Category: Politics

The SSDF VISION for Equatoria and South Sudan

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, Chairman and C-in-C of the SSDF, NOV/28/2016, SSN;

The struggle for an independent South Sudan was pioneered by the Equatorians as evidenced by the Torit Mutiny on 18 August 1955. Subsequently, the struggle took the shape of a full-blown liberation movement under the leadership of Fr Saturnino Ohure, Aggrey Jadden, Joseph Oduho, Gordon Mortat and Joseph Lagu. Then the South Sudanese were seemingly one people united around one common goal which was getting rid of the Jallaba rule.

The tribal prejudices and inclination to tribalism were kept at a low level. Tribalism was bound to disappear or remain insignificant had we kept the nationalistic approach of the Equatorian leaders.

South Sudanese nationalism was on the rise since the Torit revolt only to be hampered by Alier’s administration following the Addis Ababa Peace Accord, impeded by Garang’s SPLM/SPLA and totally derailed by Kiir’s regime, thanks to the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE).

South Sudan would have been in a better place by now had the government put the people’s business as its top priority. Instead, it pursued a policy that lacked impartiality, favouring the interests of one ethnicity (the Jieng) and pitting communities against each other.

The Juba massacre of the Nuer civilians on 15/12/2013 was a mortal blow to the South Sudanese nationalism. The Equatorians, the Chollo and the people of Western Bahr Ghazal were subjected to atrocities and heinous crimes as well. The regime has destroyed the social fabric of the country.

Now there is a great concern among the Equatorians and the international community as well that the government in Juba is preparing to commit genocide. Many human rights organisations have sounded the alarm bell and most important was the statement of Adama Dieng, the UN Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide on the 11/11/2016. Mr Dieng confirmed that all the ingredients for genocide, do exist in Equatoria at present. He has urged the international community to move fast to avert a catastrophe.

It’s clear that there is no such thing as South Sudanese nationalism at present. You will be deceiving yourself if you think the contrary. However, the SSDF believes that Equatoria is already a nation. South Sudan is not yet a nation but has got the potential to become one.

There is peaceful coexistence among the Equatorian communities despite diverse ethnicities. They have developed a unique common language (Arabi Juba) which is spoken all over Equatoria and beyond. They have a common psychological make-up or culture.

When you add to the above the fact that they come from a territory with well-defined boundaries, then the conclusion is that a nation is in existence. There is no ambiguity here, but many Equatorians seem to lack awareness of this fact just because they never gave it a thought.

There are reasons to believe that the JCE and some among the Jieng elites knew it and are working day and night to see it unravelling. It’s not a coincidence that the name Equatoria has been removed and never featured in the newly created 28 states.

We have seen the attempts to avoid using the name Equatoria and the increasing tendency to address the Equatorians individually according to their respective tribes. An undeclared war is being waged against Arabi Juba to stop it from spreading all over South Sudan. These desperate acts would come to no avail.

Between the late 1950’s and the second half of the 1960’s, a policy of cultural and religious assimilation was adhered to by the Aboud’s regime and the democratically elected governments. Some South Sudanese were coerced into changing their religion and names to Arabic names.

But as soon as the first winds of relative freedom blew over South Sudan after the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement – those South Sudanese swiftly discarded their coerced names and rapidly abandoned the adopted religion they were made to believe in. It’s too obvious that going against an insurgency or an army is a lot easier than fighting a culture.

Turning the country into a big prison, bugging people’s phones, torturing and eliminating perceived opponents, will only strengthen the people’s resolve to topple the regime. The JCE plan is bound to fail but would, unfortunately,
come at a high cost for the country both in human lives and material.

Our vision revolves around two central points. Firstly – Equatorian nationalism does not work against South Sudanese nationalism. In fact, it facilitates and enhances the process towards that end. The presence of Equatoria as a Sovereign State within a stable South Sudan would set the ground for peaceful coexistence, more cultural interactions and the emergence of one dominant language (Arabi Juba).

In essence, Equatorian nationalism would be the Launchpad for the greater South Sudanese nationalism.

It’s evident that the regime in Juba which is heavily under the influence of the JCE has its agenda for transforming the country into a Jieng State. The Dinka Development Plan (DDP) is at odds with fostering a South Sudanese nationalism.

The domination of the government by the Jieng and the operationalisation of the 28 states all point to the implementation of the DDP.

Therefore, a confederacy is the only way to salvage Equatoria and the other states as Sovereign entities and at the same time to safeguard the evolution of South Sudan into a nation where unity in diversity is upheld.

Secondly – We are not poor people but impoverished by poor policies and the absence of visionary leadership at the helm of the government. We do own vast swathes of fertile lands, numerous water resources and massive untapped mineral reserves.

South Sudan was lucky to have a reasonable number of technocrats at the time of independence as compared to the other African countries. With a visionary approach and the right policies in place, South Sudan would have leapt several steps forward in the way of development by now.

The formula for a rapid growth and improvement in services delivery to the populace encompasses three things. Prioritising the objectives, proper planning and setting up achievable targets within a specified time-frame.

The SSDF has ambitious plans for a robust economic growth and development guided by the principles of fiscal conservatism and a small government. We believe that with peace, the right policies and well-placed efforts, South Sudan could become a stable and wealthy country in the middle of Africa similar to Switzerland in the midst of Europe.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok,
Chairman and C-in-C of the SSDF

Kenya’s Pres. Uhuru too far away to hear wails of South Sudan women, children

By Anne Kiruku, KENYA, Posted THEEASTAFRICAN, NOV/26/2016, SSN;

IN SUMMARY: East African Community, EAC, Secretariat and other partner states have remained worryingly silent on the issue. When a member state, Kenya in this case, negates on its mandate to promote peace within the bloc, should other partner states remain unconcerned?

In a highly insensitive move, Kenya has made good its threat to withdraw more than 1,000 troops from South Sudan despite the worsening security situation in Africa’s youngest nation. Already, more than 100 troops arrived in the country last week, with 100 more expected in the coming days.

Most of the troops that have been withdrawn were deployed in hot spots of violence where deaths, rape and fighting is the order of the day. A total of 995 of the soldiers had been deployed in Wau, 166 in Aweil and 304 in Kuajok.

Essentially, Kenya reneged on its mandate for humanitarian engagement, putting innocent lives at stake. Since the war broke out in South Sudan in 2013, more than 2.5 million people have fled their homes due to the brutal conflict. Out of these, 1.6 million are internally displaced, while more than 830,000 have sought safety in neighbouring countries — mainly Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.

Despite South Sudan’s historic independence in 2011, the country still remains divided. In December 2013, it descended into civil war when disagreements between President Salva Kiir and his former first vice president Riek Machar led to fighting between government soldiers in the capital, Juba. The violence, which later spread across the country, left thousands of people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.

Cases of human-rights abuse have been rampant, with women and children bearing the brunt of it. A report by the African Union cited rampant violation of basic rights, with civilians routinely raped, killed, dismembered, and even forced to eat and drink human flesh and blood. Tens of thousands of people have sought shelter at United Nations compounds, too afraid to return home.

Kenya’s decision was criticised by the country’s opposition coalition Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) through its leader Raila Odinga, because it is in effect abandoning a fellow member of the East African region. Moreover, Kenya’s own peace and security is affected negatively by a crisis in a neighbouring country.

However, the EAC Secretariat and other partner states have remained worryingly silent on the issue. When a member state, Kenya in this case, negates on its mandate to promote peace within the bloc, should other partner states remain unconcerned?

The withdrawal of troops, who were seconded to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss), came as a response to the dismissal of Kenyan Lieutenant-General Johnston Mogia Kimani Ondieki, the Force Commander of Unmiss.

General Ondieki was dismissed by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, following an “independent special investigation into the violence, which occurred in Juba in 2016 and Unmiss’s response.”

