Category: Politics

Change IGAD’s Peace Agreements Model for rewarding Impunity in South Sudan

By Hakim Dario, PDM Chairman,
14th August 2018, SSN;

President Salva Kiir Mayardit will go down in history as one of the worst rulers rewarded for impunity by none other than IGAD in the newly independent country, South Sudan. After a decade in power since 2008 – 2018, his ministers and many generals, Members of Parliament and politicians, as well as many communities in the country rebelled against him and fought battles to resist his authoritarian and autocratic grip on power to rule with impunity.

The rebellions by George Athor, Athurjong, David Yau Yau, Murle and Chollo communities from the fallout of the SPLM polit-bureau inspired rigging of elections in 2010 rang the alarm bells of what was in store awaiting the fate of the country under Kiir’s rule in the lead up to independence in 2011.

The weight of expectations for the once in a lifetime opportunity, after more than 50 years, to exercise the right to self-determination referendum and usher in the world’s newest 193rd independent and sovereign state of their own, has held the people to together at this historic crossroads.

On 11th April 2011, the first Equatoria Conference was convened in Juba, as if inspired by and echoing the 1947 Juba Conference, albeit at a new crossroad that was within the peoples and nation’s grasp.

The conference resolutions reminded the people of the new nation “to be” of the historic calls of the 1947, five decades earlier, for a federal constitution and governance in a new interim social contract as we celebrate our deserved and long fought for independence.

This lofty goal now or then, without much quarrel, seemed to be fully within our grasp to chart at the onset of the country’s independence. It was not to be.

The opportunity, unjustifiably, was lost to peacefully enact a Transitional Federal Constitution of South Sudan (TFCSS2011) as an interim social contract between the people in the new “to be” state. However, Salva Kiir, John Luk and SPLM caucus had other ideas and plans in store for the nation.

What we got instead was the TCSS2011 which concentrated and vested unlimited power in the hands of President Salva Kiir to make him an autocrat who ruled by decrees with impunity. The people were cheated, and had the outcome been a TFCSS in 2011, today’s war would have certainly been averted by a genuine devolution of power.

The SPLM chose otherwise, but beat a too familiar path to make Kiir another long lived African dictator.

The SPLM politbureau members too (Dr Riek Machar, Pagan Amum, Rebecca Nyandeng), not long afterwards as did Athor, Yau Yau, Dr Lam Akol, Peter Sule before them, soon found cause and reasons for rebelling against Kiir autocratic rule in 2013, which led to the nearly four years genocidal civil war in the country today.

This surely has had the effect of dashing the nation’s hopes for embracing a peaceful democratic political order in the newly independent nation.

The pattern of rebellion against Kiir’s rule with impunity has become something of a statistical normal, with some rather significant standards of deviation from the normal, in the most unlikely of Kiir-insider Generals of Paul Malong category, his former Chief of Staff, also rebelling against Kiir at the 11th hour in 2018.

How is it that there is such wide spread rebellion against Kiir’s rule all these past 10 years?

The missed opportunity of instituting a TFCSS in 2011, has now come back full circle to haunt the people and the country four years on in the ARCSS 2015, and in the yet to be concluded revitalized ARCSS 2018.

A Transitional Federal Constitution was resisted by SPLM and Kiir in 2011, furthermore in ARCSS2015, and lately in so-called Khartoum Revitalized ARCSS 2018 through the HLRF process.

This serial and persistent rejection by President Kiir of a TFCSS as an interim social contract for the people and the country, in 2011, 2015, and 2018 is now very ominous.

The very existence of South Sudan under Kiir’s and JCE rule as a country is in question. In the face and throes of the ongoing polarization and ethnic fault lines fueling the current civil war in the country, destroying what was left of the social fabric, the people are left with stark and difficult choices to make for their own future existence and governance.

In this Kiir’s business model for the country, at highly incalculable operating cost to the country, Kiir has become the law of the land and CEO, deriving his authority from a small minority of so called Jieng Council of Elders (JCE).

A clique and assembly of his section of Dinka tribesmen and women from the tiny state of Warrap, now running the government business in Juba as the clan’s owned business. This business model bears unashamedly no resemblance to that of a state.

The clan government does not forbid Salva Kiir to sell all the wealth of the country, deny or delay all justice, deny the rule of law and deny responsibility to protect villages, homes, and rights of hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens who were either killed or displaced by Mathiang Anyor Dinka militia and army in Equatoria, Bahr al Ghazal and Upper Nile.

As recent evidence shows, Kiir’s business operating costs in the $40,000 order of magnitude per MP for car purchases, pales into insignificance, when resources are diverted as unquestionable urgent expenditure to buy Kiir’s rule tenure extension, without the least regard for austerity the country’s economy is reeling under.

To date, there is no accountability for government business profit and loss, and it is most unlikely there will ever be one with Salva Kiir as CEO, or with Dr. Riek Machar as his Deputy CEO under the regional IGAD countries’ “impunity business model” Agreements for South Sudan.

The autocrat, since 2010 quickly morphed into a kleptocrat, who didn’t hesitate to disown the interim social contract which the TCSS 2011 represented, and illegally decreed the creation of 32 states without due process nor by any legitimacy conferred by ARCSS 2015 that he was expected to implement in letter and spirit but had chosen not to.

In July 2016, Kiir without opting for peace unashamedly chose violence against his peace partner, and disowned ARCSS 2015 in its wake, sadly did so with utter impunity.

This is the unseemly peace partner to be rewarded and entrusted with heading government business to implement another revitalized ARCSS 2018 that gives Kiir the legitimacy he desperately needs to stay on in power for another three years.

Another three years for the people of Greater Equatoria Region, with half of the 64 tribes in its territory, meant continued denial of entitlement to their economic, social and cultural rights, peoples and human rights, and for them to have no say in the affairs of their governance and existence under Kiir’s kleptocratic rule.

The same is said of the people of Greater Bahr al Ghazal and Upper Nile regions. Having disowned the transitional social contract of the TCSS 2011, there is no basis of legitimacy for Salva Kiir to rule the country and to further resist the establishment of a new peoples transitional social contract for a union of peoples by an agreement under a new Transitional Federal Constitution 2019.

Salva Kiir is now without doubt an obstacle to peace in South Sudan, and he must resign and go to let the country pick up the pieces of the damaged social contract and fabric.

To stitch them back together after he completely destroyed it, requires a new people’s driven social contract and the will to affect the three autonomous regions people’s union in a Transitional Federal Constitution for a Transitional Federal Government (TFGSS).

The denial of justice and rule of law for another three years of rewarding illegitimacy and impunity by the Kiir Revitalization Agreement (KRA 2018) in Khartoum, is not what the people wanted, rather it is what IGAD wanted, it is what Sudan and Uganda wanted for SPLM and other elites to grant Kiir another lease of underserved legitimacy.

The way forward is people-centric

There is no other fairer way that the SPLM and Kiir’s tribal elites strangle hold on power in South Sudan can be broken without returning to the historical devolution of power to the people in the former three autonomous regions of Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr al Ghazal under a Transitional Federal Constitution.

This is with the view that the regional state governments together with the people’s union government would derive legitimacy, authority and power from the people of the three regions.

Legitimacy is shareable between peoples but is indivisible and inseparable for sharing between elites without representation and mandate. The elites-centric power sharing of the KRA 2018 rewards the elites at people’s expense.

The responsibility sharing equally between the three regions in a federal social contract offers a fairer basis on which to rebuild the country’s broken social fabric and restore the rule of law and justice under the constitution. The restoration of the ruptured social fabric, justice and the rule of law is needed to maintain the unity of South Sudan as a nation.

This will not be complete without bringing Salva Kiir to stand trial for the crimes he committed against the people and the state after independence.

Until Salva Kiir is tried before a competent court of law for crimes of state corruption and atrocities against the people under his rule and policies, the rule of law and due process in South Sudan would not be restored or established for future posterity to live in peace.

Kiir must be tried under the rule of law for the country to save and redeem itself. It’s only when the rule of law is taken for granted in South Sudan, that the human and people’s rights, their social, cultural, economic and political rights, and equality of opportunity will be protected for all citizens, communities and peoples of the 64 ethnicities.

There is no way individual accountability will be skipped by a People’s Democratic Government for crimes committed by political leaders in any public office of the state. The long arm of the law will reach near and far places to end impunity and corruption in every corner of the country. All those identifiable leaders in public office roles who are found to be associated with aiding corruption whilst in public office or were directly engaged in commission of corruption for self-interest at the expense of the public interest, will be held to account under the law. That is what the country needs in order to change and move forward.

The authority, legitimacy and power of the Government lay with the people, not with Salva Kiir, nor with SPLM factions and elites without representation and explicit mandate of the people. This premise is essential to set expectations of negotiation for a realistic and sustainable peaceful settlement to the conflict, and without conditions for rewarding sacred cows by the agreement.

Thus, in order for any current or new genuine efforts to succeed and restore peace in South Sudan, the efforts need to shift the focus away from rewarding elites-power sharing to a distinctly people-centric peace-making, one in which the people are active participants in decisions on fundamental matters of their existence and governance.

Compelling grounds both humanitarian and political now exist that impunity, in which the people and the country are trapped for perpetuity must be challenged and ended with Kiir’s rule once and for all.

The people, an entire one third of the country’s population and size, as that in Equatoria region who demanded a federal constitution and governance for the country, like those calling for the same in Upper Nile and Bahr al Ghazal regions, are without voice, rights or authority to freely exercise political power and decision making by legitimate constitutional mechanisms over affairs of their governance and existence.

The 64 different ethnic groups, 32 of them in one region alone are together treated as an insignificant minority whose voices through multiple peoples conferences in 2011 and 2012, are disregarded and accorded no political space so that Kiir can continue to rule with impunity.

The people in Equatoria, Upper Nile, Bahr al Ghazal must stand up to challenge Salva Kiir’s illegitimacy and demand to exercise and enjoy their economic, social, cultural and political rights, human and peoples’ rights in their region without encroachment by concentration of unlimited powers in the hands of a President who is not himself or herself subject to the rule of law.

And without this constant of the rule of law, peace in South Sudan would remain an illusion, as long as IGAD’s “impunity peace agreements” model continue to be the regional favored game plan for South Sudan.

The international community and the region could help end the war and facilitate the negotiation of a realistic and sustainable peaceful settlement by standing with the people against impunity and tyranny, and de-recognizing Salva Kiir led government as illegitimate, led by a kleptocrat who must be denied diplomatic recognition and support. END

Let’s face it: There is no DEAL, no PEACE for now.

BY: Akim Salah , Wau-South Sudan, AUG/11/2018, SSN;

The mix reactions to the Khartoum-Kampala coerced peace deal demonstrate the difference between naïve tribal opportunists and rational thinking citizens.

To begin with, the peace is all about maintaining the status quo, keeping the same failed pilot (Kiir) and co-pilot (Machar) with their respective manipulated blind followers to continue dominating the national stage/affairs regardless of contemporary history of disastrous results of epic proportion in their names.

As long as these two safeguarded the interests of the Sudanese and Ugandan demi-gods at the expense of the common people suffering in POC and refugee camps there is no problem.

M7 (Uganda’s president Museveni) turned deaf ears to testimonies of fleeing refugees in his backyard because he reaps big from aid, hence sees no reason to review relationships with Juba or at least ask his partner in crime (kiir) to change the game for the sake of the suffering people.

Yet he can afford to taunt the junior friend for failing to unite the people – What a paradox!!

Much as the old man is keen to bolster the Juba regime, economic realities back home biting hard, the Blood Dollar is no trickling in right volumes hence he has to find a way of getting back the lost trade without compromising his own regime (I will come to that latter).

While the economic meltdown in Sudan, coupled with its ambitious development plans quickly reminded El Bashir that after all, it has always been South Sudanese resources boosting Khartoum’s socio-economic development, even after the CPA, the oil dividends make more resounding proportion for development in Khartoum than Juba.

Whereas, in South Sudan itseif, looters squandered their fraction of the pie on lavish cars, properties abroad, prostitutes, and a good amount going to appease their godfathers in East Africa.

Only stupid optimists will think that the two warlords (godfathers) believe that the signed agreement will last. It was written all over their faces and eluded to only in words.

However, if one has to decode the unsaid statements “do not use these ceasefire to prepare for war” said Museveni. Yet reports indicate that he is training SPLA-IG snippers possibly in fear of a repeat of the humiliating clash in July 2016, when the meager, tactfully superior SPLA-IO forces mourned their brothers (IGs) at Jebel with a terrifying catastrophic speed – Only those who have not been in Juba/jebel can deny this fact.

Reports from credible sources intimate that if only there were 5,000 IO forces armed with artilleries, Juba would have gone, and all the same it took the better trained SPLA Units of National security to dislodge them, much like in 2013 when General Mamur had to wrestle out conquered Giada from the Nuers.

With inferences to these tragedies that cost lives of thousands of young men and women including children some of whom are still an accounted for, it’s safe to say mistrust, suspicion, the old vices of tribal hatred and vengeance have taken root to the extend of foiling any peace effort unless it’s addressed in good faith.

That brings us to the Equatoria puzzle. Relatively muted but heavily marginalized, the Equatorians’ aspirations are grossly ignored in the Khartoum deal.

