Category: National

Delaying federalism is to invite regionalism in RSS

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, SOUTH SUDAN, MAY/12/2013, SSN;

As the SPLM politics in South Sudan starts to get terribly tribal, the three states of Greater Equatoria have since then held three conferences. Undeniably these high level regional conferences went on to raise concerns among some quarters and especially so among South Sudanese hailing from the other two regions of the Greater Bahr el Ghazal and the Greater Upper Nile.

Nonetheless, the “Three Equatoria Conferences”, so far held in Juba have squarely centered on finding solutions to issues of: combating corruption, promotion of good governance, food security through agriculture, accountability and the like. And it isn’t in anyway fair for people to take negative positions against these conferences the way some people have already done so in the press.

Rushing to label these regional conferences as yet another “Kokora” in the making is totally outrageous, and those who continue to harbor such negative feelings can only be described as a people who have become mentally imprisoned in their own past. It’s time that people make every effort to reconcile their past, while knowing that “Kokora” which is another term for the ‘re-division’ of the Southern Region into three during Jaafar Nimeri’s rule of the united old Sudan is likely to haunt this nascent country for more years to come.

Why not call things by their names and anyone who doesn’t like it can comfortably go and drink from the Nile. In a nutshell the central idea of the “Kokora” or Re-division or Decentralization of what was a unitary region of the semi-autonomous Southern Sudan, was in fact a political move spearheaded by politicians from Equatoria province aimed to rid the many small tribes of South Sudan from what was then rightly perceived as the political hegemony by one big tribe.

Tribal politics is not new to South Sudan and as such it shouldn’t surprise anyone when tribal sentiments are expressed here and there. After all South Sudan is a part of Africa, isn’t it? Yet that is not the point. It’s not about tribal politics being practiced in the country, but rather it’s the sad fact that tribalistic politicians who are clearly seen all over the place boasting of their tribal numerical advantage are still unable to see that what they are actually involved with is a tribal driven politics.

And over the years it has perfectly become a common practice for South Sudanese politicians, academicians, and civil servants alike to stand up and criticize tribalism and every bad thing that is associated with it. Isn’t it a great thing to celebrate in the midst of what is a chaos by design?

Yet any celebration unfortunately is likely to be short lived as the real problem arises when it comes for politicians to translate these supposedly patriotic positions into actions. It is here that the true nature of these well-spoken people makes way for the actual monsters that hide behind their artificial patriotism. It is common to see people, who until a short while ago would have been considered as die-hard opponents of tribalism based on their rhetoric, suddenly becoming the ring leaders who not only champion it but are ready to go at length to involve whole communities in inter-tribal wars.

Of course it won’t be right to lump everything on the colonialists or the Arab imperialism, nor is anyone safe enough to navigate this long route before they come to realize how these two tribes show a great sentiment to the numerical size of their respective tribes to the extent that any other roles assigned to outsiders are only considered when it serves their interest.

Ethnic politics is flourishing perfectly well under the SPLM’s one party state and it is no longer a secret that politics as based on the numerical sizes of tribes have already hatched its first two polarizing political camps not only in the country, but also within the ruling SPLM party itself. One group has identified itself with the incumbent president Salva Kiir Mayardit while the other rallies behind Vice President Riek Machar Teny.

There could still be other surprises to be expected but not at this early stages of events for it is not unlikely for a third camp to have its eyes on the presidency come the 2015 elections. However till now the talk remains confined to the SPLMs “BIG FIVE”.

Regionalism as a political structure of governance was first introduced officially in the Sudan by President Jaafar Nimeri following the Addis Ababa Agreement. As a result of that arrangement Southern Sudan’s three provinces were brought together into what became the semi-autonomous region. At the same time the other six Northern provinces also became six regions with certain degrees of autonomy as well.

While most of the discussion is likely to revolve around regionalism and federalism it will be good if we find out what each of these stands to mean to the political laity – the non-scholars of political science! In short regionalism was that sort of government structure of lesser status than federalism, although both represent a varying degree of political devolution of power.

However when discussing the politics of South Sudan, a country which not too long was a part of the old Sudan, it is absolutely necessary to take into consideration that the greed to cling to power has always modified the way how regionalism and federalism were conceived and applied. There is now the fear that the same might also come to be the case in the nascent state of South Sudan for under the current SPLM rule the same greed remains alive, active and kicking.

It is everybody’s knowledge that the federal system of government exists in the constitutions of both countries of Sudan and South Sudan and yet the governments of the day in these countries are afraid to implement it. In the neighbouring Sudan the National Congress Party (NCP) struggling to reconcile between heaven and earth through its outdated Islamic philosophy remains scared to allow for democracy and true federalism in that country in spite of the so many political turmoil all across its territories.

Unfortunately it is also true that the same scenario is being replicated in the nascent country of RSS by none but the very SPLM that not too long fought Africa’s longest civil war under the banner to provide democracy, federalism and good governance. It truly represents the highest level of irony to see the SPLM party being incapacitated by the political greed at its highest echelon, as it struggles to find the political will it so much needs in order to deliver on any of those promises that once formed its core manifesto throughout the two decades of war.

Historically the South Sudanese representatives were the first to demand for federalism in the 1947 Juba Conference, although the subsequent governments in Khartoum failed to honour their promise towards that demand, and instead resorted to regionalism – when it granted Southern Sudan a regional autonomy within a united Sudan. That was undoubtedly too little and too late and it only increased the people’s quest for greater autonomy, and eventually self-determination.

Regionalism was adopted following the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement and soon it gave birth to regional consciousness and created many regional loyalties and competitions. Worth mentioning here is that this was well received and appreciated by South Sudanese as to them it represented a great political achievement following the seventeen years of the Anya Nya war.

This was also true in as far as most of the Anya Nya fighters were concerned, as at least it was one step towards the great goal of independence. However it didn’t go all well as certain groups saw in that regional autonomy government a rare opportunity for their tribesmen to dominated and rule the Southern region of the old Sudan to the exclusion of others.

However Nimeri was more keen to deter any rivalry over the country’s presidency, than anything else. And under what typically mirrors today’s South Sudan – the Sudan under Nimeri’s rule was a one party state with the Sudanese Socialist Union (SSU) as the sole and only political organisation.

He [Nimeri] thus used the SSU to push the politicians of that day to fully embrace regional politics and as if to relief the pressure from Khartoum many politicians were paid to redirected their political ambitions inwards and to the confines of their respective regions, of course with the exception of the few who belonged to the political classification of “Awlad al Balad”.

In so doing many politicians during Nimeri’s days became practically alienated from any politics that questioned the leadership in the center. Coupled with this was the total ban declared on all the other political parties leaving the SSU to played the role of the national melting pot for politics and ideas, typical of any totalitarian regime. Although all these were later undone following the 6th of April Popular Uprising in 1985, the worry now is how far has the SPLM party under Salva Kiir’s leadership about to re-invent all these nightmare?!

And again resembling the state of affairs in today’s South Sudan , was the widespread corruption that existed within Nimeri’s SSU ruling party and equally so in the rest of the institutions. If SPLM is the prototype of SSU of those days [much slogans, little or no action], no wonder that all kinds of corruption have always flourished well under these kinds of totalitarian regimes. As it happened in those days we are also now witnessing another round of state sponsored tribalism, nepotism and favourtism all across the country.

Had the Sudan implemented true federalism as it is practiced today in USA way back in 1955, we probably would be now talking about some very civilized politics and never about the so-called “Southern Problem” or “The Southern Regional Government” and never of course about any “Kokora” for that matter.

Even today well beyond two years since our people voted for independence, we still live under a leadership that continue to lack the political will when it comes to the issue of true federalism – democracy – multiparty politics – accountability – transparency – human rights – basic freedoms …..etc.

The above propositions are vital for the understanding of how the past has undoubtedly shaped the present. It also shows how important it is to look back and learn lessons from the history. And regardless of whether there are people out there who think that they can continue to behave intolerantly towards any Equatoria conference because they see it as the reincarnation of “Kokora” in the independent republic of South Sudan, nonetheless neither can they succeed in breaking the will of the people nor can they dictate on them what to do!!

The real reasons behind all this fuss about Equatoria coming together as a region is rooted in the fact that some people driven by their own agendas would better have an Equatoria that is divided not only into three states, but preferably even into its so many small tribes so that those who pride themselves of their tribal numerical sizes can have an easy ride in what is now clearly “The Politics of Numbers”.

This can be referred to as the “Preferential KOKORA”. In other wards they would oppose KOKORA on regional basis as it is likely to weaken what they can achieve using their numerically sizable tribes, while on the other hand they would support what could amount to the same “Kokora” but on tribal basis thus alienating the so-called numerically small tribes from the top positions in the state.

Should there be a question like, “Why is Equatoria reviving regional politics in the post-independence RSS”? Here is the answer to this question which is quite obvious. For in the face of the massive tribal built up to politics in the immediate post-independence South Sudan where qualifications have long been sacrificed for tribal origins – with the numerical sizes determining a tribes position in the cake sharing process, it is only common sense for the many small tribes that hail from Equatoria to come together and form a block that can be reckoned with.

Today Equatoria is again leading the call for federalism in South Sudan. And here we mean real federalism – the USA type and not some kind of adulterated quasi-quasi things! The show currently being displayed by the so-called numerically big tribes is in fact to talk federalism and act centralism. This if anything – it is hypocrisy of the highest level.

It won’t be long before South Sudan ends up with three political camps instead of political parties: the Equatorians and other non Dinka (Dor) political camp, the Dinka (Jeing) political camp and the Nuer (Naath) political camp. However all of these are already operating as legitimate functional units of the one party (SPLM) since only few people in South Sudan are interested in creating other political parties outside the SPLM. Is it not good that sometimes it is nice to see ourselves in the mirror?!!

