Its looks like-Riek Machar-is confused

By Denis Dumo Scopas

Denis Dumo Scopas in a dialogue with the SPLM Party secretary for Information and Culture, Hon. Bol Makueng Yuol who stressed the stand of his Party SPLM.    

 

Q1- Two members from the same party- SPLM- are for talks in Addis Ababa, disagreement over power. What does this agreement mean to you?

Makueng, You know, I don’t know what kind of the agreement would work out from there, and even sometime I don’t know the objectives of all these discussion and agreements.  let me said this, its looks like this people-Rebels- and his groups are confused, and because they are confused, they wanted to confused the mediators either the mediators are confused or the mediator wanted to confused South Sudan.

Am saying this because you look the way these people- political prisoners- left to Kenya, they went with the guarantee that they are going to stay there because the population may get angering and killed them, but later they went to Addis Ababa for talks as different bloc.   The -political prisoners- knew that Riek Machar is already confused and they decided to name themselves as different group called -SPLM former detainers-.

So what kind of this peace talks are we really talking about with these different groups of so called –SPM-A In opposition and SPLM former detainers?  SPLM as a party doesn’t take arms, but we are convincing our people with programs, and when you took up arms and killed people then this is not longer SPLM party or taking of power.                  

 Q2- Opposition Parties in South Sudan has accused your party SPLM of rejecting recommendations on South-South dialogue which calls for a transitional government after the referendum. They said SPLM should be blame for massed up in the country.

Is it true that your party rejected it?

Makueng, Well, I don’t know really on what basis the political Parties are suggesting a transitional period; because we went for election and we know in the constitution we had by then has indicated that the election is propose every five years.

Therefore, the current government that run the election is the same government elected by the people of South Sudan and it was empower for five years, and until after five years which is in 2015 election will be run again in the country and that was the constitutional mandated.

General Salva Kiir Mayardit was elected by the people of South Sudan by very big majority over 90 percent in a presidential election, and more over the legislative assembly and the state ones were also elected on the basis of five years period

So the political parties do not have the basis for suggesting transitional periods, there was no reason for that.  

 

Q2- some people are saying your Boss-Kiir- and his deputy Riek Machar has to be blamed too for fueling the conflict using ethnic line?

Makueng, you see, one of the things people who are explaining such things in that way were thinking that wrong and right are the same thing, and its means they don’t know the difference between the right and wrong.

If they apportion the blamed on the two people -Riek and Kiir- then they are judging that they are either both right and both wrong which is not true, you can’t have two people right at the same time; one must be blame which is –Riek Machar.

First of all, Gen. Salva Kiir is occupying two positions as SPLM party chairman and as well as the President of South Sudan and doing so by the vase of constitution and the democratic practices in the country.

In SPLM constitution stated that if you wanted to become a president of this country you have to be elected by the convention, and our president Kiir was elected by the convention, but surprised that, Dr Riek nominated himself and he didn’t succeed at the end in 2008 convention.  

And in fact Salva Kiir was elected by all people as the president of South Sudan, so what is wrong here. Instant Dr Riek Machar opted by chosen a very violent bloody part to change things. So people who are talking along that judgment are not fair in the sense.   

 

Q3- I quoted the speech of the late Dr John Garang de Mabior, once said, “In terms of power sharing in South Sudan, I wanted to ensure all that there will be enough room for everybody including those who have not been associated with SPLM-A, even those who are for one reason or another were opposite or against the SPLM-A, There will be room for everybody”.  And today people being sacked out, what does it mean?

Would the sacking of the senior SPLM comrades bring any solution to the problem?

Makueng, The speech of late Dr John Garang was relevant and it is still relevant up to now, and it is an old session speech. Its mean that when the SPLM let government took over even before the election; SPLM went at its way by bring all the militias groups and where accommodated in the government within the frame work of the politics of South Sudan.

 At the south Sudan level government became expended from national to states, so we have legislative assemblies, executive bodies in the states and by that it’s mean we have some many ministers, MPS representing many different groups both at the national and the states levels by having a say in the government through their representatives.

Again those individuals who ever won the election were appointed to be ministers at the national and states levels.  Some who hatred SPLM-A and who ever dream that South Sudan will be an independent state were appointed.

So the room is so wide which has accommodate the expected and unexpected people.

 

Q4- Will the SPLM party accepts their former comrades back if their difference within the party is resolve?

Makueng, They have shot themselves out from the party using violence and creating distractive policies to the nation building which as aspiration to the people of South Sudan. So the recent violence create by Dr Riek machar been seen as Dinka and Nuer thing which has been misinterpretation by the international community

 First of all, these people are showing something which are not in the culture of South Sudanese and it is not also in the culture of democracies worldwide, and each situation has a role model and these people has showed as role models of violent in our society who wanted to see that if you don’t listen to them, they must killed, there must be bloodshed and people must fight.

So if SPLM party as political party cordon violence lead may people lost lives, then what political party will it look like, it would be a bad image for SPLM to be seen like a party that has to killed its members and dismantle the country.

The SPLM Code of conduct does not promote form of violence and there is no way that this group will be part and partial of SPLM party again.  

 

Q 5- Two brothers are fighting in the house and a neighbor comes and fights along one side. What does it mean really for you as a brother in the house?

Makueng, What happen is this, when two brother are quarreling and then a neighbor comes in, the neighbor does not jump and fight at once, the neighbor has to understand what has gone wrong and once he sees that there is a part unreasonable then he can go to the reasonable part to subdue unreasonable part, and that what’s a neighbor does, and this is a reasonable neighbor.

Q7 – the International community-USA- has called for the withdrawing of the Ugandan forces, aiming at avail the consequence which may affect the region. But the presidential spokesperson of Ugandan government dismissed the call as an opinion express for sake of big power politics.

As an SPLM party member do you agree with this?   

Makueng, I don’t know who are those international community members; because USA is a single country out of many countries and there are many countries which are reasonable and who think that south Sudan is a sovereign state like any other country, and it can decide which friend can be called upon to come and help in time of the need.

Ethiopian, Kenyan and Ugandan force are in Somalia because there is a democratic government there and also the same thing where French forces are fighting in Mali and also Central Africa, then why south Sudan is an exception.

That call for withdrawing of Ugandan forces from South Sudan is unreasonable and is not acceptable.

Q8- South Sudan Political Parties is preparing to nominate one candidate to contest against SPLM ruling party, given the fact that the spit in party will weaken the SPLM party.

Do you think SPLM party will win the next election if to be held in 2015?

Makueng, Yes SPLM party will win the election because we have demonstrated that we can sacrifice ourselves for south Sudan to its people. And also it is the democratic rights of every party who wanted to contest, and SPLM as Democratic Party would promote anybody who wanted to contest.

Denis Dumo, my honour once again to meet you.

Bol Makueng Yuol, you’re welcome.  

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Scramble to decongest Juba camps after first rains

 By Denis Dumo-Juba 

The United Nations and aid agencies say they are rushing to decongest the overcrowded Tongping and UN House camps in Juba after a week of rains, the first of the impending rainy season in South Sudan. The peacekeeping mission is preparing new ground on which to settle the camp residents, most of whom have spent three months under UN protection.

Heavy rains have flooded camp residents’ shelters, collapsed tents, and created pools of stagnant water in and around homes. About a fifth of the homes in the Tongping camp were flooded or destroyed in the first rains on 7 March.

Facing the onset of the rainy season, NGOs and residents are worried about a deadly health situation inside the IDP camps in Juba, particularly Tongping camp where there is poor sanitation and cases of malnutrition. Watery diarrhea, measles and malaria, coupled with malnutrition, are reported to be the leading killer diseases in the camps.

Anyanyu Gatleak, a resident of the UN camp in Tongping, explained that their children are suffering due to the rains in Juba over the last week. He urged the NGOs to assist in relocating them elsewhere.

“You can see with your own eyes about our situation here in the camps particularly with this rain – we do not want to be here but the war has forced us to be here, and what we need is our children to be protected from this worrying situation,” Gatleak said.

Another refugee at the UN compound, Elizabeth Nyro (pictured above), says they are not ready to leave the UN compound in spite of the poor living conditions. “We are not leaving until the fighting stops,” she said.

UNMISS transferring residents

The UN Mission began an operation on 12 March to move residents from the Tongping site to the UN House site, which lies on somewhat higher ground on the other side of the city. In an interview, the mission spokesperson Ariane Quentier told Radio Tamazuj so far they moved 400 people who chose to leave the Tongping site.  

“As you know the protection sites are absolutely congested,” she said, using the UN term for the camps. “There are far too many people in them and we’re getting closer and closer to the rainy season – we already had rains a couple of days ago, and this is simply untenable. We need to give people more space in a different area where the conditions are going to be better,” she said.

The spokesperson referred also to plans to extend the UN Jebel House site and find another area to settle the refugees. “With land that has been made available to us by the government we’re in the process of constructing new protection sites,” she said.

“We are going to protect them as long as needed and as long as they don’t feel safe elsewhere. Those people voted with their feet and they came to UN compound because they did not feel safe. And they felt the only place where they could be safe was in UNMISS compound,” she added.

She declined to give a specific date for the end of the relocation operation, saying, “It’s a long process, it’s a slow process, it’s ongoing. We’re doing it little by little. We have to convince people because we don’t want to force them so it’s very hard to tell how long it’s going to take.”

Asked about the security of the ‘Protection of Civilians’ sites, she declined to say from whom the civilians needed protecting. “No, I don’t think there’s any threat from the government at all. We’re not talking about that at all,” she said, pointing instead to criminality and tension within the sites as the reason for moving the residents to fortified compounds elsewhere.

Weak nutrition

Jérôme Oberreit, MSF Secretary General, said the situation of the displaced persons is ‘worrying’ owing to the combination of weak nutrition and the onset of the rains.

In an interview, the visiting director of MSF International explained that his organization has increased its presence in anticipation of deteriorating conditions. “MSF is present in most of the IDP sites that have been created since the start of the conflict in mid-December 2013,” he noted.

The humanitarian official urged all the NGOs and other major actors in South Sudan to mobilize the needed aid for the displaced people in the last weeks ahead of the rains. 

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South Sudan, Central African Republic to Face War Crimes Audit

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By Denis Dumo

African leaders ordered a committee to probe crimes such as murder and sexual violence committed in strife-torn South Sudan and Central African Republic, where the humanitarian crises are mounting.

Heads of state from the 12-member International Conference on the Great Lakes Region who met in the Angolan capital of Luanda yesterday directed its committee on genocidewar crimes and crimes against humanity to “audit” the countries, according to an e-mailed final communique.

The group is “deeply concerned with the recent outbreak of violence and worsening security and humanitarian situations in the Republic of South Sudan and Central African Republic that have resulted in the death, displacement and disruption of livelihoods of thousands of populations,” it said.

In South Sudan, violence erupted on Dec. 15 after President Salva Kiir accused former Vice PresidentRiek Machar, who was fired in July, of trying to stage a coup. He denies the charge.

The dispute escalated into clashes between members of Kiir’s ethnic Dinka community and Machar’s Nuer group. The death toll from the fighting is approaching 10,000, according to the International Crisis Group, while the United Nations says at least 395,000 people have been forced to flee their homes. Internationally-mediated peace talks Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, are progressing slowly.

Central African Republic President Michel Djotodia resigned on Jan. 10 after failing to halt inter-religious violence that intensified early last month, leaving at least 1,000 people dead and displacing a quarter of the population. About 1,600 troops sent by France, the former colonial power, and more than 3,600 African Union peacekeepers were unable to impose order. A new leader is set to be named this month.

The ICGLR has requested the African Union and its partners to increase resources and logistical support for the peacekeeping mission in the country, according to the communique. The U.S. military is airlifting 850 Rwandan soldiers today to help step up efforts to stabilize the nation.

ICGLR’s members are Angola, Uganda, Burundi, Congo Republic, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo.

At yesterday’s meeting, Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos became rotating chair of the body for a two-year period, taking over from Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

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Yau Yau accepts ceasefire

By Denis Dumo|

 Juba, January 8, 2014 (TCT) South Sudan rebel leader David Yau Yau has accepted a ceasefire extended by the Sudan people’s Liberation Army- SPLA, after progress in peace talks with Yau Yau forces mediated by retired Catholic bishop Paride Taban.

According to spokesman Col. Philip Aguer, the declaration has come three months after the rebel group began talks with the government, holding a series of talks with religious leaders led by Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Torit.
“Yau Yau and his rebel forces have remained peaceful since the negotiations began and even when the violence that erupted in Juba spread to Jonglei state,” observed Taban.
Yau Yau was quoted on Radio Miraya FM saying that he will be travelling with SPLA to participate in the peace process. He clarified that his forces are not part of the current fighting that has spread across the country.
“My message to the Republic of South Sudan is to have peace like the others to stay in harmony and to be one and this is the message that we are having. This is what we are asking, because a country without peace is totally destroyed. We need to have peace among ourselves and we need to be united like others so that we build up ourselves.” He told Radio Miraya.
Rebels led by Yau Yau have been accused of being behind a cattle raid a year ago in which more than 100 people were killed, most of them women and children.
In 2011, Yau Yau accepted an offer of amnesty from President Salva Kiir and returned to Juba where he was promoted to the rank of a general in the army. But in 2012 he left the army, fled to Khartoum, and started a new rebellion against Juba in Jonglei state.

 

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Juba University Staff Strike Matures

Premises of Juba University, Photo by Denis

Premises of Juba University, Photo by Denis

By Denis Dumo Scopas

“With the way we see things going; nothing is going to work out,” says Edward.

 

“The strike has begun as stated. It is also worth mentioning that if I give this press a statement, John Garang Memorial University of Science and Technology and University of Bahr el Ghazal are also on strike due to the same issues, and the other public universities are also in solidarity with us,” says Dr Edward Momo, Vice President of the Academic Staff Association.

Dr Edward says the lecturers are intellectuals and therefore there is still room for negotiation if the government can show seriousness about the situation, which he described as appalling.

Last week, representatives from of the academic association of Bahr el Ghazal, Rumberk, Dr John Garang, Upper Nile and Juba Universities, on Saturday, held a meeting with the minister of Education and his deputy Bol Makueng, regarding the strike which had been scheduled for Monday.

“The request for the two weeks, the Minister of Education, Science and Technology had asked from the lecturers to give him so as to make consultations with the relevant authorities, has been superseded by the letter in question. So the two weeks are off the table,” Edward asserted.

The austerity cuts, for instance, reduce the gross salary of a professor (the highest paid) from 8,525 pounds to 3,600 pounds, the staff said. It also reduces the gross salary of teaching assistant (the least paid) from 2,775 pounds to 1,515 pounds, they added.

However, the Ministry of Labor, in its circular No.12/12 in October last year, retained some allowances for the lower grade civil servants, the army, organized forces and public universities, among others.

Dr. Edward confirmed that the strike will continue until their demands are met. Meanwhile, students who were admitted in the University of Juba are lamenting the decision taken by the lecturers of the university.

“We told him (the minister) we want the allowances from the government, even if for October, November and December 2013, meanwhile we wait for the unpaid salaries, then it will be good enough to encourage us to go to work,” says Momo.

Speaking to the Juba Sun on Tuesday, Secretary General of the Academic Staff Association, Leonzio A. Onek, confirmed that the strike will continue till their demands are met.

Onek said the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, coupled with the Ministry of Finance, Commerce and Industry, assured them that their allowances would be reinstated in   February next year, 2014.

While the students of the university have lamented the decision of the lecturers to go on strike, some have accepted the decision of the lecturers. Moses Taban Kenyi said the lecturers have the right to strike. “And it is our right to attend lectures, because we are the ones paying our own fees,” he said.

Taban says the government is not taking education as priority. further urges the government and “We are always putting fault to the Arabs (Northern Sudanese) before, but now where are the Arabs? This is our own fault,” Taban emphasized.

“Am sure they (government leadership) have no children studying here, all are abroad. We the poor people are the ones suffering.  You supposed to finish in three year times (diploma) or four years time (degree), it will be extend to six year for both programs,” he lamented.

The lecturers did not conduct lectures on Monday, demanding payment of their allowances, which include nature of job, transport, books and secretariat, higher studies and extra hour’s allowances.

 

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Juba and Khartoum agree to open trade borders

ibrahim-mohamed-hamed-sudanese-minister-of-interior-speaking-to-the-press-upon-his-arrived-in-juba-photo-by-denis-dumo.

ibrahim-mohamed-hamed-sudanese-minister-of-interior-speaking-to-the-press-upon-his-arrived-in-juba-photo-by-Denis Dumo

By Denis Dumo Scopas

The joint high level committee JHLC from the republic of South Sudan and Sudan has agreed to implement four freedom agreements on “freedom of residence, freedom of movement, freedom to undertake economic activity and freedom to acquire and dispose property”.

The decision emerged after Monday’s closed door meeting between South Sudan interior minister Aleu Ayieny Aleu and his Sudanese counterpart, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid in the capital, Juba.

The two sides emphasized on the importance of accelerating the process of MOUs in exemption from visa for holders of Diplomatic, official, special and business passports. Several MOUs signed covering areas as customs and Humanitarian Affairs.

The visit, he stressed, was to advance bilateral relations Sudan and South Sudan in regard to the free movement of goods and citizens across borders, as stipulated in the 27 September 2012 Cooperation Agreement signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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US angered by Sudan’s Bashir bid to visit New York

Sudanese President Omar Bashir speaking in press conference in Juba, Photo by Denis Dumo

Sudanese President Omar Bashir speaking in press conference in Juba, Photo by Denis Dumo

By Denis Dumo Scopas

The United States has disclosed that Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir has officially applied for a visa to travel to the country to attend the UN General Assembly which will be held in New York City end of September.

In a press release issued on Monday and seen by Africa Review, the US Department of State condemned the request and asked Bashir to stand before the International Criminal Court (ICC) to answer to crimes committed in Darfur.

“We can confirm that we have received a visa application for President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan to attend events related to the opening of the UN General Assembly at the end of September,” the statement said.

“We condemn any potential effort by President Bashir to travel to New York, given that he stands accused of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court,” the statement added.

Sudan threatens to expel US envoy over visa row

Sudan has threatened to cut its relations with USA following refusal by the Barack Obama administration to grant President Omar al-Bashir a visa to travel to New York to attend the UN General Assembly

The Sudanese ministry of foreign affairs strongly condemned the US position, describing it as contempt to Africa leaders, and warned that the country will expel the US envoy to Khartoum if Washington continues with its hostile policy.

The Director for US Affairs in the Sudanese Foreign Ministry Mohammed Al Toum warned that apart from expelling the US envoy to Khartoum, Sudan will also stop the flow of South Sudan’s oil through its territories in line with the sanctions which do not permit foreign exports through its territory.

Washington and Khartoum have tense diplomatic relations as the US has put Khartoum on its list of countries which sponsor terrorism and imposed economic sanctions on Sudan since 1997.

The Hague-based ICC issued two warrants of arrest against Bashir in 2009 and 2010 for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide over the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region.

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