Category: Politics

Jieng community elders’ giant leap for federalism in South Sudan

By: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, JUL/31/2014, SSN;

When the demand for federalism first surfaced it was met with outright hostility and rejection. That was because federalism was apparently associated closely with the experience of kokora in the 80s. Federalism was also being associated with the recent rebellion that sparked off on 15 December 2013. This might explain why the demand for federalism was about to become a criminal offence. People who were genuinely calling for a federal system were alleged to be supporters of the rebellion. However, there was no grain of truth in such allegation. Instead there was a support to the government.

Outright hostility and rejection of the demand for federalism reached unexpected level when newspapers were being confiscated and journalists taken for questioning. However, opinions in favour of federalism persisted and were expressed openly in newspapers and in the Internet. Intimidation did not work as the call for respect for freedom of expression was very loud. As expected the hostile stand against federalism fizzled out as the expressed opinion for federalism was coming from many angles.

Notable and of importance was the opinion expressed by concerned Jieng community elders in favour of federalism for South Sudan. It was a giant step forward that couldn’t have been ignored. Things were moving faster against the minority opponents of federalism. The National Community Leaders’ Forum comprising representatives of Equatoria and Jieng from Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile States met and passed resolutions, adding their voices positively on federalism.

In one of their resolutions the National Community Leaders’ Forum calls upon the President to form a High Level National Technical Committee to study Federalism and Governance to inform and enhance the Constitutional making process without prejudice to individual or group discussions. Clearly federalism has become no longer a taboo but an accepted fact to be discussed openly for a consensus.

Jieng giant leap for federalism

In seeking a solution for acceptable administration to the people of South Sudan, the concerned Jieng community elders have proposed that South Sudan should be administered as a federation of 23 states. This is yet a clear endorsement of federalism as a solution to problems of governance and development in South Sudan. The proposed states are the equivalent of the 23 districts in South Sudan in the colonial era. This is nothing but a giant leap for federalism by the concerned and visionary Jieng community elders.

The proponents of federalism must be delighted. This is because some of the fierce critics and opponents of federalism were the Jieng. This must have been an objective change of direction because the Jieng must have come to the conclusion that federalism is the only solution to the mess in which South Sudan finds itself. The implication is that no single ethnic group or region should dream of an empire in this modern world of science. Imposing a system that only favours an ethnic group or region disguised as the preservation of national unity is an old game of politics that has long been thrown into the dustbin of history when federalism has been gaining currency.

It is through a consensus that people may agree to be united. The concerned Jieng community elders have timely recognized this when they are saying, “Many people of South Sudan are demanding for application of federal system as one of the solutions to govern the country peacefully”. This obviously seems to be the beginning of better times ahead for the people of South Sudan. At least there will be no war over federalism. The demand for federalism is gaining adherents among the Jieng and this can only be a positive thing. This is encouraging because equating federalism with kokora may soon be a thing of the past.

When federalism is not equated with kokora the fear of eviction from Equatoria will also disappear. Jieng support for federalism has far reaching implication. One major implication is that when the Jieng support federalism hostility towards the people of Equatoria may reduce drastically. This is in contrast to when the Jieng were opposed to federalism. Clearly the concerned Jieng community elders proposed federalism suggests that the Jieng have moved on and therefore share the same national aspirations for peace, freedom and development as their other fellow citizens in the country instead of dreaming of their hegemony in South Sudan.

Application of federalism in South Sudan

The concerned Jieng community elders are of the opinion that ethnic administration in line with the 23 former colonial districts as states is the solution to tribal rivalry over resources. However, tribal rivalry is not only over resources, but it is also over power as well. The concerned Jieng elders have acknowledged that the demand for federalism is the wish of the majority and that the federal system should be introduced now.

As mentioned above and according to the Jieng elders, South Sudan should be a federation of 23 states based on the 23 former colonial districts. This is instead of adopting the existing 10 states. One would disagree with the proposal for 23 states in South Sudan but the Jieng elders should be highly commended for their collective efforts in trying to work out a solution to the problem of governance and theirs is a national aspiration for the stability of South Sudan.

Looking at the highlighted 23 former colonial districts in the proposal, there seems to be a little bit of confusion. Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile each had 7, 7 and 9 districts respectively. This of course makes a total of 23 districts which are the 23 proposed future states of South Sudan. However, unlike its 7 districts, Equatoria has only 6 proposed states and unlike its 7 districts, Bahr el Ghazal has 9 states. For Upper Nile, unlike its 9 districts it has 8 proposed states. There is something strange here.

It is not clear why the 7 districts of Bahr el Ghazal have been blown up into 9 states while the 6 states for Equatoria do not correspond to its former 7 districts proposed to be the states. Something somewhere is not right. Confusion continues as Upper Nile which had 9 districts is only allotted 8 states. This clearly does not show that the 23 states are the duplicate of the 23 former colonial districts in South Sudan. Some explanation may be needed.

There may not be any need to return to the former 3 regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile to form a federation. However, there is nothing wrong with adopting the 10 states as a federation for a start. The adoption of the former colonial districts as states should be at the latter date and at the discretion of each of the 10 states. Federation of 23 states should not be done in a rush in view of economic austerity measures. This means that higher economic growth should first be recorded before creating new states. For example, it should be Central Equatoria State to decide in future either to break up into Yei River State and another state the name to be decided on later or not.

Development of natural and mineral resources, prospecting for more oil production to increase revenue and development of hydro-electric power should be undertaken for higher economic growth before creating new states. The proposal for 23 states is a noble one. However, in practice it is not only a mammoth task but an economic nightmare. I hope the architects of such a noble proposal do not want people to depend on foreign aid to finance the additional 13 states. One way of creating a state is that a former colonial district in any of the 10 states must justify itself to be a viable state through its own resources. We do not want to see states that are nothing but liabilities.

Different federations

South Sudan may need to learn about the different federations. For example, some federations are called asymmetric because some states in the federation have more autonomy than others. However, the histories of countries vary. One federal system of a country can be different from that of another country. The Republic of India is federal, comprising individual states. The central (federal) government of India has authority over the states and even has the authority to change the boundaries of the states.

It can be seen that the Indian federal system has strong centralizing tendencies where the federal government remains intact but the physical existence of states can be modified. In contrast, the federal system in the United States of American (USA) is characterized as indestructible union of indestructible states. This means the states in America are intact and the federal government does not make any alteration in the states as is the case in India.

The often asked question is what type of a federal system South Sudan should adopt. Well, people may need to understand that there is no particular federal system unique to South Sudan that can be copied. People will have to agree on the type of a federal system that will address what is seen as the problem of governance in South Sudan. The main problem is equitable power and wealth sharing, and equitable development. To address the problem, a federation should first be defined for people to be clear of what a federation entails.

Many people will tend to agree that a federation is characterized by a union of partially self-governing states united by a central (federal) government as in India or in the USA. It is so simple, isn’t it? However, the devil is in the details. The federal model in India may be unattractive because South Sudan has been virtually under a centralized system that is abhorrent hence the loud demand for a federal system.

In contrast, the USA federal model may be of too much independence to the states when, for example, one state allows capital punishment while the other doesn’t. For South Sudan a balance has to be struck. People may need to look at the Switzerland or German federal model which may be of interest to study. However, cut and paste may not work but adaptation to the felt needs in South Sudan may not be a bad idea.

Conclusion

The concerned Jieng community elders have made a giant leap for federal system to be adopted in South Sudan. This is an encouraging move that should be appreciated by any fair-minded individual. Unlike those who only care for their stomachs, and kith and kins, the Jieng elders have shown that leading from the front is necessary at times for a better South Sudan.

One reservation, though, is about the proposal for 23 states in the federation. The proposal is an economic nightmare particularly in the short term. However, it may be appropriate in the long term when economic growth is picking up at a higher rate but it should also be the prerogative of each state in consultation with the central government either to break up into more states or not. For now let’s stick to 10 states federation as the most convenient for a start.

In conclusion, adoption of a federal system of government is the only way forward in building a strong united and prosperous South Sudan where no single ethnic group, no single region and no single individual will be supreme in grossly mismanaging the affairs of the nation. Federalism as the utilization of diversities to the maximum will likely accelerate development and this, hopefully, will turn South Sudan into a paradise on earth for all as living standards improve tremendously.

Riek Machar & the rebels are not ready for peace

BY: Peter Mayom, USA, JUL/28/2014, SSN;

“Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle the conflict by peaceful means,” Ronald Reagan.

With world’s attention turned to war between Israel Defense Forces and Hamas and the fight between Russian-backed separatists and Ukraine government, which subsequently led to the downing of Malaysian passenger airplane, South Sudan’s peace talk will now be put on the back burner. The focus is on brokering ceasefire in the Middle East and the shooting down of Malaysian passenger plane in Ukraine.

As the rest of the world deals with these new crises, it is time for Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to stop facilitating, encouraging, and sponsoring Riek Machar’s futile regional tours.

Two months ago he was flown to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to sign ceasefire and to commit to formation of transitional government within 60 days with President Salva Kiir. However, Riek Machar has forgotten the reason why IGAD or AU brought him to the Ethiopian capital.

Instead of devoting his time to peace negotiations, he and his top lieutenants are busy winning and dining at some of the finest restaurants or hotels in the region while his followers, Nuer peasants, are battling the elements and starving in South Sudan.

Five months in the bushes would make anyone crave for delicacies long-left in Juba after the war broke out. Living like kings, enjoying modern amenities, and shaking hands with leaders of the region alone would not help the people currently crammed in the UNMISS camps in South Sudan or refugees lacking basic needs in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

Machar needs to recall the condition he was in two months prior to his arrival in Addis Ababa, which I think was still a luxurious one compared to the living conditions of his fighters.

He must think about the children dying right now fighting his useless war and has to be serious about bringing this conflict to an end.

Not mindful of the situation he left his rebel forces in when he flew to Addis Ababa, Machar has done everything except making peace a first priority. Right after he signed and later violated the ceasefire with President Salva Kiir, he visited Nairobi, Kenya to meet Uhuru Kenyatta.

Then he took off for South Africa to hold talks with Jacob Juma. And not long after that he went to Djibouti.

He alleges that his visits are meant to educate the leaders of those countries on the genesis of the war and how to bring about a long-lasting peace to South Sudan.

Well, let Machar be reminded that peace will not come to South Sudan while he and his group are occupied with telling foreign leaders how bad Salva Kiir’s government is and what these leaders can do to make him step down as president. He and his group need to stay put in Addis Ababa and negotiate peaceful settlement to this conflict.

The visits Machar made to the above mentioned countries have no any bearing on the peace negotiation process. While he was in Djibouti, he was given tours of Djibouti River port, fiber optic and telecommunications systems, according to Sudan tribune.

Other then getting inspired by the advancements in Djibouti and mentally escaping temporarily the enormity of the war he is fighting, how are his regional tours helping people who are facing death from hunger and diseases due to lack of access to food and medicines, respectively, because of war?

They (tours) are of no significance at all. He should be ashamed of himself talking about construction of oil pipeline and exporting oil through Djibouti while his people are dying.

The rebels’ leader has to stop the campaign, tours, and devote time to peace negotiations in Addis Ababa. He should know that African leaders are desensitized by wars and the leaders he talks to would not tell him that he is fighting a senseless war.

He must know that there are also economics and political interests in wars. For that reason, some of these leaders would want to cozy up to him in case he wins the war or becomes the country’s president.

Our country cannot afford this wait-and-see games; it needs peace. Moreover, those mediating the peace are getting paid handsome money. It is sad to say but true, the longer these negotiations go on the better for their pockets.

This is not to negate that IGAD or AU does want to see the war stop. Nevertheless, the burden rests completely on the shoulders of South Sudan’s leaders to end this war. There are no winners in it because we lost and still are losing innocent people who were not party to the genesis of this conflict.

And if Riek Machar still believes he can win this war militarily and install himself president, then he is completely delusional and should seek help before it is too late. He has failed to get rid of Salva Kiir and must give peace a chance.

South Sudan’s civilians living in deplorable conditions in UNMISS and refugees camps deserve peace and they need it now. There are times when individuals who consider themselves leaders rise above their personal interests and work for the good of the masses. This is one of those times.

It is a known fact that Riek Machar wanted to get even with Salva Kiir after he ran away from Juba. That was the reason he mobilized his tribesmen. He surely would have liked to run Kiir out of Juba the way he ran him off.

But that dream was long dashed months ago. What is attainable and at his disposal is to work on bringing peace back to the country and alleviate the suffering of his people.

Is Riek Machar really ready to negotiate peace? The answer is no. He is not there in Addis Ababa to bring peaceful settlement to the conflict.

Here are some of the reasons why I believe he is not ready for peace. Right after he was happily airlifted out of South Sudan, he has been busy creating, doing and calling for things that are most likely to prolong the conflict.

His formation of the so-called “National Committees” is an indication that Machar is not there for a quick solution to the conflict. He is preparing the rebel movement for a long haul. There is no need for these committees if he is willing to hurriedly end the war.

It is understood that “An empty mind is a devil’s workshop”. The leader of the rebels is probably afraid of the proverbial devil and it could be the reason why he is creating the committees because he does not want his elite rebels to saunter the streets of Eastern Africa capitals.

Insistence on the withdrawal of Uganda People’s defense Force (UPDF) tells us that rebels are not yet there to negotiate peace. They want to try again going to Juba after UPDF withdrawal. Signing peace and withdrawing UPDF are totally irrelevant.

The call for federalism at this moment is another reason I believe Machar and the rebels are intentionally trying to delay peace. Federalism is being used as one of the obstacles to peace negotiation process.

The once orphaned and now rebels’ leader-adopted kid called “federalism” did not cause this suffering of our people. He knows really well he is not fighting because of lack of federal system. When he was in the government for eight years, Machar did not do anything to advance the case for federalism.

Why is he calling for federalism now?
First, he wants to get support from Greater Equatoria region, which at least voiced the need for federalism before the war started. He knows the government has the propensity for knee-jerk reaction.

The calculation is that should the government start detaining, prosecuting, muzzling or killing the Equatorians calling for federalism, mass rebellion would ignite in the heart of the government.

The rebels’ leader needs to read the tea leaves. Those scenarios and the joining of his movement en masse by those calling for federalism are not going to happen.

Greater Equatoria does not want to see its cities brought down to ashes as the rebels’ movement has done to Greater Upper Nile region. It will peacefully make its case for that system.

One thing was learned from the rebels after they took control of towns in the Upper Nile region. They do not have respect for national infrastructures or properties.

If they could destroy, ransack or loot their own towns, those whose towns where not reached by the rebels can only imagine what they would have done to their towns had the war gone beyond the Upper Nile region.

Riek Machar and rebels’ intention is to see the whole of South Sudan engulfed in flame. The uprising rebels want to see in Equatoria will not be good for Equatoria and all Equatorians must shun it.

Debate about federalism should not be denounced. There is always going to be the “forbidden fruit” craving. When the government seems to restrict talks about federalism, the more people have the urge to talk about federalism.

And if there continues to be incidents like the one that happened in Maridi County, the government will continue to see the already lower political stocks plummet.

However, before debating federalism, we need to have peace in South Sudan. Whether or not to have federalism in the country is second to stopping the bloodshed taking place right now.

It is my belief that anyone who has not taken up arms and who insists that an endorsement or acceptance of federalism by the government at this time must be a prerequisite to ending the war is a rebel.

The demand for federalism by the rebels is a cheap political maneuver to drag out the war and no one should fall for it. First thing first, let the war end. Then we can talk about federalism.

There are law-makers in the Parliament who represent all sections of South Sudan. They must be part of and parcel to this debate about the system of government.

Federalism is not and will not be the solution to South Sudan’s problems. War didn’t break out in Juba because Riek Machar wanted to have federalism implemented but Kiir refused.

Let’s not deceive ourselves that ushering in federalism will produce an economic mobility in the country. The gap between the haves and the have nots will predictably stay the same no matter what the system is.

What is needed is a political will by the leaders in the country to put people first. Putting the system on paper is not going to change anything as long as the leaders want to seemingly show to the ordinary people that they are extraordinary.

The system the country has now needs to be tinkered with. Presidential powers must be shrunken. For example, the power to remove or appoint governors must be taken away from the president. All states should be allowed to carry out the powers enumerated in the Transitional Constitution.

Proponents of federalism who think that adopting it (federalism) alone will accelerate development and lead to equitable distribution of resources are hallucinating.

Federalism coupled with creation of more states, as Machar and his group propose, would not stop the select few from pocketing the oil money as they did since the signing of CPA. More states would definitely balloon the already huge government’s payroll. And it will be just another recipe for division of the country already divided tribally.

China has 1.3 billion people with only 34 provincial-level administrative units, which are working just fine. The USA, which midwifed South Sudan’s independence, has over 300 million people with 50 states and it is the envy of the world. The notion that creating more states will solve South Sudan’s problem is false.

The campaigns or so-called “charm offensives” Machar is pursuing are self-serving. He knows the atrocities committed by the rebels are going to implicate him. Therefore, he is lobbying the leaders of the region who would work behind-the-scenes to help him avoid going to the International Criminal Court.

Telling people that he is there to explain the genesis of the problem to those leaders he visits with is a pure lie. Knowing very well that he got away with the 1991 Bor Massacre, Machar would be a damn fool if he does not put up some fight diplomatically. And it is the reason why his schedule is loaded with plans to meet African leaders. I would be surprised if he does not take his campaigns to the West.

As I said before, what is needed now is a complete stop to the senseless war. To have federalism or not ought to be debated after guns are silent. The child soldiers dying as we speak do not deserve to die. They want peace and they want it fast.

Prolonging the war will make it difficult to achieve peace. Here are things that will likely happen if peaceful settlement to the conflict is not achieved in short time.

First, the rebel movement could disintegrate into several factions, which will likely turn against themselves.

Second, the mistrust among the rebels’ commanders living lavishly in hotels in Addis Ababa and those in the trenches will start to grow if the war lasts for long. As a result, the ones in the trenches might not honor the agreement even if peace agreement is reached. And that will create militias for South Sudan to deal with long after this conflict comes to an end. Sudan would be there to nurture the militias.

Third, Sudan will start creeping into the disputed areas because it knows South Sudan is a divided house. And sadly, Abyei issue will be shelved for good.

Both government and rebels’ negotiators, this coming round, have to be serious about bringing this war to a halt. How, what and who started the war are of no use at this time.

What the country is longing for is peace. No introduction of new conditions such as federalism and creation of more states are needed to be discussed in order to return the country to normalcy. END


To Bishops Lukudu & Santo: Please stop the desecration of the Catholic Church by Kiir & Igga

EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: JUL/21/2014, SSN;

Whilst the nation profusely bleeds and people keep dying daily, the Holy Catholic Church in Juba seems to be in some spiritual and moral confusion by inexcusably perpetuating its insensitive policy of allowing the two habitual ‘sinners’ in the forms of president Kiir and his vice Wani Igga to continuously desecrate the Holy Catholic Church.

Every Sunday and on other holy occasions of the Catholic faith, since 2005 when they came to town, Kiir and Igga have been accorded the un-sanctified privilege to spew from the Holy pulpit what can only be classified as mendacious and un-Christian statements without any shame or compunction.

But more importantly, however, since the start of their war of genocide on December 15, 2013 when they embarked on the killing of innocent citizens which continues up to this moment, Kiir and Igga have obviously been accorded absolute impunity by our Kator Bishops to keep committing the sin of lying against the 8th Commandment, which clearly states: “THY SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THY NEIGHBOR.”

Every Catholic and Christian, for that matter, has been taught since childhood by our priests and bishops that this particular Commandment absolutely forbids a Catholic or any Christian from ‘telling lies’ which is an abomination against the Lord and one’s own Christian faith.

Furthermore, the Eighth commandment forbids misrepresenting the truth in our relationship with others, doing otherwise means refusal by an individual to commit oneself to moral uprightness.

The opposite, sad to say, is what the poor parishioners are exposed to every Sunday from these two leaders’ regime of duplicity, dissimulation and hypocrisy.

Unfortunately, every Holy Sunday, right from the sacred pulpits of Kator’s St. Theresa Catholic Cathedral and at St. Joseph Catholic Parish Church, either President Kiir or his vice, Igga, has been needlessly accorded the privilege to annoyingly regurgitate lies upon lies that are then widely beamed across the world via SSTV.

Personally, as a Catholic from the cradle, baptized in that Church in Juba, and amongst the first generations of Catholic children educated at Kator Catholic parish, our Italian priest in the late 50′s steadfastly ensured that we never ‘lied’ or stole even a peanut at home (then our poor parents never had any money around).

In Psalms 120:2, it’s says, “Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.” Unfortunately, our two heroically popular bishops in Juba seemingly are failing to deliver and save the poor souls of those devout Church goers being lied to and deceived by Kiir and Igga every Sunday, Christmas and Easter in perpetuity.

Moreover, never in the world, not even at the Holy See at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, has any Pope ever allowed crimes-tainted, genocide perpetrators or morally questionable Catholic and non-Christian presidents, politicians or even princes, ever step into that most Holy pulpit to commit a sin against the Eighth or any Commandments.

The problem, my most dear Bishops, is that, sincerely speaking and after hearing the speeches of those of Kiir and Igga for years, these two are the poorest motivational speakers one can ever think of.

Seriously, there is nothing ever that is inspirational or spiritual in those church speeches ever delivered by either Kiir or Igga, a sincere assessment is that all their tirades at that holy pulpit are very despairing, annoying, irritating and in most cases belligerent.

Whilst most Juba kids who attend these speeches describe Kiir as mundane, boring, confused and rumbling a lot of gibberish not completely understood, a chronically pathological liar who on many occasions promised ‘heaven on earth,’ but only to break his promises and instead brought terror and death, a true Lucifer!

On the other hand, Igga is a national disappointment whose comical and clownish theatrics especially in the church are utterly incongruous, deprecating and embarrassing but above all, boring; even children in the audience only sneeringly laugh just to please him. What a disgrace!

