Category: Politics

First Legal Case against Kiir’s Government for Gang Rape & Sexual Slavery Lodged.

DEC/06/2018, SSN;

The Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) has lodged the first case against the government of South Sudan led by President Salva Kiir for sexual violence against 30 South Sudanese women and girls by members of the South Sudan army, currently known as the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and formerly the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Presidential Guards.

The complaint outlines brutal sexual violence, including sexual slavery, sexual torture, rape and gang rape against women and girls during attacks on their villages and whilst they fled the violence from June 2016 to September 2017.

The case has been lodged at the UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva.

The 30 women and girls represented by LAW include ‘K2,’ who was subjected to mass rape with her three sisters and a family friend in front of each other in their kitchen. She was 12 years old at the time.

Muding, 42 years old, was gang raped by SPLA soldiers whilst another soldier blew a whistle indicating when the perpetrators should finish.

Joanna’s nine years old daughter was beaten outside while she was raped inside in her home.

Scovia, a 27-year-old mother of four, was gang raped by five Government soldiers. Whilst she was being gang raped, two of her children disappeared. She has not seen them since.

And Viola, 29 years old, who was tied to a tree, tortured and gang raped by Government soldiers in an army camp.

“The conflict in South Sudan has been ongoing for five years and during this time, tens of thousands of young girls and women have been subjected to horrific sexual violence by Government security forces.

To date almost no one has been held accountable. We have to ask ourselves: Why are we not doing more to protect them?” asked Antonia Mulvey, Executive Director of LAW.

“This is a landmark case which is the first step on a long road to justice for all women and girls in South Sudan.”

Rape has been used as weapon of war against the civilian population and until today, there has not been a case against the Government for its actions.

The women and girls that LAW represents are so frightened of reprisals from their Government and its agents that they have fled their own country and are now living as refugees.

Due to serious concerns for their safety, LAW has requested that the UN Committee protect their full identities during the consideration of their case.

About Legal Action Worldwide (LAW): LAW is a unique non-profit network and think tank of human rights lawyers who provide creative legal assistance to individuals and communities who have suffered human rights violations and abuses in fragile and conflict-affected areas.

LAW works in Africa, Middle East and South Asia and predominantly focuses on addressing sexual violence through legal intervention.

In Bangladesh, LAW co-represents 400 Rohingya women and girls in their victims’ submission before the ICC.

WOMEN, PEACE & SECURITY

LAW will shortly begin an exciting new project that seeks to ensure the UN Security Council Women, Peace & Security Agenda, (UNSC Resolution 1325) is fully incorporated into South Sudan’s peace process and that women and girls, including survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, can effectively participate.

LAW and its consortium partners will empower South Sudanese women to engage with transitional justice mechanisms, and to reduce impunity for conflict-related sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). This will be done through a comprehensive approach.

On 19 May 2016, LAW held an expert panel on accountability for sexual gender based violence (SGBV) in South Sudan to launch the report along with the South Sudan Law Society and Amnesty International. Panellists included: David Deng, (South Sudan Law Society), Ferdinand Von Habsburg-Lothringen, (Committee for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation), Elizabeth Deng, (Amnesty International) and Alicia Luedke, (Justice Africa). LAW’s Executive Director Antonia Mulvey moderated the panel discussion, which highlighted several ways forward for increasing accountability in South Sudan. 

National People’s Movement (NPM): Political Declaration of Another New South Sudanese Party

NOV/27/2018, SSN, Public statement;

The achievement of independence by South Sudan in 2011 was an important milestone in the country’s history. This proud win came about following a protracted struggle that lasted more than half a century, with brief interval of relative peace.

Millions of lives were lost and some of the citizens driven out to seek refuge in neighboring countries and beyond. Families were broken and most traditional communities lost their major means of livelihood such as livestock and agricultural production.

Another companion of war was the spread of trauma, a situation whose magnitude and extent has remained largely unrecognised, but is one of the country’s major social problems that has to be squarely addressed by both the national government and friends within the international community.

CLICK LINK BELOW HERE TO READ THE PARTY’S MANIFESTO: 

Following the attainment of the hard won independence, jubilation by the South Sudanese turned out a passing mood when members of the ruling elite within the party of the liberation, the SPLM, in their rivalry over power and its spoils, resorted to resolve their difference through violent means.

The country was driven a civil war before it could celebrate its third independence anniversary.
• The SPLM has been made to fail to transform from the liberation movement into a ruling party with a clear programs for governing the country, including laying down a foundation for democratic governance and the rule of law even within the party itself. Democracy within the party itself was being shunned, resulting in what can be termed as “democrophobia.”

• While some of the leaders constantly shouted at the rooftop that they were liberators, their actions told a different story: they abandoned nation-building and embarked on a brazenly parochial couldn’t desist from their past embedded hatred among themselves and remained suspicious of each other and operating in groups of loyalty mostly on tribal lines, which impacted the delivery and coordination of work to serve the people, instead, each
concentrated on self-gain rendering ineffective and dysfunctional governance.

• Rampant corruption, which has become an entrenched culture in South Sudan’s ruling elites with complete impunity.

• The SPLA has been turned into a militia with personal and tribal allegiances. Lack of military code of conduct whereby a national army is free of politics and against the law to be affiliated to any political groupings.

• Unwillingness to form stronger institutions to govern the country with separate powers and independence.

• Nation reduced to Stone Age conditions without services; no power, clean water, proper schools, roads and hospitals.

• Collapsed economy with increased poverty. Employees, including the army, spend months without being paid their wages.

• Unprincipled foreign policy with no clear direction nor vision.

• Causing unnecessary war leading to death of hundreds of thousands and massive displacement internally and externally. Division among our people has escalated to unprecedented levels due to sowing of hatred by the elite and exercising the policy of divide and rule.

• Insecurity by creating a state of terror, guns everywhere and rampant killings by what has become to be known as “unknown gunmen” has become the daily occurrence.

• The country on the verge of collapse of either disintegration or placed under UN trusteeship and both are unacceptable.

• Tribalism and nepotism has become dominant in all aspects of our lives including employment opportunities.

Incomplete freedom: The longstanding struggle that was waged by generation after generation was not only for the
geographical independence and freedom from the Sudan, but was also for better lives of our people economically, socially and culturally as well as being free.

The lives have become more miserable even worse than the time of with Sudan; with wide spread poverty, disease and insecurity.

Therefore, came the necessity for another peoples driven revolution in order to complete the freedom of our people from the current ailments mentioned above. A revolution for good governance and to change the livelihood of our people and put South Sudan first, regardless of tribe, region, race or gender which are essential ingredients of building a cohesive and stronger nation.

We call all peace loving people and patriots in our country to support this movement for accountability, justice and peace. To build a nation that is proud of itself and inclusive of all segments of all the citizens without any kind of discrimination.

Long live the struggle of the People of South Sudan; Yes, time has come.

