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Jonglei revolt gives South Sudan a security headache

By Hereward Holland

JUBA, Oct 1/2012;
(Reuters) – A heavy-handed government disarmament campaign to halt tribal clashes in South Sudan’s swampy eastern grasslands has triggered a small armed revolt against the rulers of the world’s newest state, threatening planned oil exploration in the area.

The budding insurgency in Jonglei state led by Murle militia chief David Yau Yau, a former theology student, may not number more than a few dozen fighters.

But there are fears it could escalate by feeding on local grievances against South Sudan’s army.

The leaders of former civil war foes Sudan and South Sudan struck a border security deal this week that should be enough to restart suspended oil exports from the South, which became independent from Sudan last year.

But with both sides still deeply mistrustful after decades of enmity, serious doubts remain over whether the uneasy neighbors can share their oil wealth in peace.

Anti-government unrest in Jonglei stems from a muscular disarmament campaign by the South Sudanese military, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), to prevent a repeat of clashes in January between the Murle and Lou Nuer tribes which killed several hundred people.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said in August it received credible reports that elements of the SPLA had engaged in killings, rape, beatings and torture during the disarmament campaign, dubbed “Operation Restore Peace”.

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) also reported similar abuses, saying most of the victims were women and in some cases children.

“This is a recipe for recruitment. The disarmament has created an environment ripe for creating a non-state armed group. It’s utterly predictable,” said one aid worker in the country who asked not to be named.

South Sudan’s army played down the reports of abuses, but said they had already dismissed 30 soldiers.

Authorities in Juba last week accused Sudan of airdropping weapons and ammunition to Yau Yau’s rebels in Jonglei state, which is the site of a vast unexplored oil concession that the government recently split into three.

“There are hawks within the (ruling party) in Khartoum. There are those who are bent on thinking that they can only resolve the issues with the South through war and bringing a lot of instability in this country, supporting various militia groups,” said South Sudan’s government spokesman, Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin.

“Their intention is to scare off investment, that is basically it,” he added.

Sudan’s government and military routinely deny Juba’s accusations that they are backing insurgencies.


At its independence in July last year, South Sudan inherited the bulk of the oil output produced by previously united Sudan.

Juba shut down its 350,000 barrels per day at the start of the year, alleging Khartoum was ‘stealing’ its oil by diverting it from pipelines through Sudan. The deal struck by Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his southern counterpart, Salva Kiir, in Addis Ababa is expected to restart oil exports.

Key to South Sudan’s future oil development plans, which include a proposed alternative pipeline that would take southern crude through Kenya or Ethiopia rather than Sudan, is a massive oil concession that covers much of Jonglei state.

This month the government in Juba decided to break up the huge Block B largely held by Total into three blocks, giving one to the French company and the others to two more foreign firms.

Total had stopped operations in the block in 1985 after the resumption of Sudan’s long civil war, which finally ended with a 2005 peace deal paving the way for the South’s secession.

Fresh conflict in Jonglei state, where thousands of Murle and Lou Nuer have been killed in bouts of ethnic feuding stretching back decades – although these days automatic rifles have replaced spears and knives – would unnerve prospective investors and embarrass the government.

In August, Yau Yau’s fighters killed at least 24 SPLA soldiers in an ambush. Another 74 South Sudanese troops are still missing and may be dead, the army says.

Local leaders blame abuses committed by SPLA soldiers during the disarmament campaign for pushing local recruits into the insurgency, especially members of Yau Yau’s Murle tribe who feel they have been unfairly targeted.

“If the (army) did not beat civilians, Yau Yau would not have come back because he knew he would not get support,” Ismail Konyi, a member of parliament and a senior Murle leader, said.

“Now I think Yau Yau will recruit these youths easily.”

The Murle tribe see themselves as victims of long-standing persecution and marginalization by the government in Juba.


In an email statement, another rebel group, the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA), which attacked several towns and planted land mines in Unity state in November last year, says it is on the brink of forming an alliance between anti-government forces, including Yau Yau’s fighters.

“All the rebel groups have formed an alliance which would be announced in a month. Major General David Yau Yau is a commander of revolutionary forces in Jonglei. We are all one,” read the email sent from an account bearing the SSLA name.

The SSLA, which South Sudan also accuses Khartoum of backing, says that Murle militia chief Yau Yau has even courted the rival Lou Nuer militia as a potential ally in his revolt against the government in Juba.

The Lou Nuer’s “White Army” led by purported prophet Dak Kueth was responsible for the massacre of 600 Murle in December and January and was also targeted in the army disarmament drive.

Government spokesman Benjamin, himself a Lou Nuer member of parliament, rejected the assertion that the White Army could join Yau Yau.

Yau Yau, thought to have limited military experience, first rebelled in May 2010 after standing as an independent candidate in the state’s parliamentary election for the Gumuruk-Boma constituency. He lost to the SPLM candidate by a big margin.

During his first revolt, he gained support amongst the youth because he was seen as a champion of Murle interests. But he also lost backing when he accepted a South Sudan government amnesty in June 2011, allegedly in exchange for a house, cars and cash, according to Murle involved in the negotiations.

He defected to Khartoum in April while supposedly being treated in a Kenyan hospital, and later went back to Jonglei with 19 men, arriving in July, Murle leader Konyi said.

According to a radio station called Radio Yau Yau, which the Juba government believes is broadcasting from Khartoum, his rebels are fighting in reaction to abuses committed during the disarmament program, especially the rape of Murle women.

Konyi presents himself and other Murle elders as key mediators to defuse the tense situation.

They have asked the South Sudanese army to end disarmament, prosecute those responsible for the abuses, change the SPLA commanders in Pibor and help civilians return home.

But the underlying sense of marginalization felt by some in the newborn African state will take some time to fade away.

“We Murle, in reality, don’t belong to Jonglei. When everything is divided we are not given anything – food, water, jobs, roads,” Konyi said. “We have some tribes … who don’t even know if there is a government operating.”

(Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Giles Elgood)

Kiir’s boondoggle in Addis: Only a partial deal to sign?

Editorial Analysis; After serious haggling since last Sunday and six face-to-face meetings, the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan, Omar Bashir and Salva Kiir, have finally signed Thursday, September 27, 2012, a partial deal, basically, to resume oil exports from South Sudan through the Sudan and a security arrangement.

1. OIL DEAL: Since President Kiir unilaterally shut down oil production and exports through the north last January, and briefly blundered in the occupation of Heglig (Panthou) oil refinery, the South has been under continuous international pressure to reconsider restarting the oil production, especially in the light of its dismal failure to secure any international financial assistance.

South Sudan is almost 99.99 percent dependent on oil revenues but the Sudan is the main beneficiary of any resumption of oil exports through its territory. Besides paying the Sudan transit fees, South Sudan will unconditionally bear the entire responsibility of repair and rehabilitation of the oil facilities. Experts predict the entire process will take several months before we see oil flowing again and will cost millions.

Now, Kiir has voluntarily and politically surrendered and ceded the South back to the jellaba North, who, given the not-so-long-ago history, will be tightly holding South Sudan at ransom. The oil exports will be at their mercy– any time we disagree, they shut off the pipeline for a million pretexts!!!

More importantly, however, what will now become of the LAPSSET accord that President Kiir recently signed with Kenya and Ethiopia to export South Sudan’s oil southwards, since he will now be deeply entrapped with paying the Sudan in the new Addis Accord?

2. Security Deal: This accord, again, unfairly favours the Sudan than South Sudan, as it encompasses demilitarization and mandatory one-sided withdrawal of South Sudan army (SPLA) 10 miles from an undefined 1200 miles long border not yet demarcated completely. In the event of SPLA supposed retreat beyond the so-called demilitarized zone, would the Arab Sudan be in any more hurry to embark on any negotiations on North-South border demarcation?

3. Disputed territories: Clearly, President Kiir severely lost on this since those disputed areas of Hofar el Nahas, Mile 14, Kaka, Goda, and others, have been conceded as they will continue under Sudan’s firm control.

4. Abyei loss: This is President Kiir’s greatest blunder and loss. Predictably, the proposals of the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) were a non-starter for jellaba Sudan and at the same time, the intransigence of the prominent Abyei sons in the South Sudan side was a complicating factor. For the first time ever, the Arab Sudan is now pushing for complete division of Abyei region into two parts, one for the Dinka Ngok and the other part, northwards, for the Arab nomads. Apparently, all South Sudan inducements to the north Sudan, be it oil money or unfettered grazing rights, are no longer attractive anymore. The Arabs, like the Dinka Ngok, are gunning for the most precious and lasting asset, the land.

Will President Kiir push the South into another war because of Abyei impasse, therefore scuttling the entire peace process? Alternately, how effective will resorting, once again, to international arbitration at The Hague be advisable?

5. The Four Freedoms: These entail the right to work, to move, to reside and to ownership of properties on both sides of the border for citizens of the two countries. Unfortunately, these freedoms are heavily and unfairly in favor of the jellaba and other North Sudanese, who under President Kiir’s dubious policies of accommodation, have allowed South Sudan trade and commerce to be almost completely strangled by the Sudanese who come and go unfettered in South Sudan. They own more businesses in the South than South Sudanese owning any in north Sudan. Conversely and unarguably, South Sudanese in north don’t enjoy any freedoms freely, whatsoever, a fact seen in the numbers of South Sudanese migrating en masse daily back home in utter misery.

*The summit between President Salva Kiir of South Sudan and President Omar Al Bashir of Sudan, which began Sunday, was supposed to last just one day to meet a deadline set by the African Union and U.N. Security Council.

As of Thursday, September 27/2012, the two presidents sign a partial deal.

*An economic deal that would include revenue sharing between the two nations of South Sudan’s oil wealth is desperately needed by both economies.

In January, South Sudan shut off its oil supply — which is shipped and exported through Sudan’s infrastructure — saying that Sudan was stealing oil revenue. The South got around 70% of the formerly united country’s reserves when it became independent last year.

Both countries, especially South Sudan, have seen hyperinflation and a squeeze on incoming foreign currency, which has hurt their economies.

*Under the agreement, the demilitarized zone along the border will mean the militaries of Sudan and South Sudan and other armed groups will not be allowed in a prescribed zone on either side of the border, creating a buffer between the forces.

*The deal as signed is described it will be at best a partial victory, analysts say,

*The status of disputed areas along the border and the fate of Abyei — a border region claimed by both countries — are crucial security issues that will need to be addressed if the two recently divorced countries are to have lasting peace.

In April, Sudan and South Sudan slipped close to all-out war with a series of tit-for-tat air raids and ground attacks that prompted the African Union and Security Council to push the two sides to act.

*The Security Council had given the sides until Sunday to come up with a deal or face sanctions. But the negotiators say that has been informally extended until the end of the talks.

*The status of Abyei has been a matter of contention since the South declared independence on July 9 of last year.

Under a 2005 peace agreement that ended Sudan’s two-decade civil war, Abyei residents were to take part in a referendum on whether to join the South or remain a special administrative region within Sudan. The vote was to take place in January 2011, at the same time as the referendum that led to South Sudan’s secession. But disputes over who was eligible to vote prevented the referendum from going forward in Abyei.

*Sudan and South Sudan have been under increasing pressure from the African Union and Security Council to resolve the matter peacefully.

Lack of Legal Representation Jeopardizes Right of Fair Trial in South Sudan

BY: Beny Gideon Mabor, JUBA;
Introduction: The Republic of South Sudan is a country amongst other family of nations with imposition of capital punishment such as death sentence. Article 21 (1) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan says ‘no death penalty shall be imposed, save as punishment for extremely serious offences in accordance with the law’. The enabling law is Penal Code 2008 where death penalty for instance amongst other death related offences is permitted under section 206 of the same Act.

To the contrary, the same Constitution under the Bill of Rights Article 11 says ‘every person has inherent right to life, dignity and integrity of his or her person which shall be protected by law; no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her right to life’.

Worriedly, the legitimate question to the rule of law institutions and private legal consultants is: which provisions of the law is supreme between that of the Transitional Constitution and the Penal Code 2008, with respect of right to life and imposition of death penalty as stipulated under Article 11 and section 206 of the former and the later?

And further what is resolution in respect of current powers, save under Article 11 and 21 (1) of the same Constitution? Although this is not the primary intention and a forum to challenge the death penalty, yet I must highlight something about such legal implications for the government and the human rights campaigners.

However, the underlying idea about my argument is the lack of legal aid services in both criminal and civil disputes across South Sudan. The increasingly victims of this legal vacuum are indigent accused persons, be the criminal offenders or civil wrongdoers or both parties.

For instance, according to a research data released by UNMISS Human Rights department and my colleague David K. Deng, a senior researcher on human rights with South Sudan Law Society, therefore found that there are 109 people on the death row with four women and only six people have undergone legal representation. The rest were tried without right to a fair trial in a manner prescribed by law.

This is very sad news for a country promised to have been founded on the basis of justice, equality, respect for human dignity and advancement of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

In fact, Article 19 (7) of the Constitution says ‘any accused person has the right to defend himself or herself in person or through a lawyer of his or her own choice or to have legal aid assigned to him or her by the government where he or she cannot afford a lawyer to defend him or her in any serious offence’.

Additionally, the said legal aid service has been provided in the National Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development Organization Act 2008 under section 10 (d) and (g) which says proving legal aid for person in need and educating citizens on their constitutional rights through workshop, seminars and media.

With this situation, one may really wonder why do the government designed good laws but without implementation? It is very challenging in our progress justice system and requires urgent attention from all actors.

Challenges Facing Legal Representation.
After having evaluated the literature review of the both criminal and civil justice trial system through considerable research, I found out numerous challenges facing provision of legal aid to the parties whether such person is capable of hiring a lawyer or an indigent accused person. The very low or even complete lack of awareness of legal aid and access to justice for all remains in a limbo for reasons best known to the rule of law institutions.

Second, there is inadequacy or dysfunctional legal aid strategy in South Sudan despite the explicit provisions of the applicable laws. The appalling situations of suspects awaiting trials in serious offences seemingly remain unmet. However, the legal aid initiative in the national Ministry of Justice is still limited in scope and application. Nobody is aware and when exactly to translate this constitutional obligation into reality to the poor people who are in dire need of legal services.

Third, with the lack of legal aid system in the Republic of South Sudan, causes unnecessary and lengthy detention of people including that of juveniles, women and people of unsound mind without quick and due process of law. How will such watertight legal principle be achieved?

It is of the majority opinion that a strong legal system can be achieved only through constitutional governance where doctrine of separation of powers and subsidiary rules of procedure are respected.

Fourth, as a result of non-observance of the due process of law, the police and public prosecution attorneys usually conduct pre-trial proceedings of the accused persons without legal representation right from earlier stages of interrogation. This is unconstitutional act that often discredits the facts of the case and the prosecution will present what I called a contaminated evidence to court for determination.

Strategic Recommendations
After exhaustively exploring the importance of legal aid services and notifying the hindrance factors, the author in consultation with relevant stakeholders found out and recommends the following strategic suggestions:

First, there should be established a legal aid centre with full and part-time salaried legal practitioners and legal counsels tasked with functions to providing pro bono legal services to the most economically and socially disadvantaged accused persons in the society.

Second, the right of a fair trial will only be achieved in South Sudan when the rule of life must originate from the rule of law. It will also be achieved when all law enforcement agencies like police investigators, prosecutors, prison warders and the court comply with strict demand of legal aid and access to justice for all including that the court must not entertain any case whose party has no legal representation.

Third, the applicable laws are silent about death commuted to life imprisonment. Legally speaking, when a convict is sentence to death and a judicial order is taken to the President for confirmation in accordance with the provisions of Article 101(h) of the Constitution, the President is required by law to have time limit for death confirmation, grant pardon etc… and if the President exceeds the said period without confirmation of the same, then the death penalty is deemed to have been commuted to life imprisonment.

Therefore, I am of the opinion that the Penal Code 2008 be urgently amended and incorporates this provision in accordance with a uniform rule of legislation.

Beny Gideon Mabor is an independent commentator on governance and human rights. He can be reached at:

Serious Concerns about the South Sudan Transitional Constitution

BY: Isaiah Abraham, JUBA, SEP. 22/2012; The debate on the national constitution has come back. The discussion is on a small scale, however as people seem to have not, much interest about the constitution debate matters while there pressing daily issues threatening their basic lives. There are real issues facing an ordinary person on our streets in our ten states, especially the liquidity problem. We must not shy to sing them here always.

Many people go these days with their pockets empty, and the future looks so bleak on that matter. The market has grown wild and people have no idea when will their economic woes end. Juba residents in particular have come to terms with trouble after another; no running water, no electricity, no medicine on the selves, not enough cash to buy high rising food commodities, no security in the suburbs of the city, no land/housing, no fuel, not enough public transport, and above all no peace of mind.

Let’s turn to what I think is an important exercise everyone should participate fully in- the constitution of the country. Here we go: South Sudan leadership has formed a Committee to review the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan. This constitution was adapted on July 9, 2011 when the country became an independence entity. The text was a flip flop of the Interim Constitution of the Government of Southern Sudan, when the country was still one. Some patches were made with little changes from the original document.

There are fears that nothing will really be changed so long as the politicians are comfortable with the current structure of the text. But quick-fix constitution crumbles before everyone enjoys it, and hence necessary to give ourselves time and go through the constitution, chapter by chapter, clause by clause and item by item. It is a matter of life and death.

Someone must incorporate what people really want, not what a small group of people want or section of a region. Once the views are collected and the constitution is ready for operation, it has to go through a referendum first.

The process leading to the new constitution should have been started way back for the constitution to be finally out in January 2013. The body formed to review the constitution however has complained bitterly that it didn’t have money to start working. It looks like the issue of money has been addressed, what are these people waiting for?

In their two previous meetings we are told that the Committee was still on procedures, regulation and familiarization, how about now when the money is already out? We want the good professor to answer our people and not to expect anyone to give his group any lease of life.

