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Statement by the President of the Security Council on South Sudan

December 15 2014

The Security Council recalls the great hope and optimism felt by the South Sudanese people at the establishment of the Republic of South Sudan in July 2011 and the prospect of the end of decades of civil war.  On the one-year mark of the outbreak of the current conflict it expresses its profound disappointment that their aspirations have not been met, and that instead their leaders’ actions have led to yet more fighting and division.

The Security Council recalls with deep alarm the escalation of the internal Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) political dispute that erupted into conflict on December 15, 2013 and the subsequent violence caused by the country’s political and military leaders that has plunged this young nation into a man-made political, security and humanitarian catastrophe over this past year.

The Security Council underscores its strong condemnation of the serious human rights violations and abuses that have caused the death of tens of thousands of civilians, the displacement of nearly 2 million people in just 12 months, and the attacks upon, and deaths of, UN peacekeepers and humanitarian personnel.  In this regard, they place full responsibility for these tragic events with South Sudan’s leaders, those in government as well as with the opposition, and look to President Salva Kiir Mayardit and former Vice President Riek Machar Teny to make the necessary compromises for peace.

The Security Council commends the work of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in leading the mediation since the onset of the crisis, the initiatives by the African Union, including to establish a mechanism for seeking accountability and reconciliation through its Commission of Inquiry, the overwhelming humanitarian assistance offered by the international community to help mitigate the consequences of the conflict, including staving off famine in 2014, and the hosting by South Sudan’s neighbours of nearly 500,000 refugees from South Sudan.

The Security Council renews its deep appreciation for the courageous actions taken and on-going by United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) personnel and troop- and police-contributing countries to protect tens of thousands of civilians under threat of physical violence and to stabilize the security situation, and pays tribute to those peacekeepers who have tragically been killed in this endeavour, and expresses condolences to their families.

The Security Council expresses its grave concern that given the continued disregard of the January 23, 2014 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the May 9, 2014 Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan, and the absence of the establishment and implementation of a credible peace agreement, the risks of famine, state failure and regionalization of the conflict persist.

In this regard, the Security Council urgently demands that President Salva Kiir Mayardit, former Vice President Riek Machar Teny and all parties refrain from further violence, implement the Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan signed on May 9, 2014 by the Republic of South Sudan and the SPLM/A (in Opposition), engage fully and inclusively in ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa, uphold their commitment to establish a Transitional Government of National Unity, and allow and facilitate, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, the full, safe and unhindered access of relief personnel, equipment and supplies to all those in need and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The Security Council reiterates its intention to commence consideration, in consultation with relevant partners, including the IGAD and African Union, on all appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions, against those impeding the peace process.  The Security Council underscores the significant importance of fighting impunity and ensuring accountability for serious violations and abuses of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law in South Sudan, and of continued delivery of life-saving and other humanitarian assistance to the South Sudanese people.

Press Release: AU Communiqué on South Sudan

Posted: December 17, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Press Release

  1. AU Communiqué on South Sudan

ADDIS ABABA (6 Dec.)

The African Union announced yesterday that it was deeply concerned that the South Sudanese warring parties have back-tracked on previous agreements and also failed to meet a 15-day deadline set by mediators for completing consultations on a power-sharing proposal.

Sitting in Addis Ababa, the African Union Peace and Security Council also pointed to the threat of punitive sanctions by the IGAD region, endorsing action by East African countries in the event of violations of the ceasefire agreement.  

 Full text Communiqué:

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 474th meeting held on 5 December 2014, considered the situation in South Sudan and adopted the following decision: 

