Archive for: May 2013

The likelihood of xenophobia in South Sudan

BY: Luka Madhieu Kuot, SOUTH SUDAN, MAY/30/2013, SSN;

With the signing of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 that gave Southern Sudan a semi-autonomy rule for six years followed by successful referendum in January 2011 that gave total and full independent South Sudan from Northern Sudan, the South Sudanese citizens would think that, the independence would have been an independence for everything whether it is social, economic, political or any other of independence and self-regulating.

They thought that, they would come back with full swing of re-integration and lives re-establishment in their own Country where they will enjoy their social services, economic and political rights freely and liberally.

Like when the refugees and IDPs return from where they had fled the war to, some did not make it to their imaginative residences as they had left long time ago, however, they end up dwelling in urban areas like wau, Aweil, Juba, Malakal, Renk, Yei, Torit, Yambio, Rumbek, Bentinu, Kuacjok, Bor and other towns in South Sudan. Not because they don’t like to reach their places of origin but it was due to lack of essential and basic services in those parts of South Sudan where they had left a decade or more than decade ago.

They want to be where such social amenities are accessible and costless like when they were in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Libya and Khartoum where the basic services comparable to education, food, shelter, water, health and other infrastructures are available and reachable at no cost or expenses in their daily lives.

This was because they think that their settlements in the remote areas will be difficult and hard to their lives if they reach there without sufficient social and basic services to those places in the Country side.

This make it to be hard and little a bit to them However; their settlement in those aforementioned areas in most parts of South Sudan sparked a lot of reactions and speculations from various groups of stakeholders in ten States of South Sudan because of its implications in the lives of the local people like land grabbing/encroachments, economics scarcity on natural resources, cultural frictions with local people and other economic, social and political competition in those settlements or dwellings.

A current and practical example is that, some of the current MPs representing National and States Assemblies are not originally from those towns/constituencies but from other places in their respective states. Currently, the occupation of those seats to the national and state assembly will have an economic, social and political impact to the residents of those towns and elsewhere in South Sudan.

The author will leave it to you at your own discretion and to find it out how it is impacting the lives of those residents and their local economy at that level given the employment opportunity and jobs creations and how it affects them politically and socially too.

This is one side of the coin at the prospective of the local people like people from Juba, Wau, Aweil and other towns in South Sudan.

However, the other side of the coin is that when the returnees and IDPs themselves were also thinking that settling in these big towns will give them opportunities like employment and businesses, an expectation that has not materialized from that moment up to now.

Why, because the Government of South Sudan has no capacity to accommodate everybody at its capacity and volumes as nascent as it is currently meanwhile business opportunities are also given to the foreigners or dominated by them in all over South Sudanese towns. In another way, the Government of South Sudan is preaching their motto of ‘’bringing towns to people,’’ rather than encouraging rural-urban migration.

A motto that will not be executed unless services are brought to the people first rather than people expected to be there first without available services and enough resources in those intended places.

This is the question that majority of South Sudanese citizens could not understand even up to now, they are asking why the government cannot give employment to the citizen?

This is something of a phenomenon in South Sudan whether you are educated or uneducated but there are nowhere to go and lodge a complaint because there are no laws articulated to advocate for this right in the country.

If you go to areas like Juba town under those big and tall story buildings or Aweil, Wau and Malakal under mahogany, mango trees and teashops, you can get a lot of people defying the Government of failure to create job opportunities for youth and the poor in most parts of South Sudan or because the government did not address the issue of poverty and its root causes among the citizens in South Sudan especially in most remote areas in the country.

This is a big and serious problem; an issue that GOSS would need to address in due course but because of its nascent stage and severe austerity measures caused by shut down of oil production in January 2012 that took big portion of the national budget, it will take them long time to solve this problem of employment in south Sudan where most of the youth are staying idly without jobs in all over most cities where more than 50% of the populations are living below the poverty line (less than a dollar per day…World Bank reports).

However, the big question is that where will this lack of employment lead to? Automatically, the answer is crystal and clear that it will lead to serious poverty among the indigenous people of South Sudan and the poverty will take people to crimes and the crimes will drag the Country to war again if it is not addressed in due course.

And this war will not be racial, religious or marginalization war but it will be an economic war that will take place between the poor and rich elicit in the government of South Sudan.

But where will the fighting start given the current economic and social atmosphere in South Sudan, the Author foresee that it will begin with xenophobia where the nationals will dislike the foreigners because of businesses and employment chauvinism in all private and public sectors in South Sudan or it‘ll end up targeting the current corrupted cadres in the government of South Sudan if the majority of south Sudanese citizens who are poor are wise enough to distinguish their causes of poor asking questions of why, how and where are our resources and rights?

But who will be blamed should such scenarios prevailed? It is for sure the government who will be held liable for it because of its failure to formulate the policies that govern the employment and establish the rights of employment in the Country. Even laws related to the migration and asylum as you can see the country is full of foreigners from bottom to the brim.

Currently, there are millions of economic migrants from Uganda, Kenya, DRC, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Northern Sudan in South Sudan who’re moving freely in the country without any laws governing and regulating their movement in the country either right away from the entry at the border point or even when they are inside the country.

They are the ones working as the hawkers, bars and restaurants, doing petty business, having brothels in most parts of the country including military barracks, washing clothes and shining shoes and cutting fingers and toes (manicure) in every street in the country.

What about the nationals, what will they do? Now in countries like Uganda and Kenyan, can you get an opportunity for such a business or employment not matter what or whoever you are? I don’t think whether that can happened but why is it allowed now here in South Sudan to prevail?

Meanwhile the nationals are staying idly and worthlessly. And they will stay more indolently and apathetically like this given this situation, how long will this business and employment chauvinism be tolerated by the youth and the poor in this country?

Again, the author of the opinion that the state of affairs will one time explode into xenophobia (dislike of foreigners) like what had happened in Zimbabwe and South Africa in 2008 and 2009.

But the innocent foreigners will be victims for no reason because it is not their failure to get jobs or be employed in other Countries, however, it‘ll be a failure of the host government (RoSS) who failed to formulate the laws that oversee and regulate the employment in the country or who failed to implement the laws and giving the opportunity to her citizens rather than to the foreigners.

For instant, how many foreigners are working now in GOSS‘s offices as classified and unclassified staffs leaving the fellow citizens without employment and worthless in the streets?

Currently, South Sudan economy is gaining nothing but losing on hourly and daily bases at all cost to Khartoum, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea but our government cannot realize and analyse that.

If you want to attest this, go to Kenya Commercial Bank (Kcb) and Equity Bank (EQ) in Juba or other states where KCB or EQ are in South Sudan, you will experience how many individuals from those nationalities aforementioned are carrying to the Bank for deposit or transfer back to their Countries every day. This is a huge lost to the economy of this country and nobody dares to look into it in our government.

The government of South Sudan needs to look into this problem and address it before it happens in the future by formulating laws that give an employment opportunity to the nationals rather than foreigners and to avoid xenophobia in the future in this Country or otherwise there is going to be likelihood of xenophobia in the nearest future given the current economic, social and political situation in our Country.

Luka Madhieu Kuot can be reached at

Dialogue with South Sudanese: I’m no Traitor (2)

BY: Wani Tombe Lako, SOUTH SUDANESE, MAY/28/2013, SSN;

In part (1) of these series of articles, I concluded by saying that, my sincere and honest concerns for the general well-being, of South Sudanese, could not amount to acts of treason. I was, and I am still, and shall always be opposed to misleading of the peoples of South Sudan, by abusing their raw political feelings. I was not against the informed choices of the peoples of South Sudan during the referendum. I was for full disclosure of political, security, social, economic and financial facts; so that, our peoples make informed choices, without hypothetical expectations that could not be realised in real life, on the ground in South Sudan.

For example, it was argued that, the incidence of absolute, endemic and chronic socio-economic and financial poverty of South Sudanese would disappear as soon as we secede from the rest of the Sudan. My reaction was that, no, that was not true, and it is not true now after secession. My arguments were informed by, and saturated in and with objective nationalism, and not the political exploitation and manipulation of the comprehensive ignorance of the majority of my countrywomen, country youth and countrymen.

I argued that, the socioeconomic and financial poverty in South Sudan has historical and contemporaneous variables. The comprehensive underdevelopment of South Sudan was and is a result of centuries of neglect and exploitation. This being the case, I argued that, and I still argue that, we cannot just deceive the peoples of South Sudan that, we were going to undo these centuries of hurts via poverty; by a mere casting of votes, and expect instantaneous positive reversal of the situation.

This argument was not, and is not, the thinking of a traitor. This argument was and is, the argument of a South Sudanese, who wanted and still wants, to have the best solution to these issues of socioeconomic underdevelopment of South Sudan.

The peoples of South Sudan were misled, and are still being misled, into believing that, all structural factors and variables of their socioeconomic underdevelopment were, and are, based on exogenous factors and variables. That is, we do not have structural factors and variables of underdevelopment within our society in South Sudan. My argument was, and still is that, no; there are endogenous factors and variables of underdevelopment within the remit of our human society in South Sudan, and these factors and variables needed to be identified and resolved or neutralised. This is not the thinking of somebody who meant evil for the peoples of South Sudan.

I even suggested the extension of the interim period within the remit of the CPA, so that, these internal factors and variables of our socioeconomic underdevelopment, are resolved and neutralised. The resolution and neutralisation of these internal factors and variables could have allowed us to build solid foundations and various infrastructures in South Sudan. I argued that, this was necessary in order to functionally, and beneficially sustain the demands of a modern economy, and with it, the demands, and obligations of a modern State in South Sudan.

These were honest and sincere concerns for the happiness of the peoples of South Sudan. I was not thinking in this fashion because I selfishly wanted to become a minister in Khartoum or in Juba. I was and I am satisfied with what God has endowed me with, in terms of human capital that can allow me to support myself and those others dependent on me. My concerns were, and are, for provision of positive intellectual services, to safeguard the comprehensive interests of the peoples of South Sudan. Do feelings like these equal to treason against you the peoples of South Sudan?

I argued in the past, and I still argue that, the extension of the interim period would have allowed us to build the economic and technical capacities in South Sudan, to gradually, but gainfully, absorb and locate all our workforce in both northern and southern Sudan, in the hitherto united Sudan, into gainful employment in South Sudan, while we worked towards the implementation of the CPA after the expiration of the extended interim period.

This was necessary to avoid an “off–off” situation, in favour of “off-on” or “on-on” situations. That is, secession ought not to lead to a situation whereby, our peoples are put off gainful employment, and remain off gainful employment, that is an “off-off” situation. However, we voted for secession and now, the majority of our people are in “off-off”, situation, with no definite remedies on sight for a very long time to come.

I was very knowledgeable of the fact that, political Juba was not politically, economically, financially, security wise, socially, emotionally, bureaucratically, legally, constitutionally, institutionally and communally ready to discharge the obligations and duties of a sovereign government.

Political Juba had needed time to put its house in order, and the extension of the interim period, with all other parts of the CPA remaining constant, would have bought political Juba the time it needed. This was, and is still, the thinking of a South Sudanese, who valued, and still values, the happiness of his peoples.

My suggestions were ignored, and we proceeded with the referendum. Political Juba was taken by surprise as regards the influx of thousands of all South Sudanese, from all parts of the Sudan, from which we have seceded. Even daughters and sons of South Sudan who were employed in the hitherto central government of the Sudan; found it impossible to get absorbed into the civil and other public institutions in South Sudan. The reason was that, relevant arrangements were not put in place, and in fact, these arrangements were not even visualised by political Juba.

