Category: Politics

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),

Federalism is the only viable solution to South Sudan’s problems.

BY: Elhag Paul, RSS, SEP. 27/2012; Federalism, the democratic system of governance that is hated like a disease in South Sudan by some powerful members of the ruling party has come up like a rose flower blossoming in early spring sunshine. Indeed it is a lovely flower with sweet fragrance to most South Sudanese democrats. This fresh smell has been sprayed into the acrid atmosphere of South Sudan by non other than the person who challenged SPLM dictatorship in 1991 derailing the SPLM’s project of New Sudan and changing the course of history.

Dr Lam Akol’s call in the Sudan Tribune on 20th September 2012 “for a federal state in South Sudan to achieve ‘Unity in diversity’ and to promote peaceful coexistence between the different tribal components of the country,” is not only timely but a wise call proving the initiative to be a thoughtful act of a citizen who wants the best for the country. Any person coming up with solutions to address our failed state should be taken very seriously.

Dr Akol has been the subject of vilification for nearly 2 decades by the SPLM party even when he was their registered member. The leaders of the SPLM hate him for his supposed intelligence. The public should not receive Dr Akol’s call for federalism with suspicion for the simple fact that ultimately, if South Sudan is to be rescued it has to be governed by a federal system. The current centralized system of governance in South Sudan is a recipe for disaster and it is one of the reasons why South Sudan is a failed state today.

A country with a diverse population of over sixty tribes can not just be subjected to the whims of only 18 percent of its citizens who perversely call themselves a majority. How can 18 percent of the population be a majority over 82 percent? This is one of the twisted logic that is invoked time and again to perpetuate abuse by a minority bent on domination and siphoning the resources of the country without any accountability.

To do away with this abuse and corruption, it is necessary that the system of governance in the country is changed to a federal one as called for by Dr Akol.

Federal system will bring government closer to the people and it will allow proper scrutiny of government since local federal government agents will be judged by local people who elect them and not appointees as is the case now.

Additionally, federalism will do away with the current uneven distribution of resources and power between the various social groups in the country. The importance of this point is that as people participate in their government within their own localities (federal states) cooperation between the various localities will begin to build up leading into a healthy relationship and peaceful co-existence. This is what we want in our country and not domination by one group that generates constant instability.

Federalism is not new to South Sudanese. In 1950s prior to the independence of the Sudan in 1956, South Sudanese fearing domination by the Arabs, called for a federal system. Had the government in Khartoum heeded the call then perhaps Sudan today would still have been one country at peace with itself. But the Arabs refused it because they wanted to dominate and as a result they played a game with it until the South Sudanese got fed up and moved on to separation which now has happened.

Many tribes in South Sudan feel hard done by the dominant tribe in the SPLM. This is not new. There is a pertinent history which is threatening to repeat itself. The experience of Kokora was painful but the current system is even generating more pain than that of Kokora and it is only a matter of time before things begin to boil over.

In the bush, SPLM tried to minimize this kind of pain by accepting that federalism should be the system of governance in South Sudan. Thus, it sought to placate itself by holding a convention in 1994. In that convention it was unequivocally resolved that federal system would be the system of governance in the Sudan. This was in recognition of the diversity of the South Sudan.

When the CPA was born in 2005 the constitution governing South Sudan stipulated federalism as the system of governance in South Sudan. The SPLM was comfortable with this arrangement because it still had no absolute power and also fearing division in the South. So far so good.

After the referendum and secession of South Sudan the SPLM having obtained ultimate power they threw away federalism from the constitution in favor of a centralized government. As expected this was done to allow certain groups and ethnicities to dominate the government. The outcome of this arrangement is the total mess South Sudan is in now.

Rampant corruption, massive theft, tribal appointments of incompetent people, tribal police force, tribal prison forces, tribal judiciary, tribal wars, and rebellions capped with a failed state. Hence the certification of South Sudan by international bodies as a failed state and the measured description of South Sudan government by one of its former advisors, Gerard Prunier, as a government of “idiots …..rotten to the core.”

