Category: Featured

Why South Sudan Army must overthrow Kiir now to save the nation

QUOTE: “A military coup needs a sacrifice and courage that you can’t find in an army without morale,” JALAL TALABANI.


Surely, here is a historic and heroic opportunity for the South Sudanese Army to timely intercede by overthrowing the failed Kiir junta and save the nation from bleeding to death.

Our independence has become meaningless as South Sudanese are viciously killing each other perhaps much more than the enemy jellaba Arab northerners were doing.

Waiting for IGAD to broker and bring peace for us is like waiting for the biblical ‘manna’ from Heaven, it never comes; the fighting men and women can bring the war to a quick end.

Historically, military coups become justifiable and even legal, when either the leadership supposedly ruling the country or the circumstances prevailing in the nation do not any longer justify the continuation of the government in power, regardless whether this enfeebled government was previously ‘elected’ or not.

Now, in our current predicament, president Kiir and the ruling SPLM party have become utterly incapable of reaching resolution on the worsening crises in the country and on good governance of the nation, so, an intervention by the Army would certainly offer a better alternative.

Interestingly, an American political scientist, Jay Ulfelder, who theorizes and forecasts political development and instability, places South Sudan 20th among 30 top countries where he predicts a possible coup d’etat might happen in 2013.

In our particularity, if indeed a typical military coup d’etat had occurred, it’d be described correctly as a ‘democratic coup d’etat’ whereby a segment of the state apparatus (Army), for the sake of stability, colludes to displace the government from its control of the state.

Accordingly, the significant features uniquely applicable in support of this ‘democratic coup d’etat’ in our nation includes the following:
a)- the military response is endorsed by popular opposition to the ruling regime;
b)- it’s staged against an authoritarian and totalitarian leader;
c)- the military oversees free and fair elections shortly afterwards;
d)- the military transfers power to new democratically elected leaders ending the coup.

At this critical juncture our nation is in, it’s clear that president Kiir has reached the status of Egypt’s Hosny Mubarak or Ethiopa’s Mengistu, as his (Kiir’s) regime has become dictatorial, murderous and unpopular, so, whilst South Sudanese are genuinely yearning for democracy, Kiir and cohorts are not true democrats.

As Prof. Taban Loliyong recently remarked, “Kiir opted to sow divisions to cover up his own incompetence and to strengthen his hold on power.” (Daily Nation, Kenya, Sept, 2013)

Obviously, with the increasingly spreading groundswell of opposition across the country against the Kiir regime and also the increasingly obvious unhappiness of foreign supporters of the nation, the urgency of such a military putsch can’t be over emphasized.

Reiterating the justification for a coup d’e'tat, it must be pointedly stated here that the on-going national rebellion by the SPLM-In-Opposition Army is unwinnable by either side and any further escalation of the civil war or obfuscation of the peace talks by Kiir’s junta only exacerbates the national predicament.

Unfortunately, what is emerging now is that the morale of the National Army (SPLA) is slowly and surely breaking down, due to the fact that the Army isn’t representative of the entire nation.

The ruling SPLM party, to say the least, is now functionally dead, polluted only by sycophants and deadwood; likewise, the SPLA, the supposed national army, its current command is under ‘yes-bany’ doggy and murderous generals.

Military coups are not unique in modern African history and they usually take place when the political clique ruling the country fails in managing the affairs of the nation.

In neighboring Uganda, the despicable Yoweri Museveni himself usurped power through a coup, so are other African leaders from Guinea to Rwanda and up to Madagascar.

Certainly, it can be intelligently conjectured that there are many within the officers corps of the South Sudanese Army who over the last 9 years of Kiir’s failed junta have genuinely become disillusioned by the gross misrule and the resurgence of yet another ethnocentric war in the nation.

More so, the hopes of the nation specifically depends on the more educated and more enlightened officers, like those real military school graduates, not just the rag-tag tribal and illiterate generals that Kiir ill-advisedly promoted to abet him in his current misrule.

The longer president Kiir and his cohorts are allowed to persist with their evil plans, the worse will become the ever-increasing ethnic divide, hatred and national disintegration of South Sudan nation.

For instance, Kiir’s formation of the murderous Dinka-only so-called Presidential Guards ostensibly from his own home area was definitely a contravention of the rules and mandate of the Army.

Even by Kiir’s own confession after the December 15 massacre of the Nuer and the start of this civil war now raging across the country, Kiir blatantly told the nation that despite the objections of the former Defence minister and the current SPLA Chief of Staff, he, kiir, proceeded with instituting the Presidential Guards.

How can the army just look on while the president unilaterally contravenes the Army modus operandi and breaks down the morale of the Army?

That evidently explains why Machar’s ragtag army is inflicting so many defeats against the national army. This cannot be allowed, never!

A military coup might hopefully also resolve the current paralysis concerning the issue of the interim period government without either Kiir or Machar, a notion also being peddled by the peace brokers in Addis.

Moreover, better still, the military junta will be transitory, composed of technocrats only who aren’t tainted by the infamy of the SPLM, and empowered to bring peace and draft a new constitution for the nation.

But of course, as typical of a military putsch, the new military leaders must take the first steps of abolishing or suspending the current one-man constitution, then dissolving both national houses of legislature and all states parliaments and all other deadwood and money-eating commissions, embassies, etc…etc…

In retrospect, we’re fully aware that all these impotent and redundant so-called national institutions were merely set up to accommodate the thieving SPLM cadres to the grievous detriment of the oppressed peoples of South Sudan.

Finally, as South Sudanese, we must sincerely accept that historically we have had little or no time to consensually coalesce as a One-People-One-Nation’ in our evolution from slavery to nationhood.

Even though we came first time together as ‘Southern Sudanese’ in the famous 1947 Juba Conference, we were never allowed to fully or firmly bond together as we sooner than later broke up and became exploited and mentally enslaved once again by our jellaba Arab North colonizers.

Once again, during the famous Anya Nya war, we solidified our nationalism but, once again, we quickly succumbed to jellaba Arab exploitation as both Abel Alier and Joseph Lagu once again failed our march to nationhood as ‘One-People-One-Nation.’

And again now, the Kiir-Machar animosity, overtly epitomized by the deadly and uncompromising Dinka-Nuer ethnic fratricide has once again let down our nation-building experimentation. We aren’t yet a ‘One-People-One-Nation.’

What is needed, seriously, is a new political dispensation in the form of ‘Balkanization’ of South Sudan akin to what happened to Yugoslavia.

Yes, the new constitution to be drafted during the interim period must fundamentally embody the creation of a three-states federalism (Greater Equatoria, Greater Bahr el Ghazel and Greater Upper Nile), so that we can slowly build that much needed national consensus to become a truly ‘One-People-One-Nation.’

Seriously, if the Army and the elitist officers don’t intervene sooner to save the nation and expeditiously bring the political paralysis to an end, South Sudan will just be a clear carbon copy of the Democratic Republic of Congo or Somalia.

Even a Liberian mere army sergeant Samuel Doe did it. Our Equatorian own son, Iddi Amin, did it in Uganda, in 1971; the question is where are the Lieutenant-Generals and Major-Generals and Brigadier-Generals now lost in the pursuit of the mighty dollar????

Must we now regret that our 2 million martyrs were lost for nothing, or perhaps, as some cynics are seriously asking, ‘why did we ever break away from Sudan in the first place?’ END

What could be the Final Upshot of the Untouchable Oligarchic Mafias in the SPLM?

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, JUBA, APR/15/2014, SSN;

As has succinctly been fueled by the current conflict of interests in the country, the long time oligarchs operating in the shadow of the heavyweight ruling and/or governing party, the SPLM came to a foreseeable frenzy within the foxholes of the SPLM.

The fractious distinguished longtime members of this braved party who assumed having inherited from the founding father of the movement some ingenious charismatic insignia and gained favor for themselves began to behave so inimically under the pretexts that they are everything and nobody can neither tell them to correct their wrongs nor to respect other leaders, not even the chairperson of the SPLM and president of the Republic can tell them to cease from doing such illusive unaccustomed action undauntedly.

This unethical and unproceedural reckless quirky mismanagement of almost all the resources of the state misguided by the assumption of being the leaders of SPLM led to the malfunction of all the state institutions headed by these cadres which are vital in the sustainability of the socio-economic stability of the state.

This malfeasance conducted by these untouchable oligarchic mafias in the party led to the standstill and dysfunctionality of all organs of the party hence relegating those organs scrupulously assigned to a particular class or sphere intended to lessen the scrutinization of the performances of the weak, incapable and corrupt officials who acted in proxies typically in the shoes of their political masters in the Party.

These Mafiosi are untouchable because they are in the ears of the big animals in the party. Bizarrely, these Mafioso or mafias became so much bigoted when they see any other south Sudanese competent, capable, energetic and quite patriotic enough to deliver most direly needed services to the paupers as a threat to them.

They fear that they would be out weighted because SPLM is something entitled to them by birth and therefore whatever they do and say is paramount even if it’s wrong, misleading and not in the interests of the people.

These are treacherous and quite ominous who are disloyal and dangerous to the people of south Sudan.

This has been evidently manifested by the current enraging crisis in the country which ensued simply because they are no longer stakeholders in misdirecting and embezzling of the public funds meant for nothing but development and service delivery to our poor’s who are dying of Malaria and hunger everyday and who sleep with only one meal per a day, or some even don’t secure one meal in a day.

These long-time obnoxious self-centered mafias are the ones now undauntedly and with no remorse and shame, seditiously setting on the little we have gained in our own struggle just to survive on the chaotic shambles.

What could be the final upshot of the then untouchable oligarchic mafias in the SPLM?

Obviously, their final upshot is at stake now in the sight of all south Sudanese people except their families who might be upset for the very reason that their mouths have been pulled out of the cow-teat where milk was flowing.

Otherwise no any prudent man and woman who loves and wants to see south Sudanese lives in peace and harmony, prosper and progress decently wish to put our own lives in danger.

They have thrushed themselves out. Their final end would be determined by the people of south Sudan who have, for bloody eight years, entrusted these selfish politicians to run all the affairs of the country in which that trust that only became a disaster to them.

The people of south Sudan became victims of their trust and confidence they bestowed on these useless, greedy and selfish leaders.

They have debilitated and defaced their good decorum in the sights and hearts of the people of south Sudan.

Their debility and deceitful debauchery as leaders from the ruling and governing party, have severely become a disaster deplored and detested by all the people of good will in south Sudan and around the world.

Acting without ordinary courtesy, these oligarchs, with their rude and vulgar, unconstitutionally and extremely agitated such unbearable conditions at a time when our people should have been allowed a chance to taste the dividends and fruits of peace and development.

The group runs amok of all the mechanisms of solving the interior misunderstandings within the party and they decided to launch uncivilized means of addressing issues at party level.

Gone are the days, not only in South Sudan but even in Africa and other parts of the world at large when power is sought to be taken by use of force contrarily to the established legal and constitutional rules in the country.

