“On July 27th, 2005, when Dr. John Garang arrived in Rumbek from Khartoum, we had an impromptu meeting to welcome the chairman. After the meeting, few of us remained behind under the big tree to chat with the chairman. Mama Rebecca Nyandeeng had gone home to cook. Then the chairman turned to Comrade Salva Kiir and said: ‘Remember what I said in 1984 after we had formed the movement? By then we had thought that the war would be over within few years and we would come out of the bush to enjoy our freedom. Then I had a dream in which I dreamt that we had achieved our liberation but only two of us were remaining, out of the founders. When I narrated this dream to our comrades then, Kerubino had shouted me down, saying, yin ya apiedh. So I kept quiet. Now it has taken us over 21 years to capture a geographical region called South Sudan. But I don’t know how long it may take us to capture the minds of Junubeen.” ~~Recalled Comrade Aguil de Chut Deng, on the 27th of September 2014, Juba Grand Hotel, Juba, South Sudan.
This is not about us; it is about future generations
No apologies to make: The test for our clamour for change is not the timing but rather the necessity.
Of course county governments are not perfect. But then, no one is.
By RAILA ODINGA
Our constitution opens with five powerful words: “We, the People of Kenya…”
But I get the feeling not all of us appreciate the importance of these words.
These words identify who is responsible for promulgating and upholding the foundations of the Constitution.
Our intent in giving ourselves the constitution is laid out in the remainder of the preamble thus:
Acknowledging the supremacy of the Almighty God: Honouring those who heroically struggled to bring freedom and justice to our land: Recognising the aspirations of all Kenyans for a government based on the essential values of human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice and the rule of law: Exercising our sovereign and inalienable right to determine the form of governance of our country and having participated fully in the making of this Constitution… Adopt, enact and give this Constitution to ourselves and to our future generations.
In the past few months, we have gone around the country; we shall continue to go around the country, for the very reason we’ve gathered for here today: to push to change our Constitution in our capacity as the people of Kenya.
The Constitution allows for a referendum to amend it. The Constitution provides for a parliamentary route or a popular initiative. We, the people, have chosen the route of the popular initiative.
In providing for amendments, the Constitution does not label any such effort as an attempt to overthrow or to slow down the government or take over power through the back door.
We commit no crime; this is not a contest between Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga. It is not a test of might between Cord and Jubilee. Nor is it an attempt to revive or end political careers.
We are not in this because we love our government less. We are in this because we love Kenya more.
Do not be afraid, do not feel guilty, and do not be apologetic over this journey. We, the people, are acting in the best interest of our country.
We expect the government to facilitate, not frustrate our efforts. Many battles have been fought from this venue. At this very venue, Dr Crispin Odhiambo Mbai put the case like nobody ever did on why we need to devolve power and resources.
They vilified him. They trailed him. Eventually, they killed him. But devolution came to be.
And Kenya is a much better place today because of devolution. In Kenya, you know you are into something big and something good when the establishment fights you viciously.
We are out to strengthen devolution because we have seen what it can do what ails it. We have seen what county governments have done with so little money in such a short time.
I will give a few random examples. In Marsabit, the national government drilled only about 20 bore holes in the last 50 years.
The county government has drilled 20 bore holes in one year. Livestock is the mainstay of Marsabit but for 50 years the region never built a slaughter house.
Today, after one year of devolution, Marsabit is set to perform a ground breaking ceremony for a modern slaughter house.
In Siaya, there were only 3 tractors when the county government took over. The county government has bought 7 tractors and hired 30 others.
Siaya used to harvest 3,300 bags of maize. Within a year, the county government has put 5,000 hectares under mechanisation. This year they expect 880,000 bags.
Kisii Hospital has never had a dialysis unit since it was built in 1917. One year after devolution, a dialysis unit is being set up.
The mortuary capacity that never exceeded 20 is now expanding to accommodate 100.
Mombasa County mobilised 27 cars within months of taking office for police to ensure security. At no one time in 50 years did the county manage that number of vehicles.
The county is also set to unveil the first water desalination plant by 2016. In Wajir, they have built the first tarmac road — 25 kilometres — the first one since independence.
END DELIBERATE CONFUSION
Of course these county governments are not perfect. But then, no one is.
For months, we have been asking the national government to account for the Sh15 billion that was stolen from OP. No one is talking.
When counties are strong, we have an economy firing from all cylinders. That means jobs and opportunities for youth and good living for all.
That is why we are demanding that 45 per cent of national revenue goes to the counties to enable them carry out functions that are commensurate with this allocation.