That’s not because they do not have genuine stake/claim but because their forces are construed weak, not to possess real threat to Juba Regime.

These Groups found their backs against enemy friend’s wall hence logistically challenged, let alone the intelligence gathering.

More so, there is what I can call the Equatorian Phobia by both Juba and Kampala Regimes. Kampala, especially M7, knows too well semi-autonomous or independent Equatoria could pose real threat given its cultural ties with the northern Uganda and DR Congo tribes, if Idi Amin’s reign is something to go by.

It’s in Equatoria, too, that the landlocked country’s major roads linking it to the sea ports of Mombasa and Dar El Salaam are found.

Any major war with the host taking an upper hand will paralyze trade and bring the economy to its knees.

The bitter truth that the regime hates but can’t be denied is the fact that some of the Equatorian Brethren are well advanced culturally, educationally, are hardworking and development minded.

They have to be marginalized to bridge the gaps.

Of late the Equatoria phobia manifested itself in Upper Nile where the youth agitated for Equatorian employees’ expulsion from NGOs.

This was also echoed in some sections of Bhar El Ghazel and still rolling. One can be forgiven to make a guess that some of these moves are politically engineered.

The disturbing question is: will the Equatorians continue to fold their hands, endure the continuous marginalization under the watch of Wani Igga all in the name of peace?

Or will they rally behind Thomas and Bakasero to demand for a version of Federalism that suits their aspirations?

Choosing the latter means war, banditry attacks…etc, hence denying Juba to eat their looted delicacy at peace.

The Way Out:
If lasting peace is to be realized, the governance question must be renegotiated to give each region a fair share of power to run its affairs though we can still have same army, money, etc….

Summarily, mistrust, suspicion, the old vices of tribal hatred and vengeance, the Equatoria-Phobia & marginalization are set to deny lasting peace a chance.

***************Time be my Judge****************************

SSOA chooses the downtrodden over the elites at the Khartoum Peace Talks

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, AUG/01/2018, SSN;

The Khartoum round of peace talks provided many South Sudanese with a rare opportunity of knowing whether their political leaders meant what they propagate and preach.

The events of the last four weeks were quite discriminating in the sense that they revealed those politicians who care about the welfare of the ordinary citizens and those who don’t.

Khartoum may seem far away from the small towns and villages of South Sudan, but modern technology has made communications and the flow of news within reach of a significant number of the populace.

Do not underestimate how closely these peace talks were followed by our folks in the refugee camps in the neighbouring countries, in our towns and cities, and in the bushes of South Sudan.

The future of the homeland hangs in the balance thus every citizen is very much concerned and very keen to know what’s going on be it in Addis Ababa or Khartoum.

For the overwhelming majority of our people, South Sudan Opposition Alliance) SSOA’s stance and refusal to initial the Agreement on the Outstanding Issues of Governance represented a breeze of hope amid desperation.

Many never saw it coming. The majority of the observers thought at best there would be a split within SSOA (led by Mr. Changson and Dr. Lam Akol, Gen. Thomas Cirillo & others) and most likely two or three Movements would hold out and not succumb to the enormous pressure exerted on the delegates.

They were proven wrong, and SSOA defied the odds by remaining compact and steadfast to its original positions.

It might not be possible to gauge the magnitude of the widespread support that some SSOA members harvested by standing firm behind popular demands like federalism, the abolition of the illegal 32 States, and accountability.

But from the outset, a bombshell landed and exploded in the midst of the peace talks audience when the news of coercion, intimidation, and the obtainment of signatures under duress was leaked out.

That alone added a new dimension to how the public perceived the political leaders who went through that ordeal.

It depicted to many of them the idiom “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Some leaders have done themselves a great favour by standing their grounds. Others might not have known that they have curtailed their political future by giving in to pressure and personal gains.

It’s quite evident that SSOA’s popularity has surged as it’s increasingly being seen as the entity presenting real solutions to the root causes of the conflict.

As for the Riek Machar’s SPLM IO, its initialling of the Agreement on the Outstanding Issues costed it dearly. Its popularity has plummeted significantly.

It’s apparent that the SPLM IO is in turmoil due to Dr Riek Machar abandoning the fundamental objectives that persuaded many in the past to join the Movement.

….Riek Machar has dropped the three major issues namely, federalism, the abolition of the 32 States, and accountability. For many SPLM IO supporters, what he did amounts to a deal breaker.

It’s incredible that people like Dr Luka Biong seem to have turned 180 degrees against what they believed more than a couple of years ago. He was dismissed from his Juba University lecturing post following a direct order from President Kiir to the University administration. The reason was that he organised a public lecture to discuss the constitutionality and legality of the Presidential order number 36 to create the then new 28 States. The majority of the participants including himself were against the Presidential order. He had to leave the country hurriedly to avoid detention or even much worse.

Now, Dr Luka Biong has criticised SSOA for refusing to initial the Agreement on the Outstanding Issues of Governance that stipulates the maintenance of the 32 new States. So, how can he be against the new 28 States back in 2015 but now supports the expanded number of States in 2018?! It makes no sense at all!

His argument that SSOA shouldn’t have refused to initial the Agreement because it did sign the Khartoum Declaration of Agreement (KDA) relinquishing the sovereignty of the country to Sudan; is unconvincing. It’s not a secret that apart from the Former Political Detainees (FPDs), SSOA was never aware nor negotiated the KDA. Dr Luka Biong precisely knows how SSOA ended up signing the document. Signing an agreement in such circumstances means nothing. Appending a signature to some official document is not enough to constitute a deal, but a commitment to abide by it is all the most important. Contemporary history is full of such examples. Perhaps the most famous was the Munich Agreement of 30/09/1938 where Hitler gave the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain a white paper with his signature on it promising non-aggression before the invasion of Poland the next year. And why even go far, the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) was signed by President Kiir on 26/08/2015 and violated by him in July 2016.

Decrying the loss of sovereignty by signing the KDA is misdirected. Dr Luka biong should have known better as a former Minister of Presidential Affairs. South Sudan sovereignty continued to be compromised since the time he was in office. Was he unaware of the alien forces on South Sudan’s soil?! Did he not know that we do not possess a radar system and that Khartoum and Kampala are controlling our airspace?! Has he ever heard of a sovereign country that does not have full control over its territory and airspace? And being a senior member of the SPLM party, does he not think that his leadership bears the responsibility of firstly, failing to equip the country with a radar system? And secondly, signing the Khartoum Oil Agreement (KoilA) and the KDA? Finally, is it logical to pile up criticism on SSOA for its signature on the KDA while saying nothing about the ruling party?

Dr Luka Biong could have alerted his President to the numerous encroachments on the sovereignty of the State by foreign powers since the inception of the Government of South Sudan. He was the Presidential Affairs Minister, and that was the closest one could be to the President and the decision making process. He chose to do nothing for reasons best known to him because I don’t think he was unaware of such glaring facts. It wasn’t an issue of affordability as a fraction of the loot from the oil proceeds would have provided the country with some of the modern radar systems in the world. He was a member of the cabinet when the South Sudanese people first knew about the list of 75 top-ranking officials who purportedly embezzled 4 billion USDs from the coffers.

Some of Luka Biong’s assertions were contradictory when put to scrutiny. On the one hand, he wants SSOA and the FPDs to form a unified opposition to challenge Juba from within while on the other he admits that Salva Kiir and Riek Machar may not provide a conducive environment for sustainable peace. Without the fundamental changes in the system of governance that made SSOA reject the Khartoum proposal, does he not think that it would be the same political environment that led him to flee Juba in 2015?

It’s inaccurate to say that SSOA has accepted President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar to lead the transition. SSOA has declared it time and again that it’s not seeking power-sharing (responsibility sharing) which would certainly not address the root causes of the conflict. SSOA wants the establishment of a government of institutions based on federalism and the devolution of powers to the States. Once the appropriate system of governance is in place, the participation of Salva Kiir and Riek Machar in the transition would depend on how they meet the requirements of such a system.

His claim that SSOA and the FPDs have got no moral standing to convince the South Sudanese people why they refused to initial the proposal is indeed the opposite. Some of the SSOA member organisations would have perished, had they betrayed their masses by initialling the agreement in the form presented to them. Gone are the days when people follow leaders blindly.

Of late we have seen the eminent scholar trying to position himself in the middle of the political debate between the government and the opposition. Well, actions speak much louder than words. In one of his articles, he suggested that President Kiir should be persuaded to step down amicably. What he alluded to would have been reasonable in a democratic environment whereby a leader was cleared of any wrong-doing but still bears the responsibility of mistakes committed by his subordinates. It isn’t the case in South Sudan. There’s a consensus nationally, regionally, and internationally that South Sudan hasn’t been well-governed since the SPLM party took power in 2005. The country tops the list of the Fragile States in the world (aka failed states) with Fragile State Index (FSI) of 113.4 points. Somalia comes second with FSI of 113.2 points and Yemen in the third position with FSI of 112.7 points.

On the corruption front, our country is number 2 behind Somalia with a score of 12 points on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) and above Syria. Somalia and Syria both scored 9 and 14 points respectively on the CPI. Luka Biong remains loyal to his previous boss otherwise he would have been vocal within his party asking President Kiir to step down. His political allegiance and views haven’t changed a bit although he is now tactically masquerading as a neutral figure.

I am under no illusion that the road would be easy for SSOA to realise a government of institutions, the upholding of the rule of law, and lasting peace in the Republic of South Sudan. Things would most likely get worse before they could get better. But SSOA has shown to the world the kind of leadership the masses are longing for. It deserves recognition and support from the regional powers and the international community.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Naath (Nuer) suffering under power-greedy Riek Machar is still at large

By: Cornelius Khan, South Sudan, JUL/28/2018, SSN;

I absolutely have no personal grudges against Riek Machar but his 30 years plus reign as Nuer and South Sudan leader and his proven never-dying-greed-for-power, his reckless and ignorant decisions, his lack of strategies and his satanic desire to throw the country on fire if his desires are not met, made me dislike him.

Now, after thousands have died, millions displaced, billions of national resources went to waste, livelihoods vandalized and the country is brought to her knees, Riek Machar wants to come back to Juba as First Vice President (FVP).

-Is he wise or foolish for him to destroy our lives just for him to remain in the South Sudan leadership?

-Is Riek Machar really coming back to Juba just because of the title FVP?

– What is new that he coming to offer to South Sudan?

– Now, does any one doubt what Riek Machar was fighting for position?

Honestly, everyone doesn’t want him back to Juba because death, destruction, instability and suffering accompany him.

Now, civilians hearing that he is coming back are scared to death because his presence Means War and destruction. He is simply a symbol of death and destruction and the whole Naath people have been characterized that way. Sad!!

After all the noise, the slogans about “Salva Kiir must go,” and failing to achieve a single item of his demands and failing to overthrow the Government by force, why can’t he simply step aside honorably instead of him waiting for his supporters to push him aside?

We all know, his supporters now have come to know him better and are willing to overthrow him since all he is killing people for the position of FVP.

It is always wise to step aside peacefully instead of waiting for the angry mob to push you out.

He has failed and there is absolutely no question about it and the best he can do is call it a day. But, we know him and his greed for power, he will never give way to others unless he is pushed by force.

If he failed in the frontlines, failed to achieve his goals in negotiations and finally forced to sign what was asked of him to sign, can he do anything after that in Juba?

Again, this time round, he is coming to Juba alone because we will not allow him bring his militias to Juba. No Riek Machar’s militia will be allowed to come and caused havoc again.

We will be the ones to protect him and it will be up to us to decide his fate. He will be allowed to Juba just to give peace to the ignorant villagers whom he misled otherwise his time is up.

Lastly, we still call upon the Nuer (Naath) to stop putting their hopes in the weak Riek Machar and start paying their loyalty and support to Gen. Taban Deng Gai, the man whose actions speak louder than words.

Be wise, be bold, be decisive and stop following the lost crowd, make that decision right now!!

Did I hear that the so-called South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) has refused to sign the peace agreement? I must thank them for sparing us time and space and letting them go lick their financial wounds since that’s what they are fighting for.

Maybe they are misled by the American slogans but they will regret this for a very long time.

CONTINUE TO FOLLOW RIEK MACHAR AT YOUR OWN RISK!!

Position of Chiefs from Equatoria Region on the on-going Peace Talks in Khartoum, Sudan

TO: Mr. Antonio Gutereas,
The Unted Nations Secretary General,
UN Headquarters, New York,
United States of America (USA)

JUL/14/2018, SSN;

We, the chiefs of Equatoria Region in Uganda deliberated on the relevence of the recently signed ‘Khartoum Declaration of Agreement’ and we would like to bring your attention to our position if a lasting peace is to prevail in South Sudan.

1) IGAD mediation team, AU and Troika countries that are trying to help in bringing peace to South Sudan should address the root causes of the conflict before signing of any agreement. We shall not be part of any peace agreement that is imposed on us by the mediators.

2) The most important step is to focus on the immediate ending of the sufffering South Sudanese from brutal killings, rape, violent displacement, looting of properties and many other forms of mistreatments instead of focusing on oil production. When there is peace then automatically economic activity thrives and the country’s economy improves

3) Federal system of governance.
Equatorians have suffered a lot since the successive wars of liberation till to date. We offered our own sons, daughters, men, woment, lands, resources and more for peace for all in South Sudan. It’s our desire that for any inclusive peace agreement to be signed, the federal system of governance should be a core/principal item in the agreement.

4) Relocation of South Sudan National Capital out of Equatoria land. We, the chiefs are supporting the idea that the national seat of the government of South Sudan be relocated to Ramciel from Juba as proposed earlier on.

5) Your excellences, we would also like to bring to your attention that the chiefs fully participated in the successful referendum in 2011, thus any peace agreement signed by president Kiir of Bahr el Ghazel and Riek Machar of Upper Nile without considering our views in Equatoria is not national in character. We shall not be part of that agreement and shall be ready to our region at all costs.

6) Youth and Women.
We, the chiefs of the Equatoria Region would appreciate the participation of the youth and women in the peace process and leadership in future government unlike the recently signed agreement between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, where youth and women are excluded and we even believe not consulted altogether.

Your excellencies, we confidently believe and trust that you will consider our views to be extended to IGAD, AU and Troika, so tht a comprehensive and inclusive agreement for a lasting peace can be celebrated by all South Sudanese.

Yours Sincerely,

Chief, Scopas Lobur Peter,
Executive Chief, Bori Boma, Kangapo 2 Payam
Kajo-keji County.

For Chiefs of the Equatoria Region in Uganda

CC.
Chairperson African Union
Chairperson of the African Union Commission
IGAD Chairperson
IGAD Council of Ministers
Troika
US Secretary for African Affairs.

Revised SSOA Response to the Mediation Proposal on the Security Arrangements Outstanding Issues

JUL/08/2018, SSN;

The following is the response of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance, (SSOA).

1.Demilitarization of Civilian Centres (as per Para 1.11.4)

1.1. The parties agree principally to demilitarize all of the following:

1. The National Capital city, Juba, State Capitals and civilian populated
areas.
2. Schools, Hospitals, Business Centers, Places of worship, Houses, IDP
Camps, Villages, and other civilian populated areas must be free of all
military presence during the pre-transitional period.

3. Livelihood areas, e.g Roads, Water passages, Farms, Grazing areas.

The demilitarization process shall be accomplished within the Pre-transitional period to create a conducive atmosphere for confidence building, repatriation of refugees and return of IDPs in order to allow
humanitarian service delivery to the affected population.

2.Composition of the Joint Transitional Security Committee (as per
Para 5.12)

2.1 In the spirit of inclusivity, the Joint Transitional Security committee
shall be composed as follows:

i. TGoNU-(3 members)
ii. SPLM–IO-(3)
iii.SSOA–(3)
iv. IGAD–(1)
v. UNMISS-(1)
vi. AU-(1)
vii.TROIKA-(1)

2.2 Decisions of these committees shall be taken by consensus.

3. Time frame of Forces Unification (as per Para 7.5)

3.1 The Joint Unified Army/Joint Unified National Security shall be
established within the Pre-transitional period and shall be tasked with:

—- Protection of national borders.
—- Protection of Public installations.

3.2 The functions of the Joint National security shall be limited to data
collection, analysis and reporting the product to the relevant authorities.

3.3 A nucleus of Joint Police and other Security Forces shall be
established within the Pre-transitional period and shall be tasked with
the Protection of civilians and their properties.

3.4 The Transitional period shall begin with joint unified forces, which the
parties shall agree on its size guided by the principles of equal
representation of states/Counties and diversity of our national

4. Third proposal:

In the event that the second proposal is objected to, it is further
proposed that equal numbers of the Opposition and the TGoNU
forces be deployed as Joint Unified Forces to carry out the function
as in the Article 4.5 above.

5. Operationalization of the Khartoum Declaration of Agreement (KDA).

The Parties shall recommit to the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities,
Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access (2017) and shall implement
the monitoring mechanisms provided for in the Khartoum Declaration of
Agreement (KDA) signed on 27th June 2018 as follows:

5.1 Re-notification of forces by parities leadership including the issuing
of orders to cease military operations, and enforce the freezing of
forces in their locations.

5.2 Declaration of dispositions and locations of forces not previously
declared on the 21st December 2017 (CoH).

5.3 Disengagement and separation of forces in close proximity as per
priorities presented by CTSAMM.

5.4 Establishment of buffer zones and lines of control so as to delimit
possible aggression, unexpected clashes and to allow access and
delivery of humanitarian assistance and free movement of civilians.

5.5 Confirm and recommit to the mandate given to CTSAMM and
enforce the restructuring thereof immediately. END

Why Kiir is letting us down by refusing to work with rebel Machar

BY: Apioth Mayom Apioth, South Sudan, JUN/27/2018, SSN;

It is essential for our dear leader Salva Kiir to create a conducive working relationship with Riek Machar because our lives might just depend on it. Politics, unlike culture which takes an enormous amount of time to make a substantial change, is an emotional animal.

It changes from one second to the next without sending a warning signal. Riek Machar has been in this galactic political arena for over thirty years. He was first believed to be a spiritual anointed leader by Ngundeng, and now he has become the leading opposition figure in the land.

Political success just doesn’t happen by pure luck and serendipitous wishful thinking.

An intelligent political thinker must first and foremost play his/her cards of wins and losses very well; he/she must at all times know that she would never win all her initiated games; that is why it is always essential to be a shrewd schemer whose game plans are hard to shake off.

Is Salva Kiir afraid of losing the presidency to Riek Machar come the end of the transitional period?

Is that why he is refusing to share a spotlight with Riek Machar in the Transitional government?

Another essential element that an intelligent political thinker must control at all times is the political sentiment. Political sentiment is another emotional animal that must continuously be fed by consistently doing good deeds to the general populace.

Our wish is to find a way to silence all the guns and bring everyone on board to start a brand new era for South Sudan.

And for us to do that is to make sure that both Kiir Mayar and Riek Machar work together for this sentimental and chaotic period of the transitional government.

All the leading South Sudanese politicians whether they go by the name of Kiir Mayar or Riek Machar for that matter don’t give an inch about anyone; they are only in politics to make a name for themselves.

That is the main reason why you still hear them wanting to continue leading their shady and bloody political careers when in reality they should have called it a quit several decades ago.

If Kiir refuses to work with Machar, then it is possible that the war might continue unabated with consequential repercussions.

A life of a nameless South Sudanese is equal in value to Kiir’s, or Riek’s. After the end of Kiir’s political career; other political figures will rise up and take his place.

And where are these political giants going to come from after his time comes to an end? They are going to come from the very people he allows guns to continuously maim and disfigure year in and year out.

It is totally out of place for Kiir to allow his corruptible character to take over his thinking just because his obsession with the presidency won’t allow him to do what is right.

At the end of the day, being president is a position like any other occupational career. The people he pays no heed to our other people’s brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers.

They are important people in their own right. Kiir has no divine and ordained right to trample over their God-given right to live a long and bountiful life full of happiness and harmonious relationships.

As a matter of fact, he was picked by Dr. John Garang to serve the very needs of the common people he is neglecting right now.

We were lucky not to have drawn into another round of war with the Khartoum right after we signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which culminated and ushered into a fully independent nation from Sudan.

Politics doesn’t favor rigid and hard to change political figures. It needs people who are always on their toes righting their wrongs and blending their thinking with better and powerful ideologies that are susceptible to the political erosion of time.

The most conscientious and moral duty of our contemporary era rests squarely on the shoulders of Kiir and Machar to find a meaningful way to work together so we can replace the gun mentality with smiles and economic prosperity to help raise our national GDP to an astronomical level.

No one knows for sure how things might span out if Machar is not included in this peace process. Political adversaries must put aside their differences for the sake of the common citizens.

Salva Kiir is a devout Christian and in politics, people don’t have the desire to be nice to you all the time; the political game can leave a bitter taste on your mouth.

Kiir and Machar must capture the calm political sentimental environment to avoid being drawn into another full-scale war that we all so dread.

Apioth Mayom Apioth has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA USA. He is an Admission Counselor from the University of North Dakota. He can be reached at: agutkeu@gmail.com.

Kenya and Uganda facilitating Corruption in Kiir-led South Sudan

Remarks by John Prendergast, Co-Founder, The Sentry

Press Event with Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, U.S. Department of the Treasury

Nairobi | June 13, 2018;

In my short introductory remarks, I’m going to try to quickly answer six important questions:

1. WHY DOES SOUTH SUDAN MATTER TO KENYA?

The government and rebel leaders in South Sudan who are destroying their country through atrocity crimes such as village burning, mass rape, child soldier recruitment, and obstruction of humanitarian aid are the same people who have looted the world’s newest country of billions of dollars of natural resource wealth.

The Kenyan real estate and banking sectors are critically important getaway cars for this South Sudanese looting machine.

Kenyan commercial interests have facilitated the exodus of the spoils of corruption, and laundered the stolen assets of South Sudanese leaders, their family members, and their business partners. Kenya represents a key entry point into the international financial system for these elites and, along with Uganda, remains a preferred destination for them to stash their assets.

Kenya has also been connected to South Sudan through the thousands of South Sudanese refugees it has hosted, as well as being a leader in the peace processes involving South Sudan for decades, both before and after its independence.

2. WHAT RISKS DOES SOUTH SUDAN POSE TO KENYA?

The integrity of the Kenyan banking system continues to be under threat from its ongoing exploitation by those who facilitate illicit financial flows from South Sudan.

This exploitation will increasingly imperil Kenya’s economic growth and access to the international financial system, as corrupt South Sudanese leaders look across the border to stash ill-gotten assets in bank accounts and real estate, including right here in Nairobi.

If Kenya is seen by the international financial community as the regional destination for the proceeds of corruption from South Sudan, it risks serious damage to its image as a safe place for multinational banks and other companies to do business.

As shown by the U.S. Treasury’s Advisory yesterday warning banks about the connection between corrupt senior foreign political figures and their enabling of human rights abuses, regulators are increasingly concerned about the use of the U.S. and international financial systems to move or hide illicit proceeds or evade U.S. and multilateral sanctions.

We should do everything possible to ensure that Kenya is well-positioned to protect the health of its financial industry and demonstrate to multinational banks and businesses that Kenya won’t tolerate money laundering by South Sudanese elites.

Combating this perception through taking action is critical to safeguarding Kenya’s reputation as a safe and well-regulated financial system for companies around the world who are right now deciding whether or not they invest or transact in new markets like Kenya.

A recent study by the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG), the top anti-money laundering watchdog in the region, showed that the negative trend has already started.

In the study, Kenya falls near the top of the list in every category of “de-risking,” where global banks decide that some business relationships are just too risky to maintain.

This is not a problem just faced by Kenya, and the impact of de-risking can be seen elsewhere in the world. De-risking, combined with reputational damage to a country’s industry, has severe consequences for the economic growth and financial prosperity of countries that are seen to be lax in complying with international standards for anti-money laundering and financial transparency.

Furthermore, the IGAD regional mediators trying to resolve the South Sudan conflict currently lack the leverage necessary to stop violent kleptocrats from using their forces to burn, imprison, silence, torture, starve, impoverish, kill, and rape to maintain or gain power.

South Sudanese peace talks are stuck in part because President Kiir and his allies do not want to let go of their exclusive grip on the crudely-constructed looting machine masquerading as a government.

The primary point of leverage is going after the stolen assets of South Sudanese leaders and their collaborators, finally creating a long-threatened consequence for being peace spoilers and state looters.

3. WHAT IS THE CHOICE FACING KENYA?

Kenya has a fundamental choice to make. Does it want to realize the economic goals for prosperity outlined in its Vision 2030 plan, the long-term development blueprint for the country and one which will make Nairobi the banking capital of East Africa?

Or do the government and banks here want to put the positive trajectory of the economy at risk by tolerating the illicit financial flows of South Sudan’s corrupt elite that will ultimately drive away investors and international banks?

Now is the time to fix it and to act to change the trend. Kenya can’t afford for the international business community to wonder whether it has become the next illicit financial hub, exploited by people like President Kiir and his commercial enablers.

4. WHAT ACTIONS CAN KENYA TAKE?

It’s vital that Kenyan banks and their regulators lead the way in implementing strict standards for anti-money laundering, anti-corruption, and sanctions enforcement to protect the country’s financial system from abuse by the violent kleptocrats and corrupt elite in South Sudan who pump their ill-gotten gains into Kenyan bank accounts and real estate holdings.

The U.S. is ramping up its use of the policy tools of financial pressure, including the particularly effective combination of network sanctions, which target not just an individual but their support systems of frontmen, enablers, and businesses, and anti-money laundering measures, such as those that warn the financial community of the risks posed by certain kinds of transactions or that require U.S. correspondent banks to terminate their relationships with foreign financial institutions of concern.

5. WHY WOULD A KENYA-U.S. PARTNERSHIP BE TIMELY?

Kenya needs to protect its financial sector from being penetrated by illicit financial flows, and the international community should support its efforts to do so.

Today we’re talking about a war criminal’s money, but tomorrow it could be terrorists. The U.S. and Kenya can work closely together on this shared agenda to ensure that South Sudan’s war criminals, state looters, and sanctioned officials must look elsewhere in order to hide their ill-gotten gains.

6. WHY IS TODAY’S VISIT IMPORTANT?

While many of the violent kleptocrats and their commercial enablers may have thought that they’ve won and successfully clung onto power while still doing business in U.S. dollars, I have someone that I want them to meet who thinks otherwise.

Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker, the top U.S. official in charge of financial sanctions, anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing, and protecting the U.S. financial system from a whole range of financial crimes, is making the first ever visit to Africa by someone in her position, and I’m so glad that she is here.

She’s a tough former prosecutor who led the U.S. Department of Justice’s teams in going after those responsible for committing human rights abuses, cyber crime, money laundering, and promoting U.S. national security and law enforcement priorities, and a strong advocate for using all of the legal authorities and financial tools at her disposal to impact the ability of President Kiir and his networks of commercial enablers to steal from their people.

Under Secretary Mandelker’s trip to Uganda, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo this week raises the stakes for the violent kleptocrats and their corrupt elites who don’t believe that the United States will follow through on its threats of pressure, and for that I would personally like to say, “thank you.”
# # #

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

About THE SENTRY

The Sentry is composed of financial forensic investigators, policy analysts, and regional experts who follow the dirty money and build investigative cases focusing on the corrupt transnational networks most responsible for Africa’s deadliest conflicts.

By creating a significant financial cost to these kleptocrats through network sanctions, anti-money laundering measures, prosecutions, and other tools, The Sentry aims to disrupt the profit incentives for mass atrocities and oppression, and creates new leverage in support of peace efforts and African frontline human rights defenders.

The Sentry’s partner, the Enough Project, undertakes high-level advocacy with policy-makers around the world as well as wide-reaching education campaigns by mobilizing students, faith-based groups, celebrities, and others. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is an initiative of Not On Our Watch (NOOW) and the Enough Project. The Sentry currently focuses its work in South Sudan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and the Central African Republic.

In less than two years, The Sentry has created hard-hitting reports and converted extensive research into a large volume of dossiers on individuals and entities connected to grand corruption, violence, or serious human rights abuses.

The investigative team has turned those dossiers over to government regulatory and law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and around the world, as well as to compliance officers at the world’s largest banks.

Learn more at www.TheSentry.org.

The importance to acknolwledge the realities of contemporary South Sudan

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudanese, JUN/13/2018, SSN;

Last week, an Equatoria girl produced a video in which she expressed her feelings against the Jieng tribe in South Sudan. The video can be accessed through: (video – 2018-06-03-07-11-27.mp4) for those who have a video converter facility. This video coincided with an article written by Agel Machar published in Paanlwel website titled: ‘Focus on SPLM reunification: Nuer–Dinka unity is paramount to national unity and stability’ (https://paanluelwel.com/2018/06/03/splm-unification-nuer-dinka-unity-is-paramount-to-national-unity-and-stability/)

This article seeks to drum up the unwritten unity of Jieng and Nuer as the basis for national peace and stability in the country. Surely unity between Jieng and Nuer can not be called a national thing as this is a project of two tribes only out of many others.

On the other hand, critics of the Equatorian girl deploy the word nationalism to dismiss her. It is important to note that the term nationalism can not be neatly applied into the context of South Sudan presently because South Sudan has several nationalities and nationality in South Sudan is fluid.

For nationalism to take hold in South Sudan it needs to be consciously engineered through application of policies that build things in the country the citizens can identify with to bring them together.

So in the context of South Sudan, the word patriotism fits better because it is all about love of one’s country.

The article of Agel Machar and the video of the Equatorian girl have attracted criticism across the board and rightly so. Patriots issued condemnations against these vile materials.

Machar’s article promotes upheaval and open discrimination while the Equatorian girl incites hatred. However, that said, it is vital to try to understand why these materials have surfaced in the public domain.

They did not come out of no where. Each perspective has a background to it and an ideology that sustains it.

So, in order to dismantle what sustains them, it demands careful observation and analysis of the acts and experiences of these actors (Agel Machar and the Equatorian girl).

It is no good to just condemn these personalities and their work without engaging and challenging them.

Now let us look at the work of these two persons. Machar, in a nutshell believes that the unity of the Jieng and Nuer with the sole purpose to rule is important for peace and stability in South Sudan.

He argues that the Jieng cannot afford to ignore the Nuer otherwise the management of the country and national affairs will continue to pose some serious challenges to the Jieng.

This view is neither new nor untested. Right from the inception of the SPLM regardless of the violent relationship between the Jieng and Nuer, the leaders of both ethnicities are agreed to rule South Sudan without the participation of the other tribes.

In other words, it is an agreement to marginalise the other South Sudanese tribes using force.

It is an open secret that late Dr John Garang De Mabior, the then leader of SPLM and late William Nyoun and Dr Riek Machar entered into an undeclared, unwritten and unspoken contract that specifically binds them to a unity whose sole purpose is dominance of politics in South Sudan.

They wrongly believed that as large tribes they can dominate South Sudan for a long time.

The need for this kind of unity was born out of the events of Kokora that saw Southern Region of the Sudan divided into three regions following the reaction of Equatorians to Mr Abel Alier’s tribal misrule of the 1970s.

However, what Garang, Nyoun and Machar overlooked is that numerical majority is not an automatic ticket to rule.

The Jieng and Nuer must learn from the history of Sudan itself that their majority did not allow them to rule the Sudan.

Further they need to draw a lesson from Rwanda where the majority Hutu with almost 90 percent of the population are ruled by a tiny minority of Tutsi who make less than 7 percent of the population.

The evidence of this Jieng and Nuer compact has since the inception of the SPLM been shown in the structures of the movement and later on in the structures of South Sudan government.

For example, the leader of the SPLM has always been a Jieng deputised by a Nuer. The leadership of the army too deliberately is dominated by the two tribes with the bulk of the fighting force coming from the two tribes.

When William Nyoun rebelled he was replaced by Salva Kiir and when Riek Machar returned to the fold after re-defecting from Khartoum, he took James Wani Igga’s position of the Vice Chairman in the SPLM with Igga being kicked into the long grass.

After the death of Garang, Riek Machar became Vice president to a Jieng.

When Riek was pushed out in December 2013, Igga was brought in temporarily to warm the seat for the return of Machar in early 2016 following the signing of ARCSS in August 2015.

When Riek Machar was again pushed out in July 2016, Taban Deng Gai took over. So this undeclared, unwritten and unspoken compact is a visible reality that is observable to any keen follower of South Sudan politics.

This compact is responsible for all the chaos going on in the country simply because its intention is limited to the need o dominate and discriminate against the other tribes of South Sudan.

Sadly, the downside of it has seen the Nuer, a willing partner paying heavily with destruction of its own society in all areas of life. The Nuer have become victims of ethnic cleansing.

The system they supported out of this unity turned them against each other: Nuer on Nuer violence fanned continuously by the Jieng who at the same time woo them as partners in this relationship of doom.

At the current rate of destruction going on in Nuer land/territories the result of this undeclared, unwritten and unspoken unity, may lead to an unfortunate reality where in the next decade the Nuer may drastically be reduced in population.

The Jieng buoyed by their persistent destruction of the Nuer have adopted this method as their modus operandi. They are now applying it throughout the country on the other ethnicities.

So, Agel Machar being an educated Jieng knows the benefit of this compact to the Jieng and hence his article promoting it.

It is the leaders of the Nuer including Riek Machar who for whatever reasons fail to see that this so-called unity between Jieng and Nuer does not serve or benefit the Nuer.

With all the evidence of the destruction of the Nuer, the Nuer leaders continue to invest in this foolery.

Knowing our politics, some people are going to say ‘No! Riek Machar is not involved.’ They will claim that Riek is being victimised.

To put such arguments to rest, any doubting Thomas should look at the proposal of SPLM-IO for power and wealth sharing whose principles feature in the ‘Bridging proposal’ of IGAD.

Unpack this proposal and what you can find is a perspective of Jieng and Nuer unity as a source of peace in the country which the international community unfortunately has bought whole sale.

Note that the product of this unity of Jieng and Nuer is the very source of the current chaos and destruction visited on the country.

I do not need to mention the horrific things taking place in the country as they are now common knowledge to every South Sudanese with the international community pretending to be blind while heavily involved in covering up the stench.

The individual experience of the brutal tribal government is so hurtful as to produce people like the Equatorian girl in the video. She is articulating her pains and expressing genuine feelings born out of painful experiences.

She is representing a huge section of South Sudanese who have been abused, brutalised and humiliated in various ways in their own homes for no good reasons at all.

To dismiss her feelings by calling her a hate monger or so is to alienate all those who share her pain.

It is here that the dictum: all politics is local and personal must be taken seriously.

Thus it is important to acknowledge her pain but then explain to her that to solve the problem is to look at the bigger picture and not to generalise, because obviously not all the Jieng are bad.

She needs to be better than the tribalists. By doing this, the consciousness of aggrieved South Sudanese will be raised and it will also de-frame the ideology of supremacy and domination in a practical way which in turn will stop the need to revenge.

However, to just condemn it in the name of political correctness is to sweep these painful experiences under the carpet and hope that they will go away.

This misses the whole point, because the battle the people of South Sudan are engaged in is to ensure that the current system is uprooted from its roots.

Political correctness can not be helpful without acknowledgement of the truth and realities the country faces.

In order to win over people, it is more productive to do it by persuasion and reason and not by sheer dismissal and condemnation.

If we indulge in dismissing and condemning the victims of the current regime which include us, we do not only run the risk of being seen as connivers but the real danger of becoming oppressors of the very oppressed people we purport to fight to liberate.

We want to liberate our people like the Equatorian girl in the video from the tribal system of Juba as well as from ignorance.

We should educate her to know that she has a right to express her truth but she also needs to preserve her humanity and not let herself be propelled to barbarity.

We should educate her that it is ideology like the one promoted by Agel Machar that are responsible for her pain and the pain of many other South Sudanese.

So if you watch carefully the video of the Equatorian girl and the article of Agel Machar is the continuation of the fight between the tribal regime and the people of South Sudan in a different form.

This conflict eventually will produce a middle position which acknowledges the principle of common good for which all responsible and caring South Sudanese stand for.

In conclusion, care should be exercised when dealing with people expressing their pain. Tolerance and the raising of consciousness must be the route to bring the abused and brutalised back into the fold of humanity.

Dismissal and condemnation for the sake of political correctness will not cut it. A spade must be called a spade.

Equally, those promoting divisive and destructive ideologies like Agel Machar should be confronted and challenged robustly to expose their ill intentions for the country.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com
@elhagpaul

Riek Machar only to return to Juba WITHOUT ONE SINGLE SOLDIER: Kiir declares

From different sources, MAY/12/2018, SSN;

In the latest development, South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has set ONE non-negotiable condition, that his arch-rival and rebel leader of the SPLM/A-IO, Dr. Riek Machar, will only be allowed to return to the country without ONE SINGLE SOLDIER OF HIS.

“Riek Machar can come back to Juba here, but without even a single soldier. If they (IGAD) say he will return with his army, I will never accept,” Kiir said at a ceremony of the army flag handover to the new army chief in Juba on Thursday, as reported by Radio Tamazuj.

The South Sudanese president said he would accept his arch-rival, Riek Machar, to return to the country ONLY as a civilian, vowing he would guarantee his protection and safety in the nation’s capital Juba.

“I told them that you people [regional leaders] Riek Machar is a South Sudanese citizen. As government of South Sudan, we have not cancelled Machar’s citizenship. So I told them to bring Riek Machar,” he said.

Kiir said during the SPLM Liberation Council in Juba recently that he wants his exiled former deputy to return to the country, saying he has FORGIVEN him.

However, it’s not clear whether president Kiir’s declared conditionality is also applicable to the other numerous armed groups in the bushes fighting his government such as Gen. Thomas Cirillo’s NAS, Dr. Lam Akol’s group, Gen. Johnson Oling’s, Gen. Paul Malong latest formed armed group and the others.

Machar fled the capital July 2016 after heavy clashes between his forces and troops allied with President Kiir.

He is being held in South Africa to prevent him from going back to his country. The decision was reportedly taken by the region in order to keep him away in the hope of preventing war in South Sudan.

“We cannot allow our chairman to return to the capital without heavily armed forces that are equal to the forces of the government in Juba,” that was the response to president Kiir’s intransigence and stringent conditionality by Mr. Peter Gatkuoth, the deputy head of Machar’s armed SPLM/A-IO opposition’s information committee to Radio Tamazuj.

The official’s remarks came days after President Salva Kiir publicly admitted he had allowed the rebel leader, currently exiled in South Africa, to return the nation he fled from after the July 2016 skirmishes.

Kiir said this during last week’s National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

Also, while addressing a military parade in Bilpham, the army headquarters in Juba on Thursday, May 10, 2018, president Kiir said his call for Machar’s return comes from THE BOTTOM OF HIS HEART.

“I said it all from my heart and I told the IGAD Council of ministers that ‘DON’T FIND A PLACE ELSEWHERE FOR DR. RIEK MACHAR TO BE TAKEN TO,” Kiir stated, meaning Machar should only be brought to him in Juba.

But Gatkouth said the exiled armed opposition leader needed to be protected especially after what occurred when he returned to Juba in 2015.

“Machar will return to Juba when there is a negotiated peace agreement through the revitalization forum. We are committed to peace because we know our people are suffering,” he stressed.