Category: Politics

Lest we forget the hundreds of thousands who perished in Salva Kiir’s Juba genocide!

From: Peter Adwok Nyaba
Subject: December 15, 2013
Country: South Sudan, SSN;

Today, December 15, 2014, marks the first anniversary of the Juba massacre of ethnic Nuers ordered by President Salva Kiir Mayardit. It remains the saddest day in the history of South Sudan for it triggered the worst animal instincts, dehumanized us, that in a matter of moments we began to discriminate and decimate ourselves on the basis of ethnicity.

Initially, the Nuers alone were marked for death at the hands of ‘dutku beny’ or the auxiliary presidential guards recruited specifically for that purpose at the behest of President Kiir by Paul Malong Awan.

Nevertheless, any Dinka with facial marks as the Nuers suffered the same brutal fate. The village boys from Warrap and Awiel did not know that other Dinka people existed in Upper Nile or Jonglei. They also murdered a Chollo judge because they wanted to possess the Toyota V8 he drove.

Then, in a few days the mayhem spread like bush fire to other towns Bor, Bentiu, Malakal, Renk, etc., where now the Nuer in a similar fashion avenged their beloved ones against the Shilluk, Dinka, Nuer, Maaban, etc. The Shilluk also took on the Nuer; the Dinka took on the Shilluk, Nuer and Maaban.

In his desperation, President Salva Kiir Mayardit invited the Dar Furi Sudanese rebels [Tora Bora], the Justice and Equality Movement to join the war against Dr. Riek Machar.

He also invited the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces [UPDF] and their Helicopter Gunships whose gunners could not differentiate between the Nuers, Dinka, SPLA or White Army and bombed them without segregation, in a civil turned regional war with ill-defined political objective.

Nevertheless, characterized by vengeance and counter-vengeance, for no reason, in which innocent women, elderly and children without distinction, perished in a manner unprecedented in our wars not even when we fought the mujahedeen and the muralieen.

December 15, 2013 is the day for which, we must invariably lower our heads in shame to deflate our individual inordinately enlarged egos.

For that day imperceptibly exposed our five decades pretence and collective self-deception that we were one people fighting for liberation, equality, freedom and justice. On that day, inadvertently we denied our commonality, collective heritage and we forgot about neighbourhood or neighbour standing up to defend the neighbour in danger.

It was the day indeed our compatriots who after the CPA came back from the Diaspora quickly identified themselves as American, Canadian, British, French, Australian citizens as they stampeded to catch the airplanes evacuating foreigners from Juba, Bor, Malakal and other towns in South Sudan leaving us to finish the job killing ourselves.

Some of the perpetrators of the Juba massacre even evacuated to go back to Nairobi, Kampala, Australia and USA whence they came from. We know them individually and justice and accountability will not spare them when that time comes.

On December 15, 2013, we confirmed to our detractors that nothing but the common enemy in form of northern Sudan united us. We did not have a magnanimous leader since we lost Dr. John Garang de Mabior. Indeed, that tragic Helicopter crashed with all of us.

Comrade Salva Kiir did not fit into Garang’s shoes. He was not the Joshua once in 2005 the Archbishop of Juba Archdiocese described him. Therefore by thinking solely of himself and his power Salva Kiir did not invest much in keeping our people united.

For on December 15, 2013 he invited foreign troops to kill or people thus negating the independence and sovereignty for which our fore fathers and ourselves sacrificed over the decades.

One year on today December 14, 2014, the job is not finished. The killing still goes on unabated fuelled by intense hatred and the urge to finish the others as if we want to bury the country with the dead we killed. On the following days, our people voted with their feet travelling to Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia to the refugee camps.

However, the affluent ones, the potbellied linked to the Warrap mafia with connexion to the Central Bank of South Sudan made up with huge dollars bank notes to purchase real estate in Kampala, Nairobi, Addis Ababa and other regional cities in order to run away from the consequences of their conspiracy. They did not want to see the corpses they felled.

The poor land locked ones in Upper Nile and Unity states made it back to the Sudan; back to the squalid makeshift camps in the suburbs of Khartoum, Kosti, Medani, etc., suggesting yet that the Southern Sudan referendum and the independence vote they cast was the biggest mistake in their lives.

No! Our people made no mistake voting in the referendum for self-determination. Their leaders betrayed them! The leaders of the war of national liberation betrayed them.

All along the twenty-one years of revolutionary armed struggle and chanting liberation songs, the people had believed, and wrongly though, that their liberation leaders were different from the Arabized Northern elite who ruled the Sudan from Khartoum since 1956. The CPA transformed those liberation leaders into the people’s ‘oppressive-eaters’.

In eight years, by their performance in government, those leaders not only turned the people of South Sudan against each other in ethnicized conflicts, but also looted the country’s resources, drank the oil, killed the innocent, emasculated the burgeoning state institutions and transformed the country into a limited liability enterprise in order to facilitate and lubricate the looting.

Eight years of random and rampant looting, these liberation leaders stashed their loots in foreign lands, doubly denying the people the benefit of investment and job creation in the country. They built palaces not in the land for which the fought and died but in the neighbourhood or far afield in Melbourne, Sidney or Washington DC and San Francisco.

Not only that, but in the eight years these liberation leaders blocked, undermined, conspired against, chastised, elbowed out and ostracised their own comrades in struggle to enable personification of power and wealth. Some threw in the towel and left government posts in frustration.

Some rebelled and met their deaths in hotel rooms in the neighbourhood. Yet Salva Kiir pardoned some and awarded government purchased villas.

In the eight years following the CPA the best SPLA combatants registered as ‘unconfirmed names’ and were consigned to their homes – the revolution is over; and the ‘wounded in action’ registered in DDR projects which did not materialize as corruption also ate into the hearts and minds of the managers who arrived from the Diaspora.

The widows and orphans of former SPLA combatants ‘fallen in action’ registered as concubines to satiate the sexual appetite of the living colleagues now promoted to the general.

These generals were the former SPLA commanders and alternate commanders etc. Those among them who have no command or did not become ministers to access easy money [inflated parades in the commands] now engage in bad business in everything with foreign ‘friends’ ranging from rent-seeking; providing services that frustrated and prevented modernizing transport system and the provision of pipe water in Juba, because their Ugandan driven boda boda or Ethiopian/Eritrean driven water-tankers must make money.

Some ran, in collaboration with Ugandans and Congolese, brothels in Jebel Market dispensing HIV to unsuspecting adolescents. Some of them even ventured into higher education sector and with assistance of Ugandan conmen opened universities that awarded degrees to primary school dropouts. One of these universities in Awiel offered Bachelor of Legal Laws [abbreviated LLB] suggesting the people behind the project were fraudsters.

The patronage system informalized the economy lubricated by dollar notes available to relatives who sell it on the open Juba market [it would be a misnomer to call Black Market the umbrella covered street dollar vendors].

Free women, house-wives and young girls have been drawn into dollar business losing morals and morality as they conceive illegitimate children in the course of time.

Land became a commodity for which one could lose life. An engineer, a former Mayor of Yei were murdered over land to mention a few cases of land grabbing. The owner of ‘Rock City Hotel Complex missed death by whisker because the principal wanted to own the business.

Eight and half years of vanity was bound to culminate in December 15, 2013. It could not have be less than that for leaders who lost the SPLM vision and direction. The leaders ran the country based on political patronage of ethnic and regional lobbies rather than formal institutions.

Thus, after betraying the compatriots of the northern sector, the Nuba ad the funj whose bones litter South Sudan, these SPLM leaders betrayed the Abyei people and refused to stand with them to ensure the regional and international recognition of the successful referendum they conducted on October 31, 2013.

Therefore, the events of December 15, 2013 represent the anti-climax of SPLM as a national liberation movement. The events of December 15, 2013 mark the decline from the height of national liberation to the fragility and then the state collapse.

The events epitomize the end of Salva Kiir to the helm of the SPLM now split into SPLM [IG], SPLM {IO] and SPLM [FPD]. It could not have been otherwise given that Salva Kiir surrounded his leadership of the SPLM and the Government of Republic of South Sudan with Bahr el Ghazal [reader Gogrial and Awan] elders as the inner circle of the Jieng Council of Elders [JCE] since he inherited power in 2005.

President Salva Kiir, the first president of the Republic is adamant on his incumbency notwithstanding the precarious crossroads, between being and not, he has now placed South Sudan.

Now surrounded by a cartel of commercial interests, security barons and traditional leaders bent on enjoying power, wealth and influence Salva Kiir is constructing a despotism unprecedented in South Sudan and unparalleled in the region.

It is about time the people of South Sudan transformed this tragedy into its opposite as we commemorate the demise of hundreds of thousands of our people. Their death shall not have been in vain if we all rise to defeat ethnic chauvinism and bigotry, licentiousness, greed for power and wealth, as well as love of self.

These viruses plunged this country into this dismal situation. The conflict contours are now well defined. In Arusha the three SPLM factions [IG, IO and FPD] discovered and located the root cause of this political malaise locate in the SPLM leadership failure not in the ethnic configuration of South Sudan.

It is now clear; our people have nothing against themselves. The Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk, Maaban, Murle, Mundari, Balanda, Ndogo, Kriesh, name them have nothing against each other as a people. Their predicament springs from the manipulations by the political and military elite, which the war of national liberation catapulted to the helm, of their social, linguistic and cultural diversity.

The elite that put power and wealth over and above any human consideration, and which has put its tommy over and above the nation has consequently run down the country in less than eight years of brinksmanship.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit represents that elite leadership that hangs onto power oblivious of and fails to notice how the country is sliding down the drain.

Lest we forget, it is now time the people of South Sudan took the initiative. It is no longer the issue of Salva Kiir; it is the country and the nation at stake. The war should come to an immediate end through the concerted efforts of all peace loving South Sudanese.

It is about time that we rallied behind the resistance forces everywhere in South Sudan to route Salva Kiir out of J1 in order to salvage the country.

Organize do NOT Agonize! Lest we forget December 15, 2013!

Peter Adwok Nyaba
Pagak, Maiwut County, Upper Nile State
The Republic of South Sudan
December 15, 2014

Is South Sudan being put in chokehold through Sanctions?

