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Nuer Youths Union in South Sudan: We honor and thank the outgoing head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, Ms. Hilde Johnson

Press Release—For Immediate Release!

July 3, 2014 (SSNA) -- As her term end draws closer, just near here around the corner with only hours to go. We, the Nuer Youths Union (NUYU) in South Sudan would like, in this statement, to register our honor, thanks and appreciations to the outgoing UNSG’s special Representative in South Sudan, Hilde (aka Nyatehka) Johnson for the tremendous job well done. This statement will briefly centered on instrumental roles Hilde had played, before and after Independence, undeniably for the betterment of all South Sudanese people and how UNMISS under her impartial leadership saved the lives of Nuer Civilians after 15 Dec, 2013. This is our first farewell press statement in an honor to Ms. Hilde Frafjord Johnson. Saliently, to start with, Ms. Johnson actively and personally participated in processes led to the former Sudan’s Southern regional Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) signed on 9 January 2005, in Niavasha, Kenya.

We can brilliantly acknowledge that she, H. Frafjord Johnson in her capacity as Norwegian’s foreign Minister by then, was among the Southern Sudanese’s International—Western Helpers who exerted remarkable efforts on Khartoum in order to negotiate what South Sudanese people wanted. Indeed, she diligently as Norwegian official, in charge of foreign issues and other influential dignitaries from developed countries like UK, France, the US and Canada, had to midwife the CPA.  The today hijacked Republic of South Sudan as well, thereafter had to midwife by the same Western successful politicians including Hidle Johnson. This is memorable good thing Ms. Hilde Johnson had done to South Sudanese as a country. Again, when the UN’s Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon appointed her as his Special Representative in South Sudan on 8 July 2011, she also ethically started nursing the new born child “The Republic of South Sudan”. Ms. Johnson did not just nurse the Child and sat in the office idle.  She speedily, however, embarked on showing the new born Child leaders how  post independent or post—war traumatic obstacles could be purposely avoid.  All these were for South Sudanese people to preserve unity in diversity among different ethnic groups in the country. That is, literally, to mention Ms. Hilde Johnson had been a peace—broker and really done her part in seeing to it that South Sudan after independence become modern and progressive like any other countries in term of styles and peaceful. The UN and her personal advices on how to avoid this unspeakable present chaos could widely be heard in South Sudan.  These above sentences are the significant features which in brief manifested Johnson’s pivotal roles that she had played before and after CPA.  In the post Independent issues either and all those achievements she has been doing all along.

On 15 December 2013 South Sudan embroiled in a deadly political violent which caught our dismay, when it turned against one ethnic group.  The Nuer civilians brutally killed in Juba for an obscure reason.  In that first black days, started on Monday 16 Dec through 17, 18….20th Dec the innocent civilians who were stranded in their houses or just try to hide around unhide able suburbs of Juba city.  Where they were susceptible to death and lost thousands lives as a result of knowing nowhere to go or get safety. Most innocent Nuer elderly, children, women and civilians who lost their lives didn’t actually know where they could get safety in the first week of that indiscriminate conflict.  While those who knew UNMISS compounds had been block by well armed hunters.  How to reach UNMISS camps wasn’t only so difficult but also deadly routes. This is how Nuer could lose over 20,000 people to the national special organized forces. Hence, if there are to be survivors of Nuer civilians the world can see today in Juba UNMISS IDPs camps, Bor, Malakal, Bentiu as well as other areas, must be because of UNMISS, under Hidle Johnson who wasted no time but quickly took responsibility of protecting civilians.  When, Hildle swiftly instructed the UNMISS to open its doors for all civilians, the Nuer, who were being hunted like gazelles in the forest by those murders.