Now a centralised system of government that produces such destruction and rubbish surely can not be good for the country and it needs to be discarded in the interest of peace and unity. Here is where Dr Akol’s call comes in timely. We either have a ‘unity in diversity’ or we will self destruct and there is no knowing what the outcome of that will be.

It will not surprise me if the demonization of Dr Akol is upped now by the footmen of SPLM simply because he has touched a sensitive button albeit a life saving one for all of us. In light of this it is vital to briefly examine Dr Akol’s performance in SPLM objectively. Before doing this I would like to state categorically that I am not a member of SPLM-DC. My interest in this is only to be fair to him as his proposal transcends party and ideological bigotry.

Prior to 1991, Dr Akol was a rising star in the SPLM. As the face of external relations of the movement he ably represented the movement to the extent that he gave credibility to SPLM’s claimed stake as an alternative government to the rulers in Khartoum. His performance in talks with the Sudan government in Norway in late 1980s shone throughout the world raising the status of SPLM internationally. The press briefs he gave were measured and effective.

Unlike the current GoSS diplomats in Nairobi and Washington who embarrass us daily, Dr Akol carried himself in that portfolio with dignity lifting up the status of the movement. Even Dr Garang acknowledged his high quality performance.

However, the 1991 failed Nasir coup of which Dr Akol was a member changed all that. He became a target of demonization by the SPLM main stream and to a large extent this succeeded. The majority of South Sudanese pumped up with sustained negative propaganda by the SPLM over the years do not see Dr Akol from untainted glass. This is unfortunate because many people have been frightened, brainwashed and deprived of the chance to interact with his writings and his person without being biased.

Objective engagement with Dr Akol’s materials is illuminating and I have no doubt that history will have him as the person who changed the course of South Sudan history in the SPLM.

Although Reik Machar was the leader of that coup, it is known that without Dr Akol he would not have taken the bold step of rebelling against Dr Garang. And without 1991 Nasir coup, it would have been unthinkable for the wishes of South Sudanese for secession to come to light during that dark oppressive period of one-man rule (Dr John Garang). It is this coup with pressure from South Sudanese internally and externally that forced Dr Garang to sign up to the agenda of secession through referendum in Abuja in early 1990s and from there everything else was history.

This is a momentous contribution to the history of South Sudan that nobody can take that away from Dr Akol. This contribution no doubt threatens the position of those who want to construct Dr Garang as the ‘Father of the Nation.’ A widely misused and abused phrase in south Sudan without any credible grounds. Yes, Dr Garang fought Khartoum hard and nobody can take that away from him.

However it is important to note that he fought for a united Sudan. Dr Garang himself put pen to paper saying ‘our first bullets were fired against the separatists.’

Now how could a person who was a unionist to the core who executed separatists at will be the father of a nation he did not want to see born? People like Isaiah Abraham who tirelessly pursue the goal of glorifying Dr Garang through mendacity will later find out that their effort is gone to waste like dust or vapour.

Dr Akol as any other human being has his weaknesses. Writers like Dr Nyaba in his writings refer to him as arrogant. This maybe true but surely this is not a reason enough to banish someone.

If Dr Reik Machar, despite his destructive past and promotion of corruption in GoSS now can be reinstated in South Sudanese society, why not Dr Akol? If the former ministers of finance Arthur Akuen and Athian Mawen who mismanaged billions in the system can be reinstated and appointed into parliament why not Dr Akol? If former NCP diehards who fought the SPLM tooth and nail for two decades can be reinstated, why not Dr Akol?

There are many cases of people who have done terrible things in South Sudan and yet they have been reinstated in society and lavishly praised. But when it comes to Dr Akol, the siren is sounded as if the world is coming to an end. Let us be fair and treat people equally if we want to build a good society.

