Category: More Views

South Sudan: The ‘Last Chance’ Call for Peace

BY: Samuel ATABI, South Sudan, MAR/05/2018, SSN;

Dear Troika Ambassadors,

The other day I watched, with tears in my eyes, a television news of a perilous journey by South Sudanese internally displaced people (IDP) being displaced again by a government attack in their camp somewhere in the Upper Nile region.

The TV footage featured young people, old people, and even pregnant women trudging along a bumpy dirt road, in a rickety truck, towards the Ethiopian border.

There, they hoped they would be safe from the government soldiers’ guns. Along the way, the footage showed a young pregnant woman who went into a sudden labor, clearly as a result of the bumpy journey.

The truck stopped and she, accompanied by some three women, walked away from the other passengers to an isolated grassy spot so that she could give birth to her baby with some dignity.

The arrival of the baby was announced by the usual lung-opening cry of neonates. A few minutes later, without ceremony or post-natal medical care, the young mother and her baby were brought back to the vehicle to resume the journey.

The vicarious pain I experienced by watching the footage brought it home to me that this war has reduced us to the life of wild animals; to a life in the wild where the struggle for survival is dictated by the Darwinian precept of ‘survival of the fittest.’

Whereas in the wild, predators such as the wild dogs, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, crocodiles are the skilled killers and devours of both the old and the young preys, in South Sudan, those who have got to the guns first and are armed to the teeth pick their unarmed victims (old and young, including babies) and kill them with complete impunity.

Failed concept of nation-state:

But why should the world stand by and watch this debasing and degradation of innocent lives of South Sudanese without doing something decisive?

Those of us who question this paralysis on the part of the international community in the face of the genocide taking place in South Sudan, are often reminded of the right of a sovereign nation-state to govern its territory without interference from other nations or institutions.

This notwithstanding, and driven by the Wilsonian vision of the American exceptionalism, the US government has spent billions of dollars in support of the people of South Sudan over the last decade.

And to their credit, the US and other Western governments have tried to stop the violence by introducing arms embargo on the warring parties in that country.

But their effort has been thwarted by the two Eastern powers, Russia and China, through vetoing of resolutions aimed to institute the embargo at the UNSC.

The two powers have no visible assistance program for the people of South Sudan, but they continue to make money from the oil industry in this unfortunate country.

The behaviors of these two latter powers continue to perplex South Sudanese; surely, they do not enjoy seeing South Sudanese killed and displaced in millions?

Although it is not profitable anymore to debate whether or not South Sudan is a nation-state as conceived by Cardinal Richelieu in the seventeenth century Europe, in his raison d’état precepts, it is still important to question whether, as structured, the South Sudanese state is the most stable and is fit for purpose.

South Sudan was itself a part of Sudan, a nation-state construct designed by the colonial power in the last century.

The peoples of the Sudan were far from homogeneous; homogeneity is one of the acceptable defining characteristics of a nation-state.

Because it lacked this feature, and as expected, the black and mainly Africans inhabitants of the south of the country, who shared very little with the brown and Muslim Arabs of the north, did challenge the credential of Sudan as a nation-state: they waged a war of liberation for decades starting in 1955 until 2011 when they managed to secede and gain independence.

In acceding to the South Sudanese secession, the international community implicitly and tacitly accepted the argument that Sudan was not a sustainable nation-state as previously constructed.

The tensions that led to the break-up of the colonial Sudanese nation are emblematic of the current challenges faced by several African nation-states: there are increasing calls for secession in some of these countries.

Examples of the countries include Niger, Nigeria, Cameron, DR Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

The calls are a consequence of some of the leaders of these nations behaving more like emperors of mini-empires than leaders of nation-states.

Those groups of elite or ethnicities, who are in power in these countries, discriminate against those groups of citizens who are out of it, effectively rendering their fellow compatriots as secondly class citizens.

Second-class citizenship was an enduring feature of empires, such as the Roman Empire, and not that of Richelieu’s “national-state”.

Ironically, it is this lack of homogeneity among the citizens of South Sudan that is now the cause of conflict in the country; it is ironic because this young country has purportedly bolted away from Sudan to escape discrimination, marginalization and second class citizenship for its people.

South Sudan is now at the front of the queue of African countries being threatened by disintegration because of complaints about discrimination against certain categories of citizens.

Peoples of South Sudan are not homogeneous.

As stated above, the black Africans of the then colonial Southern Sudan were put together by the British, most probably with their blackness being the main uniting factor.

This, however, is not to say that the British were entirely oblivious to the glaring differences, in physical attributes, cultures, levels of education and temperament, among the people of Southern Sudan.

This is because in their wisdom, the British divided the region in three provinces, which approximately reflected these differences.

These sub-divisions or provinces were named Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile.

In Equatoria, the population shared a number of characteristic: a multiplicity of ethnic groups (>30 tribes) with sedentary and agricultural lifestyle; relatively higher literacy, thanks to sustained education provided by the Catholic and protestant churches; because of the latter, the Equatorians were less prone to violence and vengeful temperament, which, in turn entrenched respect for life and property among the inhabitants.

The remaining provinces, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile, were dominated by, respectively, single majority tribes with the Dinka dominating in Bahr el Ghazal and the Nuer having preponderance in Upper Nile. (There are, in addition, other significant minorities both in Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile).

Both Nuer and Dinka are related anthropologically, are steeped in their main tradition of pastoralism based on ownership of cattle, and share similar temperament of being quick to anger and fight over cattle rustling.

(The fight over cattle rustling, which can be either within each tribe or directed at other ethnic groups, have become more dangerous with the wide ownership of modern weaponry).

The levels of education among the general population of both these tribes were lower than those in Equatoria, probably because of diminished presence of the Christian churches in their provinces.

Genesis of antagonism among South Sudanese.

The differences described above are at the core of the present post-independence conflict in South Sudan.

The war of independence for South Sudan was fought in two phases: the first phase started in 1955 and was largely led by the Equatorians. The phase ended in 1972, when the first Addis Ababa peace agreement was signed, giving the South an autonomous government.

This was the first ever opportunity for South Sudanese to administer themselves. The autonomous government ran for approximately 10 years.

It was during that time that other South Sudanese began to recognize discriminatory tendencies among the Dinka elite who were involved at various levels of government.

They were seen to be nepotistic, tribal and physically aggressive.

The Equatorian elite in that autonomous government countered these tendencies by successfully lobbying the Sudan government to divide the autonomous government into further three autonomous governments.

The Sudanese government agreed and duly created, respectively, the Equatoria, the Bahr el Ghazal and the Upper Nile regional autonomous governments.

The Dinka elite, whose strategy of dominating the Southern government depended on a single and centralized administration in Southern Sudan, strongly opposed this move.

The Dinka elite were alone in this opposition because the rest of the Southerners had welcomed this re-division as it gave them the opportunity to govern themselves without the domination from the Dinka elite.

It was this opposition to the further decentralization of the autonomous government that led the Dinka elite to withdraw to the bush and start an armed rebellion in 1983.

Later, this primary reason for the rebellion was hidden from the public when Dr John Garang, the head of the lead rebel army, the SPLA, disingenuously claimed that the objective of the insurgency was the “creation of a New Sudan”.

In 2005, following the Naivasha Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Khartoum government and the SPLA, the interim administration that was set up in Southern Sudan was initially dominated by the Dinka and the Nuer.

It is important to note that the Dinka elite had not abjured their earlier strategy to dominate governance in South Sudan during the more than two decades of the war.

South Sudan: The ‘Last Chance’ Call for Peace opportunity to re-assert their divisive objective of domination presented itself in December, 2013, when they started the present civil war by killing thousands of unarmed Nuer civilians in the capital of the country, Juba.

Now, they are fully in-charge of the country, while at the same time excluding other South Sudanese from meaningfully participating in the government.

