial collaborators, i.e. South Sudan’s war profiteers” to the use the language of Enough Project Report.

Moreover, the absence of the rule of law caused by lack of ideology and lack of true politics has made the war crimes a source of income for South Sudanese warlords or leaders as it pays.

This is because there is no accountability for the atrocities and looting of state resources that has resulted into the current famine and starvation facing the nation.

As you read this article, thousands of South Sudanese are imminent danger of starvation caused by corruption within the system as it is the system itself, which is corrupt and which is the very purpose of the state of South Sudan.

In South Sudan, as the Enough Project found, the leading accelerator of the conflict is greed-fueled by kleptocracy in which state institutions have been hijacked by a network of individuals who are working hard to rich themselves at the expense of masses.

This group or network of people is composed of leaders and their commercial collaborators internally and internationally, backed by the use of extreme violence.

As a matter of fact, the network is composed of leading government officials, generals, businessmen, foreign investors, banks, oil and mining company representatives, money transfer entities, and others connected to the international financial system. The automatic result as expected is the disempowerment and destruction of the viability of the state institutions that are supposed to hold leaders accountable.

This is because all the parties involved want to avoid both accountability and transparency and then the National Security apparatuses comes in to brutally suppress all forms of dissent and independent expression or political activity against the corrupt leaders.

Besides the above, the insecurity experienced by corrupt politicians makes them not have confidence in national security and because of that they begin recruiting ethnic-based militias and armed to attack the communities perceived to be opponents to political leaders and their political mischief.

Of course, there is need for fairness here, the use of militias goes back to the time of the British colonial and Khartoum regimes era, when identities were politicized, just as the Belgians did in colonial Rwanda, establishing ‘tribal authorities.

However, that does not absolve the government of South Sudan as it has a primary duty to transform the society.

As pointed out above, tribal groups are recruited and dressed in the national army uniform to send the message that they are members of national army while other citizens join rebellion not because they want regime change and promote national ideology and the rule of law but they want to eliminate one ethnic group in the country.

Consequently, soldiers in the government and rebels in the bush are killed without accountability in the process of defending the national government without national agenda and rebels are killed in defense of their tribal interests threatened by the interests of the government officials. Hence, the country becomes divided and also a loser on both sides.

Sadly enough, after the soldiers or rebels have been killed in defense of the national government without national agenda or in defense of their tribal interests in the bush, no one among the leaders whether in the government or in the bush cares for the widows and children of those killed, so the war becomes most expensive and demanding venture.

Since there is no one who cares for the children and widows for those fallen soldiers, majority of the members of the army have lost patriotism and becomes mercenaries hence the army becomes a bunch of undisciplined group of individuals.

In summary, it is important to point out that due to the lack of ideology, proper or moral politics and the rule of law, the SPLM government has lost the objectives of which they SPLM of 1983-2005 was founded on.

Because of that, if the SPLM/A of 1983-2005 were to meet face to face with the SPLM of 2017, they will shoot at each other because the SPLM of 1983-2005 will think that we are still under the Sudan rule.

The SPLM of 2017 is ideologically corrupt and seriously dictatorial which has put it in terrible mess and this means that there is a need for radical change in the SPLM political structure.

There is a need for honesty to tell the leadership of the SPLM that the party is now in bad shape or political intensive care unit and because of that there is a need for restructuring of the SPLM in order for it to survive.

In addition, President Kiir should be informed that what he is told by the cliques around him in the State house is different from what is on the ground. The President should know that whereas he has weakened the rebels, he has completely lost control over the security of the country and citizens are in grave danger of death.

The president must also know that for South Sudan to be saved from falling apart there is a need for compromise. To compromise is part of ideology strategy because where there is ideology leaders are ready to compromise in order to agree on the ideological framework and development.

Finally, this article has a suggestion that the president does not want to hear but for the sake of South Sudan, the article points out and suggests that the President is no longer capable of leading the country and there is a need for him to prepare a strong person within the party that can save the SPLM from natural death or disappearance from the political scene.

If the President does not listen to this advice, he must prepare for the collapse of the country and if the country collapses and citizens get finished, then what was the purpose of liberating South Sudan and the South Sudanese?

