Category: Politics

Making Sense Out Of The Unprecedented Politics in The Republic of South Sudan

BY: Dr. Lako Jada KWAJOK, AUG/06/2017, SSN;

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the world was bipolar regarding political alliances. America was the leading superpower of the Western bloc of nations while the Soviet Union controlled the Eastern bloc with an iron fist. The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was never a match to any of the two camps. It never succeeded in placing itself as a third world power in practical terms. The reason was that many of the member states were one way or another affiliated with the two camps. Moreover, it encompasses a group of countries that have little in common. The Western bloc follows capitalism while communist and socialist ideologies ruled the Eastern bloc. The Non-Aligned Movement hasn’t got an ideology of its own to make it a cohesive bloc.

The fall of the Soviet Union ushered in a new era in international politics marked by unipolar world order. It made America the dominant superpower with unrivalled influence over global affairs. I believe that era is coming to an end with the rapid growth of Chinese influence across the world and the resurgence of Russia as a superpower to reckon with.

However, international politics and cooperation have more often been influenced by political ideology rather than mutual interests. The prominent example is the policy of boycott that was used for over half a century by the USA and China against Cuba and Taiwan respectively.

In the case of South Sudan, a new sort of international politics seems to be at work. It’s whereby ideological affiliation plays a lesser role in defining international cooperation. Monopoly by one superpower and loyalty to it particularly in the field of armament appear to be practices of the past. It’s common knowledge that if a country has military cooperation including arms deals with the Western bloc, it will have none with the Eastern bloc and vice versa. Of course, it’s understandable that each side would not want its military secrets and technology to be accessed by the other side.

It’s a rule of thumb that seems to have been overlooked in South Sudan’s arms deals. The knowledge of weapons shipments to the regime in Juba from China, Ukraine and Russia (countries that were previously part of the Eastern Bloc) – has been in the public domain for a while.

Also, we do know that an Agreement of Military Cooperation and Training does exist between the government of South Sudan and the USA. We have never seen something like it before. The situation is certainly one of a kind whereby you find Western Bloc countries and Eastern bloc countries “collaborating” to arm an embattled regime.

The wonder never ceases when you ponder over the Israeli and Egyptian involvement in South Sudan’s affairs. There is a case before the Israeli Supreme Court submitted by the Israeli Human Rights Activists demanding a criminal investigation into alleged unlawful arms deals. It’s regarding the role of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Foreign Affairs officials and Israeli arms dealers in supplying weapons that were used to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. It transpires that the Galil Ace assault rifles were sold to the government of South Sudan but ended up being used to arm the Mathiang Anyoor government militia.

Israeli involvement in South Sudan’s affairs may not be a surprise to many people given the fact that Israel has always been a sort of an ally to the South Sudanese since the birth of the Anyanya movement in the sixties of the last century. However, Egyptian involvement on the side of the government is something unprecedented. Historically, Egyptian policies have consistently been hostile to the South Sudanese aspirations.

Egypt has been all along on the side of the Northerners since the time of President Jamal Abdul Nasser. Although its policy towards South Sudan did change following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on January 9, 2005 – still the relations remained formal or at best described as a friendly relation that lacks warmth. Egyptian Foreign policy towards the region is majorly driven by its need to lobby as many countries as possible to bolster its agenda in the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

Now we hear of Egyptian arms supplies to the regime in Juba coupled with agreements for cooperation in various fields. It makes one wonder – what happened to the Arab league policy of boycotting any African country that has an active military and diplomatic ties with Israel? Some of you may know that you will not be given an entry visa to Sudan if your passport carries an Israeli stamp. In fact, the following translated Arabic phrase is found on Sudanese passports (For all countries except Israel). It’s an Arab League directive; therefore, I would expect a similar expression on Egyptian passports. It’s amazing that with such level of antagonism, how could the two countries supply arms to the same client and work in the same vicinity training the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA)?!

During the war of liberation, Russia and China were clearly on the side of Sudan government frustrating attempts by the US and its allies to impose sanctions against Sudan at the UN. The Americans were the only heavy-weight ally that the SPLM/SPLA got on its side. A paradox arose in December 2016 when the US sought an arms embargo against the government of South Sudan at the UN Security Council (UNSC). In the face of Russia wielding a veto against the arms embargo – the US was left with no choice other than withdrawing its draft resolution before being put for voting.

It looked like the Western bloc of nations, and the Eastern bloc of nations swapped their sides. Furthermore, the American position in itself displayed the second paradox when judged against US actions. Almost around the time when it was seeking the arms embargo; it renewed the Military Cooperation Agreement with the Republic of South Sudan. What happened highlighted the inconsistency that marked the US policy towards the regime in Juba since the war broke out in December 2013.

Contemporary world history never witnessed such meddling into a Sovereign State’s internal affairs by neighbouring countries on the scale seen in South Sudan. The Ugandan military intervention in late December 2013 and Early January 2014, brought up questions regarding the legality of the act in international law.

The regime in Juba claimed that an agreement was in place between the two countries that permitted the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) to intervene. But the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), that is tasked to ratify such agreements was unaware of the existence of anything of that sort. Even if there were to be a Mutual Defense Treaty, it would have sanctioned UPDF intervention in the case of foreign invasion but not in a civil war.

Uganda was only safeguarding its enormous economic interests in South Sudan and would resist any attempts for regime change at all costs. It’s not a secret that many South Sudanese are pointing fingers at Uganda as the entity behind the demise of General George Athor, and the disappearance of opposition leader Peter Abdul Rahman Sule and General Elias Lino Jada.

Kenya is the second beneficiary of the Juba government after Uganda. It has dominated the financial and banking system in South Sudan. Some Kenyans were given influential government positions Like Dr Renish Achieng Omullo. She was appointed as Special Envoy to the Federal Republic of Germany by a Presidential Decree. While some highly qualified South Sudanese were denied positions for the ridiculous reason of being overqualified, a foreigner gets employed in a sensitive post in a country that does not lack qualified persons. It’s up to the reader to draw his or her conclusions as to why such a thing could happen.

However, the most disturbing aspect of the relation between the two governments is the involvement of the Kenyan government in the kidnapping and deportation to Juba of the opposition operatives. James Gatdet Dak, the former spokesman for Dr Riek Machar, was the first victim of the sinister cooperation between the Kenyan government and the regime in Juba. Subsequently, it didn’t take long for the Kenyan ally to lend Kiir’s government a helping hand by making the Human Rights activists Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idri disappear from the streets of Nairobi.

The track record of the Juba government has shown to the world unsurpassable irresponsibility. Its policies do not promote unity and peaceful coexistence among the diverse communities nor do they project the image of South Sudan as a Sovereign State. There is no doubt that the regime has utterly failed in all aspects of governance.

The international community would be ill-advised to continue entertaining the notion that sustainable peace could emerge from the ashes of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS). The High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) would neither work nor the National Dialogue (ND) that was launched by Kiir’s regime. It’s apparent that the international community has got limitations to what it could do and the obvious example is its failure to impose an arms embargo on the government of South Sudan.

We also do remember how the Rwanda genocide unfolded under the watch of the UN and the superpowers. We should bear in our minds as South Sudanese that many in the international community and the regional powers are in our country pursuing their private agendas and interests. As we speak illegal gold mining is being carried out vigorously by various foreign entities and other precious resources are being plundered as well.

The regime has leased or sold large pieces of land to foreign individuals and firms, not to mention putting the country under massive debts by borrowing large sums of money from abroad. It’s committing a generational theft that would certainly land our future generations in the red from the start.

Right now South Sudan gives the impression of a place where there is plenty to gain for everyone except the South Sudanese people. It has become a safe haven for international fortune hunters, thieves and crooks. But the blame for what has become of the Republic of South Sudan falls squarely on the military junta and the self-serving politicians in Juba.

Many lessons could be learned from the above account to avoid being misled and disappointed. The central point though is that salvation from the failed regime will not come from abroad but from the people of South Sudan. The way forward has never been clearer than at any time since the start of the conflict.

For peace to be realised and flourish on our soil – Kiir’s regime must go either through an inclusive new Peace Agreement whereby accountability is paramount or the hard way through other means.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

International Community Should Put More Emphasis on Ending South Sudan Crisis

By: Peter Gai Manyuon, JUL/27/2017, SSN;

Admittedly, since civil war broke out in December 2013 up to early 2017, the number of displaced persons is increasing on monthly basis. Three years on from the outbreak of conflict, nearly Seven point five (7.5) million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection across the country as a result of armed conflict, inter-communal violence, economic crisis, disease outbreaks and climatic shocks according to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) and nothing is achieved yet to resolve the on going conflict in the Country.

On the other hand, United Nations estimated, over five hundred thousand (500,000) people have been killed so far, and more than one point six (1.6) million are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in various protection Camps within the Country, especially Juba, Malakal, Bentiu and Wau. Evidently, one point five (1.5) million are currently refugees in neighboring countries according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in their recent 2017 report.

