Archive for: May 2014

Social ills are destroyed by building alliances not by making more enemies

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, MAY/09/2014, SSN;

Not all Jieeng people like what is happening in Juba and not all of them are benefiting from the corrupt political system in Juba. Informed unity across tribal lines is the key.
Non-Jieeng and conscientious Jieeng people would want to end that political system too.

However, the method through which an inclusive, fair and development-friendly method can be brought about in South Sudan needs the unity of clean consciences: both Jieeng and non-Jieeng alike.

If you’re a smart person fighting an oppressive political system informed by a given parochial ethno-political exclusionary framework, the best way to do it is to create formidable allies who belong but don’t ascribe to that exclusionary framework. Without unity of the like-minded, the intellectual, political fight against oppressive systems gets bigger and harder.

Destructive socio-political systems are not destroyed violently from outside but peacefully from within. And this requires unity of purpose by good citizens; not ones interested in more hate, division and violence. #nogunsplease!

The best way to fight conceptual Jieeng’s destructive dominance (by the mindless, elitist few Jieeng people) isn’t by isolating moderate Jiieeng through mindless generalization such as ‘Dinka dominance.”

Create allies to remove the rotten system; to enlighten the uninformed through conscientious unity of purposeful, solution-focused campaigns.

The corrupt system in Juba was built by people who happen to be Jieeng but don’t have the interest of Jieeng at heart. And this corrupt system is being assisted by non-Jieeng who suck up to the president for the power-less ministerial positions. These non-Jieeng politicians have a phony understanding of unity.

How on earth can a grown man, who’s also a senior leader call another man subserviently as ‘Baba?’

Until all conscientious South Sudanese (Jieeng and non-Jieeng) cooperate, merely antagonizing Jieeng as a tribe, rather than isolating the problem-generators, wouldn’t work. We’d not have a peaceful South Sudan through over generalization.

Crying about ‘Dinka dominance’ without careful clarity of the message makes the advocates feel good about themselves but does it help solve the problem? You can’t solve the problem by creating more hatred!

Slavery, Colonialism, Racial Segregation and other forms of social ills were not gotten rid of by the oppressed by themselves. They were got rid of by both the oppressed and people of good conscience within the majority power-holders. Not a fitting analogy but you get the point!

Guns are not the solution. Peaceful cooperation and enlightenment of our people will go a long way. The more enemies you make the bigger your job becomes. The more you reduce the antagonizing minds the less your job becomes. This sounds ideal but that’s the only way!

Calling for more uprising is a call for generation of more hatred! Would the defeated group cease to hate when defeated? Would a militarily defeated Naath fold her arms and ceases to hate? Would a defeated Jieeng sit back after a defeat and ceases to hate?

Make peace possible, Stupid!

Kuir ë Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically’ and ‘Is ‘Black’ Really Beautiful?’ For contact visit his blog: www.kuirthiy.info or follow him on twitter @kuirthiy

South Sudan war escalating into ‘cycles of revenge’: Amnesty

JUBA, MAY/08/2014, DailyNation, Kenya;

Civil war in South Sudan is spiralling into cycles of revenge far from the control of political leaders, Amnesty International warned Thursday, as pressure builds on commanders to stem the brutal conflict.

“The ethnic dimensions of the conflict are deepening as fighters engage in reprisal attacks, continuously escalating the cycle of violence,” Amnesty said in a report, documenting scores of grim testimonies of war crimes in the world’s youngest nation.

“The longer ethnic rivalries are allowed to deepen and fester, the more fragmented South Sudan will become, making reconciliation and sustainable peace much more difficult to achieve,” it added.

Researchers said they had documented “dozens of mass graves”, including five in the war-ravaged town of Bor containing over 500 bodies.

“Horrific atrocities” have been committed by all sides “constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the report said.

“Habitual impunity for human rights violations, including international crimes, is a central factor behind repeated cycles of violence,” Amnesty said, adding that both sides had “shown total disregard” for the most basic of human rights.

Gunmen on both sides have “deliberately killed civilians (and) executed captured fighters”, as well as raping women, burning down homes, destroying medical facilities, and looting food stores and humanitarian aid, it added.

Testimonies in the report describe civilians including children executed by the side of road “like sheep”, gang raping of women using sticks, and other victims “grotesquely mutilated” with their lips sliced off.

Fierce fighting continues, and the United Nations has warned of the risk of famine and genocide.

Although starting as a personal rivalry between President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar, the conflict has seen armies divide along ethnic lines and fighting pitting members of Kiir’s Dinka tribe against Machar’s Nuer.

Those affected feel the “only way to ensure perpetrators are punished and to prevent future abuses is to take the law into their own hands and engage in reprisal attacks,” it added.

Both Kiir and Machar have promised to attend direct talks, although Machar has already said he will struggle to make the date set Friday, as he fled the capture of his former base by government troops into a remote bush area.

The United States on Tuesday unveiled its first sanctions in response to the “unthinkable violence”, targeting one military leader from each side. END

Reconstituting a regime that abused “Power and Wealth” isn’t the solution!

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, MAY/08/2014, SSN;

According to the facts on the ground, South Sudan has already reached the tipping point in its inter-ethnic hatred and targeted killings. However it is only of recent that much talk of averting a possible genocide at this advanced stage of the onslaught is beginning to be seriously considered in the international corridors where decisions are made.

Yet judging by what is happening in other parts of the world like Syria, the Central African Republic Somalia ……etc, one does know if it is not all down to the usual last minute political P/R for which many of these big powers are known or they could still be ways of keeping up appearance. It is simply too early to pass a judgement.

Much of the scepticism expressed here is not intended in any way to discourage any well intended efforts at stopping the vicious cycle of revenge killings. We are all in agreement that people shouldn’t be left to be butchered while the world watches.

But the fact of the matter is that innocent souls were already lost to these brutal massacres that engulfed parts of this new country, since its President chose ‘ethnic cleansing’ as his way of dealing with all those he perceives to be enemies or rivals.

You don’t have to call it genocide if you don’t want to. Yet the bottom line is that a real targeted killings, on ethnic basis and on a massive scale have long taken place in South Sudan under the current leadership, while the world watched and talked.

And those who continue to talk as if this new country was indeed some kind of a good, peaceful and stable place prior to the December 16 – 19, 2013 massacres in Juba, are right out hypocrites. They are doing so simply to justify their inactions when this embattled country was sleeping-walking into the current self-destruction.

Killings of innocent civilians were ever since a common place not just in remote parts of Jonglei, Lakes state, Yambio, Wau, or Nimule. But even in Juba where the President and his ministers, advisors and MPs wine and dine, people’s lives are constantly in jeopardy from the undisciplined security agents.

Life for the common person has long since become a gamble between surviving it today and possible not being able to do so the next day.

If the SPLM/A led government of President Kiir Salvatore excelled in one thing, then that thing is the state orchestrated insecurity.

This also is not aimed at exaggerating the current state of affairs where the Dinka and the Nuer have butchered one another which only confirms the message being passed here.

But even outside the Greater Upper axis of Bor, Malakal and Bentui, there is an under-reported human disaster going on right now in the Lakes State. All that President Salva Kiir did was to send in another criminal and human rights abuser in the person of the current Care-taker governor, who only made the situation far worse.

The underlying message of this article is, when a system of governance is rotten to the core as it is with the ruling SPLM/A government under the current leadership, no amount of sweeping real incompetence under the carpet can improve the image of what for all practical purposes is a fast sinking ship.

It is very unfortunate that the whole world chose to turn a blind eye to the pariah leadership of this nascent country even though every bit of its many deviations from the international laws and norms kept unfolding on a broad day light and on everyone’s watch.

Even the Obama administration was aware of what was brewing inside the SPLM/A – administration, but yet it chose to allow it to hatch into what it is now!

So why the change of heart now that the US is at last rethinking its initial position of standing on the fence and only to throw its weight after hundreds of thousands of innocent people had been lost.

This carnage could have been stopped much earlier. First the “Black December” 2013 of Juba, then Bor, then Bentui, then Malakal and finally Mapel in Western Bahr el Ghazal State and now of recent Nasir Town in Upper Nile. All could have been stopped.

The true number of people killed in these onslaughts cannot be told as many died of their wounds after escaping deep into the swamps or bushes where nobody even recovered their bodies. But many have also survived to tell the horrors!

Unsurprising people all across the globe, knew from day one that the current wave of ethnically targeted killings that engulfed South Sudan, has its roots inside the SPLM/A – liberation history. Yet they chose politics to actions.

President Kiir and his Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin were given the audience they never deserved while they traveled around justifying the government orchestrated killings of the Nuer in the name of some imaginary foiled coup attempt.

In a place like South Sudan where everything is done on tribal lines, it is only fair to openly recognise the role of ethnicity in the politics of the country.

Hence it is natural that every fight, even a tiny local bar brawl anywhere in the country will be fought on ethnic lines. Is it a good thing? Well, I don’t know! But what I know is that it is how South Sudan operates.

It is for this reason that we need to be cautious when dealing with issues that are often overshadowed by ethnicity. And by the way there are no shortages of these kind of issues in South Sudan.

In such circumstances it may be a good thing that, even optimism that could have helped in bridging the gaps, will need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

To underrate the magnitude of ethnic politics in these parts of the world, is in fact to gamble with human life. Be it your life or someone else’s.

But whether the country can really be rid of ethnic politics, is another thing. Some people will answer “Yes”, yet in many cases they are just being too superficial.

Nevertheless something can still be done to minimise the extent of these things if they are to be kept away from negatively impacting on issues of sovereignty, statehood and the likes.

This too will also need to be tackled through a breath-taking and tedious efforts at bargaining. But never ever through coercion.

To a local South Sudanese it is only natural that people have to gang on ethnic basis whenever there are national issues that needs tackling.

Unfortunately it does not only stop there as even South Sudanese University Students have also become notoriously known for constantly ganging on tribal basis when electing their Students’ Union Bodies. Then how worse can it really get to be?!

A wiser decision at this stage, would be in fact to disengage the people for a while in a Federal System that dis-incentives the Central Government. Why not create more states and take most of the development budgets over there.

Let people go and serve their own areas. We shall then see who are those who will embezzle their local areas’ funds and still get the tribal support that they now get for the same actions as they ruthlessly embezzle funds at the Central Government level?

The call by US administration requesting President Kiir Salvatore and his rival Dr Riek Machar to negotiate a Power and Wealth sharing system can only serve the purpose of peace if the power and wealth to be shared are moved out of the centre and into the periphery.

In this way, it can be guaranteed that indeed the Power and the Wealth will be shared by all South Sudanese in their various localities without having to come and ethnically gang against the rest of the countrymen with the hope of getting away with the lion’s share.

It must also be stressed that the current government in Juba can no longer hide behind a legitimacy that it has since betrayed when it chose to indiscriminately butcher a whole section of its citizens in what will always be remembered as the infamous “Juba Massacre” of the post-independence South Sudan.

The people of South Sudan must be given the opportunity at this critical moment in their history to voice their views and hold their leaders accountable.

There is nowhere on Earth that people can be butchered in their hundreds of thousands and still the perpetuates continue to keep their jobs and are continued to be looked at with reverence and respect.

It is true there is a US targeted sanctions which has targeted two of the most senior military officers on both sides of the warring factions.

Obviously the common person in South Sudan expects the international community to do more than just punishing the field commanders, while the real “Godfathers” are left untouched.

The announced US economic sanction on someone like President Kiir Salvatore’s Commander of the notorious Presidential Guards’ Unit a.k.a the “Tiger Battalion”, Major General Marial Chanuong Mangok, may not mean much to stop the onslaught.

However it does signify that the Obama administration is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that he, Marial Chanuong Mangok has a major role in the December 2013 massacre of the Nuer citizens in Juba, that went on to trigger the crazy wave of killings and revenge killings.

The same can be said of the rebel General Peter Gadet Yaak, who oversaw the SPLMA in Opposition’s recapture the town of Bentui, the country’s Oil hub and capital of the Unity State.

We are told that under the US sanctions, both men are banned from travelling to the US and any assets they have in US financial institutions will be frozen.

But do they really want to travel to the US or does anyone of them really have their cows in some ranch in Texas, which they will be worried about!

It is for these kind of reasons that the US should not “Americanise” the South Sudan crisis. For any step towards justice make any real difference, it must have to be tailored to suit the local circumstances. First it is no good beginning down-low when the true perpetrators are high up in the top offices.

Apparently president Kiir ordered Major General Marial Chanuong Mangok, who in turn ordered his men to go out on the man-hunt of Nuer citizens.

No way could Major General Marial Chanuong Mangok had carried out the Juba Massacre on his own, and still keep his job.

After all he (Marial Chanuong Mangok) is just an officer serving under a commander in Chief who in this case happens to none other than President Kiir Salvatore.

And given the nature of the carnage, it is now anyone’s guess that the orders were given in “Classical Dinka language”, practically leaving no room whatsoever for any Dinka soldier on duty to misinterpret.

That was how the authorisation of the mass butchering of Nuer people made its way down the chain of command to the foot soldiers of the Presidential Guards who then went out on the killing spree of their Nuer countrymen.

Nowhere on Earth can a General in the army order his troops to carry out a carnage of this magnitude and still keep his job unless he did it under orders from the highest authority in the country.

