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Re: A response to "From CPJ to Members of AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan:" 31 March 2014, South Sudan News Agency

By Dennis E. Paul

An open letter to the Citizens for Peace and Justice

April 1, 2014 (SSNA) -- I have been observing events in South Sudan since before independence.  The recent events - intertribal conflict and deteriorating social and judicial structures and the merciless unconscionable deaths of innocent and defenseless - are beyond heartbreaking.   My sympathy goes out to all South Sudanese who have lost loved ones in the horrendous regressive violations of human rights.

The offer the following - in my most humble demeanor - observations and suggestions that may be of value in the  reconciliation process.

I have been reading “Letter From CPJ to Members of AU commission of Inquiry on South Sudan,” [31 March 2014, South Sudan News Agency].  I feel the CPJ’s efforts to turn ideals into actions are exceptional and commendable.

The ideas are obviously well thought out and I suspect the CPJ has researched experiences of other nations in developing “Initial Recommendations on the Implementation of Inquiry.”  I urge readers to read the “Letter.”

I think all five pillars seem substantial and appropriate but I am propelled to ask: Have the five pillars been tried and tested?  Are there other programs or policies that have been shown in other nations to be more effective?

Truth Before Forgiveness.

I find comments (in the “Letter“) regarding Truth Before Forgiveness particularly noteworthy -- “Once the guns are silenced, people are urged to forgive one another and move on.   To adopt such an approach in South Sudan would be a grave mistake—one that has been made in the past and is increasingly considered to be a contributing factor to the enmities that led to the current conflict.     People cannot be asked to forgive others who have wronged them until they know for what their     forgiveness is being given. In that sense, forgiveness can only come after the truth and atonement.”

I believe this concept is particularly indispensable.

On another note; “Justice is Non-Negotiable,”  it is mentioned that:

“Men and women in positions of authority and those in uniform have committed serious crimes on the assumption that they are absolutely immune from any accountability for their actions. The only way to correct this shortcoming is to assert individual accountability and liability for criminal behavior.”

“Accountability should form the bedrock of a new institutional culture in which all citizens are equal and subject to the rule of law.”

I am aware that the greatest detriment to crime is the that those that intend to perpetuate crimes, know that they will be punished.

Those enforcing the law must maintain professional standards.  They must  have extensive ethical and moral training.  This offers insurance that objectivity in the service of law enforcement will protect all ethnic groups from unlawful prosecution.   I believe this is an issue that must bear great weight.

A few small programs were introduced in 2013 in South Sudan to train South Sudanese law enforcement personnel  abroad and to accept advanced training from law enforcement personnel from UN programs.  [“South Sudan  cadets join Ethiopia’s Police Academy“;  Sudan Tribune 12 Feb 2013 AND “UNPOL Trains South Sudan Police in Upper Nile“; Gartung 13 Nov 2013].  I feel, programs of this nature must be pursued vigilantly.

Lastly, with current events, it appears tribes are becoming more and more socially isolated. One paradigm that might be useful is a liaison (shuttle diplomacy for example) between tribes that might, with sensitivity and perseverance, slowly encourage unity of purpose in nation building.

I offer my observations with humility and respect.

The author lives in Iowa, United States. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The Invisible Hand behind the Failed State

‘’How South Sudan socially mutated from Western favorite brain child during the war into a post – war’s spoiled one and eventual failed State at independence.’’

By Deng Vanang

March 29, 2014 (SSNA) -- With the 2nd civil war entering its eight year homestretch between north and South, then plunked in the Self-inflicted defeat against the latter. The blow by blow military defeat attracted Western sympathy which molded one SPLM/A faction, the mainstream led by Dr. John Garang, into a kind of favorite brain child. The timely intervention rescued once strong and united Southern movement from the pale shadow of its former self, caused by the recapture of swath of territories it once won over and held sway from the successive Khartoum based – regimes. The Western intervention helped Garang group to get other splinter factions back on to the folds, effectively breathing a new lease of life in a miraculous rebirth that plucked it from a depressing position of defeat to that of victory and freedom at last. From then on, the rejuvenated movement embarked on a renewed pursuit of its just struggle for a nationhood that grew from Chinese proverbial humble steps into a great leap forward. The West’s invaluable contribution in bringing an elusive peace {CPA} to war ravaged people further dwarfed in its shadow any extra help generously extended by other world powers interested in the yet to be liberated country’s potential riches coupled with regional influence. And not only did the United States and its western European allies handsomely extend such overtures, but further ensured socio-economic dividends were available to make peace more fruitful as equally sustainable. It was the lightning response to the cry of tear jerking fellow Christian minority partly persecuted due to unwavering commitment to their faith.

Well-grounded as it was, the intervention became the vociferous rallying point around which religion and humanity assembled together the West and Africans with whom South Sudanese share common ancestry of race, heritage and geographical location. That Afro - western joint response went exceedingly beyond consolation for South Sudanese crying in wilderness for help since it significantly removed from their land Sudanese Arabs’ indomitable forces of occupation through military and humanitarian assistance.

However, behind this glamorous flipside of international solidarity for Southern Sudan, callously hides another that is today troubling the sovereignty of the newly born independent State. This ill-health troubling the new country is traced back to Western humanitarian relief aid delivered to its people with golden heart during the past civil war years. The malignancy was not in humanitarian emergency per se but an acute lack of governance structures, in transparency and accountability mechanisms, put in place just to ensure it reached the right people at the right time and place. This corrupt aid culture incidentally introduced first ever economic and social inequality into what was more of a communal Southern Sudanese society through Operation Lifeline Sudan {OLS}. The multi-national agency was tasked with creating safe corridors that cut through areas heavily contested by both government and rebels in order to airlift desperately needed relief aid to the pawns of war. Stretching far and between benefactors and beneficiaries was a long string of brokers and dealers trading in aid relief accompanied in a rather long winning journey with wades of hard cash in US Dollars. Both relief materials and liquid cash were destined to South Sudan grass roots communities, trapped in cross fires of bare-knuckle inter-factional rivals on the one hand and government on the other, through multifaceted community based - aid agencies micro - managed by long columns of senior guerilla field officers. Serving as conduits in this conglomerate of aid business, was a coterie of skilled local aid workers to sweet talk the brokers, the white heads of aid agencies, into coughing some goodies while the factiously warring guerrilla commanders lent them the ever shifting ground on which they could be dropped.

These quick impact programs’ community - based aid agencies, straddling heights and breadth of Southern Sudan, had their mission rashly spelled out. That is in constructing desperately needed makeshift structures which passed for basic primary health care and education facilities to respectively cater for the sick and school going children remotely located far and away from modern social amenities in the neighboring countries to which only South Sudanese of means, including the heads of these local aid agencies, had unimpeded access.

Such aid sleaze, to say the least, resultantly created sizable pot-bellied pioneer millionaires in these lords of poverty surfeiting in a sea of malnourished population. Apart from artificial pregnancies it created in these lords, the endemic sleaze offered them undue leverage and towering social status over and above their less to do but down to earth colleagues and peers. The humanitarian aid conspicuously left unsupervised, also juxtaposed far - reaching disparity in wealth creation that consequently hit the very bottom of communal Southern Sudanese fabric, forging a repulsive class system which left the sanctity of holy matrimonies  unspared as it lodged a sharp strain in the heart of heavenly ordained relationships between men and women of the cloth on the pulpit while unabatedly worked to multiply and redraw profound political discrepancies at the battlefields that unfairly manufactured winners and losers.

Spoiled child

In its social evolution from favorite brain child into spoiled one joyously rocked up and down on the West’s tender laps, the SPLM/A impeccably remained the chosen blue eyed - boy among rivaling siblings before mutating into the failed state as the government it is today courtesy of Western policy of sparing the rod while spoiling the child. As it divided and ruled, the West failed to unite and embrace all South Sudanese armed factions and political groupings behind a single purpose in the journey towards common destiny which could have helped them work together and develop a political system not engrained in current ethnic, corrupt and mediocritic administrative inefficiencies. On top of this double standard, deployment of less qualified human resources by SPLM/A scallywags in areas beyond their professional capabilities marred even further the notion of highly trumpeted Western good governance. All the same, the West’s introduction of development aid in place of humanitarian one could not have however delivered the required result different from its past carefree policy of offering humanitarian relief aid without necessary recourse to checks and balances. With similar business as usual attitude continuing to deny the target beneficiaries through none accessible social services despite the United States’ offer to South Sudan of about six hundred million Dollars in bilateral aid annually. 

