The Independent Day


By Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey

When the first bullet of freedom broke out from the barrel of a gun on 18 August 1955, all South Sudanese rose up in unity behind their leaders: fr. Saturino Lohuhre, Aggrey Jadeen, William Deng, Joseph Oduho, Gordon Mortat and Joseph Lagu, the SANU/Anya-Nya-one top leaders from 1955 to 1983. The vision and mission was the sole liberation of territorial integrity of Southern Sudan, total freedom and independence from Khartoum, within the bounds of its three provinces of Equatoria, Bahr Al Ghazal and Upper Nile, as they stood from 1.1.1956, the time the British and Egyptians colonisers left Southern Sudan and Sudan. The SANU/Anya-Nya-one failed to accomplish the mission.

In 1980, the Anya-Patroitic-Front reenforced by Anya-Nya-two took off for a new liberation leadership, principled on Anya-Nya-one. This new leadership was composed of: Gordon Mortat Mayen, Elia Duang Arop, Dr. Mayar Akoon Wakbeek, Dr. Ajou Akuen Ajou, Agolong Chol and others (for Anya Patriotic Front, from 1972 to 1983). The extended Anya-Nya-Two leaders: Akuot Atem Mayen, Gai Tut, Abdellah Chuol, Joseph Oduho, Benjamin Bol Akok and others. They were united on the ground in South Sudan and abroad, fighting for independence of one South Sudan.

On 16 May 1983, Col. John Garang de Mabior, Major Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, major William Nyuon Beny, major Salva Kiir Mayardit, major Ngor Maciec, ignited the new liberation fire, this time from Bor, Jonglei military garrison and moved their military base to Ethiopian borders. Here Dr. John group joined hands with Anya-Nya-Two leaders. Dr. John and Anya- Nya-Two leaders, then in Ethiopia, differed on vision and mission over separating South Sudan from Sudan and unifying New Sudan approach. But, eventually, they two agreed to unity of their forces in one army one movement.

On 18 August 1983, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLA/SPLM) were born. The SPLA/SPLM led by Dr. John, in its new manifesto and constitution, trajectories for liberation settled for revolution of what emerged to be known as “New Sudan;” taking the Sudan and South Sudan as a unit. Dr. John planned to transformed the Sudan for all the Sudanese, not just for the “Arab minority clique,” governing Khartoum and colonising South Sudan since 1956. Dr. John, in his capacity as a charismatic, political philosopher with major ideological commitments and as a good solider, managed the leadership of the Movement to a successful peaceful resolution in 2005. The 9 January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the SPLM and Khartoum Government, signed by Dr. John and President Al Bashir respectively, broke opened the way for democratic referendum, favouring yet, the successful unanimous vote of 99% for independence on 9 January 2011. Thus, for veterans freedom fighters, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Dr. Riek Machar Teny and their colleagues in the leadership of the SPLM and Government, along with all the citizens of South Sudan, raised the Flag of the SPLM/SPLA, turned National, in the image of the abled leader John Garang, the people and the sovereign nation of South Sudan among the world nations.

This is the sovereign Independence Day we are about to commemorate and celebrate together in unity. We fought for it together, we voted unanimously for it together and we raised its flag together on 9 July 2011. There cannot be a genuine reason, whatsoever, for any one of us to refrain over the celebration and honouring of our sovereign flag since it is void of any political contention.

In my opinion the Opposition parties can celebrate alone in the premises of their parties if they don’t want to Join President Salva Kiir’s State celebrations, tomorrow 9 July 2019 at the freedom square.

God bless
Peace and security ever
Violence and war never. Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey

FIFA hints at expanding Qatar 2022 World Cup to wider Gulf region

As blockade continues, FIFA head considers possible shared hosting rights in other Gulf countries and increasing teams.

FIFA, football’s governing body, is considering expanding the Qatar 2022 World Cup from 32 teams to 48, with the possibility of Doha sharing the tournament with other countries in the Gulf region.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Wednesday that the expansion, which is slated for the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico, could come early at the next event.

“We have decided as well to increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup final tournaments, from 32 to 48. This will happen in 2026. Will it happen already in 2022? We are looking into it. If it is possible, why not?”, said Infantino, speaking at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Congress in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Qatar beat bid rivals Australia, Japan, South Korea and the US in 2010 to claim the hosting rights, becoming the first Arab country to do so.

One of its stated aims was to create a legacy for the Middle East, but last year, its Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain severed political and economic ties with Qatar, imposing a land, sea and air embargo on the peninsula.

