Archive for: April 2015

Daughter, Natalina Malwal, in defense of dad, Bona Malwal’s hate speech

BY: Simon Kur Peter, JUBA, APR/29/2015, SSN;

As South Sudan is a nation born of earnest and generational aspiration of all south Sudanese to be a multi ethnical country with equal representation of her 64 tribes, tragically however, few individuals, the likes of Bona Malwal, incepted the “born to rule” ideology and hold the nation hostage right from its very independence on 9 July 2011, and precipitously drove it into descents of injustice, inequalities, reprisals, extortions, abuses of powers, land grabbing, extrajudicial arrests, gross violation of human rights, tortures and killings of ideological opponents and worst to include opinion writers and journalists.

The nation that we fought the “common enemy” nail and tooth for Equality sadly has becomes a den of lions where only the tribal elites but alas also the commoners with strong backings of relatives in high places are the only equipped to survive the storm of demonic forces that has possessed our new born nation, these, known as the Jieng Council of elders, the equivalent of NIF in the lands of the great Satan, we thought we left behind.

It’s making the old Sudan look pale in comparison and the reason for South Sudanese fighting and losing millions of her precious lives in the process to achieve sovereignty looks cheap, meaningless and in vein! Unless at the end of such sacrifices South Sudan becomes the land of freedom for even her minority tribes, worthy the bloods sacrificed!

I am not shocked or surprised to see the older daughter of Bona Malwal; Natalina Malwal, come out of her safe haven vigorously in defense and attempt to cover up the hate speech given by her father in Kansas city, Kansas USA on 23 March by wielding the threat of lawsuits.

Bona Malwal is known to South Sudanese even before the birth of this daughter who is now flexing her muscle and family fortune to defend her father. She would like to present a different Malwal to South Sudanese but she need to be reminded that most South Sudanese know her father better than she seems to have realized including very many patriotic Jiengs who are opposed to him when it comes to national issues!

As it was reported in Many Media Sources, Mr. Malwal, the father of the born to rule ideology, the very ideology at the heart of jieng unbrotherly and negative attitudes towards none Jieng South Sudanese is the source of the current destruction going on in our nation, making Bona, the father of this destruction that engulfed our Nation.

In his speech he advocated and instigated hate, designed to provoke the youth from Dinka ethnic group to rise up and wipe out the Nuer from their existence, given in the view of Bona Malwal.

Unless Nuer are extinct from their ancestral land and denied the right to ascend to power in the Republic of south Sudan, the country will not be safe as the Dinka and Nuer are traditional rivals over grazing lands and cattles.

It must be pointed out that South Sudan is not a grazing land for Jieng council of elders to carry these traditional fights over to include in the nation’s affairs!

It is sad to see a daughter fighting the press for exposing the evil her father has committed, and threaten to sue the press and a Journalist for reporting the fact that came out of her father’s Mouth!

She instead should rebuke her father rather than issuing threats to soldiers of freedom AKA the press. Is it any wonder then journalists are killed in South Sudan while the Jieng tribal elite enjoys the status of complete immunity and untouchability?

Ms. Natalina Malwal, you should know, in the 21st century nothing can be hidden under the sun, you think threatening of suing the professional journalists for doing their noble work will make them succumb to fear, thus giving the like of your father a free ride?

Please have the womanhood and courage to look your father into his eyes and tell him to stop advocating for one tribe to take advantage of the others and cleansed them from their ancestral God given lands.

South Sudan belong to all south Sudanese, there is no single strong tribe without the others as being erroneously trumpeted by the likes of your father, of course every south Sudanese about the age of 25 years and older know who your father was and is, along with all the southerners bribed with oil money by Khartoum government to assassinate late Garang, and the fight between your father and late Dr. Garang intensified and has escalated further until 2003.

Before I could go further let me give the world the chance to see the threats you issued against Justin Kwaje, I found it hard to make distinction between you and your father.

Your father’s speech poses a big threat not only to the Nuer but also to all South Sudanese to include the Jiengs! By him appealing to the Dinka graduates from the Diaspora to go home to claim positions in the anticipated decree-riddled shuffling of government to sustain and continue to give life to the malignant and genocidal regime of Kiir, A regime that spells death, clearly shows who he truly is, a tribal figure not a national one.

Now you have picked a fight against the press not knowing the freedom of media is one of the core pillars mentioned in the emblem of the SPLA.

Your words “Therefore, Mr. Kwaje, you have two days to do two things, either to produce evidence of this hate speech to support your claim mentioned in your article, or issue a public apology for these lies.

Otherwise I personally will sue you and the newspaper for defamation of character. I have the whole meeting in Kansas recorded and will produce it as proof. I am already in contact with my lawyer and they are waiting for my permission to go ahead.

Time for people creating lies and getting away with them is over. Mind you I don’t have to pay for a lawyer, because they are family. I will have them pursue you and this newspaper for ever, and will not stop until I see a public apology.”Natalina Malwal.

So Natalina Malwal, there will be no formal or informal apologies to you or your father. In the 21st century there are a lot of evidences that can be brought against you and your father, no one will be forced into submissions, and if the media houses were to apologize for telling the truth then the media has bowed to the tribal elite and became corrupt.

As such the people of south Sudan will be left to accept wrong to be right and falsehood to be truth and the nation become truly blind.

For the sake of South Sudan, we the media shall never apologize and shall remain free till the darkness that hangs over the nation is passed and the day break greets our beloved land, which is inevitable!

For the future of South Sudan and the memories of our valiant colleagues, the likes of Isaiah Abraham, We shall resist!

You stated “Furthermore, if he was a tribalist, he wouldn’t have married to two of his wives that are from Equatoria, from which he produced two of my siblings.”

Natalina, evidences and history tells us, in the last 25 years both powerful Dinka politicians and illiterate former guerrilla fighters have grabbed and forced many women from other tribes into coerced marriages.

This, if in fact investigated, will constitute crimes against women and those involved in doing this unlawful criminality will face prosecution for reintroducing sex slavery and multi-wives in the 21st century including perhaps your father, thus your father marrying two Equatorial wives is a matter of shame not glory.

In the Journey to independence, you seem to inflate your father’s role in the national struggles of South Sudanese. The employment of your father, Bona Malwal, by Al Beshir to the post of adviser was only to derail and sabotage the plan to achieve comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Al Beshir himself knew that Bona Malwal was the best chance he had to prey on and to divide the Dinka from achieving the aspiration of the people of south Sudan from breaking away from the Sudan.

Is this not one of the reasons why many southerners, not only Dinkas Bor, link the current sitting President and your father in the mysterious death of the founding father of SPLA?

It was until the Rumbek convention of the Liberation council when late Garang and Salva Kiir reconciled under the initiative of and thanks to Dr Riek Machar. Since then, Bona Malwal has gone silent, one of the reasons he quit politics was because he had no creditability left and lost the support and backing of the Dinka people.

In January 2005 he was featured as the leader of a new party, the South Sudan Democratic Forum. Why would Bona Malwal form SSDF just as the CPA was signed if he was a supporter of Garang and the Southern aspiration for independence and if his political ambition was not to derail and deny the people of south Sudan the long awaited dream of independent homeland?

Many remain suspicious that your father Bona had planned to sabotage the achievement of our long awaited aspiration to gain our independence since 1947!

In one way or the other President Beshir, immediately realized the danger posed by your father to the Southern aspirations thus Al Beshir immediately married the veteran politician and appointed him as his advisor to derail and influence the Dinka tribe to vote in favor of united Sudan.

Al Beshir miscalculated—- thankfully! Thinking, since the Dinka are majority, if they vote in favor of united Sudan, then the South Sudanese long dream for separate home land will permanently die and be buried.

The courtesy was mutual. Malwal, fluent in propaganda, defended Beshir’s sanctity in the face of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant, and devotedly joined the top rank of the ‘National Association in Support of the Candidacy of the Citizen Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Beshir for the Presidency of the Republic’ at the side of Field Marshal Abd el-Rahman Suwar el-Dahab and other respectable elders of the North.

The same body was transformed into the ‘National Association in Support of Unity’ in the interlude between the April 2010 elections and the January 2011 referendum.

When asked few days before the session whether he will settle in South Sudan once secession is declared, Bona Malwal responded “If I receive an invitation from the South I will attend the 9 July celebrations otherwise my house is in Khartoum”.

By all means Bona Malwal saw and sees no future in south Sudan as he has many enemies from the South and at the same time he knew his political marriage with Al Beshir was on part time basis as Khartoum proposed marriage with south Sudan would no longer happened.

