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Thursday, Oct 23rd, 2014

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South Sudanese Lawmakers at National Legislative Assembly are the Top Lawbreakers in the Country

By Gai James Kai

September 5, 2014 (SSNA) -- The criminalization of politics by our lawmakers has reached menacing proportions. Both MPs at the National Legislative Assembly and those at State Assembly have a healthy number of members with serious criminal charges against them. Unfortunately, we have a constitutional court which has nothing, absolutely nothing to safeguard the interest of common man. Instead of finding fault with the judgments of the Supreme Court, Mps should come together and thank the jurists for trying to cleanse politics. Heavens are unlikely to fall if criminals are shown the door by the would-be lawmakers, and in their place, men of probity are selected. Anytime is the right time to do what is right!  

When it comes to official bungalows our Mps, the country’s lawmakers, are merrily breaking the laws and making unauthorized constructions while the Constitutional Court is happy twiddling its fingers, waiting to take action only after the house are “vacated.”

At research application filled by Anti- corruption bureau with public works department revealed a list of at least 150 Members of Parliament – Mps, top political leaders and even official SPLM headquarters willfully disobeying the laws and creating unauthorized structures within the National Legislative Assembly, that will, in all likelihood, never see the official sledgehammer. Interestingly, some of the unlawful structures date back to 2011. These unauthorized constructions include temporary and permanent “official’s rooms, extra office spaces, toilets and portable cabins.

But not just top political leaders at National level, the list also details unauthorized construction in the state offices of SPLM party. Even the House Speaker’s residences in Juba and Bentiu are all part of this illustrious list. Recently, some Mps from South Sudan’s Lake state unlawfully engaged themselves in this “oldies’ act” and are all “guilty” of defying the law and creating unauthorized structures to accommodate their flunkies.

Not to be left behind are personalities from the ruling SPLM – Juba with party president, Salva Kiir’s legal advisor’s name figuring on the list and the speaker of National Legislative Assembly, Hon. Magok Rundial add to the pack. Beside these two top lawmakers who opted to be the most top lawbreakers, the disgraced Vice President, James Wani built rooms or modified his bungalows without the mandatory clearance from the city council (Juba). What a shame!

In response to a specific query on the action taken by the would-be lawmakers, the incompetent court of law seems to have developed cold feet. While Juba’s normal citizens routinely witness civic bodies swinging the sledgehammer on any encroachment or unauthorized construction, the law seems to bend conveniently when it comes to the law-makers. The court says that it will move into action only after the bungalows have been “vacated.”

With the National Legislative Assembly members and SPLM – Juba’s leaders unlikely to “vacate” the bungalows, it looks like the Mps will continue to be beyond its jurisdiction for years, if not decades.

South Sudanese Mps receives an indulgence. Everybody else, you are second-class citizens, unless you are part of NLA or part of Salva Kiir. Otherwise, you have to obey our laws like mere mortals and you must do what the Mps dictates. This mean that National Legislative Assembly has lost its moral authority to object to the other ways the Salva Kiir’s administration is ignoring or skirting our laws.

After all, the president can tell the lawmakers that now you are part of the gang. By asking for an exemption and getting it, you have been initiated. That is why street gangs have newbies pull the trigger on a drive-by shooting. Once an Mp broken the law in front of witness, he or she can’t squeal on the gang because now they are just as guilty.

Worse still, statistics show that an Mp with a criminal record is nearly twice more likely than one with a clean record to win a seat at the big table. These criminals are even sought out by the desperate SPLM party, for their nefarious attributes, given the fact that the alleged criminals have the sources and power to buy or intimidate voters – and rivals – as well as the fig leaf of responsibility associated with their name brand backers.

So peculiar that you become a member of your State Legislative Assembly or a member of Nation Legislative Assembly for five year, but your criminal cases go on for 20 years. Without question, their act ran afoul of the spirit of the justice system and parliamentary democracy. In a word, they behave like a petty criminal suspect who has no qualms of conscience.

Like every criminal suspect, the national assemblymen are entitled to the presumption of innocence before proven guilty; but they are too brazen-faced to realize that all they did to evade the dragnet has brought them shame only. They went all-out to take advantage of all the legal loopholes, not to mention their privilege of immunity from arrest while the National Assembly is in session. To the last minute, they refused to comply with summons to appear before the judge to come in for a review for the issuance of arrest warrants.

All the corruption cases show that the lawmakers have allegedly become the lobbyists of the vocational college, the interest group, or companies. If they are found guilty of the charges, they only prove that they are greedy politicians bent on making money by resorting to illegal means. Everyone can clearly distinguish being a lawmaker from being a lobbyist. Such a legislator may end up being a lawbreaker.

The conventional wisdom is that, South Sudan has good, even great laws, but that the problem is in the implementation, which is done either badly or not at all! The country so say the conditional and eternal optimists would otherwise be an earthly paradise via legislation. But anyone who has been following the decision of the Supreme Court should have a reason enough to question the validity of that claim. In its most recent rulings, the Court was practically warning the citizenry to scrutinize every major piece of legislation ground out by the Legislative Assembly`s lawmaking mill – they are likely to be Constitutionally flawed.

The bottom line is that, given both its record of crafting – and that word is used loosely – flawed laws whose key provisions the Supreme Court has been striking down with near-regularity, its interest in, among others, revising the Constitutional provisions of Transitional Constitution – 2011 on term limits so that these criminals (Mps at National Legislative Assembly) can keep their hands away from the public.

The Constitution is, quite simply, too important document to leave in the grubby hands of this country’s alleged “lawmakers,” who are actually among its first lawbreakers.

The author is a Law student who has written numerous articles on social issues, politics, democracy, Law and order. He can be reached through; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or add him on Facebook by searching for the above names.

How is South Sudan preparing for the Ebola Virus?

By Dr. Peter Kopling,MD

September 4, 2014 (SSNA) -- Ebola virus is among the 30 known viruses capable of causing bleeding fever attacks. The genus Ebolavirus is currently classified into 5 separate species: Sudan ebolavirus, Zaire ebolavirus, Tai Forest (Ivory Coast) ebolavirus, Reston ebolavirus, and Bundibugyo Ebolavirus.

What made me write this piece is our region had a run with this deadly virus before, indeed the Sudan ebolavirus is perhaps to be called, South Sudan ebolavirus, because in the former Sudan, the ground zero was in our territories! Thus it is imperative that we raise awareness of this deadly virus sweeping through West Africa. This is one condition we do not want to wait until it punches us but rather the people must be actively made aware of how to prevent this from entering our country and be aware of the signs and symptoms of this deadly virus! The environment is ripped in our country and it will have a devastating effect if this was allowed to reach our already-ravaged country, which has no capabilities to handle such a disease! The question then is how is South Sudan preparing itself and her people? As we can see, as far away is America from West Africa, they now have registered their first case and will not be the last! Must we sleep until we are surprised awake by this deadly virus?

Below is some basic awareness everyone should have about Ebola Virus.

The primary host of this virus seems to be the fruit bats, which passes it to the Monkeys and chimpanzees! The eating or handling of Monkeys leads to this virus jumping to humans thus people must not eat Monkeys and their related kin!

The following 2 types of exposure history are recognized:

  • Primary exposure – This typically involves travel to or works in an Ebola-endemic area.
  • Secondary exposure – This refers to human-to-human exposure (e.g., medical caregivers, family caregivers, or persons who prepared deceased patients for burial), primate-to-human exposure (e.g., animal care workers who provide care for primates), or persons who collect or prepare bush meat for human consumption.

Modes of transmission:

An infected person who does not have symptoms, not necessarily can pass the virus to others but a person who is Vomiting, having diarrhea or bleeding from any parts of his body, essentially this person is passing the infection through any body liquid that comes out of him/her to include saliva.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Physical findings depend on the stage of disease at the time of presentation. There is an incubation period (time it takes to multiply in the body before causing illness typically 3-8 days in primary cases and slightly longer in secondary cases).

Early findings may include the following:

  • Fever
  • Sore throats
  • Severe constitutional signs and symptoms (just feeling terrible, unwell)
  • May see skin rashes.
  • Both eyes may become red.

Later findings may include the following:

  • Expressionless facies (Persons displays no emotions).
  • Bleeding from intravenous (IV) puncture sites and mucous membranes, like mouth and anus.
  • Myocarditis and pulmonary edema (Inflamation in the heart muscles and water in the lungs)
  • In terminally ill patients, rapid heartbeats, low blood pressures, thus lightheadedness, inability to make urine and to  urinate, and coma and death.

Survivors of Ebola virus disease have developed the following late manifestations:

  • Myalgias (Muscle aches).
  • Asymmetric and migratory arthralgias (alternating joint pains).
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Bulimia (eating disorders)
  • Amenorrhea (Absence of menstrual periods)
  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Unilateral orchitis (One sided testicular swelling or pain)
  • Suppurative parotitis (one side of the jaw near the ear becoming swollen due to bacterial infections)

Management:

  • Supportive therapy with attention to intravascular volume, electrolytes, nutrition, and comfort care is of benefit to the patient; this to be done only by trained health care provider which we terribly lack in our country.
  • Such therapy must be administered with strict attention to barrier isolation; all body fluids contain infectious virions and should be handled with great care only by healthcare professionals.
  • No specific therapy is available that has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, essentially most if not all deadly.
  • There are no commercially available Ebola vaccines;
  • At present, no specific anti-Ebolavirus agents are available. In those patients who do recover, recovery often requires months, and delays may be expected before full resumption of normal activities. Weight gain and return of strength are slow. Ebola virus continues to be present for many weeks after resolution of the clinical illness.

Recommendations:

Anyone who presents with diarrhea vomits and or with bleedings should alert the authority very quickly and do not handle the bodily liquids and when such a person dies the body must not be transported for burials from one town or village to another. Even if it is not Ebola, it could be Cholera. In other words before you go for a funeral ask what the person die of, If diarrhea, vomits and or bleeding is involved then relatives must be kept away. Mourners must not surround such dead bodies as is customary. Such dead body must not be touched and left for the authorities to burry speedily! Those exposed should not return to the families and isolate themselves where possible for at least 10 days.

Given our country is home to many foreigners coming and going, not only Africans but also Europeans and Americans who may be working for Medical team that fights the deadly disease in West Africa, the Virus may come through them! The health officials at the airport must screen for not only African but also Europeans and Americans! The attentions must not be solely at the airport but also boarder entries like Nimule etc.

Our healthcare setting and capabilities are Zero, the authorities must be vigilant indeed should consider not allowing entry to those coming from Ebola region! In addition Monkey eating must be discouraged. In our case prevention is better cure, where none exists and poor health care and sanitary facilities this is even more so! We must be preemptive! If the world does not arrest this in West Africa, which is just a country or two away from us, it is then a matter not if but when this deadly virus with terrible consequences hits us!

Dr Peter Kopling Josep, MD, 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 .

Mr. Salva Kiir: Take ownership of the Nuer genocide!

By: Luk Kuth Dak

September 5, 2014 (SSNA) -- Most South Sudanese at one point or another have experienced the evil of violence during the course of their lives, but the December, the 15th, 2013 undeniable genocide of the an apolitical Nuer people, in the hands of the disgraced President of the republic of South Sudan, Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit will go down in human history as one of the most brutal act of evil, against innocent and unarmed civilians!

Almost a year later, not a single person has been brought to justice for the massacre, which has sicken the world by viewing the gruesome images of the unburied dead in the streets of the capital, Juba and other towns and cities across the country.

Emphatically, Mr. Kiir will never take ownership of the genocide. In fact, he doesn’t even want to talk about it, or show any kind of a fake remorse; instead, he’s barricaded himself with some Nuer worshipers of the likes of Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Health Minister, Shiek Riek Gai Kok, my brother -in-law, Mr. Philip Ruach Chan, and of course, the Jieeng golden boy, Mr. Gordon Buay. On numerous occasions, the later assured the President of his greatness!! “You’re the best leader the world has ever seen,” he was quoted as telling a prepaid hand-picked crowd at Kiir’s arrival at the UN General Assembly in New York. Seriously! I have never thought that Mr. Kiir and “greatness” could ever meet in one sentence.

If the Gallup polls were conducted in South Sudan today, they will indicate that an overwhelming majority of the South Sudanese, particularly among none Dinka, disapprove of Kiir’s performance as President. But since he won the presidential election, chances are that some of those who now disapprove of what he has done voted to put him in office. We all make mistakes, but the burning question is whether we learn from them.

With many Jieeng (Dinka) intellectuals now acting as if it is no time for a none Jieeng to become the leader of our nation, apparently they have learned absolutely nothing from what let to the division of South Sudan in 1983, better known as “Kokora” and, the current disastrous results of choosing a president of South Sudan on the basis of tribal background, instead of individual qualifications, all of which Kirr has none.

More than anyone else in South Sudan, the Jieeng have everything to lose and absolutely nothing to gain by destroying the nation. They are, after all, the beneficiaries of the nation’s wealth. Under this corrupt regime, the wealth gap between Jieeng and the rest of the country had grown to its widest in favor of Jieeng. So why are they shooting themselves in the foot?

To the majority of the Jieeng intellectuals, it means that criticism of Mr. Kiir is considered to be a sign of being against the Jieeng as a whole, which is a total nonsense. I have been accused of being a “Jieeng hater” for simply calling for a new leadership. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it would not matter to me if the next ten Presidents of South Sudan in a row were Jieeng, if these happened to be the best individuals at the time. But to suggest that Mr. Kiir is irreplaceable after a decade long and counting in office is to say that we are willfully blind to the dangers of putting life-and-death decisions in the hands of someone chosen for tribal reasons.

Bluntly stated, it is by no means possible that South Sudan will survive the long-run consequences of the disastrous decisions already made by Mr. Kiir, especially the cold-blooded massacre of the Naath people on December, the 15th.

Today, the Naath people are standing all alone in an island of despair. The UN won’t protect them from Kiir’s brutality. The US and the European Union won’t protect them either, instead they clutching arms with the murderer, Mr. Salva Kiir. So the question is who will protect the Naath from the eminent danger of Kiir’s savage regime?

The simple answer is: the Naath themselves.

If the Naath wake up in some morning and find out that some of their people have been murdered by the regime, don’t blame the world, it will be because you earned it.

Luk Kuth Dak is an independent columnist/writer. 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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