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.

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.

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Rights group urges respect for human rights in South Sudan

Rights group urges respect for human rights in South Sudan |© Thessherald
Rights group urges respect for human rights in South Sudan |© Thessherald

Dec 11, 2020 (Thessherald)–A human rights advocate, Reech Malual, who doubles as the Executive Director of Screen of Rights, a Juba-based human rights and peacebuilding organization, has urged South Sudanese to rejuvenate their fight for human rights and freedoms.

Reech, who was speaking yesterday as the world marked this year’s Human Rights Day, also called upon the government to respect human rights and bring violators to book.

“It is time for South Sudanese to look at each other and see how far they have gone concerning executing or being able to at least walk in the spirit of the bill of rights according to the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 as amended. We are very happy that the law is very clear about what should be done. But similarly, what is left is for the government to be able to reinforce, which we have seen of late the government is reinforcing,” Reech said.

He added, “We have also seen that some of the violations of human rights are committed by government officials, who are not held to account at the end of the day.”

Reech said South Sudanese need to rejuvenate a spirit towards each that can be able to adhere to human rights respect.

“The theme of this year is stand up and ‘Recover better-stand up for human rights’. Who stands up for these rights? It is you, I, and the government,” Reech said.

Yesterday, 10th December 2020 was Human Rights Day. It is observed every year and was adopted in 1948, as a Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document that proclaims the absolute rights to which everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts.

According to a UN fact-based report on the state of respect for human rights around the world, the US has documented human rights violations in South Sudan. These include arbitrary deprivation of life and other unlawful or politically motivated killings, the disappearance of individuals, torture, and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of people.

The report also documented the conditions of prison and detention centers in South Sudan, arrest procedures and treatment of detainees, denial of a fair public trial, and many more.

Originally published by Radio Tamazuj

Son of Clement W. Konga gunned down by unknown gunmen in Juba

The late Yaba Clement Konga killed by unidentified individuals in Juba |Photo: Via Facebook

Oct 6, 2020 (Thessherald)–The son of former Governor of Central Equatoria Clement Wani Konga has been killed by unidentified gunmen while he was on his way to his private farms with other companions.

According to one source, Yaba Clement was killed shortly after their vehicle they were traveling in had been punctured near Mount Ladu, an area situated a few kilometers from the country’s capital, Juba.

“He was killed by fellow Mundari herders behind Jebel Ladu after he strayed away from where their vehicle had a puncture. The culprits have already been identified by the chiefs. The chiefs promised to hand them over to the police as soon as possible,” the source described.

This is a developing story, check back in a few minutes for more updates.

UN humanitarian chief calls for urgent end to violence in S. Sudan

UN Humanitarian Chief, Mark Lowcock.
UN Humanitarian Chief, Mark Lowcock | Photo: File

September 17, 2020 (Thessherald)–The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, has called for an end to the ongoing cycles of violence in South Sudan.

The UN diplomat made this call during a briefing to the Security Council on the situation in South Sudan, “noting that violence, COVID-19, floods and economic downturn have exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation.”

The UN humanitarian chief reiterated the need for a political solution to end the violence in parts of South Sudan, and called for safe and unhindered access to vulnerable people, as well as additional funding to help meet rising humanitarian needs.

South Sudan currently faces many challenges since the COVID-19 outbreak, which has pushed millions of people to the brink of starvation.

Earlier this year, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs confirmed that about 7. million people could face a worse humanitarian crisis and that more than 6.5 others could be severely affected at the height of the annual hunger season.

“Despite an extremely challenging environment, humanitarians assisted nearly 5.1 million people across South Sudan in 2020. Pre-positioning humanitarian supplies ahead of the rainy season and distributing double rations have been crucial in mitigating the effects of COVID-19 restrictions.”

S. Sudan at crossroads towards genocide as UNMISS plans to withdraw

SSPDF forces going on a mission

The South Sudan People’s Defense Forces in a military vehicle | Photo: File

September 9, 2020 (Thessherald)–South Sudan stands at the crossroads of genocide as the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) prepares to withdraw its forces from Protection Of Civilians sites across the country, according to a regional analyst.

“The decision to withdraw UNMISS forces from POC sites without proper security arrangements, would not only have detrimental effects on the lives of millions of people currently seeking shelter at UNMISS camps, but it could lead to genocide,” said an observer in a statement seen by Thessherald.

On Friday, the head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, said that plans are underway for the gradual withdrawal of the Mission’s forces and police from Protection of Civilian (POCs) sites in Bor and Wau towns, respectively.

“This process involves two steps. First, as we have done in Wau and Bor, is the withdrawal of our forces from the sites. The second is the re-designation of that site so that it transfers to the sovereign control of South Sudan,” David Shearer said. “When that occurs, the sites are no longer POC sites but camps for internally displaced people under the jurisdiction of the government.”

“I want to emphasize those points. It’s just that the sites will no longer be under our jurisdiction but will be, as I said, IDP sites like so many other IDP sites across the country,” he added.

The UN official explains that once the Mission’s forces withdraw from the sites, the South Sudan National Police will be responsible for providing security for the country’s displaced population.

South Sudan’s government and opposition groups signed a peace agreement in September 2018, paving the way for IDPs and refugees to return home, but insecurity and improper security arrangements remain a challenge.


UN Protection of Civilians Sites Begin Transitioning to Conventional Displacement Camps

September 4, 2020 (Thessherald)–When civil war erupted across South Sudan in 2013, thousands of families fled to United Nations bases in fear for their lives.

The UN opened its gates and set up Protection of Civilians (POC) sites to provide them sanctuary. Seven years later, the security situation is much improved, and residents now move freely each day between the camp and town to attend school or university, shop at the market, and to work.

“The PoC sites were set up to protect people in imminent physical danger and they did so for many different ethnicities, for many years,” says the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, David Shearer. “But today, many stay just to access services.”

Political violence has reduced significantly across the country in the wake of a peace deal and formation of a new Government. As a result, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan has begun to progressively withdraw its troops and police from the POC sites in Bor and Wau and will gradually do the same at other camps.

“That has occurred because we assessed that, any threats that existed a few years ago, are no longer in existence today,” says David Shearer. “Importantly, withdrawing from these sites, means those troops who were occupied at the POC sites can be redeployed to hotspots where peoples’ lives are in immediate danger, like in Jonglei.”

Approximately 600 people died during clashes between Dinka, Nuer and Murle in Jonglei over the past six months. About 160,000 have been displaced because of the conflict and heavy flooding. UNMISS has rapidly deployed peacekeepers to the areas most affected to deter further violence and to support reconciliation and mediation between the groups.

The Mission also quickly deployed to the area around Lobonok in the Central Equatorias where there have been a series of armed attacks on civilians and humanitarian convoys travelling on main supply routes. In one incident, two civilians were killed and four injured during an ambush by heavily armed men belonging to the National Salvation Front (NAS).

There have also been clashes between NAS and forces belonging to the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces and Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in Opposition with many civilians affected.

“These parties have all agreed to the Cessation of Hostilities or the Rome Declaration. They should live up to that commitment, stop fighting and protect communities instead of causing huge harm,” said David Shearer.

Once peacekeepers are withdrawn from the UN protection sites, they can be re-designated as more conventional camps for the internally displaced under the sovereign control of South Sudan, like similar sites across the country.

“Nobody will be pushed out or asked to leave when UNMISS withdraws. Humanitarian services will continue. It is just that the sites will no longer be under our jurisdiction and will be IDP camps, like so many others across the country,” he said. “It will be the government’s responsibility to find other land for these people to settle, to help them return to their homes or assist those who houses are occupied by others.”

In future, the South Sudan National Police Service will be responsible for law and order at the IDP camps. UN police officers have worked closely with their national counterparts for several months to build their capacity and will continue to do so. In Wau, Bor and Juba, criminal activity in the POCs is already being reported to local police and those arrested are handed over so that action can be taken.

South Sudan’s government has primary responsibility for protecting all its citizens and this will be extended to those living in the former PoC sites. If that protection is missing, UNMISS says it has a clear mandate to intervene and it will.

The Mission has emphasized that the newly named IDP camps will not be closed and people will not be forced to leave. Instead, with careful planning and support over time, it is hoped that the residents will voluntarily and safely return to their homes to live peaceful and prosperous lives.

Original source: UNMISS

Means to obtain peace, unity and development in Jonglei State

Opinion | By Both Michael Gai

August 2020, 2020 (Thessherald)–The recurrent instability among the communities of Greater Pibor, Greater Lou, and Greater Bor is mainly exacerbated by the combination of interlinked factors including climate extreme events such as floods and drought, conflict, and poor governance for over decades. This has left a heritage and a legacy of destruction, displacement, poverty, trauma, and social division along multiple lines and violent politics and extreme sexual violence among others.

To curb the protracted crisis, feasible multifaceted strategies must quickly be employed in order to obtain peace, unity, and development in the state.

To me, these conflicts can be halt, peace and development can be obtained. And it is attainable If the government is honest and committed enough to bring peace. The solutions are politically, economically, and socially based.

From a political standpoint, priorities should be perhaps creating military barracks between borders that can quickly and easily intercept the movement of the fugitive trespassers; this strategy on the other hand creates employment opportunities for the idle youths as they can be engaged and integrated into law enforcement system.

Economically, the government should aim at building infrastructure such as an expanded and well-maintained road network that can allow these young men and women to do businesses, create economic activities such as vocational training so that the youths gain skills that are essential in the job market. This can superbly disengage them from their usual economic livelihood of cattle raiding.

Socially, the government in partnership with development partners should focus on injecting resources on advocacy, meetings and conferences, nurturing and enhancing an environment of togetherness and peacefulness.

If such investments are considered, fantabulous rewards can be realized.

The writer is a researcher and a concerned citizen. He can be reached via: Bmichealgai@gmail.com

CMD delivers medical supplies as floods wreak havoc in Ayod

August 21, 2020 (Thessherald)–As seasonal floods continue to worsen in different parts of the country, Christian Mission for Development (CMD), in partnership with UNICEF, has provided life-saving medical supplies to Primary Health Care Centers in Ayod.

In a brief statement, CMD Executive Director, Thomas Tut Gany commended the positive role that CMD and its partners have played in ensuring that the local population receives the necessary support needed to avert such a catastrophic situation.

“CMD in partnership with UNICEF manages to deliver essential drugs to Jiech PHCC and Kharmun PHCU today. Tomorrow will be Mogok PHCC, Kandak PHCU, Pagil PHCC and Normanyang PHCU. Scaling up response amidst heavy flooding is paramount,” Tut emphasized.

Christian Mission for Development is a humanitarian organization that provides medical and educational services to vulnerable people in hard-to-reach areas.

Humanitarian situation in South Sudan

South Sudan plunged into violent conflict in 2013, creating a catastrophic situation that has severely affected health infrastructure and the economy.

In recent months, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated that “more than 7 million people remain in need of humanitarian assistance throughout Southern Sudan due to the cumulative effects of years of conflict, chronic vulnerabilities and poor basic services.”

World Council of Churches (WCC) calls for end to violence in South Sudan

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

August 7, 2020 (Thessherald)–Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, World Council of Churches (WCC) interim general secretary, joined the South Sudan Council of Churches and the All Africa Conference of Churches in condemning recent violent killings of innocent people in South Sudan, and called to an end to brutality in the country.

Expressing profound sorrow and offering condolences and prayers for the families of the victims and for the wounded, Sauca added that “in the face of brutality, the human family must stand together to recommit to respecting and protecting one another, and to preventing such violence,” he said. “Killing children and innocents is against any principles of our faith and denies the very identity of being Christian.”

Appealing to all communities and groups to reject violence, Sauca said, “after years of insecurity and instability it should be clear that violence is not the solution to the challenges in South Sudan.” He called upon those who masterminded such attacks to desist from violence and ensure a sense of calmness in these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At least 23 people were killed and 20 others were wounded when unidentified gunmen stormed a church compound in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan’s Diocese of Athooch in Jonglei state on 27 July. The assailants took six children as hostages.

In a statement issued on 6 August, the All Africa Conference of Churches expressed that “it is particularly distressing that the attackers killed all the children they abducted in the bush. These are innocent souls who do not even have any idea as to what the conflict is all about.”

The All Africa Conference of Churches called on all parties to the conflict in South Sudan to condemn all kinds of violence, and to refrain from using it to destroy their fellow citizens. It also called on the regional and international bodies, such as the East African Community, Intergovernmental Authority for Development, African Union and United Nations Security Council “to take this attack as an assault on world peace, and demand for the full implementation of the long-delayed peace agreement in South Sudan,” reads a statement.

On 1 August, three little children were slaughtered by an unidentified person in the absence of their parents in Rock City neighborhood in the capital Juba.

In a 5 August statement, the South Sudan Council of Churches condemned the murder of the children. “This is a barbaric, heinous and demonic act that cannot be tolerated,” reads the statement. “Children are to be loved, protected, nurtured, and cared for by the community and society; they are not to be take advantage of, neglected or abused.”

Describing children as a wonderful gift from God, the statement mourns the loss of so many children in South Sudan. “We also pray to the almighty God to comfort the bereaved family in this very difficult time of great loss,” reads the statement.

Source: Apo-Opa

Fistfight over memory card triggers violence in UNMISS camps

Women, children and the elderly sitting in groups following the outbreak of violence in UNMISS camp | Photo: Supplied

June 7, 2020 (Thessherald)–A lingering quarrel between two individuals over a missing memory card has turned into inter-communal violence among Nuer communities living in UNMISS-manned camps, Juba.

“The issue happened yesterday when two individuals started fighting over a lost memory card at one of the local phone charging stations,” said a reliable source on Saturday.

“In early morning today, inter-community fighting resumed once again between IDPs sub-clans within the Juba PoCs the fight broke out when some youths refused listen to combined elders from both PoCs that has let UN police act with effect and intervened to disperse the fight using tear gasses, that one of IDPs young man have hand cut off down by the teargas pack,” said another eyewitness on Sunday.

According to reports, a number of people have been seriously injured but no death cases reported so far on both sides.

“Wounded people are being treated by a local humanitarian health facility known to be IMC inside PoCs. With accord the water supply has been cut off following the ongoing standoff. Luckily food distributed two days ago in PoC1, while was about to kickoff in PoC3 but stopped by the sparkly dispute,” the eyewitness added.

“Most selling shops and all marketing activities are totally suspended shutdown in both camps, with the very limited access.”

On a positive note, the Transitional Government of National Unity has dispatched a security team headed by 1st Lt. Gen. Gabriel Duop Lam, Michael Changiek Gey in an effort to quell the communal tensions between the feuding Nuer communities.

Since the outbreak of violence in 2013, thousands of Nuer communities have taken refuge in the camps run by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

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