People accuse me of killing our sons and eating up people’s farm produces for nothing, but let me tell you this, our blood will be shed because I hate oppression and marginalization of our people but I will not even enjoy the fruits of this struggle. There are people sleeping comfortably right now; they don’t know the hunger or the sound of a gun. After our job is done that generation will take over; they will cut a large piece of land with pangas and sell it cheaply for a bottle of beer…I have been commanding the SPLA officers and men of various ranks in this war, many of them have paid the ultimate sacrifice. If my turn comes to pay the ultimate sacrifice, and indeed it comes, then be it. We are in this war to win or die for the national goals and objectives we believe in. I am just an officer; a commander-in-chief of a patriotic army and one officer just like many of you. If death comes my way I shall die like many of our compatriots who have already laid down their lives in this war….Cdr. Dr. John Garang de Mabioor Atem Aruai, speaking about his own mortality during the SPLM/A war
By Malith Alier, Juba
The current war raging in the country is directly attributable to the SPLM internal struggles for leadership and democracy. The SPLM as a party has not come to terms with its new status as the ruling party in independent Republic of South Sudan. It continues to operate as in the years before CPA and independence. It unfortunately continues to wear past two faces, the bush and NCP faces. The NCP face was acquired through the interim period union.
It is not hard to highlight a few instances that make it extremely hard for the SPLM to adapt to the new environment. Naturally, some changes happened to the party of liberation but it has altered little on the ground. Its late and former leader and many others who were the stalwarts of the movement are no more. However, the bunch who remained continues to stand steadfast to the bush ideals, something that is dearly destabilising and costing the country today.
Democracy in the SPLM these days is like a verse from the bible. The devil can quote any biblical verse for his own ends. That is what is happening around the world, South Sudan under SPLM included. Democracy is a mobilisation catchphrase used to gain legitimacy and attraction of western aid to poor and least developed countries mostly in Africa. A poor country such as South Sudan has no choice but to feign democracy along with all imaginable conventions like human rights, child convention, gay rights and religious rights.
These are but on the paper. The ground for implementation is lacking. The SPLM, the lead party has sadly failed democracy internally as under its various organs which exist by name only. The SPLM National Convention (NC), Political Bureau (PB), the National Liberation Council (NLC), the Youth League and the Women League are all democracy deficient. Two organs, the Political Bureau (PB) and the Youth League (SPLM YL) are in the close scrutiny of this article.
The Political Bureau (PB) is the highest political organ of the party. It consists of 27 members representing regions of the country according to splmtoday.com. It’s chaired by the party Chairperson, and two deputies to the Chairperson. Its main function is to formulate policies, plans and programmes in according to the vision and mission of the SPLM. It also has the final say in party matters including selection of members for national election as was the case in 2010 elections. It was accused in this task of cherry picking members contrary to their popularity. This was the beginning of the SPLM woes.
Another problem that afflicted the PB is the recycling of members in the government ministries. The PB members served at senior level officials in the government. Having been in the government for a long time made many officials developed a sense of entitlement. They didn’t prepare themselves for a day outside the government. This fact was shown by their coalescence around a less unify character immediately after dissolution of government in July 2013. They pretended to have woken up from their deep slumber and accused the same government they were a part for so long.
Corruption, tribalism, economic collapse, foreign policy failure, dictatorship and party loss of vision and direction were some of their belated clarion calls. This late call prompted the government to brand them as disgruntled former officials who also imagined that if they are not in the government then it must be a bad government. “if I am not there, it must be a bad government” according to minister of Information and government spokesman.
Clearly and according to the outburst of the former senior officials, it is easy to see well if one is outside the government. This is perhaps the very reason why people outside the government complain incessantly. The command a better view of the government while outside. On the other hand, the ones in the government see less clearly because they are part of the coalition of self-serving bunch of privileged few.
The SPLM Youth League is simply a one man’s show since its inception. The current chairman has all characteristics of a strongman that democracy doesn’t need. The manner he assumed the Youth League office is obscured at best. The information available is that, he was handpicked by the SPLM Chairman in Nairobi in the 90s to serve for a definite period of time. He is apparently now a chairman of the Youth League for life. It is bad for democracy and the future of this country. The Youth League is the last nail on the coffin of democracy.
It is always said that the future of the country is the youth. The youth of this country does not fit this proclamation based on the trend it exhibits. The youth is militarised, undemocratic and above lazy. The youth in form of white army kills, maims and loot civilian properties of neighbours. The Murle youth is engaged in child abduction and cattle raids of neighbours. The Lakes State’s youth is involved in revenge killings and intra cattle raids.
This is happening under the watch of the SPLM YL which lost vision, mission and direction long time ago prior to CPA. It has lost vision, mission and direction because the undemocratic leadership which at one point mobilised Kenyan police to beat up its members in Nairobi who were calling for fresh elections in early 2000s.
