Archive for: March 2014

Do we really need democracy in South Sudan?

BY: BOL PHILLIP, JUBA, MAR/05/2014, 2014, SSN;

Democracy, as a political ideology, has its own set of prerequisites that are necessary for establishing and maintaining democratic norms and principles in any society.

These prerequisites for democracy are such simple things as the rule of law, the constitution, literate and politically aware constituencies, registered political parties, strong government institutions and the middle class, which is always the backbone of any democracy – just to mention but a few.

In the context of South Sudan, which is totally lacking the most basic ingredients of democracy, let alone the abundance of renegade generals who only know how to give and receive orders and wage wars as military leaders.

The realization of democracy will continue to remain elusive in South Sudan for some time until the most basic prerequisites for democracy are first and foremost met and established in the new nation, regardless of who is the president.

As I have said before, there are no short-cuts in any democracy. As such, rebellions and military coups will not only take us off the democratic path, but actually exacerbate the whole political, social and economic situation in the country, which is totally unnecessary and uncalled for at the moment.

It is obvious and indisputable, even to the most undiscerning mind, that the government of South Sudan (GoSS), along with the SPLM party, have enormously failed as a government in terms of the delivery of basic services to the citizens of this great nation.

However, that does not justify any acts of rebellion, insurgency or a bloody revolution in the name of democracy in our new nation state, especially when the general elections are just around the corner next year in 2015.

As such, any kind of desirable political reforms and leadership change in South Sudan, now or in the future, must only come through peaceful and nonviolent transfer of power, period.

In fact, military coups, ethnic rebellions and bloody revolutions are nothing but the exact opposites of democracy, which is the last thing we need in South Sudan right now given the state of our national affairs in the current sensitive political dispensation of our time, especially in the post-conflict era.

Further, as we are all cognizant of the political culture in South Sudan, which is highly characterized by nepotism, tribalism, corruption and incompetence, it is needless to say that the ruling SPLM party in South Sudan has failed, both collectively and individually in terms of its members, to deliver the most basic services to our citizens – both in the rural and urban centers.

Hence, it is acceptable and understandable at the moment for anybody in South Sudan to ask or demand for a new political leadership in the country.

Personally, I totally agree with any South Sudanese who would like to see good governance and the immediate delivery of basic services to all the people of South Sudan, both in rural and urban centers; a simple demand that, if it is not met, will also lead to another simple demand for a new political leadership.

Having said that, however, I must also add that I totally disagree with anybody who believes that power transfer or power consolidation can be achieved through the use of political violence and any other means – military or otherwise – that have the potential to destroy our beloved new nation within two short years of its hard won independence.

In short, we must put the national interest of our nation above and beyond our narrow and selfish personal interest, as we move forward as a nation to forge a new beginning and a better future that is promising and inclusive of everybody, regardless of our tribes, region, religion, gender and political orientation.

Furthermore, as human beings have learned, since time immemorial, that “putting the cart before the horse”, so to speak, does not work in practical terms, it follows here that anybody who demands for democracy without the provision of the basic requirements (prerequisites) of democracy is basically naïve, ignorant and unrealistic in both practical and political terms.

According to the old wise adage, “Rome was not built in a day”; and therefore the question begs itself: what makes ordinary South Sudanese citizens, along with our immature politicians, think that South Sudan can build its democracy within two short years of its hard won independence?

Once again, we have to remember the key words in talking about democracy: it is a very slow, long and complex process that requires time, patience, education, cooperation and determination from us as a people and political leaders. So what is all this fuss about and the rush for?

In light of all of these facts and trends mentioned above, do we need democracy and freedom of speech right now or do we really need, first and foremost, the delivery of the most basic services in our cities and rural areas?

In our political discourse in South Sudan, I personally think that focus and priority should be given to issues related to health, education and the basic socio-economic infrastructure of our country.

In other words, let us laser focus on building good and strong schools, colleges, universities, clinics, hospitals, government institutions and tarmac roads that connect our urban centers with our rural areas, including our inner cities, such that the movement of people and transit goods is made safe, smooth and possible.

Yes, “a human being is a political animal” by nature, and hence, “a government is a necessary evil without which communities cannot co-exist and live in peace”, according to the ancient Greek philosophers.

But to a naked, starved and a dying man or woman, the most urgent and desirable thing is food, clothes and a shelter (a house) where he or she can take refuge.

The last thing that will ever come to his or her mind is democracy and freedom of speech.

If we were to talk to any man or woman or even a child who was hiding in the bushes in and around Bor, Bentiu and Malakal over the last few weeks during the time of the raging battles in those towns, they will definitely tell us that the most important thing right now is peace, security, food and clean drinking water.

We will never hear any of them mentioning the word democracy or freedom of speech, which are the very same two words that have caused their immense sufferings in South Sudan so far.

To be precise, a few greedy and reckless South Sudanese politicians decided that it is high time for change in political leadership of this new nation – by hook or by crook – without any consideration for the consequences of their words and actions.

And now, ten thousand people are already dead and one million people have already become internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees once again in this senseless ethnic violence because of their narrow, selfish and personal political aspirations.

We definitely need a paradigm shift in terms of how we do politics as usual in South Sudan, which is always characterized by ruthless violence and wanton destruction of properties and towns.

In conclusion, our politicians need to learn to conduct politics in a civilized, peaceful and nonviolent way in South Sudan, such that their words and actions do not undermine the national security and sovereignty of our beloved South Sudan, as well as the unity of our diverse people.

As political leaders and people of South Sudan, we need to renounce militarization of politics and condemn the use of political violence in our political discourse for the greater benefit of our people and nation – both in the short and long term.

National elections are due next year in 2015, so why can’t we just wait for that patiently and peacefully?
God Bless South Sudan!

Bol Philip
A concerned South Sudanese citizen
Email: bol5@hotmail.com
Juba, CE, Republic of South Sudan

South Sudan infected with failed state syndrome

BY: Juliana Akin Bobson, Rumbek, South Sudan, MAR/05/2014, SSN;

The worrisome and unfortunate question being asked nationally and internationally, is South Sudan a failed state? Why is it important for us to ask these questions?

It is because, this question obliges us to identify the elements that made South Sudan a failed state, and in turn this perhaps is where we may find the solutions in the quest of the restoration process.

In the road to seeking answers, we are forced to find out what constitutes a failed state and how does a failed state look like?

If indeed it is, how did our country reach or achieve failures?Though there is no concrete definition of a failed states, there are, however, common characteristic consistent in all the worlds ranking failed states and below are some few:

• States that amass power and abuse its mandate in turn assaulting its institutions that guards and advocate democracy. This is the sure indicator the state is heading towards collapse, this is where the slippery slope begins, and this is the first violation. We see in South Sudan nearly all the institutions that advocate democracy are deactivated, rendered worthless in favor of a one man’s show and this is what is currently consuming us in Republic of South Sudan.