Thank you, Signed: On behalf of the Executive:

Dr. Matur Gorjok Gak, Chairman,
National People’s Movement (NPM)
Former Chairman,
SPLM Chapter, NSW, Australia
Date: 24th, Nov 2018
Contacts:
Email: maturberkuei@yahoo.com.au

CLICK BELOW HERE TO READ THE PARTY’S MANIFESTO: 

https://s4-montreal.accountservergroup.com:2096/cpsess0439896453/3rdparty/roundcube/?_task=mail&_action=get&_mbox=INBOX&_uid=106199&_part=3&_frame=1&_extwin=1  

South Sudan, the Way to Economic Growth

BY: Dominic UKELO, South Sudanese, NOV/22/2018, SSN;

Today, more countries are experiencing violent conflicts than in the last 30 years and as stated in Robert Ricigliano’s book, “Making Peace Last,” 25 percent of peace agreements relapse into violence within five years, and these failures significantly increase the likelihood of these conflicts becoming more violent, leading to the economic distress.

In the Republic of South Sudan, economic prospects remain bleak due to the unresolved political, social, and economic fragility. The civil conflict has resulted in serious humanitarian and social crises and diverted resources from development needs.

The critical question facing the countries newly emerged from conflicts, such as South Sudan, is how to achieve a sustainable peace and therefore the economic growth.

It is in this context that the international community has been attempting to turn its attention toward the goal of sustaining peace, in order for the economy to grow.

However, a recent report reads that sustaining peace remains critically under-recognized, under-prioritized and under-resourced globally.

After the World War II, in an attempt to achieve an economic growth in the Western Europe, the United States of America initiated the Security operation to bring a sustainable stability, implemented by NATO, together with European Recovery Program ERP known as Marshall Plan.

The $13.2 billion the United States dedicated by then to the Plan from 1948 to 1952 would be worth a substantial $135 billion in today’s money.

Compare to Afghanistan and Iraq, through 2017, the United States of America spent enormous sum of total $208 billion, in today’s dollars, on the both countries. This is over 50 percent more than the totality of Marshall Aid, in today’s dollars.

Yet the United States has tragically failed to bring about a sustainable peace, therefore, has little to show in term of economic growth in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

There are many differences in the circumstances then and now, but there are two bear particular notices that we can summarized from Western Europe and the two counties, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The first is the presence of a capable, largely a political bureaucratic infrastructure, willing and able to carry out coherent reconstruction and reform programs, in the Marshall countries.

The second, more important, is the presence of far greater internal and external security in the Marshall countries. The two above notice were critical in order to achieve economic growth in the Western European countries

Unlikely in the Afghanistan and Iraq, governments have faced vastly less favorable circumstances than those of the Marshall countries.

They never achieved full sustainable peace, in order for their economy to develop. Instead, they have corrupt politicians and have been under constant war from armed domestic and foreign opponents, such as the Taliban and ISIS.

In short, the foundation that enabled American economic statecraft to be so successful in postwar Europe is lacking in the cases of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Given the insatiable desire to create new Marshall Plans around the globe, it is important to recognize that physical security and political will are prerequisite for economic growth in any country, such as the Republic of South Sudan.

Dominic Ukelo

22 November 2018

The Dialectic of the South Sudanese State: NAS & the R-ARCIS 

BY: Moses Nyara, South Sudanese, NOV/19/2018, SSN;

There is a persistent question in every Sudanese and in particular a South Sudanese mind. Why is that the Sudan and South Sudan never seen any peace? Why is it that in spite of the many signed agreements the Community in this great Nation call the Sudan has subjected itself to wars for so many years?

The latest of the many of agreement to be signed and would most likely be dishonored is the Revitalized-Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCIS) The agreement was inked on the 12th September 2018 and celebrated the 31st October 2018.

The accord was mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda facilitating the negotiations. Khartoum and Kampala duped the agreement the final solution to the South Sudan problems.

The agreement is to address the root causes of post-independence issues and political differences between the various political actors in the nascent Country. But the question is, has it and would it? That is the big dilemma in everybody’s mind.

During the negotiation and at the signing ceremony, like many agreements before it, the people of South Sudan watched the interlocutors on their television and social media platforms dancing jubilantly,  singing Kumbaya we have brought you peace.

Many commentators were quick to point out that the agreement was mainly to serve the interest of the dominant warring parties that is the incumbent government of Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in opposition of Dr Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon. The South Sudan’s Opposition Alliance (SSOA), an umbrella of nine opposition entities also took part in the negotiation.

While six of the group were happy or pressured to sign the agreement as some would say. Three members of the group distanced itself from the coalition and rejected the signing of the final document of the revitalized peace agreement by its leader.

The opposition National Salvation Front (NAS) led by General Thomas Cirillo; the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) of Hakin Dario and the SPLM- Former Political Detainees – FDs, rejected the final version of the peace agreement, citing unresolved outstanding issues in the peace document.

In a classic textbook counterinsurgency style, Maj. Gen. Julius Tabule, a one general in the National Salvation Front (NAS) movement was airlifted to Khartoum, declared new leaders of the NAS and made to initial the agreement. To add to the confusion, General Khalid Butrous a member of NAS’s high command also proclaimed himself the interim leader.

Within hours of this renegades’ announcements, Thomas Cirillo moved swiftly and dismissed these two military figures, a move designed to put him in full control of the forces following their suspicious activities.

In the time when there is a yearning for peace around the country, many in public and the international community were not able to comprehend the Thomas Cirillo’s resistance to peace.

In this opinion piece and the series to follow, I would like to attempt to analyses the arguments the NAS has put forward for rejecting the R-ARCISS.  My focus will be on whether R-ARCISS adequately addressed NAS grievances or not.

For a start, some understanding of the factors that drove the NAS rebellion is warranted. There is no rebellion without a cause(s).

This first opinion thus focuses on the post-independence political maneuvering that left the country in chaos and the NAS rational for its subversive activities. It only fits that one tries to understand why NAS took up arms.

While one is not a political scientist, one does have some reasonable comprehension of  South Sudan issues and some knowledge about what a political cause means.

So, what caused a well-respected Lt General to turn against his party and take up arms? Though attempt is made here to answer that question, I am afraid the answer is not a straight one.

Political theorists have pondered over the big question of what caused the world’s revolutions for years. While theorists, such as Theda Skocpol sees revolutions as a rapid transformation of a society’s class and structure.

Political scientist such as Jack Goldstone sees revolution as a state breakdown which only happens when a government becomes weak.

Sure, most Sudanese and South Sudanese, in particular, are used to rebellions in the Sudan. One would say, it is almost a badge of honor for a Sudanese to have to survive or lived through one or two revolution(s).

From Mahdi revivalism; Anya Nya independent struggles to New Sudan projects or the current SPLMism.  The Sudanese masses have endured it all. My maternal mother was born, lived and survived the Anya Nya rebellion only to die in the SPLA/SPM struggle.

My siblings and I are no exceptions. We lived and survived the SPLAM/SPLAM revolution. My children are surviving the current waves of rebellions.

The Sudan and South Sudan are not the only countries to have revolutions. Revolutions have occurred through human history and vary widely in terms of methods, duration and motivating ideologies. From my limited reading of the literature and knowledge on the causes of revolutions.

