Category: Politics

Who needs to reconcile with who? An open letter to President Salva Kiir and his deputies

BY: Agok Takping, Australia, MAY/30/2016, SSN;

In a more comical and dramatic way possible, vice president James Igga and Taban Deng Gai hold their hands up in the air while kneeling down in a rally in Nairobi, presumably begging South Sudanese to forgive them as SPLM leaders. On his part, Dr. Riek Machar went to Emmanuel Jieeng church in Juba and told the congregation that the people of South Sudan must now head towards the path of reconciliation while on the same podium, he tried to justify his side of the story to what started the war.

President Kiir and many other government officials have been talking to South Sudanese about reconciliation as well. Undoubtedly, reconciliation is a much-needed process that must start immediately so that we can start rebuilding our country as brothers and sisters.

However, I feel that although the hatred between the Nuer and many other tribes in greater Equatoria Versus Dinka has been gradually growing, the people who really need reconciliation first and foremost are SPLM/IO and SPLM/IG.

We all know that the tension between SPLM/IO and SPLM/IG forces mostly in former Unity state has always been high and still is. The soldiers there don’t see eye to eye. The same is true across greater Upper Nile.

It was less than a little over a week after the formation of the unity government that the SPLM/IG and SPLM/IO forces clashed not far from Bentiu, of course, both sides denied being the instigator.

However, it was extremely worrying to see the SPLM/IO military spokesman boasting about how they beat the government forces and captured some AK47s and PKMs, the man was in Juba and he was reporting with arrogance as if he is not living together with the so-called enemy.

Dr. Riek’s bodyguards feel like “today” will be their last day every time they go to work with their boss, they are in a maximum alert. They don’t trust the government soldiers, deep down in their minds and hearts they believe they can be attacked at any time, they think that the SPLM/IG is out to “kill” their leader.

This is exemplified by the incident in Nuer Presbyterian church in Juba few weeks back, it was reported that Dr. Riek’s bodyguards ordered the church’s car park to be cleared so that their motorcade is the only one parking there.

In a church attended by the former chief of staff of unifying SPLA forces, Gen Hoth Mai, it was a worrying development because the other bodyguards of other Generals were armed to the teeth too.

On the government side, although Kiir bodyguards see themselves stronger and feel ready to “fight off with ease the SPLM/IO attack”, the same is true, they too feel that SPLM/IO have an agenda. Thank God, we are still sluggishly sailing forward without major incident but it just shows you who really need to reconcile with who.

The SPLM/IO want to have cantonment areas for their forces in Bhar el Ghazal and Equatoria not because the forces in those cantonment areas will bring peace, it is purely for the anticipation of war. The SPLM/IO leadership have not openly stated that fact but that is a strategy behind their insistence to have bases in those areas.

This is because in their calculation, the likelihood of war breaking out again between the two SPLMs is very high, therefore, to have a base in both Bhar el Ghazal and Equatoria means that they will have multiple fronts across the country and not just being concentrated in greater upper Nile again like previously.

The SPLM/IG too is predicting a war and so they are not willing to give the SPLM/IO bases in Bhar el Ghazal and Equatoria because they want the SPLM/IO to be in Juba and their previous areas like Pagak, Akobo and other areas in Greater upper Nile.

The SPLM/IG don’t want another front in the contested two regions mentioned. Without that being solved and dusted (albeit hearsay they reached an agreement on it), the leadership of the two rogue SPLMs has no moral right to talk to South Sudanese about reconciliation.

The flippancy on both SPLM/IO and SPLM/IG is there for all to see but the leadership on both sides choose not to rectify it. Instead, they are inconsiderately trying to make us (the average) South Sudanese feel that reconciliation needs to start with us?

My leaders, what are they smoking really? Someone must tell them that do your job first by making sure to reconcile amongst yourselves before coming to lecture us about reconciliation.

What both Kiir and his two Vice Presidents should do is to exchange their direct phone numbers and talk directly to each other. They both need to have one weekend together drinking beer and eating some roasted goat meat at Kiir’s Luri get-away ranch in the outskirts of Juba.

Their respective bodyguards need to have a trust building weekly, get together where they will play some sports, eat together and make personal friendship with each other, in simple, make them feel like they are brothers who are just working to make a living but not some tribal guards carrying out the ancestral duties.

Dr. Riek and his chief of Gen staff, Gen Dual, should visit Bilpham SPLA HQ and address the army there, yes those are the people who need to be lectured about army to army reconciliation.

General Malong did that and I congratulate him for being a leader who knows his exact job description.

People (Lado Gore and Makuei Lueth) who had their tongues cut through the veins of the either opposing sides need to join the course too and visit army barracks, not churches.

When the SPLM/IO forces in Juba are fully reconciled with SPLM/IG forces, then the next phase is for both leaders to go to Bentiu, Akobo, Nasir, Pagak and all major towns in greater Equatoria using the same plane and holding rallies together there.

As they visit various army units along the way, they will need to instruct all heads of armies divisions for both IO and IG in greater Upper Nile to exchange their satellite phone numbers so that they can quickly notify each other if an incident has or is about to occur among their forces.

In fact, there is nothing that should stop the IO soldiers near Bentiu to go to the city individually and buy things from the market, the same should be the case with IG forces near Akobo. I mean if we are indeed doing everything for reconciliation.

In conclusion, our leaders, especially Dr. Riek, need to define their objectives first before executing them. Going to the church as an average Christian whose aim is to worship God is one thing, however, it is another to go to the church and talk politics.

Now is not the time for the campaign. But if Dr. Riek is truly looking for reconciliation, he should first look up in the dictionary the meaning of the word itself and define it, reconciliation means giving up your position on the issue and instead talking about something that everyone will perceive as reconciliatory.

Going to the church and arguing your point and justifying your stance the way you have always believed it, is not reconciliation.

Dr. Riek or Salva must stop lecturing people about their side of the story in the 2013 war. They need to swallow their egos and have each go to the church and tell the congregation only two words: “I am sorry”.

That’s what leaders do, right?

I am not urging anyone to go to the church and say sorry but if Dr. Riek thinks the church is a place to meet people, then he must only go there and say sorry and the same is truer for Kirr and Wanni as well.

The average South Sudanese are powerless, therefore, it matters not whether we reconcile or not. True reconciliation will come in South Sudan when president Kiir reconciles fully with Dr. Riek because they are the ones who have the power to start and stop the war.

Agok Takpiny
Australia

The Rationale of Expanding National Legislature (Parliament) in South Sudan

By Mabor Maker Dhelbeny, Lawyer, Juba, MAY/28/2016, SSN;

Legislature is one of the three arms of National Government in accordance with Article 51 (a) of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan (TCOSS) 2011. In its composition and establishment, Article 54 provides that “there shall be established a National Legislature composed of the following: (a) the National Legislative Assembly; and (b) the Council of States”.

Since the Republic of South Sudan has adopted the system of bicameral from the Sudan, therefore, this Writer would like to focus more on one house – i.e. an Upper House, by exploring the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), its expansion and mandate in regard to the Agreement on the Resolution of Crises in South Sudan, 2015.

The supreme law of the land however requires that members of parliament shall be elected through universal adult suffrage in free and fair elections, conducted by secret ballot; and the number of MPs (Members of Parliament) including the composition of NLA shall also be determined by the domestic electoral laws.

After the interim period of the autonomous government, all members of Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA), ninety-six (96) MPs in the National Assembly of the Sudan by virtue of their membership in that Assembly and additional number of MPs appointed by the President, have transformed themselves to be the members of NLA during the transitional period (Art. 56 (1) & (2) of TCOSS, 2011 (amended 2015).

Upon signing the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) in August, 2015, the NLA is expected to be expanded not later than three (3) months of pre-transitional period for the duration of thirty (30) months of Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

Under the provisions of Article 11 sub-article 1 of the ARCISS, the expanded NLA shall be known as the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) comprising of four hundred (400) MPs, including the prior three hundred and thirty-two (332) members and an additional sixty-eight (68) representatives appointed according to the following criteria: (a) South Sudan Armed Opposition: fifty (50) members; (b) Former Detainees: one (1) member; and (c) Other Political Parties: seventeen (17) members.

Contradictorially, the August Agreement seems to have violated some provisions of the Constitution on one hand and recognized on the other. For instance, the above-mentioned provision contravenes Article 56 (2) (c) of TCOSS, 2011 (amended 2015) which stipulates that “…during the transitional period the National Assembly shall consist of such additional number of members appointed by the President not exceeding sixty-six (66)”.

This appointment has already been made by the President, based on the supremacy of the ARCISS under chapter VII. This means that the appointment of additional sixty-eight (68) representatives to the National Legislature by the President of the Republic is a violation of the Constitution. This is because the required number has exceeded sixty-six additional members by two (2) as stipulated in the Transitional Constitution.

