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74 domonistrationCalgary

South Sudanese Canadian protesters support the UN’s present in South Sudan

CALGARY - Some hundreds of South Sudanese Canadian protesters took to the streets of Downtown Calgary today supporting Hilde Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) for protecting the lives of innocent civilians targeting by President Kiir’s regime particularly Nuer Ethnic group.

South Sudanese Community in Calgary applauded Hilde Johnson for Saving Innocent Civilians’ Lives in South Sudan. Under the theme, “we support the UN’s present in South Sudan” in a rally held before the City Hall, Downtown Calgary, the South Sudanese Community in Calgary has come out on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, to condemn the government of south Sudan for disrupting and harassing the UNSS’s operation/staff, denying them access to saving the lives of the people impacted by the ongoing violence in the country.

The community condemned the government of South Sudan in the strongest term possible and as well called the International Criminal Court (ICC) to bring to trail Dictator, Salva Kiir, for committing genocide against Nuer Ethnic group in South Sudan. Salva Kiir has committed a gross crime against humanity, by killing 17,613 (sudantribune website) Nuers in Juba, South Sudan alone. Overall, the violence has almost claimed more than 50,000 civilians throughout the country. “We the South Sudanese Community in Calgary have no heart to stand in support to the Killer (Salva Kiir)” they said.

Therefore, “Salva Kiir Mayardit must go and be brought to justice” the message continued. Also, the community is angered by the government’s move calling for the resignation of Hilde Johnson, the UN secretary’s representative, for protecting the lives of the innocent civilians trapped in the UN Compound across four States namely Central Equatoria, Jongle, Upper Nile, and Unity and “without Hilde Johnson, more lives will be lost and so we denounce such move and welcomed the UN’s operation,” according to the statement seen by the Upper Nile Times. The community also called on the UN, EU, AU, and the rest of International Community to quickly bring peace to South Sudan.

The community also condemned President Yoweri Museveni for not playing neutral position, and as well, for taking side in South Sudan conflict. President Yoweri Museveni has done something similar to what President Charles Taylor of Liberia had done against Sierleonains. Therefore, the South Sudanese Community in Calgary urged the international community to condemn his involved and to possibly urge the ICC to bring both dictators to the International Court of law. The community also urged the UPDF to quickly withdraw from South Sudan to prevent Regionalization of War. Ugandan themselves must rise up and condemn this baseless move President Museveni has done, by deploying Ugandan soldiers to die in South Sudan.

The community applauded the move taken by President Obama to quickly impose sanction against South Sudan Government for committing genocide and for continuing to kill innocent civilians across the country. President Kiir is heartless and does not care about South Sudanese civilians. His interest is to only protect oil, therefore, such President has no base in the mind of South Sudanese community at large.

Thus, the only solution is for him (Salva Kiir Mayardit) to resign so that peace can prevail. Failure to doing so would only jeopardize the will/aspiration of the South Sudanese community home and in the Diaspora.

deng-alor-ps

Deng Alor Kuol, South Sudan’s dissident negotiator

The former cabinet minister who was arrested on charges of coup plotting on 16 December is now party to peace talks in Ethiopia and calling for a transitional government in South Sudan.

Standing Six foot ten inches tall, welcoming hand outstretched and softly spoken but with a beaming smile, Deng Alor Kuol does not come across as the coup-plotter type.

Yet it was his arrest with 10 others on 16 december 2013 in Juba on this very charge that triggered the implosion of the South Sudan government and weeks of murderous fighting.

There must be a new political dispensation that will be able to reconcile our people and chart the future

“We were arrested not because there was a coup [...] there was no coup,” Deng told The Africa Reportin Addis Ababa, where he is now trying to negotiate a political settlement with rival politicians and military commanders.

The fault lines in the conflict – between the supporters of President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his sacked Vice-President Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon – emerged immediately after the arrests and threaten to destroy chances for stability in Africa’s newest nation.

The failure of Salva’s government to build a united and professional military has caused the army to implode, with one faction broadly backing Salva and the other backing Riek.

So bad is the situation that at least one of the opposition factions, called the White army, is beyond Riek’s command, although he mobilised it in the first place.

Deng, a former cabinet affairs minister in Salva’s government, is now playing a key role in trying to deal with the political disputes that sparked the fighting.

Deng’s group wants an interim government headed by an independent politician who would then prepare fresh and credible elections.

Highly critical of President Salva’s centralisation of power but opposing Riek’s military campaign against the government, Deng insists there must be wholesale reform of the governing Sudan People’s Liberation army and Movement (SPLA/M).

“The crisis that we are facing now originated within the SPLM leadership political bureau over issues of reform, transparency and democracy,” insists Deng.

“We wanted reforms, we wanted democratic changes, and [Salva] and a group of other members in the leadership didn’t like that.”

After pressure from regional leaders meeting in Addis Ababa for the African Union (AU) summit, Salva released seven of the 11 detainees including Deng into Kenyan custody.

Now they are in Addis arguing for an interim government led by neither Salva nor Riek.

“There must be a new political dispensation that will be able to reconcile our people and chart the future,” Deng insists.

He says this interim government should review the constitution and investigate human rights violations since 15 December.

He refers to an AU commission of inquiry, but there is no agreement yet on its terms of reference and what judicial powers it might have.

Deng says he is saddened by the schism with Salva, whose “leadership style is not as democratic as I thought.”