NB//: the author is South Sudanese Human Rights lawyer, a graduate from Makerere University, School of law and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com/+256783579256

No Ideology, No Nation: The problems of South Sudan

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Lawyer, Kampala, Uganda,MAR/22/2017, SSN;

National building begins with ideological building. Without defining and identifying a proper ideology, the nation remains confused, corrupt and stranded. As defined, an ideology is a collection of beliefs held by an individual, group or society. It can also be described as a set of conscious and unconscious ideas which make up one’s beliefs, goals, expectations, and motivations.

In this regard, an ideology is a comprehensive normative vision that is followed by people, governments, or other groups that is considered the correct way by the majority of the population, as argued in several philosophical tendencies. Hence, as those of Karl Marx and Frederick Engel observed in their work, the ideology is set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of society such as the elite to be followed by all members of society.

In relation to politics, the ideology refers to the system of abstracted meaning applied to public matters, thus making it central to politics. Implicitly, in societies that distinguish between public and private life, every political or economic tendency entails ideology, whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought.

In the Althusserian sense, Ideology is “the imaginary relation to the real conditions of existence.”

Where the nation does not have a clear ideology like South Sudan, the whole system becomes corrupt as there is no ideology that directs people on what to do, when to do it, where to do it, how to do it and why it should be done.

The role of leaders of a country run without ideology is not defined but it is geared at retaining power hence, all intellectual tendencies are corrupted when they consort with power. This is exactly what is happening in South Sudan today.

In South Sudan you get government and rebels fighting meaningless and aimless war. The people in the aimless war are viewed as objects. This is why women and girls are raped, young boys are recruited and leaders keep on buying guns with country’s resources even though people are facing dangerous hunger and starvation.

The recent report confirms the above statement that country resources are being used in purchasing weapons while people are starving in the country. Hence, the report pointed out that the government of South Sudan is spending its oil revenue on weapons, even as the country descends into a famine largely caused by Juba’s military operations, according to a confidential United Nations report.

Thus, the report by a panel of experts, whose findings were dismissed by South Sudan’s government, calls for an arms embargo on the country – a measure rejected by the Security Council during a vote in December 2016.

The report further pointed out that the experts found a “preponderance of evidence (that) shows continued procurement of weapons by the leadership in Juba” for the army, the security services, militias and other “associated forces.”

As stated in the above report, while hundreds of thousands (100,000) of people are facing starvation in various parts of South Sudan such as part of the former Unity State, the government of President Salva Kiir continued to make arms deals hence spending millions of dollars on arms.

The reason the government of South Sudan is seen as being inhuman which it is in reality is because it does not have the ideology. Where there is correct ideology for a country, the question is always, “What is a nation?” Such a question as this is always important because it guides the government in the nation building process.

When Dr. Garang was heading the Movement called SPLM/A, not like the one we have today, there was a clear ideology called the “New Sudan” built on clear ideology. Hence, New Sudan with its ideological leaning acted as a guide throughout the war from 1983 to 2005. It was the clear ideology of the Movement that made SPLM/A strong as there was a direction where people of Southern Sudan were going.

In addition, there was a law called the SPLM Manifesto of 1983 as revised in 2008, which made the liberated areas experience strong rule of law and strong army: the SPLA.

With the demise of Dr. Garang and the rise of General Kiir, South Sudan was buried alive as it was sacrificed on the altar of corruption. Therefore, the SPLA that used to be strong in the bush was weakened in towns, which made some of us long for those days when we were in the bush in which the rule of law use to exist and everybody felt at home.

In fact, the SPLM/A used to be strong in the bush because its leader, Dr. Garang, tried by all means to avoid being hated and despised at all costs by the rural people of Southern Sudan. As Niccolò Machiavelli in the Prince puts it, a leader (or a prince) may be criticized for a lack of virtue, but he will never be hated for it. However, a leader (Prince) will be hated if he takes the property or women of his subjects.

In other words, a leader must avoid robbing his subjects of their honor. The leader will be despised if he or she has a reputation for being fickle, frivolous, effeminate, cowardly, or irresolute.

