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Tuesday, Mar 03rd, 2015

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Khartoum's aerial savagery continues: Death and maiming of children and adults in the Nuba Mountains

By Eric Reeves

February 3, 2015 (SSNA) -- Dr. Tom Catena, the only surgeon working in the Nuba Mountains, has provided grim evidence of the indiscriminate bombing and artillery attacks in the Kauda area near his Mother of Mercy Hospital. Khartoum's ground campaign to seize Kauda has stalled, and the regime's military forces suffered a crushing defeat near Talodi (occasioning the desertion of many Rapid Support Forces, who have returned to the soft targets of Darfur). Plans for a decisive victory over the Sudan People's Liberation Army/North (SPLA/N) have clearly stalled, and stand-off military actions are the consequence.

Dr. Catena has sent me today some of the photographs generated by the ghastly carnage of the past days, including a number from today (3 February 2015); they may be accessed at http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Al . CAUTION: These photographs are extremely graphic and difficult to view. They are, however, the face of war as Khartoum has chosen to conduct it in the Nuba. Given their continuously indiscriminate nature, and conducted with full knowledge of the likely consequences, these attacks on civilians are war crimes under the terms of the Rome Treaty that is the statutory basis for the International Criminal Court. In the end, however, these innocents are victims of the international community's failure to end Khartoum's sense of complete impunity.

The Nuba people have every right to believe that the world simply does not care about their suffering and destruction.

Eric Reeves' book-length study of greater Sudan (Compromising With Evil: An archival history of greater Sudan, 2007 - 2012; www.CompromisingWithEvil.org; review commentary at: http://wp.me/p45rOG-15S)

Journalism is not Terrorism or a Criminal act but Profession of enlightenment!

By Peter Gai Manyuon

February 2, 2015 (SSNA) -- Journalism is gathering, processing, and dissemination of news and information related to the news to an audience. The word applies to both the method of inquiring for news and the literary style which is used to disseminate it. However in the Republic of South Sudan, Journalism is taken as the threat, terrorism or criminal offence by President Kiir and his entire government from national and state levels. Journalists ended up being killed on daily basis or yearly in the Country. What a disgrace?

In a democratic society, however, access to free information plays a central role in creating a system of checks and balance, and in distributing power equally amongst governments, businesses, individuals, and other social entities. Access to verifiable information gathered by independent media sources, which adhere to journalistic standards, can also be of service to ordinary citizens, by empowering them with the tools they need in order to participate in the political process but in reality, Journalists are look as Terrorists, criminals by the Government of South Sudan. Very disappointing scenario!

Journalism is not terrorism or a crime but it’s the unique profession that highlights the wrongs and good things societies/individuals do on daily basis. There is no Country that could work effectively without Media in place; it’s through Journalism as the profession that helps in disseminating of information to globe and societies.

Moreover, Killing of Journalists in South Sudan yearly is not the solution for the current problem that was initiated by the group consists of hooligans; self-proclaimed leaders that are half way educated but rather it will increase the weaknesses of the state from International arena perspective, which indeed is becoming justifiable.

However, Killings professional Journalists of reporting realities, factual about the government, is absolutely abuse of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011, human rights and dignity of South Sudanese people. Fact must be said my dear countrymen and ladies!

Hence, according to different reports, the journalists killed in an attack in Wau last month January were; the Director for Raja Radio station, Musa Mohammed, popularly known as Musa Abu Elkalam, South Sudan Television (SSTV) Photographer, Boutros Martin Khamis, Raja Radio Journalists Randa George, Musa Adam, and Dalia Marko respectively. In fact, what shows that, there is government in place in South Sudan? Is that government for people or individuals or for family?

True speaking, this is a well calculated strategy by the government of South Sudan to eliminate Journalists in that way. Each and every year, there are reports about killing and disappearance of Journalists in South Sudan.  Frankly Isaiah Abraham was killed intentionally in December 2012 at his residence at Gudele by Juba security

Who can deny the fact that South Sudan is a failed state number one globally? How can Journalists be killed intentionally by their government frequently? Are there no institutions that protect the rights and lives of Journalists globally? And if yes, why don’t they go to Juba and calls for the Persecution of the culprits who ordered for the killing of five Journalists?

Absolutely, something must be done by all the Human rights institutions globally unless otherwise, world is celebrating the ongoing killings and persecution of Journalists in the Republic of South Sudan.

I am requesting all Journalists across South Sudan to mourn their colleagues for specific period of time!

The Author is an Independent Journalist and Columnist who has written extensively on issues of Democratization processes and Human Rights in South Sudan. Follow him on www.independentjournalistpgm.wordpress.com.

An Open Letter to, South Sudan’s Rebel Leader, Dr. Riek Machar

By Kuir ë Garang

February 1, 2015 (SSNA) -- It’s common knowledge that you are one of the most divisive figures in South Sudan’s political life whether you intended it or not. And that will go down in history as part of your leadership and political legacy. It doesn’t matter who’s to blame for all the historical mishaps you’ve been involved in; history will always remember you in a manner that’s outside your perception of yourself. And it’s a personality tragedy you seem to brush aside as you continue to bargain and fight for your political life.

Tribalism

More than 90 % of your camp [military and political] is made up of your tribesmen. Your supporters can blame circumstances surrounding December 15, 2013 mutiny in Juba and subsequent incidences thereafter. My judgement tells me that you didn’t start the problems that brought us to the current crisis; however, you contributed to the crisis in many ways than one. Corruption flourished while you were still the Vice President, your office employees, like those of many other ministers, were from your tribe and you wanted to shut down SPLM-DC. Besides, you criticized your own boss [Kiir] while you were still VP. Those factors don’t belong in a resume of a democrat, who sees himself as a genuine reformer.

And what is even more appalling is how you see yourself as a national leader when you rely exclusively on your fellow Nuer. The few non-Nuer in your camp joined you not out of your exemplary leadership but for the mere convergence of your grievances against the government. With no doubt, these folks had bones to pick with the government. What gives you some semblance of credence isn’t what you offer but what the government of President Kiir isn’t doing.

  • You are as tribalist just as Kiir Mayardit is.
  • You are bargaining for political power and that’s what Kiir is doing.
  • Your camp is mostly Nuer and Kiir’s camp is mostly Jieeng.
  • Both of your camps have committed atrocities.
  • And more importantly, none of you seems to strike a tone that promises the advent of peace in South Sudan.
  • President Kiir has a tribal militia and so do you.
  • Your deputy is from Central Equatoria, your army chief and your spokesperson are from your Tribe. That’s the same thing Kiir has done.

I don’t see how you could claim to be any better than Kiir. If you are, then you’re still to show us.

War Atrocities

You were once asked by a journalist to apologize to South Sudanese regarding the atrocities committed by your forces. Against all required logic and democratic sense of nationalism, you asked the journalist who you should apologize to; arguing that you are a victim. Not only did that burry any shred of leadership decency and nationalism, you portrayed yourself as a selfish megalomaniac.

So many South Sudanese people died in this war. As someone who considers himself a national leader, you owe it to them to comfort them whether you are to blame or not. And the apology being asked isn’t meant for President Kiir, who’s equally required to apologize for his camp’s atrocities, but for the affected South Sudanese.

The likes of Mabior Garang De Mabior and James Gatdet Dak, including yourself, believe you have nothing to hide when it comes to war crimes. You even recently asked for the release of African Union commission report. We know the Human Right Watch report blamed all the warring parties for atrocities committed. AU preliminary report also blamed both sides in the conflict. It’s bizarre how you think you’d wish the content of these reports away.

It could have been a great justice to South Sudanese citizens if you’d called a press conference to apologize. That’s what good leaders do. But no, you want someone to apologize to you! I hope you don’t want the dead to apologize.

You think Kiir lost legitimacy because of the massacres of Nuer in Juba, but you remain mute on what the massacres in Bor, Bentiu and Malakal mean to you as a leader. Can we just forget about those lives because they are mere causal narratives of December 16 -18 Massacre of Nuer in Juba?

Peace Talks

These have actually become job-sharing conferences of either-or conditions. Peace is the only way in which this conflict can be ended. Neither you nor President Kiir would win this war militarily. Both of you know that a total defeat of any side wouldn’t bring peace to South Sudan. It’d only lead to perpetual insecurity in the country. Unfortunately, none of you seems to care what this crisis would continue to engender as long as you negotiate yourself back into the government and Kiir renegotiates himself back into presidency.

When you rebelled in 1991 and came back in 2002, it was the current VP James Wani Igga, who humbled himself and gave way to you. This humility was once shown by Gordon Muortat Mayen when Joseph Lagu took over both the political and military wings of Anya Nya war prior to 1972 Addis Ababa agreement. Remember Wani Igga is a human being with feelings. He’s one weak, comical politician but he symbolizes something greater than himself; and that is, the political position of the three Southern States of the country relative, bizarrely, to Jieeng and Naath people.

Why can’t you, for once, compromise for the sake of peace and tell your camp that part of being a great statesmen is not simply being a top leader. In all essence, establishing a legacy that has both long lasting and positive impact would go a long way in establishing yourself as a true democrat and reformer.

Negotiating yourself into power is not only selfish, it shows your lack of political muscles. IGAD peace initiative seems like your backdoor plan B. Give South Sudanese peace and they’ll reward you for it. Bring peace and campaign with a positive vibe.

IGAD’s leadership has proved itself a total failure by being peace imposers rather than peace negotiators. President Kiir and you should therefore show some nationalistic care and attitudinal change for the good of the country. If the two of you don’t care, who will?

Kuir ë Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically’. For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.info

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