A person without Foreword Thinking is “war monger”
PART ONE: PAST and PRESENT situation created by the regime
By Aguer Rual, Australia
1/ Political and cultural background of South Sudan
Nov 21, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — The area now known as Sudan comprising of South and North areas has been colonised repeatedly for hundreds of years. Arabs occupied the region taking people and resources as they wished. Later, the British created a boundary separating the North from the South. This was primarily for the purposes of administration. The division suggested itself because the people of the North were predominantly Muslim and those in the South were not Muslim and there existed some strongholds of Christianity.
The Arabs entered Sudan in order to obtain slaves. Even after the British established a protectorate, the people of the North continued to enslave and mistreat the people of the South. The people of the North continued to try to convert people in the South to Islam, and to impose Arabic as the national language. In 1956, Sudan became independent from the British and from the Egyptians.
Just before Independence, a civil war broke out in Sudan. In 1953, an interim Government was established as a transitional government. The interim Government was one of the causes of the civil war as it did not provide for any autonomy for the people of the South. The people of South Sudan sought intervention from the British seeking a better government solution or independence as a separate country from the North. The British did not help. War commenced. This war continued, with 17 years old until peace agreement was signed in 1972. After a ten-year break, the second civil war broke out in 1983, until a cease-fire arrangement was signed in 2005. As part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, a referendum was held in 2011 to determine the future for South Sudan. The result of the referendum was overwhelmingly in favour of South Sudan becoming an independent country in its own right. The formal separation of South Sudan from Sudan occurred with effect from 1 July 2011.
The current problems in South Sudan have their origins in the past. This included the continued and repeated colonisation, the imposition of culture and language, the acts of slavery and oppression, and the fear, distrust and unrest left behind by the British by the way in which they left Sudan at the time of independence. Further, in 1966, a leader emerged in the rebels – ANYANY 1 – who created conflict between tribes of South Sudan. A fundamental rift was created between the peoples of the Dinka and Equatorian tribes. The divisions in the South also created divisions in the Sudanese People Liberation Army (“SPLA”) and the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement (“SPLM”). The history of Sudan is a story of conflict between North and South but also between tribes in the South.
Since the creation of South Sudan as a country in 2011, conflict has re-emerged. This is partly due to the reluctance of the North to relinquish the valuable Southern lands and resources. It is also partly due to the lack of resources available to the new country. Over an extensive time, the South Sudanese have been oppressed which has resulted in a passivity and an expectation that others will resolve problems. The people look to the new Government. The Government has lacked responsibility, direction and leadership. All of these factors have left South Sudan vulnerable to new episodes of conflict and unrest. Unfortunately, this is what we are now seeing. Thousands of people have died already in conflict in recent times.
The current Government of Sudan is the Kiir regime, which operates at three levels: local, state and national. At the national level, there are three arms of government: judiciary, parliament and executive.
South Sudan is being mismanaged by the Government. Political and tribal issues are causing conflict and violations of human rights. As conflict escalates, there are extrajudicial executions, atrocities, alleged war crimes and deaths.
2/ Unaccountability and corruption of the Government
Despite the referendum and the purported establishment of South Sudan, South Sudan has not settled into the accepted definition of a State or Nation. Recognition is one aspect. South Sudan is recognised. Some form of constitution is also required. South Sudan either has a dysfunctional constitution or the current Government does not adhere to the basics of the constitution that is there. As long as the constitution does not act to unite and provide direction to the new nation of South Sudan, a risk exists that nationhood will continue to elude South Sudan. A workable constitution must recognise and address the conflicts of the past.
South Sudan went from war to independence without a clear plan for the establishment of a viable nation. The Government of South Sudan’s officials are treating the country as if it were their own property, not as a sacred trust held for the citizens of the nation and the future citizens.
PART TWO: PERIOD PRECEDING CURRENT POLITICAL AND TRIBAL CONFLICT
Salva Kiir (“the war monger”) formed the Government of South Sudan (“GOSS”) in July 2011. President Kiir dissolved the GOSS in June 2013. In a month later, the Secretary-General of the SPLM was placed under home arrest. He was considered a potential threat to the Kiir leadership because of his position as Secretary-General and his links to the late John Garang.
The Political Bureau (“PB”) of the SPLM had been constituted of the same officials since 2012. Since 2012, the PB had sought a meeting with Kiir as Chairperson of the SPLM to arrange a convention to confirm the future workings of the PB including the process for electing new PB officers. Kiir did not respond; the PB met without him and determined that an election would be held without his input.
Kiir spilled all the leadership positions in the SPLM in October 2013. His purpose was to purge the SPLM of close affiliates of the late John Garang and replace them with his own acolytes. The PB formed the view that Kiir was recruiting people on his own initiative to become members of the Party who would support his agenda. Ultimately, the Party degenerated into two factions: a faction under the leadership of Kiir and another under the leadership of Riek Machar. Although this wasn’t the initial division, it was gradually to a conflict between Nuer and Dinka.
The National Liberal Council (“General Assembly”) of SPLM held a convention on 14 December 2013. Its purpose was to prepare for elections in 2015 and to ensure that new leaders of the Party were elected rather than the current office holders being allowed to continue without challenge or authority from the wider South Sudanese community.
In November, Kiir attempted to instigate measures within the SPLA to ascertain loyalty within the ranks to his clique. Kiir had trained 15,000 soldiers, mostly from his own clan, to serve in his own personal interests and back him in his quest to retain leadership and power indefinitely. This militia army is called “Dot Ku Beny” and was not under the command of the General Chief of Staff of the SPLA. The Dot Ku Beny soldiers have a separate arsenal and are paid well.
On 15 December 2013, Kiir ordered Security to arrest the former Vice-President and first Vice-President of the SPLM, Dr Riek Machar, and senior SPLM members of the PB. This occurred after Riek Machar’s faction had held a media conference revealing the Party’s problems to the public and his supporters.
Fighting broke out on 15 December 2013. The Presidential Guard Commander of the Tiger Battalion (which is part of the national army) and Dot Ku Beny attempted to disarm Nuer soldiers who were under suspicion of disloyalty. Those soldiers refused to be disarmed. Riek Machar’s house was destroyed and all his bodyguards were killed immediately. Riek Machar escaped. The house of the Police Inspector-General, Pieng Deng Kuol, was also attacked and destroyed.
The Government disseminated a fiction about a coup attempt by Nuer soldiers based on their refusal to hand over their weapons. Kiir made a highly provocative speech in which he demonized Riek Machar, inciting a mood of retaliation for what he referred to as the 1991 incident. Riek Machar’s position at that point became untenable, and Nuer people, especially in Juba, were rendered vulnerable by association. However, Dinkas and members of other tribes who challenged Kiir’s leadership and actions were also targeted. Some were executed. Ethnic-based killings of civilians erupted in Juba.
Fighting then escalated and spread around the SPLA garrisons in all the ten States of South Sudan. Since then, what was initially tribal-based killing has developed into full-scale civil war.
On Tuesday, 17 December 2013, ten senior SPLM leaders of Riek Machar’s group were arrested and taken into custody. Kiir’s government has ordered the detainees to be investigated about their involvement in the alleged coup attempt and to establish their current status according to the findings of the Minister of Justice.
PART THREE: THE NEW GOVERNANCE AND THE INSTITUTIONS:
A) Fundamental structural change
1. A genuine constitution must be developed. In a robust constitution, the three arms of government (Parliament, Judiciary, and Executive) would be independent of each other. A constitution developed collaboratively could address the legacies of past conflict and provide means to ensure the equitable representation of all tribes, cultures and ethnicities co-existing in South Sudan.
2. Basic institutions must be established and maintained including:
• Finance and Economic Planning
• Department of Taxation
• Department of Transport and Main Roads
• Department of Health
• Department of Education
• Department of Defence
• Police and Security
• Judicial System
- Political processes and institutions must be conducive to genuine involvement and represenatin including provision for a party system. Special consideration must be made with the understanding that South Sudan is multi-ethnic and multi-tribal. This reality must be managed politically so that South Sudanese people’s loyalty is first directed nationally.
- Social and cultural transformation is needed. The Church is respected for its important influence in the country. Nevertheless, because of its multi-ethnic and multi-tribal composition, South Sudan must be secular. Divisions must be maintained between Church and State.
- Plans must be made and implemented to develop business, investment and trade.
- Civil society must be respected and recognised. Through the implementation of other aspects of the new governance and institutions, civil society can be developed and a sense of nationhood can be created in the people of South Sudan.
- Co-operative relations must be created regionally and internationally.
South Sudan must implement an effective system of government that recognises and supports the federation of the ten States. Similar federal systems currently operate in Israel and New Zealand.
The model must include:
• The role of President. An office held for three years.
• The role of prime minister. An office held for four years.
• A division of responsibility, monitoring and accountability between the Presidency and the Parliament to bring political stability and security from unrest and prevent coup attempts. This will help the country progress on the path to peace and prosperity. Two systems provide checks and balances against corruption.
C) A reward System
South Sudan must develop, implement and maintain a process for rewarding war veterans. South Sudanese have struggled for more than 55 years for independence and political freedom. Those who have struggled for South Sudan now seem to be punished rather than rewarded for their role in achieving independence. The system could be similar to Australian War Veterans benefits. The eligibility for these benefits should extend to:
• Veterans including those from earlier campaigns (from 1947 onwards)
• Orphans and wives of deceased soldiers
• People who are now disabled due to involvement in war.
Benefits must include housing, income, health, education and work/business/trade opportunities.
Money and compensation could be financed from oil revenue.
D) External Relationships
South Sudan must develop strong bilateral relationships with the global community. The present crisis presents opportunities to build these relationships. South Sudan can benefit from bilateral relationships with the US, Australia, and Europe (diaspora countries) and with the Middle East, Asia, Russia, and other African countries. Establishing such relationships will help South Sudan build itself as a nation through opportunities for advice, support, scrutiny and accountability. Such relationships will help the growth of investment, trade, health services and education.
South Sudan is rich in oil and minerals. Attracting a diversity of countries to invest in South Sudan is important. Each country’s strengths can be used for the mutual benefit of the parties to the engagement.
E) Relations with Sudan and the Region
South Sudan must have a clear working partnership with Sudan. The current relationship that South Sudan has with Sudan is focused mainly on oil. These create border conflicts with violence.
Conflicts between Sudan and South Sudan have driven South Sudanese into surrounding countries, affecting South Sudan’s relationships with these countries.
South Sudan must repair its relationships with Uganda and Kenya. These relationships have been unnecessarily damaged by the recent incitement to violence by President Kiir, especially by his financing of Uganda’s attacks on South Sudanese soldiers and civilians.
South Sudan must rebuild harmony and unity among regions within its borders. There remains unrest and conflict in Darfur, the Beja area, the Blue Nile State, and the Nuba Mountains (collectively referred to as “SPLM/N”). The SPLM/N and Darfur are the most critical points of conflict.
South Sudan must approach President Bashir to assist in solving the problems in South Sudan and Sudan by allowing the people to determine their own fate. Actions that attack South Sudanese must cease to stop death, destruction and displacement. Peace, cooperation and compromise will ensure a good legacy for Bashir and for Sudan and for South Sudan.
PART FOUR: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE PERMANENT SOLUTION OF THE CURRENT CRISIS
The Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (“IGAD”), other mediators and peace supporters must recognise the importance of understanding the root causes of the current crisis and the need for a speedy resolution. Only if a genuine understanding is achieved can civil war be reined in.
The instigators of the current violence must be prevented from causing more deaths and instability and must be made fully accountable for their crimes against the people.
The international community must resist the accusations of blame which, if given any credence, may lead to the international community withdrawing and taking crucially needed help.
The international community must ensure that the South Sudanese people are informed and included in a peace process that works with the cultural hierarchies and norms.
Until faith and trust are restored, Ugandans and other African countries cannot participate in the mediating process.
Attempts should be made to stop weapons from reaching the parties involved in the conflict.
Kiir must release those held in detention following the recent alleged coup attempt. It is crucial that these people are not killed. They must be released immediately under the UN auspices. Any subsequent trials of these people are a clear violation of international human rights standards and would damage the morale of the South Sudanese people and the international reputation of South Sudan. Such trials would also open a case for the current regime to be placed under ICC scrutiny and brought to justice.
Oil revenue must be directed away from acquisition of weapons and redirected to nation building. An external body must be assigned the responsibility of removing and withholding such revenue until a solution is found. Some kind of continuing external scrutiny may be necessary.
The current beneficiaries recipients of revenue from oil and other South Sudanese commodities must be investigated. Trade in oil and other South Sudanese commodities must be based on fair standards that conform to international human rights standards. Those countries which have proved to be long-term supporters of South Sudan should be given priority regarding the development of the nation.
We propose that these recommendations be considered by potential members of the interim government in South Sudan and by international friends of South Sudan who are committed to its development as a viable and prosperous nation. When a new government is formed and peace is established, we recommend and request that the international community takes an active role to ensure South Sudan does not return to the situation in which it now finds itself.
By Aguer Rual email: firstname.lastname@example.org