Category: Politics

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.

————————————————————–

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.
=============================================================================

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.

Gwuduge unresolved Land Grabbing now traded with baseless community accusations & character assasination

By Justin Tombe Demetry, MAR/3/2016, SSN,

QUOTE: “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” Frederick Douglass;

Issues of land disputes in the past were mostly resolved at the communal level when our wise elders and community chiefs were able to contain such unnecessary problem from escalating further. Those community leaders exercised their wisdom amongst the communities in conflict without the need of any major government involvement. Such practices of land grabbing at a massive scale were not even heard of during the regional government simply because everyone knew where they are from and which land belonged to them.

It is pertinent to state that, from 2005 until date, land grabbing became prevalent in South Sudan especially in greater Equatoria where marauding armed cattle keepers, land grabbers in uniform and some members of the country’s top echelon continue to grab land with impunity. These practices have also encouraged the rest of their community members to abandon their ancestral land in pursuit of the illegal land scheme. With such barbaric and medieval practices; others still wonder why the clamor for federalism never fades away.

If such outrageous practices are not a form of hidden planned occupation, domination or subjugation of other tribes, why would the government allow other people to continue with this heinous practice from 2005 until date? Which schools of thought even instill such a dirty practice in our society? Will it even succeed or be sustained for long? These questions should help those grabbers understand or exercise reasoning in what they are up to if perception have any meaning.

Frederick Douglass, an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer and statesman once said: “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

This incredibly relevant quote should be a reminder that, even if the issues of Bari land have been resolved because of its presence in the national capital; there are others out there in the three former regions that still deserve justice for their ancestral land; else, there will be no peace and stability for the Southern Sudanese to dream of.

The protest made by Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirilo Swaka should not be taken lightly or be seen as a protest for his community land alone. As a matter of fact, land were grabbed in the whole of geographical Central, Eastern and Western Equatoria combined. In addition, Greater Bahr-El-Ghazal especially the Fertit tribe; not forgetting the ‘awulad Nyikang’ in the Greater Upper Nile, and others have very serious issues of institutionalized land grabbing which also led to some previous rebellions by the Shilluk tribe, and probably others in the pipeline due to noting else but land as the main cause.

UNESESSARY CHARACTER ASSASSINATION OF LT. GEN. THOMAS CIRILO

Several news paper reports in Juba which lacks authenticity; as well as some gimmick press release in the internet world have given rise to some charlatans in their unjustifiable attempt to damage the reputation of Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirilo Swaka. According to the Down – daily Newspaper in Juba, vol. 1, issue 046, date March 29, 2016; an article written by Joseph Oduha under the following title never ceased to amazed readers and the victimized community: “I will fight along Bari Community against land grabbers – Cirilo.”

The article have stated that the top army commander, Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirilo has insisted to stay in his home village in Gwuduge arguing that, he was under directives from his community to confront land grabbers who have threatened indigenous people in the area. Pathetic indeed!

The article as if being driven by magic, also made an inexplicable switch to the recent reshuffle in the army command. Even thought the article rightfully stated that Gen. Thomas Cirilo was removed from being the army Deputy Chief of General Staff for Training, and reassigned as the head of the Directorate of Logistics in the SPLA; the article on the other hand falsely reported that, days after the reshuffle of the military high command, Gen. Thomas Cirilo had not shown up to take the new responsibility.

It also reported that, Gen. Cirilo’s absenteeism from work prompted President Kiir, V.P. Wani Igga, Gen. Paul Malong and the National Security Minister, Gen. Obutu Mamur to pay a surprise visit to Gen. Cirilo in his village of Gwuduge so as to convince him to report to work. The report went further and stated that, military sources said Gen. Cirilo insisted that, he will come to Juba
after he has silenced the land grabbers.

Contrary to this particular information on the Dawn daily newspaper, highly confirmed reports from credible sources in Juba have ruled that, this particular news as well as others in the social media are counterfactual, and are also design as an attempt to cover up or divert the focus of the land still under siege by some members of Dinka Bor and Padang.

Therefore, I do not want to refer to the associated news in both the internet as well as the Dawn newspaper as rubbish; however, those reporting need to get the facts from credible sources so as to provide authentic information to the public.

As a matter of fact, Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirilo is the second in command of the SPLA who still executes his national duty, and at the same time following up with his complain because the issues have not been fully settled yet. That is why he decided to get the security along Juba-Rajaf road beefed up with regular access – unlike the reports that claimed Juba-Rajaf road was blocked.