According to the report, the violence caused the deaths of many civilians, two peacekeepers, and led to the collapse of the fragile peace agreement between President Kiir and Dr Machar.

Investigators attributed the shortcomings to “lack of leadership on the part of key senior mission personnel, which culminated in a chaotic and ineffective response to the violence.”

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta reacted with anger to the dismissal, saying the mission had failed in its mandate and had instead resorted to scapegoating Kenya.

But whatever the reasons are that led to Kenya’s withdrawal of troops, and regardless of the circumstances that led to the lieutenant general’s sacking, the innocent people of South Sudan continue to die as the world watches.

Already, there is an ongoing crisis in the health sector, with doctors in South Sudan staging a three-day strike every week to protest the poor working conditions, lack of medicines and poor security.

Cases of attacks by frustrated patients and their families have increased, and doctors have refused to perform non-emergency duties until their demands are met. Naturally, this has made a bad situation worse.

The lives and safety of regional citizens takes precedence over any diplomatic row. All partner states must actively participate in bringing about a peaceful resolution to the conflict in South Sudan.

Withdrawing troops is not part of that solution.

Anne Kiruku, East African News Agency.

South Sudan’s Problems extend beyond Kiir & Machar

BY: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba , NOV/11/2016, SSN;

Of recent, some prominent South Sudanese elites who once served under the visionless leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit are busy trying to distance themselves and their roles as individuals or groups from being partners in the genesis and indeed the sustenance of the ongoing crisis in the world’s newest country.

Their ultimate wish is to escape being held responsible for their roles in a regime that took off right from the start as one that pays no attention to any democratic practices. It violated the human rights of its citizens at will, disregarded good governance, freedom of speech, freedom of association and the rule of law.

Now these same iconic figures of the ‘rotten-to-the-core’ SPLM/SPLA in their attempts to distance themselves at this period, would want to fixate all eyes on Kiir and Machar while taking eyes off them.

By putting all the blames on President Salva Kiir and his former deputy turn rival Riek Machar alone, these SPLM/SPLA hypocrites hope to re-invent their tarnished political careers and wish to remain relevant to the future of a country they very much through omission or commission played pivotal roles in its destruction.

However, they might have partially succeeded in convincing some international players who are used to quick fixes often not successful in handling an otherwise very complicated problem as is the case of South Sudan.

Those regional and international players who seem to have bought into this oversimplification of the crisis in South Sudan are more keen on their interests than to address the root causes of the crisis.

Of course, this narrative should not be allowed to overshadow the search for a good solution. Nobody should believe them, for a wrong diagnosis naturally leads to the wrong prescription of treatment.

South Sudan’s current problems extend well beyond the overstated narratives of just Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. Thus, it can be misleading to assume that the duo represents the only culprits and probably the sole sources of the multifaceted evils that have befallen this country.

Moreover, no one should believe that these complex problems can altogether disappear once they voluntarily or otherwise succeed to see the two rivals are out of the country’s political center stage.

To part ways with the misleading assumptions about the root causes of the South Sudan’s ongoing crisis will require a thorough understanding of the various factors involved and the historical relations between them. Top of the list of this elements is tribalism and the politicization of ethnicity.

Talking about tribalism and the politicization of ethnicity in Africa often tends to sound familiar all across the continent. However, while South Sudan’s problems are mirror-able with situations elsewhere in other parts of Africa, much of the similarities seems to end just there.

For even though it is true that this type of problems exists everywhere on the continent, other African countries have managed to find the best ways to contain them.

In South Sudan where the adverse impacts of tribal politics and politicization of ethnicity ubiquitously express themselves in the form of political instability and a general mistrust in the state, a way out is yet to emerge.

Also given its very violent and traumatic history, South Sudan is yet to see how best it can address this issue of multiple nationalisms which are all calling for maximum attention and self-expression.

Again, the political realities that gave birth to each African country’s unique political system allow no room for generalization across the board. South Sudan borders Uganda and Kenya, and despite the commonality dictated by this geographical proximity, yet their different colonial experiences can be seen to have shaped the politics in these other two East African countries in ways that are incomparable to the South Sudan’s expertise.

It is this uniqueness in the historical, colonial and political heritages that has led to the different forms in which issues of ethnicity in politics tend to manifest at the national stage. Unlike its other East African neighbors, South Sudan has historically given a central stage for the expression of both narrow ethnic and regional nationalisms.

It is all too common in South Sudan for people to refer to themselves as members of a geographical location or an ethnic group. For example, groups like the Dinka (both in Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile regions), and the Nuer (Upper Nile region), would often identify themselves ethically i.e. the Jieng and the Naath respectively.

The situation is not the same with indigenous populations of Equatoria, the country’s most southern region. People of Equatoria are more keen to identifying themselves as Equatorians, although they belong to nearly thirty different ethnicities.

Virtually all the mess South Sudan is in now is the brainchild of the Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders. The JCE is a self-appointed group of influential Dinka politicians and close relatives and allies of President Salva Kiir who act as informal advisors to the president. It is not a group of traditional leaders.

The official ascend of tribal politics to the central stage in South Sudan, came on the back of the the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE). In the wake of the December 2013 Juba Massacre, where thousands of ethnic Nuers met their fates in the hands of the notorious ‘Mathiang Anyoor,’ a pro-regime Dinka tribal militiamen, tribal politics became an open practice.

Since then South Sudan has existed in people’s minds, locally, regionally and internationally a country of violently competing nationalities of Dinka, Nuer and to borrow the words of Professor Peter Adwok Nyaba, “and all the rest are lumped together as Equatorians.“

In an attempt to accurately describe the current situation, it would never be an overstatement to say that, South Sudan is precisely now a hostage to the rising tide of multi-ethnic and regional nationalisms all triggered by the regime’s recourse to Jieng (Dinka) nationalism.

The crisis in South Sudan is a direct consequence of the state-sponsored rise of the Dinka nationalism, which is also the central project of the Jieng Council of Elders agenda. Whether this in itself is a good thing or not, shall be judged based on the results.

However, the reality on the ground strongly suggests that this increase in Dinka nationalism is incompatible first with the basics of any peaceful coexistence between the Dinka and the rest of the other 64 South Sudanese ethnic groups.

Secondly, the country’s existing highly centralized system of governance can not allow for any single ethnic group whatever the justification, to use its ethnic, nationalistic tendencies to override the rights of the other ethnicities.

Unless a better alternative to this system prevails, those seeking to overtly display their ethnic nationalism are bearers of hegemonic and expansionist agenda, to say the least, and invite upon itself the wrath of the others in the form or resistance and confrontation.

The question as to whether, one day the volatile situation in South Sudan might explode into an outright genocide as repeatedly expressed by Dr. Majak D’Agoot, who once served a the former SPLM chief spy and then the deputy minister of defense and veteran affairs or not is everybody’s guess.

However, in principle, there now exists a nationwide polarization that pits the Dinka (Jieng) against the rest of South Sudan’s other 64 or so ethnic groups. Nonetheless, there are still other sources, predominantly outsiders who for reasons better known to them, still continue to portray the situation as Dinka (Jieng) versus Nuer (Naath) conflict.

On the whole, there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that the surge in Dinka (Jieng) nationalism lies behind the senseless war currently tearing the new country apart. It cannot also escape a keen observer that the widespread ethnic polarization among South Sudanese today emanates from the prominent position and closeness of this tribal council to the corridors of power and decision-making in the country.

In everyday life, this polarization has now become so now palpable that it is felt all across the towns in the country.

It is the same case inside the UNIMISS’s Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites or the refugee camps in the neighboring countries of Uganda, Kenya, DR Congo, Ethiopia, and the Sudan and neither has it spared the South Sudanese communities in the Diaspora.

