South Sudan Safari - Episode 14 (MP3)

Alfred Loboyi Peter on dividends of CPA:"..since the signing of the CPA, my life has drastically changed for the better. One, I am glad I am now in my country. Before, I had no chances of visiting my country but now am proudly living and enjoying the services that I did not enjoy while in exile.."

South Sudan Safari - Episode 14


Fourth Annual CPA Celebrations in Malakal, Upper Nile State  & Other Places

Welcome to South Sudan Safari.My name is Christine Darios and I am Chris Olet. In our fourteenth edition, we will be joining the celebrations to mark the fourth anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Malakal – Upper Nile and other parts of Sudan.

First we begin with a group of dancers from the Maban community in Eastern Upper Nile.

(Maban community singing in local language then followed by track from a renowned singer Mohamed Wardi, singing in Arabic)

Olet: That was a nice number from Mohamed Wardi during this year’s CPA celebrations in Malakal.

South Sudan Safari’s Clement Lochio Lomornana began by interviewing the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs Dr Julie Aker Duany.

Lomornana: Has the Comprehensive Peace Agreement brought any impact on the lives of the citizens celebrating its signing that took place four years ago?

Dr Duany: First of all I would like to thank Gurtong. I have always admired your commitments and watch over peace. Peace is paramount for South Sudan. The CPA celebrations in Malakal have many impacts. First and foremost it has shown that what we have been fighting for in the last 15 years is “to set our people free” thus the CPA celebration proves that peace is paramount. And with change in the new leadership in Upper Nile, it has allowed our people at the grassroots levels to participate, hence the presence of all residents of Malakal and even the Blue Nile communities and Darfur to participate in the celebrations.

So participation of the communities was one of the biggest impacts that the CPA has shown and that there is peace around and we are all part of it and we all have to build it. As our leader, the late Dr John Garang said “it’s your peace, you have to own it”, so it’s true. Peace is always owned by the people, who struggle for it and hence it is really upon the leadership of Upper Nile State to involve all the communities of the state to participate in such key events.

The other thing we have seen is that it has energised the government to make changes in Upper Nile, particularly in Malakal. The roads in Malakal were very bad and there were even issues like lack of water and electricity. The government has tried its best even though we have constantly complained that nothing is happening in South Sudan. I think under the 3 months leadership of Gatluak Deng, he did very well and was able to bring electricity to Malakal, initiate and build clean water pan which are needed in South Sudan. This shows that development can be achieved within a very short time if we have the will to do so, just as the people of Upper Nile have shown us.

Also the participation of the two leaders, Presidents Al Bashir and Salva and the Governor of Upper Nile,  showed the leadership’s commitment at all levels and readiness to make changes and deliver services; something which has been our cry as citizens of South Sudan that we need development. So the presence of President Bashir and his commitment to carry out developmental projects in Upper Nile areas is a big impact to me.

Lomornana: What are some of the achievements in the last four years of the CPA’s existence and implementations?

Dr Duany: Within the first four years of the CPA, it has really faced some bumpy roads here and there but with the commitment and the will of our people, there have been a couple of achievements. The achievements first of all start with the establishment of the Government of Southern Sudan. That was a great achievement. You know we now have a governmental structure in the ten South Sudan states and also the Government of Southern Sudan is paramount.

The other achievement is the establishment of the State Assemblies and the Southern Sudan Assembly. Talking on behalf of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, what we have done to achieve all those which were required in the CPA is to see to it that we have the institutions of democracy which are the parliaments, the watchdogs, to conduct an oversight function. We have tried to assist the members of parliament to understand their role and also enact laws at all levels which will be able to govern our people.

Additionally, we did work with the 25 percent of the women participation in the CPA, which is one of the greatest achievements particularly in the government. It has been achieved but there are states which are still behind like Western Equatoria, which instead of having 25 percent they have 17 percent women participation. Even here in the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly we have 19 percent which I think is moving closer to the 25 percent. This is something I think is a very big achievement.

Also quite a good number of people in the Diaspora have returned home (South Sudan) to participate in its reconstruction and I am one of the people who was in the Diaspora who have returned to build and develop our country. However, the CPA still has a very long way to go and bumpy roads to cover and do even mores so that we can fully achieve peace and development in South Sudan.

Lomornana: Do you see the remaining articles of the CPA that have not been implemented such as the border demarcation issue in holding of elections happening this year?

Dr Duany: Border demarcation has been one of the problems in the CPA implementation, but we are now working towards it. The borders are clear but we don’t know why the two parties, both the NCP and the SPLM are not coming together and get to the real root cause of the problem because the demarcation of the 1956 borders still stand and nobody can erect them thus its just a matter of them putting themselves to commitment to the implementation of the CPA so that we can reach a solution to the border demarcation issue.

Border demarcation is one of the hazards that need to be addressed before the elections. This is so because this is a general election and the demarcation would really be a problem and if we do not achieve it, it will determine the referendum outcome. Elections to us are very clear wherever you are as a Sudanese you will be able to vote. The people from the north currently living in the south will vote in South Sudan and vice versa. So we have the priority to choose leaders. Even in the north we can make an impact, particularly in Khartoum where the majority South Sudanese live. They should be registered and ready to vote as Sudanese. So border demarcation is not a problem in the general elections and we need to all go out as South Sudanese to be registered and be able to vote. In that way we can be able to choose good leaders who can lead us in the next referendum.

Lomornana: What is your take on the cases of insecurity and high cost of living trends in South Sudan?

Dr Duany: With regards to the issue of insecurity, you know we have just come out of war and it is only four years down the line and there is a very long journey ahead. This is a very short time for people who have been fighting for over 50 years at least. The SPLA which started in 1983 is 21 years old. That is a very long time for people just to be calm and have a fully built security. The insecurity is caused by so many things. One, during the war, everybody possessed guns for their protection, so most of the guns which are still in the possession of civilians contribute to 71 percent of the small arms which are in the hands of the people who are not in the armed forces. So anybody who has lived through the 21 years of war finds it very difficult to release the guns and this has caused many problems in our communities. For instance, any small disagreement, people resort to the gun. If there is a way we can manage these small arms within the communities then we will be able to ease the insecurity.

There is also the issue of our armed forces, the SPLA. They need a lot of discipline. With 21 years of indiscipline among the armed forces, discipline cannot be achieved overnight. A lot of work needs to be done to organise the armed forces. So those people who can remain in the army should only be people who are able to do their work and those who must be disciplined, trained and know the meaning of being a soldier, which is to protect people. But up to now we have not managed to organise the armed forces and that has caused a lot of insecurity because some of them move out with their guns freely, go drink and cause a lot of problems in the communities. This thing needs to be corrected and I think the Government of Southern Sudan and the Assembly are working towards the organisation of the armed forces.

Even today, as I am speaking, the Assembly is discussing issues of insecurity and modes of controlling it and I hope by next year it will be easier than the four years we have gone through to address insecurity.

The high cost of living in South Sudan is just an outcome of coming out of war. In every country after war every one wants to make money and we border many countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya and all these people are coming in for business mainly because the South Sudanese economy has not been put in order and relying mainly on the neighbouring countries, so everything that comes to Juba is highly expensive. Juba currently is the second most expensive city in the world next to Tokyo but I hope that as we put ourselves together and the economy, we hope to lower down the prices as we adopt a free market system. As more companies come in to produce more products within South Sudan, we will be able to lower down the prices, for instance there are a couple of companies that have come in, for example water processing companies. For a long time we have been drinking water produced in Uganda or Kenya, now we have something like four companies.

Christine Dario: That was the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs Dr Julie Aker Duany talking to Clement Lochio Lomornana during the CPA celebrations in Malakal.

But what are the views of most of the citizens who celebrated this year’s occasion in South Sudan. South Sudan Safari journalist, Clement Lochio Lomornana, asked a number of people about their views on changes brought about by the CPA’s existence.

My name is Alfred Loboyi Peter. I come from Eastern Equatoria State and a member of South Sudan Youth Parliament. I would say that since the signing of the CPA, my life has drastically changed for the better. One, I am glad I am now in my country. Before, I had no chances of visiting my country but now am proudly living and enjoying the services that I did not enjoy while in exile. For instance I am now employed in my own country which is a progress. I am enjoying freedom of movement, choice, association with people and that is exactly what has changed in my life since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Lomornana: What do you think should be done as far as the CPA is concerned?

Loboyi: Well as far as the CPA is concerned, the signatories of the CPA, the parties that signed the agreement, should stand still to fulfil the agreements they signed because when it comes to implementation, I think it should be done according to the agreement to avoid any conflicts. For instance, the Abyei Area issue is among problems that might affect the implementation of the CPA. So I believe the government and the SPLM, NCP and all those parties that were part of this agreement should work hand in hand to ensure that all the policies that were passed are implemented.

Lomornana: What is your stand on implementation of issues such as the border demarcation and elections?

Loboyi: Am very optimistic because areas like Abyei are very sanctified areas and there is no guarantee that the other government is going to give and agree on the issue of border demarcation. When it comes to elections, I still believe they will be conducted successfully because there is a very good preparation and civil education going on particularly we as the youth parliament have been given a task to carry out civil education at all levels such as the payams, counties, bomas and I believe with effort and cooperation the elections will be successful. That is our prayer. The issue of border demarcation should be amicably solved the two parties should compromise on key issues and put the interests of the people first before their own interests.

Lomornana: What do you pursue as the future of South Sudan and the people under the CPA?

Loboyi: Well, the peace that we got as a result of the CPA should be sustained. With that peace, we are going to have development, democracy and freedom of rights. I believe the rights of the people of South Sudan should be respected and thereafter democracy will be exercised and development will follow suit. These are the things I believe the Government of Southern Sudan under the CPA should be doing and in that way the South Sudan citizens will feel there is an impact brought in by the CPA. That is my take.

My Name is John K Tut working in Upper Nile with IMA (Interchurch   Medical Assistance). There are many changes we have seen for instance the mood of the people in the towns has totally changed as compared to a few months back. Secondly, in Malakal one can move to any location free of charge and coupled with the good road network. Security is good and one can move from 8.00 pm to 2.00am without any official curfew and there are no insecurity cases. There is great lighting, improved health services and actually the town’s sanitation is good and all this attributed to the signing of the CPA.  I have actually been in Malakal for one and a half years now and compared to last year, there are a lot of changes, let me say from December 2008 to the time of the celebrations. The town has greatly changed, the people are busy and now everyone knows what peace is. But what I think needs to be done that would have been done earlier is civic education. People in the rural areas do not know what CPA is.

Now that the Government of Upper Nile allowed everybody to witness the celebrations, on their way back to the rural areas, they will actually know what the CPA is composed of and that was the main part that caused a conflict between the societies outside of the town. As for the people in the town they know what they are doing and actually know what the CPA is.

My Name is Gatluak Lipuoth Diu. As stated on my identification card I represent Upper Nile in the Khartoum Council of States. The Council of States is still new to the people of Sudan, but it is a national council like a National Assembly but based in Khartoum.

Lomornana: Now that you have come for the CPA celebrations, how happy are you that the celebrations are taking place in your local town, Malakal?

Diu: First and foremost I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the people of Malakal and South Sudan as a whole a happy fourth anniversary of the CPA and Happy New Year. I urge everyone to let us take this peace to suit the peace. This peace is for us, it is us who paid for it and have to give it to the people in terms of services. So to me this anniversary has embarked on and brought development in Upper Nile State. And we are going to do more than this and we have to see to it that we initiate more development, for instance what is happening here in Malakal, we want it taken to our counties like our late hero Dr John Garang who said that “take the towns to the villages”. So we have started this development in the northern sate which we did by building some schools, rehabilitated some of the schools and government buildings. Now we have come to Malakal which is the headquarters of the state to enhance further development. This is being done for the first time in the history of Sudan.

Lomornana: You did mention something to deal with the road network in Malakal. What about the hospitals?

Diu: I must say that the hospitals have now been rehabilitated and drugs are available and there is no worry now over the unavailability of drugs.

Lomornana: Do you have a song to sing for the celebrations and how do you greet people in your own language?

Diu: I fear to say this in our language because I am a representative of Upper Nile State. However it does not matter I can say it. First I belong to the SPLM and I represent the whole tribe of Upper Nile in the National Assembly – the Council of States but I can say something very small in my language – (greets and sings SPLM slogans in local language).

Chris Olet: These were citizens from Malakal and other parts of South Sudan celebrating the fourth annual CPA anniversary on 9th January 2009. South Sudan Safari also joined the celebrations with a group of dancers in Keji Koje County

(Tradition dancers singing and dancing)


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