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The Deputy Governor of Lakes State should read his Bible once again

By Juma Mabor Marial

April 24, 2013 (SSNA) -- I may be called the Journalist, the activist, the political rival, the most wanted person in my attempts to response to the untenable utterances against the media and other citizens of lakes state by the Deputy Governor over the weekend, but am also convinced in my own right that if I don’t condemn these reckless statements from our leaders, then who would do that?

Before I could release my discontentment, I wish to refer the readers to article published on Sudan Tribune on April 23, 2013 (RUMBEK)  which read as  "Those who are writing negatively about this state government will be crucified like Jesus Christ if we capture them", Lakes state’s Deputy Governor, Mabor Achol Kuer, said on Sunday.

It is not surprising to read such statements from Mabor Achol because the man has been known for his controversial statements in his political life. Previously during his tenure as a commissioner in one of the counties in Greater Yirol, he was quoted as saying “the Agaar’s cattle do not have marks in their foreheads such that they could be easily identified with their herders’. He was then responding to the quest by the Agaar community leaders asking his leadership to recover the cows stolen from the later. This statement has caused him several confrontations and some of us had thought he would be more careful the next time he releases any statement in relation to public issues.

I personally respect the Deputy Governor and his policies especially in the fight against corruption and nepotism in the state institutions. He has since his appointment stood out to be a very objective politician because at some point he would disagree with his bosses on principles of governance and this has all along enabled him built a stable political platform between him and the public. We had hoped he would continue to do the same with regards to safeguarding the bill of rights including but not limited to the freedom of speech, expression, association, political opinion, religion because he is now quoting the Bible etc…

It is also too difficult to blame him for releasing this statement because he has to please his boss at some point considering that he has just been missed by a whisper as the recent government reshuffle left him unseated but instead added to his docket the highest and prestigious ministry of education. He therefore has all the right to defend the government but in this particular case, he has over sped by quoting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Christian doctrines to this incident are that the death of Jesus has been rapidly condemned in the strongest terms possible and that the Christians around the globe rightfully believed that Jesus was innocent and his ultimate death was not the best decision made by his executors. Therefore, if the Deputy Governor could go back to his archives and read on the teachings, the crucifixion, the resurrection and the whole history about Jesus and his crucifixion , he would only end up quoting the bible that ‘ father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing’. So if the Deputy Governor crucify these journalists and activists when and if they capture them, then the victims would simply say, ‘God forgive this government for it do not know what the purpose for the bill of rights is’ in the Transitional Constitution.

Negative criticisms as he intends to portray and Crucifixion in regard to Jesus Christ have diverse connotations and the Deputy Governor should have had the wisdom to select his statements very carefully.

Nevertheless, the question of crucifying people of south Sudan by a certain level of government is an element of insecurity and it is unfortunate that the government that is entrusted with protecting the lives of the citizens is threatening them with crucifixion. The changes in Lakes state of removing the duly elected governor were prompted by rampant insecurity and the president in his own wisdom selected General Matur Chut Dhuol to go and restore sanity in that state. This also means that insecurity cannot only be about sectional fights, cattle rustling, crimes and street gangs but it may also be caused by reckless statements like this particular one by the Deputy Governor. Insecurity does not only mean seeing dead corps but also means when there are intentions of intimidating, threatening, scaring someone away from living in their rightful homes. The Deputy Governor seemed to have not considered the negative repercussions his statement entails in regard to the general policies of his government and security situation of lakes state in particular.

What do I advise?

Personally, I still want Mabor Achol Kuer to remain relevant in the political landscape of Lakes State because together with General Matur Chut Dhuol as his boss, we can be rest assured of a corruption free Lakes State and perhaps the insecurity will with time subside if the stringent measures that the caretaker governor introduced are critically followed. However, I want the Deputy Governor to observe the following;

1. Refrain from intimidating the citizens from exercising their constitutional rights
2. Apologize to the people of lakes state for threatening them with crucifixion
3. Repent to Jesus and his Father for quoting the holy book in favor of his political rhetoric
4. Continue fighting his good war on corruption.
5. Never give up his principles in exchange for political appointments.

If the Deputy Governor takes into account some of these unsolicited advises from me, his citizen, I think he will have a brighter political destiny.

Juma Mabor Marial is a lawyer based in Juba. Reachable at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

A Proven Strategy to End Conflict in South Sudan

By Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kulwant Singh and Dr. David Leffler

December 29, 2013 (SSNA) -- A new technology of defense is now available that has been scientifically shown to prevent war and create peace by harnessing the deepest level of nature's functioning.

War is ultimately a human problem requiring a human solution. Experts in the field of conflict resolution maintain that the underlying cause of war is accumulated "social stress" - i.e., mounting political, religious and/or ethnic tensions between rival factions in critical hotspots throughout the world. As social stress builds, divisions grow stronger, groups take sides, diplomats become unable to resolve differences, and enemies arise within or outside the nation. Military force may then be invoked to protect the country, resulting in armed conflict and unpredictable outcomes. But even if conflict temporarily solves the problem for the victor, the social stress remains, fueling future cycles of conflict. In contrast, the absence of collective stress translates into the absence of tension between competing sides, thereby reducing the probability of hostilities.

Today, the military of the South Sudan has an opportunity to overcome the cycle of war by deploying a scientifically verified technology of defense that neutralizes social stress. This new technology is based on the unified field of all the laws of nature - the most fundamental and powerful level of nature's functioning. The technology accesses and enlivens this unified field through subjective technologies of consciousness, thereby creating a profound influence of coherence and harmony throughout society that results in measurable reductions of crime, terrorism, and war.

The late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi revived systematic subjective technologies for experiencing the unified field, including the Transcendental Meditation program and its advanced techniques. When used in a military context these meditation practices are known as Invincible Defence Technology (IDT). They have been successfully applied by members of many faiths to eliminate conflict. Other militaries in the African region like Mozambique have already applied these non-lethal and non-destructive technologies to reduce collective societal stress and resulting conflict.

Over 50 research studies confirm that when the required threshold of IDT experts is crossed - approximately the square root of 1% of a given population - crime goes down, quality of life indices go up, and war and terrorism abate. Scientists have named this phenomenon the Maharishi Effect, since Maharishi Mahesh Yogi first predicted it. The causal mechanism appears to be a field effect of consciousness - a spillover effect on the level of the unified field from the peace-creating group into the larger population.

In 1983, a two-month Maharishi Effect intervention in Israel resulted in a 76% reduction in war deaths in neighboring Lebanon (p < 10-7) when group size exceeded the square root of 1% threshold (Journal of Conflict Resolution). Seven subsequent, consecutive experiments over a two-year period during the peak of the Lebanon war found

  • war-related fatalities decreased by 71% (p < 10-10)
  • war-related injuries fell by 68% (p < 10-6)
  • the level of conflict dropped by 48% (p < 10-8)
  • cooperation among antagonists increased by 66% (p < 10-6)

The likelihood that these combined results were due to chance is less than one part in 1019) (Journal of Social Behavior and Personality). A global-scale study published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation documented a 72% drop in international terrorism.

The South Sudan military is responsible for defending its citizens. It can now succeed in this mission simply by creating a Prevention Wing - a group of IDT experts. The size of the Prevention Wing would be in the hundreds - approximately the square root of 1% of the population of the country.

As part of its responsibility to protect the nation, the South Sudan military is obligated to thoroughly examine scientifically proven methods for preventing war and terrorism. With the IDT approach, all that is necessary is to provide the proper training for groups of military personnel - or indeed, any sizable group within the nation. The South Sudan military has the opportunity today through IDT to create national security, invincibility, and peace. But the time to act is now.

About the Authors:

Major General (Ret.) Kulwant Singh, U.Y.S.M., Ph.D., leads an international group of generals and defense experts that advocates Invincible Defense Technology. He was awarded the Uttam Yudh Sewa Medal, the second highest decoration for senior officers during operations in Sri Lanka as part of IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force).

David Leffler, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS). He served as an Associate of the Proteus Management Group at the Center for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College. Dr. Leffler is the author of "A New Role for the Military: Preventing Enemies from Arising - Reviving an Ancient Approach to Peace." He is on Twitter.

