Writer/Author: Dr Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey PHD
Lands and Borders: Something must be mysterious, mischievous or misleading South Sudanese politicians over issue of lands, community borders and regional boundaries.
Not much is known about lands and borders conflicts among the people of South Sudan until the coming of the British colonial authority in 1899. However, there had been movements of people from one place to another for reasons of natural disasters, wars or running away from Turks and Arabs human slavers-adventurers. Those immigrations stopped as from 1899, when the British took over the land and governed it until first January 1956.
Our masters then, the British, who told us to have liberated us from slavery, changed their minds and handed us back into slavery and Arabs racism in Khartoum in 1946. Collectively, South Sudanese rejected the annexation of South Sudan and unification arrangements with Khartoum and took up arms in August 1955.
In January 2005, the Arms liberation movement: The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM/ARMY), led by firmly abled leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, prevailed over and negotiated the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with Khartoum-Arabs’ government. Dr. John was fully aware of the lands and borders conflicts that would surface during and after the implementation of the CPA. Garang wanted the land of Sudan to belong to communities and not to belong to public (government), since the Sudan government was/is the main thief of the communities’ lands.
As South Sudan processed to move away from Sudan in 2005, the borders were not the same in accordance with the decolonization’s international law declared by UN and Confirmed by the AU: that “the former African colonies shall adopt the colonial borders and boundaries as they stand from the date, month and year of the independence.” Thus the CPA stipulates that the borders and boundaries between Sudan and South Sudan shall remain as they stood on 1.1.1956, the time the British left Khartoum.
With assumptions and without verification of the borders at the time, the Interim Government of Southern Sudan inherited the decentralized system of 25 states’ prescribed-constitution and hurried up to Juba to govern the ten states. Definitely, these same politicians who have been in war against one another, are the ones masterminding the disinformation and propaganda, accusing the Dinka community of the famous lands-grabbing and thieving. Shamefully incredible!
Coming next: is there really mistaken solution in regards to proposals and counter proposals of states: 10, 21, 28, 32 or Equatoria’s 39?
Writer/Author: Dr Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey PHD
Let me, on my own, welcome Dr. Riek Machar Teny, his accompanying delegation and friends of peace to Juba. I have witnessed, through YouTube video images at Juba Airport, the warm reception, accorded to him, inclusively by the public at large, the Government of President Salva Kiir and some leaders of political parties. I guest that the reception was not for a war hero, but for a peace hero. People of South Sudan are peace lovers. They had fought a just war, 1955-2005, to liberate themselves and their country, from Arabs racial domination and colonialism. Thus making the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), the only hope and the way forward available for a genuine peace, change and unity of the country.
The coming of Dr. Riek Machar today, 9 September 2019, to Juba should effect a way forward in the implementation of R-ARCSS of September 2018. The delay to implement the R-ARCSS “letter and Spirit” confirms the statement that “politicians lack political will.” This statement should be ended for good. Among many questions being asked is “what are the issues expected to be resolved by President Salva and Dr. Riek?”
President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar meetings may break the blockade over the slow or lazy implementation of gate-opening issues to a successful peace deals. These gate-opening issues to the “wholesale”
successful implementation of R-ARCSS, are seen, among others to be: (a) the security arrangements and formation of the National army; (b) restoration of freedoms: assembly, press, democracy and the rule of law. This will pave the way to free movements of people including the returning refugees and the returning IDPs to their original homes, and (c) the funding to enforce the implementation smoothly timely.
Finally, the two leaders, Salva and Riek are expected to share views on national dialogue, reconciliation and and facets of shared value forgiveness, thus generating the lost trust and confidence. If this last meetings between the two leaders fail again, then South Sudan shall join the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Libya or Colombia in Latin America. We shouldn’t!
By Yasin Sentiba a.k.a Yacn Wv for Sportsdesk
No one saw Goal Line and VAR technology coming to the beautiful game of football, but it was a call away. After the Frank Lampard goal didn’t stand in the 2010 World Cup fixture of Germany vs England were England eventually lost 4 – 1 had it been counted it would have been level 2 – 2 and who knows what would happen. Such goals especially the back in bar( crossbar goal ) as commonly kwown had a lot of questions on them especially not being awarded yet they had crossed the line an example was Pedro Mendez goal against Manchester United in 2005 in the premier league and the referees failure to award such goal gave birth to Goal line technology FIFA organized football events and across the Europeans Top leagues.
In 2012 FIFA World Cup goal line technology was introduced and top leagues in Europe embraced it however many football lovers always complained how it kills the rivalry of the game urging that its nature and it should be left out however a lot of questions were left un answered since Goal line technology only catered for the Ball crossing the Goal Line and didn’t look at the entire build up of the game. Due to the many unanswered questions in the Goal Line technology, this asked for a more advanced system which was later found and called VIDEO ASSISTANT REFEREE (VAR).
VAR is described as a match official who reviews decisions made by the centre referee with use of video footage and a headset communication. This was design look at mainly four aspects of football i.e
1. Goal/ No Goal , if an attacking team commits an offense ball in play, ball entering goal, offside, handball, offenses and encroachment during penalty kicks.the best example here is Thieny Henry’s handball goal against Ireland at the state de France in the second leg of the World Cup playoffs match in 2009, Ireland were cruelly denied when France qualified with a goal which should have been disallowed. Thierry Henry cleared handed the ball before setting up William Gallas to equalize on the night and go 2 – 1 head on aggregate.
2. Penalty/ No Penalty, Robert Pires winning a foul in the crystal palace box in the 2004 where palace were leading One Nil against Arsenal, equalizing it from a penalty spot the game ending 1 – 1 who know if hadn’t been for the Pires fouling of the referee Palace would have made Arsenal not have gone the entire season unbeaten.
3. Mistaken identity, As many football players have been booked and eventually sent off due to mistaken identity for example Cris Foy the centre referee booked Fabio da Silva of instead of his twin bother Rafael da Silva in the fixture of Manchester United vs Barnsley in the carling cup 2009-2010 season Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs mistakenly being sent off against Chelsea in the 2014 season insteady of Oxlade Chambalian.
4. Direct red card. This reminds us Abdul Kader Keita – Kaka in the Brazil vs Ivory Coast incident at the World Cup 2010 were Kaka was given a red card that should have not should and many football lovers described the incident as a totally unjustified sending off.
VAR initiative trying to bring out the equal game slogan of FIFA. VAR has caused so many contravecies in football on who should make the calls, when should VAR be reveiwed and when should the center referee go and check on the side screens. This has rose many eye brows of football lovers globally saying how it it killing beautiful games joy especially when awrongly scored goal is cancelled but all fans forget is that when one side walks away with unsporting behavior it’s killing the game and when awrongfull scored goal is cancelled, the other teams supporters and fan jubilate, all in all jubilation and joy still remains.
Many football fans and critics are saying how VAR is killing the intensity of the game saying how it’s time wasting but what is wrong with stopping play to correct the wrong. Like Jose Felix Mourinho put it only thrives will complain when cameras are installed.
Yasin Sentiba a.k.a Yacn Wv
Adopted by the Peace and Security Council during its 868th meeting held on 14 August 2019 on state of foreign military presence in Africa: Implications on the implementation of the Common African Defence and Security Policy:
The Peace and Security Council,
Taking note of the statement made by H.E. Albert Ranganai Chimbindi, Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC for the month of August 2019, and the presentations made by Dr. Admore Kambudzi, Director of Peace and Security Department on behalf of the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui; also taking note of the presentation by Ambassador Kio Amieyeofori, on behalf of the Chairperson of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; Further taking note of the statements made by the representatives of China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States of America, as well as by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO);
Recalling its previous pronouncements on the issue of foreign military presence and external interference in Africa’s affairs, particularly communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCI) adopted at its 601st meeting held on 30 May 2016; communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCCLXXVI) adopted at its 776th meeting held on 24 May 2018; communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCCCXXIV) adopted at its 824th meeting held on 5 February 2019; and most recently, communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCCCLVII) adopted at its 857th meeting held on 5 July 2019, and communique PSC/PR/COMM(DCCCLXV) adopted at its 865th meeting held on 7 August 2019; In the above-mentioned communiques, the PSC strongly condemned the external interference, by whomsoever, into African peace and security issues, and warned that it will proceed to naming and shaming those involved in order to address this problem;
Underling the need for full implementation of Article 7(l) of the PSC Protocol emphasizing that external initiatives in the field of peace and security on the Continent take place within the framework of the Union’s objective and priorities as outlined in the AU relevant instruments;
Taking note of the fact that some AU Member States, within their sovereign status, have entered into bilateral and multilateral arrangements with non-African partners with a view to addressing and containing threats to peace and security on their respective territories.
Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:
- Notes with concern over the increase in the establishment of foreign military presence and military bases in Africa; emphasizes that the defence and security of one country in Africa is directly linked to that of others as provided for in the Common African Defence and Security Policy and also in the AU Non-Aggression Pact; in this regard, underlines that these AU instruments constitute the bedrock of Africa’s collective defence and security; further expresses deep concern that albeit this increase of foreign military presence and military bases in different parts of the continent, the threats which they are supposedly expected to neutralize, continue to increase an intensity and geographic expansion in different parts of the Continent; also expresses concern that foreign military presence and military bases are contributing to the risk of rivalry and competition among foreign powers within Africa and undermining national sovereignty and peace efforts;
- Strongly condemns any external interference into the Africa’s peace and security affairs and urges that all external support to peace and security in Africa should be well coordinated and directed towards achieving AU’s objectives and priorities and should be provided within the framework of the relevant AU instruments;
- While appreciating the support of partners in the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa, emphasizes that AU Member States and the AU Commission should enhance their efforts in popularizing and providing effective support towards the implementation of the Common African Defence and Security Policy and African States should guarantee that any external support, either bilateral or multilateral, is in conformity with this Policy;
- Underscores that collective defence and security in Africa is of high importance, taking into consideration the rapid increase of foreign military presence in the Continent; in this regard, appeals to all AU Member States that decide to host foreign military entities/bases in their countries to deploy necessary efforts to inform their neighbours, their respective Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanism (RECs/RMs) and the African Union and ensure that the signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) are in conformity with the provisions of the Common African Defence and Security Policy and other relevant AU policies on defence and security and that they contribute towards the objectives and priorities of the AU;
- Emphasizes the need for the AU Commission and the RECs/RMs to redouble their efforts to ensure the operationalization of the African Standby Force (ASF), which is the primary home-grown model in the Continent, to enable Africa to enhance its defence and security arrangements for AU Member States and their people; such a capability would provide Africa with the means to timeously respond to threats to peace and security; furthermore, stresses the importance for African countries to put more focus on capacitating their national forces, as well as promote intelligence sharing among themselves;
- Emphasizes the primary role of the African countries in managing their internal affairs and reaffirms its commitment to respect the sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity of each African state; therefore, encourages to all AU Member States which need support in capacitating their national defence and security forces and institutions to explore available avenues in the United Nations (UN) system and those in the RECs/RMs to provide such support, with a view to continue building mutual trust, confidence and collective capabilities and strength among African countries;
- Encourages AU Member States to enter into bilateral agreements in the matters of common interests on peace and security, in order to enhance coordination and share expertise and experience; further encourages Member States to emulate best practices on military operations among African states and RECs/RMs in addressing threats to peace and security and sustaining stability;
- Underscores the important role played by information, experience and intelligence sharing platforms, such as the Nouakchott and Djibouti Processes and calls for their further strengthening at higher political level; further stresses the need for promoting similar processes in other regions of the Continent;
- Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to regularly brief the Council on the status of the implementation of the Common African Defence and Security Policy and other relevant AU instruments on defence and security in the continent, in line with Article 14 of the Preamble of the Solemn Declaration of the Common African Defence and Security Policy, with a view to providing the opportunity to Council to review implementation and address any challenges that may be identified; In this regard, agrees to receive such briefing at least twice a year with the participation of CISSA;
- Requests the PSC Military Staff Committee to undertake a comprehensive study on foreign military presence and military bases in Africa, its advantages and disadvantages and submit proposals on the way forward for consideration by the PSC; in this context, agrees to provide a special report, within the spirit of the efforts to silence the guns in Africa, and to do so simultaneously with the report of the PSC on its Activities and the State of Peace and Security in Africa to the ordinary session of the Assembly of the AU to take place in January/February 2020;
- Decides to remain seized of the matter.
The G7 should deliver progress not promises on gender equality.
By Aya Chebbi, African Union’s first ever youth envoy.
Nearly 10 years have passed since the beginning of what we call the revolution of dignity, many of you refer to it as the ‘Arab spring’. I was a part of it. We were angry, we wanted a future where we could fulfil our potential. To break up old and entrenched structures limiting our potential, we, the young generation, realised that we needed to become leaders of our own development. Our struggle was also a struggle for voice as we did not see our views and hopes represented within our own governments. Even if the outcome and the progress of the protests vary from one country to another, there can be no doubt that the youth has changed the course of history.
What is particularly interesting, is that young women were powerful drivers of this movement. Their involvement went beyond direct participation in the protests. Be it as organizers, journalists or political activists – young women became the leading force in cyber-activism. Before I became a youth envoy of the African Union – I was one of these women. We seized the momentum to make our voices heard and our actions seen.
Take a closer look at the current situation in Sudan. The country is just starting a long journey moving away from decades of dictatorship. Very often women who were leading the calls for peaceful uprising against the military government. This is not a coincidence. Women have all the reasons in the world to stand up and take what is theirs. We are still miles away from having equal rights. According to the World Economic Forum, at the current rate of change, it is going to take not less than 108 years to achieve gender equality. We can not wait that long.
Poverty is sexist
Just to give you an idea of how far away we are from gender equality: Most countries in the world limit the economic opportunities of women by law. More than 100 countries even exclude women in particular from obtaining certain jobs. There are 18 countries, where it is legal for men to forbid their wives to work at all. Can you believe it? The poorer a country, the harder girls and women are hit. Poverty is sexist.
In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 52 million girls have no access to education – compared to 45 million boys. One out of three women do not have a bank account. Girls and women in Africa are at a significantly higher risk of contracting HIV than men. There are more child brides in the world than people living in the whole European Union – with unthinkable consequences for their psychological, social and economic development. This list could go on and on. So of course women take the streets. There will be no sustainable revolution without feminism.
Gender equality – everyone benefits!
Not that the legal argument wasn’t reason enough but this is not just about justice. You literally couldn’t come up with a more stupid idea than leaving half of the population behind if you wanted to strive forward as a society. To phrase it positively: Girls and women have the biggest potential to bring extreme poverty to an end – once and for all.
If all women had full primary education, this would already lead to a massive drop of maternal mortality (-70 percent!). With higher education, women will not only have fewer children at a later point in life but they will also make significantly more money – which they often reinvest in their families and communities. This way everyone benefits. Equal access to education would generate more than 112 billion US dollars worth of tax revenues for developing countries. If women were given the same land rights as men, the harvest yields would improve so much that it could lift up to 150 million people out of chronic hunger. There are thousands of good reasons for gender equality and not a single one against it.
G7 summit: progress not promises
So, what is keeping us from changing the situation for girls and women? Unfortunately, the wheels of politics turn slowly at times. Sometimes, it needs an igniting moment for things to start changing for the better. This moment could be in one week’s time when African leaders, such as, President Ramaphosa, and Macky Sall will meets with other world leaders at the G7 summit in Biarritz (France). French president and host Emmanuel Macron has put the fight against inequality front and center of the summit’s agenda – with a focus on gender equality. If you only look at the rhetoric the attending leaders used in the past, you could get the impression that equal rights for men and women are within reach. No one is getting tired of highlighting how important it is to strengthen girls and women. But these are merely words. Nothing changes only through speaking. It’s action that counts. We should all demand progress not promises. And we should demand it right now.
It goes without saying that one summit alone will not change the world in the twinkling of an eye. But as I said: It can be the spark that ignites the fire for gender equality worldwide. For the first time ever, the G7 have not invited African leaders only for the family picture and a bit of chit chat in the end, but they have actually involved them in the whole negotiation process leading up to the actual summit. This is an absolute novelty and an opportunity for both an open dialogue and citizens holding their governments accountable. If the attending world leaders are truly interested in moving gender equality forward, there are three things we can and should expect:
1) Legislative and policy change
Every participating country at the G7 summit should commit to implementing at least two legislative or policy changes on gender equality by 2022 – either by abolishing discriminatory laws or by putting in place progressive ones. This could for instance include for Senegal criminalizing rape or ensuring national policies such as on education are gender responsive. Equal pay for equal work is another example. And that is the case for all countries.
2) Financial commitments
As described above, financing gender equality is one of the smartest investments one can make to fight extreme poverty and to spur a country’s development. The G7 should put money on the table to strengthen women and girls. They should ensure that the vast majority of their development aid contributes to gender equality and that at least 20 percent of their aid promotes this as a primary purpose. But also the African governments need to do their homework and invest their domestic resources in unleashing the potential of girls and women within their countries.
In order to ensure that we don’t end up with empty promises but real progress, the G7 should put in place a new accountability and monitoring mechanism focused on delivering on gender equality. The monitoring process of course needs to be undertaken by an independent actor and in close cooperation with civil society.
The upcoming Biarritz summit is a litmus test to see what the G7 is made of. Historically, international cooperation, joint decisions and initiating global processes were what enhanced the legitimacy of the G7. Let’s hope we see progress not promises for women’s rights. We are not waiting 108 more years to receive what should be ours already.
Aya Chebbi, an award-winning Pan-African feminist. She is the first African Union Youth Envoy and the youngest diplomat at the African Union Commission Chairperson’s Cabinet.
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.
Peace and security ever
Violence and war never. Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey