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The Brainlessness in South Sudan: The Ungrateful & the Notorious Gangs

By: Gabriel M. Tor, JUBA, JUL/14/2014, SSN;

Though, I am saddened like never before in our fragile lives and story, I am mourning but not mourning the dead, whom I sincerely respect, the fallen poor comrades in uniform and civilian clothes, but inside my heart, am mourning our brainlessness’ disaster of the South Sudanese and the leadership in Juba and across the Diasporas and the actual lack of true patriotism to the nation among South Sudanese people.

Just to borrow, Marol Deng’s prophetic vision in 2010, during George Athor Deng Dut’s insurgency, Mr. Deng said, “I am not mourning about the dead, but the brains we have.”

People were sending their condolences to the fallen comrades and their families, due to a violent fiery confrontation between Kiir’s SPLA and Dut’s defected SPLA armed forces from South Sudan army, who were agitated by Kiir’s government!!

There will be no fear of all the bad things we do to ourselves or the disasters we encountered if we have the change of hearts and honesty in us, to be able to pass the right judgment regarding any situation at hand, which we gravely lack at the present time, including the young ones and scholars of the nation, who are seen as hope of the nation’s future. So bad for S.S. survival.

Blaming Salva Kiir and his GOSS is not a justification of rebellion nor is it a support to Riek Machar’s rebel camp, but a better narration of where things had gone wrong in the Country in the first place.

Asking Kiir to step down is not an authorization to put Riek in power, but a dose of peace and calm to both government and oppositions.

Both men are an open grave for the nation: Kiir beating his chest for a Country he can’t defend – that’s a military failure, while decreeing a coup he can’t pass through politically and domestically. This is a political failure.

You (Kiir) have people in your government who rolled their eyes inside out, throwing hate speeches around, like a kid’s ball; with reckless hatred and divide drive. This shows political and social failure in the Country.

Dr. Machar also failed to be an alternative to Kiir, because his armed forces fight on a tribal base, killing vulnerable civilians and foreigners living in the Country where they occupy, looting properties from individual businesses as well as of the nation and non-governmental organizations, and destroying the nation’s developmental infrastructures . This is far from a fake promised democracy.

Disrespecting our men and women in military service:

The widows and orphans of South Sudanese fallen comrades in military uniforms have been abandoned and are living a life that shows they have been thrown to wolves, after huge sacrifices which their fellow kith and kin in the role of honor had given their lives for without reservation, because they believe, their loved ones whom the left behind could be honored and taken care of as they did for their country South Sudan – dying as martyrs so the nation could be free and dignified.

What I heard and saw in 2014, with South Sudanese orphans and widows living in Kenya, Uganda and S. Sudan are humiliating for the families who are the victims of our freedom liberation struggle.

These folks should be paid a big respect by shouldering the care of those left behind with no one to care for. I found families, who once lived in big cities or towns in East Africa because their loved ones: Their partners, fathers, brothers, mothers, and sisters, sons and daughters were still on active duty defending the nation, but whereas they were gone, the salaries were cut without remorse by Kiir’s government and this forced kids of the fallen comrades out of towns, where they were going to school, because no one could pay for their rent and school fees.

Do you know where next, do these kids of our heroes and heroines live?
The kids are forced to live under unspeakable condition in the cattle, displaced, and refugee camps in the East African region or in remote villages in the Country; where they live without school or good roof under the sun and the trenches of sandstorm and muddy floors, where mosquitoes and cholera are in rampant epidemic.

So, where in the world would a government that calls itself functional, desert the kids of our fallen comrades in arms – to just notice the reason that the bread providers have gone and no longer provide for their loved ones.

Would GOSS not organize and continue the support to our widows and orphans, whom their husbands and fathers never returned home, or were wounded on the line of duty for the sake of their country they loved and defended very much with their own lives?

Propaganda of baby nation – How Old Is South Sudan?
South Sudan is not as old as you are or have been singing all along. S. Sudan is not 3 years old Country but 9 years old Country that you got lost in it wealth’s consumption and theft, then you forgot to count.

Start counting from 2005, the interim period, because here S.S. people had gained a complete power of ruling themselves as a nation as well as earning billions of dollars from the Country’s oil wells. The 2011 was just an official breaking away from the North.

Ungrateful and Notorious Gangs
I had a chance in February, 2014, to travel a route I trekked over 20 years ago as a child. I took the bus from Lokichogio, Kenya, through Nadapal, a Kenyan/South Sudanese border town, riding through Narus, Kor Napodpod and Loyoro to Kapoeta town. The first journey ended in Kapoeta on one of the nights.

On my next day’s journey, I took another bus trip through Torit to Juba. All these buses trips, I was blamed for risking my life by friends and relatives, because of the notorious gangs in those bushes.

On my way to Juba, I was riding with my fellow Country comrades in full uniforms, who were also travelling on that same bus and the conversation began between those in civilian clothes and those in military uniforms.

“Being in the South Sudanese military isn’t not worth it: 1, the pay cannot make you raise a kid or help you help yourself stand on your two feet. 2, the payment takes between 3 to 6 months without being paid, while you have a nation to defend, a family to feed and yourself to look after” said one civilian passenger.

One of the guys in uniform responded, “We don’t do it for money but for the love of our country”. All these were made in response to those who have sought employment in personal businesses, private companies or non-governmental organizations working in the country.

According to Apostle Paul, no one is denied the milk from the cows that one takes care of. So why is South Sudan starving their people?

When those with squandered billions of dollars are never asked or even ordered to return the money stolen for the past 9 years for a 9 years old nation. And the theft of money and other national wealth is a daily service to those in Kiir’s government of self-service.

What future are we trying to build for the country South Sudan and individual builders?

When I hear S. Sudanese delegates from both sides, taking a break from peace talks in Addis Ababa to go finish their crates of beers, because of lame blames, that so is so and such; to kill time and people back home is so shameful and brainless – a disgraceful demeanor in our people leadership.

It’s not about what they have said or done? It’s all about what did we do to ourselves, our lives and our interrupted progress in life, it’s about what can you do to your poor Country, where leaders are killing, dividing and starving their own people to death.

It’s about leaders who steal, refused an office appointment to someone who disagrees with them in opinion, or corrupt the national wealth and constitution for their own ego and folly. You don’t have to compare yourself with someone to be victorious or a winner!! You have to stand alone, firm and clean for the love of people, but not lust of money and office.

Unreadable South Sudanese Brain or Events
When Telar Ring was accused of academic fraud on how he gets his degree and other corruption ingredients in public service, after close examination by the Country’s representatives in charge of evaluation regarding president Salva Kiir’s nomination of Mr. Ring, in 2013 as the Country’s chief justice, Ring was denied to be the Country’s chief justice by the parliament, due to his tainted nature of leadership.

Kiir came around and picked the same Ring for presidential legal advisor and Kiir threatened to send the country’s lawyers homeless, should they reject Ring as Kiir’s presidential legal advisor nominee.

Looking at how the values and integrity of South Sudan is going down the drain, the advisors would be greatly blamed for driving the nation headless. Quality advice is seen in how people are being led. Ring is a bad mirror for South Sudan leadership and South Sudan scholars with grain of wisdom know this very well. So there is need to mourn for the brains in S. Sudanese leadership.

You heard his Grace, Daniel Deng Bul, who is part of Peace talks in Addis Ababa being called rebel, because he disagreed with S.S. government’s version of what caused the war and how to solve it, while real rebels like David Yau Yau are called brothers among other praises and given a heroic welcome during his return to Juba in 2014, after almost half decade of his armed forces’ killing innocent civilians and members of the Country’s security forces, raping women and abducting South Sudanese children in Jonglei State.

So, what is South Sudanese’ definition of “a rebel?” and to millions of South Sudanese’ citizens’ disappointment, S. S. government did not appreciate nor spare George Athor Deng Dut’s life, a man whom his achievements are far greater than that of Riek and Kiir combined during the decades of civil war, due to his bravery that saved millions of South Sudanese lives during the 21 plus years of North-South Sudan’s war.

Dut, after his disagreement in 2010 election in Jonglei State gubernatorial election and Kiir’s involvement and favoritism at the State level on who is to lead a particular State.

There is need to “mourn the brains we have”.
Juba’s flame in December 2013 was not a surprise to many, though it came so soon, because Kiir’s government is a trouble inviter.

Many South Sudanese locals and religious staff had the vision of Juba being on fire. Visions from South Sudanese citizens show Juba burning and those who carry those visions and dreams started telling their stories and initiating an approach to the top government officials but they were branded named as prophets of doom or ignored all together.

But when a Nigerian Joshua tell his YouTube version of what was awaiting unknown Country in East Africa, that was not Kenya nor Uganda, S. Sudan VP and Kiir’s wife rushed to Nigeria to hear Joshua re-telling his vision, while we ignored our prophets at home who have the same or better prophetic vision of what had engulfed S.S.

So, there is need to “mourn the brains we have” because these brains will still do more damage to ourselves and the Country. Juba authorities talked to Joshua after Dec. 2013 incident, whereas they ignored advices and visions told to them before Juba’s Dec. 2013 violence.

Almost everything South Sudan government and its supporters are doing are so unappreciative, insulting and disgraceful to the sons and daughters of our martyrs, whom their fathers and mothers died protecting the rights and integrity of S.S. and also to friends across our borders and around the world and UN who took charge of our feedings and security over the decades.

We could think and do better than this ya Junubeen. We must change, or not hope for change to come.
By Gabriel M. Tor
Disclaimer: views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Agok Takpiny is a concerned South Sudanese in Melbourne Australia. He can be reached on agoktakpiny@ymail.com


How Federalism becomes connected to Rebellion?

By: Dengdit Ayok, JUBA, JUL/07/2014, SSN;

Federalism in South Sudan’s Political History:

Federalism was a historical demand by South Sudanese in the former unified Sudan. And in the light of this fact, the demand for federalism in our political arena in South Sudan nowadays is not something new at all, because our leaders demanded for it in 1950s and 1960s of the last century.

Dr Mansour Khalid, a great Sudanese intellectual, writer and historian, asserted in one of his books that the southern Sudan MPs in the Sudanese parliament in 1950s demanded for federalism.

Late Hon. Benjamin Loki who was then representing Yei, voiced out this political demand in the parliament on December 12, 1955. He suggested the formation of political parties conference in order to come up with the position of including the emergence of a federal state in the declaration of the independence of the Sudan.

The demand was rejected by the northern political parties, but they later on accepted the inclusion of the following provision into the declaration of the Sudan’s independence: “The demand by Southern Sudanese for federation shall be put into consideration”, but it was soon thrown into the dustbin of history and considered to be a political sin and treason.

Among South Sudanese politicians who demanded for federation were: Stanislaus Abdalla Baysama, Both Diu, Aggrey Jaden, William Deng Nhial and Fr. Saturnino Lohore.

The demand for federation for the second time in 1956 Round Table Conference after the first demand for it in the 1947 Juba Conference, later on resulted into the assassination of William Deng in 1968, three years after the the Round Table Conference and the assassination Fr. Saturnino Lohore at Sudanese-Ugandan borders.

The plan for his assassination was coordinated by the Sudanese Military Intelligence with Ugandan Military Intelligence.

Hitherto, federalism is a historical demand that had resurfaced in Equatoria region conferences.

Resurfacing of Federalism after self-determination

A Technical Committee was formed in 2011 after the announcement of the results of the referendum in which our people exercised the right for self-determination. The Committee was under the chairpersonship of Justice John Luk Jok and its task was to write a constitution for the new country.

The SPLM party that had been talking about ‘How the Sudan should be governed, not who should govern it’ came up with a system of governance known as ‘Decentralized democratic system’ which was accepted and adopted by its members in the committee and in the parliament two days before the declaration of the independence.

It must be clearly stated here that the issue of system of governance is not a major reason that triggered the ongoing war in the country.

The main issue that triggered the war is originally an internal party issue. It was the amendment of basic documents namely: SPLM Manifesto and its Constitution, and more specifically, the issue of open and secret vote that determines the election of the party’s chairperson who should later on become the SPLM presidential candidate in 2015 general election.

Machar opted for secret vote and Kiir opted for open vote. The two gentlemen were on their two opposite directions!

The last Equatoria Conference came at the time in which the country is facing a terrible fighting. It was at this time that the demand by the people of South Sudan in Equatoria for federalism became connected to the rebel’s agenda.

The rebels held their own conference in Nasir in February this year. Federalism was one of the recommendations of that conference as the best system of governance.

Alfred Lado Gore, the second man in the hierarchy of rebellion, who is from Equatoria region, and his boss Riek Machar adopted the internal demand for federalism by the Equatorians for the purposes of political polarization in order to win the Equatorians to their side and support their rebellion.

There were secret communications in this regard.

Machar’s call for federalism is not genuine

The call by Riek Machar for federalism is not genuine and it is not emerging from his personal thinking and conviction because Equatorians have been calling for federalism before the independence and during the two year time he has been occupying the position of Vice President after independence and he never joined them or backed their call.

Therefore his abrupt call now for federalism is a mere tactical necessity for winning the people of the region to his side to support his rebellion and convert their peaceful call for federalism into violence and the use of guns; and hence push their region into abyss and oven of war.

And indeed the rebels have succeeded in communication with the people of Equatoria, but their attempt to convert the peaceful call of the Equatorians into a hostile demand has drastically failed.

The country almost slipped into another chaotic situation of bloodshed last week, worst than that which took place in Juba, Bor, Malakal and Bentiu and other areas that had witnessed war since December, but all the efforts to do were frustrated.

The attempt was preceded by strong war propaganda in form of rumors spearheaded by pro-rebels websites such as: (Nyamalepedia, South Sudan Tribune and South Sudan News Agency).

The rebel activists took their time and carried out their war propaganda in social media by circulating rumors in order to create confusion and strike the internal cohesion through dangerous rumors, such as claiming that President Salva Kiir was planning to arrest the three governors of the region (Konga, Bakasoro and Lobong) to kill them.

The two governors (Konga and Bakasoro) played a great role in refuting these rumors. Their public appearance to speak to address the citizens was a great contribution towards maintaining relative peace and the saving the fragile situation.

War aggrandizement and targeting the Dinka tribe

The most dangerous part of this propaganda is that the rebel activists do not differentiate between the Dinka tribe as a community and the government of South Sudan as an official body that is running the affairs the country on behalf the people. To them, the Dinka tribe is the government and vice-versa.

The essence of their mobilization and polarization is calling on the other tribes of South Sudan and allying them against the Dinka tribe, not the government of the Republic of South Sudan and its.

Have you now seen how those who had claimed to be fighting for democracy are now calling and trying to wipe away the Dinka from existence instead of fighting to bring about the democracy they passionately claimed?

I personally appreciate what the governor of Central Equatoria state Hon. Clement Wani Kong said on Thursday, July 3, 2014 in his last press conference, when he clearly stated that: “I will not accept federalism that is brought through blood”.

This was a clear rejection of bringing about federalism through the use of an armed violence. This is what Mr. Jacob K. Lupai articulated in his last article published here on this website, and I must acclaim him for that.

War must be rejected for reasons well known to all of us. My personal opinion on federalism is clear. I don’t reject it and I don’t oppose those who are talking about it.

It is their legal right to talk about it peacefully. And I have added my voice to those who have proposed earlier that we better sit down as South Sudanese to discuss the system of governance that is fit for our country in a national constitution conference, and reach consensus around it, be it federalism or unitary or parliamentary system or any other system we deem fit.

I have also said that the current ‘Decentralized system’ doesn’t differ very much with federalism. In a nutshell, federalism is devolution of powers between the central government and the states and equitable sharing of resources in one country.

Our states now have their executive, legislative and judicial organs with fair share of national resources, and there is separation between central and state powers in the constitution.

I reached this conclusion after making a thorough comparison between the two, Decentralized and Federalism.

Conclusion
I believe in peace and peace will surely prevail. The pursuit of peace will overcome the propaganda of praising war and bloodshed and all the ongoing attempts aimed at plunging the country, particularly Equatoria, into another atrocious and horrendous war like the ongoing war in Upper Nile region, will surely die away.

I call on all my fellow South Sudanese in the country and around the globe to work for peace and stop war propaganda and sowing seeds of hatred, tribalism, disunity, discord and aggrandizement of war through social media. Peace will surely come and war propaganda will end.

O God, we praise and glorify you
For your grace on South Sudan,
Land of great abundance,
Uphold us united in peace and harmony.

Mr. Ayok lives in Juba. He is reachable at dengdit_a@yahoo.com

SPLM, a curse to South Sudan

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, JUL/06/2014, SSN;

This thing called the SPLM is a curse to South Sudan. Built on contradictions in 1983, it frequently implodes violently and morphs into different SPLM factions. In doing so the off shoots hog the mother organisation’s name defensively but differentiates themselves with mini adjectives without any clear identity in terms of what they stand for.

Now the SPLM has given birth to four SPLM factions namely: SPLM Oyee, SPLM-in-Opposition, SPLM DC and SPLM G11. Previously, in early 1990s there were other two which have now died out. These were SPLM Nasir faction and SPLM United. At least the latter two had a clear vision of what they wanted for South Sudan which was self determination contrary to what Dr John Garang wanted.

