Category: Uncategorized

Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed deserves applause from South Sudanese

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, South Sudanese, SEP/06/2018, SSN;

At the beginning of this month, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dr Abiy Ahmed was reported saying the following, I quote: “Any South Sudanese under threat in Kenya is welcome in Ethiopia to live peacefully because we are brothers. The war in your country is not your wish, and people should not laugh at you. South Sudan is a great country, and you will need it in the future. So, do not look down at them today, think of tomorrow.”

Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed’s statement came against the backdrop of the crackdown on illegal immigrants by the Kenyan police. The South Sudanese were disproportionately affected often despite having legal residence in Kenya.

The above words came from someone who knows very well what war could bring upon a country. He is indeed no stranger to the consequences of war as he was at the midst of the Ethiopian struggle.

He knows that war could reduce a country into a mediocre entity. We have seen people who owned in the past properties, farms, livestock, and money but lost everything and ended up in refugee camps.

Michael Chiangjek, the Minister of Interior, stated to the press that they received reports of ill-treatment of South Sudanese by Kenyan police during the crackdown.

He further added I quote, “In the last days, there are people arrested by Kenyan authorities including women, children and even those with terminal illnesses. We regret the way South Sudanese are treated by the Kenyan police because we are members of the East African Community and we should not treat each other this way.”

The massive operation started by Kenyan police storming South Sudanese residences in Nairobi and Nakuru at night. Those arrested were mainly students holding Australian and American passports with valid visas.

Some victims said the police demanded bribes of up to 100,000 Kshs equivalent to 1000 USDs per household. Those who didn’t have the money were hurriedly handcuffed and taken into custody.

Some of the victims accused the Kenyan police of harassment, brutality, and torture. A pregnant woman was reported to be amongst those beaten in a household in Nakuru.

Many South Sudanese were shocked by how the Kenyan police treated their countrymen. They thought a special relation between Kenya and South Sudan does exist which precludes such inhumane treatment.

South Sudan hosts over 750,000 Kenyans working mainly with the UN agencies, government, and the private sector. A significant number of them lack valid work permits. To avoid repeating my words, I am going to quote what I wrote in an article under the title “Making sense out of the unprecedented politics in the Republic of South Sudan on 06/08/2017.”

“Some Kenyans were given influential government positions like Dr Renish Achieng Omullo. She was appointed as Special Envoy to the Federal Republic of Germany by a Presidential Decree. While some highly qualified South Sudanese were denied positions for the ridiculous reason of being overqualified, a foreigner gets employed in a sensitive post in a country that does not lack qualified persons.”

It’s in stark contrast to the presence of South Sudanese on Kenyan soil. Apart from those in the refugee camps, the overwhelming majority of the South Sudanese residing in Kenya are students while others are seeking medical treatment on their expenses. Few South Sudanese, if any at all are in Kenya to find employment.

They are contributing positively into the Kenyan economy through house rents, legal acquisition of properties, bank deposits, tuition fees for students, and the hiring of Kenyans in some households.

Also, people in all the neighbouring countries know that despite being refugees perhaps three times in their lifetime, the South Sudanese never got engaged in unhonourable behaviours akin to some refugees from other countries.

They are not known to practice thievery, prostitution, fraudulent acts, gangsterism, and terrorism.

In the relatively good days, while being part of Sudan, South Sudan wholeheartedly and generously accommodated refugees from some neighbouring countries most notably, the Congolese in the mid-sixties of the past century. They were never harassed but treated as brethren in their time of need.

As a small boy, I witnessed the Congolese in Juba who went into farming, fishing and charcoal production. The locals embraced them as their brothers and sisters.

Of course, Kenya has got the right to stop illegal immigration on its soil. Any sovereign state must control its borders and fight criminal activities. We have nothing against that, but we do know that South Sudan is a member of the East African Community (EAC), that includes Kenya.

As far as the public is aware, it gives citizens of member nations equal privileges including free movement, work, and trade. The South Sudanese in Kenya wouldn’t have gone through those reported ordeals if the EAC privileges were adhered to strictly.

Even though his government’s policies were the cause of the refugee crisis, the following statement from the Minister of Interior is something for the Kenyan to ponder over – “We also want to assure our Kenyan brothers in South Sudan that they should continue with their work normally because we are one people”.

The reformist Prime Minister ascendance to the helm in April 2018 triggered a wave of swift reforms that included setting free detained politicians and journalists. He also lifted the State control over the media and hundreds of websites were unblocked. The economy was no longer run solely by the government which led to a sort of an economic boom. Ethiopia is among the fastest growing economies in the world.

But the most important step he took was to remove the detonators of the time bombs namely the stand-off with Eriteria and some other internal issues. And quickly, he embarked on dismantling them for good.

After nearly two decades of border hostilities, Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed’s plane landed at Asmera International Airport on 08/07/2018 to meet President Asaias Afwerki. The Ethiopians and Eritreans regarded it as a historic visit that paved the way for a new dawn of peace and cooperation in the Horn of Africa.

However, his trip to Washington between 28 and 29 July 2018 did touch on some issues concerning the South Sudanese. In his meeting with the American Vice President Mike Pence, he expressed Ethiopia’s willingness to welcome the South Sudanese opposition on its soil.

He also mentioned the Ethiopian economic interests in South Sudan and referred specifically to the oil resources. It’s time for the South Sudanese politicians to think of all the available opportunities for economic cooperation and development.

The Grand Renaissance Dam is due to be completed in a few years giving Ethiopia enough power with a massive surplus. But still, Ethiopia needs oil while South Sudan requires a lot of power.

