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In Their Own Words: What South leaders say and do!

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By: Theresa Angua, Denmark.

JAN. 11/2009, SSN; South Sudan’s self-imposed leaders have two main
annual rituals: (1) to come to the United States and make good to any
sitting president, and (2) to visit their families that are scattered
across all continents of the world. Last week they did just that. And as
usual, at the nation’s expense.

GOSS President Salva Kiir and a large entourage to America

GOSS President Salva Kiir and a large entourage to America

Salva Kiir for his part, flew in an army of 33 “delegates”, ostensibly
on an official visit. How much it cost South Sudan is anyone’s guess.
And all for a trip that didn’t even get airtime on any network except
for a single sneaked-out photo of him and President Bush. He then went
on to urge South Sudanese in the U.S. to consider returning home and
rebuilding the nation. Easier said than done…

Meanwhile in the Southern Hemisphere, Pagan Amum was busy admitting
[half-heartedly] to the South Sudanese community in Victoria, Australia,
that, “we’ve been a failed state since independence,” and that GOSS is
“like a 3-year old child sitting for university exams”. Let’s take a
look at what these two gentlemen say and what they do.

Salva Kirr may have been in North America to thank President Bush for
what he had done to South Sudan in terms of the CPA (even though he
(Kiir) and his cohorts are miserably failing at keeping it alive) and to
boost the morale of those in exile and garner support.

But he may have also been aware, in his heart of hearts, that
Southerners weren’t going to take his words at face value. Who can blame
them? For there’s a difference between what GOSS wants for South Sudan
and what it can deliver.

The events that have been unfolding in the country post-CPA speak
volumes about what ordinary S. Sudanese can expect from this
tribally-centered, self-serving government.  If GOSS cannot even provide
basic security (let alone basic services and infrastructure), who can be
foolhardy enough to quit a job in the West, go to S. Sudan and find
him/herself without any kind of protection (physical or property) or a
piece of land to build on?

I’m a graduate student from Equatoria (Madi) and our land is perhaps the
most devastated in terms of this GOSS/SPLA-backed lawlessness that has
spiraled out of control. Yet we’re some of the most educated,
highly-skilled, and hardworking Sudanese in Equatoria. If Salva Kirr
were serious about tapping into the expertise of S. Sudanese in exile,
why would he allow this barbaric culture to flourish there?

I’m talking about Madi, Bari, Acholi, Kakwa, and other lands in Greater
Equatoria that have become every criminal’s Mecca. In short, GOSS cannot
allow these unwanted exports [illiterate marauders] from Jonglei State
to continue terrorizing those who genuinely want to develop their land
while preaching “return” overseas. These people are nothing more than an
impediment to development in S. Sudan and GOSS knows that.

So President Kiir, please do some reality check and make sure that what
is happening on the ground is in synch with what you want for S. Sudan.
Otherwise I only see us vying with Somalia for the title of “the most
failed state” in the near future. You have what it takes to become one
and that choice is yours.

Coming back to Pagam Amum, I appreciate his courage for saying that we
have been a failed state since independence. However, he failed to
acknowledge that the very fact that he was in Australia on a personal
trip paid out of the nation’s coffers was itself a contribution to the
failure of Sudan in general and S. Sudan in particular.

There is a strange predilection to blame all of GOSS’s woes on NCP the
same way Mugabe blames all of  Zimbabwe’s on U.K. Mr. Amum can only
convince Southerners that NCP is the problem if and only if he and his
cohort in GOSS can prove that they have dutifully/ethically carried out
all their responsibilities to Southerners. So far, we have not seen
anything tangible post CPA despite the shared oil revenue.

We seem to be going backwards, not forwards. Southern Sudanese are left
to suffer from buyer’s remorse in regards to GOSS/SPLA. We’re no longer
sure which one is better: War-time or peace-time? GOSS or NCP?

In the light of this situation, I would like Mr. Amum to account for
GOSS’s own contribution(s) to the failure of S. Sudan before bashing
Khartoum. Charity begins at home…

As for the “3-year old” analogy that he threw out, Mr. Amum was again
right to admit that GOSS is an entity that is trying to perform duties
it is not qualified for.

Kudos for that; but the truth is, Southern Sudan is not a nation of
3-year olds. So how about make way for qualified individuals to take
over? Because clearly, GOSS has proven that you cannot impose a jungle
administration on a civilized nation. We are a better country than this
and it’s about time a competent administration took over.

Otherwise we are on the verge of becoming the latest laughing stock on
the African continent.


Written by torit1955

January 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Posted in Activists Forum

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Extending Elelction Date In Sudan Will Have Dominos Effect On CPA

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Extending Elelction Date In Sudan Will Have Dominos Effect On CPA
Thursday January 8th 2009

The Vice President of the republic of Sudan and the President of the government of Southern Sudan General Salva Kiir Mayardit told a gathering at a dinner in Washington that, extending the 2009 election would jeopardize referendum in South Sudan.

