By Dr. James Okuk May 24, 2010 (SSNA) — What is the use of freedom from one slavery so that you get enslaved by another master who pretend to have brought you freedom from oppression? This is South Sudan we want to have under Salva Kiir’s bad rule. May God rest in peace the souls…
The Political Incivility and the Recognition of a South Sudan State from an International Prospectiv
By Daniel Abushery Daniel “The French Republic no more needs recognition than the sun requires to be recognized,” Napoleon Bonaparte May 21, 2010 (SSNA) — Surely, home’s really a sweet home. Indeed, after three decades long away from South Sudan, my first visit was both emotionally painful and politically motivated. To be living in a…
By Dr. James Okuk
May 20, 2010 (SSNA) — Can a de facto referendum (whether for unity or separation) managed by an illegitimate government in the South be legitimate and durable if it is not recognized by the people and their other political forces in the context of genuine democratic transformation? I don’t think so because the people may not accept to go for any fake kind of referendum whose winners or losers shall be declared by the SPLM and NCP in the same way they did to last elections in defiance to the genuine votes of the people.
The IGAD and its partners and friends from the international community knew that it is only through genuine democratic transformation that the referendum could be seen as a success, both de jure and de facto. Referendum itself is part of democracy and there is no way you can subordinate democracy to save or rather serve the referendum.
When a confident political party or an individual goes for elections, they are supposed to avoid temptation of riggings and other irregularities. This did not happen, especially with the SPLM in Southern Sudan. As a consequence the legitimacy of the very so-called elected Kiir and other SPLM candidates remains contested.
That is why no single country from the known democratic entities within the international community congratulated Kiir for his fake victory. They only congratulated the people for going out to vote peacefully although their votes were not given a value to speak for who is chosen to be a leader with confidence and public mandate of representation. The votes of the very people got spoiled by the madness of riggings. This became bad news to germination of genuine seeds of democratic transformation in the country.
Thus, even if Kiir forms his government today without a final court ruling regarding the objection levied against his victory, his declared government shall still be considered illegitimate government. If such a government attempts to manage the referendum, that referendum may be considered illegitimate too.
Any legitimate government is supposed to be both de facto and de jure at the same time. A government that lacks legitimacy is not supposed to conduct the referendum because this shall be contradictory to democratic transformation.
So the real question for the public in Southern Sudan now is not "what to make and do about the de facto government in Juba in these circumstances?" because they have lived with this government and know how it behaves.
By Luk Kuth Dak May 19, 2010 (SSNA) — Lately, if you’ve been listening to Idris Debe strutting through the newspapers and television channels in Khartoum, you would simply assume, rightfully so, that this madman is in fact the spokesman for the National Islamic Front and National Congress Party of his mentor murderer Omer Hassa…
By Justin Ambago Ramba
May 17, 2010 (SSNA) — One thing for sure is that we in south Sudan will continue to suffer the consequences of having to put up with a government which at the end of the day never genuinely represents the aspirations of the people. It has never been the wish of our people to ever be under a system that made it to office through a rigged election, fraud, and intimidation. Now in spite of all the ascertains from the local, regional and international observes and officials alike, our people will still be served by a system that sprung from deceit, the worst of human vices.
Was it important to have had the past elections in the first place? The answer is simply “YES”. It is what was agreed upon in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and went on to become part of our interim constitution. As some people high up in leadership talk about the importance of the referendum scheduled for January 2011, so also was the election an important provision in that agreement document and in that sequence.
If there is anything to gain from the CPA, it should have been the democratic transformation. Even the referendum on south’s self determination is a step within that transformation process, otherwise why would people of south Sudan want to move from one undemocratic system to yet another. Those who have today insulted the intellect of our people under the current status will never by all measurements be loyal to deliver even should south Sudan move into a different setting in the post referendum era. As the traditional African saying goes, “the leopards will never change their spots.”
We have spent many valuable times writing critical articles with the primary aim of empowering our masses so that they can see for themselves that they are being taken for a ride by a bunch of people who though claim to be representing them, yet their sinister intent to dominate, humiliate and thrive at the expense of the helpless and the voiceless can never be ignored as it reaches its climax.
