JCE says another deadly conflict is looming large on the horizon

South Sudan's armed forces holding up their guns a sign of victory | Photo: File

Full Text: The Jieng Council of Elders (JCE)
19 February 2021

South Sudan’s armed forces line up during a briefing | Photo: Gettyimages /

Breaking the Silence—The Way Forward

Press Release —We the members of the JCE wish to release this document as a follow-up to our press statement released on 26 January 2021. The previous press statement generated a lot of debate and questions from the public with people wondering what prompted us to issue the statement. There are many other conspiracy theories that the statement has spawned, and we intend not to give credence to those wild speculations.

We owe it to the public, however, to explain what compelled us to come out publicly. This statement, therefore, is in response to the question of what provoked us to speak out, and in it we offer a concise analysis of the crises facing the country, the main reason we had to speak out. We also propose what we believe needs to be done to reverse the trend that is definitely heading to another senseless war in South Sudan.

The R-ARCSS

“The country seems to be heading for another war and as elders and senior citizens, we do not want to witness another bloodshed in the country.”

Our people have had enough of the suffering and if we can contribute to alleviating this suffering by speaking the truth, we shall have performed our patriotic duty. In our Press Statement in January, we stated that the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) is far worse than the 2015 ARCSS.

Here is why:


First, the Agreement is overly focused on power sharing among the parties and less about peace among the people of South Sudan. This Agreement simply lacks credibility when it comes to building peace at the local level as it has no single clause addressing real grassroots issues such as communal violence, cattle raiding and mundane gun criminality.

In fact, the Agreement has fractured the country more, starting from the national, states, counties and payams levels to the level of communities. The responsibility sharing at the states, counties, and payams is not properly understood at the local level and it has triggered local conflicts. People wonder why they are forced to accept sharing power in their counties and payams with parties which have no presence in their areas. The political conflict has simply been expanded by way of an agreement to areas that never experienced unrest before.

This has unnecessarily politicized and militarized normal social relations in our rural areas. Current violent conflict episodes in Warrap, Lakes, Unity, Central Equatoria, Jonglei and Upper Nile states explain this phenomenon. This phenomenon was compounded by the abrupt dissolution of 32 states and county governments early last year, leaving no authority in charge of the entire countryside. This goes of course into the broader question of the quality of leadership and decision-making mechanisms in the country.

Second, the Agreement has instituted an experimental government in the country with six copresidents running mini cabinets, a system never seen anywhere before. This structure of government is not workable and quite impractical, and it has led to paralysis of the institutions and decision-making processes everywhere in the country. In fact, no one feels responsible for running the affairs of the country. Executive powers have been diffused and the President is technically handicapped with so many veto points in the cabinet and the presidency. It should not surprise anyone that it has taken a year just to form this government, which in the end is assured to fail.

Third, the Agreement lacks international support. Key members of the international community such as the Troika (United States, United Kingdom and the Kingdom ofNorway) and the European Union have refused to be witnesses or guarantors to the Agreement, an indication of their reservations. Even IGAD countries did not become guarantors to the Agreement, only Sudan and Uganda are guarantors. The process was simply handed over to Bashir, our erstwhile enemy, to arm-twist the parties into accepting an Agreement that is fraught with impractical clauses.

Fourth, the Agreement failed to address the central problem of South Sudan, which is the political stalemate and leadership failure. As will be shown in the next section, leadership failure and political stalemate are the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan as indicated by the Obasanjo Report and the National Dialogue. Failing to address this fundamental issue is the single most important drawback of the R-ARCSS.

Lastly, any agreement, no matter how imperfect it might be, can be made to work, provided there is political will and effective political leadership. Unfortunately, for the R-ARCSS, political will is exactly what it is lacking. The slow pace, coupled with selective implementation of the provisions of the Agreement, demonstrate the unwillingness of political leaders to move forward. What we see in fact are more efforts to undermine the Agreement and less practical initiatives to move it forward. This therefore renders any hopes for its success hollow and unrealistic. It is in this vein that we want to make it clear that we are not against the peace Agreement; we as a matter of principle, would like to see a workable peace agreement and the R-ARCSS is awfully unworkable.


Way Forward—The government must take necessary actions now to prepare for the elections to take place. The current Transitional Period cannot and must not be extended as the country needs a democratic transition to consolidate peace. Among the most important steps that need to be taken now, include conducting census, revising the electoral law, reconstituting the Elections Commission, and registering political parties. The work on the permanent constitutions must also commence now because it is going to govern the next elections. It is imperative, therefore, that resources are made available for these processes. More importantly, the return of the displaced persons and refugees and the unification of the forces are prerequisites for both the census and credible elections.

The National Dialogue

President Salva Kiir Mayardit initiated the South Sudan National Dialogue process in December enlighten segment of the country’s population. The JCE fully supported the initiative as this was consistent with our objectives. Dialogue among the people of when the opportunity was availed, the people came together, and they have spoken in no uncertain terms. All the three stages (grassroots consultations, regional conferences, and national conference) of the National Dialogue provided the opportunity for the people of South Sudan to air out their grievances and to reach consensus on the way forward.


The people of South Sudan have analyzed critically how the country got into its current crises and this analysis is contained in the Covering Note of the Co-Chairs. The people of South Sudan have discussed all issues exhaustively starting with governance and political issues, constitutional matters, security matters, and matters related to the economy and social cohesion. It is a readymade program for the government to implement. We are appalled, however, by the indifference of the political leaders toward the National Dialogue Resolutions.


President Kiir, in his closing statement of the National Dialogue, showed little enthusiasm for the implementation of the National Dialogue Resolutions. Dr. Riek Machar, on the other hand, refused to acknowledge the significance of this national process. Other opposition leaders did express their support to the National Dialogue Resolutions. Failing to recognize or implement those Resolutions would amount to killing of a national spirit and the people of South Sudan will not stand by and watch their interests dismissed. As with the R-ARCSS, the leaders are simply intent on shelving the will of the people of South Sudan expressed through the Resolutions of the National Dialogue. We stand with the people of South Sudan in their demand for full implementation of the National Dialogue Resolutions.


Way Forward—We fully support the Resolutions of the National Dialogue National Conference and the outcomes of all the three phases. The South Sudan National Dialogue provides far superior solutions to the problems facing South Sudan. As such, its resolutions and recommendations contained in the Covering Note should be implemented. The RTGoNU must hold a national meeting on the National Dialogue Resolutions and the follow-up mechanism must be instituted. The will of the people of South Sudan must not be buried; it must be invigorated through the implementation of the National Dialogue Resolutions.


Leadership Failure and Political Deadlock

The war in South Sudan was a result of political deadlock between President Kiir and his then Deputy, Dr. Riek Machar, and the fact that the duo failed to lead the country as envisioned. This conclusion came out very clearly in the Final Report of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS), also known as the Obasanjo Report. Paragraph 90 of the Report states that:

“the crisis in South Sudan, has roots in, and is indeed a crisis of weak governance, weak leadership and weak institutions, conflation of personal, ethnic and national interests”

The National Dialogue Leadership reached the same conclusion independently by concluding that leadership failure and political deadlock lie at the root of the conflict, and unless resolved, the country cannot move forward. The Covering Note of the National Dialogue Co-Chairs states that:

The people noted with concern that the collective leadership of the country did not only fail to provide a vision for the country and lay a strong foundation for stable political,

security, and socioeconomic systems, but conspicuously got distracted by power struggle and related spoils from the goal of building a new political dispensation for all the people of the country. Although the people from the grassroots to the regional conferences highlighted this failure, it is common knowledge to which our national leaders themselves attest.


Both the leadership failure and political deadlock remain unresolved in South Sudan. The origin of this political deadlock, according to the Obasanjo Report, is deeply rooted in the history of the liberation struggle. Paragraph 50 of the Report states:


The other dimension to these developments was the relationship between the President and his Vice President. The Commission established that long before the 2010 elections, the relationship between the two leaders was already strained, and that these differences were overlooked for the sake of unity within the party during the Interim Period (2005-2011). It is was suggested that the SPLM split in 1991, and the reordering of the SPLM leadership to accommodate Riek Machar on his return were partly to blame for the frosty relationship that carried on into government after independence. In 2010, the two leaders are said to have supported rival candidates in a number of key electoral positions, particularly the governorships of several states.


The Leadership of the South Sudan National Dialogue, in the Covering Note of the Co-Chairs, clearly articulated the political deadlock, stating:


It seems obvious by now that President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar have irreconcilable political differences and personal animosity towards one another. They have therefore created a seemingly unbreakable political deadlock in the country, and they no longer have the political will or leadership capacity to move beyond personal grudges. Our country is stuck in the hands of these two leaders and both have proven beyond reasonable doubt that their joint leadership is no longer capable of getting the country out of its present predicament. Nothing is likely to improve or work in South Sudan unless this political deadlock is broken.


The wild claims that the JCE or the Jieng community in general, is behind the conflict, are obviously chauvinistic opinions. Evidence is already abundant, through the Obasanjo Report and the National Dialogue documents, in respect to how South Sudan got itself into this abyss.


Way Forward—President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar symbolize both failure of leadership and political deadlock. Addressing this dual problem demands that both of them step aside and give the country an opportunity to explore other options politically per the National Dialogue recommendations. They have both stymied democracy, economic development, and human progress. Besides, we strongly believe that there is not much that is left for them to achieve more than the referendum and hoisting of our national flag on Independence Day!

