Category: Featured

Government Militia Training Field Opened in Panyikwara, near Magwi County, Eastern Equatoria State

From: Micheal Okia Amuru, Magwi County, Eastern Equatoria State, DEC/20/2014, SSN;

Militia Training Field Opened in Panyikwara, few kilometers from Magwi County Headquarters.

Many South Sudanese likely cannot exactly locate where Panyikwara is. This is a place located in Magwi County in Eastern Equatoria State. The government of South Sudan has opened a militia training field here, recruiting young boys from the age of 13 among some elders who are joining massively. I would like to point out that this training is been carried for wrong reasons. The government of South Sudan has already lost legitimacy to rule the country; it’s absurd to see this kind of recruitment and training in this area.

The government of Eastern Equatoria State is mistaken to allow these kinds of activities in Magwi County. If the national army, the SPLA, are there, it’s their duty to defend the nation, but not recruiting young boys and innocent men to fight a war they don’t understand.

I am condemning it in the strongest terms possible and demanding that these individuals must be let to go home. These boys are the future of South Sudan; therefore their rights to education must not be deprived by teaching them false hope. Those men too have the duty of supporting their families; therefore, they have a lot to do than been an unpaid militia.

Louis Lojore Lobong, Governor of Eastern Equatoria State should dissolve this Training Field immediately. This time we will not allow the confusion of the 1980’s where the same SPLA recruited from around the same area just to hunt down one particular tribe.

Brigadier Johnson Juma Okot and Clement Otto must stop selling the boys and men in Magwi County to the government which does not care very much about its people.

Can those of Brig. JJ Okot and Clement Otto tell us what are the benefits of this government to our generations as Acholi?

Some people called themselves Holy in the Catholic Church. But I would like to point out that an-Ex Catholic Priest from the Apostle of Jesus by name Justin Oyet Bongomin is making the matter worse here at home by supporting JJ Okot, Clement Otto and others in their plan of killing innocent people without fault and without choice.

This ex-Catholic priest now resides in the USA. Instead of planning to bring development at home, I strongly believe with evidence that he is part of a convoy of the devils in the Republic of South Sudan.

Thank God he did not baptist any of my children.

However, since from the beginning of this Kiir government I noticed dozens of acts of evil, one of which infamously manifested itself in the Killing of the Nuer in Juba last December.

Long before this incident, there was apparent systematic killing of people from Madi tribe here in Maqwi County. In 2009 dozens of Madi where killed in their homeland which include Mulunge, Opari, Owyi Ki Bull, Amme, Moli, Natalingwa among others. The people of Madi were chased out of Magwi County Headquarters under direct order of JJ Okot and Clement Otto. The State governor played his role by covering up the killing.

In 1980’s the same recruitment by SPLA in this area ended up in a serious bloodshed between Madi and Acholi tribes.

Why do I condemn the current recruitment? I am one of the victims of 1980’s recruits centred in Owyi Ki Bull. In state of teaching us to fight the Arabs, Dr. John Garang taught us differently. His teaching ended with the assassination of Joseph Kibulu (one of the top South Sudanese Education Officer) which turned to be a very serious miscalculation.

My brothers and sisters who are still hooked-up with the divisive and fatalistic philosophy of JJ Okot and Clement Otto and their advisers have to reflect deeply about what actually is happening today in South Sudan.

In the first place, when the Madi elder politician Joseph Kibulu was assassinated by the SPLA, the same SPLA quickly dumped the blames on us. Although his killer was an Acholi, by then he was already an SPLA soldier.

Furthermore, tThe chief of Nimule was assassinated by the same SPLA/M over the contentious issue of the demarcation of Nimule town. At the same time his killers turned around and arrested all the Madi elders and intellectuals in the area and were all taken to Torit, and put in prison without trial.

Today, we are fully aware about the death of our Lady Cecilia Ote Oba. She is a lady who stands firm defending the right of Kakuwa people over their land. But what happened, she was assassinated by the SPLA/M from Dinka tribe. Her body was recovered chopped into pieces, dumped in garbage and half way rotten.

Long before her dead, chiefs and intellectuals including MPs from Yei were arrested, taken to Juba and were detained over the same issues (LAND).

Equatorians intellectuals who are still supporting this government are not ignorant that Dinka wanted to create imperialism in South Sudan. They can settle anywhere in the country. Take other peoples land and properties by force. Abuse Equatorian women without love, just to produce children.

Today people like James Wani Igga, Louis Lobong, Anne Itto, Isaac Obutu, JJ Okot, and Clement Otto are not ignorant that Dinka made it a tribal rule that no one other than Dinka will own a piece of land in their homeland. As of today, there is no Equatorian which owns a piece of land over there.

With this imperial kind of tribal rule, why can’t Equatorian politicians openly point out what the Dinka are doing to the people and to their resources in Equatoria which is terribly wrong. We are not that cheap.

I don’t hate anybody, but I hate poor government policy in Equatoria. I cannot sit idle by, watching JJ Okot, Clement Otto and State Governor Louis Lobong training militia in Panyikwara.

In the first place, what will these militias fight for? I believe South Sudan must be re-founded in a new covenant. There must not be any government-sponsored militia in Equatoria.

President Kiir recruited his own militia and they are indisputably responsible for the infamous Juba massacre last December.

Today, recruiting militia in Panyikwara means a lot to me. I am requesting all peace loving Equatorians to step up by publicly and wholeheartedly condemn such activities by the Kiir tribal government.

It might not be limited only here in Magwi County, but this militia recruitment could soon be enforced also and sooner in other places too.

Micheal Okia Amuru
Maqwi County-Eastern Equatoria State

The pains of 15th December 2013

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, DEC/14/2014, SSN;

15th December is here, the day evil descended on Juba last year similar to 8th July 1965. It comes with those horrific memories of the murky atmosphere devised by President Salva Kiir. A deeply sickening environment that has traumatised the residents of Juba and the entire country.

15th December 2013 will remain an indelible stain in the history of South Sudan. It is the day that saw the beginning of the spilling of blood of innocent children, youth, women, men and elderly people and with it the destruction of a new emerging South Sudanese identity.

President Salva Kiir last year around this time facing leadership challenge from Dr Riek Machar in the SPLM lost his head unleashing his tribal militia on the Nuer people. While going to attend the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa he fabricated an imaginary coup and imposed a curfew to isolate the Nuer and his opponents after which his militia went door to door murdering the Nuer.

    ‘South Sudan: A state that fell apart in a week’

Within a week, the Dootku Beny militia under the command of the Jieng generals: Marial Chinoung, Marial Nour, Salva Mathok, Aleu Ayieny Aleu, Paul Malong Awan and so on…. massacred over 20 thousand people mostly children, women, and the elderly.

This act of Jieng savagery has shocked the entire country. No South Sudanese ever expected one of its own ethnic groups to commit such a crime on another using the machinery of the state.

The contemporary history of South Sudan psychologically programmed the people to expect such acts from the Arabs of the Sudan but not from a supposed fellow South Sudanese.

Back then on 8th July 1965, the Arabs under the leadership of the UMMA party committed similar massacres in Juba and other towns against South Sudanese. Please see, ‘To achieve peace in South Sudan SPLM/A must be scrapped’.

The mass murder of the Nuer brought those ugly memories back to the minds of the people. A good number of people have asked the question: what is the difference between the Jieng and the Arab?

They say, in 1965 the Arabs massacred us en mass in Juba, Wau and Malakal regardless of tribe. Now the Jieng are doing what the Arabs did to us all. How can the Jieng ever be trusted with state power?

Hold on to this question, we will come back to it down in this piece in search of answers.

The day, 15th December matters because it is important to remember the innocent lives taken by President Kiir and his militia. Those were people who had nothing to do with the power struggle going on between President Kiir and Dr Riek. They were ordinary people going about their daily business only to find themselves targeted and murdered.

15th December remains a day of pain because the murdered have not been accorded justice. Their murderers are still holding the levers of the state and this is obviously why this important date will not be honoured and remembered now inside the country in the manner it deserves.

