The SPLM/A as a tool for liberation vs SPLM as a forum to initiate and implement development, and to seek justice from. The idealized world vs the realized world.
Statement by Amb. Seyoum Mesfin at South Sudan Peace Talks
ADDIS ABABA (18 Dec.)
The chief mediator of South Sudan’s peace talks, Ambassar Seyoum Mesfin, prepared the following statement for the opening session of the IGAD-led peace negotiations which resumed in Addis Ababa today.
He said negotiators on the security committee and economic committee would meet over the next few days and then report to the mediators on 21 December. All negotiators will convene also on that date for a plenary session before another adjournment.
This address was delivered by IGAD Special Envoy Lazaro Sumbeiywo, in the absence of Mesfin, who was not able to attend the opening session.
Full text statement, 18 December 2014:
Distinguished delegates of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan; Distinguished delegates of the SPLM/SPLA (In Opposition); Distinguished delegates of the SPLM Leaders (Former Detainees);
Distinguished Eminent Personalities, Distinguished representatives of Civil Society, the Faith-based institutions; and the women’s bloc; Distinguished representatives of the AU, UN, Troika, EU, China and diplomatic community; Excellencies, my Colleagues the IGAD Special Envoys, members of the secretariat, and members of the media; Ladies and gentlemen;
Welcome once more to Addis Ababa, and to what I hope will be a productive and intense session of negotiations. I make the following remarks on behalf of Amb. Seyoum Mesfin, who is not with us here today but will be returning to Addis Ababa in a few days’ time.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
More than a year has passed since the onset of the crisis in South Sudan. Three days ago, I appealed to all the citizens of South Sudan to not be drawn into a return to violence, retribution and destruction; to not be influenced by rumours and unhelpful rhetoric, by hatred and vengeance, and to choose peace over war, harmony over division, creation over destruction and empathy over hate. The alternatives have only led to horror and tragedy. I urge you, their leaders, to make the same choices, and to bring this crisis to an end.
Let us make this the last, appalling year of horror and tragedy, and not an indicator of South Sudan’s future. Let me assure you again of the region’s commitment to help the people of South Sudan find a peace that is more than the absence of war. A peace that is meaningful, durable and prosperous. It is my hope, and my plea, on behalf of the IGAD leaders, my colleagues the IGAD Special Envoys for South Sudan, and the partners and friends of South Sudan, that the leaders and people of South Sudan make this choice, too: to consign the means of violence to history, and not to see violence as the way to resolve our political problems.
Unfortunately, fighting continues in South Sudan. Violations in Pigi and Fangak Counties have been verified by the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism established by IGAD, which has attributed responsibility for these violations to Government Forces. The Government itself has publicly claimed control of Fangak County, in violation of its commitments. I call for the Government to immediately end hostilities and respect the commitment of President Salva Kiir made to the IGAD Summit on November 7. Recently, I have also received a letter of protest from the GRSS accusing the SPLM/A (IO) of violations in Renk County. Our Monitoring and Verification Team has been instructed to immediately investigate this allegation and report to the mediation accordingly.
Furthermore, the SPLM/A (IO) issued a statement two days ago, in which their forces claimed to have escalated the conflict in the Equatoria region. Such actions are completely unacceptable and are direct violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement. The Leaders of IGAD, the IGAD Special Envoys and the international community are profoundly disappointed by these outrageous actions by the parties. We renew our call to the warring parties to fully respect the numerous commitments made to end the war. It is vital that you give peace a chance, and that the conflict end without further delay.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you recall, at the last IGAD Summit on November 7, the IGAD Heads of State and Government agreed to the request of the two Principals to conduct consultations on the question of the structure of the executive of the Transitional Government of National Unity, as discussed at the Summit.
Over the last few days, I have consulted with the Chairperson of IGAD, H.E. the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, who plans to convene a Mini-Summit imminently, comprising himself, the Rapporteur of IGAD President Kenyatta and the two Principals, to complete the Summit negotiations where they were adjourned. The date of the Summit will be communicated to you shortly. Until the Summit convenes, the negotiating teams must continue with the other outstanding thematic issues, as previously agreed at the conclusion of our last session of talks in November.
