Category: More Views

2015 Elections: How many carts should Pres. Kiir be allowed to place before the horses?

By: Riang Yer Zuor Nyak, South Sudan, JAN/25/2015, SSN;

In my last article, titled ‘Salva Kiir’s Attack on His Own Legitimacy Claim,’ I made a point that the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 provides for four years of transition ”… before a new election could take place under a new and permanent constitution.” The most important part of that statement is the area talking about elections under the permanent constitution.

It signifies that there is no chance for any elections to take place under the current transitional period under the Transitional Constitution. I am only glad that the Opposition Parties have picked up that point and made a move to challenge the government in court for unconstitutionally wanting to conduct elections under the Transitional Constitution.

I want to state that the Opposition Parties have a standing to challenge unconstitutionality of any government’s act, as do any other citizen in the country, so long as the case is justice-able, ripe and not moot.

But, they are wrong as far as timing is concerned. Filing their case at this time goes against ripeness doctrine. The current statements are only threats of action. The government has not yet taken any tangible step towards executing this threat. They should have waited for the time when the government actually releases the election money to the Elections Commission. That would trigger a case for an injunctive relief.

The premature action of the parties is only giving the court an opportunity to throw the case out on the ground that the case is not ripe yet. Nevertheless, there is no chance that the parties can win any case (ripe or not ripe, constitutional or unconstitutional) against Salva’s government in Chan Reech Madut’s court.

Before March 2013, the issue of elections in 2015 was never problematic. It suddenly started becoming a controversial one after March, when a number of SPLM leaders started showing their interests in the Party’s Chairmanship.

After Salva’s leadership was openly challenged in the party, Salva and Wani started talking about the impossibility of the elections, citing lack of money to fund the exercises, as there were loans, to be repaid, which resulted from the 2012 oil shut down.

This position was taken at the time because Salva and his group did not yet know what to do with those who had shown interest in the Chairmanship of the party. It has to be noted that the party issue had a bearing on the 2015 elections.

The SPLM Constitution stipulates that the Chairman of the SPLM shall be the flag bearer in the presidential election. So, something had to be done first to ensure that the Chairmanship of the SPLM remained with Salva before elections could be allowed to take place. The situation remained as such.

The whole thing started changing after the dissolution of the SPLM structures before the 6th of December 2013. This was the time after the group (Salva’s) seemed to have come up with a plan of action. They had decided to leave the opposition out of the party processes of passing the party basic documents and preparing for the National Convention. This was done to ensure that Salva controlled the process so that the Convention could end up electing him.

Before the Convention could take place, Wani started talking about the elections to be carried out on time. Their actions, beginning with the dissolution of the party structures, pre-determined the outcome of the Convention. They were sure that Salva would remain the Chairman of the party.

To make sure that these opponents did not have freedom to speak or take part in the political process, a plan was put in place to eliminate them one way or anoteor. It had already begun with the home confinement and gagging of Pagan Amum and the removal and accusation of Deng Alor and Kosti Manibe on the basis that they had committed corruption.

For Dr. Riek Machar, they could not come up with any corruption charges. This led to the false accusation of a coup attempt. This was meant to take him out on charges, which would fetch him death sentence. That way, he could be eliminated for good. Carrying this plan out resulted in the current war breaking out, and the issue of elections became mute on its own.

Unilateral Postponement of the Elections
As the Peace Talks were going on last year in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Salva Kiir while arriving at Juba Airport from an IGAD Summit in May, made a unilateral declaration that he had postponed the elections to 2018 or so. It did not matter to him whether or not he had a reason for such an act.

To him, he was exercising some imaginary constitutional power, or he might actually have thought of himself as the constitution, needing no one else to consult. To other ordinary South Sudanese, it was a clear show of dictatorship. It also showed that he had no regard for the Talks in Addis Ababa.

It was after the declaration that Salva received criticisms both internally and externally. These criticisms came from all directions, including Yoweri Museveni himself—Salva’s most trusted external advisor. As a result, the idea of running elections was dropped altogether. It timing was left to be negotiated at the IGAD-led Peace Talks.

Suddenly, the nagging issue of legitimacy has become one of desperation on the part of the government. It has now brought the 2015 elections to the fore. I suspect that it is not well thought out. It might have come up during some form of an ordinary conversation that the constitutional period of transition was approaching its end. Then someone might have tried to put himself in the position of a problem solver by suggesting elections as an ingenious way of restoring legitimacy.

But, would that really solve the problem? Not a chance. The current Transitional Constitution is a big stumbling block.

Whatever Happened to the Transition?
Arguments for and against the 2015 elections have been advanced by many a people, following the first time that the government started declaring its intentions to conduct elections so as to avoid “leadership vacuum”.

These arguments for the conduct of elections include the government carrying out a constitutional mandate, avoiding being categorized as illegitimate, and allowing the people to exercise their constitutional democratic right of choosing their leaders. Whatever they are, the arguments have no constitutional basis.

Arguments against the elections include insecurity, lack of a conducive atmosphere for the elections, state of emergency in Greater Upper Nile and the Peace Talks in Addis Ababa. They all suggest the impossibility of conducting a free and fair election. They are very sound and legitimate reasons. However, they are secondary.

The primary focus should be on the fact that the current period in the country is transitional. As such, the current Transitional Constitution’s role is to transition us from the period when South Sudan was an autonomous part of the old Sudan to the period when we could have a permanent constitution.

It follows that the period is for the preparation of a new and permanent constitution of our own for the newly independent Republic of South Sudan. It is the government constituted or created by such a new and permanent constitution that officials should be elected to. It is not the current transitional government that officials should be elected to, as advocated by Salva and group.

Putting Pressure on the SPLM/A?
Someone made a suggestion that the government might be trying to put pressure on the SPLM/A by trying to conduct national elections. This is a laughable assertion. There is no way that one can put pressure on another by doing the wrong thing. One would be best served by doing the right thing in the interest of the people so that the opponent, if trying to go the opposite way, can find him/herself against the people.

The government, if that is part of the plan, will find itself under its own pressure by ending up antagonizing the people by trying to conduct unconstitutional elections. The people have a lot of things on their minds. There is war raging on in the country, which would make it impossible to conduct a free and fair election; there is a state of emergency in Greater Upper Nile; there is a threat of war-induced famine looming; there were fellow citizens killed in cold blood and no accountability procedures in place yet; and there are many more. Faking an election for the sake of a manufactured legitimacy would be the last thing to hear.

Insisting on the elections without legal basis would see the government ending up putting pressure on itself, as it will find no support from the ordinary people and the international community as well.

A Cart Before the Horse
The government should, now, be concerned with what to do with the transitional period as the first priority. Or else, whatever Juba does other than that, is meaningless. At this point, it has only two options to choose from before contemplating the conduct of elections. Going for the elections before going for one of the two options is like placing the ‘cart before the horse.’

1. Writing the Permanent Constitution
Paragraph 8 of the Preamble to the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 talks of the use of that Constitution and the period for which it shall be in use. It is only and strictly to be used for the Transitional Period. It talks about how the Constitution should be referred to upon adoption “…and shall be the supreme law by which the independent and sovereign South Sudan shall be governed during the Transitional Period…” It is at the end of this period that the new constitution should come in to force.

Article 199 (2) of the Transitional Constitution supports the point made above. It states, “This Constitution shall remain in force until the adoption of a permanent constitution.” By “This Constitution”, it refers to the Transitional Constitution.

Therefore, the task that the government should be prioritizing, if it is not concerned about the on-going war, should be to write and promulgate the permanent constitution—instead of wasting time and energy talking about preparing the country for what it calls ‘June 30th elections’. It is after the promulgation of the permanent constitution that elections could be conducted. It should not be the other way around.

2. Extending the Transitional Period
In the alternative, Salva could use the provision of the current Constitution to amend the same so as to have an extended period of transition. Article 197 of the Transitional Constitution, in regards to amending, states that, “This Constitution shall not be amended unless the proposed amendment is approved by two-thirds of all members of each House of the National Legislature sitting separately and only after introduction of the draft amendment at least one month prior to the deliberations.”

Knowing the nature of the current National Legislature, I believe Salva would not have difficulties getting the Constitution amended. Getting two-thirds of members in each house to support his amendment would be an instant event.

However, the extension of the transition would not allow elections. The extended period would only be used for the writing of the permanent constitution. It is after this that the elections would result.

Either way, Salva has no legal way of avoiding writing the permanent constitution before he can actually go for any elections.

Concluding Remarks
Whether the government acts alone or in agreement with the SPLM/A, elections—under the current constitutional dispensation in the country—can never be legally conducted to give legitimacy to the current government. There is just no constitutional mandate for elections into the current constitutional regime. It is under the permanent constitution that national elections can be conducted.

Instead of elections, the government should only start thinking on how to embark on writing and promulgating the permanent constitution, if it has the legitimacy to do that alone given the current war situation. It is after this that an election can be talked about. Otherwise, the government would be putting carts before horses.

The current transitional period is not for elections. It is for our transition to the next period to be ushered in by a new constitution. It is the next government that leaders will be elected to. This and other reasons, such as insecurity, peace talks that are on-going, etc will never allow this much-talked about elections to happen.

The author is a South Sudanese. He can be reached at

Why South Sudan should mourn dead Saudi’s King Abdullah Ibn Saud

BY: Deng Leuth Yuang, CALGARY, Alberta, CANADA, JAN/24/2015, SSN;

“The fear of the unknown is going to be supportive to crude oil prices. King Abdullah was the architect of the current strategy to keep production high and force out smaller players instead of cutting,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

Following the death of Saudi Arabia King, the US West Texas Intermediate benchmark rose by more than 2% selling at $47.76 a barrel and the international Brent Crude benchmark rose by more than 1.5% selling at $49.10 a barrel.

Wow! A world of Unbelievables, a Little United States of America in the heart of Middle East is exerting its pressure upon world’s energy giants – oil and gas economies, companies and individual dealers to either adjust, stay put or do away with oil. Unbelievable!

This brings me to the South Sudan’s economy. There was some uproar among certain quarters of South Sudanese when Pres. Salva Kiir sent condolences to the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the death of their leader. These critics claimed that late King Abdullah was an Islamic Jihadist, and hence there are better things Mr. Kiir should spend his time on such as expediting the peace process or mourning those killed in the country by his self-made senseless war.

That is great, but one thing is crystal clear. I do think President Kiir was playing out his international diplomatic role as a leader in his own right to ‘appease and recognize the Kingdom’ as an important partner in the world market today.

In any particular market set up, there are two main sets of competitors, the major vs the fringe. Saudi Arabia is a major player whereas South Sudan is a fringe or minor.

Actions by Saudi Arabia can send waves across the energy markets whereas South Sudan’s actions are just a drop in the ocean.

The answer lies in the production capacities of approximately 9.7 million vs 160, 000 bpd for Kingdom and South Sudan respectively. Look at those numbers!

Henceforth, Saudi Arabia is holding the energy world hostage. How South Sudan economy fares well in the next 2-3 years will be determined neither by US nor the Arusha intra-party or Addis Ababa national peace talks, but by this relatively small superpower, not weaponry or technology but oil guru, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia!

That is to say, if you live in South Sudan and you want an end to that scarcity of hard currency in Juba, especially that exorbitant Forex rate of up to 7.3 SSP a dollar; or you are looking for US dollars for your overseas treatment, rental and other family obligations such as studies and other accessories, pray to and plead with the new King Salman Ibn Saud to cut oil production in his country.

Saudi Arabia holds the key to South Sudan finding its footing again in the community of nations. Meanwhile, the US government is just a mere spectator waiting for an opportunity from OPEC to wink so as to exploit the situation.

The US laissez faire system is unregulated and run by a myriad of greedy oil companies such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP and others, competing for profits. They won’t cut anything till the invisible hand of the market reigns them out.

However, such intricacies make us to understand why President Kiir did that unremarkable thing to mourn the death of the KING to our economy.

That is the big reason why South Sudan should not go it alone but dance to the tune of other singers.

The commentator is an Economist. Reach him at

South Sudan: The need to eradicate tribal politics & dictatorship

By: James Gatdet Dak, SPLM/A-IO, JAN/18/2015, SSN;

Oxford dictionary defines tribalism as a behavior or attitude which is based on being loyal to a tribe or other social group; or the state of being organized into tribe or tribes.
By that social definition allow me to add that tribal politics is about the identity of a given group or tribe that is based on common ethnic identity or cultural factors that are used to induce the group into a functioning political unit subtly or in a dynamic pattern.

A tribal grouping although based on a defined or understood interest may have some disagreements on how to express a common purpose but will, likely, ultimately rally behind that common purpose.

