Responding to the recent statement issued by Kiir’s office, the South Sudanese human rights defender, Peter Biar Ajak, says the current incumbent President, Salva Kiir Mayardit is too illegitimate to rule the country and should have been dethroned.
Greetings to the people of South Sudan. I am sure by now you have seen the clear intentions of Juba. Minister Nhial Deng Nhial’s response to my testimony has only confirmed the validity of the points that I raised.
Biar said the government’s decision to withhold long-awaited General Elections is the tip of the iceberg and a sign that the parties are not ready to allow the people of South Sudan to choose their next leader.
“They want to continue to rule the country without allowing our people to have a say. This is what they want to accomplish through a crash-22 situation. They don’t want to hold elections because the country is in conflict and the peace agreement is yet to be implemented. But at the same time – they deliberately create the conflict and drag their feet when it comes to the implementation of the peace agreement.”
“So by default, elections will never happen because that’s their intention. So, you people of South Sudan must realize this. You have a legitimate government that was never elected by the people of South Sudan – that wants to use the conflict as an excuse to forever rule there.”
The human rights defender says that Kiir has become illegitimate and does not have any mandate to run the country.
“This is not the first time. This is why the election was extended in 2015 and extended again in 2018 — and now they’re arguing again for another extension. So, it’s very clear, the objective is to perpetrate corrupt rule so that continue to steal from you, kill you and displace you. So, let me repeat, Kiir was never elected. He’s an illegitimate president.”
“They only thing that is keeping him in power is the peace agreement; and the peace agreement requires that elections be held by March 2022. If that time comes and has not held any election—his illegitimate regime and will have expired.”
“So, the choice is this, hold the elections and do whatever you want to do and, implementation the agreement or by that time we will demand a Liberian model… Just like Charles Taylor was removed, Kiir will be removed, I assure you.”
The activist accused the Kiir administration of being responsible for the death of opposition officials, Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idris, who were kidnapped by the National Security Services in Nairobi in 2016.
“Regarding the denial that they didn’t want to kill me, where’s Dong Samuel?… Where’s Aggrey Idris? — or didn’t you kidnap them, bring them to Blue House and kill them?. If you produce Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idris, you would have proved me a liar. Bring them and show them to us.”
Biar fled to the United States in July after accusing President Kiir of ordering him killed by a death squad, a claim vehemently denied by the South Sudanese government, which in turn accused him of seeking asylum in the Western world.
Opinion —When rumors started going around about the health and whereabouts of my friend President John Pombe Magufuli, I placed several calls to him. Later, I sent him a text message. Both went unanswered. I then resigned to expect the worst while hoping I was wrong. When his death was confirmed as I was self- isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, I felt the full weight of double tragedy and emotions dealt by the cruel hand of fate. It was the worst time to lose a friend and a comrade.
It was a bond forged over war on corruption and quality infrastructure. I first met Dr. Magufuli at an international conference on infrastructure in Durban, South Africa some time in 2003. I had just assumed office as Minister for Roads, Public Works and Housing in the National Rainbow Coalition (Narc) government of President Mwai Kibaki. By that time, Dr Magufuli had held a similar portfolio for some time in Tanzania. At the ministry, I discovered that I had inherited a bigger problem than I had imagined. The ministry was mired in massive corruption.
Contractors were demanding pay — and getting paid — for works they had not done, or those done way below specifications. Nearly the entire ministry budget was being used to clear pending bills that kept rising. The ministry was neither constructing any new roads nor maintaining the existing ones.It is in that context that I attended the Durban conference.
I wanted to share my experiences, learn from fellow ministers and other experts and, hopefully, also attract some funding for the massive infrastructure Kenya needed when Narc took over. Corruption Dr. Magufuli took immense interest in my presentation.
He was particularly intrigued by my admission that corruption had found a home in the ministry and it was denying the country the good infrastructure needed for economic growth. The two of us had lengthy discussions on the side-lines of the conference. During our discussions, he disclosed that the problems I had mentioned were the same ones he encountered when he took over at Roads and Public Works in Tanzania.
He offered to share his experiences in dealing with the vices of corruption and cowboy contractors and driving them out of town. For a start, he advised that I look into two areas: procurement and designing and tendering processes. From his experiences in Dar es Salaam, he had ring-fenced these areas as the hideouts for corruption and conduits for loss of government funds. Shorten procurement process His advice was that I needed to shorten the procurement process, which is usually long and winding just to facilitate corruption.