BY: Taban Abel Aguek, RUMBEK, South Sudan, DEC/13/2014, SSN;

A few weeks ago a video footage of a Ugandan housemaid who badly tortured a one year old baby went viral. Having been shared thousands of times on the social media, the video sparked outrage worldwide. The video depicts the maid, Tumuhiirwe, kicking the little girl in the face and the stomach, stepping on her and dragging her cruelly out of the room.

Watching the painful acts on the helpless little girl, one finds anger and acrimony running down the nerves. But again, this sad this story of this rude Ugandan maid rightly portrays the world we live in. The hard fact is that there are heartless people the world over. There is serious disregard to sense and logic in the whole world.

Power and abilities are simply being misused everyday by those who posses them to trample on the weak. And justice is denied to those who seriously need it.

Nations, just like people, were not born on the same day. If people were born on the same day there would be no need for baby sitters. Likewise, if nations were born in one day then there would no reason to have some countries stand before the rest and lecture them ‘democracy’. South Sudan was born in 2011 courtesy of a peaceful referendum. So, had it been a human baby, South Sudan would now have been still a feeble child.

It should be a mandate of those nations founded hundreds of years ago to nurture and help younger countries to stand on their own. But is there anything of the sort by these older and stable nations?

Nothing! There is nothing younger nations need to look up to from the developed world. There is nothing that can liberate Africa even in the aids donated to Africa in billions of dollars every year.

World’s major organizations like UN, EU or the USAID are a sham. Most of such organizations have been, and are still, used to advance imperialism.

The giant nations try to strangle the weaker nations, make them kneel and demand that they do other their interests or simply face going the Libya way.

No one denies the efforts of some world powers in the creation of the country, South Sudan. But to help mid-wife a baby is one thing but raising the child through its growth processes is another.

After its birth, South Sudan immediately became a victim of competing interests between some of the world’s powers. All other things necessary for establishing a new country were ignored as interests took the front stage.

Chinua Achebe once said that the biggest problems with nations that have for centuries been fighting for freedom is finding where to begin after they finally achieve freedom.

As a result, what the friends of South Sudan needed to have done right after independence was to seal gaps of conflicts and help the country know how to begin. But since it was in the interest of some external parties and individuals in the West to see the regime of South Sudan changed by all means war never unavoidable.

It’s now almost a year since the war broke out. IGAD and other parties have been working tirelessly to bring peace in South Sudan. However, the efforts they have heavily exerted in bringing peace in South Sudan are worthy. However, people say that prevention is better than cure.

The best thing anyone needed to have done to this country was to help it avoid war.
But as South Sudan stakeholders pursue peace options, the country continues to be faced with the threats of sanctions.

Yet, South Sudan needs peace much more than sanctions. Those people who have been helping South Sudan factions fight the war must put hands together to deliver peace, not sanctions.

With sanctions, life is being forced out South Sudan. That means there is an attempt to put this country in chokehold so as to die miserably – just the Eric Garner way.

This brings forth the questions why and what this country should be punished for? Or does this simply confirm the game of politics? If so, why is global politics done with the lives of people?

Sudan’s president, Omar el Bashir, in a media report publicly admitted that some prominent western nations who had helped South Sudan secede have apologized to him. He added quite antagonistically in a speech to Sudan Farmers Association, published by many media outlets that the western countries are urging him to re-unite the two countries.

It should remain noted that one the UK secretaries held a closed door meeting with Beshir days after the war broke out in South Sudan. A lot more things went quite so fishy under the dark curtains of international diplomacy.

Out of short confusion Khartoum turned around to support rebels. Then a few months later some rebel fighters were captured carrying the flag of Sudan.

If the US policemen who strangled Eric garner to his death had listened to his “I can’t breathe” plea, he would not have died; and if justice was availed after his death there would have been no demonstrations across the United States.

Similarly, if anyone could dare listen to the echoes for a just peace in this country then there will be no reason to go all the rough road of sanctions.

A young nation like South Sudan can be viciously kicked in the face and stomach or dragged lifelessly out of their rightful path. It can easily be strangled and the jury may opt to go by the story of its choice. But every mistake committed here may not be recorded on CCTV like in the case of the rogue Ugandan maid, but it can be captured in the hearts of people.

Earlier, it has been revealed by some media outlets that there is a plan to place South Sudan under the UN trusteeship for ten years. If UN takes over South Sudan, then another successful ‘cold coup’ has been allowed to happen. But it can only come with tough consequences.

What peace the UN has been keeping in South Sudan shall come to close scrutiny, including its own mistakes and other clear violations committed in South Sudan against its own operational rules. Those who point fingers must see their faces in the mirror before they do so.

There is no tangible achievement by UNMISS in the post-independence South Sudan to even grand them a longer stay in the country, let alone giving them the trusteeship of the country.

The rebels of South Sudan have committed grave atrocities and mistakes that would provoke quick reprisals, but the UN until today played everything down. UN arms and ammunitions were seized in eleven trucks en route to war ravaged town of Bentiu early this year, which is a terrible violation against UN rules. But the UN simply admitted that it was a ‘mistake’ and the story just ended there.

Should UN commit such a grave mistake? Oh UN, why blame South Sudan for its own mistakes? To load arms and ammunitions in one truck can be a mistake, but doing it for eleven trucks cannot be a mistake.

The excuse was that the weapons were for Ghanaian forces in Bentiu. But can Ghanaian forces be taken unarmed to a war ravaged town without guns? What is the weight of a gun compared to weight of a bag? And since when did a bag become more important than a gun for a soldier?

For Ghanaian forces to be airlifted separately and their guns and ammunitions transported separately by land is unconvincing. The UN does give proper escort of wastes dump sites.

Why did UN leave arms and other important materials in trucks labeled ‘UN’ travel over hundreds of miles from the border without the usual personnel escort?

Regardless of that rightful argument, the UN or the US can still issue sanctions or order for the trusteeship of South Sudan. However, it should first tell the world what it has done about the rebels that shot down UN helicopter in Bentiu.

People also have their ears wide open to what UN has done about the fate of Indian Peace Keepers killed in Akobo by rebels and the confiscation and use of its vehicles by rebels in Bor early this year.

Without that, then UN in South Sudan will be without any business to be even in business. For UN to open its gates to the IDPs of the war it supported is nothing at all but an outright hypocrisy.

In the rush to open the gates for IDPs UN sought to settle some scores: to justify its existence in the country, to help send around the feeling of achieving the civilian’s protection and help balanced its accounts.

Much as thousands of lives were saved, the act of camping in the UN compound did sharply heighten ethnicity. Even in UN compounds, the Dinka and Nuer were made to know that that they are separated by arrows into separate positions by UNMISS. We live by what we are taught.

From the days UN opened it gates, it also helped closed the doors of trust between our tribes.

South Sudan is simply undergoing what all young nations undergo. However, it is being punished the way it cannot withstand. In that mad Ugandan maid there is a story of size and imbalance. In that poignant incidence, there is a story of secret eyes that lie within the vigilant hearts.

The US and UN have been to South Sudan the way the US jury has been to the black people in the USA. South Sudan already finds it hard to breathe in the hands of Al Beshir of Sudan.

With sanctions, it will be a complete choke-hold ushered out of no rightful justification. But still, if anyone believes sanctions can be the solutions to the current conflict then the way is very much wide open.

By the end of the day most parties shall agree that its giants controlling the world like the US and the UN need to update their own status, edit their images and change the view of their screens.

South Sudan is always prone to difficult breathe. They can be made not to breathe, but they continue to live…and march with the world.

Taban Abel Aguek is a South Sudanese citizen working in Rumbek. He can be reached through this email abelaguek79@gmail.com

Smothering Justice can only perpetuate violence in South Sudan

By: Chap Phan, MICHIGAN, USA, DEC/10/2014, SSN;

The ongoing civil war in South Sudan has killed over 20,000 and displaced many millions since the beginning of the war. Peace talks which were supposed to solve the political crisis have not yielded any result despite the involvement of prominent countries, namely: United States, Norway, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, North Sudan, and other East African Regional bloc (IGAD) member states.

The worse of all begun in December 15th, 2013 when the government of president Salve Kiir conducted mass killing of civilians based on ethnic lines. Thus, effectively Salve Kiir triggered the current civil war when the Nuer population were targeted and killed in their resident areas for three days.

Not only did Kirr government short changed its responsibility to protect all citizens, Kirr sent the wrong signal on impunity from the start when he fabricated the truth about the genesis of crisis which is why many South Sudanese hardly believe anything his government says; the government is effectively not trusted on anything it says.

1.1 The inflection point.
Knowing that they had no choice but to defend for themselves, since the beginning of the war, majority of Nuer population picked up arms and fought back to the government that killed their brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers.

Their primary demand has been for Salve Kiir to step down from the power. So far Kiir has responded by defending his legitimacy and refused to step down. His supporters maintain that Kiir was freely elected and that only democratic means can only unseat him.

They find it as their duty to protect the fragile democratic system that has served the country for the last several years and are willing to oppose any one that would undermine it through armed struggle.

Yet it is not a question that majority of Nuer population have lost faith in the Kiir’s government, they insist that the unnecessary death of Nuer civilians in the capital Juba shows that Kiir government is tribal-based government that planned to kill all Nuer just because they are from Nuer.

Many Nuer people insist that the event that manifested itself into the death of Nuer civilians for three day before the outbreak of the war reflects the long prevailing attitudes and behavior within Kiir’s company.

Many believed that the killing of Nuer would have not stopped had it not been for Gen. Gadet Yaka, who acted with courage and determination. Large population of Nuer find it hard to acknowledge the current status quo; it’s believed that government does not hold same respect when it failed to hold up to it obligation, primarily the need to protect civilians.

1.2 In principle.
The bloody chaos that started in capital Juba has ensured a broader civil war within South Sudan. Salve kirr bears primary political responsibility for the chaos in the country precisely because he is the president and the crisis erupted on his watch.

It is certainly true that Kiir was elected, but an elected leader has responsibility to protect civilians despite their political and tribal affiliations. Election is not a license to kill. When elected leader failed to perform their duty people have the right to ask their leader to step down.

The outburst of the Nuer to wage war on Kiir government is the result of death of Nuer civilians in Juba, causality and sequence of the event matter.

It’s undesirable to unseat a freely elected government because it sets a bad precedence for democratic system and it tends to create incentive for dissatisfied candidates to pursue their agendas through violence.

But it’s equally dreadful to allow government to get away with mass murder, it sets precedence that when a government is in power it can use all means possible to suppress independent voices (citizens) and crash opponents to cement their power without consequences.