That being said, one is left to ask the following question: From when did an individual or any community become involved in the SPLA Command’s reassignments, or the attendance of SPLA generals in executing their national duties?

Other news outlets have also given an interesting title to Gen. Thomas Cirilo as the “Bari army commander.” Such a fallacy is devoid of logic and it is clear that, this is another attempt to provoke or aggravate the community, and at the same time implicate them unnecessarily to give a leeway for the land grabbing scheme to continue. Being in the army doesn’t mean that one cannot complain about injustice, or protect the land and its people in anyway deemed necessary.

The constitution of South Sudan clearly states that, the mission of the national armed forces, in addition to its other national duties, shall be to: “protect the people of South Sudan;” and also “be involved in addressing any emergencies, participate in reconstruction activities, and assist in disaster management and relief in accordance with the constitution and the law.” In essence, what have been addressed is an emergency; and it is for the protection of land and its people.

God forbid, if nation-wide disorder or Somalization takes its turn, there is no single community that will end up putting their lives in the line of an onslaught, be victimized, or preyed upon without fierce defense. Remember! The protection of oneself or any community per se is God’s given rights bestowed to any living thing.

SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN NESITU FOR KIDNAPPING STUDENTS

A different article also published in the same news paper under the above title. The article is regarding the case of five school students kidnapped in the same area under siege. The kidnapping of those students have led to the arrest of some Bari Community members around the church area including a catholic priest. Those arrested were later released after the investigations conducted found out that, they have nothing to do with the kidnapping or cover-ups.

Without knowing the history of kidnapping in the area, others were quick to associate the incident of the five students not only to the innocent Bari who are struggling to get their ancestral land back, but also baselessly associated such an ill-practice to the group referred to as “the Bari militia.”

For those who are not familiar with the incidence of kidnapping and the distractions of the traditional social settings in the area due to terror inflicted on the community; the Bari from the whole area of Tokiman, Koliye, Logo, Kondokoro, Bilinyang, Mogiri, et cetera have suffered under the hands of kidnappers and thugs during the war and the post-war era. That is why some of the community members during the war decided to get relocated to their traditional sanctuary places, the church area in Rajaf, the camps in Gumbo; as well as some established camps in and around Juba.

The victimized communities have not stayed where they were or where they are currently based because of their choices, but because of the suffering, loss of lives and kidnapping subjected on them. Abductors who occasionally come there especially from the Murle tribe have abducted students, and children from the area. Even the breast-feeding kids were not spared; and some including my blood relatives were abducted in 2013, and were not seen by their parents till date.

The behaviors of kidnapping or abduction are something that the Bari does not practice. Needless to say, just like the rest of the other communities, we are likewise blessed with our beautiful fertile women who are able to produce adorable kids to the community. On the other hand, the Bari have handful of immediate/extended family members and orphans from relatives and community members who have died of natural causes; as well as the children of heroes and heroines who are in need of support from the limited resources available.

That does not mean that the Bari cannot voluntary raise kids from other communities. Children in need of support from other communities were successfully raised in a lot of Bari homes, and there are a lot out there who became very successful citizens – appreciative of the support they obtained. With that being said, there is no justification whatsoever to associate the community
with kidnapping or abductions. Apart from the justification provided, as law abiding citizens, the community knows very well that, kidnapping or abduction is a serious crime punishable under the law.

On the other end of the spectrum, thugs and criminals have also disturbed the community in the area by shooting and killing pedestrians along Juba-Rajaf road; which also includes victims such as motor cycle riders so as to confiscate their motor-bikes. Some of the thugs and criminals were known to have been among the squatters who took over Rajaf-Nimule junction before it was demolished. With all those criminal activities, others still wonder why the Bari Community vehemently rejects any form of illegal settlement.

Those types of criminal activities have prompted the community to petition the Juba City Council in 2013 so that the police station can be built to help protect the community. Despite the fact that the community had raised funds and the City Council had agreed to assist in building a police post; as well as provide a police patrol, the initiative failed to materialize.

Since hope springs eternal, another chance is to similarly petition the governor of Jubek State and his lordship, the mayor, to see into it that the project is executed so that the community can be protected if there will be law and order in place. Without such a service, the community has every right to protect itself from thugs, criminals or adversaries.

