Home | News    Monday 8 July 2013

‘Friends of South Sudan’ go public with call for "significant changes and reform" in Juba


July 7, 2013, (WASHINGTON) - A group of pro-South Sudan activists in the Unites States have released a letter sent to president Salva Kiir and other senior officials in Juba expressing concern over what they described as "increasingly perilous fate" of the new state which came to life in July 2011 after voting almost unanimously to gain independence from Sudan.

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John Prendergast (L-R), Eric Reeves, Brian D’Silva (not a signatory to the letter), Ted Dagne and Roger Winter pose for a photograph in this undated image provided to Reuters by John Prendergast. (REUTERS/Nancy Reeves/Handout)

The letter signed by former U.S. State Department special envoy to Sudan Roger Winter, Sudan researcher Professor Eric Reeves, Co-Founder of Enough project John Prendergast and former congressional aide Ted Dagne said that they concluded that "without significant changes and reform" South Sudan "may slide toward instability, conflict and a protracted governance crisis"

"As friends, it is our responsibility to express our serious concerns directly and to offer constructive suggestions for the way forward".

The group, which has been one of earliest supporters of rebellion waged by southern Sudanese against Khartoum decades ago, accused Juba security forces of conducting "a campaign of violence again civilians simply because they belonged to a different ethnic group or they are viewed as opponents of the current government".

"This violence is shocking and has included rape, murder, theft, and destruction of property. We are particularly concerned about the evidence emerging of abuses by government forces in Jonglei. These terrible crimes occur because government forces believe they have the power to act with impunity," said the letter seen by Sudan Tribune.

"[T]hese atrocities are not isolated incidents but among many deliberate measures taken by soldiers on the instruction of senior commanders and government officials. Some may argue that the failure here lies in the chain of command, but the evidence makes clear that these orders are indeed coming from senior commanders," the group said.

A report by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) last March said that it investigated a series of reported grave human rights violations "which forewarn of a deterioration in the overall human rights situation".

South Sudan’s Jonglei state in particular has seen escalating levels of violence amid growing reports of human rights abuses against civilians caught up in the middle of fighting between South Sudan army and rebel group of David Yau.

In April, President Kiir said he would punish ill-disciplined members of the security forces engaged in acts of violence against civilians in Jonglei and also those who gave the orders.

The international medical charity, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), in a statement last month, accused South Sudan government of blocking them from providing aid to approximately 120,000 people hiding in the bushes.

Gunmen ambushed and killed five UNMISS peacekeepers and seven civilian staff last April in Jonglei.

The letter by the four pro-South Sudan activists also noted the lack of justice in crimes committed across the country and impunity enjoyed by some South Sudanese officials.

"Many attacks against civilians, including the killing of foreign businessmen, a teacher from Kenya, South Sudanese journalists, and many others, have gone unpunished. We have authoritative reports that government security forces have abused those who allow themselves and their cars to be searched. Many people, including government officials, have faced harassment and have been beaten up by security forces. Again, no one has been held accountable. This inevitably creates a climate of impunity" they said.

The Friends of South Sudan also addressed the issue of corruption and pointed out that "despite claims that vast sums have been expended on investment in infrastructure, there is very little to show in the way of roads, medical services, and education for millions of South Sudanese who greeted the prospect of independence with eagerness and hope".

"Those who have benefitted—who have become wealthy by misappropriating government funds—have often sent their families outside South Sudan, their children to private schools abroad, and have obtained the best medical services available in the world. This occurs while ordinary citizens who remain in South Sudan cannot afford even basic health services or modest educations for their children".

This month Kiir suspended and referred to investigation the Minister of Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor and Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Kosti Manibe for alleged corruption over request and transfer of nearly $8 million to an account abroad without authorization from relevant higher institutions.

The letter noted a World Bank investigation presented to South Sudan Ministry of Justice which they said "presents clear evidence of massive corruption".

"And yet the Ministry of Justice has not yet prosecuted a single individual".

Dagne, one of the letter’s signatories, was reportedly forced to flee Juba last year fearing for his safety following the release of a letter sent by Kiir to 75 officials urging them to return some $4 billion dollars they are accused of stealing.

The Ethiopian-born figure was hired by the UN to advise Kiir on anti-corruption policy and international relations and played a key role in the preparation of the letter which was made public to embarrass the officials who are accused of stealing four billion dollars.

He letter said that he was very frustrated by the extent of corruption, tribal wars and lack of development in the new nation.

The group presented a series of recommendations to South Sudan government to rectify the situation including an overhaul of the justice ministry; investigating and prosecuting human rights abuses; warning senior army officials against attacks on civilians; setting "clear" oil infrastructure priorities; making schools, medical services and clean water a priority; cutting the size of the army.

"The demands here are great, we well understand. But unless you begin to address them now, the tasks will only grow greater. Again, as friends of South Sudan, we urge you to confront these challenges on an urgent basis, and with all possible resolve," the letter closing paragraph reads.

In recent months a split has also emerged within the ruling Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) with several senior officials publicly challenging Kiir’s bid for a new term.

Kiir’s VP Riek Machar has publicly criticized his boss in an interview with The Guardian published this week saying that he has failed to tackle rampant corruption, rising tribalism, overwhelming insecurity, dwindling economy, poor international relations and that the SPLM was losing vision and direction.

He also declared his willingness to run for Kiir’s post in the 2015 elections.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 8 July 2013 10:27, by Mayom County Boy

    no more to say ,this is how lifes to be achrivies by many different way that may not be possible forit ,let them not rise the component issue as risk life it is justasiple such an issue for our goverment it will change any time.

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    • 8 July 2013 10:55, by Wicdail

      USA government and lobbies groups should not keep quit in this situation of South Sudan. They were the key players to Push Khartoum and SPLA/M to sign CPA otherwise we could not gain our independence. The only solution of Kirr’s madness leadership is to stop their supports and stop him and his ministers not to travelling to US. Kirr should not enjoy the hard earned democracy in Europe—

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      • 8 July 2013 11:07, by Wicdail

        and Americans while he (Kiirr) don’t even know to be a free society. Kiir must call an early election if he need to save nation from tribal conflict/war and collapse. or he must to resign if he really believe that he was democratically elected by the same people who are suffering now.

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        • 8 July 2013 11:12, by Wicdail

          Correction! Kiir don’t even know what it mean to be in a free society.

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        • 8 July 2013 14:46, by Tiger

          friends of South Sudan???
          where were you during the North-South war when millions of South Sudanese were being slaughtered every freakin day by the Muslim from the North,Washington had failed to stop the regime in Khartoum,why should you be so concern about the South Sudan right at this time?

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          • 8 July 2013 14:57, by Tiger

            if American government do really care about helping people of the South and Sudan,they should press President Bashir to STOP the Killing of those innocent people of Darfur,Nuba Mountians and the Blue nile.they should also press Bashar al Assad of Syeria to stop killing his people.

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      • 8 July 2013 14:46, by Dau-network

        They are friends of Dr Hitler Riek not friends of nation.please don’t support world criminal Number 2 after Osama Balden. He killed half of million .he failed to return his 1991 abducted children ,they were about 1035 . He should tried to trace them because most of abductees are now housewives in nuer areas. None of Riek &Kiir can bring a change we need, even Pagan Amum is the same.

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    • 8 July 2013 10:57, by Paul Chadrack

      this is a very good advise from the friends of south sudan but our corrupt president will not take them seriously because his aim is only to enrich his close allies and himself by acting in impunity.it upto the west and those who help south sudan to independent to remove him from power throught elimination or south sudan risk going back to civil war.

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    • 8 July 2013 15:09, by Sir King

      Kiir must go the way I see, but if he refuses in Power, I see the possibility of instability in this country. But for sure, We request President Kiir to resign and give the chance to South Sudanese people.

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    • 8 July 2013 16:08, by Adok Wolu

      ok, they have understood the weakness of our poor president Mr.Kiir the son of Awan chan,the man who do not give chance to the mind from taking wine every time and take decision while drinking the hottest Beer,friends of South Sudan must stay away untill his Leadership collapse.

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    • 9 July 2013 04:25, by Dinkawarrior

      First of all, we thanks the Bush Administration for support to South Sudan. We still remember your contribution during the Road Map to Peace. Secondly, the Human Right issues should have started from 1991-of-Bor-Massacred to PiBor-Massacred. The Murderers of both are the so called White Armies under the Leadership of Dr. Riek Machar who is now currently serving under the Kiir Administration.

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      • 9 July 2013 04:41, by Dinkawarrior

        The White Armeis were rearmed to revenge, because Murle people have been abusing his neighbors such Dinka Bor, Nuer, Anyuak, Ngalam, Kachipo, Taposa, Munderi, and many other tribes in the regions. They have been kidnapping1 children and killing the parent under the Watches of UN. Cattle rustling and properties demage issues under the Watches of UN. We never heard anything from UN since those

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        • 9 July 2013 04:58, by Dinkawarrior

          Atrocities were committed. Kidnapping is a big crimes in United States and around the world, th UN should have re-consider this law in South Sudan. UN was there when Dr. Riek Machar murdered hundred of thousands peope if not million and UN is the one supporting Dr. Riek Machar for Presidency while he is criminal.

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          • 9 July 2013 05:07, by Dinkawarrior

            We Love our friends but our have to listen to us in order to find common ground. Some of our friends were supporting President Bashir’s warrent arrest under ICC, the same ideas must be applied to Dr. Riek Machar who violed Human Right rules with his stupid Dr. If this is a true statement then we need our to put pressure On ICC to issue warrent arrest on Dr. Riek Machar.

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            • 9 July 2013 05:20, by Dinkawarrior

              Riek is the one disturbing the Peace the in the country with his bad record while he is the second person. If he can’t afford to solve those issues now then how would be able to manage those in the future? We need Dr. Riek Machar to be brought to justice in the Court of Laws before we hunt for Kiir, this is how we can trust any friend to help us solve our problems.

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              • 9 July 2013 05:31, by Dinkawarrior

                Dr. Riek is one of the Seventy Five Thieves who stolen Four Billion Dollars. If our friends are working for our interests then we need to know the Names and the Amount of Moneys taken by each of those 75-Thieves. We are 100% sure that Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. Kiir Mayar had handed on those money stolen.

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                • 9 July 2013 05:39, by Dinkawarrior

                  We also need report from UN about Murle activities in Jonglei State or otherwise we wouldn’t be able to trust UN if they don’t show up and tell the trues about them. We are very interested to see our friends involvement on those problems, the one we trusted the most is the who don’t take aside.

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                • 9 July 2013 05:40, by Dinkawarrior

                  We also need report from UN about Murle activities in Jonglei State or otherwise we wouldn’t be able to trust UN if they don’t show up and tell the trues about them. We are very interested to see our friends involvement on those problems, the one we trusted the most is the who don’t take aside.

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                  • 9 July 2013 06:09, by Nuer Empire

                    Dinka looter.Your frustration is too high.You thought nothing is watching your wrong deeds and turn your head towards Dr Riek.All 75 corruption Engineers are in Dinka kingdom.
                    The Nuer Empire

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  • 8 July 2013 10:35, by Tutbol

    "The group, which has been one of earliest supporters of rebellion waged by southern Sudanese against Khartoum decades ago, accused Juba security forces of conducting "a campaign of violence again civilians simply because they belonged to a different ethnic group or they are viewed as opponents of the current government". As a S Sudanese, i appreciate your help, but how to run S Sudan is would>>>

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    • 8 July 2013 14:59, by Tutbol

      >>> Our contry must not be used by the Jewish-Europeans-American clowns to further their intrigues; their bossing of other people to their imagined way of life greatly stink. Why don’t you clowns get another job if your job is only to make your livings by killing, detroying & looting other peoples’ properties by donning yourself as selling democracy, when your job is to sell>>>

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      • 9 July 2013 01:29, by panom lualbil

        This is not fair in GOD’S EYES to spread germs when you should better used proper ingredient to desist it reaching another level, then be bless for that you save lives, instead of doing a favor. Why don’t you do favor for God and live longer or have external life? I don’t think doing both good n bad at the same time can helps according to message here!

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  • 8 July 2013 11:58, by Magak

    @ Wicdail u are out of your sense u first understand yourself and the article then comments if not try not to!!
    To the writers of this articles u are now declaring yourself as supporters of David Yauyau who is disrupting Jongeli state as u stated. Secondly how can government control people who want to die because they are carrying of themselves they would not engaged in Yauyau war.

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    • 8 July 2013 13:20, by Wicdail

      I don’t retaliate on those who attack me on my views concerning your madness leadership. What is reason that justified that I’m a YauYau supporter? it was not me who dose not understand the article, it’s you who dose not understand my comment. By the way, why should I joint Yau Yau rebellion while everyone declare his/her desertification in Kiir leadership including SG of SPLM. What else—

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      • 8 July 2013 13:24, by Wicdail

        to be protected in this messes leadership Mr Magak? I doubt whether you will make it to 2015.

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        • 8 July 2013 20:04, by Nuer Empire

          Theievs will go

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          • 9 July 2013 00:07, by panom lualbil

            WOW!! LORD JESUS!!! Are USA who refunded "RIAK MACHAR" in 1991 to massacred DINKA BOR during struggle against N Sudan?Are USA campaigning for "RIAK MACHAR" to lead the country he was used by our enemies against it!! MR. PRESIDENT KIIR shouldn’t worry about threatening and go ahead, The Same Lord who spared our lives from both Khartoum n Anyagates is still alive.

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            • 9 July 2013 00:32, by panom lualbil

              Isaiah Abraham from DINKA BOR was assassinated while others Governors were sacked randomly including president own tribe in Lake State. But what wrong here when it related to Naath? Is south Sudan going to be known world wide for "discrimination" bcoz of USA policy?? I know God don’t like ugly and of course flaw heroes will end lives in death. Bcoz they don’t have pride, rebelliousness or jealousy

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              • 9 July 2013 01:01, by panom lualbil

                I really don’t like it when people with "high education" of these pictures here are fed up with wrong information from the wrong victims and proved it while the fact was about presidential election-MR KIIR was betrayed by MR RIAK therefore he sacked his power executives. It was good USA HELPED us under slavery of Khartoum, but it’s bad if USA turn to take side against tribes unfairly though.

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  • 8 July 2013 15:03, by Akuma

    This is what I tell Eric during the democracy conference held in Washington few months ago. He can now believe that South Sudan government are not capable in solving the issues facing them. So, we really need significant change and reform in Juba leadership otherwise political crisis are looming everywhere in the country

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  • 8 July 2013 18:10, by Angelo Achuil

    I personally love these guys for over the past 10 yrs I had been reading or hearing about their literary works (esp. Reeves and Prendergast) in support of our Country - South Sudan.
    On behalf of all normal South Sudanese, I apologize for all reckless statements uttered by some of our brothers and sisters on this sites who neither know who our real allies really are nor our history.

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  • 8 July 2013 20:21, by George Bol

    President Kiir is far better than Riek presidency.If riek think to jump to power by force then that is a big problem in the South. Riek has done more destruction than any body to civilians and surrender towns that have kill 1000s of SPLA during battle with Khartoum to Arab.Riek must forget of presidency. I encourage other to challenge Kiir but nor riek.
    No loud speaking,let just wait for riek.

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  • 8 July 2013 21:00, by Black Africa

    President Kiir and V.P Machar, have to resign for the benefits of the people of South Sudan. Why our leaders are greed of power ? while they can’t do nothing. People are suffering everywhere in South Sudan. If I was President kiir I will resign, because I have failed but I would not give Machar a chance to be president.

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  • 9 July 2013 01:58, by T.Gabriel

    Our friends are advising us so we must take this advise very very seriously!!!That is why these days I couldn’t find Reeves’ articles.I have respect for that guy.He writes long but very educative analysis full of evidences.Friends, don’t run away from us, the journey of realizing fruit of independent might takes long but we are certain to reach that time.

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  • 9 July 2013 02:03, by Akoch A. Magardit

    It’s unfortunate to be friend to a country while bypassing its leadership. All that has been said here is not new. South Sudanese are sick and tired with baseless and incite-full messages from enemies like the so called ’Friends of South Sudan’. Amplification of things happening in South Sudan won’t buy you anything in Washington. Just shut up you empty vessels and be American.

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    • 9 July 2013 08:46, by Rual

      difinetly, I agree with them, but it could be from or must come from us as south Sudan people who are a victim of current government.
      please contac me on the following:
      email: agurual@ymail.com
      mobile: +613432043585

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      • 9 July 2013 15:52, by Ding Ding

        that is all right to say as Americans people.

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        • 10 July 2013 13:24, by Agutmajak

          Many thanks American people!

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