Category: Uncategorized

Condemning the recent attack in Bieh State, Lou Nuer area by Taban Deng

By:  Col. Dickson Gatluak Jock , Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, JAN/14/2019, SSN;

To the victimized community of Lou-Nuer:
I am truly heartbroken following the recent attack on the innocent civilians of Lou-Nuer orchestrated by individuals of the political elite within the dictatorial regime of President Salva Kiir in Juba.

More than 40 people lost their dear  lives on December 6 attacks and more than 80 persons were wounded. It’s very sad that such attacks are piloted by our own Nuer brothers against the innocent population to sabotage the peace in the country. 

These individuals have for long been acting violently due to unprecedented pressure from Kiir and his Dinka’ monarchy.

To begin with, this plan to attack Lou Nuer has been in place since July, 2017 by General Taban Deng, Petroleum minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth and General Thoi Chany.

Vice president Taban  has never been happy seeing Akobo uncontrolled and has been trying so much to convince David Yau Yau to mobilize the Murle Youth to carry out this attack after the fall  of Pagak; a plan David Yau Yau used to downplay. 

Taban should be held accountable for this deadly attack and must bear all the responsibility for the loss of lives.

Taban for long has been talking to General Hassan, the son of Ismaeil Kony, the Paramount Chief of Murle community, and to General Paulino Jiji to carry out coordinated attacks against the Nuer of Akobo while the now-renamed SSPDF (formerly known as SPLA) was to attack from behind Akobo through Waat.

All these efforts didn’t work  as planned because we were against it. Taban up to date is misleading Salva Kiir especially when he surrendered his forces through an illegal process which he and his cohorts called  integration into the national army which is not the case.

Apparently, he  is still operating  independently. Two months ago, General Thoi Chany went to Pibor for this same mission, so indeed this is not a surprise or unplanned attack. 

From the same angle, Mr. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth has been and is still the source of funding (Finance) and this is exemplified with the types of new weapons the Murle had used during this recent attack which included brand- new machine guns [Russian made].

In the case of Pagak, Minister Ezekiel Lol masterminded the operation, bought the massive  military hardware, transported them to the site   including all their spare parts from Dubai to Paloch, and later on to Mai-wut for operation; such roles have been well noted and documented by human right watch-dogs.
 
And now with peace being signed and a chance of forming a new transitional government underway, Taban Deng Gai and his cohorts are not sleeping, they are working day and night towards sabotaging this R-ARCSS so as to provoke Lou-Nuer so that a full-scale war could return back.

This can be seen from what Taban Deng Gai and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth are doing in Bentiu which is not isolated from the case of Biel payam in December attack which I was completely against such arrangement especially when he ordered Gen. Dor Manjur to attack Biel without the knowledge of Bilpam GHQS. 

Dor Manjur ordered Major General Riek Riek to attack SPLA-IO forces in Biel payam of Guit simply because Taban feared that Angelina Teny, wife of Riek Machar, was gaining mass support from the Jikany Kiir of Guit.

He had even distrusted the UN assessment carried out in the area for the food to be dropped by World Food program or WFP . 
 
I congratulate the brave Lou-Nuer Youth for defending their position.
 
By:  Col.Dickson Gatluak Jock 
Tell: +251929484417.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

President Salva Kiir declares SPLM/A crimes “a normal process” of creating an ethnic state

BY: ELHAG Paul, South Sudanese, JAN/13/2019, SSN;

Last month on 15th December 2018, the people of South Sudan commemorated the 5th anniversary of the Juba ethnic cleansing of the Nuer people by the Juba regime.  That was a very tragic event that shocked South Sudanese to the core. 

No one in their wildest of dreams ever thought or expected that a South Sudanese government would be able to do such horrific things on fellow South Sudanese. 

The history of this country under the Sudan had conditioned them to expect such things from the Arabs of Khartoum.  For similar events carried out by the Arabs on 8th July 1965 in Juba and within that very week Wau and Malakal the other two major towns in South Sudan were also subjected to the same fate. 

South Sudan lost a huge section of its intellectuals and civil servants in these carnages with a big number fleeing into refuge in the neighboring countries of Uganda, Congo, Central African Republic and Kenya.

The madness of 15th December 2013 brings memories of the carnage meted out against the then southern Sudan vividly to the mind of the people who experienced it.

Shock, confusion, disbelief and despair hit the people of Juba in particular, and South Sudanese in general, sending the entire country into a state of helplessness. 

The sight of military trucks in broad day light ferrying the dead with limps dangling as if these murdered beings were animals traumatised the public.

Noticeably, on the day of the 5th anniversary neither the newspapers nor the government made any reference to this dark event in the history of the country.  However, the social media was awash with articles of remembrance. 

In all those articles none said “Never again”.  Without a clear stand against the prospect of such horror taking place again, it does not bode well for the future. 

Without emphasis and belief in the phrase “Never again”, it means most South Sudanese still have not committed themselves to a violence free future.  It suggests a large section of the society may be contemplating revenge at a certain point in the future. 

In ‘The Storm of Change Gathering to Sweep Kiir and JCE from Power’ (http://www.southsudannation.com/the-storm-of-change-gathering-to-sweep-kiir-and-jce-from-power/) we learn how the feelings of revenge can be suppressed by the victims in their time of weakness in anticipation of pay back. 

This is why it is all the more important that the perpetrators of the Juba 15th December 2013 horror be brought to book, so that society as a whole holds them to account in order to take away and put to rest any feelings of revenge. 

The enlightenment thinkers worked out long ago that nobody remains powerful forever because nature itself through the cycle of life dictates that from birth to the grave people go through phases of change: at the time of birth, one is helpless and vulnerable and so one is looked after and cared for.  

When one grows into adolescence one becomes strong and stronger and continues with strength until they hit 50s for the down ward spiral to set in.  From this point degeneration kicks in together with weakness. 

So, the fallacy of remaining strong is stuff of utter short-sightedness.  The realities of our life cycle dictate that everybody will experience strength and weakness in their life time. 

This same process also is applicable to societal affairs.  No human group remains powerful forever. 

It is for this reason that Jean Jacque Rousseau, the French enlightenment thinker, coined the concept of social contract where people pool their whole resources together to protect each other all the time, in strength as well as weakness. 

This concept is what gave rise to the development of states and governments as we know them now.  

In theory the government in Juba has a duty to protect everybody, citizens and foreigners residing in their territory alike. 

Unfortunately this is not the reality with South Sudan as played out on 15th December 2013 as well as other incidents.  It suggests that the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers may not actually understand what a state or government is. 

This in itself raises the question of the viability of the state of South Sudan. 

Unless South Sudanese respond to the abuses of the current regime in a matured manner, this country is likely to remain unstable for the foreseeable future with the state being abused constantly by various tribal cabals.

Why then is the Juba regime committing ethnic cleansings? Initially, everybody attributed it to the political wrangling in the party of the blood-spillers: the SPLM/A. 