On the other hand it is to be considered as absurd for any member of the ruling SPLM party to criticize the adoption regionalism because it is already an open secret that even the current SPLM leadership hierarchy stands for regional representation – especially the top three officials: President Salva Kiir (Bahr el Ghazal), Vice President Dr. Riek Machar (UPPER Nile) and the Speaker of the National Assembly James Wani Igga (Equatoria). There is really nothing bad about this regional representation, if only it could have been extended the whole way to include all the national institutions.

While it is undeniable that the Greater Upper Nile is now in a very bad shape and although it is a home to many tribes as well, it is only unfortunate that the Dinka vs. Nuer type of politics with its spill over is not allowing for the region’s unity. First they will have to talk David Yau Yau into peace before any true regional unity can be achieved – not just in Jonglei state, but all across the Greater Upper Nile.

The bottom line is that the people of Equatoria are well aware that they will not be able to survive the politics of tribal numeracy as the way it stands now, hence their insistence to stand up as a unit. Secondly these are people who will never relinquish their core ways of life to imitate the others who are deeply ingrained in tribal bloodletting, killings and cattle theft. Politics will always remain a dynamic entity with no permanent friends and no permanent enemies or rivals. What is permanent in politics is one’s interest.

So where does all these leave South Sudan? For our country to push forward we need to have the proper structures in place. We are indeed a diverse people yet we share the common destiny of being citizens of the one country – South Sudan. When we fought the enemy for over five decades before we won our independence, we also had the opportunity to observe how and where things went wrong – whether that was on our side or the enemy’s side. But after having learnt all these lessons, we can only be fools to repeat any of those mistakes. Regrettably this already seems to be the case!

Our country still has a chance to become a good place for all of us if we can only rid ourselves of greed. What we badly need now is to shun away from any “One Man Rule”, and we need to make it clear that totalitarianism has no place in the independent South Sudan. Let’s go wholeheartedly to embrace multiparty democracy and a true USA type of federalism if we really want to build our country and above all to avoid going back to an all-out civil war of our own making.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. He can be reached at:

Worrying signs that South Sudan has leaders but no leadership.

BY: Dr. Sebit Ireneaus, KENYA. MAY/03/2013, SSN;

The oil in South Sudan has started to flow again. This means South Sudan will soon see substantial increase in its financial muscle. Oil accounts for nearly 98% of South Sudan Gross National Product (GDP) and is supposed to be a critical factor in the development of emerging country. The GDP of South Sudan is actually estimated to be 1,546. If one compares the GDP of South Sudan to that of its neighbours, it is apparent that South Sudan iswell above all. The South Sudan neighbours of Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia have the following GDPS: Kenya 769, Uganda 503 and Ethiopia 356. Similarly The Gross National Income (GNI) of South Sudan is higher compared to the neighbouring countries. South Sudan GNI is 984 compare to Kemya’s 784, Uganda’s 490 and Ethiopian’s 380. This means that South Sudan has more income compared to these countries.

Before the independence of the country, income from the oil was estimated to be 8 billion USD. This was a share of 50% of the total oil income thanks to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) arrangement of 50% to 50% sharing with Sudan. After independence this amount increased to 10 billion USD just before South Sudan shut down the oil wells claiming that Khartoum had confiscated oil worth nearly millions and millions of USD from its oil revenue ushering in the recent economic crisis that befell these two warring neighboring countries. However with all these resources, South Sudan after 6 years of CPA and nearly 2 years of independence has not seen or experienced anything near to semblance of development. The literate rate in South Sudan is just 27%. Apparently more than 80%of adult South Sudanese cannot read and write. 51% of South Sudanese live below poverty line while only 55% of them have access to improved water but not piped portable water. This is indeed surprising when nearly all major towns in the ten states except Yambio are located on big rivers.

The health situation is even pathetic. There are 2,054 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in South Sudan. This is the highest maternal mortality in the word. 31% of children below 5 years are underweight, 35% of them are stunted while 18.1% have moderate to severe acute malnutrition. The infant mortality is 71.8 deaths per 1,000 live births. HIV prevalence is on rise. The prevalence currently stands at 3.1% among pregnant mothers. The degree of risk of infection by major infectious diseases is described to be very high. These diseases include food or waterborne diseases such as bacterial and protozoan diarrhea, hepatitis A and E and typhoid, vector borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and sleeping sickness, water contact diseases such as schistosomiasis and respiratory diseases such as meningococcal meningitis and animal contact diseases such as rabies. On the other hand the Government has been spending millions of US Dollars sending its staff to foreign countries such as Kenya, Jordan and India for medical treatment, money that could have been used to construct good referral hospitals in South Sudan. Such hospitals could not only benefit the previlaged South Sudanese but could have actually benefited all the citizentry of South Sudan. It is indicated that half of Nairobi Hospital beds are occupied by South Sudanese.

On the educational front nothing is better. Able South Sudanese continue to send their children to Uganda and Kenya to access better schools in these countries while the governments spends colossal sums of money on questionable scholarships for children of people in the government’s good books. In fact the educational system in South Sudan has broken down right from primary system up to the university level. The recent mess in the South Sudan examination where useless examination papers were set while during the examination some states ran out of examination papers attest to the confusion in the educational system. The universities have no proper teaching facilities. They lack qualified lecturers and there are inadequate accommodation facilities for both staff and students making learning environment extremely difficult for both lecturers and students.

Food security remains a major headache in South Sudan after 8 years of relative peace. Most major towns in South Sudan depend entirely from food imported into the country making it difficult for many poor people to have access to balanced diet. It is amazing that people in Unity state and parts of Eastern Equatoria state are still dying of hunger while politicians zoom around in Juba or in the state capitals with guzzler cars never seen in some of our developed neighboring countries. More than 90% of South Sudanese still dependent on subsistence farming. Few of the farmers who have ventured into large scale farming cannot access markets because of bad roads.

Talking about infrastructure, South Sudan has only one major tarmac road linking Uganda to Juba thanks to the USA tax payers who sponsored this road through USAID. While this road has indeed opened trade between the two countries, incense it has not benefitted the entire people of South Sudan. Instead it has made it easier for Ugandan farmers to freely access South Sudan markets while the South Sudanese farmers have no access at all because the interstate and rural roads in South Sudan are nearly impassable particularly during the rainy season. The energy sector remains unexploited. South Sudan is endowed with many cataracts and a major dam in Nimule yet the coutry lacks electric power both for individual consumption and industrial development. The major towns in South Sudan are condemned to use high fuel consumption generators making it difficult for the people to have sustainable power. Water and sanitation is yet another area of concern. While most of the major towns are located on major rivers except Yambio, these towns are still dependent on borehole water or water deliver to houses by carts. The quality of this water is not assured this is why waterborne diseases are still causing high proportion of mortality and morbidity in the country.

In fact one would go on and on to illustrate the human ills in South Sudan but the main question is really where does the problem lie despite the fact that South Sudan has enough human and economic resources? To my mind the problem in South Sudan is lack of leadership. Of course South Sudan has leaders and indeed in plenty. One cannot deny this fact. It is also a fact that many South Sudanese aspire to be leaders. This is demonstrated everywhere in South Sudan; in Schools, university and even in the villages but these are leaders with no qualities of leadership. It should be realized that leader is just a title while leadership is competences. In any organization or country there are three pillars that are important for managing the organization or the country and these pillars are leadership, culture and structure. The leadership is crucial because it has to promote improvement in the organization or development in the country.

The organization or country must have its unique culture for example a working nation, united and harmonious coutry. The country or organization must also have structures that can spur development, harmony and team work or that can provide conducive atmosphere for investment or development. The triangle of responsibility of a leader is to give leadership, supervision and management. Leadership is important so that the country can continue to improve or develop according to plans initiated by the leader. Leadership ensures that right things are usually done in a manner that is consistent, sustainable and scalable. Therefore the leader should be delivering things without the box and not outside the box as many people may think. The leader must move things from current performance to best practice and ultimately to next practice. This is what is called delivering without the box.

Supervision is a crucial part of the leadership triangle because for anything to be done the leader must be seen to be present and monitoring. Leader should not be a hand off leader. He must ensure that his subordinates implement his directives to the later. On the other hand management is important in order to maintain the established system. This means the human resources and financial resources must be mobilized and maintain so that the system is sustained. Therefore the synopsis of a leader should include giving direction, carrying out actions and leaving behind a good legacy. Lack of these qualities are the real crux of the matter in South Sudan.

Having looked at the leadership issue in South Sudan, one finds it incredible that with abundant resources nothing has been done in the country. Taking two or three priorities in South Sudan, it is apparent that with leadership rapid development can be done in South Sudan. Let us take road network as an example. The major roads in South Sudan are: Juba Nadapal road (340 Km), Juba Malakal road through Bor (521.8 Km), Juba Wau road through Rumbek (567 Km), Juba-Yei-Yambio-Wau road (740 Km), Wau-Aweil-Bentiu road (265.3 Km) and Yei Kaya road (73.6 Km). The total distance of all these roads is nearly 2,448.6 Km. According to the costing of planed Juba Eldoret road, one Km of a Tarmac costs 1.3M USD. This means South Sudan could spend only 3.2 Billion USD for construction of these roads and would have linked up the country and opened it for rapid movement of people and goods. This could also spur farmers to improve agriculture and access to markets.

Health situation in South Sudan is critical yet mere expansion of the primary health care together with introduction of effective emergency obstetric care (EmOC) could reduce the sad situation of child mortality and both maternal and infant mortality significantly. There are two levels of emergency obstetric care which are aimed at reducing both infant and maternal mortality. These levels are Basic EmOC facility and Comprehensive EmOC facility. A Basic EmOC facility is the one that is performing all the following 6 signal functions: administration of injectable antibiotics, oxytocin drugs, and anticonvulsant drugs; manual removal of placenta, removal of retained products and assisted vaginal delivery while Comprehensive EmOC facility can perform all the 6 signal functions mentioned above as well as caesaren section and blood transfusion.

United Nation recommends that at least for 500,000 population, there should at least be four basic EmOC facilities and one comprehensive EmOC facility; at least 15% of all births in the population take place in either Basic or Comprehensive EmOC facility and at least 100% of women estimated to have obstetric complications are treated in EmOC facilities. It further recommends that as a proportion of all births in the population, Caesarian sections account for not less than 5% and not more than 15% and the case fatality rate among women with obstetric complications in EmOC facilities is less than 1%. However, to achieve these indicators is a far cry in South Sudan.

Considering secondary care, the situation is not different for the ordinary South Sudanese because the tertiary hospitals in South Sudan are so poor that they are abandoned by the rich and the mighty in the society. These privileged South Sudanese can waste millions of USD to access health care outside South Sudan while the poor are condemned to die in the retched hospitals in the country.

However, the reality is that the Government of South Sudan could be able to construct ultra modern hospitals equipped with latest state of art technology. The estimated cost to construct such a ultra modern teaching hospital in UK is nearly 440,525 USD per bed. This means having a 200 bed modern hospital equipped with latest state of art technology that includes magnetic resonance imaging, Doppler ultra sounds etc would cost 88.2 million USD. Of course this is the highest quality of referral hospital but other well equipped hospitals can be constructed with less money. The famous Beacon of hope Build Mirebalaise Hospital in Haiti, which is one ultra modern hospital been built by PIN will cost only 15 million USD. This is just money which one imprudent South Sudanese has embezzled and is resting in his accounts somewhere while the people are dying of treatable diseases.

South Sudan can in no way in the foreseeable be able to develop unless sustainable source of energy is guaranteed. This is only possible if the Fula Rapids can be fully developed. Energy is very crucial for industrial development unless the government is preparing for South Sudan to depend on its neighbours for finished good. Ideas have been going around that the Eastern part of South Sudan will have power supply from Ethiopia. It was proposed that South Sudan will import 100 MW of electricity from Ethiopia. This is just a wild idea that is expensive and unsustainable. In South Sudan itself Haphazard ideas have been thrown around regarding power supply. First South Sudan needs about between 150 to 200 MW of electricity. Juba city alone needs 40MW. In response to these needs the government has proposed several unwarranted and perhaps uncoordinated plans.

I may not be an expert in power supply but if a government begins to think of several power sources to supply the same country when there is Fula rapids which can supply the whole country then something must be extremely wrong. Consider the following plans. Fula Dam to be constructed with help of Norwegian government procuring only 40 MW ; cost 100 million $. This power is meant to supply Juba alone. Bedden rapids to supply 250MW at cost of 26.9 million $. Please note the differences in the costing. Shukoli dam on Yeroba rapids on the same River Nile, some few kilometers from Fula supplying 4,746 GWH at cost 23.7 million $ and Lakki Hydro Dam at Gugi rapids still on the Nile South of Juba to supply 2,427GWh at cost of 31.5 million $. In addition, there is a plan to construct 200 MW heavy fuel oil thermal plant at 540 million $ in Unity state. If it is true that Fula rapids can supply the whole South Sudan with the power it needs why go for several plans yet heavy fuel therma plants are not sustainable considering that oil in South Sudan may not even last forever.

Just to mention something about education, one beings to wonder as to what is the problem that government does not really consider the quality of education in South Sudan to be important. The government seems to be satisfied by reports that this number of schools are opened by the states or NGOs working in the country yet it should be understood that it is not the school buildings that determine the quality of education. Equality of education is determined by many factors some of which include the educational curriculum, the capacity of the teachers, the libraries, the science laboratories, school discipline and culture of education among others. These are not expensive things to do in South Sudan but indeed it all boils down to leadership.

I would like to end this first part of leadership discussion by saying that indeed South Sudan has leaders but seriously lack leadership. Somebody somewhere annotated that in an organization there are no bad employees but bad leaders and that employees do not go on strike but leaders force them to strike. Therefore my serious advice to our leaders is that they must wake up to not only show leadership but also to exercise it otherwise the country is going to the dogs.
God bless the great South Sudan.

Sebit Ireneaus
Nairobi; Kenya

Gov. Kuol Manyang: South Sudan rulers are birds of passage not settlement!

BY: Wani Tombe Lako, SOUTH SUDANESE, APR/30/2013, SSN;

It’s socially, culturally, morally, religiously, politically, and in sovereignty terms, refreshing, to hear Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk, of Jonglei State, bemoaning the fact that the majority of his government employees, may be, including some, or all of his ministers, are keeping their families in other foreign countries, and that, I suppose, according to Governor Manyang, isn’t nice. To put it politely, for the sake of social and intellectual harmony!

I am just bemused by the fact that it has taken this Governor of Jonglei State a good eight (8) years, that is, from 2005 to 2013, to realise that South Sudan is ruled by rulers, the majority of whom are birds of passage as opposed to settled birds.

It is very funny that it has just occurred to the Governor of Jonglei State that most of his colleagues in the government of South Sudan (GoSS), if not him, treat South Sudan like a goldmine. They are here in South Sudan (SS), just to mine the gold and send the proceeds back home — in Uganda, Kenya and elsewhere in Europe, America, Australia, and such like.

On the other hand, constitutionally and administratively, the temporal ultimatum issued by the said Governor is utterly ultra vires. In this regard, the said Governor has gone beyond constitutional and administrative powers allowed him within his powers as Governor of the said State. His intentions within the remit of this temporal ultimatum are unlawful threats against the human rights of freedom of movement of the people who shall be affected by these intentions, if put into effect.

On the other hand, at Common-law, which is the formal legal tradition in SS, the said ultimatum is also culpable. The said Governor cannot attempt to make laws on the hoofs as it were, for this shall amount to ruling his State through retrogressive laws.

This Governor of Jonglei State ought to be informed that, at law and in accordance with constitutional and administrative laws of SS, as they stand at the moment, the whereabouts of his employees’ families, as well as future intentions of his employees, and including his ministers, as to where they want to keep their families, is none of his business.

Unless there were clauses in their contracts of employment expressly stating that these employees shall keep their children in SS during the course of their employment with the government of Jonglei State, the Governor of the said State must not interfere with the family lives of these citizens of SS, ministers and all employees of Jonglei State.

Something is constitutionally, administratively, and legally wrong with the senior rulers of SS. Is it raw ignorance, or raw arrogance, or just outright application of jungle laws in the administration of SS, including the lives of the people herein?

South Sudanese are not commonplace chattels. If the peoples of SS are not being threatened with crucifixion by deputy governors and if they are not being barred from working anywhere in the State by the concerned Governor or now, if they are not being told where to keep their children, they are singularly and severally being left to fend for themselves in the comprehensive quagmire of SS.

The majority of these rulers in Federal SS behave like very bad landlords, who treat their tenants like some human garbage. In fact, our comprehensive collective dilemmas, in SS, are akin to comprehensive collective dilemmas of retarded children under the care of very bad nannies in a hostile and forlorn hostel.

Therefore, I still stand by what I said and wrote, some years ago, and that is that SS is like an orphanage kindergarten, being run by and under the sole authority of convicted pedophiles.

The least the Governor of Jonglei State can do in a way of persuading his employees to bring their dependents to SS, is by not accommodating them in family size government houses, and restricting his ministers to just one vehicle, instead of the standard two cars, one for the minister, and the other one for the madam, as it were. Such administrative decisions shall not be infringing any human or legal rights of the said employees in Jonglei State.

However, the Governor cannot deny his employees their marriage allowances with or without children, as long as there are legal documents supporting such claims. My legal advice is that, Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk must get himself an excellent legal adviser from one of his relatives as is the practice in SS.

The Governor of Jonglei State ought to know that, moral wrongs are not always legal wrongs. Governor Manyang, you cannot and shall not convert the ‘ought’ into the ‘is.’

On the other hand, ethical, moral and religious sins cannot be converted into legal felonies, whether civil or criminal. Laws must be reasonable, just, fair, objective, predicable and discoverable.

Governors and others cannot just get out of their beds and begin criminalizing conducts, acts, and omissions; just because they think that they as Governors are right, or because they think that such decisions shall make them popular with the voters, tribesmen and tribeswomen, or general followers.

Leadership is a tricky business Governor Kuol Manyang, and it is dangerously saturated with constitutional, legal, and administrative dilemmas.

I have in many occasions condemned this tourist mentality of our rulers in SS, whereby, I called them political sojourners. However, this is argued from political mortality standpoint.

I for example said that the schools and hospitals to which our rulers send their children for education in Uganda and Kenya, were built by Kenyan and Ugandan mothers and fathers for their children’s education. However, we in SS appear not have reached that level of social development in which we can also build and sustain our own schools for the education of our children in SS.

The saga and tragedy of the lost billions of dollars in SS, through ministerial theft, and other frauds, against public fund notwithstanding.

The byword of starting from scratch appears to have become a permanent excuse for government misfeasance.

After eight (8) years of ruling ourselves by ourselves, and being in charge of billions of dollars, an amount of wealth which is more than whole budgets of Uganda and Kenya put together during the same period and here we are, still sending our children to Uganda and Kenya for primary education.

I am not going to buy the argument that because we have been at war for many years, we have therefore lost our educational and health infrastructures. Any first year student of development economics will disagree with such contention, given the billions of dollars which went through our hands in SS; if put into good logical usages, from 2005 to date, these monies could have transformed us into some success story in this part of Africa.

