Archive for May 21, 2018

Chances for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in South Sudan falters at the HLRF in Addis Ababa as warring parties struggle to save faces amid crushing Deadlock and tight deadline

By Emmanuel Ariech Deng, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Emmanuel Ariech Deng

Emmanuel Ariech Deng is the PaanLuel Wel Media (PW) correspondent covering the HLRF of the 2015 peace process in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — Chances for a timely conclusion and peacefully resolution of the raging conflict in South Sudan are faltering in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as the final day of the IGAD-led High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) of the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) is marked by a crushing deadlock, characterized by partisan blame gaming and political haggling among the warring parties.

As of this evening, IGAD, the East African regional bloc that has been mediating the peace process since December 2013, has pushed HLRF until tomorrow, giving more time for the secretariat to complete its work on the report of South Sudan Council of Churches in conclusion of its consultation process that has been going on for five days in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa building in the heart of Addis Ababa city.

The negotiation file is still with the Church Group until tomorrow to bring the parties to the plenary consensus. There are reports that the IGAD council of ministers will take over the decision to adjourn or extend the talks by tomorrow. The media was lately informed today in the evening to convene tomorrow at nine for a detailed report.

Speaking during the press briefing this evening, Hon. Michael Makwei Lueth, the government spokesperson, had this to say: “Yes, this morning the intra-South Sudanese dialogue continued with its task and yesterday, the two sub-committees of governance and security had presented their reports to the leadership committee.” (more…)

By Pal Chol Nyan, Juba, South Sudan

Cantonment of forces

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — The disconcerting news coming and reaching us from Addis say that there is a little progress in the ongoing talks. The warring Parties failed and are failing to reach any consensus on the key issues; thus rendering chances slim for peace to be concluded.

Commander Michael Makwei, the government spokesman and the spokesman of the government negotiation said they have agreed only on cantonment of forces and on an inclusivity. It sounds ambitious because nothing was elaborated further as to what that inclusivity is or will be and for what.

The religious leaders headed by the South Sudan Anglican Primate, in an exercise of divine powers, took over the talks in a bid to convince the warring parties but they have also failed to make the parties agree on a common ground to ink a deal. I don’t know what they will tell God now that their prayers went unanswered.

Definitely, they will not pray for the negotiators to die. It is only them who know the feedback they will give to the Creator of the suffering people of South Sudan on whose behalf peace is searched. (more…)

By David Mayen Dengdit, Denver, USA

Arop Madut Arop's book

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — I must begin with assuring my good Uncle Arop Madut Arop that my respect for him as an elder (not just a maternal uncle) is firmly rooted in that glaring aspect of our Dinka (indeed all African) culture which gives maternal Uncles a special; almost divine status among their nephews. In fact, Uncle Aropdit knows that he has been a role model for me personally and has earned our respect in the family due to his own personal attributes and long principled life experiences.

 I must admit that, given my long family and professional relations with him in which respect for him is a natural order, I may have stepped a certain cultural boundary by responding to his article, even though I (and those whose names were cited by him) may still be right to feel uneasy to be included in an article where “respect for elders” was the main advice. Hence, he has trapped me in those two coexisting uneasy conditions of right-wrong. It feels like that proven physical state of “cold-hot” which certain objects may possess at the same time.

It is not so long ago that my good and close friend Isaiah Abraham (whose name I have given my son) and many writers in South Sudan were killed by known gunmen just because of that unwarranted perception of disrespect in a political arena where they were equal citizens and stakeholders, not just young(er) men. Taking precious life has been the price of disrespect for President Kiir (real or perceived), and what a price it has been! (more…)

By Tong Kot Kuocnin, Nairobi, Kenya


Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — Since the establishment of the government of Southern Sudan in 2005 following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, South Sudan failed to embark on extensive judicial reforms with a rigorous process of impartial and non-partisan appointment of the Chief Justice, justices, judges and other judicial officers where applicants should have been publicly interviewed by a revamped Judicial Service Council (JSC). Subsequently, parliament should have vetted and passed the nominees before full appointment by the President.

However, as I always share different and contending opinion, my contention has always been that, the effectiveness of judicial reforms depends on wider reforms in the entire justice sector. This would include critical stakeholders, such as, the prosecuting authorities, penal institutions and the police – and even the executive and parliament which put forward and approve budgetary allocations.

This is to ensure that complementary reforms are taking place within all those other institutions in order to ensure effective and timely delivery of justice. Since 2005 to date, weak institutional culture and structural impediments have stood in the way of judicial reforms, but this should not be allowed to retard efforts to implement an ‘ambitious plan to make the courts more efficient and open, increase professionalism, and expand the court system’ if at all the judiciary leadership was willing to undertake much needed reforms. (more…)


Mabioor Garang, minister for water and irrigation

Mabioor Garang de Mabior is the former minister for water and irrigation in Juba under the KiiRiek TGONU, and the current Chairman of the SPLM-IO National Committee for Information and Public Relations

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — The leadership of the SPLM/SPLA (IO) would like to update our members and the people of South Sudan at large on the progress of Phase II of the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) since its resumption on May 17, 2018. After a two-day workshop on governance and on security on the 15th and 16th of May, the HLRF was officially launched on May 17, 2018. The issues for negotiation were the sticking points on governance and security which we have been discussing since the beginning of Phase II of HLRF in February 2018.

In February 2018, Faith-based Groups requested the IGAD Mediation to give South Sudanese an opportunity to discuss these issues among themselves without the mediation. On May 17, the IGAD Mediation after officially launching the session, asked the faith-based groups to facilitate the discussions, while IGAD maintained an observer status in the sessions facilitated by the faith-based groups. Though the faith-based groups have been facilitating the discussions since May 18, there has been no major breakthrough. However, there is some little progress in the security committee and we encourage our members and people of South Sudan to remain hopeful, your Movement shall update you with time. (more…)

By Francis Maluth Telar, Juba, South Sudan


Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) —- After the onset of the war in mid-December, foreign Ministers from the neighboring states under the IGAD bloc started pouring in to Juba on 19 December 2013 to engage both parties for political solution to the conflict before it expands. The initial interventions within Juba yielded less breakthrough other than persuading the parties to move to Addis, chosen as the negotiation venue for political settlement of the war.

In the beginning days, the negotiation was not so complex. It was meant to be between the SPLM-IG and the SPLM-IO. Though Riek had expected them to join his movement, the SPLM-FDs upon release from confinement requested the IGAD so that they would form a thirty party to the talks. Parties sent their delegates with Nhial Deng as the lead negotiator on government side while Taban Deng as the SPLM-IO rapporteur. The first round of talks between the government and the rebels officially began in the first week of January 2014 in the Ethiopian town of Addis.

Parallel to the IGAD mediation was the SPLM party reunification, first tried by the South Africa’s ANC (Africa National Congress) to no avail, but later by the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), Tanzania’s ruling party in January 2014. The CCM efforts toward SPLM tripartite (SPLM-IG, SPLM-IO, SPLM-FDs) unity succeeded on paper but proved less on the implementation matrix until today. (more…)

By Clement Maring Samuel, Kampala, Uganda

Gen. Paul Malong Awan

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — When General Paul Malong Awan, the leader of South Sudan United Front (SSUF) declared his movement, his intention was not for war, but for peace so that collectively all the parties to the conflict can find a comprehensive solution to the conflict in South Sudan.  Malong was a party to the conflict and his intention to join the peace talks is a positive step towards peace. But TROIKA is obstructing his participation in the peace talk, and hence, violating the rationale of seeking peace through inclusive peace negotiation.

Malong applied for membership into the Opposition Alliance known as South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), his delegate to be included into the discussion of the peace talks in Addis Ababa. His intention was to give peace a chance, which is a positive idea.

But TROIKA and some elements among the IGAD heads of States reject the idea of him joining the peace talks. What do they want if Malong is having good intention to participate in peace talk, is that a bad idea? Who is a war monger here, is it Malong or TROIKA? (more…)

For immediate release: IGAD Revitilisation Forum for South Sudan Registers Some Progress


The Intergovernmental Authority on Development is an eight-country trade bloc in Africa. It includes governments from the Horn of Africa, Nile Valley, and the African Great Lakes. Its headquarters are in Djibouti City.

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — The ongoing Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-led High Level Revitalisation Forum (HLRF), for the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) signed in August 2015, has entered its third day in Addis Ababa.

On top of the plenary sessions where all stakeholders to the crisis as well as Facilitators and observers are in attendance, the ongoing Continued Phase II of the HRLF includes inter-South Sudanese consultations during which parties discuss outstanding issues on Governance and on Security Arrangements. (more…)

By Tong Kot Kuocnin, Nairobi, Kenya

Chief Justice Chan ReecMadut

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) —The increasing reliance by South Sudan polity on the court to decide major political disputes and issues of public interest has brought the independence of the Judiciary into sharp focus and criticism.

Informed opinions on the Judiciary in South Sudan varies between those who believe that the “Judiciary is dead” or that it is “on trial” and the more compassionate view that it is a “beast of burden” or a “sacrificial lamb” waiting to be roasted by the executive.

These remarks are derive from observations of the alleged or actual behaviors of the judges and their independence, impartiality and integrity. While the above metaphors may be subject to various interpretations, they do raise consideration, curiosity and interest as to why our Judiciary should attract such comments and perhaps to what extent the concepts are justified.

This writer has incessantly, on numerous instances, written extensively on the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, its judicialization, institutional reforms needed and whether the judiciary has been politicized or is it in crisis. (more…)

Press Release: The Free Citizens Red Flag League’s (FCRFL) Proposed Transitional Government Arrangements for South Sudan (December 2018- December 2020)

Logo of The Free Citizens Red Flag League

Monday, May 21, 2018 (PW) — Despite initial optimism which had followed a 2015 SPLM re- unification commitments made during a meeting convened in Arusha (Tanzania), three years later the odds appear to remain stacked against the probability of South Sudanese refugees going back home soon. Their stay may be for decades to come if militarization of the country continues at current rates.

Having lost parents, watched helplessly when their mothers and sisters were gang-raped by rogue militants from all sides, South Sudanese citizens of all tribes fled for relative safety in neighboring countries. They formed the newer wave of millions of refugees in sub-Saharan Africa. (more…)