Category: Featured Written by News Desk
Juba, 6th 12/2016 – The Civil population both in Central Equatoria and Wau has been displaced as new wave of fighting characterized by sexual violence, pillaging, ethnic targeting rages on. Equatoria areas and Former Western Bhar El Ghazal state experienced heavy hands of the violence.
Displaced South Sudanese: photo source: AP
The United States Department has said it is alarmed by the heavy surge of violence in Equatoria areas. The fighting is portrayed by all sort of inhumane acts against South Sudan civil population. Yei River state reports attacked against civilians, with reports of sexual violence, pillaging and killing of civilians allegedly by the national army, SPLA. A Minister of Finance, Deputy Governor, and a commissioner in Yei River State resigned because of what they term as “targeting of the civilians by a militiamen” siding with the government.
In October 2016, vehicles carrying Jieng (Dinka) ethnic community was targeted leaving nearly hundred of women and children killed. Report blames IO forces in Equatoria.
The above situation is worrying the US administration. “The United States is alarmed by the violence in the Equatoria region of South Sudan and concerned it could quickly spiral out of control”, read part of the press release.
UN Undersecretary for Genocide Prevention in November raised alarm of escalating violence in Yei and other parts of the country as having potential of triggering genocide. The report came after the UN’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide visited South Sudan. The UN official also told the media that “conflict has transformed into what could become an outright ethnic war” and that it “could evolve into genocide if something is not done now to stop it.”
Adding, “This situation is intolerable and will worsen the already dire humanitarian crisis,” partly read the Washington press release.
Washington called on the international community in a statement to the media on Monday to take actions against the warring parties. “The international community must also do its part. We can do so by imposing an arms embargo to end the parties’ ability to acquire and maintain weapons, especially heavy weapons, military vehicles, and aircraft, reads in part the press release.
The US administration believes imposing these measures will help deter the belligerent parties of South Sudan from engaging in the activities such as targeting civilians and destruction of livelihood.
“We should also impose targeted sanctions on those who seek through incitement and violence to turn their country into a graveyard. Imposing these measures will help deter other South Sudanese leaders from engaging in the same activity”.
The social media and online network in South Sudan may be having a hand in what the US terms as “Ethnic-motivated hate speech”. The trend is likely to further fuel violence on ethnic line.
“Ethnically-motivated hate speech, the targeting of civilians, and sexual violence is becoming widespread. We have confirmed that more than 1900 homes have been destroyed in Central Equatoria since September. The government has mobilized at least 4,000 irregular ethnic militia and deployed them to Central Equatoria - a substantial increase in the overall number of government-affiliated soldiers in the region - increasing the likelihood of more clashes with armed opposition groups and attacks against innocent civilians”, it reads in part State Department press release.
The US government says the world can’t afford to look the other while crimes are being committed against civil population in South Sudan.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to these crimes, and must ensure that all those who order, incite or commit violence against civilians are held accountable, including through rapid creation of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan,” read the statement.
Category: Featured Written by News Desk
Juba, 4, December 2016 - A new race to win lucrative 600,000 barrels crude oil contract is becoming murky as government officials compete over the individual’s companies of interest to win the contract. Various senior government officials in Juba scramble, as each of them pushes a Company for their individual's interests. A well-placed source said the government officials divided themselves among companies with each pushing for a company of a choice. Officials in the office of the President and in the Security split over two different Petroleum companies, respectively.
Motorists crambling for fuel in Juba: photos file source RT
In November, a letter allegedly written on 9th November 2016 by the Minister in the office of the office the President, Hon. Mayiik Ayii, circulated in the social media. The Minister allegedly directs the Minister of Petroleum, Hon. Ezekiel Gatkouth to award the contract to Arech Petroleum. “Following the directives by H.E. The President to award the Arech Petroleum South Sudan Ltd. with 2017 refined fuel supply to South Sudan, kindly let’s bring to your attention that APSSL requires all necessary legal paperwork as per this contract to be finalized as soon as possible”, read part of the letter.
The Minister adds his opinion; “I recommend that Arech Petroleum be given this contract to start fuel supply by January 2017 as directed by his Excellency. Senior officials in NilePet, on the contrary, push for Trafigura as their sole company that does the business with them. The office of the First Vice President, on the other hand, is pushing for King Gas Ltd. to get award of the contract.