These so-called SPLM inner-circles became now outer-circles by their own greedy and indelicate making inconceivable to comprehend of how the hell did this happen and because of the trust bestowed on them by the very people they have led down in the shadow for bloody eight years as ministers and governors both in the regional and national governments.

All the credits and veneration they have earned first as fighters in the bush and in the government as lead ministers have been qualm by sudden feelings of doubts, distrusts and uneasiness both in the sights and hearts of the people of south Sudan.

It would thoroughly be a high time for the party to restructure itself and posit those competent, capable, energetic, committed and patriotic youth not picked in the shadow of any leader in the party as it used to be, to such departments in the party to reshape and win the lost confidence of our masses back to the party.

Should we continue the same mechanisms which were employed and used by those failed and corrupt leaders, I think our party would lose all its little left credit.

It is high time to serve this little credit left scrambling. It is utmost time to restore the lost trust back to its usual place.

Never allow those inimical oligarchs to infest our dearest party and reign higher. Never allow those mafias to head high at the expense of our people.

Never let these Mafiosi consume ravenously for they will deviously crown themselves and detract us back time and again.

Tong Kot is a Member of SPLM and a Practicing Legal Counsel at Deng & Co. Advocates and could be reached at:

IGAD’s Inadequate Strategy in South Sudan


In a recent article published in various websites titled, “Solutions to South Sudan political problems lies in new blood”, I hinted that IGAD seems to be ignorant of South Sudan’s political problems. More and more this appears to be the case.

IGAD’s approach to solve the problems of South Sudan in the last few days reveals a shocking lack of a clear thought out strategy to address the problems of South Sudan. In fact IGAD does not have any credible strategy and what it is doing is a copy and paste job using the template of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the SPLM and the Sudan government of 2005.

It should be noted here that the context of the CPA was different from the present situation in South Sudan and therefore it is inappropriate to extrapolate. Please see, “Former SPLM detainees excluded from South Sudan peace talks.”

This surely does not bode well for peace given the fact that the outcome of the comprehensive peace agreement has left a sour taste in the mouths of the various parties in both the Sudan and South Sudan.

In the Sudan, the issues of Blue Nile state, South Kordufan state and Abyei remain largely unresolved with continuing immeasurable loss of lives.

In South Sudan, the people of Panthou, Kafia Kingi and other disputed border areas are left confused with undefined status.

In both countries, the agreement entrenched vested interest at the expense of the people. The National Congress Party in the Sudan became stronger giving president Omar Bashir an extended lease of rule and the Sudan People Liberation Movement in South Sudan monopolised power.

Applying the CPA strategy in the current case of South Sudan suggests the people of South Sudan are yet again being sacrificed to appease the warring factions of the SPLM only.

This means the men of violence are being rewarded and they will obviously once more be the only beneficiaries and not the people of South Sudan.

This can not be right morally and in principle.

What the IGAD leaders do not see is that they are directly encouraging South Sudanese law abiding citizens to take the route of violence to solve the problems of the country as this is the only method that is recognised, incentivised and can yield visible results.

The over 20,000 innocent lives lost in the ethnic cleansing, over 80,000 potential government targets in protection camps of UN within the country, over 250,000 South Sudanese who crossed the borders as refugees and the nearly a million internally displaced citizens created by president Kiir and the SPLM’s direct mismanagement of the country seem to mean nothing at all to IGAD.

To them, it is the SPLM, the very culprit that matters and not its victims. How sad and heart breaking to see an African body that is supposedly to improve the region stoop so low as to lend credence to racist views that Africans are savages because they do not value life and justice.

Take for example, in Bosnia only the Serbs initially killed less than five hundred people and the Western powers rightly intervened to stop more loss of lives.

In the case of South Sudan, President Kiir’s tribal militia killed over twenty thousand innocent lives (children, women, elderly, disabled and the sick in hospitals), yet IGAD as an African body which should value African lives is ignoring these mass killings in favour of reviving the monstrous SPLM.

One can not help but think that IGAD representing its member countries is more interested in short term stability of South Sudan to enable its member states to fortify their economies from the only engine that fuels growth in the region.

It is not a secret that since 2005, the IGAD countries that border South Sudan have grown their economies astronomically because of South Sudan’s oil and open market.

In South Sudan, Kenya controls the entire banking sector and also a large share of the market in essential processed commodities.

Ethiopia controls the catering, hotels and hospitality industry.

Uganda controls the transport industry, essential food industry including processed goods.

The Sudan, the former colonial power is extorting billions of dollars as payment for transportation of the oil to Port Sudan for export. The amount of charges the Sudan levies on South Sudan is about 8 folds of the normal internationals charges per barrel.

Somalis control the fuel and forex bureaux industries.

In the social field, all these countries almost equally share the sex (prostitution) industry which is worth millions of dollars annually.

In this massive booming trade, South Sudan gains nothing as most of the foreign companies barely pay any taxes to the authorities and yet its indigenous labour force remain unemployed with sexual transmitted diseases spreading like wild fire throughout the country.

Technically, South Sudan is haemorrhaging money daily with no benefit to its people.

It is understandable that these countries would like to protect their economies and political stability but this should not be at the expense of the people of the very country that makes them prosper.

South Sudan needs these countries as much as they need South Sudan. So, it does not matter who is in power in Juba. There will always be business due to interdependency in this region.

The prudent thing for IGAD to do is to work for a lasting solution so that the entire region develops and grows peacefully.

For a lasting peace to happen IGAD needs to bin its current twin track plan which involves the CPA strategy and the rebuilding of the SPLM.

The CPA strategy as shown above will only rejuvenate the monstrous SPLM to tighten its grip on power while painfully oppressing, pauperising and marginalising the people without ensuring a durable peace in South Sudan and the region.

The second track according to H.E. Desalegn, the Ethiopian prime minister, is to resurrect the imploded SPLM. Desalgn says in Sudan Tribune of 8th April 2014, “I am convinced that once the SPLM party dispute is resolved, the national problems by and large will be resolved.”

This is lamentable. Rebuilding the SPLM as a solution shows how the IGAD is totally out of touch and ignorant of the realities of South Sudan.

The SPLM is the real cancer eating up South Sudan. Reviving it is tantamount to reconstituting the menacing machine that greatly posed danger to South Sudan and the region pre-15th December 2013.

Why does anybody want to revive a tribally based organisation that has plunged South Sudan and the entire region into turmoil?

Does this make sense? Has IGAD not learnt a lesson yet from the current crisis? The present mess going on in the region right now is because of an SPLM that was united. An SPLM that we warned the world about.

Please see, ‘To achieve peace in South Sudan SPLM/A must be scrapped’ and ‘South Sudan needs intensive care.’

Paradoxically though, the best thing that has happened to South Sudan is the implosion of the SPLM because it presents a unique opportunity for the political problems of South Sudan to be resolved once and for all.

SPLM’s current fragmented form should be accepted and let its various factions on their own without IGAD’s tinkering find their own political niche in the country.

Let those factions which can survive make it and let those which cannot survive perish. The law of nature should be allowed to take its own course on this issue of SPLM. After all it is already an organisation on the wane.

Which brings us to the question: what should the solution be?

As argued elsewhere and unanimously welcomed by citizens, South Sudan needs an interim government and such a government should be realised by bringing all the stakeholders to Addis Ababa to democratically work out who should lead the country to prepare it for peaceful elections.

South Sudanese know their problems far better than those bureaucrats of IGAD and its leaders. This is an important point that IGAD must value and register.

The prescription made by Ethiopian prime minister Desalegn to revive the SPLM as a solution to the problems of the country is not born out of sound knowledge and reality of South Sudan.

It is a belief formulated out of hearsay and certainly it will not work nor bring peace as he claims. It is the worst thing any well meaning person can do and all South Sudanese know it.

This would not be the first time that the SPLM would have been revived. It revived itself numerous times with support of the church during the liberation war in the Sudan and also prior to the signing of the CPA to no avail.

It faltered and imploded yet again on 15th December 2013. The reason for SPLM’s constant troubles is simple. The foundation is wrong. The culture of the organisation is laced with tribalism, intolerance, violence, corruption and sexism.

So, no matter how much IGAD tries to patch it with plasters, the wounds are gangrenous and will not heal. The only solution, as doctors do in such cases is to amputate.

So why does IGAD want to patch a hopeless wound?

While we say we know our problems, this does not mean we do not have blind spots for outsiders like IGAD to see and point out.

Yes, we do and where our weakness is seen by others we appreciate it. The mediation by IGAD is supposed to point out our blind spots and not to prescribe previously tried ineffective approaches.

With this said, we the people of South Sudan unanimously are saying again that we want an interim government and we do not want the current feuding groups because they are members of the same SPLM gangrenous organisation that brought us to where the country is now. It could not be said louder than this.

President Kiir‘s SPLM must not dictate the terms. Its back is already broken.

The reality is that if President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda did not come to his aid, his government by now would be history.

Uganda now holds the balance of power in South Sudan and therefore it has the ability to decide the course of history in South Sudan.

Since Uganda is a member of IGAD, the African Union and the Troika countries should pressurise it to lean on president Kiir to step down to allow an interim government to take over.

If Uganda refuses then the pressure must be brought on her to withdraw her forces immediately from South Sudan to be replaced by an international impartial force and not the PDF (protection and deterrence force) recommended by IGAD for obvious reasons.

If President Kiir continues to refuse to step down from power, then the targeted sanctions issued by President Barack Obama of United States should be beefed up together with indictments of President Kiir’s entire cabinet for the crimes against humanity they are committing daily as we speak on the people of South Sudan.

In light of the above, IGAD has a powerful bargain chip to force president Kiir’s hand to step down peacefully else he faces the wrath of the world.

Given this scenario, there is no need for IGAD to pursue its twin track strategy, but rather it should concentrate on bringing all the stakeholders including the various factions of the SPLM on the table in Addis Ababa to discuss the issue of interim government in good faith.

For this to be fruitful, all the stakeholders (publicly known parties and all known civil society groups) in the country and the Diaspora should be allowed to:
1) freely travel between Addis Ababa and Juba without hindrance
2) speak freely without fear in order to contribute effectively to the process of peace making.
3) be appropriately funded and facilitated with accommodation by the IGAD.

As recommended by the African Union in its latest communiqués on South Sudan, IGAD has a duty to facilitate the talks by funding the stakeholders adequately and using democratic principles to ensure the outcome is acceptable to the people of South Sudan.

To recap, the present twin track strategy of IGAD in operation is not suitable for South Sudan. That is why the talks in Addis Ababa is dragging on unnecessarily prolonging the suffering of the people of South Sudan, especially those in the United Nations protection camps internally and those in refugee camps abroad.

Reviving the SPLM for business as usual is not a solution but regression.

South Sudan cannot afford to be taken back to the oppressive rule of SPLM which has created the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer.

Apparently, President Kiir and his SPLM have indicated their intent to target the Equatorians next starting with their leaders. This is an open secret in the country now.

Therefore, reviving the SPLM is tantamount to giving it the permission to carry out this threat.

By this article I am making this point clear to the world and there should be no excuses when this does happen.

What is needed now is for IGAD to ditch its preferred plan in favour of a realistic approach which is to move the talks straight to the theme of interim government.

Here, it should use whatever experience it has in dealing with negotiations to facilitate the dialogue among all the South Sudanese stakeholders out of which the new leadership shall emerge.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul

Embarrasing South Sudan: UNMISS, GOSS & the duped picketers

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, APR/08/2014, SSN;

With no question, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), like South Sudanese civilians, has had it rough for the last few months. And this can be blamed on a number of factors. Regrettably, some of these factors include the following: UNMISS officials’ negligence, naivety; South Sudanese officials’ incompetence and vain arrogance; ignorance and blind support among South Sudanese populace. All these have the effect of embarrassing South Sudan.

When operating in a post-conflict environment, it’s imperative that one takes into consideration the ease with which politics can smell of militancy. Political rhetorics can easily turn into bullets with Jesuit fervor.

It’s therefore crucial that UN agencies take absolute care when it comes to their operations in countries that are prone to what economist Collier calls ‘traps.’

With that in mind, it’s very dangerous for UNMISS to allow room for recklessness; such as wrong labelling of military hardware. While mistakes are human, it’s very important that UNMISS does everything with surgical precision.

UNMISS has of course expressed regret regarding the wrong labelling, however, no one is going to rebuke it for carelessness and negligence. While South Sudanese government and uninformed South Sudanese citizens took the matter to uncritical and naïve proportions, it’s crucial to remember that UNMISS did a terrible mistake they should be castigated for.

Hervé Ladsous, UN Under-Secretary for Peace Keeping Operations, harshly criticized South Sudan government at the UN Security Council for its treatment of UNMISS staff and its head, Hilde F. Johnson.

While South Sudanese government acted with devilish immaturity, it’s important to note that UNMISS needs to account for its own mistakes as it’s headed by human beings, not some flawless robots.

Besides, Ladsous, Johnson and UN should note that South Sudan is not a country with 500 years of democratic tradition and liberal principles under its belt. Lack of experience and trauma of war let these officials down.

While there’s no excuse for the harsh treatment of UNMISS staff, UN officials should remember that South Sudanese officials need help rather than being criticized like officials of countries in the caliber of United Kingdom, United States or France.

UN officials should put into consideration the existing realities because we live in a real world. Embarrassing South Sudan in the manner Ladsous did is not only irresponsible; it also fails to put into consideration the recent past of the country.

I’m not excusing them here but, believe me, these blokes, as Australians would say, need help! All the folks, the ‘leaders’ in Juba, need help! They don’t understand the value of criticism! It beats me why but they just don’t!

Government of South Sudan
No one will ever question the fact that South Sudanese officials speak first then think later. The leaders are so fixed on the idea that what happened on December 15, 2013 was a coup attempt and anyone who says otherwise is either a rebel or an enemy of South Sudan.

This is the twisted mentality that’s ruling South Sudan. And it’s the same twisted mentality young South Sudanese have assumed. Oh Deng Pakeny (my clan’s, Adhiok rain-god) help South Sudan!

While the officials have every right to be upset regarding the wrong labeling given the fact that the country is at war, the way the officials handled the issue of UNMISS trucks in Rumbek, Lakes State, is embarrassing.

Given the way the president and some of his officials publicly lashed out at the UNMISS and its head, it’s no brainer the government was going to do all it can to prove its hypothesis about UNMISS.

When the trucks that were wrongly labelled were seized, the government didn’t wait for an investigation to find out what exactly happened and who did it. It’s conceivable that GOSS can do that to embarrass UNMISS.

With great fanfare, the determined officials took their cameras with their propaganda South Sudan Television (SSTV) to show the world the supposed proofs that UNMISS was supporting Dr. Riek Machar and his forces. These officials jumped to conclusion without investigating first.

This action has cost South Sudan enormously. We’ve lost the confidence of our most important allies; especially those who helped us realize South Sudan independence.

South Sudan is now desperate; signing agreements with ‘devils’ as Ethiopian foreign minister said. The officials and the government have embarrassed us enough.

Duped Picketers
South Sudanese are intelligent people. That’s unquestionable. However, when it comes to tribal and political allegiance, their intelligence is sacrificed or shelved.

While some of the South Sudanese who demonstrated against UNMISS and Ms. Hilde Johnson really believe in the truth professed by the government of South Sudan, some picketers were demonstrating out of tribal allegiance.

The former picketers are a mere herd who go where leaders tell them to go. They have no sense of mental independence and critical thinking. Truth, to them, is what the government says.

The latter group knows the government’s nonsense; however, they are imprisoned by their tribal allegiance to a point of stupid belligerence.

While the former group has no idea what it was saying, because some of them called for the exit of UNMISS from South Sudan, the latter group only wanted the exit of Ms. Johnson.

I can even agree with those calling for Johnson to call it quits because her working relationship with the GOSS is completely destroyed. Restoring it will be next to impossible.

However, those calling for UNMISS to leave South Sudan are just clueless Martians.
Before calling for UNMISS to leave South Sudan, these poor souls should have considered a number of things:

• During this tragedy, a number of our innocent civilians took (and some are still taking) shelter at various UNMISS compounds.
• Do these picketers still believe we can dismiss UNMISS from South Sudan and still be members of United Nations?
• Do these picketers know that it’s the same UN that is and will feed our brothers, sisters, mothers, uncles, aunts… in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan?
• Do these picketers know that being an independent country comes with responsibility in order to fit in with sovereign nations…to be assisted through development?

It’s sad to remember that these picketers take South Sudan to be the sayer of the truth they hold dear. However, I don’t blame these people much because they don’t know any better.

Those I blame is the government that mislead them and the educated tribalists who misplace the contents of their minds.

Those who only called for the exit of Johnson without calling for the exit of UNMISS are right in some ways because they see the importance of UNMISS; and the difference between individuals and organizations.

However, there’s one embarrassing fact they overlook. And this comes with the fact that tribal allegiance and support for the GOSS is more important than the lives of South Sudanese.

None of these people demonstrated when civilians were massacred in Juba, Bor, Akobo, Malakal, Bentiu and all the areas affected by the current crisis. None of these people demonstrated when Murle raiders butcher innocent civilians in Twi Country, Bor County and Duk County in Jonglei state.

None of these people demonstrate when civilians butcher themselves in Northern Bhar El Ghazal, Lakes State and Warap State. None of these people demonstrated when government opened fire on civilians like what happened in Wau in 2012.

None of them dare to demonstrate to show the government that displaced civilians are eating wild roots and leaves.

It’s embarrassing for South Sudanese to demonstrate against UNMISS (which has done a lot of good for us) in support of a government that’s destroyed our country, and don’t demonstrate against the massacres of innocent South Sudanese all over South Sudan and the utter destruction the rebels have caused in the three eastern states of South Sudan.

Is the support of the government more important than thousands of innocent lives? One demonstration in support of the displaced souls and for the lost lives would be honorable.

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese author living in Canada. He’s the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically. For contact, visit END

Solution oriented conversations with Lt-Gen. Alfred Ladu Gore


“We will continue the struggle until we release South Sudan and establish the rule of law. You know African leaders. You know they are the most bankrupt. You know they don’t understand abstract issues which have to be translated into reality. They are either uneducated or people who do not care. They just want to perpetuate their own interests. So their countries continue to be underdeveloped even after so many years. The countries are stagnated and there is nothing good about their leadership. What they are doing is fundamentally wrong. It is morally wrong.”

Those were the words of Lieutenant General Ladu Gore in response to a number of specific questions I asked him after reaching him by phone in Addis Ababa recently, Ethiopia where the IGAD mediated peace talks between the government of South Sudan under the leadership of Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA) in Opposition had become deadlocked on March 3, 2014 while the ordinary people of South Sudan continued to suffer the most abhorrent forms of human rights violations!

I was delighted to learn that Lieutenant General Ladu Gore was now involved in the peace talks because the people of South Sudan couldn’t have a more democratic member of the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition to fight for their rights.

I had reached out to Lieutenant General Ladu Gore because I knew his tenacity to fight for the ordinary people.

Anyone who went to our Alma Mater, the National University of Lesotho in Southern Africa, during and immediately following Lieutenant General Ladu Gore’s time there as a young university student heard about the “firebrand” makwerekwere who fought for “the people’s” rights.

During his time at the university, Lieutenant General Ladu Gore took on the abusive Basotho National Party Youth League and prevailed over the contemptuous young bullies!

Makwerekwere is a Sotho slang for foreigners and members of the ruling Basotho National Party Youth League had state sanctioned power to bully and terrorize everyone in the country of Lesotho but Ladu Gore would have none of that.

His tenacity to fight the roguery that existed at our Alma Mater is the same tenacity he brings to the current fight to the death to rescue South Sudan from crooks.

“So we are insisting that there should be an interim government to set up all the democratic institutions in order to ensure that next time, the elections will not be rigged. We must have a fundamentally important constitution that will guarantee the future of the country.”

Those were the “Trump Cards” I wanted to hear because they were decisive. They would determine if South Sudan becomes a model for the rest of Africa, another perverted so-called democratic African country or a fiasco.

They would also determine if the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition are fighting Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and his cronies for actual democracy or deceiving the people of South Sudan and the world for purposes of installing themselves in power and continuing the abuse their “Liberation Party” cooperatively meted on many of their members and other South Sudanese until their shameful infighting became very public.

In other words, the people of South Sudan need reassurance that the current outlaws won’t be replaced by another set from amongst the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition!

During my phone conversations with Lieutenant General Ladu Gore, the sadness in his voice for the battered ordinary people of South Sudan was apparent.

It was the same emotion he conveyed during his campaign for the governorship of Central Equatoria State titled “Fundamental Change” which connotes a total overhaul of “systems” that perpetuate the monocracy that is to blame for pitting South Sudanese against each other instead of celebrating their cultural and tribal diversities.

Lieutenant General Ladu Gore’s campaign for the governorship of Central Equatoria State dubbed “Fundamental Change” occurred in 2010, as the people of South Sudan contemplated seceding from Sudan.

However, the issues he sought to redress persist to this day because the current government is not a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

That time, Lieutenant General Ladu Gore captivated the people of Central Equatoria State with his election manifesto that promised vital change in South Sudan.

He had a “larger than life” vision for Central Equatoria and South Sudan at the time and that vision remains unshaken despite the current carnage and disruption to the building of a great nation!

“I want to make life better. And that is the change everyone needs and deserves,” Lieutenant General Ladu Gore offered during one of his campaigns while specifically promising a better quality of life, security, the rule of law, freedom from nepotism, good governance, unity of the people, employment, economic development, social services, housing and infrastructure, rural development, agriculture and food security, empowerment of women and achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs).

I have no doubt in my mind that the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition will prevail over Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and his cronies but their actions in relation to Lieutenant General Ladu Gore’s conviction to install an interim government tasked with setting up rock-solid democratic institutions and an equally rock-solid constitution to guarantee the future of South Sudan will be the definitive test that determines whether they are in this fight to the death to save South Sudan or to perpetuate their own interests!

A democracy is a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Consequently, if the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition is indeed fighting for democracy, they should consent to “the people” constituting an interim government of their designation without interference.

In other words, the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition is at a crossroads and its members have the power to save South Sudan and prevent it from total collapse in a ludicrous and humiliating way.

They can align their actions with the sophistication of Lieutenant General Ladu Gore who backs “the people” in constituting an interim government of their choice or they can emasculate the democracy they are currently “showing off” to the world in their infighting by bullying and murdering their way into becoming that interim government by force!

By backing the people of South Sudan in their wish for an interim government of their determination, the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition will be doing an unprecedented and heroic thing in Africa.

They will be setting themselves apart from Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and his cronies and the contemptible “Banana Republics” that have devastated Africa since so-called independence from colonial powers.

Otherwise, members of the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition will automatically become contemptible cons despised by the people of South Sudan and the world.

Furthermore, their current uprising will be confirmed as the fraud disparagers thought it was all along. They will have blood on their hands and it will be their fault if South Sudan descends into anarchy and/or collapses as an otherwise great sovereign nation.

Lieutenant General Ladu Gore’s vision dubbed “Fundamental Change” is precisely what is now needed in South Sudan and the point of the interim government that is being proposed by “the people” and supported by Lieutenant General Ladu Gore himself is to establish the rule of law, erect proper democratic institutions and sculpt a solid constitution that protects all South Sudanese including members of the SPLM/SPLA in Government and in Opposition.

With a solid constitution, democracy will be guaranteed and South Sudanese interested in running for elected office including the SPLM/SPLA in Government and in Opposition can stand for elections without being bullied and rigged out of elected positions the same way Lieutenant General Ladu Gore was rigged out of the elected position of Governor of Central Equatoria by Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and his cronies.

Moreover such a constitution will guarantee the future of the country and proper democracy as Lieutenant General Ladu Gore himself avows.

Without rock-solid democratic institutions and an equally rock-solid constitution “owned” by all South Sudanese, there will be no end to South Sudan’s deadly game of “Russian Roulette!”

Instituting an interim government with highly skilled individuals is the only solution for averting total collapse.

It will ensure that South Sudan rises from the genocidal ashes, becomes a prototype for the rest of Africa and puts Africa’s “Banana Republics” to shame!

For the sake of South Sudan, the country the SPLM/SPLA “birthed” into existence, I hope that its members understand and agree that an interim government with highly skilled individuals is what is needed for their “baby” to morph into a beautiful “butterfly” with 64 beautiful colours signifying the beautiful tribes of South Sudan instead of it remaining an ugly, crippled and crawling “caterpillar” because of injuries inflicted by the very SPLM/SPLA that should be nurturing it.

I also hope that instead of fighting the suffering people of South Sudan, the SPLM/SPLA in Government and in Opposition colligate with them and support their wishes for an interim government so that they can be hailed as heroes instead of villains.

An interim government of “the people’s” fortitude will definitely pave the way for all parties including a “clean” and “repaired” SPLM/SPLA to run for democratic elections because individuals being proposed for the interim government are very learned and principled citizens of South Sudan.

It is a formidable task to build a country from scratch and/or lug it from the gutters that is why an interim government with highly skilled and learned individuals is paramount.

Needless to say, there are also advantages to building a country’s foundations from scratch because “the people” guided by the highly skilled and learned individuals being proposed for an interim government can sculpt a constitution any way South Sudanese choose.

Who says that South Sudan cannot be a federation of 3 states, 10 states or 64 states united by a common love for South Sudan if that is what “the people” choose?

Who says that South Sudan cannot have 3, 10, 64 leaders and a rotating Presidency if it will avert bloodshed and guarantee sustainable peace?

The people of South Sudan have been violated enough! They need to be protected from louts purporting to fight for democracy and then morphing into despicable outlaws too.

It is for this reason that I felt the need to hear Lieutenant General Ladu Gore’s vision for South Sudan and prescription for the ongoing bloodbath in South Sudan from him directly and he didn’t disappoint me.

It is for the same reason that I am challenging the rest of the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition to emulate Lieutenant General Ladu Gore’s conviction, love of democracy, love for the ordinary people of South Sudan and contempt for abuse.

The suffering people of South Sudan need the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition to demonstrate in no uncertain terms that they are in this fight to the death for actual democracy and not just to perpetuate their own interests!

“We are now in the heat of the struggle. It has not been easy but you know the ordeal I had two months ago in which I had to walk from Juba to Bentiu – a distance of 600 kilometers. At my age if I can walk that incredible distance, what is it that can defeat me? I had to do that. If I had not done that, I would not be talking to you. Salva Kiir would have lynched me. In fact that was the whole reason behind launching the genocide so that all those he perceived as critics or opponents would disappear.”

Lieutenant General Ladu Gore was referring to the 27 days it took him to walk from Juba to Bentiu starting on December 16, 2013, a day after the bloodbath that ensued following the so-called coup.

Bentiu was where a large contingent of the SPLA in Opposition was located and Lieutenant General Ladu Gore went there to regroup.

I think he realizes that you are a very strong candidate. He knows that you are a formidable opponent, I interjected, laughing hard as I recalled and jested about the stories I heard about Lieutenant General Ladu Gore at our Alma Mater, the National University of Lesotho.

The determined Ladu Gore had sent the abusive Basotho National Party Youth League terrorizing people on the university campus running to their “godfather” Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan with their tails between their legs!

“Yeah. Very well. Hmmm. Very well. He knows that well”, Lieutenant General Ladu Gore had replied before continuing.

“That is why he wants to get rid of us. You know. Some of us. But we will not allow that to happen,” he stressed.

Lieutenant General Ladu Gore is definitely on the side of “the people” and for him this fight to the death to rescue South Sudan is not about grabbing power. It is about changing people’s lives for the better.

He is a citizen of the world and he could easily have retreated to a pleasant opulent life in a peaceful country but he chose to brave the farinaceous wilderness of South Sudan so that South Sudanese could first attain independence and then enjoy the civil liberties relished by the South Sudan Diaspora in developing countries including the Troika countries (United States of America, Norway and the United Kingdom).

He is choosing to continue suffering with the people of South Sudan until they are free from the rule of terror. This self-sacrificial attitude speaks volumes about Lieutenant General Ladu Gore’s character.

Without a doubt, he cares very deeply about the people of South Sudan and the rest of Africa and he is determined to win rights for them by force if he has to.

It is my hope that every member of the SPLM/SPLA in Government and in Opposition will reflect very deeply about what is happening in South Sudan and emerge from that reflection as a cheerleader supporting an interim government with highly skilled individuals instead of “forcing” their own “collective” on “the people”.

That way, South Sudan can morph from the current ugly, crippled and crawling “caterpillar” into a beautifully coloured butterfly comprising of all the 64 beautiful tribes of South Sudan.

I strongly believe that Lieutenant General Ladu Gore’s prescription for sustainable peace and fundamental change in South Sudan is the solution for South Sudan provided that all the members of the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition also rally behind it.

There is ample evidence to show that Salvatore Kiir and his cronies have arrested South Sudan’s development. They seem to be satisfied with the mediocrity of a very ugly “caterpillar” but their lack of vision doesn’t mean that South Sudan should stay that way.

There are myriads of South Sudanese like Lieutenant General Ladu Gore who can be trusted to facilitate fundamental change in South Sudan because they care very deeply about people in general but the people of South Sudan in particular.

The country has a lot of visionaries inside the country and in the Diaspora. It has advocates for “the people” and very skilled individuals to steer the country into the beautiful African paradise and success story it is meant to be.

The only requisite condition is the interim government being proposed. Lieutenant General Ladu Gore supports an interim government of National Unity and so should the other members of the SPLM/SPLA in Government and in Opposition.

That is the only way they will reassure “the people” that they are not a bunch of wolves in sheep’s skins pretending to fight for democracy.

In an article titled “Machar says differences with Kiir not a power struggle,” Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon alluded to championing democracy as well.

“For me and us, the question is not who leads the country, but on the contrary, how do we lead our nation? This is what made me run up against solid-wall opposition from Salva Kiir,” Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon is said to have declared.

In the same article, he is also said to have accused Salvatore Kiir of “tragically hijacking” the whole nation, its wealth, the army and the ruling party (SPLM)” while stressing that “the people of South Sudan were the owners of the land and its wealth, thus they deserved constitutional order, the rule of law as well as free and fair elections.”

This is why Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon and the rest of the members of the SPLM/SPLA in Government and in Opposition need to “walk the talk” and not just “talk the walk!”

The IGAD mediated peace talks between the government of South Sudan under the leadership of Salvatore Kiir Mayardit and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA) in Opposition resumed on March 25, 2014 but they became gridlocked again.

However, if the SPLM/SPLA in Opposition rallies behind an interim government of the people, by the people, for the people and the people of South Sudan present a unified front in that regard, IGAD may not be needed after all.

Information about Lieutenant General Ladu Gore’s “Fundamental Change” campaign is located at
The article titled “Machar says differences with Kiir not a power struggle” is located at
Margaret Akulia is co-author of the sequel Idi Amin: Hero or Villain? His son Jaffar Amin and other people speak.
She brings to the South Sudan dialogue a multidisciplinary professional background including but not limited to “grassroots activism”.
Additional information at

The solution to South Sudan’s political problems lies in new blood


The solution to the gross failure of governance in RSS is simply not only a problem of replacing President Salva Kiir with other SPLM leaders. It goes further than that. It entails honesty and the ‘will’ to confront the reality of the ugly things that have taken place in the country in order to set South Sudan on the right track under the most suitable leaders.

For this to happen there needs to be a genuine acceptance from all the South Sudanese political actors, especially those participating in the peace talks in Addis Ababa; the mediators and the international community to face the truth that the real problem of South Sudan is SPLM itself.

The people of South are in the mess they are in today because of the SPLM. It is a destructive organisation. The deep social, economic and political problems of South Sudan have their roots in the ugly culture of the SPLM, its amorphous structures, tribalism, absence of positive values and the lack of duty of care.

The IGAD mediators appear to be ignorant of the SPLM as an organisation and its ability to constantly produce chaos. Surely, if IGAD has had any idea, its mediators would not be recommending the group of seven senior SPLM leaders bailed to Kenya for leadership of the country in the interim period.

According to Upper Nile Times, IGAD ‘proposed an interim government that shall run for 3 years, and headed by a neutral body preferably from the group of 7 former detainees whom have been recently rejected by the government delegation as “not part of the conflict”.’

This is a gross error of judgement from the mediators and a display of ignorance about South Sudan political problems that the IGAD is supposed to know and address. If ignorance is not an issue here then collusion is, in which case SPLM in Opposition stance is vindicated.

Riek’s group has consistently spoken about the double standards of IGAD. On one hand it is a neutral mediator and on the other it is a warring party in the conflict on the side of South Sudan government through Uganda armed forces. T

he question then is: how can IGAD be an impartial, objective and a fair body in brokering peace in South Sudan?

Why have the South Sudanese demanded for an interim period in the mediation talks?

With all the tragic background of ethnic cleansing conducted by president Kiir and the SPLM itself, South Sudanese painfully see the talks as a unique opportunity to put things right in the country.

The over whelming majority of South Sudanese want to see all those who have driven the country to the gutters relieved from their positions for a fresh group of leaders to takeover and rescue the country.

It is about a new conscious political blood taking over to end the culture of militarism and impunity once and for all to enable a lasting peace and prosperity in South Sudan and the region.

The Blue Prints for such a government fortunately have been submitted to IGAD already by the various South Sudanese professional sand Equatorian stakeholders. If IGAD wants to succeed in brokering a lasting peace, then it must look at these documents again.

Given the foregoing, IGAD should not even think of proposing an SPLM government, leave alone one of their leaders whether they be from Kiir’s group, or Riek’s group or the group of seven for the interim period.

This act in itself is not only undemocratic but it silences the voices of the people and shuts out the wishes of South Sudanese people.

IGAD is supposed to be a forum where South Sudanese begin to exercise their democratic rights to solve their problems and not an instructive and prescriptive forum.

Is it acceptable for any of the so called group of 7 leaders to manage the country in the interim period? To do justice to them it is only fair to justify why they would not be acceptable to South Sudanese.

It is highly debatable whether any of these ‘leaders’ can make a change as the problem is one of culture of SPLM as an organisation. The attributes of this organisation does not give any hope.

For example, SPLM/A is imbued with violence, corruption, lawlessness, extreme discrimination, tribalism, impunity and so on. These attributes over the past three decades have become ingrained in the psyche of all the SPLM members and their organisation.

What is remarkable is that in SPLM’s entire life span no one has challenged the practice of abuse of power and human rights in the organisation. All the rebellions in this organisation are related to the issue of self determination and access to power.

Strangely, no one in this organisation is concerned about abuse of governance and human rights. This is a topic by itself which we shall soon have to deal with.

Each SPLM group uses the word democracy to either entrench itself in power or to gain it. Rebecca Nyandeng was honest when she said, “We talk of democracy but we do not know, what shape of that animal it is and we run away when we see it.”

The word democracy thus to them is a vehicle to achieve ends but in reality none of them truly believe in it. So what they all know very well is authoritarianism.

The negative attributes of this organisation is deeply ingrained in its structures. The members do not know anything other than the SPLM way. Yet it is the SPLM way that has driven the country to the current chaos and if not stopped it will drive the country to total destruction.

Hence, the support for the group of seven SPLM leaders by IGAD for leadership of the country does not hold any rational or justification. None of these people has the qualities of leadership.

None has demonstrated appropriate leadership in protecting the resources and people of South Sudan since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement came into operation in 2005.

Additionally, it must be remembered that SPLM is the main generator of the problems and as it is the crucial part of the problems it can not be impartial.

The inescapable truth is that the SPLM leaders (of the various factions and the warring ones now) collectively and individually failed the people of South Sudan.

For the sake of clarity let us look at the group of seven individually in a brief manner.

John Luk – he is the architect of the tyrannical constitution that president Kiir is using freely now to oppress and discriminate the people. He contested the April 2010 general election but he failed. His own constituency had no confidence in him. President Kiir at the time was his friend.

As a result president Kiir imposed him on the electorate by appointing him into the parliament as an MP. President Kiir further rewarded him with a ministerial position as minister of justice.

In his tenure he, John Luk, swore never to see anyone investigated for corruption. Please see, ‘President Kiir’s pedantic tricks in the SPLM Oyee machine.’

Ahmed Alor – he is the cog that ensured the tyrannical system ran smoothly in the interest of the Jieng. As a cabinet minister, he initiated jointly with Sadiq El Mahadi of the Umma Party the sell-out of South Sudan through the ‘four freedoms’ which later got planted into the cooperation agreement with the Sudan. Please see, ‘Smeagol wooing the blind Oyee party: the “four freedoms” in favour of Arab Sudan.’

Ahmed is untrustworthy due to his history, and worse still he is a master of corruption.

Gier Chuang – as a commander during the war with Khartoum he is alleged to have executed children by firing squad without any due process. The crime of his victims was desertion from front line. What a callous commander!

As a minister of interior he oversaw the rampant mushrooming of crimes throughout the country. He allowed Arthur Akuen Chol, the then minister of finance to break free from detention without ensuring prosecution of the same for crimes against the state.

Neither Chol nor the thugs who violently freed him were arrested for violation of the law and state properties. To date these thugs are free.

Chuang and Kuol Manyang Juuk triggered the bloody rebellion of Gen. George Athor because they simply hated the late Athor’s guts. Chuang like Ahmed Alor is a master of corruption.

Tong Mayay – the dismissed governor of Lakes State. He was legitimately elected to the gubernatorial post. However, he failed to govern the state appropriately. As a result Lakes State was unsafe and next to Jonglei on matters of law and order. Like his colleagues, he too was corrupt and nepotistic.

Kosti Manibe – he contested for an MP seat in the April 2010 general elections but he failed. He was appointed into the parliament by president Kiir and later appointed minister of finance. His only crime is not to speak out at all, not even in self defence. Kosti is guilty by association. He allowed himself to be used and abused by the system.

Cirino Hiteng – has no constituency support. Former minister of Sports and culture, Cirino was imposed on the people by the late Dr John Garang and later on by president Kiir. Used by the system, Cirino is alleged to be involved in massive corruption.

Madut Biar Yel – former minister of telecommunication. Yel is a committed member of the SPLM. Like the others he is allegedly nepotistic and corrupt.

From this sketchy description of the group of 7, it is clear they do not have what it takes to be leaders for this current tumultuous South Sudan. They can not be substitute leaders. They do not also have what it takes to rescue South Sudan from the current serious problems they created.

So business as usual is unacceptable simply because SPLM as an organisation has no workable structures like other healthy organisations to sense, feel and restrain itself as demonstrated by its three decades of existence.

It has already been established that SPLM is a pathological organisation that is now in a state of self destruction. Thus it is incapable of change.

SPLM will need years of intensive internal reform to heal itself. Therefore, it can not lead or manage South Sudan without endangering itself, the country and the neighbouring countries. For this reason it should do the honourable thing – bow out of the interim period.

Therefore, the solution as stated above lies in new blood. The Former Presidential Advisor Tijwok Agwet who is now with the SPLM in Opposition argues that the Equatorians should rise to the challenge and assume power.

Who then are some of the people who might be deemed capable to lead South Sudan out of the current mess?

After careful survey of the political space of South Sudan so far there are five suitable candidates for the interim period. These are, Justice Peter Sule, Hon. Dr Richard Mulla, Dr Luara Nyantung, Bishop Paride Taban and Dr Olivia Lomoro.

Other suitable candidates include Dr Lam Akol, and Gen. Alfred Ladu Gore and many more. Unfortunately the latter two current associations with the SPLM disqualify them from the interim period for the reasons already given. Nevertheless they should consider to throw-in their hats into the ring after the interim period.

Any of the suggested 5 without doubt will be acceptable to the majority of South Sudanese as interim leader of the country due to their varied contributions, extensive professional experiences in the world of work, education and standing in the society as a whole.

For the sake of proper political reform, peace, prosperity and good neighbourliness IGAD should look towards these gentlemen and gentle ladies as a solution.

Therefore the mechanism for realisation of an interim government led by any of these competent individuals requires the full operation of the concept of stakeholder participation.

Fortunately enough this is already agreed in principle by African Union and IGAD in their various communiqués. What is needed now is for IGAD and the international community to facilitate the attendance of all the stakeholders in South Sudan and in the Diaspora to partake in the talks in Addis Ababa to make their choice of the interim government.

This is not too much to ask for given that IGAD is already funding the parties currently in Addis Ababa and what the people of South Sudan are asking for is equal treatment of all the stakeholders.

IGAD should invite all the publicly known political parties individually to join the talks in Addis Ababa without any obstacles placed on their path by the government of president Kiir. After all both president Kiir and Dr Riek claim to be democrats.

Furthermore, the people of South Sudan except the SPLM, genuinely are committed to have a democratic system in the country. So in order for democracy to be realised in South Sudan its implementation should start with the talks in Addis Ababa.

The principles of democracy should be applied in these talks. Which means all the stakeholders must not be constrained in any way by the government of president Kiir or IGAD itself. The various political parties must be free to travel between Juba and Addis Ababa. They must also be free to express themselves without fear.

Unless this is done, the outcome of Addis Ababa talks will be a farce and it will not be long before another catastrophe hits the country.

At the moment, president Kiir’s government has terrorised all the leaders of the other parties in South Sudan to be represented by two persons within the government delegation with clear instruction to tow the government line.

How is this democracy? This is not acceptable and it amounts to a kick in the teeth. For SPLM to gag political leaders in this way beggars believe. The African Union and IGAD must not accept this kind of behaviour from people who call themselves democrats.

In conclusion, IGAD should now abandon its support for any SPLM leaders for the interim period for the reasons given above. It should listen to what South Sudanese want which again has been clearly stated in this piece.

The success of brokering a peace in the country demands the inclusion of all the stakeholders without fail to make the choice of the interim leadership. For this reason it becomes extremely imperative that the participation of all the stakeholders must become a high priority.

In doing this, democratic values must be applied in full as the starting point of introducing genuine democracy in South Sudan.

Anything less than this is unacceptable. The colossal loss of lives and displacement of nearly a million citizens was created by the SPLM and it is unacceptable to allow SPLM to obstruct the participation of stakeholders in solving the mess they created.

It is high time that the Troika and the UN take a lead role in putting these talks back on track. Alternatively they should transfer these talks to a new body if IGAD is struggling to be impartial.

Restoring Peace in South Sudan: An Expert’s Opinion

BY: Jared Genser, USA, MAR/31/2014, SSN;

Just over two years after its birth, South Sudan has plunged into crisis. Last month, only weeks after government and rebels signed a ceasefire agreement, violence reignited in Malakal, in the country’s northeast. Both parties to the conflict accused the other of violating the ceasefire.

Regardless, at least ten people were killed in the incident, the most recent in a series of clashes that have pushed the world’s youngest nation into civil war, threatening to become an all-out conflict, with widespread fighting posing dire consequences.

The optimism that accompanied the country’s independence has diminished since fighting broke out on December 15, 2013, between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to his former vice president Riek Machar.

The roots of this violence can be traced to a power struggle that took on an ethnic element. In July 2013, Kiir fired Machar, who he viewed as a political threat.

With Kiir being Dinka, South Sudan’s largest of more than sixty ethnic groups, and Machar being Nuer, its second-largest, the conflict between the two men took an ethnic tone.

In the days following the outbreak of violence, fighting between Dinka and Nuer escalated and spread across the country, with political leaders and militias betraying their national affiliation in favor of their ethnic identity.

Kiir immediately called the violence a coup attempt by Machar that had been put down by the government. However, on December 16, fighting erupted again, when army commanders loyal to Machar rebelled against the government.

In an effort to quell this violence, both parties attended negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Out of these negotiations came a ceasefire on January 23, 2014.

Hailed as the first step towards ending the conflict, the agreement supposedly paved the way for peace talks.

Subsequently, the ceasefire was violated by both sides less than a month after its adoption.

The South Sudanese people, who fought for independence only to see their country descend into warfare, deserve more than a ceasefire that has no sticking power.

Since December, 739,000 people have been displaced internally and another 196,000 have become refugees. This is on top of a death toll of 10,000 and counting.

Extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, and targeting of individuals based on ethnicity have been widespread.

With a second round of peace talks stalled, the South Sudanese need a cessation of hostilities that is respected by both sides.

The international community was instrumental in the country’s independence. It is time for the international community to step up to restore optimism to South Sudan.

First, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) must be expanded.

Following the outbreak of violence, the Security Council authorized a reinforcement of UNMISS, increasing its size from 7,000 to 12,500.

However, the operation is struggling to protect 80,000 civilians sheltering in its bases. Reinforcements will be useless if peacekeepers’ freedom of movement is restricted.

Although the government has qualms about the UN presence, it should allow the transfer of more personnel and assets.

The East African bloc Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD, on the other hand, has made inroads where the UN has failed.

Going forward, it is critical that they work together and UNMISS be allowed to reach its capacity.

Second, the international community must help South Sudan develop its democratic institutions.

The creation of a new constitution should be supported by advisers from the African Union and other parties who could provide insight on best practices while allowing for civic input in the process.

The constitution-drafting body should first undertake a census, then register voters, and finally hold a constitutional referendum.

Elections, scheduled for 2015, should be contingent on the completion of a constitution.

In the aftermath of Machar’s failed coup, the country currently has no viable opposition parties.

It is essential that parties other than the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Army be able to grow.

Third, conditions must be created to bring the national dialogue to Juba, South Sudan’s capital. Shuttling parties back and forth to Addis Ababa will only prolong what has been a very slow process.

Once an agreement is reached, UN peacekeepers should report violations and ensure accountability for perpetrators.

In the long term, an internationally-supported court to bring justice for crimes committed should be considered. These efforts would promote healing of historical and new wounds.

Reestablishing stability in South Sudan will not be easy, but it is essential that the international community act now to support and protect its youngest member.

Not doing so means further chaos for South Sudan.

Jared Genser is an international human-rights lawyer and editor of The UN Security Council in the Age of Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Why Equatoria supports an Interim Federal Government & a Federal Constitution

BY: Col. (Rtd). Wani Tombe Lako Lokitari, RSS, MAR/29/29/2014, SSN;

Whether people like it or not, Equatoria is always the political game-changer in the politics of South Sudan (SS). Those who argue that Equatoria must become an innocent and unconcerned spectator while history and the political roadmap of SS are being redone, are gravely mistaken.

Others must not confuse the protection of their constitutional posts, with commensurate financial and other privileges, with the selfless struggle for the comprehensive interests of the downtrodden and poverty ridden peoples of SS.

There are some Equatorians holding constitutional posts and other menial constitutional jobs in the presidency, the states, and other ministries in Juba, who think that because they are happy as individuals and families, and therefore by implication, the rest of Equatoria are also happy.

These detached Equatorian constitutional and other post holders in the Sovereign Republic of South Sudan (SRSS) are but selfish others.

The gallant women, men and youth of Equatoria, in the Diaspora and in the SRSS, must understand that it is grossly misleading to jubilate for being placated by a mere appointment of some inward looking handful of Equatorians into the said constitutional and other posts, in the SRSS.

This placation is then peddled as genuine participation of the peoples of Equatoria in the administration of the SRSS.

When men and women take up constitutional posts and treat them as run-of-the-mill jobs, then society must begin to look for some better men and women who do not treat the said posts as run-of-the-mill regular jobs.

Constitutional posts are service delivery jobs to the masses of the peoples. Constitutional jobs are not for earning a living.

Those who want to treat constitutional jobs as income generating activities must look for other professional jobs, or go into business in the private sector.

The notion and practice of constitutional post holders; looting government assets, and then, conspicuously demonstrating these looted assets, to us, the public, in the form of fancy powerful vehicles, jewelries on their wives bodies, tall buildings that they built in Juba, or brothels, and pubs, or bars, that they built in Juba, or the various fake companies, that they set up, with Somalis, Ethiopians, Ugandans and Kenyans, as symbols of personal success, are some of the reasons why we must have a federal system of governance in the SRSS, so that each region can closely monitor their own political traders.

Federalism shall help us in Equatoria in carrying out political winnowing in order to separate the political chaff from political grain.

Federalism based on the three former regions of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr El Ghazal, shall give us the chance, in each respective region, to prune the mushrooming of accidental quasi-leaders, who have been rammed down our political throats by various political and social developments of the last three decades in SS.

Genuine federalism shall allow us to keep these quasi leaders in the social and physical spaces where they historically and contemporaneously belong, so that the rest of the peoples of Equatoria in particular and SRSS at large, can get on with the art and science of managing the SRSS for the delivery of the badly needed goods and services, to our gallant and down trodden peoples.

Genuine federalism shall allow us to protect the honour of our daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, aunts and grandmothers.

In Equatoria, these female members of our society have been grossly and routinely emotionally, psychologically, physically, economically, financially, and sexually violated.

The current system does not protect our women, and we are rendered helpless to protect our women against some others who use comprehensive State’s privileges to carry out their culpable intentions and conducts against our women.

We in Equatoria are at the mercy of the current policing services in the SRSS because the majority of the police forces are populated by others who do not emanate from our communities and thus, they behave like an occupying force.

It is commonplace knowledge in the SRSS that the police force doubles as criminals at the same time. This shall not happen when the daughters and sons of Equatoria shall police their towns.

They shall not double as criminals. They shall not kill their own people. This is a just reason for Equatorians to support federalism in the SRSS.

With federalism in place, there shall not be any reason why our daughters and sons, should not be the police commissioners, the prisons force commissioners, and all other security related commissioners.

We shall do away with the current domination of our own local jobs by others from other regions. At the same time, these others also control their own regions as regards the said positions.

What kind of a system is this? What kind of an existence is this? How can you, in Equatoria, say that, you are in fact, and at law, effectively and efficaciously, participating in the administration of the SRSS?

The current administration of justice in the SRSS is utterly defective, partial, and abusive.

We need federalism so that we can administer our own judicial institutions. All level of courts shall be run by our own daughters and sons throughout Equatoria.

These are our own daughters and sons who understand their own customary laws throughout Equatoria. These are our own daughters and sons who know and respect our cultural value systems throughout Equatoria.

These are our own daughters and sons who have no intentions and moral capacities in the administration of a discriminatory judicial system.

We shall save our women and men from being sent to the death row, simply because they are Equatorians in the SRSS.

With federalism, we shall have equitable representation in the army of the SRSS. We shall then, therefore, have our daughters and sons in the military and other intelligence outfits in the SRSS.

This shall put a stop to mysterious disappearances of our medical doctors, engineers and such like. This shall protect our lives and dignity from those others, who do not value humanity in the SRSS.

You Equatorians must fight to death for the establishment of a federal system in the SRSS for your own and other peoples’ dignified living in the SRSS.

Equatoria has the will, the capacity, the knowledge, the skills, the experiences, the attitude and the outlook to produce its own food and produce food for the other regions. In fact, Equatoria can produce food for export.

However, with the current system in place, all these productive characteristics of Equatoria, as land and peoples, are being frustrated and undermined to the detriment of everybody in the SRSS; not just to our own detriment in Equatoria.

Therefore, we need federalism to be able to save ourselves from definite comprehensive underdevelopment.

With the current system in place, Equatoria shall not have the time, the freedom, the right, and the space to use all its prime agricultural lands for the production of badly needed food for all mouths and stomachs in the SRSS.

We in Equatoria have been reduced to constantly protecting our agricultural lands from marauding nomads, armed to the teeth, by the government in Juba.

This is not a life that shall lead us all to prosperity in the SRSS. We need to federate, to even save these marauding nomads from definite future famines.

Our educational system is in tatters. Our higher education is being undermined by unscrupulous policies including the appointment of tribal vice chancellors to run our universities.

Federalism shall allow us to reform our universities in Equatoria for the benefit of all peoples of the SRSS. We need the intellectual space to concentrate on managing these technical institutions.

For God’s sake, presidents all over the world don’t appoint academic secretaries of universities. We need to quickly save the SRSS from these laggards in Juba.

We need federalism to save our young women and men; and youth in general, from being wasted in Equatoria. From 2005 to date, the young women and men, and youth of Equatoria have been systemically marginalised.

If we allow these processes of discrimination against our young women and men and youth to go on unchecked, then we must forget about positive life chances of our posterities.

If we allow these injustices to continue, our young women and men; and youth, shall turn into women and men, who shall be the janitors and street cleaners and workers in menial jobs and various handymen and women in the SRSS.

Is this what these three governors of Equatoria want? Is this the democracy that these three current governors of Equatoria are on about? Is this how they think all is OK in Equatoria?

We in Equatoria need to work together, with those others in the SRSS, to urgently form an interim government and then proceed to write the federal system into our permanent constitution during the period of this interim government.

Therefore, you the young women, men and youth of Equatoria, in Diaspora and in the SRSS, your futures are in your hands, not in the hands of these three governors of Equatoria, who seem to think more about their jobs via the continuity of President Kiir in office rather than about your futures in the SRSS.

Therefore, to bring all of the above changes in place, you need the political and security spaces in the SRSS. The current government in Juba does not care about all of the above issues raised.

The current government plus these three governors of Equatoria think that when we raise these issues as the ones raised above, we commit treason.

How can one be a traitor if one is literally telling the government in Juba to provide security and goods and services to the deserving peoples of the SRSS?

How can our concerns be rubbish according to the governor of Western Equatoria when we are saying all of the above because we love the peoples of Equatoria?

How can what we are saying be rubbish when we are saying that, our women should not be abused?

How can what we are saying be rubbish if we are telling the government that we do not want tribal police to kick in the doors of our peoples at night in Equatoria; because, they want to violently rape our sisters, daughters, wives, mothers, aunts, and even grandmothers?

Or, they kick in these doors because they want to rob what valuables are there to be robbed?

How can all these concerns of mine be akin to the concerns of a traitor? Who is a traitor in fact, and at law?

Juba has been a killing field for years under the watch of the current governor. What did he do to stop this serial killing of Equatorians in Juba and other places and villages in Central Equatoria? He completely did nothing.

Whole Madi villages and towns have been forcibly settled by political settlers from Jonglei and Bahr Al Ghazal. What did the governor of Eastern Equatoria do? He completely did nothing.

Whole Acholi villages and towns have been forcibly occupied by the same groups. What did the governor of Eastern Equatoria do? He completely did nothing.

Same violations have happened in Yambio. What did the governor of Western Equatoria do? He did nothing.

Equatorian Chiefs are hunted and murdered like common criminals. The case of the Madi Chief is one of many sad examples.

What did all these three governors do to stop their citizens being hunted down and murdered? All these current three governors did nothing to protect our peoples from systemic displacements and murder.

Therefore, should we just sit there and wait for whatsoever these other peoples want to do with us and with our land simply because our current governors say that all, is OK and they are behind President Kiir come what may?

Does the mere keeping of President Kiir in power shall return our stolen land and provide legal remedies for hundreds and thousands of law suits which are pending because we have no lawyers of our own to protect our comprehensive interests judicially?

Is this what these three governors want us to do? Just to follow them just because they are they; and nothing more?

These three governors of Equatoria ought to understand that we are not their chattels. We are not their property so that they can have absolute control of use and exchanges values over us.

We are sovereign peoples of the SRSS, and we have sovereign rights to reject peacefully or by use of force; any rulers who cannot protect us; and have turned into tyrants and killing us in cold blood.

These three governors represent themselves not the entire interests of the peoples of Equatoria. They can say what they want to say. After all, they are cronies of President Salva Kiir.

The author is Chairman of Greater Equatoria Council of Rights (GRECOR)

Joint Administration & UN Trusteeship insulting but not outlandish

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, MAR/28/2014, SSN;

South Sudan’s young scholars, Nhial Tiitmamer and Abraham Awolich, wrote a remarkable policy update paper for their weekly review for The Sudd Institution on March 11, 2014. In that paper, Nhial and Abraham presented arguments against two different proposals presented by ‘South Sudanese analysts’ as possible ways forward for South Sudan.

The said two methods are UN Trusteeship and a Joint Administration by South Sudanese and selected international bodies.

These suggestions are presented as part of restructuring, institutionalizing and anchoring of South Sudan as a nation with functional structures, institutions and policy framework.

UN Trusteeship was proposed on January 6, 2014 in ‘African Arguments’ by Hank Cohen, a former US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs. The joint administration was proposed by Princeton Lyman (et al), a former US envoy to South Sudan and Sudan. Lyman is now with United States Institute for Peace.

While I’m not going to recommend any of the proposed methods, I’d like to caution readers and policy writers against any rush to dismiss the proposals without their proper appraisals.

Sadly, I’m not going to appraise the two methods; however, I’m going to vaguely show how such methods would be advisable for South Sudan as far as institutionalization and development ambience are concerned.

Policy advisors, like The Sudd Institute, would be better placed if they comprehensively present both sides of any policy situation in order to afford the readers an avenue to consume chiefly con-contextualized policy positions.

The manner in which Nhial and Awolich dismissed the two suggestions they focused on, without presenting any would-be benefits of such undertakings, is a policy angle I’d not advise.

I would advise that the authors present the pros and cons first before settling for what they believe is their preferred policy advisory; in this case, the rejection of the said governance and administrative proposals.

While the authors have agreed with the proposers on some points (especially with Lyman), they’ve not dwelled appropriately on the merits of both the Trusteeship and the Joint Administration.

Proper policy advisory would present the merits of the two methods comprehensively before the presentation of the arguments as to why they’d not work in South Sudan.

Protecting a failed System vs. Building a strong and functional system

There’s no question that South Sudan has adequate manpower to build strong institutions for a prosperous way forward. And with no doubt, the best way to bring change and long-term prosperity to any given country is to make sure such parameters are internally generated.

Externally generated success modalities sideline the internal creativity and frustrate long-term sustainable development.

However, the problem in South Sudan is not manpower per se and I agree with the authors. It’s the political atmosphere, institutional capacity and maturity. But one has to ask oneself.

Do we have a conductive atmosphere and a strong institutional soundness that can allow educated South Sudanese to effect the required change?

If not, then what are the indications that this would be effected anytime soon?

The authors know very well that South Sudanese leadership has failed miserably to establish institutional capacities that make a nation functional.

What are the causes of this failure over the last eight years? Why would the authors believe the leadership that has failed over the last eight years will all of a sudden build institutional capacities that would allow development of institutional professionalism?

It’s Einstein who once said that doing something over and over again in the same way and expecting a different result is madness.

The authors will have to convince us that there has developed an appreciable change in Juba for development of independent and functional institutions. Otherwise, a depressing, stagnant and failed merry-go-round is a support to the intransigent elites and a support for a failed system.

Creating ‘Enabling Conditions’ for South Sudanese

UN Trusteeship and Joint Administration (if necessary) would not discount South Sudanese contri-bution and their place in charting a new, development-conscious and transparency-friendly South Sudan.

In a word, Educated South Sudanese would still be central to all development initiatives and leadership.

Whether it was in East Timor or Namibia, the citizens of those countries were never left out. What UN officials did was to act as impartial guidance and expert voices together with their indigenous counterparts. Citizens have a say regarding the methods to be established.

Even with South Africa occupying Namibia illegally after UN deemed its mandate over with the end of the League of Nations, UN, through UNTAG, still found it imperative to allow South Africa to administer elections with UN supervision.

Martti Ahtisaari, then the UN Special Representative for Namibia, made sure all the stake holders were involved in not only the elections process but the transitional process.

What they would do, in the case of South Sudan should that be absolutely necessary, is to create the atmosphere that would allow educated and knowledgeable South Sudanese to effectively contribute to national development.

The culture of favoritism, nepotism, rampant corruption and inter-tribal animosity would be checked by a neutral guiding voice given a specified period of time. This period would still be agreed upon by South Sudanese politicians and the guiding body (UN or otherwise).

As the authors note very well that “inflated political egos, ethnic politics, and lack of peaceful political culture” are “the root of the current violence.” Keeping those in mind, what are the indications that these attitudes have changed (or will change) among the ranks of South Sudanese ruling elites?

What are the indications that the current leadership will create ‘enabling conditions’ for development of across-the-board institutional strength?

What has the government done so far to give South Sudanese some hope that governance, accountability and rule of law will be the face of our new South Sudan?

We have to remember that the UN Trusteeship or any Joint Administration would not be the sole brains or the manpower behind the country’s development. They would only act as impartial facilitators of development and transition.

The onus would still be on the citizens to take advantage of the conducive atmosphere otherwise nothing would change.

So, whether or not South Sudan changes for better if placed under such administrations rests solely with South Sudanese.

‘Wounded Egos’ vs. South Sudanese Future

I rather see my people live in peace and looking forward to a prosperous nation in which they use their potential for the betterment of the country regardless of who brings it. What I’d reject is perpetual dependency on others.

However, we can’t put our egos before our national interest. We are a new nation; a nation on transition. Besides, we have a ruling political party that is trying to shed the scales of militarism. These are things that need time.

However, we need help to make sure such a transition is made possible within a reasonable time.

We should not be worried that the world would see us as incapable of taking care of our affairs. We are not incapable but we have obstructive conditions that are frustrating our ability to show our national capacities.

In a sense, we need appreciable humility to accept conditions that’d ensure we actually show the world that we are able.

I understand, as Rüdiger Wolfrum argues that “Such intervention from the outside faces the di-lemma that by influencing or even by taking over governmental authority, either totally or partially or to establish new governmental structures for that territory in turmoil such intervention interferes with the right of self-determination of the respective population to decide on its political and eco-nomic future.”

“However,” Wolfrum adds, “without assisting activities from the outside the popu-lation would not be able to exercise its right of self-determination due to the lack of representative institutions.”

What’s best for our nation should take primacy over our would-be wounded egos. Part of being a decently educated population is the ability to see when something isn’t working and being able to humbly look for an enduring solution.

We need help, serious help, and it’s up to us to wisely know how to fish out the best solution for our people with the help of people who are willing to help us.

UN Trusteeship and Joint Administration would be a possible alternative because:

• The current South Sudanese administration has not created and is not capable (or unwilling) of creating a conducive atmosphere for South Sudanese with skills to contribute toward national development.
• There’s no any impartial development champion or practical promoter of development. Devel-opment initiatives are outlined but not followed through.
• Financial issues: South Sudanese go for months without being paid and no one is held account-able. Embezzlement of public funds is acknowledged but not punished.
• Media Institutions are tightly controlled and intimidated. Without any free press, the people lose their voice.
• The national constitution is not adhered to by its very custodians; only cited if the leadership feels it helps them. The culture of belligerent militarism is the attitude leading the country in-stead of the national constitution.
• The current administration is encouraging the development of the country as a nation of a single opinion dictated by the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). Different opinions and perspectives are either vilified or seen as views of enemies of the state. The merits of different opinions are not even considered.
• Protection of civilians is not a government priority and this creates a culture of mistrust and tribal feuds. The strength of the nation is perceived as the government rather than the people.
• The leadership doesn’t feel it’s accountable to South Sudanese. Decisions are made without being explained and those who suffer are the average South Sudanese. The government works for itself rather than for South Sudanese.
• Leaders see themselves as unquestionable demi-gods. This is not good for good governance, development and the average South Sudanese. Good leaders are supposed to be questioned.
• Praising the president is one of the ways of landing a high-paying job. Criticizing the president jeopardizes one’s job. This atmosphere prevents truth from being told and people, who have different opinions but can benefit the country, are shut out of leadership positions.

Word of Advice

I’m not going to recommend any of the two methods because South Sudanese need to be given a second chance to prove themselves; however, I’d want us to be conscious of our shortcomings. The culture of dismissiveness is what’s killing our people.

I’d like to advise Nhial and Abraham, as people working for one of South Sudan’s respected
scholarly institutions, to be wary of the dismissive attitude among South Sudanese intelligentsia and ruling elites.

We are a proud populace, however, we should be very careful regarding the detriment excess pride can engender.

Nations don’t fail because there are no educated people in the country. Nations fail because of the nature of the political culture in the country. Without any enabling conditions, no amount of education and creativity can help.

I would also advise the authors to avoid the developing culture in South Sudan in which ideas are dismissed without prescribing a viable alternative. If they dismiss the two methods and believe that South Sudanese can actually bring about these enabling conditions, then they also need to present an alternative administrative and political framework and how it would bring about this enabling conditions. As policy advisors, the authors should not only talk about the what? but the how?

The how should be presented step-by-step with clear time-frame, the governance mechanics, the mechanics for the avoidance of past mistakes and the central, unifying political figures to make the methods both plausible and efficacious.

Institutions become functionally strong and respectable if they are led by people who not only know how to identify problems, but also how to solve them with vivid appreciable transparency and competency. This, South Sudan lacks!

Consequently, I see the two proposed administrative methods as not ‘outlandish, but as necessary insults.

a Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudan poet, author, independent publisher and political analysts living in Canada. He’s the author of “South Sudan Ideologically” and “Is ‘Black’ Really Beautiful?”

NB: PDF copy of the article is available here:

The Rationale or Otherwise of Alleged Greater Equatoria Support to Rebel Machar

BY: JUMA MABOR, Lawyer, JUBA, MAR/27/2014, SSN;

A fortnight or so ago, an online newspaper “Equatoria Sun” unveiled a list of a shadow cabinet alleged to have been formed by Rebel Leader Dr. Riek Machar in anticipation of the speculated interim government, and among the top cabinet ministers were four or so Equatorian members led among the top portfolios by Kosti Manibe Ngai – Finance, Commerce and Economic Planning, Dr. Cirino Hiteng — Youth, Culture & Sports, Aloisio Emor Ojetuk – National Security Service Hon. Silvano Odwaro Gordon- Agriculture, Forestry, Tourism, Animal Resources and Fisheries and Dr. Olivia Lomoro – Health .

Out of those mentioned in Riek’s list of cabinet, only one Equatorian in the name of Dr. Olivia Lomoro – Health, came out to refute the allegations, the rest of the nominees like their colleagues from other regions of South Sudan remained adamant leaving the public to speculate on whether their silence meant acceptance of the allegations or ignorance of the same. Hon. Aguil De’Chut Deng denied and declined the nomination to the prestigious Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Subsequently, the public reaction was mixed with some indicating that the list could be a conspiracy to settle political scores by those who have one or another vendetta against the named individuals and likely presumed political heavy weights in Riek’s cabinet.

The contrary opinion was to the effect that most if not all of those mentioned in Riek’s shadow cabinet were supporting the rebellion silently and were determined to sabotage Kiir’s government within as far as they have the necessary capacity to do so.

Such schools of thoughts continued for quite some time but because of the overwhelming crisis the country is engulfed in, the problems became too numerous and each problem is overtaken by relatively bigger issue that comes up.

This is where of course the debate on whether there was a shadow cabinet or otherwise with the above names was relegated and the attention was then shifted to other new news.

These new news came three weeks later when again in the Sudan Tribune online newspaper, the headlines reads ‘Greater Equatoria group declares support for Riek Machar’. The headlines in this piece of news which made it catches everyone’s eyebrows was that and I quote ‘The leadership of the Greater Equatoria Council of Rights (GRECOR) has openly declared for the first time it plans to mobilise “all sons and daughters of the region” to rally them behind the leadership of rebel leader Riek Machar, ‘the document was said to have been signed by Wani Tombe and circulated to both local and international media outlets.

In a joinder and with the spirit of disclaimer, the Governor of Western Equatoria state, Colonel Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro presumably on behalf of other Equatorian government loyalists, said on Tuesday that a statement released earlier this week by the Greater Equatoria Council of Rights (GRECOR) declaring support for former vice-president turned rebel leader Riek Machar did not represent the views of the region as a whole.

He also added that, “the views expressed in the release do not represent the people of Equatoria. Yes, those outside the region in the diaspora are our brothers and sisters but what they say does not necessarily represent our people inside the country,” said Bakosoro.

Bangasi went ahead and said that ‘while the people of Equatoria championed democracy and issues of national importance, they were not known for agitating or back-room politicking. “We do not gossip and do not agitate. We are straight when it comes to issues of democracy and governance.”

Now here comes the public debate and critical analysis of what exactly is the position of the citizens of greater Equatoria region, be they politicians, ordinary citizens, academicians, religious leaders or even soldiers.

For the purpose of clarity, it is unfortunate and regrettable to accept that, in circumstances of internal conflict, a country which has 64 tribes is tempted to investigate what the other tribe’s opinion is with regard to the on-going crisis.

It is a bitter truth that all of us as South Sudanese have to swallow and I think this is the suspense our colleagues from Equatoria region are caught in and struggling with quite deeply.

The blame can only be directed towards the initial speakers during the early stages of the conflict when most of them came out and confined the problem into ethnic corner by telling the world that it was a war between Dinkas and Nuers and this opened flood gates of wanting to know that the remaining 62 tribes have to make their positions known as to whether they are with Dinka which is synonymous with the government or with the Nuers with another name of rebel, to some extent, it could easily be said so for two crucial reasons.

One, by default, the antagonists are from the above mentioned tribes and secondly, the references that were rapidly made to the 1991 crisis made it apparently conclusive that any crisis that breaks out again could be instigated by the preponderant culprit Riek against Dinkas (Kiir) the Dynasty.

This could sound like a myth but I hope for some reasons that this is where those who said it was a war between Dinkas and Nuers got their analogy from.

That aside, but now the war between the Equatorian diaspora and Equatorian original (the ones at home), as the explanation that Bangasi gave on the question of Equatorian loyalty to either side of the conflict goes.

He agreed though that, their advocacy for democracy and good governance is the same as that of Riek and Equatorians in diaspora, however, on behalf of the Equatorians at home, Bangasi thinks that it should not be agitated, gossiped, back-roomed or aggressive, and here comes the common opinion of the Equatorians in Juba and in the other states of greater Equatoria region.

Before their opinions are divided and their loyalty scattered, there are obvious reasons that you must know as a non-Equatorian and these are some of the reasons that I must ask you to test the unity of Equatorian if you think that they are so divided.

The list is long, but it is worth to mention thus, with my experience and knowledge of our brothers and sisters from Equatoria; these are the three main things that they think they are better off than any other tribe and most particularly more organized than the so-called Dinkas and Nuers.

One of these things is that, Equatorians believe that they do not like violence and therefore they are people who engage in dialogue to resolve any differences of any magnitude, this is stated by Bangasi.

Secondly, Equatorians believed that the on-going war is between Dinkas and Nuers over power and because the belligerents have the same violent behavior and genetic attitude, it is none of Equatorian business to take sides.

If need be, the two tribes should finish themselves.

Thirdly and most important of all, Equatorians think that the war mongers are fighting in their land and they are not happy that these warring factions left their places and came to make Equatoria a battle field.

This third point may also tell you why most Equatorians want a federal system of government.

I had promised to give only three points around which the Equatorians find a uniting front against any other tribe in south Sudan but I must equally add on board issues of nepotism, land grabbing and corruption that most Equatorians unanimously agreed are associated with Dinkas and Nuers.

The question that begs for answers is what do Equatorians gain in supporting Riek and opposing Kiir?

It is not easy to give straight forward and authentic answers to this question especially when the one who tries to answer the question is a non-Equatorian but for the benefit of analysis and routine geo-political situation of the country, one would be tempted to assume that he can give the right answers somehow.

In my own opinion, Kiir government unlike Riek shadow cabinet has adequately taken care of the political needs of Equatorian starting with the position of the vice president, Minister of cabinet affairs, minister of finance, minister of national security, minister of Dams, water and electricity, and other ministries, deputy ministers like the strong deputy minister of interior, foreign affairs and international cooperation, several heads of commissions, heads of departments among others.

This arrangement has no doubt taken care of the political needs of all Equatorians but to some other regions it has earned president Kiir animosity because they thinks Kiir has given too much to Equatorians.

Economically, by virtue of being the gateway to south Sudan interior and with the capital territory of the republic of south Sudan stationed within its premises, both the Central and Western Equatoria states are more developed than any other parts of this nascent country.

The roads, healthcare facilities, schools and other social amenities are only enjoyed by the people of south Sudan when one is fortunate to reside in one of the states of the greater Equatoria.

Socially, most of the Equatorian sees the other south Sudanese as land grabbers and trouble makers who have come to disturb their peace and therefore, the subjective need to have the federal system of government, such that ‘according to Equatorian vocabulary,’ each person should stick to their states boundaries, something that narrowly defined the true meaning of federalism as a system of government.

It is precisely because of these analyses one would be forgiven to brand Equatorians as people who may not know what they are looking for at some point.

For instance, take Riek’s shadow cabinet, if it were to be a reality and compare it with current Kiir’s government, which one would best represent the Equatorians?

The one that give them four ministerial positions in the case of Riek’s cabinet or the one that gives them more than ten strong ministerial positions like in the current Kiir’s cabinet?

That is a food for thought. However, if I was asked to give an opinion about what most Equatorians think in relation to the current crisis, it would be good as not wanting to know about what they think or what they could possibly do in the on-going conflict.

Therefore, Wani Tombe and group stand a better chance than those who have said nothing because you never know and would never like what they are up to.

Ways Forward:

With the on-going conflict, south Sudanese have been taken back to yester-years when people could only identify themselves by the regions they belong to.

The spirit of national unity and embracing unity in diversity have been fully thrown out of the window and the chances of our society fragmenting further are relatively hitting the maximum.

It is therefore a recommendation of this author that, for south Sudan and south Sudanese to propel and achieve their vision of being a free and sovereign nation where tribes peacefully co-exist, the following areas need to be addressed very swiftly:

1. In situations of conflict, people should not be accustomed to investigating what side of the conflict the other peoples are with in regard to the on-going crisis. I think Equatorians were disturbed by some provocateurs who wanted to know where their loyalty lies and that is where they made a grave mistake of declaring themselves as supporting the rebel leader Riek Machar.

2. The diversity brought about by tribes should be taken as a unique aspect to learn from one another the positive differences and unite around those areas.

3. The government and the regional politicians should warn themselves and their citizens against releasing reckless statements that are likely to incite one tribe against the others.

4. The land issues, nepotism at the institutional level both public and private should be addressed and historical injustices addressed in order to cultivate the trust that is lost among the citizens of south Sudan.

5. The paranoid attitude that there are tribes which are more violent than the others or even worse considered to be more stupid than the rest does not help the situation, we must take ourselves with respect and utmost dignity.

6. The Wani Tombe and group are not less Equatorians and the explanation by Bangasi that they don’t represent Equatorians is inadequate. The only remedy that the Equatorians should tell these brothers and sisters of theirs is that, they should have other avenues of addressing their needs for democracy and good governance and not joining Riek’s bandwagon for they can easily be branded as joyriders.

7. Equatorian politicians must also be seen to be bold in stating their positions especially in situations like this where a country is engulfed with a lot of uncertainties. This has been long awaited but not forthcoming.

In Conclusion, the purpose for writing this article is to put to rest the unnecessary investigation as to whether this tribe supports the rebellion and that tribe support the government because what I know is that, this is not a tribal war.

Because if it was, so many tribes would have been defeated a long time ago, the war would not also be called a rebellion but a genocide because other tribes would be at their complete elimination stages as we talk.

So, let’s us take this as a rebellion where some Dinkas, Nuers, Equatorians, Shiluks, Anyuaks, Azande, Toposas, among others, have taken up arms with the intention to overthrow a democratically elected government for which all of us who are still within are duty bound to defend and protect.

I end by quoting the United States President Obama when he was speaking in the G7 seven summit yesterday, March 26, 2014, in reference to the crisis between Russia and Ukraine and this is what he said and I quote, “we must not narrowly defined our interests or we will be forced to look the other direction.”

Juma Mabor Marial is a Lawyer Based in Juba
Reachable at:
Juma Mabor Marial
Secertary: Sub-Committee on the Judiciary,
National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC)
Juba|South Sudan.
Tel No: + 211 (0) 956 731 559- Vivacell
+ 211 (0) 927 261 356- MTN