Accordingly, as they were ordered, UNMISS’s conventional forces took up their jobs by protecting vulnerable people. The UN civilians’ vehicles or buses were decisively and responsibly deployed to fetch any vulnerable civilian found stranded in Juba NINE main suburbs and other three states of Greater Upper Nile. In Juba alone within that very short time, over twenty thousand innocent Nuer people increasingly counted to have lost their lives. Therefore, that is why we can say, the survivors now in Juba UNMISS’s IDPs camps and elsewhere are still alive there because of Ms. Hidle Johnson.  For this obvious reason Ms. Hidle Frafjord Johnson has been (nicknamed) given a new name “Nyatehka” by this Union, the Nuer Youth Union (NUYU). “Nyatehka” in English literally translates as a “daughter—girl of peace or a lady whom managed to save the lives of people from what kills them”.  So, the first name, Hidle is changed and famously now known by the Nuer people she saved as Ms. Nyatehka  F.  Johnson. Thus, in any conversations about her, Ms. Johnson, you can hardly now hear them, the Nuer people, saying Hidle F. Johnson.  When referring to Hidle, we say Ms. Nyatehka F. Johnson. Moreover, we are calling upon Ms. Frafjord Johnson to accept the new name given to her by our community, the Nuer. Frankly speaking, the NUYU is not all that happy to have Nyatehka Johnson changed as UNMISS mission head/leaves the country by 9 July 2014. It is only because UN is a global body with fixed rules and periodical term limit given; otherwise, NUYU and South Sudanese people would have requested Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the UN’s Secretary General to have Ms. Johnson’s term in office renewed as South Sudan UN mission head.  Shockingly, on 17 April in Bor’s UNMISS protection site over three hundreds (300) Nuer civilians in front of the world were murdered and slaughtered by the same organized forces.  We never call that an UNMISS’s total failure to protect vulnerable civilians but we termed it as one of the sitting megalomaniac leader’s circumvents.

In conclusion, we would like once more to reiterate our thanks and appreciations to UN Mission in South Sudan under the successful and impartial leadership of Ms. Nyatehka F. Johnson for those splendid achievements.  We can also compliment all UN staffs for their being consistently cooperative to Nuer Civilians under UN protection sites.  Squarely, to the UN military forces battalions and police who have been valiantly protecting our families members, mothers and children in UN bases over the last six and half months, across the country. We also want, gladly, to extract from the bottom of our hearts, endless appreciations to reach all UN humanitarian Agencies and International Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) for having been relentlessly helping our community in relieving it from horrific situations of deadly diseases and starvation. We counted all these successes on Ms. Nyatehka Frafjord Johnson’s tenure in UNMISS’s top Office worth remain mandated if..!. We wish peace had returned to the country earlier, months ago, for we, the Nuer Youth Union (NUYU) would organize national farewell celebrations in an honor to the UNMISS’s outgoing Chief, H: E Ms.Nyatehka Frafjord Johnson in the National flat form.  Anyway, Ms. Nyatehka F. Johnson can stay blessed!

Thank you very much.

Long Live Federal Democratic Republic of South Sudan!
Long Live Ms. Nyatehka Frafjord Johnson!!
Long Live the UN Mission Leadership in the Republic of South Sudan!
Long Live Nuer Youth Union (NUYU)!

For contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth's Statement for Joining SPLM-in Opposition

Press Statement
June 30, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Addis Ababa, June 30, 2014 (SSNA) -- South Sudan became Independent on the 9th of July 2011. Millions of the people of the Republic of South Sudan and well-wishers celebrated the birth of the new nation. I was blessed to have witnessed both the hoisting of the flag in South Sudan (July 9th 2011) and in the United Nations Head Quarters in New York (July 14th 2011). This well earned sacrosanct Independence of the South Sudan was through millions of heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives for a just cause in 1955 to 1972, the war of the Anya Nya One, 1975 to 1983, the war of Anya Nya Two and 1983 to 2005, the war of SPLM/A.

