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Consortium of External Civil Society Organisations of South Sudan’s Letter to Special Envoys to South Sudan

PRESS RELEASE
Date: 18th June 2014

Addis Ababa, June 18, 2014 (SSNA) -- We the Consortium of External Civil Society Organisations of South Sudan (CECSOSS) are extremely disappointed with the delay of the critical phase of this round of peace talks, that should lead to an end to the senseless suffering and deaths of innocent civilians, and provide space to address the eminent famine. We particularly deplore the very issue which contributed to this unfortunate situation, the lack of transparency, that has marred the initially good gesture by IGAD of including all stakeholders.

The Consortium of External Civil Society Organisations of South Sudan (CECSOSS) represents forty two (42) South Sudanese organisations registered in South Sudan, but currently operating outside Juba due to the crisis that started on December 15, 2013. It is worth mentioning that individual groups within this consortium have been separately engaging with the IGAD Special Envoys on the peace process, since the beginning of the crisis.

It is worth noting that the consortium has not been represented among the civil society peace delegates from Juba, despite efforts to directly get in touch with IGAD on the issue, as per our letter to Amb. Mesfin Seyoum dated June 6, 2014. Neither have we received any response from his office to date, and as a result, the consortium representatives missed the symposium. 

In the effort to participate in this key point of the process, the round table peace talks that was scheduled for June 12, we the selected representatives of the consortium made our way to Addis on June 10 and requested a meeting with the IGAD Special Envoys on participation in the round talks, but are yet to secure an audience with them.

We are greatly concerned that the civil society representatives from Juba do not sufficiently include the representation of vulnerable groups directly affected by the conflict (refugees, internally displaced persons and the persons with special needs). It is therefore unfortunate that the very population directly affected by this conflict are not represented in the selected CS delegates.

We therefore call for:

1. A transparent process of re-selection of civil society delegates to the round table peace talks to be undertaken immediately, and should include those representing the communities directly affected by the conflict. As most of these groups are already here in Addis, this should not take more than a couple of hours.

2. An immediate resumption of the talks, and in this regard we strongly feel that the current mediators are challenged. Hence we strongly believe including a female member to the three-man team of IGAD Special Envoys is necessary, and will change the staled dynamics of the talks here in Addis. We recommend African women who have successful experiences in similar peace processes, to join the peace talks with immediate effect.

Signed,

Consortium of External Civil Society Organisations of South Sudan

Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial Did Not Embezzle Public Funds: A Response to Rebels’ Negative Propaganda

For Immediate Release
June, 12, 2014

June 13, 2014 (SSNA) -- In response to an article written by a certain J. Nguen Nyol entitled “Another $227 Million Dollars Scandal Involving South Sudan’s Chief Negotiator Nhial Deng Nhial”, I would like to bring to the attention of the public that the false allegations branded against the Government Chief Negotiator in Addis Ababa were designed by the rebels’ leadership to tarnish the image of Hon. Nhial Deng Deng. The author of the article is not only a nephew of Riek Machar but also a representative of the rebels in Canada. Had he not been instructed by Riek Machar to tarnish the image of Hon. Nhial Deng, one would not waste his time responding to such a malicious article.

The article alleged that Hon. Nhial Deng misappropriated “$250 million dollars between 2008—2011” of public money by approving a dubious contract to buy trucks for the SPLA. The allegation does not auger well with the way contracts were approved back then because any contract could not be signed by a Minister unless approved by the Council of Ministers. It has to be noted that Riek Machar, who now authorized the false allegation labeled against Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial, was himself the Vice President who usually chaired the meetings of the Council of Ministers. If such a contract was signed by Nhial Deng as alleged by Nguen   Nyol, with the approval of the Council of Ministers as laid out by the rules of the government business, commonsense has it that the then Vice President, who happened to be the current rebel, would be complicit in the alleged scandal. If a Council of Ministers chaired by Riek Machar approved a dubious contract alleged to have been signed by Nhial Deng back then, the people of South Sudan may question the leadership competence of the man who is now tarnishing the image of Nhial Deng.

It is a public knowledge that Riek Machar used to chair most of the meetings of the Council of Ministers at the time President Kiir was the First Vice President of Government of National Unity (GoNU). If such a scandal happened back then, one may wonder why it was not raised at that time. But the motive of the rebels is nothing other than an attempt to tarnish the image of a well-respected gentleman who is known for integrity and wisdom. Hon. Nhial Deng is one of the few former Ministers who has never been implicated in any financial scandal, let alone having any personal grudge with anybody.

The people of South Sudan are aware that Nhial Deng Nhial is not on the list of the seventy five officials named by the President in 2011 to have embezzled public funds. When President Kiir prepared the list of the government officials suspected to have embezzled public money, there was no single evidence which implicated Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial. Most of those on the list are now on the side of Riek Machar fighting President Kiir for removing them from the cabinet because of embezzling public funds. Thus, the allegation labelled against Hon. Nhial Deng by Riek Machar’s nephew is baseless and it should be deemed as a political witch-hunt.

The motive behind renegade Riek Machar’s false allegations against Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial is the failure of Nhial Deng to join his faction before he staged a coup on December, 15, 2013. When Riek Machar was mobilizing members of the SPLM Polit Bureau and National Liberation Council against the Chairman of the SPLM Party, he thought that Nhial Deng would join him along with the rest of “Garang’s boys” to unseat President Kiir from the chairmanship of the SPLM.

However, being a visionary leader, Hon. Nhial Deng rejected to join Riek Machar in the 2013 SPLM infighting because of his treacherous history of 1991 and his constant tribal politics of destruction. Cde Nhial Deng realized in 2013 that Riek Machar was not in fact a democrat but a power-hungry warmonger who was bent to return the people of South Sudan to 1991 factional war. As he envisioned, indeed Riek Machar returned the people of South Sudan to 1991 factional war when he staged a coup on December, 15, 2013.

In conclusion, South Sudan public should be made aware that Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial has a clean bill of health when it comes to corruption because has never been implicated in any financial scandal. If Riek Machar is honest to himself, he should disown those who joined his rebellion while their names appeared on the list of seventy five officials suspected to have embezzled public funds.

Contrary to the allegations labelled against Nhial Deng, the people of South Sudan are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Riek Machar is a leader of corruption lords who rebelled against the government after their removal from ministerial positions. A rebellion of corruption lords cannot defeat the people of South Sudan who yearn for development and economic prosperity. The people of South Sudan cannot be hoodwinked by George Orwell’s pigs who looted and raped the public funds from 2005 to 2013.

For Contact:

Gen. Gordon Buay
Member of Other Armed Groups Integration Committee
Former Spokesman of SSLM/A
Juba, South Sudan
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Juba panics as Kampala distances itself from the alleged coup plot

Juba, June 13, 2014 (SSNA) -- The government of the Republic of South Sudan is caught off guard and alarmed by the recent disclosure by the Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, who publicly admitted in a closed-door IGAD meeting in Ethiopia that there was no coup and that the nearly six months old conflict was in fact caused by fighting between different units of presidential guards.

The admission by Juba’s main backer, Kampala, sends shockwaves across the young nation and Diaspora, leaving Juba’s political elites with few options, if there is any, to defend the alleged coup.

The South Sudan News Agency has obtained a leaked memo sent from the office of president Kiir to his inner circle.

In the memorandum, president Kiir praises Museveni for standing with him in what he called “difficult time”. However, Kiir, who is alarmed by Museveni's admission, cautiously complains and wonders as to why Museveni decided not to discuss the matter with him before announcing it.

“President Museveni is the only leader who defends this government. He is a true friend to me and my government”, Kiir said in the memo.

“The president of Uganda acted in the IGAD meeting without consulting me. An urgent meeting needs to be held as soon as possible. I warn you not to talk against him [Museveni] or his government in the media”, the memo reads in part.

Nevertheless, president Kiir is hopeful, asserting that he had a good talk with his Ugandan counterpart, Museveni.

“I talked to him yesterday [Wednesday] and he promised me that I should not worry about what he said in the IGAD-meeting”, the memo added.

Fighting erupted in Juba late last year between different units of presidential guards after months of political crisis among senior leaders of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party.

Kiir accuses his main-rival, Former South Sudanese Vice president Dr. Riek Machar, of planning a coup, Machar denies the allegation saying Kiir designed the alleged coup in an attempt to get rid of his political adversaries. The alleged claim of a coup has been rejected by regional leaders, the African Union, and western powers, leaving Kiir to rely on Museveni.

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