Category: Politics

South Sudan: To Either Abide With Human Rights and Cooperate with the UNMISS or Quit the UN Family All Together!

BY: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, NOV. 10/2012, SSN;

Following the expulsion of the UNMISS Human Rights Investigator, Sandra Beidas (a British National), from South Sudan, this new country seems to have opened yet another chapter in a wider confrontation with the international community.

This development surprisingly comes at a time when the very Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation who declared Ms. Beidas a persona non grata is desperately appealing for international assistance in settling the Abyei question in the face of the difficulties to the yet to be consolidated Addis Ababa Cooperation Agreement recently inked between the Republic of South Sudan and the unpredictable regime in Khartoum.

However the ultimate reasons behind this move by South Sudan’s government which gave this UN Official no more than a period of 48 hours to leave the country have not yet been officially disclosed.

In the absence the government’s official version of the story, the vacuum in information has led to the widespread general speculation that the South Sudan’s ruling party the SPLM as well as its military wing, the SPLA have both been angered by a UN report that was pilled and published in August 2012. Now as things stand this speculation is gradually turning out to be right.

In that report the UN came out criticizing the South Sudan army (SPLA) and accused it of incidents of torture, rape, killings and abducting civilians during the civilian disarmament campaign in South Sudan’s Jonglei State.

Earlier on, this very report which raised a lot of controversy had already been rejected by the Governor of Jonglei State. The Chairperson of the South Sudan’s Human Rights Commission and The SPLA spokesperson,were quick in joining the Governor in condemning the UN Report that they all described as a bunch of lies and a 100% nonsense.

The current situation on the ground

The issues of who decides policies in the new republic of South Sudan have since long surfaced as a central concern for both its citizens and its government of the day. Equally concerned with the matter are the countless institutions that represent the international community, the foreign governments and all the other stakeholders who operate in the country.

It’s no longer a secret that although on the face value all political and socioeconomic players in the country prefer to be seen as operating under the instructions of the de jure political leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, yet the realities at the terminals where policies are eventually translated into actions, things tend to suggest the contrary as multiple de facto deal sealers continue to dominate the scene.

The new country’s army, the SPLA has already had two bitter military confrontations with its traditional rival, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). The first was over Abyei, where a SPLA soldier was alleged to have started the shooting at a time when the SAF were at the point of withdrawal from the area as requested by both the UNSC and the AU. What followed thereafter was a full blown battle and it resulted in the total destruction of Abyei town, and the neighbouring villages with displacement of the inhabitants.

The second battle between SPLA the SAF was the Panthou/Heglig war and again it was obvious that this was equally decided by a field commander in response to recurrent SAF attacks on SPLA positions. Unfortunately while the government of south Sudan was far from prepared for this war in as far as the political and diplomatic ground works are concerned, knee jerk decision taken by this field commander almost dragged the region into yet another unplanned all-out war.

Where we stand now as a country it can no longer be denied that this last military showdown with the North is actually behind the legacy that we are living today as it drew in a lot of international condemnation, more so from friends before the enemies.

Back in Juba the SPLM led and dominated government was too slow to explain nor defend its position in as far as the accusations by the international community where Juba was considered not only the aggressor, but also condemned for occupying a foreign territory, as it failed to convince both the US administration, the African Union (AU) and the UN Security Council (UNSC) about its claim on Panthou/Heglig.

With a weak foreign policy and the absence of a competent and robust diplomatic representation in New York, South Sudan was easily muzzled into accepting the UNSC’s position that considered the presence of the SPLA troops in Panthou/Heglig illegal. And before we knew anything, the once victorious SPLA was ordered to pull out and hand the land they so fiercely fought for back to the enemies in Khartoum.

Another incidence where the SPLM led administration in Juba is seen to be weak when it comes to dealing with the SPLA ( the Military) is in fact how the financial books at the Bilpham military Head Quarters continuously escapes the auditing process that has long started in the country.

The Auditor General Hon. Steven Wundu is yet to present to the South Sudan National Parliament the full findings on the finances of the President’s Office, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and that of the Ministry of Defense.

Till such a report is presented by the Auditor General, our country’s transparency policy will remain at its best a mockery. There are general feelings that any financial auditing of the above centers of power are likely to reveal corruptions that will no doubt dwarf the missing $4 billion being used by the President as his favorite weapon against some of his former and current officials.

The fall out with the UN:

Besides the United Nations (UN) involvement with the Humanitarian Assistance to South Sudan during the long years of the protracted liberation war and well beyond the cease fire between the two enemies to the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA), this International League of Nations continues to assist South Sudan as it emerges from the rubble of war to become a new nation with full membership in the League.

Today as we hear about the widespread news of how the SPLM led government in Juba has fallen out with some officials of the United Nation Mission in South Sudan (the UNMISS) it may however be a good thing to refresh our collective memories about how the country ended up with these Blue Helmets on the ground in the first place and how it all developed to Chapter VII thereafter.

Things all started during the early phases of the marathon peace talks between SPLM and the Islamic regime in Khartoum that took place in Kenya between 2002 and 2005.

It was in fact the SPLM/A delegation to the Peace Talks who insisted on the deployment of a UN Peacekeeping Force in the country, while the Khartoum government had consistently opposed the idea.

How much did this UN Peacekeeping Force contribute to the actual realization and preservation of Peace in the period between 2005 and 2011 is left for the Sudanese across the political divide to assess.

Following the outcome of the referendum on self-determination in which South Sudanese overwhelmingly chose independence from Sudan, it was again the SPLM led government in Juba that insisted on retaining the UN Peacekeeping Forces on its territory while Khartoum opted to send them out, and this was how UNMISS came to exist in the post-independence South Sudan.

The general resentment being lately expressed by some segments of the South Sudan government against the UNMISS are in fact to some extend based on narrow party, tribal or personal interests.

It is the leadership in Juba that has failed the people of South Sudan by employing incompetent loyalist and tribesmen in the government apparatus.

Unfortunately when things go bad, something often expected of a substandard personnel, this very SPLM led government and its apologists are quick to sing their monotonous and over used song of “we are just starting from scratch or We have just come from the bush etc… etc.”

Unfortunately although the above excuses are being used in order to escape criticism, what the ruling SPLM party fails to see is that in so doing they have also painted a bad picture of not only the government but also of the country.

Under this type of impression South Sudanese are either collectively seen by outsiders as incompetent people or often loosely referred to as lazy and largely a people suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome as a result of the two decade war. It is this impression that encourages foreigners to feel justified when they meddle into the country’s affairs. After all it has been directly taken from the mouth of either the president of the country himself or his close aides.

The repercussion of expelling the UN Human Rights Officer:

What took place right from the time of when the CPA was being negotiated and throughout its implementation the SPLM/A dominated delegations that represented the people of South Sudan have demonstrated that when it comes to international politics, they are indeed far naive than their counterparts on the other side if not for the continuous assistance from the international community..

It is they the SPLM) who handed the sovereignty of the state to the international community. It’s understandable that they did it in order to keep Khartoum away from reneging on the agreement and equally to guarantee a credible monitoring for its implementation. The introduction of the UN Chapter VII into the South Sudan & Sudan/UN politics if anything it is a strong proof that the UNSC is keen to see that Peace, Order, the Rule of Law and full respect of Human Rights return and prevail in South Sudan first then the region a large.

But now that Juba is increasingly becoming uncomfortable with the UNMISS which it fought to have in the first place, then it’s likely that it will lose many of its friends who are not only permanent members of the UNSC, but they also played crucial roles in the realization of the independence of the new country.

The UNMISS boss herself a former government minister in her native country of Norway has been known for her strong ties with the ruling SPLM since the days of the liberation war and throughout the marathon negotiations that led to the signing of the CPA.

Today as things stand in Juba, it will not be an over statement to say that the very SPLM/A that benefitted from her support in the past, is now at the verge of openly label her as persona non grata if she doesn’t stop talking about SPLM and SPLA’s poor Human Rights records and the widespread corruption that has lately engulfed the new country in its entirety.

The US government on the other hand has already come up to openly condemn the expulsion of the UNMISS Officer. The Acting Spokes son at the US State Department, has made it abundantly clear that his government fully supports the UNMISS and its efforts to strengthen government institutions, provide humanitarian relief, and to monitor, mitigate and prevent conflict throughout South Sudan.

The Senior US Official went on to stress that and I quote:

“Human rights monitoring, investigation and reporting are core elements of the UNMISS mandate. It is important that the Mission’s Human Rights Officers are allowed to carry out this work without fear of reprisal or expulsion,” Toner said.

“Fostering deeper respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights will strengthen South Sudan’s democratic civil and national identity, as well as encourage further progress in that regard.” He added.

Reading the US government’s position on this issue and considering the fact that it has always been Ms. Susan Rice, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nation who time and time again stood with South Sudan in its disputes with the republic of the Sudan, one can see that this new country is likely to frustrate its intimate friends.

The issue of Human Rights will remain central in the South Sudan politics be it locally or internationally. Furthermore, whether this plays to the taste of those who formulate policies for this embattled SPLM led regime or not, one is certain that the country needs the UN more than the UN needs the country and especially so at this crucial moment when every thing is in tatters.