December 15th 2013 will always be in the history of the new nation as the darkest spot. The President of the Republic, Salva Kiir Mayardit dragged the new nation into a war by recruiting, arming, and directing the Presidential Unit (Tiger Battalion), mainly from his home area, to disarm the Nuer component of the unit.  I am innocent. I have never, or any of my colleagues in anyway ever plotted a coup to overthrow Salva Kiir government. The war broke out and Kiir directed his part of the unit to slaughter the Nuer in the unit and around Juba. This move triggered the current war imposed on all of us starting with his former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny, whom Kiir wanted to assassinate. Former VP Dr. Riek Machar Teny ran for his life and all the G11 were detained using a false accusation such as an attempted coup d'etat. This false alleged coup triggered the massacre in Juba, and subsequently many innocent lives lost in Bor, Malakal, Bentiu and many places. My dear people the Nuer, Dinka, Shilluk, and many other innocent lives from other communities were lost because of this senseless war. My condolences to the families who lost their loved ones.

To set the record straight, we the December 6th 2013 Political Leaders (G11), namely Pagan Amum Okiech, Deng Alor Kuol, John Luk Jok, Kosti Manibe Ngai, Gen. Oyay Deng Ajak, Gen. Dr. Majak D’Agoot, Gen. Madut Biar Yel, Gen. Gier Chang Aluong, Governor Chol Tong Mayay, Dr. Cirino Hiteng Ofuho, and Amb. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth together with Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Madame Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior, Taban Deng Gai, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba and Alfred Lado Gore - who had a press conference in Juba were and are united on the issues of “critical reforms” in the SPLM and the Government of the Republic of South Sudan using peaceful means. It was President Kiir who introduced violence into this   in -house SPLM Political struggle. The war, which was imposed on all of us by Kiir, separated the group on the fateful night of December 15th 2013. The G11 (former detainees) were detained, and Dr. Riek Machar Teny and others escaped and ran for their dear lives. Because of the imposed war by Kiir, Dr. Riek and his group waged a war of resistance for survival. All of the mentioned leaders above the  “reformists group” will continue to work together to end this imposed war peacefully.

I was detained with my Comrades on December 16th 2013 until April 24th 2014 and we were taken to court, charged with treason and many other charges, all carrying a death sentence. I have spent 130 days in prison. This ordeal of solitary confinement led me not to be bitter toward anybody but to think through and increased my resolve to work for a new beginning in South Sudan.

The new beginning is a new South Sudan where I would want to see “ the war to stop, and have a South Sudan free from ethnic politics and embrace all the critical reforms including institutionalization of a federal system  ”. This South Sudan will only come if “a new leadership emerges, peace with justice and accountability is realized, genuine reconciliation is launched, development to affected areas is implemented and a federal system (where resources are devolved to states and local levels instead of concentrating the resources to the Central government) is achieved”. This is going to realize the dream of our Late Leader and Hero Dr. John Garang De Mabior, which stated “taking towns to villages”.

Now I have decided to join the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army under the Leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Chairman of the SPLM and Commander In Chief of the SPLA, and work for peace and reaffirming my commitment to a peaceful resolution to the conflict as it was stated by the agreement of May 9th 2014 by the two Principals which says “no military solution to the current conflict in South Sudan”. The war has devastated and divided our communities. The healing and reconciliation is needed within our communities. Other countries such as Rwanda went through genocide like South Sudan and they reconciled and I am sure we will reconcile as communities.

I am sure the best way for South Sudan to heal and come together we must reach out. Changing the nature of the State and political dialogue requires major change in attitude and changes in political leadership. One has to relate to the region and to the rest of the world. We are not living on an island – as such we have to reach out to our neighbors and our friends in other parts of the world – from America to Norway to China and India.

Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Rachel Nyahok Gatkuoth, kids (Duop, Nyamal and Nyewech), my entire family, best friends and well wishers, regional leaders, international community leaders and the entire leadership of the SPLM/A for standing with me and working for my release during my ordeal in Prison where I was basically on “death row”.

Thank you and God bless South Sudan, Africa and the world.

Ambassador Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Former Ambassador to USA/UN, Former Detainees (the last 4) and Member of the SPLM National Liberation Council.

South Sudanese in Canada Petitioned the Word Leaders

H. E. Ethiopian Prime Minister & Chairperson of IGAD, Haile Mariam Desaleg
H.E. President of the United States of America, Barack Obama
H.E. UNSC Chief Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon & Members
African Union & IGAD Leaders
All European Union Leaders
Hon. Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper
UK. Prime Minister David Cameron
H.E. French President Francois Hollande

Date: June 28, 2014

Sub: (STAKEHOLDERS PROTEST): Concerns South Sudanese Canadian Community Members an Leaders

We Hope Our Article Reaches IGAG Mediating Leaders in Peace: There Was No Coup on December 15, 2013, Right? Le Begin There!

Canada, June 28, 2014 (SSNA) -- As concerned South Sudanese and more importantly; members of the Diaspora in Canada who are indirectly and directly hardly affected by this conflict in South Sudan, we have as various community leaders and members in Canada have decided to bring our concerns to the attention of IGAD, African Union, European Union, the United Nations, the United States of America, Canada, and other international bodies that the peace and reconciliation currently in progress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that it does not satisfy the immediate victims of the current conflict.

For any peace process or negation to be fair, all sides have to be included. If the Government of South Sudan was able and allowed to bring its civil society, faith group, and other members to participate on behalf of the Government of South Sudan in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia because it has all the resources and power,, it is equally important that Rebel’s side or vulnerable groups who fled the country and those who are currently Internally Displaced Persons in various United Nations Camps inside South Sudan and in abroad should be included. Otherwise, Salva Kiir’s Government is participating in the negation by itself. We the South Sudanese Community Members in Canada believe that if the IGAD leaders were able in mediating peace talks in the past not just the current crisis, they would be the best neutral bodies to succeed in this current conflict as well. Indeed, IGAD leaders were the ones who negotiated the North-South Sudan Civil War that cemented with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya which paved the way for “self-determination” for the people of South Sudan to choose for their referendum which eventually led to the succession of South from the North Sudan in 2011.

It is unfortunate if the same IGAD Leaders who are very experts and knowledgeable in mediating North-Sudan Sudan wars have only picked one side to recommend how the conflict has to be solve and excluded others (their own regional people) from participating in the roadmap that we all believe can bring a lasting peace in South Sudan. That is unbelievable for many of us if the same IGAD Leaders who could advise the rest of the world of how and who should be included in the dialogue are struggling to include the victims in the negation process. That is not a wise process.

South Sudan Stakeholders Forum for Peace and Reconciliation

South Sundaes Nuer Canadian Community and various South Sudanese Community members and leaders in diaspora Canada in particular have disqualified the selection process and denounced it as biased. This is because all the civil society, youth group, and faith-based organizations were “handpicked” groups which are dominated by the pro-government societies from Juba. There is no different from the government itself. Yes, they can participate in the peace process and reconciliation but not by themselves. Since there was No Coup that made Salva and his group to kill the Nuer children and women in the Nation’s Capital City Juba, those who are still suffering in the UN Camps either in South Sudan or outside should be the main victims whose views should be first considered no matter where they are. Those who are in various UN Camps known as IDPS comprised of all South Sudanese communities are the very victims to be given a chance in the peace process. For example, if all South Sudanese in diaspora were given a chance and participated during the referendum voting across the globe in 2011, why can’t they be participating again when there is crisis that requires all the stakeholders’ participation? Remember this is the beginning of a nation building. We, the South Sudanese Nuer Canadians and other South Sudanese in diaspora would like to invite the IGAD Mediators to look at or consider how we believe/view the real peace process and recompilation should be like.  Ron Claassen, a long-time restorative justice practitioner, put it like this.

To resolve any type of wrongdoing, three things have to happen [be considered in the peace process]:

  •  The wrong or injustice must be acknowledged.
  • Equity needs to be restored from the society.
  • Future intentions need for nation building to be addressed in order to prevent the future violent.

Indeed, we the South Sudanese Canadian members and leaders wanted the “civil society organizations and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the UN Camps and in abroad from the neighbouring countries, such as those who have fled to Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and Ethiopia to be part of the so called “inclusive roadmap”, as they are the very main victims. We strongly believe the representation of the above mentioned groups is important in order to incorporate their views on how to end the crisis. We also recommend the followings as genuinely and healthy approach for the interests of nation building, the Republic of South Sudan.

