Monday November 20, 2017

DR. JOHN KUEK: Humanitarian Crisis in South Sudan:A surprise move by the Trump Administration with sanction against the most notorious individuals in SalvaKiir’s regime

SANDIEGO – A sanction against the three current South Sudanese government officials, including the Deputy Chief of Defense, Malek Ruben, the Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, and the former Chief of General Staff, Paul Malong Awan, was announced by the US Department of State and Treasury on Wednesday, September 6, 2017. I applause the move by the Trump Administration; however, I remain skeptical that it is going to be just another sanction like many others issued before with no outcome. In my opinion, an arms embargo on Uganda will constitute an effective sanction. However, disregarding this sanction, Uganda is expected to continue doing business with sanctioned generals. Nobody will feel any pain at all as Michael Makuei has already mentioned in his speech responding to the sanction that he has no money in foreign banks anyway.

In a country with an estimated population of 11.5 million, of which almost 4 million are displaced, what will sanctions such as the one imposed by the Trump administration will do to address food crisis, health issues, and civil security? Hunger is already taking a toll on civilians and the efforts made by the current regime are displacing even more people. The following data is extracted from the United Nations database that shows the distribution of South Sudanese refugees in South Sudan as well as in neighboring countries:

  • Internally Displaced People in South Sudan’s UNMISS Camps — 22,862
  • Displaced every were inside South Sudan not under the UNMISS — 1.853 million
  • Total South Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries under the UN — 1,509,462
    • Uganda — 698,030
    • Kenya —90,864
    • Ethiopia — 342,419
    • DRC —68,188
    • CAR — 4,932
    • Sudan — 305,029

In light of the above data, people are scattered and compelled to live in makeshift shelters. Communicable diseases are endemic in displaced camps within and outside the country.  Looking back to his time of secession from the Sudan, SalvaKiir was elected by more than 90% of the South Sudanese population as the leader of the newly independent state. He promised freedom to South Sudanese who had been at war for more than 50 years with the North Sudan and development that South Sudanese have never witnessed before. Instead of fulfilling their promise, President Kiir and his cliques embezzled millions of dollars that were supposed to be used for security, establishment, and infrastructure development. One of the most critical security establishment initiatives was to transform the SPLA into a national army that could help maintain peace and stability and protect the sovereign nation from external aggression.

Instead, Salva Kiir and his JCE’s avarice compelled him to amass enormous personal fortunes, evidenced by Gen. Paul Malong Awan’s son enjoying a king’s life in the United States. As this luxurious life became a habit to Kiir and his JCE, maintaining this lifestyle became the primary goal for him and his party. But in a country made of 64 tribes, his dictatorship soon became apparent.

Mr. Kiir started to have a clandestine plane with Yoweri Museveni of Uganda whom, in the midst of the crisis, became the mastermind of this current civil war. Kiir and his party members, the SPLM, had different visions of the future of the party and these stark differences were irreconcilable. Kiir and Museveni convinced to get Riek Machar out and silence the Nuer by all means. As the big brother who promised to help the young nation grow, Museveni’s sudden accumulation of wealth in South Sudan debased his motives for helping South Sudan become stable. The SPLM’s core members decried to Kiir’s for his undemocratic behavior. Now that the country is in a complete mess, it is evident how inept Salva Kiir is to allow his sycophants to continue looting the country’s wealth.

Now that South Sudanese chided Salva Kiir for his carelessness to start a war right after the country become independent, he blames the war on an enmity between the Dinka and the Nuer to cover up his wrong deed. When Salva Kiir called for national dialogue that contradicted to peace process, his hypocrisy became apparent to entire South Sudanese population. One thing that he and his cohorts need to know is that the struggle for a democratic South Sudan isn’t going anywhere until he understands that the country comprises of several ethnic groups and commits to a comprehensive peace agreement.

The government’s decision to launch a military operation against the rebels of SPLM/A-IO in Pagak has further compounded the already dire humanitarian crisis in the country. But despite the upheaval, the world is still quiet. The best action in such a scenario would be the one that is in the best interest of the population rather than the leaders. The country and people come first; therefore, South Sudan deserves to be under the United Nations Trusteeship as the last resort to save the lives of citizens. The world should not rely on the Inter Government Authority on Development (IGAD) anymore because they have conflict of interest on the South Sudan war. In addition, African Union seems to be depending on the IGAD’s interest. The only way to bring complete peace to South Sudan is through the United Nations. The speech just given at the United National Summit by the so called First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Gen. Taban Deng Gai, is just rubbish. He came with bunch of opportunists to fool the whole world that there is a government in control of the country; it’s absurd talking about preparing the country for an election while the gun is still being heard almost everywhere in the country. What preparation he was talking about while civilians are still on run, kidnap and daylight shooting still going on in the capital. In my lifetime, I have never heard of a nation’s dialogue without peace first.

Finally, the best gift to the South Sudanese at this time of crisis is not food, medical care, or temporary shelters. Instead, a Comprehensive Peace Agreement that will allow them back to their ancestors’ land is the only help the world needs to give to the South Sudanese people at this moment. I hope the world will listen to the voices of citizens of South Sudan and act decisively.

NOTE: The Opinions expressed herein are entirely for the author of the article. The Upper Nile Times has no authority on the contents published here.


Times Wire Staff
Filed in

Amnesty exposes UK’s illicit US$46m South Sudan arms deal brokered under government’s nose

U.S. AMBASSADOR Nikki Haley an angry Trump envoy to meet South Sudan president to push for peace

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