Kiir government cracked down on civil societies, arrested opposition leaders, and long manipulation of rule of law are meant to concentrate power and to ultimately undermine democracy, peace, and prosperity.

1.3 On performance
Kiir has ruled South Sudan for several years with little achievement. Over the last several years thousands of South Sudanese were, and are still, dying everyday over land and cattle.

Much of his leadership has proved incapable of dealing with any crisis, and the ongoing crisis is deepening precisely because he lacked character and could not get beyond his own narrow political interests while the whole country he claims to be in charged of slipped ever deeper into crisis.

He cannot take full responsibility for what happened in Juba, yet his response…sending more military weapons with mission of killing civilians is delusional and counterproductive. His long mismanagement of political process produced the ongoing crisis; he is incompetent.

1.4 The trust deficit
Kiir and his henchmen have protected the entitlement state of their contradiction ever since the beginning of this crisis. Kiir and his henchmen have reputational costs to government system.

For instance, neither Kiir nor his henchmen seemed not alarmed when hundreds of Nuer civilians were murdered for three day straight. Those people that died were not bad people; they were regular people that are well respected in their respective community.

Thus, Kiir government cannot and should not be trusted to correct the injustice and corruption it has created. Perhaps Kiir administration is not fighting against the Nuer population, but it is hard to convince the world that the government is respected when majority of Nuer people are locked up in the UN camps fearing for their lives; the continuous hardship toward Nuer population testifies the contradiction on Kiir administration.

It’s a mockery of justice to expect Nuer civilians to accept him as their president, the rights of citizens’ matters, smothering their rights only perpetuates violence.

1.5 Where does South Sudan go from Here?
The last six years has shown that South Sudanese elite and political figures lack confidence to right things, the current crisis accumulated as result of a culture that avoids decision, that involves risk in hope that events would go away.

For instance, the passing of the constitution that gave president Kiir power to remove an elected governor is incompetent and lacks of foresight on the individual(s) that wrote it and individual(s) that passed it.

South Sudanese political figures flaunted their obligation since this crisis begun, unless we demands greater expectation nothing will change. If South Sudan learned anything it is that we should set high expectation for our leaders and hold them to account.

The current crisis goes beyond one tribe; it is about governability and the future of South Sudan, it is about setting up a system that will serve all interests of all people. It is about setting up checks and balances on the central government, state and local governments. It is a search for genuine democracy in a world of unpredictable personality type.

1.6 time is up.
Kiir’s views and basic governing philosophies are not helpful at this time. South Sudan is in desperate need of effective leadership and fresh new thinking to propel South Sudan from current crisis.

South Sudan deserves better a leader than Kiir, and it’s up to the people of South Sudan, yes, including both Nuer and Dinka to hold their leader accountable, this is precisely why Kiir should step down now.

Until we hold our leaders to high standard and question activities and their leadership style, we should not expect change.

We cannot achieve sustained peace unless we set conditions, constraints, pressures and expectations that affect the culture and restore justice. All presidential leadership traits are judged in light of their outcomes, if South Sudan is not divided as it stands now I would view Kiir as a brilliant chap, but the outcome of the last year has destroyed south Sudan as we know it.

South Sudan is looking for a president that thinks few steps ahead and anticipates an evil regime, Kiir needs to go.

Chap Phan lives in Michigan, USA, he can be reached at pandeit@gmail.com

Hon. Kuol Manyang Juuk & the New Breed of Sexist Young Men

BY: Kuir ë Garang (Author, Poet), ALBERTA, Canada, DEC/03/2014, SSN;

If you don’t know who is who in a crowd then generalize them in good faith and you’ll soon know who is who. Bad advice but it works! So I’ll lump up the majority of South Sudanese young men as sexist unless they distinguish themselves otherwise.

I know each and every society has its normative and traditional parameters used by its people. It’s obviously remarkable that every society considers its cultural tenets central to its way of life, and to some extent, free of error.

This is of course a fallacy for any given human social construct is always fraught with mistakes. However, societies that face criticisms given the inhumanity of some of their cultural practices take refuge in cultural relativism. And this has led to resistance to change by some cultures.

Luckily, the world has grown to a point in which unacceptable human practices are getting challenged as revolutionized means of communication have opened up closed societies in ways never seen before. Societies are no longer closed and therefore can’t oppress some members of their societies without such injustice being heard.

Sexists, Racists, Dictators, embezzlers, religious bigots… are exposed and bashed on regular basis.

This doesn’t mean injustice and harmful cultural and social practices aren’t taking place. They still take place in the cover of darkness. Sexist, enslavers, racists, immoral capitalists, war-mongers, rapists…still exist. What’s comforting is that the above perpetrators know the contemporary societies don’t approve of their practices.

The famed James Dewey Watson, the Noble Prize winning co-discover of DNA double helix, fell from grace for his racist remarks and was shunned by the scientific community; and the American beloved comedian, Bill Cosby, is now falling from grace for the way he treated women.

Among the sad practices that still haunt us today is men’s attitude toward women. This is an attitude that exist in almost all human societies. Even seemingly progressive societies like western countries still have a lot to do when it comes to women rights.

Women are still paid less than men, they face domestic violence, have hard times when they vie for elected offices, have difficulty moving up corporate ladders… etc. However, western societies have done relatively better than other societies.

Even young, educated men in some societies such as South Sudan still think stereotyping women is acceptable because “it’s part of our culture.” These young men think talking about rights of women is a ‘western’ concept. What a pathetic state of mind!

Women rights are human rights applicable to all societies. When did it become a western idea that women shouldn’t be compared to cowardly men? Women in the west didn’t always have the same rights they have now so calling respect for women a western concept is to miss the point.

Everyone human society progresses not retrogress and some norms of 100 years ago aren’t even mentionable now. The word ‘Negro’ was an acceptable reference to African Americans in the 1950s and 1960s but mentioning it now is almost an anathema. About 200 years ago Africans were sold like sheep.

Societies change. And it’s the acceptable change that’s welcome.

And it’s bizarre for an educated man to think that saying a cowardly man is a women isn’t insulting to women. It might have been okay for African men to insult their women 50–100 years ago but to say it’s cultural to use analogies that denigrate women now is a scary state of mind.

The recent remarks by South Sudan’s defense minister, Kuol Manyang, comparing cowardly men with women can be understood or excused in the context of the society he grew up in. It shouldn’t be condoned, however. It has no place in the current society Kuol lives in.

And what is even appalling is how educated, young South Sudanese believe such sexist, inflammatory remarks are ‘not a problem.’

We all know the context in which Kuol uttered the statement but it’s really mindless to say that we can condone such a statement because it was uttered by Kuol Manyang, a government official.

We can say Kuol only wanted to raise the morale of his soldiers and scare other ‘men’ to join the army. But did Kuol Manyang have to make fun of women to make a point?

With such an attitude, I believe girls and women in South Sudan should sharpen their spears because the upcoming breed of young leaders is full of mindless, robotic sexists, who wouldn’t hesitate to endorse sexism in the name of culture and Afrocenticity.

This makes me wonder how such a breed of leaders would be able to take issues like rape and women rights seriously. Is it the support of leaders that has completely blinded some of our able-minded young men and that they’d change if the issue of support ceases to be a problem? Or is this the actual state of affairs in South Sudan?

To respect women is not to simply love or marry them or to say they are good mothers and sisters. Respecting women is to guarantee their rightful place in any society. So we have a bunch of young men who believe that women are simply weak and cowardly.

How do you look your wife or girlfriend in the eye and believe mocking analogies are okay? Why do we get angry when Europeans or Euro-Americans make fun of us? Why do we call ‘white’ people racists when they use analogies such as ‘Africans are monkeys’ or Africans are inferior?

And some ‘white’ people have been raised and cultured to believe Africans and people of African descent aren’t even human beings! They actually believe this to be true. Should we condone this attitude towards us because it’s part of some ‘white’ people cultural upbringing?

It’s up to young girls and women to know that the coming generation of leaders has among them sexists of the unpalatable breed. They’ll marry you but be ready to put you under the bus!

And unless young girls and women become vigilant to safeguard their rightful place as boys’ equals and challenge archaic-minded and sexist people, they’ll have themselves to blame.

And prominent leaders and heroes of our liberation struggle like Kuol Manyang Juuk should be the frontrunners in the fight for girls’ rights. The use of analogies that denigrate women in our contemporary society is unforgiveable.

Hon. Kuol has women colleagues in the government and the use of such analogies not only disrespects them, it also sends a wrong message to boys about how they should treat girls and women; and that expressions that compare women with disgraced men is okay.

Kuol needs to apologize to women to set a good example for young men and boys.

Kuir ë Garang (Author, Poet)
www.kuirthiy.info

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Panic agenda of Warrap generals: Plot against Equatorian leadership, yet again Obuto Mamur

BY: Justin S Kwaje, SouthSudanLibertyNewsJUBA, NOV/30/2014, SSN;

A senior army general within the government armed forces under President Kiir, revealed to South Sudan Liberty News correspondent, in an exclusive meeting in one of the hotels in Juba, that during a recent closed-door sessions with senior army officers mainly from the President’s home state of Warrap and Bahr el Ghazal regions, during which the generals were instructed by the President to be vigilant and were directed by the President to immediately and carefully plan an assassination against the national security minister Obuto Mamur, as he is a heavyweight, in particular if the Equatoria region descends into rebellions as now they feared to be imminent.

The playbook has been seen with the Nuer rebellion!

Our informant revealed that the President is worried about the rumors of the uncovered secret military camps in Kapoeta, and now that of yet a new rebellion within Greater Equatoria.

The informant disclosed to South Sudan liberty news that Kiir’s worries stem from the fact that the now suspected general, another heavyweight Equatorian general, Mr. Martin Kenyi, is a close friend to Obuto Mamur, therefore the President suspects Kenyi would have not acted alone.

The President reportedly alleged that Obuto Mamur is the mentor of Martin Kenyi, and if indeed Kenyi has defected as alleged by the government, then Mamur is implicated.

As readers can recall, this is the second time this year, the Warrap thugs are plotting against Mamur and SSLN is at the forefront in reporting it.

Given this government has proven beyond doubt it is blood-thirsty even to the point of killing women and children, we choose not to ignore any such information leaked to us by government insiders and informants!