Last week the committee forwarded the Arech Petroleum to the Ministry of Finance for clearance, but the minister refused to grant Arech Petroleum the clearance. A source said that “The Ministry of Finance refused to issue a letter of No Objection if a company (name withheld) is not part of the companies awarded the contracts”, he said. Powerful individual in the office of South Sudan’s President are said to be pushing for a company of interest to get the award. The committee is expected to meet this Monday to review. However, an official in the Ministry of Petroleum who spoke to the Nation Mirror on condition of anonymity said, “It is difficult splitting 600,000 barrels among the four companies because most ships operating within the route transporting South Sudan crude oil to international market carry minimal of 600,000 barrels each”.
In wake of revelation of illegal contract awards practice, the Presidency directed in November that Fuel Supply contract awarded to Oryx Petroleum allegedly bulldozed in the interests of the office of Vice President, under James Wani Igga, and ministry of cabinet affairs, under Martin Elia Lomoro, and Ministry of Petroluem under Ezekiel Gatkouth Lul be cancelled. The cancellation has ushered into the race for 600,000 barrels lucrative contract a new elements, which took the center stage of the process. A concern citizen told The Nation Mirror on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisal said, “The officials in the Office of President Kiir, office of First Vice President, under Taban Deng, Ministry of Defense, under Kuol Manyang, National Security among others are using their influence to profiteer from illegal contract awarding processes at NilePet”.
In November Gen. Kuac Awan bellowed a whistle over manner fuel supply contract of monthly 600,000 barrels crude oil is used to benefit senior government officials. Each month the government allocates 600,000 barrels of crude oil to be sold on its behalf by independent company, which in turn import Petrol and Diesel fuel to the country for domestic use.
The whistle bellower said the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Martin Elia instructed NilePet boss to single source the 600,000 Crude Oil contract to Oryx Petroleum in violations of rules governing public bidding. The laws and regulations expect all the government contracts to be subjected to open public bidding. Nonetheless, Minister Martin Elia is not alone in bypassing the rules. Many senior government officials chose the opposite as each directly walks into NilePet premises with a preferred company at hand.
The regulation tasking NilePet to select the supplier through open bidding also expects committee selected to operates without senior officials influencing the process of the open public bidding.
Sources in Juba say the country is likely to be hit by a new wave of fuel shortages next January, as a direct result of government officials’ disagreement over company to supply the country with Fuel.
Category: Featured Written by News Desk
Juba, Nov. 25 (The Nation Mirror) – Economic meltdown created anxiety among South Sudanese populace, amidst three months civil servant’s salaries delay. The latest climb of the US Dollar against South Sudanese Pound sparks skyrocketing food commodities’ prices across the country.
Inflation in the war-ravaged young nation started rising sharply after the breakout of the civil war in December 2013. Subsequently followed by government decision to adopt floated rate of local currency against dollar in 2015.
customers struggling to access bread at Bakery in Juba, photo Source: The National
John Tor, father of three, a government employee, told The Nation Mirror in an interview that the situation is becoming unbearable despite government promises to pay the civil servants’ their salaries.
"Imagine a director like me is now trekking from home to work simply because I can’t afford to fuel my car, I have remedy to either be begging or borrowing from friends who are working in private companies just to get end meet for my children,” Tor said tearfully.
Adding, “You may now have a clear picture of the situation of staff of lower grades or those who are not expecting any salaries, “he posed.
Economists raised concern on how the low-income earners in the country would survive in the coming days. Experts projected that South Sudan economy is at a threshold of collapse, unless the government come up with quick economic measures to salvage the ailing economy.
Dr. Augustino Ting Mayai, Senior Specialist at Sudd Institute said the speed the exchange rate at the parallel market is worrisome.Today a $1 is trading at 103 South Sudanese Pounds compared to yesterday figure of 100 SSP.
He added that citizens had hoped for economic improvement despite shaken peace pact signed last year that ushered in fragile unity government. The events unfolded after July violence introduces the nation to yet another grim situation.
"Our government doesn't have citizens at heart, otherwise the coalition government wouldn't have formulate good economic policies that can enable the nation to sustains economic recovery,” Luku Thomas said.
The U.S Dollar steadily continues to gain momentum against Local currency since 2014. The latest dollar’s exchange rate has prompted citizens to blame President Salva Kiir’s government for being “reluctant” to address the economic meltdown in order to salvage the situation.
Garang Atem Ayiik, an independent economic commentator said, “H.E President Kiir should replace Central Bank governor as part of demonstrating his concern with worsening economic crisis in the country – doing nothing is not an option to him”.
South Sudan gained her independence from Khartoum in 2011, since then the youngest republic has been struggling to deliver services to the public and paying her employees timely.
Category: Featured Written by News Desk
- She is confined to a wheelchair, incapacitated, but leadership cares less to help her meet medical needs.
