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ANALYSIS-Sudan’s Bashir vulnerable despite defiant front

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ANALYSIS-Sudan’s Bashir vulnerable despite defiant front

Wed Apr 1, 2009 7:39am EDT

By Andrew Heavens KHARTOUM, April 1 (Reuters)

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s defiant response to international efforts to arrest him for war crimes in Darfur hides vulnerabilities that could embolden his enemies. On Wednesday, Bashir travelled to Saudi Arabia in another challenge to the arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court on March 4 over seven charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Bashir’s visits — he has now made five trips abroad in just over a week, showing the court’s inability to arrest him — have won expressions of support from Arab countries and a measure of public admiration back home. “If there was an election now, he would win it. The people admire a strong man and he has also managed to show himself as a victim of the West,” said Faizal Silaik, deputy editor of daily newspaper Ajras al-Huriya. Bashir has also closed down 16 aid groups accused of helping the court and addressed a string of nationalistic rallies. “All the Sudanese people have rallied around their leadership against these allegations,” Bashir himself was quoted as saying on state news agency Suna. But his stance has done nothing to resolve major issues that could eventually loosen his hold on power. Those include the festering conflict in Darfur, oil-dependent Sudan’s sinking economy, fears over a fragile peace deal between north and south Sudan, and relations with the United States and United Nations that have worsened since the aid expulsions. “He (Bashir) gives the appearance of a strong position. But that is more apparent than real,” said one Western diplomat in Khartoum. “The regime remains fragile. People are looking for weakness. If they see him falter they will throw him overboard.” DARFUR THREAT The most immediate challenge could come from Darfur itself. The rebel Justice and Equality Movement attacked Khartoum last year and has promised to return, threatening to arrest Bashir themselves if nobody acts to hand him over to the court. The rebels say their resolve will be sharpened if Bashir manages to remain at large. “It will show the only hope we have is through our guns,” JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim told Reuters by satellite phone. Sudan’s economy is another area of weakness. During the boom years of soaring oil prices, Bashir’s government was easily able to pay supporters, civil servants, soldiers and militias. But the collapse in the global oil price has emptied government coffers. “When the government stops giving them enough for their day to day life, will they stand with him? Surely not,” the vice president of Sudan’s opposition Umma party Fadlalla Burma Nasir told Reuters. The Umma party opposes the arrest warrant. It is still unclear which, if any, of Sudan’s political forces could stand up to Bashir and his power base in the Sudanese army. Opposition parties have weakened and splintered in the almost 20 years since Bashir seized power in a bloodless coup. The south’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) — in a coalition government with Bashir’s National Congress Party since a 2005 peace deal that ended two decades of north-south civil war — has so far stood by its political partner. But that could all change if Bashir shows signs of backing down on any parts of the fragile Comprehensive Peace Agreement, most importantly the highly-prized referendum on southern independence it promised in 2011. There are a host of other issues Bashir will have to face if he wants to keep the south stable and relatively on side — not least south Sudan’s own even deeper economic crisis, caused by the region’s near total dependency on oil revenues. INTERNAL CHALLENGE? Some Western diplomats and political analysts believe that a challenge from within Bashir’s own party is possible. Potential plotters could be spurred on by any sign of further sanctions from the U.N. Security Council, imposed over Sudan’s refusal to deal with the ICC or its aid expulsions. “He owns the aid problem now. If there is a cholera outbreak or a meningitis epidemic, it was the government that said it would take care of it,” said the Western diplomat. There is scope for the United Nations to expand sanctions against Sudan — its arms embargo currently only covers Darfur and it has the power to freeze the assets of Sudan’s political elite and restrict their travel. “That is the question — what are the Security Council’s next steps going to be, more sanctions?” said Hafiz Mohammed, Sudan programme coordinator for London-based campaign group Justice Africa. “Already some wise people are starting to come forward in Sudan saying this can not continue.” So far, there have been few signals from abroad to encourage internal plotters. U.S. President Barack Obama has yet to give details on how he will deal with Bashir’s regime. “Bashir is strong in the short term — maybe for the next six or seven months, maybe even a year. But in the long term we are all losers,” said one senior opposition figure. “If there is no change, if Bashir just goes on without settling the Darfur situation … then things are going to be very bad in Sudan.” (Additional reporting by Skye Wheeler in Juba; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)

Written by torit1955

April 2, 2009 at 8:23 am

Challenges of Nation-Building, and Democratization in Africa

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OPINIONS & COMMENTARIES
POLITICS | Omar Kalinge Nnyago
Challenges of nation-building, and democratisation in Africa

The first challenge is in the definition. There is no agreed definition of nation-building. A 2003 study by James Dobbins and others for the RAND Corporation defines nation-building as “the use of armed force in the aftermath of a conflict to underpin an enduring transition to democracy.

