Archive for: March 2018

Politicians’ indifference as South Sudanese continue to suffer


When the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, made remarks at the Consultative Meeting on South Sudan, with UN, IGAD and the African Union that— “first of all, it is clear to me and, I’m sorry to say so, but I’ve never seen a political elite with so little interest in the well-being of its own people,” some people expressed outrage that it was against the sovereignty of South Sudan for him to make such remarks.

However, he was and he is still right up to now. In my opinion, he made a very precise observation about the conduct of South Sudanese leaders. The leaders of South Sudan do not have any interest in serving citizens as their interests solely lie in power and wealth.

The desire by the leaders to have power and resources has reduced the human values in South Sudan to nothing. This is because South Sudanese have become less human beings since what the leaders look at is not how to improve their welfare but how to enhance their power and acquire more and more wealth.

Thus, citizens have been reduced to objects and because of that they have lost the intrinsic human values due to the indifferent conduct of the leaders of South Sudan. In other words, in the politics of South Sudan, welfare of the citizens no longer matters.

But what matters to South Sudan politicians are wealth and power. Hence, leaders use citizens just like objects to maintain their power and wealth.

Therefore, the way human values and citizenry are understood in South Sudan explain the problems being faced by the people at present. The following problems:

1- Shortage of foreign currency which was caused by corruption facilitated among others through the Letters of Credit (LC). By implication, the shortage of foreign currencies has pushed up prices, which in turn has led to runaway inflation.

Unfortunately, the runaway inflation has worsened because it is not matched with the increase in salaries or business activities. The overall implication of this nature of inflation is the emergency of abject poverty facing all citizens except some of the leaders and their families.

2- Deteriorating conditions of the citizens. The liberation war of 1983-2005 whose negative impact was not reduced and the present war which is the continuation of that war has had a negative impact on the citizenry.

The war in particular has psychologically affected citizens but South Sudanese authorities have not come up with policies that deal with post-traumatic stress that result from the psychological consequences of the past war and the present.

In a study recently conducted by the US-based National Centre for Biotechnology information, it has been found that at least 40% of the participants asked across South Sudan showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

The prevalence of post-traumatic stress caused by the war has made majority of the citizens live a hopeless life and has led many of the citizens to committing or attempting to commit suicide.

Hence, on 15 September 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that South Sudan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

In addition, on 29/03/2018, News24 reported that suicide in South Sudan rises as years-long war grinds down South Sudanese. The many suicides in South Sudan are caused by the post traumatic stress that has affected the citizens uncontrollably.

Thus, the PTSD has had a great toll on many citizens though the authorities live as if things are normal with citizens.

3- The Problem of the Unknown Gunmen. Many citizens are being killed across the country and in Juba in particular, without accountability. It appears that the Unknown Gunmen is the government project intended to deal with her critics.

The government on many occasions has been accused of forming the unknown gunmen which is said to be organ of the National Security. In fact, what made many people to believe in that theory is the fact that it is common with the unknown gunmen to target the civilians perceived to be against the government and those with property, and yet the government has never made any attempt to apprehend any member of the unknown gunmen.

4- The problem of communal violence among rural, and in particular, the cattle keeping communities. This is a type of violence perpetrated across ethnic or communal lines. It’s where the violent parties feel solidarity for their respective groups, and victims are chosen based on group membership.

The above is the kind of violence that is eating up South Sudanese communities found in different states in South Sudan.

For instance, this type of violence is common in Gok State, Western Lakes, Eastern Lakes, Tonj, and Gogrial State and in some of the states in the Upper Nile.

The presence of the communal violence has led to many citizens abandoning their original homes as their livestock are stolen or robbed and their crops destroyed yet the government does not even try to find a solution to this kind of violence, which shows that politicians of South Sudan are indifferent to suffering of ordinary citizens.

5- The drilling of oil in disregards to the safety of the local citizens of South Sudan inhibiting areas where oil is found. This has resulted into waste water not processed being disposed of in unprotected areas.

Recently, the report prepared by the German NGO, Sign of Hope, estimated that 180,000 people face life-threatening risks from oil-related water pollution.

The Sign of Hope further reported that heavy metals, from leaking pipelines and refineries have affected the soil and citizens. This has further resulted into massive displacement of the people in oil producing areas.

Despite negative effects on citizens of unmonitored mining of oil, the government of South Sudan does not care about the welfare of citizens as it is busy drilling oil purposely to sustain the war against the rebels with illusive hope of winning it.

This fact has been confirmed by the recent report which made it clear that the leadership in South Sudan is using oil revenues from Nile Petroleum Corporation-NilePet and the National Oil and Gas Corporation of South Sudan to fuel the ongoing conflict.

Though the government rubbished this report by denying it in totality, it has instead put up a defence that it has been using oil money to pay salaries to the employees.

This is not true because civil servants including those working in different embassies of South Sudan are going to ten months or more now without being paid.

This therefore confirms the fact that the government is lying, but in reality, it is using the money gained from oil to fund the war.

Sadly enough, as South Sudan‘s elite uses the country’s oil wealth to sustain the war as well as to terrorize the civilians and to get rich, the country is sinking deep into financial quagmires.

The economic uncertainty and limbo has made the country hostile for its own citizens to live in.

In general, South Sudan can properly be described as the sick man in East Africa since it is a country with suffering population but indifferent leaders.

In fact, the suffering has not spared any person including the soldiers who now beg on the streets though they are the ones defending the same leaders to remain in power.

Those widows whose husbands have been killed defending rebels or government are now begging on the streets because people in South Sudan are viewed like machines that become useless as soon as they are not able to produce more.

In summary, looking at the war as the war of power struggle not reforms, it is not easy for the leaders to reach compromise to achieve peace in order to save the citizens.

For that reason, there is no hope for achieving peace in the near future. This fact has been clearly confirmed by the recent statement from the First Vice President, Taban Deng, that he did not see any prospect of achieving peace very soon since the differences between the government and the oppositions are too wide.

NB// the author is South Sudanese Lawyer residing in Uganda and he can be reached through

Constant search for answers: The Case of South Sudan Crises

By: Ibrahim Juma, South Sudan, MAR/28/2018, SSN;

It is an indisputable fact that the current crisis we are in, came from power hungry politicians who’d and still put their interests first rather than the national interest. Concerned citizens like me are left to wonder in relation to how and who will address the followings issues that have befallen our nation.

Political problems: Because of power hunger and lack of patience from Dr. Riek Machar, he triggered the 2013 crisis that lasted up to now.

Many people including me thought Dr. Riek would be the only hope for our nation given his education and experience, but through thorough observations, he isn’t fit to resolve South Sudanese problems.

He has failed to run the SPLM-IO properly, leave alone running the whole nation. He is currently running a rebellion whose objective is just to get power without telling the citizens what he’d do once he assumes power.

Several defects within SPM-IO are testimony to that effect.

Other rebels like Dr. Lam Akol and General Thomas Cirilo are also vision-less. This leaves us with no hope in these rebels as they’d be hopeless in resolving of Republic of South Sudan’s problems.

On the other hand, the government of President Kiir is a government of self-enrichment or self-service. Where on earth can someone who was accused of stealing money be appointed as Undersecretary?

What has his government done to the 75 top corrupt politicians? Or since inception, who has ever been prosecuted by the Anti–Corruption commission other than it being an institution for employment?

Furthermore, the government has gone ahead to adopt a system of provoking people to rebel, e.g. when Gen. Paul Malong was relieved and decided to go home, he was labelled as a rebel and soldiers were told to shoot him if he resisted arrest.

If it wasn’t because of former governor of Eastern lakes, Mr. Bor Philip, Gen. Paul Malong would’ve been harmed.

Recently, when Mr. Andrew Makur Thou fell ill, his son-in-law, Ambassador Telar Ring Deng went to take care of him in Khartoum, Mr. Ezekiel Lul (current minister of petroleum) quickly referred to Mr. Telar as “John Baptist” who went to Khartoum to prepare the ground for the arrival of Gen. Paul Malong.

Who told Mr. Ezekiel Lul that Telar has rebelled? Is it not provocation where those in power provoke others to rebel?

If Gen. Paul rebelled (God forbids), I won’t blame him but I’ll rather blame those who always labeled him as rebel.

So, the question is, what’ll the government get from series of rebellions? I’m forced to believe that they’re using war to continue looting the country’s resources under the pretext of war.

Similar to my final observation on rebels that relate to their incapability in resolving South Sudanese’s problems mentioned above, the current government is a nightmare to South Sudanese.

Thus nothing good will come from it except continuous corruption in all its institutions, nepotism, promotion of tribalism, consistent under-development as evidenced by lack of functioning road network countrywide that links Capital Juba to all the states.

Further, poor health system, lack of sound educational sector, more and more suffering of the poor as a result of the current economic hardships, and government actions that are making our nation a laughing stock in the eyes of international community among many others.

All the above are a result of lack of political will to put things right given that self-interest prevails on top of national interest.

Economic Issues : since there is inter-dependency between politics and how economy can be ran, one can’t deny that there is no way South Sudan’s economy can do well when those who are supposed to run things right are not doing their jobs right.

For instance, President Kiir appointed Othom Rago to be the bank governor in order to put the South Sudanese Economy right, but what he has forgotten is something relating to this saying, “when a cow chews its cud, baby cow calf is watching keenly.”

Mr. Othom can’t do anything right when he has been part of the team that allowed millions of Dollars to be taken away by politicians in Central Bank.

Central Bank, more specifically, has failed to perform its duties such as establishing sound banking system where commercial banks lends to general public, controls inflation and gives prudent advice to government in relation to any policy action…. etc.

Central Bank is supposed to work with Ministry of Finance and that of Petroleum in putting the nation right.

But in a country where there’s open corruption in those institutions, nothing good can happen.

You’re all aware of the famous 10% scenario in the ministry of Finance which I believe is still in existence up to date.

Corruption in the ministry of Petroleum has been exposed too by the latest Sentry report published in this month.

The Central bank has a joined the corrupt politicians and companies that hold huge checks issued by Ministry of Finance and Economic planning by facilitating their payment rather than having keen eyes to detect any fraud.

So there is no hope in those institutions unless very serious reforms are made.

Our economy is now characterized by high unemployment, high inflation rates, high capital outflows e.g. our country send lots of money to neighboring countries to pay for education, health, rental charges, purchase of houses, vehicles, banking of looted money overseas, dependency on imports rather than developing “import substitution strategy that later leads to “export of surplus output.”

Depreciation of South Sudanese pounds against foreign currencies notably USD, Euro among other currencies, lack of government parastatals that in return generate government revenue and create employment, diversion of funds by politicians who have opportunity to steal public resources.

Because we have self-enriching politicians, nothing good can be achieved economically since these current politicians define the operations of the above institutions.

Social problems: our social fabric is now characterized by high bride price which is preventing many youth from marrying, high prostitution resulting from this economic hardships where for the first time a South Sudanese lady can be found selling herself for money.

Adulterous acts – where married ladies are unfaithful to their husbands simply because she might get paid by her spare tire to augment what her husband gives her daily.

Flourishing of crime rates in Juba and various areas simply because youth cannot meet the high cost of living.

Cattle rustling among communities with intention of getting what one can use as bride price, cultural erosion exemplified by emergency of South Sudanese pornographic films. (See hot in Juba website)

This emanated from the lengthy war where children born in refugees camps don’t have south Sudanese values at heart, unemployment where many youth spend whole day playing cards, sitting at tea places simply because they have no papers to compete for the few jobs in NGOs sector.

Others are unemployed simply because they are Arabic literate which is contrary to English as official language in South Sudan.

More importantly because the number of jobs available are not equal to job seekers and depopulation of South Sudan due to current war and revenge killings.

Because of these social problems, there is increase in number of fake churches that promise success, that means our spiritual being is at stake.

In summary, after reading to the end, my question to you is, who will address all the above problems and restore our nation to pre-war period (2008-2011), since the savior is not yet known to us citizens as shown by the above observations?

The writer is South Sudanese Economist.

Tribalism is pouring us into the pit before our time

A Poem: By Aldo Wol Makuei, CANADA, 25/MAR/2018, SSN;

Don’t be a damn fool
Are you dead?
Are you a tribalistic?
If not, so Wake up!

If you don’t make use of your brain wisely
Tribalism will use it for you with disgrace.

If you can’t handle the cargo of your life cleverly
Tribalism will handle it for you with embarrassment.

Tribalism will handle you and drive your brain into savagery
Tribalism will drive your savage brain into destruction.

Tribalism will drive you into the grave
Tribalism will drive you into the Kingdom of Doom.

And if you are brainless enough to drive your life
Tribalism will drive you with a one-way first-class ticket without delay to hell.

I am not trying to insult you
I am just trying to get you think today.

You can’t just lay in the coffin satisfying with this death
You think everything is all right.

Don’t be so dumb and numb
Your thinking is in turmoil.

Just take a look around you
Can’t you see what is going on around you?

We have been butchering ourselves for so long
After being colonized for many years.

So what is the reason?

Tribalism becomes the suicide habit
The terrible type of social amnesia.

Tribalism has become our trade mark
The logo on our forehead.

We are the dry bones in the valley of the dead
All the eagles have gathered to defecate on our carcasses.

Carcasses in the valley of fate
There is nothing left of us.

Tribalism is pouring us into the pit before our time.

One by one
We are the dead
The left over
The outdated.

This is you
This is me
This is us.

This is South Sudan
No apology.

May God of Ancestors Bless South Sudan

By Aldo Wol Makuei and can be reached at:

Pres. Salva Kiir’s Gestapo Mentality is killing South Sudan

BY: Duop Chak Wuol, South Sudanese, MAR/24/2018, SSN;

It was a common perception in Adolf Hitler’s Germany that working as an assassin for the notorious Nazi’s secret police, the Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo), was a noble career in the Deutschland. It is now clear that South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has adopted Gestapo-like tactics to terrorize the people of South Sudan.

Kiir’s use of a Gestapo against his critics, political opponents, and civilians is not just wrong, it is hauntingly familiar and a threat to the very existence of South Sudan.

Most politicians like to make bold political statements, proclaiming better days ahead for their citizens or countries even when they know their promises are unjustified— or, rather, absurdly imaginary.

This is also the case in the minds of many ruthless tyrants. In Kiir’s mind, it is all about killing anyone who refuses to abide by his cruelty, imposing an ethnic reign, looting state resources and blaming it on unidentified culprits or unknown gunmen whom he owns.

This is exactly what Hitler did when he conducted a brutal campaign against those he believed to oppose his leadership.

It should be clear to the people of South Sudan that Kiir is a modern admirer of Gestapo methods who believes that he can kill with impunity and remain untouchable.

There are many similarities between Kiir’s unknown gunmen and the Gestapo’s assassins. For many years, Kiir’s unknown gunmen have terrorized, arrested, tortured, kidnapped, and killed people, and yet none of the assassins have ever been put on trial.

The reason why Kiir did not use his submissive Judges to punish members of his killing squad is the fact that he is the one who employed them to commit atrocities on his behalf.

What intrigued me about Kiir is the fact that he likes to accuse people whom he disagrees with of wrongdoing. He believes that anyone who refuses to abide by his brutality is wrong and that such a person deserves punishment.

For example, Kiir, with the help of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, orchestrated a scheme to make his rivals look as if they were working on a plan to topple his government.

He put his plan in motion on December 15, 2013 by accusing them of plotting a coup, presenting groundless evidence to support his self-managed claim, and then turning around to blame them for being the ones who started the war by attempting to remove him from power.

This was, in fact, a colossal lie. Kiir later used this misleading allegation against his opponents the morning following the outbreak of war.

He declared that his then-deputy Dr. Riek Machar, along with many senior leaders of the Sudan People’s s Liberation Movement (SPLM), planned a coup against his government and that some of the plotters were detained.

Kiir also demonstrated this seemingly blame-the-victim strategy in July 2016 after he colluded with Taban Deng Gai to try to assassinate Machar at Juba One (J1), his residence.

Most South Sudanese were shocked when they saw Kiir accusing Machar of starting the J1 fighting. Kiir’s policy of blaming the victims is the same tactic Hitler used against his rivals.

The recent politically motivated death conviction of former Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, and South African William John Endley has exposed Kiir’s deceit in a stunning way.

The decision by the court proves that Kiir’s mentality is no different from the former Nazi leader, who was very good at targeting his critics.

Kiir, through his sycophantic Judges, alleged that Dak committed treasonous acts and that Endley was a spy for the rebel leader Machar.

Kiir then falsely blamed the two men for being the masters of their legal troubles — troubles that were carefully fabricated at J1 and given to a Kangaroo court in Juba to punish the men.

All the charges labeled against both men were unreasonable in merit. The truth is that Mr. Dak was a critic of Kiir’s regime and Mr. Endley was simply an ordinary South African who happened to be a friend of Machar.

In a logical sense, Juba’s tyrant does not want anyone who likes Riek Machar. The man has developed a very serious hatred towards Riek Machar. His hatred for the rebel leader has reached the level of madness.

Kiir’s policy of rewarding the killers and punishing the victims reminds me of an ancient King who is so consumed by the fantasy of wanting to make people embrace his cruelty, justify his atrocities, and glorify his madness.

The real reason behind the convictions was simply an attempt by Kiir to tell his critics that he is capable of punishing anyone who criticizes his leadership — this is exactly how Hitler operated through his Gestapo-managed courts.

Kiir’s decision to use a court to punish Dak and Endley is probably the biggest act of hypocrisy to ever be committed in South Sudan.

There are many people who have carried out far more serious crimes than Endley and Dak, and these people are still working for Kiir’s government.

So, if Kiir wants to punish people, he could have started with his tribal militiamen who massacred innocent Nuer civilians in December 2013, crooked elites, and former ministers who looted hundreds of millions of dollars.

Salva Kiir is simply not a national leader as I indicated in some of my preceding writings. His actions will be an indisputable living testimony in the history of South Sudan.

The man is simply too destructive for the country. For instance, prior to the outbreak of the war in Juba, Kiir became increasingly brutal, visibly enraged, spoke out in a tribally-motivated tone, and publicly recalled past divisive events.

This was a dangerous move displayed by the very person whom the people thought was their leader.

I believe Kiir’s political opponents also contributed to what was then a looming political tragedy by not speaking out against his divisive language.

All these actions led Kiir to falsely accuse his rivals of planning a bogus coup, which resulted in a spate of targeted killings in Juba — it was a gruesome display of his leadership that went down in history as his biggest political blunder.

The South Sudanese tyrant has turned the country into a graveyard for greedy empires. It is good to remind people that the empires in question are Uganda, Egypt, Ukraine, Morocco, Kenya, and Eritrea.

There is no doubt in my mind that these nations are the main investors in Kiir’s atrocious regime and benefit from the ongoing war, all in complete disregard of humanity.

The leaders of these greedy countries are fueling the conflict by dressing up in sheep’s clothing, crying peace, and shedding crocodile tears.

Kiir always likes to accuse his critics of treason and other crimes, but he is the one who should be accused of committing treasonous acts because he has sold South Sudan to these greedy kingdoms.

Salva Kiir has no feeling for any loss of life unless such a loss poses a direct threat to his own life. Kiir is a cold-blooded leader who would kill, smile, and then blame the victim.