Today is the first anniversary of his heinous crime which is still ongoing and justice appears to be like a mirage. The adage, justice delayed is justice denied may be true in this South Sudan case.

So far, no reports of investigations into the ethnic cleansing by the UN and the African Union have been released. Why the silence?

Where is the transparency of these organisations over a crime that every South Sudanese knows about? Why are the perpetrators of this grave crime against humanity not been brought to book? What is going on?

In the 1990s the UN failed to prevent grave crimes against humanity only to regret after a huge damage occurred. The signs are that the UN has not yet learnt anything from its experiences.

The failure of the UN in Rwanda in 1994 and in Srebrenica (former Yugoslavia) the following year brought sharp reminder to the world that the brutality and savagery of yester decades and centuries have not been tamed by advance in science and culture.

To the contrary advance in both fields have become the tools to perpetuate the unimaginable crimes against humanity.

Modern media and broadcasting appliances were used in Rwanda in 1994 effectively to mobilise the Hutu extremists against Tutsi to a devastating effect, while in former Yugoslavia a supposed refined and civilised European country used its technologically advanced military to commit mass killing in Bosnia.

When Rwanda genocide happened in broad day light with UN watching while another war was ragging on in former Yugoslavia in which the Serbs were ethnically cleansing the Bosnians, the world leaders focused on the latter not giving the former any attention it deserved.

Bill Clinton in his biography, My Life, regretted his inaction. He writes, “The failure to try to stop Rwanda’s tragedies became one of the greatest regrets of my presidency.” (Clinton 2004, p594)

Nevertheless, the USA tried to ameliorate the post genocide situation by contributing to the mechanisms of social recovery in Rwanda. On the other hand the Former Yugoslavia situation led to the UNSC Resolution 780 which provided legal base for tackling perpetrators of the future.

The sad thing is that with all the above, South Sudan, in December 2013, that is 15 years later experienced same crimes against humanity seemingly without any concern of the world shown.

This suggests the journey to a more civilised world charted by the UNSC resolution 780 may not include the South Sudan case. Why is this?

The answer may be found in one short phrase: “African solutions for African problems”. This proposition obviously has an important history to it, the centuries old interaction between Europeans and Africans.

The abuse and disrespect the Africans experienced in this interaction are supposed to be brought to an end by letting Africans do things in their own way. Unfortunately and painfully as it is African leaders are abusing this noble principle by dancing around it and not applying it as it should.

Although the events of December 2013 constitute an international crime as defined by UNSC Resolution 780, the powers of the world happily allowed IGAD and the AU to take lead based on the said proposition.

This reduced an international crime to a continental issue removing the safeguards intended for global peace. This decision appears to reflect the coloured view of the world about Africans and the value placed on their humanity.

African Union and IGAD which should have acted robustly and fairly, sadly resorted to playing politics with the problem in South Sudan.

If these crimes against humanity committed by President Kiir and his tribal militia are not accounted for fairly and the perpetrators punished like the Nazis in Nuremberg in 1940s, the Hutus in Rwanda in 1990s and the Serbs, Croats, and Bosnian in the former Yugoslavia as ongoing now, the world should know that such crimes are then likely to recur in South Sudan in future.

There is no way that the people are going to forget the excesses of President Kiir and his tribal militia without justice being seen to be done.

If the world fails to take the duty of collective responsibility to bring the government of President Kiir to account, they may encourage other social groups with irresponsible leaders to take matters into their own hands which in my opinion is wholly inappropriate. The UNSC has a duty to act and it should do so.

One of the major problems of South Sudan is the culture of violence and abuse of state machinery by groups in power to promote their parochial interest. This is largely the outcome of SPLM’s wrong policies under Dr John Garang.

After his death, President Kiir continued with these policies to advance the interest of his ethnic group as opposed to promotion of the notion of “common good”.

The cleansing of the Nuer is supposed to protect this narrow interest. So it is not a surprise that right from 2005, the government of South Sudan failed to take the right path.

The government of South Sudan to the Jieng is a tool to be used to advance their interest. It is not about common good and the protection of all South Sudanese people. Aldo Ajo, a member of the notorious Jieng Council of Elders made this point clear in his recent interview with SSTV.

The Jieng are not interested in promoting peace, reconciliation and healing in the country. Just look at their prevarication in the peace talks and everything becomes clear.

President Kiir and his Jieng Council of Elders including the top military brass are engaged in total waste of time in Addis Ababa under IGAD while innocent people continue to lose their lives.

They forcefully talk of their commitment to peace, yet they obstruct every opportunity there is to bring peace. Why? The Jieng do not want to lose power and they will hang on to it until the people oust them by any available means.

The Jieng leadership is despotic. Despots don’t cede power peacefully as expected. They always act selfishly. To understand the behaviour of the Jieng, here is a quote from Ryszard Kapuscinski’s ‘Shah of the Shahs’ illuminating the mind of the despot:

“The Shah’s reflex was typical of all despots: strike first and suppress, then think it over. What next? First display muscle, make a show of strength, and later perhaps demonstrate you also have a brain. Despotic authority attaches great importance to being considered strong, and much less to being admired for its wisdom. Besides what does wisdom mean to a despot? It means skill in the use of power.

The wise despot knows when and how to strike. This continual display of power is necessary because, at root, any dictatorship appeals to the lowest instincts of government: fear, aggressiveness towards one’s neighbours, bootlicking. Terror most effectively excites such instincts, and fear of strength is well spring of terror.

A despot believes that man is an abject creature. Abject people fill his court and populate his environment. A terrorized society will behave like an unthinking, submissive mob for a long time. Feeding it is enough to make it obey. Provided with amusement, it’s happy.

The rather small arsenal of political tricks has not changed in millennia. Thus, we have all the amateurs in politics, all the ones convinced they would know to govern if only they had the authority. Yet surprising things can also happen. Here is a well-fed and well-entertained crowd that stops obeying.

It begins to demand something more than entertainment. It wants freedom, it demands justice. The despot is stunned. He doesn’t know to see a man in all his fullness – or rather, because it is lawless and it strives for appearance of legality. On this point it is exceedingly touchy, morbidly oversensitive.

Moreover, it suffers from a feeling (however deeply hidden) of inferiority. So it spares no pains to demonstrate to itself and others the popular approval it enjoys. Even if this support is a mere charade, it feels satisfying.

So what if it’s only an appearance? The world of dictatorship is full of appearance” (Kapuscinski, p115 kindle version)

The appearance of Juba regime of terror is captured by their baseless famous phrase “democratically elected”. This, of-course is a lie which the regime has stuck on to sell itself and hide its crimes internationally.

The fact that President Kiir engaged in ethnic cleansing, a grave crime against humanity, automatically disqualified his legitimacy as a president. He turned into a criminal and therefore whatever mandate he had before his horrific act evaporated. What does that then mean?

Technically South Sudan is ruled by people without mandate. Thus President Kiir, his cabinet and the SPLM-IG should not be making loud noise with the song of “democratically elected”. It is hollow; it is empty and a total nonsense.

Somewhere above I posed the question: how can the Jieng be trusted with power? With the information given I leave you to draw your own answer.

Dr Riek Machar, the leader of the armed resistance movement of SPLM-IO should actually be making loud noise about the illegality of the regime in Juba.

Unfortunately, he is not clued on. He has totally missed and failed to articulate this crucial point which should have been the centre of the talks in Addis Ababa. Pathetically he now advocates for the atrocities of President Kiir to be forgiven and forgotten for the sake of peace.

In his speech in Pagak he said, “To prevent this (ethnic cleansing) from happening and in order for us to save our people and country, we must seriously look for ways to achieve peace. We must be ready to exercise magnanimity [i.e. generosity}. We must forgive atrocities committed against us and likewise ask forgiveness from those we have harmed.”

Can South Sudan really become peaceful without accountability to the atrocities of 15th December 2013 which is still ongoing?