Furthermore, it should be noted that, the August 2015 peace deal already collapsed and those in Juba claiming to be implementing peace are just covering realities on the crimes committed by the regime against civil population. Absolutely, the transitional government of national unity (TGoNU) is questionable currently.

All those tribal armies currently committing serious crimes against the civilians especially the vulnerable like women, children and the elderly respectively deserves to be answerable as soon, the hybrid Court is established but world is so quite on the ongoing atrocities committed by criminals. Hybrid court is not yet established and the world is so desperate acknowledging the legitimacy of the rotten regime killings its own citizens.

Apparently, leadership of the country failed to bring peace and unity among the audiences or masses. This on going insecurity and sectarian killings has prevented farmers from planting or harvesting crops , causing food shortages nation-wide and self-claimed leaders are just busy enjoying in Juba hotels and else where. Most of the youth globally are confused, where currently ,most of them followed their tribal organizations ideologies or principles.

Most of the masses are focusing to cause more problems, wars , killings , rapes and sexual harassment against the women in the Country. The government mandate was changed from being a government for all to a tribal organization directed by goons in order to achieve unknown tribal legacy in the Country.

Additionally, the top Leadership of the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) doesn’t allow peaceful co-existence of the masses rather, the regime is currently involved in committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide related cases in the Country.

Salva Kiir and his goons within Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) and other disgruntled groups in Juba are now busy defacing and killings the civil population of South Sudanese in the philosophy of protecting tribal leadership, as well looting resources of the Country for individualistic appeasement which has paralyzed the economy of the Country.

The Country is now managed by goons looking or focusing only on what to eat, not what is beneficial to the civil population.

Generally speaking, the problem of greediness, self-fishiness, primitiveness, hooliganism and practicing of sectarian politics by the pests and parasites of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) have taken the country as a zone of killings and raping of women in the region.

South Sudanese look at themselves as enemies due to the current tribal baptism by the politicians. The future of the Country remains uncertain!

In Summary, Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) failed to address the on going crisis in South Sudan due to individuals interests within the region. Transitional justice mechanisms must be address first before national dialogue.

The current strategy of confusing the world and region on fake reconciliation which is not even supported by the grassroots and other oppositions forces in the Country will never work. World should put more emphasis on sanctions especially, the warring parties or the entire government should be immediately blacklisted and those who killed civilians based on ethnic lines be prosecutes and must be answerable for the crimes they have committed.

For simplicity,Transitional justice consists of judicial and non-judicial measures implemented in order to redress legacies of human rights. Such measures include criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations programs , and various kinds of institutional reforms.

Evidently, chapter five (5), of the 2015 Agreement is mandated to addresses all those cases but up to now nothing is address, even establishment of the hybrid court is sabotaged already by war criminals in the Country and region.

South Sudan has become the centre for regional, Continental and international investment, where everyone go and eat without restriction due to the fact that, the leadership of the Country is doom on the principles of Leadership and governance.

Consequently,the small revenues or taxes collected from Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private companies or foreign aids donations from International community goes in to individual’s pockets and currently, there is serious inflation in the Country, where most of the Ministers are stealing directly the small finances in their various ministries.

Each and everyone is just busy looking for what to eat , no one is thinking of the future of the Country. Most interestingly, leaders only focuses on their families ,developing bellies and accumulation of wealth’s for exit. Very unfortunate!

In Conclusion, world must impose sanctions on the government of South Sudan by not giving or donating foreign aids to the Country. All the European Union (EU) funding projects should be put to end, United States of America (USA) projects should be put to end. Japanese developmental projects should be put to end.

Peace will ONLY be achieve in South Sudan when world leaders stop sending money to South Sudan. Let all Organizations withdraw their funding’s from South Sudan and within a week, peace will come to the South Sudanese people.

The Author is Independent Journalist, Columnist and Researcher who has written extensively on issues of Democracy and Human Rights in South Sudan. He is currently researching on Propaganda and Conflict in South Sudan and could be reach on southsudanjournalist@gmail.com

Is the new threat from Troika credible? The Oppositions should not celebrate yet

By: Samuel Atabi, JUL/24/2017, SSN;

South Sudanese will forever be grateful to the Americans, particularly the neo-conservatives in the younger Bush regime, for conjuring up their political independence from the Sudan. Unlike the liberals, who view ‘neo-conservatisms’ as a war-mongering tag, South Sudanese view it as batch of honor.

Even then, the neo-conservatives took note of the war of independence in Sudan only after that country became a hotbed for terrorists, including Osama bin Laden; terrorism being the number one priority of the US foreign policy.

However, the actual birth of the new nation of South Sudan, in 2011, was midwifed by another batch of Americans under the Democratic President, Barrack Obama. It is now clear that the Obama administration was not prepared for the war that convulsed that new country barely two years into its nationhood; the president admitted as much.

Following the outbreak of a civil war in South Sudan in 2013, the Americans, together with the British and the Norwegians (all the three collectively known as the Troika), worked tirelessly to get a peace agreement to end the war. They did get the agreement in August 2015.

But again barely six months into the implementation of the agreement, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, a party to the agreement, literally bombed the pact out of Juba in July 2016. Using a superior military fire power, Kiir attacked the home of and with the aim of killing Dr Riek Machar, his partner in the peace agreement.

What followed this brazen violation of the agreement have been the missteps by the US and its Troika partners. Instead of coming hard on President Kiir for his unacceptable behavior, they largely kept quiet. This silence emboldened Kiir to launch unbridled violence against the Equatoria, a region which had hitherto been spared by the civil war.

From media reports, the Troika did not just keep quiet in the face of Kiir’s defiance but they also took three other additional steps which have aggravated the calamity in the country:
— i) They instructed regional governments bordering South Sudan (known as IGAD) to deny Machar entry into their countries;
— ii) They asked South Africa to hold Dr Riek Machar under house arrest, thus denying him access to his followers; and
— iii) They offered Sudan, a country that was known to be the main weapon supplier to Machar’s forces, the possibility of US lifting sanction that had been in place for decades as a quid pro quo for stopping the arms supply.

The overall effects of these moves not only left Kiir in a stronger and an advantageous military position, but it also further encouraged him to kill more South Sudanese with impunity.

The genocidal rampage by Kiir’s tribal army and militia against South Sudanese continued for 11 months while the Troika and the international community continued, in the main, to sit on their hands and refused to take action against Kiir.

At last, after desperate reports by UN agencies and other international organizations on the devastation of war in South Sudan, the Troika appears to stir as recently as the third week of July 2017.

Now, the Troika and the European Union (EU) are threatening to stop funding the parasitic institutions, such as the JEMEC, which are alleged to be implementing the bombed and dead August 2015 agreement. Late as this threat might be, it is very much welcomed by many concerned organizations, and certainly by millions of South Sudanese who are in the IDP’s and refugee camps.

The Troika and the EU have also demanded the revitalization of the dead agreement as a condition for further support to the peace process. If these threats were to elicit the expected outcome, then the Oppositions will have achieved a small victory: they have always called for the re-examination of the moribund peace agreement, some of whose clauses have become obsolete.

But, the Oppositions must not be complacent about the future course of events. There are still obstacles to the attainment of a lasting peace in our country. Below, I enumerate some of them.

Safety and New Agreement.
I am convinced that the attack on Machar in July, 2016, though not approved, but had a tacit approval of some of the guarantors of the August 2015 peace agreement. A number of circumstantial evidence has been adduced to support this: silence by these countries on that attack; acquiescence in the appointment of Taban Deng Gai to replace Machar as the Vice President; intimidation of the IGAD countries to deny Machar visa and residency; his exiling to South Africa; etc.

In my opinion, the countries involved appear to have reached a conclusion that, the Dinka, as a single largest tribe in South Sudan, cannot be wished away and therefore, they should be given time to moderate their approaches in the governance of the country. Thereafter, they (the Dinka) will be able to co-opt other tribal leaders in governments that will be dominated by them.

In Afghanistan, the American encouraged the Taliban, a Pashtun outfit to rule that country simply because the Pashtun are the majority. This is what the State Department said, in a secret UN Security Council, about the Taliban at the time when the latter was a virtual pariah in the world:

“For the sake of peace, all nations should engage with the Taliban. They control more than two-thirds of the country; they are Afghan; they are indigenous; and they have demonstrated their staying power…Providing covert military aid to Massoud (an opposition leader to Taliban and from a minority Panjiri ethnic group) would only lead to more Afghan civilian deaths, while prolonging the country’s military stalemate.” [Coll, S. (2004). Ghost Wars. Penguin Books].

This attitude from the State Department persisted even when others, (the CIA, politicians), were urging the Clinton administration to arm the northern Panjiri ‘minority’ opponents of the Taliban under Massoud. The Taliban took advantage of this policy and harbored Osama bin Laden. The policy was radically reversed, though, after September 11 when the Americans now agreed to invade Afghanistan and topple the Taliban at a very high cost.

It is, therefore, not difficult to imagine that similar views are being expressed in private about the South Sudan situation. Now, if this is the attitude of the guarantors, then implementation of the August agreement in the original format, with Machar going back as the First Vice-President, is a dangerous undertaking: there is no guarantee that the July 2016 incident cannot be repeated.

