Dear President Elect, Salva Kiir Mayardit, April 27, 2010 (London, UK) — The United South Sudan Party (USSP) takes this opportunity to congratulate your Excellency for your victory in the general elections. Your election to this high office of the government of South Sudan (GoSS), carries with it hope for millions of our country men…
Dear Governor -Elect, Col. Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro Governor of Western Equatoria State Sir, April 27, 2010 (London, United Kingdom) — On behalf of the United South Sudan Party (USSP), I would like to offer you my warmest congratulations on your election as the new governor of Western Equatoria State (WES). During the election campaign…
April 27, 2010 (Juba) — The National Elections Commission (NEC) announced yesterday the final results of the General Elections in Southern Sudan. This entails elections for the President of the Republic, the President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Governors for the ten States and members of the Legislative Assemblies on the three levels of Government. The results that the National Elections Commission has announced for the three levels of Government in Southern Sudan are not acceptable to us because there were not free and fair. Indeed, these elections in the South were managed and rigged by the SPLA, the army of South Sudan and not by the election commission which had absolutely no presence in Southern Sudan.
A free and fair election requires that there must be a level field for all the political parties and individuals seeking election, a neutral and independent National Elections Commission and a conductive atmosphere for the process. The presence of national and international monitors is supposed to ensure that the elections process is transparent and that voters are free to choose the candidates of their preference.
Regarding a level field for political activities, this was non-existent in Southern Sudan for the last five years. Political parties and individuals other than the SPLM were denied the right to propagate their ideas and policies in the South. Despite this limitation many saw the elections as an opening for the parties and individuals to present themselves to the people. The political parties in Southern Sudan even signed with the SPLM an Electoral Code of Conduct on the 2nd of March 2010 under the aegis of the AU High Level Implementation Panel. This Code was not implemented.
“Society is one vast conspiracy for carving one into the kind of statue likes, and then placing it in the most convenient niche it has.” Randolph Bourne By Justin Ambago Ramba April 23, 2010 (SSNA) — It was a huge disappointment to many sons and daughters of western Equatoria state all over the world when…
By Justin Ambago Ramba
April 22, 2010 (SSNA) — South Sudan sadly enough continues to hit the headlines for all kinds of disasters, from hunger, thirst, disease, illiteracy, poverty, insecurity, corruption, weak governance, cattle rustling , banditry…….etc , while its leadership stands amid all these chaos completely looking blank. But you will be wrong if you think that any of these are due to natural misfortunes. No it is not the case, at least not in the remote Western Equatoria State (WES).
By all standards, nature is very generous in these parts of south Sudan. It is a region blessed with vast fertile land, ever green vegetations, and reliable rain falls. Good drainage, peace loving communities, and a very high rate of literacy and civility. This is one of God’s several heavens on earth which Man is trying to turn upside down.
Dozens of extremely bad incidents have happened in WES state which started the regrettably killings of those top police officers in Yambio few years ago, the recurrent LRA attacks, the unchecked insecurity posed by the Mbororo nomads, the assassination of the prominent female political figure late Mariam Biringi, the massacre of the school children in the aftermath of the CPA celebrations earlier this year and many others. Unfortunately as if to confirm the hidden hands of the authorities, no culprits have been brought to book.
With the above records, the ordinary person in WES takes it that, the government has either abandoned them or is even beginning to work against their very existence. People are desperate and as with anything else the way out is to have a change for the better, which they sought to achieve through the elections.
It is for the sake of change and the much need liberation from a tyrant administration that the citizens of WES went out to vote in their thousands, enduring all the harassments, intimidations, and threats of bodily harm posed by the security and police personnel throughout the voting period.
Many also had to endure the inconveniences created by the National Elections Commission’s (NEC) poor work, like misspelling of names, misallocation of names from the original centres of registration, long queues, thirst, exhaustion, rains, bad roads, and walking long distances on foot.
