Category Archives: Human Rights

Africa: Detention of Human Rights Lawyer and Journalist in Swaziland

From: U.S. Department of State
Press Statement
Marie Harf
Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 6, 2014

The United States is deeply concerned by the continued detention of human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko and journalist Bheki Makhubu in the Kingdom of Swaziland. Maseko and Makhubu were first arrested in March and are being held on charges of contempt of court for publishing an article critical of the High Court of Swaziland.

The United States urges the judiciary of the Kingdom of Swaziland to recognize its obligation to uphold the rule of law and provisions regarding the protection and promotion of fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland. We call upon the Government of Swaziland to swiftly resolve the cases of Maseko and Makhubu in accordance with the law, including international obligations entitling them to trial within a reasonable time or release and setting forth the minimum requirements for a fair trial without undue delay.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Stay connected with the State Department:

Q&A: Witnessing the Aftermath of Tiananmen

From: Human Rights Watch
June 5, 2014

Newsweek, along with many other news organizations, had rented a room in the Beijing Hotel, a high-rise building that looked over Tiananmen Square, to watch the protests. After the crackdown, we couldn’t get back to that hotel – authorities had cordoned off the street to mop up the blood and make sure no protesters could regroup. When the street finally oPhoto credit by ©1989 Private

“pened several days later, my colleague Melinda Liu and I went back to the hotel to check out, and the hotel tried to charge us for the days we couldn’t reach it. My colleague asked for a discount as access to the hotel was dicey “due to what happened in Tiananmen Square.” In retort, the man behind the counter said, “Nothing happened in Tiananmen Square.””

Human Rights Watch deputy executive director for external relations, Carroll Bogert, who covered the Tiananmen protests as a reporter for Newsweek, talks about how China has been shaped by the horrific events of those days 25 years ago.


Nigeria: We can bring back all our girls

From: Nizar Visram

By Marc and Craig Kielburger

The Star phoenix May 27, 2014

If only Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford were actually Rambo, Mad Max and Han Solo. Then those aging, action flick superstars could actually go out and rescue the 276 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped in April by a group of ruthless militants. And they’d do it in under two hours. All by themselves.

Instead, The Expendables 3 actors were left holding signs with the words “Bring Back Our Girls” – from the ubiquitous hashtag – for the cameras at the Cannes Film Festival, appealing like the rest of us for a resolution to this heart-wrenching story.

But we don’t need to be superheroes or send selfies – we can each save girls from exploitation and slavery by preventing it from happening in the first place. And we don’t need guns, tanks or Wookiee sidekicks to do it.

The phenomenal #Bring-BackOurGirls campaign made viral by Michelle Obama and other celebrities armed with smartphones has rallied image-conscious world leaders to commit military resources to finding the schoolgirls in Nigeria.
But even more importantly, it has rallied the attention of the rest of us to an issue that’s too often buried in the middle pages of the newspaper (or nowhere at all).

An International Labour Organization report released last week found that 21 million people are trapped in modern-day slavery, including 4.5 million forced into the global sex trade – an appalling industry worth $99 billion US. That’s more than the annual profits of Exxon and Apple combined.

So now that we’re all tuned in, we have a unique opportunity to turn our feelings of helplessness and moral outrage into a plan to bring back our girls – before they’re taken.

The vast majority of girls and women caught in the exploitative global sex trade are not victims of kidnapping, like the Nigerian 276 abducted by Boko Haram, but rather of poverty. Human traffickers prey on poor families who don’t have access to education and aren’t aware of their basic rights.

Mired in grinding poverty, parents desperately take out loans on conditions they don’t understand, pledging their children on their debts.

Similarly, it’s not militant groups that block 31 million girls from getting an education. The girls in Nigeria had a classroom, but many communities don’t have a functioning school. Many families can’t afford school supplies or uniforms.

Many girls have to stay home to care for sick relatives, look after their siblings, or perform essential household chores like walking miles every day for drinking water. Yet the opportunity for an education is critical to the economic future of that girl, that family and that community. Of course there will always be extreme cases of kidnapping and other evil deeds that require drastic measures like the ones being mobilized in Nigeria. But these extreme cases shouldn’t paralyze us from preventing more cases, from addressing the root causes that prevent millions more girls from setting foot in a classroom in the first place.

If we want to protect the world’s girls, we must empower them and their families to break the cycle of poverty.
We can accelerate the spread of microloans to women and families in rural areas and urban slums so they can start small businesses and avoid dependence on shady moneylenders. We can break down the barriers to girls’ education by supporting education initiatives, but also health-care programs and clean-water projects.

These solutions aren’t as exciting as Hollywood’s scripted versions in which heroes kick down doors, stop the bad guys and rescue victims. But they are the most effective and most sustainable ways to protect the world’s girls.

We’ve all felt a visceral reaction to the news from Nigeria over the past few weeks. If we truly want to step off the sidelines and do something to “bring back our girls,” there are many ways to do it. We don’t need to be Schwarzenegger – we just have to finish posting our hash tag selfies and think about what to do once we put the sign down.

(Brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger founded the educational partner and international charity Free The Children and the youth empowerment movement We Day.)

Save the Internet!

From: Josh Levy

Dear Readers,

I’m Josh Levy of the organization Free Press, and I started a petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which says:

The D.C. Circuit’s decision in the Verizon vs. FCC case dealt a huge blow to the open Internet.
Right now there is no one protecting Internet users from ISPs that block or discriminate against websites, applications, or services. Companies like Verizon will now be able to block or slow down any website, application, or service they like. And they’ll be able to create tiered pricing structures with fast lanes for those who can afford the tolls and slow lanes for everyone else.

It’s time for the new FCC leadership to correct the agency’s past mistakes and to reassert the agency’s clear authority over our nation’s communications infrastructure. To preserve the open Internet, the FCC must reclassify broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service.

Use your authority to establish a solid legal footing for the vital policies and protections this court decision threatens.

Sign Josh’s petition

The D.C. Circuit court dealt the latest blow to the open Internet by striking down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order, because of the questionable legal framework the agency used when it adopted its net neutrality rules in 2010.

This ruling means there is no one who can protect us from Internet service providers that could block, speed up or slow down web content based on its source—or charge you more depending on what website you are looking at.

But there’s hope: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler can correct the agency’s past mistakes and truly protect our nation’s communications infrastructure.

We only have until the May 15 FCC meeting to pressure Wheeler to ensure the FCC maintains an open Internet

Tell the FCC to restore net neutrality rules.

The agency must take the necessary steps to make broadband networks open, accessible, reliable, and affordable for everyone.

The FCC is currently hearing from lobbyists, interest groups and trade associations.1 We need to tell the FCC to start treating broadband like a communications service and to restore its net neutrality rules.

Add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.


–Josh Levy


1. “Lobbying Efforts Intensify After F.C.C. Tries 3rd Time on Net Neutrality,” The New York Times, April 24, 2014

This petition was created on MoveOn’s online petition site, where anyone can start their own online petitions. Free Press didn’t pay us to send this email—we never rent or sell the list.

African Centre for Human Advocacy’s Report on Prevailing Situation in South Sudan

From: South Sudan Press

1. Political Situation:

April 30, 2014 (SSNA) — Following the last reshuffle of the government of South Sudan on 23 July 2013, which resulted to the removal of the entire cabinet members including the Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny by President Salva Kiir Mayardit, tensions had abruptly flared up within the SPLM ruling party. Before his dismissal from the position of Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar and other senior SPLM members within the SPLM ruling party voiced concerns about the President Salva Kiir’s dictatorial way of handling the affairs of the state, where he absolutely used to take most important decisions singlehandedly without consulting the SPLM Political Bureau which is the highest political organ in the ruling party or the executive wing of the government where the Vice President was deputising him in the party. President Salva Kiir’s apparently manipulated the Interim National Constitution in his favour where he appoints or dismisses any member of the cabinets without consulting the Vice President as it was already stipulated in the constitution that the President would act in consultation with his Vice President.

However, President Salva Kiir has been promoting tribalism, nepotism, chauvinism, corruption, human rights violation etc., which are considered as parts of bad governance at any level of government all over the world during his eight years reign in South Sudan. In his turn, the former Vice President decided to challenge the President openly in the next general elections, which is supposed to commence in 2015, whereas President Kiir adamantly rejected such decision from his former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and other SPLM senior members who were challenging him within the SPLM leadership. He did not want to be challenged by any member from the SPLM ruling party. When he saw a looming threat from the party colleagues, President organised his supporters to sabotage any move from the supporters of the former Vice President to challenge him in the upcoming elections. This becomes a wrangling within the SPLM leadership on who to run for elections. The former Vice President’s position was vigorously supported by majority of the SPLM political Bureau members and the masses all over the country that got tired of President Salva Kiir’s style of leadership, which favoured only few members from his own ethnic group, the Dinka who he placed in most of the key strategic positions in the government. They are the ones controlling the finance, security, foreign affairs etc., just to mention a few.

In addition to that, President Salva Kiir secretly recruited and trained an army numbering 15,000 soldiers that were drawn up inclusively from his own Dinka tribe, from two states of Warrap and Northern Bahr El Gazal as personal protection guards. He never trusted the SPLA regular soldiers to be guarded by him because majority of them are from Nuer tribe, which constituted 60% of the fighting force. During the first and second weeks of December 2013, SPLM supporters of the former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar which included 14 senior SPLM Political Bureau members staged two consecutive rallies in Juba where they demanded for democratic transformation within the SPLM ruling party to be urgently realized and translated into reality. This idea brought several thousands all over the capital Juba to Freedom Square to attend the two rallies in which subsequent press releases were issued afterwards to highlight their six points that include; 1. SPLM reform, 2. Economic reform, 3. Corruption eradication, 4. Strengthening relations with foreign countries, 5. Human Rights violations, 6. Tribalism, nepotism and chauvinism etc.,

During the last SPLM rally of 15 December, which was overwhelmingly attended by all SPLM government and opposing political leaders who rejected President Kiir re-elections as Chairman of SPLM, and vied for Dr. Machar to take over the chairmanship of the party instead of the incumbent SPLM Chairman and President. The tension became high in which the President Salva Kiir hastily ordered his close associate and trustful General Marial Cenouer who was in charge of 15,000 (soldiers) so-called Presidential Guards based at Luri garrisons in southeast of Juba to immediately disarm the SPLA Nuer soldiers within the Presidential Guards in the evening hours. At around 10.00 PM, on 15 December 2013, the fighting ensued within the Presidential Guards of Dinka and Nuer members from SPLA in which several soldiers were reported to have been killed on both sides. SPLA mutinous soldiers briefly captured the Tiger Headquarters, which hosted the Presidential Guards. Dr. Riek Machar and other associate members escaped along with him to the bushes of South Sudan and the direction to Bor.