With the benefit of hindsight now, it turns out that the SPLM planned the current chaos back in 1980s.  President Salva Kiir whether knowingly or ignorantly revealed the secret in Lobonok in his speech during the blood-spillers retreat over there. 

Careful studying of the period from 5th March 2013 to the implosion of the SPLM/A in December 2013 indicates the regime in Juba seized the political turmoil in the movement to implement its overall central plan of creating an ethnic state. 

So the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer in December 2013 was the start of the implementation of the policy of panel beating South Sudan into an ethnic state. 

According to President Kiir, the cleansing of the Nuer and all the crimes going on in the country is a “normal process” to shape the state. 

This phase in the plan of the party of blood-spillers is earmarked to take 15 to 20 years from now.  Please see ‘President Kiir’s speech at the SPLM Retreat at Lobonok, South Sudan’. (https://paanluelwel.com/2018/12/06/president-kiirs-speech-at-the-splm-retreat-at-lobonok-south-sudan/)

Shaping a nation in sociological perspective simply means construction of a country to certain ideological characteristics.  President Kiir’s use of the word confirms his JCE’s obsession to establish an ethnic state with them being the masters.

The evidence is everywhere in the country.  Look at the army, security services, judiciary, higher education, ministries and Foreign Service is 90 percent replete with the president’s kith and kin. 

This filling of government offices with the President’s ethnic group has nothing to do with qualifications and merit.  Semi illiterate people are just promoted and appointed to fill offices to ensure proper domination.  

In a sense President Kiir is creating and normalising their construct in the country.

No wonder, chaos is everywhere in the country.  This chaos makes sense because it is crucial if the other ethnicities have to be subjugated, displaced and replaced by the expansionist agents of President Kiir.

Basically, the President is talking about the establishment of a Dinkocratic state in South Sudan. 

Unfortunately, Dr Riek Machar who could have provided a patriotic leadership of the people of South Sudan regressed into the very tribal politics of President Kiir and the JCE. 

From 15th December 2013 to date, Riek failed to show any patriotic leadership.  He has ended up dividing the Nuer igniting Nuer on Nuer violence that is the whole mark of the current conflict thereby complicating the dynamics of the struggle. 

The wars going on in Upper Nile is Nuer on Nuer carnage supervised by President Kiir through his commanders on the ground.  Most Nuer up to this point have not yet worked it out that they have lost the war with President Kiir and JCE emerging victorious. 

Some people may dispute this fact – the regime of blood-spillers has won.  But if one carefully analyses the divisions within the Nuer and the greed over political posts, evident with their scramble to Juba for jobs; it becomes apparent the Nuer have lost while Kiir’s agenda reigns supreme.

Riek’s capitulation to sign the Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA), which is manifestly worse than the Agreement for Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan of August 2015 (ARCSS), is the concrete evidence of his total surrender to the regime in Juba. 

It must be noted, it is not Riek alone who surrendered to the regime.  All the opposition parties that joined him and affixed their signatures to that worthless document equally surrendered under the slogan “We want to bring peace to our people.”  Really?!! 

How can legitimising President Kiir’s rule for 3 more years and granting him total control of the parliament in R-ARCSS to continue with his violence be called “peace”?  

How can blessing President Kiir and the JCE to ‘shape’ South Sudan into an ethnic state be called working for “peace” and “development? 

Am I going mad or something is wrong here with those who surrendered?   Something obviously is amiss when all those people who signed their rights away in R-ARCSS do not see the bigger picture.

Perhaps their action is in some form a herd mentality responding to the carrots of political positions dangled by the party of the blood-spillers.  What a shame and disgraceful act?

The shameful capitulation of the opposition under the banner of peace now means the resistance and struggle for a bright future in South Sudan is left to the South Sudan National Democratic Alliance and the People Democratic Movement under Dr Dario Hakim.

This behaviour of the signatories of KPA should not surprise anybody as such behaviour according to literature is associated with oppressed and subjugated people who have lost hope. 

It has been proven beyond doubt that oppressed peoples as in the cases of domestic violence and hostage-taking in a weird way develop sympathy for their abusers (Stockholm syndrome). 

No matter what advice or persuasion is given to such people it is met with irrational excuses.  Therapists know the hard work and the long time that must be invested to save people from that state of mind.

Sadly the oppressed (politicians masquerading as leaders) who have lost total hope will choose to joyfully serve their oppressor in the false belief that they are doing something helpful and in the worse case as that of the KPA they may even think that they are fighting their oppressor. 

They wilfully shackle themselves blissfully.  They will irrationally give a lot of excuses and baseless justifications for their sorrowful actions.  

Just think about the signatories of KPA. Some of these people were jailed and abused by President Kiir as recently as in the Autumn of 2017 and yet in delusions they joyously take photographs with President Kiir expressing feelings of pride. 

Ironically, they have the cheek to point fingers at those who are resisting their abuser as ‘spoilers’.  Do you see the madness being displayed here?

Abuse does wonders to the mind of the abused.  It is unbelievable with all the experiences (ethnic cleansing, displacement of people, mass rape, killing of women, children and the old people) of what the party of the blood-spillers have done already and what they are planning to do – hitting the opposition once and for all, the abused flock to sit near their abuser like sitting ducks waiting to be shot.

This behaviour of the signatories of KPA unfortunately sends messages of hope to President Kiir and the JCE that they are succeeding in their callous plan to construct an ethnic state.  So they may be thinking that they are on the right track with their murderous policies. 

Hence, President Kiir’s statement that what is going on in the country is “normal process”.  Luckily, these very messages that give the regime of the blood-spillers hope equally to a large extent is misleading to them. 

The hope they have will turn out to be a false hope for something that is still working its way in the collective pyche of the people of South Sudan. 

Many people have not noticed that South Sudanese have been in a state of shock for the last five years and this has disabled them.  This shock is now ebbing away and it will be replaced by anger as is the case in all situations of catastrophes. 

Therefore, the collective is just emerging from this shock and confusion.  The intense anger that is now building in the South Sudanese community against the regime will be such a force that will sweep everything in its way. 

This brings us back to the point that there is a need for a scheme of comprehensive accountability for all the crimes committed in South Sudan since 1983. 

At the root of these crimes, which also is the root cause of the problems in the country, is the conviction of the JCE that they are superior to all others and the country should be shaped to their liking. 

President Kiir has declared this intention clearly in Lobonok.  What is taking place in the country as far as President Kiir is concerned is a ‘normal process’ of shaping the country. 

So the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer, mass rapes, mass murders, mass displacements of the various ethnic groups, and wilful distribution of the country’s resources to the benefit of President’s ethnic group etc, are done so as to cause the vision of an ethnic state to become a reality on the ground.

It is sad that President Kiir and the JCE have not learnt anything from the history of the world. 

They would have benefited from the wise observation of Frederick Douglass, the American social reformer and abolitionist who preached in his Speech on the 24th anniversary of Emancipation in 1886 in Washington DC that, “where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails and where any one class is made to feel that society is organised conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them neither persons nor property will be safe.” 