It is important to highlight here that the idea of self determination was neither the creation of Dr Riek Machar nor Dr Lam Akol. This was a vision laid down by the leaders of Anyanya One in early 1960s when both Riek and Lam were perhaps in primary school at the time.

So Dr Machar and Dr Akol picked up the idea and asserted the wish of the people of South Sudan against Dr John Garang’s clearly stated objective of a united Sudan.

As for the four SPLM factions now combining both groups with their opposing ideologies, no one knows what they really stand for since South Sudan is now an independent country. The issues of secession and unity are largely irrelevant now.

The crucial issue now facing South Sudan is how it can be managed for the well being of its citizens and the reality is that all these SPLM factions have no idea of what to do.

Now the SPLM and its off shoots are to all intent and purpose confused without any identity of what they stand for. This confusion reflects the minds of the so called leaders of these various SPLM groups. It manifests itself in the lack of clarity in these groups.

They do not know why they maintain the name SPLM which does not rhyme with the name of the new country they have violently imposed themselves to chaotically lead.

It also manifests the clouded mind of their leaders who can not see that they are confusing their organisation with the country, South Sudan. For instance, the flag of the SPLM/A has been imposed without consultation with the people of South Sudan as a national flag.

By default, this imposition assumes everybody in South Sudan is an SPLM/A. This fusion of organisation and country creates a detrimental enmeshment in the country.

Another off shoot in the Sudan (the country north of South Sudan) calling itself SPLM North also uses this very flag in their country. The rebels there wear the SPLM flag on their uniforms which also is the flag of South Sudan posing potential risks for a mistaken identity that could flare up in a conflict between the two countries since the army of South Sudan wear similar uniforms.

Another anomaly also lies in the fact that the army of South Sudan continues to be called SPLA. What is really going on here? Do these people not know that South Sudan is a different independent country and bigger than their party?

Until this confusion in SPLM/A and its mini groups is cleared out of South Sudan, our country will always remain unstable and confused.

As South Sudanese descended into Addis Ababa for the dialogue, it was hoped that the participation of the stakeholders would be able to deal with these serious issues.

Unfortunately, the symposium held in Addis Ababa at the beginning of June 2014 turned out to be a total farce. The reality was that the government in Juba violated the 9th May 2014 agreement. President Kiir’s security unconstitutionally denied the opposition travel to attend the meeting in Addis Ababa.

Unbelievably, neither the IGAD, nor the African Union, nor the Troika intervened to correct the oppressive action. IGAD by not intervening ended up colluding with the government of South Sudan and in the process it violated the very agreement it helped to broker.

Had the talks been inclusive, the stakeholders would be able to speak on behalf of the oppressed people of South Sudan thereby injecting a varied perspective that might help in reaching a positive outcome for the country.

As it is now the talks are actually between the SPLM factions while the real victims (the people) of this crisis are excluded.

SPLM G11 call themselves SPLM leaders. On which grounds are they leaders? President Kiir, the SPLM chairman stripped them from their positions in the SPLM party which means they no longer hold any positions of influence.

This further means they have lost authority and influence in the party. How then can they insist to call themselves leaders? By which authority are they calling themselves leaders?

It is about time they accepted their predicament which is that they are now ordinary members only like any other members.

A good number among them must also know that they were appointed by their tormentor President Kiir to the parliament and positions of influence against the wishes of the people.

Most of them failed to win any seats in parliament during the general election of April 2010 in the Sudan. The best they can do is to form their own party under a different name. They should forget the madness of hogging ‘SPLM’ because apparently “it is a historical party that brought independence.”

SPLM whether it brought independence or not is a party rotten to the core. Its name is tarnished beyond retrieval. The earlier they get this point the better for them and South Sudan.

As for their claim to being leaders – this needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Leaders are people who care about the masses. They spearhead useful programmes of developments in society. Manage public resources prudently and frugally for the benefit of all.

Do these so called “leaders” have any characteristics of leadership? Have any of them displayed such qualities? The evidence point to the contrary. For full understanding please see:

1-Tear down the SPLM http://allafrica.com/stories/201209030002.html
2-Power struggle in the SPLM http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/editorials/power-struggle-in-the-splm
3-Cattle camp” imperialism in RSS http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/editorials/cattle-camp-imperialism-in-rss
4-Corruption saga: The SPLM five big guns or quintet squirrels http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/corruption-saga-the-splm-five-big-guns-or-the-quintet-squirrels

If and when you have read the articles referred to above, would you still take the claim of SPLM G11 of leadership seriously? Think about it and you be the judge.

Having been rescued by Dr Machar from the jaws of the shark, the SPLM G11 disgracefully kicked their saviour in the teeth. Opportunistically, they distanced themselves from him in the hope of grabbing power with the help of IGAD countries.

This is another point that discredits IGAD as mediators in the South Sudan crisis. Please see, ‘Former detainees discuss South Sudan crisis with mediators ‘ http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article51021

Pagan Amum said, “As SPLM leaders, we are going to participate and engage first and foremost the two parties to stop this war and the conflict, so that we proceed with the negotiation to develop and agree on programmes to urge South Sudan into a transition to peace and democracy.”

Pagan goes on, “His team will fully participate with both parties in restoring peace and democracy in South Sudan as well as in shaping in every future of the country.”

Was South Sudan in peace and democracy before this crisis? If so, does Pagan remember what he said in December 2013 prior to the implosion of the SPLM? Was Pagan not the very person who shouted loud that President Kiir was becoming a dictator and South Sudan a dictatorship? Memories seem short.

What future of South Sudan does Pagan and his group want to shape? Where is their Blue Print? Have they told the masses what they intend to do differently for the country than what they have been doing for the last nine years?

Is the current mess not of their own collective making? And above all, how do they intend to shape the country? Under what ideology and programmes do they want to shape the country? Why did they not do so in the last 9 years?

Since coming out of their incarceration, have the SPLM G11 spoken about the suffering of the people? Have they spoken about their failures collectively in mismanaging the country?

Have they spoken about SPLM’s massive neglect of the country since 2005? These people are not serious. They are only interested in their stomachs. They lie to the people and themselves with speeches like, “The G11 have decided not to side to either party arguing no role in the ongoing conflict.” Really?

These are not leaders. Leaders must have “the capacity to care because this is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.” These are the words of Pablo Casals, the gifted musician.

So far in the context of South Sudan such virtues are possessed by the silent leaders of South Sudan and in my view it is these leaders who can rescue the country. They may enable South Sudan to experience what it means to be governed appropriately and fairly based on the rule of law.

Presently, the shoddy transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan is a redundant document. It means nothing at all to the people of South Sudan. The president and the SPLM refer to it when it suits them.

Otherwise, overall everything done in the country is based on the advice and recommendations of the Council of Jieng Elders.

SPLM regularly commits crimes against humanity with impunity. For example, the ethnic cleansing of the Uduk people of Upper Nile in late 1980s, the fratricide of the Nuer/Jieng of early 1990s, the massacres of the Didinga in late 1990s, the massacre of the Chollo from 2008 to the present, and the ethnic cleansing of the Nuer from mid December 2013 to the present.

In all these horrendous cases there have never been any enquiries or accountability.

As I write, President Kiir and the SPLM are seriously planning to commit another pre-meditated ethnic cleansing. This time the targets are Equatorians because of their legitimate call for federalism.

An extensive hit list reportedly signed by the president lists the governors of Equatoria, Equatorian party leaders, Equatorian officers of the various organised forces, Equatorian intellectuals and businessmen.

At the moment the Chief of the Army, General Paul Malong Awan is busy deploying army units predominantly composed of President Kiir’s tribesmen to the three states of Equatoria in preparation for this evil culling plan.

Although this information is now in the public domain, some naive people in Equatoria (together with the sell-outs) minimise its seriousness. The recent publicity of this vile plan of ethnic cleansing may save the lives of the governors but people like Peter Sule remain highly vulnerable in Juba.

The planned targeting of Equatorian leaders is a deliberate thing to decapitate the Equatorian body politic. It has a far reaching ramification in terms of the future identity of Equatoria, but also for South Sudan.

The Equatorians must now seriously think about this very real threat to their own existence in South Sudan. They need to devise a plan to confront and respond to this threat appropriately. Those planning this criminal act should know that they will not get away with it and that they will be brought to book.

The troika and Human Rights Watch have already been alerted and should anything happen the responsibility lies squarely with President Kiir and the Council of Jieng Elders formulating and supervising these evil culling plans.

With the coming of peace in 2005 up to now South Sudan has been under the rule of predatory sharks. SPLM/A does not care about the country and the people. It does not believe in the common good but rather in advancement of its elite members only.

If these so called leaders (including President Kiir and Riek) had “the capacity to care”, South Sudanese would not be dying like flies in their hands.

