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Save South Sudan: An urgent message to friends of South Sudan

A/ John Prendergast
B/ Eric reeves
C/ Brain D’ Silva
D/ Ted Dagne and
E/ Roger Miller

By Lul Gatkuoth Gatluak

Dear friends of South Sudan,

July 23, 2013 (SSNA) -- If we don’t act quickly enough to save South Sudan, the sophisticated bombs that were once booming between Sudan and South Sudan; will now be booming between South Sudanese a lone and this is not in anybody interest. Right now, it is very clear that, our president is pure dictator who will set this country on fire soon. Profoundly, it is with great appreciation and honor to know through the letter you have just written to South Sudan leaders, that your-caring for the flight of South Sudanese people is unwavering. Truly, this is the country five of you and many others have put on top of anything---to fight for its existence. You have fought for comprehensive Peace Agreement to be realized and that peace became a milestone in Sudanese history that has now changed the country forever. In my personal opinion, CPA came on file through involvement of many forces. Five of you have been instrumental and were among those who made it possible for suffering of South Sudanese to be heard and known widely in the United States and around the world. This day the 23th of July, 2013, it appear the fruit of your work is being set on fire, we citizen of that country are calling upon the United states government, which remain strongest force for peace all over the world to put pressure on our president to reverse his decrees of dissolving the government.

We have strong desire to enjoy peace now rather than war. We are so tired of wars! Throughout independence Sudan, the country had never enjoyed peaceful coexistence among its ethnic groups and never ended single decade without blood shed as all of you know dearly. South Sudanese aspiration had never been met, until when finally, in 2005, a new way of dealing with chronic problem of the Sudan had emerged out of many individual contributions which include your tireless advocacy. Although some of you may have acquaintance to Sudanese problem in different angles. One had to believe that, the rest has done so following the influx of South Sudanese refugee to American cities.

When South Sudanese refugee began resettlement in the United States from early 1990s, the wounds and the tragedy of their suffering had become very visible to you and whole American society especially Christian groups. The stories of their tribulations inspiring you the American Christians, and the Church groups in the United States, began focusing on persuading the U.S policymakers to pay more attention toward Sudan. In that early stage of our arrival, one had acquaintance with your instinct writings on Sudan which were daily read on newspapers, online websites, and at the same time, you had formed rallies and appear on television-medias---urging the United States government to do something about Sudan.

At the same token, the Church began to renew its international mission work to reach South Sudanese Christians who remain in refugee camps in neighboring countries and inside south Sudan liberated areas. These missionaries brought hope to desperate refugees who whatsoever had no clue of when they might return to their original homes in South Sudan or when peace will actually going to come to their land permanently. Due to your advocacy contribution, and all American Christian mobilizations, former President George W.Bush prioritized Sudan’s peace act and singled out Sudan for violating the religious freedom. This is how Sudan road to permanent peace started which finally resulted into independence South Sudan. South Sudanese all over the globe began to exhale that, Sudan government heavy bombs will not boom on them again and human suffering that moved American Christians to persuade the United States government will go away.

After the end of the war, all South Sudanese citizens developed an enormous expectation to see their life change rapidly. Unfortunately, the desirous change many were eager to see did not come as expected. As the result, South Sudanese civilians became disappointed in the way government of South Sudan is operating.  It is true and undeniable that the economic divergent growth cannot be achieved within one decade; however, main public institutions such as hospitals that are urgently needed, would have been built and should be in place by now started in 2005 and present. What matter the most right now is to start development by constructing healthcare facilities in all corners of the country so that people are being served within the country other than neighboring countries. It is equally true that even the central government seat or capital Juba is still remains without adequate healthcare centers and hospitals. Despite absent of proper healthcare, all government officials are receiving their medication from neighboring countries at the expense of the Government of South Sudan money.

In the known fact, South Sudan is the most distant and poorest area on the face of the earth in terms of transportation and telecommunication networking system. There are no proper roads which are the most retarding factor to cripple the development. The ten south Sudan states are detached from each other. Even with in the state alone, some of the distant rural areas where people are desperately in need of healthcare centers and clean drinking water are not reachable. The so-called south Sudan ten states’ Capital cities, Counties, Payams and/ or Bomas have no hospitals, healthcare centers and public facilities even for minor operations. People are daily dying for diseases that are curable in the other parts of the world. The entire ordinary citizens of the South Sudan are living under the mercy of God.