In this particular situation of South Sudan these orders could have only emanated from President Kiir Salvatore. It was upon his orders that the indiscriminate onslaught that took place in Juba between December 16 to 19, 2013 and thereafter could have taken place.

People of South Sudan are in a dire need for peace and stability so they can go along with their lives. After all it is not really much of a life. But that is all what they have. And they have the right to live it to its full potential.

However should this peace come at the expense of justice, it will without the least doubt only help breed more bitter feelings of frustrations and a quest for future revenge.

At the end of the day it is not too much for the people of South Sudan to ask for an alternate leadership when the ones the US administration is seriously contemplating to force down their throats are better-off in some maximum security prisons somewhere in The Hague or the Guantanamo bay! Is it not where they lock up terrorists and mass murders?

Our people are fed up of this ‘‘déjà vu scenario’’ which took place between 2005 and 2011. The same abusive wealth and power sharing that occurred between the generals and politicians of the SPLM/A- and the northern NCP under the Government of National Unity (GoNU, happened in the total exclusion of the down-trodden masses.

John Kerry is free to utter all kinds of threats but he should not be allowed to reproduce that abusive CPA style Power and Wealth Sharing arrangement again.

No group of disgraced Generals or Politicians should be allowed to serve under the transitional arrangement when all they cherish is to have a share in the abuse of state Power and Wealth!

Dr Justin Ambago Ramba. A Concerned citizen and a voice for the voiceless.

Pres. Kiir’s demise: South Sudanese community in Canada welcomes Dr. Wani Tombe with flying colours

BY: J. Nguen, CANADA, 07/MAY/2014, SSN;

On May 5th, 2014, hundreds if not thousands of South Sudanese Canadian convened a meeting at the Grace Lutheran Church in Calgary .The community welcomes one of their own with flying colours. Prof. Tombe Lako is one of South Sudanese outspoken figures, staunch critic of Kiir’s government, and respected son of Greater Equatoria and renowned senior professor of law at the Ahfad University in Sudan.

Mr. Lako addressed South Sudanese-Canadian with passion and electrifying energy. Mr. Lako was calm, collected, affable, orator and idealistic to say the least. But above all else, he was philosophically critical and principally professional approaching he called “Dinka hegemony and genocidal regime in Juba, led by President Kiir Mayardit and his semi-educated tribal elites.”

Professor Lako is on the North America tour enlightening South Sudanese Diaspora about one chief factor which engulfed South Sudan into bloody war for almost five months. Professor Lako has educated the public of what really happened on 15th of December 2013, which led to Juba Nuer massacre, who should be held accountable and way forward resolving the crisis which claimed more than 10,000 lives and displaced 1.2 million civilians.

Besides, Mr. Lako is also on a mission destined to success at all cost, according to him. A mission focused on enlightening the Greater Equatorians both at home and Diaspora and the rest of South Sudanese who are still standing by while Kiir’s regime butchers South Sudanese Nuer in cold blood.

The meeting was organized by the South Sudanese community in Calgary but the attendees were all across Alberta. Calgary is one of the South Sudanese Diaspora hub and political hot spot in North America.

For the past 10 years, Calgary has witnessed different protest of political strife from South Sudanese and the last demonstration staged last month was in support of Ms. Hilde Johnson, the head of the UNMISS in South Sudan.

Dr. Lako lecture was politically charged and well attended. People drove for more than 3 hours to attend the gathering. In the course lecture, everyone listen silently while the man who wholeheartedly believes that Greater Equatoria people have been “deprived militarily by Dinka led genocidal government in Juba since 2005” played nicely with the microphone and addressed the community in length.

For many, Professor Lako’s visit to Canada was a blessing and a final demise to President Kiir’s Support internationally. Professor Lako left no single stone unturned.

As he proudly stated, “Juba government is doomed to fail militarily, politically and diplomatically.”

Kiir’s regime is crippled militarily by only one tribe’s men despite ganging up with mercenaries from Uganda, JEM, SPLM–North and Egypt and the man is dead politically, as a writer paraphrase.

More importantly, Mr. Lako stated that the “marginalization of Greater Equatoria people and the rest of South Sudan 62 tribes by one ethnic group in the government of South Sudan is another receipt to Dinka led genocidal regime failure and dwindling support in the country and internationally.”

He continued to say that “all South Sudan embassies aboard are packaged with one single tribesmen and women and used Dinka dialect as a medium of communication. The rest of South Sudanese feel out of place when visiting these embassies.”

On a similar note, Professor Lako is not comfortable with few Equatorians working for Kiir’s government. As he stated, some may say the Vice President is from Greater Equatoria. “Yes, but numbers are not what the Greater Equatoria wanted, quality is what we want.”

The Greater Equatoria don’t want a man who always sing songs “baba jah” (Daddy has come) to represent them. We need men and women with “quality, independent mindset and nationalist at heart, not puppets.”

Mr. Lako was referring to current South Sudan vice President, James Wani Igga. Mr. vice president is known for his miraculous appeasement rhetoric and chatting glorifying songs praising the president. “Those of Wani Igga often refer to President Kiir as baba without shame, self-respect and reservation.”

Yet, “people of Greater Equatorians from east to west have been disenfranchised, bullied, had their lands grabbed at guns point and murdered by Kiir’s Dinka led government security apparatus” while those of Wani Igga remained undisturbed.

However, “one thing is clear, the Greater Equatoria people will soon be up in arms to defend their right to life and freedom and to assist fellow Nuer brothers to change the status quo in South Sudan.”

As Dr. Lako pre-empted, “If you the Greater Equatorians would allow history in South Sudan to be rewritten in your absolute absence, it is a disservice to your own selves,” he warned.

Similarly, “If Kiir government is using fire arms to terrorize Equatorians civil populations, raping our women and girls at gun points, grabbing our lands, and denying us access to government’s key positions, what are you waiting for”?

The question was met and solidified with standing ovulation and women ululation showing admission.

Dr. Lako continued, “If the Greater Equatoria failed to do anything at all, I can assure you that you are committing a historical fatal mistake” he bewailed. “Take charge of your own life.”

“Our Nuer brothers are victims of rogue tribal regime and they are fighting back in self-defence and just cause. We, in the Greater Equatoria cannot afford to stand by and watch Salva Kiir commit atrocities, against our own or fellow citizens in South Sudan.”

During questions and answers, one woman asked a contradicting and charged question. As the writer translates, he attempted to be politically correct and not to sound self-defeated but reserved soldiers’ tact.

Thus has unfortunately created commotion and uneasy feelings among some audience. Despite the fact, the writer remained calm and maintained coolness while allowing another fellow to translate her word by word without reservation of political parameters.

The question asked in part goes like this: if the Nuer society is defeated by the enemy, do you think you the Equatorians will be spared by the enemy?

For one, Equatorians are already victims of Kiir led government and therefore, it was counterproductive to ask them what they do know and Professor Tombe pledged to fight against.

Second, I am not fond of the word defeat, bullying mentality and blaming game tactics.

I would have wanted my mother or sister to heed the shifting dynamic in the frontlines. It’s also unconventional militarily to pre-empt defeat even if defeat is imminent. This is a military philosophy and how I was taught. For those who may not know, this is why I was subtle and vague.

Nonetheless, I understood the fact that some people in the audience were emotionally charged because Nasir, the SPLM–In-Opposition stronghold and Bentiu, capital of Unity were reported retaken by Kiir regime simultaneously that morning.

I supposed this has created bitterness and amplified unwelcomed negative reaction among the crowd. It appeared majority of those who attended Professor Lako’s lecture, were pro-Freedom Fighter supporters or emphasizers for that matter. Hence, I guess they were comfortable chit-chatting about unfounded defeat which I don’t.

However, I was pleased with Professor Lako’s answers to the questions posted, including the question of defeat. The assertion was, “victory is certain and Nuer as society will not be defeated.”

Thus, my gut and conviction tells me that Professor Tombe is up something bigger and well-defined mission.

In closing, I must stress that the welcoming of Professor Lako to Calgary by South Sudan Community was a major success for the SPLM-In-Opposition. The Calgarian-South Sudanese have learned the ugliest side of the Dinka led government in Juba.

So much so, May 5th gathering has also taken an interesting dimension. It was South Sudanese against Kiir and his Dinka led government.

In a nutshell the Greater Equatorians were finally speaking out and calling for all-out war against Kiir led government. However, their call to take action at the grassroots is yet to be seen given the fact that they have alleged military deprivation in South Sudan army since 2005.

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

Pres. Kiir, Riek & the SPLM are the problem of Rep. South Sudan

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, MAY/05/2014, SSN;

The attack on the innocent civilians in the United Nations protection camp in Bor on Thursday 17th April 2014 is a stark reminder that the genie of ethnic cleansing that President Kiir released from its bottle on 15th December 2013 is growing bigger and bigger, poisoning the much needed spirit of tolerance.

Now, added to this conundrum, are the atrocities of Bentieu and Mapel. Unless the people of South Sudan wake up from their slumber, the country is sliding into a total civil war between the Jieng and the Nuer.

With the apparent lack of genuine engagement of the government and the rebels in finding a solution, it is unlikely that the country will pull out from the crisis it is in any time soon.

The IGAD talks by the day is proving to be a facade and South Sudanese should not rely on it as the only solution.

Even the recent flurry of activities ushered in by the visit of Secretary of State John Kerry may not help the situation because the Americans with their half baked prescriptions so far seem not to understand the political culture of South Sudan to intervene decisively.

If at all they want to be of help they need to appraise themselves with the mindset of the “born to rule” which is fueling the war.

The solutions to the problems of the country is in the hands of the people and nobody should be under illusion that it will come from outside.

The bonds linking the people of the various ethnic groups together were shattered to pieces by President Kiir’s catastrophic decision to unleash his tribal militia to ethnically cleanse the Nuer people and eliminate people he labelled as anti-government elements on 15th December 2013.

The social relationships connecting individuals, families, communities, and organisations forming the state were fractured weakening the core of the state of South Sudan. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/all.

The existence of South Sudan itself has become an issue with some international commentators doubting whether it would survive.

Socially, the developing national identity in South Sudan at the grass root has become one of the casualties. Literally, President Kiir strangled life out of the emerging modern South Sudanese society.

The deep wound inflicted on the Nuer in Juba by the brutal actions of Dootku Beny has destroyed the people of South Sudan. The exposure of the masses to this barbaric act has wrenched human normality out of them.

The neighbours, family friends etc who either witnessed or found their acquaintance gone overnight have equally been slain emotionally and psychologically.

For the residence of Juba of all ethnicities before 15th December 2013 already began to gel and form a new social group based on neighbourliness and community interaction. Tribe in this new emerging group did not mean anything especially for the children.

So in a sense the killing of the Nuer in this community is the killing of the people of South Sudan as a whole.

The surviving Nuer and the other ethnicities who witnessed this heinous crime against humanity are much more likely to be scarred for life.

Therefore, the action of President Kiir’s militia amounts to a grave crime against the people and the state of South Sudan.

Although Kiir just assumed power without approval of the people on Independence 9th July 2011 as a President, he has betrayed the people of South Sudan.

He is mandated to protect every South Sudanese and nurture the state.

Instead he grossly neglected his duties and abused the trust bestowed on him as head of state.

Yet President Kiir and his group appear oblivious to the consequences of their brutality.

The impact of the actions of President Kiir’s militia has had a disabling effect on organisations in the country.

The fear it generated permeated throughout organisations instantly changing behaviours of workers while forcing others to flee to places of safety, and others to rebellion.

Overall, it has corrupted the dynamics in organisations. The naked display of brute force exercised in the mass killing of the Nuer and opponents of the system frightened state agents and everyone in the country.

Out of fear, state agents silently began to act obediently even in the face of violation of laws of the country.

A perfect example is the perpetuation of President Kiir’s naked lie that there was a coup. As a result, everybody within the country by default out of fear now sings this song religiously.

Again, another example can be found in the deteriorating relationship of the government with the United Nations. The government waged an unfounded campaign of hate against the United Nations by vilifying its head: Ms. Helda Fjord Johnson.

While publicly there is visible dysfunction generated by the atmosphere of terror, the worst malaise with the working of the state is exhibited by supposedly independent bodies which should be protecting Human Rights.

Take for example South Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC), it finds itself totally paralysed. It has lost focus and the objective of its own existence.

Rather than being the upholder of truth, it has become a tool for untruth, injustice and oppression.

The interim report of SSHRC into the ongoing problems in the country under the title, ‘Interim Report on South Sudan Internal Conflict December 15, 2013 to March 15, 2014’ raises serious issues about the credibility of the supposed professionals working in this organisation. file:///C:/Users/Rosemary/Downloads/REVISED%20AND%20APPROVED%20VERSION%20OF%20RREPORT%20ON%20CONFLICTS%20IN%252.pd

The report is glaringly sympathetic towards the government. The language used and the presentation of events tend to hide the experience of the Nuer while embellishing the allegations against the SPLM-in-Opposition or the Nuer.

For example, on page 4 of the report under clause 3.1 headed ‘The Government.’ The author used only 139 words to report the event of 15th December 2013. The report omits the role of president Kiir’s militia.

It watered down the activities of Dootku Beny, and refers to them as, “some elements in the security forces” painting a positive picture of the militia and reducing the whole crimes against humanity to “some elements” only.

The report is silent on the voices of Nuer victims. No description of the residential areas (Gudele, Mia Saba and surroundings areas) where the Nuer lived.