The 11 SPLM political leaders who were associated with Dr. Riek Machar were detained on the following day of 16 December, in Juba prison where they remained there for some months. Towards the end of January, 7 of them were released through SPLM – In Opposition, IGAD and Troika’s interventions and were flown to Kenya to participate in the ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa. But they chose to remain as separate block negotiating on their own as a faction instead of siding with the SPLM/A – In Opposition that advocated for their unconditional release from jail. The other 4 political detainees including the SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amoum remained in jail and have recently been released in this April, by the government in Juba and are still confined inside the country. The government in Juba is denying them opportunity to participate in the peace talks in Addis Ababa while their presence in the talks is very instrumental indeed. The IGAD and Troika peace mediators in Addis Ababa should exert more pressures on the government in Juba to fully release them and allow them participations in the peace talks.

2. Human Rights Violation:

As mentioned above that on the 15 December 2013, a group of SPLA soldiers from Presidential Guard mainly from Dinka attempted to disarm their colleagues from the Nuer tribe who were in the same Presidential Guards. Unfortunately, the SPLA soldiers from Nuer refused the disarmaments and instead their rivals from SPLA Dinka started the shooting which result to the captured of Tiger Presidential Guards Headquarters by the SPLA Nuer soldiers. They occupied the said military garrison until the following day when SPLA combined forces from different units came and recaptured the Tiger Headquarters from the mutinous soldiers of Nuer elements. Dr. Riek Machar and his wife Mrs Angelina Teny who were prime targets of being implicated by President Salva of being behind the rebellion escaped the government planned onslaughts for hiding along with former Minister of Environment General Alfred Ladu Gore and former Governor of Unity State General Taban Deng Gai.

The three SPLM leaders and Madam Angelina Teny apparently escaped to the bushes for their own lives and made their way to Greater Upper Nile where the Nuer civilians known as “White Army” and some SPLA defectors from other garrisons mostly from Nuer when they heard that wanton massacres was being carried out by some SPLA of Dinka soldiers in Juba against the innocent Nuer civilians in Juba came to their rescues. In fact, Dr. Riek and his wife left behind most of their personal bodyguards. They were left behind in their official government residential quarter in Juba on the night of 15 December 2013, when the fighting erupted in Juba. On 16 December, the infamous Nuer massacre took place in Juba and lasted for three days up to 19 December 2013, by their Dinka attackers who masqueraded as Presidential Guards inside Juba town. They summarily executed over 10,000 civilians including 35 personal bodyguards of Dr. Riek Machar who were first disarmed by the government soldiers and later killed in cold blood when the government soldiers (SPLA) smashed a two storey government building used by the former Vice President with military tanks. Inside the same house it was sheltering over hundred civilians most of whom were closed or distant relatives of former Vice President and his dear wife who an emergency sought refuge there. Unfortunately, military tanks crashed all of them and this was the most gruesome massacre ever conducted in the history of South Sudan in one town since South Sudanese fought successive wars with Khartoum regimes in the past. The UNMISS and did not revealed the exact figures of those Nuer killed in Juba for fears of reprisals from that notorious government in Juba.

The UNMISS put the figures of the dead to 500 hundred persons only while the government soldiers conducted house-to – house searches for three days from 16 – 19 December, where they collected several thousands unarmed Nuer civilians in the neighbourhoods of Gudelle, Mia Saba, Thongpiny, Jabal Kujur, Manga teen, Souk Jabal, Khor William, Gumbo, New Site, Jabal Dinka, Guray etc., Hundreds of them were summarily executed at Gudelle Police Station and thousands others were killed in different locations where their bodies dumped on the River Nile or burnt to ashes beyond recognitions. This is very painful story but the UN and other human rights groups did not revealed the exact numbers of the Nuer civilians killed during the aftermath of the massacre in Juba and its surrounding areas. The real figures were later revealed by the victims themselves who fled to UNMISS camps at Jebel Kujur and Thongpiny or hidden by their Equatorian’s friends in Juba town.

When the news of the massacres of Nuer in Juba spread throughout the Nuerlands in Upper Nile, Unity and Jongeli States, ten of thousands of well armed Nuer youth and SPLA deserted soldiers flocked into government garrisons in Greater Upper Nile States where they attacked government loyalists which resulted to the capturing of the three state’s capitals of Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei. In the process of these fighting many lives were lost on both sides. Since December 2013, the towns of Bor, Malakal and Bentiu were repeatedly captured or recaptured by SPLA – In Opposition or government soldiers and their Uganda (UPDF), JEM and SPLA-N allies more than four times, in which thousands of innocent civilians were sadly killed there and destructions of properties were enormous indeed. Government infrastructures and religious worshiping centres as well as hospitals were therefore demolished in all the three state capitals of Bentiu, Bor and Malakal as well as at counties level during the course of fighting between the two parties.

Following the recaptured of Bentiu by SPLA – In Opposition on the 16 April 2014, from the government forces in which the UN and other international NGOs expressed propound disappointments with alleged killing of over 200 Darfuri and Dinka civilians and 400 others wounded. This damning report was circulated all over media houses all over the world and several countries expressed strong condemnations against the rebel movement who were accused of perpetrating a deliberate massacre against the unarmed civilians caught in cross-fire in the town of Bentiu. The SPLM/A – In Opposition on their part, strongly repudiated the allegation made by UNMISS boss Mr. Toby Lanzer and journalists from several news media who visited the town of Bentiu following the capture of the town by rebels who said that those Darfuri killed or other South Sudanese men (Dinka) who died along with them were not civilians but government sponsored militias and mercenaries. The SPLA – In Opposition Spokesman and other sources from the ground indicated that there were no Darfuri traders existing in Bentiu since January 2014, when the government forces and their allies recaptured it from them.

All the Sudanese traders evacuated all along the town because it becomes a war zone, and virtually deserted by its entire population to UNMISS camp, where over 8000 IDPs resides there. There was no reason at all for 800 traders from Darfur to continue in Bentiu town where there was no market or buyers to buy their goods. It is true; while in combats they usually dressed with civilian clothes and used the Mosque during that attack by SPLM/A – In Opposition forces as human shields. They had indeed guns and fought vigorously against the rebel forces when they were denied access to UNMISS compound by rebel forces following the capture of Rup Kona’s Bridge. Those civilians who felt threats because of fighting they definitely ran to UNMISS compound in Bentiu before the fighting reached the town. The fight took nearly three days before the capture of Bentiu occurred. If the Darfuri traders were actually civilians who felt threatens they would have gone to UNMISS camp before the fighting escalated into town.

The same thing with the alleged Dinka civilians who were said by UN and other aid agencies that they were deliberately massacred by SPLA- In Opposition forces. Those Dinka men who got killed were also recruited government sponsored militias who were fighting actively on the side of the government against the rebel forces. The rebels denied killing of any unarmed civilians being elderly, women or children intentionally during the fight in Bentiu. If the rebels were intended to massacre the Darfuri and Dinka civilians as it was alleged, what would have prevented the 400 wounded not to be killed in the Mosque while the rebels were the ones in control of the town and not UNMISS? Definitely, the rebels would have killed them all if they really wished to do so. The UN and other NGOs had indeed given misleading information to the outside world, which was not the true picture in the ground. They are indeed inciting more massacres in South Sudan by issuing false allegations on the side of the rebels. The Radio of Bentiu was used only by SPLM/A – In Opposition commanders who captured the town to inform those still in hiding to avail themselves that the town was free and not used for projecting hate messages as it was later alleged by UNMISS representatives from Juba and their accompanied journalists. All the images shown on the news media had no any child or woman seen in it. They were all men wearing civilian clothes where the rebels collected their guns after they got killed in action. This is a propaganda that will not serve the purpose and instead it will certainly create more harm then good between the two rival communities of Dinka and Nuer respectively. This will also make peace in South Sudan difficult to be realised within a short time if the UNMISS and other international NGOs continuous to wage such negative propaganda campaigns against one group of the fighting parties or most importantly against the SPLM/A – In Opposition and their Nuer sympathizers.

What UNMISS has been preaching following the fall of Bentiu to the rebel forces on 16 April, through the international news outlets, the resultant of it was the worst gruesome and awful attacks on Nuer civilians at UNMISS camp in Bor on the 21 April, when some SPLA soldiers and other organised forces from the government along with Bor youth went on rampage and attacked 6000 IDPs from Nuer as retaliations by Dinka to what happened to their people in Bentiu. The attack on UNMISS camp in Bor was a government initiative which was directly spearheaded by some well-known senior government officials from Jonglei and Bahr El Gazal States to massacre Nuer. The UNMISS did not give adequate protection to the IDPs inside their centre in Bor and that was the reason why 145 persons mostly women and children were deliberately killed by their Dinka attackers. Another 273 persons sustained injuries and unknown numbers of Nuer youth fled to bushes in panics and never reported back to the camp. They are presumed dead because the same attackers pursued them. The UNMISS continuously kept the numbers of those IDPs killed or wounded down simply because they did not want an embarrassment from international community or get into loggerheads with the government in Juba. The survivors themselves were the ones who revealed the accurate figures because UNMISS always played down the numbers of those killed and wound. In the first place they gave conservative estimates of 20 persons killed and 48 wounded. This is a complete lie and at the same time a great insult to the Nuer victims and their loved ones. UNMISS should not act biasedly for fears from the government to terminate their activities in South Sudan. The UNMISS mandates in South Sudan is to protect human lives and their properties against any human rights violators no matter war. They have the full mandate from the United Nations in New York to use all the necessary means if human rights of any community is seriously violated by any warring party in the conflict.

On 23 April, the town of Renk was briefly captured by the SPLM/A – In Opposition forces in which they dislodged government forces and their ally’s forces from town. After the rebels withdrew from the town which bordering the White Nile State, Republic of Sudan, the Nuer officials in the government and other organised forces were deliberately killed by their Dinka colleagues and militia soldiers who were armed by the government to intentionally fight the rebels. According to various reports from different sources said that about 300 Nuer civilians have been killed in Renk alone. UNMISS has no present in Renk and no NGOs agency can easily verify this report because few of the NGOs who used to operate in Renk had evacuated the town before it was briefly occupied by the rebels.

On 27 April, Mapel SPLA Training Centre was attacked by a group of Dinka soldiers in which they killed about 192 unarmed SPLA Nuer trainees and several hundreds others fled to forests for their own safety. Their whereabouts are not known and the government still playing it down as if nothing had actually happened. According to the statement from the State Government of Western Bahr El Gazal State Hon. Razik Zachariah Hassan, he said that some widows whose husbands got killed by the rebels in Unity State carried out the attacks on Nuer SPLA trainees in Mapel. He also played down the death rates to be three persons killed and four other wounded. If this statement over Radio Tamazaj is true, could several hundreds of Nuer men who left behind their dear wives and children ran to the bushes to escape widow’s onslaughts? Could this episode provoke the defections of seven Brigadier Generals and their forces of not less than a complete brigade to forests? Would the widows managed to kill 192 persons as reported by the survivors in the bushes and defector generals from Wau area? And yet the attackers are still hunting after those who escaped such ordeals. This appalling situation aggravated the defections of 7 SPLA Brigadier Generals and their forces that are from Nuer simply because they did not want their own fellows Nuer to be humiliated in such a manner in their watch. The 7 brave Brig. Generals have decided to rescue their fellows Nuer instead of continued supporting this notorious government in Juba under dictator Salva Kiir Mayardit. The UNMISS did not report this incident to the outside world yet they are more concerned with the fates of Darfuri rebels from JEM and SPLA – N who were killed in action by SPLM/A – In Opposition in Bentiu. The government forces and their Uganda (UPDF) allies have recently captured the town of Ayod from the SPLA In Opposition forces in which they are now conducting gruesome killings against the civilians in the area and yet UNMISS and other international NGOs are keeping quiet and not reporting such wanton killing of Nuer in all these places.

3. Humanitarian Situation:

The humanitarian situation in Greater Upper Nile States of Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei is pathetic indeed. Most of its population have migrated to neighbouring countries or UNMISS camps or to saver areas within the country. Over one million people are already registered by UN and NGOs agencies operating in South Sudan as IDPs within the country in which most of them are from Greater Upper Nile States. Juba alone has not less than 50,000 Nuer IDPs in the UNMISS compounds whereas Bentiu with 22,000 IDPs, Malakal has the same number of 22,000; Malut has over 30,000 and Bor with 6,000 IDPs. Wau has got over 1000 Nuer IDPs whereas some of them are being rejected entrance to UNMISS compound in Wau by the government of Western Bahr El Gazal State. Nuer students at Bahr El Gazal University are greatly affected by the recent skirmishes in the area. It is reported that a number of university students have been arrested of are presumed missing by their colleagues who fled to UNMISS compound in Wau. The families of Nuer unarmed soldiers in Mapel needs to be traced because some conflicting reports indicated that some Dinka soldiers had killed them all or some fled to forests for safety. This needs UNMISS and other Human Rights organisations to pay an urgent field assessment to see if the families of the murdered and fleeing Nuer soldiers are still alive so that they can be relocated to UNMISS camp in Wau town. The IDPs at UNMISS camps in all the states Greater Upper Nile and Central Equatoria need to be relocated to secure countries like Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia instead of remaining in that sad conditions for too long. They are more less prisoners in their own country. They lack most of basic human necessities. Their children are at high risk of contracting water bone diseases and malnutrition and at the same time not attending schools. The elders are very much depressed and are facing state of hopelessness and uncertainties. The UN and other NGOs agencies can transport them to where their children can go to schools or move freely than being confined inside UNMISS compounds throughout the country like prisoners of war.

In the SPLM/A – In Opposition controlled areas, education is completely none existent where most of the teachers have abandoned their teaching jobs and joined either the government or the rebels rank. Several hundred thousands children of school aged are staying without attending classes. Food situation is also very sacred indeed and this will force millions of people to abandon their homesteads in search of food and protections in secured places. Health situation is also very demanding whereby majority of the victims have gunshot wounds and others are suffering with different ailments mostly children with severe malnutrition cases. Cross-border operations through, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia would serve more lives if negotiated in good face with the host countries and implemented by UN and NGOs agencies which is similar to that of OLS in 1990s, where both government of Sudan and (SPLM/A) controlled areas were served equally.

4. Peace in South Sudan:

If this war in South Sudan is not handled carefully, regional conflict may flare up very soon because the continuous supports of UPDF, JEM, and SPLA – N and other invisible actors like Egypt and Zimbabwe to the government of Salva Kiir in Juba would definitely attract other regional countries to join the ongoing war. Therefore, the international community has a task to pressurise the government in Juba to delink itself from his allies otherwise South Sudan will soon be a theatre of war between competing regional leaders over control of its vast oil and mineral resources. The most of its population will migrate into more secured areas in the neighbouring countries. This is because Juba is intensifying war vigorously with full supports from his allies, which are also enemies of other regional leaders. Uganda has been actively engaged in combat operations in Greater Upper Nile where they used cluster bombs against civilian’s targets in Jonglei State and jets in Unity and Upper Nile States. With the latest development where some communities are being targeted indiscriminately, the situation is already out of control and will be difficult to bring this war to an end very soon as long as some foreign mercenary allies of the government are still active in war in South Sudan. Norway must double its efforts to pressurise both Juba and Kampala to immediately withdraw the UPDF forces in South Sudan in order to give peace a chance. The same thing with Darfuri (JEM) and SPLM-N (Nuba & Ingessnia of Blue Nile) rebels who are siding with the government in Juba against the SPLA – In Opposition. The present of Sudanese rebels in South Sudan to protect the oil fields installations which are under threats from the SPLM/A – In Opposition forces and in turn they also receive their shares from oil revenues and in addition to supply lines through Upper Nile and Unity State to continue with their war against Khartoum. The JEM and SPLA – N have abandoned their cause for material gains in South Sudan. Therefore, UN should advise their leaders not to involve their fighters in conflict in South Sudan while at the same time disusing as Sudanese traders.

Generally, genuine Sudanese traders are free to operate anywhere in South Sudan without any intimidations. But the present of JEM and SPLA – N in war against the SPLM/A – In Opposition is highly posing serious threats to Sudanese traders operating in South Sudan. This is a very serious game in which people of South Sudan at the end of the days will be the losers from this war. The international community most save South Sudan from imminent collapse from Salva Kiir. The people of South Sudan are tired of war and are longing for a lasting peace where democracy, development, rule of law, accountability and human rights shall be the basis of principles of good governance in the country.
This report is compiled by: Daniel Wuor Joak
Executive Director of African Centre for Human Advocacy (ACHA)
Date: 30th April 2014

USA, State Dpt.: Press Releases: Press Availability in South Sudan

From: U.S. Department of State
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Embassy Juba
Juba, South Sudan
May 2, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good afternoon. I just completed an in-depth, very frank, and thorough discussion with President Kiir. And throughout the meeting, I think it’s fair to say that both of us spoke very candidly, very directly, and we got to the issues that I came here to discuss. Throughout the meeting, I made it clear to him that he needs to do everything in his power to end the violence, and also to begin a process of national dialogue, a process by which there is the beginning of discussions – real discussions – about a transition government that can bring peace to the country.

It’s fair to say that President Kiir was very open and very thoughtful and had thought even before this meeting about these issues, because we have talked about them on the phone in recent days, and because our special envoy and others have had conversations with him about it. So he committed very clearly his intention to do exactly that: take forceful steps in order to begin to move to end the violence and implement the cessation of hostilities agreement, and to begin to engage on a discussion with respect to a transition government.

I just spoke a few minutes ago to Prime Minister Hailemariam of Ethiopia to convey to him President Kiir’s willingness to travel to Addis Ababa in the near term, sometime early next week hopefully, in order to engage in a discussion with Prime Minister Hailemariam, and hopefully with Riek Machar, who had previously indicated to the prime minister a willingness to do so. And I hope to talk to him sometime later in the course of today to encourage him to do so.

This meeting of Riek Machar and President Kiir is critical to the ability to be able to really engage in a serious way as to how the cessation of hostilities agreement will now once and for all really be implemented, and how that can be augmented by the discussions regarding a transition government and meeting the needs of the people of Sudan. President Kiir and I have spoken about this many times over the course of the last months. We particularly spoke almost every day during the period from December 15th through the Christmas period. In fact, I even talked to him on Christmas Day, and was particularly pleased today to be able to return to Juba in order to sit down and discuss these issues face to face.

I’ve told President Kiir that the choices that both he and the opposition face are stark and clear, and that the unspeakable human costs that we have seen over the course of the last months, and which could even grow if they fail to sit down, are unacceptable to the global community. Before the promise of South Sudan’s future is soaked in more blood, President Kiir and the opposition must work immediately for a cessation of hostilities, and to move towards an understanding about future governance of the country.

I might also say that we do not put any kind of equivalency into the relationship between the sitting president, constitutionally elected and duly elected by the people of the country, and a rebel force that is engaged in use of arms in order to seek political power or to provide a transition. Already, thousands of innocent people have been killed and more than a million people have been displaced. And it is possible – as we’ve seen the warnings, because people have not been able to plant their crops – that there could be major famine in the course of the months ahead if things don’t change.

Both sides are now reportedly recruiting child soldiers and there are appalling accounts of sexual violence in the conflict. The reports of Radio Bentiu broadcasting hate speech and encouraging ethnic killings are a deep concern to all of us. The United States could not be any clearer in its condemnation of the murder of the civilians in Bentiu or in Bor and all acts of violence, including those that use ethnicity or nationality as justification are simply abhorrent and unacceptable.

If both sides do not take steps in order to reduce or end the violence, they literally put their entire country in danger. And they will completely destroy what they are fighting to inherit.

The people of South Sudan – and I’m talking about all the people of South Sudan – all of them have suffered and sacrificed far too much to travel down this dangerous road that the country is on today. That is why both sides must take steps immediately to put an end to the violence and the cycle of brutal attacks against innocent people.

Both sides have to do more to facilitate the work of those people who are providing humanitarian assistance, whether from the UN or from the UN mission or any organization that is responding to increasingly dire needs of citizens. Both sides need to facilitate access for humanitarian workers, for goods, for cash in order to pay salaries, and they need to provide this access to South Sudan’s roads, to its waterways, including to opposition-held areas. And we talked about this very directly this morning with President Kiir and his cabinet members.

It is important that both sides also act to ensure the safety and the security of the humanitarian workers themselves, and both sides must stop dangerous verbal attacks on people who are bravely providing relief to the South Sudanese people. It’s unconscionable that people who have come here not with weapons but with assistance are being attacked by both sides, and nothing will do more to deter the international community and ultimately to wind up in an even worse confrontation in the country itself.

Both President Kiir and Riek Machar must honor the agreement that they made with one another to cease hostilities, and they need to remember as leaders their responsibilities to the people of the country. The fate of this nation, the future of its children must not be held the hostage of personal rivalry.

Yesterday in Addis I spoke with representatives from the African Union and South Sudan’s neighbors about how we can coordinate and restore peace and accountability. We support the AU’s Commission of Inquiry in South Sudan, and I met this morning with the leader of that commission and listened to their early reports of their work. And we support the IGAD’s monitoring and verification mechanisms. The United States is also prepared in short order to put sanctions in place against those who target innocent people, who wage a campaign of ethnic violence, or who disrupt the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Even as we come here in this moment of conflict in an effort to try to find the road that has been obscured, I can’t help but remember – as I drove to meet with the president and as I came back here to our Embassy, having traveled here and been here a number of times – but particularly at the moment of self-determination for this country, it is important to remember what the people of South Sudan achieved for themselves recently. Through their efforts, through their commitment, through their patience, they helped to move this country to independence, to the creation of a nation, through peaceful, democratic, and prosperous future, and the opportunity to be able to try to achieve that. And they came together to create a new nation in that effort.

I remember walking in one community and watching people vote and talking to somebody who was standing out in the hot sun and who’d been there for hours. And I walked up to them and said, “Look, I hope you’re not going to get impatient. Don’t leave. You need to wait to vote.” And that person to me said, “Don’t worry” – I was then a senator – “Don’t worry, Senator, I’ve waited 50 years for this moment. I’m not going anywhere until I’ve voted.” The dedication that I saw, the commitment of people to try to create this nation deserves to be fully supported and the aspirations of those people deserve to be met by our efforts, all of us, to try to bring peace, and mostly by the leaders to fulfill the promise that made them leaders in the first place.

It is absolutely critical that to prevent that moment of historic promise from becoming a modern-day catastrophe, we all need to work harder to support the hopes of the people and to restore those hopes. We have to be steady in our commitment to the people of South Sudan. And I was encouraged yesterday in Addis Ababa by the unanimous commitment of the neighbors, of IGAD, of the foreign ministers I met with from Kenya, from Uganda, from Ethiopia, all of whom are committed and dedicated to helping to pull South Sudan back from this precipice and help to implement the cessation of hostilities agreement, and most importantly, help South Sudan to negotiate its way through this transition government that can restore the voice of the people in a way that can give confidence to the South Sudanese people, that their future is indeed being spoken for and that the best efforts are being made to meet it.

So with that, I’d be delighted to take any questions.

MS. PSAKI: The first question will be from Michael Gordon of The New York Times.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) you’ve described some of the political and military steps that you would like to see unfold – expect to see unfold in the next weeks. If neither side honors their commitments, how specifically do you plan to hold them accountable? And how long do you plan to wait before holding them accountable? There’s been some concern in the Congress and by groups like Oxfam that the United States has moved too slowly on this. And are you prepared to sanction the president and Riek Machar themselves?

And lastly, yesterday, you spoke publicly about your interest in deploying African troops to create a more robust peacekeeping force here. How many troops do you think should – will be deployed? When do you think this will happen? Will there be – will it be necessary to secure a new UN Security Council mandate to make this happen? Basically, how real is this? Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, it’s real. Each of the countries I just listed are all committed. And I met yesterday with the foreign ministers who say they are absolutely prepared to move with troops from those countries almost immediately. But yes, we do need to secure an additional United Nations Security Council mandate. I believe that can be done quickly. I hope it can be done quickly. And it’s very, very important to begin to deploy those troops as rapidly as possible.

How rapidly? Hopefully within the next weeks, and we’re talking about an initial deployment of somewhere in the vicinity of 2,500 troops. Well, I think 5,500 have been talked about, and it may be that there are even – it may be that, depending on the situation, more may have to be contemplated. But for the moment, that’s the limit, that’s what’s being talked about.

With respect to the hopes on the – what was the first part? The —

QUESTION: How long do you plan to wait before (inaudible)?

SECRETARY KERRY: Oh, okay. Let me just say – you asked about the – sort of what might follow if people don’t implement these steps. And the answer, very, very directly, is the global community will then make moves in order to have accountability. There is a commission of inquiry already underway. I met this morning with the head of the commission of inquiry and listened to former Nigerian President Obasanjo’s observations about his initial start of that effort. We support that effort; the global community supports that effort. That will obviously be ongoing.

I think the single best way for leaders and people in positions of responsibility to avoid the worst consequences is to take steps now, the kind of steps that we heard promised this morning. We are not going to wait. However, there will be accountability in the days ahead where it is appropriate. And the United States is doing its due diligence with respect to the power the President already has with respect to the implementation of sanctions, and I think that could come very quickly in certain quarters where there is accountability and responsibility that is clear and delineated.

MS. PSAKI: The next question will be from Memoska Lesoba from Eye Radio.

QUESTION: You said that President —

SECRETARY KERRY: Can you hold it up real close?

QUESTION: You said President Salva Kiir has agreed to transitional government. What kind of a transitional government? Can you delve more into that? And I would want to know what kind of sanctions would be imposed if (inaudible) way of (inaudible) resolve the crisis, and what impact will it have.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, with respect to the transition government, ultimately it is up to the people of South Sudan. And it is up to an inclusive process which brings the civil society to the table and reaches out to political opposition and to all of the different stakeholders in South Sudan to shape that. What is important is that President Kiir is prepared to engage in that process in a formal way, to reach out, to work with IGAD, to work with the community, in order to make certain that that process is real, it’s transparent, it’s accountable.

Now, how that unfolds will be part of the discussions that we hope will take place between Prime Minister Hailemariam as the mediator and two of the principle antagonists in this conflict, President Kiir representing government and Riek Machar. But there are other players, lots of them. As you know, 11 detainees have now been released. And each of those detainees has – have had voices and roles to play in the politics of South Sudan.

So it’s really up for the process itself to take shape as the stakeholders and as the people of South Sudan speak up and speak out and demand a certain kind of participation. What’s important is that that participation is promised and it is available.

With respect to sanctions, we are – there are different kinds of sanctions, obviously – sanctions on assets, sanctions on visas, sanctions on wealth and travel and so forth. All of those options are available, among others. But in addition to that, with the commission of inquiry and other standards that are applied. There have been atrocities committed and people need to be held accountable for those kinds of atrocities. And there are methods by which the international committee undertakes to do that. So I think the real test is what happens in these next days, what kind of bona fide legitimate steps are taken by people to prove they want to move in a different direction. And that will be a significant guide as to what may or may not be pursued by members of the international community in the days ahead.

MS. PSAKI: The next question will be from Lara Jakes of AP.

QUESTION: Thank you. Just to clarify, in this transitional government, do you see a place for either President Kiir or Riek Machar to be holding office in the future for this country? And then also, as you head to Congo tomorrow, what are you looking to hear regarding the prosecution of troops who were given amnesty and then returned to M23? And is the United States satisfied with the deep mobilization plan for all armed troops in eastern Congo, including Hutu troops – I’m sorry, groups? And then one last one. Could you comment on the new charges against Gerry Adams? Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: I don’t have any comment on the charges issue. I’ve heard about it, I’m not familiar with all of the details of it. And he’s presented himself. He maintains his innocence. And we need to let the process in Northern Ireland work its way.

With respect to the Central African Republic – excuse me, the D.R.C. – we are hopeful that the terms that have been put in place, the Kampala Accords, are going to be implemented properly. But I’m going to wait to comment more fully on that until I meet up with Special Envoy Feingold, who will meet us there when we arrive there. And I think I would rather get the latest briefing up to date before I summarize it, because I may be outdated and I just would rather do that.

On the first part of your question —

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY KERRY: Whether or not they can be part of in the future – that’s not a decision for the United States of America to make or to comment on. That’s for South Sudanese to decide. It’s for the process to decide. I think that certainly people will judge carefully, I think, what happens in these next days, which could have a great deal to do with respect to future legitimacy of any player engaged in this, not just President Kiir or Riek Machar, but anybody who is engaged. If there is a legitimate, open, transparent, accountable, and real process by which people are listened to and people come together, then the people of South Sudan will have an opportunity to make that kind of decision and it won’t be necessary for us to comment on it.

If it doesn’t go in that direction, it may be that the United States and other interested parties who have helped so significantly to assist South Sudan in this journey to independence and nationhood, it may be that they will be then more inclined to speak out about what’s happened with leadership here or not, but at the moment I don’t think it’s appropriate to do that.

MS. PSAKI: The final question will be from Gabriel Shada from Radio Miraya.

QUESTION: Thank you. The background to the conflict in South Sudan refers to a disagreements, disgruntlements inside the SPLM ruling party on the modalities of election and selection of leaders. So reaching an agreement that does not resolve the SPLM leadership issues is like suspending the real issues, which means they will rise again in the nearest future. So how can the U.S. Administration help the SPLM sort out its problems.

Second question is about the U.S.A. promising a lot to help South Sudan in the past, and even now. But one of the promises was building the – an institutional capacity for South Sudan, and observers can see that institutional capacity in South Sudan is still very, very weak. What are the reasons for this failure, especially when building the capacity of the army and other institutions? Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Very good questions. Very, very good questions. With respect to the first question, you’re absolutely correct: There are internal issues within the SPLM that need to be resolved. But it’s not up to the United States to resolve them. It’s up to the leaders and the members of the SPLM to do so, recognizing that their validity and credibility as a leading party to be the governing party of the country is at stake in how they do that.

And so it is – there’s already a process in place where they’re doing some meetings and evaluations, and will do that. What is important is that they recognize that the negotiations over a transitional government ultimately, in terms of what role they play or how that plays out, will depend to some measure on how they resolve those kinds of internal issues. And the credibility of the civil society, the credibility of the people of South Sudan, with respect to their leadership will depend, obviously, on their ability to do that.

So that’s part of the road ahead. And they know that work is in front of them. They understand that. They discussed it with us here today, and I’m confident that that’s very much in their minds as they think about the future structure of any kind of transition and future.

But it’s also related, I may say, to the second part of your question. Yes, the United States committed to do certain kinds of things, as did the international community. And for a certain period of time, many of those things were attempted to be done, but the truth is that there’s been a difficulty, as I think most people understand, in the governing process that gave people pause and made people stand back a little bit. And that’s been part of the problem. And that’s why this transitional government’s effort is so important, because it is the key to being able to open up the kind of direct help and input that would be then meaningful and not wasted and not lost. And it’s very important that there be a process in place where people have confidence that the way forward is clear and that assistance can be put to the use that it’s meant to be put to.

So I would say to you that that’s part of the reason why this transitioning effort is so critical, because it really is what can restore the legitimacy so that going forward all those people who care, and there are many who do – in Africa, in Europe, in America, elsewhere – would be able to hopefully help in the capacity building for the country. That’s really where all of South Sudan’s energy ought to be going, not into killing each other but into building a government that can serve the needs of the people. And our hope is that that is what can get restored out of this terrible conflict that has interrupted that path.

MS. PSAKI: Thank you, everyone.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you all. Appreciate it.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Stay connected with the State Department:

20 Years of Freedom: Seven Things To Tell Young Black South Africans

From: Abdalah Hamis

Last week, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation held an election debate in Cape Town, in the Western Cape, on intergenerational justice. It would have been great if some terms, like intergenerational justice, had been framed more definitively beforehand. I imagine many people take the term to be a call for a moderation of economic demands on, for example, natural and other resources in this generation so that future generations might also enjoy their benefits.

However, the economic reality is that future generations do not spring forth from the aether, with no connection to the current generation. Parents bequeath their socioeconomic positions to their children, despite the many ubiquitous, grand and oversold tales of a universally available social mobility predicated on “hard work” and “equal opportunity”. And if there is to be intergenerational justice in South Africa, one based on the truism that justice delayed is justice denied, then the present-day racial inequalities—a direct result of centuries of imperialist, colonialist and apartheid policies and actions—will have to be dealt with swiftly, definitively and with a singularity of purpose in this generation’s lifetime.

Alas, this wasn’t the debate that unfolded on the night. Most of the represented political parties—the ANC, the national incumbent; the DA, the party in government in the Western Cape; and two new unrepresented parties, EFF and Agang—ignored the topic and delivered campaign speeches.

The institute had also invited students from Phillipi High School and Cape Academy, two differently resourced schools for poorer Black students, mostly. At question and answer time, the students seemed to have a firmer grasp than some of the politicians of the present state of injustice into which they were born. They asked about gangsterism on the Cape Flats; being made attend school in buildings not made of brick and mortar; and what it means to be Black in South Africa today.

They seemed perplexed that these were still issues present in their lives, two decades after the supposed start of freedom’s reign.

I wasn’t the only one in the audience to realise that they lacked the words and historical context with which to speak to the interrelatedness of their socioeconomic positions and their blackness. And it wasn’t the first time I’d come across this.

Without these words and context, being Black in South Africa today must be a baffling, sometimes humiliating experience.

With that in mind, I drew up a non-exhaustive list of seven Black consciousness themed conversations I will have with my three-year-old nephew and two-year-old niece (and any young person who will listen), so they might cope with being Black in modern-day South Africa. These are the bare-minimum educational conversations we should all be having with young Black South Africans:

1. Apartheid, in substance, was an economic system that took legal form through segregationist policies and disenfranchising Black people. The legal form was abolished in 1994, but the economic system remains. Any reference to apartheid’s “legacy” is speaking about the system proper.

2. Apartheid was the final, all-encompassing consolidation of the white-supremacist economic project that began with the initial Dutch settlement in the Cape.

3. The separation of the colonialist era from the apartheid era is artificial, as is the separation of the “post-apartheid” era from both. History cannot be sealed off from the present through watershed moments, no matter how appealing their emotive value. History is not something that can simply be “moved on” from, not without a radical and massive correction of historical injustices; something that did not happen in this country. Even with such a correction, history is always the lens through which to understand the present.

4. You aren’t poor because you are Black. There is nothing about the tone of your skin, the texture of your hair or the languages and cultural practices of your mothers that makes you innately suitable for lives of servitude. You are poor because it was economically expedient for a group of white men whose interests in empire building and wealth accumulation trumped any notion of justice or commitment to democratic values they might have had.

5. You aren’t poor because you are Black. You are poor because the economic reality is that you inherited the socioeconomic position of your parents, which was crafted by this imperialist colonialist economic project steeped in white supremacy.

6. You aren’t poor because you are Black. You are poor because the intransigence of whiteness meant the people’s movement acting to liberate you from this white-supremacist tyranny was, under threat of war, made to delay the justice to which you are entitled and to offer it to your generation piecemeal. This was always going to be a long, if not impossible, task owing to the nature of the global economy into which this country has locked itself. This is why many of your generation were born into an unjust society and will die in an unjust society.

7. The older generation (and the movements and structures they founded) no longer has the appetite to fight for the justice you deserve. You have to fight for it, and you have to convince others around you of these incontrovertible truths.

South Sudan: New Army General Chief of Staff Paul Malong Awan ordered government troops to kill unarmed Nuer trainees in Western Barh El Ghazel

From: South Sudan Press
April 27, 2014
For Immediate Release
Press release No. 2

South Sudan New Army General Chief of staff Paul Malong Awan and president Salva Kiir Mayardit ordered the killings of 220 unarmed trainees’ who mostly Nuer tribe in Military Training Centre at Mapel, Western Bahr El Ghazel, South Sudan in April 25, 2014.

April 27, 2014. The office SPLM/SPLA Nebraska Chapter is strongly condemns the unjustified killings of unarmed trainees mostly Nuer tribe and others are being hunt down in the bush where they went for hiding. These horrific killings of particularly tribe who are evenly still sighting with the government signified that Salva Kiir Mayardit himself has a president of South Sudan is exercising the tribal war in South Sudan.

The families of those trainees who were gunned down at the military training center were resided in Wau town. Other students from Nuer tribe studied at Bahr El Ghazel University after they heard their love ones were murdered by government troops wanted to enter to UNMISS compound for their safety, but were denied access by the local authorities in Wau, South Sudan.

The office of SPLM/SPLA Nebraska Chapter/USA like to inform Human Right Activities, UN personnel, and International Red Cross to quickly take an action to rescue those vulnerable Nuer civilians who are resided in Wau, and other cities in Greater Barh El Ghazel Region and take them to their birth towns where their lives would be less danger. The Government of South Sudan has become a tribal government and security is out of control people who are resided outside of their birth places their lives are in risk at anywhere in the country especially Nuer tribe.

Keak Lam Kierkok
Head of Communication of SPLM/SPLA Nebraska Chapter/USA

USA, State Dpt.: Egyptian Court Sentencing Recommendations

From: U.S. Department of State
Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 28, 2014

The United States is deeply concerned by today’s Egyptian court actions related to another mass trial and preliminary death sentences as well as the banning of the April 6 Youth Movement activities. Today’s preliminary death sentences against 683 defendants and the upholding of death sentences against 37 defendants from a March 25 decision are unconscionable.

As the Secretary has said, it is impossible to believe that such proceedings could satisfy even the most basic standards of justice, let alone meet Egypt’s obligations under international human rights law. We again urge Egyptian authorities to remedy the situation and reverse these court rulings and ensure due process for the accused on the merits of individual cases. We continue to urge the Egyptian Government to suspend future mass trials of Egyptians.

Today’s decision by a court of urgent matters to ban the activities of The April 6 Youth Movement is also troubling. Supporters of the movement were at the forefront of the January 25, 2011 revolution that overthrew former president Mubarak, and the Government of Egypt must allow for the peaceful political activism that the group practices if Egypt’s interim Government intends to transition to democracy, as it has committed itself to do.

These court decisions run counter to the most basic democratic principles and foster the instability, extremism, and radicalization that Egypt’s interim Government says it seeks to resolve. We urge the Egyptian Government to demonstrate – through actions rather than words – its support for the universal human rights and freedoms and democratic, accountable governance that the Egyptian people continue to demand.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Stay connected with the State Department:

Kenya: Deploring Death of Teenage Kenyan FGM Victim, Clitoraid Urges Kenya’s Health Ministry to Open a Clitoral Restoration Hospital and Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation

From: News Release – African Press Organization (APO)

Deploring Death of Teenage Kenyan FGM Victim, Clitoraid Urges Kenya’s Health Ministry to Open a Clitoral Restoration Hospital and Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation

Clitoraid helps FGM victims obtain restorative surgery to reverse FGM effects

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 23, 2014/ — Following the tragic death of a 13-year old Kenyan girl who underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) last Monday, an organization that helps FGM victims obtain restorative surgery to reverse FGM effects, is urging Kenyan Health Secretary James Macharia to open Kenya’s first clitoral repair hospital.


Photo: (Clitoraid Communications Director Nadine Gary)

“FGM reversal surgery, which restores clitoral functioning, is a powerful deterrent to the barbaric, cruel and dangerous practice of female genital mutilation,” said Clitoraid ( Communications Director Nadine Gary. “Why do something so unpleasant and painful when the results can easily be undone?”

[See “before and after” pictures of clitoral reversal surgery, courtesy of Clitoraid’s volunteer head surgeon, Dr. Marci Bowers, at: ]

Clitoraid, which is in the final stages of opening a state-of-the-art clitoral repair clinic in Burkina Faso, also organized a humanitarian mission in Bobo Dioulasso last month in which 38 FGM patients recovered clitoral function.

“Four American volunteer doctors traveled to Burkina Faso to do those surgeries, and thanks to them, those 38 patients will now enjoy their lives as complete women,” Gary said. “The same humanitarian mission must be organized in Kenya without delay. Countless FGM victims have written to us from Kenya, and they’re begging us to provide the service in Kenya. They need our help to regain their sense of dignity and their capacity for physical pleasure.”

Gary said her organization has written to James Macharia offering to come and train a Kenyan surgeon to do the clitoral repair procedure free of charge if he or she is willing to learn the technique.

Noting that a pan-African FGM conference organized by Burkina Faso’s First Lady, Chantal Compaore, will be held April 24-26 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Gary said Clitoraid is looking forward to the event.

“We’re looking forward to presenting our humanitarian project for Kenya at that gathering,” she said. “No time should be wasted, since we must act at once to save lives!”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Clitoraid.

Media contact:
Abibata Sanon

About Clitoraid:

Clitoraid ( is an international non-profit organization offering clitoral repair surgery to FGM victims.


USA & Egypt: Readout of Secretary Kerry’s Call With Egyptian Foreign Minister Fahmy

From: U.S. Department of State
Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC

April 22, 2014

Today, Secretary Kerry spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister Fahmy to inform him that he is certifying to Congress that Egypt is sustaining the strategic relationship with the United States – including by countering transnational threats such as terrorism and weapons proliferation – and that Egypt is upholding its obligations under the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. He reaffirmed that Egypt remains, as it has been for decades, an important strategic partner for the United States. The Secretary noted that he is not yet able to certify that Egypt is taking steps to support a democratic transition. He urged Egypt to follow through on its commitment to transition to democracy – including by conducting free, fair, and transparent elections, and easing restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, and the media – as Egypt will be more secure and prosperous if it respects the universal rights of its citizens.


Stay connected with the State Department:

Nuer Community in Uganda Condemns Mass Killing of Nuer Civilians at UNMISS Base in Bor

From: South Sudan Press

19th April 2014
Press Release

Kampala, April 19, 2014 (SSNA) — In the wake of current renewed scale of fighting in South Sudan after stalled Peace mediation process under auspice of IGAD in Addis Ababa between the government of South Sudan and SPLM in Opposition, Nuer community in Uganda are in deep sorrow and painfully mourn the senseless killing of civilians in UNMIS on 17th April 2014 in what appeared to be a well coordinated attack by Juba-sponsored militia youth recruited mainly from Bor community. We deem this cancerous act as a fulfillment of what Makuei Lueth -The Minister of information attempt to do in the early days of February 2013 but he was denied access to enter UNIMISS base.

In terms of human loss, that cowardice attack on civilians in Bor has resulted in death of one hundred and forty five people (145) mostly women and children and had also left two hundred and seventy three (273) seriously wounded and are currently undergoing deflated medical attention in the same UNIMISS premises. It is worth mentioning here that the victims and other survivors are part of unarmed civilian mostly from Nuer ethnic groups who sought refuge in UNIMISS base in Bor.

Under universal accepted rules of engagement, such deliberate attack on UN premises definitely constitute a gross violation of international laws in which United Nation Mission in South Sudan sought her mandate to protect civilians in conflict situations.

As a community, we condemn in strongest term possible the senseless killing of Nuer children and women by the government of South Sudan. This is a clear plan by the defaulted government to eliminate one ethnic community in South Sudan under helpless and silent watch of UN. While principles of international humanitarian law Geneva-convention of 1949 and other subsequent protocols that call for the protection of non-combatant; the Nuer community in Uganda questioned the principle of neutrality that UN had played by failing to act under their mandate i.e. chapter seven of UN Charter in light of ethnic massacre staged by Juba government.

Finally, we are strongly urging the warring parties in South Sudan to refrain from attacking civilians. In the same note, we are appealing to UN Security Council to increase number of UNIMISS forces in the country as a deterrence measure to a possible scale of genocide.

On behalf of Nuer community in Uganda,

Signed by:
Samuel Gai Kuinit, Chairperson
Kuajien Chamjoak, Secretary General

Space for civil society: how to protect and expand an enabling environment

From: Yona Maro

In many parts of the world, the work of civil society is becoming increasingly dangerous. Civil society organisations (CSOs) speak out about social injustice and are often forced to put their own staff at risk to defend the human rights of others. Why? Because they believe that protecting the freedoms that constitute a democracy are worth fighting for. This report looks at the situation in Colombia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Malawi.

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

Rights Group Condemns the Killing of Innocent Civilians in UNMISS Compound

From: South Sudan Press
April 17, 2014
Press Release

Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD) Condemns the Targeted killing of Innocent Nuer Civilians house at the UNMISS Compound in Bor Town and Urge UNMISS to immediately relocate all IDPS to Safe Areas

Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD) condemns in the strongest term possible the deliberate and targeted killing of innocent Nuer Civilians housed in the UNMISS Compound in Bor Town and urge UNMISS to immediately relocate all Nuer ethnic IDPS from Government controlled areas since the UNMISS protection force cannot adequately protect them. ASSD urge the International Community to do more in speeding up the relocation process of those IDPs before it is too late.

ASSD specifically urge elements of the Dinka Bor youths not to drag this war to their own community since the genesis of this conflict was a political one. ASSD strongly condemns and urge Dinka Bor politicians in the Kiir led government not to localize national issues where innocent youths of Bor Dinka ethnic background are being deliberately misled to attack their long time neighbors, the Nuer. The consequences of targeted killing of innocent Nuer civilians or any ethnically related killings does not and will not serve anyone’s interest but widen this conflict where all will be fair game.

ASSD leadership would like to request the UN, United States of America, African Union, Canada, United Kingdom, and Norway to immediately intervene and ensure that the signed cessation of hostility agreement is implemented by the South Sudanese warring parties.

ASSD urge Ugandan President Yoweri Musseveni and foreign forces in South Sudan to with draw immediately and stop meddling in South Sudan’s internal affairs.

For more information, please call us at +1(202) 709- 7322 or via email .
Department of Information and Public Affairs
Alliance for South Sudanese in Diaspora (ASSD)
Washington, DC, USA
+1(202) 709-7322


From: Cheekless 2011

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) has described as mischievous, reports in the media alleging plots to weaken the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) via the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Center (NFIC) Bill currently before the National Assembly.

Executive Director of the Group, Mr. Walter Duru, who stated this while addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday further described the report as sponsored and targeted at misinforming members of the public.

“The claim that creating the NFIC takes away the EFCC’s job simply shows that they do not even understand the core function of the Commission. It is a clear indication that they do not understand the mandate of the Commission and the difference between a financial intelligence center and a law enforcement agency. NFIC is a necessary body that must be in place in order for the country to effectively check financial crimes, money laundering, terrorism financing and other dangerous practices. The argument that the Bill will open the Center to litigations is unfounded and baseless. The proposed NFIC Bill is designed to provide a sustainable and credible legal framework for the NFIC in Nigeria. It seeks to provide the NFIC with operational independence, autonomy and greater ability to provide financial intelligence to all the relevant competent authorities (in Nigeria and abroad) in order to strengthen anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures. It is an international requirement for Nigeria to be seen as a safe country. The NFIU (as it is in Nigeria now) has severally been observed to be deficient by Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on many occasions. All the relevant stakeholders in Nigeria know the latter fact. Nigeria stands the chance of being blacklisted by GIABA during its forthcoming Plenary coming up in Niamey, Niger Republic between 5th and 9th of May 2014 because of this anomaly, which has been going on for years. All the Bill seeks to do is to provide for those things that give the NFIU’s its operational autonomy and strengthen its legal framework in compliance with international standard and best practice.”

“To assure you that they are simply out for mischief and to misinform, the EFCC had long recognized the fact that the NFIU should be operationally autonomous because its board passed a resolution in 2004 to that effect. However, the GIABA and FATF keep on reminding Nigeria that a mere resolution cannot cure the defect but a legal framework.”

Continuing, Mr. Duru explains that “This Bill is aimed at establishing a national agency that will be responsible for the receipt of information from financial institutions, designated non-financial institutions, law enforcement agencies and other relevant persons, analyse the information for the purpose of turning them into financial intelligence and disseminate the latter to all law enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities without discrimination. The Bill will ensure that the NFIU is not tied to any agency (to avoid abuse and information hoarding). Rather, it has adequate measures to build an independent financial intelligence system.”

“Financial intelligence can also be used to assist the monitoring of balance of payments, use of foreign currency and prevent the abuse of the financial system by criminals. It should be noted that over 139 countries across all continents have established such independent FIUs. Nigeria as a member of the international community needs to establish one in order to be able to exchange information with other FIUs.”

On the report of an alleged US Intelligence Agency faulting the NFIC Bill, the Media and Civil Society expert described such as phantom and misleading, adding that the body’s (FinCEN) submission suggested further strengthening of some provisions of the Bill.

Duru further stated that “The report alleging that a US Intelligence Agency faulted the NFIC Bill is yet another phantom one. It is not only misleading, but also lacking in substance. The reporter made a deliberate attempt to distort facts. FinCEN’s comments on the letter by the Chairman, Presidential Committee on FATF, which we have seen is geared towards ensuring that the proposed NFIC is truly independent and autonomous in conformity with international guidelines and regulations. It never expressed any reservations about the Bill, but only advised that it be watertight in order to meet international standards. Twisting it to suggest otherwise is simply mischievous.”

On the position canvassed by the EFCC during the Public Hearing on the Bill by the both chambers of the National Assembly, Mr. Duru described it as insignificant, arguing that the interest and future of Nigeria is far above one individual or organization’s interests.

He stated that Out of about twenty stakeholder institutions, only the EFCC opposed the Bill. “The FIU is meant to serve all law enforcement and other relevant agencies in the country, the EFCC inclusive. No single agency must hijack it at the expense of the majority.”

Continuing, the MIIVOC CEO stated, “As we talk, Nigeria remains disconnected from the Secured Web of the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units due to the concerns expressed over the autonomy of the NFIU. What this means is that Nigeria can neither receive nor share financial intelligence with other 138 member countries of the Egmont Group on money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as other related matters. More worrisome is the fact that it is happening at a time when Nigeria needs the information most, considering the challenge of terrorism confronting the country presently.”

“The only way out is to have a truly independent and autonomous FIU, as it is in other countries of the world,” he concluded.


From: Sam Muigai


I join you today, pleased to be here but bearing a heavy heart in remembering the terrible events that got underway this day, twenty years ago. The people of Kenya reach out to their Rwandan brothers and sisters; we mourn with you, and join you in our determination that genocide will never find space in our region again.

For a hundred days, Rwanda suffered grievously while the world watched without daring to step in and fulfil the famous pledge of “never again” made after the Jewish Holocaust. Almost a million Rwandans were lost in an escalation of violence that had plagued Rwanda for decades with its roots in colonialism’s racist ideology and a post-colonial state that practised the politics of division and terror.

These beautiful hills were deluged with pain and death. The world’s refusal to act against the killers exposed the gulf between high-minded avocations of humanity, and the calculating approach that judges ‘interests’ against human lives.

Our region also stood aside, and for that we owe the most profound apology to the people of Rwanda. We have learned that no one from far away can be relied on to come to our aid; we must build an independent capability and will to protect the lives of our children and their futures.

This is why as the chairman of the East African Community I believe that we must ensure that our region is as strong on security and mutual aid, as it is in trade and economic integration.Building an EAC
in this second decade of the 21st century that would have intervened in 1994 is the least we can do to honour the memory of the dead.

Rwanda learnt its painful lesson well. We proudly watched you go about the business of burying your dead, seeking justice for them by pursuing the killers, and then building a country that disavowed ethnic division, and promised good government.

Your nation is a phoenix, home of millions of unsung heroes.I salute the Rwandans who endured and survived. I applaud those who reached out to save their neighbours. I thank the Rwanda Patriotic Front for doing what so many others were unable or unwilling to do. I join hands with your President, H.E. Paul Kagame, in working toward a region that is prosperous, brotherly and safe for all our people.

We have learnt from your outstanding example of resisting the politics of ethnic division. We too have suffered from the violence that arises from not putting colonial divide- and-rule narratives to rest. We must guard against those who sought to dominate and exploit us all those years ago, and who even today pursue their economic and geopolitical interests with scant regard for our independence and sovereignty.

But that is not all we need to guard against. We must take the Rwandan example of Gacaca to deploy home-grown solutions that find the difficult balance between the victim’s craving for justice and the nation’s need for reconciliation and peace following conflict.

The dreadful media of Kangura and Radio RTLM must be remembered for us to reject hateful and inflammatory speech that seeks to turn us against one another on the basis of ethnicity or religion.

We must also guard against deniers of the genocide and their supporters. We note that genocidaires remain abroad, openly rejecting the horrors of 1994 and even seeking to argue, from reputable rostrums, that it is they who were the real victims. This is a way to hide their vile agenda, which is nothing less than the continuation of the genocide by narrative means, behind admirable norms such as free speech.

We are not fooled for one instant. Free speech is not hate speech. Denial of the 1994 genocide is not an exercise in academic freedom or democratic politics; it is a cloak for murderers who to this day believe their genocidal work is not complete.

Rwanda has moved forward together with Kenya and East Africa. You are no longer just a nearby country; you are a first-line partner in our transformative political and economic enterprises. These days we look out for each other.

Although we do not expect mass violence to revisit Rwanda, our history has taught us the need for vigilance. The Inter-Government Committee on the Great Lakes Region (IGCLR), the Eastern Africa Standby Force, and other arrangements remain at hand to ensure that our region is never again home to mass murder and genocide.

Our concern extends to the tragic events in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. Kenya has worked hard to engage in the search for peace in these troubled countries. Our troops like those of Rwanda have been deployed to protect civilians, while our diplomats work overtime to forge stability and then peace. We must not allow those crises to escalate any further into the kind of mass atrocities that would betray our determination to ensure that “never again” is a real promise.

Let me finish by telling all Rwandans that in Kenya you have a friend. We grieve with you, and honour the memory of all who suffered and perished. I pray with you for the souls of the dead, and for the healing of their families, friends and compatriots. I look to the future in expectation of continued stability and progress. Stay united and independent. I wish you all God’s blessings – and peace, love and unity always.

Thank you.


From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

As Rwanda prepares to mark 20th anniversary of genocide to morrow, Monday April 7, 2014, Rev Fr Joseph Healey, a Maryknoll priest has shared with News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste a touching and challenging story of forgiveness and mercy – click here to read the story[0]=598

The day reminds us of 20 years since Hutu extremists killed between 800,000 and 1 million people — mostly Tutsis — in a devastating slaughter. The French government has announced it is pulling out of the commemoration, following an accusation by the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, that France participated in the mass killings in 1994. Mr Kagame has previously made similar allegations, which France has denied.

The French foreign ministry said the remarks went against reconciliation efforts between the two countries. French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira says this is the time Rwanda should put emphasis on reconciliation, forgiveness and healing.

Speaking to the French-language weekly news magazine Jeune Afrique, Mr Kagame denounced the “direct role of Belgium and France in the political preparation for the genocide”. Rwanda was a Belgian colony until 1962.

The violence was triggered by the death of President Juvenal Habyarimana, an ethnic Hutu who was killed in a plane crash on 6 April 1994. It came to an end after Mr Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) – a Tutsi-led rebel group – defeated government troops in July that year.

His party still controls the government and has long accused France – an ally of Mr Habyarimana’s government at the time – of aiding the genocide. In recent years there has been a thaw in relations between the two countries, with a visit by Mr Kagame to Paris in 2011 and the establishment by France of a genocide investigation unit.

Humanly speaking it is not easy to forgive someone who killed members of your family. I am particularly touched by the mercy and courage of Iphigenia Mukantabana whose husband and five of her children were hacked and clubbed to death by marauding Hutu militias. Among her family’s killers was Jean-Bosco Bizimana, Mukanyndwi’s husband.

In Mukantabana’s heart, the dead are dead, and they cannot come back again, that is why she was able to forgive the killers. I must admit that this gesture has challenged and humbled me, especially in forgetting and forgiving everything she lost, everything she witnessed.

Women and girls were raped, and she saw it all. The men and boys were beaten and then slaughtered. The most challenging part is that today as I write this story, Mukantabana shares her future and her family meals with Bizimana, the killer she knew, and his wife, her friend Mukanyndwi.

Bizimana did spend seven years in jail. He then went before a tribal gathering, part of a return to traditional ways by the new government in 2002 with Rwanda’s justice system unable to cope and process hundreds of thousands of imprisoned perpetrators.

The government decided that the master planners and worst perpetrators would face formal justice. But lower-level killers were allowed to publicly confess and apologize to the families of their victims at gacaca courts, where elders would hear grievances and decide on the punishments.

I am just wondering whether this can happen in Kenya following the 2008 post election violence where culprits are still at large. Unlike Rwanda, in Kenya a group of individuals and civil society organizations are filing a petition in the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court of Kenya seeking to compel the Government of Kenya to address the sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) that occurred during the 2007/2008 post-election violence.

The petitioners claim that the government failed to properly train and prepare police to protect civilians from sexual violence while it was occurring. In its aftermath, the police refused to document and investigate claims of SGBV, leading to obstruction and miscarriage of justice. Furthermore, the government denied emergency medical services to victims at the time, and failed to provide necessary care and compensation to address their suffering and harm.

Although ultimately, the petitioners want the government to publicly acknowledge and apologize to the victims for their failure to protect the rights of Kenyans; to provide appropriate compensation, including psycho-social, medical, and legal assistance to the survivors; to investigate the sexual violence and prosecute those who are responsible; and to establish a special team with some international staff within the Department of Public Prosecutions to ensure that such investigations and prosecutions are credible and independent, I am just reluctant whether the government of Kenya is willing to apologize in public.

Like Rwanda, perpetrators targeted women and girls, in particular, for sexual and gender-based violence, including rape, defilement, gang rape, forced pregnancy, deliberate transmission of HIV or any other life threatening sexually transmitted disease, sexual assault, and other indecent acts. While the vast majority of sexual crimes were committed against women and girls, men, too, were subjected to SGBV including forcible circumcision, sodomy, and penile amputations.

In Rwanda the blame is squarely based on the extremist Hutu government at the time and on vile radio broadcasts that urged on the killers during the 100-day slaughter. They were giving instructions all the time that was from the government.

For Mukantabana, despite his confession and apology, reconciliation would not have happened unless she had decided to open her heart and accept his pleas. She is a Christian and she prays a lot. Still this is not enough reason to forgive unless you truly touched by the message of Jesus Christ on forgiveness.

Today, Rwanda is an African success story. It has one of the fastest economic growth rates in the region, one of the lowest crime rates. Now no one talks about Hutus or Tutsis. There is Rwanda- there are Rwandans, and the common interest.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
Facebook-omolo beste

Africa: Raid on the Makerere University Walter Reed Project by Ugandan Authorities

From: U.S. Department of State
04/04/2014 06:26 PM EDT
Press Statement
Marie Harf
Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 4, 2014

We are deeply concerned that a U.S.-funded health clinic and medical research facility, the Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP), was raided by Ugandan authorities on April 3, leading to the arrest of one of the facility’s employees, allegedly for conducting “unethical research” and “recruiting homosexuals.” While that individual was subsequently released, this incident significantly heightens our concerns about respect for civil society and the rule of law in Uganda, and for the safety of LGBT individuals.

The MUWRP is engaged in efforts to improve public health and save lives. The Ugandan government is responsible for protecting all of its people, and attacks and intimidation of health care workers are unacceptable. The safety of health workers must be respected. We have temporarily suspended the operations of MUWRP to ensure the safety of staff and beneficiaries, and the integrity of the program.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Stay connected with the State Department:

The Union is dead! Long live Tanzania!

From: Yona Maro

Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA

– – – – – – – – – –

(The Union is no longer valid. A complete merger should be in place. Zanzibar’s sovereignty is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!)

THIS will be – by far – the most polemic opinion article that I have ever written for my Truth Be Told column. It could get this newspaper barred from being published, but let’s take that risk, shall we? Unless freedom of opinion and freedom of the press are no longer God-given rights in Tanzania, therefore, anyone who speaks freely – without seeking permission to do so – risk certain jail terms and being barred from publishing their papers? We shall see!

When you speak, talk or write about the Union of Tanzania, which was forged in 1964 (if my memory serves me right) between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, you risk certain punitive measures. The Union has
become a central issue that has been highlighted in the current Constitutional Assembly, and, indeed, it has been a dividing issue. There are several camps of thought; there are those who want the Union gone completely that we have a severance – dissolution – whereby Tanganyika retains its former status and Zanzibar becomes a complete and independent nation, which, by the way, it ALMOST is! Zanzibar – save for this erratic and confusing union – can be defined as a sovereign state, as it already has its own flag (which incorporates the flag of the United Republic of Tanzania, reduced to abou 25% of the entire flag, or less), its own national anthem, its own FULL and autonomous Presidency – the President of Zanzibar under the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar has full powers to administer the “country” as he sees fit, without seeking whatsoever permission from the President of the Republic of Tanzania.

I remember, a while back, Zanzibar made declarations that it wanted more autonomy, especially in terms of natural resouces. Zanzibar declared that the recent and abundant oil (and other fossil fuel) deposits found in Zanzibar, whereby there are five plots – of petroleum and natural gas – in the Indian Ocean, were purely Zanzibar property and where not to be considered Union property. This infuriated some bigwigs in the United Republic, who adamantly insisted that the oil deposits remain – as was prescribed – part and parcel of the United Republic.

Today, we have learned much about the Union; there is a second camp, in Zanzibar, which wants an arranged and contractual Union, whereby if eiher country – Zanzibar and Tanganyika – contravened the perninent articles of the Union Treaty, such action would constitute in the breach of law, which would make either country – after the severance due to breach of law/contract – a free and independent dominion; a state!

One thing that is clear is that, under the present arrangement, Zanzibar – as per the Union – is NOT a free state, because the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania states as following (right from the VERY BEGINNING):




1. Tanzania is one State and is a sovereign United Republic.

2. (1) The territory of the United Republic consists of the whole of the area of mainland Tanzania and the whole of the area of Tanzania Zanzibar, and includes the territorial waters.

(2) For the purpose of the efficient discharge of the functions of the Government of the United Republic or of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, the President may, in accordance with the procedures prescribed by law or provisions of such law as may be enacted by Parliament, divide the United Republic into regions, districts and other areas:
Provided that the President shall first consult with the President of Zanzibar before dividing Tanzania Zanzibar into regions, districts or other areas.

3. (1) The United Republic is a democratic, secular and socialist state which adheres to multi-party democracy.

(2) All matters pertaining to the registration and administration of political parties in the United Republic shall be governed by the provisions of this Constitution and of a law enacted by Parliament for that purpose.

4. (1) All state authority in the United Republic shall be exercised and controlled by two organs vested with executive powers, two organs vested with judicial powers and two organs vested with legislative and supervisory powers over the conduct of public affairs.

(2) The organs vested with executive powers shall be the Government of the United Republic and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar; the organs vested with judicial powers shall be the Judiciary of the United Republic and the Judiciary of the Revolutionary government of Zanzibar; and the organs vested with legislative and supervisory powers over public affairs shall be the Parliament of the United Republic and the House of Representatives.

This is what the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania says – from the BEGINNING – and here is what the Constitution of Zanzibar (Revised Edition of 2006) says:



1. Zanzibar is an integral part of the United Republic of Tanzania.

2. (1) The area of Zanzibar consists of the whole area of the Islands of Unguja and Pemba and all small Islands surrounding them and mcludes the territorial waters that before the Union formed the then People’s Republic of Zanzibar.

(2) For the purpose of the efficient discharge of the function of the Government, the President of the United Republic in consultation with the President of Zanzibar, may divide Zanzibar into Regions, Districts and any other areas in accordance with procedures prescribed.

3. (1) There shall be a Seal of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar whose insignia shall be as laid down by law enacted by the House of Representatives.

(2) The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar slall be empowered to prescribe anything whatsoever that shall serve to Identify the Government in accordance with the law as enacted by the House of Representatives.

4. This Constitution is the Constitution of Zanzibar and shall have the force of law throughout the Country save for provisions of Article 80 if any legislation is found to be in conflict with this Constitution this shall prevail and that law shall be null and void to that extent that conflicts with this Constitution.

NOW, I am not a Constitutional Affairs expert nor am I a legal expert, but using my simple-man’s deductive powers, I can attest to the fact that Zanzibar IS A SOVEREIGN STATE for this single reason, as following:
2. (1) The area of Zanzibar consists of the whole area of the Islands of Unguja and Pemba and all small Islands surrounding them and mcludes the territorial waters that before the Union formed the then People’s Republic of Zanzibar.

Simply put is that Zanzibar – through THIS constitution openly declares that its territorial coverage is t he whole of the Islands of Unguja and Pemba and all the small islands surrounding them and it also includes the territorial waters that before the Union formed the then People’s Republic of Zanzibar.

This is an open and blunt statement that BOLDLY DECLARES that Zanzibar is a sovereign state, because, as per the Articles of the Union, and the Constitution of the Union, “Tanzania is one State and is a sovereign United Republic”. There is no question of Zanzibar being “an integral part of the United Republic of Tanzania”. In ESSENCE, as per the Constitution of Zanzibar, the SHOULDN’T even BE a Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, and this is where the problem started, a long time ago!

The Presidencies of the late Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete HAVE ALL IGNORED the fact the Constitution of the United Republic was breached a long time ago, simply by the mere fact that – legally – a Union means the “merger” of two separate entities into ONE!

The Constitution of Tanzania declares that Tanzania is a sovereign United Republic – a one State entity – which wad formed by the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, therefore:

2. (1) The territory of the United Republic consists of the whole of the area of mainland Tanzania and the whole of the area of Tanzania Zanzibar, and includes the territorial waters.

However, there IS a contradiction in terms, which is:

(2) For the purpose of the efficient discharge of the functions of the Government of the United Republic or of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, the President may, in accordance with the procedures prescribed by law or provisions of such law as may be enacted by Parliament, divide the United Republic into regions, districts and other areas:
Provided that the President shall first consult with the President of Zanzibar before dividing Tanzania Zanzibar into regions, districts or other areas.

Now someone tells me, IF at all we are talking – really – about a ONE STATE entity, why the heck would the President of the United Republic ever need to “first consult with the President of Zanzibar before dividing Tanzania Zanzibar into regions, districts or other areas”? I am sorry, but THIS DOES NOT COMPUTE! It doesnt make any sense, AT ALL!

I guess this is the BIGGEST LIE ever told to us all – both Tanganyikans and Zanzibaris – because, simply put, a Union, even by the simplest of definitions, means “the action of joining together or the fact of being joined together, especially in a political context.” or “the act of uniting two or more things”. So, this really WAS A LIE, to tell us that Zanzibar and Tanganyika were ONE STATE under the United Republic of Tanzania, only to have each one have its own independent Government AND a Presidency? WHAT A CROCK!

Simply put, the Union DIED the very minute the Articles of the Union were signed and put into motion, because, IF AT ALL – and I am sorry for over-emphasizing this – the Union was a reality, there would be only ONE government. What are we going to do about this – “we” meaning YOU and I? – is simply a matter of reflecting; we need to sit down and plan a course of act and ask, “If we have been lied to about the Union for 48 years, what else have we been lied to that we don’t yet know?” THEN and ONLY THEN will it all begin to sink in, and we shall – with great resolve and perseverance – overcome all obstacles that stand in the way of our becoming a truly independent ONE state!


P.S. I am just a messenger. don’t shoot the messenger. Shoot the person who sent the messenger if you don’t like the message.

By @Paul Francis
Twitter: @PaulFrancisTZ, a.k.a. Citizen Paul
Text/Voice: +255-772-949577 and +255-762-949577

Equatoria; rise and defend your rights and freedoms

From: South Sudan Press

By Col. (Rtd). Wani Tombe Lako Lokitari

This is a formal general call to all men, women and youth of Greater Equatoria. All of you in Diaspora and inside the Sovereign Republic of South Sudan (SRSS), all of you, rise and take the lead, in the defense of the motherland, which is the defense of your comprehensive rights and freedoms. No one shall do this for all of you, in the Sovereign SRSS.

This is a just cause. Do not listen to the accusations that you are war mongers. You are the only peace and love mongers in the SRSS. You have endured excruciating hurts, agonies, humiliations, deprivations, exclusions, processes of pauperisation and diminutions; from 2005 to 2014, for the sake of an elusive and frustrated unity of the peoples of the SRSS.

The ongoing semblances of a civil in the SRSS have been triggered by the genocide committed in Juba during the month of December 2013, against the Nuer Nation and people, by the negligent and culpable government of the SRSS. The government of the SRSS has demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that, it is capable with impunity, to destroy in part, or in whole, any human groups or tribes in the SRSS.

Therefore; if the government of the SRSS, can use our own public war assets, bought by our own money, to kill; murder; and slaughter our Nuer brothers; sisters, sons; daughters; grandmothers; and grandfathers; in chilling cold blood; then, this same government, of the SRSS, can also do it to all of you.

Therefore, before the murderous and blood stained hands; in the current government of the SRSS, can find time to turn on you in Greater Equatoria, assisted by the hired mercenaries operating in the SRSS, it is your natural right and duty, to come together, in unison, with all our Nuer brothers and sisters, and many other brothers and sisters; in Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal, to stop these blood stained hands in Juba, from destroying the SRSS.

You the peoples of Greater Equatoria, must not, and shall not commit another mistake of standing by, while history is being rewritten in the SRSS. You must not, and shall not allow the history of our motherland to be rewritten in your absolute absence. If you allow this history; to be rewritten; in your absolute absence, you will be doing a grave disservice, to all posterities of the SRSS. Therefore, we are not going to allow, and shall not allow, this rewriting of the history of the SRSS, without us being privy to the authorship and ownership of our collective history in the SRSS.

You the peoples of Greater Equatoria have already written the historical template of South Sudan with your precious blood since 1947 through 1955 to date. Therefore, do not allow others to distort this history while you standby unconcerned. If you do that, you shall be written-off the history books in the SRSS. Do you want that to happen to you? The answer is a big No. Therefore, wake up and take action now.

All of you men, women and youth of Greater Equatoria, wherever you are, you must contribute to the processes of constituting an Interim Federal Government (IFG) in Juba. All of you must make sure that, all blood stained hands; and their accomplices, whether by intent or negligence, must not participate in the next IFG in the SRSS.

Therefore, in order to be able to be part and parcel of the next IFG in the SRSS, you must all make your presence felt. It is the culture in the SRSS that, all the ruling groups are backed up by force of arms. Do we need arms in Equatoria? The answer is a big Yes? Why do we need these arms in Equatoria? We need these arms in Equatoria, to protect the SRSS from those others; who have already privatised our public sovereign war assets, in order to murder and slaughter the rest of us. Is this an incitement to violence at law? No; this is not an incitement to violence at law. This is called sovereign and national self defense.

The government in Juba is no longer the sovereign that we can continue to obey. We are withdrawing our hitherto surrendered sovereignties. This was a privilege which the government in Juba has abused and misused, therefore, we are withdrawing these collective sovereignties.

The government in Juba is now murdering us, and therefore, we have the right to defend ourselves. The government in Juba is using the force of fire arms to plunder our national economic and financial assets, and therefore, we have the legal right to protect our collective public assets from being looted by individuals, by all means including the use of force.

You the peoples of Equatoria cannot carry on existing in the SRSS as comprehensive underdogs. You have to consciously, from now onwards, begin the process of moulding a New South Sudan (NSS). This NSS must be free from tribalism, nepotism, and all various instances of discrimination. It is time you told those others; who think that, they are born to rule, that, their assumptions are unfounded; and fundamentally vacuous.

You the peoples of Greater Equatoria must recover your stolen lands and other property. There are others in the SRSS, who have stolen villages and other parcels of land. These people argue that, if we in Greater Equatoria, want back our villages and these parcels of land, we must provide buckets of human blood. This is being told our people in Greater Equatoria day and night.

Our people are bluntly told that, these villages and parcels of land were liberated from the Jallabas. Therefore, these settlers and grabbers of the said villages and land; want buckets of human blood in exchange for our ancestral land. Fair enough, buckets of human blood they will get, but, it will be their own human blood, that we shall fill these empty buckets with, and then, give them to their surviving relatives.

You the people of Greater Equatoria, you must put a stop to the kind of governance that has been started in South Sudan from 2005 to date. This is the time that you must all act together. If you failed to heed to my cries and many other cries for action, you will be committing a historical fatal mistake from which you will never recover.

Our reasonableness has been grossly mistaken for cowardice. We are not cowards. History has recorded that we are not cowards. What are you waiting for? Are you waiting for some people to come from Upper Nile or from Bahr El Ghazal to hand you; your rights and freedoms in golden plates?

You have to claw back your stolen rights and freedoms now; and you have to arm yourselves to protect your future rights and freedoms. We shall all put down our arms when we have reformed the SRSS. Until that happens, it is time you took up arms to defend the SRSS and yourselves from the murderous, looting and negligent government in Juba; meanwhile, you work towards the formation of the Interim Federal government in the SRSS.

The author is the Chairman of Greater Equatoria Council of Rights (GRECOR).