Although independent has been achieved, yet, some people still have not tasted the fruit of the struggle; due to the fact that, services had not been fully delivered to all people. Majority of people still fetch dirty water from the Nile River and small lakes or lagoons in the South. Those who got their drinking water from underground wells tend to be luckier. Many South Sudanese even still eat undressed tree leaves like it was the trend during the revolution struggle; not to mention the fact that, they are still giving birth under the trees without anybody recording the date and time of birth. Which mean children are yet do not know their birth days. These are the very people who will labor in the development of South Sudan and be the future leaders of the country.  If there are no healthy manpower personnel in the country, there is no much needed development at all; because in ever country, the least privileges, such as uneducated individuals are the ones who build the very beautiful cities we are witnessing and admiring in developed countries.

All these factors are the most major challenges facing our newest nation today; it is the looming daring situation that needs immediate attention. Masses of south Sudan will keep suffering, unless physical infrastructure are put in place, there won’t be any tangible transformation in the lives of the South Sudanese ordinary populace. The intensive work to detail the foundations for an acceleration infrastructure programs is to pave roads to achieve inter-linkage between key populated major towns that are assuming roles to be identify as either national or State capitals including rehabilitation of river, railways and air transport to establish an adequate transport connections with neighboring countries in order to access the regional market in Africa. This would improve living conditions in term of bringing goods from sisterly countries. The government should prioritize mechanisms of providing clean water, sanitation, roads and drainages etc; in order to change the living conditions of our people.

Beside the suffering group in our country, there are two upper groups who own the wealth of the country. These are those who run the government in all organs and those they have employed to carryout the duties. The fund concentrated on the hand of these two groups. Some of them could not get hungry again because during the interim period, they have accumulated million of dollars that would keep them survive for the rest of their lives. Many of these individuals have bought houses in foreign countries and open personal accounts with money that would have been used for the country development.

During the revolution struggle, one of the claims we were making was that South Sudanese have been neglected by consecutive regimes in Khartoum. Now such negligent seem to be practicing by us toward our own beloved ordinary citizens. It is in one’s hope that, a necessary way of serving our citizens equally must be redefined.

Beside development absent, security also is another major problem and continues to be deteriorated as you have talked about in your letter. South Sudanese people are not fully united. There are those who choose to bring destruction in many places of the country. This local insecurity among tribes in RSS can spark the split of the SPLA because the current administration seems to be so negligent and ignorant not to amicably and pragmatically resolve any tribal crisis or internal conflicts that arise among communities as quickly as possible.

At the moment, instead of focusing on absent of the development, authoritarian tendency has highly emerged crippling the government. We thought the country must be ruled base on democratic principle, but that appears not to be the case, instead, we are ruled by presidential decrees. Our president is above the law. He removes governors who were elected by the people base on political motivations. Those who do not abate with his policies, regularly find themselves without jobs. A young nation like us that is full with domestic political crisis could not promote autocrat who may be potentially worsen than abandoned North Sudan dictators. So as we speak, he made a decision to dissolve the government; only he and the speaker of the house remain running the country that has no qualify workers. Those who he has removed from power right now are not only qualifying but majority of them are his fellow comrades in army during our struggle. As he relieve them today, tomorrow, he will reappoint sycophants among them; those who care only on building their stomachs not the nation.

We hope your government here can lend a hand to help identify those who would plant the seed of democracy not dictatorial mindset individuals who are working to promote power of doom. Please keep speaking out for the goodness of that country. I hope this letter will find all of you and be read by you. May God bless you and keep you to continue doing magnificent job you have been doing for wellbeing of South Sudanese.

The author can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Lawyers for Democracy Accuse President Kiir of Serious Corruption, Deception, and Abandonment of the Vision of the SPLM

“Kiir is corrupt and abandons SPLM Vision”
For immediate Release

Juba, September 30, 2013 (SSNA) -- President Kiir abandoned the liberation struggle Vision and Mission and adapted NCP’s.

“The President of the Republic of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit has abandoned the vision and mission of the SPLM and sold his soul to the NCP”, the Lawyers for democracy in South Sudan (LDSS) declared.

“The current actions and missions of the President Kiir to Khartoum showed that the President is infiltrated by the NCP and decided to implement the programs of the NCP in the South Sudan and not the programs to benefit the two countries’ citizens. We call upon the people of South Sudan to be vigilant and demand the truth”, the LDSS continues.

On corruption, Lawyers for Democracy in South Sudan are demanding “thorough investigation of all the contracts implemented by the GOSS since 2005 to present and Dura (grain) scandal, Oil revenues and audit the Central Bank. President Kiir, families, cronies, bodyguards and business associates should be included in this investigation. The investigation body should be a neutral body mandated by the parliament with international credibility”. They added,

“Kiir should come clean instead of accusing the Ex Ministers of corruption. Where was he when the Ex Ministers were stealing? If they stole any? Yes, corruption is there however the ex ministers should not be used as a scapegoat to hide serious corruption cases” declared the group.

