Geneva—On Friday, the United Nations Security Council threatened to blacklist anyone deemed as peace spoilers in South Sudan and warned all member states against supplying illegal firearms to South Sudan.
“Extending the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) until 15 March 2022, the Security Council demanded today that all parties to the conflict in that country and other armed actors immediately stop fighting and engage in political dialogue, in accordance with the peace agreement signed in 2018,” said the UNSC in its resolutions dated March 12, 2021.
“The Council expressed its intention to consider all appropriate measures against those whose actions undermine peace, stability and security, and demanded that all Member States comply with their obligations to prevent the supply, sale or transfer of arms and related materiel, as set out in previous resolutions.”
The UN Security Council called on donor countries to intensify humanitarian aid to South Sudan.
The UN encouraged firm engagement by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union Peace and Security Council, and countries in the region to find a durable solution to South Sudan’s peace and security challenges, while calling upon the international community to scale up its humanitarian response.
While extending the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, the Council members called on all actors to respect human rights in the country.
“Today’s resolution goes on to demand that all parties to the conflict immediately cease all forms of violence, human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law, including rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence, and to hold those responsible to account. It also demands that all parties and other armed actors prevent further acts of sexual violence.”
The Upper Nile Youth Committee in the SPLM-IO has strongly condemned the recent agreement between Machar and ITGNU officials regarding the relocation and detachment of Makal County from Malakal town.
“On behalf of Upper Nile Youth Committee in SPLM(IO) and in my own behalf, we condemn and reject the detachment of Malakal town from Makal county in the strongest term possible. This happened yesterday on 12th March, 2021 after a meeting between H.E. Dr. Riak Machar Teny Dr. Elia Lomoro, Hon. Tut Gatluak and Hon. Obudhok Ayang. The resolution of their meeting was to detached of Makal county from its original headquarter Malakal town to Wau Collo,” the Committee noted in a statement.
The Youth Committee pointed out that the agreement reached by the leaders is unconstitutional and has no legal basis as it was done outside the constitution or the current peace agreement.
“This move was unconstitutional and lacks legal bases since no article or constitutional right to give them the power do so. Detachment of Malakal town from Makal county is a total violation to the Constitution of South Sudan and peace agreement since the agreement was based on 10 states. What happened yesterday was a betrayal to the cause of our struggle and also contrary to TBC report which clearly indicates Malakal town being part of the greater Makal county.”
“This is the act to jeopardize peace agreement. Malakal town as the capital of Makal county was established based on the former British colonial districts of 1956 and later was witnessed during the signing of the CPA which gave Collo Kingdom the ownership of the land by the late Dr. John Garage De Mabior the former Chairman and Commander in chief of SPLM/A based on the historical fact Therefore, Dr Riek Machar, Dr. Elia, Tut Gatluak and Obudhok Ayang have no power to detach Malakal town from Makal county without consulting the owners of the land.”
“Separating Municipality from county is an act of land grabbing and is just a political game trying to create confusion and division between the people of upper Nile since in other states Municipality and county capital exist in the same town for example Juba Municipality and Juba county headquarter are all located in Juba town.”
“Sacrifices made by the SPLA(IO) and Agwelek Forces to achieve a better South Sudan and defend their land cannot go in vain, no human power on this earth will be able to take Malakal ownership from Collo Kingdom.”
“Malakal will remain forever and ever the Land of Collo Kingdom no matter what. In conclusion, we call on our people to be optimistic since all historical documents prove the ownership of the land of Malakal belongs to the Collo People. Let us be hopeful and peace will prevail. Best wishes Sign,” said Omojok Obac, Chairman of the Upper Nile Youth Committee, SPLM-IO.
South Sudan’s President Salva is planning to replace Jonglei state Governor, Denay Jock Chagor, and assign him to a diplomatic mission, according to highly-placed sources in the Office of the President.
“The President is working to replace the Governor of Jonglei State, Denay Jock Chagor – he’s flexible and he can do a lot if he is given a diplomatic post,” the source revealed.
Chagor was appointed last year in line with the implementation of the Peace Agreement following his nomination by the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), a signatory to the R-ARCSS.
Since assuming the position of Governor of Jonglei State in July 2020, Shagor has been entrusted with diplomatic duties in the region.
Members of the Shilluk community have rejected the recent unilateral decision taken by the SPLM-IO and ITGNU to relocate the headquarters of Makal County to Wau Shilluk.
“We, the representatives of Makal County, met the first vice President Dr. Riek Machar, to register our deep concern about failed announcement of our County Commissioner. The meeting lasted about two hours at the end of which H.E. Dr. Riek expressed his satisfaction and assured us that the mistake involving failed announcement of the County Commissioner would be rectified sooner than later,” the group said in its statement.
“The decision relayed to the public by Dr. Martin Elia Lomoro in a press statement on Friday 12″ March following a meeting between Dr. Riek Machar, Hon. Tut Gatluak, the Presidential Advisor on Security, Dr. Martin Elia Lomoro, Hon. Budhoge Ayang Aney Kur, Governor of Upper Nile State and his Deputy Hon. James Tor Monybuny came to us not only as a surprise. but, indeed contrary to the spirit in which we discussed the matter with the First Vice President; if anything, the information we gave has been spined dishonestly to serve a hidden agenda.”
“The Establishment Order of Makal County contained in a message No. 003/10/2004 dated 16/10/2004 specifically mentions Malakal as its capital. This provision does not contradict the status of Malakal as a Municipality or a City as is the practice in Juba, which houses the capital of the Republic of South Sudan as well as the capital of Central Equatoria State, Juba County, Juba Payam, Juba Boma and the Juba City Council.”
On a positive note, the representatives applauded the opposition and the government for agreeing to change the name of their county from Ogod to Makal.
“Therefore, reverting back the name of our County to Makal from Ogod is appreciable. We, the people of Makal County, condemn divisions being created by the decision in Lelo Payam through the creation of the so-called Wurjwok Payam and Wau Payam.”
“We also reject, in the strongest possible terms, the attempts to separate Makal County from its capital in Malakal. We also reject the wrong practice of non citizens of a county taking major decisions without consultations with the indigenous people of a county.”
“The available State Laws ought to be followed. Malakal town, over the decades, peacefully accommodated our people until the surge of ethnic ideology in the wake of CPA implementation. Since 2005, it has been a thorny road of conflict, hatred, tears and bloodshed. It is our cherished hope that the R-ARCSS ushers a new spirit of peaceful coexistence, social harmony and unity among our people,” said Hon. Joseph Kwonyireth Deng Yieljak On behalf of Makal County Committee.
South Sudan’s prominent opposition leader, Dr. Lam Akol, has rejected the recent unilateral decision taken by the SPLM-IO and ITGNU to relocate the headquarters of Makal County to Wau Shilluk.
On Friday, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Elias Lomoro announced that the Parties had resolved that Makal shall be the name of the county and Malakal shall be the Municipality and shall be headed by a Mayor.
“A logical deliberation and checking documentations, and lot of reasoning .. we have resolved that Makal shall be the name of the county and that county – Makal county – shall comprise of Makal County shall be comprised of Warjowk Payam, Lilo Payam, Ogodo Payam and Wau Shilluk Payam as its head headquarters,” Elias was quoted as saying.
In a press release, Akol challenged Elias for not referring to an article in the state constitution or the current Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
“The media is awash with a statement attributed to the Minister of Cabinet Affairs of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to the effect that they have decided to detach Malakal town from Makal County and locate the capital of the latter to Wau Chollo.”
“The Minister did not quote the article of the Upper Nile State Constitution or an article in the Revitalized Peace Agreement which gives him and those who were in that meeting the authority to decide on such a constitutional matter,” he challenged.
The opposition leader said the creation of Makal County was issued long ago by Dr. John Garang de Mabior in 2004 prior to the signing of the CPA in Naivasha.