The SPLM led government in Juba may think itself smart when it is given the free hand to isolate the actions of UNMISS staff whom they disagree with and then proceed to deal with them as individuals often away from the mother organization, the United Nations in New York.

However let’s not forget to appreciate that these individuals on their own are just as effective as any of us. Nonetheless the UN must stand by its members of staff if it is to succeed in its mission specially so in volatile regions like South Sudan.

Allowing host governments to treat UN staff members as if they were just mere individuals in spite of the fact that these UN Reports do in fact represent the organization’s view doesn’t really go well and no specific individual staff should be crucified for it as if they are just ordinary attention seekers or people who represent no one but themselves.

For how long will this go on? Not too long the former UN Human Rights officer Benedict Sannoh was ruthlessly beaten up by the South Sudan police personnel in Juba, the new country’s seat of government, and now they have expelled yet another UN Human Rights Investigator. At the local level Members of the Civic Society, Journalists, Opposition Politicians and Human Rights Activities are routinely being harassed, beaten and continue to suffer arbitrary arrests by security personnel.

The world needs to act and fast. Otherwise for how long will the donor community continue to pour in its hard earned taxpayer’s money from the western countries into this system of governance that has failed to come into grips with the basic principles of Human Rights?

In conclusion there must be a way out of this new country’s Human Rights Crisis whether SPLM wants it or not. No country or any society for that matter should be allowed to terrorize its citizens by denying them what is easily taken for granted in most parts of the civilized world.

UNMISS is there to stay in South Sudan specially so when the current leadership needs to be re-cultivated into the universally accepted human values of democracy, freedom of speech, and Human Rights in its broadest term.

This can only be achieved by more resilient Human Rights activists on the ground, dedicated and motivated investigators and die hard propagators. I don’t mind if UNMISS is to cease all other activities in South Sudan and concentrated only on Human Rights, for that is the only way to build a peaceful and inclusive society on the rubble of the five decade war that has practically destroyed all the fabrics of humanity and civilization in this part of the world.

The other alternative available for the proud and arrogant SPLM leadership is of course to remain defiant and possibility quit the UN family of nations all together if they have the guts for that. Let us now see who will blink first, the SPLM led government of South Sudan or the UNMISS as backed by the UNSC and the international community at large!!!

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can reached at: justinramba@aol.co.uk or justinramba@doctors.net.uk

As Pres. Bashir cries over Yarmouk Weapons Factory, thanks to whoever did the job!

BY: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, NOV. 6/2012, SSN;
In the last week of the last month of October 2012 the worlds audiovisual media was taken up by the news of the bombing of what came to be known later as the Sudan secretive weapons factory located in the heart of Khartoum south, in the Shaggara area. It was indeed breaking news of a special taste to the Sudanese across the political divide and the world community at large.

If you are from Darfur, the Blue Nile region, the Nuba Mountains or the Republic of South Sudan, then this must have been a happy day for you. After all the Yarmouk factory that specialized in the production of lethal weapons and munitions is no more. God must have heard and responded to the prayers of the millions who lost loved ones, suffered injuries and those displaced as a direct or indirect result of weapons, bombs and munitions produced in this once infamous facility.

Khartoum with the help of its allies in Tehran has for many years tormented the lives of women and child across the country. The fact that Sudan is a country at war with itself makes the very idea of building a war production facility with the sole aim of exterminating its own citizens totally unpopular not only with the rest of the peace loving nations, but it must have found no approval from God the Creator Himself as opposed to what the Islamist bigots would want us to believe.

The history of foreign air strikes on the Sudan is a long one. Following the bombing of the secretive chemical project in Khartoum North (Bahri) by the US during President Bill Clinton term in office, this embattled country under its vision-less leaders had suffered other attacks on its eastern coast. Since then every time an airstrike takes place against Sudan many covert activities, the government is quick to blame it on the Jewish state of Israel. This time around however it seems that the shock was too much for it took Khartoum many hours before it finally did what it normally does and that is by again pointing the finger at Israel.

Whatever sufferings the people of Darfur, Blue Nile, Nuba Mountains or even the new republic of South Sudan are made to go through, it can no longer be doubted that the Islamic Republic of Iran definitely has a hand in it. No wonder that Tehran is the hand and Khartoum is the glove!

The Israeli government on the other hand has decided to put a lid on this issue. It neither confirms it nor does it deny it. However many Jewish media outlets already glorified the raid and they see it as a warm-up to the bombing of the much controversial Iranian Nuclear Plants.

Sudan says that the bombing incidence will never stop them from supporting the Hamas led government in Gaza. However this is exactly what the Israelis want to hear. At least it justifies their hostility towards Khartoum and gives them a reason to bomb it again.

And again as if to push the Islamist regime in Khartoum into yet a deeper corner, the Iranians made no secret of their love affair with this criminal government. Israel got what it wanted as a proof for just a few days after the bombing of the Yarmouk munitions factory (widely believed to have been constructed by Iranian money and expertise and is in fact being run by them), two Iranian warships docked at the Sudanese port of Port Sudan. This if anything, it confirms the Khartoum-Tehran deals and love affair.

All these developments did not go well with the Sudanese masses who are predominantly Sunni Muslims and they find it extremely uncomfortable to put up with what has become a massive Iranian Shiite presence in almost each and every square inch of Khartoum City, the countrys capital.

The average Sudanese Sunnis are beginning to show concern about their government total dependence on Tehran, while risking the loss of relationship with Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and rich Gulf States like Qatar.

But of course at the end of the day who am I to advise the enemies in Khartoum. After all the purpose of my writing this piece is in fact to remind the al Bashir regime that for every predator on earth, there is a tougher predators to keep it under control.

Ali Karti the Sudanese foreign minister, can now is heard shouting at the top of his voice like a rabid animal in condemnation of what he sees as a wrong decision when the Iranian vessels were allowed to dock at Port Sudan.

The senior Sudanese diplomat is obviously salivating to get financial support from Arab Gulf countries to help with his countrys ailing economy. He knows too well that with the exposure of the true extend of to which the Khartoum-Tehran cooperation has reached, no Arab Gulf State will be willing to retain any intimacy with Sudan under Bashir.

The time has also come for al Bashir and his National Congress Party (NCP) to acknowledge that the ill equipped army they seem to be betting on is only fit for killing innocent women and children since they are nothing but digitally programmed religious fanatics whose sole function is to indiscriminately drop barrels of explosive materials on any moving target in what is perceived by the bigot state as the Enemy Territory..

We all regret any loss of lives that might have resulted from the raid on the Yarmouk Killing Facility. However the truth be said and loud, for our people have so many suffered in the hands of al Bashir and his Mujahedeen (Al Qaeda in the Sudan), that the news of this bombing deserves nothing, but a national celebration.

And this is To Whom It May Concern, Please whoever bombed this notorious munitions factory in the heart of Khartoum, deserves a medal of the highest status from the people of Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile and the Republic of South Sudan.

As we sincerely endeavor to see peace reign in our region, it is our wish that sooner than later that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) fleets of Antinov which rains bombs day and night over our innocent brothers and sisters should also meet the same fate like the infamous Yarmouk weapons factory. Can someone do that for us?!

As for the residents of the Sudanese capital city, this is the first time for them to have a firsthand experience of what it means to be bombed from the air. At least now they are in a position to understand and appreciate the sufferings of their fellow countrymen who are exposed to this type of terror and horror on a daily basis.

The only difference between the two is that one group is forced to pay the price of their government wrong policies while the other group in the marginalized areas have theirs perpetrated by the Sudanese Army who on the contrary is supposed to protect them.

In the end do not you agree with me that those who suffered and continue to do so as a result of the indiscriminately aerial bombardments by the Khartoum regime have every right to celebrate the bombing of this notorious Yarmouk Killing Facility?

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. The Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can be reached at: justinramba@aol.co.uk or justinramba@doctors.net.uk

Appeasing local leaders on Abyei or the Mile 14 Area will come at a cost

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, NOV. 3/2012, SSN;
No wonder that the implementation of the Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement (CCA) signed on 27 September 2012 between the two Sudans which includes oil exportation and security arrangement as well as trade border, is back in limbo following Khartoum rejection of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) unanimous position on Abyei.

The AUPSC in its bid to sort out things chose to give both Sudan and South Sudan a period of six weeks in which it is hoped that the two sides may be able to reach a negotiated settlement on the border demarcation but especially so on how to hold the referendum in Abyei come October 2013.

However what followed is typical of the Sudanese north versus south politics. South Sudan approved the AUPSC decision, while Khartoum chose to reject it.

The nomadic Messeiriya Arabs have already expressed their disagreement to Khartoum proposal of dividing Abyei into two parts between Sudan and South Sudan. Surprising though it is, Russia, an old ally to Khartoum, who supports the view to divide the territory, even when the Arab nomads oppose it. Probably it is time that Khartoum realizes that it is the Messeiriya Arabs and not the Russians who will be affected by any decision taken on Abyei.

If at all the Messeiriya Arab nomads are genuine in their demands for water and pasture, then an undivided Abyei will offer that for them on the condition that they do not lay any claims to the land. The current territory of Abyei has already been granted to the nine Dinka Ngok chieftains by the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague.