President Deby can fix Chad without being mean to South Sudan

By Justin Ambago Ramba

April 18, 2010 (SSNA) -- It is now clear that when war was ravaging in south Sudan over a period well beyond two decades, some African leaders like the types of Idriss Deby, weren’t even keen enough to see where the whole thing was eventually driving the politics in this region of the continent. Even the 2 million plus lives lost in that war seem to move none of their nerves. Countries like Chad were either busy installing their own totalitarian regimes or as likely could be, were in fact supporters of the Islamic government of Khartoum that declared the Islamic Holy War of “Jihad” supposedly against the non – Muslims infidels of South Sudan.

Like Dr. Khalil Ibrahim of the Darfuri, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), President Déby’s cousin, it was a religious duty to fight against the southern Sudanese rebels. He took his AK 47 and joined the Mujahedeen to raise the banner of Islamic conquest in the jungles of Africa. The dream never materialized and Khalil himself is now a rebel leader against the same unjust regime that he once fought to promote.

Given the many ideological and ethnical commonality between the two Zaghawa Islamists, it came as no surprise at all that on April 16th, 2010 the Chadian president went on the Media to add his voice to the handful sceptics and warned against the outcome of South Sudan’s forth coming self determination referendum where it is more likely to vote for secession and become Africa’s newest state. Deby openly declared that south Sudan’s independence would spell trouble and he calls it "a disaster for Africa."

"We all have a north and south, part Muslim and part Christian. If we accept the disintegration of the Sudan, how do confront attempts to break the other countries?" Chad’s President Idriss Deby said.

"I say it loud, I’m against this referendum (separation) and against the possibility of division" he added. "Do you really think that the Khartoum government would agree easily on the loss of the south with its oil and minerals?"He added.

Chad is a country that borders the war torn province of Darfur. Officially it is known as the Republic of Chad, and is a landlocked country in north central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west. Due to its distance from the sea and its largely desert climate, the country is sometimes referred to as the "Dead Heart of Africa".

Like Sudan Chad is abound with ethnic and religious groups, which fought with each other bloody conflicts.

In 1960 Chad obtained independence from France under the leadership of François Tombalbaye, a southern Christian. Resentment towards his policies in the Muslim north culminated in the eruption of a long-lasting civil war in 1965. In 1979 the rebels conquered the capital and put an end to the south's hegemony.

However, the rebel commanders fought amongst themselves until Hissène Habré defeated his rivals. He was overthrown in 1990 by his general Idriss Déby who received huge backing from the National Islamic Front (NIF) a.ka National Congress Party (NCP) government in Khartoum. Recently, the Darfur crisis in Sudan has split over the border and destabilised the nation, with hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees living in and around camps in eastern Chad.

In 2006 Déby unilaterally modified the constitution to remove the two-term limit on the presidency. This removal allows a president to remain in power beyond the previous two-term limit. Most of Déby's key advisers are members of the Zaghawa ethnic group, although southern and opposition personalities are represented in government.

Corruption is rife at all levels in Chad; Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2005 named it the most corrupt country in the world, and has fared only slightly better in the following years. In 2007, it scored 1.8 out of 10 on the Corruption Perceptions Index (with 10 being the least corrupt). Only Tonga, Uzbekistan, Haiti, Iraq, Myanmar, and Somalia scored lower. Critics of President Déby have accused him of cronyism and tribalism.

The aforementioned lines were meant to give the readers some insight into the country that is patiently rotting under the current totalitarian regime of General Deby. If it is anything to go by, Chad in its own right is atypical example of an active political volcano. But instead of working out home-made solutions, unfortunately our Zaghawa life president is worrying himself with issues next door. This is typical of post Oil boom intoxication. You only need to look up north at Muamar Ghadafi of Libya to fully appreciate this political syndrome.

Let no one make mistake in generalising the political problems of the African continent though on the surface they all seem to have their roots in the artificial national boundaries. These frontiers were drawn by the European colonialists with the primary aim of weakening existing African governing structures in order to make the people easily colonisable.

However while the whole of the African national boundaries were drawn for them, the African people themselves have on the general defied frontiers in favour of communicating with their kinsmen across them. This is true of all the existing frontiers where similar communities and ethnic nationalities exist on either side.