Historical, many of the world’s revolutions have ‘both structural and transient causes; structural causes are long-term and large-scale trends that undermine existing social institutions and relationships and transient causes are contingent events, or actions by particular individuals or groups, that reveal the impact of longer-term trends and often (Jack A. Goldstone, p10).’

The author proposes to apply that definition in analyzing  the causes of NAS rebellion, which, it is argued, are:

— (1) demand for change, which is derived from (a) provocations and (b) solidified public opinion; — (2) hopefulness of success, which comes from (a) programs of reform and (b) leadership; and  —– (3) the weakness of the SPLM as a party which has been caused by disputes amongst itself; disaffection in the SPLA and international complications.

Theda Skocpol theorizes that political crises are often the trigger points for launching revolutions. One would agree that many trigger points lead to the current circle of rebellions in South Sudan.

I shall restrict this to the political triggers or what may be termed a crisis within the SPLM and now defunct SPLA.

There may be points of contentions regarding when and how the crisis started. Nevertheless, one would still reasonably accept that it is a political crisis which had its genesis in 1990s splits in the SPLM/SPLA.

In particular, when Dr Lam Akol and Riek Machar questioned Dr John Garang’s leadership in that infamous ‘Why Garang Must Go Now’ declaration or what they profess to be a rejection of Dr Garang’s ‘dictatorial leadership”.

Dr Lam Akol and Dr Riek Machar’s promised for human rights and an independent South Sudan lead to years of meaningless rebellions and counter rebellions leading to the period of chaos that reigned within the SPLA/SPLM.

Equally a crisis worth mentioning was the failed SPLA attacks on Juba in June–July 1992. The harsh National Islamic Front’s reprisals that followed lead to summary executions of suspected SPLA collaborators who were mainly intellectuals from the Equatoria region.

They include, from the army, Major Joseph Ladu, Major Andrew and over 60 soldiers of other ranks; from the police, Colonel David Kenyi, Lieutenant Colonel Lado Peter and Captain Arkangelo Yugu; from the prisons service, Major Pitia Kenyi, Captain Kamillo Koma, Captain Mohamed Khamis, and First Lieutenant Mark Taban. The torture or killings of these intellectuals created a gap and wound in the heart of many Equatorians.

One would also be justified in saying that the post-independence circle of rebellions in the country began in December 2013, when President Kiir charged his once Deputy Riek Machar and ten other historical members of the SPLM of attempting a coup d’état.

There is no argument in concluding that the fighting that broke out between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and SPLM-IO was the trigger for the South Sudan civil war. It was something to be expected. I say this due to the following reasons.

While many see the crisis as a struggle for power and wealth, I see it as the dialects of the South Sudan Nation. The contradictory process of nation-building among the nation’s idealist. A class of beliefs about the proper ordering of the South Sudanese society.

During the struggle for South Sudan independence, the various members of the SPLA/SPLM were each driven by different ideologies and motives. What united them all was the dream of an independent South Sudanese country.

Whatever ideologies and motivations the leaders had at the time, the masses were oblivious.  The yearning was for an independent South Sudan republic by any means necessary.

To properly contextualize this, it is necessary to understand the drivers of ideological opinions.

Since the time of the French Revolution, ideological opinions have been classified most often in terms of a single left-right dimension, which originally referred to the seating arrangements in the French parliament after the Revolution (1789–1799).

On a left-right spectrum, communism and socialism are usually regarded internationally as being on the left, whereas conservatism and capitalism are on the right. This formulation of the left-right distinction and many others contain two interrelated aspects, namely (a) advocating versus resisting social change (as opposed to tradition), and (b) rejecting versus accepting inequality ( Jost et al. 2003b,c).

In the Sudanese context, this translates to those who were advocating for outright independence of South Sudan and those who whose primary objective was a secular New Sudan. Under the separatists’ umbrella, many of the leaders harbor their ideological leanings.

There were those who adhered to the communist or socialist cred; others who preferred tribal fascism and there were many others whose reasoned ideals centered on liberal democracy. Some were simply Jesus Christ foot soldiers for whom  Nimeiry’s Sharia was an Arab man’s middle finger aimed at their bottoms.

While it is reasonable for one to hold  the view that the majority of the SPLM members were on the separatist spectrum from the revolutionary standpoint, when it came to the school of political reasoning, many preferred to flow with the eternal leaders.

A minority of them just swim with the tides, a cleverly designed art of political survival and resilience at almost any price. It is no surprise that the surviving founding members of the SPLM were those members that only washed one half of their face at a time and slept with one eye open like a meerkat or mongoose.

The dominating eternal leaders from the South Sudan leadership standpoint were Dr Garang and Dr Riek Machar. While their contempt for Al-Turabi’s muslimization and Arabization was the unifying cause.

Dr Machar disagreed with Dr Garang over the revolutionary objectives. Garang philosophy was ‘Sudanism. Garang believed, for the people of Sudan to live in cohesion, they must not separate themselves into the many existing ethnic factions present within the nation but, rather, to collectively renounce the belief that Arabness, Black African-ness, Islam or Christianity were to be the ultimate defining characteristics of Sudan.’

This was  the guiding philosophy of the SPLAM/SPLA under Garang’s leadership. The aim was to achieve a  secular and multi-ethnic New Sudan.

That was rather a different philosophy to that of Dr Riek Machar. Machar wanted a fully independent South Sudan. Although both agreed on the methods that was required to achieve victory over the Islamic fundamentalist, the two were not in tango with one another when it came to administration of the rebellion.

Dr Machar was pushing for more democratic leadership; accountability and internal reform. For Dr Garang  everything was to be run in the ‘Political Military High Command.’ Things were to be run the Soviet style.

It was inevitable that when the independence objective was achieved in 2012, the political ideologies and opinions within the SPLM would again become more divided and more centered to their identities.

According to social psychologist, there are relational motives, epistemic motives, and existential motives which helps to explain why certain people—once they are exposed to certain political ideas—stick with those ideas.

The  reality is that with the independence, it was inevitable that, the idealist within the SPLM would again meet other idealists who were dormant or were on the opposing side during the war, and the struggle for power would resume in the form of the present South Sudanese rebellions or civil wars where both tried to maintain and assert their status as the legitimate rulers of South Sudan.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) made this all possible. During the CPA negotiation, the National Congress party had the advantage over their Southern or SPLM counterparts, owing to its many years of experience in governing the Sudan.

The NCP had mastered a political strategy for dealing with other political parties in the Sudan. Oblivious to Dr Garang and his boys. The NCP had cleverly shifted the War from military boots on the ground to “war by other means.”

The conventional war was proving an expensive exercise, so the regime’s favored course of action was for dealing with rebellions was ” counterinsurgency on the cheap, co-opting opponents and internal subversion, propaganda and dirty tricks operations.”

The NCP has worked out that at the end, negotiations are cheaper than jihad. The regime was to hedge its bets on South Sudan.