Kiir “has a tendency of blame game just like what he declared on the gallant forces of SPLA who fought for the freedom of our people accusing them of corruption. The same with the security situation in Jonglei and elsewhere Kiir blamed it on the SPLA while he is the Commander in Chief, when is Kiir going to take responsibility as a leader?” asked the group.

Lawyers for Democracy in South Sudan (LDSS)
Juba, Republic of South Sudan

In-depth Analysis About South Sudan Ceasefire and Implementation

By Peter Gai Manyuon

January 25, 2014 (SSNA) -- Most of the people globally are not yet satisfy with the issue of the political detainees releasing in South Sudan and the ceasefire implementation as well. Other are doubting President Kiir and his cabinet whether they will allow the release of the senior members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM/A) in opposition who are in detention due to the agenda (coup), which the Juba government is advocating for, and most people globally have disregarded as the baseless that can be pronounce.

More interestingly, most of Kiir cabinet members are not please up to now because what they term as coup was not recognized internationally and regionally as well, therefore they are trying in many ways to achieve their unknown agenda but it is very difficult for them. However, when the ceasefire was signed on the 23th of January 2014 in Addiss-Ababa Ethiopians Capital where Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) gave the name as Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM/A) in opposition was an indication of nullifying Juba claims about what they have not research for very well.

Personal overview about South Sudan conflicts

Sometimes, I get confused about the issue of the Republic of South Sudan, because every day, every year there is death which is caused by human being not God cause. I always ask myself, is this the South Sudan, we fought for in so many years with Khartoum Government? I always ask myself of what might be the solution for these very crises that are happening in the newest state? Sometimes my colleagues always advice me, that the South Sudan issue need good monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to be put in place by South Sudanese themselves not any one.

More interestingly, the question, might come who will make Monitoring and Evaluation? The answer is very simple, it is the citizen of South Sudan to see critical or advocate for the democratization processes, promoting rule of law and human rights in south Sudan, advocating for gender equality and promotion of the freedom of expression which is very important in every country. Furthermore, the question might come, who can advocate since there is no respect for the rule of law and human in South Sudan?

Mind you, if I was among the politicians, I would have use political instruments like demonstrations, public rallies to weaken the system in the Republic of South Sudan, incase government try to kill the citizen, the International community should have already call for the stepping down of the President of the Republic of South Sudan and that is why, Museveni of Uganda might get confuse on how, he should help his newest friend Kiir Mayardit. However, it is bygone now, what need to be done in the Republic of South Sudan by whatever the system that is place are the followings;

First of all, there is need of inclusiveness in all the political ,social and economic issues of the South Sudan, citizen need to get involve in mining sector ,oil sector to promote transparency and accountability within the Community in the newest nation, let the employment opportunity be done on the merit not who you know like what is happening now, where those who are working in the government offices are people whose their minds lack creativity, semi-literate and illiterate that were brought from villages and just sitting in the public offices dosing ,taking black tea frequently in a day. How can government of Kiir function when most of his workers are illiterate? That is why he had been accused by the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM/A) in opposition of the corruption, dictatorial tendencies, nepotism, tribalism, no respect for the rule of law and human rights in the system. The question is, can we blame the SPLM in opposition or President Kiir over the serious crisis that had displaced thousands of the South Sudanese from their places in South Sudan?

Secondly, sometimes this man by the name Dr Machar, he is sometimes very good in projecting some things, early last year 2013, he came up with the National Peace Initiative that captured people wills and aspirations up to date. And the objective of him coming up with that was to restore love, and clean out all the hatred, tribalism that are becoming the chronic disease in South Sudan among the people, but some politicians when in and begin manipulating the mind of Mayardit, where they went in and put in a lots of ill advices to Kiir that have lead to the destabilization of the entire country where many International community evacuated their staff and citizen who had been working in the Republic of South Sudan. There is need for the freedom of expression and association in south Sudan, if people are free morally, they can help to point out the advantages and disadvantages of the ruling government. There is no government globally who cannot be criticize accept this very government of South Sudan that had been surrounded by the people who lack faith and trust ship in them.

Will there be the implementation of the ceasefire?

No one can say, ceasefire will be recognize and respect by the two groups of the SPLM because unless otherwise the eleven political detainees will be release before the 7th of February 2014 as stipulated in the agreement in Addiss-ababa Ethiopians Capital. Secondly, if the Uganda troops withdraw from South Sudan territory, there might be peace and trust in the peace process otherwise things might be upside down.

How will the two groups of SPLM come to a roundtable with each other?

What I know releasing people like Pagan Amum, Deng Alor, Gier Chuong, Kosti Manube, Lul Gatkuoth, John Luk, Dr Chirrillo Iteng, Madut Biar, Dr Majak Agot, Weyai Deng and Engineer Chol Toang Mayay will increase the ongoing crisis, because the people who have been fighting for President Kiir were Nuer who were responding purposely to the killing of their sons and daughters by Kiir loyalists. The question is, will these guys mobilize their supporters? And if they advocate for the down full of the Mayardit, will they fail or succeed? Based on what I know most of the guys who are in the detention are very influential in their communities, and they have money as well, that they might use to bring down Kiir government in Juba. What am viewing, if eleven of them are out, that is the end of Mayardit government and his loyalists and if Kiir will refused to release them, International Community and regional body known by the name IGAD will send in troops to fight Kiir government in South Sudan.

The government of Kiir might be in a very big problem because someone like Pagan Amum is a communist, and he is talkative he might defeat the like of those of Makuei Lueth, Marial Benjamin and the rests. People are in the fear that he might mobilize internationally, regionally and within South Sudan territory. Looking at someone like Dr Majak Agot that is seen as elder within greater Bor, will also mobilize his people. More so looking at someone like Lul Gatkuoth who had been a diplomat representing South Sudanese in United Nation , will also create fear because his legacy will make some of the International community to recognized their voices and influences within the South Sudanese politics. I cannot talk of Deng Alor because most of the people of Abyei do not appreciate President Kiir since his government did not recognize the peaceful referendum of the people of Abyei that was carried out last year in October. The trust of the people of Abyei with Kiir is less than 1% practically.

Many people are very confused about how will these very two split groups of Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) come to a roundtable again and begin talking about Democratization process within the party. I hope I will agree on the quotation that says “everything had got the beginning and ending” people don’t believe that the two groups could come to the one agreement of signing the hostilityin Addiss Ababa Ethiopians Capital on 23th of January 2014. Already they have different interests and thinking capacity about who should be the SPLM party Chairperson who will contest for the Presidency using the ticket. There might still be wrangles and delay of the convention of the party in South Sudan due to because most of the people will say there had been crisis in South Sudan and therefore, we should wait for the time to get some cash from the oil to organize for the party convention.

Recommendations

Government of the Republic of South Sudan should arrest all the criminals who committed atrocities in Juba particularly those massacre the Nuer people and lead to the rebellion of Gen Peter Gatdet in Jonglei and other Generals in South Sudan, because if nothing is taken serious about the soldiers that killed civilians innocently in juba, will lead to the expansion of the conflict which most of the South Sudanese do not wish for that.

The International Community should immediately publish how Nuer were massacre in Juba from the 16th,17th and 18th of December 2013, because releasing of the video and the text will give the world indication of the decision to take against the government of the Republic of South Sudan under President Kiir Mayardit. Because looking and contextualizing the all scenario, justified for the immediate call for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to give indictment to the culprits within Mayardit loyalists in Juba.

The International Community with the combination of the South Sudanese citizen should advocate for the reforms within the party and the organization of the coming elections that will be conduct in 2015, because right now the country is at the stage of disorganization, collapsing, constitutional crisis, radical corruption and primitive politics that have lead to the killing of Nuer people base on the ethnicity which is locally, internationally and regionally unacceptable to be tolerated.

The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) should try their level base to call for the withdraw of the Uganda People Defense Forces (UPDF) because President Museveni participation in South Sudan crisis is an indication of weakness from the IGAD body, because Uganda is part of the group, how come they allow it first to killed, raped,Nuer ladies in South Sudan, some of the soldiers from Uganda are HIV/AIDS positive. Therefore, there is need to indict President Museveni as well for the crimes against Humanity unless otherwise world is not doing the needful as the people well-being.

Conclusion

South Sudan is not belong to any tribe in South Sudan but rather it belongs to all the sixty four (64) tribes, no any tribe from the 64 to advocate for the elimination of the other tribe in the South Sudan territory unless otherwise someone with psychological disorder mentally, can advocate for that like what happen last year when some people were targeted and others were moving freely.

The author is the Independent Journalist and a writer who had written extensively as columnist on the issues of Democratization and Human Rights in South Sudan. He holds Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media from Uganda and perusing MA in International Relations and Diplomacy, he is writing a book on tribalism and corruption in South Sudan. . You can contact him though; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or follow him on tweeter @Peter G Manyuon and face book as well.

Civil War in Sudan: A Cataclysm of Destruction Approaches

By Eric Reeves

February 7, 2012 (SSNA) -- In mid-December 2011 it was possible to see the early features of Sudan's third civil war. In mid-February 2012 it is possible to see how the conflicts defining that early history have brought Sudan to the precipice of all-out war, involving virtually every geographic region of what was---prior to the independence of South Sudan in July---the largest country in Africa. For independence did not mean an end to the genocidal National Islamic Front/National Congress Party (NIF/NCP)regime in Khartoum; it did not resolve the many critical issues that were left outstanding at the time of independence (July 2011); and now, threatened with the loss of oil revenues from production sites in South Sudan, Khartoum is warning ever more stridently of war against its new sovereign neighbor. Such a war will have catastrophic consequences for civilians, as the first two civil wars did, during which as many as 3 million civilians died, and more than5 million were displaced.

Presently, in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states---border states in the north, but tied in many ways to the South---Khartoum's savage military campaigns, including indiscriminate civilian bombardment, have already displaced hundreds of thousands, with an unknown but very large number of civilian casualties. Far more than 100,000 are known to have fled to Ethiopia and South Sudan; the number in transit is likely much higher. In early October the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicted that the harvests in the region would "generally fail." Two months later, in December, warnings of critical shortages of food were issued by various humanitarian organizations, including the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNet). Also in December, FEWSNet predicted that without food aid, near-famine conditions would prevail in many places by March---less than a month from now. There are presently no means of providing the necessary food aid, and despite a ratcheting up of its rhetoric, the Obama administration seems unwilling to propose actions that might either change the thinking in Khartoum or open humanitarian corridors without securing the regime's consent.

In January the Satellite Sentinel Project released two reports: one showing a nearly complete military encirclement of the Nuba Mountains (South Kordofan) and its remaining population (estimates vary, but the figure may easily be as many as 400,000 people); the other showing that the choke-point for refugees attempting to leave the region had been closed by Khartoum's artillery. No one is being allowed to leave or enter; the Nuba Mountains are a vast arena of starvation and ultimately annihilation.

Conditions in neighboring Blue Nile are no better: there as well massive civilian displacement and the complete lack of international humanitarian access have endangered many hundreds of thousands of lives. And those who flee to South Sudan face aerial attack: Khartoum has several times attacked refugee camps or staging areas, most notoriously the major refugee camp at Yida (Unity State) on November 10---three months ago. The attacks continue, and so do Khartoum's transparently mendacious denials.

Because no agreement was reached on what fees South Sudan would pay to Khartoum for transit of its oil to Port Sudan, and because the regime militarily seized the contested border region of Abyei in May, negotiations have become increasingly strained and appear to have broken down. Khartoum has dug in its heels, insisting on a truly preposterous proposal that would have war-ravaged South pay Khartoum billions of dollars and pay an ongoing $36 per barrel transit fee. This is not negotiation, but extortion. For example, Ukraine receives from Russia $7.80 to $9.50 per ton of oil transported through its territory by means of the immense Druzhba pipeline (there are approximately seven barrels in a ton of oil, so the price per barrel in transit fees would be $1.10 - $1.36). In 2009 Cameroon was negotiating an increase in the transit fee for oil from Chad passing through its territory from $0.41 to $1.00 per barrel. Khartoum has actually raised the fee it proposes, from $32 per barrel to $36 per barrel. This alone suggests that the regime has not been serious, but rather has sought to play an extremely dangerous game of brinksmanship---or to create a casus belli. To judge by the warlike language coming from senior officials in Khartoum, the latter seems more likely.

And if it was a game of brinksmanship that Khartoum was playing, they've stepped over the edge: South Sudan has shut down all its oil facilities and refuses to send oil north; rather, it is moving ahead with plans to move the oil to the Kenyan coast for export. This is risky for a variety of reasons, but the leadership in Juba has concluded, rightly, that there is simply no arrangement on oil shipped through the north that is both reasonable and can be guaranteed.

Khartoum has put itself in a position from which it can extricated only by means of military seizure of the oilfields in the South. Indeed, with the seizure of Abyei it has already unilaterally claimed the Diffra oil production site, which---though small---still generates approximately $80 million per year, all of which should belong to South Sudan; and there may be other promising sites nearby. Khartoum's predicament has been brought on by years, finally decades of mismanagement of the northern economy. It squandered the oil wealth generated from 1999 through July 2011, mainly on self-enrichment, buying political support, and exorbitant military expenditures.

