Sept. 18, 2017, While millions of South Sudanese starve, the Juba elite and their regional and global friends (Enablers) are making millions – such as the so-called humanitarian Republic of Uganda who shelters one million South Sudanese refugees (though it has provided significant military support, troops, equipment to the war) while it exports gold worth $200 million and now has built a gold refinery.
Where is this Gold coming from, their neighbor South Sudan, where several nations involved in bringing peace there, such as USA (pre-Trump, the Kerry Era) Uganda, China and South Africa have firms mining Gold, Diamonds, Uranium, Silver, precious gems, Cobalt, Aluminum, Iron, Nickel and Zinc (The imposed General Taban Deng Gai was the Minister of Mining for those recent contracts.
Uganda opened its first national gold refinery in Entebbe during February 2017 to process raw gold from South Sudan and the DRC (processing over 1.5 tons monthly) – though it has no commercial mines. Its gold exports went from 0 to $200 million in 2016, thanks to South Sudan and its conflict.
At the center of this war-for-profit effort are key co-plotters General Taban Deng Gai and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, former senior cadre of the SPLM-IO of the Dr. Riek Machar who decided to eliminate him and take over control of the opposition party. General Taban Gai was made Minister of Mining and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth was made Chief of Staff of Dr. Machar’s office (these assignments both men disliked greatly).
Once Dr. Machar was run out of the country in July 2016, these two: Gai/Lol, engineered a violent takeover of the SPLM-IO party in cooperation with President Salva Kiir that consisted of monetary/position inducements (presidential appointments); threats or blackmail via rape/non-consensual sex filmed for political leverage against key Opposition leaders.
With full control of key Opposition leaders and cooperation with the Kiir regime, General Taban Gai helped formed so-called transitional government of national – albeit its focus was not development and stablising the economy, which has steadily been declining since the government’s formation, including exorbitant currency rates, dollar shortages, high prices as well as lack of healthcare, education, security and basic food items.
Mr. Invisible: General Taban Deng Gai
My sources tell me General Taban Deng Gai initiated a legal case in Dubai, UAE. He sued the sons of a deceased business partner to retrieve tens of millions of dollars (the court ruling issued this year is unknown, but I have been told it did not go in his favor) – though I normally do not like to speculate as a rule, the original source of this information is Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth in this case, Taban Gai’s trusted number two. So where did these millions come from originally?
Given the openness of Dubai, I am sure naysayers can investigate this quite easily – but my point is that Mr Taban Deng Gai has been one of those “invisible” people silently getting rich off of the nation’s woes and these wars, while the majority of citizens suffer. One area I would like investigators to review is whether Mr. Gai while a Governor embezzled some of the oil money designated to Unity State, which receives 2 percent of oil revenue, over $10 million monthly as one of the oil-producing states.
Now he has hornswoggled the VP position, which can reap him power, money and maybe the acutely desired respect he has long sought given he has been disliked in his home state and the capital Juba for a long time, which is why he uses money to “make friends” and buy influence. Given the recent US Treasury announcement, targeting those involved in obstructing Peace or benefitting from this war . . . meaning, Taban Deng Gai and Ezekial Lol Gatkuoth . . . They should be prime suspects/candidates for sanctions as well as listed as war criminals for their central role in atrocities post-July 2016 in South Sudan.
Biography of General Taban Deng Gai
Who is Taban Deng Gai? He was born to a mother from Unity State and a father from northern Sudan — the Shaigiya tribe. Mr. Taban Deng Gai is married with children. He is an astute politician and soldier; he was a key aide of Dr. John Garang and later Dr. Riek Machar. He is well-known to be an ruthlessly ambitious man who hates to lose and is capable of doing anything to win.
_ _ _`
A poignant example is the historic 2010 election in which Ms. Teny lost, two civilians were killed, he kidnapped and held as hostages the country Vice President Dr. Riek Machar and the gubernatorial candidate who had won the race according to international observers (that winner was Madame Angela Jany Teny — Dr. Machar’s wife). Ms. Teny had her car shot at during the campaign and their house was surrounded by tanks and soldiers courtesy of General Gai and President Kiir. The Vice President and Ms. Teny escaped and that same day General Taban Gai was declared Governor of Unity state though votes in his favour were minimal (Mr. Gai himself has acknowledged he lost 7 of 9 counties then).
The most damning evidence should come from the recent Opposition party mutiny and near assassination of President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar at J1 (the Presidential Palace) on 8 July 2016. The ensuing war saw First Vice President Machar and Madame Teny “escape again”, by foot to the Democratic Republic of Congo. And the razing of the SPLM-IO Opposition area called Site I (the VP’s residence) as well as hunting down their officials and advisors (local and foreign).
Post-analysis and reports of the J1 incident show key plotters of J1 were former Chief of Staff Paul Malong; General Taban Gai; Akol Koor Kuc (head of National Intelligence) and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth.
The goal is said to have been to install General Paul Malong as President and Taban Gai as First Vice President; and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth as the Petroleum Minister with the “former” leaders Kiir/Machar expected to be killed in the crossfire — which did not happen, complicating the ascension plan of General Taban, who was not particularly trusted by General Paul Malong since he betrayed his long-time leader and friend, Dr. Riek Machar.
Mr. Gai’s ambition and ruthlessness are legendary so not many trust him, for he uses people until he has no need. Many SPLM-IOs of Dr. Machar, post July 2016, have reported they were given a simple choice: serve me (meaning, Taban Gai) or die!
Investigations Needed into General Taban Deng Gai’s Finances
Given recent revelations of Mr. Gai’s loss of millions of dollars in Dubai, and observing the mining ministry’s activities since General Gai’s arrival there in May 2016, a serious review is needed of financial transactions of South Sudan which will likely reveal corruption/connections to General Taban Deng Gai.
A key firm to review is Sabina Ltd based in Unity State, which is partially owned by General Taban Gai and said to be his conduit for siphoning state funds out of the area. This company has been involved in many contracts in construction, roads, electricity, etc. and was the only private contractor approved by the state for several years during the reign of General Taban Deng Gai as governor.
Here are some companies and countries doing mining in South Sudan:
- Zhonghao Exploration & Mining Company – China
- Fortune Minerals Ltd, London, Ontario – Canada
- Epic Exploration Pty Ltd, West Perth – Australia
- Equation Mining Inc., Alaska, | Blackstone for Mining Co. Ltd, Idaho – USA
- SASS Minerals and Petroleum Pty – South Africa
- LuckyFriends Trading and Construction Co. Ltd (Company number: 102163) – Uganda
Finally, the above list points to alternative reasons why several of these countries are/have supported the corrupt and abusive regime of President Salva Kiir: MONEY, GOLD, DIAMONDS, etc. Personal gain perhaps among officials in some of these countries: US, Uganda, South Africa?
But the violent nature of this regime should itself repel US and Europe deeply, particularly since the rape rampage in July 2016 at Terrain Hotel attributable to General Taban’s takeover plan, listening to the below BBC interviews of several rape victims, one sees Juba’s violent State policy against America and Europe interests. If you can stomach horrible truths, listen to these stories:
As well, General Gai’s thirst for power and money is threatening regional and even global security, actually destabilising it, for countries like Egypt and North Korea have military cooperation agreements with the Juba regime.
The question is why the former US administration of President Obama would support a government which the United Nations and its panel of experts have considered one of the gravest abusers of human rights in modern times.
I have tried to shine a light on a globally invisible, yet influential long-time political figure of South Sudan who I hope the West will not take serious (and avoid association with him) for the monumental blood on his hands is that of a war criminal.