LAND IN TOKIMAN EAST INCLUDING NESITU STILL UNDER SIEGE

With the details of the Gwuduge land issues surfacing out there with evidence of land grabbing where some sections of the two communities of Dinka Bor and Padang caught red-handed; they are now known beyond reasonable doubt that their settlement were not for humanitarian purposes, but for illegal land scheme. Therefore the victimized Bari community is left with nothing but to continue being vigilant until the land grabbers are fully evicted. The information in the following links outlines the genesis of this very land scheme and the rebuttal provided:

http://www.nyamile.com/2016/03/18/condemnation-of-the-recent-land-grabbing-in-the-village-of-gwuduge-tokiman-rajaf-payam-in-the-southern-sudans-capital/
http://www.nyamile.com/2016/03/19/a-response-to-the-bor-and-padang-dinka-denial-of-land-grabbing-in-gwuduge/

Those details seems to have assured the victims of the land grabbing as well as the concerns citizens that, the land grabbers would surrender the land taken after the arrest of their ‘ring leaders’ for not having even an iota of justification or approval for temporary settlement in the area.

Nonetheless, fresh news from the ground still indicates that, not all the land grabbers were evicted from the entire Tokiman East villages including Nesitu. The reason that the process came to a standstill is simply because some of the junior officers from the Tiger Battalion ordered to led the forces to help with the eviction of land grabbers were in fact among those who have also grabbed land in the area, and are in the process of erecting concrete structures. That is why they became reluctant to pursue the demolition; as such, a joint neutral force is expected to supervise the demolition.

The Bari is not only known as a very peaceful community; but is also known as a community that can never resort to violence unless seriously provoked. Since the issue of land grabbing in question have already been brought to the attention of President Salva Kiir Myardit and the SPLA Chief of Staff, Gen. Paul Malong Awan, there is a say in our own Bari language that, ‘kulya aje ‘durokin ko kwen I lobeke;’ which is translated as the case have reached the bird’s beak – which means, the case have reached the highest authority.

Therefore, the authority should use its ultimate wisdom to expedite the very issue of this land grabbing at the backyard of its national capital; and subsequently, address the land being grabbed from other communities in the entire country in an amicable approach. This needs to come along with strict state policy of punishment for offenders before the country ends up in the brinks of
being torn apart divisively due to land grabbing.

Regards,

Justin Tombe Demetry

Justin Demetry is one of the sons of Gwuduge Village; have worked for several years in the oil and gas industry in Canada, but currently pursuing graduate studies in Mechanical Engineering, and can be reached at the following email: tombelodemen@yahoo.com

Search for Justice, Peace and Reconciliation & the need to confront past and present injustices in South Sudan

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, LL.B, LL.M, FEB. 29/2016, SSN;

Questions of responding to legacies of past and present injustices in South Sudan inflicted by cruel, harsh and brutal armed forces, militias, warlords and powerful individuals has sparked contemporary policy, social and academic debates in the country.

In the 1990’s, in the wake of 1991 split which caused a civil brutal conflict between SPLA factions of Torit and Nasir characterized by systemic and massive violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, consensus evolved in 2002 to stop atrocities and merge two warring factions under one leadership, but efforts to bring those responsible for these human rights violations and other inhumane acts to justice wasn’t attended to.

The CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) outweighs justice and nobody was held responsible for inhuman acts committed by either side of the warring factions and the Sudan government as well.

However, this has provoked many unanswered questions in recent years where ending conflicts through negotiation has raised eyebrows of whether peace and justice are competing goals or whether peace precedes justice.

This dilemma implies that, of course, peace and justice are incompatible and cannot be pursued at the same time.

Human rights perpetrators often enter negotiations and firstly demands immunity as a guarantee before they sign any peace agreement.

On most occasions, the perpetrators of human rights violations see accountability as an obstacle to peace and hold our communities hostage by threatening to continue violence if there is no guarantee of immunity from inhumane acts they have committed.

Proponents of human rights however do also recognize that reconciliation is critical to the attainment of lasting peace, political stability and a just society governed by the rule of law.

Human rights practitioners on the other hand have been faced by the stiffest challenge of finding a way to confront past human rights violations, punish those who perpetrated and committed such heinous crimes and seek redress for victims of such violations without undermining the peace process and its implementation or recreating conditions for instability.

However, the question of whether peace take precedence over justice where human rights violations and war crimes have taken place constitutes the core of critical debates in the growing field of transitional justice which constitute and hence include complex ethical, legal and political choices that various actors confront to end conflict, restore peace and prevent the recurrence of violent conflict but forego justice and its tenets in entirety.

The unaccountable presidential amnesties and pardons the president issued in good faith with hope to contain the continuation of violent conflicts and stop further bloodshed have been taken for granted by numerous militias and notorious warlords in this country and have exacerbated the already worsening human rights situation across the country.

