Category: Politics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What then should be done?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peter Adwok Nyaba
30 September 2016

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No political activities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Critique of Prof. John Akec’s Mistaken UN Trusteeship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attack on aid workers ‘well-coordinated’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Czech Air Force L-39C

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


Talk of arms embargo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A South Sudanese who fought and died before July 2011 is a martyr; the one who is fighting in present internal wars, dies a tribesman: Bishop Yugu

By Professor Deng Awur Wenyin, SEPT/01/2016, SSN;

It was Sunday August 21st, 2016. The 11 o’clock English service was on in Juba All Saints’ Cathedral. The preacher was Jackson Moses Pitia, Dean of the Cathedral. The main readings were Psalms 46: 1-11, Jeremiah 1: 4-10, Hebrews 12: 18-29 and Luke 13:10-17. The theme of Pitia’s sermon was: “God is our refuge and strength”. The topical example he gave is the exodus of South Sudanese to other countries as refugees, because of the civil strife which started on December 15th, 2013. He said we inside the country and refugees, our prayers strengthen us.

All the churches in their different denominations and the mosques, have been preaching for peace, forgiveness and reconciliation. Some of the preachers even weep in their preaching and prayers. Indeed, our religious institutions are working for peace.

The most senior priest in the service was Assistant Bishop Frazer Yugu. As it is the rule in the Church, the duty was on Bishop Yugu to make the benediction. Normally this authority who closes the service and dismisses the congregation, would make some comments and commendations on the sermon, or at least say something in the form of an announcement.

Bishop Yugu commended Dean Pitia for the splendid sermon by asking the congregation the usual questions: What is this current war for? Who is fighting who? And why? He made a brief analysis of the wars which were fought by South Sudanese from 1955 to 2011 and then declared: any South Sudanese who fought and died in any of those wars, is a martyr.

Then, by way of distinction, he furthermore declared: any South Sudanese who is fighting and killed in an internal war after 2011, dies a tribesman.

When I tried to work out the rationale of that statement, it means to me that the qualification for martyrdom is for a South Sudanese who fought and got killed in a war against foreign invasion. For some of our younger generation who might not have been exposed to our history of resistance and struggle, foreign invasions in our land go back as far as 1821. The start was the Turco – Egyptian invasion led by Mohammed Ali Pasha. At that time the Sudan was a loose territory without strict borders.

That period (1821 – 1881) lasted for 60 years. It was the then southern Sudanese who suffered most because slave trade was applied on them. Then came the Mahdist revolution or the Mahdiya (1881 -1899). Instead of the revolution being a salvation for all the Sudanese, the Mahdists expanded the slave trade in the whole of southern Sudan. The Mahdists reigned for 18 years.

Then came the Anglo – Egyptian reconquest of the Sudan (1899 – 1956) in which the official name of the country became the Anglo – Egyptian Sudan. That period was 57 years. Then came the period which the northern Sudanese called independence (1956 – 2011). That period was 55 years.

It was supposed to be genuine independence for all of us but alas, the old treatment of southerners and outlook of the Turco – Egyptian, Mahdists and Anglo – Egyptian Sudan periods, did not change. In fact the South Sudanese had forecasted and therefore the new struggle started in August 1955, just some four months to independence.

So from 1821 – 2011 there was good cause to continue fighting. With that historical background of having resisted all sorts of foreign invasions and mistreatment for 190 years, why are our people killing themselves these days?

It is unfortunate that historical tribal competitions, ambitions and rivalries have been brought to town to be used for attaining political power. Attainment of political power has its own history in the European civilization.

Great Britain, Germany, France, Belgium and Portugal scrambled for Africa and established the European model of rule. On independence that model was inherited, thus in Africa today we have elections, legislatures, cabinets and judiciaries. The United Nations (UN), which was a result of the European wars which they call World Wars One and Two, has accepted as the standard the European model of acquiring power.

Tribes like the Jieeng (Dinka), Nuer, Chollo (Shilluk), Mundari, Murle, Otuho (Latuka), Boya, Didinga and Toposa, just to mention a few, should not import their cultural conflicts to the town. For example the Jieeng and Nuer have a long history of fighting among themselves in the toch (open plains and swamps) where their cattle graze.

Also cattle rustling is a factor. There they do not fight over any power but mainly for acquisition and control of pastures and watering places. Let the reader be informed that the Jieeng (Jaang in Nuer) and the Nuer are first cousins.

Some individuals would distort that fact but to no success. Observe their languages, names and initiation system, respectively. For example, the forehead marks of my Agaar section of the Jieeng are the same ones on the Nuer foreheads.

Even these tribes know when and where to fight. In December 2013 when the fighting broke out in Juba, the fighting which was, because of Riek and Kiir, taken to be a Jieeng–Nuer war, some individuals from my hometown, Rumbek, tried to mobilise the Agaar youth for war against the Nuer.

But the youth and elders wanted to know where the Nuers were attacking from. When the answer was Juba, they said no, they can’t be mobilized for that war because their Nuers attack from Bentiu, not Juba. The essence was that the fighting in Juba was a government affair, not their customary war.

Regrettably, the Lou Nuer do not see the logic of the Agaar: they have allowed themselves to be manipulated by Dr Riek Machar, wading all the way from Leer in Bentiu area on the West Nile, to raise the white army (jech mabor) to fight the Jaang. It seems to me the Bentiu youth tend to think like the Agaar. This is because Dr Riek could not raise a White army in Bentiu area.

I would like to underline a point which I think is important. Though the Jieeng and Nuer were the majority in the SPLA liberation war, the war which culminated in the independence, nevertheless South Sudan is not a country for two tribes alone so as to compete over it. The country belongs to all the tribes.

Since we have inherited the European mode of governance from the Sudan, we want a political leader to come to power through the will of the people.

In 1978 the people of the then Southern Region of the Sudan, through their Regional Assembly, elected Gen. Joseph Lagu president of the High Executive Council (HEC). Majority of the Jieeng members of the Assembly voted against their tribesman, Moulana Abel Alier and instead voted for Gen. Lagu.

Lagu’s Ma’adi tribe is a minute one on the Ugandan border but notwithstanding, he was elected because of his role in the Anya-Nya Liberation Movement. Gen. Lagu did not organize a fight to be president but presented himself humbly to the people’s representatives.

In conclusion, a question to you, the reader, and to myself as well, is Bishop Yugu right or wrong when he makes a distinction between a person who died in a liberation war, and a person who dies after the liberation wars, in these trivial wars, as a tribesman?

For my part, before I choose, I would like to ascertain the precise meaning of martyr. A dictionary meaning of the word is that a martyr is a “person who … dies for a cause or belief.”

What is the cause or reason to fight to die after the liberation? Riek? Or who? What is the belief to fight to die for? Folktales about Ngun-Deng?

Therefore, I entirely agree with my bishop that those who died during the liberation wars, are martyrs but those who are dying in these uncalled for internal wars, are dying as tribesmen. William Deng Nhial, Aggrey Jadein, Ezboni Mondiri, Dominic Muorwel Malou, Fr Saterlino Lohure and many others died in the struggle while poor. Their riches is July 9th 2011.

Of course Bishop Yugu didn’t make that judgment out of the blue. He is a well-informed bishop about topical issues. He and some of us are aware that, many individuals, civil societies and even the government, have been describing this Riek’s war as a senseless war.

Then he logically concludes that someone who fights and dies in these senseless Riek’s war can’t be a martyr. Such a person would be like an animal killed not according to Jewish or Islamic rituals. The meat of such an animal can’t be eaten by a Jew because it is unclean and a Muslim can’t eat it as well because it is fatis or not pure, because it is not halal. In Islam halal is something allowed and haram is something prohibited. Any unclean meat or thing in Judaism and Islam is negis or nasty.

In our Christian faith taking someone’s life is a sin.

The Nation Mirror daily of August 30th, 2016 had the following title for its editorial: “Can we stop killing ourselves?” My answer: Yes we can. But how and when?

US–IGAD Endorsement of Dr. Riek’s Replacement and its Implications

BY: Joseph Oreste Odhok, AUG/30/2016, SSN;

At last there was a sigh of relief when the news of Dr. Riak‘s safe evacuation broke on August 17,2016. As the bona fide 1st Vice President, South Sudanese people and the world at large were eager to hear from him about his next move in relation to resurrecting the peace agreement.

Contrary to the people’s expectations, the US and IGAD surprisingly and to the disappointment of all, abruptly abandoned the AU’s summit previous position on SPLM/A – IO leadership which calls on reinstatement of Dr. Machar as the 1st Vice President to salvage peace agreement.

The US State Secretary John Kerry, uttered remarks in Nairobi on August 22,2016, in which he endorsed Machar’s replacement by Gai, saying there was a legal provision in the agreement that allows for such a replacement “in the interim.”

Kerry did not adequately explain his use of the phrase “in the interim” whether he meant Riek could be reinstated or not. His remarks were later reaffirmed by Elizabeth Trudeau, the US State Department Spokeswoman.

Following US position on the subject matter, IGAD through its Spokeswoman, Sharon Kaku, stated that “it was up to the South Sudan Government to decide who should be the Country’s 1st Vice President.” And “The decision would be accommodated.” She confirmed.

As a result of this abrupt shift in position of the Regional Group (IGAD) and its chief influential ally (US), President Kiir’s illusion of ruling the Country for life and subjecting its people under his tribal hegemony and oppression is now revived.

He is now strong enough to strike hard his opponents and march forward to consolidate his position. Last Week while being briefed by his security Aides, President Kiir warned against the call for Dr. Riek’s reinstatement by foreign diplomats.

In another development, Festus Mogae, the chairman of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission –JMEC- has succumbed to President Kiir and promised to work with him and his deputy Taban Deng. “I will give advice and also listen and seek government advice for peace building in the country”. Mage said in a press statement after meeting with President Kiir and his new deputy Taban Deng.

This new development of events comes at the same time Dr. Riak was discharged from hospital and they seem well coordinated. However, what seems unusual this time around is the US acting in a unilateral fashion without its other two allies of TROIKA— UK and Norway.

The Question that poses itself is: Why the Dramatic Shift in US and IGAD Position, and What are the Implications?

When the Security Council Resolution 2304(2016) was adopted, authorizing peacekeeping force for protection of civilians, it was envisaged that South Sudan would cooperate and allow in the protection force. Threats of imminent arms embargo against the country, and imposing selected economic sanctions against the regime hardliners could have acted as a warning sign to the regime.

This strategy seemed not to work as the regime refuses to comply but instead puts forward its own terms. Demanding the UN renegotiate the provisions of the resolution before it accepts the force.

Their defiance was further bolstered by positions of Uganda and Sudan backing away from contributing troops to the force. The regime would have welcomed participation of its mentor and ally, Uganda thereby paving the way to accept the force.

It appears Uganda tactically knew what it was doing and Sudan distant itself to avoid accusations.

Reading from the mindset of Kiir and his military elite which is evidenced by their past and recent brutal actions against civilians and aid workers, the US fears the regime would proceed to commit most heinous crimes of unimaginable magnitude if the UN insists on sending in the protection force without the consent of its despot leaders.

Might be the US being the Country which drafted the proposal for the protection force bears the greatest responsibility and had to act according to what it deems suitable and necessary. Provided its action(s) is neutral and intended for realization of peace and stability of South Sudan. This, the US has done already through its continued support to IGAD and provision of humanitarian aid assistance.

It should have sought ways and means to augment its efforts and force the government to accept the protection force without preconditions.

It remains unclear as to why the US should come out loud and clear in support of Juba brutal and dictatorial regime, which until recently, combed the country’s bushes, in pursuit of his peace partner to eliminate him and eventually kill the peace agreement.

Could it be that the super powers are scrambling for the country’s untapped resources and that Syria’ scenario is likely to be replicated in South Sudan?

What is the need of presence of President Festus Magae and his JMEC when the peace agreement has already been nullified by President Kiir and Taban? And is it not ironic to talk of a protection force while you have endorsed the new government set-up which claims it has one army and one commander in chief that needs no foreign forces?

Answers to these question lie with the US and its allies but the coming weeks will surely tell us the true nature of things in the country.

The US and IGAD should have taken President Kenyatta‘s warning very seriously. He said “trying to isolate Riak Machar will not be in the best interest of peace”. He was speaking out of accurate knowledge of the realities on the ground.

The armed opposition force under Dr. Machar is intact and still loyal to him in their various locations. If the new 1st VP claims to have troops why doesn’t he visit them in their locations and attend to their needs? His recent attempts to sell his traitorous ideas to some armed opposition generals were a fiasco and were made public.

It is very unfortunate that some countries in the region still continue to support the regime either out of ignorance about the regime unwillingness to implement the peace agreement and its brutal actions against its citizens, or they so deliberately chose to work with it for their shared interests.

To succinctly state the fact, South Sudanese have been abandoned by the world and that it is for them to settle their own disputes using their home grown solutions. Call it a civil mobilization method as Mogae recently put it.

The Government is already on the offensive in many areas and its preparations are underway around Malakal, Renk and Maban counties.

Now with the hopes of peace now once again evaporated and the causes of the conflict remaining unresolved, while the people of South Sudan are left alone to settle their dispute, fierce and all-out war is imminent.

The SPLM/A–IO and the newly formed democratic revolutionary alliance are likely to team up against Kiir tribal militia and its mercenaries. I do not think the regime has got the capacity to fight a sustained war given its economic woes and the shaky nature of its political system. Especially when it is fighting against all the other ethnicities of the country.

The Demise of National Unity in South Sudan and the Way Forward

BY: Dr. LAKO Jada Kwajok, UK, AUG/18/2016, SSN;

“We don’t like you. My plan would have been to order the South Sudanese soldiers to capture the airstrips in Torit, Juba, Bahr Al-Ghazal and Upper Nile so that no government aeroplanes would land. We would then capture the steamer, and then declare our intention to secede from you [Northerners]. We are not politicians nor do we know politics. We do not like you at all – we cannot forget the atrocities that you committed against our ancestors. If it means death, so be it!”

The above are the words of our hero, Daniel Jumi Tongun during his interrogation in the aftermath of the Torit Mutiny on 18/08/1955. The British lured the Equatoria Corps mutineers into surrendering to the Sudanese government.

All those who surrendered totaling 300 soldiers including the leader of the revolt, Lieutenant Ronaldo Loyela were summarily executed by firing squads. Those were the esteemed martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the independence of South Sudan. Their colleagues who never trusted the British and hence didn’t surrender withdrew to the mountains and later formed the nucleus for the Anya-Nya movement.

Daniel Jumi Tongun and Marko Rume were arrested following the discovery of a telegram linking them to the mutineers. The two only escaped execution because 10 to 20 of the accused who were brought to testify against them, denied ever knowing the two suspects.

It was a display of bravery and readiness for self-sacrifice on both sides. On one hand, the mutineers knew they were in deep trouble but that didn’t make them betray their civilian leaders. On the other hand, the two leaders exhibited unwavering stance and were not afraid to tell the Jallaba exactly what Southerners felt about them.

Before the mutiny, it was known to few people that Tongun did write a letter to the Equatoria Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) in Torit urging them to postpone their plan to a later date. He advised them to wait for the return of the leading Southern members of parliament like Benjamin Lwoki and Buth Diu Thung who were in Khartoum at the time.

But tensions reached a boiling point following the evacuation of families of the northern soldiers, the ordering of the No. 2 company of the Equatoria Corps to travel to Khartoum and the arrest of Lieutenant Emilio Taffeng; one of the few high-ranking Southern officer.

These events prompted the Equatoria Corps NCOs to proceed with the execution of their plan without heeding the advice of their civilian leaders.

Resistance to foreign invasion or intrusion was a common denominator in the relation between the various communities of South Sudan and all the aliens.

However, the Torit mutiny was the first concerted effort by the Southerners against foreign rule. It ushered in a new dawn of collective endeavours by all the communities towards the realisation of the independence of South Sudan.

That era also witnessed the emergence of the spirit of national unity and a belief that our destinies as different tribes are intertwined.

South Sudanese national unity was though in its early stages of evolution and many would have expected it to grow much stronger as communities establish more ties through learning each other languages, the development of a common language (for example Arabi Juba), intermarriages and commercial activities among other factors.

Alas! The progression everyone expected became a sort of regression and those early stages in mid-1950’s turned out to be the golden era of South Sudanese national unity. The question that comes to mind is what went wrong?!

I believe three factors bear much of the blame for the demise of South Sudanese national unity.

The initial damage to our national unity occurred with the signing of the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement (AAPA) on March 12, 1972. Although General Joseph Lagu, the leader of the Southern Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM) included Joseph Oduho (one of the hawks) in the negotiating team, people in Equatoria remained skeptical about the peace process.

Some South Sudanese politicians including members of the SSLM who were staunch supporters of South Sudan’s independence like Eliaba Surur, refused to endorse the peace initiative. Tongun thought that Aggrey Jaden, former President of the Southern Sudan Provisional Government and Francis Mayar, a lawyer who lived in Kinshasa should have headed the peace delegation to Addis Ababa.

Tongun and Chief Lolik Lado of Liria were dismayed by Abel Alier leading the government delegation. Lolik asserted that by sitting on the side of Northerners, “Alier made it easier for the North to get more from the South and difficult for the South to get more from the North.”

Many South Sudanese are still oblivious about the reason why Alier was chosen by Numeiri to lead the government delegation. From the Northerners’ perspective, it made sense because Regional Autonomy for the South was Alier’s idea in the first place and he was known to be a strong supporter of the unity of Sudan.

Nevertheless, Alier could have garnered support for his administration by fostering the fragile national unity through inclusive and equitable policies. Instead, he pursued a tribalistic policy turning Southern Sudan into a brutal police authority under his Chief of Police Ruben Mag.

The Kokora (re-division) movement in Equatoria was the natural result of Alier’s failed policies.

The emergence of SPLM/SPLA in 1983 was met with little enthusiasm if at all in Equatoria. Dr John Garang was never a well-known political figure in South Sudan before 1983.

There hadn’t been any covert mobilisation of the masses or enlightenment about the objectives of the movement.

The fact that it resorted to looting, rape and unlawful killings of members of the other ethnicities made many people particularly the Equatorians believe that the SPLM/SPLA is a tribal movement bent on settling grudges with the Equatorians for bringing about Kokora.

Additionally, two more reasons contributed to the limited recruitment of the Equatorians into the movement. The name of the movement and its objectives were a big problem for them. How could they sacrifice their lives for the liberation of Sudan when they have fought for nearly two decades to secede from it?!

And to a lesser extent, the general impression that the SPLM/SPLA was a communist movement didn’t help in attracting recruits in Equatoria to join it. Having many known communists at the helm, the formation of the Red Army and allegiance to the former Soviet Union and its allies were enough evidence to back their belief.

During the early stages of the movement, Garang used to persuade the secessionists that they can fight up to Kosti at the borders with the North and leave those who were for the liberation of the whole Sudan to proceed northward.

It was misleading and dishonest as there can’t be two objectives for a liberation movement.

A few years ago, I watched a video clip shown inadvertently by General Malaak Ayuen over SSTV where Garang questioned the wisdom of the Bashir’s government in striking a deal with Dr Riek Machar, the secessionist while continuing to fight him the unionist.

The truth of the matter is that Garang was a unionist and many SPLM/SPLA cadres still believe in the New Sudan vision. From the outset, the New Sudan vision appeared unachievable to many people especially those who know the intricacies of the Sudanese society and politics.

But most worryingly it was irreconcilable with the demand of the Equatorians and others for total independence from the North. With such a conflict of objectives, national unity became a casualty of all the eventualities.

With President Kiir at the helm in Juba following the independence of South Sudan, the tide could have been turned favouring a cohesive society which would ultimately salvage our national unity.

Kiir had the perfect circumstances at the beginning of his reign for a successful or even an iconic Presidency. He took charge of a country that owed no loans to any foreign governments or international monetary institutions. A government that had billions of US Dollars of oil revenues stashed in its coffers, vast untapped natural resources and a reasonable number of technocrats to lead the modernisation process.

Apart from the Abyei issue which is a little bit complicated, the rest of the territorial claims against our neighbours are amenable to amicable solutions. Only a few countries in the world received the kind of support we enjoyed at the United Nations at the time of joining it. All the major world powers and the international organisations were backing us.

What else would any President hope for? People were overly happy with their newly earned freedom and would have excused the President for any petty shortcomings.

Well, rather than using the massive oil revenues to launch a robust economic development and growth, he squandered the billions of Dollars through corruption that is unheard of in modern history. Tribalism and nepotism became the order of the day.

The enthusiasm that filled the hearts of the young graduates and the young entrepreneurs during the celebration of the first independence day soon settled into a profound despair in the face of unemployment and lack of business opportunities.

The Juba massacre of the Nuer civilians that plunged the country into a civil war was a tremendous blow to national unity. And it didn’t end there as numerous atrocities were also committed by the SPLA against the other Non-Jieng communities.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the President didn’t relent in pursuing his divisive policies that saw the establishment of the illegal 28 new states. In doing so, he hammered the last nail in the coffin of national unity.

South Sudan will never be at peace in the absence of a system of governance that is acceptable to all the communities. Those who think they possess the power to maintain the status quo are just deceiving themselves and postponing the inevitable.

As we can see now, the communities that were considered in the past to be noncombatant have taken up arms to defend themselves and the war has spread to every and each corner of South Sudan.

The current regime has clearly failed and continuing the same system of governance would fall within the definition of insanity which is repeating the same thing with the hope of getting a different result.

In the first place, we must understand that technically South Sudan is not a nation but a group of mini-nations or tribes trying to live together in a territory that was “tailored” for them by the colonialists. There is no doubt that some of the tribes in Equatoria would have preferred to live together with their brethren across the borders in Uganda and the DRC.

The same applies to the Nuer and the Anuak people who probably would have opted for their communities to be within one territory in each case rather than being divided between Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Hence, it’s imperative that we adopt the system of governance that would meet the aspirations of all the communities in South Sudan.

In a world of reason, federalism would have been the right choice to address the need for devolution of power from the centre to the states. But the events that have occurred which were often beyond reason and the magnitude of the damage inflicted on the social fabric of the country – showed that the situation requires more than federalism as a solution.

Now in South Sudan, we have people who were made refugees three times in their lifetime. They were refugees in the neighbouring countries during the Anya-Nya War, through the SPLM/SPLA War and finally in the current Kiir’s War.

When are they going to live peacefully and enjoy life in their God-given land?! Father Saturnino Lohure must be stirring in his grave of what has become of South Sudan.

The only system of governance that would bring about a lasting peace in South Sudan is a confederation of states. Switzerland is a Confederate state and ranks No. 8 on the list of the richest countries in the world. Belgium is a hybrid of a federation and a confederation and remains one of the most stable and advanced countries of the world.

In the case of Serbia and Montenegro, despite sharing the same ancestry and ethnicity, yet they initially chose a confederation which subsequently became two independent states.

Looking around the world, one cannot help admiring the Swiss Confederacy that has been there since 1291.

Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok

( 1 ) The First Sudanese Civil War – by Scopas S. Poggo, Assistant Professor of African American and African Studies at Ohio State University, Mansfield campus.
( 2 ) War and Peace in the Sudan 1955 – 1972, by Cecil Eprile.

Why South Sudan should accept deployment of 4,000 regional protection forces.

BY: Chol Deng Yol , South Sudan, AUG/15/2016, SSN;

Political manipulation is amplifying in South Sudan to the extent that the informed folks have become uninformed; truth have become untruths, deceptions and deceits proceed honesty, allegation turns newscast and news chances claims. There is just too much confusion; the public is disordered with unsubstantiated information here and there.

Two weeks ago, politicians organized peaceful demonstrations in all states of South Sudan to protest against foreign forces intervention following IGAD’s communiques on South Sudan. One week later, the same politicians, after the AU Summit in Addis Ababa, accepted deployment of what they called “Protection” force to South Sudan, defeating the purpose of the earlier organized peaceful demonstrations in the country.

The very innocent general public including school children who were organized into peaceful demonstrators, even though, rejecting deployment of foreign troops were puzzled by the government shifting position to unconditional acceptance of the foreign troops.

To some informed citizens, the government shifting position was translated as a ploy to score some diplomatic scores regionally.

The uninformed majority duped as “peaceful demonstrators” were made to understand that UN was set to take over the Country’s affairs. To the poor uneducated and unconscious South Sudanese, there existed little knowledge on the difference between the so-called UN Trusteeship/stewardship and regional protection forces.

Erroneous analysis of the root causes of our problems will always make fools of us, the South Sudanese.

Transiently, we are in current crises because of power struggling among the SPLM elites. These elites, because of their thirst for power, have fragmented the legendary SPLM party into IO, IG, DC, and SPLM Equatoria etc.

To the politicians, the knowledge gaps among the general population have turned into golden opportunity to misinform the uninformed citizens to rebel against the international community, particularly the UN, instead of against the very politicians who have mishandled the affairs of the sovereign state, South Sudan.

From time to time, our South Sudanese politicians lie to the public that the UN and the international community should be blamed for the ongoing political crises because they both have interests to proclaim the sovereignty and leadership of the government.

But the question begs; to whom is the principle of sovereignty attested to? Do we have sovereign state or sovereign individuals in South Sudan?

In modern societies, individual persons do not have sovereignty unless they are absolute rulers like the Pharaoh, but this is the case yet again in South Sudan.

Our politicians act as if they are above the sovereignty of this beloved country forgetting that they are under the sovereignty of another entity called South Sudan. Naturally, we, the South Sudanese are impatient with high temperatures but these high dispositions will always put our beloved country at risk.

Cognizant of our people temperament and the government’s way of handling political and diplomatic issues, the recent adoption of the UNSC resolution 2304 (2016) on the deployment of 4000 regional protection forces to South Sudan was a clear assessment to the South Sudanese diplomatic maturity; the world has resorted to our neighbors, with their fickle interests, to fix our house, a move that will likely be rejected by the government.

For the government of South Sudan to maintain her face globally, acquiescence to the deployment of the regional forces remains the only viable option otherwise the current regime will be isolated diplomatically.

What the government should do now is to work-out the “exit” strategy for the regional protection forces; negotiate the size, mandate, weapons and contributing countries.

Direct confrontations with IGAD, African Union (AU) as well as the UN Country member states will not only scare away investors, including big financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank, but also will motivate possibility of placing South Sudan under some form of international supervision.

Threats of arms embargo and sanctions may be avoided only if our government avoids further falling-out with the United Nations country member states as well as the UN Security Council.

I would conclusively advise our government to approach diplomatic matters with sober thoughts because in the middle of difficulty lies any opportunity, otherwise accepting regional forces is far much better than the UN Trusteeship.