It is vital to remember that ethnic cleansing is still going on now as we speak. So 15th December 2013 is only the start date but it has not yet ended. Members of the Nuer tribe and opponents of the government are daily being arrested and disappeared throughout the country.

This dark ongoing episode is not only about the loss of Nuer and the Jieng. All the silent majority of the people of South Sudan equally suffered and continue to suffer emotionally, psychologically and mentally by witnessing these atrocities.

They too are victims and have rights to demand justice. They now live with damaging internal injuries. Therefore, it is not up to Dr Riek to dismiss the grave crimes against humanity in South Sudan for his convenience to accede to power.

Peaceful South Sudan can only be realised after justice to the victims and the injured living victims is done as in the cases of Nazis in Germany, Hutu in Rwanda and Serbs in Bosnia.

Therefore, it is only right that SPLM/A leaders too must be made to pay for their grave crimes in South Sudan. There should be no buts, ifs or disputes over it because in Arusha, Tanzania all of them in their supposed reconciliation and reunification meeting chaired by President of Tanzania voluntarily confessed and admitted responsibility for the crimes and destabilisation of the region.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki Mon and the Troika have repeatedly said there would be no business as usual. It is hoped that they will make these words meaningfully and weighty for the sake of justice to the victims and peace in South Sudan and the region.

Human Rights Watch has already made useful suggestion on page 6 of their report ‘Ending the Era of Injustice’

Finally, South Sudanese must not allow these grave crimes against humanity to go without accountability. Once that is done and when President Kiir and SPLM are gone it will be necessary to erect a memorial for the victims of ethnic cleansing in Gudele in Juba to remind us of the scourge of SPLM and the ideologies of ‘born to rule’ and Jieng supremacy.

Such a memorial will serve as a national mourning site, educational centre for the young and act as a symbol of resistance to injustice, tribal ideologies and crimes against humanity.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul

No More Resource Curse: Unregulated World Oil Market is a Peace for South Sudan

BY: DENG LUETH YUANG, Canada, DEC/08/2014, SSN;

Faced with US shale oil boom and lower global oil demand, oil cartel, OPEC met on 27 Nov, in Switzerland to discuss a way forward for the plunging oil prices. That meeting ended with no tangible breakthrough, in that its members failed to cut production to boost oil prices, and therefore decided to allow free hand of the market to reign.

However, with such dim prospects of falling revenues from oil, South Sudan economy is in tatters. It would be hard for the government to keep operations and projects afloat in such a dicey environment where its expenditures outweigh revenues. And yet there are two wars to fight – Dec. 15, 2013 Crisis and Nation Building.

With oil now selling at 65 dollars a barrel and production dropping to 160,000 from 350,000 barrels a day pre-Heglig and current wars, it is therefore unsustainable for the economy which is 95% dependent on oil revenues.

Rather than relying on expanded tax base, the South Sudan government has no any concrete source of revenues to back up the flailing economy. It is a gloomy and doom situation, not only for the government but also the rebels who wanted to form or be part of the government.

You cannot run a government without a healthy and sound economy!

For instance, when oil was discovered in the Sudan around 1978, successive regimes in Khartoum had used it as a ‘tool of war’. They appropriated it as a collateral to borrow money and vital materials from other world powers especially China, USSR and the Gulf countries.

It became a derivative by which future contracts were tied upon. Obligations such as new weapons, loans, aids, and others were supplied on the basis that the oil resources would one day suffice to compensate the creditors.

Besides, numerous wars e.g. the Southern Sudan and Darfour’s were fought on the premise that the regime was extracting these resources and marginalizing the host regions. That however prolonged these wars and regime of the day did everything it could to frustrate and defeat their arch enemies.

Similarly, the rebels were auctioning the oil resources to fund their war engagements with the government.

It is therefore imperative that when cash-starved government can no longer afford loans and advance payments from friendly international community and oil companies operating in South Sudan such as Chinese, Malaysians and Indians, and under-resourced rebels could no longer bargain and convince their friendly international community that they will be offered future oil concessions, the end is near for South Sudan to agree permanent peace.

However, without that, the worst case scenarios could be:
– Expensive for south Sudan’s oil companies to produce oil below their marginal cost
– South Sudan with no domestic refineries will have to embrace for higher oil imports and local prices or lack thereof;
– Oil executives will harden up on providing more loans and advance payments to South Sudan government ;
– Rebels’ international supporters will have to soften up on agreements they wish to sign with in order to supply them with weapons and other vital assistance for future oil concessions;
– Becomes expensive for South Sudan government and rebels to keep on prolonging war for lack of hard currency to maintain their negotiators, and bulging armies;
– With no foreign direct investment and lack of hard currency coming into government coffers, South Sudan whose economy heavily relies on imports, is more likely to fall into abyss – imports more expensive than they were before this civil war;
– Higher inflation – prices of basic commodities and services shooting up the roof;
– Western interests fraying up in South Sudan since oil is no longer considered an important commodity for them to intervene and defend their interests.

Hence, falling oil price is a blessing in disguise for South Sudan peace to hold forever. The times when a commodity like oil was considered precious are over.

In economics, all resources are limited and hence unsatisfiable for human consumption. But once such scarce resources are depleted, there are no more to satisfy his needs.

On the other hand, when there is too much supply, the law of demand states that the prices have to dive in order for the consumer to continue enjoying. Otherwise, the supplier or producer risk running out of business.

In this case, South Sudan and most OPEC members are very likely to go out of oil production business sooner rather than later.

The end of resource war such as oil is near as the world is devising other alternative means of energy efficiency and sufficiency.

The commentator is an Economist. Follow him on Facebook at Deng Lueth Yuang

Threat of sanctions checks South Sudan leaders

By: FRED OLUOCH, The East African Special Correspondent

Posted Saturday, December 6, 2014. SSN


**Sanctions could lead to more conflict, and the countries involved have economic and political interests in South Sudan.
**A final decision on the sanctions will be arrived at when the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development meets in Nairobi next week, on the sidelines of the infrastructure summit.
**The threat of sanctions by Igad appears to be having the desired effect on the principals in the conflict, with both leaders making visible efforts to sell a proposed peace plan to their followers.
**Reports say that Igad heads of state and negotiators have been encouraged that President Kiir and Dr Machar have convened separate consultative forums to convince their followers to sign the peace deal;

Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania have taken the initiative to save peace talks on South Sudan from collapsing, and the young country degenerating into full-scale civil war.

The presidents hope to convince the warring parties in South Sudan to sign a new deal after the November 28 deadline to accede to a peace agreement passed.

Last week, President Museveni held the first formal face-to-face meeting in Entebbe with an SPLM/A in opposition delegation. It is understood the meeting was a precursor to another with former vice president and leader of the rebel faction Riek Machar, a development mediators from both sides of the conflict say will give the process new impetus.

President Kikwete — who, having convened an SPLM meeting in Arusha in October between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and Dr Machar — dispatched his foreign Affairs minister Bernard Membe to Kenya on Wednesday to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta, and on Thursday to meet President Museveni.

The purpose of these consultations was for the regional leaders to hammer out a deal that could be further discussed during the 8th Northern Corridor Infrastructure Summit to be held in Nairobi on December 11.

Of great concern to President Museveni and President Kikwete is a situation where regional leaders will be forced to impose sanctions on the top leadership of the two factions. Sanctions could lead to more conflict, and the countries involved have economic and political interests in South Sudan.

As a result, plans to implement the proposed sanctions after the warring parties failed to meet the November 28 deadline have been put on hold until December 11.

A final decision on the sanctions will be arrived at when the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development meets in Nairobi next week, on the sidelines of the infrastructure summit.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Amina Mohamed told The East-Afican that both parties are still consulting with their constituencies, but the decision on the bloc’s approach to the conflict will be arrived at when leaders from the region meet next week.

“The good news is that everybody has been in serious discussions and we will soon know from them whether there is movement towards signing of an agreement and what modalities will be adopted,” said Ms Mohamed.