They would have humanely managed the country with services adequately provided to the people in the pivotal sectors of health, education, housing, employment, and security.

But what have South Sudanese got on their hands? Ethnic cleansing, entrenched tribalism, orgiastic corruption and continuous empty rhetoric.

The contest over the name SPLM/A irrational as it is, is itself a fight against Jieng tribalism as well as a fight for power.

The multiple factions of SPLM in different forms and shapes hogging this name do so because they believe SPLM is the centre of unassailable power and also it is associated with the glory of liberation. They apparently want the timelessness of liberation and heroism associated with them.

The Jieng in their endeavour to wholly accumulate the glory of liberation have falsely convinced themselves that they own the SPLM. To them, since the formation of SPLM is attributed to Dr John Garang and Garang having hailed from Bor, SPLM to them is a Jieng property.

Hence, the declaration of the Jieng in a document of meeting in Ark hotel in Kampala, Uganda in 2009 stating’ “‘The Dinka are the SPLM/A and the SPLM/A are the Dinka’ The two are the two faces of the same coin”. Their motto is that ‘He who wins can not be in the wrong’. www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/benign-intervention-is-the-way-forward-for-republic-of-south-sudan

Now that SPLM is the centre of power associated with the liberation of South Sudan, according to them the Jieng are the liberators of South Sudan and the glory is theirs.

This anomaly makes the Jieng to crow “We liberated you.” “We are born to rule” hurting the feeling of others. They commit heinous crimes with impunity freely as with the case of the Nuer in December 2013. Unfortunately, they appear to draw pleasure and satisfaction from this barbarity.

This of course is not true for the following reasons. First Dr John Garang did not form the SPLM. He simply is an appointee of the Ethiopians into the SPLM/A. Please see ‘Dr John Garang was an appointee of the Ethiopian to the SPLM’ http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/opinion/articles/dr-john-garang-was-an-appointee-of-the-ethiopians-to-the-splm

On this fact alone the Jieng claim to ownership of the name SPLM falters.

Secondly, although the Jieng through Dr Garang dominated the organisation, many South Sudanese from other tribes played a very crucial role in SPLM’s success. For example, in mid 1990s SPLM/A was practically defeated by the Arabs. The forces of President Omar Bashir captured most of South Sudan from the SPLM with it (the SPLM) pushed to the extreme periphery in Nimule.

If it was not for the Equatorians, SPLM/A would have been smashed by the Arabs and there would not have been an independent South Sudan now.

From this alone, the independence of South Sudan without argument is an outcome of contribution of all the tribes of South Sudan and the Diaspora. So the puerile nonsense of “We liberated you” the Jieng brag about is at best garbage and at worst utterance of lunatics.

But the foregoing should make South Sudanese question the basis of SPLM’s power. This is important to know if the people are to liberate themselves from this monstrous organisation.

SPLM is not the true centre of power in South Sudan. The real power lies with the people of South Sudan. If only the people can grasp this crucial point and its psychological dynamics, SPLM could easily be discarded.

The people just need to withdraw allegiance and membership and the SPLM would be nothing. The power they crow about would evaporate in an instance.

So the intimidation that President Kiir metes out to the supporters of federalism is sustained by the Equatorian allegiance and membership to the SPLM which indirectly gives the Jieng power.

The irony is Equatorians are fighting themselves. They empower SPLM and the Jieng and then they fight what the SPLM and the Jieng impose on them. This is madness. Just quit the SPLM and begin to organise to build a new centre of power to realise your objectives and interests.

Any South Sudanese who wants federalism should quit the SPLM today. Dr Riek Machar’s maintenance of the SPLM name psychologically gives credence to SPLM Oyee granting it higher status which feeds the psychological image of Jieng being invincible.

This is turn makes President Kiir to feel unbeatable and thus make irrational demands. For example, admonishing Equatorians not to talk about Federalism.

Thomas Schilling in his book, ‘The strategy of conflict’ tells us that when certain parties adopt an irrational position and fiercely guard it, it is because they have a reason. Often when this is seen from their perspective it makes sense in that it actually serves their intrinsic interest.

So, the hogging of SPLM’s name irrational as it is for the country, it actually perpetuates and massively promotes the interest of the Jieng.

This is why President Kiir preferred to plunge the country into chaos than to transfer power to Dr Riek Machar which to him would by default mean ceding power to the Nuer.

Thus if President Kiir were to change the name SPLM the only people who stand to lose are the Jieng. So, all the other SPLM groups follow this logic.

At the heart of this hogging of the name SPLM lies a false glory and an imagined fixed absolute power in SPLM. Every one of them wants this supposed power.

This belieF in the invincibility of the SPLM has nurtured a culture of abuse and impunity over the years with the members becoming disempowered to the influence and working of the organisation itself.

For example the unfortunate events of mid December 2013 mostly affected the SPLM (the organisation and the members), yet the victims like Dr Machar still fights tooth and nail to identify himself with an organisation that decimated his own identity.

Do you see the pathology griping the SPLM and its members? After what has happened, why should anybody desperately want to associate with such a dysfunctional organisation?

Dr Machar now is in a better position to ditch the name SPLM because South Sudanese joining him are doing so on principle of ousting the murderous regime of President Kiir and not because of the glory of SPLM.

Further Dr Machar would help the Nuer to heal psychologically faster by ostracising the organisation responsible for their ethnic cleansing. If Machar did that he would eventually emerge clean from the cyclical mess of SPLM with a new organisation formed by him lifting his stature and image.

SPLM is so dysfunctional an organisation that it is no longer good for anybody and the country.

When an organisation has an entrenched destructive culture that can not be influenced by its members for better, the best thing to do is either to overhaul it or to dismantle it and form a brand new one with a new name.

This is what the SPLM members need to do if the destructive culture of SPLM is to be gotten rid of.

Therefore to remove the confusion in South Sudan politics, and for the members of SPLM to liberate themselves from their mental enslavement to an organisation that only benefits a section of one ethnic group and allows this group to abuse the others, they need to throw their membership away and find something else.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul
elhagpaul@aol.com
Disclaimer: views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Agok Takpiny is a concerned South Sudanese in Melbourne Australia. He can be reached on agoktakpiny@ymail.com


Federal System: Will it quell the incessant rebelling & militias in South Sudan?

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, Lawyer, JUBA, JUL/04/2014, SSN;

As the people of south Sudan are focusing on how to resolve the crisis which has engulfed the nation and almost paralysed the country and brought peace back to its folds, there is now a noisy call for federalism as a system of governance to which the country should be governed.

One would wonder as to what should first be undertaken and what should come the second. Is it peace that should be given a chance so that our people who have left their places of residence in fear of insecurity and who are massively tenting up in all UN camps across the country or the federal system of government that should first be discussed and maybe implemented if accepted by all without coercion leaving our vulnerable children, women and elderly in such a dire need of help, with just one meal to push on or nothing at all?

Are we really up to how best this country should be governed? It is very much disheartening to hear people every day talking about federalism as the best system of governance which is supposed to be heeded leaving out scores of many other issues to put in place so that they pave way for the best system of governance, be federalism or any other best system that the country and its people decide.

This writer is not against federalism as the best system of governance to be adopted in south Sudan but the ways and procedures that are being undertaken now with regards to federalism are not healthy because it would further divide our people on regional and tribal bases hitherto stabbing at the back and setting back the little gains we have in place now.

Federal system of governance is good with the society that has overstepped tribal mindsets and regionalism. It is good with that society with which the level of modernity and education exceeded the ones we have in south Sudan.

Federal system of governance is healthy and good with the society which does see itself not with regional and tribal eyes but with the society which does see itself as one people and one country who shared some communal traits.

When the crisis enraging on in our country began, it wasn’t about how best the country should be governed and it has nothing to do with the governance of the country but was triggered by the fact that some groups of people were so inquisitive and greedy for themselves not even the country that they were worried about.

So talking about federal governance leaving untouched how to resolve the root causes of the crisis is like leaving an elephant untouched and stabbing the shadow.

I strongly stand with my most respected people, my brothers and sisters from greater Equatoria on how best this great nation should be governed and I caution them to be watchful enough that their healthy idea of governing the country shouldn’t be stolen and used by some disgruntled group of people whose hands are fully tainted with blood of our innocent children, women and elderly who have perished for not good reason to die.

I have never ever heard of an Equatorian having a militia or rebelling to kill his/her own southern brothers except very recently with Alfred Ladu Gore, who was a person I have an utmost respect for. These people are fond and obviously known of their lust for power at the expense of the people.

In conclusion, it is pertinent that the best thing to do is to firstly bring to an end this useless and senseless war that has caused us so much in human lives and properties. It is when we are in peace and stability that we will think wisely on how best our country should be governed and what best system should we apply that will bring convenient and acceptable systems of government.