Although the entire continent of Africa is yearning for a continental unity as was enshrined in the organisation of the African unity (OAU) charters and then carried forwards into the African Union (AU), yet the anomalous existence of what are in fact a distortion of the image of Africa, in the form of Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Chad, Nigeria, Somalia, Ethiopia .......etc (all piled together and forced into a life- long disharmony) has had its toll by creating artificial citizenry. Our people are so much consumed within our national disharmony, that we are left with no energy to unify Africa.

It is the types of Idriss Derby who go on changing their countries’ beautiful constitutions so that they can remain in power for life thus oppression the people and denying them any chance of peaceful transfer of power. And now when he is done, the Chadian general who has his eyes on Darfur, is questioning, how could the northern Sudanese possible allow the south to secede with all that huge oil?


A Creeping Military Coup in Khartoum

By Eric Reeves

August 10, 2011 (SSNA) -- On August 2, the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime in Khartoum decided to delay the medical evacuation of ten Ethiopian peacekeepers who were injured by a powerful landmine explosion in Abyei, a highly contested region in Sudan. The convoy of peacekeepers, operating under UN authority, hit the mine near Mabok, southeast of Abyei town and very close to 1956 North-South border. One man died instantly and ten were badly injured---three critically. And yet for more than three hours, Khartoum's Sudan Armed Forces, including their military intelligence, refused a UN helicopter permission to leave Kadugli in South Kordofan (some 200 kilometers away). Indeed, according to the head of the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy, the SAF commander threatened to "shoot down the helicopter" if it attempted its medical evacuation mission. The three critically wounded soldiers all died before they could be brought to medical facilities in Kadugli.

Details of the events have been confirmed by Le Roy and other UN diplomatic sources. One "expressed shock at the incident," and another was reported by Agence France-Presse as saying (anonymously) that at least one of these peacekeepers could have survived his wounds if transported promptly.

Even in their outrage, UN officials showed a perverse unwillingness to offend Khartoum---the most likely reason for their anonymity. This determination runs deep in the UN, as it responds to crisis after crisis in Sudan, on both the political and humanitarian sides of the organization. This muting of criticism has been justified in a number of ways: to preserve aid access, to facilitate "negotiations," to seem---especially in the Arab and Islamic worlds---"evenhanded" in all criticisms of parties to the conflicts in Sudan. But in the end, it is precisely this diffidence and fecklessness that allow Khartoum to threaten humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts in the first place. And in the end, the UN is all too accurate a reflection of its member nations.

An Ethiopian peacekeeping force---the third UN-authorized peacekeeping force in Sudan---was required only because the SAF unilaterally seized Abyei on May 20, in violation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between North and South and a "final and binding" determination of Abyei's borders by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2009. (Not coincidentally, shortly after the regime seized Abyei it launched a genocidal assault on the Nuba people in South Kordofan, North Sudan, an assault that continues unabated.)

The Ethiopian force was deployed in order to create secure conditions for the more than120, 000 displaced Dinka Ngok to return to their native Abyei. But Khartoum declared that its military forces will withdraw from Abyei, as they have nominally agreed, only when all 4,200troops of the Ethiopian armored brigade have deployed; and there is no provision for the future threat posed by Arab Misseriya militia proxies that were so active in the looting of Abyei. Since it is now the height of the rainy season, and transport is difficult if not impossible, deployment could take many months. During this time, Khartoum's seizure of Abyei will increasingly become a fait accompli.

SO WHAT does it say about the regime that it would issue orders to shoot down a UN medevac helicopter trying to save badly injured UN peacekeepers? To be sure, in one sense it is nothing new: such acts of barbarism have defined the regime since it seized power by military coup in 1989---in South Sudan and Darfur, and in Abyei and in South Kordofan. In the 1990s in the Nuba Mountains, home to the African Nuba people of South Kordofan, Khartoum launched a genocidal jihad, which killed or displaced hundreds of thousands of the indigenous Nuba. There are no firm figures for these terrible human losses, but Julie Flint---an expert on the Nuba---estimates that 60,000 to 70,000 were killed by Khartoum's militia forces early in the campaign. And in Darfur and the Nuba Mountains today, the deliberate aerial bombardment of civilian and humanitarian targets continues unabated. (I have recently chronicled these particular atrocity crimes in detail from 1999 to the present.)