Council,

  1. Takes note of the statement made by the Permanent Representative of South Sudan, as well as the briefing made by the Commissioner for Peace and Security on the situation in South Sudan;
  2. Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in South Sudan, in which Council expressed its profound concern for the continuing and acute humanitarian crisis, which is being further exacerbated by the ongoing fighting, thereby resulting in massive displacement of the civilian population within the country and thousands of refugees in the neighboring countries;
  3. Further recalls the communiqué of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Summit held in Addis Ababa, on 7 November 2014, in particular paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 in which the Summit requested the Parties to commit to an unconditional, complete and immediate end to all hostilities, and to bring the war to an end. The Summit also stressed that any violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, of 23 January 2014, by any party will invite collective action by the IGAD region against those responsible for such violations, including but not limited to, the enactment of asset freezes, of travel bans within the region, and denial of the supply of arms and ammunition, as well as any other material that could be used in war;
  4. Pays tribute to the IGAD and its Chairperson, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, as well as to the other leaders of the region, for their commitment and leadership in the search for a lasting solution to the crisis in South Sudan. Council further commends the IGAD Mediation Team and its Chair, Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, and other stakeholders, for their sustained and tireless efforts towards the restoration of peace in South Sudan;
  5. Expresses appreciation to the neighboring countries of South Sudan for the hospitality and support given to South Sudanese refugees, and urges them to continue this exemplary demonstration of African solidarity;
  6. Calls on international humanitarian organizations to continue providing assistance and support to the affected population and appeals, once again, to the South Sudanese parties to facilitate protection of humanitarian workers and ensure the unobstructed delivery of humanitarian assistance to the affected population;
  7. Expresses deep concern with the failure of South the Sudanese parties, once again, to meet the 22 November 2014 deadline set by the 28th Extraordinary Summit of IGAD Heads of State and Government to complete consultations on outstanding matters and reach a political settlement, as well as avoiding back-tracking on issues already agreed;
  8. Decides to enhance and scale up its support to IGAD and its mediation efforts in South Sudan, including consultations with the leaders of the region towards the urgent establishment of an AU High-Level Ad-hoc Committee of Heads of State and Government, comprising one representative from each of the five regions of the Continent, which will strengthen Africa’s support to IGAD and assist the South Sudanese parties and stakeholders to achieve durable peace in their country;
  9. Warns all South Sudanese parties who continue to undermine the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, and obstruct the successful conclusion of the political negotiations, that stern measures will be taken, including recourse to the UN Security Council for further action;
  10. Urges all AU Members States to mobilize the necessary political, diplomatic and financial support towards the efforts of IGAD to bring durable peace to South Sudan. Council further urges Member States and the larger international community to provide the required humanitarian support to the internally displaced persons in South Sudan and the refugees in the neighboring countries;
  11. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Press Statement December 15 001 splm leaders 002splm leaders 003splm leaders 004


By Mading de Manyok
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 Sanctioning South Sudan is another big threat toward peace and stability in the region and especially South Sudan as a nation. With the view and experience I have learn from countries which had been previously sanctioned by international communities for instance Sudan was sanction by US in 1998 because of terrorism act, the economic and political issue keep deteriorating until now Sudan’s economy is now the worse compare to when there was no sanction enact on Sudan. Can we do that mistake again to South Sudan? Of course no

I believe imposing sanction to world youngest nation called the Republic of South Sudan will not be an applicable methods of addressing its contemporary situation as world has seen it. It will be another way of declaring battle against South Sudan by international groups instead of coercing the two aggressive parties and IGAD mediation club to speed up on ultimate peace deal in order for South Sudanese innocent civilians to live in harmony among themselves as one people of one destiny.

Sanction is not the opportunity of bring peace back to South Sudan or else but a devastation to mostly affected South Sudanese people livelihoods who are pursuing aide from international humanitarian agencies . If we impose sanction on South Sudan, then we are no longer different with two warring parties in South Sudan who have caused these dehumanization crimes against innocent civil population. However, many international communities and individuals are portentous sanction should be impose to South Sudan because of their unwilling to reach final peace deal which ideally explicable in some perspective, but hazardous to countries like South Sudan who is still an infant nation on earth.

When U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on two generals who were accused of killing innocent civilians on both side in South Sudan’s ethnic violence, the violence burst between supporters of President Salva Kiir and those loyal to his former vice president turn rebel leader Riek Machar last 15 December after disagreement on their reform in government system. The US imposing individual sanction on two warring parties both sides because of their actions during South Sudan crisis. Major-General Marial Chanuong and his rival Gen. Peter Gatdet Yaak has no assets to be freeze by US in its territory.

The US sanctions which were announced against Gen. Peter Gatdet, an army commander fighting Juba government and loyalist to Riek Machar, and Major-General Marial Chanuong, commander of presidential guards. They entail freezing any of their assets in the United States and blocking U.S. individuals or companies from dealing with them. Well, the sanction is now on operation and there is no change in behaviors of making peace as a priority regardless of ten of thousand being killed. The way to achieved is through negotiation and giving IGAD mediation support they deserve to do their best to bringing peace back to South Sudan.

All international bodies, United Nations, African Union and IGAD mediation has done their part in restoring peace in South Sudan, but the commitment from the two warring parties still lacking. It will be the role of international and regional bodies to pressurizing the two warring parties to accept and implement the cessation of hostility agree upon them to pave the way forward.