Our source reports that during the alleged closed door security meeting, the generals have tried to forged evidences to implicate Martin Kenyi, but the data did not add up to link him to any rebel groups, even then, they the generals are determined to patched together evidences toward elimination of Kenyi.

During the closed door meeting the President and his Warrap generals resolved as business order number one, given the growing threat of rebellions within the greater Equatoria, Mamur should immediately recruit more Dinka army faithful to bodyguard him, since at the moment, he is heavily guarded by Elite Equatorian army unit who are his longtime faithful.

The plan to change in the ranks of body guards to Dinka faithful is to make Mamur vulnerable to assassinations!

The Warrap Generals are worried, that should war engulf Juba, Mamur who has surrounded himself with heavily armed Equatorians, who are also well trained with sophisticated armors, if they are not neutralized now, in the eventuality of any rebellions, they will turn their guns against Kiir.

Our informant further revealed that the same Generals under the directives of Kiir, held a secret meeting with General Johnson Juma Okot, AKA JJ Okot, another Equatorian heavyweight but Kiir’s faithful and a staunch supporter.

They sought him with the objective to use Gen. JJ Okot to supply light and heavy machine guns to Acholi Panyakwara, Magwi and Agoro who are loyalists to JJ Okot, to exploit the uneasy relations between the Acholi Panyikwara and the Madi.

The primary objective is that the Acholi militia should be used to defuse any upraising in Greater Equatoria. The Acholi militia is to be paid, armed and encouraged to fight the Equatorians. They see the Acholi Panyikwara as their only loyalists in the Greater Equatoria.

In this goal, while the Acholi Panyikwara fight the rest of the Equatorians, the government forces will concentrates in fighting the rebellions under the former vice President Riek Machar; this is a divide-and-conquer at its best.

What these Warrap generals do not realize, however, is that it is only a handful of closely associated Panyikwara, close relatives of JJ Okot, who are favoring the Dinka because of the benefits Okot managed to amass under Kiir’s government from which he, JJ Okot, is the greatest beneficiary among the Panyikwara people but also perhaps the whole of Equatoria, while the rest of the Acholi have nothing to do with him and his handful Acholi group of Dinka faithful!

Furthermore, according to the general who asked for his identity to be concealed due to fear of his personal security and that of his family, President Kiir, in addition is very worried about the sitting governor of Central Equatoria State, Hon Clement Wani Konga.

During the meeting they agreed that the SPLA should increase security surveillance around the residence of Governor Konga, to monitor his activities and movements, they also agreed to beef up security around the Governor’s house to ensure, in case of war engulfing Juba, that the Governor should be the first target to be eliminated so as to stop the rebellion from expanding to Mundari land, and also to create psychological warfare on other high ranking members of Equatorians in the armed forces from defecting.

Our informant also disclosed that there was a proposal to reshuffle the position of the vice President James Wani Igga with the Governor of Western Equatoria State, Joseph Bakasero, in doing so, Western Equatoria will be kept in the government’s camp, justifying it that James Wani is ineffective and not doing enough to recruit the Equatorians, simply because he has no influence among his people, the Equatorians.

As such, thereby, the generals believe Governor Bakasero is the only influential person who will be used to convince the Equatorians including Martin Kenyi to rejoin the government.

According to our informant the debate about switching the position of Vice president ended in the air, as they could not reach an agreement, since there are Warrap generals who insisted Wani Igga’s loyalty must be rewarded not tempered with, but his lack of followers and influence among Equatoria worries them, since in the case of an Equatorian rebellions, he is of no help to them.

Other agendas discussed included the position of the minister of foreign affairs, Dr. Barnaba Benjamin. Some of the generals see him as inactive and ineffective, and others suggested that he should be moved to the ministry of health while the current head of the ministry of health Dr Riak Gai to head the ministry of foreign affairs.

Dr Riak Gai is seen by the generals as someone with vision and influence, and if properly used by the government, he, Dr.Gai, will exert his influence in reaching out to many Neur.

The generals see Dr Benjamin Barnaba as someone with no influence since the Nuer do not recognize him as one of their own, given his mother is from Dinka.

Finally, our informant revealed the generals urged the president to work hard in order to forge a peace deal with “the Nuer rebellion,” as they call it, given the now rumored “Equatorian rebellions” as they coined it, before they could link combined forces with the growing threats within the Greater Equatoria.

They are keenly aware this could mean the end to their regime.

In the views of the generals, if a deal is quickly reached with “the Nuer rebellion”, then the Nuer army will be used to fight against the Equatorians whom they accused of waging a war of separation from the rest of South Sudan.

The generals further believe that if indeed the rumor of Kenyi’s rebellion is confirmed, they urged the president to launch an immediate media campaign and project any rebellion in Equatoria as for Kokora and for breakaway from the rest of South Sudan in order to win the support of the Nuer, whom, as per their views, they the Nuer have always fought for a united South Sudan and are now fighting for a Federal South Sudan.

My fellow countrymen, there you have it! As it is said, there is no smoke without fire! Again when it comes to this regime, we rather let you be the judge than we second-guessing our informants! We report, you decide.

You must be vigilant and alert, should the above leaked information be true, then it clearly reveals how the Warrap generals have no national interest other than tribal agendas.

Should we forget Kiir’s infamous own words: “This power I have belongs to you, they want to take it away from me, will you let them?”

‘You’ meant the Dinka, and of course, the answer from the Warrap generals by the above and as witnessed on December 15th 2013, was an emphatic NO, at all cost…

They, the Warrap generals intend to keep Kiir in power for life, and will not hesitate to unleashed lethal means to eliminate whomever they see as a threat to their tribal dominance and survival in the republic of South Sudan. This includes the killings of women and children to inflict terror and strike fear in the hearts of all who live in this our great nation that deserves to exist free of tribal tyranny.

Justin S. Kwaje
SSLN
Juba South Sudan

South Sudan: A Country betrayed by our own

BY: Nul J. Mayendit, JUBA, NOV/19/2014, SSN;

The Republic of South Sudan is known for brilliant people, great historians, situated on a very rich geographical location with fertile soil. A country endowed with enormous natural resources such as oil that sell highly in the International markets, probable uranium, gold, diamond and etc.

This country has been categorized as among the failing states within its phases of inception a regional district to Sovereignty within which it obtained “Free at Last” the 9th July 2011 Independence.

World’s records in business journals, economic magazines have shown South Sudan as one of the most upcoming States with spontaneous development, Democratic and a potential business hub.

South Sudanese from different backgrounds on other hand writes, testify and advocate to the entire world that this country is a failed state, being characterized by dictatorial hegemony, poor economy and above all a corrupt country.

It is very clear that the negative impression that global citizens have about our country is our own bias, erroneous reports and slanderous communications to media houses.

We are a betrayal to our own selves, foreign citizens talk positive about this country but the South Sudanese finds it a “fashion” to abuse and belittle themselves in public places such as conferences, workshops, media and even churches.

Beginning from the top-most citizens, military Generals, state-sponsored tycoons and other gurus sharpened a python tongues against South Sudan. We have mentioned enough aspects of a failed state to foreign population staying within and abroad. We betray our country on the systemic cancer called “corruption”, Government officials and civil societies, religious leaders and opinion leaders sang songs about tribalism, nepotism and citizens’ laziness to work, this alone, partly explains why an influx of foreigners in South Sudan. Of course yes!

A case in point is the Presidential slogan of “Zero Tolerance to Corruption” instead some civil servants, Ministers, army generals and the general public took it for granted and used the same roadmap to blame the President to have failed in implementation. Come-ons! Policies and roadmaps are set by the Head of States and the rest remains a collective contribution by all.

I have registered a particular case with the civil society that is composed of majority from opposition parties, former civil servants and less educated self-proclaimed journalists. This organization lacks transparency and the ability to analyze personalities and the systemic disparities in the Government of South Sudan.

The organization has sold the image of the country to the brim that it does belong to the world of furnished and improved corruption, tribalism and war crimes. They have never and still cast doubts whether they will ever be partial about the current leadership’s achievements; I suspect they have taken upon them as “ Personal”. How much do you have to offer and when?

It is quite unfortunate and an embarrassing for some citizens who at one point serve in this system to criticize and displace the weaknesses they were part of onto others, after all they have been removed or professionally short-circuited with their positions.

I have a respect for one individual who did oppose Governments from the word “go” Dr. Adwok Nyaba, although he hates the consequences and I quote “I do not enjoy the tenancy of Prisons”. Who does anyway!

Constructive criticisms of this elite and one learned fellow personally impressed me, even if he represents it with absurdum.

In our collective search for meaningful political change, we need to understand that change is a process. It takes time to build democratic institutions and establish fair political practices. Violent opposition is not a political change but destruction [Malith Kur, London]

There is no country that has a proper definition of democracy in the world. Every nation has its principal application in the context to which it perceives democratic governance. Therefore, South Sudanese on a serious note require comprehensive understanding of their own nation, legal precedence, its populace, resources and the level of their physical presence in order to advocate for the so called democracy.

I know of one challenge to “democrats of South Sudan” the imported democracy from various countries makes fewer efforts to bring forth any role model country other than betraying our own country as a failed state.

What did we have then while we were classified asylum seekers, refugees and or political and army deserters?

Isn’t it better to have a bad Government than having none? South Sudanese are staining this country with the best paint that will cost the most expensive detergent to remove it in future.
There is no point of being hopeless, let’s consider future improvement.

In south Sudan, “there is no constitutional provision for dual citizenship” therefore, South Sudanese abroad that have another citizenship must give a chance to true South Sudanese in the country to resolve their own and adjust to the next level of best governance, or else your contribution has gone ransack and it has incited our country into tribal slums.

Your cyberspace has become tribal base forum and a college of deceits, naïve propagandistic and sufficient enough to cause another war within the families.

The best attitude of a good citizen is to be proud of his/her origin, country and defend it where necessary, the rest are an inside renovation which does not require publication and indoctrination of a foreign population to have negative image towards your country.

We as South Sudanese have never had a sovereign State before, some of us are aware of how much price was paid to obtain this country.

Are we in our right mind to even tongue-slide of mentioning the country as a failed state? Hate this with fashion!

Compatriotism, nationalism, Pan Africanism, Comradeship and citizenry that pay taxes are key elements to form a good citizen. Do South Sudanese have these doctrines in them? They’re reflected in our own actions, the display of our scientific analysis on the current tragedy in which the country is held up with.

The future of this country will never come from another country or citizens but from us. Leaders come and they go, however, The Republic of South Sudan will always remain forever and forever more!

The author can be reached at chaapwut@gmail.com
Based in Juba.

The marginalisation of Equatoria- Enough is enough!

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudanese, NOV/02/2014, SSN;

Whether by design or coincidence, once again Equatoria has been marginalised in the affairs of the country. President Salva Kiir’s SPLM-IG, Dr Riek Machar’s SPLM-IO and their off shots the SPLM-G10 together with IGAD have to a large extent connived to exclude Equatoria to maintain the strangle hold they have over the people of the most peaceful part of the country.

SPLM’s creation from the outset was intended to fight and subjugate Equatorians. The silent policy of this organisation towards Equatorians has been crystal clear. It strove to oppress and marginalise the Equatoria region through violence to disempower its people within and without the movement.

This was done through the policy that stated no groups are allowed to join the movement but only individuals. This policy evidently was designed and intended to keep individuals isolated and weak.

It is associated with predatory groups wanting to dominate and control people. This had a devastating effect on the Equatorians within the movement because what it did was it directly eliminated Equatorian leadership.

It cut Equatorian leaders and potential leaders from being recognised by their own people while at the same time installing and building Jieng as their direct bosses.

(Please see ‘The broken social boundaries in South Sudan.’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201307050284.html)

However, this policy was not applied to the Nuer. The Nuer joined the movement in all sorts of groups with their leaders intact and recognised. This obviously ensured the continued survival of Nuer power within the SPLM/A.

Unlike the Equatorians who became victims of violent elimination under the watch of the current useless Vice President James Wani Igga.

For example, a certain notorious cousin of Dr John Garang by name Deng Agwang openly executed Equatorian officers and soldiers of the SPLA at will in Eastern Equatoria during 1980s and early 1990s without any accountability.

The net effect was total disempowerment of Equatoria. The Nuer continued to grow in strength because as a group they could assert their interest. This group approach to the membership of SPLM is the single act that has helped the Nuer to resist and face down the Jieng at different critical times including the current conflict.

The balance of power between the Nuer and the Jieng in South Sudan has always been maintained through this unspoken arrangement. Now that the two are at each other’s throat, both want to use Equatoria to strengthen their positions in order to control the country without any discernible benefit for Equatorians.

Basically both groups view Equatorians as their donkeys or slaves to be exploited.

Equatoria’s patriotic stand to always fight for the freedom of South Sudan unfortunately has made them to ignore their inalienable rights in South Sudan to their own detriment.

By default, their patriotism has turned them into the underclass in the country they greatly sacrificed for. This is unacceptable and Equatoria must re-strategise to regain their rightful place in the social structure of the country. They should no more play second fiddle.

The exclusion of Equatoria from the talks in Addis Ababa should serve as the final straw that broke the Camel’s back.

Dr Machar has openly claimed that he is fighting for implementation of democracy in South Sudan. This is welcome and everybody in the country is looking forward to it. However, a mere statement stating a noble position is not good enough if it is not followed by action.

If the actions of a supposed leader who promises something contradict his words, then alarm bells ought to ring loudly lest the people are taken for a ride.

This article is the alarm bell. Dr Machar has been part of the system (Dinkocracy) since 2002 when he returned to the fold of the SPLM after having led a rebellion against it from 1991.

For nine solid years he fought the system in order to change its objective of united Sudan. He did not succeed. The rebellion movement that he led fractured into two. The other part that Dr Machar led which was renamed South Sudan Independence Movement (SSIM) ended up signing the Khartoum Peace Agreement in 1997 which granted him the position of Vice President of General Omer Bashir.

While he was a ceremonial Vice President in Khartoum he found himself powerless and this led to his return to the SPLM under Dr John Garang in 2002. In the process of defecting, Dr Machar basically abandoned all those he took with him to Khartoum. They remained at the mercy of President General Bashir.

There is a crucial thing here to be noted. The quality of leadership of Dr Machar, his values and principles and his ability to hold a group together is highly questionable.

It is important to note this point because Dr Machar may eventually sacrifice the Nuer and the Equatorians with him now exactly in the same manner he did in 1997 and in 2002 if he sees an opening for seizing personal power.

The alliance with Nuer must not be confused with support for Dr Machar. South Sudanese standing with the Nuer is based on the fact that they were subjected to horrendous and unacceptable killings by President Kiir and the Jieng.

Everybody acknowledges, accepts and condemns the ethnic cleansing done on them. Because of this, the Nuer have all the rights in the world to be given support to fight for their own survival.

Dr Machar as a Nuer happened to have been targeted and so people sympathise with him. But unfortunately Dr Machar is taking the fight of Nuer as a chance to advance his own personal interest.

He seized on the massacres of the Nuer to promote his personal ambition to accede to power. The evidence can be gleaned from the interview he held with Al Jazeera on 22nd December 2013, a week into the ethnic cleansing.

Dr Machar categorically stated that he wished to become the president. There was no need for Dr Machar to unequivocally express his ambition when the Nuer people were being hunted down in Juba by the Dootku Beny militia. This reckless behaviour exposed his lack of care for his own people.

As far as Dr Machar was concerned he wanted to be president and that was all. The ongoing killing of the Nuer was not an issue. Initially, he even resisted naming the targeted killing of Nuer as ethnic cleansing.

If Dr Machar was a true leader, he should have used the interview to articulate the horrendous experience of the Nuer and by extension the suffering of South Sudanese people. This would have presented him as a conscientious leader in waiting which would be exactly like what he verbalised.

Others could argue that Dr Machar is an ally of Equatorians because he championed the cause of federalism. Yes, it is indisputable that Dr Machar has called for the implementation of federalism.

However, the question to ask is why did he not show his support when he was the vice president?

Crucially, in July 2011 at the adoption of the infamous interim constitution of Mr John Luke Jok and following the three Equatorian conferences Dr Machar did not side with the Equatorians.

This evidence raises serious issues with the integrity of Dr Machar. Simply put, when Dr Machar was in alliance with President Kiir and as his Vice President, he was happy to step firmly on Equatorians with his Jackboots. He was happy helping President Kiir and the Jieng to lord it over Equatorians mercilessly.

Since Dr Machar rebelled following the mid December 2013 incident, he sung all the right songs to woo Equatorians to support him. He has succeeded to some extent but unbelievably he has started to backtrack in a very worrying manner.

Those people in SPLM-IO should not just be carried away by the heat of the moment. They need to scrutinise Dr Machar’s speeches (some through his spokesperson James Gadet Dak) and actions carefully to see the very worrying signs in the open political space now.

Dr Machar is already displaying dictatorial and tribal tendencies akin to Dr John Garang’s behaviour at the early stages of SPLM inception which morphed into the monstrous organisation that we now know.

The evidence to this lies in:
– 1) the manner Dr Machar makes his appointments,
– 2) in how he dismisses the participation of the stake holders in Addis Ababa by emphasising direct talks between him and Kiir only and
– 3) in how he neglects the rights of other oppressed groups.

The second and the third parts are very crucial because these are the bits responsible for marginalisation of Equatorians from the talks in Addis Ababa.

As it is now, the talks technically are clearly between Bahr El Ghazal on one hand led by President Kiir and Upper Nile on the other led Dr Machar as an armed opponent of the system (Dinkocracy) with the SPLM-G10 playing the role of supporting both regions ensuring Equatoria is kicked into the long grass.

The exclusion of Equatoria is a combined effort of President Kiir, Dr Machar and the IGAD.

First of all, President Kiir used the machinery of the state of South Sudan to exclude the Equatorian leaders from the process by quarantining them in Juba. Although they were officially invited by IGAD to the talks, the system (Dinkocracy) illegally denied them the right to travel and on top of that, their passports were confiscated. This severely oppressive action amounted to direct exclusion of Equatoria from the talks.

Secondly, all the other parties invited to the talks in Addis Ababa found themselves abused and corralled to accept being represented by Dr Lam Akol as their leader. Dr Lam himself has now been fouled and quarantined by the system. This shameful act was done by IGAD and the delegation of government of South Sudan exposing the collision between them.

Thirdly, IGAD from the outset has all along been interested in patching the SPLM as a solution to the problems of the country. Within this position, they deliberately ignored the violation visited on the Equatorian leaders and the other invited participants.

Not only that, but they participated in forcing the other parties to be led by others whose ideology and values widely differs. This was a violation of the very principle of stakeholder participation.

The question that IGAD must answer is: why have they violated their own principles by denying all the lawful South Sudanese political parties participation individually in their own right? Please see, ‘IGAD’s inadequate strategy in South Sudan’, http://allafrica.com/stories/201404140864.html?viewall=1 and ‘Reflections on Justice Peter Sule’s indefinite incarceration’, http://allafrica.com/stories/201305080235.html

As it can be seen, the quartet: SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO, SPLM-G10 and IGAD have all connived to exclude and marginalise Equatoria. There is no doubt that the views of Equatoria are not represented in Addis Ababa.

This raises serious issue of legitimacy of the talks going on in Ethiopia. Now that the views of a third of the country (Equatoria) are not taken into consideration, whatever the outcome, it may not be binding on Equatoria.

Equatorians should not accept any outcome from Addis Ababa as binding upon them because their interest was not represented, articulated or considered in the current talks taking place in Addis Ababa.

If Dr Machar was a democrat and an ally of Equatoria he should have demonstrated it by fighting for all the stakeholders regardless of whether they are his supporters or not.

As a freedom fighter (based on his claim) espousing the ideal of justice, he should have been in the forefront showing that he wants to see the country return to peaceful co-existence by insisting on the participation of all stakeholders including the Equatorians.

Unfortunately, he only fought for the participation of his own people and in my opinion Dr Machar has failed the test of a truly national democratic leader.

Therefore, clearly without any doubt, Equatoria is on its own. It remains marginalised and oppressed by grand design of Jieng, Nuer and IGAD. What does that mean? Simple, Equatoria is not weak as perceived and believed by others and some Equatorians. Equatoria is the sleeping giant. It only needs to wake up.

The only thing crippling Equatoria is the dysfunctional SPLM. Equatorians must first desert the SPLM or the Equatorians in this hopeless organisation need to think outside the box and join their sisters and brothers to realise its interest.

Equatorians, therefore, need neither the Jieng nor the Nuer for allies. What it needs is internal unity of purpose, unity of survival and unity of destiny. Without such unity, the options before it are limited.