At a Congressional dinner hosted by Ted Dange and Roger Winter at Mayflower hotel in Washington DC, the dinner was attended by about fifty people many of whom are dignitaries from different countries who attended the signing of the CPA in Nairobi Kenya.

Amonth them was, Heldan Joshnson Norway representative at the UN, Congressman Ronal Pyne, Kjell Hodneboe of Norway, and many other dignitaries.

The dinner was hosted to celebrate the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed four years ago. President Kiir reiterates his words of gratitude and appreciations to President Bush and his administration for keeping the South Sudan problem at heart. Kiir told group of dignitaries, Sudanese, and long time supporters of the struggle that, postponing the election will have dominos effects on the implementation of the CPA.

However, some are not so keen to conduct the elections in July. Given the fact that rainy season began during the month of May to October, a season chosen during negotiations to hold the first election, many are concerns that conducting the election in July will limit people’s participations in most part of Southern Sudan where the people will physically elects their chosen candidates.

On the other hand, according to the President, If the election is push forward to dry season, everything else that comes after the election such as the referendum in Southern Sudan, referendum in Abyei, and the popular consultation of Nuba Mountains all will miss the date lines and that has grave consequences. In respect to the other events line up after the election, it’s imperative for people of Southern Sudan to keep the election date the way it was scheduled.

Border Demarcations:

When the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was negotiated four years ago, the six years interim period seemed too long, but four years have passed before we all know. Now, we’re celebrating the fourth anniversary of the CPA this year; however, it’s without doubt that the two parties have much to do in implementing the CPA.

“One of the problems with the NCP is, if you say this is a color white, they will say no, the color is red.” President said. Every average person in the Sudan knows where the border between south and north Sudan located. It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist nor some experts both from out-side and inside Sudan demarcate the border.

In spite of the fact that, the NCP has lacked behind in implementing major contentious issues of the CPA, It’s apparent that Juba has been pushed to the limit but we will not go to war under my watch President Kiir said. However, we must make sure north-south border is fully demarcated, census result must be conventional to what South Sudanese understand reasonable. “Let those who like to fight start their fight, we don’t want war, but if instigated, we will depend ourselves.

President Mayadiit went ahead to assured the gathering that, corruptions will not be tolerated. Those venal officials who may attempt to embezzle or exercise illegal dealing with states funds will all be brought to justice. At the same time, he said, those who resorted in defaming the image of Southern Sudan on world wide web transmitting un found accusations and passing un researched facts from one person to anther will too be confront with real facts sometime when they show up in Southern Sudan. We have your written allegations anyone will confront you with your written paper and you will have to answer yourself.

Moreover, we have not given up in bringing peace in Darfur. But, for the Darfur leaders to achieve a long-lasting peace for their people, the leaders must reside where the people suffer. It’s ridiculous for Darfur leaders to think he/she leads his people while living in a rather comfortable place somewhere in the West and yet refuse to attend peace that could bring an end to the killings and raping.

You cannot claimed to represent neglected people while once does not even reside where the problem actually occur. We’ve successfully united 27 Darfur rebel factions in 2007. However, these factions dispersed back and form even more factions because we have no money to keep them united. If they can only unite to receive money, it will be impossible for anyone to keep them united because no one will be able to provide money for unity.

President Kiir flew to Boone, North Carolina to meet with one of the well known evangelical Church leader Franklin Graham whose church has been an instrumental to pressure American government in bringing about peace in the Sudan. The President arrived in Nairobi shortly at ten pm Kenyan local time. He will fly to South Sudan to attend the CPA celebration in Malakal, Upper Nile state.

Written by torit1955

January 9, 2009 at 9:54 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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President Salva Kiir credibility gap in Darfur

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President Salva Kiir credibility gap in Darfur

By Steve Paterno

December 15, 2008 — According to the Sudan people Liberation Movement (SPLM) official statement by Yein Mathew, the chairman of the SPLM, Salva Kiir who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), President of Government of South Sudan as well as Vice President of Khartoum led government, will visit the genocide stricken region of Darfur in the near future. Plans are already underway with the arranged visit of the party’s high ranking delegation―scheduled for this month―to prepare the ground for Kiir’s visit.

Kiir’s visit to Darfur could not come at a worst time than when his credibility suffers and sinks to the lowest level ever. The SPLM/A chairman’s inability to impact on a resolution to the conflict in Darfur, his lack of assertive leadership at the national level, and nothing to show-off as an effective leader in South Sudan clearly diminishes the mission and whatever objectives of his visit to Darfur.

