STATEMENT ON THE DEATH OF BISHOP JOSEPH GASI ABANGITE

A MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCE TO TAMBURA – YAMBIO DIOCESE

 

Bishop Joseph Gasi

Bishop Joseph Gasi Abangite ….

Dear brethren in the Lord,

Sept 16, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — We in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM/IO) have learnt with deep sorrow the passing on of Bishop Emeritus the Rt. Rev. Joseph Gasi Abangite of Tambura – Yambio Diocese who died on Saturday September 10th 2014 at Yambio Civil Hospital in Yambio, South Sudan aged 94.

On behalf of our Chairman Dr. Riek Machar Teny and my colleagues in the movement, I send you our deepest condolence, especially to Barani Dr. Eduardo Hiiboro, Bishop of Tambura – Yambio Diocese, congregation of the Diocese and the entire community of Western Equatoria State (WES).

We in the movement acknowledge with admiration the contribution of Bishop Emeritus Joseph Gasi during the liberation struggle to bring dignity, honor and peace to our people and country. We remember him for his altruism and courage to live amongst his people during the liberation struggle in the 1990’s. We remember him as an instrumental figure in the formation of the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC), where he was a key pillar. NSCC under the stewardship of courageous Church leaders like Bishop Emeritus Joseph Gasi worked tirelessly to reconcile the SPLM/SPLA at a time when it was on the brink of disintegration.

Personally the demise of the Bishop is touching; he was my uncle, a man who loved his extended family members the same way he loved the Church, his priests and congregation. When I last visited him on his sick bed at Sambya Catholic Hospital in Kampala Uganda, he talked of his desire to see a peaceful South Sudan with all tribes living as “brothers’ keepers” in harmony with each other. Instead of praying for him, he prayed for me and for Peace in South Sudan.

We remember the 33 years reign of Bishop Emeritus with pride; he helped many young people to obtain scholarship to study at some of the best schools in the region and abroad. Instead of clinging to the leadership of the Diocese as is the trend among many leaders in our country, Bishop Emeritus Joseph Gasi retired in 2008 and passed the mantle of the Diocese on to Barani Dr. Eduardo Hiiboro, a man he groomed. In doing so, Bishop Emeritus Joseph Gasi led by example that leaders should learn how to prepare a new generation of leaders to carry on with service delivery to our people and country.

As the body of Bishop Emeritus Joseph Gasi lay-in-state at St. Mary’s Parish in Yambio ahead of his burial on Tuesday Sept 16th 2014, I want to assure Tambura – Yambio Diocese and Barani Dr. Eduardo Hiiboro of our prayers. Although we knew the inevitable was to happen, we didn’t expect it so soon. May God give you brethren the courage you need during this mourning period and may God rest the soul of the Bishop Gasi among the martyrs of South Sudan.

Manasseh Zindo

Deputy Chairperson

Women and Youth Empowerment, SPLM in Opposition

Nairobi Kenya

An Appreciation Letter & Alternative to Win Peace Back To South Sudan

Peter Riek Nguany,

Opinion.

Peter Nguany

Peter Riek Nguany

Monday, September 15, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — As I begin I would firstly like to pass my cordial regards and felicitations to all my comrades and leaders of the SPLA/M –IO for their vigorous contribution since the onset of December 15 civil war until today, your strive on fighting the dictator Salva Kiir is highly recognized by the people of South Sudan and the world as whole.

Dear victors, as you are known to every South & non-South Sudanese by your fine notable deeds & victories, I find it convenient to mention your names.
1. General Peter Gatdet Yaka (Judi Iraq)

  1. General Gathoth Gatkuoth Hothnyang
  2. General James Koang Choul
  3. General Gabriel Tanginya
  4. General Dau Aturjong Nyuol
  5. General Gatwech Dual
  6. General Gabriel Duop Lam

Since you stood your ground and decided to fight for people’s right; I am handing over the solidity of finding out triumphant strategies to take down Salva Kiir’s regime as a result of fatal fabricated coup. We understand that Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) leaders become war mongers trying to distance and puzzle their citizens’ from their cruel actions and span their duration in power.

IGAD fails to bring Peace, what would you do as an alternative?

Dear politicians and leaders of the SPLA/M -IO, it has been quite a long time trying to play a diplomatic method to bring peace to South Sudan yet Juba-regime peace’s snatchers & murderers did not and will not accept a peaceful manner to return serene back to South Sudan. Allow me to recall president Salva Kiir’s quotation:

“I am the president of South Sudan, and I must always remain in that position as the president, the leader of that country forever”

What do you make up of this statement? For me, when I quote the president saying so, I preferred to concur with General Dau Aturjong Nyuol quotation when he said, “Juba government will not accepted to settle this war in peaceful manner; instead they will be removed by force”

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) failed to solve the Country’s ongoing conflict either the African Union (AU) will do anything regarding the people’s injustice and concerns. The innocent people are still dying in the United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) camp in Juba and elsewhere in South Sudan every day from diseases and starvation. What are we doing about that? I suggest finding an innovative strategy to depose President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his cabinets instead of squandering time trying to convince him to accept a peaceable solution that he is not even interesting at. I trust your capabilities on building the best relationships ever with the world and ask for whether military or civil support better than Kiir’s Administration.

In conclusion, as one of the maltreat South Sudanese who has been silent and watching since the outbreak of country’s conflict in December 2013, today I am dedicating my time to those tossed away like cigarette ash, those wearing the leaves, those with no blankets but sky and the grass. I am calling for the world to help my people (The Nuers & citizens of South Sudan), toppling the bloody regime of Salva Kiir Mayardit who viciously massacred my family, relatives and friends.

Thank you very much for reading my letter!
Long live Republic of South Sudan!

Long live SPLM/A in Opposition!

Long live Freedom fighters!

The author is Peter Riek Nguany, the former Chairman of Bentiu Community in Egypt and you can reach via riekpeter@yahoo.com. Or +20 12-8091-7729

ONLY DIRECT TALK CAN RETURN PEACE TO SOUTH SUDAN:

By Peter Kleto,

Opinion.

The photo IGAD secretariats and members on tweets web site.

The photo IGAD secretariats and members on tweets web site.

September 15, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan has been plunged into civil war due to disagreement in the top leadership of the SPLM party. The disagreement on the wording of the four basic SPLM documents, the constitution, the Manifesto, the code of conduct and rules and regulations and how the theory can be implemented practically led to the disunity within the SPLM hence leading to its paralysis and to the extend where we are now at. The peace talks medicated by IGAD started in January 2014 with the signing of cessation of hostilities which in actual sense did not materialize as there war was ongoing and accusations and counter-accusations on each other by the warring parties was frequent.

For those who have been closely following up the peace talks in the Ethiopian Capital, Addis ababa, you may agree that IGAD member states were and are still engage in trying to bring the conflict to an end once and for all. The various committees under the auspices of the African Union such as Peace and Security Commission, the AU Assembly which forms the legislative body of the African Union is also working hand in hand with the IGAD countries to try to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in question; because south Sudan is an inseparable part of the African continent and is a member states of the African Union.

Let me say here that the goal that IGAD is being playing is great and the two parties should also be congratulated for taking the initiative to present themselves to the negotiating table in Addis Ababa despite the anger that they may have in their hearts. In the same way, IGAD has also been seen playing the role of a negotiator as seen from recent document which was full of flaws showing it was not negotiated by the two parties. The document was prepared in unknown location and then presented to the leaders for signature. Where is the spirit of mediation and negotiation here?

Historically, South Sudanese are well known for handling their conflicts by themselves and I am sure if the two sides were to be engage in direct talk, this conflict could have ended since January 2014 and more suffering and bloodshed could have been avoided a long time ago. The following are some of the suggestions for the peace talk:

  1. IGAD should play the true role of a mediator and not negotiator
  2. The two warring parties should engage in direct talk
  3. IGAD, the AU and the international community should encourage the warring to compromise

Without engaging in direct talk, south Sudan should not expect peace to return soon as most of the outsiders are just for their interest and not for the interest of South Sudanese. It is only South Sudanese who can truly feel the pain of what is happening in the country. Some of us are hoping that the current negotiation in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia will bring us joy and peace and not sorrow. It is very important for the two delegations to think for the interest of the people and to rise above their personal interest as south Sudan is bigger than each one of us.

