Archive for March 6, 2015

Why would AU Report Questions the Independence of South Sudan?

Posted: March 6, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Editorials

South Sudan's coat of arms, in which the eagle symbolizes vision, strength, resilience and majesty, and the shield and spear the people’s resolve to protect the sovereignty of their republic and work hard to feed it.

South Sudan’s coat of arms, in which the eagle symbolizes vision, strength, resilience and majesty, and the shield and spear the people’s resolve to protect the sovereignty of their republic and work hard to feed it.

If there is a conspiracy theory that suggest that the purported AU report was authored by Khartoum, then I would be happy to entertain it.

Contrary to what we have been made to believe, it is not about who committed which atrocities and war crimes in South Sudan, it basically questions the creation of South Sudan as an independent state, a decision squarely blame on the Troika countries—USA, UK and Norway.

AU-administered South Sudan? How about trying that out first in Somalia, Libya, CAR or even DR Congo before coming to South Sudan? There is no legal basis nor a military power within the AU or in the world to implement such a recommendation.

The administration of Iraq by the USA never produced democracy, security or development. AU better than the USA?

I have no problem if the two principals and their former ministers are barred from the interim government but it should be up to the South Sudanese to decide among themselves who and how they should be ruled.

And finally, I am curious how the AU will get to Juba: by force?


Exclusive: Bar South Sudan leaders from transition – inquiry draft

The recommendations are directly at odds with a peace deal being negotiated that would retain Salva Kiir as president and appoint rebel leader Riek Machar as deputy. The two are holding talks this week in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on forming a unity government.

Fighting between forces loyal to Kiir and rebels allied with Machar plunged South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, into a civil war in December 2013. At least 10,000 people have been killed and 1.5 million civilians displaced.

The inquiry blamed the United States, Britain and Norway for creating “a politically unchallenged armed power” by backing a 2005 peace deal that “ushered in an unaccountable political class”.

The findings were to be presented to the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on Jan. 29 but the body shelved publication of the report. The inquiry’s findings have not been released due to fears its publication could disrupt peace negotiations, say diplomats in the 54-state African Union.

Reuters obtained a 60-page draft of the inquiry, which a source close to the five-member inquiry panel said was produced in October. The same recommendations of barring Kiir and Machar from a transitional government were included in a new draft in January, the sources told Reuters.

Kiir sacked Machar as his deputy in July 2013, sparking the crisis. The United Nations and aid agencies accuse both sides of ethnic-based massacres and grave human rights violations including widespread rape and executions.

The United States supported Kiir until it lost confidence in him in late 2013. Washington had hoped he could oversee a stable, oil-producing, majority Christian state allied to the West in contrast to neighboring Muslim-led Sudan, which is hostile to Washington.

The conflict reopened ethnic fault lines, pitting Kiir’s Dinka people against Machar’s ethnic Nuer forces.

The violence “ethnically cleansed” the capital Juba of Nuer, who then sparked revenge attacks, said the draft of the inquiry obtained by Reuters.

The inquiry, led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, holds Kiir and Machar responsible for the political collapse in December 2013 and “the organized massacres and the large-scale violence that followed.”

“RULE OF THE GUN”

The draft recommended that members of the South Sudan government, including the president, vice president and ministers in power before the cabinet’s dissolution in July 2013 “be barred from participation in the transitional executive.”

It called for an AU-appointed and U.N.-backed three-person panel to oversee a five-year transition and the creation of a transitional executive that would place all oil revenue in an escrow account overseen by the African Development Bank.

It recommended the creation of an African Oversight Force made up of troops “without prior involvement or direct interest in South Sudan” that would be under AU command and “the overall charge” of a U.N. peacekeeeping mission.

It does not specify how many troops would make up the force. There are already some 11,500 U.N. peacekeepers in South Sudan.

Fighting has continued despite a truce signed a month ago by Kiir and Machar, who aim to form a transitional government of national unity by July 9. The current peace talks in Addis Ababa will extend beyond a Thursday deadline set by mediators.

The inquiry blamed some of South Sudan’s problems on the United States, Britain, Norway and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an eight-country Eastern African trading bloc known as IGAD, who were behind a 2005 deal paving the way for South Sudan’s 2011 independence from Sudan.

It said they helped to establish “a politically unchallenged armed power in South Sudan” that acted with impunity and legitimized “rule of the gun.”

Officials from the United States and Britain declined to comment on a document they said they had not seen. Officials from South Sudan, IGAD and Norway were not immediately available for comment.

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday urged public release of the findings. The United States, Britain and Norway last month called for the report’s release.

The draft obtained by Reuters recommends that the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights, instead of the International Criminal Court, be given criminal jurisdiction over “high state officials individually responsible for war crimes and/or gross violation of human rights.”

(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by David Storey, Jason Szep and James Dalgleish)

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AU investigators found South Sudan capital was ‘ethnically cleansed’

The African Union Commission of Inquiry found that violence in South Sudan’s capital city in December 2013 “resulted in a mass slaughter and effective ethnic cleansing of the Nuer population of Juba,” according to a draft version of the AU commission report obtained by Radio Tamazuj.

The report cites allegations of hate speech by President Salva Kiir and suggests in a section headed ‘Who were the killers?’ that many killings were carried out by “a body of irregulars” who had been brought to Kiir’s private farm near Juba and to his guard headquarters in Juba in the days immediately prior to the killings.

Mass killings began in Juba on 16 December after a clash within the presidential guards the previous night and following two days of tense political deliberations in which Kiir berated his rival Riek Machar – an ethnic Nuer – for “behaviour tantamount to indiscipline.”

The leaked African Union document – a draft of a commission report that the AU has decided to keep confidential – stated that a “killing spree” in Juba from 16-18 December left alive few Nuer besides those who fled to UN compounds.

The AU report focuses on the period of 16-18 December as the first of “two phases” of extreme violence. It also looks at the “second phase” of violence including revenge killings as violence spread beyond the capital into other states.

“Juba is settled along ethnic lines, and the killings took place in Nuer residential areas, as a house to house operation,” reads the document.

“The violence ethnically cleansed the city of Juba of its Nuer population. The motive of this violence was political: the violence, which originated as a schism in the governing elite of South Sudan, targeted one particular ethnicity, the Nuer.”

“Its intent and effect was to divide the civilian population along ethnic lines, to destroy the middle ground, thereby to polarize the society into ‘us’ and ‘them.’ An IDP at the UNMISS compound in Juba 3, told the Commission: ‘They put a knife into what bound us, turned the crisis from political to ethnic.’”

According to the document, “The violence in Juba targeted one nationality, the Nuer. Those who survived either fled the town by motorized transport, or those who ran on foot to the UNMISS compound.”

The document mentions not only killings but also other barbarous acts: “The gratuitous degradation of one’s humanity was a marked feature in many of the incidents of brutality narrated to us,” reads the report, going on to quote a survivor as saying, “I have seen people being forced to eat other humans. Soldiers kill one of you and ask the other to eat the dead one. Women are raped, people burnt.”

In the months after the killings, people in Juba seized the houses and properties of Nuers who had been killed or fled. The AU document reports “mass appropriation of property, such as the grabbing of houses in urban areas (particularly Juba), and land in the countryside, following large-scale ethnic cleansing.”

Allegations of hate speech

The inquiry commission noted that President Salva Kiir undertook a tour of his native Bahr el Ghazal in the period prior to the December violence and gave public speeches that were televised on South Sudan Television.

“These speeches, focused on his reasons for sacking Dr. Machar and the cabinet, became the focus of a growing public debate as more and more voices called for an end to ‘hate speeches,’” reads the AU draft report.

The Commission was unable to get transcripts of these speeches or videotapes.

In interviews with army officers and other sources, the AU Inquiry Commission found that military forces afterwards were ordered not to investigate the killings that had taken place.

A senior army officer stated, “Back to killing of 17th and 18th and why there was no attempt to counter the organized killing… To investigate the killing, we arrested some officers… We took all their statements. They were 12 officers. We were going up to Colonel. We were stopped, asked not to continue with the investigation.”

The SPLA officer was quoted as saying, “We handed all papers to the National Commission of inquiry. We were stopped by a decree.”

In a section headed “Who were the killers?” the AU draft document states, “The Commission received three different responses to the question: Who carried out the killing of Nuer civilians in Juba from December 16 to 18?”

“The most widespread explanation was that the body of killers was a body of irregulars recruited in two districts of Bahr el Gazal by the current Chief of Staff who was then Governer of Northern Bahr al Gazal and ran the party branch in the district.”

More coverage to follow.

The Principle of Tribocracy (Part 3)

Posted: March 6, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Editorials, Featured Articles, PaanLuel Wël, Philosophy

 The Application of Tribocratic Dispensation to the Hurting Stalemate of the South Sudanese’ Peace Talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

In the life of every person there comes a point when he realizes that out of all the seemingly limitless possibilities of his youth he has, in fact, become one actuality. No longer is life a broad plain with forests and mountains beckoning all-around, but it becomes apparent that one’s journey across the meadows has indeed followed a regular path, that one can no longer go this way or that. The desire to reconcile an experience of freedom with a determined environment is the lament of poetry and the dilemma of philosophy.– Opening Sentence, Henry Kissinger’s Undergraduate Thesis, Harvard University, 1949.

Celebrating the Fruition of the CPA

Celebrating the Fruition of the CPA

I

March 6, 2015 (SSB) —  During the intra-SPLM/A reconciliation meeting in Rumbek, Lakes state, between Chairman John Garang and his deputy, Commander Salva Kiir Mayaardit following the 2004 Yei crisis, Garang told the gathering that the SPLM was entering a new era of the democratic dispensation in which anyone dissatisfied with the way the party and/or the country would be governed will not have any excuse to resort to a military coup to make his or her point.

With his characteristic humor, Garang gave an example of Commander Riek Machar, saying that there would be “no need for coup d’état anymore, so, for example, my friend, Dr. Riek Machar, will not need to make a coup because he can form his own party if he is discontented with the SPLM.”[1]

Barely two years after the independence of the Republic of South Sudan, Riek Machar is back in the bush, accused of having instigated a failed military coup against the government of President Salva Kiir Mayaardit.

In his own words, according to Riek Machar, he is fighting for political reforms and democratic transformation in South Sudan, but according to the government, Riek Machar has eschewed democratic means in preference for a military force to remove a democratically and constitutionally elected government.

The government’s supporters insist that the government is legitimate and constitutional because the people of South Sudan gave it a resounding 98% of their votes, democratically electing it.

(more…)