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U.S. says to propose U.N. sanctions regime for South

(Reuters) - The U.S. delegation to the United Nations informed members of the Security Council on Tuesday that it will circulate a draft resolution establishing an international sanctions regime for conflict-torn South Sudan, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

"The resolution will establish a mechanism for targeting individuals undermining South Sudan's political stability and abusing human rights," the official said on condition of anonymity.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nations are not built by whiners


South Sudanese still have, by and large, a very long way to go when it comes to development of a unifying, enduring sense of nationhood or statehood. As things stand now, we are merely a collection of tribal nationalities with conflicting interests.  In the past, our only unifying factors were our common struggle against the oppression from Khartoum and the fact that we were enclosed by the same geopolitical boundary set by the colonial dividers of Africa in 18th and 19th centuries.
The gravest onus is now on us to create a sense of ‘South Sudan-ness’; an identity that’d make an Acholi of South Sudan identify more with Zande of South Sudan rather than with Acholi in Uganda. This is by no means an easy task; however, it’s a task we’ve neglected in vain search for tribal voice and hegemony. We’ve become a nation of whiners, who offer nothing by way of alternative solutions.

Whining, polemics and acrimonious writs have become our source of solace. We keyboard divisive pomposity and verbosity that make us feel good about ourselves but at the end of the day contribute towards the divisiveness the same writing was supposed to combat. With no doubt, this has become an oxymoron that typifies what it means to be a South Sudanese; an that’s a sense of self we wouldn’t want to be our defining identity.

Everyone in South Sudan has become a whiner!
The President of the country and his officials have become nothing but a bunch of whiners, who believe everything that’s wrong with South Sudan isn’t their incompetence but a work of some evil man called Riek Machar. The officials whine about international community favoring rebels, about UNMISS siding with Riek’s forces, about journalists siding with rebels, about IGAD’s impartiality, about the venue of the ‘Peace Talks’ and about everything!

Respectable leaders don’t just whine incessantly. They only point out all the obstacles and problems they face and then rush to suggest workable solutions and alternatives. If these whiners say anything as an alternative, it’s always something that benefits them. South Sudanese citizens only feature as pawns in the leaders’ quest for power and wealth.
The rebels, who present themselves as a clean alternative to the government, are nothing but another bunch of the same: opportunistic whiners. They whine about President Kiir remaining president, about IGAD’s partiality, about government atrocities while forgetting their own atrocities, about Nuer marginalization when Nuer still stand next to Kiir and fight against fellow Nuer who are part of government’s forces, about dictatorship when they were part of the same system they just left…etc.

If the rebels think they are a formidable alternative to the government then why is it that we only hear the problem stalling the talks being the issue of power-sharing? Why is it the question of who’s to have what powers that’s the problem? Why’s anything in the interest of the citizens taking back stage?
We’ve seen so far what the rebels are! They’ve whined their way from complaints about internal reforms within SPLM to their claim on South Sudanese echelons of power. For the rebels to be seen as credible voice fighting on behalf of South Sudanese citizens, it has to be clear at the talks that they represent the people.

And South Sudanese tribes have mastered the art of whining. The Jieeng whine about Nuer being prone to violent rebellion and Riek Machar being the ultimate killer while forgetting the atrocities committed by a government controlled largely by Jieeng men. Jieeng’s self-righteousness has a lot to do with everything that’s wrong in South Sudan.
Nuer too complain about being marginalized by the Jieeng while Nuer officials still hold senior positions in both the government and the rebellion. The third most powerful man in South Sudan, Magok Rundial, the current speaker of the national assembly, is a Nuer. While hundreds of Nuer civilians were brutally massacred in cold-blood by government’s forces in Juba in December, it’s always prudent to remember that Nuer forces, let by the notorious White Army, have also committed atrocities. There’s respect in accepting one’s wrongs before labelling accusations on others.