Formations of groups or tribes for mere social reasons have some advantages, such as clear communication and the establishment of traditions that are expected to be observed for tranquility and social development.

However, tribal politics always has bold negative side as it creates a barrier between the various other tribes that make up a given societal political constituency in a given country.

The consequence of this is that ascending to or maintaining political power in many instances becomes less about presenting attractive ideas such as visions, principles, policies and programs that are for the welfare of the collective all, but rather about manipulating tribal political alliance.

Groups and individuals therefore concentrate on struggle for influence, position and money, and in most cases play along without concerns about the consequences for cohesiveness and national development, which is being ignored and eroded.

This phenomenon also carries the danger that societies may become oligarchies by default, as an outgrowth of the shifting alliances of tribal leaders.

Thus, groups or individuals with a strong sense of tribal unity and identity can benefit from kin selection behavior such as common property and shared resources.

The tendency of these tribal members to unite against an outside tribe and the ability to act violently and prejudicially against that outside tribe is in this situation likely seen to be boosting the chances of survival in prolonging the reaping of the fruits of that unity of tribal purpose.

South Sudan Crisis
In the light of the above description one may confidently say the ongoing crisis in South Sudan emanated mainly from the curse of tribal politics.

A group of tribally motivated elites, which became desperate to scapegoat and avoid genuine national issues, unfortunately bent on entrenching dictatorship in order to dominate political power and control the country’s resources at the expense of the rest in the country?

Prior to the 15 December 2013 violence, cues were clearly written on the wall.
This group led by the president of the Republic, chairman of the ruling Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) and commander-in-chief of the organized forces – in government – was driving at it.

General Salva Kiir, in a seemingly mindset which combined tribalism and dictatorship, perfectly concluded his plan by first dismissing reformist leaders from his government and further dismantling organs of the ruling party.

In that he unconstitutionally dissolved the SPLM structures including the Political Bureau (PB) and the National Liberation Council (NLC).

He strangely further declared that only his office survived that unconstitutional undertaking and that the secretariat should single-handedly report to him. All these he did as the party’s national convention was to be conducted.

Coincidentally or by design, his action was more or less a replica of what he previously accused our late chairman of 10 years ago with these remarks.

“The Chairman killed the national Executive Council (NEC) by creating the leadership Council. But there is no provision in the Convention for a ‘Leadership Council’. Does he want to revive the Political Military High Command? The Leadership Council creates a situation where all are directly reporting to the Chairman – including SPLM County Secretaries. When I mentioned these facts, they should not be construed to be my personal or family problems. Those around the Chairman don’t tell him the opinion of the public. The Chairman is everything, from a finance officer to one at the lowest level,” Salva Kiir Mayardit, from the minutes of Rumbek meeting in November 2004 while reconciling with the late chairman, Dr John Garang de Mabior.

As if he was not the same leader who later on became president and administered tribalism as a silent criteria for selections in employments to public and civil service jobs, in which more than 90% of the civil servants at the ministry of finance, for example, came from one tribe; and as if 90% of the culprits and beneficiaries of the infamous Dura Saga were not from his home region, he further accused the late chairman.

“…Corruption, as a result of the lack of structures, has created a lack of accountability which has reached a proportion that will be difficult to eradicate….,” also from the Rumbek meeting.

General Kiir in that meeting also clearly showed that his primary interest and obligation as a leader was to first and foremost look after the welfare of his tribesmen or region when he stunned the same meeting with this anti-nationalistic statement.

“I assure you that the allegation that I am against peace is not true. I am really for peace so that the International Community could rescue our suffering people. People of Bahr El Ghazal have suffered too much from repeated famine and from the Arab militias – and for these reasons I am the first to embrace peace to relief them from suffering,” Salva Kiir.

When in 2013 he felt that he was losing popularity in the Political Bureau as colleagues declared intention to constitutionally contest for his chair, General Kiir went to his home region and uttered tribal remarks in which he asked his kinsmen whether or not they would allow “their leadership to be taken away.”

The answer was a big NO followed by an assurance that the homeboys would defend “their” leadership with bloody iron fist.

From that moment he relentlessly continued to play up threats against the Nuer community from which a leading reformist and challenger, Dr Riek Machar, hails.

Immediate recruitment of tribal private militias was then entrusted to the then governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, Paul Malong Awan.

The recruitments ensued in the president’s regional states of Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal without the knowledge and consent of the then army’s Chief of General Staff, General James Hoth Mai.

This is the private militia group which teamed up with the presidential guards and carried out the targeted massacre of Nuer unarmed civilians in the capital, Juba.

General Awan was later on given the new task as army chief in recognition of his role in the recruitments of the tribal militia group and the subsequent massacre.

Thousands of the Nuer civilians butchered inside their houses and in the streets of Juba for many days knew nothing or had nothing to do with the political debates in the SPLM.

They were simply targeted due to sharing ethnicity with the leader who happened to come from their tribe.

I want to reiterate by underlining that before the 15 December crisis, reformist leaders were much concerned about the prevailing state of tribalism, insecurity, corruption, stagnant economy, poor foreign relations and lack of vision and direction in the ruling party.

The leaders were also from different ethnic groups, of whom members from the Dinka tribe were the majority.

However, the ongoing challenge to democracy in South Sudan is not the prevalence of ethnic diversity, but the use of tribal politics to promote narrow tribal interests. This is tribalism.

This is a worrying trend given its obvious negative consequences. The 15 December tribally motivated violence by Salva Kiir and his accomplices revealed the extent to which tribal forces could deny freedom, democracy and development and quickly plunge the country into civil war.

The regime would argue that their blood tainted administration recognizes inclusivity in ethnicity. But this is just a coated cover on a bitter pill.

It is crystal clear that elite leaders in Juba have exploited tribal loyalty, coupled with the treason of surrendering the country’s partial sovereignty to foreign agents to advance personal gains.

These unsecure leaders also engage in patronage to these foreign agents and continue to dwell on parochial interests at the expense of the suffering masses.

In essence, tribal chauvinism and practices have occupied a vacuum created by lack of strong democratic institutions in the country.

South Sudan needs peace and introduction of various reforms including political reforms under an able leadership so as to build genuine democratic institutions and viable political parties that compete on the basis of ideas, not tribal groupings, as foundations for political platforms and competitions.

There should also be concerted efforts to organize and step up civic education among the populace as well as create a common identity for South Sudanese with the aim to discourage tribalism and dictatorship and instill nationalism and democratic values in the minds of the people.

We should not allow the gains of the decades of our collective struggle for freedom, democracy, justice, equality and prosperity, etc to be swept under the carpet by these unremorseful elite leaders in Juba.

We should be one people, free, secure, equal, prosperous and happy.
The struggle continues…and may God bless South Sudan!

The author is a Spokesperson in the Office of the Chairman, SPLM/SPLA. The opinionated contents in the article are however his personal views. He can be reached at

Is this South Sudan conflict still being considered as the party issue?

By: Yien Lam, South Sudan, JAN/15/2015, SSN;

This cunningly seems to be the issue by the SPLM/A elite in Arusha, Tanzania. But as a member of the Nuer tribe in the Country we dearly love, this in my view, is beyond the SPLM/A party. If you cogitate it as a rational individual, you will find it as a pure business that is being done on our lives as the tribe.

I think we truly saw that and nobody would be able to delude us in order to fall prey to the SPLM/A party again. We have seen the true colors of Dinka elite against us. Many things prove that to be the intention of the regime as well as its kin and kith to annihilate us.

In this matter, if it was the party issue as I read Deng Alor’s presentation, what would be the justification for government to kill only Nuers while the political dissenters who thwarted the regime were the mixture of all tribes in South Sudan?

Can Mr. ALor answer that question prudently? In my view Mr. Alor, this is out of the SPLM/A that you are talking about because the very party you are addressing does not differentiate the cow dung and the human waste then and now.

If that was so, what would make you to believe it this time around to bring peace into South Sudan? None!

As the matter of fact, when I dissect this presentation of Mr. Alor in Arusha, I found out what prevented him to join the opposition and retain his status as a detainee in his presentation.

The one I found is this, Mr. Alor in fact, does not feel the agony being imposed on Nuer as a tribe. He does not consider the pain felt by Nuers as important rather than the party that victimizes them.

When I first read it, I was angered, saddened and my heart was broken because the elite still calls the very problem that only target one tribe in the first place as the leadership issue. This is ridiculous and I call it a sell-out to the Nuer lives that are being lost in this war.

I thought Mr. Deng Alor has an instinct to dissect things as the leader not as the rustic dweller of his own village.

I also thought he would follow the footsteps of the Central Equatoria governor, Clement Konga, who finally divulged the reality in broad daylight. That was the real meaning of the war in the first place and more will be coming. The time for smear tactics is gone and veracious individuals as Konga will emerge in days if not months to come.

Furthermore, if this was the leadership issue initially, now it is obsolete. The reason is simple. Nuers were purposely targeted by your cousin, Kiir, who’s supposed to be the leader of the country.

Presenting these days as such while the known victims of this man-made catastrophe were only us is not only absurd but also an affront to the dead Nuer’s souls.

To assure you, my friend, expectorating on the very people who have intentionally fought very hard to release from detention you as such is not only an insult, it is also regrettable.

Most people thought that you and your colleagues were political detainees not as folks whose aim is to lead behind the line. But now, your true colors are being seen as clear as you may have thought.

But we will control our intel and will there never be an compunction due to what you and your group did to us. We will remain vigilant as much as we can in order to not let power hunger sneak into the peoples’ struggle delusively.

Nonetheless, in my view, you should have not touched this topic because you know for certain that Nuers were the only victims of the leadership that you are talking about.

If that is so, how are you going to convince the Nuer members of your caucuses to agree on the leadership principles while your cousins killed only his/her relatives without touching yours as fellow cousin? Do you still think there is a trust in that leadership?

Mr. Deng, if that was not because Nuers are honest to everyone in south Sudan including yourself, you should not have talked as such today, you did so because freedom fighters fought for your release in the Jail last year.

They did not know you as such. They were thinking that you were a political dissent with everybody else. But now, you showed us your true colors without any doubt in my guts.

But as they say, “what goes around comes around,” you may have an intention on what you want politically now in which I doubt. But the reality is, being veracious is paramount to anything in life.

You may dodge whatever you think is bad from your political view. But this is not a joke as some of you may be playing the unwinnable game.

This leadership will not be taken by people who do not stand up for the people of south Sudanese but for their positions.

A Hyena in sheep’s clothing will not be allowed in this country of ours ever again. This will never be the case in the future government of south Sudan.

Nevertheless, Mr. Alor, you and your group are the threat to the whole Nation. Thinking this time as such to the problem of this magnitude is deserving of a serious consideration in my view if not the view of many.

This is worth mentioning because your silence is a problem if not indeed a dangerous one for the well-being of our Country. Believe it or not, your muteness in this crisis as neutral is a problem by itself.

Nobody is neutral in his/her country’s affairs. Not only that, none of you will not be sincere in this crisis either. The people whom you are thinking as the bad ones today will in the long run be good.

This will be so because they are on the side of the people as Desmond Tutu said, “if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

As the quote alluded to, if you and your group are neutral as it has been the case, do you guys not think that you are worse than the regime itself?

Believe it for certain, you will never be appreciated by either side because you are indecisive for the purpose of making yourselves unspoiled in the situation in which I call “a match without return.”

What you may be hoping for will only remain as a day dream that will never materialize in South Sudan.

However, frankly speaking, you cannot play games with the lives of Nuers. This business of yours is not worth it. We are not properties of anyone in south Sudan, bear that in mind.

This time around, Nuers will never return to anything that in the turn end turns up killing ever more of them. This time will not be the case as a cousins of yours persistently defaming us since the inception of the SPLM/A.

This time make no mistake, Nuers will not let this go without a tangible solution. Now, we worry less because we have got south Sudan as a nation. That is what we needed.

Therefore, now everyone is fully aware because Pres. Kiir feigned the coup on all of us. Therefore, we will not allow ourselves being treated like refugees in our own country.

Enough is enough, and we need everyone to be treated equally and fairly as God created us equal. Neutrality will not be hidden out whether one is believing in it or not.

As a matter of fact, nobody should be considered as neutral in his own home. You should pick a side that you think has every right in the altercation. That is what a man/woman that thinks rationally about the family problem does.

Being neutral while your siblings are suffering is not only politics but also a disease. There is no reason for one to let his siblings finish themselves up while that individual has whatever it takes to quell the problem.

Never! If one does not do that now, when is she/he going to do it?

Finally, anyone who’s still thinking erroneously as Alor and his group about this problem as the issue of leadership between the party loyalists, may need medical attention to check his/her mental capacity sooner than later.

This leadership problem is obsolete since an incompetent President took the tribal line to kill only the members of The Nuer ethnic group during his feigned coup.

The author is a concerned South Sudanese as well as the maverick that can be reached at

IGAD has abandoned its original Role as Mediator in South Sudanese Peace Process

By: Riang Yer Zuor Nyak, South Sudan, JAN/10/2015, SSN;

When the Peace Process began in January 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, IGAD began by trying to play conflicting roles. While it was acting in Addis Ababa as a mediator, some of its members, especially Uganda, was engaging the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in some of the most brutal battles on the side of the regime that was carrying out genocide. Others were playing their own other roles by either supplying the regime with arms and ammunitions or by allowing their ports to be used for the import of arms and ammunitions.

These conflicting roles and contradictions only came to an end when IGAD Member States which were then supplying Juba with arms and ammunitions came to learn from the SPLM/A that Salva and his group had actually manufactured the story of a coup attempt.

At the same time, Uganda was stopped from trying to be part of the mediation. Dr. Riek Machar only gave Museveni the option of taking part in the negotiations as part of Salva Kiir’s government, if he wanted to play a direct role.

Now it seems that stopping arms supply and pulling out the Ugandans from playing an active role in the mediation did not actually end the IGAD’s propensity to playing conflicting roles. As things began to unfold, it became very clear that IGAD was (and is) set to do whatever is available at its disposal, ranging from active participation on the battle fields to playing tricks to being mediators to being negotiators and to being arbiters.

In addition, it has as of recent resort to issuing threats of different types. This propensity to mixing roles is a sign that IGAD Mediators are not fair and credible, and that they are bound to fail the peace process. If this continues, then the collapse of the Peace Process is just around the corner.

IGAD’s Demands
Since the beginning of the peace process, IGAD has made it very clear that it has its own demands besides the demands made by the warring parties. Three of these demands include signing of a peace agreement, forming a transitional government of national unity and Salva Kiir to remain as the leader of that transitional government.

On the issue of peace agreement, IGAD is not the only one demanding; many, including the SPLM/A in particular and the people of South Sudan in general make similar demands. The difference is that the SPLM/A and the people of South Sudan in general want a peace agreement that identifies and addresses the root causes of the war, and that does not maintain the status quo in the country.

IGAD does not see the need to address the root causes. Its leaders want just a peace agreement of any quality. This is the problem. One cannot expect to succeed in uprooting a tree by just cutting off its apex.

On the formation of a transitional government of national unity, again, there is no objection so long as there is an agreement that identifies and addresses the root causes of the war to the satisfaction of the people of South Sudan.

The whole problem that is now before the IGAD is simple to tackle. It only demands the willingness on the part of the mediator to be fair and impartial with the commitment and courage to get into the fundamentals of the problem.

It is a matter of following a very simple sequence of things, such as identifying and addressing the root causes of the war, agreeing on who was responsible for the Juba massacres and on, agreeing on the reforms to be made, agreeing on the transitional security arrangements, agreeing on the system of governance as the current system has proven to be a failure, agreeing on how to form and divide a transitional government that could be tasked to carry out the reforms during the transition and agreeing on the leadership of such a transitional government. Following such a sequence would bring a lasting peace in South Sudan.

Instead, IGAD, as of late, has resorted to giving threats as a strategy to bring an end to the war. Each time a threat is issued, no tangible result is realized. This should be enough to inform any reasonable, right-thinking human being that unjust threats cannot work, especially when the war is fought on genuine people’s issues. People’s issues must be genuinely addressed. It is better that way than issuing threats.

The last Summit was a disaster. IGAD leaders showed their ultimate disrespect for the great people of South Sudan. The threats of war which were uttered at the end of the Summit were based on the wrong assumption that the people of South Sudan can easily be scared.

The country is currently at war between a genocidal government and a people resisting the genocidal policies of that government. How can one think of effectively ending a war by uttering threats of war? It should be expected by now that the people have made a decision to die for their cause, and that threats of death would not disarm them.

IGAD has gone as far as referring, in their power-sharing proposal, to the president (Salva Kiir) as a symbol of national unity. That is artificial, insensitive and insulting. The man has divided the country as never before. He embarked on genocide, killing members of one tribe for nothing other than that they come from that particular tribe. And you call him a symbol of national unity? There is nothing more insulting than referring to such a man as a symbol of national unity.

Anyway, IGAD does not have a legal ground to wage war against the people of South Sudan. This can be understood by taking a quick glance at the document that established this Authority in March of 1996.

First, Article 6A tells us about IGAD’s six guiding principles. Article 6A (b) clearly talks about “Non-interference in the internal affairs of Member States.” It is followed by paragraph (c) which talks about “Peaceful settlement of inter- and intra-State conflicts through dialogue”.

Paragraph (c) can be read together with Article 7 (g) which provides that the aims and objectives of the Authority shall be to, inter alia, “Promote peace and stability in the sub-region and create mechanisms within the sub-region for the prevention, management and resolution of inter and intra-State conflicts through dialogue.”

The Articles cited above do not give IGAD any authority to militarily interfere in the current war in South Sudan or any other Member State for that matter. It is only commanded to use and encourage dialogue between the warring parties to bring about a peaceful settlement of the war. It would be unlawful to take up arms against South Sudan.

Article 9 (2) (c) provides that one of the functions of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government is to “Give guidelines and monitor political issues especially on conflict prevention, management and resolution.

Again, this does not hint any use of force, such as the one that the IGAD Heads of State and Government threatened during the last Summit in November 2014. The guidelines being talked about by the Article can never be interpreted, in any way, to contradict the provisions of Articles 6 and 7, which advocate for a peaceful settlement of the conflict through dialogue.

Article 18A (a), which talks about conflict resolution provides that Member States shall “take effective collective measures to eliminate threats to regional cooperation, peace and stability”. This provision has four important elements: (1) collective measures, (2) effectiveness of such measures, (3) elimination of threats and (4) regional cooperation, peace and stability. It is true that the war in South Sudan threatens regional cooperation, peace and stability due to involvement of others. The question is how to eliminate such a threat. Is it through the military use of force, as IGAD Heads of State threaten? Collective measure has already been taken by calling the parties to the war to sit at the negotiating table, as opposed to one Member State doing the same. Where does the idea of collective military measure come from? They could collectively decide to use military force as much as they could. But, would that be effective?

First of all, IGAD does not have a legal ground to conduct a war of occupation in South Sudan. Second, IGAD does not have what it takes to win a war of that nature. IGAD countries can pull themselves together with all the heavy weapons and thousands of troops currently at their disposal. But, they can never have the hearts and minds of the people of South Sudan. And that is the most important weapon. Any army, of any size, lacking this can never win a war. It can win battles. But, at the end, it would lose the war. Imperial Japan in China had that experience; American in Viet Nam had that experience; and many more examples. There is no reason for one to think that it would be any different in South Sudan. For these two reasons, unlawful use of military force to eliminate threats to regional cooperation, peace and stability would never be effective. There must be a different way to bring the war to an end. And that is a genuinely conducted mediation that does not shy away from the causes of the war.

As tragic as this war is, South Sudanese have come to see it as a blessing in disguise. Ten years of tyranny have to end; the tyrant at the helm has to be uprooted before it is too late. As such, they will never allow IGAD to return their country to the business as usual. If use of force is the magic strategy, then IGAD leaders should also, at the same time that they are planning to go on with the war of occupation, prepare the citizens of their respective countries for a very long, painful and expensive war. This way, their citizens can approve of the plan knowing exactly the grave consequences—both local economic and human tragedies that would be involved for their would-be occupying countries once boots touch the soil of South Sudan. They (citizens of the IGAD countries) also need to understand that all of these tragedies would be for a narrow interest of the leaders who are bent on keeping in place an anti-people government in a sisterly African state.

IGAD’s demand that Salva Kiir must lead the transitional government is without a good justification. He has already led two governments since 2005. The current war was mixed and brewed under his command; he took a decision to commit genocide against a section of the population of the very people whom he claims to lead. He failed to lead the country before the war and he has failed to show any signs of readiness to lead this country after the outbreak of the war. In fact, he wants chaos, for it gives him an opportunity to blame his failure on instability of the country. Yet, IGAD sees incumbency as the only qualification and justification for him to continue leading the people to hell.

Since IGAD is interested in only three things, namely, peace agreement that does not address the root causes of the war, formation of a transitional government and Salva Kiir as the leader of such a transitional government, it is obvious that it is not ready for a genuine solution to the war. It is ready only for window dressing. It prefers a short process that can only produce a bad peace over a long process that can produce a sustainable peace. IGAD leaders would even be happy if they get a one-sentenced peace agreement that reads as follows: ‘We, the warring parties, agree to make peace and form a transitional government to be led by Salva Kiir’. I believe that such an agreement would be good enough for them. On the basis of how the IGAD leaders have been behaving (naked exhibition of partiality that does not address the roots of the war), it is clear that they would see such an agreement as an amicable solution to the war and deserving of a celebration.

IGAD’s partiality has become a real problem. And this problem has manifested itself in a number of ways, including shifting of roles when certain interests are suited. But, the whole business of shifting from role to role is a sign that IGAD Leaders no longer believe in their ability to end the war. They have virtually resorted to such a dancing exercise, hoping to accidentally stumble on a solution. So far, IGAD has become a party to the war, a mediator, a negotiator and a biased arbiter at the same time. It should and must commit to one of them.
IGAD as a Party to the War

At first, many IGAD members took part in the war in their own different ways. Ethiopia and Sudan provided arms and ammunitions to the Juba regime. This only stopped when the coup story was discredited by the SPLM/A. Kenya provided a conduit through which arms flowed to Juba, and still provides that to this day. The fact that the Kenyan Government has accepted that there was never a coup attempt has not stopped that government from continuing with its support of the regime. What could be the reason? All of us can only guess it.

As for Uganda, it has been actively fighting alongside Salva’s loyalists. Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF) and Salva’s army are now one and the same regardless of whether or not there was a coup. They are simply partners in crime. This partnership has recently been strengthened when arms embargo was imposed on South Sudan. The two countries have now, as the result, entered into an agreement where Uganda will buy arms and ammunitions for South Sudan. As partners in crime, won’t they equally share punishments and other responsibilities emanating from such a partnership?

IGAD as an Impartial Mediator
Between January and August 2014, IGAD’s role in the peace process was to facilitate the talks between the parties, especially after the Ethiopian and the Sudanese governments stopped their arms deals with Juba and Uganda was successfully dropped as part of the mediation. But all of this changed suddenly on August 25, 2014 when IGAD Heads of State and Government signed a protocol that imposed Salva as president and commander-in-chief of the envisioned transitional government without giving room for the warring parties to negotiate. Both the SPLM/A and the Government in Juba were not for such a prescription, and refused to sign on to the Protocol. Salva only signed after a trick was played on him. Even then, his signature was only used on the document as one of the Heads of State and Government—not a signature representing a party to the war.

IGAD as a Partial Negotiator
The August 25th Protocol completely changed the attitude of the IGAD leaders in a drastic way. It was the conspicuous end of impartiality. Most, if not all, of the IGAD leaders have decided to side with their colleague—“…the elected, incumbent president…”, Salva Kiir. To them, the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians savagely murdered in Juba by Salva using state power became irrelevant. They saw (and still see) their murders as a normal exercise of state power by a Head of State and Government.

During the Bahir Dar negotiations, IGAD seemed to have been embarrassed by the widespread regional and international criticisms that it had received as the result of the August 25th Protocol. In those negotiations, the Mediators allowed the parties to negotiate without IGAD’s usual heavy-handed interference. It was only after a number of deadlocks that consultations with the IGAD Heads of State and Government were made, and a mini Summit was recommended. In fact, the deadlocks can still be blamed on the IGAD. It was their August 25th Protocol that became the stumbling block, as the Government (which did not have a position of its own prior to the negotiations) adopted it as its position and never wanted to concede anything from that document.

During the IGAD 28th Extraordinary Summit in November 2014, IGAD Heads of State and Government exhibited a bizarre mediation behavior. This badly conceived Summit was supposed to be convened between Dr. Riek Machar and Salva Kiir as the two principals. The two were brought together to negotiate the issues which had become difficult to resolve in Bahir Dar. In attendance, as facilitators, were Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. Instead of facilitating the negotiation between the two South Sudanese leaders, the Ethiopian and the Kenyan decided to do the negotiation for Salva. Up to now, not many people know whether or not the whole thing had been cooked prior to the meeting in consultation with their other colleagues who were also in Addis Ababa, but not in the room, for the Summit that day. The two were actually the ones who rejected the position presented by Dr. Riek Machar on power-sharing arrangement, arguing that the proposal would make Salva a ceremonial president.