In conclusion, it is shameful for us to be fighting each other when we have been fighting for democracy, freedom, justice, equality for close to 200 years and we should expect others to laugh at us because our leaders have just forgotten the true mission of the liberation struggle for other things. We need a country where every citizen is equal, a country where all are happy and are proud of, a country where  you can freely pursue happiness without thinking of being killed, intimidated or harassed, a country that sees all of us as South Sudanese and children of one flag and not on our little ethnic groups.

I hope the delegations look at this matter deeply and come back to their various destinations with peace.

Thank you.

Peter Kleto can be reached at ecenecaprograms@gmail.com

The Criminal Courts of South Sudan Perpetrate Injustice More Than the Customary Law Courts;

By J.A Ogeno, Esq.

Opinion.

Source: Orego

Source: supplied.

Sept 15, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — Criminal Courts are Courts with jurisdiction over criminal matters. South Sudan’s Criminal Courts are listed under Article 123 of the Transitional Constitution, 2011and Section 9 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 2008. The Courts are the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, High Courts, County Courts and other Courts deemed necessary. These Courts are presided over by Justices (Supreme Court & Courts of Appeal), Judges (High Courts) and Magistrates (County Courts). The Criminal Courts have different powers and competence as provided under Articles 126, 129 – 131 of the Transitional Constitution, 2011 and Sections 10 – 15 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 2008.

Customary Law Courts on the other hand, are Courts that handle customary disputes in accordance with the customs, traditions, norms and ethics of a particular community. Customary Law Courts are established under Section 97 of the Local Government Act, 2009. The Courts are structured as“C” Courts with powers and competence under Section 99(7), “B” Courts or Regional Courts with powers and competence provided under Section 100(4), “A” Courts or Executive Chief’s Courts with Jurisdiction stated in Section 101(2) and Town Bench Courts with jurisdiction stated under Section 102(3) of the Local Government Act, 2009. Customary Law Courts are presided over by Traditional Authority leaders.

The critiques of Customary Law Courts will agree with the assertions against the same as being featured by the provision of unequal protection, inconsistency in decision making, no standard of proof and application of rules of evidence during dispute resolution, imposition of corporal punishment and many other assertions that brand Customary Law Courts as perpetrators of injustice. I harbors the opinion that the branding of Customary Law Courts as mockers of justice and rule of law by the above stipulations gave the guidance for the provision of Section 99(2) of the Local Government Act, 2009 which bars Customary Law Courts from having competence to adjudicate over criminal matters save for those criminal cases with customary interface referred to the Court(s) by a competent Statutory Court(s).

The above provision of the Local Government Act can spark “joyous hope” in that if anyone is charged or indicted of any criminal act/offence, he or she will be tried by a just Court unless referral is made to the Customary Law Court(s).

Criminal Courts as the most fundamental component of a Criminal Justice System can be made faces of justice or injustice by the Adjudicators. The public’s expectation is that unlike the Adjudicators of the Customary Law Courts, those of the Criminal Courts are highly Competent and knowledgeable Personnel with thorough understanding of the law and capable of properly applying the law to solve a given criminal case.

The author’s herein stated observations and true encounters /experiences with the S. Sudan’s Criminal Courts reveal that the Criminal Courts of South Sudan perpetrate injustice more than the Customary Law Courts.

  1. Pre-trial Violations and Criminal Case Files;

Notwithstanding the fact that South Sudan lacks the direction of a clear Legal System, as a matter of good practice or law, before the commencement of a criminal trial, the Trial Court’s consequential duty is to bear in mind that the accused person appearing before the Court might have suffered grave violations during pre-trial proceedings and it’s the Court to remedy these if necessary. Before Trial the Court must also verify if the Criminal Case File is proper. A proper Criminal Case File will include; framed charge/indictment, Summary of the Case (for cases before the High Courts), Complainant’s Statement, Witnesses’ Statements, Statement of the Arresting Police Officer, Statement of the Investigator, the Accused’s Statement and other essential reports.

Most of the accused persons I ever represented suffered pre-trial violations such as unlawful arrest, pro-longed detention, unlawful Searches& Seizures, fabricated charges andCriminal Case Files containing only the Statements of the Investigator and Accused are sanctioned for trial. The Courts do not get concerned to address these irregularities thereby failing in their duty as pillars of justice and encouraging perpetual perpetration of the same violations. The danger of accepting a Case File that lacks the Statements of the relevant Prosecution’s witnesses is that the accused will be placed at risk of being convicted on fabricated testimonies of coached witnesses whose statements were not previously recorded during investigations.

So long as South Sudan’s Criminal Courts continue to get less concerned about pre-trial violations and accepting scanty criminal case files, the Courts will remain Pillars of injustice more than the Customary Law Courts.

  1. Presumption of Innocence and Procedural Regularities;

Article 19(1) of the Transitional Constitution, 2011 and Section 6(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 2008 guaranteed that every accused person is presumed innocent until his/her guilt is proved beyond reasonable doubt.

The notion of presumption of innocence demands that the accused must not be treated as if he/she was guilty once suspected or charged of any offence. The notion protects fundamental liberty and human dignity of every person accused by the State of criminal conduct and it confirms our faith in humankind, it reflects our belief that individuals are decent and law abiding members of the community until proved otherwise.

Some of the South Sudan’s Criminal Courts inversely treat this notion as rightly described by one of my learned friends in the following words;

Practically in South Sudan, an accused person is presumed guilty until his/her innocence is proved beyond reasonable doubt and you won’t understand this mask of injustice unless you have the experience of defending an accused person as an Advocate”, Said, Lejukole Noel Marle, an Advocate of Courts of Judicature of S. Sudan (during a collegial conversation from Juba Main court on Sept. 02nd, 2014).

I encountered the utmost disregard to the above notion in one of the criminal cases I appeared for as a Defence Lawyer/Attorney. In the case the Trial Court convicted my client at the ruling of a prima facie case and asked my client to enter a plea.

I Judge ………. of ………found that there is strong evidence presented against you (the accused person) proving beyond reasonable doubt that you committed the offence charged, therefore I found you guilty under Section …….of the Penal Code Act, 2008, how to do you plead, guilty or not guilty?”, said the learned trial Judge in the prima facie case ruling.

For this grave injustice and irregularity, the immediate remedy I could offer was to shout at the top of my voice and called the Adjudicator “a disgrace to the legal profession” which nearly got me in jail for contempt of Court. Where a Court can do this to a client represented by an Advocate, how much injustice do you think the accused persons with no legal representation suffer and how many prisoners are unjustly sent to the prison(s) by this same Court?

 

 

  1. Identification of elements/ingredients of offence

The established principle of Criminal Law is that the Prosecution must prove all the elements the offence charged beyond reasonable doubt. This means that a Court must satisfy itself that indeed all the elements of the offence charge are proved beyond reasonable doubt and this requires correct identification of the elements of the offence. To identify elements/ingredients of an offence, one must look at the Section of the Act/Legislation/Law creating the offence.

In a criminal case of theft under Section 293(1) of the Penal Code Act, 2008, a learned Magistrate in defining the elements of theft confidently stated in a decision that under the above Section, there are only two elements of theft which are I) physical element and, II) Permanent element.

This was my professional horror that made me to think that if the learned Magistrate was right then my understanding of the law is either rudimentary or obsolete. To ease my fears I asked a second year law student of the University of Juba to outline the elements of theft provided under above Section. The said Section provides that;

“Whoever, intending to take dishonestly any movable property out of the possession of any person without that person’s consent, moves that property in order to effect such taking, and whoever dishonestly diverts, consumes or uses any electricity, electric current or tap water, commit the offence of theft, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or with a fine or with both”.

Really notwithstanding the poor legislative drafting of the above Section, the Student correctly noted that the elements of theft as stated in the Section are; (i) There must be a movable property (ii) The property must be proved to be in possession of some person (iii) dishonest taking/asportation (iv) dishonest intention (v) The accused must be proved to have taken the property and (vi) lack of consent must be proved.