We want an end to the deliberate confusion around the Provincial Administration.
We want state departments and parastatals whose functions were fully or partially devolved to release to the counties all the funds they are holding in Nairobi.
Today, the national government is holding up to Sh120 billion for functions already devolved. Continuous withholding of these funds is a major source of several crises in counties.
We recognise that the country’s foreign policy is the role of the national government. However, counties are now major centres of investment, trade and other critical sectors of economy.
We feel their voices should be heard in determining the core foreign policy direction of the country.
Is it too early for a referendum to amend the constitution? No. The test is not the timing but the necessity.
In the USA, the Constitution came into operation on 4th March 1789 and the First Amendment was sent to the States for ratification on September 25, 1789, barely six months later. And in its seventeen years of existence, the South African Constitution has been amended seventeen times.
They will tell you Americans did not go to the referendum. That is true, but that was because the government opted for dialogue.
We, the People, must now roll our sleeves from here and reach every corner of our country, for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
Mr Odinga is Cord leader. This is an excerpt from a speech he read at the Okoa Kenya General Assembly at the Bomas of Kenya.
Now Machar’s men back UPDF stay in South Sudan, The East African News Paper.
By BARBARA AMONG, TEA Special Correspondent
Posted Saturday, September 27 2014
The conflict in South Sudan saw significant developments last week with Dr Riek Machar’s rebels finally coming to terms with the UPDF presence in Juba and the rebel leader travelling to Beijing, where he was expected to commit further to a peaceful settlement of the nearly one-year-old conflict.
While opening their liaison office in Kampala, rebel representatives declared support for the continued stay of Ugandan soldiers in Juba while Uganda on the other hand officially welcomed the Principal Representative of the rebels to Kampala.
The official opening of a liaison office in Kampala, players say, now gives Uganda leverage over the rebels and it is also seen as a sign of improving relations between the rebel movement and the government of Uganda.
Machar’s Principal Representative to Kampala David Otim said the liaison office in Kampala will be used to promote the diplomatic relations between the rebel group and Kampala, and to co-ordinate the humanitarian, peace and reconciliation initiatives in Uganda with the aim of realising permanent solution to the war in South Sudan.
Consensus on UPDF’s role
“We in the SPLM/A (in opposition) are in the meantime in consensus that the UPDF in South Sudan should continue to play their positive role in protecting lives and property as we wait for full deployment of Igad’s protection force as per the Addis-Ababa Cessation of Hostility Protocol,” said Mr Otim.
This is a U-turn from the previous demand that Uganda should withdraw its troops from South Sudan as a prerequisite for the Addis Ababa peace negotiation and for a meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and Dr Machar to take place.
The change of heart on the side of Machar’s team follows a meeting in Kampala last month between Uganda’s security officials and Machar’s team.
The developments in Kampala come at a time when China, one of the major oil players in South Sudan, has summoned Dr Machar to Beijing to discuss the crisis.
Sources said China hopes to rein in Machar to commit to the peace talks and get a guarantee from him on protection of its interest in the oil fields. Dr Machar’s forces control the oil rich states of Unity and Upper Nile.
An advance team, led by Dr Dhieu Mathok Diing, arrived in Beijing last week. In the delegation is Comrade Hussein Mar Nyuot, chairperson for the humanitarian committee and Dr Richard K Mulla, the chairperson for the justice and human rights committee.
“Dr Machar will hold bilateral talks with officials of the Peoples Republic of China and try to forge mutual understanding,” said Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet.
Prof Nathaneil Oyet, chairman for the rebel faction’s national committee for political mobilisation, told The EastAfrican in an interview that Dr Machar would discuss China’s role in the peace process and the recent report that China was supplying arms to the Juba government.
“We want to hold frank discussions on, for example, the question of human rights violations by government,” said Prof Oyet.
However, China’s worry, insiders say, is threats to its interests in South Sudan. The war, which broke out December last year, has affected oil production, reducing it from 300,000BPD to less than a half.
China is the largest foreign investor in South Sudan and Sudan oil industry. The China National Petroleum Corporation has 40 per cent stake in the oil fields, making it the largest.
What the Khartoum regime really thinks
Statement by H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan on the occasion of The 69th Session of the United Nations’ General Assembly New York, USA, 27 September 2014
· Your Excellency, Mr Sam Kutesa, President of the United Nations General Assembly,
· Your Excellency, Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations,
· Your Majesties,
· Excellencies, Heads of State and Government,
· Honourable Ministers,
· Distinguished Delegates,
· Ladies and Gentlemen,
I congratulate you, Mr President, and your country, Uganda and the African continent on your election, as the President of the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. My delegation and I pledge our full support to you in this important mission. I also wish to congratulate Ambassador John Ashe for having successfully completed his term.
