Archive for: April 2013

Lou Nuer Community reject 6-point betrayal letter by Nuer leaders to Pres. Kiir

President Salva Kiir Mayardit’
Republic of South Sudan

Cc: Lou Nuer elders and Politicians.

Subject: PRESS RELEASE: Lou Nuer Community Rejected some elders and politicians’ six (6) points Letter to the President as Betrayal and Shameful Act

APR/30/2013, SSN;

The Lou Nuer Community (LNC) worldwide is shocked and appalled by the divisive and unproductive move made by some of our elders and politicians, hence, the intention of this Press Release is to condemn them in the strongest terms possible. These elders and politicians are puppets and stooges of Gabriel Yoal Dok, Dr. Barnaba Marial Bejamin, and John Luk Joak, who have taken them to the President on Thursday, 25 April 2013, where they handed over the 14 April 2013 six (6) points letter which says “the Lou Nuer Community is hereby reaffirming that we are fully behind you and will stand firm with you in the 2015 General Election.”

The Lou Nuer Youth in general and Lou Nuer women and the Lou Nuer in Diaspora are outraged and disgusted by this betrayal of the Community by these elders and politicians who have chosen food above the LNC. We denounce it and we reject it completely. Calling for youth in general and women and LNC members in Diaspora to distance themselves from this political wrangling between the President and his Vice does not make sense since they have taken sides with the President, even though the Community has not taken sides yet; therefore, any advices from these elders and politicians is no longer worthy.

Before addressing whether this is the position of the LNC or not, it is worth mentioning that this meeting between the President and the individual elders and politicians comes as a result of the meeting which was held earlier on Sunday, 14 April 2013 in John’s house. In that meeting all MPs of the Greater Akobo were invited and the agenda was about theirs position regarding the current situation between the President and the Vice. At the end of the deliberation, all the MPs agreed to take no position until the General Election period in 2015.

Unfortunately, now we have learned that some of these elders and politicians have gone to the President where they made a declaration without shame and in disgrace that the LNC is fully behind him in 2015 General Election contrary to what was agreed in the meeting where they were all present.

These individuals’ elders and politicians were declaring this position without consulting with the members of the community in Greater Akobo Counties, Juba, or in Diaspora. How did they come up with this then? This is what we are going to address in the next paragraphs in details.

First of all, we would like to make it crystal clear that LNC is not a Political Party which can go simply the way these elders and politicians would want it to be as it is clear in their six (6) points letter. We are one Community and we are always united when there are things that threaten our existence as a people here in the Republic of South Sudan. We are united in saying no to this position.

We are also aware that we do not belong to one political party where we can go according to what the elders and politicians said. We do respect each other’s views when it comes to politics, and no one can make a choice for another in our community so what these elders and politicians are trying to do is for the first time since Mr. Peter Gatkuoth Gual and Mr. Chiech Lam were in politics.

Due to these reasons, we would like to make it abundantly clear that we did not hold a meeting as Community where we deliberated about 2015 General Election and agreed all to support President Salva Kiir. We feel that it would be premature to speculate on position since we have a long way to go. Why should we speculate on positions while we still have two more years to go?

The 14th April 2013 six (6) Points letter submitted to the President is only representing the position of those individual elders and politicians who wrote it and does not represent the whole community. Anyone who claims that it is for the whole Community should now know it is not. As a Community we will have a position when the time is right but not now.

The message to the President is that these three (3) guys will fail you if you will depend on them. You will fail the 2015 General Election; if you rely on them for everything, because they will never tell you what the Lou Nuer Community really want so that they can vote for you.

1. These elders and politicians are out of touch with the reality.
2. They are out of touch with the ordinary members of the Lou Nuer Community.
3. And they are out of touch with the mainstream of the Lou Nuer Community.

Let’s brief you a little bit about them so that you can know you will fail the 2015 General election, if these are your massengers to the Greater Akobo Counties in 2015.

  • Starting with John Luk Joak,

    John is a failed politician and has reduced himself to a Clan-Chief by listening only to his tribal mates from Cie-Kuayiea, let alone community Chief where community Chief is larger than a section and section is larger than a clan. Imagine if that is the status of the man in the eyes of the people of the Greater Akobo.

    John is a failed politician who cannot convince anyone to vote for him, let alone voting for others and the good example of that was 2010 General Election where he lost in his home constituency to an Independence Candidate while the majority of the SPLM candidates won. John has no supporter in Greater Akobo Counties. Actually it was only in 2010 when he appears to be having people when he used to have a Youth Group Called Akobo SPLM Youth Group which was led by Mai Tang Ngor. That Youth Group was later disbanded by Mai Tang who got no choice but to cease its activities and disbanded it for good because the Chie-Kuayiea boys, including the current Commissioner of Akobo County, were on his neck that he has taken their uncle or father hostage just because he is getting along with John.

    However, many people at the time see this as a jealousy from these boys. One of this boys is now the Office Manager of John in the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) that is Gatluak Puk. A Nuer with 6 Nuer Marks on his head with no qualifications and experiences, but only experienced in beer drinking and was made an office manager because he drink whisky together with John. While this chaos in the Group was unfolding John chose to be quiet and did not say anything to these boys at home to know it off from destroying the Group. As a result the Group disappeared, the very Group which was formed for the intention of promoting him.

  • Dr. BarnabaMarialBenjiman:

    This guy is a Dinka-born-again Nuer at his current age who always speaks in English in the LNC meeting. This guy is not serious and no one takes him seriously because he does not know ThokLoka, let alone ThokNaath; so, how can he deliver Lou Nuer Community to the President if John Luk who is a Nuer by birth and speak ThokLoka as well as ThokNaath cannot deliver?

    Dr. Barnaba is only in Uror to raise his family in the name of representing Uror County or DakKaDiak. He has no influence in the Lou Nuer Community whatsoever.

  • Gabriel Yol Dok or Dokweaa….
  • This is an old guard – an outdated politician still alive today in the Lou Nuer community. This old man is out of touch with most members of the Lou Nuer Community. In the last Election he cannot even convince his own area to vote for him, can he convince the entire Lou Nuer Community to vote for Salvakiir?

  • Chuol RambangLouth:
  • This is a stomach politician and lonely eater, stingy and selfish. This guy has no value in LNC and does not know how to speak, even in the Church, let alone Parliament or Political rally, so how can he get the Lou Nuer members to vote for Kiir?

    We are not interested to take sides at the moment but we would like to dispute some of the points made by John Luk in the 14th April 2013 Six (6) points Letter to the President, especially when it comes to the democratic system in the SPLM.

    Cde. John,
    What democratic system is there in the SPLM when at the moment in the process of the approval of the basic documents you are setting up a dictatorship system?
    1. For instance, if we have democratic system and should be maintained in our Party, why are you allowing the proposed 18 members of the Political Bureau (PB) to be appointed all by the Chairman of the Party after the 3rd National Convention?
    2. Why should the Secretary General (SG), the Chief Administrative Officer of the Party be subjected to the selection by the PB and not the National Convention (NC) as usual?
    3. And why did the suggestion for the term limit (for how many times) the Chairman of the Party can run for the Presidency of the Republic of the South Sudan was dropped in the process of the approval of the basic documents by the PB which you are part of —just to mention a few…..

    By the way you have nullified and dissolved the National Liberation Council (NLC) and the NC by approving the proposed SPLM Constitution which has placed all powers only in the hands of the Chairman.

    Another interesting point from John’s Six (6) points Letter to the President is, where he had made it clear that the Lou Nuer area is the worst affected and neglected which has been torn apart by insecurity and all kinds of problems, including lack of development in the RSS, yet, he and some elders and politicians from LNC are approving the work of the President and promising him another vote of LNC in 2015 General Election.

    What a contradictory statement? What a world we live in, and what a Community led by fools?

    From this statement is where you begin to know clearly how these elders and politicians of the LNC think when we are at a crossroad or a critical future. These elders and politicians of ours always put theirs interest first above the community and a good example of that is this six 6 points letter of John to the President of the RSS.

    When it comes to the point that one should not campaign tribal in the letter of John, because SPLM has a system and political structures of solving these things is where also you begin to realize what John is doing here.

    On the point of tribalism here, John is pleasing his master, the President and accusing the Vice President of being tribal only to secure his position in the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle.

    However, the good things for the accused is that gone are the days when one can lie much about you and people will believe it. These days one cannot lie anymore because nowadays the majority of the South Sudanese people are reading internet, newspapers, watch SSTV, and share what is happening on daily basis.

    Having said that, none of the four candidates who have declared their bid for Presidency of the RSS are free from organizing people tribally. So, John should cease pleasing his Master by accusing people for the same thing which his master is performing.

    In terms of the ones who are vying for Chairmanship of the SPLM and the President of the Country, we see it as their right as citizens of this Country and members of the SPLM contrary to the way John had alluded to in his appeasing Letter to the President.

    Absolutely there are processes and steps to be followed in the SPLM in order to prevent division and split within the Party, but also it requires lobbying, mobilization, and campaign on the side of those who are vying for positions, unlike the way John would want us to believe.

    In addition, these structures and Policy organs of the Party are not free from tribalism and dictatorship, instead they are turned into fields of domination by some over others because they’ve been rigged and not working according to the interest of all the members of the Party.

    So why would John want us to believe in rigged organs and structures and not allow individuals to come up with their own ideas and say I wanted to be a Chairman or President as it is happening now?

    Our message to these elders and politicians is to play a united role between the President and the Vice President by reconciling them, because taking sides will not solve anything but instead it will widen the differences between the two leaders. We need the two leaders to be working together for the development of the Country and for the success of the SPLM 3rd National Convention, as well as the General Election in 2015.

    To the President:
    Our Community has been torn apart by war and many things which some of them are caused by your government and you failed to provide solutions for it. Our community is lacking the following:
    1. No roads from Bor to Greater Akobo Counties
    2. No schools and health facilities in the Lou Nuer area which have been established.
    3. Our community has been disarmed more than 4 times where we have been left unprotected and insecure.
    4. We are the single largest Community in Jonglei, but up to now we have never been considered for Governorship Position.

    We feel that we have two more years to go and we see this as a big opportunity for you to address some of these challenges before the Election, because our votes in 2015 General Election will not be influenced by number of ministers, Chairpersons, or Deputy Chairpersons you had given us or you will be giving us in the future, and also it will not be influenced by the 4 mentioned elders and politicians, but by the four mentioned points regarding development in the Lou Nuer areas, as well as the following four points below which we want you to make improvement on when it comes to South Sudan-wide.

    Those points are here as follow:
    1. Insecurity
    2. Corruption
    3. Tribalism in Ministries
    4. And employment issue

    There is a saying in America that when, “Ohio goes, so goes the presidency..” When we and our neighbors of Dinka Bor, Greater Fangak, Anuak, Kacippo and Murle decide in 2015 then it will be known that Jonglei State has decided and when Jonglei goes, so Goes the Presidency!

    Singned: By Lou Nuer members worldwide.

    1. Peter DakNhial– Chairman- Jonglei State; 2. Simon PurThok- Jonglei State; 3. BilGatluakChuol; 4. William BiliewJal; 5. Paul RuotGatluak; 6. Paul KuolGatluak; 7. James Pal Chuol; 8. GatdetReat Tut; 9. Simon BuomGatkuoth – U.S.A; 10. Tut GatluakChuol; 11. Tut ChuolGatluak; 12. Sarah NyachewChuol; 13. Mary Nyadow Tut; 14. CholGatluak Char; 15. Jima GatkuothDak; 16. Tut ReathDak; 17. John GatluakBidit; 18. Daniel Kun Chuol – Canada; 19. NhialKoangYiel; 20. WiyualChuol Tot – Australia; 21. Lam Deng Tut; 22. Peter NhialChuol; 23. NhialGatluakKoang.

    Gov. Kuol Manyang: South Sudan rulers are birds of passage not settlement!

    BY: Wani Tombe Lako, SOUTH SUDANESE, APR/30/2013, SSN;

    It’s socially, culturally, morally, religiously, politically, and in sovereignty terms, refreshing, to hear Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk, of Jonglei State, bemoaning the fact that the majority of his government employees, may be, including some, or all of his ministers, are keeping their families in other foreign countries, and that, I suppose, according to Governor Manyang, isn’t nice. To put it politely, for the sake of social and intellectual harmony!

    I am just bemused by the fact that it has taken this Governor of Jonglei State a good eight (8) years, that is, from 2005 to 2013, to realise that South Sudan is ruled by rulers, the majority of whom are birds of passage as opposed to settled birds.

    It is very funny that it has just occurred to the Governor of Jonglei State that most of his colleagues in the government of South Sudan (GoSS), if not him, treat South Sudan like a goldmine. They are here in South Sudan (SS), just to mine the gold and send the proceeds back home — in Uganda, Kenya and elsewhere in Europe, America, Australia, and such like.

    On the other hand, constitutionally and administratively, the temporal ultimatum issued by the said Governor is utterly ultra vires. In this regard, the said Governor has gone beyond constitutional and administrative powers allowed him within his powers as Governor of the said State. His intentions within the remit of this temporal ultimatum are unlawful threats against the human rights of freedom of movement of the people who shall be affected by these intentions, if put into effect.

    On the other hand, at Common-law, which is the formal legal tradition in SS, the said ultimatum is also culpable. The said Governor cannot attempt to make laws on the hoofs as it were, for this shall amount to ruling his State through retrogressive laws.

    This Governor of Jonglei State ought to be informed that, at law and in accordance with constitutional and administrative laws of SS, as they stand at the moment, the whereabouts of his employees’ families, as well as future intentions of his employees, and including his ministers, as to where they want to keep their families, is none of his business.

    Unless there were clauses in their contracts of employment expressly stating that these employees shall keep their children in SS during the course of their employment with the government of Jonglei State, the Governor of the said State must not interfere with the family lives of these citizens of SS, ministers and all employees of Jonglei State.

    Something is constitutionally, administratively, and legally wrong with the senior rulers of SS. Is it raw ignorance, or raw arrogance, or just outright application of jungle laws in the administration of SS, including the lives of the people herein?

    South Sudanese are not commonplace chattels. If the peoples of SS are not being threatened with crucifixion by deputy governors and if they are not being barred from working anywhere in the State by the concerned Governor or now, if they are not being told where to keep their children, they are singularly and severally being left to fend for themselves in the comprehensive quagmire of SS.

    The majority of these rulers in Federal SS behave like very bad landlords, who treat their tenants like some human garbage. In fact, our comprehensive collective dilemmas, in SS, are akin to comprehensive collective dilemmas of retarded children under the care of very bad nannies in a hostile and forlorn hostel.

    Therefore, I still stand by what I said and wrote, some years ago, and that is that SS is like an orphanage kindergarten, being run by and under the sole authority of convicted pedophiles.

    The least the Governor of Jonglei State can do in a way of persuading his employees to bring their dependents to SS, is by not accommodating them in family size government houses, and restricting his ministers to just one vehicle, instead of the standard two cars, one for the minister, and the other one for the madam, as it were. Such administrative decisions shall not be infringing any human or legal rights of the said employees in Jonglei State.

    However, the Governor cannot deny his employees their marriage allowances with or without children, as long as there are legal documents supporting such claims. My legal advice is that, Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk must get himself an excellent legal adviser from one of his relatives as is the practice in SS.

    The Governor of Jonglei State ought to know that, moral wrongs are not always legal wrongs. Governor Manyang, you cannot and shall not convert the ‘ought’ into the ‘is.’

    On the other hand, ethical, moral and religious sins cannot be converted into legal felonies, whether civil or criminal. Laws must be reasonable, just, fair, objective, predicable and discoverable.

    Governors and others cannot just get out of their beds and begin criminalizing conducts, acts, and omissions; just because they think that they as Governors are right, or because they think that such decisions shall make them popular with the voters, tribesmen and tribeswomen, or general followers.

    Leadership is a tricky business Governor Kuol Manyang, and it is dangerously saturated with constitutional, legal, and administrative dilemmas.

    I have in many occasions condemned this tourist mentality of our rulers in SS, whereby, I called them political sojourners. However, this is argued from political mortality standpoint.

    I for example said that the schools and hospitals to which our rulers send their children for education in Uganda and Kenya, were built by Kenyan and Ugandan mothers and fathers for their children’s education. However, we in SS appear not have reached that level of social development in which we can also build and sustain our own schools for the education of our children in SS.

    The saga and tragedy of the lost billions of dollars in SS, through ministerial theft, and other frauds, against public fund notwithstanding.

    The byword of starting from scratch appears to have become a permanent excuse for government misfeasance.

    After eight (8) years of ruling ourselves by ourselves, and being in charge of billions of dollars, an amount of wealth which is more than whole budgets of Uganda and Kenya put together during the same period and here we are, still sending our children to Uganda and Kenya for primary education.

    I am not going to buy the argument that because we have been at war for many years, we have therefore lost our educational and health infrastructures. Any first year student of development economics will disagree with such contention, given the billions of dollars which went through our hands in SS; if put into good logical usages, from 2005 to date, these monies could have transformed us into some success story in this part of Africa.

    However, how can we positively advance if we have been busy carrying our monies to Uganda and other places, through refrigerators, coffins, jute-sacks and such like?!

    Governor Manyang, the relative peace, tranquility and security that your employees and others in SS want to savour and bask in, in Uganda and Kenya, did not just drop from the blue skies on to these countries. In these countries, there are certain cultural values, and traditions which value human life.

    The majority of Ugandans for example, do not just enter into one another’s house and begin looting or beating the occupants for some tribal reasons. This is commonplace in SS. These acts are not committed by foreigners in SS. They are committed by particular tribes in SS.

    The police in Uganda and Kenya can at least protect the citizens of these countries. Compare the situation with us in SS. The peoples in these East African countries in which we want to live are peaceful. The rulers there are at least, relatively predicable. The people there value humanity. The peoples there want to produce, and indeed do produce their own food, not like us in SS; where, we abandon our villages to come and live in hotels at the expense of public purse.

    Or, we abandon our villages to come and crowd in our relatives’ homes in all urban centers in SS, or we abandon our villages to come and sell government monies in the form of US Dollars, Pounds Sterling, and Euros in markets places because our kinsmen and women are in charge of these public monies in the GoSS; therefore, it is free for all for the few of us.

    Governor Manyang; these are just few reasons why your employees do not want their children to stay in Jonglei in particular, and SS at large. Let us show our peoples that we are humans, and then they shall let their children stay in SS.

    If we show our peoples that we are political sojourners, they shall also become tourists through their children like us the rulers in Juba and Bor. Can you blame them, Governor Manyang?

    The author is Professor of Social and Rural Development and Lecturer in Law; he can be contacted at

    Nationalism or Tribalism in South Sudan?

    BY: Dhaal Mapuor Aterdit, RUMBEK, Lakes State, APR/29/2013, SSN;

    It’s a no doubt that there are a total of sixty four (64) South Sudanese tribes in existence as am writing this piece. They inclusively constituted what was formally pronounced as the “193rd UN Member State” by UN General Assembly. That day, in other words, was called the “Birth of a New Nation,” it was amiably prized by all South Sudanese and the world alike. “At this moment… in this place… the world gathers to say in one voice: Welcome, South Sudan. Welcome to the community of nations,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said after the Assembly adopted a resolution, by acclamation, to admit Africa’s newest country.

    The birth of the Republic of South Sudan was what I would herein refer to as nationalism. It was not perceived as a triumph of an individual ethnic entity. It was a work well-done by all South Sudan’s sixty four tribes. They finally voted themselves out of sweltering injustices, mass-slaughters, sufferings and under-developments……..this was the perception when secession was declared a reality.

    It is without skepticism to emphasize that our independence was not attained because of a certain tribe. Although there are some other substantial historical events in the struggle for total autonomy in South Sudan which shown the lesser contribution of a few tribes, the fact remains that South Sudan was sweated for by all South Sudanese.

    “I am confident that South Sudan will contribute to promote the objectives of security, peace, prosperity, friendship and cooperation between peoples as they are promoted by the United Nations, and this for the good of the people of South Sudan, for the good of the region and for the entire African continent.”—- Joseph Deiss, President of UN General Assembly said this during hoisting of South Sudan’s flag at UN Headquarters.

    In this sense, I can significantly imagine that South Sudan was not allowed a break-way from the Sudan by international community to come and play politics of tribes. We didn’t opt for independence to come and mutilate ourselves. So many people in various tribes tend to talk political ills against other different tribes.

    Surprisingly enough, many of our top politicians align citizens on the category of tribes. The comprehensible case in point is the incident of the Republican Order issued by President of the Republic of South Sudan and broadcast by State owned Television (SSTV).

    The surface of the republican order was the withdrawal of extra-executive powers from the Vice President. But alas, it didn’t entail the depth of both the typical executive powers and reasons that led to withdrawal of these powers.

    This event generated a public concern between the country’s two major tribes (Dinka, the President’s Tribe and Nuer, The Vice President’s Tribe). That was the first political episode in the new nation. It marks the start of political struggle which is opinionated along the tribal lines.

    Talking about tribes, either against or in favor of a certain tribe is an eye wink in South Sudan. The tribes’ names have thoughtlessly occupied most South Sudanese’s brains. It is regrettable to have seen even the highly learned and level-headed figures in the country preaching tribalism.

    Talking about tribes is not bad because they’re our identity. They’re what bind us to our ancestral beliefs and culture. What makes distinction here in South Sudan is how we have perceived ourselves as tribes.

    The young nation is growing into the realm of tribes which adversely will throw the country into abyss of misery and despondency. It’s without a shred of doubt that tribes do exist in the world. The state of affairs in South Sudan makes it particular in ways that portray a false idea so as to this country might be the only spot on earth where tribes exist.

    According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online, nationalism is defined as “loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.”

    Nationalism in its practical exercise in our country is adverse. The country is clinging so compactly to a tribal chauvinistic state. There is much abhorrence amongst tribes. We have not accepted ourselves as a people and as a nation.

    Our nationalism is flawed by our strong belief in tribes. This ideology has been killing the progresses in many countries in the world. It has stunted South Sudanese nationalism and democratic course of action has been skyjacked by tribal political principles.

    This belief is revealing an extent in which the country will promptly bump to the verge of an all-out tribal civil war.

    2011 is a remarkable year in the political history of our nation. The architects of independence as they usually describe themselves would have put the issue of tribal conflicts as a primary precedence by allowing the politicians break in their duties whether at national or state levels to go to their people in the villages to talk about “loyalty and devotion to a nation.”

    If the locals at grass-root echelons understand this, this will mean peace and reconciliation, and on other hand implies nationalism.

    Lamentably, our politicians in Juba and State capitals are the ones exercising tribal and clannish politics. Appointment to Constitutional positions is based on tribes where a politician comes from.

    I pray that South Sudan be a democratic and pluralistic state where behavior of every citizen is not primarily guessed as the deeds of is/her tribe.

    I pray that all South Sudanese excel for nationhood as a common cause for all of us, together with those who cemented our national identity with their blood for autonomy of this country.

    I pray that we become a free tribalism state, that we accept ourselves as one people and put forward the HOPE of becoming a democratic nation.

    The Battle for Winning the Hearts and Minds of South Sudanese

    BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, SOUTH SUDANESE, APR/29/2013, SSN;

    Recent political developments in South Sudan are promising and encouraging. The series of Republican decrees issued by the President of the Republic, Salva Kiir Mayardit in the past several weeks, including the decree that introduced the formation of a new national reconciliation committee under the auspices of His Most Reverend, Daniel Deng Bul Yak, the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, deputized by His Lordship, the renowned peace-loving and highly influential Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban of Torit Diocese of the Catholic Church, are laudable to the fullest extent possible.

    Equally commendable is the accompanying Presidential decree that granted renewed Presidential amnesty to rebel groups fighting the Government of South Sudan (GoSS).

    As the quick positive response exhibited by some of the rebel groups to grab the amnesty window of opportunity by both hands depicts, the politics of reconciliation is the most assured way to promoting sustainable peace in South Sudan.

    The president must, therefore, receive full and unreserved credit for these latest positive policy-decisions that can be described as not short of a declaration of battle for winning the hearts and minds of South Sudanese by the President, and long may this battle continue and these constructive decrees ceaselessly flow.

    The battle for winning the hearts and minds of South Sudanese is always a good thing because it can only mean that South Sudanese public stand to benefit from downward looking policies that can only improve their lot and meet the longstanding expectations of finally enjoying the fruits and peace dividends associated with being free at last.

    In addition, such renewed policy changes can only set the Republic on the road to progress, development, envisioned by the liberation struggle as to live a dignified life of justice, equality and prosperity, as opposed to previous visionless policies that were bound to put us on a road to the Balkans, from Rwanda through Somalia.

    It seems the President is finally coming to his senses and is beginning to realize that he has been misled into overlooking the grievance of his people. The people for whom the President heroically dedicated his adult life since he was 17 years of age by struggling in the thorny bushes of South Sudan, in order to free South Sudan from the yolk of colonial subjugation, slavery, marginalization and impoverishment.

    Moreover, the President also seems to have come to the realization that his own political carrier and future is on the line, and depends on the future he charts out for South Sudanese, and the fledgling Republic.

    It has also likely, albeit rather belatedly dawned on the President that securing a third term in the office is contingent on winning the hearts and minds of the South Sudanese public, rather than the misleading attempts at gratifying the individual greed and parochial interest of elite few for whom the national interest of South Sudan doesn’t exist. For these individuals, South Sudan is a fountain for personal enrichment and a forum for belly-politics that serve only their interest and that of their immediate families and possibly their kinsmen and women.

    In this context, the hearts and minds of South Sudanese can only be won through the pursuit of not the already tried and failed policies of political cronyism promoted by the political opportunists in the government, including those serving as advisers of the President, but by policies responsive to the people as the President has elected to pursue in recent weeks.

    The changing policies must continue to follow the recommendations made in relation to the ethics of reconciliation on our previous discussions.

    With the formation of the new national reconciliation committee, and the issuing of Presidential amnesty, the President must continue to show his resolve and political will that show he has turned the corner. This can be shown by making the amnesty a blanket one offered to all political opponents, including the likes of Elder Justice Peter Sule, who are still languishing in arbitrary detention under rebellion related allegations for which the President has now issued the renewed amnesty.

    Or else, the President risks being seen as settling old scores or harboring grudge towards Equatorians for whatever reason, which may jeopardize the integrity of the renewed nationwide national reconciliation process and render the exercise redundant and waste of resources.

    In furtherance, the President must capitalize on the momentum gained by the recent decrees, and consolidate them by appearing to be building and reforming state institutions, particularly the rule of law and security sector.

    Likewise, the President must be seen to be reducing and reshuffling the government, including relieving old and appointing new Presidential advisers in a diverse and inclusive manner.

    Now that the oil is back up and running, signs of social and economic service delivery must begin to be seen by the people to instill or restore optimism and confidence in their government again.

    Recent discourses on quality education, enhanced housing sector et al., must be followed with action and concrete gestures to that end, even if it means digging a hole and pouring some concrete cement by the President before the media as a sign of things to come, in terms of social service delivery, such as the building of schools and provision of quality education.

    As part of economic service delivery, employment opportunities must begin to be created and made accessible to all without regard to ethnicity, tribe, creed, religion, gender and the like.

    Other principles of freedom, human rights, individual liberties, and democracy must equally appear to be safeguarded, encouraged and practiced. The President must redouble his efforts, and work closely with the procrastinating parliamentarians to begin to pass some of the outstanding bills still lying on their desks.

    The permanent constitution making committee must up its game, and complete a draft permanent constitution of the Republic at their earliest convenience. In a nutshell, the President must now not look back, but continue in the direction of his seemingly newly preferred people-oriented and peace-building policies, even as South Sudanese public register their appreciation of his new policies.

    In terms of laying the groundwork for the anticipated national reconciliation process, the media must be encouraged to dissipate peace and reconciliation messages to our people. Media programs must be setup to elicit what constitutes peace and reconciliation as defined by our rich and diverse South Sudanese ethnic groups.

    Traditional elders and ethnic representative must be widely consulted on how they envision the national reconciliation process to be effective and sustainable. Our senior political leadership must also be hosted in nationwide televised programs to discuss their experiences with some of the most gruesome atrocities we have committed against each during the war years.

    Truth telling and acknowledgment of those atrocities is in order as part of the national reconciliation agenda in South Sudan, the culmination of which will result in reciprocated public apologies by our political leadership that should lead to mutual forgiveness and the opening of a new chapter in our history.

    Building memorials to commemorate some of these atrocities, and naming schools, streets, monuments et al., after fallen martyrs of past atrocities must also begin to be publicly debated, while reparation mechanisms to compensate victims or their relatives must also be publicly considered and discussed.

    On the whole the new policy direction and steps that are currently being taken by the President must be welcomed and appreciated, even us the President must be encouraged to do more.

    Surprisingly, some of our brothers remain unhappy with the new policy direction taken by the President, and have rushed to dismantle the formation of the new national reconciliation committee spearheaded by Bishop Bul, for instance.

    Many factors have been cited, including past failures by Bishop Bul in reconciling belligerent communities in Jonglei State and elsewhere, and question-marks surrounding the neutrality and moral credibility of the Bishop, as well as what has been seen as a continuation of nepotism in the appointment of a Dinka to spearhead this process.

    Encouragingly, our brothers from across the various South Sudanese tribes, including Dinka and Nuer, have aired their view of wanting to see His Lordship, Bishop Taban led the process.

    However, a close examination of the newly formed reconciliation committee rebuts the position of our disgruntled brothers, and instead shows a shrewd side of the President that defeats the naked-eye of the average South Sudanese, who may have lost trust in the President’s decisions based on previous experiences.

    Yet, from an ecclesiastical point of view, the President’s appointment of Bishop Bul as the head of the new reconciliation committee suggests the President is well-informed, and is in touch with the doctrinal teachings on church polity and jurisdictions, as well as pastoral theology.

    Traditionally, the Greater Upper Nile State has been mostly under the jurisdiction of the Protestant Church with the Episcopal Church constituting the largest church, followed by the Presbyterian Church. The Catholic congregation is a minority in this geographic area. In consequence, it is only logical that the reconciliation committee must be led by a Protestant shepherd. And since Bishop Bul is the head of the largest congregation in this area, it follows that his assignment as the chair of the new reconciliation committee is spot on by the President.

    Assigning a Catholic Bishop to spearhead a reconciliation process, whose strategic objective is to heal past wounds beginning with atrocities committed in the Greater Upper Nile State would not only violate church jurisdictions, but may also be counterproductive.

    Moreover, contrary to claims that the appointment of Bishop Bul is based on nepotism, the reverse is true. The President would have been nepotistic had he appointed a Catholic shepherd to lead the Protestant sheep that dominate the Greater Upper Nile State.

    Such an appointment would have made the President appear ignorant, but also be seen as appointing his church leadership, since the President is a member of the Catholic Church. Besides, Bishop Taban does not need to be head of the national reconciliation committee in order to influence its deliberations.

    He can play an influential supporting role from behind, much like he did during the liberation struggle leading to the signing of the CPA and beyond. In sum, let us rally behind the reconciliation process and collectively work toward fostering unity, harmony and peace between our people in South Sudan.

    To wrap it all up, in order for the President to win the hearts and minds of South Sudanese, and perhaps secure a third term in the first office of the Republic, he must continue to be seen to have ushered in a new policy direction that is people-oriented, unifying, and promoting sustainable and just peace in the Republic at the center of which is service delivery.

    The hearts and minds of South Sudanese can only be won through access to basic human rights and amenities, such as daily bread and clean drinking water, quality education, affordable healthcare, livelihoods and employment opportunities, infrastructure, security, individual freedom and liberties, and the like.

    Guarantee these needs, and you would have likely secured a third term at the helm of the Republic.

    I am just a concerned South Sudanese, and happy to entertain questions and concerns at:

    Governor Lobong: His nature that we didn’t know before

    BY: Kabarika Loliha Lokang, Dallas, TEXAS, USA, APR/27/2013, SSN;

    The Election of Lobong to the Governorship of Eastern Equatoria State a few years ago was viewed with a lot of skepticism given his attitude toward other neighboring tribes. Though he had never expressed his ill-motives against the long-time foes of his Toposa tribe such as the Didinga, Buya and other tribes surrounding the greater Kapoeta area, there was no doubt in many people’s minds that time will come when Lobong will reveal his hidden agenda to enact punishment on our people, especially the Didinga.

    Lobong’s hatred toward the Didinga people is well documented and everybody around those great hills and Mountains of Budiland knows it. The Budi people at large have suffered in the hands of Louis Lobong either directly or indirectly. Sending of the National army (SPLA) with an order to capture, kill, loot or terrorize is something beyond the governorship’s power, because the Army were used just as messengers to carry an order.

    Lobong must be held accountable for the loss of innocent lives of children, aged and civil servants who were killed in cold blood by the SPLA Juntas.

    The army is to protect civilians against foreign invasion while the police are there to deal with domestic crimes. But Lobong and his gangsters view it differently.

    According to the Presidential decree that recently relieved the few governors including Louis Lobong from Military ranks and active duties, I wonder what power did Lobong use in order to command 1300 active SPLA soldiers to raid the villages of Lorema and Kikilai?

    Didn’t the presidential decree prohibit relieved governors from commanding army for any given reason without first consulting with the President should the situation gets beyond state police reach?

    Obviously Lobong used the post he has at the moment to suppress and intimidate his opponents. Sending in heavily loaded military personnel to scotch the population of Lorema and Kikilai people was a crime against Humanity.

    This incident didn’t just happen by itself, it’s my understanding that it was systematically planned long time. However, because there was no excuse to conduct the operation earlier, the raid of Bira Community by few non-law abiding of Budi provided the opportunity that led to this indiscriminate firing squad of the Lorema and Kikilai peace loving civilians.

    Innocent people lost lives and their precious properties and belongings through this in-discriminatory act by the SPLA forces. What was the real connection between the School that was burned to ashes and the raiding of the Bira community property?

    What connection was there between the Killing of innocent Children and the Health professional personnel with the cattle raid in the Neighboring community?

    These people in the lowland part of Didinga land are the very innocent community that the Lobong puppets should have visited the least. The cattle rustlers don’t live in the health clinic or dispensaries, they don’t live or stay in the school either. The real criminals that caused atrocity with our neighboring community of Bira might be hiding up in the Mountains.

    Because Governor Lobong and his goons could not have the guts to put the law in good practice by pursuing those responsible in killing of Bira community people. The act by those few Didinga youth is condemned by everybody. It’s inhuman, it’s criminal to continue doing this act of raiding peoples’ property and belonging, whether the perpetrators are the Buyas, the Didingas, the Langos or Toposas, anyone found red-handed should be subjected to the highest law available in the country.

    It’s very clear that the governor’s intention was to use the opportunity created by few bad elements in Budi county to bring down the people of Budi to their knees. This isn’t his first time to order the massacre of innocent People of Budi.

    The massacre of 54 innocent children, young and old people in Lauro few years ago has all the fingers pointing to Mr Lobong. Unless the law possibly consider Lobong as a person of interest in orchestration of tribal conflict around the greater Kapoeta, no one may live peacefully there.

    Lobong is a lowly criminal governor. His hatred toward the people of Budi is undeniable. If using SPLA soldiers to bring havoc to Budi people is not subjected to the thorough investigation, a lot of the same tactics will again catch others by surprise sooner or later.

    This the same Lobong who in the past allegedly used his tribal militia of “Namorunyang” to cause a lot of havoc to the people of Tala, Ngauro/Lauro, and Lotukei. Now, after his advancement in power did he use the National military to suppress his opponents.

    The case of Lorema and Kikilai was never about the raiding of Bira and Lotome communities, it’s a well rooted grudge that he, Lobong, has been holding toward the people of Budi. It was only a matter of time before Lobong showed his true colors. What a pathetic shame!

    Knowing what he was up to, Lobong has never conceded and accepted the mistake he legally ordered to be executed. Lobong has never bowed down to the criticism he received from many local leaders and the Media at large. Only to say that it was his bodyguards ordered to retrieve back the stolen cattle was merely his typical nature of perpetual denial.

    Having said that, the governor and those connected with this high level barbaric crime have forgotten what the law is supposed to do. Instead of implementing the Law to capture the culprits, they instead reversed the true meaning of the law by putting the law into their own hands.

    They judged from the very spot the order was given to do as they wish upon arriving in the targeted areas of Lorema and Kikilai. The governor and his like should have known better. When the blood of innocent children and Health professionals spilled without a clear reason, those responsible for these atrocities must be held accountable for their dirty actions.

    As far as cattle rustling is concerned, the Didinga are not the only ruthless tribe that conducted this illegal operation. The entire region surrounding the greater Kapoeta is full of Cattle rustlers. Because Lobong’s government doesn’t play a major role in tackling these issues beginning from his court-yard, the rest of the tribes are allowed to do as they wish.

    I don’t condone this sinful act of illegally stealing somebody’s property for your personal gains. Be it the Didinga, the Buya, Toposa or any tribes, the act of raiding and stealing cattle from other tribes is a great crime that should be punished by any law present in the Country.

    The government should lead by a good example but not sowing the seeds of hatred as Lobong’s administration has just revealed. If the government cannot differentiate between law abiding citizens and the wrongdoers, the the whole of South Sudan is in dire need of awaking up.

    None of us perceives this evil act of stealing cattle as a legitimate profession, but a cheap and cowardly means of robbing people their hard-earned property. I don’t care whether the person stealing is from Didinga, Buya, Lango or Toposa, those caught red-handed must be punished by the ultimate law of the land that’s available.

    By learning from our mistakes, we should chose to do what is right in our community. Our warring tribes need peace-building seminars to teach them the importance of the laws and the great advantages of interdependence, but not the ugliness and mightiness of the law that suppresses the lives of our people. Laws available have to be put into action to curb down this ill motive of cattle rustling. END

    A Petition letter from Buya and Didinga Community in the Diaspora

    Date: April 25, 2013, SSN;

    Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan,

    Your Excellency,

    Ref: Requesting your Urgent Intervention to Stop Killing, Burning of Properties & Displacement of People of LOREMA & KIKILAI Boma of BUDI County, Eastern Equatoria State

    We, the Buya and Didinga Community in Diaspora, hereby call upon your office to expeditiously and immediately call off the current military operations carried out by the Government of Eastern Equatoria State, under the leadership of Governor Luis Lobong, in collaboration with the military authorities in Juba, against the innocent civilians of BUDI County.

    Your Excellency, on Monday April 16, 2013, we received very many phone calls from people in Chukudum, Lorema and Kikilai, all Bomas saying that Governor Luis Lobong had ordered/authorized unprovoked attack using the state’s military, particularly in Lorema Payam. The orders were carried out in response to Saturday April 13, 2013 incidence where some raiders who were youths had gone to raid cattle from the communities of LOTOME and BIRA Bomas.

    The incidence coincided with the presence of the governor who visited and conducted a meeting with local people. Upon learning that there was raiding activity going on nearby, the Governor ordered 8 wildlife officers who were present at the meeting and some of his security guards to go after the raiders. Unfortunately Your Excellency, the 8 officers immediately fell into a fatal cross-fire with the raiders which ended up with all of the 8 officers plus 5 raiders killed. It was tragedy, which we profoundly regret and wish had never happened.

    Following the BIRA/LOTOME incident, Your Excellency, the BUDI County authorities in Chukudum convened an emergency meeting to look into the matter as soon as possible. The authorities concluded the meeting with a pledge and solid agreement to pursue the raiders, locate the raided cattle and return them to their rightful owners. It was also agreed that the stolen guns from the killed wildlife officers would be sought after and located from the raiders and would be handed over to the government through peaceful means necessary.

    Astonishingly Your Excellency, Governor Luis Lobong decided to act on his own by unleashing collective, punitive and lethal force against innocent women, children, and men of Lorema and Kikilai Boma respectively. We, in the Diaspora perceive governor’s actions as yet another clear violation of human rights in South Sudan. According to numerous witnesses, a mixed force of SPLA proper and Wildlife troops entered Lorema Boma, at the orders of the Governor Luis Lobong. These armed forces started firing indiscriminately at young men herding goats. They then proceeded to the ONLY Health Centre in the area, where they attacked health center staff and those who were with in the clinic at the time. The armed forces also set fire to much of the village completely destroying sixty eight (68) nearby homes as well as forty seven (47) shops. Another twelve (12) homes were partially destroyed in the fires.

    As a result of this catastrophic event, Your Excellency, the people of Lorema Boma have lost their ONLY medical officer responsible for the Health Centre Mr. Peter Longorio Lopotongu, and several of the supporting medical staff. The incidence took place as follows:

    • Mr. Peter Longorio Lopotongu was dragged out of the Health Centre, the gun held under his armpit and the bullet shot right through his heart.
    • Two of his medical personnel were also dragged out of the Health Centre, forced to the ground, and shot exactly in the similar manner.
    • Mr. Marko Aboho Nakabale who was within the Health Centre premises and in an attempt to escape the attack got shot from the back and he fell and died instantly.
    • A female Nurse who tried to flee the scene of this despicable and cowardice act, also got shot from the back but sustained life threatening lung injuries.

    We have also been informed that Ten (10) civilians sustained bullet wounds and other injuries during the attack. These have had to dislodged bullet fragments from their bodies without any medical attention since the clinic was destroyed and the health workers were among the killed and injures. These injured civilians have not been able to seek medical attention in neighboring areas due continuing military presence in the region. Many fear of being arrested if they attempt to seek medical attention in Chukudum Civic Hospital.
    Additionally, the events in the village prompted many people to flee the area, and a number of children are unaccounted for.

    Your Excellency, you can imagine the commotion, the confusion and the state of panic witnessed by the young children, women and men of all ages as a result of the unexpected presence of troops in the area. The soldiers fired indiscriminately into the village area, producing a chaotic scene and prompted the pupils from the nearby school to scatter in different directions. Some of these fled to neighboring villages, one was killed and several more of these young students are still missing. A body of a young school boy, Lokang, who was the son of Oyabei was found a few days later not so far away from the school. 20 school children had ran and are currently housed by a local organisation CDSSS in Nahichod. Ten (10) others managed to reach Chukudum.

    Until now, some parents have not been able to locate their children. And because of this unexpected invasion, Your Excellency, fighting erupted between the local people and the SPLA troops. A battle ensued all day until dawn and the SPLA troops retreated back to Chukudum town leaving behind three (3) soldiers dead and 13 seriously wounded, including the commanding officer.

    Your Excellency, we deeply regret the loss of lives on both sides, and dozens of other wounded soldiers & civilians during this incident. We know and believe that they were only following orders from their superiors which led them to this unfortunate loss of lives. A loss of life in this manner is quite painful to any human being, be it soldier or innocent civilian.

    In addition to the tragic loss of life, the community sustained significant damages to personal and public property, much of which are critical to the wellbeing and security of the community. The amount of cash money excluding the value of goods destroyed during this incidence for Lorema Boma’s local businessmen is $100,308.00 US dollars. In addition to the loss of cash and damaged goods, the three (3) grinding machines were also set on fire and destroyed completely. At the medical centre, the Radio Communication System, the Solar Panel and Converters which is the only source of power had been set to fire and destroyed as well.

    Your Excellency, we, BUDI Community in the Diaspora and those on the ground, condemn, in the strongest terms possible, these atrocities inflicted upon innocent families of Lorema Boma by the government forces. We equally condemn the local raiders who had raided the people of Lotome and Bira, which ended up with unnecessary loss of lives. We believe this matter would have been, and should be handled and settled amicably through healthy discourse between the affected communities.

    We are aware, Governor Luis Lobong included, that cattle rustling syndrome existed for many decades, and it has always been a tragic tradition of all of the affected communities. We believe in permanent solutions. But these cannot be achieved through violence and collective punishment. Ordering military armed forces to terrorize innocent local villagers and burn homes, businesses and clinics does little to end the cycle of raiding violence.

    There are peaceful methodologies to apprehend the raiders and hand them over to the authorities for serious disciplinary action. However, the choices made by the Governor Luis Lobong, are quite uncalled for and deemed deplorable and unnecessary.

    Another approach to this unfortunate situation would have been for the Governor to consult BUDI County State representatives, the Commissioner, local chiefs and elders of both sides. But for whatever reason, Governor Luis Lobong disregarded all the proper mechanisms to tackle this sensitive matter. What he did was a collective punishment, which is a direct violation of human rights which deserves legal arbitration in a court of law.

    This act of killing innocent people is uncalled for, especially at this stage, when we are all seeking peace and reconciliation in our beloved nation, South Sudan. We cannot tolerate reckless actions such as the one initiated by our Governor. These actions will only act as catalyst to the already rampant insecurity, peace instability and under underdevelopment in Eastern Equatoria State.

    Your Excellency, while the families and the people of BUDI County at large are mourning those who were killed by the SPLA troops in Lorema Boma, we were shockingly alerted of yet another incidence of raiding on Friday April 19, 2013 taking place in Ngauro/Lauro Payam. This time, it’s the Toposa of Kapoeata East County who had raided the cattle and killed two (2) during the raid. Three (3) people were confirmed wounded and were rushed to Torit Dioceses Medical Center in Kapoeta. At the Torit Diocese Medical centre in Kapoeta, one of the wounded died upon arrival. This brings total deaths to three (3) for this particular incidence. The reported raiding took place at about Four O’clock (4:00 A.M) local time. In addition to those killed and wounded, the raiders also left six (6) houses burnt down to ashes.

    Your Excellency, this is tragedy for the people of BUDI County and we are absolutely perplexed by this series of atrocities endured by out people. The burning question to Governor of Eastern Equatoria State, Luis Lobong is this; will he deploy SPLA troops to go after the raiders from Toposa tribe in a similar fashion (Same as the deployment of SPLA troops in Lorema and Kikilai Boma)?

    We would never wish such a tragedy on another community, but feel that the issue of the government pursuit of raiders in Eastern Equatoria has not been even handled across the various communities.

    Your Excellency, not only are we bothered by these rampant raiding activities in our County and from these other neighboring communities, we are also fed up and outraged by the labeling of BUDI County as security LEVEL 4. This categorization of BUDI County as security LEVEL 4 block many non-governmental organizations from going to BUDI County, hence depriving people of BUDI County much needed development services such as health, education, road, food, among others.

    Your Excellency, we the BUDI Community in the Diaspora, have been closely monitoring the situation of this incidence from day one. We are also very disturbed by statements of the Governor and other state officials which claim the atrocities carried out in Lorema and Kikilai Bomas were committed by soldiers who deserted the operation carried out to pursue the rebel leader, David Yau Yau in Jongolei state. This is nothing but a pure propaganda aim at covering out the truth.

    We, BUDI community strongly condemn this deliberate covering out of truth by governor and his spokesman; we would like to vehemently refute this allegation, and call upon UNMISS to go to BUDI County and conduct thorough investigation for this allegation.

    Your Excellency, we Budi community in Diaspora fear that this approach of tackling community-based issues will destabilize peace in the region. We express our greatest concern over the leadership of Governor Luis Lobong. We are made to believe that the Governor is conducting ethnic cleansing in region in order to gain loyalty from those who admired his leadership style. This is very worrying and quite unwelcome gesture in the name of apprehending the raiders from particular community.

    We know BUDI County people are exchanging cattle raiding with Toposa, Logir and the people of Lotome. But each time BUDI County people are raided, the Governor has never acted by ordering military or police operation to pursue the raiders. How discriminating is that? The Governor should exercise equitable action against the raiders from all the communities raiding each other in the region.

    Your Excellency, we, in the Diaspora request for your immediate intervention and perhaps see into it that peace and reconciliation is sought in Eastern Equatoria State as soon as possible. We also request maximum and robust security force to be deployed in the affected areas of cattle raiding.

    Your Excellency, we, in the Diaspora request for your immediate intervention. We would like for an inquiry to be set up to determine who is responsible for the actions of April 13, 2013 and bring them to justice. In addition we hope that your office can promote an equitable and just peace and reconciliation process among the communities of Eastern Equatoria. Additionally, we request maximum and robust security force to be deployed in the affected areas of cattle raiding.

    As you know very well Your Excellency, Eastern Equatoria State is a very vital conduit to South Sudan economy because of its borders to our sisterly neighbors, Kenya and Uganda. If you don’t act and decide on what needs to be done to avert the heighten tension in the region, the situation will get worse and that will not be a good thing for anybody, including our young nation.

    Your Excellency, to prevent similar situation from happening again, we BUDI Community in the Diaspora demands/resolved to the following:
    1. Immediate withdrawal of the ordered SPLA forces from Chukudum town
    2. Independent investigation headed by independent body such as UNIMISS
    3. Immediate food relief, medical aid and non-food items to help the victims
    4. Removal of the Level 4 stigma, which has been selectively and indiscriminately labelled against BUDI County since 1990s, inspite of the fact that BUDI County is a lot safer than some of the counties in Greater Upper Nile and Greater Bhar el Ghazal regions.
    5. Compensation for those who lost their lives, properties and livelihood
    6. Sincere and unconditional apology from Governor Luis Lobong and Philip Aguer for misinforming to the world.
    7. Deployment of rigorous law enforcement teams at the strategic locations where raiding activities are common and frequent.

    Yours Sincerely,
    BUDI Community in Diaspora

    Cc: H.E. Dr. RiakMacharTenyDhurgon, Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan.
    Cc: Wani Iga, Speaker of National Assembly
    Cc: Minister of interior, South Sudan
    Cc: Luis Lobong Lojore, Governor, Eastern Equatoria
    Cc: Mr. Joseph Bakasoro, Governor, Western Equatoria State
    Cc: Mr. Clement Konga, Governor, Central Equatoria State
    CC: Maurice Kaunda, Budi Commissioner
    CC: BUDI County State and National Members of Parliament
    CC: BUDI Local Chiefs
    Cc: Human Right Commission, United States of America??
    Cc: Amnesty International
    Cc: United Nation Mission In South Sudan
    Cc: President Barack Obama, The president of the United States of America
    Cc: Hon. Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister
    Cc: Hon. David Cameron, Prime Minister of United Kingdom

    List of Petitioners

    1. Mr. Richard Lokure 2. Mr. Aldo Lokonyen 3. Mr. Mario Konyen 4. Mr. Amedeo Awai
    5. Fr. Nicholas Nyabanga 6. Mr. Augustino Luciano 7. Mr. Patrick Awuas 8. Mr. Maurice Aduto
    9. Miss. Flora Iyaya Lujana 10. Mr. Alex Wani 11. Mr. Mengisto Bilan 12. Miss Christine Nakuwa
    13. Mr. Simon Biro 14. Mr. Peter Lohidichi Nangole 15. Mr. Jima Jacob 16. Miss. Lucy Najie
    17. Mr. Lowate Daniel Novato 18. Mr. Robert Nataba 19. Mr. Kennedy Apii Nakwa 20. Mr. Fortunato Longok
    21. Mr. Joseph Anyanga 22. Mr. James Ipee 23. Mr. Victor Longole 24. Mr. Darius Lowuach
    25. Mr. Joseph Lomoti 26. Miss. Lucy Amoo 27. Miss. Sabina Pio 28. Mr. Lino Nakwa
    29. Mr. William Natemo 30. Mr. Simon Loboi 31. Mr. Jackson Kabarika 32. Mr. Samuel Aduto
    33. Mr. Peter Barnaba 34. Mr. James Lokoro 35. Miss. Christine Amoo 36. Mr. Clement Loki
    37. Mr. Hector Malamoi 38. Mr. Paul Lagu 39. Mr. Maurice Anyanga Anthony 40. Miss. Elizabeth Ikaa
    41. Mr. Joseph Odeng 42. Miss. Stella Aki 43. Miss. Rose Lokwang 44. Mr. Samuel Adiang
    45. Mr. Jane Alima Loki 46. Miss. Esther Yaya Peter 47. Miss. Josephine Lore 48. Miss. Alima Jane Loki
    49. Mr. Francis Lovok 50. Mr. Peter Loparamoi 51. Mr. Justin Lokoni 52. Mr. Paska Daud Loki
    53. Mrs. Anisha Daud Loki 54. Miss. Mary Apoo Luka 55. Miss. Catherine Krumuk Kuam 56. Miss. Nunu Ben
    57. Mr. Automoi Nakuwa 58. Mr. Marino Mauro 59. Mr. Peter Lodai 60. Mr. Gabriel L. Lonyume
    61. Mr. Maurice Lobalu 62. Miss. Jackline Kulang 63. Mr. James Lomwa 64. Mr. Peter Nakuwa
    65. Mr. Joseph Dario 66. Mr. Maurice Moro 67. Mr. Charles Macharinyang 68. Mr. Aurelio Lodai
    69. Mr. Michael Kadenge 70. Mr. James Lomuria 71. Miss. Grace Lobalu 72. Miss. Peninah N.Yarish
    73. Mr. Kamilo Philip 74. Mrs. Christine Kamilo 75. Mr. James Loboi Anthony 76. Mr. Peter Lokang Juma
    77. Mr. Peter Lokonyen 78. Mr. William Lokiru 79. Mr. Philip Amura 80. Ms. Margaret N. Darius
    81. Mr. Philip Lokang 82. Miss. Grace Victor 83. Mr. Mark Narikan 84. Mr. Stephen Lopulumoi
    85. Miss. Stella Natodopura Salvatore

    The “Crucifixion’’ sentiments by Mabor Achol Kuer is blasphemy and provocation to Christian faithful across South Sudan

    The ‘Crucifixion’ sentiments by Mabor Achol Kuer is nothing but blasphemous, Satirical and deliberate provocation to Christian faithful across South Sudan.

    By: Solomon Yak, Rumbek, SOUTH SUDAN, APR/26/2013, SSN;

    The recent crucifixion statement by the deputy governor of Lakes state (Titled Lakes State threatened to “Crucify” critical Journalists and Activists, Published by Sudan tribune April,23,2013) should not go un-condemned and as such, I must from the outset state that this is the worst and irresponsible statement being uttered by a ruthless and self-serving politician in the person of Mabor Achol Kuer.

    My fellow Christians, here is what he said, “those who are writing negatively about this state government will be crucified like Jesus Christ if we capture them.” Adding that “we‘ll catch you and crucify you on wood.”

    He made such obscene utterances on Sunday during a dinner attended by most of the State Ministers and Director Generals for a thanksgiving occasion and organized by one of the Director Generals appointed in Dhuol’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, is indeed seen as blasphemous, satirical and a deliberate provocation by many Christians across South Sudan based on the comments sparked by the news report on Sudan tribune website and other media outlets.

    However, it’s absurd and an abuse to our Religion as Christians and inhuman to say that they will crucify human beings like Jesus Christ, who we believed was crucified for good cause to wash away our sins, in other words Jesus was not a sinner but a messiah and saviour of the world.

    Mr. Achol’s statement has triggered anger among Christians community in South Sudan and is equated to 2005, Danish cartoon controversy depicting the Prophet Mohammed which reignited religious tensions between Muslims and Christians around the world.

    People wondered why a cartoon can sometimes be enough to provoke violence, but a public sentiment expressed by Mr. Achol is largely enough for Christians in South Sudan and in the whole world to provoke violence in South Sudan and to take mass action against Mabor Achol for the depiction of our saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, to demand the removal of this uncouth, hopeless and brutal creature, so-called Achol.

    Another scenario in point Christian should emulate, is the Libya’s in Sept 2012 attack where Islamist militants armed with anti-aircraft weapons and rocket–propelled grenades stormed a lightly defended United States diplomatic Mission in Benghazi, Libya, killing the American ambassador (Christopher Stevens) and three members of his staff.

    The fighters involved in the assault said in interviews during the battle that they were moved to attack the mission by anger over a 14-minute American-made video that depicted the Prophet Mohammed, Islam’s founder, as a villainous, homosexual and child-molesting buffoon. Their attack followed by just a few hours the storming of the compound surrounding the United States Embassy in Cairo by unarmed mob protesting the same video while new crowds of protesters gathered outside the United States Embassies in Tunis and Cairo.

    Having eaten sumptuous lunch and inspired by his new appointment as Deputy Governor as well as Minister of Education, Mr.Achol was prompted to utter what just came in his mind without knowing the implications of such reckless statement can impact on his intended audience and the wider Christians world to say the least.

    Mr. Achol is a known controversial figure who one time in his tenure as a Commissioner of Yirol East County issued a provocative statement in a meeting to Agar Community leaders who went to Yirol to recover the stolen cattle by youth of Yirol East County. He was quoted as saying that “how do we know these cows are for Agar community, since they have no marks on their-foreheads?”

    He was cynically referring to Agar’s traditional marks on men’s foreheads. Which was widely condemned by Agar Community both at home in the Diaspora.

    These Journalists and Activists who Mr. Achol want to Crucify, stood up for the bill of rights, freedom of expression as enshrined in the traditional Constitution of South Sudan and human dignity of the people of Lakes State who are being tortured, maimed, arbitrary arrested without trials by uncouth and ruthless Military junta of Matur Chut Dhuol who was sent by President Kiir on a mercenary mission to Lakes State as a revenge mechanisms due to Kiir flattery relations with people of Lakes State.

    To end this orchestrated mass arrest, torture and under development in our State, our people must come back to their senses united as people of one state and to avoid killing themselves and work tirelessly with people of different States in South Sudan to vote Kiir out comes 2015 general elections, with all his corrupt and self-serving ministers or rather well known as cabinet of thieves who robbed South Sudanese citizens of the so-called Dura saga and $4 billion earmarked by donor Countries for dire needed infrastructure, Education, health services, among others to the people of South Sudan which ended up in individual pockets.

    President Kiir’s war on corruption isn’t bearing any meaningful fruits since he himself is implicated in corrupt practices and instead of leaving the South Sudanese alone, Kiir’s failed officials still release such vexing sentiments on the silent majority of South Sudanese masses.

    Due to Kiir’s poor policies in his government, he is greatly losing popularity and wider speculations are that, despite the split of 1991 which killed scores of South Sudanese and displaced many others, still there is room to forgive each other and try Dr. Riek and other potential candidates of SPLM in 2015.

    If our party makes a mistake of declaring Kiir as its Chairman and flag bearer in the upcoming SPLM Convention and in 2015, believe me or not, South Sudanese will opt for a non-SPLM candidate and that will mark the last nail on SPLM’s coffin.

    Last but not least, I would like to categorically inform Military junta Matur Chut and his Deputy Mabor Achol that no amount of threat, intimidation, and torture will make Journalists and Activists who you want to “Crucify” to stop writing and watch helplessly while heinous human rights violations are being carried out by you and your Deputy whose tenure has expired since March 21, 2013.

    You are still being imposed on the Citizens of Lakes State by President Kiir when elections should have been conducted as per article 101(r) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan.

    Instead of Journalist and Activists being crucified, it will be South Sudanese who your failed president have denied Freedom, right to life, justice and development, that will surely crucify you and president Kiir in 2015 elections for depicting our Lord Jesus Christ, in your ugly and stammered throats.

    Solomon Yak, is a South Sudanese Citizen living in Lakes State and could be reached on

    The Deputy Governor of Lakes State should read his Bible once again


    I may be called the Journalist, the activist, the political rival and the most wanted person in my attempts to respond to the untenable utterances against the media and other citizens of Lakes state by the Deputy Governor over the weekend, but am also convinced in my own right that if I don’t condemn these reckless statements from our leaders, then who would do that?

    Before I could release my discontentment, I wish to refer the readers to an article published on ‘Sudan tribune’ on April 23, 2013 (RUMBEK) which read as, “Those who are writing negatively about this state government will be crucified like Jesus Christ if we capture them,” Lakes state’s Deputy Governor, Mabor Achol Kuer, said on Sunday.

    It is not surprising to read such statements from Mabor Achol because the man has been known for his controversial statements in his political life. Previously during his tenure as a commissioner in one of the counties in Greater Yirol, he was quoted as saying, “the Agaar’s cattle do not have marks in their foreheads such that they could be easily identified with their herders.’

    He was then responding to the quest by the Agaar community leaders asking the leadership to recover the cows stolen from the later. This statement has caused him several confrontations and some of us had thought he would be more careful the next time he releases any statement in relation to public issues.

    I personally respect the Deputy Governor and his policies especially in the fight against corruption and nepotism in the state institutions. He has since his appointment stood out to be a very objective politician because at some point he would disagree with his bosses on principles of governance and this has all along enabled him built a stable political platform between him and the public.

    We had hoped he would continue to do the same with regards to safeguarding the bill of rights including but not limited to the freedom of speech, expression, association, political opinion, religion because he is now quoting the Bible etc…

    It is also too difficult to blame him for releasing this statement because he has to please his boss at some point considering that he has just been missed by a whisper as the recent government reshuffle left him seated but instead added to his docket the highest and prestigious ministry of education.

    He therefore has all the right to defend the government but in this particular case, he has over sped by quoting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Christian doctrines to this incident are that the death of Jesus has been rapidly condemned in the strongest terms possible and that the Christians around the globe rightfully believed that Jesus was innocent and his ultimate death was not the best decision made by his executors.

    Therefore, if the Deputy Governor could go back to his archives and read on the teachings, the crucifixion, the resurrection and the whole history about Jesus and his crucifixion, he would only end up quoting the bible that, ‘Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.’

    So, if the Deputy Governor crucifies these journalists and activists when and if they capture them, then the victims would simply say, ‘God, forgive this government for it does not know what the purpose for the bill of rights is,’ in the Transitional Constitution.

    Negative criticisms as he intends to portray and the Crucifixion in regard to Jesus Christ have diverse connotations and the Deputy Governor should have had the wisdom to select his statements very carefully.

    Nevertheless, the question of crucifying people of south Sudan by a certain level of government is an element of insecurity and it is unfortunate that the government that is entrusted with protecting the lives of the citizens is threatening them with crucifixion.

    The changes in Lakes state of removing the duly elected governor were prompted by rampant insecurity and the president in his own wisdom selected General Matur Chut Dhuol to go and restore sanity in that state. This also means that insecurity cannot only be about sectional fights, cattle rustling, crimes and street gangs but it may also be caused by reckless statements like this particular one by the Deputy Governor.

    Insecurity does not only mean seeing dead corps but also means when there are intentions of intimidating, threatening, scaring someone away from living in their rightful homes. The Deputy Governor seemed to have not considered the negative repercussions his statement entails in regard to the general policies of his government and security situation of lakes state in particular.

    What do I advise?

    Personally, I still want Mabor Achol Kuer to remain relevant in the political landscape of Lakes State because together with General Matur Chut Dhuol as his boss, we can be rest assured of a corruption free Lakes State and perhaps the insecurity will with time subside if the stringent measures that the caretaker governor introduced are critically followed.

    However, I want the Deputy Governor to observe the following;

    1. Refrain from intimidating the citizens from exercising their constitutional rights
    2. Apologize to the people of lakes state for threatening them with crucifixion
    3. Repent to Jesus and his Father for quoting the Holy Book in favor of his political rhetoric
    4. Continue fighting his good war on corruption.
    5. Never give up his principles in exchange for political appointments.

    If the Deputy Governor takes into account some of these unsolicited advices from me, his citizen, I think he will have a brighter political destiny.

    Juma Mabor Marial is a lawyer based in Juba.

    Reachable at

    Duping and lack of political Shrewdness led to suspension of national reconciliation

    “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” quoted from Aesop

    BY: J. Nguen Nyol, CANADA, APR/24/2013, SSN;

    This is what ought to happen in South Sudan but it is unlikely because we are too immature, too tribalized and too irrational to the core. If I may, rationality is being truthful and driven by honest conviction to act and die for what is highly moral as “law is the objectivity” of good instinct. True, but I resent that good never seems to triumph for long before some evil interrupts. Sadly, this is the case in the Republic South Sudan considering the recent suspension of nationwide national reconciliation rescheduled for June 2013.

    President Kiir suspended that landmark event despite its overwhelming support from South Sudanese and friends across diversity and various geographical locations around the globe. Inability to think, tribalism and political jealousy to earn credits for what one did not sow, matters in South Sudan so long one is in position of power. This is where things don’t get done in that country because free thinkers are not allowed to thinks freely to enhance innovative ideas.

    Everyone is expected to play dumb to resemble the big man at the top. Such trends are the political reality where I was born and where the national reconciliation was suspended on baseless grounds.

    After the fact, I felt saddened and disgusted simply because I am aware of the implications on people who needed to heal in order to repair their shattered lives and redevelop a damaged nation were one’s held hostage without national reconciliation in the country. By all accounts, it was a desperate and blinded move ever to say the least.

    This is equally painful to many who wanted to heal and desperately disappointing to learn that President Kiir was indeed an obstacle to peace process.

    It is one of the gross mistakes ever committed by a sitting president. It is a political blunder, deplorable and unforgivable injustice done by President Kiir to his own people. Above all, it is undoubtedly an endorsement and affirmation of hatred and simmering sentiments among South Sudan’s sixty three odd tribes.

    This brings me to the reason why I decided to write this commentary. My aim is to help readers understand that President Kiir was duped into such deplorable eventuality. Also to point out that lack of political shrewdness has complicated the matters and in many respects led to the unsolicited political decision which was poorly presented just like the previous insidious political verdict before it.

    In a nutshell, since the untimely death of late Dr. John Garang in 2005, South Sudan has politically been downgraded at a disappointingly rapid pace and more so toward a rogue state.

    To start with, it is true that President Kiir was part of the movement who fought on the basis to overhaul the deformed Khartoum regime and then build on common values guided by clear conscience goals to ensure peace and freedom. However, after he (president) ascended to power in 2005, such liberation ideals, values and principles were thrown overboard and became things of the past.

    Hoodwinked or not, Mr. President has placed South Sudan and its people before the custodianship of misguided, ill-informed and opportunists cliques. At will, Kiir placed his cronies in sensitive positions in the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) which include the banking and financial systems, judiciary, foreign missions, military and security apparatus.

    After ensuring control over these institutions, the president and his clan-mate cliques set out on the next phase of embezzling public funds in billions of dollars in the cover of darkness or in broad daylight.

    Four shocking examples of this scheme that caught international headlines were:

    1. The $ 3.millions dollars (allegedly) caught red-handed from Mr. Stephen Madut Baak at the Heathrow International Airport in London in 2008, where Mr. Baak was unhesitant to mention that he was working for president as an adviser;
    2. The $ 4 billion reported missing by none other than President Kiir himself in 2012 and the $ 600 millions reported allegedly stolen by the former RSS minister of finance, Arthur Akuien Chol in 2008;
    3. The $ 20 million stolen (allegedly) by Stephen Baak Wuol and $ 293 millions reported by Aaron Young stolen (allegedly) by none other than Elijah Salva Mathok Gengdit, the current deputy minister of interior in RSS;
    4. And the $ 6 million dollars and South Sudan pounds reported stolen from the president’s office 2013;

    These are not mere allegations but proven facts simply because the RSS as a nation started this journey with the wrong foot. For example, the former Governor of South Sudan bank, Mr. Elijah Malok Aleng, was not hesitant to assert this that “we already know of people who have millions in their accounts, whether in Ivory or Buffalo Banks. Where did you get the money from, it is simply because you got it wrongly.”

    That said the suspension of national reconciliation by the president is just another insidious political blunder in human context. With the latest, South Sudan is once again placed at the crossroads, between good and evil. Weirdly, the evils in their distorted terms are appreciative of the direction in which the nation is heading while the good masses are indifferent and confused.

    People are numbed to the core and ceased to think. Few who asked honest questions were threatened, kidnapped, killed and accused of wanting to overthrow the broken government. What a shame!

    No one can justify beyond reasonable doubt that the suspended national reconciliation was a political enterprise or has been used as one by anyone. The fear is based on political insecurity and lack of political shrewdness from the top spoiled brat.

    Another disappointing fact was that President Kiir allowed himself to be driven, misled and grossly manipulated at his disadvantage by well stationed crooks whose aims are to set him up for failure and expose his weaknesses as a head of state. The April 15 presidential decree read on South Sudan Television (SSTV) was one of them and meant to trash the president’s records.

    The decree read dissolved national reconciliation committee and suspended national reconciliation process based on misconstrued political insecurity and erroneous speculations to say the least.

    However, this was not the first time President Kiir made such erroneous and regrettable decisions based on ill-informed advice which exploited Mr. President’s weak self-confidence, self-esteem and the absence of political shrewdness.

    In 2011, President Kiir demanded more powers to avoid unfounded insecurity and was bestowed unnecessary absolute powers in the South Sudan Interim Constitution. The clause granted the president power to remove elected officials including the governors. Four months ago, Kiir acted on this misplaced clause and removed Lakes state elected Governor, Mr. Chol Tong. Mr. Chol’s replacement was a military man.

    Subsequently, Kiir emotionally led South Sudan to war with Khartoum regime which in eventuality led to Panthou crisis and the bombing of civilian targets by the Khartoum’s rogue regime. In that incident, more than 1000 SPLA soldiers died and to this day no one in South Sudan talked about this humiliating adventure.

    After the fact, President Kiir made an uncivilized political remark toward Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General. Kiir told South Sudan parliament on the televised broadcast that “I told Ban Ki-moon that I am not your commander and not answerable to your directive.”

    The most disappointing part in that fiasco was that Kiir caved in and withdrew South Sudan troops from Helige in a cowardly disorganized fashion which resulted into the reportedly thousand death toll. Another poignant event emerged out of the Panthou Crisis was salaries of the deceased SPLA’s soldiers were cut in half in the same month they perished by the same government who sent them into harm’s way.

    Out of emotive, Kiir frantically ordered the closure of South Sudan oil production without back up plan. For the last 20 months South Sudan’s civil servants barely got paid due to the fact there was no money in South Sudan reserve opposite to what president Kiir claimed.

    Early this year, President Kiir relieved 153 senior army officers at once and replaced most of them with new close associates and tribal men. The move was nothing short of consolidating power and for South Sudan to become a rogue state. The move was seen by many analysts as a dangerous and irrelevant since it sets the new country into the wrong path of dictatorship.

    Before President Kiir retired the 153 senior army officers, however, he also personally signed off big chunks of South Sudan’s land to Arabs in the name of the questionable demilitarized zone between two countries. The signed off places have never been in the historical part of the northern Sudan but Kiir signed them off to appease Arab Northern (Sudan) for South Sudan’s oil to flow north.

    The sell out did not stop there. The president pledged to compensate North Sudan with $ 3 billion US dollars simply because South Sudan separated from Sudan. If President Kiir was politically smart and thought independently as an able politician, Sudan would have compensated South Sudan for the atrocities and human sufferings the north inflicted on South Sudan and not otherwise.

    Rumor had it that President Kiir suspended the national reconciliation because of an internal strife in the SPLM between him and his VP, Riek Machar. Mading Ngor wrote, “the Vice President Riek appears to overplay his hands at times and some of his moves border on insubordination, expressed consciously or not.”

    In this quote, Mading failed on specifying which area the VP may have overplayed his powers over his boss, which in my view amounts to mere speculation of a thought and insignificantly factual. If President Kiir has based his decision in suspending the national reconciliation citing above mentioned point as a reference, therefore, it’s fair to conclude that lack of confidence and political shrewdness are the driving factors.

    As I was about to publish this commentary, I realized that President Kiir has on Monday appointed Archbishop of Episcopal Church of Sudan, Daniel Deng Bul Yak, to chair the national reconciliation and Archbishop of Catholic Church, Paride Taban as his deputy. This is indeed a good gesture as far as peace process is concerned in South Sudan, considering the fact those appointed are clergies of the House of God.

    Who is Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul Yak?
    Who is Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul Yak? Is he the right clergyman to lead this so much politicized national reconciliation?

    Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul was born in 1950 in Twic East County, Jonglei State, South Sudan. Archbishop Bul has studied theology in Sudan and United State of American. His work with church since 1970s undoubtedly suggested a good clergy man but his work with people traumatized by war suggested otherwise.

    Archbishop Bul spent most of his clergy work in the northern Sudan during the Sudan civil war, particularly in Port Sudan and Renk. Archbishop Bul did not live through the horrors during war time. During Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) it seemed, Archbishop Bul moved to Juba where he became the archbishop of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan.

    After Sudan elections in 2010, Archbishop Bul was appointed to lead a peace delegation to make peace between rebels led by George Athor and the Republic of South Sudan. That peace initiative failed because Archbishop Bul was accused of conspiring with the RSS to capture George Athor instead.

    During the Jonglei crisis, Archbishop Bul was also appointed to head the reconciliation process between the warring tribes in the Jonglei. In the process Archbishop Bul “was {also} accused by the Murle community of allegedly siding with the Dinka Bor, his tribe, prompting the Murle to withdraw from the reconciliation process and demanding for appointment of a neutral person to chair it.”

    Given what we know, Archbishop Bul appeared problematic and might not be the right person to chair national reconciliation in South Sudan for the following reasons:

    1. Archbishop Bul has never been in the bush and never experienced bush life and therefore he has no personal experience to relate to during the process of healing.
    2. Archbishop Bul is already accused twice: one for siding with his native tribe during Jonglei peace process and for conspiring with RSS to capture George Athor. Therefore, his neutrality is in serious question;
    3. Archbishop Bul’s appointment will be viewed as politically motivated and considered as the Dinka led political hegemony in the country;
    4. Because the national reconciliation is already politicized on tribal basis and that President Kiir has intentionally avoided Archbishop Paride Taban to chair the process is another serious phenomenon and hurdle;
    5. The two tribes that need serious focus in South Sudan in the course of this national reconciliation are the Dinka and The Nuer. They (Dinka & Nuer) must be led through this peaceful healing process by a neutral personality like Archbishop Paride Taban to avoid tribal siding.

    Though I personally applauded and supported the formation of the new national reconciliation committee by the president, I honestly feel that President Kiir has again made another political blunder by not appointing Archbishop Paride Taban to lead the process. Archbishop Taban will be a right choice and considered neutral by all parties involved in the healing process. Because this issue was grossly ignored, there is no doubt that neutrality and fairness is in serious question.

    J. Nguen Nyol is a concerned South Sudan citizen living in Canada. He can be reached at

    The Moral Discrepancy at Higher Echelon of Political Power in South Sudan

    The Moral Discrepancy between Traditional Ethical Values and Practice at the Higher Echelon of Political Power in South Sudan

    BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, FINLAND, AP/23/2013, SSN;

    While we are at it, kindly allow me to clarify my views on the previous article that I subjectively and perhaps erroneously so, entitled “The Dinka Problem in South Sudan: Part I.” Three main points can be recapped and set straight from that discussion going forward in this piece, which from now on should be treated as an examination of the moral discrepancy between traditional ethical values and practice at the higher echelon of political power in South Sudan in relation to the issue of corruption.

    As some have correctly pointed out in the previous discussion, discussing corruption in the Republic is a thorny issue, and may cause you your life. It is even more sensitive to try to come at it from below without offending anybody by reflecting on what I previously called “impunity from below.”

    Thus, it was clear from some of the public uproar, verbal abuse and threats following the previous piece that engaging in such an exercise may be counterproductive at the time being. It may also promote disunity rather than foster the desperately needed unity among our people and collective South Sudanese stance against the corruption venality in South Sudan—the very purpose for which we labor in putting our views together in writing.

    Since there was plenty of misunderstandings, it is important to be on the same page regarding the main points articulated, and the morale of the previous exercise. The central argument I attempted to present as objectively as possible on that occasion, is that the carnal corruption is eroding the social fabric of our people, and impeding development and progress in our costly and hard-won Republic.

    This is in part because of greed of our political leadership exacerbated by what I called “impunity from above,” and in part due to the need of our people who have been condemned to perpetual deprivation as a result of intractable civil wars.

    Because of being subjected to deep and sustained impoverishment during the wartime, and even in the era of the CPA peace agreement, including after the independence of South Sudan, our people have albeit unwittingly, found it difficult to resist being lured into participating in corruption and hence indirectly providing impunity from below.

    This impunity from below in turn further contributes to social disharmony and the polarization of our people across ethnicities.

    But in light of the negative public reaction of some of our brothers, perhaps it is now best to dismiss impunity from below as a morally justified practice or a byproduct of an existential struggle to survive due to persistent marginalization and destitution of our people by the governments of the day, including both northern governments and their counterpart in the South.

    Secondly, on the previous occasion I argued that the oil shut down and the subsequent “Kostirity measures, ”though biting hard on the poor, was nonetheless, a lesser evil and came to rescue and mitigate the greater evil of our continued social decay and ethnic multi-polarity, which is proving to be destructive to our nation building aspirations and efforts.

    Moreover, due to the austerity measures I contended, the eyes of our people were opened as voices of acknowledgment of mis-governance and corruption that rose above tribal commitments and that would have otherwise been vulnerable to being quieted through petrodollar hush money as a result of the perpetual state of need of our people, became louder and clearer.

    And thirdly, I maintained that the prophetic voices of dissent against wanton corruption and political malpractices, however increasing and deafening in recent months, will remain scant and ineffectual, as long as they are not bolstered by a collective effort and official public statement that assesses the performance of the government, and outlines a collective vision on the way forward to build a peaceful, just, equal and prosperous united nation called South Sudan.

    While I may have regrettably failed to clarify why I examined this thorny corruption issue from a Dinka perspective, the underlying assumption was that, as an elder son of several younger siblings myself, in the absence of my father, I have had to assume the responsibility to lead my younger brothers and sisters by example, in order for them to develop into becoming healthy and contributing members of the society. If I fail, they will also fail or so my South Sudanese traditional culture tells me.

    Thus, using this cultural metaphor where the older son assumes responsibility of the family in tandem with the fact that the Jieng community constitutes the largest tribe, and therefore, representing the elder sibling that also dominates the current government, I saw it fit to encourage our Jieng brothers to lead by example in addressing how corruption has been handled, to ensure the country does not fall apart.

    South Sudanese have bitterly complained about power abuse and excessive constitutional powers wielded by the President. But monjang, and all South Sudanese are the true constitutional power holders in the Republic. Without the Jieng’s support, and our collective social contract to be law abiding citizens those constitutional powers held by the President, are null and void.

    After all, the law is made for the people, not people for the law. In this context, South Sudanese collectively have the constitutional power and moral responsibility to inform the President on our vision for a peaceful united South Sudan that is not wracked by corruption. We also have the moral duty to kindly urge the President to grab this corruption disease by the horns and wrestle it to the ground.

    Alas, I must stop “rumbling too much,” as our elder brother, Chief Abiko would wisely advice. Bottom line is that due to the three points outlined above, the rest of this exercise employs Dinka cultural lens to try and understand the seeming discrepancy between Dinka cultural moral ideals and practice in the Jieng’s majority led government of South Sudan.

    In this regard, I am aware and take on board the constructive reservations that have been expressed about the “sensational” usage of the title “the Dinka Problem in South Sudan” in this sequence of reflections, and hence the change of the title here.

    In fact in anticipation of such reservations, I attempted to use the subjective proposition “in” as in “the Dinka Problem (in) South Sudan,” to imply the problem exists as subjectively seen by me from a Jieng’s cultural perspective, rather than using the objective proposition “of” as in “Dinka Problem (of) South Sudan,” which may mean the Dinka are objectively being condemned as the Problem of South Sudan, which is far from it.

    In the end these are my views and my views alone, which may perhaps make more sense to me than to others. If this is the case, kindly disregard this exercise, without the need for verbal abuse or posing threats. I stand responsible for my opinion pieces—that I know.

    Now, picking up from where we left off we will attempt to answer the question of how does the government’s ineptitude to remove the impunity from above from the corrupt officials not only risks eroding the well-being of South Sudan, but also defies and contradicts the cultural moral existence and practice of our people?

    This is examined here by looking at some of the core cultural moral values, or Jieng’s cultural moral discourse on issues such as greed, justice and wholeness of the society.

    Without further ado, unpacking Jieng’s cultural stance vis-à-vis greed yields intriguing results. As a result, the Jieng culture like most South Sudanese cultures is one that can be summed up as a morally driven culture that is abhorrent to greed, and therefore, corruption and the impunity from above that condones the practice of such vice within the higher echelon of political power in South Sudan.

    Looking at Dinka worldview and cosmology that defines the Jieng culture, for example, it is readily apparent that there is not only zero-tolerance of greed and corruption, but also that it was precisely because of human greed that the Jieng society conceptualizes and articulates our current human condition, and the reasons for our demotion to endless suffering by God the Creator (Nhialic Aciek), from our previous primordial state of bliss.

    According to one of the most popular Dinka mythologies, which is reminiscent of the Genesis account of the fall of man in the Hebrew Bible, the current human condition was precipitated by greed of our ancestors — whose names were Garang and Abuk.

    Before the world was “spoilt,” the account enumerates that the earth and the sky were not far removed from each other as is currently evident. Rather, Garang and Abuk, the first man and woman residing on earth, could with limited effort climb their way up to the sky—also known as nhialic by means of a rope that connected both spheres.

    God provided Garang and Abuk with one grain of millet for their daily subsistence, and prohibited them from carrying out any effort to provide for themselves. However, because of Abuk’s greed (and Garang’s complicity too), she disobeyed God by cultivating more grain for consumption.

    As she raised her hoe to cultivate the ground, Abuk ended up striking God, which prompted God to retire far beyond human reach, expanding the gap between the earth and the sky in the process. God sent a bird to sever the rope that linked the earth and the sky, thus alienating Garang and Abuk and their subsequent offspring from God.

    Along with this separation, God told Garang and Abuk that they are on their own now. Consequently, hunger, disease and death became the fate of humanity, as the world became spoilt.

    This rich Dinka mythology, which recounts the origin of humanity’s separation from God, highlights how divine-Dinka relationship was originally harmonious and peaceful, characterized by the Dinka’s relative accessibility to the divine abode in the sky. God provided for the daily needs of Garang and Abuk, albeit with the condition that they should rely entirely on divine providence.

    However, greed meant that divine-Dinka relations deteriorated as God and the sky withdrew at a distance, while hunger, violence, disease, and death became a commonplace. Can you see the similarity in the current practices of our government owners?

    Understood this way, greed in Dinka culture is a repellent vice that raptures harmonious divine-human relations as well as social relations, and is therefore strongly discouraged. Why are some of our people now indulge in greed and corruption—practices that are alien to our traditional cultural beliefs and moral practice with impunity from above?

    Why have these values been rendered a thing of the past, and when we try to remind ourselves about staying faithful to our cultural values, we are accused of perpetuating tribalism and inciting disharmony in the community?

    To restore sound divine-human relations and social harmony, Dinka religion was introduced to function as the bridge between the spiritual and corporeal. Spiritual leaders perform ceremonies and rituals of reconciliation between God and human beings as well as between human beings themselves centered on cattle transactions.

    Perhaps, this also explains the unique affiliation with cattle-herding in Dinka culture. In Dinka religion, cattle are offered as sacrifices to appease Nhialic, as well as the spirits of the ancestors believed to be involved in our daily activities, and can invoke curse or bestow abundant blessings depending on our moral display, including in relation to greed and corruption.

    These spirits are collectively referred to as yeeth. As the prominent Dinka expert, Godfrey Lienhardt, in his book “Divinity and Experience: The Religion of the Dinka,” aptly noted: “relationships between human beings and the divine are regulated by the transfer of cattle in dedication and sacrifice, as conflicts between different human groups are resolved by the simple transfer of cattle from the offending to the offended group.”

    In short, greed and corruption is abhorrent in Dinka world view and religion, and therefore, those who practice this vice with impunity are not worthy to be seen as members of our traditional societies. This is particularly true of our current political leadership, who in their greed and corruption practices, have become a tribe unto themselves.

    I will examine the remaining part of this discussion by reflecting on how the Dinka culture treats the concept of social justice, and the wholeness of the society in the last part of this sequence of opinion pieces due in the foreseeable future.

    The discrepancy between our traditional ethical values and practice at the higher echelon of political power in South Sudan in relation to the issue of corruption will be examined in our next piece, more specifically as reflected in Dinka social organization, folktales, and songs, and also in terms of what is expected of a leader, political as well as spiritual. Stay tuned.

    I am just a concerned South Sudanese, and happy to entertain questions and concerns at: