Category: Politics

South Sudan: A Country without Dignity, a Sanctuary of Corruption & untold Suffering

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, APR/04/2017, SSN;

In South Sudan, the system is rotten to the core. Corruption has eaten up everything. Money is the language of the day and no one thinks about a country called South Sudan.

Because of corruption and mismanagement, South Sudan and her people have lost their dignities as they are not respected internationally. This is why the leaders of South Sudan are given money and at the same time abused by other countries without responding to such attacks.

The clear example to support the above point is the recent remark made by Dutch Minister for International Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, who openly abused the President, Kiir, and other leaders of South Sudan that and I quote “The leaders of South Sudan are bastards who starve their own people.”

A bastard means illegitimate child, a child born to unmarried parents. It also means illegitimacy in English law. In simple terms, it means a narcissistic and annoying Character.

Under normal circumstances where the principles of state sovereignty governing international diplomacy and relation applies, South Sudan would have broken ties with the government of the Netherlands and recalled her ambassador unless that government apologizes.

But because we are a begging and dependent nation on other countries, then we have to allow our dignity and dignity of our nation to be trampled upon by other countries without any fear of reprisal.

Hence, South Sudan is a nation sacrificed for and slaughtered at the altar of corruption. South Sudan is a nation bleeding from and facing untold suffering caused by corruption which occupies the heart of our governance system.

However, though we are abused day and night, we must be just by admitting that all our problems have their roots in the poor governance and misuse of resources by our leaders.

Hence, the Minister from Netherlands was right to call our leaders “bastards” because they have annoying character, they’re corrupt and because of that they are illegitimate as they have rebelled against the will of the citizens of South Sudan contrary to social contract as provided for under Article 9 of the Constitution.

It is important to point out that social contract as provided for under Article 9 of our constitution provides that the government of South Sudan cannot have a right to obedience from South Sudanese unless it lives in accordance with the principles of social contract. This is not the case now in South Sudan.

As we have seen today in South Sudan, the people have been abandoned by their leaders, left in the lurch and have now become beggars while the leaders are enjoying all they need in life with their children abroad.

Hence, South Sudan as a whole has lost dignity as it has now become a begging nation as described below:—
— The streets of Juba are full of the people who are forced by the conditions to become beggars. Widows and children of the Soldiers who have been killed are now begging on the streets yet those soldiers died while defending the wealth of the cliques who hold power and wealth and who maintain such wealth through blood of the innocent citizens who are trapped and killed in the rivalry caused by corruption and power struggle among these top leaders.

— Citizens are dying of poverty and hunger amidst plenty. Youth are being recruited on daily basis to defend leaders not the country. They are not defending the country because currently South Sudan has lost it vast lands to the neighboring countries, which shows that soldiers are not defending territories of the country called South Sudan.

— South Sudanese children who are in camps are being denied national examinations, which is the destruction of the future of South Sudan. For example, on March 8, 2017 as it was reported, South Sudan leaders stopped about 900 students living in the United Nations protection of civilian camps at Jebel Kujur from doing nationwide secondary school examinations (see; reliefweb.int/report/south-sudan/s-sudanese-camps-halted-sitting-national-exams).

The reason for denying them examinations was that they must come out of the camps. How can a reasonable leader deny a child basic needs on such grounds?

This shows that South Sudanese leaders are not human beings but automated machines for power. If they were human beings they must have realized that denying children education is a violation of their right to education which will have negative implications on the future of South Sudan.

The action of denying children education alone shows that South Sudan is trapped in power struggle without aims and objectives. The government and the rebels are fighting for power without basis. The power with basis is the power with clear objectives and goals, which is not the case in South Sudan war. All mess in form of war is being done as motivated by corruption.

For the above reasons, it will take time for South Sudanese and South Sudan to recover from the present war. This is because the war has no aims or objectives that will guide those who are involved in war to reconstruct after the war.

However, the fact is that the present war is a war for an opportunity to dehumanize and corrupt the system to the detriments of all innocent citizens. This is why rebels and the government do not care for the welfare of the citizens who are trapped in the war.

In fact, it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that South Sudanese leaders on both sides do not care about people but only for what benefits them. We are ruled by corruption and because of that South Sudan has become synonymous with corruption and money.

This is supported by the fact that South Sudan Central Bank has been looted and left empty because of corruption. This was confirmed by the Minister of Finance, Stephen Dhieu, who recently came forward to break the good news to the president that all money has gone without any trace and the Central Bank is now empty and a house of rats.

The overall implication is that South Sudan has become a sanctuary of corruption as corruption has permeated all offices. The clear example is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Sudan which is the corruption house.

If it were not because of corruption, how on earth can a fresh graduate from University and those who have not finished Universities be appointed ambassadors?

In addition, in the same ministry of foreign affairs, when you go you will not be surprised to get the files of some of the staff without any papers except birth certificates and recommendations from big man in the government.

In summary, the proper definition of the government of South Sudan is that it is the government of corruption, self-services, a sanctuary and a house of corruption headed by corrupt government.

Citizens are therefore advised to unite and disown the government of South Sudan unless it carries out serious reforms. If they do not give heed to this advice the country will fall apart and that will mark the end of South Sudan and all South Sudanese citizenry.

The Author is human rights lawyer and can be reached through juoldaniel@yahoo.com/+256783579256

The Devil’s Advocate: Rebels in South Sudan can win militarily

BY: Samuel Atabi, South Sudan, MAR/30/2017, SSN;

Several diplomats and key experts have one view of the civil war raging in South Sudan: No side can win the war by military means. For a young rebel recruit, this can be a devastating statement, for in taking up arms, he believes he can remove the dictatorship that is causing, in hundreds of thousands, the death, rape, displacement and suffering of South Sudanese.

A close examination of the statement, however, reveals that it is actually shorthand for a much longer one which says something like: “You South Sudanese do not have the requisite quantity and quality of armaments for a knock-out victory for one side or the other.”

True, there is parity, at least in doctrine and skills on both the rebel and government forces; after all, all of them are products of the same SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army).

Stalemated outcomes from battlefields of the war that started in 2013, attest to this conclusion.

But the question that needs to be answered is this: “Is it always true that African rebels, fighting against an unjust government, cannot win outright militarily?”

As a Devil’s Advocate, in this instance, my answer to this question should be a resounding “NO.”

Recent history of civil wars in the region is replete with spectacular military victories against sitting, arguably, dictatorial governments. As a raft of testimonies below will show that these victories came about because the various insurgents did receive generous military support from foreign allies or sympathizers.

To avoid a convoluted recounting of these testimonies in a report format, I would rather animate the very leaders of these victorious insurgents to speak for themselves. These testimonies are based on historical facts.

I call upon President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (YKM) of the Republic of Uganda as the first witness.

YKM: “In 1981, a fascist government of Uganda, led by Milton Obote, rigged and stole a general election in which my party was poised to win. We did not take this insult lying down. I, together with others moved to the bush to start an armed struggle.

In the bush we formed a coalition called the National Resistance Movement (NRM), with its military wing named the National Resistance Army. I will spare you a lot of details.

But in five years we fought fierce battles against the government troops (the UNLA) and won. In 1986, in a final battle of Kampala, we comprehensively defeated the fascist army who retreated to the north of the country.

After forming the government, we pursued the remnants of this army, killed many of them but spared those who surrendered.

The only persistent group from this old army was the LRA (the so-called Lord’s Resistance Army), which, as I speak, we have reduced to just a dozen or so soldiers and are now hiding far away from Uganda, probably in Central African Republic.

It was not easy though. The White people (Museveni routinely utters this phrase) refused to give us arms. But my late friend, Col. Muamar Gaddafi of Libya came to our aid. We were able to arm ourselves sufficiently to face the government in Kampala.

If you have time, I can also add that we trained and armed the Rwandan Patriotic Front of Paul Kagame and others. These guys later returned to their country, Rwanda, to defeat another tribal and fascist regime there and form a government.

These two stories were straight military victories. I do not accept any crap that insurgents cannot, a priori, defeat an unpopular sitting government.”

Our next witness is Mr Meles Zanawi (RIP), Past President of Federal Republic of Ethiopia to give an account (from wherever he is) of insurgent’s victory in that ancient African country.

MZ: “We founded the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) around 1974. We were encouraged in this by our erstwhile comrades in the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF).

By that time, the EPLF had fought for over thirty years against the government of, first, Emperor Haile Selassie and, later, against that of Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam, without success.

After studying the war situation intently, we in TPLF decided to broaden our appeal to other Ethiopian ethnic groups and formed a coalition with a multi-ethnic movement called Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF, a mouthful).

The three fronts, EPLF, TPLF and EPRDF, together mounted a decisive military campaign in the early 1990’s against Mengistu. Finally, in May 1991, the long and arduous stalemate in the war against the regime was broken.

As we were approaching Addis Ababa to wrench the power from the oppressive government, Mengistu, himself, fled the country. The date was 21 May 1991. The rest, as they say, is history.

But let me say this in conclusion: the Eritreans were able to gain their independence through this direct military defeat of the Mengistu’s regime; it was not a negotiated settlement. The same can be said of our assumption of power.

We were decisive in our victory because of arms supplies which our allies and friends gave us. These creative and deeply caring allies and friends must remain unnamed for the time being. Yes, insurgent can defeat an uncaring government through military means.”

Because of the limitation of space and time, I will not bother you with further witness testimonies. But from the stories given above, it is now abundantly clear that, insurgents, given certain circumstances and arms, can indeed achieve military victory over their governmental opponents.

Despite all these glowing testimonies, it is still important to ask whether the rebel organizations in South Sudan (now believe to be over 40) can defeat the Kiir’s tribal autocracy in Juba.

For an answer to this question, we now call upon Dr Riek Machar of the SPLA-in opposition (SPLA-IO) to give a justification why the rebels deserve military support in order to succeed like his Ugandan and Ethiopian counterparts.

RM: “I will not detain you with minutiae of the war since its eruption in 2013. But I can say this: the SPLA-IO composition, aims and strategy are constantly being reviewed in the light of lessons learnt following the violence of July 2016.

Although the number of the rebel movements is now reported to be over 40, the reality is that all of them, except very few, are aligned with SPLA-IO. Even the few ones are welcome to join us. This alignment makes our command structure and control very manageable.

In addition, politically, as some organizations such as the International Crisis Group have acknowledged, the SPLA-IO is now a truly multi-ethnic army. Our forces are now widely spread throughout South Sudan: from Equatoria, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Jonglei, and Upper Nile to Unity states.

In all, we represent all the 64 tribes of South Sudan. This contrasts sharply with the SPLA-in government (SPLA-IG) which has become a mono-ethnic monolith that is led by a President controlled by self-appointed, reactionary and tribal Jieng Council of Elders (JCE).

Our aim is anchored on peaceful resolution of the conflict through the August 2015 peace agreement. Our war effort is defensive and ultimately aimed at bringing the government in Juba to a negotiating table.

From the media reports, the government has set its face against any peaceful dialogue that will include the opposition. Yet, in the meantime the SPLA-IG continues to kill civilians in thousands, rape them in thousands and send them into refuge and internal displacement by the millions.

Furthermore, reports of the government concluding military alliances against our forces are increasing on daily basis. In the face of this intransigence, on the part of the government, what are we in the opposition to do?

We believe that the people of South Sudan are entitled to self-defense against the brutal Kiir regime in Juba. That is why we now appeal to all peace loving governments and people to support us with arms to resist and eventually force the government to the negotiating table.

We need field guns, assault rifles, heavy and light machine guns, rockets, anti-tanks, shoulder-held anti-aircrafts and others. Yes, we need the famous Stinger anti-aircraft missiles for defense against the mercenary-operated Juba regime’s aircraft and helicopter gunships. (We understand the unease of supplying the Stingers to rebel forces such as the Afghan anti-Soviet forces that later passed them on to the Al Qaeda for use against the US forces . We are not terrorists neither are we anti-Americans).

Additional to our self-defense needs, the military hardware will assist us to degrade the forces of Juba with their allies should there be a need for prior military action before an international force or any interim trustee government is deployed or installed in Juba. (We are open to persuasion about these issues).

UNMISS, the UN forces in South Sudan, are reluctant to engage militarily with the SPLA-IG despite their wide-ranging and robust mandate.

I will conclude by reminding the international community that, in the past, appeasement of a determined genocidal regime such as that of Hitler’s had led to the death of millions of Europeans and Jews.

Kiir’s regime is equally determined and genocidal. To avoid a similar fate for our people, the removal of the regime requires the use of military means.

Like Churchill’s appeal to the Americans during the Second World War, we in South Sudan ask you to “give us the tools and we will do the fighting”. You know where to get me and I will be waiting for your call.

Samuel Atabi is the Devil’s Advocate; all the words are his and can be reached at samuelatabi@gmail.com

The mess in South Sudan isn’t entirely Museveni’s fault: A caution to Gen. Thomas Cirillo

By: Samuel Atabi, MAR/03/2017, SSN;

The Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, is not politically a popular man among many in the ethnically divided South Sudan. The source of this political unpopularity can be divided into two main parts: among the non-Dinka group, Mr Museveni is accused of advising President Kiir to adopt dictatorial tendencies in order to advance a tribal hegemony over other non-Dinka tribes; and within the Dinka elite can be found those who hold Mr Museveni responsible for the death of Dr John Garang, the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

Garang died in a helicopter crash in 2005 after visiting with Museveni. This group of accusers asserts that Mr Museveni did not share the vision of a “New Sudan” that was espoused by Garang and, therefore, as a motive, he might have colluded with others who had similar view, to eliminate Garang.

In any case, Museveni was the “last man to see Garang alive,” as a criminal prosecutor might say. Together, the two groups are passionate in their belief although there is no incontrovertible evidence to support their positions.

The lingering doubt on the veracity of these accusations tends to support a view expressed by many non-South Sudanese, including two expat friends of mine, that “South Sudanese have the habit of blaming others for their own problems.”

Mr Museveni himself appears to defend himself when he was recently quoted in the media as saying that the main problem in South Sudan is lack of clear-headed leaders, and leaders who are bereft of ideology but who “push the pseudo-ideology of sectarianism of tribes that is detrimental to the people’s well-being.”

If there is no tangible evidence to support the charges against the Ugandan president, can one then hold a contrary view that he has always acted in the best interest of South Sudanese as a people?

In my opinion, the answer is yes, to a large extent. I will explain why.

In the mid-1980’s, the SPLA was some few years old but it was already embroiled in a quarrel arising from accusation that it was giving support to Ugandan rebels; these rebels were resisting the newly installed government of Museveni’s National Resistance Army/Movement (NRA/M).

Unsurprisingly, the NRA government was in turn accused of harboring some SPLA dissidents who had disagreed with Garang’s objective of fighting for “New Sudan;” the dissidents were separatists who favored secession from Sudan.

Among the dissident SPLA officers was a prominent Equatorian who became a close political friend of Museveni’s.

With time, the NRA government made it up with its rebels whose members were then absorbed in various posts in Uganda; but a group of rebels called the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) held out and still exists to this day albeit at a much reduced fighting capacity.

Later, Sudan became the main supporter of the LRA; this in turn spurred Uganda to support Garang’s SPLA. The two leaders then became friends.

The friendship between Garang and Museveni appears not to have been completely consummated though, because there was, at the time, some evidence that Museveni did not share the vision of a united New Sudan as championed by Garang.

In one episode that confirms this claim, and which the author has an intimate knowledge, key Uganda government officials, apparently with a tacit permission from the top, supplied the senior Equatorian officer referred to earlier, with funds and military materiel apparently without the knowledge of Garang.

The purpose for this generosity was for the Equatorian to form a guerilla faction to fight for independence of South Sudan, outside the Garang-led SPLA.

Were this faction to prosper and grow into an effective insurgency, the celebrated support that Museveni was extending to the SPLA would have waned and stopped altogether. But this was not be because this new faction failed to take off as will be explained shortly.

There is another reason why SPLA continued to get support from Uganda. It is now publicly known that Uganda’s assistance to the SPLA was also motivated by the country’s leader’s deep emotional and ideological desire to free South Sudanese from the oppression of the Arab-and Islamic-dominated north Sudan.

Although South Sudan did gain its independence in 2011, Museveni must still remains disappointed by what is going on in our country and also with his erstwhile Equatorian ally.

As pointed out earlier, the logistical and financial support given to this ally was to enable him embark on the recruitment of South Sudanese from all ethnic groups to fight in the proposed faction.

Disappointingly, the man decided to recruit only from his own tribe in Equatoria!

Furthermore, there were no officers to lead these recruits. More distastefully, the funds and vehicles were diverted to promote business activities of the relatives of this officer.

Eventually, word of this monumental incompetence and corruption reached those who provided the assistance and, were it not for the intervention of a close relative of the Ugandan leader, this officer would have faced a military justice, which may have included facing a firing squad.

This is how the well-intentioned project of creating a faction to fight for independence came a cropper.

This debacle should act as a cautionary tale to my brother, Gen. Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the leader of the newly-created National Salvation Front (NAS). Like the failed officer, he is an Equatorian.

Furthermore, there is now a heightened expectation not only among the Equatorians but also among other South Sudanese that NAS might be the answer for the removal the terrible regime now in Juba. He must not fail and disappoint them.

General Swaka should resist the temptation to go tribal and to succumb to an abhorrent Jieng Council of Elders’ type of machination and maleficence that have destroyed the country.

He should remain firm against tribal-minded “expert” advisers and a Bari Council of Elders, if one (ever) exists.

To my fellow compatriots, South Sudanese, presidents and leaders do not have to follow advice given to them; they must first know what they want to achieve.

On this score, I will hesitate to blame Mr Museveni for the calamity now befalling us.

Samuel Atabi is a concerned South Sudanese and can be reached at: samuelatabi@gmail.com

Over 5 Million People are at Risks of Dying in South Sudan; Why is the World Silent?

By Dr. Gatluak Ter Thach* FEB/25/2017, SSN;

The international and regional media outlets are silent of seriously informing the world about man-made catastrophes in South Sudan. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), together with South Sudanese regime in Juba, have announced that a grave famine hit South Sudan, especially Unity State and other regions in the nation.

This news did not surprise anyone since most civilians in South Sudan depend heavily on agricultural productive services while the disastrous civil war displaced them from their destroyed homes and they did not cultivate. A new UNHCR report published recently disclosed unbelievable statistics of South Sudanese who left their homes.

The report stated that hundreds of thousands of people who are displaced from their homes suffered inside the country, “with many facing threats of kidnappings, rapes, armed attacks, [killings] and “acute food shortages.”

South Sudan refugees who reached Uganda are over 698,000 with more arriving every single day. Ethiopia ranks second, according to the UNHCR report with 342,000, while more than 305,000 are in Sudan. Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo are other countries that host significant number of South Sudanese refugees.

About 1.5 million South Sudanese had left the country for refuge in the neighboring nations. This statistics of refugee displacements places South Sudan on top of any refugee country in the continent Africa and third in the world behind Afghanistan and Syria respectively. More than 60 percent of South Sudanese refugees are children, many arriving with alarming levels of malnutrition and traumas. Thousands of women and girls have been raped; their homes were burned with all their properties destroyed.

The economy of South Sudan crushed since the inflation rate ranks highest and is more than 800 percent; it is alarming percentage in the moment, which makes it difficult to import goods from other countries since the new nation does not produce its own goods.

It is also a problematic for everyone, including the heavily weights, to place food and feed families, let alone the average poor. The UNHCR report indicates that “opposition to UN and AU transitional administration could be mitigated through a combination of politics and force— by working with important South Sudanese constituencies frustrated with [South Sudanese] President Salva Kiir, former First Vice President [and current SPLA-IO leader] Dr. Riek Machar, and their cronies; and then deploying a lean and agile peace intervention force to combat and deter the remaining spoilers once they have been politically isolated.”

I think this suggestion will exacerbate the situation. My humble recommendation is to deal with both Pres. Kirr and Dr. Riek to bring a real peace instead of sidelining anyone of them.

What really went wrong in South Sudan?

Personally, I struggle to point solely on one tangible rejoinder to this query because no logic seems to make sense in South Sudan, and whenever one states the facts, others take the evidence differently since inventors’ aims are to frustrate and ensure people remain incomprehensibly abstruse.

In my humble attempt to share what I know, I can piece this question into three categories. First and foremost, South Sudan historically got its independence in 2011 from Sudan, but its founding leader died few weeks before he assumed his role. The successor (Pres. Kiir) lacked the capacity to carry on the tasks he had in hands to drive the nation forward.

Though the successor had initially made a fair decision to bring on-board Dr. Riek as his deputy, but due to fear of unknown, as well as pressures from within his closed circles, relationship between the two leaders (Pres. Kiir and Dr. Riek) did not go as expected, and with no diligent working relationship and collaboration among the leaders, fruits of a political production could not easily be engendered as what people wish.

The second point is vision. The Pres. Kiir did not have a vision for the country. This is not my opinion alone on him. There were numbers of discussions made about his vision. One was when Pres. Kiir himself made with former US President Bush, Jr, and he was asked to articulate his vision for the country. However, Pres. Kiir relied on his subordinates to share what they thought was the vision for the country. Contrary to how anyone who leads anything, leave alone a country can do.

Vision is critically important for a leader and how to move a diverse country like South Sudan forward requires a visionary leadership which Pres. Kiir does not have, and the country is where it is because of that.

The third aspect is corruption. According to local and international analysts, corruption in South Sudan went above human imaginations. Pres. Kiir himself had at one point produced a list of several government officials of whom he accused of eating 4 billion dollars from government pots. Even though there were disputes to his accusation as some officials of the accused individuals came forward to clear their good names, evidences are there to display indeed some leaders, including Kiir himself, robbed the country with scarce resources deemed to serve and develop the nation.

A number of army generals who recently resigned from Pres. Kiir regime in Juba encompassed corruption in the lists of their frustration points, but Pres. Kiir and his closed allies did not care or grasp corruption as one of the major challenges facing the country.

As General Kamila Otwari Aleardo Paul put it in his letter of resignation to Pres. Salva Kiir and I quote, “Sir, with your partiality, favoritism and bias policies, you have dumped the country into chaos making it an incessant conflict zone.”

Gen. Kamila hails from Lotuko tribe in South Sudan. He accused Pres. Kiir who hails from Dinka tribe and his regime of squandering public funds to equip and serve his Dinka tribe only. A sentiment shared by many minority tribes in South Sudan at the moment.

Number of resigned and defected generals in addition to civilian members from different ethnic groups blame Pres. Kiir for practicing tribalism and nepotism as political self-empowerment to continue status quo in order to remain in power.

Pres. Kiir’s administration is similarly accused of mismanagement and bias policies, as well as killings of other ethnic groups. In December 2013, over 20,000 ethnic Nuer were murdered in less than a week by new trained tribal militias recruited and armed by Pres. Kiir’s Army Chief of Staff, Paul Malong Awan, a close friend and ally to Pres. Kiir and a member of his tribe.

The same killings are happening all over South Sudan currently, and both (Pres. Kiir and Gen. Awan) are responsibles of the continuing of the present conflict in South Sudan. The SPLA army Pres. Kiir leads is mainly responsible for committed atrocities on civilian population, along with deterring relief agencies to deliver aid assistance to people in needs. The SPLA army continues to confiscate properties without accountability.

What could be done to save the remaining lives?

The world must realize people of South Sudan are dying on daily basis in alarming rate at the moment, and it has to be stopped with an immediate action. According to UN agency, more than 5 million people are at risk of vanishing if nothing is done now to bar their lives. A conservative reliable estimation of more than 150,000 have already died as result of the current civil war started in December 15, 2013.

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (PSCAU), at its 411th meeting held at the level of Heads of State and Government, in Banjul, Gambia, on December 30, 2013, mandated the establishment of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS), which was headed by H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of the Republic of Nigeria.

The Chairperson of the Commission, in consultation with the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and other relevant African Union (AU) structures, immediately established a Commission to investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan and made recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities.

The Commission was also requested to submit its report to Council within a maximum period of three months though it went longer than that, the IGAD-PLUS took the commission report and recommendations for further implementation. As part of its response to the crisis in South Sudan, the Commission adopted the Terms of Reference (ToR) detailed in the Concept Note Relating to the Establishment to:

• Establish the immediate and remote causes of the conflict;
• Investigate human rights violations and other abuses during the conflict by all parties from December 15, 2013;
• Establish facts and circumstances that may have led to and that amount to such violations and of any crimes that may have been perpetrated;
• Compile information based on these investigations and in so doing assist in identifying perpetrators of such violations and abuses with a view to ensuring accountability for those responsible.

The Commission interpreted its mandate to consist of four focal areas: healing, reconciliation, accountability and institutional reforms after identifying perpetrators. The Commission approached its mandate in a holistic manner, which was to emphasize the interrelatedness of the mandate areas.

The commission recommendations were enshrined as tools to pave ways for better forward to bring a lasting peace in the country. These recommendations were incorporated in the peace deal signed by the leaders, and this is the only way to bring a lasting peace in South Sudan. With no peace and accountability, how do people reconcile?

The peace could also bring permanent harmony in the country had it been executed as drafted and signed. However, there is no peace nor ceasefire in the country now. There is already a steady process of ethnic cleansing taking place in several areas of South Sudan that causes the current famine.

Yet, Pres. Kiir still preaches for an exclusive national dialogue. How could he conduct honest national dialogue when there is no ceasefire, leave alone a peace in the country? Why not he bring peace first before a dialogue as it was purposed in the August 2015 Peace Agreement if he is serious?

For the lives to be saved in South Sudan, the world must earnestly declare an end to this man-made crisis by tackling situation differently this time than it has been. Pres. Kiir must be told to either accept the previous peace deal, implementing it with his former foe, Dr. Riek and not with friend, or else accept to step aside and allow his party to choose a person deems suitable to represent IG party in a meaningful, unified government.

Pres. Kiir has no choice nor a mandate in the peace deal to hand-picked whomever he wants from other parties despite the objection of parties’ members as it was the case for Gen. Taban Deng Gai, who claims a fake representation of IO forces and sympathized members.

The international community, especially the United States of America, which has spent more than 2 billion USD in humanitarian assistance already in South Sudan, whereas the regime in Juba has spent twice as much on purchasing modernized military hardware to murdering its own people, as well as mortgaging the national resources to prolong the war and save no lives, must redouble their efforts to pressure Pres. Kiir to do what’s right for his people and country in order to spare innocent lives in addition to bringing a lasting hope to South Sudan.

In conclusion

This is a call on people of goodwill to stand up and help save lives of innocent South Sudanese civilians. I believe it will take all of us to bring an end the suffering of South Sudanese private citizens from their brutal leaders whose objectives are for erasing population from their original land and confiscating their properties for personal enrichment.

The world must prioritize peace by giving an ultimatum to the leaders, especially Pres. Kiir, to either join hands with his opponents and bring lasting peace or vacant the power for people of South Sudan to choose a leader who will unify their diverse ethnic groups. The agreement signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in August 2015, provided a roadmap for a genuine peace to be realized, but it is a dead deal now because Pres. Kiir did not want to implement it.

The world has also failed to lift up to its obligations, including making Pres. Kiir accountable instead of opting to isolate another signatory, Dr. Riek, who has so far committed everything he had, including his life, to join Pres. Kiir in his unfriendly territory, where Dr. Riek and his few bodyguards barely made it out after assassination attempt on his good life on July 8, 2016, which resulted in the collapse of the peace agreement.

However, I still believe that the peace deal could still be resuscitated and saved by urging the two signatories (Pres. Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar) plus others to sit back together on a table for the full implementation, and as a result, some South Sudanese lives could be saved!

Dr. Gatluak Thach lives and works in Nashville, TN. Author can be reached at gat@gmail.com; He is on Facebook, blog and tweet @gatthach.

Thinking outside the Box: Fragmentation of South Sudan is Becoming a Possible Reality

By Joseph Oreste Odhok, South Sudan, FEB/22/2017, SSN;

The civil war in South Sudan is poised to become a proxy regional war as some countries in the region begin to flex their muscles in furtherance to varied interests. Of late the regional bloc, IGAD witnessed intensive shuttle diplomacy from within and surprisingly from outside the bloc.

President Kiir visited Cairo on invitation of his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi who later returned the visit to Juba. President Al-Sisi made similar visits to both Uganda and Kenya on Dec 18th 2016 and Feb 18th 2017 respectively. A move seen as lobbying for support against construction of the Ethiopian “Renaissance Dam”, which Egypt regards as a threat to her national security.

In their bilateral talks at the State house in Entebbe, President Museveni welcomed Egypt’s intention to contribute troops for protection force in South Sudan. He also asked Al-Sisi to discourage the UNSC policy on imposing sanctions on South Sudan and further assured the Egyptian President that his government would work hard and take strict measures to ensure conservation of the River Nile so that Egypt would not be affected.

This meeting has its political overtones on South Sudan conflict and marks the beginning of a downward spiral to the fragmentation of the country, and a threat to regional peace and international security.

According to unverified information, South Sudan and Egypt made a deal that would make it possible to disrupt and frustrate the work on the Ethiopian “Renaissance Dam” project. This secret deal entails allowing the Ethiopian rebels to operate within South Sudanese territories, in return to providing air cover to the SPLA by Egyptian air force.

The ongoing Arial bombardments of civilian population settlements around Malakal and other areas of the “Shilluk Kingdom” on the West bank of the Nile seems to substantiate the claim.

Literally, the Shilluk kingdom is now empty after all the civil population — including the IDPs of Wau Shilluk— fled their villages for safety to the neighboring Sudan.

Mr. David Shearer, the head of UNMISS in South Sudan said he was denied access to Wau by the government and that he did not know the fate of the civilians sheltering there whom he thought fled towards Kodok.

President Kiir is well known for not keeping his promises. In fact, he is a pathological or a plausible liar. For how could you talk of conducting a dialogue and at the same time carry out military campaigns against those who’re supposed to take part in that same dialogue?

While this latest position of the regional bloc coupled with Egyptian meddling in the country’s affairs has emboldened President Kiir to deflect the peace agreement and openly declare before the parliament that he would neutralize the armed opposition wherever they are, Ethiopia and Sudan on the other hand, I believe, would not sit by and watch their own peace and national security being tempered with.

In the case of Ethiopia, it has soft borders with South Sudan with by having the same tribes on both sides of the border. These blood relation and ethnic bonds provide a sense of unity and belonging to each other. This sense of belonging could easily come to play in times of conflict and great turbulence such as this one.

In Equatoria, the situation could be described as catastrophic as evidenced by the number of fleeing civilian population to Uganda and Kenya, and the defecting officials to the Opposition. Most people in that region are living in constant fear and under harsh living conditions as the SS currency lost its purchasing power.

Add to this, the fear of crackdown and risk of deportation back to the country should they opt to take refuge in Urban Areas in Kenya and Uganda. These factors combined make the life extremely miserable for those still in the country.

The people of Western Bahr el Gazelle, mainly the Fertit tribes, are still sheltering in the UN protection sites and churches and in the bushes under harsh living conditions. In a nutshell the only free people who the president referred to as citizens of South are his tribes-people the “Jieng.”

Sudan’s concerns would come from the deteriorating security situation on its white Nile and South Kordufan States borders with Upper Nile State. Also the security of her nomads and their cattle while on their seasonal journeys for pasture and water in the area.

The Niger nomadic tribe of Flata Ombororo also visits the area in search of pasture and water.

Nevertheless, the Sudanese oil installations in Upper Nile and Unity States remains the most important items. The security of these installations will ultimately determine the next move of the Sudanese Government should the war escalate between the belligerent parties.

At present the Sudanese are working to lift the remaining US sanctions from their country and would not want to be distracted from achieving that goal. Though that should not be taken for granted.

This new escalation of conflict with vehement characteristics of ethnicity which is openly advocated by a tiny tribal elite and sanctioned by the Head of the State, made the polarization even worse, and the demise of the country much imminent than ever before.

The recent defections of senior military and civil service officials from the government, and their revelations are but clear testimony to the level of frustration and despair.

The insistence of the President on going ahead with the fake “National Dialogue” while promising to quell the rebellion by military means is an inept way of handling of the country’s affairs and a brazen idiocy.

Unless he wanted to throw the country to the dogs as Adolf Hitler had done before the allied forces brought him to his knees, there is no rational reason to opt for military solution. There shall not be decisive military victory by either side.

If Egypt, Uganda and Kenya all stand behind Kiir’s government to advance their covetous and malicious interests, they too should know that there are others out there who similarly covet South Sudan and would want to enter the scramble for this dying animal.

This unfolding unfortunate situation will eventually turn the country into a safe haven for criminals and illicit trade and by extension provide a springboard for terrorist activities.

In conclusion, the current political development of events in South Sudan brings me to corroborate the supposition in a report published by Pax International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) — Scenarios for South Sudan in 2020 — in which the author predicts the Fragmentation of the country into many parts by October 2017.

The collapse of the government and fragmentation of the country is now becoming a possible reality given the recent policy shift to a military solution of the conflict, the already declared famine and the collapsing economy.

Dr. Riek and his SPLM/A–IO should not take the blame for collapse of peace. After all it takes two to tango. END

Freedom Fighters or Terrorists: The SPLM /A-IO Equatoria Groups

By Mading Gum, FEB/12/2017, SSN;

Of all the leadership qualities that made Dr. John Garang, SPLM/A leader, one of the greatest freedom fighters in Africa to stand out was that Garang was a great thinker. Garang offered a new nationalism of Sudanism, opposed to divisiveness and separatism. He imagined a political community in New Sudan in which democracy, equality, economic and social justice and respect for human rights is the core.

In his mind, the enemy was clear: all the institutions of oppression that have been evolved in Khartoum to oppress the masses of the Sudanese people. ‘The masses of the Sudanese people’. Remember that.

But why did Garang define the enemy as the institutions of oppression rather than Arabs? Was the Dien Massacre of 1987 not carried out by armed Arab Baggara militias who killed and burnt to death hundreds of Dinkas? Were Arabs militias of Rufa in Jabalyin not responsible for the massacre of over 200 Shilluk civilians in 1989? What about over 90 Shilluk victims who fled for safety but were killed in cold blood at the nearby police station manned by Arabs?

The tragedy in the South Sudan brutal conflict is lack of political imagination beyond tribes, hatred, revenge and self-enrichment. Garang offered New Sudan that transcends tribes in the past. None does today.

Political violence or terrorism, the missing link:

South Sudan conflict can be read in different ways. If you read from the perspective of my friend, Professor Remember Miamingi, the Juba regime is a terrorist state that has expanded the concept of “enemy combatant to the tribes and communities from which the principal enemy comes from.”

For Miamingi, the rebels are the principal enemy, the presumed freedom fighters. Another perspective, underrepresented in the mainstream media, views rebels as nothing but terrorists who “exploit the relative vulnerability of the civilian underbelly” in the dark forests and highways of Equatoria. I will focus on the latter as much has been written about the former.

Although the difference between political violence and terrorism is still unsettled, it is Paige W. Eager book “From Freedom Fighters to Terrorists: Women and Political violence,” that offers a striking contrast between political violence and terrorism.

Political violence is distinguished by three key features. First, it is a broader category that encompasses guerrilla warfare, national liberation movements, violent strikes and demonstrations.

Second, political violence aims to re-order the political and social set up of the society. To overthrow a tyrannical government, to redefine and realize justice and equality, to achieve independence or territorial autonomy are key examples.

Third, violence does not intentionally target civilians but is directed toward property, law enforcement and political authorities.

Terrorism is distinguished primarily by the intentional or threat to use violence against civilians targets for political goals. Intentional targets, who are civilians, differentiate terrorism from broader political violence where civilians are rarely intentional targets.

Bruce Hoffman offers five criteria that set terrorists apart from other criminals. First, there are political motives and second, violence or the threat of violence is utilized. Third, the violence act is intended to have psychological consequences beyond immediate victim. Fourth, organization with chain of command structures conducts the act. Fifth, and the last, the perpetrators of the act are a subnational group or non-state entity.

Terrorists in Equatoria bushes
At the height of December 2013 conflict, SPLM/A–IO prided itself as an alternative to Juba regime and they almost succeeded before tribalism, hatred and revenge engulfed them. IO existence is of contradiction and this also applies to the IO in the Bush. It preaches one thing and its members practice different things.

It is undisputed that IO Equatoria groups have political goals underpinning the terror on the highways and bushes. Equatorains have long harboured feelings for autonomous status for their states under federal framework.

However, July 2016 fighting in Juba and subsequent clashes with IO forces in the bushes of Equatoria as Riek Machar escaped to DRC aggravated the situation. Now, these groups have nothing to do with liberating South Sudan or fighting to realize justice and good governance. The primary aim is to revenge.

And to them, the enemy is not the oppressive Juba regime but Dinka as a tribe. Miamingi observation illustrates this: “…right now we are having ethnic groups within Equatoria region have taken up arms predominantly in response to abuse they have received but also the government’s targeting other ethnic groups on response of their ethnicity”.

The assertion makes two things clear. First, the received abuses are first attributed to Dinka tribe. The line between the government forces and ordinary Dinka civilian is blurred. Second, the act is primarily revenge motivated other than liberating the masses of South Sudanese from all the institutions of oppression in Juba. Here, the political poverty of the freedom fighters becomes apparent.

Unlike liberation movements which target property, government officials and law enforcement agents, South Sudan is witnessing the emergence of terror groups hell-bent on wiping out members of ethnic group perceived to dominate the government in particular areas.

Whether this increases civilian suffering or not is not their point. As long as the targeted ethnic group can be drawn into the bloodbath for genocide to occur, they are fine with it.

The trumped Ethnic nationalism
In late 2016, Alan Boswell gave a dramatic personal account of the rising ethno-nationalism in South Sudan. In Upper Nile, an ethnic Shilluk defence militia marched new graduates to war with songs against Dinka. At the Western end of the country, a Zande rebel leader derided a Zande governor as “Dinka”, a handmaiden for a “sell-out or traitor”.

To understand these ethnic nationalists’ sentiments, one has to look at Benedict Anderson book ‘Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism.’ Anderson defines nations as social constructs, imagined political communities that live in the imagination of its members and belonging to it is about a sense of connectedness to those imagined people. In South Sudan, there is no an imagined political community beyond Naath nation, Shilluk nation, Jieng Nation etc.

One imagined political community that offers a classic example is Equatoria. Although there is no ethnic community called Equatoria there lives in the minds of almost all people in that region of the existence of such political community, separate from Dinka and Nuer. There is a tendency to regard Equatoria as a “deep, horizontal comradeship”.

Dr Justin Ambago, one of the Equatoria prolific writers, admitted “The situation is not the same with indigenous populations of Equatoria, the country’s most southern region. People of Equatoria are more keen to identifying themselves as Equatorians, although they belong to nearly thirty different ethnicities”.

Now, the Moru rebel leader remarks become clear. Equatoria nationalism is ethnic nationalism which carries with it the seeds of xenophobia towards Dinka, the enemy. The freedom fighters have failed to imagine a political community beyond tribe and region. And here, sadly though, the IO Equatoria groups have succumbed to terrorism, wallowing in the miasma of ethnic nationalism.

The writer can be reach at madinggum@gmail.com

Uganda holds the key to South Sudan question: Prof. Miamingi explains problems the country faces

JAN/29/2017, SSN;

Before the signing of the Peace Agreement, we were talking about crimes, after the signing of the Peace Agreement, we are now talking about genocide unfolding in S.S.

The chaos goes on seemingly unabated in South Sudan. Uganda’s New Vision website Public affairs Editor Paul Busharizi sat down with human rights and governance expert, S.S Professor Dr Remember Miamingi, to understand the mess in the new country.

Question QN: What is the state of Affairs right now in South Sudan?

ANSWER: The state of Affairs right now in South Sudan at the moment is tragic and to put it in perspective before the Peace Agreement was signed in August 2015, S. Sudan had less than 200,000 internally displaced persons, less than 100, 000 refugees that we had outside the country.

After the signing of the Peace Agreement, today South Sudan has close to 2 million South Sudanese outside as refugees, over 500,000 internally displaced South Sudanese.

In 2013, we had around 2m people that were said to be facing famine. Today, 6 million South Sudanese are facing starvation in the country.

Before the signing of the Peace Agreement, we were talking about crimes, after the signing of the Peace Agreement, we are now talking about genocide unfolding in S.S.

So after the signing of the Agreement, the situation has deteriorated significantly that the UN, AU and international Agencies are now saying genocide is unfolding in S.S in a rate that is extremely disturbing.

QN: Who is perpetrating the genocide?

It is both ways; it is the armed practice to the conflict. But what has happened is that we had a political conflict which degenerated into an ethnic conflict and this ethnic conflict has been excavated by a rhetoric of dehumanising other people on the base of their ethnicity and that which started in 2013, you had a conflict which picked the Dinka ethnic groups and Nuer ethnic group.

But right now we are having ethnic groups within Equatoria region have taken arms predominantly in response to abuse they have received but also the government’s targeting other ethnic groups on response of their ethnicity.

So you have a gov’t that is embarked on a policy of ethnic cleansing on the base of ethnicity but you also have armed groups that have gone back to return the same policy and targeting communities, wiping out entire communities on the basis of ethnicity.

And when you have a country where ethnicity, ethnic hatred is as deep as we have in S.S where dehumanisation of others is a state policy while conflict has provided a symbol of context for it, and the economy has completely collapsed and there’s a war for survival, genocide in that context is devastating.

And so what we are seeing in S.S if not arrested will be than worse than what we witnessed in Rwanda.

QN: How many ethnic groups do you have in S.S?We have 63 ethnic groups in S.S. Sixty three a big number to have a genocide. Who would be killing who? Probably it’s not a genocide

What you have is that even though there are 63 ethnic groups in South Sudan, you have a gov’t that is predominantly one ethnic group and that is the Dinka. You have the rebellion that is predominantly one ethnic group and that is Nuer.

And so when the gov’t attacks the Nuer community through militias and armed groups, they wipe out the entire community not because they are rebels but because they are Nuers.

And when you target one ethnic group primarily and mainly on the basis of that ethnicity with the intention of wiping it out completely, that is the classical definition of genocide and you also have a return, that when this rebel group attack either predominantly Dinkas, they carry out the same policy.

So it is even though they are different ethnic groups, you have primarily two main actors that are engaging on a very devastating act of threatening to wipe out the ethnicity of the other in the context of war that is unfolding.

And so when we are talking about the genocide, we are not undermining the fact that there is massive killing, we are not undermining the fact that there is rape; the rate of sexual violence we have in S.Sudan, we have not witnessed it since we started fighting the Arabs for close to 30 years. The scale of brutality that we as S.Sudanese are meting on each other today, not even the Arabs figured it that way.

QN:So how did it come to this?

That is the 1 billion dollar question because S.S was born a Golden nation to so much virginity and potential with Good will in the region and international.

My answer to that question is that first, S.S suffers from leadership deficit; when we had independence everything was prepared and dreamt around Dr. John Garang de Mabior who was the vision of the movement and the man who articulated and provided direction to where the country was going and demised in 2005, providing a leadership vacuum and the comrades stepped into, who had no vision, had no national interest, they were completely committed to quality of their bellies, it was corruption, it was anything other than the nation building and therefore this leadership deficit led us to where we are today.

Secondly, in my opinion it was the capacity deficit, what we could have done as a country was to say we have a country, we have not governed before, we do not have experience in this, we could have gone to Uganda and say Uganda, we have one of the best civil services in the region. Can you second some men and women to come and help us? We could have gone to Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania and amass capacity to help us do institutions.

So in the absence of institution, in the absence of systems, we had a complete collapse between party, government, the state and the army.

In fact our parliament became like a cantonment area where generals would go if you did not find work somewhere else, you ended up in Parliament. So we had the entire system that was conflicted together because of capacity issues.

But thirdly, in my opinion, is that when we fought North Sudan, we had our own differences and problems and some atrocities that were committed by S.Sudanese against others. They were not addressed at all because we said let us first and foremost deal with the North.

Once we are finished with that, we will come and deal with our own nation and when we finished with the North, we had no opportunity to deal with those issues not that we didn’t have an opportunity, we did not prioritise solving our own post injustices, solving our own grievances and the same people we have in the North that we fought could easily capitalise; took advantage of those differences we had and from there could help in generating the kind of situation that we are having today.

We also got here in my opinion because of the role that our neighbours had played in Sudan in South Sudan during the war. Uganda sacrificed so much during the war and when for example Uganda was expected to play a role when the country was going forward and so was Ethiopia and Kenya.

And so that, different players playing with the different actors in S.S in trying to push one national interest against the other national interest and the conflict that arose also helped feed into the conflict that we are having today. SO it’s a number of issues from leadership through down to regional geo-political dynamics.

QN: What role did South Sudan’s neighbours have in the chaos we see now?

I want to agree that yes, the conflict we have in S.S today, apart from we can’t take responsibility away from National actors, but that our brothers and sisters in the region have also contributed in complicating a search for solution for the problem and I will also give a good example: Uganda played a significant role in fact if you are to rank countries together, the kind of support we receive from Uganda in liberating is monumental.

But when the conflict broke out in 2013, the government of Uganda took one side in the conflict; this was a fight between brothers. The government went in through Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) and then supported one side to that conflict and that was to the government.

Now of course government to government support is reasonable except that in the context of South Sudan, we had a government that was predominately bigger that have just been accused of committing crimes against humanity -war crimes and possibility genocide against another main ethnic group the Nuer.

And now when you dare come and help one side, you are actually strengthening one ethnic group against the other. And there strengthening the divide between the two ethnic groups.

Uganda has probably one of the most important opportunities to bring the conflict in South Sudan to an end. It is able, it is capable but I do not know if it is willing to do it.

Let’s go to Ethiopia, Ethiopia seeing Uganda on one side inevitably because of the different dynamics in the region, but also because of the sacrifices Ethiopia made in Sudan then. We had Ethiopia supporting the armed groups and so when you add this to Sudan who basically had interest in ensuring that S.Sudan was as destabilised as it can be, so that at least its armed industry can thrive and so that its own security might be strengthened by a weak South Sudan.

Now you have Egypt coming into this picture through Uganda and with support from Uganda to support Salva Kiir. The moment Egypt is in S.S, Ethiopia is with the rebels, the moment Egypt is in S.S, Sudan is with the rebels. So already all this put together, you have Kenya that has its own interest that has played significant interest in bringing together the Peace Agreement also having its own competition and its national interest.

So these national interests as valid and genuine as they are, not managed well, contributed significantly to the intractability conflict that we have today.

But there is no solution in S.S that is not a solution that is accepted by the region and that is why it is extremely important and we are already asking whether we need mediators to mediate the regional mediation because the differences between the different countries in the region have almost paralysed Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) the ability to provide mutual, impartial mediation to the conflict to the extent that IGAD as an institution has been compromised.

And so without the new incredible mediation and without a united regional front that the AU and UN will depend on to address the conflict in S.S. we are in a situation that as the conflict is deteriorating, solution is going further and the ordinary people in S.S are looking for leadership.

My coming to Uganda was basically to talk to Uganda leadership and so you have the golden opportunity, you can use your experience, you can use your expertise you can use your capacity and have a big nation as a big brother to rise above narrow personal relationships, narrow personal economic and political interests and provide leadership in those regions and if not for any other reason, the outgoing Chief of staff in Uganda in an interview just about a few days ago said the greatest security risk to Uganda remains S.Sudan.

So even if it’s not out of solidarity for S.Sudanese, from a security interest of Uganda, you have over 2m people crammed between the border of Uganda. These people are coming from some of the most traumatised experience, they are interacting with Uganda across that border. You have the flow of arms either to S.S or from there for survival along that border.

You have the social consequence that comes with a small country that was may be 5 or 20 or 30, 000 people right now hosting over 400,000 people in their communities. You have the socio-economic burden that brings in.

So it’s not just not a security threat in that sense but it is also an economic threat because the international community is not putting its money into United Nations system sufficient enough to provide for this.

It is the community that will subsidize them. It is the community that will carry the burden and those people are Ugandans.

It is also a social threat because nobody is providing social and psychological support to these people. Traumatised as they are, the cultural violence, the culture of treating things from the way they came from will begin to interact with local culture there and that is an issue Uganda will have to deal with tomorrow.

And so from that perspective we are saying, you can and you should because the Americans are not bearing this, Ethiopia is bearing this but not every other country in the region is carrying the burden. And we are just talking about those apart from so many 100s of 1000s of persons scattered across Uganda here in Kampala and everywhere who basically depend on this.

Students across the schools here can’t pay their fees because S.S has collapsed. Business men that had invested so heavily in S.S have gone bankrupt; they are having social issues to deal with here. So it is in the interest of Uganda as it is in the interest of S.Sudanese that as brothers, that we fix this.

QN: Where do you derive your confidence that Uganda holds the key to the resolving the situation?

When the war of liberation in S.S was almost failing, failing because of the same compromises in the region, Uganda stood its ground. Uganda did not only provide material support, Uganda in certain circumstances put boots on the ground in S.S in support of the liberation war.

It did it despite the divisions, it did it despite that some people were compromised like Moi, like other people in the region by the government of Sudan.

So historically, Uganda has stood on the right side of history. But in addition to that, I personally do not see President Museveni, just as a president. He is an elder and a statesman who has been in this region long enough, to understand this region long enough, whose actions have impacted heavily negatively or positively on this region to build networks and respected beyond his region.

The utterances that President Museveni makes here become policies in Washington DC, the utterances that he makes here become AU policies sometimes. So there is a cloud. the only unfortunate thing is that that socio capita has been underutilised, that social capital has been limited because of what i perceive as complete distrust from the leadership in Uganda of the leadership of the rebel movement in S.S and because of that distrust, Uganda cannot come to see itself bringing these two people together; some body that you do not trust at all, you do not respect at all; that is causing havoc in the country.

I think as a leader and as an eldest states-person, it is incumbent that you, Museveni, bring these people together. Let there be peace and let South Sudanese be given opportunity to choose who their leaders are. All that they want is peace.

Today, if Uganda closed down the bank accounts of all the generals who are fighting in South Sudan, their monies are kept here, their houses are here and their children are here. Uganda has leverage. If it speaks today, Juba listens because if Uganda closes its door today, the government in Juba will collapse within days, it has the power.

And so I’m convinced from the historical perspective, we are connected as people, culturally we are connected, our burdens become your burdens. But also from the capacity of this country the experience of dealing with conflicts in the region, Uganda has the expertise to deal with us and to deal with our problems each and when it wants.

QN: The distrust between Uganda and the rebel side in S.Sudan. What is the genesis of the distrust?

My understanding and perception is that one of the greatest setback to the entire liberation project in South Sudan was when the rebel movement broke into two in 1991 and that break was instigated by Dr Riak Machar and in Lamako and that pushed the movement back 10 years.

So the effort that Uganda had put into and other countries was almost brought to a total failure but act of a man from a perspective of a Ugandan Government, That was selfish. There was ambition, and on top of that he went back to Khartoum where their image was, there so there was the issue of destruction.

But in addition to that there was history around the conversation to deal with the LRA, the negotiations that had to do with LRA, the understanding and I have no evidence is written down and I have spoken about, I have not verified myself, is that during that 1991 break, one of the conduits that Sudan was providing support to the LRA was through the breakaway movement of Riak.

And so even then when Riak came to Juba and was managing the peace conversation between the governments here, the trust on the side of the government wasn’t there. So the government here sees Riak… that is my perception from far, as not being a reliable leader and not being a true Nationalist and therefore not being a kind of core liberator that will go with a tradition of NRM and ZANU–PF and all those.

So when in 2013 the same Dr Riak Marhar again was alleged to have been involved in an attempted coup, which could have thwarted the project of the nation building, my thinking was that some people in this country had enough. And so it acted and allowed that personal hatred to then inform a national strategic approach.

QN: There was an issue too that the SPLA is not a coherent force and therefore the chaos?

The SPLA before 2005 was one of the most disciplined, professional forces in the region in terms of even though were rebels. Then came in 2005 and the finding of the disagreement under the death of Dr John Garang de Mabior now when Salva Kiir came to power one of the greatest threat to Salva Kiir control over the army was the so called Garang boys.

The Garang boys were the Generals, professional and the training core OF SPLA who probably didn’t have so much respect for General Salva Kiir and what President Salva Kiir then did was one by one, systematically eliminate these people.

These also owned the regional dynamic that Garang was from Bor and you had Salva Kiir come from Bahr el Ghazal and that before Salva came in, that all the people who were probably Dinkas from the Bor. So they then went ahead to balance that. So that was one major diluting factor.

Now the second diluting factor, was as we approach the referendum, Khartoum was busy providing arms to different rebel groups across South Sudan and to avoid these spoilers, spoil the chance of this country to vote in a referendum.

Salva Kiir invented these eviction policies where all those militias were incorporated into the SPLA, they came in with their ranks. That today, it is important to note that we have 745 generals in the army and these people came in with their culture, traditions, they had no training, they came in with the structure, they maintained their ranks; that second diluting factor then completely took away whatever professional advantage that the SPLA had.

The Third diluting factor is corruption when we got independence, S.Sudan suddenly had at that its disposal, it was dealing in billions of dollars from the proceeds of oil and when this money used to come in first, and we had no banking system. The money would come in cartons, millions of dollars in cartons that was kept at the SPLA secretariat.

The SPLA secretariat was the Minister of Finance. Suddenly people had to deal with money and with no accountability at all.

And so every other consideration gave way to corruption and patronage and so the professional disciplined solders that we had completely disappeared that today, it is even worse because when the conflict broke out in 2013, by that time because of these big tribes, most of the malice were from Nuer tribe. So when the conflict broke out, 70% of the army broke and went with the rebels.

So even within the diluted, 70% had gone. So what we have today, when people talk about SPLA today, it doesn’t exist, when people talk about the army, it doesn’t exist because what we have in S.S is a Coalition of miltias whose commanders and control are not to Salva Kiir as the commander-in-chief but it is to the different militias Commanders that brought them together, responsible for feeding them and their salaries and all that they get. So that is another complicating factor.

And that is why if Uganda had not intervened in 2013, ehh… (sighs) the war would have been over from the sense of the rebels because Juba would have fallen because there was no army to provide.

So his right one has not only destroyed the army in the country but has created the greatest security threat as a country. If Sudan attacked us today, we would have no army to fight with because we have finished our army, fighting ourselves.

QN: So how will this be resolved?

Yes, but we are hoping. The resilience of the S.Sudanese people. We started fighting on August 25, 1955. The resilience that saw the S.Sudanese all through those years is the only blink of hope. And that is why we are asking our brothers with the government, the people of Uganda, add your voice to these people, give them the moral support that you can because that’s all they need, the one that will bring about change. And we hope for support as we continue to talk to our conscience as Africans.

QN: You talked of lack of capacity in S.Sudan, the only figures I see is that S.S is two and a half times the size of Uganda, it has about only about 100 km the tarmac road, but what about the people, teachers, professionals and graduates?

Now as they maybe not in the same measure, with many rebel movements across the continent. When SPLA fought during those wars, so many S.Sudanese went into refugee camps and as a result of being in refugee camps, benefited from Education in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and other neighbouring countries and many of them got resettled in countries in the West and also went there to have education. So there is a reasonable size of S.Sudanese in all who have gone outside, who are well-educated and who are willing to return home to contribute.

But what happened Is that immediately we got independence, those who fought, felt that while they were busy here struggling and sleeping in the trenches, you went outside eating bread and butter and going to school and now suddenly you now want to come back, and say you’re Doctors, you’re this. NO. This is our time. In fact it is our time to eat. And that first closed the opportunity so that even the diaspora that returns, returns on personal or relational basis to contribute in whatever capacity that they did.

Even if we had the opportunity of bringing all our diaspora back, but still it will not be enough because the art of the governance is not in class. It comes through experience and those who were outside. Not all of there were in governance, they would do different things.

So we still need to depend on our brothers and sisters who in this region stood by us. But again pride. We fought the Arabs. We are capable just doing about anything. So that arrogance and that approach as if we had it all, closed the door. I do not know how many times the presidents of the region…. Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, UN all of them will come back to Sudan and say we can provide, we will pay for the capacity and bring people to support you.

I do not how much the president will say YES YES and nothing will be done. Because we use gov’t institutions and positions as a reward system that will then oil our patronage networks and keep up loyalty.

So bringing people (expertise) from outside we have no control over them, who have a name to protect, institutions where they were seconded from weakens that control and the entire network and therefore corruption will thrive and as a result, we sacrificed the future of our country for our personal and immediate benefits.

QN: Looking forward, what do you think happens given the current context you have described?

I sincerely believe that the war in S.Sudan right now has almost reached the point that is mutually hurting for all the parties. The government that is broke, it does not have enough money to buy loyalties like it should, for all its patronage networks, it is dealing with rebellions.

Right now, in 2013 we had about 14 rebel groups fighting across S.Sudan. Today we just published report, we have 40 across. Conflict was only in two areas in 2013 and now we have conflict across S.Sudan. So the scale of the challenge is enormous for any government even as callous as you can, you just cannot go to bed and sleep. Because you see the country collapsing.

Today we have inflation above 1000%, somebody that was earning 7,000 dollars in 2013 today is not more than 170 dollars’ worth. And so government no matter how proud it wants to be, no matter how strong it wants to appear, it is completely in a very vulnerable position.

So often the rebel movement controls the structure and command by virtue of these being scattered. The economic pressure you cannot sustain and control all these rebels outside, how do you feed them. They cannot continue fighting the war long enough and so this is an opportunity for the region to take leadership.

They have fought themselves to a stalemate.

It is a stalemate. A mutually hating stalemate and it is an opportunity for the region to come in right now and say you know what, we are tired of trying to accommodate you but have not succeeded.

We are going to act on behalf of those boys and girls, women and men who have no issues with what you’re fighting for; who are primary victims. This is for us a Road Map.

Let’s have a credible inclusive National dialogue. Uganda will host it. Kenya will host it. Let’s bring all those people together but also those men and women from the village. Let’s bring them here. Let’s have the Church – the African Council of Churches- the Council of Churches of S.Sudan. Let’s us have the traditional rulers. Let them facilitate this conversation, they have a history of doing it, a degree in comprehensive disagreements, they did it for people with disagreements, they can do it again.

Bring these people together. Let us talk. Whatever we agree on the round table, we are going to enforce. And we are going to put a threat that is crude but credible on the table. But anyone who then do not honour their commitment of S.Sudanese people will be isolated and will be dealt with.

I think there is that capacity in the region to be able to bring everybody together not only the political actors, but every S.Sudanese who has suffered to have a National Plan and Dialogue, agree on that National Plan of Action and solve that plan of action as we have seen the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) doing in Gambia; that is where we want to go. We cannot continue seeing few people spoiling the name of the continent.

– See more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1444981/uganda-holds-key-south-sudan-question#sthash.b5PDq5lq.dpuf

Machar Versus Kiir: Two dangerous enemies who can’t work together

By Michael Abraha, Kenya, JAN/17/2017, SSN;

We know Pres Kiir and Dr. Machar are not only political opponents but dangerous enemies who have no heart for each other. The reality is that their self-serving rivalry has cost South Sudan so much bloodshed and the nation is at a stand still because neither side is willing or able to play a fair political game.

I believe it was wrong, ab initio (from the beginning), for these two ambitious men to try to work together as president and Vice President.

Machar should learn from Kenya’s Raila Odinga and be only an opposition leader without any portfolio. This would give him ample time to articulate inclusive ideas and policy agendas with the forthcoming elections in mind.

Meantime, some of his SPLA/IO members should be allowed to serve in the various branches of the interim administration under Kiir.

Given the current hostile environment, Machar and his party should be given full security guarantees. And there are many ways he and his organization meet their financial needs.

Equally crucial in this equation is for Kiir to try to emerge as a renewed statesman devoting more of his time and energy to the task of healing and unifying the nation. No external force can bring peace and unity for S. Sudan.

He can achieve statesmanship of the Mandela stature if he can convince himself and his ardent supporters that their economic benefits and privileges cannot be permanent and may have to be sacrificed for the sake of the nation.

Finally, Kiir and Machar should realize there can be no South Sudan without the Nuers or without the Dinkas. Ethnic violence is a shame in the 21st century.

Collo (tribe) must mend fences or face ultimate doom!

By Gwado J. Ador, United Kingdom, JAN/12/2017, SSN;

The snobs are out again managing an atmosphere of hate and fear amongst sons and daughters of one mother and father. With the heroes falling one after another, the battle for Malakal is certain just at our doorsteps and will soon be decisive.

Brave Collo young men and women are ready to respond to the calls of liberation in Collo land. As natural soldiers by birth, it was possible by the grace of our ancestors for Collo youth to defeat forces of occupation at every available opportunity. Collo would surely determine the outcome of war. They will eventually win the battle for Malakal in just a brief encounter on leveled ground.

Beforehand, Collo will have to come to terms with the inevitable consequences of vulgarism and fatal consequences of infighting among themselves, which benefits none other than prophets of doom in South Sudan.

The issue at stake is the claim staked by Dinka Apadang on a chunk of Collo land. Apadang said Malakal and other Collo areas lying East of the Nile belong to Dinka. This claim which was based on a false ground was duly effected by Kiir’s Presidential Order No. “36/2015” which enhanced the practical annexation of Malakal town to East Nile State.

Since then, Collo young men and women have formed armed resistance movements. Training centres were opened and started to spring up in many areas. Collo were ready to wage armed struggle against Dinka Apandang’s forces on legal and moral grounds.

Many bitter wars have been fought along the Nile and in Collo areas. Agwelek forces managed to put up fierce resistance and defeated the heavily armed SPLA and its Dinka militias of Abu Shok and Darfur Rebels on numerous occasions. Juba however, sustained defeat and embarrassment of losing battles on high tech military equipment to Collo liberation army.

Against all odds, the regime in Juba and its strategist from Jieng Council of Elders “JCE” have become hysteric and paranoid about the ensuing revelation in Upper Nile. A new strategy to deal with what they have termed as “Shilluck menace” have been adopted.

Skillfully, President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Jieng Council of Elders ‘JCE’ started to move buying off some wicked elements who were adept to serve selfish interests. A congregation of disgruntled groups in Juba known for their lust for power and money relentlessly competed for kiir’s trust and favors. Some of them ended up being appointed into fake positions of elusive states.

Hence, sharp divisions coupled with military provocation started to surface among Collo sons and daughters. Competing factions who were pledging to fight for ancestral land turned the barrels of their weapons against one another.

Shot by friendly fire, heroes and heroines started to fall one after another. All have happened as a result of lust for power and money. The enemy exploited this and the issue of Collo land confiscation has become even more real than at any time before.

Collo military leaders from both sides have been engaged in polarising public opinion to the extent that desperate Collo natives and victims of injustices became confused. They were sharply divided antagonising one another and on social media platforms.

In order to win our objectives for which we have taken up arms, Collo should vigorously start mobilising youth to face Apadang aggression aimed to confiscate our ancestral land. By now we should have learned how to live together in peace and harmony especially following last incidences of which we lost fine lives of our young men and women. At our political and social spectrum, we must always strive to avoid provocation at all cost.

The fact that Collo traditional leaders worked tirelessly to mediate between the opposing Collo forces but unfortunately these forces often agree to work together half-heartedly. There are threats still casting a shadow on peaceful coexistence among Collo forces, which were bound to fight for our heritage and values. The ensuing threats in the Collo Kingdom might likely cost serious setback and loss of our ancestral land to our enemies.

What struck me further is the amount of death and the quality of fine lives of our young men and women being lost in ‘Upper Nile killing fields’ as a result of the work of twin evils within our midst, which turned Collo people into a laughing stock.

Undoubtedly, this has set a record that some Collo elements could even stride further to accept being bullied or used to fight in order to protect the interest of the enemy for food and positions. Overwhelmed by power, they were ready and could even be fooled to butcher themselves to the finish.

While nothing is being done to stop the bloodshed in the Collo Kingdom, some circles with ulterior motives started to move horizontally causing more chaos and mayhem and the latest is Hamara incident.

How many hero’s and heroin would we want to see falling before we could come to our senses and to conclude saying enough is enough?

On whose account are we paying the high price in terms of lives being lost in the course of our struggle?

Why do unnamed politician(s) and some food lovers keep on provoking the situation of hatred and unnecessary blood being spilt within Collo circles?

Until when will we remain to dig our heads into the sand, and be in utter denial about the threats surrounding Collo motherland?

Fair enough, under the auspices of Collo Kingdom, Reth (King) Kwongo Dak Padiet made several attempts to bring Collo youth together so as to discourage acts of defiance, especially sentiments of hatred and antagonism within the same members of one family.

Thus, Collo competing forces of Agwelek Under Gen. Johnson Olony Thubo and New Tiger under late Yoanes Okic were ritually bound to harmonise their aims and objectives so that they could bottle up their differences. They were set to fight shoulder to shoulder should there be any threats from outside, mainly from forces of marauding vulgarities surrounding Collo land.

But, on many occasions than not, the spirit of unity forged with the blessings of our great grand ancestors of which the two sides pledged to respect have often been a waste. It is abrogated in mysterious circumstance unleashing thus terror and latent hostility in the area. Collo young men and women arrogantly revert to challenging and savagely killing one another.

The sad news is that, following the latest incident, Agwelek and Tiger staunch supporters on social media, instead of investigating the circumstances under which this incident took place, they reverted to antagonising and abusing one another in stark contrast with the past incidences. This situation has unfortunately let to hurting and savage killing among members of one family. This situation has never been witnessed before.

Subsequently, supporters of both parties on social media were seriously embroiled and engaged in cyber warfare. Blame game flared up making most of them busy to mock one another. They often point fingers of accusation of siding with Juba’s “Mathiang Anyor” making it further hard for some of us to believe and digest the ensuing revelation.

But thank God, nothing serious has been advanced to substantiate the wild allegation made against our gallant forces and their leading figures in the battlefield.

It is being rumoured, however, that Kiir’s regime has mysterious hands behind what was going on in Upper Nile because, his forces have failed miserably to achieve their military objectives in the Collo Kingdom and now would want to attain these objectives through other means, including playing each individual against one another.

The question being raised today is how much success has Kiir achieved his military objectives in Collo land? The answer is perhaps a score of 75% certainly because his forces of Mathyang Anyor and other militia allied with the rebel groups in Northern Sudan are still occupying Malakal town including the entire Collo land on the Eastern part of the River Nile.

However, Mathyang Anyor and Dinka Apadang are entrenched in Collo land since Presidential Order “36/2015” of which Malakal was illegally annexed to what they named as “East Nile State”. Stephen Dhieu who comes from Baliet area makes necessary funds available.

The portion of war efforts is estimated in Billions of US Dollars to advance the cause of land confiscation in Collo areas. Dhieu was appointed in various lucrative economic positions to ensure the blazing fire is kept blowing and burning everything in the Collo Kingdom. It should consume the last soul and must erase traces of Collo heritage in that part of Upper Nile.

Strangely enough, others are still leaving in delusions and in abject denial arguing that things will soon become normal under Kiir’s leadership. They said only 25% of objectives have been realised and that explains why Kiir and his ‘JCE’ resorted to discreetly buying-off some top politicians and high ranking military officials who in turn would unconditionally join the government later as part of Gen. Taban Deng Gai’s IO ‘desperate mission for power and recognition’.

Although Gen. Taban Deng Gai was the top leading figure at the negotiating table on the side of IO during peace talks; both ‘SPLA IO and IG’ sides have explored to renegotiate the deal and resolved to settle the issue of decentralisation and federalism based on the new reality on the ground. Kiir and JCE stuck fast on the 28 States and for now, they were not ready to back down.

Taban was warned not to touch the issue of 28 States but allowed to operate within the small margin. He was given an opportunity to slightly improve on the deal by proposing additional states so as to resolve competing interests in certain areas.

Thus, Taban was forced to speak a different tongue. He would want to appear that he was still in control. Taban however, wants to pursue another phase altogether with risks to his safety, guarding thus against any threats which could jeopardise his newly acquired position.

After joining the government following July 2016 Palace Coup conspiracy, Taban alleged success in ousting his former boss Riek Machar Teny. As First Vice-President, he wants to put on a brave face to show his supporters that he was still capable to protect and to safeguard their interests. But sooner doubts started to overwhelm him, especially His uncertainty to take up his responsibility and poor perception on how to follow in his boss’s footsteps.

He embarked on subtle campaign to challenge Riek Machar in an attempt to keep him out of politics in Juba. Taban ensured that Riek is kept away as far as possible, and preferably in exile so as to prevent him to come back and to resume power as the legitimate IO Chairman.

Shortly, Taban became disillusioned with his position, he was in constant nightmare about Riek’s come back. At every opportunity he seizes, Taban vigorously started to dismiss Riek as irrelevant, who is like ‘a vehicle parked in exile without wheels’. President Kiir confided in him and entrusted him to chattel flights abroad to pursue this strategy, which will make Riek confined to one place in exile.

Simultaneously, Taban started to chattel flights between Juba and Khartoum on official visits to iron out issues of bilateral nature, including meeting with some opposition groups active at the border with Sudan.

Observers believe that Gen. Taban managed to strike a deal with some top military (IO) officials, including Collo high-ranking commanders in the area. His mission to attract followers and boost support for his leadership has yielded very little results and subsequently managed to barely lure Nuer or Collo forces to his own camp.

Implausibly, Taban with his bizarre character proposed to create Upper Nile Central States, which will include Panyikango and all areas of the Collo Kingdom lying on the Eastern bank of the River Nile joining thus, Dinka Areas of Akoka, Baliet and Adong with Malakal as the capital city. But, ironically, Dinka Apadang forced Taban to shut-up hinting, “non-coexistence with Collo people under one roof in Malakal.”

Emerging reports have obviously revealed that Taban has thoroughly discussed the issue of Malakal at different forums including church centres showing a clear departure from his previously held position to maintain JCE interests in Upper Nile.

Apparently, Taban would want to bring about peace and tranquility in the remaining conflict prone areas through newly set strategy provided that his proposal would not anger his new boss Salva Kiir Mayardit, and his Dinka supporters who maintained saying the issue of Malakal is non-negotiable. He has appealed for both Collo and Apadang to accept coexistence in Malakal as before, but neither side would want to back down on held positions.

Interestingly enough, Kiir’s recent expression which revealed saying he has done nothing wrong and that he seeks forgiveness for mistakes he might have committed unknowingly has cast doubts about his genuine search for peace and reconciliation.

It was rather unpalatable because of the nature of his approach and the character of his appointees whom some of them under no delusion were people with past bad records on the management of public resources and peaceful coexistent.

Take, for example, Simon Kun Pouch who served as the governor of Upper Nile State for more than two decades has been presiding over the ruins in Malakal. His reign as Governor during those days showed wanton destruction on physical infrastructure, including social fabric in the area. Thus, Malakal was reduced to just a mere rubble.

What could we expect from a bunch of idiots who knew nothing besides hatred? Simon Kun in league with other like-minded Nuer and Dinka individuals destroyed the whole town of Malakal beyond recognition. They massacred thousands of innocent people, including children, women and elderly in just a matter of some few days, what a farce!

Similarly, Bona Malwal who is currently serving, as a leading member of JCE is known for his avid dislike for unity and non-sharing resources with other non-Dinka in South Sudan. He strongly believes in disunity, and a tribesman at heart.

In fact, Bona Malual is the very person behind the idea of ‘Dinka absolute power for two hundred years to come’. He has relentlessly traveled around the world to preach for Dinka super power and imposition of the policy of divide and rule in the Republic of South Sudan.

However, both men and some more others are posing real threats and insecurity for the people of South Sudan. They will certainly defeat the purpose by which any genuine call for dialogue and reconciliation. With their likes on top of affairs, the prospects for dialogue will not only become harder to realise, but it will be a more risky venture in the context of South Sudan.

As devoted Churchgoer, President Kiir is still far away from the spirit of true repentance, thus he is not worthy to receive the divine of forgiveness or remorse yet. God the almighty saviour has not yet come any closer to his side, because of the amount of sins he committed against innocent people of South Sudan.

Honestly speaking, if he were serious about his recent intention, he would have at least scrubbed his establishment order No. “36/2015” as a gesture to attract sympathy and to remove suspicion and doubts still lingering around his neck.

Secondly he would have accepted without any precondition to dismantle all the illegal establishments crippling political, economical and social welfare institutions in the country.

Thirdly, he would have taken a courageous stance to dismiss JCE as unconstitutional non-existence.

Lastly, he would have shown signs to step down voluntarily, paving the way for the advent of real democracy and unity of the people in the country. But instead, President Kiir ignored all these vital gestures. Therefore, he was not really serious about his latest call.

The good news is that many people, however, have not taken him seriously, because he was known for such misleading and compelling appeals. Obviously, he was making a mockery of the system. However, fighting against injustices will still go further. We will preach and call for unity of all the tribes to rise up against policies of ‘Kiir’s fascism’.

Albeit, Collo must be prepared this time to fight for survival. Collo must come together united with other communities facing the same enemy to fight against injustice, corruption and malicious antagonism within South Sudan. Threats are real and will go nowhere any sooner. Collo forces should take the lead and put its forces on alert to response rapidly for calls of duty against forces of disunity and destruction.

The established social spectrum on various media platforms must observe the spirit of brotherhood and desist from making unnecessary provocations or irresponsible move. Collo various military forces must abide by pledges made before the King of Collo people and paramount chiefs in respect for the spirit of our ancestors and for the sake of our motherland.

Let us stand side by side for the protection of our traditional values and our rights to leave decent life. Let us reject forces of evils in our midst by assuring that we wouldn’t be intimidated or misled by forces of darkness again.

The spirit of our ancestors reinforced by the blessings of Jesus Christ will always be upon all the Collo people, especially those who have taken up arms to fight for our rights against forces of occupation and disunity.

Finally, the issue of Malakal is central to everyone in the Collo Kingdom. This is not a private affair or a monopoly of politicians or groups of individuals armed or otherwise. We will never accept any bargain that would not place Malakal at the centre of final peace to resume its role as inherent Collo commercial town.

Certainly, Agwelek and New Tiger forces, including the entire Collo people won’t take any further provocation or aggression lightly while lying down. Victory is ours and certain.

To our fallen heroes, have mercy and rest in peace.

Pres. Kiir and Dr. Machar 1st Presidency 2005-2013: An Analysis of its Achievements, Failures and Weaknesses

By Tong Kot Kuocnin, Lawyer, Kenya, JAN/08/2017, SSN;

The first presidency between president Kiir and Dr. Machar began shortly when the movement lost its historical leader, the great Dr. John Garang De Mabior on 30th June 2005 in a helicopter crush. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, Dr. Garang long time deputy, immediately got installed as the FVP of the Republic of the Sudan and the President of the Government of South Sudan, as per the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2005.

Consequently, Dr. Riek Machar, being the second man after Kiir immediately became the VP of the Government of South Sudan until in July 2013 when the later went on rampage against his boss subsequently causing divorce to their political honeymoon.

In this article, I intend to bring to forefront the achievements, failures and weaknesses of the first presidency of President Kiir and Dr. Machar 2005-2013. Quite obviously, there are major achievements that the 1st presidency of Gen. Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar achieved.

The first and foremost achievement, though it was a common interest of the people of South Sudan was the peaceful and successful conclusion of the conduct of referendum on self-determination for the people of South Sudan. The right to self-determination made all the people of South Sudan of all walks of life to make sure that South Sudan break away from the Sudan.

We successfully voted for an independent state of our own, the republic of South Sudan. We cared less about under whose leadership that the region broke away but what was important was to break away from Sudan and have our own country. We did achieve it for it was our common interest.

The SPLM leadership may brag about it but for sure it was not the making of SPLM but the people of South Sudan for the number of people of South Sudan is greater than the membership of SPLM. We were tired and fed up of all mistreatment in the hands of our brothers and sisters in the north.

President Kiir may brag about it that it’s his success but the fact remains that his only vote can’t determine the fate of a region inhabited by millions of people. But we do give him his credit for although he wasn’t that wise but his being a leader at the time earned him that credit and all its veneration.

The second achievement though it back fired, was his numerous presidential pardons and amnesties issued to pardon all those who took up arms against their own fellow brothers and sisters, notorious warlords and militias and their integration into the national army, the SPLA with which the region relatively had a bit of peace though it didn’t last longer than usual.

The aim of all these presidential pardons and amnesties was to reconcile the people of South Sudan and forge a new beginning in an attempt to build the would-be new state in the map of the world. Quite obvious that his good intentions were taken for granted in which numerous militias took up arms, killed and caused havoc but still they were pardoned and integrated.

These notorious warlords and militias would have surely destabilized the region and caused more havoc and devastation if he had pursued the path that was about to be taken by our late leader Dr. John Garang with all southern militias when he refused to meet with the then known militia leader and the most notorious one, late Gen. Paulino Matip Nhial, in the presidential Palace in Khartoum and threatened to deal with all militias who failed to join either side of the parties to agreement as per the terms and clauses of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, 2005.

However, despite the achievements and successes mentioned above, there were unaccountable failures of the 1st presidency of President Kiir and Dr. Machar, as manifested by the overall records of President Kiir and Dr. Machar 1st presidency, there was a complete failure of the government in maintaining durable peace and security, respect for human rights, human and infrastructural development were disappointing.

The government failed to minimize incessant communal violence and cattle raiding that were rocking Lakes, Jonglei, and Unity and Warrap states, if not putting them into a standstill.

Hence, these failures and several other factors accounted for these poor and disappointing records of the 1st presidency of the two gentlemen.

There were weak institutions of government established along ethnic lines, for instance, if a minister comes from a particular tribe or ethnicity, then eighty per cent of the ministry’s staff comes from his tribe forthwith.

The government failure coupled with weak institutions was responsible for an unspeakable corruption at unprecedented scale where millions of pounds and dollars were siphoned to foreign bank accounts overseas. The president allowed all the state resources to be looted at day time by his ministers, senior civil servants and senior army generals at his watch.

There was complete lack of political will from the president and his deputy to initiate institutional reforms and curb rampant corruption and bring to book of shame and justice all corrupt officials.

During its nine years in office from 2005-2013, the government was marred by a couple of scandals one after another including the famous Dura saga, the four billion dollars stolen by known thieves in which secret seventy-five letters were written to seventy-five officials who were presumed to have stolen the money.

The other scandal was the eight million stolen from the public coffers which led to the dismissal of the former ministers of cabinet affairs and finance and economic planning and the current one being tried before the high Court involving the office aides of the president.

However, many writers argued that not much can be accredited to the 1st presidency of President Kiir and Dr. Machar since they both took oath of office in 2005 until the duo got politically divorced and parted their ways in 2013. It was a kick-backing presidency.

In a nutshell, it can be argued that the 1st presidency of President Kiir and Dr. Machar succeeded in overseeing the smooth, transparent, peaceful and successful conduct of the referendum on self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan but failed in curbing human rights violations, communal violence and cattle raiding, corruption and democracy, rule of law and infrastructure development.

That was the nature of the government we had in South Sudan before the duo quarrel over the national cake in 2013, its achievements, failures and weaknesses.

The writer is a Master of Laws (LLM) candidate at the School of Law, University of Nairobi. He can be reached via: tongbullen@gmail.com