Salva was a family friend with whom Deng, other former detainees and the late John Garang de Mabior had founded the SPLM.

Together they fought a long and brutal civil war against the Khartoum regime and then brokered a difficult peace.

However, Deng is hopeful they can break the impasse in South Sudan: “It’s very difficult for any party to win this war and impose a solution. The only way is a political solution. I don’t think the parties that are fighting
can sustain this war.”

He gives a rueful smile and concludes: “Our people have gone though this fighting for a very long time. We don’t think we should take them back to the same misery and the same suffering.”

Where to, from here?

Towards the Death of the Nascent Nation

America will never be destroyed from outside. If we falter and lose our freedom, it will be because we destroyed ourselves alone”_ Abraham Lincoln.
 
 

Where to, from here?

Where to, from here?

By Stephen Par Kuol: Just like it happens in the institution of marriage, death can also do nations apart.  The so known as citizenry (not the geophysical unit) is the human entity we call “Nation”. Being mortal as they are, nations are born and die .South Sudan was born on July 9, 2011 and can die any time sooner or later if the founding ideals that gave it life in the first place are not meticulously nurtured and safeguarded. In another word, life span of a nation is solely dependent on competence or sobriety of the political leadership entrusted with its endowments and security.  Comrade Edward Lino in his recent article entitled: “A Look at Ourselves the Way We Know Not” made the following delicate observation to depict the ongoing crisis in the country: “So sad did we learn even nations could be lost when we encountered the wise closing their eyes not to witness endowments swishing to a direction through which they fear things might disappear”.  True, even the independent and sovereign nation can be lost. Of late, Kiir and the company have been vocally citing the sovereignty as the sole power of state to shield tyranny but that is old school of diplomacy. Sovereignty is a possession of the people. Hence, you can not use it to kill the people and still claim that the nation is still a live. Like the humanity itself, sovereignty is vulnerable and mortal. The anal of world history is littered with several nations and empires that once lived but died and are still dead. The former Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Tibet, Catalonia and Kurdistan are in that inexhaustible list of dead nations. It is called demise of sovereignty in the language of the international law. Our African continent is full of nations in their deathbeds at the time of this writing. Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Central African Republic are currently in critical care units, if you will. According to the recent failed state index, South Sudan is one of the four most dangerously unstable countries in the world today and the December 15, 2013 tragedy proved that valid.

Having reached the point of no return in the decay of political militarism within the liberation movement turned- ruling party,( SPLM/A), South Sudan was plunged into a comatose by its own political leadership on December 15, 2013. The rest is history. All we have come to know is that dreams and hopes of so many millions who have invested so much in the leadership of the said liberation movement were dashed to ashes when the hell broke loose leading to a genocidal death qualitatively akin to that of Rwanda. It was an organized savagery in which the so called democratically elected President resurrected the ghosts of ancient inter- tribal feuds buried for years with a vengeance that turned the nation into a society of murderers. Neighbors killed their neighbors and soldiers in the army lynched their comrades in arms. Under the jungle state of emergency declared by the President, hailing from Dr. Riek Machar’s ethnic group became a death sentence without due process . Those who share racial features and tribal marks with that ethnic group equally paid dearly. The President who kept reminding the nation of 1991 inter-communal violence directly commanded his Dootkubeny tribal militia from the presidential palace to commit genocide, military vandalism, heinous war crimes and crimes against humanity in the name of fighting a fabricated coup. That operation of shame directly commanded by the Commander in Chief, sidelined the National Security and the Army dismantling the very core foundation of our historical national liberation army(SPLA).To many of  our  people, that was a crude treachery to our liberation heroes and heroines who died together to bring us the freedom we lost on December 15, 2013. Our martyrs under the heroic leadership of Dr. John Garang De Mabior must have been rolling in their graves to see the surviving leadership of the revolution shamelessly allowing their sacrifice of blood and treasure to go in vain. Even more agonizing is the plight of those who returned home limbless with lives shattered from physical and mental wounds of war.  I particularly feel for those who are physically confined to wheel chairs because of the struggle, war widows, war orphans and majority of our people condemned to illiteracy by the war of liberation and that failed leadership in Juba. Thus, I had to write this piece to mourn the eminent death of my nation, a nation I voted with my feet to liberate at tender age and defended with my pen at this age from overt and accelerated destruction.  With this, I sadly acknowledge that the darker forces stronger than many of us have overcome concerted efforts by millions of patriotic South Sudanese to maintain the fabric of our hard- won republic. That is what I hinted in an article entitled:  The Republic as a Responsibility stressing the vitality of collective responsibility to keep it a live and healthy which is remote and hopeless as things stand now.
Evidently, Kiir Kuethpiny Mayardit and the coterie at the helm do not want to read the writings on the wall that like all nations that died violent deaths, South Sudan can be relegated to the dustbin of world history at any time now in their bloody hands. One is well aware that talking about the death of the nation we all gave live and love is psychologically unacceptable but it must come home to all of us that death is doing us a part. Experiences and experiments else where like in Rwanda and Yugoslavia have proven that the premeditated death known as genocide inflicts deep scars on the collective psyche of the nation. Genocide breaks the socio-cultural fabric of the society in question. It is a violent social earth quick that shakes the very core and threads of nation’s existence (trust and confidence). I have always held the opinion that South Sudan is trust. Once that is broken, the nation ceases to exist and that is what genocide has done in South Sudan. Genocide breeds deep-seeded mutual mistrust, victim mentality and collective denial of the death itself. The criminal psychology of genocide is a vicious cycle of self-destruction that endures and rages to kill the nation in question at the end of the scores.   Genocide traumatized nations like South Sudan do not stand to honestly face the filth and the ugly face of genocide. They rather tend to live under perpetual denial and collective defense mechanism that does not help the cause of both the victims and offenders.  That is why even well documented crimes like Holocaust in Nazi Germany and the genocide in Armenia are still denied by some racist bigots. I have been reading some writers from the government fraternity defending the genocidal death by equating the genocide in Juba with the revenge killings that ensued afterword. True, as Comrade Morris Yoll asserted, “the death of all, whether in Juba or any other parts of south Sudan is death that must be condemned”. However, what is deliberately kept under the carpet is the cold truth that those deaths were caused by that premeditated deaths (genocide) ordered by the President of the Republic in Juba. Hence, the logic of cause and effects has it that the criminal responsibility of all those deaths still weighs heavier on the President of the Republic who planned and executed that barbaric campaign of death and mass-killing. All the other deaths were collateral damages that are difficult to control even under the simple law of physics.
We can read this article and other relevant literature on nation’s death and state failure but it will do little justice without asking the following questions:  what kills nations and what is the common cause of nations’ death?.  Well, empirical researches in this field have arrived at a scientific conclusion that all the collapsed and failed states in Africa and beyond were ruined by coconut-head despots like Kiir  Kuethpiny Mayardiit of South Sudan. The Despots first kill the state and the state failure leads to the death of the nation. Despots are nearsighted creatures who see things only through the spectacles of power games and brute force to cling to morally bankrupt political power.  The despots and their vampire sycophants don’t care even if the country collapses over them as long as their pond is secure. The despotic regime as we have seen in South Sudan will eventually self-destruct from within largely owing to internal-contradictions and divisions but it can eventually take down the nation to the grave with it at the time when no body can save its last breathe.
As analyzed afore, under Kiir, death is doing us a part. The man is good for nothing but cold blood killing and military vandalism using foreign mercenaries to set his own town like Leer, Bentiu and Malakal on fire. One South Sudanese politician who worked with Kiir since the liberation period described him as a typical village tyrant. I would rather describe him as Idi Amin of South Sudan.  In my book, mediocrity, sloth, godlessness, cowardice, using the law selectively or ignoring it, hopeless corruption and ruthless inter-tribal violence will define the new country under Kiir Mayardit. In South Sudan today, the government has morally lost the reason for its existence as it becomes a source of insecurity for the populace. General Salva Kiir has subjected the nation to a police state and red terror in Stalin’s fashion. Fear and violent death lurks on every nook and fissure of our social firmament. Development has gone with the winds. Hunger, ignorance, poverty and disease are presently ravaging the land, while the government bulks feebly before it, incapable of arresting its rampaging onslaught on its subjects. One ethnic group in the country is lumped together as coup plotters or fifth columnists and left only with the choices to die in cold blood, wage a war of survival or take refuge in UNIMISS camp where future is never certain. In this political thuggery, the president has murdered over 20,000 of his voters mobilized by none other than his Running Mate and the Deputy he plotted to murder on December 15, 2013 but still claims legitimacy by virtue of being elected in the year 2010 and mandated in the year 2011 to continue up to the year 2015.   This defies logic and common sense if common sense is ever common. That is why we are adman that Kiir Kuethpiny Mayardit must leaf us a lone if we are to avoid the eminent death of our nation. Otherwise, our destiny is one like conjoined twins. Only death will do as a part. That is why we must all work hard to avoid this collective death. As we seek peace and reconciliation, let’s meet each other halfway, understand, compromise, tolerate, love, share, listen, recognize, accept, support and ultimately reconcile without Kiir. Should that fail to settle well with all of us, then what rises from the ashes is a country that few of us will recognize, like, or learn to accept submissively and that is what I call the death of the nascent  nation.
Nyadeng Garang

Garang sanctions President Obama’s targeted sanction aimed at government officials

Nyadeng Garang

Nyadeng Garang

A leading member of South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has called on the international community to follow America’s lead by putting additional pressure on the government in Juba in a bid to help quickly resolve that country’s conflict.

Rebecca Nyandeng, widow of SPLM founder, the late John Garang welcomed President Barack Obama’s executive order that paved the way for U.S. sanctions on anyone threatening the stability of South Sudan, as well as those committing human-rights abuses.

“Somebody like me would welcome what President Obama did, because it is us in Juba who pushed the international community so hard for us being stubborn not to accept to reach an agreement, while the people of South Sudan are yearning for that,” said Nyandeng. “Those people who are suffering under the trees, those in refugee camps, none of us as leaders are thinking about them, and the raining season is almost here.”

But in reaction to Obama’s executive order, the administration in Juba accused the United States of meddling in its internal affairs by trying to influence the ongoing peace negotiations in Ethiopia aimed to resolve South Sudan’s security crisis.

Nyandeng disagreed that the US is meddling in South Sudan’s internal affairs.

“They always criticize anybody who tells them that what [they] are doing is wrong. They criticized the UN and the representative of the UN Secretary General. They don’t want to hear anybody telling them that they are making a mistake,” said Nyandeng.

She expressed regret about allegations of ongoing human rights violations due to the conflict.

Nyandeng called for more targeted sanctions to serve as an incentive for the leaders in Juba to find a solution to the conflict.