The list of such crimes is long and various. Human rights groups reported, while they still had access in Darfur, countless brutal raids against the villages of African tribal groups perceived as the civilian base of support for the insurgency that began in 2003. By Darfuri estimates, some 4,000 to 5,000African villages have been completely or partially destroyed and depopulated. Antonov bombers, helicopter gunships, ground troops, and Arab militia allies (known collectively as the "Janjaweed") ravaged the agricultural livelihood of African farmers, by poisoning wells, destroying food and seed stocks, burning dwellings and markets, and looting and killing livestock. Radio Dabanga continuously reports on the epidemic of rape that Khartoum loosed upon the girls and women of Darfur, as well as on deadly attacks on camps for displaced persons. The regime has engineered or permitted widespread insecurity in order to attenuate humanitarian access to the region.

So in a moral sense, there is ample and recent precedent for the decision to deny medical evacuation of the wounded UN peacekeepers. Even so, this act suggests something new about how the cabal in Khartoum sees itself in its engagement along the border regions with South Sudan. Indeed, there is considerable evidence that the regime is undergoing a "creeping coup," orchestrated by elements in the military leadership. Several observers have noted this possibility, including Julie Flint in a recent dispatch based on a document from an official in Khartoum. No doubt this official is rightly fearful that if a military coup from within is successful, there will be very little room for civilians in the new configuration of power:

"[A]well-informed source close to the National Congress Party reports that Sudan's two most powerful generals went to [Sudanese President Omar al-] Bashir on May 5, five days after 11 soldiers were killed in an SPLA ambush in Abyei, on South Kordofan's southwestern border, and demanded powers to act as they sought fit, without reference to the political leadership."

"'They got it,' the source says. 'It is the hour of the soldiers---a vengeful, bitter attitude of defending one's interests no matter what; a punitive and emotional approach that goes beyond calculation of self-interest. The army was the first to accept that Sudan would be partitioned. But they also felt it as a humiliation, primarily because they were withdrawing from territory in which they had not been defeated. They were ready to go along with the politicians as long as the politicians were delivering---but they had come to the conclusion they weren't. Ambushes in Abyei...interminable talks in Doha keeping Darfur as an open wound.... Lack of agreement on oil revenue....' 'It has gone beyond politics,' says one of Bashir's closest aides. 'It is about dignity.'"

We, in turn, might ask about the "dignity" of the millions of victims Khartoum has sacrificed for its own survival.

I think it is extremely likely that what Flint's sources tell her is accurate, and immensely consequential. The decision to threaten to shoot down a UN medical helicopter---a gratuitously self-destructive action---is but one example of the regime having come 'round to the "hour of the soldiers." Al-Bashir himself came from the army, and now goes under the title of "Field Marshal."And he has depended on the military as his strongest constituency in asserting his presidential powers. So it's possible that al-Bashir himself is leading the coup as a way to prevent political rivals from seizing power in the turmoil that now prevails in Khartoum---or that he is on the way to becoming a puppet of the military. But one way or another, the military is ascendant.

Flint’s document makes sense of a good deal of what we have seen recently in Sudan. Take, for example, the decision by notorious regime hardliner Nafi'e Ali Nafi'e to sign an agreement on June 28 with political representatives of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), an agreement that would address some of the issues that precipitated the crisis in South Kordofan and commit both parties to seek a cessation of hostilities. On returning from his visit to China in early July, al-Bashir promptly overturned Nafi'e's decision and declared that the SAF would "continue their military operations in South Kordofan until a cleansing of the region is over."

Nafi'e would never have made the decision to sign such a consequential agreement without confirmation from al-Bashir. Something changed in the political environment. Either the SAF leadership demanded that the agreement be renounced, oral-Bashir sought this opportunity to undermine his closest---and thus most dangerous---hard-line ally. Since then, the military campaign in South Kordofan has gone on undiminished, although a number of Nuba sources have indicated to me that the SAF is enduring a terrible beating at the hands of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/North (SPLA-N). Photographs of captured equipment, detailed ground reports, and assessments from other regional sources and U.S. government officials all paint the same picture of a Northern military force outmaneuvered and out-fought by the highly motivated SPLA-N. Indeed, morale is a fundamental problem in the SAF, especially among its African conscripts. Two full battalions are reported to have deserted rather than fight the SPLA-N; if true, this might explain why Khartoum appears to be utilizing proxy Arab militia forces more heavily.

Military defeats and desertions can only add to the humiliation that the SAF leadership undoubtedly feels, and may make an expanded war more likely. Indeed, Blue Nile State---like South Kordofan, part of North Sudan but traditionally allied with the SPLA/M---may be the next front. Malik Agar, governor of Blue Nile, is apolitical leader of the northern wing of the SPLM and a fearsome military leader, as he proved during the years of civil war. He has repeatedly warned that the longer the conflict continues in South Kordofan (now over two months), the more likely it is that Blue Nile will become involved in the fighting. Confidential UN reports from the weeks prior to South Sudan's July 9independence make clear that there have been large military deployments in the region, by both the SAF and SPLA.

If conflict spreads to Blue Nile, the war will become truly national in scope, and rebel alliances---already evidently in the making---will become inevitable, as different peripheral regions make common cause against Khartoum. This civil war will likely involve Abyei, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur---but also Nubia in the far North, the Beja people in the east (victims of yet another fraudulent peace agreement with Khartoum), and other marginalized populations. At some point, it's likely that even the military of South Sudan will no longer remain on the sidelines, despite the restraint it has so far shown in the face of Khartoum’s military provocations, including the seizure of Abyei.

In short, a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions is in the making. And this will occur sooner rather than later without an effective international response, which so far is nowhere in sight.

INTERNATIONAL POLICY responses, as John Prendergast has recently argued, have "stove-piped" Sudan’s various conflicts, attempting to treat them separately rather than as part of a pattern of action by the NIF/NCP regime. The root cause of conflict in Sudan is Khartoum’s decades of brutal misrule and marginalization (often violent) of the various populations on the periphery of Sudan. The purpose has always been conspicuous: self-preservation, self-enrichment, and the furthering of a radical agenda of Islamism and Arabism. A military coup of any sort will only strengthen these ambitions. We should expect no restraint: Many in the SAF leadership will eventually be indicted for atrocity crimes by the International Criminal Court (al-Bashir has already been indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity). These brutal men know there is no future for them except The Hague if there is genuine regime change.

Many Sudanese believe that the coup is proceeding. As Flint notes, "the Northern SPLA leadership has warned of the domination ... of the military junta over the leadership of Bashir's National Congress Party." Such a coup would make things a great deal more difficult on any diplomatic front and may quickly lead to the expulsion of all humanitarian organizations from Darfur, completing the elimination of international witnesses to the ongoing genocide by attrition. Similarly, a military regime---with or without a figurehead---will do everything it can to forestall humanitarian access to South Kordofan.

The UN Secretariat gives no sign of appreciating the implications or connections of recent events in Sudan. Calls for "an end to the fighting" and for a "UN investigation of allegations of human rights violations" in South Kordofan will go unmet. Matters are hardly helped by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who persists in her skepticism about events in the region, despite a report by UN human rights investigators on the ground in June detailing massive atrocity crimes by Khartoum and its Arab militia allies. But the United States, the Europeans, and the African Union are no better. There is nothing approaching a consensus in assessing recent events, let alone in fashioning demands of Khartoum that will entail real consequences if unmet.

If Khartoum continues to deny humanitarian access in South Kordofan and to bomb the Nuba Mountains in the coming weeks and months, the consequences are clear. In the absence of a fall harvest that now seems impossible, the real dying, by famine, will begin.

Is the world prepared to watch as this unfolds? All evidence suggests that the answer is yes. By refusing to acknowledge the implications of current developments, UN and Western officials will be able to indulge expressions of outrage after the fact. In early March in this space I argued that "if war resumes in Abyei, it is likely to spread quickly to the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile. The entire North/South border could become one long military front." This prediction is perilously close to being fully realized. And yet at the time of my warning, the Obama administration was encouraging both Khartoum and the leadership in the South to "compromise" on Abyei---to ignore the terms of the Abyei Protocol in the CPA and the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. This was all the encouragement Khartoum needed. By late March it had become clear, I argued, that the regime had taken effective military control of Abyei, making the May20 invasion inevitable. Protests from the Obama administration at that point were meaningless.

In their current form, demands for a human rights investigation and humanitarian access in South Kordofan simply carry no weight with Khartoum, particularly as the military continues its ascent. Such demands by international actors of consequence---with no entailments or credible threats---are a form of moral dishonesty. This is nothing new when it comes to Sudan; but given the changed political dynamic in Khartoum, such convenient self-deception is likely to result in unfathomable destruction.

Eric Reeves is professor of English language and literature at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. He has spent the past 12 years working full-time as a Sudan researcher and analyst, publishing extensively both in the US and internationally. He has testified several times before the Congress and is author of “A Long Day's Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide.”

The President and his advisors have created unnecessary political tension in the country

By Juma Mabor Marial

April 17, 2013 (SSNA) -- It is two now days since President Kiir issued his presidential decree No. 3/2013 withdrawing the delegated powers from the vice president Riek Machar. This decision brought about mixed reactions and quite a substantial number of opinions have so far suggested that this is not about delegated powers per se but it is largely about the on-going political bickering and leadership shadow boxing within the political bureau and the SPLM party. These calculations are tempting to be ruled out as these are indeed the hidden secrets that compounded the power struggle within the ruling party.

These factors later on but now, let us just go to the rationale (if any) of the presidential decree withdrawing the delegated powers of the vice president and the subsequent decree that dissolved the national peace and reconciliation committee, the question that I initially had to asked and all of you could be anxious to ask is, “did the president have to go public in his decision of withdrawing the delegated powers from his vice president”? Mine is a resounding NO. why, because the prudence behind the ‘term delegation or delegated ‘is relative and quite prerogative to the extent that, the president like any other boss in his own right can withdraw by implications the trust that he has bestowed upon his vice and possibly tell him one on one that, he will no longer send him here and there, the president can as well remain silent and choose to delegate other people to do the work that is supposed to be done by his vice at his pleasure, this will indirectly tell the vice president that he is no longer relevant because the president no longer trust him with major government projects. There is a recent example that I must relate to you about these kinds of things. closer home when Kenya was preparing to go to the general elections, president Kibaki was caught up with the choice of picking a successor and because there were so many candidates who were eyeing his endorsement, he decided that, in order to play his cards safely, he had rather started right away and from then on, he forgot about his vice president Kalonzo Musyoka who was not his favorite choice and whom he doubted would be a spoiler in his plans to bring Uhuru Kenyatta to state house. He rapidly delegate Musilia Mudavadi who was then the Deputy prime minister and all he intended was to tell Kalonzo indirectly that, ‘man if you don’t relent on your desire to block Uhuru, then know that, I can always have a choice against you even before the general elections’ this change of events drawn Kenyan into serious arguments and endless debates but in simple terms, it was a withdrawal of powers by Kibaki from Kalonzo Musyoka by implications. Mr. Kibaki didn’t care whether Mr. Mudavadi was called his project or otherwise. He was determine to deter Kalonzo and that, he ultimately achieved.

Now, let’s come back to Kiir and his ‘brother’ Riek, in my opinion, the president could have silently make use of his closest confidants to stripe the so called delegated powers of the vice president instead of wasting time on writing a decree. The president could have send the people that he had earlier sent to investigate Riek on the desire to contest in SPLM to also act for him in things that he use to delegate Dr. Riek to do for him.

What would have been Different?

The people of south Sudan would have been glued to their Television sets and their ears fixed to the local radios if the president had decreed the suspension of the vice president powers under article 105 of the transitional constitution of south Sudan 2011 for the best reasons known to him. This would have made great news although it could have been disastrous and volatile news at the same time.

However, with my non-acceptance of what transpired, I still strongly feel that, Kiir wanted to pass one strong message to Dr. Riek that, “you think you have people in the ground, am still the president of this republic, your political oxygen is squarely in my bare hands and you should be careful how you try to compete against me’. Kiir also wanted to taste the popularity of his decrees to the public in the political aspects and if the reaction is not overwhelming, then he may as well thumb his chest and say, ‘am still in control’, so all in all, Kiir is threatening Dr. Riek that ‘don’t think about SPLM, else you will find yourself in your house before the convention.’

