Archive for September 9, 2011

Blue Nile blues

Posted: September 9, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Khartoum made life hard for the indigenous black Africans of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan. This oppression may lead them to follow the South Sudan example, chronicles Gamal Nkrumah 

Once again Sudan shudders. It was never going to be easy for Khartoum to live without South Sudan. Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir was hoping to win support for his peace initiative with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

A minimalist reading of the contemporary history of Sudan could argue that the SPLM, and especially its SPLM-North Sector has emerged as the champion of the peripheral peoples of Northern Sudan. These are peoples whose allegiance is to South Sudan, or at least the “New Sudan” that the late John Garang, the founding father of the SPLM, propagated.

Garang’s vision was of a united Sudan in which not only southerners, but also all the non-Arabised, indigenous black Africans of Sudan had a say in how their country was run. He insisted that the SPLM was not a secessionist movement but rather one that defended the rights of the underdog in Sudan. Hundreds of thousands of non-Arabised Sudanese from the North such as the Nuba people of South Kordofan and the Ngassena people of the Blue Nile as well as a considerable number of Sudanese Arabs joined the ranks of the SPLM. Garang’s SPLM was a Pan-Sudanese, Pan-African movement. It was never a secessionist southern Sudanese group. Garang’s policy was to go global, or at least continental, look local. Development, he recognised, is a global business run from a village.

In the mix of languages and peoples in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, underdevelopment and abject poverty have taken their toll on the people of these two border areas between northern and southern Sudan. Politically and culturally, they are more akin to South Sudan. They feel excluded from the decision-making process in Khartoum.

The peoples of South Kordofan and Blue Nile are not Arabised, like the northern Sudanese even though their territories are administered as part of northern Sudan. They believe that their prospects, economic and political, will look pretty good if they are part of the newly independent South Sudan. They are not necessarily all Muslim, even though a substantial number of the peoples of South Kordofan and Blue Nile are actually Muslim. However, the political predicament that they face is not about religion, rather it is a question of race.

Northern Sudanese, in particular the ruling clique, despise the indigenous African black-skinned races of Sudan and treat them like slaves. Arabs rule the roost. Racial oppression, including de jure segregation left a bitter legacy in the political dynamics of Sudan. With the secession of South Sudan, the crisis of racial politics remains in the northern two-thirds of the country.

Is it possible that Khartoum has its priorities a bit, shall we say, upside down? Race and religion raise passions in Sudan to an intensity that appears bizarre in the rest of the Arab world. Other Arabs regard Sudan as the Land of Blacks, a literal translation of Sudan in Arabic. However, the Sudanese themselves are acutely conscious of the different shades of black among themselves. There is blue black, the darkest complexion; there is green, the next darkest, then red and then yellow. This is how the Sudanese define their blackness. The blue people are invariably the non-Arabised indigenous Africans and they form the majority of the country’s population. People in western Sudan — Darfur and Kordofan — are mostly blue. People in Blue Nile, not surprisingly, are blue, too.

Khartoum, the national capital has more than its fair share of blue people. However, the powers that be are invariably reds and greens, with the yellows monopolising the economy. The arguments which successive Sudanese governments and state officials have used to justify their strategy of genocide are bogus.

Since independence from Britain in 1956, Sudan has used the threat of war to bludgeon the blues into submission. Successive Sudanese governments have actually gone to war to bring the blues to their knees. Yet cynically using genocide to bully blues in this way is an abuse of the legal process, which is ostensibly based on Islamic Sharia laws, and a barbarous evasion of democratic accountability.

The people of South Kordofan do not accept the their new governor who they say was forcibly imposed on them by Khartoum and President Al-Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP). Governor Ahmed Haroun of South Kordofan is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity. Fighting broke out and SPLM fighters were ordered to disarm after Ahmed Haroun was declared the state’s new governor. SPLM-North Sector enjoys considerable support among ethnic Nuba people of South Kordofan and they will settle for nothing less than full integration into the political system of Khartoum as members of the SPLM.