The regime knew it was not powerful enough to enforce its will on all of Sudan’s factions at one time but is strong enough to hold onto political and economic power at the center. With John W Bush’s access of evil line running through the NCP corridor.

The NCP strategist knew negotiations was the only means of holding onto power, to level the playing field against the stronger opponents, and to co-opt and disarm them.  It was at the risk of the South succeeding from the rest of the Sudan.

To overcome the possibility and the reality of losing South Sudan’s vast resources, the NCP pulled out the last trick out of its political playbook. Let the South succeeded if it needs to be. If circumstances change, the regime can always renegotiate with the new South Sudan Republic based on new realities.

To achieve this, the NCP strategist weaved a clever political trap into the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which was designed to infiltrate the SPLM and eliminate the separatist or nationalist base and replace them with people whose allegiance were with the NCP during the Civil War or people who are only there for the dime. The NCP is to permeate all sectors of the economy in South Sudan and all levels of the state apparatus.

The program was set, in that, the SPLM party and government was to observe all of the NCP political and military machinery that was in the South, by this, the author means the southern members of the NCP, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) Southern agents and the NCP next work of counterinsurgency militia.

The counterinsurgency security and political set up that was designed during the War to fight and oppose the South separatist agenda was to be observed into the new South Sudan Government and institutions.

The NCP Junubin members; intelligent agents; Judges and funded militias were to be either integrated into the Southern government, the SPLM party or the SPLA during the interim period.

Having been trained by the NCP, these Junubins were very experienced in politics, negotiation, and deception and better prepared than any other political entity in South Sudan. They are to bring about the change in circumstances in the post-independent South Sudan.

On the other hand, the poor South Kordofanians and Blue Nile SPLM and SPLA members were to be left to fend for themselves. There was to be no truth and reconciliation commission to provide proof against the Junubins who were doing the dirty work for the National Congress Party (NCP) during the 21 years of civil wars.

Instead, they were to be observed and to continue to run the Southern Sudan security, judicial, and other state institutions. It was a broad parasitism strategy designed for realigning and manipulating the political leadership in South Sudan with the aim of returning Southern Sudan under North Sudan’s sphere of influence.

It is no surprise that with the birth of the independent Republic of South Sudan, the alt-racial National Congress Party (NCP) trained political and military strategists within the South Sudan institutions; security sector and political parties took out the NCP’s playbook and were able to apply it with ease.

They begin to evict all the host pro-genies from their nests methodically. Like a common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) chick they rolled out most of the original SPLM leaders and cadets out of the nest and replaced them with their own or those who subscribed to the new project.

The ones that survived are those who read Mao Zedong “On Guerrilla Warfare” and  understood Mao, when he said, we must not belittle the saying in the book of Sun Wu Tzu, the great military expert of ancient China, ‘Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a thousand battles without disaster.’

While the National Congress Party (NCP) agents and original SPLM vie for influence, the mercurial President just waffles between these two power centers, while consolidating his power and remaining entirely in control of the two elements.

It was all facilitated or was made possible with the money coming from the friends of the West, as well as, the booming oil economy of the New Republic.

With the new regime awash with money. The National Congress Party (NCP) trained tacticians were at ease in executing the NCP manuscript.

Like their North Counterparts, these Jububins are brutal pragmatists, well-educated but toxic cosmopolitans, ready to negotiate, to deal, to compromise to tighten their grip on the real levers of power in South Sudan.

Their strategy is a constant state of negotiation with friends and foes alike. Bribe, loot, build clientalistic networks along tribal lines and break agreements, if circumstances change, you can subsequently broker a better deal.

Be prepared to escalate into mass murder and outright defiance if it calls for, the unknown man is to be allowed to swim in the turbid South Sudan waters when required.

In this internecine struggle between institutions and individuals, the friendship and support of the IGAD countries and especially Uganda and Kenya are a commodity like no other.

The birth of the holy grail of South Sudanese politics, a deliverable that Dr Riek Machar failed to deliver in the heady days of his ascendancy as the Vice President of the Government of Southern Sudan and SPLM Co-Chair of the Joint Executive Political Committee.

It has been this struggle for dominance which allowed militant rebellions to thrive in South Sudan and the cause for the immense suffering in the country.

With the continued struggle for power and the political chaos that has engulfed the Country, the National Salvation Front (NAS)  has followed the rebellion manuscript and posited itself as the alternate savior of South Sudanese.

The question the movement has asked itself is, how can the descent into abyss be stopped; using what means; what the possible options are and what should be the outcome of such an undertaking.

The movement has offered ten facts which it believes signify gross mismanagement of the affairs of the people of the Republic of South Sudan.

The facts NAS list includes:  (i) General security (ii) Food insecurity (ii) economic stagnation (iii)  security sector discord (iv) corruption (v) absence of basic services (vi) personalized constitution (viii) Tribal Loyalty ( ix) Human rights abuses.

In a series of opinions to come, I want to look at each issue. In particular, whether the signed Peace agreement addresses the issues NAS has raised, or whether NAS Cirillo is justified in its continuation of the war.

The author, Mr. Moses Nyara  can be reached via: nyara007@hotmail.com. Disclaimer: the views are solely mine and do not represent any institution or government.

 

The revitalized ARCISS … What next after the peace celebration in Juba?

BY: Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, Professor, politician, minister and opposition member, OCT/29/2018, SSN,;

This is a pertinent question to the South Sudanese leaders both in the government and in opposition as well as to those standing on the side lines. I take this question from what Prof. Jok Madut said on his Facebook page on 27 October, 2018.

It was about celebrating the revitalized peace agreement before the parties started the actual implementation. His concern that “celebrating now is to isolate the leadership from the people, to show that leaders only think of appeasing each other and nothing else.” I would wish that they only appeased each other but left the people in peace and in one piece.

I am puzzled more when different at cross purpose messages emanate from Juba. The government is saying one thing but the zealots in the SPLM are saying something different in the peace rallies they are conducting in the suburbs of Juba in the name of what they categorize as ‘sensitizing the people about the R-ARCISS.’

I would prefer to call it conscientization than sensitization. However, this is besides the message I wanted to deliver.

We are in the second month of the pre-transitional period to prepare the country for the transitional period, which begins in earnest on 12 April 2019. During this time, the parties should put in place the institutions and instruments of governance during the three-year transitional period.

The celebration of the revitalized agreement takes place while violations to the provisions are taking place that raised suspicion and reluctance by some leaders of the opposition to go to Juba.

Mind you, President Bashir will have to assure the safety of Dr. Riek Machar and other opposition leaders in Khartoum who will accompany him to Juba.

I believe the pre-transitional period is time to build trust and confidence between the South Sudan political leaders bitter contesting of the country’s leadership. The celebration in Juba should be the start of serious national dialogue among the political leaders since they have already agreed on how to share power.

By national dialogue I don’t mean negotiations; rather I am talking about a political discourse to have a scientific and correct understanding of the fundamental problem of the people of South Sudan.