The point, my dear bishops, is that you and the Holy Catholic Church cannot continue being oblivious of the underlying sensitivities and emotions of your devoted church goers, who, let’s be frank here, sacrifice so much just to go to church every Sunday so as to have their down-cast spirits uplifted in the uncertain future looming and the difficulties they confront daily in the country.

Every Sunday, both Kiir and Igga un-repentantly stand before the faithful promising to do so much but deliver nothing, while the people especially your devoted church-goers are starkly faced with harassment, insecurity, hunger and anxiety whether they and their families will wake up alive the next morning.

In all fairness to both your holiness, Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro and Bishop Santo, and with my utmost personal respect as an unwavering Catholic faithful, I wish to reiterate my utmost commendation of the great roles you played in saving the lives and souls of Juba Southern citizens during the long war.

Undoubtedly, as individuals and men of God, your Holiness have been exemplary and well-respected personalities across the country and history most certainly will laudably vindicate the great roles and sacrifices you both made in the country’s evolution to total independence.

But, however, in the nation’s current predicament, whereby the SPLM leadership of Kiir and Igga is allowing innocent lives to be needlessly eviscerated, where everyday living has become a life-or-death struggle, South Sudanese are certainly looking at you, my holy bishops, for salvation and divine intervention.

Surely, the Catholic Church is fully cognizant of the lies, the immorality and deviousness of the Kiir-Igga regime as visibly exemplified by the stubborn refusal and callous intransigence to concede to popular national and international appeal that they step aside and allow a transitional government be formed as resolution to the political and military stalemate.

On that fateful Sunday December 15th, 2013, before Kiir-Igga conspiratorially embarked on the genocide against fellow citizens, it must be recalled that His Grace, Archbishop Paulino Lukudu himself was at president Kiir’s side during the SPLM Convention, praying for reconciliation with him at the church and at Nyakuron.

But, what happened that very shameful night? Kiir and Igga, as pathological liars, whilst publicly assuring your Holiness Archbishop Paulino Lukudu and other bishops of their willingness to peacefully and consensually resolve the internal contradictions within the mis-ruling SPLM and mis-governing GOSS and follow the rule of law, they instead unleashed their killer tribal SPLA and thousands were instantly butchered that very night.

Kiir, obviously, was totally subsumed with tribal hatred of a particular people in Juba and that can’t be tolerated from a leader pretending to be a pious Catholic for that fact, a man freely accorded a privilege he never dreamt about, that of weekly addressing the faithful at St. Theresa Catholic Cathedral, Kator.

Critically, in the aftermath of the murderous SPLA campaign, the Catholic Church at Kator became a refugee camp for the victims of Kiir-Igga’s terror and once again, Archbishop Lukudu and Bishop Santo, you exhibited your true Catholic virtues in saving and placating those poor souls now refugees once again inside their own supposedly independent country.

Psalms 31:18, reads, “Let the lying lips be put to silence.” That, my dear Bishops, is what is now required from you, as representatives of God on the land known as South Sudan nation to speedily withdraw those ‘lying lips’ and terminate the misplaced privilege accorded these two presumed power-hungry leeches the use of the holy pulpit.

This is the gist of this article from a Catholic who considers himself a life-parishioner of Kator, that your holiness MUST stop those lying lips of Kiir and Igga misusing the church for their empty and irritating rhetoric, aka, lies.

Furthermore, Your Holiness, your close association with the Kiir-Igga leadership can be rightly or wrongly presumed that you have become inadvertently involved in the realm of the dirty politics of the nation by supporting and abetting this regime, and as such, must be prepared to expect some criticism.

Of direct relevance, your Holiness can’t replicate the moral ineptitude of Pope Pius XII who despite colluding with the Hilter’s Nazis in Germany in 1939, kept his silence while the Nazi persecuted even those Jews who had converted to Christianity.

In the face of the looting, failed leadership and killings across the country and especially in Juba today where fathers and mothers are shamefully forced to doing their toilet in bottles and cans in the bedroom at night in the presence of their children during the rampant insecurity, the Catholic Church cannot remain oblivious, or at worst, complicit in this criminality.

Whilst common people are barely scratching a living, Kiir and Igga are ostentatiously riding to Kator in expensive fleets of Mercedes limousines, their wives and children living in East Africa like princes and princesses driving nothing less than a Hummer or Porche car.

Destitution is rampant, thanks to failed government of Kiir-Igga, that generations of South Sudanese children are now inevitably condemned to life of misery in perpetuity.

If Jesus Christ ever came to Juba, certainly he would do us and the South Sudan nation the honor of driving these inept, corrupt and sinful leaders from Kator and St. Joseph, just as the Lord drove those exploitative tax-men from the ‘house of His Father.’

Rightly, as reportedly circulated, one of your Catholic priests one Sunday years ago declared how some of these leaders came to Church on Sundays directly from their concubines’ beds unashamedly ‘uncleansed’ and dare to stand up to lecture to the Sunday faithful about ‘morality?….. that was deservedly a bitter statement that sent Kiir into self-imposed exile from Kator for nearly one year.

Finally, quoting again from the Holy Bible, Proverbs 12:22, “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.”

How can the Holy Catholic Church, your lordships, Lukudu and Santo, be a mouthpiece and platform of a regime bent on perpetuation of terror and disaster on your very parishioners?

Silently and unquestionably, the majority of those parishioners are quietly begging your Lordships, Lukudu and Santo, that your continuous propping of these two on the holy pulpits is a painful and unforgivable reminder of their aggravated agonies.

One thing is sure, my most holy bishops, is that these opportunistic and unpopular duo, Kiir and Igga have found a free avenue and are expeditiously exploiting it for their deadwood speeches.

I bet both your Holiness, that in reverse, if Kiir and Igga were the Bishops instead in your places, nobody would ever voluntarily enter their churches. Take my word!

Seriously, your Holiness, our Bishops, the question is, are these two, Kiir and Igga, really morally sanctified and exemplary, or even motivational and inspirational, to be accorded these holy pulpits to vomit their lies every Sunday, and the next, and the next….?

In conclusion, the Holy Scripture tells us in Proverbs 13:5, that “A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.”

Don’t we all hate lying and lies, especially coming from so-called leaders?

I beg for Your Forgiveness and blessing. Amen


Proposed Federal system for future South Sudan: Let’s serialize it Part Five

BY: SINDANI SEBIT, NAIROBI, JUL/18/2014, SSN;

Part 5 of these series focuses mainly on the sources of financial resources for both the Federal Government and Federal states and how the federal resources can be distributed between the federal government and states. It will further illustrate how state resources can be distributed within the states. It will also outline the role of the body that will be responsible for financial resources distribution at the three levels of government.

Before discussing the sources of revenue for both the Federal and State Governments, it’s important to point out here that South Sudan is endowed with vast resources that if managed well, would spur rapid economic development in the country and perhaps transform the country into a middle class country within 15 to 20 years.

With a population of nearly 10 million and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 1,858 in 2011, there is no reason why the economic transformation in South Sudan cannot supersede its neighbours because South Sudan has the highest GDP compared to all countries in the East African Region.

It should also be mentioned here that the GDP referred to above is calculated based mainly on oil income that accounts for 98% of the production in South Sudan. However, South Sudan has other resources that could increase rapidly the GDP if these resources were exploited.

These resources include copper, gold, diamonds, uranium, chromium, manganese, iron ore, zinc, mica, silver, tungsten and hydropower. In addition, one would also need to mention some of the potential economic areas, namely agriculture, forestry, fishery, trade and commerce which could have vastly contributed to boast the economy of the country. Sadly enough these resources are yet to be exploited.

In addition to failure to exploit all the potential of South Sudan, rampant corruption and poor resource distribution by the regime in Juba has, severely stagnated the economic development of the country.

This is due to concentration of resources in the hands of the central government, poor planning by the central government, incompetent leadership, weak governance institutions at the center, lack of separation of powers between the executive, parliament and judiciary so as to ensure accountability, transparency and prudent planning and implementation.

Therefore, as the situation exists now in South Sudan, most of the country resources are used rightly or wrongly in Juba and its environs while the so called states have been neglected.

Judging from the 2014 budget of 17.3 billion SSP whereby a total of 14.098 billion (81.5%) (6.590 billion, to repay doubtable debts, 4.130 billion for central employees and soldiers and 3.130 billion for security) was allotted to the central Government, no kind of imaginable development or services can been rendered at state level.

Therefore, the proposed federal System for South Sudan is a deliberate effort to correct the gross failures created by the current constitution and form of government that exists now.

This can only be done by establishing independent governing institutions at all three levels of federal government. These are aimed at guaranteeing accountability, transparency and prudent planning and resource management.

Secondly, by establishing mechanisms that can distribute resources equitably and equally, to all the federal states as per the population sizes. The objective here is to ensure that these resources reach the intended populations and guarantee that the resources are used for the intended purposes.

In relation to a country, resource is defined as “the means available for economic and political development such as minerals, labour force and armaments” (Free dictionary) or “a country collective means of supporting itself or becoming wealthier as represented by its reserves of minerals, land and other natural assets” (Oxford dictionary) or “is a source or supply from which benefit is produced.

Typically resources are materials, energy, services, staff, knowledge, or other assets that are transformed to produce benefit and in the process may be consumed or made unavailable” (Free encyclopedia).

Therefore in a federal system, the right to collect revenue from resources must also be divided according to the levels of government namely Federal resources and state resources.

1. Federal resources
The federal government resources will include among others that may be regulated by federal law:
a) Natural resources such as mineral and petroleum
b) Customs
c) Immigration
d) Federal courts (federal Supreme Court and Federal Court of Appeal)
e) Value Added Tax (VAT)
f) Assets such as airports, railways, weight and bridges
g) Services such as Federal employees, investments

Therefore, the Federal Government will collect revenue from mineral resources, immigration, customs, courts (Federal courts), VAT, federal investments, income taxes on federal employees, service taxes on airports, railways and weight and bridges. The revenue collected by the Federal government shall all go to the national consolidated fund.

The funds collected by the Federal government are for whole nation and the federal government is not entitled to use it until it is distributed between the federal government and the states. The distribution of this fund shall be done by the Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission.

This is an independent commission which is set up under a constitutional provision purposely to ensure that national resources are collected and distributed between the Federal Government and the federal states according to a formula defined by the constitution which should be 30% for the Federal Government and 70% for the Federal States.

This ratio is purposely established because Federal States are the service delivery organs in the country and so they must be provided with enough resources to effectively and efficiently deliver services according to the needs of the states.

This is meant to offset the current system in Juba where the regions are designated to deliver services to the people yet they helplessly depend on the central government on what is given to them as grants. As usual these grants have always being less than 10% of the national income. As a result the regional governments have failed to deliver services to the people.

2. Federal state resources
The federal state government resources will include among others that may be regulated by state law:
a) Land
b) Games and parks
c) Courts
d) Royalties
e) Services
f) Taxes
g) Loans

Therefore, the federal states revenue sources will include land and housing rates, market taxes, licenses, agriculture, court fees, game and game parks, tourism and recreation services including parking fee and income taxes from state employees and residents. Others are vehicle registration fee, service taxes such for water, sewerage and electricity, road tolls and import and export taxes. However, interstate taxes such not be levied. The states will also get resources from royalties, federal contribution and loans from local banks.

3. Distribution of federal resource between the Federal Government and states
In sharing the national resources at whatever level, the principle of public finance is underpinned by the fact that there shall be openness and accountability, including public participation in financial matters.

The public finance system shall promote an equitable society, and in particular that the burden of taxation shall be shared fairly and revenue raised nationally shall be shared according to the federal constitutional provision of 30% to 70% in favour of the federal states and that distribution of resources at state level is equitable.

Expenditure shall promote the equitable development of the country, including making special provision for marginalized groups and areas in addition to ensuring that the burdens and benefits of the use of resources and public borrowing shall be shared equitably between present and future generations.

The principle shall also guarantee that public money shall be used in a prudent and responsible way. Financial management shall be responsible and fiscal reporting shall be clear.

However, while sharing the federal resources, the following additional criteria should be taken into consideration:

a) The national interest and obligations shall be a priority particularly such as in a state of war and national calamities. This means the Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission must ensure that resources are made available to the Federal Government to meet these challenges before distributing the federal resources according to the formula set out in the constitution. In such situation, the federal government is required to come out with concrete budget proposals that shall be reviewed by the commission to ensure that they meet legitimate needs that are in the interest of the nation. Thereafter the commission with present such request to the Federal Parliament for debate and approval. Once approved these funds shall be credited to the emergency fund account created for this purpose.

b) The need to ensure that State governments are able to perform the functions allocated to them
In order to ensure that the annual federal resources are shared between the federal government and the state governments according to the stipulated formula, this money shall be calculated on the basis of the most recent audited accounts of revenue received and approved by the federal Parliament.

4. Distribution of 70% of the federal resources among the states
The distribution of federal resources among the states shall be shared according to population size in each state. This is to ensure equity in distribution of resources among the states and guarantee that every citizen in each state gets its correct share of the national resources and services.

This means that states with large populations will get more money than those with low population. This is because high population density means there is greater need for more services such as health, education and road infrastructure. Demand for housing, water and electricity increases with increasing population in addition to other social demands such as recreation, sporting and urbanization.

Therefore once the 70% of the Federal funds is credited to state allocation account, the Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission shall calculate the amount to be allocated to each state according to the population of the state. This shall be done independent of the state governments so as to avoid undue pressure exerted on the commission by the state governors. The population of the state shall be calculated according to the latest census taking into consideration the country’s average annual population growth rate.

5. Distribution of state resources to the counties
The state resources that shall be distributed among the counties of each state shall include funds received from the federal government and the funds collected by the state. All these constitute the state revenue.

While distributing these funds, the Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission should first consider the state government budget which should not exceed 30% of the total state revenue. This must be the budget approved by the state parliament. Having allocated the amount to the state government, the rest of the funds (70% of the total) shall be distributed among the counties based on the following criteria:

a) The fiscal capacity and efficiency of county authorities to absolve the funds;
b) Developmental and other needs of counties are ensured
c) Economic disparities within and among counties and the need to remedy them is considered seriously
d) Affirmative action in respect of disadvantaged areas and groups is upheld

Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission

This commission shall be established through a constitutional Act like other independent commissions established under this Act. This means members of the commissions are:
• Subject only to the Federal constitution and law
• Independent and not subject to direction or control by any person or authority
The Commission members shall be nominated and appointed by the President/Prime minister subject to approval by the federal parliament. It shall be composed of:
• Four persons who are not members of parliament nominated by various political parties represented in the federal Parliament according to their strength
• Permanent Secretary in the ministry of finance
• Two persons nominated by the Public Service Commission. These should not be members or employees of the commission
• One person nominated by the Judicial Service Commission who is not a member or employee of the commission

Person nominated to be appointed to this commission shall have extensive professional experience in financial and economic affairs or should be a qualified lawyer in case of the representative of the judicial service commission

The commission shall be charged with the following responsibilities
1. Ensure that the revenue raised by the federal government is shared according to the constitutional stipulated sharing formula of 70% revenue going to the states and 30% remaining with the federal government
2. Make recommendations concerning basis for the equitable sharing of state revenue to the counties
3. Make recommendations on the matters concerning financing of, and financial management by state governments
4. While formulating the recommendations, the commission should seek to consider the following:
• National interest
• Public debt and other national obligations
• Ensure that state governments are able to:
a) Perform their functions
b) Development needs
c) Economic disparities within the counties in each state
d) Affirmative action in regard to the disadvantaged areas and groups within the states
• Population density of each state
• Desirability of the county and predictable allocations of revenue
• Need for flexibility in responding to emergencies
• When appropriate define and enhance the revenue services of the federal and state governments
• Encourage fiscal responsibility
5. Determine, publish and regularly review a policy in which it sets out criteria for disadvantaged or marginalized area within states
6. Submit recommendations to the senate, federal parliament, federal executive, state assemblies and state executive

In conclusion, the proposed federal system intends to deliberately establish a robust and independent revenue allocation and distribution mechanism that first aims at fighting corruption and money laundering at any level of the federal government. The objective is to ensure that national resources are distributed equitably and transparently between the federal government and states and among the states.

The second objective is to curtail or obstruct the federal Government from garrisoning funds in the Federal capital instead of ensuring that states have resources for development and service delivery.

The third objective is to ensure that all federal states get equal chance for rapid and equal development. This means all South Sudanese will have access to basic services regardless of where they live or settle. The overall intention is to avoid the current constitutional loopholes that have resulted in amassing all the national resources in the hand of the central government giving no chance to the regions to access resources and foster development.

Currently the regions are totally dependent on Juba government for their existence but the federal system aims to put the states in-charge of their own affairs and promote equal development and growth.

Due to the fact that many South Sudanese have misunderstood Federalism as a system aimed at sending other South Sudanese away from Equatoria or other parts of the country though is absolutely far from it, part 6 of these series shall focus on the rights of individuals and citizens in the proposed Federal Republic of South Sudan.

The aim of serializing this system is to enable South Sudanese fully understand what is being proposed. We try here and there to compare the proposed system with the current one so as to see the advantaged and disadvantages.

Sindani Sebit
Nairobi; Kenya


Proposed Federal system for future South Sudan: Let us serialize it (Part 4)

BY: SINDANI SEBIT, NAIROBI, JUL/15/2014, SSN;

The Part 4 of these series focuses essentially on the proposed judicial system in a Federal Republic of South Sudan. It outlines the basic aim of the judicial system, its composition and independence, the structures at the Federal and Federal State levels of the country; and the role of the Judicial Services Commission promoting the independence of the judiciary, facilitating the accountability and transparency of the entire judicial system.

The independence of the judicial system is crucial and paramount if the country is to uphold and protect the rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens, ensure accountability, justice, equality and equity for all people regardless of colour, creed, tribe, ethnicity, religion and sex.

Therefore the aim of the judicial system is therefore to ensure that nobody is above the law and everybody is accountable for his/her actions according to the Federal Constitution and also to promote fair judgment, equal treatment before the law and protect all rights of the citizens regardless of their standing in the society.

The purpose of this article is therefore to provide the people of South Sudan with the basic knowledge of the kind of judicial system that will protect them under a federal system of governance as opposed to the current subjected judicial system in South Sudan. It is hoped that constructive feedback and suggestions will be generated.
Judiciary

Fair judicial system is important for any citizen of a country to enjoy his/her liberties and rights. Judicial system that is independent and based on transparency and accountability guarantees equality and equity, it promotes harmony, unity and togetherness because nobody will be considered to be above the low. It creates and ensures confidence among the citizenry because of the grounded belief that they are protected, their property is protected and that none of them will be subjugated, oppressed and denied his/her right to live, enjoy, marry, acquire and own property.

Therefore, the authority of the Judiciary in a Federal Republic of South Sudan shall emanate from the people and shall be vested in and exercised by courts and tribunals as stipulated by the Federal Constitution.

The courts and tribunals should be grounded by the fact that justice shall be done to all regardless of status of a person concern and justice shall not be delayed. Courts shall endeavour to promote alternative forms of dispute resolution such as reconciliation, mediation, arbitration and traditional dispute resolution mechanisms and shall ensure that justice shall be administered without regard to procedural technicalities and that purpose and principles of the constitution are protected and promoted.

On the other hand, the courts shall ensure traditional dispute resolution mechanisms shall not be used to contravene any bill of rights, promote acts that are contrary to justice or morality and not result in outcomes that are repugnant to justice and morality and that the traditional dispute resolution mechanisms shall not be inconsistent to the constitution or written law of the country.

Independency of Judiciary

The Judiciary in Federal Republic of South Sudan will not be subjected to any authority other than the constitution and law of the Republic. It cannot be subject to control or direction of any person or authority and the office of the Judge of the Federal Superior court shall not be abolished as long as there is subordinate office holder. All judge salaries and benefits shall be charged to a consolidated fund and members of Judiciary shall not be subjected to any action or suit resulting from anything done or omitted in good faith in the lawful performance of a judicial function. This is meant to guarantee the independence of the judiciary. It means that the judiciary shall be independent of the executive and parliament. It will have its budget and tenure of office.

Composition of Judiciary

The judiciary proposed here will include judges of Federal Supreme Court, Federal Court of Appeal, Federal State High Court Judges, Magistrates, Other judicial officers and Staff of the judiciary. The offices of the judiciary shall comprise the Chief justice as the Head of the judiciary, the Deputy Chief justice as Deputy Head to the judiciary, Chief registrar as Chief Administrator of and accounting officer to the judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission. The role and functions of the Judicial Service Commission will be outlined later in this article.

Structure of the Courts

The courts in the federal Republic of South Sudan shall be structured as follows: 1) Superior courts. The superior courts include the Federal Supreme Court, Federal court of Appeal and state high courts. 2) Subordinate courts that include the magistrate courts and court martial courts. The courts will be distributed according to the two levels of administration. Therefore at the Federal level, the following courts shall be established:

1. Federal Supreme Court
2. Federal Court of Appeal
3. Any other court prescribed by the Federal constitution such as commerce and trade laws, employment and labour laws at Federal level.
Meanwhile the following courts shall be established at State level of governance:
1. High Court
2. Magistrate court
3. Martial courts
4. Any other courts that are prescribed by state constitution such as commercial courts, employment and labour laws, environmental and land laws, etc

Federal Supreme Court

The Federal Supreme Court shall be the highest Federal court in the country and shall be headed by the Chief Justice deputized by the Deputy Chief Justice. Its composition will include 5 judges as will be determined by the Federal Constitution. This court is charged with appellate jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from:

1. Court of appeal
2. Any other court or any matter of public importance or interest

Federal Court of Appeal
This is the second highest court in the country and shall comprise of 18 judges as prescribed by the Federal Constitution. The constitution shall ensure that one judge is appointed to the court from each of the proposed 18 Federal states. If the number of Federal States is more or less than 18, the number of judges should also be varied to ensure that each state is represented by one judge in this court. This is to create equal representation and guarantee fair administration of justice in the country.
The court shall be headed by the President of Federal Court of Appeal elected by its members in their first sitting. The principal role of this court is to hear and determine cases from:
1. Referred from State High courts
2. Questions arising from interpretation of Federal constitution including electoral cases
3. Cases arising from interstate conflicts
4. Any other court or tribunal prescribed by act of Federal parliament

State Courts

The state courts include the high courts, magistrate courts, chiefs’ courts and any other form of traditional courts.