Just this month, a Darfur splinter faction of Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), announced in a press statement that it has suspended its former chairman, Abdel Shafi. He is accused of implication to have collaborated with the South Sudanese soldiers, SPLA, for the killing of Sediq Abdel Karim, the group’s chief field commander. According to the statement from the faction, in early October this year, their chief field commander, Karim had a conflict with Shafi in the Southern Sudanese city of Wau. As a result, the SPLA intervened and arrested the commander with some of his soldiers. Few days later, their corpses tragically turned up in the vicinity of the town. The group is pressing for thorough investigation on the killing. Shafi was propped-up to the chairmanship of the group in Juba under the auspices of SPLM. He is considered to be SPLM/A darling being intimately close to some of the SPLM/A top officials. Though SPLM/A promises to probe on the killing, it has already lost its neutrality and impartiality, necessary for the role of the party to play among the Darfur factions.

Even prior to this incident, the SPLM/A was losing very fast the positive role it’s supposed to play among different Darfur factions. For example last year, a poorly orchestrated plan, duped as unification of Darfur movements, the SPLM/A brought to Juba from Darfur nine individuals alleged to represent nine factions from Darfur. Since then, some of those individuals ended up stranded in Juba without even logistical means to travel beyond the town. The coalition that was supposedly formed by these different factions has crumbled―with some of the individuals involved in the coalition―escaped from Juba in frustrations: that is for those who could afford logistics and means to get out of the town. For many in Darfur, the effort of SPLA in this respect is seen as negative involvements as well as fracturing Darfur movements to individual factions.

Again in 2006, at a Darfur peace talks in Abuja, the movements of Darfur was exposed to the worst brunt of SPLM/A tactics. Some of SPLM/A went to the Abuja peace talks, with a false claim of experienced and being skillful in negotiations so as to assist Darfur movements achieve a peaceful settlement. Unfortunately, two of SPLM/A top officials, Dr. Lam Akol who was then Khartoum foreign minister and Dr. Lual Deng, the Khartoum minister of state for finance were accused for attempts to bribe and extort the Darfur movements leaders to sign the peace deal, even if it was not in the interest of the those leaders to have done so. In the end, only one Darfur movement, the faction of Minni Minawi obliged to sign that agreement and the rest rejected it. Though the actions of those two top SPLM/A officials were probably the bidding on behalf of the National Congress Party (NCP), the image of SPLM/A and its capacity to act positively in Darfur were diminishing gradually.

The people of Darfur like the people of other Sudan’s marginalized regions have great deal of expectations and hopes from the people of South Sudan who leads the way for the liberation struggle. The liberation movements in Darfur sprung into actions by gaining their inspirations from the people of South Sudan. The Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) originated in South Sudan in the same manner the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) originated in Darfur as an inspiration of SPLM/A with similar acronyms, a mirror imaging if you like. The SPLM/A ideals of freedom, equal citizenship and participatory rights, resonate very well with the people of Darfur. They feel for the most part that their dreams were finally realized when the SPLM/A became a partner in the government of Khartoum and Salva Kiir as the vice president.

However, these hopes and expectations were quickly dashed-off when Vice President Kiir could not affect any single decision from Khartoum. The people of Darfur soon discovered that their situation continue to deteriorate daily since Vice President Kiir came into the presidency in the Republican Palace in Khartoum. As recently as earlier this month, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo who is investigating the conflict in Darfur warned the United Nations Security Council that “genocide continues” in Darfur. The UN humanitarian assessment of the situation is even bleaker. For example, in one of the UN recent reports, it states in part that “in Darfur, the lack of security is likely to displace more people and prevent sustainable return.” The report goes on to say, the conflict “continues to affect millions of people and create a complex and volatile political and security situation that remains a challenge for the humanitarian community.”

Despite the much talk of Sudan’s national general elections to be held next year, which is expected to transform Sudan, the people of Darfur cannot count on that as they will not have elections given the deteriorating security situation and the worsening humanitarian conditions in the region. It is worth mentioning that the prospects of Vice President Kiir’s and his SPLM/A party in the said elections are slim like that of the people of Darfur for one to count on. At a personal level, Vice President Kiir is caught in a constitutional dilemma as for his status to run in the elections. This leads the SPLM to be uncertain of who in the party will run for the presidency. The odds are stacked against the leader of the party. If he runs, the chances are that he may miserably lose and if he loses, there is no chance but for him to be jobless. He declared his nomination to run for the presidency and quickly withdrew it to avoid getting trapped. Now confused, he is hoping for miracles to rescue the situation. Many Sunday trips to the church seem to have not yielded result as of yet.

In view of the fact that the chairman of the party is still indecisive on the elections, his party is as much stuck on the issue or even at a complete loss. There are no preparations whatsoever from the party to set grounds for the elections. The party officials found comforts in issuing contradicting statements on the elections. It seems they are not even aware on when the elections will be held. Luka Biong, the minister for presidential affairs stated that elections will be delayed by months to allow for more preparations. He was only to be contradicted by Riek Machar, SPLM/A deputy chairman, that there will never be delays on elections. In another monotonous contradiction, the SPLM/A officials do not seem to agree or know whether Kiir will be the nominee for the presidency. Each one of them speaks their minds by dismissing the other as speaking their personal opinions on the matter. Apparently, the NCP is the only one gaining from this uncertainty. The NCP, through its influential senior official, Nafie Ali Nafie, declared that they “will stay in power even if elections were delayed for a century.”

Crown with the mismanagements of the affairs in the South Sudan under the rule of Kiir, the people of Darfur are not any more enthused about Kiir’s visit to their region. They expected Kiir to have visited them long time ago and champions for their cause thereafter, but it seems that this arranged visit is a little too late as the people of Darfur have already lost confidence in the SPLM/A leader. They have likely concluded that if Kiir cannot do the least in the South, how much will he do for the people of Darfur. Salva Kiir may visit Darfur, but whether he will be highly welcomed as it would have been if he visited earlier and championed for their cause, remains to be seen. At least for President Omar al-Bashir, when he visited Darfur and was faced with shortage of crowd to receive him, the civil servants were rounded up and forced to show up at his rally to portray an image that he is still popular in the region. For Salva Kiir, he has to pull something up, but we don’t know yet what that will be. Hopefully there is a Catholic church in Darfur that can draw some significant crowd since the fellow seems to have been doing pretty well with the church crowd in Juba.

Steve Paterno is the author of The Rev. Fr. Saturnino Lohure, A Romain Catholic Priest Turned Rebel. He can be reached at stevepaterno yahoo com

Written by torit1955

December 16, 2008 at 10:11 am

British Police targets Sudanese money loot London

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British Police targets Sudanese money loot London

Dec.5th,2008(IRS)– A man identified as an advisor to the President of the autonomous Government of Southern Sudan is being questioned by the British Police for allegedly smuggling $ 3 million into the United Kingdom. Stephen Madut Bak, 62, is facing probe about the source of the mouth-watering cash that he attempted to sneak into Britain illegally via Heathrow airport. The money has been confiscated by the Heathrow Custom officials until the probe is completed. “Mr. Bak arrived in London earlier in the week with huge cash, which naturally aroused suspicions on money laundering. Initial investigation shows the money was apparently diverted from the Government of Southern Sudan, where Mr. Bak says is serving as an advisor to its President Salva Kiir”, a source at the London Metropolitan Police told IRS. An accomplice of Mr. Bak, identified as Mr. Mou Mou is also being questioned. Metro police investigators have revealed that Mr. Stephen Bak has lived in the UK since the early 1980, where he had been the representative of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) which led a protracted 22-year civil war against various Muslim governments in Northern Sudan , before singing a landmark peace agreement in 2005. Mr Bak, who had been living on social security benefits handed out by the British Government, vanished from the UK in recent months only to return with $ 3 millions dollars on a suitcase. On interrogation, Bak told investigators that the money would be used to set up a diplomatic mission for the autonomous Government of Southern Sudan in London . “His explanation was far convincing as there was no evidence of any prior official correspondences between the British Government and Government of Southern Sudan to establish such an office. Moreover, Mr, Bak seemed to give two contradicting stories: on the one hand, he claims to be a Presidential Advisor, hence his access to this money. On the other hand, he says he was coming to the UK to serve as Head of the mission of the Government of Southern Sudan”, said the Metro Police Source, adding that papers being presented by Bak’s lawyer were furnished by the money ring member identified as Mr Bak Woul, who is believed to be a close relative of Mr. Stephen Bak, according to the Metro Police background check. British Police are trying to keep a lid on money stolen from Africa by cronies of the ruling regimes. There is a growing view in the UK and the rest of Europe that global commitments to reduce poverty and improve lives in Africa cannot be achieved unless the international community makes urgent progress towards repatriation of stolen money back to Africa . “Corruption is bleeding Africa to death and the cost is borne by the poor. … Much of the money is banked in Britain or our overseas territories and dependencies. . … We want our government to get tough on corruption.” – Hugh Bayley, MP, Chair of the Africa All Party Parliamentary Group said recently. Corrupt African leaders have stolen at least $140bn (£95bn) from their people in the decades since independence, according to fomer Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo. Obasanjo accused European countries of “sitting” on much of the stolen money stashed in European banks, say there was little action from Europe to try to bring back the money to Africa and improve living conditions. European countries and banks, he said, providing a safe haven for stolen African money had to share the guilt.

Written by torit1955

December 9, 2008 at 8:01 am