A+ A A-

South Sudan News

UNDP strengthen 226 Inmates in South Sudan prison to sustains lives

Juba, Nov. 24 (The Nation Mirror) - United Nations Development Programs (UNDP) has strengthened livelihood of 226 Inmates and prison staff in South Sudan central prison to enable them sustained income, as economy and humanitarian situation continue to embattle the youngest African republic.

Tiodolar Kiden, proudly said while clutching her certificate of tailoring, that the course has changed her life.

“I joined the tailoring course in February and was released from prison in April. I am back in Kajo-Keji and have started my small tailoring shop to support my family. Said Kiden.  “I am really happy to get this opportunity to learn and do something for myself and my family.”


The National Prisons Service of South Sudan (NPSSS) feted the graduation of the first batch of 226 inmates and prison staff trained in eight trades at the Vocational Training Centre in Juba Central Prison late Wednesday.

UNDP Country Director Kamil Kamaluddeen said UNDP has renovated existing buildings for use as classrooms, and supplied the equipment and materials required for instruction in eight trades: carpentry, masonry, electrician, welding, vehicle mechanics, agriculture, hair dressing and tailoring.

“I take this opportunity to congratulate all the trainees for successfully completing the training. You have shown the way for others by converting the difficult period of your life into an opportunity to acquire new skills,” said Kamil Kamaluddeen in remarks delivered at the occasion late Wednesday.

Anthony Oliver Lege, National Police Director of Production and Rehabilitation said he Centre aims to reduce recidivism by imparting technical skills to inmates that enable them to earn a living and facilitate their rehabilitation as contributors to society when released.

“I appeal to all partners to support our efforts to promote prisoners rehabilitation through establishment of a pilot vocational training at Juba central Prison,” said Lege.

 Dutch Defence Attaché Col. Dirk Burger in his brief remarks said the Center has inspired hope in the lives of so many people and thanked prison service and UNDP for the achievement.

 

Hits: 435

South Sudan Pins hope on U.S. President Elect to Restore Peace

JUBA, Nov. 24 (The Nation Mirror) - South Sudan’s national leaders and citizens have pinned their hopes on U.S. President elect Donald Trump to support peace and reconciliation efforts in the world’s youngest republic.

 

The election of Trump as the American new leader on Nov. 8 caught many in the world by surprised, but not in South Sudan where government officials hope his election victory will bring change to American policy on South Sudan government. Obama’s administration occasionally criticized Kiir’s government for lack of political will to end violence conflict and alleviate the suffering of the people of South Sudan. President Salva Kiir sent the New York billionaire a congratulatory note after Trump won a hotly contested presidential election in the United States of Africa.

 trump
President Elect, Donald Trump

Kiir pledged to work closely with Trump to restore political stability and economic progress in South Sudan.President Kiir’s Press Secretary, Ateny Wek Ateny, told journalists recently that Juba anticipated cordial relationship with the Trump’s administration.

 “President Kiir is optimistic that a Trump administration will support our peace and reconciliation efforts in line with earlier commitments made by the U.S. government,” Ateny remarked.

Political commentators stressed that South Sudan should re-organize its foreign policy to tap into opportunities that a Trump administration might offer to Africa.

  “The government in Juba has an opportunity to reset bilateral cooperation with the new administration in Washington. It is vital that Juba rest diplomatic ties with Washington for the sake of our security and economic interests,” said Ariik Atekdit, a Juba based political commentator.

 

South Sudan has since December 2013 been engulfed in violence marred by ethnic targeting, rape, and pillaging leading to a large-scale humanitarian crisis in the country.The international community and neighboring countries have been spearheading efforts to restore elusive stability in South Sudan.

Hits: 469

U.S Diplomat Defends SPLA In Congressional Panel

858AE658-9BC9-4150-83E0-49D9BCE73BB7 mw1024_mh1024_s


By Staff Writer

 

The US special envoy to South Sudan and Sudan, Ambassador Donald Booth who was interrogated in US Congressional panel about events in South Sudan, has described an event where SPLA allegedly shot at Embassy car as unintended.


