The Independent Day

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

We must restore our dignity, a pride of our liberation movements from 1955-2005

We must restore our dignity, a pride of our liberation movements from 1955-2005

The Government of the SPLM and the opposition led by SPLM IO, are convinced beyond reasonable doubt, that “the leadership’s war is unwinnable by either side.” A fact which brought them to peace table and committed themselves to the R-ARCSS 2018. With outgoing declarations of commitment, the Government and opposition agreed to work together and realise the people’s peace expectations. The IGAD, AU and UN expressed the same. But the Troika (the US, UK and Norway) differed and expressed skepticism, doubting the commitment of the warring parties and possible mismanagement of the peace deal. Troika’s ambivalence, regime change and peace-making contradicted “good-faith” and mediation principles.

For this peace to succeed, the SPLM and SPLM IO must join hands and uphold the fundamental sovereign interests of the Republic of South Sudan. This means that South Sudan should identify true friends if it lacks ones at the moment. There is no shame in international diplomacy where friend “in needs is a friend indeed.”

By this summary, President Salva Kiir was genuine, and not desperate as some care-nothing South Sudanese commented, when he declared and emphasised before the parliament that “I have completely forgiven Dr. Riek Machar and ready to welcome him home.” Kiir wanted Riek and all South Sudanese to take charge of their country’s interests and co-operate with friendly countries and distant the enemies at this stage.

Kiir and Riek went to war against one another and we want them to restore back our lost peace before they retire peacefully enjoying their joined legacy of having liberated the lands they fought for for three quarters of their ages.

I appeal to them and the political leaders who signed the R-ARCSS to work for successful peace. No return to war because South Sudan is nothing now in the eyes of the world, but “a laughing stock.” We must restore our dignity, a pride of our liberation movements from 1955-2005.

Let’s unite over the Revitalised Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS)

Let’s unite over the Revitalised Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS)

By Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey

Problems facing the Republic of South Sudan today are grossly huge. They range from total insecurity, poor livelihood, absence of essential services, social, political and economic breakdown. Human freedoms and obligations are in complete disharmony. And above all, the amount of destruction inflicted on this fragile country from 2013-2018 is an worldly unprecedented in contrast to Syria, Yemen, Libya, central Africa Republic etc. Alone we are reported to have killed 400,000 citizens, let alone distraction of the fragile infrastructure. Over 4 million left the country. Two million citizens are internally displaced from their homes. And 7 million are dying from lack of food and tropical diseases. These are the problems we have inherited from Khartoum and our own made.

This is the mess our country is in. It is time to acknowledge that this country cannot with stand or sustain more disasters. The sole option is peace, as agreed on 12 September 2018, by the warring parties.

nile explorer south sudan

A man waves South Sudan’s national flag as he attends the Independence Day celebrations in the capital Juba, July 9, 2011. Tens of thousands of South Sudanese danced and cheered as their new country formally declared its independence on Saturday, REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Let’s unite over the Revitalised Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) 2018. Let’s relate our problems to the Churches because Christianity is our shared national value. Let’s form the truth and reconciliation commission, supplement it to the National Dialogue and enforce the R-ARCSS’s implementation “letter and spirit” to save our country. Otherwise, let’s celebrate the doomsday before “we are all done by it.”

South Sudan government denies committing crimes against civilians

South Sudan government denies committing crimes against civilians

Source: Xinhua|Editor: xuxin

JUBA, June 6 (Xinhua) — South Sudan on Thursday denied accusations by Human Rights Watch (HRW) that government troops committed atrocities against civilians in the country’s southern region of Yei River state.

Government spokesman Michael Makuei said the HRW report was meant to tarnish the name of the government at a time when the country is implementing the September 2018 peace deal.

“This report was written in order to tarnish the image of the government of South Sudan and the army in particular,” Makuei said. “This is not true and there is nothing as such.”

The HRW report, released on Tuesday, accuses South Sudanese soldiers of carrying out extensive abuses against civilians during counter-insurgency operations between December 2018 and last March.

The report alleged that government soldiers raped civilians, looted property, burned houses, and evicted thousands of residents from their homes in Otogo and Mukaya areas during an operation against a rebel group, the National Salvation Front.

Military spokesman Lul Ruai Koang also dismissed the report, saying the government ceased fighting rebels since signing of the peace deal last year.

“We have never gone on offensive or counter-operation during the time they indicated in their report,” Koang said. “If there were crimes that were committed, they should have been committed by the rebels who are roaming in the forests of Yei River state.”

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013 and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.

The United Nations estimates that about 4 million South Sudanese were displaced internally and externally.

A peace deal signed in August 2015 collapsed following renewed violence in the capital Juba in July 2016.

Under the September 2018 peace agreement, opposition leader Riek Machar, together with four others, will be reinstated as vice president of South Sudan.

On May 3, signatories to the latest peace deal agreed to extend the formation of a transitional government by six months, following delays in the implementation of the pact over unresolved security issues.

Sudan: Remove Rapid Support Forces from Khartoum streets immediately

Sudan: Remove Rapid Support Forces from Khartoum streets immediately

From EIN Presswire

Following the suspension of Sudan from the African Union after the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led the horrific slaughter of more than 100 peaceful protestors over the past three days, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said:

“The Transitional Military Council of Sudan must immediately withdraw all members of the Rapid Support Forces from policing and law enforcement anywhere in Sudan and especially in Khartoum. They must be ordered off the streets and confined to their barracks in the interests of public safety.

“What we have witnessed in the past three days is horrific and barbaric. The senseless killing of protestors must be stopped immediately, and those responsible for the bloodbath, including at command level, must be held fully accountable for their dreadful actions,” said Kumi Naidoo.

Amnesty International is also calling for the immediate unblocking of the internet and social media to allow the people of Sudan access to information and the opportunity to exercise their freedom of expression.

Background

Since 3 June, media outlets have widely reported attacks on protestors with live ammunition, teargas, whips and sticks by the RSF paramilitary officers across Sudan.

According to the Central Committee of Medical Doctors, more than 100 people have been killed and hundreds more injured. The security forces tried to conceal their acts by dumping dead bodies weighted with bricks in the River Nile, 40 of which are reported to have floated back to the surface, according to the doctors’ committee.

Hundreds of people have been arrested and detained in the past three days, including recently returned opposition leader Yassir Saeed Arman, whose whereabouts are unknown. Yassir, who is the deputy chairperson of Sudan’s People Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) and was one of the SPLM lead negotiators during the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the war between the north and south of Sudan in 2005, has an unwarranted death sentence hanging over his head. He must be released immediately and unconditionally.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Amnesty International. 

Machar directs his ‘forces’ to assemble in cantonment sites

Machar directs his ‘forces’ to assemble in cantonment sites

South Sudan opposition leader Riek Machar has directed SPLA-IO forces to assemble in cantonment areas as soon as possible, as part of the peace deal.

“I want you to take the issue of cantonment very seriously. If you don’t report yourselves, they will count you out,” Machar told his supporters who gathered at a rally in Khartoum on Friday.

“Please report yourselves to any nearest cantonment sites.”

Under the peace deal, the parties are required to assemble their forces in cantonment sites to enable registration of personnel, weapons, screening, reorganization and demobilisation. The deal says all forces in cantonment sites shall receive non-military logistical supplies including food, shelter and access to medical care.

Machar, who will be reinstated as first vice president, emphasized the need for dissemination of the peace agreement to grassroots for citizens to understand the contents of the signed document.

“It is not good if normal citizens do not know what is written in the peace agreement,” he said.

The opposition leader pointed out that the peace agreement is lagging behind schedule, saying several technical committees have not yet been formed. “But we don’t want this to affect the agreement,” he said.

“This delay could affect the implementation of the agreement but we want to catch up,” he added.

The revitalized peace agreement signed in September will see the creation of a new transitional government in May 2019.