The what I would called ‘damage control’ by the Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin to me does not hold any waters in the current political developments, following are what he had to say when he addressed the Journalists yesterday in Juba regarding the decree withdrawing the Vice President delegated powers that:  “Riek Machar is still a vice president with all constitutional powers. General Salva Kiir Mayardit is still a president with all his constitutional powers. They are all in office. What the president had done is that he had withdrawn powers he had previously delegated to the vice president. It is like you asking me to do some work for you when you are preoccupied. This is exactly what happened and it should be understood in this context”, Marial said Tuesday. He added that “There is no difference that I know between the vice president and the president. The two leaders have been closely working together on all issues of national value”.

That is also what I would call ‘rat and Mouse Game’ in Marial’s sentiments. What Benjamin does not understand about this job of his is that, he can always be loyal to his boss and report in his favor but also, he has an equally significant obligation to tell the public of south Sudan the truth. He cannot lie to the people that, there is no problem between the two artificial brothers (Riek & Kiir) and this is already in the public domain. What is needed now is, ‘what are the necessary conflict resolution mechanisms  people like Benjamin exploring to avoid the situation from escalating into a different dimension that will negatively affects the lives and progress of the people of south Sudan’. To say that there is no conflict between Riek and Kiir is like dangling the Christmas bell in the ears of the people of south Sudan and I think Marial should be told that we know better than what he think he want to tell us, we need new solutions to those political bureau and the SPLM power wrangle.

The decree suspending the holding of the national reconciliation conference and dissolution of the committee thereof:

My first reaction to this fact was that the president had overreacted because the commission on peace and reconciliation should not have been seen to be a brief case project for the vice president such that the withdrawal of his delegated powers could be done concurrently with the dissolution of the commission, but later on as the details of the conflicted unfolded, I was convinced that, this commission was a sole project of the vice president and some of his closest cronies and the office of the president was never happy with it and it leadership from  day one. The reasons for the decision emerged that, with the removal of the vice president from the committee, the office of the president can now work on installing its own cronies to eat into the funding that have been appropriated  to the project. So in simple terms, ‘it is, you have eaten enough Mr. vice president, it is now my turn to eat the remaining share with my cronies’ kind of scenario.

Otherwise, if there were no individual interests in the national peace and reconciliation commission, I don’t see any legitimate reason why it should have been incorporated as an ingredient to this political conflict, the people of south Sudan need to move forward and the commission was a milestone in this journey. So it was to say the least useless to drag the commission into this problem.

In conclusion, I wish to offer my free legal advice to the president and his advisors that, next time when you want to embarrass someone, do it in your offices without giving the public uneasy time, because believe me, you, I couldn’t sleep that night when this news was read out and I think most of you did not, the president and his advisors had created unnecessary political tension and this is something they should have handled quietly and neatly. From now on, you must know that ‘delegated powers’ are freely and willingly given by any particular boss and they are or can be withdrawn at will, so there was no need to inform us about it, however, the point of giving the strong message to Dr. Riek being the underlying factor is recognized but again, use other mechanisms next time.

As for the people of south Sudan, politicians are funny animals and can only be likened to foxes family, they can trick you to do what they would not do and recently in Kenya, Raila Odinga after losing to Uhuru Kenyatta in the presidential elections behaved as if he was never going to reconcile with Uhuru and some four (stupid) people committed suicide because of him after the supreme court ruled in favor of Uhuru upholding his presidential elections as legitimate. Two days after Uhuru was sworn in and Raila came back from south Africa, the later was invited to state house Nairobi and the four, (president Uhuru Kenyatta, deputy President William Ruto and the losers Raila and Kalonzo musyoka) had lunch together, get into the jovial mood anyone would ever see and spent splendid time together and one blocker after seeing the pictures of their cordial meeting wrote on Facebook and I must quote “what if we had killed ourselves”.

These are the politicians for you and my honest advice now in this case is that, we should take the decision made by the president as purely leadership wrangle between him and his deputy and should not be taken out of context to cause disunity among the ordinary citizens because at the end, these two gentlemen will be seen sharing several other issues as they are now doing. Let’s take the Kenyan blocker spirit and for that I say “why should we kill ourselves for this duo”

Juma Mabor Marial is a Lawyer and Lives in Juba. Reachable at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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