All South Sudanese who were not working in South Sudan were literally put “off-off”. Even some South Sudanese in political Juba, were put “off-off” due to pressure on the government of South Sudan after our secession. All these issues were foreseeable to me, and I tried to warn my peoples that since we were actually going to have this referendum as per the CPA, we should put our political house in order.

The right to vote in the referendum was not going to be extinguished by the extension of the interim period. All these genuine concerns of mine were turned around by my political detractors as acts of treason, and many peoples in South Sudan believed these political lies against me.

The kernel of my political argument was that, secession ought not to lead to the comprehensive structural disruptions of our peoples’ lives. My cardinal political believes were, and are still that, self-determination leading to secession ought to lead to comprehensive empowerment of our peoples, and it ought to be celebrated and enjoyed as the climax of the liberation process. I did warn that, we ought not to make our people regret voting for secession in their life time.

However, now, our peoples are voting with their feet, running away from South Sudan. You may not believe me, but, thousands of our peoples have voted with their feet towards other parts of the Sudan from which we seceded. These are not political South Sudanese. These are ordinary South Sudanese who just want something to eat, and feed their starving children with.

Other South Sudanese have fled to Kenya as refugees. Those financially capable ones have gone overseas, and others refused to come home to South Sudan. Others have expressed the same regret that I warned people of. My concerns were that, we should not have emotionalised the issue of secession.

As a matter of fact, it is not only the ordinary peoples of South Sudan who are voting; or who have voted, with their feet, and running away from South Sudan. Those ruling in Juba, and in many other States in South Sudan, have voted with their children and other members of their families. These politicians and others have made sure that, their children never came to sovereign South Sudan because they knew that, political and sovereign South Sudan lacks comprehensive capacities to provide all what their families need in terms of security, goods and services. I was knowledgeable of the tension within the SPLM as regards the possible outcomes of the referendum.

My dear sisters, brothers, and youth, you the citizens of South Sudan; I have to tell you that, the majority of political leaders we have ruling us now, are not sincere leaders at all. There are many within the SPLM who are there for material reasons only. There are many in the SPLM with multi-political colours, men and women who are in there for constitutional positions only.

I know many in the SPLM who use to tell me to not say a word about the political situation in South Sudan, so that, I can be found a place in government of South Sudan.

If I were like them, I could have kept silent and pretended that all was fine in South Sudan. I am not created like that. I am not a materialistic man whatsoever. I despise richness for richness sake. I am among those South Sudanese who are ready to work for free in South Sudan.

I was expressing my intellectual heartfelt opinions on issues of secession and unity, not because I hate my own sisters and brothers in South Sudan. I was anaylsing the comprehensive environments of my peoples from many dimensions, not just from simple political dimension, blurred by historical and contemporaneous emotions of hurt, agonies and human revenge.

Human happiness is a composite of many dimensions working harmoniously to produce a happy persona and community respectively. Good and honest leaders always carry out these types of complicated analyses. Good leaders ought to know the differences between; and consequences of, incremental permanent positive development, and abrupt and transient negative developments respectively.

Good leaders ought to know about the perils of disappointed expectations, based on carelessly; and recklessly delivered information, upon which, those others have based their now disappointed expectations. I was looking at the situation in my country of South Sudan through these lenses of an informed and concerned human person, who was not politically excited by political thoughts, nor ready to emotionalise the sacrifices of his peoples for a future built upon ramshackle foundations.

I want to enjoy human happiness through the happiness of my fellow human beings in South Sudan. I want to use my intellectual faculties for the common good of the peoples of South Sudan. Within the remit of extant independent South Sudan, I am hurting, and enduring daily excruciating pain, knowing that, out there, in rural South Sudan, and in some miserable urban centres in South Sudan, there are millions of children, women, youth and men; who are dying of hunger for acute lack of food, and of treatable diseases as well as comprehensive insecurities in South Sudan.

This is me as a human person. This is the meaning of politics for me. I do not see politics as means for personal enrichment. I see politics as means to make all my peoples happy and secured. That was how I saw the debate on unity and secession. I was seeing and anaylsing this debate through the lenses, and with the mind of an informed South Sudanese, who has the cognitive ability to analyse issues in the best interests of the peoples of South Sudan, not in the best interests of the rulers of South Sudan.

These politicians defined self-determination in terms of their offices, positions and salaries only. They never defined self-determination and secession of South Sudan in terms of the comprehensive stabilities of lives of all ordinary peoples of South Sudan.

These were the issues which made me to stand against hurried secession without guaranteeing our peoples the minimum of life’s requirements that they need as dignified human persons. I was not, and I am not against the freedom of my peoples. However, I am for freedom with dignity and pride.

We were already in full control of South Sudan, nobody, no power was going to take the South Sudan from us again after 2005. We had comprehensive opportunities to turn the South Sudan into the Garden of Eden on earth that we wanted, without diminishing the comprehensive political, economic, technological, financial, educational, health, and others spaces for our peoples during the interim period as extended by us; for our own interests. These were not the feelings and concerns of someone who was against the peoples of South Sudan.

I argued that, true self-determination of our peoples ought not to be measured by ministerial positions, and other constitutional positions, exclusively run by South Sudanese. Even the issue of sovereignty; this concept of sovereignty is vested in the peoples of South Sudan; and not on group of South Sudanese meeting together in a group called government or the cabinet.

Self-determination of the peoples of South Sudan is to be measured in the peoples’ aggregate happiness in terms of their freedoms, rights, security, access to all goods and services and such like.

I argued that, we South Sudanese had the golden historical opportunities to shape the hitherto united Sudan into socio-economic and political entity that we wanted; without ever exposing our peoples to more hurts and agonies whatsoever. In several rallies and meetings, I even presented statistics to show that, as a result of the CPA, we South Sudanese were participating in the effective running of the Sudan more than any region in the whole Sudan.

We were exclusively running the South Sudan as an autonomous region, and nothing was going to change that. We were participating in the running of the remaining part of the Sudan at all levels. Our daughters and sons were graduating from institutions of higher education in greater numbers and with excellent qualifications. Our engineers were running major institutions in the Sudan and such like. Our medical doctors were found all over the Sudan and graduating from universities all over the Sudan.

I argued that, with proper refocusing, we could have obtained all crucial political, economic, financial, social, cultural and technological benefits, without ever exposing our peoples to life’s uncertainties.

I argued that, we needed to have cool political heads for making these political, economic and financial calculations. My arguments were based on the fact that, we wanted to make our peoples to quickly catch up in all fields. I argued that, we should not make our peoples start from scratch again. The proposed extension of the interim period was to avoid this starting from scratch.

These were my honest and sincere arguments; all in the interests of the peoples of South Sudan in their totalities.

To return to issues of the 49% of the crude oil revenue that was allocated for the federal government, and for your information, we South Sudanese were also benefiting from this 49% in terms of the myriad of goods and services that accrued to us singularly and severally.

Critical calculations of the expenditure of this 49% shows that, given the numbers of South Sudanese peoples who were in the other parts of the Sudan, and therefore, benefiting in one way or another from this 49%, it can be empirically argued that, a huge financial and economic burden was taken off the shoulders of the government of South Sudan (GoSS) by then.

This was evidenced by the huge amounts of monies floating in South Sudan from the public coffers as a result of this socioeconomic burden which was lifted off the shoulders of the GoSS. However, the rulers of the GoSS dropped the marble, and abused these monies and thus, they succeed in convincing the innocent peoples of South Sudan that, they the peoples, of South Sudan were remaining poor; because political Khartoum was withholding their monies; for the benefit of northern Sudanese. This was of course a huge disinformation and political dishonesty.

In terms of pediatric medicine alone, the federal government in Khartoum was treating more than 90% of South Sudanese children without charging the GoSS a penny. This information was not made public to the peoples of South Sudan. The numbers of South Sudanese involved in informal economy in the other parts of the Sudan was very huge. Many South Sudanese families educated their children because of these opportunities; and some others were able to sustain their relatives back in South Sudan from their remittances.

All these were opportunities which disappeared overnight, with the secession of South Sudan from the rest of the Sudan, and this was why I suggested the extension of the interim period so that, we do not expose our peoples to permanent economic and financial shocks; from which, they shall never recover.

These were difficult political decisions which needed objective nationalism, and not subjective nationalism. It is obvious that, the interests of the peoples are always secured and protected by objective nationalism. Subjective nationalism is like a careless hen, which lays her eggs everywhere, and hatches them carelessly; creating a field day for hawks, and other flying birds of prey.

See you in (part 3)

Should Africa Withdraw from ICC?

BY: Mapuor Malual Manguen, JUBA, MAY/28/2013, SSN;

On Sunday, African Presidents supported a petition calling on the International Criminal Court to drop crimes against humanity charges facing President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto of Kenya. President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are charged at the ICC in connection with the 2007 post-election violence in which 1,300 died and over 500,000 others displaced. The leaders want the trials brought back to the national courts.

However, the Western-backed human rights groups considered demand by the African leaders as an attempt to shield Kenyan leaders from justice. Apart from Botswana’s President, 53 presidents supported the motion to send back Kenya cases. Botswana President argues that the ICC should be allowed to handle the case in accordance with its mandate.

The concept that ICC is targeting African leaders is gaining momentum in the continent. ICC has issued arrest warrants for the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir and three other senior officials in his government. The Hague based Court is also pursuing cases in DR Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Uganda, and Libya.

Former Ivorian President, Laurent Gbagbo is detained in the Hague on electoral related violence in 2011 during which he refused to concede defeat to his main rival and election winner, Allasane Ouattara. Liberian ex-President Charles Taylor is serving 50-year-jail term after he was found guilty of abating crimes committed in neighboring Sierra Leone. His trial was conducted at the Hague after he was arrested in Nigeria and extradited to Netherlands.

Crimes against humanity committed in other parts of the world such as Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine perpetrated by Israel, America, Britain and their NATO allies did not attract ICC despite the fact that these cases are of the same magnitude or higher than cases investigated in Africa. African leaders use this as justification of the West using ICC to target them. So the question is should Africa withdraw from ICC? If so, are Africa’s local courts capable of trying such cases fairly and independently…?

It is not uncommon in most African states that the ruling elites use judiciary to rubberstamp maladministration cases in their favor. This led to a decayed judiciary in Africa. In any case, electoral related violence is the major challenge for judiciaries in this continent. Apparently, losers do not solve electoral disputes in courts of law; they choose street violence. The government has to send its security squads to clear streets of these rioters. The result is death of civilians and crimes against humanity. And this is how ICC comes in and net African leaders.

Of course, African leaders when they are in their club called African Union can say anything to exert their full authority over affairs of the continent. They can call for mass withdrawal from ICC as Sudan’s Bashir demanded. But will the said withdrawal bring the badly needed independence judiciary lacking in majority African countries?

African leaders are correct to condemn unfair hands and monkey business of the ICC. Their point is genuine as corroborated by facts surrounding ICC dealings with continent vis-à-vis crimes against humanity cases committed in other continents by superpowers.

However, if this argument is to carry Africa’s populace weight, African leaders should equally work to ensure respect for independence of judiciary of local national courts in the continent. They should cease using AU as Club for abating bad governance. The AU must be an organization for progress of African people and an avenue where problems facing people of this continent should be discuss for benefits of all.

The author is Journalist and Columnist based in Juba

Why is President Kiir saying “NEVER” to ICC before the 2015 elections?!!!

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, MAY/28/2013, SSN;

No wonder that the elections season has begun in Africa’s newest country of South Sudan and it’s now every ones talk how the incumbent president is for sure going to make it head to head with his vice in case no other third or fourth contestants show up in the last minutes. It is against such a background that this article would try to shade light on the country’s latest developments, the last being the president’s infamous declaration never to allow his new country be a signatory to the Rome Statute. In other words he is opposed to joining the International Criminal Court (ICC)!!

As a South Sudanese myself- allow me to begin by registering my condemnation of what came in President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s speech on the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU in Addis Ababa. The leader whose country is the newest member of this historical African body expressed his disapproval of the ICC by sarcastically stating in his addressing speech that although many African states were the first to sign the Rome statute, unfortunately the thing has now caught up with them as is the case with president Uhuru Kenyatta and his vice William Ruto of the republic of Kenya who took office after winning a March election while under indictment from the ICC for inciting some of the ethnic violence that followed their country’s disputed 2007 vote.

Given the historical background and the geographical location of South Sudan, Uhuru Kenyatta, who pledged the creation of roads, rail and pipelines to deepen economic ties between Kenya and the new nation, is neither the first nor the only ICC indicted head of state to do business with the country.

Juba still struggling to settle many post secession issues with it’s on and off foes in Khartoum, had already gone on record for laying red carpets to another ICC indicted president – no other than Omer al Bashir of Sudan – who also presided over this region until the 9th of July 2011 when South Sudan became officially an independent republic.

President Kiir in a characteristic show of bravado dismissed the ICC and as if to show off to his guest President Kenyatta who paid his first visit to Juba by echoing the ongoing statements by other African leaders that the court seems to target Africans.

Let’s us face it – the African continent had suffered from ethnically driven politics and still continues to do so under the types of Salva kiir, Yoweri Museveni, Omer al Bashir, Robert Mugabe, Paul Kagame and of course Uhuru Kenyatta himself who is an up to date living example of a tribal politician.

The history of how the ICC came into being is a clear one and no doubt that many African countries have approved it. In the same vein many African countries than any other; now lead the list of those who voluntarily referred their cases to the ICC due to their countries’ incapability to handle the cases. This was the case with Uganda, the DR. Congo and the Central African Republic (CAR).

The case on the Sudan was on the other hand referred to the ICC by the UN Security Council since the country hasn’t rectified the Rome statue although being an initial signatory to it.

The argument that the ICC only targets African leaders or people can only bother those who commit crimes against humanity with impunity in Africa and they happen to be heads of states or people high in the governments of their countries or some powerful warlords.

This being the case the current focus of the ICC on African situations when seen in its right context also means a focus on African victims. And if you or your loved ones are those at the receiving end of this gross injustice in this continent, then lie assured that the ICC is serving you. Maybe often perceived to be very slow – yet it’s the best you can ever get in this unfair world.

Of course African leaders have to be concern about Africa’s dignity. Nobody opposes that, but we are saying that it cannot come at the expense of the very justice that these leaders often deny their people.

Take the example of a country like South Sudan and look at its Justice, law enforcement and Judiciary systems. For no penny it won’t take you long enough before you find out that its president’s attack on the ICC is entirely baseless and can better be described as no more than a copycat type of behaviour.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, his vice William Ruto and another Joshua arap Sang, the three have their cases now in front of the ICC judges. This is their cross to carry and shouldn’t in anyway be made to look as if their appearance before the ICC is in any way degrading to the African continent.

There was that talk about local courts or even AU hybrid courts being suggested by others as alternative courts to try some of the low profiled indictees in crimes against humanity committed in Sudan’s western Region and it didn’t work. So why are some people suggesting the same route at the AU by demanding that Uhuru Kenyatta and his group be referred for trial at local Kenyan courts ?

The Kenyan indictees of the ICC know their roles in the 2007 massacre and they are aware as anyone else is – that it takes a lot of money and leadership without which such well – orchestrated violence wouldn’t have taken place. This we have learned from the Rwanda genocide.

Why are we not grateful to The ICC which through its actions have worked the magic to bring Kenyatta and Ruto together and thus prevented another post elections massacre in the 2013 elections? Yes it is so; no way can one go all the way to say that because the enemies of 2007 are now “good” friends then, the court should as well scratch off their cases. This is not justice!

There is no such a thing like “African Justice” or “European Justice” or “Asian Justice” – there is only one “Universal Justice” which must abhor not only international economic injustice, but must be uncompromising against all forms of crimes against humanity.

Coming back to our incumbent president of RSS, Salva Kiir Mayardit and his rekindled ambition for yet another term in office, after securing the backing of his home region of Bahr al Ghazal on the back drop of a tribal numerical size, he can as well proceed to prepare for all sorts of ethnically-directed malicious activities before, at and after the 2015 elections.

Nonetheless a unanimous backing for Kiir’s candidature by citizens of Greater Bahr al Ghazel is a thing easily said than can be verified before the real elections. The widespread resentment for his leadership is vivid in Western Bahr al Ghazel State where dozens of citizens were massacred by government security agents during a peaceful demonstration in the city of Wau town on 9th December 2012.

Based on the generally poor performance of the judiciary and law enforcement in the new country, president Kiir’s declared position to keep the country out of ICC membership is justifiably seen by a large section of the population as one of his many attempts to block off any chance of justice for the victims of the countless crimes committed under this government.

A keen observer can’t rule out the possibility that president Kiir has it in his plan to use the country’s non membership of the ICC in order to secure impunity for a likely post 2015 general elections violence in the country.

Given the back ground of what happened during and after the 2010 elections when all independent and non SPLM candidates and their supporters were subjected to wide range of harassments, mistreatment, torture and detentions the average citizen is convinced that the president and his die-hard tribal base is capable of carrying out all kinds of unlawful acts just to keep him in office.

Regardless of all these noise about some quitting the ICC while others don’t even want to join it, the truth is that many countries and communities especially those with weak legal institutions and power hungry leaders like South Sudan, Kenya Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, CAR, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and many others are bound to benefit from the ICC.

It is true that birds of the same feather fly together, and no wonder that despite the bitter enmity that exists between Museveni (Uganda) and Kiir (South Sudan) on one side and al Bashir (Sudan) on the other end, yet they have one thing in common, and that’s their greed for power. These people see in the ICC a threat to their plans to keep to power while they kill their kinsmen with impunity.

Can we the down-trodden peoples of Africa do something to save our countries by not voting again for these persons who persistently continue to deny us our most basic human rights and freedoms?

We must stop all these tyrants from running this continent as if it was their personally property.The bottom line is that if a country is a member of the United Nations, then there is no way that the leaders who commit crimes against humanity can escape the ICC! Stop all these rubbish about quitting or not joining.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can be reached at:

It isn’t possible to federalize non-existent federalism in South Sudan

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, SOUTH SUDAN, MAY/27/2013, SSN;

The recent debate on federalism has been fascinating. It has been a battle of ideas and views which is healthy in a society that needs to learn more in increasing understanding. It is not a battle to finish off those with counter ideas and views. Rather it is to bring out the best of what people need to know to make an informed choice. In such debates nothing is personal. Learning is a continuous process and we all need to learn as much as possible in our endeavour for a better way forward in our quest for prosperity and national unity.

The debate is interesting as it focuses on whether South Sudan should adopt a federal system or it is already federal. Strong views have been expressed for a federal system. This in turn has drawn a strong reaction against a federal system seen as divisive. Other views are that south Sudan is already federal and there is no need to federalize existing federalism.

Arguably, South Sudan is not federal.

South Sudan is divided into ten states. Does that mean South Sudan is automatically a federation? If that was the case South Sudan would have been known as the Federal Republic of South Sudan. After arm-twisting and probably blackmailing, on the 8th July 2011 members of the then Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly voted for independent South Sudan to continue adopting a decentralized system as in Article 167(1) of the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan, 2005 against the demand for a strong federal system.

This is evidence that there is no federalism in South Sudan. It is therefore not possible and indeed unrealistic to federalise non-existent federalism.

It is possible that the confusion is a misconception of the current decentralized system. This is misleading. One way to clear the confusion is to define what federalism is in contrast to a decentralized system. According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary Ninth Edition, federalism refers to a federal system of government in which several states form a unity but remain independent in internal affairs.

In contrast, a decentralized system of government is the transfer of powers from a central to a local authority in reorganizing on the basis of greater local autonomy. If each state was given greater local autonomy then each of the ten states could have been like the southern region under the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972.

From the definition of federalism and a decentralized system, there seems to be a grey dividing line. However, in brief, federalism offers a state independence in internal affairs while a decentralized system offers greater local autonomy. This clearly shows there seems to be little difference. If this is the case why is there a hot debate on federalism versus decentralization. This could have been partly due to the various interpretations.

Federalism represents an attempt to decentralize responsibilities to state-local levels of government with a view to overcoming regional and local discontent with central policies. From this perspective federalism is not irrelevant to South Sudan.

Through federalism national unity is consolidated. The state needs greater local autonomy with independence in internal affairs such as in deployment of police in combating rampant insecurity. The state must also have powers to raise taxes otherwise the system is nothing but centralized. It must generate sufficient revenues for development instead of reliance on the centre for everything.

There is no federalism in South Sudan to be federalized. Decentralisation has not even gone far enough as greater local autonomy to the states. Contrary to decentralization proper, all organized forces are centralized. Taxation for revenues to the states is centralized. The judiciary is centralized.

Now, where is the offer of greater local autonomy to the states as the definition of a decentralized system seems to suggest? It may be important to note that there is worldwide interest in federalism linked directly to the promotion of greater democracy and decentralization.

In conclusion, we in the Republic of South Sudan can reach a consensus on federalism through fruitful debates is sharing others’ experiences and our knowledge. However, we may need to liberate ourselves from living in the past in order to look forward with confidence in building a nation each and everyone will call home. The low literacy rate may also be a problem.

SPLM’s demise or revival?

BY: J. Nguen, CANADA, MAY/27/2013, SSN;

In South Sudan, stakes driven highly by tribalized political ills are high. As such, the morale of good conscientious beings in my own country is severely challenged, tested and suppressed to its honest defeat. While the weak-minded, the heartless opportunists, particularly some tribalized old guards of the SPLA/M, who accidentally found themselves in positions of power through the virtue of their commander-ships in the bush but far from merits and qualifications and they are now in desperate soul searching for means to degenerate Republic of South Sudan into tribal lines and total disappointing collapse.

Above all else, this is a senseless voyage and unacceptable intellectual insult to late Dr. John Garang’s sacred soul and his unquestioned sacrifices. It is a hopeless insult to countless martyrs who died in the course of our struggle for us (South Sudanese) and our next generations to be totally independent and free at last.

It is a regrettable betrayal and deplorable trend to unselfish scarifies of the “Red Army” or the Jesh el Amer or the “Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan,” whichever one called them, these little heroes who joined the movement (SPLA/M) at young age and who can’t afford to see South Sudan disintegrated into pieces.

It is an insult to the same poor young souls, men and women, who fought and died in the most difficult terrains in Sudan to offset marginalization, enslavement and injustices. Lastly, it is a heartbreaking adventure for Jesh el Amer and all South Sudanese youth who have been promised time and time again, and then believed wholeheartedly that the future of a free South Sudan belongs to them.

Truth hurts, but it is unfortunately true that the disintegration of the SPLM is very much so on our door steps. It is true that all the departed souls in the bush, widows and orphanages have grossly been forgotten, given what happened and where the nation is heading.

It hurts to see a once revered zonal commander in the personality of Paul Malong Awan is mindlessly in a gruesome leg of tribal groupings pursuit. A pursuit perfected and aimed to sink South Sudan into deep tribal feuds.

Not for any good sincere reason but simply to keeps South Sudan backward at its current primitive state, where merits and qualifications don’t matter but lineage and kinship with or without any kind of qualifications matter. Not for any good reason but to encourage abject coercion and intimidation. Not for any good reason but to give free leeway to crooks and useless personalities to dictate good citizens against their wills. Not for any good reason but to maintains unjustified Dinka Hegemony of RSS sensitive government organs.

These are examples of horrific consequences of unlearned war veteran acts. A fellow who never travelled in the globe to get a sense of how the world works and why other nations prosper while others are locked up into nonsensical unwinnable battles.

In so far, it appeared anyone who intended to speak the truth, moral codes and ethical principles in order to help weed out corrupted cronies and Dinka hegemony in the RSS to further enhance uncorrupted collective peoples progress and good governance beyond tribal lines is considered disloyal and a perfidy of highest degree in South Sudan.

In the past four months for example, effort to establish unbiased rules of law within the SPLM party has prompted unwarranted and mindless political bickering. And such continued to wobble the foundation of the SPLM as a party. As a result, SPLM is currently in a shamble and high road of anarchy. It is in a survival mood and desperate verge of collapse, to say the least.

This brings me to the question why I am writing this article. The uncertainty which showcased that 2013 -2014 will either confirm the unwelcome demise or revival of the SPLM. At the core of my own party, uncertainty is high and no one knows what the future holds for this great party.

At the centre of it all is of course Governor Malong’s recent statement, he lashed out on Governor Nyadeng Malek for abandoning her tribes-man high and dry. Governor Paul Malong against all abject odds and watchful eyes of President Kiir or blessing, Malong has chosen tribal alliances over nationhood and idealism.

Based on this disappointing fact, as a party aspirant, I am disturbed but not defeated. I however resorted to the most effective means to provoke public awakening. I write to enlighten my readers, my fellow countrymen and women, in order to help them clearly understand what a blinded statement ought to engender. Thus, I am of course referring to the Governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Paul Malong Awan’s infamous tribalized statement toward Nyadeng Malek, the Governor of Warrap state.

On May 15, 2013, ‘Sudan Tribune’ reported that Governor Paul Malong made this divisive statement, “I am disappointed that I am being left to move around when actually Nyandeng should have been the one doing all these activities and then we come in with the support she needs. Instead of doing that, she is supporting other candidates. This is unacceptable. She should not try to stand in these coming elections. She should leave the young ones like Achol Achier to take over if she is not willing to support the president.”

What a man! What a poorly crafted statement! I wondered. Considering Mr. Malong’s stance and uncivilized lash out of Governor Nyadeng’s nationalistic position (if alleged as true), I have the following points to make:

First, Governor Malong’s position is not only tribally motivated but coercive and dangerously unfit in a sense that it preaches and encourages tribal groupings. It clearly gives no slightest room to other tribes’ men and women who pledged support to President Kiir’s bid for presidency come 2015 elections.

On the flip side, Malong’s statement has consolidated tribal candidates regardless of their visions and mission for the nation. Above all else, Mr. Malong’s statement has indirectly called for the somalization of South Sudan on tribally-based politicking.

Second, Governor Malong Awan’s statement justified tribal governance in the Republic of South Sudan (RSS). More so, the statement has indicated a serious political immaturity and sheer ignorance on his part as a governor and once revered war veteran. Irresponsibility and poor judgement in this juncture is one thing. While thinking that Governor Nyadeng Malek would blindly support President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s presidency ethnically is another serious political error.

Third, Mr. Malong’s statement placed pockets of South Sudanese who might be supporting the president at a disappointing position, especially the non-Dinka, and the marginalized Dinka who might not be from Warrap state. For instance, the statement squarely placed these individuals or groups as puppets or heartless betrayers of their own tribal men and women even though they might be supporting the president profoundly on the national grounds.

In closing this point, Governor Malong’s statement clearly indicated that RSS’s governance is based on tribal lines, which in my view is an intellectual insult to us the living and those who died for this country in the course of our struggle.

Fourth, if Governor Nyadeng Malek’s alleged position of supporting other South Sudanese candidates from other tribes is “unacceptable” according to Governor Malong, why should any other tribes-men or women including the systematically marginalized and targeted Dinka continue to supports Kiir’s bid for Presidency?

That’s what it takes for anyone to ascend to the presidency by mobilizing his own tribes’ men and women, according Governorn Malong Awan. For my readers and fellow citizens, this is how dangerous and unhealthy Governor Malong’s statement is for the interest of our nation.

Finally, Governor Malong’s statement also revealed a bigger problem and more so to the Dinka’s politicians and intellectuals. For example, the statement clearly revealed that the Dinka’s politicians and intellectuals nationwide are constantly being spied on and intimidated at will.

This is indeed a new disturbing trend to non-Dinka and even to some Dinka who might not be aware of this primitive expedition. An evidence to prove this hopeless voyage was Governor Nyadeng Malek’s recent visit to Juba where she was accused of holding a “series of meetings with allies of Pagan Amum.”

To say the least, this is a serious character assassination of the Dinka people. It surely undermined their long standing sensible logic of nationhood and idealism. Hence, it is unacceptable undertaking, however, the sole responsibility to submit to this newly founded political intimidation and trickery rest solemnly on the Dinka’s shoulders.

Beside Governor Malong’s statement, the just concluded Bahr el Ghazal regional’s conference and its adopted position to support President Kiir’s bid for presidency come 2015 elections and beyond. Though such regionalized conference is not the first of its kind in South Sudan, it is however the only first regional conference that categorically adopted its position as a bloc.

As a result, the question is whether such position is good for nation building or is it a “new beginning” to divide South Sudan into regionalism or tribes for that matter? The latest is true. It is the new beginning of regional grouping that reckons and encourages tribal politics with flying colours.

In my honest opinion, the Bahr el Ghazal as a region has unconsciously committed an irreversible political blunder out of emotion. Surprisingly, it is a gaffe copycat of 1970s when South Sudan was erroneously divided into three regions by Arabs to further weaken our political stance.

Without any doubt, such stand will haunt South Sudan for many years to come and it will encourage broader political misunderstandings based on region, tribe and even clanism. To say the least, both Governor Malong’s tribalized statement and the Bahr el Ghazal region’s newly founded regional alliance surely prepared a disappointingly disharmonious ground for total collapse of the SPLM party and a rocky road for President Kiir’s government.

In this fashion, the Bahr el Ghazalans and the Equatorians have conducted their regional conferences though the Equatorians’ position was well centred and more nationalistic than that of Bahr el Ghazal region.

Therefore, the region that has not conducted any conference in South Sudan at this stage is the Upper Nile. This far, the Upper Nile has never and is not preparing for any regional conference for the sake of national unity. The argument in this regard is South Sudanese did not take up arms against Khartoum’s rogue regimes in order to scramble South Sudan into regional blocs after independence.

In my view the region has taken a nationalistic position and must continue to refrain from madness and premature acts meant to further divide South Sudan into tribal lines and regional groupings.

In conclusion, I must stress that Governor Malong Awan’s statement and the Bahr el Ghazal regional conference position were misplaced and deplorable to say the least. Such positions are tribally oriented, unjust, divisive and more importantly, meant to destabilize the SPLM party and South Sudanese’s unity.

It’s also meant to erode and chisel out our youth’s instilled hope for a better tomorrow. These positions must not go unchallenged or deplored. If such didn’t occur, the doers might wrongly think they are indeed doing the right thing when clearly they are not.

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

Positive versus Negative Tribalism in of South Sudan

BY: Wani Tombe Lako, SOUTH SUDAN, MAY/26/2013, SSN;

The Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) is but a collection of myriad of tribes, with their separate albeit sometimes similar languages, complete with cultural and sociological variables of heterogeneity. I have written extensively about tribalism in South Sudan, to the annoyance of many people who appear to think that I am against tribes as factual human heritages.

What I am against is the use of these factual human heritages by others as tools of societal hurt. Some peoples in the RoSS want to abuse this God given right of belonging to a tribe as a means for torturing and maiming other tribes in the RoSS.

I would love to see the socially, culturally, linguistically, and tribally heterogeneous peoples of the RoSS, celebrate their heterogeneity in a positive fashion, as indices of beneficent multiculturalism in the RoSS. I would love to see and live in a RoSS where the sanctity of multiculturalism as a divine and Godly ordination of mankind to belong, in these tribes, for amity purposes, so that the peoples of the RoSS, in their totalities, enjoy the essence of tribal and cultural difference. At the same time, use these variables of tribal and cultural difference as the glue that bonds them together, at least for the purposes and reasons of territorial homogeneity if that would help.

I would love to see the peoples of the RoSS, discovering the common essence of intrinsic and inherent humanity that binds them together, notwithstanding their heterogeneity, and let them celebrated the humanity in them, and the sanctity of life in them. Let these be the pillars of common allegiance to the abstract and sovereign State of the RoSS. Let these also be the pillars of allegiance to the common destiny as being now one, and unitary citizens, of the RoSS.

Let there be a common and unitary allegiance, to this common destiny, that we all yearned for, and also as allegiance to the many freedoms, that many lives have been lost to attain them. If we all in unison, and in oneness of heart, abide by these semblances of allegiances, the rough and dangerous edges of tribalism shall be smoothen, to give way to seamless relationships, between all tribes in the RoSS, united in harmonious love, forgiveness, and in God’s name, for the common good.

These are the feelings of a hurting South Sudanese who is a witness to the dismembering of his own nascent and delicate nation, the RoSS, via negative tribalism and raw human hate, sustained by human greed and selfishness, for the material life of this world, and for limitless and perpetual power, for the governance of others. Negative tribalism is the climax of human brutality against all positive societal moralities.

Negative tribalism is also heinous brutality against all those positive values that sustain the internal equilibrium of a sane human society. It undermines internal equilibrium, which is reflected in enviable external conducts of governance, cooperation, stability, productivity, security, collective peace, relative equity and equality, and respect by other human societies, regionally and internationally. Therefore, the government of the RoSS must work hard to entrench the pillars of positive tribalism in the RoSS.

What are the characteristics of positive tribalism then? There are many instances of positive tribalism, such as not killing another human being, in the RoSS, just because he/she committed the crime of belonging to another tribe. This brutal and raw version of human hate is classically demonstrated in the brutality of tribal warfare in the RoSS. Tribal warfare, where wholesale slaughter of women, children, and men of one tribe by another tribe, has been entrenched in rural settings, and even in various urban settings, of the RoSS.

This raw insatiable, homicidal appetite, in the RoSS, is the antinomy of/for positive tribalism. In positive tribalism, members of tribes do not just inherit wholesale hatred of other tribes from their fore-bearers as if for almost aesthetical reasons. In positive tribalism, human life is valuable and sacred, and the very sanctity of this human life constitutes the kernel for positive multiculturalism and love between various tribes.

We in the RoSS ought to be ashamed of ourselves because of our indulgence in tribal-warfare. We in the RoSS appear to cherry-pick the meanings and variables of general jurisprudence and the glory of human rights. We are over the moon with the meaning of self-determination, but, we deprive hundreds, and thousands, of our compatriots, of the right to life, in these orgies of tribal-warfare. Those brothers/sisters, and children, we kill, and murder, in these orgies of tribal-warfare, are/were mercilessly denied the right of self-determination by us, the killers, and murderers.

Is this not a disturbing contradiction in a nation born out of the doctrine of self-determination? Can you imagine a child, or a pregnant woman, crying for mercy, in a burning hut, in the RoSS, while some other South Sudanese is standing there, with a smoldering pole, poking and pushing these two burning human beings, back into the burning hut, just to make sure that, they perish into ashes? This is negative tribalism, and the opposite of that is positive tribalism.

Positive tribalism is not the indulgence in systematic and organised displacement of some other tribes from their motherland, in the RoSS, just because the tribes doing the displacement are powerful in terms of wealth and armaments. Positive tribalism means that, if some other tribes want some piece of land, there are legal ways and means of acquiring such land in amicable and
orderly fashion, in the spirits and letters of harmonious multiculturalism in the RoSS.

Positive tribalism means the coexistence in harmoniously mixed up neighourhoods of happy peoples, but not tribal colonies of antagonistic tribes, saturated with hate, mistrust, and suspicions of other neighbouring tribal colonies. This appears to be the trend of housing in the RoSS, and these are very dangerous patterns of coexistence in South Sudanese urban centres.

Positive tribalism means that, the citizens and nationals of the RoSS shall not encourage the use of tribes as conduits for corrupt practices in various public institutions, because that shall lead to the demise of our national public institutions. Positive tribalism means that, major tribes in the RoSS must be constitutionally conscious of other minor tribes in the RoSS.

This means that, all major tribes in the RoSS have to respect principles of meritocracy which shall also guarantee the minor tribes their right of access to employment and such like in the RoSS.

Positive tribalism means that, mere numbers do not give other tribes the absolute right to monopolise all government institutions just because they are many in numbers. If all these rather nasty conducts are entrenched in the RoSS, the result is the existence of negative tribalism and it is socially divisive, morally repugnant, religiously sinful, politically destabilizing, and security wise dangerous.

Positively tribalism creates temporal and spatial opportunities for the germination of real seeds of nationalism in which, the structure, content, and the trajectory of popular allegiance is directed towards the building of a real nation State of the RoSS, in which, all the tribes in the RoSS see themselves as authors and owners of whatever is considered as being the RoSS.

The beneficial advantage of this is that, there shall prevail a general feeling of fairness and equity. The peoples of the RoSS are reasonable, and they do understand that, there shall always be certain notion of proportionality in terms of tribal representations in governmental institutions, and for this, there shall never be any qualms. These are natural occurrences, but they ought not to be in bad faith designs, for purposes of tribal subjugation and outright discrimination.

The argument that there are some particular tribes in the RoSS which fought more than other tribes during the last war of liberation is tricky and a slippery-slop mental gymnastics and it is a function of political semantics. It cannot surely become the basis for carpeting governmental institutions with negative tribalism, and which threatens to undermine the very notion of self-determination, that the peoples of South Sudan fought and died for.

There are surely more sensible ways in which such a fact could be managed by the leadership of the RoSS. We in the RoSS must be careful in using the logic of zero-sum kind of approaches in issues of nation building.

Negative tribalism shall reach a level whereby, those indulging in it at the moment, shall not be able to hide their embarrassment in the not distant future, and that shall have very bad consequences on the whole setup of the RoSS. The leadership of the RoSS must from now begin to device ways and means as to how to develop positive tribalism in the RoSS.

Positive tribalism shall not encourage the entrenchment of ignorance in the RoSS, due to the fact that, the use of meritocracy for rewarding knowledge and skills shall make everybody wants to acquire knowledge and skills, because, individual South Sudanese shall not rely on tribal identity for accessing jobs and such like.

This shall be good for the RoSS in terms of efficiency in the use of scarce resources, which could then be used beneficially because, those entrusted with societal tasks shall be those who have the knowledge and skills, and not just human persons collected together and put in positions of authority simply because they belong to an influential or big tribe.

By passage of time, we should be able to have all the tribes of the RoSS represented in various governmental institutions and not like the current situation in which some governmental institutions look and sound like tribal meeting places. This is not good for a harmonious multicultural and multi-tribal South Sudan.

Positive tribalism shall also encourage the instruments of check-and-balances to function effectively and beneficially in the RoSS. With equitable distribution of opportunities among all the tribes of South Sudan, corrupt practices shall not go on for long time before they are noticed and corrected, and this shall be to the benefit of all the peoples of the RoSS.

The same thing is also true with the application of the rule of law. A police force which is made up of all the tribes in the RoSS shall not indulge in practices which defeat the application of the rule of law in the RoSS. Senior officials of the RoSS are in record complaining that, some elements of South Sudan police forces are culprits in some of the heinous crimes committed in the RoSS. This is due to negative tribalism in the police force in the RoSS.

Positive tribalism shall also save the big or major tribes in the RoSS from the wrath of history. The current practices of some of the major tribes in terms of negative tribalism shall not go on forever. It might either culminate in social anarchy in the RoSS, or it shall work to the detriment of the same major tribes. There are historical evidentiary variables to that effect. Why should we allow such evil occurrences to happen in future in the RoSS, as long as we know that
we are now creating the recipes for such disasters in the future?

We ought to be sensible in the RoSS. Monopoly of government’s positions, and such like, do not always go on forever. We should instead, work on how best, we can make the major tribes, in the RoSS, become the guardians of stability in the RoSS, instead of these tribes, becoming the major sources of instability, due to some unreasonable conducts, of the few in these major tribes.

Let the major tribes in the RoSS, due to their big numbers; behave like good elder brothers to the rest of minor tribes in the RoSS. This shall make these minor tribes in the RoSS, to respect them, and in fact, work in collaboration with them. The cooperation of these minor tribes ought to be earned by the major tribes, and not to be prised from them, through threats and intimidations.

Let the minor tribes in the RoSS; develop the feeling of brotherhood towards the major tribes in the RoSS, as a result of the major tribes in the RoSS, showing their respect and genuine as well as positive considerations, for the same minor tribes in the RoSS. Let there be some positive reciprocity in the RoSS as between the major and minor tribes therein. These are the salient features of positive tribalism that I am on about.

The author is Professor of Social and Rural Development and Lecturer in Laws. He can be contacted at

Democratic, authoritarian, totalitarian or what system of governance does South Sudan want to have?

BY: Lul Gatkuoth Gatluak, MINNESOTA, USA, MAY/24/2013, SSN;

Republic of South Sudan came on being after bumpy layers. Each generation of South Sudanese struggled and demanded freewill of ruling—–South Sudan under supremacy of the Constitution, a constitution that derives its authority from the will of the people and has a binding force on persons, institutions, and all agencies of the government throughout the country. According to the transitional constitution of the RSS, “South Sudan has to be governed on the basis of a decentralized democratic system.”

During six-year interim period that started on July 9, 2005, and ended on July 8, 2011, the constitutional framework for the Interim government of Southern Sudan established five levels of the government. These five levels are the national, State, County, Payam and Boma. The national federal government is said to be headed by the president, the State by the governor, the county by the commissioner, the Payam, by the administrator, and finally, the Boma by the village administrator.

Since then, the greater absolute power is vested on the president of the Government of Southern Sudan, now RSS. The powers conferred upon him under article 101 in the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan allow him to issue presidential decrees to appoint ministers, governors, commissioners and sometimes order whoever he appointed to appoint those who seek government positions and claim directly to him to work in national, State, and/or county levels.

The practice of appointment is also picked up by governors to appoint individuals who are loyal to them. Commissioners as well appoint close aids or relatives to available jobs or send them to trainings that will later result into their employment.

Democratic voting system where ordinary citizens of South Sudan can vote in public leaders in fairly voting manner is absent, and if it happens, election has to be rigged. In 2010 election, for example, every candidate who was running with other party tickets other than SPLM ticket complained of voting intimidations or fraud. There is no fairness of counting ballots. That made many of us wonder about what kind of the government we want to have.

Where are we heading as a country? Is our country rising to be a democratic State or falling into the trap of African authoritarianism and totalitarianism without fair systems of governance?

If we are falling into the trap of African puzzling system of governance, one may say, African’s problems are so huge and insoluble. Many people may agree with me and admit that—-the continent is in need of a progressive structure. Why? Because many African governments are confronted with an eroding broken system, full of inability to govern themselves equitably.

Leaders are playing alien ideologies—submerged in violence, stuck in corruption, prone to exploitation, susceptible to manipulation, buried in poverty and finally appear to accept an undemocratic system which is so sickening!

In the world, founder fathers are expected to set up systems that determine a destiny and a future which is free, transparent, and provide much needed equality for all. When people apply such a system, they would forever depend on it for guidance. Therefore, the founding fathers have to be very careful when creating such a system. Adopting a system other than your own requires clear policies and management.

In order for us to have a durable democratic government, there are needs for us to put forth. For instance, there is a need to involve other political parties’ members to the ongoing constitutional review. In 2011 when interim constitution was reviewed prior to independence, other political parties’ representatives walked out, citing irregular actions of the members of the ruling party.

This time around as constitutional review is underway, the ruling party could avoid monopolizing the system and acting aggressively toward members from other parties. The constitution— being the supreme law of the land that will judge all people — requires universal input, and all reviewers should lay down the foundation for a united, peaceful, and prosperous society based on justice, equality, respect for human rights and dignity.

Acting inclusively would beautify this constitution and shall affirm and recognize the diversity of the South Sudanese people. The world of today has recognized diversity as strength, not a weakness; and people choose federal system as the best system of governance over any form of the government.

Throughout the history of human civilizations, the will of the people has been regarded as the principal sources of legitimacy in striving for a good system of governance. It is the only manner in which the will of people is expressed and gets reflected in the form of the government. This form of governance can change from time to time and the change usually deviates from solid path which has been clearly defined. Most of the time, the change can come according to the social and cultural variations of the society.

Since the beginning of the civilization, many governments had been built on rigid hierarchies, but today, the efficiency of the pyramid model of governance is being eroded by the democratization will of the people. The influence of the traditional position of power or authority has shifted towards knowledge, expertise, and individualistic interest. The result of modern changes has encouraged a sharing of power and it influences a different kind of friendly governance, such as stakeholders, government private sectors and the civil societies.

As a new country, it would be wise for us to avoid any type of autocracy and adopt only the rule of law, where individuals’ rights should be highly respected. Democracy in modern societies is the only well-structured system that helps people co-exist and thrive in their daily operations.

The most distinctive aspect of democratic system is that government officials are elected by the people on the basis of universal adult franchise.

In recent decades, the world has witnessed new valiant heroes. People like Lech Walesa in Poland, Corazon Aquino in the Philippines, Raul Alfonsin in Argentina, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Benazir Bhutton in Pakistan and Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma/Myanmar, just to name only a few of men and women who have shown the world a fortitude of spirit and a passion for freedom. These people and many others have endured great discomfort and overcome enormous obstacles to institute democratic movements in their countries.

Today in every region of the world, there is a clamour for change and an insistence on liberal reforms. Many nations arouse to proclaim their rights before obdurate dictators. This means, there is social and political forces that can break most repressive and punitive governments. Very often, the first forces that demand change are ambitious youth groups who advocate for reform but are ignored by leaders whose intention is to persist in efforts to preserve their positions.

As a result, a reaction that can cripple the government usually surfaces. Ironically, the smartest way to quell these groups is to grant some free elections or few civil liberties or human rights. Leaders who offer these changes find themselves faced with a growing confident from their constituencies.

People all over the world no longer live in ignorance or isolation from developed countries; media brought them in contact with world’s powerful nations who can help them succeed in their strive for a true meaningful democracy. How can some citizens accept injustices when they see others free from misrules?

Whenever vivid events occur, such as Tunisia, Egypt and Libya uprisings, the entire world can see instantly the spirit of freedom through the media. People of the world can also see and know that Western Europe, the United States, Japan, Canada, and other strong democratic nations are wealthier and manufacture many consumer goods and maintain strong economies.

These plentiful goods and the high standard of living in such democracies are reminders to poorer or less free societies like South Sudan, that free democratic governments encourage free markets. Therefore, we have a strong desire to create a durable democratic society which could emulate the path of the above mentioned nations.

Ultimately, the desire to be free and have a good structured democratic system require courageous efforts of women and men who take it upon themselves to ensure democracy will take hold in their nation. Undeniably, it is a known fact that, leaving the old structure and creating a new one with vitality is not an easy task for a nation whose majority of its leaders is inexperienced.

A young nation like us that is full with domestic political crisis could not promote autocrat who may be potentially worse than the abandoned North Sudan dictators. Supporting those who will bring us democracy is wiser than solidifying the power of those who will degenerate us into anarchy or authoritarian state.

Those of us who have seen the free world of democracy in the west, freedom and justice for all is the only guidance principle. We have seen the true meaning of the citizenship, where individual’s life, values, and the needs are highly respected and taken care of by the people’s government. Peoples’ voice is highly taken; and the power is from the bottom to the top. If elected officials are not up to their task and are not honestly or appropriately executing their duties, a re-call election or an impeachment panel can be performed either through citizen participatory election or court of laws, unlike South Sudan, where power is the other way around.

The power seems to be from top to bottom and citizens’ voice is not taken seriously. In South Sudan, when political shift is on the rise, it is easy to see authoritarian practices as a guidance force. Peoples’ voice is ignored by the rulers. Democracy is not meaningfully prevalent.

All power holders such as members of the parliament in both Federal and State levels, governors, commissioners or anybody who should enter public services arena through public adult franchise or election are hand picked and that bothers, worries, and gives pains to one’s soul by feeling that your ancestral land and truly your home country South Sudan is in a state of unpredictable future.

Democracy within our country continues to be demanding and corruption within the government is endless. In that regard, the current situation in the country is dominated by uncertainty. In another word, this road we are on will lead us step-by-step to the extreme: We will inherit either an autocratic government that functions or dysfunctional anarchy. The petty squabbles, bilge in the name of party or principle, will dissolve our supposed-to-be self-democratic government.

However, we must hope for the best that in the near future, change will come, where people will freely elect their political leaders without any form of intimidations, disenfranchise, rigging or any kind of voting fraud that spoil election fairness.

Those of use who have read our history know for fact that for centuries, we have been paralysed by intruders; as we are now governing ourselves, our focus should dwell on building the best democratic system that would transform our lives. A good transformation starts by creating an environment for economic growth. No price or trophy is bigger than having a peaceful prosperous environment. It is peace and harmony that we can embark on toward good economic and social transformation.

This author once discussed the future of South Sudan with one commander who visited Minnesota. One wanted to know if we are indeed rising to be a democratic society. The kind of the analysis he gave made a lot of sense to me as we chatted. He is certain that democracy will not prevail or fully be very smooth as one may have expected and gave me an example with HIV/AIDS, saying, “if AIDS occupies the human body, it would not leave any single part of the body unaffected”.

Meaning, many African countries are not democratic societies; therefore, it would be impossible for South Sudan to slip away from that trap. If that is the case, and if democratic realization is impossible to take shape in South Sudan, one may argue, “almighty power struggle means” will not be absent to cripple the very newly born nation.

It is always common sense that coups are ignited due to political dissatisfactions, autocratic authoritarianism, unlawful treatment, inequality, injustices, corruption, lack of democracy, tribalism, nepotism, economic imbalances, absent of liberty, and violations and abuses of human rights and freedoms in any form; these acts force humans to choose violence over peace.

History told us autocratic authoritarianism can cause rigging of legitimate elections or oppression of people’s rights and privileges. Ironically, the profound rebellion and general insecurity that had marred and stranded south Sudan were first ignited initially by late George Athor as a result of intentional fraud or rigging of the democratic general elections in 2010 by the SPLM party in favors of their loyal candidates, although it is unclear whether George Athor has won the general elections or not. It was equally the initial point of revolutionary rebellion, which was later on joined by second waves of sporadic rebellions caused by tribalism, nepotism and corruption within the SPLA and SPLM.

Another puzzle was the issue of independent candidates who were threatened with military arrests as well as stripping them off their official jobs. Majority of these individuals ended up without jobs simply because they ran as independents. The only independent candidate who won was Joseph Mario Bakosoro. How did he win?

Well, not only did his people vote for him overwhelmingly, but riggers who marched to his camp in order to destroy ballots while counting was underway coincided with international observers’ visit to the site. Thus, riggers told themselves “they will be accused internationally and that would spoil the legitimacy of the whole 2010 election.” That is why he won! Others who earned majority votes such as Angelina Teny were badly dumped.

The third phase of rebellion was ignited and fuelled by the intertribal cattle rustling in Lake, Unity, and children abductions in Jonglei state. Lack of the RSS urgency to provide protection and defense against the internal insecurity can stir the SPLA to fracture or fragment on tribal basis as each soldier in the SPLA would feel he or she would want to persuade the national army to come and protect their tribe against illegal horrors inflicted on them. Some SPLA soldiers can even involve in cattle rustling and other tribal disputes as that was the case years back between the said Lake and Unity Sates.

This local insecurity among tribes in RSS can spark the split of the SPLA because the current administration seems to be so negligent and ignorant not to amicably and pragmatically resolve any tribal crisis or internal conflict that arises among communities as quickly as possible. Without a doubt, some military Generals in the SPLA, who see their people are neglected and forsaken in the course of tribal conflicts, would like to align with their tribesmen claiming their protection.

Therefore, the selective and discriminatory treatment of favoring and sidelining the grievances of some offended tribes could escalate to the military defections of the high ranking SPLA Generals and their sympathizers. Hence, some SPLA military Generals who form alliance with their kin tribesmen would illegally and intentionally supply weapons and ammunition to their respective tribes in murky deals of collaboration given their domination in the SPLA or lack of representation within RSS structure. Take David Yau Yau case as an immediate example.

During the revolutionary struggle, SPLA generals usually got frustrated when their tribe was engaged in hostility with the SPLA army. We should learn from that history. All these ambiguous deals can lead to mistrust in the SPLA, and it is one of the factors that can ignite tribal rebellion in the SPLA or lead to tribal alliance to brew a military coup as a result of negligence and ignorance stemming from the administration to resolve these issues responsibly.

Land grabbing is another big issue that can lead to tribal war especially when the state and federal government do not bother to intervene and settle the land disputes through legal litigation. So when a tribe pre-empts a tribal fight, the SPLA would be used disproportionately in response. Such a scenario can be seen in Eastern Equatoria, central equatoria, Upper Nile and so forth. All these illustrations pose threat to overall general insecurity due to leadership enforcement strategy vacuums in RSS.

One knows for certain that south Sudanese are ready to embrace peace, unity, stability, nationalism, and peaceful co-existence in forming reconciliations in RSS. However, this patriotic allegiance of national building is not likely to take practical effects under the current administration of RSS if all necessary measures are not taken as demanded by situations that exist.

The bigger worry right now is leaning toward the next awaiting election in 2015. Many silent politicians, who follow South Sudan politics closely, could predict eminent hostility that will be caused by election rigging. The only best way forward in RSS is to change administration and peacefully allow new administration to take over. That way, our people may know for sure that after such an administration dissatisfies public interest, citizens would be able to wait for the next election in 2020 to replace 2015 leaders with the leaders of their choice.

If the current leadership will not allow change to take root, one would like to assert that all sorts of unnecessary situations including war itself will not be avoided, given our culture of extremism. Some people will aim to topple the regime in any means possible to them; they may think fighting democratically to dispose the administration through ballot voting will never materialize.

Personally, one has not seen the reason of our departure since there has never been a change. The same authoritarian mindset in old Sudan still haunts us. We should learn from the history of old Sudan which tells us that on November 17, 1958, two years after Sudan independence and the day parliament was to convene again after an adjournment, a military coup occurred. Prime Minister Khalil, a retired army general, planned the pre-emptive coup in conjunction with leading Umma members and the army’s two senior generals, Ibrahim Abbud and Ahmad Abdal Wahab, who became leaders of the military regime afterwards.

Again on May 25, 1969, several young officers who called themselves “The Free Officers” made a conspiracy to seize power; among them, was Colonel Jaafar Muhammad Nimeri as a ringleader of the group. These army officers plan coup and cite the country’s economic failure as their justifiable position. Similar dissatisfactions would definitely repeat themselves in South Sudan if we don’t allow this essential much desired change to take place.

This author knows very well that the current administration has scored some measure of achievements that will go down in history. If our president would peacefully give up the presidency in 2015, he would go down in the history as the leader who was selected on August 2, 2005 unanimously by the SPLM/A leadership and sworn in on August 11, 2005 to fill the shoes of John Garang to accomplish what Garang has started. He would be remembered as the one who kept South Sudan united during interim period and became the first president of South Sudan on July 9, 2011.

Stepping aside is not a weakness; it could tell us that he is leading by example showing people the way forward. That system of giving up power peacefully should down the road be followed by future generations of South Sudan. If change of the leadership does not take place, all above negative consequences one have analyzed will not be absent.

One can predict and prophesize simply because the moody, outrageous, stunning public anger and dissatisfactions toward the administration is lingering and growing daily. This personal call may flow above inner ears given the fact that current political atmosphere is aiming at premeditated strategy to mobilize loyal SPLA military Generals to find out political confidants to prepare for the total establishment of the true official, inaugurated, and beautifully crowned dictatorship.

Some of the signalling indications to verify dictatorial manner would include the recent call of censorship if government officials speak out against administration mismanagement. Others would include withdrawing of powers from VP out of the fear that VP will gain popularity in the eye of voters.

The withdrawal of power from the government officials and delegate them to servants of the most high will not solve chronic problem of lawlessness in the country. Rabbis alone will not encourage the much troubled youths who carry military-type weapons, who also make the majority of the South Sudanese people, to avoid violence and become obedient of the church, similar to the few who carry Bibles.

In March, when SPLM party’s inner power struggle emerged, one had acquaintance to read too many comments. Party supporters are sharply divided. There are those whose tone is advocating for change aiming at relinquishing the leadership so that the next leader will dismantle the current structure of appointing ministers, governors and commissioners with the structure which will only appoint cabinet members and allow governors as well as commissioners to be elected by the people.

Such structure would allow political post-holders to pay loyalty to their constituencies to elect them again to offices rather than today’s sycophantic structures where loyalty is paid to president yarning for tomorrow’s rewards. These sycophants think on top of their heads they are on the right track but forgot living in undemocratic society is not different than living in the jail cell!

They will do anything possible to bless current structure, fearing that change will bring bad than good. This author would like to appeal to these flatterers to remorse from seeing only short comings and distance their glimpse to envision whether this system we are establishing will be admirable to tomorrow’s generations. SPLM as people’s party which many people including this author deemed themselves to belong, need to embrace democratization.

Otherwise, other twenty-two parties should unite and carry the torch on. In some degree, inner circle messages spread that 2015 presidential election will not take place and if it does, they will find ways to secure its rigging. So per se, those who think they are looking for a democratic election outcome may just be hallucinating in spirit of empty optimism without clear indication of who will safeguard the fairness of the election.

In order to prevent dangerous skirmishes, the international community has to stay proactive in ensuring that power of democracy is ruling, no matter what circumstances are on the rise. They would start by pushing our leading elites especially those who engage in constitutional review to designate power to its rightful owners who are the citizens of South Sudan!

One would like to encourage the constitutional review team to propose workshops around South Sudan begging for more inputs from ordinary citizens who will be victims of tomorrow. The leading few may want to know what is in the minds of South Sudanese ordinary masses, and their say is highly needed.

Missing the chance of allowing the reign of democracy is not different than pointing a pistol at our heads. We need a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, a government that allows its people to freely discus public issues without fear of impunity and intimidations.

Lastly, the fundamental purpose of this article is to express personal concerns toward political manoeuvring in South Sudan. One is in the mood to emphasize how genuine and important is democracy. There is no system beyond it yet. In democratic system, people talk: they can agree or disagree but do so in civility without letting anything dictate their discourse. This is a very beautiful way of life. We can steal it! Letting it slip away in 2015 will harm us.

I mean, if there is no change of the leadership in the said year, we will not reach 2020 without a political coup; one can envision that. In politics, one has to be proactive and foresee what future would ensure or bring.

Embracing autocratic authoritarianism, totalitarianism, or any form of dictatorial systems without allowing power of democracy, the old mess of electoral rigging as it was the case in 2010 election will not be absent and a coup will be imminent.

We need to create a democratic government that serves the people and constitution that irrevocably grant valuable and durable freedoms to all South Sudanese. That is when we as a nation will enjoy the goodness and the richness of our land.

Very Respectively, Lul Gatkuoth Gatluak
Saint Paul Minnesota
Contacts: or (651) 500-7397

Are Presidential Decrees the source of our law making in South Sudan?

BY: Bol Garang Bol, CANBERA, AUSTRALIA, MAY/24/2013, SSN;

The Country referred, as the Republic of South Sudan came into being under the agreement signed in 2005 between the former rebels (SPLM/SPLA) and the Sudan government. The document recognized as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) established the current
Republic of South Sudan. The Transitional Constitution endowed the new republic with sovereignty. The question to address here is the process of law making in the Republic of South Sudan. Some may agree with me that law is the set of rules governing the society.

Laws are made by Parliament, or Act that may arise as the result of court decisions creating established principles. Therefore, in this case, the primary purpose of the law is to regulate the political, economic and social well-being of the society or country.

The process of law-making and the politics of the Republics of South Sudan are more confusing compared to, and how the other independent nations deal with law making process. Before I talk about the law making process in South Sudan, the government of the newly independence nation is and has been viewed as a Federal Presidential Republic.

According to the Interim Constitution of South Sudan, the President is the Head of State, the Commander in-Chief of the Armed forces and Chairman of the ruling party. The Transitional Constitution of South Sudan demoralizes the judiciary and the legislative powers. It vested all the powers to the President.

The President through his “Presidential Decrees” determines the basic direction of the South Sudan’s foreign and domestic’s policies and represent the state in foreign affairs. The President appoints Federal Cabinet Ministers with Presidential decrees
and this appointment of Cabinet Ministers is not subject to vetting.

The President has also powers to conduct international talks and sign treaties on behalf of the Republic. The Constitution authorized the President to chair meetings of the government, which he also may dismiss in its entirety.

Our constitution, I mean the South Sudan’s Constitution has no say about the President even if the President commits “grave crimes”. I wonder why the South Sudan Constitution gave less power to the legislature and empowered Presidential Decrees as the source of law making. The Presidential Decrees in my view are laws made by the President when there is no standing elected legislative body. For example, when the military took over government in a military coup or popular uprising, the legislative
powers were vested in the President.

The Republic of South Sudan has embraced Western style of law making and its government structure. The South Sudan’s Constitution written in a US style established Federal Assembly with two Chambers, the Low House and the State Council. The major source of law-making in the traditional theory of common law is the legislature. The judges make laws only through interpretation of the facts in a proven case.

The purpose of this article is to explain the process of law-making in South Sudan. The process of law making in South Sudan based on my analysis is primarily the function of the President rather than the legislature or the judiciary.

Under the South Sudan’s Constitution, the Federal Parliament can make laws on certain matters such as international and interstate trade, immigration, taxation, banking, insurance, marriage and divorce, currency, weights and measures, post and telecommunications. The South Sudan President retains executive powers over many areas such as defence, foreign
affairs, local government, roads, hospitals and schools.

In some respects, the legislative powers of the two Houses of the federal Parliament, the Senate and the House of Representatives are not equal. In matters relating to the collection or expenditure of public money, the Constitution gives more powerful roles to the President instead of the Parliament.

Bills which authorize the spending of money (appropriation bills) and bills imposing taxation cannot originate in the Senate. The Senate may not amend bills imposing taxation and some kinds of appropriation bill, or amend any bill so as to increase any proposed charge or burden on the people without approval of the President.

The President uses his executive powers to ask the Parliament to make amendments to any bills.

South Sudan has adopted its government structure from the system of the United Kingdom and the US. I believed that the South Sudan system of law making has been influenced by Presidential decrees which restricted the separation of powers.

In a pure democratic country like US, Australia and the UK, the legislature makes law, the government (executive)
administers the law and the judiciary interprets the law.

Many people I shared my opinion with them argued that there are no doubts in having the legislature as the principle source of law making in South Sudan. The legislators are elected to represent the ideas of the electors and when a social issue requires a new law, the legislature has power for holding hearing into the matter by taking proper advice and acting on it.

This makes the legislature to have the opportunity of making laws that will be comprehensive on the issue.

South Sudan has three levels of law-making. The Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary, which are referred as the three arms of government must work together to provide service to the South Sudanese people. The South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution established a Parliament sometime known as Federal Parliament which is bicameral.

The Federal Parliament consists of two houses, the Senate Council and the House of Representatives. The Constitution gives the Parliament of South Sudan the powers to make laws. These laws can be passed with the approval of both houses.

In South Sudan, the process of law-making is supposed to be the exclusive work of the legislators and the adjudication of the law is considered as business of the judges. The separation of the legislative and judicial functions is reinforced by the democratic election of legislators and the executive appointment of judges.

The legislators are the elected representatives of people, therefore, they have a mandate to act on behalf of the community and make laws with permission of the people. This idea of elected legislators gives less power to non-elected judges. The judges have no comparable mandate to legislators because their mandate is to exercise judicial power by hearing and determine controversial cases brought before them.

South Sudan has Federal system of government under it constitution, therefore, there must be sharing of legislative law-making powers between the Parliament and the parliaments of the States. One of the important reason why law making is primary the functions of the legislature rather than the President is the separation of powers.

In the South Sudan legal system, the functions of making the law, administering them and adjudicating upon them are not institutionally separated. South Sudan’s Constitution dealt with the judicial activism, without separation of legislative,
executive and the judiciary powers.

The judicial activism is defined as a control or influence by the judiciary over political or administrative institutions. The judicial review of executive action has attracted debate about judicial activism in South Sudan. It is considered that South
Sudan Constitution has empowered and require South Sudanese courts to pass upon the constitutionality of legislation and the validity and lawfulness of executive acts.

Section X of the South Sudan Constitution confers authority on the High Court to review unlawful executive action. Every government in the world has tension with the judiciary to some degree or another, principally because politicians do not cherish being told what they did wrong and facing an institution of government with the power to force them to correct their mistakes. The Kiir government has no exception in regard to judiciary powers.

An important limitation on judicial law-making arises from the need for the judge’s view to be accepted by the community and the profession. The work of the most judges is concerned with interpretation and they legislate only in hard cases. Judge-made common law must depend on its compatibility with contemporary view.

The judge considers the parameters of new rules for the common law and determines whether the rules proceed. The judge as an
interpreter, when the facts have been ascertained, the process of judicial decision-making involves finding the law through the interpretation of the legal materials and applying the facts to the case. The judge must abandon the interpretation and formulate a new rule to cover a case. This can be done by assessing the materials collected and formulate a better rule in hard cases.

This means that judge has no authority to make general law but rely on the interpretation and the existing body through use of the materials and facts of the given case.

The nature of dictating the judges in law-making reduce power of the judges and severely affect judicial activity. A judge made rule must be systematically related to the class of rules, principles and doctrines which make up the general body of common law.

The judiciary make law only arises in a case presented by parties of disputes. This means, the judges have no power to bring disputes to court no matter how urgently they may feel that the law needs to be reviewed. Under the separation of powers doctrine, the task of the court is to interpret the law and apply it to the relevant facts proven in a given case.

Judges are limited in the evidence that they may hear when formulating new law. Most of the representations placed before the court by the parties to the litigation are based on the prior law and on proof of the facts that are in disputes. However, the roles of the judges in South Sudan are considered as deciders of disputes according to the law.

Another objection against judicial law-making in South Sudan is its retrospective nature. This argument against retrospectivity
is integral to traditional formulations of the rule of law. It holds that the retrospective application of new rules is unfair to the parties affected and undermines the value of certainty and predictively in the law. The process of law-making involves much more than knowledge of existing law and it defects.

Therefore, judicial law-making must have limitation in making the law. It requires knowledge as to how change may affect interest of diverse community, which will be regulated by the proposed change. The Court is forced to rely on the President and the parties for their information on relevant matters.

The separations of powers allow the legislature to make law and the executive to administer the law while the judiciary resolve disputes according to law. In 2007, the courts of South Sudan described the central functions of the courts as to exercise the Federal jurisdiction under the South Sudan Constitution.

The function of the judge can be considered in the light of simple model that judge can identifies a rule of law applicable to a fact in a given situation and determine the facts of the case. It is arguable that rules of law applied by a judge may be
constitutional, statutory or the judge made rules.

Parliament as the law makers can sometime delegate law making powers to the executive. The executive is one of the arms of government which includes the President, Cabinets and Public Servant employees. Such delegate is authorized by statutes enacted by the parliament.

The role of the executive is to administer the laws made by the legislature but also delegated the task by Parliament to make rules and regulations that spell out in detail the statutes law. The executive administer law through government agencies. I believed that by-laws, regulation and other statutory which exist in South Sudan are delegate legislation. They are made by an immense array of public officials, statutory and other bodies elected as legislators.

Since South Sudan inherited legal system from United States of America, South Sudan judges ignored and failed to engage in the process of developing the common law as well as interpreting the status. The common law has definition, as the laws made by judges. The judiciary which comprising the High Court and Federal courts is charged with the responsibility of interpreting the laws of the government in court’s decision making.

If one of the arms of the government attempts to exercises the power of another arm, the constitution challenges the move and considers it as unconstitutional. The High Court enforces the separation of powers in the government, especially between judiciary and others government branches such as executive and legislature.

The power of the judges in law making lies in their judgement. The South Sudan Chief Justice Chan Breech Madut and the judiciary failed to set their own agenda in term of law making. They only decide cases that come before them within the parameters and confines of that case. They cannot make up facts or invoke evidence such as expert evidence which is not before them. The South Sudanese people believed that judiciary is one of the broader elements of justice system.

The Presidential decrees have influence the way in which South Sudan Courts work and limit the powers of the executive conferred to them in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan. The judiciary has been considered important because it deals with interpretation and constitutional issues. The High Court has to resolve legal disputes that arise between the government and the people.

In conclusion, the major source of law-making in the Republic of South Sudan is vested on the President rather than the Legislature. The Legislature makes law only through administering the Presidential decrees issued by the President. Under the separation of powers doctrine, the task of the court is to interpret the law and apply it to the relevant facts proven in a given case.

Judges are limited by the Constitution in the evidence that they may hear when formulating new law. Most of the representations placed before the court by the parties to the litigation are based on the prior law and on proof of the facts that are in

Bol Garang de Bol is a South Sudanese living in Canberra, Australia
He can be reached at

Overcoming Tribalism in South Sudan (Part I)

BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, SOUTH SUDANESE, MAY/24/2013, SSN;

Current attempts and efforts being made by various South Sudanese political, religious and civil society actors at overcoming tribalism in South Sudan are encouraging and commendable. But much is left to be desired if the Republic is to be liberated from the mental slavery of tribalism, for the sake of peace and restoration of ethnic harmony in mutual co-existence. In order to structurally and effectively overcome tribalism in South Sudanese politics, it is important to situate the discourse within a broader socio-economic and historical context.

The efforts and collective South Sudanese resolve to be free from the shackles of tribalism must in this way be guided and informed by a theoretical framework within which tribalism must be conceptualized. Alternatively phrased, South Sudanese collective will and desire to overcome tribal instrumentalism can be enhanced by deliberate appreciation of the historical origins of tribalism in its present divisive manifestation in South Sudan, and the African continent.

On this score, key players who traditionally used divisive tribal politics as a ploy to incite tribal hatred in order to exploit local resources must also be seriously accounted for. The imperative question to be answered in this context, with a view to aid the efforts aimed at discouraging tribalism in the land is: what role can be attributed to regional and international actors pertaining to tribal politics in South Sudan? And what are the lessons learned for South Sudanese to avoid the trap of tribalism? What follows is a series of pieces to address these questions.

There are several well-established theoretical frameworks and schools of thought that implicitly address these questions and explain the perceived fanatic inclination to antagonistic tribalism and its implications in Africa, including in South Sudan. Two of these outlooks are pertinent and will guide the deliberations in this sequence of pieces.

The first salient explanation favored by many a conflict expert and social scientists, outlines hostile tribalism in the African continent as deeply embedded in some ontologically designed state of anarchic affairs. The second school argues that tribalism as played today was a colonial construct employed to consolidate power. This is examined in part two of this discussion.

As regards to the first school, the persistent influence of this view in global politics can be credibly ascribed to the dominant political theory coined by the 17th century political philosopher, Thomas Hobbs. In his classic volume, “The Leviathan,” Hobbes perceives the human condition as anarchic and brutish by nature, where logic of war of all against all perpetually prevails and defines people’s interactions (Hobbs, 1968).

This view seems to have later metamorphosed into what is today commonly known as “realpolitik” or “political realism,” which predominantly guides geopolitics and international relations between states, and influences the global system, including the politics of global bodies, such as the United Nations Charter and other influential regional political organs. In political realism understanding of the global system, states are perceived to have no friends except interests, and are therefore, driven by “raison d’être,” literally translated as reason for existence.

This notion is also commonly known as “national interest,” however defined, but often equally referred to as “national security.” The interest-driven foreign policy maxim of interest but friendship is seen to underpin current foreign policies of the powerful nations in the world from Great Britain to the United States of America, and has been perfected by the Russians and the Chinese.

Current tragic realities unfolding in Syria, where thousands of innocent lives have perished, and bodies of fallen enemies in the battlefield are mutilated and human hearts reaped out and eaten by fellow human beings with continued impunity, underscores the importance of this political typology, and the current global state of bankruptcy in moral universalism.

It is amply evident in this context that the global system is flawed, and rotten to the core. The prevailing international oblivion in the face of continued innocent death and abject civilian suffering in places like Jonglei State in South Sudan is left for bemusement to go figure. In short, the point being and as the example of Syrian crisis demonstrates, South Sudan should not wait to meet similar fate in full force in order to come to its senses.

For it should not be mistaken that God forbid, if all out ethnic violence becomes an eventuality in the land, South Sudan will be on its own. Oh would that this country had statesmen who can foresee the perils of tribal politics that will inevitably put South Sudan on the road to Damascus. Is it not enough that more than two million precious South Sudanese lives perished during the protracted liberation struggles, with numerous others continue to be wasted even as we speak, for South Sudan to come to its senses and desist from tribal politics?

Is the blood of the martyrs not sufficient enough for us to learn that we must urgently steer away from divisive ethnic particularism and identity politics to mitigate inter-communal violence and avert an impending humanitarian disaster across ethnic lines in South Sudan? History must speak.

Granted the primordialists’ projection of African hostile tribalism as pre-determined and perpetually fixed (a view widely imagined by outsiders about African tribalism), suggest that the “law of the jungle,” is the norm rather than the exception in this part of the world, South Sudan included. Put simply, ethnic violent conflicts in Africa are perceived to be emanating from some kind of a primitive fountain of an “ancient ethnic hatred.”

In an article entitled “Race, Tribe, and Power in the Heart of Africa,” one Bill Berkeley concluded that “many Americans still imagine that Africa’s seemingly chronic carnage flows from some mysterious, exotic savagery. Much of American media coverage of Africa conveys an impression of ‘age-old hatreds” (Berkeley, Spring 2001). Berkeley’s conclusion was later vindicated by a high profile American diplomat, the former US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, who in a speech delivered to a group of students in Khartoum in 2005, described the conflict in Darfur, for example as a “tribal war” aggravated by other factors. He recommended that foreign actors turn the other way from such a “tribal war of Sudanese” (Keen, 2008).

And lo and behold, ten years later endless massacres continue to be committed in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan and the region with blanketed global impunity and shush. The resolution of the Abyei status remains the stuff of fantasy and daydreaming, as Ngok paramount chiefs are gunned down for game!

The notion in the West of projecting African conflicts as ancient barbarism is accurately captured by one African American fellow. Having witnessed first-hand the horrors of the Rwandan genocide, and how people of all age and genders were indiscriminately decapitated with machetes and brutally killed by pangas as a result of tribalism, concluded that this must be some kind of a primitive omen. “Evolved human beings in the 20th Century don’t do things like that,” he is quoted as affirming (Berkeley, 2001).

Thus, the conclusion drawn from African tribalism by outsiders as metastasized in indiscriminate violent savagery and blood-letting portrays Africans as backward and sub-humans. Little wonder, therefore that international impunity related to atrocities committed in most parts of this geographic region and elsewhere prevails. The well documented case of Liberia’s brutal civil war, has received an explicit label by outsiders as a “new-age of primitivism” embedded in “superstitions” (Berkeley, 2001).

Others conclude that African tribal violence is a breed resulting from an intercourse between poverty and lack of Western enlightenment — where violence becomes the only means to gratify a false sense of dignity. They argue that “only when people attain a certain economic, educational and cultural standards is this trait tranquilized” (Berkeley, 2001).

In brief, the declinists are persuaded by their own lie that African intractable violent ethnic conflicts spring from deep-seated ancient ethnic hatred. In the event that intervention becomes necessary to safeguard some overseas national interest, the most that can be done to managing such intractable primitive conflicts is by territorial separation of the belligerent ethnic groups.

As Anthony Oberschall aptly held, the ancient hatred model is “pessimistic about ethnic conflict management and about establishing lasting peace. Only separation will ensure lasting ethnic peace. Mixing or remixing (after ethnic cleansing) the ethnic groups in the same territory invites renewed violent conflict” (Oberschall, 2007). But separation or self-determination remains utterly discouraged by most powerful global political actors. In that sense South Sudan must count itself fortunate to attain separation, a separation its leaders seem to take for granted.

However, while it cannot be contested that the African continent has known little but ruthless violence and wars often across ethnic divides, yet the whole ancient ethnic hatred discourse is but a myth. It is a leeway to provide global impunity in the face of heinous war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansings and genocides, at the expense of moral humanitarian intervention, if only that.

But if it is insisted that no intervention is needed to pre-empt atrocities across ethnic lines in the continent on the grounds that these are manifestations of ancient ethnic hatred meant to continue to perpetuity, it is worth mentioning that just over half a century ago, ugly, and brutal atrocities also took place in the West and East alike.

“Hitler killed 6 million Jews. Stalin killed 20 million Soviets. Japanese imperial troops machined-gunned, bayoneted, raped and beheaded some 300,000 Chinese civilians in just six weeks in the Rape of Nanking” (Berkeley, Spring 2001). In the African Congo, the most egregious mass murder in the African continent estimated to have claimed the lives of between 5 million to 10 million people, was committed by the special forces of the imperial King Leopold in 1885-1912 (Berkeley, Spring 2001). As many homeless Congolese currently roaming the streets of Juba will testify, Congo has plunged even deeper into violent carnage with no seeming end to their plight in sight.

Cumulatively, it is estimated that more than “seventy million human beings had been uprooted, enslaved, or killed in twentieth century alone.” Appalling yet, 169 million people, war casualties excluded, have been slaughtered by governments in the twentieth century according to political scientist R. J. Rummel, who coined the term “democide” to describe these mass atrocities. These figures have warranted the modern human history to be branded “a slaughter-bench” (Roth, 2001).

Now is it desirable to conclude that these primitive-like atrocities emanated from a deep-seated ancient ethnic hatred in the case of Europe and the West or even the East? And when infanticide, beheading and subordination of some members of the society the practice of which has regained momentum in the post-September 11th, 21st century, are distinctive cultural features of some societies, is it desirable to conclude that these primitive-like savagery stem from ancient ethnic hatred?

The answer is emphatic no. These atrocities were committed as a result of power politics in some perceived anarchic world, and authored by actors, who have lost their moral campus, and vision for the common good of humanity. In such a world, innocent human life becomes a theatre upon which power struggle is played.

Similarly, the claim that ethnic violence occurs in Africa because of poverty, illiteracy and lack of cultural moral standards on sanctity of life is null and void, if it is to provide an excuse to turn the other way when massacres are being committed. As Berkeley smartly points out, most of the so-called African “primitive” heinous atrocities were authored by leaders, who attained the highest level of Western education and enlightenment in the form of doctoral degrees from Europe and the United States (Berkeley, Spring 2001).

If this is the case, it is clear then that Western education does not necessarily lead to the acquisition of moral and cultural values or civility for that reason, for there are many uncivilized people even in the West. Indeed as South Sudanese conventional wisdom has it, the culpability of the tragic massacres that befell both the Dinka and the Nuer communities in early 1990s, were presided over by Western enlightened doctors.

It was the “war of educated,” as one primitive and uneducated Nuer tribal chief came to wisely realize. “They used to tell us that the reason why Nuer and Dinka fight each other was because we are ignorant. We don’t know anything because we are not educated. But now look at all this killing! This war between Nuer and Dinka is much worse than anything we experienced in the past. And it is the war of educated [elite] — It is not our war at all” (Jok and Hutchinson, 1999).

From this emphatic statement by a Nuer elder, it is clear that at best the purported primordially designed ethnic hatred is a myth, and an alien construct devised to justify inaction in the face of innocent massacres. Moreover, tribalism in its current divisive and antagonistic face has been constructed to drive a wedge between relatively peaceful ethnic groups for exploitation of resources and ascension or retention of political, economic and geographic power.

The instrumentalism of tribalism to serve egotistic parochial gain or interest, which continues to be practised in South Sudan to the present day, will be discussed in some detail in part two of this exercise as part of the second school of thought of understanding tribalism in Africa.

In concluding this first part, the implication for South Sudan from the preceding discussion is that we must structurally wage an organized campaign to sensitize our people against tribalism and tribal politics in this country. Current prophetic voices against tribalism and tribal regionalization of South Sudanese issues are few and far in between. But policy recommendations are in order by the end these articles.

However, as the ample empirical evidence cited above indicates, when the carnage of tribal violence unravels in South Sudan as a result of our current myopic inclination to tribal politics for power pursuits, we would have self-annihilated ourselves, before the international community makes up its mind whether it is in its best interest to intervene or not.

The selective interventions by the international community in Libya, but not in Syria are glaring examples of interest driven interventions and the global thorn in the flesh. After knowing what we know, is it really necessary for us in South Sudan to go down that road? Or can we learn a lesson or two from the historical precedents detailed above?

Contrary to how some of our brothers would like us to believe in some notion of relying on divine intervention to heal tribalism in South Sudan, I am of the view that this is another declinist approach.

If God were to personally intervene, God would have intervened in previous human atrocities already, from Soviet Union to Nazi Germany and from Congo to Liberia through Rwanda! Doing the right thing is our divine intervention, and the ball is still in our court to do that by refraining from tribalism.