The quest for good governance by the people of south Sudan has historically been documented quite a long time ago and it would be good if my great people across south Sudan come and sit together not on regional and tribal bases but as brothers and sisters who are one people to discuss issues of national concern and adopt a unified system of governance to which our country should be governed so that we have lasting peace for our people and our country.

We have suffered long enough and we have lost many of our people since the struggle up to now. It would be fatal enough and hence immature if we partially solve the problem that I think is commonly facing all of us.

Having federal system of governance in place currently wouldn’t curb the incessant rebellion and a culture of militarism that has been adopted as short-cut way of getting employment in south Sudan, it would further aggravate the situation.

Let’s collectively face those thugs whose thoughts are to kill innocent children and women and set ablaze and loot other people’s properties. We better collectively say no to the culture of militancy and rebellion which is incompatible and inconsistent with the established formal legal procedures of the nation.

Let’s solve the problem that is causing both the country and its people before embarking on how to governance the country whose its inhabitants are scattered and tenting up in the IDPs camps.

We may have federal system of governance in south Sudan but the culture of taking up guns and killing vulnerable people just under the pretext of dictatorial tendencies with hope of being appeased and awarded senior positions in the government will not cease.

Sudan was a federal state but it has not stopped south Sudanese from fighting with the government that was centered in Khartoum. What difference would this federalism make in south Sudan? This means that you don’t have any remorse to those who are living in those dire situations in the UN camps and they seem not to be part of your country.

Remain Blessed.

Tong Kot is a Practicing Legal Counsel at Deng & Co. Advocates and can be reached at: tong_kkk@ymail.com.


A call for federalism by Western Bahr-el Ghazel intellectuals in diaspora

BY: Peter Utermando, South Sudan, JUL/04/2014, SSN;

South Sudan as the world’s newest country had a great opportunity to embark on nation-building, institutional reforms and right decisions on the most suitable system of governance.

However, since 2005 the government has been taking the country on the wrong direction. Most importantly, lack of good government in the country led to questioning the effectiveness of Salva Kiir’s rule.

An overwhelming majority of South Sudanese voted in January 2011 referendum to secede and become Africa’s first new country since Eritrea split from Ethiopia in 1993.

Not long after the independence of the country on July 9th 2011, the young state plunged into several crises and the people of South Sudan have been disappointed.

The country’s post-independence period quickly witnessed the same coarse realities most African countries underwent before. Unfortunately, the country’s government grew a bad habit of ignoring to tackle critical problems during their infancy stages.

Federalism is an example to such ignorance issues currently occurring in the country. As a result, there are been increasingly a debate about the issues of implementation of the federal system in the Republic of South Sudan.

As a result of a serious economy set back, violation of human rights, tribalism, occupation of citizen’s land by the government elements, lack of rule of law and strong constitution in the country, now the majority of the population has been voicing for federalism system in the country.

First of all, federalism or Decentralization of the government is described as a system of government in which sovereignty of an independent country is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and states or provinces of the main territory.

Decentralization of the government is both implemented in developed and developing countries. The World is turning to devolution to improve the performance of their public sectors.

In the United States, for instance, the central government has turned back significant portion of federal authority to the states for a wide range of major programs, including welfare, Medical, legal services, housing, and job training.

The objectives of the federalized country are that state and local governments, being closer to their people, will be more responsive to particular preferences of their constituencies and are able more effectively to find better ways to provide services necessary to their communities.

Recently the three governors of Greater Equatoria, who stand with their people on federalism, a call being championed by the SPLA/M in opposition, are reportedly managing intense relations with the Juba’s regime.

This led to President Salva Kiir directly to criticize the people of Greater Equatoria on Monday June 30th 2014 and warned them to stop calling for federalism, a system of governance that is seen as a threat by Salva Kiir’s home region.

Why dictator Salva Kiir and his followers see the federalism as a threat? South Sudanese have been calling for the federal system since 1947 until now and never their voices for the federalism will be silent by any power on earth.

It is weird that the system of governance, which the whole world regards as a perfect system of ruling diverse country, such as South Sudan, the regime of Salva Kiir has different view, in which it opposes the system.

As a result of the debate about the federalism in the country, a meeting reportedly held on Thursday 26th June 2014 by president Salva Kiir and his recently appointed Chief of Staff, Gen. Malong Awan, has produced an extensive list, which contained the names of Equatorian generals and intellectuals, who would be closely monitored by the government agents in an attempt to silence federalism demands in the country, which led to ethnic cleansing against Equatorians as happened against Nuers in last December 2013 and in Wau city in December 2012 in which the government army shot in cold blood innocent protestors.

How on earth the government that supposes to protect its own citizen kill its people? Who will protect the people of South Sudan from Salva Kiir’s killing machines?

Even the media is not safe from Salva Kiir’s suppression. On Monday 30th June 2014 South Sudanese media protested a directive issued by security officials to desist from publishing information about recent proposals to establish a federal system of government. The intimidation to silence the call for the federalism will never work.

As a people of Western Bahr el Ghazal WBGS intellectuals in Diaspora, we elevate our voices against the attempt by Salva Kiir’s government to silence the call of federalism.

Further, we condemn with strongest words the killing of Equatorian brothers in Juba during last week. We stand united with our fellow citizens all across the country who embrace the federalism, to call for the implementation of the system in the country.

We call on Salva Kiir regime to respect the will of Southern Sudanese people and retreat from the aggressiveness that they are committing against our nation.

Federalism is a perfect model for the country with diverse population such as South Sudan. In Switzerland for instance, there are only four nationalities that lived in harmony when they established federalism system in their country.

In the South Sudan there are more than 62 different tribes with different culture, the federal system will perfectly fit the country, solve its ethnic problems, and help the country to be developed as other nations. END


Equatorians and the Federation of South Sudan: Analysis

BY: Chuol C. Puoch, JUL/01/2014, SSN;

Greater Equatoria lies in the southern part of the Country and is made up of many different small ethnicities divided into the three states of Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria under the leadership of Bangasi Joseph Bakasoro in the west, Clement Wani Konga and Louis Lobong Lojore in central and Eastern Equatoria states respectively. The region is currently represented in the Central government by James Wani Igga as the Vice President of the Country with other Equatorian sons and daughters holding ministerial positions in the government of Salva Kirr Mayardit.

Position of Equatorians in the current conflict and its dangers

Often, Equatorians go after democracy, federalization and good governance which they never achieved throughout their life in the history of South Sudan. However, hearing anyone calling for democracy and federalism is in their utmost interest and they would, in one way or another, go for it.

On the other hand, it seems not only difficult, but also undo-able for them to rise up on the streets and in the bushes to bring down the government of Salva Kirr, which has humiliated them for quite so long.

In spite of the military strength of Riek Machar and Lado Gore, Equatorians are still thinking that going to the bushes to bring kirr’s government down means life risking with no benefits. That is absolutely not true!

According to how I look at it, Equatorians are digging their own grave for them to be disgracefully cleansed and maimed by Kirr Mayardit in Juba and other areas in Equatoria.

That will be a great melancholy though it’s known before it happens. Equatorians are calling for democracy and federalism in fear and suspicion of falling into the grave that they are digging.

Honestly, how do you think you would succeed yet, you understand that the only language that works at the moment and understandable to Kirr is the gun?

How would you call for federalism which is in the opposite interest of Gen. Kirr, if at all you are allying with him?

You are exactly doing the opposite inside and for that, I must patriotically urge you to rethink, based on my prediction of what is going to happen.

Absolutely I am calling you to wake up and do what we (concerned peace loving South Sudanese) expect you to do! I don’t see the reason why you should risk your life by making that suicide because telling Kirr to accept federalism while sleeping in your houses is a suicide.

Most of you have seen the Juba massacre and Nuer will absolutely do nothing to bring those lives back. It’s his (Kirr) leadership culture and you should understand that before attempting to make that unwanted suicide.

It’s worth mentioning that Kirr is on his last digit to quit counting his days in South Sudan presidency but, I would like to make it very clear that he would not leave with only and already done massacre of Nuer while there is a great opportunity for him to do more especially in Equatoria.

Be very careful on that. He may decide anytime soon to cause tension in Juba as you are as well provoking him with federalism advocacy and he can do the worst massacre ever witnessed in the history while he is on the run.

What are you waiting for? Who is going to fight for your objectives and rights? When are you going to realize that this is the right time?

Who are you going to blame at the end of the day? And lastly, but not the least, how do you think even this federalism would work when there is no commitment and sacrifice in doing something as you seem to be doing now?

To borrow John M. Mitchell’s word, “nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.”

The real hero is a man who fights even though he is scared. There is no food for a lazy man!

Way forward for Equatorians in the current conflict

First and foremost, I would like to bring it to the attention of some individuals, and not tribes or groups, who think that Equatorians are merely voiceless and harmless population where anyone should decide upon them insolently according to his/her wills. That is completely rubbish and immature thinking.

Equatorians are people of patience and endurance; they are people of peace, love and coexistence and more importantly, they are people of unity and determination.

You may give them more than seven pinches before they give you the first warning of not to do it again. You may take their houses in their land, but still they can host you as a friend and brother.

You may even tend to remove them from their ancestral land and still, they can call you not an enemy but a friend who may only need dialogue. However, some tribes and groups of people have taken their behavior contrarily.

In fact, it is life risking coming up in Juba saying that I support federalism but Clement Wani Konga did it, Joseph Bangasi Bakasoro and Louis Lobong Lojere of western and eastern Equatoria states did it respectively.

However, the question remains unanswered, and the way forward seems to have not yet been instructed by these governors in their comments on federalism.

Equatorians, men and women, are at the juncture with their hands on the waists wondering who to follow and where to go: There is the then South Sudan of humiliation and unfairness, inequality and domination as the way we came from on one hand, and there is a way to peace, democracy and federalism followed by Riek Machar and the other brutal, bloody, Kirrorized and ethnicized way under Gen Kirr in the other hand.

It is up to their (Equatorian) leaders to define a very quick way for Equatorians and accept all the hardship that are possibly on the way they may take.

What is likely to happen?

“Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer” ~ Jacqeas Prevert. That is exactly what is going to happen in Equatoria.

I am afraid Gen. Kirr will soon or later use his decrees on these three governors and replace them with other outstanding sons and daughters within the Equatorians community, just to set brother against brother and family against family. The divide and rule:

Then assassination and depression, complete destabilization of Equatoria region just like Upper Nile region.

Is that what Equatorians are waiting for? Will it, in any case, change the land and the people of Equatoria to any tangible situation? Equatorians will only go back to camps in Uganda, DRC and Kenya for some more years. Equatoria land will only come under destruction given the fact that it’s currently taking the lead in development.

From there, after coming to realize that mistake is made, it will have already made some permanent scars which should have been prevented by now. It will need more efforts for resistance to come to effect because Equatorians will be divided after food and truth.

I think this is the right time for Equatorians to come up and take the lead in achieving the South Sudan we struggled for since 1955 and not this South Sudan of hatred and communal domination and humiliation.

Therefore, the only window of opportunity is for Equatorians to act promptly; they should say enough is enough and force Salva Kirr to either accept peace and step down or face the brave young men of Equatoria led by the three governors.

That is the “ONLY” way before the unwanted maiming operation is laid in Equatoria region. Take care!

Chuol C. Puoch, the writer, is reachable via email: chuolchotson@gmail.com or on twitter @Chuolchot


Difference between Equatoria & Riek Machar call for federalism in South Sudan

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, JUL/01/2014, SSN;

Federal states have been in existence for the last two hundred years. Although there was no explicit mention of federation, it was in the Juba Conference 1947 that South Sudanese first voiced their fears of domination and marginalization by Northern Sudanese. In the Conference Southerners basically wanted safeguards that they would not be mistreated by Northerners. It can, therefore, be seen that indirectly Southerners were already calling for a federal system of government that would have guaranteed them equality with their Northern counterparts and also sustainable national unity.

As Southerners were not well informed and sophisticated enough like the Northern conferees, they were easily manipulated to go along with the concept of one united Sudan without concrete guarantees. They took what Northerners said by word of mouth in the Conference as a guarantee. This is because in the Conference Northerners stressed that they had no intention to dominate the South.

However, what the Northerners had stressed turned out to be a white lie or deception. It was to take the South two bitter and devastating liberation wars to get rid of Northern domination and marginalization.

Eight years later from the Juba Conference 1947 Southern members of parliament in Sudan put forward a condition for supporting the motion for independence from British colonial rule. They proposed a federal system of government for Sudan to safeguard the interest of the South. The Northern deceptive response was that the proposal for a federal system would be considered after independence of Sudan.

After independence and under no obligation Northerners rejected the federal system for Sudan without any convincing explanation. To add salt to injury Northerners instead drafted a constitution fit for an Arab Islamic State. The Southern call for a federal system of government for Sudan was unceremoniously outlawed. Nevertheless, the Southern response was nothing but an armed struggle for freedom.

The point that is being made here is that the call for a federal system of government in South Sudan is not unique. In 1955 the Southern call for a federal system was to make the unity of Sudan attractive as the basis of sustainable national unity.

Unfortunately the dominant Black Arabs of Sudan were arrogant, insensitive and extremely stubborn to their Black African cousins in the South. The Arabs were only to regret when Sudan ultimately disintegrated into North and South with colorful and magnificent celebrations in the South as that was where most of the resources the Arabs had exploited were found.

Federalism in South Sudan

Equatoria, of the three regions of South Sudan, was the first in 2011 to pass a resolution in a conference that: A democratic federal system of governance should be adopted for the Republic of South Sudan, therefore the establishment of the new country as the Federal Republic of South Sudan.

The motive for the call of a federal system of government in South Sudan is not very difficult to comprehend. It is to promote justice where none is above the law in contrast to selective justice, it is for sustainable national unity in contrast to ethno-centricism and it is to promote prosperity for all in contrast to absolute poor service delivery.

The call for a federal system of government in South Sudan should be seen as a national agenda instead of being narrowly perceived as an Equatorian plot to segregate others. Federalism is for the benefit of all in South Sudan.

The essence of a federal system is its responsiveness to diversities and in defusing simmering tensions that may tear a country apart. The loud call for a federal system of government may co-relate to people’s experience of absolute poor service delivery. Things may therefore be different when a federal system is adopted.

Riek Machar’s call for federalism

Dr Riek Machar was the second most powerful man as the Vice President until July 2013 in the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. In December 2013 Dr Riek Machar declared openly that he was in rebellion against what he described as dictatorial tendencies of the President. In his rebellion Dr Riek Machar wanted support. Knowing very well that the call for a federal system was popular in Equatoria he wasted no time to make the call for federalism the top item on the agenda of the rebellion.

Dr Riek Machar must have calculated that by crafting federalism onto the agenda of his rebellion he would get automatic and total support from Equatoria. This, however, seems to have created a problem as Equatoria is now perceived sympathetic to the rebellion.

A critical analysis is therefore needed of the extent to which Dr Riek Machar’s call for federalism is the same as that of Equatoria. This is in order to allay fears that may cause unnecessary panic and also for people not to get confused.

To begin with Dr Riek Machar’s call for federalism is at best deceptive and at worst a betrayal of the genuine Equatoria’s call for federalism. People must recall that as the Vice President Dr Riek Machar at first supported federalism when the majority of members from Equatoria in the National Legislative Assembly in July 2011 endorsed federalism just before the day of independence.

However, at the last hour Dr Riek Machar rejected the very federalism for which he is now calling. People must take it with some caution as to why Dr Riek Machar is now turning around to claim to be the champion of federalism while he was comfortable in rejecting it.

The difference

The difference between Dr Riek Machar’s call for a federal system and that of Equatoria is crystal clear. The Equatoria’s call for a federal system is genuine while that of Dr Riek Machar is a ploy for support from Equatoria. Dr Riek Machar is unreliable and so it is doubtful that he will ever implement a federal system in South Sudan.

Did he not let down the people of Equatoria during the crucial vote for either federalism or decentralization on the eve of independence?

It is clear that the difference is that Dr Riek Machar sees federalism as a sure way to the presidency while Equatoria sees federalism as a national agenda that does not need the use of force to impose it on the people of South Sudan.

Federalism is a revolutionary agenda for the acceleration of socio-economic development for high standards of living in South Sudan.

In the communiqué that followed the Equatoria Conference 2011, it was affirmed that: “Mindful of the suffering of the people of Equatoria in the past decades, we will no longer accept Equatoria land to be used as a battle ground for any senseless bloodshed.”

This confirms that Equatoria has nothing to do with the rebellion. Equatoria is peaceful and development oriented. It will therefore not welcome to its soil such a rebellion that has caused untold destruction and mayhem in the country.

Conclusion

It is hoped that there won’t be any confusion again between federalism called for by Dr Riek Machar and that called for by Equatoria. Equatoria had called for federalism before the rebellion. The vision was that federalism would not be imposed but rather would be accepted or adopted through consensus. This means people will need to be educated and convinced through open discussions and debates.

People’s fears about federalism must be allayed and federalism must be thoroughly illustrated with examples from around the world.

Putting a redline to discussion on federalism is not helpful because people may be forced to discuss it behind closed doors which may be much more dangerous than discussing it openly for people to gain confidence.

In principle it seems many people in South Sudan have no problem with federalism. One prominent revolutionary and architect of the armed struggle that brought independence said in a function that “federalism is not bad but proposed at the wrong time.”

The implication is that South Sudanese support federalism but their fears must first be addressed and the time for adoption should be right. When should the time be right is the question.

The issue of rebellion and federalism could be addressed concurrently where the states should be involved as important stakeholders. Muzzling free thinking is not helpful in our search for a lasting solution to the problems of South Sudan.

In conclusion, no one appears to be against federalism but the fear seems to be the unseen devil in details of federalism which, therefore, needs our collective effort to reduce the fear for the common good of all.


Peaceful coexistence: How the Equatorians got it right!

BY: Dr Peter Kopling MD, South Sudan, JUN/29/2014, SSN;

The formulas to peaceful coexistence among all tribes in South Sudan already exist. The formulas for bloodshed and destructive coexistence between the tribes in South Sudan do also exist, it comes down to understanding these two paths and deciding what is it that our country needs most and which choice will get us there.

The responses to these two choices are already in plain view and we only need to look no farther than within our communities and we shall discover it has been there all along!

The bitter truth must be told, South Sudan has two regions, one that is stable and stabilizing and the other unstable and destructive. All we need to do is decide what we want, do we want peace, if this be the case then all we need to study are the stable and peaceful regions to see how they do it, how they live with each other, how they treat each other’s lands, neighboring tribes and their belongings to include lands.

If we want a conflicting South Sudan then all we need to do is study the way of life, perception of life and mindset of the unstable region of our nation. How they treat each other, and how they treat all that is important to them and their neighboring tribes.

There can never be peace if we do not take time to understand what is important for others and instead impose our cultural ways on others in their respective ancestral lands.

Colonialism tried this and failed! We are many nations under one, the fact that must not be ignored and the more reason it must be understood and approached delicately not with arrogance.

Without any doubt the Equatorian region emerged as the stable and peaceful part of South Sudan, while the Jiengs land, the destructive part of the Country.

Predating December 2013, the Jiengs land had numerous insurgencies already against the infant government.

So we need to study the prevailing mentalities in the Jiengs land and avoid this if we are to survive as a nation and we must prevent them from exporting these raw materials of death to other parts of South Sudan.

The honest truth is even if the Jiengs region were to announce today their desire to split and form a different country or join the Jalabas, believe you me, the rest of South Sudan will breath a shay and will not beg them to remain as part of the united South Sudan and the Jiengs nation will only end up tearing each other down as long as they maintain their current predatory mentality of glorifying bloodshed and vilifying peacefulness.

It must be pointed out the Equatorian region has numerous tribes of totally different cultures and mentalities although the Jiengs mischievously and derogatorily tend to refer to the Equatorians as if they are a single tribe!

But what they do not realize is they are acknowledging the fact that Equatorians have achieved brotherhood among the different tribes despite of their diversity, which must serve as a role model for South Sudan, if there is still any hope for us to exist as a nation!

What is commonly shared by majority of these Equatorian tribes however is that Godliness and goodness which is praised rather than savagery of bloodshed, disregards to the sacredness of human life misnomer by the Jiengs as bravery.

Equatorian tribes know their ancestral boundaries and they respect these boundaries while the Jiengs have nomadic mindsets! It seems they can go away from their ancestral land and never even miss them, and even bury their national hero away from home with cynical implications!

The Equatorian tribes respect the cultures of one another but more so each tribe loves their ancestral land as they love themselves! One’s very existence for Equatorian tribes are indistinguishable with one’s ancestral lands!

The land is where your father and forefathers are buried, time immemorial! It is what gives meaning to your existence and to life, it is what gives you food, it is also what gives you fishing and hunting’s rights, thus the land is sacred in Equatorian tribes, wars were fought in the past to protect and preserve them not cows, it is on this basis Equatorian initiated the war of independence to preserve this ownership and rights.

Just as the Jiengs protect their cows at all costs, they compose songs to their cows because this is their lifeline, their attachment to their lands does not carry the same significance as to Equatorian just as Equatorian attachments to cows is not the same as among the Jiengs who look at the land as a place for their cows to graze.

Equatorians look at their land as a place that gives them life but also that holds the meaning of their very existence and the ancestral souls and their bones are laid at rest in these lands. Thus it is very customary in most Equatorian tribes; they will go at great costs and heavy expenses to return the remains of their sons and daughters to be buried in their ancestral land among their ancestors for their souls to rest in peace otherwise will keep wandering around until rituals are performed to bring them to their ancestral home and into the family! This return of the dead sons and daughters of the land is from as far as the Americas!

Thus the significance of land for Equatorian has no equivalent in the Jiengs culture. Our Lands are more than the cows to Jiengs! To ignore and belittle the protectiveness of Equatorian with their ancestral land is to belittle their very existence in South Sudan thus to breed disunity!

Unity is indeed the natural result of respect of these things; supreme of them is land, for which we fought the Jalaba for 50 years! This is why we fell off with the Jalabas, how different if not worst are the Jiengs compare to the Jalabas in disregarding ancestral and tribal rights to lands, thus falling off will be a natural consequence unless we are saved by mutual respect AKA Federalism?

Now with these thousands of years of practice of land protections how do the Equatorian relate to each other’s tribe, and land without much of the violence found in the Dinka lands?

You will not find a group of Muru’s or Kuku going to Acholi land and lay claim of an area in Acholi heartland as their own land in disregard to the Acholis, for in the first place why will the Murus do this since they love their ancestral land and are tied spiritually to their lands and people? You will not see any group of Equatorian moving to other territory, forming their own chiefdom and tribal system in other people’s tribal land!

So is there or there is no Kokora between Equatorian tribes although they are many tribes not the same ones? The answer is NO! Migration happens freely and often but on an individual or family basis! Never a whole village uprooting themselves to go occupy the tribal lands of others in the name of whatever is promised to them by whoever! In the first place they will oppose such propositions, which they know outright breeds fights, deaths, and disrupts peace!

When an individual or Muru family decides to move to Acholi land, once they get there, they are always welcomed warmly as guests; they then live by the local norms and customs, as do the owners of the land!

They respect the locals and do not insult them as cowards or call them names such as Nyamnyam or we fought the Jalabas here so now we earned the right to be here. For you cannot visit your brother’s house, while he is hosting you, and start to insult his wife, abuse his children and expect to not be kicked out of your brother’s house simply because he is your brother!

Having fought for independence can not be used to dislodge others from their ancestral land otherwise it was not a war of independence but rather a war of Dinka expansionism and colonization, Otherwise it was not a war against the Jalaba but rather against the Equatorian for their lands.

Being in a relative’s house comes with first recognizing it is not your house but that of your brother, and you also have yours and you are a visitor which comes with responsibility of being beneficial to your host and not being a parasite or affecting your host negatively neither altering his way of life!

Indeed once an Equatorian moves to on other’s tribal territory, he learns the local language, he eats the local food, he practice the local tradition and become essentially one of the local tribe in another words becomes assimilated not disruptive and boastful! If he does not have appreciations of the new tribe he moves to, he simply stays back in his ancestral land and among his people not impose himself on the other tribe, making others miserable just as he is.

This is how peace is maintained among the tribes in Equatoria! No one tribe forcefully settle or grab someone else ancestral land equivalent of cattle rustling in the Jiengs land. This Jiengs government engineers the recent land strife we witnessed between the sisterly tribes of the Acholis and the Ma’dis!

The irony is, those who have no culture of peace try to preach peace to those who are peaceful! Those who have no notion, leave alone, the experience of peaceful intertribal coexistence try to forge what they called building a national identity, which is a red herring for ethnic cleansing given they have neither respect nor appreciation for other tribes thus leading to the Dinkanization project now ongoing to uproot other tribes from their ancestral land! Their war against the Nuer is part and partial of this.

They have no understanding other than that of nomadic life style leading them to preach if we are one nation then all ancestral boundaries are to be erased to allow them to practice their nomadic lifestyle at the expenses of others, from North to South and from east to west that are none Nomadic! This nomadic mindset and the revenge on Equatorian for Kokora are what drives then,even embedded in the Jieng written transitional constitutions.

It is thus only the Jiengs that trespasses all over South Sudan in disregards to other peoples backyard and they have no understanding why this is causing aches for their fellow countrymen, the Equatorian in particular, for this trespassing is in Keeping with Nomadic lifestyle which is never to be nationalized unless to our own perils for all we need to see is what it has done to the Dinkaland from which they are fleeing!!!

In the Jiengs lands, the cow reign supreme, and whoever can, will steal what he does not have in the process, shedding human blood! Thus it is a culture of thieves and bloodshed utterly incompatible with the prevailing Equatorian cultures! Indeed if there is any hope for the Jiengs, they must become like Equatorian, Hold human lives above cows life and the love for ancestral lands supreme above the love for cows. How can you love others if you do not love yourselves more than your love for animals?

In essence the federalism we are debating about is already practiced in Equatoria, each individual loving his family, tribes, their ancestral land, protecting it and building it, but also very much respecting that which belongs to other tribes, for if you caused them to lose theirs, someone else will cause you to lose yours.

Each individual, not an entire clan, tribe or bulk of people, is free to move to any part of eqautorian region and remain what sh/e is or take the identity and culture of the tribe that hosts him/her, no one forces, insights, neither prevents him/her to make this choice and sh/e in turn do not try to change the ways of, annihilate or obliterate other tribes.

The hope and formulae for South Sudanese unity is already being practice in Equatoria! It has been here all this time and no one seems to recognize it.

This is the model for South Sudan and federalism thus makes sense to Equatorian because it is already what they practice and what has given them peaceful coexistence, how they relate to each other on the basis of recognizing each other’s tribes and tribal lands, what is important to them and respecting each other in all aspects!

Federalism gives power to the individuals, people and regions! The government respects the people rather than the other way round; Master- slave relations.

Those who are opposed to this are those who want the people to worship the government and those who want to use the power of the government to impose on others and have no respects for other peoples’ cultures, way of life, aspirations and their lands.

The true brotherhood we all want is based on the model found in Equatoria and the intertribal relationships that exists in Equatoria for centuries. This is the case then no one has to fear Kokora happening due to federalism, there is no Kokora among Equatorian tribes, what makes it so? If loving your ancestral land and letting others do the same is Kokora then, so be it! If dislodging others from their ancestral land is what it takes to form a nation to the benefit of one tribe then is it any wonders that such is now heading straight to hell in our very eyes?

For in mutual respect is peace, not in master slave relation and others relinquishing their natural possessions and rights. Mutual respect has worked in Equatoria and they coexist peacefully!

One fact is clear, if there is federalism or not, the respect for land must reign supreme and the schemes for land thieving and dominance must come to an end, as long as this does not happen there shall be no peace in South Sudan, There shall only be oppressors and the oppressed!

If we truly want a land of the free, prosperity and justice for all then the tool to achieve this is federalism and encouraging the life styles of the Equatorian tribes.

Think of this as the relationship between you and your brother who is married and has his own house and cows, just as you! You respect his wife, children and property and he in turn respect yours. When he takes care of his house, it is not in opposition to you! Simply, you need to do the same for yours, for brotherhood does not negate your responsibility to your personal house. Just because you are brothers does not mean you need to merge houses and not having individual homes in pretense of fear of Kokora.

Mutual respect is how you keep brotherhood not by taking his wives forcefully or milking his cows forcefully in the name of brotherhood!

Federalism thus gives all South Sudanese, not just some, that power to protect one’s own house and decide what is for breakfast rather being dictated by the self proclaimed big brother, in the current system, regardless of who, will always be the oppressor!

South Sudan is ready for peace, which equals federalism; to say south Sudan is not ready for federalism is to say those who are having the lion share of the goodies are not ready to let it go and grant South Sudanese; Equality, justice, Liberty, prosperity for all and thus peace!

Without federalism in South Sudan, there shall only be oppressors and the oppressed!

Dr. Peter Kopling.


Kiir is a “Constitutional President,” not a “Democratically Elected President!”

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, JUN/29/2014, SSN;

Most of us in South Sudan are not independent thinkers even when we pretend we are! Some South Sudanese writers and thinkers in Southern States of the country support Federalism not because they’ve actually looked into the inherent benefits to the constituents of the region but because the majority of the citizens embrace it given their flimsy understanding of the system, or because vocal voices in their areas support it, or that, they believe, it’ll give them an opportunity to get rid of the ‘occupiers’ on their land.

None of the supporters of Federalism has ever advanced any convincing reason that’s not either reminiscent of the infamous 1980s ‘Kokora’ or the regionalized tribalism and regionalist sycophancy.

States have governors, parliaments, state MPs, State laws. We somehow have a system that’s structurally resembling other Federal Systems in the world. What is lacking is to actually give more powers to the states and limiting president’s interference in state affairs.

And those who oppose Federalism do so because they support the government and the government opposes it. And the government has absolutely no credible reason advanced in opposition to the system and why they think Federalism would be bad.

The only reason they have is that Riek has rekindled the flame of Federalism. This is not the first time Riek has done something like this. Riek feeds on popular aspirations of the people and exploits them.

Self-determination wasn’t a darling of the SPLA/SPLM until Dr. Riek and Dr. Lam made it their focal point in Abuja I in 1992. It was only one of the alternatives in Dr. John’s famous multi-layered Vend Diagrams but not the preferred alternative. UNITY of Sudan was!

The two doctors wanted to outsmart Dr. John Garang. However, the way Dr. John changed astonished not only the doctors, but Garang’s friends in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Garang embraced Self-Determination to the chagrin of the Nasir duo and even made it central to Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA); giving birth to Referendum!

Riek and Lam had met an ideological propagandists, ideological chameleon, and also, an ideological wizard who couldn’t be outsmarted.

So folks who oppose Federalism are doing so because people they support don’t like it. They’ve not presented any convincing reason why they oppose it.

This is our major problem. We ally based on irrational positions we hide in ideological, tribalized regionalism and intellectualized tribalism. We don’t think for ourselves!

That’s why we hear time and again from South Sudanese officials and government supporters that President Salva Kiir Mayardit is a “democratically elected president” of South Sudan!

No! President Kiir was a democratically elected president of the government of ‘Southern Sudan.’ He’s a CONSTITUTIONAL President of the Republic of South Sudan. There was no election held after the independence of South Sudan! None!

We hear from many government officials that President Kiir is the legitimate president of South Sudan because he’s the democratically elected president. Yes, he’s the legitimate president of South Sudan because the Transitional Constitution (2011) says so not because he’s elected.

Chapter II, Article 97 (3) of the Transitional constitution states: “The incumbent elected President of the Government of Southern Sudan shall be the President of the Republic of South Sudan.”

It says elected president of ‘Government of Southern Sudan.’ It doesn’t say elected ‘President of the Republic of South Sudan.’

Article 100 states: “The tenure of the office of the President of the Republic of South Sudan shall be four years, commencing from July 9, 2011.”

What makes the president Legitimate in the Republic of South Sudan is because the constitution says so not because he is elected in an independent South Sudan.

Note that the president tenure is not being counted from the time the president was elected (2010). It’s starting from the independence of the Nation, January 9, 2011.

So it’s utterly wrong to say that President Kiir is a ‘democratically elected president!’ President Kiir’s current legitimacy started on July 9, 2011. Unless I’ve been sleeping between 2011 and 2013 and that a National Election was held then!

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese author and poet living in Canada. For more information, visit www.kuirthiy.info or www.youtube.com/kuirthiytv


Time for actual solutions for South Sudan: Replace IGAD with eminent persons at once!

BY: MARGARET AKULIA, CANADA, JUN/27/2014, SSN;

Failing to achieve peace in South Sudan after more than six months when the issues are so clear-cut is incompetence. Allowing a foolish, self-absorbed and murderous so-called democratically elected President who is also the accused, to “direct” the adjudication of his own case is preposterous.

Enabling a tyrant to protract his murderous rule through foolishness is culpable negligence.

The war in South Sudan is now entering a seven month period and IGAD has achieved nothing even after being “bailed out” by United States Secretary of State John Kerry.

The organization either lacks lucidity or it is in cahoot with the current lawless government of South Sudan!

Simply put, IGAD’S questionable activities have placed the people of South Sudan at risk of injury and death that is why the organization must be disqualified from its so-called mediatory role.

Complete cessation of hostilities, setting up strong security, a competent and trustworthy caretaker government should have been accomplished by now because the correct solutions for these three key areas would have provided the safe environment necessary for National Dialogue respecting Federalism and Healing!

Instead of achieving the three unambiguous deliverables, IGAD squandered money and time while South Sudan bled to death!

That is why the organization needs to pass the baton to a body of more competent, honourable and impartial eminent persons immediately.

TO READ JUNE 19, 2014 LETTER TO THE TROIKA COUNTRIES REGARDING IGAD PLEASE GO TO:
www.savesouthsudan.com/diaspora-ambassadors.html
Margaret Akulia is co-author of the sequel Idi Amin: Hero or Villain? His son Jaffar Amin and other people speak.

She brings to the South Sudan dialogue a multidisciplinary professional background including but not limited to “grassroots activism”.

Additional information at:

https://travellinglearningcircles.com/Save_South_Sudan.html

AND

http://www.savesouthsudan.com/home.html