Then he advised that we adopt a system of designing and building roads at the same time as opposed to designing the entire road first, then tendering and then constructing. That, too, was a conduit for corruption. His advice was that the sections of the road that had been designed could be tendered and construction commenced as design of other sections went on. That way, we would get quality roads faster and at cheaper prices. It had worked for him and he wanted us to try it. From there, our friendship kicked off.
We became advisers to each and partners in the war on corruption and cowboy contractors in the roads sector.Before the conference ended, Dr Magufuli asked me to get my engineers at the ministry for a meeting with his engineers in Dar-es-Salaam so that they could exchange ideas on how to deliver quality infrastructure at value-for-money costs. I immediately instructed my Permanent Secretary Erastus Mwongera to assemble our team. In Dar es Salaam, we had extremely exiting discussions on simple, fast and efficient ways to deliver infrastructure. Raila Odinga Road, Dr. Magufuli invited me to accompany him on a tour of Mwanza where he was to supervise and launch construction of hospitals and roads. It was during this trip that he named a road after me; Raila Odinga Road in Mwanza.
During this trip, we visited his home in Chato. I also invited him to visit us in Kisumu and Bondo. As we got down to work here in Kenya, we identified the Meru-Maua Highway as one of the key roads that needed immediate and massive renovation. I invited Dr. Magufuli to launch the reconstruction of this road, which he did. I also instructed the ministry to name the road after him. AS Prime Minister in the Grand Coalition Government, I visited him with a delegation that comprised Senator James Orengo and Governors Sospeter Ojaamong and Josephat Nanok, among others. On this trip, I launched the construction of the University of Mwanza.As we prepared for 2012 elections, Dr Magufuli defied protocols and stood with us, physically attending our party’s National Delegates Conference where I was handed the party’s ticket to run for president.
Consultants for each other this time, we had become consultants for each other. We were available for each other whenever either of us needed assistance or advice. When Dr Magufuli declared his interest in the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) ticket for the presidency in 2015, I took keen interest because his contest was my contest, just as mine had been his. We got deeply involved and we were excited when he won.He invited me to Dar almost immediately after his inauguration. During that visit, the newly elected president was frank. He said he had known how to run ministries; now he needed advice on how to run a government. He particularly wanted to know how we managed under Narc and the Grand Coalition Government to raise revenues to deliver services and stop corruption. I advised my friend that, for a start, he should look no farther than the revenue and procurement officers at all levels of government. I told him that in most cases, those officers were the ones driving latest car models, building classic apartments in cities and putting up castles in rural areas despite lower salaries. He needed to subject them to lifestyle audit, retire or even jail the incorrigibly corrupt and transfer others, then revenue collection would shoot up.He listened.
In some cases, he personally walked into offices to see how work was being done. Soon, Tanzania’s revenue doubled, then trebled. The new president suddenly had money to build roads, ports, hospitals and railways without relying on donors. SGRThe President developed very keen interest on what happened to Kenya’s standard gauge railway in terms of its cost. He was determined to avoid the pitfalls, and he did. That is how he constructed Tanzania’s SGR four years later at a much lower cost than ours.
President Magufuli was a very independent-minded person. During his tenure, people developed this belief that he would always listen to me. While we did exchange views and agreed on many things, it is not true that he agreed with every suggestion I made. When Dr Magufuli disagreed, he did so firmly, no matter who he was disagreeing with. When he ordered the confiscation of Maasai cattle that had crossed into Tanzania, I pleaded with him several times to release the cattle but he just wouldn’t budge. ASaeryp a politician, President Magufuli was a populist.
Ideologically, he leaned towards social democracy. He allowed the private sector to grow, but under very watchful eyes of the State because he felt that the private sector, if not watched, could be overbearing especially to the lowly in society. Enemy of corruption. Magufuli was an avowed enemy of corruption. That, in my view, is his most outstanding trait. He could not stand the idea of public officials using public resources for their own benefit. If you hated corruption, you were on the first row as Dr. Magufuli’s friend and confidant. He was determined to put Tanzania ahead in the region and Africa through industrialization.
In that endeavor, he saw Kenya as the stumbling block, hence his sometimes-hostile stand against Kenya. We had a discussion on this, too, my position being that industrialized countries in Europe and Asia, for instance, co-exist and we could do the same here. He was not convinced. His primary business was Tanzania. Outside Tanzania, his other business was Africa. He had little interest in other continents. Even in Africa, he was selective with his visits. I remember he visited Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC. Otherwise, he was a Tanzanian preoccupied with Tanzania.
CCM ideologueDr Magufuli was a CCM ideologue who grew through the ranks of the party and embraced some of the founding President Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere’s ideals on patriotism, nationalism and self-reliance for his country. In about six-years, he went farther than Mwalimu Nyerere in trying to economically empower his people. While Mwalimu Nyerere embraced internationalism and had a broader view of the world and Tanzania’s place in it, Dr. Magufuli was a super nationalist with little regard for the rest of the world. Where Mwalimu Nyerere was a constant voice on the global stage, especially for Africa and the Third World, Dr Magulfuli reserved his voice and energy for Tanzania.
Transformed TanzaniaDr Magufuli was, however, overly successful in transforming Tanzania in just about six years. He transformed Tanzania’s highways, ports, created Rapid Bus Transit to decongest Dar es Salaam and delivered SGR at a competitive rate, all because of a crackdown on corruption. Despite all these, Dr. Mgufuli’s legacy that may live for years, especially if his successor builds on it, is that of unity, hard work and discipline.
Hapa Kazi Tu, Chapa Kazi and its legacy will endure. He pushed hard the idea that success comes from hard work. In Tanzania today, people report to offices very early and they do not just sit there, they work. I hope the new President builds on this tradition that is good for Tanzania and Africa.May Dr Magufuli fare well in the next world.
The writer is the ODM party leader and former Prime Minister of Kenya.
Full Text: Response to the testimony of Peter Biar Ajak at the recent U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the State of Democracy.
During the recent US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the State of Democracy in the World, Dr. Peter Biar Ajak testified making a series of largely unsubstantiated allegations against President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Government of South Sudan. Some of these baseless claims merit a response.
The charge incessantly repeated by Dr. Ajak that he narrowly escaped death at the hands of South Sudanese Security agents in Nairobi, Kenya is patently false. All along meanwhile under detention in South Sudan for dangerous subversive activities, he was totally at the mercy of the Government. Yet, not only did he suffer no harm both physically and psychologically, but the very same President Salva Kiir Mayardit whom he continues to vilify, showed clemency and ordered his release after hardly serving any significant jail term following his lawful conviction by a competent court of law.
The narrative that Dr. Ajak was set free and allowed to leave the custody of South Sudan’s penal institutions only to be pursued and hunted down in Kenya with the objective of murdering him is a cock and bull story that deserves to be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.
Having said that perhaps Dr. Ajak is entitled to sorme credit after all for this elaborate ruse, probably crafted with the help of his lawyers, to enable him instantaneously gain political asylum in the US as an applicant whose life was allegedly in immediate danger. In that he has succeeded with flying colors. On the mandate of President Kiir, Dr. Ajak asserts that the President assumed power upon the country’s independence as an appointed rather as an elected leader.
By this he insinuates, that as an unelected leader of independent South Sudan, President Kiir lacks legitimacy. Naturally the new political dispensation ushered in at South Sudan’s independence in July 2011, was an interim arrangement that could not conceivably start in a vacuum. The incumbent Government led by President Kiir had by necessity at the time, to be entrusted with the task of steering the country through transition to elections.
“It is fanciful to think that the SPLM should have dispensed with and proceed to organize elections immediately upon the proclamation of independence. need for an interim period The unfortunate and tragic events of 2013 denied South Sudanese the opportunity of exercising their inalienable right to go the polls and elect their leaders in 2015 as originally envisaged.”
Had elections gone ahead as planned, President Kiir and the SPLM would have undoubtedly sought the renewal of their mandate to run the country. It is regrettable that South Sudan missed the chance of holding elections, but that is not a credible basis upon which to brand the current Administration as a regime that is undemocratic and hence bereft of any legitimacy. Legitimacy does not stem from form but rather from substance or essence. When President Kiir was elected in 2010 as the President of the Government of Southern Sudan, those who cast their ballots for him are the very same South Sudanese who would have done so again had elections been held in 2015.
The fact that eligible South Sudanese voters voted in 2010 in the context of a united Sudan and were expected to vote again in 2015 as citizens of an independent South Sudan, does not affect one bit, the mandate they bestow upon whoever they vote into office.
The constitutional and political context in which they vote is immaterial for as long as the voters remain the same people. Therefore President Kiir’s right to lead South Sudan, at least till the next elections determine the post-transition power architecture, is undiminished.
Furthermore, the claim that democracy in South Sudan is being stifled is totally without merit. Responsibility Sharing (Power Sharing) during the Transitional Period among multiple political entities is the bedrock of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) of September 2018.
