Archive for: September 2013

Why South Sudanese can hardly wait for 2015!

BY: Simon M. Deng, JUBA, SEPT/09/2013, SSN;

It is obvious now that if nothing changes preferably to alter the hearts and minds of “the Benydiit” and his surrogates, the dream of the South Sudanese to be a free democratic nation in the hub of Africa would be a dead dream. Whoever still thinks democracy would happen in South Sudan just because we say it would, he might be fooling himself.

South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir (the Benydiit) does not want to see South Sudan differ from North Sudan because it would not make sense to him. Who are the South Sudanese to think Benydiit can build a nation from “ground” that diverges from neither her mother nation nor her “adopted mentor, Uganda’s father!”

For your information, South Sudan led by “the Benydiit” would not be any different from her mother nation nor her adopted mentor-father if this Benydiit remains an executive executer of the nation.

There are several examples that could convey to you this fact if you doubt it. However, I have no time to enlist them all, but among them though was the appointment of the Vice President and the new Speaker of the South Sudan Legislative Assembly and his deputies.

Let’s take the new Speaker of the South Sudan Legislative Assembly, for example. Though I do not know him and I hope he is a decent man, the selecting process for him and his deputies was done in a violation of the same Constitutional provisions that enabled this president to affront by his rampant decrees.

“No voting was conducted during the endorsement. A member of the assembly said Kiir on Monday clearly told them to elect Mr. Rundial and two deputies of his choice, reiterating his earlier intimidation of parliament to support his actions and choices or risk being dissolved…” (sudantribune.com, September 2, 2013).

Think about it a minute. This is the South Sudan that sacrificed millions of human lives to establish a government that should reflect her diversities and respect human rights and democratic principles, which were denied by the former motherland and her system for many years!

Think about your colleague comrades, who died for sake of this nation but their children, mothers, and widowed wives still beg on the populated city streets of Juba and other towns in South Sudan. Think about it for a second!

Why not “risk being dissolved” if what you and your comrades fought for is being destroyed and reversed? It is a shame that you, the South Sudanese politicians, forget why most of you took arms in the first place. Shame on you, my friends!

You can’t belly your better selves at the expense of your comrades blood that are sealed in the same land you are drinking her bloody oil money.

A country is blessed or cursed because of her leaders. What can this South Sudan gain from her leaders? Leaders are role models. Take Former South African President, Mandela who transitioned power to another leader after he held it for only four years, and this set a precedence now for South African’s political leadership.

One person can make a huge difference. Mandela encouraged the people of South Africa to live and share resources together despite their political, racial, and tribal differences.

He had developed a political culture that transfers power according to democratic principles which is what we need in South Sudan. He managed to reform governmental organizations in South African and their country is peaceful now as a growing, developing nation today because of his investment in it. Therefore, one leader can unveil a foundation.

POLITICAL FRAMEWORK OF SOUTH SUDAN
I posted an article last week: “The August 28th, 1991 brought us independence!” BY: Simon M. Deng, JUBA, South Sudan, AUG/29/2013, SSN. I did not aim to rift apart the already fragmented communities in South Sudan. I wanted to ensure, despite our tribal politics, a lasting document that always needs to be told as even though it pains sometimes.

South Sudanese fought colonies to have their sovereign state, South Sudan.
It was a long journey with losses and significant sacrifices. South Sudanese fought wars with British regimes and other occupiers including the North Sudan for sovereignty of the South Sudanese.

Anya I and II had the same principles. The KPA and CPA sealed the ambitions for millions of South Sudanese before July 9, 2011. The expectations of South Sudanese to have a meaningful government is extraordinary high, hoping their nation would address their past grievances with former colonies.

People of the South Sudan want a country of their choice, a state that embraces all people regardless of their regions or tribal contexts. It is also true to mention that South Sudanese love their communities and country. This was shown during the wars in 80s and in 90s.

Communities shared what they had with rebels, included their precious “wives” and “daughters” who were victims of the wars. Soldiers depended on local communities for food and other supported items in order to fight the wars.

I had personally witnessed this service being provided by a local community when I left Itang to a frontline in late 80s as a young soldier. I would have lost my life if I did not receive the help I needed from the local South Sudanese community in Eastern Nuer area. Many former soldier colleagues can attest to this fact.

These past sacrifices meant our people “expect” their current leaders to return nothing less than an anticipated government, a fair government, “a government of people by people and for people.” Unfortunately, we don’t have this government now in South Sudan, and it is so sad!

FUTURE OF SOUTH SUDAN IN AFRICA AND IN GLOBAL COMMUNITY
People of the South Sudan wish to have a regime that represents their interest as a democratic nation in the hub of Africa. With every blessing, South Sudanese are eager to guarantee South Sudanese nation as state of peace and prosperity. South Sudan does not want to replicate some of those dreaded African trends.

Proper change is essential if people of the South Sudan could think deeper and understand where they are centered in the continent. Our bordering states lack resources that our nation has and they would prefer to stay friendly with us than otherwise because they can benefit economically with us.

We also have challenges including gaps in our technical capacity to deliver quick and effective services, as well as transportation seaport for our oil which could be overcome by effective partnerships of good neighboring states.

I also believe it is imperative for South Sudan to develop a political system that embraces our culture and cultural norms in order for us to remain as a meaningful state in middle of Africa and as a new nation in the global community.

We cannot live in fear as it is constantly here in Juba and assume other community states would come and invest with us or welcome us as a thoughtful partner to their communities.

South Sudan cannot be a vibrant economical state if every oil dollar we receive either falls into Benydiit pockets or hidden for a future anticipated internal civil war in 2015 or before.

South Sudan cannot develop with this war mentality. It is evil to live like this. We must have to change our minds and our political leaders must consent to relinquish their political powers democratically if we are going to be the country we have hoped to be.

It is correct Dr. Kiir does not wish to see a day in his life where someone else could take his a seat either as the chairperson of SPLM or as the ruler of South Sudan government. He has attempted to intimidate those that desire his seat, include Dr. Riek, Pagan, and Rebecca Mabior.

Dr. Kiir plans to move the meeting of SPLM’s Political Bureau to Yei these coming weeks, because he wants his untrained army to surface him in order to gross his impulses.

He tricks the blind and criminalizes the innocent, such as Deng Alor because he told him enough is enough, and since history always likes to repeat itself, I believe this is another Yei Meeting after the first one that failed 22 years ago. Watch out!

But this time, though, it will differ because South Sudanese people have already smelt what they needed in Africa and in the global community!

CONCLUSION
South Sudanese have waited for so long, wishing to see their leaders reverse their misrule and return services to their people. This diverse nation needs a leader with a diverse heart and thinking skills which the country does not possess at this moment.

Our country needs a leader who does not care much about his tribe but all tribes, someone with vision and respect for human rights and democratic principles for the country.

This country needs a leader who cares not only for his children, but children whose fathers and mothers died because of this land.

South Sudan needs a leader with quality of partnership building, economic and political development, a role model leader for good leadership and character of democratic governing including but not limited to, fighting against tribalism, corruption, nepotism, insecurity, and lawlessness.

South Sudan does not have such a leader at the bench now, and to prosper and have a meaningful peace and development, the country needs a leader with democratic leadership qualities.

As such, President Kirr should be advisedly requested to plan a good political transition for a new leadership in 2015, so he would retire peacefully and be honored for the achievements of his last 10 year on seat!

Simon M. Deng is a South Sudanese activist. He lives in Juba Sudan and can be reached: simonm.deng@yahoo.com

The SPLM and the Rise of Autocracy in South Sudan

BY: Duop Chak Wuol, RSS, SEPT/06/2013, SSN;

Summary: This critique is an attempt to show how the SPLM runs and manages South Sudan, why it fails to live up to its promises, and the consequences that the people of South Sudan might face.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) is a political party in South Sudan. It was founded on democratic principles and waged a successful war against Khartoum’s brutal regime of more than twenty-four years. Yet despite the resolution of this bloody, decades-long struggle between Sudan and South Sudan, the hope for a democratic government that the people of South Sudan once had is slowly fading.

Both Khartoum and Juba are still complaining about each other for their own self-legitimizations, the young nation is overwhelmed with immense internal conflicts, and the leaders of the new republic are still struggling with ideas of Marxism-Leninism. The international community is thus left to choose between facts and lies as the liberated new country faces a gloomy future.

The SPLM: Legacy, forgotten promises, and deceptions

The successful 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that was signed between South Sudan and Sudan effectively made the SPLM the ruling party of South Sudan. The hopeful legacy of the SPLM has since been diminished and continues to diminish. The SPLM has had near-total control of political, economic, security, and military sectors, among others.

However, its promise is being undermined as it imposes autocratic practices that were among the very reasons it waged war against Sudan’s ruling party, the National Congress Party (NCP), from 1983 to 2005.

The SPLM runs and manages the country using a constitution that was designed, passed, and implemented to serve its own autocratic predispositions. This is the turmoil the young nation now faces, and it is contrary to the motivations of the people of South Sudan, who sacrificed their lives for the democratic promises of the SPLM.

The SPLM was founded on democratic principles and sought to liberate the marginalized Sudanese from Khartoum’s ferocious regime. The movement faced international isolation with some of the world’s most influential nations not recognizing its legitimacy, including the United States, United Kingdom and many other European nations, all of which cited communism and inhumane practices during the struggle as reasons to condemn it.

Nevertheless, the ideology of secular Sudan, first introduced and practised by the late South Sudanese leader Dr. John Garang, was instrumental in helping the SPLM regain the trust of some of the world’s most powerful players. Garang’s attempt to secularize Sudan was intended to transform the nation into a democratic state.

The SPLM was indeed involved in horrendous acts during its struggle, and it is now apparent that the concern initially raised by the Western countries about the practice of autocracy in the movement is being realized by the people of South Sudan. Under the leadership of the SPLM, those who were assumed to be visionaries during the struggle have since become vision-less.

Since assuming power as the ruling party of South Sudan, the SPLM-led government has backtracked from its democratic principles, subsequently demonstrating that it neither respects nor follows its own policies.

It was not long ago when the people of South Sudan embarked on a path to nationhood after years of being denied it by the Khartoum regime. However, they came to realize that their decades-long struggle led to more of the past they were trying to overcome; the common goal that the people of South Sudan fought for is slowly vanishing before their very eyes.

In 2007, I wrote an article titled The Untidy Path to Normalization in Southern Sudan (Sudan Tribune, October 7, 2007), which described the difficulty of creating a viable country under the SPLM and suggested the steps southern leaders at the time should take to achieve the goals set out under its democratic principles.

I also explored South Sudan’s internal conflicts and examined the causes and effects of ethnic conflicts in South Sudan. At the time, I was confident that the SPLM was moving in the direction that the party envisioned during the liberation struggle. It has since become clear that this was a naïve view.

I would like the South Sudanese to know that in a democratic country that which is good for an individual does not necessarily coincide with what is good for the collective—it usually does not. It is this very tension between individual and collective interests that creates a sense of responsibility in society.

Humans are not perfect, and that is why they establish laws to guide behavior. Hence, it is just as important for the ruling party of South Sudan to establish laws that are humane and respect human rights.

Such a commitment to and dedication for all South Sudan’s citizenry must be the central overarching vision of its rulers; only then can citizens enjoy the fruits of living in a just society. Without such a dedicated commitment on the part of rulers of South Sudan, the country devolves into a failed experiment, wherein its citizens are made to witness their ruling party continuously infringing upon and disrespecting laws on a large-scale.

When the government is not held accountable by its own laws, such laws do little to maintain social order and integrity.

The SPLM fails to understand that a political party with a moral vision for its citizens and country must always be guided by the principles of this vision when justifying its actions, rather than hiding selfish interests by coming up with false justifications that make it appear as though it is acting in the common interest of the people it governs, while in fact acting in the contrary ways.

However, this is not the case in South Sudan under the SPLM; the elites of the ruling party of South Sudan appear to have no plans for the nation. They enjoy describing their successes that they achieved when they were in the bush during the struggle, and assert that they should be accepted as the leaders who liberated the South Sudanese from Khartoum’s dreadful regime. No one would doubt or question these leaders’ bravery or loyalty during the long violent and agonizing wrestle for freedom.

But now as the smoke clears, these leaders, and everyone else fighting for a free South Sudan, must come to terms with the startling fact that their fight for justice has managed to carve out of the madness merely a potential for the establishment of a democratic country.

This potential must be made actual with equal bravery and dedication once evidenced on the battlefield. It is our new field of battle – but this time we must fight for peace and justice.

Most of these leaders are not interested in considering and constructively responding to criticism; they are satisfied with praises honoring their courage in the bush, but they cannot rest on their laurels.

If the SPLM is to be the only political party to provide essential services to the people of South Sudan, then it must make major changes. Failure to do so will force the competent South Sudanese to question the legitimacy of the party to act in the interest of the people who put it in power.

The ruling party must either act now to restore its tainted image or it must prepare for what could be a crushing end to a historic political party which was founded on a veneer of democratic principles. No government can shrug off critical issues that are vital to the survival of the nation and expect to remain in power without losing support and legitimacy.

Still, the SPLM-led government has shown an incredible capability to deal with public outcry without properly addressing concerns. It does this by using communist-style media tactics whereby it applies laws and implements peoples’ demands without verification.

In Juba, for instance, extra-judicial killings, tortures, illegitimate detainments, and intimidations are common. On occasions when the government knows the public is outraged, the SPLM will proclaim the launch of an investigation. Consequently, many investigations are broadcast, but none ever appear to satisfy the public because they are phony inquiries.

These deceptive manoeuvres are indicative of a lack of moral leadership within the ruling party. This is a clear indication that the party lacks an internal rationality, which is essential to rule for the interests of the people.

The elites of the ruling party are good at manipulating people. They do this with propaganda, intensifying media presence and releasing political pronouncements only when they know that the political pressure is overwhelming. This is one of the reasons the SPLM continues to manage and run the young nation like a one-party communist state.

When the president dissolved his cabinet on July 23rd, his cronies went to the media and publicly appealed to the people of South Sudan, claiming that everything was going to be fine. I am not sure if things are going as smoothly as the SPLM’s elites claim, though I am sure they now know the gravity of the situation.

Furthermore, during their appeal to the nation and the international community, some of these tyrannical admirers went on to claim that the next government was going to be more “lean and inclusive.”

Nonetheless, the SPLM has been known for many years as a party that does not follow its own principles. Thus, one is left wondering the extent to which the new government really matches the portrayals of the president and his cronies.

However, one thing is clear: the people of South Sudan know who is who and what is what in the government as well as in the political dome of the SPLM. This is the 21st century, and there are no longer concealments behind which the government can hide.

Since Salva Kiir Mayardiit took power after the death of Dr. John Garang de Mabior, Kiir persistently removed, appointed and reinstated most of his government officials. The recently purported dissolution of the cabinet is implausible, because Kiir consistently used his constitutional powers during an interim period (2005-2011).

The public is well aware of the SPLM’s dubious tactics, which nevertheless continue to be publicized by political sycophants of the ruling party.

Most of the SPLM’s elites do not care about the future of the country. They only make the situation worse by organizing political yes-men and ordering them to do anything that can appease and pacify the troubled citizenry. With directives from behind the scenes, the SPLM’s political yes-men are required to do anything that their bosses want them to do in a show of political adherence.

In spite of prevalent public criticisms, the elites of the ruling party appear to have their own agendas, which are at odds with the desires and demands of the South Sudanese people. The SPLM-led government must understand that political power resides with the citizens, no matter what the party’s code of belief dictates or how powerful the government becomes.

It is equally important for the ruling party to recognize that societies are greatly influenced by their cultures as well as other social norms that prove useful in their lives. The SPLM has lost its values and become a political entity run by a few power-hungry individuals.

These individuals cemented their authority by rallying behind their cliques, meanwhile labelling anyone who questioned the direction of the party as a foe, traitor, tribalist, jaalaba or Khartoum’s agent.

This is precisely where the deception and lies of the SPLM become clear, as it favors only those who preach the mentality of corrupted political discourse. This is a treacherous path that any reasonable political party would not pursue.

The future of the Republic of South Sudan under the SPLM leadership is uncertain. Any rational citizen of South Sudan cannot simply dismiss the autocratic tendency, which is now being put into practice by the Juba’s autocrats. This is clearly a failure to adhere to the democratic principles, where instead those that came to power usurped it autocratically, for their personal interests rather than the interest of the public; South Sudanese should not allow this tyrannical wave to take shape.

I know most citizens of South Sudan understand that communism has contributed to the behaviors of many current leaders of the new republic because of the movement’s initial manifesto—a manifesto which was a product of Ethiopian former dictator Mengistu Hailimariam’s communist texts.

The current political quandary requires competent leaders of a political party who promote peoples-based ideas, not leaders who seek to oppress their citizens. It would be a mistake for me not to acknowledge the gravity of political intrigue which is now going on in the country.

This young republic is unquestionably sitting under a self-made time bomb—a bomb that is being built and managed by the SPLM.

It would also be a moral mistake not to point out that the SPLM has become disconnected from its political principles. The party’s elites must thrust aside their despotic mentalities, promoting that which fits the needs and desires of the citizens rather than seeking out personal gains. This is how successful nations are run.

The elites must also take actions to implement the democratic principles upon which their party was first founded, as well as cease embracing and preaching democratic songs without actually fulfilling their messages. This is the 21st century, and there is no longer any room for a tyrannical way of thinking.

In addition, the country can only move in the right direction if the right political leaders are employed in such a way as to successfully implement the party’s policies with careful moral reasoning. A nation with a history of rebellions is a nation with incompetent leaders.

Furthermore, the leaders (e.g. parliamentarians, etc.) who work for the people must understand that their citizenship statuses are no different from the ordinary people who they represent — both the citizens and their leaders have the same rights under the law to obey or disobey principles. In addition, the lawmakers must likewise know that they are working for the people and not the government.

And yes, undeniably, despite these serious failings, it should be noted that the SPLM has nevertheless made some encouraging progress, particularly within the education sector. Many of the South Sudanese can now send their children to school, which was impossible when the South was under Khartoum’s regime.

And yes, it must be acknowledged that the steps the SPLM must take towards changing its present mindset are intricate. Accordingly, the people of South Sudan should not expect this to happen overnight because communism was the actual doctrine that the current ruling party of South Sudan was using during the struggle.

In light of this situation, we have to ask why, if at all, the South Sudanese should support a party that does not keep its promises. Why would the South Sudanese fight against northern Sudan in the first place?

Is it possible that the SPLM has lost its valiant values of sacrifice and honor upheld in the long battles in the bush; and, has now become merely a political entity run by a few power-hungry individuals?

Why are the leaders of South Sudan recycling the old ideas that they fought so hard to change? What kind of a country has South Sudan become? Can a rebellion against the government be used as a means of establishing a democratic society? And finally, can South Sudan have a promising future under SPLM’s rule?

Tribalism and Regionalism in South Sudan’s Politics

The politics of tribalism and regionalism have become problematic in South Sudan. The citizens of this nation know how tribalism kills and destroys. The South Sudanese have an extensive history of tribal conflicts. In a country like South Sudan, it is easy to find people doing things in tribal groups, as tribal interests are always associated with national issues.

This is not to single out the young nation, precisely because this phenomenon happens in any nation where tribalism is seen as a political expedient; it is a stratagem that keeps South Sudan moving downward.

In the Republic of South Sudan, tribal politics are used by most political leaders as a contrivance to serve themselves and their tribal affiliations due to the fact that the country is ethnically divided.

This kind of grouping is influenced by tribal interests, and those who dare to question or challenge this hooded-system are treated by their tribal hoodlums as traitors. Such challenges often result in isolation and in some instances the so-called traitor is unjustly condemned to harsh treatments or even death.

These tribally-motivated practices must be addressed so as to understand, minimize, or perhaps eliminate those aspects that are destructive to the well-being of society. I call these tribally-motivated practices “the mentality of who is your uncle.”

The reason I choose the above name to describe South Sudanese tribal rehearsals is because it is common in South Sudan to see one tribe advancing its ideology in pretext of unity and togetherness for all tribes while secretly working to undermine the interests of the other tribes.

The ethnic and regional politics were tried before by other governments including the former Soviet Union, and they failed miserably. Indeed, I sincerely doubt if the regionalization of politics of the Republic of South Sudan will work best for the SPLM because it is likely to encourage regionalism, tribalism, and sectionalism.

It is evident that the moral and political objectives that all the tribes of South Sudan fought for were precisely and unequivocally to ensure the establishment of their own country; it was not to tribalize or regionalize the young republic after independence. The people of South Sudan fought together to have their own country.

Tribalization and regionalization threatens the young republic after hard-won independence. However, the South Sudanese should learn from other nations that once tragically employed tribal and regional conflicts to function as so-called good politics. The 1994 Rwandan’s genocide is a good example of a nation filled with both tribal and regional hatreds.

I do not believe that the citizens of South Sudan want their country to be a “failed state,” because I know that they are proud of their identity and cultural norms, but they also suffer from hearts full of toxic, tribal ideologies. In a society like South Sudan, tribal conflicts will always be there, but they can be minimized if political leaders think collectively.

I would not argue with sadists on this particular issue because I know that their ultimate purpose is to see the people of South Sudan fail and suffer. People should not waste their time listening to politicians who care only about elections, power and recognition.

The right people to listen to are those leaders who think and act like statesmen—these leaders are people who act collectively, think deeply about the future of the country, work to better their nations and show rationality in any calamity, regardless of any political risk that may stand in their way. The leaders of this young nation must act in this manner if they wish to minimize or avoid the looming regional and tribal politics.

The fact of the matter is that the Republic of South Sudan is a nation still deeply infested with tribal ideologies and the SPLM-led government must be smart to avoid digging its own political grave.

Possible Consequences

There are consequences that the SPLM-led government must prepare for if it is serious about its own political potential. However, if the ruling party fails to change its current political attitude and cast off its autocratic tendencies, then the following outcomes may be all but inevitable:

(1) South Sudan will be deeply divided on regional and tribal lines—this could encourage or incite ethnic or regional rebellions, deepen mistrust between communities in the already fragile society, and further destabilize the new nation.

(2) The ruling party will lose its vital grounds and regional politics will ascend—this could cause an uprising against the ruling party.

(3) National parliamentarians will be influenced or guided by regional or tribal politics, not national or party politics.

(4) 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.

(5) A new rebel movement that is far more powerful than any current or previous rebel group could surface.

These five outcomes are probable unless the Juba’s autocrats adjust their autocratic propensities.

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.

The future of this country can only be build by leaders who think and act like statesmen who, acting in the capacity of fellow countrymen, actively fight for the growth of their country, the future of their youth, the cultivation of the unique talents of their people, the preservation of their country’s environment, the enactment of compassionate laws protecting the poor, elderly, and disabled — this is the future, and much needed and anticipated statesman of South Sudan; they are individuals who will cultivate justice and peace among their people.

I understand that cultural norms are very important in almost any society, but this will not suffice if the people of South Sudan are to have significant influence on the future of their country.

There is no need to stick to a tradition that costs lives. It makes sense for tribes to defend their interests, but tribal agendas can contribute to the development of a nation only if they are collectively acknowledged and accepted by all tribes that make up the nation.

It is also important to admit that most of the current political leaders of South Sudan and their supporters prefer to fabricate a reason to cover up their misdeeds so as to uphold their tribal doctrines, rather than do the right thing for the well-being of their country.

The claim that one tribe is supreme over other tribes in South Sudan is a perilous wishful thinking. This kind of mentality cannot build a prosperous South Sudan.

Building a successful, democratic nation can only be done by political leaders who think and act like statesmen, people who think collectively, not by leaders who think and act like autocratic politicians and crave power.

Can we ever legitimately assert that some tribes are morally superior to others? Can this ever be compatible with a unified country that supports all of its citizens, despite tribal membership? These questions are for you to consider and draw your own conclusions.

Building a successful democratic nation can only be done by political leaders who respect the laws, and behave like statesmen. The people of South Sudan did not fight for an autocratic government or a one-party state; they fought hard to have a nation where opposing views are respected.

The SPLM’s deceptive politics should not be used as the policy of the government, and they must not be tolerated. The government must work with tribal leaders in tackling ethnic conflicts.

The SPLM should implement policies that match its founding principles, eradicate its autocratic tendencies, and lead as a national political party if it is to regain the peoples’ confidence. Otherwise, it risks ongoing diminishment of its own legacy and legitimacy, and eventual collapse. END

Duop Chak Wuol is the Editor-in-Chief of the South Sudan News Agency (http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/). He can be reached at duop282@gmail.com. Note: The views expressed in this article are his and should not be attributed to the South Sudan News Agency.

South Sudanese all across East Africa should leave for home before it’s too late.

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, SEPT/06/2013, SSN;

The last few weeks have seen a mounting tension between people of South Sudan and their Ugandan neughbours. This is a serious turn in events. For what has historically been seen as the most amicable relationship between neighbouring people in the whole region of East Africa, is once more under threat.

Uganda had served as the second home to many South Sudanese refugees during the liberation war against the Muslim Arabs of North Sudan. Equally so, many Ugandans had had also the taste of their Sudanese neighbour’s hospitality during the years when it was caught in political instability.

To stress the point even further, South Sudan’s Pan Africanist and charismatic leader late Dr. John Garang de Mabior, fate had him killed after paying a pilgrimage to his colleague and brother in arms Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. Hence for good or for bad, late Garang’s name will always remain linked to Uganda because of that sad historical incident.

However in real life not everything is meant to please everybody, and thus came these new measures taken by the government of South Sudan banning foreigners from driving motorcycle taxis commonly known as boda-boda. Unfortunately it left about 1,600 Ugandans, who were operating in Juba and other parts of the country, jobless.

As many of those expelled Ugandans made their ways back to Uganda fears of retaliatory attacks on South Sudanese living in Uganda became louder and louder.

“We got security intelligence; we heard some people saying that since their children have been chased from South Sudan, the South Sudanese in Uganda should also be chased”, Patrick Onyango, the deputy spokesperson of the Ugandan police, told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

“As a result of that we [the police] have come up with security measures to protect our brothers and sisters from South Sudan living in Uganda. We have communicated to all our units in the country to offer extra security to South Sudanese and their property in the country”, he added.

How much faith do the South Sudanese have in the ability and the dedication of our brothers and sisters in the Ugandan Police to protect them and their properties is a judgment for those South Sudanese currently residing in Uganda to make. However I must stress that these kinds of problems are likely to strain the brotherly ties between the two countries.

It is no more secret that citizens from all across the East African countries continue to suffer in the hands of criminals in whichever country they reside including in their own. People from Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea and even the South Sudan itself have died brutally and unaccounted for in nearly all of these countries and justices have never been served.

When it comes to talking about relationship between neighbouring countries, East Africa provides a very unique example. Ethiopia. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, D R Congo, and South Sudan have long history of human movements between one place and the other since time immemorial.

With many ethnic groups divided by the colonial boarders that have come to represent the boarders of these modern states, it is not uncommon to see people with the same features claiming citizenships all across this vast region.

However we cannot be in denial of the new status quo that today defines the present day realities in this vast piece of land which our ancestors had once roomed freely in search of pasture and safety. Today we are Kenyans, Ugandans, Ethiopians, Congolese, South Sudanese, etc. With these new structures came new set of laws and regulations, some are international others are national or regional.

Notwithstanding the continental call for a unified Africa as started by our forefathers the founders of the Pan African Movement, like Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere, all of whom worked to establish the Organisation of African Unity [OAU] now the African Union [AU], we know that our leaders together with the people have hardly made any success towards the continental union.

It is true that those who divided Africa in the first place are also not in any way fans of this continent’s unity. The African people too, and especially their policy makers have unfortunately tackled the issue of unity with mixed approaches, often giving in to internal pressures dictated by electorates’ demands.

Having said this, one must also genuinely acknowledge that, the importance of the African unity in its philosophical context remains largely a hot topic for the African Diaspora, while the African people on the ground maintain a different view about it. Unity like any commodity comes at a price and the African people and their leaders alike are not ready yet to pay that price!

In the diaspora, African unity is owned by the masses and not state officials. It was and remains a project hatched, nurtured and promoted by Africans from all across the continent and those of the Americas and the Caribbean.

And while outside the African continent, the search and zeal for African-ness and unity amongst its people tops the list of those involved in it, back home in Africa all seems to be taken for granted.

With the exception of isolated islands of projects and programs here and there, the continent in the large part is consumed in its own internal power politics and wrangling over leadership position that have now a days come to replace the old chieftaincy.

Xenophobia is one such phenomenon that has followed the human race wherever they step their feet. And if xenophobia is any word to go by in Africa, we must understand that it is the politics of distraction dictated by the gross failures into which whole countries have plunged by their so-called nationalist leaderships.

The whole thing is no more just about Africans from another country. If you look at it slowly, you will see that there exists an underlying local disharmony even between the groups that go on to call for xenophobia.

Some people rightly or not have even segregated against their own countrymen in matters of everyday life. I am not surprised that these same fellows will go an extra length to mobilise and organise a mob opinion against other fellow Africans.

What I have failed to understand is that while those who fought the liberation war in South Sudan are now the very people in the top helm of power in the new country, why are their families still residing in those neighbouring countries?

It is as if they want to tell us that they have liberated the land, but in another way they are unable to govern and develop it into a place where they can live in peace with their families, but also be capable of providing quality education and quality health services to their children and the rest of the citizens within the country.

There are now two classes of South Sudanese who still reside outside the new country even after the country was declared an independent sovereignty on July 9, 2011. There are those who have naturalized as nationals of their second homes, and these I have no issues with them.

However my concern is with the second group who continue to reside outside South Sudan without getting the citizenship of those host countries [Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Congo, Kenya, etc].

People in this second category will undoubtedly have to put up with a lot of problems as they are not official citizens of their host countries and their stay there is not the same like that one of the nationals.

But since South Sudan is now an independent state, no South Sudanese should allow themselves to suffer in any foreign lands. You will need to relocate home whenever the host becomes unwelcoming.

My sincere advice is either you officially naturalize where you now reside since you prefer to continue living there or you return to South Sudan to avoid any unnecessary problems. As Africans it should be easy for fellow Africans to naturalize wherever they reside within the continent. If the laws are in place, then you just follow it.

What you must not do is to continue living in foreign lands for reasons of education, security or health services, without seeking naturalization.

If it is that you are banned by the laws of the country to naturalize or do not want to do it, then you are better off in your South Sudan where all you need to do is to a sustained pressure on the authorities to make these missing services available.

Unless you are there to pressurize the politicians into doing something be it improved education, health or security, they are never going to be there for you in a million years.

You can still have a quality education within South Sudan using this same money that you spend abroad. Believe me, for only a half of the money you pay them in Kenya, Uganda or Ethiopia, you can have these same teachers come all the way and teach your children in every village in South Sudan, run your health centres or even run your security services for you if you want.

Truly the Saudis, the Kuwaiti and the all Gulf States did it when they first discovered their Oil wealth.

They stopped seeking education in the other countries and made sure that they hired every brain in the region to come over and educate their children, run their health facilities, clean their streets, even man their security services.

And when they became qualified and confident enough to take over these jobs, they quietly did it without raising hell on earth.

You are now the leaders in your own country and when you continue to keep your families outside the country in the name of insecurity or acquisition of better education, what that clearly says is that you have admitted incompetence.

Even your calls for foreign investors seem to have only attracted the criminals of East Africa first, then Europe and America. This is something to worry about.

On the other hand there are already mountains of evidence to show that billions of dollars continue to leave this poor country of South Sudan to finance huge sectors in education, health, housing and tourism worldwide, but especially so in Kampala and Nairobi.

Here it is for you to see my compatriots. Have you ever asked yourselves how many dollars do these East African brothers and sisters carry on them when they enter the boarders of South Sudan? Now compare that to the briefcases full of dollars and other hard currencies that are taken out by you the South Sudanese and your friends who help you in the deadly game of milking our country dry.

These East Africans you are now sending back to their countries of origins are largely people with terrible criminal records. Their countries must have enjoyed some peace when these people moved into South Sudan; however it now time that they have their goods back.

On the other hand we must never underestimate the possibility that South Sudanese are likely to become vulnerable people all across East Africa as they are known to have the money, otherwise they wouldn’t be in those places in the first place.

Secondly most South Sudanese are easily betrayed by their physical features, and thus are readily distinguishable from the other communities and nationalities. No way can they be mistaken for other nationalities.

My advice to all of you the South Sudanese, is not to underestimate the threats being declared against you by your brothers and sisters all across East Africa. Please listen and move out when there is still enough chance and time to relocate in one piece.

Once you are back in South Sudan with all your money and properties, you are likely to make it ten folds in your own home towns than in some unsafe remote countries. You can still build those schools and health facilities that you admire in Uganda or Kenya right next to your cattle camps or farms or in your own home towns, villages and state capitals.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. He can be reached at: justinramba@doctors.net.uk

Reinventing the Wheel of Divide and Rule Policies in South Sudan

BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, RSS, SEPT/05/2013, SSN;

South Sudan is in a political purgatory at the moment that makes it easy to wave a white flag and resign to an inevitable future that looks bleak. From governance crisis to corruption to nepotism to cronyism to tribalism to inter-communal vendettas to cattle-raiding and child abduction to poverty to crime and gangsterism, to insecurity and lawlessness to human rights abuses to rebellions to…..oh dear, there is no end in sight.

It is such that to avert suffering a stroke, throwing your hands up in the air and declaring: blessed are those who do not believe in South Sudanese human potential for positive social transformation and mutual peaceful coexistence seems comforting!

Discomfortingly, there is an increasing concern among many South Sudanese that “divide and rule” policies are being reprehensibly appropriated by the political leadership in South Sudan. On this score, it is exceedingly clear that the land continues to acutely suffer from the hangover of colonial legacies.

There is an uncalled for continuity with the unjust and tragic history of Sudan here that must be immediately named and shamed. Reinventing the wheel of divide and rule policies in South Sudan is a red line. It is disheartening and overwhelming in all the least.

Should the “Mundukuru” (Arabic north of Sudan) be invited back to restore some sanity and the little South Sudanese unity that existed during the liberation struggle and prevailed in the overwhelming vote for South Sudan’s secession in the referendum or what (wele shunu ya jamaa)?

Else, it seems complicated to build a nation in South Sudan under these circumstances, with the Dinka and Nuer cousins embroiled in a seeming irreconcilable and perpetual feud over who knows what. It is difficult to forge a nation in South Sudan while within the Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups there now appears to be a deep seated schism across clan and possibly political interest cantons.

It is hard to dream of a nation in South Sudan where the Equatorians are largely and endlessly suspicious and distrustful of the Dinka, the Nuer and few other non-Equatorian tribes in between.

It is near impossible to think of a nation in South Sudan while the Equatorians are perceived as foreign Ugandans, deserters and false beneficiaries of a freedom they never fought for and therefore do not deserve.

In this vein, it is not easy to imagine how a cohesive national identity out of the varied and many ethnic groups, mostly incoherent and with little or no common sense of a unifying cultural bond and a sense of collective belonging can be crafted in this country.

It is absurd and naïve that some continue to refer to South Sudan as a “nation.” What a nation?

Question is, how can a collective sense of urgency on the need to steer our people away from present increasing hostile vibes across ethnicities and sub-cultures, which make us vulnerable to external exploitation, be instilled among our people, including the “educated” internet warriors among us?

And how should a collective sense of unity and nationhood be forged in South Sudan amidst the current challenges and the rife in social strife on mostly tribal basis? In all honesty I have no frigging clue on how to wrap my head around this!

Yet all considered it is cathartic to write and cling to the hope that current challenges will come to pass when there will be a national awakening in this beleaguered country one day, just one day. But writing about hope of a national awakening alone though cathartic at least on individual capacity, is insufficient.

Reality remains, a collective South Sudanese effort must be committed to actualize this hope. And as a starting point, it must be accepted by all that it is our collective responsibility to redouble the efforts to begin to transition to a national awakening era in earnest. A national awakening that rises above the tribe and ceases from a vicious and endless cycle of apportioning blame and exchanging hatred.

South Sudanese and particularly our present political leadership must sincerely begin to think of creating a nation first. We must commit our hearts and minds in the service of working towards forging a national unity and identity that binds the diverse and colorful social fabric of South Sudan. Keep the cash but at least build a nation for future generations’ sake.

As things stand, current events in South Sudan are antithetical to anything peaceful, nation-building and reconciling. The present political path that is being treaded is an inversion of any efforts aimed at forging unity and commonsense of purpose and national identity in the land.

More importantly and as noted above, it is an obnoxious political dispensation which is not short of a byproduct of various intractable colonial legacies in South Sudan that must be immediately shunned.

Whether it is based on ignorance or deliberate negligence blinded by lust for wealth and material accumulation that holds sway to our history and what we fought for, the present morally obscene political scene is unsustainable.

It is unbecoming of the tireless efforts of South Sudan’s founding fathers and mothers and selfless sacrifices of our previous generations of heroes and heroines to restore our human dignity. It is indeed a betrayal of the spirit of liberation and a re-inaction of colonial policies in South Sudan in our face by some poor, myopic, egotistic and power-mongers in our political leadership.

As many commentary entries have accurately concluded of recent, the present unfolding of polarizing tribal politics in South Sudan is a direct result of the so-called “divide and rule” policies which are being consciously or sub-consciously appropriated by our political leadership to serve their short-sighted parochial greed and political power interest.

At the moment there seems to be little distinction between some of our present political leadership, namely the “liberators,” from South Sudan’s traditional colonial masters and oppressors.

For those blinded by wealth hoarding, they must be reminded that South Sudan is borne out of the resilient resistance to divide and rule policies, which were central to our downfall to colonial subjugation in the first place and which South Sudan has tirelessly toiled and ultimately liberated itself from.

It is a known fact that the aspirations of successive colonial masters in consolidating political, geographic and economic power not only in the greater Sudan, but also in the African continent at large were significantly aided by inciting tribal hatred and fragmentation. Any new such attempts will equally ultimately be foiled.

In reminding ourselves about our tragic historic realities, the divisive colonial policies which seem to now find favor in current political manifest in South Sudan are thus, traceable to the first foot-imprint of the colonial masters — the Mundukuru – when they first arrived in the Sudanese scene back in the 7th century C.E. Khartoum later perfected these policies, and sadly Juba seems to now follow suit.

The first batch of colonialists arrived brandishing the divide and rule policies with one intent and purpose: to loot and exploit the huge reserve of human as well as natural resources in the land.

Their long term objective was, of course, to ultimately settle and rule the land indefinitely as “born to rule” as they are now doing, while aggressively embarking on cultural domination of Sudan through seductive or compulsive policies of Islamization and Arabization of the Sudanese.

In this schema, converted local groups to Islam were (and are) given preferential treatment and afforded access to political power and resources in return for policing their disadvantaged compatriots in service to the colonial masters.

And as history records, despite initial local resistance, the project was always moving forward. Islamic acculturation and demographic transformation came to overwhelm the old northern Sudanese Christian kingdom of Nubia in old Dongola and Alwa in Soba further south not far from modern day Khartoum.

As seen today, resulting from these historic processes, the northern part of the country, Sudan (which literally means the land of the black) is predominantly inhabited by the Arabaic people in the shape of Barabra ethnic group represented by Sukut and Mahas in lower Nubia. In upper Nubia there is the Ja’ali group, the nomadic or semi-nomadic Juhayna group and the Shayqiyya confederacy, who occupy the territory east of the Nubian land, known today as Port Sudan and Suoakin region.

While the locals exposed their vulnerabilities across ethnic divides, the Mundukuru settlers were busy hankering down and extracting the gold and precious stones known to be in abundance in the eastern region. They were also busy capturing and selling the locals for slaves, among other vices.

The wicked lucrative slave business invited the Mundukuru to raid villages further south. This ultimately transpired in the cultural and demographic transformation of north Sudan as Mundukuru presence increased and local presence decreased. Waves of local migration to the south followed and those who remained in the northern areas have not only been enslaved, but also been absorbed into Arabism and Islamism.

As Ibn Khaldun, an Islamic historian writing in the fourteenth century is quoted by P. M. Holt and Martin W. Daly: “the clans of Juhayna Arabs spread over their country [Sudan], and settled in it, ruling it and filling it with ruin and decay. The kings of the Nubians set about holding them back, but lacked strength. Then they proceeded to win them over by marriage-alliances, so that their kingdom broke up, and it passed to some of the offspring of Juhayna…So their kingdom was torn to pieces, and Juhayna took possession of their land.”

As if this was not enough and sniffing the continued local vulnerabilities across ethnic groupings, Jallaba penetration continued further South under the leadership of Abdallah Jamma by 1504-05, where a fierce clash with the South Sudanese Shilluk kingdom in Funj is reported. The Arabs were severely defeated on that occasion, but the Funj kingdom also somehow ultimately succumbed and was “…soon after converted to Mahometism.”

As a side note, in this first phase of colonialism, the bitter irony is that the old Sudanese Christian kingdoms were left alone to fend off Muslim-Arab encroachment and expansionism, without any support from other Christian communities in the region.

In a desperate attempt to preserve the old Sudanese Christian faith and identity, an envoy from the kingdom of Alwa was reported to have been sent to Ethiopia, a home to one of the oldest Christian churches in Africa requesting for priests to be sent to provide moral and spiritual support to their kingdom, but to no avail.

Overall, divide and rule policies create disunity and incite hatred across ethnicities, which in turn were instrumental in the “successes” and “achievements” of the first campaign of colonial Islamization and Arabization of Sudan.

Divisive colonial policies continued to be significantly influential in subsequent colonialist agendas and were again favored and effectively used by the Turko-Egyptian colonial masters under the overall command and leadership of Mohammed Ali Pasha.

Like its predecessor, the use of divide and rule policies in the invasion of Sudan in 1821 under the command of Mohammed Ali’s son, Ismail Kamil Pasha was primarily aimed at exploiting Sudanese human and natural resources. However, it was much less centered on cultural and religious expansion as an agenda.

In seeking to serve this resource exploitation purpose through divide and rule policies, Mohammed Ali’s son installed local puppet client-rulers, the likes of Mak Nimer. Though Mak Nimer ultimately rebelled and assassinated his master, Ismail Pasha, by burning down the house that hosted him and some of his cohort to ashes. Mohammed Ali’s administration also worked closely with the ilk of Zubeir Wed Al Rhama, the notorious Ja’ali slave trader, who wreaked havoc in Bahr el-Ghazal and Darfur regions.

The wheel of divide and rule policies was reinvented in subsequent generations of colonialisms in the Sudan from Anglo-Egyptian rule in 1898 to post independent Sudan from 1956 to the seeming current appeal to this policies in post independent South Sudan by our rulers.

In his Complex Emergencies, David Keen aptly drove the point home. He maintained that, “using one ethnic group to police another was a common imperial tactic. For example, during the gradual imposition of British rule in Sudan from the end of the nineteenth century, elements of the Baggara cattle herders of western Sudan were used to quell southern Sudanese groups who were resisting colonial rule, and the use of southern slaves among the Baggara was tolerated by the British. Since the Baggara were themselves a potential threat (particularly after their role in the 1883 Mahdist uprising), this strategy offered to reinforce colonial rule on two fronts.”

Indeed the whole marginalization and center vs. periphery dynamic which was one of the underlying causes of the north-south divide was a product of colonial divide and rule policies.

Our British colonialists saw to it that Khartoum was given preferential treatment where colonial administration in the Sudan was concentrated and left in the control of elite few from the north after the independence in 1956, at the expense of the peripheries.

As Alex De Waal puts it, “the country’s wars are logical continuation of historic processes of asset stripping and proletarianisation of the rural populace which began in the nineteenth century and which has continued during war and peace alike.”

In her article, “A Curse from God? Religious and Political Dimensions of the Post-1991 Rise of Ethnic Violence in South Sudan,” Sharon E. Hutchinson underscores Khartoum’s present continuity with and scaling up of the practice of divide and rule policies, now known by the Mundukuru as “killing the slave through a slave.”

“Mounted on horseback and wielding government-supplied AK-47s,” Hutchinson observed, “cattle- and slave-seeking raiders declared a jihad against a southern civilian population armed with little more than spears. Trained in counter-insurgency methods by the Sudanese army and entrusted with the task of depopulating the oil fields north of Bantiu, these Baggara militias began to kill, rape and enslave hundreds of unarmed Nuer and Dinka women and children in a dramatic breech of previously respected ethical limits on inter-tribal warfare in this region.”

Ask Eric Reeves and he will sit you down. The trend of divide and rule continues in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan, as well as in Jonglei State and elsewhere in South Sudan through the arming of David Yau Yau’s forces and others before him as is well-documented.

These policies are now feared to be appropriated by South Sudan’s political leadership in current political calculations. I am not easily bent on dwelling on history. But our present government owners in Juba must be careful not to be equated with South Sudan’s traditional colonial masters.

In their policies, they must refrain from invoking the bitter and unjust colonial history that was primarily based on divide and rule policies and that was thought to have finally been overcome with the independence of South Sudan.

There are limits. Reinventing the wheel of divide and rule policies in South Sudan is one.

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

Telar, the dark horse of SPLM

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, SEPT/04/2013, SSN;

With the instalment of Manasa Magok Rundial as Speaker of the parliament yesterday, the government circuit is complete, exactly after 40 days when the SPLM started entertaining the nation to a spectacular circus of supposed democracy. Even the most sceptic of the critics including foreign observers got carried away with the impressive bravado.

Well done Oyee. You have shown your wits of duping the masses and the world.

This circus has erased from the peoples’ minds the simplest fact that all that have been happening in Juba is a struggle for power within the SPLM and with it the reality that this is an internal war within the SPLM, the very party that has miserably failed the country.

Whatever changes happening are only distractions from the real issues. All the actors in this show-down are not any different. Are these not the same people who sucked life out of South Sudan? What makes it different when one crook is replaced with another? This brings us to the question: what next?

To answer this question, let’s start with the big bang. On 23rd July 2013 without any warning, president Kiir fired his entire cabinet while retreating to his cattle camp in Luri outside Juba, an act revealing of a president stricken by fear.

Uncertain about the consequences of his action, he hid himself in the camp among the cows for over a week leaving the country without any government.

On 31st July 2013, sensing calm, he emerged from his hide out with a list of the replacement cabinet including Telar Deng as designated minister of Justice.

The parliamentary committee vested with vetting the nominees wasted no time in delivering instant response. Their verdict was that all the nominees were fit except Telar Deng. Telar’s documents were found to be inappropriate. One notable thing in both his first and second degrees was absence of graduation dates, something completely out of the norm with all authentic certificates. The grapevine had it that Telar himself said he could not remember his graduation days. How convenient?

The disqualification of Telar Deng from the post of minister for justice through the vetting committee does not mean that things are at last going to change in South Sudan as trumpeted by honourable Ngere Paciko, member of the said committee recently. As soon as this commotion settles down SPLM will be back to business as usual. They will revert to their normal self.

The history of SPLM is full of such examples where a slight change is portrayed as the beginning of a new era but then it quickly goes back to its cocoon. A good example is the 1994 convention held in Chukudum. This convention was convened at a time when the organisation was going through very difficult times both internally and externally. SPLM was leaking support all over.

Frightened with demise, the organisation held this convention and came up with beautiful resolutions. Supporters were jubilant and it was believed that the organisation had changed and democracy would prevail.

Deserters returned to the battle fields from the refugee camps in Uganda, Congo and Kenya, rolling back the gains of Sudan government. As soon as the SPLM regained its strength it went back to its normal behaviour. The first casualty was their inability to stick to their own resolutions.

According to the resolutions, SPLM was supposed to hold regular conventions every 5 years. When the time came for the second convention in 1999 a lot of unfounded excuses were given and nothing happened. Same in 2004 and it was only in 2008 that SPLM was forced to hold a convention because of their position in the new environment of peace under the CPA.

The failure to hold their conventions as stipulated in their documents is simply down to fear of changes in the leadership. Now you can see the façade being replayed in independent South Sudan with the should-have-been-convened convention in May of this year. As members wait, the question is: will it ever happen? God knows.

SPLM has a clear pattern in dealing with its difficulties. When it is in a difficult situation it will bend to accommodate and then re-adjust to its former self.

So the disqualification of Telar Deng by the vetting committee follows this pattern and it does not mean anything in terms of change in SPLM itself or in South Sudan.

Telar happened to have farmed a lot of enemies for himself among his “comrades” and the vetting decision is the outcome of that vile feeling against him.

Who among most of these Oyeeites can claim they do not have blood of innocent people on their hands?

The sad and unfortunate execution of Mayek Riak Ater is a collective decision which Dr Riek Machar and Dr John Garang posthumously must bear equal responsibility for.

As the appellate, both Machar and Garang should have exercised utmost care in reviewing the case documents of Mayek to ensure that no miscarriage of justice took place, especially as this was a case of life and death where there was no chance for remedy.

Both endorsed Telar’s condemnation of late Ater meaning they accepted Telar’s arguments in his judgement. Did Dr Machar carefully review the case? If he did not, why not? If he did, he needs to tell the South Sudanese now why he endorsed the death sentence on Mayek Riak Ater passed by legally unqualified Telar? Answers to these questions are important for fairness sake.

Telar has already made it clear that appointment to judicial positions in the Oyee machine was not based on legal qualification but rather on military rank (Jungle law). It is cases like these that should make the people of South Sudan to abolish the death sentence.

I personally do not believe in capital punishment because it does not offer solutions but damages the judges, executioners and dehumanises the society.

In Dr Machar’s testimony to the Parliamentary Select Committee reported by Sudan Tribune on 10/08/2013 under the title, ‘Machar Testifies at parliamentary inquiry into appointed justice minister;’ he writes: “I deployed captain Telar Ring Deng as a judge for southern sector covering the area of the current Koch, Leer, Mayiandit and Payinjar counties. He was seated in Leer…….. I was told that 1st Lt. Telar Ring was a law graduate.” Unpacking this testimony reveals disturbing negligence on Machar’s part.

It isn’t fair to not point out such glaring incompetence on the part of Machar’s leadership, especially given the fact that he is vying for the highest office in the land.

Machar argues in his testimony that “he deployed Telar under his command as a judge from 1986 to 1992 with the assumption that he was a qualified lawyer following a directive from late John Garang de Mabior who recommended Telar to Western Upper Nile zonal area.” Surely this testimony is not good enough.

“Assumption” can not be a reason for exoneration or running away from direct responsibility. One would have expected Machar to have at least personally done checks on Telar given the important nature of his position. Why did he fail to do this? Does this not show his negligence in management as well as in command?

If so, is Machar now not personally displaying to the world through his testimony his incompetence in basic management? How is this going to help him in his campaign for the highest office?

Telar is not the only person who may have embellished his qualification if at all he has any. There are lots of Telars out there in South Sudan holding very important positions based on ‘assumptions’ conveniently in promotion of tribalism across the board.

I personally know a couple or so who claim to be lawyers and are currently serving as judges in the country. Also, I know few others serving in the Foreign Service. People who can not even draft a simple letter masquerading as diplomats. What a joke!

What people must remember is that the real qualification for these jobs under the SPLM government is being a member of the SPLM. Do you remember how the SPLM Chapters abroad converted themselves first into Foreign Missions from 2005 and then from July 2011 into embassies? There were no advertisements, no interviews, no vetting, only SPLM membership card and singing Oyee sufficed as the qualification.

So long as you are an Oyeeite and a good singer of it, employment is guaranteed. Qualifications mean nothing.

In light of Telar’s outing, will the government now carry out checks on its employees to weed out the cheats? Will the government charge them with fraud? Or will it continue with business as usual?

Telar’s reported engineering of the dissolution of the government whether true or untrue has brought upon him the wrath of his “comrades” who luckily got support of the confused public. Telar has become a repository or dumping bin for all the ills of SPLM.

When organisations or groups are under stress, the dynamics always singles out one person or a department for blame and failures of the system.

Since assuming the reigns of legitimate power in 2005 the SPLM has consistently been performing badly in all areas of governance. Dr Machar on 5th March 2013 in the meeting of the Politburo pointed out some of these failures as, “rampant corruption, tribalism, economic problems, insecurity, poor international relations and the party’s loss of vision and direction” and declared his intention to replace president Kiir.

This triggered the power struggle in the SPLM being witnessed now. The first victims were Kosti Manibe, Ahmed Alor, Taban Gai Deng and the entire pre-23rd July 2013 cabinet. They became the repository of the rot with each representing the identified ills.

The dismissal of Kosti and Ahmed represent the ills of corruption. The dismissal of Taban represents the ills of poor management and so on with the rest. Then comes along Telar Deng with his allegedly forged degrees which provided the perfect dumping ground for everything that has been going wrong with the SPLM.

For in Telar’s case one sees fraud, forgery, corruption, mismanagement, failure to follow rules, tribalism, the macabre nature of executions, and you name it.

Now that Telar is the dark horse of SPLM containing its dirt, the organisation behaves as if it feels good that it’s cleansed itself and it’s beginning to work for the people. Is this really true?

What about the crimes that have come out, for example the authorisation of 600 million dollars? What about the case of late Mayek Riak Ater? Will it be re-opened for justice to be served? Will Telar be charged with fraud? What is SPLM going to do to address its crimes?

I leave that to you to ponder on, but the truth remains, SPLM is an organisation ‘rotten to the core.’

No doubt the National Legislative Assembly has done a good job on the case of Telar, but truth be said, they also failed to weed out incompetent and sworn enemies of the people from the whole group of the nominated ministers.

The rigorous process Telar has been subjected to should have been equally applied to the rest and certainly more dirt would have come to light.

One wonders how people like Abdalla Nhial Deng and Riek Gai Kok got appointed into ministerial positions in a country that they vehemently did not want to see born. These two die-hard Muslim brothers collaborated with Bashir and Turabi in the dehumanisation and oppression of South Sudanese in the then Sudan.

Not only that, they remained committed to the idea of Islamic United Sudan until the last day on 8th July 2011. They all voted for an Islamic United Sudan and so far they haven’t recanted. How on earth could they be made ministers in Republic of South Sudan?

Is president Kiir and his SPLM for real? Or is this the nostalgia/revival of their policy of ‘New Sudan?’

This failure of the SPLM vetting committee to treat people equally and fairly makes the whole process a witch hunt and that isn’t good. Telar may be a subject of hate but he has rights to be respected and treated fairly even if he abused other people’s rights.

The NLA has now exposed itself as a self-serving body. It only acts when powerful members of SPLM sneeze but not in the interest of the country.

Let them take note that they’ve annoyed president Kiir without taking action to protect themselves. Having rejected Telar, they’d have instantly tabled a motion to amend the constitution ostensibly to clip Kiir’s wings – removing from him the power to dissolve the parliament in the interim constitution.

Their failure to protect themselves is going to cost them dearly. Indeed president Kiir wasted no time in exercising his powers as witnessed in the episodes involving the appointment of vice president and the speaker of the parliament.

So Telar’s defeat in the parliament is a pyrrhic victory. It will benefit nobody. In fact it will benefit SPLM dictatorship as it’s turning out to be a huge propaganda win for them.

This reminds me of Slavoj Zizek, the renown Slovenian psychoanalyst and social theorist who posits that ideology and not facts create realities. Zizek’s theory appears to apply neatly on the charade going on in Juba.

SPLM’s ideology of New Sudan premised on the destruction of the system in Khartoum creates its own realities during times of crisis deflecting attention away from their spectacular failures.

When South Sudan seceded, SPLM took the credit and posed as a secessionist organisation when in reality its objective of New Sudan was in tatters.

Presently, it’s amazing how the crucifixion of Telar has been turned falsely into a success of SPLM in practising democracy.

The fact that what’s going on is an internal war between comrades is being portrayed differently as a national issue sucking in everybody: members and non-members of SPLM alike into an atmosphere of trance.

This internal war emanates from the fact that the organisation since coming to government in 2005 has had no programs of action. They just wallowed in corruption and human rights abuse which they specialise in.

Faced with the impeding elections of 2015 and staring defeat they engage in self denigration, throwing mud at each other while loudly identifying their failures and denying their collective responsibilities. Thi

s kind of behaviour is common with all political organisations that have failed to craft credible winning programs for government.

When a chairman, his deputy and the secretary general of a party are at each other’s throat you know that such a party is nearing atrophy.

These three positions in any political organisation are vital for the normal functioning of the organisation and when the holders are bickering accusing each other of incompetence and failure, it is an admission that they’ve failed but they wish to hang on to power at all costs.

SPLM has failed because it has never had any program of action since their program of New Sudan collapsed at the referendum poll in January 2011.

Neither president Kiir, nor Dr Riek Machar, nor Pagan Amum has had any idea of how the country would be governed. They just wallowed pretending to be governing the country when in reality they’ve been ruining it.

The only program they’ve had and continue to have is the enrichment of the SPLM Oyee members via massive corruption.

Governing is about provision of services, the protection of citizens and the country’s borders. In South Sudan that is not the case. Governing is about neglect of the country’s borders, neglect of security to citizens, abdication from provision of service and promotion of corruption and wickedness.

Let me share my shock with you. On two different occasions; one in the ministry of foreign affairs in Juba in the summer of 2012, an Oyeeite friend pulled me aside and lectured to me about wisdom of existence in South Sudan.

He asked me: “Why do you want to be a saint in a country of devils?” I could not believe what I heard. I asked him, please could you repeat.

He paraphrased it by saying, “You see, my brother, when you’re a priest or a God fearing being living among demons you won’t be able to make any change. Better join in and look after your children and family (‘Raba ialak wa ita malak?’).”

The second time I came across this same saying was in Nairobi at the beginning of this year from another Oyeeite while I was making my way to Juba.

Thinking about this can make sense in that it opens up a way of looking at why South Sudan lost its moral campus. The values that bind society in South Sudan as argued before in my other articles are gone since everyone now is a devil and the decent few are isolated and overpowered.

Hence, the existence of ‘Telars’ in abundance roaming the land unabated. Can South Sudan afford to remain a land of demons or in other words hell? No, something has to be done. Society must be rescued and restored.

The Oyee politics of purgatory should be shunned as it doesn’t deal with the essence of politics in itself which is the aspiration to do good to improve human life. Politics isn’t about self enrichment, it’s about improving the living standard of all citizens.

Therefore in order to restore South Sudan moral campus it’s imperative that a change happens for the right values to be adopted. This entails the removal of SPLM Oyee root and branch. Without this there is no way South Sudan can be rescued.

To understand this point, let’s borrow from Frank Furedi’s thinking. In his book, ‘The Politics of Fear,’ he sums this point succinctly by saying: “The restoration of genuine public life involves rethinking the meaning of what it means to be human. An authentic grammar of morality is always embedded in a clear conception of what it means to be human. Promoting a culture that vaporises people’s potential and agency represents the point of departure for any agenda that attempts to endow politics with a sense of purpose.”

Do politics in South Sudan under SPLM have ‘a sense of purpose’? Think about it and factor in your experience to make your own judgement.

Demons according to all the various holy books have only one purpose in life and that is to mislead and destroy.

Any wonder why the Telars are roaming the land with the people suffering massively? Any wonder why SPLM is trying to deceive the people by shifting all their ills on Telar to rejuvenate themselves to continue destroying the country?

Given this, it’s imperative that the people now seize the moment to stand up for their rights and tell the SPLM it’s enough.

No more Telars. No more dumping bins. Get out! It’s time for politics of purpose with care and good governance as its drivers which means South Sudan needs a complete revamp and a new face. Thus the next thing needed is not Kiir, not Riek, not Pagan and certainly not SPLM.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

South Sudan: Political uncertainty looms till 2015 elections

BY: YENGI J. TOM, Alexandria University, EGYPT, SEPT/02/2013, SSN;

The recent move by President Salva Kirr sacking his entire cabinet and subsequent appointments and re-appointments of some few former ministers was met with jubilation and sadness by some south Sudanese. As the president strengthens his grip on power, he found it prudent to remove and reassign those he believes will weaken his chances of re-election come 2015.

The reading on the block though shows the sacked officials are filthy rich and therefore no need to continue getting salaries. With no Government official prosecuted of corruption since 2005 despite compelling evidence to that effect, south Sudanese should forget the rule of law with Salva Kiir at the helm of the government.

Actually, all that the regime in Khartoum is doing is being copied by the authorities in Juba except sharia law which would negatively impact on their business empires.

Since 2005, there is hardly any infrastructural development seen in south Sudan, few attempts were made with no or little regards to contract policies which eventually ended with nothing or shoddy work at best.

Awards of contracts were largely influenced by Salva Kiir’s cronies or cohorts.

The disagreements between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar should be seen as a positive step towards the rule of law because at least a credible opposition is in the making.

The other parties are just brief case parties that have no biting teeth and are not even known to a wider section of the public. The SPLM/DC could have provided a challenge but its inception in Khartoum left many south Sudanese in limbo as to what it really stands for!

Khartoum is well known for its stand towards south Sudanese since time memorial. Lam Akol, however still commands respect from his people and the SPLM/DC is going to continue eating big from the Chollo kingdom whatever the circumstances.

Salva Kiir and cohorts have long thought that by appointing Wani Igga as the vice president, this will give them an edge or a pass permit to the presidency come 2015. It’s like Salva Kiir has not learnt lessons from the previous elections.

The cases of Governor Bakasoro Bangasi and Ladu Gore should have made Pres. Salva think twice of his choice. Equatorians are interested in services delivery, the rule of law and not the cult of worshipping leaders.

Despite the perpetual corruption, insecurity and the lack of respect for the rule of law, Wani constantly refers to Kiir as an able leader, ‘his wise leadership,’ all the praises etc…

The previous elections were characterized by intimidations and rigging but this time round, things are going to be different if Riek Machar goes through becoming the chairperson of the SPLM party or if he decides to stand as an independent.

The Naath (Nuer) and all citizens of goodwill are all over in the security apparatus. Any attempts to rig and intimidate people during the coming election will be met with stiff resistance and therefore Salva Kiir needs to play his cards wisely or else he risks setting the whole country ablaze.

A recent survey conducted to know the popularity of the SPLM showed the party support seriously dwindling under Salva Kirr leadership. Unless Riek takes over the leadership, the SPLM party is just going to sink.

All what the SPLM party is now known for all over the country is corruption. It has become a common say to an extent that even the uneducated have of late known the meaning.

The chances of Salva Kiir winning the next presidential elections is just slim because the whole of Equatoria, if I am not mistaken, will vote for Riek Machar except eastern Kapoeta which is a strong hold of Eastern Equatoria Governor, Louis Lobong Lo-jore, who seems to be in bed with Kiir, and of course that’s just a minority which has little impact on the overall result.

Equatorians have been tolerant all these years because they believe one day a credible opposition will emerge and challenge Salva Kiir. The only person at the moment that Equatorians and other south Sudanese of goodwill can count on is Riek Machar.

The Greater Bor Dinka may still have memories of the 1991 SPLM/A split but they have no option other than to reconcile and forget the past because the atrocities were committed by junior officers who decided on their own to take matters into their own hands.

Machar, however, apologized to Bor elites on the incident. It’s a positive move that should be emulated by all because cases of murder in cold blood were rampart during the liberation struggle. More information will likely come out when Salva Kiir is out of power.

Up to date, the government is silent on the case of Isaiah Abraham who was killed in cold blood and many more cases that go unnoticed.

The killing of peaceful protesters early this year in Wau has landed Riek Machar another clean passage to the top seat from Western Bahr el ghazel State.

The removal of Chol Tong as governor of Lakes state has also divided the population in the state, Riek Machar can capitalize on it. The people of Northern Bar el ghazal are well informed and are therefore unlikely to vote along ethnic lines.

The Naath (Nuer) will of course not abandon their own son. Salva Kiir should expect minimal support from the Upper Nile region.

With opportunities hard to come by, Salva Kiir may attempt the undemocratic path and that would be unfortunate for a country that is beginning to smell peace.

Despite the fact that 80% of the people are uneducated, the few who are educated are disgruntled, always roaming the streets and the ministries searching for jobs.

As many youths become jobless by the day, they begin to explore criminal ways of earning a living which in most cases lands them in prison, the youths who constitute about 73 % of the population are not going to sit by and watch as Salva Kiir messes up the country.

Time will come for us to show our displeasure by peacefully voting him out if he decides to run for the presidency which looks likely the way things are moving in the country.

Riek Machar is a darling of the people at the moment because he and Dr. Nyamlel were able to tell the president at the face that the way he is running the country isn’t right. They faced the wrath and were dismissed from government.

They just have to make their case clear to the people and the rest follows!

Like many developing countries, many south Sudanese live in the country sides with little or no access to information. Machar should begin penetrating the country sides now using agents from their own communities. The earlier the better considering difficulties associated with logistics in a short time.

Somebody may ask, are the Equatorians not interested in the presidency? Equatorians are interested but it’s like they want a soft landing. They believe Machar can provide a soft ground by helping out with a good constitution that embodies all.

The promise of a federal system of governance by Riek Machar is what Equatorians have been yearning for for a very long time. That at last, they can make decisions independently and be respected.

A lot has been said about the current regime but it seems everything is falling on deaf ears or simply those in authority don’t care.

Some of the issues that all of us should know or be mindful of, are the ways about of the 4 billion US dollars swindled under Salva Kiir’s watch, the 3 billion US dollars ‘dura’ saga that remains unaccounted for up to now, the murder in cold blood of Isaiah Abraham and many more that go unnoticed.

Will there be an investigation and possible return of all these monies? Surely, if Machar can’t provide answers to the above, then he is likely going to spoil his ambition of becoming the president. Alternatively, he may just become a one term president. END

Will VP Wani Igga follow the footsteps of former VP Machar?

BY: Weirial Gatyiel Puok Baluang, JUBA, SEPT/01/2013, SSN;

Comrade James wani igga is a peace loving south Sudanese leader and a man of all times as well as entertainment, therefore, he deserve to be given the position of the vice presidency, the “2nd person in the country,” based on his seniority in the government as well as the ruling Sudan people liberation movement {SPLM}.

He was the man who was a great leader of the parliament and he has done lots. He has shown us his leadership since when he joined the SPLA and he was elected as the speaker of the Parliament because of his loyalty to the President.

But the question being asked is, “WILL HE (IGGA) FOLLOW THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE FORMER VP DR RIEK MACHAR TENY? The answer according to me is simply NO because Igga is an expert in compromising with the wrong doers of the government that negatively affect the innocent citizens unlike Dr Riek Machar who won’t compromised to the extent of losing his post for the sake of the people of south Sudan.

It is quite true that comrade Igga may run away from the truth but Dr Riek has never and will never run away of the truth as happened when he democratically criticized the Government without fear of losing his very important post.

Dr Riek credited himself with many positive attitudes especially during his eight year term as the vice president of the then autonomous government of southern Sudan and then of the Republic of South Sudan under president Kiir Mayardit.

Dr Machar is known all over the world for being a charismatic leader especially in mediating peace between many African governments.

Furthermore, Dr Macahar is known for his bravery, this happened when he marched to Heglig [panthoari] last year of 2012 together with the mighty Strong SPLA.

It was a first time in Africa and the world for a vice president to go to the frontline where Gunships and Antinov planes were randomly throwing bombs unto the people on the ground as done by our former vice president.

I do not think that the new vice president of South Sudan James Wani Igga will follow the footsteps of the former vice president Machar, however, he may imitate Machar in the mannerism of smiling since this is as simple as taking a cup of milk.

Importantly, Igga will do nothing to Abyei issue or the current insecurity in Juba city which takes the lives of at least 5 innocent people per night, or even the current conflict of Jonglei where Dr Machar used to go to the field and address the entire rural people of south Sudan physically.

It is quite clear that in every country a vice president has a certain constitutional mandate which he owes democratically, but many people across the country have been making argument since the appointment of the respective vice president Igga on the national issues where he is believed to have no positive comment due to the fact that the president would understand him negatively and to the extent of relieving him from the vice presidency.

It would be awful if the new vice president would keep on commenting with YES even if the agenda may affect the south Sudanese people from different walks of life negatively because it has been said that two heads are better than one.

Many people also describe comrade Wani as a weak man who has no qualification to get him elected into that fantastic position, the 2nd powerful position in the country, but his loyalty to the president and not to the country made him to get that post.

Being loyal to the president is good but not enough; for it is enough that a successful leader may both be loyal to the president as well as the country.

I am saying this because all the south Sudanese leaders will run out of the leadership while south Sudan will keep on remaining there forever for generations to come.

Therefore, we need not to remain committed on the personalities of the leaders but to remain committed on our esteemed motherland SOUTH SUDAN.

The author {Weirial} is not aware the appointment of VP Comrade Wani Igga will be for Development or the 2015 elections, so as to get rid of the Equatorians.

If Igga was appointed for the sake of Development then he [Igga] will do less in terms of development. Many hardworking Equatorians are there on the ground, for instance the current deputy governor of CES Mr. Manaseh Lomole, Bakosoro of Western Equatoria state as well as Lado Gore.

Nonetheless, if he was appointed for the sake of 2015 campaign then he is not the person most liked by the Equatorians, there are other most popular Equatorians that can bring the whole of Equatoria to vote for a one nominated candidate.

Those popular leaders of Equatoria are Lado Gore, Bakasoro and the current editor in chief of the Juba Monitor, Mr. Alfred Taban, to mention but a few, unlike VP Igga.

Reportedly, Igga is as most unwanted as the Eastern Equatoria State, Governor Luis Lojore, according to those on the ground. I am a friend to many Eastern Equatorian Youths and they tell me that Gov. Lojore cannot win any single Payam again in the upcoming Elections of 2015 that was the reason Lojore claims supporting the president.

Furthermore, Gov. Louis Lojore is known for his negative criticism during the time Dr Machar was relieved in a presidential decree by our president Kiir on 23rd of July 2013, when he as EES governor, along with Western BS governor and the NBGS governor sent the kids of their respective states on the streets to show support for the removal of vice president Machar.

It was their cynical strategy so that they gain the president’s confidence since they lack supporters on the ground in their respective states. They would only survive in power through Decrees by the president but they would not survive in the elections.

Although VP Wani Igga cannot be compared with these three governors as he has a bit of supporters and he loves south Sudan so much as the patriotic Governors of Western Equatoria, Upper Nile, Unity, Warrap and Central Equatoria states, it’s a shame he’s narrowly committed to supporting a certain leader more than the country, just for the sake of an everlasting post.

The most important is your CV and not the wages or whatever those unpatriotic leaders are practising.

In conclusion, if VP Igga was brought in for the sake of the forth coming 2015 elections so that President Kiir [independent], Dr Riek [SPLM ticket] and the opposition parties will get 30%, 40% and 30% of the Equatorian vote respectively.

Likewise, the three candidates will get 5%, 90% and 5% respectively in Greater Upper Nile States. Meanwhile they will get 40%, 40%, and 20% respectively in Greater Bhar elgazal State.

Therefore, the winner of 40% in Greater Equatoria and 90% in Greater Upper Nile and 40% in Greater Bhar elgazal will be declare as the overall winner of the National elections of 2015 peacefully with the recognition of the rest.

Henceforth, and hopefully, from there on, the Government will be transparent, free and fair based on the democratic system. I hopefully shall expect a peaceful life for the south Sudanese throughout.

The author would like to seriously appeal to the south Sudanese citizens that people must not follow the failed politicians based on tribe.

Weirial Gatyiel is a concerned citizen of south Sudan, and he can be reached on makakopaul@gmail.com or 0956992323

False Friends are true enemies: SPLM Leadership dilemma

BY: Prof. Peter Adwok Nyaba, JUBA, SEPT/01/2013, SSN;

It is Arab wisdom, I believe, that runs thus: ‘God protect me from my friends; as for my enemies I know how to deal with them’. Human or societal relationships and interactions are so intricate a web of positivities and negativities that obvious contradictions coexist to the point that they are two sides of the same thing. Why not?

But friends and enemies are two sides of the same interrelationship. Speaking about ‘false friends’ and ‘true enemies’ in the context of social and political engineering of a country like South Sudan with its multiple identities one can’t but call to mind the conflicts and wars that have characterised our history.

The borderline between ‘false friends’ and ‘true enemies’ is so faint that it may not really exist in the realm. This is because the categories ‘false friends’ and ‘true enemies’ are interchangeable in practice. They perform the same tasks in the social and political construction and context.

They either accelerate or decelerate social and political processes. And in this theme resonates with Machiavelli’s philosophy expressed in his treatise of statesmanship ‘The Prince’.

Since this is in the domain of power politics it may be necessary to problematise ‘false friends’ are ‘true enemies’ as they play out in the power corridors. They both can act sometimes to lead the Prince to his self destruction.

False Friends can be some cheeky people who manoeuvre themselves into such asymmetrical relations with the powers that be and make friendship for short term material benefits.

Some are state bureaucrats who because of the pressures of the job prostrate them to play in the corridors of power such roles as sycophancy, leadership worshipping, court jesters, flatters, etc.

The cheeky ones forge a kind of friendship that bring them very close to the leader and make their way to position of authority through deception, flattery, trickery, treachery, black-mail, conspiracy, double talking, and all kind of slick.

‘False friends’ are self-seekers as well as political opportunists.

Every powerful leader, somebody whose powers are boundless, draws around him/herself a coterie of lieutenants, who could be ministers, civil servants, or security details, etc., of variegated experience, knowledge, ambitions, motivations, loyalties, and commitment.

Some of them are very intelligent and active who quickly discover the opportunities their positions and relationships carry. Others are normal mortals who perform their duties perfunctorily.

The web of relationships, which emerges between themselves on the one hand and that between them and their Principal constitutes the dealing and wheeling, sometimes involving conspiracies and intrigues, in the palace.

In this power game or contest for influence and wealth, the most powerful group popularly known as the palace Cabal (after Charles, Bartholomew and Louis in the Court of Queen Elizabeth) emerges consisting of the chief political commissar, the security chief and the financier.

At times, the principal operates and performs official duties and functions at the behest of the cabal. They tell him/her what to do, what to eat, who to meet and not to meet even among his colleagues and compatriots; where to sleep and when to go to bed.

Sometimes the principal is frightened with horrific stories of impending or foiled coups or assassination attempts on his life. This is done with the intention of eliminating imaginary enemies or pretenders to the throne.

More often than not these enemies turn out to be colleagues of the cabal whom they want eliminated due to contest and competition for influence. As a result a cult of mediocrity is cultivated and encouraged in the ranks.

Palace cabals emerge under authoritarian and/or dictatorial conditions but could also be seen in burgeoning democratic institutions. They could also emerge where internal democracy is muted; and where no or minimal channels of communications exist between the leadership and the base.

Nothing that would displease the principal is mentioned but is always kept informed that everything was well. In the end the principal finds self in a prison situation.

All his freedom to know the truth is truncated as all the information private and public is effectively and efficiently filtered by the cabal.

When a president’s motorcade cruises swiftly pass you know that the cabal doesn’t want the president to witness or see the effects or impact of his bad policies.

Nimeri is said in April 1985 to have quipped ‘the real prison is the wall of silence erected around you by your colleagues, which prevents you from seeing or hearing the truth… until I arrived this place [Bastille station in Paris], I didn’t know I have been overthrown in Khartoum’.

This brings me then to who is a true friend. In my opinion a true friend is s/he who is able to courageously tell a bitter truth and take responsibility for it.

A true friend will not shy away from criticising her/his colleague for the mistakes committed no matter how senior in the hierarchy that colleague may be.

In fact, a true friend will try to restrain his colleague from committing mistakes while a false friend or true enemy will encourage commitment of mistakes because that provides opportunities for him, even if that involved a fatal error of judgement in the interest of the country and its people.

It becomes worst when the episode is fudged or glossed over in the interest of maintaining friendship thus depriving the individuals, the party or the government of the opportunity to draw lessons in order not to repeat it.

Which therefore is desirable a false friend or a true enemy? The answer is obvious. Definitely a true enemy is more desirable and indeed preferable to a false friend. This relationship is predictable and therefore one could take the necessary precautions.

But social and political engineering or real politick does not necessarily permit this clear definition of relationships. Sometimes one is forced to work and put up with false friends.

In such a situation what should a leader do to protect the interest of the nation or the party?

It becomes more complicated when sometimes false friends are blood relatives or people who share between them and the leader some strategic secrets.

In such a situation, the leader must extricate him/herself by subscribing and adhering to clear principles, strategies and correct rules of conduct of business in order to avoid the pitfall of power game.

S/he should uphold the rule of law; must respect, protect and promote human rights, civil liberties and basic freedoms as well as adhering to democratic principles and practice.

The leader should cultivate and maintain the trust and confidence of the masses of the people by doing the right things. The leader must act like a statesman whose relations with the people and power is underwritten by the constitution and the law. S/he must be seen to value neither ethnic nor local politics.

In the recent and contemporary history of the Sudan, we have had leaders who started off with grandiose political program only to retreat to the status quo ante. This is precisely because the new leaders get surrounded by false friends masquerading as staunch supporters and by doing that they elbow out genuine and committed members.

In a space of thirty five years both the ‘May’ as well as the ‘Ingaz’ revolutions fizzled out because the messengers superficially converted to the message they carried lost focus and deviated from the vision which thrust them to positions of influence. Many have since long decamped to the SPLM.

Linked to this theme, in an unfortunate manner, is the notion of somebody being another body’s person, hence the emergence of the infamous literature on the so-called Garang’s boys or orphans. This arises and sticks in a situation where political power and its exercise is not institutionalised and relationships are based on patrimonialism.

There shouldn’t be anything like somebody’s person in a political organisation which has a constitution and internal regulations which define and guide the relations between the members and the party organs/institutions.

This brings me to the question whether or not the members of a political party are or should be considered friends or comrades. I submit that members of a political party are first and foremost comrades in the struggle.

The relations between individuals are defined and spelt out by the constitution and the internal regulations/order of the party.

As comrades united by a noble cause e.g. struggling to change an oppressive regime or a liberation movement resulting in freedom and independence, they will not fear each other as their hierarchal approximate horizontal relations.

They will relentlessly criticise their own mistakes as they practise the principle of criticism and self-criticism spelt out in the internal order as a way of consolidating the organisational unity of the party.

On the opposite side relations based on social criteria e.g. on friendship amount to intertwined blackmail. Criticism here even when genuine is construed negatively, personalised and could result in conflict.

The happenings in the SPLM these days make a perfect rejoinder to the theme of false friends are true enemies. The fate of South Sudan hinges on a precarious balance as a result of heart-breaking leadership wrangles.

The unsavoury measures that dramatize ‘false friends are true enemies’ are jeopardizing and almost breaking the unity and turning into mutual enemies the top echelon of the SPLM.

It is now apparent that the SPLM must be saved from itself or it will plunge the country into the abyss. The battle among similar species is more vicious than that between different species so they say.

I would in this respect say that unveiled threats as was in the Legislative Assembly or the dangling of vacant positions in government in order to extract loyalty counter even our democratic pretensions.

It would be paramount to installing a monarch or feudal despot, Dinka egalitarianism notwithstanding.

This situation is obtaining principally because the SPLM cultivated social rather than political/ideological relations in its modis operandis since its inception.

Coupled with a power relationship based on military routine which nurtured the cult of personality, these social relations became a fetter on the emergence of institutionalized political relationship in the SPLM.

The result was that power and its exercise in the SPLM was personified ensheathed by a coterie of friends, most of them false friends.

The lack of institutionalised relations has always been the cause of tensions and splinterism in the SPLM. The fudging or rather the stifling of contradictions always came back like a boomerang.

What was not resolved in 1991 and 2004 respectively has sprouted back in 2013 with devastating effect.

In conclusion, I want to ask whether or not I did problematize the theme enough as to allow as to draw lessons. Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit is the Chairman of the SPLM and doubles up as the President of the Republic.

It is in his interest and responsibility to maintain the unity of the SPLM as well as the security and stability of the country. The social and political engineering processes to bring about unity, security and stability will not preclude having competitors whether within the SPLM or outside it.

He will have to put up with them but at the same time take responsibility for steering the process and keep the country, if not, the SPLM intact.

It must be made clear that the post-CPA SPLM is not the same as was CPA ante and I believe the Yei crisis 2004 was an eye opener.

The political freedoms multiply themselves and could only be restrained at some risks.

Those he appoints in whatever positions should be comrades rather than friends. If Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit decides to rely on gossipers, liars, soothsayers, etc., on the basis of friendship or blood relations, he can count on what happened on the global scene in the last four years. END