Archive for: November 2013

South Sudan needs intensive care


The current leadership of SPLM has steered the organisation to serve the interest of Warrap further creating divisions within the greater Jieng group. President Kiir knowing that he has lost support of the SPLM/A is resorting to building up a militia uniquely composed of Warrap boys only. This private army is illegally funded by tax payers’ money and structured to work along side the SPLA under the name of Republican Guards. A name discredited in Iraq. As expected, its presence is causing tensions and unease with the top leadership of the army.

This is a dangerous development. Apart from being illegal activity and contrary to the provisions of the constitution, president Kiir is unfortunately sending a signal to his opponents who may now feel threatened to start forming their own armies for any eventualities. This has been compounded with president Kiir’s action of 15th November 2013 of dissolving the SPLM Politburo and the National Liberal Council. This audacious move from the president effectively neutralises the powers of his party together with his opponents raising the stakes in the struggle for power in SPLM.

Riek Machar, the former vice president and deputy chairperson of the SPLM; Pagan Amum the suspended Secretary General of the SPLM; and Rebecca Nyandeng the wife of the late charismatic leader of the organisation, Dr John Garang De Mabior have been pushed further away from the centre of the organisation to the peripheries. Unless something happens they will all be history in the political space of South Sudan soon. President Kiir’s late action which no doubt is a result of confidence garnered from the presence of his militia in Luri may be intended precisely for this purpose.

Riek, Pagan and Nyandeng will need to respond swiftly while the rod of the internal opposition is still hot to deliver a blow to their nemesis. Harsh but true – Riek has in the recent past squandered a lot of opportunities in which he could have easily unseated president Kiir, but he failed to act. For instance, when president Kiir illegally sacked him instead of launching a robust challenge at the time the country was expecting so, he naively acquiesced in his own dismissal by acknowledging that president Kiir had the right to sack him. Unbeknown to him this very act dampened the hopes of the country and portrayed a new image of Riek as a naive and weak person not in tune with realities of South Sudan brutal politics. Frequent question now asked is: Is Riek a person with the pedigree of a leader?

Now another opportunity has presented itself. Will he together with the others (Pagan and Nyandeng) act seriously enough to wrestle with Kiir to dethrone him and claim the price, or will he and the others again behave in a wishy washy manner to squander this last chance as always for them to be consigned to the dustbin of South Sudanese politics.

Time is of the essence here. This seems to be the only opening left for any of them or all of them combined to challenge for the leadership. Failure will mean – as stated already – a one way march to the garbage bin of politics. It will be next to impossible for any of them to make a political come back in South Sudan for the simple fact the SPLM (their beloved organisation) is already waning with its unforgettable history of massive corruption, crime, Jienganisation, and killings. If they choose to be binned, perhaps that may even help them to retire to enjoy the millions of dollars they looted from the state coffers. However there is no guarantee that the next government will not call on them to account with possible confiscation of the illegally gotten gains.

It is this very point, the fear of accountability that may be driving president Kiir and his group crazy. Why does Kiir feel the need to have a private army masquerading as SPLA when the SPLA does not recognise and acknowledge it? There is only one answer and this has to do possibly with his wish to cling to power at all cost to protect his personal gains and to advance Jienganisation. In the event that president Kiir either loses leadership of the party or he loses the vote in the coming general election he may then resort to force.

There can be no other reason for president Kiir to build a private army other than to impose himself on the people of South Sudan by force. This force which reportedly numbers eight to ten thousand and stationed at Luri, a Bari village south west of Juba is quite enough to take control of Juba, the seat of government of South Sudan to allow president Kiir to proclaim himself as a legitimate leader of the country should he loose power legally. If the people have not yet grasped the seriousness of this development, then they are sleep-walking into the Somalianisation of South Sudan with huge consequences for regional peace.

What is the risk of president Kiir’s introduction of private army? To answer this question it is necessary first to identify the objective of this private army. As argued earlier Kiir feels insecure and he wants to secure his leadership and the long term objective of Jienganisation of South Sudan. This aim can not be assured without substantial possession of hard power. Thus Kiir’s action is to maintain Jieng hegemony over the other tribes in South Sudan. A short sighted view which is self defeating in this modern world. Unfortunately this destructive plan of Kiir will have catastrophic impact on all the people of South Sudan and the neighbouring countries in terms of regional destabilisation, refugee problems and humanitarian problems of huge proportions.

South Sudan has a complex ethnic makeup because it shares tribes with the following bordering countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Congo and the Central African Republic. This is a fact that can not be disputed. The names of these countries bare very little resonance to the local people because it is an imposition of European colonialism. Simply put, there are Nuer, Anyuak, Suri, Kachipo in Ethiopia and South Sudan. There are Turkana in Kenya and South Sudan, especially in the Elemi triangle, the strip of land administered by Kenya on behalf of South Sudan. There are Langi, Acholi, Madi, Kakwa and Lugbwara in Uganda and South Sudan. There are Kakwa, Logo, Kaliko, Avokaya, Mundu, Pojulu, Zande in Congo and South Sudan. There are Zande and Bongo in Central African Republic and South Sudan.

These tribes are separated by colonial borders created by the consequence of the Berlin Conference of 1884/5. There is a strong bond between the people separated by these colonial borders – prior to the separation they were under the same tribal leadership.

The unwise plans of Kiir which comes from greed and irrationalism if not strictly checked may lead into a serious conflict drawing in the entire East African region and parts of central Africa risking a wider African conflict due to ethnic affinities of the people and the abundance of resources in South Sudan. So the problem in South Sudan if viewed from this angle becomes an African problem with implication for global security. In short, what now looks like a tiny problem of Kiir’s madness has the potential to become a thorny international problem.

Now that we know that there are such risks what are the solutions? From the foregoing argument, it is necessary to conclude that the number one threat to national security in South Sudan is tribalism, especially as it is currently practised by leaders of the Jieng community and their use of state power. Jieng tribalism is more of a threat to the state of South Sudan and regional stability than the “Arabs” of the Sudan and their president.

To stave off this threat to the security of South Sudan a number of things need to be done:

– The neighbouring countries should review their foreign policy in relation to South Sudan taking into consideration the introduction of private tribal armies by the current president of South Sudan.
– The Africa Union (AU) should also pressurise the government of South Sudan to adopt a practical and honest democracy. The government in South Sudan need to be seen to practice democracy as opposed to only paying it lip service.
– If the USA is a supposed ally of “the people of South Sudan”, they too need to exert heavy pressure on Juba to ensure that the private tribal army of president Kiir and others if any must be dismantled quick before other groups follow suit. Should president Kiir resist as he may, the USA as an influential member of the Security Council need to push for a tough resolution empowering UNMISS with direct powers of intervention like “Resolution 2098 (2013) Entebbe ‘offense’ Combat Force to ‘Neutralise and Disarm’ Rebels, Foreign Armed Groups” which has brought calm to Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The motive in South Sudan should be for UNMISS to work with the chief of the military of South Sudan to disarm Kiir’s tribal militia and any other groups identified as non state actors. The mandate should even extend to practically reforming the current army of South Sudan by trimming it to the right size and launching a campaign of recruitment across the country for a proportional representation of all the ethnic groups of South Sudan in it to create stability. The USA should do this to honour their pledge to the people of South Sudan given by former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in December 2011 during the International Engagement Conference to South Sudan in Washington where she said, “South Sudan survived by being born, but it does need intensive care. And it needs intensive care from all of us”. The time to provide this intensive care has come.

I would like to reiterate a point I made in the article: ‘Benign intervention is the way forward for Republic of South Sudan’ I argued that there should be a soft intervention in South Sudan for the sake of peace. It seems as though the panellists in the Al Jazeera programme South2North now agree with the point that intervention is better than cure.

Please see ‘What is ethical leadership’

President Kiir and his kith and kin are drunk with power and they have drifted into a mode of deep self destructive denial as a defence mechanism against their predatory behaviour and abuse of state power. The introduction of the formation of a tribal militia is a very dangerous thing for the country and the security of the region. This is now a reality that has got to be factored in when dealing with issues of the country and the region. There is no doubt that president Kiir’s freshly bold action to chop down the structures of their dysfunctional party the SPLM is a result of confidence drawn from the arming of the Jieng. If this madness is not halted now the consequence will be costly to South Sudan and the region.

[The truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

Note for the reader.
It is recommended that you access the Al Jazeera URL re South2North programme provided to benefit from the highly educative, informative and inspiring video of the discussion of the elders. The issues discussed cover all the problems South Sudan is facing ranging from poor leadership to girl child marriages.

Aleu Ayieng, Interior Minister: Is it brotherhood or justice for victims?

BY: David Kanyara Aju, Eastern Equatoria State, NOV/18/2013, SSN;

Gen. Aleu Ayieng Aleu, South Sudan minister for Interior fell short of delivering in his speech during his trip accompanying with Vice President James Wani Igga to Nimule on 13 November 2013 when he talked about the Internally Displaces Persons (IDPs).

I presume Gen. Aleu Ayieng did not understand the English word– IDPs– which stands for Internal Displaced Persons. It was either he failed to understand the term IDPs or he simply declined to refer to his fellow Dinkas as IDPs.

His fellow Dinka IDPs have come to Nimule since 1994 during the intense liberation war. When the Comprehensive peace agreement, CPA, was signed in 2005, instead of returning to their land, they have decided to come in colonies to forcefully occupy and live in Nimule in the name of IDP

The minister of Interior instead of addressing the IPD issue which we the Ma’di have been addressing through dialogues and petitions to the Eastern Equatoria Government (EES) and the Central government, he has gone ahead to pat the IDPs in the back by saying as I quote here that, “There are no South Sudanese IDPs within the country. You cannot be an IDP in your own country,” he said.

Now I must educate this Interior minister, Mr. Ayieng, that the word IDP is not a Ma’di word, but rather an English word used to describe people who have been displaced from their places of origin due to war, natural hazzards, religious persecution…. etc.