Therefore, building the proposed pipeline that runs through the Ethiopian soil would cement the cooperation between the two countries in the oil and electricity sectors for mutual benefits.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Gen. Thomas Cirillo’s visit to America causes jitters in Juba

By: JOSEPH ODUHA, THE EAST AFRICAN, SEPT/04/2018, SSN;

A visit to the US by a top South Sudanese National Salvation Army (NAS) rebel commander, Gen Thomas Cirilo, is causing jitters in his home country.

A report by The Dawn daily in Juba on Tuesday, suggested that the trip to Washington was part of a wider American plot against the latest South Sudan peace agreement.

In Summary
***Thomas Cirilo’s faction confirmed his presence in Washington
***The rebel leader demanded a federal system in South Sudan
***The former Army deputy Chief declared rebellion against President Salva Kiir in 2016

The deal was negotiated in Khartoum.

“We are not sure of why he is gone to the US, but we know he is there, being sponsored by the CIA,” The Dawn daily quoted intelligence sources as saying.

Rallying support

The paper said the rebel commander was rallying support from the South Sudanese diaspora to fulfill his motive of overthrowing the Juba regime.

Gen Cirilo is the leader of a faction of the National Salvation Front/ Army.

His faction confirmed his presence in Washington, but did not give details.

The rebel commander publicly rejected to sign the final power sharing and security arrangements pact on August 5, 2018 in Khartoum.

Tribal agenda

He also declined to initial the final peace accord last week, citing lack of credibility in the deal.

Gen Cirilo further blasted the peace guarantors, Sudan and Uganda, claiming they were after their interests than achieving lasting stability in South Sudan.

The rebel leader demanded that a federal system of governance be introduced in South Sudan.

The former Army deputy Chief declared rebellion against President Salva Kiir in 2016 and accused the latter of implementing a tribal agenda.

The Rise and Fall of Gathoth Gatkuoth and the Politics of Political Merger

BY: Simon Yel Yel, Wau, South Sudan, SEPT/05/2018, SSN;

Exactly, it’s less than a month since the Khartoum Peace Agreement was signed and also less than six months since the First Vice President, Gen. Stephen Taban Deng, ordered the abolition and amalgamation of his SPLM/A-IO faction with the SPLM Mainstream party.

Unfortunately, the once-time strong house of Gen. Stephen Taban is now wobbling on the brink of political precipice as Riek Machar’s comeback reality caught the political elites with their pants down.

His coming back is inevitable as baby steps are seriously taken towards Juba.

Divided loyalty, regrets for joining with Taban; political conundrum; anxiety over losing positions; political harlotry and bankruptcy; are the executive summaries of the current state of affairs of Taban’s camp that once appears united.

Make no mistake about it. The Taban’s camp is a collection of military desperados, butchers, tribalists and political opportunists that were only united under the altar of political expediency masquerading as peace lovers and leaders.

They are unpredictable and tumbocrats with narrow self-interests. They fundamentally and principally subscribe to the politics of full-belly and tribe. That is because they are tribalists and opportunists.

Historically, SPLM/IO mainstream didn’t emerge on ideological ground. It was born out of dangerous lust for power, indiscipline and opportunism. It leaders are ideologically impotent creatures.

And that is why SPLM/IO, whether Riek or Taban’s faction, will never cohere into a real political party with any political ideology.

It is a den of thieves who are determined to get rich quick by all means and it will always remain like that come back Jesus Christ again.

Beneath that house (SPLM\IO), is the history of treacherous betrayals, coups, defections, indiscipline, opportunism, and massacres.

As historians always say, no one can rig history and history always repeats itself. The abolished SPLM/IO of Taban has the curse of the original sin.

That is because the SPLM/IO mainstream was conceived in a rape. I mean it was conceived in 2013 failed coup attempt. Similarly, Taban’s faction was again conceived in another rape in 2016.

I thought Taban’s faction could redeem itself from this curse of the original sin; unfortunately, the ghost is still chasing it.

And that is why there is now a budding feud pitting the FVP Gen Stephen Taban with his erstwhile friend and the partner in crime, Gen. Gatthoth Gatkuoth.

Their political merger (Taban’s SPLA/IO and Gathoth’s FDF/SSAF) in the Crown Hotel in July 2016 was nonsense on the stilts (anarchical Fallacies). That’s because you can’t mix immiscible elements like water and oil.

Though some people touted this merger as the foundation of Taban’s formidable political hegemony in Nuerland which successfully saw his enthronement as a Nuer kingpin in Crown hotel in 2016, I was not delusional that this marriage will last long before collapsing into a heap.

In perverse logic, the merger was a Machiavellian tactic deployed to lock out Riek Machar in the battle for Nuer political kingpin and indeed in the government.

Unfortunately, things are falling apart now into public quarrel between the two leaders. However, don’t get surprised, that’s how the marriage consummated in a hotel always turned out to be especially when the partners are divorcing themselves.

In actual sense, this weird merger was neither meant to deny Riek a say in Nuerland/Nuer nation nor a political optical fusion to conjoin them (Taban and Gathoth) at the hips like Siamese twins forever.

The merger was only a Hail Mary to bargain for government positions in the name of Nuer unity under Gen. Taban. That is why most of the SPLM\IO leaders are position leaders and nothing more.

With the current readings on the wall of Taban’s camp, it’s crystal clear to those with eyes and ears that there is a trouble in paradise.

The SPLM/IO which was hurriedly and opportunistically conceived in a rape in Crown Hotel is now threatening to scramble. No, it has already scrambled when Taban ordered its merger with the President Kiir’s SPLM Mainstream.