Thus this suggested kind of approach is a must to offset the brutal jungle politics employed by fellow countrymen from the other two regions.

On its own Equatoria can lead and bring stability to South Sudan. After all, South Sudan numerically (population) is equally divided between the three regions. Each region is a third of the country.

If Equatoria organises itself, it has equal chances of winning the presidency in any elections held in the country. This should now be the policy of Equatoria. Go it alone and if any alliance is to be made, the leadership must be of Equatoria. Anything less than that should not be entertained or accepted.

Equatoria must not take this insult from the SPLM warring factions and IGAD lying down. Enough is enough because the unnecessary bloodletting in the country needs to stop.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

Conflict Alert: Looming Military Offensives in South Sudan

BY: Casie Copeland, CRISIS GROUP.ORG, OCT/29/2014, SSN;

Warring parties in South Sudan’s civil war are preparing for major offensives as seasonal rains ease. Hardliners in both the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) are entrenching their positions, and think, as one opposition commander declared, “we will settle this with war”.

Renewed conflict is likely to be accompanied by widespread displacement, atrocity crimes and famine. Despite some progress, nine months of peace talks in Addis Ababa have been unable to stop the fighting.

With splintering interests, weak command and control and proliferating militias and self-defence forces, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the regional body mediating peace talks, must expand and strengthen its political links on the ground with senior commanders, armed groups and militarised communities not represented in Addis Ababa if a future agreement is to have meaning.

The coming violence will present new challenges for UNMISS as it prioritises protection of the nearly 100,000 civilians sheltering in their bases.

The soon-to-end rainy season was accompanied by reduced fighting, which allowed both sides to import arms and marshal forces that were hastily mobilised at the outset of war in December.

The government is emboldened, perceiving a diplomatic swing in its favour, following Kiir’s July visit to Washington and the August IGAD heads of state summit, giving it the space to launch a major offensive while stalling in Addis Ababa.

It has spent tens of millions of dollars on arms – largely from oil revenues – (rather than humanitarian assistance for its people); strengthened its military cooperation agreement with Uganda; undertaken mass recruitment, including of children; and mobilised police units in efforts to regain some of the strength it lost with the defections of troops and loss of weapons to the SPLA-IO.

However, major government victories are unlikely to end the rebellion. Furthermore, given the Ugandan army and Sudanese rebel deployments on its behalf, government advances will likely threaten Sudan’s national security interests, increase regional tensions and further inflame the conflict.

At the same time, state and opposition-supported, ethnically-based armed groups, such as the Nuer White Armies, have flourished and are only tenuously controlled by their sponsors.

Including the Ugandan army and Sudanese rebels backing the government, there are now at least two dozen armed entities operating in South Sudan.

The fragile coalitions threaten to further fracture, particularly in oil-producing Upper Nile State. Many of them, as well as some powerful generals from both the government’s Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA-IO, have expressed their intention to fight on, even if the political leaders sign an agreement.

Despite these obstacles, the IGAD mediation team has focused on trying to broker a deal between Kiir and Machar in Addis Ababa, ignoring other actors.

As Crisis Group warned in July, this lack of broad-scale engagement has led many commanders and armed groups to reject the political process. Most of these parties have their own interests.

IGAD should work with the African Union High-Level Panel on Sudan and South Sudan (AUHIP)(that is supporting the Sudanese dialogue process), led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, in order to secure the withdrawal of the Sudanese armed groups as called for in the January cessation of hostilities agreement and previous AU-mediated agreements.

Furthermore, despite many threats, IGAD has not taken punitive measures against the two main parties for violating cessation of hostility agreements, committing war crimes and otherwise undermining the peace-talks, and nor has it requested the African Union or UN Security Council to do so.

Armed actors increasingly believe there is little muscle behind the mediation, which is challenged by divisions within the regional body.

IGAD should continue the process with the two main parties, but given the deteriorating situation on the ground, it must expand its efforts and strengthen its links to other groups and militarised communities not represented in Addis Ababa, through increased political presence on the ground (not simply the Monitoring and Verification Teams observing the ill-implemented cessation of hostility agreements).

Its mediation should be supplemented by separate but linked negotiation tracks on issues not being comprehensively discussed in Ethiopia, particularly the Tanzanian-led SPLM party talks; a re-activated Political Parties Forum; engagement with armed groups; and processes to address violent communal conflict.

Promising internal SPLM party talks have begun, sponsored by Tanzania’s ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM; in English Party of the Revolution), however they have not yet changed the calculus for war on the ground.

The Political Parties Forum should be re-activated and the leader of the largest opposition party, the SPLM-Democratic Change, should be permitted to travel from South Sudan to re-join the talks.

Much of the dialogue and work with community representatives, armed groups and militarised communities should take place in South Sudan, not in Addis Ababa.

China and the U.S. should play a more active, neutral, consistent and transparent role in ameliorating the regional divisions to help break the impasse.

The two should take a harder line with their allies within the region who continue to enable the war and are party to cessations of hostilities violations.

The limited U.S. and EU individual sanctions, aimed at punishing a few commanders on both sides that are seen to have broken the cessation of hostilities, have thus far had little impact on the combatants’ calculations and individual IGAD, AU or UNSC sanctions are similarly unlikely to turn the tide unless used as leverage to further political negotiations.

In light of the anticipated intensification of fighting, UNMISS’ mandate, due to be renewed on 30 November, should continue to focus on civilian protection.

This is particularly true of protection of civilians already sheltering inside UNMISS and, where possible, it should extend protection beyond bases.

Hosting nearly 100,000 civilians inside of its bases for an extended period is far from ideal, however the mission must continue to provide protection until conditions allow for their safe and voluntary exit from the bases.

Civilians should not be moved into less protected UN humanitarian sites or other specially-designated sites where protection standards will not be the same as within a peacekeeping base.

Supporting further ethnic divisions by moving people to their “ancestral” lands where famine and conflict are likely in the coming months is also not a viable option.

Many recommendations Crisis Group made in its December 2013, Open Letter to the UN Secretary-General, its April report, A Civil War by Any Other Name, and July conflict alert, Halting South Sudan’s Civil War, remain relevant to averting further escalation, improving the peace process and ensuring UNMISS has an appropriate mandate and posture.

To stop further intensification of the war, IGAD should take the following steps:-

* increase its political presence on the ground in South Sudan, with a specific focus on engagement with commanders and armed groups;

* start dialogue with all armed groups and militarised communities;

* open four separate negotiation tracks, both in Addis and South Sudan, sequenced and pursued so as to contribute to the broader national political dialogue and focused on:
-1) the SPLM (supported by Tanzania’s CCM party);
-2) a re-activated Political Parties Forum;
-3) armed groups; and
-4) communal conflict; and

* work with the African Union High-Level Panel on Sudan and South Sudan (AUHIP) to secure the withdrawal of the Sudanese armed groups as called for in the January cessation of hostilities agreement and as well as previous AU-mediated agreements between Sudan and South Sudan.

As the conflict threatens to intensify once again, the United Nations Security Council should take the following actions:-

# institute an arms embargo for South Sudan, which must then be carefully monitored to prevent further escalation;

# identify the government’s and opposition’s sources of weapons and how they are paying for them; and increase leverage over the parties;

# establish a Contact Group that includes IGAD, the AU, UN, Troika (U.S., UK, Norway), EU, China and Tanzania to facilitate coordination and discussion on the way forward; and

# maintain UNMISS’ core protection of civilians mandate, including allowing civilians to shelter within UNMISS bases until they are able to make a safe and voluntary exit.

Greater coordination between regional and international actors is urgently needed to ensure the high-level peace talks better reflect the growing number and power of increasingly autonomous armed groups in South Sudan as well as the regional dynamics behind the war.

A clear strategy for engagement with armed groups and facility for linking local negotiations with a wider national process will help prevent the civil war deepening and spreading further in South Sudan and the region.

Casie Copeland

A federal system of government won’t divide people of South Sudan

By: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, OCT/26/2014, SSN;

Fears have been expressed that adoption of a federal system of government will surely divide up the people of South Sudan into hostile sectarian or reactionary groups along ethnic or regional lines, each trying to finish off the other. The question to ask, though, is the fear genuine, unfounded or both. One may tend to answer that the fear at best is both genuine and unfounded.

The fear is genuine as it is the fear of the unknown. People are simply not sure of what is in store for them in a federal system. However, those with genuine fears may easily be persuaded when the facts about federalism are laid bare for an informed decision.

On the other hand the fear is unfounded because it is based on illusion and erroneous assumption that some people are targeted for special treatment and that the proponents of federalism have a hidden agenda of their own.

Those with unfounded fears of federalism may be stubborn because they themselves might have a hidden agenda of their own. However, it seems that many South Sudanese have now been persuaded of and seen the merit of federalism. Immediately after independence of South Sudan the governors of the ten states called on the national government to implement fully a decentralized system. The governors called for a more federal system during presentations to the First Governors Forum after independence.

Since September 2014 the national government has agreed to the installation of a federal system of governance in South Sudan. This all suggests that it is not now a matter of if but of when a federal system will be adopted in South Sudan. The unfounded fears are fast disappearing into thin air, giving way to genuine fears that can easily be managed.

Federalism

Many people may need to know why there is a need for federalism in South Sudan. It must be underlined that the present system is not federalism. After the opponents of federalism had come out with all their guns blazing against federalism there now should be a time for calm and reflection on federalism. South Sudan will not be the first in the world to ponder over federalism or centralization of power and neither will it be the last.

The people of South Sudan are dynamic and will always be searching for a better way forward for development and unity. The present conflict is precisely a search for how best South Sudan should be governed for prosperity for its entire people. This is evidenced by the peace talks in Ethiopia. The problem seems to be that there is lack of culture of dialogue for consensus but violence. In addition there are people who are inherently fearful of change and those include the diehard opponents of federalism who would do anything to maintain the status quo at all cost.

One important question to ask is what do people know about federalism. Perhaps, we may need to look at the United States of America (USA) as a model of federalism with principles such as the separation of powers, an independent judiciary and individual rights.

In the federal system in the USA a state has established tripartite division of governmental power, legislative, executive and judicial. The federal government cannot intervene to protect states against internal violence without a request from the state legislature or the governor, something contrary to what is happening in South Sudan where an elected governor can be unceremoniously removed on an allegation of insecurity in the state.

