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The IGAD and the Peace talks in Addis Ababa

By Yien Lam

March 17, 2014 (SSNA) -- To begin with, the proposed IGAD troop’s deployment in South Sudan is one sided case that cannot be accepted by any living creature ever. It is not good and should not be even discuss at all. It is purely a political ploy intended to replace the UPDF in South Sudan that the regime wanted. The IGAD member states should have known that this will in fact hinder the peace process in South Sudan. The organization should not have taken to an account one sided proposal in first place. It’s illogical and must not be taken into consideration. In this matter, it would be better for the organization to be judicious when it comes to dealing with this issue of peace in South Sudan.

This issue is very interesting if not complicating. It is so, because it will raise the question of its neutrality in the peace process. This will in fact complicate its ability to make peace in South Sudan as it initially intended to do. Its summit in the Ethiopia capital Addis Ababa on 13th of this month will be considered as hindrance toward peace. It will also be viewed as the step backward instead, unless IGAD reverses its decision. If I were the IGAD, I would have finished with the issue of the Uganda withdrawal from the land of South Sudanese as well as the case of the remaining four detainees first before doing anything else. This would have been better start for the peace to survive in the country. Leaving these two issues as vague as they have been is a setback for the organization. In addition, the organization should prioritize the issues and deal with them accordingly. Taking up one issue today and tomorrow move to the next without finishing the first one, will otherwise devalue its credibility in the future.

However, Suggesting of bringing troops from the organization, in which some of its member states already have taken side in the conflict cannot and will never do any good in term of peace. This will obstruct if not exacerbate its process. One cannot negotiate with individual whose side has been seen overtly. This would only be seen as the mere tactic of the South Sudan regime giving the fact that it was the only one representing on the 13th summit of the IGAD. For that matter, it will otherwise be seen as the one way road.

As the matter of fact, if the IGAD is serious as it merely seems to be. It should not have its own troops in my view. It does not need it.If the organization needs to have its boot on the ground as proposed by its summit, what would those troops do other than the UN peace keepers that are doing the exceptional job and being revered worldwide with the exception of the kiir’s regime? Would that not be the protection of infrastructures and the oilfield as the South Sudan government wanted or what would be the role of such a troops? In my view without a doubt, it would be the protection of the said infrastructures as well as oilfields? If that is so, as it has been the intention of the South Sudan government, why would the government asked only the protection of infrastructures and oilfields rather than the protection of people? Do you think such a government cares about the lives of its people than keeping itself breathing? Be the judge! To me, I genuinely doubt the legitimacy of such a government as it sound. In this scenario, I always enormously believe that government should always be there to protect its people. But this has not been the case for this government of ours. This government cares more about the protection of resources than human lives. The reason for this is obvious on the minds of many. It is because the regime buys foreign mercenaries in order to help it fight the rebels. It does not care for the people of South Sudan as many may have known it if not most. This has been the case since South Sudan independence in 2011.It has long been the unwavering stance of the regime since then.

Nonetheless, for what I know so far, the government is supposed to be worried about the suffering of its people than infrastructures and oilfields. If it only worries about such a thing than the lives of human beings, that government has fever that needs to be treated.  To be sincere though, I never heard a government of people saying as such ever. It is my first time to hear such a things being said by the government that claimed to be elected by the people of the South Sudan. If this is the case as the regime claimed, why would it only cares for the resources and infrastructures? Believe it or not, this regime is trying everything it can to prevaricate to whomever it can entice in order to gain whatever necessary for its survival. This is its intention. If the careful look is not taken by the IGAD, the peace process will never go forward. It will remain as such as it has been since January. There will never be a changed in term of peace in South Sudan. You may believe it or not, this regime manipulation will tell you the rest of what you may be missed.

Finally, IGAD must be careful and keep its neutrality in this case if it needs to bring peace in South Sudan. Without doing so, it is going to be tough for it to go forward in peace process.  In addition, it needs to take its duty as serious as supposed to be. Otherwise, peace in South Sudan will be in jeopardy.

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

An Open Letter to the Norwegian Foreign Minister Mr. Børge Brende Concerning the Plights of Nuer IDPs at UNMISS Compounds In Juba

Dear Your Excellency,

March 14, 2014 (SSNA) -- I am hereby sending to you this appeal for urgent consideration. Following the abrupt fighting in Juba which took place on the 15th December 2013, within the Presidential Guards at Tiger Barracks which later on ignited the ongoing war between the government of South Sudan and the SPLA – In Opposition under leadership of Dr. Riek Machar, former Vice President of South Sudan and subsequent massacres of over ten thousand Nuer civilians in Juba as from 16th – 19 December 2013, respectively. The three months old war in South Sudan has already caused untold miseries in terms of human and material loses mainly in the four affected states of Central Equatoria, Unity, Jongeli and Upper Nile. Whereasover thirty thousands or more have already perished mostly civilians killed deliverately by the warring parties or died as results of war related diseases.