“We have to see if it is possible, if it is feasible,” said Infantino about the potential expansion in four year’s time.

“We are discussing with our Qatari friends, we are discussing with our many other friends in the region and we hope that this can happen,” he added.

“And, if not, we will have tried. We will have tried because we always have to try to do things in a better way.”

‘Political difference’

Infantino’s favoured plan of adding 16 extra teams – with 16 three-team groups – to football’s mega event was unanimously approved by the FIFA Council last year.

The 2026 tournament in North America is set to be the first World Cup hosted by three nations.

Preparations are under way in Qatar, which is breaking with tradition with a winter kick-off, as it looks to avoid the scorching summer heat.

Seven new state-of-the-art stadiums with advanced open-air cooling technology are being built from scratch for the 2022 event.

The eighth one, Khalifa International Stadium, was inaugurated in May last year, after undergoing renovations and upgrades.

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has said that Qatar 2022 is “very important for the whole region” and hopes that the football tournament will help the Arab countries “overcome difficulties”.

South American countries had formally asked FIFA to make Qatar 2022 a 48-team event.

“We need to basically be careful and look at the feasibility and understand what the implications are before any decision is taken,” Nasser al-Khater, Qatar 2022’s assistant secretary-general, told Al Jazeera in an interview in July.

Analysts have warned that the expansion of Qatar’s tournament will present a fresh batch of problems to a host nation that has already been the subject of much condemnation over migrant workers’ rights and its winter schedule.

“How would Qatar – already working around the clock to cater for the needs of 32 nations, 64 games and the hundreds of thousands of fans eager to support their teams – allow for another 16 teams, not forgetting, of course the extra games and extra fans it would have to host in the allotted schedule?,” wrote Ross Griffin, assistant professor of Postcolonial Literature at Qatar University.

Al Jazeera’s sports correspondent Lee Wellings, reporting from London, said Infantino’s latest remarks are more about “FIFA politics” than the 2022 World Cup.

“He [Infantino] is standing in Kuala Lumpur and talking to people who want to hear that there’s a chance for more teams in a tournament which is happening in their continent, so he knows he’s preaching to the converted,” he said.

“What he also believes, somewhere at the back of his mind, is that he can actually make a political difference, rather like Sepp Blatter [ex-FIFA president] before him,” Wellings said.

“But when it comes to trying to sort out situations in the Middle East … to actually make this happen is way beyond Infantino and FIFA.”

Source  – Aljazeera

I’m Glad South Sudan`s Peace Celebrations focused on apologies to the victims of protracted Civil War and the promise to implement the Khartoum Peace Accord.

By Kocrup Makuach

The People of South Sudan have a lot of expectations in the recently inaugurated Khartoum peace pact. They hope the peace accord will be honored and implemented to the letter by the warring parties.

In my opinion, time has come to find an amicable solution to the intractable conflict bedeviling the Republic of South Sudan. Since 2013`s outbreak of war to date, the people of South Sudan have suffered a lot. South Sudanese have witnessed tens of thousands killed, destruction of properties, rape of innocent women and millions of South Sudanese displaced internally and to our neighboring countries.

South Sudan’s predicament has been described by many international entities as possibly the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the history of world!

I find it disheartening that South Sudan`s leaders remain blind to the suffering of its masses. The country`s economy is in ruins with the budget registering deficit. Hyperinflation has reached alarming proportions, war is raging all over the country and UNMISS foreign troops are actively involved in looting of the natural resources and abusing the rights of civilian population. The war has drained our human and material resources.

To make another step towards ending all these intolerable conditions and egregious suffering, we urge both warring parties to apologize to the people of South Sudan in the upcoming Peace Celebrations in Juba over prior unwillingness to embrace peace. Truth is, this may be the last attempt at peace building for our country.

The citizens and all stakeholders in the peace processes are tired and dispirited. This is because prior peace agreements in South Sudan have failed courtesy of blatant unwillingness for implementation from political leaders.

The concerns cited by the opposition chief, Dr. Riek Machar and other rebel leaders ought to be looked at carefully by the government and where possible addressed to seal possible loopholes for future discrepancies. After the formation of abroad base government, I urge President Kiir and his Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar to pay official visit to our 34 states in the country and elucidate to the people how they are going to honour and implement the Khartoum peace agreement.

In the previous triumvirate government of Salva Kiir, Riek Machar and James Wani, the three were supposed to carry out civil education or sensitization to the people regarding the implementation of August 2015’s peace accord signed in Addis- Ababa under the auspices of Inter -governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). As a result of their failures to doing so, the 2016 July outbreak of violence contributed to massive looting, destruction of property, deaths and displacement of civilians across the country.

In the Old Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which was signed by the two warring parties, SPLM and NCP –Sudan government; there was a dissemination of the CPA to the constituents in grassroots in the South and North Sudan. Dr. John Garang and President Bashir were determined to honor and implement the agreement to the letter and spirit . President Bashir as the topmost leader in the CPA offered leadership on this end. No wonder the pact worked that led to the 9th July Independence of the Republic of South Sudan.

Therefore, the people of South Sudan expect their leaders, President Salva Kiir, Dr. Riek Machar and other political faction groups to follow the footsteps of CPA’s leaders by adhering to the implementation of ongoing the Khartoum’s peace agreements. President Salva Kiir precisely must be at the forefront to ensure that works!

Of all the previous peace agreements signed in South Sudan, the people regarded such as agreements for the Juba’s political elites thus felt alienated from the benefits thereof. I feel that with every peace deals, must come peace dividends that include restoration of peace and stability, services delivery to the citizens, investment in socio- economic development, schools, roads, health, poverty reduction, revival of the economy, reparation of IDPs and refugees, institution reforms, good governance and a free and fair general elections.

I quote our late, hero. Dr. John Garang on peace process.
“It was you the paramount chiefs who ensured that the social fabric of our people was not disturbed by the war. You organized our people to support the liberation struggle, you mobilized and recruited the youth to join the ranks of the liberation struggle, and you organized your people to provide food for army of the liberation struggle. It was your bull, your goat, your chicken, your fish and dura (sorghum) and cassava that fed us, it is you who carried the war materials on your heads and shoulders… During our liberation struggle young proved as essential to our survival as water is essential to the survive of fish.

I know as much as you do, that in spite of your major contributions to the liberation struggle, our relations were not milk and honey. Some of you were manhandled and treated badly by some our soldiers… My dear paramount chiefs and traditional leaders, I apologize to you my on behalf as leader , and on behalf of the SPLA and on behalf of your government for those bad things we did to you as individuals during the course of our liberation struggle and even during peace times. I ask you as victims and as leaders to forgive ourselves” Dr. John Garang de Mabior

After Peace Celebrations, the warring leaders must tour the country together to apologies, preach healing, reconciliation, forgiveness, peace, unity and cement social fabric among 64 tribes and call on all citizens to love each other and coalesce together for the benefit of our beloved nation. This is the only lifeline for our delicate situation in our country. Together we stand, divided we fall!

By Kocrup Makuach

Ethiopia’s first female president can be a force for reform

by Yohannes Gedamu

President Zewde is in a unique position to help change the lives of Ethiopia’s long suffering women for the better.

On October 25, a special joint session of both houses of the Ethiopian parliament accepted President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu’s letter of resignation. The much-respected president’s resignation was a surprise to many, yet it soon became clear that this was yet another meticulously planned move by Ethiopia’s reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The very same morning, seasoned diplomat Sahle-Work Zewde was appointed the country’s fourth president under EPRDF rule, an era which began in 1991. With this appointment, Zewde also became the second woman in the country’s modern history to serve as head of state. Ethiopia’s last female leader before Zewde was Empress Zewditu, who had governed the country between 1916-1930.

President Zewde has a successful public service career spanning decades. Her first ambassadorial appointment in service of her country was in 1989 to Dakar, Senegal with additional accreditation to Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Guinea.

During that time, Ethiopia’s brutal military-socialist regime was still in power and Ethiopia’s civil war was at its peak. When the military regime was overthrown two years later, most government ministers and high-ranking public servants were either purged or arrested, with most Ethiopian diplomats serving the country abroad requesting political asylum in the countries they had been residing in. However, even during this tumultuous time, Zewde chose not to abandon her post and continued to serve the new regime. She quickly gained the trust of the new leadership with her diplomatic competence and managed to stay in the ranks of the foreign service.

Since then, Zewde served Ethiopia as an ambassador in many countries across Africa and Europe. Eventually, she moved on to serving the international community at large, especially through her work at the United Nations. With her extensive experience working across conflict-prone nations in Africa, Zewde has helped the UN in its peace-building efforts in the Central African Republic.

Zewde’s final role at the UN, however, was arguably the most important. She was the first woman to be appointed by the international body as special representative to the African Union and head of the United Nations Office to the African Union, a role she served at the level of under-secretary-general.

Zewde’s appointment as Ethiopia’s new president came on the back of another surprising, but very welcome development. On October 16, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that he decided to fill 50 percent of his cabinet with female ministers. Ahmed’s decision to have a gender-balanced cabinet was applauded in Ethiopia and beyond, but it was partially clouded by the fact that cabinet appointments are not always based on merit in Ethiopia. In this country, prime ministers are inescapably hostage to a culture of coalition politics, where party interests triumph over the interests of the people. Thus, despite the symbolic importance of the realisation of a gender-balanced cabinet, for some these appointments were not as important a victory for Ethiopian women, and Ethiopian people in general, as they’ve been trumped up to be.

However, this appointment is unquestionably momentous and groundbreaking. In spite of the fact that, in parliamentary Ethiopia, the office of the presidency is very much ceremonial, most Ethiopians respect and look up to the president. Anyone who serves in that role gets the opportunity to build a personal legacy, and leave their mark in the country’s history. Moreover, the office of the president is a bully pulpit that allows its holder to have direct access to the country’s prime minister and gives them an opportunity to comment and offer advice on political events. The head of state also presides over special parliamentary sessions and delivers speeches on the parliament opening sessions where he or she presents what the priorities of the government should be.

Having a woman take over such a revered office is undoubtedly going to inspire millions of Ethiopian women. However, the ways in which Zewde’s presidency is really going to affect the condition of women in Ethiopia will be determined by the causes she is going to champion and prioritise throughout her tenure.

Ethiopia embarked on a reform process six months ago and the changes its new leadership promised to make to achieve better governance and democratic improvement are slowly materialising. However, the country is still carrying the wounds of a devastating civil war, years of oppression and ongoing ethnic tensions and conflicts. And the burden of all this has been felt the most by Ethiopia’s women who, on top of losing their husbands, sons and brothers in conflicts and being displaced from their homes, also had to navigate their lives in a highly patriarchal society. For example, problems within the country’s education sector such as the meagre level of access to education in rural Ethiopia is still affecting women more than men. Beyond all this, Ethiopia still suffers from one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Although there have been promising improvements, to this day, most Ethiopian women give birth at home.

In light of all this, Ethiopian women desperately need a heroine who can be their voice and allow them to be heard clearly and loudly by the leadership of the country. This heroine can and should be the country’s first female President Zewde. To achieve this, she needs to make the empowerment of women the priority of her presidency.

Zewde has already implied that she is willing and eager to take on this duty during her acceptance speech before the joint session of the parliament. At some point in her speech she even joked: “if you think I am talking a lot more about women, well, I have not even started.”

President Zewde is now in a position to help implement important reforms that would significantly elevate the life quality of the most under-served and most well-deserving segment of the country’s citizenry: women. The fact that the current head of government, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, is a feminist reformer will likely help her in this journey.

Ethiopian women are undoubtedly happy to see a woman in one of the highest offices of the land. But beyond providing mere inspiration, what they expect from their new president is to actually change their lives for the better.

Only time will tell whether President Zewde will be able to live up to their expectations.

 Source – Al Jazeera


South Sudan identity: Split leaves many without documents

by Hiba Morgan

How the splitting of Sudan and South Sudan has left many people without a formal identity.

Many South Sudanese living in Sudan are being forced to live on the margins as they have no way to prove their identity.

That’s because they were there before South Sudan became an independent country seven years ago.

Source – Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan reports from Khartoum.

South Sudan rebel leader Machar back in Juba after two years

Ex-vice president Riek Machar returned for the first time since 2016 to take part in a peace ceremony.

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar has returned to the capital, Juba, more than two years after he fled the country after the collapse of a 2016 peace deal.

Machar, the former vice president, returned to Juba on Wednesday to take part in a peace ceremony.

Machar fled to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo in 2016. He later travelled to South Africa, where he was held under house arrest until earlier this year.

Last month, he and President Salva Kiir signed a new peace deal in Ethiopia in the latest attempt to end the five-year civil war that erupted in the world’s youngest country in December 2013.

On Wednesday, Kiir said Machar’s imprisoned South African adviser, William Endley, and a rebel group spokesman, James Gatdet, would be released on Thursday as part of the peace deal.

Endley will be deported to South Africa upon release, Kiir said.

Machar’s previous homecoming in April 2016 was put off by wrangling over how many bodyguards he could bring with him and what weapons they would carry.

South Sudan gained independence from its northern neighbour Sudan in 2011 after a 22-year civil war pitting rebel groups against Khartoum.

Safety concerns

It was not immediately clear how long Machar would remain in Juba, as his aides have expressed concerns over his safety in the city.

“We are worried for his security in Juba, but the truth is here: we are for peace, and what we are trying to do is build trust,” Gabriel said.

Several thousand people have gathered for the ceremony at the John Garang Mausoleum, built in honour of the independence hero who was killed in a helicopter crash in 2005.

Among regional leaders in Juba for the ceremony were Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Ethiopia’s newly appointed President Sahle-Work Zewde and Somalia’s head of state Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni was also expected to attend.

Humanitarian crisis

Two years after gaining independence, South Sudan descended into civil war after Kiir accused his then-deputy, Machar, of plotting a coup.

Ethnically-charged fighting soon spread from the capital across the impoverished state, shutting down oil fields, forcing millions to flee and killing tens of thousands of people.

The conflict split the country along ethnic lines and has seen mass rape, the forced recruitment of child soldiers and attacks on civilians.

It has caused one of the world’s greatest humanitarian crises and wrecked the economy in a country which relies on oil production for the vast bulk of its revenues.

A power-sharing deal that returned Machar to the vice presidency was signed in 2015. But it collapsed a year later in a deadly battle that saw Machar flee into exile.

The United Nations and the African Union earlier this month appealed to the country’s warring parties to make concrete steps to implement the latest accord.

SOURCE: News agencies

Regional presidents, Machar joined South Sudan peace celebration

Leaders from around the East Africa subregion ‘descended’ on the South Sudanese capital, Juba, to join the peace day celebrations.

Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Somalia’s Mohammed Abdullahi Farmaajo, Sudan’s Omar Al-Bashir and Ethiopia’s president Sahle-Work Zewde, were among the dignitaries who joined the event.

Each of the the leaders presented a message to the government and people of South Sudan, stressing the need to maintain and work to protect the September 12 peace deal signed in Addis Ababa.

South Sudanese rebel leader and former first vice-president, Riek Machar, earlier returned to the country for the first time since 2016. He arrived in the capital, Juba, on Wednesday to join the event.

The former Vice President had fled to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo in 2016 under a hail of gunfire when an earlier peace deal collapsed.

Machar and President Salva Kiir signed a new peace agreement last month in the latest attempt to end the five-year war which has claimed thousands of lives.

Riek Machar smiles as he walks outside surrounded by other people at the Juba airport

In a letter to President Salva Kiir earlier this week, Machar demanded to take charge of his security upon return to the youngest African nation.

International partners and mediators remain sceptical about the respect of this new deal following multiple ceasefire violations.

Source – African News

Qatar lifts exit visa system for migrant workers


Hundreds of African migrants employed in Qatar as domestic workers, cleaners, drivers and chefs can now come back home freely after the Middle East nation abolished its controversial exit visa system, which requires foreigners to obtain their bosses’ permission to exit the country.

Qatar authorities said on Sunday the “Law No 13 of 2018… regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates would be implemented effective this week.

Kenya on Monday welcomed the move saying it raises hope of an end to mistreatment of locals seeking bread and butter in Qatar. It asked other middle east nations to follow suit.

“It is a welcome development of putting to an end a heinous and outmoded system that has sinister echoes of a dark and oppressive time of shackled labour and slavery,” Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said in an interview yesterday.

“We welcome the development and hope that Qatar’s enlightened leadership will resonate across the Arab Middle East, where similar systems of denial of free passage of peoples and labour continues to cause great difficulties and suffering among migrant workers and even some professionals,” Mr Kamau said.

Kenya has over the years called for abolition of the exit visa system as it had long been abused by employers who would confiscate passports of workers.

Most Kenyan migrants are employed as domestic workers and are vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, violence, rape and sometimes murder.

Many of them who have returned home from Qatar and other Middle East nations have come back with harrowing tales of mistreatment, torture and abuse by their employers, with many blaming the exit visa system for their predicaments.

But under the new law, all but five per cent of a company’s workforce-reportedly those in the most senior positions-can leave without prior permission from employers.

Those not allowed to exit Qatar “for any reason” can file a complaint to the Expatriate Exit Grievance Committee that will “take a decision within three working days”, the Qatar ministry was quoted as saying.

Employment contracts involving migrant workers in the Middle East are based on the ancient Bedouin principle of kafala, which many liken to modern-day slavery.

What was once essentially a code of hospitality – that encouraged families to host travelling strangers and treat them as one of their own – has evolved into the sponsorship of migrant workers, which gives employers enormous control over their employees. Common practices include the withholding of wages, confiscation of passports and long working hours in substandard or inhuman conditions.

Domestic workers, who are obliged to live in their employer’s homes, are particularly vulnerable to physical abuse, sexual violence and various forms of mental cruelty, while the almost total lack of labour laws for migrants provides little scope for redress.

Kenya in September 2014 announced a ban on export of labour to Middle East countries but later lifted it last year after instituting reforms that included vetting of recruitment agencies.

In 2013, the Kenyan embassy in Riyadh rescued more than 800 Kenyans languishing in Saudi jails.

Source – Daily Nation

South Sudanese President orders release of Opposition party spokesman During Peace Celebrations

(JUBA) – South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Wednesday ordered the release of James Gatdet Dak the spokesperson of SPLM-IO leader.

Kiir announced his decision during the celebration of the peace agreed attended by the regional leaders and in presence of opposition leaders including Riek Machar.

Dak was deported by the Kenyan authorities to Juba on 3 November 2016 because he praised a UN report blaming a Kenyan general who was the UNMISS former force commander for his failure to protect civilians in Juba during the bloody clashes of July 2016.

President Kiir said that James was condemned by a special court but he ordered today to free him from jail.

On 12 February 2018, a special court in Juba sentenced James to death by hanging, but his lawyers described the verdict as a political decision.

The South Sudanese leader also ordered the release of a second South African mercenary and ordered to expel him immediately.

He also reiterated his commitment to fully implement the peace agreement and called on the South Sudanese opposition leaders to remain in the country and to contribute to the peace implementation from now onward.

Source  – Sudan Tribune

Let’s Mourn and Celebrate the IGAD’s led Peace Agreement of 2018

By Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey

ON 31 OCTOBER 2018:

(a) South Sudan paradoxically, mourns and regrets the past five years, and celebrates “the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS),” which was signed on 12 September 2018, by President Salva Kiir Mayadit (SPLM), Dr. Riek Machar Teny (SPLM IO) and Gabriel Changson (SSOA), in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which is, hopefully, expected to end the political anarchy, chaos, violence and the devastating “senseless war,” so-called, that held the country hostage from 2013-2018.

(b) Mourns and regrets “the senseless war,” so-called, which unfortunately broke out on 15 December 2013, within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s (SPLM) leadership, ranks, and files. This devastating war, is estimated to have killed 400,000 South Sudanese, displaced 2 million internally, forced out of the country 2 million more into exile, seeking political asylum as refugees in the neighboring East African countries, and exposed 7 million more to severe starvation and untimely death resulting from related diseases. Children, women and the elderly became the main victims.

(c) Nevertheless, in the expression to the national commitment to national-unity and transformation, peace and security, accountability, apologeticness, harmony, reconciliation, and shared forgiveness South Sudan celebrates. South Sudan commits and celebrates these basic principles in peace-making which are, fortunately, embodied in the R-ARCSS. South Sudan celebrates along with 99 percent of its resilient citizens, collectively wishing their leaders: Salva Kiir Mayardit, Dr. Riek Machar Teny and others, to declare their political commitment and loyalty to the country and the people.

(d) South Sudan celebrates to declare its full commitment to the implementation, letter, and spirit, the R-ARCSS.

(e) Finally, South Sudan celebrates, without prejudices, to thank and appreciate the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for its fair and transparent approach to resolve the arms conflict; to thank the Troika (the US, UK, and Norway) for their tireless efforts to support the humanitarian plight, peace mediation and funding; to thank the African Union (AU); the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). And finally, appreciate the personal efforts exerted Presidents Museveni, Al Bashir, Kenyatta, Ramophosa and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, of Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, South Africa, and Ethiopia respectively.

NB: On my personal level, I congratulate President Salva Kiir Mayardit, First Vice President-designate Riek Machar Teny, Hon. Gabriel Changson and the rest of the politicians, heads of the political parties: to please reconcile and forgive one another and expect the citizens, people of South Sudan to forgive in return. Best regards!

Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey is a Former Government Minister in Sudan and South Sudan. He  is currently  a  Member of Parliament in South Sudan and the Chief Administrative Officer at The Nile Explorer – The Mirror of Africa.