Summary of the ND resolutions from a US-based Coalition of Advocates for South Sudan (CASS).

Dear Sudanese Friends and Friends of South Sudan.

This is a brief summary of the results of the 2017-2020 National Dialogue commissioned by President Salva Kiir.  We send this to you in the hopes that you will spread it among all the citizens of South Sudan whether they live in South Sudan or abroad.  We want them to understand what the people of South Sudan said in response to the survey across the country; we want them to understand that many others have the same opinions that they may have; we want them to be prepared for future events such as the drafting of a new constitution and elections.
You can help make your country a better one by helping to spread the word.  This summary represents the hopes and dreams of the people.  They must be reflected in the new constitution.
In His Service,
Bill Andress
Secretary, CASS

To download the document CLICK HERE.

View the document below.

Insights, analysis and must reads from CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and the Global Public Square team

Are we still in a pandemic?

Sadly, the answer is a resounding yes. In some countries, it may feel as if vaccines have ended the crisis. But the more-transmissible Delta variant and anecdotes of “breakthrough” infections—when a fully vaccinated person comes down with Covid-19—are injecting uncertainty.

The virus is still raging in the largely unvaccinated developing world, but rich countries are handling their current state of vaccine–virus limbo differently. France will implement a new “health pass” rule, requiring proof of vaccination, recent recovery, or a negative Covid-19 test to enter most museums and movie theaters, the BBC reports, noting a recent surge of cases; the government hopes to extend the requirement in August to anyone entering a restaurant or bar. (The law sparked controversy in France’s National Assembly, and David A. Andelman writes for CNN that President Emmanuel Macron is staking his political future on new restrictions.)

In the US and UK, life is moving ahead—and infections are still a part of it.

The vaccinated have largely been protected from serious illness and hospitalization, but “breakthrough infections, while rare, are making headlines,” Jen Christensen reports for CNN, pointing out that three more New York Yankees players known to be vaccinated, for instance, recently tested positive. The US CDC has stopped keeping track of breakthrough infections among the vaccinated, but The Economist writes that mostly-restriction-free Britain, where 53.4% are fully inoculated and where Prime Minister Boris Johnson has discarded measures like gathering-size limits, will be a global test worth watching.

“The Delta covid-19 variant is ripping through Britain, with more than 40,000 cases reported a day (roughly two-thirds of the peak in January), and the number is doubling every fortnight,” the magazine writes. “It is the first country to face a wave of the more transmissible Delta variant after having vaccinated most of its adult population. It will be watched by policymakers in other rich countries seeking to answer a crucial question: does a mixture of vaccination and acquired immunity allow them to treat covid-19 more like other endemic diseases (ie, influenza and the coronaviruses that cause common colds), or are more severe restrictions still necessary? … Even if deaths are much lower than otherwise would have been the case, huge numbers of infections can still cause immediate damage.”

Putin Won’t Quit Ukraine

After Russian President Vladimir Putin published a lengthy essay arguing that Ukraine and Belarus belong, historically, in Russia’s sphere of political and cultural influence, Wall Street Journal columnist Walter Russell Mead writes that “his strategic objectives are unmistakable. Mr. Putin’s quest to rebuild Russian power requires the reassertion of Moscow’s hegemony over Belarus and Ukraine.” Putin may be constrained in how aggressively he can act, Mead writes, but he’s unlikely to stop trying to bring Ukraine, especially, closer into Moscow’s fold.

China’s Succession Problem

Given how central President Xi Jinping has made himself to China’s political system, Jude Blanchette and Richard McGregor write for Foreign Affairs that China faces deep uncertainty over what will come after him. Xi hasn’t put in place any obvious successors, they write, and it’s unlikely anyone in the current generation of officials will rise to become the heir apparent.

“[R]egardless of how or when [Xi] departs from office,” they write, “the lack of a clear plan raises unavoidable questions about the party’s ability to transfer power in a peaceful and predictable manner. In the decades after Mao’s death in 1976, the country’s political system seemed to be steadily stabilizing, despite occasional turmoil at the top. Today, however, China’s political future is shrouded in uncertainty. The succession issue is not one that Chinese officials discuss in public, but they cannot ignore it, either. It is a problem that will need a solution sooner or later.”

The Public Square Is Still Out of Order

If social-media platforms like Twitter and Facebook constitute our modern “public square,” where political views are voiced and debated in the open, then that square is effectively flooded with sewage, as hinted at by a New York Times Magazine piece by Emily Bazelon last year, which examined the effect of disinformation and questioned the assumption that more and freer speech is better.

