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Why all eyes are on South Sudan?

By: Justin Ambago Ramba

July 28, 2013 (SSNA) -- It was long feared that an independent South Sudan would become ungovernable, that’s why all eyes were quick to converge on the country the moment it came face to face with its first ever post-independence political fall off amongst its ruling elites.

Aware of this, the politicians and the laity alike did well to handle this historical incidence with much maturity and sense of national responsibility while they intellectualize their ways through the multitude of man-made political hurdle.

We can give ourselves credit here, for the way we all behaved in the face of our first ever test as an independent country. There could still have been a better way of tackling the political question that emanated from the ruling SPLM’s internal power struggle, they say. Well, Kiir saw otherwise.

Just to remind ourselves, it’s time we clearly understand that South Sudan is no longer the world’s darling child that it used to be two years ago. And it has long run out of favors it used to get particularly so in the eyes of the western countries.

At the same time the world is also keenly noting the new trend in which our leadership in Juba is no more focused on the national question of peace, security, prosperity and freedom for all. The promise that the leadership gave on the eve of the country’s independence way back on the 9th, January 2011, are more or less becoming things of the past.

So what exactly went wrong? Unfortunately many things have changed over the last two years, and believe you me, the love of power for the sake of it, have slowly taken over.

Whatever sleepless nights our politicians in Juba are currently experiencing, is no longer about services to the public. Nor are they about guaranteeing their subjects security. Their nights have been taken over by the uncertainties of the new political game of ‘power struggle’ between the comrades.

The struggle in the corridors of power in Juba is now solely about how to maintain a comfortable milking position within this system where leaders milk directly into their mouths. And while the country awaits a new government, the new trend of seeking self-interest before the national interest has in fact taken root so deep so that nobody ever sees anything else.

Many more elected governors will continue to be sacked by the president whenever he sees it fit. And we are told that he need not give anyone any reasons for his actions. This is democracy the Kiir’s way. Should anyone disagree, then they are likely to be labeled as unpatriotic instigators.

One other issue of concern is the tendency by the incumbent president to selectively apply articles of the constitution only to suit his personal interests. A good example is the firing of elected governors and not going the extra mile to organize by-elections as stipulated in the constitution. This one undoubtedly has become his favorite.

In the recent political somersault the president has not only proven himself as an individual with tremendously unlimited powers, but he too made it bluntly clear that he is indeed above the law. This leaves the majority of the SPLM politicians with only few options to observe. To others it simply means: “you better know who butters your bread”. This is the ‘politics of the belly’.

Things don’t stop there. Everyone one is now eyeing every other’s chair. And it undoubtedly goes to explain the current queue at the state house where power hungry politicians are willingly doing everything in exchange for a seat in the new cabinet.

What does it say to the outside observers, when power hungry politicians, mostly veteran SPLM former comrades are being played one against the other? 

Funny though no less than four of them were all promised the one single position of vice president at one point in the current power game. Why doesn’t the president show any respect for these gentlemen who are community elders in their own rights?

The much publicized meeting the president had  with the representatives of the various South Sudanese political parties, is in the real sense of it, no more than a last minute move meant exclusively to mislead the international community into believing that president Kiir is doing all that he can to be both consultative and inclusive. This is the essence of the show.

On the one hand the bravado shown by Dr. Elia Lomuro of the SSDF, who took upon himself the task of speaking to the media on behalf of the 17 or so political parties, was to its best a set piece. He was doing more or less what Dr. Barnaba Benjamin did before him when the latter continued to volunteer as the president’s mouth peace even when out of the government.

Dr. Marial Benjamin, who was sure of making it back into the cabinet, was seen and heard explaining the constitutionality of the president’s move in sacking the entire cabinet, long after the government was dissolved.  

Who can now doubt that his voluntary work has not only rewarded him with the lucrative portfolio of Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, but he has also become the first minister to be appointed in this extraordinary cabinet.

With Dr. Marial Barnaba now back in government, only a thick headed individual will fail to figure out what the new era is set to look like. They have long said that, “The content of a letter is known from its address”.  Didn’t they?

No one should have any problem with what Dr. Barnaba Benjamin can and cannot do in the new cabinet of South Sudan. And since we are being constantly  reminded  that president Kiir will  officially remain to be the most power individual in the country until 9th January 2015, when the country will go for its first ever general elections, it will be better to leave everything  for that day.

However during his remaining tenure in office, we the citizens of South Sudan expect him to abide by the letter and the spirit of each and every article in the country’s constitution.

Many of us have their reservations about this transitional constitution right about how it was conceived to how it was finally adopted into law. But since it has become the country’s law we will not tolerate anyone abusing it, even if they were the one who wrote it word by word.

Do we need to remind ourselves that it is the Lakes State and The Jonglei State which need the president’s immediate attention even if he is finding difficult to quickly form his new government.  

The situation in the former may seem to be flattering down, after the initial escalation by the overdue military governor.

In Jonglei unfortunately the situation has further deteriorated to warrant an international involvement, now in the form of humanitarian assistances, but could at any time open the door for wider foreign interventions of the all-out type.

Talking about removing elected governors, maybe Jonglei is the right place for such a drill. However any intervention here must be well balanced and never prejudiced, for otherwise a further heavy handedly policy may drag the new country to join the list of the country’s that condone genocides.

The author would also like to remind fellow South Sudanese that while governments come and go, our destiny as one people is likely to remain together for a long time to come. It’s for this reason that those who join the new cabinet should remember that it’s not for the prestige of the job, but rather for the welfare of this fast sinking country.

As for brothers and sisters who are now on each another’s necks because of power, it's my hope that they sober up to see that they have nearly been ten years in service.   Be it the president himself or any of his colleagues who have served alongside him since 2005, it may be time they consider stepping down when they can still leave the throne peacefully and dignified.

Your graphs of performance are beginning to go down, and if anything, you are already running out of creativity and ideas. It could be time to quit.

Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba can be reached at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Civilians in Sudan’s Darfur region face wholesale destruction

Civilians in Sudan’s Darfur region face wholesale destruction," The Washington Post, July 28, 2013 (Sunday)
["Obama, Darfur, and Genocide"]

By Eric Reeves

July 26, 2013 (SSNA) -- After years of obscurity and little reliable international reporting, the vast human catastrophe in Sudan’s Darfur region is once again in the news. It was regularly making headlines before 2008, when genocide in Darfur was already five years old and had claimed hundreds of thousands of civilian lives from the main African tribal groups, but a lack of sustained mainstream attention has meant that violence has surged effectively under the radar.

Few could have predicted that this remote and obscure region in western Sudan would galvanize American civil society. Then again, how could the loss of attention have been so rapid? …. [full text on-line:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/civilians-in-sudans-darfur-region-face-wholesale-destruction/2013/07/26/04953b82-ed63-11e2-9008-61e94a7ea20d_story.html

Eric Reeves is a professor at Smith College and has written extensively on Sudan.

Will the formation of the New Government bring Chaos or Peace in South Sudan?

By Peter Gai Manyuon

July 25, 2013 (SSNA) -- People are wondering who to be appoint as the National Minister since the Ministries are only eighteen, the question is , will President bring in new faces or the old one that are becoming so common in the eyes of the Citizen for South Sudan, or the people who took 4. Millions dollars in to their private pockets  will come back in to the system and that money was supposed to be used for development of the social services like good roads, Hospitals, schools and boosting South Sudan agriculture sector that need to be put in place for the citizen survival . Questions are arising whether the government of Mayardit is going to be for illiterate or literate as people assume in the South Sudan daily discussions context or the same corrupts Ministers will come back again?

According to the President Decrees that he stated that, he will form the lean Government in South Sudan that will consists of the eighteen Ministries and some directorates, people are wondering who should be appointed as the Minister and who to be left behind. Other are saying that is the beginning of the crisis in South Sudan. Some people within the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) are saying the time has come for the party disintegrations in to small groups of parties or according to some citizen perceptions and imaginations people are saying it will take people in to tribal interest that will worsen the current situation in the Country. People in the Republic of South Sudan have started having many imaginations and perceptions about the formation of the new Cabinets by the President of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit which can be announce any time from now “according to what the President Stated on the Presidential Republican Decrees” that removed the Vice President of the Republic Dr Machar , the Cabinet Ministers and the suspension of the Secretary General of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) Comrade Pagan Amum, some people are yenning and breathing slowly, people are in fear especially in the capital City of the Republic of South Sudan Juba and most people who are coward let me say left the Country on Tuesday night, other were using their own private cars, the all of Juba International Airport was full yesterday and even today morning, people pretend to go and see their families in Kenya, Uganda and many other places . People are going to other Countries due to the current fear and the security that has covered up the Capital City. There is no more traffic jams in Juba, however, it was a very terrible day yesterday evening on Tuesday 24th of July 2013 from 2:00pm up to late night people feared due to what happen in Konykonyo Market where people just run away from their shops due to small fight that took place and left some people were given injuries, meanwhile also in Jabel Kujur Yei Road, people did not sleep due to the same fight that took place within the market that killed one person on spot and the other one dies on the way to the Hospital.

Everybody in the Capital for the last two days depend on the only Broadcasting Media house that is South Sudan Television, that is run by the Government and other Media houses get the news afterward. According to my own view as individual, people of South Sudan are reflecting on the history of the liberation struggle that made most of the South Sudanese to lost their lives that has taken more than 2.5 million lives of the people between the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudan Army Forces from Khartuom. Other are projecting Prophet Ngundeng Bong Prophecy as the real and will become the truth that is when people will begin crisis in the Country and eventually the Democracy that will prevail afterward that is according to the people and our history as South Sudanese. Other are saying Prophet Ngundeng words were not right to be pronounce in this Country. Meanwhile according to what Dr Machar posted on his Facebook page on the 23th of July 2013, I quoted what he says: “he said he will not be a Vice President any more, his time for being the Vice President for the Republic of South Sudan is over but he is ready to lead the Country in a Democratic way without any intimidations from anybody” that statement alone justified the mean according to my own analysis as an individual citizen of the Republic of South Sudan.

Situational analysis about South Sudan current politics:

There are lots of issues here and there within the people of South Sudan with our nearer friend from Khartoum; there is the issue of the people of Abyei that need serious strategies and approaches to be follow critically and systematically by all South Sudanese.

People of Abyei need to be help in the due Referendum which they are going to be conducted very soon this year in October, there is need for all the South Sudanese to help people of Abyei through giving advices that might help them to achieved or to determined their own destiny but if we are divided like this now in South due to useless tribal grouping, what will happen next?

Secondly there is another issue of Oil, hope everybody knows in South Sudan that, the Country is depending on the oil revenues, donations from the International Communities for the development but since the Khartoum Government stated on the 23th of July 2013 through Sudan Tribune report that, they will never reverse the shading down  of the oil pipe line on the 7th of the Aust 2013 “according to the Minister of oil in North Sudan “no matter what might be the circumstance, that is also another threat to the Government of South Sudan. I hope this times around issues related to the negotiations will not move well this time around since the two mostly negotiators for the people of South Sudan have been relieve from their duties, therefore am not saying no one will do their duties but beginning always is the big challenge.

Thirdly the border demarcation issue is waiting, that need a serious unity among the people of the Republic of South Sudan as the Nation.

Key recommendations that might help the people of the Republic of South Sudan within these one year to the general elections for the South Sudanese to vote again for their President, Governors and their Members of the National Assembly;

President Kiir should appoint the Vice President who will do the needful like what Dr Machar did in the last nine years when he was the Vice President for the Republic, person who is sound minded person, full with dignity and respect for the rule of law and human right and the last, person who has high level of qualification in term of reasoning capacity and good working relations with International diplomatic communities globally.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit should appoint Ministers who are not corrupts like the former Cabinets which consists of many crocks that damaged the good I mage of the South Sudanese people, he should bring in new people with good ideas in planning and straight forward in any things. President should not bring the villages who are not civilize at all, for your information civilization mean many things but food for thoughts

President Kiir should appoint base on the merit not the people who supported him but people who will work for the benefits of the people of the Republic of South Sudan as a whole 

The author is the Independent Journalist who writes for Juba Monitor Newspaper as the Columnist, you can contact him through: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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