I come from the political school or thought which attributes the social, economic and political crises afflicting South Sudan and its people in their social formations is NOT power but poverty and ignorance consequent to their socioeconomic and cultural underdevelopment.

All other contradictions like ethnic nationalism, corruption, insecurity, conflicts are secondary or offshoots of poverty and ignorance.

No doubt, had the South Sudan political leadership known this fundamental truth they would not have unleashed the civil war. It is therefore important that the leaders take time to study the situation and understand it well.

I would call on President Salva Kiir Mayardit to take the initiative commensurate with his statement that he has forgiven all and sunder including those who have been writing about him and his government.

He is the president of the country and therefore has all the power and authority to call the leaders of the opposition, including those who rejected the revitalized agreement, to a meeting to workshop and problematize the fundamental problem of South Sudan.

The objective of such a meeting would be to come up with a political program or plan in the social, economic and political domains, which the revitalized transitional government of national unity (R-TGONU) would implement during the three-year transition period.

The R-TGONU should really be an expression of unity of purpose translating into reality our people’s desire and yearning for peace.

It should really be a genuine and a patriotic effort to put South Sudan back on its feet in the manner we struggled for liberation and its independence. South Sudan cannot afford again to waste away and remain the sick man of Africa.

We have seen in the countries of the region, to which many of our people are refugees, that leaders are working hard to compensate for lost time and development opportunities.

Therefore, President Kiir’s reasons for convening this leadership workshop is to prepare a transitional government that will deliver on something he and other leaders have agreed on.

This means that the R-TGONU he will commission on 12 April 2019 will be a government with a plan of action and this will determine those who will be appointed to serve in those portfolios. It can’t be any other way.

The leaders of the opposition have a duty and responsibility to ensure the successful implementation of the R-ARCISS. Therefore, the question, what next? is addressed equally to the opposition leaders.

To appreciate its depth significance requires a change of attitude and a shift in political thinking. We can’t force President Kiir to change his attitude without a corresponding transformation on the other side.

The destruction that has afflicted the nation is a shared responsibility particularly for many of us who were in the SPLM/A and its splinter variants.

In conclusion, South Sudan is bigger than any individual, group of individuals or any single ethnicity.

For those who strive for power, let us think critically and strategically how power could be used to serve the people than personal or ethnic ambition.

Losing or not being in a position of authority is not in itself a limit situation. The most critical factors in the struggle for power and leadership are civility, ideology or knowledge and organization. END

The author is a prominent South Sudanese academic and politician.

The Consequences of Failing to Implement R_ARCSS

BY: Dominic Ukelo, South Sudan, OCT/27/2018, SSN;

Until recently, International Community focused its attention on the negotiation of peace agreements to resolve conflicts in the Republic of South Sudan and paid little attention to effective implementation process.

Unfortunately, during the last decades it has been proven that insufficiency in implementation of agreements has led to a serious consequences of failure to achieve a sustainable peace in the country.

The notion that a contract or an agreement between state and armed opposition parties would remain binding in the post-agreement phase, has been dishonest.

The reality revealed that, in the 1980s and 1990s, a just negotiated agreements in such countries as Angola, Cambodia, and Liberia collapsed and resulted in new deadly violence.

In fact, in some cases more blood was shed after failure to implement a peace accord than before the peace negotiations began.

Suspicions of implementation of any agreement in the Republic of South Sudan has been shadowed constantly.

Some of the factors that led to this shadow of failing to implement peace agreements in the country are lack of political will or seriousness to implement an agreement, security dilemmas of the warring parties, inadequate international involvement, the presence of spoilers whose commitment to peace is only tactical, vague, incomplete, or expedient peace agreements, and the lack of coordination among implementing agencies.

Such elements are merely a first step to understanding the problem of implementation in the country.

As of yet there has not been systematic, rigorous empirical examination of these factors.

And even if such explanations offer general insight into the problems of implementation, there is a need to develop policy-relevant strategies to overcome the reasons for failure to implement any peace agreement.

However, after the succesful implementation of Comprehensive Peace Agreement CPA in 9th January 2005, the government under leadership of President Salva Kiir Myardit, has been blamed for falling short of implementing any agreements between the state and the opposition parties.

Even when a settlement is negotiated and agreed as of ARCSS in 17 August 2015, a simplistic and a short term view of how to implement an agreement has undermined success of the agreement in the Republic of South Sudan.

The government of the country under leadership of president Salva Kiir Myardit, continuously assuming incorrectly that the government can achieve peace and therefore stabilize the economy, after outright military victory.

Unfortunately, the government could not discover in conflict after another that, even if it succeeded, winning the war militarily would bring a sustainable peace in the Republic of South Sudan.

Only peaceful resolution and effective implementation of an agreement remains a fundamental aspect of resolving any conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.

Moreover, critical factors of successful peace implementation in the Republic of South Sudan are demobilisation, disarmament of civilians armed by the Juba regime, and restructure of armed forces to be a national army.

The absence of these factors allows for a continuation of conflict.

Dominic Ukelo
26 October 2018

South Sudan opposition Machar’s forces sexually abused women, girls in latest violence: UN

WARNING: This story contains disturbing and graphic details
The Associated Press, Oct/18/2018, SSN;

While the UN has previously detailed abuses by the South Sudanese government, Thursday’s report focused on troops loyal to Machar. (Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters)

South Sudan’s armed opposition abducted women and girls as young as 12 and lined them up so commanders could choose “wives,” and those not selected were left to be raped repeatedly by other fighters, a new UN report said Thursday.

The report, based on victim and witness accounts, gives new details on the surge in violence and abuses that occurred even as South Sudan’s rivals negotiated the latest agreement to end a five-year civil war.

“Most of the abducted civilians are, as far as we know, still being held captive,” new UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.

South Sudan civil war has caused 400,000 ‘excess deaths,’ report says
South Sudan reaches peace deal with rebels.

The report focuses on the Western Equatoria region between April and August, saying 900 people were abducted and some 24,000 people forced to flee their homes as fighting surged after months of relative calm.

It says opposition forces attacked at least 28 villages and a refugee camp, and abducted young men and boys were made to be fighters or porters.

One survivor said she was “tied to a tree and raped by two fighters until she passed out due to pain and bleeding. When she regained consciousness, she was threatened with rape again.”

Hundreds of thousands killed:

While the report also notes “harm to civilians” by South Sudanese troops, it focuses on the armed opposition led by Riek Machar.

It notes that the human rights division of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan has identified three opposition commanders “who allegedly had effective command and control of the forces committing these abuses, which may amount to war crimes.” The report does not name them.

The armed opposition “doesn’t have a policy of harassment towards civilians,” spokesperson Lam Paul Gabriel told The Associated Press. “Our duty as a movement is to protect civilians and their properties at all times.”

This is just the latest in a series of reports by the UN and others that have described civilians being raped, shot, hung, tortured and burned.

Often the reports say South Sudanese government troops are largely to blame but opposition forces also have been accused.

More recently, the UN says at least 900 people were abducted between April and August.

South Sudan’s latest attempt at a peace deal returns Machar once again to his post as deputy to President Salva Kiir, an arrangement that more than once has led to deadly violence.