These arrangements that have been embedded in the Agreement, constitute an eloquent manifestation of democracy in action. Therefore the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU), by its very nature, is a recognition and full acceptance of the reality that South Sudan is irreversibly locked into a trajectory towards multi-party democracy.
The call for early elections in 2022, is again without justification. It must be borne in mind that the actual inauguration of the (R-TGONU) following conclusion of the Agreement in September, 2018 took some time. Hence the time lost must be recouped so that there is adequate time to complete all the tasks of the transition before elections are held. Dr. Ajak himself would acknowledge the absolute necessity of first producing a Permanent Constitution and conducting a population census as indispensable pre-requisites to holding any credible elections. And since these two processes, especially adoption of the Permanent Constitution on the basis of which elections shall be held, and others require time, there is no plausible rationale to insist on rushing elections.
All the critical transition tasks on which genuinely free and fair elections would be predicated must be accomplished before the polls, even if that means adjusting the electoral time-table to accommodate these tasks. Premature elections cannot reflect the true will of the electorate and would consequently amount to an act of practical disenfranchisement, a travesty of political justice and a recipe for disaster.
The Government’s commitment to the further consolidation of peace and rendering the current dispensation more broad based and inclusive is underlined by ongoing peace talks with hold-out opposition Groups. The three separate rounds of negotiations held under the auspices of St. Egidio Community with the two factions of the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA) thus far, have yielded promising results.
This engagement will relentlessly continue till (SSOMA) joins the peace fold. Conflict-induced political instability continues to seriously aggravate the already daunting economic challenges facing the nascent Republic of South Sudan. The Covid-19 pandemic has only made matters worse. However this grim scenario is not without a silver lining. Thanks to the (R-ARCSS), which is being successfully implemented, albeit at a somewhat slow pace, the factor of conflict and its impact on the economic situation is fast receding.
The Government has been pro-active in the search for solutions to economic difficulties. The Ministry of Finance & Planning has undertaken in collaboration with and the active participation of South Sudan’s Development Partners, a Public Financial Management Reform Process that will enhance accountability and transparency. And in tandem with this process the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of South Sudan (Central Bank) have engaged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in an economic policy review exercise aimed at liberalizing the exchange rate and improving overall economic performance.
We are optimistic that the cumulative effect of these measures will among other things, assist the Government meet its financial obligations, notably the payment of salaries, fully and on time. The humanitarian situation currently obtaining in South Sudan is difficult and continues to demand robust intervention. Acting in concert with the international community the Government has managed to ameliorate the level of suffering engendered by the humanitarian crisis.
The Government constantly strives to remove bottlenecks constraining the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to needy communities. Inter-communal conflicts over access to pastures and water among pastoralist and agro-pastoral communities have been largely exacerbated by the proliferation of small arms among the civil population.
Ultimately it becomes imperative that these illegal arms are collected and disposed of in a manner that ensures they never find their way back again into the hands of those from whom they were taken in the first place. The ongoing disarmament process that is regulated by law is essentially a peaceful exercise whereby Chiefs and Traditional leaders solicit the voluntary surrender of weapons from their people.
It is hoped that this endeavor will succeed and the Government will not be compelled to have recourse to coercive measures to strip the civil population of these weapons. However, in the event that the use of force becomes unavoidable the Government will not hesitate to use it to save lives and preserve law and order.
And such action if at all needed, will be carried out meanwhile strictly observing fundamental human rights. The Government of South Sudan cannot reflect on the humanitarian situation without pausing to express its profound gratitude to the international community for all that it has done thus far to mitigate the crisis.
We thank the United Nations, its Agencies and the international NGO community for the action they have taken to date, to ease the plight of the thousands that have been uprooted from their homes in Jonglei State and Pibor Administrative area by a combination of violent conflict and devastating floods. Given the recurrent nature of the phenomenon of flooding in those areas, we urge continued support in helping devise more durable solutions so that flooding and its attendant woes in flood-prone areas of South Sudan becomes a thing of the past.
Most U.S. officials, including diplomats, seek to hold outgoing President Donald J Trump responsible for planning to cling on to power by inciting riots and destruction at the U.S. Capitol Hill.
“What should happen right now is an emergency cabinet meeting to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Donald Trump from office. Donald Trump has incited violence against the people’s representatives. Law and Order means no person, not even the President, is above the law,” said Joseph N. Sanberg, an American entrepreneur and founder of the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC).
