Archive for March 15, 2015

The Rust of Words ( a Novel )

Posted: March 15, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in David Aoloch
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By David Aoloch Bion

Chapter Five

As the Republic had to start from the scrap after the war, the Chief Servant announced 200 Day Programs to deliver the services to the people. Under them “Everything is the priority number One ”. Billions of pounds had been approved by council of Servants chaired by the Chief to achieve the Programs. The programs include projects like, one mobile hospital on the River Nile, Renovation of the three universities, construction of 200 primary schools and 60 secondary schools, construction of 20 referral hospitals,  roads, bridges and so forth .

The advertisement for bidding was announced in the newspapers and radio stations. The registered companies applied to carry out the implementation of the programs.

The Programs was then a Satan-given, lucrative chance of embezzling of funds   by both the public Servants and the companies. All the contracts of roads, bridges, secondary and primary schools, universities, hospitals, airports were awarded to different companies. All these companies had registered but did not exist physically; they are imaginary companies – briefcase companies. They were carried in the bags.

Directors of these companies go to the bank, make  illegal deals  with the bank managers , so the bank forged accounts  for them .  They wrote a bank statement with bulky money in the account, when actually the account has no single coin in it. The Director would promise to bank official that when the deal succeed and the government gives the money, he would give him  a share of double digit percent .

On the other hand, when the public Servant is negotiating   the contract with company, he would make illegal deal with manager to falsify the amount of the money. If the exact money of the project is 50 million pounds, the Servant add 10 million into the project fund and the money is transferred to the company , from there ,  the Director  of company deposits 10 million pounds  to the personal account of the Servant . The Servant would give the manager a percent of share too. Under these Programs, more than hundred projects were launched across the country, ranging from the supplies of medicine to feeding of students both at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.  Billions of pounds were released to two hundred fifty different companies.

At the end of the period, the companies were reporting back to the various Departments where they signed the contract with, especially the Finance.

The company contracted by Transport to construct the Airport in city submitted its report of the progress of the work.

At the signing of the contract, it was quoted that 250 million Dollars would complete the airport .it did not finish with that money . So the company requested another 100 million Dollars to finish the work. The Servant in Charge of transport approved the money. He forwarded the approval to   Finance;

The Director  went to Finance; he gave two documents to James Majok. One  was the report of 250 million he took, the another was the new request of 100 million Dollars .

Majok reads the two documents, the report and the request. He found that the report was of 200 million Dollars which contradict the cheque , he had recorded 250 million Dollars .he asked .

“Why is it that 200 million Dollars, you spent not 250 as it is in the original cheque?”

‘’ Really, you gave us 200 million Dollars, isn’t it “’ he answered

‘’ Are you sure? You took 250 million Dollars.  Why did you make the report of 200 million instead of 250 million, you took?’’

‘’ you gave us 200 million .

‘’ I think , There is a mistake in this  report,  so I could you allow me to go back and correct it ‘’

‘’ no,  not , let me go and inform my boss’’

Majok went to the Servant , he narrated what  had happened . He summoned the Director.

‘’ Why is it that you took 250 million Dollars and you make a report of 200 million ?’’ asked the Servant.

‘’ I think that was a mistake, so could you allow me to go and correct it ‘’

‘’ I will not do that., how  would you make such huge blunder ?’’

The Director found himself in flounder. He begged the Servant to allow him to go back to his office to find out what happen in the report. The Servant rejected that .he said.

“I am afraid not, you can’t leave my office before explaining to me where is 50 million in your reports?”

“Give me an hour”

“Absolutely not”

“Please sir”

The Servant in Charge of Finance called in the police; the Director was arrested. At the police he was questioned.

“Could you please introduce yourself sir” asked the police officer

“I am director of the company that upgrades the Airport” said he

‘’Finance Department said you have signed a contract of   250 million Dollars and in your report said, you spent 200 million pounds, can you explain that deficit in your report?

“Honestly, when we were negotiating the contract with him, we agreed that, the airport would be upgraded with ceiling of 200 million. Before we signed the contract, he said that I should add 50 million Dollars as his. So I did as he said, after I had withdrawn the money from the central bank, I had to pay 50 million to his personal account as we agreed”

‘’ Who told you to  add 50 million?’’

‘’The Servant in Charge of Finance ‘’

“Was that not a fraud?”

“I am deeply sorry”

At time, the Servant in Charge of transport learned of the arrest of director, he called the Servant in Charge of Finance; they discussed the matter over the phone. On the following day, the Servant came to finance, they discussed again; the Servant  wrote the letter to the police and the director was released without any charges and the case was cancelled.

After the Director was released , the Servant asked why did you leave out 50 million the report

‘’Oh , my God , it is excruciating mistake ‘’ the Director  said .

The company that was contracted to supply the hospitals with equipments and medicine submitted it report too, however,   there were no such items in the hospital  , because the directors at  hospitals took  expensive medicine into  their private pharmacies and clinics .  .

After three days, a pharmacist was arrested by selling drugs in box  marked with Department of Health logo  . He was asked by the Police.

“Where did you get this medicine with label of Health logo?”

“My boss brought them”

“Who is boss?”

“My boss is Phillip,

‘’ Who is Philip ?’’

‘’He is the director of Napata Hospital, the main public hospital”

Phillip was also arrested. The Servant in Charge of Health was his brother-in-law so he intervened, everything was discussed at higher level and Philip was released without charges.

The director of the company contracted to renovate the university submitted its reports. The universities were  not renovated; they just painted the walls and the roofs of the building only , The Chief Servant refused to unveil the university after renovation . He walked away before he cut the ribbon because of poor work by the company that took 19 million Dollars .