Those whose minds have been contaminated by SPLM propaganda need to rescue themselves by being objective. Individually the decision is ours whether we want to remain with the wool pulled over our eyes by SPLM or become free beings in thoughts and deeds.

Frantz Fanon (1924 -1961) argues that manipulation of the mind is not only destructive to the individual but is the very destruction of the community itself simply because the behavior of a manipulated person ensures his own demise and that of his community. When someone be they your friend or your enemy manipulates and colonizes your mind, they have full control of you and will exploit you as they like.

No offense intended but the SPLM has via crude methods managed to colonize minds of its members as well as a large section of our society. In a sense SPLM has locked into the minds of their supporters the idea that anybody opposing them is pro-Arab and therefore should not be tolerated (although the Arabs are long gone) even when the person has good ideas for the country. What SPLM does not say is that they too are in daily contact with Arabs.

Having come this far, what is needed clearly is free thinking people in the SPLM who can question things and argue objectively in favor of good ideas.

For example, on this proposal of federalism objective SPLM members should be able to say although Dr Akol raised the issue it is good for South Sudan and they should be able to support it. After all this would not be the first time that SPLM adopts Dr Akol’s proposals. In Abuja they accepted self-determination of South Sudan.

Thus on the issue of federalism, let objectivity for once reign. Let us concentrate on the message and not the messenger. If what is being proposed can offer a solution to our failed state and can stop the world calling us ‘idiots ….. rotten to the core,’ then what is wrong with that? After all Dr Akol is resurrecting something that once was in our constitution before SPLM vandalized it in July 2011 (Independence day).

Federalism is the only viable solution to our problems. It offers solutions to the problem of domination. It offers solutions to the problem of poor governance. It offers peaceful co-existence. It offers solutions to the politics of exclusions. It offers solutions to political instability. It offers solutions to totalitarianism and so on. Moreover this is a system that has been tested in the advanced countries: United States of America, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, and Australia.

For those who say federalism is not good for South Sudan the burden of proof remains with them. They need to tell us why it is not good by arguing and making a credible case for such a position. They need to bear in mind that centralized power as now in Juba dominated by one group has failed and caused the current instability. If left unaddressed it may lead into disintegration of the country.

In summing up, now that Dr Akol’s call for federalism in South Sudan has coincided with the review of the constitution, the members of the constitutional review and the members of the parliament should pay a particular attention to this.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul, RSS, elhagpaul@aol.com
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author(s) solely and not of the website)

Lack of Legal Representation Jeopardizes Right of Fair Trial in South Sudan

BY: Beny Gideon Mabor, JUBA;
Introduction: The Republic of South Sudan is a country amongst other family of nations with imposition of capital punishment such as death sentence. Article 21 (1) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan says ‘no death penalty shall be imposed, save as punishment for extremely serious offences in accordance with the law’. The enabling law is Penal Code 2008 where death penalty for instance amongst other death related offences is permitted under section 206 of the same Act.

To the contrary, the same Constitution under the Bill of Rights Article 11 says ‘every person has inherent right to life, dignity and integrity of his or her person which shall be protected by law; no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her right to life’.

Worriedly, the legitimate question to the rule of law institutions and private legal consultants is: which provisions of the law is supreme between that of the Transitional Constitution and the Penal Code 2008, with respect of right to life and imposition of death penalty as stipulated under Article 11 and section 206 of the former and the later?

And further what is resolution in respect of current powers, save under Article 11 and 21 (1) of the same Constitution? Although this is not the primary intention and a forum to challenge the death penalty, yet I must highlight something about such legal implications for the government and the human rights campaigners.

However, the underlying idea about my argument is the lack of legal aid services in both criminal and civil disputes across South Sudan. The increasingly victims of this legal vacuum are indigent accused persons, be the criminal offenders or civil wrongdoers or both parties.