High Court

This court consists of number of judges as prescribed by the state constitution. It shall be headed by Principal Judge elected by its members in its first sitting. Its fundamental functions shall be to hear and determine:
1. Unlimited jurisdictions in criminal or civil matters
2. Issues related to the bill of rights and fundamental freedoms
3. Appeals from decisions from tribunals and magistrate courts
4. Questions arising from interpretation of state constitution
5. Whether any law is consistent with or in contravention of the state constitution

Magistrate Courts

The state parliament shall enact legislation conferring jurisdiction, functions and powers on these courts

Appointment of Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justices and all judges

The posts of Chief justice, his/her Deputy and Judges of the State High Courts are constitutional posts and therefore subject to approval by the Federal Parliament in case of the Chief Justice and his Deputy and Federal State parliament in case of Judges of the State High courts. Thus the Chief Justice and his/her Deputy shall be recommended to the President/Prime Minister by the Judicial Service Commission, approved by the Federal Parliament and then appointed by the President/Prime Minister.

No person shall be appointed by the president to these posts without the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission and approval of the Federal Parliament. Any person appointed without following this due process shall be deemed to have been appointed unconstitutionally and therefore shall not be permitted to assume these offices.

Similarly the same procedure shall be followed in the appointment of Judges of the Federal State High Courts with the exception that the candidates will be recommended to the State Governor by the State Branch of the Judicial Service Commission and will be approved by the State Parliament before appointment by the State Governors. In this case the Federal President/Prime Minister has no powers to appoint any Federal State High Court Judge. Any attempt to do so shall be deemed unconstitutional and such appointee shall not be permitted to assume the office of judge in that state. This is to protect against corruption, nepotism, favouritism, equality and equal opportunity.

Therefore any person who intends to be appointed to any position in the judiciary shall present an application to the Judicial Service Commission either at federal or state levels depending on the position and the Judicial Service Commission shall ensure competitiveness and transparency in processing the application in accordance to the rules and regulations of employment as stipulated in the Judicial Service Commission act.

Qualification of the judges

In case of Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Judges of Federal Supreme Court, the candidate must have a degree from recognized university, has high moral character, integrity and impartiality and has experience of at least 10-15 years as member of superior court judge or distinguished academia, judicial officer or such experience in other relevant legal field. This is to ensure competency, integrity and respect.

For Judges of Federal court of appeal, the candidate should have at least a degree from recognized university, experience of at least 7-10 years as member of superior court judge or distinguished academia, judicial officer or such experience in other relevant legal field while for Judges of High court, the candidate should have at least a degree from recognized university and has experience of at least 7-10 years as member of superior court judge or distinguished academia, judicial officer or such experience in other relevant legal field.

Tenure of office of the Chief Justice and other Judges

In order to ensure that the Chief Justice and other Judges have confidence in their work and not to be intimidated by the powers that be, these judicial officers shall have tenure of offices which shall be prescribed by law according to retirement age or maximum tenure period of 10 years.

Removal judicial officers from Office
Judicial Officers may be removed from the office only on the grounds of:
1. Inability to perform the functions due to mental or physical injury
2. Breach of a code of conduct
3. Bankruptcy
4. Incompetence
5. Gross misconduct
The process of removal of judge shall be initiated by the Judicial Service Commission in accordance with rules and procedures prescribed in the act of Judicial Services Commission. This is intended to protect the judicial officers from undue interference by the executive and to ensure they perform their work independently without any pressure from anybody.

Judicial Service Commission (JSC)

This body shall be established so as to ensure the independence of judiciary system. The functions of JSC shall be to:
1. Promote and facilitate the independence and accountability of the judiciary
2. Ensure efficient, effective and transparent administration of justices
3. Recommend to the President/Prime minister persons to be appointed as judges
4. Review and make recommendations on the condition of service for:
• Judges and judicial officers
• Staff of the judiciary
5. Investigate and remove or dismiss registrars, magistrates and other judicial officers and staff
6. Ensure there is continuous education for judges and judicial officers
7. Advise the Federal and state governments on improvement of efficiency of the administration of justice

The JSC shall be guided in its work by competitive and transparent process of appointment of judiciary, equality, fairness, justice and promotion of gender equity. The JSC shall be composed of the following officers:
1. Chief Justice as the chairperson of the JSC
2. One federal supreme court judge elected by supreme court judges
3. One Federal court of appeal judge elected by the judges of federal court of appeal
4. One high court judge and one magistrate, elected by members of association of judges and magistrates
5. Attorney general
6. Two advocates elected by the professional association
7. One representative nominated by the public service commission
8. Chief registrar of the judiciary; as secretary to the JSC
9. Three public representative appointed by the prime minister subject to approval by the Federal Parliament
10 Out of the 13 members at 30% must women

The varied composition here is aimed at creating fair representation, pulling together varied opinions, democratic participation and ensuring accountability and transparency. Tenure of the members JSC should be 5 years except for the Attorney General and Chief of Staff.

In conclusion, the aim of setting up such elaborate judicial system is to bring justice and equality to the country. It is to protect the civil rights and freedoms through independent judicial system and ensure equal participation in the decision process of administration of justice. In addition, the system must be judged to be transparent, accountable and responsive to the people.

Furthermore, this is a deliberate attempt to remove corruption, nepotism, favouritism and preference that can work against the desire to have just system in South Sudan. Finally it is a deliberate course to ensure that the judicial system cannot not be subjugated, interfered with and made to be an instrument of oppression, subjugation and denial of fundamental freedoms and rights.

Article 5 of these series will focus mainly on the sources of financial resources for both the Federal Government and Federal states and how the federal resources can be distributed between the federal government and states. It will further illustrate how state resources can be distributed within the states. It will also outline the role of the body that will be responsible for financial resources distribution at the three levels of government.

Sindani Sebit
Nairobi; Kenya
Disclaimer: views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Agok Takpiny is a concerned South Sudanese in Melbourne Australia. He can be reached on agoktakpiny@ymail.com


How Federalism becomes connected to Rebellion?

By: Dengdit Ayok, JUBA, JUL/07/2014, SSN;

Federalism in South Sudan’s Political History:

Federalism was a historical demand by South Sudanese in the former unified Sudan. And in the light of this fact, the demand for federalism in our political arena in South Sudan nowadays is not something new at all, because our leaders demanded for it in 1950s and 1960s of the last century.

Dr Mansour Khalid, a great Sudanese intellectual, writer and historian, asserted in one of his books that the southern Sudan MPs in the Sudanese parliament in 1950s demanded for federalism.

Late Hon. Benjamin Loki who was then representing Yei, voiced out this political demand in the parliament on December 12, 1955. He suggested the formation of political parties conference in order to come up with the position of including the emergence of a federal state in the declaration of the independence of the Sudan.

The demand was rejected by the northern political parties, but they later on accepted the inclusion of the following provision into the declaration of the Sudan’s independence: “The demand by Southern Sudanese for federation shall be put into consideration”, but it was soon thrown into the dustbin of history and considered to be a political sin and treason.

Among South Sudanese politicians who demanded for federation were: Stanislaus Abdalla Baysama, Both Diu, Aggrey Jaden, William Deng Nhial and Fr. Saturnino Lohore.

The demand for federation for the second time in 1956 Round Table Conference after the first demand for it in the 1947 Juba Conference, later on resulted into the assassination of William Deng in 1968, three years after the the Round Table Conference and the assassination Fr. Saturnino Lohore at Sudanese-Ugandan borders.

The plan for his assassination was coordinated by the Sudanese Military Intelligence with Ugandan Military Intelligence.

Hitherto, federalism is a historical demand that had resurfaced in Equatoria region conferences.

Resurfacing of Federalism after self-determination

A Technical Committee was formed in 2011 after the announcement of the results of the referendum in which our people exercised the right for self-determination. The Committee was under the chairpersonship of Justice John Luk Jok and its task was to write a constitution for the new country.

The SPLM party that had been talking about ‘How the Sudan should be governed, not who should govern it’ came up with a system of governance known as ‘Decentralized democratic system’ which was accepted and adopted by its members in the committee and in the parliament two days before the declaration of the independence.

It must be clearly stated here that the issue of system of governance is not a major reason that triggered the ongoing war in the country.

The main issue that triggered the war is originally an internal party issue. It was the amendment of basic documents namely: SPLM Manifesto and its Constitution, and more specifically, the issue of open and secret vote that determines the election of the party’s chairperson who should later on become the SPLM presidential candidate in 2015 general election.

Machar opted for secret vote and Kiir opted for open vote. The two gentlemen were on their two opposite directions!

The last Equatoria Conference came at the time in which the country is facing a terrible fighting. It was at this time that the demand by the people of South Sudan in Equatoria for federalism became connected to the rebel’s agenda.

The rebels held their own conference in Nasir in February this year. Federalism was one of the recommendations of that conference as the best system of governance.

Alfred Lado Gore, the second man in the hierarchy of rebellion, who is from Equatoria region, and his boss Riek Machar adopted the internal demand for federalism by the Equatorians for the purposes of political polarization in order to win the Equatorians to their side and support their rebellion.

There were secret communications in this regard.

Machar’s call for federalism is not genuine

The call by Riek Machar for federalism is not genuine and it is not emerging from his personal thinking and conviction because Equatorians have been calling for federalism before the independence and during the two year time he has been occupying the position of Vice President after independence and he never joined them or backed their call.

Therefore his abrupt call now for federalism is a mere tactical necessity for winning the people of the region to his side to support his rebellion and convert their peaceful call for federalism into violence and the use of guns; and hence push their region into abyss and oven of war.

And indeed the rebels have succeeded in communication with the people of Equatoria, but their attempt to convert the peaceful call of the Equatorians into a hostile demand has drastically failed.

The country almost slipped into another chaotic situation of bloodshed last week, worst than that which took place in Juba, Bor, Malakal and Bentiu and other areas that had witnessed war since December, but all the efforts to do were frustrated.

The attempt was preceded by strong war propaganda in form of rumors spearheaded by pro-rebels websites such as: (Nyamalepedia, South Sudan Tribune and South Sudan News Agency).

The rebel activists took their time and carried out their war propaganda in social media by circulating rumors in order to create confusion and strike the internal cohesion through dangerous rumors, such as claiming that President Salva Kiir was planning to arrest the three governors of the region (Konga, Bakasoro and Lobong) to kill them.

The two governors (Konga and Bakasoro) played a great role in refuting these rumors. Their public appearance to speak to address the citizens was a great contribution towards maintaining relative peace and the saving the fragile situation.

War aggrandizement and targeting the Dinka tribe

The most dangerous part of this propaganda is that the rebel activists do not differentiate between the Dinka tribe as a community and the government of South Sudan as an official body that is running the affairs the country on behalf the people. To them, the Dinka tribe is the government and vice-versa.

The essence of their mobilization and polarization is calling on the other tribes of South Sudan and allying them against the Dinka tribe, not the government of the Republic of South Sudan and its.

Have you now seen how those who had claimed to be fighting for democracy are now calling and trying to wipe away the Dinka from existence instead of fighting to bring about the democracy they passionately claimed?

I personally appreciate what the governor of Central Equatoria state Hon. Clement Wani Kong said on Thursday, July 3, 2014 in his last press conference, when he clearly stated that: “I will not accept federalism that is brought through blood”.

This was a clear rejection of bringing about federalism through the use of an armed violence. This is what Mr. Jacob K. Lupai articulated in his last article published here on this website, and I must acclaim him for that.

War must be rejected for reasons well known to all of us. My personal opinion on federalism is clear. I don’t reject it and I don’t oppose those who are talking about it.

It is their legal right to talk about it peacefully. And I have added my voice to those who have proposed earlier that we better sit down as South Sudanese to discuss the system of governance that is fit for our country in a national constitution conference, and reach consensus around it, be it federalism or unitary or parliamentary system or any other system we deem fit.

I have also said that the current ‘Decentralized system’ doesn’t differ very much with federalism. In a nutshell, federalism is devolution of powers between the central government and the states and equitable sharing of resources in one country.

Our states now have their executive, legislative and judicial organs with fair share of national resources, and there is separation between central and state powers in the constitution.

I reached this conclusion after making a thorough comparison between the two, Decentralized and Federalism.

Conclusion
I believe in peace and peace will surely prevail. The pursuit of peace will overcome the propaganda of praising war and bloodshed and all the ongoing attempts aimed at plunging the country, particularly Equatoria, into another atrocious and horrendous war like the ongoing war in Upper Nile region, will surely die away.

I call on all my fellow South Sudanese in the country and around the globe to work for peace and stop war propaganda and sowing seeds of hatred, tribalism, disunity, discord and aggrandizement of war through social media. Peace will surely come and war propaganda will end.

O God, we praise and glorify you
For your grace on South Sudan,
Land of great abundance,
Uphold us united in peace and harmony.

Mr. Ayok lives in Juba. He is reachable at dengdit_a@yahoo.com

Federal System: Will it quell the incessant rebelling & militias in South Sudan?

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, Lawyer, JUBA, JUL/04/2014, SSN;

As the people of south Sudan are focusing on how to resolve the crisis which has engulfed the nation and almost paralysed the country and brought peace back to its folds, there is now a noisy call for federalism as a system of governance to which the country should be governed.

One would wonder as to what should first be undertaken and what should come the second. Is it peace that should be given a chance so that our people who have left their places of residence in fear of insecurity and who are massively tenting up in all UN camps across the country or the federal system of government that should first be discussed and maybe implemented if accepted by all without coercion leaving our vulnerable children, women and elderly in such a dire need of help, with just one meal to push on or nothing at all?

Are we really up to how best this country should be governed? It is very much disheartening to hear people every day talking about federalism as the best system of governance which is supposed to be heeded leaving out scores of many other issues to put in place so that they pave way for the best system of governance, be federalism or any other best system that the country and its people decide.

This writer is not against federalism as the best system of governance to be adopted in south Sudan but the ways and procedures that are being undertaken now with regards to federalism are not healthy because it would further divide our people on regional and tribal bases hitherto stabbing at the back and setting back the little gains we have in place now.

Federal system of governance is good with the society that has overstepped tribal mindsets and regionalism. It is good with that society with which the level of modernity and education exceeded the ones we have in south Sudan.

Federal system of governance is healthy and good with the society which does see itself not with regional and tribal eyes but with the society which does see itself as one people and one country who shared some communal traits.

When the crisis enraging on in our country began, it wasn’t about how best the country should be governed and it has nothing to do with the governance of the country but was triggered by the fact that some groups of people were so inquisitive and greedy for themselves not even the country that they were worried about.

So talking about federal governance leaving untouched how to resolve the root causes of the crisis is like leaving an elephant untouched and stabbing the shadow.

I strongly stand with my most respected people, my brothers and sisters from greater Equatoria on how best this great nation should be governed and I caution them to be watchful enough that their healthy idea of governing the country shouldn’t be stolen and used by some disgruntled group of people whose hands are fully tainted with blood of our innocent children, women and elderly who have perished for not good reason to die.

I have never ever heard of an Equatorian having a militia or rebelling to kill his/her own southern brothers except very recently with Alfred Ladu Gore, who was a person I have an utmost respect for. These people are fond and obviously known of their lust for power at the expense of the people.

In conclusion, it is pertinent that the best thing to do is to firstly bring to an end this useless and senseless war that has caused us so much in human lives and properties. It is when we are in peace and stability that we will think wisely on how best our country should be governed and what best system should we apply that will bring convenient and acceptable systems of government.

The quest for good governance by the people of south Sudan has historically been documented quite a long time ago and it would be good if my great people across south Sudan come and sit together not on regional and tribal bases but as brothers and sisters who are one people to discuss issues of national concern and adopt a unified system of governance to which our country should be governed so that we have lasting peace for our people and our country.

We have suffered long enough and we have lost many of our people since the struggle up to now. It would be fatal enough and hence immature if we partially solve the problem that I think is commonly facing all of us.

Having federal system of governance in place currently wouldn’t curb the incessant rebellion and a culture of militarism that has been adopted as short-cut way of getting employment in south Sudan, it would further aggravate the situation.

Let’s collectively face those thugs whose thoughts are to kill innocent children and women and set ablaze and loot other people’s properties. We better collectively say no to the culture of militancy and rebellion which is incompatible and inconsistent with the established formal legal procedures of the nation.

Let’s solve the problem that is causing both the country and its people before embarking on how to governance the country whose its inhabitants are scattered and tenting up in the IDPs camps.

We may have federal system of governance in south Sudan but the culture of taking up guns and killing vulnerable people just under the pretext of dictatorial tendencies with hope of being appeased and awarded senior positions in the government will not cease.

Sudan was a federal state but it has not stopped south Sudanese from fighting with the government that was centered in Khartoum. What difference would this federalism make in south Sudan? This means that you don’t have any remorse to those who are living in those dire situations in the UN camps and they seem not to be part of your country.

Remain Blessed.

Tong Kot is a Practicing Legal Counsel at Deng & Co. Advocates and can be reached at: tong_kkk@ymail.com.


Equatorians and the Federation of South Sudan: Analysis

BY: Chuol C. Puoch, JUL/01/2014, SSN;

Greater Equatoria lies in the southern part of the Country and is made up of many different small ethnicities divided into the three states of Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria under the leadership of Bangasi Joseph Bakasoro in the west, Clement Wani Konga and Louis Lobong Lojore in central and Eastern Equatoria states respectively. The region is currently represented in the Central government by James Wani Igga as the Vice President of the Country with other Equatorian sons and daughters holding ministerial positions in the government of Salva Kirr Mayardit.

Position of Equatorians in the current conflict and its dangers

Often, Equatorians go after democracy, federalization and good governance which they never achieved throughout their life in the history of South Sudan. However, hearing anyone calling for democracy and federalism is in their utmost interest and they would, in one way or another, go for it.

On the other hand, it seems not only difficult, but also undo-able for them to rise up on the streets and in the bushes to bring down the government of Salva Kirr, which has humiliated them for quite so long.

In spite of the military strength of Riek Machar and Lado Gore, Equatorians are still thinking that going to the bushes to bring kirr’s government down means life risking with no benefits. That is absolutely not true!

According to how I look at it, Equatorians are digging their own grave for them to be disgracefully cleansed and maimed by Kirr Mayardit in Juba and other areas in Equatoria.

That will be a great melancholy though it’s known before it happens. Equatorians are calling for democracy and federalism in fear and suspicion of falling into the grave that they are digging.

Honestly, how do you think you would succeed yet, you understand that the only language that works at the moment and understandable to Kirr is the gun?

How would you call for federalism which is in the opposite interest of Gen. Kirr, if at all you are allying with him?

You are exactly doing the opposite inside and for that, I must patriotically urge you to rethink, based on my prediction of what is going to happen.

Absolutely I am calling you to wake up and do what we (concerned peace loving South Sudanese) expect you to do! I don’t see the reason why you should risk your life by making that suicide because telling Kirr to accept federalism while sleeping in your houses is a suicide.

Most of you have seen the Juba massacre and Nuer will absolutely do nothing to bring those lives back. It’s his (Kirr) leadership culture and you should understand that before attempting to make that unwanted suicide.

It’s worth mentioning that Kirr is on his last digit to quit counting his days in South Sudan presidency but, I would like to make it very clear that he would not leave with only and already done massacre of Nuer while there is a great opportunity for him to do more especially in Equatoria.

Be very careful on that. He may decide anytime soon to cause tension in Juba as you are as well provoking him with federalism advocacy and he can do the worst massacre ever witnessed in the history while he is on the run.

What are you waiting for? Who is going to fight for your objectives and rights? When are you going to realize that this is the right time?

Who are you going to blame at the end of the day? And lastly, but not the least, how do you think even this federalism would work when there is no commitment and sacrifice in doing something as you seem to be doing now?

To borrow John M. Mitchell’s word, “nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.”

The real hero is a man who fights even though he is scared. There is no food for a lazy man!

Way forward for Equatorians in the current conflict

First and foremost, I would like to bring it to the attention of some individuals, and not tribes or groups, who think that Equatorians are merely voiceless and harmless population where anyone should decide upon them insolently according to his/her wills. That is completely rubbish and immature thinking.

Equatorians are people of patience and endurance; they are people of peace, love and coexistence and more importantly, they are people of unity and determination.

You may give them more than seven pinches before they give you the first warning of not to do it again. You may take their houses in their land, but still they can host you as a friend and brother.

You may even tend to remove them from their ancestral land and still, they can call you not an enemy but a friend who may only need dialogue. However, some tribes and groups of people have taken their behavior contrarily.

In fact, it is life risking coming up in Juba saying that I support federalism but Clement Wani Konga did it, Joseph Bangasi Bakasoro and Louis Lobong Lojere of western and eastern Equatoria states did it respectively.

However, the question remains unanswered, and the way forward seems to have not yet been instructed by these governors in their comments on federalism.

Equatorians, men and women, are at the juncture with their hands on the waists wondering who to follow and where to go: There is the then South Sudan of humiliation and unfairness, inequality and domination as the way we came from on one hand, and there is a way to peace, democracy and federalism followed by Riek Machar and the other brutal, bloody, Kirrorized and ethnicized way under Gen Kirr in the other hand.

It is up to their (Equatorian) leaders to define a very quick way for Equatorians and accept all the hardship that are possibly on the way they may take.