We all know very well that the decade wars South Sudan fought against Khartoum regime because of its racism, Arabization and Islamization toward South Sudanese people, their grandfathers and fathers took up arms against Khartoum to have free and just democratic nation on earth.  South Sudan didn’t have its independent without international community supports. The stand and support of international community especially United States of America, United Nations, African Union, European Union and  others organizations shown to South Sudan during struggle for independent is also needed at this current crisis but not sanction as their support to South Sudan

Many South Sudanese innocent civil populations are in dire need of humanitarian’s assistant from international community whom South Sudanese populations consider as their brothers, sisters and friends but imposing sanction again to South Sudan will be a threat to peace and stability whom South Sudanese people have been yearning for so long .

<p>©Mading De Manyok 2014</p>

The Frosty Relationship between the US and South Sudan

Posted: December 16, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan

Can the U.S. Forge a Relationship with South Sudan

The U.S. ushered the nascent country into independence; now, we’re struggling with diplomacy. What happened?

By 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with members of the U.S. military working with the United Nations at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan...

South Sudan, the world’s newest country, was created in 2011 with the hope that it would become a prosperous, self-governing nation able to successfully harness its resources after years of conflict.

Unfortunately, that dream has not been realized. In July of last year, President Salva Kiir dismissed his vice president, Riek Machar, and the rest of his cabinet. Violence broke out on Dec. 15, 2013, in what Kiir said was an attempted coup by Machar. Since then, factions supporting the two men have fought for control of the country. The exact figure of people killed is unknown, but is expected to number in the thousands. An estimated 1.8 million people have been displaced from their homes, and humanitarian organizations fear the country may experience a famine next year.

U. S. diplomatic efforts, meanwhile, have been hampered by both President George W. Bush’s gleaming legacy in Africa and criticism of President Barack Obama’s apparent ambivalence toward the region. While Bush’s personal relationship with Kiir eased South Sudan’s birth, Obama’s lack of one has made it difficult for the U.S. to lead the country back to peace – both within itself and with neighboring Sudan.

Sudan spent decades embroiled in civil wars before a vote for South Sudanese independence in January 2011. The first conflict lasted from 1955 until 1972, and the second from 1983 until 2005, ending with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between leaders of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and the official government of Sudan, which set the stage for the referendum on independence.

Bush was elected while the second Sudanese civil war was underway. He made Africa a priority for his administration, instituting the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and malaria initiatives, both of which had an enormously positive impact on the continent. But he had a particular interest in the cause of the people in southern Sudan, a largely Christian population being persecuted by the mostly Muslim northern government in the capital of Khartoum during the Second Sudanese Civil War.

While it’s too simplistic to say Sudan was torn apart over religion, the American evangelical community actively lobbied against the atrocities being committed against the Christians in southern Sudan, as did the Congressional Black Caucus, and the administration took notice.

U.S. officials did not advocate for South Sudanese independence as a way to end the war there, concerned that it would encourage other regions on the continent to aim for independence as well. Instead, the U.S. had a “personal investment” in the U.S.-educated leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, John Garang, says Cameron Hudson, former chief of staff to Maj. Gen. Scott Gration, who served as the U.S. special envoy to Sudan from 2009 to 2011. Garang had a vision of a united Sudan despite disagreements with the government in Khartoum.

“I think there was reluctance to support [an independent South Sudan] in the State Department, but they eventually did,” says Andrew Natsios, the U.S. special envoy to Sudan in 2006 and 2007. “Particularly President Bush took the view that the southerners had to make their own decision. Given that 4 million people died, you could make the argument that the marriage is not working. It was the worst civil war in African history.”

Garang meeting Museveni in a remote village before his last departure ...

Garang was killed in a helicopter crash shortly after the peace agreement was signed (though it was deemed an accident, some still say it was an assassination). Kiir, who preferred the idea of fighting for independence rather than negotiating with Khartoum, took his place, a move that led U.S. officials to worry that the newborn peace agreement would collapse.

Bush invested much diplomatic capital with the South Sudanese leaders, meeting numerous times with Kiir in person as well as speaking with him on the phone. A personal bond grew as well; it’s rumored that Kiir’s trademark black cowboy hat was a gift from Bush.

“George Bush also had a personal connection with Salva Kiir because George Bush is an avowed Christian, as is Salva Kiir,” says E.J. Hogendoorn, deputy Africa program director at the nonprofit International Crisis Group. “They saw themselves as a bit of kindred spirits.”

This relationship helped the U.S. wield influence over southern Sudanese leaders during negotiations with Khartoum on parts of the peace agreement yet to be settled, like borders and access to oil.