- Her gratuities have never been paid to her since she left parliament though entitle by law for payment
- Her medical treatment abroad is unimaginable endeavors
By Wol Deng Atak
The SPLM leadership is yet to commit to its heroes and heroines, in Bhar el Ghazal and elsewhere in the country. During the liberation struggle the leaders of the struggle in then Sudan turned to women and men for help when the movement was in need. One of these resourceful people is Hon. Angong Deng Kur, a lady of the likes of Mama SPLA from Yei District, who devoted her time and resources to serving the liberation movement. But to her surprise the current leadership does not even utter a word of recognition in appreciation of their contributions to our freedom. Although the movement benefited from her own resources and connections, Angong is ignored in her wheelchair at her time of need by the very leadership of the movement she served.
Hon. Angong Deng Kur, with her grand children and a pet
Many in Bhar el Ghazal may recall her agile skills in meeting need of logistical mobilization at ease. People who used to be around her then say a mention of her name used to be first step to finding solution to almost every leader mobilizing for food resource. SPLA mobilization for food to feed soldiers attacking then Khartoum interests in the town of Tonj, Wau, Warrap, Gogrial of Bhar el Ghazal was where Angong does her best. She used to be on the top of the mobilization.
Many a time liberation leaders turn to her when seeking information from her network within then government garrisons. Her network in turn brings soap, clothing, and other basic necessities to the liberators. But now, Angong is alone woman, forgotten by the very leaders who jointly worked with her to liberate the country. She is confined to a wheelchair, incapacitated that she could not leave her bed without help of others. Her tragedy is tripled by the fact that the leaders currently pass near her house in Warrap town without stopping to enquire of what went wrong in her life. A situation suggesting that the current liberators in power are not only unwilling to acknowledge their international friends who helped them succeed in struggle, but their nationals who played crucial roles in liberation struggle get no helping hand from them at their time of needs. Hon. Angong’s confinement to a wheelchair occurred when she got involved in accident while in campaign for president Salva Kiir Mayardit in 2010 general elections.
Although she served as a member of parliament in Warrap State Legislative Assembly from 2005 to 2010, she was never paid a penny of her gratuities after she left parliament; making it barely possible to meet her basic needs. More so meeting her medical treatment abroad is unimaginable endeavors after this ordeal. The law governing constitutional post holders’ benefits expects her privileges to have been paid to her immediately when she left the office. But since 2010 Hon. Angong never saw a penny of her privileges. This made life difficult for her during the last six years of confinement.
Hon. Angong is not alone in a situation where liberators who got access to power forgot their former colleagues who did not ascend to the same privilege. Gen. Marko Chol Makiech died this year seeking USD 15,000 to access medical facilities abroad only for president Kiir to donate 1.5 million South Sudanese Pounds, an equivalent of USD 35,000 after he died. The donation came months after the deceased family made all the efforts they could to rescue him from the jaw of death, but to no avail. He died unhappy man, feeling betrayed by his colleagues in struggle. Many former liberators have died in the same way.
This medium could not independently verify whether President Kiir is aware of the condition of Madam Angong Deng Kur, though there were efforts made to help her support for recovery were without success.
The current condition of the orphans, widows and disabled liberators raises question whether present liberators in power understand their responsibilities to their fallen colleagues and the meaning of what they fought for. The children of fallen heroes, and widows are languishing in poverty with some having been already taken advantage by the living colleagues who used them for pleasure and discarded them.
Concern has also been raised in the regards to the manner of which soldiers killed in war are buried in mass grave instead of honoring them. But the leadership never altered anything about it. Worse still some unlucky soldiers are left for birds of air to feed on them.
Category: Featured Written by News Desk
By Emmanuel Thon
One of the SPLM senior politicians and an International Human Rights Lawyer called for a formation of Caretaker Government that would exclude Dr. Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir Mayardit. The authors, Dr. Majak De’Agoot and Dr. Remember Miamingi said, they arrived to the conclusion after Kiir and Machar failed to demonstrate their respective ability to put the nation above themselves. “The caretaker government should clearly exclude both Kiir and Machar, who have proven themselves incapable of transforming themselves into statesmen and civic leaders”, read part of the document.
Dr. Miamingi, International Human Right Lawyer
The two PhD personalities argued in their document that “The reality at the moment is that South Sudan has already relapsed into civil war”, they expressed in an Op-Ed. Majak and Miamingi believe the planned deployment of UN Protection Force to South Sudan should be based on restructuring ailing Peace Agreement signed August between SPLM in Government, SPLM in Opposition, SPLM Leaders, and other political parties. “The deployment of a regional protection force under the UN peacekeeping mission should be premised on allowing for the political reengineering of the fractured deal under a new architecture of a caretaker administration agreed to by all stakeholders, including faith-based and civil society groups”, they argued.
According to Dr. Majak and Dr. Remember, the features of the Caretaker Government they proposed would comprise of people of “honesty and integrity” and technocrats and public figures who will be subjected to thorough vetting against the background checks.
“The caretaker government should be comprised of public personalities and technocrats who are rigorously vetted for honesty and integrity”, read part of their document. The duo wants the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission tasked with overseeing implementation of the agreement assist the Caretaker Government to implement peace agreement.
Dr. Majak De'Agoot, SPLM Senior Politician
Dr. Mianingi and Dr. Majak also expressed opposition to a proposed Trusteeship or Temporal UN Administration proposed by some quarters involved in the debate on how to help South Sudan. According to a joint written document by Dr. De’Agoot and Dr. Miamingi, Caretaker Government would fit the South Sudan context well. “This path better suits South Sudan than outright trusteeship or temporary UN administration”, read part of their document. De’Agoot and Miamingi said both Kiir and Machar have been “accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity” by different impartial UN and African Union findings. In a recent BBC interview former Botswana president, Festus Mugaewho head the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) said both Kiir and Machar are “two men whose the sight of each other is provocative and can cause carnage”. Adding, “They are totally indifferent to the plight of the people they purport to lead”, read part of their document.
Category: Featured Written by News Desk
By Wol Deng Atak
The debate whether Kiir and his co-competitor, Dr. Riek Machar, in violence for wealth gains and power could set the nation engulfed by power free has been ongoing without concrete conclusion. Would it in anyway serve the best interest of the nation if both men to leave active politics? I think their exit is a remedy to South Sudan political crisis because their actions continue to generate recipes for crisis. Firstly, in pursuit of complete dictatorship, President Kiir turned state security into regime protection or his personal protection force to the misery of the citizens.
He has completely squeezed media space forcing it to only parrot government’s propaganda or remain muted to avoid forced closure. On the other hand, professional associations like lawyers association is controlled, debates prohibited even within academic premises. The above situation is so enforced that even parliamentary deliberations are reduced to a mere rubber stamp to avoid Kiir dismissing decree. Riek is no better either. He ran the IO like his private company giving no space for difference voices. He would be another Kiir if not worst than him if Riek ascend to presidency. Kiir’s earth scorching policy nearly put every media house in fear with each journalist believing he could be arrested anytime and subjected to torture or even killed. His security services do these at his directives because he knows that people have withdrawn every single trust they had in him. Complete deteriorating social security and services, delayed salaries, extreme inflation, an unprecedented lawlessness. All these happen at Kiir's watch and doesn’t think he and his rival Riek Machar have caused all these to the most tolerant people never found elsewhere in the world.
Kiir has turned national security service into a mere Personal Protection Force (PPF) and so is Riek with his security apparatus then based in Pagak. As it is the case in Juba and else where in South Sudan, citizens are being arbitrary arrested each time without access to legal services and this amounts to complete denial of civil liberty contrary to what the SPLM fought for. The citizens' fate rest with the discernment of the national security officers whom are often at a whim.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit
The above is contrary to the SPLM founded on democratic principles and freedom of expression and of media. Surely, this is not our country; this isn’t the South Sudan we wanted to live in. It is becoming another Sudan – it is sad that the head of state turned back and adopted the very system each of us ran away from. This is a lost direction and a dangerous precedence.
Secondly, economy collapsed, with prices of primary goods having increased by more than 600%, subsequently students dropped out of school because their parents can’t afford their education. Kiir’s government never provided quality education at first place so those who could have their children school in foreign countries had them returned home because they can’t keep in school. Apart from the fact that South Sudan is one of the poorest countries (yet natural-resource rich) the citizens are poorer today than three years ago. Many citizens skip lunch in order to get supper or at times take one to two days without a meal so they can save for another day in order to live. A 50kg of maize flour costs 3,000-7,000SSP, which is four times more than a graduate earns a month and six times the salary of an ordinary soldier.
And more so nation currency losses value every single day. Kiir’s government has resolved to let everything takes its own course. There’s no magic in economy, there’s need for a hard work and change of policies, something Kiir’s administration won’t do and no one of the countries will bail out this nation under President Kiir. What can improve the economy when much of the hard currencies go into buying military hardware? Why would anyone expect a major comeback in economy when top elites including the head of state are involved in looting the country? Our economy can only be rescued if President Kiir resigns, Machar barred from returning to active politics and then borrow from the World Bank and IFM.