As considerable amounts got diverted to wrong causes of building towers of Babel on earth while funding newly acquired luxurious Holly wood lifestyle in contrast to that of ragtag war years via accommodation in five star hotels locally and in aimless globe-trotting tours, much bigger chunk is spirited away to procure exorbitant automobiles in most popular head turning V8s and Hammers. The rest of the money sneaked back to where it usually comes, in what superb economists usually refer to as capital flight, encouraged by recipient government corrupt senior officials and hugely enumerated Western aid workers offered to give humanitarian aid a tumultuous send - off by their home governments.

Failed state

Although the West put much needed focus on safeguarding CPA in order to safely secure independence from the north for South Sudanese, it miserably failed to create a necessary balancing act and foresee the future its biased actions would bring forth, especially in ignoring the glaring governance eyesores that over time turned out to destroy the baby state. In building South Sudan to a level of single party state under the SPLM dictatorial rule, the Western democracies sheepishly turned a blind eye to creating the alternative opposition political parties so as to rein in its favorite’s most unbearable excesses on the poor and down trodden. This conspiracy reached its climax in mid - term 2010 most shambolic general elections in which the West helped SPLM in rig – looting them in the South, a vice that consequently plunged the two states of Jonglei and Upper Nile into unprecedented bloody electoral fallout in South Sudan history. Similar under hand dealing implicitly allowed NCP to do the same in the north in rigging gubernatorial elections. As South Kordufan State’s Abdel Aziz Adam Al-Hilu contested his choreographed defeat tooth and nail, his Southern Blue Nile State’s colleague Malik Agar belatedly to no avail pended off a reverse of controversial victory by NCP.

Until recently the West quite continuously and mischievously looked the other way as the hazards of personalized and ethnicized state institutions, ignored civic elections, bungled democratic reforms within and outside the ruling SPLM, rampant human rights abuses and poor press freedom continued to impair beyond repair both national unity and economic development of the new nation. These are in addition to two unpopular legal processes courtesy of transitional and permanent constitution – makings which systematically got bulldozed down the throats of the democratically fragile country. All the graphically described abominations have been orchestrated on the glaring watch of the ‘’failed state lobby’’ under stewardship of Ted Denya, the former White house luminary on African affairs with John Prendergast and Gayle Smith of Enough Project the United States and allied European governments contracted as agents that unsuccessfully promoted irreparably tattered and blood stained SPLM’s image, both locally and abroad.

Deng Vanang is a freelance journalist and can be reached at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Republic of Southt Sudan: A Laughing Stock in Africa

By: Daniel Wuor Joak

March 27, 2014 (SSNA) -- It is so sad that a nascent country of nearly three years old could venture into unplanned and destructive war, unfortunately orchestrated by none other than the incumbent President Salva Kiir Mayardit. He hastily did it out of greed and jealousy to outstripped his competing colleagues over the SPLM leadership. President Kiir believes in “authoritarian attitude” in case of any eventuality to quell down discontented members within the ranks and files as he sadly did on 15th December 2013, when he personally ordered his loyalists within the SPLA to abrade his potential opponents from SPLM political leadership and their tribal affiliated sympathizers.

The death of over ten thousands Nuer deliberately massacred in Juba as from 16 – 19 December 2013, and subsequent detentions of eleven SPLM political leaders after President failed to either arrest or kill their ringleader Dr. Riek Machar Teny was an overdue plan by him and his henchmen to get rid of Nuer and their leadership once and for all. That was the reason why he kept all oil revenues in billions of US dollar in foreign banks and at the same time deceitful to South Sudanese masses that he had borrowed 4.5 billions US dollar following the shot down of oil in 2011, which pretentiously gave him a leeway to introduce “Austerity Measures” in the country for over one year or more to cube down the government expenditures.

Presently, all government-running institutions are badly affected and yet the President and his cronies revealed later that they had indeed borrowed huge amount of money from China, which was a pure fallacy. If there was money borrowed as recently alleged by him, this money might have been used to pay the mercenaries from UPDF, JEM, and SPLA – N who are currently fighting alongside the government forces against the SPLM/A – In Opposition in Greater Upper Nile region. Most of the government employees including the SPLA war veterans and various departments have not been paid their due salaries since December 2013, while the oil still flowing in Upper Nile State. The government cannot continuously hiring foreign mercenaries while neglecting its own citizens from enjoying their “God Heavenly” given resources for the sake of protecting “one-man” interest.  

President Salva Kiir has been busy all this time dispatching his errand boys to different countries in the region and abroad to enlighten those leaders about his make-up coup d’etat, which becomes a huge headache for him to swallow on his daily life. The war has become too costly in which his hired mercenaries are not enough and he still looking for more allies to fight his tribally motivated war by unconditionally calling IGAD countries, Egypt and now Zimbabwe to come and protect the oil fields in Unity and Upper Nile State and not his vulnerable citizens who are caught up in cross-fires. The one million internally displaced persons currently displaced throughout the country should first and foremost be given all the necessary protections before the oil fields. IGAD countries should be serious in their mediating efforts to be frank to Uganda President Yoweri Museveni who still sends more troops and military airplanes to South Sudan to fight the war of aggression against the grieved people of South Sudan against their tyrant leader Salva Kiir Mayardit. They cannot negotiate peace while condoning Uganda troops to kill our innocent’s people by using helicopter gunships and jets with cluster bombs. How do IGAD countries expect peace to be realized in South Sudan when UPDF and other mercenaries from Republic of Sudan constantly killing our citizens and destroying their properties without condemning them? And why IGAD wants to send troops to protect only oil installations and government infrastructures instead of civilians caught in crossfires?

The double-dealings of IGAD in their guess for peace are unacceptable to large section of South Sudanese communities and doomed to fail this time. They want to maintain President Kiir leadership while they are fully aware of his incompetencies. He is a gross human rights violator and a tribalist of highest degree in comparison to Idi Amin Dada. He lacks wisdom and quality to lead the people of South Sudan to prosperity. President Kiir has more importantly promoted corruption, tribalism, nepotism and favourism among his subjects, which will take a number of years for the next leader to rid it. It has become a culture to some extent where an appointed member from certain ethnicity is replaced only with the person from the same community. Competency and dedication are not relevant in his reign except sycophancy and blindfolded loyalty.

Power sharing which is being proposed by IGAD mediators and Troika would make more sense if President Kiir is excluded from it because he is already anticipated a fending case to answer with ICC. He cannot be part of a reconciliatory government while he intentionally murdered thousands of civilians in cold blood. His mercenaries ally will soon vanish as long as the oil fields are soon to be shot down in Upper Nile State by SPLM/A Freedom Fighters who are actively engaged them militarily in the three states of Greater Upper Nile of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile respectively. There will be no more hard currency to hire mercenaries to fight his senseless war.

With the latest moves from Equatorian intellectuals both at home and in diaspora and that of Chollo community where massive defections have been reported on different news media to SPLM/A – In Opposition is very encouraging news indeed. Southerners should not allow themselves to be misled by somebody who has already failed his leadership on tribal ground. South Sudan is a country that can be led by any capable person among its sons and daughters without any exception. All its sixty-four nationalities are equal before God. No one is above another. All tribes need to be treated fairly and accord the same opportunity without any discrimination.

There is nothing called “Nuer Movement” as it happened in the past where SPLM/A was headed by Dr. John de Garang or the current government by Salva Kiir Mayardit. Nobody ever labelled them as Dinka leaders but rather South Sudanese leaders. Dr. Riek Machar is not a Nuer leader, as some mischevious characters like to portray him as Nuer leader, which is not the case in his vision. He is a South Sudanese leader like the rest before him and the SPLM/A – In Opposition is for all of us. Southerners must liberate themselves from this unfortunate situation where their affairs become everybody concerns being dictated on them by known criminals from East Africa nations. President Salva Kiir must go and let the people of South Sudan chooses their leader of choice without fear and intimidation.

The author is a South Sudanese human rights activist and can be reached through this email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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