No reason is given for these areas becoming ghost vicinities overnight without residents. No explanation is given for the disappearance of the residents.

No mention of the overloaded trucks ferrying dead bodies with limps of children and women dangling in Juba roads witnessed by local residents.

No mention of the infamous police station in Gudele where over 150 Nuer were massacred. No mention of the mass graves. No mention of the over 200 Nuer youth locked into containers and left to die of suffocation.

No acknowledgement of the over 10,000 Nuer killed in Juba. In clause 4.2 of the report the authors reduced the number of the killed Nuer to only 600. No reference to testimonies from the Nuer victims in UN protection camps.

SSHRC obviously omitted this vital information deliberately to appease President Kiir and the Jieng. This is in spite of the fact that important reports on the subject already exist.

For instance, The Guardian wrote a detailed article under the title ‘South Sudan: the state that fell apart in a week’ describing how President Kiir’s militia targeted Nuer of all walks of life. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/23/south-sudan-state-that-fell-apart-in-a-week

If anyone googles the Juba massacre the data on the incident is huge. How can the so called SSHRC officers fail to review this literature and check the stories out with the Nuer taking refuge in the UN camps?

At best this report can be taken as biased and at worst it constitutes work of an accomplice in the ethnic cleansing.

Being economical with the truth in such a highly sensitive case will not help president Kiir’s position, SSHRC’s credibility, and the healing of the people of South Sudan.

In the report SSHRC on page 4 clause 3.2 under the heading ‘The Rebel Forces’ the authors rightly describe the alleged atrocities in Bor and other places committed by the White Army in detail mentioning the tribe of the victims.

The level of reporting in this part of the report clearly is geared towards criminalising the supposed perpetrators and portraying them as the aggressors. Was it really the Nuer who started the ethnic cleansing?

In my opinion this report of SSHRC is not worth the cost of the ink used to writing it. It represents the triumph of President Kiir’s terror and his success in subverting the truth.

SPLM itself as an organisation is also affected by the actions of President Kiir’s militia. SPLM broke up giving birth to three new factions: SPLM-in-Opposition, SPLM G7 and SPLM G4.

Similarly its military wing, the SPLA split into two along ethnic lines. This has created crisis of identity for the SPLM and what it stands for in the context of South Sudan.

Without minimising the historical context of the social relationship of the two warring tribes and the neglect of organisations, this particular crisis South Sudan is going through, is made worse by President Kiir deploying the power of the state for the advantage of his tribe.

The activities of certain people in the government clearly show this abuse. For instance, General Paul Molong Awan, the newly appointed chief of the army last year illegally formed a tribal militia which was then renamed presidential guards.

This particular force, previously known as Dootku Beny was the one unleashed on the Nuer and persons labelled anti-government in open violation of the constitution of the country.

The introduction of the use of state power into tribal conflicts makes the whole problem a serious national security issue.

The other 61 ethnicities must for the sake of survival of South Sudan become involved and play a crucial role in bringing about a solution.

For both warring ethnicities to feel safe, the state must be managed by someone out of the 61 remaining tribes.

Thus a neutral leadership is absolutely essential for survival of South Sudan as a state and also for reconciliation and healing of the country.

The level of distrust and psychological vulnerability in the two warring ethnicities require careful attention and approach with issue targeted programmes that will take years.

It is in the interest of South Sudanese to see to it that we embark on this process without the Jieng or the Nuer holding the levers of power.

This is the painful reality that President Kiir and Riek as well as their respective tribes may have to face if posterity is to shine for all of people of South Sudan.

Which means President Kiir and Riek must accept the noble idea of interim government without them.

Any person who has the interest of his people and country at heart will easily see the benefit and make such a noble sacrifice.

Will President Kiir and Riek show such statesmanship? This remains to be seen.

But perhaps the Jieng and the Nuer, given their patriotic contribution to the country will see the sense in this and convince their over ambitious leaders to abandon their quest to rule South Sudan for the common good.

Riek is known for being stubborn and he can stubbornly insist to rule and he may wrench power by force of arms from President Kiir, but will such behaviour lead to peace in South Sudan and the development of a civilised society at ease with itself?

The essence of leadership entails self sacrifice for the well being of society.

Any person who claims to be a leader must be judged among other things on his/her ability to sacrifice in the real hour of need for the greater good.

Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela among others had to do this kind of sacrifice to save their countries from self destruction, and they did it honourably with humility and dignity. South Sudan now urgently needs this kind of sacrifice.

Riek has a lot to gain by taking such a position for he will first and foremost be ensuring survival of his people.

Secondly, he will be highly respected for fighting militarily, morally and peacefully for the soul of South Sudan.

No doubt if he takes this noble position he will truly be the founding father of South Sudan as this critically will be the foundation of a viable state of South Sudan.

To quote Shakespeare in his famous book ‘Macbeth,’ “What’s done can not be undone.” This is the reality of life.

In South Sudan people express the meaning of this phrase by saying once the milk is spilt it can not be recouped.

What President Kiir and his tribal militia did on 15th December 2013 on the Nuer can not be undone. However President Kiir can mitigate it in the same manner Riek did with the Jieng of Bor.

Riek demonstrated remorse on his actions of 1991 which shows he is able to acknowledge his weakness as a person. This makes him a responsible person who understands the feelings of his victims and others.

We are yet to see whether President Kiir is humanly enough to demonstrate such behaviour.

Whether President Kiir proves his capacity to emphasise or not, as a leader of the Jieng and the president of South Sudan, he is well placed to push the country on the path of reconciliation, healing and unity if he wants to.

If truly President Kiir wants to ensure the safety of the Jieng, he could strike two birds with one stone.

That stone is a unilateral decision to step down from power and allow an interim government led by a neutral person.

By taking such an action he will first pre-empt Riek from winning the war militarily where the consequences for the Jieng may be so dire.

Secondly, he will improve his image as a reasonable and responsible leader who cares about his people and the well being of the country. In this way he will be able to salvage some positive reputation in spite of what he has done.

The status quo is untenable. The exercise of brute force by both sides will not bring a lasting solution and peace.

It will only entrench the unwanted culture of tribalism and violence which will condemn our country to perpetual instability and destruction.

For South Sudan to be at ease with itself, it needs to develop a democratic political culture. This is one thing that most African countries have failed to note and take seriously.

As a result, everywhere in Africa we see failure of states and despair except in very few countries like South Africa.

This shameful failure of Africans is down to the type of leaders it has. They seem not to believe in the concept of common good but in ideologies of self and tribal interest.

With this simple highlight, both President Kiir and Riek with their organisation the SPLM need to see that they are actually the problem of South Sudan and they can as well be the solution right now.

If President Kiir and Riek step aside they will truly be the statesmen that peacefully saved their country at the brink of collapse.

Such a service from them will be timeless. Harry Hepner, the prolific author of psychology books illuminates the enriching benefit of timelessness by counselling, “Once we discover to appreciate the timeless values in our daily experiences, we can enjoy the best things in life”.

This is something that Kiir and Riek deserve. They deserve to enjoy the best things in life for their contribution to the independence of South Sudan in peace and not to in the kind of turmoil they are now in.

Both actors should think carefully about their destructive quest to maintain and accede to power. Is it really worth the huge sacrifices of lives of innocent people?

The soldiers fighting on both sides are South Sudanese who should be defending the country. They should not be sacrificed in senseless and egotistical adventures of power.

The civilians being mowed down are South Sudanese who should be enjoying their country. They should not be victims of their own leaders’ failure in governance.

Possessing power and exercising power is time limited. The test of time has conclusively proven this point beyond doubt. This is what the law of nature has decreed and no human can overcome it.

Leaders before them like Moammar Gadhafi of Libya, Idi Amin of Uganda, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Jean Bedal Boukasa of Central African Republic, Mobutu Sese sekou of Congo (formerly Zaire) and many others to mention but a few going back to the time of Romans all were felled by this basic law.

On the other hand if President Kiir and Riek submit themselves to realities and humility like Nelson Mandela of South Africa and others, their greatness will shine timelessly.

They will save their tribes and people from the path of destruction. President Kiir and Riek need to rise to the challenge and be the statesmen they claim to be.

The time is now to call it quits in their own interest, in the interest of their tribes and in the interest of the whole country.

They should peacefully let an interim government of national unity under a neutral person sort out the mess they both created and unite the country.

Such a neutral leader should emerge from the neglected South Sudan power house of civil societies including the other political parties. For instance, Margaret Akulia in her recent articles provides good pointers to such leaders.

Having said this, I now turn to the other 61 tribes of South Sudan. What happened on 15th December 2013 has grave repercussion on the state of South Sudan unless we take our national duties seriously.

As explained above, although this time the Nuer bore the brunt of the barbarity, all of us also are bleeding internally.

We thus share the pain and are equally victims of the actions of President Kiir and his tribal militia. Above everything else now we must see to it that the current madness is stopped and such a catastrophe must not happen again in our country.

As part of the solution to the present crisis, all the other tribes should throw their weight behind the power house of civil societies and assert their right to be part of the dialogue going on in Ethiopia.

The current exclusion of civil societies and other political parties from the talks is unacceptable. The problems of South Sudan are created by the SPLM and SPLM can never be the solution.

So SPLM should not be allowed to exclude the affected; and in fact it should be pushed aside for a genuine solution to emerge.

The great thinker and physicist, Albert Einstein warns, “we can not solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

The international community and IGAD need to take note and act accordingly within the realities of South Sudan.

The affected people have the right to decide their destiny. Therefore, the 61 tribes represented by civil societies and other parties should begin to engage both the Jieng and the Nuer to step aside from power for the sake of the establishment of a positive political culture for peaceful co-existence of all South Sudanese.

The civil societies should be fully engaged to realise the building of a new South Sudan. So, within this, in our minds the talks in Addis Ababa need to concentrate on the theme of interim period with all the stakeholders taking part. Nobody should be excluded.

The problems of South Sudan though created by the SPLM are our problems and we therefore must be part of the solution.

As already said, President Kiir, his tribal militia and the SPLM are a problem to South Sudan. They deeply injured our (South Sudanese) feelings and destroyed the evolving identity of South Sudan.

But out of this catastrophe if all of us individually and collectively take our national duties and give our sacrifice where it is needed, a new peaceful and caring South Sudan should emerge where all of us live happily with each other.

Racing to the finish, at this particular moment in our existence as a sovereign people, the survival of our country hinges on the security of Jieng and Nuer.

Without these groups being reassured of their survival South Sudan will continue to be an unstable slaughter house of innocent lives.

The Jieng and the Nuer will kill themselves mercilessly to the detriment of the country.

Without security, it is inevitable that gradually but surely the other 61 ethnicities will be dragged into taking sides whereby the problem will become more complicated to sort.

Already the murmurs have started in Equatoria. View it in this youtube video for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmE3BN-QmKc

Thus it is first the responsibility of President Kiir and Riek to vacate the political space of South Sudan for a neutral government that will protect both the Jieng and the Nuer without favour like all the others.

Secondly, the other tribes should think seriously about their own stake in South Sudan. Whether they like it or not, the problem now falls on their laps to solve.

As a group, they need to engage the Jieng and the Nuer to step aside as this is the easiest solution than later dealing with a more complicated problem whereby armed groups will have mushroomed everywhere in the country due to lack of a properly functioning government as it is now.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com

Riek Machar’s war against the aspirations of a people

BY: Peter Mayom, USA, MAY/05/2014, SSN;

The incident that happened in Juba on December 15, 2013 has shaken the hopes of the South Sudanese people. A lot of commentators in South Sudan, Africa, and around the world are interpreting in different ways what took place that day. Various narratives are put forward as to why and how the fight started.

The first narrative is that there was an attempted coup by Riek Machar to overthrow a democratically elected government, whereas the second narrative, which Riek Machar supports, is that there was a misunderstanding among the Nuer and Dinka presidential guards.

As people slice and dice that event to fit their own interests, it is the people of South Sudan who bear the brunt of the war Riek Machar is fighting now.

I am with the group that says it was a failed coup attempt. But who planned the coup? In my humble opinion, it was a coup spearheaded by Machar with the knowledge of Alfred Lado Gore and Machar’s longtime sidekick Taban Deng Gai.

He has every right not to acknowledge it as a coup because it has failed. However, he is not entitled to his own facts. If the coup would have succeeded, Riek Machar would have declared himself the president of the Republic of South Sudan that day.

With the aspirations and lives of many South Sudanese hanging in the balance, there are a few people or groups to point the finger at. The prime culprit in all the problems affecting South Sudanese now is Riek Machar. To know whether he is the one behind the fight that started on December 15, 2013, we have to look at how he operates.

For those that are not old enough to remember what Machar said was the reason he rebelled against the SPLM/SPLA in 1991, it was that Dr. John Garang was a dictator. That Garang was “running the movement, SPLM/SPLA, as his personal property”.

According to Machar, there were no structures of democracy within the movement. Therefore, he decided to form a rival movement. Instead of forming his movement and fighting the common enemy, the Khartoum government, he started fighting the SPLM/SPLA.

If what Riek Machar says about the government of President Salva Kiir does not have a familiar ring to what he said in 1991 about the SPLM/SPLA that was headed by late Dr. John Garang, then we as people of South Sudan have to have our heads examined.

How come that a single man, in two centuries, is always outraged at someone above him lack of democratic tendencies to the point of making people of South Sudan kill themselves.

Is it a mere chance that people of South Sudan are dying with Riek Machar claiming that there is no democratic practices in South Sudan?

As I said before, we have to look at a person’s past history to know his future mode of operation. Riek Machar has twice carried out a war against the people of South Sudan for what he alleged as lack of democratic practices.

To me, it is either he devoted most of his time to studying his engineering degree and never took a single government class to learn what democracy means or he is hiding his true intentions behind this cliche term called democracy.

For the last eight years, Riek Machar has been acting as if he is the lone voice in South Sudan that wants freedom of expression, good governance, equitable distribution of resources, development, corruption-free country and, his favorite lexicon, democracy.

When it comes to all the preceding words, Riek Machar is the wrong moral compass in South Sudan. He is a pseudo-democrat, a fraud, an opportunist, a mass murderer and a hypocrite.

When he broke away from the SPLM/SPLA and formed his utopian movement, he did what any one longing for democracy would not do.

He mobilized and sent his tribesmen, the Nuers, to the birth place of the SPLM/SPLA leader Dr. John Garang. What ensued was the mass killing of the Dinka Bor. The Nuers he rallied in the name of democracy were not democratic in any way shape or form.

They killed and maimed thousands of the Dinka Bor for no reason other than the fact that they were Dinkas and the leader of the SPLM/SPLA was a Dinka Bor. Those who survived the 1991 Bor Massacre died of hunger after their means of survival, cattle, were driven to Nuerland.

Riek Machar’s soldiers and militias who massacred the people of Bor were not just bunch of criminals that did not follow the orders and ran amok. They were instructed to kill Garang’s people and bring him to his knees.

He even said in one interview that Garang’s army was cleared and nowhere to be found. He meant that he cleared Garang’s homeland of all its inhabitants or civilians.

When asked by some journalists about human rights violations that took place in Bor, he said it was a propaganda campaign to tarnish his image or SPLM-Nasir. Why would he deny something like that if he did not approve of what his tribesmen did?

The Nuers were told to go and kill the people whose son was leading the movement. By doing so, he would weaken the SPLA. And he succeeded in doing exactly that. The Khartoum’s government took advantage of the situation and made major assaults on SPLA liberated towns.

In addition, SPLA soldiers and commanders who were around Juba whose relatives were killed by Machar’s army were demoralized and did not want to fight in Juba while their loved ones were being killed back home.

In addition to the killing which took place in Bor, Riek Machar killed most of the Dinkas who were under his command after he rebelled against the SPLM/SPLA. However, under late Dr. John Garang whose lack of democratic practices Machar decried, we have James Hoth Mai, the current general chief of staff of the SPLA, as a testament to the fact that Garang was a better democrat than Machar was.

Besides, Hundreds of Nuer’s Red Army, many of whom are in the United States today, were not killed although innocent civilians were being murdered in Bor.

In 1994, Riek revealed that he was not after all for democracy. He dismissed Dr. Lam Akol, who was his deputy, in February 1994 from SPLM-United because they had disagreements. Arok Thon Arok resigned because of what he called Riek’s “dictatorial tendencies”.

In the same year, even his fellow Nuers saw his dictatorial inclinations, John Luk, who was SPLM-United spokesman, was arrested and accused of siding with Lam Akol. Gordon Kong was also detained on the orders from Riek. As shown by the above mentioned practices, Riek Machar did not tolerate dissent. And I am afraid he has not changed.

What Riek Machar is doing right now in South Sudan is a mirror image of 1990s situation. In the 1990s, the government of Sudan was confined to three towns, Juba, Wau, and Malakal, in South Sudan and the SPLA was taking the fight to North Sudan. But his rebellion stymied the siege on Juba and the Khartoum scored several victories afterward.

As ordinary people were going about their business of raising and providing for their families, Riek Machar has once again killed and maimed thousands of Dinka Bor and disrupted development in South Sudan in the name of lack of democracy; although this time it is unclear why he killed the people of Bor when they do not have the leadership.

Killings of Nuer civilians in Juba did not warrant killings of civilians in Bor or other areas, because two wrongs do not make it right.

Riek Machar says that the war taking place in South Sudan was forced on him by President Salva Kiir. If President Kiir was the one who laid eggs, i.e. started the war, as Machar alleges, why is he hatching Kiir’s eggs?

We will be naïve to believe that Machar does not want to be president by hook or by crook. There are people out there who blame Kiir for bringing up in his speech during a conference what Riek Machar did in 1991.

That what happened in 1991 would not happen again in his watch or that he has never betrayed his people since he took up arm during Anya-Nya I.

Well, Kiir had every right to remind people of what Riek did because one’s failures and successes defines your true leadership.

Kiir stood with John Garang through thick and thin. Therefore, he had the right to tout his loyalty to the people of South Sudan. Riek Machar should have known that democracy is a double-edged sword. That feelings and prides are bruised when democracy is at play. However, people do not resort to violence.

In a democratic society, individuals can express themselves freely. Is it not what he says he wants to champion?

About corruption, Riek Machar all of a sudden found out that President Salva Kiir’s government was corrupt after losing his post as vice president. The guy was vice president for eight years. So, he was what stunk with the government of South Sudan because he was the government.

Before South Sudan became independent, Riek Machar’s wife, Angelina, was minister of Energy and Mining in the Government of National Unity.

What were the chances that Angelina Teny would have been the minister of Energy and Mining in the GoNU if she were not married to Riek Machar? There are a lot of educated women in South Sudan who could have been given that position.

Since Riek Machar does not settle for less, he most likely lobbied for his wife’s appointment to the position. If what I just mentioned was not a corruption, then there is nothing called corruption.

Moreover, Machar was among the 75 leaders, whose names were circulated in 2012, who were accused of corruption. To show himself that he was not a corrupt individual, he went ahead with his phony transparency campaign by declaring his total assets.

What assets did Machar have before Comprehensive Peace Agreement? What a con-artist!

Machar accuses Kiir of tribalism while almost if not all of his staff was Nuers.

He is a tribalist because every time he visited the United of States of America while he was the vice president of the Republic of South Sudan, he would go to Nuers’ saturated cities or states such as Omaha, Nebraska and Minnesota.

What is not tribal about a man who exploits his tribal affiliations to create problems among our people? He did it in 1991 and again in 2013.

If he were not a tribalist, why is so-called SPLM-in-Opposition predominantly Nuer? As former president Bill Clinton once said, “It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did”.

Machar can talk all he wants about fighting for democracy and getting rid of corruption etc, but we all know it is just baloney.

Apology given and apology accepted! There have been a lot of hearsay that Riek Machar has given an apology to the Dinka Bor. I was not there when he gave his “apology” at late John Garang’s house in Juba.

Even though I was not there when he gave his apology, I would have taken it as an apology given to me in person if it were a sincere one. All it took for the people of Bor to accept his apology at face value was alleged shedding of tears. I believe they were crocodile tears.

When he first went to Bor with John Garang after rejoining the movement, Riek Machar did not apologize. The reason why Dr. Garang took him to Bor with him was to see if he would apologize to the people of Bor. Why didn’t he do it then?

Why did it take that long for Riek Machar to offer his apology? Why didn’t Riek Machar go to the land of the Dinka Bor to give his apology? I do not think those who were residing in Juba were the ones who deserve his apology.

He is a calculating man who without a doubt preempted the people of Bor from asking him anything about the 1991 Bor Massacre. He also knew that those in Juba were influential and could be his disciples.

Also, there were other individuals, with their own interests, in the community who persuaded him to give an apology; so when they are questioned as to why they are supporting him, they would say he has apologized and we have forgiven him.

For that matter, the people of Bor who have been victims of this man’s quest for power twice carry some blame in this second one. I am not for blaming the victim strategy.

However, before Riek Machar did his second Bor massacre, there were some people going around in the Bor community saying that Riek Machar deserves to be president of South Sudan.

These individuals believed then, I do not know now, that Riek Machar would reward the people of Bor because of what he did in 1991. They wish they would rather have him as president than Salva Kiir. That is a self-defeating idea.

Salva Kiir never marched an army to kill people, destroy properties, and or take resources in Bor. But Machar did it. He brought great humiliation to the people of Bor. He has altered their history.

A lot of people from Bor got mistreated in various parts of South Sudan even though they were leading the SPLM/SPLA.

One time inside South Sudan, a man asked me where I was from and I said I was from Bor. He looked at me with disdain and said, “you people from Bor are cowards”. Why did you let Nuers overrun your homeland?

I cursed him out and got into a physical fight with the guy. If it were not because of what Riek Machar did in 1991, that man would not have said something like that.

If the people of Bor were cowards, the SPLM/SPLA would have banished from its inception. Most of the soldiers in Koryom were predominantly Dinka Bor. Those men destroyed Khartoum’s government ten-thousand strong men who were dispatched to dislodge the SPLM/SPLA from the whole Upper Nile region in the mid 1980s.

That action still did not convince others from calling them cowards. However, there were voices in South Sudan or in the Movement who knew their contribution and that people of Bor were not cowards.

One of those voices was Korubino Kuanyin Bol. In 1998 after he returned from Khartoum to the SPLM/SPLA, he held a rally, which I attended, in New Cush in present day Eastern Equatoria State, there he told the rally that after he returned from Khartoum, people came to him and told him that people from Bor were cowards and have left the war and were doing business.

He said “the people from Bor and I were the first to sip the hot water”. Of course that is a verbatim translation from Dinka language. He implied that he and the Dinka Bor were the first to experience the wrath of the government in Khartoum.

Korubino Kuanyin Bol was not a stupid man to start a war in a place that he knew he was not going to be protected.

There is no reason why the people of Bor community would support a person who has distorted their history and who was not sincere in his apology to them.

How do I know his apology was not sincere?
According to Beverly Engel, an author of The Power of Apology and a psychotherapist, a meaningful apology should entail regret, responsibility, and remedy. Anything short of those three is not a sincere apology.

Riek probably regretted what happened in Bor in 1991. But does he take responsibility for what had happened? If he takes responsibility, why did he repeat the same mistake again in 2013?

Any remorseful individual cannot repeat the same mistake unless he is deranged and psychotic and, therefore, does not have control over his thoughts and actions.

Also, I did not see any remedy when he was vice president for eight years other than helping one or two individuals who might have buried the hatchets and went to his office in Juba.

Again, how do I also know his apology was not sincere?
Behind closed doors amongst the Nuers, when asked whether he has apologized to the people of Bor, he says the Dinkas have not brought back the Nuers they killed during the civil war. Therefore, they do not deserve his apology.

People within Bor community who supported Riek’s candidacy for SPLM chairmanship and, eventually, president of South Sudan had based their hope on false premise.

It is a premise that says, since Riek had our people killed and properties looted in 1991, he is going to favor or reward us in his administration. That premise was disproved in December 2013.

What is most disturbing is the thought of leaving ourselves at the mercy of a man who has eliminated some lineages in the Bor community. My grandmother, aunt, sister, cousin, and many of my clan members who lost their lives in the hands of Riek Machar would be turning in their graves, if I stand with this man!

President Salva Kiir has to be blamed also for what is taking place in South Sudan. Nevertheless, he is a good man whose good heart and calm demeanor has been taken for weakness.

During the war of liberation, Kiir neither had any major wrangle with people who were his seniors nor people who were his juniors, even though it was a commonplace within the SPLM/SPLA rank-and-file.

Why do I blame President Kiir?

First, he sidelined comrades in arms who were with him during more than two decades of Sudan’s civil war. Instead, he brought closer to him those who hijacked the SPLM. These individuals want to rewrite the SPLM/SPLA history by making us think that South Sudan’s independence was achieved through the ballot box alone.

Omar Bashir would have not come to the negotiating table if it was not because of the SPLM/SPLA. However, we cannot minimize the contribution of anyone in South Sudan who either voted or fought. Credit should be given where credit is due.

Kiir has also ignored the contributions of friends of South Sudan, for example America, which pushed for peace in Sudan. Not only has he failed to recognize their contributions, he has turned a little against the West.

He even thinks that any South Sudanese coming from the West and holding Western countries passport has malicious intentions. Majority of the people in America, Europe and, or Australia participated in the war.

Some still carry lead in their bodies right now. Others spent time demonstrating and lobbying Bush’s administration to make bringing peace to Sudan a priority. All the things I have mentioned above are what Riek Machar exploited. He probably tells the Americans he would have them drill oil if he becomes president of South Sudan or that he would build a close relationship with the United States.

About those who planned the coup, I do not think the SPLM leaders, such as Pagan Amum, Majak Agoot, Gier Chuang, Oyai Deng, Chol Tong mayay, Deng Alor, and Madut Biar, who held conference with Riek Machar in December 2013, would plot coup against the president.

The ones who knew about the plan were those who ran away. These individuals who did not run away from Juba definitely had some disagreements with the president. And Riek as an opportunist, tapped into the disagreements the president had with these leaders and anxiety among South Sudanese over lack of tangible peace dividends.

It’s also the president’s faults that some security personnel killed those who criticize the government. Even if what they do is not authorized by the president, it reflects badly on him. President Kiir has to know that these individuals are shredding his legacy in a broad daylight.

Last but least, the president has listened to some people around him who would want to settle some political scores. Those are people who fed him false information that Bor community was trying to take leadership away from him.

Those are voices that stooped so low to the point of getting angered by Songs Bor Women sing. He succumbed to those voices and retired a lot of generals from Bor and took away key governmental positions from its community.

When disarmament started in Jonglei in 2012, it was started in Bor. We know too well that Bor community was the one being attacked by the Murle. After mass disarmament of Bor civilians, the community was left vulnerable.

And it was the reason why there was no much resistance when Peter Gatdet overran Bortown.

By not paying attention to what Riek Machar was doing with his affiliated militias that joined the SPLA and being preoccupied with wrong people trying to take his leadership, President Kiir has contributed to what is taking place now in the country.

Militias were given high positions at the expense of those who fought against Khartoum’s regime. And we saw in Bortown the result of trusting the militias with civilians’ lives.

Blaming the West for ills in Africa is a norm in Africa. However, not all ills come from the West.

For eight years Riek Machar was vice president, he had a lot of visits and talks with Western diplomats about democracy, good governance, fighting corruption, and development in South Sudan. He presented himself as the adult in South Sudan’s political arena and as the one who wanted to heal the country.

I would not be surprised if the West is rooting for him to be the president of South Sudan. But why would the West, not every Western country of course, be excited about the guy? It is because he speaks the language; democracy.

But is he a democrat or a wolf in sheep’s clothing? The latter is true. Late Dr. John Garang once said, “Democracy has been beaten up nowadays even a devil can come and say he is a democrat and people will listen to him”.

In my opinion, President Kiir always seems to be aloof when it comes to interacting with the West but Machar enjoys it. Another reason why the West would be rooting for Machar.

He is a western-educated man and, therefore, considered docile relative to Kiir who spent most of his life in the military and did not receive any western education.

Machar is also a charming guy who once charmed a UN aid worker into his arms. But with the charm and smile, is the West gullible to sacrifice the lives of South Sudanese for blind optimism that this guy is going to be more democratic than Kiir?

Now, how do we get out of this quagmire? To prevent another problem such as this from happening in the future, which I believe could be started again in the future by Nuers, Nuers have to get it out of their heads the illusion of bravery.

Every tribe in South Sudan is brave and cannot be forced into submission. They also have to know that Dinka and Nuer never fought a full-scale war in which the Nuer defeated the Dinka.

Although we know Khartoum fought a proxy war in the 1990s against the Dinka using Nuer, Nuer did not defeat the Dinka. I believe this is not the era to test this stupid illusion of bravery.

As a country there shouldn’t be a pecking order in a democracy. That is to say bigger tribes rule and smaller tribes follow. It is along this line of thinking why Riek Machar believes he deserves to be president.

That Nuer is the second largest tribe after Dinka. Therefore, it is their turn. During the war, individuals from certain tribes or geographical locations were accorded some privileges and meteorically rose in rank because of recruitment purposes.

With South Sudan now a country, we have to relinquish expecting reverence based on tribal size.

There has to be immediate cessation of hostility and subsequent signing of permanent peace agreement. To bring back peace to South Sudan, several things have to be stipulated in the peace negotiations.

First, President Kiir and Riek Machar have to be excluded from any subsequent governments in South Sudan; I know it is a bitter pill to swallow. But they have both contributed to bloodshed in the country.

Though he did not ok what took place in Juba, Nuers civilians got killed in Juba with Kiir as president. As former US president, Harry Truman, used to say “the buck stops here”, President Kiir, therefore, can be blamed for the loss of innocent lives in Juba.

Machar’s followers murdered non-Nuer civilians in Bor, Malakal, and other Nuer’s territories. Therefore, none of them should be let off the rook.

Second, SPLM-In-Opposition has to declare whether it would be a party, and if so it can choose who its candidate for president would be in 2015. If it, SPLM-In-Opposition, does not want to be a separate party from the SPLM, reintegration of those who defected from the SPLM party should take place. From there the SPLM convention can be held and a chairman can be nominated to run for president.

Third, President Kiir should be allowed to finish his term with the assurance that he is no longer going to contest the presidency.

Fourth, individuals on both sides of the war, Government and Rebels/SPLM-In-Opposition, who participated in or ordered the killings of civilians should be prosecuted to set a precedent.

To do that a Special Tribunal comprising of South Sudanese should be formed. Should impartiality of the Special Tribunal be compromised, then this Special Tribunal can be made of competent individuals from the IGAD’s countries.

Fifth and the last, peace and reconciliation among the aggrieved communities and in the country as a whole should take place.

In conclusion, for South Sudan to survive as a country, South Sudanese have to let go tribal allegiances and work for the common good of the country. And to prove wrong those who declared South Sudan in its infancy as another Somalia in the making, South Sudan must not allow such an incident to happen again. END

The Solution to South Sudanese Problems Should Come From People Themselves

BY: Daniel Juol Nhomngek Gec, Uganda, MAY/05/2014, SSN;

As the world has come to terms with the frightening truth of massing killings in South Sudan and is trying to find a permanent solution, it is important to note that such a solution must be one that goes to the root of the crisis.

The Solution to South Sudanese problems must arise from South Sudan problems and one that comes from South Sudanese themselves. This is because any attempt to impose a solution from outside will not only put the country into more chaos and confusion but will also leave the country in more troubles, anarchy and further division.

In this article, I will give what I think is the true and permanent solution to end current crisis and to ensure permanent solution to South Sudanese problems. In doing that I will briefly explain the reasons Human Rights chief and the US Secretary of State, John Kerry are concerned.

After that I will give some suggestions on how to quickly end the current war and also how to achieve lasting solution to South Sudanese problems both now and in the future.

To begin with, it is important to note from the onset there are many problems in South Sudan though the country appeared before and after the independence to have no any problems. This explains why the inner political party struggle exploded into national catastrophe i.e. the party struggle became a large scale conflict that is even threatening the foundation of the nation itself.

As we know the present conflict has already killed thousands of people have already been killed while thousands more are displaced. Besides, the peace progress in Addis Ababa appears to be in deadlock.

Why, what is the problem? The problem is that after the signing of the CPA and after independence, South Sudanese government did not do much to address the underlying problems. Rather it began building a nation on a “social time bomb”.

If the government would have taken early initiative to address these issues at their early stages South Sudan would have been stable and progressive country. However, the government allows two tribes to continue the way they were under Arabs hence suspicion increases between the two tribes.

The relationship between Nuer and Dinka today is not very good. The way Dinka and Nuer view each other today is something very alarming. It is alarming because these two ethnic groups had never hated each other the way they are today.

The hatred between Nuer and Dinka appears to have reached a boiling point as it was pointed out by Human Rights Chief and the US Secretary of State. In fact, Nuer and Dinka had never reached to the extent of making dehumanizing comments against each other. For instance, when I open my face, I often come cross comments like if one kills Nuer or Dinka (depending on the person giving comment) then it is not a sin.

These kinds of comments are dangerous because they explain what is exactly in the mind of the one commenting. This explains the cause of alarm to the UN Human Rights Chief N. Pillai and the US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

Such high level of hatred if not comprehensively addressed at earlier stage, then the country may be thrown into chaos and the genocide will take place in South Sudan whether people do not like to hear the word.

I have been one of those who have been having the fear of genocide since the war broke out because the way Nuer and Dinka killed each other indicates that they have totally lost humanity and human feelings.

What even increases my fears is that the two tribes are made up of a vast number of uneducated number people who can kill anybody once encouraged to do so.

In addition, such uneducated people do not even know the value of human beings since they can kill any person provided that person is from the tribe either group thinks to be their enemy.

The hatred, coupled with nationalistic feelings had never reached boiling point as we are witnessing today. Today, Dinka and Nuer have reached to the extent of even threatening or killing the members of their own tribes simply because they are either hiding Dinka or Nuer people in their houses.

This partly can be explained by the fact that two tribes have lost respect for each other as they view each other as objects that can be killed without the killer committing a crime of murder.

Nevertheless, justice has to be done here, Nuer have taken this hatred to the highest level ever and this explains why they do not even have the prisoners of war and displaced from Dinka Community unlike Dinka people who host a great number of Nuer people in Warrap State.

However, the reason why Nuer people have hated Dinka people to this extent may be explained by the allegations that Nuer people have been making that their people were massacred in cold blood in Juba.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that Nuer soldiers have already carried out revenge killings in Bor, Malakal and Bentiu and I do not know why they are still feeling bitter about the killings of their people in Juba if revenge is the only solution to such heinous crime.

However, I do not believe in revenge because it destroys lives and the people. The only solution to any problem is not revenge but to do justice to the person wronged and punish the culprits after proving that such a person who has committed the crime and with intention to commit that crime, which should be the basis of the solution to any problem.

In my understanding the present war in South Sudan can easily be ended if proper solution is found. To me, the following five suggestions as explained below can help to bring lasting solution to all South Sudanese problems. They are important because they can help to ensure lasting peace, social transforming, development and stability in South Sudan.

SUGGESTIONS TO FIND A SOLUTION TO END CURRENT CONFLICT AND TO ENSURE THAT THE OCCURRENCE OF FUTURE CONFLICTS IS REDUCED IN SOUTH SUDAN

There should be an enactment of permanent of Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan.
I strongly believe that one of the root causes of the current conflict is the lack of permanent Constitution and the weaknesses like presidential decree enshrined in the present Transition Constitution of 2011.

There is a need to enact permanent Constitution that can guarantee all economic, social and cultural rights and civil and political rights.

However, it has to be pointed out that Constitution alone without respect from authority will never achieve anything, which implies that authorities must observe the rule of law enshrined in the Constitution.

The Constitution must empower the citizens. Despite the fact that the present Transitional Constitution puts power in the people, in real sense, the power is vested with the president who has absolute power to use it as he wishes.

This creates fear in public especially political opponents who think that Kiir is trying to incapacitate them politically.

In relation to the above, the major suspicion was that the Kiir was entrenching himself to be a president for life. This suspicion was to some extent correct because there was loophole in the law since there was no law on terms limit. However, all these suspicions will be eliminated if permanent constitution of South Sudan is enacted.

Why the permanent Constitution is important in a country like South Sudan is as Professor Yash Pal Ghai noted, constitution, as fundamental law, provides the framework within which laws have to be passed and policies have to be applied.

According to Ghai, the major role of constitutions is to ensure the smooth operation of the political system by channeling the expression of politics through prescribed institutions in accordance with clearly understood and valued procedures, as well as facilitating the resolution of the differences and disputes that inevitably arise.

The above role is the basic reason why all countries struggle to produce constitution which is able to guide them in their smooth running based on the concept of the rule of law.

The rule of law is the basis of good dominance because the absence of it, is always the cause of anarchy and chaos as human rights does not get adequate protection.

Human rights are important as noted by Ghai, plays some role in ensuring welfare of people. The specific roles play by human rights as Ghai observed are:

Human rights have become particularly important in contemporary constitutions, especially for mobilizing and developing the constitution; Human Rights give the people space to organize and aggregate interests, and the authority to challenge state institutions.

In addition, human rights help in the ‘mobilization’ of rights which does not depend on the state, but on the people. Moreover, rights give people tools to protect themselves and to compel the state to take specified action.

Furthermore, rights are no longer devices for maintaining the status quo, as was the case in the US constitution, but are means critical for dynamic change, and they assume an active citizenry’

The Constitution in summary as pointed out above plays a role of ensuring the rule of law in the country.

It has to be noted strongly that one of the root causes of the conflict of South Sudan was the lack of strong Constitution that was binding on authorities. The lack of the strong Constitution led to the absence of the rule of law as the president was operating above the law.

Putting himself above the Constitution creating the problems in term of the rule of law because it leads to the diminishing boundaries of powers as the doctrine of the separation of powers no longer existed.

The absence of separation of powers created uncertainty in the system of governance in South Sudan. The violation of the doctrine of separation powers was a major problem and a root cause of the current crisis in the country.

The enactment of strong Constitution can help in introducing the rule of law. The rule of law will help in promoting the greater respect of human rights, democracy and development as leaders will become more accountable to the citizens.

Besides, the Constitution can introduce term limits where all leaders will only rule on a two term and exit from power no matter how effective their leadership has been.

This takes me to the next solution, which is the establishment of federal system and abolition of decentralized.

The Federal System of governance must be established and at the same time decentralized system should be abolished.

The establishment of Federal System and Abolition of decentralized system is important for the promotion of peace, stability and the equitable distribution of resources in South Sudan.

The establishment of federation system gives people more voices and greater participation in the country development process. As they participate in the development process, the people are able to question how their resources are being used by the leaders, which is the basis of democracy.

Additionally, the federal system is also a process of bringing towns to people. In this respect, bringing towns to people enable people to benefit from the development as they stay in their indigenous homes while at the same time participating in their traditional farming unlike decentralized system where citizens migrate to towns where they end up as beggars and scavengers.

The country under federal system also achieves equal development in all areas and every region develops at equal rate as more employment opportunities are created hence minimizing the struggle over limited resources.

These and many other benefits of federal system of governance outweigh what may be disadvantages of federal system.

Sadly, the rejection of federal system shortly before the independence of South Sudan was the turning point in the history of South Sudan. Instead of decentralization bringing prosperity to the people of South Sudan, it became safe haven for corruption, violation of human rights and much other misgovernment.

Dictatorship was sealed as the governors and commissioners are not accountable to the people. Instead, they survive on force as they run the states with iron-hands.

The only way to reduce corruption and dictatorship in states is to create federal system of government where citizens are empowered to choose governors and commissioners in full elections instead of being appointed by the president and the governor respectively.

This brings me to the next solution, which is the reformation and strengthening of judicial system.

There is a need for reformation and strengthening of the Judicial System in South Sudan is to achieve lasting peace and stability.

The importance of judiciary is that it acts as a pivotal on which all the activities of the state rotate around.

It ensures that other two branches of the government (i.e. the executive and legislature) stick to their functions hence separation of powers is maintained.

The doctrine of separation of powers ensures that each body of the government has some degree of independence in exercising their powers but these powers must be exercised by each body judicially.

The reason why each body must exercise its powers judicially is because if each body is allowed to do whatever they like, the interest of human beings may interfere with independent judgment of the authorities which can lead to abuse of the powers entrusted to them.

In most cases, the most abused power is the discretionary power. Discretionary power is the power based on personal judgment. In order to reduce the incidences of this type of power, checks and balances are introduced through judicial review and appeals.

Therefore, in order to ensure that peace, stability and development are achieved in South Sudan, there must be separation of powers accompanied with absolute judicial independence.

The independence of judiciary ensures that judges do justice without fear, favour or influence from the authority. The independence of the judiciary is ensured when immunity of judges is assured and their tenure is protected.

The protection of tenure is always enshrined in the law or in the constitution in which the grounds for the removal of judges is clearly spelt out.

Why is the independence of judiciary important? It is important because it increases the public confidence in judiciary. Once the public confidence in the judiciary is retained the chances of the public taking laws into their own hands are minimal, hence, the stability is indirectly ensured by the state without even using force to coerce to respect laws.

The concept of law is that laws are supposed to be obeyed. The obedience does not come from force but it mostly depends on the way people perceive the law itself. If the people perceive law as part of their lives there is a likelihood of people obeying such a law to a great extent unlike where the situation law is imposed on the people.

The obedience of the people to the laws depends mostly on judges who enforce the law. This is the reason why in countries like Uganda and the USA, the judicial codes of conduct are enacted to ensure that judges strictly follow the professional ethics that they learn in their training.

In relation to South Sudan, judiciary as a branch of the government has been very weak. It was hoped that the priority of South Sudan after the signing of the CPA was to establish strong judicial system.

However, when the government of South Sudan was established in 2005, the government did not take immediate steps to establish strong judicial system. As a result, people could not address their grievances, hence ended up taking law into their hands.

However, there were hopes based on the government’s promises that as soon as the independence of South Sudan was attained, the judiciary would be established and strengthened but when the independence came nothing changed rather the thing changed for the worse.

Therefore, judiciary remained weak and people lost confidence in it. To show that people do not have confidence in judicial system, there was a derogatory comment on SudanTribune Website sometime where one of the contributors to that site made a comment that if judges are bought in South Sudan why should one pay a lawyer, meaning that justice has already been bought and no need to look for lawyer to defend one’s rights.

Hence, if South Sudan wants to achieve lasting peace and stability now and in the future it should establish and strengthen judicial system that will be able to independently decide cases and effectively enforce the law.

This takes me to the next point which is very crucial for the immediate restoration of peace and stability in South Sudan and reconciliation among South Sudanese.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission backed by the international Community should be established.

As I have stated in the introduction to this, the conflict since it started in December 15, 2013, has claimed lives of many Nuers and Dinkas. It is estimated that so far more than ten thousand people have been killed and thousands more have been displaced meanwhile the targeted killings go on unabated.

What is even worrying is that the conflict has reached a critical point because it has some symptoms of genocide. It has almost reached the fifth stage of genocide.

As seen in the recent killings in Bentiu and reciprocation of killings in Bor, the intention of the killers from each tribe. What is even clear is that most of the Nuer people or Dinka people have lost the sense of humanity; they do not see any value in either ethnic group.

When you open Facebook you find comments like “if one kills Dinka people or Nuer people” (depending on the side one who is commenting is coming from) “one has not committed any sin.”

This is the highest level of cannibalism because human being is reduced into level of object which each group either Nuer or Dinka uses for their own psychological satisfaction.

No wonder why the USA Secretary State, John Kerry, stresses that there is a likelihood of genocide to take place in South Sudan.

In my view, when things have reached to such stage there is a need for a greater care in providing a solution, otherwise, if a wrong solution is provided the situation may be aggravated and instead of changing for the better, things may go worse.

Hence, the international community should press for a quick deployment of the international peace keeping force which is neutral, to both sides to uphold the cessation of hostilities and then, after that press on both sides to accept permanent peace which is binding on all parties to the conflict.

After the restoration of peace, the truth and reconciliation commission or Kashasha courts and international tribunal are set up. The work of the truth and reconciliation commission and Kashasha courts is to investigate and try the war suspects of war crimes in South Sudan.

The importance of these courts, especially, Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Kashasha Courts is that they are based on traditional justice system which can bring an indigenous solution to South Sudanese problems like what had happened in Rwanda in the aftermath of genocide.

Besides, tribunal will help to try very serious crimes that the Kashasha and Truth and Reconciliation Commission cannot handle. I have proposed this point particularly because one of the major causes of violence in South Sudan is the lack of justice mechanism to address people’s needs for justice.

I hope if this point is implemented it can achieve peace in South Sudan as it was successful in Rwanda, South Africa and Liberia.

This brings me to the final point, which is very crucial and its implementation can lead to the success of other above explained points.

Finally, the Transitional Government without Riek and Kiir should be established.

This is the most crucial suggestion which may not be accepted because Kiir was duly elected in 2010 but for the sake of national building, it may be important for the president and other South Sudanese who love the country to put this point into consideration for a simple reason.

The reason is that conflict has been taken personally and run along the tribal line which is very dangerous.

In order to reduce the tension there is a need for compromise so that Nuer and Dinka should not look at themselves as winners against each other.

This is because if Kiir is allowed and Riek is blocked out from the transitional government, Dinka or Nuer will not accept and the conflict will not finish but if they are allowed to be part of the traditional government, the power struggle will not end and a new conflict will start again.

Therefore, the only formidable solution is to ensure that Riek and Kiir are not part of the Transitional Government though part of the solution. The importance of the neutral transitional government is that it will help restore peace quick and ensure reconciliation.

In relation to the above I even propose that if transitional government is set up, the body to lead that government should be a committee of the ten people selected from ten states.

The role of this committee should be to restore trust in the government, to reconcile the people of South Sudan especially Nuer and Dinka.

The committee should also oversee the enactment of the new constitution and prepare the country for the general elections that will take place one year after the formation of the committee.

Conclusion. The war in South Sudan has claimed many lives and it is continuing to claim even more without any party winning it. Hence, for the sake of the vulnerable civil population and the unity of the country there is a need for compromise.

I hope although these suggestions are not binding the people leaders will take time to go through them and compromise in order to save millions of lives that are at stake.

NB// The Authority is Fourth Year Law Student School of Law Makerere University and he can be reached through the following contacts: juoldaniel@yahoo.com ; +256783579256

Late Garang’s unfinished work Dinka elites try to complete

QUOTE: “He who maintains silence in the face of massacre is a murderer himself.” Unknown

BY: DR. PETER KOPLING, Juba, MAY/04/2014, SSN;

Dr John Garang De Mabior was a charismatic, at the same time a very strong willed and a heavy-handed leader. Like most great leaders in prolonged possession of absolute powers, he morphed into a Tyrant and intolerant of opposing views while surrounded by mostly poorly educated individuals with the exceptions of a few the likes of Dr. Lam Akol and Dr. Riek Machar.

Because of this intolerance to opposing views, many of his comrades and founders of the movement, many big names and those equally educated like him but particularly those who advocated for a separate South Sudan rather than Garang’s vision of New Sudan perished in Garang’s very own hands or parted ways with him.

It was under such climate, when a fellow PhD holder, Dr Riek Machar, questioned Garang’s Tyranny and his wisdom of insistence to sacrifice the lives of Southerners for a new, united Sudan, when the northerners themselves seemed disinterested in the idea other than shoving Islam down our throats and wanting our resources.

Dr Machar argued, rather than using our limited human resources for liberating and achieving a United Sudan, we should rethink and forget about a United Sudan. This was the beginning of the Split between Dr Machar and Garang.

This not only set Garang into mistrust but he sought to eliminate Dr Machar whose life became in danger like the dead separatists before him who perished in Garang’s very own hands. He had an option to escape just like the current Juba saga or end up dead like his fellow separatists who did not live to see an independent South Sudan.

Dr. Riek had to escape for his life. It is important at this point to remember because Dr. Garang wanted Riek dead; therefore Garang had declared himself a sworn enemy of Riek not a brother.

It is equally important to remember, South Sudan was not Garang and Garang was not South Sudan. The quest for South Sudan independence predated both Garang and Machar. The real question was not who fought who, but rather who fought what and stood for the aspirations of people of South Sudan and that aspiration of separatism predated both leaders!

Khartoum did not declare death on Riek Machar but rather war with his rebellion. Riek had a choice to either keep dodging the manhunt by Garang and end up dead like his fellow separatists, abandoned his liberation dream for an independent South Sudan and let Garang’s quest for a New Sudan unopposed.

That’s why he could either leave his people exposed to genocide or choose a lesser evil at the time and that lesser evil compared to the one that wanted him and his dream of separate independent South Sudan dead (Garang), was Khartoum.

It is important for those selective self-righteous who say Dr Machar Joined the Jalaba (The Arabs) for which it made him the worst of worst and ineligible for South Sudanese leadership to note that, Garang was fighting to subdue the Jalaba to subsequently harmoniously live with them, thus the new Sudan not separate.

So what makes Machar’s joining Jalaba to defeat an immediate threat to South Sudan quest of separations worst? Mind you, Marchar hurt Garang’s dream of united new Sudan, not independent South Sudan.

These self-righteous today are the same people who, when their butts caught fire, ran to and fro like prostitutes signing military agreements with the devils themselves, the Jalabas in Khartoum and Cairo and now both are in the Bushes of South Sudan fighting for Kiir or is it now acceptable while it was not for Machar?

What Hypocrisy! They now know, survival instinct knows no ideals.

South Sudan yearned for independence but from what and to what? Well it was from Tyranny but the question, is it any different now? When we consider democracy and judge our history and nation by democratic yardsticks, the person majority of Dinkas agree qualifies for presidency.. Mr Kiir… scores very poorly but however very highly in scores for tyranny.

Consider the following, how many democratic leaders in our modern history massacred their own citizens at seat of government? How many legitimate democracies pick fights and quarrel with the UN?

Some of the aggression against UN include mobilizing his faithful to demonstrate against the UN, the likes we see with Sadam Hussein. We saw his artillery gun down a UN helicopter with the word UN visibly written on it, He attempted to blackmail the UN accusing them of arms smuggling.

His security forces disguised as Civilians, armed and marched in pretense of handing a petition, ended up massacring fellow citizens in UN campus, something unheard of in democratic governments.

Now if this same Kiir can massacre fellow citizens in the capital city and gun down fellow citizens in the watchful eyes of the UN, what is you wonder what he doing away from the Capital city and where UN does not watch?

Yet such a person is said to qualify for presidency?

If such a murderous cowboy is supported, still in the eyes of his kin and kith, for the presidency, then why not one who through out his life advocated for nothing else, nothing indirect as some claimed to have done, but direct, simple and plain, South Sudan and more importantly a united and independent South Sudan with sound economic and social goals for all of its citizens regardless of tribes.

One who was willing to reconcile with those who attempted to murder him in the past yet again now?

The Dinkas have deprived South Sudan of this true leader and attempted to eliminate this visionary leader now twice, in the past by Garang and now with Kiir wanting to complete the unfinished work of his predecessor forgetting the predecessor himself forgave and moved on for the sake of one South Sudan without which we would have not reached an independent south Sudan.

This patriotic attitude of Garang’s rising above their differences is clearly demonstrated by his widow, the Matriarch of our nation in this current crisis.

Indeed if we are to regain tranquility in our nation, Kiir and his tribal hardliners must put down the pursuit to kill, and like Garang, reconcile with this visionary leader, Dr. Riek Machar.

Indeed the Idea of referendum was that of Dr Machar and it was imbedded in the deals of his agreement with Jalaba, which later became the corner stone for the CPA, the tool through which we reach nationhood!

In this regard of their declared objectives, had Garang succeeded in defeating Dr. Machar and Khartoum, there would be a New United Sudan today not an independent South Sudan.

The appreciation for this peace and its dividend of an independent South Sudan goes equally to both Garang and Machar!

This is one reason why today Garang’s legacy is different and we all hold him in high regards despite the lives he took from all tribes all over south Sudan, but yet the selective moralities of the Dinka elites tells an incomplete story of our liberation struggle in exclusion, worst demonization of non-jieng, Dr Machar in particular.

It must be pointed out here that while Dr Garang killed almost all our prominent separatists in the movement, Kuol Manyang, the current minister of defense, by all reports was the worst killer of the brethren during the war of liberation, Garang’s right hand, yet they have not been demonized by the Nuer or the other 63 tribes that lost many lives to these two Dinkas as the Dinkas have demonized Riek.

Indeed the numbers of prominent South Sudanese lives Garang took in comparison to the Arabs did not even come close! The two wars combined.

The Dinka on the contrary came out with a full-fledged campaign of demonization of Riek for the killings of Dinka that occurs under Riek’s leadership.

Garang and his Dinka elites took more lives of South Sudanese than any other group but yet are not demonized; simply they like hurting others but do not want being hurt partly due to their so-called superiority complexes.

What is the main reason behind this de-campaigning of Dr Marchar by the Dinkas? Is it really because of the so-called Bor Massacre and him joining the Jalaba while Garang was fighting to stay with the Jalaba?

The answer may lie in the very reasons they ended up this time going after the Nuer civilians in Juba and the war torn areas.

The Dinkas have declared objectives of Ruling South Sudan, Expansionism embedded in their crafted Transitional constitution, an absolute power embedded in the criminal constitution.

The only roadblock to these goals is the Nuer. Must we forget the declarations of Kiir to his tribesmen, “This power I have is yours, they want to take it away, will you allow them” NEVER, IN UNISON WAS THE ANSWER!

The only None Jieng group that are a challenge to this declaration are the Nuer and it’s most senior, experienced and highly educated politician, in the hardest of fields, Dr Riek Machar.

Nuer and Riek are obstacles to Jiengs declared goals for South Sudan thus the reason Kiir went after Riek while Madam Rebecca was not even touched. They went after Nuer women and children in Juba while the kinsmen of Riek fellow political defectors were not even touched.

In the views of Jiengs, if these dreams of the Dinkas are to be achieved, they need to knock the Nuer off the equation, more so Dr Machar, once done then there is no single tribe in South Sudan able to stand against them.

In this regards what Kiir had done and is doing against the Nuer is an ethnic cleansing clothed in accusation of a non-existent coup and in the name of fighting rebellions with the help of international mercenaries!

The well-crafted deception is an amazing achievement; the world will wake up after Kiir is knee deep in Nuer blood!

Just as Dr Machar needed to save himself from Garang at the same time to frustrate Garang’s goal of United Sudan and thus thanks to Riek, today we have an independent South Sudan not Garang’s declared, New Sudan but also Garang becoming more democratic.

Today therefore I declare we South Sudanese yet again will thank Dr Machar for frustrating the Dinkas goal for South Sudan, which is nothing other than the born to rule, enslavement of fellow Southerners, expansionism and dinkanization replacing Arabization of South Sudan.

For those who think this is an exaggerated statement should be reminded that Garang’s Tyranny was also what caused Kiir to have a major difference with him that almost led to a total fallout with Garang and reason for him today sidelining, humiliating and attempting to eliminate the so called Garang’s boys.

Looking at the recent Security apparatus realignment, it should leave no one with any doubt that the Dinka agenda of ethnic domination is alive and marching on, their so called born to rule declarations is what drives them to this war against Machar.

They are rabid because they fear him taking the power away that belongs to them as declared by Kiir.

The only tribe that stands on the way is the Nuer because of their sheer numbers and fierceness in battles, the reason for targeting them and the ethnic cleansing with the help of Uganda and SPLM north.

They demonized, accusing him of siding with Jalabas, the same Garang was fighting to co-inhabit with Jalaba not to separate which is simply a ploy and selective morals and hypocrisy.

They also decide to pin the Bor killing on Riek who after CPA took responsibility as a leader of the movement under him not necessarily gave a direct order for the killings.

This is what a true leader should do as we expect the same for Kiir to take responsibility for the Juba massacre given his personal militia murdered Nuer women and children in the thousands in Juba.

If Dinka think Kiir cannot be held responsible for Juba Massacre, why then Riek for 1991 Bor killings?

After CPA, the Dinka government has loaded the world diplomatic missions with their kith and kin, the message the world bodies received and the views they came to know about South Sudan are that of the Dinkas, to the extent many times many of us who are non-Dinka are approached by “Muzungus” (Whites) and asked “are you a Dinka”?

Therefore the world was spoon-fed with Dinka version of Riek thus the Dinka sentiment against Riek.

Riek has not injured South Sudan, whereas he fought the Dinkas under Garang, Riek did not fight against South Sudan, he fought Garang and he fought Dinkas.

Garang, Kuol Manyang and Kiir have killed more prominent Southerners than Riek ever did. Indeed which separatist has died in the hands of Riek? And how many separatists died in the hands of Garang?

If we can forgive and overlook Garang’s decimation of our separatist leaders and accept him as our leader, why will we not accept Riek as our leader?

The Dinkas need to realize that if we are to forgive them the atrocities they have committed against every single tribe in South Sudan, why are we not to forgive Riek for whatever crime he committed against some Dinkas, after all Dinkas have also now under Kiir and again Kuol Manyang, committed the worst genocide in our nation’s history and it is against the Nuer women and children?

If the standard is Genocide and the Nuer should not be accepted because of 1991 then the Dinka more so should not be accepted for 1991 massacre they themselves committed against the Nuer but worst for the 2013 massacre of Nuer Women and children in Juba and counting.

In conclusion, Riek was pushed to fight alongside Jalaba by Garang’s Tyranny and his unrelenting vision of New Sudan and today Kiir who too has become Tyrannical, pushed Riek in the bush to resist the ominous Jiengs’ practices of ethnic dominance and ethnic cleansings to truly arrive at an independent South Sudan where all have equal stakes not on the Merits of superior tribes and claims of liberation struggles.

If fighting is what gives us rights to citizenship, leaderships, freedoms and wealth sharing (Dinka school of thoughts) then let us continue this fight until we all have these rights because at the current state of affairs, freedom has arrived for the Jiengs but not the rest of South Sudan’s 63 tribes!

It should be noted in each case had Riek not escaped, he would have been dead. Dr Machar’s sin is not bigger than that of Dr Garang. His sin compared to Kiir and Kuol Manyang, as we now witness, in grand scheme of South Sudan does not compare.

Dr Machar has not hurt South Sudan, as did the Dinkas Elite. The rest of us South Sudanese who will receive him with open hands.

Dr Peter Kopling Joseph, MD.


To South Sudan “SEEDS OF THE NATION” Generation who inhabit the Globe

BY: Deng Majok (Gutatur) Chol, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, USA, MAY/04/2014, SSN;

To each of You— of all the 64 ethnic communities that are the inhabitants of South Sudan–who have, in the violence, lost loved ones, family members, dear friends, colleagues, heroes, mentors, or a mentees, I say, with deepest sympathy, condolences to you.

To each of all the women–from the 64 ethnic communities–who are experiencing the evil sides (physical abuses, emotional, psychological, and social effects) of the violence, I say, with deepest embarrassment, be strong and speak up against the evil acts.

We “THE SEEDS OF THE NATION” GENERATION, can at least—yes—at the very least… intervene in the current violence in South Sudan by providing hope to the society.

There is no better time than now to offer hope.

The situation can only get worse.

Could we take moments of reflection to search our souls, and our spirits of resilience with the conscious decision to demonstrate capacity to absorb personal losses and condemn all acts of atrocities and crimes against humanity?

And—

Have the courage and reasonableness to hold all factions involved accountable?

Could we collectively pressurize both factions of the violence by categorically and indiscriminately condemning specific abuses of human rights and episodes of ethnic cleansing?

Could we develop the capacity to de-personalize (this is not easy to do) ourselves as stakeholders in the violence, and offer hope by condemning these acts of evils regardless of which faction committed them?

An evil act is an evil act, regardless of the identity of the parties committing them.

Could this be our song? Instead of the song of tribal loyalty that blinds our sights and blurs our judgments, and questions the values of all the privileges our generation has been blessed with? Could we zoom out (broaden) our senses of the current violence to the analysis of the systemic level of the entire 64 ethnic groups? Because, obviously all of them are directly affected by the violence.

Could we get out of the dichotomy box of Nuer- Dinka? The other 62 tribes make up about 50% of the entire population, and they too, must count.

As a generation, we have been oriented as THE SEEDS OF NATION by the adversities of life and prophecies of societal elders and authorities of all our tribes.

We, as a generation, are seeds of nation, the youngest on Earth. But how long ago were these seeds planted?

30 years ago!

A child born in 1987, a time we first heard this inspirational prophecy, is 27 yrs old now. That child is a fully-grown adult, and, now, a part of THE SEEDS OF NATION.

So, are we still seeds of the nation? Indeed, we are not only seeds; we have germinated into the harvests.

The real question is, what kinds of harvests are we?

I recognize any divergence on this question. Some would say the question has to do with a choice. Others, like me, see it as a duty.

The question is, will we choose to be tribal harvests? Or, national harvests?

This is a grand distinction. One that I invite you to reflect on it as you engage with self.

But, how could harvests, planted by a SOCIETY as SEEDS OF NATION, and became harvests by the GRACE OF GOD, turn into sectarian/tribal/clan politics so easily? How could the goods in each of us—our generation—-turn to divisiveness so quick?

Where did the loyalty we have cultivated and developed among ourselves go? Did we not survive together? For decades as brothers and sisters? Regardless of our tribal/clan identity? Did we not study, and lived as colleagues for decades?

Then…

A 4-month-old violence robbed us of congeniality as family from diverse tribe? And seemed to have re-converted us, instead, to seeds of clans and tribes?

This is a puzzle I take to bed, and wake up with everyday since December 15th, 2013 when the violence erupted

This violence is our own making as a country, and we should realize that it requires a solution of our own making.

Albert Einstein once observed, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

Einstein could be speaking to South Sudan citizens. At the eve of the violence, the story of what caused the violence was power struggle, and now, that story is still power struggle. But thousands have lost their lives. Hundred of thousands individuals have been displaced; Thousands of children are starving to death; Thousands of women are facing physical abuses. And the story is still power struggle. The level of thinking has not changed; if it has, it must be for the worse.

Why is a country so obsessed with whether there was a coup or not? Whether it is power struggle or not? Thousands individuals have disappeared from the face of the earth in this violence. Hundreds of thousands have been uprooted from their homes? Should this not be what needs to concern a country?

New babies are dying before they barely see the light of the world. The shedding of innocent blood is the worst act of humanity. Should this not be the chief concern of the SEEDS OF NATION GENERATION?. Should this not be what needs to concern a country? Should this not be what needs to concern a country?

The authorities in charge of both factions need to think out of the box. They need to think deeper, and at a different level of thinking for political solutions to be realized. As the SEEDS OF NATION GENERATION, could we not utilize our energy and time to indict the politics of war instead of each other?

The tribal politics of wars, fought over the Internet among our generation, will, I predict, have much more far-reaching societal damages than will the battlefields have.

His brothers who wanted him dead sold one humble person, the Biblical Joseph, to Egypt.

Like Joseph, our generation was sent to exile by forces that wanted us dead.

We know, reading through Genesis, that his own brothers for no good reason hated Joseph. They plotted to kill him, but God in His sovereignty rescued him from death in order to carry out His plan and purpose. He was taken to a different country. He was in 2 different locations for approximately 13 to 14 years (Potiphar’s household and an Egyptian jail). It was seven years before Joseph was able to re-unite with his family.

Approximately 20 years from 1987, this story sound familiar to many of us.

When we were small children we were hated. There was a plot to kill us for no fault of our own. But we were rescued and fled to different countries. We were in two locations for approximately 13 to 14 years, Ethiopia and Kenya, before some of us got resettled abroad. While we were away, our homeland suffered. After approximately 20 years, many of us saw our remaining family again and were reunited.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the distance from Joseph’s home in Canaan to his location in Egypt were similar to the distances between our homes and the refugee camps) From the eye, they look fairly close.

Why is Joseph story so relevant to us: Because Joseph resisted evils.

(Genesis 39:6-10) “Now Joseph was well built and handsome (out of curiosity, I would ask each of you to compare photos of you in refugee camps, and now), and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”

And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, Joseph stood firm upholding his values. Joseph was put into prison, where he interpreted dreams for Pharaoh’s Servants and in turn for Pharaoh; and in God’s divine sovereignty, was put in charge of all of Egypt.

Brothers and sisters, our obedience to the commands of the teachings of God has armed us with wisdom, understanding, knowledge and discernment. A man and woman not committed to obeying His commands are promised nothing of worth. No promises of wisdom. No promises of understanding. No promises of knowledge or discernment.

Just as Joseph has developed the capacity to counsel the Pharaoh, we should develop the capacity to counsel the authorities in charge of the warring factions; we should develop the capacity to exercise leadership. Should we not at least help stop the needless death?

In Exiles-Ethiopia, Kenya, Australia, Uganda, North America, Europe-THE SEEDS OF NATION GENERATION has been privileged with three important gifts 1) relationship with God 2) Education, and 3) Relationship with ourselves and citizens of the World.

Unfortunately, these three gifts began to dissipate on the eve of the violence. Was our foundation laid in the rocky ground or on weak sand? How could these values: the enlightenment of education, the fear and knowledge of God, and our 30- year- relationship evaporate so soon?

Could the power of clan/tribe be so powerful that it trumps over our consciences of what is right and what is wrong, 30 years of our relationship and friendship, our education, and our knowledge of God?

This is a puzzle I take to bed, and wake up with everyday.

Have we done the best we can with these gifts. How sad would the history read. That we utilize these gifts as tools to perpetuate the violence?

Does the tribal politics of war worth our 30 years of relationship and collegiality?

What can we tell of them— those dear fellows SEEDS OF NATIONS who perished, and whose eyes may be watching us? Don’t we have obligation to them?

I do ask myself, what is my obligation to them.

The destruction of our society is happening on our watch. It is sad to know that the destruction is made worse by the tribal politics of war that we are fighting over the Internet. The damages we are creating will take a long time to fix in the aftermath. If we don’t change our course of actions, the identity -South Sudanese- will be a time horizon to be realized; it will be beyond our generation.

The lasting effects that the SEEDS OF NATION GENERATION must engage are the fundamental work at the center: deeper reconciliation and nation building.

Why do we make the work of future generations near impossible, simply by what we write or say today to one another? Can we doubt ourselves for a moment-in case we may be trapped in pride and self-righteousness-and question the value of what we write before we write it?

Could the prophecy of THE SEEDS OF NATION GENERATION be fulfilled?

First, on July 9th, 2011, the nation was born, and secondly, we are now harvests. The choice is ours. We can behave and act like we are harvests that can benefit a whole 64 ethnic based-nation state. We can choose to overcome the tribal/clan loyalties.

“To whom much is given, much is expected.”

Brothers and sisters, I write this to you to remind us that evil is deceitful. We must be on guard and prepared. As you all know, death is a daily affair in our country. Also, corruption is part and parcel of institutional and political culture.

Killings and corruption are evils. Corruption is oppressive and murderous.

While we may find it very difficult to change others, we can change ourselves. We can hold strong and fight the good fight.

We have to have capacity to collectively thrive through this darkest moment in our country.
1) As harvests of the nation, we can cease immediately from tribal/clans politics of wars; we can cease, more specifically from, antagonistic messages that widen wounds of violence, and perpetuates conflicts in ways we may not imagine. We can choose to continue to be agents of changes, to be agents of reconciliation and nation building. Let us not be agents of division. This would be a direct contradiction of values or it would simply be a double standard. This contradictory posture cannot only damage our credibility as a generation of change, but it can also make the work of our great grand children way too difficult.

2) As harvests of the nation, we can utilize our human capital to condemn in strongest terms the actions of all factions of all atrocities, and crimes against humanity: killing of women, children, elderly and physical abuses of women. Let’s us not condemn these atrocities selectively; that would not be a right posture of agents of changes.

3) Think of us (a generation from all tribes) as faces and voices of peace. Let us collectively call for immediate stop of violence.

4) We can choose to demonstrate courage in rebuking our authorities in hope that they begin to think at a different level. That they may value human suffering, and to deleverage their pride and power ego.

5) In all our continents and countries of residences, members of all 64 ethnic group should initiate talks, and reach out to fellow South Sudanese to openly discuss steps needed to end the violence and to work hard to maintain trust, confidence, and spirit of national family.

6) As we engage with one another, we should exhibit respect, and demonstrate recognition of our collegial relationship that we have built for years. As we engage with the politics of wars, we should show respect to the obligation of nation building vested in us by the society, and circumstances. There is a great value in debate, but Let’s us have respectful and objective debates, by listening to divergent views, and recognizing the shared experiences of mutually assured survival as a generation.

7) At the very least, we can offer hope to our suffering society by acting as agents of change.

8) We can cease from making social media as place we perpetuate tribal hatred and conflict. We should be consciously aware that our messages are real, and are read virtually everywhere. We should, and actually, need to be more responsible for the effects of our messages.

What is the purpose of our intervention at this time?

Let’s me share with you a story of a man called Natan Sharansky.

Natan was a Jew who was imprisoned for no good reason and was facing a death sentence. The tactics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) were exceptionally persuasive. They used deceit, lies, half-truths, false promises, anything they could to control you. They also deceived the outside world by appearing white as snow.

Natan decided very early that he would not lie, he would not keep any secrets, and he would not cooperate with anyone who was corrupt. He would not compromise an inch, no matter what they threatened him with and no matter how much they promised him. He saw them and their motives for who they were. In his book, “ Fear No Evil” he mentions frequently how free he was in his mind because he was living by truth. He was also in a severe battle and he knew truth was the key to victory.

At several points, the KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti-Committee for State Security) offered him early release if he would only recant what he said. He was promised that he could return to his wife, his family and be free to pursue any more human rights agendas he had. He could be free if he just recanted what he said.

Sharansky never wavered because he saw them as evil and evil never carries with it any good promises, no matter what it looks like or sounds like.

In his words, asking the authorities to show humanity means acknowledging that they represent a legitimate force that administers justice (page 354). He would not recognize their legitimacy in his life.

What is the cost of non-intervention, by the HARVESTS OF NATION GENERATON?

1) Failure to collectively and categorically condemn atrocities by all parties will almost always lead to non-stop revenge and counter revenge. In the end, the society would be creating a desolation of the land.

2) If we continue the sentiment of sectarian sanctuaries, and tribal/clan allegiance, the likelihood of stopping this violence will continue to diminish, and the death toll will increase. Then, we would be failing in our obligation and duty.

3) The aftermath societal reconciliation and national building will be more difficult, almost near impossible, if we don’t act now to collectively pressurize the warring factions.

4) If we don’t change gears, the little trust left among the HARVESTS OF NATION GENERATION may all be eroded.

5) Finally, if we don’t intervene now in meaningful ways, we would be failing to give the least we could give to a suffering society: hope. Hope is free, and easy to give. All we need is to offer hope. Our messages carry weight.

If each of us pauses and focuses on what is at stake in the violence, you will come to a conclusion, as I am, that the whole nation is at stake. The country is at the verge of collapsing.

Thousands South Sudanese citizens are starving to death before our eyes. New babies born at night die because of our actions before they could saw the dawn. New babies born during the day die before they could see the dusk. Their eyes are watching us. Little kids are starving to death in hides in the bushes.

Don’t we have the obligation to avert the starvation of this kids?

The future of the nation, history will judge us, is starving to death right before our eyes.

About 30 years ago, we were forced to exiles and became seeds of the nations. Today, we are harvests of the nation.

And today—

The (new ) seeds of nations are being killed by our own authorities. I think we must have the obligation to rescue these children so that they may have tomorrow.

We as a society need to do some hard thinking.

The beginning of wisdom is the realization that this violence will have no military end. The outcome of the violence cannot be a zero sum game. Occupations of towns are not a solution to the fundamental problems the country faces. Revenges and counter revenges are creating big wounds and bitter pains that will make a peaceful and political solution near impossible.

My friends, let us rejoin hands above tribal politics and become an army without weapons. We can be agents of reconciliation. A family of tens of thousands who puts our nation’s best interests before our own interests and those of our tribes.

Millions of individuals gave up their own lives during the war with Sudan, so that we shall have our tomorrow. Because of their sacrifices, we were the survivors of the 1983-2005 war. Many of our family members gave their lives for our country. Without them, we would not be the youngest nation of Earth. Without them, most of us would never have received the education we received over the past 20 years. They may be watching us today. Should we allow tribal politics to pull us apart, and contribute to what could be the demise of our 3 years-old nation?

No, we must not let them down. Let us begin today to…

1) Cease tribal/clan hatred messages on social media and websites, and then collectively and consistently condemn the atrocities committed by both parties; and start to behave and act as South Sudanese-divorced of tribal/clan hatred.

2) Call for immediate stop of violence; we may save lives of thousands of individuals who will get killed, and could help avert the violence from turning regional.

3) Collectively send an unequivocal message to Kiir and Riek to stop the killings and violence.

4) Let’s us make use of media coverage: The group in Australia needs to organize (members of all tribes) and collectively issue their statement urging both parties to stop violence. This needs to pressurize Australia government to prioritize South Sudan to talk the two warring parties to stop the violence. The group in the U.S needs to engage both White House, and Capitol Hill to prioritize South Sudan. So, should the group in Canada; Europe (particularly the U.K, and Norway).
The Group in East Africa should organize and do the same. There is going to be a grand strategy that expands to China, India, and Malaysia—parts of the Oil Consortia in South Sudan—- to help pressurize both warring parties to stop violence, and prioritize a peaceful and political settlement.

It is not only the responsibility of the authorities of the warring factions alone to end this violence. It is the responsibility of the society (all 64 plus ethnic group) as a whole.

We need to seek our hearts of what is ethnically, morally, politically and practically wrong with our country and our society.

The solution may need to come from us as a society.

As Benjamin Franklin observed, pen is more powerful than gun. Indeed, the pen can change the nation.

So, let’s us raise our voices.
——
Deng Majok (Gutatur) Chol.

Public Administration. Concentration: Economic Development.

Harvard University.

John F. Kennedy School of Government.

E-mail: deng_chol@hks15.harvard.edu.

Cellphone: 202-378-8476.

South Sudan Pres. Kiir agrees to talks with rebel leader Machar

By AFP, MAY/)@/2014, SSN;

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has agreed to have face-to-face talks with rebel leader Riek Machar, US Secretary of State Kerry said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters in Juba, Kerry said President Kiir was “willing to travel to Addis Ababa in the near term, sometime early next week hopefully in order to engage in a discussion with the (Ethiopian) Prime Minister and hopefully with Riek Machar.”

Mr Kerry said the rebel leader had already agreed to such a meeting, but would be holding further telephone talks with him later on Friday to set up the face-to-face talks — which would be the first to be held since South Sudan’s civil war broke out four months ago.

“It is safe to say that President Kiir was very open… to take forceful steps in order to end the violence and implement the cessation of hostilities agreement and to begin to engage with respect to a transitional government,” Kerry told reporters.

“This meeting between Riek Machar and President Kiir is critical to be able to really engage in a serious way on how the cessation of hostilities agreement will now once and for all really be implemented,” he added.

Kerry flew into Juba earlier Friday on an unannounced visit to push for peace, amid mounting international outrage over atrocities and war crimes, and with the UN and aid agencies warning that the country is on the brink of famine.

(READ: Top US official in South Sudan to demand ceasefire)
—————————————————-
KERRY OPTIMISTIC ON STRENGTHENED SOUTH SUDAN FORCE

BY: MICHAEL R> GORDON, MAY/01/2014, NEW YORK TIMES;

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — With violence escalating in South Sudan, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that he expected that African troops would soon be sent to the strife-ridden country to augment the United Nations peacekeeping effort.

“It is our hope that in these next days, literally, we can move more rapidly to put people on the ground who can begin to make a difference,” Mr. Kerry said after a meeting here with his counterparts from Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia.

“I remain convinced, and each of my foreign minister counterparts today from Uganda, from Kenya and from Ethiopia agreed, that the greatest single difference will be moving rapidly with U.N. Security Council imprimatur of support to get forces on the ground,” Mr. Kerry added. “That’s imperative.”

(RELATED COVERAGE: South Sudan’s Warring Leaders
Draw Rebuke From U.N. Rights Chief,APRIL 30, 2014)

Mr. Kerry also said that the African foreign ministers were willing to join the United States in imposing economic sanctions on individuals in South Sudan deemed responsible for the violence and that the effort to mediate the conflict would be intensified in the coming days.

The violence is South Sudan has killed thousands of people and displaced more than half a million, and has become the most serious humanitarian crisis in the world besides Syria, United Nations relief officials say. A cease-fire was negotiated here by the government of South Sudan and rebels in January, but it has not been observed.

The United Nations peacekeepers in South Sudan number about 7,700 soldiers and officers. Known by the acronym Unmiss, for the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan, the force has faced difficulties protecting itself, let alone the thousands of civilians who have sought protection at its compounds.

The effort to mobilize African reinforcements to augment the force has been underway since December. But it has encountered a number of obstacles, including the reluctance of African troop-contributing nations to allow their forces to be integrated into the United Nations peacekeeping effort and put under a single chain of command and control.

While Mr. Kerry expressed confidence that African troops would be supplied, technical details still need to be worked out.

During a visit on Wednesday to South Sudan, Navi Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, said the need for more international troops was urgent.

“In December, the Security Council agreed that the number of Unmiss peacekeepers should be increased from 7,700 to 13,200,” she said. “But the contributing countries have still not supplied some two-thirds of the extra desperately needed troops.”

Ms. Pillay, who met with Salva Kiir, the South Sudan president, and Riek Machar, the rebel leader, said that each was to blame for the spiraling violence.

“The prospect of widespread hunger and malnutrition being inflicted on hundreds of thousands of their people, because of their personal failure to resolve their differences peacefully, did not appear to concern them very much,” she said.

In his news conference here, Mr. Kerry said that there were “very disturbing indicators” of ethnic and tribal killings that could lead to genocide if they were not addressed.

“We still hope that visits with serious discussion, with clear implications to the leadership about what is at stake, and what the repercussions may be if they do not begin to move in a different direction, that that kind of effort might be able to make a difference,” Mr. Kerry said. “No promises. Might.”

President Obama issued an executive order last month that authorized sanctions against individuals who are responsible for fighting that has torn South Sudan apart.

The American sanctions, which would include a freeze on assets and a ban on travel to the United States, have not yet been imposed. But American officials acknowledge that they are unlikely to be effective until Uganda, Ethiopia and Angola take similar measures.

“We have not decided on a list of who the individuals are yet,” a senior State Department official said on Wednesday, referring to the sanctions that are being weighed. “A lot of the South Sudanese own property and travel to Kenya and Uganda and Ethiopia. And so without them participating, we think the sanctions will be weaker.”

Mr. Kerry said that the United States was prepared to impose sanctions unilaterally but expressed hope that African nations would take similar actions.