Global Peace and Security
We are all bound by our moral duty and legal obligations to address the challenges confronting the world today. We need to act in solidarity to promote global peace and security for the good of our nations. In this context, I urge the UN and all of you, Heads of State and Government, to support the current peace initiatives in the world, especially those in the Middle East, Central Africa Republic, Somalia, Mali, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Republic of South Sudan. We need to find appropriate ways and means of ending these conflicts, and many others in the world and to pave the way for all the nations and the peoples of the world to live in peace and to enjoy their basic rights.
In addition, the United Nations Security Council needs to be strengthened to deal with new global challenges. Therefore, we support the call of the African leaders for a comprehensive review of the UN Security Council to ensure that Africa and other continents are well represented in this important international body, according to the African position as Stipulated by Azalwin Consensus and Sirte Declaration. This will create a more inclusive Security Council and empower all the continents to play a bigger and more effective role in promoting global peace and security for the benefit of the human race. More importantly, it will ensure that the Security Council continues to fulfill its purpose and be more able to achieve its mandate.
The Conflict in South Sudan
The journey of my people from conflict to peace, independence and freedom was costly. It was characterized by economic and political marginalization, a prolonged war, humanitarian disasters, loss of millions of lives, and untold human suffering. At independence, we acquired a country with a multitude of challenges ranging from weak national institutions, inadequate physical infrastructure, limited human capacity and weak security mechanisms. We are grateful the international community supported us and continue to do so with humanitarian and development assistance.
I have no doubt that the world has followed with shock and disbelief the violent conflict that erupted in South Sudan on Sunday 15 December 2013, which was plotted by my former Vice President who wanted to seize power by force.
He was too impatient in his thirst for power and did not want to wait for the general elections, which were scheduled to take place in 2015, and to seek the mandate from the people of South Sudan as required by The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan. The failed coup and the rebellion that followed resulted in the loss of too many innocent lives, destruction of properties, and damage of community relationships. However, the coup was foiled and the Government is continuing to defend the country and the people against the ensuing rebellion.
The Government and the people of South Sudan take this opportunity to thank the United Nations, the African Union, and the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the entire international community for their prompt action to restore peace and stability in my country.
My Government is unwaveringly committed to resolve the conflict peacefully and my negotiating team has been in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, since January 2014 talking peace with the rebels to close this dark chapter in the history of our young country; open a new page and pave the way for us to, once again, embark on the difficult mission of socio-economic development, which our people urgently need.
With the dedicated efforts of the mediators, we were able to sign the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement on 23 January 2014, and re-affirm our commitment to that Agreement on 9 May 2014. My Government has demonstrated its firm commitment to peace, has unreservedly honoured these Agreements, and is continuing to negotiate in good faith to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. However, the rebels have violated the Agreements too many times, and have refused to sign the Protocol Agreement, which is a crucially important document signed by the Heads of State and Government of IGAD, including myself as a party to the conflict. This important document forms the basis for resolving the crisis peacefully and inclusively. Therefore, I urge the international community to exert efforts on the rebels to sign the Protocol Agreement.
We appreciate that the international community is rightly concerned with humanitarian crisis and about human rights abuses that resulted from the failed coup and the rebellion. In this regard, my Government has ordered an investigation into these abuses and also has accepted to cooperate with the Commission of Enquiry formed by the African Union to carryout investigations into allegations of human rights violations. We are determined to hold those who will be found responsible accountable, as we do not condone impunity under any circumstances.
My Government has recently signed into law the Media Laws to guarantee freedom of expression and has also ratified (3) UN core Conventions, namely:
a) Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women;
b) International Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading or Treatment Punishment and its First optional Protocol; and
c) Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional Protocol on Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts and optional Protocol on Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. These are all positive measures put in place to address some of these concerns.
The conflict in South Sudan is purely a political struggle for power – not an ethnic conflict as reported. The citizens displaced by the conflict, especially in the three States of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile, have sought refuge in the neighbouring States of Lakes, Warrap, Central Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria and in the neighbouring countries. These innocent victims of the conflict urgently need and deserve humanitarian assistance. We, therefore, thank the United Nations, the Government of Norway and the other stakeholders for organizing the Donor Conference in Oslo, Norway, in May 2014, to support our humanitarian needs. We also deeply appreciate and welcome the High-level Ministerial Meeting on South Sudan, which the UN organized in the margin of the 69th Session of UN-GA on 25 September 2014 during which a number of donors made fledges of support. My Government is fully committed to render humanitarian access and has taken the necessary measures to facilitate access for Humanitarian Agencies.