On Wednesday, an angry mob mobilized by Trump stormed the Capitol Hill Building, leaving ugly pictures and trials of vandalism that tarnished the reputation of the United States, a country known for its belief in democracy and human rights.
As stipulated in the U.S. Constitution, the 25th Amendment, allows lawmakers to remove a president who is sick or otherwise unable to fulfill his or her duties.
U.S. presidents are limited under the Constitution to four-year terms that end on January 20 after an election year, however Trump wanted to overstay his term after failing to reach 280 votes in the recent US elections.
The outgoing President of the United States, Donald Trump, has been banned indefinitely from using Facebook and Instagram in the wake of recent violence by his supporters at the US Capitol Hill, according to Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
“The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden. His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world,” Mark explained in a Facebook post.
Mark noted that Facebook had taken decisive action and removed Trump’s hate speech on Facebook to avoid fueling more violence in the country.
“We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect – – and likely their intent — would be to provoke further violence.”
“Following the certification of the election results by Congress, the priority for the whole country must now be to ensure that the remaining 13 days and the days after inauguration pass peacefully and in accordance with established democratic norms.”
He further pointed out that Trump had been allowed to use the platform despite his repeated violations against the rules and regulations governing Facebook.
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
“Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies.
We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech. But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”
Press statement after Joe Biden declared the president of the United States
Statement from Donald J. Trump
November 7, 2020 (Thessherald)– “We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over.
Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor. In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated. The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots.
This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election. It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters. Only a party engaged in wrongdoing would unlawfully keep observers out of the count room- and then fight in court to block their access.
“So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.”
November 7, 2020 (Thessherald)–Joe Biden secured enough votes in the US electoral college at 11.25am EST on Saturday and will become the next president of the United States.
The Democratic nominee crossed the 270-vote threshold by winning the state of Pennsylvania after a long and drawn-out counting process exacerbated by a large number of mail-in ballots.
It was a dramatic turnaround from early on election night, when Republican incumbent Donald Trump looked likely to sweep the race, taking the swing state of Florida. Mr Trump’s campaign is still set on a series of legal challenges over alleged irregularities in the electoral process in several states.
Mr Biden was also leading Mr Trump in Arizona, Georgia and Nevada, where votes are still being counted, but it was Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes that pushed him over the 270-vote threshold in the electoral college to win the presidency.Reacting to his victory, Mr Biden repeated his promise to work for all Americans.
“America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country,” the president-elect wrote on Twitter.
“The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not.I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”
August 23, 2020 (Thessherald)–Thank you Mr. President, Uhuru Kenyatta for your unwavering support for peace to reign in my country, South Sudan. Indeed, some of us who lived and grew up in Kenya will always see Kenya as our second home regardless of whether South Sudan is peaceful or not. We are grateful for the hospitality given to us who found Kenya as a home.
However, coming to the painful reality of our nation with our leader’s malnourished leadership, I am sorry to say that your commending the parties has not been convincingly refuted.
Here’s why I say so; Firstly, these leaders, both claim to have partaken in the arm struggle for freedom from the North (far enough they did and we’re grateful), hence, they should know what it took them to gain Independence in their country. And if anyone should be more concerned about the suffering of the people of South Sudan, it should be them, because they tasted the pains, suffering and agony of having to live a slavery life.
Secondly, our leaders started off by fooling the majority that the problem was between the tribes, which they succeeded in as they butchered thousands of innocent lives in Juba in 2013 and 2016. They thought that people were going to remain blindfolded and continue to follow blindly.
No! What was the truth started emerging and now, it’s apparent that the problem has never been tribes but greed, corruption, deceits, illiteracy and lack of leadership traits. All their dirty laundry commenced coming out when they started killing innocent, educated civilians who tried to raise concerns for what they saw.
Thirdly, the people of South Sudan have been and continue to suffer grossly from all sorts of pandemic, i.e. hunger pandemic, unknown gunmen pandemic(horrible), corruption pandemic, greed pandemic, nepotism pandemic, simple diseases that shouldn’t be killing our people but they are pandemic, poverty pandemic, illiteracy pandemic, sexual abuse(rape and molestation) pandemic, tribalism pandemic and hatred pandemic. Our people are at the verge of loosing hope! Some have actually lost it.
Fourthly, Mr. President, let me ask you a question, say for instance, communal clashes/conflicts broke out in the counties surrounding Kenya, for example, Turkana, Machakos, Kiambu or even Narok county, would you have sat back and not worry about them killing themselves? Wouldn’t you have swiftly come up with a strategy to end the clashes so that you can save people’s lives and also save your country’s reputation?
