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‘Juba Hypocrites’ and the Empty Call for National Dialogue!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, DEC/19/2016, SSN;

While the world community is commemorating the 3rd Anniversary of the December 2013 Juba Massacre, the same genocidaire regime chose to distract everyone’s attention by releasing a speech by the same president announcing the commencement of a so-called National Dialogue. A Dialogue with a tyrant, my foot!

Notwithstanding the fact that I didn’t listen to the speech while it was being read out by Salva Kiir Mayardit himself, nonetheless, I have read through the entire document of the speech dated 14th December 2016. My personal conclusion is that this is just another well-ruminated speech prepared for him by his speech writers who often engage more on the what should be said but not necessarily what can be done.

The Call by dictator Salva Kiir Mayardit for a National Dialogue under his auspices and yet oblivious to his personal role in the current crisis if anything to go by is itself utterly absurd.

With the demise of the Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflicts in South Sudan (ARCISS) in July 2016 following the failed attempt on the life of SPLM-IO’s Chairperson and Commander in Chief, Dr. Riek Machar Teny in Juba, the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) legally ceased to exist.

Whatever is there now, is simply what the International community and the outgoing President Barrack Obama’s administration would like to maintain as a face-saving exercise, no more, no less.

Let me be very sincere with those who continue to think that anything good can still be achieved under the pathetic leadership of General Salva Kiir Mayardit, General Taban Deng Gai, General Kuol Manyang Juuk, and General Paul Malong Awan, that they are indeed hostages of a ‘Big Lie.’ For it is these generals who chose the path of violence as a way of addressing South Sudan’s political issues.

The generals would like to remain relevant to the politics of the country, and they can only achieve that by further dragging the entire country into more devastating, yet senseless civil war. I wish to believe they have reached their goals so far. To come out of it is not what they can be entrusted to accomplish.

Characteristic of Salva Kiir Mayardit and coterie, they have often portrayed themselves as peace loving people, but wherever they go, a trail of blood follows them. Maybe this little extract from the president’s Independence Day Speech can serve to shade light on what often trademarks his speeches and essentially, they are all about empty promises that the least sophisticated South Sudanese doesn’t even buy into anymore:

“It is my ardent belief that you are aware that our detractors have already written us off, even before the proclamation of our independence. They say we will slip into civil war as soon as our flag is hoisted. They justify that by arguing that we are incapable of resolving our problems through dialogue. They charge that we are quick to revert to violence. They claim that our concept of democracy and freedom is faulty. It is incumbent upon us to prove them all wrong!”.

Does anyone need reminding that the genesis of the 13th July 2013 crisis was a breakdown in dialogue within the ruling SPLM party!

The people of South Sudan deserve to have a better leadership than those murderers masquerading as statesmen. War is obviously not the best way to go about addressing national issues, yet this is what Salva Kiir’s regime has opted for. But there must be an end to this destructive war.

And while there is an urgent need to restart the process of a peaceful settlement, Salva Kiir will always be part of the problem and never of the solution.

Hence, until we can all see that this is the case, worse things will likely continue to happen in this new country while the culprits with the blessing of the inaction of the international community continue to enjoy financial and moral support in the regional and beyond.

No one with conscience including President Barrack Obama and his entire administration can miss seeing the many squandered opportunities that could have saved South Sudan should the situation continue to deteriorate, which indeed is already the case.

For many observers, including the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, headed by South Africa’s Yasmin Sooka and Adama Dieng, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, have recently warned that the current violence, much of it inter-tribal and increasingly directed at ethnic cleansing, is sliding towards genocide.

Repeatedly, Sooka has said: ‘The stage is being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda and the international community is under an obligation to prevent it.’ The last time was on 1 December after visiting South Sudan with her commission.

Sadly indeed, nothing tangible has been coming from the African Union although we all know that the AU’s Constitutive Act permits forcible intervention in the case of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

As the number of South Sudanese who have abandoned their homes because of this war has already surpassed the one million mark, the crucial importance of the International community to continue with the provision of the much needed humanitarian assistance without hindrance cannot be overstressed.

However, a real process to reverse the precarious situation on the ground in South Sudan necessitates a new inclusive political process. This process MUST be outside South Sudan to enable the participants the freedom to delve into the various root causes of the conflict.

And whether they like it or not some very painstaking decisions must be reached to re-structure the future political, social and economic outlook of the new country be it in one piece or several pieces.

Yet the very crucial step must begin by immediately operationalizing the Hybrid courts for South Sudan to consider all the crimes committed in the period that started from 13th December 2013 to date. While preparing for all these, it is also important that Salva Kiir and his regime are held responsible for the demise of the ACRISS.

All leaders who are responsible for war crimes and offenses committed against humanity must also receive targeted sanctions in forms of travel bans and freeze of ALL their assets.

Finally, the time has come for this country to be put under severe forms of the arms embargo to stop this brutal and savage regime from continuing its vicious assaults on unarmed civilians cowardly using lethal Helicopter gunships and jet fighters.

It is the time that the international community comes to the realization of the wrong path the Obama administration has imposed on it by erroneously giving recognition to Salva Kiir-Taban Deng regime in Juba. They will come to regret it if they are already not doing so.

It is the time that they see the administration for actually what it stands for, as it is bent on imposing its violent kleptocratic nature on the country with wider ramifications for the entire region. Kiir’s regime is presiding over a pariah state that deserves isolation and not embracement.

Author: Justin Ambago Ramba. A Concern South Sudanese Citizen and a Voice for the Voiceless.

South Sudan: Too Many Problems but So Many Hopes

BY:Taban Abel Aguek, MP, and Govt. Chief Whip, Easten Lakes State, DEC/18/2016, SSN;

South Sudan is a country that emerged to be an independent State from a wave of turbulent eras of uncertainties. It’s history is largely an account of a series of protracted conflicts. In fact, South Sudanese people have, for the past centuries, invested more in wars than any other thing.

The history of the struggle of the black people of Sudan and South Sudan goes back to as early as prehistoric time. According to some recorded materials, the black people of the ‘Sudans’ were continually pushed way beyond Egypt until they found themselves in the present day Sudan and South Sudan before and after the 14th Century, following the collapse of the Christian Nubian Kingdoms of Makuria and Alodia.

Then the South Sudanese continued to wage bitter wars later against the Anglo-Egyptian colonization and then again against successive Arab Islamic regimes in Khartoum. And for all the wars the South Sudanese fought both in the ancient days down to most recent ones, there was one chief cause among all other things: Identity.

Generations, one after the other, lived in an environment of war. So basically, South Sudanese have lived with a culture of war of identity to an extent that war itself has almost evolved into a habit of settling their issues.

On January 9, 2005, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was signed by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Government of Sudan led by its ruling party, National Congress Party (NCP). Finally, a brutal conflict that started in 1983 (and cost millions of lives) was brought to an end.

Peace was just a general thing but out of all the protocols in the agreement, there was only one clause that actually meant peace; and that was the ‘South Sudan Referendum’.

For the first time in history of the struggle of South Sudanese, they would get a chance to choose to either remain in a united Sudan or secede and become an Independent State. In that, the referendum presented a choice of Identity (for which South Sudanese had fought for so long) or remain in an Arab dominated United Sudan and continue to live as second class citizens.

South Sudanese, on 9th January, 2011, voted 98.83% in favor of separation and passing over the 60% turn-out threshold for the Independent South Sudan. On July 9, 2011, the flag of the world’s youngest nation was hoisted to the wild jubilation of South Sudanese of all ages and of all creed.

But two years after Independence, the new country descended into another terrible conflict, this time against itself. Anyone who saw the exultance of the crowds in the streets of all major cities in the country could not believe their eyes.

A dreadful conflict has just broken out. What began like a simple game of politics had swayed from the peripheries of talks to the barrel of guns just in a very short time. Major towns were raced down, hundreds of thousands of people displaced and lives lost in huge numbers.

South Sudan, as an independent state, had come along with a plethora of problems. The old problems have coupled with new ones, and the burden is sure heavy. From independence it started from scratch. There is very little or no infrastructural development at all. Poverty is wide spread. Its healthcare is one of the worst in the world. Illiteracy is so high and so many things are just at an infant stage.