“The Establishment Order as issued by the Chairman of the SPLM/A, Dr John Garang de Mabior, in his message No. 003/10/2004 dated 16/10/2004, defined Makal County as composed of Malakal town and the two chieftaincies of Lelo and Ogod. We are not aware of a “Wurjwok” payam. The capital has always been in Malakal town. When Malakal Municipality was introduced sometime between 2010 and 2012 its capital coexisted with that of Makal County in Malakal town.”
“What is new this time around? The capital of Juba County, for example, is still in Juba town despite the presence of the Juba Municipality there. why should Makal County be an exception? This decision is not based on the Constitution of the Upper Nile State nor the Revitalized Peace Agreement.”
Akol criticized the opposition and the government for not acting in accordance with the constitution or the current peace agreement, which gives leaders legal rights to amend and introduce new change in the country.”
“The procedures for amending these legal documents are clear and have not been followed. The few persons who arrogated to themselves the right to take this decision should inform the public about the legal basis of their action. Otherwise, it will be considered yet another gimmick to serve narrow interests.”
The Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (RARCISS) is a clear roadmap to transform and transition South Sudan into peaceful, democratic, and economic prosperity. The agreement was signed and regarded by many as the reform agenda for South Sudan just like the Uganda reform agenda in early 2000 spearheaded by the Opposition Leader Dr. Kizza Besigye and the Kenya Constitution-making process in 2010 that ushered the country into a new political and constitutional dispensation which appreciated and introduced most of the democracy ingredients enjoyed by Kenyans. The Agreement has provided an opportunity for the leaders to revitalized and jumpstart everything that wasn’t working for the people of South Sudan.
Notably, the Pre-Transitional period provided the parties with an opportunity to implement most of the important activities to pave ways for the RTGONU to be established or reconstituted. The Parties couldn’t finish implementing the critical Pre-Transitional activities within eight (08) months, the mediators (IGAD) decided to extend the period for another six (06) months and again added another 100 days to the Parties to finalize the implementation of the key pre-transitional activities to guarantee RTGONU formation and reconstitution.
The key fundamental activities include the security sector reforms especially the unification process of all armed groups into one national army, amendment and enactment of the six security laws such as; The SPLA Act, National Police Service Act, National Security Service Act, Wildlife Act, Prison Service act and Fire Brigade Bill. These laws are very important for comprehensive reforms and transformation of the security sector into a professional, disciplined and pro-people army, the National Constitution Amendment Committee (NCAC) drafted and consulted different stakeholders including the Parties and there was total justice done to the people of South Sudan. These laws were submitted by NCAC to the former ITGONU government but they only ended up at the Cabinet and never found their way to the Parliament.
Some of the anti-reform elements were against the massive suggested reforms in these laws, they evidently wanted the status quo to remain and continue without any fundamental change. These are the same people who continue lying to us that they want to move this country forward, but on the contrary, they’re the real problem and a big obstruction to the much-needed reforms in South Sudan. If the Parties can spend more than one year and five months trying to implement activities during the Pre-Transitional period but totally failed to perform such duties and up-to-date these important activities aren’t finalized or completed yet, is there any reason to believe that this particular government is ready for reform and move this country forward?
Unnecessary and unjustified delayment in fully forming and reconstituting a government of their own, the agreement didn’t provide for any public participation in deciding on the selection procedures and appointment of these leaders. Most importantly the right to select was accorded and within the Parties, prerogative to make such decision.
These are purely appointed leaders but not elected officials who citizens can hold accountable because they got their mandate through their respective Parties but claiming to be representing the people of South Sudan. In real terms, the one year and five months’ pre-transitional period was basically for the parties to prepare their list of nominees ready for the appointments into different slots because RTGONU has only 36 months’ concurrent mandate for all levels of government including the State, local government and the National Legislature. The Parties only managed to appoint the First Vice President and the Four Vice President in February, 2020 and later around early March, 2020 they reconstituted the Council of Ministers and also appointed the Governors, Deputy Governors, State Ministers, Advisors, Commission Chairpersons and County Commissioners.
