Archive for: December 2013

IGAD’s Neutrality is in Question!

BY: J. Nguen, CANADA, DEC/31/2013, SSN;

On 27th of December 2013, the heads of States from East Africa Community convened a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya to deliberate on South Sudan’s crisis. Six representatives or head presidents attended the summit. The initiative sparked hope among the hard pressed South Sudanese and friends of South Sudan around the globe because it was a logical call of action to address South Sudan crises.

However, the resultant was a major disappointment. It appeared that the regional leaders had nothing to offer but to support President Kiir with his bloody hands.

Unquestionably, the East Africa leaders turned out to be President Kiir’s allies, aimed to crush dissent political voices in South Sudan. This is one critical mistake committed by so-called the IGAD heads states.

The deliberation was ill-considered and indirect voice of the Government of South Sudan on “attempted coup” in form of Uganda and Kenya.

For example, the Summit “condemns all unconstitutional actions to challenge the constitutional order, democracy and the rule of law and in particularly condemns changing the democratic government of the Republic of South Sudan through use of force,” as if the alleged coup attempt was true.

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni said “we gave Riek Machar four days to respond (to the ceasefire offer) and if he doesn’t {response} we shall have to go for him, all of us. That is what we agreed in Nairobi.”

True mediators don’t give any ultimatum to any side they want to bring to the negotiation table. This is not an impartial position and I‘m therefore afraid that Dr. Riek and his SPLA/M’s supporters would be forced conform to come to the negotiation table using such hostile language.

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has also taken side by stating that “let it be known that we in IGAD will not accept the unconstitutional overthrow of a duly and democratically elected government in South Sudan.”

Mediation is not about intimidation but forming consensus on both sides. Any mediation which started on such a hostile environment like that of IGAD is a failed initiative.

On a personal note, I believe that IGAD initiative started on wrong foot on the following points:

1. The statement is a clear reinstatement of the Government of South Sudan’s (GOSS) position since this crisis started. The statement seems to imply that there was a coup attempt which undermines the credibility and neutrality of IGAD to mediate South Sudan’s warring parties.

2. The statement erroneously justified the position of the government of South Sudan on coup attempt, which objects the unconstitutional challenge of the democratically elected government of South Sudan, which is false. The SPLM leaders opposed to President never challenged Mr. President’s position at the level of the government of South Sudan.
3. IGAD’s support on the Government of South Sudan’s position will grossly skew the discussion and give the government of South an upper hand. Thus, will undermine the position of the SPLM political leaders led by Dr. Riek, the former vice of the Government of South Sudan. Therefore, this is not helpful and will not help negotiation to be fruitful.

4. The resolution of the Summit is in line with the Ugandan and Kenya’s position in the crisis. Hence, Mr. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Republic of Uganda is already accused to have sent in troops and fighter jets to South Sudan to aid South Sudan Kiir’s failing support in the Army.

5. And while Kenya president was reported to have stated that “let it be known that we in IGAD will not accept the unconstitutional overthrow of a duly and democratically elected government in South Sudan.” This dangerous and a copy-cat of Yoweri Museveni’s position. As such, it’s irrational and unwise to have Uganda and Kenya mediate peace for South Sudan given their positions.

These are hostile tunes and will not bring the warring parties to the negotiation table. The IGAD’s melody is counter-productive and unwelcome development. It kneecapped and compromised their partisan position and its prospect to bring peace to South Sudan.

It is disheartening to report that IGAD didn’t fulfil its expected role as a neutral mediator in this crisis, and I therefore concluded that IGAD lack impartiality and must not be the way to go to achieve amicable peace in South Sudan. Not only that, Uganda’s participation in the dialogue will continue to make matter worse due to its unwelcome militarily interference in the South Sudan’s internal affairs.

At this critical time of need, I therefore call on the African Union, United Nations and the International community (the USA, Canada, Norway, UK, China and Australia) to help mediate South Sudan crisis than IGAD.
It’s important to reinstate that we need peace in South Sudan, but we can’t achieve such amicable peaceful solution through IGAD given their lacks of neutrality and unquestionable alliance with the government of South Sudan.

Lastly, to achieve amicable solution as alluded above between the South Sudan warring parties, I would like to reinstate and strongly recommend that the Africa Union and others neutral bodies must intervene to bring peace to South Sudan than IGAD. The IGAD is obviously not one to bring that peaceful solution.

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

The Fabricated Coup (South Sudan): A Confession from a Party insider

BY: Camfort N. Bodin (an alias), JUBA, DEC/30/2013, SSN;

(a) SPLM & DEMOCRACY:

The fate of this young nation is in the hands of two men whose rivalry and distrust goes back to the beginning of SPLM/SPLA. What started out as a political problem is now threatening to take this young nation to the brink of a civil war.

Dr. Machar having lost his vice presidential seat realized that his only means of ascending to power is through the democratization of SPLM.

Pres. Kiir, on the other hand, understood that democratization of the party is a threat to his regime.

The demands put forward by Dr. Machar and Pagan Amum at the most recent party meeting were aimed at weakening the powers of the presidency. The long term goal was multi-partism and democracy in South Sudan.

But Machar, Pagan and their other ten colleagues understood that forming their own party would be deemed as betrayal by South Sudanese. And they are reluctant to leave a party which they have been participants in building and nurturing.

Pres. Kiir demands the same level of reverence and respect that was accorded to the late Dr. John Garang. However, Kiir unlike Garang, is not a consensus builder.

He tends to be very frustrated by political process; while Dr. Garang did not personalized politics, Kiir keeps political grudges and demands complete loyalty.

His failure to enforce the appointment of Telar Riing as justice minister made him very skeptical of a democratic SPLM. After all, Kiir is a military General who abides by the Military code of conduct.

In short, out of fear of democratic process and Dr. Machar’s presidential ambitions, Pres. Kiir has resorted to his last option: a military rule. This was why the presidential Guards – a majority of whom are from Kiir’s very own sub clan- was formed in the first place.

The Guards main job was complete loyalty to Pres. Kiir, not to the South Sudan’s presidency or to the Rep. of South Sudan but to Kiir himself.

The only reason there were some Nuers and a small numbers from other tribes within the group was due to fear of disintegration within the SPLA.

In order to nationalize the army, it was necessary to integrate the military. This was supposed to weaken likely potential rebels. In particular, the late Gen. Matip Nhial, Gen. George Athor, Gatdet Yaak and Tanginye. And also to entice YauYau, who is still rebelling against South Sudan.

The overall objective in forming the presidential Guards, was to ensure Pres. Kiir remains in power by any means necessary. The aim was to ruthlessly silence the democratic voices within the party led by Dr. Machar.

It must be noted that Machar was only a de facto leader of the group due to his seniority within the party.

(b) The Plan: a fabricated Military Coup And why a Coup?

A fabricated coup was the only means of ensuring Pres. Kiir remains in power as a “failed coup” in African context is almost always justified with an establishment of a brutal military regime.

The plan was to either arrest/prosecute or assassinate some the 12 politicians. An emphasis of “dead or alive” was placed in Dr. Machar’s case. During this upheaval a strict curfew was to be established in juba, malakal and Bor.

An immediate order was to be given to Gov. Montytuil and Gov. Kun Pouch in Unity and Upper Nile States to protect the oil fields while reinforcements arrived.

So what went wrong? For once the dreaded presidential guards being mostly young recruits and given their limited military experience in SPLA were extremely indiscipline in their execution of the presidential orders.

A number of them having long held personal grievances against Machar and the Nuers in general for the Bor massacre of 1991, decided to carry out revenge attacks on the Nuer civilians in Juba. This gave Machar time to escape.

The guards also completely destroyed Dr. Machar’s home in Juba and there was a speculation in the presidential circles that he might have been killed in the rubble. This meant a couple of hours were wasted trying to find out Machar’s whereabouts.

And before long Gen. Gatdet in Bor had received intelligence about the massacre of Nuers in Juba. Gatdet is well known for being a nationalist but a pro-Nuer at heart. His objective was always to fight for Nuer first.

His support for Machar is a consequence of his loyalty to Nuer and not on shared principles.

As a result, Pres. Kiir and his confidants hope that Gatdet- given his new found faith in South Sudan Unity and his elevated status within the party- would take a couple of days before he gets a wind of what was actually going on in Juba and make a decision to defect.

During this time he would either have been persuaded to stay within the ranks and let the judicial process take place or implicated in the “Coup”.

Perhaps, Gatdet’s military experience and distrust of Koul Manyang and Kiir told him otherwise.

Another major blow was the defection of Gen. Koang in Unity State- This was never anticipated by the high command. Kiir’s inner circles were generally inept in their execution of this plan.

The major mistake was the lack of understanding of Nuer’s sentiments in the SPLA and in the populace. And the desire to deny the Nuers any elevated status within the movement by some of the staunch supporters of Pres. Kiir.

There was a fear that the Nuer would coalesce around Machar upon his arrest but that ultimately Gen. Hoth Mai might be in a position to re-establish order if needed.

(c) IGAD/Geopolitics: Kenyatta & Museveni

Once the high command received the information that Machar had escaped and that Gatdet had defected, two objectives were put in place:

1. To immediately put down any potential mutiny within Juba. This means the execution and imprisonment of some of the senior members of SPLA who were deemed loyal to Dr. Machar. Particularly, those from Lou Nuer and Bentiu.
2. A call was made to Pres. Museveni and to Pres. Kenyatta for support. Museveni and Machar have a long history of distrust given that Museveni believed Machar “financed” the LRA. A rebel group that created havoc in northern Uganda. And Machar is not very fond of Museveni’s dictatorial tendencies and interference in South Sudan’s politics.

Mr. Kenyatta, on the other hand, wants the Pipeline through Kenya and Pres. Kiir promised to deliver. Major investment plans have already been put in place to this effect. Kenya would immensely benefit from the pipeline. Machar was reluctant about the cost of building such a pipeline and believed that Kenya will hold South Sudan hostage once the pipeline has been built. Kiir would rather see a pipeline through Kenya as he didn’t trust Bashir regime.

Ethiopia was not contacted until guarantees had been made by Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Museveni. Once support was established, Mr. Kenyatta was used to woe Ethiopia’s prime minister. Note that Ethiopia is generally seen as sympathetic to Machar as there is a large population of Nuers in Ethiopia. In fact, a whole sub-clan of Nuer (Gaajak) live in Ethiopia.

Furthermore, Kenyatta having been a beneficiary of tribal politics and a victim of Mr. Odinga’s political manoeuvres, understood Pres. Kiir’s sentiments on Dr. Machar’s presidential ambitions.

Note that Kenyatta was very supportive of Moi’s anti-multipartism in the early 1990s. He was a product of KANU- a party very much like South Sudan’s SPLM- and a beneficiary of one party rule and tribal politics.

The results of the two recent elections in Kenya provide a strong evidence of tribal politics and Uhuru’s desire to transcend such politics. A goal he ultimately failed. He has been accused of instigating tribal violence that killed up to 1500 people and displaced more than 25,000 civilians. Kenyatta’s case was recently dropped due to “insufficient” evidence.

However, Kenyatta’s reputation is still tarnished and the West does not trust him. Any positive efforts in helping solve South Sudan’s crisis would be welcomed by the West. There is also Chinese economic interest in East Africa and there is fear that Kenyatta’s effort might not be genuine. He is likely to be on the side of the Chinese/Khartoum.

Once these two objectives had been achieved, the next goal was to convinced the international community and in particular the US government that indeed Dr. Machar carried out a coup. The problem however, was persuading Susan Rice and John Kerry to this fact.

Dr. Rice having interacted with both Pres. Kiir and Dr. Machar was very skeptical. She does not believe it was in the best interest of Machar to carry out a coup. How was he going to do so without an army at his disposal? Why would he carry out a coup given that he was winning the political battle within the party? And why would Machar wants to use his tribe to face the army of South Sudan given the painful memories of 1991 and his current support from some Dinka leaders?

And who would finance him given China and Sudan had made a deal with GOSS? There were too many unanswered questions. The US government did not buy into the coup allegations. The explanation given by Dr. Adwok, that there was an infighting in the presidential Guards, was deemed more plausible.

(d) MILITARY INTERVENTION IN BOR:
The next step was to re-take Bor from Gen. Gatdet. Pres. Kiir then gave UPDF- Uganda’s military- the permission to bomb Gatdet’s strategic position in Bor. Machar did not want a repeat of 1991 and asked Gatdet to pull out. The truth is there was no “re-take of Bor” by the GOSS troops.

Gatdet had already pulled out some hours before the government troops arrived in Bor. The skirmishes in Bor were from a small group left behind by Gatdet as a decoy. This allowed him to escape. But not before he made a major mistake in mistaking US aircraft for UPDF Planes. This was both unfortunate and very costly to Machar’s effort in persuading the US of his non-participant in the alleged coup.

(e) The Strategic Stalement: is Machar Cornered?
Right now, the objective is to re-take the oilfields and to counter any move Machar is likely to make. Pres. Kiir has succeeded so far in winning IGAD to his side. Machar is left with Khartoum and some oil fields.

Machar’s demands on the surface seem basic and reasonable but in the bigger scheme of politics, they constitute a great threat to Kiir’s objective of a military rule. Machar wants the detainees to be released. He wants Pagan Amum – a nationalist and a shrewd negotiator- on his side.

Pres. Kiir would be foolish in releasing Mr. Amum. And he has used Pagan’s past alleged corruption charges to keep him under arrest. Machar also wants a “credible ceasefire” to be negotiated. This would give him enough time to re-established his contacts and re-group with his detained colleagues giving them an equal status on the negotiating table and taking Kiir’s a long step on.

Any form of power sharing would mean Machar would achieve his objective of democratizing the SPLM. In short, Machar- being the strategist -is thinking three steps ahead. But for Machar’s plan to work, he needs some leverage.

Currently he has three options: The oilfields in Unity/UpperNile, The White army and Bashir/Chinese. Given Machar’s overall goal – complete independence of South Sudan from the North- the third option would be his desperate and last move.

The use of White army would lead to unnecessary bloodshed in Bor and Akobo. There are some Lou Nuer in Akobo segments who are skeptical of Machar but given John Luk Jok- Akobo’s son- is in detention, Machar can persuade the Lou Nuer.

And Machar needs both the Bor/twic and Lou Nuer on his side. Creating a war between the two sub-clans would lead to a result very similar to 1991. This would ultimately undermine Dr. Machar’s presidential ambition and little support from the international community.

Most of his colleagues in detention are mostly Dinkas. He needs to convince the world and the Dinka community that he is not weighing a tribal warfare. While he might not be entirely convincing, he would create some doubts within the Dinka community. He needs to be seen as a non-tribalist.

The best option and the most credible move Machar is likely to make is holding Pres. Kiir’s government hostage. Machar will in effect attempt to control the oilfields in Upper Nile and Unity. But for him to get financing he needs to be able to re-direct the oil revenues to a bank account he can control. This would mean he must either make a deal with Bashir/Chinese or simply use both the oilfields and a negotiated ceasefire as a “credible threat”.

In order for Machar to retain his current control of Unity oil fields, he must control Mayom county and make a direct threat to overtaking Warrap state. He must tempt Pres. Kiir to direct all effort to Warrap state and maintain a hold of Kuajok. This would leave Jonglei vulnerable as the SPLA with its limited resources will be overstretched.

Machar will then solidify his control of Akobo and use Bor as a ploy to keep hold of Mayom while being in a good position to negotiate. It should be noted that Machar is a product of the civil war and can be very resourceful.

It would be a mistake for Kiir to undermine any proposals he makes. Even if these demands seem rather odd, Machar is a shrewd strategist. He will not admit to defeat.

The tribal politics of south Sudan dictates that both the Dinka and the Nuer be participants, if there is to be any national building. Otherwise, civil war is likely to occur.

(f) What is the best outcome for South Sudan?
The best outcome for the country is for Pres. Kiir to negotiate right away with Dr. Machar. Eventually, the SPLA will democratize and
Pres. Kiir can still win election under a democratic South Sudan. He is likely to garner at least the majority (51%) in any given election.

Perhaps, he won’t negotiate due to influence from his close confidants (Telar Aring, Hoth Mai, Mr. Makeui Lueth, Mr. Juuk) who have more to lose in a democratic SPLM.

An immediate release of all political detainees (particularly, Mr. Amum and Mr. Alor) is a very unlikely outcome in the short run. The truth is the stalemate is likely to continue until Dr. Machar is in a strong negotiation position. A scenario I don’t foresee any time soon.

In so far as Machar is not in a position to procure external financing, he is unlikely to achieve his short term objectives: a negotiated ceasefire settlement and the release of ALL detainees.

If indeed Dr. Machar manage to somehow negotiate for himself a favorable result, it will only speak volume of his strategic capabilities and the loyalty he commands from the Nuer people.

As the situation stands, Pres. Kiir is in a winnable position, but a position that could ultimately lead to the very dreaded civil war if he overplays his hand and tempts fate.

Makuei and Kol Manyang are currently persuading him in that direction. This would be an ill-advised move, as it would simply prolong the stalemate and led to civil war.

After many decades of warfare, 2014 should be a year of re-unification for South Sudanese. It’s upon the two leaders to put aside their differences for the sake of national interest. Politics must stop at the water’s edge.

Letter to Equatorians: Siding with Dinka or Nuer?

BY: Choromke Jas, SOUTH SUDAN, DEC/30/2013, SSN;

Dear Equatorians,

My compatriots, once again, we Equatorians have been caught paralysed in the headlamp of historical and political change in our country. The first time this happened was when the SPLA was formed in the early 1983. We were reluctant to join the SPLA at that time because we suspected, with justification that the founders of the SPLA were acting out of spite because of Kokora.

Later, Dr John Garang, the then leader of the SPLA, was able to successfully hide the dark side of the army to make it a more respectable “liberation” movement worthy of support by all Southerners. Because of this cleverness on the side of Dr Garang, a number of Equatorians decided to join the SPLA.

Still, the presence of Equatorians in the SPLA was reluctantly welcomed by the Garang’s people. Equatorians were treated with contempt. Some of them were killed and others were constantly harassed and threatened with death.

Few of the Equatorians were put in positions of ‘authority’ mainly for the purpose of window dressing: to tell the world that the SPLA was for all Southerners. Despite these difficulties, a number of Equatorians thrived and persevered until the end of the war in 2005.

During the following years of transition and independence, the tokenism shown towards Equatorians during the war continued to be practised.

Equatorians again have been marginalized and considered alien in their own country. Their ancestral land has been settled over by hegemonic Dinka who consider themselves more “liberators” than Equatorians.

During the eight years, Equatorians have been under the thumb of those who claim to have been born to rule this country.

When I say that we are tired and sick of the present government, I speak for many Equatorians.

When I say that I look forward to the day when the oppressive system in this country will be “overthrown” to usher in change, I speak for many. The beginning of the change appears to have started on December 15, 2013.

But has it? For the second time, we Equatorians have been caught dazed in the glare of the headlamp of yet another momentous historical event.

The event of December 15, which has now led to genocidal blood letting in the country, appears to have nothing to do with us Equatorians.

Most of us believe that this is a quarrel between the Nuer and Dinka (collectively called Jenge). But is it really a quarrel between the two peoples only?

If that is what you think, my fellow compatriots, I do not blame you. This is because our leaders who are serving in the Dinka government have been peddling the propaganda that it is the fault of Dr Riek Machar who brought this calamity upon his Nuer people.

There has never been clear leadership and guidance from our Equatorian political leaders on what is going on in the country.

My dear compatriots, the fact of the matter is we as a people are now in grave danger because of what has happened on December 15.

At this juncture in our modern history we Equatorians must ask ourselves: What are our political interests and roles in the governance of this country?

How do we attain the interests and ensure our meaningful participation in governing this nation? Who are a threat and an obstacle to us in achieving these?

Let us consider the two warring people as a way of answering these questions.

I must confess that I do not know much about the Nuer or the Dinka. But I do know this: the Nuer can be accused of all things yet I believe that they have not, to the best of my knowledge, shown a deliberate design to oppress other ethnic groups in the South Sudan.

In contrast, the Dinka, at least their elite, have not hidden their hegemonic desire and design to colonize, oppress and rule other peoples in this country.

In the eight years of their reign, the Dinka have provided us with abundant evidence for this. They have raided our public treasury to finance their plans.

They have grabbed private land and occupied ancestral land of peoples in almost all the 10 states of the country.

They have killed people who have opposed their design. (Killing a Dinka, like Isaiah Abraham, does not negate the general sweep of their satanic plan).

And as we write, they have embarked on genocide against the Nuer. The difference between the two people, the Nuer and the Dinka cannot be starker.

Before we answer the questions finally, consider the following:

a) Is standing aloof in the face of the genocide now happening in our country to the best interest of Equatorians?
b) What have been the general effects on Equatorians of the 8-year Kiir’s regime?
c) Between Kiir and Machar, both of whom have their negative sides, who represents a lesser evil in regard to safeguarding the future of South Sudan and that of Equatoria?
d) If, it was Equatoria now facing the Kiir’s onslaught, could we resist him without allies?
e) Who should be our allies as we look to the future?

My dear compatriots, from my own assessment, which I believe is shared by many, the genocide now being committed against the Nuer has two main purposes:

1) to collectively punish the Nuer people because they are of the same ethnicity with Reik Machar; and,

2) to teach other ethnic groups which harbor ambition of opposing the Dinka dictatorship that they will suffer the same fate if they dare to implement their ambition.

The time for decision is now. The interest of Equatoria is peaceful co-existence, justice and equitable distribution of wealth and services.

Furthermore, Equatorians want to participate, fairly, in the running of the affairs of this country. The group which is a threat to this interest and ambition is the Bahr el Ghazal Dinka under Salva Kiir.

For me, and I believe for a large number of Equatorians, we are better off allying with Nuer and other ethnic groups in this country.

Play your part by joining the group which is on the right side of history, which is Dr Riek Machar’s side. We will meet there.

God bless you and God bless South Sudan.

Yours sincerely

Choromke Jas

The South Sudan crisis comprehensive approach

BY: ABRAHAM DENG LUETH, RSS, DEC/29/2013, SSN;

The Etiology of the Political Crisis in South Sudan

The hopefully simmering down political situation in South has a long history. The aspirations of the people of South Sudan that emerged during the CPA and referendum times were abused by the leadership. Instead of building on those, a stern sectarian politics emerged and time and time again, hatred and greed continue to guide the institutional and individuals relationships.

The leadership of south Sudan failed to convene its political and social forces to amend the movement’s vision to suit South Sudan as an independent nation.

National vision and shared values were eroded and sectarian visions and values based on hatred and greed arisen.

Ministerial positions just become symbols of status to many folks in the government as opposed to delivering the services.

The SPLM, since its last convention in 1994 in Chukudum has not sat down and revised its essential documents to reflect its change from a guerilla movement to a professional ruling political party.

Some elements within the party have shown their interests in the party leadership. The SPLM party leadership politics is linked to that of the nation in the sense that a chairperson of the party is the one who runs on the party ticket for president in the national elections.

This situation has caused a crack between the party members in the government and those outside the government. For sure, there are interests.

The party elements in the government do not want President Kiir challenged for the post of the party chair. They like to continue to have him as the party chair; hence, its candidate for president in the 2015 general elections to give them another round of power in the post 2015 era.

On the other hand, the party elements mainly outside the government wants democracy to allow those vying for the chairmanship of the party a chance to challenge President Kiir and hence, giving them a shot at the presidency comes 2015.

Several requests for meetings of the political bureau, the SPLM highest structure, are reported to have been tabled by the then Secretary General of the party, Pagan Amum, but they were turned down by the president.

After the pressures for the leadership of the party amounted on the President and his close aides, he started to swirl his powers and hit everyone he deems opposition to him.

Consequently, a series of decrees were officiated, private presidential guards (believed to have hailed from the President’s regional states) were recruited and trained without the knowledge of relevant military leaders, some elected governors gone, the entire cabinet gone, the entire SPLM party structures gone, requested meeting for the political bureau, but denied, NLC meeting called without consultation from the political bureau and there were more threats only decrees away.

December 6 Press Conference

As a result, a team of SPLM high ranking officials, headed by Dr. Riek Machar, called a press conference to explain to the party members their unaddressed grievances.

This team also scheduled a public rally on December 14 to do the same to the members of the public. The rally was later canceled to give room for dialogue after the spiritual leaders urged both sides to resolve their political differences internally through dialogue.

Among the group, 3 individuals, namely: Mama Nyandeeng, Pagan Amum and Dr. Riek Machar were vying to challenge president Kiir for the party chairmanship.

The group was united to fight the dictatorship tendencies within the party which normally spillover into the national affairs time and time again (e.g. firing of elected governors).

Many had hoped that something positive was going to come out of the vice President’s press conference on Monday. Nevertheless, hate speeches and nicknaming of the dissident voices group were what came out of the press conference.

The group had hoped that cancelling their rally to give room for dialogue would also necessitate the president to cancel the NLC meeting so that a meeting for the political bureau was convened and the differences would be worked out and agenda items for the NLC meeting would be set.

However, to no avail, this opportunity to resolve the outstanding issues was also ignored and the NLC scheduled meeting continued.

The dissident voices group gave dialogue another chance and attended the meeting, hoping that the outstanding differences will be given a consideration but again, none was considered.

Instead, the president, a leader of the party and the nation, came out intimidating and was rubbing on past historic wounds within the party such as 1991 Bor massacre.

This rigidity of the President and his close aides to open up to addressing fierce political differences caused the dissident voices group to boycott the NLC meeting on its last day.

December 15 Sunday Presidential Guards Incident

The darkest days of South Sudan since its independence began on Sunday, December 15. A fight broke out within the PRESIDENTIAL GUARDS. The causes (s) of this incident are storied differently and none is yet confirmed as the reliable cause because there has not been an investigation into the incident so far or at least that is known by the public.

On December 16, the president was seen in military uniform on SSTV, flanked by some cabinet members, addressing the nation that what occurred on Sunday night was “a failed coup.”

Dr. Riek was accused for the coup and, interestingly, arrest orders were also issued for other linked politicians to the “coup” who turned out to be members of the dissident voices group with no connection to the presidential guards or the army, whatsoever.

Dr. Riek has come out and denied the coup and claimed that President Kiir took advantage of the incident that happened within his own presidential guards and used it to deter or eliminate the opposition.

There has not been a strong proof that the alleged coup d’état (which the world would not recognize) was, indeed, an attempted coup. That leaves the public to wonder about what is going on.

Is it a poor judgement in differentiating between a mutiny and a coup or is it a pure calculated politics based on ill-hatred of fellow citizens and obsessive greed for power?

Dialogue and Negotiation Process

Regardless of the fact that the public seems to remain divided on who to blame for the crisis and process differently the potential conditions leading to the conflict, it is apparent that it is opposed to the unwarranted violence and would like a peaceful way of addressing political differences.

Therefore, in a rare circumstance, allow me (member of the public) to say thank you to both warring factions for agreeing to sit down and talk.
Moreover, it should also be noted that the crisis has taken different forms over time and in the process, has created slightly differentiated but substantially linked cohorts.

It is important to understand how those slightly differentiated groups developed and how they still link to the main issue that brought our country here.

In my own view, I think it will be necessary to approach the dialogue in two phases.

A. Solving Political Differences Through Political Dialogues
Phase one should focus on the political differences within the SPLM party and the SPLM national policies because as a ruling party, its policies influence how the affairs of the nation are run.

Therefore, it is critical to address political differences within the party and the party national policies under this phase of negotiation. This is where Dr. Riek and the detained politicians are one group.

Therefore, in this context, yes, Pagan or any other member or members of the detained group may part-take in the negotiation process. Therefore, Dr. Riek is not wrong to appoint Pagan if he is thinking in this context and Pagan, on the other hand, is not wrong to accept the appointment if he is sticking to his December 6 conference allegiance.

B. Reconciling The Warring Factions: Kiir vs. Riek (Dinka vs. Nuer)
The second phase should focus on the violence that began on Sunday, December 15 and its effects. This phase should cover President Kiir unconfirmed coup accusation, risking the lives of Dr. Riek, other accused politicians and the killing of innocent citizens in Juba.

It should be noted that the killing in Juba fitted the Nuers against the Dinkas more than the coup accusation itself.

On the other hand, this phase will also focus Dr. Riek and the killings in Bor, Akobo, Bentiu and Malakal. President Kiir has an indirect responsibility for the killings in those other towns because the killing in Juba catalyzed the actions of the Nuers against Dinkas in those towns.

The main goal here should be to give the two leaders a chance to reflect back on their actions and how they could have contributed to the unwarranted crisis that caused several losses of lives and resulted in several war crime accounts. When that is done, it is when the two will see a dire need to reconcile and move on.

Most of the talks under this phase should be between Kiir and Riek. If they want to use other people to represent them, they should pick people from their warring sides.

For example, Dr. Riek can appoint either Gatdet or any of the people fighting with him now because they are the ones who can answer why they killed people. Kiir, on the other hand, should appoint someone within his inner circle to explain why they were rigid to changes and eventually, rushing to calling what happened on Sunday an “attempted coup.”

Moreover, they should be the ones to answer why they ordered the presidential guards to kill innocent civilians in Juba who may not have any clue about politics.

Last but not least, the three parties (warring factions, Kiir & Riek, and the accused politicians) affiliated with the crisis should converge here as well and collectively reconcile.

The detained politicians should help mediate both sides. Their contribution, especially, at this point will be a key catalyze for the reconciliation between the two leaders and the affected ethnic groups of Nuers and Dinkas.

The two leaders must first reconcile before the reconciliation of the Nuers and the Dinkas, followed by a national healing process if a meaningful and comprehensive peace can be achieved in the country.

Matters pertaining to the security of Riek, members of his forces and the accused politicians must be negotiated and it will not surprise me if power-sharing becomes the solution.

Therefore, continuation of talks to involve the detained politicians is necessary regardless of the fact that they are not affiliated with the war. Pagan Amum can continue as one of the chief negotiators but Dr. Riek will need to appoint other co-chief negotiator (either directly or indirectly involved in the war) to sit alongside with Pagan to answer questions regarding the war.

Power-Sharing between the warring factions

So, yes, a power-sharing may not be a bad idea given the fact that the president has continuously shown his inability to lead with the nation interest in the center and continuously misuse his presidential powers.

It will also be the best way to guarantee trust and security between the warring factions, including the detained politicians. Power-sharing will create enabling, safe ethnic and political environments that will be necessary to move the nation forward.

The power-sharing resolution should have a life span, ranging from when the negotiation deal is sealed until next election when the nation will elect its next leader.

Both President Kiir and Dr. Riek should lead the country during the power-sharing period and must not run for election in 2015 in order to forgo the war crimes. Otherwise, if they choose to take part in the leadership and still run in 2015, they must be investigated for the war crimes committed over the last 2 weeks.

The Resolutions of the Political Dialogues

The resolutions of the political dialogue should ensure the following:
I. Provide comprehensive solutions to the SPLM party political processes relative to the nation political processes, hence, reconciling the party ranks;

II. Reconcile President Kiir and Dr. Riek while acknowledging where each of the two leaders could have prevented the crisis (power-sharing should be obvious);

III. Reconcile the Nuers and the Dinkas to bridge the ethnic gap created by the conflict;

IV. Provide national healing because the current conflict has affected every South Sudanese in a very profound way. END

Uganda Army & Museveni aren’t welcome in South Sudan

By Justin Lupai Elias, HELSINKI, Finland, DEC/29/2013, SSN;

A few days after what President Salva Kiir first referred to his TV address on SSTV as “a failed coup attempt” to overthrow his government by the former first vice President of Republic of South Sudan and his followers, a Ugandan military C130 transport plane landed in Juba airport with 150 Ugandan Special Forces on board.

This came amidst United Nations call on the Ugandan president, Mr Museveni to mediate peace talks between President Salva Kiir and the breakaway former vice President Dr Riek Machar.

The motive and presence of deployment of Ugandan Special Forces on South Sudan soil will further complicate the issue of the ongoing fights. The transparency and credibility of Mr Museveni’s deployment of his UPDF remained to be questioned.

In the recent years, Museven has wilfully destabilized eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo {DRC} with his mighty UPDF but yet he couldn’t defeat lowly Joseph Kony of LRA for decades.

How can he get involved and rush quickly with deployment of his UPDF in South Sudan, if indeed he is not backing Mr Kiir in what we the citizens of South Sudan see as an internal conflict within SPLM party and this issue have to be solved by SPLM internally without outsider military force?

Before writing further about Museveni’s secret agenda and killing machinery in East Africa, especially in DRC, let me say few things about what had happened in the night of 15-17 December 2013 in Juba.

Now the truth has surfaced for all to see. The government tried to bury it from the public.

According to South Sudanese Diaspora returnees who were evacuated recently from Juba by their countries in Europe, Canada, the USA, and Australia, all reported despicable atrocities and human rights abuses committed by the presidential guards, Tiger battalion, recruited by the President from his closed relatives in his home Warrap and Bahr el Gazal states.

According to these sources who were evacuated from Juba, Several individuals I spoke to and one in particular who worked with ministry of interior, he reported, after the elements of SPLA soldiers from Nuer ethnic group defeated the SPLA soldiers from Dinka ethnic group, more reinforcement were sent the following day.

It was this reinforcement that defeated the breakaway soldiers of SPLA mainly from Nuer tribe.

Then after the reinforcement came the presidential special forces who were trained by the President with public funding, this group then went to Nuer neighborhoods in Juba.

Now the Dinka and Nuer are all alike when it comes to land grabbing, so it was in this Nuer quarters the Dinka went from home to home, checking at tribal markings as the Dinka and the Nuer can easily be tell apart through these facial marks and essentially leaving no one alive they found with Nuer tribal markings both women and children.

If this is not ethnic cleansing, then what is it?

Those murdered again were Nuer children and women; politicians and government employees from Nuer tribe have all been murdered regardless of their stance whether or not they were the supporter of Dr Riek or Kirr.

What was the party’s conflict deliberately fuelled by the president of our nation was then turned into ethnic massacring of our Nuer brothers and Sisters in our nation’s Capital.

The President and national army who would have been the savior of the people were turned into murder machines. Because the republican guards and the reinforcement carried these horrendous killings, this was not spontaneous. The president has to be held accountable.

We all should know that Mr Kiir lied to the world. Kiir must be impeached for the atrocities he has committed and deliberately influencing the ethnic cleansing where perhaps one thousand people were cold blooded murdered by Kiir’s own militias.

Back to Mr Youweri Kaguta Museveni, allow me to suggest a couple of things why Mr Museveni hurriedly rushed to deploy his special forces in Juba in the name of protecting the main international airport of Juba.

1. Museveni knows once there is unrest in South Sudan, this will mean the come back of Joseph Kony of the Lord Resistance Army, so the hasty deployment to combat the breakaway soldiers as soon as quickly so that LRA are kept out from making come back to northern Uganda. Amid unrest in Central Africa Republic/CAR, the likelihood of returning of LRA is inevitable.

2. Mr Museveni is worried if the breakaway group wins, most likely in the next coming formation of cabinet Madam Rebecca Nyandeng, the widow of late leader of SPLA will open up fresh investigations into the death of her husband in Ugandan helicopter crash in 2005. Partly we all know the death of late Garang was blamed on Museveni and since the final report of the death of late Dr Garang wasn’t established, this worries Mr Museveni.

3. The people of South Sudan, especially the Dinka Bor, where late George Athor hailed from, knew Mr Athor met his death in the hands of the Ugandan president. George Athor was invited by Museveni in the name of talking peace in Kampala before the Christmas of 2011.

He was murdered and his dead body with his special aide, who was an American South Sudanese, were packed in a pick-up brought to Kaya, where few shots were fired in the air, and it was there that George Athor was declared killed by SPLA soldiers when he was on a mission to recruit more people from Kaya to join his rebel group.

Does it make sense as we all know where George Athor was operating, there was no way that he could move to Kaya without being spotted by South Sudan army.

So Museveni knows again Rebecca and Dinka Bor will have most senior positions should Riek defeat Kiir in this battle, he Kirr himself engineered, this means Museveni’s Uganda will have no easy relationship with the next government thus the deployments of the UPDF to keep his friend in power.

4. Should the government of Kiir fall in the next coming months, Museveni is worried that South Sudan will be used to launch a war that will eventual unseat him from perpetual ruling of Uganda as he has done with iron fist.

Museveni has created many enemies for himself within Uganda and DRC. Recently his plot to kill his top military commander from his Munyanykole tribe, who now took refuge in the UK, is openly talking of wanting to overthrow Museveni, who most likely is paranoid, seeing his friend, Kiir toppled from power could result into an end of Museveni’s dynasty.

Any resultant war in Uganda, will also send him into exile like many leaders before him like late Idi Amin Dada and Milton Obote. With his unpredictable future, Museveni’s ambition is to keep Kiir in power in order to bring salvation to himself.

5. Lastly, the Military forces, could be to protect Ugandan business interests in south Sudan. Since the signing of CPA there is no any other country in Africa that benefited most from South Sudan. Many businesses are booming in Kampala and other cities in Uganda because of dollar flows from South Sudan.

Ugandan economy depends on South Sudan, more than 50,000 Ugandans are working in South Sudan, more than 5000 Ugandans are hired by government of South Sudan strengthening the building capacity of the new nation while more than 3000 are working directly with international NGOs in private sectors, health, agriculture and peace building etc. while tens of thousands are involved in small scale businesses, thus Uganda is the biggest beneficiaries of South Sudan rebuilding and oil money.

WHAT WILL BE THE REPERCUSSIONS OF UDPF DEPLOYMENT IN SOUTH SUDAN?

If the mission of this deployment is the declared motives, mainly to maintain order and to provide security to local population who seemed to have no viable security from the government of South Sudan, this will be welcome.

But if the objectives of this deployment is to backup Kiir, soon the public opinion in both countries and perception of the people will very quickly change.

At international level, many countries like Norway, the UK, Denmark and many others have expressed doubt and questioned this deployment. While the rest of the world is still knocking their heads, Museven’s motives to commit his forces to join the fight remain at best suspicious.

In the recent years starting from, late Laurent Desiree Kabila, father of Joseph Kabila till this day, Museveni is seen meddling in Congolese internal affairs, accused by United Nations for backing the M23 rebel, and his next soft target is invading the Republic of South Sudan.

This must be stressed and emphasized to Museveni that his murderous and cowardly UPDF are not welcome in South Sudan.

He, Museveni should stop interfering in his neighbor’s internal issues or else, once power returns to the people, he shall be taught a swift lesson for supporting tyranny and an ethnic cleansing by his friend in crime Mr. kirr.

You can exercise your manhood by invading your neighbor’s house; we the people of this great nation of South Sudan are seasoned warriors and will not tolerate your regional terrorism.

At first the UPDF involvement in our country’s war was covered, they were said to be deployed to Juba to protect Juba main airport, the question that begs to be asked is where is our national armed forces to protect the international airport just days after Juba incident?

Now officials in Ugandan foreign affairs office confirmed UPDF are deployed along Nimule-Juba highway A43, according to official who spoke to Uganda Saturday Monitor, the deployments are there to give Ugandans who are trapped in Juba and other places safe exit.

Again who authorized the deployment? UPDF is known with its lawless atrocities they have committed in eastern DRC, they were also accused off by Dr Riek for booming the position of rebel forces in Jonglei state.

Kiir and his friend Museveni should know that south Sudan is not DRC and this evil will not go unchallenged should UDPF hurt our civilian population. we the people will turn against them and wipe them out forcefully with all means available at our disposal.

Helsinki, Finland

To achieve peace in South Sudan, SPLM/A must be scrapped

QUOTE: “….the problems of South Sudan essentially stem from the SPLM/A. This organisation is responsible for all the chaos and unnecessary bloodshed in the country for the reasons given above. The victims of the current chaos sadly enough are SPLM/A supporters murdered by the SPLM/A machine.” Elhag Paul.

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, DEC/29/2013, SSN;

Thursday 8th July 1965 around 10 p.m. or so at night I was woken up abruptly by unfamiliar sound. Tat! Tat! Tat! sharp sound in three successions. This was the sound of the German made G3 rifle standard issue to the Sudanese army. It was an extremely frightening moment for me at a very delicate formative age.

I was confused and gripped with panic as I heard my mother in our darkened house praying with my elder brother hurrying the family to move out quick. I had never heard my mother’s voice sound forlorn as it did. She must have thought we would not survive given her lamentation to the Almighty.

Under the guidance of my two elder brothers we left our house and just few meters away we heard a burst of gun fire and we saw our uncle who must have been coming to us fall. Survival dictated that we had to forget about him and continue least we perish too.

On the way one of my sisters found a baby abandoned by its parents. Female human instinct kicked in and she grabbed the crying baby. My elder brother was against taking the baby because its crying was exposing our position to the army shooting everyone on sight. The Sudanese Arab soldiers were going from residential block to residential block shooting anything living and torching the grass thatched houses.

My sister stuck to the baby and refused to part with it. Eventually, my brother gave up his view. My sister with support of my mother calmed the baby but from time to time it would cry. The baby might have known that my sister was not its mother from things like body smell, voice, heart beat etc. It must have been traumatised by the loss of its mother and therefore security.

Under the guidance of my elder brother with constant scouting of the surroundings and frequent hidings from the Arab army he safely led us to the safety of the Police living quarters in Juba. Our escape from Atlabara started from around 11 p.m. at night ending with our arrival at Hai Police at around sunrise. That morning is unforgettable as Juba was covered in a blanket of smoke with dogs howling ceaselessly.

I later understood that the dogs were feasting on the dead bodies and had gone mad all over the town. Juba being a small town then, people knew each other. We heard about the parents of the baby and their search for the baby. Contact was arranged and the baby was reunited with its mother.

This horrible experience is stamped in my brain. Sometime out of the blue it comes to my mind and it makes me sad. I have not discussed this painful experience with any of my family members although it is a family experience as well as an individual one. There were other similar situations of existential threat that I faced under Khartoum rule with similar impact. The one thing I know is that these experiences have shaped my life making me who I am today politically.

Precisely 48 years, 5 months and 1 week another horror of the same nature takes place in Juba. This time it is president Kiir and his tribal militia named ‘presidential guards’ who have taken over the place of the Arabs. Under a pretext of a coup, president Kiir imposed a curfew supposedly to safeguard the citizens. But in reality the curfew turned out to be a mechanism to contain, isolate and murder supposed opponents (predatory behaviour).

Under the cover of the dark, president Kiir’s militia went from door to door shooting people of Nuer origin and individuals from other tribes who do not approve of his mismanagement of the country. The events unfolding in Juba from 15th December 2013 to the present and ongoing has brought forth painful memories inflicted on me and fellow countrymen by the Umma party led government of Mohamad Ahmed Mahjoub.

The mass killing of the Nuer people of all age groups in Juba by president’s Kiir militia could not have happened unless the killers convinced themselves that the Nuer are not human beings. Therefore, there must have been a process of dehumanising the Nuer as a people among the militia. It is not easy to kill a human being unless the killer believes that the victims are not worth living.

To throw light on this point, Let us briefly refer to a historical debate that took place in the College de San Gregorio in the Spanish city of Valladolid (1550-1551) regarding colonisation and slavery. When the Spanish monarch took control of South America it was faced with the problem of the humanity of the native people.

This triggered a fierce debate between Bishop Bartolome de La Casas and Dominican Juan Gines de Sepulveda. Bartolome argued that the native on becoming Christian could not be enslaved whereas Sepulveda argued that the natives were less than human and therefore could be enslaved regardless of conversion.

This debate was inconclusive but it laid the marker of who can be colonised and who could not. The lesson of this debate is important because it identified who could be colonised and the process that follow the identified persons/ethnicity/community. Such process includes dehumanisation in order to justify horrendous acts on others.

For Europeans to justify colonisation and slavery they had to dehumanise the ‘other’ to enable them behave in an inhuman manner towards their victims with impunity. They used science and literature to portray the ‘other’ as inferior. This is what resulted in the holocaust and the sad history of colonisation.

So the Nuer pogrom by president Kiir and his militia arguably is a result of dehumanisation simply because it appears to be well planned and supervised by the tribal generals. The imposition of the curfew simply put was to contain and isolate the victims, then the killing of the victims followed by silence of the system. While this crime has been going on, president Kiir failed in his duties. He has so far not made any effort to visit the victims of his policies in the various camps of safety.

Crucially, it is important to know that he did not condemn the behaviour of his militia. It was only when the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon raised the prospects of accountability that he scrambled to the church during Christmas prayers to say he had asked for those who committed crimes to be arrested. How believable is this facade?

President Kiir’s abuse of state power to create a tribal militia and to unleash it on innocent citizens has plunged our country into a serious problem. What was the purpose of creating a parallel militia force composed of only Jieng from Warrap if it was not purely for such actions? How does this militia force serve the general interest of the people of South Sudan when there is a national South Sudan army in place?

The Nuer now appear to be targeting the Jieng in a tit for tat game claiming innocent lives. The Nuer must desist from revenge if they want to gain support and sympathy of South Sudanese. Equally any Nuer committing crimes against the Jieng must be made to account.

Surely president Kiir and his entire cabinet are suspects of a crime of ethnic cleansing against the Nuer people. The evidence to this lies in the fact that the cabinet remain united and perpetuates the lie that there was a coup attempt (when they will know that there was not) and continue to support president Kiir in this lie. President Kiir and his cabinet must be made to account one way or another.

If this Nuer pogrom is not appropriately addressed, the question remains: which tribe will be next and who will protect them? We now know that the UN is always asleep. It only wakes up when thousands have perished and their response is always too little too late. Examples range from Rwanda, former Yugoslavia etc.

If president Kiir and his cabinet are not made accountable: what would stop all the other tribes from arming themselves? And if all the tribes arm themselves, would this not be evidence that South Sudan can not be a country because the concept of social contract has been broken? Why should South Sudanese be in one country if they do not trust their government?

The current chaos that has engulfed the country and is making us ask all sorts of questions is unfortunately diverting the attention of the people away from the true problems of South Sudan. The break of South Sudan from the Sudan has not been a complete one. South Sudan came out with psychological and cultural baggage of the old Sudan in its entirety.

The reason for this is simply because the unionist SPLM/A hijacked the secession of South Sudan when they have no idea at all of how to run it. They had an ideology to run the old Sudan which was well articulated by the late Dr John Garang.

SPLM/A taking over control of an independent South Sudan and without any blue print of how to run it, they continued to haphazardly apply unionist ideologies mixed with tribal ideologies. This is not what South Sudanese fought and voted for.

SPLM/A looks to Khartoum on how to rule South Sudan. Khartoum is a strong believer in identity politics. Its oppression of South Sudanese was based on it. For them to be human is to be an Arab and Muslim and since South Sudanese were not Arabs and Muslims the solution was to Arabise and Islamise them.

The result was a conflict and the eventual break of the country. Even now Khartoum has not yet learnt a lesson. It treats the African tribes in the Sudan with contempt simply because they are not Arabs and this may lead into further fragmentation of the country.

SPLM/A has copied Khartoum’s way of doing things. Right from its inception it has embraced identity politics. SPLM/A total make up is tribal and it exercises Khartoum’s way of doing things. Just like Khartoum was committing massacres and carnages against South Sudan, SPLM/A was committing massacres against other tribes in South Sudan.

For example, under Col. Dr John Garang, the SPLM/A targeted the Uduk people in Upper Nile in the late 1980s and early 1990s and in late 1990s it targeted the Didinga people in Eastern Equatoria with all the rest of the tribes in South Sudan experiencing unprecedented oppression by the Jieng tribe.

Under Garang, the SPLM/A had an efficient disinformation network that made all the Western NGOs in the SPLM/A controlled territory look the other way pretending to be unaware of what was going on. It fitted the Japanese proverb: “ see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.”

After the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 the SPLM/A targeted the Chollo people and the Fertit people in what can arguably be proven as an organised persecution.

Please see ‘Transcending Tribe’ http://www.aljazeera.com/photo_galleries/africa/201111010324526960.html Now SPLM/A has turned to the Nuer. Who is next?

What does this then mean? It means that South Sudan needs to move away from the political enmeshment it is trapped in with the Sudan to avoid recurrence of pogroms in future. It needs to truly break free from the Sudan psychologically and culturally to realise its independence and be what it needs to be.

Contradiction such as in the SPLM/A flag being flag of the Republic of South Sudan as well as the flag of SPLM/A-North must be brought to an end. South Sudan needs to have its own flag independent of any party. The name SPLA must cease to be the name of South Sudan army to eliminate association with certain tribal interest.

Fallacious agreements foisted on the people of South Sudan like the Cooperation Agreement of September 2012 must be reviewed or dissolved.

Ironically the double political enmeshment which involves the SPLM/A on the one hand and the Republic of South Sudan and Sudan on the other disables South Sudan to be independent in its thinking in relation to the Sudan.

Close observers of South Sudan would not miss noticing that independent South Sudan is promoting more Arabisation and Islamisation than the Sudan. Just watch SSTV and judge for yourselves. What is going on here?

Therefore, the SPLM/A must be scrapped by all means and replaced by a truly South Sudanese party that is able to break free from the double unhelpful political enmeshment. Thus, the people should not be duped to think that reconciliation in SPLM/A is going to solve the problems of the country.

The so-called ‘senior members of SPLM/A’ who disagreed with president Kiir are all aware of the crimes their beloved organisation has committed. In a sense they are complicit. Since 2002 after the return of Riek into the fold from Khartoum, no one amongst these senior members raised or expressed any concerns about SPLM/A abuse of the South Sudanese people and state resource: open looting of public resources, entrenchment of tribalism, killing of opponents and journalists etc.

It is only on 5th March 2013 when Riek declared his ambition to challenge president Kiir and on 23rd July 2013 when president Kiir applied the laws these very ‘senior members’ enacted on them that they started singing about democracy.

Since when have they become democrats? Overnight? Surely people do not just become democrats over night. Democratic ideals are values and believes that come from the encore of the individual which are frequently expressed and practised.

For example, a true democratic would speak out against any proposed laws that curb democracy and liberties. Remember, who empowered president Kiir through the interim constitution? Was it not this very group? Who among them opposed the constitution? These are questions that people need to think about.

I am convinced beyond doubt that all these ‘senior members of SPLM/A’ are only vying for power. Should they get it, believe you me, the chances are that they will be the next ruthless dictators of tomorrow oppressing the people mercilessly and we will be back in this same place.

The interview of Riek Machar with Al Jazeera on 22nd December 2013 in which he tactlessly admits wanting to be the next president tells the public what this whole fuzz over democracy is about. It is about the presidency and the power that comes with it.

This very group of ‘senior members of SPLM/A’ will, if received knowledge is valid, fracture when Riek accedes to power in a bitter squabble and recrimination which will recreate a similar problem like the one we’re in.

Thus the problems of South Sudan essentially stem from the SPLM/A. This organisation is responsible for all the chaos and unnecessary bloodshed in the country for the reasons given above. The victims of the current chaos sadly enough are SPLM/A supporters murdered by the SPLM/A machine.

In effect, as already said, SPLM/A is the big problem. President Kiir is an SPLM/A. Riek Machar et al are SPLM/A. The victims are SPLM/A with South Sudan being the real loser.

That SPLM/A is a tribal organisation dominated by the Jieng can not be disputed and note that this tribe steering this deadly machine only comprise less than 18 percent of the population of South Sudan. The Nuer and the Jieng combined comprise about 30 percent of the population with the other 61 tribes making 70 percent.

There is a myth peddled by the leaders of the SPLM/A, the media and the international community that the ruling tribe is very large which emboldens the leadership of the SPLM/A to become unrealistically adventurous.

Knowing the damage SPLM/A has caused to the country thus far, the remaining 70 percent of the population must be part of any long lasting solution because they have been victimised and also suffered greatly from the mismanagement of the SPLM/A.

It is they whose lives have been turned upside down bearing the brunt of all the negative sides effects of mismanagement of the country. Which means any talks must be based along national dialogue involving all the stake holders in the country. The regional and international community now erroneously are focusing on the SPLM/A yet again.

This mistake was committed during the negotiation of the CPA in Kenya and it should not be repeated.

SPLM/A is the problem and it can never bring peace and stability to the country. Any agreement in this cancerous organisation will only lead to future pogroms and this should not be allowed.

The talks for peace can not only be confined to president Kiir and Riek et al, the destroyers of South Sudan without any agenda of government.

Given the ugly experience visited on South Sudan by the predatory behaviour of the tribally controlled SPLM/A copied from Khartoum politics, which has raised and revived painful experiences under the Arabs, the people of South Sudan should not let themselves be taken advantage off any more.

SPLM/A has proven beyond doubt that it is a criminal organisation of thieves, killers and unprincipled people only interested in controlling power to perpetuate their crimes and self interest.

SPLM/A as a party now serves nobody’s interest. Please ‘Tear down the SPLM’ – Will South Sudanese Now Respond? http://allafrica.com/stories/201209030002.html?viewall=1

In fact it is a source of national pain and destruction to every South Sudanese. SPLM/A with its tribalism is the real threat to the national security of South Sudan.

The least anyone can do is to cease being a member of this organisation for the greater good of South Sudan.

Please fellow South Sudanese, consign the SPLM/A to the garbage bin of history to save our beloved country. Dr Justin Ramba wrote elsewhere that South Sudan comes to life the day SPLM/A atrophies. This could not have been more bluntly put. So let us save South Sudan by de-listing and withdrawing support from this murderous organisation.

Critically, South Sudan needs to break free from the Sudan, in order to develop a political mind and culture that is true and humane to itself and completely independent.

The political enmeshment with the Sudan, and within South Sudan with the SPLM/A confuses the current rulers in Juba creating mismanagement of the country and sad things like the Nuer pogrom by president Kiir and his militia dubbed presidential guards. Which clearly means SPLM/A is the real problem.

Thus the current efforts by the regional and international community must be a holistic one involving all the stake holders in a form of national dialogue to bring a lasting peace to the country.

So if the regional and international community really mean business then they need to widen the scope of participation to include all the stake holders.

The silence of the other 61 tribes that are not involved in the current abuses in the country should not be misconstrued to mean weakness. After all most of these tribes regardless of numbers are warrior tribes.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

What Kuir Garang failed to say: A Response

NB: To all fallen citizens of our country, I say, rest in peace. Your country stands with your loved ones who are left behind with immeasurable grief and pain.

BY: Maker Mayek Riak, AUSTRALIA, DEC/28/2013, SSN;

Kuir wen Garang posted an article on SSN dated December 20, in response to my article posted on the same date and published by the same website. The article was entitled: “Dinka and Nuer are a sick and a cursed mob.” I wanted to respond on the same date, but, the events unfolding in our country needed a deep reflection. I took my time to reflect with a sombre mind. Now, grab yourself a cuppa, I have had the chance to respond.

Let me confess about a past habit. I used to have a keen following for Kuir wen Garang’s articles. But I stopped after a while as they became too complex to read, excessively wordy and long-winded on key arguments.

I must say, Kuir is a one distinct writer among a pool of mediocre writers. He stands out. He has all the attributes to climb to heights internationally in some near future.

I also admire his courage and determination to apply his intellectual endowments to change a country that he loves. He is passionate. We share that value.

For now, let me unpack and breakdown the arguments Kuir postulated in his response to my article. Let me jog your noggin about a word that Kuir used: Jieng.

I will not use the word ‘Jieng’ here because it is not universally known and since we are writing to the South Sudanese as well as international audience, I will stick to Dinka. For future reference, if Kuir wants to use that word ‘Jieng’, he should also use ‘Naath’ as opposed to Nuer. But I won’t waste time on semantics.

Kuir starts by describing my article “as emotional, polemical and personalized article”. Man, who wouldn’t be emotional seeing the destruction that has been heaped on the country! Kuir must have ingested a strong dose of some concoction that separates his emotions from the current realities.

Polemical? Kuir must be in a world of his own. I used to refer to Kuir as a writer who calls it like he sees it, without fear or favour. Not any more. What controversy is he scared of? And how is it controversial to put forward facts as they stand?

In any case, isn’t controversy the reason for intellectual discourse? Does Kuir want to see mundane and humdrum arguments to be the centre of South Sudan’s intellectual debates? I hope not. If so, that will be the death knell of our intellectualism. I reject it outright.

Kuir also stated: “Maker presented Jieng and Nuer people as if they are some kind of homogenous (sic) tribes. Internal differences and realities can’t give anyone any ground to over generalize ethnic realities.”

To be honest, I don’t understand what Kuir meant by “some kind of homogenous (sic) tribes”. Let me guess he intended to refute the argument I made that Dinka and Nuer are people of the same kind.

If that is the case, then I am absolutely taken aback by Kuir’s knowledge of our people. Actually, I think Kuir has a deep understanding and knowledge of our people. He probably didn’t think much about making that argument.

On the question of generalisation, Kuir is in denial about what our country is going through and the agents of this destruction. We can give a long list of what Dinka and Nuer have done to each other and the deep sense of hatred they harbour against each other.

But I will not do that because they are documented and any one can access them on the internet. Let’s give a simple example.

If the current social media commentary by Dinka and Nuer people is anything to go by, then, a just bystander could immediately form a view of the bitter relations between the two tribes.

I have had Nuer friends, who I have shared the same plate with and drank from the same cup, calling for the heads of Dinka people. I have also had Dinka friends who have dismissed the wanton and targeted slaying of Nuer civilians as widely reported in Juba. You don’t need any special lenses to make the argument that I made.

Kuir is also right. We shouldn’t generalize a people for the actions of a section. But isn’t it true that one rotten fish spoils the whole shoal? In fact, in the case of Dinka and Nuer, it’s more than one. Doesn’t Kuir the events of 1991?

If it wasn’t the intention of a sizeable section of the community, the decimation of human life that was exacted on the Bor Community would not have happened.

Okay, just a week ago, there was that sickening, vicious and targeted killing by the members of the Presidential Guard. If it wasn’t the intention of many Dinka soldiers in the Presidential Guard, would a lot of innocent Nuer civilians have been killed? Let’s not lie to ourselves.

Kuir also stated: “To make it even worse, Maker uses his family’s example as an exacting fact of the Jieng’s and Nuer’s realities. This is not only factually irresponsible, it is misleading.”

As far as my family is concerned, a friend of mine and a former classmate Jacob Adut Mabor stated: “Matik……..I wish they (Dinka & Nuer) will read and understand this article.” How foresighted!

It did not take long before a very good intellectual in Kuir wen Garang made the mistake of not having understood the gist of the analogy. And then Kuir argued, “this is not only irresponsible, it is misleading.”

I nearly fell off the chair laughing when I was reading this. I don’t understand what is irresponsible and misleading about using a family related analogy to make a point.

Kuir probably did not understand the idea of the three brothers and the three “leaders”, Kiir, Riek and Gadet who are also brothers. I will leave that with my dear brother, Kuir, to chew over.

Kuir also stated: “For Maker’s account to be taken seriously, he should have given a fact-based contrast between these two tribes and other tribes in South Sudan. How different in terms of cultural tendency to violence are shilluk, Murle, Toposa, Madi, Kuki, Bari, Moru and other tribes from Jieng and Nuer?”

It isn’t my habit to go on a merry go round on issues of national importance. Any one person has the tendency to do anything as long as there is a motivation.

For Dinka and Nuer, the motivation is the tribal hegemony precipitated by hatred. How do you explain the defection of Peter Gadet and a large contingent of Nuer soldiers if it is not tribal allegiance! I call spade a spade.

“We shouldn’t undermine our intellectual roles by presenting writings that can be seen as comedy by others.”

Kuir wen Garang, Dinka and Nuer are already a laughing stock of all and sundry. They are an open book of comedy. They have hoisted their reputation with their own petard.

have no sympathy for someone who knowingly shoots own leg and then forces people not to call him a cripple. I abhor the idea of sugar-coating things so that we don’t look bad in the eyes of others.

Kuir ends his arguments stating that: “To generalize the Jieng and Nuer as having been ‘cursed’ and to use one’s filial realities to generalize a human population is irresponsible. While the writer had good intentions, he shouldn’t do that at the expense of facts and truth.”

My brother Kuir, what is irresponsible is the unnecessary loss of lives, the destruction of property and the regression of service delivery that the people are badly yearning for. What I stated are facts and they are there for everyone to see.

For that reason, I still believe “Dinka and Nuer are a sick and a cursed mob.”

In a nutshell, Kuir Garang failed to say facts as they are. Dinka and Nuer are brutish, vicious and they hate each other. Until we accept this fact, national reconciliation will be hard to forge. We must accept what we are to change what we are. I rest my case.

Maker Mayek Riak is a lawyer. You can follow Maker on twitter: @MakMayek

Are Dinka and Nuer the problems of South Sudan?

BY: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, UGANDA, DEC/28/2013, SSN;

The school of thought of Machiavelli asserts that the end justifies the means. According to Machiavelli a PRINCE must defend his state with either his own subjects or mercenaries, or auxiliaries. Mercenaries are utterly untrustworthy; if their captain be not an able man the prince will probably be ruined, whereas if he be an able man he will be seeking a goal of his own.

This has been perpetually exemplified among the cities and states of Italy which have sought to maintain themselves by taking foreigners into their pay. But he who would deprive himself of every chance of success should have recourse to auxiliaries; that is, to the troops of a foreign potentate.

For these are far more dangerous than mercenary arms, bringing ruin with them ready made. The better such troops are the more dangerous they are. From Hiero of Syracuse to Cesare Borgia, princes have become powerful in proportion as they could dispense with such aid and place their dependence upon national troops.

The last part of the above extract which provides that “princes have become powerful in proportion as they could dispense with such aid and place their dependence upon national troops,” underlines the spirit and the theme of this article.

The theme of this article is that the strongest nations are nations where the power struggle is less and leaders are concerned with the way how to improve the welfare of the citizens which shifts the politics from leadership-centred to the people-centred.

The strongest nation is the nation where citizens know what are their rights and duties unlike the nations where citizens know only their rights without duties.

Such a nation is a doomed nation from the start and will always be crisis. It is the nation where people place unrealistic demands on government. The citizens of such a nation are Mercenaries in their own nations. They only struggle to loot the nation and leave it dilapidated and underdeveloped.

All citizens in such a nation are material oriented and every opportunity becomes an opportunity for self-enrichment.

Power becomes the source of wealth and exploitation of the venerable becomes order of the day. It is the nation where ordinary citizens regret to be part of it.

As the extract above explains, the people of the nations are better than foreigners who are paid to do mischief for the selfish of the leadership.

This implies that instead of struggling for power and in the process shedding the blood of the innocent, the leaders should cooperate and concentrate on how to build a nation and the capacity of their people.

South Sudan should have taken this approach of empowering all the citizens instead of seeking opportunity of grabbing power from each other. The recent attempted coup raises a lot of interesting questions and major concerns, which pushes me into writing this article.

The same concerns raise a question in me as to become a heading of this article whether Dinka and Nuer are the problems of South Sudan. Therefore, this Article wants to answer the above question and in negative and tries to explain what I think to be the problems of South Sudan beyond Dinka and Nuer as many people have been thinking to be the case.

Do not take effect for the cause, Dinka and Nuer are neither enemies nor the problems of South Sudan. Rather, the problems of South Sudan that are overlooked by many are the ones affecting them and turn them against each other.

As stated in the foregoing paragraphs, the problems affecting South Sudan and South Sudanese today are problems rooted in history of South Sudan. The desire to correct such problems is the cause of the present crisis.

It is the cause of current crisis because some people placed in their current positions by the history just because they joined schools and struggle earlier than the others want to maintain the status quo and if removed by law, then the option for them is to take up arms against the government.

Such a move is unattainable because those who live by swords will die of swords.

The cause of problems of South Sudan in my understanding and analysis and which most of the people have not understood are neither Dinka nor Nuer but leadership, leaders and illiteracy are the causes.

These have become a major problem because it is aggravated by lack of critical thinking. The people when faced with problems always take cause for the effects. Many South Sudanese who assumed to have been educated have received shallow education that does not expose them to critical thinking.

Critical thinking helps people to think beyond the obvious and find answers to difficult questions that shallow minds will have never thought of.

For instance, many people in South Sudan are blaming Gadet and Riek for causing problems to the people of South Sudan and many more will agree to that kind of reasoning, which to me is not the reason.

To me, the problems of South Sudan are neither Riek nor Gadet but the two are the effects of the problems I am going to talk about; briefly illiteracy. Some may argue that Riek is educated to the highest level of education.

There is no point of argument there but what is in issue is the type of education Riek received is in question. Riek like many other South Sudanese had received education that is the cause of the problems of South Sudan.

Education that does not reason is education that is worst as one received by cattle keepers, which only thinking of cattle raiding and looting.

Failure to realize the problems of South Sudan earlier will make South Sudan continue in problems indefinitely unless South Sudanese learn how to think critically and beyond the tribe.

Tribes are no problems of South Sudan because they are identity of South Sudanese. Personal identity is never a problem. Contrary to that concept if we utilize tribe well it can be a blessing to South Sudan.

However, without a deeper understanding, the problems of South Sudan will never be eliminated. The problems of South Sudan are deep rooted beyond the tribes. One of such problems as alluded above is ill prepared leaders and the way people perceive the leadership itself.

Leadership is perceived to be a source of wealth. Such perception pushes the “so-called leaders” into thinking that leadership is the quick way of enriching themselves.

This line of reasoning makes most of our leaders develop the Machiavelli school of thought that the end justifies the means. Such is the dominant thinking of some of the SPLM and SPLA leaders.

However, one thing has to be noted clearly about South Sudan politics today. It is worth to note that instead of opposition being the one that disturbs the ruling party; it is now the ruling part disturbing itself, and also disturbing the people of South Sudan. For this reason, I give other political parties a credit.

Coming back the main discussion, South Sudanese leaders and the leadership in general as history shows do not care about the interest and the welfare of the people but live on the principle of Machiavelli of the end justifies the means.

To them it does not matter how to get what they want because the end result will justify how they get it.

Such school of thought has been the source of corruption, which some of our leaders has been accused of. The school of thought I mentioned above blocks the reasoning capacity of the people who subscribe to it.

Those who practice it do not think of moral implications of their actions since their major aim is to get what they want provided there is a means of getting it. Such reasoning is corrupt, amoral, repugnant and self-defeating.

It has no basis in truth because I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

The truth is that a nation where leaders are corrupt and their thoughts are blocked by the greed for power is doomed to failure forever. The perfect example is the recent attempted coup.

The recent attempted coup is a perfect example and a clear manifestation of such attitude and philosophical thinking of Machiavelli.

I thought Riek was a human being who has a capacity to learn from the past but the attempted exposed Riek as someone who can never learn from past and at the same time he is gullible.

To be sincere, I had never thought of Dr. Riek Machar to be part of the recent crisis (Sunday Crisis) of South Sudan given the fact of what had happened in 1991.

In August 1991, many innocent South Sudanese died and the death due to clashes between different groups led by Garang and Riek continued up to 2002 when Riek entered into agreement with Late Dr. Garang.

Given such man-made disaster caused by Dr. Riek and his group when they myopically instigated a coup with the aim of taking power in the liberation struggle, which led to the perishing of thousands of South Sudanese.

I thought Riek would have learned from his mistakes of the past but he did not even show remorse.

If I were the one, I would have been the one to advise other Army Generals to refrain from any such move, which will endanger the lives of the innocent. However, the recent conflict indicated that Riek has learned nothing from history.

Not only that but also, I was surprised to hear Dr. Riek some days after the attempted coup making arrogant statement that he was not ready to talk with the President of the Republic whom he termed as “illegal President,” a phrase that even a child of less than a year if such a child could reason would not appreciate.

The fact that the President shows a tendency of dictatorship as was witnessed from the removal of him (Dr. Riek), governors and other former ministers does not turn Kiir into an illegitimate President.

It was an erroneous statement from Dr. Riek that cannot be accepted by civilized nations.

Any leader elected whether through rigging of votes or any other means but as soon as such a leader is confirmed by the electoral commission and accepted by his people and the international community, then such a leader is no longer an illegitimate leader and the statement to such effect is erroneous, illegal, ridiculous and insulting. It is just making joke of the person of the president.

President Kiir, in my opinion is not a dictator and has never been a dictator but the powers he is using were granted to him by legislators who inserted article 101 in the Transitional Constitution of 2011.

If the dictators are to be sought then the legislators are dictators themselves and not the president and since legislators represent the people of South Sudan, the people of South Sudan are dictators since the president is exercising their will through legislators.

Instead of making careless and meaningless statement as “president is illegitimate” Riek and his group would have struggled for the removal Article 101 to disarm the president of arbitrary powers and ensure that the National Constitution that is in the process of making does contain such an article, instead of using wrong means of getting power, which is a wrong way of reasoning.

The recent incident indicates that most of our leaders such as Riek Machar and others do not reason beyond what they think are right; they do not think rationally.

Their thinking is that of end justifies the means. Riek as a “Nationalist and patriot” should have struggled to see that democracy prevails in South Sudan instead of using illiterate soldiers to kill innocent civilians.

The incident has portrayed Riek to be a leader who does not have any vision and ambition but his mission is just to get power, which is a dangerous disposition he is portraying.

History has shown that those who seek power through crooked means in the modern era will never put their hands on power no matter how much they want it and superstition they work for it. Talk of Kizza from Uganda, Odinga Oginga and his son from Kenya; these personalities wanted power so much but they had never got it.

If Riek is dreaming of becoming the president of South Sudan, he must change the way of searching for leadership. The way Riek is behaving shows that he is not a leader at all because leaders always use less expensive means to achieve their goal. Such means involve trying by all means to minimize the loss of lives.

However, the two incidents of 1991 and 2013 have shown that what Riek needs is only power and I have began to have some reservations about him despite the fact that I have been his admirer; I no longer respect him as my leader. He is the leader of the dead.

Nevertheless, although Riek did or likely to have done such abominable things of misleading citizens into killing each other, the President of the Republic is not also free from fault.

The president is also at fault because he should have been more shrewd than what he is now.

One of the major weaknesses of the president is that he introduced many decrees without the implementation to the benefits of those who were intended to benefit from them and such laxity leaves those affected by decrees and those who had hope for change all disappointed causing discontent in the country.

For instance, people of Lakes State hoped that the change of the governor would bring improvement in their lives but they are now crying that SPLM has let them down. They believed that SPLM has let them down not because Matur is bad but the President gave him uncontrolled powers, which he uncontrollably uses in uncontrollable manner, which negatively affects the welfare of the citizens.

In one way or the other, the citizens in such states like Lakes State are suffering due to the fault of the president. The president has good vision but lack implementation strategies which in turn affects his agenda of improving the welfare of the citizens.

If the president desired to improve the lives of the citizens, he would have removed those he thought are the problems of South Sudan and then strictly supervises how those he appointed run the states.

As recently reported by the Sudan-Tribune, the president was reported to have lamented that some of the SPLM members behaved like opposition members since they come up with their own policies contrary to the SPLM vision.

One of the strong such examples is the recent attempted policy of cutting 5% of salaries of all civil servants in Lakes State in the pretext of supporting the SPLM party.

Such decision was unilaterally made by General Matur. Though it was rejected by the State Assembly it was a wrong decision, which would have harmed the party permanently.

Despite all complaints from different states from mismanagement of the resources the president seems to have found peace of mind and does not care of what difficulties people are experiencing provided that he is in power enjoying the peace of mind.

From the foregoing discussion, it is right to say that one of the problems of South Sudan is neither Dinka nor Nuer but some of the leaders who are not concerned about the welfare of South Sudanese in General. This brings me to the next problem of South Sudan.

Finally, another problem of South Sudan and the most dangerous one is illiteracy aggravated by ill equipped type of education that was received in Sudan before independence of the South.

In many cases, people who receive it are more illiterate and dangerous than those in the cattle came.

Those in the cattle camp though illiterate are innocent but those educated are not innocent but they instead mislead such innocent people. Illiteracy in South Sudan is high in the cattle keeping communities where I come from and it is where many problems affecting South Sudan come from.

The example is recent coup attempt, which was instigated by the majority of cattle keepers.

The four states where the alleged coup leaders came from have the highest illiterate people compare to other states. People from these states (Lakes, Warrap, Unity and Jonglei, States) whether educated or not educated think alike; predominantly Nuer and Dinka have such attitude and thinking.

It is because of such attitudes of Dinka and Nuer which has made many people from other states to conclude that the problems of South Sudan are Dinka and Nuer, which is wrong conclusion.

The problems of South Sudan are actually leaders, illiteracy and the people themselves. For instance, I have been with students from greater Equatoria and what have discovered they do not have any zeal to fight for injustice.

They like cooperating with the people in power provided that those people in power are strong and have money. They value many more than justice, which is very dangerous because the communities are likely to suffer injustices while their own sons are just watching at them helpless.

All the above and many others not mentioned in this article are the problems of South Sudan and not Dinka nor Nuer as many people have been asserting it.

The only solution to South Sudan problems is to restructure South Sudan education to teach people morals and love for their own people.

Many people claim to love the country, which is the lie a person cannot love the nation minus her people. If that is the case, then, that is not true love but desire for wealth and power.

South Sudan should introduce ethics and human rights in all levels of schools starting from primary to university. This will help to implant human values in the citizens because the corruption and other problems we experience today in the country stem from the fact that our leaders do not have human values in their lives.

If this is done South Sudan will be a better country in the next twenty five years.

NB: The Author is a Fourth Year Law Student Makerere University and he can be reached via:
juoldaniel@yahoo.com; or +256783579256

South Sudanese Lose Fighting for Leaders

BY: Gabrial Pager Ajang, USA, DEC/28/2013, SSN;

In just eight days, we have destroyed what have built for eight years. We have killed hundreds of innocent people. We have destroyed Juba and Bor Towns infrastructures. Today, divisions 1, 6, 7 and newly integrated militias have repelled rebels from Malakal, and hundreds of innocent lives have been lost. The government continues to escalate its military operations in the richest oilfields of Unity State.

Why are we why killings ourselves? The really losers in this conflict are South Sudanese citizens, and soldiers who follow retarded leaders.

Soldiers in South Sudan are more loyal to leaders, and have stronger ethnic ties to them than to the nation, in other words, we have weak institutions and strong ethnic ties.

Our ethnic groups are more well organized than our government’s institutions.

Concurrently, we are led by dangerously wild leaders, who are merciless and perilous enough to accept sitting on bloody chairs after each factional wars.

The most deficient, corrupt, and heartless leaders to their cores, unfortunately, preside over South Sudan. As a result, innocent lives are being lost.

If South Sudanese do not wake up and depose their ruling garbage, we will always be in a precarious environment.

The people of South Sudan are not enemies; they are friends and good citizens. Leaders are the enemies of South Sudan.

The investors left South Sudan, and our economy suffered immensely. We have lost trust around the world, and strongly affirmed with unanimity that we cannot definitely govern ourselves.

The effects of war are both physical and psychological. Human societies are deeply affected by wars.

The public infrastructure, hospitals and the very basis of human existence are destroyed in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity States, and Juba.

South Sudan experienced war when it was once fought with Khartoum and people faced many hardships and challenges to meet their basis needs.

The War of Liberation Struggles took millions of lives and maimed as well as crippled thousands of people that were severely wounded.

Wars bring untold miseries as well as political and economic instability. People’s lives and daily existence come under threat.

Very soon, it would be difficult to find jobs or live our normal day-to-day existence.

Populations are displaced and have to constantly move about for security. What is happening now in South Sudan is dire reflection of the tragedy war brings. Some are scarred emotionally and physically for life.

Thus, humans must avoid wars at all cost. The only way we can protect our lives and ensure stability in our country is to practice tolerance and respect for each otter. Or else, we too would become extinct like the dinosaurs.

Peace talks will not bring peace to South Sudan, but educating citizens, and leaders on moral ethics and values of human being can bring peace.

Furthermore, educating people on the importance of ethnic diversities and its richness could transform strong ethnic ties and ease ethnic tension.

The people of South Sudan do not need foods, shelter and clothes, they are yearning for freedom, justice and healing, they need to heal from a long war.

Gabrial Pager Ajang, Political Science and History Instructor at Wright Career College. He can be reached at ajangassociates@gmail.com

Kiir & Machar: Remove the Skeletons from the Closet in South Sudan

BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong (aka Emmanuel Tongun Gore), FINLAND, DEC/26/2013, SSN;

What Happened:

What happened is that on the fateful night of December 15th, 2013, armed violent conflict erupted within the ranks and file of presidential guards unit in one of the main military headquarters in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan. The domino effect of this violence quickly spread like wildfire to half the number of the ten States in the land, resulting in senseless killing that targeted mostly our fellow compatriots from the civilian population across ethnic divide, according to the latest statement by the United Nations.

In the process, thousands of South Sudanese have lost their lives in just a matter of ten days according to Toby Lanzer, the highest UN humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan while speaking to BBC.

“There are now people who are targeting others because of their tribal affiliation. It will only lead to one thing and that is to turn this new nation into chaos… it’s undeniable at this stage that there must have been thousands of people who have lost their lives. When I’ve looked at the hospitals in key towns and I’ve looked at the hospitals in the capital itself, the range of injuries, this is no longer a situation where we can merely say it’s hundreds of people who’ve lost their lives,” Mr. Lanzer detailed.

In addition to precious lives of our compatriots lost as a result of this violent insanity that is clearly embedded in unresolved political contradictions of the past, more than 80,000 people have been displaced from their homes and villages.

In absence of safe and secure abode, half of our innocent civilians are left gasping for refuge in various UN bases across the conflict hotspots in the land. This displacement is accompanied by pillage and destruction of properties.

“The estimated number of people displaced in the current crisis in South Sudan has risen to 81,000….Given the limited access to civilians outside population centres, the number is likely to be significantly higher,” states the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in its latest situation report on the crisis in South Sudan.

The violent situation remains fluid and continues to rapidly change. Left on its own and at this rate and scope, many more deaths of innocent civilian population will ensue and further displacement, pillage and destruction of property will continue in what may potentially lead to a humanitarian disaster.

As such the violence, indiscipline and lawlessness must end immediately.

As President Barack Obama has recently warned, South Sudan is “on the precipice” and edging closer to a civil war.

This is particularly true given the generally accepted definition of a civil war as an armed conflict where “the war has caused more than 1,000 deaths,” and it “involved the state as one of the principal combatants…” (Doyle and Sambanis, 2000; 2006).

However, a window of opportunity to arrest this dangerous slide to a full-fledged civil war with a far-reaching repercussions if the situation remains on the loose and from which we will live to regret for generations to come is still open.

But this window of opportunity must be seized immediately by the political leadership of South Sudan, before it closes.

What is Happening
As such, and in order to defuse and end the armed conflict, and find an amicable non-violent conflict resolution not only on the top political but also on all levels, including the middle and grassroots levels of the society, it is imperative to understand what is happening, namely the nature of the conflict.

According to the narrative presented by the Government of South Sudan (GoSS), this is a political violence precipitated by a “foiled coup” attempt attributed to forces aligned to the former vice president Dr. Riek Machar and his eleven political allies now incarcerated by GoSS.

Dr. Machar remains at large, and perhaps by existential intuition based on what unraveled in Juba. However, he now admits to commanding an armed opposition with a view to unseat President Salva Kiir from power by the use of force.

The use of force to gain or retain political power must be discouraged and power must change hands through non-violent democratic means in the ballot box.

Yet, Dr. Machar also categorically denies that it was his intention to usurp political power from President Kiir by force as alleged.

Instead he claims that the coup was staged by President Kiir and GoSS as a pretext to eliminate him and his comrades who are publically opposed to Kiir’s leadership both on the ruling party Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) level as well as on national governance level.

Dr. Machar reiterated this in his Tweeter account on Christmas day, December 25th, 2013, where he emphasized that he did not run away because he was involved in a “foiled coup.” Rather he pointed out that he fled because his life was on the line.

He tweets, “what few individuals are failing to understand is that I was only running for my life when guards were ordered to kill or capture me. [N]o one in his right mind can stage a coup while sitting still in his house. [T]he dispute over the disarmament on one section of the guards was created to arrest me and my comrades so as to create a havoc.”

Whether or not there was a failed coup attempt or Machar and cohorts were framed, is at this point irrelevant.

As it is clear, while the conflict protagonist continue to look for justifications for the choices they made, unfortunately the armed violence across ethnicities that ensued will continue to escalate and proliferate.

And the common South Sudanese man, women elders and children are the ones left to pay the high price with their lives or through displacement.

While this is happening South Sudan, which itself was bought at a high price by the blood of our martyrs risks being consumed in the flames of violent mayhem and being reduced to ashes in a conflict that has clearly evolved into an identity one.

As such it is useless to persist on pointing fingers of blame to who started what, when, where and how. Equally pointless is to dwell on the question of who is the culprit who has cross the redline of power politics by reaching to the tribal card and throwing it into the mix, while knowing full well that South Sudan is indeed two years old when it comes to tribal vulnerability.

As we all know the majority of our masses remain illiterate and therefore their human agency to make their own informed political, economic and social decision is rudimentary and easily exploitable by the ruling elites.

It is, therefore not fair to our masses, nor is it morally right for our politicians to seek to ply their trade by abusing the tribal weakness of our people in order to gain or retain political power.

This practice must desist from South Sudan’s politics if a peaceful, just and prosperous nation is to be built.

It is here that it must be EMPHASIZED that the violence in South Sudan is no longer about political power but has taken a turn to the worst across ethnicities. Therefore political power must no longer remain the primary priority going forward.

What Must Happen
What must happen going forward and assuming our leaders and politicians really care about our people is for them to muster their courage, overcome their egos and pride and immediately seek a political settlement.

The only venue for this to happen is the negotiation table, which they must go to it without posing any preconditions or conditions to preconditions.

In his Christmas message, President Kiir has urged for clam and discipline in order to restore order and security in Juba as well as the rest of South Sudan. He also promised that “unruly and undisciplined” and those “who randomly bent to killing innocent people are criminals and will not escape the long arm of justice….” This is commendable.

On his part, Dr. Machar has appealed for calm as early as December 18th, 2013. Four days later, he followed that statement by reassuring the public that it is not in his desire to drag this country back to a civil war.

On each occasion he tweeted “I urge the general public and SPLA army to stay calm and avoid attacking innocent civilians. Don’t take our country back to square one,” and again “I don’t wish for civil war to happen again in South Sudan.

Salva Kiir must leave and this will bring democracy and freedom to South Sudanese. The issue is not between tribes. And the notion that there was a coup was fabrication by the president to eliminate democracy.”

If security and order were to be restored as the president is striving for, and if this country must avert a civil war and being dragged to square one as Machar wishes, then both Kiir and Machar must make swallow their egos and make major concessions to move this conflict to its rightful place—the negotiation table.

As noted it is no longer politics of power that is unravelling but innocent ordinary human beings and fellow tribesmen, women and children who are dying.

Therefore a mutual unequivocal declaration of ceasefire is overdue. The longer we wait the more our compatriots are dying and the chances of arresting this violence are evaporating.

The path to peaceful settlement of the conflict must begin immediately through mutual declaration of cessation of hostilities followed by the release of political prisoners from Kiir’s side, while Machar must demonstrate willingness to come to the negotiation table without dictating the agenda, including the precondition on Kiir’s departure from the first office.

Only when both parties demonstrate political will and ability to truly seek to find peaceful solution to violence this political-violence turned tribal, can this country be spared from a return to square one and a civil war to ensure the restoration of security and order for the rule of law to take its course in the cases of the innocent murders.

All other agenda’s and contentious issues of democratization and inclusion of other key stakeholders in the making of South Sudan’s future, including on issues pertaining to national reconciliation, the role of women, youth and the civil society in state-building, nation-building and peace-building will be discussed and mediated on the negotiation table.

As the renowned transitional justice expert, Priscilla B. Hayner admonishes, “common wisdom holds that the future depends on the past: one must confront the legacy of the past horrors or there will be no foundation on which to build a new society.

Bury your sins, and they will re-emerge later. Stuff skeletons in the closet, and they will fall back out of the closet at the most inauspicious times. Try to quiet the ghosts of the past, and they will haunt you forever—at the risk of opening society to cycles of violence, anger, pain, and revenge. By directly confronting the conflicts…, it is surmised, these conflicts will be less likely to explode into severe violence or political conflict in the future,” (Hayner, 2001).

Kiir and Machar remove the skeletons from the closet in South Sudan through immediate open and sincere political dialogue in a negotiation table, to resolve your political differences and save this country from the self-destruction of identity clash across ethnicities.

Merry Christmas and may the year 2014 be a year of peace, justice, equality and prosperity to South Sudan and bring the best out of us all.

Tongun Lo Loyuong is reachable at tloloyuong@gmail.com; and can be followed on twitter @TongunLoLoyuong. Numerous other food for thought and intellectual exercise on South Sudan’s issues can be found at: http://tloloyuong.wordpress.com/