The US diplomat was attesting details about the ambush on diplomat vehicles in July, saying it came “very shortly after similar-looking vehicles that were driven by opposition forces” refused to slow down at a checkpoint in Juba, sparking gunfire between the two sides that killed five government troops.


He also said the informal checkpoint where U.S. diplomats came under fire was in a very dark area, and that the vehicles they were traveling had tinted windows, which might have made it hard for the troops to see that the passengers inside were American.


As for why the soldiers continued to shoot despite the fact that the license plates on the vehicles carried the country diplomat number 11 representing Americans were on board, Booth described the SPLA as “primarily illiterate army.  Booth said it should be taken into account that the army is “primarily illiterate.”


“Even for the brief time they stopped and tried to show identification, it was not at all clear if these soldiers would’ve been able to see it, or even understand the license plate,” he narrated. Under intense pressure from lawmakers both on the subcommittee and others who attended the hearing out of personal interest, Booth fielded more than an hour of intense questioning. He defended the U.S. emassy’s response to the attack on the expat compound and unleashed skepticism as to whether the South Sudanese soldiers who fired at the diplomats really could have understood they were American.


Lawmakers, from both sides of the aisle who were present at the hearing, repeatedly expressed frustration with the US administration for failing to implement an arms embargo.


And Booth said it has proven effective to threaten to enact the embargo as a tactic to gain leverage against the government and sway its behavior.


But Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) said it’s time to stop worrying about leverage protect civilians on the ground through an embargo. “If we make too many idle threats that are not backed up by action then ultimately what happens is the threats become irrelevant,” Rooney said.


Hits: 572

In South Sudan, Genocide Looms

 By: Majak D’Agoôt and Remember Miamingi

South Sudan requires urgent international intervention to avert a looming genocide. Since South Sudan’s ascent to statehood in 2011, the country has witnessed a volatile landscape of ethnic-based insurgencies. These conflicts have irresponsibly preyed on primordial communal animus and further deepened ethnic cleavages between these ethnicities. Impunity, and indeed, poorly thought through amnesty granted to those waging such local conflicts have reinforced this pattern of violence. The proclivity toward sectarian politics based on ethnicity and region was the main driver behind why the conflict that began in December 2013 as a political contestation within the ruling party, quickly took on an ethnic dimension. This phenomenon made it easier for leaders of the warring sides to turn their communities into violent constituencies.                                                                                        

For Riek Macar, the former Vice President and current leader of the SPLA-IO – the Nuer his ethnic group and the second largest tribe in South Sudan, form the backbone of his fighting force and political power base. For the President, Salva Kiir who hails from the Dinka ethnic group, it is the Dinka, the largest ethnic community, that forms the base of his support and from which he and his cadres have recruited government-backed vigilantes and militias. The unintended consequence of the two tribes fighting on the opposite poles of the war has been targeted mass atrocity along ethnic lines. In particular, the state policy of ethnic targeting and disenfranchisement of communities has alienated broad segment of citizenry, thereby paving the way for communal war of all against all

To make an already hopelessly complex situation even worst, a number of tribes in the Equatoria region have joined the fray. This is turning areas that were previously peaceful and home to a diverse mix of non-Dinka and non-Nuer tribes, into killing grounds pitting these local communities against the Government and the Dinka.

At last, the lid has come off the dormant ferment of age-old interethnic rivalries. Even though ethnic rivalry has been part of the history of South Sudan, it never reached the current combustible proportions. A number of interlocking tragedies orchestrated by state and non-state actors have finally set South Sudan on the fast lane to genocide of momentous magnitudes. Clearly, this has spelled a significant change in the past structure of social conflict – epitomizing a new shift in conflict dynamics.

One of the factors responsible for the march to a genocidal war is the senseless killings by a plethora of warlords loosely allied to both Kiir and Machar. The horrendous crimes committed against civilians in Juba, Bor, Malakal, Bentiu, and Akobo – and more recently along the highway, smack of patterns of ethnically targeted mass slaughter never seen before in the history of South Sudan. Without much flurry, they have caused a degenerate war and placed the country on a staircase to former Yugoslavia. While security tensions arising from threats beyond the borders still exist, South Sudan is now more encumbered by its own internal conflict.

Majak DeAgoot
Dr. Majak De'Agoot


To make matters worse, the recent Government counterinsurgency response in Equatoria has been high-handed and counterproductive. In July, villages along Machar’s axis of retreat were pummeled with heavy artillery and tank fire. Civilians were strafed with attack helicopters, villages torched, and livelihoods destroyed. It was a scorched-earth policy on display.

By and large, the government’s response was anchored on a maximum use of force. It has not succeeded to suppress the rebellion, but has instead fueled an intractable ethnic hatred among the citizens, caused accidental guerrillas, and more international condemnation. In truth, in Equatoria, the recurring theme of Dinka domination has rebounded into the arena with unparalleled force and intensity.

Deplorably, ethnic targeting and lynching of vulnerable ethnic Dinka civilians have spiked in recent weeks all across Equatoria. These heinous crimes are sometimes justified by their perpetrators as being impelled by a motive of counter-atrocity and revenge. In other words, these Dinka commuters are condemned to these cruel punishments on the basis of associational guilt. These incidences have served the cause of President Kiir to mobilize a violent constituency of ethnic Dinka latched to him by fear of existential threat.

At the moment, the country is segmented and polarized along ethno-regional sectarian faultlines deliberately promoted by leaders on both sides. According to Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, “the spate of rising ethnic rhetoric, hate speech and incitement to violence in South Sudan is highly dangerous and could result in mass atrocities if not reined by community and political leaders at the highest level.”

The state has lost the hearts and minds of its population and has encouraged vigilante groups to emerge and act violently with impunity. Even if the legitimate use of force is functionally vested in the state, it should not be the end in and of itself. Compulsion through the state-sponsored violence has never built any nation. Generally, it is the promotion of mutual trust, mutual benefits, and mutual interests that encourages state formation and enduring solidarity.

 The dangerous rhetoric by Machar to ratchet-up levels of violence to make himself more relevant, as evinced by his recent statements, presents another trigger. Moreover, a number of armed groups have intensified attacks on towns and on highways in most parts of the country. These attacks have attempted to hit the economic lifelines of the country and cause chaos and fear along key highways. The result has been massacres of one ethnic group by the other, thereby generating retaliatory counter-attacks.

Miamingi
Dr. Miamingi


The incisive question then is whither South Sudan bound? South Sudan, as its erstwhile progenitor – Sudan, has been, from the inception, set on a sectarian trajectory by its gun-toting class of leaders. It is therefore far from being a stable polity.  A more pessimistic view on the current state of affairs is that the country is “on life support”, “on a freefall”, “an Humpty Dumpty sitting on a cliff” or securely “on a stairway to former Yugoslavia”. Whichever the direction it is slanted to take, South Sudan needs an urgent rescue from collapse to avert a catastrophe – in fact a looming genocide – and urgent rebooting to reclaim its sovereignty.  

As it stands, the country has lost its magnetic needle and is out of orbit sliding dangerously towards anarchy. The unstable political calculus of both leaders has generated a conflict, which is rapidly transforming into genocidal war. Unlike Rwanda, a multi-polar system of vicious atrocities is leading towards state fragmentation. The country has hit a highway to former Yugoslavia with the potent mix and interplay of the four horseman of apocalypse – war, death, famine, and mass emigration.

 Even as we have warned of the dire consequences of this “coming anarchy” in South Sudan, there are possible ways of averting the catastrophe. The swift response of IGAD, AU, Troika and the UNSC culminating in the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2304 (2016) on the deployment of 4000 strong Regional Protection Force (RPF) is a welcome step. This force should be immediately deployed. At the same time, the mandate of UNMISS should be recalibrated to new realities and to tally with the milestones necessary to prevent genocide and restore the country back to stability.

 The RPF should deploy at once to assist in averting catastrophe by managing some of the “tiny initiating events” indicative of genocidal war which are contained in various inflammatory and inciting statements being made by high echelon political leaders and various reactionary community organizations.

Eventually, once there is an environment for dialogue, the society must be allowed to ventilate to address its fears and security dilemmas in an unconstrained manner. At present, a roundtable conference of all stakeholders, the faith-based groups and the civil society – among others – should be invoked. The people of South Sudan must be given the space and support necessary to bridge the chasm of ethnic divisions and redesign the roadmap for the country. This roadmap, should – among other things, embrace the establishment of at least four-year-tenured caretaker administration of technocrats and eminent national personalities who shall have no stakes in the future running of South Sudan beyond the next general elections.  

 

*Dr. Majak D’Agoôt served as a deputy minister for defence in the Government of South Sudan (2011 – 2013); and was deputy director general of Sudan’s intelligence service (2006 – 2011). He is a member of SPLM-Leaders (Former Political Detainees). He can be reached on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*Dr. Remember Miamingi is an international lawyer based at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. He can be reached at remember.miamingi@gmail.c

Hits: 540

FVP Promises Government Support To Public Universities

400x225 339455 T


BY Dach Agoth Mayen

 

The First Vice President Gen. Taban Deng Gai has stated that public Universities “should be well equipped” and that it was the responsibility of the government to support the five public academics institutions. Gen. Taban promised that the government would redouble its efforts to prioritize education particularly in the public universities.


 Gai was addressing the gathering on Saturday at Nyakuron Cultural Center in an occasion organized by National Youth Union to celebrate the formation of the TGNU and TNLA. He narrated that the government will improve public institutions and issues affecting students, and prioritize plan to enhance higher education.


On the peace agreement Gai reiterated his commitment to implementing the peace accord, explaining that new cantonment sites had been agreed upon by the parties, particularly “in Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria regions respectively”.


Gai assured the gathering that new cantonments sites are meant for peace not like the previous ones established by the former first vice president Dr. Riek. He said those cantonment areas were previously meant by Riek for political reasons but not for peace.


He argued that the new sites will help to speedy the integration of the two armies and further affirmed his commitment and seriousness to integrate forces of SPLA-IO with SPLA next year.


He called upon the rebels in those regions to lay down their arms and join cantonment sites in pursuit of peace instead of hostile activities. He explained that the names and location of the cantonment areas would soon be disclosed as soon as the military commanders deliberate on it and finish with all the necessary arrangements.


The First Vice President also replaced some members of the SPLM-IO who were previously appointed by Dr. Riek Machar. According to the letter issued last week by the first vice president and addressed to Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) with Dr. Dhieu Mathok as the chairperson of IO members to the body and Ezikiel Lul Gatkuath as member and Richard K. Mulla as the chairperson of IO to the National Constitutional Amendment Commission and Lt Gen. Gatkuoth Gatkuoth as the chairperson of the IO to the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission among others.


Hits: 892

South Sudan Crisis: A case of Violence Political Contest for Power and Wealth

 

 

By Wol Deng Atak,

Before you stop reading, please, note that raping, looting, and killing of innocent unarmed civilians by the cliques’ administration in Juba did happen in my village before it started in yours. It started way back in 2008 and 2010 before the country got its independence from the Sudan. As a Dinka from Warrap State, I have experienced the harshness of the brunt of policy designed to cow the citizens to silent.

 

The sponsored violence, which others referred to as targeting ethnic community on highways, has its roots in J1 calculated for political maneuvers and evil survival techniques for the cliques. And to some extend equally used by their contender in armed violence who has his headquarters in Pagak. The kleptocratic regime wants every citizen to lie on its behalf or die. This explains why the regime has been harsher to Dinka nationals who do not tow its line. Understandably, my brother and sister at the other side of my other community in this country may not be aware that Dinka nationals opposed to the regime are dying in silent.

 

You may recall, in 2008 and 2009, I presented to Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly a case of a civilian dragged out of health facility where he was admitted for treatment and shot dead by the SPLA soldiers. He was pulled out shot dead right in front of the health facility in Aliek Payam of Tonj North County of Warrap State. Chol Geeng, a victim, hand was tight against Payam Administrator of Aliek Payam, Mr. Mathiang Akol, both Dinka from Warrap State, before he was shot dead leaving the administrator highly traumatized. The deceased was wounded by SPLA soldiers over cattle dispute a day before, but he hid himself only to be followed to the hospital where he was receiving treatment and killed by the same soldiers who wounded him a day before.

 

Within the area mentioned above, SPLA soldiers subjected school girl-children and women to gang rape, looted properties, destroyed food crops and scattered them just to punish Aliek community. Women were equally raped in Warrap town, and Gogrial East. I presented these issues in parliament, but not only it receives disapproving node from the leadership but sabotage. It was a double tragedy to justice because the culprits did not only get state protection from prosecution but got promotion. Which government worth its name could do such things to it own citizens? I feel justified in terming them as cliques, predators who hijacked the people hard won independence for their selfish ends. In deed they are mere competitors of violence for wealth and power who brought shame to the nation.

 

 In 2010-2011, systematic killing started in Tonj East of Warrap State. In one incident eighteen unarmed youths in Tonj East of Warrap State were rounded up, their hands tight against one another, line up and shot dead by the SPLA soldiers at the full glare of the sunlight. Their crime was never made public though found walking. In Akop Payam of Tonj North County of Warrap State, soldiers shot dead a chief at his court together with score of others. This happened in 2014. With these examples, tell us many premeditated murder, rape, torture, looting, etc. unleash to communities in Warrap State, President Kiir home State, happened to the poor Dinka community, but President Kiir looks other way just like he does to other communities he represents in State House. I can understand when other ethnic communities complain of the same in their localities. Although it is difficult to understand why others bend their frustration against the innocents Dinka nationals, it is perceivably frustrating though I can’t justify their actions.

 

The crux of the matter is not only that the President Kiir looks the other way as crime is being committed against citizens, but also helped sabotaging quest for accountability through intimidation, promotion of the culprits, and dismissal of any voice that opposes.

 

My observations taught me that members of Dinka Community who opposed regime’s earth-scorching policy don’t only loss government employment or denied opportunities, but get their livelihood attacked and destroyed to beat them into submission or even get killed. For examples, the case of The Citizen Newspaper, The Nation Mirror Newspaper, and The Destiny Newspaper, Al Ahoton, among others explains how the regime operates against disagreeing voices. Dengdit Ayok, a son of Warrap State, who served as Editor-In-Chief of The Destiny Newspaper was not only exiled but was followed abroad and attacked and left for death. These things are happening everywhere in the country.

 

The above businesses were found and ran by Dinka nationals, but since the owners did not tow the regime’s line, they have been forced to shut sending most of the owners to exile. The objective is to deny the owners income so as to induce poverty subsequently, into allegiance. Isaiah Abraham, Dinka from Bor, who wrote a number of opinion articles about the lost direction of the leadership, received a number of warnings, just as I am being warned now, before he was attacked and killed in his peaceful house in Gudelle, in Juba. Ustaz Deng Athuai, a Dinka from Warrap State, survived attempts on his life twice leaving him with gunshot wounds. The author had also his own narrow escapes. The list is long!

 

The scope might have changed with the rise of the political crisis that erupted in 2013 violence leading to ethnic targeting with killing directed against civilians of various ethnic communities in the country. The poor citizens including the Dinka communities barely know the current episodes of violence directed against the communities are a calculated political move to keep the regime in power. Instead of uniting against the kleptocrats in Juba, the poor citizens turn arms against themselves hence ending up implementing the script of J1. 

 

The competitors in violence mainly the IG and the IO are determined to fit communities against each other so as to attain their respective political goals. The regime in Juba in particular is at its worse in using armed criminal syndicate commonly known as “Unknown Gunmen”, also recently referred to by Dr. Majak De’Agoot, as “Gunclass” to unleash terror against members of the public who opposes their policies of divisive rule. Members of this network impersonate different ethnicities before they attack their targets by speaking in dialects or languages of the attacker before they kill. They often make sure they leave a survival to tell a story so as to arise anger in victims of a community to seek revenge, hence justify their stay in power. The cliques would turn around and remind the victims of being hated because of their numbers or ethnicity by the attackers, when in fact are the one attacking. This is their tool for fueling ethnic hatred for their interests for political survival. The citizens can stop them, instead of reacting according to their violence script. Whether the soldiers get approving nodes from the leadership for raping and killing innocent citizens or not, the citizens have moral obligation to unite against the kleptocratic regime in Juba. The regime’s contender whose headquarters is based in Pagak, Dr. Riek Machar, is not worth following either. They are the same!

 macharkiir

The gunclass network is cunny and disguise at ease without unsuspecting victim getting a hint. Those that the regime dispatched to fetch for me in July were non-Dinka from one ethnic group. Their mission was designed to fit the two communities against each other. J1 script was intended to bring me harm then expose unsuspecting framed individuals and using their action to mobilize ethnic community for the support.

 

President Kiir is on record pronouncing this myth and repeated it on Kenyan Television Network (KTN) with Jeff Koinage Live. He said if he quits the office like today there would be genocide. Some of my fellow citizens believe him. I don’t blame them for accepting it on a face value though. They never known that they are manipulated into fear and fitted against one another for political survival of the kleptocrats for South Sudan violence political contest (VPC).

 

An article attributed to uncle Aldo Deng Akuey and the company (JCE) warns against possible retaliation by the Dinka against killing being directed to Dinka nationals along the highways of South Sudan by certain groups in Equatoria. It is worrying because the warning does not see how the regime is killing the Dinka they say they represent. Reacting to the symptoms whose roots are in State House cannot help. Unity of the nation and not revenge attack can help. South Sudanese are dying everywhere. They are dying in Wau (Kiir has the report but refused to make it public), Warrap, Equatoria and Upper Niles.

 

I am aware the Dinka nationals are being targeted in Equatoria, Bhar el Ghazal, and Upper Nile, making it a double tragedy for the Dinka community. The regime is killing the Dinka and frustrating individuals, though, they don’t represent the entire ethnicity they belong, are also killing Dinka nationals. However, it makes no sense talking of Dinka being targeted on Juba-Nimule Road, and Yei-Juba Road, leaving others killed on the said roads unmentioned. The article in its content amounts to inciting for violence against others; therefore, I would like to urge Uncle Aldo Ajou to withdraw the statement attributed to him before his sentiment picks momentum. If Radio Tamazuj put those words in his mouth, then he should come clean and demand the medium to remedy.

 

Nonetheless, I believe the solution is not to response in the same manner and kill in retaliation, but create understanding that all of us are the victims of the gunclass (Dr. D’Agoot).  I strongly believe the solution to South Sudan political crisis is not a threat for revenge, but appealing to the national sentiment to rid the country of competitors of violence for power and wealth.

 

The author is a former MP, Resigned Deputy Commissioner of Information Commission and the Editor in chief, The Nation Mirror.

Hits: 1204

Gen. Taban Deng Gai Orders Armed Groups In Equatoria To Join Cantonment Sites

Taban-Deng-Gai-957x598


By Dach Agoth Mayen

 

The First vice president Taban Deng Gai on Saturday has ordered armed groups operating in greater Equatoria region to lay down their arms and join cantonment sites to enhance speedy implementation of peace pact.

 

FVP Gai remarks came while addressing youth gathering organized by national youth union to celebrate the formation of unity government, transitional parliament over the weekend at Nyakuron Cultural Center.  


“The new sites will help to speedy the integration of the two armies and we are committed to integrate our SPLA-IO forces to form one army come May 2017,” Gen. Gai told the youth gathering. Last Month President Salva Kiir ordered integration of Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) and equally directed SPLA joint Military high command to allow the establishment of cantonment areas as a way to pave smooth implementation of shaky peace agreement, inked year ago.


“These new cantonments sites are meant for peace not like the previous ones established by former first vice president Dr. Riek Machar based on his political reasons,” he stressed. Gai reiterated his commitment to implement peace accord, adding that the cantonment areas agreed upon by the parties in Equatoria region will promote peace in the country. Political analysts say the previous controversial stall talks between then FVP Riek Machar and president Kiir groups culminated into the July fighting that now shakes peace accord. Former rebel chief negotiator turned FVP, called upon rebels in the foresaid regions to lay down their arms and join cantonment sites in pursuit  for peace and denounce hostile activities in the area.  He further underscored that the names and location of the cantonment areas would soon be disclosed as soon as the military commanders deliberated on it and come up with practical necessary arrangements.  


However, clashes along routes connecting Juba to Yei and Juba to Nimule raised eyebrows on what holds in the basket for the young nation.


Since then the key roads linking the country into neighboring East Africa countries have witnessed heinous targeted killing of civilians along the highways, which includes the recent setting ablaze of five oil tankers along Juba-Nimule road.

Hits: 506

President Kiir A Dictator Of Amin And Mobutu’s Types In A 21St Century

 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 happened 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 rests with the discernment of the national security officers whom are often at a whim. IMG 2486 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.

 IMG 2486

 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.

Hits: 780

Peace Can’t Be Achieved Without Political Will, Member Of Parliament Says

Hon Peter Longole Kuam Chairperson of Peace and Reconciliation in national Assembly


By Aleer P. David

 

The Committee for Peace and Reconciliation in the Assembly has observed that peace cannot be fully achieved without full cooperation of the concerned parties to the peace deal.


In an exclusive interview with the Nation Mirror yesterday, the Chairperson of the Committee in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly [TNLA], Peter Longole Kuam said the international community alone cannot bring lasting peace without political will from South Sudanese political leaders.


“The United Nations Security Council and the international are not enough to bring peace to this country without commitment from the people of South Sudan, without commitment from the government of South Sudan” Longole said. Longole said the leaders are the brain behind the people who are carrying guns and killing people on the roads and everywhere and if they are not ready for peace, the 4000 regional troops may not achieve the desired goals.


He encouraged the leaders to unite, embrace peace without reservations and persuade those who are fighting in their names to put down guns such that reconciliation becomes effective.

The SPLM/A IO whose former chairperson signed the peace agreement with the president  is divided into two camps; Some are still loyal to the former chairman ,Riek Machar and a big portion is loyal to the current chairman who is the first vice president ,Taban Deng. The former political detainees whose former Secretary of SPLM, Pagan Amum signed on their behalf and were awarded two ministerial positions are also divided.Kuam said his committee has found it hard to champion sustainable peace and reconcile the people and communities in South Sudan due to presence of too many guns in the hands of people who are not credited to have guns. He suggested prompt disarmament an important tool to establish lasting peace.


“These people who are holding guns were armed by us. Since we need peace we should design a way to disarm them peacefully”, Peter said. He appealed to the people of South Sudan including their leaders to forgive them and work hard to restore peace.

Hits: 300

Onyoti Urges Lawmakers To Work Towards Peace Implementation

Onyoti-Nyiekwech-Adigo-ps


By Garang Abraham Malak

 

The Member of Parliament representing Democratic Change party (DCP) in the transitional parliament, Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec has urged lawmakers to unite their ranks and work for unity of the war-torn country.   


Nyikwec exclusively told The Nation Mirror on Tuesday that there was need for parliamentarian to unite their ranks and avoid division along their political interest but work for the betterment of the nation. “Lawmakers should not be under the direction of the Executive since both are separate institutions, members of parliament needs unity for the nation prosper,” Nyikwec told this medium. “People need to collectively work together in order to solve issues affecting the country. When all the parliamentarians are committed and united, peace can prevail,” He added.


Since independence, the legislative arm of the government has been considered by government critic as rubber stamp. “If parliament is divided under the patronage of the Executive then that should not be called a parliament but a different house,” he stressed.  


He said parliament is the last hope of the masses that should advocate strong views reflecting citizen’s aspiration toward their government. The former minority leader in the then national legislative assembly appealed to armed forces to respect ceasefire and consider the suffering of masses countrywide. “Some people are living happily and enjoying while others are suffering moving day and night wondering what to eat and where to sleep,” he said.


 Onyoti stated that the constitution and the agreement are not in harmony and that it has caused heavy suffering to the local population. He further explained that the agreement and constitution are parallel and because of that people cannot prosper.

Hits: 410

SSBC Seeks To Boost Broadcasts

By Roger Alfred Yoron

 

The South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation is seeking to boost its radio and television broadcasts in the Country.


Chairperson of the SSBC board of directors Professor William Haizaza said an additional transmitter for boosting the radio broadcast has been requested from the government.


“And we suggested to the Minister of Finance [David Deng Athorbei] that if we have a transmitter in Yirol, which could network with the Gumbo station, we could have broadcast [radio] all over South Sudan. And this is very easy to be done.  


It needs not much money, which the government can afford but that’s up to now we are still in the process of following those request,” Haizaza said. “If we cannot improve these infrastructures then we cannot reach the general public, adequately. 

Until now SSBC is not broadcasting countrywide. We were prioritizing on the radio because it is the easiest channel which can be empowered to reach the people. For TV to reach the people it is expensive exercise.”


The SSBC has an overall mandate to provide range of programing for the whole Country that “informs, enlightens, entertains and serves the people of South Sudan, taking into account their ethnic, cultural and religious diversities.” Haizaza however added that the currently SSBC (TV) is analogue terrestrial transmission which can only reach the town of Lainya, effectively and with precision.


Transforming the state-run South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation SSBC from analogue to digital is another challenge, he says. Haizaza said in order for the SSBC to catch up with the rest of the world the challenge of digital migration requires government’s intervention.


“We were hoping that our budget [for financial year 2016/17] should bring in these provisions to answer these questions. But now of course with the situation in which we are, currently the oil is not flowing, it is the only source of revenue... we cannot say now we must have this because that is not realistic,” he said. “And so we are dialoguing with the Minister of information, telecommunications, technology and postal services to connect us with the Minister of finance and to the office of the president so that our problems can be addressed with immediate effect.”


 

SSBC and Peace Agreement

The Agreement on the Resolution on the Conflict in South Sudan ARCSS has provided for reforms and reconstitutions of the SSBC. “….the Executive shall supervise and facilitate the reforms and reconstitutions…paying particular attention to the mandate and appointments, to ensure their independence and accountability,” enshrines Chapter 1 Article 14 sub article 1 of the ARCSS. Earlier, in their submission for consideration during the forthcoming Universal Periodic Review of South Sudan, Human Rights Organization, Article 19 wrote: “We are concerned that the process for appointing and dismissing members of the Board of Directors of SSBC lies with the executive branch, which allows for inappropriate influence over the SSBC by the government. A strong guarantee of independence from the executive branch is one of the key pillars of a democratic public broadcasting law. With this pillar now take away; it is very questionable whether the SSBC will be able to truly deliver on its otherwise well-defined mandate to serve the public rather than the government.” But chairperson Haizaza argues that the South Sudan media laws are just frameworks which will be amended gradually.


“The present three Acts [Media Laws] are just framework. Honestly, they are just framework… as we go along, then we will begin to amend, even the US constitution has been amended now and then. 

So there is no law which is static... the framework gives you the opportunity to start to build the house, the foundation,” he said. The chairperson also defended the membership of a national security officer in the board.


Haziza argued that as a civilian he will not be able to secure a release of SSBC’s journalist in case of an arrest by the security.


“But he [the national security] being in the board, we can discuss the issue, we give him the mandate to go and solve the problem. That is why the presence of the national security is important and critical in solving problem. 


Because we know that our reporters are not well trained and there are bound to be errors in the process...” said the SSBC’s boss.


However, a civil society activist Wodcan Saviour Lazarus disagrees, insisting that involving a security officer as a member compromises the mandate of the board.  


“When we involve the national security, to be also among the corporation, then we compromise with the work of the corporation… this is going beyond what the Act actually stipulated,” Saviour told The Nation Mirror.

Hits: 499

stay facebook twitter googleplus rss

Contacts: news@thenationmirror.com | Copyright © 2014 The Nation Mirror. All rights reserved | Powered by Heartbit