And the consequences of this mismanagement are everywhere evident in an economy that is a shambles, a situation that in turn poses a grave political threat. Inflation has been running at around 20 percent; the Sudanese pound continues its precipitous decline; foreign exchange reserves are almost non-existent, leaving import companies desperate for financing; fiscal realities have obliged the regime to cut the highly popular subsidies on fuel and sugar; and unemployment is growing. And towering over all this is a massive external debt of almost$40 billion, an amount that Khartoum cannot service, let alone repay. Whatever chances there were for debt relief from the West have been dissipated by the regime's military actions, and the refusal of South Sudan to accept any part of this debt---the benefits of which they saw only in the form of weapons used against them.

Notably, some 700military officers---on hearing of regime President al-Bashir's recent briefing of senior military officials, telling them that they should be preparing for "all-out war with the South"---warned the regime leadership that this was unacceptable, and that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) were already overstretched on three fronts (South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur). More senior SAF generals, including Defense Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein (indicted by the International Criminal Court for massive "crimes against humanity") have already seized much of the political power in Khartoum, and (Field Marshal) al-Bashir is all too aware of the precedent for military coups in Sudanese history. On this occasion, his allies lie in the senior ranks, and his opponents appear to lie in the middle ranks; balancing these forces may be an impossible task. But presiding over an economy that is imploding is an equally unattractive option, and this is why al-Bashir recently declared (February 3)"The climate now is closer to a climate of war than one of peace." He went on to say that his forces would wage "a war of attrition," a war "hitting them before us."

His foreign minister, Ali Karti, followed this up with threatening words of his own about the regime's use of "security cards" against the South: "We have many cards to use against the south, and the southern government has consumed all its cards. We are yet to use any of the security cards and it is high time that the[Khartoum] government considers this option." And Sudan Vision, part of Khartoum's media propaganda system, quotes Karti as saying that the next step the regime should take is "preparing for so-called 'plan B,' which exposes to all African and neighboring leaders who is behind South Sudan. 'We will not stay with arms folded towards what the government of the South is doing.'

As the Khartoum regime demonstrated in Abyei, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile, it can easily create a factitious casus belli. Here the evident occasion for war will be the South's "economic warfare" against northern Sudan, its refusal to submit to the preposterous oil revenue terms Khartoum proposes. The charge of "economic warfare" is a savage irony, given the regime's yearlong effort to destabilize South Sudan by refusing to allow many northern goods to pass into the South, including food. Even more aggressively, Khartoum has continued to arm and support various renegade militia groups operating in the South, particularly in Unity and Upper Nile states. The Small Arms Survey (Geneva) provides detailed analyses of weapons seized from these militia forces by the army of South Sudan; collectively, these analyses make inescapable the conclusion that Khartoum is waging a widespread war in the South by proxy right now.

With unforgiveable belatedness, the international community is only now awakening to the threat of war and the immensity of the humanitarian crisis in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, as well as the hundreds of thousands of refugees from Khartoum's violence, including some 110,000 Dinka Ngok who were forced to flee their native lands in Abyei. Although malnutrition is already threatening civilians in large numbers, there is no humanitarian plan in place, nor any option being proposed that will move food quickly to these desperate people. The dying has begun and will continue to accelerate until this changes. Khartoum is clearly attempting to starve into submission the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army-North of the Nuba; that hundreds of thousands of civilians are "collateral damage" is of no real concern to the regime. The barbaric aerial attacks on civilian sites by SAF aircraft make this all too clear.

The clock long ago began to tick off the lives of Sudanese victims of renewed civil war in the border regions. Have thousands already died? Certainly. Have tens of thousands already died? Probably. Will hundreds of thousands die in the coming weeks and months without urgent international humanitarian intervention? There is no evidence at hand to forestall such a brutal assessment.

Eric Reeves, a professor at Smith College, 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.

Federalism is the only viable solution to South Sudan’s problems

By Elhag Paul

September 28, 2012 (SSNA) -- Federalism, the democratic system of governance that is hated like a disease in South Sudan by some powerful members of the ruling party has come up like a rose flower blossoming in early spring sunshine.  Indeed it is a lovely flower with sweet fragrance to most South Sudanese democrats.  This fresh smell has been sprayed into the acrid atmosphere of South Sudan by non other than the person who challenged SPLM dictatorship in 1991 derailing the SPLM’s project of New Sudan and changing the course of history.

Dr Lam Akol’s call in the Sudan Tribune on 20th September 2012 “for a federal state in South Sudan to achieve ‘Unity in diversity’ and to promote peaceful coexistence between the different tribal components of the country” is not only timely but a wise call proving the initiative to be a thoughtful act of a citizen who wants the best for the country.  Any person coming up with solutions to address our failed state should be taken very seriously. 

