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South Sudan: A moment for youths to wake up and call for Kiir's exit to quit the throne

By: Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut

February 18, 2015 (SSNA) --No fundamental political, economic or social transformation can be expected unless we the people act.

History never conforms to principles that can be calibrated exactly by theoretical or scientific political analysis.

If we intend to be successful in creating the circumstances that we want, we must always attempt to identify and understand the fundamental forces that are driving change in our life time, but we must always be prepared to be surprised by events.

The surprises have come and gone indeed, but we must expect more as we move towards 2015-2016.

SPLM cannot create the south Sudan we want and the purges we have seen make it no better.

We must expect more contestation in the political arena in the coming years, but whether this contestation will result in fundamental political changes in south Sudan is doubtful.

All in all, 2014 has been a rather disappointing year in that, nothing fundamental has changed except the surprise recalibration of internal SPLM politics and the merging of the SPLM-DC and other political parties' outfits.

Unfortunately these events will not necessarily result in wholesale political, economic and social change that we seek. Politics is failing to transform our society. We are going round in circles and it is up to us to now break that circle.

As we have gone into the New Year, it is necessary that we reflect and ask how we ourselves can become the change agents and break the cycle of mediocrity and resistance to change.

How do we, for once, take the responsibility of leading the social change that we want to see?

This is because if we do not do that, we shall once more stand disappointed and hopeless at the end of the coming year.

Our economy will not recover as long as the fundamentals are not addressed. These include wholesale institutional renewal, constitutionality including the respect of private property rights, attracting foreign investments, the revival of agriculture, infrastructure rehabilitation and, more important, leadership renewal.

Clearly SPLM has no incentive for a wholesale recalibration of institutions which continue to present it with an unfair political and economic advantage.

It has no urgent appetite to encourage fair political competition, freedom to associate, a free media sector simply because it knows that it will be rendered irrelevant. The changes we want in South Sudan will certainly not emanate from a predator liberation struggle political organization, let’s be clear on that.

In the last year, our opposition political parties on top of them is the SPLM-DC have been consumed by restructuring and renewing themselves and we may expect them to be more active in the coming year.

I anticipate nothing new except the usual politicking and continuous press conference condemning SPLM's failures. No fundamental political, economic or social transformation can be expected from those quarters in the coming year.

This of course leaves us the citizens of south Sudan as the only people who can really make a difference. This gives us who want to see fundamental transformation the responsibility to lead the change we want to see without expecting others to do it for us.

My contention here is that, any sustainable social change in south Sudan will need a new narrative from those that make the majority of our population; youth and women.

This narrative need not necessarily be only on the political front, but must be a narrative that seeks social justice as contemplated by the liberation struggle. It must include the total emancipation and empowerment of the masses specifically the youth and women.

To date we have mistakenly assumed that political parties will empower us and this has been proven wrong. We have in the past been told the lie that we were emancipated by SPLM through the armed struggle and that has turned out to be even a bigger lie.

We must emancipate and empower ourselves first. It will pay us to wait to wait for the youths to wake up; we must create the change we want to see.

As I say this, I know there are millions of young South Sudanese out there who have tended to divorce themselves from politics because, throughout the years, they have been abused and then forgotten by politicians. Most have just given up with no hope that they will see the change they want in this lifetime and yet it is not impossible.

As we look forward to better years ahead we must know that they will not come without sacrifice.

They will not come from inaction and expectation but from a concerted effort for us to change the game. This will require that all young progressive south Sudanese must first admit to themselves that change can surely come.

It is with this in mind that I invite the young south Sudanese who desire a better life to unite and create a force for change that ignores our politicians as change agents or shapers of the future. It is time for organization and action by youth for youth.

Young south Sudanese must now aspire to empower themselves and begin to be actors in creating the life that they deserve.

So as we reflect on the past we must do so with the knowledge that history now requires us to shape it. Our history can never really be shaped without our consent.

I sincerely hope 2015 will see young ordinary south Sudanese citizens come out of their slumber and begin to act to create the south Sudan we want. The adults will continue with their old stories and with their fights to hold on to power and privilege without offering us a better and it's you and I that can bring change to the young Nation future.

And it's you and I that can bring change to the young Nation.

Cde. Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut who is Chairman of SPLM Youth League Chapter in Egypt, can be reach through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Don’t just stand there: Do something about South Sudan! (Part 1)

By Margaret Akulia, Canada

REFERENCED ARTICLES ARE LOCATED AT THE BOTTOM IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE
 
“My life had become so unbearable that I was forced to take the perilous option of crossing our borders secretly” Peter Abdelrahman Sule the leader of South Sudan's United Democratic Front Party had relayed in a communication he sent to very influential friends of South Sudan ahead of being granted expedited political asylum by the United Nations under Article 1(2) of the 1951 Geneva Convention on refugees yet again! Before fleeing for his life and applying for political asylum, Peter Abdelrahman Sule had endured the most abhorrent forms of human rights violations under the so-called democratically elected government of Salvatore Kiir Mayardit. A government that resulted from a cooperative Plebiscite and not a Presidential Election but disqualified itself immediately by violating the Interim Constitution of South Sudan in its entirety! REFER TO THE ARTICLE TITLED ``PRESIDENT KIIR’S SPLM GOVERNMENT IS NOT DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED`` AND THE INTERIM CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH SUDAN.
 
