Archive for: March 2013

The struggle for sovereignty of South Sudan was a joint effort

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, MAR/31/2013, SSN;

This is a response to a series of parts of article, Rebuttal to Mr. Jacob K. Lupai’s advice on Issues Raised in Equatoria Conference 2013, by my valued friend, Ateny Wek Ateny, in his column, Beating The Drum of Truth in The Citizen Newspaper (March 21, March 23 and of March 24, 2013).

I couldn’t have agreed more with my friend that the discussion on Equatoria Conference was indeed becoming boring while there could have been other pressing issues of common interest that needed attention. It was also becoming monotonous as no new argument was being made. It was better to move on.

For my part revisiting the series under the heading Rebuttal to Mr. Jacob K. Lupai’s advice on Issues Raised in Equatoria Conference 2013 is to make a couple of critical observations and hopefully this will not be too boring to the esteemed readers. If it is the case I offer my apology.

There are some over exaggerated assumptions especially in the liberation struggle that are nothing but erroneous and grossly misleading. This was apparently to promote other regions to the highest level of patriotism. However, the reality on the ground as testified by those who were in the frontline seems to suggest that the claim “we liberated you” at best is an intimidation. It is a myth invented as a tool to silence any dissenting voice. However, the fact is that all southerners liberated themselves.

The struggle for sovereignty of South Sudan was a joint effort by all in their different ways. The 98.43 per cent of people who voted for South Sudan sovereignty in the referendum on 9 January 2011 is evidence of the joint effort. It is therefore mind boggling for others to claim erroneously that “we liberated you”.

SPLM membership
I was an active supporter of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). Through pen and paper I made this abundantly clear. As my friend Ateny said, in the United Kingdom the SPLM Chapter was based in London but I was the leader of SPLM supporters in Reading, a town between London and Oxford. I was also the leader of Equatoria SPLM Support Group. This was to distinguish between supporters and those who were hostile to the SPLM.

As a matter of principle the Equatoria SPLM Support Group stood firm. This stand earned some of us name calling but this never moved us an inch. We were outspoken in support of the SPLM.

When a high level SPLM delegation visited the United Kingdom from their bases in South Sudan I was chosen to chair the meeting in London between the visiting SPLM delegation and the community. The SPLM delegation included Salva Kiir Mayardit, Elijah Malok, Pagan Amum and Tahir Bior.

What captured my attention in the meeting was when Salva Kiir Mayardit said the split in the SPLM/A in 1991 caused massive and unnecessary causalities more than those caused by the enemy. He narrated how they had to advance rapidly through the line of fire from fellow southerners to escape being trapped. Salva’s plea was for southerners to be united.

Later on in the residence of Stephen Baak, the SPLM Representative in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, we heard about the liberation effort and enjoyed the cracking of jokes. I realized that life in the frontline would have been miserable without jokes.

As an SPLM activist when I came to Juba in 2006 I was enthusiastic to meet with Salva Kiir Mayardit and at least to greet my President with a hand shake. I was accompanied to the President’s Office by my friend Hon Anthony Makana who was then the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Supply in the Government of Southern Sudan.

I filled a form to see the President. As an SPLM activist I felt it would not be difficult to see Salva Kiir Mayardit. I was mistaken. The SPLM probably did not have me in their records as an SPLM activist. Sadly I left for the United Kingdom neither meeting with the President nor greeting him with a hand shake and to offer a word of congratulation.

To my friend Ateny I am still the same Jacob Lupai he saw in the 90s in the United Kingdom. I am not recruited into Equatorianism which I think is partly the product of my friend’s negative thinking. In his imagination my friend Ateny concluded that the Equatoria Conference was at best the revival of Kokora or rebellion at worse.

As a positive thinker the Equatoria Conference had nothing to do with Kokora or rebellion as my friend would like people to believe. Kokora is history and should not be associated with a genuine and progressive demand for a fairer system of governance.

With regard to SPLM membership I am a member and hold a membership card. In addition 5 per cent of my salary is being deducted every month for the upkeep of the SPLM. Recently 10 per cent of my salary was deducted for the SPLM plus the 5 per cent mentioned above. I hope my friend Ateny will now know that I have not been recruited to any other political .party. I stand by the SPLM Manifesto 2012 which only needs the SPLM to adhere to it rigorously for a better South Sudan.

The struggle for sovereignty
My friend Ateny claimed in part that without Bahr el Ghazal (his native region) in the 1990s/2005, there would have been no sovereign South Sudan (The Citizen, Sunday, March 24, 2013 – Vol. 7. Issue 414). Let me not prejudice the reader but is my friend really serious. According to one witness account of battles in the frontline, the elevation of Bahr el Ghazal to a prominent position claimed without which South Sudan sovereignty would not have been realized, is nothing but extremely an over exaggeration.

According to the informant the incursion of the SPLA into Equatoria and the subsequent realization of South Sudan sovereignty took concerted joint effort. The first ever SPLA incursion into Equatoria took place in 1985 by Bee Battalion under the overall command of Martin Manyel from Bahr el Ghazal. Commander Manyel was assisted by officers from Equatoria commanding smaller units such as companies. In the incursion into Equatoria there was also Niran Battalion under the command of Tahir Bior from Upper Nile. The two Battalions, Bee and Niran, were under the overall command of Nachuluk Nashigak also from Upper Nile. In 1986 Tingili Battalion under the command of Glario Modi Wurinyang from Equatoria was active in Torit area.

In 1986 Muksasa and Tafeng Battalions under the overall command of Alfred Lado Gore from Equatoria were active in Kapoeta area but later proceeded to Torit. Sakus Brigade was under the overall command of James Wani Igga from Equatoria where John Kong Nyon from Upper Nile was a battalion commander under Wani. Under James Wani Igga the Sakus Brigade came to Central Equatoria where a training centre was established at Morta. The centre trained recruits from all over Equatoria.

Before reaching Morta in Central Equatoria in 1987, SPLA soldiers who were under the overall command of James Wani Igga deserted to their respective areas of Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile. This left Commander Wani with less than a battalion. If it was not for the training in Morta which produced battalions of soldiers, Central and Western Equatoria would have been under enemy control until 1997.

All of the recruits trained in Morta were mostly Equatorians. With the massive desertion of SPLA soldiers to Bahr el Ghazal from Equatoria, how the sovereignty of South Sudan could have been realized without the active participation of Equatoria is a mystery. By my friend’s admission Equatoria was a contested area by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). With desertion in the SPLA ranks and the split, it was obvious that without Equatorians, sovereignty of South Sudan would have been indeed a distant dream.

After coming from a military conference in 1995 in Lotuke (Moyo Sokon) in Didinga area in Equatoria, Thomas Cirillo from Equatoria was appointed Division 6 Commander with Abraham Wani also from Equatoria as his Deputy. Division 6 was for Central Equatoria and carried out massive recruitment all over Central Equatoria. The recruits were taken to Morta training centre. Gier Chuang Aluong from Upper Nile was commanding Division 7 for Western Equatoria with Augustino Jadalla as his Deputy. As expected Division 7 made recruitment in Western Equatoria.

Military operations
In military operations forces under the command of Augustino Jadalla attacked Yei and captured it from the SAF. Similarly forces from Western Equatoria under the command of Gier Chuang Aluong attacked Alero and captured it. Forces from Division 6 under the command of Thomas Cirillo and Abraham Wani attacked from Gimunu in Yei County driving out the SAF up to Mile 40 in Juba County. This was the final episode in the liberation struggle when the enemy never returned to those areas captured by the SPLA until the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005.

From the above scenarios where Bahr el Ghazal hardly features, it is difficult to understand how my friend Ateny could claim that without Bahr el Ghazal there would have been no sovereign South Sudan today. I hope my friend will not tell us that Operation Thunderbolt with combined forces that, in 1997, captured Rumbek, Yirol and Tonj, were only composed of forces from Bahr el Ghazal as evidence of his claim that Bahr el Ghazal was the key in realizing South Sudan sovereignty.

In 1999 forces from Divisions 6 and 7 were dispatched to Eastern Sudan under the command of Thomas Cirillo and Abraham Wani, all from Equatoria. Those forces rapidly captured areas in Eastern Sudan such as Hamsokoreb. The SPLA military operations spearheaded by Equatorians in Eastern Sudan was a contributory factor in forcing the enemy to realize that the game was over and so peace negotiations were accelerated.

My friend Ateny mentioned Gier Chuang Aluong, John Kong Nyuon, James Hoth and Uyai Deng Ajak all from Upper Nile as commanders commanding troops from Bahr el Ghazal in the Equatoria land. This is interesting. How could the mentioned commanders from Upper Nile be commanding troops from Bahr el Ghazal when most of the troops from Bahr el Ghazal had already deserted from Equatoria land? Were there no troops from Upper Nile or from Equatoria for those commanders to command?

It should be appreciated that Equatorians were the ones in the frontline and the most advancing group. To down play the highly significant role played by Equatoria in the liberation struggle is at best an illusion.

System of governance
My friend Ateny was disappointed with me because of my support for a federal system which he equates with Kokora. From his critical analysis, which I have not seen, my friend considers a federal system the revival of Kokora or a rebellion against the constitution and the government.

There seems to be no room allowed for an intellectual debate where advantages and disadvantages of a federal system are laid out clearly for informed consensus. Dictatorship seems to be creeping into our mentality where some want to force their words into others mouths. People need to have the opportunity to weigh the advantages and disadvantages to decide which side outweighs the other. The aim is to reach a consensus as a way forward.

Arguably if considered carefully a federal system is not harmful to nation building and national unity. I am impressed with the Switzerland’s model of a federal government. The Swiss model does not need to be adopted wholesale but could be adapted to different situations. The basic demand for a federal system is recognition of diversities, empowerment of people and acceleration of development for a better quality of life.

In South Sudan we can have three levels of government, federal, state and county. Each level will have a constitution and the three constitutions should not be in conflict. Challenges in South Sudan are numerous and a federal system could be the answer. This is because people will be empowered to take appropriate decisions and actions to address satisfactorily their pressing issues of poverty, development and security.

Conclusion
I hope this piece has enlightened people on the liberation struggle in contrast to the bogus and mythical claim “we liberated you” propagated continuously by simple minds. It should be well understood that nobody liberated anybody but it was the joint effort in the various ways that liberated all of us. Providing tactical half truth and strategically indulging in perpetual denial for the mere glorification of one’s region or tribe is not helpful in building a strong united nation that all call home. National unity calls for prudence.

Beating the drum of war is not helpful either. The negative thinkers and the prophets of doom are already busy speculating that Equatoria is planning to break away. The negatives got their license from Equatoria Conference 2013 where a federal system was strongly emphasized. The sound of war drum is now loud when, for example, somebody said it will take Equatoria 100 years to break away from South Sudan to become the Republic of Equatoria. The implication is that Equatoria has no right to do anything but must share in silence the challenges South Sudan is incapable of addressing.

To my friend Ateny who thinks I have become a regionalist, I would like to ascertain that my nationality is South Sudanese as confirmed by my nationality certificate and passport. I am also proud to be identified as an Equatorian. Those who are shy to identify with their region or tribe is not my problem. Nationalism does not deny anybody identifying with their region or tribe. We wouldn’t like to create an artificial nationalism while in fact people are too tribalistic. If I were to contest for the presidency of South Sudan I would use federalism in my campaign.

In conclusion, although Equatorians may be seen to be as naïve, mistaken for cowards, by all means they are not daft. As South Sudanese we should encourage an intellectual debate on a federal system to avoid an unpredictable behavior that may cause a type of volcanic eruption of unknown magnitude which will eventually shatter national unity. Hopefully the majority sensible South Sudanese do not want to go down that route as the tiny minority warmongers would like to.

Why South Sudan’s liberation is gone awry: Reloading the debate

BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, HELSINKI, MAR/31/2013, SSN;

In view of some of the counter-discourses that have surfaced since we last expressed our opinion on why South Sudan’s liberation is gone awry, it seems fitting to reload the debate. It is clear that our freely expressed opinions do not bode well with some of our brothers, old and young alike. In the past when we shared our view on why we will not be celebrating the first anniversary of the independence of South Sudan due to endemic corruption and systemic nepotism driven by ethnic particularism and identity politics that dominates the social, economic and political space in the country, we were labeled unpatriotic, and senseless.

We were also condemned as disrespectful to the blood of the martyrs, even though it was precisely because of our respect to the selfless sacrifices of the martyrs, which we saw as being betrayed by current political malpractices that celebrating the first anniversary of the independence seemed redundant.

This time around when we pointed out the ills with why South Sudan liberation is being blown up in smoke before our very eyes, and why we decline to be passive bystanders, we are called bickerers and whiners. Worse yet, a distorted and reductionist explanation of the ills of land grab in the Republic that was devoid of any substance was publicly circulated as a response to allay the “nonsense” concerns of the overwhelming majority of South Sudanese, and boy what a delusional response indeed.

While engaging these issues through peaceful and civil debate is much welcomed, what will not be appreciated are barbaric attacks on the individual, without any objective well researched response to the substance of the issues raised. Reason with me like an educated man. Or is it the case that we lose our sense of civility when we are confronted with the truth? The view is already made public and substantiated with evidence; counter it in a similar manner.

Our brothers who were apparently irked by the previous usage of the term ignorance to describe the shambolic social and political reality in the country, have gone on not only to mistakenly equate ignorance with illiteracy but also skillfully divert the argument against the innocent masses of our people — the very powerless people we are defending, as the target of the alleged condescension.

They took the strong but unsurprisingly biased jibe in our direction that quote “as members of the elite, we tend to take major decisions without consulting people at the grassroot level, who are often considered illiterate and ignorant. Using education to judge our people underlines not only our level of ignorance but also lack of respect. Our uneducated people in the rural areas have managed to sustain us with a wealth of indigenous knowledge, experiences and wisdom of centuries” Unquote.

It is commendable that at least somebody somewhere is following our concerns, which is a good step in the right direction, as most of our political leadership are busy and can’t be bothered, while the country is falling apart beneath their feet.

Yet, our reply is that in their emotive reaction to our opinion, our point about tribal myopia as consuming South Sudan has now been substantiated beyond any reasonable doubt. What is more, and as we have amply showcased on numerous occasions in the past, our current crop of political leadership continue to leave much to be desired in terms of arresting the moral bankruptcy that is afflicting our society and which is at the center of the crises.

As is well known, the moral bankruptcy is not only contributing to the social decay of our people across ethnicities, but has also sacrificed the cohesive ideals and vision of the liberation struggles, where we now see the greed of our elite undermining the popular grievance of South Sudanese and their resolute will and desire to live a life in dignity and not as second class citizens in their own country anymore. It is these marginalization and domination policies that we are addressing as based on ignorance and arrogance, or rather the attitude and myth of “we liberated you.”

But if this is not clear enough, let me categorically reiterate that I was not in whole or in part referring to our “illiterate” and “uneducated” people as ignorant, nor was I trying to undermine the rich experience and traditions of the fathers and mothers in delivering ideal and healthy human relations between the various peoples of South Sudan.

If anything, I am a stern advocate of the notion that just and sustainable inter-communal peace in South Sudan can only be achieved by reviving the traditions and peace ideals and values of our ancestors and traditional elders, the very ideals that are now being undermined by our elite. I will address this in detail, when I look at the “Dinka Problem in South Sudan” in our next reflections.

For now, however, it really baffles me, when I hear such a strong sympathy expressed towards the plight of “our people” without seeing any concrete steps being taken to ameliorate their plight? Do they only become our people when we want to score some cheap political points?

What about the other people who are continually being called cowards? Where is the sympathy towards them and towards all South Sudanese for that matter? Where is the public condemnation of our ill-mannered brothers who are not ashamed to call their fellow compatriots cowards and slaves? Are these cowards and slaves not our people too?

How credible for some of our countrymen to condemn the usage of the terms arrogance and ignorance directed at their misbehavior, and yet turn the other way when our people are being called cowards and what not? Please don’t get me started.

In any case expressing such emotions of solidarity will remain but empty gestures, so long as South Sudanese remain deeply rooted in abject poverty and endless suffering while the delivery of social and economic services remain unheard of, even as some of us are wallowing in riches and privileges.

On a different note, who said that ignorance is all doom and gloom? We are all ignorant in one way or another. Ignorance only becomes negative when it resists embracing new knowledge, which does not necessarily have to be acquired solely in a classroom setting.

Ignorance is when we fail to revive the paths that our ancestors treaded to maintain social harmony, and that have sustained us for generations. After all, one of the purposes of knowledge generation and acquisition is to unlearn negative traits and perceptions, in order to learn positive ones that promote the betterment of the human condition on the personal level—through attitudinal change, and on the societal level—through the pursuit of mutually enhancing political change.

It is for this reason societies comb the past to find out how their ancestors have dealt with similar issues. It is the same reason why people travel the world for inter-cultural exchange and interaction for mutually enriching experiences in order to enhance their own cultures, by for instance speaking truth to power and unwanted practices upon their return home or remotely through electronic exchange.

In the end, the only reasonable avenue to find amicable and lasting solution to our problems in South Sudan is by peaceful and non-violent means where dialogue is at the center, and where we mobilize our rich experiences to create a nation and forge a peaceful, united, and prosperous society.

But for that to happen, South Sudanese must begin to come to their senses and listen to each other’s grievances, if we are to prevent inter-communal antagonism that may culminate to violent mayhem. Only this way can we steady the baby state to begin to learn to walk toward the front, and not backward.

Don’t’ get me wrong, I am not opposed to backward progress as long as it is backward progress and not backward regress. As the prolific African philosopher, John Mbiti convincingly articulated in his classic “African Traditional Religions and Philosophy,” in Africa our future lies behind us and our past before or in front us.

What this essentially means is that if South Sudan must be made to learn to walk backwards, it must walk backwards towards the front — a backward progress.

Put simply, South Sudan must learn to face and take advantage of its past, including its recent tragic past, which is well documented, and its old, oral and traditional past of our forefathers and mothers.

The implication is that we must turn to our rich traditions of the fathers and mothers, and how despite their differences with each other, they still managed to utilize traditional values and conflict resolution mechanism, which involves vomiting out or speaking about the problematic issue with each other with all transparency and mutual trust, in order to reconcile and peacefully co-exist.

How can I then denounce these people as ignorant? I am here today because of their tireless efforts, wisdom and diligent leadership. Let’s stop diverting the issue, and continue to be zealously clinging to a destructive mindset of entitlement. I was not attacking anybody’s tribe; the only tribe I am opposed to is the current spoiled regime and its spoiled policies.

Nay, with our current rigid mentality neither going to London, nor Cambridge, nor even landing on the moon can positively transform us from our muddled ignorance to informed bemusement, which is a positive form of ignorance.

Of all the views that have been expressed as part of the current debate, I am much more enriched by the objective article written by Suzanne Jumbo and entitled “National Healing and Building of the Nation: we are all equal,” and which appeared on Sudan Tribune, than by all the other void sentimentalities.

Notice after reading that article, I find it hard to slander the SPLM or empty it of its real content and purpose. That is constructive debate.

Christ is Risen, and so will South Sudan. Happy Easter!

For questions and concerns, you know where to find me: tloloyuong@gmail.com

My Review of “The Power of Creative Reasoning,” By Lual A. Deng

Book Review by James Alic Garang, USA, MAR/31/2013, SSN,

The Power of Creative Reasoning: The Ideas and Vision of John Garang. By Lual A. Deng. iUniverse, Inc., Bloomington, IN, 2013. ISBN: 978-1475960280. 240 pp. Paperback, $13.64. Personal Quality Rating: 5(1 = average, 5= outstanding);

Introduction

This book is an indispensable source of insight into the power of ideas, apprising one’s historical heritage and how Dr. John Garang — after so many Southern Sudanese luminaries before him failed—managed to identify and channel the ubiquitous malaise in the old Sudan. The book is instrumental in providing an overview into the new Sudans and distinctive attributes the author calls Garangism. In light of current democratization challenges in two new Sudans, the author argues that Garang’s way of thinking and ideas can help the two nations to succeed in overcoming their teething problems.

In particular, the book calls upon the young, who make up seventy two percent of South Sudan, to aim higher to create “a new South Sudanese identity that is inclusive of all its nationalities” (p. 2). The author explains that Dr. John’s approach solves national complex problems through tracing our heritage to historical times, ancient or biblical, and by entreating universal values such as freedom, liberty and human dignity.

The book’s first chapter affirms that South Sudan belongs to all, and that the young generation for which the book is written for are well placed to make it a vibrant nation; chapter two considers ten powerful ideas of John Garang; chapter three walks the reader through the concept of the New Sudan Vision; and chapter four concludes the book with brief shining moments of Dr. John as the Sudan’s First Vice President (FVP).

Author’s Background

Dr. Lual A. Deng is a distinguished development economist with training at Wisconsin- Madison, and extensive work experience with the World Bank and African Development Bank through the 1990s. In his long record of public service, Dr. Lual was a close economic advisor of John Garang, a state minister of finance, and the minister of petroleum for Sudan’s government from 2005 through 2011. Not only is Dr. Lual now a member of Parliament in South Sudan, he is also a towering giant involved in policy issues of the day and managing director of the Ebony Center for Strategic Studies in South Sudan.

Book Analysis

A notable characteristic of The Power of Creative Reasoning is that the author does not mince his words. The book calls a spade a spade. In the introductory chapter, he states “I set out to write this book with the main purpose of providing critical tools of analysis to the young generation of Sudanese (in the now two New Sudans) in their search for self-identity on the one hand and in understanding their historical heritage/legacy(commonwealth) on the other” (p. 2). The book’s forte lies in assembling plenty of tools for analysis, including the following ones:

First, a Venn diagram showcases the five Models in the Conceptual Framework of a New Sudan Project (Chart 3.1, p. 88). A quick glance tells the reader that Model 3 (Sudan as Islamic-Arab State) and Model 4 (hypothetical Sudan as Indigenous Secular African State) are unsustainable. Model 2 is a transitory phase (Sudanese Commonality: two-systems-one-country Model), while Models 1 (Transformed Democratic New Sudan) and 5 (Total Independence Model) of a New Sudan Project are the most stable equilibria. But because the CPA principals failed in making unity attractive, Model 5 became the fallback position, resulting into creation of two New Sudans.

Second, the author’s use of graphical aids proves a powerful tool of analysis. Figure 2.1, for instance, presents a dissection of the public sector spending by level of government (2005-2011), underscoring that for every $100 received; only $26 goes to states and $74 remains in Juba (p. 51). Therefore, “taking towns to rural areas” remains an empty rhetoric under GoSS.

Third, the book uses a policy matrix to drive home the meaning of Garangism, which is defined “as the pursuit of Sudanese commonality with conviction, courage and consistency” (p.2). Table 4.1 presents Dr. John’s Policy Matrix of Targeted Actions in 180 Days (p. 182). In his capacity as the President of GoSS and FVP of Sudan, Garang hoped to deliver water and power stations in each of the ten southern Sudanese states, modernize the SPLA, establish a hundred community resource centers (CRCs) in each state, and rehabilitate fifteen hundred kilometers of priority roads, among other tasks. After reading the book, one comes away with the conclusion that Garang had a vision for transforming south Sudan.

The fourth effective tool of analysis is the narratives and clear-cut examples that emphasize multi-tasking in liberation struggle. While the war was going on, Garang made educating the young a priority (example are the Lost Boys; FACE Foundation, p. 27), established governance structures in the SPLA-administered areas (Civil Authority of New Sudan), built an alliance with the NDA and tapped the power of Seven Front (p. 122). He hoped to turn tools of liberation into governance structures in peacetime.

Along the way, the reader gets new information not revealed in other books before: Garang was not only occupied with the communist bloc, he was also strategically thinking and waiting for right time to embrace the West. One illustrative example, which speaks to the Diaspora role, is the recruitment of Commander Awet. The author “informs” the SPLA leadership about Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Awet Akot and Major Al-Tahir Bior Abdalla Ajak who were in the USA for one-year military training. They join the movement after training because “Dr. John felt the two officers risked the Reagan administration arresting and handing them over to the Sudan government if they were to leave suddenly before completing their courses” (p. 124).

Fifth, the reader gets to appreciate the values of Garangism—conviction, courage, creativity, and consistency—in action through this book, and how the 27-year old Garang conceived of the idea of the New Sudan in the 1972 letter written to Joseph Lagu. He never relented before and after his studies. When opportunity struck, Garang took up the responsibility and led his people until his unexpected departure. Meeting John Garang in 1974 and remaining in touch with him throughout their professional lives, Dr. Lual was an exceptionally close advisor of Dr. John. The reader will be spellbound with his account of behind-the-scene-advising and efforts put into governance structure (p.140) and the role of women in the liberation struggle (Table 3.3, p.146).

Sixth, the book does not shy away from highlighting our shortcomings or those of Dr. John’s leadership. His repackaging of message following the failed coup of 1991, the convention of 1994 and acceptance of peace through negotiated settlement indicates that Garang was a savvy politician who read signs and recalibrated when circumstances dictated.

Though the book admirably defends its thesis, many readers, in my view, will still conclude that Garang’s agenda (disarming the Janjaweed, triple objectives of sustained peace, economic growth, & poverty eradication, and constructing one thousand CRCs in South Sudan, among others) was too ambitious to deliver in 180 days. African post-independence nations are replete with many broken promises. How would Garang have prioritized in the face of governing realities? If Garang were alive, would those brief shining moments as FVP have convinced him and the entire nation that Sudan would have been better united than fragmented?

Another issue that leaves a reader with more questions is the assertion that Garang was assassinated, without elaborating or telling “Mabior’s generation” how to find out the culprits (p. 107). Chances of identifying culprits behind his “mysterious death” diminish with time.

Finally, euphoria and expectations were high during independence in South Sudan on 9 July 2011. But with the governing challenges in South Sudan today, the world opinion is unequivocal: South Sudan is becoming a failed state on arrival. The question that comes to reader’s mind is: Did the disciples of Garangism, many of whom filled the current leadership, not internalize the teachings of John Garang, from taking towns to people to fiscal responsibility?

Recommendation

The author witnessed Moses (Dr. John Garang) govern, and as a Member of South Sudan Legislative Assembly, he is currently watching Joshua (President Salva Kiir) govern up close. He provides a very thoughtful account of the New Sudan Project, elucidating complex issues and rich in Sudanese heritage. Therefore, this book will be of particular utility to everyone, including the disciples of John Garang who seem to have forgotten his teachings, those yearning for the power of ideas in shaping our shared destiny, and those wanting to see good governance prevail in South Sudan.

James Alic Garang is a graduate student in economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

aliabuga@yahoo.com
(+ ) 1-413-588-6552 ~ USA

Sour politics of conflict and suspicion due to adversarial relationship between SPLM leaders

BZ: Akot Marial, SOUTH SUDAN, MAR/30/2013, SSN;

South Sudan is increasingly and ominously gripped by a palpable anxiety and fear in the preparation for SPLM forthcoming National Convention which precedes the expiration of the five-year term of the SPLM leadership, culminating with four SPLM luminaries expressing their interests for the top job.

Among them are Dr. Riek Machar, Pagan Amum, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior and James Wani Igga. All of whom except James Wani who’s decided to throw his weight behind Mayardit, but the rest plainly vowed challenging the incumbent SPLM Chairman Salva Kiir Mayardit in the run up to the National Convention.

Several failed attempts have been made by SPLM highest political organ, the Political Bureau, to put its house in order and to go to the national convention with just one voice as per 2008 convention, but found it outrageous this time round to convince the contestants to submit to Mayardit for another 5 year term in office.

The contenders are expressing their dissatisfaction that under Kiir’s Chairmanship, the SPLM has lost its vision and direction and needs to be rebuilt, which of course has to gain a popular support among the party members.

Eight years down the line have shown no proficiency in handling of party affairs and the nation as a whole given the current economic crisis, rampant insecurity, corruption, rebellion in the part of Jonglei and regular SAF incursion at the border areas of Kiir Addem, Warguet, Jau, to mention a few even after the withdrawal of our gallant forces.

All these amount to believing that Mayardit is losing popularity. Thus for him not to jeopardize his good deeds to the people of South Sudan, it’s therefore advisable that he should retire early and allow the party to select the best candidate among the contestants to lead the Country to the next level based on democratic principles.

Pres. Kiir has been given due respect as father of the nation and being a hero for the many remarkable achievements that he has done during the last civil war and for sailing our Country through to the shore of Independence.

As the nation gears for the ruling party national Convention, it has become a topic of discussions among the South Sudanese populace on the street and in public places both in the states and Juba. This proves a fragile situation in our Country that a wild rumour can grip the nation so quickly indicating the uncertainty and nervousness that underlie the body politic of our young nation, and graphically illustrating how precarious and precious is the stability of this recently independent State.

Nonetheless, the rumour of power struggle within SPLM rank and file masquerading as a fact surrounding the race for the top job of who will become the chairperson of SPLM as well as flag bearer come 2015 in the next convention among the SPLM luminaries.

The president of the Republic oscillated between a certain audacity and a prudent realism and indeed, that perpetual oscillation between despair and distracted joy of running a fair party politics or being rigged to widen the already despairing views of our Country.

President Kiir’s Speech during the Independent celebration on 9th July, 2011, outlining of his Vision for the future is for calmer and more confident South Sudan where endless confrontations no longer dominate the domestic agenda.

But the fate of our Country is still in the melting-pot where some leaders still think along tribal lines or rather the so-called greater regions, whatever you call them, is the cancerous disease that kills in the midst of the spirit of nationalism and unity of our people. I want to see a nation where political differences do not mean personal antagonism.

A nation which can hold its head up proudly as the nucleus of a new dynamic economic region. Above all, a nation that is free to concentrate her energies on progress and development. Only in this way shall we be able to harness our energies and confront our single greatest challenge, the challenge of poverty.

Another point of contention is how to achieve a permanent Constitution which is the supreme law of the land. It’s crystal clear that making of a constitution required the participation of its citizens and would have been tantamount that any Constitutional Review process should come after the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) convention as the two are very much interconnected when the political temperature had cooled.

But after subsequent Political Bureau meetings, little did we know that the ruling party elites would fail to forge a common ground of reaching political consensus as to who will become the SPLM chairperson and flag bearer among the SPLM leaders come 2015.

Lines have already been drawn whether on tribal backing or making allies within the perimeters of the ruling party in readiness of either unseating or maintaining the current status quo.

Britain, the United States, Japan and a number of European Union Countries condemned the excessive use of force on media censorship and silencing of journalists like the killing of political commentator, late Isaiah Abraham, and more especially our relationship with the United States of America is shaky due to alleged support to rebels in the north.

Meanwhile, the world superpowers failed to see the daily support rendered to David Yau Yau rebel in Jonglei by the Sudan government. Another case in point why the West abruptly distanced itself from our Country is that corruption is a controversial phenomenon which has attracted international censure.

Most of South Sudanese citizens condemn the doom-laden chatter of tribalism, nepotism, corruption and lack of cohesiveness among our people, saying that it would consume those who created it.

For as the silence about the forthcoming SPLM National convention sets in, with looming realignment of existing political structure, only if not handled with utmost political maturity may lead to possible split should either side lose the Chair.

This will send a signal that things won’t augur well ahead and in the aftermath of the SPLM National Convention unless otherwise our leaders put aside their political antagonism and instead strengthen the legitimacy of our new Country on a solid foundation where tribes, hatred, corruption and ethnicity don’t dominate the national agenda.

Akot Marial, is a South Sudanese citizen living in South Sudan and could be reach on akotmarial@yahoo.com

Does South Sudan hold any developmental paradigms?

BY: Chier Akueny Anyithiec, Aweil, NBGS, MAR/29/2013, SSN;

Untiring complaints from general public of South Sudan continue to rise day by day except for a small group which finds this system of governance good for having the chances of gaining in it. The question remains whether we are safe in this country. This is happening because the current government never met South Sudanese’ expectations due to the fact that the ruling Party, SPLM, failed to realize the reason for our long historic struggle.

I don’t know whether we lost fundamentalists during the struggle or else we are then moving in no direction. However, the fact always repeats itself and my writing mostly is based on economical issues since it does not matter to me whether somebody understands it in the wrong way or supports it but just to say it because it is the fact.

South Sudan as a young nation is engulfed with lots of problems which will never end unless we act as early as possible. Take for instance, that South Sudan is leading in terms of settled number of International NGOs, in addition to the indigenous ones, but yet it is the very country with the lowest level of employment in Africa and also indeed with the lowest level of education, as outsiders claim so.

But I do always dispute this because the war which took long, exactly two decades, while some of South Sudanese have been moving on with their education.

However, if in case this situation exists, the few youth holding Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees, leave alone Masters and PHD who are unmentioned. They are not harnessing their talents because the country is totally hijacked by a wrong ideology with basically foreign motives in one way or another to exploit this nation at the expense of poor South Sudanese.

Our notion of having a Ministry of Public services and Human Resources is in muted glimpse because our government did not realize of what kind of ministry is available.

While our big people at all times stick to wrong obsession which they always say that our young people don’t want to work, yes, they don’t want to work but where are the vacancies for sure?

It is of a great axiom that South Sudan is a new nation with lot of chances but these chances have been taken over by foreigners because they find us as people without aims or objectives. This is the situation you find that all foreigners are the marketers, drivers, officers, Human resources personnel especially in NGOs and in public companies and they are exactly the most well-paid group.

The secret of not allowing serious qualified citizens to top positions in NGOs, Companies, etc, is very high leaving the youth with nothing. As I am writing this article today, the number of foreigners working in the private sector in this country is 80% compared to 20% for the citizens.

But why should we allow this evil act for sure?

The chances of working in hotels are totally forgotten because energetic and skilled South Sudanese have been already blocked out. It took me three consecutive months, as a Degree holder, moving around Juba and my aim is to get a job in the hotel industry but my struggle was in vain and up to now, I failed to secure one.

Why? Where are these people who always say South Sudanese don’t want to work? Who always says this really? Is it President Kiir or his top group who say this untrue statement? I don’t see the reason to why our dear President established the ministry of Human Resources and Public Services? It is a ministry which doesn’t know its works and the reasons for which it really exists.

Furthermore, it is not only a single ministry that has failed us, however this particular ministry knows what is truly affecting South Sudanese young people. How can they only approve adverts but not persons that are employed?

Oh! I see they don’t consider which types or kinds of persons will take those positions; whereby you find NGOs deciding for themselves. For sure, this has become an interesting country with nothing but oratorical things happening against the living of simple citizens.

The development of a country is tackled in many ways which need rules, guidelines and some developmental paradigms that make a country have proper directives for the smooth running of the country’s affairs.

By Chier Akueny Anyithiec, currently in Aweil,
Can be reached at 0912701780

Kiir-iminality and misrule by Generals: Is South Sudan forever doomed?

QUOTE: “In the absence of inspired leadership, the more powerful side wears down the weaker.” Bevin Alexander

EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: MAR/28/2013, SSN;

If ever the word ‘kiir-iminality’ could be incorporated into our national lexicon, it would most appropriately provide a definition, status and activity of the most publicly blatant crimes being commissioned and committed with bravado and impunity by the ruling clique of government and cabinet replete with criminals and under the very watch of the current leadership in South Sudan.

Unarguably, since President Kiir and his SPLM/SPLA generals assumed power in South Sudan in 2005, the newly-created South Sudan nation has witnessed such bewildering acts of thievery and misrule by these newly-minted military-cum-civilian rulers, or ‘Kiir’s criminals’ since the president could personally but discreetly identify all of them.

In the latest scandal that has much bedazzled the nation and in which the perpetrating ‘kiir-iminals’ will never be arrested to the chagrin of the citizens, again, is the theft of millions (or a few thousands if the government spin doctors are to be relied upon) right from the president’s highly fortified office, an Oscar-winning Hollywood scripted action that defies all imagination.

In recollection, we’ve seen previous Megamillion dollars scandals that the rule of generals in South Sudan have unrepentantly commissioned and for which no single person has ever been arrested: the 4 Billion US dollar scandal by 75 alleged but known ‘kiir-iminals’ in the government, and the infamous 2 Billion US dollar Dura scandal perpetuated also with the criminal connivance of the so-called Multi-Donor Trust Fund expatriates.

However, in all these cases and many others that have made these ‘kiir-iminals’ and the generals ostentatiously rich despite the conspicuous poverty among the general populace, no single individual has ever been arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated in prison or made to refund the loot.

Instead, the prosecutorial modus operandi hopelessly preferred by the president was to write secret letters begging the 75 ‘kiir-iminals’ implicated to ‘please’ kindly repatriate the stolen dollars into a secret bank account in Nairobi that’s only known to the president himself. So far, years have passed and the nation hasn’t been updated on how much of that money returned and by whom…. how pathetic!

Legally, what President Kiir should have done, whether all monies were repatriated or not, was to hand over the names of these suspects to the police for further investigations and trial; otherwise, the probable definition of the word ‘kiir-iminals’ become appropriate since only the President is cynically privileged to their confidence, they’re, therefore, his self-owned and self-protected ‘kiir-iminals.’

Unfortunately, as predicted by many keen observers of our nation, the inevitable regression of the newly-independent South Sudan from a prefailed state to a complete failed state is almost accomplished, a fate brought about by the misrule of the generals and party die-hards utterly unfit and unprepared to shoulder the responsibilities of the nation.

History has glaringly proven that governments under military generals, who abruptly usurped a country’s political leadership either after a guerrilla war of liberation or more commonly after a military coup, all have either retrogressed, stalled or ended up in total failure and collapse, with deleterious effects on the nation.

As typical of military rulers, as is happening in South Sudan now, most of the nation’s money instead has been diverted into the insatiable Black Hole of an immensely bloated military budget which is inexplicably and arbitrarily exempted completely from any audit or transparency.

Irrefutably, in Africa, military juntas of such infamies as those of ‘Field Marshalls’ Bokassa and Idi Amin, or Generals Mobutu, Abache, Abboud, Mengisto and Siad Barre or the primitive Sergeant Samuel Doe of Liberia, all have clearly attested to the fact that generals or sergeants are totally unsuited to rule any country where democracy and constitutionality are supposed to prevail.

In our particularity of South Sudan, where bush-promoted guerrilla generals, most of whom haven’t had even the slimmest opportunity to attend some military college instruction or preparedness, leave alone completing basic primary school, have been suddenly pole-vaulted to top government positions from the presidency downwards, we are forever doomed as a failed state unless…….

More poignantly, just prior to assuming total governance in the country, the soon-to-be national army, was seriously divided and their top leaders figuratively and literally at each others throats, whence tribalism and sectarianism became overriding elements especially after the famous Rumbek confrontation between late Garang and the current commander and president.

It’s no wonder therefore that after more than eight years of state-sanctioned ‘kiir-iminality’ and misrule by these generals, the entire government has severely diverted from the much-cherished goals of liberation into goals of self-perpetuation and self-enrichment by a few, for which every tribe, regardless of numbers, had dearly paid for.

Historically and infamously, governments of, for and by generals, however much clothed in some cosmetic democracy with dubiously predetermined ‘national elections,’ have performed abysmally poorly in the fight against corruption, on the rule of law and on promotion of economic development of the country.

South Sudan, sadly, has become a pathetic epitome of the paradigm of failed military rule; the whole countryside is badly riddled with mortal rebellions, sectarian strife, economic depravity, starvation, famine, non-existent medical, educational or social services delivery.

Acceptably, despite being a resources (primarily oil, land, water and minerals) rich country, and despite starting our nationhood with billions of dollars in the government coffers, the political blunders recklessly commissioned by the government have irreversibly set the new country on the reverse course to perpetual doom.

What’s our future likely to be? For one, we’ll never be like Botswana, the jewel of Africa; more likely, we’ll be another Central African Republic, a ‘Democratic’ Republic of Congo, a Chad, or a more precipitous Somalia, unless some providential intervention saved the nation.

More aggravatingly, however, the government and its ‘kiir-iminals’ have unashamedly sold the future prosperity of the country for short-term survival gains and battered its sovereignty for exploitation by NGOs and the unscrupulous foreign investors/interests.

Lastly, what credibility does the President still have when, as they say, “he’s running with the hares and hunting with the hounds (dogs)?” It’s time President Kiir stopped glorifying and romancing with corruption with such impunity and without any recourse to morality or the law.

Jay Johnson: The advocate of Squatters and fake IDPs in South Sudan

BY: ELHAG PAUL, RSS, MAR/26/2013, SSN;

I read Jay Johnson’s article titled “Equatorians: Stop Land grabbing, occupation and colonization Nonsense” published in South Sudan Nation on 23rd March 2013 in disbelief. The audacity of Mr Johnson to sandpaper the facts around the issue is puzzling.

Mr Johnson from the outset made it clear that he wished to address “the question of land grabbing or more broadly the alleged occupation and colonization of the Equatoria region by Dinka” and to a large extend he has done so. So far so good. That is Ok and I shall restrict my argument to this premise for fairness shake.

In arguing his case, Mr Johnson refers heavily to the second civil war which took place from 1983 to 2005. According to him, the presence of the Jieng in Equatoria is the consequence of the war and he passingly mentions the fratricide between the Jieng and Nuer. Johnson writes, “this displacement phenomenon was undoubtedly felt and experience by people of South Sudan as the civil war intensified and became sectarian during the early and late 1990s.”

True, when Riek Machar unleashed his troops in 1990s on SPLM mainstream territories, the most affected area was south Jonglei, mainly Kongor and Bor with their surrounding areas. The slaughter of the Jieng of Bor by Riek’s troops was so heinous that both South Sudanese and the international community condemned it unreservedly. So, the fleeing Jieng who came to Equatoria for safety and protection from Bor and Western Bahr el Ghazal were sympathetically looked upon by the indigenous people.

Unfortunately, given Jieng’s poor skills of interactions with other people, and having been intoxicated by Dr Garang’s indoctrination assuring them settlements wherever they wished in South Sudan, the fleeing Jieng ignored the local authorities in the area and began to set up their own structure of administration whereby they embarked on systematic confiscation of people properties.

For example, Jieng came to various places in Equatoria and evicted people from their homes under gun point forcing them to go across the border in Uganda and Congo while they took over occupancy of the properties.

So, the crucial thing here is the manner in which the Jieng came to settle in Equatoria. Their approach was violent and illegal. Instead of coming as guests with respect, they came as occupiers by force proving the social theory which states that the abused always turns abuser. Having been abused by Riek Machar’s troops they came to Equatoria to abuse Equatorians and make themselves feel good.

Mr Johnson for whatever reasons conveniently omits this point from his article. That is understandable since we know that the Jieng are in a state of denial of their atrocious behaviour. He then sarcastically says, “Put it simply, there was no grand plan to invade the Equatoria region and specifically, Magwi County by Bor IDPS. The war forced them to sought (seek)refuge in the border region of Equatoria and Nimule town in particular.”

Although the war forced the Jieng to come to the border areas, it has to be noted that the war only accelerated and facilitated a plan that was already in the pipe line for years. Please read Jacqueline Ajak’s article “Let’s try to reform our people. A Dinka woman’s point of view on Madi land issue” published by South Sudan Nation in February 2009.

In addition there is a document recording minutes of a secret meeting held by Dinka cabal in Ark hotel in Kampala, Uganda in 2009 which exclusively states that, ‘The Dinka are the SPLM/A and the SPLM/A are the Dinka, The two are the two faces of the same coin.’. The motto of this group is ‘He who wins can not be in the wrong.’ In this document, there is a clear laid out plan for the Jieng to forcefully grab Mundari and Muru land in Equatoria

The plan for the Jieng to settle in the border areas and in Equatoria in general was designed by none other than Dr John Garang himself – the wolf who came to Equatorians in sheep’s skin and cunningly devoured them rendering them powerless and helpless in South Sudan now.

But to be fair, Equatorians also played a very important role in their own disempowerment by blindly believing in Dr Garang when the evidence was clear for everyone to see. For example, the “Dinka SPLA soldier” during the war behaved savagely throughout Equatoria with impunity and yet the so called Equatoria SPLM/A supporters buried their heads in sand like ostriches singing all the time “Monye likang Yewani” meaning our father Garang. Now Equatoria is reaping what it sowed during the war years.

Mr Johnson challengingly asks, “And why in the world should these people (IDPS) be called squatters and land grabbers in their own country? The eviction threats, land grabbing and Squatters nonsense campaign have been particularly spearheaded by the Bari and Madi communities more than any other community in Equatoria region. Is there any evidence of land grabbing and occupation? Or is the presence of Dinka people in Equatoria region being used as pretext of starting another Kokora?”

Certainly, the Jieng in the border areas fit the legal definition of squatters neatly. Mr Johnson argues that “the people of Upper Nile and Bahre El Ghazel regions like people of Equatoria region are citizens of the Republic of South Sudan. Therefore it is invalid and irrelevant to label and consider these citizens as Squatters, land grabbers, occupiers or colonizers, when they in fact exercising their rights to live, work or travel within the defined borders of the state in which they hold citizenship.”

Citizenship does not preclude a person from being labelled as a squatter. If the person engages in squatting, it does not matter whether he/she is a citizen or not, he becomes a squatter. Mr Johnson appears to think that squatters are only foreigners. No, he is wrong and ignorant of the term. Anybody can be a squatter. By definition a squatter is anybody who occupies someone else property or land without express permission from the owner.

As exemplified above, the manner in which the Jieng came to settle in the border areas does not confer any legitimacy on the Jieng to settle in those lands. Their settlement was/is unlawful and this remains to be the case. Therefore, they are squatters and subject to eviction. Simple as that and they will be evicted now or in future whether they like it or not.

Had the fleeing Jieng on arrival in these areas approached the local authorities (chiefs and head men) and applied for land to settle, the situation would be completely different. Because internationally, IDPS always are granted land to settle in by the local authorities and they must also abide by the local customs and laws. It is unheard of that an IDP fleeing from persecution comes to an area and he/she becomes a law unto himself/herself. It is only in Dinkocracy that such practice exists.

It is cynical for Mr Johnson to accuse Equatorians of harassing the Jieng in the border areas. It is the fully armed Jieng squatters who are harassing the unarmed indigenous population on daily basis. Not only that but they are daily importing more Jieng into the border areas to advance their settlement plan. This is done with the support of the Jieng government in Juba.

The question that needs answer is: why are the Jieng continuing to be IDPs in an independent South Sudan? Why don’t the Jieng repatriate to their original homes in the country? In 1985, the SPLM/A ravaged Mundari land and the Mundari came to Juba in big numbers as IDPs. The Mundari peacefully settled among the Bari and when the peace came they repatriated to their villages. Why don’t the Jieng do the same?

Mr Johnson invokes refugee laws and international laws as justification for the Jieng to remain in the border areas. This is ridiculous. What Mr Johnson has shown is that he lacks analytical and interpretation skills. His understanding of domestic and international law is warped. He argues that both South Sudan and United Nations laws allow people to freely settle anywhere they like. While it is true that individual’s liberty can not be restricted and is protected by law, such liberties are exercised within prescribed local laws and does not include communal liberty and movement.

To put it simply, an individual is free to move and seek settlement anywhere provided that they are accepted by the host community, and they abide by the local rules and respect the host community by subjecting himself/herself to the customs of the area. The law does not allow for mass (communal) movement unless in cases of war.

It is important to note that even in one country like South Sudan, you can not move en mass to another people’s area and impose your will because you are a citizens. No! it does not work like that. Otherwise this would be a recipe for chaos and instability. Mr Johnson in his mentality of denial chooses to interpret the law to suit his expansionist and colonialist views.

Drawing a parallel with the South Sudanese diaspora in order to strengthen his case amounts to an act of intellectual dishonesty. First of all, most of the South Sudan in Diaspora either are people holding full refugee status or citizens of the respective states where they live. When South Sudanese where resettled to their current second countries they were processed by the local authorities (receiving countries) and the United Nations agency for refugees.

There was a vetting process and some unlucky people were eliminated. Those chosen were processed and transported to their respective areas of settlement. They respected the host laws and lived peaceful which enabled them to be accepted as citizens. Crucially they did not impose themselves on the host community. They did not occupy properties of the host community unlawfully. They have not imposed themselves as administrators of their new country. How can Mr Johnson then make comparison with the lawless Jieng in the border areas?

To show that Mr Johnson is confused, he argues “If the Equatorian elite see the transition constitution of South Sudan as a Dinka political playbook, then they should respect the United Nations mobility right under article 12.” What is he talking about here? There is nothing called United Nation Mobility right article 12. What is he referring to? He should be clear and specific with reference when quoting. It seems he has no clue of what he is writing and thus engages in unnecessary waffle.

Now let us look at the issue of land grabbing. Mr Johnson makes very valid points in his argument about land grabbing, especially in his reference to what he terms Equatorian elites. The only flaw with Mr Johnson’s argument lies in the fact that he restricted the definition of land grabbing to large scale activities.

He defines land grabbing as “large scale acquisition of land through buying or leasing by domestic and international companies for commercial purpose.” This definition appears to have been lifted from the article of A. Haroon Akram-Lodhi titled “Contextualising land grabbing: contemporary land deals, the global subsistence crisis and the world food system,” published on 26 June 2012 by Canadian Journal of Development Studies.

Basically it refers to the current capitalist dealings in which multi-national corporations are seeking to invest in land all over the world to produce either food or bio fuels or exploitation of mineral resources etc.

However, there is another definition which is more politically grounded and this comes from Ruth Hall in her article “Land grabbing in Southern Africa: the many faces of investor rush,” published in 2011 by Review of African Political Economy. On page 194, Hall defines “land grabbing” or ‘farms race’ in Africa as “a new neo-colonial push by foreign companies and governments to annex key natural resources.”

The cases that Mr Johnson has referred to: the Mukaya Payam deal which involves “Equatorian elites” and a company from USA; and the Acholi land exploitation by Uganda fall within this definition.

It is true that “Equatorians elites” as he calls them were involved in these shoddy deals. This phenomenon also was unveiling itself throughout the country. The “Equatorian elites,” Mr Johnson refers to do not in any way represent Equatoria. These are agents of the Jieng. They are working for the Jieng. Remember that in 2010 none of these so called elites were voted into the parliament. They were out rightly rejected by Equatorian people.

It is president Kiir who forced them on the people against the wishes of the people. Since they are appointees of president Kiir and the government of South Sudan is a Jieng government, the issue of land grabbing automatically becomes a Jieng problem. Therefore Mr Johnson’s argument that “South Sudanese citizen of Dinka and Western Nilotic origin in Equatoria region can not be reasonably and objectively labelled as land grabbers when in fact they did not appropriate any piece of native land” falls flat on its face.

On the other hand, there is land grab exercised by Jieng throughout Equatoria which relate to properties and small plots of land belonging to individuals. The courts in Equatoria are overwhelmed with such cases. This is a huge political problem brewing up and the Jieng can not deny it by mixing it with large scale land grabbing. Some of the large scale land grab like the Mukaya Payam one has already been solved and the others will also be solved with time.

Therefore, land grabbing, occupation and colonization is not nonsense as Mr Johnson would want the world to believe. It is central to Jieng plans of expansion to dominate the entire South Sudan. This plan was constructed by the suave Dr Garang with the likes of late Dr Justin Yac and others. It remains the objective of the Jieng even under president Kiir.

All the little, little things done by the government to dis-empower and frustrate the Equatorians fall within this plan with the aim of wearing the Equatorian down to a total state of hopelessness to allow the Jieng to prevail. If the Jieng want to convince the world and everybody, then they need to pack and repatriate to their respective homelands for the sake of peace and harmony for the greater good of South Sudan.

They have no business bossing and abusing others in their own homes and people like Mr Johnson need to stop sandpapering facts which create disharmony in the country. There is no need being an advocate of squatters and fake IDPs.

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

Why’s the President keeping the nation in suspense, yet we’ve a Constitution (Lakes State scenario)

BY: JUMA MABOR MARIAL, RSS, MAR/25/2013, SSN;

This article is going to be very brief because it is a replica of what I had previously talked about and so far, many other commentators have had their logical opinions on the antagonistic or pessimistic aspects on the same topic. I am talking about the Care-taker ship of the Lakes state governor Gen. Matur Chut Dhuol.

To avoid some egoistic outburst from the already would-be beneficiaries of the two-months old government of Governor Dhuol, I must from the outset underscore that the man has so far performed remarkably in the area of security and with respect to taming of the criminal elements in the state. He has proved beyond any reasonable doubt that, there was indeed no political will to restore sanity in the state by the previous governors.

The establishment of Lang-cong prison camp says it all. The conditions that I have heard the inmates are being subjected to in that facility are the true characteristic of an ideal prison because, unlike previous centers (Alexic as a primary example) where the inmates are visited by their girlfriends and given the best food that they have never eaten from home until their imprisonment.

This current treatment of inmates by Governor Dhuol is in contrast and that is a true concept of deterrent and maintenance of law and order. This tells the criminal elements that, with freedom, you can enjoy a lot of things including taking your full bottle of water to the extent at which your stomach can allow.

However, at the same time even as the security aspect is contained by such stringent measures, the caretaker governor just like any of us have had so far some of his mismatches and the prime epitome of this is the ongoing misunderstanding between the governor and the state legislative assembly.

Because during his first days, he had threatened the assembly with shut down and two days ago, he sent a letter to the assembly instructing them not to debate or even do any amendments to the budget that may affect the executive arm of government or the office of the governor to be specific.

These are to say the least, some of the shortcoming traits that the caretaker governor have so far portrayed but again, they can be ratified if he get technocrats for his advisers.

Now, let us come straight to this topic of elections and not elections in Lakes state. Some opinionates have brought along several schools of thoughts on why the elections in lakes state should not be held after 60 days of Dhuol caretaker ship. Most if not all of them have cited the austerity measures, others have alluded to the fragility of security situation in lakes state and some of them do not even want anything to do with elections for several other reasons.

It is unanimous to note that the first two schools of thoughts about the austerity measures and persistence of insecurity are valid arguments but the question remains; do these factors justify the President of the Republic of South Sudan to keep mumb even after the lapse of sixty days as stipulated in the constitutions to hold the elections in Lakes state?

Of course not, why? Because, Kiir in considering the two options above would have, during the caretaker ship of Dhuol introduced some amendments to article 101 (s) of the TCSS in the national assembly to extend Dhuol governorship after 22nd March 2013. Up to now, Kiir has not done that and we assumed that he has silently extended Dhuol governorship.

Does his silence in these circumstances therefore mean a breach of article 101(s) of TCSS and insinuating that the citizens of south Sudan are taken for fools? That we don’t know how to read and interpret the provisions of our own constitution?

That when there are crisis in one side of the country, then the opportunity has arisen for the president to blatantly violate the constitution?

That we are all threatened and our rights to expression suppressed to the extent that we cannot say, sir, this is not correct?

That if there is insecurity, then it all amounted or tantamount to declaration of state of emergency where article 101(s) and other laws of our country should be suspended?

The list can go on and on and on but again, something has to be done and in fact, it is only after date 22nd March 2013 when the caretaker ship of Dhuol came to an end and no statement to that effect from the president that I realize even the legal advisory department, directorate or whatever you called it, is just but a ceremonial institution fitted for political accommodation and individual satisfaction.

How can I afford to allow the president apply the same constitution selectively while I claim to be a legal professional?

Those are rhetorical as well as food for thoughts but again, I want people to acknowledge that, we all have the right to petition the president for the violation of the constitution.

I should have been the first to do that, but guess what, our judiciary is not also trustworthy because the people there are hand-picked and any lawsuit that puts their master as a defendant has obvious outcome….. the petitioner losses.

Finally, the least the President would have done was to draft one of his decrees and extend the mandate of the caretaker governor up to 2015 and take the same to parliament for approval because I am positive, the rubber-stamping parliament would not have asked him any reason why he is bringing such an amendment at the eleventh hour.

As things stand now, we are in a quagmire but take this to the bank. The first violation of our constitution is successful under Mayardit leadership. Article 101 (s) is now useless…

Juma Mabor Marial is a Lawyer by Profession and is reachable at hussenjuma@hotmail.com

Equatorians: Stop Land grabbing, Occupation and Colonization Nonsense

BY: Jay Johnson, SOUTH SUDANESE, MAR/23/2013, SSN;

The recent call and push for federal system of government in the Republic of South Sudan by Equatoria governors, politicians, intellectuals, as well as the assertion of right of self-determination for the eventual independent Republic of Equatoria (ROE) or Democratic Republic of Lado Enclave (DROLE) has been based in part, on the alleged Dinka political domination, systematic discrimination and marginalization of Equatorians, colonization and occupation of the Equatoria region by Western NiloticS and Dinka in particular.

Whether the people of Equatoria region have genuine social, economic or political grievances against Dinka and Western NiloticS is beyond the scope of this article. Put it differently, I defer to challenge or affirm these grievances given time constraints. I will however, address the question of land grabbing or more broadly the alleged occupation and colonization of the Equatoria region by Dinka.

Sudan Second Civil war (1983 – 2005)
It is worth to remind the readers that war has consequences, one of which is the displacement of population, either within or outside the border of the state. This displacement phenomenon was undoubtedly felt and experience by people of South Sudan as the civil war intensified and became sectarian during the early and late 1990s. Millions and Thousands of civilianS were forced out of their ancestral land. Most sought refuge in big towns of Juba, Malakal and Wau. Others went north and settled in Khartoum, Port Sudan or Kosti. Hundreds of thousands fled to East African nations of Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda from where majority were permanently resettled to North America, Europe and Australia either through Kenya, Ethiopia or Egypt.

Others as we know were internally displaced, mostly to Equatoria region given its strategic location and proximity to Uganda and Kenya. The settlement of Equatoria region by internally displaced Dinka and other Western Nilotic population took place within the context of war. Put it simply, there was no grand plan to invade the Equatoria region and specifically, Magwi County by Bor Dinka IDPS. The war forced them to sought refuge in the border region of Equatoria and Nimule town in particular.

Thousands and hundreds of South Sudanese who fled during the war are still living in their host nations of Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, North America, Australia and Western Europe. Ironically, they do not face eviction threat or harassment contrary to what their Dinka and western Nilotic counterparts experience in Equatoria region. They do have rights under international laws and treaties governing refugees or displaced person to either remain where they are or repatriate home voluntarily.

And why in the world should these people (IDPS) be called squatters and land grabbers in their own country? The eviction threats, land grabbing and Squatters nonsense campaign have been particularly spearheaded by the Bari and Madi communities more so than any other community in Equatoria region. Is there any evidence of land grabbing and occupation? Or is the presence of Dinka people in Equatoria region being used as pretext of starting another Kokora?

These communities and their elites need to be reminded that the Equatoria region and the state of Central Equatoria is still part of the Republic of South Sudan. It is obvious that the Bari and Madi elites are pushing for an independent Republic of Lado Enclave. I do not intend to argue for or against the idea of an independent Equatoria region in this article. To do this would require a separate article on my part for which I am neither prepared nor have the time to make the argument either way.

My argument is that the people of Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazel regions like people of Equatoria region are citizens of the Republic of South Sudan. Therefore, it is invalid and irrelevant to label and consider these citizens as Squatters, Land grabbers, occupiers or colonizers, when they are in fact exercising their rights to live, work, or travel within the defined borders of the state in which they hold citizenship.

Until such time when the Equatoria region becomes an independent nation whether through the barrel of gun or through diplomatic means, they should cease this persistent harassment directed against former internally displaced persons of Dinka and Western Nilotic origin.

Kokora will no longer go unchallenged at this time and moment in an independent Republic of South Sudan. The first Kokora of 1980s should be treated as a shameful historical footnote that should never be revisited. The people of Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazel region do not want to relive the humiliating experience of the Kokora when thousands of them were shamelessly evicted from their own country (Sudan) and region (South Sudan).

The notion of Equatoria region for Equatorians only is not only discriminatory but illegal under international law. Modern nations and states do not restrict the movement of its citizens within her borders. Equatoria can either succeed or else should accept to live in peace with their fellow Western Nilotic as citizens of African nation.

The transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan (2011) contains Bill of rights and the right to freedom of movement, travel and residence. Specifically, Chapter 2: section 2 & 27, explicitly stated that “the rights and freedom of individuals and groups enshrined in this bill shall be respected, upheld and promoted by all organs and agencies of government and by all persons.”

Section 27 further went on to unequivocally state that “every citizen shall have the right to freedom of movement and liberty to choose his or her residence except for reasons of public health and safety as shall be regulated by the law.”

All levels of governments and individuals within the borders of Republic of South Sudan have legal obligation to respect, uphold, promote and enforce all the provisions of the constitution without prejudice. Citizens of the Republic of South Sudan have right to live, reside, move and travel wherever they choose without undue interference from the government, agencies, groups or individuals.

The Madi and Bari communities as well as Central Equatoria State, Magwi and Juba counties have legal obligation not only to respect, enforce this provision but to protect the rights of any persons residing within their respective jurisdictions.

As a new member of the United Nations, the Republic of South Sudan has an obligation to promote and enforce the United Nations declarations and laws. The right to mobility (article 12) stated that “everyone lawfully within the territory of the state shall within that territory have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his or her residence. It went on to say that citizens of state have the freedoms to travel, reside and work in any part of state where one choose within in the define border.

If the Equatorian elites see the transition constitution of Republic of South Sudan as a Dinka political playbook, then they should respect the United Nations mobility right under article 12. World bodies and institutions like United Nations will become critical as the call and push for an independent Republic of Equatoria or Democratic Republic of Lado Enclave (DROLE) by Equatorian elites gathered momentum in the coming seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years or centuries.

I personally do not see the possibility of an independent Equatoria region. The Equatorian elites are dating themselves. Available data on independent ethnic movement is very discouraging and disappointing to say the least. The people of Equatoria region are better off perusing government reform with other regions. Political reforms cannot be achieved overnight. Politics is a hard, cruel and unforgiving game that requires focus, perseverance, determination and unity.

The Equatoria demand for federal system or independence is unrealistic. It is a hit-and-run strategy which will not produce the desired results and outcomes. It took South Sudan 55 years to get their independence from Sudan. So the Equatorians must prepare for 100 years of struggle if they genuinely believe in their call for an independent nation.

Is there land grabbing in Equatoria region and South Sudan?
Land grabbing can be defined as large scale acquisition of land through buying or leasing by domestic and international companies for commercial purpose. And absolutely, there is land grab in Equatoria region in particular and South Sudan in general. However, a Dinka or Western Nilotic civilian residing in Equatoria region cannot be considered a land grabber or squatter when in fact as is the case here, their presence took place within the context of war and citizenship.

As citizens displaced by war, they have right to live, work and move anywhere within the defined territory of the Republic of South Sudan. Whether they should go home or remain where they currently reside is their individual and collective decision. No one should tell them what to do. It would also be disingenuous to see them as either domestic or foreign corporations who lease, buy or grab Madi and Bari land for commercial uses.

Obviously, foreign investment companies, South Sudanese and Equatoria elites in particular are the real perpetuators of land grabbing. The Equatorians intellectuals do not, out of dishonesty want to point fingers to themselves and their leaders but they want to use Dinka as scapegoats as they attempt to break away from the nation. Nor do they want to acknowledge the fishy and fictitious foreign commercial deals made in some instances, without the knowledge and consent of the local community.

Land grab statistics in South Sudan is alarming and disappointing. According to November 4th 2011 report by Norwegian People Aid, foreign investors have acquired a total of 5.74 million hectares of land between 2007 and 2010 for agriculture, biofuel, tourism and conservation investments.

You tell me what the total hectares of land are now in 2013.

Majority of foreign deals occurred mostly in Equatoria region, Jonglei and Western Upper Nile. Put it simply, 10% of South Sudan land has been illegally or legally leased to foreign corporations without the knowledge or consent of the communities in which they took place. The lands deals in question are about 57,400 kilometer square, which is more than the total land mass of the country of Rwanda.

Examples of Land grab in Equatoria (Central Equatoria State)
The Mukaya Payam, Lainya county of Central Equatoria State: this is one of the well publicized and outrageous land grab examples in Equatoria region. As reported by Oakland Institute, the deal was done on the back of Pojulu community of Mukaya Payam by fictitious Mukaya Payam cooperative with American New York based Investment Company, The Nile Trading and Development.

It was a 49-year lease of 600,000 hectares of land with option of additional 400,000 hectares of land. The company obtained exclusive rights to exploit the natural resources in the covered area. The price was 75,000 South Sudanese pounds ($25,000), translated as $16 per hectare of land. The signatories were allegedly Magistrate James Yosia Ramadalla for Mukaya Payam cooperative and Mr. Douglas for Nile Trading and Development.

May be some of you know Mr. James Yosia Ramadalla in person. He lives in Juba but somehow allegedly manages to auction off the community land without their knowledge and consent.

Parjok and Owiny kibul of Magwi County: is another case of land grab in the state of Eastern Equatoria. The Uganda Defense forces were reported to have engaged in illegal logging of teak and appropriation of South Sudan land to Uganda peasants and farmers.

Apparently we did not hear any cries of land grab from Equatorian elites in any of these cases. But they have been crying blood and wine accusing South Sudanese IDPS of Dinka background of land grabbing and occupation as pretext of their hatred of Jieng people.
And as reported by the Norwegian People Aid (NPA) and Oakland Institute (OI), the Mukaya Payam land deal was not done by Dinka politicians or generals, but by the Equatorians themselves.

There are other cases of land grab in Western Equatoria, Central equatoria, Jonglei and Western upper Nile that require separate article to discuss. Land grab is immoral and illegal practice, which is being perpetuated in large part by Equatorian elites at the back of their respective communities. It is a multi-million dollar scam which is unfairly blamed not only on the Dinka politicians and generals but on the poor and innocent IDPS in the region.

Somehow, it seems that all Madi and Bari people were living in Nimule and Juba before the war. And who was then living in the villages if everyone claims to have lived in these towns?

It is possible that these illegal deals might have been discovered and addressed satisfactorily for which the author is not aware of. But the point is to show to the Equatorian elites some examples of land grabs in their backyards. They either intentionally over look them or were not aware of their occurrance.

Perhaps the Equatorian elites need to tell us, the public, how much Equatorian, Bari and Madi lands have been grabbed, squatted on or occupied by Dinka and other Western Nilotic? Quite often, it is easy to claim victim-hood and wrongdoing, and sometimes difficult to substantiate or provide the proof of the alleged crime. What percentage of Madi or Bari land is Nimule or Juba town? Is the town of Nimule 30% or 50% of Madi land?

South Sudanese citizens of Dinka and Western Nilotic origin in Equatoria region cannot be reasonably and objectively labeled as land grabbers when in fact they did not appropriate any piece of native land. I have been to Juba, Nimule, Yei, Kapoeta, Torit, Yambio and Kaya. The Dinka population in these towns is residing within boundary limits of these respective towns. None of them own any land in the adjacent and surrounding villages.

Dinka IDPS in Equatoria region in general and Central Equatoria State in particular are citizens of the Republic of South Sudan. They have right to freedom of movement and residence as guaranteed by United Nations declaration, article 12 (mobility right) and as enshrined in the transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan (chapter 2; section 2 & 27).

The Equatorian elites can either declare unilateral independence or else they ought to stop land grabbing, Squatting, occupation and colonization nonsense!

Jay Johnson is a former SPLA freedom fighter. He participated in many battles in Equatoria region including the capture of Nimule and the failed Juba town liberation during the early and late 1990s. He can be reach at jayjohnson053@gmail.com

There’s no tribe called ‘Equatoria’ in South Sudan

BY: Kuir ë Garang, ALBERTA, CANADA, MAR/21/2013, SSN;

I don’t know what I’m saying in this article, so bear with me. You can laugh all you want but, hey, mwalimu, I’m no George Carlin. Well, you might not know Carlin but you definitely know Chris Rock and Eddie Griffin. So now you can stop laughing, would you?
Every single South Sudanese contributed to the liberation struggle in one way or another. And all of us have suffered under the devilish regimes in Khartoum; directly or indirectly. These ‘Arab’ leaders with bigoted perception of socio-political governance in Sudan wanted to maintain the anachronistic perception of the ‘African Person’ as inherently inferior.

I laugh at people who call me inferior and then they run to plead to some invisible man who’s hard-of-hearing. This invisible man allows one-year old girls to be raped while he’s watching and you expect him to give a damn about your problems?

Did you stop laughing? You can go ahead and laugh if you’re insane! Let’s go back to the article.

There’s been (or should I say there’s always been) a lot of bickering about inter-tribal and intra-tribal accusations. And this classless bickering is between groups that see themselves as the ‘liberators’ and ‘custodians’ of the independent South Sudan, and those who are regarded as ‘ungrateful beneficiaries’ of the liberation struggle. By this time you can guess for yourself who the groups are.

I don’t care who is right or was right, something got to change. Only a fool would want the other person to change while sticking to his/her status quo. Change if you want the other person to change! Compromises are the order in any organized society.

Of the shameless voices who claim to have liberated South Sudan, we have the Jieng and Nuer people and others there about. Of those who are claimed to be the ‘ungrateful beneficiaries’ of the liberation fruits, we have the ‘Equatorians’. By the way, some of the so-called ‘Equatorians’ regard themselves as people with class, composure, critical out-look on things and a general sense of ‘wests’’ understanding of ‘civilized.’

People talk of Dinka, Nuer and the Equatorians, as if Equatoria is a tribe. When I hear ‘Equatorians!’ I don’t know what to make of it. However, when I hear Bari or Pajullu, I immediately know there’s tradition, cultural values, norms and a sense of human dignity associated with them. That’s why I don’t like the regionalist sentimentalism in the word ‘Equatorian’.

Some might argue that it’s better to regionalize than to tribalize. The only problem is that this regionalism is borne out of response to Dinka tribalism so it has more or less some elements of tribalism disguised in regionalism for efficacy.

Equatoria is a large area with a rich assortment of tribes with tribal allegiances that are as divergent and varied as their attitudes towards the so-called tribal liberators.

Equatorianism, as romanticized by its proponents, has become a deeply rooted regionalist and affective congregation of different tribes in Equatoria as a reactive response to the claims and mad attitude of the respect-demanding ‘liberators.’

I call someone a fool if that person presents a problem without proposing a possible solution to the problem. Stop whining and accusations because those will not solve anything. No one has ever solved any issues by whining.

Oh! Maybe what I call whining is the presentation of the problem. Okay, some of you actually present the problem clearly. But wait! So you’ve told me the problem. Where then is your proposed way of solving the problem because at the end of the day, the solution is our only savior. Who am I talking to? I’m talking to all of you South Sudanese.

If you think people from the three states of Equatoria didn’t fight and that you should take their land by force then you are a shame to freedom fighters. A freedom fighter’s honor is in the fact that he/she fights selflessly for others not for him/herself.

If you ‘liberated’ Nimule, for example, and then settle in a land that belongs to someone who fled to Uganda during the war, you have to give the land back to that person in the spirit and honor of freedom fighters. Unless you paid something for it! In that case, you have to negotiate that.

You fought on that person’s behalf. You’re a shame to freedom fighters who died during the war if you refuse to leave the land in the name of having liberated the land.

If you leave in peace, it’s possible for this native owner of the land to see the honor in you and arrange something for you. A demanded ‘honor’ is a shame. If you implore the owner of the land by citing personal reasons he/she can understand. It’s possible for such a person to understand you. Unless this person has no heart at all! You can respectfully explain to him the loss you experienced throughout the war.

This is my message to the ‘liberators.’ I don’t know what these people refer to people like Wani Igga, Mobutu Mamur, Thomas Cirillo and other freedom fighters who hail from the three states of Equatoria. They’re just assumed as exceptions! Mmm!

How about the people who are assumed to have not contributed to the struggle? This is my message to you.

I know many Jieng and Nuer people, who’ve not even fought at all, claim liberation credit by association. These people are not worth my salt. However, there are people who genuinely fought and lost limbs or relatives. Any right-minded person from Equatoria would understand if they feel their contribution or loss are not being acknowledged.

Some of these people didn’t go to school and lost many of their relatives during the war. Just imagine, as a right-thinking human being. Imagine such a person being told by someone, who spent his time in a refugee camp and managed to go to school; telling such a person that ‘you have to evacuate this place because this is my ancestral land.’

Just imagine, after years of having taken care of the land and made some life with his family for years. Now he’s being told to pack up and go without compensation or even with compensation. If you say I don’t care then you are sick.

What I urge my people in South Sudan to do is to be realistic in their approach to issues. Undermining people from the three states of Equatoria isn’t going to bring us peace, or build a country. Passive, non-developmental pride is stupidity! Bragging about having liberated the country isn’t going to build bridges, schools or hospitals. The hospital builder might be that Lotuko woman who spent all her time studying in Kampala. It might be that young Kuku man who just came back from United States.

And being unrealistic about the liberation struggle is outright madness. Any intelligent person would acknowledge the sacrifices made by people who fought. Having done that, one is now able to caution them about their misdeeds because a country cannot be built by mere past glories.

It’s true that the majority of people in the three states of Equatoria didn’t take part in the direct liberation fire. They might have contributed through education because the liberation struggle is not finished. Development is the second phase and that will be the contribution of those who didn’t fight; people like me.

If you call a Kakwa man, who’s come to help built hospitals in South Sudan, an ungrateful coward if he tells you to let him do his job to help South Sudanese, then you are not worth the life in you.

There are commentators from Equatoria who talk and write and present people from the greater Equatoria as if the people are some silly whiners. These people have genuine grievances about politicking, nepotism and land-grabbing. The commentators at times trivialize these issues unintelligibly. However, people from Equatoria need to be realistic in their grievances and their approaches to issues.

If you call a person, who’s lost all his relatives in the struggle and didn’t have any chance to go to school, an uncivilized fool, then you’re the greatest devil in South Sudan. Unrealistic presentation of issues and expectations isn’t going to take us anywhere.

We have to highlight our issues and propose possible solutions. Let’s stop regionalizing South Sudan when we are already being eaten from the core by tribalism.

How can you fight tribalism by being a tribalist? Oh, I see… you’re saying the truth! Truth my foot. There’s no such a tribe called Equatoria but there’ll be one tribe called South Sudan. You can laugh now. The article is over.

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese poet and author living in Canada. Visit www.kuirthiy.info for more information.