Thus Al Beshir sees no use to keep Bona Malwal on adviser’s duties that is why Mr. Malwal decided to disappear for the last ten year and declared his retirement from political arena only to emerge in Kansas City with hate messages against the Nuer and the remaining 62 tribes.

It remains a matter of curiosity how far the alliance between Kiir and Malwal will survive.
For poor Natalina Malwal, a daughter of veteran journalist who turned politician would never accept the fact that her father is not the darling of many; Natalina Malwal with no political background clearly displays what is called “blood is thicker than water”.

The poor daughter would rather threaten and defend what is not defensible and rewrite history that has already dried on a rock.

Your father’s legacy for worse has been established, rest assured no one can add to it nor subtract from it. This legacy was written over half a century by none other than your Father, Bona Malwal, himself!

Thanks to him, his ideology of “the born to rule”, the rest of South Sudanese hate us and will forever reject all those old guards now known as The Jiengs Council of elders, who harbor such antiquated and destructive ideologies.

Until the younger and well cultured and enlightened, true and patriotic Jiengs who numbers in thousands if not millions and thankfully who all agree with me and call all south Sudanese brothers, not subjects as your father would like to believe! Until then there shall be no peace, guaranteed! The sooner we all learn this, the better for ALL!

Simon Kur Peter
Chief reporter South Sudan Liberty News
email: simonkurpeter@gamil.com or info@southsudanliberty.com
Juba, RSS

Understanding Economic Fundamentals: Can South Sudan export its pound?

BY: Garang Atem Ayiik, Economic commentator, APR/28/2015, SSN;

Introduction
In November 2013, Central Bank of South Sudan devalued the pound from 3.16 to 4.5 SSP per a dollar. An action that was described by the governor as meant to unite the black market and official rates. Immediately, prices increased or suppliers’ hoarded goods mostly fuel.
There was outcry from the public in reaction to devaluation. The governor of Central Bank and his team was mobbed-justice and immediately asked to rescind devaluation policy.

Two lessons were immediately visible; one, that an outright devaluation is likely to cause readjustment prices – goods and black market rate upward; and second, by encroaching on Central Bank independence in policy decision, despite the intention, parliament compromised the role of Central Bank as per Bank Central Bank Act 2012.

Immediately after independence, South Sudan adopted fixed exchange rate. Around August 2011, the Bank tried to auctioned dollars to banks and bureaus, this action caused gap between black and official rates to narrow. The author believes this was a good initiative to introduce some competitive element into exchange rate risk-free business.

Toward the end of 2011, Central Bank adopted an equal allocation mechanism of dollars to banks and bureaus. This mechanism has two inequity issues to financial agents; first, it ignores the clients’ base serviced by each bank or bureau, a bank with for instance 2500 customers is given the same allocation with a bank with 5000 customers; and second, it provides incentives for growth of shallow financial institutions – banks and bureaus.

To the public, fix rate has three shortcomings: first, increase rent-seeking through allocation and licensing; second, distributive injustices in term of access at official rate; and finally provide an obligation to Central Bank to maintain fix exchange rate disregarding inflows of dollars as the case now with South Sudan.

Black market has increased from 3.16 to about 9.5 SSP at end of Q1, 2015. The difference is black market premiums and the reasons why there are so many banks and bureaus.

South Sudan Exchange Rate Fundamentals and Policy Option:
Exchange rate policy has two main policy objectives; international competitive and macroeconomic stability. Devaluation of November 2013 in part was expected to increase exports in accordance with textbook economic prescriptions.

This argument to increase South Sudan exports ignores structural challenges facing South Sudan like insecurity, infrastructures, technology, capital, entrepreneurship, institutions and attitude weakness. This is a reason why textbook economics need to be appraised in accordance with local challenges.

South Sudan export sector cannot be induced with exchange rate incentives but instead with local production for consumption supported by fiscal policies which is preferable – import substitution policies, this will gradually reduce demand for imports and by extension for dollars.

It is why the author believes only macroeconomic stability can be achieved with exchange rate policy. Currently fix exchange rate is better than float rate for stability. But again, as it is, it is not sustainable. Can government supply demanded dollars to the market at 3.16 SSP? It is a no and hence author believes a trade-off between macroeconomic stability and sustainable is required.

Stability means government supply dollars required by the market, if this happens, inflation will be low as South Sudan is an import country which is easily affected by exchange rate induced inflation. Sustainability means government supplying enough dollars to the market to keep exchange rate at 3.16 SSP without fail.

Author believes Central Bank needs correct data on dollars demand and supply. Scan of 2011 – 2015 supply to the market does not follow any trend but ad hoc behavior that seems to depend on availability of dollars with the Bank. To make economic decision without data is like to walk in unknown path.

Auctioning dollars is author’s preferred policy option. First, this will allow shallow financial institutions to wither slowly. Otherwise, these are future financial disaster.

Second, auctioning dollars allows pound to depreciate gradually, allowing economic agents to adjust; and thirdly, provides window to Central Bank to manage sustainability by supply dollars it can afford and difference will be reflected in depreciating pound.

Fourth, auctioning will introduce a competition between bureaus and banks and this will reduce gap between official and black market rate.

In the above proposal, banks and bureaus will always compete for available dollars, Central Bank will always give previous day trading rate average and band at which these agents will bid. This will ensure depreciating pound difference goes to the government instead to individuals.

Overall, an option that will introduce some competition at official rate window where dollars are access but with some band on the rate at which dollars can be sold to the public by banks and bureaus, will ensure stability.

Finally, the fact that Central Bank can always supply dollars that it can afford and any difference can be reflected in pound value ensures sustainability. With stability as key exchange rate policy objective, where possible, the Bank can always provide more dollars to ensure a strong pound to control inflation.

Import substitution production must be pursued vigorously and fiscal policies can be used to support this policy path. Again, coordination between policy makers is require within the framework of national plan.

Can South Sudan Export Pound?
With current fixed rate, interruption of production in Unity and Tharjath and diving oil price in the World market, Central Bank has come under pressure to supply dollars demanded by the market to keep the rate at 3.16 SSP. This demonstrates that fixed rate is not sustainable without sufficient dollars supply.

The exchange rate in the black market has deteriorated in the black market to reflect probably insufficient dollars supplied by the Bank.

Maybe some risk-mitigation behaviors by economic agents who might by stocking dollars in anticipation of working pound. If things continue the way they are, government might surrender from protecting the pound, this the sustainability we are talking about.

Desperate times calls for desperate actions. Recently, the government has increased policing the markets. Some suggestion includes calling Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and other neighboring countries to start using pound to reduce demand for dollars.

Whether it is ignorance or public relation exercise, this latest approach is not going to work. Today in South Sudan, if you go to a bank and you want to send money to Uganda or Kenya, you can’t use pounds, you got to get dollars. This means even within South Sudan borders, pound is not a legal entity.

Economic agents acting rationally know that pound has been over-valued and for illustration purposes, let’s assume Machok has $100 to send to Uganda, if Kenya Commercial Bank allows Machok to send 316 SSP being the value of pound using official rate, KCB will not use the same amount to get the same amount but less and that is why it can’t accept to sell its asset below it market value.

Economically speaking, calls to ask Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and other countries are misplaced and laughable as this is not supported by any economic reasoning.

Countries’ currencies become convertible on two counts: one, both currencies must be fairly valued. If any is not correctly valued, market corrects this through arbitrage; and second, both must be trading with each other, this means exports and imports exist between both countries.

In case of South Sudan, the pound is artificially kept over-valued through a fixed rate; and South Sudan does not export anything to its neighbors whether Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia or any one of its neighbors and hence these countries don’t need South Sudan pound.

So how will the proposed push for pound utilization in neighboring countries work? Assuming the policy makers of these countries act rationally in the interest of their countries which authors believe they will.

If South Sudan Central Bank gives them pounds in exchange for their currencies, they know South Sudan pound is over-valued, why will they accept? I mean they cannot convert those pounds to other assets like dollars without losing value of their money and they have nothing to buy from South Sudan to use those pounds.

Worst, the citizens in these countries will not go to their Central Bank to buy South Sudan money because they too know about the valuation problem. For instance, a Kenya citizen will instead convert his Kenya Shillings into dollars and come to South Sudan with dollars. He/she then sell dollars at higher rate in the black market than buying over-valued pounds in Kenya with his Kenya shillings.

The proposal does not consider arbitrage, rationality behavior, and simple demand and supply analysis. It is basically unworkable and waste of time to pursue unless South Sudan believes policy makers in neighboring countries are going to behave irrationally disregarding economic fundamentals.

Conclusion
South Sudan cannot export its pound. The more South Sudan wants to pursue this option, the more it looks vague and empty without rigor. South Sudan exchange problem require long term surgical operation, no economic pain-killers will work.

In November 2013, Central Bank of South Sudan devalued pound from 3.16 to 4.5 SSP per a dollar. An action that was described by the governor as meant to unite the black and official rates. Immediately, prices reacted immediately by increasing prices or other hoarded goods mostly fuel.

There was outcry from the public in reaction to devaluation. The governor of Central Bank and his team was mobbed-justice and immediately asked to rescind devaluation policy.

Two lessons were immediately visible; one, that an outright devaluation is likely to cause readjustment prices – goods and black market rate upward; and second, by encroaching on Central Bank independent policy decision, despite the intention, role of Central Bank as per Bank Central Bank Act 2012 was compromised by parliament.

Immediately after independence, South Sudan adopted fixed exchange rate. Around August 2011, the Bank tried to auction dollars to banks and bureaus, this action caused gap between black and official rate to narrow. The author believe this was a good initiative to introduce some competitive element into exchange rate risk free business.

Toward the end of 2011, Central Bank adopted an equal allocation mechanism of dollars to banks and bureaus. This mechanism has two inequity issues to financial agents; it ignores the clients base serviced by each bank or bureau, a bank with for instance 2500 customers is given the same allocation with a bank with 5000 customers; and provide incentives for growth of shallow financial institutions – banks and bureaus.

To the public, fixed rate has three short comings; increased rent seeking through allocation and licensing, distributive injustices in term of access at official rate; and finally provide an obligation to Central Bank to maintain fixed exchange rate disregarding inflows of dollars as the case now with South Sudan. Black market has increased from 3.16 to about 9.5 SSP at end of Q1, 2015

South Sudan Exchange Rate Fundamentals and Policy Option
Exchange rate policy has two main objectives; international competitive and macroeconomic stability. Devaluation of November 2013 in part was expected to increase exports in accordance with textbook economic prescriptions.

This argument to increase South Sudan export ignores structural challenges facing South Sudan like insecurity, infrastructures, technology, capital, entrepreneurship, institutions and attitude weakness.

South Sudan export sector cannot be induced with exchange rate incentives but instead with local production for consumption supported by fiscal policies is preferable – import substitution policies, this will gradually reduce demand for imports and by extension for dollars.

Auctioning dollars is sure policy option.
—- First, this will allow shallow financial institutions to wither slowly otherwise these are future financial disaster,
—- second, will allow pound to depreciate gradually allowing economic agents to adjust; and —– thirdly, provide window to Central Bank to manage sustainability by supply dollars it can afford and difference will be reflected in depreciating pound,
—- fourth, auctioning will introduce a competition between financial bureaus and banks and this will reduce gap between official and black market rate.

In this proposal, banks and bureaus will always compete for available dollars, Central Bank will always give previous trading rate average and band at which these agents will bid. This will ensure depreciating difference goes to the government instead to individuals.

Overall, an option that will introduce some competition at official rate window where dollars are access but with some band on the rate at which dollars can be sold to the public by banks and bureaus, this will ensure stability.

Finally, the fact that Central Bank can always supply dollars that it can afford and any difference can be reflected in pound value ensures sustainability. But again, with stability as key exchange rate policy objective, when possible the Bank can always provide more to ensure a strong pound.

Despite all above proposal, import substitution production must be pursued vigorously and fiscal policies can be used to support this policy path. Again, coordination between policy makers is require within the framework of national plan.

Conclusion
South Sudan cannot export pound. The more South Sudan wants to pursue this option, the more it looks vague and empty without rigor. South Sudan exchange problem require long term surgical operation, no economic pain-killers will want.

In short run, peace to restore oil production in Tharjath and Unity which will increase inflows of dollars to easy pressure on pound is key otherwise, without peace exchange rate induced inflation will continue to surge beyond imagination.

In the long run, structural economic correction required. Basically increasing local production and improve social services with an aim to reduce demand for dollars for imports. South Sudan needs to concentrate on imports substitutions supported by fiscal policies and this has to do be done within national economic plan framework.

Garang Atem Ayiik is an independent economic commentator. He can be reached at garangatemayiik@gmail.com

Malakal: Series of massacres and destruction

By Dengdit Ayok, South Sudan, APR/28/2015, SSN;

Malakal, that town which had fallen on the bosom of river Nile as if she was thirsty and wanted to keep herself, drinking from its pouring mighty stream and in fact she is, was and still is one of the most beautiful towns in the country.

It is a glorious and glamorous town that had seen calmer days and much relative peace and stability during the wartime, which was considered to be the longest war of this continent — than post war time.

It was an umbrella sheltering her sons and daughters under her leafy shadows as a hen hides her chicks under her wings, where there is safety and sense of tenderness and passion.

The town had been visited by evil and frivolous hands after the guns went silent and the emergence of peace in 2005. It was during this time that the ruling Ingaz regime (meaning salvation) in Sudan, and which did not save a single soul, used Gabriel Tanginya (a warlord) to spread death and corruption, resulting into the killing of innocent people in Malakal in 2006.

Sadly, the same warlord repeated the same tragedy in the same town in 2009.

I had wished to visit Malakal in peacetime; nevertheless, I could not make it, except in wartime, a few days after the eruption of war in Juba in December 2013. She had appeared attractive and charming to me from the air, but I found her utterly destroyed after the aircraft landed.

The airport was in good condition, but the neighborhoods and shops and marketplaces were an exposure of a massive destruction.

Her children who survived death in the crossfire painstakingly made it to the UN headquarters, some had fallen. Their bodies were horribly inflated in a scene that makes the heart shed tears before the eyes.

Vultures fed on bodies of the poor people that were redeemed by the blood of the martyrs who had sacrificed their lives for them in the liberation war in order for them to live!

Birds of prey from the sky gathered to feed on the corpses of our beloved people who should have lived in peace!

In the army barracks, I held my breath in an attempt to avoid inhalation of the air which was overshadowed by the bad smell of the rotten corpses of the soldiers who were said to have been engaged in sporadic shooting, but I almost lost breathing.

I took pictures of those dead soldiers. A Kenyan journalist working for the Associated Press captured a very horrible picture that was widely circulated on social media. Here is the picture in words:
“A soldier in full uniform, fallen on his back, with his face towards the sky, a raven flying over him, and an eagle devouring his carcass. He was lying down near an old bulldozer, in the barracks”.

On our way back to the airport, the UN team was digging mass graves for the dead people whose bodies have filled the town and the river. Woe to warmongers and warlords!

The town later witnessed attacks and battles of hit and run between the government troops and rebel forces; death toll grew higher among our people in Malakal. The town was devastated and broken into pieces, due to the repeated battles over its control by the government troops and the insurgents.

In the middle of last week, when fighting intensified between the soldiers under the command of Gen. Johnson Olony and the bodyguards of Mr. Governor Simon Kun Pouch, according to reports, I knew that citizens who have returned to Malakal in the recent times were the victims of that senseless fighting.

All those battles have turned that beautiful town, lying on the bank of the river Nile, to nothing.

I wondered: Has the warlords finally designed the fate of Malakal to death and destruction? If so, as it is the case now, how long will it go on? Why the war seems to have refused to abandon it since those chaotic days of Tanginya? Why should the civil population be subjected to such a disaster?

This must stop, and the perpetrators must one day face the court of justice, not under this government, but another government.

The magnitude of desolation and killing that Malakal town had witnessed is higher than the rest of the towns in Upper Nile region – it is a double destruction. If the ongoing destruction and killing in the region was to be distributed in portions, then Malakal shall undoubtedly have the greatest portion.

Woe to killers and devastators! The stage that the ruin has reached in Malakal is like that of Jerusalem, the capital city of the Jews in the ancient times.

I am weeping for that town which became a mass grave for her sons and daughters, when it was their beautiful town and their home, in which they lived and had their dreams.

It is so sad that their lives ended in that horrific manner, which is not acceptable to the heaven before the earth.

When Peter the apostle of Jesus Christ drew his sword from its sheath and cut off the ear of the High Priest’s servant during the arrest of Christ in the orchard, Christ said to him: “Those who kill by the sword, will also perish by the sword,” and so, was it the case for those who brandished their weapons in the face of Malakal.

People do not deserve killing and death, but life, peace and dignity.

I was very much affected by what happened in Malakal last mid-week. The impact of that damned war on me was a serious psychological blow on my mind.

Nonetheless, no matter how long this night may take, the daybreak will surely come. And I have expressed this faith and hope in a poem I called, “A Hopeful Cry for “Land of Great Abundance”.

Here are its words:
Oh, my land,
I cry for you…
Thy sons whose hearts
Hatred has settled,
are devastating you day and night…
They have forgotten you;
they have forsaken you and your welfare…
Shelling, bombing of towns;
and militarization
has become a daily culture…
Malakal is burning,
Hands of treachery are still causing
More disruption and division
among our communities..
Your sons have fallen all over,
They have fallen for no right!
Died for no cause!
Thou shall not be at ease,
and taste peace and tranquility
except when the hands of treachery are gone,
The sun of eternal peace shall then rise all over you,
then the desolated towns shall become houses of smile,
then shall we see you beautiful,
and glamorous in giggling of children;
in the joyful ululations of our mothers,
and in songs of our shepherds…
Then the sun of hope will rise again,
We make our way forward,
Strong and united,
Build the homeland of our
pride and the land of our ancestors;
live in harmony,
Sleep with our eyelids fully closed…

Mr. Ayok is a journalist and political commentator. He is reachable at dengdit_a@yahoo.com

Jieng equals Jallaba Council of Elders

BY: Michael Koma, APR/26/2015, SSN;

Attitude and Practice:
The Executive Director of the Community Empowerment Progress Organisation, Mr. Edmund Yakani, had at one time informed that they had planned to organize a public lecture in the University of Juba entitled, “Attitude and Practice,” to be held on 24 April of this year but it did not materialize for now. I thought this is a wonderful topic chosen by CEPO. CEPO deserves my congratulation; Mubruk yaa nas CEPO for this vital topic and the location to discuss it.

I hope it will happened soon. From the onset, it looks like an irrelevant topic. But in fact it is relevant and excellent as South Sudan is concerned. It is important to reflect on our attitudes as individuals and as a nation and its relation on the recurring of conflicts in our communities.

So what is Attitude?
Attitude is an opinion or general feeling about something. In our context what is that “something” we view it as negative in our South Sudanese society that keeps tearing us apart; or keeps us to fight from time to time among ourselves especially after we had some sort of peace agreement in 1972 and 2005.

Following the Addis Ababa Peace agreement, Junubeen were in state of fighting.
After the Addis Ababa deal it took us only 10 years. We are back to war with Sudan. That was understandable because the Addis Ababa Agreement did not address all the grievances of the South Sudanese people.

But before we jumped into the bush against the Arabs, the ten years period of self-rule was full of problems. One was Kokora (re-division) of southern Sudan regions into three provinces (Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile).

By then Juba was a very small town, in places such as Konyo Konyo and Gabat there are fighting along tribal lines. In markets there are grouping along tribal lines, settling in neighourhoods were along tribal lines.

The Bari speakers, the Madis, Mundari, and the Dinka are not in peace among themselves. Emotions were very high. A Dinka and a Bari cannot see eye to eye, eat together, stay together or dance in the same Disco Hall. You can clearly see there was a problem but the politicians tended to hide them that there are no problems; everything is fine.

In one of Francis Mading Deng book called the war of vision, he wrote that “what is not being said is what divides us.” In that book Francis was talking about the situation in the old Sudan. Why the south and the north are divided, why the Arabs felt superior to the so-called African brothers in South Sudan.

By then we were divided because Khartoum saw there was no problem in the Sudan. Kulu Sii tamam (everything is alright) they claimed on insisting that “nahnu ikwa”. We are brothers while the facts and realities on the ground say we are not.

It was a pure posturing. Khartoum defines Sudan as an Arab-Islamic State where Christians are forced to coexist with the Islamic salafists; the jihadists or the hardliners against their will.

Can we or can you, who is an African Christian really co-exist with the types of the current Islamic State as is the case now in Syria, Iraq and Libya, and by then in Sudan.

South Sudanese have foreseen that the imposition of Arab Islamic identity on the whole Sudan was a problem. But Khartoum attitude was that there was no problem. The setback was constant denial of no problem. So Attitude can be equated to arrogance. (Arrogance is a pride, overconfidence, superiority).

The Arab-Islamic face of the Sudan were/are (Saggiya, Jaaliya and Dongolayi). These are the first class citizens of the Sudan. They are positioned in strategic ministries: – Defence, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Energy, Mining while the Junubi (a South Sudanese) was given the Ministry of Stores.

These classifications were not in the constitution. The constitution was fine. These things were in the unwritten constitution of the Jallaba Council of Elders as is the case now with the Jieng Council of Elders (mostly represented by southerners who served under the Jalabas in the old Sudan).

The problems were not being said as Francis Deng noted in his book but were being implemented arrogantly against the cries of the Junubeen (South Sudanese). Whether you like it or not, it is not their business. If you want to rebel, it is your choice. If you want to stay humiliated as a second class citizen in your own country it is your choice.

After years of wrangling with the Arabs, this abnormal relation between the Arabs and the Africans in Sudan was clearly demonstrated in the signed peace deal of the year 2005; the CPA.

The CPA accepted the late Dr. John Garang de Mabior to assume the position of the First Vice President but on condition that when the post of the president falls vacant, constitutionally Garang was not allowed to become the President.

By that arrangement the ruling Arabs elite in the Sudan have cemented that an Arab person is a first class citizen of this country where Africans are the majority. It is a country where an African Muslim person is a second class while an African Christian or Animist person is a third class citizens and the others are the commoners.

So what is the link between Khartoum and Juba; does that attitude relate to our situation as of today?

First let me say this. You may agree or disagree with me on this. What was then in Khartoum wasn’t different from today’s South Sudan political and economic situation. As you read this opinion piece, it might reflect in your mind that some of us are too arrogant and aggressive. We are missing humility.

The attitudes of Khartoum’s elites are deeply embedded in some of us. That is why there is conflict in our country. To move away from old Sudan style we need to embrace modesty in our lives.

Humbleness is peace. It can create relative form of homogeneity in a diverse society such as South Sudan. One of the characteristics of a nation-state is uniformity and equality.

Unfortunately we are full of arrogance. This unnecessary pride is the tearing us apart. I have reached to a conclusion that we are a tribal nation. We are a country made of tribal kingdoms.

We are more proud of our tribal belongings than positive nationalism. We are overconfident of our tribes. We are blinded of our superiority. With all these do we still have courage to say that we are really one nation and one people?

Are we relatively homogeneous people who inhabit a sovereign state? The answer is simply no.

How this arrogance is demonstrated:
Even before the 2013 crisis erupted, the language of not only politicians but many South Sudanese was of violence or was preparing for war. In the internet you find words such as you are a “nyagat,” a reference to a Nuer as a traitor or an enemy. How come you have betrayed us in 1991 and you want the presidency by any means?

The statement such as “the problem is that he wants to become president” is an expression of arrogance. It has to do with inner feelings, it represents emotion of the speaker that nobody deserves the presidency except him or his tribe.

It is a similar attitude of the Jaaliyin. The statement cited above indicates that those speakers are against anybody having or have expressed ambition to rule, to become a governor, minister or commissioner.

He is expressing a sinful desire that “others” should not ‘think’ of leading this nation.

This is an attitude that encourages conflict in a diverse volatile society such as South Sudan. As an example, even in the University of Juba there is one group which wanted to dominate student’s bodies. The attitude of conquering others is a colonial attitude. Colonialism has no specific colour. It is not necessarily related to the white man or an Arab.

E-mail: michaelkomaa@gmail.com or michaelkoma@yahoo.com

South Sudan military spending doubles to $1bn, highest in region

By: ALLAN OLINGO, The EastAfrican, Posted Saturday, April 25 2015, SSN;

IN SUMMARY

Africa’s youngest nation relies on oil revenue to fund about 80 per cent of its budget.
South Sudan’s military spending rose to $1.08 billion last year, up from $982 million in 2013.
Since December 2013, South Sudan has been fighting dissident soldiers and armed civilians led by former vice president Dr Riek Machar.

Region counts the cost as S.Sudan crisis goes into second year. South Sudan has nearly doubled its military spending since 2010, and now ranks as the region’s biggest spender — a skewed spending policy that will hurt key sectors such as health, education and infrastructure.

Africa’s youngest nation relies on oil revenue to fund about 80 per cent of its budget. However, output has reduced significantly due to the ongoing conflict in the country and the rapid decline in oil prices.

Last year, total income from oil stood at $3.38 billion. However, after deducting $884 million in payments due to its neighbour Sudan and $781 million as loan repayments to donors as well as international financiers, South Sudan remained with just $1.715 billion from oil revenue.

A report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released last week shows a rise in South Sudan’s military spending to $1.08 billion last year, up from $982 million in 2013. This means that Juba spent more than 60 per cent of its net oil revenue on the military.

Since December 2013, South Sudan has been fighting dissident soldiers and armed civilians led by former vice president Dr Riek Machar.

Early last year, the Cabinet approved an emergency fund of $2.6 million mainly to finance its military forces as it engaged the rebels.

In July, during the budget presentation, the country’s former finance minister Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, said that the government would spend 41 per cent of its budget on security, including the military.

“I have allocated $737.8 million to the national army and $262.9 million to the police, prison and fire services. We expect that oil revenue will contribute about 80 per cent of this year’s budget,” said Mr Sabuni.

In 2012, South Sudan ordered close to 100 Ukrainian T-72 tanks; part of this military hardware was delivered last year.

In contrast, Kenya cut its military spending last year to $819 million, from $861 million in 2013, despite the fact that the country continues to face an increasing threat from transnational terrorists.

Homegrown terrorists sympathetic to the Al Shabaab militants, whom the Kenyan forces have been fighting in Somalia since 2011, have proved to be a challenge for the country, yet in its 2014/15 financial year, Kenya did not allocate any funds for crime research and investigations.

Funding operations

In the 2014/15 financial year, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said that the bulk of the security vote of $800 million would go to the military, which is involved in operations in Somalia.

So far, the Kenyan military has spent $447 million in Somalia, with the government providing $215 million for the mission, and the United Nations expected to shoulder the rest.

The country’s defence budget was to go into acquiring 10 new military helicopters, refurbishment of three grounded Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters and installation of closed circuit (CCTV) surveillance cameras in 10 cities.

Tanzania, for its part, increased its military spending marginally in 2014 to $460 million from $408 million in 2013, according to SIPRI’s estimates.

Tanzania has been sprucing up its navy over the past two years as it seeks to defend its newly discovered offshore petroleum resources. Last year, the country acquired 14 new J-7Gs fighter jets, Type 63A amphibious tanks, A100 multiple rocket launchers and Type 07PA self-propelled mortars from China.

Meanwhile, Uganda increased its military budget to $322 million last year, up from $302 million the previous year.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the conflict in South Sudan has increased Uganda’s military spending. The Ministry of Defence allocation in the 2014/15 budget was 12 per cent higher than the previous year, and the Defence Ministry requested two supplementary budgets amounting to $64 million.

Uganda allocations

In its 2014/15 financial year, Uganda allocated $400 million to its army that was expected to finance its interventions in Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where its forces are hunting down the notorious warlord Joseph Kony and his Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebels.

“Over the 2013/14 financial year, the government has continued to strengthen the capabilities of our armed forces and other security agencies through the acquisition of modern security, defence equipment and other logistical facilities, as well as the improvement of staff welfare and training,” Uganda’s former finance minister Maria Kiwanuka said in her budget speech.

Uganda has bought MiG and Sukhoi fighter jets in the past few years, which are still being delivered, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on Sukhoi SU-30 combat aircraft.

Rwanda, on its part, makes for interesting statistics. Despite being the only country that has been actively involved in military campaigns in the DRC over the past five years, the country’s military spending remains the lowest in the region. Last year, Kigali’s military spending grew by 4.1 per cent to $85.9 million, up from $82.3 million in 2013.

Rwanda has acquired the reputation as a reliable peacekeeper, all the while benefiting from training as well as from reimbursements for purchases of weapons. The country has peacekeepers in South Sudan and Sierra Leone. Last year, it bought new Mil Mi-17 helicopters and a medium-range surface-to-air defence missile system from China.

Burundi also increased its spending last year to reach $62.2 million, up from $60.9 million in 2013.

Ugandan army presence in South Sudan extended for four months

KAMPALA: APR/23/2015,
South Sudan has renewed the pact with Uganda to extend the presence of Ugandan military in South Sudan for four months, Ugandan army said.

The deputy Ugandan army spokesperson, Maj. Henry Obbo said the renewal of the agreement which took place in Mbuya, the Military headquarters in Kampala on Tuesday was signed by Ugandan defence minister Crispus Kiyonga and his south Sudanese counterpart, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk.
“In the view of the fact that the situation in South Sudan had not fully stabiliised, the two agreed to renew the military Assistance agreement between the two countries for a further four months,” the signed documents read.

The renewal came two days after the warring parties in South Sudan signed a power sharing agreement in Ethiopia that will see both sides cease hostilities.

This is the third time South Sudan is asking for an extension of the presence of Ugandan military which deployed in December 2013 to support the beleaguered government of Salvar Kiir.

Previously, the two sides have signed but violated the ceasefire agreement, leaving thousands of people dead in the youngest, oil producing country.

More than 10,000 people have been killed, about 1.5 million people displaced from their homes. About 11 million people are struggling to find enough food to eat.
DAILY MONITOR, KAMPALA, END

Bad Credit for South Sudan

BY: Emma Vickers, GLOBALWITNESS, 02/APR/2015, SSN;

We saw a new warning signal from the moribund South Sudanese economy last week. Parliamentarians gave the government the go ahead to negotiate a risky $500 million loan from the Qatar National Bank (QNB).

Why risky? Because this is no insignificant sum for the world’s most oil dependent state. Last year, South Sudan received $1.7 billion of oil money into state coffers. If this loan is approved at the proposed interest rate, the Qatari bank will be owed almost half of that amount- $781 million, paid back over 7 years. This is the equivalent of the US government taking out a loan larger than their military and education budgets combined.

The deal is doubly risky because, if cash is lacking, the Government has agreed to pay in the only other currency available to it – oil. Using crude as collateral threatens to lock the country into a dangerous cycle of debt- oil dollars are used to pay off old loans while new loans fund the budget. By taking this loan, the government risks selling South Sudan’s future to pay for today.

This might not matter, if the money were invested in corresponding assets, such as infrastructure or in education, which should create a richer economy in the future; one which is capable of repaying the loan. However, as detailed below, serious doubts exist about Government spending priorities. Opposition MPs have already expressed concerns about the wisdom of the loan. These concerns must be heard and addressed by the Government.

Cabinet affairs minister, Martin Elia Lomoro, cited the ‘dire situation’ of the economy as the reason for striking this deal. True, the economy is in dire straits. The oft-cited figures – oil production down by a third, prices at half what they were 12 months ago – are taking their toll on the Government’s ability to finance its current budget. Police report that they often have to wait months for overdue salaries, state governments complain that their allowances have dried up, and the Parliament recently announced the halting of most activities due to lack of funds. Clearly some organs of Government are having trouble treading water.

But the squeeze doesn’t seem to be affecting everyone equally. Budget reports reveal that the President’s office overspent its budget by 369% – or $33 million – between July and September last year. It seems that, while some sectors are without the cash to fulfil basic functions, others are free to spend as they please.

The inconsistency raises an important question – where will the $500 million be spent? South Sudanese MPs have, quite rightly, demanded more detail on exactly which development projects the Cabinet have promised this stop-gap cash to. This information must come quickly, and the Parliament must be given time to deliberate the propositions.

Another critical question is whether the Government can tighten its belt elsewhere to avoid taking on more high risk debt? It has yet to demonstrate that the QNB loan is the only way to keep the economy afloat, rather than being the same knee jerk strategy followed by other heavily indebted oil rich countries who have mortgaged their people’s future for short term gain.

The Specter of Tribalism: A political Quagmire in South Sudan

BY: John Juac, CANADA, APR/20/2015, SSN;

With vast forests, plains and hills, South Sudan has an estimated population of some eight million. This population, though very small for all that land, is composed of many different cultures and languages, a few of whom have ever known peace and unity among themselves.

Having never existed as a sovereign state and its citizens being a minority group in old Sudan, collective action among South Sudanese has been historically shaped in response to the aggressive nation-building pursued by successive Khartoum regimes that sought to Arabize and Islamize African people of the region.

Today, in the absence of a clear-cut enemy, it is a major challenge for southern nationalists to devise a common identity that unites the putative nation beyond competing loyalties to tribe, clan and region.

Riffle through opinion pieces from South Sudanese online media, one discovers that the single issue dominating the public debate on national identity is the fear of tribalism and regionalism.

Here is what a debater said: “When formal independence came in July 2011, everybody had an optimistic view a national consciousness would rise above tribal and regional interests, and now the new country continues to face these same old problems which place roadblock in the way of national consolidation.”

It is true that the nascent country is to a large degree ethnically fragmented, with each group seeking to maximize its own objectives- a process that has significantly weakened the ability of the nationalist government to work toward national integration.

The spread of political activity has also stimulated the development of a more local tribal consciousness which impairs potential national unity. There are a number of African countries where disparate tribal groups have managed to coexist, but not in the newly independent South Sudan.

More than sixty tribes who compose a South Sudanese nation still in making have serious difficulties in settling down in peace with each other, and these difficulties are clearly evident in current Nuer-Dinka strife.

Nuer and Dinka, the country’s major but traditional rival groups, are again at each other’s throats; they are trying to oust each other off the land and paradise. The waves of allegations of exclusion from the new state power and relative resource deprivation have served to high-lighten the cultural identity and solidarity of subordinate groups, leading Nuer politicians backed up by some from the national minorities to rise in bloody armed rebellion.

The bloody armed rebellion, which erupted in December 2013 amid allegations of a coup against first President Salva Kiir, has left more than 10,000 people dead and displaced more than a million.

While internally displaced persons are stranded at various UN compounds countrywide, those who had crossed into neighbouring countries live at refugee camps under the most appalling conditions. And it is unlikely that these refugees will return to their homes soon.

Successive attempts by regional mediators to end the bloodshed in South Sudan-backed up by pressure from the international community-have failed to produce any lasting impact.

Thus, many have lost hope of stability and unity, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement dominated government in Juba is quite unable to bring the country under its control.

Huge portions of three states of Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei and their populations are falling away from any effective administration as the armed rebellion rages on, and all this occurs with an extraordinary and even frenzied violence which the history of South Sudanese politics of armed struggle alone is unable to explain.

Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, heroic leaders involved in this audacious power game, simply have forgotten about how much South Sudanese had suffered the piratical excesses of Sudan’s Arab Islamic state for forty years before independence.

There were many years of colonial pacification, military promenades and heavy hand of an authoritarian colonial system.

There was barely a region in South Sudan which escaped repressions of Arab Islamic state’s colonial army as well, and when the fresh upheavals erupted in the early 1980s, death and destruction became the rule of daily life.

Kept in office by a combination of local intrigue, opportunism and external pressure, Salva Kiir and his central ministers are for the most part petty-bourgeois adventurers with no vision of a national cause.

They are in any case quickly mastered by external pressures, and the so-called National Legislative Assembly is mainly composed of ambitious political adventurers who do not have much in common with the people whom they claim to represent; they are reactionaries as many critics said.

They live thanks to the help of foreign capitalists and do not worry about their brothers and sisters who die of diseases and poverty in rural regions.

Salva Kiir’s regime gives its orders in the name of people but in fact these orders are given only in the name of those who govern, and this means that the regime protects only the lives and ill-gotten gains of those who govern.

Because of their indifferences to the suffering of their fellow-citizens, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar had refused during recent peace negotiations to end the more than 15 month long war.

Now the hostilities have started up in the Upper Nile region because they have been building up their weapons and capacity to fight.

Countless reports have also high-lightened the continued recruitments of unemployed youths able to bear arms into armies that could be counted in millions, and the introduction of deadly firearms and explosives of hitherto un-dreamt of efficacy has revolutionized South Sudan’s traditional warfare.

According to some insiders, the majority of population object to the war; they feel it is not their war. They want peace and leaders who are able to make peace, but such leaders like Salva Kiir and Riek Machar do not care about making peace.

They only care about gaining or clinging to power through acts of violence, and it is likely that the regional peace makers trying to persuade them stop fighting each other may storm out of their peace mission in future.

These are ugly scenes in the embattled country where political power is viewed as an end in itself, divorced from questions of ethics, morality or religion, and political leaders resort to killing their fellow-citizens.

Since power is the sole end of their political actions, all necessary means for achieving these goals are legitimate, including violence, murder, dishonesty and bad faith.

They pay lip service to questions of nationality and nationalism that are of great political importance to the new country because the ability to define the contours of the nation and thereby the conditions of citizenship are key instruments for political entrepreneurs to gain power.

One interesting thing in South Sudan is that the head of state and his minister of war are ignorant of the facts about power politics.

They think they can put down the rebels with less costs, though they are locked in a complex triangular battle against the rural insurgents on the one hand and underground urban dissidents on the other.

Putting down the rebels with less cost is one thing and stopping people rebel is the other, but one does not think you can stop people rebel unless you address the issues that make people rebel in the first place.

On the other hand, defeated in the narrow arena of Juba politics, Riek Machar and Taban Deng Gai have taken up their stand in the forests of Upper Nile region, where they have set up a brief government of their own.

Although Riek Machar and Taban Deng Gai might possess a vision of a national cause and the will to fight for it, they lack the influence and organization to maintain their leadership in wide regions of the country flung into confusion and disturbance.

The ethnic Nuer rebels have been ruthless enough during the first months of armed conflict when they tried to put down their enemy troops without giving a thought to the morals of the case. Backward looking, a warfare of this kind is confined to South Sudan alone.

Analysts have suggested that Riek Machar and Taban Deng Gai should move from the ethnic Nuer armed struggle of limited aims toward national armed struggle, but the ethnic Nuer nationalists would never buy that suggestion.

They are consistently pressing for limited political concessions to the point where they are able to take over the post-independence state and emerge at the head of the government.

Can such development be possible in South Sudan?

The effective political opponent is no longer Arab Muslims, but the ethnic Dinka majority whose power rests now on the tribalist regime of Salva Kiir, so the choice now for ethnic Nuer nationalists is the same as that facing African Muslim rebels in Sudan; this choice is to fight or submit.

But here, too, the choice of fighting imposes a second choice, just as the case of African Muslim rebel movements in Sudan.

To have any success, fighting will have to draw on the active participation of the majority of South Sudanese people, for it is the majority which must provide the rebel fighters and the means with which those rebel fighters could succeed. This means that ethnic Nuer nationalists, if they are to have any success, must develop a practice and theory of anti-Juba regime liberation. Such as will emerge from the interests of majority. They must fight not for control of the existing state structure as this is in harmony with the interests of the minority group, the SPLM ruling clique. They must fight for reconstitution of an entirely different type of southern state. They must, in short, turn their backs on ethnic Nuer insurrectionary action and embark on a national revolutionary struggle for social change. The whole drama of ethnic Nuer nationalism in South Sudan is encapsulated in its attempt to achieve this necessary development of practice and theory, and this is to prove extremely difficult at this time.

It seems that there was no serious attempt to think through the actual problems of the situation that would emerge.
Militants of ethnic Nuer rebel movement are mobilized and trained in cattle camps to fight the hated government, but this is done without a political preparation. Nuer ethnic nationalists, having realized that the first independence has gone badly, they call for a second independence, a messianic kingdom, where all wrongs would be righted, where official exactions would be ended, and where prosperity would reign supreme. Despite a revolutionary rhetoric, often used to conceal practice of traditional power politics to safeguard the interests of the movement, ethnic Nuer rebels are divided by ethnic quarrels and by differences of leadership and strategy. Vaguely liked by a corresponding opposition to the central government, these ethnic Nuer rebel fighters are holding out in several areas in Nuerland under different leaders with loosing co-ordination between them. Such loosing co-ordination is only a shared intention to overthrow what has remained of the central government’s authority. But can ethnic Nuer rebels seize state power and retain it, if only for short time, or all talk of this nothing else than cutting the skin of a bear that has not been killed? That is a question which has recently become an urgent one for the ethnic Nuer rebel leaders.

Although they are united in opposition to the existing regime, the ethnic Nuer rebels and some exiled opposition group are divided as to the tactics of bring an end to the despotic regime of Salva Kiir. The exiled group asserted that violent route to power would not bring any benefit to the young country; therefore, the group wanted to work through the legal and constitutional channels with the aim of winning the vote of the people and thereby achieving institutional change through democratic process:

“We have proclaimed the winning of democracy as one of the first and most important tasks of our designed theory and practical program and we are taking up this front; we do not think that a society can be transformed by destroying the institutions that govern it; we also believe that when the current despotic tyrant finds himself compelled to introduce a multiparty democracy as the only means of avoiding a nationwide uprising, people would freely elect their representatives to sit in the first constituent assembly; then they would have used their voting power in a way which serve as a model to the mass of the people; with the successful utilization of voting power, an entirely new mode of people’s struggle would come into force.”

The peaceful but broad democratic movement, the group leader argued, offers still further opportunities for the people to fight the very state institutions. They would take part in all elections to individual diets and so it would happen that the ruling elite and its party organization come to be much afraid of the results of elections than those of the armed rebellion. In addition, the conditions of the struggle has essentially changed, the group leader maintained. Rebellion in the old style, which up to 1983 gave everywhere the final decision in South Sudan is to considerable extent obsolete. So let us have no illusions about this: a real victory of an insurrection over the regular army in a bush fighting, a victory as between two armies, is one of the rarest exception.

But Riek Machar and other ethnic Nuer rebel leaders also count on it just as rarely. For them it is solely a question of making SPLA soldiers yield to moral influences, which in a fight between the armies of the two warring countries, do not come into play at all. If Riek Machar and fellow ethnic Nuer rebel fighters succeed in this, then the government troops fail to act, or the commanding officers loss their heads, and the rebel movement wins. If they do not succeed in this, then, even where the regular army is in the minority, the superiority of better equipment and better training, unified leadership, of the planned employment of the military forces and of discipline makes itself feel.

The most that Riek Machar and his movement can achieve in actual tactical practice is the construction and defence of the single liberated zoon. Mutual support; the disposition and employment of reserves; in short, the cooperation and harmonious working of individual detachment, indispensable even for the defence of one quarter of the town, not to speak of the whole of
a large town, are at best defective and mostly not attainable at all. The concentration of the government forces at the decisive point is, of course, impossible. Hence the passive defence is the prevailing form of fight: the attack will rise here and there, but only by way of exception to occasional advances and flank assaults. As a rule, however, it will be limited to occupation of the positions abandoned by the retreating government troops. Furthermore, the military forces have, on their side, the disposed of artillery and fully equipped crops of skilled personnel, resources of war which Machar and ethnic Nuer rebel fighters entirely lack.

No wonder, then, that even guerrilla struggles conducted with the greatest heroism may end up with defeat of the rebel movement. The time of insurrection carried through by small conscious groups at the head of unconscious peasants is past. Where it is a question of a complete transformation of social organization, well trained fighters and politically educated leaders of different backgrounds must be in it, and they must grasp what they are going in for with body and soul. The history of the last fifty years in African revolutionaries or insurrections should have taught the leaders of ethnic Nuer rebel movement.

But in order that the people may understand what is to be done, long persistent work is required, and it is just this work which
ethnic Nuer nationalists are not pursuing. If they pursue this with success, it may drive their enemy to despair. A mountain of literatures on insurrections show that it has also been more recognized that the old tactics of guerrilla warfare must be revised. Everywhere the unprepared onslaught has gone into background and everywhere the urban opposition politicians are utilizing the electoral politics to win all posts accessible to them. In South Sudan, where for less than three years of independence the ground has been undermined by rebellion after rebellion, where there is no a single political group which has not done its share of conspiracies, insurrections, and other revolutionary action.

As a result, Juba regime is by no means sure of the national army. The conditions for an insurrectionary coup are far more favorable in South Sudan than in Uganda and Kenya. But the exiled opposition group has realized more that no lasting victory is possible for them, unless they first win great mass of the people, in this case, the majority peasants. Slow propanda work and parliamentary activity must be recognized here, too, immediate tasks of opposition group. Success are not lacking; a whole series of the national, state and even municipal elections might be won and they might overthrow Salva Kiir and his ruling SPLM nationalist party in a free and fair election. The opposition leaders back home should agree with the exile group that the chance of achieving parliamentary majority in parliament can no long be withheld.

Of course, Riek Machar and fellow ethnic Nuer armed groups do not have to renounce their right to revolutionary action.
Their right to revolution is, after all, the only real historical right, the only right on which all modern states without exception rest. The right to revolution is so incontestably in general consciousness that even a military general derives the right to a coup d’état, solely from this popular right. But whatever may happen in South Sudan, the opposition leaders would have a special situation and special task. They would count on million voters to send them to ballot box, together with young men and women. They would be thriving far better on legal methods than on illegal methods and revolt. The leaders of the SPLM nationalist party would perish under the legal conditions created by democratic process. Whereas the opposition leaders, under this legality,
get firm muscles and rosy cheeks and look like eternal life. And if they are so crazy as to let themselves be driven into bush fighting in order to please Riek Machar and Taban Deng Gai and their ethnic Nuer rebel movement, then nothing else is finally left for them to break through this legality so fatal to them.

John Juac Deng
Journalist/writer
Juacd@yahoo.ca

The Families of our Elites: Serving Two Masters at a go?

By: Simon Yel Yel, APR/19/2015, SSN;

Strange things are always happening in South Sudan that leave everyone flabbergasted what the hell is going on with the families of our elites? Some families have prominent members in both the government as well as within the rebel movement. Do they want to dominate South Sudan’s politics even in the rebellion?

The recent incredible defections left people in peculiar whether this is the beginning of an end or end of the beginning of the government. We are caught in disbelief that some family members of government heavy-weights are rebelling to fight against the government of their fathers, mothers, brothers and wives.

It was late March and early this month when we witnessed the defection of Mr. Agel Riing Machar, the former youth political parties leader and leader of national youth union who is the son of national MP Hon. Adhaar Arop; the defection of Capt. Joseph Clement Wani kong’a who was an officer in the national security, and the son of Governor Clement Wani of Central Equatoria State, and the defection of Brigadier General Gatwech Puoch, the brother of Upper Nile state Governor Simon Kun Puoch, joining the rebels.

People also wonder to see the wives of some leaders who are against the government holding big positions.

I will give few examples to my readers, Mrs. Angeth Acol De Dut, the undersecretary for the ministry of labour, public service and Human development is a wife of Majak Agot who is the member of G10 or (SPLM-Uhuru); Nadia Dudi Arop whose husband is with the rebels, and Rebecca Joshua Okwachi, the wife of Dr. Lam Akol.

Is it about serving two masters at ago or what? Why there is no single statement being released to tell the public that the families in question are not part of decision taken by their members to rebel? No press statement have been released by Simon Kun Puoch to distance his family away from the decision taken by his brother or press statement by Clement Wani nor Hon. Adhar Arop to disown their sons’ decision joining the rebels and tell public that they are not happy with the decision taken by their sons to fight the government that they part of.

No statement also released by Hon. Angeth Acol to tell the public that she is not part of her husband’s decision. Am afraid that the sons, wives, husbands and even fathers or mothers of the ministers, and advisors will also rebel and still no one will question them. What a great demoCRAZY in South Sudan!

The current war against the legitimate government of South Sudan has been given different version or definitions by the people from within and outside the government. It was on 8th January this year when the governor of Central Equatoria, Hon. Clement Wani Konga, defined the ongoing rebellion of Riek Machar in his own jurisprudence literacy, telling Equatorians: “who are you going to fight, are you going to fight Dinka or Riek Machar? Equatorians should remain neutral as to be able to bring peace. Equatorians should stand for peace” and he went further again, saying “It is only chance for the people of Equatoria coming together so as to bring to an end this war between Dinka and Nuer.”

Here we go and the question is, did the son of governor Clement Wani become Nuer for joining Riek Machar to fight Dinka? Or is he going to mediate the peace between Dinka and Nuer in Pagak? The dad will tell the readers and me.

Clement Wani also talked about the instability in Equatoria region being caused by the people who have joined Riek when he said “If Lado Gore wants to be vice president as he is now with Riek Machar, why shouldn’t he wait for elections or contest the election? If Riek Machar comes then he will be vice president without bloodshed.”

Here is the question that asks itself, what’s Konga’s advice to his ambitious son? What does he want to become? Let’s guess, he wants to become the head of internal security like Gen. Akol Kor Kuc or minister of national security in the office of the president, Gen. Obote Mamur because he is a captain in the national security and those are the highest offices in the national security.

What is your advice to your son captain Joseph Mr. Governor? Do you (Wani) know the main reason that led to defection of Alfred Lado Gore? Let me tell you because it is five (5) years from now and you might have forgotten what you did in 2010 elections. It is not his heave-ho as a Minister for Environment that made him rebel like Peter Adwok Nyaba and the rest but deeply rooted in 2010 elections.

The chief enemy of Alfred Gore is not Salva Kiir but you “Wani” for denying him his 2010 elections victory. He doesn’t want to become vice president as you think but he wants to become governor of Central Equatoria state by all means, be it presidential decree or elections if Riek becomes president.

What is your advice to your son for associating himself with your principal enemy wanting to unseat you?

The current rebellion is made up of many discontent elements wanting to achieve different goals and we have seen recently the defections of many rebels, high profile commanders and politicians to the government. Many rebels don’t have a single problem with the system of Kiir’s governance but they have problems with individuals within the government, be it national government, state, county and even Payam.

In conclusion, many top officials in the government have connection with the rebels and they always feed them with government’s plan of the day. The rebels always get news four days before SSTV announce it and it is through families who are holding big positions within the government.

Frankly speaking, there is no secret in the government that rebels don’t get and it is due to their relatives holding big positions in the high echelons of the government.

The writer can be reached at simonyel55@yahoo.com

The Ever-changing Face of Dr. Lam Akol in the politics of South Sudan

BY: Taban Abel Aguek, State MP, RUMBEK, APR/18/2015, SSN;

In a press conference in Juba last week, the leader of South Sudan Opposition Party SPLM–DC, Dr Lam Akol, criticized the government of South Sudan on being against the West. The issue seems to weave around the involvement of TROIKA in the upcoming IGAD Plus talks in Addis Ababa. The Government has since made its position clear that TROIKA should only be involved in an observer role, and nothing else. And for that, the government spelled out its concerns which are convincing to the South Sudanese public.

I believe this position of the government on TROIKA’s role is what Dr Lam has perceived as being against the West. Those people who know Dr. Lam well are now left confused on seeing him swap his attitudes towards the West in 2015.

Dr. Lam, by the time he was National Minister for Foreign Affairs – was a hard critique of the West. Both Lam and Beshir had to depend on Russia and China to thwart the West’s effort for peace and civilians protection in Darfur in 2006.

Now that Dr Lam publicly condemns the government of South Sudan on being harsh to the same West that he used to scorn upon during our days of the ‘united Sudan’ is quite interesting. Perhaps, it does justify the long-held notion that in politics “there are no permanent enemies, but only permanent interests”.

That remains that. But what is trending now is the developing perception among the South Sudan’s public that Dr. Lam Akol might have developed the ‘strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Hyde’.

This was coined from the novel by a Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, “The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. And it is commonly associated with the rare mental condition often called “split personality”, referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, where within the same body there exists more than one distinct personality.

Now this has been taken to describe a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to another.

In politics it becomes even much worse. If one cannot agree with himself, then how does he expect people to agree with him? I heard him speak over the Miraya FM the other day and there he made me think about how many faces he has changed over the period he has been in contact with our national issues.

As mentioned earlier, in the prime years of the CPA, when Dr Lam Akol was a powerful Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Government of National Unity, he was a hard critic of the West.

I remember one of the hotly contested issues between the West and Sudan was whether the UN should deploy its forces in Darfur or not. President Beshir opted to term the UN civilian protection in Darfur as an invasion of a ‘sovereign’ state of Sudan. And Dr. Lam worked for him and agreed with him even when he said that he would ‘rather lead the war against a foreign invasion than allowing them abuse the sovereignty of the Sudan’.

The person that was doing all the shuttle diplomacy was none other than Dr. Lam Akol on behalf of President Beshir. Both Dr Lam and President Beshir lost faith in the West; and therefore, they inclined to go to the East and got sanctuary in China and Russia. Yet, in doing that, he was going contrary to the position of his then nominating party, SPLM and the then semi autonomous government in Juba.

In one of his diplomatic trips abroad, Dr. Lam claimed having achieved ‘victory’ on behalf of the Beshir’s NCP when he came back with a green light for the formation of dysfunctional hybrid force “UNAMID” for Darfur. Judged by current events, the deployment of UNAMID became a victory to Khartoum and a bad loss to the people of Darfur.

Working for Sudan Tribune Daily Newspaper in Khartoum, which some circles claimed was sponsored by Dr. Lam himself; I had no any other avenue to lodge my pleas than to take to the internet. I wrote an article titled, “South Sudan: dumped in the mouths of some Khartoum SPLM Traitors” and it was posted in Sudan Tribune.

The SPLM traitor was Dr. Lam Akol and his associates that benefitted from CPA but allowed themselves to be used as walking sticks by the same old foe – the NCP.

I thought Dr Lam would stick to his old hard criticism against the West. Or else he needs to tell us what made him change his mind now to be a sympathizer of the same West he stood against during the days he was serving as a minister of Foreign Affairs in a united Sudan.

That Dr. Lam has changed face to be a supporter of the same West he fought fiercely against is to me a surprise. That is Dr. Lam’s Change of face number two.

One may wonder why this should be change of face number two. Get it here again fast tracked! Dr. Lam was the architect of the document known to most literate South Sudanese as “Why Garang must Go!”.

Together with Riek Machar they decided to launch a ‘bush coup’ against Dr. John Garang. They proudly announced a coup which did not only end in shambles but, like the current war, caused skirmishes and reduced gains of SPLM/A and South Sudan.

Dr Lam, few months after accepting to work under Riek, opted to form his own party in complete betrayal to Riek. He failed to work with Dr Garang, chose Dr Riek and divorced him again in a very short time.

That represented swapping of faces in very short time by him but we can call it Dr. Lam’s Change of face number one that we came to know.

Shortly after the failed coup in Juba on December 2013, Dr Lam Akol appeared to condemn the actions of Dr Riek Machar. He got the public support to lead the team of opposition parties at the Addis Ababa talks.

But a few days into the talks Dr Lam changed immediately from standing with South Sudanese public position to confusingly spreading his legs over on the IGAD proposals and bilaterally chose also to hold ‘secret’ meetings with Dr. Riek Machar.

Maybe those people who argue that he was lured into an idea that both President Kiir and Dr Riek will not be allowed to participate in the transitional government impacted his decision.

But still he could have been advised but he took the decision. That might have prompted him to lodge himself into possibility of replacing Kiir as the President of South Sudan.

From condemning the coup to supporting Riek, Dr Lam left many of South Sudanese confused. That is Change of face number three!

It was all announced that South Sudan wanted to hold elections in June this year. But backed up by the International Community and Civil Society Organizations, Dr Lam led a campaign against the conduct of elections. Dr Lam even went further by leading a coalition of political parties to court to challenge the decision.

South Sudan, under that pressure, rescinded the decision to hold elections. But the decision not to hold elections also carried legal implications. There is no way elections can be called off and put nothing in the vacuum. That would lead to constitutional crisis.

The best way to accommodate the peace talks without a constitutional vacuum is seeking the parliamentary extension of the term of the Government and parliament to give room for Addis Ababa negotiations with a legitimate ruling system.

That there was one Dr Lam Akol who asked for postponement of elections and the same Dr Lam who again opposed the suspension of elections represents an amusing change of mind in the swiftest of time. Change of face number four!

Dr Lam Akol ought to know – and I believe he knows – that the South Sudanese he is dealing with are not the same South Sudanese of the last decades. If Britain were to colonize South Sudan today, they would have found it very difficult. There is no way we can allow any move to go uncalculated and people are so vigilant nowadays.

It is a fact that Dr. Lam has been relevant with the South Sudanese politics since the inception of SPLM. It is a big credit to South Sudan and Democracy that there has always been an opposing voice.

According to me, that is healthy politics. But it must be noted that criticism must rightfully be placed. And one should not oppose just for the sake of being in opposition.

The Opposition and all the groups that led a campaign against the holding of elections should not look at the extension of government as means for Kiir to earn extra years in power. Rather, it should be viewed as a concession by the government.

President Beshir of Sudan has been constantly extending his rule through bogus elections. South Sudan has tried to avoid such a case. Kiir would have contested elections and likely win a five year term in office.

But the decision to delay elections was taken to give time for peace negotiations. By God’s grace, if the final peace deal is signed, then its terms may take complete precedence to what was done by parliament.

Someone needs to tell me how we can pass peace documents without a functioning Assembly? We need the assembly to enact into law the agreed terms of the peace agreement.

South Sudan is not against the West as alleged by Dr Lam. It’s him who holds records for being so ardently against the West. For him to change sides now is simply foxing.

Nevertheless, Dr. Lam Akol is a role model for so many young people. He is indeed a capable leader. But the society we are in is one of the most difficult ones. Every act is placed under a scrutiny. Therefore, one needs to calculate his actions and take decisions that garner the public support and then stay by them.

To change is not bad, but to keep changing is not healthy. It’s high time that Dr. Lam tries to make up his mind and tell us one thing. South Sudanese should not be told to move to the sun and when they are there, someone again says come to the moon.

Taban Abel Aguek works in Rumbek – South Sudan as a member of State Legislative Assembly. He can be reached at abelaguek79@gmail.com