IGAD as a Biased Arbiter
It can be seen from the above observations that IGAD started as a party to the war, a mediator, and then a negotiator. After they attempted to negotiate on behalf of Salva Kiir, and after they completely rejected the proposal presented by the SPLM/A in regard to the power-sharing arrangement, IGAD Heads of State and Government appeared to demonstrate that their position was final and should not be altered for any reason. Instead, it was a leave-it-or-take-it position. The position had been designed to favor Salva as Head of State and Government. No negotiated agreement between the warring parties on power-sharing was needed. IGAD had arbitrarily decided for them. It appeared that the idea of sending the parties to their constituencies for consultations was just an after-thought.

If this is the case, then IGAD has become a biased arbiter.
SPLM/A’s Concessions in Search for a Peaceful Solution
In the spirit of peace, the SPLM/A has gone through a series of concessions throughout the Peace Process. But, for one reason or others, IGAD which has been working hard to see to it that Salva Kiir remains in power, does not see these concessions as big enough to warrant corresponding concessions from the opposing party. Instead of putting pressure on Juba to positively respond to the concessions, IGAD wants just the stopping of the war and formation of a transitional government to be led by Salva Kiir.

The SPLM/A’s initial position was that Kiir had committed genocide by using his personal militia to carry out the Juba massacres of the Nuer civilians, targeting them solely on the basis of their tribal origins. In addition to that, he launched such a violent attack on civilians to further his political goal of unconstitutionally staying in power through violence. The SPLM/A felt (and still feels) that Kiir had lost his constitutional legitimacy as the result, and that he had to go and face justice immediately. No need to negotiate with him. However, for the sake of peace, the SPLM/A changed its position and expressed a willingness to talk with him so that he could negotiate his safe exit from power.

When it became clear that peace was not going to come soon enough, the SPLM/A went ahead and dropped the demand and took the position of accommodating him as a ceremonial Head of State. In such an arrangement, the office of the Prime Minister could be created, and the Prime Minister could be the Chief Executive Office of the government. That again was rejected. IGAD maintained that Salva remained both Head of State and Government.

The third concession concerns the sharing of executive powers between the President and the Prime Minister. The SPLM/A took a position that while the President should take all the ceremonial powers, the Prime Minister should take all the managerial powers. Then, the two leaders should jointly exercise all the executive functions. The SPLM/A further conceded that the President, in this joint exercise of the executive functions, could chair the Council of Ministers and may only delegate it to the Prime Minister when he is absent.

Some of these executive powers normally exercised by the Chief Executive Officer of the government that the President and the Prime Minister should share during the Transitional Government of National Unity include, but not limited to, the following:
• being the Commander in Chief of the armed forces.
• declaration of the state of emergency.
• the power to make treaties and receive ambassadors and work with leaders of other nations.
• the power to nominate and appoint the heads of governmental departments and judges to courts and justices to the Supreme Court.
• the power to issue executive orders.
• the power to issue pardons for offenses.
• the power to convene the legislature for special sessions.
• the power to veto legislation approved by the legislature.
• the power to deliver a State of the Union address annually to the legislature.

This kind of arrangement would create a middle ground where any of the two, the Prime Minister and the President, would never claim to be more executive than the other. The SPLM thought that this position was fairer than the IGAD’s. Yet, it was rejected.

The SPLM/A believed (and still believes) that the two Principals, without deputies, could use the above power-sharing formula to jointly and responsibly move the country from where it is now to a qualitatively better future. In such an arrangement, a clumsy leadership structure with too many non-responsive role players could be avoided. For example, IGAD proposed a structure which includes the President, Prime Minister, Vice-President and two deputies to the Prime Minister. The Government has also proposed a structure which appeared as follows: President, Vice-President, Prime Minister and three deputies to the Prime Minister.

For the sake of smooth implementation of the peace agreement, the SPLM/A believes in a simple structure that includes only the President and the Prime Minister. IGAD opposes this simple structure, arguing that it does not reflect the principle of inclusivity. SPLM/A thinks and believes that the principle of inclusivity has nothing to do with deputies. It can easily be achieved in the allocation of ministerial portfolios. These portfolios shall be allocated in accordance with the power-sharing ratios to be agreed in the final peace deal. Therefore, the principle of inclusivity can be taken care of without deputizing the two principal leaders.

Unless there is a change in the attitude of the IGAD Heads of State and Government in how they approach the war taking place in South Sudan, IGAD-led Peace Process in Addis Ababa is bound to collapse. One cannot pretend to be a peace-maker, while at the same time one is sitting on one side side-by-side at the negotiating table with one of the parties to the peace negotiation. There have to be three parties at the table: the two negotiating parties and a third party as a mediator.

IGAD as a party to the war, a mediator, a negotiator and an arbiter can never make any progress towards a peaceful resolution of the war. If it is to succeed, it has to detach itself at once from whatever interest that it has in Juba, and stay as a genuine mediator.

SPLM/A has made too many concessions with the hope of reaching a speedy peaceful solution to the war. These concessions have not yet been matched by the other side. Instead, IGAD has stuck to its position that it needs only a peace agreement, formation of a transitional government and Salva as the head of that government. To them, other issues do not seem to exist. To the government in Juba, there is no reason to concede anything so long as the Mediator is on its side, demanding handsomely for Salva.

This is the current picture of the IGAD-led Peace Process. Its past was wobbly; the present is wounded, and the future can be seen seriously limping. Without the change of attitude on the part of IGAD, its collapse is just around the corner.

The author is a South Sudanese. He can be reached at

Was the Nuer pogrom in Juba a genocide or what else?

BY: Yien Lam, South Sudan, JAN/06/2015, SSN;

As an individual who knows the meaning of the word genocide as it was coined by Raphael Lemkin’s in 1933 and finalized in 1943 in his book title “Axis Rule” where the genos (for Greek meaning Tribe, family, or race) and cide (Latin for killing). This word is defined “as violence crime committed against groups with the intent to destroy the existence of the group or systematic extermination of cultural group.”

In this particular case, yes, Nuers killings in Juba was absolutely a genocide that the world is hesitant to publicize as the tribe appears in its definition. As the definition delineated, is this not a genocide in your view?

To me, it is absolutely a genocide. It is so because it has two explicit elements of any genocide that had been witnessed everywhere in the world. Namely, intention to destroy Nuers as the ethnic group or tribe in the country as well as action taken to kill them. What else does the world want to know other than this?

Believe it for certain, Kiir and his sycophants had planned this for many years to eliminate Nuers in the face of the world. Fortunately, God forbid it, and will never be the case as the regime moronically thought to be.

Nuers are created by God as anybody else. Therefore, they cannot be eliminated by anyone due to his/her power. Power of the one who created them is above human power. I worried less for Nuers extirpation as the tribal leader has tried to do so. This will never be the case ever. This was tried by Hitler to Jews and Turkish government to Armenians. But did not result in their extinction and will not be the case for Nuers either.

Back to the topic, the regime began this by talking out 1991 on the media. But most political morons who were in fact Nuers by nature did not see it as the threat of extermination rather than DR. Riek Machar’s political issue.

The orchestration of the Nuers killings, originated from what so-called “39 laws”. If anyone knows that read it again and you will know exactly what it says about the elimination for Nuers and what happened to the targeting individuals within the Nuers as it clearly delineated in the articles?read it yourself!

This later followed by heartfelt demotion or retirement of the most loyal Nuers officers in the Army. For instance, Gatduel gatluak known as Gatduel nyakuay was the senior officer who fought fearlessly with Khartoum in Heglig. When the supposed promotion came, Gatduel was retired and his deputy was promoted to the rank of Lt.General. This is just an example.

Nevertheless, when kiir knew that there was no reaction on whatever he did, he took out the power that he invested on his vice president. This was the step that he and his hoodlum folks did to get rid of DR. Riek with his vulnerable Nuers.

This was in fact, done with the advice of the very Nuers who naively thought it will be good for them when DR. Riek exited from the leadership in which I think was the miscalculation on the part of those who think they were smarter then. This was successfully done by the regime and its allies within the Nuers people who were/are still blindfolded by their interests than the interest of the community they serve.

Immediately after that, the very president of the country trained 15,000 private militias secretly from his own village to be his aid during the execution plan to kill innocent Nuers who have nothing to do with politics.

These individuals were savages whose knowledge of the outside world is limited to Nuers. They were rustic dwellers who did not know anything about the civilization rather than being Dinka and carrying out the plan injected to their heads by supposed-to-be president of them not the Country’s.

These individuals were purely Dinka villagers whose job was to exterminate anyone with six marks in his foreheads or speaks the Nuers language. This is the only thing they knew at the time of Nuers massacre in Juba.

Interestingly enough, if not planned in this tragic death of Nuers, why some of the Dinkas who have six marks like Nuers were executed by these savage militias for the first two days? Believe it or not, this was well organized, the only problem at the time was, the savage did not know that there are Dinkas who shared such marks with Nuers.

Moreover, On July 23/2013, the crowned emperor of Dinka unleashed his plan by sacking the entire government of south Sudan in which had never happened in the history of any country that is being considered as the democratically elected government.

This was the beginning of the worse and the execution of the clandestine plan to annihilate the entire Nuers community in the face of the earth and only few knew that at the time. The bloodsuckers thought it was good for them. But not really! It may be good for them in short. But they will ultimately gnash their teeth at the end of this mess.

In this situation, however, DR. Riek Machar did not react because he put his attention to the election of 2015 which was seen as irony to most in South Sudan. It was so because most people in the country were thinking that how it would be possible for the elections to be held successful while it was not so in Yau Yau and George Athor cases?

What would make 2015 any different with those? This was a very concern to many people in the country myself included. But DR.Riek had a self-confidence to stick on his guns to wait 2015.

At the end, kiir and his sycophants unleashed their premeditated plan by using 1991 and the coup that did not materialize to this day in order to execute their heinous crimes against the Nuers.

He ordered the curfew to leeway him to target killing the Nuers in Juba on Dec. 16, 17, 18 of 2013 and so forth. This resulted in the killings of more than 20,000 Nuer civilians who had No crimes in this war rather than being Nuers.

If you are someone joking and trying to take advantage of Nuer’s blood, you are playing with fire. We don’t want peace that will kill more Nuers. We want peace with accountability and justice. Therefore, we will not allow anyone who wants to swallow us alive.

We will defend ourselves as much as we could. Slaughtering us again as it was the case in Juba will not happen naively ever again. We will remain as vigilant as we could to defend ourselves from this regime. Anyone who is telling us to join the bogus government without listening to him/herself will not be taken seriously.

Our lives matter to ourselves if not the IGAD. We deserve to live as others in the world. We would not allow any to bluff us to join the cobra with its venom hanging around. But we will however, accept organization that is willing to table accountability and justice instead of politics and interests in this matter.

Finally, the world needs to act collectively and give this pogrom its proper name as genocide because kiir has intentions and actions to eliminate Nuers in their ancestral land. If the world continues watching this case as it usually does, it will otherwise drag the whole East Africa into the fight.

The author is concerned south Sudanese as well as an independent thinker that can be reached at

The Juba White Nile River & the Land’s Garbage Tragedy

By: Gabriel Makuei Tor, JUBA, JAN/03/2015, SSN;

The natural resources in South Sudan (S.S.) have been defiled, so stop singing the “virgin land” song, like “a baby nation” clause in the mouths of S.S. corrupted officials. In our times when we were kids, way before 2nd civil war kicked in between South and North Sudan, over 30 years ago, there were rare cases of sickness and natural death.

Though we were drinking right direct from the rivers and rain waters, we still remained healthy than a kid living on the same today, but those days were true in their own style than these days!

So what happened? What has changed? To answer these questions, you may have your own answers but let’s read through here below:

You heard of the climate change; the religion of the 21st century. That everything we use has an effect and limitation, even the sun and the waters of the Seas. The air, soil and water are being polluted by human activities globally and here is looking through S.S. windows.

The picture here below, shows trash being incinerated (burnt) in the stream that leads into the Nile River and not far away from the main river. The stream’s greeny far left has water that is use for irrigating crops planted by the River bank.

The land of South Sudan is not virgin and the loss is being continued. Some of the land destructions are natural, whereas most of the impacts are man-made. Burning fires and waste dumping are playing a part.

If the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans could be polluted by a coal power plant running in India, China, or elsewhere, then you know, River Nile is nothing to escape the change. No land is immune of hazardous emissions (the deposit of dangerous waste and exhaust gas).

Some recent past research by the scientists had shown that people in the US State of Alaska have been contaminated by eating fish caught in the Pacific Ocean with mercury contaminants in its body. Some heavy metal like mercury are found to might have migrated to the US from Indian’s coal power plant operated in India; through smoke that is containing mercury.

The smoke mixed in and formed a cloud and the cloud came down in the form of rains, falling into the Ocean, where fish live as home and feed in. The fish is contaminated and when eaten by a person, then the person gets the mercury toxic contaminants known for destroying human nervous system, causing major illness or permanent disability in humans.

When pregnant woman eats the fish with a level of toxicity in it, the fetus may be harmed, which could lead to death before and after birth or a child born with deformities (life disabilities).

The mercury for example, is found in plastic bags and water bottles. The picture here is of the River Nile tributary, not far from Juba airport and passers have used it as a dumping ground. See water bottles …

White Nile tributary (Right) by the Juba airport (left) is seen used as water bottles’ dumpster. These pictures were taken in summer (Feb. 2014) when the tributary was dry, when it rains, it washed all these trash into the Nile – where they remain as sediments. The black, blue, red and green colors you see on the left side are from planes’ tails at Juba Airport.

Juba Trash in Tragedy
You heard of people disappearing in cities like Juba. There are those being taken by crocodile, hippopotamus or other unnamed dangerous aquatic life. These are accidents, but there are people who disappeared without trace of being attacked by the wild lives in the Nile River or elsewhere.

Other disappearances are blamed on the killers, who kill people and throw them into the river. There is nothing good in human eating human. Those who drink and bathe from the White Nile River may be eating other humans in the form of water usage, because of those dead bodies being thrown into the Nile.

When the body degraded into waters of the White Nile; the water is contaminated, making it unclean for human purposes, including domestic animals, since they do not feed on human flesh.

That is pollution. And this is one of the reasons why people are getting sick more frequently than in the past.

Mid-Night Dumping (Illegal Dumping).
Passing in downtown Juba, you will see piles of trash as high as 5 to 6 feet high by and above some complex fences in Juba town. The trash is not getting dumped to where it is supposed to go. The stagnant garbage piled up close to some offices, homes and traffic routes, will carry its pollutants around in town and people will catch it and get sick later.

Some midnights dumped garbage is found on the Juba–Nimule Highway, on the road side, right before you cross the bridge and this is in Kony-Konya area of Juba. Besides, the trash could be seen dumped at less than 200 feet from Juba–Nimule Highway in the Nasitu area by the road side.

I had seen some solid waste sitting by the river bank, next to the crops planted by the Nile River bank in Juba. Some garbage, by the streams that run into the Nile River when the rains fall, during the wet season.

The trash on the road side which many travelers had seen on numerous occasions, would get flown onto the neighboring homes and public areas, when the wind blow, while the trash by Nile bank goes into the river, where fish could be contaminated with hazardous waste (e.g. medical waste) deposited into the River.

When the contaminated fish is consumed by humans, people get sick and start seeking medical care. You might have seen people doing the same that are done in Juba being carried out all over the country South Sudan.

People are washing cars into the Nile as well as washing their bodies and clothes during the bath with soaps. This activity must be considered illegal and dangerous to do so.

The use of soap and other related agents into the Nile River is unhealthy because of the nature of toxicity in them. So why wash dirt and chemicals into the pure water of the Nile to contaminate it?

There are ways for people to designate areas for washing and bathing. Cars have aerosols – some hazardous chemicals from car’s parts and fuel apparatus are considered contaminants. Garbage should be dumped at a faraway landfill from homes, low laying grounds and away from waterways.

Water Bottles and Cans
Water bottles, plastic bags and soda cans are being thrown anywhere, anyhow in Juba and other towns. Water bottles and soda cans look like cattle egrets behind fences and in open spaces in Juba town. This is not a good start for modernization or industrialization.

And you do not tell me “baby nation is still waiting to crawl. “A day is more than a month” according to South Sudanese saying and the country existed as Free State for more than 10 years!!

Can we control our waste to protect our environment? Konyo-konyo’s town ground is covered with water bottles and soda cans deposited over the past years. Could this be cleaned?

The danger of mismanaging bottles and cans is that they don’t biodegrade, per an organization known as “Water Project”. According this same report, water bottles and soda cans do not break down and if they do decay, it took 1000 years for bottles and cans to break down and mix with soil.

Long time indeed, no one would want to wait that long, but the right waste disposal and management would do.

What are the ministry of environmental services, health and other educated South Sudanese residing in Juba, Nimule, Wau, Malakal, Bor, and other localities, doing to protect their natural resources, their environment (the water, land and people) from being polluted from imported goods??

All kinds of batteries from Automobile and electronics equipments carry toxic chemicals like mercury and cadmium among other toxicity ingredients.

Forest Combustion during the Dry Season
Burning the forest or few bushes is welcome by many cultures as forest “renewal and change” – with fire considered as “nature’s housekeeper” but this practice could be disastrous.

The fire can clear the forest for passage; get rid of old parts and plants, but it takes away the most fertile part of the land – the top soil is burnt to ashes: Fires killed humus and other nutritional top soil ingredients.

When the top soil that is rich with dead plants and animals is gone; the land is not productive for agriculture, grass growth for cattle grazing and this could make the burned land or forest incapable of replenishing itself.

Fires destroy wild animal’s homes and lives – no country with responsible leaders and scholars would want to see their wildlife gone forever. This could lead to wildlife extirpation, or extinction.

No one would be willing to see the wild animals in his/her home areas getting all killed or displaced to neighboring countries, where they will never return when they find peace there.

Most of the South Sudanese burn their regions’ forests and grassland down, during the spring and summer seasons. The smoke from fires carries exhausted gases, hindering oxygen flow to all kinds of people and blocking sun light from hitting the earth.

In this case, people with asthma and children have their breathing airways made so hard for them to breathe well, due to forests fires’ smoke, and fine particles floating in the air.

The way to prevent this harmful practice is to make forest combustion illegal, unless it is absolutely necessary to burn the forest. South Sudan forest management must act now in regard nature integrity and protection.

The few details expressed here are not the only impacts to South Sudan environment, but a few of enormous environmental issues of concern. Healthy environment means healthy people. This picture shows how the Nile is utilized as well as abusing it.

Please, Keep Nile River Safe and Clean. If the Nile waters are polluted, the fish, land and the crops would too be polluted, among other natural resources, since it is the same Nile waters that serve the land and its production, either by the rain, irrigation, or flood.

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Our intellectual journey towards a coherent political ideology

BY: Peter Adwok Nyaba PhD, KENYA, DEC/30/2014, 2014, SSN;


Dr. Lual Deng, in his rejoinder to my response to Mr. Abraham Lueth’s piece in reference to revocation of South Sudan membership in AGOA while cautioning Dr. James Okuk and me to focus the debate on the issues facing our country, introduced an important concept of ‘our intellectual journey towards coherent political ideals.’ I preferred to reword this conceptual construct as ‘intellectual journey towards a coherent political ideology,’ However, while retaining its structure I believe its important constituent concepts should be ‘liberation’, ‘state’ and ‘society’ put in a reverse order to place the discourse in its South Sudan historical context.

Many South Sudanese researchers and writers have published books, in referral journals and newspapers on the social and political configuration of South Sudan with little or no policy impact in the sociology and political economy of the country. The dominant political remains impervious to the oral and published critique. The rate at which our young republic of South Sudan is sliding back into prehistory is alarming. This is a modest contribution to the discourse on the inordinately huge challenges facing the people of South Sudan as they construct their state and build their nation.

The research we conducted in the context of ‘the House of Nationalities’ [Nyaba, 2000] revealed that sixty seven nationalities in their variegated demographic weight differentials, with the Dinka and Makaraka being the single largest and smallest nationalities respectively, populate South Sudan. This fact is important to note, given that these nationalities constitute the building blocks of the South Sudan nation. Indeed the concepts of inclusivity and visibility of each nationality in the national liberation process drove the idea of the house of nationalities in the context of unity in diversity.

Having said that, I want now to problematize the issues that face our young republic of South Sudan along the concepts of ‘society’, ‘state’ and ‘liberation’ in this order. In this exercise, I hope my tools for analysis and synthesis will not fail me. My theoretical foundation of this discourse grounds in Marxist analysis of history that state is a superstructure of society. That is to say, society predates the emergence of state as a social construct. The Sudanese state and for that matter South Sudan as a state is an extension of Westphalian state model transmitted to us through the agency of colonialism in the nineteen century.

Colonialism and colonial rule distorted, indeed interrupted and froze at a primoval stages what would have been the autochthonous development of Sudanese nationalities. While the colonial administration united them in one country nevertheless it instituted the policy of ‘divide and rule’ to segregate, weaken their resistance and prevent solidarity among them. The ‘Closed Districts Ordinance’ was intended to insulate the people of Southern Sudan, the Nuba and Funj from modernizing ideas and ideologies. The colonial administration tasked the Christian Missionaries with the job of block and blunting the social and political consciousness of their converts. Paradoxically the Church inadvertently produced such radical clergy as Fr. Saturnino Lohure..


Except in certain cases where slavery and disease decimated their population, the nationalities that inhabit South Sudan have remained for nearly three hundred years unaffected by industrialization, communication and information technology. Their mode means and relations of production have unchanged over the last two hundred years since the Turco-Egyptian occupation of Sudan [1821 -1885]. There has been extensive social segmentation and migration due to internal or external wars, disease and depletion of resources resulting in differentiation and emergence of subnational groups in adjacent or distant locations. Consequent to separate and sometimes isolated existence some of these subnational groups developed different dialects, traditions and customs.

This phenomenon pronounces more among the Dinka [found in Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile and Kordofan], Nuer [found in Upper Nile and western Ethiopian], Moro [found Equatoria and West Nile in Uganda], the Ateker group [South Sudan, Southwest Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda] and the Murle group [found in Upper Nile, Equatoria and Kenya]. The most characteristic feature of this phenomenon, which anthropologists described as ‘ethnic federation’, is the absence of centralized authority and with it the concept of state.

This contrasts development with the segmentation and migration of the Luo [found in Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, Western Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and DR Congo], who wherever they settled established some form of centralized authority in the person of the ‘Nyie’ [Anywaa], Reth [Chollo], Ruot [Acholi, Luo (Jur Chol), Luo (Kenya)] representing a primordial state. The Azande [found in South Sudan, DR Congo and Central African Republic] established a state, which the French and the British destroyed consequent to the cooperation between Gbudwe and the Mahdist state. The key point in this theoretical configuration is, whether in acephalous or cephalous societies (where centralized authority has evolved) that society and state remain undifferentiated and power not emancipated (through institutionalization) from the person wielding and exercising it.

On the political economy plane, the mode of social production ranges from gathering, hunting/fishing to subsistence agriculture in crop production and traditional animal husbandry. The relations of production remains communal which also defines the social identity and all that goes with it. The community dominates and defines the individual’s attitudes, perceptions and preferences. The individual remains hostage to the society s/he hails from, which also expects he/r to respond according to its concerns, interests and aspirations. This plays out negatively where the individual holding public office behaves according and responds to society’s expectation in respect of public property. This resulted, more often than not, in abuse of office, corruption, nepotism and similar mal-administrative practices. When you find government, ministry or department, populated by the ethnic community from the top person to junior then you know what I mean.

Although a successor state from the Sudan following independence on July 9, 2011, state formation in South Sudan is at its rudimentary stage precisely because of the development of society and other contributing factors linked o colonialism. The Turco-Egyptian (1821-1885), the Mahdiya (1885 -1898) and the Anglo-Egyptian (1899 -1956) states in the Sudan were brutal, extractive, exploitative and oppressive that linked the Sudan to the world capital system of exploitation. This prompted massive resistance on the part of the people in different parts of the country. The state expanded establishing finally its 1917 international borders at the expense and subjugation of the various kingdoms and nationalities.

The struggle for liberty, freedom and human dignity that characterized the resistance of the people of South Sudan did not end with colonial pacification. It continued after independence of Sudan on January 1st, 1956 against the national governments. In order to achieve independent statehood and international recognition the people of South Sudan had to fight two wars. The two wars and the culture of armed resistance to political exclusion, domination and oppression meant that South Sudan had to forfeit socio-economic development of its human and huge natural resources.

The underdevelopment of the natural resources of South Sudan registers in the low level of social awareness and political consciousness of its people. Social awareness and political consciousness reflected in the culture of political organization and action are a function of socio-economic development. Industrialized parts of the Sudan [Khartoum and Gezira] demonstrate high level of social awareness and political consciousness compared to the less developed parts. In South Sudan, the wars and culture of resistance operated to block potentialities for social and economic development while at the same time unlocking the potentials for violence and war.