The situation of IDPs in these four states mentioned above is very volatile and unbearable especially to the needy civilians who are displaced from their settlements and sought refuge in government held towns or in the rebels controlled areas. The numbers of IDPs scattered all over South Sudan is getting closer to one million people and are currently bearing the brunt of the war. They are lacking shelters, food, cooking utensils, clothing, sleeping materials etc. The most unfortunate group are the ones still residing in UNMISS compounds in Juba, Bentiu, Bor and Malakal. Their conditions are pathetic and needs urgent action to be taken by international community to avert more catastrophic conditions.

The IDPs in Juba alone which numbering forty thousands mainly from Nuer and are leading a destitute and hopeless lives as you can see from the pictures attached below where rains have been pouring on them recently three times consecutively while they lacked all basic human necessities. They are already displaced and deprived from going back to their homes in Juba because the government does not guarantee their security. Those are the remnants of the massacred Nuer civilians who luckily escaped the aftermath onslaughts by the so-called “Presidential Guards” of only Dinka recruited soldiers to UNMISS compounds for their protections.

The Nuer IDPsin UNMISS camps are extremely afraid and at the same time, unwilling to return back to their homes for fears of being killed by the same Dinka soldiers who are still looking after them. Their condition is very unfortunate and pathetic indeed. As a matter of urgency, as shown on the pictures where the said IDPs are standing in water in UNMISS compounds hopelessly waiting only for “Good Samaritans” to come to their rescue by relocating them to saver places for resettlements. The rainy season has already started in Greater Equatoria states and will last up to December 2013. If they are left unattained to most of them particularly children and elderly people will definitely not-withstand such conditions and eventually die of pneumonia and other water-bone related diseases.

Dear Your Excellency, in this regard, I am humbly appealing to your esteemed institution to urgently lobby for your western colleagues from European Union, Troika countries of USA, UK and Norway, AU, UN and NGOs agencies operating in South Sudan respectively to urgently relocate the Nuer IDPs in Juba to either Kenya or Ethiopia for resettlements where their children can go to schools and live freely from current captivity where they are in now at UNMISS compounds in Juba. Psychologically, most of the Nuer IDPs at UNMISS centres in Juba, Bentiu and Bor are terribly depressed and in state of despairs from such ordeals that sadly have befallen them in their own country.

Hence, the ongoing peace process in Addis Ababa being mediated by IGAD members state will not bear any much fruitful results due to lack of seriousness on the government of South Sudan and the mediators. The Cessation of Hostilitiessigned on 23rd January 2014, by the two parties namely the government of South Sudan and SPLM/A – In Opposition has never been honoured to its logical conclusion by the signatories of the agreement. This is because the demands put forward by the SPLM/A – In Opposition which include the released of four political detainees and immediate withdrawal of UPDF, JEM and SPLA-N forces that have been fighting alongside the government of South Sudan never been implemented as previously agreed upon by the parties and witnessed by principal mediators in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.The Ugandan, JEM and SPLA-N forces invited by the South Sudan government are still operational and being increased in numbers as the situation in the ground is concerned.

In addition to that, the IGAD countries have principally agreed to immediately deploy a deterrence force which will be tasked to guard oil installations and government infrastructures while neglecting the issue of IDPs in UNMISS compounds as well as the demands from the rebels side which include the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all foreign forces invited by the government of South Sudan.

The outcome of IGAD heads of state’s “Joint Communiqué” of the 13th March, has been categorically rejected by Dr. Riek Machar, leader of SPLM/A – In Opposition simply because his demands have not been implemented by IGAD mediators and instead they want to urgently deploy IGAD deterrence forces from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Somalia. The opposition regards such hastily decision by IGAD countries as declaration of war against them in favour of the incumbent president Salva Kiir Mayardit whose human rights violation record is soared extremely.Their mission to South Sudan will definitely amount to regionlise the conflict whereas some invisible actors shall intervene on either side and this will aggravate more suffering of innocent civilians in the country. It will probably increase the number of death rates and massive displacements among the civilians. What is the use of over twelve thousands UNMISS forces operating in different parts of South Sudan if IGAD could also send an imperial army to side with the government against the SPLM/A – In Opposition? This act of aggression from some IGAD countries is completely a violation of the South Sudanese rights to address their grievances against despotic and tyranny leadership spearheaded by President Salva Kiir Mayardit. The IGAD action would definitely bring South Sudan on the same line with Somalia where Africa Union has a force of more then twenty thousands troops fighting Al Shabab rebellion movement.The root causes of the current conflict must be first and foremost be addressed adequately before rushing on external military option, which will be long and costly in terms of human and materials.

The only way to bring about a lasting peace in South Sudan is to avoid sending IGAD forces and only reinforce the UN peacekeeping force to oversee the implementations of cessation of hostilities as well as increasing humanitarian assistance to the affected IDPs in the country. Norway should discourage this decision of IGAD by table it to United Nations Security Council as matter of urgency. Otherwise South Sudan will soon end up like Somalia and even worst as far as the environment and attitudes of South Sudanese people is concerned. They will never succumb to IGAD pressure at all. The rebels will continue with their liberation war until President Kiir relinquishes power to South Sudanese people so that they can decide their own person of choice to lead them during the interim period and not by forced of arms from IGAD countries.

In conclusion, I am honestly appealing to Your Excellency once again to take this petition of IDPs relocation seriously as well as the IGAD intervention militarily. These two items are very crucial for you to act upon them. Hence, I am very thankful indeed for your unwavering and steadfast stand in addressing in press releases made by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,about the use of cluster bombs repeatedly by UPDF and SPLA forces in the areas around Bor against both the opposition forces and unarmed civilians which resulted to death of several hundreds lives and call for immediate withdrawal of Uganda troops in South Sudan soil. These are qualities of a leader who valued human dignity and life very much than material gains. I wish you all the best and success in your endeavour efforts to search for peace and harmony in the war ravaged country- South Sudan. May God Almighty help you individually and the country at large.

Norway had been investing enormous money in billions of Kroner to assist the needy people in South Sudan right from Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972 era to 21 years of Sudan civil war and CPA and even during this independence time. I really thank you very much for it. As somebody who have lived in Norway for 28 years and been actively involved in South Sudan struggle for quite along time, I really need to thank your country for continued support to my people in South Sudan.

Attached herewith are the pictures of the latest rains in Juba which portrayed the exact conditions of the IDPs at UNMISS compounds.

I hope you will take this petition seriously and put it into urgent consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Wuor Joak
Executive Director
African Centre for Human Advocacy (ACHA)
Email(s): This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Politics Vs Intrigues in South Sudan

By  Bona Machar

March 13, 2014 (SSNA) -- Politics is a branch of human endeavour that is fundamental to the running smoothly of human institutions. The players may be filthy-minded, nay, arrogant, ego-centric, eccentric, self-centred, self- serving; weird fellows for whom right and wrong are concepts that change with circumstances under their own control.

The average politician cares for nothing except those issues that will maximize the fellow’s popularity, politicians are sensitive to power. i.e power to control, power to a mass, power to marginalize those that cannot be annihilated, power to make policies that favour the selected few, power to implement projects selectively, power to determine what should be done, by whom and for whom.

An intrigue is making secret plots or employing underhand methods with the sole purpose of destroying one’s credibility, one’s position, one’s creativity, one’s achievement and rendering one hopeless and helpless in the esteem of others. It is a conspiracy of the worst order. Intrigue is a competitive to win favours, to draw attention to one-self, to have the upper-hand, to control, to determine the course of events and to behold to power. It is the measure of poor upbringing, zero regard of others, total disregard for the truth and what is right in the eyes of independent authority.

The goal of intrigue is to gain at the expense of others, to thwart established rules and regulations for accomplishing a task in favour of a short-cut that compromised the integrity, credibility, worthiness, honesty, happiness, freedom, respect and the propriety of others who may be construed to stand in the way to that goal that must be achieved everything else notwithstanding. Intrigue is crude ego-centric, and decisively malicious to the extent of not just being nauseating but actually being willing to kill to achieve a goal which is in the itself a recipe for disaster, intrigue is about fame, fortune and fulfilment.

In a country where laws and orders are so loose, constitution is known in paper, politicians utilizes the gap for their benefit by politicking issues to maintain and gain intrigues in-order to manipulate policies and influence all decisions.

In reference to South Sudan, crisis happened due to political intrigues starting from the signing of CPA where south Sudan was given autonomy by the international community and the government of Sudan to run its affairs before the referendum. Politicians just after the death of our HERO Dr John Garang and president Kiir took the oath as the first vice president of the republic of Sudan and president of the government of South Sudan, politicians scramble over the government appointments not to deliver services but behold to power and influence even after the gentlemen and ladies were appointed to various government positions few who were not given any appointment were dissatisfied and declared war to the then government of South Sudan. good example was the current legal advisor to the president who publicised his article on mismanagement of public funds by the ruling party SPLM.

When South Sudan gained her independence from the republic of Sudan, a new government was again formed and where few politicians were left out and again point fingers on individuals politicians with no prove but only giving doubt a chance. That was another political war between those in government and the government itself. South Sudan has three enemies and these are poverty, ignorance and diseases but our politicians do not want eliminate them due to corruption.

The current crisis was as a result of intrigues and politics, some wants to hold the country hostage and are willing to do anything to achieve that goal .i.e hold to power by whatever means possible event if it means death, others wants to free the country from the hands of few and try to narrow down the three enemies of our country by putting in policies that detects all corrupt cases. i.e tribalism, nepotism, anarchy, respect of human rights, freedom of expression etc. We hope, our politicians give peace a chance with honest and faithful agreements in-order to reconcile as a nation and moved from being at the analogue stage to the digital stage, we hope the perpetrators of atrocities in juba, Bor, Malakal, Bentiu and Leer are brought to justice because a meaningful peace must be handmaid by righteousness.

Bona Machar is a student at Moi University and also at Pinnacle school of accountancy. reached me through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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