“Individual sanctions [are] very important, because the government is doing what they wish. If there is no pressure they can be stubborn at the talks in Addis Ababa [Ethiopia]. But if there is international pressure, I think they would listen,” said Nyandeng.

Some observers have called for targeted sanctions on officials of both the government as well as rebels allied to former vice president Riek Marchar.

Nyandeng however says additional sanctions on senior officials of the administration are likely to expedite the peace negotiations.

“The government has been stubborn because the international community [called] for the release of all political detainees, but they only released seven and left four with one under house arrest. They are also denying the seven released detainees from participating in the negotiations and this is where the problem comes from,” said Nyandeng.

She says it is the responsibility of President Salva Kiir’s government to reach a negotiated settlement with the rebels as part of its mandate to protect civilians as enshrined in the constitution

The conflict in South Sudan started when the government accused former vice president Riek Machar of plotting to overthrow President Kiir’s administration. Machar denies the accusation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gen. James Hoth Mai

His he a professional soldier or a political tactician weighing survival options?

 ‘’Is he a professional soldier asserting independence of the army divided by ethnic loyalties or a political tactician weighing survival options at the military helm, asks Deng Vanang?’’

Gen. James Hoth Mai

Gen. James Hoth Mai

By Deng Vanang: The double edged question posed above vividly reflects the hard times General James Hoth Mai is currently sailing through ever since the beginning of 2013. Probably this period marks his most trying moments in his successful army career, straddling well over three decades. Married to Nyawaragak Pal Chang with children and several others out of wedlock, Hoth was born on 30th November 1959 in Manchom, Ulang County of Upper Nile State to Mai Nguth Bol and Nyakoor Deng. He began his military career in SPLA Jamus Battalion, 1983 with just strips on his once energetically youthful arms as one of the trusted body guards to late SPLM/A veteran leader, Dr. John Garang De Mabior. That was after he finished his secondary education in Malakal under the care of his undisputedly humble and kind paternal Uncle Politician Peter Lam Nguth. He briefly taught as secondary school teacher in one of the schools in the same town. Teaching was not his calling but army he was denied of joining in the former Sudan. 

With the founding of guerilla movement, SPLM/A, Hoth’s hope of pursuing the army as a career choice was rekindled. His undying love for the boot and uniform was also bolstered by his quest to topple Jafaar Mohammed Nimiery regime which denied him, like several other fellow Southerners, the right to choose and manage his future as he so wished. Joining the guerilla army he believed would one day become regular one was an opportunity he tenaciously grabbed with both hands.  Being a profession that hugely demands discipline and loyalty, it is no rocket science for many South Sudanese to know that Hoth’s ever calculated patience, cautious bravery and unequivocal commitment to the systems, even at times many lose hope in, helped him race through to the top and immovably remain there against the stark odds. General Hoth was weaned off from humble body guard by his boss, Garang into a cadet officer, effectively taking courses in several cadet schools both abroad including Cuba and United States of America as well as neighboring Ethiopia that in early years played host to the movement. He is now the holder of Masters Degree in public administration at University of Fort Hare, South Africa with about two books he authored under his belt. He is known to be a living witness of SPLM/A’s founding in September 1983 and its subsequent split between Garang and Samuel Gai Tut over the leadership and unresolved objective of the newly inaugurated movement. With Garang leading SPLM/A based in Ethiopia while Samuel Gai led Anya – Nya two that set up camp in Sudan.

In all Nuer – Dinka power struggles in which he prominently takes part, Hoth always sides with the latter, a clear testimony to his disapproving description of the Nuer political system as anarchic with little respect for leadership. The definition seems to have struck a relative but unfamiliar agreement between the quite general’s gun barrel and the pen of a British prolific writer of the Nuer anthropology, Edward Evans Pritchard. In 1986around Nasir area, he was commissioned captaincommanding largely Eastern Jikany Nuer Battalion of Yoany, after which his elder son is named, facing off with Nuer dominated Anya-Nya two that fought over dominance of Southern Sudan politics  with Dinka dominated SPLM/A. He never blinked an eye in the face of adversity to consider switching side to Anya – Nya two to which his Nuer people pledged a near fanatical loyalty. He stood his grounds firm until in early 1988 when he with then SPLA first Chief of General Staff, William Nyuon Bany, a Nuer and a group of Greater Nasir politicians Daniel Koat Mathews, David Dak Gai and John Jok Reth mediated a successful unity agreement between SPLM/A and Gordon Koang Chol led A2 in an Ethiopian border village of Kuanylou. The agreement re-integrated A2 into SPLM/A, giving stronger muscles to the latter in capturing several garrison towns from successive Khartoum-based regimes.

But the agreement lasted up to August 28th 1991 when the movement split a second time between South Sudan two leading ethnic groups, the Nuer and Dinka. With Machar renewing Nuer and other South Sudanese popular objective of self-determination for the South Sudan John Garang stood opposed in favor of fighting for justice and equality in a united, secular Sudanese state. In a sharply divided movement with huge economic devastation and high death tolls where almost every Dinka and Nuer turned against one another, Hoth remained unshaken and resolved to stay put with his boss, Garang. Hoth rubbished a public rumor peddled on BBC focus on Africa in 1996/7 that suggested he shot dead at a closer range his boss of 15 years in a heated argument in the bushes of Southern Sudan. Nevertheless, the rumor mill traced to covertoperations of Sudan government intelligence service adversely failed to affect the close relationship of long time friends. As another sign of still wading through troubled waters around the same period, Hoth virtually became persona non grata in his home area of greater Nasir where SPLM/A Mainstream lost every foothold to Riek Machar’s faction for twelve solid years.

He reunited with his people once again when two factions reconciled and became one in January 2002 with Garang retaining leadership and original name of the movement SPLM/A while losing vision of the movement to Machar who became second Deputy after Garang and Salva Kiir, both Dinka. That is from originally fighting for justice and equal opportunities for all Sudanese, Arabs and Africans, in a multi-racial, cultural and religious country to that of self-determination favored by Machar. The 1991 split also changed the movement’s repressive nature in response to Machar’s aspired democratic principles. The unity between two powerful forces in the South threatened the Arab regime and helped usher in an internationally brokered Comprehensive Peace Agreement, CPA between north and South in which self-determination as the choice of majority of South Sudanese was enshrined. This time Hoth was one of the senior most SPLA field officers in the command of guerilla outfit.

In closing a dark chapter of armed struggle, Garang made his alpha and omega type of appointment that commissioned Hoth in July 2005 as Major general and Deputy Chief of General Staff for logistics among his five other colleagues. The big five constituted a Military High Command Council to steer the SPLA, which then became the standing army of the South, through to referendum in 2011. Following the death of Garang a few days later, Salva Kiir Mayardit took over all Garang’s titles as Chairman and Commander – in – Chief of SPLM/A, First Vice President of the Sudan Republic and President of the Southern Sudan self-government. With army promotions and reshuffles under Kiir saw Hoth becoming Lieutenant general and heading military operations department respectively. In May 2009 he was promoted to the rank of full general as he took over from Oyai Deng Ajak as 4th Chief of General staff of SPLA he is today.

This position was not bed full of roses. It rather put him in nostalgia of enjoying the top rank in the army while struggling to strike a balance in overseeing 2010 mid – term general elections in which SPLA neutrality as the peoples’ army was crucially demanded by opposition politicians rightly suspicious of being still SPLM party military wing. Another test caught up with five stars General was in negotiating on a slippery trajectory alongside President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar as a Vice President CPA with northern partners wanting to foil it {CPA} under any pretext that could undermine both referendum and possible independence for the South.

Towards the eve of independence declaration on 9th January 2011, Hoth with some politicians popularly referred to as Garang’s blue-eyed boys, most of whom are either in jail or in exile because of the alleged 15th December attempted coup, was unsuccessfully accused of plotting a coup to wrest the flag of an independent Country to be from the hands of the presumed independence President, General Salva Kiir. But the most sweeping storm yet to be weathered by the seasoned and secretive General even to his dad and mum, both alive and well, has been in early and in the run up to mid-December 2013 when each of the two principal protagonists in South Sudan politics, Kiir and Machar, secretly held him as a game changer against the other. Either wanted him on his side or remained neutral in an army ethnically divided into halves between them in the pitched battle over the SPLM party chairmanship. The leadership was to be contested in the same year in a party convention much delayed by several disagreements over ethnic overtones and party controversial internal ground rules. The much coveted prize would see the winner become the flag bearer of the ruling party many still believe, if it is still united, shall win the upcoming 2015 elections. That never came to past. In the ensuing struggle for political supremacy, Kiir badly courted Hoth to stand by his side as the customs demand in defense of his incumbency and legitimacy as democratically elected President in April 2010. Kiir further believed the current differences between him and Machar are an echo of 1991 split when he and Hoth were one and the same on the side of Garang against Machar.

While Machar in particular and the Nuer in general thought it wise for the army to steer clear from politics. And if need be, the blood should be thicker than water for Hoth to quash Kiir hostile tactics and help his tribesman Machar climb to power on his broad shoulders. If that failed again, Hoth should just copy the Egyptian scenario and become strong man, the heroic Field Marshal Abdel Fatah El-sissy of South Sudan as a way of restraining the two men. By so doing, he could take over power while confining them in their own homes till the next elections in which both of whom could vie on an equal footing. On 15th December when conflict erupted many Nuers still believed Hoth was on their side simply because he previously foiled many deadly arrests Kiir was alleged to have plotted against Machar since he removed him as the new nation powerful Vice President on 23rd July. A day after the violence, contrary to their popular view, the General declared his true allegiance to Kiir by sweet talking Machar’s loyal soldiers out of their last foothold in Gaeda, adjacent to Jebel market in Juba.

While in a hasty retreat as they responded to advice of Hoth they still believed was on their side in what they regarded as Kiir’s unprovoked assault, many fell to the deadly bullets of Kiir loyalists hiding behind Hoth. This was followed by massacres targeting the Nuer civilians in Juba neighborhoods including General’s beloved paternal cousin and political confidant Reath Thon Wako by members of security forces Hoth purportedly commands. This shortchanging behavior in the minds of the retreating Machar’s loyalists in the face of hellish fire, smacked off an aura of betrayal by their kinsman they erratically talk of never to forgive. Such highly inflammatory statement resonates very well with the civilians living on every inch of a far away Nuerland. In Nuer local politics what would have been Hoth’s glamorous future political career after he hangs up his boots and uniform seems grounded in a single stroke of a second before a takeoff unless serious miracle happens.

But the issue of Hoth, referred fondly by close relatives and friends as Hothnyang, toeing the line of kiir thinking and refusing to be swayed by ethnic loyalty is a subject of an in-depth political analysis. The writer thinks given his disparaging opinion on Nuer leadership, Hoth is a political tactician weighing survival options at the helm of the military that made him act in self preservation and not necessarily in support of what Kiir thought of him as described above. General Hoth as a man well informed of the goings-on behind the science of an ethnic power struggle, knew one or two things that could not make him succeed whether he paired up with Machar or neutralized him and Kiir altogether.

He knew so well South Sudan army is not like that of Egypt as highly professional, organically united and patriotic on its mission of defending common public interest. And therefore, throwing his weight behind Machar wouldn’t till the balance in favor of the latter since the two could be perceived by Dinka wing of the army as Nuers united in a takeover of power from their fellowman, Kiir and not as somebody trying to ride the country of bickering politicians bent on destroying it with unbridled political ambitions.

This zero sum game of neutralizing the two, couldn’t even strike an iota of a balance as Kiir could lose Presidency while Machar loses nothing. On that note army could be divided on ethnic lines and no longer under him, further irreparably damaging his personal credibility as an honest arbiter as well as taking away his prominent post as the army chief in a fight he was not certain of winning.

Too, General Hoth ostracized by most of his Nuer people and viewed with suspicion by his people perennial rivals, the Dinkas was aware of the Uganda army support for Kiir and which he knew its members were all over in town on that day and quite impossible to be held down by ill-prepared Nuer troops loyal to former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny – Dhurgon, current leader of the rebellious SPLM/A in opposition fully embarks on toppling Kiir from South Sudan presidency.

On the whole, this Hoth’s general line of thinking or change of attitude towards Machar could be confirmed by one of my journalistic tours of duty on 20th September before the conflict erupted when I met both him and his immediate boss, Kiir’s most loyal defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk in their offices adjacent to each other in Bilpam H. quarters. Both were in a relaxed mood and talked cordially about each other in their separate cozy and giant offices different from the picture public had painted as being at loggerheads because of Kiir and Machar divisive politics. Hoth’s warm relationship with Kuol perceived to be an embodiment of Kiir, indirectly demonstrated Hoth good relation with Kiir himself. And the rest is history.

 

 

carney-AP

U.S. to Impose Sanctions on South Sudan

U.S. to Impose Sanctions on South Sudan

White House press secretary Jay Carney. Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP

Washington, DC, April 3, 2014 (SSNA) – The president of the United States Barack Obama on Thursday signed an executive order, clearingthe way for the U.S. to impose sanctions against anyone the Obama’s administration sees as a threat to peace in the war-wracked South Sudan.

The order also threaten to punish people who target the United Nations’ peacekeepers and those who commit atrocities, includinghuman rights violations.

The move comes less than four months after fighting broke out in Juba late last year.

“Those who threaten the peace, security or stability of South Sudan, obstruct the peace process, target U.N. peacekeepers or are responsible for human rights abuses and atrocities will not have a friend in the United States and run the risk of sanctions”, the White House said.

The sanctions will include visa bans, asset freezes, among others.

The European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK), Norway, and the United Nations (UN) are also reported to issue their own sanctions against the young nation.

South Sudan’s warring facions signed a ceasfire on the 23rd of January 2014, but, both sides have accuse each other of breaking the truce.

Dr. Riek Machar

“Why Dr. Riek Machar Teny is an Acceptable Alternative

 

Dr. Riek Machar

Dr. Riek Machar

BY: WAL THOK DUOTH, South Sudan, JUL/09/2013, SSN; In the beginning I would like to remind everybody that we are not perfect and for that reason we should not expect ourselves to act like angels because a good number of South Sudanese did install a concept in their minds that when you made any mistake, you become the talk of the hours under those trees and streets of Juba city.

Yes, during the liberation war of our independence there was unavoidable death inflicted by our own making and the enemy in Khartoum. If you are a faithful Christian, you have to bear in mind that anything we encountered on our way to our total independence was not a mankind or humankind planned tragedy but bound to happen as a part of God’s punishment up on us, as it leads to freedom and freedom is characterized by sacrifices.

It’s quite clear that when you need anything in this world we are living in, you must pay a price for it, which means freedom is not at all free, it’s associated with sacrifices of our beloved people that makes as who we are today.

In 1991 there was a split in the SPLM/A, the core points of the disagreement were fundamentally focused on the conduct of the voluntary right to self determination for the people of the then Southern Sudan now Republic of South Sudan, respect of human rights and democratization of the SPLM/A, this were the historical demands of Nasir SPLM/A Faction, to be brief and precise to the point, these were the central reasons that lead to the formation of the then two groups of Nasir and Torit factions.

Dr. Machar was very clear that these points are crucial for the success in the movement and there was never going to be a short cut at all, hence self determination was introduced in 1994 SPLM Chukudum historic convention as a realization of the needs to incorporate it into the movement’s missions.

There is no leader in his/her right mind that can order the killing of his/her people, this can happen only and only if the field lost contact with the power house as it was the case in many occasions, in this situation chaos can be imminent. In situations like this, people need to be very fair in judgement of our past as all of us were victimized by the liberations struggle, which by itself speak loud and clear in the advocacy of the fact that nobody can take it as his/her own suffering.

In the first place let me convey my utmost heartfelt to all South Sudanese families who lost their loved ones in the liberation wars of independence. People were massacred by SPLA in Eastern Jikany Nuer land in Madiing in the early 1980s which is now Eastern Upper Nile state.

In 1991 and 1992 respectively another onslaught on Ayod (Yod) Gawaar Nuer land and (Nyirol) Lou Nuer land took place and these were all conducted by SPLA Torit faction on un-armed civilians mainly women, children and elderly people were collected, brought to chosen huts and burned in to huts alive some were chopped to death using machetes’ and axes. These was executed under the direct command of late George Athor, he was by then a commander under Torit faction, some commanders with him during those massacres are still alive to this day, SPLA Torit faction in 1991-1993 conducted a mass killing of over 70 officers in a cold blood death and these officers hailed from Nuer native, in this case there was a real human rights violation, the families of these people are not keeping on exaggerating this case because they knows very well that these tragedies are bound to happen in a war situation when things are in disorder. This served as an eyes opening to many who are posting their comments on Newspapers and websites, being motivated by tribal hatred without equipping him/herself with facts of the situation, therefore you don’t need to takes sides but give solution without siding with your community or your tribes men. The durable peace between our communities in South Sudan can come when there happens to be a real national peace and social healing conferences, which we can all rally behind for the search of lasting peace in this part of the world.

In 1997, Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon signed an historical land mark agreement with Khartoum government, and he (Teny Dhurgon) made it very crystal clear to government in Khartoum, he told them that if you don’t implement this agreement I will go back to bush and fight again. He was asked how will you go back and you are under our control? He told them that you will give me a farewell when the time comes; this is very rare for any rebel commander to give conditions while in his/her enemy’s territory.

In turn he did it afterwards when government in Khartoum dragged their feet in the processes of (KPA) implementation.

This is historic as this was for the first time in the history of Sudan, that they recognized and granted the right to self determination for the people of Southern Sudan, this was under Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon. Many among us cannot dispute this truth, only the people who are sick and in fact such a people may be in urgent need of a doctor’s attention. Hence Dr. Machar from his bush life up to date proved beyond reasonable doubt to be a freedom fighter, liberator, peace maker and a genuine leader who championed the right to self determination for the people of South Sudan with all his energy until we achieved the freedom at last. This should be clear, therefore, a real patriotic citizen cannot deny this outstanding truth about him (Teny Dhurgon). We must say the truth, only and only if the truth is known in this country hence, we will enjoy the total freedom.

Dr. Riek was a risk taker who always takes hardest options of leadership for his people, he can be seen in the following reflections; in 1991 after the split he initiated a reunification of the movement’s factions but Torit faction under late John Garang De Mabior used this chance as a plot to kill him (Riek) in the meeting which Garang did not show up for. Under his vision, the 2004 Wunlit peace conference between Nuer and Dinka was conducted, he was an instrumental figure who persuaded many rebels to abandon rebellion and rejoin the government for the sake of peace in the country.

He initiated peace process between Ugandan government and Lord Resistance Army in 2007, he went footing in the bush looking for the world’s most feared rebel leader Joseph Konyi in the forest of Democratic Republic of Congo and Central Africa Republic, purposely to let him understand the meaning of peace and bring to an end the Lord Resistance Army’s brutal activities on innocent civilians in South Sudan specially in the three equatorial regions.

However, in the process leading to the end of the deal, some people within this Republic felt so jealous and uncomfortable about the credit of peace agreement going to Dr. Riek Machar, secretly and intentionally told LRA leader, Joseph Konyi, that you will be arrested if you arrived Juba as he was meant to sign the deal in Juba the seat of government of Southern Sudan. Consequently the peace was derailed as Konyi did not turn up for the signing ceremony in Juba. Dr. Machar was also the chair of CPA implementation committee from the SPLM side which in real sense brought us the independence. This is to mention few things why Dr. Riek Machar is an acceptable alternative for the Presidency come 2015 South Sudan general elections; he has every constitutional right to stand for the top seat of the land like anybody else in this Republic.

Thank God, that I am from a native full of mercy, humility, zeal, patience, love and unity, we all know that Nuer land had been the epicenter of wars of liberation in South Sudan with the formation of so many liberation movements that lead to the independence of this beloved country.

Truth is bitter, but we can’t live without it. If it’s a matter of our rough road to freedom, all the leaders who were in the SPLA did commit heinous atrocities against human rights, if that is the case we should disqualify all starting with President Kiir, because he is not free in this scenario, as he held a very sensitive position in the movement where crime had also been committed. Otherwise this will implicate all our leaders, which to me they did not intend to commit these atrocities, however, Dr. Riek has done a lot to this country and his actions speak louder to the people who value the truth, for that reason he deserves to be voted in come 2015.

Let us tell the truth and the truth will set us free. I also want to denounce the Sudantribune website interaction which in every issue turns into tribal’s forum. I stand here advocating for the adjustment of this media forum, because it increases tribal hatred than at all time, and from today on, I start my campaign against this kind of discussion because it will never take us anywhere good, most of the time they luck logic.

In conclusion I would like to send my warmest salutations to all my fellow compatriots where ever you may be on this planet Earth on Republic of South Sudan’s second Anniversary.

The author can be reached by Email; walthokduoth@rocketmail.com

By:Wal Thok Duoth

UN logo

Pro-UN protestors reject Kiir bias against UN, call for UN Chief to remain

UN logoJUBA/MALAKAL/BOR: What appears to be spontaneous and uncoordinated pro-UN rallies have been reported across several towns in South Sudan as hundreds of internally displaced persons (IDP’s) have been seen pour into the streets from their UN camps chanting anti-government slogans and calling on the UN to stay.