Dr Akol has been the subject of vilification for nearly 2 decades by the SPLM party even when he was their registered member.  The leaders of the SPLM hate him for his supposed intelligence.  The public should not receive Dr Akol’s call for federalism with suspicion for the simple fact that ultimately if South Sudan is to be rescued it has to be governed by a federal system.  The current centralised system of governance in South Sudan is a recipe for disaster and it is one of the reasons why South Sudan is a failed state today.

A country with a diverse population of over sixty tribes can not just be subjected to the whims of only18 percent of its citizen who perversely call themselves a majority.  How can 18 percent of the population be a majority over 82 percent?  This is one of the twisted logic that is invoked time and again to perpetuate abuse by a minority bent on domination and siphoning the resources of the country without any accountability.  To do away with this abuse and corruption it is necessary that the system of governance in the country is changed to a federal one as called for by Dr Akol.

Federal system will bring government closer to the people and it will allow proper scrutiny of government since local federal government agents will be judged by local people who elect them and not appointees as is the case now.  Additionally, federalism will do away with the current uneven distribution of resources and power between the various social groups in the country.  The importance of this point is that as people participate in their government within their own localities (federal states) cooperation between the various localities will begin to build up leading into a healthy relationship and peaceful co-existence.  This is what we want in our country and not domination by one group that generates constant instability. 

Federalism is not new to South Sudanese.  In 1950s prior to the independence of the Sudan in 1956 South Sudanese fearing domination by the Arabs called for a federal system.  Had the government in Khartoum heeded the call then perhaps Sudan today would still have been one country at peace with itself.  But the Arabs refused it because they wanted to dominate and as a result they played a game with it until the South Sudanese got fed up and moved on to separation which now has happened. 

Many tribes in South Sudan feel hard done by the dominant tribe in the SPLM.  This is not new.  There is a pertinent history which is threatening to repeat itself.  The experience of Kokora was painful but the current system is even generating more pain than that of Kokora and it is only a matter of time before things begin to boil over.

 

In the bush SPLM tried to minimise this kind of pain by accepting that federalism should be the system of governance in South Sudan.  Thus, it sought to placate itself by holding a convention in 1994.  In that convention it was unequivocally resolved that federal system would be the system of governance in the Sudan.  This was in recognition of the diversity of the South Sudan. 

When the CPA was born in 2005 the constitution governing South Sudan stipulated federalism as the system of governance in South Sudan.  The SPLM was comfortable with this arrangement because it still had no absolute power and also fearing division in the South.  So far so good.  After the referendum and secession of South Sudan the SPLM having obtained ultimate power they threw away federalism from the constitution in favour of a centralised government.  As expected this was done to allow certain groups and ethnicities to dominate the government.  The outcome of this arrangement is the total mess South Sudan is in now.  Rampant corruption, massive theft, tribal appointments of incompetent people, tribal police force, tribal prison forces, tribal judiciary, tribal wars, and rebellions capped with a failed state.  Hence the certification of South Sudan by international bodies as a failed state and the measured description of South Sudan government by one of its former advisors Gerard Prunier as a government of “idiots …..rotten to the core.” 

Now a centralised system of government that produces such destruction and rubbish surely can not be good for the country and it needs to be discarded in the interest of peace and unity.  Here is where Dr Akol’s call comes in timely.  We either have a ‘unity in diversity’ or we will self destruct and there is no knowing what the outcome of that will be. 

It will not surprise me if the demonization of Dr Akol is upped now by the footmen of SPLM simply because he has touched a sensitive button albeit a life saving one for all of us.  In light of this it is vital to briefly examine Dr Akol’s performance in SPLM objectively.  Before doing this I would like to state categorically that I am not a member of SPLM-DC.  My interest in this is only to be fair to him as his proposal transcends party and ideological bigotry.

Prior to 1991 Dr Akol was a rising star in the SPLM.  As the face of external relations of the movement he ably represented the movement to the extent that he gave credibility to SPLM’s claimed stake as an alternative government to the rulers in Khartoum.  His performance in talks with the Sudan government in Norway in late 1980s shone throughout the world raising the status of SPLM internationally.  The press briefs he gave were measured and effective.  Unlike the current GoSS diplomats in Nairobi and Washington who embarrass us daily.  Dr Akol carried himself in that portfolio with dignity lifting up the status of the movement.  Even Dr Garang acknowledged his high quality performance.

However, the 1991 failed Nasir coup of which Dr Akol was a member changed all that.  He became a target of demonization by the SPLM main stream and to a large extent this succeeded.   The majority of South Sudanese pumped up with sustained negative propaganda by the SPLM over the years do not see Dr Akol from untainted glass.  This is unfortunate because many people have been frightened, brainwashed and deprived of the chance to interact with his writings and his person without being biased.  Objective engagement with Dr Akol’s materials is illuminating and I have no doubt that history will have him as the person who changed the course of South Sudan history in the SPLM. 