The threat of sanctions by Igad appears to be having the desired effect on the principals in the conflict, with both leaders making visible efforts to sell a proposed peace plan to their followers.

At their last summit, Igad leaders issued the November 28 ultimatum.

READ: South Sudan: Igad threatens sanctions if talks fail; US wants UN trusteeship

The proposed sanctions include asset freezes, travel bans within the region, and stopping supply of arms and ammunition and other materials that could be used in war.

Reports say that Igad heads of state and negotiators have been encouraged that President Kiir and Dr Machar have convened separate consultative forums to convince their followers to sign the peace deal.

The EastAfrican has learnt that signing of the peace deal failed on previous occasions because the two leaders encountered resistance from their generals who are suspicious of a power-sharing arrangement and prefer a decisive military outcome.

Sources say that while the political leaders negotiating the deal have leaned towards the negotiated settlement embodied in the power-sharing deal, they have been wary of upsetting generals who command the troops on the ground.

After holding a conference on November 24, President Kiir met with top officials Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and key military commanders on December 3 at Bilpham Military Barracks near Juba Airport to get them to signing into the power-sharing agreement.

According to reports, some generals rejected the idea of having two commanders–in-chief — one for government forces and the other for the SPLM/A in Opposition forces — as had been suggested by the Dr Machar group.

On the other side, Dr Machar also convened a two-day conference with his rebel commanders in Pagak County in Jonglei State near the border with Ethiopia, to brief them on the power-sharing proposal by Igad.

The meeting was also supposed to come up with their version of the peace deal, after Juba last week provided their blue print that provided for a non-executive prime minister and an army under one commander-in-chief. Ethiopian forces provided security for the meeting.

Last week, President Museveni cautioned the rebels against making demands for executive powers for the proposed position of the prime minister.

The opposition had proposed the removal of the post of the vice-president, so that the president and prime minister could share power. END

South Sudanese in crossfire of Political Ideologies

By: Ater Garang Ariath, JUBA, DEC/03/2014, SSN;

South Sudanese innocent people were caught in crossfire of political ideologies when unnecessary political wrangling erupted within the country’s ruling party, Sudan’s People liberation Movement (SPLM), a party that fought bitterly for independence of the nation, but later abandoned the best models that supposed to steer this nation forward for national cohesion.

Young people which constituted 70% of country’s vast population were cripplingly marginalized in decision making process in the country, no greater attentions that were paid by existing government to address challenges facing them, such as lack of employment, good education and better services toward youth empowerment.

The government has seemed to ignore “young people as future of South Sudan”, with poor public policy toward availing universal education for all, the existing five universities are ill-equipped to contribute in manufacturing able South Sudanese future leaders, which is supposed to be the starting point for emerging nation like South Sudan.

However, the government plugged itself in widespread malpractices, especially the cabinet Ministers who have been in government for consecutive eight years, didn’t delivered and still backtracking the same government that gave them freedom to involve in widespread corruption practices by looting almost half of country wealth.

Hunger for political power lures South Sudanese men and women from the comfort of their homes and jobs in the private sector and government and drives them to spend months, even a year now, leading unsuccessful rebellion against government and people, whom they want to lead.

Therefore, I am one among South Sudanese people who have never been happy on how the country has been run and most of influential figures that have been leading rebellion after being dropped in the current cabinet, were part and parcel of those wrong policies that they are claiming now to be bad.

However, they need to be reminded that “you reap what you sow”; they are now enjoying the fruits of their labour, of which they have been planted for eight consecutive years of being in cabinet without propagating practical and radical transformation within the government and ruling party alike.

Nevertheless, only innocent South Sudanese people bear heavily the consequences of visionless leaders, who unscrupulously think for themselves first, before putting the interest of nation and its civil population.

This is a problem of power, it’s is a magician’s bargain : give up our souls , get power in return. But once souls, that is ourselves have given up , the power thus conferred will not belong to us. We shall in fact be slaves and puppets of that to which we have given our souls.

Therefore , we as South Sudanese should be careful about the ongoing political upheaval in our nation and stop supporting anything that endanger our political sovereignty and national integrity of our nation.

Why I say this based on what I have seen for last one year now in our nation, where my closest friends, relatives and families were killed on both sides of the warring parties.

And I have to reiterate my stance as South Sudanese citizen that a “significant movement”, begins from the bottom up not top down. Absolutely important changes in any political arena begin not from officials or celebrities, but through ordinary people, one of the living proof was the Tunisia.

The little platoons. Every South Sudanese person can and should seek to make a difference in his or her corner of the world by personally helping those in need, rather than mobilizing resources to fought brothers war.

Beyond this, there are some fanatic and wrongheaded leaders among South Sudanese societies that are calling themselves to work through government structures and by political means to bring their own influence into South Sudanese politics .

Nevertheless, these are the same wrong elements who poorly laid a sordid foundation of our nation since the inception of South Sudanese self-government after the signature of Comprehensive Peace Agreement(CPA) .

South Sudanese peasants were caught in the “crossfire of political ideologies”, once against after they have squarely decided to vote in referendum for an independence country, Republic of South Sudan, hoping to create viable nation in Africa continent with help of natural resources that God endowed.

My fellows South Sudanese were murdered by their own leaders and hard-liner supporters, over half of our population lives under the ultimate fear of their safety. Millions in this country have been condemned to live bound , gagged and tortured and die in the gulag.

In my opinion a prudent leader foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions, while the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Any wise leader envisage step taken and its ramifications, but this is not the case in our context as South Sudanese, our leaders never care for our stability, unity , prosperity and the list is extensive.

South Sudanese and the aspirant leaders should be challenge at least to ensure that a “just leader cares for stability of his or her nation”,. Therefore I am calling for political stability in our nation , because it will play important role in national balanced development countrywide.

Let us be astuteness in whatever we do , let us stop spreading hatred among our people on different social media outlets , let’s work hard at living in peace with others.

Personally I will and never contribute to the rise of gangster leaders in our nation and I will do what I can to ensure that South Sudanese fellow men and women realize peace, unity and stability.

Those who worked for that, however , need to be forewarned: everyday business of politics is power and that is all, and power as I know so well from the bottom of my own experience can be perilous for anyone .

My purpose here is not to deal exhaustively with the complex issue of power nor could I.

But I want to at least examine the dynamics of power , particularly as it affect the political arena and those who enter it.

As to remind you my dear fellow beloved citizens, man’s desire to control his own destiny and impose his will on others is the most basic human motivation that we should approach with our potential subconscious.

Certainly as to concluded by argument here , in every generation , there are statesmen motivated by a genuine noblesse oblige a sense of high calling to serve humanity, in fact South Sudanese people have late hero Dr. John Garang De Mabior and hope in years to come few leaders will be reborn by not at this moment.

Young people matter, they matter because they are potential tools use by politicians to fought war of their own interest, if this is the case, South Sudanese youth on both sides of the two warring parties should come into their senses and denounce these politicians that use them.

Together as youth, we have brighter future that we should shape to meet our interest of building prosperous and vibrant South Sudan, rather than allow ourselves to be drag back by unscrupulous leaders who never hold future for themselves.

South Sudan should supposed to be model example in Africa continent, however the wrong path taken by our nation must be reserve, if youth grow into their senses that they are no longer politicians tools , but responsible human-being and potential future leaders, I think South Sudan will be better place that one appreciate to live.

“Enough is enough”, youth have paid heavy price for their ignorance in the ongoing conflict and they should learn from it, otherwise experience is the best teacher.

The Author is South Sudanese journalist, living in Juba, South Sudan, for any inquiry email me at

SPLA-In-Opposition overran & captured Camp #15 near Kapoeta

DECEMBER/02/2014, SSN; Breaking News: A highly placed former Equatorian SPLA Lt.General who defected to the SPLA/M-In-Opposition has announced that forces comprising of men from Kapoeta area and other tribes from Eastern Equatoria State today attacked SPLA-Juba and overran Camp No. 15, also known as Mile 15.

The overall Zonal Commander of Equatoria in the SPLA-In-Opposition revealed that the successful attack and capture of Camp No. 15 is the first ever action taken and accomplished by volunteer soldiers and civilians from the sons of the region.

Camp No. 15 is a well known military base near the town of Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria State.

(More details will be coming from the official SPLA-In-Opposition or others)

Nations are not Built by Whiners

BY: Kuir ë Garang, ALBERTA, Canada, NOV/23/2014, SSN;

South Sudanese still have, by and large, a very long way to go when it comes to development of a unifying, enduring sense of nationhood or statehood. As things stand now, we are merely a collection of tribal nationalities with conflicting interests.

In the past, our only unifying factors were our common struggle against the oppression from Khartoum and the fact that we were enclosed by the same geopolitical boundary set by the colonial dividers of Africa in 18th and 19th centuries.

The gravest onus is now on us to create a sense of ‘South Sudan-ness’; an identity that’d make an Acholi of South Sudan identify more with Zande of South Sudan rather than with Acholi in Uganda. This is by no means an easy task; however, it’s a task we’ve neglected in vain search for tribal voice and hegemony.

We’ve become a nation of whiners, who offer nothing by way of alternative solutions.

Whining, polemics and acrimonious writs have become our source of solace. We keyboard divisive pomposity and verbosity that make us feel good about ourselves but at the end of the day contribute towards the divisiveness the same writing was supposed to combat.

With no doubt, this has become an oxymoron that typifies what it means to be a South Sudanese; and that’s a sense of self we wouldn’t want to be our defining identity.

Everyone in South Sudan has become a whiner!
The President of the country and his officials have become nothing but a bunch of whiners, who believe everything that’s wrong with South Sudan isn’t their incompetence but a work of some evil man called Riek Machar.

The officials whine about international community favoring rebels, about UNMISS siding with Riek’s forces, about journalists siding with rebels, about IGAD’s impartiality, about the venue of the ‘Peace Talks’ and about everything!

Respectable leaders don’t just whine incessantly. They only point out all the obstacles and problems they face and then rush to suggest workable solutions and alternatives.

If these whiners say anything as an alternative, it’s always something that benefits them. South Sudanese citizens only feature as pawns in the leaders’ quest for power and wealth.

The rebels, who present themselves as a clean alternative to the government, are nothing but another bunch of the same: opportunistic whiners. They whine about President Kiir remaining president, about IGAD’s partiality, about government atrocities while forgetting their own atrocities, about Nuer marginalization when Nuer still stand next to Kiir and fight against fellow Nuer who are part of government’s forces, about dictatorship when they were part of the same system they just left…etc.

If the rebels think they are a formidable alternative to the government then why is it that we only hear the problem stalling the talks being the issue of power-sharing? Why is it the question of who’s to have what powers that’s the problem? Why’s anything in the interest of the citizens taking back stage?

We’ve seen so far what the rebels are! They’ve whined their way from complaints about internal reforms within SPLM to their claim on South Sudanese echelons of power. For the rebels to be seen as credible voice fighting on behalf of South Sudanese citizens, it has to be clear at the talks that they represent the people.

And South Sudanese tribes have mastered the art of whining. The Jieeng whine about Nuer being prone to violent rebellion and Riek Machar being the ultimate killer while forgetting the atrocities committed by a government controlled largely by Jieeng men.

Jieeng’s self-righteousness has a lot to do with everything that’s wrong in South Sudan.
Nuer too complain about being marginalized by the Jieeng while Nuer officials still hold senior positions in both the government and the rebellion.

The third most powerful man in South Sudan, Magok Rundial, the current speaker of the national assembly, is a Nuer.

While hundreds of Nuer civilians were brutally massacred in cold-blood by government’s forces in Juba in December, it’s always prudent to remember that Nuer forces, let by the notorious White Army, have also committed atrocities. There’s respect in accepting one’s wrongs before labeling accusations on others.

One of the arguments always floated around by Nuer is that the Nuer in Kiir’s administration are mere puppets and don’t have a voice. Well, it’s not the fault of the president if they allow themselves to be used like puppets. Where are these people’s morals?

And to top it all, ‘Equatorians,’ as a sociopolitical collegiality for all the tribes in the three southern states of the country, whine of having been marginalized by the Jieeng and the Nuer despite the fact that the second most powerful man in the country is from Equatoria.

The cabinet affairs minister, Dr. Elias Lomoro, is the forth in government hierarchy after the Vice President, the President and the Speaker of the national assembly.

And now many Equatorians, even the Vice President himself, believe that the question of the VP position in the transitional period is an attempt to marginalize Equatorians. And the VP argues that it’s not about his job while he’s repeatedly warned that he’s not going to resign this time around for the sake of Riek Machar. Using Equatorians to safeguard a job is base!

I don’t want to sound naïve. I understand that there are junior Jieeng officials in Kiir’s administration, who are more powerful than some senior government officials from other tribes. However, we have to remember that the problem lies with the officers, who allow themselves to be subordinated by subordinates.

Why see oneself as a subaltern in an administration in which you’re not? Why can’t these officers confront the president? Why can’t they speak on behalf of South Sudanese and straighten things out? Why are these officers afraid of the president even when what they would say would benefit the country?

There’s a clear difference between whining and criticizing the government. Whiners are fond of badmouthing without offering any workable alternatives. Criticisms are excellent mirrors to conscientious leadership, however, to merely whine without offering alternatives and to show the government that the current path is wrong, is a waste of time.

Many non-Jieeng officials subordinate themselves. They see Jieeng officers make bad decisions and applaud them only to claim self-righteousness when they are out of the government.

It’s with no doubt that there are many well-meaning leaders from Equatoria and among the Nuer in the current government, who can stand up to President Kiir (behind closed doors) and advise him in good faith to help rescue the country. However, they are too timid and only think about their positions rather than their constituents and the nation.

We keep on blaming the Jieeng and the President but how about this: Why can’t all the Equatorians and Nuer officials working in the government threaten the President with resignation if he doesn’t change the country for better?

The government would collapse in an instant if they resign en masse. However, they will never do that because they, like all South Sudanese politicians, care more about their jobs rather than the interest of the nation and South Sudanese citizens. (Watch the video commentary here)

So stop whining and see into it that what would change this nation isn’t vacuous whining and foul-mouthing but procurement of workable alternatives!

Kuir ë Garang is the author of “South Sudan Ideologically.” For contact, visit

Late Honorable Cecilia, a victim of SPLM policies of settlement & orphanization.

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, NOV/19/2014, SSN;

The long list of murdered Equatorians by the SPLM system continues to get longer day by day. The latest victim is Cecilia Oba Tito, a young, intelligent and promising leader of Equatoria. Cecilia hails from Morsak village near Yei. She was born in 1974 to late Tito Towongo and Araba of Kakwa tribe. From 1981 to 1987 Cecilia attended Kagelu primary school after which she went to Yei Girl’s Secondary School.

However, due to the war at the time Cecilia relocated to Uganda in 1991 where she continued with her secondary school education at Nyangilia secondary school in West Nile district. After completing her secondary education in 1994 she proceeded to do a one year course in 1996 at Nsameji National Institute where she graduated with a certificate in social development.

Armed with her qualifications Cecilia returned to South Sudan and did a lot of community work promoting human development in former Yei district. In 2005 Cecilia served as a minister in Central Equatoria government. From 2008 to 2013 Cecilia went to South Africa for further studies where she graduated with a master’s degree.

On her return home, she was elected as the first female mayor of Yei town.

Painfully, Cecilia’s life was cut short to advance the Jieng expansionist policy of settlement and orphanization in Equatoria.

Upper Nile Times on 10/11/2014 reported the murder of Cecilia under the heading ‘Mayor Hon Cecilia Aba Tito dragged and gunned down over a plot of land.’