Fifthly, Mr. President, the peace progress has been very slow, as slow as a snail, unfortunately! In a country full of problems like South Sudan, a real leader will not find rest till he or she has found a solution to the problems the country is facing. The fact that the parties took their time to appoint the governors shows that they care less about the people they’re leading. They do not give a dime whatsoever whether people are dying of hunger, sicknesses or in communal conflicts. It means that what they’re there for is nothing but their personal gains, be it power or wealth, fame or pride. Period! If they truly cared about their people, for instance, they would’ve been more proactive with their actions, the armies wouldn’t be going for more than 7 months without pay, they wouldn’t be keeping silent after hearing what’s called “unknown gunmen”, a matter of fact, they wouldn’t be going from country to country, involving and being sat down by other men who are just like them, to lecture them on what to do to make their country a better country. No! Not unless something is wrong upstairs!
Finally, Mr. President, the people of South Sudan are tired! They’re exhausted! They’ve had enough! They need nothing but genuine peace so that they can go about doing their daily activities for themselves and their families. Nothing else! Security is what they need so that they can move freely without the fear of someone gunning you down without a reason. They want freedom of speech so that people are not hunted down and killed by the “unknown gunmen” simply because you have criticized the government. They need the basic necessities like infrastructures, health facilities and institutions founded for educational, religious, professional and social purpose.
Please tell our leaders that you’re no different from them. The brain you have is what they have. You’re leading a country with people and so are they! If they say that they don’t know how to resolve their conflicts, well, how did Kenya resolve theirs? They can simply copy from you Mzee Uhuru and paste it mbiyo mbiyo kwetu so that tuwe na Amani.
Mwisho Kabisa, sisi wananchi wa South Sudan, tumeshukuru kila mtu ambaye ametia bidii kuleta amani kwetu. Tunawashukuru na Mungu awabariki sana . Asante sana Mkuu wa Kenya.
The author is a South Sudanese human rights defender and currently resides abroad, she can be reached via an email: email@example.com
May 1, 2020 (Thessherald)–Whys is DEMOCRACY not growing in most developing countries? In our view, Democracy is not growing in developing countries because of the following:
1) Majority of the leaders who have bean in power are too undemocratic;
2) The politics play therein is always more of personalities (tribal) and not ideological one, and
3) Most of the leaders in power are at materials-related-war (animosity) against Civil Society and Human Rights Activists. In other words, Democracy does not survive in countries where Civil Society and and Rights Activists are not allowed to exercise their constitutional roles; where constitutional terms limit are not applied or where institutions have not been strengthened.
Democracy occurs when the State (country) institutions/constitutions are purposely made strong or strengthened to control the leaders or fight corruptions. What are the roles that Civil Society can play in strengthening Democracy? Can Civil Society be an enemy of the people (leaders) in power? What are the two inseparable partners in a democratic nation’s building? Before we answer these three (3) questions, let’s first define the terms “Civil Society”.
What’s Civil Society? Civil Society is (in a broader term) is an entire range of both organized or unorganized (non-political or unarmed) members of citizens in any country thst are independent of the State; the law-abiding, tolerant, pluralistic, voluntary, and at least to some extent self-generating and self-reliance citizens. These groups, of course, include Non-Govermnental Organizations (NGOs), independent mass.media, think-tanks, academia, universities, social associations, all independent citizens and sometimes religious groups.
However, all members of these groups must have respect for the law, the individuals’ rights, and the rights of other groups to express their interests and opinions. As civil society group or member you don’t need to allow or value only what you as a person or the people of your own interest can express. The word “Civil” implies tolerance, accommodation of pluralism and diversity. Civil societies may establish ties to political parries, or the leaders in power and the State but they must retain their independences and they do not seek political power for themselves. Civil Society is necessary partner to political and entire leadership of any country (State). Visionary leaders and muat work to ensure that civil society is involved in a nation democratic building. This can be inform of advocacy for human rights, democracy and developments. That’s what civil society means, in brief. However,this advocacy work needs an intrepid national and public-interest-oriented character.
What are the roles of Civil Society in building DEMOCRACY?