A  company contracted to supply  food to the university in the city submitted it reports . The amount of money it needed was high. Majok received the reports and asked .

“How many times did you provide a meal to university a day?” Majok asked.

“I provide meals three times a day?” said the director

“What kind of food that cost such this huge sum of money?”

“I provide chicken three times a week”

“I doubt this claims , if I go to university, and I ask the students , they will not tell me that  you supply chicken three times a week , you just  fake  the receipt so that  you  get the  money, tell me , exactly .  How did you use the money?

‘’ I use the money to buy chicken”

“Even at your own home, you can’t eat chicken three times a week; you just say I need money” Majok laughed

“What is your problem? Is it your money or government?  I must eat this country until I spit out uneatable cherries and no one will ask me ” the Director said

“I don’t envisage how this Republic will flourish. Every man place money above his patriotism. Worst of all, every man is corrupt and irrational ‘’

Half a year passed, however, the director of the company contracted to build the Mobile Hospital on the River Nile never submitted any report of the money, he took. Majok searched the company, but he didn’t get any physical office or the official who worked in that company. The file in the registrar of the companies at Department of Justice is shown it exist but it location is not known and could be traced.

Indeed, thousand of the companies registered are non-existence. The companies were organized scam by criminals, who pay the money to Justice  to register  them so they could get government contracts.

James Majok went to the Servant..

“Sir, all companies which were contracted by the government on the 200 Day Programs have not done work, aren’t they?” Majok asked.

“What is your problem? , get out of my office” he ordered the Servant .

The Rust of Words is the story of reforms and transformation from bad governance to good governance in the Republic of Sudd. It is the story of poet James Majok  , who inspired 2nd Uncle   , the Chief Servant of the  Republic ,   to reform and transform  his corrupted, dysfunctional system of governance.

Billions of dollars from oil revenues were stolen by 75 servants from public funds in the period of six years.

As the result of such embezzlement of fund, there were no roads, schools, hospitals across the country. Worse of all  the country imported food from neighbouring countries.

An inspiration of reform comes to Chief Servant, when Majok reads the poem on the 7th anniversary of independence. The poem indicted the Chief and his Administration 

In his response to the poem, the Chief begins the needed reforms. In the series of reforms, the corrupt Servants in the government were arrested, tried and executed for corruption.

The Chief justified his action by saying he was following what is written in the book, a book which was not seen by anyone since its publication but he harangues that every citizen must read it.

In order to purify the rusted thought of the people.  He formed a committee of 600 intellectuals, led by the state Philosopher Peter Gatluak, to modify the language in order to perfect the thought; they invent new words to purify the language in order to purify the thought of the people. Many rusted words in the language were destroyed.

70 years later, after the radical reforms, the society becomes just, prosperous. There was no man or woman committing a crime,

In celebrating hundred anniversary of the Reformation, the Republic abolishes department of police and the faculties of Law at all Universities across the country because law and police become irrelevant in the just society.

Are We Intolerant or Tolerant?

Posted: March 15, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Mr. Ayuen Awan

“When people keep quiet it doesn’t mean that they are satisfied with the way things are going on but they just give the people in power time to adjust by themselves”. By Mr. Ayuen Awan

16/11 was United Nations’ international day for tolerance which was first launched fifteen years ago. The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for Tolerance is annually observed on November 16 to educate people about the need for tolerance in society and to help them understand the negative effects of intolerance.

Before I go ahead to divulge my own view on this area under discussion, I would like to first examine some acts of tolerance and intolerance in Africa and South Sudan in particular.

Africa has in the recent past witnessed chaotic situations in what was described as a “wind of change” in North African nations of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya which led to the fall of the Africa’s long serving and most cherished  head of states.

In Libya for example, the people there had put up with Gadhafi’s totalitarianism for nearly forty years of uninterrupted headship until recently when they erupted like a molten magma or volcano on the top of mountain. He referred to them as rats and cockroaches but they insisted up to the last day when Africa’s strongman was finally brought down from power straight to the grave. Though it was a horrible scene he deserved it because he took warning signals for granted.

When people keep quiet it doesn’t mean that they are satisfied with the way things are going on but they just give the people in power time to adjust them.

Looking at South Sudan under this subject matter; I believe we are the most tolerant people in the world. Whether things go on wrong or right we remain unbothered. I’ve ever witnessed negative moves taken by our government on its own people but the people affected take long to react or sometimes none. This is an act of tolerance. Appreciations to those of you who are tolerant, let’s hope you will not be taken for granted.  But for how long shall we remain bystanders in South Sudan?

This month (November 2011), the ministry of Labour and Public Service scrapped off what used to be known as consolidated payment leading to many getting their salaries reduced by almost a third. This to me is a move in a wrong direction during these tough times when the cost of living is skyrocketing. How will these people who were previously receiving their full salaries cope with it?

 We expect the government to instead increase salaries for the civil servants so as to enhance the standard of living and also to counteract the dangers of the rising cost of living.

 Why is it quick for the public service to implement negative policies like deducting salaries and dallies in processing permanent appointments for those that it says are employed? Any move leading to diminution in people’s earnings is a government’s interest and not people’s interest and for how long can such a government that puts its interest first subsist? I don’t know! Ask the North Africans since they know it better than anyone else.

Conversely, there is a molten magma boiling below the portion of earth’s surface on which South Sudan floats and that is high rate of unemployment. A vast majority of young, energetic, educated and resourceful youths who are unemployed now chase after the few available jobs provided by the private sector and NGOs while the government feels it has enough old experienced men and women to work for it (government). It is commonly said that “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop”, therefore, it is better for government to see it imperative to keep youths occupied than over valuing old men and women.

When youths are left redundant what they always think is negative and this would increase the rate of crimes. The protests in the North Africa were triggered by one frustrated Tunisian youth who had looked for jobs but all his attempts to get one were futile. So he said to hell with the world and set ablaze to himself in front of a government building.

I estimated the rate of unemployment in South Sudan to about 90% when Equity Bank advertised one hundred positions and the number of applications collected were close to three thousand. When one consults government officials for an advice on what might be the cause of this unemployment, they always blame it on the system of education which they say produces only job seekers but not job creators. This statement is very confrontational. Isn’t it also a system of government to blame?  Well, fresh graduates may have great business ideas which need huge capital to implement them. Hence, they end up looking for jobs in order to raise money to start their own.

It is government’s obligation to create jobs for its people, provide health care services, education, infrastructure, security etc.

However, intolerance is that one depicted by the group of disgruntled army officers who saw it better to oppose the government in the bush than in parliament. The likes of George Athor and his colleagues in the jungles are intolerant. Who tells them that corruption can be done away with by speaking from afar?

In conclusion, this piece of information shouldn’t be perceived as if am calling for street protests to push the government for better services, nonetheless, I meant it to point out the truth while tolerance still remains observed in our societies.[i]

Tolerance is the longest route towards success; intolerance is the shortest route towards failure.

Note: This article was authored on 19/11/2011

LIFTING THE VEIL OF IGAD IN SOUTH SUDAN

Posted: March 15, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

LIFTING THE VEIL OF IGAD AND EXPOSING ITS WEAKNESSES IN SOUTH SUDAN PEACE MEDIATION

By Mayol Aleng Reng, Panyagor, South Sudan

Artwork by Deng Forbes

Artwork by Deng Forbes

March 15, 2015 (SSB) —  The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) created in 1996 is made up of Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Uganda and Djibouti. South Sudan later joined it following her independence from Sudan in July 2011. Initially, the main objective of IGAD was to combat drought in Eastern Africa.

Although it was partly involved in CPA mediation between the SPLM/A and Khartoum, IGAD does not have a programmatic and pragmatic system in place to resolve conflicts.

The United Nations formally endorsed it as the main mediator in providing peace and stability over the crisis in South Sudan that has rocked the country since December 15th 2013 between the government and opposition.

The UN endorsement of IGAD  for the mediation of the current crisis in South Sudan is one which has never existed in theory or in practice in an attempt to resolve the conflict stemming from political rivalry and mistrust among disgruntled SPLM members. This is because IGAD is involved not only in the mediation, but also in the fighting and the negotiation process.

The role of IGAD as a mediator in securing the peace of South Sudan has been characterized with much skepticism and controversy and the aged-long political problems over the country’s governance and resources still remains unresolved despite much efforts by IGAD to bring both parties to the dialogue thus, leaving the hopes of the nascent nation fracturing.

Although IGAD succeeded in many occasions in persuading the two camps into signing cease fire agreements last year, these deals were very short-lived and since then no cease fire has been reached in the country and the process has not made any substantial progress despite many meetings. This article therefore seeks to answer the question, ‘’Why is the IGAD peace process failing?’’ By analyzing the IGAD peace initiative, showing out the motives for breakdown and the criterion for success.

The IGAD peace process is failing because, first its weakness in the mediation process, secondly its inability to address power sharing and security issues, thirdly conflict of interest among the countries that IGAD is made up of, and last but not the least, its inability to instill trust between the belligerents.

There is loss of credibility and bias in the IGAD led peace talks. Credibility has been lost by the mediators either for reasons of technical deficiencies, loss of secrecy, challenges to status and charges of impartiality. Can mediators be strictly impartial and sympathetic of one party but not all the disputants?

Neutrality is one of the main and most characteristics of intermediaries in peace resolution.

Bias mediation in intrastate conflicts like the case of South Sudan presents to us two unequal actors, that is the government that is internationally recognized and sovereign and the rebels or opposition which is not. In this case then, mediators may choose to be bias to favour the government or simply turn subversive to the government and sympathize with the rebels for their various interests at stake.

The utmost threat to peaceful resolution of conflicts stems from spoiler-armed and unarmed parties or groups in a conflict who doubt that the result of dialogue would not provide their long desired benefits. This situation poses a very difficult obstacle to any negotiated peace settlement.

The IGAD mediation team is made up of three well known military and diplomatic officials in the persons of Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin of Ethiopia,Gen. Lazarus Sumbeyo of Kenya and Gen. Mohammed Ahmed El Dabi of Sudan with Seyoum Mesfin as the chair of the mediation team, all of whom have no known record of successful conflict mediation. Their mediation has been surrounded or met by many hurdles, especially in the advancement and method of approaching a peaceful resolution with little progress being made.

The weakness of IGAD’s emissaries in bringing the two main parties involved in the conflict has greatly been seen and even its members declare that there is nothing they can do to maintain a permanent ceasefire as Gen Lazarus Sumbeyo complained that ‘he can take cows to the river but he can’t force them to drink’. At one point during the mediation, IGAD mediators went ahead as far as labeling President Kiir ‘stupid’ which the government sees as subversion of South Sudan sovereignty.

It is worth noting that power sharing issues concerning the Presidency, and the Prime Minister/Vice president, the issue of form of government and the integration of the military still holds down IGAD in forming an interim government. The IGAD peace process has thus been unsuccessful to bring permanent solution to a more than a year long violence that plagued South Sudan in December 15th 2013. Mediators in any peace are third party actors influencing the peace process by playing an overriding role in process’ success or failure. The incompetence of the mediators is obstructing the IGAD peace process on its own.