Hence, if the leader is regarded highly by his subjects, he will be shielded from conspiracies and open attacks.

In South Sudan, the President has failed to control the situation due to the fact that he fears his officials whom he allows to rob citizens directly and indirectly of their resources. This is why the President has become unpopular because he allows the national resources to be unfairly shared through corruption.

All the above problems are facing South Sudan because of the lack of clear national ideology. As the Uganda President Yoweri Museveni observed over South Sudan in regard to lack of ideology recently, there is no national ideology on both sides of the rebels and the government as they are following what he termed as pseudo-ideology of sectarianism.

Museveni expressed the above view on South Sudan when he was meeting Xu Jinghu, the Chinese government Special Representative on African Affairs, at State House, Entebbe recently. He criticized the leadership of the different parties involved in the conflict saying the leadership is making the conflict a tribal affair.

He is quoted to have said, “The main problem in South Sudan is ideological. The groups there don’t have clear headed leaders to guide the people about their future. They push the pseudo-ideology of sectarianism of tribes and yet this is detrimental to the people’s well-being. The conflict cannot be resolved through force but by negotiations aimed at two things; first are elections. It is the medicine for sectarianism because in an election, no single tribe can marshal numbers to win.”

As seen above, the main problem of South Sudan is lack of ideology, which has left the country in a confused situation in which the rule of law has become an enemy to the state. People are being tortured directly and indirectly. People are being tortured indirectly as they are subjected to hunger and poverty because of grave corruption and they are being tortured directly by the National Security which is being used by the leadership to protect their interest not that of the nation.

The army has been allowed to be infiltrated by business people who are in form of generals and whose business is to corrupt everything and also oppress junior officers and other soldiers. Currently, no one cares for the family of the soldiers killed defending government or the nation.

To make the matters worse, the president and his group have turned the nation into personal enterprise in which they are using national resources for personal benefits and also to eliminate different South Sudanese who complain with the way the nation is being managed.

In summary, without ideology, no country and without ideology, no people, as people are exploited through corruption and daylight robbery promoted by confused state of affairs.

In order for South Sudan to come out from the current crises, there must be peace and then serious reforms in the army undertaken and the rule of law must be promoted and respected while strong ideology be adopted to guide the nation in its path to development where the justice, liberty and prosperity can be achieved by all South Sudanese.

NB//The author is human rights lawyer residing in Kampala Uganda, and can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com or +256783579256

Causes of South Sudan’s famine and potential genocide: A New Report

New Report Identifies Causes of South Sudan’s Famine and Potential Genocide

March 21, 2017;

In a new report published today, John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, offers an historical review of corruption and profiteering in South Sudan, detailing how a legacy of violent kleptocratic leadership has led the world’s newest nation into a crisis of famine, war, and potential genocide.

The Enough Project report, “How The World’s Newest Country Went Awry: South Sudan’s war, famine and potential genocide” details the history of South Sudan, describing a “den of thieves,” in which battles by profiteers over power and the corrupt spoils of power, including an “oil-fueled gravy train,” have fueled endless cycles of conflict.

The current situation in Sudan is described as a violent, greed-fueled kleptocracy, in which institutions of accountability have been deliberately undermined, and calls for hard-target “follow the money” investigations into the looting of the nation. The report further provides a series of critical recommendations to address the root causes of famine, destabilization and war, and to dismantle the violent kleptocratic system that is driving the suffering of the South Sudanese people.

Selected report highlights:

“War has been hell for South Sudan’s people, but it has been very lucrative for the country’s leaders and commercial collaborators, South Sudan’s war profiteers.”

“In South Sudan today, war crimes pay. There is no accountability for the atrocities and looting of state resources, or for the famine that results.”

“Corruption isn’t an anomaly within the system; it is the system itself, the very purpose of the state.”

“Ethnicity has been used as the main mobilizer for organized violence.”

“The history of conflict and mass atrocities in Sudan and South Sudan is driven in large part by unchecked greed, manifesting itself primarily in the accumulation of wealth and power by the country’s leaders.”

“The competing kleptocratic factions are fighting over a lucrative prize: control of the state, which in turn brings control over oil and other natural resource revenues, patronage networks, some foreign aid, massive corruption opportunities, immunity from prosecution and accountability, control over the army and other security organs, the ability to control or manipulate banks and foreign exchange, the opportunity to manipulate government contracts, and the chance to dominate the commercial sector.”

“South Sudan is not wildly different here. The leading accelerator of most African conflict is greed-fueled kleptocracy in which state institutions have been hijacked for personal enrichment by a small group of leaders and their commercial collaborators internally and internationally, often using extreme violence. The networks are usually composed of leading government officials, generals, businessmen, foreign investors, banks, oil and mining company representatives, money transfer entities, and others connected to the international financial system. They disempower and destroy the viability of those state institutions because they want to avoid both accountability and transparency, and they brutally suppress all forms of dissent and independent expression or political activity.”

“In South Sudan (and Sudan), ethnic-based militias are recruited and armed to attack the communities perceived to be opponents. This practice goes back to the British colonial era, when identities were politicized, just as the Belgians did in colonial Rwanda, establishing ‘tribal authorities.'”
Key report recommendations:

“The missing ingredient in the international response is the creation of sufficient leverage or influence to shift the calculations of these violent kleptocrats from war to peace, from atrocities to human rights, from mass corruption to good governance. The surest way for the international community to build influence is to hit these “thieves of state” in their wallets.”

“What is needed is a hard-target search for the dirty money, the ill-gotten gains from the last decade of looting. Choking the illicit financial flows of the kleptocrats is the key point of leverage available to the international community, given the vulnerability of stolen assets that are offshored in neighboring countries or around the world in the form of houses, cars, buildings, businesses, and bank accounts.”

“Conflict can be transformed when hijacked governing institutions—first and foremost the military, which is simply a mishmash of ethnic militias—are reformed. Establishing measures of accountability is key. There must be financial accountability for the stolen assets; legal accountability for crimes against humanity; and political accountability which could exclude those responsible for the worst abuses from a future government.”

“The most promising policy approach would combine creative anti-money laundering measures with targeted sanctions aimed at kleptocratic networks, the combination of which would be robustly enforced with the objective of not just freezing a few assets, but rather freezing those willing to commit mass atrocities out of the international financial system altogether… This is revolutionary, because it would suddenly give international policymakers and diplomats a major point of leverage to impact the calculations of those willing to commit mass atrocities to maintain or gain power.”

“Given the dominant position of the United States in the international financial system, and the extreme vulnerability to which the assets of South Sudan’s kleptocrats are exposed within that system, the United States is uniquely positioned to help alter the incentives for South Sudan’s leaders away from grand corruption and war, and to give peace a chance in that embattled and long-suffering land.”

“Ultimately, South Sudanese people will drive reform and determine their future. From the outside, the United States, Europe, the United Nations, the African Union, and other concerned actors around the world can provide support and solidarity to the efforts of South Sudanese people who are on the front lines of efforts to build peace, good governance, and accountability.”
Link to full report: http://eno.ug/2mZwPjE

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606, gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT

The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

Calling for National Day of Prayer is not President Kiir’s responsibility but of the Church

BY: Rev. Daniel Amum, MAR/12/2017, SSN;

The decision made by the President Kiir to call for national day of prayer is clear indication of his ignorance about the Bible teachings. So God is distraught because you took a duty entrusted to the Church. In this regards let me highlight some of biblical references and the consequences of violating them.

In the book of 1 Samuel 13:9-14, the King Saul took a position of prophet to offer sacrifice to God, hoping to win God’s favor, so that he may face the challenges posed by the Philistines. Unfortunately, the Prophet Samuel questions him what has he done?

Unconsciously, Saul reiterated that he thought of presenting sacrifice (prayer) to gain God’s favor because the Philistines were coming down against him at Gilgal. Indeed, he felt compelled to offer the burnt offering. God was extremely upset by the decision of King Saul.

Straight away, the Prophet Samuel under inspiration of the Holy Spirit criticized Saul that he acted foolishly, and he has not kept the command the Lord his God gave him. Now, if you would have waited for the Lord, He would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But as result of your disobedience, your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.

The calling for national day of prayer is political one which the President Kiir resorted to for gaining support from apathetic people. But in real sense it is a sign of the end of his leadership like Saul, who was rejected by God, because he tried to accomplish the task which was not entrusted to him by God.

President Kiir seems distracted by feeling that being a leader gives him full right to champion all affairs of nation including spiritual aspects, forgetting that God ordained certain people to carry out that job. When the Lord deserted Saul, his life was controlled by Satan that worsened his situation.

Mister President Kiir, you need to be assured that God never delights in the burning offerings, sacrifices or prayers but He delights in justice, equality, peace and freedom. Without being righteous and without fulfilling necessary duty to let citizens live in harmony and peace, your prayer will not be acceptable by God.

In 2013, the Church advised you not to conduct the SPLM Convention but you personally sidelined the Church and you went on with your destructive project, and what happened is well known to all. The truth of matter is that your toxic and poisonous leadership spoiled the minds of southerners to look at themselves as enemies.

Obedience is better than prayers and sacrifices and to heed is better than any offerings. For the rebellion you made against the Church is like the sin of divination, and your arrogance is like the evil of idolatry.

Profoundly you have rejected the word of the Lord from the Church. Now, God has rejected you as President like what He did to King Saul (See 1 Sam.15:22-23).

President Kiir, obviously God is not delighted in your national day of prayer because you failed to listen to Him through his servants and failed to do the right thing.

Now, instead of calling for national day of prayer, why don’t you visit UNMIS and see the conditions of people in Protection Camps and try to hear their stories and how do they feel about you as person and your government.

President Kiir, the only option to restore the broken relations and to stop tribal conflicts in South Sudan is your resignation, no less. People have gruesome feelings in their hearts against you and they can’t come to national day of prayer you are calling for.

The question that poses itself is, can people in UNMIS Protection Camps in South Sudan, in bushes and in Refugee Camps really come for prayers? I think they can’t because they see you and your government as the cause of their sufferings which they encountered during the dark four years in the history of South Sudan.

Mr. President, your continuation in the leadership will widen disintegration, disunity, discrimination and dislike among your subjects. It will be very hard to heal mental, physical and social breakdown in your presence.

It will be impossible to convince the remnants southerners to restore mistrust created by you because of sorrowful memories and afflictions imposed on them by your government.

Allow me to repeat again, the only suitable solution before you to resolve this chronic problem and unpleasant experiences in South Sudan is your resignation from leadership and not the calling for national day of prayer or national dialogue. These will be waste of time, energy and limited resources without tangible outcome. Done cheating yourself, whatever you initiate will not bring fruitful result.

God of justice never wanted his creatures to be oppressed by anyone, and he will fight on their behalf as He did for Israel against Egyptians. Mr. President, people were murdered in your presence, displaced internally and externally and you made no response to such tragedies that befell on them.

What kind of leader are you, who never reacted to tribulations and agonies your subjects had experienced?
Are you not ashamed to call skeletons to come for national day of prayer that will not be heard by God?

In case you still feel a legitimate President, why are you shielding yourself with tanks? Your fear from the subjects implies definite uncertainty that there is insecurity in capital Juba.

It is also well known that the criminal rate within Juba have reached to highest level, for crimes are being committed on daily basis by unknown gum men. Moreover, inflation has reach to 800%, logically can empty stomachs, dying and starving persons adhere to your prayer call? I doubt that.

Mr. President, be specific in your call for national day of prayer, which group within communities are you targeting, are you calling wealthy bellies out or dying people? Please be reminded that wealthy bellies-out group will not attend the prayer nor the dying people because they are physically weakened.

Mr. President Kiir, let me refer you again to astonishing biblical reference in the Gospel according to St. Mark, chapter 9:42 -45 which say, “if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.”

The only thing you can do to win God’s favor is true confession, repentance and turn away from your sin, no way for hypocrisy.

Mr. President Kiir, you must know that God will not accept your call for national day of Prayer because you have ruined the nation and scattered his children around by world as result of madness man-made war you employed.

In case you do have sense of humanity in your heart and feeling of the agony of God’s children that are suffering under your leadership, please take courage to step down for the sake of such destitute citizens that were compelled to live inhumane conditions within their country for which they shed precious blood in liberation war.

As Christians, you need to observe what God says in his words, for example, in book of Amos, the Lord authorized Amos to declare to the leaders of Israel that He hates and despises their religious feasts and He cannot stand their assemblies.

Even though they bring Him burnt offerings and grain offerings, He will not accept them. Though they bring choice fellowship offerings, He will not regard them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps (see Amos 5:21-24).

In same manner God is telling you by now away with your baseless call for national day of prayer.

Indeed, Mr. President Kiir, be assured that God Almighty will not attend your prayer, also He will not listen to your prayer and will not bless you unless you make justice roll in South Sudan like a river and righteousness like a running stream.

Mr. President Kiir, be reminded that the Lord had put some guidance for acceptable prayer and fasting: One is to lose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke.

Second is to set the oppressed free and break every yoke.

Three is to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter.

Four is to clothe the naked people, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood. (See Isa.58:6-7).

In the light of mentioned quotation, God will never hearken to your call because the requirements God wanted to answer the prayer is not present in your life.

The gains which are waiting for you if you do what is right in God’s sight are: your light will break forth like the dawn; your healing will quickly appear; your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. You will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here I am. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, and with the pointing finger and malicious talk” (See Isa.58:8-9).

Mr. President Kiir, prayer is conversation with God, but how can you speak to a person whom you didn’t have intimate relationship.

In case you want God to answer your prayer, you must spend yourself on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

Apart from this your call for prayer will be empty and baseless exercise you wished people to participate. So you must leave what belongs to God and mind about your own business.

Uganda rules out military intervention and UN trusteeship in South Sudan

By Ed Cropley, THE EAST AFRICAN, FEB/03/2017,SSN;

IN SUMMARY:
**** Patience towards President Salva Kiir’s government in Juba has worn thin as the refugee numbers have grown, fueling talk in international policy circles that “trusteeship” is a viable solution.
*** However, Ugandan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Okello Oryem, rejected the notion, saying such interference would be opposed even by Kiir’s sworn enemy, Riek Machar, currently under house arrest in South Africa.
*** Uganda sent in troops when hostilities first broke out in 2013, a move that Kampala says prevented ethnic slaughter on a similar scale to the 1994 Rwandan genocide. However, it was criticised for its action amid suggestions that it had ulterior motives.

Imposing an external “trusteeship” government on South Sudan to try to end a three-year ethnic civil war and potential genocide in the world’s youngest nation would only make its security situation worse, Uganda said on Thursday.

Patience towards President Salva Kiir’s government in Juba has worn thin as the refugee numbers have grown, fueling talk in international policy circles that “trusteeship” is a viable solution.

However, Ugandan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem rejected the notion, saying such interference would be opposed even by Kiir’s sworn enemy, Riek Machar, currently under house arrest in South Africa.

Colonial mentality

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” said Oryem, the principal foreign policy voice in Uganda, one of South Sudan’s most powerful neighbours.

“That’s a colonial mentality. If an attempt was made to have trusteeship in South Sudan, then I think even the Machar side would resist it and fight it,” he told Reuters in an interview. “That’s an idea that should not be mooted.”

South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 but tensions between its many different ethnic groups quickly surfaced and civil war broke out in 2013 between Kiir’s largely Dinka security forces and units loyal to Machar, a Nuer.

An internationally brokered peace deal restored some calm, although that broke down in July last year with heavy fighting between the rival forces in Juba, after which an injured Machar managed to flee to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Misunderstood

Uganda sent in troops when hostilities first broke out in 2013, a move that Kampala says prevented ethnic slaughter on a similar scale to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

However, criticism of its action and suggestions it had ulterior motives meant Uganda was not prepared to re-commit any troops, even under the aegis of a Regional Protection Force mooted last year by the African Union, Oryem said.

“We were misunderstood by the international community and all hell broke out – we were being accused of everything under the sun and being told to leave,” he said.

“We’ve told them we are not going to go back,” he added. “Uganda has no more interest in sending its troops and boys to South Sudan.”

Separately, army spokesman Richard Karemire said the overall security situation in South Sudan had improved since Machar’s flight from Juba. He also voiced support for the removal of Machar, once Kiir’s deputy, from circulation by South Africa late last year.

“Would South Sudan sleep in the absence of Riek Machar?” Karemire said. “Every time there is a problem, he is in the middle of it. This is something we’ve got to ask ourselves.” (Reuters) END

National Democratic Movement (of Dr. Lam Akol) position on the UNSC visit to Juba

PRESS RELEASE:
National Democratic Movement (NDM) Position on the United Nations Security Council’s visit to South Sudan.
The leadership of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) which was formed under the savvy leadership of Dr. Lam Akol in August 2016, with the objective of rescuing our nascent state from the jaws of a weak, uninspiring and ruthless dictatorial regime in Juba under President Salva Kiir and his Jieng Council of Elders, welcomes the recent historic visit to Juba by members of the United Nations Security Council, 1-4 September.

We believe that the deployment of the envisaged Regional Protection Force (RPF) under the command of the United Nations to take charge of security in Juba will enforce security in the national capital thus saving lives of the innocent civilian population and creating a conducive political environment for the germination of free political discourse and ensuring the full implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS).

The deployment of Regional Protection Forces could be further strengthened by adoption of new political road map to resuscitate the ARCISS.

In this regard the National Democratic Movement would like to urge the United Nations, Security Council (UNSC), African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to exert pressure on the government of South Sudan to revoke all decisions and actions taken by President Kiir in violation of the ARCISS and declare them null and void.

These include:— the imposition of the Establishment Order No. 36/2015 dividing the country into 28 states;
— reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA);
— all decisions taken since the renewed conflict took place in July 2016;
— the establishment and operationalization of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan as stipulated in the Peace Agreement and to dialogue with the stakeholders in the country to renegotiate the security arrangements in the Peace Agreement, especially the formation a new national army and other security organs.

The National Democratic Movement express deep concern regarding the oscillating position and the protracted diplomatic discourse the government of South Sudan has embarked upon pertaining to the deployment of the Regional Protection Force.

In fact the joint communique issued in Juba between the Government of South Sudan and the visiting United Nations Security Council’s delegation provided light at the end of a dark tunnel regarding the operationalization of resolution 2304 (2016) in particular, the deployment of the 4000 strong Regional Protection Force.

The Communique which was read on Sunday by the Cabinet Affairs Minister, Martin Lomuro stated inter alia that ‘to improve the security situation, the Transitional Government of National Unity gave its consent to the deployment as part of the UNMISS of the regional protection force recently authorized by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2304.’

However, on Monday 5th September barely before the ink joint communique was dry, Cabinet Affairs Minister Martin Lomuro and the Minister of Information Michael Makuei held a press conference in Juba denying government’s consent to the deployment of the regional protection force.

Dr. Martin Lomuro told reporters that in order for the regional protection force to be deployed in South Sudan, the government must agree on the number of troops, the contributing countries and arms to be carried by such a force!

On the other hand, Michael Makuei further added that there will be no force if the conditions are not met and that ‘4000 is the ceiling, but we are not duty bound. We can even agree on 10.’

The oscillating position by the government of South Sudan on the deployment of regional protection force as demanded by the UNSC Resolution 2304 (2016) was a shock to many but hardly surprising from an irresponsible and arrogant dictatorial regime of Kiir.

The government of South Sudan has lost credibility, respect and honour as far as the implementation of provisions of the ARCISS is concerned as well as any other commitments intended for the fostering of peace and stability in the country.

The continue intransigence by the government on all outstanding issues pertaining to the implementation of ARCISS, is a poignant reminder of Kiir’s failed leadership in administration of country’s affairs.

Therefore, we call upon the United Nations to show a unified leadership and consensus shown in their visit to Juba and to take serious actions against the dictatorial regime in Juba including and not limited to the immediate imposition of targeted sanctions regime. Enough is enough the time for diplomatic rhetoric is over; it is time for action.

Amb. Emmanuel Aban
National Democratic Movement (NDM), Representative to the United Nations
New York,
+1917-327-9842
Email: ojwokj@hotmail.com