The civil war erupted in late 2013, just two years after the world’s youngest country won independence from Sudan, when fighting broke out between supporters of Kiir and Machar largely along ethnic lines.

A report last month estimated that the civil war has caused more than 380,000 deaths either through violence or disease as humanitarian efforts struggle in what has been called the world’s most dangerous country for aid workers.

“The abuses in the UN report are horrendous and stress the devastating impact that the continued impunity by forces has had on civilians, especially women and girls,” Nyagoah Pur, a researcher in the Africa division of Human Rights Watch, told the AP, calling for the speedy establishment of a long-promised hybrid court in South Sudan to prosecute abuses. END

From the people of South Sudan to American Ambassador Nikki Haley: An open appeal for urgent action against Mr. Ashraf Al Cardinal, the icon of corruption in South Sudan

OCT/07/2018, SSN;

The people of South Sudan would like to commend your sustained efforts to end their suffering and bring about a lasting peace that will set their hard-won country on the right path of stability and progress.

We are particularly pleased that despite your extensive global responsibilities, you have remained seized on the issue of South Sudan, thanks to your first-hand experience during your historic visit to the country a couple of years ago.

Excellency, Last month, you authored an article titled: Combating Corruption is about ensuring peace and Security, which was published widely in the media on September 9th, 2018.

In that piece, you clearly showed how corruption in Tunisia triggered a revolution against “a dictator who treated his country’s treasury like his own personal bank account.”

And if the world has known a country ruled by a dictator who “treated his country’s treasury like his own personal bank account”, it is yet to learn about a country called South Sudan that is being ruled by a brutal plutocracy – one that consists of both local and international thugs.

The modus operandi of this plutocracy is state-hijacking, possessing and extracting of oil resources to the exclusion of its people.

Here are two examples, among others, of what they do:

1. In July 2018 in a letter addressed to General Manager of Commercial Bank International (CBI PJSC), dated 25th, July 2018, the plutocracy made “a confirmed irrevocable commitment” to pay USD 299,614,428 (two hundred ninety nine millions plus) to Mr. Ashraf Sidahmed Al Cardinal.

According to the letter, which is enclosed herewith, the payment is against “good and services” which will be supplied. The first installment of USD 50,000,000 was paid in August 1, 2018 to the following account:

Account Name: Commercial Bank International
Account No: 2000193002007
Bank Name: Wells Fargo Bank (A major American Bank)
Swift Code: PNBPUS3NNYC.

The truth is that there are neither “goods nor services” to be supplied. These are just phantom “goods and services” and there is nothing surprising about such charade.

However, what the people of South Sudan find to be stunning is the fact that billions of dollars continue to be siphoned over the years from South Sudan under the watch of their greatest friend and ally, the United States of America.

2. As you were busy in September convening the first ever Security Council meeting on corruption and its consequences for conflict around the world, the man that reigns supreme in South Sudan, Mr. Ashraf Al Cardinal, was busy, too, brokering a USD 2.9 billion deal between South Sudan and his native country the Sudan.

This time, the racketeering was under the name of compensating Sudan for damages incurred during the brief capture of Heglig by South Sudan.

As it will be recalled, the Oil-rich Heglig is a South Sudanese territory but was used by Sudan as a rear base for South Sudanese rebels frequently attacking Unity State of South Sudan.

When these rebels were repulsed and pursued to their base, leading to the capture of Heglig by South Sudan in 2012, Sudan feigned victim-hood, and the Obama Administration bought that false claim.

South Sudan was then bullied and labeled as the aggressor and was forced out of Heglig. Sudan retook the town and now claims to have incurred losses in “its oil installations.”

In the midst of peace talks and confusion in Khartoum last month, and despite fierce opposition from South Sudanese officials, Ashraf Al Cardinal went ahead and brokered a secret deal that would now settle the dispute to the tune of USD 2.6 billion in favor of Sudan, of which he will get a 10% share, amounting to USD 250 million.

Uganda’s president Museveni will get a similar amount for “protecting South Sudan,” while the rest of the amount will accrue to Sudan with a tiny portion going to the South Sudanese side of the plutocracy.

The people of South Sudan will get, not roads, not schools, not hospitals, not medicines and not electricity but death and only soft death in the form of polluted land and water resulting from the brutal extraction of their oil and minerals.

Poor South Sudan, whose oil installations in Unity State including the only oil refinery were destroyed by the Sudanese sponsored warlords, will get nothing in compensation.

Instead, it will pay an exorbitant USD 2.6 billion for oil installations that were built by the Chinese for USD 600 million and paid for from South Sudan’s own cost oil!

Excellency, You correctly said in your article that combating corruption is not just about good governance; it is about maintaining peace and security.

You further added that the United States, as a country that leads the way in uncovering corrupt networks and holding those responsible to account, wants to ensure that corruption gets the attention it deserves.

Consistent with this line, and in order for peace to prevail in South Sudan, a demonstrable action against corruption needs to be taken. This demonstrable action must involve sanctioning and freezing the accounts of Ashraf Al Cardinal who is a major peace spoiler in South Sudan.

As we write, South Sudan is literally cash-strapped, with oil lifting schedules booked for Ashraf till February 2019.

This means the Government will fail to pay the civil servants who had already gone for months without salaries. And since the Troika countries are not going to provide funds for the recently signed Revitalized Peace Agreement, the already fragile peace might collapse because South Sudan’s money had gone to one man called Ashraf Al Cardinal.

Under such grave circumstances, the United States is the only force on earth that can stop Ashraf from softly exterminating the people of Sudan.

His bank accounts in ABN AMRO of Holland, CBI PJSC of Dubai and Wells Fargo Bank of the United States must be frozen. His assets in England, France, Holland and Dubai must be frozen.

There is no country in the world where one man, and a foreigner for that matter, sets out to harbor over $2 billion in European and American banks, secures more oil cargoes to the tune of 300 million, gets a commission of $250 million in racketeering business, and yet continues to walk free.

Sanctioning Ashraf will send a message to his co-plutocracies in South Sudan that there will be no safe haven for the loot.

The people of South Sudan have great confidence that you and your colleagues in the US Treasury Department will not let them down and that you will make good of your solemn promise of ‘uncovering corrupt networks and holding those responsible accountable.”
—————————————

Attached is copy of letter from South Sudan Ministry of Finance and planning:

———- Republic of South Sudan ————–
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFP)
Ref: MF&P/RSS/J20-D-1 Date: 25th July 2018

The General Manager,
Commercial Bank International PJSC
Festival City Branch, P.O. Box 4449,
Dubai Festival City Mall Crescent Drive,
Umm Ramool, Al Gharhoud,
Dubai, UAE

Subject:

    CONFIRMED IRREVOCABLE COMMITMENT LETTER OF USD: 299,614,428

ALCARDINAL INVESTMENT LLC was contracted by the Government of the Republic of South to supply goods and services to the Government of South Sudan to the value of USD 299,614,428 (Two Hundred Ninety Nine Million, Six Hundred Fourteen Thousand Four Hundred Two Eight US Dollars).