Thirdly, failed foreign-relation is hurting the nation harder. It’s abundantly clear that our country suffers and geared toward international isolation. We lost our diplomatic support in almost every country because of the failed policies of President Kiir and his inconsistence decisions. He fell out with the TROIKA countries, the very countries, which are called midwives of South Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia, Eritrea as well as other East African countries. Don’t we need them yesterday like now and tomorrow? We surely need them at our back. Remember, South Sudan can’t walk alone. If President Kiir thinks so, that’s a political mistake.
While we’re locked up in senseless war with each other throat, much and valuable parts of this country is being taken away from us at the watch of Kiir. -Kafi-Kengi at the border with Darfur, for example, is on the brink of being taken away, a place full of uranium reserves, part of Eastern Equatoria with abundant oil is on the verge of being lost, Abyei is nearly gone, Heglig is never mentioned, parts of Kajokeji is taken by Uganda as well as some parts is going into Ethiopia not forgetting bigger parts of western and Central Equatoria occupied by DRC- these are tangible issues a patriotic citizen in leadership should engage in them, but turning guns against innocent citizens who happened to have a different opinion. President Kiir just needs to resign so that we can save this country.
Fourthly, rampant corruption, this is the most visible act in this country and President Kiir had admitted publicly while addressing people earlier this year in Dr. John Garang Mausoleum that corruption had reached unmanageable state. This is evidenced in the recent Sentry Report confirming that he himself is involved in corruption with impunity. While we would admit that there is corruption all over the world, each government sets mechanisms to control it. In our case the leadership has undermined institutions capable of fighting the graft. If the anti-corruption commission was allowed to perform its task, the auditor general performs its duties without hindrance and accountability prevails then it would have made sense there is zero tolerance to corrupt practices.
Fifthly, lawlessness has taken reign of the nation; even as you read this, there is someone dying out there in South Sudan because men in uniform are engaged in killing citizens. Many have been killed in numerous occasions. Visit Juba Teaching hospital each morning and you will meet wards packed with bodies of people shot the previous night. There is “Joint criminal enterprise (JCE)” in Juba that grabs homes at gunpoint during daylight.
It is currently taking place in the areas of Thongping, Gumbo, Jebel, Munuki as well as Gurei and police have withdrawn from this due to the fact that the legal system has collapsed. Therefore, Juba, the national capital has turned into where the strong takes from the weak. The previously busied streets of Juba are currently largely empty. People have run for safety to the neighboring countries. Every night there is noisy sound of gunshots in all corners of the capital. These shots are from security forces that shot into the air to justify their action of looting shops at night. Although I can’t blame them because their families are starving, I can’t justify their actions either.
Their salaries can’t sustain the family with such an economy. All these can stop if President Kiir accepts request to stand down and allow transition to end. We are all tired of war. Gen. Paul Malong, the chief of staff of SPLA reportedly said during the security meeting that he’d asked President Kiir to relinquish power because the country was exhausted and everyone wanted no war anymore. This is a big confession, which means it is not you and I that are tired of war but everyone else.
Sixthly, President Kiir is talking of calling for early elections because he believes he will run unopposed because there’s no political discourse and all politicians will shy away from such crooked elections. Surely, no one will want to participate in elections in which President Kiir will give himself 99% votes. During the last election most Southerners voted for him including myself because there was a task for him to do - takes us to the Promised Land, which he did very well, this is enough and an honor we gave him. He will never at this point unite this country; this is a fact clear to some of us. Besides, to be sincere there will be no elections in real sense, for conditions to meet in order to have elections are far-fetched. There’s need for border demarcation of state borders, constituencies, national census- all these require money, which the country barely have.
Seventhly, two and half years have passed and citizens are still in the POCs in their own country because of war imposed on us by Salva Kiir and Riek Machar for the reason of power. How can their freedom be given away in exchange for power? Whether the war being fought is justified either to President Kiir or Riek Machar, it’s never justified to subject people to the suffering.
Those in their homes are even more miserable than those in the POCs. For they live in fear all the time not knowing when he/she will be attacked at night by unknown gunmen. I have never heard a country in which unknown gunmen operation prevails for more than four years unabated except in Kiir’s administration in Juba. It has become common slogan by some security officers who jokingly tell those voicing different opinion that “unknown gunmen would be sent your way if you continue saying what you stand for”. Others may say that President Kiir has done nothing to leave his position others on the other hand believes Dr. Riek Machar hasn’t done anything to deserve being barred, but now each has his supporters having different definitions of these conflicts and no side is willing to concede or accept the truth. In fact there is no truth depending on which side you are listening to the version. Enough is enough, the two should be asked to leave in order to move the country forward. South Sudan isn’t all about them. It’s about all of us.