Policy Suggestion: The IO and other opposition groups should go back to the drawing board to plan an agreement that will safeguard the lives of leaders and their soldiers during its implementation.

In practice, the IO and the Opposition should be less insistence on the wholesale reinstatement of the original ACRSS.

Deployment of the Protection Force:

Based on the utterances of officials like JMEC Chairman and some diplomats, the main purpose of the UN protection force appears not to protect the leaders and soldiers of the opposition groups in Juba.

The real purpose at inception, it appears, was to protect Juba against the expected assault by the White Army and the wider IO forces on the city following the July, 2016 incident.

This assault was expected to take place during the dry season of 2016. When the invasion did not materialize, these officials gave a sigh of relief and the urgency for the deployment of the force waned.

Previously, some members of the mediation, IGAD et al, were very concerned about the capture of Juba by the White Army and the IO forces following the pogrom of December, 2013.

Why? It was because the invading army, if allowed to enter Juba, would have destroyed all the emerging institutions of government in the city and also killed most of city’s inhabitants.

In order to prevent this, they had to okay the Ugandan’s involvement in the defense of Juba that entailed the use of cluster bombs against the IO forces.

In my view, as the Ugandans have officially withdrawn now (I may be talking too soon), Juba can only be protected by the UN deployment of a protection force.

Policy Suggestion: The IO and other Opposition groups should not be assured by the deployment of the protection force. They should be less enthusiastic, if not unconcerned, in pushing for the deployment.

Instead, the opposition should push for a country-wide UN protection force that would secure civilians in places like, Yei, Magwi, Keji-keji, Wau, and towns and centers in Greater Upper Nile.

A successful deployment of protection force with the current mandate will actually frustrate a successful capture of Juba if this is what the Oppositions wish.

In addition, the protection force might unwittingly facilitate the escape of the government culprits and potential war criminals in Juba through the protected airport.

The Trusteeship
The proposed Trusteeship by experts and some diplomats is problematic. For example, it might be very difficult in future to end it as has happened in other countries like Namibia.

Politically, those advocating for it might be accused by the regime in Juba of being unpatriotic and traitors to the independence of our country. It is thus understandable to read policy documents of both IO and NAS rejecting the proposal.

In my opinion, the outright rejection of the proposal is counterproductive. The July 2016 incident and its aftermaths have militarily weakened the IO, and therefore, the entire opposition; Sudan, which has been a source of armament, is no longer in play.

A protracted armed struggle will last for up to 50 years if our previous wars are anything to go by.

Politicians take up arms because they want power to bring change and leaders of the opposition groups are not immune to that. Who among the leaders can wait for the next 50 years to gain power?

The answer is none. The estimated time for the trusteeship is ten years; this is more realistic waiting time that the five decades of civil war. In any case, the Oppositions might also gain from the disarmament of all forces that must necessarily precede the start of the trusteeship.

Policy suggestion: The Oppositions should not reject the Trusteeship proposal outright but should ask for more clarifications about its nature, including structure, mandate and time limit.

This will encourage dialogue. Therefore, in practice, the Oppositions should indicate that they have open mind and remain to be persuaded about the proposal.

Finally, the war in our country cannot be ended without the involvement of the one and the only world’s Superpower, the United States of America. And yet this assertion is undermined by the scope and practice of the US foreign policy.

As Henry Kissinger once said, “America’s desire to project power into myriads of small scale conflict−Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti, South Sudan−is a key conceptual challenge for American foreign policy”. We can only hope.

Samuel Atabi is a concerned South Sudanese; he can be reached at samuelatabi@gmail.com

Gen. Thomas Cirillo, C-in-C of NAS: 9th July Independence Day Message to all

Dated: JULY 9th, 2017, National Salvation Front/Army. SSN;

To countrymen and women, those imprisoned, tortured or even killed in these years of tribulations, I salute all our peoples: our gallant men and women serving in the forces of our struggle;
–the internally displaced in the bushes and POC camps, those in refugee camps in neighboring countries;
–those in the Diaspora etc, etc…..

Eleven long years since that Day in 2005 when the CPA was signed in Naivasha, Kenya and 6 long cruel years since the Dawn of Independence broke in are experiencing the severest forms of hardship in a country whose hopes at independence were so high and have been thoroughly dashed without any pangs of conscience by those who claimed to be peoples’ leaders;

Your suffering for all those years refresh in our memory the heroes of 1955, who, following their instincts, far less resourced than we’re today, dared to challenge the oppressive giants of their day — for all their posterity.

The seeds of freedom that they planted in our hearts, to this day, have blossomed into an unquenchable quest for our freedom, our dignity and our unity as a people, bound together inseparably in a long history of struggle to assert our God-given rights, the same rights to all humanity.

We can’t forget the hundreds, if not thousands of martyrs of the brutalities of the CURRENT REGIME IN JUBA.

With their blood they have championed the resistance to the INTERNAL NEO-COLONIAL establishment now crippling life in South Sudan.

In spite of these past sacrifices offered by past and present martyrs and by us, their survivors, we now face an unprecedented, inhuman, antipathetic, morally devoid internal colonialism by a very few who obtained the power they abuse on a silver platter, totally unprepared for it upon the death of our great national hero, Dr. John Garang de Mabior.

With their criminal orientation, they are prepared to smear the reputations of entire clans or even ethnic groups with their long litany of evil deeds.

Their schemes to divide and rule will miserably fail as all the entire peoples of South Sudan have not and will not succumb to their selfish ends; and all the peoples of South Sudan have already unanimously rejected their schemes of division for the benefit of a very few.

We encourage their constituencies and all South Sudanese to hold their chins high not to loose faith and subdue despair as we proudly look to the day when we will have every reason to celebrate all occasions that mark our achievements, however compromised by agents of destruction and repression!

At this juncture I would like to remind ourselves that “freedom and rights are not given” –they are won through hard struggles!

NAS would like to assure our people that it will exert every effort for their unity, whatever the cost, in spite of the bitter seeds of divide and rule being planted and pursued by the SPLM government.

Our unity is our national pride, and the source of our strength. We shall not cease, nor shall we desist, from reminding Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit and his cohorts that their anti-citizens schemes are destined to utter failure.

We in NAS remind everyone that we have no independence to celebrate, but we do rejoice at the prospects that the fate of the authors of the on-going cruelties is sealed! We celebrate the fact that South Sudan will rise again!

We take the opportunity to remind friend and foe alike that NAS missionary zeal and dedication is towards rallying the entire SOUTH SUDANESE populace to bring about their own salvation – devoid of drives for power or illicit wealth accumulation at the expense of all else.

NAS leaves no stone un-turned in the process of the struggle for the final genuine liberation of our people.

NAS strives to ensure that no efforts will be spared in the quest for the realization of the objectives of the liberation of the South Sudanese peoples.

We hope that our friends and neighbours in the region, IGAD, AU, Troika and the International Community as a whole are able to share with us our remorse on this Independence Day memorial.

There are many ways in which they hurry to our aid. Foremost, the continued existence of the Kiir regime with impunity marks a regrettable moral bankruptcy in those who know and understand the problems of South Sudan.

We need peace as urgently! Many of our friends are in a position to apply the right pressures against Juba, to win an abdication by Kiir, since “forcing him out” is apparently distasteful in many quarters.

We take this opportunity to appeal to our partners in the struggle, other political parties, Civil Society organizations, Faith-based Organizations and others to appreciate the reality that the Juba regime cannot be treated with a business-as-usual attitude.

With the help of the JCE (Jieng Council of Elders), Mathiang Anyor (Dinka ethnic militia) and others who knowingly or unknowingly have been party to the many forms of atrocities committed in our nation against innocent people, the Kiir regime has crossed more RED LINES in South Sudan than any contemporary tyrants.

The JUBA REGIME HAS TO BE STOPPED— BY ALL MEANS NECESSARY. DOING NOTHING CAN NOW BE ONLY INTERPRETED AS SUICIDAL – INDIRECTLY HELPING THE REGIME TO SURVIVE!

Let this occasion be a firm reminder to us all that things have gone despicably wrong in South Sudan – justifying the determination of NAS to restore all rights to decent living for all South Sudanese.

Even the Juba-celebrated National Dialogue (ND), commendable at face-valve, is not a credible tool to address the depths of the problems to which Kiir has brought the country.

NAS will spare no efforts to introduce good governance and sustainable development through top programs such as:
1. Absolute security for all citizens where only God takes life through disease or accidents, but never should we ever again lose life at the hands of fellow-man.
2. The establishment of governance institutions answerable to the people and accountable in every public endeavor.
3. The enactment of a FEDERAL CONSTITUTION THAT CONTAINS ROBUST CHECKS AND BALANCES ON OUR GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS SUCH AS THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH….
8. Putting an end to elite decadent living at the expense of the ordinary citizen, through firm measures to curb corruption and luxurious expenditures in the public sector!
9. Encouraging all the educated citizens in general, and intellectuals in particular – discouraged by the Kiir regime from participating in nation-building ever since the CPA and Independence – return home to participate in effectively laying the foundation for a modern South Sudan.

Our people are absolutely tired of empty sugar-coated speeches that describe Heaven-on-Earth without end.

NAS values words that are immediately put into actions in spite of hurdles that might exist. After all, others in the world are succeeding with very little at their disposal.

Why should we, a people endowed with all forms of God-given resources fail so pathetically?

No, NAS has no stomach for the kinds of excuses on which the citizens of South Sudan have been fed without their basic human needs ever being met!

We caution our citizens, as well as friends from abroad, to refrain from QUICK MONEY SCHEMES THE DESPERATE JUBA REGIME MIGHT UNDERTAKE IN DESPERATE EFFORTS TO SUSTAIN ITS HORRIFIC RULE.

No one sufficiently conscious about the Juba regime should allow themselves to be used by cooperating without questioning the moral aspects of the planned actions or programs.

An obvious example is the current NATIONAL DIALOGUE, only aimed at trashing past serious compromise agreements – without resulting in any substantive change. Nor do we wish to consider the country’s problems as simply a disagreement within the SPLM. They have remorselessly caused us to suffer for many years for no reason.

With God above as our witness, guide, patron and support, we wish to assure all citizens and sympathetic friends that NAS is confident of Victory in the first genuine liberation of our people.

The light at the end of the tunnel is bright. The horizon holds much hope and promise for the present, the future and for generations to come.

Long live the resilient, aspiring and patient citizens of South Sudan.
Long live the NATIONAL SALVATION FRONT
God Bless you.

Your Faithful Servant,

(Signed) Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka
CHAIRMAN AND C-IN-C

TCS/asl

Why having the Hybrid Court is undesirable as part of Conflict Resolution in South Sudan

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, JUL/15/2017, SSN;

The conflict in South Sudan broke between on 15 December 2013. The way it took ethnic dimension accompanied by gruesome killings that shocked the world. The killings were indiscriminate and barbaric.

The killings in Juba against members of Nuer Community on 15 December 2013 were carried out systematically. As a result, Dr. Riek Machar and other Nuer Army Generals declared a war against the government and the Dinka Community. The declaration was soon followed by systematic and widespread killings of Dinka community members in by then three states of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile.

Fearing that things would go from bad to worse between Dinka and Nuer that might lead into the country falling apart or the situation might go the Rwanda way, the IGAD and TROIKA moved swiftly to terminate the war by initiating the peace process.

It was this peace process that resulted in into the AGREEMENT ON THE RESOLUTION OF THE CONFLICT IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN, ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA 17 AUGUST 2015.

In attempt to address the abuses of human rights that followed the outbreak of the 15 December 2013, the Agreement provides for the establishment of the Hybrid Court of South Sudan.

Thus, Article 1.1 under Chapter V of the above Agreement provides that upon inception of the Agreement, the Transitional Government of National Unity of the Republic of South Sudan (TGoNU) shall initiate legislation for the establishment of the following transitional justice institutions, inter alia, an independent hybrid judicial body, to be known as the Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS) (see; Article 1.1.2). This Article, therefore, establishes the Hybrid Court.

As provided for in the Agreement, the main purpose of the Hybrid Court is to try the following crimes: Genocide (see; Article 3.2.1.1); Crimes Against Humanity (see; Article 3.2.1.2); War Crimes (see; Article 3.2.1.3); and Other serious crimes under international law and relevant laws of the Republic of South Sudan including gender based crimes and sexual violence (see; Article 3.2.1.4).

Enshrining crimes of Genocide; Crimes Against Humanity; and War crimes in the Hybrid Court for South Sudan indicates the intention of the framers of the Agreement who might want to domesticate the ICC Statute by implication. It should be noted that to adopt the general criminal principles in dealing with crimes in South Sudan is not a bad idea as long as it contributes to lasting peace.

However, the question we must answer before endorsing the idea of modern Criminal Justice in South Sudan is, can its adoption as envisaged in Article 3 of the Agreement Chapter V bring the lasting peace in South Sudan?

The answer to this question is negative. It cannot bring lasting peace or even temporarily halt the conflict because of the following reasons:—

First, the conflict in South Sudan is not normal conflict that may warrant criminal prosecution in the modern sense as understood in the West. But South Sudanese conflict is political violence. In this regard, political violence means the conflict perpetrated by either persons or governments to achieve political goals. Therefore, the solution to political violence is political settlement.

In political violence, criminal prosecution is not desirable as what is needed is political justice. Political justice is achieved through political agreement to meet political goals accompanied by reparations to the victims.

This implies that Criminal Prosecution as provided for under Chapter V of the Agreement is unrealistic as one of the methods of solving conflict in South Sudan.

Second, the proposed criminal prosecution to address crimes committed in the process of the war in South Sudan may not be effective for some reasons. What makes it ineffective and illusive in addressing human rights violations is that, it contemplates the prosecution of the President of South Sudan and other government officials.

Thus, under Chapter V of the Agreement, it is provided that a person, who planned, instigated, ordered, committed, aided and abetted, conspired or participated in a joint criminal enterprise in the planning, preparation or execution of a crime shall be individually responsible for the crime (see; Article 3.2.1).

The use of the words as “…a person, who planned, instigated, ordered, committed, aided and abetted, conspired or participated in a joint criminal enterprise in the planning, preparation or execution of a crime shall be individually responsible for the crime” implies the principle of command responsibility and because of that the president of South Sudan, Dr. Riek Machar and other army generals both in the oppositions and the government are all eligible to be prosecuted under the Hybrid Court in South Sudan.

The question is, it is feasible?

Of Course, it is not. Therefore, before adopting the Hybrid Court in South Sudan, the following questions must be answered: if prosecutions begin, where do they end? Should only the leadership be brought to justice? Should bureaucrats, judiciary personnel, members of police and security forces, members of the media, the medical profession, all of whom are often duplicitous in authoritarian regimes, be eligible for prosecution? Can a state finance such an endeavor?

Will the members of the elite allow themselves to be dragged through a criminal or civil proceeding? Will prosecutions ensure that future leaders do a better job covering up abuses so as not be subject to the same?

How will these prosecutions help a society move forward when a system is consumed with the past? How does a society prevent witch hunts and the guarantee of due process for those under prosecution?

If it is the military that’s the target of prosecutions, then there exists the threat of a coup in order for military leaders to protect themselves. Also, if only the top leaders, those who gave the orders, are prosecuted, then the junior officers, those who carried out the bloody orders, will move into top military positions, which may put us into uncertainty in relation to military.

Is criminal prosecution as we see in the case of Rwanda appropriate in South Sudan?

If the above questions are not properly answered and the typical criminal justice is hastily adopted as a method of conflict resolution in South Sudan, then there is likelihood that the future of South Sudan will be jeopardized.

Hence, instead of achieving lasting peace, the country may find itself in worse situations than what we are trying to deal with now. This means that there is a need for rethinking criminal justice as an approach to South Sudanese conflict resolution mechanism.

The criminal prosecution as was seen in the case of Rwanda is not applicable in South Sudan. This is because unlike Rwanda where the new government was already in place when the Court was being established, in the case of South Sudan, it is the same government, which is accused of human rights violations is the one expected to implement the provisions on the Hybrid Court, which is fallacy.

Entrusting the Government with the duty to prosecute herself is a mere dream that will never be realized in South Sudan. The president and other government officials and military will never accept to implement the provisions of the Hybrid Court in accordance with its spirit.

This is because the situation in South Sudan is different from that were prevailing in Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

As already pointed out above, the Hybrid Courts that were established both in Rwanda and Former Yugoslavia were able to operate effectively because by the time they were established, there were already New Governments in place.

Therefore, the New Governments were able to cooperate with the Hybrid Courts in surrendering the perpetuaters of human rights abuses during the Rwandan Genocide and the conflict in Yugoslavia.

In South Sudan, however, the government will never accept to willingly surrender the accused to the Hybrid Court as the accused are part of the government unless it is forced to do so.

Nonetheless, forcing the Government externally to submit to court can be categorized as an assault on South Sudan sovereignty contrary to Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter, 1945.

In addition, invading the country externally to force the government and its officials to surrender the culprits will be further throw South Sudan into even more chaos given the fact that a bulk of the members of our communities stand behind their own leaders.

For the above reasons, if the force is used against the government to obey Court orders then given the nature and mentality of the majority members of South Sudanese communities, there will be all out war between the invaders and the communities where leader comes from.

This means that in case of President Kiir and Riek Machar and any other personality from other tribes in South Sudan they cannot be prosecuted successfully without risking the country falling into further but more serious crises.

However if the government is still in power but not forced to implement the provisions on the Hybrid Court, then justice will never be done to the victims of human rights abuses. Hence, the government will remain operating as it was doing in the past and the country will continue being the same situation with no reforms.

What are needed in South Sudan are comprehensive reforms, which means that there is a need for safe transition that will help introduce strong democracy in South Sudan. This implies that the issues of criminal prosecution should be minimized, and instead, there is a need for dialogue with the President and other government officials to ensure that they accept reforms as we desire to see in South Sudan.

Apart from the above external issues that makes Hybrid Court undesirable, the provisions establishing the Hybrid Courts are not comprehensive enough to cover the human rights abuses that occurred before 15 December 2013. Article 3.1.1 under Chapter V of the 15 August 2015 Agreement provides, the Court shall be established by the African Union Commission to investigate and prosecute individuals bearing the responsibility for violations of international law and/or applicable South Sudanese law, committed from 15 December 2013 through the end of the Transitional Period.

As seen above, the Hybrid Court is incompetent to investigate and try the crimes committed before 15 December 2013. What those who formulated this position of law should have put into consideration is the fact that the killings on 15 December 2013 was between Dinka and Nuer. This means that the conflict is historical nature, which is the continuation of the massive killings that have been going between Nuer and Dinka between 1980s and 1990s.

In 1990s, there were mass massacres of Bor people under the Command of Dr. Riek Machar when he broke away from the SPLM/A mainstream in 1990. Unfortunately, when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed between South and the North of Sudan, the human rights abuses were not addressed.

It should be noted that the failure to address the human rights violations that occurred during the conflict between SPLM/A and the Khartoum and its affiliated militias from 1983-2005 provided for the fertile ground for future massacres. The 2013 massacres of the members of the Nuer community in Juba and the killings of Dinka people afterwards in the three States of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile was caused by the failure to address the first human rights violation.

In respect to the above, if the Hybrid Court were to be established to address human rights violations in South Sudan, the timeline for the crimes to be investigated and tried should stretch back to 1990s. In addition, the Hybrid Court should have also contemplated investigating the conflicts between Nuer and Dinka Youths and among Dinka youth themselves and if possible try them as well. This is because these conflicts have been claiming thousands of lives since 2005 to date.

However, the weakness with the present contemplated Hybrid Court in South Sudan is that it will not address the violations of Human Rights that have been committed since 1990s or even before that. For these reasons, the people of South Sudan and in particular Nuer and Dinka will never be satisfied that justice has been done.

When people are not satisfied with justice, the chances of the future conflict reoccurring are high. In order to prevent the future conflict from reoccurring and at the same time ensuring the permanent peace, the dialogue, truth telling and reconciliation should be the way forward in South Sudan. The people obey the law not because of force but for the morals they attach to the law.

In regard to the safeguard of the rights of the Victims, Witnesses and the Accused, the standards differ. Article 3.4.1 of the Establishment of Hybrid Court under Chapter V provides that the HCSS shall implement measures to protect victims and witnesses in line with applicable international laws, standards and practices. While Article 3.4.2 under the same Chapter provides that the rights of the accused shall be respected in accordance to applicable laws, standards and practices.

The question is what, are these applicable laws, standards and practices, why not using the same language as in the case of the victims. Why? The difference in languages provided in the two provisions creates the difference in protection in regard to the protection of the accused. Besides, it is ambiguous and should be ratified.

Article 3.5.5 of the Agreement under Chapter V may be interpreted to have been intended to target the government officials and their subordinates only. This by implication excludes rebel commanders and their subordinates. Article 3.5.5 provides, “No one shall be exempted from criminal responsibility on account of their official capacity as a government official, an elected official or claiming the defence of superior orders”.

The fact that it specifically and expressly points out the government officials and those who took orders from them make it clear that the government officials are the target however excluding rebels and their commanders indicate that those who drafted the agreement were bias. The language of the Agreement should clearly mention both rebels and the government.

In summary, the criminal justice as found under the International Criminal Court Statute or as proposed under the Hybrid Court cannot. This is because the conflict in South Sudan is political violence which needs political settlement and the type of justice needed in South Sudan is restorative justice given the nature of injustices. The injustices committed in South Sudan are not pure criminal injustices but they are political injustices that have resulted into poverty and political violence, lack of confidence and distrust.

NB//: the author can be reached through: juoldaniel@yahoo.com

The South Sudanese Former Detainees (FD) are just Spectators of the ongoing conflicts in South Sudan

BY: John Adoor Deng, Australia, JUL/10/2017, SSN;

The South Sudanese Former Political Detainees (FD) also referred to, as G-10 are not, in my view, helping in the flagging situation in South Sudan, although I was initially, to some extent, their mild supporter right from the onset, when they were in jail. Readers can attest to the article I wrote, published in South Sudan news sites where I referred to them (FD) as biblical Meshach, Abednego, and Shadrack who survived the wrath of the Babylonian king.

Unlike the Israelite resilience men who stood the great temptation of the time and feared none, the South Sudanese Former Detainees are just spectators of the ongoing conflicts in South Sudan.

Upon their painfully release, they cowardly turned their backs to those who fiercely and fully advocated for their release including Dr Riek Machar, Madam Rebecca de Mabior and all South Sudanese who fought hard mounting pressures to condition their release, alive and healthy.

Unfortunately, on their release, they miscalculated events at hand thinking that they will through this crisis take on the leadership of the country. They had believed that the region and international community would rein in to install one of them as a leader has not facilitated in the conflict.

In their view, Kiir and Machar were going to be bad people in the eyes of the international community. Of course, circumstances have now taught them otherwise, Dr Machar, despite difficulties facing him each day has continued to grow in his popularity and so is President Kiir’s tact in Juba despite declining public support for him.

Thus, I have come to realise after a lengthy look at their daily utterances how they wanted to remain as separate political unit called FD or G-10 without playing an active part in bringing about peace to the Republic of South Sudan.

In my view, they are a failed, insignificant forum who wanted to be regarded as “holy men” who played no part in the conflict, forgetting that they ironically work harder to ignite this conflict in the context of the press conference of the 6th of December 2013.

In its entirety, this forum (FD/G-10) should not continue to exist, they either disintegrate or join one party among the current political actors (NAS, IG, IO Bush, IO Juba and other political and civil forces) helping in trying to wage peace in the country.

The reasoning here is widely informed by the following:-

1. FD or call them G-10 have no central position. They act in some forums as a solid body but in other forums, as distinctive particles to each other. For example, we have seen how a portion of them rallied behind a position that calls for UN 10-year Trusteeship of South Sudan. On the other hands, we have seen those of Dr Majak calling for regime change through the installation of a Technocratic Government (TG) while their allied Foreign Minister Mr. Deng Abor, is on their opposite selling President Kiir’s policies and exerting no solidarity with his colleagues in the diaspora.

2. They exerted no influence, internally or externally, but are a bunch of lonely disgruntled leaders trekking in the bushes unarmed. Internally, they have no sizable following among the South Sudanese both in the diaspora, displaced and inside South Sudan. Externally, they have become lobbyists like a civil society with no significant gain. For example, they have hosted numerous meetings with regional leaders, international bodies but nothing so far has materialised in their favour.

3. They are an exclusive forum; in that, nobody can join them unless one was jailed with them in Juba, they have no agenda and a suitable platform to engage South Sudanese who are thirsty for meaningful political dispensation.

Although most of them have a fascinating historical background in terms of their sacrifices in the 21 years conflict, they have in recent development become politically ambivalent and opportunistic.

In order to redeem their good selves, the FD must rethink their political position or opt to become what the Dinka people call “Jong Abuthic”, meaning a dog who waited in hiding for an offer that never came through till it saw its death shadow. END

The Writer is John Adoor Deng, Author of the book entitled: The Politics of Ethnicity and Governance in South Sudan. He can be reach on dengjohn780@gmail.com

The exile of Dr Machar: Did Pres. Obama repudiate Roosevelt’s anti-colonial doctrine?

By: Samuel Atabi, South Sudan, JUN/20/2017, SSN;

It is now confirmed: Riek Machar has been exiled and is under detention in South Africa. In a recent teleconference with the members of the UN Security Council, Machar himself cleared any doubt whether or not he has been exiled and detained in that beacon of self-determination and black freedom, the Republic of South Africa.

Exiling one on account of being a political or military leader was a tool extensively employed by the white colonial invaders of the African continent.

Even the Germans, who had the briefest presence in colonial Africa, forced into exile a number of leaders among who was the Paramount Chief of Kapando from Togo who was exiled to Cameroon, in 1913; the Germans had fear that he would lead an uprising against them.

The main practitioners of exiling leaders were the French and the British. This is not to disregard the roles of the other minor colonial powers such as the Portuguese, Belgians, Spanish, Italians, and the racist Afrikaner of South Africa.

The French operated mainly in parts of West Africa and the Maghreb. In one memorable episode, the French deposed Behazin, the King of Dahomey Kingdom and deported him as far as Martinique in 1894. The rest of the continent was under the domination of the British.

African traditional leaders, Chiefs and Kings in eastern Africa region were routinely exiled away from their homeland and followers.

An example of the British highhandedness, which resembles the present Machar’s predicament, was the exiling of the Buganda King to the UK in the 1950s.

The Governor in-charge of the then Uganda Protectorate, one named Cohen, demanded that Kabaka (King) Freddie of Buganda integrate his kingdom into the soon-to-be-born independent nation of Uganda. Kabaka Freddie refused. For this pain, he was removed and deported to London for a ‘comfortable’ exile.

Generally, these colonial exile cases did not achieve their main objectives. Some of the aims were directed at ending of dynasties, silencing defiant leaders, facilitation of wholesale seizure of land and forcible settlement of white settlers. The natives always fought back, some with extreme violence.

After the independence, a number of Africa heads of governments have behaved just like the colonialists. The case of the Angolan rebel leader, Jonas Savimbi will help to illustrate this view.

The path to independence of Angola from its colonial master, started in the 1960s, and was bedeviled by a vicious civil war among the anti-Portuguese and liberation movements.

The main protagonists were Jonas Savimbi of UNITA versus Agostinho Neto and Edwardo dos Santos of the MPLA. Independence was handed to the MPLA in 1975 but UNITA continued with armed struggle against the new government.

There were several attempts at negotiated end to the war between the two rival movements but all of them failed.

In 1989, during one of the attempts, a group of African leaders (an equivalent of IGAD?), from Angola (an interested party), Congo, Gabon, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe, met in Harare to get a peace agreement.

In an action similar to that meted out to Riek Machar in 2016, these leaders unanimously decided to exile Savimbi, also to South Africa.

They also recommended the integration of UNITA forces into the MPLA and its institutions in a similar manner to that being advocated for the absorption of the SPLA (IO) into the Kiir’s faction of the army.

As might be expected, Savimbi violently refused to go into exile and resumed fighting. Years later, Savimbi was killed in 2002 under suspicious circumstances.

We shudder at what might be the fate of Riek Machar. God forbid!

The African leaders at Harare imitated their past colonial masters in prescribing ‘exile’ as a solution to a complex and desperate political and military situation that existed in Angola at that time.

The secretive decision of the IGAD and its supporters to exile and detain Riek Machar in South Africa was a desperate attempt to imitate the Harare outcome; prescribing a palliative to cure a chronic and almost terminal disease ailing South Sudan body politics.

Most observers were not surprised by the decision of the IGAD et al to lure Machar into exile. After all, some of the key IGAD members have their own sinister interest in the current war in South Sudan.

What has really pained and surprised many in South Sudan and internationally, is the apparent acquiescence of the Troika countries, USA, UK and Norway in this unjust and devious scheme.

We in South Sudan continue to agonize over what might have been the aim of countries like USA in propping up the dictatorial regime in Juba. We are not alone in this agony.

In its report of April 28, 2017, an American think-tank, the Heritage Foundation, asserts that American government’s warnings and threats to the genocidal regime in Juba have been tepid.

It goes on to say that South Sudan armed forces targeted for physical abuse and tried to kill senior US diplomats without consequences.

Lastly, it recommends that the US Congress should set up a Commission to study what went wrong with US engagement in South Sudan.

While we must await any outcome from such a Commission (if it will ever materialize), we are wondering whether the Obama administration, in giving a tacit encouragement to this antiquated colonial tool of exiling leaders, has in effect repudiated decades-long Roosevelt’s anti-colonial doctrine first enunciated at the end of World War II.

Like the Africans in colonial time, South Sudanese have characteristically reacted even more violently after the exiling of their leader; exposing the vacuity of the action.

The sooner Machar’s exile and detention are reversed the better for the future of South Sudan.

Samuel Atabi is a concerned South Sudanese and can be reached at samuelatabi@gmail.com

The National Dialogue Steering Committee & Membership Composition: Analysis

BY: Hüstin Läkü SR, South Sudan, MAY/27/2017, SSN;

Overview:

Several points should be made regarding “Republican Order for the Reconstitution of the National Dialogue Steering Committee” and Membership composition. The data collected on each individual member shows that Membership composition is not inclusive, but exclusive and dominated by one ethnic group mostly from two regions of South Sudan (formally Upper Nile and Bhar Al-Ghazal) currently, Warrap and northern Bhar Al-Ghazal, Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States. It is not a national dialogue; rather it’s a dia-state dialogue.

In addition, some members are from one family, for instance; Lt. Gen. Pieng Deng is a half brother of Dr. Francis Deng, as well as Ms. Lily Albino is a daughter of Rtd. Maj.Gen. Albino Akol Akol. Data collected when analyzed on key positions, ethnicity, political parties, gender and professional association affiliations etc. leads to the conclusion that it’s not a national dialogue, but a fraud and a scam to manipulate the current situation to benefit Jieng council of elders (JCE), buying time, mislead international community as well as insulting to the intelligence of South Sudanese citizens and friends of South Sudan.

The initial observations show the following:

Which one comes first, Peace or dialogue?

As a matter of principle, achieving peace should be the priority and followed by dialogue. Therefore, dialogue cannot replace absent of peace and it cannot resolve political and humanitarian crisis in the country in the way it’s conceived and being implemented.

Furthermore, this is not the right time for dialogue in the middle of ongoing war in the country and massacre of thousands of civilians, forcing hundreds of thousands into refuge in the neighboring countries. A genuine dialogue should be after the 2015 peace implementation and when All South Sudanese returnees and refugees have returned home in their constituencies.

For instance, South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established and functioned after political settlements brought the nation together after long period of healing processes. To do the opposite is setting the country into wrong direction, shaky ground and it might lead to disintegration of South Sudan to smaller States as it happened in the Balkans.

Key Positions

Co-Chair and Rapporteur and Deputy Rapporteur positions are controlled by JCE hardliners. These members are the architects of the “born to rule” Dinka slogan in late 1970’s and early 1980s. The slogan born to rule is now born to destroy South Sudan.

As is commonly said, the previous experiences determine the future experiences and outcomes; the hardliners will control direction of discussions as well as pre-determine the resolutions of South Sudan National Dialogue (SSND) which will not be representative of views and opinions of opposing parties and other ethnicities.

For example, in 1989, President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir initiated national dialogue and invited SPLM/A to participated, and Dr. Garang declined on the ground that, it was not inclusive and controlled by the northerners and hardliners Members of NIF and SSND is no different than the former Sudan national dialogue and even worst.

Ethnicity

South Sudan has 66 ethnic groups and only 18 ethnic groups were represented in very small number against 45 members from one ethnicity group. 48 ethnic groups who suffered the most human right violations are excluded from participations. Equatoria has 32 ethnic groups and 13 ethnic groups were appointed.

Political Parties

South Sudan has 36 political parties and only 2 are included and these two are part of Juba regime. E.g. Taban Deng IO and Joseph Ukel groups. In addition, most members are SPLM and SPLM/IO cadres. The key positions of decision making are controlled by hardliners of Jieng Council of elders (JCE) and excluded women.

Gender

Gender representation is not balanced and contrary to the concept of 25% quotas for women. The current list shows that women represents only 15.6%, and 8 out of 15 women are mostly citizens of Warrap, northern Bahr Al-Ghazal, Jongeli, and Unity States and sadly enough there is no single woman appointed in key position-this is a complete marginalization of South Sudanese women and defeats 25% quotas system.

Religious leaders

Clergymen representation is not balanced and the current list shows that there is no representation from government critics such as Catholic Church vocal clergymen Bishop Laku, all were excluded as well as important members of opposition groups such IO, PDM, NMC, NDC and many others. The list shows many Bishops and Pastors who were silent about their colleague Pastor Lasu and many other pastors who were killed by national security the day after national day of prayers and prior. This shows that these Bishops and Pastors are supporters of government and its corrupting influence on society, with many among them being co-opted by the government.

Civil Society, Youth, and People with disabilities

Civil Society, Youth and people with disabilities groups are completely disregarded. The behavior of South Sudan government suggests that youth and people with disabilities have no value in South Sudan’s development, decision-making as well as have no say in future of nation building.

For the benefit of readers and concerned citizens of South Sudan and friends of South Sudan, it is important to shed light on some key members of the committee, and provide analysis on overall selected members and draw conclusion with some recommendations to move the country forward.

First

Abel Alier is Dinka from Bor and was a Former Vice President of Sudan (1970-1982), he served as president of the High Executive Council of Southern Sudan in Juba, after Lt. Gen. Joseph Lago gave him green light to do so. Alier was the first Southern Sudanese to introduce mono ethnic politics and Dinka hegemony in South Sudan which lead to Kokora in 1983. His time was known by tribalism, employment and appointments of one ethnic group based on tribal lines and favoritism.

Alier never participated in the first phase of civil war (1956-1972) fought mainly by Equatorians as well as the second civil war from 1983-2005. Alier has always acted on the advice of Khartoum regimes and advanced the interests of Arab-north in the South. Alier is one of the architects of “born to rule” slogan in late 1970s and early1980s.

Bona Malwal is a Dinka from Warrap and Warrap is Kiir’s home State. Malwal is a member of the secretive Jieng Council of Elders tribal advisory council to President Kiir. Malwal was Minister in Alier’s Cabinet in the Regional Government of Southern Sudan. Malwal is key member of the “born to rule” Dinka slogan along with Alier, Justin Yack and Joshua De Wal.

Malwal was an opponent of the late Dr John Garang De Mabior and the anti- separation of South Sudan. Malwal was known for his famous hate speech which he delivered on Saturday, March 21st, 2015 in Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.A. In the meeting, Mr. Bona Malwal said “South Sudan existed thanks to the Dinka and therefore belongs to the Dinka people, and the Dinka have earned it and are where they are now above all others in South Sudan.” Please, refer to below link for full text.

South Sudan a country for Dinka only, Bona Malwal tells Dinka in USA

Dr. Francis Deng, is Dinka Ngok of Abyei. Abyei is still disputed area by both Juba and Khartoum and its fate is still unknown. Deng is known for his unionist position and opposes South Sudan secession and defended his views in many public forums in Middle East. He expresses his views in letter exchange with former University of Juba Professor currently in Oman as well as with former retired South Sudanese Professor at University of Toronto in Canada. 25% of Abyei citizens hold key positions in South Sudan government and some holders of Sudanese passports and working for Khartoum regime and some receiving salaries from both Juba and Khartoum.

Lt. Gen. Pieng Deng is Dinka Ngok of Abyei, and a half brother of Dr. Francis Deng. Gen. Pieng was former Chief of Police. South Sudan Police Services administrative corruption happened under his authority.

Second

Analysis

The objective of a dialogue is not to analyze things, or to win an argument, or to exchange opinions or to pre-determine the outcome of dialogue or pre-written dialogue resolutions. Rather, it is to suspend your opinions and to look at the opinions of other parties into dispute, to listen to everybody’s opinions, to suspend them, and to see what all that means in resolving political crisis, peace without justice, land grabbing, marginalization and exclusion from administration of the country, mono ethnic politics and centralization of political, economic, administrative and military powers in the hands of few or two ethnicities.

SSND in its current status will not achieve everlasting peace, but rather it will create more division, suffering, killings, and political instability in the region. The call for dialogue is short on details of how the country would be secured for the oppositions to attend a national dialogue convened by Kiir, when he was the one who led South Sudan to the present Quagmire”.

How would a tribally dominated Government be impartial in addressing the problems it created of bad governance, exclusion of majority of non-Dinka people in the national political process, and the country’s collapsed economy and dysfunctional, illegitimate political institutions?

What South Sudan requires is political settlement through peace talks that includes all parties into the conflicts, but not mono ethnic dialogue or dia-state dialogue. Why mono ethnic dialogue? because it excluded 48 ethnic groups in the refugee camps in the neighboring countries who would love to participate.

The solution to South Sudan man-made political and humanitarian crisis is not mon dialogue, but reforms of government institutions and deliver justice to the victims of land grabbing; rapes; marginalization and exclusion; favoritism; tribalism; lack of promotion of non Dinka public servants; limit President Powers; division of powers to three levels of government; human rights crimes and held criminals and public servant’s thefts who stole 4.5 billion dollars from government coffer accountable.

The solution to South Sudan bad governance is for the current and future government should reflect 66 ethnic groups at all government levels specially security, police, customs, army and public services as well as division of powers to all levels of governments.

The solution to South Sudan political crisis is when South Sudanese is treated equally not based on his or her ethnic groups and employed based on job merits, not of favoritism.

The solution to South Sudan political crisis is encouraging opposition groups whether it armed groups or not they should participate in any national issues. Government’s argument of preventing them is has no logic to it. During the CPA talks, If Khartoum regime would put forward similar argument of “preventing armed groups from peace talks” South Sudanese would be fighting the north today.

What should be done?

If Juba regime still maintains its position of resolving political crisis through dialogue, than the SSND should be under the auspices of an independent international organization such as Initiative of Change Swiss (IofC). IofC has credibility, expertise, experiences, and skills to select members from all parties in the conflict, conduct fair and impartial process in neutral location and submit final report with recommendations.
http://ca.iofc.org/iofc-international

African Union should replace IGAD lead in negotiation with both government and opposition groups, because most IGAD Members have vested interests in South Sudan and they are not impartial.

African union should encourage and support opposition groups to unite their objectives, and speak in one voice.
Kiir’s government should release political and non-political detainees, because it is key towards political settlement. The current list of detainees is exclusively non-Dinka which raises alarm. Please, see attached detainees list for full picture of injustice and discrimination.

South Sudanese politicians and senior public servants are well known for their high level of corruption. They have sticky fingers that have been implicated in the disappearance of public funds, and development money which more often than not ended up in their private accounts in banks overseas. To combat, financial corruption in South Sudan, it is very important that Western governments should pass law that will prohibits transfer of money from South Sudan to western banks without proper transparency; also the law must force, and persecute the international financial institutions (IFI) and other banks or bankers who fail to disclose any private accounts from South Sudan, and specially if the account is related to statesmen. Failure of the Western governments to act means that the West is encouraging, and abetting the endemic corruption in Africa.

AU,UN,EU and Western governments should find legal mechanism to recover the stolen $4.5 billion from South Sudan and repatriate the fund to pay public servant salaries, development programs and project such as health care, schools and others

Finally, President Kiir’s should put the interest of the nation first, before his personal and tribal interests. Kiir should give peace a chance by consideration stepping down to provide positive environment for political settlement and move South Sudan out of political, economic, humanitarian crisis. The longer Kiir stays in power the worst people suffer in refugee and IDP camps as well as the country suffers economically.

Hüstin Läkü,SR
Federalism, Decentralization, Conflict Resolution and International Development Consultant

History rewards those who destroy but not those who build the nation

BY: Santino Aniek, UpState New York, USA, MAY/22/2017, SSN;

President Kiir has tired down a relationship between the man who helped him during the 2013 Crisis when madness consumed Mr. Mayardit’s humanness by dissolving the entire government and dismissing some of the seniors members of the SPLM Party. There is, obviously, much we do not know about what has just happened between President Kiir and General Paul Malong Awan, why it happened. Just as obvious, there is much more, so much more that we need to know the firing of General Paul.

In addition, we need to damn the dishonesty and expose the truth now to avoid another conflict because South Sudanese people are tried of wars. In fact, I really do not get it, I mean, I expect it because every thing is possible in South Sudan, but I do not get it.

As of today, no one understands the psychology of Juba, because it seems like there are many people in that country who are not only uninterested in peace and security, but will actually get angry with you for displaying any interest in peace and security of our citizens.

And so this happens on both sides, government as well as opposition, by the way. However, there is a flood coming that will devastate the future of our country in ways no one can predict.

Except that the speed with which this has all happened, just over couple of days into President Kiir’s dumpster firing of General Paul, means it was all very predictable because all things in South Sudan are possible. And no one who played a role in controlling this President should be allowed to forget it.

Truly, I’m sorry; this is madness because General Paul helped President Kiir in staying in power, but ended up being fired, why.

The dismissal of General Paul is a “moral evil” because if this tragedy is not handled responsibly, it will cause devastation of South Sudan.

Nonetheless, General Paul never rebelled against the movement or against the government and he was opposed to all rebellions since the start of the movement till today. Which is more than can be said for the numerous people in President Kiir’s government who have rebelled not once, not twice, but many times and ended up in the most important positions in the government.

Nevertheless, during the formation of President Kiir’s government, General Paul did not run to Juba to pursue a position, but he stayed in Aweil because, as a humble man, he could not bring himself down against his colleagues who’re always pursuing government position.

Now tell me what would you do differently if you were General Paul Malong? Would you take up arms against the government you have defended for so many years?

If you are President Kiir, is that such a simple choice to be making to fire a guy that has been defending you all these years?

Can you really not appreciate the complexity of the situation that General Paul is facing now in Juba? Folks, I need help here because I’m totally lost since the day I heard the news till now.

In fact, General Paul was and is still widely respected by both sides, by the SPLA, by the SPLM, and by the majority of South Sudanese people.

For example, reading the reaction on social media has made all of us understand just how highly regarded General Paul is by the SPLA and by the people South Sudan he defended all these years.

Therefore, at the time his appointment as general chief of staff, General Paul is one of the greatest Generals this country ever produced, and he is a man of honor and dignity.

More importantly, South Sudanese people recognize that, SPLA recognize that, SPLM recognized that, and President Kiir recognizes that, but today, President Kiir cast General Malong aside as a bad General, a traitor, and from the reaction we have received on social media, he has made the firing of General Malong as disgraceful.

Finally, we can talk about the political cause of the firing of General Paul, but it cannot be disputed that the man who actually fought this senseless war did so to protect the country as well as to protect President Kiir.

We may not know the whole detail and the motivation of the firing, but sometimes a bit of historical perspective is necessary. We now know, the same historical perspective that afforded people to stand behind President Kiir.

Such a moment when Juba seems to be falling apart, who did not remember that moment, but maybe, I should say maybe there is a partial credit to General Paul by creating his own name and by helping President Kiir during all these years.

Yet, we put these evils aside General Paul took care of it, but to just fire him is troubling. Can we not then put our differences aside and allow a great man like General Paul to be remembered and honored, as a compatriot and honor him?

Ultimately, the supporters of President Kiir may mark this firing of General Paul as one of the truly dark days in South Sudan, a day that may soon take an even more ominous turn.

Sadly enough, President Kiir’s sudden firing of General Malong is a matter that should deeply concern every South Sudanese, regardless of party, tribe or ideological leanings.

Most importantly, the firing of a General or politician in South Sudan is always a very serious matter in normal times. But these times are not normal because the country has been engaging in one of the most important and dangerous conflict that the country ever had.

In fact, to politicize this thing is the last thing South Sudanese people need as we struggle through the maze of problems, concealment and ever-deepening mysteries all these years.

The last time the President fired political heavy-weights, Aleu Alieny Aleu and Telar Ring, was during the widespread criminal conspiracy. And during the firing of these two, we all know how that turned out.

In real sense, this potential tragedy of firing General Paul is much graver if President Kiir and his General resolved their differences very quickly.

We are talking about the very security of President Kiir and the sanctity of our country.

Now, it is true that history does not reward good people like General Paul, but it rewards those killers of our people.

Santino Aniek is a concerned South Sudanese in Upstate New York, U.S.A. He can be reached at santino.aniek5@gmail.com and find me on Facebook, on Skype and on twitter @saniek.

The End of Bullying, Harassment and Humiliation: Gen. Paul Malong Awan’s Sacking has changed the meaning of Mutiny & Rebellion in South Sudan

BY: Mayak Deng Aruei, USA, MAY/14/2017, SSN;

At a very young age, children are told to remember the Golden Rule: “Treat others how you want to be treated.” The headlines for the news outlets in South Sudan, and in the Region of East Africa was about the sacking of the SPLA (South Sudan) Army Chief of the General Staff.

For a country that celebrates nothing other than big names, the firing of General Paul Malong Awan caught millions South Sudanese by surprise. The actual facts as to what transpired on May 9, 2017 can be traced to fundamentals of security in the country.

Adding to the fading trust among the high-ranking members of the SPLM & the SPLA, the 32 federal states are proving something else.

It was a rumor until General Paul Malong Awan was relieved, his well guarded place couldn’t be infiltrated, all attempts thwarted and “he ran away to Yirol before handing over the office to the incoming Chief of the General Staff,” according to the President.

The loss of trust between the President and his former Army Chief of the General Staff has little to do with them as individuals, but rather with the inner circle which has a hidden agenda, and thirst for more recognition.

The term “scapegoat for the inefficiencies” was later authored to sugarcoat the rattling clearing of the thorny bushes. In South Sudan, the known facts and patterns make sudden change of command, and a rapid takeoff looked more than a preempted mutiny or rebellion.

For the records, not everyone can be bullied, harassed and humiliated without a price. The departure of the Elephant in the Room (Gen. Paul Malong) marked the end of political mockery in the Republic of South Sudan, and aspiring/young inexperienced politicians ought to re-examine their stances on national affairs.

First and foremost, General Paul Malong Awan should have been the last that President Salva Kiir could humiliate in the face of the struggling country, and the Government he helped stay in place.

Humiliation in the context of the sacking of the Army Chief has much to do with being relieved without prior consultations, and other options put on the table. Example, possible arrest as security assurances entailed.

In 2013, General Paul Malong Awan was quick to side with President Salva Kiir, at a time when political atmosphere was so cloudy, and when coalitions of political opponents posed a very serious threat to the President during the SPLM National Convention.

At the onset, General Paul Malong Awan, then the Governor for the defunct state of Northern Bahr El Ghazal organized a special session for the four states of Barh El Ghazal Region. The gathering of the Governors brought together leaders of Barh El Ghazal Region, and their citizens saw more years of President Salva Kiir in power.

In that meeting, Governor Nyandeng Malek showed little interest in such regional alliance, and Governor Paul Malong Awan called her out, pointing out that Governor Nyandeng Malek should have been the first to back President Salva Kiir since the two hailed from the same state (Warrap).

The gathering was a success, and the people of Barh El Ghazal stood shoulder to shoulder with the President, with some pledging unlimited support should South Sudan’s known patterns take their shapes.

Secondly, General Paul Malong Awan mobilized and trained the youths (Mathiang Anyoor) from his home state of Northern Barh El Ghazal, left Governorship at the dawn of rebelling forces, and became the Army Chief of the General Staff.

The fight was a tough race, and General Paul Malong Awan, nicknamed King Paul, kept on with the fight against Dr. Riek Machar of the SPLM-IO who declared Armed Resistance against the sitting president after his chances for running for presidency were demurred.

For more than three years, General Paul Malong Awan was the man of the people, Hero of all times, and the only General who had the guts to protect the territorial integrity of South Sudan.

As the dust settled down, the inner circle of President Salva Kiir closed their eyes, debunked everyone’s contributions, and put their own interests above that of the nation.

Thirdly, General Paul Malong Awan is a decorated General who has won the confidence of Jieng Council of Elders(JCE), an Advisory Committee made up of influential veteran politicians who served both in the old Sudan as well as in the Liberation Movement.

With all of that, the sacking of General Paul Malong Awan without proper consultations put President Salva Kiir in a very awkward position, and the Army became divided more than any time since the civil war erupted in 2013.

The challenges for the President intensified, and quite a number of active Generals reportedly left with General Paul Malong Awan when he reacted to his firing on South Sudan Television(SSBC).

The social media, a platform used by young literate South Sudanese and well established elites was jammed few minutes after the airing of the news.

Fortunately enough, the Army listened to the voices that called for calm, and General Paul Malong Awan took off with almost anything he wanted, and soldiers watched the convoys as they exited Juba.

It was one of the few recent times change of command where the Jieng Nation was asked to apply what make them unique among other communities.

The “wait a minute/let’s wait for more details” attitude, saved President Salva Kiir from being savaged by the most feared General of all times.

The term “Jieng Nation” does not refer to South Sudan as a Jieng’s nation, rather, it refers to Jieng’s society or society in the image of Jieng as a unique Group in South Sudan that has characteristics of a nation-state.

In their vast territories, Jieng have norms that are hard to be broken by their own people, they ask a lot of questions before starting a fight, and those compelled to go on their own become outcasts.

Three days into the military standoff, President Salva Kiir addressed news media, and had this to say: “So I am here to assure you, that the security situation remains normal and all citizens are urged to continue with their daily routine duties, because there is really nothing that people should worry about.”

With that being the rhetoric after the facts, there is a good reason to doubt the way and thoughts that led to the sacking of General Paul Malong Awan were put together and finalized into actual decision.

Some quarters, particularly the President’s inner circle, are illogically following the path not accustomed to by a politically fragile nation like South Sudan.

Like, seriously, why would people push the President to make such rushed decisions in the middle of the war that has taken unforgiving twists?

Those further attempts by the President to calm down the enraged General didn’t seem to help much: “Gen. Malong is now in Yirol, I didn’t talk to him this morning, I tried but I found that he was resting because yesterday his blood pressure shot up very high because yesterday when I talked to him, he was not in a good mood, he was in fighting mood.” This part explained something else in the mix of a murky military showdown.

On a final note, the sacking of General Paul Malong would have not made headlines had it been done logically and professionally, and without letting speculations move the desperate crowds.

The way it was done raised a lot of questions, and unearthed doubts that stemmed from behind the scene dealings.

The subsequent appointment of Gen. James Ajong’o Mawut was rushed, but nothing in the records to say something negative about the new SPLA Army Chief of General Staff. From the tone of the new Army Chief, the man is so logical, talked in a well organized manner, highlighted duties associated with his position, recognized the negative impacts of the ongoing war, aligned his tasks with those of other Army Chiefs elsewhere, and made important notes about the pending Peace Agreement.

The people of South Sudan should not be put into conflict for unknown reasons, and changes in the military, specially in wartime must be done professionally and ceremonies of outgoing officials must follow traditions expected in the military so as to avoid backlashes.

In ending this dreading piece, South Sudan’s ruling elites have lost integrity as the custodians of the new nation; they have tainted the founding principles, they have made it difficult for citizens to grow politically, they have derailed the smooth running of Government’s institutions, and they have impeded what should be normal transfer of servicemen from one branch to the other.

The sacking of General Paul Malong Awan is no different from cases where the political organizers/Ringleaders have been treated as Rebels, apprehended or pursued to the bushes.

Above all, those who are still in the game should be advised to avoid belittling, bullying, harassment and humiliation by surrounding themselves with trusted guys.

The coalition of community’s leaders, particularly Eastern Lakes state have saved the nation of South Sudan from irrational decision that would have ignited infighting within the ranks of the national army.

For another year, mutiny and rebellion would be meaningless to sycophants who have been mouthpieces for select groups. As a nation, South Sudanese need to deploy professionalism everywhere, approach political differences methodically, and free themselves from collusive partnerships.

©2017 Mayak Deng Aruei: He can be reached at Kongor.da.ajak@gmail.com