First, Sudan as a member of the mediation team as well as Uganda lacks mediation experience and impartiality. More so the tilting of IGAD mediation towards the Assembly of Heads of States gives room for more than third party role wherein, countries of IGAD regional bloc, Uganda and Sudan who have much interest in South Sudan will press for decisions to be taken by IGAD that of course favour their interest. This means that IGAD mediation team is largely dependent upon decisions of heads of states of the bloc!

Worth of note again is the fact that IGAD past mediation roles in countries like Sudan and Somalia never yielded any benefits. Recall that peace talks between the SPLA/M     and the Sudan Government was brokered with Western intervention. This led to the subsequent inking of the CPA restoring peace in the Sudan. This means that without the  involvement of the US and the Troika, IGAD has no good records of successful third party role in mediating a conflict. IGAD is therefore unfit to mediate in the South Sudan conflict.

Sudan mediating the South Sudan crisis presents a case of another warring factor in the violence and this is because of the percentage deal in oil that South Sudan produces Sudan benefits from, and other interests.  It is important to note that Sudan will under normal circumstances press for judgments that will favour its interests in South Sudan, which had earlier in 2011, broke away from them.

The incompetence of IGAD can also be seen at the level of imposing sanctions on South Sudan and its leaders because IGAD have persistently resisted and pulled their feet on imposing sanctions on South Sudan due to their economic interests in the country. But in order to see into it that the peace process ends or yields fruits, IGAD members have to ‘feel economic pain’.

IGAD’s lack of skills is further revealed by the regional bloc’s members composed of Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan itself, and this is seen from the fact that these neighbouring states have their interests at stake and while Ethiopia and Kenya who primarily lead the mediation efforts have been trying to see the conflict ends, Uganda and Sudan continually offer direct support for the opposing sides in the conflict, thus undermining the peace process.

IGAD has been pursuing a misguided strategy in mediating the conflict in South Sudan. The use of deadline diplomacy has partly undermined the IGAD peace process. Inconsistencies coupled with the stubbornness of the warring parties have led to the mediators’ deadline, most of which have never been respected by factions in the violence which limits their time of consultation.

The implication of deadline is that it represents an apparatus used in obliging time costs on the mediators , as they face a time limit, the options they have slim down or narrows down to just two; either to agree to the offer or refuse it. That is, it becomes more of a take it or leave it case. This partly explains why the factions in the South Sudan crisis have been boycotting negotiation meetings or refusing to sign agreements.

Deadline diplomacy as used in several cases in IGAD peace process has failed as also seen on the time given for the two camps to come to compromise or else face sanctions. The strategy has greatly undermined the peace process which is characterized by mistrust and fear among the rebels and government. Enough time has to be given to secure a qualitative settlement, one that will deal effectively with the main issues in the dispute, once and for all, failure to which, hasty and devastating consequences may arise.

IGAD again has been faced with the problem of addressing to resolve the conflict without addressing its root causes. The first step in problem solving is identification of the problem. Identifying the root causes of a conflict is very essential in conflict resolution as it is always said, ‘there can be no peace without justification’ meaning that IGAD ought to have first sought out the various positions of the parties in the conflicts and then look into their cases before moving forward to arrange for peace.

IGAD suggestion of joint appointments be carried out by the government and Prime Minister has also been greatly contested, for this suggestions in itself creates point of fracture in the peace process. This elucidates how unpredictably the IGAD peace process creates proposals that delay the peace process.

Not only have the mediators proven inconsistent in the IGAD peace process, but also the stakeholders have been more inconsistent. It is worth mentioning here that the importance of the motives to accept mediation relies on the readiness and willingness to look into the conflict, thereby accepting the aid of a third party or mediator predetermines the success of a mediation process.

Numerous boycotts of mediation meeting by the warring parties, is a result of the fear that mediation will not provide a favourable settlement to the conflict to them. For the peace process to yield any good results, it is of great necessity that all stakeholders are present. The IGAD mediation has witnessed a lot of boycotts, especially for the main parties to the conflict who at time, none of them even show up for the peace summits.

There is inability of IGAD mediators to address power sharing and security issues. This has been the major drawbacks to the peace process. There should be careful consideration to secure a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Power and resource sharing and the issue of security dilemma of the warring factions in a conflict are very crucial.

The triumph of an all-encompassing and sustainable resolution to conflicts needs to take note of these points first. Ending violence in a way which removes this security dilemma has to be part of any settlement, and without the parties being secured, subjectivity and objectivity, a peace agreement is unlikely to be sustained. These issues of power sharing and security dilemma especially have not been properly addressed by IGAD, between the government and Opposition.

The writer, Mayol Aleng Reng is an aid worker in South Sudan. He can be reached at his email address, mayolaleng@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

Happy Thunday Junub Thudan

Posted: March 15, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Featured Articles

Love cycle among junubiin

Love cycle among junubiin

Father-in-Law : Akpos, you’re coming to seek my daughter’s hand in marriage and you’re chewing gum.That’s a sign of disrespect!

Akpos : Sir, I only chew gum when I drink or smoke.

Father-in-Law : You mean you drink & smoke and you’re here to seek my daughter’s hand in marriage?

Akpos : Sir I only drink & smoke when i go to the club.

Father-in-Law : You club too?

Akpos : I’m sorry sir, I started clubbing when i came out of prison.

Father-in-Law : You’ve also been in prison before? Oh my God!

Akpos: Sorry sir, I went to jail when I killed somebody.

Father-in-Law : What!!! You’re a killer???

Akpos: Sir, It happened out of anger. It was a certain man that didn’t allow me to marry his daughter so i killed him.

Father-in-Law : You are highly welcome my son. You are on the right track. You’re absolutely the right man for my daughter.

(source; Akpos the comedian)


Ethiopia, Rwanda give the lie to electoral democracy hype

By FREDERICK GOLOOBA-MUTEBI

It is over two decades now since single-party rule ended in Africa and military rule became something of a curiosity, so much so that today when soldiers take over a government no one expects them to hang around for long.

In place of the two, we got competitive multiparty politics. With a few exceptions such as Kenya under Jomo Kenyatta, Ivory Coast under Houphouet Boigny and Malawi under Kamuzu Banda, single-party rule had delivered little by way of prosperity. Military rule fared worse. Social services had collapsed. Infrastructure too. So did whole economies.

Multiparty politics therefore emerged with much promise. It would deliver good government, we were told. The idea was that periodic elections would enable us to remove unaccountable leaders and replace them with new ones who, fearing to suffer a similar fate, would behave better.

Quality of life would improve for all, as only serious people with serious agendas would be elected. There would be more freedom, as elected governments would have no choice but to allow it to thrive.

Party competition would, it was claimed, guarantee peaceful changes of government. That was because new leaders would emerge and incumbents would leave peacefully once people decided they no longer wanted them around.

A sense of expectation descended on Africa. In general terms, the Africa of today is very different from that of the pre-1989 period. The number of elected civilian governments is at an all-time high.

Some of the things we were promised, we have got: Freedom and civil liberties, prosperity, and a modicum of political accountability. This is all to be celebrated. However, there is a dark side to competitive politics, one which we do not talk enough about but which in some countries has undermined progress and bred disillusionment with politics altogether.

Consider the quality of elections and the integrity of the very machineries, known commonly as electoral commissions, that preside over them. One of the most predictable aspects of competitive elections in Africa are claims by losing parties that they have been rigged out. The effect has been to discourage large numbers of would-be voters from going out to vote, leaving otherwise unpopular and often unaccountable governments in power.

Who could have dreamt that democracy would fuel social tensions and conflict, and even trigger political violence? Since the 1990s serious conflict and violence have broken out after elections in Burundi, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Algeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Togo, and Uganda. The argument here is not that violence is necessarily associated with competitive politics.

However, it does not necessarily rule it out or guarantee peaceful changes of government. Moreover, protracted conflict and violence breed the very elite fragmentation that often undermines national cohesion and the very political stability competition was meant to guarantee.

And competitive politics was supposed to deliver the good life, right? Well, for the most part it hasn’t. First, the potential for elite competition to translate into public services and improved quality of life on a sustainable basis has for the most part been undermined by what the experts call clientelism, the exchange of votes for material or financial handouts.

Leaders who buy their way into power have no incentive to make good on whatever promises they may have made while going through the motions of campaigning for office.

The connection between clientelism and financial corruption cannot be over-emphasised. Where voters are happy to sell their votes for money or material goods, aspiring leaders must find the necessary money. In the circumstances, the fight against financial malfeasance is lost before the votes are even cast.

You’re probably wondering where all this is leading. It leads to the inevitable question: If competitive politics has a dark side to it, so what? What is the alternative, or is there an alternative at all? Well, it seems there is.

Earlier this week I spent two days at an engaging seminar on Ethiopia and Rwanda. The two countries share peculiar characteristics. Besides the consistently high economic growth rates they have registered for well over a decade, the Ethiopian government and its Rwandan counterpart have exemplary records on service delivery and improvement in the quality of life of their citizens.

Both are ruled by political coalitions built on the basis of necessity rather than simple choice, bringing together several potentially antagonistic political organisations.

Working together rather than against each other is seen as the best guarantor of long-term stability and the foundation of much-needed prosperity. For the most part, these coalitions have diminished the scope for adversarial contestation, the kind that fuels the widespread diversion of state resources into funding clientelistic politics in conventional electoral democracies elsewhere on the continent.

Moreover, the elite cohesion arising out of these pacts has created the basis for broad consensus on policy choices, guaranteed the fast implementation of agreed policies, and produced outcomes that explain why the two countries are such high achievers.

Frederick Golooba-Mutebi is a Kampala- and Kigali-based researcher and writer on politics and public affairs. E-mail: fgmutebi@yahoo.com

HOW CAN WE ACHIEVE PEACE IN SOUTH SUDAN?

Posted: March 15, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Zechariah Gatnog Machar, Egypt

peace

March 15, 2015 (SSB) —  “We can only maintain peace when we accept to address the root cause of December 15th genocide”

South Sudanese believe that peace will only return through negotiation rather than war. Today we will discuss the importance of Justice and the reason behind violence. “Without Justice there can be no Peace – Martin Luther Junior”

I am confident that in most cases we will all agree that violence should be the last alternative; I also recognize that every individual has his own way of defining the term Justice.

In my previous article I define Justice as disciplinary equipment utilized to hold the perpetrators responsible for their actions. When individual are not held responsible for their deeds entire community are left to be blame and they become the target of the future violence.

After the publication of the African Union Leak report, I gained back hope believing that South Sudanese may now wake up from the tribal Coma which acutely affected their brain functioning. According to the continental Union latest report in South Sudan’s ongoing conflict, the region and the international community admitted that December 15th event was masterminded by General Salva Kiir Mayardit and his allies.

Sticking to the main argument “How to achieve Peace”; issues that are preventing the country’s peaceful co-existence must be dissociated first into the following:

Centralization: a system of government that supplies more authorities to the president that later resulted in the adaptation of one man rule “Dictatorship”. Because of central system people of greater Equatoria constantly complains from land grabbing and inhuman treatment by the same government they permitted to take Juba as the country’s national capital.

Nepotism discriminately forced us to hire only our closest relatives once we got equivalent governmental or organizational position. By practicing nepotism South Sudan’s employment system is categorize into three, with the Dinkans centralizing the government institutions, Equatorians leading the non-governmental organization (NGO) recruitment staffs and lastly the Nuer and Collo community being the money exchangers on the streets of Juba.

By tribalism we become the slaves to our tribal leaders. Because of tribalism government’s organs targeted children, women and the age just because they were from Nuer in December 15th /2013.

Because of tribalism residents in Juba cowardly turn or switchoff South Sudan’s Television (SSTV) channel whenever Malaak Ayuen Ajok or Michael Makuei Luth program is about to start.

Because of tribalism locals in South Sudan’s states were able to manage to ignore the severe killing of demonstrators in Wau back in December 13/2012; they were heartless enough to disregard the Murle’s Massacre in 2011.

Illiteracy killed the father of my friend Arok Diing Abraham Chan. Because of illiteracy and envy the political commentator Mr. Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol was murdered in the country’s capitalin December2012. The killing was motivated by his political writing for better South Sudan hence,the government officials took it as a direct criticism. Because of illiteracy government servants do not distinguish the language should be spoken in the public government’s institutes.

Because of illiteracy government and locals appoints the members of Parliament according to their influence in the military and their military background in the Sudan’s People Liberation army (SPLA). In South Sudan prefermentis maintain through defections and through how many child soldiers you manage to recruit just like comrade David YauYau and Johnson Oliny.

SOLUTION TO THE OUTSTANDING ISSUES

Federalism must be adopted. Federalism is a system of governance that separated the central from the states government. In federal system of government parliament is more powerful than the prime minister. Federalism means more job vacancies to the citizens and fast track of modern world live standard.

When states executives are segregated from central administration supremacy amongst the state’s governors becomes the prime objective in term of education, development and sport; and unknowingly cattle raiding and revenge killing will vanish.

Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) must be completely transformed into national army that will guard only the sovereignty of the country. There shall not be any army under the supervision of Sudan’s people Liberation Movement (SPLM) or any South Sudanese party. The people of South Sudan must only vote-in politicians instead of military generals.

Dear South Sudanese, I am calling on every single one of you to accept JUSTICE before PEACE; our leaders need to understand that our lives value just as their family’s lives. We must bring them to justice by jointly coming together and call for Justice.

“We must acknowledge that not all Dinkans participated in the killing of Nuer but only SalvaKiir and his group trained in Luri-Juba were responsible for the December 15 genocide. If Nuer were not killed in Juba, there would be no fighting in Bor, Bentiu or Malakal; Mr. Edward Lino narrated.”

Readers may ask why I amso concerns about Justice and what would happen if justice is done?Well, justice is not going to erase the memory of the crimes committed neither the people who committed the crimes but it will provide people with some level of closure.

At least they will know it has been dealt with, it has been talked about, some has been held accountable and perhaps even, ideally, the victim has received some form of compensation. It is very important that the truth be known, that the people who were killed be commemorated and that their killers be acknowledge.

Long live South Sudan!
Long live citizens and nationals of South Sudan!

Zechariah James Machar, is a political activist and the SPLM Youth League Chapter Secretary General in Egypt you can reach him through zee4yo@yahoo.co.uk. The views expressed in this Opinion articles does not reflects my political position as the Chapter Secretary of SPLM-YL in Egypt but my personal view.

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

Letter to the People of South Sudan

Posted: March 15, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Featured Articles, Letters

Dear South Sudanese People, Our Peace is with General Salva Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar.

By Deng Kur Deng

kiiriiek

March 15, 2015 (SSB) — Another day without peace in South Sudan is another day for South Sudanese to mourn for those we’ve lost and worry for our loved ones who are still in harm’s way.The deadline for the agreement has come and gone, and the peace we all have been waiting for was not signed into action.

The moment when the peace was not achieved, I felt upset and, and perhaps you did, too. As you all know, this war has robbed us of our country, and it has driven so many of our people into destitution in a country known to be one of the richest in natural resources.With those harsh realities in mind, we cannot be dismissive of the troubles that the war has inflicted on us for over a year now.

And so, we must strive to reclaim our rights, but we also must resolve to live in harmony through the peace process. Pursuing peace is the only way to uphold the rights of all people and to bring dignity to the country as a whole.

For now, we must only seek consolation for our losses in peace; once we establish a calm environment in our country, prosperity will follow.For those South Sudanese who are asserting their opinions and beliefs with violent words and actions, we urge you to stop imposing your will on all of us, because we have had it.

Recently, I have noticed that those people who are not motivated to change the terrible situation in South Sudan are the ones who end up putting everyone at risk; they are content with the status quo, so long as they can benefit from it.

Such folks are known for being dogmatic with their naive political opinions, and I personally believe that these unyielding attitudes are the true roadblock to in the improvement of our South Sudanese society today.

In this crisis, we must all be humble, understanding, and preach peace.You and I both know that the war made people detestable and corrupt, so we cannot afford that to continue in our new country.

Most importantly, if we can ensure peace, then the lives of the most vulnerable will change for the better. I am aware that this war was socially constructed; therefore, the people must bring it down. Both of South Sudan’s current leaders have vowed to bring peace to the people.

It is important for us to think positively and support that initiative, in order to encourage rational reasoning among the leaders so they can secure lasting peace. We know for sure that spontaneous decisions on the part of the leaders could be counterproductive, which is something we cannot support as a people.

Patience will fortify the peace process, so remembered to remain courageous and persuasive in your communities as an endorsement for peace in South Sudan.

We all yearn for peace, but we must also understand and accept the fact that the peace process involves intense and lengthy negotiations.Our leaders are not simply handed papers to sign.