Although Reik Machar was the leader of that coup, it is known that without Dr Akol he would not have taken the bold step of rebelling against Dr Garang.  And without 1991 Nasir coup, it would have been unthinkable for the wishes of South Sudanese for secession to come to light during that dark oppressive period of one man rule (Dr John Garang). It is this coup with pressure from South Sudanese internally and externally that forced Dr Garang to sign up to the agenda of secession through referendum in Abuja in early 1990s and from there everything else was history.  

This is a momentous contribution to the history of South Sudan that nobody can take that away from Dr Akol.  This contribution no doubt threatens the position of those who want to construct Dr Garang as the ‘Father of the Nation’.  A widely misused and abused phrase in south Sudan without any credible grounds.  Yes, Dr Garang fought Khartoum hard and nobody can take that away from him.  However it is important to note that he fought for a united Sudan.  Dr Garang himself put pen to paper saying ‘our first bullets were fired against the separatists.’  Now how could a person who was a unionist to the core who executed separatists at will be the father of a nation he did not want to see born?  People like Isaiah Abraham who tirelessly pursue the goal of glorifying Dr Garang through mendacity will later find out that their effort is gone to waste like dust or vapour. 

Dr Akol as any other human being has his weaknesses.  Writers like Dr Nyaba in his writing refer to him as arrogant.  This maybe true but surely this is not a reason enough to banish someone.  If Dr Reik Machar, despite his destructive paste and promotion of corruption in GoSS now can be reinstated in South Sudanese society, why not Dr Akol?  If the former ministers of finance Arthur Akuen and Athian Mawen who mismanaged billions in the system can be reinstated and appointed into parliament why not Dr Akol?  If former NCP diehards who fought the SPLM tooth and nail for two decades can be reinstated, why not Dr Akol?  There are many cases of people who have done terrible things in South Sudan and yet they have been reinstated in society and lavishly praised.  But when it comes to Dr Akol, the siren is sounded as if the world is coming to an end.  Let us be fair and treat people equally if we want to build a good society.  Those whose minds have been contaminated by SPLM propaganda need to rescue themselves by being objective.  Individually the decision is ours whether we want to remain with the wool pulled over our eyes by SPLM or become free beings in thoughts and deeds.  

Frantz Fanon (1924 -1961) argues that manipulation of the mind is not only destructive to the individual but is the very destruction of the community itself simply because the behaviour of a manipulated person ensures his own demise and that of his community.  When someone be they your friend or your enemy manipulates and colonises your mind; they have full control of you and will exploit you as they like.  No offense intended but the SPLM has via crude methods managed to colonise minds of its members as well as a large section of our society.  In a sense SPLM has locked into the minds of their supporters the idea that anybody opposing them is pro Arab and therefore should not be tolerated (although the Arabs are long gone) even when the person has good ideas for the country.  What SPLM does not say is that they too are in daily contact with Arabs.   

Having come this far, what is needed clearly is free thinking people in the SPLM who can question things and argue objectively in favour of good ideas.  For example, on this proposal of federalism objective SPLM members should be able to say although Dr Akol raised the issue it is good for South Sudan and they should be able to support it  After all this would not be the first time that SPLM adopts Dr Akol’s proposals.  In Abuja they accepted self determination of South Sudan.

Thus on the issue of federalism, let objectivity for once reign.  Let us concentrate on the message and not the messenger.  If what is being proposed can offer a solution to our failed state and can stop the world calling us ‘idiots ….rotten to the core’ then what is wrong with that?  After all Dr Akol is resurrecting something that once was in our constitution before SPLM vandalised it in July 2011 (Independence day). 

Federalism is the only viable solution to our problems.  It offers solutions to the problem of domination.  It offers solutions to the problem of poor governance.  It offers peaceful co-existence.  It offers solutions to the politics of exclusions.  It offers solutions to political instability.  It offers solutions to totalitarianism and so on.  Moreover this is a system that has been tested in the advanced countries: United States of America, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, and Australia. 

For those who say federalism is not good for South Sudan the burden of proof remains with them.  They need to tell us why it is not good by arguing and making a credible case for such a position.   They need to bear in mind that centralised power as now in Juba dominated by one group has failed and caused the current instability.  If left unaddressed it may lead into disintegration of the country. 

In summing up, now that Dr Akol’s call for federalism in South Sudan has coincided with the review of the constitution, the members of the constitutional review and the members of the parliament should pay a particular attention to this. 

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

The Author lives in the Republic of South Sudan. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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