February 16, 2015 (SSNA) -- Peter Abdelrahman Sule's only crime was insisting on a just society and promoting actual democracy, not the felonious version being ballyhooed by Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and his lawless cronies. He became a marked man when he campaigned for law and order in South Sudan and pursued his Blueprint for South Sudan which is premised on negotiation and consensus! As an articulate lawyer with extraordinary communication, diplomacy and innumerable other indispensable skills and attributes, the Kitante Hill Senior Secondary School Alumnus who went on to pursue law at the University of Khartoum and years later post graduate law studies at the University of London, brings exceptional constructs and competences to the table. His Blueprint for South Sudan is the actual solution for the carnage in the country and it echoes the agreement that was signed in Addis Ababa on May 9, 2014 by Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon.  REFER TO THE ARTICLE TITLED ``JUSTICE PETER SULE ON A LEGAL AND GRASSROOTS SOLUTION FOR SOUTH SUDAN AND THE AGREEMENT TO RESOLVE THE CRISIS IN SOUTH SUDAN.
 
Since his days as a young and very bright Sudanese student at Kitante Hill Secondary School in Uganda, Peter Abdelrahman Sule has been an ardent believer in consensus building. That is the reason why his collaborative problem solving Blueprint for resolving the multiparty dispute currently unfolding in South Sudan echoes the agreement that was signed in Addis Ababa on May 9, 2014 by Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon. However, IGAD contravened that agreement by excluding him and the other stakeholders! As articulated by him, the South Sudan carnage has transcended and gone beyond both Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon and their cohorts. Consequently, Peter Abdelrahman Sule’s Blueprint for South Sudan and the May 9, 2014 “agreement to resolve the crisis in South Sudan” need to be compelled at once.
 
Until his “prison break” from lawless South Sudan, Peter Abdelrahman Sule was not allowed by Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and his uncontrolled cronies to pursue the very Blueprint that will usher in peace, development, law and order in South Sudan. However, the people's front is now able to implement Peter Abdelrahman Sule's Blueprint with no qualms, unlawful restrictions and reservations. This is because he is now protected by the United Nations, away from Kiir’s trigger-happy government and the hullabaloo about being democratically elected while criminals who double as security agents continue to break the law with impunity. Peter Abdelrahman Sule's Blueprint seeks to involve all the people of South Sudan from the ground up and not just the uncontrollable SPLM cum SPLA oligopoly that continues to wreak havoc on citizens and foreigners alike. As he elaborates on his Blueprint for South Sudan and the world rallies behind this actual solution for the country, it is anticipated that the people of South Sudan and their friends will recognize who South Sudan's actual leaders are. Kiir and his cronies need to be obliged to stop latching onto a cooperative Plebiscite because a president who surrounds himself with criminals and allows some of them to double as Presidential Guards is unfit to lead a modern state like South Sudan. REFER TO THE ARTICLE TITLED ``PRESIDENTIAL GUARDS ACCUSED OF INVOLVEMENT IN ARMED ROBBERIES IN JUBA``. 
 
Integrally, the SPLM cum SPLA oligopoly is a criminal syndicate and therefore incapable of leading a South Sudan where law and order are paramount. To say that the wrangling and unruly so-called Liberation Movement is unable to guarantee civil and human rights and it is in a league of its own is an understatement. Not even the United Nations as an institution that is unassailable around the world is spared the outlandish consortium's irreverent conduct. This habitual iniquity is occurring while the so-called Liberation Movement that IGAD is bent on rewarding is continuing to commit the most abhorrent forms of human rights violations. REFER TO ARTICLES TITLED “SOUTH SUDANESE TROOPS STEAL BACKPACKS MEANT FOR CHILDREN”, ``ROADBLOCKS ARE PREVENTING AID CONVOYS TO REACH THEIR DESTINATIONS IN SOUTH SUDAN: UN``, S SUDAN WARRING PARTIES BLOCKING FOOD DELIVERIES WITH ILLEGAL CHECKPOINTS: UN`` AND “PRES. KIIR, RIEK & THE SPLM ARE THE PROBLEM OF REP. SOUTH SUDAN”. South Sudan under the genocidal SPLM cum SPLA oligopoly is so lawless that even the legal concept of Diplomatic Immunity is violated with no scruples. Foreign diplomats aren't exempted from the combine's disordered behaviours. So why is everyone just standing there and doing nothing? Why on earth would IGAD want to hand over the country to such a depraved cartel? REFER TO THE ARTICLE TITLED ``SHOTS FIRED AT US DIPLOMATIC VEHICLE IN S. SUDAN CAPITAL``. 
 
The utter contempt for the rule of law in a country where thugs are emboldened to commit armed robbery while all eyes are on them, takes audacity and brazenness to a new tier. The reckless abandon with which South Sudan security agents currently assault lawyers as defenders of nomocracy while miming `` democratically elected``, ``democratically elected``, ``democratically elected`` gives new meaning to shamelessness! The Interim Constitution of South Sudan is being contradicted with reckless abandon and yet everyone is just standing there and doing nothing. REFER TO ARTICLES TITLED ``SOUTH SUDAN SECURITY RAID LAWYERS' ASSOCIATION MEETING, ARREST JOURNALIST”, ``LAWYERS' MEETING IN WAU HALTED BY SECURITY PERSONNEL``, “SPLM-JUBA SECURITY REMAINS HOLDING JOURNALIST” AND “NATIONAL SECURITY SERVICE HAS BEATEN A JOURNALIST UNCONSCIOUS”.
 
