Editorial Analysis: JAN/23/2016, SSN;
Watching the Norwegian Ambassador in Juba, Ms. Tone Tinnes, participating in an undeserving demonstration of her country’s inappropriate so-called ‘development aid’ during the opening of a new building her country constructed for the Juba electricity and water department, one feels utterly disgusted by this misdirected generosity.
Although the building only cost 3 million dollars, this apparent benevolence to the Juba government was an unwise and ill-advised usage of money by Norway to an unworthy recipient, the corrupt Kiir government.
It also seriously begs the obvious question: How come the Kiir Juba government of South Sudan can’t afford to construct for itself such a simplistic and supposedly “modern” building during the last ten years of its failed reign in South Sudan?
By any technical standard, the building itself was a simplistic and normal construction of concrete and glass, and at the price of a mere 3 million dollars, the government of Kiir would have easily paid the entire bill if proper financial prudence was effected in the usage of the billions of oil money received by Kiir over the ten years.
Furthermore, if the oil monies remitted to Kiir’s government by Norway immediately after the peace agreement (CPA) in 2005 was used properly, schools, hospitals, roads and bridges would have been constructed across the country without ever soliciting much of Norwegian generosity and pampering.
Ambassador Tone Tinnes must surely be fully cognizant of the prevailing realities in Juba; 3 million dollars is just small personal change for both president Kiir and his vice, Wani-Igga, the latter, who whilst officiating the ceremony must be laughing at the sheer Norwegian stupidity to so easily succumb to the government’s scam.
It must be clearly recalled that Norway was the country chosen to take custody of all the money accruing from the sale of South Sudanese oil during the war years and it was Norway itself that repatriated all those billions (over 50 billion dollars) to president Kiir Juba regime.
Most certainly, Ambassador Tinnes must have some delegated responsibility of keeping an eye on how and where the billions have gotten out or misused, or who has siphoned this money to foreign bank accounts since Norway, like the good matron, must morally assume some responsibility on how that money was being utilized or misappropriated.
Unfortunately, almost all the money was avariciously looted and most of it eventually ended up in the pockets of Kiir, Wani and the rest of the SPLM/A gangsters. A shinning example, Arthur Akuein once the finance minister initially responsible, was accused of stealing the money and briefly incarcerated but was expeditiously released by fellow tribesmen.
Norway obviously stands morally culpable of criminal negligence in the eventual massive corruption seen within the Kiir SPLM/A monstrosity that expeditiously ensued and consumed the entire oil revenues.
Basically, Norway and the others like the USA, who expedited the CPA deal between North and South Sudan and subsequently took up the responsibility of midwifying the new nation, should have continued with the responsibility of dishing out the money according to some approved financial modality.
Giving president Kiir all the money at once and at the same time generously providing massive so-called ‘donor support’ only served to increase the Juba ruling mobsters’ appetites and propensities to loot.
Furthermore, it must be recalled that when the British ambassador in Juba reportedly exposed that infamous list of those 75 corrupt individuals in Kiir’s government who allegedly looted over 5 billion dollars, the Norwegian Ambassador in Juba must have certainly been one of the few privileged diplomats who accessed the list of the 75 alleged thieves.
Unfortunately and inexplicably, up to date, Norway, like Britain and the rest, is conspiratorially silent about exposing these very thieves who blatantly looted the nation’s resources.
The badly depraved people of South Sudan deserve to know who the thieves are so that they are prosecuted in the courts of law and the money stolen is rightly repatriated back to the national coffers.
Norway, in most South Sudanese eyes, has been justly regarded as a truly committed friend of the people and thus its support was most expected in the exposition to the public of that list of thieves.
Sadly, Norway has unwisely chosen not to divulge the kleptocrats and this act of irresponsibility has severely disappointed many in South Sudan.
Instead, in spite of the Kiir’s regime becoming increasingly repressive and having committed a terrible genocide against its people in 2013, Norway and its embassy in Juba under Ambassador Tone Tinnes are blatantly in full collaboration with and abetting the terror regime of president Kiir.
One is forcefully reminded of Walter Rodney’s famous book, “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa,” and it’s becoming more apparent that Norway today is obviously contributing to the ongoing ‘underdevelopment’ of South Sudan by its collaboration and collusion with the corrupt ‘tribal colonial’ regime in Juba.
Walter Rodney aptly contended that, “Colonialism created conditions which led not just to periodic famine but to chronic undernourishment, malnutrition, and deterioration in the physique of the people.” Isn’t that what is now happening to the South Sudanese people?
Predictably, Ambassador Tone Tinnes of Norway in Juba is unfortunately an unwitting accomplice in the perpetuation of the corruption in Juba, she’d be made fully aware that monies probably allocated earlier by Kiir’s government for the building of this very same structure for Water and Electricity might have long been callously pocketed by the same ruling regime of Juba.
One is compelled to assert that Norway is currently behaving like an insidiously active imperial power in South Sudan by its over-domineering presence in practically all facets and events taking place within and across the country, from war to peace and again to war and back to peace.
Since first coming to the country in a big way in 1972 after the Addis Ababa peace agreement and the establishment of the first self-rule government in South South, Norway has been favorably accorded a special status and an unfair domineering role in the country.
Norway was allowed then to literally ‘colonize’ the then Eastern Equatoria province but, arguably, in spite of its preponderance in those so-called ‘development’ projects, there was little that can truly be classified as tangible development of the people in those areas allocated to Norway.
However, despite the altruism and benevolence renown of the Norwegians, in reality the Norwegian NGO’s practically provided little in terms of tangible ‘development.” Most of the men in the area became bonded employees of the NCA and their women ended up doing basket weaving and other futile projects just for petty cash.
The Eastern Equatoria area, unfortunately, after a decade of Norwegian dominance, never achieved any self-reliance or self-sufficiency, instead, the NCA callously impoverished the area and its people.
Quoting Rodney again, “wealth has to be produced out of nature, from tilling the land or mining metals or felling trees or turning raw materials into finished products for human consumption. These things are done by the vast majority of the people who are peasants and workers.”
South Sudan is providentially blessed with a lot of natural resources which could go into making a better life for its people. A country like Norway itself which is also blessed with plentiful of natural resources like us, should direct more of their aid to helping the common people in exploiting these possibilities and not in only fattening or comforting the leaders in Juba.
This is where Ambassador Tone Tinnes should now direct her country’s efforts and money to, instead of paying for the construction of a luxurious building for a government agency better known to the entire residents of Juba for gross corruption, inefficiency and thievery of fuel and other materials by its employees while Juba residents perpetually wallow in darkness and thirst.
When the second liberation war erupted in 1983, once again, Norway and its NGO’s intruded massively on the side of the SPLM/A and this perhaps explains its contagious and misguided infatuation with the corrupt regime of Kiir.
Arguably, just like turning a blind eye to the egregious human rights abuses that were being blatantly perpetuated by the Garang’s SPLM/A, Norway today is shamefully and financially abetting the genocidal and kleptocratic Kiir’s Juba regime whilst the citizens are being deliberately oppressed and impoverished.
In her benign infatuation to perpetuate the well-acclaimed generosity of the Norwegian people since 1972 to the people of South Sudan, Ambassador Tone Tinnes, is being blinded by her impulsive compulsion to pamper and appease the ruling gangsters in Juba.
Finally, whether in terms of rendering development aid or participating as a Troika member in the current peace talks between the Kiir junta and the SPLM-IO, Norway must assert fairness and a clear stance on the side of the common people of South Sudan.