Given the fact that, for all actions, there are bound to be reactions, we now see that what had started as an expression of Jieng nationalism, has in no time triggered survival instincts amongst the other ethnicities.

In many parts of Equatoria, the state-sponsored ‘Mathiang Anyoor’ Dinka tribal militiamen are regularly carrying out military raids on villages and settlements in a scorched earth policy. Regardless of how tiny, some ethnic groups are, their initial knee-jerk reactions have taken the forms of vigilante youth groups to counteract the Jieng’s aggressive campaigns and what they perceive as Jieng tribal hegemony and expansionism.

The way forward for South Sudan would be about the best management of the flare-up in ethnic and regional nationalism in response to the surging Jieng nationalism.

Much can be done to address this crucial issue which lies in the center of the country’s ongoing crisis without having to recourse to that Biblical scale ethnic cleansings. Every ethnic, linguistic or regional group in South Sudan have the right to express their real or perceived identity without encroaching on the rights of others. to live as well.

The sooner we acknowledge that South Sudan is already set on its way to a violent disintegration and seek to bring about a system of governance that can allow the various ethnicities to express themselves to their fullest without necessarily causing the demise of the others, the better.

Hence springs the necessity to reconsider an alternative to the existing unitary and centralized system of government. Without the least doubt, this also brings to the forefront the much-overdue discussion on Confederation.

The situation in South Sudan today can never be compared with other countries where confederalism is considered inappropriate. South Sudan is a highly tribalized and ethnically polarized country. Hence, a confederal system of governance will suit it perfectly well.

For confederalism is a system of governance in which the various groups, even those with unparalleled uncontrolled zeal for ethnic nationalism can still find the right space to satisfy their political egos and pride.

Why not give confederalism a serious thought instead of insisting on this recipe for disaster, call it ethnic cleansing or genocide or what, not that comes with the current heavily centralized unitary system.

Three confederal regions based on the former provinces of Equatoria, Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile with the internal federal administration is the only possible way out for South Sudan The bottom line is we can still coexist side by side peacefully and save all the innocent lives that are otherwise going to perish.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. A concerned South Sudanese and a voice for the millions of other voiceless compatriots. He is also an active member of the grassroots’ ‘Give Confederation a Chance’ movement.

BreakingNews: South Sudan Democratic Front – New group in fight to topple Kiir’s regime




OCT/31/2017, SSN;


The people of South Sudan have come a long way to attain independence. Apart from few years following the Addis Ababa Agreement of 12 March 1972, they have known nothing but wars since the departure of the British in 1956. It led to immeasurable suffering, loss of lives and the consequences of a protracted war in the form of underdevelopment and lack of infrastructure. It’s against that background the people of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for independence with high hopes for a brighter future.

However, 11 years of SPLM/SPLA rule failed to deliver and brought human-made disasters upon the people of South Sudan. It plunged the country into civil war that was entirely avoidable. It committed heinous crimes against its people with perpetrators operating with absolute impunity. Corruption is beyond imagination coupled with a total breakdown of law and order in many parts of the country.

The peace agreement is dead or on life-support. We are dismayed by those who still want people to believe that the peace agreement is alive and kicking. Instead, they should have focused on addressing the cause of failure to implement the peace accord. It’s not a secret that the Jieng Council of Elders ( JCE ) which is running the government from behind the curtains, have strongly opposed the peace agreement. Salva Kiir made his reservations known to everyone. Those reservations were the cause of the collapse of the peace accord.

The recent revelation of the Dinka Development Plan (DDP) explains why the country is in the current dire situation. The government is pursuing a policy of domination and hegemony of the Jieng (Dinka) tribe over the rest of the tribes forming South Sudan. The country is to be ruled according to the Jieng culture and there is no room for cultural diversity.

Unfortunately, some influential international players are misinformed and misguided by the notion that the Jieng form the majority of the population of South Sudan. The fact of the matter is that the Jieng tribe is the biggest but it does not constitute a majority by any means. At best it forms 20% of the population which is quite disproportionate to their domination of the government. Even if they were to be the majority, we have seen President Obama from a minority taking the highest office in the most powerful nation on Earth. It’s all about good governance and the rule of law that the regime utterly failed to deliver.

The sons and daughters of Equatoria have risen to the occasion and taken upon themselves the responsibility of rescuing the country from total collapse and widespread chaos. A meeting inside South Sudan, saw the birth of South Sudan Democratic Front – SSDF. A unanimous decision took the following steps:

1. Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok as Chairman and commander-in-Chief of the SSDF. He emphasized the importance of forging an alliance with SPLM/A – IO, the Agwelek forces, the Bahr El Ghazal fighters and the Cobra faction (SSDM/A) in the struggle against the regime.
2. The names of the members of the Political Bureau and the military are to be announced in further Press releases.

The immediate objectives of the SSDF as stipulated in the Manifesto are:
1. Removal of the failed and illegitimate regime of the SPLM/SPLA Party through peaceful means, armed struggle or both.
2. Establishment of a Confederation of States as the best system of governance for South Sudan. Its success is evidence-based as Switzerland, one of the stable countries of the world has been a Confederacy since 1291.
3. Accountability for:(a) War crimes and crimes against humanity since 15/12/2013,
(b) Corruption and embezzlement of public funds,
(c) Land-grabbing.
4. Reconciliation and healing.
5. Repatriation of refugees and the internally displaced people (IDP’s).

The SSDF urges the people of South Sudan in general and Equatoria in particular to stay strong and united. The road to victory is long and difficult but victory in itself is inevitable.


Lotole Lo Luri,
Deputy Press Secretary – SSDF

Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok
Chairman – SSDF

The coin of power: Gen. Paul Malong aspires for president!!

BY: ELHAG Paul, OCT/17/2016, SSN;

As South Sudan sails in high turbulent social, economic and political seas, the tribally decorated head of the Jieng militia masquerading as the legitimate chief of South Sudan army, General Paul Malong Awan Anei, seems to engage in sinister activities.

In the second quarter of this year and prior to President Salva Kiir’s early July 2016 orchestrated violence, General Paul Malong Anei’s activities indicate an interesting development. His frequent appearance then in public was suggestive of a person carefully working to improve his image and also sell himself to the country as an experienced and capable leader in waiting.

His activities should certainly raise eyebrows if only because as a military man he should not under any circumstances be engaged is such behaviour.

Worldwide members of the armed forces do not combine military duties with political activities. The two do not mix. The rules are very clear. An army man is an army man and he must not be involved in political activities. He only waits for orders from political leaders. As a person General Malong Anei has the right to pursue his ambitions in any field but this has to be done within the ambit of his job’s role.

It is doubtless that the recent political activities of General Anei are in direct breach of military rules. Of all the political activities he has been involved in, three are glaringly acts of political campaign of huge proportions possibly pitched to win support of the public as an exemplary leader.

Within the already stated period, General Anei sequentially bombarded the country with the following activities: first, accompanied by a media team he went to Aweil to claim credit for funding a huge U-shaped three storied building for SPLM. The media portrayed the story thus: “The former governor of northern Bahr El Ghazal state (current SPLA Chief of General Staff) General Paul Malong Awan has constructed the only and largest SPLM building in the whole country of South Sudan, This will be remembered for generations and SPLM will never forget about what General Malong has done.”

The bright yellow and dark brown painted building indeed is large and somehow impressive by standards of that part of the world. Looking at this building and reading about the person behind it is most likely to positively influence the reader’s mind. But if one (reader) thinks deeper, it brings up more questions. Where did General Anei get the money to erect this building? Why should the largest SPLM office be built in Aweil and not Juba?

Something surely is not right here. The alarm bell of massive corruption should start to ring. Since when have army men become funders of political parties? The fact that this SPLM massive building stands in Aweil, and not Juba, the seat of the government clearly symbolises Jieng ownership of the party.

Just think about it and note the statement of General Anei’s media team. Does this not occur to you as a high pitch of personality sale?

Then secondly comes another interesting media exposure. The General’s media team reported, “General Paul Malong is greatly providing education in South Sudan.” “(He) is building a standard and modern school in Aweil.”

According to the General’s media, “General Paul Malong hired professional qualified and well trained teachers from outside and within the country who meet the professional standards” “required who are highly disciplined and able to maintain the school and to teach pupils or students with the right education background and the right education processes, so that every child, youth and adult in Aweil in particular or South Sudan in general should have a chance to get quality education regardless of whether they are male or female, rich or poor, disabled or not, living in remote areas or in urban centres.

This is the main aspiration of General Paul Malong Awan. “The presentation of General Anei here just does not come spontaneously. This is a result of a carefully calculated and measured media manipulation to sell General Anei to South Sudanese as the only other leader available in the country. Some of the questions asked earlier also apply here.

The third episode involves the most important section of the society which paradoxically is the most abused by the SPLM: women. The General’s media shamelessly declared, “SPLA Chief of General Staff, General Paul Malong Awan knows that women of South Sudan are capable of diligently serving their country.”

“Without the women, the bush would have been nothing. The women stayed home to take care of their children and run the home as their husbands were involved in the guerrilla war. Without women the peace would have not been signed in both CPA one and CPA two.” Really?!

Is this General not the person responsible for the department that has inflicted the most damage to women emotionally, mentally, socially, economically and culturally? Is General Anie not responsible for raping of women, beheading of women and children in Fertit land and Equatoria? How is it that he now pretends to value women? Mockingly, he invited the women to his house to offer them his donation of a vehicle.

Why was this event done in the General’s house? Why was it a personal affair? Why did the General not take the vehicle to the women’s office? I leave you to draw your own conclusions. The photographs of this event are very interesting. In them, General Anei wearing a blue blazer with black trouser looking like a widowbird surrounded by she-birds glides around portraying an air of importance while donating a white Toyota vehicle to the women.

Certainly he felt great and very important. Such feelings are stuff cherished by egomaniacs. Now, hold your horses.

For better understanding let us first briefly discuss the man named Paul Malong Awan Anei for this piece to make full sense after which we will come back to continue.

Like President Salva Kiir, General Anei’s background remains an enigma. Stories have it that at around the age of 14 years or so, he was a street kid regularly travelling illegally on the train between Aweil and Babanousa on the Khartoum Wau-weekly train service. In these travels which involved dodging the train conductors, he perched on the roof of the train cars as a hawker selling cigarettes and a local drug called “Sauot”.

While hawking and sniffing substances the young Anei became a hardened petty criminal and a hustler feared by his age mates.

In his early twenties he is said to have traveled to Khartoum where he honed his criminal practise until he got arrested in the early 1980s for a serious crime. At the time Anyanya 2 was already active fighting the Sudan government. Anei through corruption gained bail and as a true criminal he could not stand to face justice he jumped bail and ran to join Anyanya 2 and later on the SPLM/A through merger of the two.

However, it is important to note that the criminal nature of the SPLM/A is greatly attributed to its membership being made up at its inception of professional criminals like Anei.

Peter Adwok Nyaba in his book ‘The Politics of Liberation in South Sudan: An Insider View’ second edition 2000, reveals that “social background was not made a criterion for the selection of the combatants and, accordingly, people of all walks of life flocked into the SPLM/A.

Thieves, murders, rapists and fugitives from Sudanese justice system found a safe heaven in the SPLA and, when opportunity was there, they easily relapsed into their old practices. Many of the criminals and horrendous crimes committed against the civil population were attributed to some of these social misfits masquerading as ‘revolutionaries’.”

In SPLM/A, Anei quickly rose through the ranks using his street knowledge and skills to prove his fighting skills in his home province of Bahr El Ghazal. In recognition of his service Dr John Garang promoted him to a commander (knowing very well that he had not seen the inside of a class room) and despatched him to Uganda to enrol in a basic English course. This is the only formal education the man has had in his life.

While as a commander in his home area, Anei set up courts and amassed cattle for himself through fines imposed on the locals. He also appropriated to himself a local market called Warawara which up to this date he collects all the revenue to himself depriving the local authorities of legitimate income.

General Anei according to reports always sees himself as the protector of President Salva Kiir. In 2004 when Salva Kiir fell out with Dr Garang and went into hiding in Yei, it was him who guaranteed the safety of the former to come to the famous Rumbek meeting of 2004 that reconciled them (Kiir and Garang) prior to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 with Khartoum.

Again in mid December 2013, General Anei jumped into protection of President Kiir based on delusions expressed by the latter in September of that year. According to Peter Adwok Nyaba in his article titled ‘It wasn’t a coup – Salva Kiir shot himself in the foot.’

President Kiir “in Akon his home town, speaking to Dinka (Jieng), which SSTV aired, Salva had this to say ‘………….look this power which I have belongs to you. You fought and died for it ……….. Now some people want to snatch it from me ……….. we (will) you accept it?

“Aci bag am” meaning we will not accept, shouted the people back. It was in this context of retaining power that he ordered Paul Malong Awan to recruit and bring to Juba three thousand young men which now constitute his presidential guards.’

The above quote is very important because it situates General Anei in the centre of the grave crimes against humanity committed in December 2013. Unfortunately, hitherto General Anei continues with his project of crimes against humanity. No wonder the international community describes him as, ‘the architect of immense human suffering.’

The latest atrocities are now taking place in Bahr El Ghazal against the Fertit people and in Equatoria against the Bari speakers respectively. However, all the signs now indicate that he is slowly shifting his allegiance away from President Kiir to himself.

This can be deduced from three crucial things. First he wants to escape accountability for his role in the December 2013 crimes; secondly he wants to pre-empt President Kiir’s plan to replace him in the army; and thirdly he wants to satisfy his ego.

The African Union Commission of Inquiry into South Sudan indentifies the culprits responsible for the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in December 2013. These are the Jieng security officials among whom are General Anie, President Kiir and the leadership of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE). The only way for General Anie and the Jieng leadership to escape accountability is for them to remain in power.

The unforeseen consequence of President Kiir’s July 2016 violence has been the spread of rebellion throughout the entire country. Unexpectedly, President Kiir has found himself in a bind and he is faced with either sacrificing General Anie in the hope of dividing the growing opposition to Jieng rule or stare defeat in the eye from the fast building opposition of all the people of South Sudan.

Last week information leaking out from J1 has it that President Kiir wants to replace Vice President Wani Igga with General Oboto Mamur and General Anie with General Agustino Jadallah respectively in order to defuse the growing rebellion in greater Equatoria.

This is an interesting new developing scenario. The Jieng are now faced with reality. Out of this they have no options except to make sacrifices in the hope that they can hold on to power. General Anie appears to have been chosen as the sacrificial lamb. How General Anie is going to respond remains to be seen, but the probability is that he may respond with a violent coup since he has already been preparing for it.

As for President Kiir’s plans to try to bribe Equatorians the answer is: it is too late because it seems now as though nobody wants Jieng rule in Equatoria anymore.

General Anei no doubt is a control freak. His obsession with power borders on mental illness. This can be observed from his activities in the last two years. While he was a governor he felt insecure and made himself the leader of SPLM in Bahr El Ghazal.

When he was made the Chief of Staff of SPLA, he continued to hog the governorship and SPLM leadership leading into numerous conflicts within the party. Because he is violent he gets his way with President Kiir at the top. This part of his character can also be observed from his private life. General Anei is said to have between 70 to 86 wives most of whom he violently brought in to his life.

In his mind, General Anei appears to consider women as properties or possessions. There is no love here. It is purely an issue of possession and domination for him to exercise power. He views women as factories of making babies.

It is possible that womanising plays a big role in his criminal character because to have that number of wives and God knows how many children, one would need to feed them and then cloth them. With this harem, is it any wonder why General Anei appropriated Warawara market and frequently starves his department of salaries?

General Anei’s possession of women symbolises his activities in relation to possession of institutions of power, governorship, army, SPLM etc. Simply put, the man is an egomaniac.

Now the coin of power is tossed up in the air. Will it be heads for President Kiir’s plan or tails for General Anie’s violent ascendance to power? General Anei’s earlier campaign of self promotion in the media should be taken as a sign of his wish to lay claim to the presidency.

The question is: has he got what it takes to be a president? Of-course not, he is naked. Even his media promotion unknowingly exposes his tribalism. For example, all the things used by his media team to promote him are done in Aweil.

The only exception is the donation of a vehicle to the women’s organisation. Now, is Aweil South Sudan? If he were a patriot why did he not build in other parts of the country? A further crucial question: where did he get all the money to do those projects?

Building self image fitting the characteristic of a president is not enough to qualify General Anei for the presidency. He should not look at President Kiir and begin to think that he can also be. President Kiir is a real fluke created by extra ordinary circumstances of lottery nature.

South Sudanese people have had enough of this lot. Whether it is President Kiir with his new Machiavelin plans or General Anei with his egotistic plan for power grab, they should know that they have lost the trust of the people.

They can exercise power negatively as they do now using their militia but they will continue to face resistance until they are brought down to face the music. South Sudanese want their future president to have the attributes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie describes in her book ‘We should all be feminists’ as a person “more intelligent, the more knowledgeable, the more creative, [and] more innovative.”

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

Linkage between ARCISS’ Abrogation and ‘Dinka Development Plan for 200 Years: A Response to the Jieng Council of Elders’

BY: Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, PhD, SEP/30/2016, SSN;

It is a truism that ‘war is better than a bad peace’ and this is pertinent in the context of South Sudan. The ‘Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan’ (ARCISS) the Inter-Governmental Authority on Desertification (IGAD) brokered for two years, and the parties signed in August 2015, has collapsed consequent to lack of political will to implement it.

On initialing the peace agreement, President Salva Kiir registered reservations declaring that the ‘agreement will not be implemented because it was imposed from outside.’ It took the parties eight months to form the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

Moreover, barely two months into the formation of TGoNU in April 2016, the ARCISS collapsed plunging the country into another cycle of civil war.

The current crisis in the country trace back to the political failures of the SPLM/SPLA as the political-military force that dominated the politics of South Sudan since the war of national liberation. The ethnicization of politics shifted the focus to control of power and resources.

The Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) emerged as the strongest power broker close to President Salva Kiir, who did not blink at the political and economic empowerment of the Dinka elite. The eruption of violence in December 2013, barely two years into the independence of South Sudan, therefore became inevitable.

The agreement, therefore, was an attempt to reconcile factions of a class that made zero-sum game the power to control financial and economic resources of the country. It did not address the fundamental contradictions the SPLM led Government of South Sudan (GOSS) precipitated in nearly eleven years of misgovernment that condemned the people to extreme conditions of poverty and ignorance, making it easy for the political military elite to manipulate and fragment along ethnic and regional fault lines.

That the SPLM/A (IO) acquiesced and signed this agreement attributes to its political and military weaknesses. It prosecuted the war without clear strategic political and military objectives and did not build an army capable of confronting the government army.

This explains Salva Kiir’s reluctance to implement the agreement which makes Dr. Riek Machar the first vice president. It was therefore easy for President Salva to conspire, exploiting the differences that emerged within the SPLM/A (IO) leadership, to push Dr. Riek Machar out of TGoNU and abrogate the peace agreement.

It is possible and indeed necessary to view in that light the events of July 2016 leading to renewed conflict and subsequent withdrawal of the SPLM/A (IO) from Juba. The death of the peace agreement ensures Salva Kiir’s grip on power.

Salva Kiir’s main objectives or rather his raison d’êtré as president of the Republic of South Sudan is to entrench himself in power, and through this one-man dictatorship promote Dinka hegemony and domination over the other sixty-four non-Dinka entities in South Sudan.

The upsurge of Dinka ethnic nationalism with its ideology of superiority, because only of their demographic weight, is therefore one of the driving forces in the civil war.

Touted by the reactionary elements of the Dinka political elite, this fascist ideology represents negative ethnicity that renders explosive ethnic multiplicity that constitutes the South Sudan reality.

The objective is to define South Sudan on the parameter of Dinka-ism and state to be governed according to Dinka culture as proposed by the Jieng Council of Elders.

The outward aspect of this strategy is the political and economic empowerment of the Dinka people. In this context, the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) and the intellectual think tanks cum research centres: The Sudd Institute (supported by the Office of the President) and Ebony Centre (sourced by World Bank and IMF) have emerged as the power brokers behind Salva Kiir’s presidency.

The Dinka takeover of South Sudan from the Arab-dominated North Sudan, conceived in the context of the war of national liberation, would not be completed without the construction of a totalitarian dictatorship.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit has achieved this with the support of the National Security Service, Military Intelligence, Presidential Guards, Police, Prisons, Wildlife Forces, Civil Defence, the Judiciary and the Central Bank of South Sudan, all headed by Dinka nationals.

The control of the army and the security forces becomes important to intimidate and suppress any resistance to Dinka hegemony. President Salva Kiir in 2013 transformed into war what essentially was political contradiction in the SPLM to pre-empt Dr. Riek Machar ascendancy to the top leadership of the SPLM through a democratic process.

The targeting of ethnic Nuers in Juba was to send a clear message to the other non-Dinka entities about what would happen to them should their leaders aspire for the top job in the country.

The JCE is the policy instrument of Dinka nationalism. Comprising representatives from the Dinka sections and subsections, its mandate is to lobby for the social, economic and political interests of the Dinka.

It impresses on President Salva Kiir for Dinka control of the economy through preferential economic empowerment and sourcing of Dinka businesses by dishing out lucratively overpriced government contracts including letters of credit.

Most of the corrupt businesses in South Sudan belong to Dinka political and military elite close to President Salva Kiir.

They corrupted the business in forex through the Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan, whereby the CBOSS gave them free access to convertible currency at the official rate of 2.9 SSP (South Sudanese pounds) to the dollar to sell at the parallel market at 18 SSP to the dollar.

They led to floating of the South Sudan Pound came against this policy with the objective to put out of business the non-Dinka businesses who had no access to foreign currency issued by the Central Bank of South Sudan. This eroded the purchasing power of the SSP, which deepened the economic crisis.

The JCE promotes, without shame, migration of Dinka en masse with their cattle to settle as communities in non-Dinka areas in Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal to establish their own traditional administration. This raised tensions and conflicts with the Acholi, Madi, Kuku, Kakwa, Moro, Azande, Shilluk, Nuer, and the fertit.

The idea was to have Dinka representation in all the states of South Sudan especially in traditionally non-Dinka regions.

The Establishment Order 36/2015 creating twenty-eight states essentially legitimizes the encroachment on and grabbing of ancestral lands of non-Dinka entities. It awards the Dinka 42% of land area of South Sudan fulfilling their ambition to access borders of East Africa and DR Congo.

There is also another disturbing dimension to the land grabbing, and how it ties up with the emerging Dinka parasitic capitalist class in the context of commercialized agricultural production.

It is not surprising some South Sudanese (Dinka and Nuer) connected to global capital and finance institutions have mortgaged much of rich potential lands in South Sudan and deposited this money in overseas banks. This is how low these people have gone to purchase real estate in Australia, America, Arab Gulf and East Africa.

This is double insult: denying social and economic development to our people by stealing the oil money and at the same time mortgage the land in order to render landless the masses of our people.

Some of the JCE rent seekers are involved in this scheme to the risk of fomenting conflict among Jieng sections, which surfaced recently in Malek in southern Bor area where they wanted to dispossess the Muonythanh of their ancestral lands.

Against this background, I want to discuss the “JCE Master Plan: Dinka Development for 200 years” signed by four members of the JCE, namely Ambrose Riiny Thiik, Joshua Dau Diu, Aldo Ajou Deng, Maker Thiong Maal and Permena Awieral Aluong and published by SSN (this website) on 14th September. The authenticity of the document cannot be doubted, the absence of their signatures notwithstanding.

South Sudanese people have not fragmented along ethnic fault lines as they are today and one finds intellectuals of the calibres of Justice Ambrose Riiny Thiik authoring such fascist policy document; one must really forget about South Sudan we have struggled for nearly six decades to place on the world map.

I am beginning to reminisce the night in 2004 when the SPLM activists burnt the House of Nationalities t-shirts. I am also beginning to understand why the SPLM shunted political education meant to raise the level of political consciousness among the combatants and the civil population.

It now confirms in my mind that the SPLM/A was a Dinka power project. Perhaps Salva Kiir is less sophisticated or has the time now come for what was mooted silently before during the war of national liberation to peddle openly, come what may.

The idea of one ethnic community in South Sudan, whatever their demographic weight, lording it over the sixty-four nationalities for two hundred years is something only myopic minds can conceive and put to plan. It is primitive, sadistic and fatalistic to say the least.

It smacks of the outburst of late Dr. Justin Yac Arop, which added to the flames of ‘kokora’ in early eighties.

It renders impossible ‘unity in diversity,’ which we fought against the successive Arab dominated Sudanese regimes.

This mindless arrogance has one positive consequence. It has demonstrated the political and moral bankruptcy of the JCE members on the one hand while on the other hand, it has united all the other ethnicities in the relentless struggle to overthrow this kleptocratic totalitarian regime erected and buttressed by the JCE.

While at that, I call on the progressive minded and patriotic Dinka to disown and condemn this plan, some elements of which are now being implemented, like the appointment of Hon. Lino Makana as the speaker of the National Legislative Assembly to blue print JCE policies. It is not feasible in the twenty first century.

South Sudan is burning in all its different regions. The cause of this conflict is the misguided ethnic politics pushed by the JCE.

The social and humanitarian impact of the conflict is staggering. The social capital, that bounded our people for centuries enabling them to undertake common struggle against foreign invaders, has been shattered beyond repairs. It will take political good will and patriotism to mend it.

What then should be done?

The JCE has imposed its war on the people of South Sudan. The writings are on the wall for everybody to read. Many people have already responded and have taken up arms not necessarily in the context of the SPLM/A (IO) but sui moto.

It is reminiscent of the early days of the first war in the sixties when students, youth, elderly and even women took to the bush with whatever was in their hands to fight against injustice, oppression, domination and exploitation by joining the ranks and file of the Anya-nya Land Freedom Army.

This time, it is different. The enemy is a local despot surrounded by his kin and kith purporting to represent the social, economic and political interests of the Dinka.

The war has a class character and must be fought differently using ideological and military tools. It is struggle between those who have looted the resources of the country since 2005 on the one hand and the masses of our people who have been denied social and economic development during the eleven years since the CPA.

In this context, the national democratic revolution pops up imperceptibly. A national democratic revolution with the strategic objective of constructing a national democratic state in South Sudan to accommodate all our people.

The national democratic state is to address the current social, economic and political crisis afflicting South Sudan. It should address the nationality/ethnicity question wrongly articulated by the JCE in terms of Jieng hegemony and domination over the other sixty-four nationalities that populate South Sudan.

This calls for unity of purpose of all the fighting groups around a common objective of regime change and transforming the lives of our people.

The correct definition of the problem will facilitate the charting of a minimum program for achieving the objective. It is the only way to frustrate, destroy and prevent the implementation of the “JCE Master Plan: Dinka Development Plan for 200 year”.

Long live the struggle for freedom, justice, fraternity and democracy
Long live the memory of the martyrs
Long live South Sudan
Shame and down to the JCE
Aluta continua

Peter Adwok Nyaba
30 September 2016

Where next for Machar: Ethiopia closes door on him & Khartoum wants him gone?



Dr Machar — who is currently in Khartoum after fleeing Juba on July 11— has been denied asylum in Ethiopia where he had hoped to take refuge after completing treatment in the Sudanese capital.
In Khartoum, Machar has been restricted from engaging in political activities, with Sudan saying he is only welcomed on “humanitarian” grounds.

In Juba, Dr Machar has since been replaced as the vice-president by his former lead negotiator, Taban Deng Gai.

South Sudanese ousted vice president, Dr Riek Machar, is increasingly becoming a pariah in the region with Ethiopia now declining to give him asylum, while Sudan is restricting his political activities.

Dr Machar — who is currently in Khartoum after fleeing Juba on July 11— has been denied asylum in Ethiopia where he had hoped to take refuge after completing treatment in the Sudanese capital.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, in a media interview on the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York this week, said that Addis Ababa “does not need someone who is leading an armed struggle on its soil.”

After the civil war broke out in Juba in December 2013, Ethiopia had hosted Dr Machar for most of the two-and-a-half years of the peace negotiations led by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad). But Addis Ababa is now bowing to pressure from Juba and the dynamics of the deployment of the UN-backed regional protection force.

Ethiopia was supposed to provide the bulk of the 4,000 troops and this was going to complicate their participation if the country gave asylum to Dr Machar.

In Juba, Dr Machar has since been replaced as the vice-president by his former lead negotiator, Taban Deng Gai.

No political activities

Dr Machar suffered another blow on Thursday when the Sudanese government stopped him from holding a press conference in Khartoum after holding a week-long SPLM-IO leadership meeting to discuss the ongoing political crisis in South Sudan.

Information Minister and government spokesperson, Ahmed Bilal Osman, announced that Dr Machar was in Khartoum for treatment only and is therefore not allowed to conduct political activities. Mr Bilal said that Khartoum was waiting for the implementation of the security arrangements so that Dr Machar could return to South Sudan.

However, Dr Machar maintains that he can only return to Juba after the deployment of the regional protection force, which Juba appears to be reluctant to have more troops join the current 12,000 under the UN Mission in South Sudan.

According to the UN Security Council Resolution, the protection force is supposed to act as a buffer between President Salva Kiir’s soldiers and those of Dr Machar, and to secure humanitarian supply lines and key installations.

The government of South Sudan had protested to Sudan for hosting Dr Machar but Khartoum has maintained that they are hosting the ousted leader —who arrived in Khartoum in August from northeastern DR Congo — on “humanitarian” grounds.

The ‘South Sudan Report’ and the morality of profiting from a neighbour’s misfortune

By Charles Onyango-Obbo, DAILY MONITOR, Uganda, SEP/14/2016, SSN;

The much-anticipated report on corruption and war-profiteering in conflict-wracked South Sudan was published on Monday.

Produced by investigative unit “The Sentry” co-funded by American actor George Clooney and activist John Prendergast, it spent two years following the money trail.

It reports some extraordinary looting, nepotism, and corruption by the South Sudan political and military elite who have made themselves rich while the country has been impoverished by a civil war of their making.
There are no saints and villians, both President Salva Kiir and his former deputy and rival Riek Machar have their snouts in the murk.

The report makes for sad reading, but one cannot help reflect on the ways in which South Sudan is different from almost every country in the region. Almost everywhere else, you have a few years of idealism and an attempt to do good after independence or liberation. Then the “revolution” stalls or is hijacked, and the corruption starts. No such thing for South Sudan.

The new country hit the ground stealing, so to speak. The other thing, which shouldn’t really be surprising, the report says the top leaders in the country have invested in property in neighbouring Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. It also says that they have interests in Australia.

Army Chief, Gen Paul Malong, also the grand polygamist of Juba, and the man blamed for a lot of the recent madness in the country, has at least two luxurious mansions in Uganda in addition to a $2m mansion in Nairobi.

It’s last bit that interests us most today, because Uganda, Kenya, and Ethiopia have also been the regional mediators.

If you are God-loving or a human rights activist, you would find something terribly wrong with that because it seems the three countries are actually profiting from the conflict in South Sudan, so how can they be expected to go the extra kilometre to make peace there. And wouldn’t the ability of the belligerents to invest in these countries give them an easy way out and thus remove the incentive for them to compromise for peace?

However, the South Sudan conflict has also stunk up the neighbourhood, increased regional risk, and taken away some points from its attraction as an investment destination. The loss, some economists argue, is higher than the gain.

But if you flip the argument, you could argue that because neighbouring countries also get refugees (as dramatically illustrated in Uganda’s case with the new flood of South Sudanese refugees), suffer from loss of trading opportunities, and are hit by the “stink factor” referred to earlier, they deserve some “compensation”.

Profiting from a neighbour’s misfortune is one way of doing this.

These events, however, also point to some changes in our region, as indeed the rest of Africa, since the economic liberalisation wave kicked off at the end of the 1980s.

There are more private businesses, more rich people, and more thieving politicians who are skimming off the fat.
All these people now need “first stop” destinations where they hedge against future instability at home, a place where they can keep their money, buy expensive homes.

Next, they move to “second stop” destinations – London, Geneva, New York – where they stash their wealth to hedge against the bigger “Africa risk”.

For this reason, it has become important for countries to invest in “stability” in ways it wasn’t 30 years. The reward for being viewed as stable can be huge – both honest and crooked people – will take their money out of their countries and put it in yours, giving your economy – especially the banking sector – a liquidity boost.

If you get it wrong, like South Sudan has, everyone will steal and take their loot out. It’s a diverse business with a grey (or even dark) side, because you don’t just need stability. You also require a certain permissiveness that guarantees these people who bring their money confidentiality.

In other words, that no one in Kampala will come to ask Malong where he found the $2 million to buy his villa.

For example, it is said that Paul Kagame’s Rwanda, the anti-corruption republic, has not really ended corruption as such, it has driven a lot of it off the radar. So what do Rwanda’s corrupt do? They use Uganda and Kenya as their “first stop” destinations to stash their “unexplained surplus”.

On the other hand, the “Rwandaphonie” business people in eastern DR Congo stash their money in Rwanda, because there, it is safe from seizure from the bouts of “anti-Tutsi” politics that often erupts there.

So there is that bit – a “first stop” destination can also be a sanctuary. It’s complicated.

Mr Onyango-Obbo is the editor of Africa data visualiser and explainer site Twitter@cobbo3

Critique of Prof. John Akec’s Mistaken UN Trusteeship

BY: James Okuk, PhD, Juba University, SEP/18/2016, SSN;

As my part-time top boss at University of Juba, I would like to thank the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Akec for keeping his private hobby of public writing. Many intellectuals of South Sudan and in many other African Countries abandon their hobbies when they become bosses. He needs to be appreciated and encouraged to keep up this consistency and freedom of expression.

What attracted my attention is Prof. Akec’s reference to St. Augustine and Thomas Hobbes to justify his apologetic defence of Juba’s suspicion and reservation on the awaited Regional Protection Force. I’m saying this because I have been a lecturer of “Comparative Political Thought” in the esteemed University of Juba since 2012, both to Arabic and English patterned students of the Department of Political Science.

The evolution of political thought, some of which are practiced in many countries to date, is an area I have admired with great interest. Thus, I must thank the electronic engineer, Prof. John Akec, for becoming an active participant in the classic political field, though.

I would have wished to invite him to attend a special lecture on the context and content on St. Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Hobbes and Jean Bodin who had put forward some rigorous political thinking in the history of human governance, especially in regard to ‘Sovereignty and the Sovereign’ in time of ‘Peace’ and ‘War’.

Those great thinkers of the middle ages in Europe were concerned much about “Sovereignty of the Monarch”. This political situation was broadened and cemented by the Treaty of Westphalia (October 1648) that legitimised the limited European Nation-States’ Systems and Principles between the Holy Roman Emperor and the King of France and their respective Allies.

However, the French Revolution (known also as the people’s bread revolution) and the American Declaration of Independence (known also as the people’s land revolution) made the Westphalia Treaty irrelevant for constitutional liberalism and democratisation of the modern nation-states. The Centre of ‘Sovereignty’ shifted from ‘I the King for the State’ to ‘We the People for the Nation’.

The sovereignty as far as St. Augustine and Thomas Hobbes were concerned was about “I the King” only with disregard to the centrality of the people and their dignified livelihood welfare. Is this what Prof. John Akec is trying to argue for South Sudan now?

Even Hobbes conditioned the necessity of the sovereign and the government on “not killing the subjects and also not instilling fear in them.” The Hobbesian Leviathan was for absolute peace and security of the people. Once the sovereign and the government break this condition, then they should immediately lose the value to continue ruling the nation in a state.

St. Augustine has also conditioned the sovereignty on ‘Peace and Justice’, with permissible ‘War of a Just Cause’, conducted through right intention, declared by a competent authority with good faith, and using proportional military force while discriminating the non-combatant citizens (i.e women, children, the elderly, the clergy, etc.) from the warriors of the sinful ‘City of Man’ who are being punished by divine authority to repent and return to goodness of ‘City of God’ for everlasting eternal grace.

Once peace and justice is denied to the citizens, then the sovereign and government should be prayed upon for divine fire of deposition and salvation for a new replacement.

Jean Bodin defined sovereignty as “Absolute”, “Indivisible” and “Complete”, the attributes which are not nearer to the situation of the divided South Sudan on the power of their current government.

Therefore, Prof. Akec shouldn’t kindly misquote these intellectual historical giants to mislead the public about ‘sovereignty’ and how UN Protection Force is “Trusteeship” in another name.

If the Prof. isn’t yet aware and informed about the matter, let him now know that the UN Charter since the end if World War II in 1945 doesn’t allow ‘UN Trusteeship” for an independent state with full UN and other regional organisations memberships.

The UN Charter and AU Constitutive Act predicate the modern sovereignty on: a)Protection of the population without discrimination, b) Undivided loyalty of the citizens to the state, c) Enforceability of government powers in all the jurisdictional and integral territory, d) Cooperation with the UN and other international and regional bodies based on treaties, mutual recognition and other legitimate obligations, and e) Viability of the state and sustainability of its government among other nations.

Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (December 1933) is what has defined the modern and contemporary state, not necessarily the traditional medieval nation-state any longer. Article (1) defines a state as a person of international law that possesses a) permanent population (i.e, not Refugees or IDPs), b) a defined territory, c) government, and d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.

Also the Westphalia principles of equality of states, non intervention of one state in the internal affairs of another state and “forgiving the sins of the past” are no longer practiced in vacuum, especially when the UNSC, in accordance with the UN Charter, defines a situation as ‘threat to international peace and security’ as it came out in Resolution Number 2304 (2016) and acts via a “peace-keeping” long-term strategy or “peace-enforcement” emergency response in accordance with the principle of “the Responsibility to Protect”.

The Republic of South Sudan should not be made an exception on the evolution of the power of multilateral diplomacy and international relations. The Juba Varsity Prof. Akec has missed the intellectual goal that a professor shouldn’t afford to mess up with.

The Regional Protection Force and UNMISS-Plus is not and can’t turn into a formal trusteeship force in South Sudan because their mandate is clear and supplementarily limited to restoring the direly needed peace and security environment in the embattled country from all fronts.

That was why Juba signed a Joint Communique on 4th September 2016 with the UNSC Members who came to the country for first hand information and experience of the gravity of the situation.
Dr. James Okuk is a lecturer of politics in University of Juba reachable at

UN Confidential Report blames Pres. Kiir and Army Chief Malong for ordering July 8 large-scale attack

Various News agencies, JUL/09/2016, SSN;

The confidential report points the finger at President Salva Kiir and army chief of staff Paul Malong as having ordered the large-scale attacks that began on July 8.

A UN panel of experts has concluded that heavy fighting that engulfed South Sudan’s capital Juba in July, forcing vice president and ex-rebel leader Riek Machar to flee, was “directed by the highest level” of the country’s military.

The confidential report seen by AFP on Thursday points the finger at President Salva Kiir and army chief of staff Paul Malong as having ordered the large-scale attacks that began on July 8.

“The relatively large scale of the hostilities which featured the deployment of MI-24 attack helicopters, in coordination with ground forces, reinforced by armed units, support the conclusion that the fighting was directed by the highest level of the SPLA command structure,” said the report.

In the report, the experts quoted South Sudanese officers as saying that only Kiir and Malong have the authority to order the attack helicopters into combat and that Malong acted “with Kiir’s full knowledge” during the offensive.

The finding dismissed suggestions that the violence in Juba, which led to the collapse of a fragile unity government cobbled together from a year-old peace deal, was carried out by rogue elements.

More than 300 people died in the fighting from July 8 to 11, tens of thousands fled the country, and the United Nations reported a surge in sexual violence, mostly by the ethnic Dinka-dominated soldiers against Nuer women and girls.

The two-and-a-half year conflict has escalated from a “primarily political to a tribal war,” said the report.

Attack on aid workers ‘well-coordinated’

The panel found that dozens of soldiers gang-raped and beat aid workers in a “well-coordinated attack” on a Juba housing compound on July 11.

Over four hours, between 80 and 100 soldiers overran the Terrain compound, beat and abused, raped and gang-raped at least five international aid workers and executed an employee of a non-governmental organization.

“The soldiers damaged every single room, and looted the compound extensively, taking over 25 vehicles,” the panel said.

“Considering the degree of violence inflicted, the high number of armed actors who participated, the vast quantity of items stolen and the systematic damage exacted on the sprawling compound, the panel has concluded that this attack was well coordinated and cannot be considered as an opportunistic act of violence and robbery,” it added.

The panel described the attack as a “clear turning point in the level brutality inflicted by South Sudanese soldiers on international humanitarian personnel,” it added.

A separate UN investigation has been established to report on whether UN peacekeepers failed to protect civilians including the aid workers at the Terrain compound who sent several text messages to the UN mission pleading for help.

The experts said arms sales to South Sudan’s military were continuing, citing the recent purchase of two L-39 jet fighters, one of which was used in combat operations in July.

Kiir’s government has entered into contact with a Lebanese-registered firm, Rawmatimpex, to build a small arms manufacturing plant in South Sudan, but the outcome of those talks are unclear, according to the panel.

South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup.

Tens of thousands have died and more than 2.5 million people have been driven from their homes.

South Sudanese government forces have acquired two jet fighters and truckloads of small arms ammunition and were seeking to manufacture bullets, UN sanctions monitors said in a confidential report seen by Reuters news agency.

The report on arms flows and security threats to South Sudan added that opposition troops have not received any significant arms shipments from abroad.

The monitors also said that armed government actors were imposing “debilitating movement restrictions” on UN peacekeepers.

They warned that the economy of the world’s newest nation had effectively collapsed because of government policies that included buying weapons instead of funding social services.

Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Juba, said that the report is likely to anger those who should benefit from social services, which are already underfunded.

“South Sudan’s economy has been in freefall since it floated its currency against the dollar in December last year,” she said.

“Half of South Sudan’s population live beneath the poverty line, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. South Sudan’s consumer price index is up 700 percent from this time last year. It is difficult for ordinary civilians to get food from the market.

“Some civil servants can earn as little as two or three dollars per month, which makes it hard for them to be be able to sustain their families.”

More than 200,000 people rely on humanitarian assistance, Morgan added.

The report strengthens the case for an arms embargo, a move recommended by the monitors to the Security Council in January. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also called for an arms embargo.

“There is no evidence to suggest that more weapons are required in South Sudan for the government to achieve a stable security environment,” the UN monitors said.

“Rather, the continued influx of weapons … contributes to spreading instability and the continuation of the conflict.”

The report said that while Sudan had provided small arms, bullets and logistical support to opposition troops, they “found no evidence to date that Sudan – or any other neighbouring country – has provided heavy weapons … which has limited the opposition’s ability to mount large-scale operations”.

However, the monitors received reports that government troops have made significant, ongoing arms procurements, including the likely recent acquisition of two L-39 fighter jets.

“While the panel has received preliminary reports from two sources that the jets were serviced and painted in Uganda, the panel has not yet been able to confirm their origin or if these jets have been purchased or are on loan,” the monitors said.

Two truckloads of ammunition were transferred to the capital, Juba, from Uganda in June, while late last year South Sudanese army chief Paul Malong asked a Lebanese company to begin developing a small arms ammunition manufacturing facility in Juba, the monitors said.

“It is not clear from currently available information whether this project has proceeded in the intervening period,” they added.

A Czech Air Force L-39C

Role Military trainer aircraft
Light ground-attack aircraft
Manufacturer Aero Vodochody
Designer Jan Vlcek[1]
First flight 4 November 1968
Introduction 28 March 1972 with the Czechoslovak Air Force[2]
Status Out of production, in active use with various air forces
Primary users Soviet Air Force
Czechoslovak Air Force
Libyan Air Force
Syrian Air Force
Produced 1971–1996[3]
Number built 2,900[3]
Developed from Aero L-29 Delfín
Variants Aero L-39NG
Developed into Aero L-59 Super Albatros
Aero L-159 Alca


Talk of arms embargo

In the wake of deadly violence in Juba in July, the council said it would discuss an arms embargo if Ban reports this month that the government was not cooperating with the deployment of 4,000 more peacekeepers and was obstructing 12,000 UN troops already on the ground.

A UN peacekeeping mission (UNMISS) has been in South Sudan since the country gained independence from Sudan in 2011.

The UN monitors said that in rhetoric and action, government-affiliated forces “have actively threatened the operations and personnel of UNMISS and other UN agencies, and both parties have continued to target humanitarian workers”.

During the violence in July, between 80 and 100 uniformed soldiers overran Juba’s Hotel Terrain compound, home to the staff of international organisations, and in four hours killed an ethnic Nuer journalist and raped at least five foreign aid workers and other staff working at the compound, the monitors said.

The monitors said that given the number of soldiers involved, the number of items stolen and the systematic damage inflicted, “this attack was well coordinated and cannot be considered as an opportunistic act of violence and robbery”.

The UN Security Council has long threatened to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan after the country spiralled into civil war in 2013, but veto powers Russia and China are wary that such a move would benefit opposition fighters because it would be harder to monitor them than to police the government.

The Security Council set up a targeted sanctions regime for South Sudan in March 2015, then in July blacklisted six generals – three from each side of the conflict – by subjecting them to an asset freeze and travel ban.

A political rivalry between President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and opposition leader Riek Machar, a Nuer, sparked the civil war.

The pair signed a shaky peace deal a year ago, but fighting has continued. Machar fled the country after the violence between their troops erupted in July.

The monitors said in the report – which was requested by the Security Council – that “the actions and policies of the two major parties” pose the most severe security threats to the peace deal and the transitional government.

“The focus of many of the central military and political figures on mobilising their respective tribes has continued to escalate the conflict from a primarily political to a tribal war,” the monitors said. END