“One thing that Bush did do is he kept up the personal diplomacy. He would make a lot of phone calls,” says Hudson, who also served as director for African affairs on the staff of the National Security Council from 2005 to 2009 and worked on implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Kiir “would always get a meeting with Bush. He probably had four Oval Office meetings with the president in the second term, which is a hell of a lot. It’s a hell of a lot for any leader, let alone the leader of not even a country.”

The peace agreement included a six-year timetable to hold a referendum on independence, and Obama entered office while that clock was still ticking. When 98.83 percent of voters opted to create South Sudan, it seemed like a long-standing peace would finally be achieved. But when the U.S. offered advice about managing U.S.-South Sudanese relations, representatives of the newly formed country acted like they didn’t “have to take orders from anybody,” says Princeton Lyman, the special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan from 2011 to 2013.

Obama welcomes Salva Kiir at the Whitehouse...

Obama and Kiir also seemed to lack the bond that the South Sudanese leader had with Bush. Some speculate about whether Obama, who was already facing a backlash about his African heritage from some conservative groups in the U.S., could have fostered a personal relationship with the leader of an African country without drawing questions about favoritism.

Regardless, the distance was evident when Obama met with Kiir on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York in September 2011 to talk about issues dealing with the months-old country, including intelligence suggesting the South Sudanese were actively supporting rebel groups across the border in Sudan. The meeting did not go well.

“President Kiir did something we begged him not to do but he did anyway, which is to straight-faced lie to the president,” Lyman says, noting that “everybody knew” South Sudan was backing the rebels. “What does President Kiir say? ‘Well, Mr. President, maybe you ought to look at the fine-tuning of your satellites if that’s the information you’re getting, because it’s just not true.’

President Salva Kiir wiping his face with no handkerchief during a hard talk on Al Jazeera in Juba, South Sudan(Photo: extracted from youtube)

“Boldfaced lie. And President Obama just ended the meeting. He said, ‘Thank you, that’s the end of that.’”

It was a stark contrast to the seemingly cooperative attitude Kiir had with Bush. Making matters more complicated: While Bush was able to work with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who controls what remains of the original Sudan, Obama cannot because Bashir has since been indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court, meaning neither the U.S. nor the Europeans can work with him directly to solve conflicts that continue in the Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas of Sudan. This also ties the West’s hands on mediating portions of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement yet to be implemented by Sudan and South Sudan.

Still, Natsios thinks the administration should have acted more swiftly following the outbreak of violence in South Sudan last December. He also says the administration could have acted sooner to prevent the rift between Kiir and Machar.

“I think we could have headed off what happened by robust diplomacy with the president’s involvement, but it wouldn’t have been a week before the incident took place last year,” Natsios says. “It would have to have been in April or May.”

A senior administration official who has worked on Africa issues and spoke on condition of anonymity defended the Obama administration’s work on South Sudan, telling U.S. News the country has been a priority for the president from day one.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice has been particularly vocal on Sudan and South Sudan policy since before the countries split. But Lyman calls her “sympathetic” and “very, very close” with the leadership in South Sudan, and that stance might be complicating matters between the U.S. and Sudan.

“Susan has very strong views vis-à-vis Sudan, given the indictment of leaders for genocide and war crimes, and therefore she is very strong both on condemnation, sanctions and offering the minimum amount of incentives,” Lyman says. “And that makes it difficult for anybody trying to balance this with some clear road map and incentives for Sudan improving relations with the U.S.”

The senior administration official disputes the claim that Rice has cozied up to one side or the other in the South Sudanese conflict.

“Any statement or characterization of Ambassador Rice or of the U.S. government taking sides or exercising some sort of bias in trying to protect one side or the other is inaccurate,” the official says. “We’ve been incredibly tough on both in urging peace and urging the types of bold and real leadership that is going to be required to get past this conflict.”

South Sudan President Kiir Mayardiit chats with Paul Malong, the former governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, at Juba airport(Photo: via Radio Tamazuj)

The U.S.-Sudan issue is separate from the infighting between Kiir and Machar. It’s too simple to paint the latter problem as one of Dinka (Kiir’s tribe) versus Nuer (Machar’s tribe), just as it is too simplistic to describe the Sudanese conflict before independence as one of Muslims versus Christians. But while tribal and religious elements certainly have played into both conflicts, there are other issues: The north and south also warred over access to resources in southern Sudan like oil, minerals and fertile agricultural land, and Kiir and Machar are fighting for control of a young country.

Donald Booth, the current U.S. special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, says the U.S. has not taken a position on how Kiir and Machar should resolve the conflict.