Cheated of victory in this year’s governorship elections, the Nuba people of South Kordofan are even contemplating joining South Sudan where they believe their citizenship rights will be guaranteed. The South Sudan Self-Determination referendum last July led to the independence of South Sudan as a sovereign state. When the south seceded, the aspirations of South Kordofan and Blue Nile were addressed in guaranteeing autonomy as part of North Sudan.

Khartoum embarked instead on a policy of appointing military governors without consulting the locals. The implementation of the South Kordofan and Blue Nile protocols was flagrantly ignored by the ruling NCP in Khartoum. SPLM-North Sector has protested and rightly insists it deserves a more prominent role in northern Sudanese politics.

It is in this context that Sudanese government spokeswoman Sanaa Hamad told the BBC that Blue Nile is no longer a war zone and that its inhabitants are enjoying peace. Yehia Mohamed is the military governor of Blue Nile, and he has pursued a policy of heavy-handed mass castigation of the indigenous blue people of Blue Nile. To a large extent, it is the peace of the dead.

Yet if one set of arguments could and should be drummed into the heads of northern politicians, the set to choose is the incorporation of the indigenous peoples in the political process. The former governor of Blue Nile Malik Agor was elected leader of SPLM-North Sector, a political boost for the non-Arabised, marginalised peoples of northern Sudan.

Meanwhile, northern Sudanese troops are accused of ethnic cleansing in Blue Nile. More than 20 people were killed in recent clashes between the SPLM forces and Sudanese government troops. Some 20,000 refugees fled across the border into neighbouring Ethiopia.

The pretense of religious piety by the NCP government, their bad faith and hypocrisy in dealing with the longsuffering people of South Kordofan and Blue Nile have outraged the international community. “Ordering families to return to a highly dangerous region where bombings continue is senseless,” the London-based Amnesty International spokesman explained recently. This points to the wider crisis of racism in Sudan. The danger is that the peoples of South Kordofan and Blue Nile are tempted as never before to join forces with Western powers and even Israel to rid themselves of northern hegemony. This is an issue the gravely concerns Egypt. Cairo, for instance, seeks clarification concerning the curious question of the hoisting of the Southern Sudanese flag over Jerusalem. Juba has chosen Jerusalem as the location for its new embassy in Israel.

The Arab world hopes that the day will not come when Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur do not follow suit. But for now, Khartoum’s adversaries in Sudan will be obliged to refute that negative image.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2011/1063/re10.htm


Alcon,

Attached is the Republic of South Sudan Student Eligibility Requirements and Application form.

If you are interested please fill-out and email your application to SLFP@GossMission.org.

For further information about the what the program entails please refer below to the press released back on Aug. 18, 2011.

SLFP-USA Eligibilty & Application Form.pdf

Office of Student Loan Forgiveness Launches its Program

WASHINGTON, DC, (18 Aug. 2011) – The Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan
in Washington, DC announces its plan to formally launch a pilot South Sudan
Student Loan Forgiveness Program (SSSLFP) for South Sudanese Diaspora in the
USA. The SSSLFP is a financial aid program that the government of South
Sudan has initiated to encourage and maintain skilled South Sudanese
Diaspora professionals and graduates to contribute to development at home.

This program was initiated by the Government of The Republic of South Sudan
and Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. Under the SSSLFP, The
government of South Sudan will repay student loan base on the duration of
the employments as reflected on the services agreement. This program is aim
to pay loan incurred during pursuit of an educational training, bachelor’s
degree, masters degree or PhD. Loan repayments will be made on the condition
that all eligible applicants show proof of the following criteria: South
Sudanese nationality; educational attainment and; student loan information.
Additionally, all applicants must commit to work full time in South Sudan
for a period of time commensurate with the amount of loan to be repaid. Work
commitment in the areas of, but not limited to the areas of: public service;
federal, state and local agencies; nonprofit organizations; public health;
military service; and public interest organizations.

The government of South Sudan has acknowledged the student loan financial
obligations as a matter that prevents some South Sudanese graduates and
professionals from returning back home in order to participate in the
development of their country. Therefore, the government of South Sudan
intends to use the SSSLFP as a method to ease student debts burden and to
attract skilled South Sudanese professionals back home. For more information
please contact the South Sudan Student Loan Forgiveness Program at the
following:

Office of Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Point of Contact:

Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan, USA
1233 20th Street NW, Suite 602, Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202.293.7940 Fax: 202.293.7941
E-mail: SLFP@GossMission.org — Website: www.GossMission.org

Mr. Peter Konday Muon: 202-293-7940 Ext. 29
Mr. Reec Akuak: 202-293-7940 Ext. 29
Mr. Julius Nyambur Wani: 202-293-7940 Ext. 29

Best Regards,
Reec Akuak
Treasurer

The Southern Sudanese Community
Advocating — Mentoring — Nurturing

202.656.TSSC (8772)
Direct/Cell: 202.596.6009
Fax: 202.280.1007

R.Akuak@TSSC.us
www.TSSC.us
——————————

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SLFP-USA Eligibilty & Application Form.pdf SLFP-USA Eligibilty & Application Form.pdf
245K   View   Download

Alarm as LRA rebels launch fresh attacks in remote South Sudan village

Posted: September 9, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Machel Amos Nation correspondent
Posted Friday, September 9 2011 at 20:31

In Summary

  • SPLA spokesman says rebels headed back to Central African Republic after looting property

The Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels crossed into South Sudan from Central Africa last week and attacked a village in Raja County in Western Bhar al-Ghazal state, South Sudanese authorities said on Friday.

The spokesman of the Sudan People’s liberation Army, Col. Philip Aguer, said the rebels looted property and headed back to CAR, but said no casualty figures were reported.

“The LRA rebels were moving in large numbers. For the first time they were 80 but they are moving with their families and they came to Raja County and went back to CAR,” Aguer said.

The incident is the latest such violence from the rebels in South Sudan since the country gained independence on July 9.

Aguer said that despite their big number, they could not ascertain where they were headed to.

“Their movement is a bit confusing because of thick forest. They were coming from CAR,” he said.

Rebel leader Joseph Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court to answer charges of abuse of human rights.

Since he declined to sign a peace agreement in Juba with the Ugandan government in 2008, seeking the deferral of ICC indictment, Kony has been on the run.

A joint military offensive by Uganda, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo flashed out the rebels from their hide-outs in the thick Garamba forest in DRC in 2008.

The LRA is one of the several armed groups, alongside ethnic cattle rustlers, that South Sudan is struggling to contain.

The army also announced that it captured a senior leader of one of the rebel movements headed by George Athor Deng.

General Philip Lasuba was arrested as he tried to cross to Kitgum District in northern Uganda, where he would later fly to Nairobi and finally to Khartoum to get arms and ammunition, according to the army.

Military trial

“We arrested him and he is being interrogated and then later on he will be evaluated by SPLA military justice,” Aguer said.

Lasuba was captured by the rebels while fighting for the SPLA during a clash in a remote village in Jonglei state.

Athor promoted him from private to the rank of general and deployed him as mobiliser for Eastern Equatoria State.

Lasuba said he was arrested after recruiting 94 youths ready for a military operation and alleged that he travelled from Khartoum to Nairobi with the assistance of the country’s main opposition party chairman Lam AKol.

Lam has denied the allegation.

At the same time, Sudan has deployed additional troops in the fragile border state of Blue Nile, where fierce fighting broke out last week between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and forces formerly commanded by the South Sudanese army.

A source said Popular Defence Forces (PDF) had been deployed in large numbers as the new military governor enforced his authority and plans to flash out the remnants of “enemy” forces.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/africa/-/1066/1233416/-/item/1/-/tof9afz/-/index.html

Sudanese bishops call for nonviolence, patience in building South Sudan

Posted: September 9, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Catholic News Service

JUBA, South Sudan (CNS) — Recognizing the difficulties facing the people of South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference called upon citizens to join with government leaders to build a country through reconciliation and nonviolence.

The bishops, concluding a three-day meeting Sept. 8, said in a statement that by working together, the people of South Sudan must be "one nation from every tribe, tongue and people."

South Sudan became independent July 9, six months after citizens voted overwhelmingly to secede from Sudan following decades of war.

"We encourage all citizens of South Sudan, with their faith communities, civil society and political parties, to participate in building a new, prosperous and peaceful nation," the bishops said. "We encourage a culture of hard work rather than entitlement or dependency."

The bishops committed the church to continue playing a "proactive and prophetic role" in public life by insisting on human rights and responsibility, the dignity of the individual and the Gospel values expressed in Catholic social teaching.

Lamenting the outbreak of internal conflicts in Jonglei state and the disruptions caused by the nomadic Lord’s Resistance Army in Western Equatoria and Western Bahr al Ghazal states, the bishops called for the settlement of disagreements through nonviolent means.

"Violence is not the answer," the bishops said. "We call upon all stakeholders in South Sudan to work for peace and reconciliation. We recommit ourselves and our church to the continual process of national reconciliation at every level."

The bishops also called upon government officials and citizens to eliminate corruption so that all people may realize the benefits promised by independence.

"We recognized that ‘Rome was not built in a day’ and that the development of a new nation is a process which will take time. While constantly holding the government to account and always expecting progress, we nevertheless caution citizens to manage their expectations, to be patient in their demands, to be fair to the government and to allow them time to move forward carefully and in good order," the statement said.

The bishops commended the South Sudanese leaders for appointing both men and women from broad geographic regions to government posts, but also urged officials to move more quickly to address the delivery of basic services, the building of infrastructure, increasing crime and insecurity and the rising price of essential commodities.

END
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1103575.htm

Duke University (USA) Restricts Travel to South Sudan

Posted: September 9, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Education

Officials monitoring situation in newly independent country

Durham, NC – Duke University is restricting travel to the newly created Republic of South Sudan because of unsettled conditions in the area following elections that led to its independence.

South Sudan became an independent state on July 9 and with border areas and the government in transition, the Duke International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) has voted to restrict travel during this time.

The region had been on Duke’s Restricted Travel List prior to independence when it was part of Sudan. Duke’s presence in the region is currently small – primarily several collaborations involving Duke Divinity graduate students – but faculty members have expressed hopes for expanding ties with the new country, including a possible DukeEngage course.

Undergraduates must petition and be granted a waiver to use university funds for travel or participate in programs in South Sudan. Undergraduates who receive a travel waiver must still register their travel and sign a High Risk Travel Waiver/Release Form prior to completing their travel plans.

Graduate, professional and post-docs do not need to petition for a waiver of the restriction, but they are required to register their travel and provide a High Risk Travel Waiver/Release Form prior to departure. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to register their travel plans, and all travelers should carry their Duke-ISOS membership card while traveling abroad.

Duke’s International Travel Oversight Committee will continue to monitor the situation in South Sudan by seeking guidance from its travel insurance provider, consulting with various governmental warnings and advisories, and communicating with faculty/staff that travel to the country during this time of transition. This restriction will be reviewed periodically and if a change is warranted it can be modified at any time.

The country of North Sudan continues to have a full-country restriction in place as well as federal Office of Export Controls sanctions. Travelers must check with the Office of Export Controls when considering travel to North Sudan.

The Duke International Travel Policy for restricted countries is the same as for South Sudan.

For more information, contact Christy Michels at 684-2910 or email christy.parrish@duke.edu.

http://today.duke.edu/2011/09/sudantravel

South Africa to Support South Sudan’s Media

Posted: September 9, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Martin Jada

8 September 2011

press release

Juba — The Republic of South Africa has expressed readiness to support the development of media and communication systems in the Republic of South Sudan.

This was revealed today during a meeting between the minister for Information and Broadcasting Hon Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin and the Editor-in-Chief of the independent Pan African News and renowned South African journalist Dr Snuki Zikalala.

Dr Marial thanked the government of South Africa for its continued support to the Republic of South Sudan. He pledged the two countries will cooperate to push forward the principles of democracy and mutual investment to improve the livelihoods of their citizens. On his part, Dr Zikalala said that they will hit the ground as soon as the requisite framework is developed.

