Archive for: September 2014

For now South Sudan has no choice but to tolerate foreign economic domination


The outrage in Kenya over South Sudan is understandable.

Even after Juba’s climbdown from the earlier order on foreign workers, feelings remain raw. But let’s not get carried away.

Hardly any country in our region is comfortable with outsiders controlling jobs and businesses.

Salva Kiir was only crudely acting out what others have done.

There is really nothing wrong with a government insisting its citizens get priority in the jobs and opportunities available. Everybody does it.

Those who were around in the late 1960s remember our own Kenya revoking licences to Asian dukawallahs who preferred to remain non-citizens.

Even defenders of Idi Amin insist his expulsion of Asians from Uganda was not an act of pure lunacy. The majority of them were British passport holders.

These days it’s all the rage in the region to talk about open borders under the aegis of the East African Community.

But essentially what the member countries are keen on is the removal of barriers to intra-state trade.


When it comes to the freedom of individuals to work or own property across borders, everybody, to some degree, clams up.

The absurdity of the South Sudan situation is the glaring shortage of educated human capital. Only a quarter of the population can read or write, according to the UN.

Those with professional qualifications are a very small fraction, and most prefer to remain overseas unless they are absorbed into the government.

The charity Medecins sans Frontieres reports that its efforts over time to recruit qualified South Sudanese midwives have not been successful.

For the time being, South Sudan has no option but to tolerate foreign economic domination.

Kenyans run its banking and insurance sectors and its hotels. Ugandans dominate the transport sector and also keep Juba supplied with food.

Something as basic as Juba’s water supply is controlled by outsiders, specifically Ethiopians and Eritreans.

Still, better endowed countries in the neighbourhood insist on their own tight controls.

In Ethiopia, retail and informal business is open only for citizens.

You won’t find a Kenyan or Ugandan or Tanzanian hawking or running a kiosk. Foreign workers are mainly confined to international organisations.

Regulations for investors in the financial sector in particular are very strict. That is why Kenyan banks like KCB and Equity that have an expansionist regional policy have been shut out of Ethiopia.

A visitor cannot even get a roaming mobile phone service in that country. You have to register a local SIM card.

Our close EAC neighbour, Tanzania, is not entirely hospitable to non-citizens either, as many Kenyans know.

Informal traders from outside are not encouraged (though depending on how “resourceful” you are, localised exceptions can be arranged).

An outsider owning land is out of the question.

There is a very elaborate version of Nyumba Kumi that can be fairly intimidating to transient traders and small investors from outside Tanzania.

Landlords are not allowed to rent out residential premises to aliens whose full details have not been supplied.

Everywhere there is a local commissar called mjumbe who must be informed of the length of stay of the visitor, what his work or business in the country is, and, of course, if he has all the proper government permits.

Occasionally, the mjumbe may saunter over to your premises to verify you are what you say you are.

Even locals who move from one province to another for employment must be reported to the commissar.


We Kenyans are lucky to live in a much more open environment where few questions are asked. Chaggas from Tanzania are thriving in the mitumba business at Nairobi’s Gikomba market.

We have resident Congolese and Rwandese importing and exporting all manner of unclear things.

There are thousands of South Sudanese living the easy life in our towns. There are nationals of Somalia in Eastleigh with fake Kenyan papers doing their thing. And many others.

All of which is a good thing, once we exclude the Al-Shabaab infiltrators and the Anthony Chinedus of the narcotics underworld.

What our neighbours fail to realise–with the exception of Uganda is that openness is what gives Kenya its unique vitality; it is what has made this country the regional economic power.

South Sudan: A baby weaned always remains crying for sometimes!

BY: Chier Akueny Anyithiec, South Sudan, SEP/21/2014, SSN;

Weaning a child is not always an easy task; it takes a child sometimes trying by all means to make sure that the source of the breast milk is maintained. What do you understand by this? I mean Kenyan economist, Mr. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, is totally wrong and needs to come up and
support his decision of abusing the whole nation, South Sudan.

The decision taken by the republic of South Sudan is not completely stupid and folly as he put it but it is completely ideal decision. It is a part of the measures of liberating the economic setback of this country.

Here, I would wish to humbly disagree with Mr. Mwangi S. Kimenyi for comparing the current decree issued by South Sudan’s government with that of Uganda in the time of Dictator Idi Amin.

To make it clear, Sudan as a whole got independent from British in 1956. This is a very long time indeed and for sure, Southern Sudan region was part of greater competitive nation, called Sudan.

However, the region of Southern Sudan was part of great Sudan with its educated machines, although Southern Sudan region has never been put in picture for all these times; then the problem was because the Southerners were under the oppression of the Arab Muslims of Northern region who do not accept anything else important apart from something connected to Sharia law and Islam itself. So, we are not Muslim to be put in picture by Northerners.

South Sudan has never lacked educated people since the inception. This region has its educated intellectual ever since Sudan got independent from greater Britain in 1956; let me repeat it for you to understand better.

We had doctors, professors, Masters’ degree holders and degree holders compared to Northern region and indeed skilled personnel are of great abundance but due to the lack of free social and economic integration in the system of old Sudan let us down.

If not, there would be no Mr. Mwangi S. Kimenyi today criticizing great South Sudan only on economic issues without a response from at least 20 doctors/professor etc of economic, if not hundredths of them from South Sudan alone.

Mr. Mwangi, at least a degree holder would simply respond to you now not because there are no doctors, professors, economic practitioners or whatever education level you may need in South Sudan.

War does not mean people who fought for their right for long period of time could be termed uneducated. We are educated to the extent we can properly manage our own affairs. Although we have consultants/specialists or practitioners from abroad, yet we are the very people
to supervise and correct them inside our country’s affairs.

Yes, South Sudan must have consultants from abroad, mostly Israelites. Why not? We know very well that foreign consultants are important in every growing economy that is why America still has foreigner consultants to the date. But this is not what it means here.

Mr. Mwangi, you need to understand the term in economy called Human Capital of any country: Sir, Mwangi, I would beg you to allow me explain to you briefly the need for South Sudan to declare such a burning issue to you today.

To liberate our economy, it needs us take ahead the all economic sections evenly. And indeed to promote all economic sectors forwards then, we would not leave the so called human capital behind.

This does not mean Kenyans, Ugandans, Rwandans, Congolese and the rest of the world will do it to us directly but indirectly and South Sudanese will impart directly. I would give you a book not because I have intended to do so to you but your aggressive act of terming South Sudanese ‘stupid’ makes me do so.

To explain it better, I have to talk little bit on human capital. This is nothing less than a stock of competencies, knowledge, customs, social and personality attributes, including creativity, perceptive abilities, embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce
economic value.

South Sudan wouldn’t produce proper economic value using only foreigners without owners’ involvement. It is a collective economic view of the human being acting within their own economies, which is an attempt to capture the social, genetic, cultural and psychological complexity as they interact in explicit and in economic dealings.

Many theories unambiguously connect investment in human capital development to education, and the role of human capital in economic development, productive growth, and innovation has frequently been showed as a justification for government to subside in the job skills
training and skill augmenting.

It does not mean that Mr. Kimenyi, would come from Kenya to do all these for us to develop skillfully better in South Sudan without South Sudanese fore runners.

Human capital is only an alternative to economic capital and symbolic capital. These critiques, and other debates, suggest that “human capital has no sufficient justification worldwide, and then majority of economists including Kenyan economists except you embrace it

I wish I meet old Modern Makerere University graduate, your former President, Mwai Kibaki to explain to you the importance of promoting human capital and ways of promoting to you.

It is a supposition in economic concepts, reflecting the context of the heavy industrial sector of the economy which could be producing much more than the tertiary sector was able to produce at the time in most countries. But to do this, you cannot chase out the citizens from
holding the main stem of it.

Dear Mwangi, we are here talking about the service sector consists of the “soft” parts of the economy activities where people offer their knowledge and time to improve productivity, performance, potential, and sustainability and possibly what we called affective labor. The
basic characteristic of this sector is the production of services instead of supplying me.

When we talk of services; they are known to be intangible goods include attention, advice, access, experience, and discussion. The production of information is generally also regarded as a service, but some economists now attribute to a fourth sector. We shall call not only you but also above mentioned old economist of Kenya, if you think we don’t have all these perceptions.

The tertiary sector of industry involves the provision of services to other businesses as well as final consumers. Services may involve the transport, distribution and sale of goods from producer to a consumer, as may happen in wholesaling and retailing, or may involve the
provision of a service, such as in pest control or entertainment.