“Ultimately, it’s up to the South Sudanese who are going to be their leaders and how they can achieve peace,” says Booth, who was appointed by Obama in 2013 after the post was vacant for nearly six months.

Booth returned from the region last week and says ongoing negotiations – held in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa and mediated by East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development – center around the concept of Kiir remaining president of South Sudan and Machar being appointed prime minister. The parties were originally given two weeks to mull over that scenario, but the process has stretched into four.

The head of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan last week urged the parties to return to talks with “a heightened sense of responsibility and openness to compromise.”

“The patience of the international community with both parties is wearing thin,” said Ellen Margrethe Loj, head of the mission. “[L]eaders must inject a new sense of urgency into the peace process in order to reach a comprehensive peace agreement as soon as possible.”

Hogendoorn rejects the possibility that a transitional government could bring real peace to the country.

“What’s happening in Addis Ababa is essentially a discussion about what does a transitional government look like and what positions do the different actors hold,” Hogendoorn says. “That by itself is not enough for a durable peace process. What you need in addition to that is you need to have a frank and open discussion about reform of the [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement].”

Booth says his State Department office has a good relationship with those in the White House working on South Sudan, and the issue is receiving adequate attention from the administration. Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary of state for African affairs from 2009 until 2013, says Obama has been “engaged on key issues related to Africa.”

“I think that people who criticize him with respect to what he did or did not do on Africa are in effect making non-contextual criticism and forgetting about what he inherited as president during those first four years in office,” Carson says, referring to the financial crisis and the U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Those critics, including members of Congress, argue that Obama is not engaged enough on South Sudan in particular, and that his lack of attention has endangered the future of the newly formed country.

Retiring Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., has traveled to the area and praised Bush’s efforts there, saying the ex-president’s “high-profile” appointment of former Sen. John Danforth, R-Mo., in 2001 as special envoy to Sudan sent a message to the world that he cared about the region.

“If you contrast that with this administration, I think they have done a horrible job,” Wolf says. “They have not appointed a special envoy of such credibility that if he or she were to speak, the world would listen.”

Wolf has advocated for the Obama administration to reach out to the George W. Bush Presidential Center and employ the former presidentand his staff on South Sudan diplomacy, because Bush continues to be popular in Africa.

“But for some reason the administration just didn’t want to do that,” Wolf says. He declined to go into detail regarding his conversations with the center. “And President Bush and the people around the Bush library did not want to look like they were criticizing the Obama administration or second-guessing them, which I think everyone has to respect.”

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also has pushed for more diplomacy, saying in a floor speech last week that the U.S. must “exert our diplomatic arsenal to bring an end to the fighting and restore that promise of the peaceful and hopeful future for South Sudan.”

The administration, however, says it’s important to support the African-led peace process because regional buy-in is key to the success of any peace agreement, as neighboring countries have a direct interest in a stable and prosperous South Sudan. Any action taken at the U.N. also requires support from other African nations.

“We’re working now, in support of [the Intergovernmental Authority on Development], talking about a sanctions resolution in the U.N. that would mirror what we have done bilaterally already,” Booth says, referring to U.S. sanctions implemented in April against South Sudanese individuals via executive order from Obama.

The senior administration official says “nothing has been definitively ruled in or ruled out” regarding possible U.N. action, including an arms embargo. Some have called for a halt to arms sales to stop the regional violence, but such measures can be difficult to enforce and don’t always have the impact desired.

Obama has acknowledged the anniversary of the recent conflict, issuing a statement last week calling for peace. And his less personal approach may be gaining support.

Carson says the U.S. ultimately is right not to take the lead and instead back African-led negotiation efforts.

“We don’t want to own the problems of Sudan and South Sudan because the moment we own them, we are responsible for their success or failure,” Carson says. “The moment we own it, we run the risk of alienating others in the region who have a stake in trying to solve them.”

Teresa Welsh is a foreign affairs reporter at U.S. News & World Report. E-mail her at twelsh@usnews.com and follow her on Twitter.

South Sudan’s raging conflict: Britain must view the crisis with a wider lens

One year of conflict, 1.9 million people displaced, thousands dead, and £149 million in UK humanitarian aid spent. These are the numbers that will dominate the coverage of South Sudan in the coming days.

But if the British government wants to turn that £149 million into long term recovery, it must look at the last year with a wider lens. Because even these starkest of statistics do not do justice to the damage wrought by the last 12 months. This was also a time of questionable oil deals, side-lined parliamentarians, intimidated journalists and $1 billion in industry-backed loans.