  • First, focus on the harms and consequent needs of the victims as well as the communities and the offenders are core values. Our grave concerns are the non-representations of others stakeholders within the civil society and faith group who are participating in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia peace talk between the government and the rebel. It is simply failing the whole process and demoralizing innocent people’s hope and aspiration.
  • Second, putting right requires that we address harms and causes. Addressing the obligations that result from those being harmed by the obligations of the offenders/perpetrators, the communities and societies at large are vital.
  • Third, uses of inclusive and collaborative processes are crucial at this difficult time for all the people of South Sudan to be reintegrated again.
  • Four, involving those with a legitimate stake in the situation, including victims, offenders, community members, and society.
  • Five, seek to put right the wrong so various communities regain trust.

In her excellent handbook, Restorative Justice: a Vision for Healing and Change, Susan Sharpe summarized the goals and tasks of……peace process this way:

The Goals of Peace Process by Neutral Mediators should have the followings.

  • Put key decisions into the hands of those most who are affected by crime.
  • Make justice more healing and more transformative than fake peace, and
  • Reduce the likelihood of future offences [for nation building].

[How to] Achieving these goals requires Neutral Mediators like IGAD to:

  • Encourage collaboration and reintegration of victims and offenders (perpetrators), rather than coercion and isolation.
  • Victims are involved in the [peace] process and some out of satisfied,
  • [Actors] offenders understand how their actions have affected other people and take responsibility for those actions.
  • Provide opportunities for dialogue, direct or indirect, between victim and offender as appropriate to form a genuinely and healthily recompilation for nation building.
  • Find meaningful ways to involve the community and respond to the community based of crime.
  • Outcomes help to repair the harms done and address the reasons for the offences (specific plans are tailored to the victim’s and the offender’s needs) and
  • Victim and offender both gain a sense of “closure,” and both are reintegrated into the community based on positive agreement to avoid the future crime.
  • Mediators to show respect to all victims and offenders (perpetrators).

Guiding Questions of Peace Process to restore Trust

  • Who has been hurt?
  • What are their needs?
  • Whose obligations are these [who are the responsible for the crime]?
  • Who has a stake in this situation?
  • What is the appropriate process to involve all the stakeholders in an effort to put things right for the future?

Degrees of a Meaningful Peace Process to be considered by the IGAD:

  • Does the model address harms, needs, and causes?
  • Is it adequately victim-oriented process?
  • Are offenders/perpetrators encouraged to take responsibility?
  • Are all relevant stakeholders involved?
  • Is there an opportunity for dialogue and participatory decision-making?
  • Is the model respectful to all parties?

Based on the this view, we, the South Sudanese Canadian members (people) are concerned because it is our country, and we strongly believe that South Sudanese are all responsible when it comes on how the future of South Sudan Governance System will look like. This doe not need short cut or favoring one side by the mediators (IGAD). We, the South Sudanese Canadians who write this letter (article) have convinced that it is our hope the two most important issues, particularly inclusiveness of the rebel side, civil, faith group, students across South Sudanese in the neighbouring countries, and the formation of federal and transitional systems will be critically looked at for the interest of our nation to be like other African Countries and be able to contribute in both our affairs and in African or the world issues as well.