But its poles were still strong, you know! However, now, they are falling apart and breaking down. The dismissal of Gathoth from the cabinet and the sudden eruption of the war of words between the foot soldiers of the two leaders (Taban and Gathoth) exhibits all.

However, don’t forget also to read something out of his replacement with Gen. James Hoi Mai. His replacement with Gen. James Hoi sends some serious messages about the state of affairs of the government to whoever cares to read this situation logically, not mechanically.

There is no other enough confirmation of the rift between two leaders (Taban and Gathoth) than this. “General Gathoth Gatkuoth likes to create chaos to satisfy his lust for power and resources. In 2013 and 2014, Gathoth Gatkuoth Hothnyang mobilized us the Youth of Nasir to go to Malakal and killed all the Dinka and loot whatever we can grab and use as our own.

“We were misled by him to kill everything including cows of Dinka and we extended the killing to Shilluk for supporting Dinka. This misleading will never happen again, Gathoth Gatkuoth Hothnyang.

“Dinka are our brothers and sisters and we are from one family. The same to Shilluk and other South Sudanese,” wrote the two representatives of Latjor state youth affiliated with Taban Deng on 25th August in their press release which was posted by Agel Ring Machar, the FVP spokesman on his Facebook timeline.

Before his sacking, it was reported by Sudan Tribune that he wrote a letter calling on the Youth of greater Nasir to support him in the war against Taban.

It was also reported that Gen. Gathoth wants Taban to step down from his position for someone from Barh EL Ghazal or Eastern Nuer.

Indeed, Gathoth is a butcher and tribalist who butchered many people in Malakal. One of the speaking evidence is the video filmed by two investigative journalists, Mr. Robert Young and Tim Freccia, in February 2014 in Malakal.

Owing to his rancorous betrayals and brutal carnage committed in Malakal, he brags in the interview, “Now you have seen the Nuer White army, Nuer SPLA, Nuer police; you know the Dinka; they don’t have white army, where is the Dinka white army of Salva Kiir Mayardit? It is now the Nuer White army that is fighting the SPLA.”

When asked by the journalist about Gelweng, (the Dinka Padang paramilitary group), he mockingly replied, “All Gelweng have been killed, they’re brought here and they’re all killed. Gelweng, or whatever it is, Gelweng, they are all killed. Yeah, Gelweng is not working,” he laughingly concluded.

It’s only in South Sudan where a butcher can be appointed into the government but not taken to court of law and held to account for all atrocities he has committed.

Though Gen. Gathoth is still now enjoying fresh air in Juba and moving freely in his V8, I am optimistic that no matter how long it will take, justice will be served and he will plead guilty in the court of law for all these crimes he has committed. He will never get away it!

As things stand, I can analyze the sacking of Gathoth in two days: Firstly, if Gatkhoth has died of a natural death from the President Kiir’s epidemic and unsympathetic Presidential decrees without the knowledge of Stephen Taban, then it means that the abolished SPLM\IO of Taban has really died and buried six feet underground and therefore, President Kiir remains the sole principal of the SPLM party as well as this Transitional Government of National Unity.

Hence, in the meantime (before the KPA comes to effect), President Kiir can dismiss and appoint any minister from Taban’s faction including the First Vice President on his own will.

In other words, the sacking of Gathoth and his replacement with Gen. James Hoi Mai also confirms the death of equal co-leadership at the pinnacle of the executive branch of the government and the end of Gen. Taban’s half share of title deed to the executive.

As things stand now, President Kiir sits only on the head of the government with no one else!

Secondly, if his death was sanctioned by Gen. Taban, then it confirms that the merger of Taban’s SPLM\IO and Gahoth’s SSAF\FDP, is dead and Gathoth is bound to rebel again anytime from now or join his former bosses, Riek Machar or Gabriel Changson Chang.

I am not privy to what is going on inside the tukul of Taban. But the decision by the Presidency to kill one of central midfielders of 2016 coup against Riek and his replacement with the President Kiir’s ally is something that left a lot to be desired.

In conclusion: what prompted President Kiir to bring back James Hoi Mai after five bitter years in political Siberia is something that we are all longing for to know.

Could it be for his recent election as the Nuer community leader or the death of Taban’s half share of title deed to the executive?

I will leave it for you to investigate and report it back to us.

Simon Yel Yel is reachable via maandeng2017@gmail.com

Garang Malong Awan must stop biting the fingers that fed him: A friendly advice

BY: Sabrino Majok Majok, State Secretary General, Government of Aweil East State—Wanyjok, SEPT/04/2018, SSN;

Brother Garang Malong Awan, I am writing this message in regards to your series of Facebook posts about Hon. Deng Deng Akuei, Governor of Aweil East State.

At onset, I would like to underscore our ties as family of Wun-Anei. Your father, General Paul Malong Awan, despite his shortcomings remains my elder and I respect him. We had many years together during liberation struggle.

Furthermore, during his administration in former Northern El Ghazal State, I held key administrative positions; namely, director for administration and
finance in state ministry of education for 3 years and director general in state ministry of finance and economic planning for three and half years between 2008-2014.

I wholeheartedly thank him for such opportunities. Others such as your uncle Sultan Atak Awan, your mother, your step-mothers and entire extended family are dear to me and I respect them all.

Indeed, we are a community that respects leaders and elders irrespective of religion, political affiliation or social status.

Governor Deng Deng Akuei isn’t an exception. He deserves respect and
constructive discourse to say the least.

For the record, Governor Deng held prestigious government positions in former Northern Bahr El Ghazal State. He was a member of parliament, minister of agriculture, deputy governor, and now governor of Aweil East State.

He is not a simple person to abuse at will. Instead of abusing and defaming him, he should be respected and celebrated for his enormous contributions
in the region.

Brother Garang Malong Awan, the gist of my message is to disprove your
allegation against Governor Deng.

First, let me remind you that Governor Deng was one amongst those who
recommended your appointment as minister of youth and sports in the former government of Northern Bahr El Ghazal State.

Second, after creation of 28 States, Governor Deng readily appointed you as minister education and instruction in the Government of Aweil East State.

Sadly, it was observed that there was no any progress in the ministry. Therefore, Governor Deng re-appointed you as minister of agriculture and forestry.

Again progress was horribly lacking in the new ministry but numerous conflicts between you and staff (both classified and unclassified).

Acting in good faith and in your best interest, Governor Deng shifted you from ministry of agriculture and forestry to ministry of information hoping that you were not too deformed to be reformed.

But the opposite was true.

Third, Governor gave you membership of your father in SPLM State Liberation Council in a genuine attempt to mold you into a young leader in Aweil East State but all in vain.

Fourth, when young rebels came from Juba, you unlawfully decided to host them in your mother’s house in Malual-kon against advice given faithfully to you by colleagues, family member and friends.

Governor Deng too called you on many occasions to desist from associating with rebels and rebellious kind of activities but all in vain until rebels
crossed to Marem from your residence unfortunately.

Fifth, after your associates—rebels—departed, Governor Deng had never given up working with you but it was you, and only you, who were not ethically willing to discharge your duties as a minister.

Therefore, your disgraceful exit from Aweil East State’s Cabinet was all your
making not Governor Deng’s, whom you falsely accused.

Nobody in his or her fair judgment can blame your failure can blame your father, your mothers, nor your friends. You should blame yourself, brother Garang Malong. The ball is in your court!

Sixth, I excuse you for not having heard the historic arrival of Governor Deng’s family for one good reason: current challenges in your
“bush” life.

Yes, Governor Deng has children who are happily living and studying in Canada.

Seventh, during establishment phase of Aweil East State, we had problem with infrastructure. Fortunately, generous sons and daughters such as General Paul Malong Awan, uncle Athian Achiec (Mawengdit), member of parliament Oliver Majok Aleu, Dr. Luka Yel and so on donated buildings, furniture and freely transported farm equipment from Juba to Aweil East:

A. General Paul Malong hosted State Secretariat General for two.
B. Uncle Athian Achiec donated his house as Governor’s residence
including supplying furniture.
C. Comrade Oliver Majok Aleu donated furniture and freely transported
20 tractors
D. Dr. Luka Yel hosted State Governor after re-location from Malual
kon to Wanyjok to reduce travel time and distance.

Eighth, government of Aweil East State is proud to announce that Governor Deng Deng Akuei moved to newly built State House on July 9th 2018.

We are appreciative to those who assisted us during establishment phase and will always continue to appreciate future helping hands.

Ninth, our Governor has official residence in Aweil Town. This building was acquired during distribution of assets in former Northern Bahr El Ghazal State.

Therefore, Governor Deng doesn’t stay in anybody’s house when he visits Aweil Town.

Tenth, Governor Deng is an humble person who freely interacts with everybody old or young and when one concludes conversation with him he or she leaves with a smile on their faces.

If you don’t know this glaring fact, then you might not have given yourself enough time to know him.

Eleventh, unless you change your style from defamatory and destructive
writing to a measured and constructive discourse, this message serves as my last response to you, Garang Malong Awan.

Thank you,
Sabrino Majok Majok
State Secretary General
Government of Aweil East State—Wanyjok.

LATEST: Kiir’s SPLA forces increasing violation in Yei River State

SEPT/04/2018; Press Release

On the regime’s increased violation of the ceasefire in Yei River State.

It is unfortunate that Juba as one of the key partners to the ongoing peace process is in the most serious violation of the ceasefire by launching series of attacks on SPLA (IO) positions, creating a setback to reconciliation efforts.

In addition to their recent attack on our positions in Kupera, another gun battle erupted when the SPLA stormed our positions at Kendiri and Managalatore in Kajo-Keji County yesterday and today. Yesterday the warmongers were ruthlessly crushed and repulsed.

Today’s attack started at around 800AM. They came with two land cruisers pick ups mounted with 12.7 and one APC but the formidable SPLA (IO) under Brigadier General Moses Lokujo is still in military engagement with the attackers.

We are also aware that the regime is planning to further attack our positions in Kupera and Mukaya payams of Lainya County and other areas that are yet to be known in the State.

After suffering a humiliating defeat at the battle of Jamara and Kupera which led to a great loss that included the death of their senior military officers, the government decided to deploy more troops in Yei yesterday. Today the regime’s Governor of Yei River State transacted money to Oliver Duku, the regime’s Liaison Officer in Moyo District to procure more fuel for their force in Kajo-Keji. All these are in preparation for the planned attacks against our positions.

We call upon the CTSAMM and UNMISS to expeditiously investigate and halt these violations and take necessary remedial actions against the warlike regime in Juba.

Nevertheless, we shall continue to observe the ceasefire and only conter-react in the face of any confrontation campaign against our positions.

Wayi Godwill Edward
Spokesperson
Office of the Governor
Yei River State.
————————
Press Release, SEPT/02/2018, SSN;
On the SPLA-IO’s recapture of Jamara and Kupera from pres. Kiir’s army

This morning our gallant forces under a joint command of Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Lemi Lo Mukaya, Col. Samuel Gai and Col. Noel Lomeri, launched a coordinated counter-attack after the Kiir’s SPLA captured Jamara and Kupera last Wednesday.

The anti-peace SPLA have been successfully flushed out and we have seized full control of our territory.

Thirteen Kiir’s SPLA soldiers went missing in action and scores are wounded while the rest are miserably scattered into the bushes and are being pursued by our brave force.

In light of the constant aggression from Juba, we would want to remind our supporters and all South Sudanese that SPLM/A (IO) remains fully committed to the peace process as the less costly solution to the catastrophic war.

However, we will mercilessly respond to any further provocation from the belligerent regime in Juba.

Wayi Godwill Edward
Spokesperson
Office of the SPLM (IO) Governor.
Yei River State.
————————

SEPT/01/2018;
Press Release: Kiir’s SPLA attack SPLA IO in Yei River State

On the regime’s ceaseless military action against SPLA (IO) in Kupera,Yei River State .

The government forces from Yei Town and Pakula barracks have been on military offensive against SPLA (IO) in Kupera Payam of Lainya County for the last four days.

The continuing deadly military operations started in the morning of August, 29th 2018 when the regime’s Governor of Yei River State dispatched his commissioner Emmanuel Khamis Richard and Executive Director Edward Lubad of their purported Kupera County to raise their flag in the area that has been under our firm control over the last two years.

The commissioner and the Executive Director who have now raised their flag at Jamara Center, about three miles away from Jamara 7 were heavily escorted by SPLA force with several land cruisers pick up mounted with heavy artilleries, two military trucks and two APCs.

The attack started at our outpost of Jamara 7 and has escalated into Kupera after our forces tactfully withdrew to prevent civilians’ casualties since the belligerent regime’s force randomly shelled the area with heavy artilleries. Since then they have been taking more forces from Yei Town to reinforce their fighting force in the front line. As I write now the war of occupation is continuing in Kupera Payam.

This is a clear violation of the ceasefire declared by President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, the SPLM/A (IO) Chairman and Commander-in-Chief and has resulted into fresh displacements of thousands of civilians from an area which was relatively peaceful over the last years to the refugee settlements in Uganda.

We categorically condemn this continuous act of hostilities from the regime’s government in Yei and we demand that the CTSAMM’s MVT in Yei and UNMISS should quickly intervene to investigate and verify this incident and to ensure that the anti-peace elements behind the move are made to account.

Nevertheless, we would want to inform our civilians to be calm as SPLA (IO) is taking all measures in its power to restore calm in the area.

Wayi Godwill Edward
Spokesperson
Office of the Governor
Yei River State.

Could the dissolving of 32 States create a problem in South Sudan?

BY: Santino Aniek, Upper New York, USA, SEPT/01/2018, SSN;

Now what is it in Khartoum Peace Agreement that most worries so many South Sudanese people? Recognizably any list in Khartoum Peace Agreement would be thought-provoking and one item that does usually come to my mind is the 32 states.

Today, much of the worry is rightfully focused on the 32 states and I might admit that there is something much more fundamental at play. However, the majority of South Sudanese people are hoping that General Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan will certainly never tremble at his promise, because the 32 States is one of his best signature achievement.

More importantly, when President Salva decided to increase states from 10 to 28 and then to 32 states, the question our South Sudanese people should ask themselves was how did we get to this point of separation among the communities?

What should South Sudanese people have done to avoid the decision by the President Salva to keep 10 states instead of 32 States and now what should they suppose to do in order to keep various communities close to each other?

You bet this will cause a huge problem in our country, even as we speak, there are few communities lobbying for more states, and if the killing of hundreds of thousand people in 2013 in Bentiu and elsewhere did not convince the opposition and their supporters, then it is hard to imagine what will.

Let me be clear in saying that President Salva’s decree on 32 states is victory for those who were advocating federalism and will never be overturned. Until South Sudanese people get serious about the structure of togetherness then those who are not happy with 32 states can talk as they desire, but at this moment in time, most communities mean to be left alone simply because they are tried of each other.

As public opinion has shown, each and all South Sudanese communities have experienced this barbaric treatment for too long and they will not accept to go back to bad old days, especially Ruweng people in Ruweng State.

We know that the human brain is by nature exclusionary, meaning if someone does not look like them, or doesn’t have the same name, then they treat him as others, and this is the reality in South Sudan in which we must accept the outcome of the decree.

We all can agree that the only communities who are refusing to recognize 32 states today are the same communities who were supporting the opposition’s 21 States proposal a few years ago. No one should be in a position to condone suffering and death, allowing such barbaric treatment like 1992 and 2013 in former Unity State, have records of oppressing other communities, and at the end of the day refusing for divorce.

For example, Ruweng people have been facing extermination in the former Unity State and I’m sure they will defend the 32 states because Ruweng people were the reason in which 28 states was created.

My point of view of the current state of these who have been crying on social media is nothing but insincerity because this decree seems to be a dream come true of “taking towns to the people.” In fact, those who are crying everyday on social media are the same people who will say privately they need their own states and they are the same people who are supporting 21 States.

More importantly, our commitment to one another versus the non-commitment to each other has shown ineffectiveness of our communities to live together.

In fact, the relationships our communities have been having all these years since 2005 did show a huge majority of South Sudanese have remained in systematic purgatory of miserable suffering and death and that was caused by ethnic violence.

As a result, the creation of 32 States has made much of a difference and now the majority of South Sudanese will be willing to defend this decree at any cost.

Furthermore, if this decree can let each and every community live in peace then there is no need for these social media, opposition and their supporters to make it a big deal because this is the same federalism people have been talking about when it was introduced some years ago.

To remind these folks, if President Salva allows 32 States to be dissolved or return to 10 states that will spark violence across South Sudan because these days we have seen on social media few communities are lobbying for more states.

I find it remarkable how little of the public debate has focused on whether dissolving the 32 states will lead to a lasting peace in that war torn country. For those who support the dissolving of 32 States, the zeal to punish is overwhelming and so it is not necessarily to consider how many South Sudanese people will die from returning to the same disarray that gave birth to 32 states and whether this brilliant idea of returning to 10 states will facilitate or obstruct efforts to make peace there.

The “line in the sand” must not be crossed because there will be consequences, no matter what.

Successively, Ruweng people have given a standing ovation for President Salva’s courageous and candid action of creating 32 states by celebrating in South Sudan, Australia, Canada, and in the U.S. and they will be the first community to reject the opposition’s suggestion.

Now we may see a similar dynamic playing out as President Slava aims to show courage once again not to allow this decree to be overturned, but uphold 32 States.

Nevertheless, my expectation is that we should be debating how best to provide humanitarian relief to the staggering number of South Sudanese people refugees who have been fleeing the war all these years instead of trying to overturn one of the best President Salva’s signature achievement.

Instead of considering how we might alleviate suffering, the social media warriors and opposition plus their supporters now want to create another crisis in a country that has suffered for too long and war is deemed the answer.

Finally, let me be clear in saying that President Salva’s decree on creating 32 states is a huge victory for the people of South Sudan, especially the people of Ruweng State because they have been longing for separation from former Unity State and this signature achievement provides a break for people who have been suffering for too long.

My last point is this; President Slava was willing to risk his political firestorm by issuing this decree and the same kind of risk that many of us wish him he will be willing to take to keep 32 states untouched.

Santino Aniek is a concerned South Sudanese live in Upstate New York, USA, can be reached at santino.aniek5@gmail.com and find me on Facebook, on Skype santino aniek, and twitter @saniek.

PDM Rejects Initialing Khartoum Agreement

AUG/30/2018;
In light of the news and public statements issued jointly by the SPLM/A-IO and SSOA delegation to the Khartoum HLRF on initialing of the Draft Revitalized ARCSS this day 30th August 2018 in Khartoum, Sudan, PDM would like to reiterate its rejection to initialing of the Draft Revitalized ARCSS, and as a member of SSOA, PDM along with other members have not authorized Mr. Gabriel Chanson Chang, the interim Chair, to initial this Agreement in the name of SSOA as an opposition Bloc.

This action by SSOA interim Chair, therefore contravenes and violated the collectively agreed position of SSOA members that initialing and signing of the Revitalized Khartoum Agreement shall be in the name of each constituent SSOA member organization and not SSOA as a Bloc as did the interim Chair.

The consensus of SSOA members has not been rescinded by any collective decision, nor by a counter consensus of SSOA members in the last few days.

In the view of PDM, the original and preceding consensus still stands without change. The action of SSOA interim Chair to initial Khartoum Peace Agreement today is procedurally illegal and is without legitimacy, hence it carries no effect and is therefore null and void.

PDM wrote on 25th August 2018 stating its position to SSOA interim Chair in response to a request for viewpoints submission from all constituent SSOA members about this very issue.

To date, no decision was reached to grant consent to SSOA interim Chair request.

PDM would like to reiterate that the people of South Sudan call for a federal system of governance during the transitional period, based on three autonomous regions of Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bahr al Ghazal with their borders as they stood on 1st January 1956.

PDM stands for a people-centric power sharing between the people of three autonomous regions of Upper Nile, Equatoria, and Bahr al Ghazal, with 33.33% power sharing for each region.

PDM does not support the elites-centric power sharing between SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO, SPLM-FDs, SSOA and OPP.

PDM supports the 3-autonomous regions solution with their 21 former districts and 79 counties of the 2005 CPA.

This approach renders the referendum on number of states and boundaries redundant as provided for in the Khartoum elites-centric power sharing agreement.

Dr. Hakim Dario
PDM Chair
press@pdm-rss.org

PDM position on SSOA members signing as a bloc

To: Hon. Mr. Gabriel Changson Chang
Interim SSOA Chair
Mobile: +254 725 331 244 (Direct/WhatsApp)
Email: chang.changson@gmail.com

Date: 26th August 2018;

Dear Mr. Gabriel Changson, interim SSOA Chair

Re: SSOA Delegations recommend that SSOA signs as a bloc

Further to your communication on the above, dated 25th August 2018, requesting SSOA leaders’ position on SSOA Delegations in Khartoum recommending ‘SSOA signs as a bloc’, am therefore writing on PDM’s behalf to communicate our response.

Firstly thank you for the letter, PDM position remains as before that SSOA does not initial or sign the agreement as a bloc.

All SSOA members initial and sign the agreement individually, each in the name of their organization, providing that they are satisfied with the final text of the proposed draft Agreement.

PDM is flabbergasted by the claim of the interim Chair that there is need to sign or initial the Agreement as a bloc to protect certain unnamed SSOA members.

Since when did protecting certain unnamed SSOA members has become such an overriding obligation that is critical to negotiation in good faith, and to initialing and signing the Khartoum agreement?

PDM is of the view that protection of all parties to the HLRF process, which includes SSOA members, lay with the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Office, who are responsible for inviting all parties to the HLRF process in Khartoum.

However, the main reason offered by the interim Chair to sign as a bloc is “to protect some of our organizations that experience some difficulties these days”.

This statement is misleading and not persuasive. It’s also not evidence based, it doesn’t say which organizations needed protection and why, nor what “difficulties” they faced!

There is no justification either for hiding and not sharing any factual information or evidence from SSOA leaders about who those “organizations” are and what “difficulties” they are likely to face as a result of either signing in the name of their own organization or not.

The agreement text, in PDM’s view, should also record who the members of SSOA are, by way of signature, so that SSOA can be legally identifiable as associated with the specific names of its identifiable constituent members. This is not currently the case.

Secondly, the objective of SSOA was not about protecting some unknown, implied or un-named constituent member organizations, which are unidentifiable, but rather to negotiate in good faith in a legitimate peace process as parties to the HLRF.

PDM does not therefore agree with nor approve of initialing or signing of the agreement as a bloc in the name of SSOA without record of each constituent member’s initials or signature.

Any member of SSOA shall do so only in the name of their organization as a constituent member of SSOA. This position as adopted by all SSOA members, was borne out of the 27th June 2018 coerced SSOA signature as a bloc on Khartoum Declaration of Agreement (KDA).

Dr. Hakim Dario
PDM Chair
press@pdm-rss.org

LATEST Breaking News: Uganda Army invades and occupies Yei River State, South Sudan

AUG/29/2018, SSN;

Highly reliable sources from the ground have reported that a heavy deployment of Uganda Soldiers UPDF has illegally entered and invaded South Sudan Yei River State Counties, these are:
1)- Bamure of Kajokeji County
2)- Jalle Border of Kajokeji County, and
3)- Kaya Town of Morobu County.

This information comes directly from opposition forces on the ground as the situation develops, especially as this is an omnious military action aimed to preempt resumption of war between Yoweri Museveni’s ally, Kiir and the rebel forces fighting the Kiir army.

Museveni has been the only chief supporter of the South Sudanese president Kiir and has always aggresively responded by illegally entering South Sudan to rescue Kiir from any rebel military advances in the on-going ‘civil war’ in the country.

Rebel opposition forces and intelligence on the ground have also corroborated this latest development of Ugandan troops already having entered South Sudan and have called on all the opposition forces to be fully alert on the ground.

Furthermore, the opposition rebel forces categorically reject the presence and illegal deployments of foreign troops if there is a chance for real success of the on-going peace talks in Khartoum.

The rebel opposition wishes to inform the IGAD mediators of this omnious development and their absolute rejection of any deployments of foreign troops and illegal entry of military conveys of Ugandan or any other country’s troops inside South Sudan Towns.

The rebel forces on the ground are therefore appealing to their leaders in the on-going Khartoum so-called peace talks to seriously take this information and immediate action is urgently needed to prevent any aggression happening to our Soldiers.

Meanwhile, South Sudan rebel SPLM/O-in-Opposition chief, Riek Machar, along with the SSOA (South Sudan Opposition Alliance) on Tuesday refused to sign a final peace deal with the government that aims to end a brutal civil war, a Sudanese mediator said.

“The main South Sudanese opposition groups, including the SPLM-IO (Machar faction), refused to sign the final document demanding that their reservations be guaranteed in it,” Sudanese Foreign Minister Al-Dierdiry Ahmed told reporters.

The warring South Sudanese parties have held weeks of talks in Khartoum in search of a comprehensive peace deal to end the conflict in the world’s youngest country that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions since it erupted in December 2013.

    Khartoum Peace Agreement will make South Sudan a colony of Uganda and Arab North Sudan:

Furthermore, the famous Ugandan Prof. Mahamoud Mamdani speaking lately in Kampala has asserted the recent agreement in Khartoum is “not a South Sudanese peave agreement. It is an agreement between Sudan and Uganda.”

That if this agreement holds, Prof. Mamdani asserts, it will make South Sudan an informal protectorate of Uganda and the Sudan north, indefinitely.

What is in South Sudan is an army of Generals and not a national army. That South Sudan has no national government.

He is saying South Sudanese should look for their own peace agreement. That there is no peace agreement right now.

North Sudan wants to be rehabilitated by the USA through their Khartoum agreement. And that Bashir’s spy chief, Salah Gosh, is in contact with the Americans.

Uganda wants to recoup its financial losses and to avoid further economic losses.
(Reliable and independent sources)

Will the Latest Deal Bring Peace in South Sudan?

BY: Aly Verjee and Payton Knopf, United States Insstitute of Peace (USIP) Analysis and Commentary, AUG/20/2018, SSN;

Although welcomed by many citizens, the deal’s serious deficiencies could exacerbate the conflict.

On August 5, the warring parties in South Sudan signed an agreement which calls for the formation of another power-sharing government. The previous power-sharing government collapsed in July 2016, and the war has since spread throughout the country.

USIP’s Aly Verjee and Payton Knopf discuss the developments that led to the deal, identify the agreement’s risks and deficiencies, and assess future prospects for the peace process.

More than four years of civil war in South Sudan have chased millions from their homes, leaving countless farms abandoned. (Kassie Bracken/The New York Times)

Since the peace talks moved to Khartoum, Sudan, several agreements have been signed. Some media reported the August 5 agreement as a “final deal.” What is happening in the South Sudan peace process?

Verjee: The August 5 agreement is not a final deal. Negotiations were recently extended to August 27, and may well be extended again. The August 5 agreement was the sixth interim agreement signed since Sudan assumed control of the mediation process at the end of June, after Ethiopia relinquished its role as the lead mediator.

Assuming the remaining disputed issues and details are agreed, the negotiators will sign a final, consolidated document. That text will serve as the basis for the establishment of a new, transitional, power-sharing government, and require new security arrangements across the country.

It will also continue commitments to earlier economic, social and accountability measures made under the 2015 peace agreement, many of which were unimplemented.

In principle, this sounds fine—but there are major challenges ahead. There are serious deficiencies in the deal that may make things worse, particularly in the security sector.

An unrealistic timeline for the integration of forces may lead to another security collapse.

The uncertainty of measures for the demilitarization of urban areas could set the stage for new confrontations: a risk heightened by the memory of the battles in the capital, Juba, that both began the war in December 2013 and led to the 2015 agreement’s collapse.

Not all the aggrieved parties are yet included in the deal, which may incentivize some to keep fighting.

And perhaps most crucially, there is little evidence of genuine political will and desire to reform among those that signed the deal.

Will they spend the country’s resources to rebuild the ruined economy rather than enrich themselves?

Will they hold accountable those soldiers and commanders responsible for war crimes, and, ultimately agree to downsize the army?

Can they trust each other to govern collectively?

The enthusiasm with which many South Sudanese greeted the deal indicates how desperate people are for any chance of peace. But we are a long way from that peace becoming a certainty.

How have these latest developments in the peace process been influenced by political shifts in the region?

Knopf: The center of gravity in the peace process has rapidly shifted from Ethiopia to Sudan. Ethiopia had forcefully maintained control of the mediation, as well as the related cease-fire monitoring mechanism, since the outbreak of the civil war in December 2013.

But since taking office in April, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has undertaken a dizzying diplomatic effort in the region: he has brokered rapprochement with Eritrea, mitigated tensions on the use of the Nile with Egypt, and attempted to defuse political tensions in Somalia.

These issues have taken priority over efforts to end South Sudan’s civil war.

Sudan has taken the opportunity of being in the driver’s seat to secure its own security and economic interests in South Sudan.

One of the agreements signed allows Sudanese forces to potentially occupy the oil fields.

The government of Sudan’s interests are not likely to align with those of the people of South Sudan nor are they predicated on preserving the country’s sovereignty.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has also played a prominent role in the Khartoum talks, and attended the signing of agreements in June and August in Khartoum.

The Khartoum talks have shown that Sudan and Uganda can align their interests and find mutually beneficial arrangements in South Sudan, in contrast to the conventional wisdom that they are at perennial logger-heads on South Sudan.

But these arrangements may come at the expense of South Sudan’s citizens.

Verjee: Ethiopia’s long-term interests may not be served by withdrawing from the South Sudan mediation process. South Sudan’s dysfunction could once more undermine Ethiopian border security as well as broader regional interests.

Given its comparatively limited economic exposure to South Sudan, Ethiopia remains the region’s most honest broker. But Ethiopia also wants to accommodate Sudanese interests, which may help explain Abiy’s willingness to concede the file to Khartoum.

Khartoum has interests in numerous unresolved issues related to South Sudan’s secession: the apportionment of billions of dollars of debt, the final status of the disputed territory of Abyei and the demarcation of the border, to name but three.

For offering a lifeline to South Sudan’s incumbent president, Salva Kiir, who remains in power as head of the transitional government, Sudan may drive a hard bargain.

What are the implications for the humanitarian situation in South Sudan?

Knopf: There is no evidence to suggest that the deals reached in Khartoum will meaningfully address South Sudan’s humanitarian catastrophe. As discussed above, they are more likely to exacerbate rather than defuse the conflict and insecurity that underlie the humanitarian emergency.

The United States contributes nearly $1 billion out of the $1.8 billion per year in international humanitarian assistance. In May, the United States announced a review “to ensure our assistance does not contribute to or prolong the conflict or facilitate predatory or corrupt behavior.”

While the review is not yet complete, it is hard to imagine that any donor can sustain these funding levels for years to come.

Concurrently, the humanitarian community should use the U.S. assistance review to put forward humanitarian policy proposals that include a rigorous and honest analysis of the interaction between aid and the political economy of the conflict.

Such an approach could help improve humanitarian outcomes for the South Sudanese.

With the likelihood of further deterioration and fragmentation of the political, security, and economic landscape in South Sudan, this is all the more vital.

There is increasing evidence that some relief efforts have been manipulated by the warring parties to advance their own political and military objectives.

Fortunately, there is a wealth of collective experience in South Sudan and other complex humanitarian emergencies for navigating challenges to the integrity of relief operations during periods of conflict that can and should be drawn upon.

What are the future prospects for the peace process and what should the United States do now?

Verjee: Khartoum is not letting go of the peace process. It is essential now that the United States ensures that whatever final deal is put in place, it first does no harm.

The U.S. could help the mediation advance de-escalating, enforceable arrangements for the security aspects of the agreement and be clear about what other provisions it could support.

If the security arrangements fail, the power-sharing component of any deal becomes irrelevant. This should be a key lesson from the collapse of the 2015 agreement.

Knopf: The historic irony of Sudan leading these mediation efforts brings into sharp relief the absence of purposeful U.S. diplomatic engagement in South Sudan and the broader region.

The U.S. should accept that only a new mediation effort could improve the prospects of ending the war and the humanitarian crisis.

The question is whether the United States is prepared to exert its influence to achieve this and ensure that the process does not only benefit Khartoum, Kampala and the South Sudanese elites who have perpetuated a horrific war.

The United States remains the most influential external actor in the region. Uganda is, for example, the largest recipient of U.S. military aid in sub-Saharan Africa.

And there are at present unique diplomatic opportunities: the second phase of the bilateral normalization process between the U.S. and Sudan provides the administration significant leverage to shape Khartoum’s policy approaches toward South Sudan.

Effective action has been hampered by the failure to designate a senior official empowered to develop and execute the administration’s strategy.

Such an individual must have the stature to engage with the regional heads of state, who ultimately call the shots, and have sufficient standing in Washington to bring to bear the coordinated weight of all the agencies of the U.S. government. END