While the UK government is rightly focussed on servicing urgent humanitarian needs today, these setbacks pose a deep threat to development and prosperity for the next generations of South Sudanese. This “distraction effect” is not new: while humanitarian aid poured into Angola in the nineties, the country’s oil wealth was sold, loaned and leased, enriching a tiny elite and leaving everyone else in the dust. Many remain there today.

Britain, as one of South Sudan’s biggest donors, must act now rather than awaiting the signature of an elusive peace deal. The UK government must call on South Sudan’s presidency to withhold from signing multi-million pound extractive deals in this time of crisis. Britain must work more closely with civil society to ensure the freedom of South Sudan’s press.  And Britain must provide support to South Sudan’s elected parliament, so that it can act as a representative of the will of the South Sudanese people.

The reasons why are clear. In an already deeply divided nation, the entrenchment of high-level corruption, and those who perpetrate it, will provide kindling for future sparks of conflict. And the risk of corruption, while no one is looking, is indeed on the rise in South Sudan. Last week, the country made an appearance on Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index, clocking in at 171 of 175. Perhaps one of the reasons South Sudan’s citizens are finding it hard to trust in their government is that management of the oil industry, the country’s only source of wealth, is being quietly hidden away.

In October, Global Witness reported on the government’s negotiations with Spanish-based oil company Star Petroleum. The company seems to be on the cusp of signing a contract for a huge oil concession – 45,000 square kilometres – in the cash-strapped state, yet citizens know next to nothing about it. While both the government and the company refuted our concerns about the deal, neither has made significant moves to demonstrate to citizens that it is in their best interest or to make the details of the deal publicly available.

This comes at a time when the government is borrowing $1 billion dollars from oil companies. That’s almost one third of the total budget being bankrolled by the petroleum industry. Despite obvious risks with this arrangement, the terms of those loans remain in the shadows.

As transparency wanes, those who question the government are side-lined and silenced.  Journalists have been the subject of threats and intimidation: told what they can report on and how, arrested, questioned and seen entire runs of their papers confiscated. MPs face similar intimidation tactics and critical decisions are being made without their consent. The National Security Bill, giving an already overzealous security service sweeping powers of arrest and detention, was put to the vote in October. Despite 224 of 309 MPs boycotting the vote, the bill it was declared passed, sparking heavy criticism from the likes of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Without the checks provided by a free press and parliament, corruption is free to thrive while donors are distracted. Corruption keeps people poor, it provides the grievance necessary to pick up a gun, and it suffocates economic growth – depriving people of the opportunity to do anything other than fight to survive.

Three years ago, President Salva Kiir’s inaugural address proclaimed: “Our people want peace, for without peace there shall neither be good governance nor development.” International donors could do with reminding themselves of those words now. Kiir neatly makes the point that many seem to be missing – that war has not only sparked a catastrophic humanitarian crisis, but a rapid shrinking of political space, and a rapid growth of corruption risk.

There are critical points at which donors must say enough is enough; business as usual is not for today. Now, one year into a brutal conflict, is such a point. The British government must call for a halt to the oil deals, and stand up both for the rights of a free press and an unimpeded Parliament. Our message is this: Do not let today’s crisis in South Sudan undermine its future.

Emma Vickers

South Sudan campaign

Global Witness

Mobile: +44 (0)7715 076 548

Direct: +44 (0)207 492 5838

Twitter: @EmmaVickersGW

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Global Witness investigates and campaigns to break the links between natural resources, conflict and corruption.


Lest We Forget The Hundreds of Thousands Who Perished in Salva Kiir’s Juba Genocide!!

By Adwok Nyaba

Today, December 15, 2014, marks the first anniversary of the Juba massacre of ethnic Nuers ordered by President Salva Kiir Mayardit. It remains the saddest day in the history of South Sudan for it triggered the worst animal instincts, dehumanized us, that in a matter of moments we began to discriminate and decimate ourselves on the basis of ethnicity. Initially, the Nuers alone were marked for death at the hands of ‘dutku beny’ or the auxiliary presidential guards recruited specifically for that purpose at the behest of President Kiir by Paul Malong Awan. Nevertheless, any Dinka with facial marks as the Nuers suffered the same brutal fate. The village boys from Warrap and Awiel did not know that other Dinka people existed in Upper Nile or Jonglei. They also murdered a Chollo judge because they wanted to possess the Toyota V8 he drove.

Then, in a few days the mayhem spread like bush fire to other towns Bor, Bentiu, Malakal, Renk, etc., where now the Nuer in a similar fashion avenged their beloved ones against the Shilluk, Dinka, Nuer, Maaban, etc. The Shilluk also took on the Nuer; the Dinka took on the Shilluk, Nuer and Maaban. In his desperation, President Salva Kiir Mayardit invited the Dar Furi Sudanese rebels [Tora Bora], the Justice and Equality Movement to join the war against Dr. Riek Machar. He also invited the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces [UPDF] and their Helicopter Gunships whose gunners could not differentiate between the Nuers, Dinka, SPLA or White Army and bombed them without segregation, in a civil turned regional war with ill-defined political objective. Nevertheless, characterized by vengeance and counter-vengeance, for no reason, in which innocent women, elderly and children without distinction, perished in a manner unprecedented in our wars not even when we fought the mujahedeen and the muralieen.

December 15, 2013 is the day for which, we must invariably lower our heads in shame to deflate our individual inordinately enlarged ego. For that day imperceptibly exposed our five decades pretense and collective self-deception that we were one people fighting for liberation, equality, freedom and justice. On that day, inadvertently we denied our commonality, collective heritage and we forgot about neighborhood or neighbour standing up to defend the neighbour in danger.

It was the day indeed our compatriots who after the CPA came back from the Diaspora quickly identified themselves as American, Canadian, British, French, Australian citizens as they stampeded to catch the airplanes evacuating foreigners from Juba, Bor, Malakal and other towns in South Sudan leaving us to finish the job killing ourselves. Some of the perpetrators of the Juba massacre even evacuated to go back to Nairobi, Kampala, Australia and USA whence they came from. We know them individually and justice and accountability will not spare them when that time comes.

On December 15, 2013, we confirmed to our detractors that nothing but the common enemy in form of northern Sudan united us. We did not have a magnanimous leader since we lost Dr. John Garang de Mabior. Indeed, that tragic Helicopter crashed with all of us. Comrade Salva Kiir did not fit into Garang’s shoes. He was not the Joshua once in 2005 the Archbishop of Juba Archdiocese described him. Therefore by thinking solely of himself and his power Salva Kiir did not invest much in keeping our people united. For on December 15, 2013 he invited foreign troops to kill our people thus negating the independence and sovereignty for which our fore fathers and ourselves sacrificed over the decades.

One year on today December 14, 2014, the job is not finished. The killing still goes on unabated fueled by intense hatred and the urge to finish the others as if we want to bury the country with the dead we killed. On the following days, our people voted with their feet traveling to Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia to the refugee camps. However, the affluent ones, the potbellied linked to the Warrap mafia with connections to the Central Bank of South Sudan made up with huge dollars bank notes to purchase real estate in Kampala, Nairobi, Addis Ababa and other regional cities in order to run away from the consequences of their conspiracy. They did not want to see the corpses they felled. The poor land locked ones in Upper Nile and Unity states made it back to the Sudan; back to the squalid makeshift camps in the suburbs of Khartoum, Kosti, Medani, etc., suggesting yet that the Southern Sudan referendum and the independence vote they cast was the biggest mistake in their lives.

No! Our people made no mistake voting in the referendum for self-determination. Their leaders betrayed them! The leaders of the war of national liberation betrayed them. All along the twenty-one years of revolutionary armed struggle and chanting liberation songs, the people had believed, and wrongly though, that their liberation leaders were different from the Arabized Northern elite who ruled the Sudan from Khartoum since 1956. The CPA transformed those liberation leaders into the people’s ‘oppressive-eaters’. In eight years, by their performance in government, those leaders not only turned the people of South Sudan against each other in ethnicized conflicts, but also looted the country’s resources, drank the oil, killed the innocent, emasculated the burgeoning state institutions and transformed the country into a limited liability enterprise in order to facilitate and lubricate the looting.

Eight years of random and rampant looting, these liberation leaders stashed their loots in foreign lands, doubly denying the people the benefit of investment and job creation in the country. They built palaces not in the land for which the fought and died but in the neighbourhood or far afield in Melbourne, Sidney or Washington DC and San Francisco. Not only that, but in the eight years these liberation leaders blocked, undermined, conspired against, chastised, elbowed out and ostracised their own comrades in struggle to enable personification of power and wealth. Some threw in the towel and left government posts in frustration. Some rebelled and met their deaths in hotel rooms in the neighbourhood.

Yet Salva Kiir pardoned some and awarded government purchased villas. In the eight years following the CPA the best SPLA combatants registered as ‘unconfirmed names’ and were consigned to their homes – the revolution is over; and the ‘wounded in action’ registered in DDR projects which did not materialize as corruption also ate into the hearts and minds of the managers who arrived from the Diaspora. The widows and orphans of former SPLA combatants ‘fallen in action’ registered as concubines to satiate the sexual appetite of the living colleagues now promoted to the general.

These generals were the former SPLA commanders and alternate commanders etc. Those among them who have no command or did not become ministers to access easy money [inflated parades in the commands] now engage in bad business in everything with foreign ‘friends’ ranging from rent-seeking; providing services that frustrated and prevented modernizing transport system and the provision of pipe water in Juba, because their Ugandan driven bodaboda or Ethiopian/Eritrean driven water-tankers must make money. Some ran, in collaboration with Ugandans and Congolese, brothels in Jebel Market dispensing HIV to unsuspecting adolescents. Some of them even ventured into higher education sector and with assistance of Ugandan conmen opened universities that awarded degrees to primary school dropouts. One of these universities in Awiel offered Bachelor of Legal Laws [abbreviated LLB] suggesting the people behind the project were fraudsters.

The patronage system informalized the economy lubricated by dollar notes available to relatives who sell it on the open Juba market [it would be a misnomer to call Black Market the umbrella covered street dollar vendors]. Free women, house-wives and young girls have been drawn into dollar business losing morals and morality as they conceive illegitimate children in the course of time. Land became a commodity for which one could lose life. An engineer, a former Mayor of Yei were murdered over land to mention a few cases of land grabbing. The owner of ‘Rock City Hotel Complex missed death by whisker because the principal wanted to own the business.

Eight and half years of vanity was bound to culminate in December 15, 2013. It could not have be less than that for leaders who lost the SPLM vision and direction. The leaders ran the country based on political patronage of ethnic and regional lobbies rather than formal institutions. Thus, after betraying the compatriots of the northern sector, the Nuba and the Funj whose bones litter South Sudan, these SPLM leaders betrayed the Abyei people and refused to stand with them to ensure the regional and international recognition of the successful referendum they conducted on October 31, 2013.

Therefore, the events of December 15, 2013 represent the anti-climax of SPLM as a national liberation movement. The events of December 15, 2013 mark the decline from the height of national liberation to the fragility and then the state collapse. The events epitomize the end of Salva Kiir to the helm of the SPLM now split into SPLM [IG], SPLM {IO] and SPLM [FPD]. It could not have been otherwise given that Salva Kiir surrounded his leadership of the SPLM and the Government of Republic of South Sudan with Bahr el Ghazal [reader Gogrial and Awan] elders as the inner circle of the Jieng Council of Elders [JCE] since he inherited power in 2005. President Salva Kiir, the first president of the Republic is adamant on his incumbency notwithstanding the precarious crossroads, between being and not, he has now placed South Sudan.

Now surrounded by a cartel of commercial interests, security barons and traditional leaders bent on enjoying power, wealth and influence Salva Kiir is constructing a despotism unprecedented in South Sudan and unparalleled in the region.

It is about time the people of South Sudan transformed this tragedy into its opposite as we commemorate the demise of hundreds of thousands of our people. Their death shall not have been in vain if we all rise to defeat ethnic chauvinism and bigotry, licentiousness, greed for power and wealth, as well as love of self. These viruses plunged this country into this dismal situation. The conflict contours are now well defined. In Arusha the three SPLM factions [IG, IO and FPD] discovered and located the root cause of this political malaise locate in the SPLM leadership failure not in the ethnic configuration of South Sudan.

It is now clear; our people have nothing against themselves. The Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk, Maaban, Murle, Mundari, Balanda, Ndogo, Kriesh, name them have nothing against each other as a people. Their predicament springs from the manipulations by the political and military elite, which the war of national liberation catapulted to the helm, of their social, linguistic and cultural diversity. The elite that put power and wealth over and above any human consideration, and which has put its tommy over and above the nation has consequently run down the country in less than eight years of brinksmanship. President Salva Kiir Mayardit represents that elite leadership that hangs onto power oblivious of and fails to notice how the country is sliding down the drain.

Lest we forget, it is now time the people of South Sudan took the initiative. It is no longer the issue of Salva Kiir; it is the country and the nation at stake. The war should come to an immediate end through the concerted efforts of all peace loving South Sudanese. It is about time that we rallied behind the resistance forces everywhere in South Sudan to route Salva Kiir out of J1 in order to salvage the country.

Organize do NOT Agonize! Lest we forget December 15, 2013!

Peter Adwok Nyaba
Pagak, Maiwut County, Upper Nile State
The Republic of South Sudan
December 15, 2014