In a comparative study, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), 2005, had allocated the seats of National Assembly of the then Sudan as such: (a) The National Congress Party (NCP) – 52% (b) The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) – 28% (c) Other political parties from the North – 24% (d) Other political parties from the South – 6%.

Furthermore, the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) thereafter the Independence of South Sudan in 2011, has reconstituted itself as the Transitional National Legislative Assembly – an inclusive constituent legislature, composed of one hundred and seventy (170) members appointed by the President of Government of Southern Sudan after wide consultation with relevant political forces and on the basis of the following percentages:
(a) 70% representing the SPLM;
(b) 15% representing the NCP; and
(c) 15% representing other Southern Sudan Political forces (Art. 94 (2) of ICOSS, 2005).

Though the Agreement does not forge the allocation of seats as the CPA and Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan (ICOSS) provided, but the fact that it focuses on balancing the legislative power cannot be denied, thus, by appointing more MPs from the opposition and other political parties through different criteria.

In other words, the increased number of August House has an important implication, especially in service delivery and political dispensation during the transitional period of unity government. It’s simply put as an accommodation of antagonists! Perhaps, this prompted the expansion of National Legislature by appointing more representatives to the existing number of MPs and therefore, the unseated members from the NLA and Council of States following the December 15, 2013 crisis, shall be reinstated to their seats and shall continue to serve for the duration of the term of both Houses during the transitional period (Art. 11.2 of ARCISS, 2015).

If we were to follow, respect and uphold laws, therefore MPs who have lost their memberships for one reason or the other as per the provision of Article 63 (1) of the Constitution, deserved no rights to be reinstated to their seats either in the NLA or in the Council of States. But the implementation of the Agreement allows them to take this golden opportunity of reinstatement as advantage.

Such MPs, who made a U-turn, have been the leading exponents of the NLA expansion during the negotiations of compromise peace agreement. The expansion of NLA is indeed articulated in the Agreement albeit, in a way of reform and by reinstating the unseated MPs. The question that poses itself is that: “Is there any criterion provided by the ARCISS for selecting the Speaker of TNLA?”

In accordance with Agreement, the Speaker of TNLA will be selected from Equatoria, thereafter the expansion is completed. But the Agreement falls short of criteria or procedures for selecting the Speaker, in terms of partisans (Art.11.4 of ARCISS). This seems to have been the cause of delay in selecting the speaker and as such some MPs of Equatoria from the SPLM/A-IO or any other political parties may be in a position to nominate their candidate for speakership.

Since the National Legislature is composed of two houses, – i.e. the National Legislative Assembly and Council of States, hitherto the Agreement recognizes their mandates and functions as it was provided for in the Constitution (Art. 11.5 of ARCISS). The mandates that most MPs fulfilled today are often distinguished into three (3) functions below-mentioned:

Firstly, the function of “Legislator” reflects that MPs are elected (or appointed in rare cases) to the National Legislature as – “Legislators” in order to legislate, deliberate on bills and pass legislations, whether original or changes existing laws. This sometimes, captured the attention of many electorates that such roles would be considered as the direct responsibility of the MPs.

But legally speaking, “…the National Legislature shall be competent to (a) consider and pass amendments to this Constitution; (b) enact legislation on all assigned to it by this Constitution; (c) discuss statements by the President and take decision as may be necessary; (d) authorize annual allocation of resources and revenue in accordance with Article 87 of this Constitution” (Art. 55 (3) of TCOSS, 2011 (amended 2015).

Secondly, the function of “Representative” refers to the fact that MPs are also elected or appointed to represent their electorates or group of people and/or political parties.

In the legal sense, “…the National Legislature represents the will of the people of South Sudan and shall foster unity and nationhood, …oversee the Executive and promote the decentralized system of government” (Art. 55 (1) of TCOSS, 2011(amended 2015).

With this recent development, the appointment of additional number of MPs by the President articulates that these members are not coming to represent the will of the people of South Sudan but instead, they are coming to represent interests of their political parties in the TNLA. In essence, all MPs should act as representatives of their people in order to foster unity, nationhood and reconciliation amongst the people of South Sudan.

The representation of people must be the basic source of authority for a body that makes the law under which South Sudanese society operates. In a country where social fabrics are broken as the repercussions of war, MPs are expected to represent differences of their communities which may be deeply rooted either in ethnicity, geography, or political identity by bringing them into the policy-making arena. Such function(s) can be achieved through cooperation between executive and legislatures.

This has significantly been confirmed when John Johnson (2005) argues that: “for legislators to be able to play their role of representation, oversight, and legislation … there needs to be a certain degree of cooperation between the branches in policy making (each side must be willing to bargain and compromise in order to get some policy benefits), the legislature must have some capacity to monitor the executive and the executive needs to be willing to comply with legislative enactments”.

Exceeding such degree of cooperation between the two organs, its ends result may be worst. For instance, if the legislatures keep on blindly endorsing decisions made by the executive branch, then they (legislatures) will be called “rubber stamp”, a term which connotes non-democratic. This is common mostly in African parliaments dominated by one party, just like the SPLM (before its disintegration) in South Sudan National Legislature.

Therefore, MPs exercising this function of representation must be aware of the needs of the constituents and respond to those needs immediately. As this is the year of peace as well as famine, thus MPs who will turn their back to the people they represent in some constituencies affected by the shortage of foods, will not secure their votes in the next elections unless they do something tangible now! Or else they remain status quo by reneging the Agreement and the Constitution.

Because the National Legislature is a branch of government closest to the people, thus MPs more than any other government officials at the national level are expected to deliver constituent services by accessing government funds for projects – i.e. CDF (Constituency Development Funds) to benefit the constituency by providing foods to the community this time. This is because parliamentarians are accountable to their constituents.

This Writer assumes that some CDF meant for building schools, clinics or primary healthcare centers in certain constituencies have been diverted to other projects of self-enrichment by some MPs. It happens when MPs took recess in order to visit their constituencies and listen to their people’s problems and share government policies with them but instead some prefer to travel abroad. This demonstrates that most MPs feel reluctant to take their duty of moral obligations to represent their people effectively and efficiently.

Thirdly, the function of “scrutinizer” or “overseer” entails that all MPs are expected to exercise over the workings of Executive, implementation of laws which will be passed by TNLA and support or criticize the proposals placed before the National Legislature by the government.

As Scrutinizers, therefore, MPs are expected to oversee the performance of the National Government institutions; approves plans, programmes and policies of the TGoNU; summon Ministers to answer questions of members of the Assembly on matters related to their ministries; vet and approve appointments as required by this Constitution or the Law and cast vote of no confidence against Minister (Art. 57 of TCOSS, 2011 (amended 2015).

In conclusion, the Agreement seems to have created a trajectory of the National Legislature for reforms – from a one party state to a multi-party democratic transitional process. Besides accommodation, the rationale for expanding TNLA is to represent the will of the people; initiate reconciliation and foster unity among South Sudanese communities; oversight the executive performances of TGoNU; and to pass legislations, whether new laws or amended existing laws particularly in areas related to the implementation of ARCISS. Moreover, the conduct of its business entails that the TNLA is expected to support the Agreement and enact legislation that enables and assists the transitional processes and reform stipulated in the Agreement (Art. 11.6 of the ARCISS, 2015).

The Writer is an Advocate & Legal Consultant in Juba, the Republic of South Sudan. He can be reached through comment(s) via his email address: mabor.lawyer@gmail.com

“The Paper Tiger in South Sudan”: Report Targets Violent Kleptocracy at Root of War & Atrocities

May 24, 2016 –SSN;

New policy brief by Enough Project’s John Prendergast argues “Grand corruption and extreme violence are not aberrations; they are the system.”

An Enough Project policy brief published today authored by John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, presents the case for the U.S. and the broader international community to counter the violent kleptocracy — rampant, high-level corruption linked to mass atrocities and armed conflict – in South Sudan. The brief argues that if this kleptocratic structure is left unaddressed, the fledgling peace effort stands little chance of success.

The 9-page brief, “The Paper Tiger in South Sudan: Threats without Consequences for Atrocities and Kleptocracy” follows Prendergast’s testimony before a House Foreign Affairs hearing on South Sudan last month. The brief presents critical recommendations for U.S. leadership, including imposing and enforcing targeted sanctions on senior officials of consequence in order to pressure these leaders to place the well-being of their people ahead of personal enrichment and power politics.

Prendergast and experts from the Enough Project will be available for selected interviews and comment on the brief.

Selected excerpts from “The Paper Tiger”:

    “After 30 years of either living in, visiting, or working in South Sudan, and after extensive analysis undertaken by my colleagues at the Enough Project, our collective conclusion is that the primary root cause for the atrocities and instability that mark South Sudan’s short history is that the government there quickly morphed into a violent kleptocracy. Grand corruption and extreme violence are not aberrations; they are the system.”

    “In the short term, an elite pact like the current peace deal between the Juba government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) may be the quickest path out of the immediate violence. But sustainable peace in South Sudan will remain illusory without fundamental changes to end impunity and establish accountability.”

    “Unless this violent kleptocratic system is addressed head-on by policymakers internationally, the billions of dollars spent annually for peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, and the ongoing diplomacy and assistance supporting the peace deal there will simply be treating symptoms, not addressing the primary root cause of cyclical conflict.”

    “Fighting for control of the government allows for control of a vast wealth-generating machine. And using extreme violence to keep control, once you have it, is viewed as imperative. Unless this violent kleptocratic system is addressed head-on by policymakers internationally, the billions of dollars spent annually for peacekeeping, humanitarian aid, and the ongoing diplomacy and assistance supporting the peace deal there will simply be treating symptoms, not addressing the primary root cause of cyclical conflict.”

    “The surest way for the United States and the broader international community to create real consequences and build critically-needed leverage for peace is by hitting the leaders of rival kleptocratic factions in South Sudan where it hurts the most: their wallets. This requires a hard-target transnational search for dirty money and corrupt deals made by government officials, rebel leaders, arms traffickers, complicit bankers, and mining and oil company representatives.”

    “Addressing root causes will require much greater international leverage, which until now has been a cripplingly and puzzlingly insufficient part of international efforts to support peace and human rights in South Sudan.”

    “Sanctions, anti-money laundering measures, prosecutions, asset seizure and forfeiture, and other economic tools of 21st-century foreign policy are key instruments in securing foreign policy goals. How strange and disappointing it is that these tools are not effectively utilized for promoting peace and human rights in countries like South Sudan. Going forward, these tools of financial coercion should be essential components of U.S. and global efforts to secure peace, prevent mass atrocities, and promote accountability in South Sudan and other African conflicts.”

    “It is not only South Sudan’s kleptocrats who are making a fortune from the country’s brutal civil war. A host of mercenaries and war profiteers have turned up in South Sudan, eager to profit from the country’s misery.”

    “[T]he U.S. and international donors should further support the South Sudanese government institutions that are designed to hold those in power accountable, including the Anti-Corruption Commission (SSACC), the Fiscal, Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission, and the National Audit Chamber (NAC). The United States and broader international community should also increase diplomatic and financial support to the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), a body that was set up in late 2015 to monitor the implementation of the peace agreement.”

    “[S]ome members of the Security Council have signaled that they will block any further sanctions proposed against South Sudan’s leaders. Given the low likelihood of a deeply divided U.N. Security Council acting on this issue, the United States should build a coalition of countries prepared to impose targeted sanctions on key high-ranking officials on both sides of the conflict who are undermining peace and then robustly enforce those sanctions.”

    “The administration should consider enacting secondary sanctions that would target foreign financial institutions engaged in facilitation of public corruption in South Sudan. Additionally, sectoral sanctions could be deployed to limit certain types of financing available for future (rather than current) petroleum projects.”

    “To be frank, sanctions in many countries are ineffective and at times counter-productive. The main problems with sanctions in South Sudan and elsewhere are that they often do not target top decision-makers and are not sufficiently enforced. To counter these challenges, targeted sanctions in South Sudan should be imposed on much higher-level officials and should be the subject of strict enforcement efforts to demonstrate seriousness on the part of the United States and broader international community.”

    “[W]e see some evidence that officials from countries neighboring South Sudan may have played a role in facilitating or helping to conceal the offshoring of their assets. The U.S. government must send a direct message to these countries and their financial institutions, starting with Kenya, that compliance with sanctions is not optional and facilitation of the wholesale looting of South Sudanese state assets will not be tolerated, or else there will be further consequences directed at their banking sectors. Finally, in conjunction with any future designations, the U.S. government should be proactive in ensuring that these countries and their financial institutions cooperate in providing information and take appropriate enforcement action.”

    “The United States has tools at its disposal to foster significant change and help to end the suffering on the ground in South Sudan. The Obama administration should deploy the tools of financial pressure accordingly, and the U.S. Congress should work to ensure that the agencies responsible for administering sanctions and leveraging such tools have sufficient resources and staff to fulfill this mission.”

    “[P]assage of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act by the U.S. Congress would help ensure that these agencies have a robust mandate to use their power to counter kleptocracy and disrupt the networks of those who commit mass atrocities while also protecting the journalists and human rights defenders who put their lives on the line while attempting to expose abuses.”
    Read the full policy brief “The Paper Tiger in South Sudan: Threats without Consequences for Atrocities and Kleptocracy”: eno.ug/1TItZos

    Congressional testimony by John Prendergast, at House Foreign Affairs hearing on “South Sudan’s Prospects for Peace and Security,” given on April 27, 2016 – complete text and video: eno.ug/1T22tSu

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

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

Shilluk and its Dinka Neighbors: Dinka Padang distortion of history

By: Jwothab Othow, May 21, 2016, SSN;

Sudan Tribune website published on 15 May 2016 an article by Dr Francis Ayul Yuar titled: “Dinka Padang Borders with Shilluk in Upper Nile.” The article was an attempt to establish that the group of Jieng (Dinka) sections who of late called themselves “Dinka Padang” occupied the eastern bank of the White Nile to the exclusion of the Shilluk in 12-15 century AD from Wunthou (north of Renk) to Fangak.

To prove his point, the author claims that the Shilluk “settled in their today west bank” in the 18th century AD. The author did not cite any reliable references to prove his point on the claimed dates of the settlement of neither the Dinka nor the Shilluk. This paper is to refute some of the outrageous claims he made albeit in the name of history.

Shilluk settlement:
The Shilluk nation is a well-established kingdom with known hierarchy of kings and one queen who reigned from the moment the tribe settled in the current Shilluk land in the 16th (not the 18th) century. The migration of the Shilluk was also connected with the dispersion of their brethren the Lwoo tribes from Wij-Pac resulting in the current Anuaks, Luo of Kenya and Bahr el Ghazal, Acholi, Thuro, Chat, etc.

Therefore, the date of that migration is not a matter of guess work, as the author is trying to do, but confirmed by the oral traditions of these tribes that span many countries in the East African region.

The claim by the author that the Dinka were in east bank since the 12th century does not give an explanation to the well-known settlement of the Anuak along the Sobat River until they were displaced by the Nuer in subsequent waves of migration.

The author quotes Dr Lam Akol’s 2010 paper and avoided to quote his most recent book titled: “Collo Boundary Dispute,” 2016, which dealt with the fight between Collo (Shilluk) and the Bel on page 11. The Bel have been established as Anuaks and when Collo defeated them at the time of Reth Dhokoth Bwoc (1679 – 90), they moved southwards joining their kith and kin along the Sobat river.

The version of the author is a tall order in a number of respects. It suggests that the Shilluk fought the Dinka, a preposterous claim supported by neither the Collo nor the Dinka oral history.

It also suggests that it is the Dinka who defeated the Funj Kingdom driving them “to their present home of Blue Nile State”. If this were to be true, then the Dinka could not have come to the area in 12 -15 century AD as the author claims. The Funj Kingdom or the Black Sultanate as it is also known, was established around the present day Khartoum in 1504 AD; i.e. in the 16th century.

Which Funj then did the Dinka defeat in 12-15 century? The Funj Kingdom dominated the area around Khartoum and the White Nile to Sennar (where the capital was later moved) and beyond for three centuries until they were defeated by the Turks in 1821.

When Collo came to the area they dealt only with the southern fringes of the Funj Kingdom. The two kingdoms existed side by side until 1821.

Furthermore, if it were true that it were only the Dinka who were on the eastern side of the White Nile, the author must explain when and how were the Dinka displaced by the Shilluk on that side of the Nile.

The author misses the point by quoting P.M. Holt out of context. History tells us that there are two theories on the origin of the Funj. Holt is a proponent of the theory that the origin of the Funj was Shilluk but the latter are categorical that they found the Funj in the area and displaced them.

No doubt the Sultanate had some royal rituals similar to those of the Shilluk royal court but this was due more to cultural influence than to common origin. Similar Lwoo influence is found in the Buganda Kingdom in Uganda.

Latjor Migration
Despite the precise date the author posits as the date Latjor migrated to Nasir area through north of Melut, he got it all wrong. Reliable historical evidence tells us that Latjor moved through the western fringe of Shilluk land and crossed north of Melut around 1821.

He proceeded eastward but was reported to have lost his direction. Then he and his group decided to come backwards and settled at the present day Paloic (Pa-loj) where they spent some years before resuming his journey around 1835.

This was the time of Reth Awin Yor whose reign also saw the waves of migrations of the Nuer from Liech (Bentiu) to east of Bahr el Jebel. Shilluk oral history including songs confirms this last date.

Reputable authorities on Nuer and Dinka migrations such as Professor Raymond C. Kelly (the Nuer Conquest, 1985) and Bimbashi H. Wilson (The Dinka of the White Nile, 1903) attest to these facts. That Latjor found some Dinka in the area where he crossed the White Nile in the 19th century is consistent with the Shilluk history on the movements of the Dinka into that area.

Conclusion
The author exposes his real intentions when he averred: “Any distortion of these empirical facts is nothing but fallacies cooked by few intellectuals of Shilluk with the intention to rewrite the history of South Sudan a fresh (sic).” He arrogates to himself the monopoly of “facts,” which can never be a trait of anybody who claims to be a historian or student of history.

My advice to the author is that not any written material is a reliable source of history, the same way that not any elder is a reliable story teller. To be taken seriously one must get information from reputable sources and check and crosscheck any information one gets. Cobbling together irreconcilable pieces of information can hardly pass as history.

Shilluk Kingdom is now five centuries old. It is rich in culture, history and governance. One must be very careful when attempting to challenge its history.

The Government of National Unity: What does it entail and what will it bring?

BY: Marial Mach, A’duot, Australia, MAY/12/2016, SSN;

It’s always worth celebrating, at least, by the people with a moral compass, when the rage of war is abridged from the catalysts of disaster to the level of an isolated violence. Whether you are an inept campaigner of an exaggerated and mythical, political legitimacy of the ruler, and the challenger, or an advocate of the dying people, subjected to a war that was avoidable, there is one thing ostensibly inevitable.

The last two-half years, since the war broke out in December 2013, have resembled a netherworld for the impoverish civilians across our great land, as unswayed politicians, military leaders, and their unscrupulous apologists, savage the lives and hopes that were slowly salvaged, after the shocks of the nearly five decades of war with the north and innumerable internal strives.

From the outlooks of radioactive war lobbies, the current window of peace is not good enough to sell political and ethnic propaganda which are not, in any essence, capable of assuring both irrational promises of the regime charge, as posited by some sections of our politics or an illusion at the halls of the power, that the government functioned like a colonial despot with less or no accountability whatsoever.

Having said that, it does not imply the author is under any means of illusion that things will unexpectedly be normal, once comes the government of the national unity.

The new government won’t function from a purposive unitary standpoint, but it will be operated as a utility site where psychotic individuals will be deployed in what I unapologetically called a political psychopathy; a mechanism of political and social moral disengagement which is extensively playing a greater role in the political and military violence.

It will be an avenue for the civil war boosters to continue and have a second chance in the political spotlight and of course, a ticket to mug public funds. What may be affected slightly by the new government, I believe, is the notion of political laisser-faire and perhaps the cherished commitment to the use of violence to force the political change.

That, of course, is not proficient in changing the working hypothesis in the minds of aggravated masses; that no one who stumped for the war, or the current political crisis in the country should give advice about the catastrophe now, or should get listened to.

Hence, the incoming administration will ascend on challenges of enormous scales: peace to build, the war to end and prevent, economy to fix, and large-scale Internally Displace Persons (IDPs) and refugees to settle. And most importantly, preventing the threat of the entire country not only from collapsing but also from becoming resentful between those who have and those who have not.

This assumption lies in the simple truth that the disproportionate privileges enjoyed by those in power may in near future create cumulative inducements for those people who have nothing to demand a systematic change and that call has been violently resisted and it may lead to another crisis unless the leaders rapidly revise their extreme egocentricity and apply moral-political consciousness.

In contrast to these issues, the major question is what does the new government, yet to be formed anyway, bring to the country’s destitute population?
The easiest, straightforward answer is nothing to the population.

This conclusion may seem little too insolent, or to some extent, I may be accused of being ignorant. First, because new political and security arrangement between the two factions of the SPLM did actually end the major part of the war, and second, the transition may lead to long-lasting political consensus, sustainable peace, and stability.

These are probable, and they need to be acknowledged.

What could be said, however, is the reality that such political arrangement pointed to how disputants should be able to divide the stakes, political authority, for instance, but how such arrangement should support the building of effective, accountable, and democratic institutions and civil societies that meet the needs of people is elusive.

The above suppositions are true only in the creeds of the political concession theory and in the conflict resolution and they tend to function only when the war-crazy buffoons test the acrimonious part of the violence they engineered through their intellect of political immaturity and impunity, and that I believe, in not the case in our situation.

Our political leaders have not learned their lesson, nor does it seem to be any consequence for the initiation of the war. What is coming inevitably in the ways of the leaders, which in my opinion, have committed war crimes is the reward for incumbency and reinsertion.

That promise is celebrated in Juba and in a subterranean world of Fagak where the SPLM in Opposition set up their imaginary political capital, as well as in many other mongoose-burrows across the country.

Why this is the case is intricate, but a careful review of the record of our political system and leader’s behaviours show a number of continuities with liberation tendencies, notably concerning with militarized politics and great power presence in the hands of the core political and military leaders.

Thus, various political commentators and experts have ridiculed the surface idea of democracy on the lips of South Sudan’s leaders, and which is, in fact, a falsified euphemism of what really caused the current war that will bring about the power-sharing arrangement.

The experts’ conclusion is that SPLM, in all its factions, operate a kleptocratic system where the power is obtained and used for personal benefit rather than service delivery to the governed, and I am not contesting, I agreed with that accusation.

Kleptocrats, of course, stock the looted money away in foreign accounts to serve as the rainy-day fund in the event they lost the power and that is not foreign to our rulers either. So, what will come with the new administration is an absolute individual ticket to power.

President Salva will keep the continuity of the status quo on behalf of his supporters while Dr. Riek, as First Vice President, will reward his political and military allies for returning him to power, a job well-done. Like those who remained in the government, their position allocations will, of course, be used to access the scarce resources, as well as used as the source of political influence.

The key outcome in this case, is a perpetual continuity of political and economic savagery by the same old leaders through the tactics of violence or the threats that usually come when one feels aggrieved to mobilise an armed faction when dismissed or discharged from lucrative and influential roles in the government, or even in the various rebellion sectors as we have seen recently.

The conclusion of what the government of national unity means to the politicians is what Jean-François Bayart called ‘The Politics of the Belly’. Bayart’s context is a classic portrayal of the nature of many African states buried deep in the mass of the savagery of the present status of political practices.

Bayart emphasis lies on the persistence of deeply entrenched patterns of statecraft, and, insofar as he recalled the impact of despotic formal institutions on the extent of political and economic outcomes. Bayart emphasizes the ordinariness of African societies, referring them as ‘ordinary and particularly ordinary in their politics’.

Whereas most students of contemporary politics study corruption around individual responsibilities, the context of The Politics of the Belly’ includes the role played by the state in aiding and abetting political deficiencies and corrupt practices. It is this process that the current political scientists tend to refer as criminalisation of the state. The criminalisation of the state, if we had to take it in South Sudan’s context would mean chronicles totality of state-supported criminal activities.

The ordinariness of our politics lies in political practices and with leaders who see the forms of political normality in violent competition for power where one form his own militancy to force his employment, institutionalised fraud and the plundering of public resources, the growth of private armies, the privatisation of state institutions, and the development of economies of plunder.

Within these political imperceptiveness lies the weakness of our leaders. No one, especially those who seem to understand politics better ever had a dream to see changes overnight in a country emerging from war and lacking every institutional capacity and at the same time led by almost erudite revolutionaries.

But what is also true is that outright embezzlement in the form of the state-sponsored bourgeoisie, cling to power or attempt to seize it by force are now a historical artefact in some part of the world, even though some leaders in Africa make them seem little exotic.

South Sudan as new states have not reached such dictatorial stage yet, but it has failed or it is failing on multiple fronts and the questions worth debating is what to blame for the failure; the legacy of wars or a blind personal ambitions among the leaders?

To end this note, what the people of South Sudan will get from the incoming government is a constant pattern of despotic political opportunism at different levels. My assumption is that factionalism and political violence is not something that happens only as an accident, but a political scheme glossed in structural condition of the SPLM/SPLA’s politics.

It’s proceeding from a desire to liquidate influences and power into possessions. I believed that the precariousness of our political equilibria is not a demonstration of total ethnic hostilities or an inadequacy of the state, but it becomes the case only because of uncontrolled reciprocal greediness of political elites.

For all the benefits of the doubt, I should say freedom of thought entitled every person to believe, or disagree, and this article is not devoid of that fact either, on my behalf as an author and for others to contest what I said.

Marial Mach, A’duot, is a South Sudanese resides in Melbourne, Australia. He can be reached for comment at pandepiol@yahoo.com

JMEC and UNMISS must know 28 states is the redline of their politics of peace

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Law Development Centre (LDC), Kampala Uganda, MAY/06/2016, SSN;

On May 4, 2016, Peace monitoring body JMEC and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said that the 28 states created by President Salva Kiir are not in line with the peace agreement and are not recognized by them as legitimate.

The question is: who are they to recognize the rights of South Sudanese to self-determination in regard to the utilization of their resources? It is only the country that can be recognized by other countries but the right to self-determination of the people in the utilization of their resources is outside of the jurisdiction of any state.

The JMEC and UNMISS are playing political gimmicks and they should stop it with immediate effect. Enough is enough, we are tired with naked violence of the UNMISS wrapped in language of peace and peace keeping.

I have come to the realization and conclusion that what many South Sudanese people have been saying about the UNMISS is true. When the civil broke out in 2013, many South Sudanese pointed their fingers at UNMISS blaming it as one of the contributors to the outbreak and demise of South Sudanese unity and nationhood.

Thus, in confirmation the suspicion of South Sudanese as stated above, I was not supervised to see the UN representative inciting the violence in South Sudan on May 4, 2016. On that date at a news conference at UN House in the Jebel area of Juba, Ellen Loej, the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) and Head of UNMISS, came out openly to confirm the suspicion against the UNMISS held by majority of South Sudanese by stating that they had not recognized 28 States citing ethnic tensions as the major reason.

What Ellen Loej did not understand is that her action and conduct contribute to an increased tension in the country by encouraging few disgruntled individuals who are not happy with the creation of New 28 States to increase their ethnic attacks as a way of achieving their demand through their sister UNMISS.

For the above reasons, I have realized that these international bodies take people for granted. I was actually devastated, I felt angry, helpless and stupid by that shameless UN representative who preached conflicts undercover of peace.

I felt like that because the UNMISS is hypocrite and inhuman. The UN preaches peace but its agencies like the UNMISS are preaching the violence and human rights violation under the cover of keeping peace or giving humanitarian support.

I am still wondering up to now where the UNMISS Madam Ellen Loej, gets the facts and courage to make such ignorant understatement backed by insufficient reasoning. She must understand that peace is not the absence of war but it exists where majority of the people are protected and happy.

Madam Ellen Loej, I wished you were around where I am to ask you this few questions: “Madam, you said you are in South Sudan to protect the rights of South Sudanese and to maintain peace: how many people were killed under the arrangement of ten States? Have you ever come out to confront the government in failing to protect citizens of South Sudan in different states? Was the UNMISS happy in what was happening in Lakes State, in particular in Cueibet county, which currently the Gok State among 28 States?”

Hypocrites! I have come to conclusion that UNMISS has the eyes but it does not see and has ears but does not hear the fact that people of South Sudan suffered to a greater extent under the previous ten states arrangement.

It appears that the UNMISS in South Sudan is not a peace keeping mission but a war broker mission bound to achieve the hidden agenda of their undisclosed principal who wants to destroy South Sudan in language of maintaining peace. This explains why the UNMISS officials do not even seek guides from the purpose and objective of the UN Charter of 1945, which is the Constitution governing UN and its member States.

In its Preamble, the UN Charter of 1945 provides for the maintenance international peace in order to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war (the World Wars), which twice has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to also reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.

Hypocrisy! Is it how to reaffirm the UN faith in fundamental human rights in the dignity and worth of the human person by subjecting the innocent citizens to unworkable ten states arrangement that formerly existed in South Sudan, which were infested with grave and inhuman corruption?

The UNMISS should be realistic and stick to its objectives as provided under the UN Charter. In objectives 3 and 4 of the UN Charter it is further provided that the purpose of the UN is to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

In order to achieve the above objectives of the UN Charter, principle 1paragraph 2 of the same Charter provides that the principle and purpose of the United Nations is to achieve an ultimate goal of developing friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.

Is it how to maintain international peace through violating human rights to self-determination? I would like to remind the UNMISS that the right to self-determination is the core of human rights.

The importance of the rights to self-determination is shown in both international human rights instruments which are: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights of 1966. In these two human rights instruments, the right to self-determination is provided in common article 1, and by virtue of that right, the people are protected by human rights law to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

Moreover, in article 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, the purpose of the rights to self-determination is explained that all peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. Hence, in no case as that article 2 above points out, may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.

On regional level, Article 20 (1) of the AFRICAN (BANJUL) CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES’ RIGHTS (Adopted 27 June 1981, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/67/3 rev. 5, 21 I.L.M. 58 (1982), entered into force 21 October 1986) provides that all peoples shall have the right to existence. They shall have the unquestionable and inalienable right to self- determination and they shall freely determine their political status and shall pursue their economic and social development according to the policy they have freely chosen.

Therefore, the question is: is it how to achieve the right to self-determination by denying people rights to self-determination and instead subject them to unworkable and inhuman arrangements called ten states? If ten States were a person, I would have brought the claim against it in the ICC because thousands of people were killed under it.

I can go on and on citing all international and regional human rights laws to show UNMISS that the rights to self-determination is a right firmly established under the international law and it is as well applicable to the people of South Sudan. South Sudanese have fundamental rights to determine their own survival irrespective of any consideration or politics.

However, what I have discovered to be the greatest problems with all international organizations including the UNMISS is that they do not see potential human rights violation unless people fight for it first and then later recognize it after thousands of lives have been lost.

The cause of this indifference may be that UNMISS and other human rights organization are there not to protect human rights but to create the modern sphere of influence for their respective nations by destroying the indigenous communities wherever they are found.
The UNMISS and JMEC must understand that the issue of 28 States is no longer debatable nor is it within the political arena. It has become a human right issue and any mistake made to destroy these states will be a destruction of majority of South Sudanese and also will cause another long and justified protracted war in South Sudan.

Warning! Some of us are outside South Sudan just waiting to hear that the 28 States are no longer there and the moment we hear that we will come to mobilize all youths and other citizens to start another dangerous war against whoever has the hands in destruction of 28 States.

As I have already stated above, the issue of 28 States is settled since it is a matter of human rights and it is red line for anybody to cross it. 28 States have helped our people to achieve some peace and the example is that unlike before the creation of 28 States where Lakes State was in danger of people destroying each other as hundreds of people were killed under the inefficient leadership of Matur Chut, today some parts of Lakes State such as Gok State and Eastern Lakes (the former Yirol) State are in peace but for the creation of 28 States.

However, JMEC and UNMISS are out there preaching the language of violence and threats against the new states and their people. The UNMISS must stop these languages of threat against human rights.

In fact, I completely fail to comprehend as to why the UNMISS complains that the creation of 28 States is not part of peace agreement and it is increasing ethic violence yet as I am aware, it is bringing peace, stability in term of security to the people who were previously in danger of destroying each other.

There must be another hidden agenda. South Sudanese must realize that the UNMISS is not there to create peace but to destroy South Sudan and after that leave the Country in tatters.

Furthermore, it appears that the UNMISS has misunderstood the cause of ethnic tension. The creation of States is not a cause of ethnic tension. Ethnic tension has its roots in history of the relation of South Sudanese with Sudan.

In that regard, ethnic tension was used as a tool by the previous Sudanese government to destroy the Unity of South Sudanese. Hence, the UNMISS should not take effect for the cause.

The hatred and misgiving among South Sudanese we see today is part of an inherent culture of tribal relation between different tribes in South Sudan as it was sown by the former colonial Northern Masters through their divide and rules policy polished by wrong education system.

Hence, destroying 28 states in order to appease other South Sudanese who are inciting violence is not a solution to South Sudanese problems. Instead, it will worsen the situation by pitting citizens even further against each other.

In my understanding and analysis, in order to achieve lasting peace, internal coherent and cohesion in South Sudan, the solution is not to destroy 28 States but to under the root causes of the hatred and misgiving and to deconstruct the history that gave rise to the current tension.

Otherwise, the UNMISS and JMEC have taken effect for the cause and are treading on dangerous grounds that can cause another even serious wars in South Sudan.

I have to repeat, destruction of 28 States is not even closer to getting solutions to the problems of South Sudan. If the UNMISS pushes further with its claim of not recognizing the existence of 28 States because some South Sudanese are causing ethnic violence, then, it appears that the JMEC and UNMISS are trying to impose the principle of victor justice where those with power are awarded something because of their victory.

The victor justice or the policy of digging a hole to fill a hole is not a solution to South Sudanese problems. The UNMISS and JMEC should not stick to peace agreement blindly to the extent of not seeing some impending dangerous issues.

What is wrong with 28 States? The creation of 28 States might have been ill-intended with political motivation but the way they are helping people today proves that South Sudan needs to adopt that approach if it were to achieve lasting peace and development.

Oil should not be the determinant of people rights. As my analysis shows, the contention is not over why 28 states were created but some selfish politicians want the destruction of 28 States in order to come up with other states that give them control over oil.

This was shown by the first 21 States that were created by Riek Machar when he curbed all areas of oil into the states he considered to be his.

As explained above if we look at the problems of South Sudan at the political angle solely then South Sudan will never achieve lasting peace. In order to achieve legitimate and lasting peace must look for the way how to make people happy. This means that if South Sudan were to create States even if it were based on family, but as long as, the citizens of South Sudan are protected and do anything that can protect their rights, then there is no problem with that.

This brings me to some concerns expressed by those who consider themselves South Sudanese nationalists who point out that creating states based on tribes could destroy the South Sudanese unity. This kind of reasoning is a fallacy of our modern thinking where we love the country without offering anything to it.

Instead, when we are given responsibility to run the country, we destroy it through corruption and after that leaving the country divided and in helpless state.

Thus, what I want to tell the people who bear this kind of thinking is that the unity of the country is not achieved through adopting a particular system of governance but it comes through the action of its leaders.

Once again, I would like to warn the JMEC and the UNMISS to leave out the issue of 28 States in the peace discourse. They must objectively assess the viability of 28 States instead of blindly condemning the whole project.

In order to be in Peace the UNMISS must avoid agitation for useless claim of not recognizing 28 States. Rather, it should help South Sudan to form the Commission or tribunal composed of respected people to objectively determine claims concerning the land grabbing involving the creation of 28 States and if that claim is genuine then those who claim must be given their rights.

NB//; the author is the Concerned South Sudanese lawyer in Uganda and can be reached through: +256783579256 or juoldaniel@yahoo.com

Return of Dr. Riek Machar to Juba and the Next Political Move

By James Okuk, PhD, JUBA, APR/26/2016, SSN;

After exhausting the immature dramatic politicking about return of Dr. Riek Machar to Juba to take up his duties as the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan for 30 months of the overdue transitional period, finally the most wanted militarized politician arrived in Juba and took oath of office on Tuesday, 26th April 2016. Now the politics of Pagak-to-Juba is over.

What is remaining is how dirty power politics in Luri and Jebel Kujur (New Pagak) shall survive the elusive gunboat diplomacy.

The August 2015 Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) is itself an ambitious project the D-days of its implementation modalities shall remain suspicious, if not unrealistic, in many aspects. The peace deal was designed with a purpose of silencing the guns and continuing with politics as usual in a less bloody and non-disaster in humanitarian dignity of the people.

SPLM-IG (In Government) has not been sleeping on the game of entrenching its support base for the control of the next government by any means possible. This faction has continued with operationalization of 28 states despite the diplomatic advice of the region and the international community not to pursue it unilaterally without first conducting objective feasibility studies through an inclusive and impartial professional commission.

Incorporating the letter and spirit of the ARCSS into the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan (2011) so as to promulgate the Transitional Constitution (2016) has been suspended due to lack of consensus on the defunctness of 10 states, limitation of powers of the President, filling up of parliamentary vacancies and other changes required for realizing transition from war to peace.

The other critical legislations for conducting government affairs during the transitional period are also still pending political quarrels.

Electing an Equatorian politician to be the Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly for the transitional period is still contentious as to who will gain the majority votes during internal elections that is supposed to be chaired by the oldest MP rather than the sitting Speaker.

Equatorians MPs are found in every party to the ARCSS (GRSS, SPLM-IO, SPLM-FDs and Other Political Parties) and the winner at the end will depend on the intelligence of the alliances inside the parliament.

The SPLM-IG’s Parliamentary Caucus is no longer cohesive as it used to be because many Equatorians are no longer the known loyalists to the GRSS agenda. They might join hands with others to come up with one candidate of their joint preference who might not be controlled by the GRSS.

They can be dismissed from SPLM-IG party but that will not be a license of uprooting them from their parliamentary seats because the constitution and ARCSS still protects them. But after all there is not going to be opposition in the parliament during the transitional period.

More critically, the GRSS has not taken the necessary measures to cement the already-sour bilateral relations with the Sudan in the light of comprehensive implementation of all the September 2012 cooperation agreements on borders, oil, trade, freedoms, banking, post-service benefits, pension, debts, assets, Abyei and viability.

Juba and Khartoum still don’t trust each other and have been suspicious of regime change with bad wishes in the back scratching. Nonetheless, politics of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Sudan and African Union Hybrid Court for South Sudan is what shall affect both SPLM-Juba and NCP-Khartoum without exception because of the magnitude of atrocities committed against humanity in the course of their conduct of the civil wars.

The economy is in shambles due to infection by the Dutch Disease and reduction of crude oil prices in international markets. Dollars and other hard currencies are no longer flowing to Juba as they used to when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was implemented in 2005 – 2011.

Borrowing money from IMF and other international financial institutions is going to be followed by stringent conditions, especially reforms and accountable standardization of the civil and military services.

Approval of government monies and distributing it like humanitarian relief items is not going to be possible as it used to be in the past when Dr. Riek was the Vice President to Salva Kiir.

The GRSS has rushed South Sudan into the East African Community (EAC)’s membership without due consideration to the current country’s weak situation in economic productivity and equitable export-import trade balance. Since the decision has not been people’ centered, the Transitional Legislative Assembly shall be faced with a dilemma of either ratifying or delaying the EAC Treaty of Establishment and other related necessary documents of the bloc.

The January 2015 Arusha Reunification Agreement is not going to materialize as Kiir has announced his elections candidacy in advance on SPLM ticket. That would mean the SPLM-IO and SPLM-FDs have to find salvation outside the disunified SPLM if they would like to vie for Presidency seat in the next nearest future.

The game is very clear and the reunified SPLM field is not going to be leveled for every candidate to play freely and safely. And as long as the SPLM-Kiir and SPLM-Riek continue to command armed forces, violent and deadly clashes during elections campaign shall not be ruled out totally unless some unusual rectifying situation emerged by then to neutralize the danger.

Notwithstanding, the return of Dr. Riek to Juba is not going to be business as usual because he is going to be a powerful First Vice President as stipulated in the ARCSS.

He is going to have an independent office which is not directly subservient to the President’s Office, unlike the case of Vice President James Wani Igga whose powers shall depend on what President Kiir assigns to him. He is even not supposed to be consulted on anything unless Kiir and Riek agree voluntary in advance to do so.

But again the ARCSS has not left Kiir and Riek to act alone as they wish because the transitional Council of Ministers has been given powers to control and direct their moves and decisions.

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) under leadership of President Festus G. Mogae shall also have its final say on any decision of the Presidency, the Council of Ministers and even the Parliament if they overstep the limits of the ARCSS’s letter and spirit.

No unilateral decisions shall be tolerated and no opposition shall prevail except for the Civil Society and those who are not part of the transitional government partners. No South Sudanese politician is going to be allowed to misbehave by conducting himself unilaterally like a king or an emperor. All South Sudanese are supposed to be partners and watchdogs in implementing the ARCSS.

Running away from Juba to the rebellious bush is not going to be tolerated any more if a politician found himself defeated by transitional politics. The rebels who have remained in the bush shall be persuaded to respond to the call of peace and pursuit of resolution of their grievances through dialogue.

Transitional Justice, reparation, reconciliation, mending of broken social fabrics and healing is supposed to kick off in earnest.

Thanks to peace-lovers and farewell to war-mongers. The next move should be the inculcation of serious planning, research, development and prosperity for all South Sudanese.

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Dr. James Okuk is a lecturer of politics reachable at okukjimy@hotmail.com

Pres. Kiir & Dr. Machar 1st Presidency 2005-2013: An Analysis of its Achievements, Failures & Weaknesses

By Tong Kot Kuocnin, JUBA, APR/20?2016, SSN;

The first presidency between president Kiir and Dr. Machar began shortly when the movement lost its historical leader, the great Dr. John Garang De Mabior on 30th June 2015 in a helicopter crush. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, Dr. Garang’s long time deputy, immediately got installed as the FVP (first vice president) of the Republic of the Sudan and the President of the Government of Southern Sudan as per the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2005.

Consequently, Dr. Riek Machar, being the second man after Kiir, immediately became the VP of the Government of Southern Sudan until in July 2013 when the later went on rampage against his boss subsequently causing divorce to their political honey moon.

In this article, I intend to bring to the forefront the achievements, failures and weaknesses of the first presidency of President Kiir and Dr. Machar 2005-2013. Quite obviously, there are major achievements that the 1st presidency of Gen. Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar achieved.

The first and foremost achievement, though it was a common interest of the people of South Sudan was the peaceful and successful conclusion of the conduct of referendum on self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan. The right to self-determination made all the people of Southern Sudan of all walks of life to make sure that Southern Sudan broke away from the Sudan.

We successfully voted for an independent state of our own, the republic of South Sudan. We cared less about under whose leadership that the region broke away under it but what was important was to break away from Sudan and have our own country. We did achieve it for it was our common interest.

The SPLM leadership may brag about it but for sure it was not the making of SPLM but the people of South Sudan for the number of people of South Sudan is greater than the membership of SPLM. We were tied and fed up of all mistreatments in the hands of our brothers and sisters in the north.

President Kiir may brag about it that it’s his success but the fact remains that his only vote can’t determine the fate of a region inhabited by millions of people. But we do give him his credit for although he wasn’t that wise but his being a leader at the time earned him that credit and all its veneration.

The second achievement though it back fired, was his numerous presidential pardons and amnesties issued to pardon all those who took up arms against their own fellow brothers and sisters, notorious warlords and militias and their integration into the national army, the SPLA with which the region relatively had a bit of peace though it didn’t last longer than usual.

The aim of all these presidential pardons and amnesties was to reconcile the people of South Sudan and forge a new beginning in an attempt to build the would-be new state in the map of the world. Quite obvious that his good intentions were taken for granted in which numerous militias took up arms, killed and caused havoc but still they were pardoned and integrated.

These notorious warlords and militias would have surely destabilized the region and caused more havoc and devastation if he had pursued the path that was about to be taken by our late leader Dr. John Garang with all southern militias when he refused to meet with the then known militia leader and the most notorious one, the late Gen. Paulino Matip Nhial, in the presidential Palace in Khartoum and threatened to deal with all militias who failed to join either side of the parties to the agreement as per the terms and clauses of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2005.

However, despite the achievements and successes mentioned above, there were unaccountable failures of the 1st presidency of President Kiir and Dr. Machar, as manifested by the overall records of President Kiir and Dr. Machar 1st presidency, there was a complete failure of the government in maintaining durable peace and security, respect for human rights, human and infrastructural development was disappointing.

The government failed to minimize incessant communal violence and cattle raiding that were rocking Lakes, Jonglei, and Unity and Warrap states if not putting it to a standstill. Hence, these failures and several other factors account for these poor and disappointing records of the 1st presidency of the two gentlemen.

There were weak institutions of government established along ethnic lines, for instance, if a minister comes from a particular tribe or ethnicity, then eighty per cent of the ministry’s staffs came from his tribe forthwith.

The government failure coupled with weak institutions was responsible for an unspeakable corruption at unprecedented scale where millions of pounds and dollars were siphoned to foreign bank accounts overseas. The president allowed all the state resources to be looted at day time by his ministers, senior civil servants and senior army generals at his watch.

There was complete lack of political will from the president and his deputy to initiate institutional reforms and curb rampant corruption and bring to book of shame and justice all corrupt officials.

During its nine years in office from 2005-2013, the government was marred by a couple of scandals one after another including the famous Dura saga, the four billion dollars stolen by known thieves in which secret seventy-five letters were written to seventy-five officials who were presumed to have stolen the money.

The other scandal was the eight millions stolen from the public coffers which led to the dismissal of the former ministers of cabinet affairs and finance and economic planning and the current one being tried before the High Court involving the office aides of the president.

However, many writers argued that not much can be accredited to the 1st presidency of President Kiir and Dr. Machar since they both took oath of office in 2005 until the duo got politically divorced and parted their ways in 2013. It was a kick-backing presidency.

In a nutshell, it can be argued that the 1st presidency of President Kiir and Dr. Machar succeeded in overseeing the smooth, transparent, peaceful and successful conduct of the referendum on self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan but failed in curbing human rights violations, communal violence and cattle raiding, corruption and democracy, rule of law and infrastructure development.

That was the nature of the government we had in South Sudan before the duo quarreled over the national cake in 2013, its achievements, failures and weaknesses.

The writer is a Master of Laws (LLM) candidate at the School of Law, University of Nairobi. He can be reached via: tongbullen@gmail.com

JUBA Accuses Machar of trying to bring more troops and arms… hence delayed arrival again

Different Sources, APR/19/2016, SSN;

South Sudan’s government says that SPLM-IO Chairman Riek Machar did not respect his commitment to arrive in Juba this week as planned.

The Juba-based government said that it made all necessary preparations for the reception of Machar in Juba this week, according to a press statement by the Ministry of Information.

The statement accuses Machar of trying to bring with him to Juba “an arsenal of arms, inter alia, anti-tanks, laser-guided missiles an heavy machine guns.”

“The protection force of the 1st vice president designate of 350 is already on the ground with all their armaments. He does not need any additional armed forces or arms in Juba,” reads the statement.

For their part, the SPLM-IO have blamed logistical problems for the delay of Machar’s arrival.

According to a statement issued by his office yesterday, Dr Machar couldn’t move from Pagak, eastern Upper Nile State, because of “incomplete logistics”.

“The chairman and commander- in-chief of the SPLM/A in opposition Dr Machar will not travel to Juba today as planned due to incomplete logistical arrangement,” the statement reads in part. Dr Machar was supposed to be sworn in as the first vice president, a key part of the peace process that seeks to end a two-years civil war.

BBC AFRICA, APR/18/2016;

The expected return of South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar to the capital, Juba, has been delayed for a second time because of rain.
He had been due on Monday morning, to take up the post of first vice-president, a key part of the peace process aimed at ending more than two years of civil war.
His spokesman said he was initially delayed because of logistical reasons.
Head of the rebel negotiating team Taban Deng told the BBC the initial delay was because a second plane was needed for Mr Machar’s army chief, who had been due to travel on Sunday.

TheEastAfrican: APR/18/2016: South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar’s highly-anticipated return to the capital Juba, to take up the role of vice president, was delayed on Monday, his spokesman said, citing “logistical reasons”.

“We are committed to the peace agreement, but there have been logistical issues and the first vice president, Riek Machar, will come tomorrow,” spokesman William Ezekiel said.

Machar’s return to Juba and swearing-in as President Salva Kiir’s deputy will mark an important step in a floundering August 2015 deal to end the country’s civil war.

The agreement is seen as the best hope yet for ending more than two years of fighting that have left the world’s youngest nation in chaos and pushed it to the brink of famine.
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By WALTER MENYA, DailyNation, Kenya, SUNDAY, APR/17/2016;

In Summary:
*The return of South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar to Juba is anxiously anticipated even as uncertainty remains less than 24 hours to the significant step in the August 2015 peace deal to end the civil war.
**Despite Machar indicating he would be in Juba on Monday, sources at the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, told the Nation that there were outstanding issues that could delay his arrival.
***At least 1,370 soldiers and key political leaders allied to Machar’s SPLM-In-Opposition have arrived in Juba as part of the August 2015 peace deal ahead of his return to take up his vice president position in the transitional government.
****This is expected to ease tension and end the conflict that has taken an ethnic slant – largely involving Kiir’s Dinka and Machar’s Nuer communities – and triggered a humanitarian crisis in the country that gained independence from Sudan in 2011. More than 700,000 people are thought to have been displaced, with at least 50,000 arriving at Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.

Despite Machar indicating he would be in Juba on Monday, sources at the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, told the Nation that there were outstanding issues that could delay his arrival.

The official at the commission, which is chaired by the former president of Botswana President Festus Mogae, said the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement government of President Salva Kiir (right) “has not made all the arrangements Machar wants before his return”.

At least 1,370 soldiers and key political leaders allied to Machar’s SPLM-In-Opposition have arrived in Juba as part of the August 2015 peace deal ahead of his return to take up his vice president position in the transitional government.

This is expected to ease tension and end the conflict that has taken an ethnic slant – largely involving Kiir’s Dinka and Machar’s Nuer communities – and triggered a humanitarian crisis in the country that gained independence from Sudan in 2011.

More than 700,000 people are thought to have been displaced, with at least 50,000 arriving at Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.

Machar’s deputy Alfred Ladu Gore arrived in Juba on Tuesday, but the Nation has learnt that top of the issues Machar’s side wants addressed before his return are his security and swearing-in date.

The rebels have apparently indicated that they want Machar to assume office immediately he arrives in Juba before holding talks with President Kiir on the formation of the transitional government.

Thereafter, the two leaders would visit the mausoleum of John Garang, who is acknowledged as the father of the nation, as a sign of unity.

However, the government appears to have its own plans, a stand confirmed by South Sudan Charge d’Affaires in Nairobi James Morgan.

“He will not be sworn-in immediately but after the final touches to the agreement are verified. The President will not meet him on Monday, but they will of course meet after the two parties and other stakeholders decide and deem it necessary to do so,” he said by phone.

“When we went to Khartoum in 2005 with John Garang, he was not sworn in immediately.”

The Machar camp has also been apprehensive about security. The initial plan was that Machar would fly directly from Nairobi, where he and some of his allies have been based, to Juba.

However, he inexplicably flew to Ethiopia before travelling to the South Sudanese town of Pagak, a rebel stronghold, earlier in the week.

The fluid situation has been heightened by fears that top SPLM generals were reluctant to work with Machar – and could be plotting to arrest him.

The situation was not helped by the arrest on Tuesday of 16 people, part of the rebels’ advance team, who were gathering in Juba to wait Mr Gore’s arrival.

Kiir’s spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said they were arrested “for moving around without coordinating with security personnel”.

Even though they were released, Amnesty International on Friday called on the government to end arbitrary detentions.

Amnesty said it had compiled a list of 35 men detained in the Jebel neighbourhood of Juba for months.

Morgan was cagey about whether President Kiir’s government would send a team to receive Machar.

“You know Machar’s men have been in Juba since end of last year. You also know Machar’s people inside the UN Mission in South Sudan will be there to meet him. Besides, the government has set up a reception committee,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kenya’s Foreign ministry has urged the protagonists in South Sudan to respect the peace deal.

“Each has an obligation to abide and implement the agreement,” PS Monica Juma said.

The agreement was signed in August 2015 after a threat of sanctions from the UN.

Besides the formation of the transitional government, the agreement also called for fighting to stop immediately though there have been sporadic attacks.

Gen. Paul Malong isn’t a Jump-over bull sacrifice for Dr. Machar’s return to Juba

By: Ater Garang Ariath, APR/12/2016, SSN;

Upon unnecessary delay of our first ever designated Compromise Peace Agreement and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny’s return to Juba, I have observed some wrong-headed South Sudanese citizens going on rampage in social media citing the Sudan’s Peoples Liberation Movement In Opposition (SPLM-IO) unmet calls for removal of the National Army Chief of General Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan Anei.

This continuous sentiment song sung by anti–General Malong’s camp within the Sudan’s People Liberation Movement In Opposition and their sympathizers must be confronted by South Sudanese peace lovers absolutely.

The parties to the conflict should strictly adhere to and implement the Compromise Peace Agreementin its entirety rather than trying to create U-turn through unrealistic media onslaught against Gen. Malong.

General Malong will never be jumped over bull sacrificed by the leadership for quick return of Dr. Riek Machar Teny to South Sudan just to join President Salva Kiir Mayardit for formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity as per Compromise Peace Agreement arrangement.

Any attempt to stimulate such a suicidal call is tantamount to pave headway for permanent collapse of this precious peace that gave upper hand to First Vice President to come for another presidential seeking trail.

The scheme designed by the so-called SPLM-IO propaganda specialists like Dr. John Garang De Mabior’s political wanderer child, Mabior Garang De Mabior will never reach a political vein of President Salva Kiir and act in favour of uncalled for political bonus for the sake of First Vice President return.

I am an independent South Sudanese political and peace Activist, of which I will never support any call that will paved way for U-turn at the eve of Compromise Peace Agreement implementation.

Therefore, at the bottom of my heart, with undivided love of my nation and its unique people, I vehemently opposed SPLM-IO outrageously call for removal of Gen. Malong from honchos of the national army.

I wondered! Why Mabior Garang, the son of our ever great man, a symbol of South Sudanese freedom fighters (Dr. John Garang De Mabior) behaves like a rogue as head of SPLM-IO Information Committee?

It is because of “will to power or what”? that stimulated Mabior to ignore already established mechanisms such as JMEC of addressing some shortcomings toward implementation of Compromise Peace Agreement on the resolution of conflict in South Sudan.

However, let us calling things by their names , rather than calling a spade a spoon, gone are days of speculations and media propaganda, which done huge damages to South Sudan as nation, especially by wrong-headed self-proclaimed South Sudanese political saviors like Mabior and the rest of his camp members.

Gen. Malong is not and will never be an obstacle to peace implementation in South Sudan, a nation that he suffered before its birth with undivided loyalty for the last thirty-four years (34 years) if my five senses are still accurate on historical years flashback.

Since he (Gen. Malong) first joined Anya-Anya two as member of Anya–Anya One remnants in 1982, after some members of that movement discontented with Addis-Ababa peace agreement of 1972, he never took wrong path against South Sudan people.

Gen. Malong was part and parcel of nucleus of what later expanded to be named Sudan’s People Liberation Movement-A (SPLM/ Army) in 1983 led by impeccable leader Dr. John Garang Mabior after enormous challenges of leadership struggle posed by those of Akuot Atem and Abdala Chuol.

It has been spotlighted several times by Anti-General Malong onslaught on social and traditional media platforms campaign, painted his portrait as Anti- Compromise Peace Agreement general in President Salva Kiir military and political camp, which is not true.

Nevertheless, General Malong wanted a peace that has no strings attached to it, which can definitely interfere with national interest and sovereignty of our nation, such as a obsolete call posted by Mabior Garang on facebook a day ago with ungrounded allegations saying that eight lorries full of armed Dinka new recruits were ferried to Juba from Bahr El Ghazal region by orders of General Malong.

What a great and white lie? Concocted by Mabior with huge intention of calling international response to build pressure up on President Salva Kiir administration to remove General. Malong, which will never happen, unless South Sudanese peace lovers and sponsors prepare a dustbin for this precious peace period.

This is a critical time for South Sudanese peace lovers and international sponsors to delve beneath the surface of South Sudanese politics and get by themselves, why General Malong is so pertinent to be part and parcel of the national army in the course of peace implementation period.

Just to be frank enough with reasonable sound-minded, General. Malong is not a sacrifice bull for genuine success of peace, which is intended to bring everlasting stability in South Sudan.

My dear fellow men and women in media platforms , on the one hand, free ,independent and pluralistic media provide a platform for debate on different opinions. One the other hand, media can be misused for propaganda purposes, to incite hatred and spread rumors and therefore artificially create tensions, of which those of Mabior embarked on now to create window for tension.

As South Sudanese young men and women like me and Mabior De Garang Mabior, our future is so bright that we need sunglasses, of which we should focus on positive role of media, such as peace building, conflict management and prevention, by impacting on public discourse.

Let us use five senses when we embark on political discourse for our national issues by examining all sides of the coin, with political consciousness and moral transcendent that value our diversity as nation.

At personal level, I acknowledged that two years conflict in our country has caused tragic losses of lives, destroyed the limited infrastructures founded during Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South, eroded economic resources and inflicted untold sufferings of our people.

This dark chapter in our history as nation, need to be hounded and put in dustbin by all of us , if we are serious in making a better history of our nation, where the welfare of our common men and women is our chief pride.

Mabior and the rest within Dr. Machar camp who think that removal of Gen. Paul Malong will offer them wide chances for political maneuvering to drive on with their agenda must be warned, they are playing with red-hot coal.

Penultimate, let us have a heavily weighed duty to our nation always, and avoid any headway to unnecessary war that will jeopardize the crucial and relentless efforts from international community and our friends in the region, trying to restore peace and political stability of our nation.

The war propaganda specialists within different warring camps should adapt our national-flag wavering attitude rather than drawing themselves into regional and tribal cocoon that plunged our nation in uncountable sufferings.

There are possibilities of shaping our headlines and history as South Sudanese people, if we dig deep for our real values, rather than specializing in shallow minded attitudes of our previous enemies.

I am not one of inner circle members of Gen. Malong Awan Anei and I will never be, but plain truth, truth and truth will save millions lives of our people, who desperately need peace and stability.

Any citizen of this great nation has ultimate obligation to tell any South Sudanese that he/she is naked, when he/she is naked, regardless of social position…bhala –bhala bhala.

Anti–war Activists will never tell Gen. Malong to step aside as national army Chief of General Staff if we really care and valued our nation progress in tranquility.

The urgent need to restore peace and security to the people of South Sudan who endured this conflict for far too long, is our chief concern as peace lovers, and we should pressurize both parties to form Transitional Government of National Unity without preconditions.

Notwithstanding, as concerned citizen for peace to be realize in South Sudan, Gen. Malong Awan position will never be compromised by the
leadership as string attached for implementation of Compromise Peace Agreement.

I hope the Information Committee headed by the so-called Mabior Garang in SPLM-IO is suffered from lock-in positive thinking ability, which is ultimate secret of becoming tough enough to face toughest trouble art of politics.

My dear fellow citizens , our political synopsis should reflect realities rather than engaged in social media , spreading rumors and propaganda against each others as South Sudanese people.

Albeit, since power is often measured by one’s prominence and ability to influence others in today’s world political then opponents and haters of Gen. Malong must swallow that fact, if they really have hearts and nationalistic spirits of peace and stability reception in South Sudan.

Hunger for power tendency will not lures people of South Sudan again to play with fire, which is already extinguished by our friendly nations, which initiated and support what now we called Compromise Peace Agreement.

What does Compromise Peace Agreement means to those SPLM-IO camp wrong-headed social media political activists? As per see, all parties to conflict have already forgone their conditions and no clause within agreement that demanded removal of Gen. Malong from his position.

Where this demand from removal of Malong emanated from? SPLM-IO leadership should be serious and engage on constructive criticism rather than reopening the agreement for negotiation, which was already signed without clause that demand removal of Gen. Malong.

I personally, appeal to international community and regional bodies to avoid making reference to such unnecessary political propaganda, which will fuel chances for this precious peace to escape from windows of “will to power” drive of those of Mabior and his accomplices.

If my First Vice President Dr. Machar is also behind this unrealistic scheme in regard to his delayed, then God forbid, the nation will never be compromised just on expense of others.

Those of SPLM –IO who fear Gen. Malong to head national army during transitional period are traitors and South Sudanese anti-peace progress and they should be finger-pointed at , because they are completely offline in regard to Compromise Peace Agreement implementation modalities.

The love of my nation (South Sudan) will never end and I always pray for these political wanderers South Sudanese within and in Diaspora for God to circumcise their hearts to care much of South Sudan and its people.