The conflicts within our two countries of South Sudan and Sudan tend to be interconnected. That is why we in the Republic of South Sudan will exert more efforts to strengthen our relations with the Republic of the Sudan. Our oil flows through the Sudan. In the spirit of cooperation, my Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will soon commence more joint visits with his Sudanese counterpart to donor countries, to appeal and lobby for lifting and waiving Sudan’s foreign debt, as it was agreed in the Cooperation Agreements. There are outstanding issues associated with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), especially the final status of Abyei. The Republic of South Sudan and the Sudan are working through these issues as part of the African Union High Implementation Panel mediation and our other partners to find amicable peaceful solution with the Sudan. I am committed to addressing these outstanding issues and I am in direct communication with President Omar El Bashir of the Sudan to resolve these issues through dialogue.
Furthermore, my Government and the people of South Sudan, would like to express our appreciation and thanks to the countries that have expressed support for the peaceful resolution of the conflict in my country; especially USA, China, Egypt, South Africa, the Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Norway, Congo, Namibia and many others.
My Government is collaborating with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and other stakeholders, such as community leaders, political parties, civil societies and faith based organizations to build trust with the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in UNMISS Camps so that they return to their homes and their pre-conflict areas, and start once again their normal livelihood.
With respect to our cooperation with UNMISS, my Government would like to raise its concern regarding the recent mandate of UNMISS which has very serious implications in service delivery to my people. I note in particular that the new mandate does not allow UNMISS to support requests from national, state and local partners for assistance in important activities connected with capacity building, peace-building, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR), Security Sector Reforms (SSR), recovery and development.
Notwithstanding the fact that the activities mentioned above are of paramount importance to South Sudan, we strongly believe the main objective of UNMISS was to support peace and reconciliation in the first place. We humbly request the United Nations Security Council to reconsider this decision when the renewal of UNMISS mandate comes up in November 2014. On the same note, we would further urge UNMISS to engage in reorientation of its activities related to its mandate to civilians protection, to shift from ‘protection-by-presence’ to ‘protection-by-action’ and to encourage those in UNMISS camps to return to their homes. UNMISS needs to protect the civilians in their neighbourhoods and not in camps in a huge country like ours, which is bigger than the size of France.
The Post-2015 Global Development Agenda
The theme of this 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly is “Delivering on and implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda”. It is not a surprise that the Republic of South Sudan, being a 3-year-old country with numerous challenges, has missed the MDG targets.
We congratulate the UN Secretary General and the Working Group for coordinating the discussions on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will form the post-2015 global development agenda. It is vital that the SDGs focus the efforts of the Nations on reducing poverty; end hunger and achieve food security; address our health concerns, especially those issues affecting women and children; promote gender equality and empowerment of women and girls; address the issues of access, equity and quality of education and tackle youth unemployment.
We strongly believe that attainment of the SDGs will require strong, sustained partnership, collaboration and coordination at international, regional and national levels and leadership of the UN. On our part, we will exert our maximal efforts and will work in partnership with the international community and our partners in the ‘New Deal’, as a member of fragile states in g7+, to achieve the new development goals. I wish to take this opportunity to express our solidarity and support to the victims of Ebola in the greater West African Region, particularly, in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leon. We acknowledge the leading role of the USA in assisting the continent to combat this virus. It is vital that the SDGs address such global health threats.
On the other hand, the Republic of South Sudan strongly condemns all forms of terrorism, including piracy, which has become a menace to international peace and security.
Climate change is now recognised as a huge global threat. It is the single biggest threat that can wipe out the planet Earth and the entire human race. I congratulate the UN Secretary General for convening the UN Climate Summit 2014 to focus attention on this global problem and I urge you all to heed the call of the UN Secretary General and “Take bold actions”. I am pleased that the SDGs cover environmental issues of concern to the international community. And I hope the climate summit in Paris in December 2015 will result in an agreement on a new global and a legally binding framework for tackling climate change. We must race against the clock to save our planet and the human race before it is too late. As Madam Graca Machel said, tackling climate change requires leadership, courage and ambition from all of us. Let us act in solidarity to create “The Future we want”.
Finally Mr President,
I reiterate my resolve to continue my firm commitment to return the people of South Sudan to peace, to full implementation of the Cooperation Agreements with the Republic of the Sudan, to unrestricted support to Humanitarian Assistance, to respect for Human Rights, to democratic governance in my Country, and to stronger working relationship with UNMISS and the entire International Community without exception. I promise that we will work together, united to establish a safe, secure, peaceful and prosperous South Sudan.