Corruption

South Sudan is now among the most corruption countries in the world, according to Transparency International 2020 Report on in South Sudan is the driver of political competition and hence the war. This assertion is supported by the Sentry Report, the National Dialogue, and the Obasanjo Report.

The Sentry had this to say:

“By the time South Sudan became the world’s newest state in 2011, a cabal of military and civilian officials had already captured its main government institutions, enabled by a dizzying array of international actors seeking to profit from a rapidly developing kleptocracy.”

Factions that had formed during the long war for independence now turned their attention to competing over the control of this new state, which was blessed with billions of dollars of annual oil revenue and no checks and balances or transparency.


The perception of corruption is apparently high in South Sudan as the government operates in total darkness without accountability. Oil revenues and the revenues from the National Revenue Authority get spent whimsically without regards to the public financial management rules. The public budget, which is presented to the parliament is hardly the basis of expenditures. In fact, fictitious institutions that do not appear in public budgets get to spend the money while public institutions are cash starved.
The country is basically up for looting and this is in large part because of the political deadlock and leadership failure. Public resources are spent on buying political opponents, keeping them in hotels for lengthy period, buying them homes, simply paying them handsome amounts of cash to remain silent. Yet, the men and women of the armed forces in the trenches get passed when the time for payment comes.


All these have bankrupted the country and will continue to drain the meagre resources away from serving public interest. Although the R-ARCSS has elaborately outlined in Chapter IV reforms in the economic and public financial management sectors, we know nothing will come of these provisions. It is these concerns, that have prompted us to speak out.


Way Forward—We call on the government and the international community, to support an international audit of the oil production and sale of crude effective since independence. This audit should involve both the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Petroleum focusing on cost oil, revenue sharing and related transactions such as Transitional Financial Assistance to Sudan.

The Ministry of Finance and the National Revenue Authority should also be audited on revenue management. Ideally, a foreign consulting firm with recognized experience in oil auditing from countries, like Norway and Canada, should carry out the audit. The audit reports would then inform the country’s new financial management rules and procedures. Generally, there is a need for institutional reform to prevent corruption.

Perpetrators in public institutions that have already been identified as the dens of corruption must be brought to books.

Our Legislative institutions must perform their constitutional role in exposing and ordering prosecution of corrupt elements throughout the country whether in public or private institutions. The President’s voice must be heart in the campaign against corruption.

Persistent Insecurity in the Rural Areas

If there is one area where the government of South Sudan has spectacularly failed, it is in relation to security. We are all witnesses to the appalling security situation in our rural communities. Interethnic wars are commonplace and so are intra-ethnic conflicts. For far too long, our government has allowed citizens to fend for themselves in protecting and preserving their lives and property. Weapons have found their way in the hands civilians and they now kill and loot each other with impunity. The state is apparently unable to exert control and it therefore has no capacity to prevent these conflicts. For how long can the people of South Sudan go on like this?

These are issues that leaders everywhere in the world have sleepless nights over. In South Sudan however, leaders are inured to these situations and could care less about addressing them. What peace are we talking about then, if the majority of our people are at war in the rural areas, and we are unable to contain these wars? The state has the duty to address these matters, failure of which would warrant questions about the legitimacy of the government and its functions.


Way Forward—We cannot pretend that this not a problem; it is actually the most serious situation that any serious government would want to address at the start. South Sudan shall never be a stable country until all local conflicts are addressed and until civil disarmament takes place. The people of South Sudan, through the National Dialogue, consider disarmament as the number one priority for peace in the country. Failure to disarm and control the civil population, means there shall never be peace and stability in the country. The fallacy that once you reward warlords with positions and power you get peace is simply outdated and we need a paradigm shift.


To address some of these issues the government must organize and modernize the security organs and provide them with the requisite logistics to enable them to perform their mandates satisfactorily. Furthermore, the government must revive the supremacy of the state power and authority. The most important responsibility of any government is to ensure the security of its citizens and maintain law and order throughout its territory.


Institutions

All institutions of democratic governance in South Sudan are virtually dead. The ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), is practically paralyze. It does not meet, and its policies do not guide government action. The Secretariat, which generates ideas and policies is neglected and its recommendations are not considered. The National Liberation Council (NLC) last met in December 2013 and it has not met again. The Political Bureau only meets to discuss policies decided already by the government and only when convened at the whims of the Chairman.


The parliament has been undermined and weakened by executive interference. It is not independent, and it does not debate matters democratically. It simply goes along with what is brought by the Executive. It doe not question the on-going coruri and it does not investigate or debate reports of the Auditor General. The country has for long been under an authoritarian system and it is now moving more towards stalemated and unworkable system.

All accountability mechanisms have been disabled, including the national army, which has now been relegated to the same level of militias per the terms of the R-ARCSS. For all practical purposes, South Sudan has lost all the democratic gains ushered in by the CPA and the Declaration of Independence. There are no avenues where political matters of significance are discussed openly. Many politicians now resort to talk politics at funerals, weddings, and other social gatherings such as the churches. South Sudan cannot and must not continue like this.


Way Forward—The single most serious threat against the Republic of South Sudan is lack of internal cohesion and insecurity across the country. In keeping with the Resolutions of the National Dialogue, civil disarmament is the most important priority the country should undertake. After the unification of the national army, the country needs a robust disarmament policy through an act of parliament. All must be disarmed, and possession of arms must be criminalized for civilians and non-active military personnel. The government must have a robust and decisive response to communal violence.
South Sudan urgently needs democratic transition. Return to democracy is the only way to establish and reinforce virtuous institutions of governance. The growing impunity is a function of paralyzed democratic institutions. Democracy by definition is a form of accountability and transparency.


Conclusion

In concluding this statement, we want to reiterate that South Sudan remains in serious crises and the R-ARCSS has proven inadequate in bringing peace to the country. These crises as indicated by the National Dialogue are a result of leadership failure and power struggle.

We strongly believe that the National Dialogue provides superior supplementary solution to the problems facing South Sudan, so we suggest that its resolutions must therefore be implemented fully and should become a readymade program of the government. We call for democratic transition in the country as an exit from leadership failure and political deadlock, hence, our demand for preparations for elections to be expedited.

“Spread love not hate”, Silver-X urges citizens to embrace peace


A South Sudanese award-winning musician, Okut Cease Malish, famously known by his stage name Silver-X, has called on the people of South Sudan to do away with hate speech on social media and embrace the spirit of love, unity and tolerance.


“Spread love not hate”. We need to teach our children to stop fighting and embrace peace. We belong to one tribe,” he said.


Speaking in an interview with Radio Miraya this morning, Silver-X urged young people to shun tribalism and preach messages of peace, love and unity.

Silver-X, who started his music career in 2008, has received a number of international awards and recognitions for his quest to bring peace and love through his music.

In 2014, he was chosen by the U.S. magazine Foreign Policy as one of the 100 Best Global Thinkers, and subsequently won Eye Radio’s Awards in 2015.

South Sudan descended into a deadly conflict in 2013 between two majority tribes, the Nuer and the Dinka, sparking wide-spread violence has so far claimed more than 400,000 lives and displaced millions from their homes.

In 2018, the South Sudanese parties signed a peace agreement that has now restored peace and calm in major parts of the country. However, hate speech and incitement on social media remain a major threat.

The conspiracy of the JCE and the challenges facing R-ARCSS

Nathaniel Oyet Pierino, senior member and representative of the SPLM-IO at the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) |Photo: File
Nathaniel Oyet Pierino, senior member and representative of the SPLM-IO at the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) |Photo: File

By Oyet Nathaniel Pierino

Writing to response to the latest Press Release by the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), dated, 27/1/2021; entitled “Breaking the Silence.”

The JCE was formed by some Politicians from Jieng community shortly after the independence with a mission to promote Dinka nationalism in South Sudan. The group has now written, distancing themselves from the political situations in South Sudan (2013-2021), dismissing the Revitalised Agreement (2018) and seeking to replace it with the National Dialogue Reports and its Cover Letter.

Incepted at the dawn of independence, the JCE ideologues emerged within the Transitional National Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive arm of Government to influence, advice, direct and execute the day today politics and policies of the Government.

Pursuant to its mission, strategically the JCE whose membership overlapped with membership of government, comprise well placed very senior officials of Jieng descents in the Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary of South Sudan and they included but not limited to those politicians who signed the latest press release dated 27/1/2021.

Today, as a result of the activities of JCE, pursuing Dinka nationalism and community interest, within the politics and governance of the country, South Sudan has been Balkanized, polarized and divided along tribal, ethnic and regional lines, a situation that pose existential threats to the very foundations of the country.

The miseries of the country and of its population; the collapse of state and government etc are the spinoff of the politics of JCE and their accomplices to divide and unilaterally rule the country without regards to development and to the exclusion of the other sixty three (63) tribes inhabiting South Sudan.