Now that the real work is about to start or has just started, what are some of the envisaged problems we must do without in the Transitional Constitution of this country? Well, this writer will go straight and not to waste your precious time. I have some concerns/clauses or provisions I want them either amended, expunged or partially adapted in the next constitution. I’m not going to talk about bills of rights, they are fine.

One is this baggage body called State Lower House or whatever the name that is, formed somewhere last year. I see this House as unnecessary since there is the Upper One (National Legislative Assembly). There is no need for this country to have replica of another body when we have already representatives of the people to the Upper House. We have State Houses and other County Authorities moreover, what specific role are we expecting from this body again, something the other bodies aforesaid above couldn’t do?

If to demarcate and settle disputes between states, counties that is purely the job of the Upper House and the Executive or Judiciary, what other value could this House offer our people? This is a waste of resources and must be dropped from the new text. I’m happy Senegal has just scrapped it altogether through a vote in the National Assembly represented by both houses.

If to accommodate is the problem of the president then that time was yesterday; we are writing a permanent constitution for the country Mr. President. The number of the National Assembly must not be deluded by people whose political parties or support are nowhere.

Second, I see the president struggling to downsize his government. This must be spelt out clearly here. The government should have specific number of ministers with no assistant ministers or advisors. Assistant Ministers and Advisors are to go; they are doing literally nothing there. Their annual budget would be used by Mr. Gier Chuang to tarmac road going to Rumbek then Bentiu.

This too must be reflected in the formation of the National other bodies. Commissions are to be narrowed; Anti-Corruption must go first among those that are to be merged. This is critical if the government is serious about reform/downsizing and to save money for services. The constitution should be the ground to effect changes so the president to have an anchor. January 2013 isn’t far for a permanent constitution to take effect. So downsizing is a necessary evil that must be done.

Third, the government must introduce a Secretary to the Cabinet, somebody who could be free to run the affairs free of distractions. The current minister in the Office of the President should not be the Secretary to the Cabinet, because his schedules are overshadowed by the president’s. He has no much time to prepare reports for matters to be discuss by the ministers. In fact, the president needs no minister there, but an administrator and Mr. Mayen Wol is the right man there to do the chores for the Head of State. The constitution has to incorporate such an idea and do away with two ministers in the Office of the President.

Security can’t be a ministry; where on earth is that? How about the Attorney General, do we need that post? The answer is an affirmative! This position will help the country on numerous cases against the state as well as do prosecution on financial criminals. Issues of corruption could come here.

Forth, there has to be provision about disqualification of members of parliament. Even if elected by the people, there has to be a clause or two in which those with allegiance, obedience or adherence to foreign states are to be dismissed by the House and new election called in their respective constituencies. We have people around here who fall on that category; this clause will act as a deterrent against these people. There are those who are insolvent, those who are adjudged paranoid or senile but are still pretending to be members of parliament, they too are to be disqualified through an act in the new constitution.

Fifth, the new constitution must include a clause about the First President of the Republic. It might read like this: “the first president shall be the person who was immediately declared the Head of State on July 9, 2011”, or “a person who assumes office and declared president on July 9, 2012”. Matters of the law aren’t assumed, they must appear in white and black. President Kiir deserves this piece in the constitution. Same could be said about the ‘father of the nation’ thing. It has to be written so to avoid confusion of who should be who.

Sixth, the constitution must be specific about some requirements to fill up national jobs. Take for example the Electoral Commission Body, the head of this body requirements will have to come out clear from the constitution. The person must be a lawyer, and the list goes on. Members of that Commission also shall have similar backgrounds to avoid appointing wrong/right people on the /wrong/right places. The Chairman of the Electoral Commission am told is an engineer, and wonder who nominated him there in the first place.

Tenure of that body must be clearly provided in the constitution. I suggest that their life span should be that of the House/Parliament. Once the Assembly time is up, the same could be true to the Electoral Commission. This practice must be applied to all other constitutional posts. The span of the House should be for all. But the point is that a person must fit his/her occupation otherwise there is no point going to college to specialize.

Seventh, there has to be provision on the ‘vote of no confidence’ against the government. Parliament will have to initiate this process to allow the president to re-institute another body that will run the government until the period for election comes. We should have done this legal right against the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) if there is anything concrete in the constitution to bank on. RSS has failed our people in a very big way, and hence important to keep our check close and open for anyone who will bend to abuse the people of this country.

Eight, there has to be Judiciary Commission which shall vet or recommend to the president the appointment of the High Court Judges. In our Transitional Constitution the Judiciary matters aren’t conveniently flattened up for reasons best known to the writers of that constitution. But in this current text, terms are to be spelt out more clearly so to get rid of ambiguity. Deadwoods, people who are ticking 80 years or so, but are still clinging to their benches are to give way to fresh blood.

On the case of the Court of Appeal, the drafters of the constitution must leave no stone unturned. The new constitution must put in place strong references for smooth administration of justice.

Do we need Public Service Commission to gazette names, recruits and appoints civil servants? Yes we do for transparency purposes. The current practice of delegating that job to respective recruiting ministries is susceptible to abuses. May be the constitution needs to empower the current one and not to dissolve it.

How about armed forces, their current Act seems to have so much to do, and it is time to support them

Nine, there is this vague statement that the ‘land belongs to the community’ that must be refined and replace with a clause that would harmonize land distribution or policies. That clause has caused so much confusion in the minds of the people everywhere; something must be done in the current constitution to help people enjoy their rights in this country. The government must be allowed free hand to own and regulate the land on behalf of the people. That is why they’re representative of the people in the central in case there are infringes of rights against the people. But land Policy Act, Land Registration Act as well as Land Court Act are to be developed quickly to help in that area of land discharge and disputes.

Then there is this thing called Appropriation Act, a situation through which the Parliament gives the Treasury the go ahead to spend the approved budget. This is process always come after parliament has already passed the annual budget, and once the budget is passed, it has to go through this Act called Appropriation to make into a law. That means that no any other person whoever that be could to spend beyond what is ‘appropriated’ by the Assembly. In our case that is not followed.

The Treasury, the Presidency and others still violate the law and spend over and above what the law has delineated. In the current constitution it has to be made abundantly clear to all. We write something about our banking rules, about debts, about pension, about contingency or consolidated.

I will return next week or so about other ten concerns things. Your comments, please

Isaiah Abraham lives in Juba; he’s on


The unfortunate death of Garang and its implication on South Sudan

BY: ElHag Paul, RSS
The malaise going on in GoSS more and more has something to do with the manner in which South Sudan lost Dr Garang in 2005. The closure to Garang’s death was inconclusive especially given the fact that the circumstance of his death has not been explained Read more →

Betrayal of a nation’s expectation: Why South Sudan is screwed up?

South Sudan is screwed up! The contents and wordings of the recently  released Presidential letter that scandalously alleged that “an estimated $4 billion [are] stolen by Read more →

Tribalism most dangerous enemy to South Sudanese than Khartoum’s regime

By: John Bith Aliap, Adelaide Australia

JULY 12/2012, SSN; We have many times been accused of tribalism, but we have always presented fake voices that Tribalism doesn’t exist in the Republic of South Sudan. However, logical sense would otherwise tell another side of the story.  Typical events like Jongulei crisis which often makes headlines in many global news channels would make it difficult for us to deny the existence of tribalism; and if we are victorious in some cases in our accustomed denial culture which we have imported from Arabs in the north, this leaves us with sour throats.

More than a year now, all South Sudanese celebrated the independence of the Republic of South Sudan, a country they had exceedingly shed their blood for many decades. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of South Sudanese, took part in that independence celebration and pledged their loyalty to the Republic of South Sudan. The scene of celebration was characterized by people wearing flag of South Sudan, a symbol of what they would describe as their homeland. Some were clasping the flag and welling-up with tears as they pledged their allegiance to the Republic of South Sudan.

This celebration has in turn came with its own challenges that require us as people of the Republic South Sudan to compromise the journey of tribalism which we have been undertaking in the last centuries. Although ill-thought attempts are made to put out the flames of corruption, we should not also forget to fight our known enemy called tribalism which the colonists had in the last centuries imported to South Sudan and used it as an exploitative tool of division.

Haven’t we recently deposed the colonists from our territories South Sudanese? If your answer is yes, then why shouldn’t we abandon all sorts of evil practices the colonists have historically imposed on us?

Many of our loved ones have perished in the course of tribal feuding under the swords of their own brothers and sisters. If we really need the Republic of South Sudan to be a free and equal society, then it should be tribally free, but if it’s to be tribally free, it must remain free and equal to all South Sudanese regardless of their tribal supremacy or backgrounds.

In this respect, I cannot falsely argue that some tribes in South Sudan have never been biased against other tribes, this is a part of our human condition, but the problem is not that we are biased; the problem would be when we forget that we are being biased against others. Once people start to believe that their tribes are superior than others’, than they could become the very bigots they are supposedly against.

The Republic of South Sudan is comprised of massive self-righteous groups who would in many ways identify themselves as; Dinka, Nuer, Murle, Bari, Acholi, Ding-Dinga, Anyuak, Taposa, Mundari etc. These groups hold their tribal hatreds to the stage where they would attempt to project all evils deeds- I mean anything which is deemed evil onto other groups. However, in this situation the right of reply or attempt at dialogue is refused, leading to a feeling of helplessness and anger among the accused groups.