In the USA there is a commitment to state autonomy. In the federal system in the USA there is no provision for revenue sharing and it does not require the federal government or the states to cooperate or coordinate with each other on tax matters. The USA federal constitution does not require the federal or state governments to balance their budgets. In contrast, in South Sudan the national government dictates a ceiling within which the states should develop their budgets, a limiting factor indeed for the states to develop according to their needs.

With the brief highlights of principles of federalism as in the USA, it is hoped that people would have a glimpse of what federalism may all be about to appreciate the contribution of federalism to development.

Unity of people of South Sudan

South Sudan was created not by a voluntary union of its diverse ethnic groups but by the work of the British in their colonial administration of the old Sudan. According to the British the administration of South Sudan was to be developed along African rather than Arab lines. The British were not therefore committed to administering South Sudan as part of the old Sudan but believing that South Sudan might eventually be linked to the British East African colonies.

South Sudanese were not part of the concept of linking them to the British East African colonies. They had no power to choose voluntarily where to belong. Like most people of diverse ethnic groups in Africa before the British colonial rule, South Sudanese were of various ethnic groups occupying the geographical area the British called Southern Sudan with no common agenda.

South Sudanese were never united in modern sense. They saw themselves as people of different ethnic groups, each with its distinct language and ways of life. South Sudanese only became united in the face of harsh treatment by the Arabs of old Sudan. It was then when South Sudanese realized they were people of one destiny thanks to the Arabs’ arrogance and insensitivity which helped to consolidate southern unity for a protracted struggle for freedom.

After having attained independence it is not clear whether the unity during the period of the protracted struggle for freedom still exists. Independence brought with it challenges and responsibilities for which South Sudanese seemed not to have been prepared. There was nothing to motivate in the form of a common agenda for unity as people of one destiny. Southerners seemed to have resorted to tribalism and nepotism instead of nationalism.
After independence tribalism and nepotism seem to have surfaced with vengeance and this is likely to wreck havoc on unity of the people of South Sudan. The current conflict cannot only be claimed to be a contest for leadership. It has become something on ethnic lines although it is now a search for an appropriate system of governance as shown by the talks in Ethiopia between the protagonists.

Some people would like to be neutral because of the ethnic nature of the conflict. The question, though, is not who is either right or wrong. It is purely a conflict for ethnic hegemony that is threatening to tear apart the unity in diversity of people of South Sudan. The giant ethnic groups want to be rulers by all means and whether this is at the expense of unity of the country or not, is yet to be seen.

Acceptance of reality

Acceptance of the reality will be the second liberation of people of South Sudan. South Sudanese are obsessed with the propaganda that they are one people. The propaganda seems to be borne out of the fear that unity in diversity will deprive others of their self-adored hegemonic tendencies. People are simply preoccupied with a strong belief that they have to be the rulers instead of promoting unity in diversity.

The reality is that there are about or more than 64 ethnic groups in South Sudan. This confirms that there are diversities. In addition the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan confirms those diversities that South Sudan is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-racial entity where such diversities peacefully co-exist.

One observation is that the phrase “where such diversities peacefully co-exist” is arguable. In the current conflict many are seeing it as it is on ethnic lines and, clans’ revenge killings are taking place with impunity. One may wonder whether all this confirms that there is peaceful co-existence in South Sudan. If there was peaceful co-existence with law abiding citizens, insecurity wouldn’t have been so rampant.

One other reality is that a centralized power is not suitable to address the problem of diversities as in South Sudan. Devolution of powers is appropriate. In South Sudan the purported decentralization system is in reality centralized power where, for example, an elected governor can be removed and, the judiciary and taxes are centralized. Acceptance of reality opens a wider avenue for dialogue in exploring a better way forward. It also brings people closer for unity.

Factors dividing people

It can be asserted that it is not diversities that divide people but it is how those diversities are managed that divide people. In brief South Sudanese are multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. The two factors of ethnic and cultural diversities are well pronounced and when they are poorly managed will most likely lead to disunity.

It is indicated above that South Sudan has many ethnic groups and for cultural diversities there are two main cultures, namely pastoralism and sedentary farming. The two cultures clash frequently both formally and informally. The clash can be a source of ill-feelings hence disinclination to unity. Relationship between pastoralists and sedentary farmers needs a special management approach in promoting peaceful co-existence.

Along Professor Taban Loleyong road, Juba-Kajo Keji main shortcut, some pastoralists led loose their animals that destroyed completely food crops in a total area of 4 feddans. The pastoralists carried guns and were a menace, being arrogant and uncooperative.

The destruction of food crops not only causes household food insecurity but armed and arrogant pastoralists are a security threat to local farming communities. In such circumstances how can there be peaceful co-existence for a strong untied South Sudan. The government must wake up in the interest of national unity.

The factor of ethnic dimension in dividing up people cannot be overexaggerated. There are about 64 ethnic groups is South Sudan as already mention above. For only one ethnic group to take upon themselves to dominate in every aspect of state affairs is a sure recipe for disunity as had happened in the old Sudan when the South broke away because of intolerable marginalization.

When South Sudanese struggled for independence as people of one destiny it was not for fun. People were very serious to put an end to marginalization so that it was history. Now to revive the Arab style system of marginalization of fellow citizens is totally unacceptable. Those who are inclined to copy the Arab style of marginalizing others are surely digging a deeper grave for themselves that they would have difficulty in resurrecting because disunity would have been total.

Other factors that are causing disunity is poverty, poor enforcement of the rule of law where victims do not get justice and insecurity perceived to be perpetrated by other fellow citizens.

Federalism unites

One is hoping to see the emergence of a Federal Republic of South Sudan where power is granted to the states to handle economic affairs and implement national policies instead of the national government turning around to be another implementer in the states. Handling economic affairs and implementing national policies, and with adequate capacity and resources this can only accelerate tremendously socio-economic development in the country.

Federalism is a measure to handle ethnic conflict because of the adequate power granted to the states. In federalism the state has power to have the three arms of government, namely the executive, legislature and the judiciary which can only be good in enforcing the rule of law where one ethnic group with hegemonic tendencies is unlikely to dominate and be biased as in a centralized system.

In federalism each state will have its police, prisons, wildlife and fire brigade that serve the needs of the citizens of the state including those from the other states without fear or favor. In contrast centralized law enforcement agencies are likely to be dominated by only one ethnic group and this can be disturbing to other ethnic groups because of the perceived favoritism being openly displayed.

Federalism provides for fair representation of ethnic minorities of the public service systems of the states and regions. This is in contrast to the domination of such public service systems by one ethnic group.

After the bloody war for the would be independent Republic of Biafra in Nigeria, the Nigerian government reorganized the country by creating 12 states in the place of the previous four regions to foster stability and reduce ethnic tension to realize unity. This was intended to undermine monopolization of power as well as to increase the political influence and safety of minority ethnic groups. This was to hold Nigeria together as a united country.

One may wonder why a federal system cannot be of service to South Sudan with its ethnic and cultural diversities as Nigeria. I am not suggesting copy and paste the Nigerian constitution. Surely the states in South Sudan will welcome the power to have the control over their own affairs and also to see that the central government does not interfere in state affairs, for example, in removing an elected governor on flimsy accusation and interfering with the appointments of ministers and commissioners.

One finds it strange that a system that is likely to accelerate development in the states is being resisted in contrast to the billions of dollars being squandered at the centre as in the case of the dura saga and 4 billion stolen without any recovery. How much that would have contributed to paved roads, clean drinking water, improved health and education services, availability of electricity and increased agricultural production for food security in the states for high standards of living of the people.

A federal system of government will not divide the people of South Sudan because there will be freedom of movement, residence and employment in any part of the Republic of South Sudan for all law abiding citizens. As a matter of fact federalism unites as in Switzerland where the Italian, French and the German ethnic groups peacefully co-exist as citizens of the Swiss federation.

Conclusion

Since after independence on the 9th July 2011 South Sudanese seem to have moved on because the conflict that started on the 15th December 2013 has become an eye opener. Some may be wondering why to become independent in the first place only to slaughter each other. Others may be hopeful that after a storm there will be calm after the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s (SPLM) internal contradictions have plunged the country into turmoil and unnecessary violent confrontation that should have been replaced with internal dialogue for a peaceful resolution of outstanding issues.

The main problem here is that people seem not to understand the difference between the government and the SPLM, the dominant party in government. When one disagrees with the SPLM as a matter of policy it is likely to be interpreted that one may be against the government and vice versa.

The government represents the country in its entirety while the SPLM represents nobody except its membership just like any other political party representing its membership of different ideology to the SPLM. On the other hand when an SPLM member dares to criticize the SPLM for whatever reason the member may be construed to have left and abandoned the SPLM as a party.

A party that has confidence will not be defensive but welcoming of criticism that carries everybody forward. Only a party deficient in abstract understanding of issues may be inclined to have robots or parrots as yes-man-sir members. This is nothing but the stifling of innovativeness in transforming a party into a modern strong party capable of being flexible enough to face challenges different from the pre-independence era of the liberation struggle.

When the government does not perform as expected it is not the fault of the SPLM but the fault of the SPLM individual members given assignments in government. This may seem contradictory. However, the only fault of the SPLM one can think of is its absolute weakness in applying the SPLM Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures, Draft February 2013 which is very clear on members performing poorly in assignments.

The SPLM is too weak to discipline its members in government who are underperforming and very corrupt. It may need to learn from the Chinese Communist Party how it is disciplining its corrupt members.

In conclusion, a federal system will unite South Sudanese as people of one destiny who are struggling vigorously to eradicate poverty, ethno-centricism, nepotism, corruption, injustice and inequality for a strong vibrant and highly developed South Sudan that will be a paradise for its entire population regardless of their ethnicity, language, culture, religion, educational background and political affiliation.

Jacob K. Lupai is the author of the book, South Sudan: issues in perspective, launched on Friday 24 October 2014 in Aaron International Hotel in Juba, South Sudan. The Special Guest of Honor was HE Manasse Lomole Waya, the Acting Governor and Deputy Governor of Central Equatoria State. The Book Reviewer was Professor Scopas Dima Jibi, the Minister of Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs, and the Master of Ceremony was Hon Suba Samuel, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. The audience included Advisors to the Government of Central Equatloria State, Cabinet Ministers and members of the public.