However, how can we positively advance if we have been busy carrying our monies to Uganda and other places, through refrigerators, coffins, jute-sacks and such like?!

Governor Manyang, the relative peace, tranquility and security that your employees and others in SS want to savour and bask in, in Uganda and Kenya, did not just drop from the blue skies on to these countries. In these countries, there are certain cultural values, and traditions which value human life.

The majority of Ugandans for example, do not just enter into one another’s house and begin looting or beating the occupants for some tribal reasons. This is commonplace in SS. These acts are not committed by foreigners in SS. They are committed by particular tribes in SS.

The police in Uganda and Kenya can at least protect the citizens of these countries. Compare the situation with us in SS. The peoples in these East African countries in which we want to live are peaceful. The rulers there are at least, relatively predicable. The people there value humanity. The peoples there want to produce, and indeed do produce their own food, not like us in SS; where, we abandon our villages to come and live in hotels at the expense of public purse.

Or, we abandon our villages to come and crowd in our relatives’ homes in all urban centers in SS, or we abandon our villages to come and sell government monies in the form of US Dollars, Pounds Sterling, and Euros in markets places because our kinsmen and women are in charge of these public monies in the GoSS; therefore, it is free for all for the few of us.

Governor Manyang; these are just few reasons why your employees do not want their children to stay in Jonglei in particular, and SS at large. Let us show our peoples that we are humans, and then they shall let their children stay in SS.

If we show our peoples that we are political sojourners, they shall also become tourists through their children like us the rulers in Juba and Bor. Can you blame them, Governor Manyang?

The author is Professor of Social and Rural Development and Lecturer in Law; he can be contacted at

The “Crucifixion’’ sentiments by Mabor Achol Kuer is blasphemy and provocation to Christian faithful across South Sudan

The ‘Crucifixion’ sentiments by Mabor Achol Kuer is nothing but blasphemous, Satirical and deliberate provocation to Christian faithful across South Sudan.

By: Solomon Yak, Rumbek, SOUTH SUDAN, APR/26/2013, SSN;

The recent crucifixion statement by the deputy governor of Lakes state (Titled Lakes State threatened to “Crucify” critical Journalists and Activists, Published by Sudan tribune April,23,2013) should not go un-condemned and as such, I must from the outset state that this is the worst and irresponsible statement being uttered by a ruthless and self-serving politician in the person of Mabor Achol Kuer.

My fellow Christians, here is what he said, “those who are writing negatively about this state government will be crucified like Jesus Christ if we capture them.” Adding that “we‘ll catch you and crucify you on wood.”

He made such obscene utterances on Sunday during a dinner attended by most of the State Ministers and Director Generals for a thanksgiving occasion and organized by one of the Director Generals appointed in Dhuol’s recent Cabinet reshuffle, is indeed seen as blasphemous, satirical and a deliberate provocation by many Christians across South Sudan based on the comments sparked by the news report on Sudan tribune website and other media outlets.

However, it’s absurd and an abuse to our Religion as Christians and inhuman to say that they will crucify human beings like Jesus Christ, who we believed was crucified for good cause to wash away our sins, in other words Jesus was not a sinner but a messiah and saviour of the world.

Mr. Achol’s statement has triggered anger among Christians community in South Sudan and is equated to 2005, Danish cartoon controversy depicting the Prophet Mohammed which reignited religious tensions between Muslims and Christians around the world.

People wondered why a cartoon can sometimes be enough to provoke violence, but a public sentiment expressed by Mr. Achol is largely enough for Christians in South Sudan and in the whole world to provoke violence in South Sudan and to take mass action against Mabor Achol for the depiction of our saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, to demand the removal of this uncouth, hopeless and brutal creature, so-called Achol.

Another scenario in point Christian should emulate, is the Libya’s in Sept 2012 attack where Islamist militants armed with anti-aircraft weapons and rocket–propelled grenades stormed a lightly defended United States diplomatic Mission in Benghazi, Libya, killing the American ambassador (Christopher Stevens) and three members of his staff.

The fighters involved in the assault said in interviews during the battle that they were moved to attack the mission by anger over a 14-minute American-made video that depicted the Prophet Mohammed, Islam’s founder, as a villainous, homosexual and child-molesting buffoon. Their attack followed by just a few hours the storming of the compound surrounding the United States Embassy in Cairo by unarmed mob protesting the same video while new crowds of protesters gathered outside the United States Embassies in Tunis and Cairo.

Having eaten sumptuous lunch and inspired by his new appointment as Deputy Governor as well as Minister of Education, Mr.Achol was prompted to utter what just came in his mind without knowing the implications of such reckless statement can impact on his intended audience and the wider Christians world to say the least.

Mr. Achol is a known controversial figure who one time in his tenure as a Commissioner of Yirol East County issued a provocative statement in a meeting to Agar Community leaders who went to Yirol to recover the stolen cattle by youth of Yirol East County. He was quoted as saying that “how do we know these cows are for Agar community, since they have no marks on their-foreheads?”

He was cynically referring to Agar’s traditional marks on men’s foreheads. Which was widely condemned by Agar Community both at home in the Diaspora.

These Journalists and Activists who Mr. Achol want to Crucify, stood up for the bill of rights, freedom of expression as enshrined in the traditional Constitution of South Sudan and human dignity of the people of Lakes State who are being tortured, maimed, arbitrary arrested without trials by uncouth and ruthless Military junta of Matur Chut Dhuol who was sent by President Kiir on a mercenary mission to Lakes State as a revenge mechanisms due to Kiir flattery relations with people of Lakes State.

To end this orchestrated mass arrest, torture and under development in our State, our people must come back to their senses united as people of one state and to avoid killing themselves and work tirelessly with people of different States in South Sudan to vote Kiir out comes 2015 general elections, with all his corrupt and self-serving ministers or rather well known as cabinet of thieves who robbed South Sudanese citizens of the so-called Dura saga and $4 billion earmarked by donor Countries for dire needed infrastructure, Education, health services, among others to the people of South Sudan which ended up in individual pockets.

President Kiir’s war on corruption isn’t bearing any meaningful fruits since he himself is implicated in corrupt practices and instead of leaving the South Sudanese alone, Kiir’s failed officials still release such vexing sentiments on the silent majority of South Sudanese masses.

Due to Kiir’s poor policies in his government, he is greatly losing popularity and wider speculations are that, despite the split of 1991 which killed scores of South Sudanese and displaced many others, still there is room to forgive each other and try Dr. Riek and other potential candidates of SPLM in 2015.

If our party makes a mistake of declaring Kiir as its Chairman and flag bearer in the upcoming SPLM Convention and in 2015, believe me or not, South Sudanese will opt for a non-SPLM candidate and that will mark the last nail on SPLM’s coffin.

Last but not least, I would like to categorically inform Military junta Matur Chut and his Deputy Mabor Achol that no amount of threat, intimidation, and torture will make Journalists and Activists who you want to “Crucify” to stop writing and watch helplessly while heinous human rights violations are being carried out by you and your Deputy whose tenure has expired since March 21, 2013.

You are still being imposed on the Citizens of Lakes State by President Kiir when elections should have been conducted as per article 101(r) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan.

Instead of Journalist and Activists being crucified, it will be South Sudanese who your failed president have denied Freedom, right to life, justice and development, that will surely crucify you and president Kiir in 2015 elections for depicting our Lord Jesus Christ, in your ugly and stammered throats.

Solomon Yak, is a South Sudanese Citizen living in Lakes State and could be reached on

The Here and Not Yet of National Reconciliation Debate in South Sudan

BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, South Sudanese, APR/18/2013, SSN;

With the latest Republican decree issued on 15 April, 2013 that relieved Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar of some of his delegated duties by President Mayardit, including the Vice President’s surprising assignment in the first place to spearhead a nationwide reconciliation process, the here and not yet of national reconciliation debate in South Sudan has been firmly reignited.

In light of the looming power struggle over the leadership of the ruling SPLM party, and the tense political climate in the country, perhaps many South Sudanese anticipated some action of firing and hiring, or demotion and elevation or some changes of power and personnel if you like, in the government as well as in the ruling party. At the moment, even drinking a cup of tea under the tree is politicized in South Sudan, and so was the case with this whole national reconciliation thing.

While it is true that a national reconciliation exercise is overdue in this beleaguered state, and is called for by our Transitional Constitution, neither the timing nor the technicalities and nature of the current reconciliation process was going to yield any meaningful social harmony and reconciliation in the country.

This process was always prematurely born, and was bound to be a slippery slope. I held this same position in a piece entitled “how to redress the violent past in South Sudan,” published on 30 November, 2012 on South Sudan Nation website when the national reconciliation debate was a hot topic then, and I maintain the same position now.

On that occasion, I concluded that the current reconciliation attempt can only generate the intended effect of “healing, closure, and a sense of national unity and cohesion between the diverse tribes of South Sudan, if it is perceived as a democratic project, intricately linked to other issues of good governance.”

Without this, I argued then that “the touted comprehensive national reconciliation project is as good as dead even before it is born.”

As detailed in that piece, there are ethical practices of reconciliation that must be pursued concurrently, in order for the process to come full circle and achieve the desired end. This includes adopting practices from sociological conflict resolution and reconciliation models, that may include the need of the government to be seen to be building just state institutions, particularly impartial rule of law enforcement institutions, and security sector reform; the need of acknowledgment of the crimes committed by perpetrators, or those under whose leadership the crimes were committed; the need to establish a mechanism for reparations for the inflicted damage, or if possible restitution of the loss; law enforcement through punishment of the culprits to remain an option; the need to for public apology, and finally the need for forgiveness by the end of the reconciliation process.

While some of these ethical factors conducive to the practice of reconciliation can be seen to have ushered in, in South Sudan, including the apology by the Vice President, and efforts in building state institutions, as well as discussions of reforming and professionalizing the security sector, nonetheless, many of the aforementioned conditions are yet to be met.

In this context, I am inclined to agree with President Kiir that the decision to suspend this process was a wise one, regardless of the reasoning behind it.

I am not a legal expert, and therefore, I cannot speak for the constitutionality of this decision, and whether or not the decision to suspend the reconciliation process is in breach of our Transitional Constitution.

But my fifty cents on this is that article 36 (2b) of our Transitional Constitution, which legislates the conduct of a national reconciliation process, and which is seen as being breached by the latest Presidential decree in suspending this process as some have argued, does not provide for a specific time frame for this process to be completed.

Along this line, it is within the right of the President to suspend the process as he deems fit. I am sure the Presidential legal advising team would do what they are paid for best in debating the legality of this issue, and it is not my role here.

What I want to point out here, much like I did before is that for a genuine reconciliation to hold in South Sudan, the process must also be context specific and conflict sensitive.

It must be context specific in that it must be locally grown and tailored to the local needs of the victims the way they have experienced the trauma, if it is to bring healing and closure and receive local blessing, ownership, and therefore sustainability.

What this also means is that the process must be time-sensitive and unrushed, and must enjoy nationwide consultations with local cultural agents and those directly affected by the past atrocities and human rights violations.

This can be accomplished through a nationwide conflict impact assessment and fact finding mission that should take no less than six months at least.

In South Sudan, contrary to the current reconciliation attempt, for the process to enjoy any integrity devoid of politics at all, it must be presided over not by politicians, and certainly not by those perceived to be culpable in perpetrating the human rights violation in the first place, but by the church.

Few will disagree that the only institution that boasts moral credibility and authority to foster such local ownership of such an important national healing event is the church. Moreover, the church does not only hold moral authority and credibility in the eyes of most South Sudanese, but it is also the only remaining symbol of unity in this ethnically polarized country.

In furtherance, the church by its nature is an agent of reconciliation.

During my recent visit to Juba, I was amazed and indeed encouraged to see Dinka, Nuer, and presumably other tribes attending the early morning Bari officiated mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral Church in Juba.

Indeed the tremendous role played by the church in the life of South Sudanese in war and peace alike, often filling the void left by the absence of state institutions through the provision of moral, spiritual, and physical support, makes the church the only viable institution that should have been tasked to execute the national reconciliation process.

This is particularly true in a spiritual and devout society like South Sudanese, for whom the only reason they continue to tick in their endless suffering is because they have placed their hope in God.

As an example, throughout the liberation struggle it is a common knowledge that the church was the only institution that did not relent from accompanying South Sudanese and sharing in the pain of the innocent afflicted by the conflict.

The church not only consoled us, but also delivered much needed humanitarian aid, as well as working tirelessly to be our voice in international fora and influential policy making powerhouses, through robust policy advocacy and awareness raising.

The church also fostered intra-South-South peace and reconciliation processes, as in the successful church mediated people-to-people peace and reconciliation process (P2P), from 1997 through 2002. As we all know, that process managed to reconcile the belligerent Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups, particularly in the Greater Upper Nile region, and consolidated the rapidly disintegrating second liberation movement due to the 1991 schism and ugly Southern in-fighting, so that we became a force to be reckoned with on the CPA negotiating table that ultimately bought us our independence.

The current reconciliation attempt was meant to pick up from where it was left off and amend the standing wound of injustice mostly resulting from the 1991 atrocious schism in the rebel movement. If this is the case we should not, therefore, water-down the deep pain caused as a result of that schism and the ensuing catastrophic violent carnage.

As Jok Madut Jok and Sharon E. Hutchinson forcefully pointed out in their article entitled “Sudan’s Prolonged Second Civil War and the Militarization of Nuer and Dinka Ethnic Identities,” “the number of Dinka and Nuer who have died in these fratricidal conflicts and in other South-on-South confrontations since the re-eruption of full-scale civil war in Sudan in 1983 exceeds those lost to atrocities committed by the Sudanese army.”

It was against this horrific background that the church stepped in to end the violence and promoted reconciliation between the warring communities in South Sudan.

Now, how the church was left out from leading the current renewed national reconciliation attempt to bring healing and closure to this deep wound, defeats me. For this reason I think the President was right to suspend the process, and hopefully assign the right institutions and local leaders who boast moral authority to spur the process forward.

In short, for any genuine attempt of national reconciliation to deliver the desired objectives, it must not be seen as politicized, and must be complete, namely, a methodological blend of local and traditional reconciliation practices, wedded with God-given church reconciliation mandate, and buttressed by modern-day sociological conflict resolution and reconciliation models.

The current reconciliation attempt that has been suspended by the President seemed to posses little of these attributes, but more of a political game to score cheap political points which lends itself to futility.

That said I applaud the calm and maturity displayed by the Vice President in handling the latest Republican decree. I also commend the sharp political awareness of South Sudanese as a whole in recognizing that these are just political maneuvers, arms-twisting, and muscle flexing and stretching that must not be allowed to provoke any tensions across ethnic divides.

Reconciliation in South Sudan is here and much needed yesterday rather than today, but the time is not yet ripe.

The process must be seen to be a genuine one that will truly seek to close a chapter and open a new one in our history, and the church must play a leading role in it, if the process were to achieve its objectives.

I am just a concerned South Sudanese, and happy to entertain questions and concerns at:

The Stress of South Sudanese in Diaspora: A personal experience narrative

BY: Tongun Lo Loyuong, Finland, APR/10/2013, SSN;

Words cannot accurately explain the gravity of South Sudanese physical, emotional and psychological stress in Diaspora as I have experienced it firsthand. And I consider myself among one of the fortunate few South Sudanese who with a combination of hard work, resilience and determination, have managed to persist and climb that social ladder, and ultimately rub shoulders with the social elites in the countries that I have lived in both in the East and the West.

The East —and by East I mean most of the Middle Eastern countries— the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Lebanese and the like, suffer from what I call “inferiority complex.”

In Damascus for instance, one is often left smiling in disbelief when walking down the street and Syrian children crowding around you chanting “chocolata, chocolata,” while their women whisper to each other’s ears, about who knows what. One can only guess, but chances are the observation that is being exchanged by Middle Eastern women in such silent voices is often related to some dubious claims about a black man’s sexual organ! There is eschewed perception of the black man in these societies.

Unlike their women, the Syrian men much like their Lebanese counterparts and presumably the Egyptians too, are more vocal in passing their racial ruling on the black man. I have had to exercise self-restraint on numerous occasions in the face of racial discriminatory remarks that one often receives from random people in the streets in these societies because of skin color.

Some racial discrimination comments often come in the form of wordplay where what appears as an honest greeting may in fact be a smear observation aimed at reminding you of your skin pigmentation, such as the Syrian greeting phrase “shou lownak.” Depending on which syllables are stressed, this phrase can both mean how are you, or what is your color and more often than not it is the latter meaning that is being conveyed when one hears a “greeting” from random folks in the street, particularly by youth.

In Beirut’s streets, some men derogatory ask you what time is it, even when you are not wearing a watch to imply that you should look at your skin color. Racial discrimination in Lebanon has at times even morphed into physical abuse. There was a time when I was thrown and hit by an empty beer bottle from a moving car, while minding my own business walking down the street. Often, rotten eggs are hurled at you from balconies without any provocation save that your skin color is black.

Assigning labor and professional tasks in these societies are overwhelmingly determined not by professional qualifications, but by skin color or citizenship—nepotism writs large. I have seen black men who hold college degrees, and who in normal circumstances would pursue a professional career in their field of expertise, but who were often condemned to working in the field of what the Lebanese called the “black man’s job,” referring mainly to the undignified task of cleaning toilets and doing dishes in restaurants and hotels or working as a ghafir (janitor), for residential complexes and offices.

The same selection criteria for jobs apply in Syria, and Egypt where some of our South Sudanese brothers and other disfranchised foreign nationals, have been largely confined to the hard labor of construction work. Humiliating, isn’t it?

Our children and women too are not spared from inhumane treatment on the basis of race. The children often come home from school crying and feeling emotionally disturbed, for being verbally abused and called monkeys and what not by their “white” peers.

Our women are made to work as (khadamat) housemaids and often under poor working conditions and abuses that may include working long hours without adequate return, as well as often being subjected to physical coercion, torture and sexual harassment, if not outright rape.

Seemingly, there are no laws against inhumane treatment of black people or Far East Asians in countries like Lebanon. Lebanese jails, for example are replete with South Sudanese and other foreign nationals who are often arbitrary imprisoned for disproportionately prolonged periods of time that did not match the petty crimes committed, mainly related to the violation or failure to acquire legal residential documents or status.

I know this, because I have also received my share of arbitrary and long detention time in Lebanese jails for merely being an illegal alien and refugee without rights or status.

Surprisingly, along this line and contrary to what one would expect from the Arab countries, our northern Sudanese Arab brothers have also not been spared from the unjust treatment based on racial profiling. To the Lebanese authorities, Sudanese “Arabs,” Muslims or not, all the same, we are apportioned the same share of mistreatment.

As a result, due to our common sufferings both South and northern Sudanese have found themselves in a strong bond of solidarity, and unity with each other.

Likewise, with minor exceptions, South Sudanese in Diaspora in general do not interact with each other thinking across ethnic belonging lines. We are more united in exile than at home, and relate to each other as one South Sudanese family.

However, unlike the developing world, the inferiority complex in the East and countries like Lebanon look favorably toward the West and more developed world, and hence the usage of the term here. When you hold a Western European citizenship in Lebanon, for instance you are guaranteed a professional job, even if you have not completed college.

The only setback is that your path must cross the paths of extremist groups, like Hezbollah and others. On the social side, however, Lebanese women will flock you and entice you into marriage in order to get a slice of that European passport in your possession.

South Sudanese are suffering in the East and often without any alternative of better prospects elsewhere. Few lucky ones were recognized as refugees or have paid their way into being accepted as refugees by UNHCR offices in the region, and have been resettled to third countries in the West with a seeming offer of a second chance to start afresh and rebuild their war-shattered lives.

But the overwhelming majority has been unfortunate and failed to secure official recognition as refugees in the UNHCR offices. As a result they have nowhere to go and are still grinding it out in the Middle East and elsewhere in the region.

I happen to be one of the many unlucky ones who could not secure an official refugee status at the UNHCR offices in both Syria and Lebanon, despite my legitimate claim during the war years, to the right of being recognized as a refugee if only by virtue of being a South Sudanese.

But I had to scrap my way out of the East to the West through determination to pursue education and generous unconditional scholarships that I received from some good willing academic institutions first in Lebanon and then in the U.S. In the Lebanese case, my scholarship to complete my bachelor’s degree was facilitated by a friend who was not even Lebanese. But his initial support opened the subsequent doors.

However, while I am grateful for receiving the second chance to climb up the social hierarchy and improve my social status through education, from my experience and contrary to the East, the tragedy of the West is that it suffers from what I will call “superiority complex.”

In the U.S. racial discrimination is a commonplace. Is it conceivable that in my interactions, most African-Americans, for instance are more racist toward Africans than some of their white American fellows?

In an attempt to uncover the reasons behind this trend, I once raised the question to a random African-American elderly man as to why this is the case. His candid response was that most African-American communities in general, tend to favor whiter skin color.

Most have been indoctrinated to believe that the whiter the color of your skin, the better. But also, he continued, many African-Americans tend to hold Africans responsible for their tragic enslavement history that contributed to their current misery of continuing to live as most see it as second class citizens in the U.S., even though they are American citizens.

The elderly man further noted that the story circulating around in most African-American households is that Africans hate them, and therefore, sold their African ancestors out as slaves to the White European slave master that ultimately landed them in their difficult lot in the U.S. throughout their history.

Consequently, this may have contributed to the reciprocal hate perception and mistreatment of Africans at the hands of some African-Americans. In a word, Western superiority complex seemed to have driven a wedge between African and African-American peoples.

In terms of the plight of South Sudanese who have been resettled as refugees in Western countries, more generally, only few have succeeded in rebuilding their lives and improving their social status. Most of these are those who came younger, such as the Southern lost boys’ community of Sudan, because the young are easily adaptable to foreign cultural demands.

Else, the majority of South Sudanese have been written off as first generation, and the story of any first generation migrants is the same— it is not about them anymore, and as such they contend themselves with sacrificing their future for that of their children.

Chances of them bettering their social status through the pursuit of education or professional career in their areas of expertise are slim. Because of the Western superiority complex syndrome, only college degrees that have been acquired in Western academic institutions warrant consideration for a professional job.

Holding any degree from outside the Western confines means one is immediately relegated to pursue hard labor in factories, restaurants, mines… etc., for livelihood. Of course, there are opportunities through taking loans from banks for instance, in order to pay and pursue higher education. But only a handful of South Sudanese in Diaspora have followed that route, and it is understandable why.

In the rigorous Western academic institutions, completing a college degree is no easy task. Earning a degree in the West demands full commitment as a student and hundreds of hours spent in the university library. But with the several mouths to feed in a South Sudanese household, most South Sudanese have found the commitment of being a full time college student hard to pursue.

Some determined South Sudanese try to study part-time and work for the other half of the time. But while some have managed to ultimately graduate from college, others have either dropped out or are taking several years, sometimes decades to complete a mere four-year bachelor’s degree program.

Even so, Western superiority complex still negatively affects those South Sudanese who are Western educated in their job places. From my experience in the U.S., and currently in the European Nordic region regardless of Western education credentials, I still got to be looked upon with sympathy, especially by those you have just been introduced to me in professional conferences and public events.

Often, most are surprised to see you in these kinds of elitist functions to begin with, and you can rest assured that before the end of the event curiosity about your who-abouts will be displayed.

The problem is not with being curious about a unique phenomenon, because curiosity is the foundation in any given quest for knowledge. What irritates me the most is when you tell your curious enquirer that you are from South Sudan, their first reaction is to make you feel sorry for yourself, and often rightly so because ours is a society to be pitied.

But sometimes one does not want to be reminded and be made to feel like an inferior creature that must be exorcised with some urgent “make a difference” action. Sometimes I joke back by requesting a napkin to wipe my tears!

Moreover, in most Western countries, but particularly more so in the Nordic countries, the superiority complex has been taken to a whole different level by the feminist and gender sensitization of the culture. Mere conversations have been rendered complicated let alone gestures of good will.

For instance in some of these countries, I have now learned to think twice before committing to assist anyone perceived to be in need of assistance, even if it is a woman that has just slipped in the icy and slippery roads of the excruciatingly extreme cold Nordic winters.

I have learned to turn the other way and mind my own business, because the last time I tried, my services were not only rejected, but I received the look of, here is another symbol of male dominance who thinks women are dependent on men to complete any given task.

Especially as a black man any unintentional utterance or gesture that is seen as politically incorrect, however the term is defined, will most likely land you in trouble in these countries.

For similar reasons, I recently landed in hot waters for failing to complete a task assigned to me at work place by a senior female co-worker. When I explained to her I have been in meetings all morning and have just returned to my desk, and when I asked her why did “you not complete the task yourself” if it is too urgent, she immediately rushed to my female boss and complained that I refuse to take orders from women.

My reasoning is that as a black man coming from a patriarchal culture and living in these highly gendered and feminist sensitized cultures, I am a sitting duck for being perceived as representing patriarchal sentiments, even though I like to think of myself as an ally and advocate of social justice and equality, including gender equality.

But I have consistently found my world ever shrinking to the extent one feels being strangled.

South Sudanese are equally suffering in the West. But what now is the alternative? Can our elite brothers in GoSS now see why we ignorantly bicker and whine, and why we in Diaspora come across more frustrated in our free expression against current political malpractices in Juba?

One of the waves we rode during the liberation struggle was the hope that our suffering will one day come to pass when we have a country we can call home. This hope is now turning into despair when all opportunities for building a peaceful, united, equal, just and prosperous nation are being squandered by mis-governance in the Republic.

All we ask for from Kiir’s regime and whatever regime of the day that might ensue, is that we are tired and want to have a place we can call home, a place we can return to and help build. We are not asking to be rich, but merely to have access to basic rights, liberties, and services, such as security, rule of law, infrastructure, schools, hospitals and livelihoods.

Are these too much to ask?

I am a concerned South Sudanese citizen, and happy to entertain questions and concerns at:

Sour politics of conflict and suspicion due to adversarial relationship between SPLM leaders

BZ: Akot Marial, SOUTH SUDAN, MAR/30/2013, SSN;

South Sudan is increasingly and ominously gripped by a palpable anxiety and fear in the preparation for SPLM forthcoming National Convention which precedes the expiration of the five-year term of the SPLM leadership, culminating with four SPLM luminaries expressing their interests for the top job.

Among them are Dr. Riek Machar, Pagan Amum, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior and James Wani Igga. All of whom except James Wani who’s decided to throw his weight behind Mayardit, but the rest plainly vowed challenging the incumbent SPLM Chairman Salva Kiir Mayardit in the run up to the National Convention.

Several failed attempts have been made by SPLM highest political organ, the Political Bureau, to put its house in order and to go to the national convention with just one voice as per 2008 convention, but found it outrageous this time round to convince the contestants to submit to Mayardit for another 5 year term in office.

The contenders are expressing their dissatisfaction that under Kiir’s Chairmanship, the SPLM has lost its vision and direction and needs to be rebuilt, which of course has to gain a popular support among the party members.

Eight years down the line have shown no proficiency in handling of party affairs and the nation as a whole given the current economic crisis, rampant insecurity, corruption, rebellion in the part of Jonglei and regular SAF incursion at the border areas of Kiir Addem, Warguet, Jau, to mention a few even after the withdrawal of our gallant forces.

All these amount to believing that Mayardit is losing popularity. Thus for him not to jeopardize his good deeds to the people of South Sudan, it’s therefore advisable that he should retire early and allow the party to select the best candidate among the contestants to lead the Country to the next level based on democratic principles.

Pres. Kiir has been given due respect as father of the nation and being a hero for the many remarkable achievements that he has done during the last civil war and for sailing our Country through to the shore of Independence.

As the nation gears for the ruling party national Convention, it has become a topic of discussions among the South Sudanese populace on the street and in public places both in the states and Juba. This proves a fragile situation in our Country that a wild rumour can grip the nation so quickly indicating the uncertainty and nervousness that underlie the body politic of our young nation, and graphically illustrating how precarious and precious is the stability of this recently independent State.

Nonetheless, the rumour of power struggle within SPLM rank and file masquerading as a fact surrounding the race for the top job of who will become the chairperson of SPLM as well as flag bearer come 2015 in the next convention among the SPLM luminaries.

The president of the Republic oscillated between a certain audacity and a prudent realism and indeed, that perpetual oscillation between despair and distracted joy of running a fair party politics or being rigged to widen the already despairing views of our Country.

President Kiir’s Speech during the Independent celebration on 9th July, 2011, outlining of his Vision for the future is for calmer and more confident South Sudan where endless confrontations no longer dominate the domestic agenda.

But the fate of our Country is still in the melting-pot where some leaders still think along tribal lines or rather the so-called greater regions, whatever you call them, is the cancerous disease that kills in the midst of the spirit of nationalism and unity of our people. I want to see a nation where political differences do not mean personal antagonism.

A nation which can hold its head up proudly as the nucleus of a new dynamic economic region. Above all, a nation that is free to concentrate her energies on progress and development. Only in this way shall we be able to harness our energies and confront our single greatest challenge, the challenge of poverty.

Another point of contention is how to achieve a permanent Constitution which is the supreme law of the land. It’s crystal clear that making of a constitution required the participation of its citizens and would have been tantamount that any Constitutional Review process should come after the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) convention as the two are very much interconnected when the political temperature had cooled.

But after subsequent Political Bureau meetings, little did we know that the ruling party elites would fail to forge a common ground of reaching political consensus as to who will become the SPLM chairperson and flag bearer among the SPLM leaders come 2015.

Lines have already been drawn whether on tribal backing or making allies within the perimeters of the ruling party in readiness of either unseating or maintaining the current status quo.

Britain, the United States, Japan and a number of European Union Countries condemned the excessive use of force on media censorship and silencing of journalists like the killing of political commentator, late Isaiah Abraham, and more especially our relationship with the United States of America is shaky due to alleged support to rebels in the north.

Meanwhile, the world superpowers failed to see the daily support rendered to David Yau Yau rebel in Jonglei by the Sudan government. Another case in point why the West abruptly distanced itself from our Country is that corruption is a controversial phenomenon which has attracted international censure.

Most of South Sudanese citizens condemn the doom-laden chatter of tribalism, nepotism, corruption and lack of cohesiveness among our people, saying that it would consume those who created it.

For as the silence about the forthcoming SPLM National convention sets in, with looming realignment of existing political structure, only if not handled with utmost political maturity may lead to possible split should either side lose the Chair.

This will send a signal that things won’t augur well ahead and in the aftermath of the SPLM National Convention unless otherwise our leaders put aside their political antagonism and instead strengthen the legitimacy of our new Country on a solid foundation where tribes, hatred, corruption and ethnicity don’t dominate the national agenda.

Akot Marial, is a South Sudanese citizen living in South Sudan and could be reach on

Does South Sudan hold any developmental paradigms?

BY: Chier Akueny Anyithiec, Aweil, NBGS, MAR/29/2013, SSN;

Untiring complaints from general public of South Sudan continue to rise day by day except for a small group which finds this system of governance good for having the chances of gaining in it. The question remains whether we are safe in this country. This is happening because the current government never met South Sudanese’ expectations due to the fact that the ruling Party, SPLM, failed to realize the reason for our long historic struggle.

I don’t know whether we lost fundamentalists during the struggle or else we are then moving in no direction. However, the fact always repeats itself and my writing mostly is based on economical issues since it does not matter to me whether somebody understands it in the wrong way or supports it but just to say it because it is the fact.

South Sudan as a young nation is engulfed with lots of problems which will never end unless we act as early as possible. Take for instance, that South Sudan is leading in terms of settled number of International NGOs, in addition to the indigenous ones, but yet it is the very country with the lowest level of employment in Africa and also indeed with the lowest level of education, as outsiders claim so.

But I do always dispute this because the war which took long, exactly two decades, while some of South Sudanese have been moving on with their education.

However, if in case this situation exists, the few youth holding Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees, leave alone Masters and PHD who are unmentioned. They are not harnessing their talents because the country is totally hijacked by a wrong ideology with basically foreign motives in one way or another to exploit this nation at the expense of poor South Sudanese.

Our notion of having a Ministry of Public services and Human Resources is in muted glimpse because our government did not realize of what kind of ministry is available.

While our big people at all times stick to wrong obsession which they always say that our young people don’t want to work, yes, they don’t want to work but where are the vacancies for sure?

It is of a great axiom that South Sudan is a new nation with lot of chances but these chances have been taken over by foreigners because they find us as people without aims or objectives. This is the situation you find that all foreigners are the marketers, drivers, officers, Human resources personnel especially in NGOs and in public companies and they are exactly the most well-paid group.

The secret of not allowing serious qualified citizens to top positions in NGOs, Companies, etc, is very high leaving the youth with nothing. As I am writing this article today, the number of foreigners working in the private sector in this country is 80% compared to 20% for the citizens.

But why should we allow this evil act for sure?

The chances of working in hotels are totally forgotten because energetic and skilled South Sudanese have been already blocked out. It took me three consecutive months, as a Degree holder, moving around Juba and my aim is to get a job in the hotel industry but my struggle was in vain and up to now, I failed to secure one.

Why? Where are these people who always say South Sudanese don’t want to work? Who always says this really? Is it President Kiir or his top group who say this untrue statement? I don’t see the reason to why our dear President established the ministry of Human Resources and Public Services? It is a ministry which doesn’t know its works and the reasons for which it really exists.

Furthermore, it is not only a single ministry that has failed us, however this particular ministry knows what is truly affecting South Sudanese young people. How can they only approve adverts but not persons that are employed?

Oh! I see they don’t consider which types or kinds of persons will take those positions; whereby you find NGOs deciding for themselves. For sure, this has become an interesting country with nothing but oratorical things happening against the living of simple citizens.

The development of a country is tackled in many ways which need rules, guidelines and some developmental paradigms that make a country have proper directives for the smooth running of the country’s affairs.

By Chier Akueny Anyithiec, currently in Aweil,
Can be reached at 0912701780

A Federal system and Kokora are two different things

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, MAR/18/2013, SSN;

The concept that a federal system and kokora are two different things is to address some confusion in people’s minds. In the context of South Sudan some people may perceive a federal system and kokora as synonymous. However, it can be asserted that a federal system and kokora are altogether two different things. The confusion arises from a negative perception of kokora.

People need to be made aware that a federal system and kokora are not synonymous. They need some education to be confident to see the difference. One way of educating people is through the definition of kokora in contrast to a federal system. This hopefully may shed some light on the difference between a federal system and kokora.

Kokora is not an English word and so cannot be found in any English dictionary. It is a word in the language used by one ethnic group, the Karo ethnic group, of Equatoria. The Karo ethnic group is composed of the Bari, Kakwa, Kuku, Mundari, Nyangwara and the Pojulu. In translating the work kokora into English, it may simply mean division. In 1983 kokora became a famous catchword in South Sudan.

In 1972 South Sudan was granted the status of one region through an agreement (Addis Ababa Agreement) concluded to end a civil war. As a single region South Sudan was administered through a high executive council headed by a president with a council of ministers. Previously South Sudan was composed of three provinces known as Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile separately answerable to the central government in Khartoum in the old Sudan. However, the agreement unified the three provinces into a single entity, the southern region.

In the southern region people of the former province of Equatoria agitated for decentralization. In contrast, the majority of non-Equatorians were vehemently opposed to the decentralization of the southern region into three regions corresponding to its former provinces of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile. The situation became reminiscent of people in a tag-of-war. There was neither mutual understanding nor a middle way as suggested by Arop Madut-Arop in his book, ‘The Genesis of Political Consciousness in South Sudan.’

Arop Madut-Arop’s conviction was that the division of the southern region into three regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile should have been accepted but under an umbrella authority of the High Executive Council then. This was interesting. Had the southern politicians picked this up the situation might have been different and also the word kokora might not have been conceived as it was then.

Eventually when the southern region was divided into three regions of Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile, the Karo word kokora became synonymous with the division of the southern region, the division which was negatively perceived and vehemently opposed by non-Equatorians who strongly felt Equatorians wanted them out of Equatoria by all means. It is not therefore strange that the strong feeling against kokora lives on as a result of the division of the then southern region.

The feeling of people towards kokora may explain the confusion in people’s minds between a federal system and kokora. Some people imagine that a call for a federal system is in fact a call for the division of South Sudan exactly the way the division of the southern region took place in 1983 and the subsequent departure of non-Equatorians from Equatoria.

Federal system
Hardly any argument will be made for the merit of a federal system. It is rather to articulate that a federal system is not the dreaded kokora which took place in a hostile atmosphere. By then politicians across South Sudan were unfortunately in bitter opposite camps with less focus on a middle way forward as people of one destiny.

A federal system should not be seen as a target against political opponents or a way of throwing out those who belong to other regions or states. It is not a political tool to discriminate but rather a tool that is used to promote national unity in diversity. Many countries in the world use a federal system without being fussy. Why should South Sudan be so unique not to adopt a federal system while it is a country full of diversities?

Kokora is already history. It is now thirty years since kokora first appeared in the scene. The population of people under 30 years old in South Sudan is 72.1 per cent. The implication is that the majority of population of South Sudan was not yet born when kokora took place. The question is why should a tiny minority of old people prejudice the energetic youth who are the future leaders of this country. Kokora is now being used falsely to warn people of divisions perceived as detrimental to national unity.

It is obvious that national unity is of paramount importance. What matters, though, is how to attain national unity. National unity cannot be attained by lecturing others. It is something that all have to work for. As in the SPLM Manifesto 2012 the Chairman, Salva Kiir Mayardit, said, “A new nation comes with new challenges. We must face challenges with innovative solutions and a bold approach”.

We need an innovative and bold approach such as exploring a federal system that is unique to South Sudan in promoting national unity instead of being paralysed by paranoia of kokora. Kokora as it is now history, unfortunately, uprooted non-Equatorians from Equatoria. Nevertheless, it was not only non-Equatorians who were uprooted but Equatorians were also uprooted from the other regions. The pain of kokora was shared. So living in the past is not going to be helpful in nation building.

We may need to be liberated from the paranoia of kokora. This is in order to be rational in charting the way forward in attaining national unity because a federal system is not the same as kokora. At any rate it is the human being to make any system capable of delivering adequate services.

For example, human weakness in the system in upholding the rule of law may see an increase in crimes being committed hence rampant insecurity that may be a threat to national unity.

Unity of South Sudan
How to promote the unity of South Sudan is a challenge. A centralized unitary system is considered by some as the guarantor of unity. However, what this does in a country of a very low literacy rate and where people are inclined to be too tribalistic is the encouragement of disunity.

A decentralized system is claimed to be operational but the reality is that it is more of a centralized system. Others have claimed that South Sudan is already applying a federal system. This is false. A federal system is not being applied. Those prejudiced are resistant because of what appears to be a hangover caused by kokora.

What appears to be a hangover caused by kokora is nothing but a guilt feeling for unforgivable crude behavior which I one time called medieval behavior. It is not kokora but the crude behavior that makes people suspicious that a call for a federal system is a ploy to throw them out, for example, from Equatoria.

This is, of course, ridiculous. A federal system has nothing to do with throwing people out from this or that region or from a state for that matter.

A federal system is for an equitable sharing of power and wealth for the benefit of people regardless of their region, tribal, cultural and political background. Arguably, a federal system is not the creation of tribal homelands. What is important is a strong central government that has an iron fist to deliver.

A hot line of communication for consultation, cooperation and coordination between the centre and the regions should be established in promoting national unity. There are mechanisms of creating a unique federal system for South Sudan that will address the fear of kokora.

Appropriate system
As to what is the appropriate system for South Sudan is a matter of opinion. However, worldwide support for a federal system is greater today than ever before because of a growing conviction that it enables a country to have the best of both worlds, those of shared rule and self-rule, coordinated national government and diversity, creative experimentation and liberty.

In South Sudan a centralized system is being adopted but it seems the centralized system is not delivering basic services as expected. There is regional disparity, rampant insecurity and stagnation in development. How can national unity be promoted is such a situation?

It may be appropriate to try something else. When the fear of kokora is overcome, the appropriate system will be a federal system. This is because a federal system enables a country to have the best of both worlds, those of shared rule and self-rule. This can only be good in promoting national unity in diversity in South Sudan.

It is hoped that the difference between a federal system and kokora has been satisfactorily elaborated. The fear of kokora should not be unduly the fear of a federal system for South Sudan. It was understandable what the trauma of kokora thirty years ago had on people. It might have been an unforgettable experience for those innocent ones. However, apportioning blame won’t be of any useful purpose in the search for a better way forward because it takes two to quarrel.

We either carry ourselves together or we all fall. What is important is for people to be open-minded for governance that works for inclusiveness as the vision is to build an inclusive secular democratic developmental state according to the SPLM Manifesto 2012.

It is hoped it is now clear that a federal system and kokora are two different things. In all, people should rest assured that the adoption of a federal system is not kokora or a ploy. Nothing will change in the way of movement of people out of Equatoria.

Inter-personal and community relations may improve as there will be reduction in crude behaviours which have been the source of antagonism. For example, such a crude behavior as grabbing land or plots of legitimate owners or disrespect for the rule of law will not be rampant as it is.

This, however, does not mean that people with inherent crude behavior would have been ejected or thrown out of Equatoria. What that means is that in a federal system there may likely to be a behavioral change for the better.

In conclusion, Equatoria is an integral part of South Sudan. So the fearful of a federal system that it is kokora and that they will be thrown out of Equatoria should relax, for Equatoria is a home to any South Sudanese like Bahr el Ghazal or Upper Nile which can also be a home to any South Sudanese.

Who is a patriotic South Sudanese?

BY: Deng Mangok Ayuel, AWEIL, NBGS, MAR/14/2013, SSN;

“To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism ― G. Edward Griffin”

Dying for the sake of liberation for justice, freedom and democracy were jingoistic confidence in Dr.John Garang’s SPLM/SPLA which brought our independence. However, South Sudan as a newly born country in Africa has never been fairly breathing politically at times. This is because the ruling party is not given a break by individuals who think they can do things better than those who fought for decades. It is surprising to have had fought for decades and botched to unite as South Sudanese and a political family in democratic world. The unity of purpose or political rationale needs collective hands and minds for nation buildings. It is a work for all.

Whenever there is peace in hearts, there is hope or love among the people – that hatred, corruption, tribal conflicts and cattle raiding are evil exertions that can bring shame to the society. Experience taught us how to be the masters and servants of our doings. We must change our traditional ways of approaching issues in the country. Poverty has been residing in our minds and soul, simply rooting corruption in our institutions.

Who is a patriotic South Sudanese? Where isa patriotic South Sudanese in me? I am forcing back tears of pride at my South Sudanism. It is my moral outlook to grieve, tell the truth and join hands with others to work together than blaming, criticizing anyone. This is my own idiosyncratic thoughts of ‘patriotism’ and I believe that many South Sudanese have impending hopes for their future. I shouldn’t stop doing what I have been doing. I have to contribute for the success of our nation.

Amid our political disagreements, patriotism — an entrenched love of our country — remains striking a hungry hole in hearts that has the potential to bring us together, particularly at times of national reconciliation. Is it easy for South Sudanese to reconcile and forgive each others?

It is better for those who wronged others to apologize before reconciliation. This shows that anyone can make mistakes but acceptance of wrongdoings upshots to forgiveness. I urge everyone to embrace a culture of peace, love and political togetherness to stop corruption and tribalism.

Within my own painstaking rational tribe of thoughts, patriotism is sometimes considered as a ‘political problem,’ – chauvinistic that is morally fitting to be protected by South Sudanese constitution and human rights activists. Every South Sudanese has a tone to voice, regardless of political background, tribe and education. Of course, freedom of expression is not freedom of obligation; I am afraid to pronounce that ‘constructive criticism’ is oil to politics.

A patriot is a person who loves, supports, and defends his/her country. While it is true that in a democracy, citizens/politicians are free to embrace their own individual positions in a fair opposition to the government’s because there is no country without opposition if there is a need to oppose.

Patriotism is in the end, unifying. “United we stand, divided we fall.” This aphorism captures the spirit of what it means to be a patriot. While we may have differences, we still share a common bond in wishing the best for our country. Indeed, for the most part, it cannot be disputed that patriotism calls for people to stand together. Taking pride in one’s nation and proudly representing it – my country, my people.

Be it a soldier, a civil servant, a politician, or everyday citizen. To be a patriot however, doesn’t mean that you need to publicly announce your love of nation. It can be a private, personal pride. After all, patriotism at its core is a feeling and voluntary. There is no need for patriot to cry through writings.

The idealistic problem of patriotism is blind ‘self-perfection’ and intellectual assumption of oneself as the better person among 8 million South Sudanese. Some people think of patriotism as natural and proper zeal of affection to one’s own country in which he/she was born, raised and fought for the benefits of life on its soil, among its people, and under its laws. They also consider patriotism an imperative part of our identity.

Some go further, and argue that patriotism is morally binding, or even that it is the core of integrity. There is, however, a major tradition in moral thinking which understands morality as fundamentally universal and impartial, and seems to rule out local, partial relation and loyalty. It is you, who is a patriot, that all you should do is to be honest, willing, transparent and accountable.

Patriotism has many eyes in political South Sudan. On 9th July, 2011, my colleagues and I celebrated the day to remember our fallen heroes and heroines. It was the genesis of our political achievement in which you and I deserve the right to enjoy the fruits of the struggle. Therefore patriotism versus nationalism but in one –!

According to George Orwell’s contrast as I quoted, “Nationalism is about power. Its adherent wants to acquire as much power and prestige as possible for his nation, in which he submerges his individuality. Patriotism is a devotion to a particular place and a way of life one thinks best, but has no wish to impose on others. Nationalism is aggressiveness and patriotism is defensiveness.”

When we celebrated the day – we were patriots and nationalists in our pending desires. Some of us have different interests that need unique strategies. It is about employment – either political, civil service, private sector job or joke vacancies. However, patriotism and nationalism are distinguished in expressions of the strength of the love and unique concern one feels for it, the degree of one’s recognition with it.

South Sudan is for everyone. If you feel that things are diverging, the good way is constructive dialogue and informative media approaches to create awareness and problem-solving mechanisms. The cure for fire is not fire.

South Sudan’s independence from the Republic of Sudan on July 9, 2011 was met with joy, hope, worries and many challenges. Despite the fact that South Sudan is gifted with large amounts of natural resources, the country faces hindrances. These included a population suffering from invincible poverty and cattle raiding; extremely low levels of human capital amassing, food insecurity, poorly developed economic infrastructure, invasive bureaucratic corruption and political opposition for nothing. As mentioned there is nobody to blame, our country is new and needs patience than oppositions. Patriotism is not opposition.

Patriotism has a fair number of critics. The morality of writing to inform is, writing to die or stop writing to forget anything anywhere by everyone when it is enemizing. Are opinion writers patriots? Be it. I wanted to be an enemy to English vocabularies only – ‘English words’ not English or South Sudanese. And I am fighting now with my keyboard on the computer in order to avoid confrontation with words by those who usually disagree with anyone.

All in all, patriotism is not a disgrace at all. It sounds like this as they put it: “on my honor, I will do my best to perform my duty to God and my country.”

In my previous article titled, South Sudan: prides of our generation, and in my own wordings, “South Sudanese are great people. I graphed how uncles have balanced their lifetime as rebels during the civil war in Sudan and after separation as politicians in the Republic of South Sudan. They are patriots with hearts for their people and the next generation. There has been optimism in what they had been doing – that we have been socially and politically ordained by their visionary success in which you and I are now South Sudanese. There is no better time than now. The time to work, dream, excel and forget the past. It is our time to make things happen, milk our dream or enjoy the fruits of success.

Deng Mangok Ayuel lives in Aweil. He can be reached at: