Archive for: September 2013

Why President Kiir must disclose his health status!

BY: Simon M. Deng, SOUTH SUDAN, SEPT/17/2013, SSN;

The poor people of South Sudan wonder every time when they see the motorcade of the President of the Republic of South Sudan, His Excellency General Salva Kiir Mayardit, move mercilessly at high speed on crowded roads in Juba, South Sudan.

Not surprisingly, the innocent people of South Sudan start to inquiry what is wrong with their president? Why President Kirr does not seem to care of his deprived people that are crossing the tiny roads in Juba which comprise of the blind, the disabled, the deaf, children and the elderly people?

When these poor people of the South Sudan suddenly realize the President’s motorcade is coming, they hurriedly run to avoid being fatally crashed like bugs, which is still difficult for the blind, disabled, deaf, children, and elderly people due to their physical conditions in life, and I begin to question what is really wrong with the President of the Republic of the South Sudan?

It was few days ago when my friend and I came across the motorcade of the President Kirr on one of the busier small streets in Juba. I was terrifyingly shocked with the speed of the motorcade and how people ran away to empty a tiny road, and I thought it would be salient to know the health situation of President Kiir himself.

Universally, it is required in the democratic countries that a president’s physical and mental health status should as a rule be in good condition in order for the president to govern the country effectively.

It is more practical in the Western World that even presidential candidates publicize their medical data before an election period.

Citizens of these Western democratic nations demand their leaders to be medically transparent because it is important that decisions made by their leaders are not derived by the leaders with questionable medical conditions.

Is the President, Kirr, abundantly transparent to the people of South Sudan about his “deteriorating health?”

Does he know that accidents occur due to the reckless driving and “irresponsible over-speeding” by his motorcade on these narrow roads in Juba?

Does President Kiir really care about the poor South Sudanese people when he goes to inspect his cows or visit the church or any of his followers social events?

In normal situations except in Juba, the Ambulance is meant to rescue the innocent people on the roads who are usually crashed by the President’s motorcade.

This challenge is really true in Juba even though records show in several occasions that many victims have never received any medical assistance, leave alone any due compensations to the number of civilians and animals killed, mimed, and terrified.

Beside the roads, what else does President Kirr satisfy the country if his health is in fair shape?

Let’s say the first scenario is correct, that President Kiir is very aware of his health status, but he shies to disclose it to the public because he could countenance the loss his job, and since it is not a South Sudanese culture, why care?

Pres. Bashir, from former mother country, does that, as well as Kiir’s new mentor father in Uganda. Why would he care? The close circles of the President dismiss health restrictions by saying it is “normal” for the President to utilize South Sudanese Ambulances even though it draws negative conclusion that President Kirr’s health might be in question.

The South Sudanese Transitional Constitution stipulates in Article (102) (d)(e) that “The office of the President shall fall vacant in any of the followings: (d) Mental infirmity or physical incapacity based on an official medical report submitted by the medical commission to the Assembly for information; or (e) Death,” (Transitional Constitution, 2011).

For those that follow closely the affairs of our young nascent, the Republic of South Sudan, will agree with me that there is much concerned about the political developments in South Sudan since the Country became independent from Khartoum.

With serious trepidation, we can look at the physical and mental capacity of the President on some of the political development issues in the country.

Though President Kiir has established a regrettable relationship with his mentor father whom the country suspects for the political chaos, it is no doubt that the physical and the mental health capacity of the President could be questioned.

Here are some of the examples that should trigger President’s medical health question:
• Decision to shut down oil flow;
• Decision to go to war in Panthou (Heglieg);
• Decision to issue letters to 75 officials but not following them up;
• Dismissal of the Governors (Lakes and Unity States);
• Killing of civilians demonstrating in Wau, Western Bar El Ghazal State;
• Killings of the Murle in Jonglei State;
• Suspension of Ministers Deng Alor Kuol and Kosti Manibe Ngai;
• Dissolution of the entire cabinet;
• Dismissal of the Vice President Dr. Riek Machar;
• Suspension of the Secretary General Mr. Pagan Amum;
• Restriction of Pagan Amum of his freedom to movement and expression;
• Decision to threaten Parliament to endorse Wani Igga or be dissolved;
• Decision to threaten Parliament to approve new Speaker or be dissolved;
• Decision to remove people of Abyei from civil services with no Parliament consent, and
• Decision to extend general election to 2017 or beyond!

Although the list is not exhaustive, it definitely just illustrates why the people should be more concerned about the health status of President Kiir.

Therefore, it is of utmost importance that President’s health situation is evaluated because this could be dangerous and could cause significant consequences to the future of the nation.

Even though President Kirr might receive wrong advices from his trusted circles, it is always true the last decision should always come from a person on the chair.

It is cultural that talking of the Kiir’s health might be considered a criminal offence punishable with years in prison; however, the poor people of South Sudan who elected Kiir as their President need to be included in the ongoing political debate in the Country, because President’s health can’t be left out of the political discourse.

It is critical for South Sudan as a young nation to be more transparent in any aspect, and since our Transitional Constitution possesses no term limits, it would be in our interest if our President discloses and addresses his health condition to the young nation to reduce administrative and political tension like what is happening now in the country.

The demand for President Kiir to disclose his health condition is salient because it would mitigate some political situations in the South Sudan.

Some democratic and developing governments take the issue of health status seriously, and their leaders are obliged throughout their vetting process to disclose their health reports.

Unfortunately, Africa has also witnessed a number of African Presidents who passed away in office due to undisclosed poor health situations which included:

• Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi
• President of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills
• President of Malawi, Bingu Wa Mutharika
• President of Nigeria, Sani Abacha
• President of Nigeria, Omar Yar Adwa

God forbid, but if the position of the President Kirr falls vacant as it is stipulated in South Sudan Transitional Constitution, how could the people of the South Sudan remember President Kiir when considering all the messes we have seen which may be attributed to his physical and mental infirmity?

Therefore, it is legally and constitutionally imperative that we know where our President’s health stands today.

Simon M. Deng is a South Sudanese activist. He lives in Juba, Sudan and can be reached:

Solution to elimination of Corruption in South Sudan

BY: DANIEL JUOL NHOMNGEK, Makerere University, Kampala, SEPT/16/2013, SSN;

Where are we going? Where is the country going? Are we cursed? Are the country and her people experiential grounds for the good governance? Is the government preaching what it does not practise?

Corruption, corruption, corruption, corruption is found in every angle and corner of the government of the Republic of South Sudan. Every youth is corrupt in the Country.

This article attempts to explain the nature, extent and impact of corruption in South Sudan. In addition, it tries to offer some solutions on how to minimize the prevalence of corruption in South Sudan in the future.

My interest in writing this article on corruption was triggered by the recent report published on Sudan-tribune of September 11, 2013 (JUBA), where it was reported that the council for the Nuer Youth Union (NUYU) in South Sudan has impeached its president, John Puol Chol, in a vote of no confidence on Monday…

According to the report, John Puol was charged with embezzlement of 6,000 SSP; an equivalent of $1,500 US dollars as well as collection of unauthorized fees of 150SSP each from Nuer young university graduates who graduated from 2007-2013.

As I was reading this report and reflecting over it and putting my mind back to a year ago about what happened in the South Sudan Students Union in Uganda in 2012, I got the similarity between the two stories but the difference was the way the corruption case was handled in each scenario.

In the case of Nuer Youth Union as reported, for instance, the radical approach was applied, which resulted into the removal of the leader and according to the law, an approach which the Republic of South wants to be adopted by the leadership of the Country.

However, in the case of South Sudan Students Union in Uganda, the accused was not impeached but was just arrested and later released without further procedures. An approach which is common in South Sudan and one which encourages corruption to flourish up to date.

The nature of corruption in South Sudan among the youth is too much and widespread. According to Marie Chene from Transparency International, Corruption is present in all sectors of the economy. It is also present at all levels of the government apparatus and it is manifested in several forms, which include: financial and political corruption, patronage, pervasive tribalism and misuse of power.

Both petty and grand forms of corruption are prevalent in South Sudan.

The presence of corruption in all sectors in the government of the Republic of South Sudan as pointed out by Marie Chene above, is one of the major causes of the poor delivery of services to the ordinary citizens in the country.

For instance, the recent article that I wrote and was published on the website of was about the increment of nationality fee in Lakes State, which was motivated by corruption. Such increment is likely to deny many poor people in Lakes State the chance to confirm their nationality.

Corruption benefits few and leaving vast majority of the people inaccessible to the national resources. For instance, during the interim period the country national resources were shared among officials in the government of Southern Sudan, leaving it in economic shambles.

The failure to deliver services as expected by all South Sudanese before and immediately after the independence of the country was a big disappointment and people began to feel a nostalgia for the old Sudan; a feeling that made some of us who read the Holy Bible reflect over the behavior of Israelites in the desert when they were liberated from Egypt but desired later that they should go back to Egypt.

When the country became independent in 2011, all South Sudanese had expectations and hopes that after the independence of South Sudan, the issues of corruption, poverty, illiteracy, diseases, tribal conflicts and ignorance would become things of the past.

However, immediately after the independence, the country was faced with a myriad of governance and poverty challenges aggravated by continued hostilities among citizens themselves within South Sudan on one hand, and with Sudan on the other.

Such numerous challenges were not without cost. As a result, the challenges affected the equitable allocation of resources, as the issue of insecurity dominated all the development fora and took the greatest percentage in the allocation of the national budget, leaving other sectors with fewer resources or none at all.

The development programs were retarded indefinitely. Structural deficiencies such as a lack of basic human and physical infrastructure, the weak development of markets and business and the lasting level of insecurity continued up to the present day.

As the government tried to face and fight the challenges in the country, the problem of corruption that went on unchecked remained due to two main reasons:

1) After the CPA was signed there was a fear that if the government of Southern Sudan became tough on the government officials who were practising corruption with impunity, they would go to North and disrupt preparation for the independence of South Sudan.

Such kind of reasoning was faulty and naïve. It laid the foundation of corruption of the current corruption practice. It was a real shame on the government as it was just there without controlling corruption and the citizens became the primary victims of merciless corrupt practices by the government officials.

2) In addition, there was no strong system of check and balances in the government. The SPLM officials were still with the hangover from the kind of soldier behavior where they found themselves to be above the law and could use money as they wished. This kind of behavior put the rule of law at the periphery of the governance system and was replaced by naked dictatorship in all levels in the government sectors.

The silence of the then Government of Southern Sudan on the face of serious corruption saw billions of dollars disappeared without any trace. The corruption was being practiced at the government’s face. However, the then Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) was playing an ostrich politics of putting its head into the sand imagining that the danger is gone, which eventually will kill it.

Corruption became so deadly that it killed the moral fabric that is so valuable to all of us. The officials in the government reached the extent of transporting money in coffins like dead people. The situation was really pathetic. The government officials lost South Sudanese moral fabric and traditions.

South Sudanese are Africans. In African perspective, the dead are not dead. The Dead were greatly honored and respected by all the living to the extent of not even mentioning the word “dead” leave alone using any material related to the dead themselves.

However, some of the officials in the Government of Southern Sudan lost African morals and thus corruption controls all government sectors, which is currently a major issue in South Sudan.

As Magali Mores in U4 Expert Answers of the Anti-Corruption Resource Centre in his Overview of corruption and anti-corruption in South Sudan noted, corruption permeates all sectors of the economy and all levels of the state apparatus and manifests itself through various forms, including grand corruption and clientelistic networks along tribal lines.

As pointed, it is judicially noticed that corruption is a very serious problem in South Sudan today. It is practised at all levels and in all forms, but majority of the South Sudanese citizens have taken the stealing of money to be the sole meaning of corruption, which is an incomplete meaning of corruption.

Corruption, as it has been defined, means the abuse of public resources to enrich or give unfair advantage to individuals, their family or their friends.

Examples of corruption of public resources are: misused of money, goods, vehicles, buildings and any other resources that belong to the government; Pension funds and medical aid funds; trade union money and resources; lottery money; donations to charities.

In addition, the Common forms of corruption in daily life are: paying bribes to a government official in order to be given a government contract or license; the use of government-owned resources, such as motor vehicles for private purposes, the taking of the advantage of one’s own position to favour a family member or business associate for a job or tender contract.

This is sometimes called nepotism.

Corruption in real sense cannot be detected easily as by its nature, it involves two or more people entering into a secret agreement. Such an agreement involves paying a financial inducement to a public official (s) for securing favour for the one offering bribes.

The secret nature of bribes makes corruption difficult for anyone apart from those involved to know what is going on, which in turn makes the war on corruption difficult to win. The war on corruption can only be won through orienting and training people morally so that they can have feeling and be mindful of others.
Corruption and corrupt practices are very common in all levels in the Republic of South Sudan and among individuals. The corrupt practices are even manifested in restaurants where people eat. For instance, when I was in primary school in Cueibet County in Lakes State, we used to drink soup whenever we went to eat in the restaurant and order another.

At that time, I did not know that we were practising corruption.

As I have understood now, corruption simply means cheating or manipulating one’s influence or resources one is put in charge of to his or own advantage. Corruption exists in several and specific forms and exercised in every corner of South Sudan not only in the government.

Corruption is exercised in different ways in South Sudan, which inter alia include:
-Failure to report to the office at stipulated time by rules governing the office is corruption;
-failure to follow the law and Transitional Constitution, 2011, is another form of corruption in terms of the rule of law;
-cheating on one’s own wife is also a corruption;
-raiding cattle and killing those who keep those cattle is corruption;
-inflating the figures during census is corruption;
-manipulating prices in the market is also another form of corruption;
-hoarding the goods in the market to sell them later at higher prices is another form of corruption;
-delivering judgment as directed by the authority but not according to the principles of law governing particular conflict is corruption in terms of justice, and social justice in particular.

An advocate failing to follow the code of judicial conduct is also another form of corrupting moral and professional ethics;
-buying qualifications, which one has not acquired in class, is both crime and corruption.

Corruption exists in several forms and if I were to list all forms of corruption in South Sudanese communities, this computer cannot accommodate them. However, one can determine whether corruption has occurred or not by applying the principle of the reasonable person.

The principle of a reasonable person is based on what will the ordinary average South Sudan citizen on the street, who has knowledge about the governance and the one who is not influenced by tribe and who does not overreact to some issues, would think of a public officer’s behavior in the office.

If such ordinary South Sudanese citizen confirms that corruption has occurred then there is corruption.
There is a need for widening the term “corruption” in South Sudan if the corruption can effectively be controlled.

The meaning of corruption should be widened from the way it is understood today by many South Sudanese.

The common knowledge of many South Sudanese of corruption is, corruption is mostly understood to mean the stealing of money. Most of the people do not understand that stealing cows or robbing someone of money is also corruption or eating at home more than others when there is a food shortage is corruption.

In addition, drinking some water from the plastic bottle and then after that looking side way to see whether the authority is there or not and when there is no authority present, then one throws the plastic bottle is corruption.

Corruption in short includes anything that is contrary to the law and the rights of other South Sudanese negatively.

Many writers have tried to define and explain the causes of corruption but mostly ignore the psychological aspect in the cause of corruption.

The cause of corruption in South Sudan can be well understood if it can be explained using psychological model. Corruption is the failure and lack of balance among the three fundamental aspects of psychology.

The three fundamental aspects of psychology are: Id, ego and super-ego, which are the three parts of the mind apparatus Sigmund Freud defined as the three theoretical constructs in terms of whose activity and interaction mental life is described.

In the same way, corruption is common in the Republic of South Sudan because many people need immediate satisfaction, forgetting that their actions cause damage to their neighbors. All forms of corruption are caused by lack of self-restrain in using public resources for personal benefits.

The personal benefits include benefits to one’s family or to his or her friend’s family. For instance, denying scholarship intended to be acquired on merits and giving it to one’s own relatives who do not meet the requirements for that scholarship is corruption of deadly form.

The form of corruption of awarding scholarship to wrong people happened during the South African and Egyptian scholarship schemes. It happened when incapable students were sent ceremoniously but were sent back unceremoniously because they were found to be academic dwarfs and was not able to perform well as expected by the host countries.

The impact of such corrupt practices in awarding scholarships were the loss of opportunity for bright South Sudanese students who would have contributed to the development of South Sudan, and moreover , it defaced the integrity of people of South Sudan who were portrayed as liars and academically weak.

The war on corruption needs deeper planning and strong strategy from the government. To end or minimize the high rate of corruption in South Sudan, the corruption should be nib at the bud to destroy its cultural medium that contributes to its development.

The government must introduce tougher law with the tracing principle in it. So that if a person has stolen money or corrupted anything, the money or value of that thing can be traced into his or her assets.

The government should also introduce workshops and seminars where the youth can be trained on the concept and the prevention of corruption. There must in addition, be strong monitoring and evaluating system to determine whether the method is achieving the goal of eliminating corruption.

The concept of corruption should also be introduced in the South Sudan education syllabus. The government should put the children at the centre of its activities so that the children are trained and psychologically oriented at the earlier age to hate corruption at its all forms.

The subject on the rights, roles and duties of the citizens should be introduced. The current situation in South Sudan is that many people claim their rights from the government but do know their roles and duties, which is the major cause of corruption.

It is the major cause of corruption because many people believe that it is their rights to use anything, since they do not know that for every right accrues to individual there is always a duty attached to it.

Duties come with responsibilities and responsibilities come with liabilities, which deter individuals from getting involved in corrupt practices. If these suggestions given in this article are adopted, the future generation in South Sudan will be in a corruption free country.

NB// The Author is South Sudanese Fourth Law Student in Makerere University School of Law in Kampala Uganda and can be reached via:+256783579256 or Email:

Crisis in Madi, Nimule, is a Government conspiracy to grab land


Ref: Murder of Chief John Ajugo, the head chief of Nimule was a conspiracy.

It was Sunday September 8, 2013 when head Chief of Nimule was gunned down during the night. The incident happened when I was in a Hotel in Nimule just for a night waiting to continue my journey to Kampala Uganda. The following day I left for Kampala leaving Madi in Nimule helplessly in a great shock.

On Wednesday September 11, 2013, I was back to Nimule and found that some government personnel were sent there for further investigation. I tried to talk to the local people to collect some information about the death of their head Chief, but almost everyone is scared to talk to me and the atmosphere was tense. Finally, I met a non-Madi working in Nimule with NGOs. He worked there for a long time and this is what he has to say on humanitarian ground.

The head Chief of Nimule was killed for land issues. It was early 2013 when the central government in Juba issued a mandate to transform Nimule town to a town council. The mandate was forwarded to the state government of Eastern Equatoria. The governor of Eastern Equatoria State and his councils decided to implement the mandate without consulting the Madi Community.

What he did was he sent some individuals to talk to the chiefs that they needed them to sign a mandate from the central government to make Nimule a Town Council. The chiefs’ demand to talk to the Madi community first was ignored.

It was in a meeting at night when Head Chief John Ajugo and some Madi were forced to sign a mandate they didn’t want to do without consulting their people in the middle of a dark night.

After collecting signatures, the governor of Eastern Equatoria State announced the agreement, Torit and Kapeota were added to make three town councils in total.

When the Madi community learnt about this declaration, they held a meeting and delegations were sent to Torit to stop what they considered is illegal. It was simple, they are not aware and those who signed the mandate did it illegally.

Then the Governor of Eastern Equatoria State said, “If the Madi people don’t want development in Nimule is up to them” and he withdrew the illegal agreement. In his letter to the central government, he said “the Madi people refused the offer to make Nimule a town council.”

I found there is a mistake here, what he called a mandate to the Madi people changed to be an offer in his statement to the central government.

Now, the idea of making Nimule a town council: is it direct from the government as a mandate or it is the state which had changed an offer from the government to a mandate to the people?

It was in August, 2013 when the Madi community were shocked after learning that the governor who promised them he had withdrawn the idea for the town council went public and announced Nimule as a town council.

It was clear that problems surrounding Nimule today were drafted without the consent of Madi as a people. These are the intentions of the Central government, Eastern Equatoria State government, and Magwi County Headquarters.

This matter is complex; an internally displaced person who said he lived in Nimule for 15 years further added that “it was Chief John Ajugo’s apology to the Madi people which led to his death.” However, he also confirmed that the chiefs and some Madi people were in fact forced to sign the mandate.

Among them he mentioned late Jinno Luluga Kiji, the former youth leader of Nimule. He said Jinno Luluga Kiji was the first Madi who were forced to sign the mandate and to apologise to the Madi people for his lack of intention.

Shockingly, he was killed by sniff poison which was directed through his nose into his brain and later he died in Lachor hospital in Gulu as a mad man. Although any arrest wasn’t made, the conspiracy to kill him was carried out by some members of the internally displaced persons.

Sadly,the Madi people remained voiceless about it.

According to the latest news in Nimule, its true the death of the head Chief of Nimule was a conspiracy from the people who forced them to sign the proposed town council document and the internally displaced persons.

When the former youth leader was killed by sniff poison, his death was covered in his state of madness.

Today, covering the death of the head chief isn’t easy. The Eastern Equatoria State government and the internally displaced persons in Nimule have exploited the matter to torture the Madi themselves.

Arrest and Detention without Charges.
This is where the Human rights commission of South Sudan should intervene. As far as the conspiracy is concerned, several Madi have been consequently arrested and detained in Nimule barracks. Among them were the elders and youth activists. Most of them were Madi who stand against making Nimule a town council without consulting the Madi community.

These people are in a great pain in the barracks. Why should government of Eastern Equatoria State torture its people like this for what they rejected and said NO?

If the death of the head Chief is not a conspiracy, why the Madi people are to be arrested and tortured by the military wing in the barracks and yet there is the Nimule police station?

If its not a conspiracy, why Eastern Equatoria State government pushed for the third town council to be in Nimule instead of Magwi county headquarters?

Why is the government arbitrarily forcing a town council on the people when Madi had asked for a county?

To Madi who are working with the government like Dr. Anne Itto, the acting Secretary-general of the ruling SPLM and others: Your people are in pain, as they mourn the loss of their chief, some of them were in detention in the military barracks in Nimule.

This is a clear sign that the conspiracy is meant for more people to die. After my conversation with the commissioner of Magwi County, the county seems to have little knowledge about what is going on in Nimul and yet Nimule is within the Territory of Magwi County. This is a serious complication.

In conclusion, as the government of South Sudan is waiting for the investigation results, we should also be aware that most of the people who talked to this government investigation team were the internally displaced persons themselves who were more connected to the government than the Madi community.

Therefore, the chance of not representing the interest of Madi Community is very high.

As a lover of my country, I am requesting the Human rights Commission of South Sudan to intervene in this matter and talk to the Madi as a people to get the right information.

As south Sudanese, let us join our voices to condemn the inhuman torture of the Madi people.

Finally, the murder of the head Chief of Nimule was connected to the politics. Meanwhile here in Juba, Angelo Vuga, a leader of Madi, was arrested. These are things which can happen to any group of people. It happened to us in Juba which led to my peoples’ demand to have the ROSS government move the capital city out of Juba.

Unfortunately, it has happened in Western Bahar el Gazal State where people were forced to accept what does not favor them. The same happened in Yei, and now in Nimule.

The idea that the people should not be allowed to plan for themselves, but the government should do it for them, is totally objectionable.

Darius Tongu Swaka
Juba-South Sudan
September 14, 2013


14SEPT2013 001

Lakes State for Wrong Reason Again: Citizenship and Nationality rip off

BY: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, MAKERERE UNIVERSITY, Kampala, SEPT/14/2013, SSN;

Article 45 of the Transition Constitution of the Republic of South of 2011 provides that every person born to a South Sudanese mother or father shall have an inalienable right to enjoy South Sudanese citizenship and nationality. The subject of this article rotates around the term inalienability of human rights in South Sudan.

The term “unalienable rights,” as used in the Constitution means that a right to citizenship and nationality cannot be surrendered, sold or transferred to someone else. Moreover, they are not granted by the States but accrued to any person by virtue of being born a human being. They’re also called natural rights.

It is mandatory for South Sudan Government as indicated by the word “shall” to ensure that the right to nationality and citizenship is assured for all South Sudanese. The inalienable rights require South Sudan to respect rights of South Sudanese to citizenship and nationality, which are the basis of their identity.

The respect of citizenship and nationality requires South Sudan to promote, fulfil and enable every South Sudanese to realize them. In other words, inalienable rights also referred to as natural rights. Natural rights are rights which are not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable.

The inalienable rights give rise to citizenship and nationality. They are the basis of equal rights and duties for all South Sudanese. Every citizen in South Sudan must be allowed to enjoy all the rights to citizenship and nationality guaranteed by the Transitional Constitution of 2011 without any limitation of any kind. They are protected by law of South Sudan.

The law regulates citizenship and naturalization and ensures that no any citizen whether naturally born by one or both parents who are South Sudanese by nationality or naturalized shall be deprived of his or her acquired citizenship except in accordance with the law.

The South Sudan Nationality Act 2011 entered into force on 9 July 2011 applies the referendum criteria that were applied during the referendum where the South Sudanese nationality of individuals is determined by virtue of a child being born to one parent, grandparent or great-grandparent born in South Sudan and also to individuals belonging to one of the “indigenous ethnic communities of South Sudan”, and to those whose parents or grandparents had been habitual residents of South Sudan since 1956 to 9th July, 2011.

The right to nationality is therefore guaranteed by the Transitional Constitution of 2011 and the South Sudan Nationality Act 2011. Hence, the right of all South Sudanese to acquire South Sudanese nationality is inalienable right that the Republic of South is to ensure that it is accessible to all.

The Republic of South Sudan must facilitate every South Sudanese to have access to national identity, which is the conclusive evidence of citizenship in South Sudan.

The national identity card must be made accessible to all. Accessibility has the following elements: it must be non-discriminatory; it must have physical accessibility, economic and information accessibility to all citizens.

The Republic of South Sudan must stop the government of Lakes State policies of hiking the taxation fee charged for issuing national identity card, which denies many South Sudan citizens from Lakes State their right to nationality and citizenship contrary to Article 45 of the Transitional Constitution 2011 and against the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness of 1961.

By increasing fee for acquiring national identity card from about seventy South Sudanese Pounds charged in Juba to three hundred pounds in Lakes State is very unfortunate, discriminatory and a violation against the rights of all South Sudanese in Lakes State.

It prevents many from accessing their right to nationality due to poverty and by implication denies them their inalienable right to citizenship.

Citizenship is the basis of equal rights and duties for all South Sudanese. The citizens of South Sudan from Lakes State are being denied economic accessibility to acquire nationality.

The reason being that majority of the citizens in South Sudan are living on less than dollar a day and cannot afford to pay to pay three hundred pounds charged on the national identity; it is unreasonable action to see State nationality office charging such price.

The action of Lakes State office of national identity card for charging citizens of South Sudan from Lakes State such an amount of money is unconstitutional and illegal.

In addition, the action is discriminatory, which is against Article 14 of the Transitional Constitutional of the Republic of South Sudan. It is discriminatory because the people of Lakes State are being charged separately from those in Juba.

The policy of Lakes State is money minded. The policies should not be money oriented and exploitative in nature to the extent of forgetting that the citizens of South Sudan have suffered enough from economic disparities. The policies of the Government should be tuned towards empowering all the citizens economically.

The fact that South Sudan is facing economic difficulties does not warrant the government of the Republic of South Sudan to exploit the citizens. The action of the State office of nationality is bad and there is a need for condemnation.

A lack of resources cannot justify inaction or indefinite postponement of measures to implement all human rights including facilitating accessibility to the national identity card.

The Republic of South Sudan must, if it decides to delay or postpone the realization of other rights, it must demonstrate that they are making every effort to improve the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, even when resources are scarce.

The Republic of South Sudan, as a matter of priority, must seek to ensure that every South Sudanese has an access to nationality. The national identity card which qualifies individual to be a national of a given country is a special document.

The national identity card is not like any other normal document that can just be forgone or postponed. As it is known in South Sudan, an individual cannot successfully apply for employment without national identity card.

Denying it to people of South Sudan indirectly through hiking of fees is a violation of the rights of South Sudanese to employment of all kinds as they are likely to be treated like foreigners in their own country.

The action of the Lakes State is illogical and disproportionate. The government of Lakes State of the Republic of South Sudan should not treat her own citizens in a colonialist style.

The Republic of South Sudan should change this type of style of running the country and instead, its policies should be determined by the welfare of the citizens, which should be the driving force behind every government service in South Sudan.

The government of the republic of South Sudan should not forget the reasons why Southerners took up arms. The long and heroic struggle South Sudanese underwent was basically for justice, freedom, equality and dignity in South Sudan.

The national identity being one of the essential goods should be availed to all citizens at equal but cheaper or subsidized prices. It is unlawful to charge people based on what they would have paid if they were to travel as it is the determining factor for increasing the fee for national identity in Lakes State.

The reason for creating decentralization in the issuing of the national identity is to reduce the expenses the citizens would have incurred if they were to travel and also make services available to citizens at an equal rate.

The government in Juba must clean up all the officers that corrupt the system to their own benefit. It is sad to always talk about Lakes State for wrong reasons.

In conclusion, I call upon the government of the Republic of South Sudan to intervene and investigate the increase in the money paid for the national identity card and set the price at equal rate with that which is charged on national identity card in Juba. There is no need in increasing the money charged on the national identity in Lakes State, Rumbek.

NB; the Author is South Sudanese Fourth Year Law Student from Makerere University Uganda. He can be reached via: +256783579256, or Email:

Would the exiled reform Movement dislodge the ruling SPLM from power in 2015?

BY: John Juac, WINDSOR, Ontario, Canada, SEPT/14/2013, SSN;

It is unlikely that President Kiir Mayardit has ever read remarkably perceptive messages from his people in social media. If he had, he might have well pondered the messages and great debates which often describe the state sector as non-exist after independence. When the South Sudanese nation finally recovers its freedom of speech, one may hear so much contentions that the amazed world will think the times of the Tower of Babel are back.

Indeed, South Sudan of this day is beginning to sound like the mythical tower; on almost every major issue, and wide-ranging and even potentially explosive debates are in progress. Some are taking place in the official mass media. Some are surfacing in the newly emerging and still very limited underground organs of dissent, and others are occurring literally in the expatriate community, through lively public encounters.

The scope and substance of the Internet debates unleashed in the quest for a political reform involving major and interlocking issues. Collectively, they are dynamically fracturing the already fragile expatriate community and national unity back home. Each of the major subjects under debate tend to overlap with others, thereby widening the range and intensifying the vigor of the disputation among the politically conscious but splinter groups of the South Sudanese society.

The central focus of public debate is the state sector; it has been taken over by gangsters and all the important institutions that are crucial for running the new nation have been debauched: the army, police, civil service, state media, parliament and judiciary.

Each institution has been packed with the leaders’ tribesmen and sycophants; professionalism and accountability in these institutions have been destroyed and the result is the institutional breakdown evidenced in many African countries.

Thus, for the rising opposition leaders within what is known as the exiled reform movement, the solution is simple: a complete overhaul of the defective state vehicle is needed; the state vehicle must be reclaimed; the reckless driver tossed out; and each system checked and rewired.

In practical terms, the ruling SPLM’s political model must be dismantled; built in its place must be democratic system that admits open participation by those who have heretofore been excluded. The system whereby one group monopolizes both political and economic power is untenable and ultimately explosive.

Similarly, the corrupt government must be let go and political and economic power return to the people. According to a man who identified himself as a chairperson of the exiled reform movement, whose membership is yet to grow, the other major reform needed is institutional. The various institutions of government must be reformed and professionalism established in each.

Soldiers of the SPLA must do what they have been trained to do and not impose themselves on the political arena and the judiciary must learn how to dispense justice fairly and without fear and favor.

The main areas in which the reform must take place are institutional, political, intellectual and economic. Since political and economic systems are inseparable in the new nation, the chairperson and his followers maintained that they must go hand in hand.

However, some journalists who attended a public discussion could not endorse their program of reform, claiming that economic and political reforms do not address where the institutional and intellectual systems should be placed in the sequence, but believed that perhaps by deductive analysis, they could all make some headway together.

A South Sudanese economist working for a big international business firm came to a similar conclusion and reminded his comrades that political freedom is essential to a nation’s economic success. A free press, he said, is vital for a free market because it enables people to make informed decisions.

If this is missing, then the economic autonomy will surely fail because “you cannot have a free press and have a centralized, authoritarian government.”

In fact, economic reform cannot be implemented in a country like South Sudan where a civil war or strife is raging; the present strife is really a conflict over yet-unresolved political issues pertaining to the right of participation in the decision-making process, an effort by those individuals excluded from the process to remove the ruling elite from power.

To emphasize his claim, the economist recalled a 2010 dispute over some aspect of the electoral process that triggered a rebellion in Jongeli state and in other regions of the country. “Clearly, the economy cannot be meaningfully reformed until the political question has been settled,” he averred.

The institution of democracy may not necessarily rescue the economy of the country but it makes all difference whether the country- and, therefore, the economy- exists or not. We can never comprehend our national crisis so long as we continue to assume that it is an economic one. What we are confronting is primarily a political crisis, albeit with devastating economic consequences.

The new authoritarian state has assumed the roles of economic regulator, planner and entrepreneur, and in this case, economic reform under authoritarian regime is not sustainable. South Sudan is characterized by weak authoritarian regime that maintains its authority through personalistic patron-relationship, and this relationship is prone to sudden and erratic changes that produce political instability.

This instability impedes correction of structural imbalances.

Another problem South Sudan contents with today is the struggle for power within the SPLM nationalist party, which often spills over to the already ethnically divided country.

Meaningful economic reform cannot occur under the watchful eyes of the ruling SPLM coconut heads unless the power equation is resolved. The political uncertainty and instability discourage business investment, so a new leader would make thing easier for foreign investors.

In the same vein, significant institutional reform may be achieved more readily under a new leader. But resolving the leadership and political issues requires intellectual freedom.

Can citizens freely debate the reform issues in South Sudan where in every city, town and village, supporters of the SPLM nationalist party and police spies can report the smallest expression of dissent; in South Sudan where President Kiir Mayaardit can use his powers under a preservation of public security, to detain people who disagree with him on the important matters of public interest without charge; in South Sudan where President Mayarrdit can order a court judge to sentence to death any person perceived to pose a threat to his authoritarian regime.

The recent death sentences imposed on the innocent people by a court judge in Wau, the capital of Western Bahr el Ghazal state are clear examples. The new law passed after independence does not permit a real freedom of expression, but it does offer senior cabinet ministries immunity from prosecution of administrative corruption and members of the ruling SPLM as well.

In addition, the mass media is firmly in control of the SPLM’s authoritarian regime. The crucial issue in political reform, said one of the journalists, is the regime’s monopoly over the principal mass media. A free flow of information is vital not only for democratic society but also for sound economic management.

The establishment of a free marketplace of ideas is necessary if a reform is to be internally generated. But this is hardly possible in a repressive environment in which freedom of expression is not tolerated and journalists are routinely harassed by a regime that refuses to obey its own laws.

Undoubtedly, a free and private press is an effective antidote for corruption and economic mismanagement. Therefore, intellectual reform must precede political, which, in turn, must precede economic reform. The latter can be implemented under new leadership.

Further, a support for the basis of this argument, the journalist added, is derived from five steps in problem resolution. The first is the exposure of the problem, which is the business of journalists, editors, writers and intellectuals. A problem cannot be solved if it is swept under a rug. Freedom of expression and to publish is required for problems to be exposed.

More important, it is the South Sudanese people who ultimately must devise their own solutions to their problems. But they need the freedom of expression to debate and determine what solutions which would be optimal.

In general the participants agreed that openness, the free flow of information and meaningful political choices are the keys to accountability and resulting control of corruption. They also concluded that the print media afford forums for publishing and exchanging ideas and solutions to problems.

The authoritarian regime of President Kiir Mayardit, however, has disregarded the critical importance of intellectual freedom, which embraces the freedom of expression, press freedom and free flow of information.

A pertinent characteristic of South Sudan’s political system is the rigid control exercised over the content and flow of information: what can be said, printed or disseminated by the people, editors and publishers. The system does not know that the free flow of information is vital for an economy if foreign investors are to make sound decisions.

A media specialist also pointed out that censorship, injudicious detention and intimidation of journalists work against the public’s right to information and the right to hold and express opinions and ideas. Both rights are guaranteed under Article 19 of the U.N. Charter and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights to which South Sudan is the signatory. This open discussion was conducted at the community Center here in August this year.

The Resistance to Political Reform

To become rich in South Sudan, one does not have to produce anything. All one has to do is to enter politics, become a government official, and use the office to amass personal fortune. The main problem is that the young nation’s leaders do not have a progressive view of the meaning of holding public office.

In Canada and other countries, public office is seen as way to provide selfless service to one’s nation. It is held in very high regard, with the knowledge that those in public office are accountable to those they serve.

To South Sudanese officials, it is merely an opportunity to enrich self and kindred. A bunch of cabinet ministries continue to do disservice to the entire nation by playing favorites with certain ethnic groups and ignoring others.

When Kwane Nkrumah exhorted Africans to Seek ye first the political kingdom, independence from colonial rule, he probably had no idea how this dictum would be perverted in South Sudan. The burning obsession of the educated southerners is to seek the political kingdom, government office to enrich themselves.

Unfortunately, only one person can be the president and minister at a time so a fierce competition erupts for those posts. And once they are secured, by means fair or foul, they must never be given up because expulsion from the state sector can mean an economic death sentence. Thus, the occupants of these government positions must do all that they can to remain in these posts forever.

Even among South Sudan’s expatriate community, politics still remains very attractive; thousands of South Sudanese exiles in North America and Europe are patiently waiting for the chance to become the next president and minister in their new nation.

But political and economic situations in their fledgling nation continue to remain distressing. The euphoria that gripped many as the wind of change swept the region following formal independence has been replaced with a sense of disillusionment.

Disillusion and frustration about lack of progress in arresting the country’s crisis have also led some exiled groups instigating for political reform. However, the quack revolutionaries simply are not interested in reforming their abominable system. They may defend their positions and perks to even death.

Mobilizing the masses and pressing for political reform is one thing. Actually wining election is a far more difficult in a country where the ruling party controls the media and dominates virtually every phase of the election process, from registering voters to deciding the location of the poll places. South Sudan’s autocrats are far more endurable than their counterparts in the neighboring countries.

There may be a fierce resistance to reform from several sources. After independence, the leaders of the SPLM nationalist party have built a cult of personality around themselves with an air of invincibility and infallibility. The new nation’s fortunes and destiny are very much tied up with their personalities.

Mr. Kiir Mayardit and his followers get this absurd notion that the country belongs to them and them alone. They have their hands so steeped in blood and their pockets so full of booty that they are afraid all their past glory misdeeds may be exposed. Since accepting reform of any kind, is an admission of failure or fallibility, they may put up all sorts of arcane reasons to block reform. So they may cling to power at all cost, regardless of the consequences in 2015.

Another source of resistance may come from sycophants and supporters, drawn from the ruler’s own tribe. Ethnicity may add an even more, dangerous element to quest for the political reform issue in South Sudan.

It may cast the issue into tribal rivalry: one tribe, fearing that it may lose its dominant position in government, may oppose the transition to the multi-party system of government, while the other excluded tribe may resort to violence to dislodge the ruling tribe from power. Other supporters may simply be bought: soldiers with big fat paychecks and perks; students with free tuition and hefty allowances; intellectuals, the existing opposition leaders and lawyers with big government posts and Mercedes Benz es.

The final potent source of resistance may come from the elite: high government officials, intellectuals, journalists with state media and civil servants. These people benefit immensely from government subsidies and control. They have access to free government housing and medical care and are entitled to government loans for the purchase of cars and refrigerators.

Occupying presidency is a lucrative business and President Mayardit and his supporters have amassed legendary personal fortunes. Their business empires may collapse if economic reform strips them of state control. Economic reform may also undermine their ability to maintain their political support base and thus prove suicidal.

On the other hand, ordinary city residents are too traumatized by the growing insecurity to mount any effective challenge to the country’s brutal dictators. Peasants in the rural regions, the majority of the population, are notoriously difficult to organize when it comes to a political game.

So how would the exiled reformers gain popular support from peasants and push these conservative forces toward changing South Sudan to the multi-party system of government? Or would they be able to make a holy alliance with a ragtag army of rebels to mount effective challenge to quack revolutionary leaders?

Let us wait and see.

John Juac Deng
Sudanese journalist/writer

What really causes the delay in Government salaries?

BY: Andrew A. Nikenora, Rumbek, SEPT/13/2013, SSN;

The tough promise by the new Minister of Finance, Commerce, Trade and Industry, Mr. Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, that he would raise non-oil revenue collection in 100 days did not meet any necessary euphoria. In fact, nobody talked about it again the day after his announcement.

The reasons as to why people did not celebrate such a beautiful economic promise are many. Apart from the fact, that people have real substantiated doubts on whether the Minister would walk the talk by the end of the day or not, the underlying issue – and actually what could have caught the public attention – is the timely payment of Government salaries.

The apathy in the minister’s promise provokes a million of reasons. Some seem to be small but they factor in the lives of other people.

To raise the revenue collection is one thing but to manage it well is another thing.

South Sudan’s non-oil revenue can sustain the economy of the country if proper procedures, good measures and right regulations are put in place and implemented by people of meaningful integrity.

But without that done people will just continue to believe that this promise has just happened only to be listened to but will surely pass without anything visibly reaped by the public.

People who happened to know Minister Tisa Sabuni before described him as a tough administrator but fears have equally been expressed on whether he will remain the same guy he used to be or a manoeuvred one.

His statement is already being analysed simply as one to make him appear like he is ready for the job.

Another hurdle in implementing the promise of the new Minister is how hard it has been to discipline the junior staff employed in Nimuli, Kaya, the airports and across major towns of South Sudan.

These junior staffs have crafted ways and means to direct money to their own pockets. For them, it is brain encountering brain.

When the ministry concerned puts instructions in place, they also sit and plan on how to go overcome them. Those who know how to cheat better, are referred to as genius.

Big officials just like those ones and they are called ‘good boys’. They end up building hotels, houses, marry wives and shoulder concubines with public purse.

But as the minister tries his efforts, the other important concern must be placed on his table: what delays the government salaries? What can the minister promise about that?

During the days of the CPA, the delay of the government salaries was blamed on Khartoum.

When the oil flow was shut-down, the delay of government salaries was on blamed on what even those did not go to school now understands, the so-called ‘liquidity.’

Now we are an independent nation and free from Khartoum, can we know our problems?

Our oil has been flowing from April, is there still liquidity problem? The public needs to know and understand what are the problems are associated with salary payments.

One can have anything it his or her mind, but the conclusion by people is just wrapped around two issues about the delay in their pay: a matter of negligence or lack of proper systems for speedy transfer of funds to the states.

Most people do not have lots of money like ministers and other public officers do. Most people who work for government only wait for the end of the month to earn cash in hand. But delay in pay has devastated lives of many government workers.

Some people already turn down government jobs for NGOs work even for a lower pay – the reason being the unreliable, untimely and untrustworthiness of the government pay.

Those who choose to hold on – maybe for lack of alternatives or love of their jobs – continue to carry the burden of service offered every week and service delayed every month.

It actually becomes so painful when one budgets the little money to take him or her towards the end of the month, you are led again into the middle of another month without pay.

When circumstances of emergency or any other essentiality hit like treatment or payment of school fees, you go to borrow money from those who have money and pay it back with ‘riba’.

Riba is a word for interest that is usually charged when you pay back the amount borrowed. For every 100 SSP you borrow, you pay an extra 50 SSP as a profit to the lender.

The longer the salaries are delayed, the more you pay in interest over the same loan. It reaches a cycle where others are tied in complete rounds of loan.

So, a teacher in grade 14 who earns about 300 SSP per month borrows 100 pounds, he will have to pay back 150 SSP, that is already half of his salary. Left with 150 SSP and with a bag of flour going at more than 100 SSP the guy is left with nothing for soap and salt let alone medical care for the family, which are sometimes very very extended ones.

The following month the salaries are late again and before you get the next pay problems are already many that you have to go back for the same loan with ‘riba’.

The unpredictable pay scheme pushes to go on and on borrowing and borrowing until it reaches a time when they just come on a pay-day to sign the pay sheets just to pay the lenders.

Minister after minister, the issue of delay of government salaries has remain unresolved. Tisa’s appointment has led people into discussing his reputation, but one month on he promised nothing and did nothing about the government salaries.

It is almost one month down the line and there no change in payment of government salaries. That he will raise the revenue is heard all over.

Down the line it will be seen if the promise will be delivered in 90 days. But there still questions one would wish to ask: what causes the delay of the government salaries and what is the institution concerned doing about it?

Only one Hon Aggrey Tisa Sabuni has the answers!

Andrew A. Niknora works in Rumbek. He can be reached at

The Absurdity of Peace-building in South Sudan (I)

BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, RSS, SEPT/13/2013, SSN;

In traditional conflict resolution approach, also known as conflict management or track I diplomacy, there are three technical phases or frameworks that peace scholars, practitioners and negotiators have largely identified as dictating the path of building peace in any given conflict.

The three phases are: peacemaking where a political settlement mediated by negotiators is facilitated in a roundtable peace negotiation process between the conflict belligerents; peacekeeping where keeping the peace is undertaken usually by a regionally or globally mandated peacekeeping force after a peace agreement has been signed; and peace-building where state and nation building, and reconstruction and development processes and activities are pursued by various institutional stakeholders to ensure a lasting peace in the conflict setting. The strategic objective is that with one less conflict too many, comes more regional and international peace and stability.

The overall rubric that characterizes conflict resolution as such, for lack of better phrase may be called “technical peace” pursuit. This is also most popularly known as “democratic peace” or “liberal peace” approach, and is the most dominant practice of conflict resolution in the world today. It finds appeal in the most powerful countries in the West and is practised by actors representing most global institutions, such as the United Nations, and regional bodies, such as the European Union (EU), and the African Union (AU), among others.

In fact, there is a widespread persuasion shaped by the democratic peace thinking that the “panacea” for world peace lies in inculcating a long laundry list of democracy, human rights, rule of law, security sector reform and economic liberalization in conflict settings across the world.

It is argued according to this view that democratic states do not go to war with each other, and that countries that have McDonalds, for instance (here symbolizing free market economy) do not fight each other.

Phrased another way building sustainable peace in conflict settings around the world hinges on this one-size-fits-all promotion of democratic or liberal peace, it is widely held.

Arguably, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in Khartoum and the now ruling Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Juba, is predominantly shaped by this technical peace global mentality. Tragically, the absurdity of peace-building in South Sudan is precisely that the whole technical peace approach is counter-intuitive and does not work in our conflict.

The view is shared by many scholars who have noticed that most peace agreements signed under this dominant conflict management or track I diplomatic environment do not last more than five years from the date of inking the agreement to the resumption of violent conflicts.

More recently, the one-size-fits-all democratic peace as imported from abroad this way has exacerbated violent conflicts from Afghanistan to Iraq to Somalia and now South Sudan, just to mention but a few. If the Arab Spring that is sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East region is thrown into the mix, as is the case in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere, the conclusion is even more surreal.

Given the historicity and complexity of Sudanese conflicts, the peace-building size that is needed should have been at least an XXL, and preferably tailored and custom-made to neatly fit our conflict.

The same conflict-specific approach to conflict resolution would have been prudent in the examples cited above and many more. Unfortunately, and despite some of its significant achievements, particularly the historic deliverable of the independence to South Sudan as a sovereign state, the CPA was nowhere close to promoting a comprehensive and lasting peace in the two Sudan. The agreement has utterly failed as comprehensive conflict resolution and as a mechanism for power sharing in the Sudan as it purports.

It is my view that the current hostile and volatile political reality in South Sudan and the polarization of violent conflicts in different parts of Sudan is partly incentivized by the CPA.

In order to understand why I view the CPA as a major contributing factor to the conflict, it is useful to briefly examine the various components of the peace process, including the different protocols and provisions, and the different actors involved in the peace deal.

Prior to the CPA process, it is worth noting that several attempts were made to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the second North-South conflict between the Government of Sudan (GoS), and SPLM/A. As early as August 1989, almost two months after the National Islamic Front (NIF), now the NCP ascended to power in Khartoum in a military coup, the two parties met in Addis Ababa, and then in Nairobi in December of the same year through the unofficial mediating channels of the former President of the United States, Jimmy Carter.

But when SPLM/A insisted on the abolition of Islamic Sharia, which is at the center of the conflict, the negotiations stalled.

Another round of peace talks was resumed by the US state Department in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC) in 1990, then in Abuja-Nigeria under the patron of Nigerian President Ibrahim Babangida. However, both attempted rounds of negotiations faltered, without any noticeable progress.

In 1994 the African regional agency the then Inter-Governmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD), composed of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda organized another round of negotiations, and although the parties did not reach a settlement to the conflict, they agreed on humanitarian assistance, and signed a declaration of principles.

Nelson Mandela then led another roundtable negotiation in 1997, which was followed up by the now renamed Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) from 1997-2001. This resulted in an agreement on humanitarian ceasefire, but without settling some of the outstanding issues such as self-determination and North-South border demarcation.

An agreement on cessation of hostilities followed in Switzerland in 2002, under the aegis of the Swiss and US governments, which set the stage for the subsequent conclusion of Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Signed between the SPLM and the NCP in the Kenyan town of Machakos in January 09, 2005, under the mediating efforts of the Kenyan General Lazaro Sumbeiywo, sponsored by IGAD, and observed by a Troika comprised of United States, United Kingdom and Norway, the CPA is a conglomerate of earlier six partial agreements, which were then compiled into the accord and hence the misleading qualifier “comprehensive.”

The first agreement, which set forth the basic framework for the peace process and future negotiations, is the Machakos Protocol signed on July 22, 2002. Appended to the protocol was another agreement, which stipulates “the need for a pre-transition period of six months, a six-year transition period, followed by an internationally supervised referendum for the south, where secession should be one of the options.”

Moreover during the transition period, an expanded multiparty government was stipulated to rule Sudan from Khartoum, while giving the South some autonomy.

The second agreement, “the Agreement on Security Arrangements” was signed on September 25, 2003. It arranges for a comprehensive ceasefire that was to come into force once the CPA was signed, and reduced the number of legally recognized armed forces into the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), and the Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA).

The two legally recognized armed forces were to remain independent, but Joint Integrated Units (JIUs) from the two were to be created. These troops are to be based in South Sudan, Khartoum, the Nuba mountains and the Blue Nile throughout the transition period.

The third agreement was a “wealth sharing” agreement signed January 04, 2004 that provided for equal sharing of the oil revenue between GoS and the semi-autonomous government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) during the interim period.

The fourth accord signed on May 26, 2004 is composed of three protocols. A power sharing protocol contained three core provisions, including the drafting of an interim constitution, the formation of a Southern Government, and power sharing in Khartoum, and the late John Garang was to become the first Vice-President of the Sudan.

The fifth agreement relates to Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile regions, dubbed the “Protocol on the Resolution of the Conflict in southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States.” This was signed on May 26, 2004 and provided for a popular consultation to determine the status of these regions.

The sixth and final political settlement also signed on the same day as the fifth agreement, is the Abyei Protocol or the “Protocol on the Resolution of the Conflict in Abyei Area.”

The core provision of this protocol is the stipulation on a referendum that was to take place concurrently with the Southern Sudanese self-determination referendum on January 09, 2011, where Abyei people will decide if they want to retain the special administrative status in the north, or join the Southern Sudanese state of Bahr el Ghazal.

But as we all know too well the Abyei referendum remains the stuff of a dream as the two parties SPLM and NCP continue to disagree on voters’ eligibility, the North-South border demarcation and other differences together now known as the post-secession outstanding issues.

In view of the preceding presentation, how does the CPA contribute to the conflict, and hence the absurdity of peace-building in South Sudan?
It is clear here that the peace process was conducted over an extended period of time, which began in earnest approximately seven years into the resumption of the second civil war in 1982.

There was ample time and space to include other key stakeholders to the conflict from regional actors such as Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, and Egypt, who supported the North-South belligerents on various levels and capacities, to local actors such as other political parties, other armed groups, the civil society (if any), and religious organizations.

Yet the absurdity of peacebuilding in South Sudan and greater Sudan at large is that key stakeholders in the conflict were not invited to the negotiation table. Moreover, there was also enough time and space for the agreement to be more comprehensive in the true sense of the word and address the issues that have proven sticking points and have spoiled and derailed sustainable peace in the two countries.

In other words, the CPA should have clearly spelled out as part of the negotiation process, mechanisms for addressing the current outstanding issues from border demarcation, Abyei referendum, and the status of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, among other key issues. The resolution of these issues are now proving costly in terms of time and resources spent, and have almost triggered a resumption of all-out war in April, 2012, and could yet ignite another war between the two Sudan.

Oddly enough, though a product of democratic peace, the CPA lacked any democratic principles and punitive mechanisms that could have held the subsequent current regimes in Khartoum and Juba accountable, to safeguard its full implementation in a spirit of democracy and inclusive participation to promote sustainable peace in the two countries.

Instead, Khartoum was left at large and derailed and obstructed the implementation of the CPA at will, with little accountability. As can be seen now, Khartoum continues to embark with impunity with its deliberate obstruction of the implementation of all new and old provisions related to the resolution of Abyei status and all the remaining outstanding issues.

Given Khartoum’s poor track record in honoring peace agreements, it is difficult to see how the Abyei issue can be resolved while the current NCP regime remains in charge, not even when the President of South Sudan is seen humiliatingly bowing before the Sudanese flag during his last visit up north!

Bow down or not, it took less than one week for Khartoum to violate South Sudan’s sovereignty and bombed areas within South Sudan’s territory killing a couple of innocent South Sudanese citizens.

Indeed it has already been shown on previous occasions in the past, including when it arrogantly rebuffed the final ruling of the Abyei Boundaries Commission (ABC) that Khartoum does not have good faith more generally but even more so when it comes to Abyei.

Stunningly, on one occasion, as John Prendergast and Roger Winter noted in their report entitled “Abyei Sudan’s Kashmir,” President Bashir speaking to his paramilitary Jihadists, the so-called “people’s defense forces,” even derided the ABC ruling on Abyei by telling the crowd that the ABC commissioners should “dilute their report and drink it.”

In Sudan’s culture such a statement is the utmost insult and the ultimate condescension attitude as it can get. It basically means you are not recognized and are being asked to take a hike.

To prove this point, Khartoum even reneged from the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on Abyei borders, despite the ruling being in its favor, and despite Khartoum’s initial acceptance of the ruling.

These obstructionist policies, reinforced by the vagueness of messaging, and lack of punitive measures and accountability in CPA, led to the current impasse on the status of Abyei. Overall, “CPA has been characterized by unmet deadlines…”

Thus, the CPA has proved to be impotent in handling the Abyei situation and thereby created space for derailment policies and contentions between the conflict belligerents. This in turn is increasingly fostering conditions conducive to unilateral declaration of Abyei as South Sudanese that could culminate in violent escalation.

Abyei aside, the CPA can also be viewed as exacerbating the conflict in other areas of the greater Sudan including within South Sudan.

To begin with the greater Sudan as a whole is a highly diverse and incoherent multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-lingual, multi-racial and multi-ethnic state.

According to Peter K. Bechtold in his “More Turbulance in the Sudan: A New Politics This Time?” the greater Sudanese social fabric is comprised of some 597 tribes that speak over 400 different languages and dialects—a diversity that has been characterized as “one of the world’s most heterogeneous societies that is almost a microcosm of Africa.”

And as we all know, Sudan, including its Southern territory also devotedly represents a microcosm of the African continent in its strong ethnic consciousness, racial and identity politics of domination, and marginalization which flame the various ugly violent armed struggles, as a way of negotiating grievances or greed for that matter.

Few groups if any in the periphery of the Sudan would claim they have been spared from domination, and political and economic marginalization by the center—Khartoum.

Despite this reality, the CPA was deliberated and concluded as a dyad peace process between NCP and SPLM, excluding the other groups with legitimate grievances, and thereby leaving the impression that grievance can only be taken serious under the barrel of the gun.

The crisis in Darfur, and other armed insurrections in the East and in the South are classic examples of how the CPA gave peace with one hand and incentivized violence with another.

In his brilliant article “A Flawed Peace Process Leading to a Flawed Peace,” John Young rightly pointed out that: “probably the biggest threat posed to the hopes for peace and stability in Sudan is the refusal of IGAD to respond positively to the demand of the rebels in Darfur for their voice to be heard in Naivasha.

The Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), the dominant rebel group in Darfur, purposely timed its insurrection as a direct response to the denial of a place for itself at Naivasha peace talks. It has explicitly stated a fear that power and resources would be divided between the GoS and SPLM/A at the expense of the rest of the country. IGAD and the Troika also rejected demands by SSDF [South Sudan Defense Force], NDA [Northern Democratic Alliance], the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and other groups for a place at the peace talks.”

Indeed it is no coincidence that at the time of signing of the CPA, Sudan Tribune reported that a study showed that there were about thirty different armed groups, with forces adding up to approximately thirty-thousand personnel, capable of disturbing any meaningful peace in the Sudan.

And yet the CPA ignored these groups, who have legitimate claims to power sharing, which makes them even more determined to make their voices heard by physical coercion, and spoiling the peace as is currently evident.

For this reason it is not an exaggeration to label post-CPA Sudan as an absurdity of peace-building and accuse the CPA of complicity in the conflict. By excluding other groups, from the negotiation table, the CPA was not serious about promoting sustainable peaceful in the greater Sudan.

Moreover, by confining power sharing to two parties only, the CPA implicitly reinforced the policy of marginalization and domination practised by Khartoum.

Sadly, as we now see in Juba the power sharing arrangements of the CPA have been used by the SPLM to aggressively implement marginalization policies across regions, tribes, clans and political interest syndicates.

This has created space for political opportunism, corruption and nepotism as different actors scramble for the crumbs that fall off the table of powers that be in Juba, and thereby deepening identity divides in an already highly ethnically charged and militarized society.

Thus the power sharing protocol of the CPA has been aptly summed up by Young as “a formula designed by the GoS to let Garang, and his supporters grab the lion’s share of power and thus precipitate tribal conflict in the South.”

Finally, the absurdity of peace-building in South Sudan lies in that the CPA legitimizes centralization of authority, and reconfigures in the South the same power structures that existed in the North.

As Young succinctly concludes: “under the direction of the US-led Troika, IGAD has managed a peace process that is unlikely to lead to sustainable peace, and even less likely to result in Sudan’s democratic transformation. By failing to address the power inequities that are at the core of Sudan’s multiple crises, and failing to appreciate that conflict resolution in the periphery requires transformation at the center, it ensures that civil strife which already has spread from southern Sudan to the West will spread to other parts of the country…the weakness of the peace process can be said to begin with lack of a commitment to democratic values, the failure to bring other political forces and civil society organizations into the process, the absence of transparency of the process itself, the endorsement of power sharing by two parties that have no democratic credentials….”

Tongun Lo Loyuong is reachable at; and can be followed on twitter @TongunLoLoyuong. This and other pieces are also on his blog:

Don’t waste time counting on SPLM for salvation

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, SEPT/10/2013, SSN;

After having enjoyed the brilliant article written by my fellow countryman, Duop Chak Wuol, the Editor-in-Chief of the South Sudan News Agency, under the heading “The SPLM and the Rise of Autocracy in South Sudan”, I felt obliged to write a bit of a critique for this wonderfully done job.

Thank you, Chief Duop Chak Wuol, for an article well written, indeed you left no stone unturned as you navigated your way through this tedious journey to analyse the past, the present and the future of South Sudan and its diverse people in what looks like a rendezvous with destiny. I must also commend you for the possible scenarios that you in a kind forecast for South Sudan under the title of “Possible Consequences.”

Although I concur with most of what came in your forecasts, I just think that some of the scenarios therein are already everyday realities on the ground, unless of course we want to say that our country was doing well prior to the July 23rd 2013 President Salva Kiir’s bloodless internal coup.

While I don’t claim to know it any better than my fellow compatriots, South Sudan is already awash with tribal politics and communities deeply divided on regional and tribal lines. Whether this could go on to encourage or incite ethnic or regional rebellions, deepen mistrust between communities in the already fragile society, and further destabilize the new nation, is a thing left for time to tell.

Secondly the ruling SPLM party has also since long lost its vital grounds and regional politics have in the latest political transaction ascended to become the country’s number one place for political refuge, started by President Kiir and the rest followed suite.

Again whether this is likely to cause any uprising against the ruling party, as you suggested is also left for the days to confirm.

No two sound minded South Sudanese can disagree on the fact that the new country’s so-called national parliamentarians have given in and are openly being influenced or guided by regional and tribal politics.

Those who are closely following the events as they unfold in Juba and the state capitals, are already familiar with the one single truth that National or party politics, in this case has completely been reduced to define only how politicians adjust themselves to appease the president as His Excellency bulldozes his self-centered reforms.

Thus the national priority has long shifted from finding solutions to the national questions, formerly presented as the SPLM party’s slogans in the 2010 general elections and again parroted on the day of Independence. Now everything has shifted to how to make an immortal king out of the incumbent SPLM chairman.

A clear case in point is how President Salva Kiir poured millions of dollars in the regional conferences held both in Juba for the Greater Equatoria and in Wau for the Greater Bahr Ghazal prior to the last cabinet shake-up, in spite of the deafening calls for the ruling party’s convention.

Obviously a nationally oriented SPLM has given way to the newly conceived regionally oriented SPLM. Although this may guarantee a safe hold on power for the incumbent chairman, its implications on the future of the party is a thing that will come back to haunt not very long from now.

Hear it from your opponents and not your friends, for even now as things stand, president Kiir has become more inclined to doing business with MPs as regional and tribal blocks. And if this is not cementing regionalism and tribalism at the expense of political party democracy, then what is it supposed to lead to?

Unfortunately the good talk about SPLM changing its current political attitude and departing with its autocratic tendencies remains largely inconceivable as it falls on deaf ears.

The question is when wasn’t this party led autocratically in its three decades’ life span? We can’t expect President Salva Kiir who is now everything in the country to take any suicidal step by opening up to some kind of an intra-SPLM democracy that will only see him out in the streets, the next day.

The democratization of the SPLM would have been possible immediately following the CPA in 2005. But it never happened because some people chose to handle the country’s top priorities as if they were running a family business, and not a state that they share with other ten million compatriots.

In short, talking of democratizing the SPLM party is a more hopeless project than selling ‘cow dung cakes’ in a cattle camp. It simply doesn’t make sense. And it won’t either make sense to the current leader who is yearning to stay in office forever!

The SPLM party you are referring to is now a one-man property. Whether the SPLM-led government is prepared to face the serious consequences that will arise from the new dispensation will largely depend on how much political potential is still left in it.

However I must say that the true point lies in the emergence of a new political party that can vigorously challenge the status quo.

As you put it in your article, and I quote: “A popular and possibly stronger political party will emerge, and the SPLM will eventually lose its hold on the political, economic, security and military spheres.”

Without the least doubt, the salvation of South Sudan lies in the emergence of this second more popular and stronger political party which will not only steal the show from this corruption riddled SPLM, but will also provide the much needed political and socio-economic redemption to this new nation.

However, in spite of the political environment being ripe for a second political organisation under which South Sudanese opposed to the status quo can rally, it is unfortunate that the different opposition groups are being held behind by equally personal greed at the level of their leaders who can’t see the woods for the trees.

It is my personal understanding that most if not all of the current South Sudanese opposition politicians, were at one time either members or supporters or sympathisers of this degenerating mother SPLM party. Nevertheless they left it when the party wasn’t any more what they thought it was or should be…….no vision, no mission, and no democracy.

This being the case, is it not now time that they all come together to realize a one party which is not like SPLM in its downsides?

But no, it seems that for a good number of these so-called opposition figures, the SPLM aura and the culture of free for all, has succeeded to neutralize them. And instead of trying to oust the SPLM from leadership as most were made to expect, these guys are planning to keep SPLM in office while running under the table dealings with it.

If I were to head the cabinet affairs of an SPLM-led government, then you would understand what I mean!

The situation is not any different with those senior SPLM members who recently fell off with President Salva Kiir who is also the SPLM party chairman. None of the humiliated SPLM party officials is showing any signs of quitting to challenge the current leadership from outside the SPLM.

And under the sweeping re-structuring, any such a move from within will just be labelled as treason and no more.

President Salva Kiir had on more than one occasion gone ballistic and insulted his senior colleagues over the SSTV or in the Assembly Hall and all they did was to keep quiet. He again insulted their collective reasoning in the national legislative assembly by threatening to dissolve the parliament; no one amongst the SPLM rebels uttered a word.

Instead to everyone’s astonishment, the only visible protest came from an independent MP none but Dr. Richard K. Mulla.

What we are seeing here, I am afraid is a situation where many of our so-called politicians, are now cowed down only to consider issues that guarantee the safety of their daily bread, a thing many would not want to risk.

And this one, President Salva Kiir knows very well, just like the back of his hands. True leaders with guts are too few and worse still their actions are not coordinated, giving the dictator a wider space for manoeuvring.

As per the argument on the emergence of a new rebel movement that is far more powerful than any current or previous rebel groups, to surface at the current time, as you speculated, I think although it cannot be completely ruled out due to the fluidity of the existing political and socio-economic situations on the ground, but however should it happen, it will really be very unfortunate to say the least.

I can see your point when you said, and I quote: “In all successful societies, everyone must be willing to make sacrifices and the SPLM’s elites and citizens alike are not immune from these social responsibilities.”

I cannot agree with you more, albeit a peaceful and democratic transfer of power would have saved us all these.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Can be reached at:


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