It beats any logic to hear that Khartoum and their proxies in the Messeiriya are still eyeing to have the post-PCA Abyei. Khartoum may want to have a part of this Oil rich territory because of its mineral resources and that is why it suggests the territory be divided.

However that might not be their sole aim, as the National Congress Party (NCP) of Al Bashir could as well just be putting hurdles in the way of finding any peaceful settlement to the Abyei Problem, for this is a regime that cannot exist without crisis. And as such they must create some.

As for the Messeiriya Arab nomads, dividing Abyei between the Sudan and South Sudan will only leave them with the northern part of the territory which is already witnessing desertification at the most unprecedented pace. They are aware that such a hasty policy will later on backfire when the real future of grazing lies deep in the South Sudan hinterland. Again, they also understand too well that the Ngok Dinka are no longer ready to surrender more land to them.

In fact when it comes to the politics of Southern Kordofan and Southern Darfur, it can be seen that Khartoum is literally walking on a tight but thin rope. The Baggara tribes of the Rezeigat and their cousins (though often fighting one another) the Messeiriya, are a group of people that can easily change loyalties whenever their local interests are threatened.

It is actually an open secret that there are many Rezeigat and Messeiriya recruits in the ranks and files of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the Sudan Liberation Movement (Minni Minnawi and Abdel Wahid el Nur factions) as well as the Sudan People Liberation Movement/North (SPLA-N) rebel groups which are battling the NCP led government in Khartoum.

It seems that as Khartoum is afraid of the UN Security Council (UNSC) Chapter Seven on its head it is also worried about the fluid position of the Baggara tribes of Southern Darfur and Southern Kordofan. This is clearly demonstrated by the way that the NCP is easily forced to sign agreements with either the government of the neighboring Republic of South Sudan on issues of borders and Abyei on one hand or reach settlements with the SPLM-N as it happened in Addis Ababa (Malik Agar/Nafie Ali Nafie Agreement), but only to return home and renege on it in order to please its Baggara constituency.

The SPLM led government in Juba is no better either. For when the SPLM delegation to the Abyei PCA in The Hague failed to defend the South Sudans territorial right over Panthou/Heglig, the delegation and in fact the whole government came under intense fire from the grassroots. The people of Pariang did not especially take it well as they saw in it what they interpreted as an attempt by the government in Juba to trade Panthou in return for Abyei. These are sentiments of course, but they are real and deserve addressing.

Again there was the Abyei war, and then followed by the Panthou/Heglig war. How these wars begun and how they both ended remain an issue of huge controversial arguments amongst the South Sudanese people. This is even more so amongst the communities in the areas in question.

What is common between the two unfriendly neighbors (South Sudan & Sudan) in spite of the recently signed so-called comprehensive nine protocol cooperation agreement (better known as the September Agreement to remind people of the infamous September Laws of Neimeri), is that both countries are run by two totalitarian regimes.

This has been eloquently described by none but the outspoken opposition politician Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, leader of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement /Democratic Change (SPLM-DC), in one of his writings, when he said: *during the CPA interim period the Sudan was a one country with two systems, however following the 9th July 2011 independence of South Sudan from Sudan, we now have two countries with one system.*

Both the Khartoum NCP and Juba SPLM are notoriously known for presenting their views in the international fora or even reaching internationally binding agreements without consulting with their grassroots. And as such each and every agreement they sign in the name of their people are often rejected at home.

While the Agar/Nafie Addis Ababa Agreement represents an example of how things can go wrong in the Sudan, the recent inclusion of the Mile 14 Area in the demilitarized zone between the two countries and the loss of Panthou/Heglig during the Abyei PCA settlement are the South Sudans equivalents.

Nonetheless both ruling parties (SPLM & NCP) continue to struggle with how to appease their supporters in the disputed areas coupled with the buying of loyalties whenever a controversial deal is struck. As for Khartoum it is well known for not only dragging its feet when it comes to the implementation of agreements, but it even reneged the whole truce all together.

However, sooner than later some of these irresponsible behaviors are likely to do away with whatever little credibility is left for these political organisations. They can as well create a new tension in the already strained relation with the international community.

It only suffices here to say that any attempt by Khartoum to appease the Messeiriya warlords by blocking the Abyei Referendum, in the face of what is an unanimous decision by the AUPSC will definitely expose the regime to the wrath of the international community.

On the other hand Juba may face a similar fate should it attempt to stroll an extra mile trying to appease General Paul Malong Awan, Governor of Northern Bahr Ghazal State, as he and his people stand opposed to the inclusion of Mile 14 Area in the demilitarized zone.

The bottom line is that there will definitely be an inevitable cost should any of the two governments subscribe to satisfy the local leaders in either the Mile 14 Area or Abyei at the expense of the AUPSC brokered truce. And this must be clear!

(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and not of the website.)

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can be reached at: justinramba@aol.co.uk or justinramba@doctors.net.uk

The clouds of change in Republic of South Sudan

BY: ELHAG PAUL, RSS, OCT. 30/2012, SSN;
*Any leadership that will overthrow (my)… regime militarily will not be recognised by the international community,* President Kiir lectured the SPLA in Bilpham on 16th October 2012 according to Sudan Tribune. What is going on in the presidents mind? Why is he appearing desperate to ward off challenges to his regime from internal state actors? For a military president to sound so desperate does not bode well for the country. Has he lost the handle?

President Kiir should by now know that he has squandered every opportunity that has come his way right from 2005 to date. The chronology of failures is so long that even the blind now detest his leadership. Whether it is tribalism, corruption, incompetence, abuse of human rights, failure in diplomacy and you name it, president Kiir and his SPLM Oyee party excel in it. He and his party are so good in doing all the negative things in the world.

So far in only one year of independence they drove the country into a failed state, a record no country, not even Somalia has set since the emergence of nation-states in the medieval period. Thanks to SPLM and its ideology of Dinkocracy for scoring this record.

The desperation exhibited by president Kiir in his address to the SPLA is an indication that he is losing grip on power. His authority has been weakened further by the challenges his own people of Bahr El Ghazal posed to the recent co-operation agreement signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. President Kiir is now at his lowest ebb and it is clear that he as a general and commander-in-chief has lost authority and respect of the rank-and-file of his own gangisterized army.

A similar situation his predecessor Dr Garang experienced in the Rumbek meeting of November 2004. Endless advice to president Kiir from well meaning quarters to professionalise the army, and separate it from the party fell on deaf ears. He and his party preferred to keep SPLA as the army of the RSS in its present form. It is only a matter of time before he is pushed aside by one of the strongest gang in the SPLA conglomerate.

President Kiir by waving the card of *international community* to frighten his own army of gangs holding pockets of power within the centre from overthrowing him shows that he is confused and delusional. People who have decided to overthrow a government militarily always do so after having decided to take the ultimate risk to their lives and they would not flinch from schoolboy speak.

Nevertheless, president Kiir may have a point. The world is less tolerant of military coups. This is because the institution of the army (professionally) is not meant to meddle in the affairs of state management. The remit of the army is strictly to protect the country and its citizens from harm under civilian democratic governance. Equally the international community is less tolerant of dictators and totalitarian regimes like president Kiirs one.

The era of coups and dictators is long gone with the cold war. During that period coups were rampant and the leading powers of the time (US representing the West and Russia representing communism) used to promote them a lot to gain their interests. However, with the coming down of the Berlin wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the triumph of the neoliberal ideology, coups have become undesirable. The various political and economic blocks of the world influenced by the changes have inserted clauses into their constitutions to outlaw it.

For example the Commonwealth countries are all agreed not to accept any of its members led by putschists. The African Union charter like the Commonwealth one prohibits coups and any of its member state involved with such behaviour may find itself isolated via sanctions or possibly AU military intervention. So in this regard, president Kiir would be right to assume that the international community will come to his rescue in an event of a coup. After all the events in Mali is a pointer. Military officers in Mali took over the government and they had to give it up within a short time following sustained pressure by the international community.

However, motivated military officers pushed to the corner by a corrupt totalitarian regime may not care of the consequences of their action in which case it is a waste of time to try to dissuade them in a manner that reflects weakness.

If president Kiir genuinely wants to stop coup taking place in RSS he needs to immediately initiate far reaching reforms throughout his failed government. Better still if he calls for formation of a government of national unity bringing all actors inside and outside the country together to a conference where the problems of the country will be deliberated upon. Such an action will remove the need for unlawful intervention by members of the SPLA.

Looking at President Kiir lecture at Bilpham from another angle it reveals the delicate political situation in RSS. Of late things have deteriorated badly and the president seems to be panicking. The manner in which he rushed from Kampala, Uganda, straight to address the SPLA at Bilpham belies the image of a popularly loved strong man. Gone are the hey days when the opportunists surrounded him and showered him with lavish praises even when they knew that the man was not up to the job.

But they had a reason, which was self enrichment which worked. The president being gullible felt loved and believed the flattery of the miscreants around him and in return he allowed them to loot the country dry with impunity. He is now fully responsible for the mess and no doubt any future administration will hold him to account. He has unknowingly thrown away the prestige and honour that came with the independence of the country.

Rather than being seen as a hero the president is now seen and rightly so as a villain and huge liability. Heroes are saviours and caring people. They are not looters, abusers of human rights and destroyers. So the self praise the SPLM/A members accord themselves as heroes and saviours has no ground anymore. Their poor governance and uncivilised behaviour have exposed their true characters and their claims to glory increasingly looks stuff of delusion.

This delusion which no doubt also infected the president appears to make him to think and believe that the international community will save him if he is overthrown by the SPLA. Neither the international community nor his rebellious SPLA will save the president. The international community is not only feed up with his poor governance but dismayed with his inability to interact with them positively. If he is removed they may not shed a tear for him. In fact they may even breath a sigh of relief.

On the other hand currently the SPLA is more disillusioned than at any other time in its history due to the growing fissures in its structure of gangs and lack of adequate leadership. The jockeying for power by the various gangs in SPLA in itself is one of the reasons for the instability and non stop rumours of coups in the country. With this development it would be surprising for the SPLA to be sympathetic to the president. This leaves the president with only one option, seeking redemption through acting wisely.

He can save himself by taking the bold decision of dissolving his government and replacing it with a government of national unity consisting of all stake holders. Anything short of such an act may not work and his rebellious army will remain a thorn in his throat.

Although the world presently discourages coups which decent people around the globe support, this phenomenon since the dawn of globalisation two decades ago has been replaced by intervention from non state actors. In a sense coups have been replaced with various types of popular uprisings. Some peaceful and others violent. All in search for genuine democracy or other forms of governance such as the current wind of change blowing through the Arab world. The fake regimes that call themselves democracies such as the SPLM led government of president Kiir are in for a shock. They can come in *sheep cloth*, they can shout all the slogans of democracy and they can lie but they will not escape the wrath of the people. This is a simple rule of life made clear by the saying, *You can fool the people for some of the time but not all the time*.

The unpleasant and toxic environment engulfing the country today is the result of president Kiir and his SPLM Oyee party misrule. Since they returned from bush and assumed power in 2005, they have indulged in unnecessary excesses in tribalism, corruption, violence and abuse of human rights. This has now motivated many people to seek ways of changing the system.

Juba, the under developed capital of this nascent state is now awash with daily stories of attempted coups. Since July 2012 hardly a day passes without talk of a failed coup. Therefore, it was not a surprise to learn from the president during his lecture to the SPLA at Bilpham about a coup. The president announced the detention of Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec as a suspect and also a collaborator (please see Sudan Tribune of 16th October 2012)

Now, the Nuer Youth have entered the fry demanding the release of Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec. The fact that the Nuer Youth are taking matters into their own hands in demanding the release of their own shows the level of distrust between the people and the GoSS.

In a normal functioning state, government agents should not be protected by their tribesmen. The constitution should be the protector of every citizen in the land. But given the glaring failures of the system in GoSS, who can blame the Nuer Youth.

The justice department and the law and order agents (who mostly come from one tribe) have consistently violated the constitution without any regard for the consequence that would emerge from their negligence and abuse of it. Take for example, the killings of innocent citizens by police as in the case of John Lewis and the execution of George Othor by the army without any due process. In both cases there have not been any enquiries to establish the truth; attempt to account to the relatives of the deceased and for the state to learn lessons from these sad incidents

Two days ago I had discussion with a Nuer friend on the subject. He was adamant that president Kiir was playing divide and rule politics by scapegoating Maj. Gen. Gatwec. According to this friend, the trick is to divide the Nuer community by making one Nuer incarcerate the other to sow seeds of bitter divisions among them. Once the Nuer are divided president Kiir can then get rid of those Nuer he does not like from the army and government by using those loyal to him with the ultimate result being a politically weakened and decimated Nuer community that poses no threat to the status quo.

There is some sense in this simple but powerful analysis. Sounds like what happened in Equatoria from 1983 to date. Equatorians could only join SPLM/A as individuals and remain isolated individuals. By being isolated they automatically become weak and vulnerable. They are not allowed to be in groups because group thinking and group action are the basis of power. The leaders of the movement themselves preached and implemented what they do not practise. They fragmented others while regrouping themselves to consolidate power and dominate the rest.

This SPLM/A Machiavellian policy is responsible for disempowering Equatorians to the extent that they are made to feel ashamed and unpatriotic to talk about their rights and interest in the system. It rings bells. SPLM/A are masters of the animalistic behaviour of isolate and kill. Watch the carnivorous groups like lions, hyenas, wild dogs in wild life films, they always single out the weakest member of the preyed herd, isolate it and then kill it.

During the reign of the late Dr Garang, he practised *isolate and kill* to devastating end to the extent of fragmenting families. He set brother against brother, son against father, sister against sister, daughter against mother, nephew against uncle, niece against aunt and so on. The ugliest scenarios are those where a brainwashed relative of the victim (executed or murdered by SPLM/A) become the justifier of the heinous act.

Today, it is a fact in RSS that the Nuer is the only group that poses threat to Jieng hegemony by virtue of their accidental numerical presence in the SPLA. It is no secret that the Jieng are perturbed by this anomaly which only happened after 2005 when the various Nuer armed groups were allowed by instruments in the CPA to come under the SPLA. Historically and this continues to date, the rivalry between these two groups has been an uneasy one laced with deep distrust.

In light of the above and the present circumstance where rumours of coup are rife it would be wise for the leadership in Juba to handle the detention of Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec with utmost care and fairness. Such care and fairness also should be extended to all those political detainees languishing in torture houses of SPLM/A. These arbitrary detentions without due processes are the very reason why this government has failed and people are looking for ways to bring it down

Finally, president Kiir can not talk his regime of failures out of removal from power by waving the international community as his protector. The clouds of change began forming out of his poor governance; the speculations of coups; the gathering discontent expressed on the outset by the Nuer Youth at home and in Diaspora; and Governor Paul Malong Awan bitter complaints about Mile 14.

These concerns are coagulating into the storm that eventually sweeps the SPLM Oyee away once and for all from the political space of RSS.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and not of the website)

Cold and hot wars: The contentious animosity between Nuer and Dinka tribes of South Sudan

BY: STEPHEN PAJOK KONG, USA, OCT. 25/2012, SSN;

Since our country officially became independent on July 9, 2011, which was our collective success, our jubilation faded away after a couple of months because there are people in South Sudan government who cling on their own tactics to fight a cold war against the people of South Sudan, or Nuer tribes, in particular. For the past seven and half years, a millions of dollar has been spent on destruction and trying to bribe others to help a few leaders build their own Empire, for some it is just a shrinking business, for many these was money that should have been better spent on building peace or on development in South Sudan.

I want to take you back to the genesis of contentious animosity between the two cousins, Nuer and Dinka. I have been thinking why there is an enormous hatred between these tribes, because I have been seen the twisted face of hatred. In 1988 we crammed on the Red Tank routed from Baydit of Manyadeng as the local people call it, to Anyidi then to Ajakger and from Ajakger to Gumuruk of Murle territory, an overweight captain three times my size, by the name of Thon Lual slapped me on the face just because I said something in Nuer language.

The only thing I remember was hearing Mr. Lual saying, *NYAGAAT CIN RAN JAM THONGE NUER.* From there on I changed. Not only because I was slapped, but because I was much disturbed by the blatant outpouring of joy from the other Dinka boys who are clearly glad because a Nuer son was humiliated.

South Sudan is a country today, it must be a good idea if we go back and seriously pondered on the worst deeds we did to ourselves. I go back on time and discover that the contentious animosity between Dinka and Nuer was a chronic disease that we needed to give some consideration before we talk about a country and development. Let us go back to what I term as Cold and Hot War: Contentious animosity between Nuer and Dinka.

Dinka Cold War against Nuer:
In the year 1839, when an Egyptian expedition flotilla which tried to discover the source of the White Nile approached a Nuer village on the east bank of Bahr Al-jabal, known today as Fangak, that was inhabited by Jagei Laak and Thiang, the villager flocked to the shore of the river to look at the new sight of large sailing vessels on the river. With the same gesture typical to the Nuer when faced with a surprise, they sacrificed an Ox before returning to their villages.

The Egyptians, however, were confused about the killing of an animal, and then their suspicious where confirmed by a Dinka soldier serving as interpreter, who maliciously and wrongly told the Egyptians that the killing of the animal by the Nuer meant that they were ready to kill you.

Next day, the Nuer villagers returned with gift of goats and tobacco to the Egyptian boat, but when the Dinka soldier again told his masters that the tobacco was poison, the Egyptian soldiers instantaneously opened fire, killing one Nuer, and wounding a few. At this point, Nuer hostility toward foreigners was pushed into high gear. This was intentionally done by the Dinka soldier who regarded Nuer as powerful enemies against Dinka. (Wilson 1903-13)

Again in 1899, the Dinka Leaders who contacted the new government with the stories of Nuer atrocities and belligerence were the same leaders who had been expulsed by Ngundeng and expelled by Deng Lakka. Since they became the government they became subjects whom the government was honor bound to protect. Their largely unfounded report against Nuer aggression forced the government to the legendary confrontation with Ngundeng. Subsequently, the governor of Upper Nile province led patrols against Lou Nuer, the most important homestead of Gun Lou Nuer which was burned and much of their livestock captured.

Despite the despoliation by government soldiers and their Dinka auxiliaries, Ngundeng and most of Lou refused to give battle, it was later confirmed by Dinka informants that Nuer give up fighting because they always felt sorry for Nyarraweng (Nuer-Bil) and Ngok Dinka whom always enjoyed good relationship with Nuer and never wanted trouble. (Wilson 1905)

Another Dinka Cold War against Nuer:
In 1983-84 the jubilation from South Sudanese to join the SPLA/M Liberation force was enormous compared to the jubilation to vote for referendum. Both are reverses by SPLA/M of it being tribalistic, and racist movement as it was and up to date. For the first time of its inception the conduct of SPLA forces was chaotic, with many murders against the civilian population. Especially against Eastern Nuer of Gajaak who had good relation with the separatist movement of Anyanya II.

From the commencement of the movement early inauguration between 1983-7, the SPLM political deployment took a sharp on the tribal line where the Twich Dinka were given significant opportunity for a reason to join and attain military strategic places, with the purpose to defend themselves against the neighboring tribes such as Nuer, Murle, Toposa and Mundari. As it was clear when John Garang gave a speech in Fugnido Refugee camp in 1989, seventy five percent of his speech was all against Late Samuel Gai Tut Yang, Nyanya I, Nyanya II, and their so-called wicked belief for South Sudan independence.

This proved my suspicions that John Garang was a tangible Arab proxy who tried to stop Southerners from achieving their goal of South-Sudan independence. As the story suggested that Garang was not part of revolution, he first tried to stop it, but when things got tough, he followed them anyway to keep his dirty secret of making sure South-Sudan independence will not be achieved.

I should say, unapologetically, in a heart-beat that his death was a blessing in disguise, for Southerners, but great tragedy to the people of Abyei, Nuba Mountains and Ingesena, who all shared his view of a secular united Sudan.

NUER HOT WAR AGAINST DINKAS
When the historic Nasir declaration was announced on August 28, 1991, by two former members of the High Command of the SPLA, Riek Machar and Lam Akol issued a radio message that called for the removal of Garang from leadership. Initially, Machar and Akol blamed their defection from the SPLA/M on the dictatorial leadership of Garang, and on the accusation that Garang committed countless human rights abuses against SPLA/M members. This announcement opened a huge door for Nyanya II rebels who had great grumbles against the SPLA/SPLM leader and his Dinka tribe.

Nyanya II rebels quickly rushed to Bor areas in great excitement for the first time in a decade, and the result was historic. Beich State commander, Simon Gatwich Dual, who is recently now arrested by Dinka conspirators in Juba, was the commander who protected Bor Dinka from being attacked by Anyanya II groups, since he became an ally who offered no resistance and the result was catastrophic.

ANOTHER DINKAS COLD WAR AGAINST NUER:
For the first time in the history of Nuer and Dinka animosity, Late George Athors army killed forty seven civilian in Fangak County in the summer of 2009, and for second time in 2011, after South Sudan referendum vote. Again late George army killed one hundred and thirty two (132) civilians in Phom Chuol Deang. Then Fangak sons and daughters in the army intervened. Now Fangak people are happy that late George Athor is too power-less to kill them again. Hey, they cannot be too sure.

SPLA/M soldiers with big guns opened fire on Fangak Nuer indiscriminately on men, women and even children after a battle with fighters belonging to their minority ethnic group, killing and wounding hundreds of civilians, according to witness accounts contained in confidential U.N. reports. A U.N. team that traveled to the Nile River village 11 days after the April 23 killings saw more than two dozen corpses and said grass-roofed mud huts clearly contained many more bodies, the team confirmed the death toll of two hundred and fifty seven (254) dead civilians.

But the number given by a local official is 389 which have not been independently verified by UN-teams. Despite all these killings, Junglei state authority never paid a visit to Fangak County. All these killings are taking place in Fangak Nuer, plus various massacres of over a thousand people in Uror, Akobo and Mayom Counties from western Nuer. If you do the math, a quarter of people who voted for the independence of South Sudan are robbed of their lives by their own government which claimed to protect them only a couple of months before they celebrated the birth of South Sudan Nation.

Inarguably, the worst part is there is no justice for their lives, and worse than this, the military prison somewhere in Equatoria is stamped with people who has been wrongfully accused of trying to assassinate Benydit Salva Kiir Mayardit. People, if SPLA/M learned anything from its extensive failure and butchery, they should recognize that Samuel Gai Tut Yang death will forever stalk the SPLM down for many years to come, unlike the death of hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese leaders who are slayed in cold blood by those fictitious to-be the leaders of our nation today, shame on them.

In conclusion, I should argue that our government violent attitude toward its own citizens would produce more militants and more crimes, but less economic stability. For example, killing of Nuer in all four counties, intimidation methods, persecution without due process, incarceration punishment, would produce public outcry.

The fact that the government claims to be a democratic government, it should act like one. It should only react to unlawful violent behavior without any repression. That means to identify the criminal and disengage the suspect from wrong doing. In short, Southerners should declare an all-out war against outlaw militants and that should eradicate the bad elements in our society.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author and not the website)
For concern, comment or question please do not hesitated to part with me @ Pajok.kong@yahoo.com; stephenpajok@yahoo.com or nuerwarrior@yahoo.com
Thank and take care!!
Pajok Kong Kulang, USA:

Kiir’s Capitulation: From Independence to Dependence on jellaba

Editorial Analysis, OCTOBER 2012; Without a shred of any doubt now, and in spite of SPLM multiple refutations, South Sudan nation is painfully coming to the stark realization that the September 27 Addis Ababa peace deal President Kiir initialed with the jellaba Arab Sudan was a total capitulation and a sell-out.

Furthermore, it is becoming more clearer that President Kiir and his failed SPLM/A regime have reversed our hard-won independence into a real and absolute dependence, once again, on our former oppressors, through this peace accord whose implementation will be at the mercy of the Jellaba and not the South Sudanese.

Regardless of the unsurprisingly fast ratification by the national parliament, most South Sudanese are understandably reserved or openly opposed to the entire or articles of the September 27 Kiir-Bashir Agreement, especially those from areas directly and adversely impacted by some of the its sections.

What Kiir and his chief negotiator, Pagan Amum, are stubbornly not admitting in public is that the Addis Ababa deal was really a coerced oil-for-land trade off, which clearly is more advantageous to Beshir and the Arab Messeriya and Reizeigat vagabonds.

ABYEI: Watching one of the leading Abyei chief negotiators, Luka Biong, almost tearfully explaining the conundrum, it is a truly foregone conclusion that the Abyei accord reached is already stillborn, ostensibly, because will never ever be resolved in the lifetime of this accord. Biong ominously predicts that Abyei will end up in an international arbitration imbroglio, whose ruling if any, will not be implementable nor acceptable by the jellaba.

Forebodingly, Abyei will remain a political cancer on South Sudan, specifically because of its intractability, unless and until the ruling SPLM/A administration works out a modus vivendi, sooner rather than later, to move its resolution in future talks with Sudan.

This begets the tough question that neither Biong, Alor or Dr. Francis Deng or any Ngok leader want to hear: What percentage of the indigenous Abyei residents really want to move either South or North? As Biong aptly put is, Abyei is almost like a stateless State, neither South Sudanese nor Sudanese.

Perhaps with its oil revenues, it is now imperative for the failed Kiir government and his Abyei politicians to think of another solution such as having this region granted a special status under a UN-mandate until such a time that its resident citizens can decide in complete transparency where they want to belong.

GRAZING RIGHTS: This issue is inarguably one fatal mistake that President Kiir and the leaders of the border states of South Sudan so unwisely acceded to without imposing the necessary conditionalities needed, such as impressing a consensus on a time limit, after all, we are supposedly two separate and independent countries.

Indeed, there are no similar scenarios existing anywhere in the world today where nomads from another sovereign state get unfettered access into another independent country to freely exploit its economic resources because of some primitive and out-dated Wild West arrangements.

It simply borders on sheer political immaturity and lack of seriousness as to why the Dinka and Nuer leaders of Northern Bahr el Gazal, Warrap, Unity and Upper Nile states never jointly formulated some stringent conditions by imposing taxes, for instance, to gradually and finally phase out this one-sided economic exploitation of their traditional lands.

Ultimately, Kiir and his SPLM are just perpetuating our perpetual dependence on the jellaba at our own sovereign expense! Sooner, as typical of the SPLM system, all those Dinka and Nuer leaders from those impacted states will be coerced to accept these sell-out deals and things will be business-as-usual, which is unsurprisingly only symptomatic of political failure.

THE FOUR FREEDOMS: Combined together, and despite SPLM refutations and acclamation, these so-called freedoms are nothing but instruments for the perpetuation of our endless dependence, once again, on the jellaba Sudan and on the terms of the jellabas.

Collectively, the SPLM/A leadership disingenuousness stands out palpably since all the so-called Four Freedoms are virtual instruments for perpetuation of our unstoppable exploitation by jellaba Khartoum. Already, under Kiir leadership, the nation is quietly watching Islamization and Arab influence are once coming back due to the political castration of the leadership by its acquiescence to Middle Eastern dollar donors.

Moreover, it is only the leaders-cum-thieves of South Sudan, who have bought properties or invested in business ventures with jellaba, that are the main economic beneficiaries of these freedoms, and the South Sudan nationals will soon be massively overwhelmed by jellaba economic hegemony.

Inevitably, the jellaba will once again under-develop our nation as they have done for the last many decades of their colonization of South Sudan. Only a fool would be made to believe that the jellaba would like to see a South Sudan nation that is politically, economically, religiously, socially, etc..etc.. independent.

More importantly, however, we have cheaply sold away our freedom by acceding to the joint oil agreement whereby our oil will go northwards. Acceptably, President Kiir blundered when he unwisely shut down the oil production last January instead of first working out an alternative mechanism to sustain production and export.

Then, the SPLM and supporters blindly supported the blunders of Kiir, now the nation must painfully accept that the prosperity promised in our national anthem will remain for a long time only a dream except, once again, for the kleptomaniacal SPLM/A leadership who will keep corrupting the government.

Finally, the entire Addis Agreement is critically dependent on the unresolved wars in the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and to extent, Darfur, all whose fighters and the leaders still maintain close links and suspected support- politically and materially- from the SPLM/A government in Juba.

President Kiir, like his unpopular counterpart, president Bashir, needed this Agreement to buy time and cleverly avert any sanctions from the United Nations Security Council, as well as to timely avoid the predicted economic collapse in the two nations.

More critical, Kiir had to unconditionally surrender to the increasing international pressure and the fact that he completely failed to garner any international financial assistance after shutting oil production in January.

Unfortunately, the nation is in a state of paralysis and people are genuinely frustrated by the political failure, lack of services delivery, and the ostentatious theft and corruption and absence of the rule of law.

As the president grows delusional about coups against his increasingly unpopular regime, the fate and future of our nation in very uncertain, especially now that our dependence on the jellaba in guaranteed by a mutual agreement.

South Sudan Parliament: A Presidential Approval Machine or the Voice of the People?

The Parliament: Presidential Approval Machine or the Voice of the People?

BY: KUIR e GARANG, ALBERTA, CANADA, OCT. 12/2012, SSN; Okay, take a deep breath for you will get annoyed in the process of reading this article. If you do not get upset at me then you will get angry at those idlers in Juba we call the Members of Parliament (MPs). See, the useless me has already annoyed you. We have all seen with annoying truth that our MPs are only there to approve whatever the president fancifully decides. This is one sad reality the parliament has to rectify if it has to maintain its legitimacy. Oh, I forgot: they do not care!

The purpose of the parliament is to check and put some brakes on out-of-control presidential and executive decisions so as to make decision-making process efficient, informed and broad-based.

Many South Sudanese have become very used to the cult of personalities that their ability to question the leadership has become nonexistent. Any decision made by the president and his fearful cabinet is applauded without any critical analysis. This always gets the MPs off the hook.

When the president decided to go to war because of Khartoum continued occupation of Panthou, the people were not well informed, or consulted. Decisions should not be made and executed whimsically because the president feels they are right, they have to be executed for the benefit of the people. The assumption that such decisions benefit the people without any rational, informed and empirical analysis should be stopped with immediate effect. You can laugh here!

When the president decided to chase away Beshirs soldiers, (not invade, because Panthou belongs to the South) the parliament just approved the decision made by the president. The parliament should have questioned the decision and asked the president if he had put into consideration the diplomatic cost, the human cost and the economic cost of the incident: verifiable figures should be given. None of these happened. The president decided so it must be good for us.

The parliament went ahead (like a good boy) and approved the decision. The parliament should be the voice of the people not the approval instrument for all the whimsical decisions by the president and his Kiir-wary cabinet. Kiir has so much power so I understand the fear! Damn, man!

Panthou is our land, no question, but in the todays world, the decisions have to be made in a manner that protects the people and the integrity of the country. The president, the cabinet and the parliament, all acted (and always do) out of gut feelings, which no state authority should ever do so.

When the president decided to shut down oil production, the parliament did not question the president decision about the cost of the shut-down to the economy and the civil population. Now, the inflation is still over the roof, the value of our pound has become miserably uncompetitive and costly, the commodity prices a painful reality, and people have gone for months without salaries. This is not an allegation or a fanciful imagination, it is a testable fact. When will the parliament stand up for the people they represent?

Again, the president made a dubious agreement with Beshir on oil fees and the resumption of oil production. I would admit, the deal is better than the previously proposed ones, however, the deal should be taken before the parliament and debated without fear of what the president would do to dissenters.

Malong Awan, the governor of Northern Bhar El Ghazal, has questioned the agreement due to the placement of Mile 14 as part of the areas to be demilitarized. It is the first time someone has ever stood up for the people. The MPs, not only from Northern Bhar El Ghazal, but others in the parliament, should thoroughly debate the agreement and question different clauses.

The Kiir-wary cabinet has already approved the agreement.

Questioning agreements, parliamentary motions, policy proposals and state initiatives in the parliament is the reason why MPs get elected. We can not all go to the parliament but we should not be electing people who divorce their electorates to marry presidential whims out of fear of losing their jobs.

It is time for the MPs to do their jobs and stop being approval machines for presidential and executive brusque decrees. Why are you there if you are only there to approve what the president decides? Why are workers going for months without being paid?

Why are there no accountability modalities being put in place to reduce corruption?

Why are South Sudanese citizens being treated by foreigners as dirty, stupid second class citizens in the country they fought and died for?

Why is our economy in the hands of foreigners who do not respect us? Why are foreign business people not investing their money within the country? Why are there no checks put in place for foreign workers? Why are restaurants owned by foreigners not employing citizens?

It is because we have sent to parliament a bunch of respectable men who do not want to annoy Your Excellency, Mr. President Sir, and the cabinet members, ministers who are bribed by foreigners in order to protect their (foreigners) interests at the expense of the people.

Do not get me wrong. I am for credible, respectful and locally beneficial investments, which respect the citizens and follow the laws of the land. I am against a bunch of indoctrinated opportunists out to exploit the citizens of a land with lose policies and careless or bribed law-makers.

Foreign businesses should be screened to see if they employ citizens. Fines should be imposed on foreign businesses employing less than 80% citizens. Yes, I said it, less than 80% South Sudanese citizen.

I am calling on our parliament to protect South Sudanese interest from foreigners and presidential whims. We were treated by the Sudanese government as second class citizens, and foreigners in Juba are showing the same disrespect to the poor, powerless South Sudanese. The president is getting into that zone: disrespecting the intelligence of South Sudanese citizen through lack of consultation.

Oyay Deng Ajak, is that what you fought for?

Pagam Omum, are you not wasting your time negotiating oil agreements that will only be controlled by foreigners, not the people you fought for?

Marial Benjamin, you annoy us every week with embarrassing positions not researched at all while the average person interest is being betrayed by you and your colleagues!

Hon. Wani Igga, you lead a parliament that is basically useless! Why are you not leading them into protecting the interest of the people they were elected to protect?

Mr. VP. Riek Machar, when you split in 1991 you had a roaster of grievances and governance strategy to reform the movement for the benefit of the people of South Sudan, you claim credit for championing the course for self-determination. Now we have it. Where has your brain gone to? Why can you not implement the 1991 political and reformist platform you and Lam Akol brandished as a reason for split? Are you very rich that you have forgotten that you meant to help the average South Sudanese?

Mr. Machar, you sadly told Aljazeera immediately you and Kiir decided to shut down oil production that South Sudan has reserves. Did you mean the reserves were to help run the government and pay those exorbitant salaries of workers who do nothing, or did you mean the reserves would help the average South Sudanese? You know many have gone for months without pay. Reserves!!?? Oh, you do not care about the average citizen, eh?

This is a sad state of affair and it is high time everyone in leadership starts to realize that cultic crusade should stop and the parliament should start representing the interest of the people, not the president.

Kuir e Garang is a South Sudanese poet, author and publisher currently living in Calgary, Alberta. He is the author of the newly released novel, The Pipers and the First Phase. For more information, visit www.kuirthiy.info
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author and not of the website)

Aweil Petition to Pres. Kiir: Don’t cede our land to Khartoum

Ref: Do Not Cede Our Land to Khartoum

Petition Letter to H.E. 1st Lt. General Salva Kiir Mayardit
President of the Republic of South Sudan

CC: South Sudan National Legislative Assembly
CC: Africa Union High Level Implementation Panel
CC: United Nations Security Council
CC: SPLM Party
CC: NBGS
CC: South Sudan Negotiator team

OCT. 11/2012, SSN; Dear Mr. President:

Aweil Community, both at home and in the Diaspora, has received the 27 September Security Agreement on the 14- mile area with an indisputable displeasure and outrage. To our surprise, we have found out that the land that has never been a disputed area has now been made a disputed one. We are afraid, with your administration approving the 2011 AUHIP Proposed Map on such Security Arrangements, Khartoum is now in a celebratory mode, for it knows very well that it will soon lay unqualified claim to this piece of land and the negotiating team under your leadership will find it an uphill task to deviate from the agreement you witnessed should the final border be drawn.

It is always a common norm that those who will be potentially affected by any policy and decision should be involved and engaged by government officials in discussions, negotiations, and decision making processes. Irrefutably, Aweil Community has knowledgeable and well informed elders and veteran politicians who should have been involved and consulted to provide a valuable information and citizenry wisdom with regards to the 14 mile area. Yet, your leadership continues to ignore this vital avenue.

We are also deeply concerned that any agreement that deprives us of our well established ancestral and traditional connection to this land directly threatens the main pillars of peace and stability between Aweil Community and the Baggara Community. We are profoundly alarmed by the agreement that has made a land that has never been a disputed land a contentious land.

Mr. President, this situation has prompted us to communicate our well founded concerns and viewpoints to your administration with hope that they will be given a deserved consideration.

Mr. President, having been in this land for decades (if not centuries), Aweil Community cannot and will never accept this deal because we know better that this piece of land under the heated discussion has never been and will never be a part of Sudan or Darfur, for that matter. This is because the entire NBGS is inseparable from the designated 14 mile area.

Historically and customarily, Aweil and the Baggara Communities know that arrangements have been made long time ago in the 19th Century between the Dinka Malual and the Baggara nomads to allow the latter passage for the Kiir River waters and pastures. It did not mean then and it does not mean now that the land is disputed nor claimed by the Baggara people.

In the past, Aweil Community had only given access to the Baggara Community to bring their animals to the Kiir River waters and pastures for their survival. Gov. Malong and Aweil Community elders in their own efforts have had some traditional discussions and talks on how the Baggara Community would be allowed to bring their animals to the Kiir River. This hospitality has never been intended to make this particular area a disputed land.

Rather, Aweil Communitys hospitality has been intended to make the Baggara Community survive during the dry seasons. Aweil Community has never asked the Baggara Community to pay her for grazing privileges. Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol wrote a great article (The African Union Map and 14 Miles South River Kiir) on 23 August 2012, detailing who the true owners of the area are, NBGS.

In all these discussions, our outrage should be understandable. Our grievances are many, but this petition will exclusively focus on the 14 mile issue. While we are not here to condemn you or your administration, we have decided to bring our long-ignored outcry against the 14 mile agreement to your attention. Quite frankly, Aweil Community feels an appalling history of neglect and marginalization under your administration.

Aweil People military contributions in the course of the painful liberation struggle and unwavering political support for your leadership which had finally contributed to the attainment of South Sudan Independence has never been given a due attention. This implies that Aweil Community political support and military contribution has been taken for granted. To be clear on the 14 mile issue, the Addis Ababa negotiations on the borders began on a wrong footing because Aweil Community legitimate viewpoints and concerns were not considered by the negotiators. Now, it is very clear that the 14 mile agreement will have direct negative impacts on Aweil Community survival if implemented.

For this reason, Aweil Diaspora Community has decided to write this message to strongly confirm our unyielding and firm support for Gov. Malong and Aweil politicians rejection of the 14 mile agreement by outlining the following grievances and concerns. We honestly hope that your administration will seriously take our legitimate concerns into consideration.

(1) While the discussions about the Safe Border Demilitarized Zone (SBDZ) were on-going in Addis Ababa, no one consulted the residents of the area in question yet it was reported that Sudan Government consulted Misseriya people on issue of this magnitude. Tell us, how would you feel when people discuss your affairs without involving you in the decision making process? No matter how knowledgeable Mr. Pagan Amum and the team of South Sudan negotiators were, excluding the voice of the concerned people is unjustified.

(2) Aweil People also read an alarming tendency into this decision from the time of negotiating the CPA to the post secession issues, Aweil Community has been sidelined in the truest sense of the word in any meaningful discussions, yet we are among the border states and all these decisions immensely affect us.

(3) Loyalty is a two-way street, remember. We have been loyal to the leadership of the SPLA/A due to the just cause of our liberation from day one; we will continue to be. Nonetheless, despite having paid so much (in blood and treasure) for the liberation of South Sudan, Aweil Community is now being asked to give up her territorial integrity to seal agreements off with Khartoum. Such is a double jeopardy or sellout of Aweil land for unknown that we cannot afford, buy into or entertain any longer. In other words, we have not fled away from this 14 mile area during the war and should not desert it now under the term of the agreement you signed. We would rather join wherever our land goes.

(4) Since Aweil Community rejected the 14 mile agreement, your administration has never publicly come out to tell the entire Aweil Community how this issue should be handled. Although Gov. Malong and other state high-profile politicians have openly come out in the condemnation of the Aweil Community exclusion in the negotiations, the presidency has not responded. Yet, particular individuals under your leadership continue to denote the 14 mile area as an international border, this has not only angered the greater Aweil Community but it also reflects the bullying the stakeholders in your government harbored against NBGS. Thus, your deafening silence makes us feel that River Kiir was intentionally made a disputed area by your administration.

(5) Mr. President, Aweil Community knows very well that you are 100% aware that the part of the Kiir River that is currently targeted by the recent agreements in Addis Ababa has never been and will never be a disputed land. Aweil Community has been tremendously alarmed and shocked by the statements that some of your administration officials have recently said regarding this land.
First, the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Paul Mayom Akech, has publicly stated that Kiir River is a no mans land.
Second, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Michael Makuei Lueth, has openly stated that Kiir River is an international border.
Third, the Minister of Information, Dr. Marial Benjamin, has also publicly mentioned that a select committee will be formed to educate citizens who are criticizing the Addis Ababa agreements.
In spite of all these condescending comments from your officials, the presidency is shockingly tight lipped about it all. These kinds of comments from high ranking politicians, your silence over Aweil Community outcry against the Kiir River relinquishment and the exclusion in the negotiations imply that the 14 mile area was intentionally planned to be a demilitarized border zone (DMZ). And finally,

(6) Aweil Community was astonished to hear that part of her land was included in the negotiations of the contentious areas between South Sudan and Sudan. Mr. President, to the best of our knowledge, when the CPA terms were negotiated in Naivasha, Kenya, the 14 mile land was not included as a disputed area. The only contentious areas that were discussed by Dr. John Garang and Mr. Taha were Abyei, Blue Nile, and Nuba Mountain. Now, what made the Kiir River a disputed land under your administration?

We are aware that the package of agreements, including this issue, was passed by the Council of Ministers and that it awaits parliamentary approval on Wednesday. Mindful of the situation at the moment, Mr. President, you can avert this crisis by not requiring the parliament to rectify it but instead returning to the negotiations with Khartoum and have this issue taken off the table.

And when you do go back to Addis Abba to the drawing board, we demand that you make sure that at least a son or daughter of Mading Aweil is included in the negations. After all, the AU or UNSC knows perfectly well that 14-mile area was never part of the outstanding issues left off during the CPA signing. You can talk them out of it, and in the process, still come off triumphant.

However, if it so happens that our concerns and peaceful protests are ignored such that this agreement is shoved down through our throat, then the following scenarios cannot be ruled.

(1) That our unquestionable support to the party will waver upon ratification of the agreement by the national assembly.

(2) Aweil citizens, as a protest, may consider blocking the Baggara from accessing Kiir River this season.

(3) Many Aweil citizens who fought the war were prompted to join the SPLA/M because of the Baggara encroachment on their land. If the SPLM is not a party that protects our land, we will reconsider our participation upon the withdrawal of our military from Mile 14. And lastly,

(4) We will not be in a position to blame any of our citizens who maybe in readiness to interfere if all our demands go unheeded.

In sum, Mr. President, Aweil Community supports all other 8 post-secession agreements from oil production resumption to trade normalization to Abyei Referendum. The only area where we are not supporting you and are requesting for immediate reversal is the 14 mile area. Our border with Sudan lies 36 miles North of Kiir River. Even heaven knows that 14 mile area belongs to us and any attempt to talk us out of it will fail. Because we have it within power to control our destiny, not Khartoum, we thus hope that you will do the right thing.

Singed by

Mr. Lino Machir Akok,
Chairman of Federation of Aweil Communities in Canada (F.A.C.C.)
Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Mr. Santino Atak Chimir Deng,
Chairman of Aweil Community in United States of America (ACAUSA)
Dallas,Taxes, USA

Mr. Martin Garang Aher,
Chairman of Mading Aweil Community in Australia (MAC)
Perth, Western Australia

Mr. Anyoun Deng Kuol, Secretary General
Helsinki, Finland, Europe

On Behalf of Aweil Community in Diaspora

Sincerely Yours

Better than nothing: A deal between the two Sudans is a first step. But a lot could still go wrong

THE ECONOMIST, OCT. 05/2012, SSN; IN THE next few days chemicals will be pumped at high pressure along the two oil pipelines that run northwards from landlocked, independent South Sudan across its contested border with plain Sudan (which encompassed both countries until a year ago) to Port Sudan on the Red Sea (see map). Known as “warming the pipes”, this step should begin to restore life to the two Sudans’ clogged economic arteries. Whether it will lead to real peace and harmony is another question.

Nine months ago South Sudan shut down oil production in a dispute over the fees that the north charged the south to use its export route. The two countries nearly went to war. That threat has receded since the two presidents signed a deal in neighbouring Ethiopia on September 27th to get the oil flowing again. But various other differences, especially over where to draw the border between the two countries, still dog relations. The leaders agreed to just enough to fend off the prospect of international sanctions that the UN Security Council had threatened to impose on whichever side was deemed to be dragging its feet. Diplomats called it a “minimalist deal”.

The two sides did, however, agree to be separated by a demilitarised buffer zone. It was also agreed that southerners living in the north and vice versa will have the right to reside, work and own property on either side of the border. As trade resumes, the rate of inflation that had begun to gallop in both countries may now slow down.

Executives from Dar Petroleum, a Chinese-Malaysian company that is the biggest operator in the south, where two-thirds of the Sudans’ oil reserves lie, say that production will get back to 180,000 barrels per day (b/d) “before the end of the year”. That may be optimistic. Several oilfields were damaged by fighting that peaked between the two sides in April. Some of the pipes may have suffered during the time they stood idle. Officials in Juba, the south’s capital, say it may take another year to restore production to its pre-crisis level of 350,000 b/d.

A permanent border between the Sudans has yet to be drawn. Nor could the leaders agree on the final status of Abyei, the chunk of land that straddles an oil-rich bit of the border; the north rejected a compromise proposed by mediators under the aegis of the African Union. The leaders also failed to find a way of ending armed rebellions in both countries that each side blames the other for instigating.

Optimists think the document signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, has created enough momentum to push the two countries towards a full-scale agreement in the next few months. Pessimists think that, after a breathing space of three to six months, the crisis will resume as viciously as ever. The precedents are worrying. Talks have dragged on for ten years, invariably punctuated by rows, accusations of betrayal, fighting, and then more talks.

Abyei alone could cause a resumption of hostilities. It is the homeland of the Dinka Ngok tribe which has links to the south. But the area is visited for several months every year by semi-nomadic Misseriya herders from farther north. Mediators want Abyei’s residents to vote on which country they would sooner join but the north is loth to accept this, especially if the Misseriya herders are denied a say in the matter. In the meantime Abyei is overseen by 4,000-plus Ethiopian peacekeepers, paid for by the UN. Ethiopia’s government is keen to get them home.

South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and his northern counterpart, Omar al-Bashir, have taken to calling each other “brother”, but there is little trust between them. The north is still thought to be arming rebel militias operating in the south’s vast and volatile Jonglei state. The UN confirmed that a white Antonov transport aircraft with false markings to make it look like a UN plane had been seen dropping supplies in an area where a rebel commander, David Yau Yau, has been operating. Western human-rights organisations say that both northern and southern soldiers have committed atrocities against civilians.

On the northern side of the border, rebellions in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states are worsening. Mr Bashir blames South Sudan for helping old allies from the decades-long civil war that eventually led to southern independence. The government in Juba insists that the rebellions, in particular by Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) in South Kordofan, are beyond its control. Since the newly agreed buffer zone may make it harder for the south to send arms and supplies across the border, hawks in the north may believe they have a chance to crush the rebellions. But if the military tide were to turn against the SPLA-N there would be fierce popular pressure on the southern government to help it wholeheartedly. Nearly 200,000 refugees have streamed into the south. Despite the peace deal in Ethiopia, they will not be packing to go home just yet.

A year after the divorce from the north South Sudan’s outlook is dismal. Oil that was meant to pay for both countries was switched off by the southerners in January during a row over transit fees demanded by the north, for use of the pipelines and ports that take the oil to market. The shutdown has crippled both economies. In the south inflation has climbed from 20% to 80%. Devoid of industry and wholly reliant on imports, the country is keenly feeling the impact of a slide in its currency. The UN, a big employer, is to start paying its local staff in dollars in view of the crisis. The government has so far ignored calls to adopt the dollar. Making matters worse, a border conflict with rump Sudan has sent 170,000 refugees into the south, where they are struggling to survive.

South Sudan is stuck at the bottom of global development indices and, by most measures, still going backwards. A look at a UN map of the country shows 30 simultaneous emergencies—mostly areas where international aid is needed to keep people alive. More than half the country’s estimated 9m-plus people need food aid.

If no deal is struck to restart oil production, the new state could start to collapse. By some estimates, by October the government in Juba may be unable to meet its payroll. The incentives for both sides to compromise, perhaps at face-to-face talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, scheduled for early next month, are strong. But the gap between them is big. The north is demanding $10 billion over four years as compensation for the loss of southern oilfields. The government in Juba is ready to offer $3 billion. That leaves mediators, led by Thabo Mbeki, a former South African president, scratching their heads. China, which trades with both sides and would lose a lot from a new conflict, offered to bridge some of the divide in February by buying oil at above-market rates.

Resumption of Oil Production signed: What’s next plan for new nation?

BY: Chier Akueny Anyithiec, JUBA, SEP. 30/2012, SSN; Good news, great smiles all over South Sudan, for the reason that the oil pipeline is reopened but it’ll only lead to the downfall of the economy of South Sudan. Our government is now in a fix, though it’s worthy to forward our sincere appreciation to President Kiir for his selfless negotiation even though these deals are seen as partial agreements.

The main problem is surely resolved, but citizens of South Sudan ask themselves with great muse of what’s the next plan for this nation?

Our big fishes have been moaning about lingering rumors of downsizing of ministries. The stress seems to have been eased by the resumption of oil production and this is good news because now more GXR, V8s and Hummers are going to flow into our impecunious young nation very soon.

In this agreement, the group most celebrating is that of President Bashir of Sudan whose government was experiencing continuous austerity protests while President Kiir with his group were just singing their songs of the movements in Juba since his citizens are at a quiescence because they have never ever experienced any better living conditions since creation of this world.

President Mayardit is a lucky man surely; he, who rules the uninformed population. Lucky you, Mr. President with your main group!

This is a nation whose citizens have been waiting to see any initial measure of economical developmental planning such as employment, agricultural development and control of their own resources.

But worse, however, is that Juba has become a city with no water pipeline systems. We are buying our own water from foreigners who came with mounted water tank vehicles to sell us our own water from Nile River. Does South Sudan have a Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation really?

If we have any, what kinds of work are ascribed to this particular ministry or which ministry is responsible for conveyance of water pipeline system in the city?

The problems have never been with a single ministry but most of them; for example the Ministry of Public Service and Human Resources Development is also in bracket for it has failed to do its job. People failed to understand which kind of Human Resources Development is it doing since its set up.

The ministry totally failed to recognize the ways forward to develop Human Resources in new nation. Young people who’re graduates, school leavers, etc, are moving up and down along the streets because they could not meet the conditionality of 7-10 and above years work experience that’s always put in every job advertisement.

Here, whoever isn’t a 10 years experienced graduate will never be shortlisted either. When did South Sudan emerge out of war for people to get all those years work experience?
This makes all the opportunities go to foreigners who got their work experiences from heaven, when their nations got independent, as it is the thinking of our people.

Now foreign companies do come to this country with their own list of workers right away from their respective countries because South Sudanese graduates are termed to be inexperienced people. Does work experience fall on people from heaven?

What does the Ministry of Human Resources Development make of this? I think nothing because we are waiting for work experiences to fall from heaven for our young energetic graduates of South Sudan.

South Sudanese young men and women have totally forgotten the jobs that are being provided in the Private Companies. But this particular ministry failed us one way or another; you find all drivers, marketeers, managers, cleaners, the list is long; are all foreigners. Does this ministry of public service know this really?

We have made our nation to become a NO-rules state in a sense that most foreign or Private Companies think of any kind of unfair business to be carried out in South Sudan.

Since Juba became an erratically developing city, all the types of crimes being committed like bank robberies by armed groups and even daylight robberies have become widespread problems aggravating the security situations in Juba.

Even beggars come from foreign states and settle in South Sudan to do the job of begging; what of our poor beggars? I don’t know which methods do they use to convince the border securities that allow them to enter? What is the work of the Interior ministry at this point?

I am not against my brothers and sisters who are foreign beggars but just indicating problems facing this young nation generally. It is importantly good to cooperate but cooperation without control brings in unexpected evils; being citizens or whoever is affected will later complain but who is going to be accountable? Government of South Sudan is the one!

It is internationally known very well that borders should be protected, controlled and well secured even though we are brothers and sisters as these are the common words we use to term Ugandans and Kenyans, as well as they term us so too.

Well, it is OK, but the fallout we will experience surely and indeed will be shoddier than if our government would put control measures to allow only people with aims and investments programs they should be doing in South Sudan.

Take, for example, Rwanda is a member of East African Community but for it to control crimes within the country is to control the borders. A foreigner who wants to enter the county must state clearly the reason to why he/she wishes to enter, but not anybody who wishes to enter the country would be allowed as if we are providing asylum the refugees. Why don’t you think about future repercussions?

The population of Juba realized a lot of criminal activities including ID and money forgery, killing of boda-boda men at night are happening without government intervention. Desperate criminals find it an easy way of getting motorbikes in case they lack money to buy one.

It is obvious that no country would keep quiet when her citizens died in whichever way. That was why Kenya term Republic of South Sudan as a “no-go country” basing their argument on 24 people who died in South Sudan since. Some died in the prisons and some were killed by diseases or natural death. Did Kenya government not claim that her citizens are being killed in South Sudan?

Anyway, let’s wait with great trepidation to the future of this nation.

Writer is Agriculture Economics graduate by name: Chier Akueny Anyithiec, now in Juba and reachable at: chieryako@yahoo.com
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author(s) and don’t represent those of the website),