This explains why it is easy to mobilise South Sudanese for war than for passive political resistance characteristic of urban proletariat and lumpens in North Sudan. The struggle for social and economic rights in the cities and towns in northern Sudan translate into political struggle resulting in change oppressive regimes e.g. in 1964 and 1985 popular uprisings. It is worth noting that the civil wars fought in southern Sudan created conditions for the success of the two respective popular uprisings.


The concept of liberation links up with the struggle against oppressive reality, which submerges people’s consciousness. As a process liberation obtains in the context of conscientisation, whereby people conceive and change reality consequent to praxis – reflection and action [Paulo Fererri, 1974]. Thus transforming an oppressive reality essentially means liberating the oppressed and the oppressor. In this context, liberation must occur initially at the personal level before it works to produce a counter society emerged from oppression. In 1983, Dr. John Garang de Mabior deserted his post in the Sudan Armed Forces to establish and lead the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army [SPLM/SPLA] to wage the ‘revolutionary’ war of national liberation. The SPLM/SPLA, a section of the national democratic revolution, emerged from South Sudan, which due to its underdevelopment constituted the weakest link in the Sudanese state system and an unlikely spot for revolution .

The ‘society’, ‘state’ and ‘liberation’ linkages played out in a contradiction that produced the current social and political environment in South Sudan, which justifies the notion that revolution leading to social change or transformation can only spearheaded by a conscientious organized working class armed with a political ideology for this transformation. South Sudan consequent to its underdevelopment had no organized working class. The onus of liberation therefore fell on what Amilcar Cabral termed ‘bourgeois petit’ the literate section of society whose dominance in the state and society accrue not from social production of economic wealth but from letters.

According to Cabral, for the petty bourgeois to transform a socially and economically underdeveloped society as obtaining in South Sudan it must commit class suicide to resurrect in the guise of revolutionary intellectuals closely allied in solidarity with the masses of the people. The war of national liberation the SPLM/SPLA spearheaded instead produced a military elite – the SPLA generals, who due to lack of political ideology of transforming society, emerged completely detached from the masses of the people. The clutch slipped and the wheel turned full circle to the starting point of social domination and oppression.

South Sudan is in a state of civil war. Its people have never been as fragmented as today along ethnic and regional fault lines in a manner that jeopardizes its sovereignty and independence. The war quickly eroded the social capital that bounded the people for decades if not centuries enabling them to resist their common enemies. The state in South Sudan is at risk of failing and total collapse. The writings on the wall suggest that UN Security Council or IGAD Regional intervention is imminent. Several factors conspired to construct this socio-political architecture.

The SPLM/SPLA lacked political ideology

As mentioned above the SPLM/SPLA emerged from the backward parts of Sudan characterized by shallow culture of social and political organization. It was a military rather than political insurrection. The failure to evolve a political ideology reflecting the objective reality obtaining in the country and the aspiration of the people condemned the SPLM/SPLA to militarization of society and militarism as its modis operandis rather than political organization for military action. The subculture of militarism eclipsed the political message and character of the SPLM/SPLA pushing to the background the liberation process of conscientisation and transforming the oppressive reality through praxis. The SPLM/SPLA therefore became a militarist machine conditioned by military doctrine and routine that produced and promoted a cult of personality and a subculture that emphasized hierarchical rather than horizontal or comradely relations in the ranks and file as well as between the combatants and civil population among whom they operated. The execution of military action outside its political and ideological context generated serious contradictions within the SPLM/SPLA ranks.

The SPLM/SPLA shunt political education and organization

The conventionalization of the guerrilla war, consequent to availability and external access to abundant military logistics, accelerated the pace of war [Nyaba, 1997]. This deprived the SPLM/SPLA of the opportunity to undertake political mobilisation, education and organization. It is not feasible to conceive of social transformation of an oppressive reality without political education and organization. Political enlightenment and education is necessary for attitudinal change to enable correction perception of the oppressive reality, which submerges the people. Organization is a necessary tool for uniting the people for action.

The absence of political education and organization inadvertently forced the complete and absolute reliance on military discipline leading to alienation of the masses of the people. The SPLM/SPLA interaction with the civil population in essence appeared like liberating the people with the tools of domestication. It produced and passive, rather than active, mass not involved in their own liberation. The condescending attitude of many SPLA combatants that ‘we liberated you’ smacks of this militarist arrogance.

Without change of attitudes, because of political education, it was not possible to disseminate and inculcate in the masses of the people the ideas and principles of social justice, equality, freedom and democracy without which we cannot envisage liberation. Therefore social awareness and political consciousness of the masses fossilized at the primoval level of society.

The SPLM/SPLA leadership disdained institutions and democratic structures

As a corollary of shunning political education and organization was the SPLM/SPLA’s disdain of institutions and structure in the SPLM. That explains why the SPLM produced its draft constitution only in 2008 exactly twenty-five years after the launch of the SPLM/SPLA and the publication of the SPLM Manifesto in July 1983. The resistance to construction of institutions and structures in the SPLM corresponded to the certain logic of absolute power whereby the leader did everything from reflective thinking and conceptualization to the distribution of material goods military or otherwise.

This led to marginalization and exclusion of colleagues in decision-making process of the SPLM generating contradictions within the SPLM/SPLA leadership leading to factionalisation and splinterism. Dr. Lam Akol’s clandestine paper “Why Garang must go now” (1990) came in this context. The refusal to construct institutions that defined the roles and responsibilities in the SPLM/SPLA eventually led to the Nasir Declaration [August 1991] and precipitated the split with the SPLM/SPLA.

The absence of political structures, rules and procedures to resolve the internal contradictions meant that no avenues existed in the movement for venting the excessive internal pressures the leadership contradictions generated. This condemned the SPLM/SPLA to rely on violence and military action as means of resolving the contradictions.

The SPLM/SPLA lacked political programme

It is virtually impossible to envisage liberation without a minimum political programme for social and economic transformation. To date (December 31, 2014), the SPLM has not produced a political programme, which is an elaborate document that translate the SPLM vision and strategic political objectives in policies and plans of action the SPLM government implements to transform the lives of the people in accordance with liberation agenda.

During the war and SPLM/SPLA’s emphasis on war efforts registered in two negativities. The first one was that it failed to evolve a society in the liberated areas counter to the society under the oppressive regime. The concept of ‘counter society’ encapsulated in the concept of ‘strong rear base’ developed by the Chinese [against the Japanese and the Nationalist] and the Vietnamese [against the Americans] is relevant to the situation in South Sudan. The rear base is the social, economic and political bases of the guerrilla army where the SPLM would implement its political programme and exercise political authority establishes its administration and implements the concepts of justice, social equality, freedom and democracy. In the rear base, the SPLM would build an economy to support its war efforts instead of relying wholly on external resources.

However, instead of developing and applying the concept of rear base in the liberated areas, the SPLM/SPLA encouraged migration of the population to become refugees [Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda] as a means of accessing logistics and food for the army. This generated another negativity. The SPLM/SPLA became dependent on external resources unlike the Anya-nya, which relied on the people in matters of food, health care and other necessities. The SPLM/SPLA forced the population that remained behind in the villages to rely on international humanitarian assistance to generated food for the army. This produced relief dependence syndrome, which still stalks the people to date in some areas.

The second negativity involved the relation between the SPLA combatants and the civil population among whom they operated characterized by brutality, dehumanization and abuse of human rights. Absolute dependence on external resources produced in the combatants an attitude that engendered disrespect for and condescendence upon the civil population.

Inability to transform the SPLM/SPLA into their respective professional spheres

The factors above combined to prevent the separation of the SPLM/SPLA into their respective professional spheres. In fact, the SPLM/SPLA evolved like Siamese twins conjoined in the heads that a surgical operation to separate them into their respective professional spheres would result in their mutual death . The lack of political education and organization; absence of constitutional order implying lack of institutions and structures in the SPLM/SPLA and lack of political programme virtually delegitimized the SPLM, demystified its leadership and disempowered its cadres. Thus, the SPLM/SPLA failed to self-transform into a mass based political party sensu stricto on the one hand and professional army on the other.

The CPA thrust the SPLM unto an unfamiliar domain of government and governance. The tragic and sudden disappearance of Dr. John Garang complicated the SPLM/SPLA political predicament as it embarked on CPA implementation. The new SPLM leadership was inept and could not manage the baggage of contradictions accumulated without resolution over twenty-one years of armed struggle.

One such contradictions is the lack of institutionalization of the SPLM/SPLA political and military power. Since its inception in 1983, power in the SPLM remained personified in the person of the Chairman and SPLA Commander in Chief that all contradictions in the SPLM/SPLA leadership revolved around that issue. It was the drivers of the split with Anya-nya two in 1983 and again within the SPLM/SPLA following the Nasir Declaration 1991. Power was the driver of the Yei crisis 2004 at the eve of the CPA and finally of the events leading to December 15, 2013 and the current civil war.

The wielding and exercise of SPLM political authority without rules and procedures negatively affected the relations within the Movement. It engendered a subculture of political patronage and clients, which eschewed democratic principles and practice. In this connection, the political tact and stature of the leader became the determinant factor in the functioning of the SPLM system. Thus although patronage system obtained Dr. John Garang managed through his personal charisma to keep the system functioning, what Dr. Lual Deng (2012) described as ‘the power of creative thinking.’ That explains how the SPLM/SPLA survived through difficult and challenging political and military situations in spite of its internal contradictions generated by the factors I discussed above.

The contradictions rocked the SPLM/SPLA generating strong ethnic under currents and civil war barely three years after independence because of those factors and the failure to resolve them through political and ideological debate, and internal dialogue. However, it was more the leadership style of comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit that permitted the fashions to reach boiling point and eruption of violence. Comrade Salva Kiir employed his military intelligence skills rather state and the SPLM institutions to manage the government of South Sudan. He built a series of spies and informants networks to inform his decisions. For the first time ethnic and regional lobbies surrounded the SPLM leadership the most notable being the Bahr el Ghazal Elders mainly from Warrap and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) entailing Dinka also from Upper Nile.

Through his style of leadership, President Salva Kiir Mayardit has brought South Sudan to the edge of disaster. In less than three years, the state in South Sudan made a quantum slide from fragility to failure and now tending to collapse. The society is demoralized and in despair. The economy is in shambles as the only foreign exchange earner is pumping incredibly at a loss that it might as well been better to stop production. The IGAD peace process hung up unconscionably at the sharing of power between President [Salva Kiir] and the proposed Prime Minister [Dr. Riek Machar] while innocent lives continue to perish. The current context of South Sudan is pathetic. No patriots would countenance it on account of speculation for whatsoever advantage.


Having attempted above to locate the political malaise, I want to discuss the intellectual journey proposed by Dr. Lual Deng at the beginning of the discourse. The elements of this journey are the present social and political context in South Sudan, which we attempted above to analyse. The social and political forces capable of participation in the journey, their ideological disposition, the time span of the journey. The journey trajectory situates in the globalized world defined by high level of technological and scientific development.

Before embarking on the journey I realize that South Sudan and its people have yet to place their feet on the first step are the bottom of the world socio-economic and technological development ladder hundred ninety three years since the Ottomans linked the Sudan to the world capitalist system of extraction and exploitation. This is subject of Eddie Thomas eye-catching latest title “South Sudan: A Slow Liberation” [Zed Books in press].

What then have the political, military and business elite that drive the social and political engineering processes of the state in South Sudan being doing? A cursory look into this dominant class reveals an astounding reality that it remains primitive intimately attached to archaic values and traditions of their respective ethnic formations. In 1999, I participated in a study that became the basis of implementation of USAID funded multimillion-dollar Sudan Transition Aid for Rehabilitation [STAR] Programme in ten counties of Central and Western Equatoria and Lakes in Bahr el Ghazal. The Programme provided cash to the civil society groups to engage in business that would generate wealth. After three years, the Programme discovered that the recipients of the STAR loans had invested much of the money in traditional economic activities that frustrated its strategic objective of recycling to other beneficiaries the reimbursed money.

Between 2005 and 2011 when South Sudan became independent, it had received in total about US Dollars sixteen billion from the oil revenue. I want to ask the economists what percentage of this money was invested in productive economic projects [agriculture, industry], in services sector and in education? Our people instead of ordering new cars from manufacturers in Japan, carrying cash dollars went to Uganda to buy dilapidated second sometimes third hand right-hand steering wheeled mini buses that became traffic hazards on our roads. South Sudan because the only country in the world where the US dollar note became a commodity on the formal and informal markets and which worked to service the economies of its neighbours than its own.

The political, military and business elite most of them former SPLA combatants were now involved and entangled in an intertwined blackmail that they closed their eyes and ears to what they were doing bringing down the country. They eschewed the SPLM vision and concepts of social justice, equality, freedom and prosperity as they engaged in cutthroat competition in the context of primitive accumulation of wealth. They jettisoned the comradeship cultivated in the context of the war of national liberation. This is how social and blood relations, rather than institutional and political relationships, imperceptibly crept into their practice. This engendered corruption, nepotism and ethnic favouritism (tribalism). The social, economic and political environment favoured erection of ethnic and regional lobbies as agencies for extracting favours in the form of government contracts, appoints to constitutional post and others.

The experience of the last ten years epitomizes the historical failure of bourgeois petit as agents of social transformation of an underdeveloped country like South Sudan. This brings me back to Cabral that the bourgeois petit represented by many of us must commit class suicide to resurrect in the guise of revolutionary intellectuals armed with a political ideology that places the people at the centre of our development discourse. In this connection, the class suicide blends well with the intellectual journey towards a coherent political ideology for transforming South Sudan. It cannot be another way.

Are we ready to commit class suicide to have solidarity with our people? Many of us outshine ourselves opportunistically endearing ourselves to our ethnic communities when in the heart of our hearts we foster different value systems. Do the elements that make up the Jieng Council of Elders genuinely believe in what they are doing propping up President Salva Kiir Mayardit in all the horrible things he is doing? Do they countenance the collapse of South Sudan as long as Salva Kiir is president? It is necessary to reflect before the suicide lest we may not resurrect after all. For committing class suicide means eschewing archaic ideas, false beliefs and deflating inordinately large self- or collective-ego.

This brings me to another question: in what coherent political ideology do we encapsulate the concepts of social justice, equality, freedom, democracy and prosperity for all? According to Marxist historical materialism, history does not repeat itself. You cannot catch a train that has already left station. South Sudan is in such pains today because the bourgeois petit are generating contradictions trying to recreate the conditions of primitive accumulation humankind passed five hundred years ago. This is not permissible. We should start where the world is while we live.

It is feasible and possible to implement social justice in South Sudan. Why not? The social stratification in terms of economic is bridgeable. The Government of South Sudan, with the resources available, can create conditions for social justice by combating the tendency to ethnic and regional favouritism in ditching out government contracts in order to promote equality in society. Since the bourgeois petit is not economically powerful to undertake large scale industrial installations, the government of South Sudan should undertake the construction of large industrial and infrastructural projects like railways, huge hydroelectric power planta and dams, power transmission grids and highways which need huge investments. The government can undertake these in the context of public private participation. In this way of wealth generation and distribution, it is possible to realise prosperity for all and in short time of ten to twenty years.

Democracy is another component element of social transformation. Democracy is not a raincoat you put on only in summer. A cultural trait stays with you in all that you whether private or public. The society cultivates and internalizes democracy [theory and practice] through participation in social, economic and political engineering processes of state formation and nation building. There is no other way you can parachute democratic principles and practice except in the context of the struggle for social transformation of society. That is why the concepts of democracy and democratic transformation blends with the class suicide the bourgeois petit must undertake. In this case, the concept and practice of democracy registers in active participation in the engineering processes and not establishment of bogus and briefcase political parties.

This brings me to the political format and organisation for participation. In the recent SPLM/SPLA Consultative Conference on the IGAD Peace process in Pagak, I was put to task explaining why it was necessary to reconcile the SPLM leadership and reunite the SPLM. The conference was negative charged against the Intra-SPLM Dialogue in Arusha, Tanzania. I had to mark every word I uttered. I told the conference the story of the conference of reconciliation of Jikany and Lou in Akobo in 1994. The Moderator of the reconciliation conference was a Ugandan Bishop of seventy-seven Churches. He told us a story concerning his two-year old son. I hope I will not be bothering you.

“As I prepared for Sunday service my son kept interrupting my preparation. I would give him arithmetic problem to solve. He would do it correctly. I did it several times while the time for my sermon in the Church was approaching. This prompted me to pull down and tear to pieces the world map that hung on the wall. I asked him to fix it and in two minutes, he came back with the map fixed correctly. I asked his to tell me how he did it.” The boy replied, “on the reverse side of the world map was a man, so what I did was to fix the man”. “Fixing man to resolve the problems of the world became the subject of my sermon that Sunday.”

There is nothing wrong with the SPLM per se; the people who make up the SPLM constitute the crisis in the SPLM. You will find this in what I recounted above that the SPLM leadership lost the vision that attracted the masses of the Sudanese to the SPLM to sacrifice their lives for the ideals of social justice, equality, freedom, democracy and prosperity for all. The Arusha process is an exercise in self-appraisal, criticism and self-criticism the entire SPLM membership, the half-hearted hang-ons who believe in the arrival rather than the journey, must urgently undertake to save the country from collapse.

The young republic of South Sudan and its people are in the present situation because of the SPLM historical failure to evolve a political ideology, to construct a constitution with institutions and structures, to formulate a political programme for social and economic transformation of the oppressive reality that submerged our people. In this context and for over twenty-one years the contest for power at the top consumed the energy of our people. This divided instead of uniting them as soon as the contradiction with the north had been resolved through the referendum.

The SPLM remains the only viable political forces that united South Sudanese across ethnic and regional fault lines. It is therefore the only guarantee against fragmentation of South Sudan. However, it must reconcile and reunite its ranks, reorganize and revitalize itself, build its institutions and institutionalize its relationship along the ideology of social democracy as practiced by the labour Parties in northern European countries.


The intellectual journey towards a coherent political ideology spurs serious reflections and I hope we can discourse this to its logical conclusion. For those of us in the DPF who are not SPLM members or who have an axe to grind with the SPLM I would implore that we discuss these issues sombrely. We should learn to live with our differences whether gender, political ideas, facial marks or body complexion. This is the essence of democracy. They may lead us to unity of ideas

There is nothing outrageously fatal with having one strong political party in South Sudan. If we have to catch up with the rest of humanity by stepping onto its development ladder, we cannot do that while struggling against ourselves in futile and meaningless battles that prevent us from focusing on building our country and improving our people’s quality of life.

We may have to explore the different experiences on the African continent and elsewhere and draw leaf from them. The social and political stability in Tanzania attributes to the maturity demonstrated by Chama Cha Mapenduzi (CCM) initially under the leadership of Mwalimu Julius K Nyerere. The ethnic federalism implemented by Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Party (EPRDP) has somehow created conditions of political stability in Ethiopian.

Let us pursue the dual processes of peace making and Intra-SPLM Dialogue as elements of our intellectual journey towards a coherent political ideology, a stable and peaceful South Sudan.

Thanks you very much for your time.

Nairobi, Kenya
December 30, 2014.

Affected communities off IGAD negotiating table: Will Peace come to South Sudan?

By: Dr. Thon Giei, SOUTH SUDAN, DEC/23/2014, SSN;

One year after the infamous breakout of violence in Juba on 15 December 2013, the political situation remains stagnant despite the threats by the International and Regional Communities to impose sanctions on the warring parties and the conflict extended into communities once living in peace and harmony for centuries.

It is a grave mistake to describe and characterize the conflict as purely political and to remove the communities’ involvement. Such description of the conflict will never bring a sustained and durable solutions of peace even if the UN declares South Sudan as one of its protectorate!

The conflict is described by its plotters to have originated from a mutiny within the Presidential Guards division (the Tigers) in Gyiada in Juba on ethnic lines and pitting Nuer Soldiers against Dinka ones in support of rebel Riek and President Kiir respectively.

The plotters continued their evil plan and converted the mutiny into an armed rebellion against the state using the ethnic rhetoric and slogans and alleged widely reported ethnic targeted killings in Juba in mobilizing and recruiting the fighting force from ordinary citizens of Nuer tribe, the so-called White Army and Nuer Soldiers from within SPLA and as well as Nuer politicians in the political establishment in South Sudan.

The plotters split into two groups: one group as plotted headed to the formation of armed rebellion called SPLM/A-IO to wage war against the state with the precise objective of taking power by force and overthrowing a democratically elected government which they described as Dinka government and whose constitutional mandate has not yet expired; and the other group struggled to find itself a name and ended up calling itself SPLM former detainees and denounced the violence once it hatched and bred.

Undoubtedly, SPLM-FD betrayed Riek Machar twice: The group dishonored the agreement to work with Machar to remove President Kiir and effect the necessary reforms it promised and did not return the favor for their release which Machar campaigned for tirelessly.

As the outcome of any work or campaign or project is determined by the primary and initial steps and tools used to set it up, The SPLM/A –IO, now has become 100% one tribe army and movement despite the attempts to decorate the rebellion with people from other tribes like Dhieu Mathok, Dau Aturjong, Mabior Nyandeng, and Alfred Lado Gore.

Pro-rebellion writers on social media on the net and and, wrote hate articles and comments and fabricated stories of plots of assassination of prominent Equatoria leaders including the 3 governors of Equatoria and Minister of National Security with the sole purpose of instigating other tribes to take up arms against the government.

The attempts to recruit other tribes into the rebellion ended in abysmal and total failure. After the defeat in Juba in December 2013 and with the ethnic recruiting tools used in mobilizing the fighters, revenge became the overriding principle for both the infamous white Army and the hurriedly formed and loosely commanded SPLM/A-IO fighters.

The White Army campaigns in Greater Upper Nile targeted and killed civilians on ethnic basis (Dinka, Collo, Ethiopians, Ugandans and Sudanese) in Bor, Panriang, Baliet, Malakal, Bentiu, Tonga and Renk towns. The White Army brutally massacred the elderly men and women, children and individual with disabilities (blind, physically or mentally disabled) as well as looting properties and burning down houses and harvest.

These human rights violations eroded the rebels from any support once they enjoyed from world media and countries. Truth shall come out sooner from the international plotters who supported and aided the rebellion and from the rebels once they surrender to peace.

The White Army ferocity as a fighting force captured the headlines of news media and international organizations like The United Nations Mission in South Sudan( UNMISS). As the Nuer Militiamen and women headed to Bor, the UNMISS declared that it sent a helicopter to track the White Army and that it estimated the force at 50000 strong men.

The UN became victim of the relationship between the UNMISS and SPLM/A-IO bosses. A tragedy that had lost Miss. Hilde Johnson, her job in South Sudan.

But how a force like the White Army is formed, trained, organized, armed and mobilized without the knowledge of the security forces in the country? This is a multi-million dollars question that deserves a definitive answer for the sake of those who lost their lives in cold blood.

If the situation was carefully monitored, perhaps thousands of lives that were massacred in Greater Upper Nile could have been saved or the lost minimized. All indicators point to the fact that The White Army Force formation and existence was well known.

The rebels’ devastation campaign continued and defections within the government army on ethnic basis, had incapacitated the security forces to protect themselves and to defend the civilians in the conflict zones. Major cities and counties like Malakal, Bor, Bentiu and Baliet were totally destroyed and leveled with the ground. The Killings extended into the churches and hospitals.

As that scenario continues, the communities in Greater Upper Nile experienced the danger and realized that the rebels’ campaign was not intended to overthrow the government. Indeed if the government was the target, the war would have started and ended in Juba either in defeat or victory like all attempts to take power by force worldwide.

But the White Army mission in Greater Upper Nile was totally different and meant to make territorial gains, chased away the historical inhabitants and established the new reality of Nuer homeland and Nuer Nation as espoused and advanced by the BANAFA, an all Nuer Organization that emerged after 1991 split in the SPLA and with Nasir faction under Riek Machar.

Why would an alleged massacre in Juba -that was not fully investigated and verified- become so convincing to mobilize the Nuer ordinary citizens on- eye blink- to take up arms and act with brutality that had never been known in the history of South Sudan and in Dinka-Nuer wars over land or cattle?

And that members of the White Army had to leave their farms, cattle, families in reaction of what they did not know how, what and between who it happened. If any, the message of the massacre could have spread to the local population, convinced individuals then assemble for action, get the necessary weapons and then move to where they want to act, ideally Juba where the massacre took place.

Why massacre people who have no knowledge of why the fighting occurred? And who was fighting who? This process of mobilizing fighters if done out of scratch, it would have taken time in months, not days and weeks.

I want to conclude that the White Army was existing and kicking and only needed a signal or secret for mobilization and that signal was the massacre in Juba from their commander, Riek Machar to move and act and that was what precisely did happen after failure of the coup.

The victimized communities’ response:
As stated above the brutality of the White Army campaign convinced the communities in Greater Upper Nile beyond any doubt that if they do not defend themselves then they would be wiped out and annihilated and they would be branded as cowards who fled and left their land be vandalized and women and children killed by the rebels.

The communities of Padang in Upper Nile and Unity states took the issue seriously, having seen the devastation that the rebels carried out in Baliet County of Upper Nile and the mass displacement and sufferings that followed with IDPs in Akoka and Malut.

Having realized that the army was incapacitated by internal defections in December 2013 and early 2014, the youth of Padang Dinka, at speed of light, organized themselves into fighting forces under harsh conditions with precise mission to halt the rebels advance into Akoka, Malut and Renk in Upper Nile and Pariang in Unity state.

Similarly, the youth of Collo, stiffly resisted the rebels invasion of Collo Kingdom. The forces of Mozloum of Akoka dealt with and repulsed the rebels’ forces at Lul Bridge, a battle that marked the beginning of liberation of Malakal town for the third time.

Abu-Shook of Ngok Lual Yak recaptured Baliet County in April 2014 from the rebel forces and together with Matching Aynor dealt a deadly blow and struck deep into the heart of the enemy stronghold of Nasir. Within a week, Abu-Shook and Matchiang Anyior and the mechanized division under General Kong, captured Dumey, Aulang and Nasir towns, a move that puzzled Juba politicians and met with disbelief among the fifth columnists and rebel supporters in Juba.

Col. Philip confirmed the news of the capture of Nasir town and that Riek forces fled in disarray in the direction of Ethiopia. This was backed by General Malaak Ayen’s video footage on SSTV that showed Abu-shouk, Mathiang Aynor and SPLA in Nasir.

The SPLA capture of Nasir marked the beginning of defeats to the rebels who, from that time, failed to capture any town, dispite the attacks on Renk and Bentiu. Mozluom of Abilang and Maluth stiffly resisted the rebel forces from capturing the oil fields.

Peace negotiations in Addis Ababa under the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGAD) to bring peaceful resolutions to the South Sudanese conflict, have been ongoing without progress. IGAD correctly invited the parties (the Government, the rebels and SPLM-FD) and stakeholders (civil society organizations, religious leaders, women and youth).

The IGAD invitees are part of the Juba based activists and advocates who played roles in the genesis of the current conflict and then divided themselves into opposition and government camps.

They are all responsible for charges of corruption, incompetency, failure to rule and failure to provide basic services in education, health and others, both in government and SPLM.

However, a significant component of the conflict, namely the conflict affected communities, have been left out of the peace negotiation process in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Is this an accidental drop? Or intentional bypass of the war affected communities by both the government of South Sudan and IGAD?

The communities in Greater Upper Nile have suffered enormously. They have lost lives of their members, properties destroyed or looted and finally the populations were displaced from their original settlements and have to cope with life in the new settlements with lack of food, lack of shelter, lack of health services and lack of education facilities.

These communities had to take up arms in self-defense and protection of non-looted properties. As such IGAD made a fundamental error by leaving out the war affected communities from the peace negotiations.

Without involvement of the war affected communities, peace will hardly come to South Sudan.

Any peace deal between the government and rebels should not be dwelling much on what positions the oppositions need to occupy in the government but also needs to cover the war ravaged communities on intercommunity peace settlements and reconciliations with the compensations and recovery of the looted and damaged properties.

The government needs to give consideration to representation of the communities in the negotiations.

It should be emphasized that the conflict has eroded the social cohesions in Greater Upper Nile and that the conflict is growingly perceived as based on ethnic lines, an undeniable and bitter reality that South Sudanese need to live with its scar.

This is shown by the fact that most communities trust to stay in UNMISS protected sites. But how long will UNMISS remain in South Sudan?

This article is written in memory of thousands of lives who have been lost in cold blood in Baliet County in December 2013 and January 2014 without knowing why they got killed and maimed as well as the victims of the conflict in Majak of Renk County, Malakal, Pariang, Bentiu, Pigi and Bor. Their tragedy was not reported widely as that of Juba on 15 December 2013.

May God rest their souls in Eternal peace and bring harmony and comfort to their grieving families who have lost a father, mother, child or relative or friend.

Dr. Thon Giei is former coordinator of Baliet County Crisis Management Committee and can be reached at or 0912300266

Pres. Salva Kiir has betrayed his people & the nation

By: James Gatdet Dak,DEC/20/2014, SSN;

After many painful decades of destructive war of liberation against successive oppressive regimes in Khartoum, people of South Sudan gained their hard won freedom on 9 July 2011. The independence which resulted from an overwhelming vote in favour of separation from the rest of Sudan, in an internationally monitored referendum, was thought to be the beginning of the freedom at last.

It was thought that lives would be rebuilt in the state-nation building as good governance with selfless spirit would supersede selfish gains. It was thought that peaceful plural democratic politics would be adopted and embraced as prerequisites for justice, stability and prosperity.

Little did the down trodden masses know that they were going yet for another protracted cycle of unnecessary internal bloodshed and self-destruction.

General Salva Kiir Mayardit, the first president of the Republic of South Sudan, has betrayed his people and the nation. He has betrayed the trust of the people of South Sudan bestowed upon him in August 2005 and April 2010.

Kiir had an overwhelming support from his colleagues, and of course from the South Sudanese masses, irrespective of ethnicity, who stood behind him from the onset when he succeeded our former leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, in August 2005.

He also started well when he boldly decided to reconcile and reunite with the Other Armed Groups (OAGs), led by late General Paulino Matip Nhial, returning to the fold their supporters among the populace.

Kiir also had a committed able team of colleagues in the ruling party (SPLM) and government. This team led by his former right-hand man, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, went through thick and thin, shuttling between Juba and Khartoum, and successfully negotiated the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

The team also ensured that Kiir was elected in April 2010, renewed his mandate and continued with the mission to achieve independence. Despite the fact that there were unbearable weaknesses in his leadership as captain of the ship, the team continued to tolerate such weaknesses so that any internal conflict did not arise and overshadow the main mission.

This was to avoid chances by Khartoum to take advantage of unfavourable internal situation which might jeopardize the long awaited exercise of referendum on the right of self-determination.

The team made independence of South Sudan a priority number one above other critical issues on democracy and governance.

Unfortunately, President Kiir was not prepared for the state-nation building after independence. He displayed an apparent act of apostasy and deviated from the vision and principle objectives of the party. The President defiantly displayed a misguided one-man show and continued to do so even in post independent era and after eight years in power.

President Kiir dashed the hopes and high expectations of the people when his fascist administration continued to indulge in corruption with impunity. Tribalism, acute inadequacy in delivery of basic services and lack of well-planned socio-economic and physical infrastructural developments were lingering on.

Instead of appreciating and compensating the people of South Sudan with untrammeled freedom, rule of law and democracy, unity and development for their suffering in the liberation struggle and for standing behind him for eight years and counting, Kiir chose to walk the path of dictatorship, division and lack of development. He finally plunged the young nation into civil war on 15 December 2013 and the consequent predicament.

A patriotic statesman who claimed to have liberated his people would not betray the very people and the nation in the way president Kiir has done it!

He has stooped so low that he decided to defend his position with bloody iron fist against reformists and democratic processes in leadership successions in the party and government.

He did not learn a positive thing from the political life and leadership of the South African icon, Nelson Mandela, whose burial service he attended, nor read books about Julius Nyerere of Tanzania.

Kiir as chairman of the SPLM (currently in government) defied messages which he, his colleagues and the populace clearly read on the wall when all the states secretariats of the ruling party in 2012 summarized their report after exhaustive consultations with the people in which the report clearly stated that the SPLM had lost vision and direction.

The party chairman and his colleagues were reminded of the need to check what went wrong that led to the loss of vision and direction. Thus, they understood there was need for reforms and maybe change of guards in order to rejuvenate the party’s leadership and revitalize its vision and redirect its policies.

The party’s constitution necessitated leadership contest in every five years, and in this case, from May 2008 to May 2013. So it was never a crime for any leader or member of the party to decide and express desire to contest for the top seat or any other position ahead of a planned national convention?

Machar as the next senior officer and some of his colleagues had to act in trying to salvage the party and nation from near collapse. They declared their interest to constitutionally contest for the chair.

In reaction, president Kiir decided to unconstitutionally go around the process by first blocking further follow up meetings of the political bureau, the highest executive organ of the SPLM, from taking place.

He went on to unconstitutionally dissolve party structures with the exception of his own office, strangely.

Finally, the president faked a military coup in order to arrest, dehumanize or eradicate the reformists and contesters. This was an attempt to silent voices critical of the way he was running the party.

There was never a planned coup in the first place. This is why the case collapsed in his own court in Juba. There was no single evidence. There was no single army officer in the army headquarters implicated for allegedly taking part in the military coup attempt.

Those arrested on the night of 15 December and the days that followed were all party leaders who were awakened and surprised by sounds of AK-47s when they were asleep and unaware.

This is because their meetings days before the 15 December incident were simply calling on President Kiir to convene a meeting for the party’s political bureau in an attempt to reconcile the differences and chart a way forward, where basic documents were to be passed.

This author was in attendance and actually took the minutes and participated in the drafting of the resolutions of the last meeting chaired by Machar with participation of more than ten senior party leaders, most of whom were the current former detainees led by the former SG, Pagan Amum Okiech.

The meeting was held in the house of Mama Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior days before the 15 December. There was nothing militant about it. It was all about reconciliation in the party.

But when Kiir called for an abrupt meeting at Nyakuron Culture Center in Juba and bent on forcefully passing the basic documents [manifesto, rules and regulations, code of conduct and constitution], without the necessary discussions and amendments, he was already in bad mood during which he sprayed insults, threatening his colleagues, instead of reconciling with them.

Certain quarters in South Sudan and from foreign countries however contributed to the confusion and helped in hardening the dictatorial tendencies which president Kiir developed. Bad advisors who only saw their interest in fishing in the dirty water didn’t want a democratic process which would have seen their bread winner exit the throne.

What the heck is democracy, they whispered in confidential circles. Kiir seemed to have picked such ill-intentioned advices from his close loyalists and foreign mentors, taking it as an assurance of not being alone in the encouraged collective greed for power and wealth.

These are the individuals and groups who now try to throw the blame on Dr. Riek Machar for challenging Salva Kiir in the first place, ignoring the fact that the constitution allowed any party member to expressively challenge the chair ahead of a national convention.

Thus, Machar and two other colleagues including Mama Rebecca Nyandeng and SG Pagan Amum expressed their respective desires to contest for the chair. This they revealed in February 2013 just three months to the planned SPLM convention in May, if the schedule was to be followed. Therefore there was nothing wrong about it.

There are some who continue to argue and ask, but why did Machar dare to contest against his boss while he was still his deputy in the party and government? These hypocrites should be reminded that there is no article in the SPLM constitution which stipulates that a deputy chairman shall not contest against his chairman.

Yet the same people would contradictorily argue and ask, but why didn’t Machar challenge Kiir’s weaknesses when the two were in the fold for eight years from 2005 to 2011? I believe the same people would equally blame him if he persistently did so before independence and Kiir resisted and war broke out. It was wise to concentrate on priority number one (independence).

Nevertheless, Machar tried so hard to advise and show Kiir his weaknesses and offered him remedies which the latter rejected for so long. Even though he delegated some of his executive powers to his deputy, Kiir continued to sabotage Machar’s efforts. Machar only hanged on with him for the sake of unity, hoping that Kiir would change in time, particularly after independence.

Long story short, president Kiir should save the nation by let-going his burning desire to remain president for life. He should not continue to hold South Sudan hostage when he failed his chance for nearly 10 years now.
His visionless rule is characterized by rampant corruption, tribal divisions, lack of development and deadly violence. He should step down and allow others to put the house in order. This would be an applauded bold decision if he did it.

A meaningful peace agreement on the basis of a federal system of governance needs to be reached between the warring parties and the war stopped.

The SPLM party and leaders, without Kiir, would then reconcile, reinstate and reconstitute their pre-15 December leadership hierarchy to lead an interim period before the next national convention and general elections.

A genuine democratic political multi-party system needs to be instituted in the South Sudanese politics. Mergers or alliances between like-mind political parties should also be encouraged in order to come out with few, but strong political parties capable of challenging and checking each other.

Reforms in the party and in the various sectors in government should be introduced and implemented.

Finally, president Kiir should be mindful of whatever good legacy he is destroying in whole. He should be courageous enough to wake up one morning and decide that the nation is above what seems to be his desire for lifetime presidency.

Ten years in power is enough for one to explore his or her ability and capacity as a leader.

He has to quit for the sake of the people he claimed to have liberated, but yet let down at the critical time when they were yearning for unity, stability and prosperity.

The author is a Spokesperson in the Office of the Chairman, SPLM/SPLA. The opinionated contents in the article are however his personal views, and not an official statement. He can be reached at