In short, the project of ethnic supremacy which the regime in Juba is pursuing at all costs, is likely to end in disappointment.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

elhagpaul@aol.com

@elhagpaul

Gen. Cirillo’s NAS International Relations Committee (IRC)’ Response to Kiir’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

From: Dr. LAKO JADA Kwajok, NAS Chairman of the IRC, Jan/05/2019, SSN;

Further to the statement by the SSPDF (the South Sudan National Army) Spokesperson regarding the recent clashes between the National Salvation Front (NAS) forces and the regime forces in Goroum in the Luri area near Juba, the Kiir’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation came up with a statement of its own carrying the same unfounded allegations and lies against NAS.

The IRC would not dwell into the matter any further as the facts were explained thoroughly in the statement by NAS spokesman yesterday.

It’s, however, outrageous for the regime to accuse NAS of terrorism when all the indicators point towards brutality and State terrorism brought by the government upon the citizens of South Sudan.

The regime committed hideous crimes against communities in the Pibor area between 2010 and 2013. In December of 2012 it shot 25 innocent civilians in Wau town while exercising their constitutional rights of peaceful demonstration.

That was the reported number of the victims by the controlled press. The fact of the matter is that afterwards the regime forces went on a killing spree for three days that caused the death of unknown number of civilians.

It also caused mayhem in Malakal town in 2014 that led to the loss of innocent lives and utter devastation.

Furthermore, in February 2017, the regime pursued its war against the communities in Upper Nile region by the bombing of Wau Shilluk village that left many civilians dead and resulted in extensive destruction and famine.

It’s worth mentioning that the Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, the Chief of Staff of the SSPDF, Gen. Gabriel Jok Riak, the Deputy Minister of Defense, Gen. Malek Reuben Riak, and the Commander of the Ground Forces, Gen. Santino Deng Wol, are all under the UN sanctions for committing or instigating atrocities against civilians.

Hitherto, the whereabouts of Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idri remain unknown. The two were kidnapped by the regime agents from the streets of Nairobi, Kenya on January 23 and 24, respectively. The above examples show that State terrorism in South Sudan is not speculative but a reality.

The African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS) report in October 2015, is in keeping with the above conclusion as the atrocities investigated by the Commission were deemed part of State policy.

Whilst Pres. Kiir’s regime talked about Christmas and the New Year celebrations in an environment of false peace – it wouldn’t spare a thought for the tens of thousands of innocent lives that were slaughtered in Juba in cold blood in mid-December 2013.

A responsible and considerate government would have dedicated a day in commemoration of the victims of those horrific events. Of course, the regime would like the memory of those who lost their lives forgotten.

The National Salvation Front condemns in the strongest terms possible the belligerent acts by the regime against the local population and the continuation of its scorched earth policy in Equatoria and other parts of South Sudan.

Untold suffering and crimes were inflicted upon the local populations in Yei, Wonduruba and Parajok. The regime uses this policy to punish the community of any dissident leader.

They did it to the community of Gen. George Athor before he got liquidated. The same happened to Dr. Riek Machar’s community in the Leer town area in Unity State.

We call upon the UN and the humanitarian relief organizations working in the area to be on alert for the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in the aftermath of the clashes.

It’s ironical that the government is now calling upon the CTSAMM, UNMISS to look into violations it claims to have been committed by NAS forces.

It’s the same government that has been all along intransigent to the peaceful settlement of the conflict and had committed numerous ceasefire violations.

The recent shameful and criminal abuses against some members of the CTSAMM in Luri underpins a pattern of behavior by the Juba regime against some foreign entities. It includes harassment of foreign nationals involved in relief operations, the killing of journalists and rape (Terrain Hotel incident).

The National Salvation Front has repeatedly reaffirmed its position of full support for a peace agreement that would be inclusive, just and ensures the realization of FEDERALISM and the establishment of a process of full accountability.

The Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) has fallen short of tackling the root causes of the conflict, hence, isn’t a recipe for lasting peace in the Republic of South Sudan.

Nonetheless, NAS would continue to work with our brethren in the other opposition Movements and organizations to coordinate our efforts for the resolution of the conflict and the benefit of our people.

At the same time, NAS would value any engagement with IGAD, the AU, the Troika and the UN towards achieving sustainable peace in South Sudan. END

SIGNED BY: Dr. Lako Jada Kwajok, Chairman of the IRC

SSNMC: Joseph Bakasoro is still the leader, NOT Vakindi Unvu

SOUTH SUDAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, SSN, 03 January 2018 Contact: Daniel Zingifuaboro Position: Secretary of Information and Official Spokesperson of SSNMC Phone: +61 474 047 016 Email: si.ssnmc@gmail.com

Press Statement: The South Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC) would like to respond to media statement issued by the so-called “Leadership of SSNMC” on 01 January 2019. Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro is the only legitimate leader of SSNMC to date.

We strongly repudiate the assertion that he was “officially dismissed as the Chairman of SSNMC”. We had rebutted this assertion before, but we wish to make it categorically clear once more.

The individual officials making the claim were appointed by the authority of Chairman Bakosoro, acting on behalf of SSNMC, appointed Vakindi Unvu as Deputy Chairman, Kwaje Lasu as Secretary General, Abraham Wani as Chief of General Staff of South Sudan National Army for Change (SSNAC) and other officials in accordance with the powers vested upon him by the SSNMC Constitution.

The individuals appointed accepted their appointments and thus recognized the legitimacy and powers of the Chairman as valid.

Under which authority then did they claim powers to dismiss Chairman Bakosoro and continue to make illegal pronouncements in the name of SSNMC?

Such a claim is unsubstantiated and does not merit any consideration. SSNMC, chaired by Bakosoro, is a member of South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), which is a partner in the R-ARCSS.

To the contrary, the group now calling itself “SSNMC Armed Forces” defected from SSNMC on 20 September 2018 but continue to use the name SSNMC.

The group is chaired by Vakindi Unvu; the Secretary General is Kwaje Lasu (all residing in USA) and the Chief of General Staff is Abraham Wani.

This group is also part of South Sudan National Democratic Alliance (SSNDA), which does not support or subscribe to R-ARCSS.

The group refuse to recognise the R-ARCSS; however, claim they are committed to Cessation of Hostilities Agreement. The R-ARCSS provides a whole range of measures to bring about peace to South Sudan.

First, if their claim of commitment to Cessation of Hostilities Agreement is true, why the group not use the instruments and mechanisms established to report those violations?

Why are they not collaborating their “intelligence information on the ground” with that of UN or challenge the UN evidence?

Second, if the group is sincere about their commitment to Cessation of Hostilities Agreement only, then they are not serious about peace in South Sudan.

The group’s statement is indicative of their desires to continue to undermine the RARCSS through violation of ceasefire and cessation of hostilities agreements, incitements and character assassination of those who subscribe to R-ARCSS.

Commitment to peace cannot be piece meals. It has to be in letter and spirit, if the group want to claim that they 2 SOUTH SUDAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE are committed to the interests of the people of South Sudan.

SSNMC, under Chairman Bakosoro, believe that peaceful resolution of the crisis in South Sudan is the only viable solution; therefore, peace must be given chance. SSNMC’s resort to bring peace to South Sudan is unwavering.

We have resolved that the interest of the country and the people of South Sudan must come first.

We are determined to work with R-ARCSS partners, IGAD, AU, UN, Troika and peace lovers/actors to implement R-ARCSS in letter and spirit and to fully abide by the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities agreements. ####

South Sudan’s Fundamental Problems: A New Year’s Perspective

By: Nguen Nyol. Critic and Advocate, DEC/29/2018, SSN;

I write this piece to help project a narrative of peace, stability and good citizenship. It’s my New Year GIFT to the nation I spent my childhood, my youth and now my prime life fighting for it to be a free nation from war but developed and prosperous.

It’s my hope that this article shall not be censored. It’s an uncensored opinion about peace, stability and war in a country that we all fought for, for over 192 years to be a nation among nations.

The point therein is to go beyond mediocrity and understand our country’s fundamental problems – South Sudan’s problems.

Many people have projected false narratives as our country’s fundamental problems. These false narratives are still being projected today to advance hell bent false agendas of misconstrued representation of facts. Therefore, this can’t be allowed!

Amateurs or not, many emerging political analysts, veteran politicians and educated men and women, made some attempts and identified leadership failure and corruption as our fundamental problems in South Sudan.a 

Through my observations, leadership failure and corruption are not our fundamental problems in this country. Leadership failure and corruption can’t be our fundamental problems that have killed half million people, sent 4 million South Sudanese to refugee camps in the neighboring countries and 2.3 million to IDPs in the last five years.

It’s my understanding that greed, insincerity, tribal mindset and faulty old-man-know-how mentality are our problems.

Leadership failure and corruption are misplaced labels, positioned to conceal the truth in the name of preventing the nation’s decay. These are wrong means to allow South Sudan to free itself from abyss and its man-made disasters.

That being said, these attempts are good for general characteristics of our consequential problems, but failed to capture the essence and gist of South Sudan’s fundamental problems.

At this juncture, it’s imperative to stress that the problems we have in this country aren’t the old Sudan’s problems, but the new South Sudan’s fundamental problems, which include greed, insincerity, tribal mindset and old wise man syndrome of faulty know how.

For your information, these days in South Sudan, old age does not equate to wisdom. It doesn’t any longer reflect real meaning of African proverb which says, “what an old man can see while sitting can seen by a young man while standing.”

After having returned to South Sudan for the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), I have observed our people’s behaviors and actions with keen interest. Surprisingly, I was taken aback by the mediocrity – sheer idiocy and lust for money in our people.

Most of the problems of our old age folks, learned men and women, veteran politicians and political leaders of different political strips are indifference and succumbing to the reality of the day.

They are far removed from our country’s situational problems. Indeed, their actions and behaviors showcased a pathetic approach to nation building and a new political dispensation in this country.

As such, I came to terms with this sad reality that our people have lost focus. They deviated from managing our crises in order to make this country a viable state among nations.

These issues of greed, insincerity, tribal mindset and old wise man mentality, solely rooted on a faulty “know-how” have destroyed our social fabrics. As a matter of fact, these items are strategically deployed to enhance ill-conceived quest and accumulation of wealth and power.

While I familiarize myself with these realities, I am also mindful that few individuals might argue otherwise.

Settled for the fact that our fundamental problems are nothing but anchored on leadership failure, absence of law and order and rampant corruption, which I respectfully disagree.

However, I gave these positions marginal respect and precautionary understanding in the name of personal opinions.

An essence, this is the beauty of having a diverse political view, opinion and school of thoughts in a country that’s supposed to prosper and develop on a solid foundation, cemented by one people’s blood and sweat.

My fundamental disagreement in this regard is not to deny the fact that we have no leadership problems or law and order and rampant corruption challenges, but rather to point out that these are signs and symptoms of the biggest problems.

These biggest problems in this context are centered on products of greed, insincerity, tribal mindset and entitlement, which I correctly put as an old wise man syndrome. In my best judgment, these are South Sudan fundamental problems. They must be correctly identified, named and address amicably.

Greed

Surprisingly, everyone in South Sudan want to be insanely rich, insanely powerful, and overnight becomes supreme king of all bosses with unquestionably power and wealth but with zero deeds and little education or at times none.

This insane quest of richness and power grab out of thin air and in the midst of abject poverty took root, and few have succeeded.  As a result, it has emboldened and created leadership failure and corruption argument simply because our people have lost moral compass but set a stage for crooks to thrives and kill in earnest.

Our big men and women in position power, centre of power if you will, educated or not, are after uncontrolled search for richness and power without deeds involved. This is solely based on my observation for the last two months in Juba.

Our people are in desperate quest to be rich and wealthy for no good reasons and deeds. But simply because they were in the bush during the war liberation or were in Khartoum making their living in the name of those who were in the bush-fighting or that they are simply from a certain tribe(s). These are the sad realities we have in this country.

Another sad thing is, these issues aren’t rhetorics and politicking anymore. They are the gist of a nation’s dynamic and misplaced development ideals.

As a matter of fact, these people would kill in the name of getting rich and becoming powerful. They have done so even to the maximum and with lethal consequences against those whom they wrongly think have crossed their lines and would hinder their speeds of accumulating wealth and rise to fame.

As these crooks bulldoze their ways through to richness and fame, few learned men and women in this country who still possess some moral compass cowardly refused to say no even for the sake of illiterate innocent and voiceless majority in the village. We are doomed! This country is doomed if nothing changes.

For this reason, it’s fitting to state that there is no more logic and no more good ideals, old days, which sanctioned moral duty for nation’s prosperity and empowerment. Instead, an uncontrollable quest for wealth and fame leads but often patched up by fake lip service.

This is to say that our good old days of moral ideals and nationalism, which were often duty driven by national agendas have died and were buried six feet deep down with our forefathers.

Our people’s nationalism and patriotic zeal died without autopsy. Today’s politics and country national interest in South Sudan are driven by perpetual self interest and tribal agenda.

Almost everyone in South Sudan now is after money, wealth and fame. No political agenda for common man and woman on the street and the next generations.

Few individuals who have consolidated richness and power through faulty schemes are often showing off wealth and richness daily. Sadly for wealth, richness and power they did not sow or sweat for.

When one asked how they could have managed to acquire such a massive wealth in such a short time? Instead of answering the question, they often revert to tribal bigotry and even would want to chop off one’s neck for asking a question just to conceal their ill-gotten wealth.

This is a fact and applies to anyone irrespective of their tribes in this country. Everyone has been and can be a victim.