The motive for the crime could not have been clearer. Equatorians have suffered and endured the most degrading and humiliating treatment from SPLM over the issue of their land. To put this in context, it is important to go back to the recent history of the SPLM/A.

Right from the inception of this monstrous organisation in 1983, as argued elsewhere, the SPLM/A was formed with the aim to conquer and subjugate Equatoria. The rebellion of Bor which was a product of corruption was seized on by the Jieng as a means to avenge Kokora.

Kokora itself was a reaction of the Equatorians to the unruly behaviour of the Jieng under the leadership of Abel Alier in the regional government of South Sudan during the reign of General Jaafar Mohamed Nimeiri in the late 1970s. Please see ‘Fudging the issue – President Kiir and Corruption in RSS’ and Jacob Lupai’s articles on the subject in South Sudan Nation and South Sudan News Agency websites.

When SPLM/A ventured into Equatoria, it treated the people brutally as if they were not South Sudanese brothers and sisters. It killed more people and raped more women and young girls than at any time in the entire history of South Sudan.

From early 1990s, ironically it was common to hear people in Equatoria preferring the Arabs to the Jieng because of the rampant atrocities meted on the people.

During the war, the Jieng soldiers routinely displaced Equatorians from their homes in their villages under gun point. This continued until 2005 when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was concluded.

After the CPA land grab became the order of the day with Equatorians frequently murdered without any accountability, for example, the disappearance of engineer John Lewis. Often, the Jieng boldly and promptly declare their intention to settle all over Equatoria. They refer to Equatoria as a Jieng colony.

A certain Deng Ajak on 13th August 2014 had this to say to a certain Ben Tombe: “Ben Tombe, let me remind you slaves don’t talk like that to the masters. Dog without tooth? You are colonized remember? Is it dog without tooth that colonized you or us Dinka, the hero tribe in South Sudan? Just for your information colonization is not over yet. Those of you who don’t want to respect our right to colonize will very soon have no where to put their heads. We colonized Bari Speakers, Zande, Kakua, Madi, Taposa, Acholi, Lotuka and every single tribe in Equatoria and Western Bahar el Ghazal. We will continue to neutralize you people until you diminished. It is true you people are not humans. You don’t have the right, we do. Clement Wani Konga is misleading you today, but if we want tomorrow he will disappear. He talked about no one will sit on the heads of Equatorian, do you people really are human? do you think you have any home left? There is not Equatorian family which have never given birth to a Dinka. If being Gay is to be legalized today, all Equatorian men will marry to Dinka men. Even today almost all the servants in Dinka homes every where in the country are Equatorians too. You feel ashamed, Ben Tombe.”

Please see the comments on this article, ‘Angry Security Council visiting Nairobi for South Sudan sanctions talk’

Indeed they (Dinka) are in every nook and cranny of Equatoria with their cattle terrorizing the locals to realize this objective. Nobody in Equatoria is against the Jieng coming to live in Equatoria, but this needs to be done through the right channel following the law of the land and not through thuggery and abuse of state power.

Now, Cecilia, a promising daughter of Equatoria has become a victim of this heinous policy of the Jieng. But the murder of Cecilia must not be seen from this angle only as it also fulfills another horrendous policy of the Jieng which is to render Equatoria leaderless: orphanization.

As already pointed out, the Jieng desperately want to control Equatoria and its people and this goes back to the first Anyanya war of liberation. From 1983 Dr John Garang cleverly adopted the undeclared policy of destroying Equatorian leaders in order for the Jieng to prevail.

Equatoria had to be made an orphan for the Jieng to control it.

The literature on social control and domination posits that for any powerful group to exercise their power in order to have control over any other group depends on their ability to render the targeted group leaderless. Without this, it is almost impossible to succeed in colonising any people.

This is why the imperialists and colonialists in the yester century destroyed indigenous leaders in their colonies and replaced them with handpicked leaders honed to serve their interest.

The SPLM has consistently since its birth worked to destroy Equatoria leadership. In the bush, capable Equatorians were not recognized and promoted in the forces even when they have all the necessary qualifications.

Deliberately, they were kept in the rank and file to be led by illiterate and incapable Jieng officers such as the likes of President Salva Kiir.

Those whom they could not control whether in the forces or civilians were brutally murdered. For example, Peter Kidi, Luka Kpakaciro, Col. Martin Kejivura, John Nambu, Didinga chief, Acholi chief, Madi chiefs and so on.

Prominent Equatorian leaders like Bishop Paride Taban and late Dr Samson Kwaje were slapped literally by Kuol Manyang Juok and others for no good reason but to humiliate them in front of their people reducing them to nothing.

These acts in themselves not only erode authority but have a huge psychological effect in how these respectable people would view themselves and in turn how others view them. This was deliberately done to make Equatorians feel helpless in order to submit to Jieng.

From 2005 the SPLM targeted the would-be future leaders of Equatoria and they set out to kill them. For example, the Equatorian police officers murdered in Yambio, the doctor murdered in Yei, the two new graduates from Makerere murdered in Maridi over the issue of federalism recently and now Cecilia.

The common factor in all these cases is that these eliminated young lives possessed acumen and have demonstrated promising leadership skills and qualities. In addition, all those cases have not been investigated and allowed to fizzle out with the killers roaming the streets in contempt of the people.

No accountability and no justice!!!!

The destruction of these Equatorians who would have been future leaders is met by constant training and promotion of young Jieng to positions of power.

The ministry of education discriminatively sends young Jieng abroad for training using state resources while obstructing the other tribes from receiving the same service.

The purpose is Jieng investment in education to build future leadership capability that will allow them to dominate South Sudan for generations to come. Their formula is: kill the skilled Equatorians and replace the same with Jieng and over time Equatoria will be properly subjugated and settled.

The impact of these evil Jieng policies if not stopped will have grave consequences for Equatoria in less than two decades from now.

The immediate consequence which is seen now is that they have almost succeeded to decide who can lead Equatoria and not who Equatorinas want as their leaders of choice.

So, in a sense the Jieng have taken the power of decision from the Equatorians which means Equatorians basically are subjects. Here the red light should be flashing to any concerned Equatorian to think of the future.

The relentless killing of skilled Equatorian persons and prospective leaders without corresponding training to replace the lost would-be-leaders due to: 1) deliberate marginalisation in education, 2) pauperisation – the inability to afford educational fees, means that there is a constant reduction of talents and skills in Equatoria.

The net effect will be the re-stratification of South Sudan social groups with Equatoria turned into an underclass, a group without leaders and educated people to protect the community and their lands.

Should the Jieng succeed in this policy, it will directly feed into their settlement plan because powerless people without leaders can not protect themselves and their land such as the case of the Aborigines in Australia and the Indians in the Americas.

Given the danger facing Equatoria now, SPLM/A needs to be stopped. The key to halting this deadly plan lies with Equatorians and it is a simple one.

First Equatorians need to desert the SPLM to deal a mortal blow to the Jieng power base in South Sudan.

Secondly, they need to follow their true leaders who no doubt have plans to stir the whole country away from the ongoing catastrophe.

Though the murder of Cecilia might have been done by few people from the ‘born to rule’ for their personal gain, the force behind its implementation comes from a policy that advances the interest of an entire group: settlement and orphanization of Equatoria.

The whole Jieng ethnic group benefits from this barbarism in terms of depleting skilled Equatorian people and also in terrorizing the people to deepen control over Equatoria which surely constitutes an aggression on Equatoria.

Cecilia’s murder is not only a political homicide case, but it is also a case of violence against women. Men in South Sudan generally are uncomfortable with women leading them or women in position of authority.

The fact that the accepted policy that women must occupy twenty five percent of positions across the board in South Sudan government has not been implemented is due to the male-centric attitude that have long permeated the South Sudanese society.

The suffering of women, especially Equatorian women under the SPLM system is heart breaking. The Jieng are taking liberties with Equatorian women simply to humiliate them.

For example, working Equatorian women are daily subjected to threats of sackings and unemployment if they refuse to have intimate (sexual) time with the illiterate ‘born to rule’ placed as their bosses. Other women, especially the morally principled ones face threats of death.

The Jieng have gone as far as to design something called I.I.B. which means interview in bed. If a woman applies for a job, she is likely to be subjected to this degrading and humiliating process.

The worse case scenario which people do not want to talk about due to shame is the forceful rape of mothers in front of their husbands and children by Jieng soldiers. This happens frequently in Equatoria.

The victims need to speak out about these crimes to remove any shame or stigma attached to it. Keeping quiet allows the assailants to continue with their crimes without the prospect of accountability. Equatorians need to support such families as a duty to help them recover from their traumas.

The gruesome murder of Cecilia symbolizes two things. First, the intense hate towards women. For if it was not the case why did the murderers abuse the body of the late? Cecilia being an Equatorian, intelligent and a woman combined all the elements hated by the the Jieng.

The brutal murder is to send a message to all Equatorian women that they either submit or they face the consequences.

Secondly, Cecilia is a symbol of resistance. Her personal fight to protect her property is one of the cases that make the millions of cases of land grab in Equatoria.

Therefore, she is the embodiment of Equatoria’s struggle against the Jieng policy of land grab and forceful settlement.

As a woman, that must have come across to her murders as an affront.

Thirdly, even if Equatorians are members of the ruling party the SPLM, they are not protected. If they stand up to the system they will be kidnapped and murdered like Cecilia. They are only there to be used to advance Jieng’s interest and once they are not needed they will unceremoniously be disposed of.

Sadly, no prominent woman has come out openly to condemn the gruesome murder of Cecilia. Even Rebecca Nyandeng who masquerades as a leader has failed to advance the cause of sisterhood.

Indeed, tribalism has taken deep root in South Sudan. Were Cecilia to be a Jieng, the media, Jieng Council of Elders and the Jieng SPLM machine would have been roaring with its loudest voice condemning the barbarity of the crime and asking for justice.

But since it the Jieng machine operating its well laid out policies of settlements and oprhanization, it goes eerily quiet.

Will Cecilia get justice? Not easy to answer given the pattern of similar crimes committed against Equatoria. However, justice may come to all the victims of SPLM’s policies through other means in the future. Ryszard Kapuscinski in his book, ‘Shah of the Shahs,’ shines some light on such means. Here, he argues:

“It is authority that provokes revolutions. Certainly, it does not do so consciously. Yet its style of life and way of ruling finally become a provocation. This occurs when a feeling of impunity takes root among the elite. We are allowed anything, we can do anything. This is a delusion, but it rests on a certain rational foundation. For a while it does indeed look as if they can do whatever they want.

Scandal after scandal and illegality after illegality go unpunished. The people remain silent, patient, wary. They are afraid and do not yet feel their own strength. At the same time, they keep a detailed account of the wrongs, which at one particular moment are to be added up.

The choice of that moment is the greatest riddle known to history. Why did it happen on that day, and not on another? Why did this event, and not some other, bring it about? After all, the government was indulging in even worse excesses only yesterday, and there was no reaction at all. “What have I done?” asks the ruler, at a loss. “What has possessed them all of a sudden?” This is what he has done. He has abused the patience of the people.” (Kapuscinski 1985, p105 Kindle version)

Kapuscinski wrote his book in the mid 1980s to tell about his experience of the Iranian revolution of late 1970s. But the above quote since then has been vindicated in Tunisia, Burkina Faso and many other places. Nobody expected a radical change in Tunisia and Burkina Faso at the time.

It came as a complete surprise to the Tunisian and Burkinabe rulers with Mohamed Bouazizi setting himself on fire in a market and the Burkinabe masses setting the parliament on fire. The rest is history.

While the Jieng terror machine concentrates on its war with Riek, the real problems are in Juba. It demise will come from within and not without. For three decades they have abused and terrorized the people.

Their main weapon: fear, is losing its power to subjugate. Soon or later they will be seen fleeing with their system in tatters. It is then that true accountability for their excesses will be appropriately addressed.

Finally, as Cecilia is a victim of long practised policies of SPLM/A to promote Jieng settlement and orphanization in Equatoria, it is absolutely important for Equatoria to not let Cecilia’s death be just another statistic.

Cecilia stood up against both policies in her life. She never shied away from leading and she personally fought the land grabbers though she lost her life. Cecilia should be kept alive by Equatoria government naming a road in each of the Central Equatoria major towns and also by naming a land mark building in Juba in her name. This should ensure that the murderers’ intent to destroy her comes to naught.
[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

Causes of Current War: Tribal Politics & Idea of Leadership in South Sudanese Society

BY: MALITH KUR, LONDON, Canada, NOV/14/2014, SSN;

The current state of affairs in South Sudan hasn’t come as a surprise, but it’s a manifestation of the ugly face of the political class in our nation. It’s shown that the idea of leadership in South Sudanese society is the antithesis of political leadership in other nations. It’s out of this conception of leadership that South Sudan has faced this crisis before its third independence anniversary.

What follows identifies the causes of this unfortunate crisis. It also proposes possible steps forward to re-establish peace in South Sudan.

Tribal Politics:
The reason the country is facing this situation is that South Sudanese politicians, and most of us for that matter, define leadership in terms of tribal and regional affiliations. We do not have a national agenda when it comes to politics in the country.

What we have is a glorification of some politicians, which is what most of us take seriously. A politician’s achievement doesn’t matter in South Sudanese politics; what matters is where in the country a politician comes from.

If we take John Garang as our example, we see that he is popular now because he is dead; otherwise, he isn’t a popular leader, given his regional or tribal backgrounds.

Although his political strategies had paved the way for our independence, his contribution would have been irrelevant if he were alive and led the country today.

Throughout the years of the struggle, his leadership was considered as a continuation of Dinka domination, but no one wanted to speak about the number of Dinkas who died fighting for South Sudan’s independence.

In historical reality, however, the so-called Dinka domination remains a political myth if one takes a brief tour of South Sudan’s recent history.

History of Political Leadership in South Sudan
It’s true that tribal political orientation is at the heart of the current crisis. However, this crisis has its roots in the history of political leadership in South Sudan. This history does not go beyond 1955 because South Sudan did not have formal governmental structures then.

Formal leadership began, for instance, when Equatorians led the Anyanya I Movement in Torit in 1955. Nonetheless, when the Addis Ababa Agreement brought peace, Jaafar Numeri appointed Abel Alier to lead the subsequent, tenuous self-rule administration in the then Southern Sudan beginning in 1972-78.

For political reasons, Numeri dismissed Abel Alier and appointed Joseph Lagu, former leader of Anyanya I, in his place in 1978. Alier came back few years later, but he was removed again by presidential degree.

When Alier and Lagu were gone, Joseph James Tambura assumed the leadership in the South.

Following these political changes, the Addis Ababa Agreement was dissolved, and the re-division of the South into three regions occurred under Tambura’s watch in 1982 before the second civil war began in 1983.

When the second civil war started, John Garang emerged as the leader of the SPLM until his demise in 2005. After the death of John Garang, Salva Kiir assumed the leadership of the SPLM. Kiir’s ascension to power followed the hierarchical design of the SPLM leadership.

Now, if you look at this historical sketch of governance in South Sudan since Anyanya I, the communities out of which top leaders emerged are Madi among the Bari speaking groups, Azande, and Dinka.

The historical truth here is that none of these communities made any efforts to help those politicians come to power. Why is this important to mention? It is important because this is where the root causes of the current crisis lie.

Causes of this war
First, no member of Nuer ethnic group has ever taken top position in South Sudan. Therefore, some members of the Nuer community want this to happen now.

The demand for Riek Machar to become South Sudanese president is the real cause of the war, which has nothing to do with the democratization of the SPLM as a political party. The myth of Dinka domination has strengthened this resolve.

Consequently, South Sudanese, who lost their lives in Juba in December 2013, cannot be the cause of this war because most of the dead were soldiers taking part in active combat with the security forces.

Second, one-party dictatorship has developed in South Sudan. SPLM in South Sudan has become like the ANC in South Africa. A politician in South Africa must first become the leader of ANC before dreaming of leading the country. The SPLM has assumed this character.

For this reason, every politician in South wants some association with the SPLM. We now have the SPLM-DC, the SPLM-in-Opposition, the SPLM leaders, and who knows some other funny names of the SPLM may come up later. The role of the SPLM as a source of power is another major cause of the current war in South Sudan.

Third, the other causes of the war are political impunity, corruption, and weak state institutions. These factors are playing a major part in the current crisis. The weak institutions of governance in South Sudan provide fertile grounds for political violence.

None of the politicians leading the current uprising or those who are protecting the regime expect responsibility for their actions. No one will hold them accountable for anything.

Fourth, proxy warfare did not end with the independence of South Sudan. Sudan’s territorial ambitions in relation to disputed areas remain a catalyst of instability in South Sudan.

People who rebel in South Sudan, for whatever reason, will have no shortage of arms coming to them from Sudan. Unstable South Sudan allows Sudan to keep Abyei and Panthou (Heglig, to the Sudan. Ed.).

As long as the political class in South Sudan places its interest in power over the future of the country and the welfare of its citizens, this war will not end.

Fifth, South Sudan has ten states with a population of approximately 12 million people, which means that each state could have an average of 1.2 million inhabitants. However, we are asking for more while we know that the country relies on oil revenues.

This demand has raised a number of questions. What economic energy will those small states have? Where the money is going to come from to fund those states? These are not new questions.

South Sudanese who opposed the decentralization policies of 1980s raised them. They asked these questions because what South Sudan needed then, and still needs now are not more divisions but development. South Sudan needs a way out of this mess.

The Way forward
South Sudan needs unconditional peace now, not tomorrow, and the search for peace must be a people-driven exercise. The people of South Sudan must be the first stakeholders in the decision-making process when it comes to the settlement of the current crisis.

The parties to the conflict who are negotiating in Addis Ababa are not interested in peace, but war to gain power or maintain it. In the end, those who will continue to suffer are South Sudanese, who have nothing to gain in this senseless destruction.

Furthermore, what we can do, as responsible citizens, to avoid unnecessary political troubles is to leave political ambitions in the hands of politicians. Individual political leadership is not a tribal responsibility. Politicians are responsible for their political programmes.

As we search for peace, we need to avoid for two reasons the impression that there is a war between Dinka and Nuer:

First, South Sudan does not belong to Dinka and Nuer. It is a community of different ethnic groups bound to live together in peace and prosperity.

Second, Dinka and Nuer as communities are not responsible for political differences in the government. But if some members of the Nuer community want to fight against the government of South Sudan, that would be their choice that has nothing to do with all Nuers because all South Sudanese are in that government.

Most of the time we blame the political class inside South Sudan, but the Diaspora South Sudanese community needs to avoid incitement of violence. People inside South Sudan do not want war, but the people who are recruiting children to fight on their behalf, children who are supposed to be in school, rely on Diaspora’s political support.

South Sudanese Diaspora communities have become reliable constituents for the opposition forces inside the country. They have become their gateway to promote their destructive cause, but what South Sudan needs is a peaceful change, which promotes co-existence instead of division and killing.

In our collective search for meaningful political change, we need to understand that change is a process. It takes time to build democratic institutions and establish fair political practices. Violent opposition is not a political change but destruction.

In this context, South Sudan needs to discourage the creation of ethnically motivated federal system. It has the potential to cause more problems than solving the ones we already have.

Federalism in South Sudan is not the prerogative of those who are engaged in a power struggle; it is the prerogative of South Sudanese and their elected representatives.

South Sudanese do not need to be told how to be ruled; they must tell the politicians how they should be ruled.

South Sudanese are the principal stakeholders in the debate about federalism. A federal system South Sudanese have sanctioned provides the central government and the state governments with certain responsibilities to manage the affairs of the country within the boundaries of national laws that promote South Sudanese nationalism that transcends ethnicity.

South Sudan as a society should take these steps as part of comprehensive political reforms, constitutional review, and national reconciliatory process, which must lay the foundation for social reconstruction of South Sudanese society.

By Malith Kur (
London, Canada

SPLM-IO proposes removal of Vice Pres. Wani Igga, so Machar is next


Latest BREAKING NEWS: The SPLM-In-Opposition faction led by Riek Machar have dropped their demand for President Salva Kiir to step down but now propose instead the removal of Vice President James Wani Igga as well as the elimination of the vice presidency itself.

Igga was appointed vice president in August 2013, a month after President Salva Kiir sacked his deputy Riek Machar. He belongs to the same party as Kiir but hails from a different region of the country, Central Equatoria.

Now the armed opposition faction SPLM-IO is calling for his removal as part of a power-sharing deal that is being negotiated at peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“We believe that the positions of the Vice President and the two deputies to the Prime Minister will complicate the working relations between the two principals [Kiir and Machar] and therefore should be expunged from the government structure,” SPLM/A-IO chief negotiator Taban Deng announced on Monday.

Taban argued that SPLM-IO has already made “strategic concessions” on the issue of the powers of the Prime Minister, during the most recent talks held at the IGAD Summit meeting in Addis Ababa late last week.

In particular, SPLM-IO conceded their earlier demands that Riek Machar should be considered head of government and chair the Council of Ministers.

“This means that we have given him [Kiir] everything. He is now the head of state and the head of government. We have nothing to concede more,” said Taban Deng at a press conference in Addis Ababa on Monday.

He noted that Salva Kiir’s negotiators have proposed that the leadership of the transitional government should consist of a president, vice president, prime minister and two or three deputies to the prime minister.

Taban opposed this structure saying it would “lead into confusion,” adding, “too many cooks spoil the broth.”

He called on Kiir’s party to make ‘sacrifices’ to reciprocate SPLM-IO’s concessions and bring peace. He compared the proposal to remove Igga to a Sudanese precedent, in which the vice president in 2005 was demoted in order to bring rebel leader John Garang into the government.

“We have given the example of the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement]: Ali Othman was the First Vice President. But because President Bashir wanted peace in his country and he wanted the war to end he has to make that big sacrifice, removing Ali Othman and putting John Garang in his place.”

Taban Deng suggested that Igga could return to the parliament after his removal from the vice presidency: “The current vice president was the Speaker of the Parliament, and as you know Speaker of Parliament is a very high position.”

It is not yet clear whether Igga’s position is a red line for SPLM-Juba negotiators or instead some might be open to considering the proposal.

Igga was reportedly not Kiir’s first choice for the vice presidency; the current health minister Riek Gai Kok was approached to accept the position but declined.

The vice president has also been in tension with some leading Equatorian politicians. During a dispute within the ruling party in July, involving Equatorian proponents of federalism, Igga was referred to derisively by another very senior Equatorian politician who implied that he was a mere puppet of the president.

Igga is from Central Equatoria but he is not from the state capital Juba, instead hailing from Lobonok Payam south of the city.

The SPLM-Juba faction headed by Salva Kiir is yet to make a public response to the proposal to remove the position of vice president, though Igga himself has previously said he is not willing to stand aside for Riek Machar to take his place.

On a related matter, it is unclear whether the negotiators have yet discussed options for the line of succession for the proposed transitional government. Taban Deng’s proposal did not specify whether, in the absence of a vice president, the Prime Minister would be next in line for the presidency.

Such a line of succession would be unacceptable to the SPLM-Juba negotiators because it would put Riek Machar second in line to the presidency.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for the SPLM-Juba delegation Michael Makuei told press on arrival at Juba Airport yesterday that the two sides made progress in the most recent talks in Addis Ababa.

He said the talks were adjourned until 25 November to allow for further consultations on the proposed structure of the transitional government. In the meantime, a joint security committee will begin meeting to discuss implementation of the cessation of hostilities agreement.