Your Excellencies, we are all one in this world, whether strong or weak, rich or poor. So, let us stick together.
By Job Kiir Garang
Politics is, surely, a dirty game. However, it does justify its definition if the players are, by any stretch of imagination, smart. I wonder whether that definition holds the same when it comes to political discourses in South Sudan.
Some politicians in my country are just absolute jokes. Apart from being non-ideologues, they have no vision. They have no sense of direction as to where the country should be driven to. They are a metaphorical “Kayaker without a paddle” in the middle of a rough tided river.
The saddest part is, they seem to thrive among these rough conditions at the expense of the lives of the innocent majority. Corruption: is the word. Country’s resources are the waters through which they wallow. Their bellies are fully extended and they always need a little more.
No one embellishes these, qualities than the leader of our country: Salva Kiir Mayar-dit. He is the very definition of what is wrong with South Sudan.
Up until the assignation of CPA, Kiir was wrapped up in the same garment as Dr. John Garang and as a result, he was always perceived as a man who fought for our values and freedom. He was exalted and appreciated and it does not surprise me that upon his appointment as the president of South Sudan, albeit by default, he was overwhelming accepted.
However, over the course of his tenureship and especially over the last year and a half, all has been revealed about the man. The demons of corruption, tribalism, nepotism, and sexual immorality have been exposed and are out there for the public to see.
In his last speech, delivered on the 8th of September in which he gave an ultimatum that Riek should accept the post of prime minister within 45 days, he foolishly or maybe intentionally quoted the great Karl Marx and this is how he went about it:
The Philosopher Karl Marx said in his theory of class struggle ‘’ the classes emerge when society starts to produce private property. When society starts realizing private property, social division of labour emerges with one social category or class attempting to control the private property at the expense of other classes. Class struggles are nothing but struggles aiming at controlling private property and means of production. in order to maintain their control over means of production , one class seek to control state power and its uses state power to enhance its class interest vis –a – vis other classes , that is political struggles are nothing but the extension of economic struggles for private property’’
Looking at this quote, two things come into mind:
- President is trying to give us the impression that he does read a few scripts here and there (something I definitely doubt).
- He absolutely does not know why he is quoting Karl Marx or if he does know, he was unknowingly putting himself in a trap of shame.
One thing is for certain, the president has been ignorant all along and it is evident in this quote. If he had taken a moment to pause, breath and think about it, he might have had a different thought whether or not he needs to put that quote across.
He needs not look farther to see that he is self contradictory. His government is 80% Dinka (his tribe). Private property that he alludes to is certainly in the hands of the aforementioned tribe (mainly from his inner circles: Bar-el-ghazal).
I am not saying that it is all Bar-el-ghazal because I am sure there are many out there that are suffering just like the rest of the country. I am talking of the fat cats within the ranks of Kiir who own property locally, in foreign countries such as Uganda and Kenya or both locally and regionally.
No wonder he has surrounded himself with his own tribesmen because only then can he control state power, means of production and to try and crush any other tribe that tries to rise against him. The current situation in the country is a simple evident.
Kiir has declared war against the Nuer with the intention of wiping them out not knowing that this will have very nasty backlash whether now or in the near future. He is using public fund to train mainly his own tribesmen to protect himself as well as pay foreign soldiers in the shape of AU peace keepers. Kiir by anyone’s estimation is not the president we need.
Apart from declaring war against a tribe in his own country (the Nuer that is), he has failed on all occasions to visit the three regions being devastated by war at the moment. His actions have convinced me and am sure many others out there that he is not a president for South Sudan and definitely not a president for peace.
Dr. Riek Machar and indeed many others that are aspiring to lead one day should not be intimidated or baited with positions such as those of prime minister.
This is an illegitimate way of making peace. All he needs (the president that is) is, first and foremost, stop bloodshed in the Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei regions and then come to a discussion table. He needs to come clean and face his so-called-foes instead of chickening out. What is he afraid of?
Once he provide a less intimidating environment for those in opposition, only then can they move forward to 2015 and hopefully see elections come and go conducted in good spirits.
I hope Dr. Riek Machar, the current leader in opposition, comes top for I believe that with him in office, South Sudan would be a better place. He has the glue that can unite that country.
I have been attacked for saying this before but I say it again, he has the better chance of providing the peace we need the most. May peace prevail at last cometh the hour!
By Job Kiir Garang: A DINKA FOR ALL