South Sudan welcomes investors but not workers as you put it.

Secondly, you cannot exclude us from acting within our economy. South Sudan authority promotes all necessary backgrounds and atmosphere to attract investors to the country and contribute in the development.

Can you develop South Sudan without me? I don’t think you are really an economist that takes principles and theories of economic apparatus. Kenyan economic went and grew fast because the citizens themselves are the playing characters.

Would you simply explain to South Sudanese where Kenya got their skilled human resources initially in the history of your independent?

In modern characteristic of even economic promotion, we term balanced growth as the goal to equal growth of both aggregate human capabilities and physical assets that produce goods and services.

This simply means, when we continue employing foreigners leaving our talented graduates, then we stand on a ground that we are only promoting income of those foreign countries. Mr. Hon. Minister Ngor Kolong (the minister of labour) and I see the possibility of our country remaining incapable for rest of the century.

How do you need South Sudan to help you and how far do you need South Sudan to include you in developmental affairs of South Sudan? I think you cannot be my manager in Home and Away industry, when you and I are holding the same degrees and have the same skills.

If not so, then you mean we do not know what we mean to do!

I don’t think you could be in a position to criticize the decision taken by the South Sudanese concerning authority to improve the welfare and well-being of the citizens.

Mr. Mwangi, does it mean Kenyan professionals can drive, paid better, work in our industries,
hotels, sweeping and even working as office managers while our graduates and professionals should remain roaming without jobs?

If you may not know the difference, l would bother little bit explain to you the different between Ngor Kolong and Dictator Idi Amin’s expulsion of foreigners. President Idi Amin expulsed the traders and investors from the country, while Minister, Ngor Kolong only want for workers who hold citizens positions to leave and give the chance to the nationals wandering all over looking for jobs.

It does not mean when Mr. Mwangi comes as an investor for instance he has to bring all the workers along with him from the country of origin. Is this what you mean sir economist?

I studied in Uganda; I once went and entered a certain hotel called Panda Junub. The hotel
industry was surely for a South Sudanese; initially, I was not thinking that hotel belonged to South Sudanese investor because all the workers including finance, cashier, waiter/tress including cooks etc apart from managing director were all Ugandans. Why did that hotel
employ Ugandans instead of South Sudan?

I would simply invite Mr. Kimenyi if the concerned authority may not think of inviting him to visit Juba and the rest of our cities/towns to research and compare them with the rest of the countries including Kenya; if it is indeed the ways you need South Sudan to promote the
social economic stability of South Sudanese.

You cannot promote economic security without first promoting the common well-being of the citizens. I would not feel happy if I enter a hotel and a foreign lady or young man serves me when our young ladies/men are roaming aimlessly along the street.

We need to remove the ideology that South Sudanese don’t want to work! If we do not want to work and war is a heavier work that any other human being may feel tired; how did we fight for our freedom for 22 years leave alone 40 years if we include the genesis of the struggle
of Southern Sudanese region?

South Sudan needs to wean the child but still we should know very well that the child weaned remains crying until he/she adapted to the dry situations.

Writer: Chier Akueny Anyithiec,
South Sudan and can be reached by

South Sudan: The nation ran from outside its borders

By: Yien Lam, SOUTH SUDAN, SEP/20/2014, SSN;

As the matter of fact, I still see some people that are dubious and question the legitimacy of the foreigners in South Sudan affairs, specifically the Uganda role. Those individuals who are still thinking as such may have missed the point in my view. Uganda has been allowed to do whatever it can in South Sudan.

If it was not because this is a rogue government, there should be no inconsistency between president who invited the Ugandans and his minister of labour. Their message should be consistent in my view if not in the views of many.

These two leaders are expected by others to have enough knowledge about what to say on the media and what is not if it was not the government that lost its legitimacy.

As I know if not you, South Sudan has been ran outside its border by Uganda to be specific. Would anyone be able to deny that rather than Kiir and his likes? Of course not! Kiir and his sympathizers would have been ditched if south Sudan was not ran by foreigners.

This is simple and nobody would have missed it in terms of rationality. If that is so as many know, what would prevent the foreigners to be the most employed people in the country? People, let as give sincerity a chance in our country’s affair.

In this case, however, even if it is being ran outside its borders. Kiir and his likes already dug their holes in which they will be buried because there is no country’s president that can systematically killed one ethnic group within his own country.

Never in the world! This is the first and will be the last. In addition, Kiir Mayar and his government ran out of options. It is now a matter of time for them to pack their belongings and go.

In this case as the saying goes, “what presents you to sleep at night is created by you,” this is exactly what is happening now with Kiir Mayar. Believe it for certain, Kiir Mayar is not sleeping as normal as he used to be before his fake coup attempt.

As the theme goes, South Sudan became what I term as “a state in Uganda.” This was and still so because Uganda has more interest in south sudan than anyone else in terms of foreign employment.

For example, all peddlers who are running everything in Juba markets now are Ugandans. In addtion, military deployment in south sudan is paramount and is the key of all that keeps the kiir’s government in life support and I don’t know for certain how long it’s going to be for the regime to govern as such. Be the judge as I said in my article in March this year title below.

“Can tranquility be brought back to South Sudan by IGAD without UN?”

Well, as the question needs thorough answer, mind is no. IGAD cannot and will never bring a tangible peace in South Sudan because some of its member states are deeply involved in South Sudan crises.

As a concerned citizen of this great Nation, I sincerely believe that peace will not yield any fruits because of member states of this organization — Uganda in particular.

Without Uganda backing kiir, peace could have been achieved long ago. For that matter, I truly believe an IGAD in which Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is the member of, cannot bring peace. The Uganda is preoccupied by interest in the country and the hatred of what would be democratic system.

For that reason, the Uganda leader sees it as the threat to his leadership. That was why the cessation of hostility signed on January 23th of this year was violated by him and kiir’s government repeatedly.

This is a pure and clandestine plan for them that the others know not about it. It was done so by that a leader to ruin South Sudan in pretext of protecting the infrastructures of the country.

They have seen IGAD of doing nothing in terms of keeping its commitment. This is the one reason why the fighting still dragging on for nearly three months now. When you look at this, how in the world peace could be achieved with Kiir’s government while Yoweri Museveni is already playing his game?

In other word, how can you deal with snake without taking its venom out? Should that be possible? To me, I honestly doubt the ability of that organization to produce the tangible result in terms of peace with the absence of the UN.

Kiir could have not insisted to refuse peace repeatedly as he did ever because he does not have any Army of his own that he can count on rather than Museveni’s. In this regard, if we know it as such, how does an organization like this could make peace while its member states are deeply assisting other side than another?

Realistically, Peace cannot be negotiated with organization that lacks neutrality in my view. This would be like fighting a hand-cuffed individual. Nonetheless, fighting with two dictators whose common interest is to crash anyone who happens to come through their ways is tough if not complicated.

But truth cannot be bought but time can. It is always hard for the truth to be heard. But never perish as the lies may have been. Time for the truth to be revealed will come. This will only be a matter of time. Truth may be skinny. But will never die. Kiir and Yoweri Museveni of IGAD may do whatever they can in order to dictate the truth. But will emerge at the end.

However, The United Nations needs to be careful though. It should not allow its staffs to be abused as such with no actions taken. This will not be good for its integrity in the world. It must know that, all dictators are being deterred by action. Without action as it seems to be the case in South Sudan crises, will only influence the abusers to do more in the days, months and years to come.

On the contrary, UN must be the only mediator that could bring a viable peace in South Sudan because it has no interest of any kind whatsoever. Its interest always is to save lives of human beings which is not the case now in South Sudan since the cessation of hostility was signed.

If that is the reason or the meaning of the United Nations as I know, it will be good for the organization to speed its effort of resolving the South Sudan crisis than delegating its powers to an untrusted organization.

The toothless organization known as IGAD has been conquered by some of its leaders’ interest whose aims is for self-seeking rather than bringing peace in South Sudan. For this purpose, I urge the international community to act as quickly as possible because IGAD has shown its colors as not only bias also inactive organization whose member states have already interfered in the country’s affairs.

Due to that, it cannot be trusted to bring peace in the Country. This is a very urgent message to the world’s body to act as soon as possible. Otherwise, South Sudan will be football field for anybody.

UN needs to work collectively as fast as it possibly could. It could not wait to none other than itself. This would be so because Uganda’s attitude will never change.

As the matter of fact, this was the reason why it defied the world condemnation of its troop’s withdrawal. If Uganda defied Norway, United States, European Union and so forth as all know. Who else does the world think Uganda will respect? IGAD! NO! This does not make any sense at all.

In my view, that would only be the collective of all, that is the reason why I suggested United Nations as the right body to put its feet on this issue. There is no other organization that I can think off would fit to that category to solve and bring back calmness into South Sudan ever.

Nonetheless, if United Nations does not act as it should, this will be worse and its comparison will not be found because President Kiir and his mercenaries will continue whatever they initiated in Juba on December 15th last year.

The world needs not to continue watching remotely as it has been for the last three months, otherwise the consequences of its inaction will have ripple effect on South Sudanese. Therefore, I urge UN to intervene sooner than later.

In short, Kiir, M7 and the IGAD cannot and will never bring peace in South Sudan crisis. They are instead fueling it in order to keep the game running. If United Nations wants to save lives in South Sudan as it always does around the world, it must step in for peace to be achieved in the country.

Otherwise, peace will never be seen in that country as long as the Country is being led outside its borders.


NGOs: Does Being a Foreigner Qualify Someone as an Expatriate in South Sudan?

BY: Deng Mangok Ayuel, AWEIL, South Sudan, SEP/21/2014, SSN;

Are foreign experts worth so much? I have kept contemplating, partially failed to understand why do Western NGOs’ top managements bring along with them fellow Kenyans and Ugandans who schooled with some of us at the same schools as experts in our country? Where did NGOs open schools of experiences for East Africans? There is no need for organizations to spend huge amount of dollars on foreigners who have had been doing less than expected for quite long time.

Does being a Kenyan or Ugandan qualify someone as an expert in South Sudan?
These foreign aid workers are plain dealers who have bewitched South Sudan economically. They blindly failed to recognize the existence of educated nationals in the country.

However, Africans are almost educationally equal. The post-protracted civil war in Sudan shouldn’t be taken as an advantage for branding South Sudanese as uneducated. There are South Sudanese who had studied in the West, South Africa than Uganda and Kenya. Are these nationals unable to do anything in their country?

If Prof. Talban Liloyong had branded East Africa as a ‘desert of literacy criticism’, is it anything to celebrate and boast of being an expert from Kenya?

Many East Africans in South Sudan failed to understand that their presence in our country is based on our will and cooperation as neighbors or sisterly countries than their education. These people aren’t contributing something good but exploding our economy. They should acknowledge our generosity.

A Kenyan economist has termed a decision made by the Ministry of Labor, Public Services and Human Resource Development to fire foreign workers who are currently working for NGOs, companies and telecommunications or private sectors in the country as ‘premature and stupid decision’. So why can’t Kenyan government fire South Sudanese workers in Kenya for their stupid decision?

Besides, Babe Cool, a Ugandan singer has also stated on his Facebook page that he is ready to trouble South Sudanese in Uganda if the government in Juba implements its decision to sack foreign workers in the country. Why do Ugandans enforce themselves into South Sudanese affairs?

When the ministry of Interior took a decision to ban Uganda Boda-boda ridders in Juba, people felt it in Uganda as the boys used to send money home and they roared amicably. This is not going to be Boda-boda saga where South Sudanese were targeted in Kampala. It’s a national decision.

All in all, Ugandans are fond of meddling. It’s their nature! Any decision taken by the government regarding foreigners is always being personalized by Ugandans – are Ugandans they only foreigners in South Sudan? If the government in Kenya and Uganda can’t create jobs for you, then it’s not our problem. The decision made by our government to fire foreign workers doesn’t need any foreign reactions.

Deng Mangok Ayuel is a South Sudanese blogger and humanitarian worker, lives in Aweil, South Sudan.He can be reached via

South Sudan Circular on Terminating Foreign Nationals by Mid-October 2014: False, Facts & Policy Options

BY: Garang Atem Ayiik, SOUTH SUDAN, SEP/19/2014, SSN;

1. Introduction
This week, Ministry for Labor issued a Ministerial Order that ordered all companies, and NGOs to terminate all foreign nationals working in South Sudan by mid-October 2014.

The same circular went further to mention some specific positions to be advertised and filled with nationals with the assistance of the Ministry. Specifying the roles to be South Sudanized, adds further confusion ‘to all’ mention in the circular.

This circular is already making head-line. Kenya Citizen TV reported Kenya Amb. To South Sudan having said that all African ambassadors in South Sudan are considering approaching South Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discussed this issue.

As usual, though this is a good policy intended to helps localized opportunities to South Sudanese, it seems the Government of South Sudan has done this out of emotions with little due process, without due diligence to diplomatic implications, and operationalization considerations.

This article aims to discuss the impact of this circular from an economic policy perspective, suggest possible implications and policy options.

2. What does the circular mean?

South Sudan through Ministry of Interior, ordered foreigners nationals driving motor cycles in South Sudan early this year. There was rapid and immediate uproar from Uganda. This got the attention of Ugandans Parliamentarians, with some members looking at South Sudan as attacking her economic interest.

Some members of Uganda Parliament asked the Government of Uganda to pays South Sudan with the same coin. However, these calls died down after it received low reception from the executive.

Though the motors cycle boys’ case was a tangential issue, this circular touch on economic hearts of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopian, Eritrea, Africa and the World at large.

In a world runs on principle of self interest, will these nations allow South Sudan to edge them off the economic cake and did South Sudan anticipate these nations reaction and her respond?

This is viewed from the background that these nations contributed to significantly to well-being of South Sudan and to some extent; these nations consider themselves as stakeholders in South Sudan.

As an economic student, from theoretical perspective, I surely agreed with the need to put monies in the pockets of South Sudanese. These has multiples merit, first, incomes for the local will be re-invest in South Sudan and hence encourage local economic growth;

Secondly, reduced repatriation of salaries will reduce pressure on South Sudan Pound; and thirdly, improves standard of living for South Sudanese through employment creation.

With all the due advantages, the circular was a wild miscalculation. In late 2013, the Government through Central Bank issued order to devalue South Sudan pound from 3.16SSP to 4.5SSP.

Though at that time, I supported devaluation, I knew the way the devaluation was framed, it was not going withstand test of public pressure. There was no economic helmet to short term economic stones.

Again, the government is at it – a good intention but a wrong thought process and approach. Already Kenya media is leading hype with report of its 30,000 nationals being targeted for termination.

If it is true what Citizen TV reported its evening news of 16 Sep 2014 that Africa ambassadors in South Sudan are planning to see South Sudan Foreign Affairs Ministry on this, it is likely that South Sudan does not have economic and diplomatic muscles to withstand such pressure.

It is possible like the devaluation directive with all the due advantages, this circular will at some point be rescinded. In 2012, as graduate student at University of Nairobi, I overheard two Kenyans saying ‘tumewaletea peace, na wajinga are killing our people’. Translated to ‘though we bring them peace, stupid South Sudanese are killing our people’.

This was at period of hype reporting in Kenya whenever dead body was brought from South Sudan. The media reported another body from South Sudan. This reporting disregarded the realities of South Sudan.

This circular creates the following impact: one, it will create an opportunity for hype reporting in Kenya, Uganda and other nations about how thankless South Sudan is;

Second, it will creates a diplomatic war that South Sudan has no capacity to win, and mostly at such times when she is very vulnerable due to internal challenges.

Thirdly, it paints South Sudan business environment as gloomy and unfriendly. Such directives are done through regulatory frame-work and not through attention-calling approach.

In all economic jurisprudence, no government can participate in directing investors on who run their business, government give guidance and follow up compliance.

Already there are reports that South Sudanese are some of most reliable workers in the world. With this in the air, what will convince investors to invest in South Sudan when they are compulsory provided an option of employing from unreliable labor in the world! This circulate pollutes South Sudan business environment.

This circular point to serious policy contradictions within government establishments. At some point, the government is a number one pro-East Africa Community whose key principles included liberalization.

This circular is a total departure from this understanding. Though it is author’s believes that this circular will never be implemented in spirit and letter, it will cause diplomatic and economic damage.

3. Conclusions and Recommendations

At such times, the government does not need to piss off her allies and investors. In economic policy, it is about incentives, understanding the respond of the economic agents involved and prepare for perceived reactions. South Sudan should know better.

Can government tries fiscal policy – say a firm that employ 80% of South Sudanese work force, get tax preferential treatment! There are ranges of policy options to choose from;

It was not necessary to create unnecessary diplomatic and economic war. The government needs to coordinate and analyze her decisions. Was it really necessary to ask for namely calling from the region?

Already there are quotas in some sectors to be employed as South Sudanese. The government should make NGOs and private sector to comply with this for now instead for asking for lofty dreams;

Decisions such as devaluation, or directive to pay local staffs working with NGOs that cannot withstand test of time and realities should be avoided. These decisions portray lack of understanding, and appreciation of local and geo-economic realities;

The government has soft and friendly ways of implementing this directive in non-attention calling fashion. Doing audits to sustain compliance with employment quotas, and do human resource audit in South Sudan and thereafter, regulate entrance through work permits and entry visa. The government can use sectors’ regulators to ensure compliance.

The government has an option of refusing to issue permits and visas base on judgment of cadres that she needs to import.

After all, it is a legal non-sense to ask an employer to terminate an employee with a valid work permit and entry visa to South Sudan;

Economic decisions need to be institutionalized. Economic policy requires systematic analysis likely insufficient on an individual capacity.

It is better to subject policies to independent policy test through think tanks and expert advisers. Otherwise, South Sudan might continue to make short-sighted harmful economic policies.

Garang Atem Ayiik is an independent South Sudan Economic Policy Commentator base in South Sudan. He can be reached

Is the circular concerning foreign employment in South Sudan a good one?

Personal Opinion By: Jackline Warille, Doctorate Student, SOUTH SUDAN, SEP/19/2014, SSN;

South Sudan is a sovereign state and therefore should protect her citizens. There are some common sayings that we helped South Sudan, their children are in our schools, they come for treatment in our country, they are illiterate, they do not have capacity, they and they and they.

All these are fine and by religious standards, they will turn to be blessings on the so called illiterate and people with less capacity.

While I do appreciate all the help South Sudanese are getting from the neighbouring countries or the international community as such, one of the help they should give to South Sudan is to help the country to put systems in place.

In business, people usually make a lot of money in any unfortunate situation in a place. If there are no hospitals, you can put up a clinic and charge any amount; if there are no transport means, you can bring in an airline and charge any amount, etc.

For the last nine years, South Sudan accommodated all people in the name of building capacity. I do not know whether the capacity has been built or not.

The point I am trying to raise here is if there can be a time limit set for when the country should be operating in its current status where all nationalities work without being questioned.

This ranges from hawkers, making and selling charcoal in the rural & urban areas, cleaners, cooks, house helps, vegetable sellers, saloons, chapati makers, building graves, building houses, working in the government ministries, the banks, insurance companies and other private sectors, and name them.

While I personally appreciate what has happened all this while, I also feel that there should be a time when the country should say this and that job should be given to a South Sudanese or at least no foreigner should be permitted to do that. This is to give the nationals the chance to also do business in their country.

In some countries, if you have to get a work permit, your employer will have to justify whether a national cannot do the job before employing a foreigner. I do not know whether we ask such questions or not. If we do not have nationals to do all the jobs I mentioned above, then I am not sure whether there are South Sudanese in this world.

We complain that the development in South Sudan is going on a low pace. Yes, this is true. If the money is not staying in South Sudan, how do you expect development to happen?

All people make money in South Sudan and the money gets out of the country. What is the ratio of the foreigners who rent decent houses in Juba compared to those who stay in Konyo Konyo, Jebel and other places?

Are we checking on the documents and the visas? Countries check visas and they have a time limit when you should be in their country. Once they renew the visa for a certain time, you are to cross the border before you can be permitted to come in or you will have to get some permits to enable you to stay in the country.

If the country wants to put systems in place, let us accept that there will be many victims. If we shy away from this truth, we will never change the face of South Sudan.

Change comes with resistance and this is normal. Yes, we will be insulted and told we are the one doing this and that for South Sudan. This should not discourage people from making changes.

How many educated South Sudanese are in the diaspora who are not able to get work in South Sudan. I have heard the following over and over again:
• South Sudanese are lazy people.
• South Sudanese want the white collar jobs
• South Sudanese cannot work in some remote places in their own country.
• South Sudanese do not have the capacity

I am not disputing these because I do not expect all South Sudanese to be good but it is not also right to generalize. Not all South Sudanese fall in these categories. There is no country in which there are no foreigners working.

There are international staff who are recognized, consultants or even organizations that have to recruit other nationalities to work for them. This is allowed but the procedure of employment of such personalities need to be followed as well.

If we are neighbours and neighbours would want to be accommodated in South Sudan, it is a good idea but this should work in all countries. South Sudanese should be allowed to work in the other countries in the same way the other nationals work in South Sudan.

If it is about selling, hawking and all the others mentioned above, should be given to South Sudanese without hindrance.

The Bible says that we should do to others what we want them to do to us, (Mathew 7:12). So if we want to work in South Sudan without the government questioning us, South Sudanese should also work in our countries without questioning.

In Mark 12: 31, we are told to love our neighbours as ourselves. Who is your neighbour? If as a country, we are one entity, our neighbour becomes the other countries. As South Sudanese, we need to show love to our neighbours and they need to do the same to us.

Our neighbours should not look at South Sudanese as bad people by the mere fact that they are trying to put a system in place. If they love South Sudan, they should not be happy to see the country in a mess where the labour market is not controlled. If anything, they should help South Sudan to develop her systems the way theirs are developed.

This should not in any way discourage investors from investing in South Sudan. Yes, invest your money but also allow the nationals to work.

If you invest in South Sudan and all your workers are also from your country, what have you done for South Sudan? We need to balance between our contribution to the economy of South Sudan and the return on investment that we expect.

If there is anything that I praise the Government of South Sudan for is the decision to look at the systems in South Sudan. Even if it is not implemented now, people should not relax because one day, someone will wake up and enforce these changes.

These are facts which happen in every country and should not be considered as being unfriendly or being unappreciative.

Let us see and check whether the other countries are putting controls over who gets work permit in their countries, then we can conclude whether South Sudan is doing the right thing or not.

May God help South Sudan to put systems in place and also talk silently to our neighbours to see the sense in the need for South Sudan to have systems.

Why Foreigners must go to pave for Employment of South Sudanese Nationals.

BY: KENYI ALEX KENYI, South Sudanese Economist, SEP/19/2014, SSN;

Time has come for the young baby to walk. Raise left leg or right and fall, but get up and continue. As one of philosophers noted; “There is nothing more powerful than an Idea whose time has come.”

If Ngor Kulang Ngor is to wait for the labor bill to be passed into law first, it would be too late to begin the economic repair of South Sudan. All babies cry trans-night the first day they are removed from the breast feeding but, gradually they accept the reality and changes and then life goes on. We cannot be good neighbors if our decisions do not affect East African Community or other neighbors.

Although they bring in a lot of expertise indeed; it is time to say thank you. This will ultimately give us Economic bargaining power once they feel hardship of us not being in the Community.

South Sudanese know all their problems; and the solutions as well. When Hon. James Wani Igga was sworn in as South Sudan’s VP, he said: unemployment by itself is insecurity. Therefore, by implementing the circular 007/2014 many economic problems will be solved; we would solve economic insecurity (unemployment), Tax margin would increase tremendously, Human resources development will have meaning; and Reduce capital outflow.

Most NGOS if not all do not pay Personal Income tax PIT to the government on grounds that the foreign employees are expats. Many NGOS do not have the names of their foreign employees on payroll as they are paid from Head Quarters HQ and the government do not know this or; has no basis for asking the remittance of PIT.

So as Daily Nation a Kenyan Newspaper puts, Kenyans employed in south Sudan to be 13,000. Assuming we go ahead and implement the circular; we would employ 13,000 South Sudanese whose can pay PIT not least then 15,000,000 SSP to our government. This will reduce capital outflow and hence we can lay the foundation for building our economy.

In capacity building and Human resources development, we can now acquire the skills and competencies that the Country need from us.

Most NGOS do not have South Sudanese at managerial positions that makes up the Senior Management Team SMT the supreme decision making body. When training opportunity arises they send the managers to represent the NGO.

This means they will never attain the so called capacity building of nationals forever instead they build their own. Most expats come with the same qualifications like South Sudanese. So they get trained by or make us do a donkey work for them.

But, the Ministry of Labor, Public Service and Human Resource Development should watch out, the foreigners are having a sleepless night because of the circular. They are the decision making body in all NGOS, and other institutions, can think of the following methods;

1. Misinterpret the circular. All over East Africa where the order is felt the hardest; the news headings read; “South Sudan government has ordered all foreigners out” or “All foreigners are expelled from South Sudan”.

This is deliberately to cause public resentment so that South Sudanese living in East African Countries EAC can be threatened and call off the Circular. However, even there is no single South Sudanese working EAC. The EAC are worse than us when it comes to protecting jobs.

Rwandan Immigration Stamp reads, “Employment Prohibited”. Economically, should the EAC go for beg my neighbor policy; (Copy and Paste of other Countries Policy). The EAC will face worst economic collapse of the 21st Century. When the foreign Minister denied there was no order evicting foreign workers; they quickly wrote an article with this title; “Foreign workers in South Sudan can stay after all: Kiir rescinds Order.”

2. Using complicated job titles to remain working in South Sudan. There is need for Labor Office to see the Job description of the person before issuing the work permit. For example, the cook will be called Guest House Manager; Cleaner is called Sanitation specialist or sanitation engineer…

In accounting section a Cashier is given a job tittle of Finance Administrator; Finance Controller, Accountant will be called Finance Manager; Finance Director, Finance Associate or Finance Specialist… And therefore, the job titles above are unaffected by the circular.

But the implementers for the circular should generalize job titles to be advertised as; Managerial, Officer Level, Assistants, Coordinators and Administrators… Otherwise they can still remain working on ground that the position is not affected by the circular.

3. East African Understanding Method. EAUM here they will resort to bribe those will follow up. I wish people eat that money as it is ours and tell them kindly by force, it is a government policy.

4. The last of all but most dangerous is the forging of nationality Identification documents. You will see endless queue of South Sudanese converts who will give all reasons to justify their nationality. But that is just a lust for our resources.

In conclusion, “it is better to try and fail then failing to try”. Every Economy takes a decision to correct, sharpen and repair its economy. Any economic stage is guided through economic policies that are correct at the time.

That is Amin Dada of Uganda one day woke up and said; all Asians out. All economy protect the interest of its people why not South Sudan Government?

Kenyi Alex Kenyi,
The Author is an Economist. You can reach him

Will the Ministry of Labor Order to replace aliens with nationals be implemented?


This question is very easy for the Minster of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development to answer because it is apparent that no government minister could issue orders and fail to follow up on them.

Nonetheless, as a citizen of this country and very familiar with the way things have been happening, I am a bit skeptical of how this question can be answered adequately. However, before I could attempt to give any answer to such question, I wish to give my readers a brief background of what I intend to share with them on this particular issue.

Over the past few days, international, regional and national airwaves have been hit by the news that the government of the Republic of South Sudan and particularly its ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development has issued orders to all government institutions, NGOS, private sector, commercials banks and private companies to sack some aliens employed in their institutions and such vacated positions be given to south Sudanese citizens.

The ministry has given all concerned institutions one month up to mid October 2014 to implement this order. What impressed jobless south Sudanese most is the articulation and clarification made by the Undersecretary of the ministry of Labour and public service when she said among other things that, during the war, foreigners were the ones occupying most of the jobs in south Sudan because some educated citizens were at the battle fields while the rest were overseas and now that the country is three years old, the citizens have come back and should be given the opportunity for employment.

The customary blanket excuse that south Sudanese do not have required skills and knowledge has been rubbished by the undersecretary which makes things easier for me not to delve further in counteracting that argument.

Although the citizens of south Sudan both employed and unemployed have applause the idea by the ministry, there are enormous challenges that are associated with this order including but not limited to the misinterpretation of the order by the foreign and neighboring countries, yesterday, I got a phone call from Kenya enquiring that the government of south Sudan has been said to have given all the Kenyans in south Sudan up to October to leave the country and this, the caller said is what they heard on Kenyan televisions and read in their newspapers.

Even if I am not a ministry of Labour spokesperson, I felt obliged to answer and give clarifications in my capacity as a citizen of south Sudan to this caller that, the order was not about chasing the Kenyans or foreigners away from south Sudan but it was about the foreigners that occupy jobs for the local citizens.

The caller was convinced and satisfied with the answer but what I do not know now is whether this one Kenyan I have talked to will be able to convince and clarify to all the 40 million plus Kenyans that have heard in their national televisions and newspapers that south Sudan has not given their citizens less than three weeks to leave the country.

Having been to Kenya for several years myself, I have been a victim of prejudice of the Kenyan media when things would happen back here and they are reported subjectively on the other side, my Embassy in Kenya then was nowhere to protect me and other vulnerable south Sudanese from abuses by the Kenyan citizens, I don’t know if things have changed now.

In Kenya and I think also in Uganda, any little mistake that happened in south Sudan is amplified and it is immediately taken out against the south Sudanese citizens in their countries.

The funny thing is that, even the Kenyans and Ugandans who are in this country and benefiting greatly get worse and fail to convince their colleagues that south Sudan and the people of south Sudan are not what they say they are in reality.

Instead, those Kenyans and Ugandans who stay here report negatively about south Sudan and I can confirm this when in December 2013, the crisis broke out in south Sudan and the Kenyan government evacuated its citizens.

Upon their arrival in Kenya, the Kenyans who were in south Sudan gave some unbelievable reports that they were raped, killed and their money taken and this was on the national televisions and all the newspapers.

The irony in these stories was, the people who were giving account of what happened to them in south Sudan including being killed were the ones talking and one wonders, how would a dead person resurrect and give account of how s/he was killed.

Funny enough again, some of these stupid Kenyans came back to south Sudan even before the south Sudanese themselves and before the first cease fire was signed and this tells you that, maybe, because Kenyans and Ugandans are very selfish people, they didn’t want their other colleagues to come to south Sudan and get the business opportunities that the few of them are monopolizing.

I don’t have anything personal against Kenyans or Ugandans in this particular case but I am just trying to give some few examples of the hypocrisy that the foreigners have about this country although they are the real beneficiaries as most of them are employed in the private sector, NGOS, government institutions and commercial banks.

Now is the time when the real screening should be done, just like the ministry of Labour has realized, there is no reason why 99.9% of the employees should be foreigners whether in the NGOs, Private sector, private companies, commercials banks or hotels.

This has been the trend since independence and it is unfortunate that this decision has come a little too late as these foreigners have already milked the country dry of the resources that are not rightfully theirs.

For instance, in the commercial banks here in south Sudan, you would realize that apart from having employed all foreigners, these foreigners have come up with a very witty policy of running this country dry of its resources by allowing their citizens to transfer their money from accounts here to accounts in Kenya or Uganda and south Sudanese are denied these services.

The few south Sudanese employed at such banks are being intimidated and threatened with losing their jobs if they raise any alarm as most of them are junior staff.

It is also in these commercial banks that the foreigners instead of giving hard currencies allocated to them by this country’s central bank to all their customers, they only allocate them to their citizens who instead of travelling outside or sending them to their families take it back to the black market and bring the money back to their colleagues to be transfer to their home countries.

This routine contines while the ordinary south Sudanese who should rightfully get these services are suffering, the same activities are what are happening in the private sector and NGOS where the human resource managers are foreigners as they take advantage of their positions and invite their colleagues from their countries and employ them in positions where south Sudanese are supposed to be employed.

This is the reason why, in almost every company, commercial banks and NGOs where foreigners are, you would find that from the executive director to the receptionist or even a cook, all of them are foreigners.

So, the ministry of Labour having seen these cheating and illegal businesses was justified in issuing such order in order to salvage the country from sliding into a xenophobic condition because the opinions in the streets against foreigners from the citizens of this country are not something that someone would wish to linger for too long.

Ok, having said all these justifications, is the order implementable? The question is hard, why, because, as reported in the Voice of America Radio this morning, this is not the first time such order has been issued.

The previous ministers of Labour have issued such orders before but they weren’t implemented because these sectors that employ foreigners have vested interests in each and every alien that they employ.

Some of these foreigners are either their business associates, their in-Laws, their friends or their wives and husbands, yes, one can employ his/her wife in these sectors if they have acquired south Sudanese nationality by naturalization but the question is, do all these foreign wives and husbands working in our government institutions have such documents? I don’t know.

Another thing is that, all these aliens working in commercial banks, private sector, private companies and NGOS and dealing in unscrupulous businesses are working in cohort with the mighty in this country and therefore they are so connected to the extent that, ordinary citizens have been rendered voiceless and useless to raise any concerns even when things go wrong in their watch.

The foreigners in the commercial banks in particular are very much protected as they help in facilitating the illegal activities of these big people in the issues that I have highlighted above.

Nevertheless, it is good that, the successive ministers in the ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development have continuously realized that unemployment is what this country is struggling with.

As such, they are one after another diagnosing that employment of aliens in the above mentioned sectors is the reason why south Sudanese do not get jobs and therefore a solution has to be found although there are too many roadblocks ahead.

In that case, I wish to assist the ministry by suggesting the following recommendations:

1. The ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development should give this order to all the targeted sectors and attach to it a circular for such sectors to form committees to study files and recruitment of the staff in each sector with priority on non-nationals to be first eliminated.

The ministry of telecommunication has led in this area and I applause the minister for that initiative.

2. The ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development should form its own oversight committee to also go after all these sectors and make their own screening to ensure that no stones are left unturned in those sectors that people want to continue maintaining the status quo.

3. Just like the minister of telecommunication said, screening and reviewing the files of the staff should not only be to remove foreigners, but it should also be to check the performance of each staff and give recommendations for their promotions or otherwise, because, here, sacking aliens does not mean employing illiterate south Sudanese.

4. In keeping in touch with our neighbours and other countries of the world, the ministry should ensure that, a copy of this order is copied to all our embassies abroad and the ambassadors should be asked to share this information with the host countries such that it is not misinterpreted to mean that south Sudan does not want foreigners in the country.

My fear is that, if this information is not corrected, our citizens in the other countries will be abused and mistreated particularly in Kenya and Uganda because I have experiences in how the media from these countries and their citizens take something from south Sudan in a subjective and wholesale manner.

5. The ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development should if it goes through this order ensure that, capacity building and on-job training of the civil servants is given a priority in all sectors such that in the next few years, south Sudan should not be a laughing stock to foreigners who think that they are here because south Sudanese do not have the required skills and knowledge to be employed in managerial and administrative positions.

6. The ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development in collaboration with the ministry of justice, ministry of commerce, trade and investment should ensure that all licenses for those commercial banks, private companies, NGOS are withdrawn if they fail to cooperate and implement the orders.

In conclusion, I appreciate the decision by the minister of Labour, Public Service and human resource development for keeping with the spirit of his predecessors to open up jobs opportunities to their fellow citizens, the only difference for honourable Minister now is how he would implement this policy because its implementation has always been the problem not the issuing of orders.

As for south Sudanese, it is our right and we should not be embarrassed to demand for employment from our government and ask the foreigners to leave our jobs.

In every country, there are jobs that are reserved for nationals and south Sudan should not be an exception.

Finally, all sectors must collaborate and cooperate with the government and particularly the ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development in ensuring that this policy is implemented because lack of employment opportunities for south Sudanese youth has tremendous impacts on the economic, security and general development of this country.

Juma Mabor Marial is a Trainee Advocate based in Juba
Reachable at:

Threat by Juba to expel foreign workers may be myopic, but isn’t surprising

By DANIEL K. KALINAKI, Daily Nation, SEPT/19/2014, SSN;

The threat by the Government of South Sudan to expel foreign workers is disappointing but not surprising.

Not surprising, because this is the third time in three years that authorities in Juba are threatening to expel expatriates. Although the government appears to have pulled back on its threat, who is to say when the next such edict will be issued?

Disappointing, because it is a dark reminder of how far GOSS has to go to learn the art of statecraft, and how vulnerable the process of nation-building in the country remains to populist politics and tunnel vision.

We can only assume that GOSS wants the best for its people. One can understand the frustration of fighting for independence for almost three decades only for it to arrive without jobs or basic services like health and education for the citizens.

It is a problem most newly-independent states encounter, and one that many in Africa continue to struggle with 50 years later. It appears that South Sudan is tempted to follow the disastrous route of Idi Amin in Uganda where, in trying to redress the genuine economic imbalance, the military regime destroyed the economy in a maddening stampede of xenophobia.

For all its imperfections, the Black Economic Empowerment programme in South Africa offers a better model for South Sudan to emulate. For it to work, however, the rulers of South Sudan are going to have to do something they haven’t done in many years – lead their people and invest in them.

When autonomy, and later independence, came to South Sudan, the leaders of SPLA/M had so much goodwill from the rest of the world and enough examples of countries in Africa whose paths to steer clear of, with their thorny bushes of tribalism, corruption, nepotism, greed and impunity.

Yet far from charting a new course, independence and the new streams of money brought a frenzy of consumption as generals locked horns with generals at the feeding trough, grabbing as much as they could so that they could buy houses in Nairobi and Kampala and take holidays in Dubai.

Corruption is inherently inefficient and before long, the contest between those who were eating and those who wanted a turn at the trough had forced a contest within the SPLA/M that broke out into civil war last December.


To lead the people it rules, GOSS has to first deal with its structural problems. First, it must demilitarise the fight within the SPLA/M by fully implementing the cessation of hostilities agreement and instituting a power-sharing agreement to bring the warring parties back under one tent.

GOSS must then deal with the corruption and impunity among its senior political and military ranks that is undermining, not just its unity, but also its ability to deliver basic services to its citizens.

South Sudan’s per capita income of $1,800 hides a few hard truths: one in two people live on less than a dollar a day; half the population is malnourished; and the country is the second most-dangerous place for women to have babies.

It is all very well to ask companies to employ local staff. Even the most hard-nosed businessman will tell you its benefits; local staff are cheaper and bring valuable local knowledge.

However, this can’t happen overnight. Many young South Sudanese are frustrated at the lack of opportunity, and rightly so, but most of them do not have any skills or formal education thanks to the legacy of war. This is a country where three out of four people can’t read or write.

These angry young men need skills and training for which more investment must be made in education and apprenticeships.

Yet in its budget for last year – before the fighting broke out – GOSS planned to spend 57 per cent on security and less than one per cent on agriculture and job-creation. GOSS did not build a single school using its own money in the first two years of independence, critics allege.

South Sudan needs investment, skills, and support from the rest of the world, not populist politics and dangerous xenophobia. Those in power should know this, seeing as the country is precariously held together by Ugandan troops.

In Summary
To lead the people it rules, GOSS has to first deal with its structural problems. First, it must demilitarise the fight within the SPLA/M by fully implementing the cessation of hostilities agreement and instituting a power-sharing agreement to bring the warring parties back under one tent.
Yet far from charting a new course, independence and the new streams of money brought a frenzy of consumption as generals locked horns with generals at the feeding trough, grabbing as much as they could so that they could buy houses in Nairobi and Kampala and take holidays in Dubai.
For all its imperfections, the Black Economic Empowerment programme in South Africa offers a better model for South Sudan to emulate. For it to work, however, the rulers of South Sudan are going to have to do something they haven’t done in many years – lead their people and invest in them.

Mr Kalinaki is managing editor for regional content at Nation Media Group.
Twitter: @kalinaki

Root causes of the problems facing Lakes State and their solutions

BY: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, South Sudan, SEP/16?2014, SSN;

WHY? WHAT IS THE PROBLEM OF LAKES STATE: CAN WE GET A LONG TERM SOLUTION? Lakes State is one of the ten States in South Sudan occupied by over ninety percent of Dinka people of the Republic of South Sudan. Besides, it is one of the historical States in South Sudan believed by all South Sudanese to be the origin, centre and basis of the revolution that gave birth to the SPLM/A that later fought for the right to self-determination of all South Sudanese that led to the independence of South Sudan.

In addition, the people of Lakes State were the first to spearhead revolutionary war against the North and, which made them to be known for their patriotism as black African people.

Nevertheless, after the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement, they turned out to be the worst and trouble makers in the whole of South Sudan and their problems have dominated discussions in every corner of the country, which is unusual of Lakes State.

What has been happening in Lakes State invites a fundamental question and the question is: what is or what went wrong? Why? What is the problem of Lakes State?

It appears that the Biblical saying of “the last will be the first and first will be the last” is finding its fulfillment in Lakes State?

In this Article, I will explain the origin of Lakes State crises, problems of Lakes State and their root causes and after that I will endavour to explain solutions that I see appropriate to end the current security impasse, deadlock and unending conflicts.

To begin with, the problems of Lakes State are not girls, guns, people, politicians nor cows as many view them. However, the problems of Lakes State are deep-rooted problems and Girls, guns, people, politicians and cows are just facilitating factors that fuel and make such problems resurface.

In my understanding and analysis, the root causes of problems and tensions in Lakes State among civilians are economic, social and political and the failure by politicians to address these issues or to agree over comprehensive solutions to the problems caused by these issues or on how to end the conflict in tackling these issues in Lakes State.

As pointed out in the above paragraph, lack of agreement and self-interests by politicians involved in getting solution to Lakes State problems has worsened the situations.

As long as politicians of Lakes State are not ready to come to consensus over what should be formidable solutions to end Lakes State crises the sufferings of the people in Lakes State will never end.

The political indifference caused by self-interests as exhibited by Lakes State politicians is one of the stumbling blocks to finding a comprehensive approach to problems there.

In addition, it has been the source of problems, tensions and eventual conflicts in Lakes State. I came to this conclusion after attending the recent conference held at Nyakuron Cultural Centre over Lakes State crises.

In that Conference organized by Jieng Community Leaders Council, I came to the realization that politicians have contributed to the sufferings of the people of Lakes State.

This is because I attended the conference with the hope that politicians were going to put their differences aside and get a common position on how to end the conflict in Lakes State.

However, instead of sitting down as people who were united by one problem in order to try to find a lasting solution to crises in Lakes State, politicians started arguing over irrelevant things like who should the best to bring the lasting solution to Lakes State.

Self-interests of politicians again overshadowed the conference as they were locked in which approach should be taken to address Lakes State crises.

As one politician proposed beautiful and long solutions to Lakes State problems, which I totally agree with on one hand, another politician terribly opposed such solutions by offering short term solutions like the removable of Matur from Lakes State and disarmament of civilians.

In fact, politicians of Lakes State on that day ended up with endless debates over the approaches without going to the core of the matter; which is the root cause of Lakes State and how best to solve them.

Therefore, in that conference, the first day was wasted on meaningless arguments and counter arguments over the approaches.

In situation that presents people with challenges like the issue of Lakes State, people are prone to not finding a solution when they are trapped in the cocoons of their personal interest.

Beyond such a scenario involving deadlocks and impasses, the ultimate victims are often people trapped in a crisis, which people are attempting to find a solution.

However, where there is no personal interest and the people are only out to find a solution, it is easy to find such a solution sought for and the disagreement is not bound to arise. In fact, there are many approaches that have been put forward to get a solution to any problem.


1- A problem-solving approach. This approach focuses on solving one security or justice problem (such as violent crime, prison overcrowding or court backlogs) as an entry point from which to mobilise system-wide engagement. This sort of approach put forward by some politicians in that conference.

2- An institutional approach. This is where there are existing pro-reform initiatives at an institutional level that can be supported (such as a government-initiated review of the prison or police service). Linkages to other institutions can then develop over time.

3- A phased approach to post-conflict situations focusing on understanding and, where possible, integrating stabilization — “securing the peace” — and development-oriented objectives. This approach is suitable to be adopted after conflict with an attempt to find a lasting peace.

4- Finally, a comprehensive approach. This type of approach is important. It includes reviewing the effectiveness and accountability of the whole security and justice system in order to build linkages across it and although rarely available at the outset, a comprehensive approach would be the eventual goal of either of the approaches outlined above. In fact, Lakes State problems need this type of approach although majority of the politicians in Lakes State favour the first approach.

As I have stated somewhere above, the Conference at Nyakuron Centre has educated me on one fact that unless the politicians of Lakes State are left out in the search for finding lasting solutions to Lakes State crises, Lakes State will be under fire indefinitely.

In that Conference, what was happening was just an argument over approaches not a solution to Lakes State problems as I initially had hoped for.

In other words, they have a blind love for the people of Lakes State to the extent of not knowing what the people of Lakes State wants for the moment.

In reality, the precious commodity that people of Lakes State want at the moment is security, medicines, good roads and schools. These things can only be achieved if comprehensive approach is adopted not only targeted General Matur, which many politicians think to be a solution.

The reason why some of us blame some politicians of Lakes State is not that they are solely the cause of Lakes State problems but they have never been sincere to their people since the signing of the CPA.

They have been deceiving people of Lakes State that they represent them but in fact they represent their own personal interests and ambitions.

This is why they are not ready to save lives of the people in the State by agreeing on approaches to find Lakes State problems.

The politicians of Lakes State like any other person in South Sudan have misunderstood what people of Lakes State want.

There had been fictitious thinking that people of Lakes State need force in order to observe law and order, which proves to be fruitless on the contrary given current political arena.

The current political crises as indicated by unending brutal and merciless killings of innocent civilians and individuals that are caught up in skirmishes has underlined the fact the use of force remained a laughing and not a solution to the problems of Lakes State.

In short, it is superfluous and shallow way of solving human-made phenomenon.

As many proposed who have misunderstood the problems of Lakes State have been proposing, what the people of Lakes State need is not change of the governor only but the rule of law, justice, respect for their human rights, right to property and elimination of culture of impunity.

The culture of impunity embedded in the way of thinking by many in Lakes State needs to be eliminated through force and psychological demoralization.

The way politicians argue when it comes to the issue of Lakes State crisis indicates that they had not understood the problems of Lakes State.

The problems of Lakes State are rooted in history and have nothing to do with any governor.

If the lasting solution were to be found, there is a need for comprehensive approach by finding an entry point and then try to address all underlying tensions that act as a flashing point of conflicts among the people in the State.

The entry point might be to remove the current governor, which should not be a source of disagreement because it is not the final solution to the problems of Lakes State.

This is because the current governor is not the cause of the problems of Lakes State rather he is just a facilitating factor of the problems, which were already there.

Why some of us blame and consider current governor to be a facilitating factor is due to his failure to observe or protect tenets of democracy such as rule of law, justice, respect for human rights and right to property as stated above.

The failure to observe tenets of democracy as pointed out in the foregoing sentence has contributed and fueled tensions as citizens reversed to the primordial law and the principle of jungle law of survival of the fittest.

This is the core and the facilitating of Lakes State problems.

The failure of the current Care-taker governor to observe the rule of law and force people to do the same has opened a Pandora Box of the underlying tensions, which sparks off conflicts among different clans in Lakes State.

As things stand now, there is a need for much work to be done in order to achieve lasting peace in Lakes State.

For instance, in the past things were not worst as witnessed today in Lakes State because authorities did observe some of the above elements of democracy.

Nevertheless, the previous leaders did not also do much to understand the underlying problems that cause tensions among the citizens of Lakes State and this is why the current Care-taker governor should not be solely blamed for the problems facing Lakes State currently.

As stated somewhere in this article that the problems of Lakes State are deep rooted in history, it is now important to trace the root causes of the current conflicts in Lakes State.

One of the major causes of conflicts in Lakes State is the way cows are understood.

Cows are understood to be outside personal property and therefore, they are considered to be more important than human lives, which own them in Lakes State.

Yet in Dinka culture, it is an abominable to kill human beings but the current culture of impunity that has been developed by cattle keepers has changed Dinka Culture of respect for human lives.

Currently among cattle keepers, killing a person to get a cow is not a crime but instead it is encouraged. This kind of understanding comes in the way people have understood and depended on cows.

People who keep cows see them to be everything and the more cows one has the more important one is, hence diminished criminal responsibility attached to cows as property.

Contrarily, cows are worshiped like gods and are at the same level with human beings or even more important than human beings.

Hence, the root of the current conflicts in Lakes State has its origin in the nature and the way cows are kept, understood and viewed by cattle keepers.

The people of Lakes State were allowed in the first place to keep cows without checks and balances from Northern Government.

Lack of accountability in cattle keeping has been the root cause of the conflicts among the people of Lakes State since terrible crimes were committed with impunity.

In fact, the people of Lakes State used to fight among themselves because of cows even before the starting of the SPLM/A in 1983.

Nonetheless despite the fact that conflicts existed in Lakes State Communities, the regimes from the North of Sudan were not interested in bringing lasting peace not only among the people of Lakes State but also throughout Dinka Communities.

The example conflicts fought between Agaar and Gok before the SPLM/A started were clashes in Keerwith and Amook. In those two conflicts many people were killed on both sides but much was not done to bring lasting peace.

In addition, there used to be some conflicts among Agaar and Gok themselves.

In addition, Northern Regimes did not devise a long term planning to bring social transformation through educating them. One of the major reasons was that Arabs were not ready to educate people who would know that they were being oppressed and rose against them.

However, when the SPLM/A started war against the North, the war against the North became a unifying factor and as a result, Dinka people forgot enmity among themselves as they became preoccupied with the civil wars.

Nonetheless, when the CPA was signed, the people of Lakes State for instance remembered their past conflicts and found that injustices were committed against each but not addressed. As a result, they started their old conflicts.

Nevertheless, the failure by the government of Lakes State to address the first conflicts in comprehensive manner became the major cause of the current recurrent conflicts in Lakes State.

Thus, the problems of Lakes State cannot be said to be from any of the governors but their failure to find the root causes of the conflicts in Lakes State and if possible tried to bring reconciliation and lasting peace among the people of Lakes State.

Moreover, Riek Machar became a facilitating factor because his first rebellion trained cattle keepers on how to use guns in killing each other.

Therefore, as explained in the foregoing paragraphs, the problems of Lakes State are not girls, cows, guns or Riek Machar as many have been pointing out but lack of understanding of the root causes of the problems of Lakes State by State Authorities.

In order to bring lasting solution to Lakes State now, there is a need to understand historical root of the problems.

Otherwise, what the people of Lakes State need most at present is security. As it has been clear pointed by some writers, security is fundamental to people’s livelihoods in the following ways:

It helps in reducing poverty, which leads to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. This is because security relates to personal and state safety; it contributes access to social services and political processes.

Security is therefore a core government responsibility, necessary for economic and social development and vital for the protection of human rights.

The reason why security is important in any country is because it matters to the poor and other vulnerable groups, especially women and children, because bad policing, weak justice and penal systems and corrupt militaries mean that they suffer disproportionately from crime, insecurity and fear.

Without security, the poor and other vulnerable groups are consequently less likely to be able to access government services, invest in improving their own futures and escape from poverty.

It thus by implication means that security and development are related. However, the concept of interdependence between the two has been misunderstood in Lakes State. This is because the authorities in Lakes State understand security to mean controlling physical fighting, which is not true.

In reality, security is connected to development, which means that in order to ensure security, roads must be built, professional organized forces must be trained, hospitals and schools must be built and above all accountability must be ensured.

In fact, what’s needed most in Lakes State is Accountability in all sectors. As the accountability has been explained, it derives from the fact that no society can claim to be free or democratic without strict adherence to the rule of law.

In actual sense, in Lakes State there are massive atrocities and crimes that have been so devastating that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored and left unaccounted for.

The major root cause of Lakes State is the violation of ordinary citizens’ right to life without accountability.

Many people have been killed in Lakes State but the authorities and judiciary do not do justice to be seen by all people.

Instead, the authorities are accused of being implicit in helping criminals to escape justice or loot other people’s cows without accountability.

Such lack of transparency and accountability from government officials and individuals cause different people in Lakes State to take laws into their own hands. Hence, explains what constitutes the fundamental problems of Lakes State.

However, given the limits to the law and prosecution in Lakes State, and although criminal justice is important, additional activities are needed that focus on documenting the truth about the past, which means that there is a need for comprehensive approach to end the problems of Lakes State once and for all.

It implies that in order to document the truth about the past in Lakes State, there is a need for some correct approach to be adopted in order to achieve reconciliation and lasting peace among the people of Lakes State affected by insecurity and violent crimes.

As explained above in the four approaches, it is important to adopt comprehensive approach in order to bring security and justice reforms, which are important in order to make the system accountable.

In truth, there is a need to carry security and justice system reforms in Lakes State. The security and justice system is defined by the OECD-DAC [OECD stands for Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and DAC stands for Development Assistance Committee of the OECD]as including all those institutions, groups, organisations and individuals — both state and non-state — that have a stake in security and justice provision.

In Lakes State, the security system includes:

• Core security actors: armed forces; police service; gendarmeries; paramilitary forces; governor guards; intelligence and security services (both military and civilian); border guards; customs authorities; and reserve or local security units (civil defence forces, national guards, militias).
• Management and oversight bodies: the executive, national security advisory bodies, legislative and legislative select committees; ministries of defence, internal affairs, foreign affairs; customary and traditional authorities; financial management bodies (finance ministries, budget officers, financial audit and planning units); and civil society organisations (civilian review boards and public complaints commissions).
• Justice and the rule of law: judiciary and justice ministries; prisons; criminal investigation and prosecution services; human rights commissions and ombudsmen; and customary and traditional justice systems.
• Non-statutory security forces: liberation armies, guerrilla armies, private security companies, political party militias.

The security system can further be seen as being made up of smaller sub-systems, such as the following examples:

• Criminal justice system (police services, judiciary, prosecution service, lawyers, probation workers, oversight institutions, community justice providers).

Intelligence system (police, intelligence collection agencies, strategic analysis organisations, military, oversight institutions).

State security system (police services, security and intelligence services, military, border guards, oversight institutions).

As seen in explanation of what constitutes justice and security institutions, the two should play an important role in the management of conflicts within any society.

However as seen in Lakes State, abusive and unaccountable security forces and discriminatory justice institutions contributes to violent conflict.

In order to avoid security forces turning into repressive force, the priority must be given to security and justice reforms as a means for conflict prevention, peace building and development.

However, ‘given the sensitive role of the security system in society, there is a risk that if programs concerning security reforms are not carefully targeted they could inadvertently exacerbate tensions’.

For example, increasing the operational capacity of law enforcement agencies without improving their governance could fuel repression as seen in Lakes State with the governor who uses state apparatus to oppress citizens of Lakes with impunity.

In Lakes State, targeting programs in one part of the state in a divided society could reinforce clan divisions and the marginalization of disadvantaged groups, which highlights the importance of taking a conflict-sensitive approach.

As it has been observed as SSR programmes are often in countries affected by or at risk of violent conflict, it is important to understand the conflict dynamics and root causes as well as the perspectives of relevant stakeholders in order to develop programmes of support effectively.

SSR programmes that integrate a conflict-sensitive approach can help support peace building and mitigate tensions by, for example, increasing the access to justice of marginalized groups or enhancing trust between the police and local communities.

In order to ensure reform needed, a supportive political environment needs to be fostered in Lakes State, and early investments made in appropriate analysis. In the past, programmes were based on ‘inadequate assessment and have often have been too technical in nature’. This is because the system has never been accountable to the people of Lakes State.

As a result, when system messes up and people react negatively against the system as they often do, they are ones being blamed of causing problems in Lakes State because there is no transparency and accountability in the system.

To build the system, which is accountable to the people of Lakes State, ‘a balance must be struck between support to provide quick wins and confidence-building measures on the one hand, and taking time to understand each particular context with appropriate analysis and assessment on the other’.

Central Government in Juba should engage in SSR with three major overarching objectives: “ i) the improvement of basic security and justice service delivery; ii) the establishment of an effective governance, oversight and accountability system; and iii) the development of local leadership and ownership of a reform process to review the capacity and technical needs of the security system”.

In summary, in order to achieve lasting peace in Lakes State, what is needed to be done inter alia include:

Removal of the current governor as an entry point not the solution as many expects and thinks of. Then, after the removal of the Care-taker government, the Interim Government should be set up whose its roles are to write law governing the state, to set up the Truth telling, Reconciliation and Peace Commission to investigate and address the underlying issues that often cause the conflict; to carry out statewide consultation to get the views of the people of Lakes State on what should be done to end conflicts among themselves; to set up Reparation Committee that deals with the compensation of victims of the violent crimes; Disarmament programmes should also be carried out but it must be friendly to the people in order to ensure their safety by government providing protection against external aggression.

Besides, Gelweng should be trained with the objective of turning it into conventional community policing unit. The training will help them to have knowledge on the law of war, and the rule of game, which they lack today.

The prisons reform should be carried out with the aim of training prisoners to become productive individuals and at the same time making them obedient citizens who obey laws of South Sudan.

In addition, system of compulsory primary education should be consolidated so that no child is allowed to remain without schooling, which will help in reforming citizens of Lakes State in future.

In addition, the statewide conference should be held as a means of carrying out reconciliation meeting and then after that they are guarded in writing their own laws governing their relationship among themselves and other states and with the government of Lakes State.

Finally, the law to be written should emphasize the issues of girls and revenge killings. “Apuk” (Apuk means compensation given for a person killed ) should be abolished in order to ensure individual criminal responsibility while maintaining common law principle of negligence to ensure that victims have some compensation from the culprits in case of negligent killings.

The author can be reached through:; +211955321044