Discussions on any settlement of the conflict in South Sudan in the past had neglected the need for accountability in which peace took center stage over justice raising controversial questions of whether or not peace and justice are competitive or complementary goals.

There are always two incorrect assumptions that peace processes are solely about ending violent conflict and the other being the tendency to perceive justice in terms of retributive justice, that is, prosecution and criminal accountability.

These extreme positions did ignore the intimate link that exists between peace and justice. The more accurate conception is to treat peace and justice as fundamental pillars to end violence and prevent its recurrence.

Most mediators settling violent conflicts in the Sudan and now South Sudan recognize that building a durable peace involves addressing the underlying root causes and sources of that violent conflict putting the package of justice on hold, compromising concerns about competition for power and marginalization being outcomes of the flagrant injustices and human rights violations committed by elites and state institutions.

Although there are few instances of indictments and prosecutions helping to secure peace by removing spoilers from the peace process such as in the former Yugoslavia, more often peace and justice cannot be achieved at the same time.

In most cases, there is a need to stop the fighting, seek a ceasefire and encourage perpetrators to negotiate.

But with advances in international legal obligations and increasingly sophisticated international justice architecture, mediators do no longer ignore questions of justice as witnessed recently with entrenchment of hybrid court for South Sudan in order to redress human rights abuses during and after the violent conflict which has rocked the country since 2013.

South Sudan’s multiple armed conflicts have underscored the dilemma between search for lasting peace and justice which has remained a challenge to both regional and international community to craft solutions to contain violence and bring some kind of peace for the sake of vulnerable people.

The ability of the mediators and other interveners in conflict to grant immunity has been curtailed by growing international justice architecture including the Rome statute of international criminal court which prohibits amnesty for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide; hence mediators no long ignore questions of justice after peace.

In the quest for justice, the United Nations has established a binding rule prohibiting its officials from granting amnesties for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

It was this reason that the UN envoy for Sierra Leone at the time of the 1999 Lome Peace Accord, appended the UN’s refusal to accept the amnesty clause to the accord that the government and rebels signed.

This gesture paved the way for a policy that has influenced subsequent mediation processes in Africa by national, regional and international actors.

Despite these international norms, South Sudan continues to confront difficult choices in the task of balancing the imperatives of justice and reconciliation with the political realities of managing incessant rising impunity in the country.

Therefore, overcoming tensions between peace and justice entails sequencing justice activities as demonstrated in Argentina in the 1980’s.

Although Argentina was facing armed conflict like South Sudan, Argentina confronted the dangers of a transition from military dictatorship to democracy.

However, successive governments from 1983 took gradual steps in building peace and justice that involved a mixture of punishment of and amnesty for military officers implicated in human rights abuses during the period of military rule.

The Argentinean experience reveals that while political realities complicated the search for accountability, multiple truth-seeking initiatives continually exposed perpetrators and a vigilant array of victim’s groups and civil society organizations kept the demand for justice alive.

In the end, receptive governments and a conducive political climate made the pursuit of justice possible.

These Argentinean experiences demonstrate that peace and justice are compatible and that a variety of accountability mechanisms can be pursued over time in the search for sustainable peace.

This was articulated also in a seminal report to the UN Security Council in August 2004 when the then Secretary General, Dr. Kofi Annan, articulated the importance of sequencing and strategic planning when he asserted that “justice, peace and democracy are not mutually exclusive objectives, but rather mutually reinforcing imperatives.”

In conclusion, however, ending impunity has become a collective international enterprise to promote justice, reduce human suffering and foster amity within and across societies.

Afflicted for long time with wars and armed conflicts and inter-communal violence with no redress to human rights abuses, South Sudan has made strident attempts to remedy the culture of impunity in the country.

The challenge in South Sudan has been to create stable institutions that balance forgiveness, and peace and reconciliation with justice in the context of broadening political, social and economic freedoms.

For South Sudan, questions of impunity, justice and reconciliation have been increasingly sought by regional and international actors and harmonized global search for peace, justice and reconciliation.

Tong Kot is a Master of Laws (LLM) Candidate at the School of Law, University of Nairobi. He specializes in Law, Governance and Democracy. He can be reached via: tongbullen@gmail.com

Open letter to Japan Juba Ambassador & UNWPD Director, Ms. Vaese: Remove Dinka IDPs from Nimule

From: David Aju Kanyara , Nimule, EES, FEB/26/2016, SSN

To Japanese Ambassador to Juba, South Sudan, Mr. Kiya Masahiko, and
To UN Women Program Division Director (UNWPDD), Maria Noel Vaeze;

We, the concerned Ma’di community, the Native ethnic tribe of Nimule, in particular, and Ma’di mainland at large, are extremely disturbed and disappointed by your mission’s distribution of agricultural tools to the Internally Displaced Persons [IDPs] in Nimule.

We see no reason why your Missions in South Sudan with the office of UNWPDD office headed by Maria Noel Vaeze should distribute agricultural tools to the IDPs currently forcing more new settlements in our land.

The so-called IDPs are alien gangs arming themselves with rifles and other automatic weaponries acquired from the current governing regime in the country and their presence in our land has contributed enormously to insecurity, and the destruction of farming land by their cattle.

Therefore the so-called IDPs should not be encouraged to extend their illegal settlement in our land by providing them with such agricultural tools. This move by your Mission encouraging illegal Dinka land grabbers settling in Ma’di land will undermine the development policy of Japanese Government which since the end of Second World War has had a good track record in many foreign countries.

The same group of IDPs who tried to legitimize their illegal resettlement extension to Nimule and Mugali, want to legalize their unwelcome stay which was justified by the former Interior Minister, Aleu Ayieny Aleu, who during his visit to Nimule in October 2013, before the Dinka-Nuer conflict staged to cleanse the Nuer broke out.

Minister Aleu had brazenly demanded that these IDPs be recognized as natives of Nimule.

“There are no South Sudanese IDPs within the country. You cannot be an IDP in your own country,” he said. This move I believe was to position the Dinka in a secure and easy exit position in order to give way to the Juba massacre in2013.

We the concerned Ma’di owners of the land in the strongest possible terms condemn the action of the Japanese Mission in South Sudan, that has so far portrayed a negative image of the Japanese government.

We call up the Japanese Mission in South Sudan to instantly retract its agricultural tools from the IDPs in Nimule and rightly redirect such tools to the Ma’di natives who have the special knowledge, the land and the skills for the rightful use of those tools.

At the same time, we strongly urge the UN Women Program Director for South Sudan, Ms Maria Noel Vazae, to immediately repair the damage callously and irresponsibly done by UN agents who began the repatriation of the Dinka IDPs from Kakuma refugee camps, in Kenya in 2007 to Nimule.

This happened when the UN refugee agent very well knew that Nimule basically belongs in the first place to the Ma’di people. Shamefully, the UN agent chose to taking bribes to re-settle the Dinka in other people’s land. And to this date, the UN has never taken the responsibility of the blame for the chaos caused by IDPs in the Ma’di land.

The agricultural equipment we are talking about were handed by Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan, Kiya Masahiko, and by the UN Women Program Division Director, Maria Noel Vaeza, on Tuesday 23 February 2016, the coverage later shown on SSTV.

The agricultural equipment are earmarked to women’s groups in Nimule in Eastern Equatoria State, not those IDP Dinka women whose primary role in life is to milk the cows and look after the cattle.

The equipments in question include five community cereal grinding mills, four greenhouse kits and four units of one-acre drip irrigation kits as part of the UN Women Humanitarian Assistance program which is co-funded by the Government of Japan.

In conclusion, we want to caution the Japanese Mission in South Sudan and the UN women program Director to South Sudan not to temper with People’s land by facilitating farming for squatters which is a clear highway to the blatant robbery of our land.

These two foreign entities should strictly limit themselves by remaining doing their diplomatic Missions. Otherwise their action will amount to direct land grabbing by distributing such equipment to IDPs without consultation from the rightful land owners.

Unfortunately, this will inevitably generate circles of conflict over land. And should this happen we, the Ma’di natives, will hold the Japanese head of Mission Mr. Masahiko responsible and accountable.

Therefore, to prevent the probable spillage of our people’s blood, we are calling upon the Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan to immediately withhold sending such equipment to Nimule IDPs who have no agricultural land in Ma’di land.

We are further urging the Japanese to encourage the IDPs to go back to their own tribal states so as to utilize their energies to develop their own states since peace and calm has now returned in our country.

David Aju Kanyara
Chairman of concerned Ma’di community.
A voice of voiceless

South Sudan angered by World Bank ‘exclusion’

From AFRICA REVIEW, BY Joseph ODUHA, JUBA, FEB/24/2016, SSN;

South Sudan has expressed disapproval over its exclusion from the Global Human Development Report published by the World Bank and the UNDP annually.

The report gives a picture of the performance of countries in terms of service delivery.

The presidential advisor and former Finance minister, Mr Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, said South Sudan had not been rated in all the annual global human development reports publishes by the World Bank since the country became independent in 2011.

Independence

Mr Sabuni made the remarks in Juba on Wednesday during the launch of the South Sudan National Human Development Report, officiated by the second Vice-President, Mr James Wani Igga.

He said the UNDP had also excluded South Sudan in its annual reports before and after independence.

The reports, Mr Sabuni observed, were critical since they portrayed how countries were doing in terms of providing services such as health, education, water, food security, nutrition, information and civil freedoms.

Benchmarks

“We want to know how our performance compares with those of others and compare with desirable benchmarks. We want to know how we are serving our people in terms of services and many other desirable of attributes in life,” he said.

“Not to be reflected in the community of nations in these respects has been disturbing and unwelcoming and shows a sense of global isolation.”

However, the World Bank earlier said South Sudan was lacking data to produce the required indicators, hence its exclusion from the global human development reports.

Performs

Mr Sabuni, who is career economist, challenged the global financial agency, saying the problem was the failure by institutions that provide input for the global human development report to capture the available data in the country.

“It is good for the country to know how it performs so that the leadership will be prompted to scale up its development plans appropriately,” he said.

An uphill task in concurrent implementation of peace agreement and order for new states in South Sudan

By: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, FEB/22/2016, SSN;

This article had appeared earlier in some daily newspapers in South Sudan. It focused on a scenario that took place on Friday, 2 October 2015 watched in the evening news when the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, issued an order cited as “Establishment Order number 36/2015 AD for the Creation of 28 States in the Decentralized Government System in the Republic of South Sudan.” Before the announcement of the Order the news caster kept on advising viewers to tune in to South Sudan Television (SSTV) for an important announcement by the President. The 8 pm news broadcast was delayed because of the said important announcement.

After some waiting the President at last appeared on the SSTV screen to make a historic announcement of the Order number 36/2015AD for the Creation of 28 States in South Sudan. The fundamental objectives of the Order highlighted include the devolution of power and resources closer to the rural people, gradual reduction of the size of the national government to free financial resources to the states and local governments, attraction, encouragement and mobilization of national experts to work at the state and county levels, and promotion of social and economic development among the rural communities.

The announcement of the Order by the President immediately drew mixed reactions from some of the viewers. One viewer reacted by saying the Order was good because that has freed them from the arrogance of a certain ethnic group. However, others questioned the basis of dividing up the country on ethnic lines as states and how would that promote the unity of the country. Some people were not so sure whether the Order could be modified as it was perceived rigid. Nevertheless, after a careful analysis it could be deduced that there was some flexibility in the Order according to Order 10.

Compromise peace agreement

On 15 December 2013 a violent conflict flared up within the ruling party, the Sudan people’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). The conflict spread rapidly to Greater Upper Nile, bringing along untold sufferings to people who should have been enjoying their independence barely two years old. The SPLM was sharply divided into two factions with the division getting wider. One faction was known as the SPLM in government (IG) and the other as SPLM in opposition (IO). The two SPLM factions could not make headway in the form of striking a peace deal to end the devastating and senseless conflict.

In order to prevent South Sudan from sliding into a collapsed state, the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) exerted enormous pressure on the SPLM (IG) and SPLM (IO) because they were seen reluctant to reach a compromise to end the senseless conflict. To sustain the pressure on the two parties, IGAD-Plus was proposed. The proposed IGAD-Plus, as an international partnership for peace, consisted of the African Union, China, the European Union, the Troika States (US, UK and Norway), the United Nations and IGAD Partners Forum (IPF). IGAD-Plus was to have a strong and indispensable role to push the South Sudan peace negotiations towards a final peace deal.

The relentless IGAD-Plus pressure exerted, indeed, worked when the two parties to the senseless conflict finally signed what has now become known as the IGAD-Plus Compromise Peace Agreement to be implemented 3 months after having been signed. The agreement should have been implemented byf November 2015. South Sudanese of the various walks of life were unanimous in taking the implementation of the IGAD-Plus Compromise Peace Agreement as priority number one. This was because the conflict was causing enormous damage to the country that it should have been stopped by all means. However, there is a very tiny minority of the opportunistic who are welding enormous power and have a silent vow to torpedo the implementation of the peace agreement.

Creation of 28 states

The announcement of creation of 28 states in South Sudan took many by surprise as people were preparing for the implementation of the IGAD-Plus Compromise Peace Agreement. The implementation of the Order number 36/2015 for the creation of 28 states is to take place in 30 working days from the date of signature by the President. This is precisely to take place on 12 November 2015 as the Order was signed on 2 October 2015.

As a related development the IGAD-Plus Compromise Peace Agreement which was finally signed by the President on 26 August 2015, stipulates that to initiate the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), a 3-month Pre-Transition will commence on signature of the Agreement. This clearly suggests that the implementation of the Agreement with the formation TGoNU would have been in the 4th week of November 2015. Interestingly the implementation of Order number 36/2015 for creation of 28 states would have been in the 2nd week of November 2015. This shows that the implementation of Order number 36/2015 and the IGAD-Plus Compromise Peace Agreement would have been concurrent.

The concurrent implementation of Order number 36/2015 for the creation of 28 states and the IGAD-Plus Compromise Peace Agreement is a mammoth and a steep uphill task that is backbreaking. No one should have any illusion about the daunting steep uphill task ahead. Instead of addressing challenges of this magnitude one at the time, the people of South Sudan have created a deadly double-edged sword that they may find it difficult to handle.

The Challenge

In line with the consistent and popular demand of the people for a federal system of government in South Sudan, the Establishment Order number 36/2015 for the creation of 28 states may not be a bad idea. It is in agreement with the concept of taking towns to people. However, one great challenge is that the criteria for the creation of 28 states in South Sudan are not clear. Such a national task of creating states would have needed countrywide consultations for an informed decision.

First of all, the timing of the establishment order for creation of new states is questionable when the country is facing a situation of economic collapse and enormous task of forming the TGoNU for stability and reconciliation in promoting national unity. It seems the architects behind the scene were nothing but ethno-centric and cared less about the IGAD-Plus Compromise Peace Agreement. Land grab and hegemony seem to be the hidden agenda

As a federalist this author had written extensively about federalism in the print media but was always branded as an ignorant and dangerous man of “Kokora”. He was accused of intensively hating others. This author had called for what would be regarded as regional federalism but not ethnic federalism.

The creation of 28 states seems to show a tendency towards ethnic federalism similar to tribal homelands or as Bantustans in apartheid South Africa. The question one may ask is that, is this appropriate for South Sudan in promoting national unity? There are already signs of problem brewing.

This author, nevertheless, is more than delighted with the Establishment Order number 36/2015 for the creation of 28 states which has exonerated him from being previously accused as an ignorant and dangerous man of “Kokora” when he was only positive about regional federalism but not an ethnic one. Now who are the real people of “Kokora”? Those who had insulted me and opposed my positive attitude to federalism may now owe me an apology.

Analysis of new states

As stated somewhere above the criteria for the creation of 28 states are not clear. This undoubtedly has created confusion. For example, in Greater Bahr el Ghazal the newly created Gok State with Cueibet as its capital town, is composed of only one county and is mainly populated by one tribe. The population is 117,755 and occupies an area of 4,824 square kilometers (sq km). In contrast, Yei River County in Equatoria has a population of 201,443, more than that of Cueibet, with more than one tribe, occupying an area of 6,668 sq km, also more than the area of Cueibet. The population of Gok State is only 58 per cent of the population of Yei River County

Despite the statistics Yei River County has not been created as a state. Similar examples can be cited in the created 28 states in South Sudan. In Equatoria the newly created Yei River State has a population of 590,748. This is in contrast to the newly created Aweil State in Greater Bahr el Ghazal with a very tiny population of only 115,633. That is also in contrast to the newly created Ruweng State in Greater Upper Nile with a mere population of only 99,455. The population Ruweng State is only about 17 per cent of the population Yei River State.

Partly due to the creation of 28 states shrouded in utter confusion with unknown agenda, there are already mounting complaints of unfair creation of the new states. For example, the newly created Lol State in Greater Bahr el Ghazal is being seen as unfairly created. The people of Raja are demanding the creation of their own Raja State instead of being dominated by Aweil West and North which were in the former Northern Bahr el Ghazal State.

In Equatoria the people of the newly created Namorunyang State are demanding a name change of their State. The people of Tombura in the newly created Gbudwe State like the people of Raja are also demanding the creation of their own state.

In the analysis, it has been clear that all the demands for a further creation of new states illustrate the unfairness in the creation of 28 states and the lack of wider consultations with the people in South Sudan. The unnecessary confusion could have been avoided with farsightedness and absence of a hidden agenda.

Flexibility in the order

In the Establishment Order number 36/2015 for the creation of new States in South Sudan, Order 10, Amendment of the Order, highlights that “This order shall not be amended save by another Order issued to that effect by the President of the Republic”. Depending on how people may interpret Order 10, it can be deduced that there is a glimpse of flexibility in the Establishment Order number 36/2015.

When people complain the President is likely to listen. He can have all complaints channeled to his desk for scrutiny and possible action. It is possible that some complaints can persuade the President to take a course of action that may cause the amendment of the Order in the best interest of all. The President may respond to people’s complaints and amend the Order accordingly as a sign of flexibility.

The implication here is that people should not despair or panic that the Order is rigid and that the created 28 states will never be changed whatsoever. The President may listen to people’s genuine complaints to amend the Order.

Conclusion

In principle, any creation of new states should always be in the interest of taking towns to people but not the domination and marginalization of others. If ethnic federalism effectively takes towns to people without damaging national unity, then there is nothing wrong about it.

The challenge is when the newly created states become the compartmentalization of people in their ancestral lands, when free movement and settlement of people in places of their choice in the country is curtailed and when people look at others as foreigners, and then this will be the breeding of disunity that we must all work hard to avoid.

The main problem South Sudanese seem to have is that, they do not see each other in themselves. People are so ethno-centric that they only see their tribesmen in themselves but not any other from any ethnic group.

In addressing challenges there is a need to clearly define the system of governance to be adopted. This is important for people to have a common understanding and appreciation. However, the choice is already federalism because this is the popular demand of the people of South Sudan.

It is important to assert that federalism is not the confining of people to their ancestral lands. It is rather about strict separation of powers between the federal, state and local governments where the three are vested with three branches of public power: the legislative, the executive and the judiciary.

In federalism the exercise of state powers and the discharge of state functions are matters for the state without interference from the federal government. In other words the state and federal governments are independent of each other in some aspects.

In conclusion, as a matter of principle without any hidden agenda, the creation of new states in taking towns to people is a positive approach in development but there should be wider prior consultations for consensus in promoting national unity.

Jacob K. Lupai is the author of the book: South Sudan, Issues in Perspective published in 2014. The book is available in St Joseph Bookshop opposite Juba Teaching Hospital, in JIT Supermarket in Juba and at Juba International Airport. For students who would like to borrow the book, copies owned by the University of Juba are available in their library. The author also has copies of the book and those who are interest in the book can contact him on: 0913937146 or 0927434038.

Prospects and the Reality of Peace to South Sudanese!

By: Malek Cook-Dwach, Juba, South Sudan, FEB/18/2016, SSN;

First and foremost, the interpretations of IGAD communique’ on compromise peace agreement generated a hot debate between semi-intellectual nationals that are incapacitated and lacking political consciousness and the learned political scientists in South Sudan political arena.

This could be healthy on the one hand to create political awareness to the former and to the later to engage in educating the former on the contents of the signed communiqué in disseminating the message of real peace.

The uniqueness of the matter and the funniest thing is that the semi-intellectuals are totally manipulated and brainwashed by the circumstances in which they are exposed into because they presumably surrendered themselves to the fear of unknown.

The political changes and other attributing factors being bad governance with no rule of law or one partisan decision making in the running up of the affairs in the country that left them with little or no hope for future betterment of this beautiful and rich country called Republic of South Sudan.

This by itself poses threats because their brains are dried up, their blood vessels became blocked waiting for their last breath and approaching their demise.

The culture of nationhood is always hereditary and owned by those with love of their country in the heart by not giving up from their inalienable rights and always representing the voice of the voiceless which rendered them to be reactive by taking up guns if needed be, advocating for good governance, accountability and transparency to correct the situation when they see things are not moving on well in the interest of all.

The vicious cycle of terrorizing the entire citizens through corruption, nepotism, inequality of job employments reduce them helpless and that is why they couldn’t anticipate any better forthcoming because the little that they have to build on is robbed in their presence.

The institutions charged with responsibility of accountability when occupied by incompetent persons would continue drastically and fail to execute their core functions because mismanagement of country’s resources will be turned to their personal gains.

The implementation of compromise peace agreement in letter and spirit will put into an end the level of nepotism. The current employment in both public and private sectors which is largely based on ethnic, political and regional considerations will be reviewed as stipulated in the agreement.

These institutional reforms if implemented following the criterion mentioned in the compromise peace agreement will contribute to the restoration of broken societal relations.

A neutral body must be formed to spearhead the process of healing and reconciliation for the realization of peace in the country. The dissemination of peace to the general populace through civil society organizations to own the agreement for their consumption is very important to healing and reconciliation.

The Author is a South Sudanese Citizen and media commentator, reachable at malekcook75@gmail.com