Archive for: December 2012

Twї Society of Canada: PR on assassination of Isaiah Abraham

Twi Society of Canada, DEC/15/2012, SSN;

Press Release on the assassination of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol

The Twi Society in Canada (TSC) joins the rest of the peace-loving South Sudanese communities all over the world in strongly and categorically condemning the senseless, grotesque and cowardly assassination of our dear brother and patriotic son of South Sudan, Isaiah Abraham Diing Chan Awuol. Isaiah hailed from Kongor clan of Twї Dinka in Jonglei State; a community, like others, that gave so much in terms of lives sacrificed, among them Dr. John Garang de Mabior, Arok Thon Arok and Akuot Atem de Mayen, to the liberation struggle and freedom of South Sudan.

Our community regards the late Isaiah for the great work he did championing freedom of speech and democratic principles for which so much blood was shed, and continue to be shed. Isaiah died doing what he loves and what he believes in: development of a free, democratic South Sudan in which the sanctity of life and the dignity of decent living are paramount. He also died fighting to give every voiceless citizen a chance to enjoy a conducive social, political and economic atmosphere.

Twї Community believes in the same ideals Isaiah so gallantly fought for to the bitter end. It was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “If you have got nothing worth dying for, then you have got nothing worth living for.”

Like a true son of his father, Isaiah lived a life of unrivaled and unquestionable public integrity; and when it came time to lay his life on the line so as to proclaim the truth, Isaiah gladly accepted the call. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

As a peace-loving community, which still believes in the mandate vested in the current leadership of South Sudan, we are calling upon the government of South Sudan to thoroughly investigate the assassination of late Isaiah. Bringing to book all the perpetrators would not only bring closure to the family of late Isaiah and Twї community world-wide, it would also strengthen South Sudanese faith in their government.

We also appreciate the fact that Dr. Marial Benjamin, the minister of information and the government spokesperson, has termed Isaiah’s death what it truly is, an assassination. We now expect the government to treat it as such, a politically motivated assassination.

However, it is important to note that Isaiah was a political commentator who pointed out government’s failures and wrong doings without fear or favour. There is no doubt some of writings must have rubbed some people in the echelon of power the wrong way.

We are, therefore, very concerned about the impartiality of the investigations underway; and if, at any given time, the government finds itself in a conflict of interest, it would be advisable to procure a service of an impartial third party co-investigator.

Twї Society of Canada also takes this moment to register its displeasure with the general treatment of South Sudanese citizens by security forces. It appears our security forces have forgotten that their principal mandate is to protect our nation, not to terrorize it.

Wiyual Manytap (who’s still missing), Jok Madut Jok, Dengdit Ayok, James Okuk, Deng Athuai, Emmanuel Jal, Cde Mabior Garang and many others look up to you for protection, but often time, they have found themselves at the short end of the security agents’ brutality.

Enough is enough! This is not what Kerubino Kwanyin Bol died for! This is not what William Nyuon Bany died for! This is not what John Garang died for! This is not what Arok Thon Arok died for! This is not what all the martyrs died for! And we certainly hope this is not the legacy you want to bequeath to the next generation of South Sudanese.

TSC is calling upon SPLM, the Government of South Sudan and all political forces to come together and reignite the flame that sustained us through the tough times of liberation struggle and ultimately bringing about independence. The SPLM-led government needs to remind itself of the principles it took up arms for.

As a community, we still continue to hope for the best; that is, for a prosperous, democratic South Sudan, and we therefore call upon all the government departments concerned, with great urgency, to:

* Thoroughly investigate the assassination and make sure no stones are left unturned
* Train law enforcement and security officers on democratic principles and rule of law
* Train government officials, MPs and ministers on proper ways to deal with public criticisms
* Organize workshops on governance and the value of diverse opinions and political criticisms
* Realize that criticism helps shape the public policy direction of any democratic society
* Realize that critics and political analysts are the mirror through which politicians can evaluate their performances
* Respect the work of responsible journalists

Finally, we would like to reiterate, one last time, the importance of constitutionalism, the rule of law and the respect for civil rights and civil liberties in building and sustaining a coercive nation.

Continued subversion of those important tenets of democracy would have consequences, which include and not limited to, deep-rooted dissatisfaction and disillusionment with the government. We pray it never comes to that.


Mark Aruai Bol Aruai, President
Chol Kelei Chiengkou, Vice President
Job Kiir Garang Kuir, Secretary General

Open letter to President: Wau street shooting of civilian protesters by state security forces

BY: Peter Lokarlo Marsu, AUSTRALIA, DEC/15/2012, SSN;

An Open Letter Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit
President of the Republic of South Sudan
State House, Juba
South Sudan.

Subject: Wau Street Shooting of Civilian protesters by state Security forces.

Mr President,

The grisly scene of Wau Street killings captured on Al Gazeera video camera demonstrably represents nothing less than the handiwork of a gory and unrestrained monster that must unreservedly be denounced by all including the government of South Sudan. Such abysmal disposition of the Western Bahr El-Ghazal governor exhibits all the hallmarks of both an irresponsible and politically imprudent government functionary.

The recent spine-tingling slaughter of the unarmed street protesters in Wau town is reminiscent of the somber picture of the 1967 massacre in the same town of which the current state governor Mr. Rizik Zakaria Hassan should have been sentient. The only difference distinguishing the two massacres is that the actors bear unmatched identities and motives, but all the same, they acted in similar fashion.

As a concerned South Sudanese citizen, I would simply at this juncture request your government to do at least three things:

1) Hold an immediate moratorium on the controversial relocation of the Wau County seat to the new site until such a time that an amicably consensual solution could be made available, perhaps through the state Parliament, or by organizing a referendum to sort out the issue, but certainly not the State Council of Ministers;

2) Swiftly remove from office, the culprit(s) responsible for sanctioning the shooting of those protesters and duly prosecute them in a competent Court of law, as the act executed is absolutely an inexcusable feat by any conceivable gauge; and

3) Strive to make some limited compensation to the families of the victims as the loss has created unfixable void and may well crystalize into a potential urge for retribution, leading to brutality and counter brutality.

South Sudan is under international scrutiny and is expected to become a flourishing rather than a flagging democracy. The world is likewise becoming increasingly somnolent and to some degree disillusioned with the acts of horrifying brutality and the accompanying sluggish turning of the wheel of justice in the newest world’s state.

The flickers of progress that the government of the Republic of South Sudan is attempting to uphold should not be extinguished by unsavory acts of some fiends or bloodthirsty behemoths. The rule of village tyrants as demonstrated by the governor of Western Bahr El-Ghazal should be abandoned forthwith and replaced by a construct of thoughtfulness, equanimity, accountability and integrity.

Thank You Mr. President.

Peter Lokarlo Marsu
Former Casual Lecturer,
Graduate School of Business and Law
RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

Cc: Dr. Riek Machar Teny
Vice President of the Republic of Sudan

Cc James Wani Igga,
Speaker of South Sudan Parliament;

Cc Council of Ministers, the Government of South Sudan

Cc The entire Community of Western Bahr El Ghazal

Wau casualties of taking towns to people

BY: Martin Garang Aher, AUSTRALIA, DEC/15/2012, SSN;

Just like the time of Jervas Yak Ubangi, acting governor of Bahr el Ghazal during the premiership of Mohamed Ahmed Mahjoub (1967-1969), and on a completely differential paradox, the city of Wau on Sunday 9th December 2012, witnessed death in yet another horrible setting.

It had all began with Western Bahr El Ghazal State governor, Mr. Rizik Zakaria Hassan’s cabinet decision to transfer Wau County headquarters to Bagari, about 12 miles Southwest of Wau town, in an apparent reckoning of taking services closer to people. The decision had made the local town dwellers uneasy, prompting them to take to the streets in protest. The ensued drama was a horrendous nightmare. A video coming out from Aljazeera English Channel clearly shows people with guns firing into the crowds of unarmed civilians, many on foot, some on bicycles and others on motorbikes. The dead are seen on the ground in pools of blood in the aftermath of the shooting.

South Sudan government and the police are yet to agree on who did the killing. Whichever side will take the responsibility; the action was unacceptable and unpatriotic. The defensive governor, Rizik Zachariah Hassan is on record in denial that demonstrators were killed in the clash with the police – or the army. Earlier the minister of Information and Communications, Mr. Derik Alfred Uya, said that about eight people were killed. Numerical flaws sway between 25 deaths and the number that Mr. Derek had put forward. In fairness he had outperformed the governor who denied in totality that any of the protesters were killed.

Why did a simple street protest that teargas with batons might solve attract the full gallantry of the police? The anger shown by protesters, as alleged, in setting ablaze what was in the way could have risen to such height due to slackness in conveying to the people the decision of the cabinet to move the headquarters out of town.

One was stunned to see the repeat in South Sudan of South African police heavy-handedness, which characterized the apartheid regime and more recently, during the Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine in which the police gunned down thirty-four miners in cold blood. South Sudan government and Western Bahr el Ghazal government in particular ought to do better than allowing civilians to die for the decision that should have been communicated smoothly to the people.

Had the transfer of the headquarters been thoroughly put to the people, this incident could have been averted. The wanton use of force by the police will serve as a signal that life of the citizen is of little value. Wau and its authorities must chart a different trend in order not to bring to memories massacres that nearly made it the city of death in the past.

Similar incidences had occurred in Wau before, in which authorities had acted out of malice on people. But the circumstances were different. One of these incidences is easy to recall from history. On the night of July 11, 1965, two cousins, Cypriano Cier and Ottavio Deng Maroro Rian wedded two sisters and daughters of a prominent chief, Benjamin Lang Juk. The wedding took place in Wau cathedral whereupon a double wedding party was announced. Many southern intellectuals were invited to the party.

The government of premier Mohamed Ahmed Mahjoub saw it fit to exterminate southern intellectuals at one sweep since southern Sudan was then a war zone and activities of the Anya Nya needed to be curbed. The difference between a southerner in town and those of the outlaws Anya Nya in the bush was proving difficult. To end the southern quest for a free country, the best way to do it was to cut off the heads of southern region through her knowledgeable cadres. It follows that the wedding party was surrounded at night by the army and everyone, including the brides and bridegrooms was massacred.

Wau woke up on the 12th July 1965 to a sobering count of seventy-six dead people, forty-nine of whom were southern government officials.

Jervas Yak Ubango, the acting governor who was revered as a high quality public administrator, was forced by the government to deny the occurrence of the incidence. He, in his own right, luckily escaped death earlier that night by leaving the venue just minutes before the killing occurred. In facts twisting, typical of Sudanese politicians, Sayed Ahmed al- Mahdi, minister of interior said the army had to shoot because some of the outlaws were planning to attack the armed forces and were using the wedding as a launching pad, and that they searched the party venue and have found weapons and munitions.

Al-Ayam newspaper on the ground disapproved minister’s allegation of the plan to attack the town as well as the presence of the outlaws in the wedding party. The paper was shut down for its defiance.

Unlike Wau of 1960s, home to wolves and sheep, Wau of the modern era is expected to play a critical role in spreading development, not to serve as a city of terror anymore. If Dr. John Garang were to be alive, his astonishment in witnessing the first casualties of his aphorism of taking towns to people vis-a-vis the popular expectation of the reverse would be eminent.

Garang suggested the idea in president Kibaki’s State House, Nairobi in 2005 and in presence of many African and world’s dignitaries and heads of states and governments during the signing of Six Machakos Protocols. For South Sudanese present at the time, it was sweet on the ears. The harbinger of towns coming to the villages was what was needed, or expected so as to realize the fullest of freedom.

When Garang made the statement, however, the pressing issue was the reality of peace coming to old towns. General Lazarous Sumbeiywo, IGAD envoy in charge of the Sudanese peace process had just completed his tactical knowledge of bush dashing and had managed to bring the parties to peace together to sign the penultimate documents, which were to pave the way towards the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. It was at the State House in Nairobi that the merry-go-round came to full circle.

Because of fear that the Sudanese were infiltrating the negotiating delegations every time an agreement was about to be struck and causing delays and possible stalling, Sumbeiywo had moved the negotiations venue from Naivasha, Machakos, Nyanuki and finally to Nairobi, thereby confining the fly in fly out parallel negotiators from Khartoum to hotels.

This, for records, saw the success of peace, and as a consequence made CPA The Nairobi Agreement. It would have been Washington Agreement had the IGAD committee accepted president Bush’s request to have it signed in the White House.

In truth, peace was coming. To many who had never been to towns in the old Sudan, the idea of towns coming home in the villages was just right. At least the overweening behavior of town folks would come to an end when the country achieves independence. No one would again ask anyone about having been to Juba, Wau, etc. In fact, it would be the village folks that would be asking themselves if towns have come to their villages.

But a few must have given it an in-depth reflection if it would involve administrative reordering and shifting. Indeed, following this lack of knowledge, what happened in Wau has doled out that there must have been a belief in a cheeky hypothesis that towns would be built from scratch and people asked to inhabit them in full functionality. It is a terrible misunderstanding! However, Wau is a city of controversies where death en masse had horrific historical precedence.

Martin Garang Aher is South Sudanese living in Western Australia. He can be reached at

Distortion of concept of taking towns to villages in South Sudan

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, RSS, DEC/15/2012, SSN;

After the dust of turmoil settles down in South Sudan some people may find themselves in the dock in the International Criminal Court of Human Rights at The Hague for crimes of human rights abuse. There are civil liberty groups which can assign human rights investigators to establish the level of human rights abuse. The human rights investigators could press charges against human rights abuses in South Sudan because South Sudan will not be an exception.

South Sudan hardly has any constitutional or human rights courts and if they exist may either be under-resourced or incapable to handle cases of human rights abuse. This may explain the rampant rise of human rights abuse with much impunity. People in power deliberately engage in human rights abuse because they are sure to get away without being charged. If people were acutely aware of the consequences of their actions, the unprecedented level of human rights abuse could not have been sadly witnessed in South Sudan. However, at the end of the tunnel there is a ray of light.

The turmoil that is engulfing South Sudan should be considered as something temporary. People are already aware of what the problem is. The problem is that the population is in trauma. It is, however, a delight that as the problem has been identified it is half solved.

Concept of taking towns to villages
The concept of taking towns to villages was of Dr John Garang, the iconic, charismatic and visionary leader who was instrumental in bringing independence to South Sudan. It was the concept of a revolutionary who genuinely wanted each and every South Sudanese wherever they were whether in urban or rural areas to enjoy modernism. It was not something to be imposed but a natural development strategy in the national master development plan for the progress of the country.

Basically, the concept of taking towns to villages is an attempt to deliver basic services to people nationwide. It is also a solution to rural-urban migration which has its adverse effect on development. It is a well thought out attempt to deliver to the rural areas the same basic services found in towns. It is not necessarily the transfer of a county headquarters to a village but rather to transform the village itself into a vibrant town with or without transferring a county headquarters there.

The concept of taking towns to villages is in reality to transform villages into attractive towns with all the necessary services delivered in a modern town. It is to create and develop towns in the vast rural areas of South Sudan where about 80 per cent of the population lives. The concept is to electrify the rural areas for cottage industries, to bring clean drinking water, health services, education and modern infrastructures to mention but a few to the rural areas for a high standard of living.
For South Sudan the concept of taking towns to villages should be seen as independence dividends and a justification of the costly liberation struggle that lasted for about four decades at the cost of over 2 million dead and 4 million displaced notwithstanding the massive destruction of the rudimentary infrastructures.

Relevance of the concept to South Sudan
When Dr John Garang took the mantle of the liberation struggle he knew that the vast majority of people of South Sudan lived in the rural areas. Dr John Garang also knew that since the British colonial era and the mismanagement of the old Sudan’s affairs in post independence era, South Sudan never tasted modernism. He then carefully developed the concept of taking towns to villages as a strategic acceleration of socio-economic development of South Sudan that had remained one of the most backward and underdeveloped regions on planet earth.

The concept of taking towns to villages is therefore of high relevance to South Sudan in the effort to deliver basic services nationwide. Dr John Garang did not want to see two worlds of prosperity in towns and abject poverty and squalor in rural areas. Truly Dr John Garang was a legend, visionary and charismatic, and had he lived long enough probably people would not have experienced the acute frustration with what is engulfing South Sudan in the post independence era.

Distortion of the concept of taking towns to villages
The poor abstract understanding of the concept of taking towns to villages seems to be causing problems. Also, poor conceptualisation of town-village dichotomy seems to be compounding the problem when people resort to a dogmatic approach with little or no flexibility. For example, in Western Bahr el Ghazal State serious clashes occurred between protestors and security forces in Wau, the capital, because of the imposed transfer of Wau County to a place called Bagari some 12 miles from Wau. Bagari is assumed to be a rural area.

There are conflicting reports of causalities. One source said 10 people died while another talked of 25 dead with many more, about, 21 sustaining injuries. Regardless of causalities it was senseless to hype up the transfer of Wau County the way it was done. The dispute in the transfer of Wau County to Bagari was evidently the result of poor grasp of the concept of taking towns to villages. Bagari is only 12 miles from Wau and should be considered near Wau. How then is Bagari not a suburb of Wau with the expansion of population? Is Bagari really that rural to justify the imposed transfer of Wau County to it in a misguided enthusiasm to put into practice the concept of taking towns to villages?

The Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal State had appeared insensitive to the felt needs of his subjects who were strenuously opposing the transfer of Wau County to Bagari. This is evidenced by how the Governor is now backtracking in his approach of using security forces to impose his will. The Governor has established a nine-member committee to investigate the clashes between protestors and security forces (Sudan Tribune, December 12, 2012).

The Governor is now pledging that his administration will seek a peaceful resolution to the dispute arising from the poor decision to transfer Wau County to Bagari. The U-turn of the Governor shows some naivety in not perceiving the strong opposition to the transfer of the county only to turn around for a dialogue after a serious damage has been done. This seems to suggest that the traumatised may not care and indeed can be very dangerous in their ambition as the causalities in Wau show.

The imposed transfer of Wau County to Bagari is at best a distortion of the concept of taking towns to villages. Dialogue and a peaceful resolution of the dispute could have been the appropriate option from the beginning instead of being rigid. The use of excessive force and by using live ammunitions on unarmed civilians exercising their right to express themselves was very regrettable. It was shocking to watch innocent civilians not armed deliberately gunned down by the security forces as shown by Al Jazeerah TV English Channel on 14 December 2012 at 4.00pm local South Sudanese time.

Taking towns to villages
One high profile case of taking towns to villages is the relocation of the national capital from Juba to Ramceil. The national government has used its prerogative to relocate the capital as stipulated in the constitution. The relocation process is at an advanced stage. As the national government has handled the relocation of the capital with sensitivity, there has never been a trouble like that which has been witnessed in Western Bahr el Ghazal State as a result of poor decision to relocate Wau County headquarters. This should be a lesson to all governors who are contemplating to take towns to villages in their states.

With regard to the concept of taking towns to villages it should be the state capital to relocate instead of relocating a county headquarters that shares the capital with the state. County headquarters should be transformed into cities, and payams and bomas into towns respectively. This is when people are serious about taking towns to villages. It will be truly putting into practice Dr John Garang’s noble concept of taking towns to villages for modernism in South Sudan but not the distorted and erroneous concept adopted by Western Bahr el Ghazal State. It is unfortunate that the Governor who seems to have an agenda of his own has tried very hard to mask the agenda with the noble concept that took brains to develop.

The concept of taking towns to villages should not be implemented enthusiastically as in the case of Western Bahr el Ghazal State where unnecessary innocent lives were lost as the Governor ignored the explosive situation created by his rush decision to relocate Wau County to Bagari. Taking towns to villages should be seen as a smooth transformation of the rural areas with equal opportunities for peaceful co-existence and also to make rural-urban migration to nearly zero. With improved infrastructures such as roads urban and rural areas will be a continuous land mass with equitable facilities that the rural folks will have no cause to envy their counterparts in urban areas. In short the concept is that rural areas should be urbanised.

In conclusion, the concept of taking towns to villages should not be politicised. The concept is mainly an economic one to bring material wealth to where poverty exists. In South Sudan poverty is more prevalent in the rural areas which lack employment opportunities and basic services comparable to urban areas. The concept when applied properly is likely to promote national security and unity, and prosperity for all. People’s basic needs are addressed through the delivery of services which are the focus of the concept of taking towns to villages.

The author can be reached at

South Sudan, a country where opinion kills: Greater Bor Petition on Isaiah Abraham’s heinous death

Greater Bor Petition, DEC/13/2012, SSN;

We, the Greater Bor community in Australia are profoundly outraged by death of Isaiah Abraham. We have condemned the killing in the strongest terms possible. Circumstances surrounding his death clearly showed our people are being systematically targeted. Deep down in us, we are wrecked and demoralized beyond words. This community has been subjected to tenacious harassment, allegations, marginalization and killing by Kiir’s junta. Who would again dispute the country is back into tyranny era?

There is no doubt the Republic of South Sudan will go down in history as a country where opinion kills. Detaining, torturing and murdering of opinion writers and journalists rule in our beloved country. A dreadful act, condemnable internationally.

We learn the government has ordered investigation into Isaiah’s death, but what is mind-boggling, how would the government that is implicated in this heinous act investigate itself? This is a hoax. The ransom of $50,000 US put forward for anyone giving information leading to arrest of perpetrators is nothing, but a sham to distract the trend of homicide. The government is in the know-how no one will show up since execution was carried out by its apparatus.

Before we get in-depth what this is, we would like to present our readers that despite the staunch support of the Greater Bor community during liberation of Republic of South Sudan we are now barred off.

Greater Bor community stood firmly in solidarity with other Southerners in refusal to suppression and other gross human rights violation by the then Jallaba’s regime. We all fought and outlived the successive regimes to ensure we have a nation we call ourselves citizens. The contribution of this community in the liberation is extensively known and well documented.

The chivalrous forces of Koriom battalion hailed from this community. Their performance in the battle fields was magnificent. They fearlessly fought and won many combats. It was a battalion that made an enormous damaged to our then enemy, Koriom battalion destroyed first batch of Jallaba known as ‘Ten Thousand Troops’ at Pan-Wel Abiryai battle. This community decently carried itself affably throughout the movement to ensure we achieved this freedom being nauseatingly abused.

We took up arms in rejection of slavery, marginalisation, suppression, systematic killing, injustice, extortion and corruptive system amongst many others. We fought for a country where we will be seen as equal citizens, free to express what one sees not going right. A country where one can sleep without lingering doubt of being dragged out in the dead of night and imprudently killed in the manner Isaiah Abraham was slain helplessly.

We fought for a nation where citizens can walk from Rumbek to Bor, from anywhere to somewhere in South Sudan without being waylaid and torpedoed aimlessly. We fought a system that was full of flaws and deceit. Instead, it is the very system we fought tireless that is currently taking shape in Juba. The government’s gadget, our own sons and daughters (South Sudanese) whose responsibilities are to protect and maintain law and order have turned deadly like the Jallaba we separated from.

This is something we blame to wrong and mystified fallacies by the reigning government. Citizens are abducted, tortured and killed in cold blood. We have noticed, with deep regret, Juba, is just a subset of old Sudan. Citizens live in terror as if there is no government in place.

We chose to be quiet, thinking things will change down the tract, but it just getting chancy as it gets. The recent cowardice killing of the renowned and insightful writer, Diing Chan Awuol (Isaiah Abraham) is an ominous and a bombshell to this community, and nation at large.

It’s obvious the nation is hijacked by the terrorists who view everybody not from them, an alien. The death of Isaiah is first of its nomenclature, but not the first of its kind. People are nightly and daily slaughtered with impunity in Juba. Here is the list:

First, Colonel Chuol Manyuon Anei, a veteran from Zindia battalion of Koryom was killed on December 24, 2011 in Juba. He was dragged out of his residential house and killed mercilessly.

Second, Angeth Kuech Awan and Atem Awan Maper were deliberately shot and killed in the bank at Juba. As we write, there is no justice served about their cases.

Third, John Akuach Jook a lawyer from Makerere University was killed in a highly suspicious mysterious car accident in Juba in December 2008, and until now the killer is not indicted, and dangerously still on the loose.

Fourth, Mayol Kuch Duoi, a SPLA veteran who was an American citizen was shamelessly bashed to death by the SPLA’s soldiers when he paid visit to his mum at Pan-pandiar. No justice serves as well.

Fifth, Malong-dit de Aleng’s compound in Juba was deliberately fired at with the intention to kill him, fortunately they missed him.

Sixth, Mading Ngor Akech Kuai, co-founder of the New Sudan vision, former radio talk host, Bhakheta station in Juba was pulled apart and terribly beaten up by the lawless officers and now still being threatened.

Seventh, Mabior Garang de Mabior and his brother Chol were stalked, ambushed and beaten up by the group who identified themselves as being purposely sent for them. Mabior is made a disabled as we write. His jaw is broken and many fractures around his body.

Eighth, Kuol Achiek Mac, a University student was dragged out of his house and tortured severely just because he quarreled the previous day with police officer.

Ninth, Michael Thon Mangok, a regular contributor of Southsudannation news outlet is being threatened to stop writing and he had to exile to Kenya.

Back to Isaiah’s case, late Isaiah Abraham took part in liberation of South Sudan. He joined the SPLA/SPLM in 1983 and trained in Bonga, Ethiopia. He served as military and political commissar in the Tiger battalion of the SPLA under the command of current Republic of South Sudan President Kiir Mayar. His service of being a loyal soldier made him achieved the rank of a shield seven captain. He was later on promoted to the rank of Major but decided to leave the army, after the 2005 peace deal that granted the region a decree of autonomy and the 2011 self-determination plebiscite that led to secession.

Isaiah fought two wars, he went back for studies the time he saw his people got the right he took up arms for. He held a BA in business administration from Day Star University and a masters degree from Nairobi University, Kenya. At the time of his death, he was serving in South Sudan’s government as a director for administration and finance in the employees’ justice Chamber.

Isaiah’s father was a local chief from Pawel Payam in Kongor, Twi County. Chan Awuol was killed by Jallaba for standing up for his people just the way his four sons died.

Late Isaiah Abraham was a concerned citizen like any other citizen in South Sudan. He was known for speaking up his mind for anything he believes is right for his country-mate, and in his second last opinion he had this to say:

“Our president is a man with no confidence in himself and the public. My people have suffered under President Kiir and his heartless clique; I have no kind words again against these people. The demonstration we made as people of South Sudan on Monday, not as Northern Bahr El Ghazal people, will go down in history as the beginning of things to come.”

Apparently, this is what we believed took Isaiah’s life, because it is evident by this: “On November 21st, 2012 the President security went to Isaiah’s house to investigate him. They showed him a printed article a few days before his assassination.”

After his death, the president was quoted saying, “I know it is not the police and security.”

Whereas, the Republic of South Sudan Minister for information Dr. Marial Benjamin said: “The ongoing investigation into Isaiah’s death indicated that 70% is assassinations.”

In addition, Wandit, the gentleman who claimed to be erstwhile Republic of South Sudan security agent, had this to say:
“Isaiah Abraham was killed by members of a special protection of president guard unit, called Tiger. What is responsible for his death is his article in which he wrote saying the president must step down. On that fatal night, Isaiah Diing was called out from his home and was made to sit down and then shot in the head. He was shot with only one bullet. He was killed by another Dinka, his tribe people. The murdering people made sure that national security was not patrolling at night in that particular area of Gudele.”

According to Sudan Tribune, December 11, 2012, “South Sudan’s minister of interior, Alison Manana Magaya, has admitted that ‘elements’ in the nation’s security agency are involved in crimes in the capital, Juba. There are some elements within the police and other organised forces who commit crimes.”

Reading at our President, Minister for information and Minister for interior mixed messages, you would be left scratching your head and probably say what is what now? You be the judge.

Explicitly, opinion is always an opinion. It does not kill! Isaiah was writing as an individual and calling president to resign was not a threat to Kiir or president’s clique he mentioned. President holds public position and deserves talk about, whether good or bad. It was an opinion that has to be disputed in the similar manner and worth not taking veteran’s innocent life.

We all see our country overwhelmed by social insecurity, that is characterized by rampant corruption, poor policing, muggings, extortion, insecurity, cattle rustling, land grabbing, poor health and education, poor infrastructure, strikes in Juba, Bortown and Western Bahr el Ghazal. Given all these vices, we all have citizenry rights to write and talk about the government leading us and Isaiah was doing exactly that. Why killed him?

The Western countries we see developing day and night do not just happen from the blue. It is through collection of different perspectives, opinions included. In South Sudan instead of envisaging on people like late Isaiah, government is preying on them. How do we expect the country to move forward, mister President?

As citizens of Republic of South Sudan, we deserve to be treated with decency and equality. The mandate given to you as President was to carter for all citizens of this country despite where each comes from. Greater Bor and all the people of South Sudan didn’t believe that you were wrongly entrusted for leadership of South Sudan but because of your weakling leadership, our nascent state is on the verge of schism which led to the birth of SPLM-DC and many other factions within SPLM simply because of hatred caused by your government irresponsible sycophants.

Finally, the preceding tactics and strategies to ‘deBorization’ we in the Republic of South Sudan government have now shifted from unnecessary reshuffling to killing. Greater Bor community is afflicted by this fatuous tagging. However, we are not ready to accept this fratricidal war we’re being dragged into. And we want to see the end to it as soon as possible.

We are appealing to the government, if there is any, to resolve and reverse this disguise of targeting our sons and daughters once and for all, for peace to prevail in this nascent State. We call for an immediate cessation of this hostility towards our people.

In conclusion, we hope to hearing in a couple of days that the culprits are brought to justice and charged accordingly, though it won’t make Isaiah come back. We urge the government to collectively nip this dangerous and unwelcome aggressive governance before it festers.

As if it wasn’t enough, we understand “investigators are being threatened with text messages, that whoever will reveal the assassins will face the same consequences.”

We want to assure you that we know who killed Isaiah, and we are giving this government a chance, or else we will be forced to take the law into our own hands and go after the murderers if that investigation yields no fruit.

The undersigned are as follow and we are reachable at
1. Jurkuch Akuoch
2. Ayiik Anyang
3. Awan Awan
4. Awumtiaidit
5. David Manyok
6. Chotjak Charles
7. Aluong Angeth
8. Maluk Deng
9. Moses Achol
10. Peter Machuor
11. Majok Mayen
12. Anuan Anuan
13. Andrew Makuei
14. Thon Nhial
15. Thon Alier
16. Mabior Gai
17. Madol Anyang
18. Ayuen Makur
19. Magot Deng
20. Kelei Kur
21. Kongor Gak
22. Chol Atem
23. Machar Yuang
24. Marial Gai

Silence may be taken for complicity: An appeal to Mr. Oyai Deng Ajak, Dr. Majak D’Agoot Atem, Mr. Nhial Deng Nhial and Dr. Riek Machar

BY: Kuir e Garang, CANADA, DEC/13/2012, SSN;

For those of us familiar with American war against Fundamental Islam, or as some people euphemize it, War on Terror, the silence of moderate Muslims is believed to be the problem. Their silence is believed to be the problem because Muslim fundamentalists are a vocal minority. The majority of Muslims are law-abiding citizens, who also respect the value (or as religious people say, sanctity) of life.

In South Sudan the same general sentiment applies. South Sudan is a country that could act as an example for the rest of Africa if not the rest of the world. Unlike other African countries that came out of independence with little to no African political culture to learn from, South Sudan has a wealth of political and economic information to learn from.

We could avoid all the factors that led to economic stagnation and political volatility from the post-independence years to the present. Issues such as tribalization of national interests and suppression of free speech are some of the examples. So far, it seems we’ve not learnt anything from that.

But my main concern is that the country will soon be branded by the rest of the world in unflattering light while clear-minded people like you remain silent or indifferent. Why? Why? Have freedom fighters become callous villains?

Recent incidences such as the assassination of political commentator, Isaiah Diing Chan, the disappearance of Wiyual Manytap and the senseless killing of over twenty young people in Wau (which reminds us of Wau massacre of 1965), are a few of countless counter-productive issues worrying us.

We love this country and we’d want it to prosper to its utmost potentials. Our hearts are bleeding as we see the country drift into a POLICE STATE. Who’d want to invest in such a nation?

Why is voicing a personal opinion treated disdainfully with a draconian steel? And a colleague of mind today wrote: “…this president has been gradually becoming more and more royal before our very eyes!!” That is true but sad, really sad!

It’s not that you’ve forgotten the principles that engendered the birth of SPLM/A, it is that there is something happening within the government; something we don’t understand. Another colleague of mine recently wrote an article in which he painted SPLM as a medley of micro-factions with competing interests. That is scary.

In such a situation, SPLM will not be productive unless those competing interests are either reconciled or the party disintegrates. There is something happening within the government that outsiders don’t know. But how and when is that going to end so that meaningful democracy and development you all fought for can start?

The agents in the National Security have actually become the agents of the average citizen’s National Insecurity. People with different opinions aren’t national security issues we should watch.

Are we building a nation-of-a-single-opinion dictated by the state?

Your silence, while the average citizens are terrorized or killed by people, who are supposed to protect them, will be taken for complicity in the current reign of terror against our people.

The guns didn’t go silent; they turned against the very people who were supposedly liberated. As others pull the guns to kill, you’re killing our people thorough omission, as they say in Ethics. Your inaction is as brutal as the action of those terrorizing our people.

The legacy of SPLM as the party of the people is fast fading as people have become disillusioned with the party that has turned into a death processing factory. I don’t see why any conscientious South Sudanese would vote again for a party that cares not a bit about the very people that put it there.

You have to come out and tell South Sudanese what is happening within the government (good or bad) that is keeping you quiet. If there is nothing major keeping you quiet, as the country is almost off the cliff, then it’s high time you change the direction of the country.

Your silence is crippling the nation. If you can’t change the system then resign so that South Sudanese can see your clean conscience. If you continue to serve in a system that is callously killing people and leading the country nowhere as you watch, then some of us would question your moral outlook.

As the National Security Minister, Mr. Oyai Deng Ajak, the killings are in your hands on principle unless you, with the president, exonerate yourselves, or reform national security for the better.

I heard about you as a teenager living in Western Equatoria (now Central) when you bravely headed Operation Jungle Storm (OJS) in early 90s. People applauded you as a flawless hero. Why are the people you fought to protect being killed by people under you?

Because you are inside the government, it is sometimes hard to see things clearly from within. You have to remember that the government of South Sudan is looking more like the government of Sudan in structure, functionality and intentions: torture houses, political assassinations, disappearances of vocal citizens, national security censorship of newspapers, total powers of the president, intimidation of opposition members, willful corruption, nepotism, ruling of the country by a small powerful few, governance (Council of ministers, Council of States and National Legislative Assembly) and the list continues.

Please, protect our people!

Kuir e Garang is a South Sudanese poet and author living in Canada. For contact visit or follow him on twitter: @kuirthiy

A Response to questions and the mysterious circumstance surrounding the tragic death of Isaiah Abraham

BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, SWEDEN, DEC/13/2012, SSN;

First and foremost, I register my condolence for the untimely and brutal death of Isaiah Abraham, and condemn in the strongest of terms possible the inhumane and barbaric practice of political assassination and extrajudicial killing not just in South Sudan, but wherever it may be found. It is indeed with a heavy heart and grief to have received the news about the tragic murder of the man, also known by his village name as Diing Chan Awuol. It is always saddening when a human life is lost, irrespective of racial, tribal, religious or political difference and affiliation. And it is even more sobering and awful when a human life is prematurely ended in such an unexpected, ruthless and cold manner, regardless of the underlying reasons or the offence committed, if any.

Isaiah Abraham was a human being, and for his immediate family, a loved son, brother, husband and father, among others. In their grief, may God, the good forces of nature, and the spirits of the living-dead of his ancestors console his family, and may his soul rest in eternal peace.

As a comrade in the pen, Isaiah was, however, surrounded by much controversy in his scholarly life as in his death. He was probably more controversial and provocative to his peers, me included, than to those who took his life – a reality far removed from the saintly picture that is being erroneously painted by his admirers in the media, after his death.

But truth be told, Diing was amateurish, and clumsy, and yet absolutist in expressing his political opinion. He was amateurish and clumsy, because he showed in his political columns a little or no sense of direction and political identity.

Was he with or against the flawed political establishment in Juba is a question that will remain unanswered, especially more so after his permanent departure? And yet, what was amply evident was an ambivalent character, who on the one hand seemed a stern critic of the dismal political establishment in Juba, but who on the other is, a staunch defender, and critic of those who spoke out against it.

Take for instance, his unforgiving criticism of Peter Sule calling him a traitor, after he spoke out on BBC against corruption, nepotism, and land grabbing shortly before the referendum. One would think that that reckless opinion ultimately contributed to the arbitrary detention of Peter Sule without trial for more than one year on the trot.

Indeed, throughout the brief span of his political analyses, Isaiah flirted with both ends of the political spectrum in South Sudan. To the political left, he was a right, and to the right he was a left. He continuously shifted between being a friend and a foe of the President. At times, he even seemed to want to drive a wedge in the higher echelon of power by favoring one symbol at the expense of the other, all within the now well-established as a failed system in Juba.

As showcased in some of his political opinion pieces, whenever he was critical of the President, he was supportive of the Vice-president – straddling in a shifting political allegiance between the two that raised many eyebrows of observers, including myself concerning his true political color and objectives.

I remember how his first ever article critical of the Kiir regime, and which appeared on South Sudan Nation website shortly after the independence, and which unfortunately I could not retrieve, received comments that ran along the lines of “welcome to the land of the living, Isaiah Abraham,” or more in sarcastic disbelief “who ticked you off today, Mr. prophet?”

In all this, what became increasingly evident in Isaiah’s writings was a man frustrated more by the office of the President than the whole corrupt, tribal and nepotistic system of governance. He consistently vehemently rebuked the President, often favoring his Vice, whom he repeatedly referred to as the “big man.” This made me and many others wonder what kind of a political maneuver was he trying to pull off? And what relationship, if any exists between him and the Vice-President – a man regarded by many in Isaiah’s own community as a villain, who is responsible for the 1991 Bor massacre of the Dinka community?

While we will never find answers to these questions, from Isaiah’s perspective at least, what is clear is that Mr. Abraham struck me as someone disillusioned with the office and policies of the President rather than as the opposition has it, being disillusioned with the whole system of poor governance under Kiir’s poor leadership in South Sudan. Many, including myself believe he was reckless and controversial in his political opinions.

However, lest I be misunderstood, I do not seek to distort Diing’s image or tarnish his legacy. I only seek to present an alternative perspective on a man I consider to be an enigmatic personality, as my contribution to the prevailing debate surrounding his tragic murder and his (mis)representation as a great opposition figure.

Nonetheless, there are no questions asked about the Man’s passion for political reflections. Perhaps with a little bit more time and critique by his fellow political analysts, he would have developed his political opinion further, and may have become the writer that many on the opposition side of GoSS see as being on the right side of South Sudan’s history.

Now, was he assassinated for what he wrote and his political opinion that more often than not targeted the office of the President? Perhaps he was. However, there are others whom I consider to be outright critics of the system not just the President, who could have been liquidated first, even when the security apparatus and the kitchen boys had the chance, but this was not the case.

With minor exceptions, there are ample examples of more stern critics of the rotten regime in Juba, who have been arrested, tortured, intimidated, warned but released. We all knew what we signed up for when we decided to write on South Sudan’s politics.

In the unfortunate event of being cornered, a “Mungnom” (slap on the face) that makes you see stars in broad daylight is an ordeal minimally expected for being engaged in South Sudanese politics. In worse case scenarios, arbitrary and indefinite detention, and torture awaits. And Isaiah probably expected to ultimately meet this ultimate fate. There is simply not getting around this, not with a regime that does not tolerate criticism, freedom of expression, and human rights.

But in no uncertain terms do we expect to be killed in such a spectacular fashion for merely expressing our political opinion. If this is the case, then the rules of engagement have indeed changed, and therefore, must be matched with equal snake-like shrewdness and dove-like innocence from our side.

In the meantime, until proven otherwise, I am of the view that there are many questions that need to be answered before rushing into the conclusion that the neutralization of Isaiah Abraham was the machination of the regime. In this context, the dominant knee jerk conclusions that have emerged following Isaiah’s death, which explicitly or implicitly directly implicates the kitchen boys and President Salvatore Kiir Mayardith as perpetrators, is simply too easy and remain unsubstantiated.

Why would the President want this man dead now? After all Isaiah has written far more ferocious opinion pieces directed at the dysfunctional office of the President in the past. Why didn’t the President order him silenced say, for instance when he wrote a piece on Sudan tribune that alluded to the President as being complicit in the death of Dr. John Garang, which is a far more serious allegation?

Could Isaiah’s death then, be a setup from elsewhere to frame the office of the President as responsible for the murder? Who is responsible and stands to benefit from this assassination?

As it stands, it seems the President’s office has more to lose than gain in the spectacular and tragic death of Isaiah Abraham. Could it be that someone wanted to make a public scene by murdering Isaiah Abraham to further tarnish the already dirty image of the Presidential office to heap more domestic and foreign pressure and render the office of the President even more untenable?

In raising these questions, I do not intend to acquit the President from his responsibility for the deadly insecurity not only in Juba, but in the whole of South Sudan, by virtue of him being the head of state in South Sudan. God knows how much I yearn for the current regressive policies of the Kiir regime to change, or the regime to make way for a more progressive, people-oriented and transformative regime in South Sudan.

Moreover, the questions and response provided here are not to absolve the failed Kiir regime from blame for the death of the person we call the prophet. With the death of Isaiah or not, it is primarily the responsibility of the President and the security organs of the state to ensure the safety and well-being of the civilian population of South Sudan, and to consolidate the country’s borders and territorial integrity.

In fact, there is now a soft law in international legislation, which provides for international military intervention on humanitarian grounds under chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. Under this principle, it is argued that a state relinquishes its sovereign status, if it fails to protect its citizens and consolidate its borders and territorial integrity.

As recent as last year, the moral principle of responsibility to protect (R2P), whose one of its key architects is non-other than our government’s representative to the United Nations, Francis Deng, has been invoked to justify the international intervention, which brought an end to the draconian Kaddafi regime in Libya. And had it not been for the obstruction policies of the veto-wielding Russian and Chinese members of the Security Council at the United Nations, the same R2P principle would have been invoked to authorize an international intervention to change the Assad regime for brutalizing its own citizens in Syria.

President Kiir, and his political opportunist crony in the government of South Sudan must watch out. A failed state in South Sudan is not just a threat to peace and security to South Sudanese, but also to regional and international peace and security, because a failed South Sudan is an attractive sight and a hotbed for terrorists and extremist groups, which make the global powers nervous.

Kiir’s dysfunctional regime needs to address the insecurity in South Sudan immediately, and will do well to consult his own representative to the United Nations, Francis Deng, on security matters, and the serious implications of his regime’s failure to protect its citizens.

However, and assuming Kiir on his capacity as a head of state is aware of his duties and responsibilities to provide security to the civilian population, the stakes are simply too high for his office to sanction the murder of the man called Diing Chan Awuol, or even turn the other way. Word on the streets in Juba is that the President is as impatient to identify the architects of Isaiah’s demise as much as his family, friends and the South Sudanese public at large, who are eager to see justice done.

The President is even reported to have placed a huge bounty for the heads of the assassins, and has encouraged anyone with information to come forward and claim it. Consequently, if and that is a big if, the President and his security apparatus are oblivious to the fact of Isaiah’s murder, who then is responsible and stands to benefit from Isaiah’s death?

In other words, who would want this man quieted and what information did he posses that the culprit did not want for it to see light?

Domestically, who is the least suspect but who equally wields excessive military might in South Sudan, and is ambitious politically?

Answering this question may lead to identifying the suspect. I already know what my hunch is, but I will let the readers conclude for themselves. Whatever the case, there is a political power wrangling brewing in South Sudan, and dramatic political changes are well underway, sooner rather than later.

Regionally, the question must equally be raised: who is the prime suspect, who boasts superior and sophisticated security apparatus, and stands to benefit from instability in South Sudan?

In other words, whoever delights in evil in South Sudan, and has the will and ability to serve that end and works tirelessly day and night to see South Sudan descend into violent hell, there lies our suspect.

Could this, therefore, be a concerted effort of elements in Juba and regional powers seeking a regime change in Juba? Or could this be the work of non-state actors and operatives active in the country, who are probably angered by Isaiah’s last article?

It is for you to decide, but these are all questions that must be raised to find Isaiah’s murderers.

Either way, the death of the prophet marks a turning point in the political scene in our endeared Republic of South Sudan, and has set in motion a domino effect of political assassinations and power struggle in the SPLM hierarchy. Our hope is that we don’t end up throwing out our baby nation with the bathwater.

The author of this article is a South Sudanese and is reachable at

Requiem for Isaiah Abraham

QUOTE: “One man with courage makes a majority.” Andrew Jackson, 7th President of U.S

BY: Fanwell L. Edward, Accra, Ghana, DEC/11/2012, SSN;

Grief-stricken women wailed uncontrollably as the coffin sank slowly into the deep grave on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Like the setting sun sinking behind the hills yonder, the coffin finally rested at the bottom of the dark, cold grave to announce the end of a bright day and the beginning of a long, starless night that shall forever remain dark and dreamless. Their faces distorted by pain, sweat glistening on their distraught foreheads and tears of bitterness and loss streaming down their aged cheeks, the men sat motionlessly as a speaker struggled to offer a befitting eulogy. The shock has been unbearable because death came unannounced in the small hours of Wednesday morning. The shock has been profound because death came probably in a vehicle purchased by the precious blood of the citizens of this tormented land. The shock has been great because death came probably by orders from someone(s) whose duty was to protect the deceased and other citizens from unwarranted, senseless death. The shock has been heartbreaking because death came in the dead of the night specifically to silence the steady voice of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol and ours, too.

It was of no consequence at all whether one concurred or disagreed with everything he wrote, but Isaiah Abraham, as he was known on the Internet, was no doubt a very prolific writer of opinion on issues related to South Sudan and Sudan. His in-depth familiarity with current affairs and their minute details befitted a well-versed, versatile opinion writer. His articles, written in impeccable English, beckoned one to read them to the very last word on the page.

However, it was neither the wordsmithery nor the clarity of thought that almost always enticed one to read Isaiah Abraham’s opinion pieces. On the country, one was more often than not led hesitantly to the bottom of the articles rather by the writer’s unyielding propensity not only to serve a smorgasbord of often unrelated and downright contradictory issues on a single plate but also by his unusual ability to glide comfortably from one glaringly contradictory opinion to another in the same breath.

His articles might have at times married contradictory views and positions, causing many readers to misunderstand him at times and perhaps miss the salient points of his articles in the process. But since when has it become a crime for a writer to have his/her own style of writing and his/her own opinion on matters related to current affairs of the new republic?

It is telling that by aiming their bullet to the brains of Isaiah Abraham, the assassin(s) deliberately or inadvertently sought to send an unmistakably strong message to the rest of opinion writers that their brains will be wasted physically too unless they refrain from writing articles that are critical of the government or the so-called SPLM-North, for that matter. The new centurions could not be more wrong.

In fact, it could be stated with a great deal of confidence that the bullet that penetrated the skull of Isaiah Abraham has also pierced every heart of conscientious South Sudanese both in the writers’ community and in the community at large. Instead of killing our brains, the bullet of the assassin(s) has acted as a light bulb, illuminating thoughts that have thereto lied dormant in some dark corners of our brains.

Now that Isaiah Abraham rests peacefully in his grave in his village, his assassin(s) have joined the ranks of the walking dead men whose consciences have been forever darkened and hardened by their evil deeds. The new tormentors of the people may soon discover, to their horror, that although we each have only one earthly body that they can kill, good ideas do not possess a single brain that can be killed at will. On the contrary, as good seeds germinate in several soils, good ideas also germinate in a multiple fertile brains, with which South Sudan is blessed.

Therefore, the earthly body of Diing Chan Awuol might have succumbed to the assassins’ bullet, but many of the ideas that percolated in his brains are currently germinating in many a brave mind in South Sudan.

My heart goes out to his immediate and extended family, relatives, friends and those who knew him as a writer and as a person. One would also wish to console Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba who has been unfairly attacked by some writers for his latest article which was critical of the deceased’s style of writing. I have no doubts that Dr. Ambago is as dumbfounded and shell-shocked by the brutal murder of Mr. Isaiah Abraham as we all are.

Instead, we should by all means and unequivocally direct our condemnation to the writers and government officials who constantly use inflammatory rhetoric to impinge upon the patriotism and nationalism of fellow South Sudanese espouse different political viewpoints. Indeed, each time we consciously or unconsciously dehumanize fellow countrymen and women through our words or deeds, we unwittingly encourage the unscrupulous among us, and they are many, to cause bodily harm to equally patriotic citizens who are wrongly perceive to be ‘traitors.’

President Kiir has promised an immediate investigation into the murder of Isaiah Abraham. The government has promised to spare no effort to apprehend the culprit(s) and to bring them to book. Some $50,000 reward has also been announced for information leading to the arrest of the assassin(s). As sure as the sun will rise from the east, we are sure that neither the official crocodile tears nor pretentious presidential promises will result in the capture and prosecution of the assassin(s).

Unfortunately, our government and its ‘irrelevant’ organs lack credibility because of the numerous unsolved cases of murder, beating and kidnapping that occur in our country on a daily bases. Why would this one, which has the marks of ‘security’ organs and SPLM-North written all over it, be different from the myriad unsolved murder cases?

Hence, it is one’s sincere prayer of supplication to the Almighty that we, as a people, find rays of hope and consolation in the midst of this colossal loss to engage in an honest soul-searching with the view of regaining our inner moral compass so that we internalize the sanctity of human life and the inviolability of human dignity and liberty.

That would be a fitting requiem for the soul of Diing Chan Awuol who left us too soon. After all, before we are identified as opinion writers, doctors, teachers, pro-government or members of the opposition, it is necessary to remember first and foremost that each one of us is someone else’s spouse, brother, sister, father, mother, grandparents or distant or close relative.

Therefore, it behooves us to become acutely conscious to the fact that by killing one person we kill not only his/her innocent relatives and friends but we also kill both the spirit and conscience of this young country in the process.

May Isaiah Abraham rest in eternal peace, and may other writers of political opinion and commentary keep the spirit of the deceased alive by soldiering on and writing boldly until the assassins and oppressors of public opinion realize the futility of their own murderous actions.

There is no political opinion dangerous enough to warrant the illegal or legal taking of human life!

Farewell, Comrade Diing Abraham!

The author is a South Sudanese working and living in Accra, Ghana, West Africa, and can be reached at

Cry the beloved country: The catastrophic misrule!


Today our beloved country is bleeding and weeping and we are asking questions as to why our people must die in the hands of our own government. How did we come to this? I am not a relative of Isaiah Abraham or indeed a Bor Dinka but I am outraged and aggrieved by the senseless murder of Isaiah a week ago.

To some of us Isaiah was a staunch government advocate to others a government critic and still to others a liberal advocate for good governance. Whatever he was, he will be remembered to be a prolific writer whose writings enriched our internet political discourses. I used to wonder whether Isaiah did anything else other than writing. He was not only good at reporting what were clearly insider information but would ferociously attack overnight any writing or writer whose views he disagreed with or which he thought might destabilize a government he loved. Isn’t it ironic that, if it is true, he has died in the hands of the very government he had, sometimes defended?

Whatever crimes Isaiah committed, if any, did not warrant his death. I call upon all peace loving people of this great world, to condemn in the strongest terms possible the cold blooded murder of a political commentator who thought to use his intellect and courage to bring about change in our beloved country.

The murder of Isaiah is not just disastrous for his family and relatives but disastrous for the whole country. Through this murder we have demonstrated yet again to the world at large that our leaders do not care about human lives. The bottom line brothers and sisters is that anyone who does not care about human lives does not deserve to be a leader. By definition leadership connotes the leading of a people out of a bad situation into a good one, not unleashing a reign of terror on your own citizens as being practiced by the government of Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Here we are not talking about the monumental failures of the most incompetent government in modern times. We are not talking about the lack of provision of services to a people that have never known peace or development in their entire lives. We are not talking about a government that within months of independence brought about national shame on its citizens and alienated the international community that helped it to gain independence in the first place. We are not talking about a government taking its ill-prepared and ill-equipped army to war with a country it had just broken away from with disastrous consequences to avoidable loss of lives.

We are not talking about a cruel heartless government that blocked the flow of oil and left thousands and millions starving or scrapping for a living when they themselves live in air conditioned villas; driving around in air-conditioned cutting-edge four wheel drives and comfortably sitting in air conditioned over-furnished offices.

And brothers and sisters we are not even talking about the 4 billion dollars or more which the President has admitted before the world that members of his government have looted. And we know according to the Auditor General what this money could have done for the people of South Sudan – the schools, hospitals roads, and services it could have provided.

To make things worse as though he is a King and not an elected president, Kiir pardons these criminals and vowed to protect their confidentiality and human rights! Was he actually pardoning these criminals or was he pardoning himself?

As if these disastrous failures are not more than sufficient for a long suffering people to bear, now President Salva Kiir is unleashing his state security to cleanse out his critics and opponents one by one. Is this the kind of government we have voted for? Did the people of South Sudan labour in blood and sweat for 50 years to rid themselves from the jellaba only to find themselves in the lion’s den?

Too many things have gone wrong in South Sudan since 2005. Conscientious people can barely recognise the South Sudan we once knew. Everything seems to be changing for the worst. As the nation mourns the loss of a dear son, may we use this time to reflect on why and how things have gone terribly wrong, where we have come from and where we are going.

I am of the opining that whereas it is important to have good leadership for a fully functioning government that can deliver on its promises, we cannot minimise the role of the ruled or electorates in protecting wrong leaders and keeping them in power. It is therefore important for us the electorates now to examine ourselves and our attitudes. This is critical because common sense should tell us that there can be no leaders without consenting electorates or subjects. Leaders need electorates and therefore electorates have the power to elect leaders or indeed to pull them down.

These people are leaders because we elected some of them. And the ones we elected like Salva took it upon himself to force ministers and lawyers to distort our Interim Constitution, 2005, and to distort the entire concept of democracy and good governance. Through this usurpation of national power, he has appointed un-elected people to parliament and cabinet positions. These losers now worship Salva and together they have brought ruin upon the nation.

Some of these people may be our kinsmen and women but let us call them what they truly are: they are a national disgrace. We elected Salva Kiir in good faith but no sooner had he assumed his new position as an elected president than he started to abuse his powers. Salva Kiir will remain in government as long as we want him to, we should not underestimate our powers as electorates to bring him, his cabinet and the entire Oyee Party down. The damage this man is doing is unjustifiable and may become irreparable and the voters must bring them down come the next national elections.

Leadership is not a static state; one can become a better leader if they choose to. But as long as someone thinks that they will always be elected because they come form a majority tribe, then there is no incentive for them to become good leaders or improve on their performances. The fact of coming from a majority tribe has given Salva and company a sense of security without vulnerability. Leaders need to feel vulnerable to perform better and be accountable. We therefore need to withdraw any blanket support to our leaders simply because they come from our tribes.

Prior to this sad event, there were people who defended the leadership simply because they hail from the same ethnicity. Others attack government critics for being bigots or tribalistic simply for expressing their opinions. This makes it very difficult for non-Dinka to freely express their opinions for fear of being labelled anti-Dinka anti-Nuer or anti-Nilotics. Sometimes this situation is compounded by explosive regional dynamics.

The problem then is how do you categorize people like late Isaiah when they speak out against the government? He cannot be accused of being a tribalist because he hailed from the same tribe as the head of government Salva Kiir Mayardit. If a large section of the society is willfully denied political participation, even as political commentators, where does that leave them? We therefore need to address the issue of tribalism more objectively.

This means we also have to address the question of to whom does South Sudan belong? Does it belong to all the 77 or so tribes or does it belong to the two main ethnic groups of Nuers and the Dinka? Does it belong to the SPLM/A party or army or do other political parties and civil societies also have fair dispensation in the new political order? From the looks of it, the new republic has quickly become a one man’s kingdom and this is utterly unacceptable.

If it is a republic then it must obey the basic tenets of being a modern republics including: the balance of powers between the organs of governments and in the case of a federal republic, the separation of powers between central and state governments. What is the central government doing meddling with security issues in Juba which should strictly be the jurisdiction of Central Equatoria government, when they cannot even protect our borders?

In addition to separation of powers, each organ and level of government must ensure good governance, freedom of speech and the rule of law to international norms and not drug people back into the dark medieval ages where tyrannical kings and queens reigned supreme.

One cannot help but see the burning desire of Salva Kiir and his ministers behaving like they are medieval kings and lords; the burning desire for excessive flaunting of power and wealth are all reminiscent of medieval culture. These people need to stop living in the past, whether you like it or loathe it, we are in the 21st century and there is nothing you can do without consequences to turn the clock back. You are not kings or lords. In fact you are not even of noble births but children of peasants or cattle keepers. Nobody should be deceived because up until 2005 there were no ruling class or families in South Sudan.

For good or bad, until recently South Sudan has been an egalitarian society. Any attempt to inject the venom of an artificial class society should be rejected and any social stratification should be allowed to develop naturally over time. Individuals elected to position of leadership are elected as individuals and should be accountable to electorates as individuals not members of this or that group or tribe.

This will introduce another dynamics which the society may be ill prepared to handle. We need not distort the noble concept and principles of western democracy inherited from the Greeks to satisfy our own twisted egoistical and often self-motivated political agenda of taking advantage of illiterate electorates. Such fraudulent manipulation of voters will not stand the test of time. Tribal allegiances should not be confused with popular democratic principles.

If South Sudan belongs to all, then there must be tolerance to opinions from all section of the society. Coming from a so-called minority tribe should not become a disability or a barrier for effective participation in national affairs including being elected president of the republic – the top position in the land. A leader must be chosen for what he can deliver and not which tribe he or she comes from. These anomalies and distortions simmering in the territory of South Sudan should be eradicated sooner than later.

Changing of mentality will not happen overnight but happen it must. We have reached a point where we must call a spade a spade. One of the greatest enemies of South Sudan is covering up wrong doing. As late as yesterday, someone was trying to convince me that Salva Kiir is actually a good guy who is surrounded by bad people!

Brothers and sisters, let us just ask ourselves one question. How many presidents does a republic have? If we elected one president then we expect that person to be in charge of our nation’s affairs. In today’s world, leaders are elected to provide services, equal opportunities to all citizens and finally provision of security to all persons and their properties. It is therefore paradoxical to claim that our elected president cannot discharge his duties because he is being misled by people who are not elected to preside over our national affairs.

Salva Kiir should learn from the humility of the US President Barrack Obama when he said (during the elections November 2012 in response to the murder of the US ambassador to Libya that), “I am the president of the United States of America and I am ultimately responsible for what happens in my government.”

Can Salva Kiir stand up and admit that he is the president and ultimately responsible for what happens in South Sudan, including the murder of Isaiah Diing Abraham?

The president has gone on the record for protecting his ministers and others in his government for their wrong doings. He gives a catalogue of excuses to justify their crimes and incompetence. Yet his young government has monumental capacities to defraud a young country of valuable resources! How can you be young in one thing and an accomplished criminal in another?

As electorates we cannot and should not be defending a person who has failed to deliver on his pledges. To those who claim Salva is a good person, although the issue of moral integrity is important constituent of good leadership, Salva Kiir is not being judged as a person but as a president and I am afraid he is not just a failure but an absolute disaster as a president.

Lamenting about the past will not help us but we can change the future. South Sudan is not looking for good people, there are a lots of very good people out there. South Sudan is bleeding and it needs not just a good person but a good and competent president. If Salva Kiir is really as good as people claim, then perhaps he needs to change his career and seek training as a priest or a pastor. Then perhaps God Almighty may forgive him of his personal and national crimes!

The cardinal point to be addressed in a new South Sudan is the issue of tribalism. If we don’t watch out, tribalism will kill South Sudan. Tribalism is rife but people would rather give it different names. Others prefer to call it nepotism, cronyism, favoritism or indeed corruption. If someone favours his relatives logically, his relatives must be of the same tribe as he is, so how is such nepotism not tribalism?

True, when a leader is a tribalist it doesn’t mean that people from that tribe are all benefiting from the loot or that people from that particular tribe are all tribalists. But it does mean in no uncertain term that he is from the particular tribe. If however you want to disown that person that is entirely internal matter for the tribe in question.

There are practical measures that can be taken to ensure that one person does not bring shame and disrepute on an entire tribe. And this doesn’t mean that people from other tribes cannot or do not make mistakes, they can and do, but that is beside the point. These other people will be judged when their time comes. At the moment we have one president who has ruled us for 8 years and we are all duty bound to judge his performance especially when things are getting from bad to worse.

When people are bewildered by how a person is behaving the way they do, naturally they will seek to understand why and may dig out his background as a result. In advance countries it may involve analysing their socio-economic backgrounds; their levels of education; their marital status; their gender etc., but in the case of contemporary South Sudan we must add the variables of culture and tribalism. Otherwise such an analysis will be incomplete.

From time immemorial human beings made sense of the world around them by classification of things or objects. This gave rise to philosophy, mathematics, physical and natural sciences and social and behavioral sciences. Classification is an important tool in the effort to understand the world, the animals, objects and peoples that live in it.

The recent and current history of African nations is littered with issues of tribalism. So in contemporary South Sudan there is no way we can avoid having serious political discourses without ever addressing the issues of tribalism and culture. Tribalism is rife we may deny it in public but deep down inside us we know it exists and may be culprits in perpetuating it. The more we talk about it the more we will accept the need for change.

It doesn’t mean that tribalism is the only concern that may negatively impact on for good governance. There are a whole range of other factors which come to bear with regards to good governance including the capacity, vision of the leader, structures and resources put in place for effective implementation of a leader’s vision and programs.

No matter what happens, Salva Kiir is a Dinka and without stigmatizing the whole tribe, unfortunately or fortunately being a Dinka is a part of his identity and therefore sense of belonging. At the community level the president may be an embarrassment to some of his tribesmen and women but to others he is certainly an idol they will seek to preserve. But as a nation he is an embarrassment to us all.

I cannot stop regretting as to why I voted for him. But like many others I voted for the SPLM because I wanted political stability. I wanted them to complete implementing the comprehensive peace agreement through to independence referendum. I wanted them to finish the process of liberating South Sudan which could not be secured through the barrel of the guns, without its being derailed. And therefore I share the blame because my vote was one vote too many and it give the president a 93% majority which has elevated him above all presidents to the position of a merciless tyrannical medieval monarch.

But unlike others I would not advocate for him to step down. There is just so much at stake. We need an orderly transition from liberation to democracy. We cannot continue to have a class of so-called liberators willfully mismanaging the country on the pretext that they liberated us. Liberation is not a licence to misrule.

We do not need a military coup either. No military coups on the African continent ever brought about good tidings but state terrorism. A transition to desired democratic governance can only be brought about using democratic principles including periodic elections and multi-media public education. If we persevered suffering in different ways for over 50 years, we can surely persevere Salva Kiir’s misrule for the next two years after which we should all examine our consciences and vote him and his mafia cliques out. There are capable people in this great country who may not hail from the majority tribes but could wisely gear this great country out of troubled waters and restore our sense of common belongings and destiny.

Just because a few SPLM people have brought disasters on our nation, it doesn’t mean that all SPLM people are bad. But if they don’t speak out then people will condemn the whole Oyee Party. Passionate members of this party should stand up and redeem the party from the wolves among them parading in sheep’s clothes. People voted Salva as an individual but we also voted for the SPLM party so it is the responsibility of the entire party to promote good governance or change their chairman.

There is also a collective responsibility on the part of all those in government as ministers or members of parliament at all levels especially the ministers who drafted the constitution that gave Salva Kiir too much power and made him the most powerful president in the world. It doesn’t matter whether it is reviewed or not. That is just a formality to endorse a dictatorial regime. Kiir is more powerful than even the most conservative monarchs in the Middle East who are now waking up to the wind of change sweeping across their region.

But unlike Kiir whose government is willfully squandering our national resources, these Arab monarchs have transformed the desert that was their countries, not so long ago, into oases of modernity.

Like a typical tyrant, Salva without seeking the mandate of the people sought to give himself more powers including the power to dismantle our Interim Constitution 2005, and to appoint hundreds of pensioners into constitutional positions. These people, and all those who were appointed after they failed elections to buy their silence, should all examine their consciences, and desist from supporting a murderous dictator.

Some of these retirees deserve to be rewarded because they contributed to laying the foundation for our liberation but they could have been given financial pensions without giving them political positions which should be occupied by elected people or at least able bodied and able minded people.

There is no hiding place for all who are complicit in perpetuating this catastrophic misrule. We know who you are; the world knows who you are. You do not want to be on the wrong side of history. You may think that you are too old and may die soon but are you going to die with your children together. Think of the legacy you will leave behind and the mess you will leave for your children to clear. Every one of us should aim to leave the world a better place than we have found it not just for our loved ones but for all of humanity and not worst. That would be an honorable legacy. And remember it is always better late than never.

The last but not least point I would like to address today is the disclosure by someone on the net that the murder of Isaiah Diing was a planned and coordinated affair. What’s more he said Isaiah wasn’t the only one on the list and that there are several others but mentioned a few. We have to believe as the adage goes that there is no smoke without fire. Isaiah himself must have known that his writings will eventually make him a target. Perhaps he thought the government may threaten him but not go thus far. But he should have known that his colleagues in this bush government have not changed.

We have to believe that a student learns from his master. If Salva Kiir in 2004 in Rumbek admitted that, “if you opposed John Garang you were a dead man,” what makes him to be different? The only reason he survived for ten years he was in disagreement with Dr. John Garang was when he took refuge in Yei.

For all those being targeted, I have this to say, throughout history of the world, good people have died in the hands of blood thirsty tyrants. SPLA/M itself would never have survived for 21 years in the wilderness if it did not often employ the survival instinct of tactical withdrawal. They withdrew from battle grounds more often than they won battles. And their charismatic late leader was often boastful of his tactical moves. They often withdrew because unlike other genuine liberators who sacrificed their lives for the love of their countries, some of our so-called liberators were liberators who wanted to be alive at the end of the war.

I remembered in the late 80’s and 90’s commanders were cautioning for their boys (relatives and clans men) not to be sent to the front line, meaning their boys/people must be alive to rule when the war is over. This means a lot of foot soldiers who had no protection from the top perished in this long war of liberation and these must be remembered as the unsung heroes and heroines of this great liberation struggle. Hidden self or group interests were often camouflaged as national interests.

That is why it is high time to dissociate the legacy of “we liberated you and therefore we have the right to rule or more appropriately to misrule you,” from the people’s right to have a responsible and accountable government.

Although we have lost Isaiah Abraham and I will personally miss his writings on the net, he has died for a noble cause, the cause for good governance. I might not have agreed with all he wrote but nonetheless, he massively contributed to and sometimes provoked responses which have all enriched our debates.

However, if we lose all the brave intelligentsia, the struggle for change may be delayed. We need our thinking men and women to live so they can continue to raise awareness about citizens’ rights and demand for good governance irrespective of ethnicities. As far as it depends on us, let’s use our individual survival instincts to protect and guide us where no one else can. For this road may be long and bloody.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for cowardice quite the contrary. But I will not also advocate for senseless loss of lives. Every human life is precious and must be protected and celebrated. The villains must know that for every government critic they jail, intimidate and especially murder, one thousand will be born.

If the death of Isaiah Abraham can lead to the creation of one thousand government critics who can like Isaiah bravely say, “I would rather write and die than stop writing and live,” then the purpose for the death of Isaiah would have been achieved. In time, these thousand people will multiply to 10 thousands who will all carry in them the passion and flame for freedom of speech, good governance, the rule of law and protection of human rights. No current is too strong to stop the passion of a people.

Although our country is bleeding and weeping at the moment, time will come when the very passion that led to a simple poorly armed soldier to rise up against a northern government machinery in Torit in 1955, will also set the country free from the murderous regime of the wolf in sheep’s cloth: Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Notice I am not calling for prompt or thorough investigation because I do not have the stomach for it. Even if I had, I still have to live to see how investigations can bring back a deceased to life. Or how it can bring justice to the family or whatever people want to call it. Investigations are just political exercises intended to calm the family and the nation. We must plead for the family not to accept any form of compensation from this murderous regime.

If the young family left behind are in financial need as they will no doubt be, then the friends and relatives of Isaiah could set up a charitable foundation to help generate funds for their upkeep until they are able to stand on their own feet or until a new people’s government rises to power to compensate them and others who have all suffered under Dr. Cowboy or should we christened him Dr. Butcher II. This death is one death too many and this brutal regime must not be allowed to rid itself from the guilt of killing Isaiah and others.

It will be more appropriate or gentlemen-like to own up and say, “I am the president and I am responsible for anything that happens in my government including the murder of Isaiah.” Will he or will he not? Time will tell.

Rest in eternal peace, Isaiah Diing Abraham.
Joana Adams, Juba, South Sudan.

Tackling insecurity of paramount importance to avoid disunity in South Sudan

By Jacob K. Lupai, RSS, DEC/10/2012, SSN;

South Sudan fought two bitter wars (1955 to 1972 and 1983 to 2005) against what was perceived as gross marginalization by successive governments of the old Sudan which perpetrated insecurity as a strategic mechanism to cow and silence people. In major southern cities such as Juba, Malakal and Wau people lived in constant fear for their security during the two bitter wars. Finally, as though the southern ancestral spirits had heard more than enough of the lamentation of the people, South Sudan achieved what it had set itself to achieve, total independence.

With independence expectation was very high for better security to people than under the successive discriminatory and oppressive governments of the old Sudan. South Sudan had lost many precious lives during the struggle for independence. Nonetheless, it was understandable that the precious lives lost were a price to pay for freedom. As people had suffered so much independence was seen as the ultimate solution to the long suffering. Insecurity in particular was to be seen a thing of the past as it was associated with the brutality of the successive northern dominated governments of the old Sudan when people in South Sudan were massacred, for example, in Juba and Wau and also in villages with impunity.

Security situation in Juba
When South Sudan attained independence Juba became the capital though the government now has the prerogative of relocating the capital. As the capital and the seat of the national government, Juba was expected to be provided with adequate security for its residents. However, insecurity in Juba has become so rampant that life is becoming almost unbearable. Regrettably more often people in uniform are accused of insecurity in Juba. Night robberies and killings are blamed on the people in uniform who carry guns and terrorize neighborhoods where innocent lives are unnecessarily lost.

Due to rampant insecurity people in Juba are wondering what is precisely going on. Some are even questioning whether it was right to vote for independence in the referendum in 2011. This is because on the ground insecurity is so frightening that people are panicking and preoccupied with the fear of the unknown for their lives. One citizen full of fear said it is God that is protecting people in Juba. The faith in government to provide the needed security to people seems to be waning. The implication is that the government is not sufficiently doing enough to curb the rampant insecurity in Juba. This is a challenge to the government.

One high profile case of rampant insecurity in Juba is the murder in cold blood of a prolific writer and commentator well known to readers as Isaiah Abraham. According to his biography the late Isaiah Abraham was a soldier with the rank of a major in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and had fought battles for the independence of South Sudan. At the time of his death Isaiah Abraham was the Director of Finance and Administration in The Employees Justice Chamber, a senior government position. For such a high profile individual and a senior government official to be murdered in cold blood with impunity, how secure would the ordinary folks feel? There is an assumption that Isaiah Abraham lost his life because of his critical views.

Arguably, the government couldn’t have officially ordered the execution of Isaiah Abraham Mafia style. Most probably Isaiah’s critical views were a threat to those who were not secure, lacking in confidence. A system that does not tolerate and weather storms of criticism may become very unpopular, losing a vital support where it needs most. No one is divine and so mistakes in a system and outside the system will always be made. The one criticizing is not divine and the other one being criticized is not divine either. Why then murder somebody for criticism if all are not divine in the first place but are only human? Something somewhere may not be right. This brings us to what is known as post traumatic stress disorder.

Effect of post traumatic stress disorder
Mr. Nhial Bol, a brilliant commentator and the Editor-in-Chief of the Citizen Newspaper in his column in one of the paper’s editions, was the first to talk about South Sudanese being traumatized. In addressing the launching of a conference on agriculture and food security at Nyakuron Culture Centre in Juba, the President of Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, also told the conference that the population including leaders is traumatized by decades of war and are in need of counsel ling in order to progress (Sudan Tribune, November 28, 2012).

According to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan government soldiers committed murder, torture and rape in the largest and troubled South Sudanese State of Jonglei (Sudan Tribune, August 24, 2012). Could this have been caused by people traumatized? Hopefully this may be a problem identified which is a problem half solved.

To begin with let’s look at what trauma is. According to a dictionary trauma is emotional shock. Let’s then look at what is post traumatic stress disorder with the acronym of PTSD. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur after a person has experience a traumatic event such as combat or military experience, sexual or physical abuse or assault or a serious accident. It is an anxiety disorder in which an individual’s ability to function is impaired by emotional responses to memories of a traumatic event. PTSD often leaves one feeling vulnerable, out of control and as if one is in constant danger. These feelings are persistent, are strong and do not disappear over time on their own. Everyday life, work and relationship can be negatively affected.

From the definition of PTSD it can be deduced that an explanation is offered of the poor relationship between people in uniform and the civilian population in Juba and indeed in South Sudan. This may also explain the night robberies and land grabbing by suspected men in uniform. However, some people develop PTSD in response to traumatic events while others do not. This brings us to consider insecurity as the product of organized crime or crime committed by those who do not develop PTSD. Organise crime should therefore be a focus of enquiry to establish the extent to which it is the cause of insecurity in Juba and other towns, and also to establish who are the perpetrators.

Organised crime in relation to security
Organised crime can be a serious security problem. Independence to South Sudan has made it a home to the various nationalities in Africa. Citizens of the neighbouring countries are in South Sudan seeking greener pastures. Included may be hardened criminals who can go to any length to kill and rob people of their valuables. The problem is compounded with the help of local accomplices. With the greed for quick and big money in the shortest possible time, it is not difficult to understand why and how organised crime may exacerbate insecurity.

Organised crime is an enormous challenge to security and intelligence agencies. It is a test of the resolve of the agencies. The suggestion that there may be organized crime should be of interest. It is the work of the security and intelligence agencies to develop and test theories of why and how crimes are on the rise, for example, in Juba. This is to create lines of enquiry for evidence of organized crime and how to combat it. The public also have a role to play in combating organised crime.

Tackling insecurity in Juba paramount
On the untimely death of Isaiah Abraham murdered in cold blood by what appeared to be the work of professional contract killers, the President of Republic has ordered a thorough investigation to uncover the deadly criminals to face justice for their heinous crime. This is encouraging and should be the precedent for any heinous crime committed in Juba and in South Sudan in general.

Any life of South Sudanese is precious and, security and intelligence agencies should be well prepared to investigate crimes to the logical end. A criminal investigation should not be allowed to stop short of the final outcome of such an investigation and PTSD should not be used as an excuse to absolve criminals. It should be left to doctors (psychiatrists and psychologists) to determine that somebody has clinically developed PTSD. Even so the traumatized should be accountable for their actions or be detained in a mental hospital so that they are neither a danger to the public nor to themselves.

Quite often a criminal investigation is hardly completed and when the suspect is under arrest he or she may be released to the street the following day probably without charge. Law enforcement agencies need to have trained personnel who have investigating skills and also understand the law. South Sudanese who had served in the North may be well versed in investigation of crimes and the law. It is important that the experience, knowledge and skills of such people should be tapped to benefit the public in South Sudan. The negative attitude of looking at people who had served in the North as Jallaba agents should be a thing of the past. South Sudan is now an independent country and so people should move forward with confidence in each other to solidify unity for national cohesion.

Tackling insecurity in Juba needs every effort of law abiding citizens. It is natural that among people in uniform there are criminals as there are also criminals in plain clothes. No one therefore should be seen as above the law. It should not only be the manner in which Isaiah Abraham died to prompt a thorough criminal investigation. Any murder of a citizen or a crime committed should equally be thoroughly investigated and the culprit must face the law. Preemptive action is also needed to tackle insecurity. This is how insecurity can be tackled successively in Juba and indeed in South Sudan in general.

Tackling insecurity in Juba in particular and in South Sudan in general is of paramount importance to avoid disunity which may ultimately lead to the disintegration of South Sudan. Corruption and tribalism or nepotism are already a worry and to add insecurity as another big worry will be too much and unwanted burden in sustaining national unity and cohesion. It is now recognized that what is negatively going on in South Sudan may be because people are traumatized. There is already a suggestion that traumatized people need counseling. This is an appropriate suggestion and should be pursued further.

Counseling facilities should be made available for the traumatised to get help. Such facilities should have expert counselors to handle cases of trauma. Special focus should be on the people in uniform who might have borne the brand of the two wars of liberation leading to the independence of South Sudan. The people in uniform could have been the most traumatised.

In combating insecurity there is a need to streamline security and intelligence agencies. It is possible that some of the agencies may have inexperienced personnel who are below standard and are partly the cause of the problem. In Juba it is evident that some security and intelligence agents are out to harass and intimidate people instead of being helpful as ears and eyes to detect dangerous elements and situations that may be detrimental to national interest and security.

For example, in opening the Juba City Council new block of offices, the City Mayor complained openly of the interference with his workers by the security and national intelligence agents. The agents often arrested the City Council workers for unknown reason thereby affecting the workers’ performance in their daily routine. How were the workers a threat or a danger to national security that they had to be arrested is an open question. If there was something serious the workers were committing shouldn’t that have been brought to the attention of the Mayor?

Another incident was the detention and beating up of journalists by the police who were themselves detained for further questioning, obviously for the crude and primitive way of manhandling the journalists (Sudan Tribune, December 07, 2012). This should be a signal to streamline the security and intelligence agencies for a better relationship between the men in uniform and the civilians in promoting mutual understanding and unity.

The order for a thorough investigation into the death of Isaiah Abraham should be strongly supported by the public. How to show the strong support is by a massive peaceful demonstration organised by civil society organizations as a show of solidarity against crimes and insecurity in Juba and also to send a clear message to the criminals that the South Sudanese nation will not tolerate heinous crimes committed on its soil. It is also for the President to appreciate that the public is totally behind him in the perpetual dark hours of insecurity in Juba. If an SPLA soldier and a major can be murdered in cold blood the way Isaiah Abraham was murdered who is safe in Juba. The security and intelligence agencies obviously have a huge responsibility to assure people of their security in Juba.

Lastly, but not the least it is important for the public to consider neighborhoods watch. The principle is that neighbours keep watch of each other’s welfare and property. Any suspicious movement either by day or night by individuals or groups should immediately be spied on or confronted by the people in the neighbourhood. As a sign of solidarity in combating crime, when there are screams or loud noises, neighbours must all pour out from their houses with whatever resources they have to confront what may be a crime to be committed. Neighbours may make a citizen arrest to hand over the suspected criminal to the police.

One advantage of a neighbourhood watch is that it promotes unity in fighting crime. In this way insecurity in the neighbourhood may be reduced. This in turn will ensure people’s safety with a credit to all for being so vigilant.

In conclusion, may God the Almighty rest the soul of Isaiah Abraham in eternal peace. Isaiah’s brilliant writing and commentating will always continue to inspire old and young generations of writers and journalists in his native South Sudan and beyond.

The author can be reached at