In another event, Dr Marial received a special Pakistani delegation led by Ambassador Seema Naqvi. The delegation expressed interest to support the Republic of South Sudan in the areas of information, engineering, medicine, education and textile manufacturing.

In an exclusive interview with this staff writer, Ambassador Naqvi affirmed the commitment of the Pakistani government to stand by the people of South Sudan as they make the first steps into their independence. She also said that Pakistan will support various training programmes in diverse fields in an effort to bring together the citizens of both countries in mutually-beneficial friendship.

Remarks of President Kiir to the Summit on Horn of Africa Crisis

Posted: September 9, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Speeches

Remarks of H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit
President of the Republic of South Sudan

The Summit on the Horn of Africa Crisis
“Ending Drought Emergencies”
A Commitment to Sustainable Solutions:

Your Excellency, Mwai Kibaki, President of Kenya

Your Excellencies Heads of Delegation

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to bring greetings from the people of South Sudan who have recently attained their independence on July 9th, 2011, and also sincere sympathy from the people of South Sudan to our brothers and sisters in the Horn of Africa, who are heavily affected by the drought, especially in Somalia and the Northern part of Kenya.

It is now general knowledge; that the Horn of Africa countries are facing one of the worst natural disasters for the last three decades. According to the UN and other agencies, the current rainy season is the driest since 1950. This has caused a major food crisis in the region that has escalated to famine within our Region. The number of countries and populations affected magnifies the disaster.

This crisis is not about loss of crops and livestock, alone. It is about more than that. It is about the loss of lives. It is about the loss of habitat and ecology. It is about the loss of serenity and culture. And most of all, it is about the impact of this crisis on the security which is deeply alarming. I mean security in the larger sense of the term, that is to say, food security, physical security, national security and health security.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

Allow me to draw your attention to the movement of our affected population who have been internally displaced meanwhile others have sought refuge across international borders. Some of the international reception centers and refugee camps are hosting more than they can accommodate. Should any out-break occur in these centers, it could be disastrous to the affected population and beyond. Unless we take urgent, collective and concerted measures into account in this region, such conditions are recipes for instability in an already conflict-ridden region.

We are grateful to the United Nations, and other agencies both International and National, and to our friends and allies for their support and assistance on yet another crisis-time in the Horn of Africa region.
Aid in funds and in kind is pouring into the affected region. But the needs are overwhelming and the funding gap is still huge.

Since the Ethiopian ‘catastrophic famine’ of 1984-1985, the region, the UN, the international relief non-governmental organizations and the international community at large have come a long way and have accumulated knowledge on the logistics, diplomacy and security realities of drought and famine emergency aid. Early warning systems related to drought patterns and food shortages are now believed to be generally accurate. However, official governmental response; national, regional, continental and international­­, is lagging behind and below the required funding to adequately confront the food crisis. Now is the right time for concerted actions to avert future famine in our Region.

Dissemination of information and raising awareness of the people of the region regarding the drought and food crisis is paramount. Affected countries need to mobilize their societies as a whole including the general public, private sectors, civil societies, religious organizations and political parties. Each of these components needs to contribute to addressing this disaster. The Private sector in particular can also commit resources towards research, small projects in the drought-affected localities as well as in the implementation of the Nairobi Action Plan.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

South Sudan has just joined the international community of nations on the 9th of July 2011 as an independent nation. Today marks the passage of two months since the proclamation of the independence of South Sudan. As a new nation, we are also affected by the current food crisis. There is stoppage of cross-border trade by the Government of Sudan, which has affected four of our states that border Sudan. We continue to face challenges integrating the returnees who have come back to South Sudan. This challenge has been compounded by the most recent fighting in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States as refugees have fled into South Sudan. All of these people are now fully dependent on food assistance.