The war has squandered our nation’s wealth, people, and seemingly its future, but our hope remains alive in every effort that tries to prevent further displacement of our people.But peace is the only certain way to relieve our distress and the suffering of our people.

War has shaped all of the South Sudanese people, because many of us endured it and members of our families were victims of it.Therefore, it has impacted our attitudes toward everything else, which is, quite frankly, understandable. However, even though war has discouraged us, we still have a shared responsibility to stand up for peace.

We the people must be patient, because that is exactly what every negotiation needs—patience and level heads.Give those at the negotiating table room to breathe and function, so they can fairly address our problems.I know for sure that every one of us, regardless of our goals and motives,is proud of what we stand for as South Sudanese people.

I can admit to you that I am the proudest of South Sudanese citizens,but I am equally sure that those fighting the government are also very proud citizens of our nation.

For example, recently, the government, Dr. Majak, and Gabriel Duop Lam were involved in the released of three individuals netted by the rebels. As leaders, Dr. Majak and Duop Lam’s interventions in support of non-violence have revealed to us all that peace has been accepted by the South Sudanese people,regardless of our differences.

Majak took the rescue of the three individuals personally, so he played a major role in their release. He didn’t have to hold a position in the government or in the opposition to rescue innocent citizens. When he engaged in helping these three gentlemen, it was very crucial moment.

I will not forget his commitment to peace, and neither should you.Together, all of us South Sudanese are the backbone of our nation, so we are obligated to support its integrity as we wait for peace to come to our country. If you have lashed out before because you are unsatisfied with the peace process, then now more than ever, it is your duty to cast aside those illegitimate reasons and excuses, and get a grip on what is more important to the overall welfare of our country—peace.

I would be dishonest if I said that I was not annoyed after I heard that both General Salva Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar did not sign the peace agreement, but I realized there have been many peace negotiations in the past that were prolonged far longer than what our people are dealing with at the moment.

No one is blameless as the war continues, especially those who have been oddly cheerful in support of further conflict.We must remember that encouraging confrontation may result unpleasant possibilities, such as the loss of a member of your family or mine. Such fatal consequences can have irreversible negative impacts on families and the country at large.We cannot stomach that kind of support of the destruction of villages and families.

There are always rounds in establishing peace, and we know that it is a process; it needs time, persistence, and tolerance among ourselves and our leaders. As much as I hate how the violence in South Sudan has made for a treacherous situation, I have the will power to stomach this peace process.

You and I are victims of a war without cause. We can only subdue ourselves in these violent times with thoughts of peace. Remember that hastening the process can result in reoccurring violence, which we do not want, above all else. We have had enough of war, but it continues to dismantle the families that survived the previous civil wars. How long are we going to endure living in a country without peace?

What we are doing to ourselves is a type of self-humiliation. The war has raised a substantial number of questions for many of us after we witnessed how many people were killed in grisly fashions in a number of areas in South Sudan. Doesn’t that make you worry about the future of our country?

I am very troubled by everything war has brought to our people. I worry constantly about what the next warring parties might do, and when their violent actions might mean the loss of members of our families.

Over week ago, I was stunned by the presentation given by South Sudanese Foreign Minister,Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin. I was so proud of him because of the way he represented our country in the eyes of the international community. I felt that before his speech, the world didn’t know us as a new nation or understand our many current problems.

Dr. Benjamin’s speech convinced me that at least one person was really serious about the way things were going in South Sudan from the perception of outsiders. The international community has been vocally reprimanding our country, and Dr. Benjamin officially told them, “You are wrong on this one.”Even some factions of rebels have accepted his speech as a good representation of the country if we were not at war.But if you think about it, if it wasn’t for war, that speech would have been quite different.

Even though a few of the rebels in diaspora were saying jokingly, “The speech was written by Dr. Riek to make us look great internationally,”I thank Dr. Marial Benjamin for his wonderful words. He brought the reality of the South Sudanese struggle for peace out of the darkness and into the light.

Following his bold example, the rest of the South Sudanese people must also take up the gauntlet and advocate for an end to violence. We must speak up and let General Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar know that we are waiting patiently for peace.

This article was written by Deng Kur Deng A.K.A Raanmangar. You can reached him at pananyangajak@gmail.com.

FRED OLUOCH’s Interview with the Armed Rebel Leader, Dr. Riek Machar

Posted: March 15, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Salva Kiir actually stage-managed coup against himself

Why is it so difficult for you and President Salva Kiir to agree on a peaceful settlement after 14 months of talks?

It is not about the two of us but the issues that have been affecting the country since Independence. For instance, we have basically raised the issues of reforms and restructuring in government to meet our diversity.

To that end, we are advocating federalism. We have also suggested arrangements that would assure the people of South Sudan of their security. But the government is opposed to these proposals.

Igad has postponed the South Sudan talks indefinitely. What is your take?

I understand that they are recommending a new mechanism to include other regions of Africa. We welcome it because some of the Igad countries have direct interests in South Sudan. For example, Uganda interfered physically in South Sudan, deploying troops to fight us. So it is best to include other regional blocs because they may look at things differently, which could bring peace.

President Kiir has categorically stated that he is not ready to work with you as the First Vice-President.

I did not ask to be his vice president, nor do I wish to be one. Our position is that Salva Kiir’s government committed genocide in Juba. What happened in Juba after December 15, 2013, was ethnic cleansing and we don’t want this to be repeated. So Kiir should just resign and give way to another person.

You have also been accused by human-rights organisations of having massacred civilians, especially in Bentiu?

This was on April 15, 2014. The government was being supported by four groups of Sudanese rebels, one of them being JEM (Justice and Equality Movement). When we dislodged them from Bentiu, a lot of them died but also a lot of them ran to the mosque. There was a battle in the mosque and a good number of people died.

However, we also investigated through our own machinery and it is not true that all of those who died in the mosque were civilians. The majority of them were armed soldiers, even though some civilians died.

Then, are you in favour of the Obasanjo commission report that lists those who committed atrocities?

We have requested the AU to make this report public because it is important for the whole world to know what happened. If there are issues where anybody would be asked to account, then it should be a transparent process. I am disappointed that the AU Peace and Security Council did not discuss this report during the January Summit.

The leaked version of that report calls for the exclusion of both you and President Kiir from the transitional government. Why are they trying to balance the blame?

I am the victim here. Why would I not be allowed to participate in the transitional government while I was forced into the current situation? The person who planned the genocide should shoulder the responsibility.

The president says you had planned a coup but when it failed you turned it into an insurgency.

I planned no coup. He arrested and tried some of my colleagues who participated in the December 6, 2013 press conference calling for reforms within the SPLM. But they were acquitted by the court and the charges that they planned a coup, including me in absentia, were dropped. In fact, he stage-managed a coup against himself.

At that press conference, you called for internal party reforms because SPLM had lost its vision. Could you explain that?

It is true the party has lost its original vision and that is why we believe in the reform of SPLM to go back to its original vision and that is why we signed the Arusha Accord of January 21, which addressed the causes of the conflict within the SPLM.

In the vision, we wanted to create a united South Sudan as a democratic and prosperous country. But what Salva Kiir is running is a disunited country riddled with insecurity, corruption and exclusivity.

Do you have the moral standing to talk about corruption, when you were the vice-president when corruption took root?

Well, you can be a vice-president and yet things can be done without your knowledge. Look at the Dura Saga in which the government paid nearly $1 million for cereals that were never delivered.

At one time, the president issued a “List of Shame” naming 75 personalities involved in corruption but when parliament challenged him to take these people to court, he threatened to dissolve it.

You are portrayed by the government as a serial rebel, having done it in 1991 and now in 2013.

[Laughs loudly]. 1991 was a split in the movement over differences in ideas on what to fight for. I called for the right of self-determination, while others like Dr John Garang wanted a reformed, united Sudan.

In the end, my idea of self-determination became the overriding objective of the struggle. You can now see we are independent and it is I who have won the ideological debate.

In 2013, I was forced into the current situation and that is why we are demanding the restructuring of the state by applying the new system of governance, which is federalism, to address our diversity. This is not rebellion.

Still, some people accuse you of betraying Dr John Garang in 1991.

Dr Garang and I were contemporaries. My objective was self-determination, which has now been realised. How then did I betray the struggle if Dr Garang later signed the CPA that contained the provisions of self-determination?

But you entered into a deal with President Omar al-Bashir, whom the Southerners were fighting. Was that not betrayal?

On the contrary, my move was to further the concept of self-determination. For the first time, Khartoum put self-determination in the Constitution in 1998 as a result of our Khartoum Peace Agreement. I had the courage to negotiate with Khartoum and force them to accept self-determination.

But when they could not implement it in four years, I went back to the bush and re-joined Dr Garang. In the end, the CPA benefited from the Khartoum agreement which ensured that self-determination will be exercised by the people of South Sudan.

The same CPA had provided a six-year interim period for Khartoum to make unity attractive. Suppose they did, what would have happened to your vision?

Had the people of South Sudan chosen unity, my vision would have died. But my vision did not die because those who wanted unity with Khartoum were given six years to advocate for it. But it failed when we went to a referendum with two options of secession and unity, and the secessionists won. I am therefore exonerated!

Some of your critics describe you as a man with undying ambition and that you will stop at nothing to get the presidency.

Well, my main ambition is to build a state that can be a proud member of the community of nations. I led the drive for self-determination, creating a federal, democratic and yet united state at the national level. If this is what you call undying ambition, so let be it because according to me, I have a vision to create such a state.

Critics say that you should not complain because during the interim period when President Kiir was the first vice-president of the larger Sudan, you were actually the man in charge of the Southern sections and could have made changes.

That is the biggest lie I have been hearing. Initially, I thought it was just propaganda from his sycophants, but when I heard it from the president himself in the last Igad session, I confronted him and told him not to rewrite history.

He was in the South most of the time and in fact it was I who was shuttling between Khartoum and Juba as the one charged with the implementation of the CPA. I used to spend three or four days in Khartoum but I always made sure that I attended the Council of Ministers meetings on Friday. In short, he was never in Khartoum, after he left in 2006. He is now selling this view because he does not want to accept the responsibility of what has gone wrong in South Sudan.

President Kiir said that Khartoum is supplying you with weapons and offering moral support.

Where is his proof? I get my arms from him. On the contrary, he is the one who buys arms and ammunition from Khartoum and we capture them on the ground whenever we overrun their stations.

Are you saying you don’t have external weapons suppliers?

I wish I did. If I get, I will definitely go for it but it is very difficult to get arms from abroad and therefore we have to look internally. As you know, it is a war situation and everybody needs arms.

What, according to you, is ailing South Sudan?

It is simply an issue of bad governance. The institutions of governance and accountability are weak. We all tried to strengthen these institutions but it all boils down to leadership. If the ruling party SPLM is working at cross-purposes with government, then things will definitely go wrong.

Should you be given a chance to rule the country, what would you do differently?

First of all, South Sudan will be a federal, democratic state with multi-party democracy. We will fight corruption and strengthen institutions of governance, at national, state and county level.

We will introduce new blood into governance at every level; the party will be rejuvenated. So we will be a forward-looking state capable of competing with our neigbours and also taking advantage of the talents and experiences available among our neighbours to build the country in the shortest possible time.