Although, some of these appointments were unconstitutional, illegal and illegitimate. With impunity, the Parties deliberately refused to reconstitute the National Legislature and this particular institution is very central in the implementation of the reform agenda in the revitalized agreement. They’re still struggling to fully form and reconstitute the government after spending 2 years and 5 months failing to identify potential nominees to different positions.
Correspondently, there’s total disrespect, gross violation and misinterpretation of the Constitution and the Agreement to fit their wrong narratives and continue to grab powers and resources meant for the States and local government. The future of devolution and federalism in South Sudan is uncertain because they’ve managed to centralize powers and resources. These violations are happening at the watch of the judiciary and the Chief Justice became a violator too because he participated in administering unconstitutional oath to people who didn’t follow the right procedures in the Constitution and the Agreement. There are a number of Constitutional petitions or cases on his table and he has deliberately and adamantly refused to act on these cases. The Parties had an opportunity to demonstrate full commitment to implement the much-needed reform agenda in the Agreement but decided to do the opposite thing by expanding the government structures further.
It is worth mentioning that, government formation and establishment is determined and always driven by the economic viability or prospects and the availability of resources to take care of such huge government expenditures. The Parties instead decided to further expand the state legislative assembly from Seventy-One (71) MPs to 100 MPs in each state and totaling to about 1000 MPs for all the 10 states in South Sudan. There’s already crisis in the states where officials including the Cabinet members are told to facilitate and take care of themselves because their respective states lack resources. The economy is already doing badly and leaves one to wonder where and how the government will get funds to finance its huge expenditures if not at the expense of the poor citizens (Tax payers).
It is unfortunate that the government has reduced a rich reform agenda document into a power-sharing deal not even mentioning of responsibility sharing as provided for in the Peace Agreement, they’ve created the impression that the Agreement is about power-sharing but not the much-needed reforms in the Security Sector, Humanitarian and Reconstruction, Economy, financial and Resource management, Permanent Constitution-making process and legislation review, Transitional Justice, Reconciliation, healing, compensation, and reparation. The Agreement itself from chapter one to chapter eight is a REFORM AGENDA document for South Sudan and would definitely move this country forward, unfortunately, wrong people are in charge of its implementation with no clear direction or interest to reform the already broken and deformed system save for selfish interest.
There’ll be no reform without clear open civil space for citizens to hold their government accountable, there’ll be no reforms when the opposition parties are too weak to challenge the system and already ‘contented’ and acting comfortable with the situation in the country. They’ve already joined the wagon of doing the same vices that made them take arms against the regime but now unanimously backing it. There’ll be no reforms if citizens continue to live in fear and can’t challenge their own government and leaders, there’ll be no reforms if the over 12 Million citizens don’t take charge of the affairs of their country.
Surprisingly and without shame, some leaders are already talking about the extension of the Transitional period for another 3 years and others are even suggesting 10 years or more. There’s also another school of thoughts that keeps suggesting that, the one full year of the Transitional period (February 2020- February 2021) should be regarded as the Pre-Transitional period because the government wasn’t fully formed and reconstituted. There’s no doubt that even if the Parties are given 20 years or more, the current crop of leaders will not initiate, support, and implement the much-needed reforms to move this country forward.
In conclusion, the only available avenue or opportunity for reforms and better South Sudan is when the over 12 million citizens revoke Article 2 and 4 of the Constitution to exercise their sovereign powers and reign over their leaders. It is when the over 12 million citizens take charge of their country’s affairs by holding their government and leaders accountable, the masses should know powers to reform this country lies in the hands of the citizens of South Sudan, not the leaders. Otherwise, it will be like the second coming of Jesus for fundamental change and reform to happen. The Constitution says power belongs to people and it is within their authority and discretion to exercise it.
Wani Michael is a youth representative on the National Constitution Amendment Committee (NCAC). He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The South Sudan United Front (SSUF) has been dismissed from the opposition alliance, SSOMA, on suspicion of colluding with the Kiir administration.