What I find puzzling about his tyrannical mindset is that he does not recognize the fact that those who feel oppressed by his leadership have the right to fight for their rights; be they cultural, social, economic or political rights.

It is worth mentioning that many dictators who persistently oppressed their citizens ended up facing serious ramifications. This is what happened with Hitler: he announced that those who opposed his leadership had no reason to live, yet he ended up being the victim of his own brutality.

If this is what Kiir wants, then he must publicly declare that he is the enforcer of a 21st century Gestapo and that he has decided to deny the South Sudanese much-needed democratic changes.

Kiir is now the obstacle to the democratization and development of South Sudan. The only reasonable thing for him to do now is to denounce his destructive leadership and vacate the presidency.

Salva Kiir’s leadership is built on the ideology of a tribal supremacy. He empowers ethnic ideas created by the hooligans of the infamous Jieng Council of Elders (JCE), deceives everyone in his inner circle, and robs the people of South Sudan from their national pride by cunningly changing the constitution to legitimize his tyranny.

The sheer size of his crimes is appalling for any reasonable person to comprehend.

If there are people who still support Kiir’s Nazi mentality, then I’d argue that allowing him to continue ruling the young nation will be a bonanza for his viciousness.

The Republic of South Sudan is now a modern version of a Gestapo-run state where everyone is expected to think sycophantically.

The South Sudanese must not allow Kiir’s Nazi mindset to give birth to a Gestapo baby with a “kill-with-impunity” statement written on its forehead.

The author can be reached at

The Generation Too Deprived to Reason for Their Own Good: The case of the “Seeds of Nation, Terap, Jesh el Hamer of the [South] Sudan”

QUOTE: “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Theodore Roosevelt.

BY: Reuben G. Panchol,Former Red Army fighter, MAR/24?2018, SSN;

The objective of the article is to wake up my fellow Seeds of the Nation to think critically about the salvation of South Sudan’s innocent children and mothers who are displaced from their homes and are now living in displaced camps inside South Sudan or in neighboring countries as refugees.

Just take a minute and reflect on our olden days! If it pains you like it does me as well, then it is time to think strategically on how to save and shape the image of the South Sudan around globe.

Wake up! Gone are the days when we used to bury our age-mates in solidarity.

A doomed or failed nation is a nation where young generation are being deceived and misled; South Sudan is no exception.

Therefore, it is up to young leaders and followers to open their eyes and avoid a trap set forth by those few egocentric elites, who have copied and pasted a system which they had fought against for last 60 years.

It is right time to find a sea to chase them (those elites) into, whether they are in J1 or in the bush/foreign lands; they all deserve a sea (courtesy of Dr. John G. Mabior – RIP).

Wake up! Gone are the days when we were forced by some of those elites to erect their fences and fetch water for them in the hot equatorial sun.

Why is it hard for the “Seeds of Nation, a.k.a Terap” to foster the ability of national unity which will save the nation rather then dividing themselves into kinship or sections?

Haven’t we (Terap) realized that today was the very “tomorrow” that was preached or sung to us, back in 1980/90s, to become the leaders; by none other than the incumbent elites?

Dear Seeds of the Nation, be informed that Kumbaya choiring is over. Wake up! Gone are the days when we used to go to bush to cut poles and grasses using stone, to build our huts.

Dear Seeds of the Nation, it is time to reflect on our olden days whereby we were promised to be Terap that will spring up and revitalize the nation of new Sudan (which happened to be the South Sudan) and resurrect it from the valley of the dry bones or deaths.

And, in case you are still under delusion of being addressed as ‘young people and not your time to lead,’ then let me inform you that, last time I checked, history told me that the independence of countries across Africa, from colonial powers, were championed by young leaders whose ages averaged in 30s and 40s.

For instance, those of Kwame Nkrumah, Mwalimu Nyerere, Jamal Abdul Nassir, among others, were all young leaders.

As a matter of fact our own, Dr. John G. Mabior, was 39 years old when he took to the bush and led the mighty SPLM/A. So, go figure out your own ages and wake up; for gone are days when we used to be called the leaders of tomorrow.

But, sad enough, the social fabrics and the sense of national unity which we fostered back in 80/90s had been ripped apart.

The South Sudan’s war of liberation has graduated to – Kill and you will be given a rank of general or governorship. Rebel and you are guaranteed a share of the pie (position), squander public resources and you will be appointed as an undersecretary at ministry of Petroleum.

That is where “economy is booming.”

Oppose national building ideas from lay women and men and you will be appointed to a position of Presidency spokesperson; hunt down and betray your friends and you will be a graduate of unknown gunmen’s class!

A nation that was fought for by all has become a dynasty of a few; it is all about me, I and myself; masterminded by the pocket and stomach!

Rebellion has replaced patriotism; because patriots are withering and culprits are flourishing.

Wake up, Terap! Gone are the days when jiggers (tuktuk) almost disabled some of our brothers, but some of us laboriously struggled to save their feet and fingers.

Before I bored you to death, let me leave you with this question and Dr. John G. Mabior’s last message to Terap; which can be interpreted as the passing of the torch to the Seeds of the Nation.

Who, in the world, is keeping South Sudan hostage while turning a blind eye on Innocent civilians’ agonies?

Is it the elites in Juba who don’t bother to visit and experience the life of their own constituencies at the grassroots (whom they claimed to represent), or the dissatisfied elites who are running around the globe with an imagery narrative of reform; expecting to change the nation while outside a fence (away from the truth on the ground)?

Or the Jesh el Hamer/Terap/Seeds whom their leader (Dr. John Garang Mabior – RIP) passed the torch/candle to, but ignored to accept the responsibility to carry it into the future (yet turned to singing Kumbaya to their kin and kith)?

And in case you might be wondering as to when did Terap’s leader pass the torch to them, here is an anecdote from Dr. John Garang, to the Seeds of the Nation during his last visit to USA in 2004 in Phoenix, Arizona.

“Your Movement had always wanted to prepare you to be the future leaders of our nation. This is still the purpose; you are the generation that shall develop the New Sudan (South Sudan for that matter).

Even though the difficulties and events of our struggle have separated many of you from the Movement and some have scattered all over the world, yet the aim is not lost.

I have come to wake you up and remind you that your day has come, tomorrow is already here and so take over leadership of your Movement, take over leadership of the SPLM/A.

You have very little time left to prepare yourselves to take over that leadership in whatever fields: in agriculture, carpentry, architecture, medicine, politics, economics, in raising a family…

All these require leadership and all contribute to building the New Sudan for which we have fought and sacrificed for over the last twenty one years.

I am confident in your ability to come together in a spirit of unity towards a greater good – bringing the world’s awareness to the plight of the desperate people in South Sudan.

I have great faith that you will conduct your business as responsible leaders, rising above factional and political differences.

As you speak, Phoenix will hear and learn about the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan, the children of Sudan’s war-torn countryside.

Millions of your people, including children, have lost their lives. Millions of your people have no voice, except through you. Millions of your people have no future, except through you.

Each one of you has my respect and admiration for enduring a life that no child should ever face.”

End of quote.

If this isn’t passing of the responsibility or torch/candle to next generation by an elder or a mentor, then I have no idea about what it is!

I don’t know your answer to the question above, but mine is that, the Seeds of the Nation are the ones keeping the South Sudan hostage!

Please, disagree with me, but convince me with evidences or facts base. Wake up! Gone are days when we used to prepare our meals in half drums and served on sacks (due to lack of utensils).

In conclusion, Dear Seeds of the Nation, my appeal to you is that, the nation which we were subjected to hardship at young age, is crying for our help.

The nation which has claimed the lives of our fathers; mothers; sisters and brothers, is yearning for our help.

The souls of our heroes and heroines that were scarified for liberation of the nation, are grieving; because we refused to exercise our duties.

Let’s unite, like the way we used to be back in our darkest days, to save our nation from being a second Biafra.

I am very confidence we can deliver the needed change if we work together. Because we did it during the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), referendum and we can do it again for the sake of the innocent orphaned children, and all our vulnerable people living in displaced camps.

It is time for us to decide our destiny and not allow ourselves to flow with the current via deceptions or actions that created the rifts among us along tribal tokens or individual’s benefits (remember, “loyalty ends where benefits stop”).

Wake up and let’s remember our hardship, during those darkest days of 80/90s, in solidarity and remembrance of the Terap/Seeds of Nation/Jesh el Hamer, who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Saving the nation will be the most honorable thing we could do to honor our fallen heroes and heroines.

Thanks for driving through this memory lane with me. Let me keyboard off here by quoting from Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in the creation, will be able to separate us from the love of the God that is in Christ, Jesus our Lord.”

Please, chillax and enjoy the ride and don’t forget to leave your comments at end of this piece, after reading it thoroughly; not only by scanning through it, Thanks.

The author, Reuben G. Panchol, is a member of “the Seeds of Nation (Jesh el Hamer a.k.a Terap)” which had been left to be consumed by Indian-meal Moth/grain moth (tribal politics aka NCP’s apologies who have hijacked the Mighty SPLM) prior to planting season. You can reach him via his email:

BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Adds South Sudanese Oil Entities to Department of Commerce Entity List

Press Statement, Heather Nauert, Department Spokesperson, Washington, DC, March 21, 2018;

Today, the United States is taking action against these fifteen South Sudanese oil-related entities (published below) whose revenues have contributed to the ongoing crisis in South Sudan.

This action reflects the U.S. commitment to doing all it can to protect the innocent people of South Sudan.

By placing these entities on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Entity List, the United States will impose a license requirement on all exports, re-exports, and transfers of any U.S.-origin items to those entities.

The names of these 15 specific entities below published by the Federal Register of the US Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce included the following to a sanction list:–

1- Ascom Sudd Operating Company;
2- Dar Petroleum Operating Company;
3- Dietsmann Nile;
4- Greater Pioneer Operating Co.Ltd;
5- Juba Petrotech Technical Services Ltd;
6- Nile Delta Petroleum Company;
7- Nile Drilling and Services Company;
8- Nile Petroleum Corporation;
9- Nyakek and Sons;
10- Oranto Petroleum;
11- Safinat Group;
12- SIPET Engineering and Consultancy Services;
13- South Sudan Ministry of Mining;
14- South Sudan Ministry of Petroleum, and,
15- Sudd Petroleum Operating Co.

Technical questions regarding the details of today’s action should be addressed to the Department of Commerce.

The listed entities are a source of substantial revenue for the Pres. Salva Kiir’s Government of South Sudan.

Unfortunately, the South Sudanese Government, and corrupt official actors, use this revenue to purchase weapons and fund irregular militias that undermine the peace, security, and stability of South Sudan rather than support the welfare and current emergency food needs of the South Sudanese people.

We call on the region and broader international community to join us in limiting the financial flows that fuel the continuing violence in the country.

The Kiir’s Government of South Sudan can do better.

The United States expects it, as well as the armed opposition, to fulfill their commitments to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and to their own people to cease hostilities, allow unimpeded humanitarian access, and pursue a negotiated peace in good faith.

As the largest donor of aid to South Sudan, the United States is proud to uphold humanitarian values and deliver vital assistance.

The Government of South Sudan must not squander that generosity and should take concrete steps to provide for the vast needs of the South Sudanese people.

Today’s actions are part of our ongoing effort to hold to account those who foment violence, commit human rights violations, obstruct the peace process, or engage in illicit financial activities against the interest of the South Sudanese people.

We remain prepared to take additional actions, including sanctioning those who threaten the peace and security of South Sudan.

    Why is today’s announcement noteworthy?

The Entity List is a list maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce for broader export controls. It does not freeze assets but requires U.S. as well as foreign exporters re-exporting U.S.-origin goods and technology to get a license from the Commerce Department. This means that even non-U.S. companies with U.S.-origin parts or technology in their oilfield equipment would need to apply for a license, which is unlikely to be granted because there is a presumption of denial for all applications.

In their due diligence, banks and others in the private sector often include listed entities in the same filters as the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List. There is usually a flag that distinguishes the meaning of the Entity List and indicating that it means a license is needed rather than being a no-go; however, it clearly warns the user that these are high risk companies and ministries.

South Sudan is now the African country with the most number of entities on the Commerce Department’s Entity List, and the only African country with government ministries included.

    Joshua White, Director of Policy and Analysis at The Sentry, said:

“Today’s announcement by the Commerce Department is only the latest action taken by the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia to hold the Government of South Sudan accountable for its violent kleptocracy, which fuels the conflict in which millions of its people have suffered.
The corrupt elites of South Sudan only have to look to the cases of Iran and North Korea to understand the financial consequences that this strategy of pressure can have on those who commit human rights abuses, their supporters and broader networks.”

    Brad Brooks-Rubin, Managing Director at The Sentry and the Enough Project, said:

“Today’s action by the Commerce Department is an important use of non-sanctions measures to build pressure for peace in South Sudan. With these new requirements, South Sudanese entities will be forced to show that their work will benefit the country rather than provide funding to militias or line the pockets of corrupt leaders.
The private sector, including both the extractives and financial sectors, should follow these measures carefully and ensure that they are not facilitating further conflict and corruption in South Sudan.”

    Brian Adeba, Deputy Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said:

“This move is an important step in the search for peace in South Sudan. As the next round of the South Sudan peace talks approaches, it is important for the United States and its partners to continue to build leverage by increasing these types of pressures to target as wide a network as possible to ensure that the parties to the conflict change their calculations in favor of peace.” END

Open Letter to Dr. Francis Mading Deng: Waste of time with National Dialogue

BY: Kuir GARANG, Poet, Novelist and Political Commentator, MAR/14/2018, SSN;

Many of us have read your books and reports on behalf of the United Nations. When I tell people, casually, during conversations, that the person who formulated the ‘Guiding Principles’ and ideas now used by the UN to take care of the internally displaced is [South Sudanese], they stare at me with a confused sense of wonder and admiration.

It is a good feeling in terms of the human communion and in terms of intellectual relatedness.

The Principles have not only been adopted by aid agencies and different governments, they have also been translated into different languages since they were introduced in the January of 1998.

“A number of governments,” you wrote in a paper in 2001, “publicly praised the development of the Principles and several governments in countries with serious situations of internal displacement have actively supported and participated in seminars on the Principles.”

This is indeed instructive on how valuable these Principles were and still are. You can understand why I’m inclined to speak about the fact that you were the brain behind these Principles with such a global appeal.

Besides your work with the Sudanese government in terms of your foreign affairs services, your books and other scholarly works, these PRINCIPLES speak loudly about how you perceive, and take seriously, the suffering of the internally displaced persons relative to their governments and your concept of ‘sovereignty as responsibility.’

This is a concept that I wished many African governments understood and practiced.

This brief reminder of your work with the internally displaced plays well into what I want to say and why I decided to write to you an open letter.

This letter is about what is happening in South Sudan and what the government of South Sudan has become: a vengeful, suspicious force against the average South Sudanese and all critical voices.

As you correctly said in your 2001 paper, The Global Challenge of Internal Displacement, that “Instead of being seen as citizens who merit protection and humanitarian assistance, these persons are often perceived as part of the enemy, if not the enemy itself.”

This, sadly, captures the reality of what is happening now to the average civilian in South Sudan. The government that is supposed to protect them sees them with a scary suspicion.

So when someone of your caliber works for the government that is doing exactly what you used to advise governments against, someone like me assumes that you are doing something internally, something that would mitigate the suffering of our people.

When you were appointed as the UN ambassador, my hopes were up. I told myself that “a cautious voice of reason will finally speak on behalf of the government of South Sudan.”

But I was being too optimistic or, to some extent, naive. Ambassadors are nothing but mouthpieces of governments.

However, when I heard that you’re again appointed as part of the national dialogue-ND, my hopes were high again.

But then I realized that the ND was merely a face-saving initiative with no real normative intent as resolving the conflict for it was very exclusive.

Since President Kiir Mayardit is being opposed by the likes of Dr. Riek Machar and other opposition figures, it’d have been clear to you that they’d not want to be part of an initiative that was started by their ‘enemy.’

That Riek Machar refused to meet your delegation in South Africa was common sense.

This statement, which you gave in December of 2017 in Addis Ababa, is troubling.

You said that, “On the issue of inclusivity, however, it must be noted that it’s a two-way challenge. When all the stakeholders are invited to dialogue, with flexibility on a mutually agreeable venue, and some individuals refuse to join, where does the responsibility for the lack of inclusivity lie?” That is strange.

Why’d you expect these ‘stakeholders’ to join something that was formed by someone they’re fighting?

You’ve worked with many governments and in politics to know the vanity and self-interestedness of ‘realpolitik.’ Why are you surprised by something you expected?

Did you expect Riek Machar to say, “Yes, it’s a good initiative, we’ll join it” without caring about the fact that this ND was formed by his archenemy?

You dashed my hopes here when it comes to rational expectations.

However, you always have a way of warming our hearts by saying the right thing when we need it the most.

You recently, in the February of this year, presented a noble address in Addis Ababa during the ill-fated ‘High-Level Revitalization Forum’ aimed at reviving the [2015] August Agreement that was meant to end the December 2013 crisis.

You wrote, with an eerie sense of impeccable humanness that: “I’ve always said that while it’s sad and painful to hear that the outside world cares more about the suffering of our people than their own leaders, our response should not be anger or defensiveness, but to convince them that we indeed share that concern, perhaps even more than outsiders, and that we’d join hands and work together to mutually reinforce our efforts toward our shared objective.

We must also convince our people that we’re indeed concerned about their suffering, and we can only do that through affirmative action.”

Undoubtedly, this is a reminder of ‘leadership as responsibility’ as Robert Joss would say. That outsiders sound more alarmed than the very leaders who’re supposed to be the most affected ones is deeply troubling.

However, given your history with the internally displaced, I do believe that you mean those words.

I’ve seen your calm demeanor, calculated and carefully reasoned arguments that makes one feel the need to listen.

You bring out that traditional African wisdom within a value-impoverished contemporary African politics.

Despite the fact that you’re with a group of hardened and desensitized men, who’ll find it hard to listen to the suffering of the people, I still believe that you can help change things.

However, I also believe that you’re approaching this in the wrong way.

First, for the ND to be inclusive, it has to be an entity formed by all the ‘stakeholders.’ This would force them to respect it and commit to it if they know they’ve people they can trust in the ND.

These would be people they chose themselves.

You also need to remember that the problem in South Sudan is the leaders, so for peace to come to South Sudan, these leaders are the ones who’re required to dialogue.

Even if the average South Sudanese in the villages and in towns reconcile, the bitter differences among the leaders will always divide them.

Unless the leaders reconcile and the war ended, any ND would be futile. How do you reconcile people who are still fighting one another?

While the ND is an excellent initiative, it’s being used for the wrong reason and applied to the wrong people.

You need to start by convincing President Kiir to dialogue with Riek and other stakeholders. You don’t even have to go to Addis Ababa.

Unless you help the leaders reconcile and end the war, you are wasting your time.

Just imagine you going to Akobo and the people accept to forgive those who’ve wronged them. But then the government and the rebels fight again in that area and the very people who’d accepted to forgive had their relatives killed.

Would they still respect such a dialogue?

Dr. Francis, while your heart is in the right place, you need to rethink what it means for something to be inclusive and who exactly needs to dialogue with whom and when.

Inclusivity shouldn’t only be in the intended execution of the ND but also in its very formation.

The idea that calling people to be part of the ND is what it means to be inclusive, worries me.
Kuir Garang is a South Sudanese author and poet. For contact, visit

Peaceful Governance in South Sudan: Lessons from Kenyan Leaders Coming of Age

From: Dr. Hakim Dario, People’s Democratic Movement, Press Statement – For Immediate Release, MAR/12/2018, SSN;

On 8th July 2016, as if 15th December 2013 was not enough, the world looked on at South Sudan as political violence erupted again in Juba instigated by the JCE and President Salva Kiir against his FVP Dr. Riek Machar, in the wake of no more than three months into ARCSS implementation, which triggered renewed civil war in the country instead of extinguishing its flame.

(Editor: 15th December 2013 was the date pres. Kiir launched a genocidal war in Juba targeting and killing members of the Nuer tribe)

President Kiir chose and preferred violence over peaceful means to settle differences with former FVP Riek, the grave consequences of which the country and millions of its population today in refugee camps and POCs suffer in silence without a glimmer of hope in yet another HLRF search for an illusive peace.

President Kiir as head of the TGONU in the country on 8th July 2016, did not pose the legitimate question of “what will become of South Sudan from the repeat resort to uncalled for violence against fellow country men and ARCSS peace partners” that is now destroying the people’s social fabric and what hope was there now for peaceful governance in an ethnically polarized country bent on violence?

Last year in October 2017, the world witnessed a political contest in presidential elections in ethnically polarized Kenya between arch political rivals; incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and Hon. Raila Odinga, which was concluded in a court ruling, the first of its kind in Africa for coming of age of the rule of law and the independent judiciary in Kenya.

This appeal to law and peaceful means to political conflict resolution in July 2016 would be far fetched in President Salva Kiir’s and JCE world in South Sudan ruling with impunity!

PDM notes that while Kenya’s court ruling raised hopes and held promise of a new start for the country, however, the events that followed confirmed that the Kenyan nation and people were divided down the middle, unashamedly largely on ethnic lines if not exclusively so.

This turn of events were watched with great anxiety and trepidation worldwide. What will become of Kenya and what does it mean for African democracy?

What hope is there for Africa if a country like Kenya, until recently, one of few success stories of African nationhood and democracy was cracking under the weight of ethnic division, corruption and strive over power before our very eyes on the world stage!

And since its independence 55 years ago, a grim prospect of civil war was on the horizon for a deeply divided Kenya.

On 9th March 2018, what was seemingly an unlikely political event happened in Kenya, as President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief political rival Raila Odinga, stood together to address Kenyans about the state of their nation and the way forward.

This came as a shock, unexpected but also as a great relief, not just to Kenyans but also to their immediate neighbours in South Sudan, the African continent and the world at large.

PDM commends the phenomenal event seeing the two arch-rivals – who only a few months ago couldn’t see eye to eye, making a joint statement – standing together to address Kenyans and to face the world: a huge victory for the two leaders; a victory for Kenya and a lesson for her conflicted neighbours.

President Kenyatta and Hon. Odinga evaluated their options, decided to heed to the voice of reason. Both leaders are third generation of Kenyans, are schooled and exposed to statesmanship, which is lacking in President Salva Kiir’s and JCE world leadership of South Sudan.

It is instructive which by contrast makes leadership of our country appear to be from the bygone ages of violence and despotism.

PDM applauds the stance and steps taken by the Kenyan leaders – to subordinate their personal rivalries and political ambitions in order to serve the interest of Kenya and Kenyans first.

These two leaders had and have the capacity to destroy Kenya and destroy themselves in the process, but chose not to.

The good news is that they chose the path to resolution of potential conflict through peaceful political means as the preferred option to avert violent and destructive conflict where nobody wins but everybody looses.

PDM looks to Kenya as a valued peace partner to extend their new policy of respect for rule of law, human and peoples rights and security inside Kenya and beyond its borders to effect our country South Sudan to uphold a culture of peace and put the people first.

PDM takes particular interest in what happens to Kenya that matters to South Sudan, as Kenya is not only a home to thousands of fleeing refugees since 2013 but Kenya morally and materially supported South Sudanese throughout two wars of liberation.

The two countries share not just common borders but peoples of common linguistic and ethnic origins.

It was among the first to recognize the legitimate right of our people to self-determination.

Unfortunately too however, today’s South Sudan under President Salva Kiir shares in common with Kenya what “Building Bridges to a new Kenyan Nation” describes as the lack of national ethos in that both South Sudan and Kenya are increasingly being defined by politics of corruption and violence.

The Sentry organization chronicled in numerous reports, how the current crop of political and government leaders in South Sudan are defined by corruption, impunity, lack of vision and lack of respect for human rights and public property.

As Kenyan leaders have acknowledged what it takes to build bridges to a new Kenyan Nation, South Sudanese leaders should know too that before you can build a bridge, you must acknowledge the need to have one to bring people together.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga have set their goal to pull Kenya back from the brink and collapse, history and the people will not judge them harshly if they remain true to the promise they made in their address to Kenyans to create the political space and opportunity for all Kenyans to live together in peace, harmony and dignity.

That will require the support, dedication and commitment of all Kenyans and the international community, not least their neighbours.

The leaders of Kenya have come of age, graciously risen to the challenge of leadership, called a “spade a spade” and averted destruction of their country.

PDM supports the courageous steps they have taken in the interest of Kenya and all its peoples.

As the search for South Sudan peace through the HLRF continues in Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia, will IGAD mediators and the parties to HLRF put the people and country first?

Hakim Dario PhD
CHAIR _________________________________________________

South Sudan’s leadership uses state-owned oil company Nilepet to funnel millions into brutal security services and ethnic militias

GLOBAL WITNESS, Tuesday 6th March, London, ssn;

A new Global Witness investigation shows how South Sudan’s state-owned oil company, the Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet), has fallen under the direct control of President Salva Kiir and his inner circle, and is being used to funnel millions in oil revenues to the country’s brutal security services and ethnic militias, with limited oversight and accountability.

“While South Sudan’s population continue to suffer a senseless war and economic crisis of their leaders’ making, Nilepet is failing its true constituents, serving instead the interests of a narrow cabal, and being used to prolong the brutal conflict,” said Michael Gibb, Campaign Leader for Conflict Resources at Global Witness.

Ahead of resumed peace talks, Global Witness is recommending a renewed focus on the economic drivers of South Sudan’s conflict; including its oil sector, and increased engagement with the international companies and traders that connect Nilepet to international markets.

While South Sudan is a producer of crude oil, it lacks capacity and infrastructure to refine this into the fuel its population relies on. As a result, Nilepet is deeply integrated into global oil supply chains, including international refineries and commodity traders, without which it would be unable to raise revenues.

These international trading partners could play a key role in challenging and holding it accountable.

“Nilepet depends on the international oil supply chain,” said Michael Gibb. “The international companies it deals with have a responsibility and opportunity to use their influence to drive reform and transparency at this critical moment in South Sudan’s conflict. Indifference is tantamount to complicity in the face of clear evidence of Nilepet’s role in the war economy.”

Capture on the Nile draws on secret documents and first-hand testimony to detail the means by which one of South Sudan’s most significant economic institutions has been co-opted to serve the personal aims of President Salva Kiir and his inner circle.

This is illustrated most dramatically by the presence of Lt. Gen. Akol Koor — head of South Sudan’s feared Internal Security Bureau— on the company’s board.

Once captured, Nilepet appears to have become the vehicle of choice for connected elites wishing to evade scrutiny of financial transactions worth millions, linking the company directly to arms transfers and the patronage system at the heart of the conflict.

Nilepet’s successful capture has made it a critical component of the war economy. As a private company, Nilepet is able to operate in near total secrecy.

The report details how this secrecy has been used to finance military operations, arms transfers to ethnic militias, and conceal the looting of millions in ‘letters of credit’ intended to help imports of essential goods as South Sudan’s economy deteriorated.

“South Sudan’s security forces are able to operate with alarming impunity, driving cycles of violence and oppression,” said Michael Gibb. “Nilepet’s ability to finance these operations without scrutiny or oversight is critical and must be tackled as a first step towards confronting this rampant impunity while also creating the economic conditions for peace after years of brutal civil war.”


Contact: Michael Gibb, Campaign Leader – Conflict Resources,, +44 (0)7808 776 340

Notes to editors:

• The report includes new information on Nilepet’s role in the so-called “Letters of Credit” scandal, one of South Sudan’s largest recent corruption scandals. It details how millions in letters of credit intended to facilitate the import of refined fuel, were diverted to Nilepet with almost no oversight, raising the risk of these borrowed funds lining the pockets of connected elites rather than easing the worsening fuel crisis.

• Global Witness have researched South Sudan’s oil sector since the country’s independence in 2011, producing a number of reports that aim to help the young country make the most of its natural resources through sound and transparency governance of its natural resource wealth. For more information about this work, see:

• For more information about Global Witness’ work to disrupt conflict financing through improved due diligence on international mineral supply chains, see:

Global Witness investigates and campaigns to prevent natural resource-related conflict and corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses

Nyandeng: IGAD must use the stick to get Kiir out as president, not diplomacy


Warring parties have failed to find solutions to a political crisis that started in 2013. Fred Oluoch spoke with John Garang’s widow Rebecca Nyandeng on the challenges facing South Sudan.

QUESTION: In 2013, you wanted to be the chairperson of SPLM and by extension the presidency. What was your objective?

NYANDENG: At that time, I wanted to inject democracy into SPLM. Two, I was the only woman then who could aspire to the post of the chairperson and I wanted to set an example for women.

If President Salva Kiir had allowed us to contest and he won, we would have accepted and shaken his hand.

I was satisfied with the leadership my husband and I had provided to the people of South Sudan, but after his death I realised that there was a major problem with the way our party was being run, so I offered to set things right.

That has not come and I guess it will not come because what the people of South Sudan want now is peace, and not who is leading them.

This is the last agenda after all of us sit down and decide who is the most suitable to lead and unite them. Even if you have ambitions, you cannot succeed with the current mess.

Again, we have to evaluate the root cause of the problem — which is lack of leadership with the capacity to address the basic needs of the people.

So we need to bring somebody with that capacity to deal with these issues and unite the people. If we focus only on the top leadership, then it is like a house with only the roof minus pillars — which will not stand.

QUESTION: Do you think South Sudanese are receptive to women?

NYANDENG: They are because the movement has taught the people that women can lead. Many women fought in the bush for 21 years and commanded a lot of respect.

But as women we still need to make more people understand that in leadership, you go for the person who can set things right, not the gender.

QUESTION: Having participated in Phase II of the revitalisation talks in Addis Ababa, do you hope for peace any time soon?

NYANDENG: We did not achieve much because the government refused to sign the Declaration of Principles that will guide future negotiations. But I cannot say that it is the end of everything, because as a politician you have to give hope to your people. The challenge was that delegates came to the negotiation hall with a fixed mind set on percentages and positions in government.

It was like negotiating with enemies and not people who belong to the same country. This bitterness, rigid positions and suspicion must change if we are to make progress in the future.

QUESTION: The opposition were resolute that President Kiir be excluded from the transitional government because he has abrogated the 2015 peace agreement. Do you agree with that?

NYANDENG: Yes, I was part of the groups that asked if Dr Machar is isolated and yet he is a major player, why is President Kiir there and yet he cannot bring peace?

We maintained that if the incumbent must be in the transitional government, then Dr Machar must be brought back, because you cannot say that one key signatory to the 2015 agreement is in and the other is out.

So we asked President Kiir to step down honourably and the two of them will be respected because they are our liberators and we don’t want to humiliate them. We want them to retire honourably and give room to new players because they have shown they cannot work together.

QUESTION: Do you think the Igad mediators and partner states are genuinely trying to bring peace to South Sudan?

NYANDENG: The majority of Igad states want peace but there are individual countries, which I cannot name, that are pursuing their interests. The biggest challenge is that Igad and the African Union cannot face President Kiir and tell him to step down.

They are using the carrot and not the stick. Igad should make the stick visible by calling out those who violate the agreement and the consequences that follow.

It happened in Liberia, Ivory Coast, Gambia, South Africa, Sierra Leone and recently Zimbabwe. Why not use the stick for South Sudan? If we and Igad fail, then the African Union and the UN will come in. END

In Summary:

Nyandeng’s Biography:

**** Born: 1956

**** Education: Rebecca Nyandeng did her high school in Iowa, US before, enrolling at Iowa State University where she studied Economics. However, she did not finish her degree course because her husband, Dr John Garang, decided to go back home after finishing his PhD.

**** Role in liberation struggle: Served in the SPLA army as alternate commander. She was promoted to the rank of LT General in the army but later retired.

**** Experience: Mrs Nyandeng served as an executive director of WODRANS, a non profit-making organisation, that takes care of orphans, widows and the disabled.

**** Positions in government: Minister for roads and transport and presidential adviser on gender and human rights.