What is likely to happen?

“Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer” ~ Jacqeas Prevert. That is exactly what is going to happen in Equatoria.

I am afraid Gen. Kirr will soon or later use his decrees on these three governors and replace them with other outstanding sons and daughters within the Equatorians community, just to set brother against brother and family against family. The divide and rule:

Then assassination and depression, complete destabilization of Equatoria region just like Upper Nile region.

Is that what Equatorians are waiting for? Will it, in any case, change the land and the people of Equatoria to any tangible situation? Equatorians will only go back to camps in Uganda, DRC and Kenya for some more years. Equatoria land will only come under destruction given the fact that it’s currently taking the lead in development.

From there, after coming to realize that mistake is made, it will have already made some permanent scars which should have been prevented by now. It will need more efforts for resistance to come to effect because Equatorians will be divided after food and truth.

I think this is the right time for Equatorians to come up and take the lead in achieving the South Sudan we struggled for since 1955 and not this South Sudan of hatred and communal domination and humiliation.

Therefore, the only window of opportunity is for Equatorians to act promptly; they should say enough is enough and force Salva Kirr to either accept peace and step down or face the brave young men of Equatoria led by the three governors.

That is the “ONLY” way before the unwanted maiming operation is laid in Equatoria region. Take care!

Chuol C. Puoch, the writer, is reachable via email: chuolchotson@gmail.com or on twitter @Chuolchot


Peaceful coexistence: How the Equatorians got it right!

BY: Dr Peter Kopling MD, South Sudan, JUN/29/2014, SSN;

The formulas to peaceful coexistence among all tribes in South Sudan already exist. The formulas for bloodshed and destructive coexistence between the tribes in South Sudan do also exist, it comes down to understanding these two paths and deciding what is it that our country needs most and which choice will get us there.

The responses to these two choices are already in plain view and we only need to look no farther than within our communities and we shall discover it has been there all along!

The bitter truth must be told, South Sudan has two regions, one that is stable and stabilizing and the other unstable and destructive. All we need to do is decide what we want, do we want peace, if this be the case then all we need to study are the stable and peaceful regions to see how they do it, how they live with each other, how they treat each other’s lands, neighboring tribes and their belongings to include lands.

If we want a conflicting South Sudan then all we need to do is study the way of life, perception of life and mindset of the unstable region of our nation. How they treat each other, and how they treat all that is important to them and their neighboring tribes.

There can never be peace if we do not take time to understand what is important for others and instead impose our cultural ways on others in their respective ancestral lands.

Colonialism tried this and failed! We are many nations under one, the fact that must not be ignored and the more reason it must be understood and approached delicately not with arrogance.

Without any doubt the Equatorian region emerged as the stable and peaceful part of South Sudan, while the Jiengs land, the destructive part of the Country.

Predating December 2013, the Jiengs land had numerous insurgencies already against the infant government.

So we need to study the prevailing mentalities in the Jiengs land and avoid this if we are to survive as a nation and we must prevent them from exporting these raw materials of death to other parts of South Sudan.

The honest truth is even if the Jiengs region were to announce today their desire to split and form a different country or join the Jalabas, believe you me, the rest of South Sudan will breath a shay and will not beg them to remain as part of the united South Sudan and the Jiengs nation will only end up tearing each other down as long as they maintain their current predatory mentality of glorifying bloodshed and vilifying peacefulness.

It must be pointed out the Equatorian region has numerous tribes of totally different cultures and mentalities although the Jiengs mischievously and derogatorily tend to refer to the Equatorians as if they are a single tribe!

But what they do not realize is they are acknowledging the fact that Equatorians have achieved brotherhood among the different tribes despite of their diversity, which must serve as a role model for South Sudan, if there is still any hope for us to exist as a nation!

What is commonly shared by majority of these Equatorian tribes however is that Godliness and goodness which is praised rather than savagery of bloodshed, disregards to the sacredness of human life misnomer by the Jiengs as bravery.

Equatorian tribes know their ancestral boundaries and they respect these boundaries while the Jiengs have nomadic mindsets! It seems they can go away from their ancestral land and never even miss them, and even bury their national hero away from home with cynical implications!

The Equatorian tribes respect the cultures of one another but more so each tribe loves their ancestral land as they love themselves! One’s very existence for Equatorian tribes are indistinguishable with one’s ancestral lands!

The land is where your father and forefathers are buried, time immemorial! It is what gives meaning to your existence and to life, it is what gives you food, it is also what gives you fishing and hunting’s rights, thus the land is sacred in Equatorian tribes, wars were fought in the past to protect and preserve them not cows, it is on this basis Equatorian initiated the war of independence to preserve this ownership and rights.

Just as the Jiengs protect their cows at all costs, they compose songs to their cows because this is their lifeline, their attachment to their lands does not carry the same significance as to Equatorian just as Equatorian attachments to cows is not the same as among the Jiengs who look at the land as a place for their cows to graze.

Equatorians look at their land as a place that gives them life but also that holds the meaning of their very existence and the ancestral souls and their bones are laid at rest in these lands. Thus it is very customary in most Equatorian tribes; they will go at great costs and heavy expenses to return the remains of their sons and daughters to be buried in their ancestral land among their ancestors for their souls to rest in peace otherwise will keep wandering around until rituals are performed to bring them to their ancestral home and into the family! This return of the dead sons and daughters of the land is from as far as the Americas!

Thus the significance of land for Equatorian has no equivalent in the Jiengs culture. Our Lands are more than the cows to Jiengs! To ignore and belittle the protectiveness of Equatorian with their ancestral land is to belittle their very existence in South Sudan thus to breed disunity!

Unity is indeed the natural result of respect of these things; supreme of them is land, for which we fought the Jalaba for 50 years! This is why we fell off with the Jalabas, how different if not worst are the Jiengs compare to the Jalabas in disregarding ancestral and tribal rights to lands, thus falling off will be a natural consequence unless we are saved by mutual respect AKA Federalism?

Now with these thousands of years of practice of land protections how do the Equatorian relate to each other’s tribe, and land without much of the violence found in the Dinka lands?

You will not find a group of Muru’s or Kuku going to Acholi land and lay claim of an area in Acholi heartland as their own land in disregard to the Acholis, for in the first place why will the Murus do this since they love their ancestral land and are tied spiritually to their lands and people? You will not see any group of Equatorian moving to other territory, forming their own chiefdom and tribal system in other people’s tribal land!

So is there or there is no Kokora between Equatorian tribes although they are many tribes not the same ones? The answer is NO! Migration happens freely and often but on an individual or family basis! Never a whole village uprooting themselves to go occupy the tribal lands of others in the name of whatever is promised to them by whoever! In the first place they will oppose such propositions, which they know outright breeds fights, deaths, and disrupts peace!

When an individual or Muru family decides to move to Acholi land, once they get there, they are always welcomed warmly as guests; they then live by the local norms and customs, as do the owners of the land!

They respect the locals and do not insult them as cowards or call them names such as Nyamnyam or we fought the Jalabas here so now we earned the right to be here. For you cannot visit your brother’s house, while he is hosting you, and start to insult his wife, abuse his children and expect to not be kicked out of your brother’s house simply because he is your brother!

Having fought for independence can not be used to dislodge others from their ancestral land otherwise it was not a war of independence but rather a war of Dinka expansionism and colonization, Otherwise it was not a war against the Jalaba but rather against the Equatorian for their lands.

Being in a relative’s house comes with first recognizing it is not your house but that of your brother, and you also have yours and you are a visitor which comes with responsibility of being beneficial to your host and not being a parasite or affecting your host negatively neither altering his way of life!

Indeed once an Equatorian moves to on other’s tribal territory, he learns the local language, he eats the local food, he practice the local tradition and become essentially one of the local tribe in another words becomes assimilated not disruptive and boastful! If he does not have appreciations of the new tribe he moves to, he simply stays back in his ancestral land and among his people not impose himself on the other tribe, making others miserable just as he is.

This is how peace is maintained among the tribes in Equatoria! No one tribe forcefully settle or grab someone else ancestral land equivalent of cattle rustling in the Jiengs land. This Jiengs government engineers the recent land strife we witnessed between the sisterly tribes of the Acholis and the Ma’dis!

The irony is, those who have no culture of peace try to preach peace to those who are peaceful! Those who have no notion, leave alone, the experience of peaceful intertribal coexistence try to forge what they called building a national identity, which is a red herring for ethnic cleansing given they have neither respect nor appreciation for other tribes thus leading to the Dinkanization project now ongoing to uproot other tribes from their ancestral land! Their war against the Nuer is part and partial of this.

They have no understanding other than that of nomadic life style leading them to preach if we are one nation then all ancestral boundaries are to be erased to allow them to practice their nomadic lifestyle at the expenses of others, from North to South and from east to west that are none Nomadic! This nomadic mindset and the revenge on Equatorian for Kokora are what drives then,even embedded in the Jieng written transitional constitutions.

It is thus only the Jiengs that trespasses all over South Sudan in disregards to other peoples backyard and they have no understanding why this is causing aches for their fellow countrymen, the Equatorian in particular, for this trespassing is in Keeping with Nomadic lifestyle which is never to be nationalized unless to our own perils for all we need to see is what it has done to the Dinkaland from which they are fleeing!!!

In the Jiengs lands, the cow reign supreme, and whoever can, will steal what he does not have in the process, shedding human blood! Thus it is a culture of thieves and bloodshed utterly incompatible with the prevailing Equatorian cultures! Indeed if there is any hope for the Jiengs, they must become like Equatorian, Hold human lives above cows life and the love for ancestral lands supreme above the love for cows. How can you love others if you do not love yourselves more than your love for animals?

In essence the federalism we are debating about is already practiced in Equatoria, each individual loving his family, tribes, their ancestral land, protecting it and building it, but also very much respecting that which belongs to other tribes, for if you caused them to lose theirs, someone else will cause you to lose yours.

Each individual, not an entire clan, tribe or bulk of people, is free to move to any part of eqautorian region and remain what sh/e is or take the identity and culture of the tribe that hosts him/her, no one forces, insights, neither prevents him/her to make this choice and sh/e in turn do not try to change the ways of, annihilate or obliterate other tribes.

The hope and formulae for South Sudanese unity is already being practice in Equatoria! It has been here all this time and no one seems to recognize it.

This is the model for South Sudan and federalism thus makes sense to Equatorian because it is already what they practice and what has given them peaceful coexistence, how they relate to each other on the basis of recognizing each other’s tribes and tribal lands, what is important to them and respecting each other in all aspects!

Federalism gives power to the individuals, people and regions! The government respects the people rather than the other way round; Master- slave relations.

Those who are opposed to this are those who want the people to worship the government and those who want to use the power of the government to impose on others and have no respects for other peoples’ cultures, way of life, aspirations and their lands.

The true brotherhood we all want is based on the model found in Equatoria and the intertribal relationships that exists in Equatoria for centuries. This is the case then no one has to fear Kokora happening due to federalism, there is no Kokora among Equatorian tribes, what makes it so? If loving your ancestral land and letting others do the same is Kokora then, so be it! If dislodging others from their ancestral land is what it takes to form a nation to the benefit of one tribe then is it any wonders that such is now heading straight to hell in our very eyes?