The region of Upper Nile and some parts of Equatoria have been left devastated by rampant insecurity. Targeted killings of people of certain ethnicities continue unabated. Tribalism has heightened and the economy is all but in tatters. This has not only left South Sudanese disillusioned but also very much forlorn.

With these facts, it is hard to deny that we are in problems. Yes, South Sudan is a country in deep problems but we are also a country with so much hope too. Pessimism is a disease that possesses the same effects as war itself.

As a result, south Sudanese should not give up faith in themselves and in their beloved country. South Sudan has so many problems, but people fail to realize that her hopes greatly outweigh her problems.

People should be mindful that we are not the only people fighting on earth. The problems in our country are the same problems associated with every new African country.

Chinua Achebe once said that there is nothing difficult than telling people that have been fighting for freedom for so long that you are now free; they will not know where they will begin.

Moreover, we still have the destiny of our country in our hands. We have not squandered all our chances. One only has to look at Syria, Somalia, Iraq or Libya to see the difference.

Much as our people suffered and continue to suffer today, not all is lost. Many times in the past, our revolutionary movement used to be written off, but we defied all odds until we reached to the ultimate goal.

Just like the SPLM/A under Dr. John Garang de Mabior struggled through thick and thin for over two decades and survived, South Sudan will make it.

We are where we are (as an Independent Country) because of things we did right; but there are things that we did not do well, and I believe we have time to right all the wrongs.

One of the key battles we lost from the word go is the fight against corruption. Secondly, we never made the right policies or properly implemented the policies that existed.

This, I believe, is because of the confusion of amalgamation of political ideologies and work forces that had been of distant methodologies, competences and experiences.

After the signing of the CPA, South Sudanese choices for vital public offices came from various people who did not have any agenda for the country. The convergence of different SPLM chapters from SPLM-Bush, SPLM-Khartoum, SPLM-Diaspora and SPLM-Former Militias culminated into one unit that was good at theft, and not formulating a strong ideology for the country.

The worse then is; these people were recycled over and over again as they climbed the ladder to a point of the Biblical Tower of Babel, where they finally disagreed.

However, much as the country was terribly failed by the members of various groups, we must acknowledge that we exist and we are not totally off the mark. We have not lost it all. The situation South Sudan is facing has happened before and is still happening today in other countries that were established long, long ago.

As reported last week by CNN, Brazil and Greece, for instance, are suffering the economic problems just like South Sudan. Government workers in Nigeria go for months without salaries just like in South Sudan. War in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq are worse than the current unrest in our country.

Meanwhile, there’s no government in Somalia, South Sudan has a fully functioning government. Meanwhile we suffer fuel shortage in the country, people in Zimbabwe, according to one witness testimony aired by BB, experience severe water shortage for drinking and bathing.

Nothing is too late for South Sudan. We may be down but having fallen down is not the problem. The problem is if we fail to rise up against each fall. We have the potential to turn things over. Our people are among the world’s strongest people.

Our land is large and fertile. We have enough annual rainfall. Our natural resources are largely untapped. No situation is permanent. We shall not depend on imports for all our entire existence.

Generally, our identity project is not a failed endeavor. One of the strongest hopes South Sudanese have is their ability to reconcile. We have done it in the past and we can do it again.

One more time we need to stand strong and prove our skeptics wrong. With that we can surmount the challenges we face and one day we will build a nation that we aspire for. What we need now is to shun tribalism, foster unity, work hard in our different capacities to stitch together a working solution for the problems of our country.

The initiative by President Salva Kiir Mayardit for National Dialogue provides the chance to reinvigorate our combined efforts to make peace and reconcile our people. People of South Sudan need to embrace this initiative, give their full support, enrich it and own it.

We must put our hopes above the feeling of despair; for we have more hopes than problems in this country.

Taban Abel Aguek (MP) is the Government Chief Whip of Eastern Lakes State. His views do not represent the position of the Government of Eastern Lakes State. He can be reached at

The Prospects of Peace in South Sudan: A Case of Double Standards?

BY: Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, DEC/16/2016, SSN;

The commemoration of the December 2013 Juba massacre of the Nuer civilians arrived while peace remains elusive in our troubled country. In fact, since those terrible days, the country has slid deeper into violence involving communities that were not part of the initial conflict.

The regime has since committed atrocities against the Chollo people, the Western Bahr Ghazalians and now the Equatorians. The war has spread to all parts of South Sudan.

The international community has been warned by Human Rights organisations and the UN Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, that genocide is indeed looming in Equatoria unless effective measures are undertaken to avert it.

The South Sudan Democratic Front (SSDF) remains supportive of the regional and international efforts to realise a lasting peace in South Sudan. However, those endeavours thus far lacked consistency or direction and appeared chaotic.

The IGAD group of countries have been sending conflicting messages – on the one hand, they suggested that the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) could not be implemented without one of the principal signatories.

On the other, they indicated the contrary. Former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae tenure as the Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) failed to make an impression on the course of events. Apart from infrequent statements that were merely for public consumption, the JMEC was largely an outsider to conflict resolution.

The Troika group is no better either. To explain this, let’s shed some light on the US position or positions. It appears Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth, are in one league. They are advocating continuing with the damaged ARCSS.

Princeton Lyman, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Institute of Peace and Kate Almquist Knopf, Director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Department of Defense – seem to be in a league of their own. In a joint article, published in the Financial Times on July 20, 2016 – they came up with the idea of a UN/AU transitional administration for South Sudan for a period ranging from 10 to 15 years.

For the records, a UN Trusteeship is not a new idea. This author first suggested it in two articles on this website [ (UN Trusteeship is the best option to resolve the crisis in South Sudan on July 16, 2016) and (The Root Causes of Political Violence in South Sudan – What’re the solutions? on July 31, 2016 )]. They also suggested that Kiir and Machar should be offered immunity from prosecution and safe haven abroad!

It makes us wonder whether the US has backtracked on its stance regarding accountability. If the US on several occasions has emphasised the need for accountability, then who will be the individuals to face justice if the persons who issued the orders are to be left alone?

More confusing is that the views of the two officials are at odds with what their boss previously indicated. I quote what President Obama said while addressing the AU in Addis Ababa in July 2015, “The world awaits the African Union Commission (AUC) report because accountability for atrocities must be part of any lasting peace.”

At the UN, we saw Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the UN abandoning a plan to submit a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) imposing arms embargo on South Sudan. It’s understandable that it wouldn’t have passed because of the Russian and Chinese Vetos.

But the US and its allies could have gotten the job done anyway. South Sudan is a landlocked country making arms embargo a lot easier.

The problem is that there appears to be some complacency and lack of political will to deal with the issue at hand once and for all. The US is the ultimate superpower until further notice, and we believe it could do more if it wants to.

In 2003, President George W Bush, formed the “Coalition of the willing” to circumvent the Russian and Chinese Vetos against the invasion of Iraq and removal of Saddam Hussein. It’s arguable that such a coalition though for a different purpose, does exist between the Troika countries, the IGAD group of countries and the regional powers.

The way Dr Riek Machar has been shut out from the neighbouring countries tells us that something of that kind is already underway. The question that begs for an answer is that – if an “embargo” has been successfully imposed on Dr Riek Machar, why can’t an arms embargo against the regime in Juba be imposed using similar means?

Are we witnessing a case of double standards?

The calls for an arms embargo from the numerous Human Rights organisations, the relief agencies and the UN relevant institutions were regrettably ignored. A dictatorial regime led by an illegitimate President is allowed to buy and increase its stockpile of weapons. The result would certainly be more atrocities against the innocent civilians in Equatoria and other parts of South Sudan.

The Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) is damaged beyond repair. Pretending that it’s still workable is deceptive and a counter-productive exercise. It was inherently flawed because of exclusion of major players from the Peace Agreement.

The first mistake committed by the brokers of ARCSS was to think that striking a deal between those who possessed arms would solve the problem. They overlooked the overwhelming majority of the South Sudanese people who were indeed opposing the regime peacefully.

The second mistake was that they were not bold enough to exclude the two rival leaders from leading the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).

Again, it was the view of this author in an article published on this website (No Deal is better than a Bad Deal on July 31, 2015) that a neutral national figure, preferably a member of the clergy, should be made to lead the Transition.

That would have brought some confidence in the system as a starting point and hastened the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

The brokers have now learned it the hard way – you cannot exclude a significant constituency, in fact, the cornerstone of the country from power-sharing and expect the Peace Agreement to succeed. At best it would be a piecemeal Peace Process and never comprehensive.

Re-negotiating ARCSS by all the stakeholders won’t work because the government already has reservations and regarded it as an imposed Peace Agreement. Also, the newcomers to the negotiating table would certainly have issues with what was agreed upon by the two sides.

Furthermore, the brokers themselves have shown a lack of neutrality on numerous occasions. The two options that have better chances of success are the following:

(a) Broad-based Peace negotiations inclusive of all the stakeholders under the auspices of the UN and the AU. Choosing the right system of governance for South Sudan would be at the centre of the negotiations. Exclusion of Kiir and Machar from presiding over the Transition would be a pre-requisite. A government of technocrats led by a neutral figure preferably a clergyman would be the right option to lead the country in a Transition of 3 to 5 years.

A general election shall then be held at the end of the Transition with the participation of all the political parties.

(b) A UN Trusteeship in collaboration with AU for at least five years would set the country on track and bring about a lasting peace.

Similarly, as in option (a), general elections would be carried out at the end of the Trusteeship.

As things stand right now, the so-called international community (depends on which group of countries you refer to) appears complacent, and some countries are displaying sheer opportunism. Those who have been lecturing us about democracy and the rule of law, ought to redeem themselves as their credibility is on the line.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok

Chairman and C-in-C of the SSDF

The SSDF VISION for Equatoria and South Sudan

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok, Chairman and C-in-C of the SSDF, NOV/28/2016, SSN;

The struggle for an independent South Sudan was pioneered by the Equatorians as evidenced by the Torit Mutiny on 18 August 1955. Subsequently, the struggle took the shape of a full-blown liberation movement under the leadership of Fr Saturnino Ohure, Aggrey Jadden, Joseph Oduho, Gordon Mortat and Joseph Lagu. Then the South Sudanese were seemingly one people united around one common goal which was getting rid of the Jallaba rule.

The tribal prejudices and inclination to tribalism were kept at a low level. Tribalism was bound to disappear or remain insignificant had we kept the nationalistic approach of the Equatorian leaders.

South Sudanese nationalism was on the rise since the Torit revolt only to be hampered by Alier’s administration following the Addis Ababa Peace Accord, impeded by Garang’s SPLM/SPLA and totally derailed by Kiir’s regime, thanks to the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE).

South Sudan would have been in a better place by now had the government put the people’s business as its top priority. Instead, it pursued a policy that lacked impartiality, favouring the interests of one ethnicity (the Jieng) and pitting communities against each other.

The Juba massacre of the Nuer civilians on 15/12/2013 was a mortal blow to the South Sudanese nationalism. The Equatorians, the Chollo and the people of Western Bahr Ghazal were subjected to atrocities and heinous crimes as well. The regime has destroyed the social fabric of the country.

Now there is a great concern among the Equatorians and the international community as well that the government in Juba is preparing to commit genocide. Many human rights organisations have sounded the alarm bell and most important was the statement of Adama Dieng, the UN Special Advisor on Prevention of Genocide on the 11/11/2016. Mr Dieng confirmed that all the ingredients for genocide, do exist in Equatoria at present. He has urged the international community to move fast to avert a catastrophe.

It’s clear that there is no such thing as South Sudanese nationalism at present. You will be deceiving yourself if you think the contrary. However, the SSDF believes that Equatoria is already a nation. South Sudan is not yet a nation but has got the potential to become one.

There is peaceful coexistence among the Equatorian communities despite diverse ethnicities. They have developed a unique common language (Arabi Juba) which is spoken all over Equatoria and beyond. They have a common psychological make-up or culture.

When you add to the above the fact that they come from a territory with well-defined boundaries, then the conclusion is that a nation is in existence. There is no ambiguity here, but many Equatorians seem to lack awareness of this fact just because they never gave it a thought.

There are reasons to believe that the JCE and some among the Jieng elites knew it and are working day and night to see it unravelling. It’s not a coincidence that the name Equatoria has been removed and never featured in the newly created 28 states.

We have seen the attempts to avoid using the name Equatoria and the increasing tendency to address the Equatorians individually according to their respective tribes. An undeclared war is being waged against Arabi Juba to stop it from spreading all over South Sudan. These desperate acts would come to no avail.

Between the late 1950’s and the second half of the 1960’s, a policy of cultural and religious assimilation was adhered to by the Aboud’s regime and the democratically elected governments. Some South Sudanese were coerced into changing their religion and names to Arabic names.

But as soon as the first winds of relative freedom blew over South Sudan after the Addis Ababa Peace Agreement – those South Sudanese swiftly discarded their coerced names and rapidly abandoned the adopted religion they were made to believe in. It’s too obvious that going against an insurgency or an army is a lot easier than fighting a culture.

Turning the country into a big prison, bugging people’s phones, torturing and eliminating perceived opponents, will only strengthen the people’s resolve to topple the regime. The JCE plan is bound to fail but would, unfortunately,
come at a high cost for the country both in human lives and material.

Our vision revolves around two central points. Firstly – Equatorian nationalism does not work against South Sudanese nationalism. In fact, it facilitates and enhances the process towards that end. The presence of Equatoria as a Sovereign State within a stable South Sudan would set the ground for peaceful coexistence, more cultural interactions and the emergence of one dominant language (Arabi Juba).

In essence, Equatorian nationalism would be the Launchpad for the greater South Sudanese nationalism.

It’s evident that the regime in Juba which is heavily under the influence of the JCE has its agenda for transforming the country into a Jieng State. The Dinka Development Plan (DDP) is at odds with fostering a South Sudanese nationalism.

The domination of the government by the Jieng and the operationalisation of the 28 states all point to the implementation of the DDP.

Therefore, a confederacy is the only way to salvage Equatoria and the other states as Sovereign entities and at the same time to safeguard the evolution of South Sudan into a nation where unity in diversity is upheld.

Secondly – We are not poor people but impoverished by poor policies and the absence of visionary leadership at the helm of the government. We do own vast swathes of fertile lands, numerous water resources and massive untapped mineral reserves.

South Sudan was lucky to have a reasonable number of technocrats at the time of independence as compared to the other African countries. With a visionary approach and the right policies in place, South Sudan would have leapt several steps forward in the way of development by now.

The formula for a rapid growth and improvement in services delivery to the populace encompasses three things. Prioritising the objectives, proper planning and setting up achievable targets within a specified time-frame.

The SSDF has ambitious plans for a robust economic growth and development guided by the principles of fiscal conservatism and a small government. We believe that with peace, the right policies and well-placed efforts, South Sudan could become a stable and wealthy country in the middle of Africa similar to Switzerland in the midst of Europe.

Dr Lako Jada Kwajok,
Chairman and C-in-C of the SSDF

A Broken Nation: Torn between army and rebels, South Sudan refugees speak out

By Michael O’Hagan, THE EAST AFRICAN, posted Thursday, NOV/17/2016, SSN;

***Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the world’s newest country since renewed fighting broke out in the South Sudanese capital Juba in July following the collapse of a peace deal between the government and rebel forces.
***In the western town of Yei, units of the Dinka mainly South Sudan’s army are using machetes to kill the local Equatoria people accused of joining armed rebel groups, according to those who have recently fled the region.
***Other refugees described how dissident fighters forcibly recruited them into their ranks.
***Nearly 2,400 refugees arrive daily in the camps in Uganda.

South Sudanese refugees in Uganda have described being forced to flee soaring ethnic violence at the hands of the Kiir Juba government army while avoiding forced conscription into rebel forces.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the world’s newest country since renewed fighting broke out in the South Sudanese capital Juba in July following the collapse of a peace deal between the government and rebel forces.

In the western town of Yei, units of South Sudan’s army are using machetes to kill people accused of joining armed rebel groups, according to those who have recently fled the region.

“About two weeks ago, soldiers came to my brother Emmanuel’s house at night and demanded that he open the door,” said Abraham Aloro, a 20-year-old from a former tobacco plantation about two miles from Yei.

The town, which is 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the Ugandan border, has been a flashpoint for clashes between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those of his former vice-president, ex-rebel Riek Machar, who is now in exile.

“They accused him of joining the rebels,” said Aloro. “He hadn’t but they cut him to death with pangas (machetes). We found his body in the morning. He was 24.

“I ran with five friends. We were so scared. We had to take shortcuts because the government soldiers are on the main roads but there are rebels in the bush.”

Aloro then made it to Kuluba Refugee Transit Centre in northern Uganda, about seven kilometres from the South Sudan border.

Ethnic tensions

On average, around 2,400 new refugees arrive in Uganda from South Sudan daily, fleeing political violence that followed the collapse of a peace deal between Kiir and Machar inked in August last year that had raised hopes of peace. Some 330,000 have arrived so far this year.

From Kuluba, refugees are taken to Bidibidi Settlement, which is now the third largest camp in the world, where they receive essential supplies and land on which they can cultivate crops and build a shelter.

But Aloro, who is from the Kakwa tribe, is concerned about continuing ethnic tensions in the settlement.

“The SPLA (government) soldiers are Dinka and we don’t like to be with them. They are the very people who caused the problems. They will come and kill you while you are sleeping,” he said.

Robert Baryamwesiga, the top Ugandan government official in Bidibidi, accepts there is a risk of ethnic tensions spilling over into the camp.

“There’s a lot of resentment between the other tribes and Dinka. They say that the Dinka are the ones who chased them out of their country… but we are quick to sensitise them to explain that Dinkas are equally vulnerable,” he said.

“Once they are in Uganda the tribal conflicts are very minimal.”

Forceful recruitment

Sarah Kakuni, from the Pojulu ethnic group, fled South Sudan along with her two young daughters. Sitting in a communal tent in Bidibidi Settlement on a mat that the UN refugee agency had just given her, she described what life was like in Nyombwe, on the outskirts of Yei, before she fled.

“During the night you can hear shooting in town,” she said.

“When it stops, that’s when they’re slaughtering people with knives and pangas… Dinkas will open your door and kill you if you don’t have their tribal scars,” said the young mother, referring to the distinctive triple parallel lines many Dinka men have on their forehead.

Lino Rosa from Morobo county said that he was forced to fight alongside the rebels.

“They caught me and I stayed with them for one month… If you refuse they will slaughter you with a knife,” said the 26-year-old as he drew his finger across his throat.

“On 28 September they went to attack somewhere at night. I was able to sneak away. I threw down my gun and ran back to Morobo. I got my wife and children and we went to Congo,” said the father of three, who hails from the Kaliko tribe.

He then took an arduous, indirect route alone to Uganda where he joined 530,000 South Sudanese refugees already there.

“When I get more money I will go and get them,” he said of his family.


South Sudan’s Problems extend beyond Kiir & Machar

BY: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba , NOV/11/2016, SSN;

Of recent, some prominent South Sudanese elites who once served under the visionless leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit are busy trying to distance themselves and their roles as individuals or groups from being partners in the genesis and indeed the sustenance of the ongoing crisis in the world’s newest country.

Their ultimate wish is to escape being held responsible for their roles in a regime that took off right from the start as one that pays no attention to any democratic practices. It violated the human rights of its citizens at will, disregarded good governance, freedom of speech, freedom of association and the rule of law.

Now these same iconic figures of the ‘rotten-to-the-core’ SPLM/SPLA in their attempts to distance themselves at this period, would want to fixate all eyes on Kiir and Machar while taking eyes off them.

By putting all the blames on President Salva Kiir and his former deputy turn rival Riek Machar alone, these SPLM/SPLA hypocrites hope to re-invent their tarnished political careers and wish to remain relevant to the future of a country they very much through omission or commission played pivotal roles in its destruction.

However, they might have partially succeeded in convincing some international players who are used to quick fixes often not successful in handling an otherwise very complicated problem as is the case of South Sudan.

Those regional and international players who seem to have bought into this oversimplification of the crisis in South Sudan are more keen on their interests than to address the root causes of the crisis.

Of course, this narrative should not be allowed to overshadow the search for a good solution. Nobody should believe them, for a wrong diagnosis naturally leads to the wrong prescription of treatment.

South Sudan’s current problems extend well beyond the overstated narratives of just Salva Kiir and Riek Machar. Thus, it can be misleading to assume that the duo represents the only culprits and probably the sole sources of the multifaceted evils that have befallen this country.

Moreover, no one should believe that these complex problems can altogether disappear once they voluntarily or otherwise succeed to see the two rivals are out of the country’s political center stage.

To part ways with the misleading assumptions about the root causes of the South Sudan’s ongoing crisis will require a thorough understanding of the various factors involved and the historical relations between them. Top of the list of this elements is tribalism and the politicization of ethnicity.

Talking about tribalism and the politicization of ethnicity in Africa often tends to sound familiar all across the continent. However, while South Sudan’s problems are mirror-able with situations elsewhere in other parts of Africa, much of the similarities seems to end just there.

For even though it is true that this type of problems exists everywhere on the continent, other African countries have managed to find the best ways to contain them.

In South Sudan where the adverse impacts of tribal politics and politicization of ethnicity ubiquitously express themselves in the form of political instability and a general mistrust in the state, a way out is yet to emerge.

Also given its very violent and traumatic history, South Sudan is yet to see how best it can address this issue of multiple nationalisms which are all calling for maximum attention and self-expression.

Again, the political realities that gave birth to each African country’s unique political system allow no room for generalization across the board. South Sudan borders Uganda and Kenya, and despite the commonality dictated by this geographical proximity, yet their different colonial experiences can be seen to have shaped the politics in these other two East African countries in ways that are incomparable to the South Sudan’s expertise.

It is this uniqueness in the historical, colonial and political heritages that has led to the different forms in which issues of ethnicity in politics tend to manifest at the national stage. Unlike its other East African neighbors, South Sudan has historically given a central stage for the expression of both narrow ethnic and regional nationalisms.

It is all too common in South Sudan for people to refer to themselves as members of a geographical location or an ethnic group. For example, groups like the Dinka (both in Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile regions), and the Nuer (Upper Nile region), would often identify themselves ethically i.e. the Jieng and the Naath respectively.

The situation is not the same with indigenous populations of Equatoria, the country’s most southern region. People of Equatoria are more keen to identifying themselves as Equatorians, although they belong to nearly thirty different ethnicities.

Virtually all the mess South Sudan is in now is the brainchild of the Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders. The JCE is a self-appointed group of influential Dinka politicians and close relatives and allies of President Salva Kiir who act as informal advisors to the president. It is not a group of traditional leaders.

The official ascend of tribal politics to the central stage in South Sudan, came on the back of the the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE). In the wake of the December 2013 Juba Massacre, where thousands of ethnic Nuers met their fates in the hands of the notorious ‘Mathiang Anyoor,’ a pro-regime Dinka tribal militiamen, tribal politics became an open practice.

Since then South Sudan has existed in people’s minds, locally, regionally and internationally a country of violently competing nationalities of Dinka, Nuer and to borrow the words of Professor Peter Adwok Nyaba, “and all the rest are lumped together as Equatorians.“

In an attempt to accurately describe the current situation, it would never be an overstatement to say that, South Sudan is precisely now a hostage to the rising tide of multi-ethnic and regional nationalisms all triggered by the regime’s recourse to Jieng (Dinka) nationalism.

The crisis in South Sudan is a direct consequence of the state-sponsored rise of the Dinka nationalism, which is also the central project of the Jieng Council of Elders agenda. Whether this in itself is a good thing or not, shall be judged based on the results.

However, the reality on the ground strongly suggests that this increase in Dinka nationalism is incompatible first with the basics of any peaceful coexistence between the Dinka and the rest of the other 64 South Sudanese ethnic groups.

Secondly, the country’s existing highly centralized system of governance can not allow for any single ethnic group whatever the justification, to use its ethnic, nationalistic tendencies to override the rights of the other ethnicities.

Unless a better alternative to this system prevails, those seeking to overtly display their ethnic nationalism are bearers of hegemonic and expansionist agenda, to say the least, and invite upon itself the wrath of the others in the form or resistance and confrontation.

The question as to whether, one day the volatile situation in South Sudan might explode into an outright genocide as repeatedly expressed by Dr. Majak D’Agoot, who once served a the former SPLM chief spy and then the deputy minister of defense and veteran affairs or not is everybody’s guess.

However, in principle, there now exists a nationwide polarization that pits the Dinka (Jieng) against the rest of South Sudan’s other 64 or so ethnic groups. Nonetheless, there are still other sources, predominantly outsiders who for reasons better known to them, still continue to portray the situation as Dinka (Jieng) versus Nuer (Naath) conflict.

On the whole, there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that the surge in Dinka (Jieng) nationalism lies behind the senseless war currently tearing the new country apart. It cannot also escape a keen observer that the widespread ethnic polarization among South Sudanese today emanates from the prominent position and closeness of this tribal council to the corridors of power and decision-making in the country.

In everyday life, this polarization has now become so now palpable that it is felt all across the towns in the country.

It is the same case inside the UNIMISS’s Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites or the refugee camps in the neighboring countries of Uganda, Kenya, DR Congo, Ethiopia, and the Sudan and neither has it spared the South Sudanese communities in the Diaspora.

Given the fact that, for all actions, there are bound to be reactions, we now see that what had started as an expression of Jieng nationalism, has in no time triggered survival instincts amongst the other ethnicities.

In many parts of Equatoria, the state-sponsored ‘Mathiang Anyoor’ Dinka tribal militiamen are regularly carrying out military raids on villages and settlements in a scorched earth policy. Regardless of how tiny, some ethnic groups are, their initial knee-jerk reactions have taken the forms of vigilante youth groups to counteract the Jieng’s aggressive campaigns and what they perceive as Jieng tribal hegemony and expansionism.

The way forward for South Sudan would be about the best management of the flare-up in ethnic and regional nationalism in response to the surging Jieng nationalism.

Much can be done to address this crucial issue which lies in the center of the country’s ongoing crisis without having to recourse to that Biblical scale ethnic cleansings. Every ethnic, linguistic or regional group in South Sudan have the right to express their real or perceived identity without encroaching on the rights of others. to live as well.

The sooner we acknowledge that South Sudan is already set on its way to a violent disintegration and seek to bring about a system of governance that can allow the various ethnicities to express themselves to their fullest without necessarily causing the demise of the others, the better.

Hence springs the necessity to reconsider an alternative to the existing unitary and centralized system of government. Without the least doubt, this also brings to the forefront the much-overdue discussion on Confederation.

The situation in South Sudan today can never be compared with other countries where confederalism is considered inappropriate. South Sudan is a highly tribalized and ethnically polarized country. Hence, a confederal system of governance will suit it perfectly well.

For confederalism is a system of governance in which the various groups, even those with unparalleled uncontrolled zeal for ethnic nationalism can still find the right space to satisfy their political egos and pride.

Why not give confederalism a serious thought instead of insisting on this recipe for disaster, call it ethnic cleansing or genocide or what, not that comes with the current heavily centralized unitary system.

Three confederal regions based on the former provinces of Equatoria, Bahr El Ghazal and Upper Nile with the internal federal administration is the only possible way out for South Sudan The bottom line is we can still coexist side by side peacefully and save all the innocent lives that are otherwise going to perish.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. A concerned South Sudanese and a voice for the millions of other voiceless compatriots. He is also an active member of the grassroots’ ‘Give Confederation a Chance’ movement.

We know the Truth by the efforts others try to hide it: The Dinka Master Plan

BY: Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, OCT/29/2016, SSN;

“Tell no lies … Claim no easy victories.” Amilcar Cabral
Josef Goebbels, the Nazi propagandist, famed for turning a lie into truth through repetition. These days, a falsehood, simulating Goebbels methodology, is being engineered to become some kind of truth in future. It all began with the US tour by Ustaz Bona Malual in 2015. On 16 May 2016, Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk found the thirty-second anniversary of the formation of the SPLM/SPLA an occasion to resonate Bona Malual’s message that only the Dinka fought and died in large numbers in the liberation of South Sudan.

While addressing an induction seminar for the so-called states SPLM interim Chairperson, President Salva Kiir seemed to push the point home.

The Dinka is the single largest nationality in South Sudan, and the Aja in Western Bahr el Ghazal could be the smallest nationality and there is no qualms about that. It also goes without saying that all the sixty-four nationalities inhabiting South Sudan in one-way or the other participated in the war of national liberation.

In the social and political engineering calculus of South Sudan, liberation was an ‘integrating’ process leading to the fusion of these nationalities into one South Sudan nation. However, with their statements, some Dinka leaders are now attempting to ‘differentiate’ the SPLA combatants and martyrs as well as South Sudanese people based on their respective nationalities.

The claims, therefore, that Dinka alone fought in the war of national liberation is not only dangerously fallacious but also a betrayal of all other nationalities, including the Nuba and the Funj, whose bones litter different parts of South Sudan. It comes in the context of this differentiation, not integrating with others, to justify the monopoly of power and wealth by a tiny clique in the name of Dinka nationality.

While it is imperative and of strategic significance to combat this falsehood as earlier as possible, it is equally necessary to understand the process of ‘differentiation’ as opposed to ‘integration’ vide which Dinka nationality or sections it came to dominate at the different stages of the SPLM/A life.

Going by the numbers, the Dinka and for that matter the Bahr el Ghazal without question would be the largest single group in the SPLA. The Nuer, the Azande, the Chollo, Otuho, Toposa, etc. would follow the Dinka in succession. What mattered here would be their integration and fusion into South Sudan nation based on freedom, justice, fraternity and democracy.

However, this did not occur as anticipated in the morale songs of the SPLA combatants as they passed out from training in their numerous divisions. Many people including myself are witnesses to some funny happenings in the training camps, which reflect almost mirror images of the happenings nowadays.

As Thomas Sankara once said, “without a patriotic political education a rebel (my addition) soldier is only a potential criminal.”

We may also add, without ideological education and orientation a liberation movement is only a bourgeois petit Trojan horse in a people’s stock shade. Its so-called national liberation become a tool for supplanting the oppressor without transforming his methods.

With the peace agreement, the combatants and leaders recoiled back to their status ante; the gears disengage and the SPLM/SPLA beats a retreat to the ethnic cocoons and old ways of differentiating people according their ethnic configurations.

Those who were fugitives of Sudan justice system went back to their trade after the war. The local feuds and conflicts fudged by the exigencies of the war of national liberation resurfaced and insecurity became ubiquitous throughout South Sudan.

Eleven years into peace with Khartoum, President Salva Kiir and Gen. Kuol Manyang Juuk can only reminisce, of all whom they commanded, only those hailing from their Dinka nationality. The Nuers, who were second in term of numbers, degenerated into ‘tribal militias.’

This policy differentiation must have started much earlier but as subtleties. It explains why the SPLA officers ‘pensioned off’ in 1992/3 hailed essentially from one locality, which in hindsight suggests it was an intelligent scheme for ‘preservation’ consequent to a devastation of that locality that occurred a year earlier.

Did we ask ourselves why the so-called lost boys; transported to US at the dying days of the war, hailed from one nationality? Did it ever occur to any one that it was an investment? In this case, the use of ‘lost boys’ is a deceptive misnomer.

That the Dinka alone constitutes the SPLA, as it apparently is, was not because the other nationalities, especially the Equatorians, have refused to join as President Salva Kiir explicitly alleged. It is not that they do not possess warrior’s traits as wrongly perceived by some people, but simply because of this differentiation practices in the distribution of ranks and deployment process and assignment of duties, arrogant and condescending behaviours of the dominant authorities in the SPLA.

This prompted massive defection among SPLA combatants and the retreat to their home areas, inadvertently leading to inordinately huge sedimentation of the Dinka and Nuer in the SPLA. The Dinka particularly the Bor dominating the officer’s corps while the Nuer the foot soldiers. It could have been deliberate policy to justify such binary thrash as the ‘liberators’ and the ‘liberated’ or the ‘born to rule’ and the ‘ruled’.

I recall a sad incident among the SPLA Nasir forces somewhere in Eastern Equatoria. The combatants demoralized due to repeated defeats so the level of discipline dropped to the lowest. The commander (Nuer) decided to have one soldier (a Nuer) executed by firing squad. When his clans heard this they rose up in arms against the commander forcing him to rescind the order and instead got an innocent Equatorian, who had nobody to stand up for him, to be executed instead – a travesty of justice. May his soul rest in peace.

Another incident involved another innocent Murle soldier, bodyguard of a Murle commander then holidaying in Narus, executed by SPLA to appease heavily armed Toposa youth who wanted to attack Narus to avenge one of them murdered by some Bor SPLA soldiers. The SPLA commander was a Bor and this led to the rebellion of the Murle SPLA commander.

I brought up these unfortunate examples to prove the point I made above about the SPLA shunning of political and ideological education but also to protest the murdering of innocent unarmed civilians especially those Dinka travelling on roads or Shilluk fishing on the Nile. These wanton acts of inhumanity do not compensate socially or psychologically for the crimes by those people in power.

Why is the civil war stirring up such animosities, and why are the stakes being heightened as to prompt the president of the republic to declare publicly that he would go to command war in Yei against those killing his tribesmen?

Why didn’t the massacre of twenty thousand ethnic Nuer in Juba (December 2013) or the massacre of unarmed demonstrators in Wau (December 2012) raise in the president such a rancour?

Does it mean to President Salva Kiir that his people are only Dinka and not all South Sudanese over whom he has ruled for eleven years? This is exactly what I meant by differentiation process. It proves the unconstitutionality of President Salva Kiir. He has voluntarily delegitimized himself.

There is, however, something poignant to this entire stratagem. President Salva Kiir is presiding over the construction of a falsehood that may become a truth in a few years to come. After ten years from now the small nationality groups – enormously called fertit, may become extinct; why? Because the strategy of annexing Raga to Awiel is to overwhelm and submerge the Fertit with the Malual Dinka.

Similarly, the case of East Bank Chollo Kingdom is being pushed in a manner that Chollo children born in displaced people’s camps will never know the truth after ten years from now. In the same vein, Narus, Heiman –New Kush, Nimule, Laboni. Kaya, Yei, Maridi, Yambio and Tambura are progressively being Dinkanized and pastoralized.

This socio-demographic transformation occurring in South Sudan, driven by the civil war, works in favour of the Dinka that in twenty-five years or even less the Dinka will be socially, economically and politically dominant in every corner of South Sudan.

This will even accelerate if the Salva Kiir and the JCE win this war by maintaining the status quo through ARCISS or a renegotiated peace agreement. The apathy the IGAD region has shown following the outbreak of violence in July encourages President Salva Kiir to pursue the dictates of the JCE, who are now engineering the formation of other councils of elders like the recently agreement with the so-called Jubek State Council of Elders, which include Dinka elders domicile in the Juba.

This is a dangerous scheme camouflaged as Establishment Order 36/2015. Recognizing and writing against its architects – the JCE and some think tank consultants, in any way does not make me anti-Dinka.

It is incumbent on me and other intellectuals and political thinkers and activists including Dinka compatriots, to say that consequent to implementation of policies emanating from this fascist ideology pits Dinka people against other nationalities. It does not augur well for the Dinka nor for South Sudan.

That is why the JCE and we must expose the think tank consultants; demystify, delegitimize and disempower President Salva Kiir Mayardit. He has let down the people of South Sudan.

Peter Adwok Nyaba
28 October 2016

An Open Letter to the President of the Republic of S.Sudan on Brutal Killing of Defenseless Dinkas on the streets & Jungles of Equatoria Region

By: Luka Geng Geng,, University Campus, Wau, OCT/14/2016, SSN;

Mr. President,

With deepest frustration as I pen you this letter, I’d like to begin at the outset by sending my heartfelt condolences to the entire families, friends and relatives of the brutalized members of Dinkas whose lives perished in cold blooded war on the main streets and jungles of greater Equatoria region under the hands of merciless Equatorian youth against Dinka.

Back to the point, this letter is to appeal to you to do something fast and if you are already doing something to redouble your effort or to re-focus your compliance with the saying that “stitch in time saves nine.”

This is a matter of grave concern, you should know. The recent sadistic brutal murdering of innocent Dinka on Yei to Juba road and Juba-Nimule road are very disheartening not only to the families of deceased but equally to all Dinka communities across the country.

Why would innocent Dinkas people be killed on regular basis? You ought to know the answer to this question and come up with the solution.

Mr. President, I am obliged to deliver you this piece on open medium but I want to assure you if I had an opportunity to convey this message privately, I would not have hesitated to do so.

Since you are the only custodian of Dinka people constitutionally and all others tribes in South Sudan, I would like to state clearly to you that “what has been happening at your watch is a clear indication where the state failed not only to protect and insure the constitutional, legal and traditional rights of tribal people but
instead it sponsored crimes against tribal people”.

In this open letter, I would want to question your knowledge about the root cause of what is going on now in the country. Did you know why there is hating of Dinka tribe that much?

It is because you are president who comes from Dinka while other tribes are not happy with your ruling; this is a fact not a case, and so it is what you should know best. Nuers and Shilluk tribes have already demonstrated that to you which can also best prove my point here.

We believed that will it be too late though you might come up with whatever the solution. Do you think that being Dinka-born president, your tribe mates could be killed while you and your government are tied lipped because you come from Dinka tribe?

Is your presidency enough for these lives lost? I don’t think so. On daily basis, innocent Dinkas people are being targeted and cornered everywhere on the streets and jungles of Equatoria region creating a sense of insecurity yet your government couldn’t come up with a clear-cut solution to that.

In several occasions, we have seen that brutal killings of Dinkas have become a frequent occurrence and irrespective of whatever intervention your government will make thereafter, its persistence does nothing to engender faith in your government system’s ability to secure justice for the victims and the entire members of Dinkas living in Equatoria region whom I think are in the pecking order of heartless organized group against Dinkas.

Remember, as a chief servant of the nation or president, you are like a pilot of an aircraft flying in turbulence. Turbulence times bring out the best or worse of a pilot. We can no longer blame the turbulence on past enemies of South Sudan at this time though some figures within your government still point their fingers at former rebel leaders to be behind the killings.

Believe me or not, this time the buck rests at your desk if you fail to live up to the hype and hopes of million people across the country on the current situation because all believe that providing security for civilians is the primary responsibility of the state.

Mr. President, you need to know that even if we live in a country were almost everything is devalued including our local currencies, we wouldn’t accept our lives to be devalued, and in particular as Dinkas we are always calm, not known for the killing initiating characters but lethal on revenge if resorted to as the only option, something which I believe the same government of yours dragging foot on the current brutality will sweat on it so much sooner or later.

What the Equatorian brothers are doing against Dinka may turn bitter soon if Dinka tribes may respond to it. But why would you want Dinkas to revenge before your intervention Mr. president?

By writing this letter, I am neither inciting Dinka youth nor advocating for the Dinkas to rise and revenge but rather I want your serious intervention and that of your government, Mr. President.

I want you also to know that other non Dinka tribes across South Sudan are not happy with your ruling which is the chief reason Dinka are hated that much.

Mr. President you also know that you made us too weak in defending your government against your harsh critics because what we see sometimes with your government weakens our defense strategy. It could be wise for your government to be sensitive to such situations where the blood is poured. Everyone wanted your intervention on this situation.

In my personal point of view, the kind of interventional measures I would like your government to take are responding to such incidents by coming out with a high level judicial inquiry, legal action and fixing accountability on the brutality and cruelty of killing of innocent Dinkas and ultimately to strongly condemn this act of crimes against humanity which is also tribalism by its nature.

And if these ideas are not helpful in this particular situation, you may go as far announcing the state of emergency in the states like Yei and apply exactly the same formula which was used to solve the problem in Wau state.

Coming to Wau now you will really feel that the formula was really helpful in a situation were no body was expecting its quickest recovery owing to rampant killing which was practiced in Wau.

Mr. President, I wonder what kind of leadership is your government trying to run; in other countries, it is not surprising to see the heads of the state coming out to strongly condemn and send out condolences not even on the killing of less than two civilians but only in some occasions where only life threatening acts has been committed.

Why is it too late or too hard for your government to imitate such noble leaders? What will justify your silence in the ongoing killing of innocent Dinka? I will never understand!

In conclusion, I would like to urge the transitional government of national unity for immediate intervention to halt the ongoing onslaught in our country for the current trend may lead our country towards tribal warlordism which we don’t expect to exist in our beloved nation.

The current situation must end with a well calculated political solution. A restoration and consolidation of full protection of civilians which is well within the power of your government, Mr. President, can indiscriminate the horrors of brutal killing of innocent members of Dinka tribes.

The current insecurity created by some individuals with tribal ideologies may send our country to trash given the current situation in the country. However, my big fear is that we face a prospect of losing another generation of South Sudanese to conflict and misery should all the tribes be engaged in the ongoing killing of members of
tribes…up to here I rest my point.

The author of this piece is 6th year medical student in the University of Bahr el Ghazal; Wau. For contact, he can be reached at

The muony-jieŋ (Dinka) psychology is that of ‘the oppressed’

BY: Peter Adwok Nyaba , South Sudan, OCT/06/2016, SSN;

Oppression is as old as humanity. Like slavery in human history, oppression is historically not peculiar to a particular race or skin complexion. However, this assertion, like slavery, oppression and domination seem to have stuck with black man and in particular the Africans. They seem familiar that we tolerate them.

Franz Fanon in his two books: “The wretched of the earth” and “Black skins, White masks,” studied the phenomenal behaviour of people who find themselves in situations of oppression.
The Brazilian educationalist, Paulo Freire in his treatise “The Pedagogy of the oppressed,” called this phenomenon ‘internalization of the oppression.’ Nearer home, Al Baqir Affifi, also in his paper entitled, “The crisis of identity in northern Sudan: The dilemma of a black people with a white culture,” tackled such behaviours consequential to conflictual relations obtaining in an oppressive reality of societal domination.

In my book, “The politics of liberation in South Sudan: An insider’s view,” I attributed the brutalization, dehumanization and all anti-social traits the SPLA soldiers meted out on the unarmed civil population on their advance to contact with the enemy, to the similar treatment they got in the process of training. Theirs were acts of regaining their manhood or rather their humanity, which they had lost to the trainers in Bonga or Bilpam.

Oppressive reality generates a dichotomised psychology in both the ‘oppressor’ and the ‘oppressed’ corresponding to that relationship, which evolves between the ‘horse’ and the ‘rider’ or between the ‘colonial master’ and the ‘colonized people’ upon which hinges many other issue.

This prompted Freire’s definition of ‘liberation’ as a process of freeing from the ‘situation of oppression,’ which conditions their attitudes and behaviours, both the ‘oppressed’ and the ‘oppressor.’

The reaction on the social media, especially on the Facebook, to my recent article in response to the Jieŋ Council of Elders (JCE), prompted me to write this piece. The insults and innuendos will not deter me for they meant to muzzle me and stifle the truth.

I am an intellectual driven by progressive ideology and love for South Sudan and its people without distinction. I am not as a Chollo whose village the Padang-Jieŋ elite want to misappropriate with the assistance of President Salva Kiir.

In this context, I read as ‘oppressed’ muon-jaaŋ psychology, which drives certain condescending and patronizing attitudes and actions towards other ethnic communities in South Sudan. This psychology is a product of oppression, exploitation, slavery and slave trade our people went through since the nineteenth century.

I recall vividly a discussion I had sometimes in 1998 with late Dr. Peter Nyot Kok (R.I.P) and Dr. Luka Biong Deng in Mapel, Bahr el Ghazal, on the definition of ‘muony-jieŋ (singular) and muony-jaaŋ (plural), which according to them translated to ‘husband of all others’ analogous to superiority–inferiority relations, whatever that would really mean.

The discussion remained inconclusive but kind of impaired our mutual relationship. I hope Dr. Luka Biong Deng will be kind to pick up the discussion now in our current volatile social and political context informed in part by muony-jaaŋ attitudes.

My starting point in this discourse would be the “Dinka Development Plan for 200 years” authored by the JCE. Most of the members of JCE are senior members of the SPLM–ruling Party. In fact, they occupy positions in the executive, legislative and judicial organs of the state.

By the look of things, they pull the strings in the SPLM and in the government suggesting that they are the authors of many bad decisions and policies in South Sudan.

I was a member of the SPLM until 1st June 2013. I had always been loudly critical of certain decisions purportedly attributed to SPLM or its Political Bureau but unilaterally taken by President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

One such outrageous decision was the ‘electoral college’ system, whereby in many places non-SPLM individuals selected on ethnic criteria evaluated and vetted prospective SPLM candidates. We all know the result; many SPLM members contested as independents and won against the SPLM. In other areas, the 2010 elections were far from free and fair.

This SPLM conducted the exercise against the recommendations of the subcommittee of the National Elections Strategy Committee [I headed that body] that the SPLM should conduct primaries in order to choose its candidate for the general and presidential elections.

Another important mistake presumably attributed to President Salva Kiir Mayardit would be the SPLM so-called greater so-and-so conferences. Started by the so-called SPLM Greater Equatoria Region Conference, which has no constitutional legitimacy neither as region in the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011, nor as a structure in the SPLM constitution.

However, there was sense to these conferences except the so-called Greater Upper Nile did not convene one. The sense I am alluding to registers in the machinations to slaughter the SPLM as a legacy of Dr. John Garang de Mabior (R.I.P) in the context of shifting power centre to Warrap in Bahr el Ghazal.

In the context of South Sudan, the JCE authority makes sense only in the death of the SPLM as a political institution on the one hand, suggesting that policy decisions would now emanate from the JCE through the president of the republic, and on the other hand, this JCE authority makes sense within the Jieŋ power politics.

Thus, geographical proximity to President Salva Kiir Mayardit acquires significance as gleaned from the inordinately large political influence in the country Justice Ambrose Riiny Thiik seems to ooze as Chairman of the JCE.

This JCE power and authority in promotion of muony-jaaŋ social, economic and political interests have correspondingly led to the emasculation of the SPLM as the ruling party, the state institutions especially the Judiciary and security organs and don’t forget the banking system under the tutelage of the Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan.

This digression was necessary in order to gather the threads that link muony-jaaŋ or muony-jieŋ ‘oppressed’ psychology to the current crisis of South Sudan. The urge to self –assertion and identity compromised by foreigners drives this ‘oppressed psychology.’

Having achieved that through the war of national liberation, in which the muony-jaaŋ contributed inordinately larger numbers compared to other nationalities, they want to do it on those others in order to complete the satisfaction.

As clearly spelt out in the Dinka Master Plan, in 200 years – a very long time though, the Dinka will have achieved all it takes to be what they perceive as muony-jaaŋ. This now drives the policy that the Jieng must be seen as the custodian of every authority in the land.

In their constellation of power, the Nuer then follow the Jieng, and all others lumped together as ‘Equatorians’ or Jur are third class.

Now, I understand what ‘awic ko aŋic ko,’ mooted silently in whispers by Bahr el Ghazal elite in the SPLM/A during the last few years, really meant. The Jieŋ elite unlike all the others knew what they wanted. This perception trumped the attempts at raising the social awareness and political consciousness of the masses of our people.

The result efficaciously was to create the kind of social and political situation South Sudan is in today. I do not believe it is even to the interest of those elite peddling that ideology of ethnic supremacy.

Like Nazism in the last century, it is bound to cause catastrophe but the people including the Dinka themselves will be part of its destruction in the end.

The Dinka people or muony-Jaaŋ are an integral part of the people of South Sudan. Instead of planning for the Dinka alone because they have the opportunity to provide leadership of the country now, why not plan for all the communities that make up the population of South Sudan and in this, we will have no reason to war.

It was in mind that every community is proud of itself but there will be no problem as long as that self-pride expressed in traditional cultural practices like dance and song do not impinge on or demean others.

I want to challenge the Dinka elite; indeed all of us, to engage in this ideological struggle as a means of bringing peace, stability and socio-economic development to our people.

It is not a generational change of power that will bring salvation to South Sudan as some young elite would want make believe. The ideological struggle will make the difference in this discourse of war, peace and socio-economic development. This ideological struggle will sharpen our ideas to chart the best way to resolve our developmental problems.

In conclusion, I want to say that the elite who shape and articulate this Jieŋ political thought are not realistic to say the least. As a product of oppression and exploitation, the muony-jaaŋ psychology of supremacy can survive only in a process that leads to its destruction.

This means the Jieŋ, Nȁȁth, Azande, Chollo, and Murle; Maaban, Toposa, Otuho, Bari and all the sixty-four ethnicities of South Sudan merge in unison as a nation. The resultant nation will not be Dinka in character and culture but something that will contain the characters and cultures of all of them. It will help us therefore erase the primoval parochialism we found ourselves in since birth.

Peter Adwok Nyaba
6th October 2016

South Sudan top Catholic Bishop Santo Laku, accuses leaders of carelessness causing war and suffering


A top Roman Catholic bishop in South Sudan has decried the cause of war in the country, asserting that carelessness brings curse and suffering to the people. Santo Laku, auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Juba told Christians during a homily after nearly a month of being out of church service that it was time for the leaders to stop spreading lies that there is peace in the country and that people are not suffering.

“There is no need to tell lies. Lies do not serve us. They do not help us. This country is getting down. We need to get up and stand strong and say God help us to carve a new way, rather than denying the suffering of the people.”

He continued: “We cannot deny the suffering of these people. How many young men and women are in prison today uncharged? People are locked in containers uncharged. This country can only be built on justice. When somebody commits anything, he should be brought in front of the law, according to the constitution, although our constitution is also sick with Malaria.”

His remarks come just days after South Sudan first Vice President, Taban Deng, addressed the general assembly of the United Nations at which he opposed deployment of the regional protection forces, claiming the country was peaceful and was only in need of humanitarian assistance instead of peacekeepers.

The outspoken bishop called on South Sudanese to share the blessing of the country rather than stealing the money for personal benefit.

He said the Lord called the people to share the blessing bestowed on humanity and leaders should uphold to the commandment of God giving the blessing for charity.

“Social charity is a direct demand of humans and Christian brotherhood and sisterhood. Human and Christian Brotherhood existed long time. God is demanding all from Human beings social Justice. Today there is wide spread disregard for the law of human solidarity and charity as we can see dictated by our common origin in the rationale nature of human beings. There is something very important in our life that makes us human,” he explained.

He said people of South Sudan like the people of Israel at the time of prophet Amos lack moral and religious responsibility causing death and displacement of thousands of residents all over the country.

“We were bestowed with a lot of resources when we came in 2005; we voted for independence, we had oil, resources which other countries do not have. What happened with these resources, many people are poor today or rich? Where is the oil money? Who has taken them? What is the money used for? If I ask these questions they say the bishop is talking politics.”

The bishop pointed that South Sudanese are suffering and fighting is ongoing due to what he called the carelessness of the country’s leadership.

“Carelessness brings a curse and brings suffering. The suffering of our country today is because of the carelessness of the leaders. Whether the leaders of the church or the leaders of the country, we have been careless and because of this carelessness now there is suffering.”

The religious leader said South Sudan only measured its progress by personal economic prosperity and forgot the moral prosperity which he said is weak, causing unnecessary ongoing evil in the new nation.

“True health of the society cannot be measured merely by economic prosperity. We have seen it already. It must be assessed by the moral performance of the community of the nation. Our prosperity of having the oil was not enough. Our moral responsibility has been weak,” he pointed out.

“That is why we are able to rape women and children. We rape them our sisters, South Sudanese. This is a poor moral responsibility that we lost. We are able to kill our own brothers and sisters. Why?” he asked.

“Because of oil, because of money, because of resources. Who gave us those resources, God. We start dividing ourselves into ethnic lines, political lines and we start destroying our nation.”

He said justice in all forms is essential for a proper functioning of a society. “If there is no justice in a society, in a community, then there is no social harmony. No peace. Why we are fighting today, why there is war in the country today because there is injustice and this has to be ‘injustice in capital letters.’

The perpetrators of social injustice in South Sudan, he explained, confuse their time by hypocritical religious acts such as by attending religious functions so that the public looks at them as holy.

“Those who perpetrate injustice they always come to church. They sit in front line. They ask for choirs to go and sing in their family. They move with the bible, with the cross and you think they are men of God, ‘Welle!’ No!”

He said in South Sudan there is at highest level ongoing corruption, embezzlement, injustices, oppression of the poor, flight of the capital including the Bank reserves. This, he said, accounts for the country’s instability.

“If the rich get richer at the expense of the poor who continue to sink into abject poverty and the poorest person in the world is found in South Sudan and one of the richest is found in South Sudan. How did this man become so rich and another become so poor that even and his grass house is torched.”

“Somebody has a Mansion, a building that is of multi-million dollars in South Sudan and a South Sudanese who has only a tukul, the tukul soldiers are sent to burn that tukul. So what kind of country is this? What is happening? The poor is even made poorer. He is deprived even of a grass house. The elite prosper educationally. They educate their family members at the expense of the nation. They build Mansions with stolen money. They pay unjust wages and continue the exploitation of the poor on day-to-day basis.”

He said people are paid low wages that do not even feed a single family member at the current market prices for a month. The economy, he said, is made to suit the interest of the rich who have houses all over in the world, saying those who remain in power leaving their population suffering in poverty should be condemned. He said some church leaders in South Sudan are afraid to tell the country leaders they are wrong but rather go to the palace to bless them.

“How many of our preachers today went to those palaces and blessed those corrupt leaders? How many of them? You become afraid to tell them that they’re wrong,” he said.

“Our people are dying, our people are suffering, there is no peace in the country, there is no freedom of speech, there is no freedom of movement, there is insecurity, Gali (that) we are in peace, the religious leaders saying that isn’t you, is it true that we are in peace?”

“And yet this religious leader cannot go to Yei by himself. In our country today the song of peace has been sung but the injustices have not been addressed. You cannot sing the song of peace without addressing the injustices caused on the people. How can you burn my tukul and you ask me to be peaceful and you do not allow me to go and cut the grass to build another tukul. How?”

“You burn the tukul, you send me away, but give me an opportunity to go and collect the grass so that I build another tukul. But if I am not allowed to go and collect the grass yet my tukul is gone and I am told to be peaceful, even a mad man cannot accept this.”

In South Sudan people fear to keep silent when told to say Oyeee (SPLM slogan) just to protect their jobs.

Bishop Laku welcomed The Sentry report and said it is a shame to be millionaire among the poor.

“If you are a thief, there are people who are more thieves like you. So the mujiremin (thieves) of the world are now looking for the stolen money of South Sudan. I hope my name will not be among those ones. If your name is among those ones be careful. The money is being looked after, is being looked for now.”

“Is it not a shame somebody is a millionaire in South Sudan and there is a young boy, a young girl in the streets looking for one pound and cannot find it and nobody can give to that boy, to that girl that one pound. I want to be rich. I need to have houses everywhere. My children should be the only ones to go to school. The rest of the children, let them go to hell. No,” the bishop said.

The Holy Bishop Santo Laku asked South Sudanese to be merciful to each other as the only way to enjoy the country and to reduce quarrels among the communities.

south sudan top religious leader says carelessness cause war”