“During its extraordinary meeting on 11th March, 2021, the South Sudan Opposition Alliance Movements Leadership Council (SSOMA-LC) unanimously decided to terminate the membership of the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) from SSOMA with immediate effect,” the opposition alliance said in a statement.
This is not the first time the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance has suspended SSUF membership.
Last year, the SSOMA terminated the SSUF membership, accusing Malong and his group of having contact with the government.
“On the 25th September, 2020, SSOMA-Leadership Council suspended the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A), for the breach of SSOMA’s Terms of Reference (ToR) Article 4.9, that guides the conduct of SSOMA Leadership Council.”
“Furthermore, the SSOMA-Leadership Council in its meeting of 24th October, 2020 resolved to set up an investigation committee to investigate the suspension of SSUF/A from SSOMA.
The investigation committee submitted its findings on 15th February, 2021 and concluded on the following:
• The SSUF/A was found to have established tracks of negotiations that are parallel to that of SSOMA, both directly with the Government of South Sudan and the Community of Sant’Egidio;
• There is a heavy infiltration of SSUF/A senior leadership ranks by the government and security organs in Juba. Hence, SSUF/A senior officials are heavily compromised;
• The South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) has no common agenda with the other SSOMA member organizations in the Alliance of addressing the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan;
• The SSUF/A was plotting to take the leadership of SSOMA and use it to enhance its negotiating position with the government to finalize its disgraceful return to the bosom of Kiir’s regime.
“The Leadership Council of SSOMA as an alliance that is struggling for establishment of democratic federal republic in South Sudan based on new political, social and economic dispensation and as the vanguard of the people, decided to terminate the membership of SSUF/A with immediate effect date of 11th March, 2021.”
The South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA), is an umbrella of political factions that are not part of R-ARCSS.
In Dinka Culture, whenever you see a thief stealing a public or individual’s property and you keep quiet without reporting the case to the owner of the property, you the onlooker is termed a thief due to your failure to report the case. To relate this to the ongoing rampant corruption in Nilepet under the incumbent Managing Director Eng. Bol Ring.
I felt concerned to enlighten and aware the public on the diversion of their petrodollars by Bol Ring and his good boys. Bol Ring and his loyalists have emptied the bank account of Nilepet. There is neither a single pound nor a single dollar in the Nilepet’s account at the time of writing article. Bol Ring transferred all the cash to his personal account and used some money for purchasing personal assets such as a Villa in Kampala, an estate in Gurei, Juba, a furnished house or apartment in Juba etc.
He recently bought four new brand V8s at 120, 000 dollars each, which he cashed out from the company account. He cashed out 120,000 dollars and order another V8 from Dubai. The vehicle is on the way from Dubai. Bol Ring took 12 millions dollars in advance from DPOC, SPOC, and GPOC in case he is removed from the position of Managing Director.
He also took fuel from suppliers at the amount of 35 millions dollars and sold it in the black market without paying the suppliers. The country is currently facing shortage of fuel because Bol Ring has sold the fuel meant for public use, in the black market. All the fuel depots are empty. The government institutions have fun shortage of fuel and sometimes they buy fuel from the black market.
In addition to the above, Bol Ring Muorwel is a naturally born sectionalist, tribalist and clanist. Bol Ring has hijacked the duties of Director General, human resource manager, finance manager, procurement manager etc. In less than six months in the office, Bol succeeded in recruiting over one hundred relatives. The worse thing is that majority of Bol’s relatives whom he recruited into Nilepet are mere illiterate who never stepped their feet near any school compound. Bol Ring transported many of them from cattle camps in village to Juba and contracted them in high grades as well as assigning them in sensitive departments in Nilepet. I have compiled their names and I will soon publish them in the media.
Lastly, Bol Ring is a potential criminal who should be sentenced to life imprisonment. I don’t know the kind of culture which Bol Ring and his good boys have adopted. None of the 64 cultures of South Sudan condone corruption or any malpractices. Neither the Bible nor Quran tolerate corruption.
This means Bol Ring is a naturally born thief and that’s why he will die as a corrupt man. Bol Ring should be tried in the court of law and sentenced to life imprisonment in order to be an exemplary to the rest of corrupt individuals in South Sudan. Leaving Bol Ring and his relatives to corrupt the public resources in broad daylight, serves as an encouragement of the corruption in the country.
The author is a concerned South Sudanese who lives in the capital Juba, South Sudan.
The views expressed in this “Opinion Section” belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of The South Sudan Herald. Should you wish to submit your opinion piece or analysis, kindly contact us at: email@example.com
Over 85 international and national NGOs have signed a petition calling on the UK government to reconsider its decision to cut 59% of South Sudan’s life-saving humanitarian aid.
“International and National Non-governmental Organizations working in South Sudan call on the UK Government to reconsider urgently the reported 59% budget cuts to vital international aid,” the group said in joint statement seen by Thessherald.
Noting that, “South Sudan is at a pivotal point, based on the recent Integrated Food Security Phase Classification of “Famine Likely” and “Catastrophic” food insecurity at a number of locations across the country, with over 60% of the population projected to face crisis or worse levels of food insecurity.”
“Humanitarian assistance is one of the only factors keeping thousands of people from succumbing to the worst outcomes: malnutrition and death. Severe humanitarian needs across the country have significantly worsened due to a combination of flooding, displacement, and protracted sub-national violence.”
The sustained support of the international community is critical. As humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding organisations working to support the people of South Sudan coming out of a painful civil war, we call on the UK Government to ensure South Sudan remains a funding priority. The UK has long played an important role in bolstering South Sudan’s progress with humanitarian support.
The aid agencies warned that the projected budget cuts for South Sudan will certainly cost lives and put millions on the brink of starvation.
“There is no doubt that the anticipated cuts will cost lives, and undermine significant, long-term progress made with UK funding to date – from saving lives with access to food and safe water, to reducing violence through support for locally-led peacebuilding, and interventions to reduce gender-based violence.”
“It is vital that the UK continues to invest in both humanitarian response and longer-term action that builds resilience and integrates Disaster Risk Reduction in the country. There needs to be continued support for conflict prevention and peacebuilding – as an end in itself but also, as UK Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs Nick Dyer has rightly pointed out, because conflict remains closely linked with food insecurity. After years of engagement and investment, for the UK to step back now would constitute a crushing blow to the people of South Sudan.”
Testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, a renowned South Sudanese human rights activist, Peter Biar Ajak, calls on the Biden administration to take tough action against against Kiir and Machar to restore peace in the country.
“To revive the stalled democratic transition in South Sudan and restore hope to our people, the United States, which midwifed the birth of South Sudan and invested over 15 billion dollars since our independence, needs to send a clear message to Kiir that his repression of South Sudan’s people will not be tolerated anymore and that any further delay of elections is unacceptable,” the statement party read.
Biar accused President Kiir and opposition leader Machar of imposing their leadership on the people of South Sudan against their will.
“Kiir and his partner in crime, Riek Machar, have imposed themselves on the people of South Sudan for too long. Despite the severe repression in the country, our people made this unequivocally clear in the recently concluded South Sudan National Dialogue, demanding that Kiir and Machar urgently find an exit route from the political scene. The United States, working together with the African Union, the United Nations, and others must demand that Kiir holds election by March 2022 since our people can no longer endure his awful rule.”
The activist deplored the ongoing economic challenges faced by the civil population, diplomats and civil servants.
“Kiir’s failed leadership of South Sudan has been costly to our people. As reported by the World Bank, the national poverty rate, which stood at about half of the population at independence is now at 82 percent; our country ranked dead last in the 2020 Social Progress Index3; it tied for the last place with Somalia in the 2020 Corruption Perception Index; and it scored only 2 out of 100 in the 2021 Freedom House’s Global Freedom Score. Although the oil is flowing, our people cannot tell where the money goes. Our diplomats have gone for nearly two years without salaries.”