For in mutual respect is peace, not in master slave relation and others relinquishing their natural possessions and rights. Mutual respect has worked in Equatoria and they coexist peacefully!

One fact is clear, if there is federalism or not, the respect for land must reign supreme and the schemes for land thieving and dominance must come to an end, as long as this does not happen there shall be no peace in South Sudan, There shall only be oppressors and the oppressed!

If we truly want a land of the free, prosperity and justice for all then the tool to achieve this is federalism and encouraging the life styles of the Equatorian tribes.

Think of this as the relationship between you and your brother who is married and has his own house and cows, just as you! You respect his wife, children and property and he in turn respect yours. When he takes care of his house, it is not in opposition to you! Simply, you need to do the same for yours, for brotherhood does not negate your responsibility to your personal house. Just because you are brothers does not mean you need to merge houses and not having individual homes in pretense of fear of Kokora.

Mutual respect is how you keep brotherhood not by taking his wives forcefully or milking his cows forcefully in the name of brotherhood!

Federalism thus gives all South Sudanese, not just some, that power to protect one’s own house and decide what is for breakfast rather being dictated by the self proclaimed big brother, in the current system, regardless of who, will always be the oppressor!

South Sudan is ready for peace, which equals federalism; to say south Sudan is not ready for federalism is to say those who are having the lion share of the goodies are not ready to let it go and grant South Sudanese; Equality, justice, Liberty, prosperity for all and thus peace!

Without federalism in South Sudan, there shall only be oppressors and the oppressed!

Dr. Peter Kopling.


Dystrocracy or Stratocracy: The Return of the 19th Century to South Sudan!

BY: Deng Mangok Ayuel, UNITY STATE, JUN/27/2014, SSN;

A friend once told me that the wealthy elites in our country didn’t want to “roll back” the new political deal when self-indulgence tempered with patriotism, nationalism but wanted to roll back the entire 19th century political weights and heights when things gone astray politically.

His point was that military or dictatorship worked well in 19th century in Africa. I didn’t fully appreciate his antidote until our country turned into a military camp after a failed coup attempt in December, 2013. Finally I jokingly told him that his political magic should be sold to those who wanted to take power by force in the baby nation, South Sudan.

The political turmoil which caused rebellion in 2013 was instigated by paradoxical reactions, political rivalry within the SPLM and wary feelings among politicians within the same political machine, political grouping, and prophetic hope for leadership by individuals.

And the same chaos which led to a failed coup attempt in Juba inevitably followed too, after Dr Machar, Mr Amum and the likes were fired by President Kiir from his government or the SPLM national convention itself made the day. Thereafter, Dr Machar, Peter Gadet and Marial Chinuong should be blamed for all the killings of innocent lives in the new nation.

Is Coup d’état a political fashion in Africa?
With the dawn of independent in the late 50′s and early 60′s, elation and new hopes swept through Africa after nations attained self-governments. There were new dreams and expectations as the colonial masters packed their luggage and handed over the instruments of power to Africans. It was the end of a longer struggle for freedom, in which so many people had suffered. It was the end of slavery, human dilapidation and exploitation.

However, these dreams were soon shattered as governments had shortly fell victim to the coup d’état across the continent. The new military rulers accused the civilian government of everything from corruption and incompetence to mismanagement of the national economy and resources. Experience has shown that the military are no better than civilians when it comes to governance in Africa, although they claimed to be good angels.

Subsequently, African contemporary political and socio-economic problems, military coup d’état had inclined the continent into even further suffering and commotion. This had been previously the case in Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Congo, Mali and several other African states, apart from South Sudan whose coup attempt failed last year.

The future propensity is that coup in Africa will remain a common trend so long political and economic instability exists. Analytically, the political intention for mechanized failed coup attempt in South Sudan by politicians was to:
• Have a leader {Kiir} overthrown for new system of government to reign.
• Have Dr Gerang’s boys political dreams fulfilled.
• Have Dr Machar aspiration for presidency easily materialized.
• Have President Kiir and his groups fished out of politics forever.
• Fight corruption, strengthen diplomacy, transform SPLM and revive shattered economic according to them.
• Strengthen South Sudanism worldwide.

As South Sudan is currently paining or bleeding – innocent lives are still being taken, trust already lost, movement of citizens across the states in the country is avoided – things are not really moving as needed by the citizens, nevertheless, leaders must bring back our country. There is a need for leaders to continue negotiation, table their political differences in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in order to end the blood-shed in the new nation. Peace is really needed.

Why force leaders to stratocracy?

I thought about writing this piece after hearing President Kiir addressing the August House in Juba concerning the upcoming interim government with rebel of Dr Machar. And in his words, President Kiir clearly stated that “any interim government in South Sudan without me as president is a red line …?” The president is willingly anticipated to make the war comes to an end should he be given a chance to form and lead the interim government.

Is it easy to exclude an elected leader from interim government in South Sudan? I wanted to remind you that president Kiir is the Commander-in-Chief of the SPLA. He will not easily accept to be overthrown – he should head the interim government if South Sudanese and IGAD mediators wanted peace to reign.

We all say “my country”, but we don’t mean that we own it, like we own our computers, books and houses. And if others think that South Sudan is their property – that they should destroy it as they sought – it’s obviously worth saying that those who fight fire with fire end up with ashes. Nobody need war in South Sudan expect politicians – but are their kids in frontline fighting their common and political enemies?

However, interim government without president Kiir is impossible. We should be abstemious. Dr Machar rebelled and fought in order to get power after sacked as vice president. Mr Amum and his group are also dreaming of doing anything – they think they are politically clean after a mess; yearning for a chance to knock one of them and the rest shall milk the same government in Juba.

As democracy looked ugly after Dr Machar and Amum were sacked, what type of government {system} is appropriate for those who do easily fire up arms when sacked from the system of government? All of us are men but we should be law abiding people. The world has no owner. Hitler has gone …! Mr Charles Taylor is now imprisoned for 50 years.

Nobody is above the law! Anyone who dreams for presidency should wait for election, lest the current leadership may turn to stratocracy because when constitution is not respected, all of us become vulnerable to our doings, literally thinking to be everybody everywhere.
Saddam Hussein could have said it, and really felt that it was factually his. It does not matter if your title is King or Emperor, President or whatever. What matters is the law. You should respect the law. That is it!

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that democracy works well in some countries in Africa. But are we fashioning to dystrocracy or stratocracy system of government in South Sudan?

Dystrocracy
Dystrocracy is a regime which is so defective governmentally and rebellious to the extent that it might began murdering the whole nation – that it can’t also supply most of its people with food, comfortable shelter, basic needs, and no proper rule of law. Few nations in the world are purely dystrocratic. These facts are not disputed and there is no point in pouring out more statistics about dystrocratic countries.

Every country is composed of ordinary citizens and the swampy classes of politicians, militants, professionals, to run the government and private institutions. Any government institution has a distinctive posture; thus the leadership may be passive, the energetic, professional ones can do anything to make things get going.

In South Sudan, the perspective, perception and political styles are very different. Political, military related issues are done impatiently, rudely and unprofessionally, that make things go beyond our limit as the wrongdoers. If South Sudanese politicians who are opposing the current government claim that they are better than the ones reigning – then is a big “NO,” because South Sudanese political G7 and G4 were in the same government for years. The likes of Alor, Amum, Majak, Yel will not tempered to say Kiir’s government has been doing less than expected because they didn’t resign and waited for the government they deserve.

Prof. Nyamlel Wako, in 2012, said the government is rotten to the core, while working as a deputy minister for the same government but fired after days. Do we need to act against the government we work for?

Our political spirit as patriots, freedom of expression is weak. We should correct ourselves – or South Sudanese refuse correction! We should tell the truth. Coincidently, Prof. Adwok Nyaba, in the aftermath of failed coup attempt, woke up on the 16th of December, 2013, and wrote an article as title reads, ‘Sorry Sir: There was no Coup’, before he was detained as one of coup plotters. However, Dr Nyaba was, again the first person to be released but remained in Juba, even when all the political detainees were released and left for Nairobi.

Finally, he was frustrated and resigned from the SPLM. Maybe his writing made his day out of the SPLM – a party he engineered founding – until he lost his leg in the civil war in Sudan. Was Dr Nyaba’s resignation officially received by the Acting SG for the SPLM?

In his letter of resignation, Dr Adwok has this to say, “I am writing this letter to you as Chairman of the SPLM and as somebody, I have known since 1986”. First, I want to discuss my concerns in respect of the current political situation surrounding the SPLM as the ruling party, and our republic of South Sudan.

As a revolutionary, up to this point in time, I consider myself part of the SPLM and therefore equally responsible by commission or omission for some of the SPLM shortcomings, which have landed into this awkward situation. In this connection, therefore, and without any reservation, chauvinism or shame I offer to self-criticize myself, I resigned.”

Is deserting SPLM a solution to political chaos in South Sudan? Dr Nyaba had been frustrated or tired of doing anything which made no impact politically and socially.

Stratocracy
A stratocracy is a form of government headed by military chiefs. It’s not the same as military dictatorship or military junta where the military’s political power is not enforced or even supported by other laws. Rather, stratocracy is a form of military government in which the state and the military are traditionally or constitutionally the same entity and government positions are always occupied by commissioned officers and military leaders.

Citizens with mandatory and/or voluntary military service, or who have been honorably discharged, have the right to elect and/or govern. The military’s political power is supported by law, the constitution, and the society.

A stratocracy therefore is more often a meritocracy and does not have to be autocratic by nature in order to preserve its right to rule.

Besides, the destiny of South Sudan up to now is in the hands of SPLM/A, its leadership and the members which started as a guerrilla movement. In 2004, at Rumbek freedom square, when CPA was almost fruiting, our late hero Dr Garang addressed the crowd of people and his message goes as quoted, “I and those who joined me in the bush and fought for more than twenty years, have brought to you CPA in a golden plate. Our mission is accomplished.

It is now your turn, especially those who did not have a chance to experience bush-life. When time comes to vote at referendum, it is your golden choice to determine your fate. Would you like to vote to be second class citizens in your own country? It is absolutely your choice.”

And after independent, the SPLM as a ruling party should take care of our country as Dr Garang told us to choose for who we wanted to become in the world. Hence the party dispute has been at the heart of the current crisis and its resolution is crucial to address national governance issues that will ultimately change the country and the people of South Sudan for affluence.

What will also force others to rule the country at their own will is federalism which is not wanted at this crucial time, and all the demand from rebels that can’t easily be fulfilled by the leadership …! The choice is yours.

It’s unpatriotic for politicians to put their political jobs a priority than security, basic needs for citizens who are sufferings in the country. Let’s move our country wisely, lest we shall make others as Mugabes, Musevenis and the late Amin of our new nation.

Deng Mangok Ayuel is a columnist, blogger and humanitarian worker. He currently lives in Unity State and can be reached via mangokson@gmail.com