Eighthly, Dr. Machar, Dr. Riek is already out and shouldn’t be allowed to return active politics again. It’s extremely important that Kiir step aside and leave active politics so South Sudan regains its promise of hope and freshness - brought to unthinkable state by the duo full of selfish interest. This country shouldn’t be left to serve self-interest of the duo. The nation interest is bigger than them.
Fellow compatriots, countrymen and women you and I have endured so much for too long. You and I have undergone unspeakable situations and one of the worst civil wars ever imposed on us by leaders that are too good to be good.
While millions South Sudanese languish in severe hunger, the two leaders are busy calculating how many lives of young men and women they should give their blood to maintain their status quo and yet their children are abroad enjoying life like there has been no war, as though people are miserable back in the country. Thousands of people have died during this conflict, 2.4 million have been displaced and as many as 5.1 million are food insecure and could starve to death and many others die of diseases. If people from the hometown of the chief of General staff of the SPLA fled in large numbers to the neighboring Sudan, of what use is our government? By the way, there’s no small government and there’s no big government. A government is that which takes care of its citizen day in to day out.
Lastly, our social fabric is broken. Kiir’s administration has subjected his own tribe to one of the worst insecurity ever. People from Dinka ethnic are being dragged out in buses while travelling within the country by people frustrated in the way the government is being run by President Kiir and his JCE syndicate. And people outside think it’s the Dinka that has destroyed this country and the one keeping him in power, so that some places are unsafe for them in the country. And the problem isn’t the Dinka, it is President Kiir that has a dumped the private manifesto and resort to ethnic mobilization and thus making the self-appointed Jieng Council of Elders more powerful than the party, which brought freedom and him to power. It’s not that other tribes don’t want Dinka to exist in this country, this is wrong and a complete ignorant if at all it is the opinion, but a failed system is the very one colliding people so that each tribe thinks it is the other one responsible for failing of the country. It is kleptocratic government, cliques who have captured and hold the state hostage to their selfish interests. There’s no law and order and this has given armed men an opportunity to grab land, kill, torture, beating unarmed civilian at will.
Kiir’s regime isn’t only disapproved by other tribes and outside countries, a large number of his tribe mates don’t like his kleptocratic style. High profile politicians like Dr. Majak Agoot, Dinka said the country is controlled by the “gun-class” to show how the political system failed the nation. The first people to go critical of his regime are Dinka, many have been exiled including Dr. Luka Biong, John Pen De Ngog, including my poor self. Others have been killed for speaking out against his handling of state of affairs, the likes of Isaiah Abraham. Deng Athuai cheated death twice at the hand of “gun-class” who tried eliminating him.
And I say all these just to advocate a return to country South Sudanese died fighting for.
Category: Featured Written by News Desk
By our reporter
The Sentry has exposed sources of arms for Former First Vice President Dr Riek Machar, who has been waging war against the government for the since 2013 following the incident in 2013. The detailed report about the arms deal indicates that Dr. Machar has been indulging in dubious arms deal and stashing away millions of dollars in offshore companies in exchange of oil contracts.
The salary for the Vice President in 2012/2013 budget is about $54,000 per year but the uncovered wealth shows Machar had more than was expected.
According to the report, Machar had been engaging in business with a Russian broker identified as Mark Goldman who claimed to head MGA Capital Company.
The same company according to MGA Capital has exact same registered address in Geneva as Leman Commtrade, owned by Erzanukaev.
However, the said Goldmann who claimed to own MGA Capital, offered to negotiate the sale of military equipment in return for business in oil industry.
The Sentry document indicated that, in mid-2014, Goldmann was acting as an intermediary for negotiations between Machar and a Ukrainian defense firm called “Nebo Ukrainy.”
“Mark Goldmann” is one of at least two aliases used by a Geneva-based Russian citizen named “Magomed Erzanukaev,” the report said. A letter signed by Mark Goldmann and dated August 25, 2014, claims that MGA Capital is involved in “importing military equipment for the improvement of its military defense … in return for crude oil.” A document signed by Riek Machar Teny and dated September 27, 2014, appears to entrust MGA Capital, represented by Mark Goldmann, with power of attorney and “the right to conduct negotiations in regard to obtaining finance, and setting up relations with various government organizations.” A letter dated August 1, 2014, and signed on behalf of Nebo Ukrainy by N.S. Ryabets appears to entrust Mark Goldmann, CEO of MGA Capital, “with the right to conduct the interests of the corporation in the Country of South Sudan.”
In additional reports by news agencies, N.S. Ryabets, a 70-year-old retired lieutenant general who once served as the deputy commander of Ukraine’s air defense corps, is listed as head of Nebo Ukrainy’s board in the letter that afforded power of attorney to Goldmann.
One Russian news article claims that the company is Ukrainian state-run and that the chairman as of late 2015 was Vladimir Tkachev. Mr. Tkachev, who also served as a senior officer in Ukraine’s military, is also listed as the chairman of JSC Military-Insurance Company (MIC), a company with a listed business address that matches the address listed on Nebo Ukrainy documents obtained by The Sentry.
Other members include Andriy F. Kukin, a retired Ukrainian colonel who worked in Soviet military intelligence and for the KGB in the 1980s.
Category: Featured Written by News Desk
The Sentry has released the awaited report of a groundbreaking two-year investigation into the networks of South Sudan’s senior officials and their international facilitators, on Monday. The initiative which was co-founded by John Prendergast and George Clooney, seeks to disrupt and dismantle the alledged networks of military officers, government officials, businessmen, arms dealers, bankers, and other enablers who benefit financially and politically from Africa’s deadliest conflicts.
The Sentry used experienced investigators who researched thousands of legal records, traveled to multiple locations to gather evidence and interviewed hundreds of experts and eyewitnesses. The Sentry also took public images using Google Earth Pro to examine some of the properties in the report such as Riek Machar and President Kiir’s residences.
The report found out that South Sudan’s leaders have transferred millions of dollars of ill-gotten wealth outside the country while waging a civil war that has left nearly half the country’s people homeless or in urgent need of humanitarian aid. According to the report President Salva Kiir and some of his top associates, along with Riek Machar, the country’s former vice president, have invested millions of dollars in real estate in Kenya, Uganda and Australia in violation of the country’s law that bars officeholders from engaging in commercial activity.
The report said these powerful political figures and their immediate relatives have large ownership interests in local oil, construction, security and gambling businesses. “The leaders of South Sudan’s warring parties manipulate and exploit ethnic divisions in order to drum up support for a conflict that serves the interests only of the top leaders of these two kleptocratic networks and, ultimately, the international facilitators whose services the networks utilize and on which they rely,” it says. According to the report, President Kiir formally earns US$60,000 and former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar earned US$54,000, but their lifestyle and standards go beyond the specified salary. It also named some business leaders with connections to the politicians who are commissioned to acquire stakes in foreign companies.
In its report, The Sentry recommended the freezing of the assets of President Kiir, Dr. Machar and a number of generals. It said the wealth of South Sudanese leaders should be treated as ill-gotten and fall under legislation to combat terrorism financing.
The Sentry’s two-year investigation found that despite the UN and US sanctions imposed on individuals earlier, one of the two men was still able to make major financial transactions worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Sentry’s investigation also found that children of the South Sudanese leaders are living abroad, playing crucial roles in their families’ financial networks and documenting their lavish styles on social media.
The report alleges that the 12-year-old son of Mr. Kiir holds a 25% interest in a holdings company. His identification documents list his occupation as “Son of President.”
Foreign donors have supplied billions of dollars in aid to the South Sudan since the war started, with the U.S. providing topping the list with $1.6 billion in assistance.
Our effort to get comment in the office of the President was futile as known contacts for Presidential Spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny were out of service. In the same case Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister of Information was unreachable by Press time.
Category: Featured Written by News Desk
By our reporter
The leader of the SPLM in Opposition in Juba, First Vice President Taban Deng Gai, has appointed 15 members to replace those representing the group in the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) and its institutions amidst protests from Dr. Machar faction.
The appointments also include new representatives to replace those in other subcommittees of the JMEC.
The members being replaced were appointed by the Former First Vice President, Dr Riek Machar before his return to Juba after the signing of the peace agreement.
In a letter issued last week addressed, to the JMEC Chairperson Festus Mogae, Taban Deng Gai appointed Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing as the Chairperson of IO group to the body, and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, as member.
He also appointed the Minister for Federal Affairs, Dr Richard K Mulla as the Chairperson of the group to the Constitutional Amendment Commission (CAC), and John Clement Kuc, as member. To the Ceasefire Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism, which was headed by Angelina Teny, the wife of Dr. Riek Machar, Taban Deng appointed Okot Otim David as the chairperson of IO group and Chol Diew Nguntap and Nin Tut Kueth as members. He also appointed Mary Nyariek Lorjok, a representative for the civil society, as member of the IO in the Ceasefire and Transition Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism. Lt General Gatkuoth Gatkuoth Hothnyang has been appointed as the Chairperson of the IO in the Joint Military Ceasefire Committee and Lt General Thoy Chan Reat and Major General Gabriel Gatwech Puoch, as members.