The despite the undemocratic nature, YL status quo seems maintainable even in 2014. The chairman continues to dominate every spectrum of the YL activities. He represents the YL on SPLM Political Bureau (PB) and parliament or NLA. Nobody wants to “educate” him on democracy and inclusivity in the affairs of the YL. Even the party leaders have come to accept this lack of democracy, lost of vision and mission in the YL as normal.
The SPLM YL chairman is the Alpha and Omega full stop. This is the genesis of the problems of the party and by extension the country. They begin in the Youth League which resembles the defunct League of Nations.
Hilde Johnson the former UNMISS chief sum up the problems facing the country as the responsibility of all the SPLM leaders. Corruption, rule of the gun with impunity and self-serving elites are in the heart of it all. That is an independent view from somebody outside the government. Until this is done, the country will still meet more trouble ahead.
The SPLM dominance is hardly a blessing for this country. The events of last December confirm this view of the citizens who see through the SPLM party. Liberation alone does not pay bills and so is rewarding impunity. Liberation is not a source of satisfaction by its self. The tragedy of corruption, rule of gun and finally rule for the elites are killing this country in its entirety.
It is up to the SPLM in which the people of South Sudan have put their trust in to revisers this unfortunate trend. it should endeavour to reverse the negative trend right away. It requires leadership, stupid!
Budget Speech for the fiscal year 2014-15
POSITION OF THE POLITICAL PARTIES ON THE TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT
- Basis of the Resolution of the Conflict
This position paper is based on the following facts and realities in the country:
- This war is devastating in terms of human loss, suffering, displacement and destruction of property as well as disruption of the social fabric between our communities. Hence, our priority is to bring it to a speedy end;
- The immediate trigger to this senseless war was a struggle over power within the ruling party, SPLM;
- There are factors that led to the rapid spread of the war the way it did. These are rooted in deficiencies in our governance system, security organs that lack a national character, weak infrastructure and absence of service delivery to our people outside towns.
- The resolution of the conflict demands national action by all the stakeholders in the country;
- Tragic as it is, this war provided an opportunity for the South Sudanese to resolve all the outstanding issues facing the country once and for all in order to bring about sustainable peace and nation-building;
- The transitional government of national unity suggested by the principals of the warring parties to offer the best chance for the people of South Sudan to take the country forward, is meant to prepare a level ground for a healthy democratic practice in our country after the transitional period by carrying out the necessary reforms in the system. In other words, to create Good Governance that is good for those in government and those outside it.
- In suggesting a resolution to the current conflict we need to be mindful of the following:
(a)- The armed rebellion led by a faction of the SPLM, SPLM/A-IO, has no legitimacy whatsoever. The only “legitimacy” it could claim stems from the fact that the government could not crush the rebellion militarily.
(b)- legitimacy is a covenant between the people and their government. Both must deliver on their part of the bargain. Therefore, if the government fails to provide security to its citizens resulting in death of thousands, displacement of a million plus, and destruction of their properties; or falls short in delivering services to them to promote their welfare, it should not behave as if it is “business as usual”. As much as the government can claim legitimacy not to be overthrown by force, it must also admit to have failed in carrying out its main responsibility in providing security (both from fear and from want) to its people and consequently must be ready to accept unavoidable changes within the government institutions, structure and leadership dictated by the need to bring this war to an end.
(c)- Sovereignty of the country is currently contested between the two warring parties; each has claim over some territories of the country. Only a Peace Agreement will restore the exercise of sovereignty to the legitimate government that enjoys the confidence of all its people.
(d)- It is the two warring parties that are capable of stopping the war since it is only they who control the means of violence. Hence, their consent to and/or involvement in the Peace Agreement is unavoidable.
(e)- However, the two parties were together in ruling South Sudan for the last eight years. This is a period characterized by failure to deliver services and to build a national security sector, just to mention two critical areas. The same period saw some SPLM leaders and government officials growing into millionaires overnight and corruption became rampant. Hence, the two warring parties alone (which are actually one political party) are incapable of playing the role of the midwife to the genuine reforms the transitional government is meant to bring about.
(f)- Hence, the transitional government of national unity must involve all stakeholders.
8. The peace Agreement to be concluded by the negotiators is to be formulated by them
into a Constitutional and Legal Framework.
9. The regional organizations, especially IGAD and AU, and the international
community, particularly IGAD partners, EU and China, stood with the people of
South Sudan at their time of need. They are grateful for this stand and expect them to
support all efforts to arrive at a resolution of the armed conflict and assist in the
implementation of the Peace Agreement.
