Archive for: January 2014

LATEST: South Sudan rebel leader says government derailing peace talks

FROM Reuters: Goran TOMASEVIC, Jonglei State, JAN/31/2014, SSN;

(Reuters) – South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar accused the government on Friday of ethnic cleansing and trying to sabotage peace talks, in his first face-to-face interview since fighting erupted late last year in Africa’s youngest nation.

Dressed in dark green military fatigues and speaking to Reuters in his bush hideout, Machar branded President Salva Kiir a discredited leader who had lost the people’s trust and should resign.

Thousands have been killed and more than half a million have fled their homes since fighting erupted in the capital Juba in mid-December and spread quickly across the oil-producing nation, often following ethnic lines.

The two sides signed a ceasefire on January 23 in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, but each has accused the other of breaking it.

“Salva Kiir has committed atrocities in Juba, he has engaged in ethnic cleansing and he is still involved in the process,” Machar said.

His comments highlighted the gulf between the sides, who are meant to resume their troubled peace talks in Ethiopia next week. Regional and world powers are worried fighting could break out again and spill over into neighboring states.

South Sudan’s justice minister said this week that former vice president Machar and six of his closest allies should face treason charges, accusing him of trying to launch a coup.

“I am not aware of why we should face those charges for an alleged coup that never happened,” Machar said. “(It) is another attempt to stop peace talks.”

Machar has regularly denied starting the violence or trying to seize power, and has accused the president of taking advantage of an outburst of fighting between rival groups of soldiers to round up political rivals.

The United Nations and rights groups say both warring sides have committed atrocities, in a conflict that has taken the country to the brink of civil war. The government and rebels both accuse each other of ethnically motivated killings.

Human Rights Watch said earlier this month that government SPLA forces had targeted civilians from Machar’s Nuer group in Juba early on in the conflict, while rebel forces had butchered members of Kiir’s Dinka tribe in other towns.

GUNS AND LAUNDRY

In Machar’s bush camp, hidden in the thorny scrub of South Sudan’s vast Jonglei state which has untapped oil reserves, assault rifles stood propped up against a tree and laundry hung drying in the branches.

Nearby, Machar’s wife Angelina Teny, a former mining and energy minister in the united Sudan before the South seceded in 2011, was typing on a laptop in front of her tent.

The rebel leader said Kiir had lost the support of the country’s 11 million people. Asked what he wanted from the peace talks, Machar, who was sacked by Kiir in July, said he had no interest in being reinstated as vice president.

“It would be best for Kiir to resign. We are due for elections in 2015. Before the elections there would be an interim government,” Machar said, declining to say who might lead it.

Machar blamed the army for the ceasefire violations. The army was, he said, battling to extend its control outside the towns of Malakal and Bentiu, near the country’s main oil fields, and Bor, scene of some of the heaviest clashes.

Regional leaders said on Friday they aimed to deploy the first members of a team to monitor the shaky ceasefire at the weekend.

Even so, obstacles still lie in the way of the peace talks re-starting on time.

Four of the six senior political figures accused of treason alongside Machar are in detention in Juba. Machar pressed for their release after the government on Wednesday freed seven other detainees, but declined to say if he would call back his negotiators if the government refused.

“It will not be an inclusive peace process if they’re not there. A non-inclusive process would hurt the people of Sudan,” he said.

Machar said Kiir had only survived the uprising because Uganda’s military had intervened. Uganda has admitted its army provided air and ground support to Kiir’s troops, raising concerns among diplomats that the wider region could be sucked into the conflict.

“If it was not for the interference of the Ugandans, we would be in Juba now,” Machar said.

Asked if that meant he would be in power, he replied: “Not necessarily, but Kiir wouldn’t have been president.”

(Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

SPLM’s corrosive culture of victimisation

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, JAN/31/2014, SSN;

Mr Paulino Wanawilla Unango, the minister of Justice of the republic of South Sudan ruffled his feathers vigorously like an angry cock ready for a dirty fight. Bullishly he said, “Rebel leader Machar, former Unity state governor Taban Deng Gai and ex-environmental minister Alfred Lado Gore would have to be tried for treason in absentia. Others like Pagan Amum, Majak D’Agoot, Oyayi Deng Ajak and Ezekiel Lul Gatkouth would not be released pending their trial.” He went on to declare release of the other 7 senior members of the SPLM.

This issue of the freedom of the senior members of the SPLM appears to be taking a different turn from what is expected – a straight forward release to coincide with the negotiations in Addis Ababa. Let us look at this new development announced by Unango carefully. It throws forth two issues.

One is the nature of categorisation applied by the government and secondly the entrenchment of the lie that there was an attempted coup.

Unango has divided the group of the senior members of SPLM opposed to president Kiir into three smaller groups for him to proceed with their prosecution.

The first group consists of Riek Machar, Taban Deng Gai, and Alfred Lado Gore. The second group consists of Pagan Amum Okiech, Majak D’Agoot, Oyayi Deng Ajak and Ezekiel Lul Gatkouth. And the third group consists of Ahmed Deng Alor, Kosti Manibe, Dr Peter Nyaba, John Luke Jok, Madut Biar Yel, Dr Cirino Hiteng and Gier Chuong Aluong.

Looking critically at Unango’s grouping of the senior members of SPLM, it begins to make sense in relation to the larger picture of the struggle for power in the SPLM.

The first group is intensely hated by president Kiir’s government. Riek is one of the people now openly vying for the seat of the presidency. In addition to that historically Riek, Dr Lam Akol and John Koang rebelled against Dr John Garang and his vision of United Sudan in favour of secession of South Sudan from the Sudan.

Riek and his colleagues then led a protracted rebellion which damaged SPLM/A considerably forcing it to accept the principle of self determination. It seems president Kiir has not forgiven Riek for this, because prior to 15th December 2013 he bitterly kept making reference to that rebellion.

Again president Kiir in various occasions has displayed bitterness towards Alfred Lado Gore. Kiir personally supervised the rigging of the gubernatorial election in Equatoria, in order to deprive Gore of his legitimate win, imposing the current governor.

The reason for president Kiir’s behaviour may be linked to the rebellion that Gore mounted in late 1990s. The matter of importance to Kiir here is the subjugation of Equatoria and the determination of the Jieng not to see an Equatorian leader rise.

In terms of direct threat to president Kiir and their project of Jienganisation this group therefore is seen as posing a serious threat to Jieng hegemony.

The treason charges thus brought against this group is intended to remove the perceived threat of Nuer to the leadership now and the entrenchment of Jieng hegemony.

President Kiir wants to remove Gore to ensure that Equatoria must not recover from its subjugation and thus any emerging leader in Equatoria is gotten rid off.

The second group is feared for the influence it accumulated during the years of war of liberation. They are usually referred to as Garang boys due to their unwavering loyalty to the late SPLM/A leader Dr John Garang.

An example of this loyalty can be gleaned from the story of Garang’s burial in 2005 when Pagan Amum tore off the flag of the Sudan from Garang’s coffin replacing it with the flag of SPLM/A while all the rest including Kiir himself could not master the courage to do so.

Because of the loyalty of this group, they are associated with the SPLM/A Bor faction which is in direct rivalry with president Kiir and the SPLM/A Bahr El Ghazal faction.

The reluctance of Kiir to release this group specifically is related to the fact that Pagan has clearly expressed his wish to contest for the presidency of SPLM like Riek Machar. Therefore Pagan is seen as a direct threat by president Kiir.

Turning to Oyayi and Ezekiel, they are feared for their formidable influence in the army and the international community respectively. The former is a renowned fighter with distinguished record in the SPLA while the latter is believed to have developed good diplomatic contacts in the West while in Washington.

In an event that Addis Ababa talks collapse the duo would be a treasure to the rebels. The weakest but crucial link in this group is Majak D’Agoot due to his ethnic background as someone from Bor and a student of late Dr John Garang.

With this brief picture it is easy to understand why president Kiir is dead afraid of releasing them. As a group they could do maximum damage to Kiir’s ambition of continuing leadership.

This group has considerable support in the army. Again as in the case of the first group, president Kiir has personal interest to see them either locked away for a long time or removed.

The last group is that of Ahmed Deng Alor, Kosti Manibe, John Luke, Madut Biar Yel, Cirino Hiteng, Gier Chuong Aluong and Dr Peter Adwok.

Although this group politically and peacefully rebelled against president Kiir with the others, it is not seen as a threat ostensibly because the members lack any followership in the SPLM/A and the wider society.

Remember a good number of them failed to win any seats in the April 2010 general election and subsequently they were imposed on the people by president Kiir through appointments into the parliament.

The members of this group are neither popular within their tribes nor influential in the wider society. Since they do not pose any threat to president Kiir’s leadership other than through the Liberation Council, the government feels safe to despatch them to Kenya.

Viewing the grouping of the senior members of the SPLM/A from this perspective it becomes easy to see why president Kiir wants to slice the entire SPLM leadership to remove those he failed to silence on 15th December 2013.

Thus the treason charges should not be taken as a joke because the president realises that he has no leg to stand on now whether through the talks or through a protracted rebellion.

This takes us to the second part of Unango’s announcement which is to do with the entrenchment of the lie that there was an attempted coup.

Unango’s announcement is indicative of a government that is unable to live with a blatant lie it created: “attempted coup to overthrow a democratically elected government.” This statement alone carries two lies.

The first lie is that there was an attempted coup which the whole world has clearly dismissed. President Obama of USA, an ally of South Sudan has correctly and consistently stressed that there was no coup. Many other countries have also come to this conclusion.

The second lie is that the government of president Kiir is a democratically elected government which is not. Since South Sudan came to existence on 9th July 2011 there has not been an elections held in the Republic of South Sudan.

Anyone arguing to the contrary, must answer the following questions: When was president Kiir and SPLM elected democratically? Which month was Salva Kiir democratically elected? Which electoral commission, in independent South Sudan conducted the election?

President Kiir’s government is desperate to hold on to these lies because they form the backbone of his propaganda.

Firstly it covers the lie that the events of the week starting 15th December 2013 were an attempt at a coup, which has since been disproven. The tragic events of that week were a direct result of actions of president Kiir’s tribal militia.

President Kiir unleashed his tribal force on the Nuer people in Juba. He declared a curfew to contain and isolate the Nuer people in their homes and then his militia went on from door to door shooting them.

Rebecca Nyandeng, the widow of Late Dr John Garang has sufficiently given the background story in the London post, ‘Rebecca Nyandeng Garang reveals all – How Salva Kiir’s ‘private army’ prompted the current conflict.’ http://www.thelondoneveningpost.com/exclusive-rebecca-nyandeng-garang-reveals-all-how-salva-kiirs-private-army-prompted-the-current-conflict/

Secondly, the government wants to firmly secure and maintain the military and diplomatic support of Ugandan/IGAD on its side. Pertinently, this support is supposedly being extended on the grounds that president Kiir’s government is a democratically elected government even when it is clear that the SPLM just imposed itself on the people of South Sudan.

Please see ‘President Kiir’s SPLM Government Is Not Democratically Elected’ http://allafrica.com/stories/201401271167.html

Kiir’s government is scared and unsure of how the international community would react in the event that the truth of its existence as a non-elected government comes to light.

The fact that the SPLM’s assumption of power in South Sudan is not based on a democratic foundation is creating unease in the whole tribal system. President Kiir was not voted into power in an independent South Sudan.

Hence, the bravado of Unango’s coup charges is designed to destruct attention of the people from the lie hatched by president Kiir and his coterie.

The purpose is to maintain some form of credibility and legitimacy in the face of the crimes committed by Koch Beny (Kiir’s tribal militia). In other words it is a face saving trick involving victimisation of innocent people which itself is a crime. Charging innocent people falsely to cover president Kiir’s crimes.

SPLM/A has a corrosive culture of victimising innocent people. During the bush years many people lost their lives in the hands of its powerful members for trivial of reasons. A good example can be found in Nyaba’s book, ‘The Politics of Liberation in South Sudan: An Insider’s View’.

He points out that Dr Juac Erjok, a veterinary doctor from Ngok Dinka, Mr Lokurunyang Lado, a leftist activist and member of the South Sudan Patriotic Front and a certain Yahyah, a trade unionist who joined the ranks of SPLA, were framed as agents of Nimeiri and executed by firing squad during the graduation of the first brigade of the Jarad division in 1985.

There was no investigation carried out and there was no appeal against the death sentences before execution.

Lam Akol in his book, ‘SPLM/SPLA Inside African Revolution’ goes further to explain that Pagan Amum, Nyachugak Nyachiluk and Lokurnyang Lado were members of one group led by the latter. Pagan and Nyachugak conspired against Lokurnyang, arrested him and handed him over to SPLA leading to his execution.

Now what kind of a government is president Kiir’s government which blatantly fabricates a coup and now proceeds to charge innocent people of treason? Is it not a rogue regime?

Surely taking SPLM/A’s entire history into account, it becomes clear that the government in Juba has not moved away from its criminal behaviour. If anybody doubts this, let him/her revisit the events of December 2013.

The false charges brought against the senior members of SPLM/A illuminates the behaviour of this totalitarian regime and nothing else. SPLM/A itself does not believe in law and order.

If they did, why have we not seen it on the case of Arthur Akuen Chol who was freed by tribal gang from prison in Juba and then appointed to Upper House by none other the president himself? Why has this gang which stormed a government institution not brought to book?

Also, what about the cases of Equatorian polices officers shot by Jieng soldiers in Yambio; the killing of civilians in Kemiru; the killings of families in Yei; the killing of a Doctor in Yei; the killing of engineer John Lewis; the slaughter of sergeant Banyjoth Matoat Tap; the killing of people in Lorema; the killing of people in Wau and the list goes on.

Why have people in all these cases denied justice? Fundamentally all these cases have solid grounds and the perpetrators are none other than the Jieng in uniform.

What can Unango say about his own direct negligence in pursuing these cases? How fair is Unango? Does his current behaviour tally with his oath at the time he gained in law degree?

By bringing the false charges, what does the government hope to gain? It hopes to salvage itself from embarrassment caused by its lies and also to cement the lie that it is a democratically elected government.

But what they have not taken into consideration is that such approach may motivate and energize those in the bush to take a hard line thereby making things difficult.

What is important is that the people should not take their eyes off the ball – namely from the critical issue which is that president Kiir and his government must step down. Kiir has forfeited his right to rule and he must go.

In conclusion, the charges of treason brought against the senior members of SPLM/A must be rejected on principle as a clear message to President Kiir and his government that the people of South Sudan will not put up with injustice and victimisation because if allowed no one will be safe.

As a major suspect of ethnic cleansing, president Kiir must make way for a new and neutral government to sort out the mess in the country.

The people’s attention must not be distracted from this crucial point by Unango’s unfounded charges against his own Oyee colleagues.
[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

Understanding the Problem is Half the Solution in South Sudan

BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, GERMANY, JAN/30/2014, SSN;

Back in elementary school days when we lived as internally displaced people (IDPs) in Khartoum, our teachers used to advise us to keep our cool and not panic during finals. We were often forcefully reminded with a stick that to pass an exam, “understanding the problem is half the solution (fihm al sou’al nusf al-ijaba).”

Now that an agreement on cessation of hostilities (CoH) has been signed by the warring parties in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa exactly a Week ago, it is important to clarify some aspects of the 6 Weeks period of devastating internal armed conflict that engulfed South Sudan going forward.

As the conflict was arguably a moving target with its meteoric evolution, many analysts were left challenged and puzzled on how to characterize it.

Some analyses that could not make do without emphasizing the ethnic dimension of the conflict were met with outrage and drew the ire of many South Sudanese. Most bemoaned what they saw as Western media bias/wrongful representation of the latest internal armed conflict in South Sudan.

Many were rightly concerned that a one-sided and reductionist reporting of the atrocious conflict by the media fraternity could fuel revenge attacks and exacerbate a conflict that has claimed more than 10,000 lives mostly civilians, displaced over half a million others and devastated untold livelihoods and properties.

Others were angered by any reference to the two dominant ethnic groups and the main parties to the conflict, the Dinka and the Nuer from which the incumbent President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Dr. Riek Machar on whose behalf the conflict is being fought come from respectively.

Perhaps what needs to be clarified about the ethnic dimension of the conflict should be in line with how Rebecca Nyandeng Garang, the widow of the late Chair of the ruling Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) party recently articulated.

Mrs. Nyandeng Garang now an opposition member against President Kiir’s leadership is quoted several days ago by Sudan Tribune as stating that: “Kiir had illegally trained private army of 15,000 men from his tribe, which he used to start the violence in the South Sudanese capital, Juba.”

What I find richly informative about the ethnic dimension of the conflict in Mrs. Nyandeng Garang’s statement is the use of the phrase “from his tribe” in reference to President Kiir.

This characterization was startling given both Nyandeng and Kiir are from the same Dinka ethnic group but not necessarily from the same tribe or clan, which suggests kinship rather than ethnic belonging should inform the so-called ethnic dimension of the conflict.

The implication is that the conflict may be tribal-cum-ethnic on one level but a political power struggle overall.

Indeed there are Dinka members and several other members from other ethnic groups within the mostly Nuer dominated opposition group under the general command of Dr. Machar. There are also members of Nuer and from other South Sudanese communities within the mostly Dinka led group aligned with the government and President Kiir.

Moreover, Kiir’s political detainees– seven of whom were acquitted of the attempted coup allegations and released yesterday– hail from several tribes and ethnic groups, including from Kiir’s own Dinka ethnic group, but again perhaps not necessarily from his tribe or clan.

Such a diverse composition of the warring parties blurs or redraws the ethnic lines of the conflict. The conflict can therefore, be characterized as a violent struggle over political power across ethnic, tribal, clan and interest cantons, which accounts for the presence of both Dinka and Nuer members as well as others in both camps of the divide.

As for the ceasefire, it obviously means the world to the suffering poor masses of South Sudan most of whom are from the peripheries and rural areas who are simply trying to make ends meet with minimal support from the political leadership and state institutions.

People just want to return to their normal lives and should not be made to pay a heavy price in a conflict most are not well-informed about its political dimension let alone its confusing ethnicity.

Two Nuer men probably from the same area, tribe or clan may have found themselves pitted on opposing ends of the divide pointing the barrel of their guns at each other and thinking what exactly is going on.

The same may be true of two half-relatives with the other half in Dinka, Shilluk, Bari or other who may have found themselves in a bizarre confrontational position as a result of the violent conflict.

Most victims of the conflict have no political opinion to be victimized in a conflict through targeted killings for the only crime that they hail from a particular ethnic group, tribe or clan.

For this reason the signing of the CoH agreement by the belligerents was overdue. The international community, and the regional organs tasked with mediating the conflict must be applauded for their robust and tireless efforts that culminated in ending the violence. But more needs to be done to sustain the effort if lasting peace can be forged in South Sudan.

Already one week into the signing of the CoH agreement and it is yet to be translated into any meaningful cessation of hostilities on the ground in the embattled areas in South Sudan.

Violence perpetrated by both parties continues to be reported and ceasefire has already been badly breached. All conflict stakeholders must be urged to end the violence at once.

But it is also important to note that in order for the ceasefire to hold, mediators must be made aware of the several layers of the violent conflict at interplay simultaneously, which does not seem to have been reflected in the document of the CoH deal.

For instance, before the deadly violent outbreak in Juba mid-December last year, South Sudan was already fraught with rampant insecurity and inter and intra-communal cycle of violence.

Many reports have detailed how violence festering on the communal level has kept death toll at the same level in places like Jonglei State as during the protracted civil war before the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Another aspect of the violence is also related to the activities of rebel groups such as that led by David Yau Yau in locales like Jonglei State.

Equally pertinent is that much of the violence was also created by the traditional practice of cattle-raid, practiced particularly by the cattle-keeping communities like the Dinka, the Nuer, Murle and others as shown in the last piece.

There were at least two incidences of cattle-raid activities that were reported that occurred concomitantly with current internal armed conflict but with little known direct connection to the political turmoil.

I recently read another report about cattle raid and attack on some villages in the Greater Upper Nile Region by the White-Army (a militia group made mainly of Nuer youth and aligned with Dr. Machar), several days after the signing of the CoH agreement.

This tells us that while on the political level the violence may have de-escalated (which I actually doubt), on the communal level particularly related to cattle raids, the violence seems to continue unabated.

This is in part because cattle-raid may have not been captured in the text and spirit of the CoH deal.

Overall in order for the ceasefire to hold, there must be a strong political will by the political leadership in both sides of the aisle as well as by all conflict stakeholders across the board, including those with stakes motivated by other issues, such as revenge and cattle-rustling, to end the violence.

Meanwhile, it is imperative that the international community and the regional bodies mediating the conflict must not lose sight of the conflict just because a deal on a CoH has been signed by the warring parties.

Media houses and the media fraternity who have done an exceptional job covering a complex conflict, must remain vigilant and continue to report on developments going forward even after the ceasefire agreement.

In South Sudan, ceasefire just means that the conflict has been transferred to another level, preferably to the negotiation table, but there is also going to be some coveted violence that will remain under different guises, as the conflict is a multilayered and interconnected one.

While one layer may have ended other layers may continue and if not arrested in time may cause further political tensions leading to another surprising violent eruption that may risk undo the whole CoH agreement and send us tumbling back to square one.

The pertinent questions that should guide our conflict interlocutors going forward as they attempt to find a lasting solution to the conflict should be: why are the South Sudanese fighting and who are the conflict stakeholders?

Why did they fight long costly and bloody wars against successive Khartoum regimes in the first place? What are the grievances and the underlying causes of the conflict?

Have they been genuinely addressed by the previous Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) deal and the secession of South Sudan into a sovereign and independent state?

What role has the political leadership and governance issues also known as proximate causes played and contributed to the current violent outbreak?

What roles have wanton corruption and nepotism played in triggering and fuelling the conflict?

As the prominent Swedish peace scholar and practitioner, Peter Wallensteen has aptly observed in his book chapter entitled “Strategic Peacebuilding: Concepts and Challenges,” in order for a sustainable peace deal to be reached and lasting peace to hold, understanding the history of the conflict is vital, because “there is a strong correlation between earlier war experiences and relapse into renewed war.”

Answering these questions therefore, and devising strategies on some form of a follow-up and accountability mechanism to ensure justice is served for crimes committed and wanton human rights abuses perpetrated against civilians across ethnicities should begin to steer South Sudan back on the path to sustainable peace.

Some form of transitional justice is therefore necessary in any final outcome of any lasting peace deal in South Sudan.

It will be a difficult task as those implicated on both sides of the divide in committing gruesome human rights abuses and perpetrating atrocities against the civilian population are likely to resist punitive justice and accountability that may seem incompatible with their life and freedom.

In such a scenario a hybrid justice mechanism that balances both restorative justice and reconciliation on the one hand and some form of retributive justice on the other, must be sought to aid lasting peace efforts in South Sudan.

There are ample customary retributive and restorative justice approaches and practices in the many local South Sudanese cultures that can be consulted.

The local agents for a reconciling justice mechanism that may seek restitution or reparation as a form of retribution for any loss incurred on victims or their surviving relatives are naturally the traditional leaders and elders of the affected stakeholders.

Religious institutions can equally play an integral part in restoring and amending broken societal relationship by presiding over a national healing and reconciliation exercise.

As such these key parties, namely religious institutions and traditional leaders and elders are indispensable and must be actively involved in the second step of the peace negotiations going forward.

Women and youth not only constitute the majority in South Sudan, but are also most affected by the conflict and poor political decisions. They must therefore be invited and included in the peace process to determine the future they envision for themselves and South Sudan.

All conflict stakeholders, including those who are yet to pick up a gun, the civil society and other political parties all have an integral role to play in charting out a peaceful and bright future for South Sudan in an inclusive and commensurate peace process.

On the whole a serious pondering over the above questions should yield an idea on the underlying as well as the catalytic or triggering factors to the violent conflict that must be amicably addressed to promote sustainable peace with justice in South Sudan.

In the process the mediators and all involved conflict actors should be able to reach the conclusion that first: on the political level, the conflict is essentially a violent struggle over who grabs a lion share of political power, a trademark feature of the SPLM.

Whoever wields political power also controls economic and geographic power and preside over fair or unfair distributive justice of national wealth and resources across various interest groups.

In turn this as has been abundantly clear, particularly since the signing of the CPA, creates a destructive competition between South Sudanese across many fault-lines over resources, and entrenches a medieval oppressive system of political patronage and feudalism.

But while South Sudan is endowed with sufficient resources for all to have a piece, there is simply not enough for greed and exclusivism, which are sure recipes for violent conflicts.

Second, a feudal and clientele system of governance in a country as ethnically diverse and deeply divided as South Sudan leaves the impression of cultural dominance by one or two ethnic groups, which invokes the bitter memories of colonial subjugation and cultural domination associated with our Khartoum days.

Such an outlook will have a profound negative bearing on any chance of creating a just and equal state and a unifying sense of national identity, as some will continue to be reminded of second or third class citizenship statuses in their own country.

Additionally, popular grievances of those who feel excluded from access to social and economic services resulting from such an unjust political structuring will remain unaddressed and ultimately soar, leading to disgruntlement and endless cycle of violent conflicts.

The Khartoum wheel of center-periphery dynamics and economic marginalization need not be reinvented in South Sudan going forward.

Third and lastly, our conflict interlocutors and all stakeholders should be able to conclude on conflict underlying causes and triggering factors that the political leadership is in charge in matters of South Sudanese life and death, particularly as the society is highly ethnically conscious.

The leaders must be strongly encouraged to avoid playing ethnic cards and charge popular emotions or incite one community against another.

Phrases such as “this is your power that some are trying to wrestle away from you” or opening old wounds inflicted by the tragedies South Sudanese inflicted on each other in the 90s and associated with the frailties of liberation struggle must be deliberately avoided.

Such sentiments are divisive and harmful. They are not befitting of a national leader and contribute to sowing hatred across identity lines.

The leader must be strongly encouraged not to be seen as a divisive but as a unifying figure in all his/her policies and national decisions.

As part of the idea of understanding the problem as half the solution, I had an opportunity yesterday to speak about the conflict in South Sudan, where I raised some of these issues to an Australian audience, through the national Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Radio to be aired hopefully in the coming days. Stay tuned.

Tongun Lo Loyuong is a freelance policy analyst from South Sudan. He holds two Master’s Degrees with honors and academic excellence from the United States. The last of his two MAs is in International Peace Studies and Policy Analysis for Political Change, from the University of Notre Dame – Indiana. His research interest is in South Sudan’s governance and peace and conflict issues.

Machar’s token democracy- a hell of a shock!

BY: Butrus Ajak, AUSTRALIA, JAN/29/2014, SSN;

This discussion paper is about Riek Machar political gaffes and shenanigans on Bor People. The analysis is one sided and only one sided episode. Warning, those who will not be contented with how the paper reads and may call it a grouchy, go write your Riek take the way you wish. This is not to say I am denying Nuer civilians massacre in Juba.

This author goes one-sided because Dr Riek’s destroyed my people and their hometown twice. Instead of taking war where it started, he fought it at a wrong place, Bortown.

Believe it or not Dr Riek perfectly fits for the International Criminal Court hearing. Dr Riek is a serial killer and a dangerous criminal if he remains at large.

He was compromised by the people of Bor regarding the atrocities he committed in 1991 and such conciliation makes him repeat the Bor genocide in 2013/14. He is capable of repeating similar atrocities for the third time if not taken behind bars once and for all.

Riek desperate quest for SPLM top seat at any cost, took and still taking countless civilian liVes. Bor town is shockingly littered with numerous dead bodies and properties ransacked, go see graphic photos taken after Bor fell to the government forces by both Aljazeera and BBC news outlet and you will come to grasp ‘Dr Riek’s token democracy is hell of a shock’.

Civilians who could not run especially the sick, pensioners, disable and many others who remained in Bor were all ruthlessly murdered in cold blood.
The attack happened at the time Buor people were absorbing and re-evaluating Riek’s ‘1991 Bor Massacre apology’ regrettably, he inanely blew it off again.

Dr Riek’s second rebellion flared up the old and nearly healed wound of Bor Massacre. The onslaught on Bor County communities has deplorably reopened hoary lesions and invigorated ethnic divisions from carnages of the long civil war where infamous Bor Massacre was perpetrated on us.

In 1991 this very Riek fell out with Dr John Garang, the erstwhile SPLA/SPLM chairman. Dr Riek disagreed with John Garang over objectives. Where Dr John Garang wanted a secular and democratic but united Sudan in which the southerners would have full representation, Dr Riek wanted a fully independent South Sudan.

In August the same year Dr Riek Machar, Dr Lam Akol and General Gordon Kong announced that Dr John Garang had been expelled from the SPLM chairmanship.
The breakaway faction headed by Dr Riek went on and declared a war on Southerners just exactly the way he did it in 2013. Riek ordered the same White Army to destroy Garang’s birth place in order to make Garang relinquished chairmanship.

The political fell out resulted in deadly Dinka Bor tribal cleansing. The White Army massacred more than 2,000 people mostly civilians in Bor in 1991, while tens of thousands died in the following years from the resulting famine. Dr Riek forces drove away my people primary source of living, cattle, goats and many others were all taken.

What started as power squabbling took a tribal dimension at the watch and command of Dr Riek who bragged about consideration of democracy and Human Rights values. Barefacedly, the time his forces overrun Bor killing civilians and taking away cattle, he was heard self-aggrandising of where Garang’s forces were to fight him when he surely knew SPLA forces were concentrated around Juba.

In December 2013, political disagreement in Juba between the reformists and conservatives resulted in a full blown up war. Innocent people in Juba, Bor, Bentiu and Akobo were mercilessly killed subsequently. The government apparatus namely ‘Presidential Guards’ who are purportedly to have killed Nuer civilians are in Juba and the leaders who commanded the killing are from Juba.

The question is why Riek took the war to Bortown? My innocent civilians were viciously killed indiscriminately and properties destroyed as if our people were the ones killing Nuer civilians in Juba.

The following are the findings atrocities committed and inflicted on Bor civilians by the forces of ‘prophet of doom’: I must say here his new found name fits him very well as the name goes in line with his actions the previous, and the current one.

 Amnesty International and members of Parliament of the South Sudan National Assembly reported that at least 2,500 people have died in Bor, following three week occupation by rebels who have been fighting Republic of South Sudan for over a month.
 Research organisation, the International Crisis Group estimated that over 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
 The United Nations had it that over half a million people has been displaced.
 Human Rights Watch reported that about 84,000 civilians from Bor and surrounding areas fled following successive waves of fighting in December and January.
 MPs by the name June Malet, told Sudan Tribune (Jan 21) in Bor that she saw bodies of 14 women killed in church compound, Episcopal Church of South Sudan. The bodies of 32 patients, including 10 children, where also found in Bor civil hospital and all elderly people who refused to leave Bor before 31 December 2013 have been killed.
 According to Sudan Tribune (Jan 21) about 32 dead bodies were found dumped in a small room at in Bor town hospital.
 Gurtong news recounted that in Saint Cathedral, known as Leudier in Bor, 14 elderly women loyal to God have been murdered in cold blood, most of whom were workers of God who take care of church affairs in the ministry of God.

Riek goes down the history of the Republic of South Sudan as brutal and a worse warlord known for being excellent at tribal incitement. He talked of lack of democracy in the SPLM/SPLA in the 90s and 2013, and instead of following democracy route he took arms mobilised his Nuer and waged unreasonable war on his fellow Southerners.

His action in the 90s nearly derailed the SPLA/SPLM movement from attainment its overarching objects, his recent coup attempt has now taken the nation back to square one.

Riek demeanors of forcing his way to secure leadership of the movement using bullet and not ballot and has been terribly catastrophic and a complete disenchantments of a man who would have become a president had he wisely used his academics prowess.

Whatever dogmatic variances, Riek should not have resorted to taking arms against the nation he helped built in the last eight years, and the people he desperately needs to vote him in. He should have learnt a lesson or two from 1991 split, which was a complete shame to him and his blind followers.

As this war is unfolding and subsiding at the same time, one would believe Riek, Taban and Hussein Nyot were not innocent about the coup attempt. Riek, Taban and Nyot escaped to their base in Nuerland and from what White Army did to my innocent people in Bortown, they surely have communicated something sinister and tribal to them.

While on a run, Riek called upon the army to depose the democratically elected President Kiir‬ and UN, Western countries and his staunch online followers said it’s not a coup d’état.

The detainees could be innocent as most of them opted for SPLM internal reform and not necessarily arms taking, little did they know, Taban, Nyot and Riek had a contingency plan which was exclusively kept secret to the entire faction.

As I write, I do not still know where my parents are. They were mercilessly driven out of their homeland by the White Army. Their houses are vandalized which reminds us of the episode of 1991, a history almost forgiven and forgotten.

Is this the democracy Dr Riek has been talking about all these years?
According to Human Rights Watch, Yanadet Garang, a chief from Bor reported that those unable to run from the rebels were burned in their houses, including two elderly men, Achieng Mayen and Kuol Garang, and a paralysed woman. Is this the democracy Dr Riek talked about all these years?

From social site called Facebook a gentleman by name Eng Deng Kuol Nyuon wrote this “my grandfather Wuor Jok Nak (My mum’s uncle) 90 yrs old was killed in cold blood in his house in Bor by Riek forces of darkness” besides this, the decease father was too killed by the same Riek forces in 1991.