The Nimule IDPs have enjoyed the hospitality of the Ma’di people but have gone to repay this by forcing their presence on land belonging to the Ma’di who are in turn forced to remain in refugee camps in Uganda against their will.

As if such oppression is not enough, these IDPs function backwards by carrying their dead from Bor to come bury them in Nimule, saying “Anina bi silu mait de fi belet,” by claiming ‘they are taking their dead to bury at home.’

Since when has Nimule become a Jienge (Dinka) belet (village) instead of Bor?

Frankly, these so-called IDPs have overstayed their welcome and whatever lame reasons they give for staying in Nimule is cheap politics. They parade the streets and alley ways of Nimule in the name of having liberated Ma’di land but I want to tell them that the nonsense they have held on to for so long must stop.

When Nimule came under fire then, we, including myself as a child soldier, fought to liberate the land whose geography none of them knew. And without our men taking the lead, Nimule and many other places would not have fallen into the hands of the SPLA.

So out you go with the old rotten philosophy that has been falsely drilled in your brains.

The fact that the Interior Minister can stand shamelessly to utter such outrageous statements has only gone to confirm the ‘we-liberated-the-land’ mentality the Nimule IDP are having.

Mr. Minster, you and these IDPs have got to ask yourselves, why is it only the Dinka seeking or playing the victims of IDPs in all the three Equatoria States when South Sudan has been a sovereign nation since 2011?

Mr. Ayeng, be bold, be a man, don’t abuse your ministerial power to enrich your fellow Dinka, play fair politics so that when you retire, you may have a good legacy and history will also remember you.

This is an outrageous statement coming from such responsible minster whose message should have been clearly that South Sudan is now a sovereign nation and all the illegal IDPs in Nimule, Equatoria and else where should begin to think of going home to their ancestral land where development awaits them.

My only advise to you, Minister, is don’t be ashamed, the world is watching what you say and do, you should spare for yourself respect by telling your fellow jieng that what they are doing is wholly unacceptable and unlawful.

It is equally absurd to see the illegal IDPs roaming the streets of Nimule with AK 47s in town yet they are not part of the regular army of south Sudan.

Because they display power visibly by these weapons, they now take the law into their hands. This goes as far as a group of them pursuing a civilian who happened to have accidentally knocked down their child across the boarder wanting to get this guy from the hands of Ugandan authority.

These Dinka in Nimule have created their own government comprising of the police and the judiciary within a government, and yet they are left to flourish while a genuine grant of a county has been denied for a people who rightly deserve it.

In whose county or payam can you ever find two tiers of administration except in Nimule where the failed Governor, who can only wait to address his people in the presence of the Interior Minister, who is totally uneducated about matters of his ministry?

I would like to assure the interior minister that there is going to a time for justice to be done, whether Jienge like it or not, time will come for them to remove their dead bodies who were buried in Nimule illegally.

This will happen, we Ma’di are not cowards but we do not want to take the country back to the 1980’s dark period of time, and if diplomacy failed we will be left with no option but to defend our land because your government is not inclusive.

Though we don’t have arms but the God of our land will be at our side, when we call for the gods of the mountains, something magnificent will happen.

Just remember when the people called upon the names of their gods what happened to the IDPs in Mugali? They know it better.

Soon we will consult with landlords and give our ritual offertories to the gods of our land, then we will see whether peoples’ power or gun will prevail.

I have one question to both Vice president Igga and minister Aleu Ayieng to answer, why is the non-army roaming with the AK 47s in the town?

Time again and again people have been complaining about the floating of unregistered guns in Nimule and the gun owners are carrying their guns openly, why is the government quiet about it?

Would it be the same when the Ma’di begin to obtain guns and roam with them in the market of Juba or else where?

This is outrageous, this Kiir-led government is non-inclusive. That is why chief Angu of Nimule Centre scored highly against you when he spoke categorically telling you they do not want the NTC, they want the Pageri County which you as a delegation said has been sat on by the President and last but not least they want the IDPs out of their land.

Once you have granted these three requests, come back and talk to us. The chief and his people do not want NTC, in whose land are you going to impose it?

The never serious James Wani Igga, the comedian he is, only came to Nimule to listen to the rubbish his minster of interior was uttering and his parroting the words of President Kiir!

Nimule issue, Mr. VP, is not a comedy, it is real issue, real people that need seriously real solutions. Nimule Town council has been rejected twice and several letters were written opposing it, so there is not reason for you to sing the song of going the referendum way.

Instead of listening to the people, you, too, Mr. Wani Iga, wanted to impose your authoritative regime banner you carry on us, the Ma’di. I will tell you once again the NTC is not wanted in Nimule, not in the current terms which Governor Lobong is trying to impose on us!

This is the exact agenda of Dinka to forcefully colonize Equatoria in the next 100 years and seize their land in a cheap policy which will only bring about the Kenyan land crisis to South Sudan, if the likes of Aleu cannot have enough common sense to address the nationwide IDP issues right away.

Now, unless he is directly involved in supplying the illegal arms to the IDPs in Nimule, he must address the issue properly to avoid insecurity in Nimule and other parts of the country with similar problems.

To the rest of you, peace, justice and human rights loving citizens of South Sudan, the situation facing us in the country is being created by the Jenge community wanting to seize what is not theirs and as you can clearly see, the so called IDPs are being encouraged by the likes of Minister Aleu in perpetuating their illegal acts.

Insecurity, lawlessness and unlawful killings are the consequences of this predicament we find ourselves in.

The Dinka IDPs have often referred to us the Ma’di as cowards or Ugandans or they have looked upon us as toothless because we are not armed. We do not want to take the country back to the memories of the 1980s. For those of you, Jenge, who survived the war can recall what I mean.

I also want to remind you that the gods of the Ma’di land are more powerful than the guns they are holding. In Mugali, the snakes that chased the Dinka form their havens never carried guns. If pushed, we shall invoke our gods and we shall see who has authority over the land of Nimule.

Finally, let Minister Aleu address the IDP issues seriously or if he does not know his job, let Kiir’s authoritative regime appoint a capable and credible person to assume the post but not just a fellow tribesman whose job is to cement nepotism nationally and oppression of the non-Dinka.

Author: David Kanyara Aju

EES, Republic of South Sudan.

Forms of Injustices in South Sudan


By Daniel Juol Nhomngek, KAMPALA, NOV/17/2013, SSN;

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. It is injustice that the order of society is centered. Justice delayed, is justice denied.

Justice must be done to Isaiah Abraham and other people who have suffered the same fate they are still yearning for justice.

This article sets out to explain the meaning and the characteristics of justice, the meaning of civilization and civilized society in general in relation to justice, the role of justice, and the need for justice to Abraham and his family and others who suffered injustices and where justice has been denied in South Sudan and finally concludes with the solution of what should be done to ensure that all South Sudanese enjoy justice in South Sudan.

Justice does not need law to keep it but the spirit of human feelings to ensure it and to feel for humanity.

Moreover, other wars fought due to injustices like the Sudanese Wars, all have their roots in the injustice where the majority oppressed the minority.

Although I believe as Late Leader Garang De Mabor did, ‘there is nothing like the minority of the majority’. The word “minority” or “majority” are coined to create confusion so that the canny people benefit out of confusion. All these are done to rob people of the resources and to deny them justice.

It ensures that the rule of law rather than the rules of nature prevail in regulating human conduct.

Therefore, natural justice is that kind of justice, which gives a person either affected or one whose action has affected the other a right to be heard while the person in charge of hearing two parties remains neutral in the case. The whole meaning of natural justice is to preserve the dignity of the persons affected or the accused.

The reason is simply, justice ought not only to be done but it must be seen to be done by both parties to the case and the general public.

Coming to South Sudan, it has to be noted that in the case of South Sudan, there is lack of natural justice and we should never be blindfolded that we have justice while the freedom of speech is dying with those who stood for it.

Those who stood for justice with the aim of correcting wrongs in the society are being killed or tortured.

The case in point is that of Isaiah Abraham who is lying dead for ten months now yearning for justice but he has been forgotten. His wife and children have been left wondering at what happens to their beloved one.

Isaiah Abraham died while defending the freedom of speech; a sign of liberty and democracy that millions of South Sudanese gave their lives for.

One thing is clear about Abraham, he did not do it for himself but for the benefit of all of us; the benefit for all South Sudanese, however today, it became a problem for a Isaiah and his family. Isaiah Abraham was a man of courage and resilience.

In fact if justice exists in the society there will be no critics and no one will stand out as a person of courage.

We all believe that we fought the war to restore our dignity that was defaced under the Northern Regimes, which is true. We have won the war! But, have we won the spirit of our liberation? That is a good question but it can invite diverging opinions and different answers.

However, one thing is clear, South Sudan is slowly sliding back into what we haet to remember; the Old Sudan style of ruling.

The critics of the government for instance, are being murdered at the whims of the leaders; a chief for instance, is killed in Nimule, because of allegedly being against the authorities or being against his opponents or those who wield power.

I should not talk like a great philosopher who confuses people with big words but the truth is that ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely,’ they say, but the fact remains, ‘justice must be done.’

It is a breach of the Constitution if the government fails to protect the citizens from being killed.

If the government has forgotten to safeguard principles of equality, justice, respect for human rights and the rule of law; freedom and dignity, then we as citizens must protect them.

We must hold government liable because Article 45 of the Transitional Constitution 2011 gives an inalienable right to be enjoyed by all South Sudanese citizens. The nationality and Citizenship is the basis of equal rights and duties for all South Sudanese.

By virtue of being South Sudanese we are guaranteed to enjoy all the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Our rights as South Sudanese are guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, which is a covenant among the people of South Sudan and between them and their government at every level and a commitment to respect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in this Constitution.

Other instances where injustices have been occurring in South Sudan are: injustice are committed against the girl child. The right to education is denied to girls because of cows in cattle keeping communities.

The case scenarios of Ms. Mary K., a 16 year-old girl. She had a dream of becoming an accountant but her dream was cut short when she was forced to leave the school in order to marry a 50-year-old man who paid the father 60 cows according to the Human Rights Watch.

This was a serious violation of the girl right to education in South Sudan and it is another form of slavery and slave trade in South Sudan.

It is also discouraging to see the government official forcing his daughter who was a candidate in Primary Seven in Uganda into marry. This action was done by the Lakes State Governor, General Matur Chut who forced his Primary Seven daughter to get married.

The government kept quiet about this which shows that the Government of South Sudan does not care for the welfare and rights of its citizens. If it were a government that care for its citizen General Matur would have been called to answer for his action of contradicting the government policy of ensuring girl-child education. This was one of the major instances where injustices was seen.

Another example of injustice is where South Sudan’s official army has unlawfully killed and committed other serious violations against civilians in the context of a counterinsurgency campaign.

The action of soldiers in Jonglei State has forced thousands of citizens to flee their homes, making them more vulnerable to attacks from rival ethnic groups. South Sudan should hold all abusive soldiers to account and bolster military and civilian justice to curb further violations. This was also reported by Human Rights Watch.

The action of the soldiers was and is against international law because it amounted to forced evictions. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Fact Sheet No. 25 defines forced eviction as: “the involuntary removal of persons from their homes or land, directly or indirectly attributable to the State…..”

In its letter to the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Human Rights Watch (Washington, DC) pointed out that Soldiers from South Sudan’s army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), and officers from the Auxiliary Police Force unlawfully killed over 95 people from the Murle ethnic group and Murle members of the security forces during an armed conflict in Pibor County, Jonglei state.

These killings are serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law and the government of South Sudan has an obligation to hold those responsible to account.

We understand that the SPLA is conducting some other investigations, but we are concerned these do not address the majority of documented crimes against civilians and urge the government to investigate all incidents, including for example killings of civilians by soldiers in the Lotho village on December 4, 2013, in Pibor town on January 27, 2013 or in Manyabol town on May 26, 2013.

The omission of the authorities to protect the people of Jonglei State from being forced out of their land by armed groups or such armed group in connivance with the state authorities is a violation of the rights of the Jonglei State citizens which are enshrined in the international rights instruments, which South Sudan is a party thereto. It is a terrible injustice.

Another area where injustices are committed with impunity is the way criminals and suspects are handled. For instance, South Sudanese soldiers have unlawfully detained and ill-treated more than 130 civilians since February 2013 in response to armed violence and inter-communal fighting in Lakes state. Besides, there is a lot of torture going under military rule in Lakes State.

The infamous detention centres in Lakes State are Long-Chook around Rumbek Centre and Ngangtinga prison between Tonj and Cueibet County. Many citizens are innocently rotting in the cells in these two prisons.

To make matters worse, most of the prisoners are innocent they have never been proven guilty of any crime which they are accused of.

However, what is happening in Lakes State is a clear manifestation of torture, which is against international law and constitutes injustice against the citizens of Lakes State.

Another instance where injustice is seen is where peaceful protesters are killed but South Sudan state authorities have failed to carry out adequate investigations into the killing of eight peaceful protesters by government security forces.

The killing of those citizens who are exercising their democratic rights is a violation of Article 9 and many other Articles of the Transitional Constitution of 2011 of the republic of South Sudan. It is also a violation of the principle of personal liberty enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights. This is an justice that the government which is aspiring to promote democratic principles and the rule of law can commit against the innocent people.

All these are done in the name of keeping national security but the question is for whom is the security being kept if all citizens are criminals?

Is it not the government which in turn becomes an enemy of the people and people need to tell the government that it was wrong?

In addition there is a violation of religious rights in the country for instance Amnesty International reported that two members of the Presbyterian Church in South Sudan, Reverend Idris Nalos Kida and Pastor Trainee David Gayin, were arrested from their homes by security forces on 19 May 2013.

They are being detained incommunicado, without access to a lawyer or their family, and are at risk of torture or other forms of ill-treatment.

These is another form of injustice that is existing in South Sudan, and which reminds me of 1960s when Arkangelo Ali was killed in Rumbek, Lakes State by Arabs because of practising Christianity.

South Sudanese used to blame Arabs for such acts but now whom are they going to blame?

Finally, corruption is another form of injustice that is rampant in South Sudan. Ordinary South Sudanese had no access to hospitals or schools, because the people in power are stealing public funds, which they used to send their children to private schools abroad or to get the world’s best medical service.

This is shown in a remarkably short period of time, the name of South Sudan has become synonymous with corruption. This is a form of social injustice that South Sudanese have to face in their daily lives.

Therefore, it is important to state that LAWS CHANGE DEPENDING ON WHO’S MAKING THEM, BUT JUSTICE IS JUSTICE. The leaders make laws that suit them but justice will remain a disturbing factor in the government system.

To conclude, it is true to say that the solutions to South Sudan problems are not military rule or everyone joining the army; the solutions of South Sudan problems are to invest resources in the development of a human being that has conscience and love for the country.

In addition, to respect the rule of law by all and upheld the principle of constitutionalism, build more hospitals and empower every citizen economically to restore social justice. Build roads and strong infrastructure to make services available to all.

I believe if these are done, the problems of South Sudan will be solved and these are the permanent solutions to South Sudanese problem.

NB/ The Author is Fourth Year Law Student in Makerere Law School and he can be reach via: Email:; or +256783579256

South Sudan needs a Referendum joining East African bloc

BY: Peter Gai Manyuon, JUBA, NOV/17/2013, SSN;

The application of the Republic of South Sudan in joining the East African Community had been a debatable issue among the citizens of South Sudan since the negotiations had been moving on beginning after the declaration of the South Sudan as an Independent nation on the 9th July 2011.

Most of the people of South Sudan are having different thinking and views about whether the new nation should join the bloc or not, and therefore, in the inside article, you will see my observations and recommendations why am saying a Country like a South Sudan should go for a peaceful and transparent referendum to determine the fate of this country to join or not to be part of the bloc.

However, South Sudan’s application to join the East African economic bloc is running into headwinds as divisions among senior government officials, and the entire nation at large in Juba and apparent hesitancy on the part of one of the partner states takes Centre stage.

Moreover, in July this year, the East African Community (EAC) sent a team to the country to verify its readiness for membership. The team’s report was submitted to the council of ministers late last month during a meeting in Burundi.

While Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda found the team’s findings comprehensive enough to make deliberations on the admissibility of South Sudan into the community fold, Tanzania wants more time to review the report.

“The United Republic of Tanzania informed the council that it had received the report on Friday, August, 23 2012 and therefore, had not exhaustively consulted with all key stakeholders on the matter,” reads a report on the council of ministers’ meeting.

The verification committee report revealed that there were different views among South Sudan’s government officials on the country’s planned EAC membership even the entire citizens are having different projections and views over the issue.

Others are saying South Sudan should join the bloc after some years because nothing is good yet in the Country as there is no respect for the rule of law, no human rights in place, and even freedom of expression is another critical agenda identified by most of the inhabitants of South Sudanese at the movement.

Hence, others are of the view that South Sudan as a Country should address the issue of social services like Roads, hospitals and schools and after wards, South Sudan will reach at the level of a good standard and therefore, might be the time for this country to join.

On the other hand also, in South Sudan, the issue of insecurity, lack of good education background and good approaches for the democratization process should be observed first before rushing to join the east African bloc.

Hence, that is why am calling for the government of South Sudan to organize for a referendum whether this country will join or not.

Well, there might be benefits when South Sudan joins East African Community like the free market, free transit and visas, security issue and good international relations which can benefit people of this Country from one point to another but the question is, is the Government of Salva Kiir ready?

While some officials favor immediate entry, others feel that the country should be granted observer status first.

Further, some policy makers would rather have bilateral agreements with EAC member states separately.

It also noted that although South Sudan had put in place legal and institutional frameworks that would enable it to meet membership requirements as outlined in the EAC treaty, these institutions were still in their infancy or not yet operational.

Analysis about South Sudan joining EAC block:

Viewing at South Sudan as a Country compared to the other Countries like Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania, you find that the Country is still lacking.

Citizens of the South Sudan were not informed and aware about the idea of the new Republic to join East African Community, it had been the Government agenda that isolated the entire population that is supposed to determine the issue whether South Sudan can join or not.

Government of the President salva Kiir Mayardit had been moving forward strongly for the new nation to be accepted and the citizens that make up this Country are disagreeing up to this moment.

Most of the citizens term the negotiation as interest-driven from a small group of people in the government of the Republic of South Sudan.

Interestingly, the whole Country is at the stage of disintegration over the idea of joining the block or not.

Key Recommendations:

President of the Republic of South Sudan should really respect the voices of the entire citizens of this Country because this is a serious issue that needs good discussion and approach at this particular period of time.

There is need to involve the civil society Organizations, faith base, the entire citizens of South Sudan with the inclusion of different political parties in the process, because it will be the responsibility of different stakeholders to enlighten the people of this nation about the shortcomings and the advantages of South Sudan joining East African community.

In summary, for the Country of South Sudan to be free from Tribalism, corruption, nepotism and sectarianism there is need to work together as the team with one principle that is accompanied by democratization, respect for other people opinions and adherence to the dignity of the people of this great nation.

The author is Independent Journalist and a writer who wrote articles extensively on the issue of Democratization, Human Rights in South Sudan, you can contact him through ;

What next for South Sudan Economy after the Aborted rate rise?

BY: Malith Alier, B. Com, South Sudan, NOV/17/2013, SSN;

Term it “Manasenomics,”* that is what the economy of South Sudan has become after November the 11th announcement of the exchange rate rise from 2.9623 to 4.50 South Sudanese Pounds per US Dollar.

