South Sudan Politics

Kiir and Machar vs Hybrid Court

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Kiir and Machar in Ethiopia
Kiir and Machar in Ethiopia

(The Bieh Telegraph)—-President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar have jointly announced their opposition to implementation of Chapter 5, Article 3 of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, which mandates the establishment of a Hybrid Court to try war criminals.

The hybrid court would include both South Sudanese and African justice chosen by the African Union and would have authority to try crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of sexual violence, according to the peace deal.

South Sudan’s peace deal says the Hybrid Court must be independent from South Sudan’s supreme court and it will carry out its own investigations. It also says that the decisions of the hybrid court may not be overturned by any of the national courts of South Sudan.

But the two leaders Machar and Kiir say that they do not want the court. In an opinion article penned by the two men and published in The New York Times on Tuesday, the politicians said that South Sudan “needs truth, not trials.”

They proposed instead that the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH), which is also established by the same peace deal, should grant amnesty from prosecution to “those who tell the truth about what they saw or did… even if they did not express remorse.”

Machar and Kiir said that a hybrid court “would destabilize efforts to unite our nation by keeping alive anger and hatred among the people of South Sudan.”

“We fear that this task could be put in jeopardy if members of once opposing forces — from officers to privates — find themselves targeted with legal action. It is easy to see how some people, having known nothing but war, may prefer to return to the battlefield than stand trial in a foreign country,” they wrote.

Meanwhile, the United Nations secretary-general has offered support to the African Union to help set up the hybrid court. Also, the UN Panel of Experts earlier this year named Machar and Kiir as people who fueled the war in South Sudan, saying they should be subject to a travel ban and asset freezes.

In their report, the UN Panel of Experts also said that Kiir bears “command responsibility” for forces that allegedly attacked civilians in Juba, Unity State and elsewhere. Similarly, the African Union Commission of Inquiry has concluded that killings of unarmed Nuer civilians in Juba in December 2013 were carried out “pursuant to or in furtherance of a State policy.”

In response to the UN Experts’ report, South Sudan’s Minister of Information Michael Makuei has accused the UN of trying to carry out “regime change.”

The Hybrid Court mandated by the peace agreement has not yet been established. The peace deal gives the chairperson of the Commission of the AU the power to decide the seat of the court.

The peace deal says, “No one shall be exempted from criminal responsibility on account of their official capacity as a government official.”

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Juba Government Refused to Permit the UPDF to Withdraw

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Uganda People's Defend Forces
Uganda People’s Defend Forces

Uncertainty shrouds plans for the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from South Sudan as per the peace agreement signed between the government and the rebels in Juba in August.

Although Ugandan People’s Defence Forces top brass have announced that the troops started withdrawing from October 10, the Juba administration told The EastAfrican that the soldiers can only withdraw after rebels sign the minutes of the Security Arrangement Workshop held in Addis Ababa between September 13 and 18.

Representatives of President Salva Kiir and those of rebel leader Riek Machar recently failed to agree on how to implement the peace agreement at the five-day workshop in Ethiopia.

South Sudan government spokesman Michael Mukei and SPLA spokesperson Col Philip Aguer said the rebel movement must sign the agreement before the withdrawal of the troops.

Even the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) said they are yet to officially receive information on the withdrawal of the troops.

South Sudan Defence Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk said last Monday that Ugandan troops will begin pulling out “as soon as they are ready,” adding that Ugandan troops have been staying in strategic garrisons and the Sudanese Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA) have started moving into them.

Uganda’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, James Mugume, said the UPDF forces would begin to withdraw from South Sudan on October 12, but the MVM chief of staff in Juba Michael Alexander told The EastAfrican that their monitoring team on the ground is yet to see evidence of movement.

“We have just been told that UPDF will be moving out but we have no evidence that they have started moving,” said Mr Alexander.