Many elderly and disabled citizens (cripples, blind etc) also took it upon themselves and challenged the hot tropical sun to reach the scattered polling stations to vote. All had one belief in mind, and it was to vote in office a new administration that can cater for their interest as opposed to those false liberators who have just over a night, become new rulers ( Neo- Jallaba) by doing exactly what the northern Arabs did or even worse.
However, although the people are sure that the change that they voted for is forth coming, undoubtedly they were disturbed and angered by the cowardly act of burning the ballot boxes which were on their way to Yambio, from Yeri in Mvolo County as well as those burnt in Yangiri, Ezo County.
The claim in the media that the burnt casted ballot papers were the works of some unknown bandits, reminds the citizens in WES of the familiar tone often used by the local authorities in statements repeatedly issued in this targeted part of south Sudan since 2005, each time the secret hand strikes.
How can unknown bandits just appear out of the blue on a main road between Mundri and Maridi at a time when roads in WES were closed immediately following the last day of the polls? In Yambio itself people were banned from either driving cars or riding motorbikes in the streets. Soldiers were eventually deployed all over the state.
Anyway if ‘unknown bandits’ is another word for ‘those cowards’, then let it be. Otherwise even without the least of finger pointing, the locals have already reached their verdicts. Nobody in their right state of mind can believe this cheap ‘whitewash’ story. Can anybody explain the miracle, how the so-called ‘unknown bandits, spared the three people on the truck? Here is a scenario where a policeman, the truck driver and the intelligence personnel all managed to escape the funny ordeal alive and completely unharmed. If it were the LRA, the overused scapegoat in WES killings, lips and ears would have been cut off or even limbs chopped.
Again to drive the point home, how on earth is it that the ballot boxes were transported on a truck whereas the whole process in its initial stages was handled by choppers? Were the UNAMIS only left with that one chopper that incidentally broke down? Why was the commissioner of Mvolo so ungenerous in providing the much need security escort for such an important and risky mission? Is this not the same commissioner who disrupted Col. Bakosoro’s campaign in the first place?
By Zechariah Manyok Biar April 21, 2010 (SSNA) — Everybody, including analysts who predicted some months ago that there was going to be a widespread violence during elections in Sudan, now agrees that the voting process in Sudan was peaceful. But they still know that a peaceful voting does not mean the completion of peaceful…
“If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side.” Orson Scott Card. By Justin Ambago Ramba April 21, 2010 (SSNA) — All eyes are now on the Sudan as it counts its most controversial polls. However the very observers…
By Justin Ambago Ramba
April 18, 2010 (SSNA) — It is now clear that when war was ravaging in south Sudan over a period well beyond two decades, some African leaders like the types of Idriss Deby, weren’t even keen enough to see where the whole thing was eventually driving the politics in this region of the continent. Even the 2 million plus lives lost in that war seem to move none of their nerves. Countries like Chad were either busy installing their own totalitarian regimes or as likely could be, were in fact supporters of the Islamic government of Khartoum that declared the Islamic Holy War of “Jihad” supposedly against the non – Muslims infidels of South Sudan.
Like Dr. Khalil Ibrahim of the Darfuri, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), President Déby’s cousin, it was a religious duty to fight against the southern Sudanese rebels. He took his AK 47 and joined the Mujahedeen to raise the banner of Islamic conquest in the jungles of Africa. The dream never materialized and Khalil himself is now a rebel leader against the same unjust regime that he once fought to promote.
Given the many ideological and ethnical commonality between the two Zaghawa Islamists, it came as no surprise at all that on April 16th, 2010 the Chadian president went on the Media to add his voice to the handful sceptics and warned against the outcome of South Sudan’s forth coming self determination referendum where it is more likely to vote for secession and become Africa’s newest state. Deby openly declared that south Sudan’s independence would spell trouble and he calls it "a disaster for Africa."
"We all have a north and south, part Muslim and part Christian. If we accept the disintegration of the Sudan, how do confront attempts to break the other countries?" Chad’s President Idriss Deby said.
"I say it loud, I’m against this referendum (separation) and against the possibility of division" he added. "Do you really think that the Khartoum government would agree easily on the loss of the south with its oil and minerals?"He added.
Chad is a country that borders the war torn province of Darfur. Officially it is known as the Republic of Chad, and is a landlocked country in north central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west. Due to its distance from the sea and its largely desert climate, the country is sometimes referred to as the "Dead Heart of Africa".
Like Sudan Chad is abound with ethnic and religious groups, which fought with each other bloody conflicts.
In 1960 Chad obtained independence from France under the leadership of François Tombalbaye, a southern Christian. Resentment towards his policies in the Muslim north culminated in the eruption of a long-lasting civil war in 1965. In 1979 the rebels conquered the capital and put an end to the south’s hegemony.
However, the rebel commanders fought amongst themselves until Hissène Habré defeated his rivals. He was overthrown in 1990 by his general Idriss Déby who received huge backing from the National Islamic Front (NIF) a.ka National Congress Party (NCP) government in Khartoum. Recently, the Darfur crisis in Sudan has split over the border and destabilised the nation, with hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees living in and around camps in eastern Chad.
In 2006 Déby unilaterally modified the constitution to remove the two-term limit on the presidency. This removal allows a president to remain in power beyond the previous two-term limit. Most of Déby’s key advisers are members of the Zaghawa ethnic group, although southern and opposition personalities are represented in government.
Corruption is rife at all levels in Chad; Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2005 named it the most corrupt country in the world, and has fared only slightly better in the following years. In 2007, it scored 1.8 out of 10 on the Corruption Perceptions Index (with 10 being the least corrupt). Only Tonga, Uzbekistan, Haiti, Iraq, Myanmar, and Somalia scored lower. Critics of President Déby have accused him of cronyism and tribalism.
The aforementioned lines were meant to give the readers some insight into the country that is patiently rotting under the current totalitarian regime of General Deby. If it is anything to go by, Chad in its own right is atypical example of an active political volcano. But instead of working out home-made solutions, unfortunately our Zaghawa life president is worrying himself with issues next door. This is typical of post Oil boom intoxication. You only need to look up north at Muamar Ghadafi of Libya to fully appreciate this political syndrome.
Let no one make mistake in generalising the political problems of the African continent though on the surface they all seem to have their roots in the artificial national boundaries. These frontiers were drawn by the European colonialists with the primary aim of weakening existing African governing structures in order to make the people easily colonisable.
However while the whole of the African national boundaries were drawn for them, the African people themselves have on the general defied frontiers in favour of communicating with their kinsmen across them. This is true of all the existing frontiers where similar communities and ethnic nationalities exist on either side.
Although the entire continent of Africa is yearning for a continental unity as was enshrined in the organisation of the African unity (OAU) charters and then carried forwards into the African Union (AU), yet the anomalous existence of what are in fact a distortion of the image of Africa, in the form of Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Chad, Nigeria, Somalia, Ethiopia …….etc (all piled together and forced into a life- long disharmony) has had its toll by creating artificial citizenry. Our people are so much consumed within our national disharmony, that we are left with no energy to unify Africa.
It is the types of Idriss Derby who go on changing their countries’ beautiful constitutions so that they can remain in power for life thus oppression the people and denying them any chance of peaceful transfer of power. And now when he is done, the Chadian general who has his eyes on Darfur, is questioning, how could the northern Sudanese possible allow the south to secede with all that huge oil?
April 16, 2010 (Juba) — 1.ARREST OF AGENTS IN MAIWUT: The polling agent of the party in Maiwut was taking the IDs of the party polling agents for Maiwut and Longichuk counties from Malakal when he and the party Chairman in Maiwut were arrested in Maiwut on the 10th of April. The ID cards, a sum of 7,900 SDG the agent was carrying and their mobile phones were seized. After protest by the party he was released at about 9:00 am on the 11th but the cards, the money and the mobile phones were not returned.
2. ARREST OF CHIEF AGENT FOR LAKES STATE IN RUMBEK: The Chief Agent of the candidate for the President of the Government of Southern Sudan for the Lakes State, Mr Abraham Mapour, was arrested in Rumbek town on the 10th; the second time within a week. He was only released the next day.
3. INTIMIDATION AND INTERFERENCE WITH POLLING IN FASHODA COUNTY: The Commissioner of Fashoda County, Paul Arop, State Minister of Education, Dr Munyikwan, Major General Alfred Akwoc (a candidate in the elections) and Akwoc Dok (Also a candidate in the elections for a different seat), all from the SPLM, moved with a force of 30 SPLA soldiers led by a Brigadier, two Lt Cols and Police Col Obwonyo and intimidated the voters in three polling centres: Lul, Bhol and Agod. They threatened the citizens that if they vote for the Torch (symbol of SPLM-DC) they will not see the sun again. When the citizens did not seem to be intimidated, they took away the polling boxes of Bhol Centre and drove to Kodok without the elections officers. The boxes contain the ballot papers cast that day. The same group later went to Golbany Centre and prevented some people from voting.
4. IRREGULARITIES IN KAPOETA TOWN: The polling officer was just ticking the Star (symbol of the SPLM) and handing the papers to every citizen that comes to vote. The party agents present protested and the officer concerned did not listen to them. Because of this obvious rigging, they wrote a petition to the High Elections Committee and withdrew from that centre.
5. IRREGULARITIES IN TORIT TOWN: (a)– Malakia Centre: The party agent, Bona Sebastian, was picked up by an SPLA Brigadier from the polling centre, taken away in a car and threatened with death if he goes back. His sin was that he protested against the irregularities committed by the polling officers who were ticking the ballots in favour of the SPLM. (b)– Malakia and Gumba: In this centre, the people were voting without identification, opening the door wide open for rigging. (c )– Mishony Centre: The party agent, David Legga, was asked to leave the centre not to witness the rigging being made in favour of the SPLM.
1. IKOTOS: The Supervisor of the party agents in the county, Mr John Caesar Lokordok, was attacked at about 9:30 pm this evening by two armed men in plain clothes and the motor bike he was riding seized by the attackers. The attack was politically motivated. When he went to the Police to open a case against them, the Police officer on duty said no case will be opened until after the elections!!
2. PIBOR: In Pibor, the SPLA security personnel were forcing the voters to vote for SPLM candidates only. Those who dare to defy their orders are beaten up.
Date: 12 April 2010
1. LAKES STATE: (a)- Ulu: The security threatened the voters who did not vote in the way theywanted. (b)- Yirol: At Barbakeny Centre the voters were told to vote for the SPLM and when they refused a scuffle broke out. (c)- Rumbek East: At Malek Centre the SPLA personnel were threatening the voters to vote for the SPLM candidates only.
2. WARRAP STATE: The party agent, Mr Madut Chan Ogwak, was detained since yesterday in Tonj and is still under detention. Eleven agents of other political parties were also arrested on the same day.
1. NORTHERN Bahr El Ghazal STATE: (a)- Udhum, Aweil West County: An old man that the SPLA security saw voting for Dr Lam Akol was arrested in the polling Centre and his ballot paper torn. He is still under detention. He is called Luol Ochalla from Riang Angon village. (b)- Aweil East: One of the candidates from the SPLM contesting for the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly, Garang Diing Akwong, closed down the polling centre when he realized that the people were not voting for him. (c)- Aweil East and Aweil West Counties: The two Commissioners each took the ballot boxes to their homes and packed them with ballot papers in favour of the SPLM (d)- Aweil South: One of the candidates from the SPLM, Garang Majak, took two ballot boxes from Maper Centre. (e)- Thirty-two (32) centres were closed down by the State Government.
1. JONGLEI STATE: Bor Town: The SPLM was telling people inside the voting centre to vote for Salva Kiir. The polling officers did not object and it went on for some time despite the protest from the agent of SPLM-DC. Also, yesterday at around 2:30 pm, The GOSS Minister for Legal Affairs, who is a candidate in the elections, moving with a group of SPLA soldiers ordered the voters to vote for the SPLM. When the Policeman guarding the station protested, he was disarmed.
2. UPPER NILE STATE: (a)- Melut County: The returning officers at a number of centres in Geldora were handing the voters ballot papers already ticked against the SPLM symbol and only asked to put the papers in the appropriate ballot boxes. Agents of the other political parties who protested against this kind of irregularities were asked to leave the centres. (b)- Maiwut: The party agent, Mr Thiyang Manytap, was arrested on 11th by the SPLA and is being kept in their garrison. (c)- Many County: The Commissioner of Many County arrested two of the polling officers in Kaka in order to use the rest to rig the elections in favour of the SPLM. He also arrested the polling agent of SPLM-DC, Mr Obach Nyikang. In Athidhwoi and Golo centres, the agents of the party were arrested by SPLA soldiers on orders of the Commissioner. (d)- Renk: Mabior polling centre was closed by the SPLA on suspicion that the voters were not voting in favour of the SPLM.
1. UNITY STATE: (a)- Chotchare: At this polling station, the SPLA and supporters of the Governor, who is a candidate for the same position, took away the ballot boxing at 4:00 pm on the 11th, stacked them with ballot papers of their preference and got them back. (b)- Lingyiera: At this polling centre, agents of the SPLM, Pou Maluak and Garjang Matiop, opened the ballot boxes at 2:00 am in the morning and tampered with them. Other agents who were guarding the boxes protested and reported the matter to the High Elections Committee. This centre should not have been there in the first place but was imposed by the Governor. (c)- Buoth, Koch County: The SPLA Major-General Dor Manjour threatened the voters and beat some of them. (d)- Jak: The SPLA soldiers shot at the voters queuing outside a polling centre hitting one of them in the hand. (e)- Riak: Here the SPLA soldiers opened fire on the voters seriously wounding Mr John Jang Luak who is a candidate in this election. The voters dispersed into the nearby bushes and two of them are believed to be dead. The cars of SPLM-DC and the NCP were seized.
Date: 13 April 2010
1. CENTRAL EQUATORIA STATE: (a)- Jebel Rejaf: on the 12th, our agent, Nhial, requested that the ballot boxes be closed at the time set by the elections schedule. He was arrested by the military intelligence of the SPLA component of the JIUs and taken to their camp where he was beaten. (b)- Customs Souq: Our agents were sent away by the military intelligence of the SPLA because of their insistence to record the last serial numbers of the ballot papers used. (c)- Kator Centre: Our agent, Marko, wanted to record the serial numbers of the ballot papers. He was taken away at about 12:20 noon by the military intelligence of the SPLA to their camp and beaten. He was set free at 4:30 pm. It is left for everybody’s guess what they did with the ballot papers in this period of four hours. (d)- Moniki Payam: The Leader of the elections team in the Payam was ordering the voters to vote for Salva Kiir. When our agent, John Michael, protested he was sent away from the centre.
2. LAKES STATE: (a)- Yirol: the party’s agent was arrested at Lekakodo centre, driven away by SPLA security personnel and detained for five (5) hours from 1:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Note that the polls close at 6:00 pm daily. (b)- Gondu: The Leader of the elections committee was directing the voters to vote for the SPLM and allowing some people to vote more than once (indelible ink was clear). Near the station, the SPLM supporters were parading and chanting SPLM slogans something prohibited by the elections Act and regulations.
14 April 2010 Press Statement April 16, 2010 (Juba) — We received today confirmed reports that Dr Funda Dominic, the Secretary for Cultural Affairs and the Chief Agent of the SPLM-DC Candidate for President of the Government of Southern Sudan for Equatoria Sector was detained by the SPLA soldiers in Tore, Western Equatoria State….