Tag Archives: fashoda institute

South Sudan: A Structural Turning Point

By Joe Odaby
South Sudan News

Juba — February 11 … The internationally respected African think-tank The Fashoda Institute has released a report analyzing the continuing unrest in Central African Republic, South Sudan, Mali and prescribing a change in African governance trends.

The Fashoda Institute comes to conclusion that “African states have to cope with the growing schism between the imperatives of the African modern state and the trends of the African population. Under pressure and in growing destitution, much of the African populace is returning to tribal, national, ethnic, and religious frameworks of self-identity in quest for solace, security, and shelter. This is a mega-trend which also takes place throughout Asia and even parts of Europe. In contrast, to be effective and successful in delivering security, stability, reforms, good governance, development, food and water, modern states must be tribe-blind”.

“There is an urgent imperative to formulate new checks and balances between the sub-state, state, and supra-state (regional) levels of self-identity and quests for self-determination”, asserts the think-tank. “This means the imperative for reassessment of all basic services and infrastructure, particularly security, education, energy, communications, and transportation. To be effective in the vast rural areas, all of these long-term planning and reforms must be undertaken with close attention being paid to sub-state and supra-state, or regional, identities and aspirations.”

“Ultimately, the tangible success of proposed long-term reforms and development programs depends first and foremost on the legitimization, trust, and cooperation between state authorities and the populace; both individuals and groupings”, points the Fashoda Institute.

“To succeed, states and regional bodies must be both tribe-blind in caring for all the people as equally as humanly possible, and also tribe-sensitive and -conscious in order to care and cater for heritage sensitivities and proclivities. This delicate balancing will enable the grassroots to celebrate and preserve their distinctions and self-identities while eradicating the ability of aspirant leaders to exploit real, manufactured and imaginary tribal and sectarian tensions and self-identities as the levers to rebel against the modern state and the government”.

The analysis concludes with the summary: “These challenges must be addressed at an all-African level, given the artificiality of African borders and the importance of cross-border population connections. Unfortunately the African Union has so far failed to rise to the challenge. It brings the conclusion that African states must establish small regional groupings to address these burning issues before it is too late. This is the essence of the most urgent reforms”.

South Sudan: Rebels Stole 1,700 Tons of Food From Poor

Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound
of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.

By Joe Odaby
South Sudan News

Juba — February 6, 2014 … In its latest analytical report from the respected African think-tank The Fashoda Institute, it is pointed out that “in South Sudan the ceasefire is becoming a political nightmare. Localized fighting continues because coup leader and former Vice-President Riek Machar has no control over the rebel forces, while the administration of President Salva Kiir in Juba is under international pressure to make more and more concessions to rebels”.

The Fashoda Institute points that “liberal West’s traditional approach — that the “rebels” represent the real interests of the people while the government pursues interests of the establishment — is maintained irrespective of emerging evidence to the contrary.

This approach is being applied to Machar, the ostensibly romantic rebel, while in reality Juba has to cope with the destruction and looting of the stockpiles of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Malakal (the capital of the Upper Nile State) when it was under rebel control”.

According to UN officials, thousands of people — mainly rebel soldiers and ordinary civilians — loaded the supplies into donkey carts and trucks and took off for the bush where Machar’s forces were trying to reorganize under SPLA pressure.

The WFP estimates that 1,700 tonnes of food were stolen: long-term supplies for about 100,000 of the poorest people in South Sudan.

Concurrently, rebel forces assaulted and looted the MédecinsSans Frontièreshospital in Leer, Machar’s hometown in the southern parts of Unity State. This hospital treats both the local population and refugees from across the Sudanese border. Consequently, most of the staff and ambulatory patients fled the hospital. Only about 30 staff members remained, trying to care for severely ill patients in the nearby bush. Until the rebel attack, the Leer hospital was the only functioning hospital in Unity State.

On February 2, 2014, SPLA forces returned to Leer and restored order.

Throughout South Sudan food shortages are growing because rebel ambushes and raids make food distribution by international aid organizations impossible.

South Sudan: George Clooney’s Sentinel Project Exposes Machar’s Atrocities

By Joe Odaby
South Sudan News

Juba — January 22 … In Adis-Ababa, Ethiopia, negotiations between the South Sudanese Government led by President Kiir and  representatives of the rebel forces of Riek Machar continue without a breakthrough. Machar’s camp refused to negotiate the only issue of importance to the South Sudanese delegation – a cease-fire that will stop the suffering of, and casualties among, innocent civilians.

Influential think-tank The Fashoda Institute has commented that civilians are kept “hostage” to Machar’s “power hungry demands from Juba”.

Meanwhile the use of child soldiers by Riek Machar in his so called “White Army” has caused international condemnation and a stern letter from UK legislators. Satellite imagery collected by George Clooney’s Sentinel Project clearly show the massive destruction in Bor inflicted when Machar’s forces were present in Bor and that the buildings and shacks were destroyed by people and vehicles on the ground rather than government’s artillery fire (no craters and signs of fire). UN photographs taken on the ground confirm the senseless destruction by Machar’s rampaging forces.

Meanwhile, regional governments were increasingly petrified by the possibility that tribes and other sectors in their own states be inspired or assisted by Machar’s coup attempt. Most directly threatened and thus ready to act is Uganda. Ugandan involvement was a result of Kampala’s apprehension about the dire impact that certain developments in South Sudan might have on the national security and stability inside Uganda. Kampala acknowledged that Ugandan “army has marched into South Sudan” in order to “protect Uganda’s own security and economic interests.”

Other IGAD leaders keep urging the rebels in South Sudan to put down arms and engage in a dialogue with President Kiir. “Machar’s coup attempt – futile and doomed as it might have been – reminded all African leaders of the looming threats to the African political system”, notes the Fashoda Institute. “

Perhaps, a blessing in disguise of the Machar coup attempt will be a reminder to all African leaders and government of the urgent imperative to focus on tribe-blind state building and development reforms for the future”.


South Sudan: President Kiir Calls for Regional Stability Amid CAR Crisis

By Joe Odaby
South Sudan News

Juba, South Sudan — December 16 … The Fashoda Institute, a highly respected South Sudanese think-tank, has asserted in its latest analysis that the French-led Operation Sangaris in Central Africa is driven by the French desire for uranium ores and that “Paris is focusing on the uranium deposits in the Bakouma sub-prefecture of the Mbomou prefecture, in south-eastern CAR.

The primary sources of France’s uranium in southern Algeria and northern Mali and Niger are increasingly threatened by jihadist terrorism and sabotage, the endemic kidnapping of engineers and technicians, the scaring away of local miners and workers, as well as the destruction of facilities and support infrastructure. Hence, Hollande’s Paris decided to fully control and develop the alternate resources in the CAR. “

“A coalition led by Michel Djotodia had seized power in Bangui on March 24, 2013, and overthrew France’s stalwart puppet, President François Bozizé”, writes Fashoda. “Paris panicked. Initially, Djotodia seemed to be an ally of Iran and Sudan. However, in Summer 2013, Djotodia emerged as his own man.

Paris argued that power must be returned to the CAR’s legal president, Bozizé. However, Bozizé is an ex-general who also seized power in a military coup on March 15, 2003, when his forces captured Bangui and overthrew then-President Ange-Felix Patasse, who was out of the country.

Early December 2013, on the eve of the French-led intervention, saw a sudden marked escalation in the fighting in Bangui. Until then, the entire Bangui area had been completely quiet and stable for a few months. Anti-Djotodia forces launched a concentrated effort to turn incitement into fratricidal violence. The main instruments were well-armed vigilante militias that arrived in Bangui from neighboring states and pro-Bozizé regions.”

The Juba-based think-tank opines that “the French-led forces neither address the deep-rooted indigenous causes for the fratricidal violence, nor destroy the main forces threatening local stability. The French will stay and patrol for a few months, and then abandon the area to the hapless — ill-trained and ill-equipped African forces — who will prove incapable of meeting the challenges, and unwilling to try. The escalating jihadist and tribal-secessionist violence in Mali and Niger already attests to this. The CAR will not be different.

Ultimately, the fratricidal violence against civilians in the CAR is a mere excuse for Paris to intervene and impose its political will over Bangui. President Hollande has been very clear as to the real objective of the Paris in Operation Sangaris: to topple the Djotodia Administration and restore a French-dominated government. Hollande stated his objective explicitly. “We can’t leave in place a president who hasn’t been able to do anything, who let things happen,” Hollande said on Djotodia’s fate. As for the humanitarian concerns, had France, the US, and the rest of the international community, been genuinely committed to the alleviation of genocidal violence against civilians, there were worse carnages and genocides in Sudan’s Darfour and South Kordofan, as well as the multitude of vicious conflicts throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo, to which they could have turned their attention”.

President Hollande has announced that France would support “the creation of a rapid reaction force controlled by the African Union”. He declared that France would provide training for 20,000 African troops for five years, as well as the commanders and professional echelons until such time Francophone African armies have their own qualified cadres. The African leaders understood that Hollande means the creation of a French-controlled rapid intervention force for future unilateral interventions and “regime changes” where and when Paris deem French interests to be threatened.

“The blatant cynical move by France in Operation Sangaris sends shivers throughout the entire sub-Saharan Africa”, states the Fashoda Institute’s analysis. “The reawakening, exploitation, and exacerbation of indigenous crises and enmities in order to create excuses for the French-led intervention know no borders. The conflicts and the fratricidal violence they reawaken and engender spread among cross-border ethnic and tribal groupings over vast areas. African governments are already too stretched thinly and are too economically-burdened to be able to meet the new challenges. Urgently-needed development programs are postponed in order to restore stability in areas long-pacified in reaction to the new waves of exacerbation originating in French provocations.

African leaders increasingly focus on regional development in the context of regional cooperation, thus enabling even poor countries to implement major programs together while jointly reducing threats of spreading cross-border violence and instability. South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit is the most eloquent and visionary proponent of this vision.

President Kiir argues that the overall situation in Africa is unique and extremely complex. The myriad of crises and fratricidal violence are rooted in Africa’s unique history, tapestry of tribes and nations, and unfulfilled decolonization process. Western attention to African crises is selective and frequently at variance with Africa’s own priorities. Most foreign military interventions proved to be counterproductive and detrimental to African interests. Therefore, it was imperative, he felt, for Africans to formulate African solutions for Africa’s problems”.

The Fashoda Institute’s analysis concludes with assertion that “fighting and instability throughout Africa are manifestations of deep-rooted, endemic and indigenous problems. Just fighting the multitude of armed groups would not solve the root-causes of the fratricidal violence. Eliminating armed gangs should take place in the context of launching long-term development, self-empowerment, and good governance programs for the grassroots populace, thus addressing grievances and integrating the zones of crisis into the stable states.

President Kiir believes that only comprehensive modernization of all aspects of society and economy by the Africans themselves would guarantee the long-term stability and prosperity of Africa”.

South Sudan: SPLM Supports President Kiir, Accuses Splinters Of Aiding Khartoum

By Joe Odaby

Juba, South Sudan — December 12, 2013 … The Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) top leadership has asserted that there is no crisis in the party and dismissed the party rebels as “disgruntled elements”.

A group of SPLM party members led by former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar and ex-Secretary General Pagan Amum accused in a press conference held in Juba, South Sudan last Friday the leadership of the ruling party of deviating from the party’s initial vision, and of corruption.

In response the party issued a press statement labeling the group “some disgruntled elements” whose intention is to “discredit and distort facts”.

Former Vice President Riek Machar was fired by President Kiir in July 2013as part of an effort to trim the Government and make it more efficient. However, the influential think-tank The Fashoda Institute and other South Sudanese analysts opined that Machar was fired for his alleged back door dealings with the Islamist government of Sudan, South Sudan’s northern neighbor and bitter enemy.

The Khartoum government led by General al-Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and genocide, has allegedly promised Riek Machar to support his effort to unseat President Kiir and bring Juba back into Sudan’s fold.

In a press statement read out by the Vice President of the Republic and Deputy SPLM Chairperson H.E James Wani Igga, the SPLM Political Bureau accused the group of using cheap propaganda of intended to divide the people of South Sudan.

“These people are a disgruntled group united by one common cause of having lost power or influence either in the party or in the government. This comes out clearly in their words, whether spoken or written”, the press statement issued by a committee of the party’s Political Bureau and National Liberation Council stated.

“To us in the SPLM, we are more mindful of the vision and the core values of the liberation movement so much that we don’t see our struggle in the narrow lenses of those who referred to other people as “anti-Garang” elements. We all cherish our dear iconic leader Dr. John Garang de Mabior who brought freedom for the people of South Sudan”, the statement read in part.

Meanwhile, the SPLM has called for the 3rd National Liberation Council (NLC) to pass the party’s basic documents consisting of the constitution, code of conduct and the party manifesto.

“If these comrades are genuine, they should raise their “so-called crisis or deviations” in the NLC or subsequently in the Political Bureau meeting,” Mr. Igga stressed.

The party leadership has cautioned the splinter group not to incite the army against the democratically elected President Kiir and not to threaten creating instability, ‘chaos and disorder’ and falling into an ‘abyss’. Vice President Igga said the ‘gate as compared to the narrow door’ is open for dialogue within the party.