Opinion: FVP Machar misguided name-change

The First Vice President has suggested for the change of the country’s name from South Sudan to the People’s Republic of Sudan. On 23 January 2011, members of a steering committee on post-independence governing body announced that upon independence the land would be named the Republic of South Sudan “out of familiarity and convenience”” (…) “However Dr. Riek Machar now argues that, “South” is not a name but rather a direction” (…) “Dr. Riek personally suggested that, the People’s Republic of Sudan would match the originality of the Sudan in relation to its history with the people. “So we will debate it what is it that we want to call ourselves. I hope you will accept my People’s Republic of Sudan”, Dr. Riek stated” (Emmanuel Woja – ‘Dr. Riek suggest for change of “South Sudan” name’ 11.12.2021, Eye Radio).

The FVP Dr. Riek Machar of South Sudan has now uttered the need for revising the name of the Republic of South Sudan. That there is a need to change it, because the “South” is only a direction and not really a name-sake for the child born in the year of 2011.

This is as useful the general public and the citizens, as the proposed move capital from Juba to Ramciel. Which have been announced in the past, but never happened. While the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) and the mechanisms there needs to be moving forward.

We already know about the insecurity issues in some states. There is a lack of funds for basic commodities and natural disasters causing harm to thousands of civilians. It has been reports of both floods and droughts in various of areas, this will further escalate into famine and starvation, which is hurting the citizens directly. This is where the state and it’s agencies should ensure help and direction to the ones in need. However, most likely will be UN Organizations and NGOs covering it for them.

That’s why the FVP have the time and ability to think about the name-change. I am sure the general public would be more familiar with the Republic being called the Revitalized Republic of Sudan. Since, everything is with hard R in front of it. The government is the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) and all other institutions are filled with the hard R. So, it would make sense to use the HARD R in the name of the Republic too.

The People’s Republic just sound like a generic state name and the Republic of South Sudan has a flair. Unless, they might change it to Revitalized Republic of Sudan (RRS). Why haven’t the FVP been busy by changing his own party name first?

The SPLM/A-(IO) isn’t a friendly acronym and neither is the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement – In Opposition. He should maybe rename it or decree it to become something else. As his not in opposition now, but part of the R-TGoNU. The FVP isn’t in opposition anymore and the name is lying.

FVP Machar needs guidance, maybe he should use his office to something useful. As the R-TGoNU isn’t able to pay it’s dues to Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). So the membership as a state is jeopardy for now. This is just what the government of South Sudan does.. the EAC have previously said the same too. So, the FVP should be focused on the daily chores and not changing names.

Unless, he wants to change the name of the SPLM/A-(IO) because that could have been a nice thing. However, don’t depend on it. He rather waste time on this… just like the ones spend time on Ramciel and not the trouble, which needs to be resolved. Peace.

South Sudan: Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) – Press Release (09.12.2021)

Thursday, 9 December 2021, Juba, South Sudan

TRANSITIONAL SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS REMAIN STALLED, FRUSTRATIONS GROWING 

The delayed implementation of Transitional Security Arrangements, including the unification of forces and their redeployment, has contributed to growing frustrations amongst the people of South Sudan.

Speaking during its 20thmonthly meeting held in Juba yesterday, Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) Interim Chairperson Maj. Gen. Charles Tai Gituai said:

We are now past the mid-way mark of the timeline of the Transitional Period. The Parties are far behind schedule in implementation of key tasks. As we close the year 2021, therefore, we need clarity from the Revitalised Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) on its plan for the implementation of the outstanding tasks in the coming 14 months.” 

“It is now over two months since the Presidency directed the deployment of three assessment teams to training centers in preparation for the graduation of Phase 1 of the NUF (Necessary Unified Force). It is disheartening to see that this directive of the Presidency has not been carried out,” he added. 

In his address, Maj. Gen. Gituai further expressed concerns that defections of senior military officials mainly from the SPLA-IO (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition) to the SSPDF (South Sudan Peoples Defence Forces), “erode trust amongst the two parties and public confidence in the peace process.”

Regarding the living conditions of cantonmentsites and training centers, Maj. Gen. Gituai said the situation is “dire and that the occupants continue to abandon the sites in search of food and other essentials for survival.” 

“The situation has undermined the morale of security forces cantoned or in training and risks eroding their trust in the political leadership of the country,” he said. 

“I would like to remind us that this is the last meeting before we break for Christmas and the New Year. I hope that we will return with concrete plans and renewed vigour and determination to bring durable peace, stability and prosperity to the people and country of South Sudan,” he concluded.

South Sudan: OCHA – Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. in South Sudan condems localized violence and looting of health facilities in Leer, Unity State (07.12.2021)

South Sudan: National Salvation Front/Army (NSF/A) – Desertion of the SSPDF and their allied Militia from deployment station (02.12.2021)

South Sudan: South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) – Re: Congratulatory Message on Appointment of Gen. Gregory (04.12.2021)

South Sudan: Warrap State-Kuajok – Governor’s Office letter to Inspector of Police – Subject: Mark Anei Madling (04.12.2021)

South Sudan: Government of Jonlei State – Condemnation of Recurrent Attacks on Jonglei State’s Citizens by Suspected Criminals from Greater Pibor Administrative Area (03.12.2021)

South Sudan: Kongor Dialogue Communique, Kongor, CPAA, 22-26 November 2021 (26.11.2021)

South Sudan: “We will return home when UNMISS and the government say we don’t need to be afraid anymore,” says displaced Tambura tradesperson (22.11.2021)

Mbiyo is one of the nearly 9,000 displaced people sheltering at the Temporary Operating Base set up by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to restore some semblance of calm and stability.

TAMBURA, South Sudan, November 22, 2021 – Mbiyo Morgan is a tall man. In his early forties, he is a father, a husband, a farmer, a trader and a motorcycle mechanic. Like most others across South Sudan, Mbiyo wears many hats as he tries to put food on the table for his children.

His palms are darkened and rough, a testament to years of hard labour. But he was happy. At least till fighting erupted in Tambura, Western Equatoria, killing people and forcing tens of thousands to flee for their lives.

Today, Mbiyo is one of the nearly 9,000 displaced people sheltering at the Temporary Operating Base set up by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to restore some semblance of calm and stability here.

“We have suffered for the last three months because of the fighting, the killing,” he says as he inspects a mechanical fault on a customer’s motorcycle.

Mbiyo has been returning to operate his small workshop, following a relative de-escalation of tensions in the area. He says he craves for the day he will be return his home. A home that is only some two kilometres away.

“There is very little to go back to though,” he muses. Many of the houses in his area have either been burnt down or broken into. “Our household property, food, clothes, they’re all gone. We have forgotten these things. Whatever we have on our backs is all we own now,” he adds almost philosophically but the pain of loss is evident.

He feels the situation is becoming safer everyday safer but is disappointed that there has only been a solitary food distribution exercise since he began sheltering at the UNMISS temporary base, though humanitarian partners are doing their best to scale up assistance.

The urgency behind Mbiyo’s apparent equanimity is real: His family is running out of food. “I did plant crops in my farm this year and they are almost ready to be harvested but I am afraid to travel to my land. I have responsibilities and my family cannot afford to lose me. At least, with the mechanical work I’m doing I can feed them once a day. If I die, they will starve,” he states simply but emphatically.

Meanwhile in Mambulu, ten kilometres away on the road to Yambio, a sinewy 35-year-old man has braved his fears and is out spreading some sorghum and beans on the ground to dry. His compound is badly in need of clearing, with pumpkins sprouting here and there.

Juma does not mind this, nor does he mind the overgrown weeds and bushes encroaching upon his once clean compound. He has been here for the last four days with his wife and three children, none older than 10, specifically to collect some food from the garden to feed them.

“My family and I fled to the South Sudan Peoples Defense Forces garrison in town,” he revealed, reminiscing about the days immediately following armed attacks in the area. “We are safe but there is no food, and one needs money to buy anything. I am here to get some food from the garden and will have to go back to the garrison,” he adds. Risks are calculated in terms of life versus death, says Juma. He adds that he took the risk of trekking back to his garden with his children because his family is currently more likely to die from hunger.

“We may need to come back here as a group with some of my neighbours so we can stay longer, but for now, we will have to walk back with the children and with as much food as we can carry,” he says.

The fighting has stopped for now and a fragile peace has returned to Tambura. Markets and some shops are open, and the main road, which was deserted till a couple of weeks ago, is cautiously showing signs of life.

At his shelter in the UNMISS base, Mbiyo gently rocks his four-month-old son, checking the boy’s temperature with a tender touch to the forehead. His child was barely a month old when the family had to flee home. “We will go back home when UNMISS says we can leave and the government says it is safe to return,” he says as he peels his eyes from his baby and looks to the setting sun and the long shadows cast by the UNMISS armoured vehicles guarding the base.

In the meantime, the clock is ticking as the crops await harvest and farmers run the risk of losing all their food. But people like Mbiyo and Juma will have to constantly assess their situation and live a day at a time, carefully keeping alive the flame of hope for a better tomorrow for their children.

South Sudan: Jonglei State – Condemnation of Incident that Occurred in Bor Town of Jonglei State on November 19, 2021 (20.11.2021)

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