A president who feigns ignorance about his own security agents breaking laws has no business being president of a contemporary country like South Sudan. One who grants criminal security agents immunity as they relentlessly violate the main yardstick of democracy which is freedom of speech and assembly has no business invoking democracy to latch onto a cooperative Plebiscite. REFER TO THE ARTICLE TITLED ``SOUTH SUDAN PRESIDENCY SAYS NOT FORMALLY NOTIFIED OF REASONS FOR CLOSURE OF NATION MIRROR.`` To add insult to the country’s wholesale shame and injury to its unassuming people, Salvatore Kiir Mayardit appointed a fractious bully to the powerful position of Army Chief of General Staff and yet everyone is just standing there and doing nothing. REFER TO THE ARTICLE TITLED ``OPINION: THE ILLEGITIMATE 'KING' IN NORTHERN BAHR AL GHAZAL.`` These are the anarchists IGAD is proposing to hand South Sudan to while the country's neglected people continue to be assaulted by the same cruel nihilists. The regional organization is considering its condemnable proposal as a so-called Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders is crying foul and inciting the continuation of South Sudan's vicious war. REFER TO ARTICLES TITLED “JIENG (DINKA) COUNCIL OF ELDERS: WE’LL RESIST OUR DEMISE BY ALL MEANS” AND “THE NUER SUPREME COUNCIL’S RESPONSE TO THE CHAIRMAN OF “JIENG COUNCIL OF ELDERS INTERVIEW.” Revered elders in all African tribes scold and extricate themselves from thoughtless, lawless and cruel younger generations but not the Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders. That is the reason why to say that Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and his so-called Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders have made South Sudan a laughing-stock is lax.
 
IGAD needs to be disqualified from mediating the South Sudan bloodbath with immediate effect. The regional organization has failed to bring about a peace agreement or deal with the root causes of the savagery in South Sudan because it contravened the May 9, 2014 agreement signed by Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon.  Because of its lack of discernment, the organization and its affiliates are setting the stage for more lawlessness, death the destruction in South Sudan instead of securing a lasting peace agreement. REFER TO ARTICLES TITLED “ARUSHA RESETS SPLM FOR ANOTHER ROUND OF SENSELESS VIOLENCE” AND “SOUTH SUDANESE POLITICAL PARTIES CAUTION OVER PEACE DEAL”. IGAD has not succeeded in resolving the conflict between  Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon and their cohorts because it broke the rules of mediation by 1) Taking the side of Salvatore Kiir Mayardit. 2) Imposing judgment on the issues being discoursed instead of facilitating a mutually acceptable settlement by ALL the stakeholders (in mediation, the mediator will not and cannot impose a settlement). 3) Imposing itself as a mediator in a dispute in which its members have financial and personal interests in the result of the mediation. 4) Refusing to defer the mediation to an objective forum.
 
Prior to imposing itself as the mediator, IGAD did not disclose any circumstance likely to create a presumption of bias. Moreover, the regional organization has enabled the conflicting parties to negotiate in bad faith by excluding the other stakeholders. To salvage the object of the agreement that was signed in Addis Ababa on May 9, 2014 by Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, the South Sudan mediation effort needs to be reconstituted to include ALL the stakeholders, along with advocates from the African and South Sudan Diaspora. Simply stated, all the people of South Sudan and not just a lawless SPLM cum SPLA oligopoly should participate in pulling South Sudan from under the rubble actuated by the very murderous cartel IGAD appears to be dead set on rewarding.  IGAD countenancing the genocidal SPLM cum SPLA oligopoly to act as judge, jury and executioner in dictating how “The people of South Sudan vs the SPLM cum SPLA” is adjudicated is immoral at best. That is why the organization needs to be stopped from continuing to jumble the South Sudan Peace Talks. The world should not just stand there and do nothing about the criminal mindset that was responsible for the genocide that created the murderous domino effect that is now threatening to sink the entire East and Central African region as IGAD is doing. Just standing there and doing nothing is tantamount to aiding and abetting genocide. It is recreating Germany's Auschwitz Concentration Camp genocide, the Rwandan genocide and the countless other genocides that occured because the international world just stood there and did nothing!
 
The people of South Sudan and their friends have good cause to replace IGAD in the South Sudan mediation immediately to avert bloodshed. Furthermore, IGAD does not have the authority to decide any issue for the people of South Sudan so it can be substituted because it has failed in facilitating the voluntary resolution of the dispute between the conflicting parties who now include REMNASA (The Revolutionary Movement for National Salvation). Simply stated, IGAD’s immoral scheme to reward genocide will not go unchallenged! REFER TO PRESS RELEASE TITLED “REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT FOR NATIONAL SALVATION (REMNASA): IT’S OBJECTIVES” AND ARTICLES TITLED “S. SUDAN ARMY EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER DEFECTIONS IN W. EQUATORIA” AND ``LAUNCHING THE PEOPLE’S FRONT TO OPPOSE THE GENOCIDAL SPLM CUM SPLA OLIGOPOLY IN SOUTH SUDAN!``
 
South Sudan’s defence minister, Kuol Manyang Juuk is very accurate in many of his statements in the article titled “S. Sudan army expresses concern over defections in W. Equatoria” but he couldn’t be more wrong when he said, “It is unfortunate that one of the well-mannered and highly disciplined officers at the ministry of defense could not stand the test of pressure, which is regretful.” Losuba Lodoru Won’go’s defection has nothing to do with pressure but defending and protecting the suffering masses of South Sudan. Contrary to his erroneous superficial comments, Kuol Manyang Juuk knows what a formidable opponent Losuba Lodoru Won’go is. He is absolutely right in discerning that Losuba Lodoru Won’go’s “rebellion could undermine economic activities with neigbouring countries of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) if he takes advantage of his knowledge of the triangle region straddling Uganda to the south of Juba and the DRC to the south west”.
 
If Losuba Lodoru Won’go had the ability to successfully defuse a Congolese rebellion of ethnic Kakwa in 2012, it is not far-fetched to anticipate the opposite. If Nuers from all over the world including ones from the Gambela region of Ethiopia can converge on South Sudan to defend their kin without the least bit of care for the restrictions imposed by transnational borders, it is not illogical to expect that Kakwa people, their relatives and friends from all the countries of East and Central Africa will descend on South Sudan to fight inhumanity. Kakwa/Bari speaking tribes know that when a big man places his hand on his head, it signifies fear, hopelessness and defeat so it is anybody's guess who is not standing the test of pressure in the innumerable defections from Salvatore Kiir Mayardit's anarchic government to the opposing sides including Losuba Lodoru Won’go's REMNASA (The Revolutionary Movement for National Salvation). It is anybody's guess which side is running scared when all that is needed to bring about sustainable peace in South Sudan by peaceful means is  implementing Peter Abdelrahman Sule's Blueprint for South Sudan and the agreement that was signed in Addis Ababa on May 9, 2014 by Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon.  REFER TO ARTCILES TITLED “SPLA-IO SHELL BENTIU WITH MORTARS” AND “S. SUDAN’S “COBRA” FACTION ABANDONS KIIR’S GOVERNMENT, JOINS REBELLION”.
Every conceivable group could take up arms against Salvatore Kiir Mayardit’s depraved government but why spill more blood when a reconstituted mediation effort that includes ALL the stakeholders, along with advocates from the African and South Sudan Diaspora can avert bloodshed. Why continue depending on a biased IGAD that is bogging down proper dialogue when a different forum can be speedily reconstituted? Why should more precious lives be lost when a reconstituted mediation effort will ensure that every fair and just South Sudanese gets what they need and all the 64 tribes of South Sudan are guaranteed protection from murderous bullies? Why continue fighting when a reconstituted mediation effort can be a successful avenue for building consensus about the way forward in relation to rebuilding the country, proper accountability and proper restitution?  
 
“Yi laga Kakwa/Bari kilo yi moro ku Lemi. Kuje 'bayi”, I had encouraged Losuba Lodoru Won’go in a missive I sent him in Kakwa. The phrase loosely translates to we Kakwa/Bari speaking tribes fight with just cause. We don't pick fights unnecessarily. We fight for justice and we fight evil. That is the reason why the karmic forces are always aligned in our favour. There is no fear when you fight for justice. I had pursued Losuba Lodoru Won’go to convey that if he and his group REMNASA (The Revolutionary Movement for National Salvation) must fight Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and his cronies in self defence and to protect the suffering masses of South Sudan, they should let the God of the Bible lead.
 
I had included a link to the Bible Stories of Exodus 17:8-13, Numbers 13:1 – 14:35, Joshua 1:1-9, 3:1-17, Joshua 6:1-27, Joshua 7:1-12, Joshua 7:14-8:29, Joshua 10:1-14, Joshua 23:1-24:28, Judges 4:1-9, Judges 4:10-17, 5:19-21, Judges 4:17-23, Judges 5:1-31, Judges 6:1-24, Judges 6:25-32, Judges 7:1-7, Judges 7:12-25, Judges 13:1 – 14:19, Judges 15:1-17, Judges 16:4-22, Judges 16:23-31, Luke 8:26-39, Luke 19:45-48, John 2:13-21, Matthew 27:33 – 28:20 and Ephesians 6:10-18 and encouraged Losuba Lodoru Won’go to learn from the stories and stay strong.
 
“Scroll to the bottom of the page to click on "Kakwa: Congo" or "Arabic, Sudanese Creole: Juba" and listen to the same stories recorded in audio format by clicking on the soldier with the sword and shield” I had instructed while praying that the South Sudan carnage will be resolved without firing a single shot and spilling more blood. This is because it is possible to resolve the conflict peacefully provided the complex mediation effort is reconstituted to include ALL the stakeholders, along with advocates from the African and South Sudan Diaspora. CLICK ON THE “GLOBAL RECORDINGS” LINK.
 
“I am just a simple person but moved by the suffering of our people” Losuba Lodoru Won’go offered in a reply missive where he explained why he picked up arms in defence and protection of the suffering masses of South Sudan who are “being killed daily in cold blood, harassed, looted and raped with impunity”. 
 
“I am shocked with the way our so called leaders behave” Losuba Lodoru Won’go expressed before continuing. 
 
“I asked myself. Why did we fight and separate from the Sudan?  Was it to get a country per se? My answer was big NO.  We fought because we felt we were not free, we were not treated equally and we had no opportunity to develop our natural talents as well as no democratic space to be equally represented in the governance affairs of the country we call our own”.
 
“Option one was to fix the problem if not then go to option two which is to separate. The same but even worse is happening in South Sudan now under Kiir. Our options are to topple him or fix the problem under a new interim leadership” Losuba Lodoru Won’go declared with conviction.  
 
 
“I have decided with my team that we will continue till freedom, equality and democracy is attained in South Sudan so that we have a conducive environment where for the first time in history we shall have decent and quality education and health services with safe water for all South Sudanese children, women and men” Losuba Lodoru Won’go stated emphatically. 
 
The solution to South Sudan's current ``free-for-all`` and total breakdown in law and order is ingrained in Peter Abdelrahman Sule’s Blueprint for South Sudan and Losuba Lodoru Won’go’s vision for South Sudan, both of which are complemented by proposals from professionals in the South Sudan Diaspora. The common thread is the stakeholder involvement implanted in the May 9, 2014 agreement signed by Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon and guaranteed by Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairman of the IGAD Assembly. All of Peter Abdelrahman Sule, Losuba Lodoru Won’go and professionals in the South Sudan Diaspora accredit the importance of dialogue and participation by ALL stakeholders and not just a lawless so-called Liberation Movement that is bent on continuing to murder and short change the people they have abused and battered for decades. That is why the world needs to listen to the clarion call to replace IGAD in the complex South Sudan mediation which requires particular skills, extraordinary sensitivity, prudence and inside information.
 
Losuba Lodoru Won’go is standing up to the lawless bullies of South Sudan by taking up arms against them to defend and protect the suffering masses of South Sudan and I have every reason to believe that he has no intention of backing down! In fact I see a Nuer-Equatoria alliance that can and will obtain proper accountability and restitution for the callousness that has reduced South Sudan to killing fields instead of the ludicrous focus on a crooked power sharing deal.
 
Why should Salvatore Kiir Mayardit's lawless government be rewarded with 53% of power and Riek Machar's splinter SPLM cum SPLA be rewarded with 33% while everyone else gets nothing in an agreement that is not even worth the piece of paper it is written on? Who gives a hoot about Wani Igga's job of Vice President when the people of South Sudan are being murdered and violated with impunity? The SPLM cum SPLA oligopoly has violated the Interim Constitution of South Sudan in its entirety so it should not be rewarded with a power sharing deal that swindles the rest of the citizens. REFER TO ARTICLES TITLED “REBEL COMMANDERS RECEIVE ARUSHA DEAL WITH A FIST”, “NUER FIGHTERS REJECT ANY ARUSHA DEAL THAT KEEPS SALVA KIIR IN POWER, THREATEN TO FIGHT ON WITHOUT RIEK MACHAR IN THE MOVEMENT”, “EQUATORIANS IN EXILE REJECT THE STATEMENT BY EQUATORIAN BENEFICIARIES, GOVERNORS AND VICE PRESIDENT!”, “SOUTH SUDAN EQUATORIANS FIGHT VICE PRESIDENT IGGA” AND “SOUTH SUDAN DRAWS “REDLINE” ON FIRST VP PROPOSAL”.
Please Don't just stand there: Do something about South Sudan! Forward this article to anyone.
 
Margaret Akulia is co-author of the sequel Idi Amin: Hero or Villain? His son Jaffar Amin and other people speak. She brings to the South Sudan dialogue a multidisciplinary professional background including but not limited to “grassroots activism”.
 
Additional information and registration for webinars at www.savesouthsudan.com
REFERENCED ARTICLES IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE
 
PRESIDENT KIIR’S SPLM GOVERNMENT IS NOT DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED
 
THE INTERIM CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH SUDAN
 
JUSTICE PETER SULE ON A LEGAL AND GRASSROOTS SOLUTION FOR SOUTH SUDAN
 
AGREEMENT TO RESOLVE THE CRISIS IN SOUTH SUDAN
 
PRESIDENTIAL GUARDS ACCUSED OF INVOLVEMENT IN ARMED ROBBERIES IN JUBA
 
SOUTH SUDANESE TROOPS STEAL BACKPACKS MEANT FOR CHILDREN
 
ROADBLOCKS ARE PREVENTING AID CONVOYS TO REACH THEIR DESTINATIONS IN SOUTH SUDAN: UN
 
PRES. KIIR, RIEK & THE SPLM ARE THE PROBLEM OF REP. SOUTH SUDAN
WARRING PARTIES BLOCKING FOOD DELIVERIES WITH ILLEGAL CHECKPOINTS: UN
 
SHOTS FIRED AT US DIPLOMATIC VEHICLE IN S. SUDAN CAPITAL http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article53051
 
SOUTH SUDAN SECURITY RAID LAWYERS' ASSOCIATION MEETING, ARREST JOURNALIST
 
LAWYERS' MEETING IN WAU HALTED BY SECURITY PERSONNEL
 
SPLM-JUBA SECURITY REMAINS HOLDING JOURNALIST
NATIONAL SECURITY SERVICE HAS BEATEN A JOURNALIST UNCONSCIOUS
 
SOUTH SUDAN PRESIDENCY SAYS NOT FORMALLY NOTIFIED OF REASONS FOR CLOSURE OF NATION MIRROR
 
OPINION: THE ILLEGITIMATE 'KING' IN NORTHERN BAHR AL GHAZAL
 
JIENG (DINKA) COUNCIL OF ELDERS: WE’LL RESIST OUR DEMISE BY ALL MEANS
 
THE NUER SUPREME COUNCIL’S RESPONSE TO THE CHAIRMAN OF “JIENG COUNCIL OF ELDERS INTERVIEW” http://upperniletimes.net/contributors/the-nuer-supreme-councils-response-to-the-chairman-of-jieng-council-of-elders-interview/
 
