Category: Politics

Saving South Sudan From Kleptocracy: Help needed from the International Community

From the “DAILY BEAST,” CORRUPTION ERUPTION, AUG/28/2015, SSN;

The peace deal in South Sudan won’t bring real peace or stability until the larcenous (SPLM/A) leadership can be compelled to change its ways.

South Sudan’s belligerents have signed a peace deal, but it is far from certain that the brutal 20-month civil war is over.

If the next steps the parties take are simply to restore the status quo that existed before the war’s eruption, the odds are wildly in favor of a return to deadly conflict.

However, if the implementation of the agreement is seen as a chance to restart the construction of a viable state in the world’s newest country, dismantling the violent kleptocracy that it’s become since independence in 2011, then South Sudan has a chance for peace.

There are monumental obstacles at multiple levels to peace in South Sudan. But the biggest challenge is the nature of the state itself.

In its short life as a nation, governing institutions have been hijacked for personal enrichment and advancement by rival factions of military and civilian officials.

When one clique threw the other out of government, it laid the groundwork for war. Those in power don’t want to compromise because they lose the spoils of absolute authority and the immunity from prosecution for their many human rights and economic crimes.

The political system has become a winner-take-all battleground, a showdown between rival kleptocrats who use ethnicity as a mobilizer, thus deepening divisions within society.

At the regional level, the biggest obstacle to peace has been the proxy war between Sudan and Uganda that is playing itself out on South Sudanese soil.

Uganda has thousands of its own troops deployed to South Sudan in support of the Juba government.

For its part, Sudan continues to provide safe haven and support to South Sudanese rebels, including a breakaway faction of the armed opposition now based in Khartoum that hasn’t signed the peace deal.

These regional divisions will continue to haunt South Sudan unless they are countered firmly by other states with influence over Kampala and Khartoum.

To support the implementation of the peace agreement, a huge investment must be made by the international community in supporting the creation of real transparency in the way the government conducts its business.

Billions of dollars have gone missing in the last decade in a looting free-for-all spree. Meaningful anti-corruption measures such as oversight for oil revenues and accountability for economic crimes must be established.

And assistance to civil society and independent media should increase in order to support their ongoing efforts at whistle-blowing and investigating sources of grand corruption and human-rights abuses.

Space for civil society participation during the transition and protections for journalists should be made preconditions for the resumption of normal donor activities.

A major issue will be restraining the spoilers within government and rebel camps who are benefiting politically and financially from instability. The gravy train that resulted from the absence of the rule of law and transparent institutions must be dismantled.

Nothing less than a hard-target transnational search for the assets that have been stolen over the last decade is required, aiming to seize, freeze, and return the proceeds of corruption to the South Sudanese people.

The U.S. Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Initiative should be deployed chasing the ill-gotten gains that have fueled the destruction of South Sudan by its own elites.

Finally, the hybrid court established by the peace deal must have the technical, legal, and investigative resources necessary to prosecute economic crimes as well, including pillage and grand corruption.

Serious targeted sanctions should be directed at spoilers who undermine the implementation of the agreement.

During President Obama’s late July trip to the region, he spelled out the need for the international community to “raise the costs of intransigence” should the warring parties fail to reach an agreement.

This certainly helped catalyze the momentum towards a deal. The U.S. can help in implementing the deal it helped foster by doubling down on pressure for implementation and making a major investment to counter the corrosive corruption that helped lead to war in the first place. END

Breaking the Silence on Crime of Stealing South Sudan Resources to build Uganda

BY: Juol Nhomngek Daniel, Uganda, AUG/27/2015, SSN;

Editor, Allow me to express my indignant, resentful and sad experience of what I have found out in Kampala, Uganda, concerning South Sudanese politicians. South Sudanese politicians unknowingly have subjected the nation to mercy killings by stealing the meager resources for their own selfish use.

As a matter of fact, it is sad to find out that South Sudanese politicians (both in the bush fighting against the government and currently in the government) are not patriotic since they do not love South Sudan as they love themselves.

The politicians of South Sudan are syndicates of miscreant gangs that have robbed the nation and her citizens of scarce resources for their own benefits.

This statement is proved by the fact that almost all big fish in South Sudanese political arena have built for themselves houses in Uganda that even the President of the Republic of Uganda do not possess.

Therefore, the questions are: where did they get the money to build such wonderful mansions? Were they not built with the money that was stolen from South Sudan?

Ask any ordinary South Sudanese citizens both within the country and outside it and they will bluntly reply by telling you that such houses are products of the stolen billions of dollars since 2005 to date.

In fact, the answer to the questions above is consistent with the hypothesis that three quarters of the houses found in Kampala and other places in Uganda and other countries in Africa and even outside Africa were or are built with the South Sudanese money.

The above assertion is supported by the fact that instead of building a nation with the monies from oil and others that poured into the country before and after the independence, these monies were and are still being diverted for personal use, and hence, leaving the country in tatters.

The nation has been left in tatters because of the fact that there are no good roads, hospitals and schools currently. Moreover, the politicians deliberately started the war over limited resources and power.

In fact, if one happens to go to the houses of any of the big politicians in Uganda here or inside South Sudan, it is not surprising to get not less than five expensive cars and modern style of buildings. Yet in rural areas, citizens are wallowing in the valley of abject poverty.

It is sad reality that citizens of South Sudan are still dying of curable and preventable diseases, while women are still being subjected to medieval and archaic treatment by patriarchal politicians and citizens who are unregulated by unwilling authorities or politicians to impose and enforce the law.

The reason for the politicians not desiring to enforce the law or maintain law and order stems from the truth that if citizens are protected by law, they will wake up to fight for their rights, which will create imbalance that will result into authorities or politicians losing out. Thus, it is logical to let the sleeping dog lie.

Of course, I do not blame these inhuman politicians of South Sudanese because they were never educated to know value of education, which connects to the knowledge of respecting the value of humanity.

Truly educated persons are not ones who get first class but ones who know the value of education. Hence, I do not blame South Sudanese politicians since they do not know what they are doing.

Rather, the blame lies on the government of Uganda and governments in other countries that allow South Sudanese politicians to steal money with impunity in order to build for themselves houses as seen in Kampala (Munyonyo and Muyenga) while leaving the country in degradation and deterioration.

All nations in which South Sudanese politicians and private individuals have houses should audit these politicians and individuals from South Sudan to save South Sudanese from the jaws of poverty caused by corruption and misgovernment.

In summary, it is important for me (as law student taught in Makerere University) to play my role as patriotic citizen to break the silence over dangerous and deadly corruption that has engulfed South Sudan.

Corruption contributed to the occurrence of the current war in South Sudan, which is the result of individual personalization of politics and resources, which in turn resulted into the disregard of the rule of law.

Unless the rule of law is observed and corruption as we see in form of the South Sudanese houses in Uganda is minimized or eliminated (which is impossible), the stability will never prevail in South Sudan.

It is important, therefore, to conclude that as the United Nations declared corruption as a crime against humanity, the corruption in South Sudan should be declared in the following words: STEALING RESOURCES OF SOUTH SUDANESE TO BUILD UGANDA WITH THEM IS A CRIME AGAINST SOUTH SUDANESE as human beings. Corruption is foreign to South Sudanese and what is foreign to them is inhuman.

By Juol Nhomngek Daniel, Former Law Student in Makerere University and South Sudanese Citizen residing in Kampala Uganda. He can be reached Via: juoldaniel@yahoo.com; +256783579256

Remaining Contentious Issues of Peace Accord: Jieng Council of Elders

The Republic of South Sudan
The Jieng Council of Elders
(JCE)

August 23, 2015, SSN;

Remaining Contentious Issues

1. Composition and Decision-Making in the Presidency:

– The first problem is found in Chapter 1, Article 9, Clause 9.1.1 & 2, which states that the President and First Vice President shall seek to reach an agreement on matters of Executive Administration and where appropriate involve the Vice President, especially if both the President and First Vice President agree to do so.

There must be a definitive provision that ensures that the Vice President is not sidelined and relegated. He should participate all the time without having to be invited.

– Clause 9.1.3 states that when there is a deadlock in the presidency, the matter shall be decided in the cabinet by 67% (two-third majority) and the decision of the Council of Ministers shall be final.

This provision simply stifled the working relationship of the presidency and carries the potential to breed frustration and conflict. The President usually has the last word.

2. Selection of Ministers and Deputy Ministers

– The agreement provides for lottery-like selection of ministries
– This has a potential to create potential problems and conflict.

3. The decision making in the Cabinet

– Like the presidency, the decision-making in the cabinet is mandatory to be 67% (two-third majority) to reach an agreement, it the absence of consensus. This is not a suitable arrangement.

– As stated above, it carries the potential for conflict and may frustrate the normal functioning of government.

4. The nomination of governors of three states, Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Unity State and the Power Sharing Ratios
– Chapter 1, Article 15, Clause 15.1 stipulates that the governments of the Upper Nile region would have to be reconstituted and that the Opposition shall nominate the governors of Upper Nile and Unity States, while the government shall nominate the governor of Jonglei State.

– The most obvious problem with this provision is that it creates a special status for three states without providing any proper justification. This has a potential to perpetuate conflict in the region and raise stakes for ethnic competition.

– Clause 15.2 of the same article, provides power sharing ratios for the three states as 46% for the GRSS, 40% Opposition, 7% FDs and 7% for other parties.

– The problem is why create a special status for the three states? This has the potential to stoke ethnic competition and raise tensions and potentially lead to internal fighting in the three states.

– What is more absurd is that the Upper Nile shall always feel that it has a special status and this does not bode well for the unity of the country.

5. The demilitarization of Juba

– Chapter 2, Article 5, Clause 5.1 talks about the redeployment of the army 25Km outside Juba to begin one month after the signing of this agreement and completed three months later.

– This is obviously a matter of sovereignty and there is no real justification for this, unless there is something sinister being hutched somewhere. Therefore, it is unacceptable.

6. The question of maintaining two armies for 18 months.

– Chapter 2, Article 7, Clause 7.1 discusses the unification of forces as a process that shall take 18 months.

– This is obviously problematic, as it is difficult to have two military command structures in one country. The proposal of the government was more reasonable, which talks about 90 days integration process and there shouldn’t be any need for extension, it shall be determined by the ceasefire mechanism.

– Those who insist on having two armies in one country should be treated with serious suspicion.

7. The issue of Hybrid Court of South Sudan (HCSS)

– Its jurisdiction and its powers are of tremendous concern.

– More importantly, Article 3, Clause 3.5.5 of the same chapter, when read together with Article 4 of this chapter, there are so many red flags that should be raised.

– Clause 3.5.5 talks about criminal liability, stating in no uncertain terms that no one shall be exempted from criminal responsibility on account of their official capacity as government officials, an elected official, or claim defense of superior orders.

– Article 4 (although the numbering is confused) of this chapter states that, individuals indicted or convicted by the HCSS shall not be eligible for participation in the TGNOU (Transitional Government of National Unity), or in its successor governments for a period to be determined by law, or, if already participating in the TGNOU, or its successor governments, they shall lose their positions in the government.

– If the two clauses above do not cause you concern, the analyses above is very clear. In fact, these are the two most dangerous clauses in this agreement more than anything else. If the government accepts this, it should rest assure that the president could be remove from power. No matter what the pressure may be, we should not accept these two clauses. It is better for the president to be arrested forcefully, rather than being sent off to foreign courts.

8. The powers and composition of JMEC
– Chapter 7 discusses the establishment of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).
– Its composition, leadership, mandate and powers is seriously harmful to the nation, see clauses 2.1—2.4 for this.
– Clauses 2.5 and 2.6 talk about whom the chairperson shall be and how he will be appointed and who endorses its terms of reference.
– Articles 4 and 5 of this chapter discuss the institutions that JMEC shall oversee as well as the reporting mechanism. These articles are very serious; especially article 5 should be read carefully. It talks about JMEC reporting to IGAD, AU, UN SG and the UN Security Council. This is Trusteeship part supported by the provisions of Hybrid Court.
– Article 6, gives JMEC additional leverage to ask TGNOU to accede more powers to it in order to break deadlocks. Therefore, JMEC has supreme mandate in the agreement over the Constitution and other laws in the country. END

IGAD-Plus and Peace Politics: Dateline without Deadline

“It is time we define governments in Africa as the responsibility, not the power” – Dlamini-Zuma

By James Okuk, PhD, AUG/22/2015, SSN;

On 17th August 2015 in Addis Ababa, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development for mediation of peace talks by the warring parties in South Sudan, known as IGAD-Plus, managed to conclude the twenty months negotiations. In the evening of the dateline set for the end of peace talks, the reinvigorated leadership of IGAD-Plus’s presented finally to the stakeholders the “AGREEMENT ON THE RESOLUTION OF THE CONFLICT IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN”.

After ups and downs of the last minutes of peace talks politics, the agreement was initialed by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS), the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (In Opposition) known as SPLM/A-IO, and the SPLM Leaders known as the Former Detainees (FDs).

Unfortunately, the Political Parties of South Sudan were prevented to be in Addis Ababa to initial and sign the Agreement (though they welcomed it and stated their intention to sign it once given the opportunity to do so either in Addis Ababa or in Juba).

However, the GRSS postponed for two weeks the final signature of President Salva Kiir Mayardit on the document (pending the result of tactical further consultations or may tempers cooling at home). The president and his team have been given the benefit of doubts to prove their honesty within 15 days.

Good enough, the rest of the stakeholders, adherents, guarantors and witnesses initialed and signed the agreement with good faith.

The fact that the IGAD-Plus, powers from all corners of the world and most South Sudanese stakeholders have stood firmly together with one voice for ending the war and ushering peace, is a strong indicator that the GRSS has been left alone with no dignified choice at the end but to sign the peace agreement by 31st August 2015 in Addis Ababa.

Thus, the GRSS’ requested further consultations shall not have significance apart from mere registration of dissatisfaction and fear with some articles of the agreement, but which shall remain unaltered despite the protests. The dateline has not become a deadline for South Sudan! Good.

Despite the delay, there is still a great light at the end of the darkened tunnel. Peace is now outside from around-the-corner. Those who have been thinking that President Kiir is not committed to ending the war and bringing peace back to the country shall all get disappointed soon.

The evils that they might have been planning on the back of war situation shall get dispelled by the power of peace agreement that is going to be celebrated by all good-hearted people, both internally and internationally.

Anyone can call it a ‘forced agreement’ or a ‘bad deal’ but it will still be a congratuleable step for stopping the current devastating war and avoiding international humiliation!

There can never be ‘Bad Peace’ even if is achieved through unfair agreement. The awaited peace will bring the dignity of South Sudan back to where it had been from the time of its declaration of independence in 2011.

There shall no longer be desperate and dying South Sudanese at the congested inhumane UNMISS camps inside and refugees locations abroad. There shall not be threats of hunger. The children shall go back to schools. Rural hospitals and clinics shall reopen.

There shall be hope of livable livelihood and prosperity to all in all corners of South Sudan. Hard lessons would have been learnt.

The politics of peace talks is already over. What has remained for those who are still enjoying its hangover is nothing but emotional choice theory via frustration venom.

The Rational Choice Theory would dictate that the clever politicians should focus on politics of implementation of the signed peace agreement. Those who still want to continue with war or attempt to obstruct the implementation of the agreement shall be losers.

When the peace deal is finally signed and celebrated officially by all the designated representatives and permanent ceasefire within 72 hours is declared immediately, the 75-Page document shall become binding for implementation within three years (2015 – 2018).

The document comprises the Title; Table of Contents; Acronyms; Preamble; Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU); Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements; Humanitarian Assistance and Reconstruction; Resource, Economic and Financial Management; Transitional Justice, Accountability, Reconciliation and Healing; Parameters of Permanent Constitution; Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC); Supremacy of the Agreement and Procedures for its Amendment; Signatories; and Appendixes.

Some articles of the agreement that have been stipulated under these headings are excellent, others are good and fair, but yet others are controversial and suspicious.

The preamble is excellent as it stipulates in writing the spirit under which the letter of the agreement is supposed to be implemented. It affirms the ideals of diversity, inclusivity, humanitarianism, reforms, collegial decision-making, transparency, accountability, rule of law, truth, justice, apology, reparation, compensation, healing, harmony, federalism, reconstruction and development that should become a norm by virtue of the advent of value of peace to South Sudan.

The preamble promises generically a peace that should make cats to lie in harmonious dignity in one territory with mice and rats.

The humanitarian and economy aspects of the agreement are good and fair in many aspects. The religious part of it is also acceptable to all the stakeholders as it focuses on reconciliation, forgiveness and healing in the warring communities so that the lost trust can come back so as to reweave the loosened social fabrics.

However, the power sharing aspect of the agreement is controversial, particularly for some selfish politicians and businessmen who are interested in holding or acquiring position seats for the sake of luxury.

This is where Machiavellianism is seen playing its principles of ‘the end justifies the means’ and ‘victory to the cleverest and the cunning’. This could get interwoven with the armed forces aspect of complications if not handled carefully with an eagle eye and sustained pressure from members of international and regional governments who have better leverages and stakes in South Sudan.

Regarding the security arrangements, the cantonments and demilitarization is not going to be a very easy affair unless the armed forces job is made less lucrative. The rebels may inflate their numbers but this shouldn’t be made a big deal as the mechanisms of the security sector reforms will catch up with them later. Juba and other capitals are not going to be demilitarized as it was proposed in the first draft compromise agreement.

What will take place shall be redeployment of forces to specific locations. The rebels might not like this provision but they have no choice but to put up with it.

The presidential guards will remain intact but pending reforms too. Military Barracks and Warehouses arms guards shall also stay put without limitation. That means the GRSS could redeploy as many soldiers into Bilpam SPLA Headquarters and Giyada as they wish (provided that they don’t come out to mingle with civilians while militarized with uniforms or arms).

There will not be foreign armed forces to neutralize the capital but only joint integrated police who shall also be deployed in Bor, Malakal and Benteu and in any other place in South Sudan with UNMISS’ Protection of Civilians (PoC) site. This is for building confidence in order to dispel fear of being harmed outside UNMISS’ premises when the civilians go back to their homes finally.

The unification of the warring forces shall be complete within 18 months so that no political leader goes to elections while owning a bullying military wing of his party. The SPLA name would also have been changed by then so that the newly reformed and standardized conventional defense forces of the Republic of South Sudan could take up their national duty in a rightful manner, far from regionalism or tribalism or nepotism. All the allied forces from neighboring countries shall leave South Sudanese alone.

However, the rotary choice of the executive positions within the agreed percentages of 53% for GRSS, 33% for SPLM/A-IO, 7% for FDs and 7% for Political Parties (who attended in June 2014 the IGAD’s Recognized Addis Ababa Symposium) is going to be very uncomfortable for the GRSS because the SPLM-Juba shall lose the grip on important some important ministries (like the Defense, the Security, the Interior, the Finance, the Petroleum, and the Foreign Affairs).

Some powers have been taken from the President and given to the First Vice President. The Incumbent Vice President (i.e., James Wani Igga) has nothing much to show for governance powers beyond commissions and smaller specialized institutions unless when delegated by the President but on condition of non-conflict with the duties of the First Vice President. However, this is not a surprise because Vice President is supposed to be part and assistant of the President and not a competitor of the First Vice President.

Both the President and the First Vice President shall not have absolute powers individually, because in case they failed to reach a consensus on an issue, the 67% and 23 quorum of Council of Ministers will have complete power over the divided Presidency in final decision-making on essential issues of governance and leadership.

Women can no longer be marginalized. Their 25% is now a right and not a benevolent duty from any male politician any more. They shall be in the Cabinet as full ministers and deputy ministers nominated by the principal stakeholders and appointed not by chance.

The National Legislative Assembly’s Speaker shall be from Equatoria but James Wani Igga shall have no option to switch from the Presidency to that post unless he resigns first. However, the replacement to the Vice President’s post shall not be guaranteed to go to Equatoria after he has left it. The concerned party (the GRSS) shall nominate any eligible South Sudanese from any region or from any gender to that vacant post.

At the states levels where the parliaments shall remained untouched; the SPLM/A-IO shall not have the upper hand in power sharing. Only the governors of Upper Nile and Unity state shall be nominated by the SPLM/A-IO while Jonglei State Governor shall be nominated by the GRSS.

The Ministers who shall serve under these governors shall be apportioned as 46% for GRSS, 40%for SPLM/A-IO, 7% for FDs and 7% for Political Parties who have been recognized by the IGAD. That means, the upper portfolios control in Greater Upper Nile shall remain with the GRSS party, in addition to overwhelming control of the rest of the seven states in other regions where the armed opposition (not specifically SPLM/A-IO because it could be REMNASSA, etc) shall be granted 15% share of executive power while the GRSS retains 85%.

All these are rewards to the rebellions but also to all factions of SPLM for having subjected South Sudan into crises. But given the dire quest for ending the war, this could be tolerated limitedly.

Any Member of Parliament at national or states level who has been dismissed shall be reconfirmed. However, the agreement is silent on the mode of replacement of those who have or who might have died while on parliamentary duty.

The national wealth (e.g., oil, gas, gold, timber, land, water, forests, fish, wild animals, etc) at the states levels shall not be left to the mercy of states governments. Revenues shall be centralized for the implementation of the agreement and accommodation of politicians and army generals. The desired equitable distribution of revenues in the spirit of sharing and rural community developments vis-a-avis population proportionality (call it taking towns to the people in the poor and destroyed villages) shall wait for later.

The IGAD-Plus in consultation with the stakeholders shall constitute a Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) as well as National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) to do the necessary for implementation of the provisions of the agreement during the 3-month pre-interim period and beyond. Other important institutions shall also be constituted or reconstituted (e.g., the National Elections Commissions, the National Constitution Review Commission, etc) for the same purpose.

All in all, if the SPLM leaders managed to unite by virtue of Arusha Reunification Agreement (which I doubt they will), the monopoly of power and wealth at the Presidency, the Council of Ministers, the Parliaments and the ten States shall become less sensitively controversial because the total share of all the SPLM factions shall be 93% and even more.

Otherwise, the SPLM with all its disgruntled factions shall remain volatile as groups competing perpetually for power and wealth monopoly interests. Their differences and conflicts in offices might trickle down to their militarized guards where history of 13 December 2013 might repeat itself. This is where the presence of neutral forces in the capital could make sense of safety predictability.

The Addis Ababa II Agreement seems to have come back minus the past glory of the dinosauric SPLM. This is good news for germination of multiparty democracy in South Sudan as each of the divided factions of the SPLM will soon find better ways of organizing and coalescing with others politically. The SPLM shall finally be archived in historical records and given the necessary past credits. Congratulations to IGAD-Plus!

However, the “AGREEMENT ON THE RESOLUTION OF THE CONFLICT IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN” has not been written on hard stone because it is subject to amendment (but based on some stringent legal procedures). This provision is an acknowledgement that it is not a perfection document as there could be unforeseeable difficulties of implementation ahead.

Although the signatory phase of the agreement shall be commended, the implementation phase shall still have its hiccups, especially from the security arrangements aspects.

Some disgruntled politicians and splintered armed groups might still resist the spirit of the agreement and opt for disruptive saboteurs’ activities, thinking that they may have better gains for Other Armed Groups (OAGs) like what happened to late Gen. Paulino Matip during the implementation phase of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Perhaps, this is where arms embargos during the peace time would make some sense.

It is observable that the courage from the South Sudanese warlords comes only from guns and ammunitions. But they don’t have any capacity of manufacturing such lethal power. Also most of those who are threatening the lifeline of the agreement cannot have the same courage of Somalis even when they promise Somalization.

I have never witnessed any South Sudanese putting a bomb on himself and getting out to a target un-shivering. Even those who are grinding their teeth now for seeing the President and other stakeholders signing an agreement that can bring peace back to the country will soon change their behavior and embrace sanity that usually comes with stability.

Big attention should not be accorded to their unfounded threats because some of them are already known for cowardice and propaganda as they depend on others for courage.

The frontlines states (Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya) have already demonstrated commitment that they could help (collectively or individually) the Republic of South Sudan to be peaceful or to disintegrate totally if the rest of the world’s powers do not take the lead pragmatically beyond mere pronunciation of pressure and sanctions for spoilers of peace.

Also South Africa, Tanzania, United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Norway, the People’s Republic of China, the African Union Commission, the United Nations Security Council and the European Union have not been folding their ends when it comes to the crisis in South Sudan.

All of them have appended their signatures to be the guarantors of the agreement and would do whatever is at their disposal to ensure return of sanity of peace to South Sudan. However, what is critically required from these foreign powers is “The Responsibility while Protecting” the peace interests for the Republic of South Sudan and without conspiracy tactics or Plan Bs.

Viva for the upcoming of peace and justice to the born-again Republic of South Sudan!

—————————————————————–
Dr. James Okuk is lecturer and analyst in the area of politics. He can be reached at okukjimy@hotmail.com

Kiir refuses while Machar signs peace deal: What next for the United States?

Various sources, AUG/16/2015, SSN

ELIAS MESERET, ASSOCIATED PRESS ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP); South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir refused Monday to sign a peace agreement with rebel forces, saying he needs more time, mediators said Monday.

Kiir said he needs 15 days before he will sign the agreement with rebel leader Riek Machar, according to mediators in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. Machar signed the accord before Kiir refused.

Some South Sudanese women who participated in the negotiations were seen crying after Kiir said he would not sign. Others banged tables to express their disappointment.

Machar told reporters he was surprised by Kiir’s decision.

“I didn’t know that he was not going to sign,” he said. “I couldn’t find any explanation for this because he had it all. There is no reason why he requested for more time. We had a good agreement, he had a lion’s share on many areas.”

NYTimes, SOMINI SENGUPTA, Reports: “Bucking the threat of international sanctions, the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, refused to sign a peace deal to halt the nation’s civil war on Monday, the deadline for a final accord mediated by African leaders.

“If it is signed today and then tomorrow we go back to war, then what have we achieved?” Mr. Kiir was quoted as saying in a tweet posted by the South Sudanese government’s account.

In Washington, John Kirby, the State Department spokesman, said the United States “deeply regrets that the government of South Sudan chose not to sign an agreement that was supported by all of the states in the IGAD.” He said the United States “would consider ways to raise the cost for intransigence” if Mr. Kiir does not accept the accord soon. End

The international community had hoped South Sudan’s rival factions would finally reach a political settlement after months of on-off negotiations under the mediation of a regional bloc known as IGAD.

The U.S. urged the warring factions to reach a peace agreement by Aug. 17 or face sanctions.

Donald Booth, U.S. special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, described Kiir’s decision as “unexpected,” saying he hopes the president will sign the agreement soon.

“But, as President Obama said, things will fundamentally change if there is no agreement,” he said.

Mediators had expressed hope that Kiir and Machar would sign a “compromise document,” including provisions on how to share power and the composition of a coalition government.

South Sudan has been at war since December 2013 as government troops try to put down a rebellion. Multiple attempts to sign a comprehensive peace agreement have failed despite international pressure.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ap-south-sudans-leader-refuses-to-sign-peace-deal-2015-8#ixzz3j729gaZn

Troika & IGAD: The Unholy Alliance working to invade South Sudan on pretext of bringing peace

By Simon Yel Yel, Juba, South Sudan, AUG/15/2015, SSN

“No Nation has the right to make decision for another nation; No people for another people” Julius Kambarage Nyerere, from his ‘A Peaceful New Year’ speech given in Tanzania on 1 January 1968:

In politics, as in medicine, a cure based on a false assumption, diagnosis is almost always worthless, often worsening the condition that is supposed to be healed. Sometimes the new disease may arise because of the wrong medicine prescribed by the doctors and hence aggravating the condition of the patient more than ever before. Therefore, doctors are required to listen careful to their patients before attempting to diagnose the sickness and prescribe the medicine.

The recent proposed modus vivendi by the IGAD-Plus called “compromised agreement” as the “diagnosis” to cure the 19 months old conflict of South Sudan is a cure predicated on false assumption and wrong diagnosis.

Therefore, it will not bring peace in South Sudan and hence it is a waiting bomb that can explode in less than three weeks if this deal is signed. This proposed deal clearly shows that the IGAD and Troika want South Sudan to be in category of the failing states like Somalia and Palestine or a country in existential conflicts threatening to tear the nation apart similar to that of Syria or Iraq.

The intention of Troika is thus to disintegrate South Sudan like what the US did to Afghanistan because of the resources of South Sudan. The IGAD-Plus mediators should know that the citizens of South Sudan do not welcome this deal and that is why the protests were organized in almost every part of the country condemning the IGAD-PLUS of being bias by demanding to dictate the peace on South Sudan, which is purely favoring the rebels of Riek Machar.

This truce is so dictating—New World Disorder at best—it portends the disintegration South Sudan.

Many people have expunged the neutrality of the IGAD-plus and particular the US given the way the deal is framed to advantage the SPLM-IO.

“When we first received the IGAD proposal we were puzzled. This is not a proposal negotiated by the two parties. The role of the negotiators is to bridge the gap, not that the mediators come up with a peace plan,” argues Ateny Wek Ateny, President Kiir’s press secretary.

According to Jackline Naciwa, the legal advisor of the SUNDE, “This proposed deal is more dictate and thus it will not bring the everlasting peace to South Sudan,” further adding, “the IGAD-Plus shouldn’t force peace on the parties.”

While General Bona Bang Dhol, a head of legal affairs committee in Warrap state legislative assembly says, “The actions and the behaviors of some IGAD member countries in supporting the rebels of Riek Machar are not just adding tension to the region but the reasons for which peace talks have not been able to make progress.”

Methinks that the political philosopher, Hannah Arendt, coined the praise very well when she writes: “Moreover, if we inquire historically into the causes likely to transform engagés into enragés, it is not injustice that ranks first, but hypocrisy.”

Yes, hypocrisy is the chief principal cause of violence, transforming the “engaged” into the “enraged. I have no doubt on my mind that though the US claims to be the powerful nation in the world, still South Sudan is not scared to go into war with it if it still continues with this hypocrisy in its foreign policy on South Sudan.

Obama is hypocritical holier-than-thou in engaging the government and rebels to sign peace as he made it visibly clear when he came to Ethiopia. He refused to meet South Sudan government officials to discuss the issue of peace talks with them but he barefacedly selected some countries to discuss the issue of South Sudan with them.

In that meeting, Barack Obama acted purely like a colonial headman threatening and lecturing South Sudan government to Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan and told them: “If we (US) don’t see a breakthrough by the 17th, then we have to consider what other tools we have to apply greater pressure on the parties”.

What conclusion can one draw here? How much pressure will you apply on South Sudan yaa Mr. President? I guess you are going to apply pressure exceeding 50,000 PSI of AK-47 bullet on South Sudan. But mind you, still it won’t work.

Anyone that can vividly remember how the US reckless military interventions start with a shred of objectivity knows that the U.S. government is just a pretext away from invading South Sudan. American history, after all, is teeming with flimsy provocations that created an opening for military intervention.

Here’s an instructive example of it—on the 4th of August, Obama issued an opening military intervention provocation after he met with Ban-ki Moon in the White House.

Obama told the VOA news, “If they miss that target, then I think it’s our view that it’s going to be necessary for us to move forward with a different plan and recognize that those leaders are incapable of creating the peace that is required.”

No wonder that is how the US aggression starts. Obama takes the peace talk for football that can restrictedly ends in 90 minute no wonder he doesn’t know additional minutes or extra time in football.

How many deadlines set for P5+1+EU and Iran to reach agreement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)? The deadline settings commenced since 24 November 2013 until the final agreement was reached on 10 July 2015. Over 10 deadlines passed without agreement being reached. Was Kerry or U.S. incapable to sign the deal with Iran?

This is a single standard not a double standard! What is that gist that Obama considered as “necessary” to propel him to move forward with a different plan? It would be unnecessary, not necessary, Mr. President to interfere into our internal affairs!

If I can ask you Mr. President, did American government under Abraham Lincoln sign a deal with Jefferson Davis, the president of Confederate States of America, to end the deadly American civil war?

Jefferson was fighting for slavery and Riek is now fighting for tribalism and regionalism, they are two faces of the same. Riek Machar must be fought, defeated and captured like Jefferson. No two ways about it!

We are all aware that Obama wants to implement what he said on 24th March 2014 in Brussels when he addressed EU leaders: “And for the international order that we have worked for generations to build. Ordinary men and women are too small-minded to govern their own affairs. That order and progress can only come when individuals surrender their rights to an all-powerful sovereign.”

This is surely what Obama wants us to do: surrender our rights and hard-won sovereignty of South Sudan to the US to govern us. But it will be next to impossible and it shall only happen if we, the patriots of this nation, perish first in the battlefield fighting against the U.S aggression. We are not small-minded Mr. President to govern our own affairs as you think! Leave us alone!

Walai, I think in the course of any year, there must be relatively few countries on this planet on which the U.S. soldiers do not set foot on, whether with gun-blazing, humanitarian aid in hand, or to fight the so-called terrorists. Soldiers not only arrive, but also stay interminably, if not indefinitely.

And Obama wants to extent this imperialistic, military adventurism to South Sudan. Hence, it will not be a big surprise to see Obama ordering in the U.S. soldiers to fight South Sudan government and permanently establish the military base here in South Sudan.

But, I am certain this will be their waterloo. South Sudan is South Sudan, not Southern Iraq!

Everyone now knows that the IGAD-Plus is experimenting on South Sudan colonially, the proof of which is how they are working to make US conspiracy of the” New World Order” work as “ NEW SOUTH SUDAN DISORDER”.

This is clearly shown in chapter two, article 5, in the said compromised proposed agreement. Sub articles 5.2 and 5.3 respectively say, “Juba shall be demilitarized 25kms in radius from the centre of the city and the demarcation of the area shall be agreed upon (as per attached map) during the PCTSA workshop in terms of latitude/longitude,” and 5.3 says “All other military and paramilitary forces shall vacate Juba in accordance with the boundaries established during the PCTSA workshop with the exception of:

5.3.1. The Presidential Guard: A company consisting of four platoons of 65 soldiers, each (65×4=260 soldiers) in total.
5.3.2. First Vice President’s Guard: A company consisting of three platoons of 65 soldiers, each (65×3=195 soldiers) in total.
5.3.3. Forces required to protect military barracks.

Look walai, the New World Oder is in the Making!

What does it mean if the SPLA forces can move 25KM away from Juba city? Definitely the IGAD-Plus is telling the SPLA forces to go back to the bush again and be a guerrilla movement. There are no nearby towns here should the SPLA move 25KM away from Juba city. This is invasion dressed in suit and tie.

Where is the sovereignty of South Sudan if the foreign forces are to remain in the capital city alone and protect the national government? It is invasion dressed in suit and tie or sandwiched trusteeship.

Can anyone imagine how many soldiers are in one battalion? A battalion composes of 800 soldiers, so multiply it with 3 battalions, that is 800 x 3 = 2,400 soldiers. Contrast it with 455 presidential guards of the president and first vice president.

What shall come into one’s minds? One may smell a rat and senses that there is a conspiracy in cooking.

It doesn’t need a rocket scientist to know it. Don’t forget that the current UNMISS forces will still maintain their present in Juba city. There are now estimate of 12,500 troops, and a police component of up to 1,323.

Now 8,000 troops and 956 police are currently in Juba and they will maintain their presence. This makes total of over 11,000 plus foreign forces that will be inside Juba compared to 455 of presidential guards, how can one call this: disaster in the making?

Definitely it is a crystal clear military invasion. Where on earth did the Troika ever apply such imbecile deal to settle any conflict in the world? Why does the IGAD-Plus want to begin the US conspiracy theory of “New world order” with South Sudan?

Why didn’t the IGAD and Troika mention the number of presidential guards that would protect president Bashir and late Dr. John Garang in CPA? Why in South Sudan now?

Which country in the world did the Troika ever use such kind of proposal to bring peace? This is totally imperialism in the making and South Sudanese shall never allow the US to extend its imperialistic empire to South Sudan.

South Sudan shall never be a tributary state. We are independent nation and we shall never relinquish our independence to any nation even if it threatens us at gunpoint or even bomb us into oblivion.

Unashamedly, still the IGAD-plus felt that it didn’t do enough to make the American imperialism conspiracy work properly on South Sudan.

They cleverly avoided calling a spade a spade but called it a big spoon by perverting to mention that the forces that shall protect the TGNOU are called “foreign forces” but cheatingly coined a phrase and called them “Transitional Third Party Security Units (TTPS)” with an intention that South Sudanese will not recognize that their country is being invaded by the IGAD-plus.

The IGAD-Plus should be ashamed now because we recognized their plot.

The imperialism of the IGAD-Plus didn’t stop on bringing in just the troops but they went further to describe their job in article 6.2 giving the work of national police, SPLA and National security to the said foreign units:

“The Transitional Third Party Security Unit shall among others; secure and protect the leadership of TGoNU such as the President, the First Vice President, the Vice President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, parliamentarians, civilian population, personnel of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), and any other person/institution identified as deemed vulnerable either because of his/her position in government or the nature of his/her/its duties/functions. The Unit shall provide office and residential security, close protection and mobile security, quick reaction and emergency response and advance party responsibilities in order to ensure the implementation of the Agreement.”

The IGAD-Plus really brought to us a big JOKE-PLUS. Where on earth can foreign forces protect the president of the country? IGAD-PLUS, tell me which country did such kind of thing had happened in before?

Tell me the reference now yaa Seyoum Mesfin! What are the duties of the National security and national police if the said Units are to protect Ministers and their deputies, MPs and civilian populations?

Where can foreign forces provide security and protection to the government offices? The IGAD-plus is telling President Kiir to retire all the SPLA soldiers, National security, and National police personnel and give their jobs to the foreign forces.

Hell is really breaking loose. What a 21st Century imperialism in making!

I would like to ask the people of the U.S, the people who, since the foundation of their nation and adoption of the Declaration of Independence, have been proud to cherish democracy above all else; which country had the demilitarization happened in capital city before as a perquisite to bringing peace?

Which country had the international community fixed the number of the presidential guards and tells the president to move the national army 25 KM away from the capital?

Which country had the foreign troops protected the president and government before for even a period of just a month? If the answer is NO country, then tell your Obama that you are at the WRONG side of American imperialism history.

We fought against Arabs for over four decades because of colonialism, though we lost 2.5 million lives, still we have children that can take up arms and fight against whoever wants to colonize us again.

We shall never give a damn to whoever wants to colonize us, be a white or yellow man. Gone are days when White men tortured and killed our grandfathers without any resistance. We are now in 21st Century!

In conclusion, South Sudan is not an American colony, but a sovereign state, of the 21st century. If there is any doubt about that, then the futility of August 17th deadline will make it abundantly clear to all doubting Thomas’s whether in Addis Ababa or in Washington DC.

We can’t be dictated upon, mind your own businesses and leave us alone.

Go to Somali, go to Libya, go to Syria, go to Yemen, go to the Central Africa Republic or go to Iraq if you must be somewhere else. Otherwise, stay at home and solve your own home problems.

Western Missionaries carrying the Bible heralded colonialism; today, it is the so-called peacekeepers carrying guns. Fool me once, not twice.

Simon Yel Yel can be reached at simonyel55@yahoo.com or 0955246235.

Elders with no wisdom, that’s the Jieng Council of Elders!

BY: Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok, AUG/13/2015, SSN;

To begin with, having a council of elders is not a bad thing if members of a particular tribe wished to have one. Indeed it could be a positive undertaking provided the intentions and goals are towards furthering the unity of the country. The council could lend the government a helping hand in resolving local conflicts and fostering social cohesion.

In fact there are already multiple councils of elders all over the country though carrying different names. Any chieftaincy in the country is in essence a council of elders. This was not the case in the past as the chieftaincies used to enjoy much power and authority over their communities.

The Mundukuru’s in order to gain full control over the south, abrogated much of the powers from these chieftaincies reducing them essentially to ceremonial councils of elders.

At the present time the chieftaincies we have are the true councils of elders. They are mainly tasked with resolving tribal feuds, land issues and cattle rustling. In all the communities, change of power follow the rule of succession and a limited degree of democratic process. Usurpation of power is unusual in these chieftaincies.

Under normal circumstances, the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) by definition, would be none of my business. However it would have gained the respect and support of all the South Sudanese people, me included, if its deeds were conducive to harmonising our communities.

Clearly this is not the case here and the council is involved in activities quite far from what you would expect from such kinds of social bodies. When you hear the word “elder,” what comes into your mind is the notion of experience, integrity and wisdom.

These qualities are unfortunately at their nadir in the Jieng Council of Elders. It is a multifunctional body with unclear objectives or a secretive ones. At the present time it functions as a shadow government, a mini parliament, a political party and a lobby group all at the same time.

The stimulus for this article was the recent document presented to the IGAD-PLUS peace mediators as the position of the JCE on the “Proposed Compromise Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.”

From the very beginning there are fundamental questions insistently begging for answers. The letter is full of erroneous assumptions and is deceptive and misleading to say the least. To write about all the contentious points will need several pages of explanation.

I am going to confine myself discussing few crucial points. By doing so I am not suggesting any kind of support for the proposed compromise agreement. But I want to expose the fallacy of the JCE line of argument.

At the beginning of the letter, they brought up the statistics saying that the Nuer constitute 49.5% of the total population of the Upper Nile region and 15% nationally. The mere fact that they did not provide the Jieng percentages can only mean two things :

(a) that the Jieng are representatives of all the non-Nuers.

(b) They are speaking on behalf of the government.

The fact of the matter is that the 2008 population census is widely considered inaccurate by many South Sudanese, thus presenting the above percentages to an international audience could result in erroneous deductions.

If the Nuers are 49.5% of the population of the Upper Nile region, it will mean to a foreigner that the Jieng constitute 50.5% or close to that of the same population, giving the Jieng the majority. The same applies to the percentages nationally as the same foreigner would think the Jieng are 85% of the total population of South Sudan or close to that.

Therefore it would be deduced by the international audience that the JCE is reflecting the position of the rest of the population of the Republic of South Sudan. This misrepresentation is intentional as they could have provided the Jieng percentages of the population.

The JCE has got no right to speak on behalf of the other tribes and as far as every one knows, they have not been given a mandate to do so.

In regard to oil production, they were quick to provide the percentage of the oil produced in the Jieng territories, so now talking about the Jieng rather than the non-Nuers as shown earlier. The percentages given are 96% for the Jieng territories and 4% for the Nuers ones.

Many would bitterly dispute these percentages but there is a veiled message that you can read between the lines implying that the Jieng are the breadwinners of South Sudan.

The point (b) is reinforced by the recent letter sent by Salva Kiir to the Ethiopian premier that is almost a carbon copy of the Jeing position presented to IGAD-PLUS peace mediators. It shows that Salva Kiir is so weak that he is being pushed around by the JCE on one hand and president Museveni on the other hand.

The JCE still maintains with ridiculous stubbornness the fallacy that a coup attempt has occurred despite the fact that the whole world refused to believe it. Even president Museveni, Kiir’s mentor, denied that a coup d’etat actually happened.

As we all know, Pagan Amum was reinstated to his previous position before the conflict, is it not an admission of fault when you do that to someone who was accused of treason and could have received a capital punishment?!

On the issue of the Hybrid Court of South Sudan (HCSS), the JCE is unhappy for it being given the primacy over the national courts of South Sudan. They want issues of war crimes and genocide to be dealt with within our customary systems as well as the statutory mechanisms.

Is it really feasible to get justice for such crimes in our current judiciary system?!

If people who committed murder are set free from jail by their relatives in the SPLA, is there any hope under this regime that the situation will be any better?!

The JCE is making a big fuss about encroachment on the sovereignty of the state by the international community. It even went further to accuse the international community of an intention to take over the country.

There is no such thing as sovereignty when you are kept in power by a foreign force. It is rare for the international community to unanimously agree on a single issue due to different ideologies, interests and agendas.

Thus why would they conspire against a country they helped to create on the world map in the first place?!

This brings me to the issue of funding. How is the JCE being funded? If it is from government coffers as it’s certainly the case, then it is unacceptible and clearly demonstrates favouritism.

Suppose the other 63 tribes form their own councils of elders and demanded funding, how much will be the cost for the government coffers and will it be really cost effective?

If the other tribes decide to follow suit and send letters to the IGAD-PLUS peace mediators, so they get exactly 64 letters. What would the peace mediators think?!

Would they not think they are dealing with lunatics?! And mind you, they previously called Salva Kiir stupid which angered his supporters and triggered a move in the National Legislative Assembly (NLA).

The JCE comes out as a body with unrealistic beliefs, divisive activities and bent on promoting and spreading the seeds of tribalism in our communities.

The JCE could have done a lot towards bringing our communities together and cementing the unity of our country. It is through addressing the following three issues:

1. It is not a secret that the Jieng are universally disliked by the other communities, previously in the whole Sudan and now in South Sudan. In fact wherever they go people loathed them.

Governor Bakasoro was reported saying, “What is wrong with you people, wherever you go you cause havoc.”

It even spilled over across the borders. During Anynya 1 movement many South Sudanese went to Congo/Zaire. The Congolese had no problems with any tribe except one, the Jieng.

Despite being much less in numbers than the other South Sudanese tribes, they were the only ones singled out and disliked by the Congolese. Some of you may know that the Congolese came to Equatoria as refugees during the Congo war. They were in Juba and other towns in Equatoria.

People lived in harmony with no problems. Had they stayed longer they would have been totally integrated into the society. This displays a situation where you are more comfortable with a foreigner than with someone supposed to be your brother!

Again the Jieng went to Uganda and people did not like them. The situation is not any better in Kenya and now there is a definition in East Africa for a South Sudanese which is not very good. This bad reputation is gradually spreading over the globe and it’s not something to be proud of.

I learned that our reputation is at the bottom in Australia, thanks to the Jieng. If nothing is done, it will not take too long before the whole world treats the South Sudanese as an outcast people.

The question the JCE needs to ask themselves is, “Why do people hate us?”

Until they find an answer to that question and make amends, they will never be embraced wholeheartedly in any society they go to.

2. It is so often now you hear the Jieng talking about the oil being produced in their territories and bragging about it. If you ask a local citizen in Mongala, Nimule, Yei, Mundri, Maridi and Yambio, his opinion about the oil is, I can tell you what you will hear: “To hell with the oil! We never benefited from it! We don’t need the oil! We are self-sufficient!”

Self-sufficiency is a rare commodity in the Jieng land. What is the point of boasting about the oil and million heads of cattle if your people are still dying from hunger?!

Famine is a familiar and frequent visitor to Jieng land. It’s fair to say the Jieng have never been self-sufficient in modern history. This year like every year, there is hunger in Kuacjok, Aweil, Lakes state and the Bor area.

In reality, wherever the Jieng live, you find hunger. And not only that, they bring hunger along with them when they go to other places by land grabbing, crops destruction and causing insecurity that prevents the food producers from doing their job.

Is it laziness as V.P Wani Igga recently pointed it out or it is the culture that detest hard work?

The JCE could render the country an excellent service and boost our economy by addressing this crucial issue.

3. The Jieng community is the most violent community in the country. There is a state of continuous war between different tribal clans in Lakes State. In Warrap state the Aguok and the Apuk clans have been killing themselves recently. It is an on-going feud that never ends and happens every year.

The same trait is abundant among the Jieng in Northern Bahr El Gazal and Jonglei states. The conventional wisdom is that when your house is on fire, you try to put it out rather than running away to extinguish a bigger fire somewhere else.

Rather than indulging in national politics which is none of its business, the JCE should have been working tirelessly to resolve the on-going feuds in its community. There are even problems with some of the known members that disqualify them from being entrusted to deal with national issues.

Former Chief Justice Ambrose Riny Thiik, not long ago was accused by members of a clan in his constituency of supplying arms to a rival clan. Regardless of the validity of the allegation, the fact that his name was brought down that low, indicates he lacks respect among a significant portion of his constituency.

As for Aldo Ajou Deng his greed has got no limits. He is someone who can go against his people for personal gains. When the government of national unity was formed with Sadiq Al Mahadi as prime minister in April 1986, Aldo Ajo was nominated by the southerners to take up a ministerial post. But due to disagreement with the northerners, our politicians decided to pull out to maintain some bargaining power and leverage.

They asked Aldo Ajo to relinquish his ministerial post, he refused and sided with the Mundukuru’s. At that time one of his colleagues remarked that Aldo Ajo’s greed goes back to his school days where he eats everyone else’s food if he enters the dining room first.

At any rate, what is happening in Jieng land could be the norms in the medieval ages but certainly not the way a human being is expected to live in the 21st century.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Army Chief Paul Malong: The ‘General’ from Hell!

BY: Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok, AUG/05/2015, SSN;

Quote: “This so-called IGAD peace proposal is useless, we can’t accept it even if US forces us to do so.”
“I better be a rebel …you should know that those who are in Al-Qaida, Taliban, ISIL, Boko Haram, Al Shabab…they are human beings like us, therefore we should follow their footsteps than signing that fake peace.”unquote

These were the words of our army Chief of Staff “General” Paul Malong while addressing government supporters and loyalists on the occasion of Martyrs Day in Juba. Initially, I did not believe that those words were actually said by the army chief and it took me some time to ascertain whether his words were misconstrued or taken out of context.

But to my disappointment it turned out that those words were the offsprings of his mind. In such a situation, you would expect the minister of Foreign Affairs or the spokesperson either for the president or for the ministry of Foreign Affairs to come out and do some explaining.

Basically it will be a damage control exercise mostly saying what was published in the media was not true and does not reflect government policy. None of these happened which makes me believe it wasn’t a gaffe or a rhetoric to boost moral from the army chief, he actually meant what he said and his colleagues share that view.

With the new world order where the world is unipolar rather than bipolar as it used to be in the past and the global war against terrorism, every country especially those in the Third world, is wary not to be seen as complacent in regard to fighting terrorism.

Many will go to extreme lengths to distance themselves from any activities deemed to be terrorist acts or any links to terrorist organisations.

This is done in order to avoid the wrath of the super powers and the international community as a whole. Even countries like Iran which is the number one sponsor of global terrorism, persistently denies any links to El-Qaeda but justifies its support for Hezbollah of Lebanon as support for people fighting against Israeli occupation.

Given the above account, it’s quite shocking and incomprehensible for the army chief of staff to voluntarily declare that they would follow the footsteps of the likes of Al-Qaeda, ISIL, Al-Shabab and Boko Haram.

The implications of what the so-called general said are quite staggering.

Regionally and to the southeast of the country is Kenya, a country that has a long history with terrorist attacks and still reeling from them. It started with the US Embassy bombings in Nairobi in 1998 then bombings in Mombasa 2002, Westgate shopping mall 2013, Nairobi bus bombings 2014, Gikomba 2014, Lamu attack 2014 and finally the Garrisa university college attack on 02/04/2015.

Uganda had its share of being the target for terrorist attacks. Many of us still remember the simultaneous bombings in Kabalagala neighbourhood and at the Kyadondo rugby club while the victims were watching the 2010 FIFA world cup final.

These two countries are our close allies on the African continent and have given us significant support during the liberation war. Even in this ongoing conflict, Salva Kiir had to run to president Museveni of Uganda for help to save his neck.

So What will be the position of these two countries should our government implement what Malong has said ? Do you think they would sit idle while these terrorists and their allies are roaming about in South Sudan ?!

I wonder whether the army chief knows or understands that there is a concerted and well-coordinated effort to fight and defeat the perpetrators of terrorism. The coalition in this effort includes super powers, regional powers and the rest of the peace loving countries.

A variety of resources are there for use comprising of clandestine military operations, military drone attacks and using cruise missiles.

The Al shifa factory cruise missile attack in Khartoum Bahri on 20/08/1998 is a reminder of what could be in store for Malong and his fake generals.

In addition to that an economic war is being waged on those countries and organisations that participate in or sponsor terrorist activities. This comes in different forms ranging from freezing assets, travel ban, loan and money transfer prohibition to actual economic embargo.

You can see how a regional power like Iran faced economic collapse under the weight of sanctions and oil embargo.

In a landlocked country like South Sudan where cooperation with the regional and international community remains essential and much desired, what could possibly be the endgame if such an irresponsible policy is pursued by the regime in Juba?!

South Sudan will quickly be placed on the list of states that sponsor terrorism. Militarily, the super powers do not need to do much as there is absolutely no match between the super powers and the SPLA and Malong’s words are actually empty threats.

They can simply pressurise Museveni to pull the plug off and the regime rapidly collapses.

The other alternatives are: using the US special forces in the region to collect the top leaders or take them out, or to supply arms to the opposition to finish the job.

My main concern is that a lot of suffering will befall our citizens because being on that terror list brings about unwelcome consequences for the lay person. I will explain here one aspect of the consequences that will affect the lives of the normal citizens of the republic of South Sudan.

My personal experience is the example I am referring to. I have had problems late in the 90’s when I travelled to Nairobi via Addis Ababa. I was treated differently than any passenger on the plane at both airports. I was kept waiting for hours and the reason given to me was that they needed more time to do security checks on my profile.

In the case of Switzerland, I was refused the entry visa on the basis that they will not be able to complete all the security checks prior to my journey.

All those difficulties were due to the fact that Sudan was and still is on the list of the states that sponsor terrorism and I did carry a Sudanese passport then.

The consequences could even be far worse by limiting the chances for students to go abroad for higher studies, affecting access to specialised health care for those who can afford and preventing entrepreneurs from expanding their business.

Should there be a terrorist attack and the culprits were at large and you happened to be in that vicinity for whatever reason, you will be apprehended and perhaps much worse for suspicion of being involved because of your nationality.

Did the army chief think about the repercussions of what he said on his country and his fellow citizens?! Does he really care?! Most importantly, does he know the Islamists declared position towards us and their overall global agenda?!

It’s not secret that these people do not like us. They have likened our independence to loss of Islamic rule in Andalucia. The blind sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the leader of Al-Gamma’a Al-Islamiyya in Egypt, was in Khartoum for a while but ended up serving life imprisonment in the US following his implication in the first world trade centre (WTC) bombing in New York in 1993.

He and his followers like sheikh Yousif Al Garadawi called us infidels and our land in their view is an Islamic land. Osama Bin Laden was also in Khartoum and made contributions in terms of finance and logistics to the war waged on us by the Khartoum regime. Khaled Meshaal, the HAMAS leader, rubbished the declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Sudan.

And finally Iran which has been an ally to Bashir’s regime since it took power in 1989. I believe Iran has contributed to the killing of thousands of South Sudanese by supplying arms to the Islamist regime in Khartoum.

So does our army chief of staff really know anything about these Islamist groups?! It looks like he is about to shoot himself in the foot! There is absolutely no acceptable reason for those utterances that could be detrimental to our country future.

The so-called General, Malaak Ayuen, who was the army broadcaster and commentator on SSTV, was sacked by Kiir with direct influence from Malong. The reason was that he treaded into politics, a thing not included in his job description. I am not by any means defending Malaak Ayuen.

He has been a total disgrace by trying to create historical facts which were untrue using lies and falsehood. It’s though good riddance as he was one of the reasons that many South Sudanese stopped watching SSTV.

Malong has clearly overstepped his authority as an army chief of staff as his job is a military job and not a political one. His predecessor, General James Hoth Mai, was very careful and avoided giving any political statements and used to insist that army people should leave politics to the politicians.

What caused Malaak Ayuen removal was trivial as compared to Malong’s speech. The question is, would Salva Kiir dare removing Malong from office?! So far there is no indication that this will happen in the foreseeable future.

We may not be fair in putting all the blame on Malong simply because he can only do what he is capable of doing. What is happening is what you would expect from someone carrying a C.V similar to what Malong has.

So much of the blame goes to whoever put him in that position. The irony is that the person who gave Malong that position is also unfit to hold his own position.

As you can see I have used the title General between brackets all through for a reason. A significant number of the SPLA generals have never been in a classroom all their lives let alone attending military academies or colleges. They underwent an extraordinary transformation in their lives.

Just consider the scenario of a person who has been throwing spears, carrying a heavy stick, barely dressed or not at all and participating in cattle rustling. Then a massive change happened and he became a general with bright ornaments on his coat, millions of US dollars of embezzled money in his bank accounts and many wives…. perhaps concubines is the right word.

It is too easy for such a person to fall prey to grandiose delusions and a false sense of invincibility. The way Paul Malong conducts himself makes that kind of situation very likely.

Though he is physically in Juba at his post, he continues to bully his home state officials and the state M.Ps’.

South Sudan will be better-served if Paul Malong is sent back to attend to his 50 plus wives and his army of kids.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

No viable compromise in the IGAD-Plus proposed ‘Compromised Peace Agreement’

By Taban Abel Aguek, MP Lakes State Parliament, 28/JUL/2015, SSN;

The efforts for peace in South Sudan and the international community shall always never skip a mention. Even as people criticize IGAD, TROIKA or the negotiating teams, it’s good to appreciate their commitment to bringing peace in South Sudan. That makes stronger our belief in being members of the family of nations of Africa and the world.

But despite the efforts by IGAD and the International Community to bring to an end the war in South Sudan, it is a feeling of large masses that their mediators are not honest in drawing solutions to the conflict.

Each time the warring parties refused to sign an agreement, IGAD has always gone back to the drawing board but only to reappear with no significant improvements on the issues of the agreement that touch on the lives of common citizens.

Secondly, the IGAD mediators seem to care too much about what rebels want than anything else since the negotiations started in January 2014.

It’s why negotiations have stuck at the point of Dr Riek’s demands, referred to as ‘contentious issues,’ and not at the Government side.

These contentious issues are power sharing, system of governance, the issue of two armies, the compensation and reparation of the victims of the conflict.

Out of all these that were presented by the rebels and rejected by the Government through IGAD One, only federalism has been left out by IGAD Plus in their latest peace proposal.

And from here the word ‘compromised’ was forged. But is that enough to be called a compromise?

Instead of telling Dr Riek off, IGAD and the International Community have only had their legs spread all over the warring camps.

They have only been dividing threats and punishment in equal halves. Perhaps, IGAD and partners have not diagnosed what the problem of South Sudan is.

If not, then we are justified to a claim that there are ploys in South Sudan peace talks by major players guiding the talks.

When one looks at the IGAD Plus proposal there can be every reason to be suspicious.

Why does the Compromised Peace Agreement seem to carry some components of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (with Arab North)?

What relevance does this conflict have to the two decade long South–North war so as to import almost the same mechanisms of the CPA to solve the current crisis?

This proposal ought to brand Dr. Riek as the owner of Upper Nile and the negotiators seem to give him Upper Nile region in exchange for peace.

Giving 53% share of power to rebels almost look like granting Upper Nile a way to break away.

Yet, Upper Nile is home to many tribes.

The rebellion in South Sudan has been stronger in Upper Nile region not because Dr Riek is popular there but because it lies along the supply route from Khartoum.

South Sudan’s borders with Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia are open and porous. It has kept the logistics and supply of the rebels to flow, hence allowing them to achieve some victories in the region.

However, those victories have always short-lived.

Otherwise, there is no need to give a higher percentage to rebels who have not garnered the support of the Nuer tribe wholly, let alone the other tribes.

When Riek gets Upper Nile, what will Kiir give his Nuer supporters and other tribes in the same region?

Doing that presents a recipe for going back to war by those that will be left out in power sharing.

The issue of keeping two armies in the same country has not also been properly addressed in the current peace proposal by IGAD Plus.

Here there are two things involved: the duration of integration of the two armies and who are legible to be integrated into the national army.

The period of 18 months is too long because other hiccups on the way may result into another complete all-out war again before reintegration.

The White Army forms a bulk of the fighters used by Dr Riek Machar. It must be noted that gelwong (pres. Kiir own militia-Ed.), the equivalent of white army, is abundant across the Dinkaland.

To avoid inflating the army, only those that defected from their various divisions should be integrated into the national army but not everyone who carries a gun.

There are defectors that left from police, prisons, wildlife and fire brigade. They should go back unconditionally to their departments.

Too large untrained army drawn from the local youths may present a recipe number two for going back to war in less than 18 months.

Compensation and reparation, if accepted, is not a bad idea but it must go back to the period in 1991 when Riek Machar killed and displaced hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese people in Upper Nile and Bor in particular.

Every victim of this war is a victim of Riek’s quest for power and they should be compensated in his name.

The problem is that there are so many people to be compensated. I lost my close relatives in Bor, Malakal and Bentiu. I buried one of the rape victims myself. She was rescued but she died in my hands in Mapuordit hospital.

If Riek will get us that money to pay all these victims of Nuer, Dinka, shilluk, Uduk, Equatorians etc…, then we have no problem.

Those who will fail to get the compensation might take up arms and fight for their rights. That will be recipe number three for going back to war.

The call for dissolution of the National Assembly is not correct. The National Assembly and Council of States have their membership drawn geographically and proportionally from all South Sudan.

To dissolve and reconstitute another assembly of 400 members is not only unrealistic but it equally begs the same question of where do we get the money to pay them.

Isn’t it laughable to have such a parliament of 400 members against a population below ten million?

What should be ideal is allowing back all MPs that had defected at all levels of parliaments to their positions.

The SPLM is still one since the Arusha Agreement has reinstated Riek Machar back as D/Chairman of the party.

Moreover, the process may affect members who have not rebelled. Should these MPs pay a price for not having rebelled?

There should be nothing like that or else they do the necessary: go back to war, recipe for war number four.

The proposal also seems to test the resolve of South Sudanese people by suggesting the demilitarization of the national capital, Juba.

The dignity of our President and sovereignty of our country are very vital to the very existence of the country.

There is no one that owns our constitution to set a number of guards for our President.

There can be no way UNMISS or AU forces can do what our national constitutional is paid to do. That proposal is insulting and it must be scraped.

IGAD One was wrong in its peace proposals to end the conflict in South Sudan. IGAD two (IGAD Plus) is equally wrong in what they called a compromised peace agreement on south Sudan.

Two wrongs do not make a right!

If the mediators do not adjust the wrongs in this proposal and the parties fail to sign the agreement then there will be no need for IGAD or TROIKA (IGAD Three).

Since the beginning of talks, the Government of South Sudan has compromised a lot of issues. Some vital concessions have been made by government against the will of the people.

The government has implemented the Arusha Agreement in full and has heeded the call to suppress anything that was viewed as a blockage to peace.

It is our strongest feeling that IGAD this time urges the rebels to come to a complete compromise so as to pave way for peace in South Sudan.

It is a known fact that some nations, now coined in South Sudan as godfathers of rebellion, still have their hands in the dimensions of the Addis Ababa talks.

It is high time that these nations and individuals also consider to compromise of their own interests in South Sudan.

South Sudan is awake. It’s not time to seduce our country sign up to another bad war.

There is no thought that shall ever go without being interrogated by South Sudanese how much powerful the proposers of such opinion is.

South Sudanese are disillusioned in the quest for peace, but they cannot be arm-twisted to accept a peace agreement based on compromises that will come to haunt them just in a very near future.

A compromised peace agreement is one that asks Dr Riek Machar to relinquish all the impossible demands. His demands do not only hinder peace process; they may also plant future wars in the country if peace is signed under duress.

Taban Abel Aguek is a member of Lakes State Legislative Assembly. He can be reached at abelaguek79@gmail.com

Acknowledging the pain of others

BY: KUIR ë Garang, critic and writer, JUL/24/2015, SSN;

This is one of those articles that sounds really naïve and unsophisticated; but it’s undeniably necessary and true. I posted a video on my Facebook page a few days ago and some of my Nuer brothers and sisters were enraged. While their anger wasn’t unfounded, I do believe there should be a safe, necessary manner in which anger needs to be exercised within a larger context of societal, national future.

However, I’ve realized the short-sightedness with which we configure our anger and its resultant consequence.

We’ve become a population that focuses on the satisfaction of our immediate visceral reactions without the need to consider the potential effect of our anger, and what we say at the height of our polemical fancies….after all is said and done.

No matter the intensity of our anger, hurt and loss, it is crucial to remember that the noble way to mourn and honor one’s lost relatives is to engage in a discourse that’d frustrate any repeat of the past.

However, what we seem to care about now isn’t the dreadful past and the possible bright, promising future but the here and now and what we feel.

“I feel anger and a sense of hatred so I’ll make sure I satisfy that!”
The more we cultivate our hatred, magnify our pain and deny the pain of others, the more the hurt we feel becomes entrenched as a cultural phenomenon.

Unfortunately, talking about the potential for future inter-tribal cohesive coexistence sounds like an untenable joke to some people given the magnitude of the anger they feel now.

But none of us has a choice: living together is the only choice, the end gain!

Regardless of what we feel or think, togetherness is the ultimate end.

But there’s one thing South Sudanese need to remember. In any sociopolitical conflict, healing or the possibility of living together as a multi-tribal country rests on acknowledging the pain of those who’ve been hurt.

And it’s no secret that the following are acknowledged facts:
1) The conflict started due to President’s mishandling of intra-SPLM problems
2) SPLM leaders overestimated their influence and underestimated the power behind the president.
3) Nuer were targeted after the mutiny in Juba by President’s militia.
4) War is concentrated in mostly (not exclusively) Nuer areas.

In spite of these accepted realities, it’s very crucial for the Nuer brothers and sisters to remember that non-Nuer members have also suffered in the senselessness of this conflict.

The more we deny that others have suffered the more we foment the entrenchment of hatred in our nation.

As long as others don’t deny that Nuer were massacred in large numbers in Juba, it’d be ideal for Nuer to advocate for the loss of their loved ones while acknowledging that others too have suffered and continue to suffer.

Denying the pain of others is not only dishonest, but also detrimental to the future of South Sudan.

The culpability story doesn’t end at the point where we come to the conclusion that the SPLM and the President started this war. We have to remember that we also exacerbate the problem through evangelism of divisive language and policies.

No one is going to live in comfort if we instigate or fuel inter-tribal hatred.

Satisfaction of one’s anger feels good at the moment but all conscionable people should consider long-term effects of that state of mind when anger creeps into our sociopolitical consciousness.

It’s undeniable that corrective measures geared towards finding out structured, conscionable and remedial methodologies are unequivocally necessary.

However, focusing our fancies on the immediate delight and enjoyment of anger geared towards others will only position us perpetually in the same sea of hateful stagnation.

The only road to reconciliation is to make sure that others acknowledge our pain while taking the necessary initiative to acknowledge the pain of others.

Failure to do so will only have us drink from the sea of bitter reality: perpetual insecurity. Let’s grow up!

Truth…but responsibly!

Kuir ë Garang lives in Canada. For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.info