This is the saddest and paradoxical reality in our country. A country we all fought for with our sweat and blood in order for us to find everlasting peace and stability. It’s sad but true, that any assigned portfolio in South Sudan is deemed a project to gain instant wealth.

This is true across this country, which is the reason why I agreed with president Salva Kiir Mayardit of late. When he stated that all along, all supposed good comrades, men and women whom he has deployed and entrusted to lead in various portfolios in this country turned looters.

To my readers, this is the sadistic state of affairs our country is in. To make the matter was worse, few cadres can thump their chests in agreement but no action.

Vast majority of our people chose insincere route and mistook it for unshakable loyalty, which is wrong. Unshakable loyalty for nation’s prosperity and development isn’t about faulty sincerity but genuine honesty.

Insincerity

Most learned South Sudanese in position of power in South Sudan particularly are amazingly insincere to the core. There are particularly insincere on matters that required nothing but genuine honesty and frankness. The fact of the matter is, our political leadership has not been honest to us – the populace.

For instance, our people were kept in the dark even when South Sudan was becoming independent. We became a nation prematurely with no plans for development, good governance, prosperous and principled frameworks for stable nation.

To put it bluntly, the instruments meant to ensure lasting peace and nation’s viability were not set forth.

Our records have revealed that machinery for nationhood with respect to institutions were left to chances. No prior preparations to prevent internal contradictions after independence.

Especially, internal contradictions such as tribal politic, greed and tribal hegemony which eventually cause civil war in 2013. Our country has no proactive plans then, after independence, and even now.

South Sudan then and currently is operating on the emergency basis, which is often based on tribal undertone. In a layman’s term, we react to events and expect miracles and positive outcomes when in fact failures are proven outcomes in such scenarios.

On a similar note, most of our political leaders and academia have outrightly lost sincerity, intellectualism and moral ideals of revealing nothing but truth about our nation’s decay and misdeeds that caused nation’s decay.

This is the sad state of affairs our country find itself in now and possibly for unforeseeable future if nothing change.

To that effect, few morally conscious political pundits and academia are sadly cowardly to hiding by opportunists and illiterate majority. Especially those who controlled our country’s political stage through gossip, intimidation and threat.

As a result, the nation is paralyzed. Nothing moves and no progress. Yet, up to this point in time, no one dares to tell the ugliest truth.

In the face of these gruesome mistakes, our people still meticulously expected things to change for better, when zero efforts, zero sincerity and zero accountability  prevail. This is the overall situation and behavior of our men and women in this big village, called Juba.

To be honest and for these things to change, and for South Sudan to be peaceful and stable, we must be honest to ourselves and correct our wrongs. We must be proactive; we must plan things ahead. And above all, we must accept the fact that our lack of sincerity is one of our country’s fundamental problems.

Tribal mindset

The question of tribal mindset is huge in South Sudan. To be specific, the Dinka and the Nuer are battling this out in an open. In the field of AK47 where thinking and power of the brain is limited. This is what caused the Juba Nuer massacre and the war of December 15th, 2013.

This tribal mindset is an issue and it’s one of our fundamental problems in South Sudan. To be precise, it’s more prevalent among and mostly pronounced by our elders, who are politicians and military leaders.

For example, these elderly politicians and military men and women have gone as far as labeling tribes with certain names. This is wrong, dangerous and it must be challenged and stopped in earnest.

These false narratives and narrow perceptions of tribes are concocted political realities with selfish end gains. By and large, such concocted political realities have tarnished South Sudan’s good image and reputations aboard.

South Sudan and South Sudanese aboard are nobody but no one business. If anything, we are considered failed state and savages of tall order. Our elders don’t see and hear things because they don’t venture out of  South Sudan. They think everything is good for South Sudan and its people aboard, which is quite the opposite.

It’s time to change course without forgetting that those who’ve committed heinous crimes against innocent South Sudanese, for the last five years of war, and in the pursuit of selfish end gains of wealth and fame, must be held to account on both sides.

Old wise-man syndrome

In South Sudan, old wise-man syndrome is an issue and real. Imagine, in South Sudan, 80 years old men and women are still politically active. They still consider themselves relevant, wise and are heading liquidative portfolios, yet, they cannot think or are physically able. They seem to forgot the fact that they have impaired abstract thinking and level consciousness due to old age.

Because of these impaired abstract thinking and level consciousness, in the line of duty, they nap, sip tea in hotel boardrooms with zero papers, play cards under trees, get married day-in and day- out, and more importantly glorify tribal politics as nation’s agenda.

Thus, as a good citizen, it’s my honest opinion that these veterans, these old men and women have done their part. The time is now for them to transition to glorifying retirement with good legacy intact.

Our elders can no longer pretend and claim to know better, and growing younger yearly without considering natural human’s biological clock kicking in.

It is time for our elders to lay back, take a back seat and allow our young, energetic and educated South Sudanese men and women to take the lead. To stop this nation’s decay, tribal conflict and war but allow development to reach a new height in South Sudan.

Our country is in crisis, and in times like these, we must not allow tribal mindset mentality. It’s a backward thinking and it’s no longer relevant. So much so, it’s an outdated – old age tribal strategy meant to pit tribes, brothers or sisters against each other. We are better than this; South Sudan is better than that considering our long walk to independence.

Thus I asked our elders men and women, to let go of old tribal thinking but pave ways for our young and energetic men and women to challenge themselves intellectually and politically on how to develop South Sudan.

How to mature South Sudan socially, economically and politically among other nations without a single drop of blood.

In closing, I must reinstate that our fundamental problems in this country are not leadership failure and corruption but greed, insincerity, tribal mindset and old wise-man syndrome crowned by faulty know-how.

It’s time to do way with these devious attitudes and correct ourselves for the betterment of this country. We got no time left for wheels spinning or merry-go-around.

Finally, I must remind our people that sincerity, cemented by law and order is key. No nation has thrived and reached a new height based on tribal mindset. So much so, there is nowhere in the world where old men and women died politicking with never-ending political brightness or un-diminishing talents. We are not an exception; South Sudan cannot be an exception.

This is my New Year GIFT to our nation and its people. Happy Holidays! Let’s embrace peace and stability as we celebrates Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2019.

  1. Nguen is a South Sudanese political analyst, commentator and advocate. He can be reached at jamesnguen@gmail.com

SS National Movement for Change: Calls on leaders to listen to our peoples’ suffering

SOUTH SUDAN NATIONAL MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
25 December 2018.

Contact: Daniel Zingifuaboro, Secretary of Information and Official Spokesperson of SSNMC;

Merry Christmas and thriving New Year 2019.
The South Sudan National Movement for Change (SSNMC) would like to wish all members, supporters, SSOA, R-ARCSS partners, IGAD Plus, AU, UN, Troika and the entire people of South Sudan a very merry Christmas and thriving New Year 2019. It is our hope that the people of South Sudan live in unity, peace, joy and love in 2019 and beyond.

“It is my hope that all of you are well and preparing to celebrate Christmas bearing in mind that the coming year will bring prosperity and lasting peace to all including those people in refugee and IDP camps”, said the Chairman of SSNMC, Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro.

The Chairman of SSNMC, Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro, urges all the people of South Sudan, supporters and well-wishers to pray for sustainable peace in South Sudan so that we return home to begin a new journey towards progress for all.

SSNMC’s resort to bring peace to South Sudan is unwavering. We have heard and witnessed the suffering of our people in South Sudan, in diaspora, especially in the refugees Camps.

We have witnessed the destruction of our beloved country. Our people are living in very degraded circumstances. Our behaviors have shamed us around the globe.

Our people have no shelter, food etc. Our economy is on the bridge of collapse. Our roads are closed and not passable. We have burnt our villages and towns to ashes. We have engaged in inhumane treatment such as rape and child abuse.

We lost respect for life and dignity of human being. We have destroyed our sense of nationalism and social cohesion. Our people are traumatized.

This is time to be honest to ourselves, to our people, to reconcile the people of South Sudan and move-on in unity, with joy, love and peace.

Therefore, SSNMC have resolved that the interest of the country and the people of South Sudan must come first. We have forsaken our individual interests.

We are determined to work with R-ARCSS partners, IGAD Plus, AU, UN, Troika and peace lovers/actors to implement R-ARCSS in letter and spirit.

We urge all R-ARCSS partners to do the same. SSNMC call upon all South Sudanese entities to give peace a chance. We call upon leaders of South Sudan to listen to the suffering voices of our people and do what is/are in the
interest of the country and the people of South Sudan.

Phone: +61 474 047 016, Email: si.ssnmc@gmail.com
####

The Party of Blood-Spillers: SPLM holds a retreat in Lobonok County (Central Equatoria)

BY: ELHAG Paul, South Sudan, DEC/17/2018, SSN;

SPLM/A, the party of blood-spillers is a stranger to retreats, conventions and conferences.  Since its inception it was built up to function as a politico-military machine on orders from the top.  From 1983 to 1991 no one dared to question what its leaders did.

I was informed at the time that, when members dissented they got sentenced to firing squad with appeals done after the sentence was carried out.  Terrifying stuff!  In short, the party of blood-spillers does not believe in due process and justice let alone democracy.  The words of its leaders are final and must prevail in their world.

So, any talk of retreat, conventions and conferences is something unheard of.  One had to be crazy to utter these words.

In 1991 the intense battle for the control of Ethiopia between the ruling Dirge (Ethiopian Communist Party) and the revolutionaries fighting alongside the Eritrean separatists influenced the political dynamics in the SPLM/A and the war in the Sudan.

Dissatisfied elements in the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers saw an opportunity to change the leadership of Dr John Garang De Mabior in order to institute structural and ideological reforms.

Thus Dr Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, Dr Lam Akol Ajawin and Gordon Koang launched a coup on 28th August 1991 which failed, splitting the party into two movements: SPLM/A United and SPLM/A Torit factions.

The SPLM/A Torit faction of blood-spillers under Dr Garang was shaken to the core by the failed coup and for it to maintain support of the people it had to accept changes… therefore in 1994 it held its first ever convention in Chukudum, Eastern Equatoria to democratise and also accept the principle of self determination with federalism.

Since this convention, no further voluntary conventions of this kind were done because the leadership did not like them.

However, a second convention was held only as a result of the demands of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005, which mandated a general election in the Sudan prior to the referendum in South Sudan.

So in 2008, the party of the blood-spillers had no option but to hold a convention and as expected there was a split, but this time it was Dr Lam Akol who parted company with his colleagues in arms.

After a decade, Surprise! Surprise! SPLM/A the party of blood-spillers out of character and on its own volition holds a retreat in Lobonok county in Central Equatoria from 3rd  to 6th December 2018.

Wonders never cease – of all places President Salva Kiir chooses Lobonok to pontificate about SPLM/A’s liberation of South Sudan.  I will not delve into the possible reasons for this retreat being held in Lobonok together with the newly espoused colour red to represent the party.

In delivering his speech titled, ‘Retracing the footprints of our long liberation’ to the retreat of the faithful, President Kiir stated in clear terms that in order for them to achieve the aims of the revolution they planned it in four phases.

Out of these phases the most important phase for this article is phase three because it proves beyond doubt that what is taking place in South Sudan now was planned and executed according to script.  In short all the grave crimes going on now in the country are premeditated.

President Kiir accentuated that phase three of the liberation is the formation of the state and establishment of the nation being founded.

This stage, according to him, is the most challenging stage because they are all fighting and struggling to find their right places in the free Republic of South Sudan.

The political upheavals South Sudan is undergoing, in the belief of SPLM/A party of blood-spillers, are normal process of shaping and forming a great nation. Through this process they will get to know their allies, their friends, and their enemies alike with the regional and international structures.

They are also learning internally about the best ways they could manage politics and resources.  Going through this stage might take 15 or 20 years to get to phase four and the last of our liberation process. (https://paanluelwel.com/2018/12/06/president-kiirs-speech-at-the-splm-retreat-at-lobonok-south-sudan/)

The most important excerpt in President Kiir’s speech is: “we are all fighting and struggling to find our right places in the free Republic of South Sudan. The political upheavals we are undergoing are normal processes of shaping and forming a great nation.”

The key words here are: ‘fighting’ ‘struggling’ ‘shaping’ and ‘forming’.  Fighting and struggling obviously translate into a calculated engagement in violence to realise/achieve an aim.

Whereas, shaping and forming in political as well as sociological speak means that SPLM/A party of blood-spillers want to frame South Sudan ideologically, socially and economically in such a way as to suit the interest of the ruling group.

So in their calculation the best way to go around it is to wage war against the people in order to establish an ethnic state hegemony in South Sudan.

President Kiir at last has acknowledged that the ongoing ethnic cleansings, massacres of other ethnicities, mass rape, mass displacement etc are part of what he calls, “normal process of shaping and forming a great nation.”

To him or rather the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers, the loss of three quarters of a million lives through violence, destruction of the economy and depopulation of various regions is a price worth paying to establish an ethnic state.

In a nutshell, the African Union Commission Report into South Sudan is spot on by concluding that the ethnic cleansings are policies of the state.

Please see clauses 1135 and 1136 of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (http://www.peaceau.org/uploads/auciss.final.report.pdf)

Given that this plan was hatched back in 1983, it must be the work of the Dr John Garang the first leader of SPLM/A who was educated in the USA.  President Kiir and the JCE now are merely executors of the plan, dare I say, for the greater good of their ethnic group.

The ideas of domination and subjugation might have been learnt from educational institutions in America.  In the minds of SPLM/A strategists they want to create an ethnic state just as the white settlers have done in Canada, America, Australia, New Zealand etc.

These countries were constructed by “shaping” the state through the eye of the ‘White’ settlers.  Although this method of domination succeeded in the mentioned countries by extermination of the indigenous people (Indian tribes, Aborigines and other people), in South Africa and Zimbabwe it did not work because of the fierce resistance erected by the indigenous people.

This so called phase three is completely unnecessary.  The reason being South Sudan was created or rather formed on 9th July 2011 through the struggle of the people from 18th August 1955.

Therefore the “shaping” of the state of South Sudan should be to achieve a democratic state ruled through law and order under a robust constitution that safeguards and enables the various ethnicities in the country to live freely as equals. Not the nonsense of creating an ethnic state.

The SPLM/A party of blood-spillers should look to the constitutions of most professed democratic states and learn a lesson about the inclusion of its citizenry in the affairs of the state.  This is what is wanted in South Sudan – Democracy!! Not Dinkocracy.

The most surprising thing is that President Kiir and the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers have failed to see that their implementation of phase three, negates the struggles they sing about in phases one and two of the same plan.

The reason for this is because it simply allows for the emergence of the same conditions of marginalisation, peripheralisation, sectarianism and ethnicisation which blighted the Sudan causing the birth of South Sudan.

This contradiction tells us that the story of South Sudan’s liberation is not about true liberation but rather a problem of jealousy of the SPLM/A party of blood-spillers with the elites in the Sudan.

They hijacked the agenda of South Sudan’s wish to secede for them to shape the new state like the Riverian Arabs shaped the Sudan into an Islamic and Arab nation in defiance of the reality of the diverse people of that country.

The leaders of the party of blood-spillers envied the elites of the Sudan and wanted the same privileges which they felt was not available to them.

Now that they have curved for themselves these goodies in South Sudan the country should move ahead by adopting welfare programs as the final phase four.

What these blood-spillers of South Sudan do not see is that by recreating the same conditions of the Sudan in South Sudan will also recreate similar conflicts and instability as in the Sudan.

The Sudan has been at war with its self since its independence in 1956.  Equally South Sudan is now at war with itself for the last 5 years and it continues.

As President Kiir honestly put it: “Going through this stage might take 15 or 20 years to get to phase four and the last of our (their) liberation process.”

So the liberation of South Sudan according to SPLM/A party of blood-spillers is incomplete without South Sudan being panel beaten into an ethnic state.  The job to shape it started in December 2013.

Indeed now there is a serious conflict and those struggling for the rights and survival of the people will continue as there are no options left other than to resist the ideologies of domination adopted by the regime of terror underpinned by their policies of reshaping South Sudan into an ethnic state.

President Kiir has categorically stated that the reshaping of South Sudan will take nearly quarter of a century.

So the recently signed Khartoum Peace Agreement under the auspices of IGAD is a ploy – to lull the opposition signatories before the big bang for the reshaping of South Sudan to move on.

This latest IGAD engineered Khartoum Peace Agreement is a fake peace forced on South Sudanese through violence by Khartoum, Kampala, Juba and IGAD.

It will not work and it will not translate into real peace.  Temporarily, it may do but ultimately it is bound to self-destruct.

To be fair to IGAD, the South Sudanese job hunters masquerading as opposition politicians in SSOA got carried away by the dangled carrots of positions in the proposed bloated transitional government in the agreement and they sold out to the regime.

Most unfortunately they let the people down and granted President Kiir legitimacy to continue abusive ruling.

If peace is to be attained in South Sudan, it is imperative that a new process of peace making is started with all the stakeholders in South Sudan included and the principle leaders of the party of blood-spillers specifically President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar excluded – these are the creators of chaos in the country full of delusions of ethnic supremacy.

Such a peace negotiation must be in a neutral place without any intimidation and threats with the participants allowed to negotiate in good faith without any conditions of time or unnecessary pressure from outsiders.

In the face of SPLM/A party of blood-spillers plans to ethnicise South Sudan, there needs to be a peaceful re-negotiation of the social contract.

Therefore, in any future negotiations the mediators should adopt the transcendent approach of peace making of professor John Galtung which emphasizes understanding of the core issues of the conflict, legitimacy anchored on legal instruments and human rights conventions.

((Please see Galtung’s method on Youtube video: ‘Breaking the cycle of violent conflict with Johan Galtung’)) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16YiLqftppo)

Jamming the break, so far South Sudan has paid with three quarters of a million people dead; quarter of a million people politically quarantined in the United Nations Protection of Civilians Camps around the country; over three million people are displaced…. forced into refuge in the neighbouring countries; destruction of the economy and opening the country up to ethnic and foreign looters.

Is this acceptable to the Jieng people? The ball is in their court either to sincerely oppose President Kiir and the JCE and side with the people to say clearly ‘Not in our name’.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

elhagpaul@aol.com

@elhgpaul

PDM not a Member of SSOA & Neither a signatory to R-ARCSS 2018

For Immediate release –                                                                                                     December 6th, 2018

In the course of this week, the media outlets have been inundated with a surge in statements issued by the compromised factions of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), triggered by the apparent fallout within their ranks.

PDM would like to inform the public, its supporters and sympathizers, that the Movement ceased to be a member of the compromised SSOA factions under leadership of Mr. Gabriel Changson before they signed the R-ARCSS on 12th September 2018. Moreover, PDM has not at any time become a signatory to the R-ARCSS nor joined in its implementation mechanisms.

PDM is hence surprised by the appearance of two new groups purporting to be PDM factions represented by Ms Josephine Lagu Yanga, in Mr. Changson’s faction of SSOA and Mr. Anas Richard Zanga in Gen Peter Gatdet’s faction of SSOA.

PDM would like to condemn the fraudulent use of PDM’s good name by both Ms Josephine Lagu Yanga and Mr. Anas Richard Zanga, the duo are not members of PDM and are not known to be registered members of PDM.

Ms Josephine Lagu Yanga was suspended and subsequently expelled from PDM before R-ARCSS was signed on 12th September 2018.

Mr. Anas Richard Zanga was never known to be a member of PDM.

The public should know that these individuals are fraudulent, masquerading as PDM factions, brought on as convenient substitutes by Mr. Gabriel Changson and Dr. Lam Akol, promising them with R-ARCSS government positions for their support to R-ARCSS of which PDM is not a signatory.

These factions are fraudulent, and the manner in which they were suddenly brought on to assume the name of PDM goes a long way to substantiate the fraudulent nature of the R-ARCSS 2018 and of the so-called SSOA leaders.

The office of the Special Envoy and IGAD mediators are to blame for making the R-ARCSS a flawed, unsustainable agreement in its current form.

PDM would like to distance itself and its name from association with fraudsters Mr. Anas Richard Zanga, and Ms Josephine Lagu Yanga whose PDM-P that she announced on Sudan Tribune a few months back appears to have suddenly vanished and fraudulently replaced as PDM by Mr. Gabriel Changson!

Dr. Hakim Dario,

Chair, People’s Democratic Movement (PDM)

South Sudan: Execution spree targets even children and threatens nursing mothers

FROM: Amnesty International, DEC/07/2018, SSN;

South Sudan has carried out more executions this year than it has done in any year since gaining independence in 2011, with a child among seven people known to have been executed so far in 2018, Amnesty International revealed today.

Amnesty International fears for the lives of another 135 people on death row, who have this year been rounded up from other prisons across the country to two prisons notorious for executions.

“It is extremely disturbing that the world’s youngest nation has embraced this outdated, inhuman practice and is executing people, even children, at a time when the rest of the world is abandoning this abhorrent punishment.” Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Amnesty International has established that at least 342 people are currently under the sentence of death in South Sudan, more than double the number recorded in 2011.

“The President of South Sudan must stop signing execution orders and end this obvious violation of the right to life.” Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
Last year, South Sudanese authorities executed four people, two of whom were children at the time of the crimes for which they were convicted. The executions were a blatant violation of national and international laws, which strictly forbid the execution of anyone who was below the age of 18 at the time of their alleged crime.

This year Amnesty International interviewed a 16-year-old boy, who is languishing on death row at Juba Central Prison, after being convicted of murder. Waiting for his appeal to be considered by the court, he described the crime as an accident.

“Before the accident, I was in secondary school. I was a runner, a very good one and I was also a singer of gospel and earthly songs. […] My own aim was to study and do things that can help others. My hope is to be out and to continue with my school. 16-year old on sentenced to death.

He said he had told the judge that he was 15 during his trial.

The use of the death penalty against people who were children at the time of the crime is strictly prohibited under international human rights law and South Sudan’s 2011 Transitional Constitution. Article 37(a) of the Convention on the Rights of a Child, to which South Sudan is a party, stipulates that ‘neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below 18 years of age’.

State-sanctioned killings

Since independence in 2011, South Sudanese courts have sentenced at least 140 people to death, and the authorities have executed at least 32 people.

This year’s spate of state-sanctioned killings seems to have been sparked by a directive by the Director-General of the National Prison Service of South Sudan on 26 April 2018.

In it, he ordered all death row prisoners held at county and state prisons to be moved to two of the country’s most notorious death chambers – Wau Central Prison and Juba Central Prison.

This year’s spate of state-sanctioned killings seems to have been sparked by a directive by the Director-General of the National Prison Service of South Sudan on 26 April 2018.

In May, 98 death row prisoners were transferred from Kuajok, Tonj, Rumbek and Aweil state prisons in Bahr el Ghazal region, in the north-western part of the country, to Wau Central Prison.

Another 37 death row prisoners, including at least one child and a breastfeeding mother, were also transferred from prisons in the Equatoria region in the south of the country to Juba Central Prison.

Thirty-four people were moved from Torit State Prison in September 2018 and three from Kapoeta State Prison in November 2018 to Juba.

“The South Sudanese government must immediately establish an official moratorium on executions, commute all death sentences to prison terms and abolish the death penalty altogether.” Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

The transfer of 135 death row prisoners to prisons in Juba and Wau where all executions have taken place so far is deeply alarming.

The South Sudanese government must immediately establish an official moratorium on executions, commute all death sentences to prison terms and abolish the death penalty altogether, said Joan Nyanyuki.

“Any attempt to execute a breastfeeding woman would contravene South Sudanese law and international human rights law and standards.”

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to execute the prisoner.

The death penalty – the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice – is the most fundamental denial of human rights.

It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

 Background

In South Sudan, the Penal Code provides for the use of the death penalty for murder; bearing false witness resulting in an innocent person’s execution or for fabricating such evidence or using as true evidence known to be false; terrorism (or banditry, insurgency or sabotage) resulting in death; aggravated drug trafficking; and treason.

Hanging is the method of execution provided for in the Code of Criminal Procedure. Before a person sentenced to death can be executed, the Supreme Court and the President must confirm the death sentence. END

First Legal Case against Kiir’s Government for Gang Rape & Sexual Slavery Lodged.

DEC/06/2018, SSN;

The Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) has lodged the first case against the government of South Sudan led by President Salva Kiir for sexual violence against 30 South Sudanese women and girls by members of the South Sudan army, currently known as the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and formerly the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Presidential Guards.

The complaint outlines brutal sexual violence, including sexual slavery, sexual torture, rape and gang rape against women and girls during attacks on their villages and whilst they fled the violence from June 2016 to September 2017.

The case has been lodged at the UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva.

The 30 women and girls represented by LAW include ‘K2,’ who was subjected to mass rape with her three sisters and a family friend in front of each other in their kitchen. She was 12 years old at the time.

Muding, 42 years old, was gang raped by SPLA soldiers whilst another soldier blew a whistle indicating when the perpetrators should finish.

Joanna’s nine years old daughter was beaten outside while she was raped inside in her home.

Scovia, a 27-year-old mother of four, was gang raped by five Government soldiers. Whilst she was being gang raped, two of her children disappeared. She has not seen them since.

And Viola, 29 years old, who was tied to a tree, tortured and gang raped by Government soldiers in an army camp.

“The conflict in South Sudan has been ongoing for five years and during this time, tens of thousands of young girls and women have been subjected to horrific sexual violence by Government security forces.

To date almost no one has been held accountable. We have to ask ourselves: Why are we not doing more to protect them?” asked Antonia Mulvey, Executive Director of LAW.

“This is a landmark case which is the first step on a long road to justice for all women and girls in South Sudan.”

Rape has been used as weapon of war against the civilian population and until today, there has not been a case against the Government for its actions.

The women and girls that LAW represents are so frightened of reprisals from their Government and its agents that they have fled their own country and are now living as refugees.

Due to serious concerns for their safety, LAW has requested that the UN Committee protect their full identities during the consideration of their case.

About Legal Action Worldwide (LAW): LAW is a unique non-profit network and think tank of human rights lawyers who provide creative legal assistance to individuals and communities who have suffered human rights violations and abuses in fragile and conflict-affected areas.

LAW works in Africa, Middle East and South Asia and predominantly focuses on addressing sexual violence through legal intervention.

In Bangladesh, LAW co-represents 400 Rohingya women and girls in their victims’ submission before the ICC.

WOMEN, PEACE & SECURITY

LAW will shortly begin an exciting new project that seeks to ensure the UN Security Council Women, Peace & Security Agenda, (UNSC Resolution 1325) is fully incorporated into South Sudan’s peace process and that women and girls, including survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, can effectively participate.

LAW and its consortium partners will empower South Sudanese women to engage with transitional justice mechanisms, and to reduce impunity for conflict-related sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). This will be done through a comprehensive approach.

On 19 May 2016, LAW held an expert panel on accountability for sexual gender based violence (SGBV) in South Sudan to launch the report along with the South Sudan Law Society and Amnesty International. Panellists included: David Deng, (South Sudan Law Society), Ferdinand Von Habsburg-Lothringen, (Committee for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation), Elizabeth Deng, (Amnesty International) and Alicia Luedke, (Justice Africa). LAW’s Executive Director Antonia Mulvey moderated the panel discussion, which highlighted several ways forward for increasing accountability in South Sudan.