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Do Not Cede Our Land to Khartoum: Aweil Community in Diaspora

Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Ref: Do Not Cede Our Land to Khartoum
Petition Letter to H.E. 1st Lt. General Salva Kiir Mayardit
President of the Republic of South Sudan
 
CC: South Sudan National Legislative Assembly
CC: Africa Union High Level Implementation Panel
CC: United Nations Security Council
CC: SPLM Party
CC: NBGS
CC: South Sudan Negotiating Team

Dear Mr. President:

October 12, 2012 (SSNA) -- Aweil Community, both at home and in the Diaspora, has received the 27 September Security Agreement on the 14- mile area with an indisputable displeasure and outrage. To our surprise, we have found out that the land that has never been a disputed area has now been made a disputed one. We are afraid—with your administration approving the 2011 AUHIP Proposed Map on such Security Arrangements—Khartoum is now in a celebratory mode, for it knows very well that it will soon lay unqualified claim to this piece of land and the negotiating team under your leadership will find it an uphill task to deviate from the agreement you witnessed should the final border be drawn.

It is always a common norm that those who will be potentially affected by any policy and decision should be involved and engaged by government officials in discussions, negotiations, and decision-making processes. Irrefutably, Aweil Community has knowledgeable and well-informed elders and veteran politicians who should have been involved and consulted to provide a valuable information and citizenry wisdom with regards to the 14 mile area. Yet, your leadership continues to ignore this vital avenue.

We are also deeply concerned that any agreement that deprives us of our well-established ancestral and traditional connection to this land directly threatens the main pillars of peace and stability between Aweil Community and the Baggara Community. We are profoundly alarmed by the agreement that has made a land that has never been a disputed land a contentious land. Mr. President, this situation has prompted us to communicate our well-founded concerns and viewpoints to your administration with hope that they will be given a deserved consideration.

Mr. President, having been in this land for decades (if not centuries), Aweil Community cannot and will never accept this deal because we know better that this piece of land under the heated discussion has never been and will never be a part of Sudan or Darfur, for that matter. This is because the entire NBGS is inseparable from the designated 14 mile area. Historically and customarily, Aweil and the Baggara Communities know that arrangements have been made long time ago in the 19th Century between the Dinka Malual and the Baggara nomads to allow the 2

latter passage for the Kiir River waters and pastures. It did not mean then and it does not mean now that the land is disputed nor claimed by the Baggara people.

In the past, Aweil Community had only given access to the Baggara Community to bring their animals to the Kiir River waters and pastures for their survival. Gov. Malong and Aweil Community elders in their own efforts have had some traditional discussions and talks on how the Baggara Community would be allowed to bring their animals to the Kiir River. This hospitality has never been intended to make this particular area a disputed land. Rather, Aweil Community’s hospitality has been intended to make the Baggara Community survive during the dry seasons. Aweil Community has never asked the Baggara Community to pay her for grazing privileges. Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol wrote a great article “The African Union Map and 14 Miles South River Kiir” on 23 August 2012, detailing who the true owners of the area are: NBGS.

In all these discussions, our outrage should be understandable. Our grievances are many, but this petition will exclusively focus on the 14 mile issue. While we are not here to condemn you or your administration, we have decided to bring our long-ignored outcry against the 14 mile agreement to your attention. Quite frankly, Aweil Community feels an appalling history of neglect and marginalization under your administration.

Aweil People military contributions in the course of the painful liberation struggle and unwavering political support for your leadership which had finally contributed to the attainment of South Sudan Independence has never been given a due attention. This implies that Aweil Community political support and military contribution has been taken for granted. To be clear on the 14 mile issue, the Addis Ababa negotiations on the borders began on a wrong footing because Aweil Community’s legitimate viewpoints and concerns were not considered by the negotiators. Now, it is very clear that the 14 mile agreement will have direct negative impacts on Aweil Community survival if implemented.

For this reason, Aweil Diaspora Community has decided to write this message to strongly confirm our unyielding and firm support for Gov. Malong and Aweil politicians’ rejection of the 14 mile agreement by outlining the following grievances and concerns. We honestly hope that your administration will seriously take our legitimate concerns into consideration:

(1) While the discussions about the Safe Border Demilitarized Zone (SBDZ) were on-going in Addis Ababa, no one consulted the residents of the area in question yet it was reported that Sudan Government consulted Misseriya people on issue of this magnitude. Tell us, how would you feel when people discuss your affairs without involving you in the decision making process? No matter how knowledgeable Mr. Pagan Amum and the team of South Sudan negotiators were, excluding the voice of the concerned people is unjustified;

(2) Aweil People also read an alarming tendency into this decision: from the time of negotiating the CPA to the post-secession issues, Aweil Community has been sidelined in the truest sense of the word in any meaningful discussions, yet we are among the border states and all these decisions immensely affect us;

(3) Loyalty is a two-way street, remember. We have been loyal to the leadership of the SPLA/A due to the just cause of our liberation from day one; we will continue to be. Nonetheless, despite having paid so much (in blood and treasure) for the liberation of South Sudan, Aweil Community is now being asked to give up her territorial integrity to seal agreements off with Khartoum. Such is a double jeopardy or sellout of Aweil land for unknown that we cannot afford, buy into or entertain any longer. In other words, we have not fled away from this 14 mile area during the war and should not desert it now under the term of the agreement you signed. We would rather join wherever our land goes;

(4) Since Aweil Community rejected the 14 mile agreement, your administration has never publicly come out to tell the entire Aweil Community how this issue should be handled. Although Gov. Malong and other state high-profile politicians have openly come out in the condemnation of the Aweil Community’s exclusion in the negotiations, the presidency has not responded. Yet, particular individuals under your leadership continue to denote the 14 mile area as an international border; this has not only angered the greater Aweil Community but it also reflects the bullying the stakeholders in your government harbored against NBGS. Thus, your defeaning silence makes us feel that River Kiir was intentionally made a disputed area by your administration;

(5) Mr. President, Aweil Community knows very well that you are 100% aware that the part of the Kiir River that is currently targeted by the recent agreements in Addis Ababa has never been and will never be a disputed land. Aweil Community has been tremendously alarmed and shocked by the statements that some of your administration officials have recently said regarding this land. First, the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Paul Mayom Akech, has publicly stated that Kiir River is a “no-man’s land.” Second, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Michael Makuei Lueth, has openly stated that Kiir River is an “international border.” Third, the Minister of Information, Dr. Marial Benjamin, has also publicly mentioned that a “select committee” will be formed to educate citizens who are criticizing the Addis Ababa agreements. In spite of all these condescending comments from your officials, the presidency is shockingly tight-lipped about it all. These kinds of comments from high-ranking politicians, your silence over Aweil Community outcry against the Kiir River relinquishment and the exclusion in the negotiations imply that the 14 mile area was intentionally planned to be a demilitarized border zone (DMZ); and finally,

(6) Aweil Community was astonished to hear that part of her land was included in the negotiations of the contentious areas between South Sudan and Sudan. Mr. President, to the best of our knowledge, when the CPA terms were negotiated in Naivasha, Kenya, the 14 mile land was not included as a disputed area. The only contentious areas that were discussed by Dr. John Garang and Mr. Taha were Abyei, Blue Nile, and Nuba Mountain. Now, what made the Kiir River a disputed land under your administration?