According to the rebel movement’s representative in Kenya, Adel Sandrai, the rebels refused to sign the minutes because the government delegation demanded more troops than were provided for in the agreement on the demilitarisation of Juba.

The rebels’ position on the security arrangement has also set it on a collision course with Washington, which insists that they not only sign the minutes immediately, but that Dr Machar also make arrangements for immediate relocation to Juba.

But Dr Machar’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak said the signing of the minutes was not the prerequisite for UPDF’s withdrawal because the Addis Ababa workshop only dealt with the locations of forces, assembly areas and sizes aspects that were not clearly spelt out in the compromise agreement.

The Ugandan troops, who came to the rescue of President Kiir’s government soon after the conflict broke out in December 2013, have been stationed in Juba and Bos.

The Compromise Peace Agreement said that all foreign troops who have been fighting alongside the warring parties must withdraw within 45 days of the signing — October 10.

They are supposed to be replaced by troops from Igad countries who will operate under the UN Mission in South Sudan, while Juba will be secured by a Joint Integrated Police Unit made up of police officers from the government and the rebel movement.

Who can revive South Sudanese eroded values?

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By Samuel Reech Mayen

The Delight of Juba Ruling Clique and the Flight of Junubiin
The Delight of Juba Ruling Clique and the Flight of Junubiin

The people of South Sudan used to be guided by their own values. For centuries, these ideals kept the societies together. These standard principles impliedly acted as unwritten constitution. Moreover, everyone in these societies was willing to abide by these values, and those who deviate were seen as lesser humans in these societies.

In this article, we shall explore and stress on some of these principles that had guided the societies for hundreds of years. These standard principles are many but for the purpose of precision of this article, the emphasis is centered on the following values:

First, Respect for Human life was a superseding ideal; in the past, people of South Sudan had great reverence for human life. It didn’t matter what circumstances, human life remain paramount. Hence cases of murder were lesser compared with the contemporary days. But should it happen that someone murder another one intentionally, full blood compensation to the relatives of the deceased would only be the remedy though the murderer would not stand as morally upright person in the community.

On this basis, Customary Laws did not provide for death penalty in most societies that are today in the contemporary South Sudan. The murderer would be left to be haunted by the act and would lose social status in the society. In most of these communities, the feud that resulted from murder could not allow intermarry between the family of the murdered and the murderer till purification ritual that ended this bitter feud is conducted.

Despite the facts that fighting could frequently broke out amongst different sections of the South Sudanese communities, there were many ways of reducing death cases; these include the abolition of indiscriminate killing that involve women, elderly people, children and the wounded. These vulnerable groups could not be slaughtered despite the circumstances that caused the conflict. The widely divine believe was that, killing a helpless person would result to the death of that merciless murderer and concequently would not have descendants in the future generations so that such an unethical act does not reoccur.

As part of reducing fatalities, those elders with divine powers in the communities could also stop the battle when sections are fighting by doing an act such as breaking a wooden handle of a spear (wai tɔŋ in Dinka/ taŋ mut in Nuer). This was a common practiced in the Nuer and Dinka communities for stopping bloodshed. In the Dinka community, a respected person of some divinities traits would step in the middle and yell kääc kë (from kɔng kööc which means stop first) and the rioting youth would response positively.

Nuer elder could draw a line on the ground in the middle of the furious youth and warn them from crossing such a line. Anyone who could not response to this call was perceived as a thoughtless or a heartless person and could be liable for curse.

Since homicide was a bad act that could not be executed by lawful sanction, a person who committed provocative act would always ran to the house of a chief or a king depending on the system where he would be protected until the matter is resolved as provided by the customary laws.

The second value was the secrecy and sacredness of sex. Sex was only meant for the marriage couples. Sluts or players were rarely heard of in the South Sudanese societies. And could it happen that such people existed, they enjoyed less respect and were always liable for their immoralities. For instance adultery was treated as a moral wrong that contravened the norms of the people. Adulterers suffered stigma as well as fines and compensations imposed on them as deterrence for the future offenders of this immoral behavior.