The JCE turned itself into an exclusive opportunist violent capitalist regime and attempted to build an exclusive system that; condoned corruption and encouraged impunity, evidently, failure to arrest and prosecute corrupt government officials who also happened to be members of JCE themselves; promoted tribalism and nepotism in public service, hence depriving and limiting opportunities to members of other communities, promoted ideology of majoritarianism and marginalization of other sections and communities, promoted centralizations of power and resources in few hands and impoverishing the bulk population of South Sudan including those of Dinka descents, and a system that conspired with foreign, individuals, agents and governments to undermine the independence and territorial integrity of the country; by promoting personal and private international relations, looting and repatriating the wealth of the country to foreign capitals etc.

the JCE inadvertently, compromised the sovereignty of South Sudan and the Security of the country. Consequently, from 2012, South Sudan maintains its lead as the world’s most fragile country and a “Fail State”; majority of its population are food insecure, and lagging 30 years behind the Eastern and Central Africans Countries in terms of illiteracy.

Notwithstanding the destabilizing politics and bringing the country to its knees, the JCE and its associates are not seeking to bridge the gaps but continue to undermine prospects for peace and every efforts to bring peace to the country. They are trapped in a logic of escape and denials of justice and protection of unsustainable narrow political and economic interests and gains they attained in the past few years.

Moreover, the perceived gains by the JCE come with very high price; including reckoning with the consciousness of the rest of South Sudanese, attained over the years during confrontations with conservative patrimonial Khartoum based regimes and political forces which they rightly quoted in their letter, the political and military resistance by the bulk of South Sudanese of a system or tendency to exclude and marginalized others in the country, the large scale destructions and atrocities committed as a result of civil war that was born out of their policy, the threat of prosecutions of war criminals and continued international isolation and lost of legitimacy and finally assets recovery by the people of South Sudan and international sanctions and arms embargo are some of the questions that the members of JCE are grappling with. It’s these that inform their decision to dismiss any peace Agreement as they have put it in their press release, “the 2018 R-ARCSS is far worst than the 2015 ARCSS…. adding that it has “failed” to.

To a large extent, President Salva is a creature and a victim of JCE. They exploited him to get power and wealth. He doesn’t control them anymore and therefore, they do not need him. Having taken over the leadership of ruling SPLM and Southern Sudan in 2005, he was the symbol of unity of that party and the Country, the fountains of honor of the Republic. JCE ransacked and dashed these qualities. Where is the unity now and where is the honor? He is a president to some people and to others he is not especially if there was no Agreement of which the JCE has already dismissed. The JCE has also endorsed the Report of the National Dialogue and its controversial Cover Letter that calls for President Salva Kiir to step aside, because he has failed.

Apparently, President Salva is protected by the Peace Agreement, the Agreement confirms him as the incumbent President of the Republic and gives him 3 year term in office. As per the reports of National Dialogue, he is dismissed. The Agreement is superior to the content and resolutions of the National Dialogue.

The Agreement has taken legal effects after incorporation into the TCRSS 2011 (as amended). The terms of the Agreement prevails over any law or contrary texts in the event of any inconsistencies. I couldn’t see how the resolutions of National Dialogue would override the RARCISS (2018) and catch up with the President. Nonetheless, the people who attended the National Dialogue processes have spoken their minds. It’s worth taking note.

The JCE comprising some of the renown lawyers and politicians in the country are cognizant that the President will loose his immunity and becomes illegitimate only outside the Agreement. And therefore, are seeking to dismantle the Agreements yet again.

We are cognizant of the links and influence of the members of JCE on J1 politics and Bilpam, the SSPDF General Headquarters and remain seized of this development.


Nathaniel Oyet Pierino, is a senior member of the SPLM-IO and representative of the SPLM-IO at the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC). He can be reached via Email: oyetnathaniel22@gmail.com


Note: The views expressed in the ‘Opinion’ section are sole responsibility of individual authors and will take full responsibility, liability and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. Thessherald isn’t liable for any comment submitted by individuals or authors and reserves the right to delete any opinion piece for any reason whatsoever.

Should you wish to submit your opinion piece or analysis, kindly contact us at: thessherald@gmail.com

Opinion | Chaotic South Sudan


By Paulino Lukudu

This article reflects the real political process in South Sudan and current complicated implementation of the R-ARCSS. It has not meant to offend anyone not by any way but if the size suits you, wear it properly.

Political parties and community politics

When you are following South Sudan Politics closely, you will understand that we are the nation in chaos. We are ruled by Political Parties or Communities Politics.

When the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) kicked off in Addis Ababa, it was Political Parties which were invited to discuss a road map and a way forward for sustainable peace in South Sudan. This story is long but to cut it short, at the end, the Political Parties signed the R-ARCSS and declared their commitment to it’s implementation in letter and spirit.

Two years down the line, the implementation of the R-ARCSS is still centered on the formation of the R-TGONU which is not completed yet. The illusion start when those who signed as friends of South Sudan are no where to be seen anymore and the Parties has grown horns. Some became superior and some became inferior, some became good boys and some became bad boys and the darkness of the implementation surfaces all over.

Drama in appointments

Note that this is shading light into the darkness rather than cursing the darkness. Treat this matter with high sense of intellectuality and responsibility.

Currently there are 9/10 Governors in South Sudan simply because another Community is rejecting the appointment of the other one stacking Governor. The question is, who is superior? The Party or the Community to decide on the fate of this nominee? Judge for yourself.

This situation is not only centered in One Governor but it has became a model for other lower appointments as well. The scenario of analog politics verse digital Politics. The nation of Communities is emerging while the nation of Political Parties is diminishing.

Future uncertainties

South Sudan is the land of drama. here you can see Whatever who haven’t witnessed in any part of the world. Ideological bankruptcy, short sighted Politicians, Confused Citizens etc.

The Political Parties ACT, The Transitional Constitution and the R-ARCSS has embarrassed multi partism and Political Pluralism. But today, your tribe can decide for your Political fate more than your Political Party or your qualifications. Indeed we are a lost nation. E.g, when we need to have a Speaker of the PARLIAMENT, the intellectuals will say, the former Speaker was tribe A, now this chance should come for us in tribe B. Not because tribe B can deliver more than tribe A, but simple because tribe A has tested the Leadership, And now it is the turn for tribe B to test it as well. Will unity be attractive with such mindsets? Just illusion and confusion is the order of the day.

Somehow, one day all the 64+ tribes will be having their Political Wings (Political Parties) if the our confused Leaders think it is better to use a Community ticket which is more recognized than a Political Party ticket. Of course they are the masterminders of this tragedy because almost all of the Community Leaders are High Profile Members of the same Government either now or former. The same cliques sustaining their stay in power or getting into Power by DIVIDE AND RULE POLICY which is already been exposed.

Linking tribe with POLITICS is more deadly than CORONA VIRUS and EBOLA combined. This is disastrous for the growth of the nation. This can lead to ethnic cleansing, genocide, Tribalism, Anarchy and so forth.

Conclusion:
South Sudan need ideological rebirth of democracy and rule of law. Separation of tribe from Politics. Healthy Political Competition.

Actually, we need new SOUTH SUDAN before any Election or else, we are sinking deeply into abyss.


Note: The views expressed in the ‘Opinion’ section are sole responsibility of individual authors and will take full responsibility, liability and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. Thessherald isn’t liable for any comment submitted by individuals or authors and reserves the right to delete any opinion piece for any reason whatsoever.

Should you wish to submit your opinion piece or analysis, kindly contact us at: thessherald@gmail.com

“South Sudan is by far better than India”, Amir Ali explains

Amir Awad Ali, a 60-year-old woman known for hate-mongering on social media, claims that South Sudan, regardless of external perceptions, is much better than India in terms of development and food security.

“South Sudan is much better than India,” said Amir in a Facebook show shared live on Tuesday.

In 2017, the former Secretary-General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, Pagan Amum Okiech, filed a lawsuit against Amir Ali, over hate speech and defamation on social media.

Amum also criticized Facebook for allowing hate speech to flourish on its platform without tough restrictions.

“It ceased to become free speech and becomes hate speech when the content is inciting violence, is demonizing and dehumanizing persons for whatever reason they aim,” Amum said.

Amum was accused of committing rape and murder, a baseless charge—that he emphatically denied in the court.

South Sudan’s conflict has broken down largely on tribal lines, with opponents of President Salva Kiir accusing him of trying to concentrate power and property in the hands of his Dinka tribe.

Response to Padang Community rejection on Upper Nile State Peace Conference

Eastern Jikany Peace Initiative Council (EPIC) | Office of the Executive Committee.

To: Padang Community

    Joint Press Release

After the decision of the Presidency dated 9, December 2020 that announced Upper Nile State Peace and reconciliation conference, Padang Community wrote a letter of complaint. However, there appeared to have been no consensus to participate in the Upper Nile State Peace Conference, citing as quoted.

“Dr Riek Machar as the Chairman of SPLM IO is the cause of the destruction and killing of the innocent people in Padang areas and his forces are still occupying Padang areas”. The second reason is that “Dr Riek Machar contradictory statement about the Upper Nile communities conference, which is contrary to the presidency statement, dated to 9 December 2020, article 3 and 4 where it states that the President shall issue decree to formalize of the decision of the Presidency and not Riek to do so”.

This is unfortunate move, and we strongly condemned it. It is wrong to trade accusations over the cause of this current political situation in this trying moment that the youngest nation is working hard to bring peace in South Sudan. Who does not know the root cause of South Sudan crises?