As long as our human history is concerned, it’s unquestionably our human nature that we sometimes hold false views of the world, but in reality it’s not an individual’s mistake to choose whether they are to become Nuer, Dinka, Bari etc. The other beliefs we subsequently choose, can only be done through the distorted prism of those early influences and imperfect knowledge of the facts, but should we blame others of being Dinka, Shiluk, Taposa, Nuer, Ding-Dinga and Vice versa? This typical thinking goes against the nature and if we hate others simply because they are members of other tribes, then we must wrongly be blaming the nature.

South Sudanese should acknowledge that all tribes in the Republic of South Sudan are important and those who endeavor to lecture supremacy of their tribes are the worst enemies of the new-born state of South Sudan than Khartoum’s regime. Tribalism in its broadest sense has become our major enemy than Khartoum’s regime which we often talk about day and night and it’s more determined to break the Republic of South Sudan into pieces if not managed adequately, especially at the onset of current national building phase.

We all need each other for the fact that different tribal values, beliefs and life styles form the identity of the Republic of South Sudan.  My experience tells me that we all have rich cultures which if utilized properly in my view can lay a concrete foundation of the new Republic of South Sudan which we should  all as people of South Sudan be proud of now and in the future.

Some people had already pointed their fingers to the government of South Sudan that it has not done enough to end tribalism in South Sudan, but eradication of tribalism is neither government’s nor an individuals’ responsibility. It’s a collective responsibility whereby each and every one of us should perform his/her part.

South Sudanese in all walks of life should come out and preach the goodness of being a nationalist and badness of being a tribalist rather than preaching water during the day and drinking wine and whisky during the night.

You won’t be surprised in Juba or in other major cities in South Sudan when somebody asks you which tribes you belong to. This kind of question for instance, is simply a tribal practice, but those who indulge in such business do not realize that they are engaging in tribal practices. It’s high time now for South Sudanese to abandon their historical tribal culture and its associated regressive practices and embrace the sentiments of nationalism.

Our hopes and expectations have been that after we have attained our independence, so would the development follow, but tribalism appears to be a major impediment to development and also a greater threat to our national security. Are we stupid enough not to stand up and face tribalism with all our strengths? If we do so, let us not forget the role inter-marriage and the church could play in our war on tribalism.

Many South Sudanese have been expecting that church leaders would stand up to their spiritual responsibilities to reduce the magnitudes of tribalism. But I would argue here in this respect if you don’t mind that churches in the Republic of South Sudan are as guilty as other ignorant groups by not standing up to fight tribalism.

The current state of our churches is neither healthy nor promising either as I write this piece. Churches in South Sudan are indisputably maintaining the status quo of tribalism. Church leaders in our contemporary Republic of South Sudan speak of Dinka congregation, Nuer congregation, Bari congregation, etc. It would in turn work this way; all churches in the Republic of South Sudan should work together instead of maintaining the historical tribal divisions.

Another important ingredient that we need in our hands is indeed an encouragement of inter-marriages among different tribes. If this is done, then the next generation born from these unions will be devoid of tribalism. Can we try this step and see if it will work? I think it will definitely work.

In addition, let’s not ignore the fact that our current state structures are established on the basis of tribal lines and it’s not helping us at all if we are really serious about tribalism. We need to make drastic measures if we are to see gains in war on tribalism by abolishing the current state structures. These structures have arguably confined people to the point where they would almost spend approximately 90% of their lives in their traditional geographical tribal territories.

To end this trend however, Equatorians and others should go and work in different states and the rest should also do the same. This will minimize the chances of holding false and imaginary beliefs on others.

In spite of underlying differences, these people can trust each other and they can co-exist peacefully as they share their common traditional foods such as Asida and Kisra with each other. We cannot end tribalism in the Republic of South Sudan if we don’t cross our tribal borders, otherwise our desire to end tribalism in South Sudan may remain as a lips service!

Nevertheless, media which the government of South Sudan sees as its major enemy would also occupy a primary defensive line in this war on tribalism. Although the long-decades war with Khartoum’s regime made it difficult for many talented South Sudanese to explore their educational opportunities, there are still few good writers out there who would otherwise “if they are honest and care about their country” use their writing skills to discourage practices of tribalism in the Republic of South Sudan.

It would be an incurable mistake if these writers idiotically allow themselves to be used by their self-centered tribal politicians in the course of advancing their tribal supremacy and egotistic interests. This is an abuse of professionalism! I would love to see our professional writers using their inks and papers to end tribalism in South Sudan rather than perpetrating it.

As there may be various ways and tactics we can employ to end tribalism, music cannot miss to qualify as one of those tools we should be using to end tribalism in the Republic of South Sudan. Most of music shows mostly shown on South Sudan TV have often been highly characterized by artists singing for their dream girls. However, it would have been worthy enough if we could extend invitations to these talented South Sudanese artists so that they can join the podium and compose songs not only dedicated to their dream girls, but also songs that discourage practices of tribalism in the Republic of South Sudan.

I would acknowledge that few artists have already boarded the plane and set the ball rolling, but other artists are highly encouraged to tag on a similar direction. I’m sincerely encouraging our artists to courageously take a centre stage in the war on tribalism. This step is necessary since artists can effortlessly influence wider audiences and without doubt, it can definitely work when used as a tool to end tribalism. Therefore, utilizing music to close tribal gaps would serve thousands of lives which would have been lost in regressive tribal feuding.

In conclusion, South Sudanese should all come out courageously and truthfully to confront tribalism and its associated evil practices. Engaging on ways to right the wrongs and put up ways to secure a good Republic of South Sudan for us and the next generations would be a brilliant idea.

I would like to pose this question as a home work to all South Sudanese. The question goes like this: Are you sufficiently stupid not to confront tribalism or sensibly judicious to confront it and put it to an end?

The costs of tribalism in the Republic of South Sudan have been very high and its continuation won’t serve our national interest.

The author of this work is a concerned South Sudanese citizen and can be corresponded at

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

Ramciel is the best place for the capital city of South Sudan!

BY: Matot Akech Matot, AUSTRALIA

South Sudan has just celebrated the first anniversary of our being a new country. After many years of terrible pain and suffering, we triumphed over our enemies. We fought bravely for so many years and were rewarded with success at last. South Sudan Oyee!

One of the many tragic outcomes of the years of war was the untimely death of our beloved Dr. John Garang who died in a helicopter accident. This was and still is a terrible blow to our young nation, but we kept going forward. We knew that John Garang would want us to keep heading towards the life of success that he and many others sacrificed their lives to achieve.

I have decided not to spend a lot of time talking about the recent, foolish letter from Dr Luka Biong Deng, published in the Nation Newspaper this month. In his letter, Mr Luka says that Juba should stay as the capital city of South Sudan. And why? What is his reasoning? Because Juba is there. Because Juba has been the capital for some time now. And then he says, because Dr John Garang is buried there.

Yes, our leader is buried there but on its own, this is not a good reason for having Juba as the capital. There are not real points in these words. John Garang said we will “take the town to the people” and not the other way around. So he is saying let us build new towns, and Ramciel was one place suggested.

In fact, all of Luka Deng’s points are easy-to-beat arguments. John Garang himself did not want Juba to be our capital. With his intelligence, John Garang knew that Juba would not be the best capital city that we can have. Just because something is there already is not a convincing argument. We do not have to accept it.

I have another much better idea. All my arguments add up to my saying Ramciel is the best place for a capital and Juba is not good as a capital of our glorious new country.

Juba does not and will never suit the numbers of people, the size, the numbers of buildings, the necessary infrastructure, the numbers of workers, international tourists and Investors that South Sudan needs to become a strong independent country.

It is not good enough to say that Juba should be the capital because it was already there. The small city existed and we used it as a place to sit and think and plan for the good future of our country. Since our Independence, Juba has seen all of the first days and struggles of this new nation. A lot of new business and overseas people are now coming to South Sudan, wanting to bring investment in business and where do they stay?

Juba, a city that is too small, where the indigenous peoples of this place do not want anyone to come and where it is impossible to develop Juba into a great city of the world.

Juba actually is land belonging to the Bari tribe and their people do not want the capital city to keep growing over their ancestral lands. This has been a cause of violence. The indigenous people do not want their land taken for a capital city. Were the Bari people asked at all by anyone about building a capital city right on their lands? Did someone ask their permission to do this? I do not think so. Juba was there, had some services and so it grew.

Now Juba is not coping well with being the capital city. The roads are narrow and cars rush through them, often knocking down the people on foot and killing them. As well, there is not a satisfactory water supply and waste disposal pipes and treatment plants. Houses are just put anywhere and this looks very untidy and not permanent.  Roads are too narrow. Juba is very close to the borders of Kenya and Uganda.

In Juba, there is not enough land to cover the 31 or so square kilometres (about 12 square miles) needed for the construction of new government buildings in the present capital city. Since the time Juba has been the “stand-in” for our capital city, Juba has grown and grown without planning. Juba was never meant to be a capital city for the whole country. Since that time, Juba has grown buildings and roads which are not suited to large numbers of people who have come there. 