The reaction, both from the market and every citizen was instantaneously swift. The market prices reactively rose and citizens all of a sudden became gloomy about the future of their country’s economy.

In the heat of the moment, the country’s parliament swiftly summoned the Central Bank Governor together with the Minister of Finance to appear before it to answer questions about the sudden rise of the exchange rate.

Let’s come down to basics. South Sudan economy is a consuming economy reliant on imports from neighbouring countries and farther afield. The country hardly produces anything for domestic consumption leave alone for export.

Further, it is highly reliant on crude oil exports which lack necessary infrastructures. The pipe lines are located in the Sudan and the oil is exported to the nearest coast of Port Sudan.

As we all remembered, a crude oil production shutdown in 2012 led to what was known as austerity measures characterized by reduction of civil servant salaries across the country.

Apparently, this austerity situation is not yet lifted despite resumption of crude production in 2013. Many civil servants have attempted strikes for their pay and allowances to be reinstated.

Being an oil dependent economy, the Central bank has managed to steer the country through difficulties since independence in 2011. It has done so through managing foreign currency rates and allocation of major foreign currencies to foreign exchange Bureaus and commercial banks, something that is unique to south Sudan.

No other country in East and North Africa is doing what the Central Bank of South Sudan, does in this country.

This unique operation (weekly allocation of foreign currencies) of the Central Bank has been taken to mean as the entire economic management possible for this country.

Not surprisingly, there are about ninety Foreign exchange bureaus and close to thirty Commercial banks are now operating in the country. Their work is limited to allocation of Dollars from Central Bank nothing more or less.

This allocation of foreign currencies to financial institutions has clearly been an economic headache to the Board of Directors of the Central Bank.

But not only that, it also has been a headache to all the financial institutions in the country. You find long queues for Dollars in all the financial institutions.

Unfortunately, however, the majority of those looking for dollars are not genuinely seeking it for foreign travel, medical or schooling abroad.

They simply want to further exchange the dollars so as to make an effortless and quick gain in what is known as “black market.”

As a consequence, those who really deserve to have foreign currencies for the above-mentioned genuine reasons have been excluded in the process.

The reforms that have been initiated by the Bank of South Sudan (BSS) were necessary because they are long overdue.

No country in the world has two parallel exchange rates and where money is displayed on streets but it’s assumed to run an effective economy.

No country in the world that spoon feed people through the allocation of foreign currency operates like South Sudan.

With the economy obviously still small, is it realistically necessary to have close to thirty commercial banks in a short span of only two years?

Those people who forced the Central Bank Governor to back down are not seriously honest to themselves and even to the country.

The reaction we saw in parliament tells a lot. The parliamentarians took it personal and they all became emotional without restraint.

Some of them at the same time have interests in Foreign exchange bureaus as well as the commercial banks hence they cannot exercise neutrality.

This was also the view of one economics professor from University of Rumbek during roundtable debate on the 13th November 2013.

The good professor who is also one of the Board of Directors in the Central Bank argues that allocation of foreign currency to banks and exchange bureaux is “criminal” and will not help this country economically. He added the following reasons:—

1. The rate rise was short term
2. Commodity prices will rise but will gradually come back to normal
or to equilibrium
3. Investors will be attracted as a result of the rise
4. Economic stimulation and growth is expected
5. Foreign currency will be available and accessible to everybody who
needs it
6. Neutrality of currency is lacking but is required
7. The parallel market or black market pays no taxes, something that
should worry the informed parliamentarians
8. Long queues for Dollars will be eliminated.

These points are powerful enough to tell South Sudanese where they are and where they should be economically. The professor further stated that the Central bank was dealing with monetary policies and the Ministry of finance deals with fiscal policies like salaries for civil servants.

The Central Bank action has been rejected but it has done a lot for the country. Lessons have been learned. It will further generate debate about the state of our economy in general.

South Sudan economy will not be the same again, forward it must.

The Central Bank Governor should have stood his ground before the supercharged parliament. No country in this world allows its economic direction to be determined by popular vote.

(*name of Parliament Speaker where the Central Governor was forced to revoke rate rise decision)

Malith Alier is a graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree

South Sudan: Is it really a booming nation or another Somalia?

BY: John Bith Aliap, Adelaide, South Australia, NOV/13/2013, SSN;

Readers of this article may agree with me that South Sudan’s historical issues are far from resolved. The current state of affairs in the country tells us a differing story. After its independence, South Sudan is now seen to have entered yet another phase characterized by sever instability in its post-independence history.

South Sudan, a country which Dr. John Garang – the former leader of SPLM/A movement once referred to “as a country worth dying for” is a nation that prides itself on equality and unity in the face of adversity, but is that really the case or is this nation a façade?

A million dollar question like this may not sit well with those in the echelons of power in Juba to which mishandling of this hardly won country rests upon their shoulders.

However, for those who believe in truth, the harsh realities embedded within the South Sudanese society today under the current government are hard to swallow.

However, before I shed some light on issues facing our country, it’s important to remind ourselves as [South Sudanese] to take a hard look into the history of South Sudanese’ various struggles that resulted in the birth of the new nation on the 9th of July 2011.

The north-south long-decade civil war- which left an estimated 2.5 million people dead and 4 million homeless according to UN estimate was not for fun! It was for a good cause. Although the Comprehensive Peace Agreement [CPA] succeeded in silencing the guns, the agreement is far to have solved all the country’s predicaments.

Two years now since its independence, the calamities in the country are still ongoing with no change insight. South Sudan as it currently stands, remains one of the poorest and least developed country on earth, and most communities still have little access to basic services.

Shamelessly, despite the wealth the country holds, South Sudanese leaders often throw their tongues on high gear in the media that they need urgent support from the international community, something they think could shore up their efforts to provide food, water and essential services to their people, but how long will the country rely on foreign aids? Nobody knows!

The country suffers from an enormous lack of enlightened leadership and a bad style of political and economic guidance. The current South Sudanese leaders (including the president) can hardly escape the public scrutiny.

These people who call themselves leaders have introduced corrupt, unethical and immoral practices which continue to reduce many of their people into paupers in their own country.

The hosting of the universal referendum vote in 2011 signalled the end of Khartoum’s discriminatory policies, their abolition which resulted in the formation of the Republic of South Sudan was a necessity to the future of its people.

While a portion of South Sudanese notably [government officials] in the country have risen up the social ladder, becoming a modern day middle and upper class, there remained a vast, widespread depression within the poor South Sudanese communities across the country.

Since the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement in 2005 and up to date, the living standards among South Sudanese communities deteriorated further, with unemployment rate, criminality, tribalism, corruption, cattle wrestling rebellions soaring to new heights.

The current SPLM-led government has sadly failed to deliver on its promises. The ensuing lack of equal distribution of wealth, economic growth, untold human rights abuse, have crippled the resolve of many formerly proud South Sudanese.

As a result, doubts have evidently been cast over the security of Juba regime and its leaders’ ability to deliver on their promises.

South Sudan’s economic situation is one of complete contrast, having an inequality mixed economy. There is a minority community that possesses a measure of wealth the rest of the nation’s working classes could only dream of (you know what I’m talking about).

The economic gulf between the rich and the poor makes South Sudan the most unequal nation in terms of income equality.

Equal opportunities are few and far between, with many often citing the current state of the country as having been blighted with corruption, tribalism, inequality, gross human rights abuse, unemployment etc.

With the above mentioned issues and leaders incapable of combating any of these issues, it is hard to see how South Sudan will emerge from its transitionary period.

The largely impoverished communities are not aided by a current system built on the basis of corruption and other ill practices.

This question must be posed; is Kiir and his team really the right people to lead a proud nation such as the Republic of South Sudan, with any degree of success?

The answer is an emphatic and categorical contestable depending on your view of the matter in question, but these people have managed to draw criticisms from opposition parties and citizens alike, due to their rather concealed past, in which $ 4 million dollars (known as dura saga) went uncounted for and no single minister was charged in the court of law.

Only in South Sudan would such people with murky records of corruption and crimes hanging over their heads be allowed to lead the nation.

Conversely, the successes of a unified South Sudan must also be outlined, in order to understand whether it can be branded as an unmitigated disaster or an unheralded accomplishment.

Somalia, a country worse than Congo, Chad, Yemen and Afghanistan is the most failed state in the world according to the annual ranking by Foreign Policy and the Global Fund for Peace. Citizens of this nation have been suffering, and are still suffering today from an ineffective government, famine, disease, piracy, militant extremism and frequent external intervention.

The question that hangs on our lips is; who really needs to see the Republic of South Sudan going through this path?

I guest no one would wish to see this beautiful nation undertaking the path of Somalia.

For South Sudan to avoid the same fate of Somalia, it is imperative that the unemployment rate, corruption, tribalism, nepotism, criminality, rebelliousness, cattle wrestling and the list goes on …. are combated with a relative degree of immediacy.

Nobody wants to see a great nation like South Sudan with ‘unimaginable wealth and beautiful geographical landscape’ deteriorates beyond recognition. South Sudan, to remain as a proud nation, there must be an emphasis on change for the better rather than maintaining a status quo.

John Bith Aliap can be reached at

Eight Years of Kiir’s Presidency: SPLM has Lost its Vision

BY: Gabrial Pager Ajang, Nebraska, USA, NOV/10/2013, SSN;

Eight years of Kiir’s Presidency, people of South Sudan went through tribal conflicts and scandalous corruptions. His leadership is clouded and has culminated in an unending cycle of tribal fighting, corruption and bad governances.

In eight years, citizens of various counties are stranded in awful situation, hundreds died of diseases and starvation. Because of remoteness of areas that had no roads, it made it problematic for the few charitable organizations that wish to deliver medical and food supplies during rainy season.

The Sick are carried by loved ones on their shoulders to distant unequipped clinics. Citizens engulfed in these dreadful situations have long yawned for better roads and infrastructures.

Nevertheless, the comprehensive Peace Agreement kept hope and optimism alive among South Sudanese. However, these hopes and optimisms were killed by Juba when it signed Cooperation Agreement with Khartoum’s government.

This new accord was neither strategic policy nor was it beneficial to Juba, but it was rather an appeasement of Sudan government or a deal made at the expense of South Sudanese citizens. It emasculates the CPA, undermines demarcation of the border. Even though, permitting movement of citizens between the South and North is good idea, it is politically bad for South Sudan.

The Cooperation Agreement depoliticized the legitimacy of South Sudan as a sovereign nation, and somehow paves way for unification of the two Sudans at least in the eyes of international community. It is an agreement that should have never been signed.

The precarious and horrendous situation of South Sudan is deteriorating, and Juba leadership is the sole entity to blame. They failed to prioritize counties programs, instead they gratified their greed.

Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) fails to stick to its vision. Kiir’s administration has chosen flawed policy, after flawed fallacy policies that are easily susceptible to be exploited by Khartoum and cause the High Implementation Panel to relax and lay back.

We sacrified our sons and daughters for freedom, good governance, peace and viable democracy but little did we know that we have sacrificed them for a gloomy future. Even, after independence the price we continue to pay is high, and indeed too high to continue paying such a price in blood and treasures.

Although it is not easy now for President Salva Kiir to engineer economic and agricultural revolution in South Sudan, it could have been easy had the government made good policy choices. The best policy could have been connecting counties by roads, and provision of maximum security in corners of South Sudan.

In contrast, I live in the United States, a country where President can protect me at all cost. Let alone people dying in hundreds, he can move bliss to protect one person. Therefore, the government that fails to safeguard a single person cannot protect its citizens and its sovereignty.

The SPLM as political party under Kiir leadership had lost its vision. We now know that Juba lacks leadership’s skills and expertise to implement the existing three of six protocols that have not been executed. The party we all anointed and praised for delivering us from the bondages of injustice, from oppression and brutal totalitarian regimes of Khartoum had lost its tasked mission.

Juba’s leadership is wallowing in desperation and despair. Kiir resorts to clinging to power. He adeptly thinks that clinging to power by all means could preserve his leadership. However, he must be told that he had no power; good power is one that is derived from citizens.

He looks unreasonable to citizens, and this could mean, he losing legitimacy at the eyes of citizens and international community, when he continues to claim powers that do not belong to him, for example power to appoint and fire governors.

In these eight years of Kiir’s Presidency, the Global Observatory, a credible organization venerated and respected organization ranks South Sudan as number three (3) among the failed and fragile states. South Sudan is also ranked number three (3) among the countries that have the least able ability to reduce poverty.

However, Transparency International and the World Bank landed South Sudan on the first position (1) among the most corrupt countries and labelled it as the most corrupt country in the World.

South Sudan government had no strategic vision and policy. The government is run by quasi-pseudo skilled individuals who are addicted to talk, talk and talk without substantial results.

Again, South Sudan is ranked number three among the failed and fragile states, a country where the president, ministers and some governors claim full entitlement of oil revenues, built their houses in Juba and mansions in abroad, and never appropriated small percentage to those people in villages who have sacrified their sons and daughters during years of the liberation struggles.

A country where foreigners empty banks of South Sudan of funds (i.e. Kenyans and Ethiopians) and send them to their countries each month.

A country where UNMISS allocates protection where ever it wants. The government of South Sudan is irrefutably in its worst state of affairs.

South Sudan border between the South Sudan and Sudan had not been demarcated; hence she had no internationally recognized border. The border between South Sudan and Kenya remain murky. South Sudan disputes towns in border with Uganda. Clearly, South Sudan does not have an international and regional recognized borders.

On the security fronts, the government fears of being accused of war crimes by the international parties if it chooses to use military against robbers of cattle and child abductors. Juba carefully chooses not use military, police or security personnel in an event of tribal conflicts.

This key policy of government amounts to lawlessness in several states of South Sudan. The policy of non-intervention has or will trigger an armed race as tribes are left at the mercy of cattle raiders and child abductors. Various tribes will embark on buying more military weapons and equipment for their own protections.

The government policy of non-intervention will simply turn this beloved country into Somalia, a country where each tribe provides its own security. This will inevitably illegitimatize government authority among insecured tribes.

It is a worst policy any sovereign and viable state can advocate but in South Sudan, officials are scared of the UNMISS. Appeasement policy toward Khartoum and UN agencies has either left thousands of civilians killed or immensely suffered.

Constitution and Agreement
Liberal constitutional democracy outlines eight years of presidency as an unsurpassed and legal periods for any president to set concrete policies, and model of achieving. Although South Sudan had no constitutional democracy, empirical evidences indicate the president of South Sudan would have accomplished substantial programs/works in eight years, even if the country emerged from the ruins of the 21 years of war.

The nation should been developed with it little resources it had, but the president opted to build and satisfy his own insatiability.

History indicates that constitution is annexed to guide nation through challenges and difficulties. Transitional Constitution of South Sudan was not designed to do that. It was adopted to enhance the powers and responsibilities of the executive.

And interestingly enough, this transitional constitution had expired, and the South Sudan Constitutional Review Commission did not either review, amend or write a new constitution.

The country is officially operating without constitution. There are laterally no laws that are meant to protect citizens, and no legal grounds for bringing criminals to justice.

Taking towns to village was a policy spearheaded by Dr. John Garang during the liberation periods. He asserted that “there is no meaning of revolution unless it makes our people happy, unless the masses of our people as a result become prosperous.”

He echoed development as core center-piece of liberation struggle. Dr. Garang said that the government must provide enough food, clean drinking water, education, health services or the revolution is nothing unless it makes our people happy. He suggest that the people could even prefer the government of NIF (National Islamic Front of Khartoum) that provides salt than the government of the SPLM that does not provide salt.”

In the last eight years, what has been the hallmark of Kiir’s administration? The whole government has been submerged in nothing but lousy talks and lousy works.

In the last eight years, there have been little or no development, counties and states infrastructures and roads in their pre-independence conditions.

Kiir has failed to even suggest policies that ensure foreign businesses, communities and regional organizations operating in South Sudan to help in remedying challenges of poverty reduction.

Kiir premier policy that will help write his legacy, the Cooperation Agreement that he signed with Khartoum. It is now clear that it was digression from the CPA. Signing new accord while the CPA has not been fully implemented is not leadership but inability to lead.

The decision to sign Cooperation Agreement had done more damages to South Sudanese than to his legacy. The issue of the borders, the popular consultations and Abyei Protocol were not policies invented by Juba, they were signed by Khartoum and President Bashir knows it.

However, we all know that the ultimate power lies with the people of Abyei and they have spoken in their referendum. It is now time for the international community especially the United States and Europe Union to recognize and accept the Abyei Referendum’s result.

After 8 years of his presidency, the hope, optimism, and vision of the SPLM have been lost. Governing independent nation and leading liberation struggle prove opposite, and indeed, too parallel but one thing is clear, challenges facing independent state cannot be resolved using policies and mentalities of the liberation.

He is frightened of criticism, and prioritized killing of people who criticized him. Well, Mr. President I got advice for you since you are good at listening to any advice: starts buying more bullets because armies armed with pens have just started writings.

Grading President’s Performance
I will use rubric and renowned mathematical metrics to grade President Kiir’s achievements in the last 8 Years:

1. I gave the president (A) for holding peaceful and fair referendum and declaring independent on time but (F) for failing to demarcate the borders, honoring Abyei Protocols, and reluctant in term of implementing popular consultation in Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain in the last eight years.
2. Signing Cooperation Agreement was disaster to South Sudanese people because it impedes implementation of Comprehensive Agreement; I gave president grade (D-) for trying alternative policy although it finally failed.
3. Training of soldiers, security personnel and police, I gave the president grade (B+) but I gave the president grade (F) for failing to provide protection his citizens.
4. A creation of Corruption Taskforce was a better policy, I gave the president grade (B-) for establishment but he failed to prosecute culprits and corruptors, hence I gave the president grade (F).
5. The president has maximized and consolidated powers of executive, massive use of presidential powers, issuing decrees and extensive privileges; hence I gave the president grade (F).
6. He manages to provide his own security and not the security of citizens, and combined with his autocratic rules, I gave the president (F).
7. Construction of roads is best the program that would have moved South Sudan’s economy; his bad choice of policy and presiding over the most corrupt nation and fragile state, I gave the president grade (F).
8. Appropriating nation’s budget to ministries rather legislature, a body responsible for budgeting and grants public officials luxurious trips encompass bad governance, I gave the president grade (F).
9. He supports and embroils in buying the most expensive cars i.e. SUV, and making Juba the most expensive village in the world, I gave the president grade (F).
10. He fails to connect three main cities with roads (Wau, Malakal, and Juba) I gave the president grade (F).
11. Issuing decrees, President Salva is effective in firing and appointing new ministers and governors, hence I gave the president grade (F).
12. The President overall performances of the last eight years of his presidency is grade (F)

Recommends Policies
South Sudan is an Agricultural market economy. Hence, I will recommend governmental programs that would rejuvenate economy and help the private sector to thrive in the midst of economic chaos. I will suggest programs that seem to be simple but if implemented, they will have lasting impact on the citizens.

Majority of South Sudanese people said that situation of South Sudan cannot and will not be transformed because the reality on the ground reject change. This is a lie, we are capable of change, this bad culture is spearheaded by failed and cowardly individuals who want to benefit at the expense of entire citizens.

Eradication of corruptions by introducing strict ethical laws, conversion of dysfunctional government to vibrant agricultural market economy: nation-building programs are fundamentally vital to me, as a concerned citizen, I will carefully suggest the best fiscal economic and political policies that would assist citizens and the government of South Sudan.

In the next few years, South Sudan could possibly move its few resources to improve educational quality, health, and political structure efficiently and effectively if it wants to stands on its own without foreign influence and interventions.

The author teaches political Science and History at Career College, former Nebraska legislative assistance and passionate advocates of responsive government that observes rules of laws, and guarantees citizens protection; as an important principle of democratic government. Besides, he is specialized in Public administrations and policy. He can be reached at

To the “Faceless” NGO Worker: In Jonglei, David Yau Yau is a problem and the Problem is David Yau Yau

BY: E.E. Dantes*, Australia

Firstly, if one cannot stand up by putting a face or their name to a statement they believe in, maybe they should not state or write it at all. That said, I would like to respond to some things raised by the unnamed author of “South Sudan: In Jonglei, David Yau Yau is not the Problem.”

(1) The author wrote, “In post-independence South Sudan the majority of rebel leaders have been Nuer and there have been no, insignificant (sic), Dinka rebel leaders; the biggest tribal group in South Sudan, occupying both presidential posts to date. Why should they rebel?”

This is a laughably sad condescending statement. For the record, (a) In post-independent South Sudan, there has been only one president, so the “both” the author is referring to does not make sense. (b) Equating a presidential post to be a satisfactory factor of not having a grievance is as an absurd statement as saying that Africa-Americans have no grievances because Obama is the president. It is plain silly to say that Jieng (aka Dinka) have no reasons to rebel because the president is a Jieng. This statement infers that Jieng are the SOLE beneficiaries of the presidency, this is a falsehood something many NGOs working in Jieng homeland can corroborate. (c) I do not know how one determines significance of rebel leaders but I think there was a certain George Athor not so long ago whose personal grievances where not amalgamated to mean a greater cause of Pigi his home county.

(2) …“but at a much lower scale the motivation of the Murle is the same as Palestinians, who want their own state within South Sudan. The Murle and DYY are also not the only ones in todays South Sudan who are campaigning for greater self-determination – just take a look at the ongoing low-level shilluk rebellion against the Dinka in Upper Nile State.”

Wow! Really? (a) There is an ocean between Palestinian issues and Murle – they cannot be compared whatsoever even in a context of this supposed notion of self-determination by the Murle people. The two causes are incomparable – even the ideological definition of self-determination is different among the Palestinians and the Murle (on a personal note, I think it is an insult to the Palestinian cause). (b) In addition, the supposed rebellion against Jieng for self-determination in Upper Nile is just a palpable fib. This is perpetuating falsehood of big bad Jieng, hell bent on destroying and colonizing the minority. Firstly, the Upper Nile State is a home to three peoples, Collo (aka Shilluk) Kingdom, Jieng and Naath (aka Nuer). The Collo Kingdom is the home to some of the most influential people in the history of Sudan namely: Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, Pagan Amum, Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak, Dr. Lam Akol (leader of SPLM-DC) and Baguot Amum (Pagan’s sister and wife of late Nyancigak, SPLA Commander from Murle). Secondly, historically the Collo lived on the west bank of the river Nile during the British colonial times while Jieng and Naath lived on the eastern bank. However, during the wars, people were continually displaced and subsequently Collo settled along the eastern bank resulting in frictions with Jieng around the areas of Lul and Anakdiaar. Thirdly, in relation to various rebellions in Upper Nile, namely that of Gabriel Tanginya and Johnson Oliny, these were not specifically against Jieng or Nuer but against the government in Juba. Tanginya was unhappy with the terms and rewards of incorporation into the SPLA. Oliny on the other hand was unhappy how his ancestral community was treated. Oliny’s community straddles the Sobat River, which marks the southern border of Upper Nile State and northern border of Jonglei State. During rainy season, the people migrate from one side of the river to the other, essentially crossing state borders. The community therefore fell through the bureaucracy as the two state governments passed them back and forth and not accepting them into one state. This was not the fault of Jieng or Nuer community but that of the government. Fourthly, no Jieng has ever been a governor in Upper Nile in post-independent South Sudan. Therefore using Upper Nile State as an example shows how the author has no understand of the issues in South Sudan.

(3) “I have no sympathy for DYY I don’t know how many crimes he has committed and few people do……….. Very few Murle people actually subscribe to DYY’s political agenda, if such a thing can be said to exist, but he has become a last resort for community protection among the Murle.”

This is a glaringly contradictory statement from the author who equated Murle’s grievances with Palestine’s cause and Yauyau’s stated political agenda as similar. The author stated that Murle wanted a state of their own in South Sudan something, which Yauyau actually said was an objective of his rebellion. Therefore, how can the author back away and say that Murle do not subscribe to Yauyau’s political agenda? The author also says, Yauyau has become a resort for community protection, against whom?

(4) …“the forced disarmament campaign exacerbated the tensions targeting the minority group, the Murle.”

This is an astonishingly dishonest statement from the author. I do not know whether the author is aware that Anyuak, Jieng, and Lou were the first to be disarmed in 2006 in Jonglei and Murle were not. Small Arms Survey reports are quite insightful.

Just to give a bit of context, in 2005 Lou Nuer and Jieng of Duk clashed for the first since peace was agreed between Jieng and Nuer. The government for whatever reasons decided between January and March in 2006 to forcibly disarm people. It conducted a preferential disarmament campaign targeting in Jonglei, Nuer, Jieng and Anyuak. Jieng and Anyuak handed their weapons in peacefully although woman, girls and children suffered abuses in the rural areas and were promised compensation by then Governor Philip Thon Leek. That promise was not kept.
Nuer on the other hand refused citing the fact that Murle and Jikany Nuer of Upper Nile still had arms. This led to a confrontation in May in which 400 SPLA and 1,200 Lou Nuer were killed.
SPLA committed many atrocities as a result while the UN, many NGOs and commentators turned a blind eye. Nuer blamed Jieng and the government because the General, Kuol Dim, who was in charge of disarmament in Jonglei was Jieng.

Thereafter, Lou repeatedly harassed Duk County until in May 2007 Jieng of Duk ë Padiet retaliated and looted 20,000 heads of cattle and killed unknown number of people. Here is a summary (Most of it from Small Arms survey, News Reports, IRIN Website, International Crisis Group and academic journal articles):

Jan – May 2006:
SPLA disarms Jieng and Anyuak peacefully, Lou resists, and 1,200 are killed. Lou Nuer rearms within 18 months (ICG).

May 2007:
Duk ë Padiet clash with Lou over grazing rights resulting in Jieng looting 20,000 heads of cattle.

July 2007:
Murle attack Akobo. Hundreds are killed (no concrete figure is given).

October 2007:
Murle abducts two children from Bor County.

Nov. 2007:
Murle kills 8 and steals, 7,000 heads of cattle in Padak in Bor County. The Murle raiders are pursued but they ambushed the pursuers and kill 21 Jieng while they lose only six.

Jan 2008:
Murle attack Anyuak in Pochalla County, kills 26, and takes 105 cattle.

Then due to census and other things 2008 threats by Jieng of Bor County to raid Murle things quiet down.

Jan. 2009:
Murle attacks Lou in Akobo kills 300.

March 2009:
Murle attacks Wuror and kills 600-750

March 2009:
Lou attack Murle in Lokuangole and kills 450

April 2009:
Murle attacks Lou in Akobo and kills 250

May 2009:
Lou attacks Jikany in Upper Nile and kills 71 (Nuer against Nuer).

August 2009:
(a) Lou attacks Jieng in Wernyol in Twic East County twice killing 11 and 47 on each occasion.
(b) Murle attacks Lou in Mareng killing 185.

Sept 2009:
Lou attacks Duk ë Padiet killing 167.

Then everything goes relatively quiet because of referendum and the elections and 2010 passes without major incidents in Jonglei.

Feb. 2011:
Murle attacks Wuror County and kills eight.

April 2011:
Lou Nuer attack Lokuangole, in Pibor County kills 200 Murle.

June 2011:
Lou Nuer attacks Gumuruk and Lokuangole, in Pibor County, 400 Murle and 398,000 heads of cattle looted. Nuer Youth also reports on the Internet that Jieng has joined them.

August 2011:
Murle attacks Wuror County and kill 750 Lou Nuer.

Dec 2011:
Murle attacks Jalle in Bor County and kills 42

Jan. 2012:
(a) Lou Nuer attacks Lokuangole and Pibor and kills between 1,000 – 3,000 Murle.
(b) Murle attacks Duk county and kill 47 people while they are under attack! One thought they would be busy defending themselves!

Feb: 2012:
Murle attacks Anyidi in Bor County and kills nine Jieng and in retaliation, Jieng in Bor Town kills seven.

March 2012:
Murle attacks Nyirol County and kills 30 Lou Nuer

March 2012:
Murle attacks and kills 225 in Ethiopia and within Jonglei.

If one does the math, it is quickly apparent that the Murle are not a targeted victim minority that the author makes them out to be. It is quiet clear that they are very aggressive and have been the primary source of instability in Jonglei at least since the signing of CPA in 2005.


Jonglei State has many problems stemming from weak governance at both state and national level. Certainly, taking sides and misinforming the world will not help the local people whether they are Jieng, Naath or Murle.

The fundamental problem in Jonglei lies in the fact that the state is vast with no strong civil administrative institutions.
(1) All of South Sudan is aggrieved, from a bad government.
(2) Ethnicity is used as an excuse for impunity. When Abel Alier was the Head of HEC in 70s following Addis Ababa Peace Agreement, the Equatorians cried “Dinka! Dinka! We want Kokora (re-division of Southern Sudan).” When Joseph Lagu headed HEC everyone cried, “Madi! Madi! How many are there? (Madi being a minority group).” Since 70s, South Sudan is being slowly Balkanized.
(3) Nobody knows why Murle is fighting unarmed Jieng civilians. When Athor went to the Bush, he had personal grievances and the whole of Atar (his home constituent) did not follow him because their issues are not personified in Athor. However, Yauyau has been used to excuse Murle’s atrocities against other civilians.

People say Yauyau has a grievance (what is it? And against whom?), and then they add that he is standing up for his community (really? What if those in Pigi, Duk, Twï, Bor, Wuror, Nyirol, Pochalla and Akobo – frequent victims of Murle start standing up for themselves, what happens?).
(4). All guns must be laid down at all cost either voluntarily or forcefully and people have to talk or else everyone should be left to their own devices the latter being Somalianisation of Jonglei.

(5) David Yauyau is a problem in Jonglei State if not the major problem in Jonglei State primarily because of his sponsors in Khartoum (see Eric Reeves blog from comprehensive analysis). He is exacerbating pre-existing tribal tensions into something much bigger by politicizing it with illogical demands of separate statehood for the Murle.
If the UN and NGOs want impunity to end in South Sudan and all rebellions to die out like the M23 in D.R. Congo, then they must do to Khartoum what UN did to Rwanda. The West must impose embargos and sanctions to deny people like Yauyau supplies and sources to continuously fuel the rebellion.
The UN and NGOs must stop the glaring biased approach with they have adopted in South Sudan and must stop undermining the South Sudanese government in the name of selective human rights protection.

*e.e. dantes is an Australian academic with keen interest in South Sudan’s political affairs. The views expressed here are his only, and do not represent that of the institution which he works for.

Chicken coming home to roost: Jieng must take responsibility

BY: Elhag Paul, RSS, NOV/11/2013;

In the last fortnight the Jieng of Bor and some of their distant relatives from the other parts of the country have come out forcefully, and rightly so, to condemn the government of South Sudan for its failure to protect the people of Twic East in Jonglei state. I use the phrase “rightly so” because one of the main functions of a government is to protect its citizens.

Unfortunately the ruling ethnic groups and their party, the SPLM/A has since its inception in 1983 only cared to protect themselves leaving all the other people of South Sudan at their mercy. They abused the people and grabbed lands at will while uttering painful words like, “Anina akuma” meaning ‘we are the government’, “We liberated you” and so on to their victims.

Many of the Jieng whether from Bor, Gogrial, Rumbek etc did not seem to see this as a problem since their mis-governance makes them feel good. So, everything was OK.

As I said many times in some of my previous articles that SPLM/A violence will eventually destroy all of us including the country. The Jieng whether by design or necessity of tribal solidarity or realisation appear to have decided to wage a writing demonstration against president Kiir.

Article after article written by staunch Jieng government supporters in the various media outlets specialising in South Sudan issues poured out venomous stuff against the SPLM government for failing to protect the Jieng of Ajuong and Pakeer in Jonglei Twic East. The attack on these villages obviously is tragic and no human being would want such a thing to happen to any other fellow human beings.

It is right that the Jieng and everybody should get outraged by these painful incidents. Painful as they are, South Sudanese people have to be honest to themselves to understand why such incidents occur which means everything has to be put in context if at all solutions are to be found.

By doing so, equally the Jieng need to be reminded of their predatory behaviours and its consequences on others which generate similar feelings to what they are experiencing presently.

When the Jieng are the abusers all the Jieng writers making loud noise now zip up their mouths and pretend as if nothing is wrong. They do not empathise with the pain of others and if anything they are the first to condemn anybody who wants to highlight the abuses.

They make no effort to condemn any Jieng orchestrated atrocities from open shooting of Equatorian police officers in Yambio; killing of an Equatorian doctor in Yei, disappearance of John Luis and Reverend Manas Matayo; shooting of Bari people in Kemiru; arbitrary kidnapping of Kakwa chiefs to violent land grab and the stories can go on endless.

To contextualise the attack on Ajuong and Pakeer in Jonglei Twic East, it is vital to look at the behaviour of the government of South Sudan. To date the government of South Sudan can hardly convince anybody that it is not a tribal government of the Jieng. From the people staffing the government offices to how the judiciary works in favour of the ruling ethnic groups.

Take for example, the corruption saga. The overwhelming people who embezzle government money are Jieng and they are never called to account. The overwhelming number of murders and killings in the country are carried out by the Jieng. The culprits once arrested are freed from detention and no accountability whatsoever. The majority of the rapes in the country are carried out by the Jieng without accountability.

So the Jieng dominate the forces and judiciary precisely to ensure that the system works for them regardless of the crimes they commit. This is just a small picture which suffices for this article.

The confidence that the Jieng has developed from their exercise of state power has made them to be blind to realities. If you remember, in December 2011 the ethnic ruling groups were so confident that they publicly declared their intention to exterminate the Murle people.

They formed a force of nearly 5000 people who rampaged throughout Murle land with the government standing by as a spectator. This force of non state actors comprising 80 percent Nuer and 20 percent Jieng in alliance of convenience to wipe out the Murle devastated the villages of Murle with the authorities watching actionless claiming they could not stop the crime obtaining. An act that can be interpreted as abdication of state responsibility by the government.

This callous behaviour of president Kiir’s government which proved South Sudan as a failed state was in fact taken to realise the interest of the ruling ethnic groups which as they declared was to exterminate the Murle.

Please study the stories in these URLs for you to understand the full picture:
‘Nuer and Dinka White army to launch operation savannah storm against armed youth’ ; ‘Nuer Youth have captured lolkuangole and are advancing to capture all Murleland’ ;‘The Nuer white army ended operations against Murle tribe in South Sudan’

‘The Nuer Youth in Diaspora declared the invasion of Murle tribe legitimate criticised the government for its failures to protect civilians’

At the time everybody kept quiet as if crimes of international nature falling under articles 5 and 7 of the Rome Statute were not happening in Murleland. Even Ms Hilda Johnson, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in Juba, at the time gave vague excuses supporting the state of South Sudan pleading lack of capacity and resource in the nascent country.

What a palaver? What a shameful behaviour from both the United Nations and the government of South Sudan? Is there any wonder why the United Nation’s office in Congo is seen by the locals as a “tourist office” with the staff as “tourists” on leisure trips. Here was a world body and a state that cave in to challenge from non state actors. Yet the government of South Sudan wants to call itself a legitimate government.

Supposing that this White army which was composed of illiterate, indisciplined and careless boy-villagers was marching to Juba with the intention to change the government, would president Kiir have remained timid and inactive as he did? Would he have given up power? Was this thinkable?

No wonder Holland and Fletcher in their special report: ‘In South Sudan, plunder preserves a fragile peace’ published by Reuters on 22nd June 2012 described the current leaders of Government of South Sudan as “a rag-tag bunch of boys with guns that have never administrated anything.” There you are. What more could be expected from children running riots in the country.

The pain experienced by the Murle in the December 2011 attacks and the subsequent attacks that followed were met with silence, but this does not mean that they did not suffer emotionally and mentally from the devastation and displacement that occurred.

On the other hand the attackers of Ajuong and Pakeer in Jonglei Twic East whose identities remain unknown have muddied the waters as no one knows what painful experience they might have had and from who in the lawless land of Jonglei.

As for the Murle they may have had similar raw emotions and feelings resulting from the pain inflicted on them. The Murle, defenceless, isolated and labelled by the ruling ethnic groups were mercilessly hunted down like animals in Bor and other places. Those Murle civilians who were attacked only for being Murle and survived were tracked down to hospital wards where they were shoot dead in cold blood killings in government controlled areas without any accountability.

The raw feelings enraging the Jieng of Bor now because of the Twic East incidents can be destructive to their well being unless it is channelled and managed in such a way whereby it is turned into good use.

These feelings should be harnessed towards realising a positive change in the country leading to sweeping off the current good-for-nothing “idiots ……rotten to the core”.

These feelings need to be merged with similar feelings from other parts of the country to speed up the process of change. This entails the Jieng coming to terms with the fact that they have failed the people of South Sudan and if all South Sudanese have to be protected the Jieng must abandon their nefarious tribalism.

Otherwise eventually all South Sudanese including the Jieng will sink together whether they like it or not. So the Jieng need to take responsibility for their huge contribution to the problems facing the country.

The total sum of thinking of the entire tribe known in the world of academia as “group think” that promotes nonsense such as “born to rule” and “we liberated you,” has to come to an end if the Jieng truly want to ensure their future safety in that part of the world.

The Jieng of Bor with support of their other kith and kin from other parts of the country is largely instrumental for the massive suffering of many people in the country from Kharasana in the north to Nimule in the South and from Akobo in the east to Raja in the west.

Take for example the case of Nimule only. The Jieng are tormenting the indigenous people there on daily basis. They dispossess the locals of their properties; they kill the local leaders and impose themselves as the local administrators with support of the government. In short they are terrorising everybody with impunity.

This situation is also replicated in many parts of South Sudan like Chollo land, Bari land, Kakwa land and Fertit land and so on. The consequence of this barbarism of Jieng has huge consequences on the lives of the local people.

Some people have lost their properties and land in effect becoming homeless in their own ancestral land. Many are marred and bereft because of the unceasing killings. Entire communities are by Jieng design forced to live under fear endlessly in their rightful homes.

The consequence of this predatory and oppressive behaviour has resulted into serious injury to the collective feelings of the community causing emotional stress and distress generating deep resentment of the Jieng and the whole system.

Now this destruction that the Jieng are visiting on others seems not to move them at all as if the others are not human beings. Rarely do the Jieng who are now vigorously writing against the government in defence of their tribes mates regarding the Twic East incident show any solidarity with the suffering of their fellow countrymen resulting from their actions.

Even their clergy keep their mouths shut. They do not condemn the abuses of the Jieng. Unlike in the cases of Kemiru carnage, Wau massacre, Chollo land abuses, Nimule atrocities, the Jieng clergy have come out with guns blazing. What a hypocrisy?

Please see ‘The Bishops of Bor and Twic East Diocese on the Continuous Killings of Innocent Civilians by David Yau Yau Rebel Group.’

The Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Juba, Daniel Deng is even worse than the clergy of Bor. He comes to the oppressed in Equatoria with songs of peace without any condemnation of what his tribes mates are doing. Remember that oppressive powers have since the empire of Rome used the clergy and Bible as an anaesthetic to lessen the pain of the oppressed.

Karl Max put this point in a nice way by referring to religion as opium of the masses. The Jieng with their shallow thinking think that Archbishop Deng will do the soothing of the pain like the church did for early colonialists in Africa for them to realise the Jienganisation of South Sudan as revealed by Mabior Garang, the son of late Dr John Garang, in his interview with Pan African Vision (22/08/2013).

If Archbishop Deng because of tribalism can not honestly represent Christianity as in the Bible like Archbishop Desmond Tutu or Rev. Trevor Huddleston in relation to Apartheid in South Africa he should just butt out of the church. I hope that Archbishop Deng is not a wolf in a sheep skin.

Archbishop Deng by now should very well know that the people of South Sudan are living under emotional distress due to the actions of his kith and kin in the person of president Kiir and the Jieng dominated forces and SPLM party.

It is said that charity starts at home. Archbishop Deng therefore needs to first go back home and preach to his tribes mate the value of respect, empathy, non violence, honesty, respect for public properties, sanctity of life and peaceful co-existence with others.

He needs to condemn the promotion of theft by the Jieng of state properties and fellow countrymen’s lands.

The Bible clearly tells Christians in the 10 commandments that “thou shall not steal,” “thou shall not kill” etc. He needs to be seen condemning the theft and killings promoted by the Jieng government for the purpose of Jienganisation.

This is 2013. There is no room for hypocrisy and the Archbishop should not think that when he wears those robes people will just bow to him and his tribe’s abuses which he pretends not to know. The biography of this clergy must be opened up wide for the people to peer through to know exactly who he is.

He can not be the left hand of president Kiir mock soothing pains of the oppressed while president Kiir is committing atrocities against South Sudanese with his right hand.

The Jieng clergy now are experiencing the pain visited on their people and they are furious. They are right to be furious. Equally they too need to be furious about the actions of their tribes mates in other parts of the country to prove that they are not tribalistic.

It is sad that the Twic East incident has to happen for the Jieng to feel pain that others are already living with daily from their barbarism.

It is just dawning on the Jieng that they are not really strong and powerful as they falsely convinced themselves. It is the state power that they have hijacked and abused that gives them the clout of invincibility. This is why all the other people of South Sudan must come together and ensure that the people take back their power.

The Jieng must not be allowed to abuse state power in the way they are doing: intense grounded tribalism, violence, corruption, wanton mismanagement, land grab, displacements etc.

The Jieng of Bor now realise that they are not really protected as they thought and believed. Thus they are venting their frustration on their already proven useless leadership and government.

But if the current incompetent leadership and government is to be replaced by a non Jieng from the other groups, they will all run back to president Kiir and rally in support of any Jieng leadership. They would not care whether the Jieng they support is competent or not as they did with Kiir following Garang’s tragic death.

If president Kiir now further empowers the Jieng in Bor as per their request to be armed, do not be surprised to see the noise stop with the reversal of the noise makers strongly backing him.

The Jieng only rally on issues affecting them. They do not care about the other people of South Sudan. The absence of empathy among the Jieng to the suffering of others from their own actions appears to be something that they have cultivated by dehumanising the “other.”

This concretely proves their well grounded tribalism. They do not reflect on the fact that their own violence and predatory behaviour affects victims like themselves and surely it has now come home to haunt them. It is a case of chicken coming home to roost. Although I share their pain, I believe that the truth has to be said.

With the foregoing, let us recap. The incident of Twic East in Jonglei is barbaric and disturbing. There is no place for such behaviour in our world of today. However, this incident is not comparable to the immense suffering the Jieng have and are inflicting on fellow country men in places like Nimule, Yei, Juba, Mundri, Wau, Pigi etc daily. The outcome of such behaviour regardless of the magnitude is the same – psychological destruction of the people individually and collectively with the long term consequence of dehumanising the society.

Therefore, it is time for all South Sudanese to come together to work for a change and a genuine democratic constitution that protects everybody, promotes humane policies and holistic development.

If South Sudan takes this path and adopts such a democratic constitution, slowly it will discourage tribalism and at the same time nurture positive citizenship ensuring an emergence of a healthy country with happy citizens.
[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

Lam Akol’s Return: Back to ethnic or multi-party politics?

By: Jacob Dut Chol, JUBA, NOV/10/2013, SSN;

When President Kiir issued an executive amnesty order in October 2013 pardoning a number of former renegades Gabriel Tanginye, Mabor Dhuol, Peter Rahaman Sule and Gatduel, to be mention but a few, for alleged roles in sponsorships of militias against his government, Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin was also offered an amnesty and pardon too.

However, the Amnesty offered to Dr. Akol drew mixed reactions from the public as to what acts of crimes Dr. Akol perhaps had done to warrant acceptance of the Amnesty. But others argued that he was accused of supporting the militias of Johnson Oliny in his Upper Nile backyard and the David Yau Yau operations in troubled State of Jonglei that necessitated the Amnesty.

Dr. Lam Akol returned to Juba on 2nd of November 2013 with huge jubilations from his party members, supporters and some officials of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. His message from Juba International Airport to his SPLM-DC press conference on 3rd November 2013 has been participation on consensus building in governance and realization of reconciliation and unity amongst the South Sudanese.

But it is important to question whether his return from exile will deepen ethnic party politics or be a driver of multiparty politics in South Sudan?

As many might be aware, political parties when founded on strong ideals that are further institutionalized as doctrines of promotion of public goods, they become drivers of democratic transition and consolidation but when constructed on ethnic cards then they become drivers of destruction and underdevelopment.

In South Sudan, political parties have been constructed more on ethnic cleavage, rather on ideological orientation that members should subscribe to in the political discourse. SPLM for instance was founded and commenced as unifying party cutting across all the ethnic cleavages in South Sudan, which in my view helped in the attainment of independence.

Unfortunately, however, many may view SPLM as a party dominated by Dinka and Nuer justifying two-ethnic dominance. Whether such preposition has overarching empirical evidence in structure and membership is another debate, which is beyond the scope of this piece of analysis.

But of course ethnic party politics or ethnicization of politics is dangerous to the spreading of waves of democratization and most importantly ethnic peace, which is badly needed in the crafting and building of South Sudan state.

To paraphrase Political Engineer, Kanchan Chandra’s famous argument of ethnic party outbidding, ‘when parties are formed along ethnic lines with huge support from ethnic backyard, then a minor ethnic group will feel excluded and when elections are nearby, this ethnic group will leave “outbid” and form its own party dominated by its ethnic members. The internal primary goal of such ethnic political party would be development and provision of social services to the party backyard. When that happened, another minor ethnic group would outbid again thus resulting into ethnic polarization, ethnicization of politics and centripetal politics.’

The argument of Chandra is applicable in the case of Dr. Lam Akol’s Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC) during June 2009, when it was founded nine months to elections.

The objectives of SPLM-DC are as good as SPLM party but during April 2010 elections Dr. Lam relied much on his ethnic group in Upper Nile region particularly the counties of Shilluk ethnic group where he garnered over 90% votes and negligible votes from other regions.

This also applied to the case of Salva Kiir who scooped many votes from Dinka states with the highest votes from his Warrap stronghold.

The outcome of the elections was contested with Dr. Lam Akol terming them as highly rigged and flawed and insisted on taking SPLM to Supreme Court. What followed later was the rebellion of Johnson Oliny in the Upper Nile State, which many analysts viewed as having causation with Dr. Lam Akol’s defeat in the elections.

What I trying to argue here is how ethnic party politics emerged nine months to the elections with consequences of rebellions and polarization of politics.

The return of Dr. Lam Akol to Juba should be analyzed on his past ethnic party politics and also on the desire of promotion of multiparty politics embedded on pluralism and institutionalism.

Most institutional prescriptions depoliticize the issues that ethnic groups are most likely to fight over and constrain the power of ethnic majorities to make unilateral decisions on issues that concern ethnic minorities.

Dr. Lam Akol should begin embracing the fight for competitive politics across the ten states of South Sudan to prove the point of being the main opposition party in the country.

He should take advantage of the growing middle class in the country that has been blended with professionalism and independence and he should sell his policies genuinely on what his party should do to the citizens and with constructive criticisms to the ruling party.

The idea of institutionalism can be deepened on the advocacy of the establishment of Political Parties Council (PPC) as stipulated by the Political Parties Act 2012. This should be a beginning point so that the Political Parties Council (PPC) provides a platform for dialogue among the members of political parties and also an avenue of regulations of the activities of political parties.

Once established by the President with the consultation of other parties, the eight-member PPC shall scrutinize political parties to separate the real political parties from personal briefcase parties used as vehicles of securing political positions, and which lack policies and structures.

The scrutiny as provided for in Political Parties Act 2012 demands all political parties to undergo fresh registration including SPLM and be awarded a certificate after as well fulfilling other requirements as stipulated in the law.

So the realization of the PPC will provide a level playing ground for all political parties, which shall enhance competitive and multiparty politics in South Sudan.

Other responsibilities of opposition party in the National Legislative Assembly should be seen awakening. For instance vibrancy should be seen in critical advocacy for adherence to constitutionalism, rule of law, respect for human rights, security of citizens, good governance, efficiency economy and delivery of services to citizens.

If Dr. Lam Akol comes with the attitude of April 2010 elections then he is returning with ethnic party politics.

However, if he comes with advocacy for the establishment of Political Parties Council, good governance, market driven economy and critical but constructive criticisms to the ruling party so as to accommodate institutionalism, pluralism and populism in politics then his return will be the beginning of multiparty politics in South Sudan.

Mr. Chol is a Comparative Political Scientist, a founder and Executive Director for the Centre for Democracy and International Analysis (CDIA). A research and an academic think-tank based in Juba. He can be reached at