Category: Other

Kenya’s Raila Odinga’s delicate task in mediating S. Sudanese rivals

BY: DENG Vanag, Secretary for Information, Public Relations and Spokesperson for Federal Democratic Party/South Sudan Armed Forces, FDP/SSAF. JUN/10/2018, SSN;

South Sudanese public, having been divided over the questionable role of the mediating party and subsequent mistrust the division has caused, the regional bloc IGAD that is the mediating party has evidently lost the confidence it needs to bring about meaningful peace deal to the war-torn country.

Principal cause of mistrust in the IGAD mediation is Western-backed Uganda and Kenya which previously took a militant stand favoring Kiir’s regime, while other member states recoiled under their sweeping influence.

The unwarranted influence led to IGAD’s premeditated and self-inflicted failure that resultantly ropes Raila Odinga into near impossible task to bring down the Jericho-like walls of mistrust setting the belligerent factions apart.

The herculean task eminently awaiting is without denying former Honorable Prime Minister’s natural gift of tact, optimism and patience forming the bane of any successful diplomacy.

Coupled with the need to juggle his known crashing hammer in Kenyan political scene with tender kid gloves and bulldozing ‘’Tinga’’ or tractor with caring hand hoe in his delicate new diplomatic venture.

While hardened determination to prove his worth shall serve to inject some spectacles into his twilight Presidential ambition and desired statesmanship at home and abroad respectively.

Success which will on the other hand magnify failure of IGAD whose peace efforts to end the war are at all times blighted by an obvious covert operation to prob up an ally in Kiir, lest his fall could cause contagious effects to his kind in the neighborhood.

This doesn’t however mean Raila’s new role as peace envoy is safe from what may be thorns thrown in his way as he marches to face off an evidently daunting task.

For once, Raila himself is not in the good books of the regional control freak, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni who always sees the former’s success as a potent threat to scuttle his own regional ambition.

Much as in the light of traditional diplomacy, neighbors are not the best mediators in the next-door squabble, despite knowing its internal political intricacies more than the far-off onlookers, due to its spills-over that divide them alongside warring factions.

Which makes the mediator to enter the bruising blame game with heavily laden baggage of preconceived line of thought to resolve the crisis.

With him {Raila} already being dubbed in both Kenya and South Sudan as yet another Riek Machar, Salva Kiir’s main rival, a remark which may be taken as sheer joke and allegation, but not completely out of context per se.

While Kiir is not fond of dealing with negotiations since they began in early 2014 with an open mind, but under more enduring influence of close minded tribal elite in the name of Jieng Council of Elders.

Without taking heed of crumbling economy as the result of devastating civil war that displaced half of the population from traditional habitat and another half being fed on an international goodwill.

All at the behest of hundreds of thousands the war has claimed and maimed with far reaching ethnic divisions to last beyond the leadership’s lifespan of the incumbent and that of his future immediate successors to reconcile.

While unlike Kiir, Machar is his own man except being more vulnerable in the negotiation given his incarceration whom Raila can easily move from his preconceived stand for Kiir to exploit to his own advantage.

Something not to be taken lightly by the former’s handlers still haunted by past experience of defaulted deals to the latter’s advantage of continuous state power stranglehold.

Whereas Odinga shall be hard pressed, as matter of necessity, to introduce real inclusivity into the process, previous efforts had been lacking and have led to their catastrophic failures.

That is by stepping out along the way to embrace all warring factions, including SSOA of which PDF is the constituent member than remaining decked in the closet by mediating just Kiir and Machar, as if they were the country and the country is them, both actors and observers alike have been wrongly hoodwinked to believe.

Known to be an independent minded persona when acting in personal capacity, however, the mission on which he Raila finds himself is a delegated authority by the Kenyan state that may be fraught with red lines to toe.

Moreover, the state he represents already stands accused of incidents favoring one side of conflict that saw three rebel members, namely James Gatdet, Dong Luak and Aggrey Idri, being deported to an enemy regime in handcuffs, with last two whereabouts still remaining unknown.

A position which is currently and fortunately on the minds of revitalization as Dr. Ababu Namwamba, Foreign Affairs Administrative Secretary has been quoted as saying in some sections of the Kenyan press, quoted accordingly:
‘’We are not talking about abstracts here. We are talking about human lives.
As the party to this negotiation, you cannot walk away with hundred percent wish list.’’

Deng Vanang;
Secretary for Information, Public Relations and Spokesperson for Federal Democratic Party/South Sudan Armed Forces, FDP/SSAF. He is cordially reachable at: dvanang@gmail.com

Tying national destiny to ethnic extortionists is a fallacy

By Deng Vanang, FDP/SSAF’ Spokesperson, Nairobi, MAY/13/2018, SSN;

Tribalism personifies sense of self-importance and exclusion not premised on national agenda in pursuant to nation building anchored on solid rock of lasting reconciliation, sustainable peace, unity of purpose and shared prosperity.

Having sole and retrogressive aim to promote supremacy of certain ethnic entities over the rest minus forged common national destiny as the painstakingly fought for nationhood begins to degenerate into wanton chaos and oblivion.

Particularly and more adversely on the throes of recycling violence by
repeatedly positioning the same warring tribal chiefs atop the pack as
the savagely adopted egocentric norm rather than necessary exception.

As the considered lesser mortals are abysmally destined for accommodation under the more superior ones.

Far from making everyone first among equals as currently adopted in South Sudan Opposition Alliance, SSOA of which Hon. Gabriel Changson Chang’s led Federal Democratic Party, FDP is a constituent part, with an aim to inculcate the same philosophical ideal in the yet to be concluded High Level Revitalization Forum’s political dispensation as mediated by Igad in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia.

So that being born to minority ethnic group shouldn’t longer be a fault for one to be condemned to lower rungs of society.

And neither to be wrongfully termed as one’s own making nor to misjudge God’s creation for another individual’s selfish advantage.

Something that is apparently and already seen in most of those planning to join politics as is the case with those who have hitherto done it so far.

Which starts with one having to figure out some basic arithmetic in inner self before making public the intent of political ill will.

How big is one’s tribe, clan and even sub-clan is the political math so much identified with individuals planning to oppress instead of leading.

What is more are resources one has as well as how the tribal land is immensely endowed with natural resources so as to trade them off with national leadership ambition.

With clamor for secession optionally placed on negotiating table as political gimmick to likely mature into reality in more foreseeable future.

Which unfortunately and sorrowfully comes in absence of leadership qualities and exhibited positive contribution in society one must have before throwing hat into the ring.

Once such divisive arithmetic is favorably safe and secure in one’s hand, then blown is the whistle to jump start the leadership marathon.

When the opposite is true, leadership ambition is then shelved till kingdom come as one turns to other mundane professions befitting his/her tribe.

A self-resignation to political cast system in which size of tribe and clan becomes socially constructed curse than normal order of divine pre-disposition.

Contrary to good example worth emulating in far-flung Tanzania where Presidency rotates every ten years between mainland Christian Tanganyika and minority Muslim Zanzibar ever since independence father Julius Kabarage Nyerere stepped down in 1985.

With only minority ethnic groups having been ruling through political parties sanctioned free and fair competition that favors candidates endowed with required moral aptitudes.

However, such dreaded tribal mindset doesn’t just stop with small tribe and clan categorization.

Too, there is no sure safety net in being big per se. Break-neck competition to race up to the top and stay permanently there in the big tribe also rears ugly head.

While in its heat, those likely to be on the top and permanently so must by instinct revert from good democratic governance to more archaic typology. One that is skewed not only to massage personal egos, but to certain extent favors one’s tribe and clan for blind adoration and cultic following.

Which in subsequent begets fast lane thinking to make oneself ethnic sycophancy’s crowned king where there is no history of traditional one.

A scourge demanding quick fix remedy by simply re-inventing the steering wheels of constitution in spreading and rotating executive powers over and between arrays of political players with defined leadership qualifications long before regular and grueling elections come calling.

This constitutionally purposed power sharing will no doubt accrue tangible benefits for the country.

One among them is that the queue by those wanting to be leaders will move faster than it could take whining years and decades before one aspiring leader becomes an actual one.

Another benefit is the election must be won using different entry points by all the key players from different ethnic backgrounds and regions with guaranteed lack of post-election violence as opposed to contestation by sore, but non-invincible losers.

In addition to all the key competing political parties’ candidates turned winners, in French style cohabitation system in which the President, Prime Minister and National Assembly Speaker in a full pledged federal system designed for S. Sudan, will strictly checkmate one another against
geo – ethnic identity politics driven mega corruption.

All of whom, including the said fringe losers, shall gain due claims from such collective good governance as foolproof mitigating mechanism against instability that comes with high stake competition.

Which under more often circumstances dismembers the country into tiny dots we call nations and nation-states, ostensibly due to politics of secession arising from hard feelings of systemic marginalization and ethnic minorities alienation.

Deng Vanang
Secretary for Information, Public Relations and Spokesperson for Federal Democratic Party/South Sudan Armed Forces, FDP/SSAF. He is cordially reachable at: dvanang@gmail.com

Guilt-Ridden Puritanism at Kiir’s J-1: Practicing Nazism without Nazis in South Sudan

BY: Makoi Majak, Law Student, Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenya, APR/21/2018, SSN;

The deadliest conflict in human history was triggered by an irresponsible German leader whose ambition to control the world power backfired on humanity, and later on him. Today the name Hitler is synonymous with the holocaust.

Like Adolf Hitler, South Sudan President Salva Kiir has recorded his treacherous acts in the history of South Sudan and I’ve taken some pain to explain it below. Herein, I have made a correct and fair comparison of the two leaders of Germany and South Sudan and their spanner-boys, respectively.

I have tried to avoid dwelling so much on Hitler and Gen. Himmler due to the fact that their inhumane acts are in the public domain.

The Spanner-boys: Heinrich Himmler vs. Akol Koor

Himmler was chief of the notorious Reichsführer-SS and assistant of the Gestapo, two of the most murderous organizations in human history, his men were bound by an oath to torture and kill without question. Of course, laws justifying torture and other criminal discrimination were made. Himmler’s word was taken on any subject and only came second to the Führer.

On Hitler’s behalf, Himmler formed the Einsatzgruppen and built extermination camps. As facilitator and overseer of the concentration camps, Himmler directed the killing of some six million Jews.

On the other hand, Gen. Akol Koor is chief of the South Sudan’s National Security and Intelligence Service and of the murderous Unknown Gunmen, whose men, with Kiir’s blessings, can torture, kill in the broad daylight and would never anticipate a question.

Much is known about this man, Gen. Koor, yet very little is said of him. He had successfully managed to gag the media from reporting anything about him.

Secondhand information about him has it that Mr. Akol is a fairly, if not, very short person. He is a polite, introverted and curiously unimpressive folk – some of the character traits common with deadly beasts.

He walks tilting to his left side – a walking disorder arising from disability in the leg attributed to his days in the military college. His task is to do the dirty and cruel works that Kiir himself would not do.

It is believed that Mr. Akol hatched up the infamous Unknown Gunmen as an armed agency within the department of NSS whose primary objective is elimination. The organization employed violence privately to create fear, uncertainty and terror in the city of Juba.

This so-called Unknown Gunmen have managed to get away with all sorts of murder: from political assassinations to ethnic targeting of intellectuals, vocal youth in the society. Youth and intellectuals perceived to be critical of Beny Kiir’s regime have met brutal deaths in the streets of Juba, thus robbing the country of its future leaders.

The Perpetrators: Hitler vs. Kiir

Führer Adolft Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Germany (1933-1945). Hitler’s propaganda had played on the population’s fear of no hope. Germany’s economy had hit the ground stumbling under the reign of Paul Von Hindenburg.

But when Nazi party took over, they set the ground running – the economy was “booming” and there were no “work-shy” loitering the streets.

Hitler was a man who would make Germans proud for restoring their lost pride and nationalism.

He had to do away with people, Jews who had at one time in history made fortunes out of the Arian Germans, wherein Hitler hailed. Despite his good motive for Germany, Hitler destroyed the very same thing he called the “great” country.

Hitler was not alone in his vision; he had his enablers – men who were devoted to destruction of the “inferior race.”

Beny Salva Kiir, the de facto Chief of Gokrial, ascended to the helm of power through his father’s superstition prowess. In fact, people say that Kiir’s father had thrown a spear in the sky and since then that spear never fell down back on earth, signaling that Kiir will not fall from power.

He came with one vision clear in his face which he would achieve in a flash of a second.

Unlike the Fuhrer, Kiir maimed our economy by encouraging corruption and practicing nepotism. Today it is his Gokrial’s kinsmen who decide how much public money should go to the state bank and how much the President’s men should take home.

He bewitched most South Sudanese to seeing things on a reverse. Their newly acquired religion of hate known as “Kiiristianity” has sought to portray Beny Kiir as a saint among the unholy. This unruly belief has been imposed with commercial tenderness upon his guilt-ridden puritanism.

Many atrocities committed by Kiir’s tyrannical regime are undocumented, only those which happened in full glare of the International media such as the December 15th massacre of Nuer and the July 6th failed attempt to assassinate Dr. Riek Machar in J-1 have found a permanent space in our memories.

Salva Kiir orchestrated most bestial of crimes in our history and that we will live to rue his existence in our human population.

Conclusion:

The unsuspecting South Sudanese have been taken for a ride by the liberators.

Mr. Kiir and his spanner-boy, Akol, are building their “Nazi” empire through our blood and resources. Our high tolerance for corruption, nepotism and abuse of the rule of law has reached its threshold and we must act now while it is not too late to do so.

The people should not be afraid of the bad leaders, bad leaders are afraid of a united people.

After all, the rise and fall of Hitler have significantly proven that the people have the power. They can give it to you for sometime but once they detect that you are misusing it they’ll withdraw it.

Remember, nothing lasts forever. Kiir will fall; not if, but when!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MAKOI MAJAK (The Super Citizen): is a student pursuing an LL.B Law Degree at the School of Law, Jomo Kenyatta University.

Don’t Blame Citizens for the Leadership Failure & Collapse of Country

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, APR/16/2018, SSN,
Daniel Juol Nhomngek ;

Viewing South Sudan critically points to one conclusion that it’s a collapsed nation. In other words, it is a failed state. According to Wikipedia, the failed state is a political body that has disintegrated to a point where basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly.

The failure of the State comes about when a nation is weakened as its standard of living declines, which eventually leads to the total governmental collapse.

In this respect, Fund for Peace characterizes the failed state as having the following characteristics:
(1) loss of control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force therein;
(2) erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions;
(3) inability to provide public services; and
(4) inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community.

The above common characteristics of a failing state make a central government so weak or ineffective that it has an inability to raise taxes or other support due to rampant corruption, and consequently, has little practical control over much of its territory and hence there is a non-provision of public services.

In the failed State, there is a lot of widespread corruption and criminality as there is intervention of non-state actors, the widespread appearance of refugees and the involuntary movement of populations and sharp economic decline occur.

All these scenarios exist all over South Sudan.

In South Sudan, there is a lot of widespread corruption throughout the country as witnessed in some of the states. The clear examples of these states where corruption has reached the highest levels are:

In Gok State, the governor is running the State like personal enterprise as he has taken control of everything while using state powers to silence citizens who are conscious about the duties of the State that Gok State are not executing.

The Governor in Gok State has criminalized majority of the youth who are vocal of his mismanagement of the State. While some youth are blindly supporting him because he is from their county. Therefore, every person in Gok State who criticizes the Government is seen as interested in politics and therefore outlawed.

In order to survive in Gok State and get some employment, one must at all the times praise the governor even at the face of very clear apparent failure. Some of the youth by implication become submissive as conditions demand.

Another state with high levels of corruption and mismanagement is Western Lakes. In this State, the Governor is running the State like one-man enterprise as already pointed out in the discussion on Gok State.

To make the matters worse after failing to unite the people of Western Lakes through implementing the rule of law, the government is now trying to use force to bring people together that he is creating unity, which may lead to the destruction of the community settings.

What the governor of Western Lakes should have known is that unity of the people is not brought through the use of force or putting people in one room but it is brought through making unity attractive as the Late Dr. John Garang Mabior used to say.

Another State that is corrupted is Ruweng. In Ruweng State, the governor is using force to silence those complaining about his mismanagement of the State. This is despite the fact that citizens of South Sudan inhabiting Ruweng State are being affected by careless production of oil. The plights of citizens in Pariang who are affected by oil production are not heeded to.

Though I have only mentioned the three States above, it should not be understood that there is no corruption in other states no referred to. In fact, there is a lot a lot of corruption going on there.

When it comes to the issue of criminality, there is now rampant crime at every level and in every state of South Sudan as the States are using the intervention of non-state actors to champion their interests and to protect leadership not the citizens. This explains the strong presence of unknown government though they’re known.

Indeed, the issue of unknown gunmen has now even become a major concern to every citizen as they are killing big people as well as common citizens that are perceived as threat against the government.

This has led to the widespread killings that are not accounted for but the State does not even take any measure to protect citizens which means that they are killing in protection of the State.

Apart from the above crime, there are also a lot of widespread cattle wrestling or raiding which has made the keeping of animals to be a very risky project in various cattle communities in South Sudan.

This has deprived the citizens of the source of their livelihood that has pushed them to the streets in all major cities to beg in order to earn a living.

In terms of public service, there is none at all. Public servants working inside South Sudan and different embassies of South Sudan are now over ten months without salaries yet we still believe that there is a State.

The failure to pay government employees and the soldiers in particular has pushed some of them to engage in robbery and begging on the streets in different States.

It is very sad indeed and raises the vital question as to what does the State mean to those who believe that there is a state called South Sudan?

It is the fallacy of our understanding of the word STATE. A state that does not give her citizens services is the illusive State that exists in the state of minds of those who believe in its existence.

The absence of the State or inability of the State of South Sudan to control crimes is explained by the fact that the rampant crimes coupled with the ongoing civil war have led to a very serious refugee crisis.

The widespread appearance of refugees and the involuntary movement of populations and sharp economic decline are the clear description of South Sudanese State, which are the signs of non-existing state.

However, what surprises me and others who are well informed about the vital nature of the government and leadership is the fact that many individuals though educated keep on blaming the citizens of South Sudan for the collapse of South Sudan State and economy.

This shows that they have totally failed to understand the role of leadership in maintaining law and order and state stability in general. The question that they have not addressed their minds to, is if citizens where the ones responsible for the state stability why then do, we need the government?

In order to understand this question properly, there is a need to define the term government. The government is defined as a body that has the power to make and enforce laws within an organization or group.

In the broadest sense, “to govern” means to manage or supervise, whether over an area of land, a set of people, or a collection of assets. It is for this reason some writers point out that a God-ordained government acts like a restraint on man’s selfishness and regulates his societal interactions when necessary.

As it is already pointed, the primary duty of a government is to reward the people who do good things and punish the wrongdoers. In that respect, the overall supervisor of any government is the head of state. The head of state plays an important role of being an impartial guardian of the constitution and representative of the people.

The Government plays the role of: ensuring a secured and stable environment to enable free trade, innovation, development, quality education and production through securing the national borders, and protecting against internal threats such as racketeering, intimidation, violence and corruption, and defend the country from any external threat to our way of life.

As seen in the above discussion, government and leadership are what define the state and without them the state will be a failed state as it is the case of South Sudan. It is somehow said to see that in spite of this fact, some people who claim to be educated keep on blaming the citizens for the crisis in South Sudan.

Blaming citizens for the collapse of the country is the failure to understand that leadership and government are everything. The country that does not have an effective government and leadership is the failed country.

The effective government in this context is that government that delivers quality public services, the government that has the quality civil service, which is independent from political pressures.

To sum up, it must be stated that the problems of South Sudan are not due to the weaknesses of citizens but the ineffective leadership that has made the government ineffective.

The author is South Sudanese lawyer residing in Kampala and he can be reached through juoldaniel2003@gmail.com

The catastrophic consequences of South Sudan’s civil war

BY: John Juac Deng, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, FEB/11/2018, SSN;

The independence of South Sudan has been one of the more stirring evens in recent years on the African continent, and yet conflict and instability remain unavoidable in the new state. While there continues to be tension between Juba and Khartoum over oil and several border issues, international community’s major concern is the outcome of the civil war.

Africa’s 55th sovereign state has been mired in bloody civil war since 2013, when President Kiir dismissed Vice President Riek Machar and the rest of his cabinet, accusing them of instigating a coup. Kiir’s move triggered the most full-blow fighting in the capital, Juba, between government forces and rebel soldiers led by Machar and spread to three large provincial cities.

It is still uncertain as to whether Machar had actually planned a coup, but he had intended to challenge Kiir for the leadership of the governing party so that he could run for president in the 2015 election.

South Sudan is new to the ways of democracy and struggling to forge a unified identity out of a patchwork of over 60 often feuding tribes after the longest liberation war.

The only peaceful route to power is through gaining control of the SPLM, and this implied challenging Kiir at the planned third SPLM national convention. Within a more institutionalized political system, the discontent within the SPLM could have left and formed an opposition party. In contemporary South Sudan such a move would be tantamount to a long and possibly indefinite walk in the political wilderness.

The SPLM is thoroughly inter-meshed with the state, and in the stranger world of fact, Kiir is chairman of the SPLM as well as commander-in-chief for the SPLA.

Within the neo-patrimonial state, it is difficult to distinguish between the office of the president, the party leadership and the national army. This has made the state captured by the SPLM different factions attractive.

Consequently, power structures are not transparent, and it is difficult to establish the relative influence of political factions.

In other words, it is much to be regretted that the warring parties are so stupidly blind to their power game that they cannot see the advantage of having a peaceful environment and economic growth in South Sudan.

Despite high-profile mediation efforts by many African and Western governments, they have refused to end the five-year-old conflict that is undermining development gains achieved since independence and worsened the humanitarian situation.

The continuing fighting has killed over 10,000 and displaced 1.5 million people from their homes while a humanitarian crisis threaten many more. The worst fighting has taken place in the oil rich town of Bentiu in Unity State, where hundreds of unarmed civilians have been murdered and their properties either destroyed or looted. Adding to these tragedies is a growing insecurity nationwide.

The United Nations has threatened to impose sanctions on both sides as they are guilty of the use of child soldiers and massacre of civilians, but the threat has not had any significant impact on the warring SPLM leaders.

While Machar, languishing in South Africa’s confinement, says his rebel forces are committed to upholding the agreement, he believes that Kiir’s forces have already violated ceasefire.

On the contrary, the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) said Tuesday that Machar’s rebel groups violated cessation of hostilities agreement signed last month in Addis Ababa.

The Juba officials have dubbed the rebel chief as a divisive pretender for power. Machar is a wily operator, switching sides on several occasions during the north-south strife as he sought to strengthen his own position and that of his Nuer ethnic group in the murky political waters of South Sudan.

He is very ambitious to take the top office in the land, and nothing else matters, but most people in the country do not see him as a national leader.

On the other hand, the civil war in South Sudan has had major repercussions on the already struggling economy. The economic future will largely depend on the outcome of the civil war and its substantial proven oil reserves.

From the beginning of the conflict until the end of January 2014, oil dropped 20%, which had a huge effect on world markets.

When Kiir and Machar did not reach to uphold the peace agreement, the production decreased even more and the economy continued to struggle. The Juba regime derives about 98% of its budget revenues from oil.

Not only has the civil war had major effects on oil production, but also South Sudan’s relationship with the former colonial master heavily influences its national economy since the new-born country seeks to build another pipeline.

Beyond oil, its economy depends upon agriculture and pastoral activity. South Sudan is one of the richest agricultural areas with its fertile soil and abundant water supply.

Agricultural activity is mainly pastoral, with the main domestic livestock being cattle, along with smaller livestock such as sheep, goats, camels and chickens. The central economic question relates to the length of the conflict and its outcome.

Despite its abundance of natural resources, South Sudan remains one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. For example, only 15% of South Sudanese own a mobile phone.

Before fighting broke out in late 2013, the country looked to undertake many development projects including railroad projects, tarmac key roads, redevelopment of the port at Lamu and hydroelectric dam.

For these big economic projects to take off, a peaceful environment is urgently needed, so the small business owners call upon Kiir and Machar to focus on restoring peace and economy. The economy has felt significant negative effects from the conflict.

Even before the conflict, South Sudan experienced widespread poverty and now according to the UN, 3.7 million people are in need of food due to the displacement of thousands of South Sudanese and increased poverty.

In conclusion, South Sudanese have known little but war. The current conflict has led to a terrible human slaughter, worst humanitarian and economic crises and intensified debates in social media over SPLM’s capacity and suitability to govern South Sudan.

The intensification of identity politics might also affect the political demands on the opposition and narrow down the range of possible solutions to the conflict.

In the worst-case scenario, it might damage the integrity of South Sudan as a political unit; an integrity which was fragile in the first place.

So, one believes that a solution to the conflict is urgently needed; otherwise, the social media revolutionary warriors should continue to issue a ringing declaration calling upon the nation to rise and strive for national salvation.

John Juac Deng
Independent writer
juacd@yahoo.ca

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