In the current issue of The Political Quarterly, several essays pick up where Bazelon left off, and the conclusions are not particularly encouraging. Social-media companies have some responsibility to spread good information and not garbage (an “epistemic” responsibility), but they also have an obligation to foster open participation (a “participatory” responsibility), and those seem to be in tension, as Leonie Smith and Fay Niker portray them. Trust in the mainstream media is so low that it’s quite easy for false beliefs to spread, Shane Ryan writes, suggesting people will believe something on the assumption that if it weren’t true, they would’ve heard; when people don’t trust mainstream news outlets, that belief dynamic gets tricky to manage, as false beliefs aren’t effectively debunked and persist, as a result.

For all the talk in our political ecosystem about facts and objective information, Natalie Alana Ashton and Rowan Cruft argue that people have always formed their operating judgments based on underlying, non-disprovable “hinge” beliefs and that social media didn’t really cause a fragmented diversity of views to sprout; rather, in their view, it simply revealed the panoply of disagreements (factual and otherwise) that were already there. As for what we should do about it, David Yarrow writes that fact-checking alone may not be enough: We need to supply context to factual claims and vet underlying assumptions. To Yarrow, “value checking” would be a worthy companion endeavor.

Gates Notes: Clean jet fuel should be more like a microwave oven

Introducing a new way to invest in clean energy innovation.

By Bill Gates | July 13, 2021 

When the first microwave oven hit the market in 1955, it cost roughly $12,000 in today’s dollars. These days you can pick one up at Walmart for $50.

It’s not hard to figure out why the cost dropped so dramatically. Microwaves had new features that customers liked, and they did some things better than gas or electric ovens. As demand for them rose, more companies got into the game, finding ways to make them more efficiently, building supply chains, and driving the price down. As microwaves got cheaper, more people bought them, which attracted more innovation, and so on in a virtuous cycle.

Some clean-energy products work the same way—solar power has become dramatically cheaper over the past few decades—but many don’t. At least, not yet.

Most green technologies are still more expensive than whatever they’re trying to replace, a cost difference I call Green Premiums. They don’t do the job better (other than contributing less to climate change, of course)—and in many cases, they do the job worse.

This is bad news for the fight against climate change. The world needs to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and reaching that point will take inventing and deploying many more clean-energy products. Although it’s great that governments are putting more money into green recovery programs and people are becoming more willing to pay the Green Premium for, say, building materials, innovation isn’t coming fast enough. Products aren’t getting cheaper or better fast enough, and the market isn’t growing as fast as it could—or needs to.

Climate change isn’t the only reason we should speed things up. Research shows that U.S. voters understand how developing clean technologies will spark new industries, creating blue-collar jobs in fields like American manufacturing that have seen big declines in the past few decades.

To accelerate the virtuous cycle of innovation, we need a new model for financing, producing, and buying new clean-energy technology.

One new model is being created by Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, a coalition of philanthropists, companies, and governments. The goal is to make the other green products follow the same cycle of early adoption, innovation, and cost reductions that made solar power and microwave ovens so much cheaper.

Catalyst has identified four areas that are ripe for this approach. In each area, there are some new technologies that are out of the research and development phase and ready to be deployed, but they’re not yet mature enough to draw major investors. So a relatively modest infusion of cash can make a big difference.

The four areas are:

  • Long-duration energy storage to allow energy to be stored for months at a time, versus the handful of days that today’s best batteries are capable of. A breakthrough in this area would make solar and wind power more practical in more places.
  • Sustainable aviation fuels that can power cargo planes and large passenger jets, which are far too large and heavy to ever be powered by batteries.
  • Direct air capture to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. We won’t be able to get rid of all carbon this way, but a cheaper way of doing it would put us much closer to the zero-by-2050 goal.
  • Inexpensive green hydrogen. Hydrogen fuels are really promising—they can provide more power than batteries and so could be used to run large planes and industrial processes. Unfortunately, they’re very expensive when made in ways that don’t emit more greenhouse gases.

How will Catalyst work in practice? Let’s say an airline wants to contribute meaningfully to fighting climate change. Its most obvious option is to buy sustainable fuel—but that fuel is in short supply, because so little of it is made, and it’s very expensive.

Through BE Catalyst, the airline will be able to invest in a large refinery that produces a high volume of sustainable fuel. As the refinery gets going, the airline can start buying fuel there. Even better, once the plant’s design is proven to work, the cost of building subsequent plants will drop. With more refineries in operation, the volume of available fuel will go up and the price will come down, which will make it more attractive to buyers, which will draw more innovative companies into the market. The virtuous cycle will accelerate.

You may be wondering: What’s in it for the airline? This is not some vague feel-good gesture. Catalyst and its nonprofit partner CDP are creating a tool that will allow everyone who invests in Catalyst to calculate how much their funding will drive down future emissions. In short, the tool will say: Invest $1 and this is the impact you’ll have in the years ahead. In that way, investing in clean-energy projects can become a competitive advantage.

And aviation is just one example. Catalyst is also relevant for utility companies that need long-duration storage, steel manufacturers that need green hydrogen, and companies that need direct air capture to meet their commitments on emissions.

Just like any investment that grows in value over time, the earlier a company gets in, the more impact they’ll have.They’ll be able to tell potential investors: “We know how much we’re contributing to the world’s zero-emissions goal. If this is something you value, invest in us.”

CDP will publish a report in September explaining how the tool will work, and we expect to launch an interactive version at the COP26 in Glasgow.

Catalyst will fund its first projects next year, and we’ve already announced its first major funding partnership. Over the next five years, the European Commission and Catalyst will mobilize a total of $1 billion (€820 million), in partnership with the European Investment Bank, to build large-scale, commercial demonstration projects in Europe that fit within the four areas I mentioned earlier. Our goal is to reduce the costs of these approaches, get them deployed faster, and help deliver on the EU’s ambitious climate goals. I hope to be announcing more partnerships like this one later this year.

I’m excited about Catalyst and think it can help make clean-energy innovations more available and affordable for everyone.

Will Bakasoro continue to command the same respect?

 I define serial defections as political nomadism. I heard this jargon from my friend in an informal chat. It is a shift of political colors and allegiance, more often than not, in a disorganized manner. It is engendered by opportunism, empty promises for jobs or wealth. Others call it political instability. The gist of my argument is the habitual and natural defection by our confused leaders. They do it not for the benefits of the people but theirs and their families. South Sudan leaders are known for being hostile and unfriendly and very much visionless. They find solace in confusions, wars and destructions. They are exploiting the kindness of the citizens. They mistake our resilience and quietness for satisfaction. Surely; they are dead wrong. The God of our ancestors will not forgive them. Many desperate and failed politicians defect, form family groupings they call Parties, which is a misnomer.

The above piece of your article is the factual characteristic of many politicians in the SPLM. You are right in all anti-progressive adjectives you have applied to describe these mushrooming politicians of fortune, hate, unproposive-lying and lunatic-negligence. I contain your  fears because you have hit at the habituality of human idiots. However, the SPLM leaders who are still young, learning and picking up lessons from their own mistakes, may U turn back to the SPLM. And are welcomed.
The SPLM’s manifesto and constitution “is driven and based on theories of liberation, humanity freedoms and African socialist ideology. In contrast with political factional parties of the “run-away” individuals politicians like, for example, SPLM IO, SPLM DC, SPLM Leaders-FDs, no another party in South Sudan that have departed from the SPLM’s vision and mission, even the NCP of Khartoum who are enrolling and being enrolled into SPLM and SPLA. It is only former SANU, Southern Front and Anya Nya-one compatriots who are not pretending or trying to cheat and bullying the SPLM/SPLA. 
I therefore, welcome Hon. Joseph Bagasi Bakosoro to his Father and Mother Party, with all his group. He is a nationalist and a true leader of Western Equatoria without prejudice to his emerging leadership of the Republic of South Sudan. God bless him and inspire the true SPLM’s leaders to come back, without hesitation.


Dr. Aldo Ajou Deng-Akuey

Political Historian

Juba

Insights, analysis and must reads from CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and the Global Public Square team

Compared to the 2008 financial collapse, what’s the biggest difference in how the world has handled Covid-19? As Fareed writes in his latest Washington Post column, there are several—no one’s talking about fiscal austerity this time, and governments have learned to go big on stimulus in the face of economic disaster—but unfortunately, a lack of global coordination seems to be the most significant change.

In the wake of 2008, “[c]ountries cooperated, central banks worked together and a downward spiral was averted,” Fareed writes, citing the analysis of Daniel Drezner and his book “The System Worked.” This time, not so much—and the world could pay a price for it.

“Unless we push hard to vaccinate the whole planet, this pandemic will linger and morph and perhaps even widen,” Fareed writes. “[T]he best way to prepare for future crises—whether they involve pandemics, extreme weather, or cybercrime—is collectively. This is not dewy-eyed idealism. The system worked a decade ago; it can again.”

The Summer of Weather

Depending on which record-keeping authority you trust, a world record for the hottest reliably measured temperature may have been set last week in Death Valley, California, at 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 degrees Celsius). It’s by no means the only weather outlier of the northern hemisphere’s 2021 summer: In the US and Canada, the typically cool Pacific Northwest suffered its own deadly heat wave, and now floods have left more than 120 dead in Europe, as torrential rains have devastated Germany in particular.

Scientists appear to have little doubt about what’s to blame—and what’s to come. “By all accounts, the climate crisis is already here,” Sofia Andrade writes for Slate. NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus tells her: “It’s already worse than what I imagined. I feel like the heat dome event in the Pacific Northwest moved up my sense of where we are at by about a decade, or even more … I think a lot of my colleagues probably feel the same.”

Some scientists expect heat deaths to rise in coming decades, Bob Berwyn, James Bruggers, and Liza Gross wrote this month for Inside Climate News, while Brian K. Sullivan and Dave Merrill of Bloomberg point to the effect a hotter Earth can have on violent weather: “The culprit behind these events is increasingly clear and obvious: climate change. In the case of a tornado that ripped across the Czech Republic last week, for instance, a cold and wet spring followed by record June heat transferred latent energy into the atmosphere, which resulted in the extreme weather. Scientists at Austria’s Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics said hotter temperatures caused by climate change were to blame. The cyclone left five dead.”

As Withdrawal Approaches, Concerns Rise for Afghans, NATO Allies

As US and NATO troops prepare for their final exit from Afghanistan, many worry about the country’s fate—including what the future may hold for a generation of young Afghans who grew up with Western troops supporting the Kabul government and whose ways of living are “anathema” to an advancing Taliban, Andrew North writes for Nikkei Asia.

As some Afghans reportedly weigh leaving the country, Elisabeth Braw writes for Foreign Policy that America’s NATO allies will be left holding the bag, if US President Joe Biden’s withdrawal decision prompts droves of Afghans to seek asylum in Europe.

What Can the West Really Do About Hong Kong?

Not as much as it might think, former US Consul General and Chief of Mission in Hong Kong and Macau Kurt Tong writes for Foreign Affairs.

Despite an outcry over China’s expanding control over the formerly British-controlled city, Tong writes that “outside powers lack leverage to influence Chinese policy,” particularly as that going wild with sanctions would likely undercut a broad interest in keeping multinational businesses operating in Hong Kong. “The uncomfortable truth is that Hong Kong, despite the hollowing out of its democratic system, remains tremendously useful to the United States and other Western powers, and its continued success as a financial market and economic gateway to China remains important for the global economy.”

The Delta Divide

An early study by Public Health England suggested the Delta variant of Covid-19 could be more than 60% more transmissible than even the Alpha variant (first discovered in the UK), already known for its enhanced transmissibility; “it’s a superspreader strain if there ever was one,” doctor, scientist, and author Eric Topol tells Scientific American’s Tanya Lewis. In the US, it’s exposing a divide between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, with vaccination willingness differing along partisan lines, Jessica Glenza writes for The Guardian. Even in countries that fared well through the first waves, Delta appears to be a significant factor in how the pandemic is playing out: As CNBC’s Yen Nee Lee reports, Goldman Sachs has slashed its economic-growth projections for Southeast Asia, given newfound, Delta-fueled concerns.

10th Independence Day Message

By Dr. Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey

The 10th anniversary of the independence, 9 July 2011!Congratulations to the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, and through him, to the people of South Sudan and friends of South Sudan, “Peace be with you all!”Highlights: Freedom and Independence are described by humanities and social science, as the most costily to achieve, in terms of human lives and destruction of physical infrastructure. The Liberation War against Khartoum/Sudan, from August 1955 to 2005, Killed more than three millions South Sudanese, destroyed the economic infrastructure and social traditional fabrics. The SPLM/SPLA prevailed and forcefully induced Khartoum to sucumb to peaceful resolution of the political conflict, by signing the “the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), on the 9th January 2005.” Followed by the successful referendum on 9th January 2010; the declaration of the independence on 9 July 2011 and hosting the National Flag and lowering the Sudan’s old flag on the same date. July 9th is the date worthy of rememberance and comemorationalism, every year and throughout the future of our countryThe 9th July, as described above, shall be incomplete if we don’t highlight on the background trail to the independence from 1821 to 2011.

The long resistance against: (a) The Turkish/Egyptians human enslavers in Sudan and South Sudan from 1821 to 1885; (b) The Mahdia Islamic-Arab rule, slavery and slave trade in Sudan and South Sudan from 1885 to 1898; (c) the British/Egyptians’ Reconquest of Sudan, South Sudan, under condominium colonial rule, from 1899 to 1956; and finally, (d) the Sudan/Khartoum Islamic-Arab dominance colonial-like rule of South Sudan, from 1.1.1956 to 8. 7. 2011. In the historical nutshell, South Sudan had been in the war of self-defense and liberation against the odds and finally liberated itself from Egyptians’ malice and bullying, the United Kingdom and Khartoum/Sudan’s Islami-Arab dominance rulership, from 1821 to 2011, thus covering a period of 190 years running. A compatroitic and resilience African society stood its ground, and the end, Reclaimed and regained its freedom, not in “a Silver plat,” but in the “River of Blood!” Over three millions Martyrs, thousands of Heros and Heroins, Disable, Widows and Widowers, Orphans and War Veterans, the Lost Boys and Girls; less we forget. We must remember them all, in every day of the living Republic of South Sudan and the continental Mother Africa.Our freedom and independence is here for us to remember and celebrate.

It was born on 9 July 2011. It is now only 10 years old, as on this date, 9th July 2021. The day we must recall our clouded pass with suffering and death, the Anya nya one, two, the SPLA Martyrs and the liberators. They all deserve our congratulatory messages now, tomorrow and forever, though the real liberators and fake liberators alike, are determined to detrail our unity, freedom and the independence.Nevertheless, on this date, 9th July 2021, we Congratulate the President of the Republic, Salva Kiir Mayardit, the members of his Presidency, the R-TGoNU, the South Sudanese and friends of South Sudan.

Our demands from politicians now running the country, are only few: (a) to stick to R-ARCSS as the only people’s option for the resolution of political conflict in our country, (b) their political will, commitment and collective concerted efforts to implement this agreement in good faith.

Please accept my CONGRATULATIONS to all the friends and public members of our beloved Country.

Long live South Sudan!

Dr. Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey

9 July 2021, Juba.

Today’s Insights, analysis and must reads from CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and the Global Public Square team

Where 100 Years Have Taken the CCP

Marking the Chinese Communist Party’s 100th anniversary, President Xi Jinping issued a warning to foreign powers: China doesn’t bully other countries, and anyone who tries to bully China “will find their heads bashed bloody.”

Xi’s admonishment reflected the party’s confidence—some would say hubris—that many analysts have cited in the run-up to the centennial. At Nikkei Asia, Richard McGregor writes of China’s unparalleled economic growth that has been accompanied, in recent years under Xi, by a view of China’s governance system as a model for others.

That self-assurance is not unfounded. As the party has consolidated power over decades, it has defied expectations: “Many foreign observers thought the party would not be able to keep pace with the increasing complexity of Chinese society without undergoing fundamental changes itself,” McGregor writes. “Not only has the party proved them wrong, under Xi it has gone backward, to the type of strongman rule that even highly placed insiders in China thought was gone. On the anniversary of the party, there are no challengers on the horizon, not to Xi nor the system itself.” In a Financial Times essay, Sun Yu and Tom Mitchell similarly depict a party that views its moral and practical authority as absolute, hewing to the notion “that what is good for the party is good for China.”

Writing at CNN, historian Rana Mitter seeks to explain how the party evolved from a group of 13 dissatisfied young men into a political juggernaut that rules a quarter of humanity: by uniquely adapting Marxism to its own ends, vigilantly curating its official history, and suppressing dissent. There are signs that China’s economic surge could sputter, Mitter suggests, concluding that “[t]he next century will pose very different challenges” for China’s ruling order.

Opposite Predictions for Iran Under Raisi

The rise of conservative President-elect Ebrahim Raisi has mostly polarized views on whether Iran is likelier, or less likely, to seek nuclear rapprochement, Frida Ghitis wrote recently for the World Politics Review.

Some—including Vali Nasr in Foreign Policy and Ali Vaez and Dina Esfandiary in The New York Times—say a hardliner like Raisi will face less internal resistance to compromising with world powers. Making the opposing case in an essay for The Dispatch, Bradley Bowman and Behnam Ben Taleblu argue that ballistic missiles and regional proxies are core to the Iranian regime’s ambitions—and that the Biden administration is dreaming if it thinks Tehran will accede to any limitations that reach beyond the 2015 nuclear accord, as the US has said it wants to secure.

“If you doubt that argument,” they write, noting that Raisi has promised the 2015 deal is as far as Iran will go, “simply look at who the regime just picked as its president and what he said last week.”

The Lab Theory Is Worrisome, but the Context Is Worse

Whether or not Covid-19 spilled from a lab is, in many ways, less important than evidence that lab-research safety practices are disturbingly lax, Zeynep Tufekci writes for The New York Times.

Tufekci cites alarming signs that infectious samples sometimes leak—including, some experts have suggested, the H1N1 virus that caused a pandemic in 1977-78—and that field-collected samples have been handled without adequate protective gear. “Even if the coronavirus jumped from animal to human without the involvement of research activities, the groundwork for a potential disaster had been laid for years, and learning its lessons is essential to preventing others,” Tufekci writes.

An Underdog Fight for Gay Rights in Poland

“[H]uman rights watchdogs consistently rank Poland as being among the most homophobic countries in Europe,” filmmaker Agnieszka Holland and Nobel literary laureate Olga Tokarczuk write for The Guardian, noting a hostile stance toward LGBTQ rights by President Andrzej Duda and the ruling, right-wing Law and Justice Party.

“But this is not the complete picture,” they write. “There are glimmers of hope in our ultra-conservative dystopia. Take a stroll around Warsaw today and you will see thousands of windows wrapped in rainbow flags, symbolising equality and freedom. Even the capital’s main landmark, the Palace of Culture, a gargantuan Soviet eyesore, regularly lights up in rainbow colours—a reminder that Warsaw still has an independent-minded mayor.” The fight for equality may fly under the radar, they write, but it is being waged persistently, including by individuals arrested over pro-gay-rights protests.

This Is Your Brain on Terrorism

What makes a person join a terrorist movement? In a podcast hosted by the online science-and-culture magazine Undark, Scott Atran and Nafees Hamid (who has detailed some of his work for CNN) recount their research in European jihadist-recruiting hotbeds. Their inquiries have included clinical experiments and brain scans, which have indicated that social exclusion can be key to nudging marginalized individuals to embrace the “sacred values” of a terrorist group—and, potentially, the willingness to kill and die for those ideals.

The Imperative of Constructive Engagement with Troika, especially the U.S.

This is very important in the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). It is the first time for Troika (the US, UK and Norway) and the Kingdom of Netherlands to improve on their skepticism since the signing of the R-ARCSS on 12 September 2018. I personally welcome Troika back to the friendship that brought independence on 9 July 2011. 

Statement By Lual Deng

I came across the statement by the U.S. produced below concerning specific actions wrt the implementation of R-ARCSS. Reading it, I am convinced beyond doubt that the U.S. and troika (US, UK, & Norway) are solid in their support to the people of South Sudan and what is missing, in my view, is constructive engagement with them by RTGoNU. 
Here is the statement:

“The United States remains deeply concerned with delays in the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) and related reforms. The United States urges South Sudan’s leaders to demonstrate their commitment to lasting peace by addressing, as a matter of urgency, the following key steps to implement the R-ARCSS and advance reforms:

  1. Adoptingaconstitutionalprocessthatincludesrobustpublic consultation procedures and results in a constitution that truly reflects the will of South Sudanese and pursuing internationally supported elections in June 2023, including by:
    1. Finalizing the establishment of and swearing in of both the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) and Council of States by July 10, 2021;
    2. Drafting legislation to guide the permanent constitutional process and presenting it to the TNLA no later than August 10, 2021;
    3. Constituting the Reconstituted National Constitutional Review Commission no later than September 10, 2021; and
    4. Creating a robust national public consultation process, similar to the National Dialogue, to discuss and inform constitution drafting.
  2. Establishing the unified security command structure by the end of July 2021 and creating the necessary unified forces in stages beginning no later than the end of July 2021, including by:
    1. Identifying the national unified security command structure leaders no later than July 30, 2021; and
    2. Graduating the first class of the National Unified Forces no later than July 30, 2021.
  3. Completing exchange rate reform resulting in a market determined exchange rate no later than September 15, 2021, as agreed to under the IMF Staff-Monitored Program (SMP); establishing and operationalizing a Single Treasury account for all government revenues and expenditures by the end of 2021, as agreed to under the SMP; and publishing annual independent audits of ministries, SOEs and other parastatal organizations and committees/commissions by the end of 2021, as agreed to under the SMP.

d. Demonstrating progress toward establishing and operationalizing the Hybrid Court in a timely fashion by:

  1. Either accepting the original HCSS Memorandum of Understanding or concluding a new memorandum of understanding with the African Union regarding the court no later than September 10, 2021; and
  2. Drafting legislation to establish the Hybrid Court and other Chapter V mechanisms and presenting it to the TNLA no later than September 10, 2021.

e. Protecting the safety of humanitarian aid workers (both foreign and domestic) who are saving the lives of South Sudanese, including by:

  1. Commencing a transparent and independent investigation intothe recent attacks on humanitarian aid workers in Pibor, Renk,and Torit counties; and
  2. Taking steps to bring to justice individuals involved in thekilling of now more than 100 humanitarian aid workers since 2013.” 

Cheers,LD

Lual A. Deng, PhD
Managing Director
Ebony Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS)
P.O. Box 198 Juba, South Sudan
Cell: 571-326-3595 (USA)
        211-912-272-999 (South Sudan)
        211-927-716-372 (South Sudan)

Dr. Riek Machar Back in Juba

Welcome to Juba! Peace loving South Sudanese people and their government receive you with white hands, peace songs and peace of Christ our Lord “… this is my peace… my peace I give you…”
One believes that many lessons have been learned by you in relations to others. The first was when you joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, SPLM, in 1983. You were present, at side of Dr. John Garang when the fighting broke out between SPLA and Anya Nya two was led by Akuot Atem, Abdella Chuol, Gai Tut and others. That war which was definitely between Anya Nya two and SPLM leaders turned itself later into Nuer and Dinka, in spite of the fact that you were with Dr. John Garang.
In 1991, approximately after ten years you broke out from Dr. John’s SPLM and you formed what was to be known as SPLM Nasir faction which later on signed Khartoum agreement with Bashir to fight against Garang in the name of Nuer and Khartoum government at the time. This brought the war between your SPLM and Garang’s SPLM as it was called by Bashir. This war again became known unfortunately, as a war between Dinka and Nuer.
Then after ten years from 1991 – 2001 you decided personally to go back to John Garang. John received you warmly although you are alone and accepted you back into SPLM hierarchy no. 3. In this hierarchy you worked with Garang and Salva until you are able to negotiate the comprehensive peace agreement that embodied the right to self-determination. You worked also with Salva Kiir in the interim government of Southern Sudan from 2005 – 2011. Because of your good relationship, confidence, trust and commitment to freedom and liberty of your people you were able to make referendum a reality that reality brought the all Southern Sudan into freedom and independence we have been fighting for fifty years (1955 – 2005). This great achievement is the fundamental celebration of our people in every nine day of July. This achievement is yours, Salva Kiir and the people of South Sudan.
Now led us come to this unfortunate senseless war which you and the political beuaru of the SPLM caused when you and the group held a press conference on 6 December 2013, in which you heavily denounced President Salva Kiir, the SPLM and the government. On the 15 December 2013, only nine days from your press conference, you were accused again to have attempted a coup de’tat. That coup turned into a war between your forces and the government. As the coup turned into rebellion you told your supporters again that it was a fight between Nuer and Dinka.
Do you believe that this war is truly Nuer and Dinka? I for one, do not think so, because I know that the root caused was SPLM political bureau power struggle. Yes, it has happened many people have died in Juba, Bentiu, Bor Malakal and many properties destroyed. It has happen. So we must console the people who have lost their love one and properties and collective apologize to them to forgive us. Let us forgive and be forgiven, but, “less we forget”.
All in all, the series of the above violence, from 1983 – 2016, have greatly devastated our country and victimized our people. They have incurred tremendous loses in human and property. Right now tens of thousands have been displaced internally and externally as IDPs and refugees. The best the SPLM and SPLM/IO can do is to apologize to the people because they were solely responsible for the destruction and the suffering of the people. Now is the time to restore total peace to our country and the people. This will definitely encourage our people to restore peace and unity in order to rebuild their country and resume their normal lives.
At lease we expect all of you to look back into history of recent violence. Truly you must pray together and ask Jesus Christ to give us total peace.
This Peace Agreement for Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, (ARCSS), which you have signed provides the rules on which you will setup the transitional government of national unity that will navigate you toward establishing democracy and the rule of law for the coming three years. Nevertheless, this agreement is full of problems that can easily disharmonize its implementation. It is therefore, necessary to iron out the contentious issues therein, through reconciliation, understanding and dialogue in order to harmonize its implementation with openness and consensus in decision making.
By doing so, the government you are about to set up would be seen to function effectively, thus forging the sense of collective responsibility. It is only through such a spirit and friendly feelings that you will be able to implement the reforms you need to inject into political, economical, social and cultural system of the governance.
The last part of the agreement that concerns accountability should be handled with sincerity and care. There are crimes committed which I personally think that they cannot amount to crimes against humanity or genocide. They definitely be cited as war crimes if any. Our courts are capable to handle this crimes if the government accord them freedom and independent of judiciary. At the end give the people the right to reconcile specially the Nuer and Dinka as dictated by their African tradition.

Insights, analysis and must reads from CNN’s Fareed Zakaria

First, Fareed gives his take on the rise of cyberattacks and ransomware—and how cryptocurrency seems to be enabling it, by facilitating anonymous payments to hackers around the world.

“Many of cryptocurrency’s most ardent advocates see it as the way of the future, a decentralized and seamless monetary system that offers an alternative to national currencies,” Fareed says. “But none of that requires that it be anonymous. If those broader goals are what Bitcoin is really about, it should stay strong even while its illegal use is reined in. If, on the other hand, the crucial, distinctive and unique property of cryptocurrency is that it can be readily and efficiently used for crime, why exactly should governments around the world allow this?”

Next, as US President Joe Biden takes his first overseas trip as President—meeting with G7 leaders and the Queen of England, then Russian President Vladimir Putin—Fareed discusses what’s already happened and what’s to come with former top Obama aide Ben Rhodes and Economist Editor-in-Chief Zanny Minton Beddoes.

With Israel’s new government expected to be sworn in today, Fareed talks with Martin Indyk, the former longtime US ambassador in the Middle East, about what to expect from the new Prime Minister and his coalition government cobbled together from across the political spectrum.

After that: Has the world gained an extra life? Author Steven Johnson tells Fareed that it has, as life expectancy has doubled in the last 100 years. Johnson discusses how and why that happened.

Finally, Fareed examines the real root causes of America’s southern-border crisis.

Four Americas

Americans aren’t just living in the two siloed realities, defined by left and right, that seem ever present in political life, George Packer writes in a long Atlantic essay; the country has in fact frayed into four.

According to Packer, they are: Free America, which includes those Americans who believe in the conservative ideals of small government and being left alone; Smart America, the stereotypical liberal, educated elite; Real America, which follows the term coined by former vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin—a salt-of-the-earth cohort that leans right and looks skeptically on the globalized economic order; and Just America (which may as well be termed “Woke America”)—the heavily millennial cadre outraged by the country’s racial and social inequities.

These four segments overlap, interact, and compete, Packer writes: “They all anoint winners and losers. In Free America, the winners are the makers, and the losers are the takers who want to drag the rest down in perpetual dependency on a smothering government. In Smart America, the winners are the credentialed meritocrats, and the losers are the poorly educated who want to resist inevitable progress. In Real America, the winners are the hardworking folk of the white Christian heartland, and the losers are treacherous elites and contaminating others who want to destroy the country. In Just America, the winners are the marginalized groups, and the losers are the dominant groups that want to go on dominating. … Meanwhile, we remain trapped in two countries. Each one is split by two narratives—Smart and Just on one side, Free and Real on the other. Neither separation nor conquest is a tenable future. The tensions within each country will persist even as the cold civil war between them rages on.”

Big Red Sun

At The New York Review of Books, Ian Johnson reviews four histories of the Chinese Communist Party and questions its current self-conception, which mythologizes the CCP as having originated from pure idealism, ignores (in Johnson’s view) the brutal purges of the Mao Zedong era, and circumvents what that era really signified: a “sterilization of Chinese intellectuals” that (as Johnson casts it) curtailed the diversity of Chinese political thought. Explaining the lack of domestic opposition to the CCP today, as it prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary, Johnson reprises the analysis of Bruce J. Dickson’s “The Party and the People,” indicating that the CCP’s self-identified mission centers on providing security and prosperity, which Chinese citizens largely see it as delivering—and which the CCP sees itself as having been “anointed” by history to provide.

At Project Syndicate, Minxin Pei takes a similarly broad view of the party, portraying it as caught between liberalizing reforms that might weaken its hold on power (if the late Soviet Union is a useful precedent) and a turn toward even sterner repression. Disconcertingly, it’s heading toward a model more similar to North Korea’s than Singapore’s, in Pei’s view.

Myanmar’s Stalemate

As Myanmar’s opposition movement persists long past the military’s February coup, different analysts are emphasizing different influences on the country’s medium-term future. At The New York Review of Books, Delphine Schrank notes the opposition’s success in halting Myanmar’s economy and in seeking legitimacy through a parallel, shadow government; at The New York Times, Min Zin sees the country’s panoply of ethnically aligned militias as “kingmakers.”

At Foreign Affairs, the Burmese historian Thant Myint-U is bearish on what the next stretch of time will hold, writing that neither the ruling junta nor the popular opposition movement has enough clout to seize control in full; as a stalemate unfolds, he sees the country becoming a “failed state” of economic collapse, barring meaningful foreign intervention that likely won’t arrive.

So, It’s Okay Not to Listen to the CDC?

In an essay that seems to be aimed largely at the vaccinated, Dr. Aaron E. Carroll writes for The New York Times that for those who are burned out by pandemic anxiety, but have a good handle on the risks to themselves and others in various settings, it’s okay to rely on one’s own judgment when it comes to resuming normal life.

“Today, as the risk of Covid decreases with vaccinations, C.D.C. experts are still inundated with questions as to what is ‘safe,’” Carroll writes. “Is it safe to travel and see other vaccinated members of the family in their home? What if one of them is unvaccinated? What if that unvaccinated person is a child? What if we want to see friends who are vaccinated, except for their children, but they’re sheltering in place and seeing no one else? What if they have a baby? Many people, including experts, are angry that the C.D.C. isn’t clear on all of the answers. They’re upset when the C.D.C. makes recommendations too slowly, and they’re upset when the C.D.C. makes decisions too quickly. No one is there to tell us exactly what is safe and what is not.”

To Carroll, it’s alright to use the available information about Covid-19 and how it spreads and to decide on our own what activities to engage in and how—rather than wait for a traditionally cautious CDC to announce that the pandemic is all over, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon.