Saturday, May 16, 2009

Is GOSS/SPLM/A detaining Lt-Gen. Matib in US?

It has come to the knowledge of this author that Lt-Gen. Paulino Matib Nhial, the Commander of the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA), is missing. Lt-Gen. Matib has been missing since his travel to the United States for treatment. Lt-Gen. Matib joined the SPLA in 2006 in a dramatic move that was known only to Lt-Gen. Matib and SPLA leadership.
Lt-Gen. Matib has been battling a number of diseases. He had been taken to South Africa and while in that trip, rumours engulfed South Sudan that Lt-Gen. Matib had died. These rumours were not only received with mixed reactions but Juba other parts of South Sudan like his Unity State experienced an immediate insecurity dangers. These rumours were quickly neutralized by the Sudanese Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, which is led by an SPLM diplomat as its ambassador.
"The media advisor at the Sudanese embassy in Nairobi, Ms Sumaya Abdelsadiq told the official SUNA that General Paulino was currently in Nairobi at the Grand Regency Hotel. He had arrived on Friday May 4 coming from South Africa from a regular medical treatment trip. Sumayah said she met Paulino this evening at the hotel he is residing in", (
According to Al-Wifaq daily newspaper of May 17th, 2009, page (1), Lt-Gen. Matib is missing. The paper said: "…and (Riek) Machar will enter the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement (SPLM) conference hall in Rumbek – where 1st-Lt-Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) and First Vice-President of the Republic, opened SPLM conference held on May 17th, 2009) – and would look at the empty seat of Lt-Gen. Matib……America had detained the Passport of (Lt-Gen.) Paulino so as not to reach the South."
"The GOSS Mission to the United States of America was privileged to receive H.E Lt. General Paulino Matip Nhial Deputy Commander of the SPLA and his wife upon their arrival to Washington D.C Sunday August 3rd, 2008, on a private visit for medical treatment", (
Mr. Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Head of GOSS Mission, accompanied General Paulino Matip Nhial to Rochester, Minnesota, to commence his medical treatment. Upon completion of his treatment, Lt. General Paulino Matip Nhial will be meeting with the US Government officials to review the efforts and support to transform and strengthen the SPLA by the US Government. H.E. Lt. General Paulino Matip Nhial will also meet the Sudanese communities in USA", (
Who is detaining Lt-Gen. Matib against his will in America since his trip to the US was partly official as seen from the statement above? This question does not judge the book from the cover. Unless the Al-Wifaq daily newspaper's report was baseless; otherwise "detention of Matib's Passport by America" means that the US Administration is detaining Lt-Gen. Matib's Passport. How could anybody refer to such an act? Isn't the "detention" against Lt-Gen. Matib's will? There are two actors from where the answers to the questions above could come: US Administration and GOSS/SPLM/A.
This author would try to find out why is the US Administration detaining Lt-Gen. Matib? It will also look at the fact that the "detention" cannot take place without the agreement of both the US Administration and GOSS/SPLM/A. If the US Administration did the "detention" of Lt-Gen. Matib without the knowledge of the GOSS/SPLM/A, then what has GOSS/SPLM/A done to address the situation. Lt-Gen. Matib is the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the SPLA and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) recognises this fact, which includes SPLA officers and men.
"As part of a peace agreement and in order to end the war, the Parties agree that the two forces, the SAF and the SPLA shall remain separate during the Interim Period, and further agree that both forces shall be considered and treated equally as Sudan's National Armed Forces during the Interim Period" (
Having learned that the US Administration cannot detain Lt-Gen. Matib against his will, it would be important to note that GOSS/SPLM/A could be behind Lt-Gen. Matib's "detention." It is known to the entire world that the US Administration normally announces their suspicion of world leaders they consider as violators of human rights in their countries. The US Administration does not grant entry to the US of anybody they consider as war criminal or otherwise. Lt-Gen. Matib has never been mentioned by the US Administration as one of those war criminals. Thus it would be difficult to accept that the US Administration acted alone to detain Lt-Gen. Matib.
Let us assume that the GOSS/SPLM/A called the shot to detain Lt-Gen. Matib. Another question would impose itself: why has the GOSS/SPLM/A detained Lt-Gen. Matib? Well, it is common knowledge that Lt-Gen. Matib had fought the SPLM/A through his defunct Anyanya Two Militia organisation which became part and parcel of the South Sudan Defence Force (SSDF). SPLM/A views all those who collaborated with the government of Sudan (GOS) during the war in the South as sellouts and should not be welcomed in the South, GOSS, SPLM/A; unless they rejoin the SPLM/A.
But it seems to appear that rejoining SPLM/A does not mean forgiveness either. What does it mean then? By accepting him and many others in its rank and file, however, SPLM/A was not only trying to deprive them of alliance with Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) but had other plans such as detaining some of them within the South and banishing others like Lt-Gen. Matib to the US.
Let us again assume that the GOSS/SPLM/A are not aware of Lt-Gen. Matib's detention in the US. What have they then done to address the situation, now that it has become a public knowledge? It is morally correct of any government to officially address – through diplomatic channels – the detention of any of its members. GOSS/SPLM/A has not made any such statements concerning the reasons for Lt-Gen. Matib's failure to return home from the US.
The GOSS/SPLM/A had sent Lt-Gen। Matib to the Republic of South Africa (RSA) for medical treatment. Even though the rumours of his death in RSA were so strong, Lt-Gen. Matib came back alive. The question the people of South Sudan, especially the relatives and the entire Nuer of Unity State would be asking is that: is Lt-Gen. Matib alive in the US or dead. This column does not intend to reactivate the rumours of Lt-Gen. Matib's death in RSA but warns that GOSS/SPLM/A's failure to inform the people of the South of the whereabouts of Lt-Gen. Matib could lead to similar rumours as those created when he was in RSA.
The US has no interest at all in detaining Lt-Gen. Matib. Therefore, if the "detention" of Lt-Gen. Matib in the US is a decision of the GOSS/SPLM/A and executed by the US Administration, then the US Administration would be wrong. It is illegal for the US Administration to detain Lt-Gen. Matib; let alone the fact that no US citizen can be arrested without formal charges. Even if there are formal charges, such a citizen will have to be brought before a court of law to answer for those charges. Since Lt-Gen. Matib does not have any formal charge brought against him by the US Administration, his continued "detention" would be illegal and that would mean that the US is violating Lt-Gen. Matib's basic human rights.
South Sudan is going through one of the most difficult periods in its history. There are conflicts everywhere in the South, including some signs pointing towards an early rebellion. It seems that this kind of situation would be increasing in worsening by the day. If there is anybody within the GOSS/SPLM/A who thinks that his group, tribe or community would be better placed to resolve the current crisis in the South, s/he would be lying.
The crisis in the South is caused by mismanagement of GOSS and SPLA. The origin of this mismanagement is tribalism. Thus the resolution of these kinds of problems caused by tribalism need the leaders of all tribes in the South, including Lt-Gen. Matib, to end the crisis. In other words, Lt-Gen. Matib and other prominent leaders from other tribes need to seat down to search for a solution to this crisis threatening to turn the South into yet another Somalia within the Horn of Africa region.

Who is ruling the South; is it NCP or SPLM/A?

Some prominent South Sudanese have of recent been responding to the exploding situation in South Sudan. This exploding situation ranges from tribal conflicts between tribes all over the South and an appearance of banditry along Juba-Torit road, which other people say it is the beginning of another rebellion.
The prominent people – some of who are very respectable – have unfortunately misplaced their arguments. The misplacement of their arguments is represented in blaming of the National Congress Party (NCP) for what is happening in the South. "Events" does not subscribe to any political party and today it looks at the logic behind blaming the crisis in the South on the NCP.
First of all it is important to note that the prominent South Sudanese mentioned above have clearly accused the NCP of being behind the current crisis in South Sudan. The logic behind their thinking is that the NCP is using some South Sudanese to create insecurity in the South so that they could prove to the world that the South cannot govern the South.
Well, it is known to the same world that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) gave the SPLM/A the right to govern the South, control its security and certainly manage the entire finances. Nationalists whose government is empowered with political power, security control and money could fuse the three powers to gain support from their citizens. Nationalists with a tripartite power like the one we have just mentioned would create the necessary infrastructure The South today is suffering from the problems of insecurity, governance and financial mismanagement.
Where does the NCP come in here? Did the NCP encourage the top Government of South Sudan (GOSS) officials to misgovern the South; mismanaged its finances; and support the insecurity campaign in the South? If the three questions above could be answered in the affirmative; then there is no need to blame the NCP. But if the answer to the questions above is in the negative, then these prominent South Sudanese should at least accept that the SPLM/A and GOSS have encouraged mis-governance, mismanagement of finances and mismanagement of security in South Sudan. How?
The current crisis in the South – at least the most pressing crisis of the three crises: misgovernance, mismanagement of finances and security – should be blamed on the GOSS and not the NCP. The GOSS with its security forces have guarded the South from the NCP and anybody associated with the NCP. How could anybody from the NCP, be s/he from the South get the opportunity to create insecurity in the South?
To the best of everybody's knowledge, the GOSS with its security forces have arrested people they allege support the NCP. They have never given the NCP the freedom to freely exercise its political rights in the South. In fact most of the SPLM/A members openly say that the NCP has no place in the South. That has been witnessed by the way they show their hatred towards the South Sudanese within the NCP. Which NCP member is there to carry out activities such as causing serious insecurity in the South? Who is ruling the South; is it NCP or SPLM/A?
It is now four years after the CPA and the South has received more than 6.0 Billion Dollars. With such a huge amount received by the GOSS; how much has it put in order to create an able security, which should have been given the mandate to crack down on anybody trying to bring about insecurity in South Sudan? How much of this huge amount has been given to the SPLA soldiers in order to overcome their suffering for 23 so as to raise their morale to do work? How much of this huge amount has been put to create the much needed services such as health and others?
SPLM/A and GOSS are in full charge in South Sudan. If they have failed to manage the South, NCP should not be blamed for their failures. It is true that some people in the North of Sudan had said in the past that the South cannot manage itself. This statement was not said because the South has no educated people who can run the South. They are there – many of them – but lack the direction of a leadership that is responsible. Responsibility does not entertain tribalism, corruption and insecurity in an entity governed by a civilized government. Now that the GOSS, SPLM and SPLA have actually proved beyond any reasonable doubt to the people of the North that they cannot manage themselves, they should accept the blame. NCP should be left aside and the leadership of the South now running the government of the day in South Sudan should address the crisis in the South without taking refuge in the NCP.
One South Sudanese writer once said: "Southern Sudanese need to understand that not every misfortune happening in the South is caused by the NCP. Salaries are being paid only after two months while others are running away with millions of dollars. In the market, a cowboy is exchanging dollars, and insecurity is everywhere in the South", (Loku, Tongun, S, Sudan Vision, May 12th, 2009, p. 5).

GOSS needs to resolve the SPLA salary crises

This author has learned that there is a serious problem of banditry along Torit-Juba road. Confirmed reports say that some members of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) are behind this banditry attacks. Other reports seem to indicate that there is a rebellion in the making. The reasons behind this banditry or rebellion – whichever way one wants to see it – are said to be failure to pay salaries to SPLA, lack of food for the soldiers posted along the road; and the problems of tribalism and sectionalism within the Government of South Sudan (GOSS).
On May 9th, 2009, Al-quwat Al-musallaha (Armed Forces) Newspaper (page 1) reported the killing of two SPLA soldiers and the capture of two others in a clash between the so-called bandits and the GOSS security forces. It has also been reported that one member of the GOSS security forces was killed in yet another clash with the same bandits on May 11th, 2009, along Juba-Torit road.
This is not a new development. The Juba-Torit road had in the past faced a similar catastrophic banditry attacks. The GOSS used to refer to those attacks as committed by the Equatoria Defence Force in collaboration with the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). GOSS did not mince its words then when it directed accusations for such operations on the SAF.
In response to the tribal fighting between the Bari and Mundari tribes, GOSS said: "From LRA attacks in Eastern Equatoria State (EES) to the recurrence of cattle raids that resulted in killing of innocent lives in Jonglei Lakes, Warrap, Unity and Upper Nile States, preventing these incidents is GOSS' priority", (The Citizen Newspaper, May 12th, 2009, p.1).
Reading from the GOSS statement above, the reader would realise that LRA is still being mentioned by GOSS as responsible for the attacks along Juba-Torit road. Is this true? May be and May be not. Because the whole world knows that the LRA had shifted their bases into the Democratic Republic of the Congo and are very active in Western Equatoria and not in EES.
According to the news reported by the SAF Newspaper, the two killed and two captured were said to be SPLA soldiers. Is the SPLA also called LRA? Obviously not. The SPLA remains SPLA and the LRA remain LRA. Why then does the GOSS refer to the attacks along Juba-Torit road as those carried out by the LRA?
To answer the question above, one would say that the GOSS is probably trying to divert the attention of the people of South Sudan from blaming the SPLA for the attacks. This would be deceit at a time when the people of the South have come to know that it is the SPLA soldiers who are carrying out these attacks and not the LRA.
The SPLA soldiers are going for more than three months without salaries. The SPLA forces that are deployed along Juba-Torit road are not supplied with food. If soldiers are not paid salaries; at the same time food is not supplied; they are bound to use force in order to earn cash and at the same time some food to eat. Should they be blamed? No, it would be unfair to blame them because they had volunteered for more than 23 years and this is the time to get rewarded for the 23 years voluntary services to the Sudan People's Liberation Movement.
The GOSS needs to resolve the current crisis of failing to pay the SPLA salaries. This has to be a priority if the GOSS wishes to conduct elections in South Sudan peacefully. Otherwise, any attempt that would aim at undermining the issue of salary payment to the SPLA would lead to something bigger than just banditry. When such happens, the GOSS should forget anything called elections and should have itself to blame and not the poor SPLA soldiers. The GOSS had made SPLA soldiers to understand that the time for voluntary services is over. Thus, the GOSS should live up to its promise and pay the salaries of the SPLA and supply food to those deployed to protect the innocent civilians from this and other banditries in future.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The illusive fight against corruption in South Sudan: "No prosecutions since the establishment of GOSS"

The Government of South Sudan (GOSS) under the leadership of H.E. First Vice-President, Lt-Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, had emphasized and reemphasized its commitment to fighting corruption in South Sudan. This noble task was backed up by an Anti-Corruption Commission. This commission was specifically created to fight corruption in all its forms in South Sudan.

Like it was mentioned in one of this author's articles entitled "Legislators Ought to Probe GoSS for the Whereabouts of $702m", ( early in March, 2009, the South Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) refused to approve a debate on a case involving cash amounting to 6.26 Billion Sudanese Pounds for food strategic reserve (food security) for South Sudan. It is reported that out of this cash only one state implemented what was required of it. The rest of the cash could not be traced and this seems to be supported by the SSLA leadership, which recently passed an anti-corruption bill. "The south Sudan legislative assembly has endorsed the anti-corruption bill for the year 2009",(

On March 31st, 2009, Al-Wifaq Newspaper reported the disappearance of 14 Billion Sudanese Pounds in Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal State. This cash disappeared from the State Ministry of Education in Aweil. The cash was distributed amongst the officials at the Ministry. The State Education Minister in Aweil discovered the racket and quickly reported the theft to the police who are said to be holding the culprits. 

This theft is occurring irrespective of the GOSS President's insistence to fight corruption in his government. "GOSS president has reiterated before the donors' conference in Juba his determination to eradicate corruption in the South", ( The President of GOSS declared his war against corruption in 2007. The menace called corruption continues to this date in South Sudan. Why? It's an infectious disease that seems to have been easily transmitted to the other people in GOSS administration. However, the fact that it's a disease, the SPLM Secretary-General, Pagan Amum, confirmed it. He said "corruption is a true disease in the South", ( There are some factors that contribute to the continuation of corruption in South Sudan:

*Tribalism strengthened by poverty and protection of corrupt officials by the decision-makers in GOSS on sectional and tribal lines;

*Inability of the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate and arrest those corrupt officials in GOSS; and 

*Parliament's inability to play its important role of enacting laws against corruption and its practices in South Sudan.

Tribalism, poverty and protection of corrupt officials via tribal bias

Tribe is positive thing; but tribalism is negative and on the line of tribalism, a senior government official would squander public funds but a senior relative from his/her tribe within that particular ministry any other higher institution in GOSS would bail the thief out. What happened here is that the corrupted cash is divided between the two or more as is the case in Aweil. These two or more relatives are both suffering from poverty and certainly want to live like the others who have been helped by their tribesmen in GOSS. This could be seen from those who were accused of corruption, arrested but later on released in Juba. There is hope, at least with the new anti-corruption bill, that those officials who divided between themselves Four (4) Billion Sudanese Pounds in Aweil, should be brought to books. If this happens, tribalism and poverty may differ in their close relationship in GOSS.


Anti-Corruption Commission

The Anti-Corruption Commission seemed to have been created to impress the donors. Otherwise, how could the commission fail to arrest and charge a single corrupt person? The answer to this question is simple: the commission is powerless – it has no powers to arrest and investigate unless such is done as a public relations exercise – smoke-screening – if you like. The Anti-Corruption Commission should not be blamed for failing to arrest anyone in the South. But now that a bill has been passed to help enact laws for the commission to carry out its duties, we hope that the commission would do its best to function and report any hindrance to its work. "In an effort to combat corruption, the SSLA passed the long awaited anti-corruption bill today in its third and final reading", (  

Parliament's failure to play its role

The parliament of South Sudan has some of the best legislatures this country has. The problems of corruption and insecurity in South Sudan are directly attributed to the poor or corrupt leadership within the SSLA. It should be noted, however, that SSLA leadership had ignored to discuss matters such as the 6.26 Billion Sudanese Pounds meant for strategic food reserve or food security. This amount was seriously mishandled by various states and some GOSS top officials and by refusing to debate it, SSLA is encouraging corruption.

Reactions from Anti-Corruption Commission and SSLA

The Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Dr Pauline Cuir Riak, was happy and had the following to say: “I am confident that with the provision of the bill, we shall be able to carry out our work effectively without any threats." "In an effort to combat corruption, the SSLA passed the long awaited anti-corruption bill today in its third and final reading", ( 

Dr Jimmy Wongo, a legislator in SSLA, conquers with Dr Pauline Riak and says that, "the bill must be accompanied with strong measures to bring all corrupt agencies to law. Nobody has been prosecuted in the three years since the establishment of GOSS", (

Responding to the same bill, SSLA Speaker, James Wani Igga, said: "a nation cannot work effectively with the absence of an anti-corruption bill." He hailed the adoption of the legislation as a milestone for the Southern Parliament. 


The best way to deal with this issue of corruption is not just the passing of anti-corruption bill. It's the seriousness to follow the implementation of such bills and taking those who undermine such implementation to task, including dismissal from public offices. This measure, coupled up with a commitment from the Anti-Corruption Commission to do its work unhindered, corruption may be eradicated for ever in South Sudan. 

The disappearance of the Four (4) Billion Sudanese Pounds from the ministry of education in Aweil may be a blessing in disguise. Those who are involved in the theft of this huge sum of cash must really be dealt with; now that the SSLA had passed the anti-corruption bill. 

Just like the SSLA Speaker said, "a nation cannot work effectively with the absence of an anti-corruption bill." Now that the anti-corruption bill has been passed, may GOSS, SSLA together with the Anti-Corruption Commission review the previous cases, like 702 Million Dollars which disappeared sometimes back, the disappearance of the 14 billion Sudanese Pounds in Aweil and of course, the Al-Cardinal scandal. Failure to address the cases that were known to be serious corruption matters in the past would encourage future corruption in South Sudan. It will amount to injustice to prosecute others while protecting other corrupt officials within GOSS. Best wishes for a success against corruption in South Sudan.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Government of South Sudan: implement the Kenana resolutions without hatred or tribal inclinations

Political leaders, elders and intellectuals from South Sudan have – in early April, 2009 – held a conference in Kenana. The conference was supposed to discuss the Government of Sudan (GOSS) non-committal stance to the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment of the President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omar Hasan Ahmad Al-Bashir, and the political, economic and security situations in South Sudan.

In its closing remarks, the conference "categorically rejected the ICC warrant against the President of the Republic and demanded Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) to support this stance; and that SPLM should avoid isolating itself and South Sudan from opposing position to ICC procedures as expressed by the Sudanese people and their political parties." (The Advocate Newspaper, April 5th, 2009, p. 3.).

The conference – as usual – met very strong rejection from the SPLM and its supporters. The common phrase used by some of these SPLM and their supporters to describe the conference is that "the conference was born dead." Why should the conference be born dead? This article will try to discuss the importance of the Kenana and other conferences on South Sudan; reasons for "stillbirths" of conferences in the politics of South Sudan; and whether or not such conferences could add rather than reduce the unity in South Sudan.

Why Stillbirths?

Currently politics in South Sudan seem to be driven by SPLM and its supporters. This is not a bad idea at all so long as it does not interfere with the rights of other people who are not necessarily SPLM officials or supporters. But those who refer to a conference that has not even concluded its deliberations as "born dead" are undemocratic.

There are many parties in South Sudan – some of these parties call themselves differently when they are actually part and parcel of the SPLM. There are also those parties which have different names but are actually allied to the National Congress Party (NCP). All this is fine in party politics. But it should not be ignored that there are independent political parties in the South that do not belong or support any of the two major Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) partners.

Thus, any group – not related to SPLM like those that are independent – trying to call for any conference or even gathering in the name of the people of South Sudan have always been discouraged. There are a number of reasons for this kind of behaviour:

A mistaken belief that SPLM, its allies and supporters should draw a roadmap for future developments; be they political or otherwise in South Sudan.
That any other party that does not support or toe the SPLM line is an enemy of the people – 'you are either with us or against us';
That SPLM must be consulted before anything is done about South Sudan; and
That such a conference held without SPLM blessing is "born dead".

Mistaken belief

The mistaken belief referred to in this article is a fact. For example, the South-South Dialogue which was conducted in Nairobi, Kenya, during the Naivasha negotiations was misunderstood by the SPLM as a power struggle. The South-South Dialogue was and remains a very important issue. Unless misunderstood; but the South-South Dialogue was aimed and would still be aimed at providing a forum for the people of South Sudan. It's a fact that apart from South-North conflict, South Sudanese fought each other in the period prior to the CPA. Forgiveness of each other and opening a new page for relationship between the people of the South were, and remain to be, the main agenda of the South-South Dialogue. What seems to be disuniting the people of South Sudan now is that there are people within the SPLM who believe that those who worked against the SPLM from the South should be thrown away into the dust bin of history.

Either with us or against us

"You're either with us or against us" was a phrase used by the former United States President, G. W. Bush, when drawing the redline between terrorists, those who sponsor terrorism and those who wanted to fight terrorism after September 11th, 2001, terrorist attack - see here bellow: For Bush, the phrase wasn't negative because he really wanted to know who amongst his allies were standing by his side.

But this cannot be true in the situations of the SPLM. SPLM is a political party that should endeavour to welcome into its party Sudanese from different walks of life. But a party that considers anybody who might actually be making up his/her mind to join it or has no interest in joining it as an enemy is detrimental to the party. Such a party may not survive for long because it does not trust itself and certainly has no future plans to accommodate more in itself.

Consulting SPLM

SPLM as the main political party governing South Sudan needs to be consulted only when requesting for permission to hold any big political gathering in South Sudan. But referring to Kenana conference as "Born Dead" just because SPLM and its supporters from the other parties think permission was not granted for them to so, is unfair. Kenana is Sudan and certainly those who chose Kenana are sending a clear message to the SPLM that security in South Sudan is not alright. But as South Sudanese they feel that they need to contribute by reminding the SPLM of its obligations as a de facto GOSS.

Kenana Conference" Born Dead"

Why do some people within the SPLM and the parties that support them believe that any conference on South Sudan convened without them is ill-conceived and condemned for a stillbirth? It's important for this question to have an answer, even if it's speculative, it would do the reader good.

It has been misconceived, misconstrued and irrationally understood by some people within the SPLM and its army, SPLA, that they are the South and the South is them. It is on this basis that the mentioned group of SPLM/A has created a serious divide between the people of the South. This same group has divided the people of the South into three categories:

SPLM/A Proper;
SPLM/A (reference to those who joined SPLM/A lately); and
Those they claim are used by the Arabs (or Jallabah) as they like to call it.

SPLM/A Proper

Whether in the SPLM, SPLA or an ordinary citizen, an SPLM/A Proper is always given VIP treatment. This member is supposed to have contributed to the liberation struggle more than the other two categories. AS such s/he deserves to reap from where he saw, whether in political, military or economic spheres.


This is supposed to be an ordinary membership and it refers to those who joined the SPLM/A after the 1990s. It's true though that those who joined the SPLM/A in the 1990s have a mistaken believe that they are part and parcel of the Proper. It's not true and the way they are being treated by SPLM/A Proper testifies to this fact. People falling under this category have security from the Proper planted in and around their workplaces in order to check their activities and ensure that they are not infected by the last group: Those used by the Jallabah.

Those Used by the Jallabah

This group of those South Sudanese who worked with the government in the organised forces and the civil service before and after the CPA have problems reaching the South because if anyone of them does, s/he will be followed or even arrested for false accusations like s/he is sent by the Jallabah to buy people for the NCP. Many of these people are under lock and key in South Sudan's various states.

What SPLM/A should know

SPLM should know that trying to search for an invisible enemy is not a simple thing to do. It's called 'fear of unknown.' This fear of unknown would be bogging the SPLM and its leadership down from trying to do many good things for the people of the South. The enemy the SPLM should really be searching for is within itself not outside. Those in the SPLM who cannot tolerate non-SPLM members of the South Sudan public are the enemy the SPLM is searching for. SPLM may know, but these people may not, that South Sudan does not belong to SPLM or any other political party? The SPLM is just a political party like any other political party that would come to power and shall depart from such power when the time comes.

Importance of Kenana Conference

Kenana conference was necessary because it reactivated the leadership of the South to understand its role in improving the welfare of the South Sudanese people. This is a responsibility which SPLM cannot shoulder alone. The resolutions of the conference are not against the GOSS. They are aimed at improving the general welfare of the people in South Sudan and the welfare of GOSS itself. The importance of the conference is represented in its resolutions. For example one of the most important of this conference's resolutions said that it is "motivated by the desire to see the GOSS succeed in fulfilling the duties assigned to it by the CPA, especially providing peace, security, freedom and peace dividends to (the South Sudanese) people." (The Advocate Newspaper, April 5th, 2009, p. 3.).

Another example from the conference said in one of its resolutions that "the ICC has no legal basis to indict the president of the republic; and that a strong and vocal opposition of the South to the ICC's indictment of the president will certainly influence the decision of the UN Security Council in one way or the other." (The Advocate Newspaper, April 5th, 2009, p। 3.). Another one also said that, "the GOSS must ensure that all political parties and individuals have unhindered freedom to propagate their ideas." (Sudan Vision Newspaper, April 7th, 2009, p. 7.). This is a very important point because parties and individuals opposed to the SPLM/A have been hindered from carrying out their individual and collective responsibilities in South Sudan.

Other Kenana Resolutions

"SPLA as the professional army of South Sudan must be kept away from supporting or obstructing one political party or the other and should not be used for political purposes." (The Advocate Newspaper, April 5th, 2009, p. 3.). This too is an important point because the SPLA has been paying allegiance to the SPLM/A and South Sudanese from SPLM party.

"The first duty of a government is to provide credible and sustainable public and personal security for every citizen." (The Advocate Newspaper, April 5th, 2009, p. 3.). This is also an important point to note; because the South is never secure. The SPLA in the South is known to take law into its own hands and that somehow undermines the role of the police and the ministry of internal security in trying to maintain peace and quiet in South Sudan.

Relationship between the North and South are bad। One of the resolutions said that, "To our dismay, the last four years have been characterized by unnecessary friction and lack of cooperation on important issues related to the CPA. A successful implementation of the CPA can only be realized if the two partners are seen to be cooperating with each other." This too is an important point; because the CPA may end up dead if the partners to it continued to be on each other's throat.

This author has made his views about GOSS and what GOSS ought to do in order to manage the South. To know more on this author's previous articles, please visit: or The Kenana conference is an additional voice to those that have already been ignored by the SPLM/A leadership. But those within the SPLM/A leadership, who know that they are accountable to the people of South Sudan in whatever they do, need to know that the Kenana conference resolutions are digested well and implemented where applicable. Those who met in the Kenana Sugar complex are South Sudanese. They are not calling for the overthrow of the de facto GOSS. They are simply asking it – as an obligation imposed to it by the CPA – to implement the Kenana resolutions without hatred and/or tribal inclinations.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Importance of Bashir's Visit to Doha

The President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omar Hasan Ahmad Al-Bashir, arrived Doha, the capital of Qatar, on March 29th, 2009. The trip comes as a response to an annual routine and to the Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs' reassurance that his country would ignore the International Criminal Court (ICC) decision to indict him.

It's worth noting here that the ICC had – on March 4th, 2009 – issued a statement in which it indicted the President of the Republic, Omar Al-Bashir. The statement said that the ICC will be seeking for the cooperation of the Sudanese government and other governments signatory to the Rome Statute to effect the arrest of the president.

The indictment statement had obviously raised the tensions of those Sudanese who felt that their sovereignty and integrity were tempered with. This included those other Sudanese who hoped that they would salvage something out of the chaos they envisioned would ensue after President Al-Bashir's indictment by the ICC. These two groups would be referred to hereinafter as 'two schools' of thought.

The school of thought that hoped to salvage from its imagined chaos was wishing for the president to travel to Doha so that he could be arrested quickly; even thought that it was not convinced that the president would travel. While the other school of thought – that which serves this country from the basis of nationalism and a commitment to its territorial integrity – was shocked to hear that the president's plane did land at Al-Doha International Airport. This thus made the shock to both schools of thought very mutual indeed.

It should be made clear here that the school of thought that opposed the president's travel to Doha is seriously affected by the president's decision to travel. Someone may ask why? This school of thought did not believe but was precautious that if allowed to travel to Doha, the president may be arrested. This school of thought is working round the clock to ensure the president's safety. Based on its serious work, this school had – through some of its affiliated bodies – warned the president from traveling to Doha. The fact that the president traveled, its shock is legitimate.

The other school is shocked because it had already suffered a previous shock: the absence of the chaos they expected would ensue after the ICC indictment of the president. The president's Doha visit is a relapse to the previous shock which was sustained by this school of thought from the failure to arrest the president in the imagined chaos. This article would be analyzing the importance of President Al-Bashir's visit to Doha and future visits, if any, to other countries around the world.

The Doha visit plus the other two visits President Al-Bashir made earlier are a message to the ICC Prosecutor-General, Louis Moreno-Occampo, that President Al-Bashir is the President of the Republic of the Sudan. It's not a challenge as was reported by some media outlets but rather a right for a sovereign representative of a nation to pursue his duties within or without the Sudan without fear. The importance of these visits is represented in the following:

The visits made by President Al-Bashir to Asmara, Egypt and Doha, were very important so that Occampo and those using him know that President Al-Bashir cannot and will not relinquish his sovereign responsibilities within and without the Sudan.

It will mean working for the interest of the ICC and its allies if the president is somehow grounded because of Occampo's decision in The Hague.

Adhering to the ICC decision would also mean that this country's sovereignty and integrity have both not only been compromised by its own sons and daughters but relinquished to Ocampo and those fueling ICC decisions from bellow.

There no other Seating President other than President Al-Bashir who is in a position to encourage the rest of the third world that must have been cowed down by the ICC decision to stand up and fight against any injustice.

It is President Al-Bashir who should send a clear message to the third world that there is neo-colonialism in the offing which seems to be used to target what are assumed to be powerless states within the third world.

If there is any final nail that should be put on the head of the ICC, it was in the hands of Occampo himself. That is Occampo's lack of respect to sovereignty, territorial integrity of the Sudan and President Al-Bashir who is the icon of the country.

It is the hope of every peace-loving Sudanese nationalist that the President of the Republic intensifies his visits around the world to countries that believe in the ICC decision to indict him as unjust and unacceptable. The government's intelligent forces are there and always do their best to ensure that there is enough information at hand to ensure the safety of the President wherever he goes.

When it comes to fear that President Al-Bashir may be assassinated or killed by these neo-colonial powers, it should be noted that death is in the hands of God Almighty. As believers in one God, faithful human beings know that no human person could end the life of another. But those who think they can harm President Al-Bashir or end his life would only be displaying themselves to the entire world as terrorists, lawless and ungodly people.

President Al-Bashir’s Indictment: a blessing in disguise and Successful Referendum on Popularity

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announcement to indict President Omar Hasan Ahmad Al-Bashir, which was mentioned first time in late 2008, was issued on March 4th, 2009. The decision to indict the president created a lot of local and international reactions as well as debates on the ICC's jurisdiction over countries that have not signed the Rome Treaty. The debate on the issue, however, also included the ICC's inabilities and incapability to physically arrest President Al-Bashir or indeed any other president former or otherwise. This article intends to add the author's debate on the ICC’s issue to those that have either been debated or are being debated in the political, legal and social scenes.

Local Scene

On the local scene – that is the Sudanese reaction on the ICC decision to indict President Al-Bashir – two phenomena were imagined or expected could happen by those behind the ICC. The first one is that, they thought that there were to be experienced in the Sudan a popular uprising against the government with a view to toppling it; and the second is that, they thought that the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) would overthrow the President of the Republic. Either of this imagined coup d’etat was thought could install a president that would cooperate with the ICC and its allies to arrest the President of the Republic and hand him over to the ICC.

South Sudan

The reaction of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) on the indictment was unexpected. Led by the SPLM/A, which is a partner of the National Congress Party (NCP) in the Government of National Unity (GONU), GOSS had a moral obligation to back the President of the Republic against the ICC decision. But GOSS’ decision to maintain a non-committal approach to the entire ICC indictment saga and the beefing up of its security in the South could be nothing but precautionary measures on the two phenomena which were expected could happen to topple President Al-Bashir. This is in addition to GOSS leadership’s insistence that President Al-Bashir should cooperate with the ICC and its boycott of most of the ICC Crisis Committee Group Meetings on ICC Indictment, chaired by First Vice-President and President of GOSS.

Northern Sudan

Some opposition parties in the North, including Dr। Khalil Ibrahim’s Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) saw the indictment as a reason to advance their agenda. This agenda was based on the same two phenomena. The Popular Congress Party, led by Dr. Hasan Abdallah Al-Turabi, for example, said that the President of the Republic should cooperate with the ICC. JEM, on the other hand, said it was the ‘legitimate authority to arrest the President’ of the Republic; and angrily reacted by suspending the Doha negotiations, (BBC Arabic Service, March 5th, 2009).

Khartoum Citizens

Innocently, the citizens of Khartoum – listening to the strong rumours on the two phenomena – went to the markets on March 3rd, 2009, to stock their homes with food for fear of a coup d’etat "I for one cannot see a political way out of this mess. The International Crisis Group writes that ‘the NCP is likely to look for a way out of a situation, by changing its policies or leadership. To succeed, it will need to change both.’ This is groping in the dark. What is ICG actually advocating here? It seems to me that it is calling for a coup. An internal coup is possible though unlikely and not, to my mind, a solution. (See this site for more details:

Those Sudanese nationals who supported the ICC decision to indict the president, a matter they think could impose a coup d’etat in the country, could be having a number of personal and partisan problems. These problems could likely be represented in the following:

1. Ignorance in differentiating between a threat to the nation and that to the President as a sovereign representative of the nation;
2. Lacking commitment to the country's sovereignty and its integrity;
3. Lacking of political ability to decipher the real intention behind the ICC's decision;
4. Inability to read between the lines and understand that the ICC’s indictment of the president also targets the CPA;
5. Lacking knowledge of how the indictment could, say, by proxy, extend to some of them while in power;
6. False assumption that anyone could salvage anything from the imagined chaos thought would ensue once President Bashir is toppled; and
7. Trying to come to power through such crooked ways as ICC’s imaginary attempt to overthrow the Sudanese president.

Darfur Peace

It’s important to relate the ICC decision to indict President Al-Bashir to its main source, Darfur. Many experts believed that when the ICC threatened to indict the President of the Republic late last year; it were and could/will still work against the peace process in Darfur. This has now appeared to be true. JEM leadership is saying that they cannot talk to an 'international criminal' (a reference to President Al-Bashir by Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, BBC Arabic Service, March 18th, 2009).

This is what those who are pursuing the ICC indictment from within or without Europe want. Because it means prolonging the war in Darfur, and that means raising more funds for Darfur by the NGOs – especially those that were expelled – to continue surviving on the poor people of Darfur as they did sometimes and continue to do with the people of South Sudan..

Foreign Reactions

The powers behind the ICC’s indictment of the President of the Republic were overjoyed on hearing about the indictment. The United States of America (hereinafter referred to as US) said it was committed to peace in the Sudan but those who committed atrocities should be held accountable. "We are strongly committed to the pursuit of peace in Sudan and believe {that} those who have committed atrocities should be held accountable for their crimes." (For more details, please follow this internet link to read more on the foreign reactions on pro and against President Bashir’s indictment by the ICC.,00.html?maca=en-aa-pol-863-rdf).

The European Union, a US ally, meanwhile, reiterated its full support to the ICC decision to indict President Al-Bashir। It said that, "the EU reiterates its full support and respect for the ICC and its key role in the promotion of international justice". (This statement is found on the same internet link above).

"Russia and China are opposed to the ICC decision to indict President Al-Bashir। The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman warned that the ICC decision could further destabilize the situation in Sudan. "China, on the other hand, "expressed its regretfulness and worry over the arrest warrant for the Sudan President issued by the ICC," Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Qin Gang, said. (Both statements could be found in the same internet link above).

Africa, which usually takes refuge in the former Eastern Bloc when hardly hit by the US and its Western allies, said that, "the AU's position is that we support the fight against impunity. We cannot let crime perpetrators go unpunished. But we say that peace and justice should not collide; that the need for justice should not override the need for peace."

AU Commission Chairman, Jean Ping, concluded by saying that, "Africa was being selectively targeted। What we see is that International Justice seems to be applying its fight against impunity only to Africa as if nothing were happening elsewhere (as is the case) in Iraq, Gaza, Colombia or in the Caucasus." (AFP).

Meanwhile, the Arab League urged the Security Council to use its power under Article 16 of the ICC statute to suspend the case against Al-Bashir to avoid undermining the fragile peace process in Darfur and a rocky 2005 North-South deal that ended a two-decade civil war. The Arabs also suggested (that) they would ignore the arrest warrant if President Al-Bashir visits their countries. Jordan is the only Arab country that is a signatory to the ICC. (See for more details).

A prominent scholar, a US citizen living in the UK, Prof। Alex De Waal, is known for his critic against the Sudanese government most of the time. He has reacted very negatively against the ICC decision to indict President Al-Bashir. He, like the Arab League, called for invocation of Article 16 of the UNSC which states that: "No investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with under this (Rome) Statute for a period of 12 months after the Security Council, in a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the UN, requested the Court to that effect; that request may be renewed by the Council under the same conditions." See

Independent Reactions from Western Citizens

Meanwhile, Dick Leurdijk, a citizen of the Netherlands, home to ICC, works with the Clingendael Institute for International Relations and Diplomacy based in The Hague, Holland, also reacted to the ICC decision to indict President Al-Bashir। He said that, "it was too bad that Moreno-Ocampo did not elaborate on how Sudan is obliged under International Law to arrest Al-Bashir even in his own territory."

Leurdijk acknowledged the fact that Sudan has not and will not recognize the authority of the ICC। The ICC, he said, was established through political negotiations, not on the basis of UNSC Resolution like the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (and Rwanda).

Basis for ICC to Indict President Al-Bashir

The ICC made a reference to UNSC Resolution 1593 and articles 25 and 103 of the UN Charter as the legal basis for Sudan's obligation to arrest its own leader. Resolution 1593, adopted by the UNSC in 2005, was the basis upon which the situation in Darfur was initially referred to the ICC. The 1593 Resolution clearly says Sudan has no obligations under the Statute of Rome, which is the founding document of the ICC. Instead it merely calls on the country to cooperate fully with the ICC. Could such a contradiction be the answer to the ICC’s reasons to indict President Al-Bashir?

What could be drawn from the expert's arguments above? One would say it’s apparent that the ICC has no legal rights provided for by either the Rome Statute or UNSC Resolution 1593? However, if the basis to the ICC indictment of President Al-Bashir is not found in the International Law, could it then be found under the Rule of Sovereign Immunity? For the benefit of the reader, it is important to know what the Rule of Sovereign Immunity is and what it says?

It is the rule reflected on the fundamental premise that all states are independent and equal under International Law, and the notion that subjecting a state to a foreign court’s jurisdiction would be inconsistent with the idea of Sovereign Equality. The Rule of Sovereign Immunity governs the extent to which a state may claim to be free from the jurisdiction of a foreign nation’s courts.

Historically, International Law recognized a principle of absolute immunity for sovereign states, under which no state could be put on trial without its consent. This Doctrine recognizes that all states are equal in law despite their obvious inequalities in other respects: inequality of size, wealth, population strength or degree of civilization. (Visit for more details).

Why Recognize Sovereign Equality?

It's because those very people who laid the foundation of League of Nations (LoN – now UN) did so because they were trying to avoid the wars that had plagued the world like those amongst themselves and world wars I and II। The principle for which the LoN was laid was primarily to ensure the sovereignty of states. State sovereignty denotes the competence, independence, and legal equality of states. Thus, any attempts to undo the principle of state sovereignty should be done in agreement with all the UN member states without exceptions.

ICC Indictment is Politically-Based

This apparently is what seems to be the case. The ICC decision cannot be legal as it is explained above and certainly not based on the rule of Sovereign Equality but rather on selfish political interests of those behind the ICC indictment. This brings in the formation of government in mind.

The government (Government is defined as the body within an organization that has authority and function to make and the power to enforce laws, regulations, or rules. Typically, government refers to a civil government -- local, provincial, or national) and is said to have three arms and those arms are: the executive, Parliament and the judiciary ( This being the case, it means that there can be no judicial system that could ever function unless it's part of the other two. If the UN is assumed to be the executive and its Security Council the legislature, ICC is independent and cannot be its judicial arm – it's out of the continuity of the two – it’s not a UN organization.

Blessing in Disguise

What the ICC and those behind it probably didn't know is that their decision to indict President Al-Bashir is a blessing in disguise to the President and the peace-loving Sudanese. The indictment of the president did not only generate more support to President Al-Bashir, something the enemies of this country need to note very seriously, but it has actually divided the international community.

Neo Colonialism

Sudan and other third world countries believe that the ICC decision to indict the president is an attempt to re-colonize them. Russia and China probably view the ICC decision to indict President Al-Bashir, something they are opposed to, as a Western ploy to insert its hegemony on the world, which seems to directly undermine them as fair players in world affairs. Since this appears to be true, Russia and China are likely to veto any such moves as that of the ICC on President Al-Bashir should it come to the UNSC.

INGOs Expulsion

First of all, it is important to realize that the ICC decision to indict President Al-Bashir is a threat to Sudan’s national security. Sudan as a sovereign nation had to react to what it sees as a threat to its national security and a possible re-colonization attempt in the making. Its act to expel the pro-Western International Non-governmental Organisations (INGOs) was in place since it’s its duty to protect the country from any such threats. The expulsion of the INGOs was legitimate as it were to any sovereign country. The INGOs – working as secret agents to those supporting the ICC decision – should not be allowed to work in the country if doing is the only measure there is to control international espionage.

Some INGOs Exacerbate Underdevelopment

It should be remembered that some of the countries where these INGOs come from did exacerbate underdevelopment in Africa and Prof. Rodney's book, “How Europe underdeveloped Africa, testifies to this. It is important to note that, at one time before the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), an expert came from Europe at one time and joined an INGO working in South Sudan as an expert on security. This security expert earned 10,000 US Dollars per month and that is equivalent to 20,000 Sudanese pounds nowadays. This expert had to seek for the help of a Sudanese national within the INGO to debrief him about the situation in the Sudan.

This expert no doubt was an expert in his country's security affairs. But it is a fact that he knew nothing about the security affairs in the Sudan. A Sudanese could have been employed as such an expert with the INGO. But these INGOs, however, underpaid monthly salaries of less than 1,000 US Dollars to a single Sudanese.

To multiply 10,000 US Dollars earned by the foreign expert by 12x5 years it equals to 600,000 US Dollars. This was just the salary of such an individual expert (known as expatriate) per annum. How much could this amount be for the entire foreign expatriates employed to work in the Sudan and elsewhere in Africa? And how much does one INGO get in the name of the people of the Sudan? Most of these INGOs, however, employ their foreign nationals in order to re-siphon the cash back to where it came from.


It’s important not to ignore the noble mission of the current US administration. It’s trying to improve its relations with countries which the previous administration called terrorists or supporting terrorism. In order to do this, the current US administration has to go an extra mile to do better than the previous administration.

However, the recent US administration’s statement that it’s "strongly committed to the pursuit of peace in Sudan" sounds good and very welcome indeed. But the administration contradicted this welcome statement by another statement. The contradicting statement says that US "believes {that} those who have committed atrocities (in the Sudan) should be held accountable for their crimes."

How could peace come when those who are committed to bringing about it are to "be held accountable for their crimes?" This is what the AU Chairman referred to as "collision of peace and justice; that the need for justice should not override the need for peace."

Instead of trying to improve its relationship with those countries which oppose its previous policies, the current US administration seems to be adding more countries to the list of those that disagreed with its policies like Africa as a whole, represented by the AU. Africa’s reaction is the same as that of China and Russia on the ICC’s decision to indict President Al-Bashir. This seriously means that the International Community is divided over the ICC’s indictment of President Al-Bashir. Could such a serious division help the cause of the US current administration’s bid to improve its relations with countries that were simply alienated by the previous US administration? Perhaps not because that needs a precision to some policies that are may be old or new to attract more friends from the outside world.

Divided or not divided those behind the ICC decision to indict President Bashir and hoped for a miracle coup will – as was stated by Vice-President Ali Osman Muhammad Taha – wait for a long time. The division wished for the Sudanese people by supporters of the indictment has now turned out to be a successful referendum on President Al-Bashir’s popularity and that of his government, thanks to the enemies of the Sudan.