Archive for: February 2013

Lakes State Ex-Governor’s Exit: What were his Leadership woes?

QUOTE: “…to sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” Abraham Lincoln

BY: Mabior W. Makuek, RUMBEK, Lakes State, FEB/07/2013, SSN;

On 21st January 2013, the President of the Republic Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit decreed the relief of Lakes State elected Governor Eng. Chol Tong Mayay on undeclared allegations in connection to recent upsurge of inter-sectional conflict between Kuei and Rup of Rumbek Central County. Public reaction in Lakes and in Juba was synonymous in cheering for this action, which they said was long overdue if accountability and political morality was anything to do with actions by leaders in South Sudan.

Just the next day, the President again appointed Maj. Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol as caretaker Governor till further directive, the decree urged. It is important to highlight and clarify to those who have no clue of Lakes state political dynamics and what warranted removal of elected Governor and if it is in line with provisions in South Sudan Transitional Constitution July 2011.

Article 101(r) gives South Sudan president to relieve any elected Governor of the ten states in event of Security augment threatening national security in full or otherwise. This was true with times of former Governor Eng. Chol Tong Mayay during whose tenure was marred by several on-slaughter security incidents.

From time he assumed office as elected Governor, insecurity magnified and reached unprecedented levels with children and women being killed directly and on revenge rampage between Cueibet and Rumbek Centre in 2011. It is a new phenomenon in Lakes State’s cultural dimension and traditions. The then Governor did too little to control this state.

In Rumbek East County in 2011, sectional feud which had lasted for eleven years, took a different bearing with assault being carried into villages, than it used to be in cattle camps. This was true by the date of 16 – 18th January 2013 between Kuei and Rup sections of Rumbek Central County when assailants almost hit Rumbek town centre when they reached 5 kilometers away from town center, which is the capital of Lakes state.

The ex-Governor was elected on the ticket of SPLM which won almost all seats across the country in 2010. The major victory wasn’t on personal prowess, but for a party SPLM on a send-mission by public to accomplish what liberation struggle has left as hangover. The ex-Governor was picked among other eight candidates then with hope that the man wasn’t as crude as his colleagues who has had left education at secondary level or below to join rebellion.

The ex-Governor is a Russian trained gent, who has proven beyond vile gossip that Russians do not care of what the public requires of their leadership or public interest first, but rather leader’s interest as paramount. This was true with ex-Governor Eng. Chol Tong Mayay for the last two and half years of his ghastly leadership.

He did nothing for us, the public, in Lakes state. For all hopes and trust we had vested in him that he would quench, but we were disappointed and paid with horrific death toll on daily basis. Bleak and gloomy future was insight for Lakes state present and next generations.

I would like my readers to not only look at the end result as of sacking of Eng. Chol Tong as being elected Governor as unconstitutional or that too much powers having been vested into President’s hands to strike as he would be pleased, but look at deeds of those we have entrusted with our affairs as Governors or MPs and ministers.

Are they doing anything for the interest of our public? You have the answers!

The ex-Governor was contemplated to make slightest changes for Lakes State in development, political turmoil, shattered education, imaginary health care, lip service delivery and most wanted Security, Peace and Reconciliation, economic growth needs. The List is long, but nothing!

But rather things went amok, and from bad to worse with his predecessor Lt. Gen. Awet Akot, who once told church audience in 2010 that, one day, the public of Lakes state will recall and say, “Chol nguen Awet!” Literally meaning, Chol has become the worst more than Awet.

Did absence of all these mentioned above not contribute to removal of the so-called elected ex-Governor of Lakes state? You are the judge.

However, on 14th November 2010, our ex-Governor signed in PalmTree Hotel 27 million US dollars, as contribution from European Union, Japanese Government, Italian Cooperation, UNMIS rule of Law department, meaning for building security structures. Where did this money go to? Allegations went wild that it was corrupted and its corrupt means were leaked out by Sudanese TV channel Al Shorouq. The ex-Governor talked too mouthy accusing the TV channel of defamation and for scandal that was not factual, promising to sue the TV channel.

But till 2011, and to the time of ex-Governor removal, nothing has been heard. It is up to you to analyses where this money is? Oh! Someone close to the then government told me that ex-Governor owns fleet of vehicles totaling to over thirty tracking Juba’s roads on business!

Just days after the so-called elected Governor removal, Anti-Corruption Commission organized a one day workshop under public accountability debate on 1st February 2013. An amount of (14, 171,000 million SSP) fourteen million one hundred seventy thousand South Sudanese meant for civil servants pension is said to have been loaned by the then government under this so-called elected Governor Eng. Chol Tong Mayay. The Russian-groomed and trained is standing accused by Lakes state public! Can someone tell us what this money loaned for?

The ex-Governor is answerable! Many and I have had thought that ex-Governor would use his Techno knowledge and skills for Lakes state betterment, but nothing and his legacy remain for us youths to determine what it was and will be in history of our state and South Sudan as whole.

Mabior W. Makuek lives in Rumbek. He is reachable at mabiorwendemakuek@gmail.com

South Sudan must reform its huge army to avoid an Inevitable Crisis. (Part II)

PART TWO: South Sudan Must Reform Its Army to Avoid an Inevitable National Crisis! (Part Two)

“South Sudan’s unity and stability lies in having a non-partisan, regionally representative and ethnically balanced national army”

By: Justin Ambago Ramba. FEB/13?2013, SSN;

This is a follow-up article to the first one which appeared under the title of “South Sudan must reform its huge army to avoid an Inevitable Crisis. (Part I)” and a sub-titled “The unnecessarily huge Army is an economic burden on the new state of South Sudan.”!

As the country’s dominant and ruling political party the SPLM is about to bring the whole country under one roof to start the long awaited process of national reconciliation and healing, it is only logical to tackle the project from its true perspective.

Besides the half a century long liberation war that South Sudan fought against its colonizers including the successive Arab and Islamic regimes in Khartoum, it has also during the same period of time fought within itself some of fieriest inter-factional and inter-tribal wars that are marked by horrendous internal massacres.

The fact that it takes two to tango means if a true national reconciliation and healing is ever to be achieved then the people of South Sudan across the various sectional divides must be prepared to incise open their old sores and abscesses and drain the” accumulated pus”.

It cannot be overemphasized that unless the “pus” is drained completely and the wound resulting from the surgical procedure is well dressed and treated, the healing process is likely to be compromised.

All this points towards one important step which must be undertaken before proceeding with all this rhetoric of healing relationships between tribes, leaders, individuals and political parties.

There must be a truth and fact finding commission to start with or else we are better not even starting.

For since the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement [SPLM] and its former military wing, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army [SPLA] took up the responsibilities of running the new country of South Sudan – the former became the dominant and the ruling political organization and the latter the national army respectively.

And criticizing any of these two organs remains an increasingly risky business in a setting where the freedom of speech and free press are virtually none existent.

In many cases things don’t only stop there for many critics in this kind of situations have been for propaganda purposes called names and often labelled as agents of the “Jallaba” – which means working for the enemy in Khartoum.

Paradoxically though it was in fact the SPLM party top leadership who first openly came out to demand that the military be kept out of politics. So where does this leave the argument?!

On the other hand the SPLA top generals have also tried on more than one occasion to at least give that impression of the army now being divorced from politics, especially so following the official declaration of the country’s independence.

Much of this remains to be translated into action, otherwise it is just a talk, isn’t it?

We all understand why the new country continues to languish under the iron rule of a corrupt, totalitarian party like the SPLM and some of its equally corrupt elements in the SPLA. This without the least doubt has its roots back in the bush days and will need a good deal of political will if things are to reversed for the better.

If you are familiar with the factual background of how these two organizations came into being and how inseparable the two were and are up till the moment of writing this article, then you know that the rhetoric to separate the two is a thing easily talked than done.

The writer would also want to make it abundantly clear here that it’s never this article’s intention to undermine the fact that it was the inevitable need of the liberation war which married the SPLM and the SPLA together.

And this goes on to explain why some nostalgic members of the ruling party remain mentally imprisoned in the old belief that, SPLM should be synonymous with the SPLA and the two should continue to dictate the politics of South Sudan to the exclusion of the other political groups.

In this post-independence era, and after the government’s rhetoric of holding the SPLM party away from the army [SPLA], one wonders as to when the top policy makers themselves will stop misleading the masses into believing that being a citizen of South Sudan automatically means being a member/supporter of the SPLM.

Frankly speaking true nationals cannot be put off by some kind of cheap blackmailing tactics and name-callings, while the true agents of corruption enjoy a free hand in mismanaging the nation’s affairs.