And to the Strategic Defense and Security Review, SDSR, Sophia Pal Gai has been appointed Chairperson of the opposition group, to which, Major General Khamis Abdul Latif Shawol, Major General Dak Ajak Yawin and Thiji Dedut Sankara will be members. The letter, dated September 5 contains the signature of the First Vice President, and the seal of his office. For its part, the SPLM in Opposition group under the leadership of Dr Riek Machar has criticized the new appointments by the current First Vice President. It says it does not recognize the appointments.
“This is a continuation of the violation of the peace agreement, starting with the illegal appointment of Taban Deng Gai,” said James Gadet, the Spokesperson of Dr Riek Machar.
“We do not recognize any changes taking place in Juba while we have been away. So the parties to the implementation of the peace agreement should declare such illegal moves as null and void.” The institutions under the JMEC work on various aspects of the implementation of the peace agreement. The JMEC is yet to give its response.
Category: Featured Written by News Desk
By Aleer P. David
South Sudan embassies deployed in foreign countries are facing dire financial problems and their staff could risk eviction if their salary is not settled, an official has said.
The diplomats have been going without salaries for about five months and some of them are being threatened to be dragged to court for failing to pay rents by their landlords, Hon. Philip Thon Leek, Chairperson of Specialized Committee for Foreign Relations in the Parliament said.
In an exclusive interview with The Nation Mirror yesterday, Thon Leek said the government is trying its best to rescue the diplomats who may be at risk of eviction.
“Our diplomats don’t get their salaries regularly and you know they are in foreign countries, if they cannot get their salaries they will not be able to pay the rents of their houses” he said.
The situation is exacerbated by the current economic crisis that has made foreign currencies to be very scarce, coupled with the large number of diplomats deployed in foreign missions abroad. The government according to the legislator has not been able to give the salaries in time. Philip said he has informed relevant authorities like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Speaker of Parliament and even the second highest man in the country, the First Vice President as the head of the committee concerned, for appropriate responses. “We are working hard to rescue the situations; I spent three hours in the office of the acting minister of foreign affairs when I could not meet him. I reported the matter to the FVP and promised to discuss the matter with the president. There is a concerted efforts by the government from the president to the vice president and to my committee”, Leek further stated.
The Spokesperson in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mawien Makol when contacted by The Nation Mirror, said the government is doing its best to sort out the problem.
In 2013, the Cabinet in Resolution 95 directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs to downsize the number of diplomats in foreign missions by thirty percent but the directive was not implemented. Instead the ministry continued to employ more diplomats.
Philip Thon blamed the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin for not implementing the directive of the cabinet to reduce the number of diplomats. The diplomats who have been deployed in foreign countries are paid expensive salaries that range from four thousands to five thousands USA dollars per a month.
Category: Featured Written by News Desk
By Staff writer
International experts are set to launch on Monday the report of a two-year investigation into alleged money scandals in South Sudan by officials and also reveal the alleged ongoing money-laundering and arms deals involving particular companies and business people around the world.
According to Media Advisory seen by The Nation Mirror, the Sentry, an investigative initiative co-founded by John Prendergast and George Clooney, will present findings of the investigation into networks of South Sudan’s senior officials and their international facilitators, “whose violent competition over corruption opportunities has turned their country into one of world’s deadliest war zones.”
The event will reveal sources of corruption in South Sudan and attempts to establish a links between massive corruption and armed conflict.
Clooney, Prendergast, Don Cheadle and members of the Sentry team are expected to discuss the findings of the investigation.
The organizers say he Sentry will release a report summarizing the results of nearly two years of following the money in South Sudan’s “shadowy war economy” and the links to an array of international facilitators and enablers, which include bankers, arms dealers, and businessmen.
It said experienced team of investigators, including former employees of the United States FBI, Treasury Department, other government agencies, intelligence communities, and Congress, as well as contributions from field researchers, country experts, academia and press, will attend the event. The two-year investigation, according to the report, was done by expert researchers who pored through thousands of pages of legal records, corporate filings, financial statements, transaction and shipping documents, and other official correspondence; tracked suspects’ online social media footprints; and utilized satellite imagery to gather and analyze data about South Sudan’s assets and movements.
Investigators according to the Advisory, traveled to multiple locations including Melbourne, Adelaide, Addis Ababa, Kampala, Juba, Cairo and Nairobi, etc, to gather evidence and interview hundreds of experts and eyewitnesses, “many of whom spoke under the condition of anonymity”. The Nation Mirror will follow the event online.
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