Archive for: January 2014

Insanity of this war is mistaken by South Sudanese

BY: Chol Wek Wek, JUBA, JAN/10/2014, SSN;

After the lull of the 12 days house-to-house killings against Nuer tribe in Juba by militia mainly from Salva Kiir’s Tribe (Dinka), my neighbours who happened to be mainly from greater Equatoria started asking me some silly questions such as: why are you fighting King Salva Kiir Mayardit??

And others start laughing at me and at the corpses lying all over the streets of Juba, mostly in the areas of Mia saba, best known as 107, Jabel Suuk and Gudelle, where thousands of Nuer were murdered in cold blood by their cousin Dinka who were armed by Salva Kiir and his groups to carry out this barbaric act.

It wasn’t my own making nor the deceased I said to them. But South Sudan is not ready and will not and never be the kingdom of Dinka or ruled by a king no matter what. Others continue asking me, do you think you will defeat them? Why is it only Nuer taking that risk? Why don’t we leave the power to Dinka since they are the only men in South Sudan?

Nuer as a tribe have sacrificed their blood to save the life of millions of South Sudanese from the hands of Dinka who claim to rule South Sudan for fifty years under SPLM and another fifty years under any party, by building the kingdom of Jieng.

This is not the first or second time for us to oppose their rubbish mentality and ideology which they lastly realized and resulted today as genocide against Nuer in Juba.

This is the right time for all South Sudanese to correct the mentality of guerrillas which one tribe claimed to have liberated the Country.

Today Dinka are fabricating to international community against Nuer pouching all unnecessary evidence and diverting the reality on ground and calling it a coup attempt, but tomorrow the same thing will be applied to whoever wants a change.

Ugandans too, have contributed tirelessly in this genocide by providing logistical support to Kiir’s Militia including military tanks, Gunships and F15 jets to terrorize Nuer civilians who are seen carrying Western mentality for democratic system.

Minister of information, Mr Makuei Lueth, was quoted saying “Nuer must leave South Sudan,” on SSTV, which was a surprise of such statement released by a national figure in public.

Another Ugandan businessman was telling me, if Nuer as a tribe don’t cooperate with Dinka then Ugandans will facilitate Jieng smuggling of guns to Uganda to do the same thing in Kampala.

Dear readers, what is the connection between South Sudan affairs and Museveni’s interest?

To me and my colleagues who share this question with me, we conclude that the insanity of this war was mistaken by many South Sudanese calling it Nuer and Dinka and others calling it a coup attempt by Dr Riek Machar.

This war is to liberate this Country from what so called Jieng corrupt Kingdom.

I also appeal to the international community who are siding with propaganda and fabrication of Kiir and his group calling this a coup attempt without any proof and continues killing Nuer civilian in Juba and other government controlled areas.

Up to date, we appeal to all to reverse their mindset and give pressure to Kiir to stop feeding Nuer with dead bodies of Nuer victims in Juba.

Turning a blind eye to this genocide committed by Kiir and his Dinka fellows will take this Country into perpetual civil war. END

The author of this article is the concern citizen living in Juba South Sudan and can be reaching at

When the turbulence is over, what next?

BY: Anonymous writer, RSS, Juba, JAN/10/2013, SSN;

I have kept an eye on all the write-ups, following the turmoil in the world’s new nation South Sudan. Having gone through and analyzed all the critics and supporters of whatever camp they belong to– Government (Kiir) or opposition (Riek), or otherwise as you like, Dinka vs Nuer, my conclusion and any other learned individual either through formal or informal (Military bush era or loiters and gangs in overseas cities) would agree with me on the following:–

1. There was no coup attempt
2. Government is trying to silence its critics
3. Dinkas are trying to learn the Kikuyu, Nyankole, Zulu, Bashir style of leadership.
4. Nuers bravery and inborn rebel mentality
5. Revenge of the 1991 incident
6. Gangs are ruling technocrats
7. No working system in all functions of the Government
8. Equatorians naivety
9. Corruption
10. Genocide
11. Military taking advantage to commit crimes
12. Ugandan Army support of Kirr
13. A powerless president calling for international support
14. Same OLD gangs trying to win population
15. Impartial IGAD
16. Illiterate human used as war shields
17. Copy and paste impractical ideologies

You can add or delete appropriately but don’t dwell on changing the reality or framing ingredient conspiracies.

Beware, once the turbulence is over which is inevitable moments from now, the list above would even be longer and longer and no person in single/ group would dare try to whisper of democracy, freedom of speech, human dignity, rule of law, good governance and so on.

It might be at a critical stage as the aircraft would have already taken off and therefore no reverse power, however the only reversing would be shutting of the engine while initiating a steep climb thus expecting a stall (falling down with the tail first) which would be catastrophic.

Is that what we want for our coming generation?

Would you wish to enjoy fish now and wish our kids to have snakes in the future? Not Pythons as they are a delicacy in some societies. I mean Cobras and high venomous snakes.

If we disagree reconsider your parental obligations or otherwise request for a vasectomy specialist.

Another fact would be one ethnic cliché ruling till the end of our time.

Domination and false recruitment be it in the military or awarding of scholarships in the education sector clearly reveals and acts as evidences in future power domination and indicates a malicious intention from our brethren.

We all need to escape the plot and rescue our bright glimmering future, quite important for us, our children and grandchildren.

Change is needed utmost now at whatever cost.

The international community has already seen the trend and is supportive of the insurgents as it is clearly evidenced by the remarks of US- Assistant of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, boldly portraying her country’s stance and position on the ongoing conflict.

She courageously denies the wrought of government and scraps off allegations of coup attempt.

This is big blow to the government as US is the highest donor to Kirr and his aliens for support of their families and maintenance of brothels all over the world. I don’t even know China would listen to social life issues.

He, Kiir, once embarrassed himself and the country amazingly reading a press conference message in front of the media and boldly saying, as I quote, “IGAD members should have sent their military support to us immediately after the attempted coup d’etat.”

This was ridiculous indicating you have lost control, you have no power and the subsequent action should have been to resign and let the military take over.

In my opinion the president is like an accountable manager just like in the corporate world of which his definition would be: The person acceptable to the citizens, who has the corporate authority for ensuring that all operations and other activities of the government can be financed and carried out to the standard required by the authority and any additional requirements defined by the government officials, citizens and or military personnel.

He has sole responsibility of ensuring the safety and security of every individual in de facto spontaneously.

The mass killings and the uncontrollable situations prevailing the world’s new nation could have been avoidable, only if the president and his advisors would know he was the accountable manager and therefore responsible for promoting peace and stability in the country.

He had the power under his jurisdiction to accommodate and rectify any grievances within the party.

This is gross negligence on the part of the highest authority and he should be prepared to answer to the public or to any other competent court outside the lawless South Sudan.

A president telling lies as in the case of Coup attempt to cover up his failures, hits hard on his critics and threatening naive intellectuals to sing the song including a lawyer who repeatedly tells a lie over international media is a gross mis-conduct.

A lawyer who took an oath to defend the truth only and nothing but the real truth is caught up in the mix. This individual should reconsider his credentials and return for a one year supplementary law course and consequently retake the oath.

Dr Nyaba quoted: “A lie repeated continuously becomes a truth,” but I would disqualify that statement and amend it to be, “A lie repeated continuously in a chronological manner by an intelligent person tends to be true.”

That latter aspect was clearly missing from our uncharismatic beloved officials. They repeatedly mentioned coup, until our friends from Oman, Equatorial guinea, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Chad, Gambia, DRC, Cambodia, Fiji, Mauritania, Madagascar, Guinea-Bissau, CAR and Egypt clearly criticized us and said then the word had loosed meaning.

They have vowed to create a new word in the coming months. Most likely (arabi-revo-coup d’monde)

Make your mind, the time is now, no need to procrastinate as it is the worst evil.

Let’s all have a desire to make our country the fastest growing nation in the world, difficult developing grounds were created since the birth of our new nation.

We hopped the obstacles until all the world noticed, some like Uganda and Kenya were envious of how fast our pace was, they came back maliciously and tactically engulfed our president in a cocoon claiming to be among their clique.

He was blinded and never saw ahead, he was talked to once on a full stomach and they sang lullaby and massaged and later got requested to sign memorandums of understanding on various topics including to passively run the government affairs.

The aims, scope and their objective is what we experience now.
God open our eyes to see the unforeseeable.

The writer is an upcoming freelancer. His credentials are undisclosed at the moment. He is writing from an undisclosed location.