Root causes of the war

With the foregoing background in place, it is now possible to delineate the root causes of the war in the Republic of South Sudan.

i) The primary cause is the selfish and hegemonic design by the Dinka elite to perpetually dominate the governance of South Sudan. This historical strategy has neatly dovetailed with the prevailing orthodoxy in Africa where the first or some intermediate ethnic group or elite to head the early post-independence governments refuse to pass the mantle of power to any other group of citizens.

The incidence which triggered the present conflict in 2013 was singularly motivated by fear among the Dinka elite that they would lose power in the planned general election to take place in 2015 to the Nuer elite headed by the then Vice President, Riek Machar.

Therefore, the obstacle to the resolution of the conflict is the determined effort by the Dinka elite to first, maintain the centralized government system and second, to use this centralization to deny other groups any meaningful roles in the governance and development of South Sudan.

ii) A secondary course of the war is the interference from the neighboring nation-states in the South Sudanese civil war. There are some nations in the vicinity of the Republic of South Sudan, particularly Uganda, which, for reasons yet unknown to the public, are selfishly shielding and supporting the regime in Juba.

They are fomenting war and disunity among the citizens of the young country and are bent on turning the country into battleground for wars in the Nile valley; the recent entry of Egypt, again, on the side of the government in Juba makes this likely.

Their support for the regime makes the regime arrogant and defiance to any suggestion for peaceful resolution of the civil war.

Solutions to the war

In August 2015, a peace agreement to end the conflict in South Sudan, also known as ARCSS, was successfully negotiated and signed in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

For reasons which history will reveal later, those charged with its implementation neglected to enforce it strictly and timely.

As a consequence, the government’s side violated several of its clauses and Dr Machar, the leader of the opposition SPLA-IO and a key signatory to the agreement, was chased out of Juba and into enforced exile in South Africa.

This left the agreement practically dead. Now a new peace process, called High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) for ARCSS has been launched.

Key participants to the forum have signed a Cessation of Hostility agreement on December 22, 2017 as a prelude to a more substantive discussion of the ARCSS itself in February, 2018.

Disappointingly, already, the government side has been accused of several violations of the ceasefire clause contained in the latest agreement.

Thus, the prognosis for the success of the next phase of the revitalization does not look good.

Despite this pessimistic assessment, we propose and recommend the following as the most reliable solutions to the conflict:

1. The mediators should adopt the following as their strategic objective:
Redefinition and restructuring of the STATE known as South Sudan in such a way that no one tribe or individual again can capture and monopolize power in order to entrench self with the purpose to subjugate and become a hegemon over the other tribes in South Sudan.

2. The mediators should encourage the participants to accept:
A clause, in the agreement, which will authorize the re-division of South Sudan into three FEDERAL states of Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile.

This should include a provision of freedom for any minority group to opt for a shift to another state which is different from that where it traditionally belongs.

For example, if a minority tribe in Bahr el Ghazal, who feels oppressed by the majority Dinka and would want to shift to Equatoria, it should be allowed to do so.

3. Participant should endorse:
Mandatory arms embargo through the UNSC on any party who violates the ceasefire agreement and any other clauses of the resulting agreement.

4. The members of IGAD should agree and sign on:
Promise to strictly refrain from transferring arms to any participants in the armed conflict on the pain of UNSC sanctions.
These are the key pillars that should hold the resulting agreement and on which other clauses will lean.

Consequences of failure
We respectfully urge the UN, the Troika and the AU to seriously consider adopting our suggested Strategic Objective listed in (1) above.

Were it to be successfully applied in the South Sudanese conflict, it might provide a future template for a wider application in the various African conflicts that will surely result from the failing nation-states as alluded to earlier.

The creation of meaningful federal units, in South Sudan and elsewhere in Africa, within a united entity (state) must be preferable to a complete fragmentation into successively tiny and unstable ‘independent’ countries.

This opportunity must not be lost.

The international community has repeatedly announced that the present peace process on the South Sudanese conflict is the last chance for the leaders of that country; but the community has not revealed what are the consequences if this ‘last chance’ fails.

We want to invite the international community to again consider our suggestions for what should be the consequences in case of failure.

a) Seek and pass a UNSC resolution establishing a UN-AU Trusteeship to govern South Sudan for a defined period and prepare the country for a general election; or

b) For a specified period, the dollar proceeds from the sales of oil by the regime in Juba should be managed by the UN for the benefit of the people of South Sudan and not for the ruling elite or nor for the purchase of armaments which are used for killing the population; or

c) The military power of the government in Juba should be forcibly degraded either: through a UN-sanctioned forces attacking the SPLA; or through the intervention of forces from a coalition-of-the-willing, regardless of the resistance at the UNSC; or through the judicious and selective arming of the South Sudanese opposition coalition forces to force a hurting stalemate that should in turn force the government in Juba to the table for a realistic peace settlement ; and

d) If all of the above fail, then the world should be prepared to countenance a scenario of generalized and internecine warfare in South Sudan, perhaps which will be worse than the Somalia debacle both in intensity and scope.

The opposition, in desperation, might seek support from states that sponsor of terrorism for supply of arms and ammunitions. They might form liaisons with terrorist fighters and adventurers in return for religious conversion and future economic benefits.

(There are mineral resources such as uranium, gold and diamonds, in South Sudan, which the opposition might use for illegal purchase of armaments and supplies).

The military presence of Egypt in South Sudan might facilitate the attraction of its terrorist enemies to shift their battleground to South Sudan.

As history and experience have shown, the costs for delayed action to bring peace and normality to a country devastated by conflicts are usually enormous and higher than those for an early intervention; these elevated costs will not only apply to the South Sudanese but will also be applicable to the region and to those who have security and economic interests in eastern Africa.

I should, however, hasten to add here that this is not just an idle speculation from our side; during her recent visit to South Sudan, Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, had expressed similar concern on the possibility of South Sudan turning into a breeding ground for terrorists if the conflict is inordinately prolonged.

(In an appreciation of Ambassador’s Haley stance to side with the people of South Sudan, the following poem was written by one of our members in response to an American female blogger urging Ambassador Haley, from the US, to choose side with the regime in Juba:

‘Have you ever seen the earth from a distant space?
It is a ball of navy blue water with swirling clouds
At that distance, one cannot see the rotting bodies of soldiers and civilians on the Juba streets.
Neither can you see a young mother giving birth in the bush like a wildebeest in a wild park.
Nikki is no dewy-eyed sentimentalist, arm-chair observer talking from New York.
She is a street-level observer who has been to the refugee and IDP camps.
Nikki talked to the victims of war about their sufferings
She shares their pains.
Between the two women, I would choose Nikki for a mother’)

The ‘last chance’ call made by the international community to the leaders of South Sudan should equally apply to the leaders in the region (IGAD), the AU, the UN and world powers.

It is time the Darwinian experiment now being conducted in our country was stopped. Our people need peace and dignified life.

Yours sincerely,
Samuel Atabi

Latest Report: Half of South Sudanese hungry, as famine looms again

BY: AFP, FEB/27/2018, SSN;

Nearly half of the population in war-torn South Sudan is experiencing extreme hunger, with many more set to run out of food as famine looms, government and UN agencies said Monday.

A year after South Sudan became the first country in six years to experience famine, due to a drawn out civil war, its National Bureau of Statistics warned that 40 percent more people were going hungry this year, even before the lean season sets in.

The state bureau said in a statement that in January 5.3 million people, representing 48 percent of the population, were facing acute food insecurity.

In 2017 some 100,000 people were affected by a famine — meaning people started dying due to lack of food. It was declared over in June.

“Improved access and a massive humanitarian response succeeded in containing and averting famine later last year.

Despite this, the food insecurity outlook has never been so dire as it is now,” said a joint statement from three United Nations aid agencies.

Four years of civil war have devastated agriculture, while prices have soared and rains have also been unreliable.

The country has also been hit by crop-destroying armyworm caterpillars.

“The situation is deteriorating with each year of conflict as more people lose the little they had.

We are alarmed as the lean season when the harvest runs out is expected to start this year much earlier than usual,” said Adnan Khan, World Food Programme (WFP) country director.

The statistics bureau and aid agencies warned that if humanitarian assistance was not stepped up, more than seven million people could become food insecure — two thirds of the population.

Eleven counties are at risk of famine. Without assistance, as of May, more than 1.3 million children under five will be at risk of acute malnutrition.

Allain Noudehou, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, told a press conference that only 5.5 percent of $1.7 billion (1.3 billion euros) in aid needed in 2018 had been received.

South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, was engulfed by civil war in 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his rival and former deputy, Riek Machar, of plotting a coup against him.

Violence — initially between ethnic Dinka supporters of Kiir and ethnic Nuer supporters of Machar — has since spread to other parts of the country, engulfing other ethnic groups.

The last ceasefire, signed in December, was broken within hours while the latest round of peace talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa have stalled.

Why the Death Sentence on James Gatdet Dak should be Nullified

By Peter Gai Manyuon, Activist, FEB/16/2018, SSN;

On Monday 12th of September 2018, a South Sudan court in Juba sentenced James Gatdet Dak to death by hanging, citing several provisions in the constitution as the basis upon which the verdict was reached by Judges.

The verdict sentenced (Gatdet) for allegedly inciting violence which falls under treason charges according to article 64, disseminating false information to the detriment of South Sudanese national security under article (75) and insulting the president under article 76 under the penal code of 2008 respectively.

On the other hand, the lead-defense lawyer, Monyluak Alor Kuol, described the verdict as a political decision from the government of South Sudan with no legal basis or citations.

Evidently, audiences all over the world reacted positively and only few welcomed the decay sentenced on various social media platforms. It’s should be noted that, sentencing or death penalty was not cross-checked or properly cross-examined by competent judges in South Sudan, instead incompetent Judges all over the Country continue determining cases that are not well scrutinizeD.

What can South Sudanese do in regards to these judges? For how long Should South Sudanese continues trusting these Judges in the Country? Are they really well trained judges or politicians working in the judiciary in South Sudan pretending to be judges?

The transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011, under bill of rights mentioned that “every person has the inherent right to life, dignity and integrity of his or her person which shall be protected by the law; no one should shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her right” respectively.

The question is, whether the judges have read the Bill of Rights of the Transitional constitution 2011 which they are claiming to have read?

In the same Bill of rights clearly and precisely mentioned, all persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection of law without discrimination as to race, ethnic origin, color, sex, language, religious creed, political opinion, birth, locality or social status.

Furthermore, under the same bill of rights restricted or prohibited death penalty to anyone without proper scrutiny. The same Bill of rights precisely said, no death penalty shall be imposed on anyone.

The Judges in Juba imposed death penalty on James Gatdet Dak on tribal basis not through good legal procedures.

In fact, judges are making judgments based on assumptions and interests attached to their legal processes in various courts in the Country. No fairness and respect to the Constitution of South Sudan 2011 especially the Bill of rights. The government in Juba abandoned constitution of the Country and judges only worked on directives of the government.

There is no independent judicial system in the Country. It’s rule of man which is final in all the Institutions in the Country.

It’s therefore very unfortunate for a Country to allow national security and politicians in deciding or determining court cases, killings or terrorizing all people in the Country.

The matter if not handled with care can disintegrate the Country more and more in to sections in due time, where each community shall be ready for self-rule or self-determination.

In summary, the only people qualified enough for death sentences and treason charges are all former Ministers, current Ministers, Army Generals and Kiir himself who have looted, killed thousands and displaced civilians to different parts of the World.

Who is more criminal between someone doing his work as Spokesperson of his party and someone who kills millions of people and loots the Country resources for almost two decades?

It’s only happening in South Sudan where top criminals are sentencing innocent Journalist for belonging to certain ethnicity. This is a serious and contentious issue that must be denounced as malicious in nature.

In conclusion, Kiir Mayardit and the National security and despotic politicians in South Sudan should evaluate the judgment again otherwise, the issue of James Gatdet could incite more crises in the country since others will look at it in different lenses.

Even though South Sudanese are looking for peace to come back to the Country anytime from now, the government and its allies must desist from doing unnecessary court cases that are inciting’s more conflicts in the country.

Peter Gai Manyuon is an Author, Independent Journalist and Columnist who has written extensively on Human Rights and Democracy in South Sudan. Reachable on

Response to VP Taban Deng on blaming American Administration for imposing Arms Embargo on South Sudan

By: Hoth Giw Chan, Jurist Doctor, Unvi. of Massachusetts School of Law, FEB/12/2018, SSN;

Truth hurts, but, it’s the only way out of South Sudan Situation. The American leadership under the President Donald J. Trump, wisely took unprecedented steps to end the suffering of the South Sudanese people who are roaming around in Refugees Camps inside the country (UN-Protection Camps) and in the neighboring countries, due to the failures of their government.

In dealing with the uncompromising stand of the government of South Sudan not to give peace a chance, the U.S, administration selectively sanctioned individuals who were impediments to the peace and who also used their financial powers to finance the conflict.

This was how those of Makuei Lueth, Paul Malong Awan, and Malek Reuben Riak, and Benjamin Bol Mel, got blacklisted by the American government. That was the first step for Trump, administration in taking a serious measures regarding South Sudanese conflict.

This past week, the Trump, administration took another positive step to impose an arms embargo on the Government of South Sudan, as a result of its failure to respect the signed Cessation of Hostility Agreement by the parties.

This step was taken by American administration after it failed to convince the UN Security Council to do the same. Russia and China refused as expected, but that did not deter the American Administration to take a unilateral action on the South Sudanese government.

It shows that the U.S is concerned about the South Sudanese people more than their own government in Juba. In fact, the civilian are now under UN Protection in the UN Camp outside Juba—being protected from a brutal dictator, with minority government ruled by tribal chiefs (JCE).

In response to the action taken by the U.S administration, the Minority Government of Juba (Kiir regime) did the followings:
….(1) recalled its Ambassador based in Washington DC, to Juba,
….(2) summoned U.S, Ambassador to South Sudan, to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, to explained the reason why U.S imposed the sanction,
….(3) decided to build their relationship with China and Russia, and
….(4) rented the crowd to protest on the street of Juba, about the U.S, government decision (the crowd were directed or threatened by the government to protest).

That Minority government of Juba, even went further to issue a threat to the American government when it’s illegitimate Vice President Taban Deng Gai, stated that: “It is the Chinese who will build the roads in South Sudan, not Americans because they are not our partners in our economy. The partners are Chinese and the other potential partners are Russians, they are building a refinery, the first refinery in South Sudan. So these are the people who have been defending us,” said Taban Deng Gai, South Sudan’s First Vice President, on Sunday.

“During the war of liberation, I have never seen the American M16 … I know AK-47, I know the support from Russia, I know the support from Libya, I know the support from Ethiopia and I know the support from Yemen.”

Adding further that “I don’t think he [Trump] is for peace because if peace comes to South Sudan … we shall eat our cassava, we shall eat our sweet potatoes and we shall eat our corn,”

Let me clarify why I think that Minority government in Juba lost it mind, by threatening the U.S. government for taking a right decision to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan.

First, as we all know that the American Government—several administrations, invested heavily on South Sudan to be an independence country. This began after the 1990s, when the Socialist Camp (former USSR) collapsed and the international politics favored Western Democratic form of government.

SPLM/A under the leadership of Dr. Garang, switched side, and eventually received humanitarian assistance from the Western countries.

Indeed, at the end of 1990s to early 2000s, the U.S, government helped finance the establishment of the current IGADD (Inter-Government Authority on Drought and Development), which became instrumental in the North-South Peace Process (CPA).

In fact, it was the American pressure through the UN, which brought the CPA—making the establishment of the regional government of Southern Sudan a reality. Without American pressure, it would have taken us some time to defeat the Islamic Government of Bashir, in Khartoum.

On the financial aid of the American Government to South Sudanese people, the $11 billion Dollars the U.S government invested in South Sudan since 2011, are a lot of money, but were mis-managed by people like yourself (Taban) and your brother in corruption (Salva Kiir).

That should not be an American problem why this money were mis-managed by the South Sudan government. I believe you also remember the only paved road from Juba to the Ugandan border (Nimule Road) was built using the American financing.

I have never heard or seen a Chinese or Russian road project connecting South Sudan with an outside world. They might have provided the weapons currently used by those government militia terrorizing civilians in South Sudan.

As for the refinery you talked about being built by the Chinese, the refinery was built because of the contract to pay these Chinese Companies — not that they loved South Sudanese people and donated the refinery to them for free.

It was part of Chinese strategic energy security on the Continent that brought them to South Sudan, when we separated from Sudan.

After separation, we inherited these Chinese Oil Companies from Sudan, when we should have let them go and bring American Oil Companies — the people who actually helped us attain our independence.

As for the statement blaming American government for not providing weapons to SPLM/A during its war with the Sudanese government, I find that pathetic, “During the war of liberation, I have never seen the American M16 … I know AK-47, I know the support from Russia, I know the support from Libya, I know the support from Ethiopia and I know the support from Yemen.”

That statement is pathetic because SPLM/A was a Socialist Movement at the time fighting to instill a Communist form of governance in Sudan. That was the reason why it was assisted by the Socialist Camp, led by USSR.

Why would American government support such an Organization fighting against its principles?

In addition to the above facts on how previous American administrations helped South Sudan, Taban Deng Gai, has forgotten the fact that it was the previous American administration that made it possible for him to bypass the legal process and became the current illegitimate Vice President— thereby bypassing Lado Gore, who was the second man in the hierarchy of the SPLM-IO, and who should have been the head of SPLM-IO, in the absence of the Chairman.

The previous American Administration also help with the detention of the SPLM-IO Chairman in South Africa, thought your minority government is paying for his detention as a way of securing your illegitimate position.

You have to remember that the current American administration under President Trump, is not finished with you yet.

Wait for the next step, which may be to deal with you directly for violating the signed Ceasefire intentionally when you moved your forces to attack SPLM-IO forces in their respective places.

Dr. Hoth Giw Chan.
Jurist Doctor, University of Massachusetts School of Law. Master of Public Administration, Drake University, Iowa. BA, Iowa state university, Ames Iowa.

South Sudan peace will not materialize under IGAD’s Leaders

By Gatwech Deng Wal, Melbourne, Australia, JAN/27/2018;

South Sudan’s peace will not materialise under IGAD’s leaders! This is because their neutrality, failure to give a clear and timely commitment in support to bring about peace are in question since the war and negotiations began.

Warring factions under Dr Riek Machar Teny and Salva Kiir Mayardit signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2015 in the hope that it would bring the war to an end, restore love and harmony to the world’s youngest nation’s citizens. However, IGAD’s leaders’ undue influence over it made it fail and cost many more lives.

The CPA collapsed under the watch of IGAD’s leaders, and thus resulted into the episode of indescribable killings between the warring parties, that is, Sudan People Liberation Army/ Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition and in Government (SPLA/SPLM-IO) and (SPLA/SPLM-IG). This caused massive displacement of innocent civilians in the South Sudan’s capital and elsewhere across the country in July, 2016.

Similar episodes forced Dr Machar and his forces out of Juba to Congo with hot pursuit of an aerial bombardment and ground infantry combatants for more than forty days with IGAD’s leaders failing to intervene and/or condemn. As the CPA of 2015 failed under the watch of IGAD’s leaders without intervention and condemnation, even this revitalisation that is now in the process is unlikely to materialise.

IGAD’s leaders are architects of South Sudan’s conflict. There is nothing that will bring South Sudan’s peace into place while they are present in the negotiations. They are working behind closed doors in fueling the conflict and making it worse, knowing that the more South Sudan’s war prolonged, the more employments they will get from the international communities such as Troika, China, EU and others under the guise of peace negotiation.

In this case, they do not deserve to be mediators of South Sudan’s conflict while they are not playing a neutrality role as mediators. They are taking and favouring sides, working around the clock day and night to promote war in, and the destabilisation of South Sudan.

A good example is violation of Cessation of Hostilities (COH) signed on the 21st of December, 2017 by the two factions in Addis Ababa. It was violated by the government within less than 72 hours, and IGAD’s leaders neither intervened nor condemned.

Since the negotiation between South Sudan’s warring parties began, IGAD’s leaders have done little to bring about peace to South Sudan and its people because their mediation process lacked flavour of truth and impartiality. They recklessly mediated the warring parties, knowing that their mediation would mean nothing else than killing and the displacement of innocent South Sudanese.

In essence, they are not good at anything else, but creating loud propagandas and mockeries, causing more confusions, fuelling conflict, disintegration and discord within the South Sudanese people. Their mediation has never been negotiated with a good faith but with dirty deals with South Sudanese angry position leaders.

Leaders of IGAD have little knowledge in knowing that both parties have to be aware of what their interests are, and the need to be willing to engage in a give-and-take process with the other party to come to agreements together. This lack of understanding shows that IGAD’s leaders’ ability to bring about peace to South Sudan is very slim.

They are far from addressing conflict negotiation strategies that can brings the conflict to an end. That is, as mediators, they do not confront the situation’s differences differently, or consider interests separately or engage the warring parties in a good relationship-building dialogue.

Ignoring these approaches will not allow good understanding between the parties or the mediators. Even cases where resolution of a dispute is possible it would not be possible.

South Sudan’s peace will not materialise if the leaders of IGAD continue to act naively, not knowing there would be no real writ and viable political solution in the peace talks without involving IO’s leader, Dr Riek Machar. His isolation is a huge setback in the peace talks and recipe for war in South Sudan.

This is simple to know, it does not need people like IGAD’s leaders to be commonsense scientists to know it. Isolation of the main person to the conflict such as Dr Riek Machar shows that South Sudan’s peace is far from materialising under IGAD’s leaders.

Author: Gatwech Deng Wal
Melbourne, Australia
The author can be reached by email
His email is

Juba can’t do a Rwanda, so it better get serious on peace

By: CHARLES ONYANGO-OBBO, The East African, JAN/24/2018, SSN;

In Summary: If the South Sudanese refugees become a huge population, they can seize power the way the Rwandan refugees did in 1994 in a return-to-the-homeland rebellion.

The South Sudan warriors have been doing what they do best — violating ceasefires and peace agreements.

When in December the Salva Kiir government and its rebel opponents signed a peace agreement, there was an online conversation, where one of the people asked if there was anyone out there who was willing to bet that it would hold. Not a single person did.

And, indeed, a few hours later, there were reports of violations.

With the conflict still going on, it will be a long while before the nearly 2.6 million South Sudanese who have fled to neighbouring countries in the past four years can dream of going back home.

The thing about that number, 2.6 million, is that they are nearly a quarter of the country’s 12.5 million population.

South Sudan is not alone.

East Africa, Central Africa and the Horn each has at least one country where between 10 per cent and 25 per cent of the population has been displaced by conflict.

Central African Republic, a country of 4.5 million people, has some 600,000 – or 13 per cent – as refugees.

For nearly 25 of the past year 27 years, Somalis have been scattered all over the world. At the height of the conflict in Somalia, one got the impression that the country would empty, as famine added to the toll of war.

Three years ago, it looked like Burundi would go the same way after President Pierre Nkurunziza, inspired by some of his peers, decided to grab a third term, and the country erupted in violence again.

If all these crises were to get worse, to use the politically incorrect expression, the region would soon have a couple of countries where there are more chiefs than Indians.

You would have more politicians, ruling party officials, soldiers and militias in these conflict nations than citizens for them to rule over and prey on.

The flip side of this is that the countries that host the most refugees in Africa are also in the region, topped by Uganda, then Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Sudan.

What does a country and its government do when most of their citizens are across borders, leaving them with no subjects? Is the power with them, or in refugee camps across the borders?

If the majority of South Sudanese were to flee to Uganda and Ethiopia in escalating violence, would it make Yoweri Museveni and Hailemariam Desalegn co-presidents of South Sudan, or would Salva Kiir still pretend that he is The Man?

A not too dissimilar situation played out after the 1994 Rwanda genocide, in which the Interahamwe moved with most of the people and set up a menacing mini-state across the border in DRC. It ended very badly.

Rwanda intervened to dismantle the camps, and the series of events that followed led to the ouster of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in Congo in 1997.

Juba is in no position to do a Rwanda on Kampala or Addis Ababa. But if the South Sudanese refugees become a huge population, they can seize power the way the Rwandan refugees did in 1994 in a return-to-the-homeland rebellion.

Juba can’t say it was not forewarned. It better get serious about peace.

Charles Onyango-Obbo is publisher of data visualiser Africapaedia and Rogue Chiefs. Twitter@cobbo3

Who’s to blame for the potential disintegration of South Sudan? A Response to Jieng CE Joshua Dau Diu

By: James Yiel Yoak Nhial,, JAN/11/2018, SSN;

A response to an Article written by the co-chair of Jieng council of elders Mr. Joshua Dau Diu entitled; South Sudan is at the verge of disintegration, dated 14th October 2017.

It is said in the Holy Bible that you say the truth and the truth will save you. The current crisis that plunged our lovely country into political abyss, came about political and administrative differences that emerged within the ruling SPLM party amongst senior members of the party on issues related to reforms on economic, social, political and administrative, is the main cause of this crisis especially when some members within the party expressed their intention to contest in the coming elections for the presidency.

This state of affairs reached its stalemate in December 2013 where president Kiir, his Jieng council of elders and positions seekers conspired to assassinate the former vice president Dr. Riek Machar and throw other opponent to jail or eliminate them as well.

To carry out smoothly the well planned and coordinated action, members of the Nuer soldiers in the presidential guards ( known as Tiger Battalion), must first be disarmed. To disarm a soldier by force especially a Nuer soldier is an eminent invitation of violence and this was the beginning of hostilities resulting in the current civil war of South Sudan.

The country could not have undergone this terrible situation had president Kiir and his Jieng council of elders contained and confined the situation to the army without massacring innocent unarmed Nuer civilians.

Because the primary goal was not to kill Riek Machar alone, but to kill as many Nuers as they find to satisfy their (Dinka) lust for revenge on unarmed Nuer civilians escalating the war to greater Upper Nile where the majority of these victims come from.

The question is why target one ethnic group and not the other groups if it were not a long term plan by Dinka? If anybody could believe the fabricated coup attempt, does that warrant the mass killings of civilians who have nothing to do with who rules and who is going to rule the country?

If it was not a planned action why did general Paul Malong, President Kiir and the Jieng council of elders came up with project of Dinka militias before December 2013`s incident? Why moved the recruited 15,000 Dinka militias from Warrap and Aweil the home towns of Malong and Salva Kiir,and stationed them in Juba before the war if the massacre of Nuer was not a planned thing?

Based on my practical experience and as one of the targeted prey, the foremost and fundamental root cause of South Sudan`s problems or crisis is the love of power and wealth by Dinka tribe aggravated by their lack of a nation building and/or vision, their DNA corruption in their veins, bad governance, absence of transparency and accountability and above all lack of nationalism to hold this country together as one political entity.

The ex-pastor and in-law Mr. co-chair of Jieng council of elders Joshua Dau stated that, when it became impracticable to adapt the ACRSS to the situation due to that alien characteristic nature, and upon mediators insistence to enforce it, the consequence was the fist battle in J1 palace in Juba on 8-12 July 2016 between the rebel forces of Riek Machar Teny and the government forces; end of statement.

In another statement, by Joshua, stated that the fist fight in J1 palace, was the second coup attempt of Dr. Machar.

Which is which now; was the dogs fight in J1 was a result of government refusal of implementation of the impracticable ACRSS as you called it or was it an attempted coup by Dr. Machar as you stated earlier? How can Dr. Riek stage a coup with only 70 body guards of his and his ministers?

I personally thought you were one of the elders who could have helped mend the Nuer – Dinka relations instead of planning evils against Nuer. Mr. Joshua, you have forgotten that you were elected to the assembly by the Nuer of Fangak who were the majority in preference to their own son that you are now working very hard to see that they are eliminated?

Mr. co-chair, as to the second coup attempt as alleged by you in 2016, is rubbish and too late for lies fabrications again to mislead public and world opinion, for almost everybody knew what happened and how it happened; however, Am never surprised or worried about the Dinka`s regime lies fabrications as it is their normal habitual behavior.

In 2016, in Juba Grand Hotel where we were putting up, you asked us and I quote, now you have mistakenly brought the children (meaning SPLA-IO soldiers) to Juba how will you take them out? (Me cia gaat kule nyakge, bia ke kule luoijiok I di?) End of quote. Your statement indicates that there was not only a planned an attack on SPLA-IO, but also to assassinate the SPLA-IO leader Dr. Machar.

Mr. Joshua, you know very well that both December 2013 and July 2016 were well planned and coordinated by Your Jieng Council of elders, general Paul Malong and some traitors from the SPLM/A-IO.

My common sense tells me that the plan includes possible elimination of the two leaders Kiir and Riek, after which Paul Malong becomes the president, Taban Deng becomes the first vice president and Lol Gatkuoth becomes the petroleum minister.

To prove that the December 2013`s Nuer massacre was a planned action, I would narrate the events that led to the massacre:-

• General Paul Malong, the then governor of Northern Bhar El Ghazal state recruited 15,000 militias from among Dinka of Warrap the home Town of president Kiir, and Aweil the home Town of general Malong. These primitive Dinka militias were trained, equipped/armed and moved to Juba before the December incidence and were instructed to kill the Nuer without mercy.

The resources used for the up keep of these militias were drawn from the public chest, e.g the money alleged to have been stolen from the president`s office was part of the funding of these militias.

• When the shootout occurred in Tiger Battalion in the night of December 15th 2013, the house of Dr. Machar was stormed and heavily shelled with the intention of killing him which has been the primary goal of his enemies in addition to the lust of mass killings of Nuer (ethnic cleansing) which was actually carried out on 16th – 20th December 2013 by Dinka militias mathiang anyor and Dinka`s SPLA and their national security organs.

Co-chairman of the Jieng council of elders, let me refer you to the AU investigation findings of the Nuer massacre in Juba in December 2013;
The investigation carried out in 2014 by the AU, has released the final findings on 17th October 2014 as follows:

• That widespread and systematic killings took place in Juba in December 2013.

• That the killings in Juba were carried out pursuant to a state policy and were coordinated also possibly planned,

• AU investigators found no evidence of a coup attempt as claimed by president Salva Kiir , but, instead concluded that a gunfight within the presidential guards was the immediate trigger for further violence in which Dinka members of the presidential guards and other security forces targeted Nuer soldiers and civilians in and near their homes,

• A number of Kiir`s personal associates and presidential guards commanders are named in the report as operational sectors commanders who led the operations that the AU commission said resulted in mass killings in residential areas in mid-December 2013 including, Muniki, 107 (Miaya Sabaha), Khor William, New site, Gudele one, Mangateen, Custom, Nyakuron and Jebel. Tens of thousands of members of Nuer ethnic group fled to the UN Tongping base in the wake of these killings and still remain under UN protection today and

• The detail numerous accounts of murders, rapes, tortures and other atrocities including cases of forced cannibalism perpetrated by the members of the army and security forces Articles; 810, 811, 812, 813, and 814 of the report, make that such acts were carried out with the degree of organization and planning.

Not because of the AU findings, but, the bringing in of the 15,000 trained Dinka militias to Juba before the December 2013th incidence by Dinka led government was by itself is a proof of the intended massacre of Nuer ethnic group in Juba and elsewhere in South Sudan.

I know the truth is always bitter Mr. Joshua but, resorting to telling lies both to cover up evil deeds or for economic interests, will not help us get out of this nasty situation and eventually may lead to disintegration of this nation and the blame will squarely rest on Dinka tribe.

I want to shed light on Mr. Joshua`s root causes of Nuer- Dinka conflict:

Joshua stated that the Akobo incident of 1975 was one of the root causes of Nuer – Dinka conflict.

The Dinka – Nuer unstable relation is not something new, but is a historical struggle between the two cousins over scarce resources.

Nuer officers and men killed their commanding officer Colonel Abel Chol (a Dinka) and subsequently deserted the army and formed Anyanya2 1976 – 1983 stated Joshua.

Anyanya2 was not formed in 1976, but was formed right away after Addis Ababa Agreement by those discontented Anyanya1 with the Agreement and were in existence before 1975 of Akobo incident with their head quarter in Bilpam under different commanders at different times.
Mr. Joshua, one must write something one is dead sure of substantiated with dates and places not to leave room for any doubt.

• In Akobo incident of 1975, who shot Colonel Abel Chol, or Abel Kon as he was known? Colonel Abel was shot by Sergeant Bol Kur who was not a Nuer as you would like to hear. Majority of Nuer officers did not participate in the mutiny and that was why they remained in the barrack and also that was why they were charged of negligent and irresponsibility and eventually court martialed and shot in the morning of July 1975 in Malakal town and others were sentenced to long term imprisonment. Yes, Abel Chol, comes from Dinka ethnic group and that was not the reason for his death as you seem to advocate: but there were Dinka officers and men in Akobo during the incident.

• Anyanya2 as I said earlier, was not formed as a result of Akobo mutiny, but, cemented the alredy existing movement (Anyanya). Those who were there before Akobo incident, include, Gordon Koang Chol, Bol Kur, Vencent Kuany, Gabriel Gatwech Chan and many others as I was there in Addis Ababa when the movement was established. The political figures were not Nuers but Dinka of Bhar el Ghazal namely, Gordon Mortot and Elias Aduang. The two leaders Elias and Gordon disagreed right away on logistical issues, and Gordon went back to London and sometime later, Elias left for Italy.

The first split of the SPLM/A in Itang in 1984 was not based on ethnicity if it ever were, Dr. John Garang would not have led the movement as the bulk of the soldiers by then were Nuer; uncle Akuot Atem would not have been chosen by Samuel Gai and William Abdalla Chol to be their leader which was one of the reasons for the split besides the New Sudan ideology.

Dr. John Garang and his two military generals, Major Kerbino Kuanyin Bol who shot the first bullet in Bor and major William Nyuon Bany who in June 1983 rebel in Ayod and joined Kuanyin on the Ethiopian border were ideological and leadership differences.

New Sudan ideology by Garang`s group was to liberate the whole Sudan and change the system of governance; while the other group of Akuot Atem, Samuel Gai, and William Abdalla Chol were for the liberation of South Sudan to become an independent political entity.

Differences on who to lead worsened the situation, as Dr. John wants to lead the movement while Samuel Gai and William Abdalla wanted uncle Akuot Atem to lead the movement resulting in dislodging Akuot`s group to South Sudan`s border where they were ambushed by an air lifted SPLA resulting in Gai`s death.

Meanwhile, Anyanya2 kept themselves aloof from the new movement, the SPLA and was still in their head quarter in Bilpam. The first mistake committed by SPLM/A was the attack on Anyanya2 in Bilpam forcing them to joined Akuot and Samuel`s group at the South Sudanese border.

The 1991 incident that has become Dinka slogans of the day, was not condoned by all Nuers and not to be blame on Dr. Riek as the white army were not recruited, trained and equipped by Nasir faction of the SPLM/A of Dr. Riek and therefore, have no control over them unlike Dinka militias mathianganyor, gelwang, and kutkubeny who were and are still under direct control and instructions of SPLA Dinka army commanders.

Two hidden mass killings of unarmed Nuer civilians in Atar Aradeba in 1988 where hundreds Nuer women and children who were traveling in a convey of Anyanya2 were rounded up after ambushing the Anyanya2 force were cruelly murdered simply because they are Nuers despite the fact that my father-in-law Peter Riir Puk whose daughter Nyaruac Riir, my wife and son of 11 years old were among the executed civilians; while Peter Riir was one of the SPLA alternate commanders in Rub Nyagai in Bentiu by then.

The victims were selected on ethnic groups, Shilluk, Dinka and Nuer. Nuer group were led away and killed in cool blood. Those fighting Anyanya2 in almost all frontlines, were Nuer themselves and not the Dinka and every Dinka of SPLA soldier knows this very well. There are survivors of Nuer wives from Shilluk who were not discovered they are Nuer wives who can testify about the incident.

In 2011, in Kaldak, serious atrocities and human rights violations committed against unarmed Nuer civilians including running over people by tanks, burning people alive in their shelters/huts and in reeds along the river in addition to those who died of thurst and hunger in the forest and the Nuers are still supporting the dictatorial and the most corrupt rule of Dinka.

I was one of the SPLM/A supporters against Anyanya2 for two reasons, one is that Dr. Garang was the right person to lead the Movement educationally and militarily against uncle Akuot Atem as he was an old man, secondly, Anyanya2 collaborated with the enemy (the Arab) which I personally see as the betrayal to the cause, but differ in total liberation of Sudan.

People are silent about these killings even the Nuer themselves have forgotten evil deeds of Dinka using public apparatus in the name of the de facto-government.

Revitalization of failed August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the conflict in South Sudan ACRSS by self-styled international and regional bodies with their allies and institutions in UN, EU, Troika, IMF, world Bank are using AU, and IGAD to deal the last catastrophic stroke of disintegration of the land and people of South Sudan, stated Mr. Dau.

Shame on you Hon. Co-chairman of Jieng council of elders, calling the international and regional bodies who have been and are still working day and night to restore peace to this messed up country, self-styled bodies?

Are you Mr. Joshua and your Jieng council of elders concerned about the suffering of South Sudanese people including the flight of Dinka Aweil and Warrap to northern Sudan in search of food?

Are you not moved by the deep rooted hatred by the 63 southern tribes towards Dinka tribe for inhuman deeds carried out against them?

For how long do you think the broken social fabric between tribes/communities will mend or rebuild when you the so called Jieng council of elders have become source of evil.

Am deeply and terribly moved by the degree of atrocities being committed by your SPLA and Dinka militias against innocent South Sudanese masses.

About the self-styled powers in the affairs of South Sudan, instead of being grateful to these foreign organizations who brought August peace Agreement that you have been violating since its signature and finally threw it to dustbin in July 2016, and are still trying to bring peace again to this country and you still have the gut of calling them names.

Have you forgotten that it were these self-styled international and national organizations particularly America under Obama`s administration who kept you in power since 2014 when Ugandan army was sponsored and ordered to militarily intervened in the internal war of South Sudan?

You know very well Mr. Joshua that had it not been the Ugandan military intervention in 2014, things would have been quite different today and would not have been to the enjoyment of Jieng council of elders.

In conclusion, I agree with you Mr. Co-chairman, that without digging into the real root causes of the problem or conflict in this country where those responsible for this mess are made to account for their actions including your Jieng council who are the real advisors to president Kiir, general Paul Malong who recruited Dinka militias who massacred innocent Nuer civilians in December 2013 in Juba causing this cycle of killings, this country will not witness peace.

In order to help mend and rebuild the broken social fabric and deep rooted hatred among South Sudanese communities and save this country from total disintegration, we ought to refrain from negative propaganda and hate speech.

Mr. Joshua, as grown up people tasked with bringing up our children and youngsters by planting in them love for their country, respect of civilized values, norms and good conduct towards their societies, and show honesty and responsibility in everything we do being verbal or in a written form and give up our personal economic interests and above all the real disease of tribal lenient.

We must learn to live together, tolerate each other, work together, mourn together, enjoy together without fear or trembling.Let us try to enjoy together peace that the self-styled foreign bodies trying to bring to us.

Let us be responsible elders Mr. Joshua for the sake of our young generation and unity of this blessed country.

God come to the rescue of South Sudan.

What We Expect From President Kiir and FVP Taban in 2018?

By: Winnie Nyiwer Majok, Kampala, UGANDA, JAN/03/2018, SSN;

As we step into 2018, every South Sudanese‘s wish for a new year is for the President Salva Kiir and his First Vice President Gen. Stephen Taban to change their current political stance on this ongoing crisis and bring a genuine peace to this country in 2018.

There is no doubt that these two individuals behold the future of over 10 million south Sudanese. They are in charge of our death files. In their book, there is time when we can die and when to live, what will kill us and what will make us live, how to die and how to live. They hold our country’s political heartbeat and our kismet more than any other SPLM politicians.

Therefore, it is squarely upon them to continue holding onto their current political philosophy (we are better off without them) while despising other factions of SPLM and letting the situation continue unabated or changing their philosophy and salvaging the country from a total prostration and saving the few remaining lives.

One year has gone now and sadly the country still sits in uncertainty since the invention of what I can correctly term as “the pyramid theorem.”

The pyramid I mean is made up of four sides, Gen. Taban, Hon. Ezekiel Lol, Dr. Dhieu Mathok and Gen. Lado Gore. In their invented excogitated arithmetic pyramid theorem of bringing peace, we were made to believe that this barbecue invented theorem in Crown Hotel will bring everlasting peace.

The pyramid theorem postulates “substituting Riek Machar with Gen. Taban Deng plus Ezekiel Lol minus Pagan Amum, multiplied by President Kiir all over the Compromised Peace Agreement equals everlasting peace.”

Unfortunately, it is Welei, it equals more suffering and death. Even though we try to apply the BODMAS rule and use a scientific calculator, it is still the same.

In other words, this trial and error arithmetic pyramid theorem of bringing peace has spectacularly failed and it would be good if our leaders can modify it in a good faith so that it brings everlasting peace.

Methinks that it is not sacrilege to say that South Sudan lacks purposeful political elites. Purposeful elites define the national interest and national conscience of any country. There is no single country that can be great without purposeful elites.

Visibly, our elites are only interested in their self-preservation. Their fight is always caused by leadership wrangling over who can eat what. Not by differences in political ideologies on how to run the country.

All these factions of SPLM don’t have any clear vision for this country.

To put it plainly, the politics of Bothon gebel Wathom (belly before nation) has outshone the politics of national interest and service delivery.

Nothing illustrates the ideological bankruptcy of our elites than the lack of convincing articulation on how President Kiir and FVP Gen. Taban can bring everlasting peace. Their brigades can’t give the country any clear work plan.

In the same vein, the discombobulated Dr. Riek suffers from mental impuissance of enunciating political ideas. He can’t articulate any reason to buy the brains of South Sudanese why he is the best man to be given the residency of J1.

His incoherent gist is always that Kiir has done nothing good during the whole interim periods and hence he must handover the power to him.

To give his argument some weights, he claims that he is the left-handed and handsome Nuer politician with gaps in the teeth who was prophesied by prophet Ngundeng to rule south Sudan.

He brags to have divine powers of Ngundeng and they can guide him to provide the best supernatural political leadership to this country.

The habitually dipsomaniac Pagan Amum and his group have also glaringly failed to articulate their reasons of wanting President Kiir go.

Pagan has totally forgotten that South Sudan was not a humanitarian donation from the UN and TROIKA. But insolently busy lobbying the UNSC in Washington for South Sudan to be placed under UN trusteeship for ten years.

What will benefit him and his group in UN trusteeship is something for us all to guess.

The so-called Nyandeng Garang is also unwittingly being held hostage by her wild belief that the leadership is a sexually transmitted skill and hence she stands the best chance to provide the good leadership of her late husband to this country.

For our elites, politics is the full belly thesis. And they can do whatever it takes them to get shares of the national cake and fill their bellies by all means.

They are all mentally impotent to articulate any single living reason for wanting the country’s top job.

The erudite aphorism of Mr. Alexander Eichener, “for a hyena, a bone is just a bone; no matter whether it lies in the bush, or in the vegetable garden of Mzungu. It is still a bone,” accurately explains the anserine belief of our politicians for positions.

They are determined to fill their bellies by default, no shame feeling! Take it to the bank; some politicians can even kill over 1000 innocent people in a single day so that they can be conciliated with positions in the government.

These are what we call the ‘SPLM elites of South Sudan’, very pathetic!

To take Mr. Akol Paul by his words, “SPLM is intertwined with South Sudanese and therefore when it coughs, the whole nation contracts political influenza.”

Therefore, if this is how the SPLM is intertwined with the people, then it is safe to say that the SPLM didn’t only cough but has farted very toxic gas which has drifted thousands of South Sudanese into UNMISS camps, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya refugee camps, and equally killed thousands.

Is it not the right time for SPLM now to see the doctor and treat itself to cease coughing and farting so that the few remaining lives of South Sudanese are saved?

Because of you (SPLM elites), the past five years have been extremely more difficult on several accounts. We have seen the skyrocketing of foodstuffs in the shops, and at some point in this Christmas and New Year celebrations, we have had difficult choices to make between buying 10 Kg of Maize flour for family meal or buying second hand clothes for kids, but never both.

We lost our fathers, mothers and siblings not only in the war but some were starved to death.

We have lost jobs because companies and NGOs have left South Sudan because of insecurity.

Some companies and NGOs have scaled down their work forces. Our children have dropped out from schools because the parents couldn’t afford to pay their tuition fees.

Some families broke up because of this economic hardship.

Our currency has lost its value due to inflation. Government employees can spend up to three months without salaries.

Reportedly, some SPLA soldiers hung themselves because their salaries can’t buy 5 KG of maize flour and 2 KG of beans for their families.

Tribalism has littered in every government’s departments and private sectors. Ethnicity has become a ticket for employment; Deng can’t be employed in the department headed by Lado, Adwok can’t be promoted in the office headed by Gatkuoth and vice versa.

Our children are starving with even with their degree certificates.

Do you hear and understand these tales, Mr. President? Can you and your FVP Gen. Taban scratch your heads and recall the cause of our struggle for this country by making 2018 the year of a genuine peace?

Can you and your FVP Gen. Taban make this year the beginning of your good legacy years?

Are you still patriots with your FVP Gen. Taban like before CPA to return this country to its unstrained shape and form?

Can you and your FVP Gen. Taban swallow your pride and call all your colleagues in SPLM-IO and SPLM-FD and lock yourselves in any room in SPLM House and agree on who can eat what and bring peace to us?

I assure you, sirs, the country needs peace and no one will dare to question what the hell you are doing with the country’s resources as long there is peace.

Millions of South Sudanese have endured this economic hardship and war for the whole of 2017 hoping that the ‘pyramid theorem’ will produce something tangible that will derogate our sufferings. Woefully, nothing has changed.

In conclusion, in 2018, many South Sudanese expect much from president Kiir and his First Vice President Gen. Stephen Taban. If either of them has smidgeon of belief that this is not the country that they fought for twenty one (21) years and cost 1.2 million of lives, we expect them to change their current political stance and make 2018 the year of permanent peace.

The author is a South Sudanese student studying in Uganda and can be reached via

LATEST: Gen. Thomas Cirillo calls for new leadership without Kiir & Machar

Radio Tamazuj and Various News Agencies, OCT/24/2017, SSN;

Thomas Cirillo Swaka, leader of the National Salvation Front (NAS), has called for global support to a new leadership that excludes President Salva Kiir and his main political rival, Riek Machar, from power configuration, saying the two leaders have apparently failed to manage the national crisis after the outbreak of civil war in December 2013.

“We believe the old political configuration of Kiir and Machar is not capable of addressing the national crisis. A new leadership should be supported to introduce genuine political and socio-economic transformations in the country,” Thomas Cirillo Swaka, leader of the NAS rebel group, said in a statement dated October 17.

The former army official told the UN Security Council that South Sudan under Salva Kiir has been tribalized and the army has been turned into ethnic militias and that the art of good governance is unknown and non-existence.

He said the role of the regional and international actors, including the UN Security Council should not only focus their mandate on saving lives by halting the violence and assisting the supply of aid, but also creating an enabling environment for long-term stability to prevent future conflict and loss of lives safeguarded by holding those who have obstructed the implementation of the peace agreement and engineered the violence accountable.

The South Sudanese rebel leader urged the UN Security Council to empower UNMISS with clear mandates to protect civilians and enforce its own resolution on the deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF).

“We urge the UNSC to play a leading role in making sure that any new peace agreement is fully implemented. It is not enough to allow the regional actors to supervise the implementation of the agreement. They have already failed in implementing the signed 2015 peace agreement. It is important for the Security Council to speak with one voice on issues pertaining to peace and security in South Sudan. We noticed that different member states have different positions on how the conflict should be addressed,” Carillo said.

The rebel leader asked the United Nations Security Council to hold those obstructing the implementation of the peace agreement and committed crimes against humanity in the country accountable including the top leaders.

In March, Swaka resigned from his position as the deputy chief of staff for logistics and formed a new rebel group to fight against opposed President Kiir’s administration.


South Sudan’s government bears “primary responsibility” for incessant violence in the country, according to a new United Nations report that also criticises East African and US mediation efforts.

A UN Panel of Experts presented the starkly negative assessment in an update on the South Sudan conflict issued on Thursday.

The five-member panel established by the UN Security Council cited an absence of political will to implement a 2015 peace agreement and to address “the destructive governance practices and historical grievances that continue to drive the conflict in South Sudan”.

The experts attribute these failures to “the political and military elite of the country, with the primary responsibility for the ongoing violence resting with those in the government, led by the president, Salva Kiir, and the first vice-president, Taban Deng Gai”.

Neighbouring nations continue to experience adverse impacts of the nearly four-year-long civil war, yet are making no effective efforts to negotiate an end to the fighting, the report says.

Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and the four other member-states of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) have not generated “a coherent political process backed by genuine pressure on the parties”, the experts found.

“Each Igad member is dealing with significant national challenges that, coupled with long-standing and complex regional rivalries, continue to undermine consensus on South Sudan,” the report adds.

An ensuing proliferation of uncoordinated diplomatic initiatives has enabled the warring forces to “forum-shop”, the panel warns.

The government and armed opposition groups “engage selectively in various processes while buying time for military operations, and avoid attempts to enforce a political settlement to the conflict”, the report says.

The Trump administration is implicitly criticised for failing to sustain US attempts to resolve the conflict.

“The leadership of the United States and other nations that previously exerted leverage in the region has also waned considerably in 2017,” the panel said.

The report makes note of complaints concerning US support for the continued exclusion of opposition leader Riek Machar from peace-making efforts.

Some opposition groups view this refusal to include Dr Machar in the search for a settlement as an impediment to a neutral mediation approach by outsiders, the panel states.

The political impasse, along with government military offensives in recent months, have substantially worsened an already dire humanitarian situation in South Sudan, the experts conclude.

“The population faces intersecting threats of violence and insecurity, large-scale population displacement, extreme food insecurity and an escalating national economic crisis,” the report notes.

“The actions of South Sudanese leaders have done nothing to address these threats, and there is unlikely to be an improvement in the foreseeable future absent a significant change in the national and international approach to the conflict.”

LATEST: Businesses close as South Sudan Civil War takes its toll


Kris Mbaya, the managing director of UAP Old Mutual South Sudan, who was posted to the country in early 2013, is among business managers who have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of South Sudan’s business landscape in its short history of 11 years as an independent state.

Indeed, UAP Equatorial Tower, the tallest building in the country at 15 storeys high, is a fitting analogy of how businesses that flocked into South Sudan following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord in 2006 have crashed.

UAP was among the first companies to venture into South Sudan at Independence, and invested $30 million in putting up the building in 2011 to provide foreign investors with ultra-modern office space.

But the breakout of violence in 2013, following the fallout between President Salva Kiir and his then deputy Riek Machar meant that the building could not be completed on time and as such had no tenants for a long time.

The tower — with only 23 per cent occupancy —is a painful reminder of a strategic investment decision that went awry.

Occupancy will rise to 35 per cent when the Kenyan embassy in Juba relocates to the building by end of the year.

Although it generates minimum revenue, the building generates costs. Every month, UAP spends $15,000 for diesel to power the generator, which is the only source of power, and $5,000 for satellite Internet. In Kenya, it would cost only $400 for the same Internet capacity.

However, the building also represents the long term view of South Sudan opportunities.

“We believe in the long term potential of South Sudan. This country represents the mantra of high risks, high returns for us as a business,” said James Wambugu, UAP Old Mutual Group managing director in charge of general business.

While UAP believes in the potential of South Sudan, other companies have fled because of insecurity, political uncertainty and a struggling economy.

Sme’s close down

Several small and medium enterprises owned by foreigners have also closed down, while traders bringing goods into the country, particularly foodstuffs and other consumer products, are operating in a difficult environment.

“Business in Juba used to boom, but things have been tough since the crisis,” said Peter Kaikara, a Uganda national who supplies alcoholic beverages to several outlets in Juba.

Considering that South Sudan largely depends on imports, the cost of living and of basic commodities is high due to the poor state of roads and lack of electricity. The country has only 400 km of paved road.

A bottle of 500ml Kenyan beer brand Tusker that costs $1.9 in Kenya is $3.3 in Juba. Rent for a one-bedroomed apartment ranges from $1,500 to $2,000 per month.

Juba has one mall, City Mall, which is a pale shadow of those found in other East African capitals.

Unemployed young people crowd the streets in Juba, idling away and drinking strong tea; motorcycles (boda bodas) are the main source of earning a living for many.

The unemployment crisis has been exacerbated by the exit of numerous foreign companies while others have scaled down their operations after experiencing losses.

Kenyan multinationals like KCB Group, Stanbic Holdings, Equity Group, Co-op Bank and CIC Insurance are some of the businesses that have significantly reduced their operations in the country.

The hopes of prosperity and opportunities that came with the signing of the Peace Accord in 2006 have been diminished.

Three years of political instability and prolonged fighting between government forces and rebels, particularly in the oilfield states of Paloch, Upper Nile and Maiwut, have crippled the economy that is highly dependent on oil.

Cash crunch

The cash crunch from oil earnings has made it impossible for the government to meet even basic financial obligations, including paying salaries of civil servants, teachers and the police, some of whom are earning $20 per month.

The government has no money to finance key programmes like health, education and agriculture to secure food production.

Despite its huge tracts of fertile soil and water resources, South Sudan remains largely a subsistence agriculture state. Currently the country imports 70 per cent of food from Kenya and Uganda, and humanitarian organisations say that about half of the population is food insecure.

“Food security continues to deteriorate across South Sudan with life-threatening hunger spreading in scale and scope, making 2017 the most food-insecure year in the country’s history,” states a report by the United States Agency for International Development.

By July, approximately six million people were experiencing crises or higher levels of acute food insecurity and were in urgent need of emergency aid.

Despite being a significant oil producer, South Sudan depends on imports of petroleum products for local use, with diesel in the country being among the most expensive in East Africa at $1.05 per litre, compared with $0.95 in Kenya.

The government has established a fuel subsidy programme to ensure fuel trades at $0.2 per litre.