Civil Society limits and controls the people in power (the leaders), on how they manage the national resources, state and how they treat ordinary people. In counties emerging from dictatorship, civil society needs to finds ways to check and monitor the power of political leaders and country officials. Civil Society actors must watch how the state officials use their powers and then they raise public concern abou abuse of power. These actors lobby and advocate for access to information including for one to have freedom of an independent opinion, freedom of expression, access to justice, rules of law, strong institutions and how best to control corruption. Civil Society exposes to general public the corrupt conducts of public officials and the leaders. The sole intention here is to have good governance, positive changes, democratic and social reforms installed in that country. Anti-corruption laws or country’s institutions cannot effectively function without active support and participation of civil society organizations. Civil society promotes and encourage political participation of loath and slothful ccitizens. NGOs’ active members educate the people about their rights, obligations or skills to work with one another, how to solve common problems, debate public issues and how to express their views in line with the nation’s interest.
Civil Society organizations help citizens develop values of democratic life including principles of tolerance, moderation, compromise, accommodation and respect for opposing points of views. Without this deeper culture, democracy cannot be stable. The civil society (NGOs) cultivate positive democratic spirit in young people and adult through various programs that pravtice participation, debate about national interest and love of one own country.
Civil society initiates programs of democratic civic education in various social settings or in the schools. Because after every dictatorship, comprehensive reforms is always needed to revise the country’s curricula, rewrite the text books and retain teachers bin order to educate young people about the crimes of the past and teach them the principles and values of democracy.
Civil society provides an arena for the expression of diverse interests, the needs and concerns of their own members such as women, students, farmers, environmentalists, trade unionists, lawyers, doctors, and so on. It’s not only the resourceful and well-organized groups who can have their voices heard. Over time, even groups that have historically been oppressed, confined and marginalized can also be organized and encouraged, too, to assert their rights so that they defend their interests either by themselves or by other civil society groups.
Civil society strengthens democracy by promoting a unified national interests, encourage solidarity that cut across old forms of tribal thoughts, linguistic, religious, and other identity ties. In addition, democracy cannot be stable if people or individuals only associate with their tribes’ people (men), clansmen, sections and relatives or other of the same area, region or identity.
When people of different religions and ethnic identities come together on the basis of their common interests, for instance, as women, artists, doctors, students, workers, farmers, Rights Activists and so on, civic life becomes richer, more national and tolerant. In a second, get to think about the life in a world of sport with diverse teams. Take it as an example of how good it looks like to have a diverse common national interest and not trival social milieus. Civil society premises can also be be a training ground for future political and democratic leaders. Political leaders with (human rights) activism backgrounds are never destructive or dictators when they get into power. Civil society organizes public forums for public policies debate while dissemination information (through mass media) about public issues, before parliament, the polices that affect the interests of different groups or of the society as a whole in the country.
Civil society organizations (NGOs) can mediate and help resolve conflicts through formal programs and training of trainers to relieve political and ethnic conflict. The civil society and trainers can then teach groups how to solve their disputes through bargaining, tolerance and accommodation. Civil society monitors elections through a broad coalition of organizations, which are unconnected to political parties or cnadidates. In the elections, CSOs deploy neutral monitors at all different polling stations to ensure that the voting and votes counting is entirely free, fair, peaceful, and transparent. In any nation, it is always hard to have credible and fair elections or to have a democratic nation in line with modern democracy and principles unless civil society groups are involved and willingly allowed to play their constitutional roles.
Is Civil Society an enemy of the people (leaders) in power?
In conclusion: One thing which is quite disturbing is that some of our current leaders who are in power in South Sudan for example (the yesterday Freedom Fighters or 21 years Change Seekers) still consider Civil Society as their enemy. Can the leaders and State exist without Civil Society–ordinary citizens? The answer is a big NO! Leaders and the State cannotbexist if there is no civil population and ordinary citozens–the origin of Civil Society. Hence, Civil Society is not an enemy of the people (leaders) in power. Instead, the two are inseparable partners in nation building. Even those predatory acts (which sometimes involved physical animosities) against unarmed Civil Society members are internationally considered as true violations of human beings’ rights. Under International Human Rights’ Law it’s called ‘Crime against Humanity” punishable by International Criminal Law (ICL). In other words, these wars against Civil Society members are unlawful; truly unlawful. So, I repeat, the fallacy that Civil Society is an enemy to the people (the leaders) in power and the State is untrue. Okay, I have recalled, the group of leaders in Africa for instance that can have such terming Civil Society as an enemy are only the militay dictators, corrupt and undemocratic leaders who perhaps made it into power through rare opportunities. These dictators, corrupt and undemocratic leaders are the ones waging war against Civil Society members with an intention that Civil Society organizations’ members get scared or stop carrying out their legitimate roles (as narrated above).
Civil Society and the State: The two presupposed partners!
Conclusion: Civil Society and political leadership of any country are considered presupposed and inseparable partners when it comes to a nation building and Democracy. The fact that Civil Society is independent of the State doesn’t mean that it must always critics or (non- constructively) oppose the people in power and the leadership just for the sake of criticism. No! Civil Society should offer advice, condemns or be critical of the State (country) leadership unless the latter seen obstinate–becomes stumbling block towards the needed social changes, economic reforms and democratic transformations. On the other hand, the people in power–the leaders ,too, are suppose not to prey on Civil Society just because its members are seen (powerless) or are seen active carrying out their normal legitimate roles. Civil Society is a vital constructive and national partner to any democratic government worldwide. For Civil Society constructs the nation and helps strengthens the State’s institutions democratically.
Nation becomes democratic and peaceful when its political leadership works in collaboration with Civil Society organizations, therein. So, the making the leaders in power or country’s leadership (s) more accountable, responsible, inclusive, and nationally ideological for effective good governances to occur at all levels based on democratic principles are vigorous roles of Civil Society and Rights’ Activists.
Bol Khan is a member of South Sudan Civil Society Organization and Independent Opinion Writer. He irregularly writes about Democracy, Peace, good governance, Human and Civil Rights. He can easily be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org Twiter@khanrom or WhatsApp: +249969208381.
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(Thessherald)–Today, the European Union has announced €100 million to support the civilian-led authorities in Sudan to meet the most pressing needs of the democratic transition.
“The European Union is fully committed to accompanying the ongoing political transition in Sudan through all the means at its disposal. Besides political support, financial assistance to Sudan remains crucial, given the severity of the economic crisis in the country. We hope that these additional €100 million will boost the efforts of the transitional Government to implement reforms”, said High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell , who is currently on his first official visit to Sudan.
“Sudan now has an historic opportunity to transform into a democratic society. The European Union is fully committed to supporting the Sudanese people to succeed.” EU support to Sudan comes in the context of the popular protests that toppled President Omar al-Bashir in 2019. The transitional civilian authority is preparing the country for free and fair elections in 2022 but faces enormous social, economic and political challenges.
“ This new package of financial assistance will help the Sudanese Government to implement critical economic reforms required to create jobs and expand the provision of public services across the country, and to provide opportunity for the youth and women at the forefront of change in Sudan”, Jutta Urpilainen , Commissioner for International Partnerships, said earlier today.
EU assistance in Sudan will focus primarily on support to:
economic reforms, economic opportunities for youth and women, and the peace process and democratic Governance.
Sudanese authorities, EU and international partners together identified these sectors as being vital for the welfare of the population and the future of the country.
The Sudanese economy has contracted for a second year in a row, and the transitional Government recognises a clear need for macro-economic and structural reforms to stabilise it. These reforms should carefully manage a move away from generalised subsidies to a comprehensive social protection system.
The EU will support the efforts to buffer the transition for the most vulnerable citizens. The EU will also support the transitional Government in enhancing accountability and improving the management of public finances.
The EU will work with the Sudanese authorities and partners to create employment opportunities in Sudan, especially for youth and women. There will be a focus on education and training, and on women’s economic empowerment.
Finally, the EU will also support the peace process and the protection and promotion of human rights in Sudan.
Sudan has embarked on a complex political transition following the agreement on a civilian-led transition of 17 August 2019. This represents a major step towards civilian-led rule with a historic opportunity to achieve peace, democracy and economic recovery. The European Union is a key partner for the Sudanese authorities in their quest to make the transition to democracy a success.
To that end, it supports the consolidation of the political transition in Sudan and is ready to accompany the country on its path to political and economic reform and implementation.
The new financial assistance of €100 million announced today will be delivered through the ‘European Union Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa’ (EUTF for Africa).
Last December, the EU already provided, through the EUTF for Africa, a €7 million support package to the Prime Minister’s Office and €35 million to bolster the country’s social protection system. This came in addition to a funding of €60 million for projects under the EUTF for Africa, which will start in early 2020. The EU supports the political transition in Sudan through technical assistance.
The announcement made today brings the total contribution by the European Union to the Sudanese civilian-led transition to €217 million for development cooperation.
In addition, the EU provided €13 million in the second half of 2019 for stability and peace, specifically to help strengthen social cohesion and human security in the peripheries and to reduce the risk of conflict.