“Hilde for President of South Sudan,” read one slogan.

Another praised UN’s role in providing the protection that - without it, according to the slogan, would have meant the murder of  the holder’s entire family.

In the past few days, several government-backed protests across country have called on the UN to stop arming the rebels with the gas canisters  – a high tech land mine that, according to the government, is capable of taking out airplanes and gunship helicopters.

In the past few days, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the government had a diplomatic fall out after the latter intercepted what it believed was a shipment to rebels, accused the former of meddling in its internal affairs.

The thousands of IDP’s who choose to sought protection in UN compounds from weapon yielding undisciplined tribal militias allied to either rebel leader Machar or fast-becoming-unpopular president Kiir do not seem to agree with the government. “Anti-aircraft landmines!! Either the rebels are too intelligent to turn gas canisters into that, or… can a landmine blow up a plane?” wondered one pro-UN protester. It is not clear how long the protests will continue or whether government will issue any statement to this regard.

Four detainees

No Evidence Ties 4 South Sudan Politicians to ‘Coup’ Bid, Court Told

south_sudanese_leaders_left_to_right_ezekiel_lol_gatkuoth_majak_d_agoot_pagan_amum_and_oyai_deng_ajak_at_a_trial_hearing_in_juba_on_march_11_20JUBA — Prosecution witnesses at the treason trial of four South Sudanese political detainees accused of treason for their alleged role in the December uprising that kicked off months of fighting around the country, on Wednesday unexpectedly testified in favor of the men in the dock.

Army Brigadier General Atem Benjamin told the court he has evidence that former vice president Riek Machar led the uprising that started December 15 in a Juba military barracks. Machar, who has denied the accusation, went into hiding when the violence erupted.

But under cross-examination, Benjamin said he did not have any evidence to implicate the four men who are on trial in the attempt to topple the government of President Salva Kiir.

The other witness, Major General Mach Paul Kuol, who is the director of military intelligence, accused former Unity state governor Taban Deng Gai of being involved in the plot.

Kuol said his accusation was based on the fact that Gai called him to ask why he had arrested a soldier who was caught in mid-December, trying to make copies of keys to an armory inside the Giada military barracks in Juba, where the fighting began.

Kuol said he found the phone call suspicious and informed his superiors.

But he also said he has no evidence that the four men on trial were involved in the alleged coup on Dec. 15.

Gai fled South Sudan when the fighting broke out and is the lead negotiator for the anti-government side at peace talks for South Sudan, being held in Addis Ababa. The government has said it has enough evidence to charge him and Machar with treason.

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The two officers’ testimonies contrasted with statements made to the court last week by Thomas Duoth, director general of external security, who said he had solid evidence that the four men on trial were part of a plan to seize power in a coup.

Lead prosecution attorney James Mayen said his team is trying to present a complete picture of what happened when the fighting erupted in Juba in December. Not every prosecution witness will present evidence against the accused, he said.

Mayen said he was satisfied with the way the prosecution’s case was proceeding. The prosecution has called six witnesses so far and will call another six before the defense presents its case, he said.

Defense lawyer Monyluak Alor called Benjamin’s and Kuol’s testimonies a victory for his side, and a blow to the prosecution case, which he said “is getting weaker and weaker.”

The special court in Juba began hearing the case against former SPLM secretary general Pagan Amum Okiech, former security minister Oyay Deng Ajak, former deputy defense minister Majok D’Agot Atem, and the former envoy of the semi-autonomous South Sudan government to the United States, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, earlier this month.

Hailemariam Desalegn, Salva Kiir, Uhuru Kenyatta

Anger as IGAD changes focus, demanding an interim government excluding Salva Kiir and Dr Riek

Hailemariam Desalegn, Salva Kiir, Uhuru KenyattaAddis Ababa – As IGAD mediators gear up for what seems to be a difficult second round of peace talks between the Government of South Sudan and rebels allied to former Vice President of South Sudan, details have emerged that the IGAD mediators are passing around a document that proposes an interim government which excludes two warring leaders of the conflict Dr Riek Machar and Salva Kiir Mayardiit. 

The document seen by the Upper Nile Times proposed an interim government that shall run for 3 years, and headed by a neutral body preferably from the group of 7 former detainees  whom have been recently rejected by the government delegation as “not part of the conflict”.
According to the document, the negotiating team of the lead negotiator Gen. Seyum Mesfin emphasised on the support the proposal gained from the member of AU, US and EU countries in order to break the deadlock to the stalled peace process. 
“South Sudanese need peace, we proposed this initiative for the warring parties to put their egos behind and work for the interest of the thousands displaced South Sudanese in many parts of east Africa and to show leadership for those mercilessly killed by both sides in the conflict.” a statement reads from Mesfin. 
The proposal wasn’t received well by either of the parties to the conflict with the SPLM in opposition saying their leader should not be included for he didn’t commit any massacre like what president Kiir did to the Nuer in Juba between December 15 – 19 last year. 
The preliminary consultations to resume the second round of talks will resume on Wednesday and Thursday.
So far, according to UN reports, more than 200,000 refugees are currently seeking humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia, 80,000 have been externally displaced to Kenya. 
The conflict has since killed more than 20,000 people with majority of them being killed in Juba by Presidential guards.