However my Government remains committed to creating alternative reliable sources for food import other than what we get from Sudan. We will also devote adequate resources for rehabilitation of our agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors in order to bridge the food shortages and enhance our food security.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

We are also committed to sustainability of rural life in all key sectors. It is the vision of our country to ‘take the towns to the villages’. Our former Leader, Dr John Garang de Mabior, articulated this vision repeatedly. It is the responsibility and the duty of my Government to make it a living reality. We need not reinvent the wheel; there are existing initiatives, frameworks and regional strategies, which need to be streamlined, coordinated and introduced to national programmes that already exist. My Government will adopt the Nairobi Action Plan and ensure that it is included in our Three Year Development Plan for implementation.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

In conclusion, I wish to express my gratitude and appreciation to the President and Government of Kenya for organizing this Regional Summit to consider the drought situation affecting the Horn of Africa Region. It is timely and opportune as it comes in the aftermath of the Africa Union Pledging Conference on the same theme. And in this regard I wish to reaffirm our earlier pledge to contribute One Million United States Dollars to be devoted to the ongoing efforts to combat the devastating effects of the drought that has affected our Region. This contribution is modest and may only be a drop in the ocean in terms of the enormous needs that have to be met. However we consider it an important symbolic gesture that underscores our commitment to the Region.

We know the Kenyan people and Government are resilient, industrious and generous. Kenya stood by the people of South Sudan for many years.
Kenya continues to support the Government and the people of South Sudan to consolidate peace, prosperity and independence. South Sudan will stand by Kenya and the countries of the Horn of Africa region in every way we can. Together we will rebuild our affected communities, assist them to reclaim their lands and livelihoods and gradually regain their confidence to build up their food security.

May God bless us all.


O N F I D E N T I A L KHARTOUM 001297 SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/25/2013 TAGS: ASEC PGOV PREL KPKO SOCI AU UNSC SU
SUBJECT: GOSS VP MACAHR CONTINUED OBJECT OF SUSPICION BY MANY IN THE SPLM

Classified By: A/CDA Mark Asquino for reasons 1.4 (b) and (c)

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) Vice President Riek Machar is the object of continued reports by SPLA intelligence sources accusing him of conspiracies to undermine GOSS President Salva Kiir and assume leadership of Southern Sudan. This deep level of distrust of one of the principle leaders of the SPLM portends troubling tensions within the GOSS presidency.

End summary.

2. (SBU) According to a recent report passed to ConGen Juba by Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) Military Intelligence, GOSS Vice President Riek Machar and Ex-Foreign Minister of Sudan Dr. Lam Akol held a clandestine meeting with Second Vice President of Sudan Ali Osman and other unidentified high-ranking members of the National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum on August 7, 2008. The report maintains that a number of topics were discussed, but that the primary reason for this meeting was to reconcile Akol with Machar, as their relationship had supposedly become strained. It was also supposedly agreed at this meeting that Machar would assume the presidency of Southern Sudan if Salva Kiir was assassinated.

3. (SBU)) The use of students as political tools was also reportedly discussed, and it was allegedly agreed that certain secondary and university students in Juba, Malakal, and Wau would be utilized to propagandize, distribute materials, and stage protests to criticize the Government of Southern Sudan.

4. (SBU) The funding of militias was also allegedly a topic of discussion. According to the report, there are militias in the Greater Equatoria region, Upper Nile and Unity states that have received financial support from the NCP in the past. Allegedly, these militias would be granted additional financial support in the near future to ensure their continued loyalty. Another earlier SPLA intelligence report accused Machar of meeting on August 5 with Akol, Former GNU State Minister for Justice Alieu Alieu, and former GNU presidential advisor Telar Deng to discuss the distribution of NCP funds. It was reported that in that meeting funds were allocated to co-opt select SPLA generals. (NOTE: Deng and Alieu became the first-ever SPLM members stripped of
their party affiliation in October 2007 following their removal from the party on grounds of insubordination. Akol narrowly escaped the same fate when he apologized directly to
Kiir in a Juba-based meeting. END NOTE.)

5. (SBU) An August 7 SPLA intelligence report alleged Machar devoted most of his discussion with his interlocutors to the topic of re-establishing a Council of Chiefs office in Juba. The Council of Chiefs is described as an organization of leaders of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) that re-located to the North. In the past this council has supposedly received funds from the NCP to resettle their people in the South. This Council of Chiefs office is reportedly intended
to be a political organization controlled by the NCP but operating within the South. The reported motivation for the opening of this office is to have a political organization that is not overtly allied with the NCP to lobby for a Border Defense Force that will respond to National Government taskings. The establishment of this office is to be allegedly financed with 150 Million Sudanese Pounds.

6. (C) Comment: Although there may be good reason to remain suspicious of Machar,s overall political intentions in the South, this constant stream of reporting by SPLA military intelligence against him cannot be verified. The rumors fuel conspiracy theories that there are elaborate plots being hatched against the GOSS with large amounts of NCP money supposedly being funneled to Machar to carry them out. Machar,s history of receiving funding from the North to fight the SPLA during the 1990s (and the slaughter of Dinka by his troops at the time) makes him for many in the South a man who cannot be trusted. The presence of Nuer oil militias paid for by Khartoum in Unity State adds to the perception that some Nuer are working against the interests of the South. While there may be little truth in the latest rumors, it is significant that they are being presented in reports from SPLA intelligence to Kiir. This, in turn, contributes to the continued deep mistrust and bitterness that persist in the SPLA and SPLM against Riek Machar. If the rumors in fact have no basis, it would be in Machar,s interest to dispel them, demonstrate he is a team player in the SPLM, and work to repair his relationship with Kiir.
ASQUINO

Cable on cleaning Corruption in the SPLA.

———————
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000252 SIPDIS DEPT FOR AF A A/S CARTER, AF/SPG, AF/E NSC FOR MGAVIN AND CHUDSON

ADDIS ABABA ALSO FOR USAU E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/23/2019 TAGS: PREL PGOV PINS EFIN MOPS MARR KDEM KCOR SU SUBJECT: NEW MINISTER ATTEMPTS TO CURB SPLA CORRUPTION Classified By: CDA Alberto M. Fernandez. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 1. (U) This is an action request – see para. 8

2. (C) SUMMARY: SPLA Affairs Minister Nhial Deng Nhial is attempting to move against commanders he suspects of corruption within the SPLA’s senior echelons less than one month into his ministerial tenure. The Minister’s political cover for the initiative is increasingly far-reaching: President Kiir has been briefed, and Nhial and Finance Minister Kuol Athian Mawien are due to meet the week of February 23 to review corrective measures required to bring
the SPLA’s budget-busting spending habits in line with standing GOSS regulations. The Minister has already placed Chief of General Staff Oyai Deng Ajak and his immediate staff under a microscope, and has requested USG assistance to isolate “problematic” SPLA commanders. Both the Finance Minister and Minister for SPLA Affairs lauded USG assistance to date in improving SPLA contracting mechanisms via a USG-facilitated SPLA Acquisitions Review Board and other initiatives. However, Nhial notes that until he is able to crack the mentality of some of those who are supposed to be his most-trusted advisors, his reform efforts risk being undermined from within.

END SUMMARY.

3. (C) Following their introductory meeting on February 17, SPLA Affairs Minister Nhial Deng Nhial noted to Consul General his concerns over a recently-awarded US$70 million contract to Harris Radios, and solicited USG assistance in “confirming his suspicions” regarding who within the SPLA was most intimately involved in the transaction. Nhial claims the contract was awarded without his review or approval, despite standing directives to the contrary. The Minister was particularly disturbed about the contract’s finalization so soon after his initial discussions with the Chief of General Staff and his deputies about planned changes to the SPLA’s procurement and accounting mechanisms. He regarded the maneuver as one designed to intentionally keep him in the dark, and his subsequent review of documents linked to the transaction “raised significant concerns.” (NOTE: USG-contracted advisors kept close watch on Harris representatives during their two most-recent visits to Juba. However, neither the SPLA’s Signals Director, Procurement Director, or their counterparts within the USG-funded Training/Advisory Team were consulted on the contract. The first time the Signals Director learned that the SPLA was considering procuring Harris equipment was following a
discussion with the USG-funded Communications Advisor.

END NOTE.)

4. (C) GOSS Finance Minister Kuol Athian Mawien told ConGen PolOff February 18 that he was personally leading his ministry’s efforts to assist Nhial with a review of contracts awarded by the SPLA since the start of the 2008 fiscal year. He noted that contracts awarded after the May 2008 death of the SPLA Affairs Minister would come under particular scrutiny. PolOff cited repeated criticism by the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) and state-level governments regarding perceived SPLA malfeasance, and asked if specific individuals were under investigation. Mawien hedged on the response, finally noting that “SPLA procurements have become so consistently irregular that to be irregular is to be consistent.” While Mawien maintained that over-expenditures were unlikely to have impacted SPLA ability to pays it troops
(a claim we find to be specious at best,) he stressed that the emphasis of the contract review will be less on over-expenditures and more on a comparison of products
delivered against cost payouts.

5. (C) Mawien, whose own ministry overspent its budget by 612 percent in the first half of the 2008 fiscal year, is unlikely to heavily criticize the SPLA for any “legitimate” over-expenditures discovered. The SSLA and GOSS Council of Ministers have given the SPLA carte-blanche to spend on defense procurements, with full recognition that the bulk of the military’s debt carry over is tied to the US$260,000/tank arms purchase from the Ukraine dating to 2006. Despite its
vocal criticism of the 2008 supplemental budget bill, the SSLA’s Select Committee on Finance and the Economy repeatedly invoked NCP stonewalling on CPA implementation and the
“precarious” nature of the North/South peace as “the only reason one needs to vote for this bill’s passage.”

6. (C) It remains difficult to establish whether SPLA corruption is limited to individuals or has become institutionalized. Anecdotal evidence abounds of senior SPLA commanders in Juba and beyond providing financial backing for KHARTOUM 00000252 002 OF 002 gasoline stations and of brigade and division-level general officers using their positions to forcibly seize land, and in some instances, infrastructure. While the senior command in Juba are candid with ConGen Juba staff about their expenditures, and (unlike other SPLA contacts) have not complained of going without pay, it is hard to discern whether spending sprees have been irregular or routine. The SPLA as an institution still remains largely devoid of codified and respected regulations. This stems from tribal factionalism, capacity and literacy issues, and an over-emphasis on unnecessary compartmentalization related to information-sharing and decision-making — a hold-over from the SPLA’s days as a guerrilla force. These same weaknesses have made the SPLA vulnerable to manipulation: both from less scrupulous elements within its ranks and from regional and international businesses seeking to prey on the SPLA,s naivet to make a quick buck. To date, more than 1,000 vehicles purchased by Dim Deng in 2007 have still not arrived in Sudan, a recently-awarded, multi-million dollar ID card contract stemming from the Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration Salva Mathok resulted in the delivery to Juba of less than one dozen laptops, a desktop scanner, and a handful of trainers. Nhial admitted to CG on February 16 that the only “definite information” he had on the Harris contract was that it originated from within the office of the Chief of General Staff, and it wasn’t listed in documents outlining procurement requirements for the 2009 fiscal year.

7. (C) Although displeased that his commanders are seemingly resistant to his initial directives, Nhial affirmed to ConGen PolOff February 21 that he will continue to act in a consultative fashion until give “indisputable proof that he should desist.” While he acknowledged that current in-house USG advisors focused on financial management and procurement are likely be located within his ministry, and may help him in his attempts at broad-based reform, what he needs most from “our friends” is either actionable information about corruption within the SPLA’s ranks or a list of individuals who bear further scrutiny. In particular, he sought additional information on the parties involved in the Harris Radio contract.

8. (C) Comment and Action Request: We need to do everything we can to support Nhial on corruption in general and the Harris Radio contract in particular. While we do not wish to intervene in what may well be a legal contract, post seeks Washington’s guidance on the status of the OFAC license for the Harris contract, to find out if in fact proper procedures have been followed. Providing such support to Nhial will underscore our desire for more GOSS officials to take the risks posed by combatting corruption, which is seriously threatening the South’s nascent and fragile institutions at a time of great financial and political pressure.

By FERNANDEZ