Is this what democracy means to Riek and his forces?
Thon Alier Nhial 70 year old mother was killed alongside her 12 other family members, all of whom were women and children at her house in Bor.
Is this what democracy means to Riek and his followers?

Michael Majok Piel, father (Piel Mayen Deng) 62-year old and a war disable whose leg was amputated his brother and their brother-in-law and other family members were killed in their compound in town of Bor.
Is this what democracy means to Riek and his forces?

49 civilians all elderly people from Anyidi, Palek only were all massacred alone at their house in Mareng an outpost of Anyidi Payam. And few of their names are here:
1. Chief Appollo Pach Gaar Akau (78 years old)
2. Piel Mayen Deng (62 years old)
3. Alier Maloi Anyang (68 years old)
4. Biondit Deng Tong (73 years old)
5. Awou Agot Madol (70 years old)
6. Majok Akau (64 years old)
7. Awou Agot Madol (94 years old)
8. Madol Kom (80 years old)
9. Machol Ngong (81 years old)
10. Ayuen Jok Madol (65 years old)
11. Nyuon Achuen (76 years old)
12. Nyankoor Pach (80 years old)
13. Anyiethdit (87 years old)
14. Yar Anyieth (64 years old)
Is this what democracy means to Dr Riek and his forces?

In closing remark, Dr Riek is a dangerous tribal warlord who needs put behind bars if International Criminal Court does not need to see third time atrocities being committed again in the Republic of South Sudan. Riek action of 2013 would not have happened had he prosecuted for committing crimes against humanity in the year 1991.

In 91 he declared rebellion to topple Dr Garang from SPLA/SPLM chairmanship by force using his Nuer people. He killed countless civilians and was militarily defeated and forgiven without charges laid on him.

That being the case, in 2013 he organised his people again to fight his way to the SPLA/SPLM chairmanship. Fighting broke out in Juba and when his forces were defeated he was smuggled out of Juba by the UNMISS officials on to his hiding boat in Rivernile and off he absconded to his stronghold in Nuerland.

While on the run he called upon National army to topple Salva Kiir and wanted himself installed as president, a clear case of a coup though being brushed off by the so-called Western powers that are interest driven other than gospel truth.

We people of Bor County will not rest until Riek and his partners in crime are brought to justice to answer the atrocities they have committed twice on Dinka Bor people.

Butrus is an erstwhile Red Army South Sudanese who resides in Australia; he holds MPH, MHP, BBus and Dip.BBus.

Juba 15 Dec. Genocide: Era of New Colonization in South Sudan

BY: Tholeghog Mathol Tholeghog, RSS, JAN/29/2014, SSN;

Juba mass killings demarcated a severe turning point in the history of world genocide that has ever befallen in its different parts, for instance, it was offensive enough than the Sarajevo and Rwandan mass killings simply because it was ran by a tribe embodied with governmental excess and just as lik the Rwandan mass killings, the Capital of South Sudan witnessed on the 15th, of Dec.2013, an ethnic cleansing waged upon the Nuer innocent civilians.

Hence, this genocide was executed by SPLA soldiers from Dinka origin against the Nuer who live in Mangatien, Kameroon, Eden, Newsite and 107, residential areas in one front and Jabel, Gudelei, Khor william, Al geyada Al Mantiga El junobia El Askeria and al Gabaat in the other front, this in addition to the university hostels.

The estimation of death toll in those areas exceeded 7,500; while 3000 people including children, women and men were still missing, however the corpses were not buried in one place. Some were thrown into River Nile to disguise the trace of any joint grave, others were burnt and very small numbers were buried at Gudelei.

The secrecy behind this mischievous act goes to 1991, when Torit Faction was defeated negatively by Nasir faction. This defeat was still kept in the hearts of Jieng and were well prepared for it.

So, reportedly, the cause for the firing was ambiguous in the sense that just some misunderstanding occurred between the presidential guards whereby one of the senior officers who was Dinka by tribe wanted to collect the weapons and ammunitions stores keys from the office guard who was Nuer and was on night duty by then.

When the office guard on duty refused the demand, the same officer went back and gathered a good number of armed men from his likes and insisted on taking the keys by whatever way would be possible.

However, the discussion seemed very burning to be overcome, reaching some misinterpretations, then the two groups divided themselves and fought from Sunday night the 15th till Tuesday the 17th Dec. 2013 and the mutineers withdrew from their fronts, simply because they were running short of ammunitions.

This opportunity was exploited by Jieng to absolutely get rid of Nuer residing in Juba.

By this quotation I should take into account that the administration and the discipline of the palace guards command was not very steadfast toward its obligation and as a neutral body.

It appeared many times that he showed negative disdain on Nuer armed men within the battalion as a far as his tribal obligation is concerned; so confiscating keys of the stores implies the process of disarming the Nuer.

Furthermore, the administration tended to limit the number of Nuer, by causing policies so as to frustrate them in one way or sometimes by parading them according to their states and counties on ethnicity line.

When they learnt that Nuer were the majority in the palace guards, they went to recruit more than 15,500 Jieng from Warrap and Awiel and oriented them with tribal hatred of 1991 toward the Nuer and immersed them within the palace guards battalion and it was on the vertex of their shoulders the genocide was fulfilled.

So, these armed men and their commanders, headed by the so-called the president of South Sudan were to be held accountable for the death of many Nuer that were carried out in Juba.

Because they gained the opportunity of the battalion dismemberment despite the fact that the Nuer armed men fought on their side resisting the mutineers too, they executed their hidden agenda by turning on the civilians spontaneously.

Apparently, the Dinka usual gossip about 1991 genocide stopped in the newspaper, political rallies and conversations inside and overseas.

As the mutinied forces were withdrawing, the SPLA members from Dinka origin turned their arms against the innocent civilians. They interrogated the people and spoke to them in Dinka Language.

Whoever failed to respond to them in the same language that they used to speak with, was to be killed and slaughtered without any delay, as this meant that he or she were to be from Nuer.

This assassination scenario continued to catch the Nuer and drag them wherever they were in their respective residential areas and hence a large number of people were murdered inside their compounds with their children, while others were gathered in big cars and sent to be killed out of the City.

The inhuman process of murder lasted until Friday and Saturday, the 21st of the same month but the death toll increases every day until now in cold blood.

Although the president was fully aware and familiar about was taking place, nonetheless there was no forthcoming condemnation issued by him about these miserable killings except only from the UN mission headquarters.

Despite this, the assassination went further as well as they victimized different political figures from different parties, professional doctors, Judges and lawyers, police and other organized forces as well as Juba university students who were originally Nuer, were fired upon and scattered out of their hostels.

Hence many Nuer populations in Juba were scared, frightened, intimidated, raped and fed with rotten human flesh. Oh! My God, what kind of hostility do Jieng people wanted to convey?

As result, the whole population of 70,000 people rushed into UN compounds both the southern and the northern compound, living in inhuman circumstances that had never been witnessed ever since the civil war had started in the Sudan.

The rest of the Nuer people took refuge in the chief of staff house, General Bapieny Manytuil’s residence, the Deputy governor of South Sudan Central Bank, all being Nuer officials.

As Nuer civilians ran for rescue in the United Nations camps and other disguised with Equatorian friends while others ran to the outskirts areas of Juba and were forced to join the revolt.

The Jieng became exalted and excited to register this mass killing as a triumph and a victory, because they did not happen to defeat the Nuer ever since the Universe was created and the human history is witness to that.

This would revealed as the Jieng dark history, it should be even darker than their actions which they executed over the people of South Sudan as they instigated them for unknown war of liberating the whole Sudan rather than liberating the South Sudan.

Whatever was utilized to liberate this land was not successful, but only the mighty God helped the people of South Sudan to choose separation.

Does it give them the right to entrench the whole country under the tyranny rule of SPLA/M which is not even relevant to the name of our country?

Would it be possible enough for Jieng to execute their plan of ruling South Sudan forever?

Would the adopted habit of Jieng kingdom lead to the disunity in South Sudan?

Would the Nuer stay aloof without revenging on the Jieng?

As the killings kept going on, the puzzled Nuer armed men that were fighting in the line with Jieng armed men against the mutineers were told within the presidential guard that “their presence was not needed any more.”

Yet they stayed conservatively monitoring themselves. This crisis took the Nuer by surprise; it was as if the deadline of killing the Nuer in Juba was agreed upon by all the Jieng inside or outside the South Sudan has come.

However, I think the ground became fertile for Jieng to slaughter their brothers using government facilities and power with support of foreign alliances.

All in all, the whole kind of corruption, whether, in administration, financial, political or military institutions were because of such hatred that had been developed from 1983 to 1991 and from 1991 to 2005.

Jieng prepared themselves to gain a strong foothold on army by handling the command of divisions, the entire administration system and the leading figures of the artillery weapons and the tanks as well as civic manpower, the Banks and the petroleum companies.

It is not necessary for any tribe to retaliate against another tribe using the country equipment.

Those who review the conflict as political and an attempted coup, please, it would be better for you to see the thing in its actual sense. Whatever happened was not a coup, it was just a murmuring with the palace guards ranker lines that led to the mutiny.

No coup could be made by politicians only. If it were a coup it would have involved some divisions and artilleries commanding commands, but this did not exist.

Please, don’t cover your criminal act of genocide with political concealment; otherwise South Sudan will not remain the same. Long live the Union of Nuer people. Struggle continues.

Tholeghog Mathol Tholeghog.
You can get me at 13.Tholeghog@gmail.com.
To in lighten the Nuer in their respective places aboard or inside South Sudan

Pres. Kiir bent to annihilate Dinka Bor Community

BY: Elizabeth Apajook Deng Lual, USA, JAN/29/2014, SSN;

After the untimely and suspicious death of Dr. Garang, the founder of South Sudan ruling party Sudanese People Liberation Movement (SPLM), persona of President Kiir accorded many South Sudanese comfort and solace. The people were simply comforted by the fact that President Kiir was one of the founders of SPLM who would ensure the mission of SPLM is realized through implementation of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and beyond.

However, I was not impressed by Kiir’s ascendency to power because his ulterior motive to completely annihilate peace loving community of Bor was going to be realized.

Mr. President since he joined the movement in 1983 and became SPLA general chief of staff and head of intelligence has been busy working to ensure the Community of Bor is wiped out.

The following discussions will highlight specific roles he played and continues to play to ensure his ulterior motive of decimating or paralyzing the community of Bor is realized.

As a head of SPLA intelligence, General Kiir concocted numerous seditious claims against loyal members of SPLA/M leadership who happened to have hailed from Bor community; unfortunately as a result majority of these people were arrested and fatally tortured in the prisons characterized by harshly inhumane conditions.

Notable and highly educated sons of Bor Community, who selflessly served in SPLM/A ranks and files, were hunted down and brutally murdered in cold blood.

In earlier months of 1991, General Kiir claimed that he had gathered enough intelligence against Dr. Riek; that Dr. Riek was planning a coup against leadership of the SPLM/A. Consequently, Late Dr. Garang commissioned General Kiir to arrest Dr. Riek.

However, given his lack of tactics, General Kiir allowed Dr. Riek to get to Nassir where he mobilized and prepared his tribesmen into a robust military unit and summarily killed cadres of SPLM/A who were of Bor origin.

Dr. Riek attacked and helplessly killed civilians in Bor area, at the time when Bor sons had converged at town of Juba. Dr. Riek and his army, mostly comprised of few former SPLA soldiers and vast majority of untrained civilians under spell of Wurnyang’s magic, killed unarmed civilians – women, children and elderly, looted livestocks and burned crops and buildings.

Many civilians lost lives and many more got displaced from Bor area, thanks to General Kiir.

Pass forward to post referendum. At a prayer gathering held at late Dr. Garang’s house in Juba, Dr. Riek was moved by the speeches of various elderly members of Bor community; he became emotional and broke down.

Then he confessed about atrocities he committed in Bor area and asked for forgiveness – a move that was welcomed by the members of Bor community who wanted to bury the hatchet and start new a chapter with Nuer community in general and with Dr. Riek in particular.

But the President General Salva – who is constantly giving amnesty after amnesty against enemies of South Sudan – ironically dismissed Dr. Riek’s turn of heart as ineffective; the President told Riek that local apologies would not suffice.

Dr. Riek clearly heard Mr. President’s call for bigger platform on which to deliver his apologies for atrocities he committed; and came up with and worked for an idea of national reconciliation.

However, the same president who called for bigger platform pushed off Dr. Riek from organization of national reconciliation.

The president’s moves are aimed at stonewalling any reconciliation between Dr. Riek and Nuer community on one hand and the community of Bor on the other hand.

The president would like Nuer community and Dr. Riek to remain as sworn enemies of Bor community; this fits the president’s ulterior motive to annihilate Dinka Bor community.

President Kiir’s selective disarmament process leaves a lot be desired. Peace Loving community of Bor was targeted for disarmament while hostile communities of Nuer and Murle remain at large with guns.

While Dinka Bor community has given up their guns, the government stood by while civilians are raided and helplessly killed by these belligerent communities.

To make matters worse, supposedly SPLA forces stationed in Bortown comprise of members of these hostile communities of Nuer and Murle – forces which are reluctant to pursue their own tribesmen who are committing atrocities against civilians.

While sons of Nuer and Murle are stationed in Bortown, sons of Dinka Bor are assigned to South and North borders where they would not be able to defend their civilians; majority of the SPLA cadres of Dinka Bor origin have been prematurely and disgracefully retired.

Literally, this president is working overtime to ensure the community of Dinka Bor is at a position where they cannot defend themselves.

If all of the above scenarios are not enough to make my case, let’s look at the president’s activities leading to “coup attempt.”

President was expected to set a reconciliatory tone in the meeting of SPLM, but he instead veered off from the tabled agenda and personally attacked Dr. Riek.

The president went further to dare Dr. Riek to commit similar atrocities of 1991. Sadly, Riek repeated his actions of 1991.

He helplessly raped and killed elderly, children and women. Sick people in Bortown civil hospitals, people who had sought refuge in churches and elderly were killed.

The forces tore down buildings and anything they could find. Atrocities Riek and his forces committed this time around are two times those of 1991.

I am sure the president would be contented now for many civilians who are killed and more displaced and it would take several years for Bor to be Bor again.

Though one would clearly see President Kiir’s intention to destroy Dinka Bor community, one would not understand what could be the genesis of this deep-seated hatred. He is bent to annihilate Bor community in part or as a whole.

Elizabeth Apajook Deng Lual: the author is an anthropology student at University of Maryland and could be reached through rebeccapajookdeng@gmail.com

Current violence as means of political survival

BY: DENG BUL, AUSTRALIA, JAN/28/2014, SSN;

The violence I chose to talk about is the current war in our country South Sudan. I am perfectly aware though that when I mention violence, they will surely say that there was no violence until when Dr. Riek Machar rebelled.

Sure they are right perhaps. It is no surprise that either or both sides of the warring parties might have good reasons to justify their actions to this crisis.

So to observe impartiality, I will accept their arguments prior to seeing them, but not necessarily agreeing with them.

Those poor guys caused this violence, not Kiir; he is A SAINT you know!!!
An Oxford English dictionary defines violence as behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something-that is the unlawful use of physical force or intimidation by exhibition of such force.

However while I am writing this article, I have within me an ambivalence whether I should write something or remain silent until when that time comes, but when, that is what pushes me to open my poor brain to say at least a bit.

I guess some of us have in different ways experienced violence in their lives. I had a share of it late in the 80s when they called me Jess El Amer. But what that meant, I did not know. I can literally say it referred to my young age then, but I will at the meantime leave it to the architects of the age.

Let me begin by narrating to you a century old story about a pygmy from Central Congo who was brought in 1904 to America by a Missionary and placed in the Monkey house at the Bronx Zoo in New York City. While there, the pygmy attracted thousands of visitors and probably made millions if not billions of dollars through him and in turn boosted their economy.

An act of Racism isn’t it? A take away message is that it was a missionary who did that, so there is no saint, is there? Our actions betray our human likeness, true or false? Confirming why people chose to do horrible things even when they know the consequences will be dire; benefit outweighs prudence. Our politicians in Juba are no exception to this; let me say why.

In this article, I am going to superficially discuss the unfortunate event that is taking place in our young impoverished nation. Just like all other African politicians, the elites in Juba have foolishly succeeded by brutally disrupting the most needed social cohesion to stay or ascend into power.

They once again sowed hatred in our hearts; so our brothers are blindly killing themselves in order for them to meet their ultimate need, which is political survival at the expense of the innocent people.

What is disturbing still however is that this current violence in our country has become so much a theory that it is hard to tell the truth from lies, but the truth is, it has killed a lot of innocent people.

So I want to guess who would be held accountable for this mess. Without doubt, they will say “ho” it was Gatluak. No it was Deng. Or perhaps it was not me; it was them. I find it shocking to come to terms with those strange statements.

As already expected, they have begun dispersing responsibility through their administrative apparatus about who would be responsible. Most of us might have heard our minister of information Michael Makuei, sentencing the allegedly accused coup plotters (political prisoners) to death either by hanging or firing squad.

The minister is helplessly trying to tell us someone else and not them is responsible, but doesn’t the buck stops with the president, Sir?

The president on the other is looking behind him and very hard for the culprits in the Alice’s Wonderland, but aren’t they here in front of him?

Although he admittedly said that some of his forces had killed residents in Juba he failed miserably to elaborate who they were. May be he was talking about the presidential guards or foreign agents, the bad guys who killed Isaiah Abraham!!

Please do not ask me where is Riek in all this? I am working on it right now and I will release once completed. So wait, don’t judge me yet.

Is it senseless to attribute personal responsibility for this crisis to a definite group? No, I am blaming the leadership and in particular the president will have to bear much burden.

Unfortunately in a military society, the one responsible is always the poor guy down the hierarchy. So the big guys always act with impunity.

A Congolese parliamentarian once told a journalist that in order to survive politically, you have to be a bit corrupt, a bit ruthless…, but what he did not say was that these means of political survival are also ways of inciting violence.

If your security agents kill people because they speak out against your government misdeeds, they are creating violence.

If you put people under house arrest because they are asking you to fulfil your party’s constitutional obligation, you are inciting violence.

If you practice corruption by appointing your tribesmen to occupy some important government ministries or institutions, you are promoting violence.

If you intentionally shelve the constitution then run the country the way it suits you, it is a call for violence.

They are as many as the definition of corruption, so I cannot name them all in one go. I will come back another day.

But the truth is if you suppress people through intimidation, violence ensues.

And any nation or a party that is governed through intimidation is bound to explode into violence.

So in my opinion, the one who helps creating this deadly violence is the one responsible for the crisis. I am talking about our president.

I know he is very busy marginalising himself through his corrupt actions; fearing comrades, suspecting an imminent coup, so keeping them away.

The only way for him is to keep these able gentlemen away from his government so as to avoid this Tsunami coming from Dr. Riek and Mr. Pagan Amum.

Can a president who governs in fear admit responsibilities and achieve peace and reconciliation? This violence will never end unless a radical change is introduced.

Please allow me to conclude this with a question from late Laurent Kabila of Congo in a press conference.

“Who has not been Mobutist in this country? Three-quarters of this country became part of it, so we saw you dancing in the glory of the monster.”

If I ask our politicians in Juba whether in jail or free, if any of them has never been Kiirist in South Sudan? A few will surely say they have not been.

But who wrote that constitution which granted our president all the powers to dictate everything? Aren’t those of John Luk Jok its current victim and Michael Makuei its current but temporal defender part of the group?

No, boys, you are dancing in the glory of the monster. END

Genocide in Malakal by Kiir’s agents

BY: Peter Buony-Lual, JUBA, JAN/29/2014, SSN;

History will record the so-called “failed coup” as the biggest lie ever in South Sudan. Only Salva Kiir Mayardit/Selfish Killer Mayhem-dit and his sycophants believe that there was a “failed coup” on December 15, 2013. A large number of South Sudanese regards such a claim as entirely fabrication and lie aimed at getting rid of political opponents of Selfish Killer.

On January 20, 2014, Sudan People’s Liberation Army opposition (SPLA/Opposition), withdrew from Malakal, the capital city of Upper Nile state, consequently, forces loyal to Selfish Killer, which include Ugandan troops, Malik Agar of Blue Nile troops, Johnson Olony (only Shilluk troops), and SPLA forces (only Dinka Bhar el Ghazal), entered the city and claimed that they recaptured it from the opposition forces.

The troops are commanded by Lt. General Johnson Gony Biliu, Brigadier General Nhial Batuang, and the infamous Governor Simon Kun. All those three culprits are from the Nuer!

As soon as those militias entered the city, they were ordered by their commanders to search houses door by door and kill anyone who is found hiding.

Sadly, the search for the SPLA Opposition’s soldiers turned to be a search for Nuer residents only. They started burning properties that belong to Nuer only in Malakal, besides that they killed and are still killing countless of innocent Nuer men.

Also they have killed and are still killing women and girls after raping them. Moreover, they have looted and are still looting houses and shops that belong to Nuer!

Are those really government troops? Why are those individuals that commanding troops in Malakal Nuer? It boggles the mind! Certainly, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide have been committed in Malakal!

Once the SPLA opposition forces were in control of the town, citizens were at their homes, no one was killed because of his/her ethnicity, no house was burned, and women and girls were not raped.

Ironically, once Selfish Killer’s militia came in, they did abuse human rights by targeting and massacring only Nuer civilians in the town!

Just to mention a few about what is taking place in Malakal, my two cousins were left at home (Al Jalaba neighborhood) when the rest of the family ran to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound to seek refuge.

My family thought that it was better to leave those two young men at home because they would have been killed by Selfish Killer’s militias on their way to UNMISS compound, which is about two miles or so far from my family home in Malakal.

They have not been buried until now because culprits like State Governor Simon Kun and his co-murderers, are still killing and people cannot return back to their residences.

Moreover, our property in Al Jalaba neighborhood was intentionally set to fire. The residence of former Upper Nile Governor Peter Charliment Chawach (currently a member parliament), was burned and four people were killed inside the house and Peter Charliment had to run for his life.

The older son of late Governor Gatluak Deng – a well-known politician across South Sudan – who passed away about two ago – was murdered in front of the house.

Further, one of Simon Kun bodyguards, Police Sergeant Lual Tut, was murdered by those thugs. Moulana Chuol Puk, who was the legal advisor for Ministry of Finance – Upper Nile sate, was shot dead.

Thus, the notion that this war is not tribally motivated is really ridiculous and ludicrous. If this is not genocide, then genocide has no meaning at all.

It is clear that people of Nuer ethnicity group have been purposely murdered, raped, tortured, or their houses/shops were burned and looted in Malakal by Selfish Killer’s militias.

One thing is certain, though: Nuer in Malakal have been murdered by fellow Nuer like Simon Kun, Johnson Gony, and Nhail Batuang. Those three folks should be held responsible and charged for the crimes they committed.

These crimes include: Crimes against humanity, which include murder, torture, and rape, war crimes, which include destruction of properties and looting, and genocide, which includes deliberate killing of Nuer ethnicity.

*Peter Buony-Lual
Juba, South Sudan
Email:lualbuony@yahoo.com

The Roadmap for the SPLM & South Sudan crises

BY: Agok Takpiny, AUSTRALIA, JAN/28/2014, SSN;

To anyone who has lost a family member, a friend or a relative in the ongoing futile war, please accept my humble and sincere condolences. The past month had been particularly difficult in our short history as a sovereign country. Our country is bleeding, innocent people are dying everywhere. It is hurting us all, emotions are running high, our diversity is severely being tested, and neutrality is gradually eroding (mine has gone), sectarianism is knocking hard at each of our doors.

Nonetheless, we cannot afford to let our emotions takeover, it is our collective responsibility to help our leaders to find a common ground and mitigate the unfolding catastrophe.

Isaac Newton in his famous discovery of gravitational force once said “what goes up must come down”, we can put this analogy in other way, and that is: “what starts must stop”, let us take comfort in that and hope that the current madness in our country will stop, it will stop. The recently signed ceasefire, although only on the paper offers us hope for the settlement of the crises.

However, when the war finally stops and negotiations continue, we ought not to repeat the same mistake again as was the case during the struggle, I am talking about the SPLM way of doing business.

During the struggle, Dr Garang’s sole focus was to win the battles and finally the war itself. There was little attempt or preparation in anticipation of becoming a government.

All the decisions were made by Dr Garang unaided, some junior officers (the likes of Pagan Amum, Deng Alor, Nhial Deng etc) were granted powers to report directly to Dr Garang himself, thus bypassing a chain of command in-between.

It was the creation of that loop which led to Dr Riek’s first rebellion, many other high ranking SPLM members have tried to correct it but perished in the process.

The 2004 feud between Dr Garang and Salva Kiir was also because of that infamous loop. Nevertheless, like Dr Garang, the duo (Kiir and Riek) failed to rectify the SPLM constitution in their eight (8) years tenure.

Many expected the 2008 convention to be a perfect avenue to deliberate and pass a comprehensive SPLM constitution, but it wasn’t to be, everybody was happy, the money was “abundantly” accessible, and you could hear them saying “oh well who cares, we are working and prowling as much money as we possibly can, so why bother about the SPLM party constitutional refinement”.

In fact they drafted and passed the constitution that says nothing about the seat of chairmanship of the party.

In an ideal world, a world where everything makes sense, we would question the integrity of each of our leaders, however, in our world (South Sudanese world) nothing seems to make sense, therefore we can only propose what we see as a way forward.

The editor of the magnificent platform (southsudannation.com) where we share ideas, wrote a very good article few months ago about the SPLM internal feud in which he blamed the December 6th group for their insistence to be part of the SPLM and not forming their own party if they are dissatisfied with the way the party is being run.

Again, in a perfect world, this would make sense, you cannot start a civil war because of party’s internal power struggle, people within one party are meant to be like brothers and sisters, they are supposed to have a single agenda (party’s mission statement).

Yes, differences do often befall but they are resolved in the closet caucus meetings, a complete deadlock usually forced some members to join other parties or form a brand new party or stay independent.

However, in our case, SPLM is the only popular party, it doesn’t need a brainer to figure it out that whoever enters the presidential race through SPLM ticket would most certainly be a president.

Therefore, it is for these reasons that allowed me to come up with a new approach that could prevent future feuds within the SPLM party which usually affects the country at large.

The new approach

The new approach will not only look at how SPLM part should be overhauled, some senior members of the SPLM Party need to quit politics altogether to allow the cultural change.

However before we discuss what the SPLM should do, let us firstly look at the history of the Australia Labour Party (ALP) and see if we can find something that we can copy or modify in salvaging the SPLM.

The history of the Australia Labour Party (ALP)
Founded in 1901, the ALP is Australia’s oldest political party. The ALP mission statement reads: “Labour’s commitment to fairness at work, access to quality education no matter what a person’s circumstances and a firm belief that we should all have the same opportunities in life underpin what we do”.

To fulfil their mission statement, the Labour party created what they called Labour movement. At its broadest, the movement can be defined as encompassing the industrial wing,-the unions in Australia, and the political wing-the Australia Labour Party (ALP) and minor parties. Like most political cliques, power groupings and factions exists.

Since the mid-1950s, a body known as the Combined Branches’ and Unions’ Steering Committee had been in existence. This was essentially an umbrella group for those who opposed the Catholic-dominated leadership of the ALP.

The Steering Committee had its genesis in the 1955 Split which saw a group of Labour members leave to form the anti-communist Democratic Labour Party (DLP). The original tenacity of the Steering Committee was to oppose the role which the DLP-influenced Industrial Groups played in the ALP.

From the 1950s onwards, however, the grouping that was to become the state of NSW right-faction maintained its tight control over the Labour Party…The year of 1971 was important in the evolution of the NSW left-faction. It was the year the ALP’s Federal Executive had ordered an inquiry into the conduct of the NSW Branch.

The report, written by Federal President Tom Burns, was highly critical of the Party leadership, revealing ‘contempt for proper procedures in financial dealings and the pursuit of factional advantage in a variety of practices, including stacking of annual conferences, instances of bias by the conference chairman especially on pre-selections of delegates.

The leadership of the NSW ALP had no alternative but to introduce proportional representation, a step which proved to be critical in institutionalising a role for the Left-faction.

Proportional representation applied to the election of delegates to the Federal Conference, the Federal Executive, the Administrative Committee, machinery committees, policy committees and (most importantly) to the election of two salaried Assistant Secretaries.

This meant that, so long as it won over one-third of the vote at the 1971 State Conference, the Left would gain a full-time paid officer of the ALP.
The position of Assistant Secretary has remained a vital one for the Left faction. After leaving the job, the Assistant Secretary has typically moved into the Federal parliament.

As portrait herein, the majority of Australian federal MPs enter the House of Representatives or senate through (either left faction or right faction) unions. Problematically, when one faction gain the majority in either the federal or state labour party caucus, they become power brokers.

For example, the state of NSW (Australian largest state) had three premiers in the last term (2007-2012) of Labour government. The “revolving door leadership”, as it was nicknamed, although particularly more apparent in the state of NSW, it finally reached the federal labour party leadership in 2010.

In June 2010, Australian Labor Party leader and Prime Minister Mr Kevin Rudd, was ousted by his caucus in a leadership challenge won by Rudd’s Deputy Prime Minister Ms Julia Gillard, who then became both party leader and Prime Minister.

Less than two years later, history appears to be repeating itself, with Rudd now challenging Gillard’s leadership of the party. Gillard announced a ballot for the party’s leadership… Mr. Rudd’s challenge failed, and Ms. Gillard successfully held off the challenge, winning by 71 votes to 31 votes for Rudd.

After the leadership ballot, Kevin Rudd moved to the back bench (junior MP) and gave his word to his colleagues that he will support the prime minister fully.

However, it wasn’t to be, Mr Rudd launched a proxy silent campaign through some of his disgruntled colleagues who lost their jobs due to their support to him during the leadership challenge. The relentless proxy campaign by Kevin Rudd to get his old job back proved to be a major obstacle for the Prime Minister Ms Julia Gillard to sell her policies to the Australian public.

Consequently, her popularity plummeted. As the 2013 general election approaches, polls indicated that the opposition (current prime minister) party (Liberal) would win the election in a land slide. The pitiable polls numbers for Julia Gillard trigger a panic among ALP MPs who fear that they could lose their jobs.

This made the powerbrokers to reinstalled Rudd to the top job a second time with the hope that he would help the ALP to win a respectable number of seats. And without shame they ousted Julia Gilard in a leadership challenge held on the 26th of June 2013 which Rudd won 58-41.

The ALP new rules

Kevin Rudd, after returning to the prime ministership a second time, forced through changes to the Labour rules to give ordinary party members a say in the leadership, not just Labour parliamentarians.

How much say do grassroots members have?
Under the new changes of ALP rules, if there’s a ballot between two or more contenders for the leadership, the votes of tens of thousands of grassroots (ALP registered) members will be weighted at 50 per cent and the remaining 50 per cent will be based on the vote of the parliamentary caucus.

This gives the rank-and-file members collectively an equal say to the caucus.

How does it work? Candidates for leadership must be nominated by at least 20 per cent of caucus members. If there is more than one candidate, a ballot will be held among all party members. Candidates will have a week to nominate. The rank-and-file ballot may take up to 30 days.

It is understood a combined percentage would be calculated for each candidate, based on halving the percentage result among grassroots members and halving the caucus percentage.

Optional preferential voting would come into play if there were more than two contenders. The votes for the least popular would be exhausted with member preferences allocated to the ones still in the race.

How to remove the leader?
Under the new rules, intended to promote leadership stability, a leadership vote will follow an ALP election loss. At other times, a vote on the leader can occur if the leader resigns or requests a ballot, or at least 75 per cent of caucus members demand one on the grounds the current leader has brought the party into disrepute. The threshold is only 60 per cent when Labour is in opposition.

Now, 75 per cent of caucus will need to sign a petition to force a challenge to a serving prime minister and 60 per cent to an opposition leader. Those hurdles will have a dramatic impact on the extent to which incumbent leaders face the threat of dismissal. Inevitably, leaders enjoy a degree of natural protection.

The SPLM rules

The 2008 SPLM constitution (available on SPLM website) is more explicit on how to elect various seats-i.e. from SPLM general secretary to Boma level. However what is not explicit in the document is how to elect the SPLM leader (chairman).

By all accounts, this is the genesis of SPLM afflictions which has now sprawled out of control.

Again in a normal world where everything makes sense, when creating an organisational constitution, the seat (i.e. processes needed to elect a leader, his/her powers and limitations, the term of office) of the head of an organisation (which would be the chairman in SPLM case) is usually explicitly explained right from the beginning of the document.

However, in our world (South Sudanese world) nothing makes sense, we don’t see far ahead and devise mechanism to mitigate potential problems.

And again in a normal world where everything makes sense, we (citizens) would question the integrity of our leaders.

Who wrote the SPLM constitution?

Have they leaders deliberated on it, if so how could they fail to see that by not including the process of electing the chairman in the constitution would cause problems in the future?

Nevertheless, as I said earlier, I am not here to criticise as many people have exhausted that avenue numerously but without tangible solution.

The purpose of this article is to find a way-out and hopefully solve this mess permanently.

New rules the SPLM should adapt
Like the ALP (Australia Labour Party), the SPLM Party should give the grassroots an equal say in electing the SPLM leadership.

How does it work?
Just like ALP rules, candidates for leadership should be nominated by at least 20 per cent of caucus members (SPLM elected MPs). If there is more than one candidate, a ballot will be held among two thousand (200 from each of the ten states) randomly selected party members.

Candidates will have a week to nominate. The rank-and-filed ballot may take up to two weeks. A combined percentage would be calculated for each candidate, based on halving the percentage results among grassroots members and halving the caucus percentage.

Optional preferential voting would come into play if there were more than two contenders. The votes for the least popular would be exhausted with member preferences allocated to the ones still in the race.

How to remove the leader?
Again, like the ALP new rules, intended to promote leadership stability, a leadership vote will follow an SPLM election loss.

However, since it is unlikely in the foreseeable future for the SPLM to lose the election, the best option would be eight (8) years nonrenewal term expiry.

At other times, a vote on the leader can occur if the leader resigns or requests a ballot, or at least 75 per cent of caucus members demand one on the grounds the current leader has brought the party into disrepute. The threshold would only be 60 per cent in the unlikely event of SPLM in opposition.

These hurdles would have a dramatic impact on the extent to which incumbent leaders face the threat of dismissal. Inevitably, leaders enjoy a degree of natural protection.

Cultural change

After assuming prime ministership a second time and forced through changes to ALP rules, Kevin Rudd and almost all senior ALP members including Julia Gilard quit politics altogether. They did that to allow the ALP cultural change and to save the party’s image from further demise.

Comparably if the SPLM senior members love their party and would want it to continue to govern the people of South Sudan, they should quit politics.

Incentives

The very top senior SPLM members (1) Salva Kiir, (2) James Wani, (3) Riek Machar, (4) Kuol Manyang, and (5) Daniel Awet Akot, should all quit politics in order for the cultural change to take place within the SPLM Party. However for that to be possible, there must be some incentives for them to do so.

Therefore, in my opinion Salva Kiir would be granted $130,000 per year, two personal assistants, four security personnel and four free worldwide travel tickets per year. This would be enshrined into the constitution so that any subsequent president is eligible after he or she left the presidency whether through election defeat or after expiry of their terms. Salva Kiir would continue until the end of his term which is late 2015.

Both Riek and Wani should get $80,000 per year for 21 years, one assistant personnel and security personnel. This category would not be repeated once the duo are dead.

Both Kuol and Awet should get $70,000 per year for the rest of their lives. This would be enshrined into the constitution so that any MP who served for six (6) years or more in the parliament and at the age of 60 or more years older is eligible.

The PB
Politico Bureau (PB) must be abolished and let the cabinet carry out those tasks of politico bureau instead. The PB to the SPLM is the same as union factions is to the Australia Labour Party (ALP) which I have talked about earlier.

But in the case of the ALP, the union factions (faceless men as they were known here) have their “teeth” removed by Kevin Rudd when he changed the ALP rules and introduced the grassroots participation. The PB if allowed to continue would usually hold the party leader (president) to ransom.

Indicatively, Riek Machar and the group base their case against the president on the issue that PB be allowed to set the convention’s agenda, however the president saw that he would never benefit from the agenda that the members of the PB whom he (president) believed have been lobbied and controlled by the former Vice President.

This led to the dismantling of the PB, and since that day, Riek and the group realised that the dismantling of the PB was a move by the president against them, although the gas was building up and just waiting to explode, the dismantling of the PB was the ignition point of the current crisis.

The NLC
National Liberation Council should be abolished or made into upper house (senate) instead. The word “liberation” here is divisive, those never physically participated in the 21 years struggle would always feel like outsiders in that branch.

It is high time now for South Sudanese to select the wording of their institutions so that every South Sudanese can feel comfortable and free to build the country.

Divisive statements

The statement “We are the ones who fought/liberated this country” should be ban and whoever is caught saying it should be punished for that.

Although other sections fought more than others in the liberation of South Sudan, the “we fought for this country and now is our time to eat” has helped sow the seeds of hatred and division in our country and this is helping no one.

The SPLA

I have seen somewhere on the internet the suggestion by some South Sudanese that the army should be equally distributed among many tribes in South Sudan to preclude one tribe from controlling the army as they could in some point hold the country to ransom.

This is a very good suggestion, however, it is true that not everyone wants to be in the army, some tribes want to achieve their dreams through other jobs, hence, we would never balance it (the army) based on tribes as we would love to.

For me, high School certificate should be a minimum prerequisite for the entry into the army. Army general should have a diploma or higher. There must be a specific number of the army, for example, the parliament could debate and make a law that determine how many regular soldiers should South Sudan have (e.g. 100k to 300k) and reserves of 100k.

A data base that keeps the record have to be created to record a loss of a soldier and the system that reminds the generals about the need for the replacement.

Every single soldier must know the constitution and the role that the army play in the country, an oath that would deter soldiers from aligning or giving their loyalty to individual generals or politicians would be developed and soldiers made to pledge their loyalty to the country instead of the tribal leaders.

Reconciliation

All elected members in all levels should be tasked to preach peace and encourage reconciliation, they have to be consistent with what they say, and they should hold rallies in their localities regularly.

In addition, a South African type of reconciliation commission should be established. We would love to bring the perpetrators to justice but I am afraid this would not help us move forward, truth is Riek Machar would never be allowed by his supporters to face justice in South Sudan, this is the same to Salva Kiir.

Therefore we would only hope that the ICC would be the one to take them on but not anyone in South Sudan as it will only complicate the matter further.

What the SPLM need to know
Every government eventually becomes moribund and needs to be replaced – witness and despair at the spectacle of current madness, SPLM would not survive with absolutely no will or administrative procedure for renewal.

The SPLM now is seen as a party of noble aspiration which has been reduced to a hollow shell by the selfish and self-regarding.

My advice to SPLM especially Salva Kiir is this: if there are any people in your ranks who have integrity and strength of character, have the common touch, listen to the people, eschew any avant-garde social activism and have the welfare of this country and its people as their primary objective, then select them to carry forward the vision of the SPLM.

Personally I would lobby for the current governor of Western Equatoria to be the next president of South Sudan because his hard work is what we need.

South Sudanese
The expansion of the electronic media allows most South Sudanese to have good capacity for comment and debate. We can email our comments on statements they (SPLM leaders) make and become more active in our discussions about topics, not kind of discussions I usually see on sudantribune.com.

It would be useful if the journalists facilitate our involvement by mechanisms like southsudannation.com. We have a great country and it is us, the electorate to keep it that way.

We have to let go of the habits of constantly backing some leaders and continuously bagging the others along tribal lines.

Agok Takpiny

The War between Logic and Emotion in South Sudan

BY: Tut Daub Jiah, RSS, JAN/27/2014, SSN;

Was it a Coup Attempt Against Salva Kir or Assassination Attempt Against Riek Machaar? Many political commentators and analysts, be they foreigners or nationals, have dwelt very much on the background of what actually are the root cause (s) of the current fighting in South Sudan. Not only that, they have been straining to dig deeper in quest of finding out of who would be blamed for it.

This war, for many South Sudanese, if not all, does not come as a surprise. It has been a matter of when and how it was going to happen.

Geopolitically, Southern Sudan had never been a unifying entity, capable of facing its challenges with lucidity, but emotionally charged approaches. A good number of South Sudanese Scholars and politicians have never satisfied with how things were being seen into since 1972 up to date.

No matter how we collectively try to put our house in order, there will always be dissatisfaction at the end, so as long we don’t want to identify the real cause of our disunity.

Today if you ask a government of the day’s supporter of what happened in South Sudan, he/she will blindly tell you that Riek Machaar had tried to make a coup, simply because he/she heard the President saying it that way. However, if you try to make some follow up questions, instead of that individual to support his/her statement with some facts, they resort to confrontational arguments that lead to no conclusion.

This has been the same way how our conventional differences have been handled whenever they happened. The cases in point were:

1. what started in Bor Military Garrison as an embezzlement or misappropriation of military Personnel salaries in 1983, by top military commanders, had been mishandled to the point of, prematurely, igniting an all-out military and political uprising, which became the premature birth date of the SPLA/M, which turned into a retarded government, which does not have an ability to differentiate between normal and abnormal state of affairs in the State-Nation building.

This manifests itself well with the growth misconception by the current leadership that as long as everything looks typical for the liberators (aka mainstream SPLM/A), all are acceptable for the whole nation.

2. Formation of the SPLM/A in 1983 in Itang, Ethiopia, was one of the experiences that will not easily go away from the memories of an average person who happened to be around then and witnessed how naive Southern Sudanese were at the time.

People who claimed to lead the movement, which should have liberated a nation, had failed to identify what was in the back of late Dr. John Garang’s mind so that they could handle it accordingly.

Garang was forced by Uncle Abel Ablier to join the movement and recover the lost Dinka’s dominion, which was made to collapse by the united efforts of non-Dinka elites in Juba in 1982. Dinkas have been making advantage of the national political uprising to peruse their own tribal agenda underground.

The war between logic and emotion, which had killed thousands of people unnecessarily between Anya Nya II and the SPLA would have been avoided like the current war had it not been because the national agenda had perceptively been diverted by Dr. John simply to revive and sustain the Dinka’s ascendancy.

When the Anyanya II leadership, with an enormous engrossment of Nuer intellectuals and Military Officers within the SPLA, encouraged themselves to rather rejoin their brothers in the Bush and continue the war of liberation, it was misconstrued to mean “Capitulating” and not a jingoistic move in the side of the A-II elements.

As such, the Anya Nya II components within the Rank and File of the Movement were not accorded the due respect they deserved by those who considered themselves as “Mainline SPLA/M”. This behavior could easily be noticed when a senior officer from A-II gives orders to a junior officer from the SPLA proper, the latter openly defies the former.

Expressions of dissatisfactions with reunification between the two warring movements became a daily routine throughout the years leading to the split of the movement in 1991.

3. 1991 “theoretical coup” as Dr. John Garang put it, which supposed to be the political turning point within the movement, was turned into Nuer-Dinka thing, because the principal ringleaders of the Nasir Declaration were taken for a ride by, especially those from Greater Bhar Ghazal (Including the current President of South Sudan) and Greater Equatoria (James Wani Iga among others).

The quest for logic behind deviation from the original idea of total liberation of Southern Sudan had been the main uniting factor for many intellectuals and senior military officers from 1983 up to the days leading to the split of the movement in 1991. As a result, the leaders of Nasir declaration were having an impression that once they declared the plan, all the frustrated comrades would impetuously joint them.

The author of this piece would not dare to question the homework done by those leaders before the D-day but, indeed; tribalism could have been put into consideration. One would say this because if this factor was given some thoughts correctly, Dr. Lam Akol would have been the right leader of the group for the move to be considered nationalistic, at least.

As such, no matter how genuine the move was, it had been reduced into a smallest and cheapest undertaking one could possibly imagined, simply because the main key players were non-Dinkas. Half of the population that died during the Sudan Civil war met their deaths during this period.

Majority of Dinka had emotionally sided with John Garang seriously because they considered the leadership belonged to them and must not be given away to anybody, no matter how much it costs.

4. 2002 reunification of the SPLA/M: doubtlessly, one would be the judge in his/her own right, when it comes to how Dr. Riek’s returned to SPA/M had been interpreted by all members of the main stream SPLA/M. the same misconception that overwhelmed these elements in 1987 SPLA-Anya nya II unification repeated itself.

Riek and his supporters, who might have seen a need for Southerners to unite once again, were seen as the desperate failures that were simply looking for accommodation for their physical survival. They were not taken very seriously by their former comrades, who remained with Garang.

As such, they have been branded as Traitors who stabbed the movement in the back during the critical time, when the movement was very much in need of full solidarity of its members ever.

In the light of the above, on December 9, 2003, a political rally was launched in Yei Town by the top SPLM/A Politico-Military personalities, otherwise, leadership Council, excluding Dr. John Garang, to update the populace on the prevailing political crescendos in the period leading to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

In that rally, the current president of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kir Mayrdit had this to say to the Equatorians, “Now that Nuers are coming back to the movement, you Equatorians must defend your place (Vice presidency). For us (Dinkas), we don’t want these people anymore.”

It was in the same gathering that Commander Daniel Awet Akot had read loud and clear to the audience the 39 Laws of Nuer isolation and marginalization in South Sudan in the future. (The minutes of the said rally was taken and circulated by one of the permanent members of SPLM, who was not in agreement with what had being said in the rally. May God bless him).

5. Dr. Riek’s appointment to vice presidency:

After General Salva Kir became the first Vice President of the Republic of Sudan, President of Government of Southern Sudan, Chairman of the SPLM, Commander In-Chief of the SPLA and Supreme Commander of the Organized Forces, the titles he inherited from his predecessor Dr. John Garang de Mabior, he sat down with his inner circle to form his new cabinet in Khartoum.

According to late General Paulino Matip, Riek Machaar was left out in the first draft. Paulino himself had to intervene and asked General Salva to include Riek in his top government leadership.

In the second draft Riek was nominated for two portfolios, one being the Foreign Affairs and other the United Nations. Again, that arrangement did not please Paulino. At that moment, Paulino began to suspect that Kir was not interested in Riek being his vice president, who will technically be responsible for state of affairs in the Southern Sudan.

Paulino took a courageous stand and convinced Salva that Riek must be the vice president for the sake of unity of the people of Southern Sudan. Uninterestedly, Salva accepted Riek to be his vice president.

That reluctant appointment of Dr. Riek has come to be seen by many observers as a way to deceive the Nuers that they were having a share in the National Cake, when in fact Riek was not even very effective throughout the CPA era up to his removal from the post in July 2013.

Riek has been operating outside the inner circle’s parameter, pretending to be a part of the big picture. Even most of those whom he is currently advocating for their release from detention were and might still be his noxious antagonists.

6. The Nuer Isolation and Marginalization Project Implementation

“Never assume that the person you are dealing with is weaker or less important than you are. Some people are slow to take offense, which may make you misjudge the thickness of their skin, and fail to worry about insulting them. But should you offend their honor and their pride, they will overwhelm you with a violence that seems sudden and extreme given their slowness to anger. If you want to turn people down, it is best to do so politely and respectfully, even if you feel their request is impudent or their offer ridiculous.” Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

The above mentioned project would have been implemented systematically had Dr. Riek Machaar not offended the honor and pride of General Kiir Mayardit publicly on December 6, 2013. Dr. Riek has been living with wrong assumption that he is better than Salva Kiir forgetting that the man he had been dealing with could be more dangerous and catastrophic as it is happening now in our country.

Dr. Riek was fully aware of the disparity in the armed forces and organized forces capacity building and assignments/deployment. He had done nothing to correct it.

A wrong constitution, which supposed to be the guiding and supreme legal framework of the land, was drafted and adopted on his watch, but he kept himself aloof from the helpless majority who voiced their concerns over the document.

National resources were misused or directed to suspicious destinations with or without his knowledge. As an active and an effective vice president, he should have known the national bookkeeping from A—Z.

The appointments of Senior civil Servants in various public institutions including foreign missions had been taken away from him and given to Deng Alor, Pagan Amum, Cirino Iteng, Awut Deng Acuil, Tor Deng Maiwin, Nhial Deng Nhial and Akol Koor Kuch.

This was supposed to be a part of the vice president’s duties, but it wasn’t the case. What did he do about it? All his supporting staff in his office were denied official appointment to earn the civil servant status, he never question the minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, despite numerous complaints from his office staff.

Civilian population (aka Gell Weng) were armed to teeth in Warrap, Lakes and Northern Bhar Ghazal states with heavy machine guns including R.P.G7, PKM and other automatic weapons, and not to mention AK47. All these armaments were supplied by Ministry of Interior.

Intelligent reports indicated with full evidences that Acuil Tito Madut (former Inspector General of Police) was the one carried out the distribution of the weapons to civilians in those above mentioned states; while other states were being violently disarmed (Jonglei being the first for obvious reason).

Dr. Riek never seemed to have been bothered by that unequal treatment of people of South Sudan.

Sectional Militias were recruited, trained and deployed without involvement of the National Defense Council, the Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

Riek, as the second man in the country’s leadership and Member of Legislation Assembly should have raised and questioned the logic behind all those unconstitutional and suspicious schemes.

Why should Riek wait to be president in order to put things right, when he has been having some authorities to do so?

7. An Emotionally Charged Dismissal of the entire Cabinet

“Be wary of friends—they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.” Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

Indeed, Mr. President might have come across this work by this famous Strategic leadership Scientist, Robert Greene, as quoted above. Having said that, no wonder what broke the news in our National Capital and around the globe cannot be viewed differently from what Robert Greene explicitly asserted.

General Mayardit has been struggling to hire the former enemies since he took office from his predecessor, Dr. Garang, but that has been proven difficult a task. As a result, he had been making lots of consultations with regional as well as international potential friends to help him deal with an aforementioned equation.

As there is no free lunch, the cost of help being offered by his current godfather, General Museveni of Uganda, has caused a substantial amount of everything including human lives. If somebody might have a chance of reading what Yoweri Museveni had said in the Great Lakes Regional Summit in Luanda, Angola, on January 14, 2014, www.chimpreport.com, where Museveni conducted himself as the real president of the Republic of South Sudan, many would have agreed with this author that we have a long way to reach peace.

Current disaster is not very surprising, given the determination, persistence and consistence of our brothers in leadership to hold into this power till the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. They must do all they could to secure that ambition, but with?????????????.

8. Coup Attempt Against Salva Kir or Assassination Attempt Against Riek Machaar?

What had categorically happened on December 15, 2013 was not in any way a coup attempt against the president, but an assassination attempt directed against Riek Machaar. Being taken for the Nuer Chief, Riek has to be struck and the Nuer will scatter. “Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter” as the saying goes.

Unfortunately, one thing Salva Kir and his aides had failed to realize was the time and place of where and when they implemented their well premeditated plan.

In the era of information-superhighway, or “Dot Com” generation, no one would think he could possibly carry out a war of that magnitude without seeing his own ugly image on the Human Right Watch’s big screen.

Mr. President has been misled to the point of no return. Allowing himself to be used by his half friend half enemy, Mr. Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, as a tool to kill democracy in the region, will cost him not only his leadership, but his life as well; for the terrible failure of the plan has gone far beyond the team’s ability to control it.

It should have been a successful project if the national army and national security apparatus’s agreement was solicited and guaranteed.

Salva’s plan to implement his egoistic, immoral, and dangerous plan, by using his hometown boys was the first mistake ever a normal person in his caliber could possibly think. As the masterpiece of the failed plan, Museveni will employ all the East African Magicians and witches to make sure that the useless war, which he ignited in South Sudan ends in his favor.

Unless and otherwise, his financiers reconsider their position, Museveni will not simply be deterred by means of political pressure.

This writer has a question for his readers, which need honest answer. In 2012, a workshop was conducted in one of the prestigious Hotels in Juba for Senior SPLA Officers. One of the key Facilitators was a retired Army General from Uganda.

In his opening remarks, he stressed to the attendants that in Africa two strong tribes couldn’t peacefully co-exit. Therefore, one must be brought to its knees by use of force. One of the means he mentioned as the most effective ways of doing that is by sidelining the intended tribe from the Army.

He concluded by saying “When you trained and equipped your boys and girls fully, all oppositions must do everything your ways or highways”.

As there is no secret in Juba, don’t ask where did this author learn of this disturbing lesson, which was supposed to be delivered to a friend in a secret location. The questions then become:

1. What was in the mind of the General when he delivered his lecture?
2. What message he was delivering to his friends in South Sudan?
3. Are our brothers in Uganda made to believe that everybody in South Sudan is a Dinka?
4. If Museveni sent his troops in response to what happened in South Sudan on December 15, 2013, why did he deploy some of his special forces in Juba in July 2013?
5. When the Chief of General Staff of the SPLA sent a unit to the Uganda border to stop another advancing Uganda Artillery Battalion in August, 2013, the only thing the Commander of the UDF needed to know was whether the SPLA boys were Dinka or not. Were these Ugandans responding to an ongoing crisis that time or in a preparation for something to happen yet?

Another question, which one would not afford to miss is that, are non-Nuer and non-Dinka in South Sudan part of solution or part of problem between Nuer and Dinka?

It may sound too personal and simply an opinionated assertion, but if we are really natural and logical, our brothers and sisters in other tribes are the big parts of the problem.

For the last eight years plus, we have heard lots of self-proclaimed heroes, who had been calling for change in our country, whether forcefully or peacefully, but when the going get tough, those heroes are nowhere to be found. Stay connected, for there will be more on this in separate piece in the near future.

In conclusion and in a nutshell, being a survivor of and an eye-witness to what happened in our country on December 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 of the year 2013, I came to believe that unlike previous man-made disasters, the current crisis has changed the face of our country forever.

To be honest, many people had died in a short period of time, but many more are going to perish because our cousins, Dinka will never admit that Salva Kir Mayardit had never been and will never manage our country.

Again, there are still some few Nuers who continue to mislead Salva Kir by telling him that those who rebelled will come back.

Those who still believe in this notion of Nuer can go out today and come back tomorrow must be made aware that EITHER NUER IN PEACEFUL UNITED SOUTH SUDAN OR SALVA KIR MAYARIDIT IN UNSTABLE AND DIVIDED PIECE OF LAND LOCATED SOMEWHERE BETWEEN REPUBLIC OF SUDAN AND REPUBLIC OF UGANDA.

Furthermore, those who are trying to connect what is happening today with the SPLM internal political bickering be made fully aware of the fact that everything has its own limitation, so lying is not an exception to this golden rule.

Therefore, Riek Machaar and his group will go back to where they used to be, but not the Orphans, Widows, Widowers, Disabled and all Survivors of Salva Kir/Museveni’s genocidal war.

Salva Kir Mayardit’s failure to unite all Jieng sections and win them into his political side caused him to play with the lives of innocent women, children, elderly, and all non-politicized Nuer community so that upon the Nuers reaction, they will have no time to distinguish between good Dinka and bad one.

“Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity,” says Greene, The 49 Laws of Power.

The author can be reached at t.jiah@yahoo.com.