For instance, according to a research data released by UNMISS Human Rights department and my colleague David K. Deng, a senior researcher on human rights with South Sudan Law Society, therefore found that there are 109 people on the death row with four women and only six people have undergone legal representation. The rest were tried without right to a fair trial in a manner prescribed by law.

This is very sad news for a country promised to have been founded on the basis of justice, equality, respect for human dignity and advancement of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

In fact, Article 19 (7) of the Constitution says ‘any accused person has the right to defend himself or herself in person or through a lawyer of his or her own choice or to have legal aid assigned to him or her by the government where he or she cannot afford a lawyer to defend him or her in any serious offence’.

Additionally, the said legal aid service has been provided in the National Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development Organization Act 2008 under section 10 (d) and (g) which says proving legal aid for person in need and educating citizens on their constitutional rights through workshop, seminars and media.

With this situation, one may really wonder why do the government designed good laws but without implementation? It is very challenging in our progress justice system and requires urgent attention from all actors.

Challenges Facing Legal Representation.
After having evaluated the literature review of the both criminal and civil justice trial system through considerable research, I found out numerous challenges facing provision of legal aid to the parties whether such person is capable of hiring a lawyer or an indigent accused person. The very low or even complete lack of awareness of legal aid and access to justice for all remains in a limbo for reasons best known to the rule of law institutions.

Second, there is inadequacy or dysfunctional legal aid strategy in South Sudan despite the explicit provisions of the applicable laws. The appalling situations of suspects awaiting trials in serious offences seemingly remain unmet. However, the legal aid initiative in the national Ministry of Justice is still limited in scope and application. Nobody is aware and when exactly to translate this constitutional obligation into reality to the poor people who are in dire need of legal services.

Third, with the lack of legal aid system in the Republic of South Sudan, causes unnecessary and lengthy detention of people including that of juveniles, women and people of unsound mind without quick and due process of law. How will such watertight legal principle be achieved?

It is of the majority opinion that a strong legal system can be achieved only through constitutional governance where doctrine of separation of powers and subsidiary rules of procedure are respected.

Fourth, as a result of non-observance of the due process of law, the police and public prosecution attorneys usually conduct pre-trial proceedings of the accused persons without legal representation right from earlier stages of interrogation. This is unconstitutional act that often discredits the facts of the case and the prosecution will present what I called a contaminated evidence to court for determination.

Strategic Recommendations
After exhaustively exploring the importance of legal aid services and notifying the hindrance factors, the author in consultation with relevant stakeholders found out and recommends the following strategic suggestions:

First, there should be established a legal aid centre with full and part-time salaried legal practitioners and legal counsels tasked with functions to providing pro bono legal services to the most economically and socially disadvantaged accused persons in the society.

Second, the right of a fair trial will only be achieved in South Sudan when the rule of life must originate from the rule of law. It will also be achieved when all law enforcement agencies like police investigators, prosecutors, prison warders and the court comply with strict demand of legal aid and access to justice for all including that the court must not entertain any case whose party has no legal representation.

Third, the applicable laws are silent about death commuted to life imprisonment. Legally speaking, when a convict is sentence to death and a judicial order is taken to the President for confirmation in accordance with the provisions of Article 101(h) of the Constitution, the President is required by law to have time limit for death confirmation, grant pardon etc… and if the President exceeds the said period without confirmation of the same, then the death penalty is deemed to have been commuted to life imprisonment.

Therefore, I am of the opinion that the Penal Code 2008 be urgently amended and incorporates this provision in accordance with a uniform rule of legislation.

Beny Gideon Mabor is an independent commentator on governance and human rights. He can be reached at: benygmabor@gmail.com

Mabior nauseated by Kiir’s one-legged government

BY: Tearz Ayuen, JUBA, SEPT. 19/2012;
I am both sad and remorseful that I have to write this piece in response to what some South Sudanese are thinking, saying and writing about the son of Late Dr. John Garang. I am sad because I hate to meddle in issues that are somehow tribal, clan-based, sectional or regional. I am also sad because South Sudanese, both illiterate and literate, men and women or young and old, do not look at the message, but concentrate on the origin of the messenger, of which they base their responses on.

In addition, I am sad not because I am going to take sides on this particular issue but because I really didn’t want to register my name on the list of issues thousands, if not millions, regard as us-against-them.

However, here is a point to keep in mind: I do not know Mabior Garang in person. I don’t know anything about his private life. I am not friends with him. We are not relatives either. And I don’t even intend to create any sort of relationship or friendship with him. In short, I am neither seeking favors from, nor friendship with either Mabior or any member of his immediate, extended or clannish family.

More importantly, I never wished any of Garang’s children get involved in political affairs of South Sudan. I even made fun of them the other day on the social media—Facebook that: If I were Mama Rebecca Nyandeng or John Garang’s son, I’d stay out of politics forever. I would constantly run away from anything political. In fact, I’d buy myself some new pair of Nike athletic shoes and shorts, and always keep them close to me just in case I see politics coming, I’d tighten the laces and outrun the thing.

I have a million reasons as to why but I prefer keeping them to myself.

Anyway, here is the point. Following the publication of the Alan-Mabior interview in which Mabior pointed out a lot of the criticizable weaknesses in President Kiir-led ‘thumb-less’ government, South Sudanese (should I say) of all walks of life digested the message in different ways, depending on ‘educational upbringing,’ birthplace, level of civilized-ness and state of mind.

Many people welcomed the message and cheered him on. Others got angered by the words and began to speak ill of Mabior. They even went extra miles to invade his privacy; that, ooh, Mabior is an alcoholic, ooh, he is irresponsible; all in an attempt to hurt him, and eventually discouraging him from speaking his mind on national matters.

Simon Peter, some citizen who, according to his writing, got annoyed by Mabior’s move wrote on South Sudan Nation.com website: “….they’ve broken your jaws, next time they’ll break your neck! But what you don’t know comrade is that what’s posted isn’t expected from you… Who cares to listen to a drunkard who masters only drinking?”

OMG! What a beautiful way of silencing dissidence!

Simon Peter contradicts himself here. He wonders who cares about the drunkard, forgetting that he himself is the answer to his question. He forgets that he cares much more than anyone else and that’s why Mabior’s utterances made his blood clot. Simon Peter and his crew have also forgotten that no one is perfect. Each and every public figure or, say, a government official, has a ‘smelly’ background, either past or present. But still, they hold public positions. What counts is how he or she delivers, performs, etc.

For example, some of our current leaders indulge themselves in uncouth practices unexpected of them, including having love affairs with young girls. Others are good at habitual drunkenness, stealing, ineptitude, arrogance etc.

And most of our leaders have failed to bring up their children the way they should have. They have no control over them. Some of these children rarely attend classes. They are wild and untameable. They spend a lot of time running around, ‘showing off’ in East African cities and beyond. They go clubbing 24/7, fighting, causing havoc in clubs and almost everywhere they go.

Others even confront traffic police officers for being pulled over yet they are children of ‘big men’ in South Sudan. “You silly cop, are you new in this city or what? Didn’t you see the number plate, CES, uh?” One scolded an officer the other day. Now if the father of such a young man can’t control him, is he fit to govern 8 million people, hold public post? Is he or she worth the leadership?

But we understand and separate their rotten sides from the good sides and continue to adore and respect them as our leaders—good ones. We pray for them every time they fall in. We always converge at Freedom Squares – during public functions, in the scotching sun, with empty stomachs and dry lips – to listen to what they have to say. We give them rounds of applause every time they speak; out of love, we clap our hands and shout out their names even when actually they have said nothing. You can call that unconditional admiration.

Another group even misinterpreted Mabior’s message and labeled him as an opposition against President Kiir. A South Sudanese writer, Ateny Wek, wrote: ”…the eldest son of our late great leader Dr. John Garang de Mabior announced his accidental move to oppose the government of his father’s successor General Salva Kiir Mayardit – a move seen by political experts to have landed a blow on the government of the world’ newest nation….”

Oh boy! Someone is trembling, sweating. I don’t remember any line in the interview that shows Mabior intends to vie for an elective government position. Nor does he say he eyes Kiir’s seat.

Majority of South Sudanese know that Kiir is a weak leader (courtesy of his softness), but Mabior does not and cannot appear in the list of those who could replace him anytime soon. Even if Mabior was to stand against Kiir in a million presidential elections, Kiir would still emerge the winner a million times. The reason being, Mabior lacks the zero point five-kilo leadership experience President Kiir has. So, why panicking?

Mabior-Kiir’s case is simple, and it even gets simpler when one removes the ethnic eyeglasses. Mabior clearly and frequently says that he grew up knowing Salva Kiir as his uncle and he still respects and treats him the same way. They are still a family. All in all, Mabior’s mother is part of the leaning democratic government. Whatever decision Kiir makes, be it good or bad, Mama Nyandeng goes home with her share. But these are national affairs.

Any citizen with a sound mind can say anything about the affairs without having to be an opposition figure so long as he or she presents the criticism correctly.

Look at it this way: when you’re a bad man, who mistreats and batters your wife every single night, and your teen son gets fed up with it and he gets up, with his fists tightened and as hard as steel, says it to your face that you must stop beating his mother lest he shows you his true colors; will you conclude that the son behaved that way because he wants to replace you? That he wants to snatch your wife who happens to be his mother? South Sudanese please!

There is a difference between Deng Athuai and Lam Akol. For Christ’s sake, who cannot notice such a difference with reading glasses off?!

On the other hand, this is 21st century. No more intimidation and harassment of watchdogs. No more killing of truth-sayers. Any leader who cannot deliver and cannot tolerate criticism is unfit for leadership. He or she must pack his belongings and catch a bus home to rear chickens, goats or cows, depending on what part of the country his village is located.

Just like any other young South Sudanese that gets nauseated by Kiir’s ‘one-legged’ government, Mabior is being an activist. He just pointed out why Salva Kiir ‘limps.’ It should not be magnified, misinterpreted, tribalized and used to divide South Sudanese, ‘Bor and Bahr el Ghazal Dinka’ in particular.

It should not be used to endear ourselves to those in power. Salva Kiir is a democratically-elected leader, remember. That means he is open to criticism, especially from those who voted him in. Attacking, in whatever form, those who criticize him is undemocratic and Neanderthal.

Besides, not only is publicizing someone’s privacy – just like what Ateny Wek and Simon Peter did – unprofessional but it is also a deliberate abuse of ‘pen.’ My learned friend, Ngor Deng has lexicalized a word that I believe can describe such a practice. He calls it ‘illiterate literacy.’

Mister Ateny even went on to warn South Sudanese against expecting anything from Mabior: “…he is not even 1000 miles near his father in term of political and academic talent. So, unlike Jesus in the gospel, South Sudanese must not see Mabior as second John Garang in waiting.”

Political and academic talent? Oh really? Since when did highly sophisticated scholastic acquisition begin to matter in South Sudan’s political setting? Among all the government officials, including H.E President of the Republic of South Sudan, Lieutenant General Salva Kiir Mayardit, who is the refined scholar? Who is the professional politician?

The ‘war’ against Mabior shows nothing but fear— deep hidden fear. It indicates that whoever is in the presidency or close to the presidency feels politically insecure because he lacks leadership qualities. He is a weakling. He is vulnerable to downfall, both democratically and militarily. His foundation is so flimsy such that a slight gentle push could send him crumbling.

If the presidency wasn’t so weak, Mabior’s words wouldn’t have caused panic. If Mabior was a drunkard, a good-for-nothing citizen, why speak your lungs out, trying to shoot him down then?

You just made a drunkard a hero. See? Shouldn’t I say one man’s weakness is another man’s strength?