ARUSHA RESETS SPLM FOR ANOTHER ROUND OF SENSELESS VIOLENCE
SOUTH SUDANESE POLITICAL PARTIES CAUTION OVER PEACE DEAL
 
REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT FOR NATIONAL SALVATION (REMNASA): IT’S OBJECTIVES
 
S. SUDAN ARMY EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER DEFECTIONS IN W. EQUATORIA
 
LAUNCHING THE PEOPLE’S FRONT TO OPPOSE THE GENOCIDAL SPLM CUM SPLA OLIGOPOLY IN SOUTH SUDAN! http://southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/launching-the-peoples-front-to-oppose-the-genocidal-splm-cum-spla-oligopoly
 
S. SUDAN’S “COBRA” FACTION ABANDONS KIIR’S GOVERNMENT, JOINS REBELLION
 
CLICK ON “GLOBAL RECORDINGS”  http://globalrecordings.net/en/script/en/420
 
REBEL COMMANDERS RECEIVE ARUSHA DEAL WITH A FIST
 
NUER FIGHTERS REJECT ANY ARUSHA DEAL THAT KEEPS SALVA KIIR IN POWER, THREATEN TO FIGHT ON WITHOUT RIEK MACHAR IN THE MOVEMENT
 
EQUATORIANS IN EXILE REJECT THE STATEMENT BY EQUATORIAN BENEFICIARIES, GOVERNORS AND VICE PRESIDENT!
 
 
SOUTH SUDAN EQUATORIANS FIGHT VICE PRESIDENT IGGA
SOUTH SUDAN DRAWS “REDLINE” ON FIRST VP PROPOSAL

The Scramble and Partition of Equatoria: Enslavement and Occupation of Equatoria through land grabbing by state machinery led by President Kiir

By Kenyi Modi

February 13, 2015 (SSNA) -- On December 15, 2013, a political dispute within the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM)-the ruling party, triggered a war in South Sudan and is ongoing to date. Since then, the human rights situation in South Sudan has been a subject of attention in the young nation. The situation has resulted to shocking brutality, including gruesome massacres of civilians and attacks on individuals in their homes, churches, schools, mosques and hospitals on the basis of ethnicity, belief and political opinion. Thousands have been forced to flee their homes and sought protection at UNMISS Protection of Civilians camps while others crossed international borders and became refugees in neighboring countries. Some were forced to fight to defend themselves and resist the repressive regime under Kiir and his group.

South Sudan Civil Society Groups in collaboration with partners in the region and around the globe should as an emergency organize a seminar possibly outside the country on human rights situation in South Sudan to find ways and means to rescue the deteriorating human rights situation in the young nation. The aim of the seminar should be to create awareness about the prevailing human rights situation in the young nation and discuss regional and international response. It should also address the root cause of the South Sudan problems rather than focusing solely on dealing with symptoms such as the refugee issues, ensure justice and accountability. This will stop the government from committing further atrocities worsening the current human rights situation. The young nation which had through the years evolved from efforts to liberate its people from oppression since 1820 to 2011 has descended into one of the most repressive states as far as human rights are concerned. The pictures below show gravity of human rights situation and brutality in the young nation:

You will agree with me that although some elements within the country caused the ongoing armed conflict, South Sudan alone is unable to end the current armed conflict which is entrenched along ethnic lines (Now Nuers and Equatorians are the target) unless with intervention from and by the African Union, United Nations and the international community.

The Failure of International Sanctions: A State’s obligation to respect and ensure human right is primarily inward directed, i.e., owed to its subjects. The international community gets involved only when a State’s conduct is so egregious as to threaten this fundamental interest of the international community (erga omnes). The UNSC is mandated to deal with threats to, or breaches of, international peace and security under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The UNSC has, however, not been able to deal with the threats or breach of peace, e.g., Rwanda, former Yugoslavia including Kosovo and Sudan. Has it not learnt from past misjudgements? Will it do the same for South Sudan? A strong reaction by States to these breaches presupposes the existence of community interest to end gross violation of human rights and freedoms; breakdown in the rule of law and governance.

On 6 and 7 December 2012, at a conference convened by the Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with the Department of Political Sciences, University of Pretoria, a group of interdisciplinary academics, policymakers and practitioners in the areas of international peace and security with a special focus on Africa, considered and affirmed the Pretoria Principles on ending mass atrocities pursuant to Article 4(h) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, set out below.

The Pretoria Principles are intended to provide greater clarity and inform action by the African Union, sub-regional actors, governments and practitioners on how to enhance their respective roles in ending mass atrocities in Africa pursuant to Article 4(h), which provides for ‘the right of the Union to intervene in a Member State pursuant to a decision of the Assembly in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity’.

Since the Republic of South Sudan is a member, African Union has the right to intervene in South Sudan as a Member State to rescue it from further atrocities and disintegration into more than three states through armed conflicts. Currently, the population of the young nation is at risk and the warring parties particularly the Government of Republic of South Sudan seems unwilling and unable to end the ongoing armed conflict which killed thousands and displaced million of people and made others vulnerable to diseases, starvation, social breakdown, and psycho torture and homeless without basic necessity of live.

The Pretoria Principles require that every State has the primary responsibility to protect the fundamental rights of its citizens in accordance with domestic constitutional law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law. However, South Sudan warring parties’ actions and omissions have been and will be contrary to these legal requirements and obligations if the war does not end. But under Article 4(h), the African Union (AU) is accorded the right to intervene in a Member State pursuant to a decision of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government (‘AU Assembly’) in respect of grave circumstances, namely war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity (mass atrocities).

Article 4(h) proceeds from the basis that there is a duty on Member States of the AU to protect their own populations from mass atrocities. This responsibility entails the prevention of mass atrocities through appropriate means such as the establishment and effective functioning of human rights protection mechanisms at the domestic level, and the acceptance of international human rights supervision. It requires Africa Union to intervene in the event of grave circumstances (intervention to protect populations from mass atrocities). There is South Sudan Human Rights Commission but institution is ineffective to protect human rights violation due to lack of independent from the Government and the ruling party or ruling tribe as some people called it.

Article 4(h) also empowers the AU to intervene in a Member State (South Sudan) under a limited set of stipulated ‘grave circumstances’. By consenting to Article 4(h), South Sudan and other member states of the AU have accepted that sovereignty is not a shield but rather a responsibility, particularly when populations are at risk of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Article 4(h) complements Article 4(g) of the AU Constitutive Act, which prohibits interference in the internal affairs of other States, if those mass atrocities are identified as legitimate concerns for the AU as a whole and may trigger intervention by the AU. However, South Sudan has not understood that sovereignty is not a cover but rather a responsibility to respect, protect and fulfill as well as promote human rights, rule of law and good governance. Nevertheless, coming to power through election is not a license to repress and deny citizens and peoples the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the young nation. The African Union should not allow the young nation to grow as ill and worst member state because it will not only negatively affect its neighbours but the whole region and the globe. The suitable example is the Human Rights Situation in Eritrea where its people have been suffering from repression since liberation and independence from Ethiopia. The people of South Sudan have been undergoing this repression before, during and after independence in silence without external intervention.

Lastly, Article 4(h) allows the AU to protect populations at risk of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity if the target State is unable or unwilling to discharge its primary responsibility to protect the fundamental rights of its citizens and peoples. According to the wording of Article 4(h), intervention on the basis of Article 4(h) requires a decision of the AU Assembly. Where diplomacy and other peaceful means have failed, the AU may use force to protect populations at risk of mass atrocities. The AU heads of states should save lives rather than concentrate on selfish politics. South Sudan is unwilling and unable to protect the fundamental rights of citizens and all people in the country. Those in power only concern themselves in power. For example, they are talking of conducting election contrary to the requirements of the Transitional Constitutional of South Sudan, 2011 that conduct of general election should be done after population census and drafting a permanent constitution subject to referendum. Now the Government of South Sudan has scheduled to conduct general elections by June 2015 while the young nation is bleeding. This seems that the population census and drafting permanent constitution subject to a referendum will be bypass or citizens denied this process.

On the responsibility to protect, the AU Constitutive Act codifies the right of intervention to protect populations against mass atrocities. The notion of ‘responsibility to protect’, as set out in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, has the same objective as the right of intervention in Article 4(h). However, there are also important differences. Article 4(h) intervention relates, in particular, to the third of the three foundational pillars of the ‘responsibility to protect’, namely the use of military intervention as a last resort. The wording of Article 4(h) suggests that intervention on the basis of Article 4(h) is an exceptional measure in the face of grave circumstances that are beyond non-coercive measures and so require military option as a last resort. The ‘right’ in Article 4(h) implies a legal entitlement or prerogative which is compatible with the notion of sovereignty as responsibility. This ‘right’ should as far as feasible be interpreted to imply a duty to intervene to prevent or halt mass atrocities in the form of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

On modalities of intervention, article 23(2) of the AU Constitutive Act provides for political and economic sanctions and denial of transport and communication against errant States, Article 4(h) recognizes that there are limits to non-violent means in stopping mass atrocities, and the only realistic means can be military intervention. The threshold for intervention pursuant to Article 4(h) is ‘grave circumstances’ that constitute serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the form of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. These serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law are international crimes under international law that requires intervention to end the war, ensure justice for the victims and hold perpetrators accountable.

Threshold for intervention: mass atrocities, Under Article 4(h), the AU Assembly should consider the inability or unwillingness of the national government to protect its population from mass atrocities. It follows that one of the determining factors is the inability or culpability of the government concerned in causing, tolerating or failing to stop such atrocities. Therefore, where a State violates the fundamental rights of its own citizens and peoples, or tolerates or fails to stop mass atrocities within its territory, the AU is authorized by Article 4(h) to intervene to prevent or halt mass atrocities in order to protect populations and save lives. Why AU is folding its hands while stand and watch without intervention while the people of South Sudan kill each other? Considering the speed with which mass atrocities occur and that the threshold for Article 4(h) intervention is high, difficult to prove and amenable to political discretion, in deciding on Article 4(h) intervention, the AU must prioritize the imperative to save lives over technical or overly legalistic ascertainment of the commission of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Authorization of the Security Council:  As a matter of legal requirement, the AU requires the authorization of the UN Security Council for Article 4(h) intervention. The UN Security Council has the responsibility to authorize the use of force in the implementation of Article 4(h) intervention. Where the UN Security Council is unwilling or indecisive in authorizing intervention, the conferment of the right to intervene on the AU by Member States of the AU provides greater space for the AU to act in the face of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity on the continent.

The role of the African Union stakeholders in preventing mass atrocities: The AU should encourage States and sub-regional organizations in establishing prevention, early warning and early reaction capabilities to mass atrocities. South Sudan has not established preventive and early warning capabilities to mass atrocities. This mandates AU to fill the protection gap and enhance the protection of civilians in armed conflicts by strengthening the mechanism to oversee the compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL) in South Sudan, detect violations and put pressure on the recalcitrant parties in armed conflict to comply with IHL in order to prevent further war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

The AU’s Continental Early Warning System should develop capacity to rapidly detect and react to any genocidal intent on the continent and there should be an effective interface between early warning systems at the continental and sub-regional levels in order to take concrete measures to eradicate the root causes of genocide. This has not been established in the young by AU. So, it is high time that AU establish this system in South Sudan as soon as possible to help AU detect and reach to international crimes in the young nation. The AU should also ensure that Members States respect their legal obligations to bring perpetrators of genocide to justice by making its presence through the technocrats in the country.

The AU should exert peer pressure on AU Member States to end violations where systematic patterns of human rights and humanitarian law violations are revealed, and encourage Member States to enact laws to prevent mass atrocity crimes and punish the perpetrators of these crimes in the domestic courts.

In the spirit of popular participation, the AU should develop strong links with civil society organizations at the national, sub-regional and continental levels to ensure that implementation of Article 4(h) intervention allows for meaningful contributions from the citizenry at the grass root level. Civil society organizations, States, regional economic communities (RECs), the AU Peace and Security Architecture including the African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘the African Commission’), the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights (‘the African Court’), and other relevant international institutions all have a role to play in the implementation of Article 4(h). AU and its commissions and courts are yet to be known by the majority of the citizens of South Sudan leave alone the civil society groups, community based organizations and women groups.

Under Article 58 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Commission should provide authoritative reports on the existence of a series of serious or massive violation that may trigger Article 4(h) intervention, not only to the AU Assembly but also to the Peace and Security Council (PSC), which can serve as the basis for deciding whether or not to intervene. The presence of African Commission is yet to be felt in the young nation to document and provide reports on serious or massive violations for intervention.

The African Commission should also, as a matter of principle, bring cases against a State Party of situations constituting mass atrocities to the African Court pursuant to Rule 118(3) of its Rules of Procedure, and should articulate criteria for doing so. The PSC should coordinate with the African Commission and the UN Special Procedures to prevent mass atrocities by detecting looming atrocities and intervening before atrocities are committed. The African Court should exercise its jurisdiction actively to prevent war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, including the use of provisional measures to compel repressive States to respect and protect the fundamental rights of their citizens.

The Continental Early Warning System must be actively involved in human rights and IHL monitoring and reporting. There should be strategic partnerships and collaboration among sub-regional early warning capacities, human rights and humanitarian law monitoring bodies with the Continental Early Warning System.

The Panel of the Wise should serve as an impartial mechanism for advising on a decision to intervene pursuant to Article 4(h).

The Pan-African Parliament should fully engage with other AU organs within the sphere of its responsibility to promote peace and security, human rights, democracy, good governance and accountability in order to eradicate the causes of mass atrocities on the continent.

The Economic Social and Cultural Council have unquestionable locus standi before the African Court that can be utilized for the enforcement of human rights in order to prevent mass atrocities.

As one of the systems for monitoring adherence to the rule of law in African States, the African Peer Review Mechanism should provide political pressure on governments that ignore or challenge the findings of relevant human rights institutions or special procedures.

The African Standby Force should have a capability to protect populations at risk of mass atrocities and to deter potential perpetrators of mass atrocities. The role of sub-regional organizations in preventing mass atrocities.

The proximity to the conflict provides sub-regional organizations with a better understanding of its dynamics, key players, and context-specific management and resolution options and makes them better placed to initiate rapid and less expensive responses to conflict than the AU and the UN. Regional organizations should further enhance regional cooperation among judicial authorities to support international justice mechanisms.

The role of African States in preventing mass atrocities: AU Member States should adopt legislative, administrative and other measures that will ensure that their national courts can exercise universal jurisdiction over war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. States should also make the declaration allowing for individual petitions pursuant to Article 34(6) of the Protocol on the Establishment of the African Court. AU Member States should address the root causes of mass atrocities within their jurisdiction. When implementing Article 4(h) intervention, the humanitarian motive to save lives and protect human dignity should override national or strategic interests. Furthermore, States should commit resources towards prevention of mass atrocities and should implement Article 4(h) where prevention fails.

However, South Sudan has not adopted legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure that national courts exercise universal jurisdiction over war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Yet, it has not addressed the causes of the conflict and atrocities within its jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the young nation has not committed resources to prevent further mass atrocities. Instead it has committed itself to acquiring more deadly weapons which will result to grave violation of human rights.

The role of the international community in preventing mass atrocities: The international community, including the United Nations, regional and sub-regional organizations, and non-governmental organizations should help States to build capacity to protect their populations from mass atrocities and to assisting those which are under stress before crises and conflicts break out. Should peaceful means be inadequate and national authorities manifestly fail to protect their populations from mass atrocities, the international community should help the AU to intervene to stop the mass atrocities. The peaceful means is inadequate and South Sudan authorities are failing to protect its people from atrocities unless through African Union the international community intervenes to end the conflict.

The role of civil society in preventing mass atrocities: Given their influence and presence on the ground, civil society should contribute to the monitoring of implementation of human rights and humanitarian norms and build awareness of mass atrocity prevention. Where mass atrocities occur, the civil society should collect evidence of atrocities and identify perpetrators and also help the citizens to hold governments accountable. However, the South Sudanese civil society organizations lack resources, training, mobility and access to information from government institutions.

The author is human rights lawyer, fighting for fundamental reforms in South Sudan through human rights revolution. He can be reached through: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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