Reflecting on some of the many empty promises made by the incumbent president Salva Kiir during his elections campaigns; one comes face to face with the hard fact that the chief and his crew never kept any of their words. All that was uttered during those long campaigns were not in fact ever meant to represent any genuine campaign and were neither deemed to see light.
Politicians only campaign if they are to convince the electorates for their votes, but they don’t really need one when they had already conspired with their cronies to exploit the state apparatus in order to rig, intimidate and remain in office. Under those circumstances that prevailed in south Sudan in the run for the elections, the SPLM politicians in fact didn’t need to have gone for any campaigns. And if they did, then they were just out there to fool the electorates into the false belief that their choices ever mattered. Unfortunately it didn’t.
Whatever the real elections trends were, today the dominant SPLM party is guilty conscious of forging the peoples will. The US, Britain, Norway, EU, and the Carter Foundation, all say that the entire election was fraudulent. And for sure you will genuinely risk being labelled a hypocrite if you are to come up in defence of the SPLM which claimed victories through fraud and intimidation in almost all the legislative constituencies in south Sudan in spite of the huge evidence presented by the observers.
As a result of SPLM’s irresponsible behaviours that abused the basic code of conduct signed by all the political parties which called for neutrality of the state apparatus during the voting process in south Sudan, our people are now being forced to put up with the most impotent of all political status quos and that is a widely rigged legislative assemblies, who lack the genuine mandate to act on behave of the people. And one can even argue that the previously appointed institutions that existed immediately following the agreement were even more appealing as they were relevant to the circumstances that led to their formation and composition.
How shameful would it be for a politician who in fact made it to the public office through a massive fraud and a regrettable public intimidation, to turn around and preach for a free and fair referendum? Can such a politician ever be taken to have a clear understanding of the true meaning of the words” Free and Fair”, leave alone if they actual believe in freedom and fairness in the first place, given the fact that they themselves violated these very noble values just a few weeks back?
No one at this stage in the history of our struggle should disillusion themselves into thinking that whoever are now in the leadership seats are really there at the wish of the people. Equally so, none should underestimate the political crisis that the fraudulent elections have already dragged us into. We are all aware that mood wise, south Sudan is back to square one.
Many foreign observers had noted on several occasions that even if south Sudan survives the uncertainties that are bent to surround the referendum, it still has to stand up tall to face issues as represented by the an unequal ethnic representations in the SPLA (the southern army), the security, the diplomatic mission, civil service and the political institutions. Points highlighted were meant to be taken on board by the so-called dominant ethnic groups so as to practice much wider inclusiveness if we are to avoid any likely tribal confrontations and possible genocides, issues both common in our ‘Great Lakes Region’ of Africa.
Now at hand we already have a rebellion in the state of Jonglei, and it is led by a renegade Lieutenant General who as it is, surprisingly comes from the dominant ethnic group – a group generally viewed as the dominant in both the SPLM (party) and the SPLA (army). Was this what the observers were referring to? Maybe…… maybe not. Do we still stand to see similar violent and militarized expressions from the other ethnic groups should the status quo remain uncorrected? Both are difficult to tell at this stage, though everything is possible in south Sudan given our long histories of wars and civil unrest.
The mounting rebellion building up in the Jonglei state seems to have its immediate roots in the corruption that dominated the past elections. The leader of the new rebellion renegade, Lieutenant General George Athor Deng has become a major media personality in south Sudan politics given his recent past that links him to the SPLM AND SPLA (as he was the deputy chief of staff in south Sudan’s army) before running as an independent candidate against his rival and former comrade Kuol Manyang Juuk, to whom he lost.
SPLM was much vocal in antagonizing its arch-rival, the splinter SPLM-DC of Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin which it accused of harbouring an armed militia. However SPLM’S claims were defeated at the constitutional court and reduced to mere party propaganda thus allowing Dr. Akol and his party to run in the general elections. But of interest remains the bitter hatred that the former rebels continue to display against their former senior official, to the extent that there were initial futile attempts to link SPLM-DC with the 30th April 2010 attacks at the military barracks at Doleib Hill, near Khorfulus.
SPLM-DC per the media have released press statements distancing itself from George Athor Deng and his followers, thus throwing the ball back to SPLA courtyard. General Athor himself has now come out openly to declare his opposition to the government of south Sudan GoSS, but no one can deny the sympathy that this renegade General continues to enjoy within the SPLM party, the SPLA and the Dinka community as evidenced in the countless articles which found their way to the media outlets.
General George Athor Deng like everybody else in south Sudan is fully aware of the sensitivity of the current situation especially so as related to the holding of the much anticipated referendum on the fate of south Sudan, scheduled for January 2011. On the other hand the renegade General is not the only SPLA General to have lost the past elections in the dubious way as they happened. But how would Athor want us to view him? Is he the only southern nationalist who can never tolerate any injustice as such and chose to confront the issue head long, as opposed to the other Generals and politicians who are currently seeking justice in the courts of law, though the chances of winning these cases remain very remote.
Can we now go out openly to accuse renegade George Athor Deng to have joined the Jallaba in an attempt to derail the CPA or is his ethnic background too strong to insulate him from being labelled as a NCP stooge unlike the massive and calculated degradation campaigns being continuously and selectively directed against people like Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin and Dr. Riek Machar Teny by particular tribal groups and other hostile elements.
With the divided views on this rebellion and similar developments in south Sudanese politics, southerners of all walks of life need to revisit their core values before demeaning others. Should we be the ones to start cheating, deceiving, corruption, nepotism, favouritism, vote grabbing …etc, we must be ready to face the consequences of our own deeds.
However a massage for all to share is that, no one should assume themselves that they care or are more concerned about the welfare of the people of south Sudan than others do, when they on the contrary have already shown that they are merely being driven by the intense greed to dominate and cling to power. The elections that were meant to bring about the peaceful transfer of power have been abused as a tool to illegally retain power. What a mockery to our collective intellectuality?
South Sudan is now officially a one party state, and it is run by a party that lacks any respect for democratic values, to the very extent that it cannot even appreciate its own pressure groups leave alone the official opposition parties. Many hidden elements in our political fabrics will become more evident in the very near future once the new cabinets are formed. And the reactions of these governments at all their levels, on how to accommodate, contain and deal with the ill effects of the ‘sham elections’, will remain critical to the success of the period ahead, which involves among many other crucial issues, the conduct of the referendum.
By Luk Kuth Dak May 13, 2010 (SSNA) — Just when we thought the traitor accusations against Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin were subsiding, his flunkies reignite the debate, all over again, by trying to smear on individual journalists who want the public in South Sudan to know where the National Islamic Front’s darling golden boy…
“Suddenly one hears that a verdict has been passed by a court in south Sudan, when we have almost forgotten that courts ever exist in our post CPA era.” By Justin Ambago Ramba, MD May 11, 2010 (SSNA) — The news about the acquittal of Dr. Josephine Lagu Yanga from the corruption charges directed against…
“A house divided against itself cannot stand – I belief this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free” (Abraham Lincoln).
By Deng Riak Khoryoam
May 8, 2010 (SSNA) — The over simplified answer to this question is a ‘definite No’ as far as my keen observation and critical analogy is concerned. While for some, this question could be answered differently based on one‘s own understanding as well as careful analysis as this has far reaching implications; and especially for those who may choose to shy away from the truth for whatever reasons. One thing I know for sure is that different people always have different ways of interpreting and understanding things; either in a peculiar way or in a way that satisfies other people‘s expectations on that particular topic. There are those who would like to live under illusion other than the present reality and have continued to do so not knowing the consequences of living in captivity of negativity.
It’s imperative to applaud the Sudanese civil populace and in particular that of southern Sudan for their civility in maintenance of peace during the recently concluded elections, they have demonstrated their quest for democracy and the need to have democratically elected leaders mandated by the people, other than leaders being imposed on them like what has been the case during the CPA era in the Sudan. As a matter of principle, these people have withstood the test of time as they were faced with extremely enormous challenges which include: meeting gun point, political persecution and harassments are but just a few of what they endured till this very movement when the results are being announced. As many have said, most of them (our people) have had the chance to vote in the election for the first time in their lives as the previous elections held in Sudan did not include all parts of the country. Thus only those who lived in towns under the control of the government, the garrison towns participated in those partial elections.
The elections that were conducted recently in Sudan were the first inclusive elections in 24 years and were supposed to be free and fair, even if not transparent as a matter of necessity. Many election’s observers, especially AU and some national observers said the elections were free and fair and were trying to make us believe that supposition without any reservations. Unfortunately the said elections were not free and fair particularly in Southern Sudan. But the EU observers said that Sudan’s elections fell short of international standards as they rightly put it that “they did not meet international standards” not only because the major political or opposition parties in the north had boycotted but on other obvious grounds. They are correct, and even some of us could agree with them on this line.
Of particular interest is how the elections were conducted in Southern Sudan. My fellow Southern Sudanese who were in the semi-autonomous south would give us testimonies on request, if need be, of how the elections went (conducted) from the start to the finish and to give us their observations and evaluation. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to know that the recent elections were not just rigged but something well organized and planned before the commencement of polling to have a mass rigging or “vote grabbing”, to be a bit precise, by the ruling party in the South the SPLM as one of the writers had mentioned or put it.
By Dr. James Okuk
“Many electoral systems for example are institutionalized frauds. They include the so-called “democratic centralism” of communist systems and most one-party systems. In these, the people have hardly any choice in who their representatives shall be. One way or another the choice is made for them!” (Dr. Afrifa K. Gitonga, University of Nairobi, 1987).
May 6, 2010 (SSNA) — In political philosophy of democracy, the English philosopher John Locke and French Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau theorized it rightly that mature human beings should never be ruled arbitrarily. Instead, a covenant or social contract should be made on the basis of the General Will which makes the people the sovereign authority. But since the people cannot all rule at the same time, they have to elect one of them in a fair, free and equal manner to represent them as their ruler according to the principles and terms of the covenant or the social contract (the constitution and other related laws). And as long as such elected ruler act and continue to act in respect and service of the people, they shall have obligation to obey him and his rule. Should such a ruler break the spirit and terms of the contract, the people shall have the equal obligation to do away with him and his government so as to install another good, fair and just government of their choice. Thus is how the adopted democracy in the Sudan supposed to look like, but alas!
Early I recommended strongly to the National Elections Commission (NEC) under Mr. Abel Alier (I remove Honorable from his title this time because he has proven to be dishonorable with his announcement of the fraudulent elections results) that the rigged elections boxes should be disqualified and the riggers brought to book for stealing the people’s confidence. Alas! Dishonorable Abel Alier and his NEC did not heed to the voices of wisdom as they resorted to respect of irrationality by declaring the real losers as winners and winners as losers shamelessly, especially given the SPLM/A madness of rigging the polling results in Southern Sudan.
Mr. Alier and his shameless NEC told the victims of the vote riggings to raise their objections to the Constitutional Court where the verdicts were obvious to be eraser of any objection for the simple reason that adjourning the rigged elections shall be costly in terms of logistics, human resource, management and other tactical and strategic selfish interests of the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), the two Naivasha’s CPA partners who have employed and are paying the dishonorable NEC chief and his staff.
Notwithstanding, those who adjudicate the objections in this court have been recommended for appointments in their respective position by the SPLM and NCP in accordance with the CPA power sharing percentages. Can they defy serving their masters and can they dare biting the hands that feeds them? Not at all, and including Mr. Alier and his NEC staff as well. Very unfortunate!
Perhaps, Mr. Prosecutor General Luiz Moreno-Ocampo of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be a happy man here for enhancement of the proof of his case for warranting the trial of Mr. President Al-Bashir at The Hague since there is no independent and neutral judiciary in the Sudan to do justice to the victims of social and political crimes, especially when committed by the ruling parties like NCP in the North and SPLM in the South. By canceling every objection raised against the SPLM and NCP candidates elect, is there a neutral judiciary in the Sudan?
No doubt, that is why many democratic countries and international community, especially those who were involved in observing the Sudan elections have held their tongues to send congratulations messages to the declared elections winners like Mr. Al-Bashir, Mr. Kiir and their SPLM-NCP governors and parliamentarians. Instead, they congratulated the Sudanese people only for turning out and voting peacefully for their preferred and chosen leaders. See the different!!!
But at least the rigging that took place in Northern Sudan under the NCP was done technically without contradiction to the number size of the registered voters. That is why you don’t see any instant of pre-elections violence over there. That is why also you see the NCP declaring Mr. Malik Agar as the winner of gubernatorial contest in the Blue Nile State without any bloodshed though it was known that he lost so badly to the NCP candidate. For the NCP, Mr. Agar is a good-boy to be lose because he has sold them vast lands for agriculture with capital flowing from the oil-rich Gulf countries for securing their food from the fertile lands in the Sudan. He is a good-boy because he stands against secession and independence of South Sudan. Perhaps, according to the NCP strategists and interests calculators, if Mr. Agar was declared a loser he might have spoiled the whole land deal, and the huge money from the Gulf states that has been poured into his agriculturally fertile and loose state would have been missed regretfully. Perhaps Mr. Agar would have turned separatist immediately. Look at the smartness of the NCP when it comes to securing their interests! What about our poor SPLM and incompetent Mr. Kiir in the South? Nil!!!
The SPLM under Mr. Kiir and his cronies failed miserably to play a smart electrons rigging game. The consequence now is an armed military rebellion in the South by former SPLA generals who contested for gubernatorial positions as independent candidates in defiance of SPLM Political Bureau dictatorship. At least the political rebellion of those of Dr. Lam Akol and others against SPLM and Mr. Kiir was a lesser evil because it involved no manifestation and ramifications of violent use of power. Surely, with such incompetence and lack of strategic thinking and planning, Mr. Kiir’s SPLM is messing up the direly needed conducive environment for successfully conducting the referendum for self-determination of Southerners and Popular Consultation for the transitional areas in 2011. God save us!
By Justin Ambago Ramba
May 2, 2010 (SSNA) — It is one thing to talk about injustice and it is another to be a direct victim of it. The same goes with how different it is to hear about it as opposed to not only experience it but in fact to live under it. Such is the experience of a big portion of the people of Sudan in general and the south Sudanese in particular.
Sudan recently concluded a general election that saw the re-election of incumbent president Omer al Bashir at the national level and Salvatore Kiir Mayardit in the South. The polls however being the first to involve many parties since 1986, it has already suffered incredibility and was declared by US and European Union as fraudulent and below the international standards.
In South Sudan where the population is expected to vote in another elections (plebiscite), where they are expected to overwhelmingly choose to secede from the Arab north, the extreme levels of harassment, intimidation, fraud, and vote grabbing exercised by the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) during the conduct of the elections have left behind a huge sense of injustices whose magnitude can only be better expressed by the immediate victims themselves and their frustrated supporters.
Although at the end of the day we are supposed to end up with only one winner for every post contested in this elections, and we keep on asking the losers to accept defeat in a civilized way, yet such messages are not to be accepted to easily go well in the post elections south Sudan, given the massive board-day light vote grabbing, “nyakama” witnessed in almost every inch of this territory.
South Sudan has a good number of opposition parties, and in the bottom line they overwhelmingly seem to agree on one important thing and that is the secession of the South to form an independent country that will become Africa’s newest state come January 2011. On the other hand the dominant SPLM which is principally a unionist party, has always called for a united Sudan, but on new basis , assumedly a secular state, a view not shared with its peace partner the Islamic, National Congress Party (NCP) of Omer Al Bashir, who is adamant to keep Islam in the centre of the Sudanese politics. This argument can only be brought to rest when finally the South votes in the referendum to be held barely eight months from now.