Dr. John Garang commissioned a study and the area of Ramciel was suggested as a good place for a new capital city.  John Garang wanted Ramciel as a capital, but he died before this was accomplished. It is in The Lakes State of greater Yirol people, Even the name “Ramciel” is suitable, because it means where the Rhino meet and it can be now refer as a centre of ten states of South Sudan “town between”. A shared area, a place for different people to come together and meet.

Ramciel is the areas of Awen (Thian) Malek payam of Langmatot Boma. It is more in the centre of the country; at its heart. For the people of all South Sudan it gives a central focal point. It is an area where not many people have lived before. It is not putting buildings on top of family areas and graves.

Ramciel is inhabited by the Awen clan from Ciec, members of Yirol. Ramciel is their land.  These are the indigenous people of this place and they must decide. They have said yes to building Ramciel. Now they have to decide which of 2 possible areas they will move to, take their cattle to and stay in.

The Ramciel area is used by three Greater Yirol communities: Ciec, Aliab and Atut. They understand that the Government of South Sudan has a right to develop land so as to benefit all our citizens. Ramciel has good hills where the city could be developed. There is plenty of space in the hills for a large city.

There are several international examples of a country building a new separate City for their capital. I can talk about Brazilia, in Brazil and Canberra, in Australia, as two examples. There are a tremendous lot of positive reasons for South Sudan building a new capital. The indigenous people of that area will not behave in a violent manner if Ramciel was made into the capital.

The opportunity to build a truly well planned capital should not be ignored. South Sudan needs to build our democracy and part of that building is making a beautiful capital city where our leaders will meet and make important decisions concerning our future. We want a capital city to be proud of. Roads and buildings would be properly planned, with water and waste systems, hospitals and schools included. We would showcase our abilities in designing a capital which would reflect our beloved, great country.

On April 5, 2012, the survey for the proposed new capital of South Sudan, Ramciel, was reported in the Sudan Tribune and in other papers. The survey will be completed within the next six months, reports the official in charge of the project.

This gives us, as proud citizens of the new country of South Sudan, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design a city built for a purpose: to be the centre of the life for our country. In an age where effects on the natural environment are serious issues, South Sudan can employ the best possible environmentally aware architects and road planners. In this way, South Sudan can show the rest of the world that we are good global citizens. We have suffered and lost so much, but now we are starting to say “Look at us. We are building our nation in the best possible way. AUG. 29/2012,SSN;

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

Fudging the issue: President Kiir and corruption in RSS

BY: Elhag Paul, RSS

[The tears of honorable Matur Maker shed on 2nd November 2011 in the parliament in Juba during the presentation of the report of the auditor general Mr. Steven Wondu calls for rescue of South Sudan from the claws of the felons]

JUNE 22/2012, SSN; The corruption that is eating away South Sudan like a terminal cancer slowly spreading all over a healthy person is not something new.  This is a disease dating back to the inception of the movement.  The infection started when the founders of SPLM/A failed to put in place the necessary instruments, mechanism and structures as pillars of a robust organization.  The maxim invoked by architectural engineers that a robust foundation and corner pillars are a must for any sound construction was ignored here.

The fact that SPLM/A survived to this date against all odds as an amorphous organization beats my mind.  No doubt a research study on it may come up with an interesting unique theory in management.  Anybody studying for a higher degree in management may want to consider doing such a research.  It would benefit the advancement of knowledge in that area for human kind.

HOW IT STARTED: SPLM/A was founded at a very critical time in the history of Sudan.  Competing forces in late 1970s and early 1980s were violently trying to achieve their interests in the Sudan.  The Arabs under Nimeiri wanted to totally subjugate, Islamize and Arabise South Sudan and their strategy to achieve this was to foment massive divisions in the South.

In the South, internally, the Dinka using their smooth relationship with the Arabs wanted to establish themselves as the elites forcefully via corrupt behavior such as nepotism and tribalism.  Then, the government of Abel Alier Dinkanised the police force, and put it under the command of Reuben Mach as a tool to realize their already stated objective.  The Equatorians on the other hand were fighting to resist Dinka abuse and domination.  Internationally, America and Russia were fighting their cold war in the region using Sudan and Ethiopia respectively.

The dynamics of these forceful clashes led to the corruption in the Sudan army to give birth to SPLM/A.  Major Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, the commander of battalion 105 in Bor and his superior major general Sadiq El Bana in Juba were involved in financial embezzlement and illicit deals involving the smuggling of ivory tasks, leopard skins and the like.  Their disagreement over the proceeds of the loot as would be expected led both officers to use their positions and their forces to settle score.

The atmosphere by then was ripe for rebellion, especially given that Nimeiri had already repealed the Addis Ababa agreement of 1972 and ordered the transfer of the integrated 6000 Anyanya forces from South Sudan to the north.  Kerubino seized this highly charged political atmosphere to ignite the war on 16th May 1983 because he did not want to be crashed by his powerful superior whom he double-crossed.

It was true that at the time many South Sudanese in the Sudan armed forces were agitating for action and it was only a matter of time for a rebellion to take place in the South.  Do not forget that Anyanya 2 already was up and active operating in Upper Nile against Khartoum.  So Kerubino was clever enough to use this sensitive period for his own benefit to cover up his illegal activities with his superior.

BORN OUT OF CORRUPTION: There you are, SPLM/A was born out of the violence of corruption and led by the very people who were major actors in corruption in the Sudanese army.  Seeking support for its survival, SPLM/A turned to Ethiopia communist regime under Mengistu Haile Mariam and they adopted a Marxist management model which implemented an absolutist system generating an environment of terror within the organization.  Nobody could dare to speak against any wrong being done lest you get lynched.

In absence of instruments, mechanism and structures, Dr Garang became everything: the leader, the finance officer, the preacher, mini-god and what have you.  The fact that the management of the organization was a one man show, it meant that the necessary instruments for checking corruption like auditing and accountability were ignored.  Kiir lamented during the Rumbek meeting of November 2004 by saying, “corruption, as a result of the lack of structures, has created a lack of accountability which has reached a proportion that will be difficult to eradicate.”

This led to the worship of Dr Garang and the setting of the scene for rapid development of corruption.  Myint in his article in the journal of Asia-Pacific Development, vol. 7, No.2, Dec. 2000, titled, Corruption: Causes, Consequences and Cures, defines corruption as ‘the use of public office for private gain, or in other words, use of official position, rank or status by an officer for his own personal benefit.’  From this definition it is clear that the behavior of major Kerubino and his superior major general Sadiq El Bana were acts of corruption.  Consequently they led the country into crisis.

GARANG’S ABSOLUTISM WAS CORRUPTION: Similarly, the absolute control of the entire SPLM/A by Garang constituted an act of corruption in that he used the organization to build himself and perpetuate a personality cult.

Professor Robert Klitgaard in his influential article on the vice of corruption, ‘International Cooperation Against Corruption’ published in the journal of Finance & Development in March 1998 argues that monopoly of power is the number one culprit in perpetuation of corruption.  He defines corruption as C=M+D-A which stands for corruption equals monopoly plus discretion minus accountability.  So the acts of Dr Garang fit in well with Klitgaards definition of corruption because he wielded monopoly of power in SPLM/A with full discretion to do what he wanted without any accountability.

Extending this argument further on Dr Garang’s person throws more light on his character.  His acquired fame and status as a hero in the liberation war in itself is a product of corruption as argued elsewhere that he does not deserve to be called the “Father of the nation.”  There can not be honor in corruption.

The first corruption in the movement started with brain washing and the disablement of the free will of the person.  The consequence of this type of corruption was huge in that innocent lives of true freedom fighters were sacrificed on flimsy grounds without any serious legal enquiries being conducted.

Peter Nyaba in his book titled ‘The Politics of Liberation in South Sudan: An Insider’s View’, published in Kampala in 1997 by KPI, points out that Dr Juac Erjok, a veterinary doctor from Ngok Dinka, Mr Lokurunyang Lado, a leftist activist and member of the South Sudan Patriotic Front and a certain Yahyah, a trade unionist who joined the ranks of SPLA, were framed as agents of Nimeiri and executed by firing squad during the graduation of the first brigade of the Jarad division in 1985.  There was no investigation carried out and there was no appeal against the death sentences before execution.

Lam Akol in his book, titled ‘SPLM/SPLA Inside African Revolution’ published in Khartoum in 2001 by Khartoum University Press goes further to explain that Pagan Amum, Nyachugak Nyachiluk and Lokurnyang Lado were members of one group led by the latter.  Pagan and Nyachugak conspired against Lokurnyang, arrested him and handed him over to SPLA leading to his execution.  According to Lam, Pagan was a member of the firing squad that executed Lokurnyang Lado.  What a horrible injustice?

This was a shameful betrayal of comradeship and an unpatriotic act from people who call themselves freedom fighters.  But we must not forget this was a consequence of corruption in action.  Now that South Sudan is an independent country, it is only right that a truth and reconciliation commission is established to investigate the violations of human rights within its territory.  The severe punishment meted out on these freedom fighters should be investigated and if found innocent they should be righted posthumously so they can rest in peace.

Imagine destroying your own fighting force based on falsity knowingly. With hindsight now, how can such people be taken seriously as freedom fighters?  Kiir was right in his confrontation with Dr Garang in Rumbek to say, ‘there are people among us who are more dangerous than the enemy.’  Yes, even now as I write on this sensitive issue there are very dangerous people in SPLM/A.  Kiir himself is one of these dangerous people.  He supervised the dungeons of SPLM/A for 22 years under Dr Garang.  He also appointed ruthless and dangerous opportunists who betrayed the South to the parliament and the cabinet to support him.  It is a case of birds of the same feathers flocking together.

CORRUPTION GOT UNCONTROLLABLE: The lid came off the issue of corruption for the first time in SPLM/A publicly during the national convention of 1994.  Then Dr Garang said the fish had grown too big meaning corruption was getting out of control.  Garang being a suave talker, the issue was laid to rest without any further follow up.  I suspect fear was a factor in people keeping quiet.  It is unbelievable that Garang, a man of such formidable intellect could not have foreseen the seriousness of the problem.  It is certain that Garang knew well the corrosive impact of corruption but chose to ignore it because he was the major beneficiary of the practice and therefore he saw no reason to curb it for the good of the South.

If it is of any help, I just want to remind you that Garang in his speech of 3rd March 1983 way back at the start of the movement diagnosed corruption as the cause of inequality in the Sudan and committed himself to fighting it by fighting the system in the Sudan. How could he eleven years later then not take action against it?  It looks like there is utilitarianism in play here.

For 22 years until 2004, corruption existed in the bush with limited major players namely Dr Garang and his close confidantes like Deng Alor, Barnaba Marial, Wani Igga and late Dr Justin Yac mainly feasting on donations to the movement from friendly countries and aid coming in through SRRA.  On the field, the officers appropriated captured materials in form of vehicles and trucks which they sold out to traders in Uganda and Congo retarding the progress on the war.

At the other end in SPLM/A United, Dr Riek Machar was at it squeezing every penny out of the Arabs and defrauding UN aid agencies operating in areas under their control. Talk about vultures, here you have got them.

Low level corruption in the fighting force was rampant too with officers selling things like petrol and diesel intended for operations.  Even a bizarre form of corruption developed in Yei where the officers were selling prisoners of war (POW) back to the Sudan government through the Sudan embassy in Kampala.  The poor soldiers on the bottom were left with nothing but to help themselves to looting and raping the unprotected civilians in the liberated areas.  So in effect, SPLM/A was already a seasoned corrupt organization.

SPLM/A NOW CORRUPT ORGANIZATION: We now have a picture of corruption in the SPLM/A.  Hold it for now and let us move on to the government controlled areas of South Sudan in order for us to form a holistic understanding of the subject and how deeply it has become part of our daily culture.

Corruption surfaced in South Sudan with the coming of Addis Ababa agreement of 03/03/1972 into force which granted South Sudan regional autonomy.  The first president of the High Executive Council (HEC) Abel Alier initially started well in governing the South but gradually proved to be a tribalist sparking serious divisions within South Sudan that the Arabs (Nimeiri) exploited to repeal the Addis Ababa agreement.  As South was completely dependent on the North economically, it was deliberately starved of funds by the Arabs.  The only major employer in the South was the regional government.

Therefore, most of the people who lived in the towns relied for their survival on their employed relatives.  With meager salaries not being paid on time and sometimes taking couple of months, civil servants were forced to use their positions to make money to feed their families and extended relatives.  Bookkeepers, cashiers, store keepers and so on became corrupt.  Bookkeepers fiddled the books to steal money.  In some cases they collaborated with directors to include ghost names on the pay sheets.  Cashiers set up hurdles in paying out money to legitimate payees in order to extract bribes.  Store keepers stole materials from stores.  Drivers siphoned out fuel from government cars to sell in black market and so corruption flourished like wild fire and any hope of minuscule development vanished.

The politicians went for the lucrative corruption in quota distribution which rations essential commodities throughout the country by region.  They awarded quotas to their agents (Malakia boys and Arab traders) and relatives.  The documents of these quotas were sold for huge amount of money to the Arab traders.  In most cases the commodities concerned ended up in the North with citizens in the South going through painful suffering resulting from severe shortage of these essential commodities.

The South Sudanese political parties like Sudan African People Congress Party (SAPCO) led by Morris Lowiya and People Progressive Party (PPP) led by Eliaba Surur while using some of the proceeds from quota business, they also engaged in deals with the Northern parties where they received money in return for supporting Northern parties’ policies in parliament in Khartoum.

So the poverty in the South and the total economic strangulation of the South by Khartoum led to development of corruption for the sake of survival.  Most of the politicians like Arthur Akuen and late Dr Justin Yac who experienced and personally participated in this new emerging culture went to join the SPLM/A after the re-division of the South into 3 regions.  As the saying goes, people come with their baggage, Arthur and Dr Justin went to SPLM with their own baggage of corruption.

Those South Sudanese who continued to live in the government controlled areas had no way out but to live under this new culture, although there were changes of governments in the Sudan.  The replacement of Jaafar Nimeiri by General Suwar El Dahab and Suward El Dahab by Sadiq El Mahdi’s and the replacement of Sadiq El Mahdi by Omer Bashir in 1985, 1986 and 1989 respectively.  But this time the beneficiaries were the Malakia boys by virtue of their religion together with members of the new tribe of Muslim-Christians of Turbi and NCP who got themselves baptized by being branded with Quoranic versus in sensitive parts of their bodies.

The reason this group benefitted was simply because they assumed power as the new rulers of the South by proxy.  The Arabs encouraged corruption to keep the South Sudanese politicians sweet and contented.  Khartoum deliberately ignored corruption so long as it could promote its policies of Arabisation and Islamisation.  To achieve this objective Khartoum intended to destroy and prevent any emergence of a distinct South Sudanese identity to develop.  Development of South Sudan was not on the agenda and so the South Sudanese were allowed to destroy themselves in this vice.

So in effect corruption has been in operation in both the SPLM/A and the government controlled areas and this has gone on for 40 years (from 1972 to date).  As you can see, this is a long time and certainly corruption has taken roots and spread to every nooks and cranny of South Sudan society.  Look at the present government of Kiir which is saturated with felons from top to bottom.

CORRUPTION RAISED AT RUMBEK: Having now looked at corruption from a wider angel in the entire South Sudan, let us move back to pick the issue from the end of 2004, just weeks before the CPA of 2005.  Those in SPLM/A who lost out in the corruption game within the movement like Kiir found the opportunity to raise the issue in the Rumbek meeting of November 2004 as a weapon to nail Garang in their power dispute.

This Rumbek meeting provided the opportunity to deal with the issue of this vice culture of corruption at a very unique time, just before the signing of the CPA in preparation for good governance during the interim period.  But, unsurprisingly it was squandered when Garang argued against any changes to the status quo.

All the complaints against corruption and the demands for structures in the movement by the high ranking officers of the SPLA in this meeting came to naught with one simple sentence from Garang supported by Ambrose Ring Thiik.  Garang wittingly argued that, “Our imperfect structures have brought us to the present day. Let us not throw away these structures now. Otherwise we will throw ourselves away.”

Ambrose reinforced the point by saying, “Most of the things done are imperfect, but they have served us.” What an excellent expression of collective self interest coded with threat of self destruction?  Of-course as human beings, our instinct is always to survive and nobody wants to perish and thus Garang won the argument.

SPLM PEDDLING LIES: However, by arguing against positive change, Garang and his supporters failed the test of being true freedom fighters.  Morally, freedom fighters go to war to improve the whole lot of society and not for self gain or interest.  No wonder, we have chaos in SPLM and by implication in GOSS because the ideals sung are not driven by the right values.  What is said is different from what is believed and done.  Basically, SPLM peddles lies.  They are the problems of South Sudan.

Just compare and contrast Garang’s passionate defense for corruption here with his speech of 3rd March 1983 in which he bashed Khartoum on the subject.  This is what he said, “Nimeirism which was plagued by corruption is a regime in which a few people have amassed great wealth at the expense of the majority.”  Is this not similar to what is going on now in Juba?

Ironically, our liberators (SPLM/A) of yesterday have truly turned out to be today’s Nimeirists in Juba.  Is it any wonder honorable Matur Maker broke down in tears on learning the magnitude of the economic barbarity?

Garang’s argument against structures was not for nothing.  He was aware of what was awaiting them in the interim period – exercise of state power greased by oil money.  By this time he had already requested 60 million dollars from Bashir for rehabilitation purposes.  Do not forget that during the period of the peace talks he and his cohorts had began to embezzle millions donated by the Troika and others.

Garang’s close friends were buying mansions in Nairobi, Kampala and even as far as Europe, America and Australia.  Kiir in the Rumbek meeting was scathing about this behavior.  He pointed out in relation to rampant corruption that, “At the moment some members of the movement have formed private companies, bought houses and have huge bank accounts in foreign countries.  I wonder what kind of system are we going to establish in South Sudan considering ourselves included in this respect.”

SPLM/A DINKOCRACY NEEDED CORRUPTION: What poor Kiir did not work out was that Garang was intent on promoting corruption because having negotiated for himself the position of first vice president of the Sudan and president of South Sudan; he would need to use money to promote Dinkocracy.

SPLM/A strategy for promoting Dinkocracy necessarily needed corruption as a tool.  So they set out to ensure during the interim period and beyond that Dinka:—

1) —- control the police and judiciary.  The importance of these two organs in promotion of corruption can not be over stated.  In all the states of south Sudan, all the legal officers responsible for state business and contracts are Dinka.  Even in the 3 Equatorian states where Dinka are not inhabitants, the legal officers are Dinka in violation of the decentralisation policy in force.  This strategic control allow people like retired Brigadier Martin Malwal, the former member of the Ingaz revolutionary Council of Omer Bashir turned businessman to get away with millions supposedly for supplying South Sudan government with vehicles.  The vehicles turned out to be reconditioned second hand cars bought from Dubai not worth the contract.

It also allows for human rights abuses by Dinka to go unchecked.  It also allows people like Arthur Akuen to be released from detention by his tribes mates without consequences to enjoy the millions he stole with impunity.  It also allows people like Koul Athian to scheme with the justice department to defraud the state of over 4 billion dollars in grain contracts with impunity.

After having Dinkanised the police force, the ministry is now handed to a recycled non-Dinka NCP die hard whose business would be to oppress South Sudanese on behalf of the masters.

2)      2) —- Control mass media for continuation of indoctrination as well as to deprive others from voicing their life experience.

3)      3) —- Create a dummy Anti-Corruption Commission headed by powerless people.  In effect a commission managed and controlled by apparatchiks for Dinka interest.  The fact that this commission is toothless in the middle of sea of corruption is unbelievable, but true.  Instead of going after the real big fish, it wastes resource and time by pursuing non urgent cases of small value.  The truth is that this body was formed to deflect attention of the people from the real corruption.

Kiir who lamented corruption few months before he took over the presidency of the South Sudan after the unfortunate death of Garang was all talk without action.  Under his watch, over 20 billion dollars disappeared from the government coffers into the pockets of his people in the last six years.  Yet they go around the world asking for development money.  What a disgrace!  Michael Makuei Lueth, the legal brain of SPLM in Rumbek meeting was right to say, “The leadership is not committed to fighting corruption.”  There you are.  What more are we expecting from this lot and their SPLM party?

4)      4) —- Create a dummy Audit Commission.  This initially was a joke until the diligent Steven Wondu took over and did a wonderful job of exposing the depth of corruption committed in only one year (from 2005 to 2006) amounting to over 1.5 billion dollars unaccounted for.  Although Wondu’s report was clear when it came to pointing out who the thieves are president Kiir looked the other way and buried the issue.  Having been exposed by this report, auditing for the subsequent years appears to have been abandoned. Since GOSS came to power, they have not shown us any tangible evidence to hold thieves to account.

Believe you me, in Juba expensive government vehicles are being stolen daily without anybody raising alarm.  Would you believe it that 6 years on, most ministries have no idea what they own in terms of vehicles, machines, equipment and so.  Yet, we are supposed to have something called Audit Commission.  What a joke?

5)      5) —- Constitute a lame parliament packed with party functionaries and appointed, discredited, opportunistic, principle-less MPs who can not enact legislations against the interest of the masters.  In effect a rubber stamp organ to facilitate poor governance.

6)      6) —- Control finance.  In order to plunder the coffers, well experienced thieves were appointed to head the ministry of finance.  Their function was to disburse millions of dollars to fake Dinka businessmen.  In addition to that they created for themselves an exclusive limited welfare system under which favored tribes men would receive massive help.  This system is something called ‘assistance’ in the circles of the government offices of South Sudan.  Under this system, the ministers reserve the discretion to approve about 20 thousand dollars as assistance to anyone at any given time.  I do not have to talk of the beneficiaries of this blatant abuse of public money.  You can work it out for yourself.

7)      7) —- Do not allow audit.  In the last 6 years of SPLM’s administration.  No auditing of some government departments have been conducted simply because the Dinkocrats in these offices have bled the ministries dry.  This deliberate negligence is calculated to allow its members who are employed en masse without appropriate qualifications to loot the government without accounting.  The absence of auditing which is a clear sign of deliberate orchestrated poor governance leaves room for the record to disappear which then renders accounting impossible.

8)      8) —- Brain-wash the public by claiming that, ‘we are starting from scratch.’  This is a phrase well designed to divert attention of people, especially foreigners working with donor agencies from paying attention to details.  This phrase is so widely used in South Sudan to the extent that people now believe it.  When corruption or ill deeds are raised, it is immediately invoked and the matter becomes so minor.

Please see this YouTube clip: South Sudan Corruption Discussion hosted by Vincent Makori of Voice of America on 10th May 2012 Also please see The Rape of the RSS by the ‘Oyee party’ published by South Sudan News Agency on 12th February 2012.

The impact of corruption to our society and country has been destructive and corrosive.  In terms of infrastructure development, we lost hundred of millions of dollars on the roads projects.  The amounts charged per kilometer by corrupt companies for asphalting roads around Juba are unbelievable. Despite millions being paid out in the last 6 years, to date the total mileage of asphalted roads in the whole South Sudan is less than 100 miles. Moreover the quality of the work itself is substandard and shoddy.  This is replicated in all the situation numbered below.

Lighting – the Sudan government had erected electricity poles around Juba made up of concrete.  These poles were perfectly OK and the lines were in order.   Without any good reason, the corporation decided to replace these good poles with wooden poles imported from Uganda costing millions of dollars.  The life span of these wooden poles surely will not last as long as the replaced concrete durable ones.

Again, instead of purchasing good modern electricity generators, our officials for no good reason went and acquired second world war diesel generators that are not able to light Juba town.  Today, receiving light in Juba is a lottery.  Sometimes, one can stay for weeks on end without any light.  As a result, Juba is like mini Lagos in Nigeria.  A town run by numerous privately owned generators producing noise pollution detrimental to healthy living.

Renovation of government building.  The entire renovation of the ministries is reported to have cost around 300 million dollars, yet when you look around, the work done would have cost less than 5 million dollars.  Despite the renovation, some of these ministries are leaking and there is no running water for the lavatories.  Go to Radio Juba and you would see the shock of your life.  Ever since the British left the Sudan, that building remains the same.  The only difference is that it is completely dilapidated.  I am not an engineer, but one glance told me that this building should have been condemned as it is a danger in terms of health and safety.  Nevertheless, it is still in full use.

Government properties.  The Dinkocratic governor of Central Equatoria, whose own biological daughter is his official office manager, without any sound legal basis in law is Dinkocratically privatizing and distributing government properties to his masters and foreigners to gain favors.  This action is being taken in the face of severe shortage of government accommodation.

It is worth mentioning that these properties were built by the former British colonial administration and they have rich history in terms of the personalities who lived in them and the role they played in the events that unfolded in South Sudan.  Any fit administration would actually list these buildings as heritage sites as they are part of our culture.  Proper planning would see these properties attracting visitors and tourists interested in the history of our country.  Now, the Dinkocrats are destroying this rich heritage for future generation due to their ignorance, lack of foresight and greed.

Contracts – most of the multi-million contracts are given out to incompetent companies which do not deliver such as the companies that cashed in on the 4 billion dollars intended to supply grain to the 10 states.  These companies are owned by none other than the family members of the masters.  Today, the consequence has been eye watering. Our innocent and peaceful villagers in Warrap, Unity and Upper Nile states are paying the price in terms of thousands of lives lost due to hunger.

Loss of life.  Due to deprivation, citizens are dying daily all over South Sudan.  In Juba and other towns, patients in hospitals simply die due to lack of oxygen, medications and so on.  Many people also die daily too due to lack of enforcement of building regulations.  Buildings constructed hastily without rules being followed collapse on people with impunity.

Social relationship.  Our social relationship is suffering because of the inequality, unfairness and the deprivation leading to bitterness in our communities.  In Juba seeing angry people is routine and if you bother to listen to some of these people you begin to get the sense of bitterness harbored towards some sections of the society.  This is understandable as the corrupt are living it large with their actions causing suffering all around.  This is not good for South Sudan as it perpetuates ethnic hatred and causes unnecessary divisions among us.

Development.  Corruption retards our development in the sense that it deprives GOSS of revenue, wasted time and resource necessary for provision of vital services such as health, education, employment, eradicating poverty and so on.

Image of RSS. Corruption demeans our image as a country and destroys our credibility.  It no doubt has effects on our official documents such as passports, driving license etc.

These are just few examples and I could go on and on and on, but there is no need.  To sum it up, the price we are paying for corruption is so huge that it is difficult to find words to quantify or express it.

Boris Begovic in his article, ‘Corruption: Concepts, Types, Causes and Consequences’ in the journal of Documentos, Year III, No.26, March 2005 highlights the huge damages corruption does to a society in both visible and invisible terms.  What Boris highlights is visible in our country on daily basis.

Today walking around Juba or any town in South Sudan does not fill the eye with joy.  One sees suffering all around.  You see children in rags playing, others defecating in open on the streets; emaciated children collecting stones for sale.  Empty plastic bottles strewn everywhere and garbage everywhere.

It is truly a disheartening environment.  Yet, you see the thieves in the most expensive cars driving around laughing happily.  The sobering images coming out of Juba hospital daily and the wailing of the mourners seem not to say anything to this group of people.  What a bunch of heartless people?  People who have lost their humanity to greed and violence.

These thieves believe that by defrauding the South Sudanese people to construct for themselves high quality of life and live it, they will inevitably get away with it when they die and thereby passing the proceeds of the loot to their offsprings as inheritance.  Since we the South Sudanese people are always forgiving we would forget and their families would remain established with vast economic and political advantage which they wrenched violently from the people.

To allow this situation to stand would be to endorse and accept Mafiaism.  Since the process of accumulating this economic and political advantage was/is illegal, it follows that the South Sudanese people should have recourse to legal recovery of these stolen resources regardless of the farcical pronouncements of president Kiir; the woeful work of the rubber stamp parliament and the disgraceful work of the anti-corruption commission.

What we the South Sudanese need to do now is to forget the façade of Kiir’s administration on this issue.  This government will not deal with this subject as it should because they are the beneficiaries.  In the bush SPLM/A fudged this issue.  During the interim period they encouraged it massively in presence of the dummy anti-corruption commission.  As you know, no arrests made, no convictions handed down, no nothing.  It is well known that SPLM/A has a well documented culture of resistance to investigation, accountability and good governance.

Peter Nyaba in his book mentioned above on page 127 tells us that Riek Machar, the current vice president is not only corrupt but he does not like to hear the words investigation or accountability.  He writes, “When SPLM/A United was disintegrating, the Bahr El Ghazal called for accountability.  Riek refused to investigate allegation of financial irregularities and misappropriation of public funds and protected his subordinates in defiance of the wishes of his colleagues.  Riek’s lack of transparency and accountability annoyed the Bahr El Ghazal group which began to distance itself from the Nasir faction.”

What hope is there for a government led by people of such characters to address the problem?

Klitgaard argues and rightly so that corrupt officials at the top are monopolists unwilling to sacrifice their loot and the source of their ill gains.  When corrupt rulers, corrupt civil servants and corrupt private companies gain with society being the net loser then a state of equilibrium in corruption has been reached.

This appears to be the case in RSS.  In such a situation as South Sudan’s nothing can be done to tackle corruption except change of the “agents” promoting corruption.  This has to be done root and branch for the good of the country.

So, the SPLM needs to be kicked out of power through the ballot box and a fresh blood brought in to address this cancer.  Where the top leadership is infested with corruption as now there can be no hope of change with these leeches being on the driving seat.

As RSS is already a failed state saturated with corruption, our strategy should be to work together towards addressing this disease in the future.  We need to do this with all the opposition parties, to work towards developing means by which to recover all the resources stolen from GOSS by these irreformable corrupt officials and feral politicians.

In the next elections, the public needs to be sensitised not to vote for any party that does not pledge to address the issue of corruption once and for all.  So we expect the next government to enact a legislation setting up a commission for Economic Recovery and Rehabilitation (CERR) with wide powers.  Such a commission in my view is to be led by a strong personality preferably by a credible and ethical judge or a retired army officer with legal background.  This body is to be answerable to a parliamentary committee and the president and should have among others the following remit:

      — Investigate all forms of economic irregularities as from 2005 to date in South Sudan.  Such investigation to cover everything ranging from individual activities to state transactions with individuals and other bodies

      — Investigate the near collapse or collapse of Nile Commercial Bank and its inability to perform in a virgin environment of a new oil rich country

      — In collaboration with ministry of justice, the commission is to prosecute offenders and recover assets of the state from individuals as well as other bodies; no matter where such assets are hoarded or stashed away in other parts of the world.

      — In collaboration with the audit commission, the commission is to pursue vigorously any irregularity discovered by the Audit Commission and to recovery any assets lost to the state.

      — Re-open and re-investigate thoroughly the disbursement of the 4 billion dollars budget for grain.

      — Review and where necessary re-open and re-investigate all the cases dealt with by the dummy Anti-corruption commission.

      — Investigate use of state resource by SPLM as a party which in itself is corruption giving one party advantage over the others.  SPLM office bearers and officials of South Sudan government involved in this illegal act to be held accountable.

      — Any lobbying or obstruction of the work of this commission to constitute a crime.  Therefore, the legislation giving it force must be robust.

      — Investigate any other acts deemed damaging to the economic well being of the country

SPLM/A as a product of corruption and a corrupt organisation is fond of claiming  successful program to itself and this is how it rejuvenates itself time and again.  Even in the battle fields when the SPLA won, the real commanders who commanded the battles, and were responsible for the excellent job got sidelined and the credit bestowed upon Garang or any Dinka officer.

Therefore to protect the idea of CERR from being stolen and watered down by SPLM, any negotiations on the subject should not accept anything less than a body with wide ranging powers and duties as suggested above.  We do not want to see CERR in the political graveyard like South-South dialogue.

Resting this issue, let us get to sensitize our people and organize to recover our country from the thieves.  This joint called SPLM is past its sell by date.  It is already rotten to the core and therefore it needs to be demolished and cleared for the real South Sudan to emerge.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

“Please No More Excuses” for South leaders

By: Orphan Anynie, RSS

AUG. 08/2012, SSN; I remember when the “transition period” was negotiated into the peace settlement, many of us were aggrieved feeling we should get our vote for Independence immediately since we had already suffered for so long. At that time we were told we need the interim period to get our house in order and to grow up, to mature, as it were into statehood. It was a bitter pill to swallow but we eventually acquiesced.

With our immense capacity for patience and our seemingly endless ability to wait, we consoled ourselves with daydreams of the sweet Referendum to come and we busied ourselves planning ways in which we could help build a new nation. All we wanted was to be given the space to add our contributions.

Notwithstanding, for the last seven years the ruling party in RSS has been whimpering that it is a ”baby” (though, paradoxically, an obese and gluttonous one).

The first year after the CPA, the second year after the CPA, the third year after the CPA, the fourth, the fifth year…and even now at almost the end of the first year of Independence, citizens all over the country have all had to suffer this grating, immensely pathetic mantra that is used as a cover for the party’s intractable crudeness, theft and ineptness; it’s bumbling inability to get its house in order.

This brings me to a few questions. First, how can you claim simultaneously that you deserve to rule the masses because of your service during the Liberation Struggle and, at the same time, that you have no capacity to do so because you are a “baby”?

Second, do you think that Dr. John Garang, for all his own imperfections, would have sung the ”I’m just a baby” song? And for so darn long? Moreover, if you shuffle around grinning from ear to ear saying that you are just a baby whenever you get caught red-handed in some obvious dysfunction/pathology (such as stealing billions from the national treasury) or whenever you fail to perform the simplest of tasks, how on earth can you expect any respect or continued patience and understanding from the “International Community?”

My suggestion to the RSS Administration is this: If you want to be a big man on a big playground, GROW UP. Stop making excuses for yourself and stop bullying, abusing and robbing from your own citizens. It is not charming to see grown men who call themselves ‘’leaders’’ run around making excuses.

It is not charming to see them repeatedly ask others to overlook the dysfunctional systems they themselves have not only created over the last seven years but that they are also attempting to enshrine in order to stay in power via force and manipulation.

The “Thanksgiving” Campaign the Vice President led should be renamed the “Forgiveness” Campaign, and the ruling party should be begging the citizens of this new Republic for forgiveness for their crimes. They should ask for forgiveness for testing our patience with childish lies and excuses that even widows and orphans wouldn’t make. In the meanwhile, they have become morbidly obese and morbidly embarrassing.

Further, if the International Community really has any sense and backbone, they will issue a travel ban on ALL MEMBERS of the RSS Lootership until they repatriate every last pound of the money they have stolen right out of the mouths of ACTUAL babes.

This is the next lobby for the diaspora. Summoning again the networks it made during tireless campaigns for a just peace for South Sudan, the diaspora should knock on official doors all over America, the UK, Australia, etc. and demand that ill-begotten RSS money is returned home. Without this, this peace is not just.

As a lifelong supporter of the SPLM and a voter for Independence, I can truly say now that I would much rather have had a unified Sudan led by President John Garang (who at least had a vision) than an independent South Sudan run by a group of infantile (their own assessment) thugs.

It is exceedingly difficult for Southerners, yet alone foreigners, to take this bully administration seriously. It is exceedingly difficult to feign respect for those who obviously don’t respect themselves or their country.

Though we ALL had a birthday, these ghoulish infants ate all the cake. Now, mouths full and bellies bursting, they sheepishly request that we not scold or punish the ‘’Big Baby.”

However, just shy of a decade into the generous grace period which they were given, everyone’s patience has worn thin. It’s time the adults in the crowd had a word with these developmental sloths and told them to either GROW UP OR GET OUT.

The party and the cake are for us all.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.