There is still much work to be done here. As you will recall, the transitional security arrangements committee and the resource, economic and financial management committee have outstanding agenda items to continue from where we adjourned on November 4. As requested, we have secured expert resource persons to assist the two committees: Mr. Jeffrey Mapendere and Mr. Richard Rands for transitional security, and Mr. Parminder Singh and Mr. Paul Lambers for the economic and financial management committee. Additionally, an expert on governance, Dr. Gheberhiwot Tesfai, of Addis Ababa University, is available to assist the negotiations on the question of federalism.
Since this session will be very brief given the forthcoming summit and the adjournment for Christmas, we must work very hard towards a positive outcome, resolve outstanding differences, and move closer to a final agreement on these thematic areas. I would request that the committees plan to report to the Envoys on December 21, to indicate the progress made so far, and for a final plenary discussion to be made on the same date before the adjournment of this session.
It is my fervent wish that this Christmas season brings peace to South Sudan, and that the leaders of the country ensure that this is the last year of unnecessary suffering for their people. Let us ensure that this session of negotiations contributes to that aim. Thank you.
By Wun de Deng
The leader of rebel SPLM/A in O , Riek Machar has proven himself as the Nuer leader not a national leader in his speech at Pagak and here I quote
‘…people are at a precarious crossroads between being and not being …the Juba genocide carried out by President Salva Kiir against his people killing over 20,000 innocent lives of Nuer people in less than a week. The massacres against Nuer in Juba triggered the present civil war…, The SPLM political dysfunction started with Kiir’s assumption of SPLM leadership in 2005’’
Riek said the war was triggered by the killing of Nuer therefore , the meaning of ‘ being and not being” is that Nuer will either defeated the government as Dinka or the Dinka defeated the rebels as Nuer, here there is no spirit of reconciliation and peace in his speech .
Riek said ‘’ 20, 000 Nuer killed in Juba’’ in media another 20,000 Nuer in UN camps in Juba, what a nonsense and a parallelism? There are no 20, 000 Nuer in Juba. .There are two reports of people killed in Juba ; UN says 800 people killed in Juba and 1300 wounded in Juba . The South Sudan Red Cross reported that 400 killed and 800 people wounded .
The claims of 20, 000 Nuer killed is nothing but false premises to incite Nuer by Riek Machar.
Riek said the ‘dysfunction of SPLM started with Salva Kiir assuming powers in 2005’ . If the dysfunction started with Kiir in 2005 . Why he ( riek) rebelled in 1991 ? what inconsistent Riekocrat?
Riek claimed to be effective , what has Riek ever achieved ? He signed Khartoum Peace Agreement , what has that agreement achieved? Nothing. That agreement gave Bashir Government powers to produced the oil,
Riek and Matiop fought over the 2% oil revenues given to Unity State , that pitied Nuer against Nuer , Bul Nuer agaist Jagey and Leer Nuer .
Riek said he fought Garang , Bashir and Salva Kiir for democracy ? if he was fighting for democracy? Then he is wrong. Democracy is the government of people, by people and for the people which is achieved through ballots in election, what Riek is fighting for is not democracy but it is Riekocracy which advocates violence , serial killing like the killing of 1991 and killing of 2013 , Riekocracy is the philosophy of violence and warmongering . it is about to ascend to power through bullet box not ballot box . This is paradoxical.
Riek said ‘’ Corruption in government – the practice of nepotism in ditching of inordinately overvalued government contract to relatives and people hailing from particular areas and to those who gave bribes was a major source of corruption’’,
Riek is best corrupt man in South Sudan because he spent his official budget of the year within 3 months by renting hotels for villagers who come in villages .,and he requested for more money in supplementary budget in this manner he spend the budget of three years in one year
Riek had been running the government since 2005 until his powers were reduced in march 2013 , so if there is any corruption took at that time , Riek is suspect number one
Riek classical case of corruption is when he gave corrupted Kenya company called GIBBS Africa contract of 200 million dollars to renovate the government houses in Juba ,the houses were not renovated but Riek took that money . Riek gave the same GIBBS Africa another unclear contract of 60 million dollars which he also took.
Riek gave his son Teny a contract called Clean Juba , why did he gave it to his son . Is this not nepotism ? it is a nepotism .
Riek Machar employed his own 7 family members in top jobs in the government , these are his wife Angelina as state minister of petroleum , his cousin Majok as deputy Governor of Bank of South Sudan , his niece Sarah Nyaulang as Minster . Is this not a tribalism? it is tribalism .
Now , Riek is saying if Wani is still a Vice President , he will not participate in the Government and his wife Angelina will be the Prime Minister instead of Taban Deng , what are all these ? they are all cases of nepotism and tribalism.
Riek is not effective leader, he is good in mobilizing his white army but difficult to control them .There is nothing good in Riek deeds and action except killing people in the name of democracy or his so- called Riekocracy
Thus , Riek’s speech was clear decoration of war , which is inciting, antagonizing , full of hatred , ethnical /tribal , political naïve and inconsistent in nature
19 days walk: The return leg
By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba
(For those who read about my journey several months ago).
It was the first time in twelve years to return to Bor. I was older; twelve years than I left Bor in 1992. So all the villagers did not recognize my face and I have to keep introducing myself to every relatives I meet. I visited uncles, aunties, etc and between January 8th and Feb. 1st 2004, I had traveled between Baidit payam and Cuei-keer.
We embarked on the walk, going back to school on Feb. 3rd. This time, we were five. My colleague Mach Ayuen and Majok Mangok, Makuei Mayen were joined by another man I could remember as Mabior. After crossing the Nile River using a canoe to Gulyar (UN agencies call it Mingkaman right now after IDPs crossed from Bor in Dec. 2013 to that area), we had lunch and left at about 3pm facing the sun heat. By 11:30pm, reached a notorious place where local youths are pronged with robbers and we decided to sleep in the nearby bushes. At around 2am, we took the advantage of darkness and dashed through the village. The poor boys were deep asleep.
At about 4am, we were in a middle of the forest and the weather became so wild — extreme coldness. It was all the same — walking or sitting. It is one of those nights you won’t think of having somebody by you for any reason. Well, in the middle of that forest, those thoughts are weird.
At about 7am, we reached a cattle camp known as Kamooc. And remember in those days, human being were worse than beasts. But in this case, we had no alternative. We can’t just avoid them because need to recharge our batteries — I mean bellies. We had our flour. We were not fools to be empty handed. Tired and exhausted from long walks, we thought of requesting one of the girls from the cattle camp to cook for us but her dressing code scared us to death. We decided against hiring here. The men from the cattle camp joined us and engaged in an uncalled conversation. Here is how one man started:
Mabior: ‘My name is Mabior and my mother is from Bor. Where are you from?’
One of us: ‘We are Bor. Which section is your mother from?’
Mabior: ‘Which section are you from?’
One of us: ‘Four of us are from Ateet, Makuac payam and the…(interrupted).’
Mabior: ‘My mother is from people of Anyuat. You’re my uncles. I hope every one is doing well in Bor! By the way when will John Garang sign the peace we are hearing about?’
One of us: ‘We don’t know yet.’
Mabior: ‘I am asking because one of us can resume his usual work.’
(If you have ever traveled through this route, then you don’t have to ask what this man is referring to when he said “usual work”).
One of us: ‘You don’t have to resume your usual work because peace is just around the corner. In fact, I heard last night on radio that it will be this week or early next week.’
Having foiled his attempt to rob us of the small belongings by offering assurance that comprehensive peace agreement is around the corner, this man sat down and continued in his conservation in styles.
When our posho (Tearz A-un call it Uugali in Kenyan tongue) was ready, we asked him to help us get milk from the cattle camp. This was an opportunity, unknowingly, to trap us again. He hurriedly ran to the camp and returned with about five young men and women — each one holding a two litter container of milk. They placed their utensils down and waited for the pay. We ask how much each cup cost. They said twenty dinars (about twenty South Sudanese pound today). That would be about 100 dinars in total. We did not have that money. So we said we would buy only one tin to which our sellers vehemently refused. If you have read commerce, then you must shocked too.
“Ciek ke wuong ace dhuk nhiim,” one of them said — (milk from the cow cannot be returned).
These people thought we are not cattle keepers too. But we saw the writings on the wall. This was just an attempt to ignite a cruel and cause commotion to fight. We caught them off guard. We knew this strategy.
“We shall call you back after having eaten our lunch. So go back and we will come,” one of us told them and they went to the kraals.
We ate our food and decided to sell some cloths to them to be able to pay for the milk. We took some short-trousers to them. I and Majok were sent to convince the young men t buy our cloths.
Majok, a creative person, made a life-saving thought.
“Who is the strongest wrestler in this cattle camp,” he called out when we met the young men.
One of the identified himself and came forward. Majok handed him the short-trousers and asked him to try on. It was his size. He jumped up and down several times and the other men were excited how handsome he was in his brand new cloth. They asked us how much each cost. We said 40 dinars each…meaning 160 dinar for the four.
“We don’t have money right now,” the said.
“We can discuss that later. We are going to wait you in the shade and after your lunch, please join us there,” Majok said and we left.
For your information, that was our last meeting with those guys. We left those useless cloths with them. If you think we’re cowards, then you don’t know how many people have been killed on those journeys robberies. By 3pm, we were 20 k away. At that point, another notorious place called ‘Mabior’ we met a gang. This time, we were not lucky enough and our of colleagues was caught. We tried to negotiated his release — of course standing about 20 meters way from each other, but the guys refused to let him with us for two hours. The condition being that we must first sit down, be searched and pay for ‘migration.’ We argued that we are not migrants because we are Sudanese and this is Sudan land. To them, we are from Bor and they are from Aliap….different nations.
At last, they took his blanket and some cash he had and released him.
We thanked God he wasn’t hurt but blamed him for not listening to our instructions. The rules were that no one should sit down when we meet strangers. He disobeyed the guidelines and paid for his mistaken.
We headed for another long journey to Tali — the same evening. By 11:30pm, on January 4th, 2004, we were in Tali.
The following day, we took a pick up car and reached Lui, currently in Munduri county (Western Equatoria state) by mid-night. On Feb. 6th, 2004, we reached Yei town and continued to Koboko, Uganda, on Feb. 7th, 2004 — five days after first academics term began and went back to school.
As for me, I did not to attend classes fully until March 21st, 2004 when I finally got school fees. I failed to get school fees in Bor and in my dairy notebook, I said it was “a long journey without gain.” Today, I should called it a successful trip because I managed to complete my senior four that year and I am a different person after that journey. Totally different before I embarked on walking for days. It has changed my understanding, thinking etc.
THIS WEEK IN 2013: A BAD EXPERIENCE!
By KON Joseph Leek, Juba
You know why I am putting my dowry article on hold? Wait a minute, catch your breath for a second and raise your head, raise it high and higher and think, think deep. I believe you will never fail to remember that, “this week in 2013” is one of the horrible weeks South Sudan has ever experienced.
It is one of the lethal weeks that came after the third week of August 1991, when Wurnyang Gatkek Luom (just like Dak Kueth) enticed the Dei’E-Boor aka White army to attack the land of BOR under the false believe that they would not die in the confrontation. He [Wurnyang] told them that, ‘go and attack, you will get the cows and none of you will get killed, and though you are shot dead, he added, ‘you will resurrect in your luak [luak, in Dinka and Nuer; is a big grass thatched house for keeping cows; a pen or byre but bigger than byre – whites do not have it].
He convinced them by slaughtering an ox and raised it to life again hence inflicting confidence in the hearts of his apostles-the white army, that they would die and rise again like the slaughtered ox. They proudly moved around nodding in satisfaction.
The hoodlums [Dei’E-Boor] however majestically and fearlessly matched to the land of Bor some went to Pigi where they successfully killed, maim, kidnapped and looted cows, destroyed their crops [by cutting them down] and houses
Dr. Riek 1991 mission was accomplished. The executer [the main campaigner and mobilize-Wurnyang] did his best.
Children, women and elderly were killed and displaced. The youths in Jieng-Bor were earlier mobilized for military training by Jok Reng to participate in the main war [the one with the Jalapa], this made it easy for the white army to get just a drop of resistance.
If it was not for Commander Salva Kiir, Nyuon bany, Kuol Manyang together with their juniors who repulsed them one and half year later, the number would have tripled the exact number that died.
What I do not know is if some of them [the white army] who died during their killing spree and robbery did actually rise from their luak as Wurnyang claimed. I tried to at least get one as an evident but not even a single soul – Wurnyang Gatkek Luom was wrong anyway!
After 1991’s Wurnyang, arose another Wurnyang in 2013 in the name of Dak Kueeth Deng Mayen-aguem-biai [ a Dinka from Duk-payuel as I am, migrated to Lou-Nuer, currently living in Gogoo, cieng Cuil] Obviously in a completely different image hailing from the same area of Wurnyang 1 [1991’a Wurnyang] though from different counties. The self proclaimed land of the strong and brave
Wurnyang 2 aka Dak Kueeth could tell the Dei’E-Boor that he who refuses to join the force against the government would die alone of unknown sickness and he who joins should not die, I am yet to find out what he demonstrated, like Wurnyang 1 who slaughtered an ox and raised it again to make the youth believed him.
I heard that his [ Wurnyyang 2 aka Dak Kueeth] powers have started fading out now – wherever they get those powers!
He is strong at war prophesy and solving myth despite the fact that he cannot raise a slaughtered cow from death as Wurnyang 1 but still, he is a role model.
Though Christianity has flooded the modern era, many still believes in idols and witch doctors. Unlike Wurnyang Gatkek Luom, Dak Kueeth Deng Mayen-aguembiaai is a Christian, christened David [and he is the top witch doctor in the area] – he deserves my forgiveness together with his acolytes anyway, Riek Machar included, that is if I was the world. ‘Why should you forgive them’? Invincible person to me who may be reading this might ask, but it is because in this era, if you get where many still believes in Witch crafty including a full Doctor of philosophy then pray for such group. They have a problem bigger than the one you are even watching, big under-covered problem that needs to be un-Earthed and uncovered totally and redeemed or heeled forever.
This week in 2013 was the most horrific week Junub has ever witnessed. It was a week the first signal gun was shot in Giadah and uniformly responded in every part of Juba. The bullets were not shot in the air as fireworks signaling Christmas but proportionately and levelly horizontal at the human target, target aimed to kill, to kill a fellow human being-a South Sudanese moreover! No mercy!
Our beloved Country was wild and lawless. ‘The country was being saved from the wolves and jackals who wanted to over through the legitimate president and government’ as many could say. Whereas the accused in the hiding claimed a no-coupe’-attempt and declared the rebellion at the same time. Very contradicting! Isn’t it?
It was a week there was a stampede, stampede caused by a run, run caused by gunshot, gunshot caused by SPLM confusion and madness [they call it power struggle within] every one ran as fast as he/she can, scared by the whizzing of bullets and fall of the people shot dead, running like a boda-boda, stumbling, bobbing, sliding, limping and jumping, falling, rising up, zigzagging and dodging, pushing and shouting no specific direction to run, but to the bush and UNMISS.
It was the week corps was the daily sight. Decayed and rotten corps, lying by the road sides like logs, lying in the gardens, fences and in the open as they if were intentionally displayed
It was the week of flee, fleeing to Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia and the few who did not flee stay stacked in their rooms under their beds, stand-still like developing ant-hills. Bitten hard by hunger but could not move out to cook or shop because of fear, fear of death-unintended bullet can mistakenly enter one’s belly when you are not completely prepared and ready for it. All shops were closed and insecurity reaching the melting point in the mighty cities of Juba, Bor, Malakal and Bentiu.
It was a week of agony in Juba and greater Upper Nile. Tears were the visible phenomenon, carried as eye-lids, eyes heavily dripping and leaking like swamps. Many praying to God how this epidemic should end – it is now something of infinity, here to stay. Long and hard – it has become a game, apolitical game of course! Made a project, a project to fulfill the needs of the aliens-world powers possibly! And our leaders [both sides] do not seem to care.
The recent government’s commitment to end the war is again being frustrated and thwarted by the rebels.
The war which started in Juba on 15th December 2013 and spread to the other parts like wild fire cannot go unnoticed. Everyone, I believe recalls it, for it indeed is the genesis of the current crises but some opportunist, none-truth-tellers wants to manufacture a lie out of it and make it theirs.
August 1991 and December 2013 are Junub Sudan’s bad experience. Worse of us is that we do not learn from the mistakes of the past, December 2013 could not happened for we could have learned from 1991.
Apology is even not any remedy to what one did in the past, for Riek Machar could not have taken up arms again and lured the civilians to joining the war.
Please, end the war and save the few lives left…….. and we do not want your apologies anymore, for your apologies marks the end of one episode of violence and becomes the start of another deadliest episode
God save South Sudan.
The writer is an in independent journalist and a commentator on contemporary South Sudan; He can be reached on; firstname.lastname@example.org & 0955091449
TWO YEARS ago, the newborn nation of South Sudan represented a rare foreign policy triumph for President Obama, largely because of the president’s decision to lead from the front. When an accord laying out a path for Sudan’s largely Christian south to separate from the Muslim Arab dictatorship based in Khartoum threatened to unravel, Mr. Obama appointed two special envoys, attended a United Nations meeting on Sudan and dispatched then-Sen. John F. Kerry to lay out a detailed “road map” for Sudanese leaders. The result was a successful referendum and the July 2011 birth of a new nation of 8 million people.
Now that achievement is in danger of crumbling, thanks to the wretched behavior of South Sudan’s leaders. Rather than use the country’s abundant oil revenue to build up one of the world’s most undeveloped territories, President Salva Kiir tolerated corruption, engaged in proxy wars with Sudan in disputed territories and feuded with his vice president, Riek Machar. On Dec. 15 Mr. Kiir accused Mr. Machar of attempting a coup, arrested 11 senior officials and tried to disarm members of the presidential guard belonging to Mr. Machar’s Nuer ethnic group. This touched off fighting across the country between supporters of the two leaders, largely divided along ethnic lines. Mr. Kiir is from the majority Dinka group.
On Tuesday, the two leaders, under pressure from African leaders and the Obama administration, agreed to begin negotiations. But the fighting continued: A Nuer “White Army,” believed to be under the control of Mr. Machar, was said to have captured most of Bor, a town that has changed hands three times in the fighting. Thousands are believed to have been killed, and the United Nations says 180,000 have been displaced in just two weeks.
To its credit, the Obama administration again has been actively trying to broker a solution. A new envoy, Donald Booth, had met with Mr. Kiir four times in eight days as of Tuesday, and he has been on the phone with Mr. Machar. The United States has considerable leverage, having supplied South Sudan with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid. Just as influential are Ethiopia and Kenya, whose presidents have pushed for negotiations. But Uganda’s leader, Yoweri Museveni, has tilted toward Mr. Kiir, a longtime ally. On Monday he threatened to “go after” Mr. Machar if he did not agree to a cease-fire.
In fact, foreign intervention in the fighting might make the conflict worse. What’s really needed is pressure on both leaders to pull back their forces and begin negotiations on a more lasting political settlement. They should agree to contest South Sudan’s leadership in elections scheduled for 2015, not on the battlefield. In the absence of such a compromise, South Sudan could slip into an unrestrained ethnic conflict. As nations new and old can attest, such bloodshed can take on a life of its own.