• When state loses control over its territory, resorts to the use of physical force (state security) to repress its citizens as means of governance rather than democratic tools and consensus.

• Conversions of states functions into a one man business rather than a collective approach and abolition of citizen participation rather than wider consultations in matters of public interests.

• Inability to provide public services, to include; schools, hospitals, roads, clean water etc.

• Inability to interact with other states fully as a member of the international community.

• Loss of legitimacy over Social and political structures, such that they function outside the margin of the established structures.

• Prominence of warlords and militias and their grip on the state because the national army is not able to function as an entity or doesn’t exist.

• When the country’s economy is barely functioning, and looking for loans from other states.

Where does South stands against the eight points mentioned above? As an infant country, in 2013 United State think tank group, fund for peace, ranked South Sudan the 4th failed states in the world, South Sudan only scored below Somalia, Afghanistan and Democratic Republic of Congo.

This ranking came at the time South Sudan was preparing to celebrate its second birthday of independence from Khartoum. Not only South Sudan is ranked number four, in companies of some of the worlds chronically failed states, but South Sudan was also ranked number five among the most corrupt countries after it had become the newest country to join the family of United Nations.

Before we think this is a very harsh judgment on our country, we should be reminded that South Sudan Judges her own people even harsher, ponder on the following:

Do we have abuses, assaults on media, press and ordinary people who want to advocate for democracy and rules of law in South Sudan?

Have we not seen journalists and opinion writers, killed, jailed, disappeared or tortured by the government of President Salva Kiir? Yes we do, without denial cold-blooded murder of Isaiah Abraham was one of the most destabilizing assault and darkest moment in our young history as a country and on freedom of expression.

What about the constant threats issued by the states security on the owners of the citizen newspaper, and Juba monitor?

If indeed then a failed state is, one that abuse its power and assault its population, and repress the media, prevent justice for aggrieved citizens, then there is no doubt therefore that ours is a failed state and cannot be spared and exempted from the harsh reality of categorizing it as a failed state.

Just less than three weeks ago the chief whip who is tasked with committee of MP that oversees the armed forces and security, for the first time, at the national legislative assembly, acknowledged the huge defection of south Sudan SPLA army to join the armed group rebels led by former vice president Dr Riek Machar.

According to this individual up to 70% of South Sudan national army have switched side to armed rebels group under the leadership Dr Riek Machar.

Even the notorious interior minister Gen. Alue Ayieny Alue, echoed that his ministry is left without enough police and even the very senior officers defected.

My people since this based on the testimonies of this very senior members of the ruling party, essentially they have lost control over its armed forces up to 70%, for the sake of truth, if it still matter, should we accept the fact that South Sudan in this regards by definition is a failed state?

We have spotted uncle James Wani Igga without rational thinking, lashed out, laying blames on the international community for characterized South Sudan as a failed and corrupt state.

This is only being shortsighted and burying his head in the sand concerning the vice President who agree to become the vice president at the time the state is/was already fatally inflicted with the deadly poison of corruption scandals, repression, tortured, injustice on non Dinka and unprecedented killings and disappearing of ordinary citizens at the hands of state security apparatus.

Now with current defection figure standing at up to 70%, acknowledged by a member of security leaders, it has become clear that South Sudan is a failed state. Evidently the Kiir led government, which by now should have resigned, wishes to fail even deeper as it hired for money the Uganda army to fight for him in order to keep him in power even though he is incompetent to lead us to 2015 elections.

During his speech in the rally organized by SPLA youth league, Mr. Kiir has for the first time, accept publicly that he has tried to run private militias and he blamed the people he referred to as “other people” whom the president said have denied salaries and guns to his private militias during their time of training in Luri outside Juba, though he referred to his private militias, as reserve army.

This is yet another lie coming from a president who now is a habitual liar!

If indeed these are army reservist, shouldn’t their recruitments have come through the office of general chief of staff?

In functional and legitimate governments of the world, reservist are activated only and armed when the state is at war, but at the time the president created and activated this militia, South Sudan was not at a war.

What about the cases of militia leaders operating parallel and running their own private government and nobody knows where their funding is coming from and who is sponsoring them.

And since the government in Juba is not able to control the warlords in Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei states before Juba incident of December 15 2013 in which more 2000 Nuer community were murdered by Kiir own private militias, doesn’t this yet again shows that South Sudan is not able to control the armed groups within her sovereign territories, therefore this constitute to a failed state?

What about the very much-needed services? Have we ever seen tangible service deliverance by this government of Kiir since he has assumed power in 2005?

Isn’t his government even incapable of collect garbage/trash and keep the city clean and healthy?

Where has the billions of donated and oil money gone? Do we have any well-established hospital running with full capacity to treat our dying children from easily preventable malaria? Or now at least for treating our youth wounded in the battlefield.

Have we seen any state run university that performs with deserved standards? Haven’t we witnessed the rich and middle class sending their children to Uganda for better education?

The gap between the poor and rich is visible seen in the houses they live in and the cars they drive, the ministers, directors, governors and senior civil servants can easily be differentiated from the poor by the visible big bellies while the poor that need the services of their government are seen skinny bonny and wasting away.

Since the state is not able to run the most needed public services mentioned above, this confirmed without doubt that our country is rightfully ranked among the failed states.

Uncle Wani Igga, the comedian, should by now know that he is the vice president of a failed state of South Sudan.

As the argument above shows, It is beyond doubt our country is rightly categorized as a member of disgraced failed sates, so it is up to you the readers to come with the grip, that this our nations realities.

This therefore being the case, the journey is downward unless we hold the bull by the horns, Should we fail to do so, It should take no one by surprise if we reach to the following scenarios!

1. South Sudan falling on its own weight and shattering into three regions.
2. The most violent states of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile, will reduce itself into dust in terms of complete collapse of human resources and utter destruction of the already non-existent infrastructures. This is already in the working as we have seen already most of the buildings were reduced into rubles and debris. Unless the constant change of hands between the rebels and the government stops, this is inevitable!

We will see in two years time the three violent states will become like Mogadishu. While the other state in Bahr El Ghanzal will also experience violence because the white army will not cease their constant hostility against Kiir’s own state in retaliations to Kiir’s massacre and genocide on the Nuer people.

3. And finally, in my opinion the greater Equatorial region, if it keeps on its current neutrality, we can see it eventually becoming the Somaliland of south Sudan, but this can only be achieved when leaders like governor Luis Lobong have changed his attitude of being a puppet of the dictatorial government of Kiir.

There is, therefore, no questions left and no denials, that we are shamefully ranked number 4 among the world’s disgraced failed states, consequently we can see the results of this failure, but yet the president who wants to remain in the country’s top job, though he is the one who derailed this country, sees no reason even for an interim government, that is how oblivious this government is.

He continues to do business as usual; from January to February 2014, he has already issued at least two republican decrees instead of realizing you cannot run a country by decrees.

Now the failed president blindly allowed the foreign military (UPDF) to use one of the most prohibited ammunition in conventional wars. Remains of cluster bombs were found by UN demining team along Juba-Bor road where fighting took place between SPLA, her foreign mercenaries and Rebels forces.

The dictator, who resorts to killing his own people, is therefore a monster head of a criminal state, for that is what a failed state is, contrary to the argument of legitimacy, rendering Kiir a failed president of a failed state.

I have washed my hands and leave the rest for you my fellow beloved country people; we have enough of this president, I therefore join with the voice of peace loving people, and called for cessation of hostility in order for peace to reign.

This is possible with interim government without Kiir.

AUTHOR
Juliana Akin Bobson,
Rumbek South Sudan

The Fragile Peace Talks in Addis Ababa: An Analysis

QUOTE: “A party of order or stability [status quo], and a party of progress or reform [change], are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life”, Stuart Mill.

BY: Deng Bachech, ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, MAR/05/2014, SSN;

Many opinion writers, political commentators and analysts have written a lot on this same issue since peace talks started on 23 January in Addis Ababa. But I feel like adding my voices too on current debates in South Sudan’s conflict because the talks are still going on.

In fact, the peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia are here to settle the differences and resolve the current conflict between the South Sudanese government and anti-government forces.

Initially, the cessation of hostilities, the release of political prisoners and the withdrawal Ugandan troops from South Sudan were key agendas in the first phase of the talks since January 23 (two or so months ago).

As we speak, none of these agendas ever adequately implemented.

Furthermore, on the February 26, the peace mediators (IGAD/AU and other partners) came up with another sound but difficult “proposal” that might hypothetically attempt to extinguish the raging fire of violence in the country: “An interim government formation”.

And the proposal stated that, both Salva Kiir and Riek Machar would be excluded from the upcoming interim administration.

The reason is that, that new interim administration will set up democratic process for 2015 elections, pave way for national healing for peace and reconciliation, establish credible institutions, etc.

In addition, the rationale behind the refusal of Kiir and Machar in a newly proposed interim government is that, both are allegedly accused of human rights abuses and crimes against humanity.

You see, judged from a different standpoint of the timeframe, credibility, and reliability of the peace mediators and the warring parties, one can sense a failure. It is a conspicuously fragile, condescending peace.

I. The Role of the Mediators

For the records, I was in the battlefield in Upper Nile State since conflict began in Malakal (24 December 2013). I was there until I left on the 29th January and arrived in Addis Ababa on February 6th, 2014. Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, I made careful and critical observations of the peace process.

Then, I again made prudent analysis on actual issues and trends of the talks; and comparatively, I reviewed my diary and the way things truly are on the ground. As a result, I sensed a real fear in the success of the talks.

As I had first-hand accounts of the situation (in Addis Ababa and down there in the field), I concluded that failure of the talks is inevitable.

To me, the mediators aren’t serious. If indeed they are, why previous agendas on the peace-table—release of detainees and Ugandan troops withdrawal—never been implemented.

Before they (mediators) finished the first phase, they came up with a “new interim government” initiative. Doing so many things at a go is a complex and risk business, to say the least. It wastes time, energy and resources.

Here are important signs of a perceived fear; and potential obstacles that will inevitably impede efficient and effective implementation of the IGAD/AU mediated peace talks.

1. The mediators didn’t do a fieldwork and an outreach initiative at the grassroots level.

In principle, mediators should know that the current peace talks are fragile—I mean, all peace settlements anywhere are always hard to make and build, but are easy to dishonor if not studied carefully.

Like all nations in Africa, South Sudanese map is arbitrary. Its ethnic diversity is very fluid. As such, it is better that the mediators should first understand their ethnic characteristics and compositions—their own values, traditions, virtues, practices, norms and identities.

More importantly, in a word, understand their political history as a nation-state.

Otherwise, if current peace will be imposed on ordinary citizens (notably the victimized) from the above, and the mediators are trying to push changes rather quickly, while they haven’t considered the effects of such changes, then the whole thing will be in trouble and ultimately will backfire inadvertently.

For example, during 2-months peace process, no initiative made to keep the general public at the grassroots abreast of peace talks and the significance of peace itself.

Now their grievances are still not addressed adequately, because they weren’t informed nor invited! As citizens of this nation, we aren’t pretty much concerned about the settling of political differences between politicians of one party (SPLM); but about the issue of appalling “Injustices” inflicted and how it can be reversed.

So, how credible, reliable and sustainable can peace be negotiated with one group (the elites), leaving out the others (the ordinary citizens)?

Such a model of top-bottom approach in peace-making may have a successful results in short-term but destructive in the long run.

Remember the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) negotiations in 2005! The current approaches and mechanisms of the talks are replicas of the CPA. If examined closely and critically, the current conflict is a result of unaddressed old political grievances during the CPA.

To be precise, the term “Comprehensive” in the CPA was misplaced because the participants at the time were only from the educated and Nairobi urban-dwelling folks of South Sudanese origin, and it excluded the downtrodden mass in the South.

Nowadays, these ordinary citizens aren’t stupid and ignorant; they feel the pains directly; they know their rights. Therefore, they must be involved to directly express their grievances, not through the mouths of politicians. In short, we don’t want a repeat of CPA mistake.

2. Here is a concrete example. A future interim government minus Dr. Riek Machar will be quite a problem. Why? In the entire Nuerland, as per my personal experiences and knowledge of the Nuer people—particularly the overwhelming majority—all they know is Dr. Riek as their leader. Any rise of another leader (be it a Nuer or otherwise), at any rate, will not probably be a wise choice for them. Machar is considered a “Nuer Messiah.” Dismiss it or accept it, as the whole truth; but this is what it is.

3. Here in Addis Ababa, peace talks on the “SPLM-In-Opposition” side are negotiated exclusively by politicians, especially the “Group of Seven (7)” and sometimes they called themselves as the “Third Party”—the seven recently released detainees—plus Taban Deng, the chief negotiator. Agreeably, this group from the public point of view, they regrettably lost touch with reality on the ground. Their performances in the talks are understandably satisfactory, but their motives are questionably precarious.

4. Therefore, talks by now are neither comprehensive nor inclusive, if one has a sound intellectual and political understanding of what it means to make peace. In fact, during the whole process, the most prominent and knowledgeable civil society figures, who are supposed to have positive inputs, are utterly excluded from the talks. I don’t know whether it is by default or by design. Nobody knows!

II. The Juba Reluctance to Yield Peace

The Juba government of President Salva Kiir is very adamant not to give peace a chance. Remember when the peace mediators proposed a formation of interim administration, which excluded him (the president Kiir and his ex-vice president Machar).

He flatly rejected the proposal, claiming that he was still a legitimate, democratically elected president by the people with 93% votes during 2010 elections, on one hand.

On the other hand, the opposition team of Machar instead accepted the proposal, but if and only if the Ugandan troops withdraw and four remaining political detainees released.

So still, despite the promises of sustainable peace to prevail in the young country, the reluctant Salva Kiir, the president of the Republic, refused peace.

1. He still harbors, finances and uses Ugandan mercenaries to do his dirty work—massacre of his own citizens.
2. He refuses to release other detained political prisoners in his custody. Ignorantly always citing insolent constitution of the land that the detainees should await a “fair trial”or go through legal “due process” to determine their fate, if at all they committed a treason or not. Laughable due process at best!

With Salva Kiir being a head of state and with his current state of mind, he should go home and rest—to have a piece of mind. The sooner, the better however complicated as it may.

Because, I think, resignation of the head of state is not new in history. Now if he does heroically and peacefully resign, he may personally have a piece of mind and indeed preserve his half-tainted legacy.

And more important, the South Sudanese public and the international community, who accused him of human rights abuses and crimes against humanity, would have a second look.

Analytically, I suspect, resignation would be a bitter pill for president Kiir to swallow, although he is indeed in the state of a deep psychological, moral and political dilemma at this hour. Why?

First, a president’s resignation will not be an easy proposition, knowing that most, if not all, African leaders are power-addicts. They want to remain in power at any cost, and so does Kiir.

Second, the Ugandan mercenaries are his backbone in this fight against the rebels. Telling them to go home to Kampala, he would obviously be a spineless Commander-in-Chief afterward, because the rebel forces may in no time reach Juba; and his grip on power will ultimately be shaken.

Third, the release of the remaining political detainees poses another potential danger for him because if he let them loose, he never knows what the guys will do later once they are out.

Fourth, Kiir has another claim. He was elected democratically with 93% by the people during 2010 general elections. Logic abounds, by current constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, his powers lost legitimacy long ago. General elections of 2010 were prior the independence of South Sudan in 2011.

Besides, people voted overwhelming (not for Kiir’s sake), but rather for fear of the impending referendum failure. They did that to show their Southern unity and separation from Jalaba North.

In addition, the election’s playing field wasn’t a conducive environment; no contestants so far, except Kiir.

Lam Akol, who garnered 3% of the votes, competed for presidency but was constantly intimidated, harassed and was refused entry to Juba during election campaign period, but was only set free to go polls at last minutes.

Finally all things being equal, in a real democracy, the killing of his own people, the voters who once elected him with 97% votes, alone de-legitimized Salva Kiir leadership as a responsible leader. The people don’t consider him now as a legitimate president but a brute.

III. Conclusion & Recommendations

This current crisis not only cost many lives, brought indescribable economic and social disorders, but also rekindled old ethnic and political wounds—created deep-seated mistrust and division among the people of the South Sudan.

As time goes by, it will be easy for peace to actually get signed here in Addis Ababa, but rebuilding of public trust and confidence in and among different in ethnic groups ( especially the Dinka and the Nuer) to live side by side as they used to for centuries will take time.

The Nuer and the Dinka, however, are not inherently enemies; it is all politics and power-struggle that divide the two communities.

As Martin L. King, Jr., correctly put it: “We cannot have an enlightened democracy with one group living in ignorance. We cannot have a nation orderly and sound with one group so ground down and thwarted that it is almost forced into unsocial attitude and crime.”

For that reason, the current government is ignorant; and it is to blame for this mess we are witnessing. But nothing comes for permanence.

The people are very forgiving and forgivable. All they need is a responsible, sensitive, and tolerant government.

Think of the Nazi German and German Jews (the perpetrators and the victims, respectively) during Holocaust; think of Tutsi and Hutu in Rwanda; think of Ethiopia’s Red Terror; and think of South Africa’s Apartheid.

The list of heinous atrocities committed worldwide in the past is long, but there is always time for everything.

So there is still a slight remnant of hope for the people of South Sudan to forget the past and look for the future as brothers and sisters no matter what happened.

But let’s admit that, unity and peace will not come easily from Heaven. There has to be a process—that is, through a dialogue and willingness.

Finally, in the next round of talks, for peace to prevail in the country through peaceful means, I hereby recommend these alternatives:

1. The Uganda forces must leave South Sudan territory with immediate effect.
2. Unconditional and immediate of the remaining four (4) political detainees in juba.
3. Immediate cessation of hostilities from both warring parties.
4. Urgent dispatch of East African peacekeeping troops, minus Uganda, across the country to protect civilians.
5. Immediate deployment of IGAD/AU peace experts to go and assess, survey and collect public opinions at local level to help guide the formulation of sustainable peace-building mechanisms and approaches.
6. Immediately initiate comprehensive and inclusiveness of active involvement and participation of all stakeholders in the peace process. Hence, for peace to be meaningful and to succeed uninterrupted in future, all political parties, the Diaspora, local/traditional leaders, widows, elders, youth, intellectuals, and religious leaders should be officially invited in order to participate and get involved in the peace process.
7. Immediately create broad-based independent peace and reconciliation program across the country
8. Send urgent humanitarian aid assessment team, with immediate distributions and provisions of food supplies to the affected areas across the country.
9. Lastly, if above items are put in place, then the formation of Interim Administration will follow suit; and that interim government will be administered based on the principle of Ethnic/Regional Federalism as a model adopted in Ethiopia and other countries. More important, for now, I suggest that each region must be administered and governed separately—that is, greater Upper Nile, greater Equatoria and greater Bahr el Ghazal until the environment is conducive.

The author is a Political Analyst currently based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He can be reached via Email: dbachech@hotmail.com or dyiec@hotmail.com and Mobile Phone: +251-934-285-029.

The transience of power versus permanent effects of its abuse in South Sudan

BY: Wani Tombe Lako, SOUTH SUDAN, MAR/05/2014, SSN;

From 2005 to date, the current political and military leaders, in South Sudan, have been displaying themselves to the whole world, as a group of people, who have been taken by total surprise, by the trappings of political and military powers.

From 2005 to date, the same people continue to expose their ignorance of the fact that, the powers they are enjoying are extremely transient, regardless of the number of years they shall enjoy these powers.

However, the negative and dangerous effects of these short possessed powers are going to last for a very long time, if not permanently in the minds and lives of the peoples of South Sudan.

From 2005 to date, these political and military leaders have supervised over government institutions which did not protect the lives of many South Sudanese.

Many state and non-state actors have murdered many innocent South Sudanese women, men, youth and children and none of them have been legally questioned.

Right from 2005 to date, many South Sudanese, especially in Equatoria, have had their properties including ancestral lands, on which they were living, been forcibly taken away, at gun point, from them, by state and non-state actors, while these political and military leaders looked on unconcerned.

Since 2005 to date, the current political and military leaders did not bother to provide the peoples of South Sudan with educational, health, security and all vital goods and services.

During the same time, the same leaders and their children, relatives and so on, continue to enjoy these services in foreign countries because they have the money which the majority of South Sudanese do not have, because, they are poor, and because, they have been neglected by the same leaders.

Since 2005 to date, the majority of the peoples of South Sudan have been enjoying all the good life in South Sudan, by proxy through these leaders in South Sudan.

That is, the majority of the peoples of South Sudan have been going hungry so that the few leaders can have the best food, the best cars, the best cloths, the fattest bank accounts and the best multiple holidays and foreign weddings there are.

When in December 2013 these political and military leaders of South Sudan, quarreled amongst themselves, because of their greed, over the wealth and power in South Sudan, because they have succeeded in privatizing the whole South Sudan, they turned around, and asked the starving peoples of South Sudan, to kill themselves, in the name of something called sovereignty.

It is time facts are spoken. South Sudan as human persons and land; shall not rest in peace unless we confront ourselves with the facts.

Is it not true that the current murdering of ourselves in South Sudan, using public war assets is for personal and group interests of this tiny group of monopolistic military and political leaders?

Is it not true that, the politicisation, of inherent tribal raw human hatred; between the Dinka and the Nuer tribes of South Sudan is the lethal catalyst in the current bloodletting in South Sudan?

Is it not true that, the government is not fighting the rebel group, because the peoples of South Sudan are hungry, morbid, unemployed, illiterate and innumerate, but rather, so that, the government in the form of ministers and such like can continue to rule in Juba?

Where are the comprehensive interests of the peoples of South Sudan in this war?

Is it not true that, South Sudan shall not be the same again however long this current war is going to last?

The peoples of South Sudan are now asking for a complete overhaul of all institutions of governance in South Sudan.

The peoples of South Sudan are saying that, enough is enough, and we are not ready anymore, to be misruled by so-called majority tribes in South Sudan.

The Dinka and Nuer tribes of South Sudan must know from now on that, all the other tribes of South Sudan are not going to standby and be held hostages because these two so-called big tribes want to run the South Sudan in accordance to their tribal sentimentalities.

The peoples of South Sudan, especially in Equatoria are saying that their children cannot just be mobilised to fight Riek Machar, who is being projected as the total threat, to the well-being of these peoples of Equatoria.

The peoples of Equatoria are saying that, Riek Machar and his group are not the ultimate threat to their well=being in South Sudan.

The threat to the well-being of the peoples of Equatoria is the gross negligence the the government of South Sudan have exhibited since 2005 to date.

The political and military facts in South Sudan are that, without, and before Riek Machar and his group rebelling against the government in Juba, the well-being of the peoples of Equatoria has already been comprehensively undermined and threatened.

This being the case, how can Equatoria mobilise its youth and men to go and fight somebody and other people, who are not a threat, and shall not be a threat, and will never be a threat against their well-being in South Sudan?

The peoples of Equatoria in particular, and of South Sudan in general, must not concentrate on and spear the shadow of the elephant; go for the elephant; damn it.

For example, how can young men from Madi of Nimule, and other Madi villages, or Bari young men from Juba and other Bari villages, or Kakwa young men from Yei and other villages, and the list is long, how can these young men go away to fight Riek Machar and his group, while in fact, since 2005, their own parents and relatives, have been displaced from their lands, and they have been unemployed all this time; only to be called to die for a cause which is unknown?

The fact is that, these young men need to mobilise, not to fight Riek Machar and his group, but, to defend their villages and rights.

They have to fight for a transformed South Sudan. They must fight for a South Sudan of human rights; so that; they can claw back their stolen land, villages, freedoms and rights.

While it is true that the peoples of Uganda are our blood relatives, we do not want the Ugandan army to protect our constitutional rights.

We have to access these rights as free citizens through our constitutional processes and associated institutions of governance.

The argument that, Uganda must protect us from Riek Machar is politically and intellectually stupid.

We must institute a government which shall not allow us to differentiate ourselves according to our tribes.

We need a government which does not provide us services according to our tribal affiliations.

We need a government where all of us are represented not because we emanate from greater tribes or tribes that can create havoc if they are not a majority in government.

The fact is that, if we as South Sudanese refuse to live together as equal peoples, please, forget about a united South Sudan.

From now on, if there are still others, who think that, they are here to rule the rest of us, please, forget the dream of a one united and loving South Sudan.

If there are others; who think that, they are superior to the rest of us; please, forget the hope of sharing the South Sudan with everyone. END

Irrationality of Dr. Riek’s Rebellion & the Addis Ababa Talks

QUOTE: “Men will cease to commit atrocities only when they cease to believe in absurdities” – Voltaire.

BY: Dr. James Okuk, SOUTH SUDAN, MAR/04/2014, SSN;

What does the attempted coup d’etat and the rebellion of Dr. Riek Machar and his group mean for South Sudan (the people, the government, the territory and the sovereignty) and the world at large? This is the essential question whose attempted answers attract many connections and conclusions, including this article.

However, the question of the failed coup in Juba does not any longer make sense even if we travel all over the world on expensive costs to sell it to the skeptics. It is a gone case because the coup has already failed.

What we should deal with now in a realistic manner is the on-going devastating Nuer rebellion against what they call Dinka government.

This rebellion has been declared and is pursued under leadership of Dr. Riek and his allies who are now operating at large. It is being funded and defended by a good number of Nuer in Diaspora and with the help of their foreign friends.

The rebellion will have slim chances to succeed on ‘defeat-victory’ premise since the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups, in their anthropologies, are known of rejecting defeat and glorying victory only.

Beginning at the start:

But before getting into the substance, let me make sense of my previous prophetic opinion articles published on various websites.

The first core quote: “with the good news of the declaration of the independence of the Republic of South Sudan kicking off on 9th July 2011, yet bad news of bad leadership from the SPLM and its military wing (the SPLA) remains the greatest concern locally, nationally, regionally and internationally….. God have mercy on the poor people of South Sudan since their leaders are failing to protect them from harms!”

The second lead quote: “Everybody within the SPLM seems to be touched and you could see black signs of reactions written clearly on the grey wall. But for how long is this strange political culture going to continue before the SPLM split and splinter officially? Again, absurdity and uncertainty seems to have the reign, hence fear of resultant atrocities!”

The third main quote: “Pres. Salva Kiir knows that Dr. Riek has never helped but been working against him by not advising him well in many critical occasions… He was afraid to run in 2010 elections against Pres. Salva Kiir Mayardit, perhaps, because he has realized that democracy is higher than his (Dr. Riek’s) despotic and tribally magical mentality. Now it is too late for him and nothing but home is going to be the best place for him soon.”

The fourth essential quote: “Spilling the milk on dry sand and telling your leader to cry over it does not show sincerity and maturity in political statesmanship. The end result of such irresponsible culture and erratic behavior will be bitter divisions and ungrateful departures on toxic politics of lies, denials, fear, rage, retribution and malice. The solution is to give each rivaling Group of the SPLM a big mirror so that they can reflect on themselves from top to toe. Do they desire the common good of South Sudan or they love only power and wealth for themselves? Can somebody who loves his country wish it a bad luck of chaos, disorder, instability and abyss? …Time for the SPLM is gone. It is the moment for South Sudan!” End quotes.

The consequences of independence with bush mentality:

Indeed and with the evils that have engulfed the Republic of South Sudan due to the SPLM coup attempt on itself, it could be seen that my worries were not in vain.

The fact that the SPLM and its SPLA military wing wanted to continue running South Sudan on bush and guerrilla mentality became the mother of all atrocious absurdities.

South Sudanese, especially Nuer, Dinka and Shilluk tribes, became prey of these unjustifiable atrocities that have never been witnessed in the known history of South Sudan. Akobo, Bentieu, Parieng, Bor, Leer, Malakal and many historical ethnic villages around them (Doleib Hill, Baliet, etc.,) got ruined to ashes and became ghosts and inhumane habitats within a shortest time unprecedented.

No good scenes any more in these territories except apocalyptic memories of mass shootings, mass killings, mass graves, mass looting, mass blazing, and mass displacement of the survivors by the trigger-happy illiterate youth hailing from Nuer and Dinka tribes. Unimaginable savagery destruction!

It has been observed that Dr. Riek and his allies within the SPLM wanted to push President Salva Kiir out of power for the reasons that he is too weak to handle the rampant corruption, recurrent insecurity, bad governance, non-existent foreign policy, Dutch-diseased economy and deformed SPLM political party.

They have been preparing themselves to become the alternatives to the extent that President Kiir has been accusing them of running a parallel government within his government.

What betrayed them is impatience and improper planning to oust Salva Kiir at the right time and without using wrong means of transfer of power.

Now Dr. Riek and his allies have missed the opportunity so badly that they have to disgracefully descend from governance palaces to the rebellion bushes of South Sudan.

They have cultivated more seeds of hatred that will take longer time to weed out.

I don’t know if they know that coming back from bush to presidency is not an easy ride under normal governance situation. In the rebellion wars the unlucky usually perish and the lucky take longer time to get back to civility.

Dr. Riek and his allies lost the sympathy of many of those who might have been supporting them if they did not resort to violence.

They failed to understand that whoever kills and displaces innocent civilians in the name of power gains and victory is supposed to lose respect and legitimacy in politics immediately.

Comparatively, Mr. Salva Kiir is not losing much because he has already been recorded by history as the first President of the Republic of South Sudan. Even if he is out of power (alive or not) that known history shall remain to his advantage.

Given the well known fact-sheets about the SPLM’s top leadership conspiracies and rivalries for power monopoly, it could be concluded that Dr. Riek and his allies were the ones who put President Kiir into the catty corner he operated in.

They wanted democracy within the SPLM but only after the resignation of their Chairman Kiir.

If democracy is about open and free competition for leadership through elections why Dr. Riek and his allies did attempt to be dictators on resignation of Kiir while they claim to champion democracy?

Is it not negligence and senselessness when the SPLM/SPLA in government runs from the SPLM/A in opposition in the theatre of operation and leaves the civilians alone to suffer in hospitals, churches, UNMISS compounds, etc.

Also is it not the height of hypocrisy from the so-called international friends of South Sudan (especially USA) to care more for the few political detainees, who are under protection rather than worrying about the suffering innocent civilians who are left alone to perish as victims?

It is known that the rebels are outlaws and are never accountable to the people; but what about the government?

Who is really governing the government of South Sudan in this crisis, especially in Upper Nile State?

I think South Sudan is lucky to be South Sudan. Otherwise, resignations and dismissals would have been the order of the day since the time things fell apart within the SPLM ruling party!

Despite the crisis, President Kiir wants to maintain power based on the following road map: cessation of hostilities, humanitarian assistance, grand national political dialogue, investigation of aborted coup crimes and accountability, presidential pardons and amnesty to the guilty, national peace and reconciliation, government review and reforms, preparation for 2015 elections and re-organization of the SPLM ruling party.

Will he be victorious or shall he be defeated in all these?

Cessation of hostilities that has never ceased the hostilities:

The peace talks in Addis Ababa between the Government of South Sudan and the rebels’ leaders have superseded SPLM internalization and localization, yet the SPLM is still sleeping in hangovers of a lost glory.

Regional and international interests have already sneaked in with more sophisticated complications than simplifications.

The international community intensively pressured the two warring sides to sign initial agreement on secession of hostilities in terms of military confrontations (including progressive withdrawal of allied forces invited to the theatre of operations), negative media and propaganda campaigns, ethnic hatred propagation, killings and displacement of civilians (especially children, girls, women and elderly), human rights abuses, destruction of properties, attacking of civilian air-crafts and other means of transport, recruitment of child soldiers, humanitarian assistance access, burial of the dead and memorization, reunion of families and movements of the civilians and their goods.

The other complimentary agreement acknowledged the role that the detainees can play (together with other political actors, civil society organizations, traditional and religious leaders) in the process of dialogue for peace and reconciliation in South Sudan after the war has been stopped.

All these terms of the agreements shall be noted by the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism, advised by the Technical Committee under the leadership of the IGAD.

However, the cessation of hostilities has been signed on paper only; it is not working on the ground. The reason is that majority of the people of South Sudan and their leaders are absurdly complicated in their being rather than reasonably sophisticated in their thinking.

They have not thought that they could go to war with one another one day, hence, they have not been preparing for war.

They did not think that the military training they were getting was for killing themselves so badly than a neighboring enemy elsewhere.

They did not think that they could burn down their own cities and towns. They did not think that they could displace themselves and becomes refugees in more numbers than they used to be during the war with Khartoum regimes.

They did not imagine that they could sit opposite to each other as opponents mediated by foreigners for negotiations.

Now they did all these but they still don’t believe it. They propagate that they are one nation when they are not.

Their loyalty to the independent South Sudan has become questionable? They are loyal to their tribal leaders. What a people!

Irrationality of Dr. Riek’s rebellion:

Dr. Riek and his allies wanted to remove President Salva Kiir from power, yet they are harming and destroying innocent civilians and their livelihoods so evilly.

Is Salva Kiir Pariang Dinka? Is Salva Kiir Bor Dinka? Is Salva Kiir Bailiet Dinka, Is Salva Kiir Shilluk people and kingdom?

Has Salva Kiir left J-One in Juba to go hiding in these places so that Dr. Riek forces would have been justified of committing untold atrocities on innocent civilians who did not know what went wrong with SPLM politicians in Juba?

With all what has happened, the healing shall not be easy. It shall not be safer any more for the Nuer to cross to the Shilluk and Dinka areas and vise versa.

The binding fabric of South Sudanese people has been lost terribly. Perhaps, Greater Equatoria is the only region where a little neutrality is left. What an unlucky people!

Dr. Riek’s rebellion has really exposed the ugly tribal bigotry and savagery realities in South Sudan based on absurdities of deceitful politics mixed with black magic.

The savagery deeds of the White Army in Jonglei and Upper Nile States speak louder. This betrays Dr. Riek and the cronies more than they would have thought.

The end of Addis Ababa peace talks:

The Addis Ababa peace talks should not come back with the SPLM glory because South Sudan shall for a longer time be held hostage for no noble reason apart from greed and malice.

A democratically elected dictator and killer does not make any special meaning of genuine democracy!

The peace talks should bring home the dignity of the people of South Sudan where they will choose the leaders who have no blood of innocent people on their hands.

No more power and wealth rewards to heartless warlords.

Those who are fueling Dr. Riek’s rebellion and contributing money for killings and destruction in his name should not be allowed to govern South Sudan.

It is time to punish killings, atrocities and human rights abuses that have been committed with impunity in South Sudan.

In the first place ‘peace-first’ has been tried and even bought with money and power but it did not work.

It is now time to try ‘justice-first’ without any fear or favor.

These should come out clearly in the IGAD declaration of principles that would constitute the basis for resolution of the current crisis, unjustifiably created by the SPLM for South Sudan.

“Know thyself” is the Socrates’ philosophic command that the people of South Sudan need to notice keenly from the current crisis and after it is over.

Call it SPLM in opposition or SPLM in resistance or SPLM in detention or whatsoever absurdity, the fact is that this former liberation movement has brought greatest shame to the Republic of South Sudan than expected.

The SPLM, hitherto, doesn’t deserve any future credit of legitimacy and dignity. This outdated dinosaur and its military wing must be laid to rest in the grave of historical archives.

The good future of South Sudan should transcend beyond the evils of the SPLM/A. It is then, and only from then, will the Republic of South Sudan see in reality values called peace, harmony, justice and prosperity.
—————————————————

Dr. James Okuk is reachable at okukjimy@hotmail.com

An Ideal solution without Pres. Kiir & Rebel Leader Riek

BY: MANYOK MABIEI, CHICAGO, USA, MAR/02/2014, SSN;

To end the current crisis in South Sudan, a deal without President Kiir Mayardit and Former Vice President and rebel leader, Dr. Riek Machar, is important for Southerners as it’s not too late to accept such an ideal formula.

It doesn’t matter who is a president, Kiir or Riek; it is a matter hundreds of hundreds of civilians dying in all the corners of the country every single day.

It is a good idea from all corners of lives in South Sudan to think deeply and accept a deal without both men in power. I talked about this overtime and it seem as better solution to save a young nation that moving toward a civil war.

It is too early to return back to war had affected this country in nearly 22 years. This is not the first time this nation tested a bitter of war between 80s – 2000.

We can’t shy away without making a better decision on time. This is a message to all southerners in every corner to accept a quick solution and reject brutal killing in the nation.

It is seemingly we don’t know how painful it is in three months, but we will recognize if the International Communities turn the nation down through support in the months ahead.

I truly believe “an Ideal without both men” will be better solution if we calculate how long this war will take, while civilians are living in uncomfortable zone and losing their lives in every now and then.

As the citizens of young nation we cannot be preoccupied by war as a solution. We would rather than think, then stand in angle of war as an objective and find out solution to save the nation.

I don’t think a military solution is the best to save the nation on time.

In fact, between the rebel forces and pro-government army there is no anyone who will win and stay in peace without the other in South Sudan.

Being a rebel is not an easy thing, as the Father of the nation Dr. John Garang de Mabior said, “I brought you the CPA on a golden plate and those who never experienced the bush life must decide their fate to stay in the bush or their choice to join us in promised land.”

If Dr. Riek Machar and his loyal forces had never experienced the bush life, then they will still free to learn the bush life for a while. This is a useless war without boundaries to be located later between rebels and pro-government.

This is naive war some of us called power struggle from Juba on December, 15, 2013, which has mainly affected all the Upper Nile states as well as many civilians, the vast majority have abandoned their homes.

Seemingly, some people think it is a problem of Upper Nile region to suffer most in this crisis, but it will eventually affect the whole nation at large in the nearest months coming ahead if some of the civil workers don’t get their salaries.

I believe that is a time we will recognize the problem is not for Upper Nile alone, as for whole nation at large.

As well as it seems in South Sudan current crisis, the leaders are recruiting their own men from their own tribe as the tools of war, the same way Former Uganda President Idi Amin Dada had done in late 70s by using their own people from Uganda tribe far Northern of Uganda (Kakwa) and people still brought him down and he died in exile.

We can see in our own eyes tribal war cannot last forever just few years, but citizens can still bring you down no matter what they are dying in conflict.

This is a case we should think deeply about, a better solution to let these two leaders who fail us in South Sudan to step-down, so the nation can remain peaceful for all of us.

I’m not favoring these leaders in South Sudan, so people can know my position, as I’m against a war of no boundaries in this nation.

Although, these leaders are pushing their mission of genocide and liberation of suicide in South Sudan, we still considered it as humiliation.

First, President Kiir Mayardit is playing the ideology he was elected President in 2010, while the deal was to win the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

It wasn’t President Kiir ability to win against Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin in 2010. So, let us inform ourselves even if we were elected current president in South Sudan in 2010 there is still a room he can still step aside and listen to the voices of citizens and the world concern.

For examples, some of the Humanitarian NGOs and International Communities’ concerns were said same way like U.S.A., UN, IGAD, and many other countries, that South Sudan should accept the dialogue and form an Interim Leadership for two years.

President Kiir needs to listen rather than ruling the country like a village chief. This country is not for him alone, is for all Southerners who laid down their lives against North.

Therefore, President of South Sudan, Kiir, is nearly 9 years in power and yet the country looks the same wth zero change. Most people around the world were expecting President Kiir to do better.

It seems to me it is difficult to negotiate with an inflexible leader to get his/her opinion at same time. It is seemingly there is nothing good in term of leadership and government structures in South Sudan.

There is another challenge from President Kiir in terms of the National Constitution which is weak and thousands of Southerners don’t know much about the current constitution, whether it favoring his interest or the nation.

Well, it seems that’s where much of the problems came from in South Sudan. One thing is bothering me most there in no term limit and that is a great nightmare. I believe it requires the sons and daughters of South Sudan to be alert and review the National Constitution.

Besides, Dr. Riek Machar should know that 63 tribes in South Sudan Government didn’t join him in the bush who know better about Kiir leadership.

Many people said history is always repeats itself as well as Dr. Riek Machar repeated again in South Sudan. We know these leaders cannot come together and leave the power voluntarily without force.

I don’t think really an educated mind can wage the war against his/her nation and kill civilians just because of leadership. How many times this Riek Machar over-repeated all these crimes in South Sudan? Is that a kind of education we wanted in South Sudan from Dr. Riek?

If we see between these leaders, President Kiir and Former Vice-President Riek Machar, I think President Kiir Mayardit will still get respect credits, than Riek Machar Teny in term of killing innocent people.

But if we dig deep down and find the root cause of current crisis in the nation, President Kiir was the root cause of the problem, because as leader you don’t need to sack the whole cabinet and party at once, while he sat in his own house without addressing why he did so.

In every government in this world there is no room do to that, because it is a violation of rule of law without addressing the nation why you do that.

On behalf of Dr. Riek Machar being aggressive and violent will not allow him to rule that nation, even if millions of his loyal supporters will be preaching, he will still not to get that position.

I believe it will not happen and people can mark my words from today onward. First of all, Dr. Riek Machar always think like village leader without sitting down and calculating the profit and loss before he moves with his mission.

Furthermore, Dr. Riek Machar is doing liberation of suicide in South Sudan, while the nation know from far North Bhar-el-Ghazel, Western Bhar-el-Ghazel, Warrap, Lake States, Western Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria, Jonglei State, Upper Nile State all the way to Unity State.

That is so-called impossible mission of suicide to liberate all those states by one tribe. For sure, no single tribe can rule the nation without other tribes in the nation and stay peaceful.

Finally, President Kiir is in the power almost 9 years but doesn’t mean that it is right time for Riek and loyal supporters to take over leadership, because they are the second larger tribe.

I don’t think it will happen in South Sudan in such attitude of violence. It is not right time to use violent and get power without using political ideology in this modern world.

It is a good idea for those who’re seeking for leadership to win other tribes in South Sudan, rather than wage a war to fight for leadership.

I don’t think one tribe can change the system even, which is bad for now. I do believe everyone knows that system is poor even those who are fighting they were inside in that system.

President Kiir Mayardit should know that you can’t rule the Nilotic people through violent theory and long term.

So, let us stand up and accept an ideal solution without President Kiir and Rebel Leader Riek.

By Manyok Mabiei from Chicago, IL, Saturday, March, 1, 2014

Why ongoing crisis will hurt Greater Upper Nile most

BY: Michael Thon Mangok, South Sudan, MAR/02/2014, SSN;

These are the first days of the month of March and the conflict that started on 15th December last year that many thought it would last for a few days have no sign of ending soon. Those who had wanted to keep power as their own and those who wanted to take power by any means, thought that it was going to be an exercise that would last for a few hours.

This conflict was seen coming but both sides turned a blind eye to any preventive measures. What each camp was seeing was the advantage that is coming with the conflict. Each side was calculating the victory of their own.

Camp A was seeing it as an opportunity to keep power and chase away the undisciplined group. To them it was “we will keep this power and you will never get it.”

In camp B it was an opportunity to introduce conditional democracy, cause chaos and get the power by force if need be. Their data was showing them that they have 75 percent of the army and it would only take an hour to go to State house should the democracy fail. So everyone was seeing victory on their side.

The only person who knew what was going on was Archbishop Paulino Lokudu. In the liberation Council meeting on 14th Dec, he said to Salva and Riek, “please, do not put the country into crisis in the Christmas season.”

He said, “there is tension here now in the room.” He prayed but may be God could not answer his prayers because the two did not join him in prayers from their hearts.

However, what both camps did not calculate was the level of the destruction that would come with what many thought was a disagreement in the SPLM party in Juba.

The SPLM has liberated this country but now it is the very SPLM that is destroying the country and that is the irony of this conflict.

The level of destruction in upper Nile region within two month has gone far beyond than in the last 22 years of the civil war against Khartoum.

The mass grave in Bor is our first experience. We did not bury many people like that during the war. What does that mean to the people of upper Nile region?

Am not a supporter of regional bloc the way Bar el Ghazel and Equatoria conferences had been on for some years but this crisis is forcing me to pose a question to the people of Upper Nile region.

Does it worry us that Upper Nile now does not exist?

There is no Malakal, Bor and Bentiu to speak of right now. A child who should have been to school now in Malakal is in the bush and his/her fellow age mate in Wau is in school.

A mama in Bentiu who used to sell local foods in a restaurant to pay the school fees of her children is now struggling for her life in the bush while her counterpart in Yambio is thinking about how to expand her business next year so that her children can go to better schools.

A business man who has lost everything in Bor is now thinking whether there is any reason to live in this world while his counterpart in Torit is thinking on how to expand his business to nearby counties of Eastern Equatoria come 2015.

All these are happening in Upper Nile region and the rest of parts of the country is moving on. That is why the three governors of the Equatoria region met and released their joint statement.

“We don’t want war in our land,” and nobody asked who are they? It did not stop from there!

The Western Equatoria governor Bakasoro said, “You Dinka and Nuer go and fight your war elsewhere, we don’t need war here,” and Eastern Equatoria governor Luois Lobong said, “Dinka IDPS are headache to my government.”

All these are hate speeches but nobody cares to talk about them.

If things continue like this, the Upper Nile region will be a war zone and the rest of the region will continue with the development.

As we speak, there is a construction of the airport going on in Rumbek with the cost of $137 Millions while children and women in the bushes around Bor, Bentiu and Malakal could not access water and food.

The crisis management committee in Juba is busy spending millions of pounds on travel allowances.

Instead of moving to the affected areas, they travels to safer zones like Wau, Yambio, Kuajok, Torit etc.. to spent a lot of time explaining that what happened in Juba was a coup while the people who’re supposed to get food from the money for crisis are dying.

The leaders and the young people from Upper Nile should begin to rethink about the ongoing conflict. We need to ask ourselves why the war always in Upper Nile region?

What is the cause of division among the communities? And what is the way forward?

Bar el Gahzel and Equatoria are moving on with their regional agenda and whether Upper Nile likes it or not, they must come together.

Bar el Ghazel regional meeting does not recognize Bor and Ngok because they are not from that region.

To rebuild what was destroyed in the three capitals cities in Upper Nile will require a hard work of twenty years or so.

If people of Upper Nile don’t open their eyes and have honest debate then this will be the beginning of the marginalization of the region.

The message here from the rest is simple: “Keep on busy killing yourselves and we will keep on developing our regions with the money of the oil produced from upper Nile.”

When I think about this my heart bleeds.