Decree after decree used by Salva Kiir Government was not what we the ordinary people of various South Sudanese were fighting for during the 21 years Sudan Civil War. We wanted the IGAD Mediating Team to be aware that ordinary people were not fighting to groom for a dictatorship in South Sudan, sorry! Peace and Reconciliation with looters of resources and the shown their philosophy be good guys during transitional government?  There is no short cut by all the warring parties should it be from Salva Kiir Government, Dr. Riek Machar Rebels, and Group 11 comprised of Pagan Amum, Majaak Agot, Luk Joak, and the like. Sorry comrades. There is no short cut at this time for you the previous official whom some of you have been looting public resources in the name of struggle has no place at this critical time. Some of the G-11 members have dirty hands even during the development of the transitional constitution that Salva and his blood machine used to exterminate others.  In the SPLM Party, you have no place, you the G-11 whom we the public were fighting for their release from jail in Juba. We wanted to make your behaviours public you the following comrades of Mr. Pagan Amum, John Luk Jok, Majaak Agot, and the rests of the G-11 who have turned the public trust down unless you have to convince the public that you guys did really try to wage the so called coup attempt on the December 15, 2013 without Dr. Machar. Coming to a federal system?  The people of South Sudan are badly indeed needed a federal system in the Republic of South that will governance all of us (all stakeholders) with respect for the rule of law and diversity. In Canada, to compare all these issues faced by both mediators and South Sudanese when it comes to all these problems facing the Republic of South Sudan, they could find only one answer to solve them: federalism. The provinces [states] dared not remain separate, nor could they merge. They could (and did) from a federation, with a strong central government and parliament, but also with an ample measure of autonomy and self-government for each of the federating communities” in Canada, responsible government, the national cabinet, the bureaucracy, political parties: all these are basic feature government. The rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Chatter are:

Democratic rights for example, the right of every citizen to vote for their representatives of federal and provincial legislative, the right to elections at least every five years, though in time of real or apprehended war, invasion or insurrection, the life of a federal or provincial legislature may be prolonged by a two-thirds vote in the legislative assembly.

Fundamental freedoms (conscience, religion, thought, expression, peaceful assembly, and association).

In any democratic country like Canada or the United States, Mobility rights (to enter, remain in, or leave one’s own country, and to move into, and earn a living in, any province (or state) subject to certain limitations, notably to provide for “affirmative actions” programs for the socially or economically disadvantaged) is one of the federal system that we hope South Sudan dearly ought to have at this time.

There should be no fear economically and educationally as most South Sudanese become eager to have a federal government where an elected governor is accountable to his or her citizens in the respective state or province, where commissioners or mayors are accountable for their jurisdictions not the president of the country. Constitutionally, it contains a section on equalization and regional disparities that the national government and parliament and the provincial governments and legislatures are committed to promoting equal opportunities for the well-being of all citizens, furthering economic development to reduce disparities in opportunities, and providing essential public services of reasonable quality to all citizens” and this should fit in the life of all South Sudanese as well.

That the government and parliament are committed to the principle of making equalization payments to ensure that provincial [state] governments have sufficient revenues to provide reasonably comparable levels of public services at reasonably and comparably levels of taxation. Tax payer money should not be pocketed individuals associated with blood machine leaderships. We, the South Sudanese Canadian Community members and leaders equally believe South Sudan can also be a federal nation as Canada and the United States of America. As diaspora members, we advise the IGAD Meditating teams to take the entire consensus from all the stakeholders into the account not the government supporters only. We do not want Juba Government, Civil and its faith groups to be the ones recommending the peace process and reconciliation as legitimate entity and exclude the very victims whose relatives and loved ones were systemically massacred in Juba on December 15-19, 2013. IGAD wanted South Sudan to have a just a lasting peace and harmony, we the South Sudanese in diaspora urge the regional and international members were to address harms, causes, and to explore the harms that the perpetrators have done to the victims of South Sudanese whom most of them those are still staying in the United Nations Camps across South Sudan since this conflict started; we would have a genuine and a lasting peace in South Sudan if Salva Kiir and his blood machine criminals who are to be held responsible and answerable to their fake coup. We hope the IGAD leaders and other international community leaders (the UN) will put this view under their considerations in the peace talk and the reconciliation. It is very crucial to note that we, the south Sudanese Community Leaders and members in Canada always appreciate the IGAD roles since North-Sudan Sudan Civil War, and now you have stood up with us. We will always appreciate your commitment as you wanted our country to be a viable state. Congratulation IGAD Leaders!

Yours Sincerely,

South Sudanese Nuer Canadian Community Leaders & Members
Office Press Release
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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