We are aware that the package of agreements, including this issue, was passed by the Council of Ministers and that it awaits parliamentary approval on Wednesday. Mindful of the situation at the moment, Mr. President, you can avert this crisis by not requiring the parliament to rectify it but instead returning to the negotiations with Khartoum and have this issue taken off the table. And when you do go back to Addis Abba to the drawing board, we demand that you make sure 4 that at least a son or daughter of Mading Aweil is included in the negations. After all, the AU or UNSC knows perfectly well that 14-mile area was never part of the outstanding issues left off during the CPA signing. You can talk them out of it, and in the process, still come off triumphant.

However, if it so happens that our concerns and peaceful protests are ignored such that this agreement is shoved down through our throat, then the following scenarios cannot be ruled:

(1) That our unquestionable support to the party will waver upon ratification of the agreement by the national assembly;

(2) Aweil citizens, as a protest, may consider blocking the Baggara from accessing Kiir River this season;

(3) Many Aweil citizens who fought the war were prompted to join the SPLA/M because of the Baggara encroachment on their land. If the SPLM is not a party that protects our land, we will reconsider our participation upon the withdrawal of our military from Mile 14; and lastly,

(4) We will not be in a position to blame any of our citizens who maybe in readiness to interfere if all our demands go unheeded.

In sum, Mr. President, Aweil Community supports all other 8 post-secession agreements from oil production resumption to trade normalization to Abyei Referendum. The only area where we are not supporting you and are requesting for immediate reversal is the 14 mile area. Our border with Sudan lies 36 miles North of Kiir River. Even heaven knows that 14 mile area belongs to us and any attempt to talk us out of it will fail. Because we have it within power to control our destiny, not Khartoum, we thus hope that you will do the right thing.

Sincerely Yours,

Singed by:

Mr. Lino Machir Akok,
Chairman of Federation of Aweil Communities in Canada (F.A.C.C.)
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Mr.Santino Atak Chimir Deng,
Chairman of Aweil Community in United States of America (ACAUSA)
Dallas, Taxes, USA
Mr. Martin Garang Aher,
Chairman of Mading Aweil Community in Australia (MAC)
Perth, Western Australia
Mr. Anyuon Deng Kuol, Secretary General
Helsinki, Finland, Europe

On Behalf of Aweil Community in Diaspora

Are there transparency, integrity, and accountability in South Sudan?

By Peter Gai Manyuon

September 11, 2013 (SSNA) -- Logically, socially, politically and even economically in the Republic of South Sudan, there is no transparency, integrity, and proper accountability in all government Institutions. Why is it that we lack those relevant issues in our system and we call ourselves good citizens? Does it mean that people hearts and minds are only channel to public funds and properties? Or it is the gene among the people in South Sudan that make people to be corrupts too much like this?

However, it has been a way of accuses from our people in this country especially the government Officials that, we are new nation therefore; we could not do much at this particular period of time because we have started our Country from scratch level. And if you can question them, when will the time come for the people of South Sudan to have proper accountability, promotion of good governance, respect of rule of law and human rights, Transfer of powers, and transparency as well?

Most of the government officials just focus on themselves not development. How can we move ahead as the Independence nation in that way? I know most of the old people or elderly people are the one that are promoting serious corruptions in government Institutions in South Sudan; some of them lack good ideas of taking this great nation to the promise land , it could have been better if the President of the Republic of South Sudan General Kiir to give opportunity to young people ,so that they can bring up this nation to a better standard that can be respected by the world at large because as far now, we have not yet reached to the level that we were fighting for some times for the last twenty one (21) years of civil war.

I don’t think whether God will come from heaven and begin telling South Sudanese people about issues to do with transparency and accountability in the system of governance.

All the citizens of South Sudan has the right to freedom of expressions, freedom to advocate for any amendments in the current Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011, if they really know their rights and aspirations. Based on my findings and observations, most of the South Sudanese does not know their rights in this Country. People are just going in the direction that is so confusing and very discouraging, and moreover we call ourselves people who know things and we don’t know some of our rights and obligations. Assumptions without justifications sometimes is not good my dear compatriots in Jesus Christ.

South Sudanese does not admit their mistakes in their daily lives, people assumed to have known things but in reality, they are doomed in brain, and they lack transparency, accountability and even integrity within themselves in this great nation. People have been blaming each other for nothing when they really know what is blocking transparency, integrity and accountability in South Sudan. People might ask what the possible ways to overcome these fundamentals issues are.

First of all, South Sudanese should have truth among themselves for a common goal that can be achieved. There is need to do away with tribalism, hatred and lack of commitment, people need to have the direction to advocate for the freedom of all the relevant issues that need proper attention from the citizen.

Secondly, there is need to be good observance in this current issues in the Republic of South Sudan, so that by 2015, we should choose for the leader who will do the needful to the entire Country not basing on tribal issues, insecurity and lack of respect for the rule of law and human rights.

Citizens of South Sudan should come out and point out relevant problematic issues that need attention from the government which we are having in this Country.

People might be wondering of the question am talking about but for some people who knows what is ongoing in the Republic of South Sudan since the beginning to date, they will know what am talking about.

Conclusively; lastly there are people who are really traumatized psychologically and mentally, I don’t know whether it is war that caused it or it is the mentality within the minds of the people, people are very volatile to one another; people lack diplomacy and good approaches to the issues that are of great concern to the people of South Sudan. Within Juba as the capital city of South Sudan, you find that people discussing tribalistic and evil words that might take us backward one day, that will never take them anywhere, people minds focus only on evil things. People are opposing ideas that might be of great importance to the future of this Country.

The Author is the Independent Journalist and Columnist for Juba Monitor. You can contact him through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Carter Center Fails to Consider Key Issues in the South Kordofan Gubernatorial Election

Political incompetence and misprision—and a failure to ask key questions—produce unwarranted ratification of NIF/NCP victory by indicted war criminal Ahmed Haroun

By Eric Reeves

May 20, 2011 (SSNA) -- The Carter Center has stumbled badly in assessing the enormously consequential South Kordofan gubernatorial election, which produced a “victory” for Khartoum’s candidate, Ahmed Haroun. Haroun—handpicked by the regime—was a central figure in the worst years of the Darfur genocide, as well as an energetic participant in the genocidal jihad conducted by the National Islamic Front regime in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan during the early 1990s. This validation of Haroun’s election by the Carter Center appears to reflect, to an inordinate degree, the views of former President Jimmy Carter, whose pronouncements over the years reveal a disturbing myopia when it comes to the nature and behavior of the NIF/NCP regime. Since Carter is notorious for micro-management, there can be little doubt that he influenced the tone and tenor of the report in significant ways.

Carter’s pronouncements at the time of Sudan’s April 2010 national elections were revealingly preposterous, though even the Carter Center was ultimately obliged to admit that the elections were not credible. For example, shortly before the 2010 elections Carter claimed that, “‘If no one gets an absolute majority, then there will be a run-off election in May and I think that's a high likelihood,’ Carter told reporters during a trip to south Sudan” (Reuters [dateline: Juba], February 9, 2010). It is difficult to imagine a more foolish prediction: President al-Bashir of the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party (NIF/NCP) regime won easily and predictably with more than two thirds of the vote. The very notion that the regime would allow itself to be put in the position of having to participate in a run-off election betrays profound ignorance of Khartoum’s attitudes and ambitions—nothing new for Carter.

Unfortunately, Carter found some significant company in his absurd prediction: U.S. Special Envoy Scott Gration declared that Sudan’s national elections would be “as free and fair as possible.” Some international observers had also suggested that even if not entirely successful, the elections would be a move toward “democratization” in Sudan. But in fact, the election was massively fraudulent, hopelessly compromised by the manipulation of census results, registration, and voting; by the physical appropriation of ballot boxes; by widespread and paralyzing insecurity in Darfur; and by deeply intimidating actions on the part of the regime’s security services, which also guaranteed the NIF/NCP monopoly on broadcast media. In short, all the powers of the state were put in service of al-Bashir’s election. The most comprehensive Sudanese human rights assessments of the election and electoral irregularities were produced by the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (February 2010 and May 2010). The Darfur Peace and Development Organization produced a devastating critique of the census that undergirded the elections (January 2010). International observing teams, including the Carter Center, all found that the elections “did not meet international standards,” the euphemism most often deployed to characterize this travesty. Human Rights Watch was blunt in its account of the atmosphere for voting in the North: “Human Rights Watch found that the National Congress Party-dominated government continued to foster a restrictive environment during the voting period through harassment, intimidation, and arrests of activists, opposition members, and election observers.”

There was no move toward “democratization,” and the suggestion of a “run-off”—implying that al-Bashir would not use the state apparatus to secure at least a 51 percent majority—was the most foolish prediction made by any observer. Instead of “democratization,” what has followed is a more tyrannical political monopoly. The Khartoum regime emerged from the elections retaining full control of national wealth and power—and full control of the security services. The crackdown on human rights that has followed the elections has been severe and suggests just how manipulative Khartoum can be (some very small political space was carefully opened shortly before the elections, but not nearly enough to permit real political opposition to gather forces, as Human Rights Watch has made clear).

All this previous electoral history has bearing on the recent election in South Kordofan (May 2 – 4), and to suggest otherwise—as the Carter Center does in its report—reflects either a fatuous or tendentious view of Sudanese politics in this extremely volatile and militarily critical state on the North/South border. Indeed, the Carter Center report (hereafter CCR) does a particularly poor job in conveying the military realities defining South Kordofan, the Nuba Mountains in particular, and the implications for Abyei. The CCR authors would do well to read Julie Flint’s compelling and ominous report for Pax Christi (“The Nuba Mountains: Central to Sudan Stability,” January 2011) and the numerous authoritative reports from the Small Arms Survey. Although the CCR talks about insecurity and alludes to military issues, it does so in ways that convey none of the dangers that presently exist and have been so thoroughly chronicled in these and other reports.

To be sure, as a “technocratic” account of the elections, the CCR is of considerable value—but only as such. It rehearses a good deal of familiar but relevant regional history, legislative and otherwise. It reveals a clear and detailed understanding of the electoral procedures that were to have been followed, the role of the CPA and other agreements, as well as international humanitarian and human rights law. It offers a full narrative of the electoral milestones, though it seems to understate on a consistent basis the significance of electoral problems and controversies; and it nowhere acknowledges how fully the “National Election Commission” is controlled by Khartoum—a fact made abundantly clear during the April 2010 elections.

But the CCR fails fundamentally in appreciating the political context of the South Kordofan election, its importance for Khartoum, and the implications of key actions by senior regime officials (in a PDF document of 18 pages, less than one page is given over to “Political Background to South Kordofan Elections”). And yet this is where any meaningful assessment of the election must begin.

Fortunately, Africa Confidential (AC) has provided a highly informed account (May 13, 2011—complete text below) of just what is politically at stake in the election and which political calculations and electoral machinations determined its outcome. In this, the AC researchers are able to do what an entire team of Carter Center officials were unable to do, and their astute observations make clear that Khartoum was never prepared to allow its war criminal candidate to lose—South Kordofan is simply too important strategically.

“It was clear that Ahmed Mohamed Haroun had lost his bid to be elected Governor of Southern Kordofan when the National Congress Party sent Presidential Assistant Nafi’e Ali Nafi’e to Kadugli on 8 May, the day the results were supposed to be announced. Nafi’e, a former chief of security for whom Ahmed Haroun once worked, told the State Election Commission to declare him winner, say opposition sources. The Commission’s head, Adam Abdin, sought refuge with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). The results were rescheduled for 10 May and again delayed, as NCP operatives scrambled to produce new figures. Their methods included the invention of new polling stations: when challenged, the officials replied that voters had found it difficult to reach the other stations, a tactic used last year in Darfur.”

This extraordinary report—“The [State Election] Commission’s head, Adam Abdin, sought refuge with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS)”—is inexcusably omitted from the CCR. Has this no suggestiveness for the Carter Center people? Abdin complained to the Sudan Tribune (May 7, 2011) “that the process of matching votes to registered voters is proceeding slowly and said there are proposals of forming additional committees to speed up the process.” These proposals went nowhere, and Khartoum was determined to brook no delay in announcing results it had already determined; this may account for Abdin’s reported flight following Nafi’e’s inevitably intimidating visit. Nor is there any meaningful discussion in the CCR of the Africa Confidential account of Khartoum’s behavior:

“NCP operatives scrambled to produce new figures. Their methods included the invention of new polling stations: when challenged, the officials replied that voters had found it difficult to reach the other stations, a tactic used last year in Darfur.”

The belatedly announced new polling stations are in fact acknowledged in the CRR—more than 25 altogether, some established only on the day of voting—but in peculiarly unconcerned fashion: “Better planning would help to prevent such issues in the future” (page 12). But if such added polling stations did spontaneously appear, this and other maneuvers could more than account for Haroun’s evident surge from behind (the Carter Center was able to observe, even very briefly, fewer than 25 percent of the polling stations). For as Africa Confidential notes:

“Initial figures obtained by Africa Confidential showed Governor Ahmed’s Deputy, Abdel Aziz Adam el Hilu of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, ahead by about 11,000 votes. His final lead was around 4,000, said an SPLM source on 11 May, claiming that the difference was largely due to NCP rigging….” [Al-Jazeera reported on May 6 that according to figures it had received, el-Hilu had a “comfortable” lead of 14,000, with only six polling centers of 666 still to report; The Sudan Tribune, May 6, 2011.]

Despite accusations of fraud from many quarters (including northern Sudanese political and academic figures—see appendix to this analysis), the CCR report concludes that the elections were “generally peaceful and credible,” and the Center did “not observe systemic irregularities that would invalidate the results.” But this conclusion ignores one of the CCR’s most troubling findings, one that may explain just how the manipulation of vote totals was achieved (we should recall that even the manipulated final results were very close):

“The Carter Center is concerned, however, that election officials appear to have chosen not to use the official database developed to handle the preliminary results. The database is programmed to reject results where the numbers do not reconcile and these results would then be quarantined and investigated before they could be entered. This process was bypassed by the [Kordofan] State High Election Commission, thus removing an important safeguard that can highlight anomalous results. Moreover, this software is used to post results, disaggregated by polling station, on to the NEC website. At the time of this report the results [sic], this has not happened.” (page 14; emphasis added)

Why was this available and task-specific database technology not deployed? The CCR offers no answer, and this highlights the importance of what Africa Confidential reports of these “preliminary results”:

“The National Election Commission said that the preliminary results could not be changed and the NCP slammed the SPLM ‘adolescent mentality’ for protesting. Northern opposition parties accused the NCP of fraud…. [T]he elections, delayed from last year after the SPLM challenged the census figures, benefited from few external monitors, the only widespread and systematic presence being that of the Carter Center.”

Khartoum was no more going to allow Haroun to lose than it was al-Bashir in the presidential election (al-Bashir is also under indictment by the ICC, including for genocide). To ignore this reality, to talk around it as the CCR does, to present so blandly and superficially the current political and military realities in South Kordofan, Abyei, and the North/South border regions, is deeply irresponsible and vitiates whatever usefulness the CCR may have had going forward. Africa Confidential again makes the essential point about South Kordofan and the election of its next governor:

“South Kordofan is the military backyard for Abyei (which has a special status within the state) and for Upper Nile, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Unity states in the South, all of which it adjoins. ‘We are especially concerned about the alarming situation in Abyei’, said a 10 May statement by the Troika – Britain, Norway, United States. It called on the parties to ‘work together’ to tackle the ‘rising tensions’ in South Kordofan. As ever, it treated both parties even-handedly. The problem with that is obvious in Abyei, where the NCP has persistently reneged on agreements it has signed, exploiting international ‘neutrality’ to shift the situation to its advantage.”

This commitment to making all comments and observations as “even-handedly” as possible is indeed at the heart of Western diplomatic strategy. But Africa Confidential is right to argue that international “neutrality” is simply being exploited by Khartoum; for this is yet another case of an intolerable “moral equivalence,” in which the culpability for any and all problems lies equally with Khartoum and its adversaries in the marginalized regions. A recent and grimly illustrative example of this tendency comes from Darfur, where Ibrahim Gambari, head of the UN/African Union peacekeeping mission (UNAMID), responded to Khartoum’s most recent aerial attacks on civilians: “‘I call upon all parties to exercise the utmost restraint in the use of lethal force,’ Gambari said” (Agence France-Presse [dateline: UN/New York], May 18, 2011). But the Darfur rebels have no aerial military assets; and so to bring them within the ambit of his “call,” Gambari deliberately blurs the issue by referring not to deliberate aerial attacks on civilian targets (several villages have been targeted since May 15), but the broadest military designation possible: “lethal force.” Here it is important to keep in mind that Gambari, UNAMID, and the UN (as well as its most important member states) have all been largely silent over the more than 80 attacks confirmed so far in 2011 (see my comprehensive account of aerial bombardment of civilian and humanitarian targets in Sudan for the years 1999-2011).

But the key point for South Kordofan that is lost through moral “neutrality” or “equivalence” is highlighted with unrelenting acuity by Africa Confidential:

“The NCP cannot afford to lose control in South Kordofan. State governors have great power, which is why they are normally party men. They chair the state’s vital Security Committee. Several of the militias plaguing the South are based in South Kordofan (Meiram area) or in the northern part of Abyei, already ceded to the NCP by the 2009 Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling. They include those of Abdel Bagi Ayii Akol Agany, a tribal chief-turned-warlord from North Bahr el Ghazal; General George Athor Deng, now warlord-in-chief; and Gen. Peter Gadet (Gatdet) Yaka, absorbed into the SPLA in 2006 but now again on the rampage.”

“The NCP is not about to stop sponsoring militias in the South. If it is to supply its proxies, including the Missiriya militias, it cannot afford to lose either Abyei or South Kordofan (AC Vol 52 No 9). It could live with the SPLM/SPLA controlling large swathes of the Nuba Mountains before the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, since the rugged hills are discrete and isolated. The Sudan savannah plains of the rest of Southern Kordofan are a different matter: they have long been the home of mechanised ‘strip farming’ by townsmen from further north. These plains are now politically and militarily critical to Khartoum’s attempts to retain Abyei and to its intervention in the South.” (“Indicted war criminal fights election,” Africa Confidential, May 13, 2011)

Not to understand this critical political context, and to see how that context has defined the South Kordofan election, is deeply irresponsible. For in the absence of other international observers, the Carter Center report is the only assessment being reported by wire services and other news outlets. Despite its acuity, the Africa Confidential assessment will be read by far too few to change the story line. The Carter Center has done a significant disservice to the people of Sudan, and South Kordofan in particular, by prematurely validating the results of the recent election without answering the questions raised by their own findings, in particular the failure to use the official spreadsheet designated for elections results, and designed to catch “anomalous results.” The SPLM did in fact complain about “non-reconciled results,” but got nowhere.

Even more importantly, the Carter Center needs to speak explicitly to the question raised by a critical finding of Africa Confidential: “The [State Election] Commission’s head, Adam Abdin, sought refuge with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).” If such refuge was sought, we need to know why—and we need to know how it is related to the ominous presence in Kadugli of Nafi’e Ali Nafi’e, the most powerful of al-Bashir’s presidential advisors. That the Carter Center Report does not mention Adam Abdin or this incident is a sign of its fundamental shortsightedness.

APPENDIX 1:

Indicted war criminal fights election
Africa Confidential, May 13, 2011
http://www.africa-confidential.com/article-preview/id/3977/No-Title
Khartoum’s ruling party tries to hold on to its base in Kordofan, a springboard for operations in Abyei and the South

It was clear that Ahmed Mohamed Haroun had lost his bid to be elected Governor of Southern Kordofan when the National Congress Party sent Presidential Assistant Nafi’e Ali Nafi’e to Kadugli on 8 May, the day the results were supposed to be announced. Nafi’e, a former chief of security for whom Ahmed Haroun once worked, told the State Election Commission to declare him winner, say opposition sources. The Commission’s head, Adam Abdin, sought refuge with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). The results were rescheduled for 10 May and again delayed, as NCP operatives scrambled to produce new figures. Their methods included the invention of new polling stations: when challenged, the officials replied that voters had found it difficult to reach the other stations, a tactic used last year in Darfur.

Initial figures obtained by Africa Confidential showed Governor Ahmed’s Deputy, Abdel Aziz Adam el Hilu of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, ahead by about 11,000 votes. His final lead was around 4,000, said an SPLM source on 11 May, claiming that the difference was largely due to NCP rigging. In elections for the South Kordofan State Assembly, the NCP had won 22 seats, the SPLM, 10, he said. The 40% of seats reserved for women and political parties were still being counted and some predict a hung parliament. The SPLM says privately that it accepts a degree of NCP malpractice but will not back down on the gubernatorial election. Some in the SPLM believe it can become a major party in Northern Sudan.

The National Election Commission said that the preliminary results could not be changed and the NCP slammed the SPLM ‘adolescent mentality’ for protesting. Northern opposition parties accused the NCP of fraud. The SPLM had been able to reduce fraud by training thousands of party observers to cover the vast territory which includes the Nuba Mountains (SPLM heartland) and the Missiriya Arab lands to their west and east. Yet the elections, delayed from last year after the SPLM challenged the census figures, benefited from few external monitors, the only widespread and systematic presence being that of the Carter Center.

This looks like another mistake. The polls are crucial for several reasons. South Kordofan is the military backyard for Abyei (which has a special status within the state) and for Upper Nile, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Unity states in the South, all of which it adjoins. ‘We are especially concerned about the alarming situation in Abyei’, said a 10 May statement by the Troika – Britain, Norway, United States. It called on the parties to ‘work together’ to tackle the ‘rising tensions’ in South Kordofan. As ever, it treated both parties even-handedly. The problem with that is obvious in Abyei, where the NCP has persistently reneged on agreements it has signed, exploiting international ‘neutrality’ to shift the situation to its advantage.

The NCP cannot afford to lose control in South Kordofan. State governors have great power, which is why they are normally party men. They chair the state’s vital Security Committee. Several of the militias plaguing the South are based in South Kordofan (Meiram area) or in the northern part of Abyei, already ceded to the NCP by the 2009 Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling. They include those of Abdel Bagi Ayii Akol Agany, a tribal chief-turned-warlord from North Bahr el Ghazal; General George Athor Deng, now warlord-in-chief; and Gen. Peter Gadet (Gatdet) Yaka, absorbed into the SPLA in 2006 but now again on the rampage.

The NCP is not about to stop sponsoring militias in the South. If it is to supply its proxies, including the Missiriya militias, it cannot afford to lose either Abyei or South Kordofan (Africa Confidential, Vol. 52 No. 9). It could live with the SPLM/SPLA controlling large swathes of the Nuba Mountains before the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, since the rugged hills are discrete and isolated. The Sudan savannah plains of the rest of Southern Kordofan are a different matter: they have long been the home of mechanised ‘strip farming’ by townsmen from further north. These plains are now politically and militarily critical to Khartoum’s attempts to retain Abyei and to its intervention in the South.

By getting Ahmed Mohamed Haroun elected, the NCP also hoped to ‘cleanse its crimes in Darfur’, said an SPLM official: the former junior Interior Minister is wanted by the International Criminal Court on 51 counts of war crimes or crimes against humanity. The crimes have continued in Abyei.

APPENDIX 2:

A range of Sudanese political, academic and other voices have made their views of the South Kordofan election known. For its part, the SPLM has been quite specific in its claims about vote rigging, none of which is discussed in the CCR:

[1] “Vote-counting was supposed to proceed immediately after the polls closed, but the north Sudan sector of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which controls South Sudan, on Wednesday said it objects to the beginning of counting. The SPLM said in a press release that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in north Sudan had a three-phase plan to rig the elections. It claimed that its members had found three rigged ballot boxes in the areas of Kadugli, Buram and Al-Quzair. On Tuesday, the SPLM claimed that three ballot boxes were seized in the area of Um-Battah in the state’s capital Kadugli. It also said that one polling station was relocated from the police club to Al-Merikh in Al-Bananusa in the geographical constituency number 7 without prior notice.” (The Sudan Tribune, May 4, 2011)

[2] “…the NCP [National Congress Party] rigged the gubernatorial elections in Southern Kurdufan [central Sudan] in favour of its candidate, Ahmad Harun. Dr Haydar Ibrahim Ali said on Monday [16 May] from Cairo that the NCP motive is to shield Harun from being arrested by the International Criminal Court [ICC].

[Ibrahim]: “The nomination of Harun specifically, was an attempt by the regime to do an action similar to what we can call money laundering. They wanted in one way or another to acquit Harun from the charges against him by the ICC. Therefore, the NCP has caught two birds without throwing a stone, rigging the elections for the second time, making the rigging exercise as part of Sudanese political life, and the third thing is jumping over the ICC charges.” (Text of report in English by independent, Nairobi-based, USAID-funded Sudan Radio Service, 16 May 2011 [Cairo])

[3] “A coalition of the national opposition parties in Sudan says they have doubts in the credibility of the Southern Kurdufan (central Sudan) elections. The coalition's spokesperson, Faruq Abu-Issa claims that the gubernatorial elections were rigged and warns of potential violence.”

[Abu-Issa]: “This area has suffered a lot; it is a very sensitive area which includes Abyei, terrible ethnical conflicts and the intermingling areas between south and north. Even the rigged election results itself, have shown that the SPLM [Sudan People's Liberation Movement] has strong presence in the region. Therefore, if we intend to let only one party to govern this region despite its known circumstances, and exclusion of the other party, that will continuously make the area encounter catastrophic consequences.”

[4] Notably, al-Jazeera reported on results two days after the voting was completed:

“Early results from the gubernatorial race in South Kordofan revealed a comfortable lead for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) candidate Abdel-Aziz Al-Hilu, news channel Al-Jazeera reported. Al-Hilu is running against the incumbent governor Ahmed Haroun who is the National Congress Party (NCP) nominee and also one of the suspects wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his alleged role in Darfur war crimes when he was Sudan’s minister for interior. Al-Jazeera said the figures it obtained showed that the SPLM’s candidate is ahead by 14,000 votes after counting all but results from six polling stations. It did not say whether the remaining centers would be a game changer. (Sudan Tribune, May 6, 2011)

Eric Reeves has published extensively on Sudan, nationally and internationally, for more than a decade. He is author of A Long Day’s Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide.

SPLM-DC Executive Office in the United States Accuses the Vice President of ‘Misleading’ the Public

Date October 9, 2012
Press for immediate release
SPLM-DC executive office in the U.S.A.
Office of Information Desk

Washington, DC, October 11, 2012 (SSNA) -- The Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan Dr. Riek Machar was caught red-handed at his controversial conspiracy and rhetoric statement made at South Sudanese Community briefing in Omaha, Nebraska U.S.A on Saturday, 6th October 2012. Dr. Machar stated that he would ban Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC) political party, the official and second largest political party in South Sudan, from being registered allegedly linking Dr. Lam Akol is not only the leader of SPLM-DC but also the leader of the various rebel groups fighting the government of the South Sudan.

Irresponsible statement, The SPLM-DC executive, members, sympathizers, peace, unity and Democratic lovers in the U.S. condemn in possible strong terms, a failed leadership role Dr. Machar has demonstrated. It’s apparently clear that Dr. Machar is desperate with full of ill intended motives and dishonest characters trying to mislead south Sudanese in Diaspora and the international community by portraying SPLM-DC party and its leaders as rebels.

Reliable sources and whistleblowers asserted that Dr. Machar was speaking out of the fear that he has never offered a tangible, achievable, nor specific solutions for the outcry of the South Sudanese people for the last seven years of his term in the office and that he is worried the South Sudan constitution did not okay him to run for the presidency and yet he saw growing support for the opposition leader Dr. Akol which sparks him overnight negative advertisement on the opposition.

Hence, Dr Macher needs to be reminded that he did not earn the post he is holding now “vice president of the Republic of the South Sudan”; it was late Dr. John Garanga’s initiative that the present Speaker of the South Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) Hon. James Wani Iga be moved to third position to create unity among the South Sudanese people. Dr. Lam Akol has been calling for the unity of South Sudanese all along, yet Dr Machar terms unity is meaningless while forgetting the fact that it was unity that tamed him and brought him to the present golden post.

We are calling upon concerned South Sudanese citizens, the embassies of American, British, French, and Germany in Juba, including international community to pay close attention to Dr Riek’s war against multi- party democracy in South Sudan. Since the United States took lead in bringing independent of South Sudan to South Sudanese, we are specifically ask the government of the United States, the world’s defender of democracy, not to allow individuals like Dr Riek Machar to lay ground for monopolistic and dictatorial ruling in the new Republic of South Sudan. We are also calling upon international community and South Sudanese to resolve to intensify persuading Dr. Riek and those who do not believe in democracy, a civilized way of managing a country, that the time is running out, every citizen’s voice must be heard.

The SPLM-DC vows to change the course in South Sudan politics by working closely with political parties, civil societies, churches, diversity and various communities that decentralized federal system of governance, prevails to create equitable distribution of powers and resources to meet the needs and wants of South Sudanese citizens who have been Suffering for the last seven years under the autocratic rule of the SPLM led-government. The SPLM-DC vows to end corruption spotlight in Juba, which ruins and devastates our economy including proposing constitutional amendments, achievement of greater autonomy and economic independency, security etc.

In addition, we hold Dr Machar equally responsible for all corruption allegations and failed system of stated-hood of South Sudan he and his boss exercised. Dr Riek needs to clean himself before calling on others to clean themselves. It was such remark that he has made in Omaha Nebraska, which left South Sudanese without system of governance. The SPLM-DC and the entire people of South Sudan should not let undemocratic minority individual suppress our democracy. Let’s all rise tall and say no to monopolistic rule and grasp democracy.

The SPLM.DC has strongly condemned statement of vice president of the Republic of South Sudan that the leader of our party must prove that he has no links with the rebel groups that operating in the country. There is no need for call to de-link our party from armed groups because our party has no links with them. It was not the first time for SPLM leadership to accuse the opposition party SPLM.DC of supporting the rebels, they have some reasons that been set up to impair the quality of objectives of their opponents, and then to destroy the value of our party.

According to Dr. Riek Machar, the vice president of South Sudan as he met with South Sudanese in USA, he has threatened the SPLM.DC, one of the largest opposition parties, and the most popular party in the Republic of South Sudan that it will not be registered if its chairman doesn’t prove that his party doesn’t assist and has no links with the rebel groups, which are fighting against the government of SPLM party’s policies in the country. The ruling party is absolutely sure that SPLM.DC has nothing to do with the rebels that fight the government; our party was created as a result of failure of the government to demonstrate democracy in the country.

Those routine accusations have contradicted with the SPLM.DC party objectives, and they were absolutely rejected before and will be rejected in the future. Furthermore, this government is still ruling its people with absolute power; it arrests and tortures its own people daily when they try to express their opinions on government’s failure policies. This unsuccessful government always tries to link SPLM.DC with rebels as an advertisement to the people of South Sudan in order to clean up its failure to make proper rules, and to protect citizen’s right.

SPLM.DC has made its position clear that it has nothing to do with the rebels, it is a government job to deal with the rebels; it was proved by our chairperson before that the objectives of the party are plain, it will work for the benefit of Southern Sudanese, and we will continue to condemn unreasonable accusations from the ruling party. SPLM party wants to skip its negligent, and its non- proper performance to address public issues. Our party will insist to speak out its rights, and to resist any SPLM party’s attempt to confine the party.

Our party would address the threats of the ruling party SPLM to international community for its attempt to diminish; its denial progress of our party; it tries to block party’s right to operation in the country, and SPLM.DC will continue to address the failure of ruling party to implement democratic system in the country. In addition to that, SPLM has shown a poor performance of governing; it has forgotten the role of government to protect its citizens and their properties, and it also fail to train its citizens to get good skills for development, and now it is applying absolute power over South Sudanese citizens. SPLM.DC party wants to ask democratic countries such as USA, UK, Canada, etc. to involvement, and support the accomplishment of democracy in the country. We will not endure the suffering of our citizens under the rules of one party, which appears of taking care of its members, and neglected the largest portions of ordinary citizens.

-----------------------------------------------------END--------------------------------------------------------

SPLM-DC executive office in the U.S.A.
Office of Information Desk

The Republic of South Sudan Motto Statements: Justice, Liberty, and Prosperity

By Goy Malual Leek

December 13, 2012 (SSNA) -- We have all heard the cries of the people of South Sudan in expressing their discontentment with the government of the day. And we have also heard the cries of the government of the Republic of South Sudan equally expressing their struggle to make their policies applicable to the masses effective. This shows a quick relapse in believe of our principles for the struggle where majority of people are retracting from the major fundamentals of the existence for the nation. This is a manifestation of the countless governing concepts seemingly theorised by the peoples of South Sudan and its government perhaps out of unconsciousness.

To be blunt enough, I would like to point out that as the people of the new nation; we are all doing more impairment than good to the newly created nation perhaps inadvertently according to global watch standards. A nation was not going to be similar to a United Nations-run refugee camp where the daily responsibilities for the livelihoods of all residents were apparently spontaneous neither was it going to resemble a neighbour’s house or a country of exile. The road was actually going to be quite tumultuous and potholed. Therefore, the procedures required to restore the dignity of the people of South Sudan are immeasurably daunting tasks; tasks that are not for the feint hearted as such are the basic requirements to creating an establishment where everything comes down to the nitty-gritty orientations to setting a precedence for a national prosperity.

Obtaining sovereignty as has been secured through the referendum and eventually through the affirmative public response of the independent vote was not effortless as evident and will not be simple to maintain either. A sovereign nation sounded a great ideal at a distance but a mere challenge at a closer look leading to experiencing it. To be sovereign is to be inalienable and thus requires absolutism – unconditional approach to complex tasks, amicable bond creation through sustainable development and perpetually principled programs with planned advancement in addressing the primary social and economic needs of the nation. This way the people of the new nation will have time to recuperate and revisit the past so as to instil into the present the characteristics of the struggle. The act could be accordingly emulated leading up to determining the future of the nation through constructive address to elementary concerns.

To elaborate on some basic ideals representing the nation, the following points will be explicated in reference to the national motto statements; Justice, Liberty and Prosperity

As to the significance of Justice

In the Motto of the Republic of South Sudan, justice has been prescribed as one of the three chief pillars to represent the foundation, proceedings of the nation (ROSS) and its government supposedly in a practical and a justified comportment.

In every society, justice is highly dependent on the resident cultures that are socially constructed through shared history, religion, social adaptations and mythologies. Therefore, it is crucial for both the government of South Sudan and its people to understand that justice differ as per cultural sets where ethics and moral values influence any given justice system. It is consequently insufficient and ineffective to solely base the South Sudanese justice system upon any global standardization however similar some Justice principles may form part of a generic concept.

However, as there are many contemporary theories subscriptive to Justice, it is imperative that any authority needs to prioritize and articulates justice in its prime sense and applicability basing it on the norms of the particular society to reflect pragmatism and legitimacy. Moreover, justice in its principal concept is distinct and fundamental than just the basic notions of mercy, fairness and well-wish. It is an instrumental concept that directs the activities of the government unto its people and conversely the unlimited reliance of people unto their government with the basic motive of serving and protecting as well as being served and protected, respectively, thus confirming and enshrining justice as a harmonious state of a nation.

Relative to the variations and other understandings of justice, few if not all acknowledgements are deemed necessary for justice to flourish. The public needs to understand where they stand in respect to justice and how they claim justice willingfully in scenarios of robust and dependable practice.

Significantly, retributive justice, restorative justice and distributive justice all do form part if not whole of the justice system and therefore needs proper projection by the system itself. Retributively, our system ought to have a clear projection of efficiency and efficacy in that the general population (inclusive) are aware that any wrong-doing will be met with a proportionate punishment hence creating deterrence and also availing safeguards.

Restoratively, the government is charged with a responsibility to reform and rehabilitate a society in bringing about harmony and reconciliation amongst the population without signs of favouritism. And distributively, our governments or administrative systems should at all time aspire to bring about social and economic equality to advance societal cohesiveness by means of secularism and absolute altruism.

In a just society where moral consciousness for equality is high, the inclination is always to prioritize and minimize negative popular uprising and extinguishing anarchic attitude to instilling change. They capitalize in the maximization of equality of all kinds especially of opportunity and of outcome. Among the various egalitarian approaches to creating reforms, philosophical concepts such socialism and communism have evolved and flourished over the past two hundred years portraying elements of egalitarianism.

As justice embodies fundamental variations and filaments, governments remain primarily the observers and legislators to overseeing the application of such variations to what constitute law. In a Utilitarian concept, it is best to educate the general public of what the needs are and that any action has a consequence thus embarking on morality for social benefits is essential. So, as a new nation, South Sudan needs to define its historical existence in justifiable terms to successfully bring about the justice it so desires if it so lacks.

Once again, it is important to revert to the protection aspect of the people by its government. Primarily, governments are there for numerous reasons well-known all; however, to protect “people” has varying projections; people need to be protected from themselves as to mean the protection of property and lives from eminent harm and destruction by others. And as far as governance is concerned, people need governments to put in place legal boundaries that assure them of their safety and that of family and businesses.

Fundamentally, protection needs to apply to all and on equal terms so as to serve its justification aspect. Nonetheless, people have the task too to protect their government from self-destruct in that the government should value the opinions of its people. This aspect is enshrined in the old saying that “governments are made by the people for the people”. The responsibility of the civil society heavily rest with greater involvement to see through functional governments. Failure to recognise the power of the people is to simply imply that the government is not a peoples’ government but a separate entity from the domain society.

This qualifies the statement that the government of South Sudan is a people’s government misconstrued otherwise. This analogy is based on the basic concept that as a new nation seeking justice, the people of South Sudan need to prioritise nationhood before neighbourhood. Our concept of justice does not correlate with what is practiced and thus require ultra-intrinsic realization of that fact. I call this a hypo-democracy syndrome phase, an attitude of seemingly being veiled and marred by the towering worldly concepts and principles of good governance neglecting our own interpretation of good governance. A government is only deemed good or functional by its people’s standards and not by foreign standards.

Our reference to democratic governments across borders seems to entirely shape and engulf the contemporary expectation which seems to be failing and killing the aspirations of so many innocent people. So in a nut-shell, we have not only imported foreign dress codes per se or foreign languages and fragmented cultures but are attempting to import foreign models of governance. Unfortunately, this concept is a fatal standpoint with grave crippling effects to nation building as it exceedingly warrants an atmosphere of imperialists’ subordination of resident government resulting to underdevelopment and elements of social unrest.

So in a firm defence to the future of our new nation, it is worth noting that our dealings as citizens could be equally mirrored to what type of a government we have in that the potential to make or break the new found sovereignty is in hands of the entire populace of the Republic of South Sudan. Moreover, let’s also consider that as much as we rely entirely on our government, we should also explore alternatives and avenues to advance our society if the consensus is that justice is not being served at best. If all mechanisms such as democratization show signs of malfunctioning, then other forms and systems of governance shall never fail a nation if the spirit is to steer the country onto the right direction of progressive development and social reformation.

Therefore, the Republic of South Sudan (inclusive) after identifying justice as a pillar upon which the nation stands should constantly encourage proper exhibition of a practical functional legal institutionalised system that clearly reflect and support the motto i.e. crimes must be privately and independently investigated to usher in truth through the justice system where lawyers, jury and judges have the impartiality to present a justified conclusion to an alleged crime or misconduct.

As to the significance of Liberty

Though there are different conceptions of Liberty in the contemporary global society such as negative, positive and social liberties, South Sudan as a nations has its distinct application as to the function of the inclusion of Liberty onto the motto manuscript. Its essentiality is far reaching and one that aims to safeguard the livelihood of the people of the nation however theoretical or ambiguous to the general public. Liberty is hereby meant to typically represent the ability of the people of South Sudan to have freedoms and rights without coercion and compulsion; this can be traced in the acronyms of the current governing political party, the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM)

Therefore, it is true to argue that the government of the Republic of South Sudan has a priority to secure the rights of the people within the realms of the social contract forged on the numerous infamous conventions i.e. the referendum of 2010 and the independence of 2011 and many future activities requiring the peoples’ vote such as elections and so forth. These are major milestones showcasing the might of the people and their will to help attain a certain arrangement. As to confer with the pragmatic concept of these actions mentioned above, the government has been entrusted with the responsibility of converting that power into a legacy for the people of South Sudan to continue the support of their government.

Moreover, it is important to note that Liberty is an embodiment of the Libertarian views which suggests that as much as people can behave and act as they do, they are equally responsible for the results of such actions so as not to interfere with others’ liberty. The government of South Sudan has the entirety of power to create confidence in the laws of the state having the full confidence of the people hence having a full domestic sovereignty keeping in mind that man is forever free by nature, liner homo, and that he/she is not under any dependence or anyone’s arbitrary will.

Under the theory of social contract which has been extensively popularized by the Enlightenment thinkers such as Jean-Jacque Rousseau, Thomas Horbes and John Locke, the people of South Sudan ought to have a coherent confidence in that the government fosters a practical liberal society consistently monitored and regulated to ensure safeguards on freedoms and rights. The government is hereby affirmatively responsible with the supposition in view of the fact that liberty remains to be one of its guiding principles.

As a modern and a contemporary concept, liberty also denotes an aspect of egalitarianism and libertarianism. Therefore, South Sudan as a nation ought to deliver on a working modality to project the desired liberty either from the government to its people and vice versa from the people to their government. This analogy reminds me of a saying by Dr. John Garang that “poor people have a poor government”. This happens to be one of my favourite quotes from him because not only does he probes into people’s ability to be stronger than their government, but he also challenges the people that without a strong (any perspective) societal economic independence, any government is deemed weak.

As to the significance of Prosperity

Even though the widespread prosperity has occasionally been associated with wealth and immense successful fortunes, it also means the affluence or the social status of any given inhabitant society per geographical location with commonalities such as shared politics, economy, culture and religion. A nation could also be deemed prosperous by standards of low foreign debts, surplus economy and continuously achieving and meeting promises on socio-economic policies whereby the degree of happiness in the general public is elevated.

As a guiding aspect and an element on the national motto, prosperity is hereby allotted as a goal and a lead star. It is therefore impossible to conclude that South Sudan is a prosperous nation unless in terms of natural abundance not yet subjected to conversion into products and service. Equally, we cannot blame any given South Sudanese authority for the lack of prosperity regardless of its grandeur responsibility due to time ratio per any determinant. Pragmatically, the nation ought to be groomed and steered towards the varying attributes of democratic governments such that people could realise prosperity through consensus and collectivism. A guiding vision towards such systems of governance will eventually guide the nation away from a pejorative form of governance which potentially warrants anarchic and an authoritarian government with dismal consequences.

South Sudanese communities across the three main regions (Equatoria, Uppernile and Bhar El Ghazal) have for so long lived under a natural principled philosophy of prosperity. This principle has been based on the concept of collectivism whereby a society’s prosperity is based on the contribution of all that make and constitute the society. Such a conclusion could be argued to be at odds with contemporary engulfing capitalistic societies given the constant labelling of capitalism as a greedy concept capable of allotting prosperity degrees to specific marginal group within members of a society.

The motto; Justice, Liberty and Prosperity in the context of the Republic of South Sudan is appropriate and a brilliant projection of what a nation should aspire to. However, the current situation is presumably negating this notion. Our public is disgruntled and our government is faced with immense challenges to meeting the needs of its people. This state of the nation (ROSS) is one that needs a thorough intellectual scrutiny and proper analysis by all concerned of perpetual progress in order to forge a way out. The current blame-game is not going to present us with an exit strategy from the shackles that have thwarted the nation from achieving the prescribed national interests as well as international obligations.

As identified and highly visible in the triad commitment crowned upon the nation through Justice, Liberty and Prosperity, it is envisioned that the people of south Sudan have a greater gain by working towards achieving the goals of our motto. This should be done irrespective of the emergent perceived maladministration. At a greater stance, the national defence force being our amour and shield ought to work alongside the public for the achievement of any stability required should the civil society be under any prominent threat to advancing national prosperity either internally or externally.

Considerably, being a new nation should not be a curse and should not prevent us from advancing our national interests or neither should the time (2005-2011) that have passed justify a full developmental outcome. The forthcoming period should be dedicated to giving peace a chance, to flourish although the conditions for peace are being slammed with chaotic deadly news every now and then, news that have reverberated and shook the nation from under its feet thus creating fear and distrust amongst all. However, as a nation, we have a responsibility to firstly prevent dissension at any cost and provide for a framework for a unitary approach to nation building.

South Sudan is not just a great nation per se, but a destined great nation. This simply means that credible research into our history needs affirmation and that the current turbulence will come to pass and greatness shall prevail though we are seemingly in search of our national identity perhaps mistaken with our national entity, something that has long been established before the colonial era through our geographical boundaries. Indeed the current turmoil is being expounded by numerous factors impacting on progressive growth. Notably, the civil war has caused a major dependency syndrome that has proved crippling in any reforms attempted to propel the country into motion. Such a dependency has been manifested in all aspects of the nation’s existence, in both the governance systems and in the civil society’s quest to provide for alternatives hence accelerating the rate of foreign reliance such as on foreign aid.

In conclusion, the government of south Sudan is a one such government faced with numerous tasks pending almost at once, some of which are hyped and exaggerated in their performance. The public has been at odds with its government since the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement by a wider margin compared to times it has been in accord. Scenarios have presented themselves in favour of critics and against the government. Whether this is a sign of weakness by the government or a sign of over-expectation by the public remains a conflicting mystery within the realms of governance and seamless distinction of responsibilities.

Public dissatisfaction and disenchantment have varied at differing height over the last seven years. Particularly, the issue of Abyei has less public awareness as far as diplomacy is concerned. The public is not contented of the efforts and proceedings of the government and therefore there have been instances of distorted information on what is exactly involved in the discussions.

Equally, the alleged embezzlement of the $4bln has projected an image that the government of the new nation does not fancy to be associated with. The facts on how the figure of the $4bln was allotted is something mysterious to the public and some prominent politicians alike, however, the government has a chance to present any case deemed corrupt to its public and anyone responsible ought to not serve the public in any of the high offices. This is a task and an obligation for the government to serve its public in good faith and continue to enjoy the trust of the people.

In recent case of the oil production dispute, the issue of Heglig/Panthuo is one that has seemed to have lowered the level of our government’s approval in handling diplomatic dialogue and the level of political sophistication. The main reason is that the government’s decision seemed in best interest of the public relative to defending the nation from Khartoum’s oil field land grabs. However, it later transpired that there was no reserved plan for the action taken. So whether it meant deterrence or protection, the action seemed to have done more damage to our economic stability than previously thought.

Though the above have been mentioned in specification to the motto statements of justice, liberty and prosperity, there remain many other instances that are worthy of exploring subject to the way forward for the Republic of South Sudan. However, I have only identified a few that internally matter. Hereby, it is worth noting that the government of South Sudan has indeed displayed an attitude of a functional government as per the current established governing apparatus.

Moreover, given the history of the struggle, the government of South Sudan have laid a reasonable foundation for the future of the country by the standard of its ability and leadership experience. The course however, needs strengthening by forming a link, a bridge between the government and the people such that the nation progresses in a singular determined direction and put aside politically and financially motivated self-interested bargains. Nonetheless, it will require compromise from both side (people + government) to distinctively differentiate critiques on the government as a system and its officials, and the country as an integral indivisible entity shared by all its populace.

The current ruling political party, the Sudan People Liberation Movement is transitioning from non-existing democratic structured governance after it has waged successful guerrilla warfare by global standards setting a high bar; hence it now needs to lead by such standards in the 21st century. The ROSS is somewhat better positioned to have emerged a new nation at such a technologically robust era. It therefore, needs to utilize this period efficiently and promptly. The government should at all times engage the public through social and economic reforms to advance its public policies, conversely, the people of south Sudan needs to hear the government’s cry for help since such a plea does echo loudly at the international arena.

Hail the Republic of South Sudan! Peace be upon the Republic of South Sudan!

The writer is a dual citizen of the Republic of South Sudan and Australia, currently residing in Australia. He can be reached through the private e-mail of; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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