(PS: Due to the sensitivity of the message implied in the article, the author’s name is excluded as he’s in hiding in Juba).

IGAD must be fair: Double standards bring human suffering

BY: COLLINS KEPA, Canada, JAN/11/2014, SSN;

IGAD’s stand of convincing the International Community by their January 8 Statement claiming that the political detainees in South Sudan support talks on an unconditional cessation of hostilities and that their position should not be an impediment to reaching agreement on a cessation of hostilities is unfair.

Dictating the two sides to sign an agreement for ceasefire before releasing the political detainees as seconded by the United States and the United Nations Security Council is misleading and a double standard by the IGAD and meant for fulfilling Salva Kiir’s demands.

Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin (of Ethiopia) must understand that he spoke to those political detainees in Juba while they were under duress of a killer and they were not talking freely to express their true intent, but just to save their lives.

If Mesfin is indeed playing a neutral position, he must have put pressure on Salva Kiir to immediately release the political detainees so that they can express their true intent in a neutral country.

Any forced peace without the participation of the political detainees is a violation of the democratic rights of the people of South Sudan represented by the call for democratic reforms by those falsely accused to have staged a coup d’état.

Yes, we all are yawning for cessation of hostilities to save lives, but IGAD must be fair to admit that president Salva Kiir is actually the main obstacle to peace by not releasing the political detainees.

The root cause of the current crisis is the use of force to silence the political opponents and their exclusion from the peace talks would render meaningless the effort of the IGAD initiative.

Till when is the International Community going to allow the military dictator, Salva Kiir, to fool the civilized world?

If there is seriousness about democracy in the eyes of the International Community then they must put strong pressure on President Museveni of Uganda to immediately withdraw his forces that are currently aiding dictator Kiir in executing his policy of ethnic cleansing in South Sudan.

For sake of finding a meaningful mediator and a peaceful solution to the current crisis in South Sudan, it is vital that Norway and the United States step in and take over the role of mediating and finding a peaceful solution to the problem.

In summation, IGAD’s effort is leading us nowhere and not even the African Union that is known to be a club for breading dictators.

Collins Kepa,
A concerned South Sudanese.

What footsteps will South Sudanese youths follow?

BY: Abraham Daljang Maker, KAMPALA, JAN/11/2014

It is hard to speak out at this critical moment but it is worth saying something. I would begin with a famous dictum that “one dead frog spoils the whole water.” By this I am alluding to the current crisis in South Sudan which is the continuation of the past incidences.

The 1991 Bor incidence seemed to have again given birth to 2013 Juba, Bor, and Malakal incidences, and if the whole affair does not stop, I am afraid it will lead to another incidence in some decades to come. Bad prediction! Yes indeed it is bad, but there is likely that the history sometimes repeats itself unless people get committed to change the history.

What would be called a political arm twisting within the SPLM party has taken a different dimension by involving the army which I believed should be an independent body; and worst of it all, it turned to be a tribal strife.

This leaves me with a question; what footsteps will south Sudanese youths follow?

You might be having some varied answers but my answer is that, the youths are inheriting the doomed future, everything looks bleak at the moment.

Everyone will remain with hatred towards each other, the orphans and survivors of 1991 shall remain with tribal hatred and now the orphans and survivors of 2013 shall also remain with tribal sentiment.

All these turmoils will finish but what will remain in the minds of these people is the tribal instinct fuelled by the feelings that this tribe killed my parents; this tribe almost killed me, this tribe hates us, these tribes are not good….etc…….

This will be a vicious cycle that shall be carried down from generation to generation, hence leaving the youth vulnerable to tribal influences and they shall have no unity and patriotism in their hearts.

Despite the ethnicity, there is one thing that remains clear, our future as the youths of this new nation is totally ruined and we shall remain poor and continue to suffer because of what has been initiated by our own fathers.

We are inheriting bad politics basing on tribal line, a bad believe that a country is divided along tribal tendencies.

Our brains are being washed by tribal ideologies and our blood is being poisoned by tribal venom that shall be reigning in our blood for years; a bad practice that shall make us remain backward for thousand decades unless we wake up and change the history.

One thing that should be known by my fellow south Sudanese youths is that, our war veterans will one day put down their arms and take up the walking stick to support their weaker knees because the old age will command them to do so. But they will continue to inject us with their past ideology that will make us remain divided along the so called tribal lines.

We should remember that all these men have established themselves and they have seen the worst and the best in their lives, but for us who grew in the war and still experience it; we have little hope in this divided country.

Whether you like it or not, the bitter truth is that, the youths who would oppose this idea of solving the problem through the iron fists are the ones who are using an internet as platform to preach the tribal loyalty.

If we all need is national healing and reconciliation, fair justice must be done to those whose innocent blood has poured down.

In every conflict, there are losers and winners, without taking it literally, let me explain this.

The losers are we the youths whose bodies of our fellows are being fed on by raven and vultures on the street of Juba, malakal, Bor and Bentiu. The losers are still we the youths and vulnerable women and village elders who are now struggling with life in UN compounds in Juba, Malakal, Bentiu and Bor, plus those internal displaced persons who are exposed in dangerous life in Aweirial County in Lakes state.

The losers are we the youths who will continue to see themselves as enemies and who will inherit the poverty as a result of fighting from generation to generation.

Meanwhile the winners are the ones who use us to meet their own desires because one day they will take up their offices and relax.

While you (youths) eat once after two days, and drink half cup of water in displacement camps and UN compounds, the ones who we think are doing us good are the sleeping in lodges and eating nice food daily while they continue to tell us to fight on.

This shouldn’t have been really a fighting within the army that later led to the killings of innocent people, this would be political fight that would be fought by votes.

But because the army is composed of the “ordinary members of society” who mostly pay an allegiance to tribe than a nation, the whole affairs have taken a wrong turn.

All we need as the youths of South Sudan is to find a way of solving this, we have a lot of unions, associations, and community groupings, if we sit down, and make unity and remain united as nation lovers than tribal lovers, then we can see a better future.

Let’s not cheer the people to fight on; instead we need to condemn this in the strongest terms. These continuous revenge will not bring lasting peace, the only thing is to say enough is enough and embrace peace and forget the past.

The Author is an independent journalist, he can be reached at
To man belong the plans of heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue.
Abraham Daljang Maker, pursuing MA in Development Studies, Nkumba University, Bachelor of science in Journalism,
Nkumba University, PO Box 237 Entebbe Uganda.
Cell: +256774587529(Uganda)
+211955997112(South Sudan)
Skype: daljang.maker94

The Dynamics of the SPLM Internal political Crisis

BY: Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, RSS, DEC/09/2014, SSN;

It is said that whatsoever happens, the ‘world usually accepts and condones the victor’s account of events.’ This may be pertinent to the tragic situation of civil strife unfolding in South Sudan.

The events in the last four weeks punctuated the political drudgery that characterized the situation in the SPLM and the country since the presidential decrees of July 23rd.

The whole started with press conference called on December 6th, by Dr. Riek Machar, the SPLM first Vice Chairman together with other members of the SPLM Political Bureau. A press conference called two days later on December 8th, in the same venue, by James Wani Igga, the SPLM second Vice Chairman followed raising the political temperature in the SPLM to a higher pitch.

The two SPLM factions were poised on a collision course prompting the Church leaders and a groups forty Dinka leaders to appeal to the two sides to postpone their anticipated events scheduled Saturday, December 14th to sit down and dialogue in order to reach a consensus on the contentious issues in the party.

The shootings began at about nine PM on Sunday, December 15th in the JIUs H/Qs and raged throughout the night but it had now covered different residential areas in the suburbs of Juba.

At about noon on Monday December 16th, the President of the Republic General Salva Kiir Mayardit, clad in military attire and surrounded by ministers and governors of Unity and Eastern Equatoria, in a press conference, announced that there was a coup attempt against the state; that the former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar was suspect; that the loyal troops have defeated and are pursuing the coup plotters; “they will be arrested,” he assured the nation.

The arrest of the so-called coup plotters who numbers rose to eleven began on the morning of Tuesday December 17th, the Minister of Interior and Wild Life Forces, General Aleu Ayieny Aleu, at the head of a tank brigade went to arrest Hon. Gier Chuong Aluong in his house.

There, the force fired randomly in the house killing a police captain, nephew of Gier Chuong; his wife Adau had to escape through the back window and managed to get to the house of Rebecca Nyandeng Garang.

The government did not repeat this tactic when they went to arrest Deng Alor, Oyay Deng Ajak, Majak d’Agoot, Cirino Hiteng. However, the police went in a tank to arrest John Luk but could not find him in the house; he later went to report himself. The last to be arrested was the author and this took place on Christmas day.