In this irrevocable letter, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning confirm the commitment to pay:-

1. USD 50,000,000 (Only Fifty Million Dollars) in 10 (ten) days starting from the 1st. of August 2018.

2. USD 20,000,000 (Only Twenty Million Dollars) monthly from October 2018 to August 2019.

The Revitalized Peace in South Sudan: The Fruits of IGAD Mediation

BY: Malith Kur, Student at McGill University, Canada, OCT/04/2018, SSN;

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD, has proven to the world that Africans can solve African political problems. The role that IGAD has played in South Sudan beginning with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Naivasha in 2005, which resulted in the emergence of South Sudan in 2011 as a sovereign nation, stands tall in this regard.

Again, when naïve political violence erupted in South Sudan in late 2013, IGAD, with the blessing of the African Union (AU), resolved to lead the initiative to restore peace in the country.

Such efforts culminated in the signing in 2015 of the Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS).

Despite IGAD’s rigorous diplomatic engagement with the conflicting parties, the ARCSS failed to cement peace in South Sudan because of its design, which established two parallel governments in the country.

South Sudanese cannot blame IGAD for the design of the ARCSS but Troika nations (the US, UK, and Norway). The Troika nations funded the peace process and so, had a greater say on its design.

They supported the existence of two hostile armies in the country—one commanded by Salva Kiir and the other by Riek Machar.

Their hostility to each other led to the failure of the peace process in July 2016 when the clashes occurred at the statehouse in Juba.

The ARCSS failed, but IGAD has continued to encourage the rebels and the government to pursue a peaceful end to the conflict through the revitalization and revision of the ARCSS.

South Sudanese commend IGAD for its consistent attempts to deal with South Sudan’s complex political issues.

Indeed, the government and most members of the South Sudan Opposition alliance (SSOA) represented at the IGAD sponsored peace process have signed in Addis Ababa in September 2018 the revised agreement to end the violence in the country.

However, some groups within the SSOA have rejected the revitalized peace agreement.

They claim that the deal has not addressed the issues related to the number of states, communal or tribal boundaries, and federalism. They are also demanding a lean government.

They want IGAD to solve those issues; however, it is unrealistic for South Sudanese to expect that all solutions to their problems will often come from IGAD.

In principle, South Sudanese do not necessarily oppose the demands that some opposition groups have voiced. They oppose any attempt that makes achieving peace in the country contingent on those demands.

The question of ethnic boundaries or number of states in the country cannot be resolved through political resolutions coming from political parties alone much less IGAD’s decision.

They are issues of local concern that require the local solutions.

Hence, a comprehensive peace must first prevail in the country so that all South Sudanese could have the opportunity to address those issues.

Number of States and Ethnic Boundaries:

The number of states in South Sudan is a temporary matter. It is not that important to stop some opposition groups from signing the revitalized peace agreement.

We know why people ask for more states in the country. They do not ask for the creation of new states to expand tribal borders.

What drives the demand for more states is the false assumption that the establishment of a new administrative unit allows the federal government in Juba to channel more funds to that region.

Hence, the problem is neither the number of states in the country nor the boundaries of ethnic communities.

The problem is a wrong perception that the creation of a new state brings more opportunities for communities in that location to receive more support from the central government.

Politicians including the opponents of the government know that creating more states in South Sudan does not facilitate development but expands the government.

They understand that the country does not have enough resources to sustain paying an increasing number of government officials. That is the problem associated with the creation of more states in South Sudan.

We know it, but it does not warrant the continuation of violence. It requires public awareness.

Once South Sudanese understand that the more states they have, the less development they get out of them, they will be the ones to choose the right formula for establishing the number of states in the country.

Thus, the opposition groups that have rejected the revised accord because of the creation of 32 states do not have any argument to make to keep the country in the state of war.

Therefore, IGAD made the right decision by supporting the proposed referendum during the interim period to determine the number of states in the country.

Federalism:

The IGAD sponsored peace process is not the right forum where South Sudanese would judge whether the current system they have in the country is good or bad.

The configuration of the current national system is an integral part of the development of the permanent constitution.

South Sudanese should embark on the process of developing a permanent constitution in a peaceful environment.

It depends on how one understands a federal system; otherwise, South Sudan is in principle a federal state.

However, South Sudanese can peacefully review the current system if whether it meets their needs or not.

The first step is to end the war for the current violent situation in the country cannot allow for the proper process of constitutional development that defines clear boundaries between the federal government and state governments.

South Sudanese need peace to participate in the constitutional making process. That is the better way for them to be the authors of a federal system they want.

The impulse behind the demand for a so-called strong federal system by Thomas Chirilo— the leader of National Salvation Front (NAS) and his constituents based in the USA, UK, and Australia— is Kokora (a system that aims at drawing hard borders between ethnic communities in the country).

Jaafar Numeri, the former president of Sudan, introduced Kokora in the 1980s when he divided the then Southern Sudan into three regions at the demand of his political allies in Equatoria region.

It was a political strategy to weaken the unity of Southern Sudanese.

At this time, however, South Sudanese do not need to be coerced into establishing a system of governance that will curtail their freedom to move, live, and work anywhere they want in their homeland.

All they need is to be allowed to use the fruits of IGAD mediation to strengthen peace and freedom in the country. End

Malith Kur is a South Sudanese peace activist and student at McGill University, Montreal. He can be reached @ malith_kur@yahoo.ca.

A “Political Tsunami” hits the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA)

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, South Sudan, SEPT/28/2018, SSN;

For almost a year, the “storm” was slowly gathering on the horizon even before the existence of SSOA. The elements of such an eventuality (divisions) were all over the place as early as the time of the Nyahururu meetings.

The subtle telltale signs were there to be picked up by those who correctly analysed the events in the political space. They didn’t escape the notice of sharp observers.

SSOA is an anomalous body with members bound loosely together against the regime in Juba. Right from the start, there was widespread skepticism among some intellectual circles about the future of the alliance. It stems from the fact that SSOA is a mixed bag of political entities whereby you find opposing objectives.

On the one hand, there are those who want a regime change as the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party has utterly failed. On the other hand, you have those affiliated with the SPLM who are for SPLM reunification but in a new outfit.

So, how do you marry these two distinct positions and remain united in an alliance? Of course, there are the opportunists in their midst, who are merely looking for jobs and personal gains.

The fragility of the coalition was displayed on numerous occasions by plenty of political maneuvering, back and forth relations, and the unique status of one organisation where it’s part of the government while maintaining its membership in SSOA at the same time.

These are the anomalies that I referred to earlier.

On September 13, 2018, a group of members of SSOA issued a joint statement distancing themselves from the signed revitalized peace agreement saying that it’s unsustainable.

The group included the National Salvation Front (NAS), the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), the Former Political Detainees (FPDs) Chairman, Ambassador Emmanuel Aban signing for the National Democratic Movement (NDM), and the United Democratic Republic Alliance (UDRA).