Somebody needs to tell them that what they are being dragged into by their former comrades turn politicians is in fact by all counts unconstitutional and against the laws of the country.

As for the SPLA soldiers they are made to see nothing wrong in politically identifying themselves with the SPLM party.

However not all of South Sudan is blind to read between the lines what the two organization’s intent to sell as a PR while in fact the status quo completely remains unaltered in as far as some ethnic group politics are concerned.

This fact is what drives the hard core of politics in the new state. It may be good for the SPLM party in the short term; however the future repercussions of continuing to politicize the army are likely to cost the country its stability.

We only need to reflect backwards a bit to can see how the double edged practice of mixing ethnicity and politics can produce horrible realities on the ground.

It was barely a year when the SPLA military police driven by emotions and tribal bravado found itself deeply entangled into what was purely students’ campus politics in the University of Juba, the country’s oldest Institution of higher learning.

How did that happen or rather how was it allowed to happen if the SPLA is no longer enslaved in tribal politics remains to beg for an answer.

At this particular moment as the country is ruled by the SPLA’s highest ranking and most senior officer, H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit this by itself makes the talk about the separation between SPLM and SPLA at its best a mere PR.

Was it not the necessity of combining between the political leadership and the military leadership – a long known obsession of dictatorial leaders that made the president to make an about-turn and got back into full military service during the run up to the 2010 general elections following a brief period of retirement?!! Therefore anyone who claims otherwise will only be trying to hide the obvious,aren’t they?

Let us be fair to ourselves and face the realities as they are, for without a real overhauling of the SPLA and transforming it into a true professional army, any talk about separating it from the SPLM is in fact waste of time.

In its current shape, composition, and hierarchy of command this army [dominated by only two tribes] is only fit to protect the interest of the SPLM/SPLA top leadership largely at the expense of the entire south Sudanese citizenry.

To narrow the national army’s role to that of serving a single political party, and that of a handful of the so-called liberators is in fact to live contrary to the ideals for which many South Sudanese lives were sacrificed.

It’s within every citizen’s national duty to contribute to what kind of national army they want for their country. If this article rubs some people in the wrong direction, then it’s time that they stand well in the row, for what you read here is in fact what the street is saying.

National issues are national issues, and we should all be able to appreciate that. And regardless of whichever side of the political fence one stands, the bottom line is that there are sets of requirements to be met in order to have a fully functional and professional army.

We have had a lot of lip service from the decision makers in almost everything, and the much needed reforms in the army are no exception.

It should be a basic quality that when people in office preach policies, they must as well make sure that their rhetoric is followed by action. This is crucial when it comes to deciding the fate of a fragile nation like South Sudan.

Our national army is all too important to us as citizens and as such it must genuinely be seen to behave as a non-partisan militia or some kind of tribal vigilante groups. In other words the SPLA that we saw during the 2010 general elections must all together disappear and cease to exist.

For the sake of a grass roots driven democracy, political pluralism, and inclusion, the old styled SPLA whose ranks and files are preached to recognize the SPLM as the only political organization in the country must be no more.

Those oaths and vows formerly administered to these soldiers instructing them to harass, intimidate and undermine the constitutional rights of the other political parties to exist and operate freely in the country must cease as well.

We must look forwards to have a professional, a non-partisan and totally depoliticized army in place of that SPLA that clearly abandoned its neutrality and was obviously muddled in politics when it stood on the side of the SPLM party candidates during the 2010 fraudulent general elections, while harassing and intimidating rival candidates and their supporters.

The citizens of South Sudan are entitled to join any political party of their choice and all that they expect from their national army is a mutual respect.

This army must also change its mindset to be in tune with what the civilian politicians formulates as the highest law of the country [constitution]. It must evolve into an army with without any political affiliations.

It is indeed a high time that our national army becomes psychologically prepared to protect the sovereignty of the country even if the leadership of the country changes.

Political leadership in any democratic country is subject to change at any time through the peaceful transfer of power. And in an event of a new individual rising to the leadership of this country be it under the SPLM party or any other party, it shouldn’t have anything to do with the military.

Unfortunately there will remain much uncertainty and fear in as long as we maintain the current structure of the national army. Its ethnically skewed composition is a direct threat to its neutrality from politics thus jeopardizing the country’s stability.

Should a new leadership emerge, a thing much needed if this young nation is to ever come out of the current political and socioeconomic stagnation, there is much fear that the heavily politicized and ethnically biased army is likely to make an already risk situation even riskier.

Can the much talked about April 2013 national reconciliation and healing be able to fix all that has been spoiled by the decades of political militarism in the absence of true democratic values!!

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party [USSP]. He can reach at: justin_ramba@aol.co.uk or justinramba@doctors.net.uk.

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“The unnecessarily huge Army is an economic burden on the new state of south Sudan.”

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, FEB/07/2013, SSN;

In South Sudan as it’s the case with the rest of the African continent, what is often rumored around is in fact a true story. Last year while the country’s president was away on an official visit to the Peoples’ Republic of China, a certain foiled military coup was rumored in Juba. This story was however quickly dismissed by the government spokesperson!!

Since then talks about the military which had been a no go area for the journalists and media houses, have now become one of the most discussed current issues the countrywide. It might also not be a coincidence at all when the president in a very sweeping move recently dismissed 38 of his most senior army officers.

Much noticed is of course the radical changes that went on to involve all the deputies to the Chief of Staff as they were replaced by new faces.

The public opinion on the other hand was quick to endorse the move and the media comments were largely in favor of more of such dismissals. In fact in the eyes of the public the army is viewed to have become increasing too huge when compared to the total population of the country [8.5 million according to the disputed 2008 national census].

That far the latest shake-up in the military did not really come as any surprise to those who have keenly followed the political developments in this new country.

Even going by the much preferred population projection in the same year that puts the figure roughly at a range between 13.5 to 15 million, one would have still expected a smaller army to what this new country has now. The force may range from anything between 50,000 to 200,000 depending on who does the counting and for which purpose.

If we are to restrict the count only to able bodies that are still physically fit and actively serving, we may probably just end up with the former figure of around 50, 000 or so.

However if we were getting the data from the army’s monthly payrolls, then we probably will be talking about the latter figure of 200,000 which is evidently designed work of corrupt senior officers who continue to drain the country’s coffers with much impunity.

It is indeed a national duty and an important one to pay attention to the size of the army because this huge and ever increasing army has since 2005 taken up nearly half of the country’s total revenues. With a free access to nearly 50 to 60 % of the country’s total budget and open to continuous expansion.

The prospects of this reckless and illegal over-spending are already reflecting negatively on a country that was once not only paralyzed but was in fact completely destroyed by years of a ruthless civil war that consumed both the dry and the green.

Much of the infrastructure needs to be reconstructed while in the majority of cases it’s true to say that everything is to be constructed for the first time.

If the leadership was at all being considerate of the needs of the country, then these are where much of the scarce resources of this poverty stricken state should be going as a token of peace dividend.

Needless to overstress, South Sudan still remains largely insecure. The few existing government institutions are weak and corrupt while the majority of the much needed ones are actually non-existent in vast areas of the territory.

And to say the obvious we are probably dealing here with a country which has one of the world’s worst law enforcement agents.

Everywhere in these parts of the world uncertainty is high on the list and continues to be the order of the day, while illegally armed groups exist almost all across the country. Unfortunately this huge army’s role in combating insecurity and bring the situation under control is yet to be seen.

From our own experience as a population that had lived under war situation for well over half a century, we should know better that many of the insecurities that continue to ravage our country can only be settled politically and economically.

Take the situation in Jonglei State as an example and you will realize that no amount of isolated military intervention can bring stability and peaceful co-existence amongst its various warring factions.

The true nature of our problems though well known to us, unfortunately we tend to intentionally misrepresent them.

The fact of the matter is that what manifests itself now as inter-tribal crisis and conflicts are in actual fact manifestations of illiteracy, poverty, backwardness, all of which were made worse by the fierce competition over scarce resources [grazing land, water, land and others].

Finding a long lasting solution to the above problems is not impossible, however the military options often resorted to as the first choice in these cases have time and time proven to be the least effective.

Let us face it, for since the root causes of most if not all of these problems can be traced down to politics and economics, then it’s only logical that they can only be settled through addressing both the political and economic needed of our people.

If the above arguments are true and which they are, then the need for keeping such a huge army becomes irrelevant as the solutions to our main problems doesn’t really warrant their roles. In fact as of late most inter-ethnic crisis has only worsened when the military were wrongly pushed into it.

It’s all too common in South Sudan for soldiers to desert their units in the SPLA in order to fight alongside their tribesmen as witnessed in Jonglei State and other parts of the country. This became too common especially during forcibly disarmaments of the civilian populations.

The army is now largely viewed by the civilian population throughout the country as both a sociopolitical and an economic burden on the new state and its people. It is badly in need of self-criticism and appraisal since it has by all means become very unpopular due to its poor records on human rights and professionalism.

In whichever part of the country where this army has been deployed since its inception, the missions have often been compromised and overshadowed by stories of widespread torture, harassment, rape of the civilian population and looting of their properties, all orchestrated by none but the very who were supposed to them.

Whether the above heinous acts were strategically allowed during the civil war to achieve certain ethnically driven motives or simply a way of settling political scores with particular ethnic groups presumed as the enemy within, the official declaration of the country’s independence on July 9th, 2011 should a clear line to spread between the new and the old era.

For whatever reasons these rogue behavior of some elements in the army cannot be allowed to remain the same especially when this army is now a national army of an independent country that is a member of the United Nations and other regional bodies.

From the above narrative, it is clear that our national army is nowhere near professionalism. And its huge size is even a hindrance to the introduction of any modernization since this means having to spend more money.

The other important issue of course is to see how trainable is these men and women who we would want to upgrade into modern and professional soldiers?

Our borders issues will always be there and especially so with our northern neighbor the Republic of Sudan. However for practical purposes we cannot be able to militarily patrol this 2010 kilometer long border even when we have this huge army.

The lack of adequate logistics will still be a problem in achieving that. And these are some of the main reasons why we should opt for a small but highly sophisticated modern army rather than a huge ill-functioning one.

Equally of concern undoubtedly is the fate of our territories that have been annexed by the republic of the Sudan during the time pre-independence era.

These areas are known to us and we have to pursue legal and diplomatic channels in order to reclaim them. These issues can never be settled militarily, unless of course we intend to go back to an all-out war.

On the other hand it is very important that we take our independence very seriously, and the best way to defend this hard earned independence is by playing the game according to the rules.

As a full member of the League of Nations, South Sudan is no longer on its own in facing outside threats. And as a UN member state our political independence is an irreversible fact of history unless of course we are willing to undo it ourselves!

The above points are very important, because as a member of the United Nations, South Sudan is also a signatory to its treaties that seek peaceful solutions to political problems whether within the country or with its next door neughbours.

We should not allow ourselves to be consumed by the fear that someone out there will invade us militarily and repeal our political independence. Those days of Napoleonic and Hitlerism are long gone!

We are all familiar with the failed so-called Argentinian military invasion of the Falklands and the invasion of Kuwait by the executed late president Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

Both incidences cost the invaders many lives and losses in properties and they too lost the lands that they lay claim on because neither moves were accepted by the international community.

If these two lessons of history are not enough for us to learn from, can’t we learn from our own confrontation with the international community when our gallant SPLA forces overran Panthou [Heglig] and took it from the El Bashir’s forces?

And where is Panthou [Heglig] now? Were we not condemned for reclaiming it militarily and forced to withdraw from?

The bottom line of this article is first to awaken the so-called concerned citizens to practice their full rights as citizens of this wonderful homeland , south Sudan without any need to fear or be forced into self-censorship anymore.

The main message remains that there is an urgent need to downsize the numbers of men and women now serving in our army if we are to have a modern, well trained, and well-armed and a professional national army.

By all reasoning there isn’t any sound ground to justify the enrollment figures as high as 50,000 in the army of a poor country like South Sudan, when it can hardly provide the most basic services to its citizens.

At the time of writing this article a vast majority of the local population in impoverished parts of the world depend on foreign aid, NGOs and charities for everything from clean drinking water, food, medicine, education, and shelter.

This huge army might have been undertaken in the context of the South-South dialogue to mean inclusiveness, yet because it was based on wrong concepts, unfortunately this inclusiveness have never been achieved and the SPLA remains largely dominated by only two tribes in a country that has over 77 tribes.

If we are to survive this century of advanced technology, then we must move fast in the direction of having a smaller but modernized army both in personnel and equipment. The army must be reduced to a size that can allow for efficient and proper training, while stressing its fair representation of all regions, ethnicities and minorities.

Nonetheless nothing comes easy and the initial step may frustrate other people, however it must be undertaken. All those who for practical purposes cannot be trained, and they are indeed in huge numbers, must be decently laid off.

The lack of money has on many occasions been cited as the main reason why soldiers or other government officials are not being sent into retired as dictated by their age or physical and mental health status simply because the state cannot afford to pay them their dues.

This is in fact a fallacy, for as these people are allowed to keep their jobs which are already costing the state much money for no services in return; this very money can be used in partially settling these so-called post service dues. And why not?!!!

The second step would be to confine our efforts on training, upgrading and promoting the young and the educated.

The rest who are physically fit and can still handle the rifle perfectly well, but do not for one reason or the other fit in the above categories should be decently relocated to the much need agricultural and construction sectors, while keeping them on the reserve list should their services be needed in the future.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party [USSP]. He can be reached at: justin_ramba@aol.co.uk or justinramba@doctors.net.uk

N:B More on the topic next week.

SPLM Chapter’s faulty election in Adelaide South Australia: An Insider version

Observatory account of the SPLM Chapter’s faulty election in Adelaide South Australia on the 27th January 2013: An Insider version

QUOTE: “The social construction of nation comes from how people organize their thoughts, statements and actions to build their nation. Nation does not exist as a tangible object, rather it exists in our minds in ways that can inform our behavior, actions and statements”, (Calhoun, 1997).

BY: John Bith Aliap, Adelaide South Australia, FEB/04/2013, SSN;

Opposite to the above quote seems to imply that if we don’t change our thoughts, actions; tribally and individually-centered statements, the people of South Sudan won’t be anywhere near the so-called nation building. Can we build a nation without accountability? The answer is definitely no because one of the key elements of building a nation, which also encompasses a good leadership, is that people concerned… [The citizens] should hold their leaders accountable for their work; and when I talk about holding people accountable in this respect, I mean this in the following ways: people should make sure that their leaders do the task they are responsible for, ensure that they hold them accountable for quality of their work and make them accountable for their behavior.

When it comes to persistent issue of SPLM Chapter in South Australia, the Chapter has in fact experienced a number of issues, especially in its organizational structure, lack of clarity and well developed philosophies, policies and programs. And yet, because of personality cult, tribal chauvinism and personal rule phenomenon introduced by Daniel Kou Ater, the former chairman of SPLM Chapter in South Australia, the SPLM Chapter has increasingly been marred by inter and intra party feuds mostly around issues of leadership, organizational structure and tribal interests.

However, as someone who lives in South Australia for many years, I’m entirely in a better position to providing you with an analytical and well grounded insight about how the SPLM chapter in South Australia has historically been managed, particularly during the rein of Daniel Kou Ater. I didn’t want to waste my time writing this article, but the situation compels me to hold Daniel Kou Ater accountable for what he’s done or to be precise, to make him face the wrath of accountability so that others, who might be yearning for leadership either now or in the future, are given an opportunity to learn. I don’t have any personal problems with those whose names may appear in this article, but if there are any, they could be ideological, political or administrative in nature.

However, talks of Daniel Kou Ater have often been dominating most of social forums in South Australia, particularly in Adelaide. Why he serves as an interesting topic on many people’s lips in Adelaide, especially starting from last week’s SPLSM Chapter’s election is nothing else, but this could easily be attributed to his poor leadership fashion and management. Just to go a little bit further, Daniel Kou Ater has indisputably made countless mistakes since elected couple of years ago as an SPLM chapter’s chairperson, and it’s worth to walk you through his long list of blunders.

The blunders of Daniel Kou Ater as the term clearly suggests could be seen in many domains. For example, in a highly publicized memorial service of Isaiah Abraham on the 19th of January 2013, organized by Bor community in South Australia, and largely attracted significant number of people in various Australian states and territories; the entrenched culture of tribalism and sectarian divide was highly exhibited at that time.

The demise of Isaiah Abraham as we originally know it has attracted a high level of criticisms locally, nationally and internationally. However, despite such condemnations from different domains, Daniel Kou Ater disagrees and suggests that the condemnations which come from non-Bor backgrounds are just pie in the sky; and it’s worthy to put aside the newly founded nationalism, which involves being an SPLM leader. He surely discarded the post of SPLM leadership; and joined the podium of sectarianism and tribalism with those who weren’t good in nothing else, apart from being good in unleashing tribally-based rhetoric against non-Bor…[specifically people who hail from Bar el Ghazal region] whom they squarely held responsible for Isaiah Abraham’s tragic death.

This is entirely false. The following name and title of an article is a short-hand example that tells what’s on the other side of the coin; and that Isaiah Abraham’s death is a national tragedy and not a tribally-based issue as many people, for example Daniel Kou Ater and the rest would want it to be understood. John Bith Aliap, “Isaiah Abraham, You’ll Hardly be Forgotten “published on December 7th 2012 at http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/editorials/isaiah-abraham-youll-hardly-be-forgotten. The author of the above mentioned article; and others who have whole heartedly denounced Isaiah Abraham’s death come from diverse backgrounds, but felt concerned about Isaiah Abraham’s tragedy because it’s a national as well as an international issue which should not shamefully be located within the context of Borism.

It’s also worthy to provide you with important tips about his recent frequently sustained visits to South Sudan, while concurrently holding chairmanship of the SPLM Chapter’s office. However, although tourists and political leaders are distinctively diverse and serve differing roles, in terms of responsibilities and other commitments, Daniel Kou Ater, now the former SPLM Chapter’s Chairperson in South Australia has constantly been traveling like a career tourist between South Sudan and Australia since he assumed the SPLM chapter’s office in the last few years. As a result, many South Sudanese including; the author of this article, whom his party commands; where left in the darkness to fetch their own answers as to where the party chairman has gone.

But, don’t worry about his long absence in the office, it’s a gone case. Let me precisely narrate how he [Daniel Kou Ater] has been erratically misbehaving in the past months, despite being a chairman of the people’s party in South Australia. Honestly, since he returned from South Sudan last year, Daniel Kou Ater has dramatically failed to organize an extraordinary meeting where he’d explain where he’s been, but he rather joined archaic and local community-based anarchist groups, which hold talibanic ideologies and mind sets that do not show any signs of community or national progress. Surprisingly, the aims of these groups are very clear; to totally dismantle the current existing communities. I’ll provide you with a detailed background of these groups in my next article. Don’t stress yourself about them now.

Back to the game, Mr. Daniel Kou Ater seems to be socially a good person, but his contact with the above mentioned renegade groups or in other words, communities’ black sheeps, had watered down his SPLM leadership to an extent where he considers himself as a Bor rather than a political figure who should serve all South Sudanese equally regardless of their backgrounds.

Don’t get surprise yet my dear readers; let me take you to other side of the river! On the 20th of January 2013, he [Daniel Kou Ater] the Chairman of the SPLM Chapter in South Australia, sent out covert invitation letters to some state representatives, but some states notably Lakes state didn’t qualify Mr. Daniel Kou Ater’s perquisites or categories of invitation. The question that hangs on everybody’s lips at the moment is; why would the SPLM Chairman invites some states and leaves out rest of states? I don’t know if you hold a differing answer(s), but I think such action could deeply be traced to his long-held ethno-centrism and tribal bigotry that largely influenced his previous administration before he left; and it may continue to influence his future leadership if given any.

The death of Isaiah Abraham is a great loss to his family, but in Adelaide South Australia where tribalism is on the full gear, this death has currently become the punching bag of tribal bigotry. Most of these tribal bigots including; the former Chairman, Mr. Daniel Kou Ater used nonsensical and vituperative rhetoric, incessant demagoguery, tribal incitements and other cheap stratagems to blame Kiir’s government for Isaiah Abraham’s death. The Chairman proudly beats his chest and shamelessly declared that he was only speaking within the context of Borism and not the Chairman of SPLM Chapter in South Australia.

The common question we can ask ourselves when we come across issues like this is that; what’s the future of the Republic South Sudan if those who claim to be educated are still locked in the cage of tribalism? However, one couldn’t miss to see how tribalism is eating up our national fabrics which are supposed to hold us together. I suggest that action is needed to avert tribalism in South Sudan, but the pattern of oversimplifying national issues like Isaiah Abraham’s death to tribe is pervasive and long-standing.

Let me transport you back to our main issue of ill-fated election. However, those who managed to attend this nearly-hidden meeting held false impression in their minds that the meeting will highly be attended; and according to these people, it would be a good idea to grab a space before it’s fully occupied, given South Sudanese’ population in South Australia. This impression turned out to be something else. The hall in which the election was conducted in speaks volume. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics, [ABS], South Australia is one of the leading states in Australia that hosts 5000 South Sudanese. However, as clearly shown by this statistics, what factors can we than blame for such a poor attendant in this long-anticipated election? The answer to this question is very simple. Many communities were not informed, thus resulting to low turnouts.

Surprising, when I entered into the hall, I felt offended by the low level of attendant. The sitting arrangements had seemingly predicted the outcomes of the meeting. The hall was very quiet. Some people fixed their eyes on the wall and roof tops; while others folded their arms and crossed their legs. Although the number of participants was extremely poor, probably less than 30 people, these numbers were slightly boosted by onlookers and church goers as the election was done on Sunday in a church’s hall, but surprisingly the church goers and onlookers were not eligible to take part in the election.

The door was quickly closed after we entered into the hall, a move which seemed to suggest that the election wasn’t for everybody. In other words, it wasn’t meant to be like “McDonald Restaurant” where everybody should come and go without being prevented. The election was only meant for few important and trusted individuals. Inside the election hall however, our peace and comfort was only disturbed by frequent door knocks seemingly mounted by late comers.

Mr. Chairman Daniel Kou might have seen the dreadful frustration in people’s eyes in the hall. Hence, he quickly called upon a pastor, who seemed to have a clue of what was going to happen in the meeting. The pastor hurriedly provided us with spiritual services before the ill-fated election could proceed. He made it absolutely clear. “You’re only given two hours to use this hall, anything more than that will not be accepted”, the pastor narrated. The time constraint which the pastor repeated many times in his talk made everybody in the hall as if they’re being attacked by a swarm of bees.

But the worst part of this election was yet to come; and don’t give up yet about Mr. Chairman’s blunders. Daniel Kou Ater made a gigantic mistake when he tasked Mr. Deng Lual, a prominent tribalist, envious and gossiper-known in most of South Sudanese communities in South Australia; and perhaps in other South Sudanese communities in inter-states to oversee the electoral processes. I stand tall to provide you with an in-depth analysis of this person if he wishes to proceed through this direction.

However, his main task was to oversee candidates’ nomination process, but the man who delusionally presents himself like the former Nigerian president Olusengun Abasanjo, who’s often seen in public spheres with his usual African dress trademark, didn’t show any sense of ethics. However, before he could complete hearing the electoral process instructions from the outgoing Chairman, Daniel Kou Ater, he sooner rather later started intimidating and humiliating some representatives representing other states, through repugnant questions and anti-social behavior.

Given his limited educational background, he seemed to have no clue that ethics and ethical principles extend to all spheres of human activity in which the election he was tasked to oversee was not an exception. I’m urging the so-called Deng Lual that ethics serve to identify good not bad as he might have thought, desirable not undesirable or acceptable not unacceptable conduct and provide reasons, principles and guidelines on how people who are given public responsibility[like the responsibility you were accorded with to oversee the election] should handle the public affairs.

In terms of electoral modalities, it was decided that parliamentary system of government could be used – where Chairman of the SPLM Chapter could be elected by states and regional representative. However, there were only three contesting candidates. The candidates come from states and three regional representatives. In all thirteen representatives, four did not take part in the election, only five people voted for three candidates in which the first winner got only three votes, second winner with two votes and the last candidate with non. Is this anywhere near election? Of course not, it was a joke and not an election.

However, when the results were announced, this time by the cowboy-hated man who presents himself like president Salva Kiir, the elected chairman who has a little and if not non history of education hurriedly rushed next to the table where the outgoing Chairman, Mr. Daniel Kou Ater and his Secretary General David Jok where setting. The newly-elected Chairman, George Aguer [I’m unknowingly making him popular on the media] showed no sense of patience, when he grabbed the office’s documents before the announcement of who actually won the election could even be completed. However, the accidental election of this defunct man, who’s nothing less, but a learned swimmer in the world of politics has pushed the SPLM Chapter in South Australia into the grave-yard.

Thus, it’s a duty of every South Sudanese residing in South Australia to mobilize themselves and take back their robbed party’s leadership. However, even if Aguer sets up the SPLM Chapter’s office as he foolishly thinks, without the final say of the marginalized states, notably Lakes State regarding the objection levied against his fake victory, his declared government shall still be considered illegitimate; and if such government attempts to lay it hands on states’ affairs, these affairs could be considered illegitimate too.

As we need it to be, a legitimate SPLM Chapter is supposed to be recognized by all South Sudanese states in South Australia, but a government that lacks legitimacy should not involves itself in running states’ affairs because this shall be contradictory to democratic transformation principle enshrined in the SPLM constitution.

The question that begs answers here is how to bring the missing elements of legitimacy so that South Sudanese in South Australia can elect an SPLM chairperson who represents people with legitimate conviction and not a leader who pretends to represent people; while he only represents himself and the cronies. This deceiving victory has now been officially declared null; and all South Sudanese in South Australia, particularly in Adelaide should immediately start preparing themselves for a reasonable election.

The author is a South Sudanese citizen and can be corresponded at johnaliap2011@hotmail.com

Nhial Deng Nhial and Majak Ago’ot Atem… They die….

    JUST POLITICAL JOKE….. just for a good laugh!

BY: Holy Crook (an alias), JUBA, FEB/4/2013, SSN;

In the year 2099, Majak Ago’ot Atem and Nhial Deng Nhial die of old age; on the same day – December 31. They go straight to Hades. Hades lies between Heaven and Hell. It is a sort of a way-station. Just like any other institution, it has policies – rules and regulations. Authorities in Hell, Heaven and Hades work hand in hand. Hades coordinates the activities. It keeps copies of the lists of those who are destined for heaven and Hell. Anyone who gets there has his or her name ticked and shown a room to wait for instructions – whether to proceed to Heaven or Hell.

Hades
Here, Nhial and Majak share a bed because the place is congested as big numbers of people keep coming from earth. This is because people are dying in wars, and others, of fatal man-made diseases created by European and American scientists just to reduce the overwhelming world populations, particularly the poor.

Nhial and Majak recognize a lot of South Sudanese they knew way back on earth, mostly those who let down South Sudan during and after the liberation struggle. These were those who collaborated with Khartoum and consequently butchered their own people in exchange of food. Some were those who broke away from the government and worked to destabilize South Sudan during its infancy.

Amongst the old buddies they meet in Hades are Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, Gabriel Tanginye, Peter Gatdet, George Athor, Bapiny Manytuil, Olony, Samuel Gai Tut, Akuot Atem and many others. Each and every one of them narrates why he is spending such a long time in Hades without going to Heaven or Hell.

As they chat, Nhial spots two elderly men seated on a mat made of reeds. “Oh my God, am I dreaming or is that Abel Alier and Joseph Lagu?” In unison, they reply “yes.” immediately, Majak wonders: “What happened? I thought they were in heaven, considering how they participated in the fight against Khartoum regimes.”

The two dudes walk over to the elders and greet them. As the conversation gets interesting and deeper, Nhial chips a question in: “Uncles, we’re so surprised that you two are still here, what happened? We thought you were in heaven. What happened?” Being so old, Abel and Lagu say they can’t remember what went down.

The truth is, being the senior and wiser figures in their region then, they surprisingly and gullibly allowed President Numeiri to drive a wedge between them. President Numeiri had them fight one another after he successfully made Dinka Bor cattle destroy Bari farms. Both Lagu and Alier failed to resolve the problem amicably, leaving it to escalate into wider political conflicts involving students, civil service and other societal groups in the South.

In the beginning, Lagu was the best leader. He tried his best to keep the rebellion strong and progressive but he gave up in the middle of the revolt against Khartoum. He is a quitter. Besides, during his tenure as the Second President of the High Executive Council of the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region, Lagu got carried away by the goodies – including a big-breasted northern woman – offered to him by the then Khartoum regime, thus forgetting his people and their cause.

To make matters worse and like Alier, he relocated to Khartoum. Their decisions and actions, in many ways, caused incalculable suffering amongst their people.

To cut the long story short, Nhial and Majak are summoned into the boss’ office. The head of Hades, a huge dude with a big scary scar on his left cheek, briefs them: “Boys, you’re so lucky, you just got here and I have been instructed to ready you for an exit. I received a message from Heaven last night. It says your names have been screened and you were found sinless: you were good political leaders. You never got involved in corrupt practices. That’s it, boys. Prepare for your entry to heaven. You’ve a couple of hours.”

The two walk out of the room with faces shining with big smiles. Back in the dorm, they break the good news to their countrymen. Some express happiness for them. Others feel jealous. Tanginya is one of the guys who are unhappy about the good news.

He gets up and begins to attack the two verbally: “how come you guys are going to Heaven? God must be crazy. That’s not fair at all. You lazy dudes who let down South Sudanese. You were always silent about critical issues affecting the common man. Particularly you, Nhial, as a Foreign Minister, what good things did you do? All you did was bragging, all day all night, bragging about academic papers. When Khartoum was committing atrocities, killing and destroying structures in the country, when your Sudanese counterpart was winning sympathizers using diplomatic war tactics, like a statue, you sat in your chair, doing what you do best – keeping quiet.

You thought degrees and doctorates would work by themselves? You’re the type of people I rebelled against Salva Kiir’s government for. Had I entered Juba with my commandos, I would have shot you in the ear.

For you, Majak, who the hell do you think you are? Mister Parrot, do you really believe that you are without blemish; that you are going to Heaven? God must be kidding me. Let me count the bad things you did in South Sudan. One, you were involved in………”
Here scuffle erupts. One of Majak’s supporters punches Tanginya in the face, provoking the two sides to get at each other like lions.

They cause a big scene. A Kenyan man is overheard saying, “hawa watu wanapenda vita sana.”

Heaven
Majak and Nhial arrive at the Gates of Heaven. St. Paul and St. Peter are guarding the gates. “Hello, brethren. Welcome to Heaven. I’m your brother, St. Paul, and my brother here is St. Peter. Identify yourselves, please.”

As they undergo formal procedure, some people inside the walls of heaven begin to peep at them through the beautifully designed transparent gate. Nhial smiles and nudges Majak. “Look, do you recognize those people over there?” Majak said no. “I can’t blame you. It’s been long. I am seeing familiar faces. I can see Saturnino Lohure Hilangi, Majok Mac Aluong, Nyuon Bany, Malath Lueth, Arok Thon Arok, Ageer Gum, Peter Panhom Thanypiny, Francis Ngor, ……..”

“Brothers, let’s finish the routine first,” interrupts St. Paul. “We have scanned through the Book of Deeds and we found that you’re all clean. Welcome to the Garden of Eden, brethren.” Nhial and Majak happily walk in.

Before they reach the other crew who are eagerly waiting to hug and kiss them, St. Peter calls them back. “I’m afraid, there’s a little problem. We just realized we had not considered one side of you, brothers. Weren’t you members of a South Sudan’s political party called the SPLM?”

They exchange glances and hesitatingly say, “y-y-y-e-e-s-s, we-we-we were.”

“Well, thanks for admitting that. We’re afraid, there’s a little problem, brethren,” says St. Peter. “Any South Sudanese who supported SPLM especially after it negotiated the independence of the country, no matter how many good deeds he did while on earth, shall never enter the Kingdom of God.”

With tears rolling down their cheeks, Majak asks, “why, why, why, Brother Peter? We have been very good people. We lived exemplary lives among South Sudanese. You can’t do this to us.”

Peter shakes his head in disagreement.

The pair kneels and pleads with the holy men. “Look, guys,” narrates, St. Paul, “there is nothing we can do right now rather than allowing the rule to take its course. The SPLM issue is a big deal here in Heaven. Even some angels have been assigned to solely watch the activities of the once adorable party. And I think the best way we can explain this is to remind you of one of the quotes by Desmond Tutu:

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

The pair lets out deafening cries.

“Guys, stop weeping. Crying won’t help. Whether to enter Heaven or not is nonnegotiable,” continues Peter. “Tutu’s quote explains everything. When your colleagues in the SPLM government were raping South Sudanese politically, economically and socially, you chose to keep mum. You just watched the multitude writhe in pain. The SPLM did more destruction to the citizens than the successive Khartoum regimes. SPLM killed the hope for a better tomorrow, which helped them survive into independent South Sudan. After the international community granted South Sudanese independence, the SPLM turned into a group of shameless liars and thieves – a mafia.

Contrary to their promises they made to the public, the SPLM proved itself blind and deaf. It introduced social injustice. The former Bushmen pauperized the citizens who had counted on them during the long civil war. When it assumed power in 2005, the SPLM got involved in a number of grand malpractices. They neglected their roles and focused on self-enrichment. The poor got poorer. That’s it, Brethren. No single SPLM member shall enter Heaven. It’s written. Now, go to Hell. It’s not far from here.”

The pair had hoped that heaven was the place to be. With the breaking news delivered by the Holy Men, the pair faints. Hours later, they regain consciousness only to find themselves in the front gate of a fortified town guarded by some mean-looking horned men and women.

“Hey macs, you expect to be welcomed? Where do you think this is? Heaven,” Barks a Cerberus-shaped guard.

He grabs Majak and Nhial by the ears and drags them towards the entrance of the facility. He kicks them in the butts and bangs the door after them.

Hell
To their amazement, the new place looks more of an earthly penitentiary institution; contrary to the biblical frightful descriptions of Hell. It looks awful though. It’s afternoon. People are in groups. As the chaos in the new place mesmerizes them and with mouths wide open, they hardly believe what they are seeing. A huge crowd was mocking a small group of dark-skinned familiar men. As they get closer, they find out that it is some short man trying to stop a fight between two groups.

Unsurprisingly, these are all SPLM senior officials and members participating in a face-off with their former enemies on earth. The notable ones here are Salva Kiir, Pagan Amum, John Luk, Wani Igga, Ann Itto, Makuei Lueth, Kuol Manyang, Rizik Zachariah, Rebecca Nyandeng and many others.

Nhial approaches Barnaba Marial and without greetings asks him to explain what is going on. “It’s a very long story, brother. Kiir is bullied everyday as usual. Our enemies have resumed the earthly disagreements and hate here in hell. Lam Akol and a bunch of other unpatriotic South Sudanese have befriended Omar Bashir. Lam always harasses Kiir and when Kiir tries to discipline him, Bashir emerges with his crew members including Thabo Mbeki, Hu Jintao, Yau Yau, among others. Yesterday, Bashir himself broke Kiir’s jaw. Anyway, welcome brothers. At least your arrival is of advantage to us. We will always fight off Bashir and company.”

Few weeks elapse. Majak and Nhial learn a lot. It’s like many people hold grudges against the South Sudanese in Hell. Some of them are those who are retrying to retaliate for injustice committed by South Sudanese. One such a group is that of Ugandan businessmen who got cheated in the Dura saga.

They had lodged a case at their High Court, seeking for a declaration that the refusal of the South Sudan government to pay them as per the Memorandum of Understanding with Uganda is unlawful.

However, every noise they made went unheard. South Sudan turned a deaf ear. As a result, they, them Ugandans, mistreat the SPLM. SPLM members are the cooks, dishwashers, cleaners and all types of odd job doers. In other words, they’re living in hell within hell.

To be continued….

South Sudan under SPLM’s “Mock Democracy”

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, FEB/04/2013, SSN;

When a system of governance isn’t founded on concrete institutions, such a system will obviously come to show signs of instability given the fact that its foundation wasn’t thoroughly thought through before the heavy load of running a nation is finally superimposed on it. This is the situation in our country.

South Sudan has ever since been a home to all kinds of problems that impacted negatively on the citizens starting from the days of the European and Arab slave traders, the cultural and religious conquest, to the modern day colonialism, neocolonialism and imperialism as are continuously being imposed on us by both the Western governments on one hand and the so-called Arab Islamic world on the other.

Needless to over stress here is the second civil war that left a huge legacy on the whole population and the institutions by further complicating an already complicated situation set back the on almost everything.

Nonetheless, the need for a system of governance has always existed and one way or the other the establishment and development of such a system was squarely the responsibility of those who had the upper hand in running the day to day affairs of the territories under their control.

It is here that whatever system of governance that was used in areas under the SPLM/A seems to have followed them right into their new positions as rulers of the newly independent country.

Conversely, the whole story about southern Sudan during the two decades of the bush war has never and will never be fully told since many voices have been either silenced through blackmailing or otherwise, and not forgetting those who have voluntarily chosen to keep their mouths shut.

But as the days go by it will the outrageous and countless irrational behaviors of those in top offices that is bound to betray the so-called liberators as the chickens come home to roost.

To state the obvious, South Sudan’s government structures that existed during the interim period of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement are still largely relevant today.

It was largely the constitution that needed a review to suit our new status as an independent country following the 2011 self-determination referendum and indeed that was done in spite of the way it was done.

What will continue to haunt us now is the fact that even in their best forms, the reviewed laws [constitution] came out with outright deadly abrasions since the whole process was overshadowed by the massive presence of political greed and patronage, typical of the ‘politics of the belly’.

The latest negative political developments in the country have brought the Lakes State to both the local and international spotlight as it sometimes back did with Jonglei State and the others.

Although an unjustified use of a presidential decree have cost the popularly elected governor Engineer Chol Tong Mayay his job, but the appointment of yet another dismissed SPLA Maj. General as his successor have undoubtedly brought to the forefront the question as to whether the ruling SPLM party is in any way prepared to follow the path of democracy and subsequently respect the people’s choice of their leaders.

Of course whether the move itself was actually right or wrong is no longer a topic for discussion given the latest political developments in the embattled State. The new boss has already made his mark in his maiden speech to the citizens of the State who turned up in their thousands for the occasion.

But following the military caretaker Governor Maj. General Matur Chout Dhoul’s speech, not only has the Lakes State been thrown into a political confusion, but one can say that the whole lot has sent out shocking waves across the entire nation of South Sudan and beyond.

Maj. General Dhoul’s speech undoutedly reflects President Salva Kiir Mayardit official position in as far as what H.E. wants to see being implemented in South Sudan, with the Lakes State as a starting point.

If you think that you are far away in Warrap, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, Jonglei or the three states of Equatoria, then you are wrong. The lesson to take home is that, better be prepared for your turn is just by the corner.

It cannot be overemphasized that as the going gets tough and the economic crisis coupled with the austerity measures begin to bite, one obviously expects some degree of nervousness from the people in authority.

But did anyone ever expect what came from the mouth of the caretaker Governor when he banned politics in the Lakes State? Read what he had to say and I quote:

“Anyone who is putting in mind that politics is his life in this state, you are wrong, no room for politics now till 2015,” said Dhoul. [Gurtong.net – 01/02/2013]

“He also warned members of the Lakes State’s legislative assembly to stop debating politics in parliament, saying he will shut down parliament if political topics continue.” [Sudan Tribune – 30/01/2013]

Fellow compatriots, as a nation we are requested to research our minds and question as to where this SPLM leadership is trying to drive the country?

It doesn’t really need a rocket science since we can all testify to the fact that the legislative assemblies in the ten states and the national legislative assembly in Juba the capital of South Sudan together with the redundant Upper House are indeed the creations of these guerrilla fighters turn politicians.

If they do not want MPs to engage in politics, then can they tell us why they had gone for this one dozen parliaments, and just now to turn around and begin telling them that they should no longer discuss politics?

The Lakes State may be experiencing a rampant wave of cattle rustling and subsequent losses of lives that are associated with it, however this state is not alone in that! Are we about to forget the mother of all chaos and instability in South Sudan, none but the “Jonglei State”?

Or has the SPLM leadership dropped Unity State and Warrap State from being equally hot spots for the infamous cattle theft and retaliatory killings? Why single out the Lakes State as if it’s the only hell on earth in the entire territory of South Sudan?!

Alright, let’s say fair enough that H.E the president of the country has much loved his subjects in the Lakes State that he sent to them a savior in the person of Maj. General Matur Choul Dhoul. However it is crucial that the new Governor wins the hearts and the minds of his subjects before he can ever think of being successful in his mission.

He [new governor] rightly appealed to the citizens of the state to cooperate and work with him in order to realize his core mission as he reiterated that he was appointed for the sole purpose of “security reform”.

“My mission in Lakes state is to stop road ambushes and cattle raiding with neighboring states.” the Maj. General emphasized.

Besides that he [the de novo military governor] also reiterated other important points e.g. the stoppage of the unjustified scholarship for the children of the few greedy public figures and SPLM big shots. He deserves a credit for that.

We are all aware of the tight economic situation of the country and any little money saved from being spent on the little spoilt children can go to improve the schools in the state.

What I don’t quite understand is this warning to the MPs not to engage in political debates in the state parliament. To the best understanding of an average person these MPs were elected with the sole purpose of finding political solutions to political problems in the state. Do you agree?!

These [MPs] are people paid in order to engage in politics, which they have to do very religiously and not only from the parliament buildings but anywhere in the state. Has something got lost in translation, which we don’t know about?

Let’s hope that, maybe the Governor wants the MPs to refrain from hate speeches or the incitement of communities against each other, and this is suggested entirely for argument’s sake. But even in such a case the boss is however still expected to make his message clearer, sharper and to the point.

Unfortunately given the circumstantial evidence this was not to be the case and the guy the president sent to save Lakes State from imminent self-destruction seems already clear in his prescription when he made it abundantly clear that it is going to be the commissioners who will have to confront the cattle rustlers in their respective counties or else risk losing their lucrative jobs.

On the other hand all of the Lakes State officials including the cabinet ministers have been instructed by H.E the new governor to report daily to their places of work on time. But do we really need a Maj. General before people can take their jobs serious and start being punctual for work?

You’re naïve if you consider this Maj. General as special simply because he doesn’t want to hear any nonsense from the parliament and its MPs on whom he has already passed his judgment.

To him these MPs are in fact part of the problem and not of the solution. Hence his justification that they shouldn’t be consulting one another in the parliament [discussing politics] in order to find a way out of this WAHALA!

Should this be true then what we are witnessing in Lakes State is a military takeover [coup] with the blessing of the country’s Head of State.

Certainly this is breech of the core principle of democracy. Any constitution that approves of what is undemocratic is in itself undemocratic.

Sacking of democratically elected leaders is not the answer, neither to the widespread cattle rustling nor to the general insecurity the countryside. We cannot abandon our existing institutions simply because we have failed to use them efficiently!

The solution to a weak democracy is more democracy and not otherwise. Let’s look into the reasons behind our institutions’ substandard performances and address the root causes through a holistic approach that can rejuvenate and empower them. And should there still be a need we should establish more democratic institutions which when put to function together, they can stand the toughest tests of time.

South Sudan shouldn’t be allowed to take a step backwards in its long journey towards democracy, good governance and accountability. Please not again in the name of some kind of cattle rustling or any other of the many inter-ethnic clashes which are more often than not the direct making of our liberators turn politicians?

The people voted for their MPs and for God’s sake they should be allowed to hold them accountable. Military rulers were and are the cancers that continue to hold back the democratization process in Africa, one countries after the other. So now is the case with the nascent state of South Sudan which the ruling SPLM party wants to bury alive.

After all, those former governors of Lakes State who preceded the overthrown and first ever elected civilian governor, Engineer Chol Tong Mayay, were all Military Generals and yet this very cattle rustling flourished under their watch.

So what is it that Maj. General Matur Dhoul is bringing along with him this time around which wasn’t available to those known tough guys the likes of General Daniel Awet Akot – the current deputy speaker in the national legislative assembly?

This military takeover of Lakes State government and the subsequent ban on MPs from engaging in politics is by all measures a worrying development in the politics of South Sudan.

It will not surprise anyone if some SPLM loyalist or those who are mentally enslaved to the current regime come up to defend it as being constitutional which anyway was already done by the National Legislative Assembly in Juba.

Nonetheless the cunning, crafty and yet calculated move has exposed yet another hidden agenda of the unpredictable SPLM leadership. Who can now deny that this military takeover was pre-planned long ago and then wittingly insinuated into the transitional constitution?

And now when the time and the need came for it, all we are left to discuss is some kind of a constitutionally blessed coup d’état that overthrew an elected civilian governor. What a joke?!!

In short, everything had been properly rigged from the very start! The elections, then the transitional constitution and finally now the first step into the many military takeovers yet to come all across the country should nothing be done to check this mock democracy.

Subsequently given the way things are unfolding, even the safety of the yet to be written permanent constitution remains in the balance. Can anyone out there pin-point to the public what guarantee is there that this both unreliable and unpredictable SPLM leadership will not contemplate a frank in-house coup against even the little democracy that our people are seeking to establish?

Remember that it is only under mock democracies that there exist articles in the constitution to allow for a military takeover from a democratically elected leadership, and the imposition of blanket ban on MPs preventing them from engaging and discussing politics!! This must be another joke too!!

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party [USSP]. He can be reached at: justin_ramba@ol.co.uk or justinramba@doctors.net.uk

Dr John Garang was an appointee of the Ethiopians to the SPLM

BY: ElHAG PAUL, RSS, FEB/02/2013, SSN;

Manyok Chuol’s article, ‘Dr Garang and the question of South Sudan Founding father: A reply to Elhag Paul,’ published on 12th January 2013 by South Sudan Nation is a clear indication that the Jieng are unwilling to take responsibility for the ravages they’re inflicting on the country. It’s unbelievable that in the face of overwhelming evidence they attempt to hide behind projecting their hatred of others to their own victims (other South Sudanese). Thus it’s crucial to challenge this projection at this point.

As Manyok has chosen two themes namely, the issues of Founding Father and ‘anti-Dinka activist’ as his grounds for writing, I’ll oblige.

Manyok writes that “South Sudanese who’ve read most of Mr. Paul’s articles will have probably come to the same conclusion, as I (Manyok) have, that this writer harbors deep-seated anti-Dinka sentiments. It’s now also more apparent that Mr. Paul’s various attempts at denigration of Dr. John Garang and his legacy is in fact a subset of the author’s overall revulsion of the Jieng (Dinka).”

If I hated the Jieng I’d say it because there’s nothing that can stop me from declaring my feelings. I was born free and will continue to live free which means if someone attempts to oppress me I’ll fight back to maintain my freedom.

I don’t hold any ill feelings towards the Jieng or any other groups in our country as I’ve explained before. I’ve no problem with Jieng as human beings but I do have a problem with their behavior which causes unnecessary hurt and pain to people in our country. I know that behavior is acquired through socialization and it’s nurtured. Equally it can be abandoned and forgotten through determination and the will to change.

People always applaud good behaviors and promote it while bad behaviors are condemned unequivocally world wide. Behavior generally affects relationships and co-existence among human beings that’s why there are institutions for maintenance of peace like police service and even the United Nations in case of countries.

The behavior of Jieng in South Sudan without mincing any words is atrocious and it’s wrong for the Jieng to expect others to put up with it. This is why I’ve sought through some of my writings to provide enough feedback to the Jieng in order for them to change.

It is unfortunate that instead of the educated Jieng like Manyok Chuol, Ateny Wek Ateny, Joseph Deng Garang and Kuir e Garang taking responsibility to be agents of change by educating their people; they come out with guns blazing, condoning and defending this atrocious behavior by accusing those of us who’ve acted in good faith as being tribalists, divisive, Nygats, pro-Arab, inciters and so on.

If telling Jieng the truth invites tirade and projection of the real problem (Jieng tribalism) on us then let it be. What the Jieng have completely forgotten is that it’s their behavior which is the real problem dividing the people of South Sudan and they’ve a moral duty to address it. Shying away from it isn’t going to endear them to their brothers and sisters in the country, nor will it go away.

It’s no good for the Jieng to ask for unity in pretense when they’re set on their horrible ways. It’d save us all a lot of time and trouble if only the Jieng could look at their behavior critically and change accordingly in order to foster harmonious living with the rest of the people of South Sudan.

Do I abhor Dr Garang’s legacy because he’s a Jieng as argued by Manyok? The answer is unequivocally ‘No.’

Who am I to question other peoples’ ethnicities? After all I’m just a mortal being who believes in fairness. I don’t hold supremacist and expansionist views such as ‘Born to rule’ and the right to colonize other people and their land respectively. Essentially I believe in fairness which in turn leads to equal opportunities and the right of everybody according to their ability.

Thus in regards to Dr Garang I can’t be denigrating him if all I’m doing is pointing out the facts. Any reasonable person will see that there’s no connection between arguing Dr Garang’s corner and my criticism of the Jieng. The two are different.

I believe that Dr Garang’s work shouldn’t be vandalized by the likes of Manyok Chuol. Dr Garang’s beliefs and achievement need to be highly valued within context. It mustn’t be deliberately inflated with lies in order for his community to milk it for narrow selfish end to put others down.

Dr Garang was a formidable person of high intellect, no argument about it. He’s a suave political operator full of confidence. A speaker of rare breed. Dr Garang knew what he wanted (United New Sudan) and he went for it in spite of the odds against it. Anybody who respects and values Dr Garang won’t reduce his stature by not acknowledging his political belief and objective.

To accept Dr Garang is to agree with what he stood for. There can be no cherry picking of the person’s character. It’s here that I’ve great respect for his son, Captain Mabior Garang Mabior, who humbly acknowledges the unionists beliefs of his father. People like Manyok are in fact the destroyers of Dr Garang’s personal legacy and achievements. Dr Garang’s unionist stance made him a renowned politician in the Sudan, the whole of Africa and beyond, and this should not be desecrated.

More over it’s of utmost importance that the history of RSS is recorded correctly for the future generations. Distortion of history will mean distortion of future management of RSS. Facts must be stated as they’re without hype.

Manyok presenting himself as a tolerant person writes that “this isn’t about denying Elhag Paul the exercise of such right; the issue really is the cowardly deliberate incitement of ordinary citizens against their compatriots, disguised as government criticism.”

What a bold assertion? The only problem is that Manyok, like Ateny Wek Ateny, in their quest to divert attention from Jieng tribalism abuse English words freely in their calculated attempt to discourage people from talking about their atrocious behavior.

(Please see the following articles: ‘The Oyee Deniers of Truth in RSS,’ http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/the-oyee-deniers-of-truth-in-rss; ‘Response to Mr Ateny Wek Ateny on Panthou war,’
http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/response-to-mr-ateny-wek-ateny-on-panthou-war and ‘Kuir Garang! South Sudan is not a nation,’ http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/kuir-garang-south-sudan-is-not-a-nation.)

Ateny in some of his articles accused me of being a racist with genocidal tendencies without providing any evidence at all. Now Manyok is accusing me of incitement without providing any evidence at all in the hope that he’d frighten me into submission. This isn’t going to happen. What have I written that amounts to incitement?

As the allegation that Manyok has made is serious I’d appreciate concrete evidence from him. I look forward to having an exhaustive debate on this subject of incitement with him.

Manyok further argues that “let’s also remember that President Kiir is a South Sudanese national and if we’re to start holding communities collectively responsible for shortcomings of individuals, Mr Paul should use the same yardstick and hold all South Sudanese, including himself, guilty by association for their government failures as the presidency and government have a South Sudanese national association/identity.”

There’re differences between institutions, individuals and tribes. Institutions are formed of governing documents and management bodies such as constitutions and board of directors. Anybody heading such an institution (chief executive) is expected to be guided by the constitution. So long as such a person upholds the constitution for the interest of all members he/she can’t be lumped up with his/her tribe or any other group of association because his/her actions would be fair and legitimate.

However, were such a person to violate the constitution for the benefit of his personal family or tribal group with active support of the group then that organization would find it difficult to separate itself from the identity of the beneficiaries. Such is the situation in South Sudan.

RSS has a constitution but president Kiir and his party SPLM (Jieng organization) ignores it. Buoyed by Jieng support he violates the constitution and governs according to his personal whims allowing the Jieng to commit all sorts of crimes with impunity. This kind of governance clearly is a tribal one.

Since SPLM is the ruling party and the ruling party has already been certified by independent scholars as a Jieng organization (please see above URLs for evidence), it follows that the government is a Jieng government. I can’t see how Manyok or any other Jieng would get out of this mess unscathed. This is the reality of the situation.

As Manyok denies that the SPLM is not a Jieng organization the ball is in his court to do the necessary scholarly research to refute the flood of evidence already in existence in the academic domain. So it isn’t me only but there’re a number of institutions out there who’ve already reached this irrefutable conclusion.

Wading deeper, the ascent of president Kiir to power wasn’t through the consent of the people of South Sudan in a fair election. SPLM (Jieng organization) rigged itself into power in April 2010. Since coming to power, president Kiir has been promoting Jieng interest at the expense of all others in the country. Here are few examples:

1) The overwhelming majority of the 75 thieves who stole the billions of Dollars from the country’s coffers are Jieng. The refusal of president Kiir to reveal the names of these thieves known to him speaks for itself.

2) The plight of the Murle in Jungle is a direct result of their discrimination by the Jieng in that state. This is exactly the same as what happened to the Didinga people in Eastern Equatoria in late 1990s when the SPLM/A used its entire might to try to destroy the Didinga people for the Jieng to settle in their land. A similar thing is going on in Nimule presently as we argue with each other.

3) The plight of the Fertit in Bahr El Ghazal state. The recent statement made by president Kiir following the carnage of citizens in that state exposes not only his lack of governance skills but his tribalistic nature.

4) Over 80 percent of all the influential positions in the country are awarded to Jieng, many of whom are unqualified.

5) Staffing of ministries of Justice, defense, Home affairs…etc with Jieng, many of whom are unqualified, and

6) Imposition of Jieng police, Jieng legal officers in all the states, including those states where they aren’t resident against the letter of the shoddy constitution.

Given the above I, like those who didn’t vote or approve of president Kiir’s government can’t be “guilty by association for their (the) government failures as the presidency and government have a South Sudanese national association/identity.”

The government is a Jieng government and the mess it generates is Jieng mess. Full stop.

Manyok, drawing from Wikipedia vigorously argues that because Dr Garang formed the SPLM, this automatically should qualify him to be the Father of the nation. “A founding father is widely recognized as a person who’s established an important organization or idea or as one Wikipedia entry broadly defines national founding fathers as:

[T]ypically those who played an influential role in setting up the systems of governance, (i.e. political system form of government, and constitution), of the country. They can also be military leaders of a war of independence that led to the existence of the country [emphasis is mine].”

Well, it’s arguable whether Dr Garang really did form the SPLM. When the SPLM was formed Dr Garang was nowhere near the battle fields of South Sudan in Upper Nile. He was with his family in Haj Yusuf in the outskirts of Khartoum North. The SPLM was formed by Bol Kur Alangjok on 30th August 1980.

(Please see ‘Experiences in the resistance movement against Arab colonial rule in Sudan,’ authored by Thaan Nyibil and published in 1990 by Vantage Press, New York.)

The Ethiopians under Col. Mengisto appropriated the name of SPLM/A from Anya Nya 2 group. They then appointed Dr Garang to it and handed it over to him as their response to Khartoum’s support to the Eritrean rebels. So Dr Garang was an appointee of the Ethiopians to the SPLM/A, far from being founder of the movement as asserted by Manyok.

The whole story of Dr Garang, Kerubino Kuanyin, William Nyoun, Arok Thon and Salva Kiir being founders of SPLM/A is a well choreographed lie that doesn’t stand proper scrutiny. Hopefully, independent researchers will pick up this theme for the truth to be established. In the meantime, the evidence suggests otherwise.

As with regards to president Kiir’s claim to being one of the founders of SPLM/A, this should be taken with a pinch of salt. (Dr. Peter Adwok) Nyaba in his book, ‘The Politics of Liberation in South Sudan: An Insider’s View,’ published in 1997 by Fountain in Kampala, Uganda, throws serious doubts on this claim.

Nyaba, on page 41 of his book, argues that, “For sometime the names of Dr John Garang, Kerubino Kuanyin and William Nyoun were the only ones tagged to the leadership of the Movement in the poems and morale songs of the recruits and SPLA soldiers, and in the administrative structure of the Movement. Then slowly, the names of Salva Kiir Mayardit and Arok Thon Arok were added, as permanent members of the politico-military High Command of the Movement. The inclusion of Salva and Arok was on the grounds that they’re in the clandestine cells back inside the Sudan, something that can’t be proved.”

There you are. How could Salva Kiir have been a founding member of the movement and yet a mere member of a clandestine cell inside the Sudan? Frankly speaking, SPLM Oyee is a fraud because the truth about this movement is deliberately hidden to allow the fraudsters to shine.

With the foregoing, Manyok’s grounds for glorifying Dr Garang as Father of the Nation based on the ‘founding of the movement,’ falls flat on its face. Therefore, one can only say tough luck to those who want to stitch the lie together because the available evidence doesn’t support it.

All in all, the attempt to label those who speak out against Jieng tribalism as ‘anti-Dinka activist(s)’ won’t wash because what the Jieng are doing is only projection of their own tribalism onto their victims. The Jieng are failing to acknowledge and address their weakness by trying to divert the problem onto their victims and unfortunately the world knows the truth.

It’s time that they critically look at themselves in order for them to change their atrocious behavior. Painting Dr Garang as Father of the Nation won’t help the Jieng in their struggle to assert themselves as the elites of South Sudan.

Only the truth can but there’s no truth here.

If Dr Garang is the Father of the Nation, what’d Emelio Tafeng, Paul Ali Gbatala, Saturlino Ohure, Joseph Lagu, etc… be, the Grandfathers of South Sudan? Remember here that it’s an indisputable fact that Joseph Lagu was personally and crucially responsible for the development of Dr Garang educationally and militarily.

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com