The current crises erupted in Capital Juba on December 15, 2013 and killed over 20,000 innocent Nuer lives in three days before it spread to other states. Vulnerable were burnt to ashes, forced to eat the flesh of their love ones, murdered, butchered, and hunted through door-to-door killing project at the watch of all 63 tribes from 16th – 22nd December 2013. It spread to other state because none of all 63 ethnic groups condemn the killing.

In this fact, the tears of those who survived, and the blood of those who were killed innocently in the streets of Juba and those trapped on their ways to UNMISS for safety and killed left us nothing but curses, and that explain why the crises spread to the other states after date 22nd December 2013. So, where was the position of Padang Community when the regime was busy implementing door-to-door killing project against their fellows Nuer ethnic group in Juba, that would today make you more special in Upper Nile State to the extent of rejecting peace that will only reunite us as people of Upper Nile State?

So, the Eastern Jikany Community had warned you (Padang Community). We also warn politicians for attempting to misdirecting the affairs of the communities of Upper Nile State for self-benefits.

We are both non-politicians, and therefore we must behave neutrally and embark on peace. Let politicians not over run the communities. In fact, currently the complicit behavior of some politicians as shown by their lack of concerns for the peace conference of the Upper Nile State has now emboldened the regime in Juba to negotiate in bad faith the appointment of Upper Nile State government. There is nothing better than rebuilding our trust.

We belong to one state and we must be called “People of Upper Nile State”. It is this fact that we strongly warned you for politicizing and undermine the Peace conference by omitting all potential progress and amend any suggestions in the interest of spoiling what would re-brand the broken relationship between the communities in Upper Nile State. Your move is the evident that the Presidency failed to convene the peace conference on its original schedule.

Upper Nile State is occupied by five ethnic groups namely, Nuer, Chollo, Maban, Komo and Dinka. They have been living together irrespective of political, religion and social status. Their social relationship and mutual trust have been developed by long history of intermarriage. However, many rebellions in Sudan including Anyanya I and II did not separate this social and cultural coexistent. But, after 15 December incident in Juba, some of the potential responsibilities tossed apart and the unity of the people of Upper Nile State remains under question. That is why Eastern Jikany Community had welcomed the peace conference.

We welcomed this tremendous idea since it will be the first inclusive peace conference in the history of Upper Nile State. The people of Eastern Jikany Community describe it as bold step to build peace in the state. That mean, the Presidency had remembered Upper Nile State in the Map and hope that it will open the way to resolve contentious issues that derails the formation of the Upper Nile State.

On separate development, last year 2019, the people of Eastern Jikany Community under its Community Based Organization named as, “Eastern Jikany Peace Initiative Council (EPIC)” also discussed and scheduled to convene popular Peace and Reconciliation Conference (PPRC) with all her neighbors and beyond. This came after the community decided to revert from its long history of political bandages, torture and killings of her innocents lives and recruited peace for the sake of South Sudan. So, we ask the people of Upper Nile State and particularly the Padang Community to focus on mechanisms that would bring peace in the state.

We, the people of Upper Nile State are morally obligated to change the course. It has long since the country missed its future, but today, peace and stability are something we can do to help the people of Upper Nile State, rather than hold fruitless meetings and mobilization in support on the crises that increase each month. We knew all along that the regime’s disdain for peaceful negotiated settlement and proclivity for military violence in the country make it clearly inherently unwilling and unable to lead South Sudan from current conflict trap to stable and long-lasting peace.

We call on the R-TGONU to totally reject the interest of the people of Padang Community since it does not supersede and supplant the course of durable peace for the people of Upper Nile State.

We call on all five ethnic groups in Upper Nile State to recognize on the reality on the ground and immediately embark on inclusive peace process that would address the root cause of the conflict

We urge our fellow members of Padang Community to reject any alterations that may be imported by politicians in the recent announced peace conference and work to realize the real peace. It is after this conference that would bring peace, slow violence, slow flow of arms and probably open road network so that our civilians resume trade and other related activities.

We also urge the Parties to the agreement to find the political will to compromise on the longer-term security and governance arrangement that would meet the needs of the people of South Sudan, particularly the formation of state governance and the Revitalized Transitional Legislature both in National and states as resolved in SPLM IO Peace Conference held in Juba.

Eastern Jikany Community worldwide is calling upon the R-TGoNU to accept the appointment of Lt Gen Johnson Olony as the Revitalized Governor of Upper Nile State because it is in the provision in the R-ARCSS. Lt Gen Johnson Olony was nominated by his Political Party just like other nine governors nominated by their Parties.

We call upon R-TGONU, IGAD and Trioka to consider seriously accountability measures for those who refused to pursue peace and stability in the country, particularly individuals being arms by the regime in the direction of Morota, Maban and elsewhere.

Merry Christmas to all 64 ethnic groups. May the Lord Jesus Christ bring peace this year 2021.


Undersigned by:

  1. Mok Riek Badeng – Acting Chairman of EPIC
  2. Simon Ngut Kun – Secretary-General of EPIC
  3. Lew Lual Deng – Chairman of Eastern Jikany Community Council of Australia
  4. Dak Wal Miyong – Chairman of Eastern Jikany Community in USA
  5. Koang Malual Khor – Chairman of Eastern Jikany Community in Western Canada
  6. Dang Gatwech Deng – Chairman of Eastern Jikany Community – Eastern Canada
  7. Tar Jal Bol – Chairman of Eastern Jikany Youths Union of Australia
  8. Chuol Bidit Duol – Chairman of Eastern Jikany Community in Juba (POC)
  9. Thakuey Tut Dey – Chairman of Eastern Jikany Community in Egypt

Mabior finally sheds light on SPLM-IO’s hidden internal affairs

Response to Matthew Debuol – Personal Assistant to the Minister of Defense of the R-TGONU)

Opinion |By Mabior Garang de Mabior 

Dec 13, 2020 (Thessherald)–On the 12th of December I received a missed call, followed by a message from Matthew Debuol, who goes by the username Troika on Telegram. He urged me to contact him directly, which I did later on the same day. I was taken aback since I have never received a call from this Comrade. To my surprise, he was calling me regarding the now infamous Facebook post by Comrade Kalany Mamuon in which he criticised the Hon. Minister of Defense, Mama Angelina.

He went on to – in a passive aggressive manner – intimidate me by giving me a lecture on party regulations and procedures. He wanted me to take disciplinary action against Comrade Kalany, whom he had previously threatened and failed. I wondered with which authority he was calling me and giving me directives.

In response, I declined to take any official action against Comrade Kalany since his was a personal opinion expressed on social media and not an official SPLM/SPLA (IO) position. It is the right of any citizen to criticise and hold accountable any constitutional post holder. While what Comrade Kalany said may have been insensitive, it was accurate.

It is for the same reason we criticise the President, that we can criticise any Minister; it comes with the territory, as it were. It is for this reason that I resigned as the Deputy Minister of Interior. In the absence of security arrangements, it was a set up for failure. However, I did agree to talk to Comrade Kalany and told him he could have found a better way of expressing the same view.

After several unsuccessful attempts to use me to intimidate Comrade Kalany, Comrade Matthew Debuol’s true colours came out suddenly in a sectarian rant. It started with an innocent question, asking how I propose we change the regime, which I told him was a question to be answered by the leadership, rendered irrelevant by the Luak Ltd. He then went on to tell me, ‘with all due respect’, Nuer children should not die for my regime change agenda. That I should go and bring children from Bor to die for regime change. At this point, I knew the Conversation was over.

I have received several messages from some party members counselling me not to dignify such myopic views with a response. I agree with these Comrades in principle. However, I felt it was necessary to write an “Opinion” on this issue because it is one of the propaganda talking points of a sectarian-cultural interest group in Juba who have hijacked the leadership of the peoples’ movement in the name of “giving peace a chance”.

Compatriots, this is mischief!


I am less concerned about the damage these words may do to my ego. I do not even believe they are the words of Comrade Debuol, I believe he picked them up from the senior partners in what I call the Luak Ltd. The enemy within is trying to use sectarian sentiments as a smokescreen to conceal their surrender to the status quo. They are suffering from struggle fatigue. The dishonourable surrender of the NPTC regime has nothing to do with saving the lives of Nuer children, it is magendo – corruption in the South Sudanese vernacular.

If these people cared about Nuer children, why have they forgotten about those in the Protection of Civilians Camps (PoC) and those in the refugee camps? The very same army he (Matthew Debuol) claims he wants to save by going to Juba, is the very same one which has been abandoned in the bush and are languishing in the cantonment centers. They are now under attack by an army led by a senior member of their party also in charge of security in the party.

In 2014, many South Sudanese from all walks of life joined the struggle for fundamental change in our country after the Juba massacre. Our indignation at this tragic chapter in our history was not because Nuers per se were killed, but because those who died where our fellow citizens.

In conclusion, members of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) and our civil population in general, should understand the difference between Peace and an Agreement. The current Agreement in Juba will never bring peace, which is our ultimate objective. Not necessarily the implementation of the Agreement. There is a difference between giving an Agreement a chance and giving Peace a chance. We have seen the results of giving this Agreement a chance, it has ended in war in Moroto. Let us now give real peace a chance by being honest with ourselves; there is no Agreement and we the politicians have surrendered.

Perhaps we may find peace out of this noble admission and negotiate a good surrender which may have a better chance at ending in peace.

NDSC Co-chair Beda blames leadership failure on the SPLM

         Press Statement 

Statement of the Co-Chairman, Hon. Angelo Beda |On the Occasion of the Opening Ceremony of the National Dialogue Conference 3rd Nov. 2020

President Kiir after attending an SPLM Parliamentary Caucus meeting in Juba 2019 at the SPLM House

Salutations

Your Excellency, Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of
South Sudan

Your Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South
Africa

Your Excellency, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairman of the African
Union Commission,

Your excellency Molano Abel Alier, Co-Chairman of the National
Dialogue Steering Committee,

Your Excellency, Naohiro Tsutsumi, the Japanese Ambassador to the
Republic of South Sudan

Your Excellency, David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary
General to South Sudan,

Members of the diplomatic community accredited to the Republic of
South Sudan,

Members of the International organizations,

Distinguished delegates to the National Dialogue National Conference Members of the Steering Committee,

Fellow members of the Steering Committee Leadership,

Members of the Steering Committee Secretariat,

Members of the press core,

Invited guests and observers,

Ladies and Gentlemen: Good morning.

It is a great honor to welcome all of you to this opening ceremony of the National Dialogue National Conference. Your presence here attests to the significance of this occasion and it is a demonstration of your love and care for the people of South Sudan and for that, I must thank you very much. Welcome to Juba! Welcome to the National Conference!

I am greatly humbled to convene and chair this conference with His Excellency Molana Abel Alier, a man who has served this country for his entire life and continue to do so despite his physical condition. It is a great honor to serve in this capacity side-by-side with him and Hon. Bona Malwal Madut Ring and Francis Mading Deng and all these great men and women of the Steering Committee leadership.

I want to thank the eminent members of the Steering Committee who have been incredibly committed and dedicated to the service of their country and to this process without whom, this process would not have succeeded. They had to go to the most impossible places to get to access our people for consultations. Their actions were heroic.

I also want to thank wholeheartedly, the Secretariat of the Steering Committee made up of young men and women of South Sudan who are dedicated and who have demonstrated exceptional skills and expertise and have been the engine driving this process. We are indebted to them and we thank them for organizing this beautiful occasion.

Most importantly, we want to welcome and thank the delegates of the National Conference who have struggled in the floods and difficult roads from all corners of our country to come and attend this conference. We want to thank them for participating in this process from the grassroots consultations, the regional conferences, and now the National Conference. These men and women of South Sudan proved to the whole world the bravery, candor, and the commitment to speak the truth no matter what the circumstances. We thank them very much; they are the owners of South Sudan and this process. We are simply their servants.

To our President and the whole government, we must thank and honor you for this process, conceived and underwritten by your government. We want to thank you because you have kept your words. When you launched this process on the 14th of December 2016, you said and I quote, “I am throwing the full weight of the government behind it, but the government will not lead or control this process.” You have kept your words Mr. President and that is a demonstration of leadership.

This process has been so critical of your government, your security forces, your ruling party and your person as a leader of this country. But you have kept your composure, and you kept faith in this process. The people at the grassroots have even call for your resignation and for Riek Machar and Lam Akol to step aside, you still kept faith in the process and this process will go down in history as one of your wisest decisions and it is a legacy that no one can take away from you. Up to this point, no one has ever been arrested or harassed for speaking in a National Dialogue event. We hope this remains the case until the end of this process. You have provided the resources needed to sustain this process and we thank you and your ministers of finance for their cooperation.

We also want to thank the Government Japan, the only international partner, that has kept faith in this process and provided resources to the UNDP to support the Steering Committee. Despite pressure not to support us, they kept their promise and for this, we thank the people of Japan represented by the Ambassador here.

We must also thank our technical partners UNMISS in the person of the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for his support, especially during the grassroots consultations, and most importantly, UNDP in the person of Dr. Kamil Kamalluddeen and his dedicated staff for standing with us throughout this process.

We want to extend a special thank and gratitude to the South African government, especially His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa and Roef Myers for sharing their experiences with the National Dialogue Steering Committee and its leadership at the inception of this process and thereafter. We are truly indebted to them for inspiring us and for helping us understand the essence of our assignment.

Last, but not the least, we want to thank the people and government of the Arab Republic of Egypt for their support in providing our secretariat with equipment and tools to carry out their duties.

The Launch of the National Dialogue and the formation of the Steering Committee

Fellow Delegates, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

We are gathered today to open the National Dialogue National
Conference, the last stage, in what has been a three-staged process starting with the grassroots consultations, the regional conferences, and now the National Conference. The South Sudan National Dialogue process was launched by His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit in the National Parliament on the 14th of December 2016, that is nearly four years ago.
After announcing his intention to take the nation through the Dialogue, he formed a Steering Committee of eminent persons and a small unit of the secretariat. The process ran into some challenges, so the President decided to restructure the Steering Committee, and this is how I got my poor self to be the Co-chairman alongside H.E. Molana Abel Alier and the able Rapporteur Bona Malwal Madut Ring steering this process. I got the news of my appointment in Tumbura where I was a farmer, as I had retired from politics.

When the President launched the National Dialogue, this country was in an extremely dangerous situation. In July that year, a day before the celebration of our fifth independence anniversary, there was a dog fight at the State House, the bloodiest act of violence ever experienced in this country and the lives of the President and his two deputies were online that day. Hundreds of their bodyguards were killed. This incident revibrated across the country, especially in the Equatoria and violence was spreading and consuming this country like a wildfire. The UN Special Representative on the Prevention of Genocide came for a visit here and later released a report to the Security Council, saying that there was a real threat of genocide in South Sudan. Millions of people had fled the country and tempers were extremely high and ethnic targeting of civilians was rampant. There was a real fear that this country was heading for collapse and disintegration. There was no political process at the time and Dr. Riek Machar was stuck in South Africa.

This is the context in which the National Dialogue was launched and our assignment as the Steering Committee was to reverse this spiraling trend. To a greater degree, the National Dialogue did help in cooling the tempers and in restoring a sense of hope. The Steering Committee was sworn-in here at Freedom Hall on the 22nd of May 2017 and we started our work right away. For the purposes of transparency, at the time of the launch of the National Dialogue Steering Committee, the President was going to be the patron of the process, but he came under severe criticism, so he relinquished being the patron and gave us the full mandate of an independent body to make decisions and to steer this process without asking for his blessing and this is what we have done.

Second, there was a great deal of skepticism about the intention of the President and this process and many people rushed to the conclusion that this process is simply a smokescreen to whitewash the President’s actions and to extend his stay in power. Some people as far as saying that this process was simply a monologue as the oppositions were not part of it. To the contrary, the people of South Sudan did dialogue, though it was not a dialogue about power sharing.

Third, in the first session of the Steering Committee, not many of us, including me, the Chairman, had any idea what the National Dialogue actually was. We had to try and reflect on this ourselves and so we decided to open a debate among the members of the Steering Committee asking a simple question, “what went wrong”. The members of Steering Committee spoke for nearly a month in a debate where no one was timed. People spoke until they ran out of words and they could sit down, and someone would take the mike. Through this process, a very rough sketch of what was wrong begun to emerge, and this generated a lot of thoughts about what this process was.

After completing internal debates, we asked for help from people who have had this experience here on the continent and around the world. The UNMISS and UNDP came to our support and we organized seminars and workshops were experts from Tunisia, Rwanda, South Africa, Liberia and Yemen, came to share their stories. Institutions such as the United States Institute of Peace, UN Mediation Unit, Berghof Foundation, and CMI also came with more expertise. These exchanges were extremely useful in preparing us for the task of taking our nation through the dialogue process.

We decided then to organize the Steering Committee into subcommittees. We first defined for our purpose what the grassroots were going to be and what the regions were going to be. We also decided to define inclusivity for our purpose to be both geographically based on 80 counties of South Sudan including Abyei and 11 categories of stakeholders were identified in each county as the key participants in the process. These stakeholders include women, youth, political parties, traders, farmers, religious leaders, organized forces, community-based organizations, people with special needs, teachers, and traditional leaders.

We defined regions as the 10 states of South Sudan and Abyei and Pibor Administrative Areas. So, the Steering Committee set up 12 subcommittees representing these regions. We also created three additional subcommittees, one representing the organized and security forces, one committee for the national capital, and one to reach out to refugees and diaspora. The Steering had a total of 15 subcommittees. The purpose of this subcommittees was to carryout grassroots consultations and facilitate the selection of delegates to the regional and national conferences.

Grassroots Consultations

At the grassroots consultations, we went to the counties and simply asked our people, what went wrong? Our job was not to respond to what they said, we simply documented what they said in video, voice and written minutes. After completing their consultations, each subcommittee submitted a report of what people said and the report was presented to the Steering Committee for adoption. Now, we have the 15 reports of the subcommittees, containing evidence of what people said in each of the 80 locations. We also have this recording in video for future reference.

The able Secretariat of the National Dialogue Steering Committee, then analyzed these reports and compiled a document of the key issues coming from the 15 reports of the subcommittees and produced a document called “The People Have Spoken”. The Secretariat went further to group the emerging issues into four broad clusters. There were issues under governance, security, economy, and social cohesion. After the grassroots consultations, we had a very good idea of what is happening in the country and what truly went wrong.

What went wrong

Your Excellencies, delegates, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me to highlight a few points of what we found went wrong in our country, according to the people at the grassroots and our own analysis as the Steering Committee. I do this not to point fingers at individuals, but in the honesty and transparency required as one of five principles of the National Dialogue and to prove to the delegates who have gathered here that what they said is relayed as it was. We are not doing this to name and shame our leaders, we do this as a way to seek the truth and to restore normalcy in our people’s lives.

Prominent among the issues we found went wrong, is that the people at the grassroots blamed the crises in the country on the ‘failure of leadership, particularly under the ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).’ When we reference SPLM, are talking about the SPLM before it broke into the numerous factions as we know today. The SPLM took helm of power in South Sudan following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 2005. The failure of leadership and of the SPLM is manifested in a number of ways.

First, the SPLM and its leadership, per the provisions of the CPA, was charged with a responsibility to build a new political system in Southern Sudan that was to contrast the then existing system in the Sudan—a system that was perceived to be undemocratic, unjust, oppressive and based on parochial distorted Arab and Islamic identity. The CPA provided for two systems of government in one country. The SPLM demonstrably failed to build a new political system in South Sudan, so by the end of the six years Interim Period, the reverse was true, there was one system, two separate countries. The SPLM simply took the poorer version of the Sudanese state and ran with it. Notably, the SPLM built an authoritarian system in the country, which is becoming more and more tyrannical, although without the substance and authority of a functioning state.

One of the defining features of the authoritarian system instituted here in South Sudan is the centralization of power in Juba.’ During the Interim Period, states had functioned largely without the interference from the central government. After independence, the central government took over state power and governors were being dismissed and appointed at will. This obviously choked and paralyzed the states and this contributed to the collapse of the system in the regions, which exacerbated instability across the country.

As we speak, citizens’ civil liberties are violated daily. Freedom of speech, of assembly, freedom of press, and even freedom to associate politically have largely been curtailed by the state.

“People were arrested arbitrarily and detained, forced disappearance as well as intimidation of journalists and political opposition leaders are common occurrences in South Sudan.”

These actions are a far cry from what the SPLM fought for and what it envisioned to build through its New Sudan vision where all are equal, where justice reign, and where prosperity is shared across. The government of South Sudan derailed from its democratic commitments long time ago, it is a system that is a complete opposite of what was envisioned that is now in place.

The 2013 political conflict is explained in large part by the fact that the governing instruments of the SPLM were undemocratic and political competition was not tolerated and a strict political hierarchy established during the war was dogmatically followed. Hence, those who had political aspirations had no chance, they must wait for their turn in what was clearly a long line. This also meant that debates about the future of the country could not happen in the party, as such was considered indiscipline. This is why the party raptured and the resultant chaos is what the Steering Committee is assigned to remedy.

“Second, the SPLM government failed to contain widespread ethnic conflicts in the country and so insecurity became the hallmark of autonomous region of Southern Sudan and this situation extended to an independent South Sudan and as we speak, this situation is persistent.”

The rural areas of South Sudan are at war communally and inter-communally besides the political conflict. Hence, the government demonstrated inability to penetrate the society and exert control. Since the SPLM was in charge, hardly could we, and the people we consulted, find anyone else in the country to blame, but the SPLM.

Third, while the SPLM-led government succeeded in mobilizing the people of South Sudan for a referendum, and thanks to the SPLM, we now have a country we called our own, but the government failed to prepare the people of South Sudan for the independence. This is why after independence, it was not so clear what was the political, economic, and socio developmental program of the government and where we were heading next. In essence, there is a blurred vision and up to now, it is not so clear what is the grand vision of the state for the society.

Fourth, from 2005 to July 2011, South Sudan was earning lucratively from its 50% share of oil revenues, earning more than half a billion in a month.
These financial resources were wasted and squandered and there is nothing significant to show for this amount. Estimates show that South Sudan collected more than 20 billion in oil share during the Interim Period, yet there are no permanent roads, Juba still lacks clean drinking water and electricity, not to speak of the rest of the country. Where did the money go?

“Fifth, corruption became the hallmark of the SPLM-led government and South Sudan, if it is not the most corrupt country in Africa, it is the second according to the corruption perception index.”

The President in 2013 issued 75 letters to his ministers and members of his government, to return allegedly 4 billion dollars they have stolen. Only two members came out clearly saying they did not take any money and are willing to be investigated. The rampant corruption is thriving on the sense of entitlement among the liberators, that since they fought, all power, money, and even the law were their personal trophies.

Six, the decision of the government to shutdown oil production in 2012 and its decision to attack Sudan forces in Panthou, clearly bankrupted the country, a situation that arguably precipitated the events of 2013 and the country has not recovered from the negative impact of that decision to this day.

Seventh, the ethnicization of politics was fomented by the SPLM leaders, for example, political appointments are based on ethnicity and not necessarily on competence. Besides, the military was also ethnicized with the President having allegedly recruited exclusively an ethnic militia from Warrap and Dr. Riek Machar recruited the White Army exclusively from the Lou Nuer area. By the time the fighting broke out in December 2013, the formal military, the SPLA also split along ethnic lines. This suggests that the leaders of South Sudan had no plan to build a nonpolitical national army that is able to stand independently from the political leaders.

This situation got worse after the events of 2013 when ethnic Nuer were targeted here in Juba and ethnic Dinka were targeted in Upper Nile. The Equatoria got its share of this following the dog fight in the State House 2016. The core of our country was shaken, and it cracked deeply, but our job is to mend these cracks and to piece together the broken pieces.

The most serious challenge is that the contenders over the power of South Sudan each believe that they must have an army of their own, by which they can overcome the current national army of the young South Sudanese state. It is now a practice in South Sudan that every ambitious political aspirant to power does not want to accept and respect peace in South Sudan unless and until his forces are also integrated as part of the national army, the SPLA. This situation has created a feeling that the National Army is now dominated by two ethnic groups, the Nuer and the Dinka. If the SPLA did not split and target civilians ethnically, it wouldn’t matter whether army is dominated by one family. One of the most difficult and intricate matters to resolve by the South Sudan National Dialogue is the tribal animosity that the failure of the political system has engendered in South Sudan today.

Eighth, South Sudan, though endowed with fertile arable land, is permanently a humanitarian hub. Our people are being fed by the international community since 1983 and the government failed to create a conducive environment for investment in agriculture, and so our people, almost 10 years into their independence, are still fed with handouts from the international community. This is an extremely shameful situation and we must really feel sorry for ourselves having been unable to wean ourselves off this dependency. Our sense of collective worth and pride is insulted everyday our people receive food from the World Food Program.

Ninth, South Sudan squandered a huge international goodwill. This happened because our allies then, the United States, Norway, and the UK plus the European Union are democratic states that cherish human rights and democratic governance. They supported the people of South Sudan because the vision that was put forth by the SPLM was appealing as it had democratic aspirations in it and elements of justice and development. Upon close scrutiny, they found that neither did the SPLM leaders believe in these values nor do they practice these values, so they withdrew.

Overnight, these friends became the fiercest critics of South Sudan to the extent that some of them regretted their support for our independence. In the nutshell, the SPLM government’s foreign policy failed spectacularly and South Sudan now is under the UN arms embargo and targeted sanctions are placed on individual leaders of the government. How did we get ourselves to this, from the darling to now being the laughingstock?

Tenth, gross human rights violations have characterized the conflict that broke out 2013. The level of ethnic hatred was exacerbated by the brutality that the government and rebel forces exacted on the citizens. Young girls and women were raped, and no one is held to account. Pregnant women were killed, and their fetuses removed and mutilated. Members of Dinka community were targeted on the Equatorian roads, especially Nimule and Yei roads and removed from buses and killed. There was that incident where nearly 200 people were killed on Yei road including women and young children. These abuses and human rights violations characterize a state and rebel groups that have no shred of respect for democratic values and human dignity. These actions divided the country further. This is partly what pulled our friends away from us and our image around the globe and in Africa is tarnished irreparably and it will take a lot of efforts and a lot of reforms to restore it.

Lastly, just to name a few, impunity. Public officials commit so many mistakes and crimes, but no one is held to account. South Sudan is the only country in the world where government officials are free to do whatever they want and even some ordinary citizens do as they wish. They can kill people through rebellion and the next day they are rewarded with lucrative financial packages and prominent positions in the government. There are many who have committed horrendous crimes, who are now prominent in the current government. One pays absolutely nothing for public offenses, if anything, the public pays you for your misconduct and corruption. No system built as such can stand.

I don’t want to belabor too much on what went wrong, but I wanted to give you a sense of what it is that we are dealing with and what the meaning of the National Dialogue has been. At the National Conference stage, we are going to tackle the question of what we can do in light of everything that has gone wrong. If you come for the closing ceremony, perhaps you will have a glimpse of what our resolutions will be.

The Regional Conferences

Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

After we completed the grassroots consultations, we organized the regional conferences and we decided, instead of organizing 12 regional conferences, we went for three greater regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria, and Upper Nile. This decision was influence by time and resources. The objective of the regional conferences was to validate the findings of the grassroots consultations and to screen and prioritize the issues that really matter in our current situation and to simply ask the delegates what to do about what we have found. Each region discussed and made recommendations to the National Conference.

The Steering Committee, through its Secretariat, sat and analyzed the recommendations of the regional conferences along the four thematic areas, and found that though each region met separately, the agenda was structured the same and so there are issues on which consensus has already been reached and there are issues were the regions have diverged. The National Dialogue National Conference will therefore tackle those outstanding issues and make final resolutions, including a proposal on the implementation and follow up mechanism.

The political parties joined the South Sudan National Dialogue after the completion of the Bahr el Ghazal Regional Conference. Following the signing of the R-ARCSS on the 12th of December 2018, the organized peace celebration in Juba in October that year and during the occasion, the President invited all the parties to join the National Dialogue. By February 2019, we met with all the political parties and discussed the modalities on how they will be joined. We then when to South Africa to develop a shared vision for the National Dialogue and signed the Pretoria Declaration. It was agreed that the political parties would participate in all structures of the Steering Committee, so four were accepted to the leadership, 35 to the Steering Committee and 10 to the secretariat. For reasons unknown to us, the SPLM-IO pulled its members out of the National Dialogue later, but all the other political parties have remained. We actually organized a special conference for all the 52 parties of South Sudan from the 20TH—25the May 2019. The South Sudan National Dialogue is and has been an inclusive process supported by most political parties.

The National Conference

Your Excellencies, delegates,

Today we are opening the formal session of the National Conference. The National Conference has the mandate to deliberate on the recommendations of the regional conferences and any other emerging issues, make final resolutions, and issue a final communique of the National Dialogue. This will formally end the National Dialogue process, although the Steering Committee through its leadership and the Secretariat will write the final report, which will be handed over to the Presidency together with the final resolutions, and the President will then take this report and the resolutions to the parliament for endorsement and thereafter the implementation will follow.

The link between the National Dialogue and the Peace
Agreement

We get asked regularly what the link between the National Dialogue and the Peace Agreement is. It is our considered view that the political Agreement signed in September 2018 is a top down process dominated by the political elites whose primary motivation had been power; be it military, political, or financial. The National Dialogue process, on the other hand, is a bottom up process where ordinary people discussed issues, which they believe affect them in terms of their relations with the state and among themselves. Hence, their decisions should be considered sovereign and of course can only be implemented by the government. We therefore believe that the two process are each one-half of the other and when put together make a complete whole. The difference though is that the ordinary people, coming from the rural villages of South Sudan, discussed these issues in an environment free of political pressure and it is our belief that their resolutions will be objective and will aim at laying a strong foundation for a more peaceful and stable South Sudan.

Conclusion
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I want to conclude by reiterating my gratitude to all of you for coming and to thank each one of you for your support. You are all invited to the closing ceremony of the National Conference, which is now scheduled for Sunday the 15th of November 2020. By that time, hopefully the final resolutions would have been ready and could be read out. If anyone of the dignitaries wishes to attend our working sessions any of the days, we should be notified in advance to ensure proper sitting arrangements are made for them. Fellow delegates, our real business shall begin tomorrow when we will present to you the draft agenda of the National Dialogue and the Rules and Procedures. I wish all of you a pleasant day today and,

Thank you all, very, very much.

Luo people commonly known as Jurchol to Change Their Identity to Luo.

Opinion | By Charles Kon Bona


August 17, 2020 (Thessherald)–One of the minority tribes of the Republic of South Sudan called Luo which is being wrongfully referred to as (Jurchol), a Jieng’s (Dinka) phrase that has controversial and disputable meanings has awakened and in the awakening, the Luo tribesmen has launched a huge advocacy on social media stating in their numerous posts that the name Jurchol has to be changed to Luo under the laws of the Republic South Sudan.

Luo tribe is one of the earlier inhabitants of Western Bahr el Ghazal State (Wau) originally, calling themselves Jo Luo and draw a reference to themselves as Jo Luoi with a classification under the Northern Luo, Western Luo, Eastern Sudanic and Nilo-Saharan. Luo people are one among the tribes gifted with the attitude of learning languages and dialects. They are familiar with English, Bongo, Thongmuonyjang, and Arabic. The Jo Luoi are commonly known for iron mining and forest agriculture unfortunately, in 1855-1956 the English rule abolished mining and some of the Jolui who still insisted with mining activities were either victims of jail terms or a resultant of death sentence.

According to Luo People, they are arguing that they have no definition for ‘Jur and Chol’ in their language Dheluo claiming that this phrase is Jieng’s. In Thongmonyjang, Jur is someone or group of individuals who don’t speak Jieng’s language, don’t know their culture or have nothing in common with Jieng people while ‘Chol’ as per the arguments some Jieng raised in response to Luo advocacy on social media, have different understandings and explanations. Some Jieng say Chol is a black color which clearly implies that Luo people when called Jur Chol in Thongmuonjang means a ‘Black Stranger’.

This explanation has even created disputing inputs among Jieng because some Jieng say Chol is not a color in reference to the name but some sort of resting. In light of this explanation, those who raised it explain that the Luo people came as stranger who were on a journey and rested in one of the Jieng’s villages and later in the even when the sun heat eased, they continued their journey. Up to now there is still no common understanding or conclusion among Jieng people themselves. In regards to a conclusive disagreement or agreement on this advocacy, Some Jieng object Luo’s advocacy of changing their tribe name from Jurchol to Luo on the ground that, the history of Sudan has known this community as Jurchol and not Luo and some Jieng also think that the rationale behind Luo people changing their tribe name is political dating it to 2010 when Dr. Lam Akol was contesting and campaigning for presidency of the Southern Sudan of which he stated something about Luo community as a whole while on the other hand, some jieng understand and gave a green light for Luo tribe advocates to follow legal procedure in documenting it as Luo. What is making matters worse is that, Joluoi are frustrated because even in their national Identity Cards and passports their tribe is written as Jurchol however, Joluoi still think that it is too earlier for them to just follow legal procedure for the documentation of their real identity as Luo tribe so they chose to advocate and making awareness to the public so that once the media is fully aware and convinced then the legal procedure shall be initiated to help create less misunderstandings later when it is changed from Jurchol to Luo. Below are the international laws and national laws that legally support the right to identity and culture and the rights of ethnic and communities which also apply to Luo tribe of Western Bahr el Ghazal to change their tribe name from Jurchol to Luo.

(1). The International Bill of Rights.


The international Bill of Rights are rights which are recognized, respected and protect by all the nations which are parties to the United Nations. These bill of rights universally apply to all persons in countries even those countries which are not parties to the United Nations. The International Bill of Rights are altogether Wrapped in the following three International legal binding instruments:

(a). Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted on the 10th Oct 1948 8 during the third session of the United Nations Assembly at the Chaillot Palace in Paris. The adoption of declaration of the human rights was envisaged as the very first item on the United Nations agenda within the program of the International Bill of Human Rights followed by the adoption of its two part (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).

The fundamental message of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights lies in the statement under paragraph 1 of its preamble that ‘recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.


The Universal Declaration on Human Rights also has general principles such as, the principle of equality and non-discrimination, the principle stating the right of everyone to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration can be fully realized and spelling out a concept of the duties of everyone to the community and permissible limitations in the exercise of the human rights and freedoms and, the principle for the prohibition of activities by any State and group of persons aimed at the destruction of the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration.

The declaration also states the fundamental substantial rights contained in the Civil and Political rights and Freedoms, as well as Economic, Social and Cultural rights.

(b). International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1976.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16th Dec 1966 and entered into force on the 23rd March. It is an international covenant that protects and grants political and civil rights to all human beings and that the government should not interfere in civil matters and should not treat individual as per their distinction to color, race, gender, religion, culture, political opinion and others. As per now, the main focus of the Luo people is the cultural rights which are also recognized universally under international laws as stated by Lexy Yaya Mangok Kuot.

(3). International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1976.

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16th Dec 1966 and entered into force on the 3rd Jan 1976 puts every state or all governments of both nations parties to the United Nations and those which are not under the obligation undertaking to provide improvement in the fields of economics, social and cultural activities stating under its preamble. Under this covenant, the rights to communities to practice their beliefs, culture, religion, identity and others is recognized, respect and protected by the government and as a duty of the citizen of a given nation.

The universality of the International Bill of Rights.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political as well as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights are universal. The universality of these rights means they are without boundaries and that these rights apply to all nations in the world whether those nations whose governments are parties or not. The universality of these rights is stated under different international laws starting with the Charter of the United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a cornerstone with its two international covenants (International covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), the 1993 Vienna Convention and others. These rights are enshrined in constitutions of nations with no contradictions of which the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan is not an exception. The Bills of Rights apply to all ethnic groups of all nations without any interference from other individuals, group of people or the governments themselves in violating of these rights.

(2). The Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011

Under the constitution of The Republic of South Sudan 2011, the constitution states in its part two the ‘Bill of Rights’ which are numerous and under section 33 specifically states (the right of Ethnic and Cultural Community) that “Ethnic and cultural communities shall have the right to freely enjoy and develop their particular cultures. Members of such communities shall have the right to practice their beliefs, use their languages, observe their religions and raise their children within the context of their respective cultures and customs in accordance with this Constitution and the law”. As per the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan part two ‘Bill of Rights’ (Right of Ethnic and Cultural Communities) Luo tribe of South Sudan have constitutional right to freely enjoy and develop their particular cultures. Luo tribe shall have the right to practice their beliefs, use their language, observe their religion if it exists and raise their children within the context of their respective culture and customs in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan.

The Statement that says “within the context of their respective culture and custom” includes even changing their identity from Jurchol to Luo because Jurchol is not within Luo context of their respective culture. Furthermore, this section states the right for the ethnic community to use their language so Luo people are asking that how comes that the Luo People are not allowed to use their own term from their own language to name their tribe and a Jieng’s term is imposed on them which is in violation of the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan and the International Bill of Rights? Luo people are also claiming that the speaker of the national assembly at the time when the phrase Jurchol was documented as Luo identity did not consult Luo tribe representatives for a concrete and a consensus agreement on how they should be called and documented and they added that in a democratic nation like South Sudan, they have every right to start the documentation of their original Identity by suing the speaker of the house who was there at that time for wrongfully allowing such a grave mistake of using Jurchol as a way of referring identity.

The writer is a concerned South Sudanese citizen and he is reachable via his email: bonamagtkon@gmail.com

Does R-ARCSS allow Padang Community to partake in choosing a political party or personality that governs Upper Nile State?

SPLM-IO nominee, General Johnson Olony Thambo picture during a military briefing
South Sudan’s ministers taking oath of office in Juba | Photo: PPU

Opinion | By Bol Khan


Introduction


August 11, 2020 (Thessherald)–One would have opined his opinion on the above subject matter earlier on, but expectantly thought the parties concerned were going to solved the issue sooner than later. Unfortunately, it seems the matter is not easily going away; I can still hear or read some warlike statements coming in from the higher Office—the Presidency.

This is truly disturbing! Hence, I would like to start this opinion piece with two (2) simple questions. Does the R-ARCSS allow Padang Community to partake in choosing a political party or a personality of its choice that govern Upper Nile State? Can the R-ARCSS also give other section of communities in South Sudan the same right to decide who should or should not participate in the Revitalized Transitional Governments (i.e. at national, State & Local Level) during this Transitional Period? So far, South Sudan’s nine (9) States’ Governors together with three (3) Areas’ Administrators have been appointed by Presidential Decrees.

We sincerely applauded the Parties to the R-ARCSS (viz; the OPP, FDs, SSOA, SPLM-IO & SPLM-IG) and notably Gen. Salva Kiir Mayadit for the progress made in the interest of suffering South Sudanese people. However, the nominated oil-rich Upper Nile State’s Governor, Gen. Johnson Olony was not appointed, why because Padang Community objected his appointment.

In an open communication to the Presidency, the Padang Community said “Riek Machar’s SPLM-IO (White Army) and Gen. Johnson Olony’s Agwelek Militias” had destroyed “human lives and properties of Padang Community” during the recent past civil war and for this reason “Padang Community in Upper Nile State will not accept to be ruled by the SPLM-IO and Agwelek Militias in person of Johnson Olony.”

The same statement proceeded and said “Padang Community envisaged SSOA as a unified Political Party to Unite Upper Nile State.” Therefore, the Padang Community asked the Presidency of the Republic of South Sudan to consider one of the following conditions: 1) The SPLM-IO to either replace Gen. Johnson Olony with a Nuer/re-allocate the State to SSOA; 2) Or axe Upper Nile State into Administrative Areas, giving Padang Community its own Administrative Area (annexing JS’s Pigi County).

The alleged atrocities and the land issue at Eastern Bank of the Nile.
It was on 17th June & 10th July 2020, respectively, when Padang Community wrote an open letters to the Presidency asking the later not to appoint Gen. Johnson Olony as Upper Nile State’s Governor. In that letters, the said Community described Gen. Johnson Olony as a symbol of a “possible instability—a threat” to Upper Nile State’s people because he Johnson and the SPLM-IO have created “unhealed wounds that the communities still bears and will be a factor for conflict” in the State.

Can the atrocities allegedly committed by the SPLM-IO (White Army/Agwelek) during the five years old civil war prevent Gen. Johnson Olony from leading the Revitalized Upper Nile State’s Government? An answer to this question must be a BIG NO. Why because “There shall be established an independent hybrid judicial court, the Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS)” as stipulated in the R-ARCSS Chapter V Article 5. 3.1.1. Once that court is established “It shall investigate and where necessary persecute, individuals bearing responsibility for violations of international law and/or applicable South Sudanese Laws, committed from 15th December 2013 through the end of the Transitional Period”.

And while “Carrying out its investigations, the HCSS may use the report of the AU (COI) on South Sudan and other existing documents and reports, including but not limited to those in the possession of the AU for use as the Prosecutor deems necessary for his/her investigations and/or prosecution of those alleged to have committed serious human rights violations or abuses, war crimes, or crimes against humanity”.

Its concludes in Article 5.5.1 in the same Chapter V that any “Individual Leaders indicted or convicted by HCSS shall not be eligible for participation in the RTGoNU, or in its successor government (s) for a period determined by law, or if already participating in the R-TGoNU, or in its successor government (s) they shall lost their position in government”.

So, Padang Community would have done a right thing if it had instead called for the formation of the HCSS so that SPLM-IO and Gen. Johnson Olony, among others, is investigated and then persecuted if found guilty. However, the truth of the matter is that, Nuer and Dinka are two major tribes whose members were widely accused of having committed serious atrocities in South Sudan, during the past five (5) years civil war.

But if you can allow these two (2) tribes’ members participations in the revitalized governments without conditions, then why should you block Gen. Johnson Olony’s participation in the same revitalized Governments? Should it be because Gen. Johnson Olony is from the minority group? To me, Padang Community and whoever may be supporting it is a lucid “possible threat” not only to Upper Nile State but also to South Sudan as a whole.

In other words, the Padang Community’s aforesaid conditions are tantamount to final abrogation of the R-ARCSS. The first point I am making is that the onus of holding individual leaders accountable for the alleged crimes committed during or after the civil war lies on the HCSS. But there is no certain section of community such as Upper Nile State Padang Community, to take law into its hands and tribally try to hold an individual leader accountable.

Similarly, the same thing to the so-called land issue of Eastern Bank of the Nile contested between Chollo Community and the Presidency’s backed Padang Community. This issue has to wait also if every is for Peace, all should stick to IBC’s recommendations.

As the R-ARCSS’s Chapter I Article 1.15.11 says “The parties accept to implement the recommendations of the IBC in full at the beginning of the Transitional Period. And also in Article 1.15.18.7 “In the event that any tribe claims that the IBC report is violated, that tribe is entitled to resort within a maximum of two years of the alleged violation to arbitration and bring its case against the RGoNU or any subsequent government of the Republic of South Sudan before the permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague”. Period!

In conclusion


The former ITGoNU and current incomplete R-TGoNU have failed beyond reasonable doubt in following the right implementation pathway of the 2018 signed R-ARCSS. Presumably, the right implementation procedure would have been started with the Security Arrangements first, then follow by formation of the Presidency, Reconstitution of TNLA, formation of Cabinet at national level, the State Governors, States’ Legislative Assemblies, States’ Cabinet, Counties’ Commissioners…etc or with any other Articles deemed necessary. However, as I write or as you read this piece everything about the R-ARCSS’S implementation is in a coma.

Nobody is sure whether the R-TGoNU is implementing PEACE—re-building hope and trust among the South Sudanese people as expected or it is re-building tribal hatred in South Sudan. Due to this unchallenged intransigency within the R-TGoNU, Padang Community managed and objected successfully the appointment of Upper Nile State’s nominated Governor, Gen. Johnson Olony. Therefore, this opinion piece seeks to know whether or not it is the R-ARCSS that allows Padang Community section the right to participate in choosing Upper Nile State’s Governor.

To the best of my knowledge, the R-ARCSS does not allow the Padang Community to participate in any thing to do with R-ARCSS’s implementation. I have read the IGAD’s logoed document calls the “R-ARCSS” times and again but I have never come across a single Article/clause that gives Padang Community the RIGHT to choose a political party or a person of its choice to govern Upper Nile State. Where does Padang Community get it power, then? Padang Community got its power from the Presidency—the Office of the President.

Conclusion

The support Padang Community is getting from the Presidency.

With all due respects, at the end of this opinion piece, I would like to put forward the following four (4) questions. Is it legal for Presidency of the Republic to support Upper Nile State’s Padang Community against the R-ARCSS? Will the SAME Presidency also allow other section of communities in South Sudan to make choices (in connection with “unhealed wounds”) as to who should or should not participate in the Revitalized Transitional Governments (i.e. at national, State & Local Level) during this Transitional Period? Are the Padang Community’s conditions a dawdling strategy—pulling South Sudan back to former 32+ tribal States?

Is Upper Nile State’s Governorship issue a plotted final bomb on the already amputated R-ARCSS?

Therefore, in the name of the R-ARCSS, I appeal to the Presidency—the Office of the President to appoint Upper Nile State’s nominated Governor, Lt. Gen. Johnson Olony Thubo, forthwith. Otherwise, just like Padang Community of Upper Nile State; other communities in other States across South Sudan shall start coming up with similar issues targeting individual leaders from among the leaders who have already been appointed as States’ Governors and National Ministers. And the Presidency may not be exceptional, because some of its members are perceived “divisive” and seen as real “violent threat” to PEACE more than others in South Sudan.

Bol Khan is a concerned South Sudanese Independent Opinion Writer, Civil Rights and Peace Activist. He irregular writes opinion pieces about Rights, Peace and Democracy. He can easily be reached for comments at khanrom8@gmail.com . Twiter@khanrom

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