The group pointed out the fact that the agreement fell short of addressing the root causes of the conflict and maintains the status quo.

Among the grievances enumerated by the group were the omission of federalism, maintenance of the 32 states, and departure from the principle of having a lean government.

They further expressed their dismay for the signing of the revitalized peace agreement by a group within SSOA. They did refer to the collective negotiation position that was developed during the preliminary stages of the High-Level Revitalisation Forum (HLRF) summarised in 10 points.

The following are some of the positions agreed upon:

1. The state of emergency shall be lifted upon signing of the agreement.

2. The country shall adopt a FEDERAL system of governance during the transitional period through the effective division of powers and resources among the federal, state, and local government.

3. Annulment of the thirty-two (32) States and revert to the (10) as stipulated in the TCRSS 2011 and ARCSS 2015. In addition to the two (2) administrative areas of Pibor and Abyei.

4. President Kiir shall NOT lead the Transitional Government because of his successive violations of ARCSS and its eventual abrogation.

5. Dissolution and reconstitution of all institutions of government.

It’s evident that the signed revitalized peace agreement is nowhere close to addressing any of the above fundamental issues. The reservations of the group that signed the deal should duly emanate from the positions above. They said they signed the agreement because their reservations were met.

The agreement text, however, lacks evidence to support their claim. No amendments or modifications were made to the final deal in Addis Ababa. It appears the IGAD Heads of State and Government never paid any attention to the reservations.

Some are trying to find excuses by saying that in a negotiation you don’t get everything you want. That’s very true, but by the same token, your opponent doesn’t get everything he or she desires.

By the looks of things, the government got everything it stood for while those who signed the deal came back empty-handed. Well, not entirely accurate as the agreement awarded them positions at the expense of the South Sudanese people.

For the first time in history, we got a government with 5 Vice Presidents. China with its 1.411 billion souls does not have a Vice President; only a President and a Premier. I got the feeling that we are being ridiculed across the globe.

The press release of the dissenting group within SSOA seems to have infuriated the Khartoum group that signed the agreement. It responded with a statement of its own giving the impression that the time of niceties and cordial treats is over.

But it was outrageous to accuse their previous colleagues, and now probably adversaries, of forgery by using SSOA’s logo on their press statement. They well know that SSOA belongs to all of them and there is no way that any group could claim that it belongs to it solely.

If at all there’s forgery, then it would be the signing of the revitalised peace agreement because SSOA’s charter obligates the interim Chairman to obtain a consensus before signing any deal.

The statement is also misleading as it implies that all the members were on the same page in private although the other group was saying something different publicly.

The public has seen correspondences from NAS and PDM leaderships instructing the Interim Chairman not to initial or sign the agreement on behalf of SSOA, but every member could do so individually.

But the Interim Chairman, Mr Gabriel Changson, chose to ignore the legitimate rights of his colleagues and signed the deal. His act was unwarranted and amounts to what they are accusing their colleagues to have done.

But what I find as the audacity of the highest order is to accuse their colleagues of running away from Khartoum when things got tough.

Among those who left Khartoum, was a certain General who fought numerous battles during the liberation war. He led the SPLA to capture Kassala in the North and Yei in the South.

Now, how dare people who never experienced battlefield environment, where life could be lost in the blink of an eye, doubt the bravery of one of our heroes?!

Moreover, almost all the groups that signed the agreement reside in Khartoum. Why do they want others to hang around and be humbled?!

Such rhetoric is more damaging to the credibility of the politicians who indulge in it. It’s no longer a secret that the mediation team in Khartoum used coercion, intimidation, and obtained signatures from the opposition under duress.

Those who left Khartoum must have thought of avoiding being humiliated. The Khartoum group concluded its statement by saying that it forgives the other groups and extends an olive branch for them to come back to SSOA’s fold.

Well, the other group doesn’t think it ever left SSOA and says the Khartoum group has been compromised.

To that Ambassador Emmanuel Aban, the NDM Spokesman responded on Radio Tamazuj that the NDM under Dr Lam Akol abandoned its principles and objectives. That he and other NDM leaders would continue the struggle till fulfilment of the goals that led to the establishment of the Movement.

And before the “storm” could downgrade or settle down, we were confronted with yet another one albeit very devastating.

The South Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC) leadership decided to sack its Chairman, former Governor of Western Equatoria State, Joseph Bakasoro, for signing the revitalised peace agreement.

They have elevated his deputy Dr Vakindi Unvu as Interim Chairman while Kwaje Lasu, and General Abraham Wani remained in their positions as Secretary-General and Chief of Staff respectively.

Even the Federal Democratic Party (FDP) of Gabriel Changson was not spared of divisions. Some of the members tended their resignations over party stance and conduct of business.

It’s only a few weeks ago that Dr Lam Akol and former Governor Joseph Bakasoro went to the media separately declaring that they were in the process of reconciling NAS with the splinter group that broke away from it.

Well, whether those endeavours were genuine or not, they would have been more useful if directed to the right place. Few would miss the analogy of someone rushing to put out a fire in someone else’s house while leaving his home ablaze.

As it stands, the future of SSOA remains in limbo. Gabriel Changson mandate as Interim Chairman expired last month. The Secretary-General, Kwaje Lasu is with the other group.

The situation is one of stagnation because SSOA’s charter requires unanimity in any decision-making process. They never foresaw that such a situation would ever arise.

It wouldn’t have occurred had the Khartoum group not foregone the 10-points collective position.

For example, the Interim Chairman’s term in office cannot be extended nor can a new Interim Chairman be elected. The same applies to the Secretary-General.

SSOA is effectively non-functional as any decision by any of the two groups will not be recognised by the other.

The way forward would have been for both groups to come together and reconcile. It’s not going to happen because the issues that caused the division are irreconcilable.

The Khartoum group has opted for more of the same while those who refused the agreement chose to struggle for realising a real change to the current situation in the country.

The Khartoum group could abruptly disappear if the deal gets implemented and they join the government in Juba. In that case, the group that did not sign the agreement would have the name SSOA all by itself.

But should the deal not get implemented, gets abrogated or war breaks out, then the Khartoum group would find itself in a very embarrassing situation.

Nobody apart from our enemies likes or promotes divisions within SSOA. Unity on a robust platform for the greater good of the people should be what binds the opposition.

Three observations emerged in the aftermath of SSOA’s debacle:

Firstly, SSOA lacks cohesion regarding political objectives. I am not 100% sure that all members want the SPLM party to be removed from power. There are those who want to go back to their previous positions. Therefore, a break up that results in a more cohesive group is not a bad thing.

Secondly, for the first time, and in the open, we saw national matters eclipsing family ties and tribal belonging. I would not mention names for privacy, but it’s a positive development. It tells us that there is still hope to rescue South Sudan from its current predicament.

Thirdly, the politicians from the younger generation seem to be more confident, assertive and command more popularity than those from the older generation. They bring into the political discourse contemporary ideas, knowledge, vigor, and even experience.

Perhaps, it’s time for the old guards to retire and give space to the younger generation.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok