Category: Politics

Accountability, National Dialogue, and Elections: Which one of them comes first?

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, South Sudan, OCT/14/2017, SSN;

Conflicts or wars are the offspring of failures to have constructive dialogues in resolving problems between parties. The parties could range from countries, groups of allies, organizations, and others.

Even the mafia outfits and the drug cartels do fight wars among themselves. Civil wars are no different but are often the result of revolutions by peoples against their governments. They all represent the end of diplomacy and a way to bring into play new dynamics and realities on the ground or to strengthen the position of the winners in case of future negotiations.

Carl Von Clausewitz’s famous aphorism “War is the continuation of politics by other means”; is not always right. Terrorist organizations like AL Qaeda, Boko Haram, and ISIS believe in conquering the world to impose their ideology. There is no room for any democratic dialogue with them. It’s either their way or the highway.

Of all the civil wars that had happened in the world, the one happening in South Sudan right now; stands out. It’s unparalleled and senseless when you ponder over its causation. The American Civil War was triggered by controversy over slavery and States’ rights. In Europe, the Spanish Civil War was a struggle between ideologies – the Republicans, Communists and anarchists on one side, and the Conservatives and the Monarchists under General Fransisco Franco on the other.

What is seen in South Sudan never happened anywhere in the world. A bitter power struggle within the SPLM party; degenerated quickly into widespread hostilities. In the world of cool heads and common sense; a domestic fight would not be allowed to spiral out of control to involve the neighborhood let alone the city or the whole country. The irresponsibility and recklessness displayed by those who issued the orders and ignited the war are mind-boggling.

War is a grave and expensive undertaking. Thus, it’s the responsibility of the leaders to avoid it at all costs and more so when a Civil War looms. The Commander-in-Chief needs to think wisely before endangering the lives of ordinary citizens or sending troops in harm’s way.

Likewise, the high-ranking politicians and Generals have duties and obligations towards the citizens of South Sudan and shouldn’t allow themselves to be led like a flock of sheep by the Commander-in-Chief. Presidential orders that are against the Constitution and the interests of the South Sudanese people are non-binding.

The December 2013 Juba massacre of the Nuer civilians embodies the situation when leaders abandon their essential duties to the people and go against the Constitution. Instead of safeguarding unity and doing the people’s business, they got embroiled in a power struggle in pursuit of personal interests.

The South Sudanese people did not participate in starting the war but fell victim to it. The appalling lack of concern by the SPLM party leaders regarding what befell the common man and the country as a whole; amounts to treason.

Now the people who opened the gates of hell and pushed the country into a brutal civil war that was uncalled for, are very vocal regarding an urgent need for a National Dialogue. Let it be clear, national dialogue per se is not an option but a necessity because the very existence of South Sudan and indeed any viable State hinges on a vibrant national conversation.

In fact, national dialogue is not a one-off exercise but rather a continuous process. The moment that process stops, the State ceases to exist and disintegrates.

National dialogue, however, needs to be conducted within the context of full accountability and transparency. It’s only by doing so, that reconciliation and healing could be achieved.

It’s evident that the perpetrators of the conflict are working hard in a bid to use the controversial national dialogue as a vehicle to evade justice. They want the country to open a new page with the status quo maintained.

The tens of thousands of lives that have been lost seem not to matter to them. The destruction of the meagre infrastructure, people’s homes, and properties are to be swept under the carpet. No one is to answer for those heinous crimes.

They are propagating the lame argument that accountability and justice for the victims, would create more instability and impede national dialogue. Unfortunately, this notion is shared by some influential opportunists in the international community and the regional powers.

The fact of the matter is that national dialogue will never materialize in the absence of full accountability. It’s outrageous that the same leaders who brought death, disease, and famine upon the people of South Sudan, have the nerve of wanting to continue ruling the victims.

There are people within the SPLM party and government who are true nationalists and patriots. They do not bear the responsibility for the atrocities committed by the regime though they carry the moral part of it.

Such people, who constitute a significant number of the government followers, would not be affected in a major way by the accountability process. The reason is that when Human Rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity do occur, you don’t go after the low-ranking officers or officials but after the leading officers and the prominent politicians.

In simple terms, if a battalion commits a massacre of unarmed civilians, you do not prosecute the foot soldiers but the commanders who issued the orders.

The Nuremberg Trials, over half a century ago, saw the prosecution and sentencing of top Nazi leaders. Goering, Ribbentrop, Keitel and others received capital punishments. The low-ranking Nazi officers and officials were spared.

In the far east, General Tojo, the Chief of the Imperial Japanese Army and afterwards Prime Minister of Japan and 5 of his colleagues ended up being hanged for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Closer to home, the perpetrators of the Rwanda genocide were prosecuted, and some were handed down death sentences. Still closer to home, in April 2012 former Liberian President, Charles Taylor was sentenced to 50 years in prison at The Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

People across the globe already know that gross Human Rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in the Republic of South Sudan. Our country is not an isolated island in the middle of nowhere.

We are part of this world and fall under the prevailing international law. The people of South Sudan expects the international community to desist from cutting corners or applying double standards.

What it needs to do is to follow the above precedents since they have yielded the desired results. The same remedy that brought peace and prosperity to Germany, Japan, Rwanda, and Liberia should be good enough for South Sudan.

Thus, many South Sudanese are dismayed by the mixed messages emanating from IGAD, the Troika, the regional powers and some in the international community. There appears to be a concerted effort by some well-known players to overlook accountability and allow the current regime to continue ruling the country.

In essence, they want more of the same with a bit of spices added to it. It all boils down to the fact that a regime change would bring along undesirable consequences to them. In the presence of a responsible government in Juba, their meddling into our internal affairs would abruptly cease.

Also, the unprecedented trade deficit coupled with the corrupt and unjustified leniency in government dealings would come under heavy scrutiny by qualified and competent South Sudanese. It would be the end of the extended honeymoon that they have enjoyed since 2005.

The policy of exuberant support to an unpopular regime by a neighbouring country is short-sighted and risky. It’s even much worse when the government of a neighbouring country engages in doing the dirty work for the regime at hand. It creates animosity between the oppressed people and that government which could spill over to instigate hatred between the two peoples.

Dictatorial regimes do get overthrown; people don’t. Hence, for the long-term, it’s wiser to be in people’s good books rather than being friendly with the regime while hated by its populace.

We all know how the unlimited support by the USA to the Shah of Iran played out. That policy not only failed to save the Shah regime from collapse but created extreme animosity for decades between America and Iran. Also, as a result, the US incurred trillions of Dollars losses in trade, and arguably the ordeal bred international terrorism.

Last February, while on a visit to Yei River State, Kiir announced his intention to stand for elections in 2018. It must be remembered that Kiir’s Presidency was never straightforward. He was elected as President of the Transitional Government of Southern Sudan in April 2010.

Presidential elections were never carried out following the independence of South Sudan on July 9, 2011. Sabotage by the SPLM party and the joy of freedom that blinded many South Sudanese, somehow, allowed Kiir to become the first President of the Republic of South Sudan without elections.

As we all know, no elections were conducted in 2015 and Kiir extended his tenure in office for three years along with the National Legislative Assembly (NLA). In reality, Kiir has been all along a de facto President rather than an elected one since independence from Sudan.

Many see Kiir’s contemplated candidacy as an audacity of the highest order. They wonder what achievements would the President run his election campaign on?! And most importantly, how would he rid himself of the responsibility for the Civil War to meet the requirements for candidacy?!

Free democratic elections need an environment of full security, free speech, free press and free movement across the country. Those elements are lacking in the prevailing situation in South Sudan.

With millions of citizens in the refugee camps across the borders, and more in the famine stricken parts of the country, how could the participation of such groups be guaranteed?! Moreover, where would the money to fund the elections come from if the economy is already in tatters?!

Genuine national dialogue cannot take place in the absence of accountability for the simple reason that, it’s all about resolving issues that fall under it.

Matters relating to atrocities and land grab must be settled before national dialogue could be realized.

Hence, in the context of the civil war, accountability and national dialogue are inseparable.

In my view, accountability should precede national dialogue, or both be conducted simultaneously. It must be understood that accountability does not only mean bringing suspects to book but also weeding out criminals from ever taking up public offices.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Grievances of Chollo Community against Govt. of South Sudan’s aggression, discrimination and exploitation

To: Ambassador Ismail Weis, Head of IGAD Delegation to Khartoum, Sudan

Date: 10th October 2017, SSN;

Chollo Community Council would like to express their gratitude and appreciation to IGAD representatives for accepting our humble request to meet you, so that we can once again express our grievances, ironically and sadly, against our own government.

1. Historical note about Chollo’s problem:
Padang Jieng began to claim Chollo ancestral lands on eastern side of White Nile and Sobat Rivers in late 1970s. These unfounded claims seem to have during much part of the SPLM war. But they resurfaced towards the end of war period particularly in Panyigur meeting, where the Padang Jieng claims were strongly challenged and eventually silenced by the late Dr. John Garang, with historical facts that stopped were in favour of Chollo.

After the untimed death of Dr. John Garang in 2005, the SPLM government led by President Salva Kiir, decided to implement Padang Jieng’s agenda by force using the national army – SPLA. Army units were established in Chollo villages. The distance between every adjacent units was just four (4) kilometers. The so-called enemy army was not deployed in that intensity. The soldiers were harassing, terrorizing citizens at gun point and raping girls and women.

The hidden objective was to pressurize Chollo people to abandon and evacuate their ancestral land to make it free for Padang Jieng to occupy.

Further, from 2005 until the death of Gen George Athor, government forces South of Malakal town prevented members of Chollo community from building their houses under the pretext that those areas were still operational military zones. While at the same time Padang Jieng were being encouraged to build in the same locations.

2. Chollo Land grabbed:

The official land grabbing started in 2009, when President Salva Kiir issued a decree annexing Chollo Land in Pijo to Padang Jieng without consulting Chollo living there. Presidential decree No 36:2015 added salt to injury by annexing all Chollo lands east of White Nile and Sobat rivers to Padang Jieng. Indeed, misuse of presidential powers and armed provocations by Padang Jieng militias led Chollo community to arm themselves in defense of their ancestral land especially after appeals from Chollo politicians to the government of President Kiir fell on deaf ears.

3. Involvement of Chollo community in the current war:

a) Initially Chollo community was not a party to this mad war. Chollo was intentionally dragged into it by the warring communities of Jieng and Nuer. These two were quarrelling over party and government leadership in Juba. Instead of confining their quarrel to Juba and their tribal areas they exported it to Malakal and surrounding Chollo areas killing anybody in sight. The harrowing tragedies and tribulations that occurred in Malakal compelled many members of Chollo community to take arms to protect themselves from the merciless killers invading their land.

b) When Chollo deserted Malakal town to seek peace and safety on the western side of the Nile the Nuer and Dinka couldn’t spare them. Both tribes crossed after Chollo. Chollo had no choice but to fight back in self-defense.

c) What is taking place in Chollo kingdom now is the government of South Sudan implementing the well planned strategy of uprooting Chollo community from their ancestral land in fulfillment of the unfounded claims of Padang Jieng. The strategy is also being implemented in many forms, all of which are negatively affecting Chollo community.

The infamous land grabbing order No 36/2015 is one way towards that dirty strategy. The bloody incident of 17and 18 February 2016, which took, at least forty (40), innocent lives of Chollo civilians inside the UN Protection Camp in Malakal is another. Bombarding and destroying Wau Chollo/Shilluk and surrounding villages in which many citizens were killed and injured using war planes from a neighbouring country is an ethnic cleansing act feeding into the strategy. In fact no known place where there is Chollo gathering is left by the government of President Kiir. Kodok, Tonga and more recently Aboroj were fiercely attacked and destroyed.

As result of those war crimes many innocent civilian lives were lost, and the few survivors deserted those places in desperate need for safety until they reached South Kordofan and White Nile states of Sudan. They now live miserably in the camps of Liri and Khor Worrol and others in different places.

4. Way forward:

a) Cancellation of presidential order 36/2015 and return to ten states with borders as of 1/1/1956 is the starting point towards a permanent solution. This will give back Chollo grabbed land on both sides of the White Nile and the Sobat rivers. This redress of grievances may slowly restore the broken trust between the neighbouring tribes of Chollo and Padang Jieng.

b) This baseless war must be brought to an end by all means through intervention of UN, International Communities, AU and IGAD.

c) The current government should be dissolved and a new five-year Transitional Government is formed, without President Kiir and Dr. Machar, to establish rule of law institutions, make a constitution and hold free and fair general elections. As community, we see that peace can’t be achieved in South Sudan if the government of Salva Kiir remains in power, because it was the one that created that war and it is one resisting peace initiatives all the time.

d) Dr Machar should account for Chollo girls and women his forces abducted from Malakal in 2014.

e) Both President Kiir and Dr Machar should answer for war crimes and genocide against Chollo civilians. President Kiir used war planes and chemical weapons against unarmed civilians while Dr Machar ordered pulling dead bodies into White Nile River in Malakal after killing them in large numbers.

f) To restore the broken relationship between warring communities, the reconciliation and social healing processes must be carried out by neutral body that will be acceptable to all warring parties.

g) The International Community should urgently rehabilitate Wau PoC and Aboroj camp, fence them and deploy strong protection forces there to accommodate the few elderly and vulnerable Chollo who still remain in Chollo land to save their lives because the government of President Kiir is still targeting them.

Best wishes and regards for your team.

Samson Oyay Awin
Chairman,
Chollo Community Council, Khartoum Sudan

CC. UN Secretary General, New York.
CC. AU, Addis Abab, Ethiopia,
CC. Troika Countries.
CC. International Community.
CC. JEMEC
CC. Chollo Community in Diaspora

General Thomas Cirillo Has Been Granted Amnesty? This is a trap!

From: Toria , South Sudan, SEPT/18/2017, SSN;

In a recent development, the unlawful sitting President of South Sudan granted an amnesty to C-in-C of NAS Gen. Thomas Cirilo. I have an urgent message to Thomas. Please don’t fall for this trap.

This is nothing but a pretext to lure you and other Equatorians back into Juba for their next sinister plans, they have calculated that your move into the bush is the biggest threat to them and so they will do anything to get rid of you particularly by assassination.

Lies of Juba Regime:
“Analysts say the move to free the former political detainees without any pre-condition demonstrated Kiir’s determination to resolve the country’s civil war.”

“He also claimed the country was dominated by Dinka tribe and the army turned into a tribal militia that “targets non-Dinka ethnicities”.” Nothing has changed.

There are some points that you need to take into consideration as to why Juba regime is doing this:
1. They have reckoned with your heavyweight personality that tipped the balance against their survival.
2. Juba regime is already too deformed to be reformed; there is nothing that the so-called National Dialogue could do to change anything as long as Kirr remains in power
3. You, Sir, Cdr Cirillo, in one of the only remaining truly Equatorian leaders and we CAN NOT risk to lose you like the many Great Equatorian leaders that perished at the hands of Garang’s SPLA.

Kirr is no different and he will kill anyone whom he feels will challenge his authoritarian regime and you have already called for removal of this illegal President when you left.

That alone is a treason which could be used against you.

“The National Salvation Front (NAS) is convinced that to restore sanity and normalcy in our country, Kiir must go, he must vacate the office without further bloodshed,” that’s what you partly wrote in your six-page letter of resignation.”

Brother; PLEASE DON’T COME TO JUBA!!!!!

4. The people of Equatoria are with you, and you have given us all the reasons to fight for our rightful ancestral soil, this is not the time to rush back to Juba without having the proper agreements.

That’s WE the children of Equatoria must get back every inch of our forefathers’ lands from these Dinka squatters.

The only peace will come when roaming Dinka herders relocate back to their regions without preconditions particularly removing their cattle away from Equatoria so that we have the land for agricultural developments.

5. Finally, I could go on more but I would like to end my argument that the only time revolutionary people will put down arms will come when we are all ready for peace.

Kirr and his cohorts are not ready for peace, they are trying to force the opposition forces into submissions which is not the way forward.

Unless there is mutual respect for everyone in South Sudan, we have yet to about.

Hitler and the Nazis were forced to surrender and then Europe was in peace.

Juba Kiir’s regime and their JCE Cohorts are all criminals and until they are taken to the ICC, they must not get away with Crimes they committed.

IF THERE IS ANY AMNESTY TO BE GRANTED, THE KIIR’S SPLA CRIMINALS MUST FIRST GO TO THE ICC AND COME OUT CLEAR.

HOWEVER AND WHATSOEVER, THEY ARE ALL CRIMINALS AND THEY BELONG BEHIND BARS.

EDITORIAL: South Sudan falling apart before our eyes

BY: The EastAfrican Editor, JUL/29/2017, SSN;

In Summary:
“What started as political differences between President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar in December 2013, has now morphed into a free-for-all war of survival in the face of a collapsed economy, high unemployment among the youth and famine caused by many years of war.
South Sudan is heading into the political abyss. The country is disintegrating before our eyes as it sinks into unstructured fighting in various states.”

The international community should now wake up to the horrors in South Sudan, where new ethnic militias are emerging to fight each other and use rape as a weapon of war.

The latest report released by Amnesty International chronicles widespread rape where in some instances assailants mutilate women’s private parts with knives after raping them, leaving them to suffer a slow death.

Men have not been spared in the now widespread revenge attacks, where some have been sodomised, while others have been castrated or tortured with needles.

Amnesty International chronicles gruesome acts committed against citizens of South Sudan by government soldiers.

All these are happening while the world appears to have forgotten South Sudan, and regional states are too divided to come up with a workable solution to end a civil war that has gone on for almost four years, claimed over 60,000 lives and left over four million displaced — two million are displaced within the country and another two million have fled to neighbouring Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan.

What started as political differences between President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar in December 2013, has now morphed into a free-for-all war of survival in the face of a collapsed economy, high unemployment among the youth and famine caused by many years of war.

In the past two weeks, fighting has intensified in Upper, Bentiu and Unity States, Keji-Keji in Yei along the border with Uganda and Imatong town, near the border town of Nimule, where both parties continue to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity with abandon.

Yet partner states of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) appear to have given up on South Sudan.

The August 2015 peace agreement cannot be implemented, while the country is in no shape to hold elections in 2018 as per the agreement. If the world does not come to the rescue, South Sudan is likely to turn into another Somalia where ethnic militias will dismantle the country into small enclaves.

The people of South Sudan are hoping that the fact-finding mission by Igad that begins work on July 24 will revive commitment by the region and the international community to come up with workable solutions to stop the war.

It is now obvious that the experiment common in Africa of forcing warring parties to share power has failed miserably in South Sudan.

Igad continues to insist on the implementation of the August 2015 peace agreement, which both parties agree is dead and cannot be implemented in its original form since more armed groups have emerged, fighting for reasons far removed from what sparked off the civil war in 2013.

It is time the international community accepts that President Kiir and Dr Machar will not work together, and comes up with a completely new political solution that involves all the stakeholders.

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

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