- Tasks/Functions of the TGoNU
The purpose of the transitional government is to establish and consolidate peace, instil confidence of the people in their government and lead the country to a genuine multi-party democracy. It is of vital importance that the forthcoming transitional government should be depicted in the minds of the people of South Sudan as a Government of Reform Programme and should practically be seen as such.
The tasks/functions of the Transitional Government of National Unity shall be as follows. These tasks shall be transformed into programmes that the TGoNU shall implement:
1- carry on all the normal functions of government during the transitional period predicated on good governance;
2- implement the Peace Agreement. This includes critical reforms in the security sector, civil service, national economy, etc…These reforms will be spelt out in detail.
3- oversee an integrated process of national reconciliation and healing;
4- carry out a population census (if time allows);
5- convene the national constitutional conference that shall discuss and agree on the principles of the permanent constitution for the country;
6- produce a draft permanent constitution and put it to a popular referendum for adoption;
- facilitate registration of all the political parties and ensure a level democratic field for them consistent with the basic principles of multiparty democracy;
- ensure the active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life through the exercise of fundamental freedoms, independent judiciary and the media;
- revitalize agriculture and create sustainable rural livelihoods by directing oil revenues to rural infrastructure and agricultural development;
- invest in service delivery such as health sector, education, water and infrastructure;
- the diplomatic service, consolidation of relations with countries and regional and international bodies;
- expedite the repatriation, relief, rehabilitation, and resettlement of the refugees and IDPs, and reconstruction of conflict-affected areas, while healing the trauma from conflict; and
- conduct free and fair elections towards the end of the interim period on the basis of the permanent constitution.
- Duration of the TGoNU
The transitional period shall commence as soon as the institutions and structures agreed upon in the Peace Agreement are set in place and the transitional government of national unity constituted. A reasonable balance needs to be struck between the necessity for a short period before the elected organs thereafter take control, and a longer one to implement the most essential reforms that must be effected so as to ensure a stable democracy after the transitional period.
It is suggested that the transitional period be three years commencing on the conclusion of the Peace Agreement.
- Structure and Composition of the TGoNU
4.1 Ending the war
It is our considered opinion that a power sharing formula inclusive of all the stakeholders that puts the warring parties in key roles in the country is the only realistic way to stop the current devastating war. However, since both are incapable of implementing the anticipated reforms, given their track record in power for eight years in addition to vested interests, we believe that that task must be put in more capable hands. It will be a false peace that puts power only in the hands of the warring parties. Therefore, all political parties should be part and parcel of the TGoNU.
It cannot be overemphasized that our country will enjoy sustainable peace, not just a stop of war, when and only when the suggested and agreed reforms are implemented during the transitional period.
In order to translate the Reform Programme into tangible reality, we believe that, despite the obvious differences, the experiences of: Cote D’Ivoire between President Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Quattara, Zimbabwe between President Robert Mugabi and Prime Minister Morgan Changerai, and the Kenyan experience of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are examples that can inform the situation in South Sudan since December 15, 2013 and the way forward.
4.2 Structure of the TGoNU
The structure of the TGoNU shall be as follows:
- The executive of the new transitional government of national unity (TGoNU) on the national and State levels shall be constituted from all political parties in proportions shown below.
- On the national level, executive power shall be shared between a President who shall be the Head of State, assisted by a Vice President, and a Prime Minister who shall be the Chief Executive. The Council of Ministers shall comprise of twenty-one (21) line Ministers as detailed below.
- There shall be no more than five Deputy Ministers to be limited to a few ministries such as Foreign Affairs (one), Finance and National Economy (two).
- There shall be a national single chamber Parliament composed of 250 members and a State Assembly in each State composed of 48 members.
- Women shall comprise at least 25% of the executive and legislative organs.
4.3 Power Sharing Formula
- The Council of Ministers, Parliament, State Assemblies and State governments shall be composed of political parties as follows: SPLM factions, 60% and other political parties, 40%.
- Representation of the political parties in the national Council of Ministers shall be in the same proportion above in the three ministerial sectors of governance, economy and services.
- The actual composition of the national Council of Ministers and governments of the States shall be subject to negotiations and included in the Peace Agreement.
- Independent Commissions, Institutions and Authorities shall be revisited and whatever is agreed upon shall be reconstituted in the same proportions as in (1) above.
- The President and Prime Minister shall, respectively, be from SPLM-IG, and SPLM-IO. The Vice President shall be from the political parties other than the two mentioned.
- The Speaker of the national Parliament shall be an agreed national figure.
- The Council of Ministers
The Council of Ministers will be presided over by a Prime Minister who will be the head of government. The PM is responsible for running the day-to-day affairs of government but reports to the President in the conduct of government business.
The Cabinet shall comprise the PM and twenty-one (21) Ministers. The Deputy Ministers shall not exceed five. The composition of the Council of Ministers shall reflect competence and regional balance.
Similar arrangements shall apply on the State level. The State Council of Ministers shall comprise the Governor, Deputy Governor (who shall also hold a ministerial docket) and six Ministers, two of whom shall be women.
The national Council of Ministers shall comprise of the following portfolios:
|No||Line Ministry||Ministerial Sector|
|1||Cabinet Affairs (including Inter-state Coordination)||Governance|
|6||Information and Communication|
|8||Finance and National Economy||Economy|
|9||Energy and Mining|
|10||Commerce, Industry and Investment|
|12||Animal Resources and Fisheries|
|13||Transport and Roads (including bridges)|
|14||Water Resources and Irrigation|
|15||The Environment (including Forestry, Wildlife Conservation and Physical Planning)|
|16||Civil Service and Administrative reform||Services|
|18||Higher Education and Scientific Research|
|20||Culture, Tourism and Sports|
|21||Social Welfare and Humanitarian Affairs (including gender, veterans’ affairs, etc.)|
- Commissions and Authorities
The following independent commissions and authorities are the most essential:
- General Audit Chamber
- South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission
- National Revenue Authority
- Anti-Corruption Commission
- National Bureau of Statistics
- National Elections Commission
- Political Parties Council
- National Reconciliation and Healing Commission
9. Electric Power Authority
10 Human Rights Commission
11. Civil Service Commission
12. Fiscal and Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission
13. National Land Commission
14. Refugees Commission
15. Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration
16. National Corporation for Radio and Television
17. National Petroleum and Gas Corporation
18. Bureau of Standards.
Be the judge of your own
By Dut Lual Anei
This is a wakeup call to revise your understanding on the previous article by the same writer titled, “an eagle eye.” Here is a continuation of the eagle eye, many illusions are accorded to politics and service delivery as to what each definition stands for, many scholars have defined politics as a domain of interests or contest of egos peacefully without traditionally attributing it to your culture or traits while service delivery is getting services as effectively and quickly as possible to the intended recipient by implying a degree of excellence.
The “will” was discussed in depth, not political but factual and in reference to that, anybody who will allude it to politics, marginalization or any sorts of your understanding will favor your intelligent, is in your own view. The Korean “will” which many people wish to be clarify, as to whether it’s a project, business, donation or free gift of the person before having perish. Whether it is in any context subjected to alteration or political polarization?. Nonetheless, to the dismay, the “will” from Tonj is different in the way it sounded. Politics literally can be approach in many theories which include traditional, behavioral or both, name it, and therefore, the “will” diversion is a total subversive act of blockage.
Let me quote an official who said, “this John Lee memorial hospital is not going to be build in Tonj because of many politics citing its capacity”, the official declined to be named here. Critically, who can substantiate the connection of the “will” and the alleged politics interference?. In your own observation, was this a government or community work that brought this memorial will?. you decide but the truth is, the missionaries came to spread Christianity in whatever dominations in Africa but Tonj is geographically part of the South Sudan and incase some missionaries happened to be Korean, then John Lee was in Tonj, meaning there is no wonder, if it pains you discussing this, then you are jealous or naïve.
The grounds satisfying this were in the “will” which many could believe if they are liberal. Diocese of Rumbek is where Tonj parish belongs and the Italian as well as Korean priests were there during the war until some of them were either conscripted into the movement or voluntarily did it on their own. What is political about the “will” that was left in the name of Tonj?, concepts of making money and gaining popularity at the expense of community welfare is a wait and see case to be tested scientifically to prove it success to whichever level. The concern authorities in this matter are, the honorable area members of parliament, government of warrap state, the family of the late Fr. John Lee, the living priests of Tonj and entirely the central government to spear head the “bring back our “will” campaign” to the designated people.
Opinions of the public are not restricted, it’s up to the mentioned authorities and more specially the area mps to follow it or else I will continue to advocate so that, what belongs to Caesar is given to him, each for himself or herself and God for all of us, nobody reign like God but justice does. The representative democracy of the current South Sudan has created a custom where speaking the truth is seen on the sectional understanding while unearthing the truth becomes a matter of your boldness.
If there is no politics in delivering services especially the church mission, than where is the role of the church in fighting for the right of underestimated when there is already a solid or even liquid evidences to justify the case of the Korean Fr. John Lee’s “will”. Wonders are there but South Sudan could be an exception especially in term of respecting the spirit of the dead or will. Anybody who is conscious can even conclude, why can’t the spirit of the late Fr. John Lee judges us all and call anybody only to be interrogated in short time of three to four hours, whether you will not speak the truth later on your resurrection, dead is immortal but compromising your integrity for short term gains is a blunder.
Act or response by televising the tapes recorded during the visit and educate us more on the challenges hindering the progress or else fragmenting it into projects is not the solution.
For any clarifications, contact the writer through