Failure to correctly identify the elements/ingredients of an offence charged will misdirect the Court to apply immaterial evidence to reach a wrong decision.

  1. Knowledge of the law of evidence

Without the knowledge, understanding and correct application of the law of evidence, Courts are bound to arrive at decisions which do not conform to the rules of evidence.

In South Sudan, the rules of evidence are codified in the Code of Evidence Act, 2006, but these rules appear to be less understood and applied by most Adjudicators of the South Sudan’s Criminal Courts during Criminal Proceedings. One of the rampant misunderstood rules which I often encounter in criminal trials is the rule relating to Competence of Witnesses. The Trial Courts I ever appeared before to represent several criminal trials, in total disregard to the provisions of above stated law do not permit accused persons, females or Lawyers to appear as witnesses even if they are key witnesses in the case.

Section 125 (1) of the Act is to the effect that all persons shall be competent to testify unless the Court considers that they prevented from understanding the questions put to them or from giving rational answers to those questions, by tender years, extreme old age, disease, whether of body or mind or any similar cause.

Even if the considerations for exempting accused persons, females or Lawyers from testifying in Courts do not exist as envisaged above, an Advocate can hardly convince the Criminal Courts that all Persons are competent witnesses.

Section 128 (2) of the Act also guarantees that in criminal proceedings every person charge with an offence shall be a competent witness for the defence at every stage of the proceedings. This can be upon the motion or application of the person charged to be a witness as stated under subsection 3 of the stated Section.

Where these clear provisions are not permitted their effects by most of the Adjudicators of the South Sudan Criminal Courts, one can be persuaded to agree that the rules for admissibility of evidence has less relevance in informing the decisions of the Criminal Courts of South Sudan. This means that most of the prisoners across the detention facilities of South Sudan are victims of wrong decisions which did not conform to the rules of evidence.

  1. Knowledge of evaluation of evidence

Bearing in mind the presumption of innocence and the burden and standard of proof in a criminal case, the law relating to evaluation of evidence is to the effect that to reach at a verdict, Court must base its decision on all versions of the evidence presented before it. It is a misdirection to accept the one version and then hold that because of that acceptance per se, the other version is unsustainable.

As noted above that the notion of presumption of innocence is treated inversely, there is inadequate knowledge of identifying elements of offence and inadequate knowledge of the law of evidence then it follows that the above established principle on evaluation of evidence less applied by some of the Criminal Trial Courts of South Sudan. The effect of such is perpetration of injustice depending on which side of the evidence the Court will want to base its ruling or judgment on.

 

  1. Application of Common Sense than the Law;

“In South Sudan, the surest way of leading your client (accused person) to a conviction is by relying on what the law says because the Courts of South Sudan apply common sense not the law”, Said, a Senior Advocate & Lecturer of the University of Juba (on the 09th day of May, 2014 after a Criminal Court Session where the Author appears as a Co-Counsel of the Senior Advocate).

Unlike in other common law jurisdictions where Judges are assisted by assessors, in South Sudan the Judge is both the trier of facts and law and unlike the Customary Law Courts that apply customary law to resolve disputes, the Criminal Courts of South Sudan rely on facts and application of common sense to resolve criminal matters ignoring the law. This can be proved through their judgments where you can hardly find any reference to the law or precedent.

  1. Indefinite imprisonment for failure to pay Compensation;

Article 122 (5) (c) of the Transitional Constitution, 2011 and Section 6 (g) of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 2008 provide that adequate compensation shall be awarded to victims of offences.

Hundreds of prisoners languishing in the Prisons in South Sudan are victims of the above provision. The law gives power to award compensation but does not provide for the mechanism of recovering such compensation and the period of imprisonment for failure to pay the compensation after the prisoner has completed serving his/her imprisonment sentence. The recurring mistake that puts the Criminal Courts at the Apex of injustice perpetrators is; sentencing a convict for a period of imprisonment and at the same time ordering the convict/prisoner to be imprisoned until payment of awarded compensation is done. This means that even if the prisoner has served the defined imprisonment sentence, he/she will continue to be in jail indefinitely until payment of the compensation is made.

In unlawful move to create the mechanism for recovering such awarded compensation, the Criminal Courts do state in their decisions that the compensation should be recovered in accordance with Civil Procedure Act, 2007. Notwithstanding this unlawfulness, if this is the Courts’ position, then the Section 236 (1) of the Civil Procedure Act must be respected. The Said Section of the Act provides that ‘where a judgment debtor is committed to prison in execution of a decree, the order of commitment shall state the period of detention or shall state that he/she is to be detained until the decree is satisfied; provided that, no person shall be so detained for a period exceeding six weeks if the decree is for the payment of SP50 or its equivalent and for a period not exceeding six months in any other case’.

A Judge while agreeing with my observation describes such injustice in the following words which I have nothing useful to add to;

Imprisoning a prisoner for indefinite period of imprisonment for failure to pay awarded compensation is a transgression of the law that yields irreparable injustice to the victims of such decision”, Said a High Court Judge with Power of a Justice of Court of Appeal (In response to the Author’s query about such unlawful decision from Juba Main Court on October, 25th, 2014).

  1. Criminal Appeals;

An Appeal is a creature of statute. The right is provide under Articles 129 (2), 130 (2), 131 (2) of the Transitional Constitution, 2011 and Section 263 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 2008. An Appeal must be within 15 days after pronouncement of a sentence. The Appellate Courts are; High Courts (hear appeals from decisions of County Courts), Courts of Appeal (hear appeals from decisions of High Courts) and the Supreme Court (hear appeals from the decisions of Courts of Appeal).

From the above beautiful structures of the appellate Courts and perusal of this piece of writing, many may be tempted to say that the author of this work may be a lazy Counsel because if his client is unjustly convicted and the client has a right of appeal, then why doesn’t he make appeals to the appellate Courts?

To erase that temptation, beautiful as the structures of the appellate Courts may appear, practically these Courts are less functional, Appeals are not determined in open Courts to create public confidence in the Courts, and sometimes the outcome of the appeals are after the appellants have completed serving their imprisonment sentence. Imagine that the result of the appeal is in favor of an appellant who has already completed serving his/her three (3) years of imprisonment, would you be shy to agree that this is a perpetration of injustice?

 

Efforts should be made to eliminate or minimize the current impediments witnessed in the S. Sudan’s Criminal Courts. Failure to do so would mean that the Government should be prepared to build more detention facilities/prisons to accommodate more prisoners who will be victims of unjust decisions since everyone is a potential candidate for a criminal conduct. Recommendations can be viewed at my next piece of work titled “The Criminal Courts of South Sudan need Fundamental Reforms”.

The author is an Advocate of the Courts of Judicature of South Sudan and a Member of the Ugandan Bar and can be reached at jaqcityadvocs@gmail.com

South Sudan Will Never be a United Country Under the President Salva Kiir Mayardit and His Looters Who Are Enjoying Their Time in the Hotels in Juba

By Bayak Chuol Puoch,
Opinion.
The only foreign president who attend the least attended 3rd independent celebration in Juba(Photo: shared by Museveni)

The only foreign president who attend the least attended 3rd independent celebration in Juba(Photo: shared by Museveni)

Sept 15, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan will never be a united country under the President Salva Kiir Mayardit because Salva Kiir is thinking that ethnic cleansing against Nuer tribe will keep him in power for life and this definitely will never be happened.
South Sudan is becoming a place of African vultures that are looking for food. This situation is dividing the nation into pieces because the President Kiir himself doesn’t care about his people who brought him into power in the year 2010.
Salva Kiir is a blind man who cannot see thing properly and he keeps telling people that he was elected by people and he doesn’t know that we elected only SPLM not Kiir in person who killed more 25,000 innocents South Sudanese. Those whom were killed by Salva Kiir all of them are South Sudanese. That ethnic cleansing offense against particular South Sudanese tribes will never keep him in power for life and this for sure will become problematic issue in the country from now onward. South Sudanese will continue to fight the government until the last man because their children, women and old aged were innocently killed in Juba and other locations in the country.
Humiliation of Dr John Garang’s family in South Sudan:
Dr John Garang died in a helicopter crash while coming from Uganda to South Sudan. The South Sudanese think that when Dr John Garang die, his son Captain Mabior Garang De Mabior should be awarded a ministerial post in the government of South Sudan that will reward him the death of his father which was for the sake of this country. This will show that we love the founding father with all our hearts.
Our main problem is the President Salva Kiir who killed more than 25,000 innocent and the people who were supporting him. He will be in danger in the future because he is ruling a dying regime and no one of his followers will escape away from these crimes they committed in the country. The South Sudanese will not see President Salva Kiir leading the country because he lost his legitimate and no one will look at him as the leader of this nation contrary people are seeing Salva Kiir like a fatal malaria disease that regularly and predominantly kills a lot of people annually.
SPLM Former Detainees becoming anti South Sudanese
Pagan Amum and his colleagues think that they are smarter than any South Sudanese because they were with Dr Riek Machar in December, 2013. That was the beginning of South Sudanese genocide in the country when Salva Kiir and his presidential guards began their mission of murdering more than 25000 innocents. That will never be fulfilling in 20 years of time and this will not be forgotten by South Sudanese. Pagan Amum and his group are becoming smart bacteria while the doctor give some medication to the infected patients, the bacteria knows well the medicine will never cure the illness so the bacteria will mutate its self into another different disease. This simple description of a bacteria disease simply resembles Pagan and his group who love money more than South Sudanese. The voice of Pagan Amum becomes useless in South Sudanese community because he think that he is smarter than Dr Riek Machar and he was imprisoned by the President Salva but now Pagan began worshiping Salva again.  I was thinking that he was a good politician that he will stands with his people when there is something like what happened in South Sudan but this not true at all.
The G10 are not responsible people at all and they deceived themselves that they are good politicians who played good politics in South Sudan when they denied the killing of South Sudanese. We don’t know why they were against the President Kiir and now it becomes clear these hungry people to power are crying because their bread is cut by Salva. Actually, they don’t care about the lives of people. We are telling them that their greediness has become true and the minds of all of these SPLM Former Detainees have become useless.
Before I was a true supporter of Pagan Amum but I stopped my support to him because the man is weak in politics and his job is only to get power by denying the killing of South Sudanese. Also, he was the first man who let SPLM to lose its vision. We need someone to take over and we were thinking that Pagan will become the future President of South Sudan but this war has shown a lot of hidden and unseen facts. I think Pagan will never become the President of South Sudan by denying things and this ruined him in politics and no one will trust in him again. There are some people in the community who are getting blood money to become very rich. That is why some people were killed in South Sudanese in Juba and other country side.
God Bless South Sudan!
Bayak Chuol Puoch is the Former Chairperson of Nuer Community and Director of Naath Community Development Center in Cairo, Egypt. The author can be reached at bpyarkhor121@yahoo.com

SPLM-Texas’ Chapter Denounces Salva Kiir’s Leadership and Pledge Allegiance To the SPLM-in-Opposition!

Press Release

To: South Sudanese World Wide

From: The Texas SPLM Office in Opposition

Loggo

 Dear Fellow South Sudanese;

Sept 15, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — In the last eight months we have been on the trail of the tragedy that stroked our country in December 15, 2013 to reach an informed decision. We did our homework to know the causes of the tragic event and concluded that there was no coup, but rather a “Consolidation of Power” and a conspiracy to block Dr. Riek Machar from contesting the presidency in 2015 and purge the rest of his group from political activities.

The coup was a “Bloody Lie” but the innocent Dr. Machar was demonized all over the country and the world by the President and his government. What was Dr. Machar’s crime? Was it asking for reforms inside the SPLM Party or asking for Democracy?! The bloody lie brought foreign troops into the country to kill South Sudanese. The fabricated coup cost the South Sudanese people especially the Nuer community tremendous suffering and loss of lives in thousands.

Since the Bloody Lie, the country had been in crisis and the crisis has become a national concern and no longer limited to Kiir and Machar, or Nuer vs Dinka. Instead it is now a fight against the dictatorship of Salva Kiir and his henchmen. The lack of confidence in the government and the loss of trust among the people of South Sudan are now endangering the unity of our new country. The establishment of dictatorship and Somalization of South Sudan is in the making. Like Somalia, tribes in South Sudan are arming themselves for survival and self-defense. Instead of our government creating a peaceful environment to help South Sudanese people outgrow tribalism and promote “One nation and one people” as they lied on SSTV, the government is turning the clock back to “Tribal South Sudan”. Sadly, the President of the Republic of South Sudan himself, asked the Dinkas of Lakes State to not fight among themselves but rather to fight their enemy, the Nuers!!!

We the members of the SPLM Chapter in the State of Texas have been hoping and praying since 2011 for the SPLM-led Government of South Sudan and the SPLM Party to improve and reform to realize the dreams of the patient people of South Sudan. We have been the apologists and been hoping against hope, but we can’t continue doing this anymore. The Kiir-led Government and Party are becoming dangerous and are endangering all the gains that South Sudanese had achieved through huge sacrifices. We are hereby denouncing the leadership of Salva Kiir and pledging our allegiance to the SPLM-in-Opposition under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar, our hope for a Free, Just, Federal and Democratic South Sudan.

Why shift allegiance?

The indomitable people of South Sudan waged a half century “Liberation War” at a huge cost of 3.5 million martyrs for Liberty, Justice and Dignity. We did not sacrifice so much to replace a master with another master, nor an oppressor with an oppressor. We did not come this far to put up with a self-centered genocidal government that exterminate anyone perceived as a threat to its hold on power.

Under the leadership of Salva Kiir, misgovernment and excessive crimes are committed against the people of South Sudan including murder, torture, rape, looting government coffers, robbing properties of minority groups with an unprecedented impunity. Nobody is safe or beyond the reach of the National Security forces. Night break-ins, armed robberies and killings are in play every night.

The SPLM elites are making themselves rich by looting the government coffers. The SPLA commanders and their armies of bodyguards are terrorizing the citizens and violently grabbing ancestral lands from the defenseless villagers. Their reason, “we liberated you so we can do with you as we wish”. Real freedom fighters shouldn’t expect to be paid or rewarded for their principled stand against injustice. If freedom fighters are to be paid, how about starting with our martyrs who paid the ultimate sacrifice? All these crimes are happening under the leadership of Salva Kiir and he is doing nothing about it.

We the new Texas SPLM-in-Opposition Chapter will be the voice of the defenseless and suffering people of South Sudan. Our voice will be capable of conveying the true wishes of our masses without being intimidated by Dictator Salva Kiir and his security apparatus.

We will stand and pursue the following to the bitter end:

  1. Liberty, justice, equality, dignity, and the unity of South Sudanese people.
  2. Forcing Salva Kiir and his followers to step down and make way for the formation of an Impartial and Representative Interim Government.
  3. Establishing a Democratic Federal System of Governance. A path for a just, secure, law abiding, developed and peaceful South Sudan where the agenda is controlled and dictated by the people.
  4. Respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual, tolerance and coexistence of the culturally diverse South Sudanese tribes.

Despite the current horrendous crisis, the suffering people of South Sudan will prevail over Salva Kiir’s Dictatorship. We the SPLM-in-Opposition will rise to meet this national challenge and shall become the guiding model for the rest of Africa. When we said a “Liberation War” we meant every word to the letter – we will fight to be free or die trying. It is divine, “Good will always conquer Evil” and justice will prevail in South Sudan.

Long live the indomitable people of South Sudan!

Long live the Federal Republic of South Sudan!

Long live the SPLM-in-Opposition and its Leadership!

May God bless Dr. Riek Machar with wisdom and courage to lead South Sudan out of this dark tunnel!

The struggle continues, and victory to the people of South Sudan!

Signatories:

  1. John Paulino Lado, Chairperson
  2. Gatjang Matai Deng, Deputy Chairperson
  3. Alphonse Kenyi, Secretary General
  4. David Mai Tang, Deputy Secretary General
  5. James Ruach Dual, Secretary for Finance
  6. Alice Oreste, Deputy Secretary for Finance
  7. Charles Deng, Secretary for Information and Mobilization
  8. Daniel Lolik, Deputy Secretary for Information and Mobilization
  9. Mary Juma Sestilio, Secretary for Women Affairs
  10. Mary Lungu, Deputy Secretary for Women Affairs
  11. Gabriel Shallbreak, Secretary for Youth Affairs
  12. Mele Becu Pitia, Deputy Secretary for Youth Affairs
  13. Paul Biel Bichiok, Secretary for Crisis Management

How Creatable is IGAD After The Summit Fiasco in Addis Ababa on August 25, 2014?

By Stephen Tut Puol,

Opinion.

Gen. Taban Deng Gai, the former Governor of Unity State, who leads SPLM-IO Negotiating team in Addis Ababa, glancing at Seyoum Mesfin, the chairperson of IGAD mediators(Photo: file)

Gen. Taban Deng Gai, the former Governor of Unity State, who leads SPLM-IO Negotiating team in Addis Ababa, glancing at Seyoum Mesfin, the chairperson of IGAD mediators(Photo: file)

Sept 15, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — For the benefit of our readers who might not be familiar; with the word “IGAD”; therefore, let us introduce to them a brief background of IGAD. “The word IGAD is an abbreviation of “Intergovernmental Authority on Development”. It is an eight-country trade bloc in Eastern Africa. It includes governments from the Horn of Africa, Nile Valley, and the African Great Lakes. Its headquarters is in Djibouti City. The founding member states of IGAD were: Djibouti (founding member 1986), Eritrea (admitted in 1993 and was suspended from the bloc in 2007), Ethiopia (founding member 1986), Somalia (founding member 1986). Nile Valley: Sudan (founding member 1986), South Sudan, was admitted in 2011) African Great Lakes: Kenya (founding member 1986), Uganda (founding member 1986).

The establishment of IGAD

The Inter-governmental Authority on Development was established in 1986. It succeeded the earlier Inter-governmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD), a multi-national body founded in 1986 by Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya, with a focus on development and environmental control. IGADD’s headquarters were later moved to Djibouti, following an agreement signed in January 1986 by the member states. Eritrea joined the organization in 1993, upon achieving independence. In April 1995, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government met in Addis Ababa, where they agreed to strengthen cooperation through the organization. This was followed with the signing of a Letter of Instrument to Amend the IGADD Charter/Agreement on March 21, 1996. The revitalised IGAD, with a new organizational structure, was eventually launched on November 25, 1996 in Djibouti in September 2006, the African Union Peace and Security Council approved an IGAD proposal to deploy an IGAD Peace Support Mission in Somalia (IGASOM). On February 21, 2007 the United Nations Security Council approved Resolution 1744, which authorized the deployment of a new African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) in place of IGASOM.

Current situation of IGAD

IGAD is a principal supporter of the Federal Government of Somalia through the AMISOM initiative. IGAD expanded its activities in 2008 with initiatives to improve the investment, trade and banking environments of member states. The organization stressed the deployment of highly innovative programmes and mechanisms.

Structure

The Assembly of Heads of State and Government is the supreme policy making organ of the Authority. It determines the objectives, guidelines and programs for IGAD and meets once a year. A Chairman is elected from among the member states in rotation. The Secretariat is headed by an Executive Secretary appointed by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government for a term of four years renewable once. The Secretariat assists member states in formulating regional projects in the priority areas, facilitates the coordination and harmonization of development policies, mobilizes resources to implement regional projects and programs approved by the Council and reinforces national infrastructures necessary for implementing regional projects and policies. The current Executive Secretary is Engineer Mahboub Maalim of Kenya (since 14 June 2008). The Council of ministers is composed of the ministers of Foreign Affairs and one other minister designated by each member state. The Council formulates policy, approves the work program and annual budget of the Secretariat during its bi-annual sessions. The Committee of Ambassadors comprises of IGAD member states’ Ambassadors or Plenipotentiaries accredited to the country of IGAD Headquarters. It convenes as often as the need arises to advise and guide the Executive Secretary. This is a brief background of Inter-governmental Authority on Development known as IGAD in short. Many people might not be aware of IGAD success or achievement as an institution, but one thing which IGAD can account on was the Signing of Navisha Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, between the Government of Sudan and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Sudan People’s Liberation Army, (SPLM/SPLA), which was signed in Kenya.

IGAD’s credibility is seriously damaged by the recent South Sudan summit fiasco, when a shambolic heads of state summit adopted an ‘inclusive’ Protocol that doesn’t include most of the parties to the talks; changed, at the last minute, the text of the Protocol, virtually ensuring the SPLM/A -In Opposition) wouldn’t sign; and endorsed a cessation of hostilities implementation matrix that the SPLM/A (IO) claims it never saw, amidst such confusion that even attendees at the summit weren’t sure of what happened.  Something seriously must have gone terribly wrong within IGAD administration in Addis Ababa Summit. Even in a normal social contract of marriage; when two couples are getting marriage, it is always the subjects that signed the marriage certitificate first before the witnesses, and then the Pastor or the Priest who conducted marriage can then sign after the couples and the witnesses have signed the marriage certificate. But surprisingly it was opposite in that fiasco summit; the head of states signed the Protocol first before the warring parties could sign their document. In which the head of states have hijacked the Peace Protocol to be their own and not the warring parties.

Uganda, the bogeyman                                                                   

Since the IGAD mediation began, there has been criticism of the region’s lack of impartiality and double standard in the peace talks. How can an invaded force’s like Uganda, be at the same times a peace broker in South Sudan peace talks? This criticism, however, overlooked one crucial point: the differences between IGAD member states and the IGAD mediation run by the largely autonomous chief mediator, Seyoum Mesfin of Ethiopia. Certainly, Ugandan interests and military intervention caused and continue to cause any number of complications. Again, the Heads of state can do whatever they like, ignore the guidance of their appointed mediators and change the draft documents that appear in front of them.  While no one, save the South Sudan government, is standing up for the document today, there was broad agreement amongst all parties on 25 of the 28 articles in the Protocol on Agreed Principles on Transitional Arrangements Towards Resolution of the Crisis in South Sudan.  While the original draft was not perfect, in its original form the SPLM/A (IO), the former detainees and the political parties, civil societies, the faith base, as well as the government, would likely have signed the document. Two of the three disputed articles (Articles 2 and 3) were changed at the summit, after the draft text had been introduced. The most significant change is in Article 2. The original text provided for South Sudan’s president to serve as head of state and for the prime minister to serve as head of government, with the powers of each to be negotiated in the talks.  The final text combined these roles: the president would be head of state and government.

This change came as a direct result of the intervention of Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, who argued that a transitional government could not change the constitutional order: if the president was head of state and government now, he should remain so in the transition period.  From there, changing article 3 was a formality. The carefully crafted draft didn’t matter: the head of states have spoken by making up their minds to joint in an ethnic fight alongside their colleague president Salva Kiir Mayardit. The whole plan from the head of states is to Crash the Nuer Community from the map of South Sudan and from the map of Africa.

Summit screw-ups: incompetence, not design

The IGAD heads of state summit had two original objectives. The first was to definitively end the circular argument over the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) Agreement, dating to January 2014.  The government argued that it could not continue political negotiations until the CoH was truly in force; the SPLM/A (IO) argued it would not sign the CoH implementation modalities until Ugandan forces withdrew. The result of these duelling, intractable positions was no progress on any front. After many months, language that was acceptable to both parties – see section 1.2 (e) of the matrix – was developed, and on that basis brought to the summit for final signature.

IGAD’s incompetence gave the SPLM/A (IO) an escape from this commitment.  The operative paragraphs on the perambulatory pages of the CoH re-dedication clearly commit the signatories of the document to the terms of the CoH implementation matrix.  But in the confusion precipitated by shoddy organization and the looming departure of the heads of state, no one from IGAD obtained the copy of the matrix signed by government and SPLM/A (IO), and nobody asked either party to sign or initial each page of the matrix, as the convention of Protocol dictates. Later, the SPLM/A (IO) was able to justify that it had only signed the CoH re-dedication, not the matrix, and recommenced the same cycle of arguments about the withdrawal of the Ugandan forces.  Requested to initial the pages of the matrix in the days following the summit, and the SPLM/A (IO) chief negotiator point blank refused.  IGAD’s position is that the matrix was signed by virtue of the operative clauses of the preamble.

The second aim of the summit was to introduce a Protocol, to be endorsed by all the May 9 Agreement ‘stakeholders’ government, opposition, the former detainees, political parties, civil society and faith based leaders, which would advance the ongoing multi-stakeholder negotiations by locking in agreement on the key principles, and shaping the area for future negotiation-to end talks about talks.  The draft of the agreement originally read: “The Government of the Republic of South Sudan and SPLM/A (IO) shall be signatories of this Protocol. The other stakeholders shall endorse this Protocol; the member states of IGAD, and the undersigned Partners of IGAD and Friends of South Sudan, shall serve as guarantors and witnesses of this Protocol.”

But witnesses the signature page of the signed Protocol: it is silent about signatories and guarantors.  By oversight, not design, the hastily edited document removed the signature lines for the other stakeholders. The event was such a mess that the protocol officer’s didn’t even remember to invite representatives of the former detainees, political parties, civil societies and faith base leaders into the summit room.  Instead, they remained in the National Palace’s ballroom all day, while the summit stumbled on down the hall.  Government mouthpiece Michael Makuei gloated: ‘I didn’t see you in the hall,’ he told the former detainees and political party leaders afterwards. Naturally, the other stakeholders felt they had been purposely left out, or ignored when poor management, not purposeful exclusion, was the cause.  IGAD endorsed an inclusive agreement that forgot inclusivity, and signed an agreement in the name of stakeholders who weren’t even present.

The credibility of IGAD mediators and its Head of states,

IGAD credibility is seriously damaged by the summit fiasco signed on August 25, 2014 in Addis Ababa, but at the same time important and unprecedented, ideas are now part of the framework of the peace process. In rebuilding the process, the focus must shift to these principles: while the future today is on the mechanics of an elite, power sharing arrangement, real change was only ever going to come from the pursuit of other ideas-not in haggling over the predatory arrangements of the executive, which no matter its configuration is almost destined to disappoint whomever observes this drama too closely. Future talks will only be useful if the negotiations focus on actions and reforms in the future transitional arrangements, and not only about who wields power.[i]

On August 23, 2014 Nurye Yassin, a researcher on African and Middle Eastern affairs, wrote an article under the title: The blame game on IGAD Peace Process clashes with reality: The article was published on Saturday, August 23, 2014 by “The Reporter: Vol. XVIII.937/3 an Addis Ababa, base Newspaper. The article blame game was explaining to the readers, the slow progress of an IGAD-led mediation process to the failures of IGAD Special Envoys lacks a grain of truth and urges anyone to question their ability and creditability in the search for the right answers to this desperate situation. The pressing and deteriorated situation even tempts both optimists and doubters to question the collective capacities, capability and creditability of IGAD experts, for – example Dr. Reik Machar’s, leader of the SPLM/A-In-Opposition, and Michael Makuei’s, South Sudan’s minister of Information, recent remarks are a case in point the writer argued. For instance, Dr Reik Machar told on August 14 China’s Talk Africa that he did not see any peace to be achieved “because of the weakness of IGAD mediators.” In a similar vein, Michael Makuei told Press TV that the mediation process had not been in the vanguard of the cause of peace to helping the parties bridge their disagreements and reach an agreement on the Matrix. He added that “the problem is not the parties, but the problem is with the mediation itself.”

This kind of collective portrayal of the “weakness” of IGAD-led mediation and the failures of IGAD Special Envoys, Head of states, begs for a careful scrutiny to decipher the parties’ calculus and praxis in the coming period. Shockingly, these warring factions seem to veil their laxity in making the people of South Sudan victims in their own power play as well as get away from the inescapable imperative to stopping the carnage and terminating the further fragmentation of the nation. The IGAD Special Envoys have shouldered the responsibility of facilitating the peace process and helping the parties reach an agreement coupled with promising outcomes and developments for the better future of South Sudan and ending the crisis in line with the instructions, role and mandate given by the IGAD Heads of State and Government. This has unleashed a new era of establishing a Transitional Government of National Unity and finalizing the Cessation of Hostilities Matrix. But to the dismay of the people of South Sudan, they have failed to come up with an acceptable Protocol to both parties, and to meet the deadline in expediting the dialogue on the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity within sixty days (June 10 -August 10).[1]

The clash of personal and political interests is taking hold to hijack the hard-won freedom. It also reflects how far the then so called SPLM/SPLA liberators have departed from the arduous road of building a vibrant nation built on pluralism, inclusion, good governance, democracy and rule of law. It also shows how the aspirations, hopes and demands of the people of South Sudan, emerged from self-determination, are distilled by the personalization of governance built on corruption, inequality, insecurity, militarization, disillusionment and bad governance as well as the winner-takes–all mindset at the altar of the theater of war. This situation compels any keen observer to underpin how the warring factions seem to forget or neglect the uncompleted journey of independence from exclusion, marginalization and inequality. Or it may tempt to point out how the liberators become foundational bedrock in the making of the peripheralization of the people of South Sudan inheriting the legacy of Sudan. Put simply, the liberators become the new oppressors, betraying the hopes and needs of their peoples. This perpetuation of violence hastens the downward spiral of the survival of South Sudan to dwarfing issues of progress, inclusion, pluralism, good governance, security and a developmental mindset.

Likewise, IGAD needs to be aware not to compel South Sudanese to a wrong solution because any alien imposition of solutions to South Sudan problem will only postpone the crisis to another time. Digging deep into the flaws of the party and the prices being exacted by the people of South Sudan will undoubtedly yield the possible remedies to heal the wound and end the fragility of the nation. South Sudanese people deserve the right to development and to live freely. But this requires ceasing hostilities, expediting dialogue, listening to the hearts of the people of South Sudan, looking beyond personal and political ambitions, envisaging to bequeath a plural, peaceful and prosperous South Sudan to the coming youth, and calculating the danger of the violence in threatening the collective peace, security and development of the region.

IGAD should consider the significance of forming a panel of the wise men from the IGAD region tasked with supplementing the activities and efforts of the IGAD Special Envoys and elevating the landmark achievements gained so far to new heights. IGAD should go beyond condemning the violent acts of the conflicting parties, calling them to abide by agreements and reiterating punitive measures to salvage South Sudan from taking “the road to zero-self-destruction” and embarking on a bleak future.

Biel Boutros Biel, in his analysis on August 25, Peace Protocol, believed that IGAD is caught in a dilemma between telling the truth that may displease its Head of States and pleasing Yoweri Museveni and President Salva Kiir. Boutros, argued that IGAD members who drafted the Protocol document, drafted it with emotion specially in making a reference of who shall lead the so called ‘Transitional Government of National Unity’ and ‘Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces’ they wrote in reference to President Salva Kiir as; ‘shall be the elected, incumbent President of the Republic.’ By adding the word ‘elected’ with emphasis, makes foolery of the intelligence of South Sudanese people. However, Boutros alerted the drafters of the document that the presidency of Salva Kiir, came into question since December 15, 2013. Therefore, this Protocol has exposed the hidden agenda of IGAD Head of states that they are no any longer neutral and they have never been neutral in this crisis, in which they have no capability or credibility to bring to an end the South Sudan conflict since they have taken side in an ethnic conflict.

Another shame was again in paragraph 2 of the preamble; which purports that the stakeholders are concerned to stop the ‘senseless loss of life, mass displacement and destruction of property.’ This is quite an emotional provision and if we may ask; is there sensible loss of life, sensible destruction of property and sensible mass displacement? This unconsciousness in this document shows the realities behind the scene of IGAD.

Principle 4 of the Protocol provides for the office of the prime minister (PM) to be nominated by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement or Army-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) under Dr. Riek Machar and must be acceptable to the president, according to Principle 5, he or she shall work in harmony with the president. This is not in dispute but it needs no political philosopher to guess the intention of IGAD as to why in principle 6; they stated; that the prime minister will not be eligible to contest or stand for any public office in national elections at the end of the Transitional Period, which is ‘unfair provision, because it is democratic right of every citizen to contest any position in any election as long as she or he qualify or full-filled the requirements of the electoral commission and the National Constitution.

Why IGAD has to barred out the proposed prime minister from contesting the election when the president is qualify to subject him-self, to election this is unfair provision?

Firstly, it proves that the Protocol was stage-managed by a group of people within IGAD or without, with a mind-set of barring out the leader of the SPLM/SPLA – In Opposition, from being a part of the Transitional Government or in any future Government in South Sudan. In principle 4 above, to prove the ‘already decided matter at the back of the minds of IGAD member’ Head of states in making reference to the competence for the person to become the prime minister, a reference of ‘him’ has been made. Who is ‘him’ in this matter? Does it mean the SPLM-IO has no competent lady to take up the position?

IGAD mediators should have appreciated that, one of the principles of natural justice is that; no one should be a judge in his or her own cause. This simply means that, a person cannot sit to decide on a case where his or her interests are the subject matter and will be expected not clash with his or her official position. Commonsense would dictate that such a person is likely to favour his or her own side of the story.

This is exactly what IGAD has done. Presidents Salva Kiir and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda have their troops on the ground fighting the SPLM/A-IO, forces and with the sole aim of preventing the Opposition from overthrowing President Kiir. If IGAD allows the two Presidents to be in such summit which they rightly belong by their virtues of their positions as Head of states, then it could have followed logically that IGAD should not have allowed itself to deliberate on South Sudan’s issue when the two presidents participated and are in complete conflict of interests of preserving the position of president Kiir, versus the interests of South Sudanese people. In such situation, President Salva Kiir and President Yoweri Museveni, sit on their own case and have become judges on their own cause against the principles of natural justice. To put it blatantly, it was an opportunity for president Kiir to see a document that gangs-off, his rival Dr. Riek Machar and in fact he did it as he managed to have a provision, that slammed on the face of Dr. Riek Machar which barring him from contesting in ‘any public office in the future elections.

What are the implications of barring the ‘assumed prime minister’ from taking part in future elections?

The provision of principle 6 of the Protocol, if implemented, is very dangerous, in the sense that, it is a discrimination against individual and its spirit cannot survive Constitutional matter. It is unconstitutional and it is against the very heart of South Sudanese supreme law; which is the Constitution.

Article 14 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011, provides for equality before the law and it goes further to prohibit discrimination on the ground of race, ethnic origin, colour, sex, language, religious creed, political opinion, birth, locality or social status. In view of the above Constitutional provision, that barred out the proposed person to be prime minister from contesting in any national elections, has been discriminated on ground of political opinion and would add; social status as well. Furthermore, if IGAD, Museveni and Kiir, have in mind Dr. Riek Machar, which truly they had, then he could be assumed to have been discriminated on the above mentioned two grounds and would also include his ethnic origin because there is no reason provided and in the thoughts of Kiir and Museveni, the Nuer factor’ in Dr. Riek Machar’s situation, presumably might have played the melody in their thinking.

Under Regional and International Human Rights instruments, though South Sudan is not a party to some or most of these principles, but they should be persuasively used in this argument to show the depth of the dangers of what IGAD had doctored in the Protocol barring an individual from his or her natural right to participate. It is surprising as to why would IGAD choose to violate a known equality principle enshrined in their respective Constitutions, leave alone the International Human Rights Law.

Article 13 (1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (hereafter referred to as ‘The African Charter’) provides for one to participate in the affairs of his or her government directly or through a representative of his or her choice. In this case, it is strange that IGAD members, all of whom accepted South Sudan, as member states to the African Charter, could insert such an unpopular provision against the heart of the African Charter.

Articles 16 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), respectively provides for equality before the law and outlaw any discrimination on any ground. Specifically, article 25 of the ICCPR, like African Charter, provides for one right to participate in one’s own government. Articles 1, 2, 6, 7 and 21 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (though a non-binding law) provide for freedom and equality, non-discrimination, recognition before the law as well as right to participate freely in one’s own government and public affairs of his or her own country.[2] With all the above National, Regional and International Human Rights instruments prohibiting discrimination on any ground, it is strange that the members of IGAD allowed themselves to be misled to the extent of disrespecting clear norms of equality and instead of solving the problem they added more fuel to South Sudan conflict by making such a bad rule and by drafting such a unpopular Protocol in Addis Ababa, in trying to black mail Dr. Riek Machar and the Nuer Community.

     Other observable points in IGAD proclaimed documents

Another implication is in the implementation of Matrix and Addendum especially the un-reluctant provision of the withdrawal of the foreign troops from South Sudan, but since by concern is to point out the dangers of having an emotionally charged Protocol and imposition of a provision contrary to South Sudan Constitution, Regional and International Human Rights instrument, we have to leave it to the conventional wisdom of South Sudanese at negotiating table. But one thing to add, is the mere expansion of the current most incompetent Legislature in the region, as IGAD presupposes, serves as final insult to the South Sudanese people. The proclaimed Transitional Government of National Unity, it’s, won’t work, the two years won’t be completed without a war and the causes shall emanate from the failure of resolving the causes of the current war. Besides, it appears to that the incoming government if in fact it will come, shall be a government that consumes than develops, that divides than unites, the causes are on every wall and IGAD knows very well. Many political and military analysts predict an ongoing devastated war plus a sever famine in this coming dry season in South Sudan due to the failure of IGAD mediators and their double standard in South Sudan conflict.

In other term IGAD is caught in a position of conflicting loyalties; to please Troika countries, the donors and United Nations that threatens with sanctions any time soon. Another observation; is that it seems there are many camps whose interests are not centred on finding peaceful solution to our conflict, but to score political history hence, would continue to confuse IGAD for eternity. Another group has its interests on donors funding hence continue to design boisterous projects in claim for peace but in actual sense, are sponsored to cause a row in the negotiations so that the donors interests continue to flourish and experts continue to exist. Some more groups also seem to be concerned on how their salaries and safety can be secured in Juba. That group, will sing non-stop; ‘justice, accountability’ when in fact, they don’t believe in it, but rather singing so to avoid saying anything truthful to IGAD while others tend to project future leanings with the Opposition and still are at lukewarm with Juba regime.

While IGAD is caught in between protecting the ‘boys in the club,’ and please the sponsored ‘international agents’ it is even more complicated when it seems the body itself is not in terms or in a position of drafting its own documents, when the language clearly appears to be somebody’s else material; we can detect our wordings, don’t we? That said, IGAD is in terrible dilemma if they cannot come to their senses, they would continue to listen to dangerous ideas and advices which would destroy South Sudan. If the focus is on individuals and not on underlying causes of the conflict, we are afraid IGAD’s approach would generate more wars rather than bring peace. Peace-building, dialogue and reconciliation among the South Sudanese community are the only way forward if South Sudan can remains as one country after the December Genocide.

“Finally, a nation that lives on the myths of denials of the bitter past and uncomforted present truth, sits on a time bomb which bedevils its future. So it is a shame for all men and women of conscience to stand aloof in the name of neutrality when the whole humanity is descending into grave and near to extinction. We are therefore, convinced that, for the least of our brethren, we must choose the path least travelled and stand with those who cannot speak for themselves. Let’s focus on the causes of the ongoing civil war and resolve it amicably to help our generation and the posterity to live a life non-humiliated and with that; the rest shall fall in line. We cannot put equity on the cross for the sake of our own interests which won’t help South Sudan today and beyond. IGAD must face the reality of their responsibilities in the region if it has to continue as a regional body that can be entrusted with regional problems.

Prof. David De-Chand; a frustrated academician turned politician, also wrote a critique on IGAD Protocol on Agreed principles on Transitional, he argued that realistically the IGAD has failed its duties, responsibilities and obligations entrusted to it by the United Nation Security Council (UNSC) and the office of the UN Secretary-General, H.E. Booki Moon to address professional, effectively and efficiently the root causes of the ongoing acutely and the aggravating in South Sudan.

This critical and escalating civil war that has already involved genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, atrocities and other heinous crimes committed against humanity has not fully, honestly and legitimately tackled reasonably and more effectively in the course of the past nine (9) months of war, bloodshed and massive human suffering in South Sudan. It is now about time that African leaders must and ought to deal and to find durable, just and permanent solutions to African problems rather than looking externally to solutions on African problems. It is now about time to cut off “dependency syndrome” and the bureaucratic red tape to become more creative, assertive and critical in seeking solutions to pending African politico-military and socio-economic problems by African leaders. There were demands presented a few months ago before the IGAD mediators as the roadmap to peace and conflict resolution and all of them remained unimplemented or unexecuted, unfortunately. These demands were as follows that:-

(1) There was a demand that President Salva Kiir, must and ought to step down from power and hand over all the state powers to the governed as the final authority that all powers emanated from in any given nation-states. If and when Salva Kiir could do the aforesaid demand, the roadmap for peace would be clearer and smoother than ever before. Nevertheless, as long as Salva Kiir’s resists this demand, the roadmap to peace remains murky, grim and with no light in the end of the tunnel.

(2) Immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all foreign forces from South Sudan-mainly- Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), mercenaries and Soldiers of Fortune, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) (Tarabora), South Revolutionary Front (SRF) and the SPLM/A-North (SPLM/A-N) and any other hired foreign forces and other witchcraft men which was reported to have been hired by the authority in Juba. President Salva Kiir Mayardit has committed genocide, massacres, mass killings, which has now resulted to the current civil war which the country is facing. The loss of lives, mass internal displacement and destruction of the socio-economic infrastructure, due to the gravity of the situation in the country, the ongoing war cannot be permitted to continue amid the threats of war-induced-famine and further devastation, to end the war and to restore peace, security and political stability in South Sudan.

(3) Full explanation on the targeted Nuer ethnic group for genocide… as the gravest and the greatest crimes against humanity as declared by the UN Convention on Genocide adopted as the United Nations resolution 260 (III) A on 9 December 1948 and came into effect on 12 January 1951, and

(4) Formation of a Transitional Administration, which must be without the participation of President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

(5) Unless the aforementioned have been diligently, effectively and efficiently discussed and concluded, the roadmap to peaceful and political conflict resolution in South Sudan looks grim, doomed and gloomed. There would be of course, no peace in South Sudan if any of the preceded conditions have not been fully met as pre-requisites to peace in South Sudan.

There was also demand from the SPLM/SPLA – In Opposition that President Salva Kiir, must provide material evident of the alleged coup d’état attempt, which Uganda dictator Yoweri Museveni, stated loud and clear for the first time that “No coup attempt has occurred in Juba, saying what caused the crisis in mid-December 2013 was simply a fighting between the Presidential Guards”. President Museveni further added that “Fighting erupted when Salva Kiir, ordered the Presidential Guards Commander to disarmed Machar’s Nuer ethnicity member of Presidential Guards, in Juba” that triggered the genocide against thousands of the Nuer nationality, as a “final solution” in whole or in part. The South Sudanese public would like to know in details from Salva Kiir the root causes of the probable cause of genocide against the targeted Nuer nationality. Based on Dr. De-chand analysis, the IGAD mediators have failed their social responsibility in resolving the crisis in South Sudan. The Protocol signed encourages the escalation of the war rather than de-escalating it. Furthermore, the IGAD mediators have failed to discuss in full the issue of genocide that targeted massacred against the Nuer people for extermination as a “final solution” on 15-19 December 2013 that shall be known hereinafter as the December 15, 2013 Juba Genocide.

Cognizant, that the IGAD has failed to adequately provide appropriate explanation, it has failed its duties, obligations and responsibilities as a regional organization significantly empowered under the UN Charter Article 52 to deal with regional matters for the preservation of international peace and security and the prevention of genocide. As consequence, the IGAD mediators give the Nuer nationality the green light to undertake committing the same genocide that targeted against more than 50,000 Nuer ethnic groups in Juba alone. Further mass killings and massacres have been committed in Jonglei, Unity, Upper Nile and Bahr-el-Ghazel States. The Uganda Air Force (UAF) has used salvos or sorties internationally banned bombs such as cluster bombs, Napalm bombs and the White Phosphorous bombs with side effects to human life and environment and the ecosystem in South Sudan.

One of the factor our readers would like to know is why did IGAD, mediators have completely and totally avoided or ignored to discussions or consider in the Protocol document the issue of the Genocide committed in Juba, on December 15, 2013 when it is a gravest and the greatest crimes against humanity. The UN Security Council and the Office of the UN Secretary-General, that appointed the IGAD to mediate or to deal with this acutely and aggravating situation in South Sudan, should not be exonerated, but should be considered as part and parcel of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Firstly, the Protocol although given forty-five (45) days for the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) has been rushed, smuggled to be drafted outside of the IGAD premises, it offers no best progress and no chance for peace, tranquility, national unity and national integration and reconciliation as the way forward. Unless the IGAD mediators spin or turn the clock backward to adequately and sufficiently address the root causes of genocide against the targeted Nuer ethnic group, the roadmap to peace and the TGONU would be imperatively impractical, if not impossible, to attain in South Sudan.

Secondly, failure on Salva Kiir to step down from the helm of power and to turn all the state powers apparatus to the governed, it would be unlikelihood that the South Sudan could move forward, but we could move as if in a vicious cycle and in a snail speed to achieve peaceful and political conflict resolution in South Sudan crisis.

Thirdly, the failure of withdrawal of foreign forces from South Sudan, soil without any pre-conditions is an obstacle to peace, reconciliation, cooperation and the way forward.

Fourthly, even if peace returns, South Sudan would not be the same again. It would always remain unstable, disintegrated and disunited. It has already become a failed state and unsecured state that is moving from being ungovernable, lawlessness, and rampant corruption and the insecure state is now moving from being stateless to statelessness. Therefore, if IGAD failed to help the South Sudan sooner than later, as its seem to be the case, South Sudan, would end up disintegrating, into three Greater States: – The Greater Upper Nile region autonomous, the same with Greater Bahr El Gazal region and Greater Equatoria region, so each region would seek a political divorce from the Central Government in Juba.[3]

Inclusion:

IGAD has loss its credibility as a result of the summit fiasco, which took place in Addis Ababa on August 25, 2014. Protocol in question has disappointed many IGAD admires because the document has exposed how quick IGAD has discredited its institution from being presumed as a neutral mediator between the warring parties in the South Sudanese conflict; to become an outright partaker in an ethnic conflict by siding with president Salva Kiir, as the incumbent leader in that imposed Protocol without giving both sides the benefit of the doubt in the document in question. This is a willful premeditated plan to impose a tyrant and an illegitimate leader on the suffering people of this country. A president who have targeted a section of his people solely on ethnic grounds and exterminated over 50,000 thousand innocent unarmed Nuer civilians based on their ethnicity, should not be enabled and rewarded to remain in power as that is considered an affront to those whom he has exterminated in cold blood.

Moreover, it’s a negligent disregard to the proven 9 months old conflict mediation/resolution mechanisms throughout mankind’s vast history of quest for just solutions to conflicts. If IGAD is at all concerned about its image as an honest and neutral mediator who would still command the respect of the downtrodden people of South Sudan and all the peace loving people of the region it must shelve this bias document and continue to further redeem itself by adhering to the principle of impartiality in its mediation efforts. As stakeholders in this conflict, we care about our people and wish to negotiate a just and lasting peace to this war so that our country can experience peace and normalcy and our people can begin to enjoy dividends of peace, and be able to dialogue with one another in order to forge a national reconciliation and peace-building among the South Sudanese communities. However, IGAD needs to be serious in its quest for peace in South Sudan; otherwise, it might force the stakeholders to call for a different forum that would spearhead this important task of peace making between the two warring parties and in the region as large. (The author of this article can be reach through the following email address:

stephentut@swissmail.org)

[1] Nurye Yassin, The Blame game on IGAD Peace Clashes with reality.

[2] Biel Boutros Biel, IGAD’s Protocol and the intertwining interests on South Sudan’s, Crisis.

[3] Prof. De-chand, A Critique of IGAD Protocol on Agreed Principles on Transitional Arrangements towards Resolution of the Crisis in South Sudan.

[i] African Arguments editors, Addis dispatches (part two): Making Sense of the Sudan, Bookmark the permalink.