There were no prostitutes like the ones that are loitering in the board day light in the towns of South Sudan. Would it been in accordance to the values of the South Sudanese, foreign prostitutes would have been evacuated and the indigenous ones would be forced to calm down. It may sounds controversial to Human Rights provisions today but in those days it could be shocking news for a woman to dress and stand in readiness for sex with strangers in exchange for something of value.

Despite the fact that force marriage existed in the communities of South Sudan, rape was a rare phenomena and its commission was treated as one of the worst immoralities. Even if a dispute broke out between certain communities, women were excluded and had the rights for protection. Those who committed rape during the conflict were inferred to be potentially vulnerable for supper natural being’s punishment.

This was one of the reasons the men from the communities which practice kidnapping couldn’t marry the girl children they kidnapped. One would nurture a girl child he kidnapped and latter would be married off to another person. The one who kidnapped such a child is more like adoptive father. He would only benefit by receiving the dowries paid on the girl he kidnapped.

The third value was hospitality, in those days anyone can host a total stranger for a night or more. It was common that a leader like Sultan Jambo of Moru would host a huge number of travelers almost every week. Since the communities were enjoying these values, there were no chances for suspicion.

The fourth value was honesty; in the past, cases of theft were barely heard of and anyone who did the act tarnished his reputations, the reputations for his children and the reputations for his grand children. This could sometime be echoed by a song compose in mockery of that particular thief. It was even hard for someone from thievery background to marry in the most respected families. It was believed that such poor quality could result into poor qualities of children in the future. No one wants bad name. It was a belief that stealing is ethically wrong. Not like these days when thieves are the rich and accorded much respect. Today, those who are stealing cows and money are using those to pay for their wives in the very month of stealing that wealth.

The fifth value was the high respect for customary laws. Some communities were organized in Kingdoms as seen in the Shilluk and Anyuak communities. Majority of the tribes such as Nuer, Moru, Azande, Bari, Dinka, Kuku, Taposa, Acholi, Lotuko and many others were organized under Council of elders. These councils of elders later developed into chieftaincies. Both Kings and Chiefs’ courts determined dispute amongst the parties. Their decisions were executed without difficulty due to the respect that people had in their leadership systems. There were no armed police for execution since no one resisted chief or king’s decision.

Respect was an obligation that was expected of every one. Leaders for example could not be called names or insulted. Today leaders are described as idiots, fools, corrupt and so many damaging utterances. Perhaps these leaders do not meet the expectations of their subjects or whatever reason.

However, in the past there was no threshold in which respect could be accorded. This does not mean that the traditional leaders could not be challenged. They could be challenged but in the most honorable manner. Cases against these traditional leaders could be instituted in the customary courts and no presiding chief would fear to pronounce the guilt of the accused chief. At their levels, leaders work hard to preserve their reputations.

Generally South Sudanese societies were living in a principled atmosphere and everyone was enjoying peace as a result of these cherished values. The respect for leaders is clearly indicated on how the communities’ names were linked with their leaders. The people of Cueibet up to today are popularly known as Gok Arol Kachuol, the people of Guit County in Bentiu as Jikany Gatkek Luom, people of Mayom County as Bul Chuol Gei, People of Tonj East as Luach Aguer Adel, and the Dok of Bentiu under Riek Dong as well as Sultan Jambo of Moru in Western Equatoria.

Respect was usually accorded to all, and a child would refer to any elder as a mother or an uncle as determine by an elder’s sex. Any elder would call any child his or her child. This was the relations that existed among the people. It was not like today when an old man can stand quivering while a teen ager is sitting in a chair in a public bus claiming that he paid for the chair first.

Regrettably, these values have been eroded by many factors; first the civil wars that were fought for the liberation have been in the expenses of these values. The annihilation of these values can be traced back to the earliest time of the slave trade, the colonial era and 1960s horrors of the Anyanya Movements. The recent wars of SPLM/A against Khartoum oppressive regime, the 1991 split in the SPLM/A, the wars with in south Sudan that include, the ones waged by Olony, David Yau Yau, the Late Gen. George Athoor government have also contributed negatively on the social setting. The worst one, is the present war of the second major split within the SPLM/A. Because of these horrible experiences, people have been traumatized, minds have been corrupted and the crucial principles have been scraped off.

The suffering that people have been subjected to and the ethnic politics have led the previously coherent society into clusters that see themselves as enemies. Each ethnic group fears the threat of extinction from the other.  Consequently, people have developed murderous attitudes and behaviors. Trust and confidence have been lost. Those with abilities to raid or steal cattle commit these acts freely, and the powerful proudly embezzle public funds. The guiding values have gone. In these state of affairs, the demanding question is who can revive these eroded values?

 

The author is a student who lives in Kampala and can be reached at: mayenreech@gmail.com or +256 772 727 857.

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The Soul and Spirit of the Proposed Compromise Agreement.

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By: Dr. Henry Jembi,

Dr. Riek Machar and Pagan Amum siging the peace agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, August 17th, 2015…
Dr. Riek Machar and Pagan Amum siging the peace agreement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, August 17th, 2015…

September 11, 2015 (The Bieh Telegraph)——-4. Structure of the Executive of the TGoNU

4.1. The Executive of the TGoNU shall comprise the President, the First Vice President, the Vice
President, the Council of Ministers and the Deputy Ministers;
4.2. The Council of Ministers shall comprise the President, the First Vice President, Vice
President, and the Ministers. (Page 6).

5.2.5. Appoint Undersecretaries of the Ministers in consultation with the First Vice President and the approval of the Council of Ministers; (Page 7).
5.2.13. Supervise the conduct of foreign policy and ratify treaties and international agreements with the approval of the TNA; (Page 7).

9.1.1 The President and the First Vice President shall seek to reach agreement on matters of Executive Administration and where appropriate involve the Vice President. (Page 11).
9.1.2. The President and the First Vice President shall consult regularly in the exercise of their functions. Consultations may be made through different means but all shall be officially recorded in writing, to preclude misunderstanding and any conflict. The President and the First Vice President may include the Vice President in such consultations when the President and the First Vice President agree to do so. (Page 11).
2.3.2 Within two months of the Transitional period, the President shall in consultation and agreement with the First Vice President nominate the head of the Anti-Corruption Commission and pass his or her nomination to the TNA for approval. (Page 31).
2.4.4 Within four (4) months of the Transitional Period, the President shall in consultation and agreement with the First Vice President, nominate a National Auditor-General and secure the approval of the Council of Ministers and the TNA. (Page 31).

By the soul and spirit of the Proposed Compromise Agreement I mean the actual figures, motives and force which can really move and ignite this agreement positively ahead toward true and genuine implementation. Are the two adversaries who had acted as negative toward the need of the people of South Sudan since the jungle period. Those inequities of the past if they don’t acculturate them from within their lives, as I can see and the entire people of South Sudan is fully inside picture about it, this golden Proposed Compromise Agreement will not glimpse light, but it will bring more sorrows and grieves to the people of South Sudan instead.

The two rivals must focus on the interest of the people instead of their own interest so as to bring true and  factual peace and stability in South Sudan. If the two opponents can feel the hardship and suffering that the people of South Sudan underwent, undergone through since 2013 and have been undergoing so far, they will work for peace and bring it to them urgently. But if they don’t experience it practically and physically, they will never work for peace whatsoever threat and claim are intended to be thrown on their open neck. The soul must be the soul and the spirit must be the spirit, definitely I guess.

Doctrinally, there is not a soul without a spirit, and there is not a spirit without a soul, the two are intermingled and fused to carry out the same task which each must play its part unconditionally for fear of sluggish and inactive duties and responsibilities bestowed upon each and requested of each. The innocent people of South Sudan are waiting to see that the two comrades will work together again in the common purpose and interest of the poor and devastated people of South Sudan get their divine rights, human rights and legal rights without any intimidation and prejudice from the government of South Sudan and the two principles.

A crime is a crime, whether is it committed by the first principle or the second principle,  reservations are reservations, whether is it practiced by the President or the Vice president as well. The Proposed Compromise Agreement is meant for the people of South Sudan originally, not the President or the Vice president, the two of you are just stewards and caretakers, so don’t take it for granted that the same people who you disgraced and disrespected will like you again after what you had inflicted on them impossibilities and discrepancies leadership.

Overall, focus, leadership and consultative leadership is the way out of this an extraordinary politics of South Sudan, whereby leaders and politicians attached to their tiny groups and non-intellectual communities.

The President and the First Vice President, the Council of Ministers and the Deputy Ministers must not think inside the boxes rather they should think outside of them, so as to rescue the newest born Nation and the youngest State in the whole world from tribalism, nepotism, sectarianism, discrimination, favoritism and genocidal acts.  This opportunity is ours, however, we need to make use of its revered for the sake of South Sudan and the innocent people of Southern Sudan, who never gifted with extraordinary leaders and politicians up to date.

The mothers have been crying, the grandmothers have been crying too, the children have been deprived from typical school and classic education due to the interest and gain of the warmongers in South Sudan. Our young men have been sent to the front line to die for the cause of chairs and positions and our old men (grand fathers) have been thrown outside mercilessly against our spiritual call ‘respect your father and mother”.

The President shall, in consultation and agreement with the First Vice President … this initiative can bring back home a peace that can last for a long unless one principle goes astray deliberately so so to cause misunderstanding and derision  to the agreement. Nevertheless, if the two leaders determine, stand firm and stick to the above mentioned points, they will fetch unbelievable tranquility and peace to their thirsty and hungry communities.  Overall, peace is a free gift from God; peace be with you!

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Addis Ababa Constitutional Review Workshop must Consider Enshrining the Presidency Term Limit!

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By Malek Cook-Dwach,

President Yoweri Museveni, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the First Vice President of Sudan, Bakri Saleh Hassan and Uhuru Kenyatta today witnessed as President Salva Kiir of South Sudan appended his signature to a peace agreement to end the conflict that has been raging in South Sudan for the last two years.
President Yoweri Museveni, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the First Vice President of Sudan, Bakri Saleh Hassan and Uhuru Kenyatta today witnessed as President Salva Kiir of South Sudan appended his signature to a peace agreement to end the conflict that has been raging in South Sudan for the last two years.

Sept 11, 2015 (The Bieh Telegraph)—The controversial story of political development in South Sudan has emanated from lack of free democratic processes and indeed it has something to do with constitution term limits, the notion which becomes practices and norms in which some African countries fall in the same trap. With help of technology which brings the world nearer and close to each other I thought that such paradox could have been avoided.

This extravert practices becomes adaptive norms of acquiring wealth and robbing the future resources of the country which endanger and put the nation at stake. There are false theories and wrong believe claimed by ruling politicians that if they leave power the country will disintegrate, which distorts the bases of transformation and reforms.

Following the international politics and how the people are governed I become to realize that it is not person who rules that matters, it is only the rule of laws that matters. Contemplating US President Barrack Obama two quotations to African leaders that “Nobody Should Be President for Life,’’ and “Africa doesn’t need strongmen but it needs strong institutions.” One wonders how the Africa leaders perceived such quotations in their own minds.

The powerful nations like US have term limits because law is the law, and no person is above the law, not even the president.” Barrack Obama stated, with the same notion African countries could follow that examples put forth by developed countries.

The presidential term limits, shows the maturity and fairness in implementing the political ideals in the principled, well structured government set-up purposely meant to serve people in which all parties are allowed to compete in the free democratic atmosphere exercise where citizens are the one determining who will be governing them.

Term limits provide an important balance on the concentration of power; they strengthen democracy and ensure long-term stability. Eliminating or unduly extending term limits engenders corruption, which is the main cause of public distrust and significant obstacle to economic development.

Where there is freedom and rule of laws term limits, transitions take place as a natural course of events in the democratic system. Ruling parties are able to cultivate new leadership which can carry on the successful policies of their former leaders, but also correct for the past missteps, term limits offer a periodic guarantee of personal change and thus enhance the possibility of change of party in government.

The term often used by African politicians is that the future is for young generations while behind doors they are working hard in amending the constitutions renewing/extending their terms when their tenures come to an end. Such behavior is unbecoming because it deprived the youth sharing in the national cake.

In my humble opinion I suggested that South Sudan must adopt the term limits in its permanent constitution to avoid falling in the same trap where some African countries have fallen into.

The Author is concerned South Sudanese citizen and Political commentator, reachable at malekcook75@gmail.com.

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KIDNAPPED IN UGANDA, KILLED IN SOUTH SUDAN

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Late Abraham Igiot, in suite. Lodai pink and a friend in black
Late Abraham Igiot, in suite. Lodai pink and a friend in black

Sept 07, 2015 (Bieh Telegraph )––Finally, the most anticipated war on South Sudanese refugees in East Africa is launched in Uganda, by South Sudan government in collaboration with Ugandan government. For so long, South Sudan government agents has been issuing numerous warnings to activists taking refuge in neighboring Countries, like Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan etc, that they would extend their operations to those countries too. Now, here we are!

It has been a while since mysterious disappearance of Dominic Lodai who is registered as urban refugee in Kenyan capital, Nairobi and Richard Lokeya (asylum seeker), former child soldier in South Sudan’s 21 years liberation war and a lost boy who returned from Canada to South Sudan years before the ongoing civil war broke-out.

Dominic and Richard are reportedly killed in late August, 2015 in South Sudan’s capital, Juba by Country’s security agents after being arrested by Ugandan’s security in Kampala, where they sought refuge. The two found it difficult to stay in Nairobi and crossed to third city of Kampala in early August, 2015.

Witness reported, Dominic and Richard were wrapped in sacks alive and thrown into River Nile with several other asylum seekers who unluckily fell into hands of their killers.

The two, who both hail from Diding’a community in Budi county, Eastern Equatoria state of South Sudan have different work backgrounds but found themselves coincidently in one boat which decisively led to their last destiny back in 2014, when they condemned tragic killing of a school headmaster belonging to their community, Mr. Igiot Abraham, who was shot down by government soldiers in Chukudum.

They were exiled thereafter, perhaps, lastly sent to Nile. So sad, may God rest their innocent souls in peace!

The lingering question is who will fight for the poor and defenseless refugees?

I hope the human rights defenders would fight hard to have killers of these boys brought to book, and make an effort to rescue those who could still be hunted like Jon Pen, Oreste Lopara, Gabriel Jok etc in the jungles within cities, by enemies of humanity in human beings alike.

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Breaking News: Salva Kiir Accept to Sign IGAD Plus Peace Tomorrow 26/08/2015 in Juba.

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kiir of south sudan
kiir of south sudan

August 25, 2015(The Bieh Telegraph)—-The President of south Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit is due to sign the IGAD Compromise Peace in South Sudan Capital tomorrow 26/8/2015 unconditionally.

According to the south Sudan embassy in Ethiopia, the IGAD envoys and the internationally community will witness the historical event tomorrow in Juba city.

President Kiir prefer to sign peace in Juba due to unhidden fear to be overthrown by the army chief Lt. Gen. Paul Malong Awan Anei and his click.

The world is watching for the country to witness its momentum to embrace peace once after twenty months of destruction, killings, devastation, gloomy and humiliation.

Bieh Telegraph is monitoring the process very closely…..

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