The entire SPLM leadership owns up to human rights abuses & crimes against humanity

BY: SINDANI IRENEAUS, Hargeisa, Somaliland, SOMALILAND, OCT/23/2014, SSN;

The cat is out of the bag. At least the Tanzanians have made it to jump out of the bag straight to our eyes and ears. No one can any longer deny it whether now or in future. The world has also heard it.

The African Union must have taken heed of it while the ICC prosecutors should be happy and excited that they will no longer delve deep in investigating the heinous crimes in South Sudan in order to unravel the people behind the genocide, mass rape, rampant torture, ethnic targeted killings, disappearance of people, violation of individual rights and mass displacement of people in Juba making South Sudanese to live destitute lives in their own country.

If you are still wondering what I am talking about, let me make it abundantly clear that I am talking about the surprising admission by the entire leadership of the SPLM that they are responsible for the crises in South Sudan.

Allow me to quote the Arusha communiqué; entitled: The Arusha Communique: Intra-SPLM party so as to clearly illustrate the point and make it abundantly plane to everybody. I quote “The parties acknowledge a collective responsibility for the crisis in South Sudan that has taken a great toll on the lives and property of our people”.

The communiqué was signed by none other than Cde Paul Akol Kordit on behalf of SPLM in government; Cde Duer Tut Duer on behalf of SPLM in opposition and Cde Kosti Manibe Ngai on behalf of SPLM detainees and it is dated October 21, 2014.

“The great toll on the lives” means the mass killings, torture, rape, displacement and incarcerations and disappearances”.

“Great toll to property” means the destruction to private and public properties such as individual Nuer houses in Juba, destruction of public homes such as the one of the former vice president, destruction of villages in upper Nile and Bentui, looting of peoples’ houses in Juba, land grabbing and confiscation of travelers property such as goods, cell phones, money and any other things that fall into category of property.

Right from the start let me make it abundantly clear that the leadership of these factions have frankly and without shame owned up to the criminal act and brutality that has been meted to the people of South Sudan.

By admitting that they are responsible for the “crisis in South Sudan that has taken a great toll on lives and property of the people of South Sudan”, it means they systematically planned, directed and executed all that befell the people.

Secondly they are saying that whatever crimes committed by their subordinates that include the rank and file of the SPLA soldiers on both side of the divide in this criminal war, was methodically organized, plan and directed by them.

There is nothing called random killing by rogue soldiers, nothing called revenge killings or being detained innocently. All have participated in one way or another in brutally murdering innocent children, women and civilians.

They conspired to exterminate ethnic groups and planned ethnic killings in the country. They smartly planned and uprooted South Sudanese from their residences and made them to be refugees and internally displaced in their country.

They directed mass rape as a tool of war. They displaced thousands of South Sudanese and forced them to refugee in neighbouring countries. They carried out targeted killing particularly of those perceive to be against the regime. They planned and directed the torture of human rights activists in Juba in order to silence them.

Now that these leaders have admitted and owned up to the genocide, ethnic killings, raping, torture and the whole range of human rights abuses in South Sudan, let me be clear on apportioning the crimes.

By owning up to these crimes the leadership of SPLM in government has owned up to:

1. Targeted ethnic killing of more than 20,000 Nuer civilians in Juba, destruction of Nuers property in Juba, Bor, Malakal, and Unity state particularly the destruction of leer in Bentui
2. The targeted killing and disappearance of people in Juba such as the killing of Isaiah Abraham because of his writings
3. Torturing human rights activists such as Athuai; the chairman of civil rights organizations in Juba
4. Attacking innocent Nuers who were sheltering in UNMISS compound in Bor
5. Illegally using of banned chemical weapons on Nuer soldiers on Juba-Bor road where hundreds of soldiers died as a result of cluster bombs
6. Carrying out rampant rape of Nuer women in Juba by government soldiers and operatives just because of their ethnicity
7. The fact that it fabricated a coup in order to eliminate its opponents and create chaos and suffering in order to perpetuate tribal, dictatorial and corrupt leadership in Juba
8. Consciously recruiting, training, arming, directing and commanding a tribal militia to carry out genocide and commit serious human right abuses in South Sudan
9. Hiring mercenaries from Uganda and northern Sudan to propagate its genocide and ethnic cleansing policy.

Likewise by signing the communiqué, the leadership of the SPLM in opposition has owned up to:

1. The revenge killings that occurred in Akobo in the UNMISS compound.
2. Alleged killing of innocent people in hospital and in a church in Bor
3. Innocent killing of captured soldiers from Sudanese rebels in Malakal
4. Ethnic killing of innocent chollo people because of their alleged support to General Olony, the leader of the Chollo militia in Malakal.

Lastly the leadership of the SPLM detainees in collaboration with the other leaders of SPLM has owned up to the rampant corruption, tribalism, nepotism, molding a dictator, mismanagement of state affairs, inability to render services to the people of South Sudan while they were in government.

What is the implication of this admission to the future of South Sudan?

First these leaders have admitted that they created chaos in South Sudan because of their failure to provide effective leadership. They have admitted that they are criminals, thieves, trbalists and dictators who are repugnant to democracy.

Above all they have committed crime against humanity and human rights violations. They have disunited and completely broken the bridges that had made the people of South Sudan to stick together.

They have admitted that they have failed the people of South Sudan who had voted overwhelmingly for them to steer the country into prosperity and rapid development.

They have admitted that they cannot unite, lead and administer the nation other than their stomachs and their cronies.

They have above all admitted that they have failed the peoples’ mandate and instead turned to kill and maim the very people who elected them, looted the country for their individual gain, destroyed the property of the very people who they were entrusted the protect.

The question is whether in any meaningful way these leaders have any legitimacy left to continue governing in South Sudan?

The fact is that any elected leader who has turned against his people, massacred them, plunger their wealth and property, displaced them, raped and tortured them, in the eyes of the law has lost his/her legitimacy and cannot longer purport to lead and speak on their behalf.

Therefore the current SPLM leaders are not longer legitimate elected leaders of South Sudan. They deserve not to speak on behalf of the people any more.

Since they have collectively taken responsibility for the heinous crimes against humanity and human right abuses, their only option is to stand up boldly and answer to their crimes before the International criminal court in The Hague.

As they stood boldly in their gray suites in front of Kikwete; the Tanzania President and owned up to their crimes, they should likewise stand tall, boldly and upright in front of the international criminal court to defend themselves individually or collectively.

On the other hand they should also face their victims and relatives of their victims to whole heartedly apologize to them like the great men and women in South African who faced their victims and relatives of their victims and apologized under the tutelage of Bishop Tutu truth and reconciliation commission.

Finally, what is my advice in these circumstances? My brotherly advice first goes to these leaders to tell them that this is decision time.

Either they make South Sudan to take the path of reconciliation and embark on peaceful co-existence and development of the country or they would like this great nation to sink with them during this period of their demise.

Taking path of reconciliation and peaceful co-existence means the leadership in Juba should immediately resign or seek no leadership position in the transitional administration.

Similarly the leadership of the SPLM in opposition and SPLM detainees must negotiate in good faith for peace and transitional government without them.

This is because with them in any form of government, genuine reconciliation will not happen in South Sudan. It would be like covering a fire with mud without extinguishing it completely.

Secondly, I must advise these leaders that they either face peoples’ truth and reconciliation commission to ask for forgiveness from the people of South Sudan because there is no South Sudanese who has not been aggrieved by their reckless leadership or wait to present themselves to the international criminal court where they can have the opportunity to clear their names as individual or suffer the consequences of their action.

This is the only way to end the impunity that has been the order of the day in South Sudan.

My advice to the IGAD peace negotiators is that peace and reconciliation can only come to South Sudan when the root causes of the current conflict are fully discussed, agreed upon and future roadmap for thorough reforms including the institution of federal system is drawn up.

Once this is achieved then a transitional government without these the self-confessed SPLM butchers of South Sudan can be established.

Excluding the entire leadership is crucial so that reconciliation and building of the social fabric of the people of South can begin.

The SPLM leaders should be offered the chance to seek forgiveness from the people of South Sudan through truth and reconciliation commission or face the international criminal court to clear their names.

By considering or allowing these leaders to participate in the transitional or future leadership in South Sudan without reconciliation or not answering to the heinous crimes they committed against the people of South Sudan, means IGAD itself is condoning impunity in South Sudan and in fact the South Sudanese will view this as if IGAD is adding salt on the bleeding wounds in South Sudan.

Certainly this will not go unchallenged because there many patriotic South Sudanese out there who will take over the mettle of liberating the people of South Sudan from the yoke of murderous leaders, looters and plunderers of the country. I

t does not matter how long this will take but the people have to be liberated from these criminals and impunity must be ended.

My advice to the friends of South Sudan including the troika is that they should continue to stand firm in supporting the people of South Sudan during this trying time. There is no quick fix to the issues in South Sudan neither can there be quick fix by reconstituting SPLM of self confessed criminals and looters.

The current leaders are bent to continue with their determined efforts to propagate chaotic crisis in the country for their comfort and comfort of their tribes and cronies.

South Sudan is not devoid of leaders but the country has been taken hostage by leaders who have no future of the country in their hearts. For eight years they have been in government, they have only perfected the art of looting, corrupting and balkanizing the country into tribal enclaves.

Nothing is acceptable than allowing and accepting the impunity that is striding the breath and length of entire South Sudan.

What about the Tanzania government. I must extend my sincere congratulations to the government of Tanzania for bringing these leaders together to finally take responsibility for the crimes they committed in South Sudan.

They have been denying this for long and now they have owned up. My sincere advice is that Tanzania should make these leaders to realize that the confession they made is not the highway to assume leadership again but it is the rough road for them to stand up and face their victims or their relatives and say we are sorry or else they must face the law at The Hague in order to end impunity in South Sudan. T

here is no middle road for these leaders. They either succumb to the law or are forced to face the law.

For the AU commission tasked to investigate human rights abuses and crimes against humanity in South Sudan, I would say that the Commission‘s work is made easier. The people have already taken responsibility for these crimes. The only work you are left with is to identify who bears the greatest responsibility so that the law takes its course.

There is no time to waste now because the people of South Sudan need closure for their sufferings.

Last but not the least, please, ICC, take up the case of South Sudan as soon as the AU commission presents it to you. South Sudanese are yawning for justice and they want to see justice prevail and this should be done as soon as possible for any justice delayed is justice denied.

Sindani Ireneaus
Hargeisa; Somaliland