Archive for: May 2013

National unity: A project for each and every South Sudanese

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, MAY/21/2013, SSN;

South Sudan has just attained independence from an imposed unity that had failed miserably to take into account the objective realities on the ground. In the old Sudan people did not take national unity as a project for each and every Sudanese. Greed and insensitivity preoccupied people’s minds and the result was the breakup of Sudan into two independent nations, the Republic of South Sudan and Sudan.

Probably conscious of its struggle against unpalatable unity, the newly independent Republic of South Sudan has opted for a decentralized system of governance. It was fundamental how to establish the basic patterns of governance in realizing national unity in diversity. Decentralisation is a growing trend in Africa and the Republic of South Sudan is therefore not an exception.

Indeed the Transitional Constitution, 2011 recognises the need to devolve some key central government administrative and political authority to governments at the state and local levels.

In the First Governors Forum after South Sudan’s independence in July 2011, the governors of the ten states spelt out the need for further decentralisation. The governors were indeed calling for a federal system of governance in the Republic of South Sudan.

However, it is very unfortunate that in some quarters federalism is negatively associated with ethnicity hence the loud cry that federalism for South Sudan is ethnic federalism. This is, nevertheless, not only blackmail but a total advertisement of profound ignorance of the essence of federalism.

Federalism in essence is envisage as an administrative and political solution to problems of underdevelopment, marginalization and to problems of the lack of active participation of people in running their affairs. Another misleading generalisation is that there is no need for federalism in South Sudan because “federalizing federalism and/or replacing federalism with federalism is unrealistic if not an illusion”. What a piece of garbage! Is there any existing federalism in South Sudan when, in fact, it has been rejected?

The Equatoria Consultative Conference which took place at Nyokuron Culture Centre in Juba under the theme; Fostering Equatoria Leadership in Building Cohesive Nation, reaffirmed the commitment of Equatoria to a federal system of governance in the Republic of South Sudan. Equatoria has spoken and is committed to objective federalism as opposed to ethnic federalism of the dependent scaremongers.

Objective federalism may be defined as that federalism which addresses underdevelopment in contrast to the so-called ethnic federalism which is perceived by the lacking in confidence as putting up massive solid walls of divisions between ethnic groups that are denied interaction.

With a population of 2,628,747 which is about 32 per cent of the total population of South Sudan, the demand of Equatoria for a federal system of governance cannot be ignored. Equatoria clearly sees federalism as of benefit for all. It is therefore up to the other regions to see the benefit of federalism. People should not be put off by those of tunnel vision and lacking in confidence.

Federalism is not monolithic. It is dynamic because there is no one single definition of federalism that people may rigidly adhere to. Indian federalism is not the same as that of the United States of America. Federalism guarantees equitable sharing of power and wealth, and participation in the various aspects of running the nation and this can only be good for national unity. A system that is advocated by insensitive tunnel visionaries or pseudo revolutionaries is a sure way to doom and gloom because it will inherently be a monopoly of the tribalistic as others are treated with contempt.

South Sudan will be vibrant with federalism because national unity will be a project of each and every citizen. Development will be accelerated as major decisions are taken at the state and local level. The fear expressed that federalism divides people along ethnic and regional lines hence disunity is nothing but a mental problem. With reference to development, in federalism the regions and states will gain enormously from each other. This is by regular conferences to identify common challenges for a united effort in addressing the challenges.

In federalism expertise will be shared. I will have no problem to work in Northern Bahr el Ghazal provided I am under the governor of that state. The role of the central government should be that of a facilitator and coordinator. Implementation of projects should be the responsibility of the federal states or regions. The central government is to provide the needed assistance and a back up to realise the overall government policy for socio-economic development in the nation.

The fear of federalism that it is ethnically and regionally divisive does not hold water. South Sudanese have come of age and are mature enough that they cannot be divided by mere levels of government in federalism. It is dependency culture that seems to be the issue here. People seem to depend on Equatoria for anything that there is an exaggerated fear of losing anything that is Equatorian in federalism.

The exaggerated fear is the type of naivety the anti-federalism lobby seems to have. However, one can assert that South Sudanese will never be divided because they are not as simple as the naivety of the anti-federalism lobby seems to suggest. Didn’t South Sudanese fight as one people but of different ethnic groups, regions and states to achieve that one common terminal objective, independence? In their diversities South Sudanese were united in their struggle for freedom. What will divide them in federalism with the same diversities?

In conclusion, the anti-federalism lobby may need to rid themselves of playing games with national unity. It is possible that South Sudanese understand national unity as a project that must be achieved through each and everyone’s effort in all their diversities.

Equatorians understand that the unity of South Sudan is paramount but not at the expense of any other region or state.

The deficit of civility and travesty of Self-determination in South Sudan

BY: Wani Tombe Lako, SOUTH SUDAN, MAY/21/2013, SSN;

The insidiousness of violent civil strife in South Sudan (SS) is undermining all local, national, regional, and international confidence, in the peoples of SS abilities, to look after themselves by themselves within the remit of the nascent sovereign Republic of South Sudan (RoSS). These communities of interests are justifiably perturbed by the foreseeable unstable futures, which the RoSS appears to be heading towards.

At the societal level, we in SS appear to lack common futures, and this persistence of uncommon futures, is the main reason for the perturbation referred to above.

It is mind-boggling as to why on earth, do we in SS appear to proudly parade the extravagances of violence in the RoSS as the justification, and reaffirmation of the doctrine of self-determination, which gave birth to the RoSS. Why do we want to celebrate the sanctity of the doctrine of self-determination in a fashion which, to objective local, national, regional, and international onlookers, the RoSS is nothing, but a nascent human killing field as it were?

It appears that, we in the RoSS are so taken up by the pursuance of violence to the extent that we ended up treating our situation as being very normal. No, our situation is not normal by all counts. We need to step back and take a stock counting.

The operationlisation of the doctrine of self-determination must not be turned into a kind of ideological warfare in the RoSS. The doctrine of self-determination is all about freedoms, rights, and spaces that we ought to enjoy in the RoSS. The doctrine of self-determination is about the celebration of difference, and the upholding of the right to differ, in an amicable fashion. This is the essence of the letter and spirit of self-determination.

The doctrine of self-determination abhors and despises the institutionalization of violence, for any socio-cultural, economic, financial, political, ideological, religious, tribal, ethnic, and moral reasons.

The continuous practice of violence by us in the RoSS, and whereas, we are, at the same time, aspiring to lead a viable nation, is rather incompatible at the least, and dangerous at worse. It is bound to erode all available confidences and trusts in us, as peoples claiming to be champions, and beneficiaries, of the doctrine of self-determination, in this part of Africa.

With rampant violence in the RoSS, it becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible for some of us, in the RoSS, to reify ourselves that, we are a people, purporting to be working for the comprehensive interests of us all in the RoSS, albeit that, we lack common and positively reciprocal confidences as peoples.

I must reiterate here that violence amounts to the most degrading level of political manipulation, and lowly disregard, for the lives of the peoples who innocently continue to live in political illusion that, out there, in the RoSS, there is a polity, and genuine political group(s), who sincerely believe in their (the peoples’) welfare and general happiness.

Violence in the RoSS is kept alive by political elites, who always anaesthetise the peoples of the RoSS, through cheap political methodologies, including the manipulation of their raw emotions, by means of misleading tribal anecdotal shenanigans, to masquerade as issues of national positive concern.

We must stop using the doctrine of self-determination as a dividing rod in the RoSS, in order to therefore, benefit from the trite political trick of divide and rule. We in the RoSS ought to know that all of us are/were victims of our histories, and now, all of us must also share the doctrinal blanket of self-determination as it were. There ought not to be any moral, legal, and political room for entertaining the intention of permanently pushing some of the sons and daughters of SS, out into the cold, and not to benefit from the warmth of this doctrinal blanket of self-determination.

We in the RoSS must know that our collective security and happiness is a function of our inclusiveness. That is, our security and happiness is only guaranteed in our sharing of whatever good values are there in the RoSS.

We in the RoSS must anxiously guard against instances where unscrupulous political groups, shall forever and maliciously, convert peoples’ rights into their misleading privileges. The right to peace and happiness in the RoSS must not be predicated upon the execution of tribal warfare; however this may be camouflaged in security parlance.

Civil unrest characterised by tribal anger is not the best methodology of interrogating issues of governance in the RoSS. Current rebellions in the RoSS have various symptoms of tribal anger and revenge. The reaction at the level of the State ought to be more mature.

I would like to consider the current rebellions in the RoSS as some kind of political and security national emergencies. In any viable polity and country, there are always arrangements at the national level for the unforeseen emergencies as these which have now befallen us in the RoSS. For God’s sake, let us try to wane ourselves from answering fire with fire. It is extremely politically dangerous and despicable, nationally choking and degrading, socially humiliating and dehumanizing, and individually disorientating.

It is politically dangerous and despicable because it portrays us as peoples devoid of some aspects of human wisdoms, and peoples who mimic all acts and omissions to their own detriment. Politics include the managing of conflicting interests in society. When we decide to respond to outbursts of violent rebellions with constant fire, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to calm down the situation, and find other means of resolving the problem. This is not a naive approach, but rather, it is an approach informed by past experiences in our human society.

There is no need to waste political capital by engaging in a prolonged violence, in which many innocent women, children, and men are killed and wasted, and therefore, depriving many peoples of their right to life, and therefore their comprehensive human rights, in order to secure future human rights of supposed others, for us only to come back to the negotiating table, to resolve the same problem the subject matter of the said violence.

When human beings like us in the RoSS spend most of their time waging mini wars against themselves, then, we must rest assured that, there is a terrible state of uncertainty, and general hopelessness in the RoSS. There is no reasonable human society that wants to exist in a permanent warlike environment like we seem to like. What seems to be the problem in the RoSS that makes everyone suddenly to want to be someone very important in government?

I have said this already, but I am going to say it again, and in fact, I am going to say it every single time I write, till the end of my days, if that is what it takes to educate the peoples of the RoSS.

I am going to tell you that, not all of us can become ministers and presidents in our life time in the RoSS. Therefore, stop killing our people because you want to rule as a governor, president or a minister. You cannot just become ministers, governors, or presidents just because you want to have the salaries and power attached to these positions, whereas, the rest of the peoples of South Sudan are dying of hunger, thirst, diseases and such like, while you shall be flying to Europe for malaria treatment because you are you.

On the other hand, you cannot become a president, governor or minster and remain in the same position forever, and when you fail to become one of the above, you declare a war or a rebellion. We cannot live like this in the RoSS. We as a government must learn to ignore some of these claims for ruling the RoSS, and just consider them as issues of political differences that ought to be resolved through negotiations. We cannot use the military in all big and small political misunderstandings in the RoSS.

The peoples of the RoSS must stop treating one another as actual or potential enemies. As a political entity that came into existence due to the rejection of politics of hurt and cruelty, we therefore, ought to be the last peoples on earth, to want to inflict on ourselves, the kinds of agonies that should only be expected from peoples who have not gone through paradigms of politics of hurt and cruelty.

I must reiterate here that, the only peoples who shall restore hope and positive aspirations on the peoples of South Sudan are the peoples of South Sudan themselves. No miracle is going to happen so that peace and tranquillity reign supreme in the RoSS. It is the peoples of the RoSS who are the first and the last responsible peoples for their own safety and harmony.

This political quagmire that we are in is our own making. For once, let us be brave enough to admit that, most of the problems we are facing now are due to the fact that, we completely misunderstood and misinterpreted the doctrine of self-determination. Some of us in the RoSS have this notion that, the birth of the sovereign RoSS must be guaranteed by a series of recurring mini wars, mostly fought to settle old grudges, and new ones, motivated by personal and group interests, but euphemistically presented to the peoples of the RoSS, to masquerade as a the continuation of wars of liberation. We cannot just treat conflict over constitutional and other governmental posts, as among a few in the RoSS, as liberation wars.

We have to be able to draw a clear objective moral and legal boundary, between personal greed, and the defence of popular interests which amount to a war of liberation.

Why do we want the RoSS to become an extremely unstable country along the lines of some of the most unstable African countries, and unfortunately, some of these African countries are our immediate neighbours. If these mini wars are fought over issues of wealth sharing, it is possible to make every South Sudanese rich if we just stop killing ourselves, and concentrate on how to beneficially exploit the resources we have.

The RoSS is a vast country endowed with myriad of rich natural resources, and populated by a few millions of us, which makes these unreasonable wars over wealth and such like just meaningless. We must not become hostages to our own human weakness, and a very bad example of human failure. Let us all in honest and holy unison, forgive one another. Our destiny as peoples of this nascent African State is dependent on our forgiveness of one another, our love of one another, and our genuine quest for constructive reconciliation.

We in the RoSS must learn from human history. Positive socio-economic human development, and other aspects of positive human development, are not truly dependent on frequencies of changing government leadership of a country. Our major problem in the RoSS is not about who is ruling us, but rather, it is intrinsically about how are we being ruled.

This matter of how are we being ruled does not include the frequency or change of leadership or overthrowing of governments by military force. However, the methodology of coming to power is essential, but I do not want to dwell on that at this critical moment of our bloody history in the RoSS. Let us formulate the framework of how we want to be ruled, and those who want to rule shall have to follow this framework. Others will call this a constitutional process, but, that is not what I have in mind at the moment.

We need to have the moral framework in place in the RoSS. This moral framework ought to be definitely consistent, with the socio-cultural mores prevailing in the RoSS. We cannot just rush to import some run-of-the-mill constitutional framework, which is available even on the internet, and just slump it on the peoples of the RoSS, without there being the moral, social, cultural, and psychological foundations on which such a constitutional framework shall sit and constructively grow.

The peoples of the RoSS must have their own intrinsic imagination as to how they want to be governed. The relativism of the peoples of the RoSS, must be understood, not as being against constitutional universalism, but, as a constructive particularism, informed by factual human variables on the ground in the RoSS, and then use this factual human variables as foundations to work towards what ought to be, in a harmonious fashion.

The operationlisation of the doctrine of self-determination in the RoSS shall not become communally satisfactory if we divide ourselves in the RoSS into “we and they” typologies. If we do that in the RoSS, then, we risk rekindling endless series of demands for further self-determinations within the remit of the multicultural and multi-tribal society of the RoSS. This danger can only be avoided by love; forgiveness; and reconciliation as among the various peoples of the RoSS.

We must understand that, human mismanagement of various opportunities and resources has led to the hitherto unitary Sudan breaking up, giving birth to the RoSS. We in the RoSS know very well that, the chronic historical political misunderstandings between the then northern and southern Sudan contributed negatively in the subsequent civil strife in the hitherto unitary Sudan. We in the RoSS know very well that, we can eloquently interrogate the discourses of human hurt, cruelty, and marginalisation as peoples.

Therefore, if these are all true of us, why are we then not able to chart out the right path for collective human journey, towards the destiny of nation, instead of state building?

The RoSS as an abstract political organism, with the geographical characteristics thereof, is not a sufficient condition for the existence of a viable nation of the RoSS. The human element of the abstract State of the RoSS ought to be put in reasonable consideration, and at the moment, it appears as if, we are only concerned with the political State of the RoSS.

At the level of the RoSS, the situation is nationally degrading because, the RoSS as a country is among the richest countries in the world, but for human greed, corruption, selfishness, and associated bad faith, we are not benefiting from this wealth. As mentioned above, the RoSS as a country is very rich, but, it is very poor now due to historical and contemporaneous human mismanagement at certain critical levels of governance, and not because it has not been endowed with commensurate resources that make nations very rich.

It is therefore degrading as a nation for us to rely very much on our human weaknesses as pillars of formal governance. This situation must change if we want to be respected by others internationally. It is socially humiliating and dehumanising because, the peoples of the RoSS who have been reduced to total dependency on others for survival, have got human pride and dignity that they would like to uphold as nationals and citizens of the RoSS.

Due to continuous hostilities in the RoSS, we risk making some peoples of the RoSS suffer from diminished self esteem, a prerequisite for personal and group industry. This is equally disastrous for the growing generation to see their parents and such like, begging for food and other life essentials. This can make them forget about their personal self-respect, as well as respect for their elders and parents and at the same time, these young people can also despise anything called society, because to them, it does not make sense, they cannot fit in as societal members.

It is hoped that, those of us entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the peoples of the RoSS, at both federal and state levels, pay heed to my cries for love, forgiveness, and reconciliation as among the peoples of the RoSS. For those of us in charge in federal and state government, we can be likened to human persons, who are unable to see their faces, unless they use looking glasses/mirrors.

To those of us in government therefore, the peoples of the RoSS, that is the public at large, are our looking glasses/ mirrors, and we ought to listen to the peoples of the RoSS, whenever these peoples of the RoSS alert us to some dirt defiling our governmental faces.

For those of us in federal and state government respectively, violence is such defiling dirt on our faces, and we ought to wash our political faces of it. The situation is disorientating at the individual level due to the fact that, the individual has been conditioned to feel that, there is a political contract between her/him and the government, albeit an unwritten contract.

The binding terms of such a political contract include the fact that, when such an individual is undergoing some trauma due to violence in society, the government is to come promptly to her/his rescue and render all necessary goods and services to make the lives of such people liveable. There is no term in this political contract that expressly or impliedly means that, the peoples themselves are the providers of essential goods and services in times of violent emergencies, thus replacing federal and state governmental institutions.

Time and again, some of us in both federal and state government fall back on our tribal institutions to confront violent situations in the RoSS. Some of us in federal and state institutions actually initiate such violence and sustain them for political gains. This must end for the better political health of the RoSS. Violence must not become a mode of political conduct in the RoSS, especially during these times of self-determination. Politicians indulging in violence can easily be caught off guard and suffer some irreparable political damage. Political groups should not delude themselves that the seemingly politically unsophisticated folks are hard of political sight and hearing.

The author is Professor of Social and Rural Development and Lecturer in Laws. He be contacted at wani.lako@yahoo.com

A C-turn and SPLM is full swing into Regionalism

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, MAY/21/2013, SSN;

Regionalism has made it back into the South Sudanese politics, thanks to the leadership of the ruling SPLM that sees these as a way to grainer regional loyalties before the 2015 general elections.

So far three regional conferences have already been sponsored and held by the SPLM ruling party that brought together party leaders from the three states that comprise the Greater Equatoria Region.

But although other quarters did voice some criticism to the holding of these conferences, it’s now clear that the top leadership in the country was indeed not only directly involved in planning and executing them, but is in fact the primary beneficiary.

We don’t need any more evidence to prove that these regional gatherings are being used by the SPLM as alternatives to the party’s national conference (or so-called convention). The resolution adopted at the Greater Bahr el Ghazal Region’s first ever regional gathering recently held in Wau to support president Salva Kiir Mayardit’s candidacy for the forthcoming 2015 general elections has said it all and this is an extract of what it said, I quote:

“The greater Bahr el Ghazal regional leaders have adopted a resolution to fully support the leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit now and beyond 2015.” Gurtong 20/05/2013.

In contrast, the position held by the SPLM Equatoria leadership in its last conference was to uphold some neutrality on the issue of supporting any one candidate for the party chairmanship. The assumption is that a real SPLM party convention will be held sooner or later and it will be there that they express their views on the issue.

This position to avoid openly being seen in favour of any one presidential candidate also reflects how divided the Equatoria SPLM leadership is in its preference for the two self-declared candidates. Nowhere can this be better seen than in Hon. James Wani Igga attendance of the Wau conference as a representative to president Kiir.

So going by what has come from the Greater Bahr el Ghazal (SPLM) regional conference, should a similar regional conference be held by SPLM in Greater Upper Nile Region, the outcome will for sure have the final say on whether regionalism has finally become the way to go by in SPLM’s South Sudan politics.

None of these unravelling scenarios are far from explaining the country’s stratagems and polity. Equally so is the much evidenced statements emanating from the SPLM top echelon as can be seen the deputy chairman, Dr. Riek Machar’s warning in Juba as it appeared in the Sudan Tribune and I quote:

“May 19, 2013 (JUBA) – The deputy chairman of the South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Riek Machar has warmed of a possible collapse of party, unless it democratically transforms and re-focuses itself”. It went on to say.

Addressing senior officials at the party’s general secretariat that the SPLM had “lost direction and vision”, making references to reports from various state secretariats across the country, which depicts the party was largely unpopular.

Obviously a political party that is continuously dodging its National Convention and instead chooses to settle major party issues in regional conferences that should have been better confined to inter-states affairs – has for sure lost direction and vision.

However the truth be said and said loud, for its no secret any more that regionalism which many superficially minded people would want to criminalize and equally blame for being responsible for the rudimentary state of affairs in the country, is in fact ignoring the fact that this is just the symptom of yet a huge organizational defect that the people of South Sudan under SPLM rule are forced to take refuge in.

You can talk all your bla bla blab la about political parties; however the bottom line is that all these so-called political parties are more than ready to succumb to regional loyalties. Don’t look far for a proof. It’s all there embodied in the SPLM where once everyone was referred to as comrade. Not too long when they all went back pointing fingers at one another this time as Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Azande, Fartit, Shilluk, Murle etc ………..name it.

Now it seems that the best that RSS can ever get to under Salva Kiir’s SPLM leadership, is to refer to people by their regions or former colonial provinces of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal. No one needs to be ashamed of that and should we all agree on it – since we are already doing it in our daily lives, then we can go ahead to adopt it as the government structure for our so much talked about federalism – thus pleasing both the regionalists like Hon. Kiir and Hon. Wani Igga and the federalists like our prolific opinion writer none other than elder, Jacob K. Lupia.

SPLM has lost both the direction and the vision; in other wards it has become blind to follow any clear direction. People can deceive themselves by pretending to resuscitate it, however for the people in the grassroots, this thing called SPLM was to some extent good until the declaration of the Independence. Thereafter believe you me, even those born after the independence are aware that this party has since become irrelevant.

In brief but to the point, it is important to draw the attention of my dear readers to this very important fact, and that is both president Salva Kiir Mayardit and his deputy Dr. Riek Machar Teny can only use their ethnicities and their regional (Provincial) backings to run and win the 2015. This will have nothing to do with the so-called SPLM vision – for it no longer exists.

We are all aware that these two candidates and their so-called SPLM party has since regressed into a rudimentary organisation and if anything just read what president Kiir said in his letter to the 75 senior SPLM officials who were implicated in the embezzlement of no less than $4 b dollars of the public money. Here I quote:

“We fought for freedom justice and equality,” Kiir added, about the decades-long war against Khartoum. “Yet, once we got to power, we forgot what we fought for and began to enrich ourselves at the expense of our people.”

Under SPLM one party system and Kiir’s totalitarian leadership, South Sudan has gone all the way to make a C- turn and embrace regionalism as the nation’s direction, vision and only way to leadership. You can agree or disagree, but the truth remains that more of these are likely be witnessed should the same leadership remain unchanged.

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

Dr Barnaba Marial: Communitarian and prudential politics of essence in South Sudan

BY: Wani Tombe Lako, SUDAN, MAY/20/2013, SSN;

Dear Dr Barnaba Marial, Minister of information:

The birth of the Republic of South Sudan (RoSS) ought to have heralded in the flourishing of communitarian and prudential politics. Communitarian in the sense that the RoSS is the comprehensive territorial and socio-cultural and political crucible in which, all of us, in South Sudan, in our myriads of tribes and customs belong, and where we would love to be buried in, with the glory of belonging. Prudential in the sense that the RoSS ought to be guided by polity, politics, and policies, which are all aimed at achieving positive cumulative and comprehensive as well as integrated results, in which harmful effects are greatly minimised in the interest of us all in the RoSS.

I strongly believe that, we, in the RoSS, are politically mature to the extent that we are very conscious of what we actually want in a government which is in power in the RoSS. I do not think that, we, in the RoSS, need some political baby-sitting, especially on issues that touch our everyday lives.

We in the RoSS do not need political monitors to daily monitor our political behaviours, including our political allegiances, vis-à-vis political parties. We are politically mature to the extent that, we know what is best for us as individuals and as members of various religious, social, professional and political groups. It is extremely misleading, to portray us, the discerning peoples of the RoSS, as needing some political lectures by some political manipulators, on the highways and byways, of belonging to the RoSS.

It is also fitting to strongly argue that we, in the RoSS, know our duties, rights, obligations, and privileges. Therefore, for constructively communitarian politics to flourish in the RoSS, our freedoms of consciences must be respected and honoured by all those saddled with the responsibilities of managing the RoSS. The government of the RoSS must protect us from some political groups which appear to believe that, they alone monopolise the political freedom of association.

In the free and sovereign RoSS, while there is nothing like absolute freedom anywhere in the whole wide world, the relative freedom allowable by societal laws and rules of law in the RoSS, for the human society to function effectively and efficiently herein, there ought not to be others in the RoSS, who illegally arrogate to themselves, some authority to regulate the context within which, we must associate with, or become members of various political parties in the country.

This regulatory and oversight powers assumed by those others, and to control the political development in South Sudan, verge on political ownership of our political consciences. We reject being considered as political and intellectual property of some self-serving political groups. These are the kinds of individuals who like to entrench the culture which appears to mean that the only claim to political representation in South Sudan is predicated on the barrel of the AK47.

Dear Dr Barnaba Marial:

I strongly believe that all citizens of the RoSS are free to belong to any political party in the country, as long as these political parties operate within socio-political and legal norms of the RoSS. It is unconstitutional to victimise some of us, who refused to belong to some armed groups; but yet would like to voice our opinion in a peaceful fashion, through writing, as being pro-South Sudanese enemies, and thus, we have no right to live, work, and share in the general welfare and happiness of our brethren and sisters, in the RoSS.

Prudential leadership ought not to be premised on the argument that some South Sudanese are more nationalistic than others and thus, those more nationalistic South Sudanese are deemed as being peoples of the leadership and those others are the enemies of the said leadership.

These kinds of political taxonomies are dangerous precedents, and they do not serve the comprehensive interests of the RoSS and its honourable peoples.

The prudential leadership meant here is that type of leadership which has the human capacity to joyfully celebrate the multiplicity of tribes and cultures in the RoSS, and thus, embrace all sons and daughters of the RoSS in their totalities. Any leadership which does not have the capacity to embrace all of us as its peoples, without any discrimination and exclusionist tendencies must not be allowed by us the peoples, to be our leadership.

It is an anathema and sinful for us to murder ourselves just because we belong to different political parties. Communitarian politics demand that the essence of politics is the welfare of the community; in this case; all of us in the RoSS. We, the peoples of the RoSS, ought to celebrate multi-parties system of governance, because, it is the only guarantee against party-political tyrannies. On the other hand; our tolerance of one another, within the remit of various political parties, is indicative of a mature polity, which we aspire to achieve.

As long as various political parties have no ill feelings or harmful agenda against the peoples of South Sudan, these political parties ought not to be vilified by the very sons and daughters of the RoSS. Allegiance to political parties, just like respect at the individual level, must be earned. You cannot coerce highly educated people to follow you even if you will murder them in the process, should they disagree with you. Many highly educated South Sudanese have lost their lives because they dared question some political logic of some political parties during this tortured short history of the RoSS.

For example, some of us must not be vilified for refusing to belong or follow political parties that are instruments of tribalism, nepotism, ethnic control and degradation of human dignity. On the other hand, we must not follow political parties whose leaders appear to be politically unstable to the extent that their objectives in life appear to be leadership positions at all costs. We must not allow ourselves to become political pawns in the hands of those who want to have all their political eggs and eat them at same time.

Political times in this great country of the RoSS are changing, and we must be free to join any political party as long as it is not based on tribal, sectarian and dubious socio-cultural ideology. It is obvious to all enlightened minds and eyes that current quest for peace and stability in the RoSS is being premised on the Unity, Independence, Sovereignty, and Integrity of this nation. That being the case, it is right and fitting that, this unity, independence, sovereignty and integrity must be sealed by all of us working together.

Nobody is going to privatise the RoSS politically, so that he alone has the political access card. We do not need any more bloodshed in the country.

All South Sudanese of goodwill must come together in one solid march towards love and stability with themselves and with all international neighbours because our peace and harmony as well as socio-economic development within the RoSS, depend on peaceful coexistence among ourselves, and with our neighbours from all geographical directions of this nation.

In conclusion, Dr Barnaba Marial,

The time has come for us in the RoSS to make precise cost-benefit-analysis in terms of all economic sectors and in terms of all substantive and philosophical paradigms. The carnage being inflicted upon various communities in the RoSS in the name of political disagreements and therefore declarations of military confrontations to resolve hitherto civil and political misunderstandings are costing us in the RoSS too much. From the outset, there are no military issues to be resolved by any nation within national political parlance.

There are always political issues. Therefore, political issues must always find their rightful resolution places on negotiation tables. The rest are clear writings on the political walls which any political and military baby can read and understand.

We are sick and tired of wars. We refuse to be dragged into unnecessary wars against ourselves, and against neighbours with whom we should be consolidating other beneficial relationships instead of killing ourselves for no good reasons whatsoever. We want our government to be asking itself questions like:-

a) what is happening to child mortality in the RoSS;
b) what is happening to the marginalisation of women in the RoSS;
c) what is happening to youth unemployment in the RoSS;
d) what is happening to poverty in the RoSS;
e) what is happening to perennial food shortages in the RoSS;
f) what is happening to threats of hunger and famine in the RoSS;
g) what is happening to general education in the RoSS;
h) what is happening to technical education in the RoSS;
i) what is happening to higher education in the RoSS;
j) what is happening to tribal warfare in the RoSS;
k) what is happening to rule of law in the RoSS;
l) what is happening to quality of governance in the RoSS;
m) what is happening to quality of civil service in the RoSS;
n) what is happening to inequality in the RoSS;
o) what is happening to inflation in the RoSS;
p) what is happening to the depletion of foreign reserve in the RoSS;
q) what is happening to money supply in the RoSS;
r) what is happening to sectoral and general development in the RoSS;
s) what is happening to internal; border, and international trade in the RoSS;
t) what is happening to corruption in the RoSS;
u) what is happening to deficit of meritocracy and accountability in the RoSS;
v) what is happening to human rights in the RoSS;
w) what is happening to rural development in the RoSS;
x) what is happening to social development in the RoSS; and
y) What is happening to morbidity in the RoSS?

I can go on infinitum in terms of issues which the peoples of the RoSS want their government to be involved in, and concerned with.

The author is Professor of Social and Rural Development and Lecturer in Laws. He can be contacted via wani.lako@yahoo.com

South Sudanese proletariat must be united irrespective of tribe, religion or political affiliation

BY: Akot Mabor Marial, JUBA, MAY/20/2013, SSN;

The Second Sudanese Civil War was a conflict from 1983 to 2005 between the Central Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. It was largely a continuation of the first Sudanese Civil war of 1955 to 1972. Although it originated from Southern Sudan, the Civil war spread to the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile, it lasted for 22 years.

Roughly two million people have died as a result of war, famine and disease caused by the conflict. Four million people in Southern Sudan were displaced at least once (and often repeatedly) during the civil war. The civilian death toll was one of the highest of any war since world war two. The conflict officially ended with the signing of peace Agreement in 2005.

The war was often characterized as a fight between the Central government expanding and dominating peoples of the periphery. Raising allegations of marginalization or rather as ethnic conflict (Arabs in the central government Vs. Africans in the South) or as a religious war one (Muslims vs. Christians and Traditional African Religions). Scholars such as Douglas Johnson have pointed at exploitative governance as the root cause.

The contributions of the people of South Sudan, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile during the last civil war was enormous but now limited to only those young men and women who went to the bush and took up arms to physically fight the enemy forces, but also South Sudanese in the South made a tremendous contributions by offering food to our gallant SPLA forces, carried guns and ammunition on their shoulders around enemy garrisons, accommodation, maximum cooperation and giving basic information leading to enemy locations.

While those South Sudanese who went to the North used to leak secret information to the SPLA on the movement of enemy convoys or troops moving towards the South, sneaking military supplies to SPLA forces in the bush, hiding SPLA soldiers who went missing in action/battles in their houses and reporting atrocities inflicted on Southerners both in the South and in Northern Sudan to international media houses like the BBC, CNN, Reuters, MENA, AFP, AP and the list goes on and on, one such veteran Journalist was none other than Alfred Taban when serving as BBC Correspondent in Khartoum who was really on the forefront exposing mass killing of the people of South Sudan, Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile State which actually made him to be at odds with authorities in Khartoum and he (Alfred Taban) sometimes ended up being taken behind bars in the hands of the oppressors.

As comrade and a nationalist, I sometime feel bad when I could imagine the way Alfred Taban is being handled by his comrades, the Security personnel who fought side by side with him during the war for one common enemy the Arabs and their associates, considering his current ill-health due to trauma he was subjected to by the enemy in Khartoum who were opposed to his relations with the SPLA in the bush. I pity him for being frequently taken for interrogations by our security service.

Another group whose vivid contributions were synonymous and can not go unmentioned, were our people in the Diaspora who worked tirelessly to enlighten host Countries to take serious steps in ending the sufferings of the people of South Sudan in the hands of Islamic government in Khartoum, mobilizing resources and channelling them to support the war in the South, exposing real atrocities being inflicted on the South Sudanese people to the world arena and always took to the streets in their various host Countries to protest when Khartoum government runs amok with its forces on the people of South Sudan, Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile which sometime culminated into International Community imposing arms-embargo against the government in Sudan.

Our Diaspora community kept on pressurizing the International Community, IGAD, EU, AU and the Arab league in which their unreserved efforts led the International community to compel the National Congress Party-led government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army to settle for a negotiating table in Naivasha for a just and honourable peace deal that was finally achieved and singed on 9th January, 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya which ended Africa’s longest civil war.

That guaranteed the clause on Self-determination for the people of South Sudan achieved in February, 2011 when people of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly by 98.83% for Secession while the ballots were suspended in 10 of the 79 counties for exceeding 100% of the voter turnout.

The determined date for the creation of an Independence state was on 9th July,2011 whose its birth was witnessed by the whole world considering the number of Dignitaries, Heads of states and governments who have attended the Independence Celebration of the Republic of South Sudan on 9th July,2011 as 54th African Independence and Sovereign State.

However, not to bore my readers with the history we are all well conversant with, I would rather set the record straight in contrast to war’s times and the deeds we intend to do to each other in our own Independent Country we all call home.

As we go about our daily activities which I believed we have all toiled for in our various capacities to bring forth whether you were in the bush fighting, providing food for the army who needed it most in the South, operating in Khartoum to monitor enemy convoys movement, giving-cover for SPLA soldiers missing-in-action in your houses in Juba in those dark days of 1991 to 92, carrying guns and ammunition on your shoulders for SPLA forces, or working during the day in the Diaspora to raise some dollars to support the war in the South and going to school at night to acquire the trade or skills needed for building the new nation, in the characteristic manner of Jesus Christ’s word for giving to Caesar what’s Caesar and to God what’s God.

All are therefore applicable here that all South Sudanese and the Peoples of Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile have contributed greatly to the birth of our new nation and everyone of us is free to enjoy the fruits of his/her labour irrespective of gender, tribe, religion or political affiliations.

But what puzzled me most is the behaviour of my fellow South Sudanese, who would very much want to set the Country on the verge of disintegrating it on the basis of tribes contrary to the fundamental principle of opting for a separate State.

Such vices could be observed in instances like segregating our fellow South Sudanese as people from Khartoum, East Africa, Middle East and the Diaspora groups or on the basis that they did not took up arms to fight the enemy during the war.

Nevertheless, such things like if Dinka is on the throne of leadership therefore, all Dinkas would want to rally behind their man and always accuse opponents as targeting their tribesman and not supporting a leader on what he/she can deliver to the Country.

Another scenario is that whenever there is political rift between the leaders, our citizens would rather take it on tribal line concluding to wishful thinking that if so and so is removed or unseated in the upcoming SPLM convention the two tribes of Nuer and Dinka would fight over leadership which is totally wrong perception.

South Sudan does belong to Dinkas or Nuers alone but for all South Sudanese and whoever expresses his/her willingness for the top job will be elected based on the merits and free choice of the people and not on the pretext of being from the largest tribes.

South Sudanese regardless of their tribes are sick and tired of self-serving politicians who lack national agenda that would bring all citizens on board and see no point of killing ourselves for the sake of leaders who are not doing enough to provide even a meal to their starving citizens in some parts of South Sudan leave alone talking of development.

Another certain visible case in point is that when Dr.Lam Akol fell out with some SPLM leaders and formed SPLM-DC in 2010 most of Shuluk community joined SPLM-DC and one region (upper Nile) took all senior positions in SPLM-DC marginalizing other regions of Bhar el Ghazal and Equatoria which of course made break-away SPLM-DC to lose national image and hence led to its current shape.

The last group are my humble brothers and sisters in greater Equatoria who after observing ongoing segregations in the corridors of government jobs, took it upon themselves to identify misdeeds of the government of the day with Dinka and Nuer tribes although some people of these Communities are innocent on how the State is being run by army generals who turned politicians.

To cite some few examples, Equatorians do assume that government jobs are being controlled by Dinkas and Nuers and at times tend to use their skills to venture in to private sector like NGOS and Companies and any Dinka or Nuer who dare apply for any given advertisement in the private sector would risk of having his/her application bearing Dinka or Nuer’s name being either thrown in the trash/dustbin by the watchman at the gate or being ignored to print based on the appearance of your name by an Equatorian sitting at the computer for those who applied online using webpages.

It’s worth mentioning that, many South Sudanese Citizens are annoyed that the wealth was staying in the hands of the greedy privileged few while our National Army (SPLA) continued to suffer at the borders and in some states ostensibly to either defend the nation from external aggressions or to quell down all hell let loose among the cattle rustlers in South Sudan or battling to put off insurgency from the Rebels of David Yau yau who took up arms to fight against the innocent civilian population who they purported to protect from the brutal regime of Khartoum in the last civil war.

But to make matters worse, whenever a soldier who was the only breadwinner to his family is killed like in the last war of Heglig, after three months names of the fallen soldiers are taken off pay roll and their families are left in God’s mercy while those in the barracks go for months without receiving their salaries .

In fact it can be quite disgusting and painful that many of fellow citizens in Warrap and Unity States starved to death as they couldn’t afford even a meal for survival while the government turned a blind eye on such human sufferings.

Fellow citizens and Countrymen, I can’t hold back my tears when looking into abject poverty our people have been subjected to especially in the rural areas by greedy few who robbed their masses to the last drop of their basic necessities like when some sympathizers (MPS) from the National Legislature approved some SSP 3.6 million to purchase Dura (Sorghum) for poor citizens only to end up in elites pockets and poor target beneficiaries left with nothing but prolonged starvation causing permanent organ damaged and eventually death.

Fellow compatriots, the horrific scenes of corruption, nepotism,tribalism name them in our Country generate more questions than answers’ wondering is this the South Sudan we all struggled to achieved or have we become oppressors of our own people?

In conclusion, I would like to state categorically that whatever we might be doing to mistreat fellow citizens in the name of generalizations on tribes won’t take us anywhere and we will be misplacing the disputes on an innocent citizen who has no connection with a politician enriching him/herself at the expense of the general public, assuming if Gen.Kiir is a President not all Dinkas are benefiting from his position.

You wouldn’t be hearing of starvation in Warrap state where our President hails from while the latter is being reported from Unity State where our Vice President hails from and so on and so forth.

Last but not least, in the name of the innocent people I command peace among the proletariat of South Sudan to be united irrespective of their Tribes, Religion or political affiliations as we go about our daily activities treating ourselves as fellow citizens and not as Nuer, Dinka, Shuluk, Bari, Azande, Balanda, Anyuak, Acholi just to mentioned a few. The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling toady.

Akot Mabor Marial,is a Civil rights Activist living in South Sudan and could be reached on akotmarial@yahoo.com or 0922053314.

Oil: Is it a curse or a blessing in South Sudan?

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN, MAY/17/2013, SSN;

In the late 70s when for the first time oil was discovered in Southern Sudan there was euphoria that poverty would be a thing of the past, replaced by a high standard of living. After all when oil was discovered in the Arabian Peninsula the Arabs made gigantic strides in development and the economic boom raised the standards of living.

However, although the oil was discovered in Southern Sudan, the South was not to become the major beneficiary. The central government with focus on the interest of Northern Sudan had other plans to deny Southern Sudan development opportunities.

To exploit the oil resources of Southern Sudan, the central government made sure the refinery was sited in Northern Sudan. In addition, the oil from wells in Southern Sudan was to be transported to international markets through Northern Sudan. Siting the refinery in Northern Sudan and the subsequent transportation of the oil to international markets deprived enormously Southern Sudanese of employment opportunities and income to reduce poverty.

Also, lack of revenues to Southern Sudan for vital development projects, as a result of siting the refinery in the North, was obvious. Arguably, the discovery of oil was hardly a blessing in Southern Sudan when it was an integral part of old Sudan.

One would expect oil as a blessing in independent South Sudan. Between 2005 and 2011 Southern Sudan became self-governing and with it got a better deal on wealth sharing with Northern Sudan with reference to oil revenues. This was an arrangement in a comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) between Northern and Southern Sudan in 2005.

In the arrangement Northern and Southern Sudan agreed that 2 per cent of oil revenue derived from oil producing wells in Southern Sudan should be allocated to the oil producing states in proportion to output produced in such states. It was also agreed that 50 per cent of net oil revenue derived from oil producing wells in Southern Sudan should be allocated to the Government of Southern Sudan.

In the CPA the wealth sharing arrangement was indeed a relief in light of acute underdevelopment and poverty in Southern Sudan. In independent South Sudan oil production indeed would be a blessing because South Sudan would have 100 per cent of revenue from its own oil. However, the extent to which oil revenues will be used for an impact on living standards will indicate whether oil is a curse or a blessing in independent South Sudan.

Indicators of especial interest to be used are poverty and insecurity. This is because when oil is a blessing there shouldn’t be a high prevalence of poverty and insecurity because of the expected adequate budgetary allocations. Naturally oil is seen to produce substantial revenues that can be used to eradicate poverty and insecurity. Nevertheless, others may argue that it is not oil that may be a curse but corruption.

On the other hand a counter argument can be made, though simplistic, that when oil creates corruption then oil is a curse. However, oil in itself may neither be a curse nor a blessing as when it is underground but then it depends on how it is managed above ground.

Unity State in South Sudan was the lead oil producer which should have been getting 2 per cent of oil revenue from its wells according to the CPA. However, its consumption per capita per month was lower than non oil producing state like Western Bahr el Ghazal. Similarly Upper Nile was the lead region in oil production but its consumption per capita per month was low in contrast to consumption per capita per month in non-oil producing Equatoria.

On poverty Unity State as oil producing has 68 per cent of its population living below the poverty line while the population of non oil producing Western Bahr el Ghazal is 43 per cent below the poverty line. This seems to suggest that oil is not everything. With or without oil a state or region can still flourish. So there is no way an oil producing state or region should boast.

On services oil seems to have no impact. Salaries were not received promptly. Insecurity was rampant when people were murdered by armed gangs who were nowhere to face justice, and this happened when the budget for security was one of the largest. There was hardly any running clean drinking water in the majority of residential areas and availability of electricity was a joke. People depended and are still depending on food items imported from the neighbouring countries even when the oil was flowing. Roads in cities and towns were of little difference with roads in remote rural areas. The list of poor services could be long in a country that was oil producing.

What guarantee is there that the resumption of oil flow will make any difference as a blessing in reducing poverty and insecurity? With or without oil life will be as usual with people who have experienced life in South Sudan since 2005. What may rid people of poverty and insecurity are radical reforms and a thorough cleaning up of the system of incapability otherwise the number of millionaires will grow up spectacularly with the resumed flow of oil.

Sugar-coated lies and naked intimidation to silence genuine dissent will not work because people are already alert and may have been fed up with words without concrete action since 2005.

In conclusion, hopefully South Sudan will not enter the Guinness Book of Records as a failed state barely within two years of gaining independence because when oil revenues are mismanaged and with insecurity so rampant; oil becomes more of a liability than an asset or rather more of a curse than a blessing. The religious may need to offer a prayer for divine intervention and the secular may need to use all their mental faculties for a decent and peaceful way out.

The Fight of the Beasts in the luak

BY: ElHag Paul, South Sudan, MAY/17/2013, SSN;

The hedonistic, unholy and belligerent three decades old sacred cow named Oyee has become haunted. Demons of divisions and greed have taken over its psyche and it has also infected the hearts of the two top shepherds. The cow’s behaviour has become erratic. It is confused and keeps wondering aimlessly. Things are no longer good. To save the animal and the Luak (cow shed), the shepherds have agreed to recruit the representatives of God on earth to exorcise the ghosts before the cow destroys itself.

The shepherds since the birth of this particular cow have not believed in modern methods of animal husbandry. The rules of good animal management were frowned at and despised. This cow was allowed to forage freely through people’s fields and whoever complained got the stick. As is the norm in life, living things get socialised to a certain way of doing things and once these habits take hold it is not easy to forsake them.

Little did the shepherds know that the unruly behaviour of their beloved cow one day will create a huge problem among them in the luak. So long as the cow grazed on other people’s fields and produced milk, they were content on reaping the benefits without thinking about the destruction that this cow caused on people’s fields and lives.

I remember way back at home when my mother used to tell us (my siblings and I) stories in the evening around the fire place (colourful stories about the ‘fox’, the ‘hare’ and the like). I always looked forward to evening time for these enjoyable funny stories. With hindsight now I know that my mother was doing a great job of educating us and preparing us for life as adults in the community.

These fire place stories serve a number of purposes, they equip the mind with essential knowledge necessary for survival, they build loyalty in relationship, they strengthen love between children and parents and shape lives making people to think in a responsible way towards the well-being of the community.

Those unfortunate ones in the community who did not benefit from such exercises lost important aspects of good upbringing. The reason why societies have delinquents may be traced to lack of appropriate socialisation.

Each culture has a way of imparting essential and desirable norms and values on its members from an early age. Some cultures are good and others are wanting. Those with wanting cultures often are the source of problems in some societies and it becomes necessary that the wider society must take responsibility to rescue such groups from themselves by re-educating them for the greater good lest the whole society self-destructs.

Which of course means animal breeding too involves a similar process to enable the cowboys and cowgirls to adequately manage them properly in their farms for better profits. In the advanced countries, even pets are reared in such a way as to inculcate acceptable norms in them. For instance, the owners of dogs and cats in advanced countries communicate with their animals and the latter in turn respond to the former to keep the peace.

Otherwise, without good rearing, dogs and cats would be causing havoc by biting people all the time. Rarely except in the wild, can one find an animal in the community behaving as it wants without control and here is where the cow named Oyee comes in. It is exactly, the prototype of the poorly bred and uncouth animal with inbuilt traits of self-destruction.

Soon after its birth three decades ago, the owners instead of imparting acceptable norms and values on it, they relentlessly conditioned it to be aggressive and thoughtless. It was taught not to respect rules. It was taught to be ruthless. “Inshalla abuk wadi talaga” translating into ‘shoot anything regardless including your own father’. It was only nurtured as a killing machine and indeed it has turned out to be exactly so.

It is very easy to talk or inculcate killing into things. Pulling a trigger or slaughtering a human being like the sad case of Banyjioth Matoat Tap may be an act of few minutes, but the consequence lasts with the dehumanised brute for life. A life that gets taken over with nightmares and mental disturbance often silently nursed by this dead soul living.

If bravery means foolery, self-destruction and dehumanisation (the return to the world of savagery), then perhaps the ‘cowards’ have won the battle of the day as the future looks certain to be bright for them.

Now, Oyee afflicted by this terrible disease is even unable to manage or care for itself. The concept of ‘care’ is totally alien to it. Since it achieves pleasure by hurting and destroying its own, it gets confused when told to be considerate of the sanctity of life. As far as it is concerned, pleasure is achieved from usurping power, robbing, looting, and killing.

At this crucial juncture, only weeks away from its thirtieth birthday, the shepherds have called in the men of God for help. The cow is going crazy and the two top shepherds are at each other’s throats. The blames are mounting with each shepherd lamenting the state of the cow. Even at this late stage, neither of the shepherds can see that approaching the vets may be the solution. They are convinced the cow is haunted and the panacea is with the men of God.

Approaching the vets is not a preferable option for the shepherds because the panacea may involve modern prescription involving unpalatable medications, restrictions on the cow and possible re-arrangement of the ‘Luak’ with change of the shepherds themselves. As the cow is now mentally affected, it would not be difficult for the vet to see that the shepherds themselves are contributors to its predicament and if so they should not be allowed to perpetuate the conditions that have driven this supposed sacred cow to this unfortunate situation.

The shepherds aware of such a possible diagnosis from the vets decided the best course of action is to let things as they are. Neither of them wants to lose the cow. For life without milk is unthinkable. So they resort to profusely blaming each other for the way the cow was brought up.

Both have become irrational in that they are incapable of seeing that they are actually responsible for the state of the cow and neither of them has any knowledge and skills of cow management. Yet, like 2 year olds self centred egotistical children oblivious of their environment, they just want to carry on inflicting more damage. Unbelievable but that is the reality in the Luak.

As the story about the cow’s health and the division between the shepherds spreads like wild fire in the Luak, and the inhabitants of the Luak get concerned, the shepherds have now approached the representatives of God on earth to intervene. As expected, the spiritual leaders being wise men and tactful knowing that both shepherds are hopeless and that the cow itself being old and ill, there is nothing to be salvaged here. They would have preferred to recommend ‘starting from scratch’ which would entail the humane putting down of this terminally ill cow.

Nevertheless, knowing the atrocious behaviour and the unpredictable temper of the shepherds and the importance of preserving life, they engage in philosophical talk praising both shepherds highly – calling them men of peace and referring to the cow as healthy and the Luak as calm, stable and prosperous. These praises are dished out with razzmatazz even when the shepherds are snarling at each other with frightening display of anger.

Wittily, the spiritual leaders steer clear of exorcising the cow. It is not important and it is unworthy given it’s old age and the nature of its possession by the demons. The economics of saving a possessed slow dying cow in spiritual terms is not worth the work involved. Therefore, it is silently and intriguingly with sweet praises left to perish alone as its days are numbered.

The demon initially manifesting itself as mental disturbance in the cow and now that the men of God are out of the way, it has comfortably taken full possession of the cow and fiendishly attached itself to the shepherds. As enemy of peace in the Luak it is speeding up the whole process of atrophy. Although this seems dire, for those who fear God this is the beginning of the good news because it signifies the coming of the saviour (the Messiah).

Knowing the dire situation prevailing in this difficult last days, the representatives of God on earth are now profusely on daily basis praying for the ‘Luak’ to ensure that when the end comes to this possessed unsalvageable cow the demons go along with it leaving the ‘Luak’ cleansed for coming of the Messiah with people of peace singing hallelujah loudly.

The shepherds now possessed like the cow itself are bickering with each other with their supporters fragmenting themselves with accusations and counter accusations of betrayal. Determined not to lose the milk in the interim period prior to death of the cow, each has resorted to consulting the powers of the dark to outwit the other for total control of the cow’s management (The very evil powers that has possessed them).

In the far corner of the Luak, another interesting development takes place. Three mini shepherds equally possessed assigned the responsibility of rearing three of the 10 goats in the Luak are agitated and like the three witches of Macbeth (Shakespeare) are meeting bemoaning the murky weather conditions. They warn the ‘Luakians’ forecasting horrendous weather in the days to come. They prophesy that their goats may be trampled-on in the big fight of the beasts unless something is done. The bickering shepherds each knowing that they through their cow had plundered the luak just like General Macbeth had done with the demise of Duncan the day of reckoning is about to come.

Perturbed, and besieged by the thoughts of the impending catastrophe, the shepherds reluctantly and desperately are courting the three mini shepherds of the three goats as the only hope. Without support of these midgets once considered useless beings in the Luak, neither of these competing shepherds can survive in the interim period. Whichever one of the shepherds that wins the support of these midgets will emerge as the victor in the meantime to manage the cow and also milk it without any accountability.

Ironically, the fortunes of these oppressed and supposedly coward mini shepherds of the three goats suddenly have become extremely important in the survival of anyone of the possessed ‘brave’ shepherds. One wonders whether these midgets are aware of this accidentally pivotal position of powers? If they are, will they extract maximum benefits for themselves before the death of the cow?

Since the cow has foraged freely in their pens with impunity depriving the goats of pasture, will they now trade their support for maximum benefit of the goats by strictly demanding for:
1) properly demarcated pens where they are the masters to ensure that the cow does not return to forage freely.
2) de-restriction of their abused brother.
3) equitable distribution of the milk in the Luak.

If the shepherds refuse to these demands, will the midgets withhold their support to both and instead vie for management of the cow itself in the interim period? After all, the three goats exactly make a third of the Luak. Mathematically they stand equal chances in a contest. Such an act will expose the fallacy of numbers but will the midgets detect this?

In the meantime, with the murky weather building up, let us together with the representatives of God on earth pray for coming of the Messiah. Oh! God save the Luak. Amen

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

Federalism based on Regionalism vs that based on partisanism

BY: Chol Ajak Demac, ARIZONA, USA, MAY/15/2013, SSN;

Lately, I have been monitoring the political development in South Sudan and I am in awe on how fast the situation is deteriorating and how fast the SPLM lost and will continue to loose grounds as a national political party! Things may get worse for the South and the SPLM, unless miracles happen.

There have been a lot of talks lately on how best to govern South Sudan, some are calling for Federalism others are calling for centralism and few are for I don’t care party!? Without taking sides on which is the best way to govern the South, one can only be concerned in the way the debate is being carried out. For example last week in Juba the greater Equatoria region, on their extraordinary conference, called for a federal system of governance.

Today we learn that the greater Bhar el Ghazal is due to hold their extraordinary conference in Wau from the 15th to 20th of May this year and who knows? Greater Upper Nile may hold it conference soon (who’s better than who?)

Now here are the questions:

1- Is it best to tackle the problems of politics and governing the country by going regional? Did we try that before? Where did we end up in the past by going regional on the issues of national interest? “Those who fail to learn from the history are doomed to repeat it” or “he who lives to forget his past lives to die of his past.”

Knowing the past and keeping the past helps us to shape the future, and may avoid the re-occurrences of past disasters.

2- One can’t help but to notice that all the leaders of so-called regional conferences are seniors SPLM members. That begs the question: did the SPLM fail as a party to hold these kinds of conferences?

Why can the SPLM organize the conference that have nothing to do with who should or shouldn’t be the Chairmen but rather debate and come out with the solutions on how best to run the country, keeping in mind that the SPLM had been the ruling party for the last 8 years?

3- Others may say that they tried all the above within the ruling party and failed for one reason or another!!! I don’t have any inside information to agree or disagree with them, but I can’t imagine that their failure is due to where they hailed from or which region they came from.

In such a case the problem of how to govern South Sudan shouldn’t be regionalized, but rather nationalized in terms of Political parties.

In short, if the SPLM fails you, you quit and form a party that calls for federation in the South and I bet you will find a lot of supporters from all corners of the nation.

4- Some may ask why worry about the regional-driven politics? To be candid, it doesn’t worry me when a region gets together to address problems in the region such as insecurity in the area, because of the tribal and inter-tribal conflicts, or tackles the issues of developments in the private sector or agriculture improvement.

Most of you will agree how urgent the South is in need of such conferences!! I only worry when we try to use the regions to score political points at the national level for these reasons:

A- Although the intention may be good, there are always a few who will try to hijack the situation and misuse it to farther their self interest will can result in dividing the Country on the regional line and tribal politics.

B- With all due respect, our people are still young when it comes to politics that include the so called intellectuals (the roots of most problems in RSS), therefore if we base our political demands on the region instead of party platform, we are risking further divisions among our people, and the words of our national anthem “Land of great abundance, Uphold us united in peace and harmony,” will be things of the past.

C- Let’s all assume that Bahr el-Ghazal calls for centralism in their upcoming conference. And the Upper Nile calls for either centralism or regionalism. Are we not setting up the country on the path of civil war based on regionalism? But if we do it based on the parties platforms then each party will have supporters in every town, city or region of the nation, and that can lead us towards more unification of our nation.

Finally, it is my hope that when it come to discussing the national issues we should always try to keep our emotion away from it, and have some intelligence deliberations .

Last but not least, on my open letter to Mr. President Kiir Mayardit, published on August 3, 2011, I asked him the following question: Are we going to be the beacon of light and hope in Africa or the laughing Stock of the World?

Fellow citizens of Republic of South Sudan, I’m appealing to your better nature to try your level best in answering this question, and ask ourselves what kind of Country did we really fight for and dreamt about??

May Almighty God guide us towards being a peaceful and democratic Nation, so God bless South Sudan

Chol Ajak Demac, Former Secretary General of SPLM Chapter in Arizona State. (USA) and can be reach at chol.ajak@gmail.com

South Sudan needs visionary leaders not some habitual constitution violators!

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, MAY/15/2013, SSN;

The wonderful readers may agree with me that the problems of the nascent state of South Sudan is not confined to issues to do with the constitution, be that the current transitional constitution or the much publicized permanent constitution which is in the making.

This is not in any way to belittle the role of the constitution here, but rather to bring to light that these constitutions are subject to manipulations and violations under the current ruling clique. They [Kiir & company] can easily do it at any stage of the process from the point of inception to the point of adoption, and the current transitional constitution is a living example of that.

Another important issue is the national healing and reconciliation process which has already exposed the current leadership’s incapability to oversee such a grant national exercise especially when it has spectacularly failed to initiate an internal reconciliation within the same ruling party. The bishops, yes they have been brought in.

But how are they [bishops] going to instill the needed will into these former rebel commanders turn politicians starting with the top man himself to accept to go back to apologize to their victims or their living relatives. That is the South African way and that’s only how it can work in South Sudan. The perpetuators and the victims must come face to face!

On the other hand many people have been subjected to arbitrarily arrests throughout Salva Kiir and the SPLM intelligentsia’s tenure in office since they last stopped being rebels. Not surprising of course it has been the Press Community which has so far suffered the most as they continue to expose the wrong doers, however many other victims have as well included people from every section of the South Sudanese society. Many too were extrajudicial killed in the hands of government’s secret agents.

Sadly enough, if that is the right expression, all these violations to the basic human rights of the victims had taken place and continue to do so in the presence of the country’s transitional constitution. This is a constitution that approves the freedom of expression, but also provides every citizen the right to a fair hearing in a court of law.

So where have we the citizens gone wrong to be victimized this much? And is it an issue about having a constitution when we already have one or is it about a bunch of people in office who prefer to violate the constitution?

With the above introduction we can now delve into the core issue no other than the ingrained attitude by President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his inner circles to run the country in a way that only serves their groups interest.

This leadership’s history in office over the last eight years or so is more than enough to justify every statement that portrays Kiir Mayardit’s leadership as non-visionary.

We know that president Salva Kiir still has a handful supporters of fainthearted opportunists who have themselves out preformed their boss on several occasions, in as far as the abuse of power is concerned. Is it not the case when the president went ballistic in his speech to his cabinet and senior officials accusing them of back stabbing the government in which they serve?

This is what he said: Sudan Tribune (01/05/ 2013): and I quote:

“They talk as if they are not part of it [government] but if you follow them, you find they are the same people who are the ones involved in corruption. They are the ones involved in arbitrary arrest, but they come out in the day and say they are not part of it”, he said.

Given the president’s above acknowledgment that his ministers are behind those heinous crimes committed the nationwide, much of his statement can go all the way to not only unravel the mystery surrounding the death of the 25-year-old former traffic officer from Mayom County of the Unity State (the Western Upper Nile).

According to the relatives’ story in the public media, the deceased young man had gone to a nearby shop on the 28 March, where he went missing and never to return home. Two days later his body was found dumped behind Hon. Salva Mathok, the RSS deputy minister of Interior’s house, with traces of blood also leading to the deputy minister’s house now suspected by the relatives to be the likely crime scene.

He [president] also acknowledged the many arbitrary arrests taking place all across the country at the directives of his cabinet ministers and government senior officials as highlighted in his quoted speech.

If you didn’t know yet – then better know now that two well-known journalists in Juba, Michael Koma and Alfred Taban have been harassed, detained, and repeatedly interrogated on the directives of the deputy minister of interior in spite of the fact that he [Mathok} stands very tall in the centre of this barbaric crime.

Don’t you agree with me my dear reader – that any sound minded individual would have seen the relevancy of the office of the prosecutor-general handling this murder case, completely on its own without having to involve the ministry of interior so as to avoid any conflicts of interest? This is a very important point if we are to talk of justice in the true sense of the word.

In this case injustice is already in the making since Hon. Salva Mathok is considered as the prime suspect by the relatives of the deceased young man and still he refuses to resign his position so as to allow for an impartial investigation. By so doing he has already compromised the position of the government department [ministry of Interior] that he continues to supervise. And add to it his subsequent actions towards these journalists; you can NEVER miss to see the obstruction of Justice being committed in a broad day light.

Of course no one out there is too naïve not to understand that officials like Salva Mathok have all the approval to not only enjoy impunity in a case as big as this murder crime now at hand, but he can as well go on unquestioned by the president to further abuse his position by detaining those journalists for publishing articles presented to them by the relatives of the deceased.

Hon. Salva Mathok is a classic example of President Kiir’s loyalists who enjoy the unlimited freedom to corrupt with impunity as long as they fulfill the boss’s criteria of being good members of the cabinet i.e. ministers who acknowledge that the freedom allowing them to commit all sorts of corruption and immoralities has been availed to them by the president who in turn expects them to remain loyal to his person as much as possible.

And as long as these loyal ministers and senior officials stick to the president’s terms, they will continue to enjoy their ministerial positions and be protected by the government and the president. This is a president whose sole concern is how to remain in power regardless of all the living hell his leadership is delivering on the poor masses, day and night.

A leadership that has ruthlessly presided over one of the most corrupt regimes in human history throughout its eight years in office should only be told that enough is enough.

Furthermore it’s no longer any secret how some people lose their position in Salva Kiir’s government while others who are indeed true embodiments of corruption and theft remain to serve. This is not difficult to decipher, for the whole thing is all about whether a corrupted official eats alone or shares his/her loot with the boss. What that means is everybody’s guess.

Here we are in front of a leadership that has no respect for any form of constitution or institution. We are all witness to how the Interim constitution was repeatedly violated all through the six years that followed the CPA.

Again from 9th July 2011 following the declaration of Independence to date the so-called transitional constitution although meticulously tailored to slim fit the President – yet he too has failed to honour it.

Thus those who wrongly assume that the way out of RSS mess can be found in the coming permanent constitution while retaining the same visionless and grossly incompetent leadership are in fact trying to indefinitely postpone any hopes of the country to change for the better.

They too are playing against the basic rule which says he or she who fails to do well in small thing cannot handle big things. South Sudan’s future in what is now the 21st century – the digital age – is no domain for the current crude leadership style!

If you have been told that there are no other people in the whole of South Sudan who can better rule the country besides the current leadership on top of them president Salva Kiir Mayardit and his deputy Dr. Riek Machar and you happen to believe that, then my fellow you must have been exposed to the worse type of “brainwashing” – that’s if of course if I thought you actually have the brain to be washed in the first place!

The monstrous nature of the current totalitarian government that is on its final march to become a “One Man Rule” will continue to multiply with each and every day Salva Kiir Mayardit remains in office.

Evidence after evidence has shown beyond any reasonable doubt that president Salva Kiir’s has developed an uncontrollable tendency to over-ride all the country’s constitutions and institutions, a fact only made easier by the transitional constitution specially cooked for him by his co-conspirator Hon. John Luk Jok [his current minister for Legal Affairs] in return for a foothold in the president’s inner circles and of course a ministerial position that is likely to extend as far as Kiir remains in office.

“Many agreements dishonoured”, is a familiar impression that an average citizen of South Sudan holds against the subsequent Jallaba governments that ruled and continue to rule in the republic of Sudan. However not very long following our independence, we now have a leader who stands for nothing but
“Many Promises dishonoured”.

And the fact that even after nearly a decade in office president Salva Kiir is still looking forward for yet another term in office is a clear evidence of his political and power greediness which is going to be a frank obstacle to the peaceful transfer of power in the nascent country.

A leader with this kind of attitude is also likely to do everything he can to remain in office even if that means dropping whole chapters or articles from the country’s constitution at its best – or can even go to length arresting or liquidating opponents and those perceived as potential enemies while doing way with the constitution all together.

These are some of the core issues for you to consider my fellow compatriots. The earlier we acknowledge it today and move to eliminate it from taking root the better – before it is too late to salvage anything.

In other wards we can go all the way and write the most wonderful permanent constitution in the whole universe, but as long as we are still ruled by the current leadership or any of its kind, the constitution may not even be worth the paper or the ink used!

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

Justice thrown away: Who’s who in the SPLM?

BY: Lueth Bol Dengkeer, Sydney, Australia, MAY/14/2013, SSN;

In South Sudan, barrages of earlier and current offences by senior SPLM officials are still in the cave and in the outset are men who are repressing and exploiting our own people including our dear army (SPLA). The question is who has the guts to open the cave and expose these junks of oldies’ corrupt tendencies? Despite an assertion that no one is above the law, it is obvious today that as long as you are flying with the right group, your legal safety is guaranteed.

The first minister of finance, ‘honorable’ Akuyen Chol was mysteriously implicated in a corruption I may define here as fraud, some kind of money laundering and perhaps racketeering. When Jacob Zuma was charged with 700 counts of corruption including financial mismanagement, he went to look for an underdog –Shabir Sheikh, his financial adviser and a long term friend who later became the victim of legal miscarriage and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for leading Zuma’s own mismanaged life.

Instead of being answerable to the law himself, the person who finally carried the yoke of his legal woes and political orchestration is his direct financial adviser.

Unlike Zuma, Mr.Chol might have also been a victim of a similar injunction plot masterminded by some SPLM bigwigs to terribly destroy his credibility and his dear life or as a shield to cover the guilt.

To my understanding and according to the reports, I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that there is still a thin line of legal miscarriage of sort in the prima facie and this begs a million dollar question as to whether the probe was carried out thoroughly, the legality of the court’s finding and whether there were attempts to defeat the end of justice as in replacing lawyers or bribing lawyers or acts of intimidation.

If such illegal activity happens with repercussions only served on the weak, while political giants get away with it, then the law is made but thrown away. We must be mindful that every street has a round-about, some roads have U-turns. A reasonable driver ensures that he makes a safe turn or exits the round-about with safety of others in mind.

Subsequently,some rascals drive recklessly and sometimes gets away with it and at times are caught red handed and suffer the wrath of the law. What am saying is that, these corrupt officials may get away with it now but with caution less they will not get away with it forever.

President Kiir.
President Kiir, like many other SPLM leaders, comes from a humble origin. Many of us have doubted his qualities as a leader. One would suggest he should possess all the qualities but that happens unless you are God. We all have limitations and strengths in which in respect we cannot contradict the extent of others’ capabilities. But that is not the issue.

What we need to be familiar with is that he is a president by privilege not by law. Regardless of what you think about him, one or two may conclude that he is not the problem- may be he is part of the problem setting the country back.

Indeed many of the difficulties that this country has had to confront and has failed to confront in the last few years since the interim period are related to the stagnation that set in after the war when little thought was given to the development of the nation.

Indeed we were preoccupied with self-service. In fact one of things that we learn from other countries and we should post a question to ourselves is that: what will be the requirement of the modern technology based country in next 5-10 and 20 years’ time?

South Sudan is very much left behind and there is much pain associated with catching up. Many anchors of the governance are set up including justice system but there is little evidence that the legal system has ever been interested in keeping up with anything, adapting to change.

of the reasons for the extraordinary overheads associated with legal practice is the existence of out-dated work practices and unwillingness to take advantage of new technologies. South Sudan legal practices should concede that it’s barely done anything to reform the system with its vicious presidential legal adviser living in the pockets of the president while misleading the president in the issues pertaining justice.

There will be a high level of brain drain because many who are qualified such as those from eastern African universities as well as overseas’ will seek jobs elsewhere because they are denied jobs. I refer to the recent south Sudanese girl employed by Kenyan government. In the name of what? In the name of failure of own country to employ her.

If this policy continues, there will be a significant degree of incompetence in the country and in the legal system and the country will merely become a kingdom of pirates where everyone strive for own head with the head pirates in silence.

Dr. Machar
He is too from the humble origin. His academic background is unquestionable. But his habit of marring highly ambitious white girls has left him with a deep wound that has caused him dearly. He broke away from the SPLM in 1991 allegedly by the direction of his beloved wife who continued to support him.

Although he made several political maneuvering apology to the masses, the wounds of widows who lost their husbands in his notorious break-away and kids who watched mothers burn and buried alive will never be healed. To them, it is up to God to forgive him. To them, justice should take its course.

Now, it is the task of legal administrators to throw him away in favour of justice or throw justice away in favour of him. But machar is a leader though, accepted for his transgressions.

In my capacity and belief, I will forgive him and support him if he comes up with good policies. He has completely shown remorse in his actions and deserves to be forgiven on earth. But am just astonished whether once a revolutionary, a rebel leader and now the country’s vice president will ever wield a political ark that will accommodate his disciples he once prosecuted in the wake of an increasing criticism before he is put in a dust bin.

He is a “confused” leader difficult to follow, a shrewd politician who always smiled while going for your head.

Conclusion
The government must not restrict powers of judiciary or of an independent commission or intends to do so to score political points or even accept some little unwarranted advice to execute inappropriate decisions, to reshuffle every weekend and purge senior cadres in good standing and depriving the country of its progress.

Instead, it must do something in its means to eradicate the out-dated system of legal practice to enhance professional legal practice by employing qualified lawyers and other civil servants to fuel the momentum of the development.

Dodge national key points of development and run a risk of going down in history as a failure. Would you love this, Mr. president?

Unequivocally, everyone must come clean before they throw their huts into the ring come the SPLM convention to contest the embattled president and other seats.

Lueth Bol Dengker is a south Sudanese living in Australia.
He writes in his capacity as a concerned citizen.
He can be reached at blessedabraham@yahoo.com