The Government information machinery went to work playing up the ‘coup’ attempt in the style of Josef Goebbels that a lie repeated continuously becomes a truth. However, the diplomatic circles in Juba, foreign governments and even was some South Sudanese refused to buy the government story of coup attempt.

The issue of release of detained SPLM members popped up immediately, as the talks to end the conflict that has now covered Jonglei and Upper Nile states, when the IGAD delegation composed of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Haile Mariam Deselign, the Chair of Extra-ordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government and President Uhuru Kenyatta paid a visit to President Salva Kiir in Juba on December 26th.

President Salva Kiir seemed amendable to this demand to release the political detainees as a precursor to the progress of the talks; it was clear that if there were to be a solution to the crisis, the detained SPLM leaders would have a critical role to play; therefore their release was imperative.

President Salva Kiir did not attend the IGAD Submit in Nairobi on December 27th, which charted the road map for resolution of the conflict. The talks were to start in Addis Ababa with two items of cessation of hostilities and the release of political detainees.

The government rejected the release of the detainees, to which President Salva Kiir, speaking on the SSTV, quipped “who will be responsible for deaths of some many people; let those who are asking for the release of the detainees tell me who will answer for these charges against them?”

The charges of ‘corruption’ were labelled against Deng Alor, Kosti Manibe and Pagan Amum. The clutch slipped and the wheel went full circle backwards.

The coup charge is so flimsy that nobody even the IGAD is buying it. The charges of attending the December 6th press conference (against me, Madut Biar, Ezekiel Lol, etc.) and the boycott of the NLC second day’s meeting (against Riek and all other members of the NLC) were too weak charges for detaining people.

Then IGAD pressed hard on the government to produce the charges against the detainees. Now the Government is bringing up charges of corruption and has further requested IGAD Mediators to transfer the talks to Juba to enable these detainees attend the talks while remaining under detention.

Wonders will never cease. The SPLM internal political crisis triggered by intent to contest SPLM leadership (Riek Machar, Pagan Amum and Rebecca Nyandeng Garang) has trans-mutated from political discourse to military confrontation and killing of innocent people on account of a coup against the state to criminal charges linked to corruption against the political detainees.

The government Spokesman, Mr. Michael Makuei Lueth, himself a lawyer, is peddling all these without shame or sense of civility in a manner that suggests the world must accept the victor’s account of the events.

This government’s stance has efficaciously stalled the talks in Addis Ababa. The government is trying hard to re-take Bentiu and Bor from Riek’s forces with huge military support from Museveni of Uganda and Omer el Bashir of the Sudan, pushing to oblivion the political causes and the intended dialogue to resolve it.

The folly of circumlocution is that we avoided the political discourse in favour of military solution, which resulted in a serious crime of genocide.

If the military push fails, we will come back to the negotiating table and perhaps raise the same issues of people detained on flimsy charges. Couldn’t this have been avoided? END

What was it if not a “Failed Coup Attempt?”

BY: Deng Mangok Ayuel, AWEIL, SOUTH SUDAN, JAN/09/2014, SSN;

Politics, fighting in Bor give me headache. It has been weeks, with millions of people eying South Sudanese political turmoil across the world. The words, ‘Dinka’ and ‘Nuer’ ethnicities have dominated the news headlines everywhere. It was in New York Times, The Guardian, Financial Times and the Daily Nation newspapers.

Political analysts and observers have deserted to write on the issue that affected the New Nation because they don’t want to be the first people to call it a ‘coup attempt’ or an ethnic violence but South Sudanese loyal to Machar and the neutral groups have their own voices that confused the civil population.

One may keep contemplating while trying to describe the nature of the fighting that erupted in Juba and spread to Jonglei, Malakal and Unity states where people lost their lives and others displaced.

When presidential guards clashed – ethnically sidelined and confronted themselves militarily, politicians were left on scuttle.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the early days described the incident as ‘coup attempt’ masterminded by Dr Machar and his group. Was it not a coup attempt? The presidential guards who clashed remained to be questioned for truth.

And where is Dr Machar if it wasn’t a coup attempt? Why did Dr Machar mobilize the Nuer youth to fight the government of South Sudan if it wasn’t a plan? And now the group is in Ethiopia for talks and they call themselves ‘rebel’. However, there is no rebellion without a plan. Why do they accept to be called ‘rebel’ if they weren’t plotting against Kiir’s government?

Since Dr Machar doesn’t want to be alone in his political evils, he then decided to have plan A & B respectively. In his plan A, he mobilized some politicians, claiming to take over the SPLM chairmanship from President Kiir.

The former SPLM/A freedom fighters like Mr Amum, Hon. Madut Biar, Dr Adwok and others who wanted the SPLM to be transformed according to them – trailed with Dr Machar but he {Dr Machar} vertically shifted from plan A to B without analyzing political consequences after being frustrated when the SPLM structure was dissolved by the party top leader.

Again, Dr Machar, in his plan B or call it a ‘coup,’ did/didn’t sensitively alarm his group on the option if President Kiir resists their initiatives – that is why Dr Adwok and others remained in detention after their big colleague {Dr Machar} escaped with his brother, Taban Deng.

I wondered but remained in dilemma, diminished to fear of ‘empty loyalty.’ I never wish to call former SPLA/M freedom fighters as traitors – they had committed and potentially did a job well done to free us from enemy in Khartoum.

But I shouldn’t also cease to speak my mind. Dr Machar used to be a rebel within a rebellion. He had been the master of a ‘dark day’ in South Sudan.

He acted against the SPLM/A in 1991 and killed people in Bor. He has been a seed of sadness in a family of the SPLM. History shall account Dr Machar and some members of the SPLM, lest their political careers end today.

A coup is a sudden deposition/an attempt to overthrow any government by the ‘group’ of people or politicians in a given state through military execution. However, military forces are not the defining factor of a coup attempt but influenced executers to do the job for others.

One of the alleged detainees who may be found innocent/guilty or be forgiven is Dr Adwok Nyaba. In his article published on South Sudan Nation website, he {Dr Adwok} described the incident as ‘misunderstanding’ among presidential guards and urged others to call a spade a spade!

Well, people are perplexed, but shouldn’t it be called a coup attempt when Dr Machar became a fugitive on the fire?

Where is Dr Machar in Juba and who informed Peter Gadet and James Koang to strategize and rebel against the government of South Sudan in Bor and Bentiu?

In the recent fighting, most of us lost friends and brothers, others lost sons and husbands, if legally proved as a coup attempt – those who were involved should be brought to book if our leaders wanted to unite South Sudanese as one people.

Our politicians became troublesome. They {politicians} are trying to take the nation into an abyss. It’s a political career turned suicidal. They shouldn’t trouble a new nation – a baby nation of 2 years old.

Deng Mangok Ayuel lives in Aweil, South Sudan and blogs at He can also be reached via

Equatoria should be Game-Changer in Current South Sudan Impasse

BY: Anonymous Writer, JUBA, DEC/09/2014, SSN;

The Big Bang of South Sudan is on since Sunday 15th, December 2013. It started as an internal political conflict on power monopoly within the SPLM party. It developed into military violence involvement from the Presidential Guards and the rest of sectors of SPLA within the context of Dinka-Nuer tribal mistrust. Call it coup d’état, mutiny or shoot-out but the fact is that lives and livelihoods have been lost senselessly.

The use of violence spread to civilians lynching of Nuer tribesmen within Juba and retaliatory Dinka lynching in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity States. Prominent SPLM party leaders who opposed Salva Kiir got arrested on coup charges. But none one got killed.

The situation forced the Nuer tribe in Juba and Dinka tribe in Bentieu and other troubled parts of South Sudan to run for their dear lives and seek refuge in the premises of UNMISS.

It led to more reactionary rebellions of some armed groups within the SPLA against the government of South Sudan.

This has become more complicated with possible development of more unforeseen complications. That is, a possible shift from South Sudanese Dinka-Nuer tribalism to South Sudan Equatoria regionalism – neo-kokora-ism.

Equatorians have been silent but it could be sensed this would get broken soon, especially when the Mundari, Toposa and other violence-loving Equatorians have been called in to get heavy arms.

Do you think the Equatorians will use these arms to defend Dinka Government of Salva Kiir by fighting the Nuer rebels of Dr. Riek Machar?

Since civilized politics is no longer working in South Sudan now, the Equatoria mounting militarism is going to be an inevitable game-changer.

Once they have armed themselves to teeth for harm, the Equatorians as a strong bloc would have gained the necessary power to give Mr. Salva Kiir two tough choices:

1) To resign and hand power to a neutral Equatorian (but not Mr. Wani Igga) so that the Dinka-Nuer mess could be cleared and stability restored in the country.

2) If he refuses to resign willingly, Mr. Salva Kiir should leave Juba and go and rule his government in Greater Bahr el Ghazal in the same way Dr. Riek left to rule his rebel forces in Greater Upper Nile.

Regionalism is back, tribalism is neutralized!

However, it is not known whether this impasse is going to end in determinism or it will continue to be a chaotic chance whose fate becomes more worrying as each day passes.

The Foreign Ministers and Heads of State of IGAD member countries got in to find an exit but to no avail up to now. Though some of them offered military assistance to Government of Salva Kiir, the bad news seems unending.

The US, UN, UK, EU, China and others have released statements for calm and restoration of peace but nothing got through.

The IGAD mediators invited the warring parties to Addis Ababa for peace talks but more days are passing with no better good news coming out any sooner. The loosed Pandora Box couldn’t get locked. More complications are getting in day by day.

Cessation of hostilities and ceasefire is not coming through despite the 72 hours ultimatum from China. The Government of Salva Kiir is refusing to release the political detainees unconditionally.

The rebels of Dr. Riek Machar are rejecting ceasefire without release of the political detainees who they call as their allies.

But even if cessation of hostilities and ceasefire has to be signed and declared, still the question of who is going to control the oil money would remain toughest to answer.

Dr. Riek has already proposed that the money be deposited in an account of an international neutral body. Mr. Salva Kiir has rejected the proposal and is insisting that the oil money should continue to be under control of his government.

If both of them fail to agree on whose account the oil money is going to be deposited, the oil production is going to stop. Even if Uganda Museveni and Sudan al-Bashir send troops (both on land and in air) to bail out the government of Salva Kiir, oil production is not going to continue in peace and without killings around the facilities.

Technocrats and engineers hate to die by bullets. Hence, they shall not risk working in oil fields.

Security by arms and armaments rather than by the indigenous people will not help in creating peace around the oil fields. With arms in oil fields the government of South Sudan is going to get more troubles.

What is the solution then?

The exit from the current South Sudan impasse is going to come from an internal non-tribalized force backed-up by external pressure. This force is going to be found no-where else but in Greater Equatoria.

It has to come in form of regionalism, which is a step forward in the right direction of federal system of government based on the three historic provinces of South Sudan rather than the ten states left behind by the NCP Islamic Sudan.

Retrospectively and introspectively, Greater Upper Nile has never been a cohesive bloc because it usually falls back to tribal traps in time of conflicts or power dividends.

Also Greater Bahr el Ghazal has never thought of itself as encompassing Non-Dinka or Non-Dinkanized elements. The Dinka is not one ethnic group though they pretend to be so.

It is only in Greater Equatoria that the different tribes have been holding together as one cohesive bloc, though sometimes without an outstanding courageous charismatic leader.

The Equatorians need to come out from the historical weaknesses they have been having. They should stop of thinking to run to East Africa every time South Sudan is faced with acute internal problems and conflicts.

They need to learn that South Sudan is their place and they should always sacrifice inside it to lead a solution.

The Equatorians should also avoid overreacting in response to problems created by the two major troublesome tribes of Greater Bahr el Ghazal and Greater Upper Nile, the Dinka and Nuer.

They should start to know it with confidence that as a cohesive bloc, the people of Greater Equatoria are the top majority in South Sudan in terms of numbers. The hegemonic Dinka and Nuer should not scare them. After all, the bravest and fiercest warriors of South Sudan are found in Equatoria region.

Therefore, it is high time for Equatorians to demand from Mr. Salva Kiir to give in and hand over Presidential power to a neutral Equatorian known for characteristics of a statesman’s caliber.

If this demand is resisted, then the Equatorians should not hesitate to expel by force Mr. Salva Kiir from the land of Equatoria. The Nuer and those who want Salva Kiir to go home or to the grave will agree with these Equatorians’ conditions.

Let every region go back to its base so that a genuine federal unification of South Sudan nation could be discussed later after the so-called biggest tribes of South Sudan from Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile come to their senses of respecting Equatorians.

The problem came from the attempts by Mr. Salva Kiir and his SPLM to create a country of tribes. The solution will come from the intervention by Equatorians to enforce a state of federative regions of South Sudan.

Thus, the Equatorians governors and other leaders should not continue to be dull or cowards and acting as lesser-class citizens.

The struggle for liberation for South Sudan was launched in Equatoria in 1955. I have no doubt that it is in Equatoria that the genuine start for federal nation-building is going to be launched in 2014.

The time is now and it is Equatoria turn to save South Sudan!

(PS: Due to the sensitivity of the message implied in the article, the author’s name is excluded as he’s in hiding in Juba)

A Failure of Leadership: How Pres. Kiir failed South Sudan

QUOTE: “…members (SPLA) have formed private companies, bought houses and have huge bank accounts in foreign countries. I wonder what kind of system we are going to establish in South Sudan?” then Gen. Kiir in 2004 criticizing the late Dr. John Garang on the failures of splm/spla to meet its obligations to South Sudanese.

BY: Jean C. Bodin, JUBA, JAN/08/2014, SSN;

1. Military, Tribalism & Democracy: An Unlikely Marriage.

A military state and a democratic state are unlikely to co-exist in a tribal society. This is simply due to the fact that a military regime does not encourage the establishment of credible and functioning institutions. But a democratic system of government creates and sustains such institutions. While, in a tribal society, the tribe(s) in power tends to always perceive the other tribes as potential threats. The elimination or weakening of others is a pre-requisite to the maintenance of power. The current system of governance in South Sudan is a mixed of the three. And the president has consciously made a decision to maintain the status quo.

Pres. Kiir has decided that he will have one foot in the military and the other in a democratic government. Of course one cannot entirely blame the president, after all he was a very effective military General. However, the president has failed to run a cohesive National Military. And he has failed in running a democratic Civilian government. And since he is the head of the government and the commander-in-Chief (CIC), it is imperative that he be held accountable for the current crisis that has engulfed our country. Crisis that could otherwise have been contained. The bucks must stop with the president.

Several factors have contributed to Pres. Kiir’s failure in running a “democratic state”. The fact that the president has not acquired (transferable) skills required in running a modern state is perhaps the main contributing factor to his failed leadership. There is a mismatch between the set of skills required to be a good military General and those required to be an effective President in a functioning democracy. The obvious being that unlike the military the economy cannot be commanded. In other word, while the military requires a set of rigid rules to function properly, the economy is a result of many interactive and non-interactive forces whose sequence cannot possibility be planned. On the other hand, any effective execution of a military order requires careful planning. A successful military strategy is, therefore, a direct result of how well an executive order is followed.

The military is best described by a rigid structure of power. There is a very well defined direct line of command. But in a democratic government power must be shared. Each department must be entrusted with a certain level of responsibility. A democratic system in which there is an Executive branch, a Legislative branch and a Judicial branch can manage to solve a majority of the problems that arise from such devolution of power. But the same could not be said about the military. In the military there are severe consequences to insubordinacy. In short the military is not a democratic institution. The military is inflexible. The military cannot absorb the shocks that come from running a modern economy. The rigidities that make military function smoothly and successfully are the very ingredients that would lead to a failed state. In short, a military system is synonymous with dictatorship while a democratic state is synonymous with economic freedoms.

Pres. Kiir does not seem to understand the differences between a military state and a democratic state. And as a result, he has appointed former military Generals to make majority of the country’s major economic decisions. South Sudan can then best be described as a quasi-military state. And how democracy is perceived in South Sudan is very dependent on the messenger. And for the former (rebels) Generals turned politicians, democracy is a threat.

While Pres. Kiir could easily dismiss such criticisms by citing the numerous sacrifices made by these generals in attaining an independent South Sudan, he will, however, have very little excuse for the failure of his government to meet the needs and aspirations of the nation. And as the head of government he must hold himself accountable for his government failures.

The former generals have been re-warded with high levels executive positions in the government without the necessary training requisite of these positions. The result has been widespread patronage in government hiring. Patronage and nepotism in a tribal society constitute tribalism- a serious form of discrimination and a punishable crime. The fact that the survival of these Generals was very dependent on surrounding themselves with individuals whom they trust- in most cases their close relatives and clan members- during the civil war, has made them believe that these practices would blend well in a democratic state. The result has been rampant tribalism and the bewilderment of the much more qualified younger generation who have no networks to exploit. In most cases it is the members of the smaller tribes who bear the brunt of tribalism.

A dire consequence of tribalism has been the inability of the government to function effectively. As a result, incompetency has been the hallmark of Pres. Kiir’s cabinet. Government contracts and tenders have been awarded to companies and individuals who do not have the capacity to deliver such services. For example in 2008, the government decided to use more than 30million dollars on building 132 emergency grain stores, of whom only about forty were completed. The fact that individuals with low to medium skills levels are entrusted with carrying out complex tasks such as negotiations with multinationals companies should be very worrying to any patriot.

The government has not carried out audits as to the sources of inefficiencies in the system. Instead such inefficiencies are swept under the rug. The problem starts at the top. Pres. Kiir’s solution to scandals is very autocratic. Since under a military regime such actions (corruption) would be deemed as acts of treason and pres. Kiir does not want to establish credible institutions, he has generally found himself participating in the covering up of such gross mismanagement of public funds. But once it became obvious that the scandals are growing, the president simply fired his whole cabinet and hired individuals from the same pool as the former ones, hoping for different results.

I believe Einstein made a rather ingenuis comment as to the insanity of such a cycle. However,Pres. Kiir was simply using such scandals as a pretext to weakening his potential challengers- such as Dr. Riek machar, Pagan Amum, Deng Alor, Nyandeng Garang- in the party. Gen. Kong during the disarmament of SSDF- a rebel group- argued that, while Dr. Garang was very clear about where he stood with other senior commanders, Pres. Kiir tends to say nice things so as to disguise his true intentions. In other word, Kiir is not honest in his dealings. The result has been mistrust and disunity at the very senior levels of the SPLM/SPLA. How can a country meet its obligations if it is dis-united at the very top?

Since there are no well established institutions in South sudan that can absorb the shocks that come with firing and hiring decisions; the result has been numerous disgruntled members of SPLM in Juba. Note that there are barely any established private businesses or even Security companies that would use the set of skills of these former generals turned politicians. And the SPLM under Pres. Kiir is not very democratic. The president has made significant efforts in ensuring that the party remains undemocratic. The chair of the party makes the majority of the decisions. Remember that SPLM/SPLA is a former rebel movement, whose tenets are drawn from a military regime playbook. The late Dr. Garang once remarked that “The SPLA is a tool and a tool cannot be democratic”.

Following the death of Dr. Garang, the party was not democratized. Instead pres. Kiir consolidated power. The consequence of non-democratization of SPLM is that former members of the cabinet are expected- presumably by Pres. Kiir- to simply go back to their home villages and farm. This once again underlines the inability of Pres. Kiir and his inner circle to comprehensively evaluate the long-term effects of executive orders. The issuance of presidential “decrees” has been used to violate basic human rights and freedoms. Including freedom of speech and freedom of the press. For example, An op-ed writer, Maj. Abraham Diing Awuol, was assassinated in 2012 for criticizing the president.

Furthermore, a combination of tribalism and lack of opportunities has led to a significant increase in young military recruits. Their main motivation being the wages and perks they would get in the military. Most of these recruits have not under-gone proper training before being integrated into the military. Statistics on their age, weight and general health conditions are not very encouraging. A majority of the recruits are underweight and most do not possessed the basic skills and the training necessary to be part of any serious National Army. The military is not also equipped with modern warfare equipment. There are no military trained doctors to aid the wounded during the time of conflicts. The result has been the constant shaming of the SPLA in frontlines by the supposedly “12 and 15” years old white army militia. And the begging –by Pres. Kiir- to the international community to disregard the sovereignty of the state and interfere in domestic affairs, the UPDF ( Uganda military) is currently conducting aerial bombardments in South Sudan. An interference which might lengthen the current conflict in South Sudan. However, Pres. Kiir is not too concerned about the sovereignty of South Sudan.

Pres. Kiir in an interview with CNN- in front of the whole world- stated that, “…The day this thing happened, the regional leaders….should have come in with military support so that these rebels are crashed once and for all!”. A Military General who cannot properly put in place the institutions necessary to build an army that can protect the citizens and the interests of the Republic should not be entrusted with the responsibility of the Commander-in-Chief. A president who does not respect the constitutionality and the sovereignty of the state he rules, must be primarily held accountable for the failure of that state. The president has also encouraged division within the military. The army is not operating as a unit as some ethnic groups feel that they should not sacrifice their lives to liberate other tribes land. This has led to the current persistent failure of the government troops- inspite of their superior military might and support from Uganda military (UPDF)- to recapture Bor. To make matter worse it has been reported that some of the senior army Generals in the greater equatorial region have defected. These Generals cited attempts to eliminate them as their main reason for defecting. This has exposed serious cracks within the national military. The president has respondent to military crisis by recalling some generals to the army.

The fact that the commander-in-Chief (CIC) has recalled some of the former Military Generals- whom he pre-maturely fired/forced to retire- should be of grave concerns as to the president’s capacity to make the right executive decisions. The fact that a small disagreement by one army battalion has led the country to a brink of civil war, should make South Sudanese reconsider and question our capacity to confront any serious aggressions from the North. Instead the president has unwisely invited Pres. Bashir to the state house in Juba. In the middle of civil strife the president has decided to ask the North for support. The president actions are exposing our dirty laundry to the world and thus exposing the country to long-term instability.

2. Economy: it’s the economy stupid?

South Sudan is mainly dependent on oil. The country has been referred to as the “most oil-dependent nation” in the world. In fact 98 per cent of government revenues come from oil. The GDP per capita is around $1800 while the gross domestic income per capita (GNI) is significantly lower- about $900. About 30 per cent of the fiscal budget comes from development Assistance. The government under Pres. Kiir has not made any significant effort to diversify the economy. This has had particular ominous short run and long run consequences.

In the short run, complete reliance on oil as the main source of revenue has strengthened Khartoum’s hand in negotiations. The result has been that South Sudan has been consistently held hostage by its northern neighbors. Khartoum government is currently charging South Sudan exorbitant rates for the use of pipeline and the use of Port Sudan. Under President Kiir South Sudan is paying the highest rates in the world for pipeline usage. Khartoum currently receives about 35 per cent of the oil revenue. The long run effects of the failure by Pres. Kiir to diversify the economy are even worse. The country’s oil reserve is currently estimated to run out by 2035. Pres. Kiir has not even put forward basic policy briefs to address such devastating future shortages let alone a policy proposal. The government needs to generate about 800 million dollars from non-oil sector as a first step toward diversification.

The president simply decided to slim his cabinet and he called it an “austerity measure”; aimed at making the government function efficiently. The president seems to belief that by dissolving his government, that this would somehow lead to an increase in non-oil sector revenue. How unemployment contributes towards an increase in tax-base (taxes are the main source revenue from non-oil sector) is an economic puzzle only the president could possibly explain.

There is no evidence that the government has achieved its objective of increasing non-oil sector revenue. Instead the president had simply used austerity measures as political ploy to remove his rivals from the government. The consequences of such actions have contributed significantly to the current civil unrest in the country.

As South Sudan has been marginalized by Khartoum regimes for decades; the country has not developed any sophisticated form of a market economy. Barter trade is still a significant part of the economy, especially in the rural areas. A majority of population- about 80 per cent- relies on subsistence farming for their livelihood.

The major tribes are traditionally cattle keepers. There are currently more than 20 million heads of cattle in South Sudan. And given that cattle are a significant part of traditional institutions, from marriage to peace negotiations between tribes; a system in which cattle are not for commercial purposes has emerged. A majority of population deems selling of cattle as not only an insult to their cultural heritage but also to their families’ reputation. In tribal societies, reputation is currency. The result has been the reliance on imported meat from East Africa mainly Uganda and Kenya. And due to lack of proper refrigerating facilities and shortage in meat supply, prices for meat produce are very high in Juba.

The country has some of the most fertile soil in Africa. But Agricultural production is limited to Maize, wheat and sorghum. These crop types require sufficient rainfall. In the past, droughts and famines have devastated villages. Policies that would facilitate agricultural and lead expansion in the non-oil sector; thus facilitating economic growth have not been put in place.The government under president Kiir has not encouraged agricultural production. There are no major agriculture related policies put in place to empower such communities. Corruption in agricultural sector is on the rise as the sector tends to be overlooked. And as a result 50 per cent of the country’s population live below the poverty line. Note that about 80 per cent of the country lives in rural area and rely mainly on agriculture.

A majority of young men in the villages are moving to Juba in search of better opportunities. Most of these young men hope to find jobs or be enrolled in schools. But there are no well-established education institutions in the country. The result has been the rise of ghettoes in Juba. A majority of these young men have not had any significant formal education and thus are low skilled. The lack of diversification in the economy is hurting them. Competition from Ugandans and Kenyans retailers/traders has also stifled the rise of South Sudanese owned small business in Juba. Most of Kenyans and Ugandans owned Businesses are either sole proprietorship or small-scale partnerships. These businesses tend to employ mostly Kenyans or Ugandans. The relatively higher skills levels of these traders from Kenya and Uganda has given them a competitive advantage over their South Sudanese counterparts.

Since a majority of agricultural produce consumed in Juba, are imported from Kenya and Uganda, and there are no well-established networks of roads or rails, these has led to higher prices in Juba. Transit costs and few suppliers’ in the market are also contributing factors. In most cases suppliers collude and price fixing is part of the business in Juba .

The cost of living is so high in Juba that the ECA International recently ranked the city the fourth most expensive city in the world for workers from abroad. The humanitarian situation in South Sudan and the readily available markets have led to an increase in number of foreign workers. These workers generally demand the same living standards as they had in their home countries; they are willing to well above market prices for rare commodities. The lack of an effective market system in the country has encouraged the growth of a large underground economy. The government cannot collect any source of revenue from such businesses. And since these businesses are more profitable, there is bound to be an expansion in the underground economy. No measures have been put in place to address this issue.

Furthermore, the major oil fields are located to the North of the country while Juba- the capital city- is located to the South. Most of the young men end up not finding any meaningful employment in the city. Their movement is also restricted by the lack of infrastructures. There is a poor commute system and underdeveloped infrastructure. The government is slowly trying to build road networks in the country; but rampant corruption has meant contracts have been awarded to firms and companies that either cannot meet their contractual obligations or that intentionally delay projects so as to reap higher profits. The government has been very inefficient in re-evaluating such contracts.

There are no serious auditing mechanisms in place. Instead a majority of contracts have been renewed. An easy access by foreign-owned companies to the office of the president and some cabinet members has made the government vulnerable in dealing with corruption. But since the government authored such contracts, it has become a participant in the ongoing grand-corruption in Juba. Corruption ranges from land grabbing in Juba and Central Equatoria state to the grand embezzlement of public funds by senior members of SPLA.

While Pres. Kiir has acknowledged corruption in the country; he has not encouraged the growth of legal institutions that would curtail such practices. For instant, upon accusing 75 of his party members of embezzling $4billion of public funds, the president simply asked them to re-deposit the money to a KCB- Kenyan Commercial bank- account in Nairobi. He did not take any further steps in holding these individuals accountable. There has been no access to information as to how much was deposited and by whom. The government has also decided to publish less than 50 per cent of its statistics on public expenditure; this is to protect the senior members of SPLA who have been accused of corruption.

Multi-national firms that might invest in the country and create employment and possible spilled overs, have been very skeptical. One of the most cited reasons is lack of security and lack of access to comprehensive statistical output on the state of the economy. The president has failed to effectively deal with corruption in his own government. And by not holding corrupt official accountable, he has put his political survival above the national interest.

Only 1.6 per cent of GDP is allocated to the provision of healthcare. The responsibility of providing primary and accessible healthcare has been entirely left to the local NGOs. There is on average one physician per 65,000 people. A majority of healthcare workers are not well trained and are mostly low skilled. The distribution of healthcare workers varies with each state. The country has the fourth highest mortality rate in the Africa with some parts hit harder than others. An Africa Development report published in 2012 outlined that “..One of every 1,000 live births die, 151 die before completing one year after birth in Western Equatoria, 139 in Warrap State and 129 in Northern Bahr el Ghazal. This is higher than the worst performance recorded on the continent”.

The government under Pres. Kiir by not increasing the budget allocated to the healthcare and not investing in the sector is, in effect, admitting to its failure in meeting its mandate. Pres. Kiir has failed South Sudanese when it comes to healthcare. A country so rich in natural resources should not have one of the worst statistics on healthcare in the world. Resources such has the Nile have not been exploited for provision of energy and electricity. The country hydro-energy production is negligible. Meaningful efforts for hydro-energy production on the Nile have been hampered by haphazardly put together “Agreements” with the Egyptian government.

3. Tribal Reconciliation: The first Step toward Nation Building

South Sudan is made up of more than sixty tribes with the Dinka and the Nuer being the majority. The fact that these tribes have managed to relatively peacefully co-exist for centuries should be a positive sign, that we can become one united nation. We must acknowledge that we’re a nation of tribes and that if we’re to build a republic, constant reconciliatory efforts must be made. The definition of majority and the notion of majority rule are not only a requisite on a tribal basis. The truth is that the Dinka and the Nuer make-up less than 45 per cent of the population yet these two tribes control almost 85 per cent of the country. This is an unfair distribution. And given the rampant tribalism being practiced in Juba, it means that we are ignoring the potential contribution of sixty per cent of the country.

The majority. Statistically, distribution of skills and talent is independent of a numerical majority. However, it is dependent on access to resources. The Apartheid regime is a clear example to this fact. The consequences of institutionalized tribalism won’t be remarkably different from those in South Africa. Mass protests and disruption of the economy will be the result.

After decades of civil war, traditional tribal alliances had been impaired. But after the independence of South sudan in 2011, there was a desire by South Sudanese to unite in building their nation. However, Pres. Kiir has failed the nation in this regard. He had initially made the right calls. He appointed Machar to lead tribal reconciliation process. But some of his inner political allies argued that Machar was too ambitious and might use such effort to raise his profile and defeat the president in an election. While this advice was not very sound; the president heed it and issued a decree cancelling the entire reconciliation process. But he later decided to appoint pastors to lead the process and pray away the nation’s tribal problems. This either shows that the president is not very decisive or was simply never serious on the Reconciliation Process in the first place. The president should have facilitated a National Reconciliation Process and let it be led by the very same politicians who had divided up the nation on tribal basis during the civil war. Atonement is the first step toward reconciliation.

The appointment of pastors by the president was by junior advisers who argued that the ,“Truth & Reconciliation (TRC)” in South Africa was headed by Desmond Tutu- a Bishop, former Noble Prize winner and a very well respected state man. Pres, Kiir’s advisors attributed Tutu’s appointment to his being a Bishop rather than to Tutu’s experience and acquired skills. They did not attempt to understand the remarkable role Bishop Tutu played in fighting for Blacks in South Africans prior to chairing the commision(TRC). The Black South Africans were supportive of Tutu’s appointment as they knew that he identified with their struggles. The white South Africans believed that Tutu would be fair and just in his capacity. Pres. Kiir’s advisors also applied a “Racial Relation case” to a “Tribal Relation case”. The two are markedly different. Pres. Kiir’s advisors are inept and have consistently ill advised the president on domestic and international matters. The consequences of such seemingly simple oversights can be severe.

The very same group of advisors- having not learned from their past mistakes-recently advised Pres. Kiir to announce a fabricated coup- without facts findings- on national television. The president did so while wearing Military fatigues. They argued that these would bolster his commander-in-Chief standing. Their reference point was the former Pres. George W. Bush, who consistently wore an air-force one jacket after 911. One can only wonder as to why they did not use the example of Lincoln during America’s Civil War.

To make matters worse, the president’s speech was divisive. The reference to “prophet of doom” and “actions of the past” were not well concealed. As a result, some members in the Dinka community perceived the president’s speech as an executive decree to carry out mass murders on the Nuers Juba; while the Nuers- especially those under Gen. Gatdet- perceived the speech as a sign of tribal aggression. Two phrases, that should otherwise not have been spoken by the president for the sake of national unity, have contributed to the death of more than 1000 innocent civilians. An (ethnic) massacre. And to the displacement of more than 200,00 civilians from their homes. A national disaster.

4.The White Army: An alternative Institution in a Lawless State?

The white army got its name not from the white ash that they apply on their body but rather as a contrast to the SPLA army. In Nuer language the national army is referred to as “Black Army”. Later the name evolved to symbolize the group’s decentralized nature. That is its, lack thereof, to abide by the military code of conduct. For the White army war is simply war. However, a council of elders must approve of such undertakings. Sufficient reasons for carrying out war include retaliations to raids from another tribe, murders and kidnapping of women and children by a rival tribe. And raids aimed at countering perceived aggressions from another tribe. South Sudan has been marginalized since colonial times and there are no well-established institutions for managing conflict. Tribal warfare emerged as an alternative institution for conflict resolution. And the white army has effectively used retaliations to rally the youth. The civil war and the split of splm/spla led to increase in available weapons and ammunitions. The white army has been implicated in the eastern Dinka (Bor) massacre of 1991.

The group only form of organization is dictated by their affiliation to their own sub-clans. Their success in warfare depends mainly on their loyalty to each other. And this loyalty, while at times earned, is mainly determined by members sub-clan bond. Their common war strategy is the “Charge”. This evolved from the fact that there generally were significantly more youth militia relative to available guns and ammunitions. And in order to sustain weeks or months long warfare, the white army had to capture enemies ammunitions. Thus the “charge” strategy. It is a simple yet an effective survival strategy. The strategy is highly dependent on the number of members in the group; the larger the group the more effective the strategy. Once ammunitions have been secured, warfare strategies are laid out. These strategies are generally complex and very sophisticated. Factors such as geographic conditions, weather conditions, supplies, exit strategies and enemy’s war strategies are discussed. A comprehensive study is required in launching an attack. In short the modern “white army” operates very much like the modern military.

After the signing of the CPA in 2006, the government made some efforts to disarm the white army. But due to the then upcoming immigration season- search of green pastures for cattle-some members of the militia refused to be disarmed. The white army was adamant that the Murle tribe and the Dinka tribe be disarmed first. At the time the government had neither established a mechanism for disarmament nor earned the trust of tribal elders.

For example, in the summer of 2006, as the Nuer from Yuai were preparing to immigrate towards Ayod, the SPLA decided to disarmed them. The White army, however, argued that they needed their weapons to protect their cattle from the Murle and the Dinka-Bor. They asked that those two tribes be disarmed first. War ensued and the result was devastating for the SPLA (more than 100 soldiers lost their lives) as the SSDF- a rebel group- and some local civilians joined the white army in resisting disarmament. Wut Nyang- a self-proclaimed prophet for the white army- was killed during these conflicts. The white army responded by attacking SPLA basis in Nyandit- a small village near Akobo. The SPLA retaliated and the fight that ensued resulted in the death of more than 500 people. Mistrust was then established between the white army and the government under Pres. Kiir.

During the disarmament period, the president did not consult widely and did not take the necessary steps needed for proper disarmament. Tribal warfare, particularly over cattle and grazing lands, has been a part of South Sudan for centuries. The dissolution of such an archaic institutions cannot be carried out haphazardly. Forceful disarmament should be the last option on the table; instead the government used force at the very onset. The government should have been patient. It should have first made a deal with SSDF and integrate them into the military, then consult with the local Dinka-Bor, Murle and the Nuer elders, laws on disarmament should then have been passed in parliament.

The president should have given local commanders and senior military members the go-ahead to disarm their tribe members. There were a lot of costly missteps in the disarmament process. The result has been the distrust of the government by the white army. The members of the white army, as of now, have opportunistically joined Machar’s forces causing mass casualties for the SPLA and lengthening the current crisis in South Sudan.

Following the independence of South Sudan in 2011 from Sudan, the president did not take advantage of the excitement, the tribal unity and the good will from the international community to address these problems.. The president’s fear of Machar’s ambition, made him undertake undemocratic means to silent his critics and political rivals. In doing so, the president weakened the fabric on which South Sudan could have been established. The president must, therefore, be held accountable for the current crisis in the country.

Under Pres. Kiir south Sudan has become the infamous (African) “…black man on bended knees with an AK47 in one hand, a begging bowl in the other and the details of a Swiss bank account sticking out of his back pocket”.

Kiir’s New Titles: Ex-president, Liar & Divider-in-Chief of Cattle camp Republic

BY: JUSTIN KWAJE, South Sudan, DEC/08/2014, SSN;

What is happening in the newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan must be traced back on the focal singular holder of all and absolute powers in this new country, which is now in a state of utter confusions. The volcanic eruption, which started on 15th December 2013, can be traced back in the early days of the liberation movement in 1991 and the reconciliation, which followed, between Dr John Garang and Dr Riek Machar.

The president of the Republic and Current chair of the SPLM, by invoking the event of 1991 and labelling Machar as power hungry and worst, the prophet of doom, have insulted that reconciliation. It was opening up an old and healed wound.

In our African cultures once the elders of the community settles grievances, it is a taboo to go back to it and revisiting such brings bad omen and a curse in the family.

Kiir’s opportunistic and divisive reference to 1991 was diversionary after he failed to solve political differences within his ruling party, just as he was not able to rule this country without decrees; he was not able to chair his own party peacefully and resorted to the use of force!

Kiir therefore is a total failure in regards to the country, his party as well as commanding his military and tribal militia.

All south Sudanese of good will must condemn Kiir and he must take full responsibility for undermining that crucial reconciliation in our nation’s history that brought John Garang and Riek Machar together which paved the way for our independence without which we could have not achieved a country of our own.

It was Kirr who undid what was achieved by opening the Pandora’s box and brought the curse that comes with revisiting the forbidden, which now is destroying and consuming up our nation.

The question all need to ask is, was Kiir not in favor of that reconciliation for him to open up that which was buried? Was he not the one who selected Riek as his deputy? Or was it purely power hunger and ambition rather than efforts for brotherhood?

It is now clear that it was purely a calculated bid to power with a hidden agenda right from day one when he assumed the position of late Dr John Garang after the tragic helicopter crash in 2005.

So Kiir faked brotherhood and fooled the nation with this, we can rightly conclude, Kiir has integrity issues!

To the millions of South Sudanese, Garang’s death was seen as devastation, great lost for the liberation movement, but now retrospectively, to Kiir, this was the beginning to build his dynasty.

Today as Kiir labels Dr Machar’s group as power hungry, this very description instead suits best Kiir’s very own ascend to power, as we all recall, Kiir himself tried with his Gogrial boys to assassinate late Dr John Garang in Rumbek.

Those who doubt this, has he not now sidelined the so-called Garang’s boys even humiliate Dr Garang’s own Widow? Could it be because Garang’s legacy eclipsed Kirr’s own and does not allow Kiir to shine through? So who is power hungry here?

Having asked such, it must be said that craving power in itself must not be made to look evil, it is how one seeks it, as long as one seeks it democratically as those opposed to Kiir were doing until he lied on them and threw them in Jail and into rebellion.

There is nothing wrong to desire power. What is wrong is what one does with power. In Kiir’s case although we the people have given it to him, he has totally abused it.

Who are the victim of this recent Kiir’s abuse of power as seen in this violence instigated by him? The main victims are Nuer in Juba, but who were main victim of the retaliation revenge attacked launched by Nuer?

Majority of the people who died in Jonglei state are Dinka Bor, whom Kirr wants to annihilate due to his hatred towards Garang. The result of this killing and instigations has been felt as far away from Bor as in Nimule hundred kilometers away.

Nimule which has already reached a boiling point due to insecurity caused by illegal Dinka Bor IDP, and new influx are pouring in Nimule, this will soon open up another ethnic issue as the Dinka are coming along with their cows and are armed to teeth with AK 47s and heavy Machine guns.

Why do they come for safety all the way to Nimule? Are these not the same brave Dinka who have been piling insult on the Ma’di people as cowards, and they the brave are now fleeing to safety to the land of the cowards?

Why not stay in Bor and defend you lands? Is it not evident that the peaceful ways of the Ma’di people and Equatoria in general, makes our country safe and is the best way for South Sudan?

Or we should all deal with each other through insults and guns?

The successive fall of Jonglei, Unity State and Upper Nile indicates that Mr. Kiir tribal gangs have lost allies with immediate neighboring fellow countrymen, and now public trust in Kiir’s leadership has sunken.

Any president who is afraid of his people’s democratic rights and exercises is not a leader of the people. Since Mr. Kiir is afraid of the people who called for democratic reforms within SPLM, he has lost public trust.

History will remember him as a president who lies and who practises divisive policies by opening old wounds to pit one section of his nation against another.

Mr. Kiir, that is and that will be your legacy.

Many Children are and will be fatherless because of your lies and because of what you are doing!

The glorious praise the people of South Sudan have given you for leading us through independence will now not be inscribed on your grave stone.

What I would like to see is, you Kiir, go to The Hague to be tried for committing genocide against your own people.

The president and his vice president James Wani Igga and their cronies went into a campaign of disinformation and lies, instead of accepting democratic reforms they opted for a war on his political opponents.

This act of Mr. Kiir and the old school generals clearly shows that they knew they had no chance against Dr Machar in an organized free and fair elections, therefore the only workable tool left at their disposal was to accuse Dr Machar and his colleagues who are champion of our independence as “coup plotters” in order to rid himself of them and assassinate them.

Kiir has no honesty to give the people of South Sudan an accurate account about what triggered the violence on the streets of Juba on December 15th 2013. Kiir should give the precise number of the civilians massacred in Juba by his militias who are not part of any armed group or of our national army.

Kiir should give an account as to why such private militias are created and exclusively from his own ethnic tribe the Dinka, more especially Dinka Bahr el Gazel and warrap states?

The recent violence in our country without any doubt has divided our national army along their ethnicity, not surprising as he started this by the exclusive tribal militia he recruited along tribal lines.

Thus it is Kirr, the very person who divided us along tribal lines not the opposition who are from many tribes including his tribe, the Dinka. So who stands for Unity? Is it Kirr or the opposition?

The distrust among our national army will only deepened, and we can only conclude at this particular time Kiir has a handful of true friends left, and the majority of those who are still standing with Kiir are simply either fearful for their lives or protecting livelihood, as Kiir is known by his decrees to kick out anyone who is opposed to him.

Notice for more 20 times in 2013, Kiir has issued decrees, thus almost twice a month, he by chance President, has added other tittles, the president of decrees, the distinguished liar and divider-in-chief.

Instead of surrounding Himself with intellectuals who can help him rule democratically, Kirr surrounded himself with People like the VP Wani Igga who has no clue of what he is doing and is simply a puppet/comedian.

The president uses this good-for-nothing, non-Dinka to fool the country. He is using the non-Dinka as decoy but all the consequential powers are given to the Dinka.

Clear example can be seen when Kiir recruited his militias called Presidential guards, they were recruited without consent of Gen. Chief of staff, Mr Jame Hoth Mai, who is non-Dinka, and another example was during the recent violence in Juba again, Mr Kiir deployed the militias to actions without any approval from Gen. Chief of staff James Hoth Mai, which also showed criminal intents.

Yet in a modern state military undertakings passes through the chief of staff, but Kiir has been seen bypassing the chains of commands, by authorizing Dinka junior officers over non Dinka senior officers.

Kiir is, therefore the divider rather than one who unites our many tribes, making him a good Dinka Chief for a cattle camp in Warrap State, but not for South Sudan.

This must not be tolerated for a father who favors one child over the rest is risking that child’s life; in the Bible we read the consequence of Jacob favoring Joseph. This current tactic employed by Kiir will further isolate the Dinka and will create unbalanced powers and yield oppressions.

Kiir tribalism even extends to how he handles corruption scandals; in 2010 Josephine Lagu was accused of stealing sum of 200.000 U$, though there was no evidence provided, her name was defamed publicly, She was tarnished and lost her job.

While the 75 Ministers mainly from Dinka, accused of embezzling billions of U$ are still walking free and their names never publicly revealed. That is the degree of how a Dinka Cattle chief Kiir has always been.

This is clear evidence that Kiir only takes hard lines towards Non-Dinka while none towards his tribal gangs. Unless this issue of favoring Dinkas by the President is halted, it will be impossible and we shall never achieve viable democratic South Sudan where all 64 ethnic groups can coexist without violence given the predatory behaviors of the Dinka towards other tribes and their lands.

In conclusion, the so-called failed coup attempt was a malicious plan, by Kiir to silence his opponents from standing against him in the coming election.

Now that he pushed Dr Machar into the bush, Kiir is using what he called “failed coup attempt” to discredit Dr Machar so that the people of South Sudan will see Riek as someone who is striving for power.

But Kiir underestimates the intelligence of the South Sudanese people who have seen through his gimmicks.

Mr. president, in democratic world when you have lost popularity, the only thing for you to do to preserve your legacy is hand over the power to someone within your party or call for fresh elections to see whether people still have trust in you.

If you say the so-called Coup plotters are in the wrong, why not call for an early fair elections and see it for yourself?

Unfortunately you chose to resolve small issue by using our national army.

Sir this is not what we aspired for, the dream of the people of south Sudan is to live in democracy. When late John Garang said he has brought us peace on a golden plate, he meant he brought us freedom of expression, equality, justice, and liberty, not repression, torture, the killings of opinion writers like Isaiah Abraham, unjust imprisonment of your comrades and now the deaths of our valiant SPLA soldiers left and right in the hands of their very own brothers!

I am profoundly sick with your behavior, Do you have any idea how many of your very own countrymen have died and will continued to die until you alone do the right thing and call it quit?



Therefore since you cannot wear the shoes of our late leader, you must step down and go AWAY.

Justin Kwaje
Juba South Sudan
Profoundly sick and tired of Kiir running down my country

South Sudan Academics’ letter to Donald Booth: Resolution to current crisis

January 7, 2014
Attention: Lucy Tamlyn, Director,
Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Washington, D.C.

JAN/08/2014, SSN;
Mr. Donald Booth
U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. Booth:
We, the undersigned South Sudanese academics, wish to acknowledge and commend you for the active role you are playing in finding a resolution to the tragic events currently unfolding in South Sudan.

The long suffering people of South Sudan, like any other people on earth, deserve better from their leaders. We suggest a short term and a long term approach to end the current tragedy.

In the short term, pressure must be brought to bear on the warring leaders of South Sudan to enter into immediate and unconditional ceasefire arrangements. Once a ceasefire and monitoring mechanisms have been agreed upon, any long term solution, in our view, should include:

1. Restructuring of the Army (SPLA).
This is essential to the realisation of long term stability in South Sudan. Currently, the two major communities – the Nuer and the Dinka – constitute more than two-thirds of the army, at all levels. Any of the two can hold the country at ransom, as recent events have demonstrated.

In the interest of long-term stability, the three greater regions of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr el Gazhal, should be equally represented in the armed forces.

This is a tried formula that held well in 1972, following the Addis Ababa Accord. At that time, while Equatoria alone could have supplied two-thirds of the absorbed Anyanya forces, for the sake of stability the leadership at that time in its wisdom decided to absorb 2000 soldiers per region.

Restructuring the army in this manner would aid the process of professionalizing and de-politicising the army. At present, the army’s loyalty seems to lie mostly with the SPLM party, rather than with the state of South Sudan.

2. National Dialogue.
It is important, in our view, that the discussions in Ethiopia be followed
by a National Conference where representatives of all stakeholders would be invited. The relevant stakeholders include all the political parties, church leaders, youth and women organisations, veterans groups, and various other civil society groups.

The problems facing South Sudan are national and thus require a comprehensive approach.

If need be, a transitional government headed by technocrats should be put in place with the mandate to organise the forthcoming election, reorganise the army, and conduct a national census.

3. South African Type of Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The institution of such a commission would help to heal the deep wounds of hurt following the unspeakable violence and destruction and help to restore a sense of trust between the various nationalities in South Sudan.

The choice of the chair is important. There are few individuals with the moral authority to chair such a body in South Sudan. The natural choice would be Emeritus Bishop Paride Taban, who stands morally head and shoulders above everybody else in South Sudan.

In the absence of the Emeritus Bishop, or other South Sudanese religious leader of high moral standing, it may be necessary to recruit someone from outside the country for this purpose.

4. Overhaul of the civil service. There is great need for a professional civil service, where appointments mirror experience and objective qualifications, rather than the current sense of entitlement based upon an individual’s perceived role in the liberation struggle.

Unless the civil service is reformed in this manner, the delivery of much needed services to South Sudan’s citizens will remain elusive; in turn, leading to dissatisfaction and possible civil and political unrest.

5. Constitutional Review. The current Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan needs to be thoroughly revised with the aim of reigning in the excess powers given to the President, which includes wide discretion to fire elected governors.

A fixed term of office for the President must be enshrined in the constitution. A fixed term may have help to avert the current power struggle between the incumbent and the deputy. The absence of a fixed term means that there is no definite entry point for any aspiring leader and creates undue political uncertainty.

Additional constitutional measures include strengthening individual rights, enacting greater separation of powers than now exists among the branches of government in South Sudan, and empowering the judicial and legislative branches.

6. Investigation into the Killings. We call upon the international community to ensure that a thorough investigation is undertaken into the reports of ethnically motivated killings of people of
any national origin in all the theatres of war: Juba, Jonglei, Unity State, Upper Nile and any other areas.

Anyone found guilty should be made to feel the full wrath of the rule of law, even if this means being referred to the Hague.

Thank you very much for your time and effort.

Yours Sincerely,
Dr. Mairi Blackings
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow UK.

Professor Laura Nyantung Beny
University of Michigan