The term nation-building is often used simultaneously with state-building, democratisation, modernisation, political development, post-conflict reconstruction, and peace-building. While this definition centres around the building of democratic processes, many argue that the use of the military to bring about democracy may be inherently contradictory.

Whether nation-building can be imposed from outside is one of the central questions in this regard.
Nation-building as a normative concept therefore means different things to different people.

However, the latest conceptualisation is essentially that nation-building programmes are those in which dysfunctional or unstable or “failed states” or economies are given assistance in the development of governmental infrastructure, civil society, dispute resolution mechanisms, as well as economic assistance, in order to increase stability.

Democracy, on the other hand, is what W.B Gaille called some years ago, an “essentially contested concept”. He noted that “there are disputes, centred on such concepts which are perfectly genuine: which, although not resolvable by argument of any kind, are nevertheless sustained by perfectly respectable arguments and evidence. Democracy, as an idea and as a political reality, is always contested. Until now, the world is not universally agreed on what democracy is or what it should be. North Korea asserts that it is a democracy just as the United States.

In the current global context, most who advocate democratisation still do not recognise democracy as a contested concept.

As a result, they view people with different interpretations of democracy as perverse. Thus, they are open to the risks of underestimating the strength of the alternatives.

This is especially true of advocates of the styles of democracy found in western Europe and the United States, who believe themselves to be the true heirs to the only legitimate democratic tradition and thus view any other effort to create democracies as false and undemocratic ( Esposito, 1996).

Because democracy is a contested concept, it is important to understand the perception of democracy within different African communities. However, among the most representative definitions of democracy is one by Larry Diamond, Juan Linz and Seymour Lipset. It says that democracy “denotes a system of government that meets three essential conditions: competition, participation and political liberties”.

Interestingly, the demand for increased popular political participation and empowerment takes place alongside another demand, that for recognition of special identities or authentic communities, which could be contradictory when trying to build strong states.

The African state must be strong to build more unity within society and to create legitimacy by providing security and other services. Yet, the political leadership does not have the resources to accomplish these tasks. In order to obtain them, it resorts to predatory practices or plays upon and exacerbates social tensions between groups in society- which only adds to these tensions and further erodes loyalties.

The weak state is thus caught in a vicious cycle. Everything it does to become strong actually perpetuates its weakness. Closely related to legitimacy is the personalisation of the state, a phenomenon Weber called Patrimonialism, in which the objective interests of the state are indistinguishable from the subjective interests of the ruler of the regime in power. Earlier, Mobutu and Moi and currently Bongo, Mugabe and Museveni are typical neo –Patrimonialistic identities.

Such leaders can only have a short-term political perspective because their security and their physical survival depends on the strategies they pursue for the moment. Consequently, it may be ‘rational’ for such regimes to adopt policies that, for example, utilise scarce resources for military equipment, and manpower and to perceive opposition groups demanding greater participation as security threats.

If democratisation aims at strengthening civil society, then it ought to threaten the leadership of a weak state. Civil society aid in the past fifteen or so years has been a central component of democratisation. But there are a few problems.

Many active civil society organisations have stayed or at least pretended to stay out of politics mainly for fear of state reprisal. So, they don’t contribute directly to democracy. Others, the elite kind most favoured by the donor community, those directly involved in promoting multiparty democracy often have weak roots in the community without a real social base.

It is also true that some of these NGOs cannot serve as agents of democratisation as some are internally undemocratic and are forced to be more responsive to donor than to any local constituencies.

Democratisation, unfortunately, remains a concept that can better be described than defined, leaving the door wide open to varying, often contradictory interpretations. More debate on democratisation may be necessary if the donors, civil society and African governments are to move in the same direction.

omarkalinge@gmail.com

Written by torit1955

March 24, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Opinions

The ICC Indictment of President Bashir – The reverse side of the theatricals.

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The ICC Indictment of President Bashir – The reverse side of the theatricals.

Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, Khartoum MAR. 10/2009, SSN;

The singular announcement of President Bashir’s indictment has come and gone but the country has been left struggling with its political and diplomatic underpinnings bordering on a comedy of the theatres. A situation bound to continue ad infinitum as long as it serves the political strategy of those peddling it. Because of this, President Bashir will trot the breadth and length of the Sudan, which he has already started with Dar Fur, drumming up support from all sections of the Sudanese society. There is real risk of the NCP transforming this drama into an electioneering campaign in anticipation of the General Elections whose date they have refused to announce. Perhaps this was the unintended consequence of the president’s indictment. The weeks preceding were full of benevolent premonitions that the Sudan would be plunged into chaos; that the NCP would abrogate the Comprehensive Peace Agreement like the Addis Ababa Agreement, and that the country would return to war as soon as the Pre-Trial Chambers announced the indictment. The scenario of chaos and violence vocally orchestrated by the NCP operatives and puppets played by the so-called ‘sons of Southern Sudan’ in the celebration of the promotion of Lt. General Salah Gosh Abdalla (Security Chief) culminated in the tragedy of Malakal and the Saturday farcical display of solidarity with the President of the Republic by the same group in front of the Friendship Hall in Khartoum. What is special, if I may ask the obvious question, with the promotion of Salah Gosh Abdalla that only Southern Sudanese, who have suffered immensely at the hands of his men, had to celebrate it? It is really an irony or rather the malice of fate that we are being treated to such absurdities given that the major speakers on both occasions hailed from the NCP or parties affiliated to it. The organizers should have been courageous enough as to identify themselves as NCP members rather than operate under the umbrella of ‘sons Southern Sudan’. The fighting that erupted in Malakal on the day the Presidency assembled in Juba was perhaps a litmus test of the political stratagem of dismantling the CPA we are constantly being reminded of should the president be indicted. So Southern Sudanese should celebrate the promotion of such a person who is busy day and night strategizing to scuttle the agreement? Major General Gabriel Gatwich (Tang-ginye) went to Malakal on orders from Lt. Gen. Salah Abdalla on instigation by some NCP politicians who wear in disguise the SPLM overcoat. Tang-ginye acted efficaciously as an agent provocateur and had the crisis escalated into open war between the SPLA and SAF, the purpose – hoodwinked the SPLM into supporting the NCP against the ICC ostensibly in protection of the CPA – would have been served. I want to look at the episode from a different perspective. I don’t endorse the ICC indictment of the President of the Republic at the same time however I don’t accept impunity. We should be held accountable for our actions. The responsibility exponentially varies with the degree of responsibility. When one has power of death and life over others one carries huge responsibility and this what the international law says. I recall vividly when on May 2006 the National Legislature was recalled to debate the UN Security Council Resolution 1509 in respect of deployment of UN Peace Keeping Forces in Dar Fur. I read the SPLM position which defined protection and how the responsibility for protection of civilians reverts to the UN Security Council when the state fails in its responsibility to protect its citizens. The Sudan Government has been served with such resolutions in order to do something about protecting the civilians in the displaced camps and in the villages but to no avail. The indictment therefore comes as a logical consequence of the failure of the Sudanese Government to protect the civil population in Dar Fur. The SPLM position has been consistent and this came out succinctly clear in the Press Statement released by its Chairman, Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit. This position was reflected by the silence of the SPLM Presidential Advisors, Ministers and State Ministers in the enlarged meeting of the Council of Ministers on Thursday. They did not see any sense of displaying ‘empty talk’ or ‘rhetoric’ in the Council nor even participate in the demonstration and processions called for by the Government of National Unity. The sensible way to tackle the situation is through diplomatic channels. We may avoid these channels now but sooner than later the wave of protests must wane, people will be exhausted or disenchanted with the whole thing, and we will be forced back into square one of international relations. But this will come after much harm has been done to our relations with one another. It will not be possible to resurrect those senselessly butchered in Malakal at the highest pitch of anti-ICC campaign. I strongly believe that Sudan will never witness foreign troops coming into the country to arrest and take to The Hague President Bashir. The ICC indictment has brought to the surface the internal contradictions within the NCP, thus the public shadow boxing of Ocampo we are watching is indeed the power struggle between the different factions of the NCP. It is a struggle whose resolution will determine whether or not Sudan will realize democratic transformation; whether or not there will be midterm elections; whether or not the North- South borders will be demarcated as they stood on January 1st, 1956; whether or not the people of Southern Sudan and Abyei will ever exercise their inalienable right to self-determination in an internationally supervised referenda and the people of Southern Kordofan/Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile will exercise their respective Popular Consultations in implementation of the CPA protocols. I believe this is the bottom line whether or not President Bashir is indicted. Leaders and political parties come to power and go but the people continue to exist. The future of the Sudan or the full implementation of the CPA, peace and stability in the Sudan should not be tied to one individual called the President of the Republic. The war in Dar Fur must be brought to an end, the displaced persons returned to their homes, the LRA activities in Equatoria should be curtailed, and impunity halted, corruption in government combated, human rights protected and the reign of the rule of law throughout the country. This would be our response – the reverse side – to the ICC and the indictment of President Bashir. Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, Khartoum

Written by torit1955

March 12, 2009 at 10:41 am

Posted in Opinions

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Malakal Clashes:South Sudan won’t taste peaceful co-existence with this illusive mentality

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By: Reverend Daniel A. Odwel, Malakal

JAN. 17/2009, SSN; Tribes in south Sudan seem unaware about their true
enemy, many people think that their enemy is the Arab (Jallaba) but the
truth of the matter is that our enemy is our illusive mentality of
tribalism disease that is more destructive than the liberation war we
fought for a period of more then fifty years. To me all lives which were
lost during that devastating war were lost for nothing, because history
seems to repeat itself.

Why, during Addis Ababa Agreement Dinka brought division in Juba which
was called Kokora that resulted from their mismanagement, nepotism,
discrimination, favoritism, and claim that they were born to rule?

The same problems which occurred in the eighties are happening today in
South Sudan. People fought the liberation war with hope that Dinka would
have learnt from previous mistakes but that assumption was in vain.
Therefore, the question which needs to be answered is this: did we fight
the deadly war with the so-called Arabs from the North so that Dinka can
have control over every piece of land in south wherever they wish?

The Dinka slogan that said they were ”born to rule” is a great
obstacle; if it isn’t going to be buried nothing will make the South to
progress and achieve any development. The unity will be impossible and
separation will be more impossible. Many ethnic communities in South
Sudan now become more skeptical about the behaviors of Dinka. Others may
decide to join the common enemy to let instability to continue, for
there is no point to remain under Dinka yoke. We are all aware that
every family had paid a price in liberation war. How come one ethnic
community dominates the affairs of the south?

The problem in Malakal goes back to early eighties, when the
commissioner of Jongelei Province, Michael Mario, claimed that his
border with Upper province is in the middle of River Sobat. This
aggressive ambition fuelled up Dinka to think that all Collo land in
west side of Sobat belonged to Jieng.

In order to avoid clashes between the two communities who’ve lived in
peace for long, I wrote an open letter in 2006 to the President of
Southern Sudan Government to defuse the tension, which was caused by
commander George Athor in refusing Collo not to construct their houses
while he allowed Dinka to build in Collo lands. But up to this moment
the President of GOSS, Salva Kiir, did not take any step to resolve the
problem.

Dinka who migrated to Collo land during the war era refused to go back
to their home areas because of misinterpreting the article in the
interim constitution of Southern Sudan, which says ‘any citizen has a
right to live wherever he or she wished.’ But critically, the article
did not allow any citizen to confiscate the land or displace the
original owners of the land.  Indeed, the wrong interpretation of the
laws brings conflict and war.

For your information, the Collo communities west side of Sobat River and
east side of the White Nile south of Malakal were denied to go back to
their homeland, with the ill-intended argument that these places were
still military zones. But the question which needs to be answered is why
did Dinka community build in those places under protection of SPLA?

The described locations now are claimed by Jongelei state to be part of
their territory. Does it mean Dinka have their own border demarcation
given to them by GOSS which is not known to other communities ?

Now, what is the logic for Dinka to claim ownership of Malakal and ask
Collo to leave, “if not they will face the consequences?”

Another evil ambition practiced by Dinka is that on 22th December 2008,
Kurfolus and Atar Dinkas signed an agreement in Malakal indicating that
their County shall be renamed as Canal County and its headquarters will
be in Apew (Adhyithaing), a Collo land fifteen miles south of Malakal.

Up to this moment no government official challenged this move and this
decision was made under the watch of an MP from Juba Legislative
Assembly. Has he been mandated by the Assembly to do so? If answer is
‘Yes’, then the Legislative Assembly will be accountable for instability
and insecurity in Collo land, but if the answer is ‘No; then this MP
must be summoned by the House to give details about that agreement and
their decision of transferring their County to Collo land which is not
part of Jongelei territory.

What is happening now  in Malakal proves the hidden agenda of
transferring all Collo soldiers in SPLA in Upper Nile state to different
places and replacing them with Dinka soldiers to accomplish the goal of
confiscating the Collo Lands. It becomes very clear that the liberation
war was fought for Dinka welfare and not for the whole South benefit.

Ironically, during preparation for the Fourth CPA Celebration in
Malakal, Dinka were told by the organizing committee that they will lead
the procession. Politically, this implies that Malakal belongs to Dinka.
This ideology fueled up the tension that made Collo uncomfortable. When
the governor of Upper Nile state discovered that, he warned the
preparatory committee and cautioned them that this idea will jeopardize
the celebration, arguing that Malakal belongs to Collo and that they’d
lead the procession, but Dinka were not ready to admit that.

Indeed, before the celebration began the tension mounted up that forced
police to dispatch these two communities and prevent them from
participation in the celebration to avoid riots in stadium.
Nevertheless, police reaction brought more confusion, and many people
were injured. Both communities were banned from participating in the
celebration and, after police dispatched them, the celebrations went on
smoothly.

Shocking news emerged at 2:00 am on 10.1.2009 when Dinka slaughtered
Collo in cold blood in Anakadiar, where around 1800 houses were burnt
down and twelve people were killed and three people were injured. The
following day many people were rescued on their way to Malakal by the
army which was sent to search for missing people in nearby bushes.

Consequently, Anakadiar people have become homeless and displaced. This
human atrocity forced the government of Upper Nile to resettle displaced
inhabitants of Anakader in Malakal. Again, last Sunday Dinka burnt down
600 houses in Abanim and Lul killing three people.

By killing Collo, Dinka want to confirm that they’re the masters of
south and they can do whatever they wish, and they did it in the eyes of
the President of GOSS. They want to affirm that Malakal belongs to them
and all Collo on Eastern side of White Nile must evacuate as they
indicated in their memo, which they wrote last October, 2008.
Presumably, the President of Southern Sudan is aware about that claim.

Collo community has full right to revenge, for they have been keeping
quite waiting with hope that the government will intervene to defuse the
situation, but the waiting seems to be in vain. The Collo will take
position of defending themselves from Dinka aggression.

Mr. President of southern Sudan government, your silence may imply that
you’ve sided with your community, which is toxic to co-existence in
southern Sudan. Surely we would like to assure you that the CPA is going
to be in danger, and you will be blamed for that.

There is no way other communities protect the CPA and Dinka dismantle it
with their assumption that they are people who liberated those lands.
This claim is untrue because all families participated in that
liberation war. Collo is going to retaliate for the great lost of lives,
Collo were so keen to keep Malakal in peace despite the fact that they
are still displaced in their home lands by Dinka community who murdered
them in cold blood.

We’ve been protecting the CPA since it was signed but Dinka thought we
were not sensing what they’re practicing at national, regional and even
at state levels. War in Malakal will affect everyone whether in
Khartoum, Juba or abroad because this war will be between two elephants
and ‘the grass’ is going to suffer.

To prevent the escalation of the war in Malakal, the President of the
GOSS must act immediately without wasting more time. The instigators
must be brought to justice, and the government must announce that
Malakal belongs to its original inhabitants who’re Collo. Any community
living within Collo lands must leave to their home towns without any
condition.

Disarmament of all communities must be ensured to avoid further blood
shed of innocent people. All soldiers who’re involved in that killing
must be punished, and people who lost their lives and property must be
compensated.

Written by torit1955

January 17, 2009 at 9:53 am

Dinka Ideology: Is South Sudan Becoming Another Lawless Somalia?

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BY: Jwothab Othow, USA

JAN. 15/2009, SSN; Since the Dinka took the majority rule in the GoSS,
insecurity has increased and land grabbling of tribal lands by Dinka has
become a widespread phenomenon. The whole trouble started in Madi and
Acholi lands in Eastern Equatoria State, and then spread to Maridi land
in Western Equatoria State, and now it has reached the Shilluk Kingdom
in Upper Nile State which borders Northern Sudan. By no means are tribal
conflicts nothing new in South Sudan. Perhaps what are new are the scale
of the conflict and the involvement of SPLA in it.

The conflicts between the Shilluk and Dinka started before the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed. History tells us that
Dinka Ngok migrated from Bahr el Ghazal to Upper Nile during the reign
of Reth Abudok Nya Bwoc around 1660. The land the Dinka Ngok currently
inhabit used to belong to Anuak tribe. They came to the area in search
of good grazing lands that resulted in many fights recently in Nakdiar
and Lul areas between them and the Shilluk.

The current problem between Shilluk and Dinka Ngok started when the
latter wrote letter to late Dr. John Garang in 2004, claiming the
ownership of Malakal town and many Shilluk lands. When Salva Kiir took
over the Presidency of South Sudan after the tragic death of Dr. Garang,
this issue was immediately brought before him.

However, President Salva Kiir made no attempt at resolving the matter.
His argument was that the war is not yet over and, therefore, there is
no way for the Dinka to return to their original birth places. This is
nonsense.

The current feud between Dinka and Shilluk flared-up during the fourth
anniversary of CPA celebration held in Malakal, the capital of upper
Nile State, on Friday 9 January. The Dinka agenda was to seize and
occupy areas that historically belong to the Shilluk on the banks of the
Nile and Sobat River. The attack, which was alleged to have been carried
out by Dinka SPLA soldiers, killed dozens of Shilluk in Nakdiar and Lul.

It is an undeniable that the ethnic conflicts in the post-CPA era are
the most influential destabilizing forces in South Sudan which will
destroy the unity of Southerners and hold back southerners from
achieving their aspiration for an independent state. For the Dinka
politicians, this is the only legitimate source for exercising their
non-democratic rule over other minor tribal groupings.

The act of evil ideology of the Dinka is widely viewed as an expansion
and occupation with catastrophic consequences similar to that of
Somalia, not to mention Rwanda. The Dinka Ngok massacred dozens of
Shilluk in their Villages who have nothing to do about the celebration
of the CPA taking place in Malakal. So many peace-loving people among
the Shilluk like Uncle James Ogilo Agor and Rev. Daniel Amum wrote
several letters to Mr. Salva Kiir before to resolve the issue of land
dispute and claim of ownership of Malakal by Dinka Ngok. However, Mr.
Salva Kiir ignored the matters altogether.

It appears President Salva Kiir and his government is trying to adopt
same methods used by the current brutal regime in Khartoum to
marginalize minority tribes and decimate them as well. Like the rest of
the world, we have to respect our diversity, to establish healthy
coexistence, and to maintain the existing boundaries that separate
different communities in South Sudan.

This is proving that the Dinka have a hidden agenda. Mr. Salva, as a
leader, has a definite hand in all of these. This is evidenced in his
handling of the earlier conflicts between the Dinka and Madi, Acholi
tribes in Eastern Equatoria State. Now, the whole thing is spreading
like wildfire in Shilluk lands of Malakal, Upper Nile State. This seems
to be the same behavior that shocked the world in 1994, when the Hutu
extremists in Rwanda carried out an organized genocide that killed more
than 800,000 Tutsis minority in a matter of weeks.

This kind of brutal act by the Dinka Ngok could set back South Sudanese
aspiration for self-determination in 2011. This fact gives many
Northerners a strong argument that we Southerners cannot govern
ourselves. Four years have now passed since the semi-autonomous South
Sudan was given a chance to prove to the whole world that it can govern
itself democratically without alienating and humiliating other minor
tribes.

In pursuing their control over all units of government, the Dinka have
virtually proved the contrary to the world that left alone we can’t rule
ourselves in a civilized way. Dinka can not rule the South alone and
neither can the other minority tribes rule the South without the Dinka.
We need each other in order to have a viable independent state.

The Dinka are ethnocentric people who promote intolerance and
dehumanization of other minorities in South Sudan as seen by the
massacre of the Shilluk people in Upper Nile State. The ethnic hatred
has not been provoked and channeled by the ordinary Dinka, but by the
Dinka politicians whose aim is to strengthen their hold over power.

The Dinka seemed to have used the article in Semi-Autonomous
constitution of South Sudan, which states that the citizens of South
Sudan can live anywhere in south Sudan, for their own political gains.
The correct interpretation of this article is that the citizens of South
Sudan have the right to live in anywhere in South Sudan provided that
they do not occupy the lands that already belong to others.

The political domination by the Dinka over other minorities in the South
appear to be most obstacle to the realization of Peace in South Sudan
and true enemy of the South Sudanese aspiration for an independent state
in 2011.

Many people from various minority tribes in South Sudan have, because of
what happened in Madi and Acholi lands in Eastern Equatioria State and
Shilluk Kingdom in Upper Nile state, doubts about the honesty and
integrity of the Dinka. If the behaviors of the Dinka go unchecked and
the perpetrators who carried out the massacre of dozens of Shilluk and
land grabbing are not brought to justice, South Sudan will be extremely
very unstable for all of us. It will be impossible for South Sudanese to
achieve the goals for an independent South Sudan from North Sudan in
2011.

The Dinka should recall history: Whether militarily or politically the
Dinka stand no chance against the other minorities in South Sudan.
History had shown this: When Mr. Abel Alier of Dinka tribe was ousted
from power as the President of the High Executive Council when the
minority tribes in the Regional Assembly united and elected General
Joseph Lagu. In cohort, the minorities in the assembly selected Mr.
Joseph Tombura from the Zande tribe to lead instead of a Dinka. I’m of
the strong belief the Dinka domination will be a short-lived one because
of backlash from the very people they want to dominate.

Dinka should get it right that Shilluk will never allow anyone to occupy
their land. The Shilluk will do anything within their power, including
the use of military means to defend themselves and their existence.

God forbid, I hope the current conflict between Shilluk and Dinka will
not escalate into full scale war that will impact negatively the outcome
of the 2011 referendum for self-determination for the South. It is
therefore important for the South Sudanese to have peace, harmony, and
coexistence among the diverse ethnic groups prior to attaining
independence from North Sudan. These are both necessary and sufficient
conditions for the attainment of an independent state for the South.

Let us be vigilant and not be sidetracked by issues among us as Southern
Sudanese because the Arab North is working hard day and night to defocus
us from our main goal of getting our own independent state by exploiting
any differences among us for its own benefit

Written by torit1955

January 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Opinions

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Military options against LRA will end in fiasco.

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In response to the tripartite military operations involving Uganda, Congo an South Sudan forces against LRA in Garamba forest Congo, Boutrus Biel present a grim scenario of the possible reactions of Joseph Kony through the resort to his gruesome tactics of spreading his forces out thinly, return to Sudan and targeting soft targets including poorly defended areas and citizens, a repeat of his usual modus operandi.


Military options against LRA will end in fiasco.

By: Boutros Biel

December 14, 2008

E-mail: bboutrosb@yahoo.com

For those who won’t let mine be part of their analysis, I will have names forged or invented, however, at the end of the opposition, truth will emerge for this argument and that is my belief and along with other optimists here and there. “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it” said George S. If only to best recall my experience of the Lord Resistance Army’s alleged crimes while in Uganda. Those painful days when Mr. Opio of the UNHCR Pakelle-Adjumani base was gunned down by the same Konyi’s Last Ruthless Aim {LRA}.

LRA soldiers keep guard at the assembly point in Ri-Kwangba on the Sudan-Congo border, Western Equatoria, April 10, 2008. (Reuters)

LRA soldiers keep guard at the assembly point in Ri-Kwangba on the Sudan-Congo border, Western Equatoria, April 10, 2008. (Reuters)

As if that was not enough, my own teacher, Engineer Tobia Odwa from ‘Kocoa Seminary’ was let permanently go along the same Gulu-Adjumani road. Those series of atrocities were committed by the LRA in the face of so called Uganda People’s Defence Forces {UPDF} and I don’t think if there’s anyone to convince the Southern Sudanese exile returnees from Uganda that dealing with LRA militarily is an easy ride solution to the regional atrocities committed. Madi of Nimule or those who had been to Eastern Equatoria in places like Parjok, Magwi, name them and of late the Kajo-Keji citizens plus Western Equatorians combined, in honesty, can be perfect witnesses to my assertion. LRA led by the same man Joseph Konyi has not changed anything per se. The group is still as it was in the beginning and now as it shall always be with its terror without end.

The former Catholic man’s army is tuned to wipe whoever his spirits direct to hook off {I wonder why the Catholic Church doesn’t revoke his Christian name ‘Joseph’ and equally excommunicate him from the mother church}!. The ICC arrest warrant is a possible obstacle to the Final Peace Agreement expected between Museveni-led government and Kony-manuveuvred group however, Joseph Konyi, the man would have challenged Museveni to the greatest heights had he{Konyi}signed on November 29th, 2008 the Final Peace Agreement. Museveni would have no excuses over withdrawing the ICC thing from the Haque. For Joseph Konyi, as of now whichever way, the risks on his own life are very high. If he doesn’t sign, he would remain in the bushes of Southern Sudan exchanging the location with that of DR. Congo and Central African Republic and not as a free as he assumes but as the most insecure man ever known on earth.

LRA as usual kills indiscriminately and that’s why Konyi didn’t spare his own right hand man Vincent Otti———his own deputy over years who managed to survive with him under worst UPDF hunts even when those LRA members like Sam Okolo their spokesman betrayed their cause. Otti remained loyal to Konyi and LRA command but unfortunately Konyi slaughtered him instantly. GoSS Vice President Riek Machar has been one of the patient guys to see sense of persuading LRA through diplomacy other than barrel of the guns but there are majority in Juba and Kampala who doesn’t see the wisdom of this tactful dealing emphasized by Dr. Machar. The impatient and incalculable group had long wanted to deal away with Konyi militarily little did anyone imagine what would be the repercussion of dealing gun-fully with a mafia of confused and objective less group whose composition leaves a lot to be desired.

When the SPLA and the Uganda People’s Defence Forces{UPDF} plus that orphan army left in the hands of young Joseph Kabila so desire to attack LRA militarily as they have just done, then the entire Equatoria region and Juba itself ought to prepare henceforth to meet the real devil. LRA would go back to its old evil tactics of moving in series of twos, twenty, threes, etc. They will cause havocs between Nimule-Juba road, Yei-Kaya and Yei-Juba roads. They will also stage ambushes to civilian and humanitarian vehicles along Torit-Juba road. Places like Gulu-Attiak-Adjumani, Pakwach-Karuma roads in Uganda would become insecure again. Abductions will become the order of the day. South Sudan, DR Congo and Central African Republic combined will become battlefields. Neither the SPLA nor the UPDF would be able to contain the situation. One would ask simply; ‘how can big and well equipped armies like UPDF and SPLA fail to defeat the tiny ill-armed rebel group led by uneducated former catechist Konyi? The answer is simple, LRA if came directly to fight, either the SPLA or the UPDF would wipe them in very short time but that has not been the case. The styles used by LRA are ever of amusement to both armies.

The LRA uses methods like ‘shoot’ ‘kill’, ‘spoil’ and ‘go’! How many UPDF soldiers had the LRA killed in Northern Uganda? How many SPLA soldiers did the LRA murder in Nimule and most parts of Eastern Equatoria? Honest answers can be frankly found with the SPLA and UPDF soldiers who one day witnessed the LRA atrocities. Therefore, it’s my humble opinion that Museveni-Konyi Peace Talks brokered by South Sudan number 2 Dr. Riek Machar must not be left. This Last Ruthless Aim {LRA} is worst than corruption in Southern Sudan and will take many lives if allowed to go back to its many years’ madness. Those non analysts who mislead GoSS leadership must not discourage its Vice President Riek Machar. General Salva Kiir must not be misadvised to discard his own child {Museveni-Konyi Peace Initiative} which the General had much worked to make available through his deputy Riek Machar. History has shown that only few managed to take pride to outnumber rebel movement through the barrel of the gun. As we are all aware of, war is very expensive and dealing with LRA militarily is very expensive business which neither South Sudan nor Uganda, DR Congo and CAR combined will escape its evil fruits if so desired to choose the unknown side of the coin.

When the first bullet is re-fired on LRA, then Bashir-Konyi relationship would take double face. Janjaweed in form of Ambororo being in Western and Central Equatoria lands will by Khartoum be armed to teeth and may probably join hand with any devil for the worst. South Sudan will be engaged in avoidable unnecessary wars. It will be difficult for the GoSS leadership to function effectively in Juba. As consequence, citizens would lose interest in their government due to rampant insecurity much as prevalent circumstances will portray GoSS as being incapable to protect its own citizens . Cattle rustlings would be rampant in Jonglei, Lakes and Eastern Equatoria states simply because insecurity will be very high as SPLA will be engaged in non objective war with LRA. Those being non patriotic and irresponsible nationalists will double their grab for public property—by that point in time, it will be very difficult for General Salva Kiir Mayardit to clear-cut whether to continue declaring war on LRA or on corruption. VP Machar would have been discouraged very long time ago and would just sit in the towel to exercise his gentlemanship for the sake of peace and order within the SPLM and GoSS.

Those drunk now to fight LRA in order to cause insecurity and increase corruption in the South shall have gotten their lion share and already turned pretending to join the discontented citizens to level GoSS as if ‘a failed Government’——–hence critics would thus come up to say; ‘you see, didn’t we talk of it that GoSS under Salva Kiir and Riek Machar is unable government?’. The likes of Dr. Turabi would have been on the stage preaching slogans such as ‘look, southerners can’t manage to govern themselves’. Discontented Southern citizens due to insecurity and corruption plus other circumstances may consider 2011 referendum a forgone conclusion if not approached it with mixed or unprepared hearts and minds.

Against all this background, it’s now better to pursue LRA peacefully till they sign the Final Peace Agreement with their archenemy Museveni other than South Sudan being falsely lured to war that will later be hard to extinguish. The slogan that ‘’if you want peace, prepare for war’’ is irrelevant in the LRA case. The group has had no relevant objective and therefore, be handled with care—–peacefully and tactfully. Fellow Southerners, believe it that military option against LRA, will be a great miscalculation and unforgivable boomerang to South Sudan and GoSS which’s the sitting government of the day will leave to regr. ———–For president of the Republic of Uganda General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, his country and his presidential guards have nothing to worry this time round as the most unpredictable war of LRA has been technically transferred to Southern Sudan and be fought here henceforth. However, it’s no of underestimation that the LRA will sneak back to Uganda and will possibly cause insecurity under the ‘hit’ and ‘run’ tactics with frequent roaming to and fro as the main battles will be wrestled in South Sudan. Is GoSS through SPLA really prepared to fight the war for others and moreover in Southern Sudan? It’s unfortunate indeed, that only a few of Southern Sudanese who are able to see while sitting what others are unable to project even when they are standing. Anybody listening there????? Let’s kick well, the ball is still up and the rest is left to the conventional wisdom of concerned Southerners!

Written by torit1955

December 15, 2008 at 9:28 am