Category: National

South Sudan on a road to ungovernable State

BY: Gabrial Pager Ajang, South Sudan, FEB/17/2013, SSN;

Can you imagine what the United States would do if a group of gangs or people abducted children, raided cattle and killed people at the Heartland? What if the same scenario happened in Europe and Australia, what would these governments do? I asked these hypothetical questions because I would like to put issues and challenges facing South Sudan on global contexts.

The beacon of American democracy and the root of American order were largely shaped the by framers and founding fathers of the United States, and I will this discuss their ideas later. As a United States citizen and have worked for Nebraska State legislature, I know very well that the United States government will move heaven and earth, and all necessary resources from the United States military to bring those who committed those heinous crimes to Justices. The government would punish these criminals to the fullest scale of their crimes because it is incorporated in the U.S constitution killings, abductions of children or taking another person’s property is a crime.

This is just a food for thoughts for those in our government who think they would be saved by the United Nations and the international community in an event of foreign aggression or mounting internal crisis. However, the restoration of peace and security in South Sudan lies with the president, interior minister, the head of police and the governors. It is their sole responsibility to join forces to combat the looming perpetual violence. Nevertheless, this paper will critic fault-line in the transitional constitution, escalation of child abductions and cattle rustling, implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

The SPLM convention is imminent as the party struggles to prioritize several of its nerves wrecking issues facing the nation. The cattle internal rustlings and child abductions, wide spread corruptions, implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, controversial transitional constitution and many more. From the onset, it is important to point out that most tribes in South Sudan still use their traditional laws because they do not understand the transitional constitution, and its consistency with traditional laws?

These tribes have been governed by customary laws, and these laws have allowed them to live and thrive for many centuries in their respective geographical locations. The traditional legal systems were informed by their norms, values and cultures. They have never imported Khartoum legal systems to resolve their issues because these tribes have had well-structured and respected hierarchy and order. The members of south Sudanese societies for many years have been adhering to laws and orders set and implemented by their community chiefs.

Tribes have been guided by rules and laws but for purpose of this paper, I will use the laws of Wath Alal in Warrap State and Pawel ee Lith laws in Jonglei States as the two legal systems that indicated that South Sudanese societies have had established judicial systems that ensures criminals were brought to Justice. The two traditional laws are equal in case of intends killing or murders. Both traditional laws assume that human beings are rational actors who consider the consequences of their behavior before deciding to commit a crime, for instance, Pawel e Lith fines for murderer is 50 cows for unmarried individual, while married is fined for 30 cows and Wath Alal: fines 31 cows. The people who commit adultery were fined for 7 cows in accordance with Wath Alal laws and Pawel ee Lith.

The constitutional intents and traditional laws have not only been about the protection of economic rights, human rights and customary rights of those who did not commit crimes but put in place sentencing systems of incarceration, incapacitation, punishment to deter all sorts of criminals that have either killed people, raid cattle or stolen nation’s wealth. The constitutional deterrence is not alien from our traditional laws, because both sentencing policy initiatives have often been implemented with the goal of enhancing the deterrent effects of the criminal justice system.

Under the rubric of getting tough requires both the executive and legislative to annex policies of combating child abductions and cattle rustling design to deter criminals with the threat of imposing substantial terms of imprisonment for convictions. The judiciary system should also provide deterrent effects, and policy development regards whether to enhance sanctions or an enhance possibility of being apprehended, could provide any additional deterrent benefits as it did in South Sudan Societal laws (traditional laws).
The Roles of South Sudan Legislature.

Nevertheless, people of South Sudan have been hopping and dreaming of a government that will annex and adopt a better transitional constitution that would protect their political, economic, human and customary rights. There was also a hope that the South Sudan’s constitution would seek to remedy and ease post conflict issues. However, the paradoxical and complicated situation of South Sudan created by the last 50 years of war is unraveling and they impede the judicial progresses and legislative oversights. It is worth noting that the United States constitution took one hundred years before its ratifications, but the framers first dealt with the fierce urgency of those issues.

Therefore I am mindful that it will take many years to bring laws and orders and balance of powers among branches of government. We wish that there were draft provisions in constitution of South Sudan that could supports the full implementation of CPA, but unfortunately none was drafted by the South Sudan legislative Assembly. CPA implementation could have been anchored in the constitution. But because this was not envisioned and done by famers and the legislative Assembly, it will continue to haunt Kiir’s administration, and indeed it has caused the political gridlocks between the North and South that has impeded the progress.

Concurrently, it was not well spelled out in South Sudan’s constitution that the CPA must not be renegotiated. The numerous renegotiations of the CPA by the South and North have made it almost impossible to implement. The several renegotiations of this accord made it more bureaucratic and create loopholes for its violations. While the peace talks between the South and the North were in progress, the legislative assembly in Juba did not annex policies that would have assisted its implementation, instead they support policies that backtracks the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

Presently, the policies proposed by the government of South Sudan for the last 7 years to remedy these complicated issues have done nothing but infringe on individual rights and slowed the judicial progresses. The roles of citizenship and Media rights have been denied. Political rights and rights to freedom of expressions have been infringed upon. Contrary to the government policies, South Sudanese citizens were hopping that the legislative assembly would craft laws that would secure the rights of citizens but the legislators did not successful adopt laws that protect economic rights, human rights, and customary rights. These rights have been enjoyed by South Sudanese tribes for hundreds years and virtually this government allows them to be robbed.

Despite, the freedom of press and expression enshrine in the South Sudan’s constitutions journalists have been illegally arrested by government security agents. While our elected officials have constitutional duties to investigate and ask serious why citizens from their constituencies are incarcerated without properly legal standard taken. Members of the legislative assembly have rights to exercise their constitutional duties as elected officials by investigating issues surroundings assassinations or unwarranted arrest made, while ensure all the judicial procedures that requires that all the arrest made must be warrant by the judge or court.
Despites members of legislative assembly constitutional rights, citizens are arrested without due process.

It is simply unconstitutional for any security agent to arrest citizen because all the arrests are made by the police following democratic legal procedures. In recent incidents, Journalist was arrested in Awiel for failure to cover and air what was termed as the most important speech from the president. This month, another journalist was arrested in Juba for failing to cover another event. These incidents occurred because the transitional constitution of South Sudan fails to restrain and constrain security officials from arresting these journalists. These arrests have been seen by many through lenses of tribal eyes but these are rather classical example of failed South Sudan Legislative Assembly to intervene and investigate what led to these arrests.

The child abductions and cattle rustlings have rampant in South Sudan. The transitional constitution must immediately criminalize child abductions and cattle rustlings because these are the primary cause of tribal conflict and internal instability. SPLA can deal with few rebellions here and there, because that is the primary roles of the standing national army. It is also essential for South Sudanese societies to know that the child abduction is defined as crimes under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Documents but it is unfortunate it is not clearly delineated in the South Sudan’s transitional constitution. The post war issues are difficult to resolve in the time frame but I hope that the South Sudan’s constitution could offer legal framework of resolving child abduction and cattle rustling to at least ensure adherence to all code of human rights and political stability in Jonglei, Warrap, Lake Unity States, at least where conflict is raging.

Without question, a significant number of South Sudanese has blamed the President. However, the legislators do have duties and responsibility to ensure that laws that would guide government functions and life of citizens are protected.

The Legislative Assembly could ensue following constitutional rights if people cling to power and their performances are not yielding tangible results:
1) It is the obligations and responsible of the legislators to impeach the president.
2) The legislators can pass vote of no confidence.
3) Grill and scrutinize seniors’ members of judiciary, military and executive that are suspects of having commit crimes, issue illegal and unwarranted arrest from the court and harassment of journalists.
4) Summonses officials that have engaged in money laundry and embezzlements
5) Pass provision that would cease and prevent further renegotiations of the CPA.
6) The renegotiation of CPA have led to lose of 60% of Byei to Sudan,
7) The renegotiation of CPA violates the clauses of January 1st 1956 borderline between the South and North,
8) The renegotiation risk territorial integrity of South lands, and causes Pathou, Kaka, Anas and many more as parts of disputed towns.
9) The renegotiation of CPA change dynamic of the Security Arrangement Protocol, and suggest that SPLA withdraws from South Sudan lands and left it to the North.

Notes: there is nothing more honorable and dignified than for the president or minister to say that I have failed to discharge my duties and obligations entrusted in me by the citizens, therefore I resign from the presidency or ministerial position.
The legislators failed to exercise their duties bestowed upon them by the constitution.

The Framers of the South Sudan Transitional Constitution
The framers of the South Sudan constitution were not visionaries. They did not at least reflect on how constitutions of other democracies were drafted. For example, the framers of the Western countries’ constitutions were visionaries. They envisioned constitutional laws that would serve their citizens, which is the constitution that was founded upon democratic ideals. The founding fathers annexed constitutions that would address the enduring issues of their times and of the future. These men reflected on good ideas of the past that would better serve citizens in the future. Because of this very reason, the founding fathers of the United States constitution grounded their constitution upon democratic ideal known as the social contract in (1762); this principle of rights that enhances roles of the government and citizens was coined by Jacques Rousseau during the Age of Enlightenment. The situations that engineer this idea were difficulties and conflictuals. The evidences show that the Enlightenment communities were engulfed in raging wars and violence’s. Hence, Rousseau idea was significantly important for citizens to give up some sorts of their liberties in order for them to be protected by the government. Did the framers craft effective transitional constitution that would serve and protect citizens of South Sudan? I doubt it.

Indeed, all concern citizens have doubted whether the Bill of Rights embedded in the transitional constitution were strong enough to secure the economic, political and customary rights of all citizens. The written constitution shows opposite. It is difficult to comprehend understand how the framers could fail to craft better constitution in the midst of mass resources and human capitals that could have helped them? It is even amazing to see that the drafters failed to annex a constitution that would protect the roles of citizenship, freedom of expressions and political rights. We were all hoping that the transitional constitution would grant citizens due process and protect their rights.

The transition constitution of South Sudan should have been grounded in the following ideas:
1) The framers of the transition constitution could have first and foremost seek to find a constitutional remedies to all issues and conflicts of the past five decades by writing a constitution that would protect life, property and land of citizens.
2) The framers by far failed to use the comprehensive Peace Agreement as blueprint of the South Sudan constitution and failed to incorporate and blend the Western’s constitutional ideas and South Sudanese traditional laws into the transitional constitution. At the core of the CPA is protocol, a set of system and principle that was put in place to protect and guarantee protection of life, land, and property of people of South Sudan and marginalized areas. This could have not been overlooked.
3) The framers alienated the Western countries in the process of writing constitutions for example the United States, and other Western democracies, which in the first place support our independence and could have helped in the process of drafting. We should be mindful that Japan’s constitution was written by team that sent from the United States. And the whole Europe that emerges from its ruin of Second World War was assisted by the United States.
4) The South Sudan government failed to recruited western educated sons and daughters of South Sudan to help in writings of the constitutions. There is no reason whatever why the government cannot see for the brighter and the best our country can offer to help in the process of achieving our statehood. The government of South Sudan failed miserably to at least execute policies and laws in its book.

In this globalized world, there could be no substantial reasons or explanation as to why our constitution was not well written. There should be no debate about basic human rights because we are expected to know the basic rights of our citizens. There should be no debate about what kind of laws that could be used to punish criminals because we all know traditional laws of our societies if in fact we do not know laws of constitution for one reason or another. The bottom line is that the people of South Sudan must be exclusively granted economic, and political, customary rights or this government will fail! The government must be made aware that the indigenous rights and customary rights, because these rights are well incorporated in the Universal Declaration Rights. The fact that their children are abducted and their cattle are raided is a clearly violations of international law and the Legislative Assembly must be made aware.

The most fundamental concept of democracy is the idea that government exists to secure the rights of its people and this principle is based on the “consent of the governed” an idea that enhances and develops from the social contract. James Madison, framer and father of the United States constitution took the consent of the governed and use it to design and craft the United States Constitution, and this idea has endured for more than hundred fifty years. Likewise, the framers of South Sudan constitution could have drafted a transitional constitution that would address current specific challenges facing the nation and envision future problems. In so doing, they would have established the foundational principles that would sustain and guide the new nation into uncertain situations of the future.

Despite all existing constitutional issues, the framers blindly grant wide arrays of powers and privileges to the president probably for one reason or another. These powers given to President undermine and diminish the status of our country among the nations. It also shows citizens’ rights to elect their governor are deprived. It is disappointing because it sends wrong messages to the world. I still wish the drafters could have crafted a constitution for current citizens of South Sudan and for the next generations because the constitution lives forever but the presidency ends with the terms limit. I hope the people of South Sudan understand the gravity of this issue.

Since, we long for better ideas in our constitution, the concept that shapes the United States constitution and makes it better than any other western constitutions was an idea derived from the English greatest philosopher and political writer, John Locke. He coined and echoed that the government should protect life, Liberty, and property. The framer and the founding father of the United States constitutions, Thomas Jefferson remarkably and momentously refurnished the same idea and put it in these words “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is very evidence in the United States constitution that the life, liberty and property of all citizens must be protected. It is also evidences in South Sudan that the insecurity will remain as the sole sources of problems as long as the child abductors and cattle raiders are not criminalized.

The Kiir’s administration must with the issues of child abductions and cattle rustlings in the constitution to avoid tribalization and accusations of human rights violations. The legislative assembly has presided over the most fraudulence transitional constitution ever in the history of the world. The constitution serves the president and infringes upon the rights of all citizens. Although, the president rightly uses his constitutional power to fire the governor of Lake State, it is absurd for any president to layoff leader that was elected by the people. Could this be a wakeup call for the so call legislators to amend or review the constitution? It is simply stunning for the world to see the country it supports to gain independence acting abnormally.

The fundamental principle that anchored a nation on strong foundation is Bill of Rights. The human, political, economic and customary rights could have been the cornerstone of South Sudan transitions constitution but unfortunately kiir’s administrations knowingly violate these rights. The South Sudan Legislative Assembly presiding over this fraudulent transitional constitution that serves nobody but the president fails to act. I personally doubts whether legislative assembly knows its primary responsibility. It is interesting to see the legislative Assembly allows citizens to be robbed of their rights which basically left citizens left at the mercy of the President.

Even in the midst of these tragic and unbearable situations, the people of South Sudan are optimistic and have remained calm. They have developed patriotic faith and love for their country during the liberation struggles. Citizens hope and dream for a Leader that would enhance management capacity, as well as ensuring a constitution that protects their rights. We are optimistic society, therefore we will continue of dreaming if this leader does not change it course. We will continue dreaming for a leader that would play integrating roles of nominating people who would champion diplomatic policy that would serve the interests of citizens and maintain our ally around the world. We would long for a president that would frequently send ministers to survey and assess villages that were ravage by war and reports on how such situations can be remedy. We basically need a leader that would frequent visit states and reacts when his citizens are killed. In this nascent nation, domestic policies should be aimed at training and development, performance management, public service ethics, and succession planning, because better understanding of public leadership begins with an understanding of one’s self within a framework of guiding policies and tactics of getting things done.

Let us be practical in term of implementing a policy, decision to move headquarter out of Wau was a colossal failures. It is not a good sign of any democracy to abruptly move the headquarter without the consent of the governed (citizens). The president and governor would have joined their hand and sell their policy of moving headquarter out of Wau to citizens. This policy would have created a better debate and dialogue between the governor and citizens. It would have also revealed the positive and negative consequences of this policy. The consent of the governed is an essential part of the constitution. It is the responsibility of all the public officials, the president and governors to draft policy and sell that policy to citizens. The citizens are the ultimate decision makers, they can choose to accept or reject policy based upon policy benefits and disadvantages. It is vitally essentially for all government officials to allow all the stakeholders understand what sorts of policy, its repercussions before its implementations. Notes: that if all the procedures of implementation policies were taken, lives of people in Wau would have been saved and Wau’s tragedy could have been avoided.

To conclude, the SPLM must redeem itself from its sins of the past seven years in its Extra-ordinary Convention, if indeed this convention is worth to be given this name. Our party must elect a candidate with credentials and leadership capacity, other elements of resolving public controversies include employing effective communications skills and strategies and the ability to resolve conflicts and disputes for 2015 elections. Among the most important qualities of leadership is the attitude toward change. In fact, effective public leaders are distinctly dissatisfied with the status quo. They are often willing to take risks to initiate improvements. The skills of an effective leader include: recognizing opportunity and knowing how to make the most of it; optimizing group effectiveness; understanding the basics of planning; the ability to effectively network; willingness to delegate; knowing how and when to challenge others understanding the benefits of change and not hesitating to implement it when needed; and willingness to take risks.

We need a leader with clear judgment and ability to reach logical conclusions and make high quality decisions based on available information, and skills of identifying educational needs and setting priorities. Ministerial positions have been recycled and I think the recycling is completed. I urge the president and ministers to give the new progressive generation a priority to serve their country. The Lost boys possess a unique traits and behaviors of effective developmental leaders whose primary focus is the development and democracy. They have been asked to wait since 1987, when will their tomorrows come? I think they have been prepared and groomed to tackle huge issues and challenges of today.

The South Sudan land owed them huge debts. The torch must be must passed to them if we want our country to be put in a road to good governance, rules of law and democratic ideals. This generation is prepared to handle external and internal forces pressure on leaders and they could find ways of delivering services to citizens while maintaining high government ethics.

Gabrial Pager Ajang
The writer holds BA, MPA and PhD student
He can be reached @

SPLM leadership has always lagged behind events

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, FEB/15/2013, SSN;

South Sudan is often referred to as the quickest changing country in the world, but this is only so because so many things are happening simultaneously in a place where very little else ever existed before. However this observation must be viewed with a pinch of salt as not every change here happens for the better.

For even Juba the seat of the country’s government and the main center of events, although it has witnessed many changes since 2005 up to date, it can hardly be said that these changes have been for the better. With an unplanned population rise from an initial of less than 250,000 in 2004, it is now a home to around 1.0 million inhabitants.

It has barely developed from a tiny garrison town into a modern day shanty town with no sewage disposal, no clean drinking water and no central electricity supply. The town’s planning authority cannot cope up with the rapid pace of returnee citizens, villages to town immigration and the across border influx of workers and traders.

Caught off guard even the modern buildings that are meant to replace the ramshackle structures have mostly been constructed on either illegally acquired pieces of land or unauthorized plots. What were designated as open parks and playgrounds are now sites of all kinds of buildings.

Unsurprisingly the new country has been more under spontaneous changes than anything planned so as to speak. And the leadership under President Salva Kiir Mayardit is for the best part characterized by slow decision making and inability to prioritize projects and programs in spite of the abundant access that it has to free expert advice and technical opinion.

The decision to abruptly shut down the oil production came towards the last week of January 2012, and for the president to wait until August 2012 to form his belated committee tasked with studying the reconstruction of the government is indeed a very late reaction.

While president Kiir took his time to react to what was an obvious and an expected downside of his decision to shut down the Oil production, it has to be stressed here that other concerned South Sudanese and in its forefront is the United South Sudan Party [USSP] did indeed come out openly not only to suggest but also went on to emphasize the importance of immediately dissolving this bloated cabinet and replacing it with a lean cabinet of technocrats. Follow this link to read the whole article.…/country-needs-a-care-taker-government.

The SPLM led government of South Sudan under President Salva Kiir Mayardit is infamous for its established characteristic of slowness in considering vital national issues and the snail pace in implementing important projects.

Throughout the reign of this leadership South Sudan has never had anything delivered on time. And I mean anything with the exception of the 2011 self determination referendum and subsequently of course the declaration of the country’s independence on July 9th, 2011, both of which were directly overseen by the international community.

Coming to the mother of all issues and that’s the construction of alternative pipelines to free South Sudan from depending on the “Jallaba regime” in Khartoum, it can be seen that this same slow thinking leadership failed to read the political forecast properly in as far as the future of the country’s Oil Industry is concerned in the light of the ever bumpy relationship that South Sudan has with its northern neighbor.

Many voices have been shouting in the wilderness trying to draw the attention of the people of South Sudan and especially so the attention of the current political leadership – and in fact warning them about the uncertainty attached to the future of the Oil industry. Had they taken heed they would have realized ahead of time the importance of building an alternative pipeline to the Indian Ocean.

Again the USSP has been a forerunner in providing an in-length enlightenment campaign for the construction of an alternative pipeline which it started in 2009 and went on to intensify it in 2010 around the run up to both the general elections and the self-determination referendum. To read the whole article please visit as it appeared on Jul 10, 2010 under the heading: “Oil Pipelines to the Indian Ocean are as important as Independence itself.”

In that time and the satellite storage centers for information will remain our sole witness for all the doubting “Thomases” – what we heard from the then national minister of petroleum Dr. Lual Acheick Deng, a senior member of the ruling SPLM party, was nothing but a classical rhetoric of a diehard Unionist. His argument was that an alternative pipeline was not an economical viable project. Follow this link to read the whole article.…/Criticised-Minister-Lual-Dengs-Support-For-Uni.

Today the true nationalists are all out there to challenge those who wanted to guarantee their daily bread at the expense of our long awaited independence. So my dear disciples of the New Sudan Vision, where do you now stand in as far as the economic viability of an alternative pipeline are concerned?

Which one would be easier for you or say economically viable for the republic of South Sudan to undertake so as to save its economy: To disarm the SPLM/A – North (9th and 10th SPLA divisions as preferred to by the NCP) and then be allowed by the Jallaba to use their pipeline or will you go with dignity to support the construction of an alternative pipeline – or seek other ways of exporting the country’s Oil to the world markets?

Now almost three years since we have been campaigning for the alternative pipeline and sadly enough till the time of writing these lines, no light exists at the end of the tunnel. We have heard all these stories about Lamu in Kenya and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa over and over again.

We have also heard about the Japanese Toyota Company and a certain Texan Company and other American companies as well, but we haven’t seen any work being started yet.

As recently as last year president Kiir knew very well that his enemies in Khartoum are more likely to inflict damage on our citizens using their notorious Antonov which randomly drop bombs where that may be. Yet he took the boys to fight without a sky cover.

Those who read Sudan Tribune on February 13, 2013 will have come across this news heading: Kiir orders troop deployment to border areas with Sudan 45494.

The question that begs an answer is: “Has president Kiir learned anything from the Panthou [Heglig]? And has he now upgraded the army [SPLA] with the much needed anti-aircraft hardware? Which ever way you look at the current situation along our northern borders, it’s likely that sooner than later the two countries may easily go back to war.

With all these eminent security threats our army [SPLA] still does not posses any of the sophisticated guns to bring down the enemies Antonov planes which indeed have proved to be a nuisance along the border regions. The military solution to this should have taken the priority.

We cannot talk about not having the funds each time an important issue is discussed when some 75 clearly identified individuals are allowed to walk away with no less than $ 4 billion dollars. That’s Kiir’s leadership for you.

This is a leadership which only thinks of doing something when the right time is long gone. Why don’t they understand that unless a thing is done at the right time, the impact will never be the same?

There is an optimum point in time when an action can yield a maximum result. Otherwise the unnecessary habit of delaying or deferring decisions and actions can be terribly counterproductive.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party [USSP]. He can be reached at:

Land grabbing in and around Juba may soon be a thing of the past

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, RSS, JAN/08/2013, SSN;

Recently land grabbing in and around Juba has hit news headlines. The Citizen newspaper of Friday, January 25, 2013 – Vol.7. Issue No. 356 had as a lead news headline ‘Interior Ministry Orders Arrest of Land Grabbers and Associates in Juba.’ The same newspaper of Friday, February 1, 2013 – Vol.7. Issue No. 363 also had as a lead story ‘Police Fired in Air to Scare Land Grabbers in Tongpiny” on the front page.

The order to arrest land grabbers and associates in and around Juba must have been a far reaching relief to the many victims of land grabbing. The national government had been dead silent about land grabbing in and around Juba and the state government of Central Equatoria was neither helpful. The awakening of the national government to the menace of land grabbing is something that is highly commendable.

The awakening of the national government clearly shows that land grabbing may soon be a thing of the past. However, persistent action against land grabbing is most needed with adequate resources provided to law enforcing agencies. One problem is poorly handled eviction of land grabbers.

Genesis of land grabbing
South Sudan fought two wars of liberation. The first war was between 1955 and 1972 and the second between 1983 and 2005. When the first war ended with peace realized land grabbing was unheard of. However when the second war ended and peace was once again realized land grabbing appeared with unprecedented shock to landowners and indigenous people. Some of those who were in the frontline during the second war of liberation assumed it was their God-given right to help themselves to any piece of land their eyes could see regardless of who owned the land.

The situation turned ugly to landowners who were either threatened or intimidated with the unfortunate ones either beaten up or shot. This was done in broad day light by people who would be very proud to call themselves liberators. However, true liberators do not in any way harm those they have liberated. Only pseudo liberators do and there are many of them masquerading as true liberators. It is not difficult to see the genesis of land grabbing in and around Juba. It is lack of nationalism replaced by greed.

Land grabbing and the rule of law
The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 is very clear about the right to own property. Article 28 (1, 2) in part stipulates that every person shall have the right to acquire or own property as regulated by law and no private property may be expropriated save by law in the public interest. The transitional constitution is also clear about landownership. Article 171 (6a) says private land shall include registered land held by any person under leasehold tenure in accordance with the law. However, in defiance of the constitution and law, land grabbers do not spare private registered land either.

In can be seen that land grabbing is unconstitutional and unlawful. Land grabbers therefore deserve to face the rule of law. However, probably due to the lack of clearly spelt out policy on land grabbing, grabbers have often escaped being apprehended and punished. Nevertheless, the courts of law have been doing their best in reverting grabbed land or property to their legitimate owners. The problem, however, has been the execution of court orders. Quite often court orders have not been executed as expected to the satisfaction of landowners.

Land grabbers defy court orders by either chasing away law enforcing personnel or simply do not respond at all to any court order. The dead silence of the national and state governments seemed to have encouraged land grabbers to be defiant with impunity.

Government intervention
Government intervention is badly needed to address the serious security problem of land grabbing in order to make it a thing of the past. Land grabbing has been a thorn in the flesh of landowners and a security risk to the nation. It has also been poisoning community relations, polarizing individuals and communities thereby making national unity less achievable.

Land grabbers are insensitive people who do not care about what their actions do to the security and unity of the country. It was probably on this basis that the Deputy Minister of Interior, Lt General Salva Mathok Gengdit, as quoted by the Citizen newspaper of January 25, 2013, issued an order to the police to arrest land grabbers in Juba with immediate effect. That was one of the most expected government intervention in land grabbing issues. One can only applaud loudly the Deputy Minister of Interior for this courageous and farsighted move.

The Deputy Minister was very decisive and this is what is needed in building this young nation to realize peace and prosperity for all. Traumatised landowners and the public at large must be very happy to hear and learn that the Ministry of Interior is asking organized forces/authorities to order their personnel not to be involved in illegal practice of land grabbing. Hopefully the Ministry of Interior has a monitoring unit to verify that indeed illegal practice of land grabbing is under control.

The way forward
The Ministry of Interior has already set the way forward. What can be added is that the illegal use of firearms to intimidate and terrorise innocent law abiding civilians out of their land or property should be addressed forthwith. Some personnel from organized forces keep firearms and are ready to produce or display them in a menacing manner to frighten landowners. This suggests indiscipline and disobedient personnel of organized forces should be severely punished as a deterrent to others not to attempt to use firearms to intimidate people.

It is difficult to understand why and how the personnel of organized forces should be keeping firearms in their houses, in what is supposed to be peace time, with the sole aim of being bossy and to frighten people. Firearms are support to be for the protection of people but not to intimidate the very people to be protected.

The Ministry of Interior should have done a good job if it can declare it a criminal offence for any personnel of organized forces to display firearms with the intention of intimidating people. Soldiers must be obedient or else they are not the soldiers to promote harmony and peace in the society.

The order by the Deputy Minister of Interior, Lt General Salva Mathok Gengdit, will go a long way to address the problem of land grabbing in and around Juba. People want to see such bold decisions being taken for good governance in the country. The Deputy Minister of Interior has set a precedent that should encourage others in the system to contribute positively to nation building. There is a yearning for good governance that is sensitive and responsive to the aspirations of the people.

It must be acknowledged that the Deputy Minister of Interior stands out as somebody who cares about this young nation living in harmony and in peace with itself. Nobody can afford to build this nation on land grabbing perpetuated through tribal lines. People must rise above tribal lines by upholding the rule of law. Land grabbers are law breakers and rebellious against the transitional constitution that guarantees people’s right to own land and property. By illegally grabbing somebody’s land, the land grabber is committing a criminal offence that should be punished under the law as a deterrent. Institutional weakness of law enforcing agencies should also be addressed to tackle effectively land grabbing.

The Deputy Minister of Interior should liaise with his counterpart in the Ministry of Defense and SPLA Affairs, and also with the state government for effective coordination in tackling land grabbing in and around Juba. Most dangerous land grabbers are people in uniform keeping firearms to protect their illegal activities. It is this component of land grabbers that is posing the real security risk in and around Juba. This becomes very serious when land grabbing takes tribal lines. However, it is a delight that the national government has become acutely aware of the menace of land grabbing and the resultant effect on the unity of people and the country.

In conclusion, it is in the best interest of security, peace and unity of this young nation that land grabbing should be brought to a speedy end by all means so that it is a thing of the past.

Nhial Deng Nhial and Majak Ago’ot Atem… They die….

    JUST POLITICAL JOKE….. just for a good laugh!

BY: Holy Crook (an alias), JUBA, FEB/4/2013, SSN;

In the year 2099, Majak Ago’ot Atem and Nhial Deng Nhial die of old age; on the same day – December 31. They go straight to Hades. Hades lies between Heaven and Hell. It is a sort of a way-station. Just like any other institution, it has policies – rules and regulations. Authorities in Hell, Heaven and Hades work hand in hand. Hades coordinates the activities. It keeps copies of the lists of those who are destined for heaven and Hell. Anyone who gets there has his or her name ticked and shown a room to wait for instructions – whether to proceed to Heaven or Hell.

Here, Nhial and Majak share a bed because the place is congested as big numbers of people keep coming from earth. This is because people are dying in wars, and others, of fatal man-made diseases created by European and American scientists just to reduce the overwhelming world populations, particularly the poor.

Nhial and Majak recognize a lot of South Sudanese they knew way back on earth, mostly those who let down South Sudan during and after the liberation struggle. These were those who collaborated with Khartoum and consequently butchered their own people in exchange of food. Some were those who broke away from the government and worked to destabilize South Sudan during its infancy.

Amongst the old buddies they meet in Hades are Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, Gabriel Tanginye, Peter Gatdet, George Athor, Bapiny Manytuil, Olony, Samuel Gai Tut, Akuot Atem and many others. Each and every one of them narrates why he is spending such a long time in Hades without going to Heaven or Hell.

As they chat, Nhial spots two elderly men seated on a mat made of reeds. “Oh my God, am I dreaming or is that Abel Alier and Joseph Lagu?” In unison, they reply “yes.” immediately, Majak wonders: “What happened? I thought they were in heaven, considering how they participated in the fight against Khartoum regimes.”

The two dudes walk over to the elders and greet them. As the conversation gets interesting and deeper, Nhial chips a question in: “Uncles, we’re so surprised that you two are still here, what happened? We thought you were in heaven. What happened?” Being so old, Abel and Lagu say they can’t remember what went down.

The truth is, being the senior and wiser figures in their region then, they surprisingly and gullibly allowed President Numeiri to drive a wedge between them. President Numeiri had them fight one another after he successfully made Dinka Bor cattle destroy Bari farms. Both Lagu and Alier failed to resolve the problem amicably, leaving it to escalate into wider political conflicts involving students, civil service and other societal groups in the South.

In the beginning, Lagu was the best leader. He tried his best to keep the rebellion strong and progressive but he gave up in the middle of the revolt against Khartoum. He is a quitter. Besides, during his tenure as the Second President of the High Executive Council of the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region, Lagu got carried away by the goodies – including a big-breasted northern woman – offered to him by the then Khartoum regime, thus forgetting his people and their cause.

To make matters worse and like Alier, he relocated to Khartoum. Their decisions and actions, in many ways, caused incalculable suffering amongst their people.

To cut the long story short, Nhial and Majak are summoned into the boss’ office. The head of Hades, a huge dude with a big scary scar on his left cheek, briefs them: “Boys, you’re so lucky, you just got here and I have been instructed to ready you for an exit. I received a message from Heaven last night. It says your names have been screened and you were found sinless: you were good political leaders. You never got involved in corrupt practices. That’s it, boys. Prepare for your entry to heaven. You’ve a couple of hours.”

The two walk out of the room with faces shining with big smiles. Back in the dorm, they break the good news to their countrymen. Some express happiness for them. Others feel jealous. Tanginya is one of the guys who are unhappy about the good news.

He gets up and begins to attack the two verbally: “how come you guys are going to Heaven? God must be crazy. That’s not fair at all. You lazy dudes who let down South Sudanese. You were always silent about critical issues affecting the common man. Particularly you, Nhial, as a Foreign Minister, what good things did you do? All you did was bragging, all day all night, bragging about academic papers. When Khartoum was committing atrocities, killing and destroying structures in the country, when your Sudanese counterpart was winning sympathizers using diplomatic war tactics, like a statue, you sat in your chair, doing what you do best – keeping quiet.

You thought degrees and doctorates would work by themselves? You’re the type of people I rebelled against Salva Kiir’s government for. Had I entered Juba with my commandos, I would have shot you in the ear.

For you, Majak, who the hell do you think you are? Mister Parrot, do you really believe that you are without blemish; that you are going to Heaven? God must be kidding me. Let me count the bad things you did in South Sudan. One, you were involved in………”
Here scuffle erupts. One of Majak’s supporters punches Tanginya in the face, provoking the two sides to get at each other like lions.

They cause a big scene. A Kenyan man is overheard saying, “hawa watu wanapenda vita sana.”

Majak and Nhial arrive at the Gates of Heaven. St. Paul and St. Peter are guarding the gates. “Hello, brethren. Welcome to Heaven. I’m your brother, St. Paul, and my brother here is St. Peter. Identify yourselves, please.”

As they undergo formal procedure, some people inside the walls of heaven begin to peep at them through the beautifully designed transparent gate. Nhial smiles and nudges Majak. “Look, do you recognize those people over there?” Majak said no. “I can’t blame you. It’s been long. I am seeing familiar faces. I can see Saturnino Lohure Hilangi, Majok Mac Aluong, Nyuon Bany, Malath Lueth, Arok Thon Arok, Ageer Gum, Peter Panhom Thanypiny, Francis Ngor, ……..”

“Brothers, let’s finish the routine first,” interrupts St. Paul. “We have scanned through the Book of Deeds and we found that you’re all clean. Welcome to the Garden of Eden, brethren.” Nhial and Majak happily walk in.

Before they reach the other crew who are eagerly waiting to hug and kiss them, St. Peter calls them back. “I’m afraid, there’s a little problem. We just realized we had not considered one side of you, brothers. Weren’t you members of a South Sudan’s political party called the SPLM?”

They exchange glances and hesitatingly say, “y-y-y-e-e-s-s, we-we-we were.”

“Well, thanks for admitting that. We’re afraid, there’s a little problem, brethren,” says St. Peter. “Any South Sudanese who supported SPLM especially after it negotiated the independence of the country, no matter how many good deeds he did while on earth, shall never enter the Kingdom of God.”

With tears rolling down their cheeks, Majak asks, “why, why, why, Brother Peter? We have been very good people. We lived exemplary lives among South Sudanese. You can’t do this to us.”

Peter shakes his head in disagreement.

The pair kneels and pleads with the holy men. “Look, guys,” narrates, St. Paul, “there is nothing we can do right now rather than allowing the rule to take its course. The SPLM issue is a big deal here in Heaven. Even some angels have been assigned to solely watch the activities of the once adorable party. And I think the best way we can explain this is to remind you of one of the quotes by Desmond Tutu:

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

The pair lets out deafening cries.

“Guys, stop weeping. Crying won’t help. Whether to enter Heaven or not is nonnegotiable,” continues Peter. “Tutu’s quote explains everything. When your colleagues in the SPLM government were raping South Sudanese politically, economically and socially, you chose to keep mum. You just watched the multitude writhe in pain. The SPLM did more destruction to the citizens than the successive Khartoum regimes. SPLM killed the hope for a better tomorrow, which helped them survive into independent South Sudan. After the international community granted South Sudanese independence, the SPLM turned into a group of shameless liars and thieves – a mafia.

Contrary to their promises they made to the public, the SPLM proved itself blind and deaf. It introduced social injustice. The former Bushmen pauperized the citizens who had counted on them during the long civil war. When it assumed power in 2005, the SPLM got involved in a number of grand malpractices. They neglected their roles and focused on self-enrichment. The poor got poorer. That’s it, Brethren. No single SPLM member shall enter Heaven. It’s written. Now, go to Hell. It’s not far from here.”

The pair had hoped that heaven was the place to be. With the breaking news delivered by the Holy Men, the pair faints. Hours later, they regain consciousness only to find themselves in the front gate of a fortified town guarded by some mean-looking horned men and women.

“Hey macs, you expect to be welcomed? Where do you think this is? Heaven,” Barks a Cerberus-shaped guard.

He grabs Majak and Nhial by the ears and drags them towards the entrance of the facility. He kicks them in the butts and bangs the door after them.

To their amazement, the new place looks more of an earthly penitentiary institution; contrary to the biblical frightful descriptions of Hell. It looks awful though. It’s afternoon. People are in groups. As the chaos in the new place mesmerizes them and with mouths wide open, they hardly believe what they are seeing. A huge crowd was mocking a small group of dark-skinned familiar men. As they get closer, they find out that it is some short man trying to stop a fight between two groups.

Unsurprisingly, these are all SPLM senior officials and members participating in a face-off with their former enemies on earth. The notable ones here are Salva Kiir, Pagan Amum, John Luk, Wani Igga, Ann Itto, Makuei Lueth, Kuol Manyang, Rizik Zachariah, Rebecca Nyandeng and many others.

Nhial approaches Barnaba Marial and without greetings asks him to explain what is going on. “It’s a very long story, brother. Kiir is bullied everyday as usual. Our enemies have resumed the earthly disagreements and hate here in hell. Lam Akol and a bunch of other unpatriotic South Sudanese have befriended Omar Bashir. Lam always harasses Kiir and when Kiir tries to discipline him, Bashir emerges with his crew members including Thabo Mbeki, Hu Jintao, Yau Yau, among others. Yesterday, Bashir himself broke Kiir’s jaw. Anyway, welcome brothers. At least your arrival is of advantage to us. We will always fight off Bashir and company.”

Few weeks elapse. Majak and Nhial learn a lot. It’s like many people hold grudges against the South Sudanese in Hell. Some of them are those who are retrying to retaliate for injustice committed by South Sudanese. One such a group is that of Ugandan businessmen who got cheated in the Dura saga.

They had lodged a case at their High Court, seeking for a declaration that the refusal of the South Sudan government to pay them as per the Memorandum of Understanding with Uganda is unlawful.

However, every noise they made went unheard. South Sudan turned a deaf ear. As a result, they, them Ugandans, mistreat the SPLM. SPLM members are the cooks, dishwashers, cleaners and all types of odd job doers. In other words, they’re living in hell within hell.

To be continued….

A Gloomy Future for South Sudan under the 2012 Political Parties Act!!

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, JAN/31/2013, SSN;

Many still believe that the lack of unity remains a leading cause of the political instability in the nascent state of South Sudan. But this shouldn’t be taken to mean that South Sudan political parties have no history of ever coming together in the presence of an important purpose.

An example in case here is when all the two dozen or so different political parties were quick to unify under the umbrella of the All South Sudan Political Parties Forum for the purpose of the Self Determination referendum. It was this unity of purpose that paved the way for the smooth conduction of the January 2011 plebiscite that eventually led to the Independence from the Khartoum-based Islamic government.

Nonetheless it is worth pointing out here that although the many small opposition parties are often willing and ready than not to join the ruling SPLM in finding out common grounds needed to navigate the difficult political and socio-economic paths which the country found itself stalling through, it is unfortunate that these readiness and willingness have been largely taken for granted by the SPLM and at times they have been outrightly misunderstood as a sign of weakness, obviously driven by the grandiosity of being the party that waged the liberation war.

What followed after the January 2011 referendum was and is in fact inconsistent with the anticipated reaction from the SPLM especially in the light of the plebiscite’s outcome. As if to remind the other opposition parties about how they [SPLM] intend to not only marginalize these parties, but also to adopt an NCP version of mock democracy, the SPLM immediately resorted to what can be referred to as the “muzzling politics.”

In so doing it went on to unilaterally impose a widely rejected transitional constitution on the country in defiance of all the concerns raised by the other political parties, the civil societies and the women’s associations.

Today this embattled and a rightly controversial constitution has plunged the country into a lot of political and socio-economic chaos.

This constitution is better known for the fact that it gave the country’s president a free hand in almost everything in the country.

It is sad to recall that in a country that claims to respect the choice of the people, a handpicked SPLM dominated constitution committee members went on and gave the Head of the State an unquestionable right to dismiss elected State Governors, without necessarily having to publicly state out the reasons behind such a decision.

Today the Lakes State is the first to experience such a presidential move when H.E issued his infamous decree that dismissed the State’s first ever elected governor from office. Tomorrow it will be either another elected state governor or an elected MP, and since all are meant to be taking place in the name of constitutionality, then who is out there to challenge it?

To confirm the above point and to the disappointment of those citizens who took to the streets of Rumbek Town, the state capital to
demonstrate in protest of the decree, together with those opinion writers who criticized it in the various media outlets, it didn’t take long before the SPLM-dominated National Legislative Assembly [NLA] in Juba came out openly as usually is the case and rubber stamped the dismissal of the elected governor.

Precisely it has now become the pattern in the new country of South Sudan that any crude decision ever uttered by the Head of State which is often done in the absence of any broader consultations, will always receive a rubber stamp blessing from this good for nothing, SPLM-dominated National Legislative Assembly in Juba.

First they approved the Transitional Constitution in spite of all the undemocratic articles that were intentionally insinuated in the document with the sole intent of giving the the president, his executive and kitchen cabinets the uncontested upper hand in the country’s politics.

The same parliament was quick to approve the relocation of the country’s capital to a certain swampy Ramciel without any tangible
technical or financial considerations. It [NLA] was as well supportive of the unstudied shutdown of the country’s only source of revenue – the Oil Industry, without setting in place a plan B, hence the current economic dilemma.

This same parliament, as if to confirm its rubber stamp nature, it went on to take a lukewarm stand on the Panthou [Heglig] war and its aftermath.

It was also quick to endorse the 27th September normalization Agreement with the Sudan in the absence of any real commitment from either government.

Putting these entire behavior patterns together, one can NEVER miss seeing how the SPLM dominated National Legislative Assembly has become a tool in the hands of President Salva Kiir Mayardit for approving wrong policies in the country.

Thus any attempt to correct the status quo must start by fully holding to responsibility these MPs and the NLA as an Institution for their roles in promoting the current state of bad governance, impunity, corruptions, embezzlement and lawlessness.

Although all the above may be obvious for most South Sudan citizens to see, yet there are other hidden disasters to which both the SPLM leadership as represented in the government and those good for nothing NLA – MPs are parties to.

The most worrying and likely to reflect negatively on the political process in the country is none other than the South Sudan
political Parties Act – 2012 which was signed into law by the president of the State on the 24th March 2012.

Every person who considers himself or herself as a South Sudanese intellectual, and a concerned citizen for that matter together with those so-called friends of South Sudan plus the best wishers must all have had a shock at this Political Parties Act document since it is more of a document formulated primarily to obstruct the realization of the much anticipated democratic transformation in the country.

This undoubtedly controversial document was frankly speaking prepared by the members of the SPLM party who dominate the Ministry of Legal Affairs, like it does with the rest of the ministries, then passed by the party loyalist who also dominate the cabinet of ministers and was finally blessed by the NLA as expected in the sole belief of making it impossible for any other political groups to register as legal political parties in the country.

Otherwise how do we interpret the following articles in the Act?

The following persons shall not be members of any Political Party:

(a) Members of organized armed forces and law enforcement agencies;
(b) Justices and judges of the Judiciary of South Sudan;
(c) Legal Advisers and Public Attorneys the Ministry of Justice;
(d) Civil Servants at all levels; and
(e) Diplomats of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Which of these are in actual fact applicable to the SPLM party itself?

Are they really serious in what they have written for this country as Political Parties Act, in the absence of any line that separates the above mentioned categories from being not only loyalists, but frank members of the dominant SPLM party?

An equally important point to highlight here is, given the very high level of illiteracy in the country, and knowing very well that the above categories of citizens in fact constitute the bulk majority of the few educated people in the country, can it not be argued that by sidelining them from taking an active role in party politics is in fact to leave the entire political process to those who hardly read and write?

And below is how Political Parties shall be qualified to be registered if:-

I) It has recruited as members, not less than five hundred registered Voters from each of more than at least eight states;
ii) The members referred to in paragraph (a) reflect regional and ethnic diversity, gender balance, representation of minorities, youth and special category groups;
iii) The political party shall have in its national governing body at least one member from each state.
iv) The political party shall have branches in all ten states and is, in addition organized in not less than eight states.
v) The composition of its governing body reflects regional and ethnic diversity, gender balance and representation of minorities and special category groups;
vi) It has demonstrated that members of its governing body meet the requirements of the Constitution and the laws relating to ethics;
vii) Observes democratic principles in its political activities and respect the peaceful transfer of power;
viii) The means of achieving its goals shall not include the establishment of paramilitary forces;
ix) Not engage in or incite violence or promote hatred among ethnic, religious or racial groups in the Republic of South Sudan; and
x) Not be a branch of any Political Party outside South Sudan.

The articles that regulate the registration of the political parties can be for discussion purposes categorized into two groups. The first group includes those from (I) to (v). These five subsections taken individually or together they all testify to a fact that the SPLM elements within the Ministry of Legal Affairs have undoubtedly and with a premeditated intention exerted a considerable effort to make the registration process of the opposition parties near to impossible.

The number of members in each state, and the minimal number of states required in this Act are not realistic for the realization of
Multi-party Democracy in the country. And by the way who are those registered voters, in the absence of a national census yet to be
conducted, constituencies yet to be decided and the voters themselves yet to be registered?

Again to insist that every ethnic group and all kinds of disabled categories of citizens MUST be compulsorily included in the membership of each and every political party sounded indeed strange for it clearly requests political parties to go out there and look for all these people whether they are politically active or not, let alone if then in fact they would want to join that particular party or its leadership.

The second group is from (VI) to (X). This particular group of articles is the very things that are lacking in the ruling SPLM party. These last five where frankly violated by the SPLM throughout the period from 2005 until this very moment of this writing.

Is the SPLM party [whose officials came up with this document] ever known to have observed any democratic principles since its inception in 1983 or does it respect the peaceful transfer of power within the party? Does it in achieving its goals NEVER got involved in the establishment of paramilitary forces? If it doesn’t, then to whom do the killing squads in Juba and the other main towns belong to?

The SPLM may not be a branch of another political party outside South Sudan, but with the confirmation from the international community, including the US administration, and President Obama himself, all believe that the SPLM is still linked with the SPLM – North.

We heard the party denying that on more than one occasion, however although we would like to believe them yet we find it very weird why South Sudan’s ruling party is still referring to itself the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) at a time when the territory it now rules is no longer part of Sudan, but rather an independent country of South Sudan?

A big party like the SPLM now sixteen months after the Republic of South Sudan has gained its independence by a 98.8% of its popular
vote, people are left with unanswered question as to why this party that prides itself in having championed the liberation remains
unwilling to change its name as if to undermine its South Sudanese reality.

But here we are. The people of South Sudan are unfortunately still forced to live under these SPLM contradictions as long as we continue to blindly follow their unpredictable, incompetent and often non-transparent leadership’s. They will continue to take us for granted and push ahead displaying their weird taste for politics that forms the core of every law that they hand down to us.

Some misleading apologists will tell you that this Political Parties Act for 2012 comes at a time where South Sudan is having over thirty or so political parties. But this isn’t the case in the Independent South Sudan for all the common political parties that drew their membership from both the Southerners and the Northerners e.g. the NCP [Omer Bashir] – Umma [Saddig al Mahdi] – NIF [Hassan al Turabi] – PCP [Hassan al Turabi] – Sudan Communist Party – DUP [Al Mirghani], better known as the northern or national Sudanese political parties, have all ceased to exist in the new Republic of South Sudan..

With the exception of the SPLM parties, whichever political parties that exist to date in this new country are indeed indigenous in origin and agenda. And the fact that they insist to operate independently of the ruling & bulling SPLM deserves the appreciation of all those who cherish pluralism ad multi-party democracy.

It may be important to involve the international community at some stage in order to assist with the formulation of the various bills that are needed to establish a democratic society in South Sudan; however the true responsibility should squarely lie with the South Sudanese.

They have to be seen not only writing and reading articles about the realization of political pluralism in their country, but should also walk an extra mile of personal and group sacrifices in order to achieve this noble goal.

For how do we establish the tradition of using the ballot to peacefully transfer power, when the SPLM-formulated political parties
Act clearly signifies an obstruction to multiparty democracy on one hand and lays the foundations for the emergence of a one party state under a totalitarian regime.

The problem here is that instead of establishing a ballot oriented system, under this infamous South Sudan Political Parties Act -2012, we may be gradually reverting to those times when bullets determine everything.

Does anyone in the absence of multi-party democratic system still doubt the possibility of the nascent country reverting to the old days of voting with rifles given the current state of affairs in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Western Bahr al Ghazal, Unity State coupled with the widespread disillusionment within the ranks and files of the SPLM and the SPLA? Is this so-called 2012 Political Parties Act not a clear recipe for the ‘Jongleisation’ of the whole country?

To save our country from these risky political uncertainties, we need to see to it that this so-called 2012 Political Party Act is
immediately repealed and replaced by a set of laws free of any hidden agenda.

We need a new set of laws that should clearly allow for the easy establishment of political parties unlike the current Act which
undoubtedly if not revoked will only promote the proliferation of regional, tribal and all kinds of militias, precisely as the only
potential political outlets for the numerous disgruntled political groups.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party [USSP]. He can be reached at: or

For how long will President Kiir fly on Ethiopian and Kenyan Airliners?

BY: Holy Crook (alias), JUBA, RSS, JAN/28/2013, SSN;

Wait a minute. I have a confession to make: I’m a fool, the greatest fool of all times. I’ve been a fool. Due to this folly, I’ve been relying on my President for protection. I’ve always counted on him to protect my life and of my children, relatives and South Sudanese in general.

Alas! I was wrong. If the President of the Republic, Salva Kiir, is insecure, who am I to complain about the growing insecurity situation in South Sudan? Who am I to rely on him? If my President sweats and panics every time he exits and returns to the country, who the hell am I to question why civilians are killed on a daily basis in Juba, in Wau and in the whole country?

If the President doesn’t care about his own personal security, life, why do I expect him to protect me? I’m a big fool. Don’t you agree with me? Is he safe? How safe is he?

Relax. The President is safe and there is no potential danger at all.

Do you ask yourself why insecurity is deteriorating in the country? Do you wonder why women and even 14-year-old girls are unarguably systematically raped in Juba and beyond?

Do you know why many citizens spend sleepless nights due to constant attacks and burglaries staged by armed and uniformed men? This is simply because the president himself is insecure; (I know I just assured you that he is safe). So, how do you expect somebody who does not value security to protect you? It is like asking a pauper for a piece of bread.

World nations maintain one or more special planes to transport or fly their heads of state and other senior government officials. There are so many reasons why they do this. One of them is security concern which happens to be the most important one. Another one is prestige. For South Sudan’s case, trash prestige.

My point is: why does Mister President depend on hired commercial planes? Why does he fly on a chartered jet?

Come on. It has been seven and half years now. For how long will our beloved President continue to use Ethiopian and Kenyan airliners? Is it lack of money? Is it that he is too humble to have a presidential private jet? What exactly is gagging the old man?

South Sudan just emerged out of a bloody civil war which killed millions and displaced over four million others. Besides, the same people we have been at war with are still as violent as Islamic Radicals.

Practically, we are still at war with Sudan. Ask the people of Mile 14, Renk and Raja. And our borders are as porous and dangerous as ever.

The world economy is at the verge of collapse. No, it has already collapsed. This is sending all types of people- the bad, the good and the ugly – to South Sudan, which they believe is the new business hub. The influx of these questionable foreign nationals bespeaks a serious concern.

Most of these people are running away from their countries for a reason, just one reason – poverty. They are very desperate. That means they can do anything for money.

South Sudan charters a plane every time the Cowboy has to travel outside, to and fro. The common planes are the Kenya’s KQ and the Ethiopian Airways. He’s flown on these jets a million times. How safe is this type of transport? How much do we’ve to trust our cousins?

I’m not saying the two airliners can do us any premeditated harm but I would like you to look beyond the horizon. Think.

I know that many world leaders chose to travel on commercial flights, like the rest of the great unwashed. Australian Prime Minister John Howard, for instance, has his own plane but sits in an ordinary aircraft seat, rather than a reclining sofa. New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clarke, flies Air New Zealand. That’s fine.

And Malawian President Joyce Banda is an extraordinary woman. She travels by scheduled commercial liners. However, the beauty of this is that the said heads of states fly on their respective nations’ commercial planes, say, Air New Zealand or Air Australia.

Look around. All of our neighboring countries, including broke ones, have presidential jets. President Kibaki trudges in and out of his fifty-million-dollar Fokker 70. Museveni swaggers in a forty-point-two-million-dollar Gulfstream G550 private plane. This is very convenient for them. This special jet, say, Museveni’s, is serviced in Uganda by Ugandans. It’s kept in a hangar managed by Ugandans. It’s watched by Ugandan security agents.

Can South Sudan afford to buy a cheaper jet for the head of the state? Yes it can. I know the government is broke but there is an alternative – just squeeze hundreds of millions of dollars out of the four billion stolen by the seventy-five thieves.

I acknowledge the destructive monetary effects that come with a presidential jet but what difference would it make? The government has had its hand on billions of oil money all these years but it could not use it appropriately.

In actual sense, if we sum up all the money the state has spent on President Kiir’s chartered flights since 2005, the amount could buy a jet more expensive than Kibaki’s. Even if it would mean buying a second-hand plane, the parliament should do something.

South Sudanese would be more comfortable and relaxed to see the plane their President flies piloted by the sons and daughters of the soil.

Need I remind you of the past fishy events involving influential people in Eastern Africa, even our own? No, I don,t think so.

(NB. The author, who is authentic, has opted to use an alias for his own security.)

Solutions to Lakes state inter-clans’ fighting

BY: Bullen Bol, RSS, JAN/27/2013, SSN;

The inter-clans’ fighting in the Lakes state is not something new, I can called it a recurrent phenomenon. During the liberation struggle until now the state has been seen in several inter-tribal clashes. One may ask himself thus, why has Lakes state become a battle field over the years than any other state in which heads of cattle are reared?

Don’t worry yourself thinking much, this article will explore why the state has been involved in series of fighting, recommendations will also be availed, recommendations which are suitable for Lakes state’s problem and which may be relevant to any other state in which heads of cattle are reared.

The fighting has been recurrent because the following root causes have not been addressed in a satisfactory manner.

Wrangles over the grazing and water points
Grazing areas known as toch in Dinka language, has been a major source of problem, it was because of grazing land that caused fighting within Yirol East county in Lakes state particularly over the ownership of Amethmangon cattle camp early in 2007, and now it is the grazing land that has been responsible for the fighting between Agar communities.

Fighting concerning the ownership of the grazing lands ownership will continue to be a source of fighting as long as the ownership of a grazing land in question is not defined satisfactorily.

The claim for being superior by either clan
This has been seen as one of the causes of fighting not only in Lakes state but also among many Dinka tribes especially cattle keepers. Each clan can claim to be superior than the other clan in terms of fighting, the self-claimed superior clan can begin to ask questions like, “since when has clan X defeated us?”

Therefore, the need to maintain historical superiority by cattle keepers accounts for fighting.

Dowry problems
We have been observant over the years that dowry has been a source of fighting in Lakes state, if you can recall the inter-clans fighting in Cueitbet county in 1995 in which numerous people were killed, was dowry-related fight.

You can notice that it is because girls are married with a lot of cows that makes elopement of a girl to immediately trigger fierce fighting because an eloped girl is considered to have depreciated in value and parents of such a girl can be infuriated by the act since they will lose considerable number of cows with such a perceived loss of their daughter’s marital value.

At Yirol East roughly in 2008, fighting happened between Atuut of Yirol West county and Ciec of Yirol East county because a person had given out his calf in compensation of the debt, so when his calf turned out to be bigger and admirable, he returned and retook it, thereby provoking fierce fighting of that year. The owner probably admired it to be the best cow for his possible marriage.

It is because of the dowry problems that many carry out cattle raiding into the neighboring counties or states in search for cows necessary for marriages, for instance, Nuer and Dinka tribes have been doing that over the years.

Presence of weapons (rifles and others) in hands of the civilians
The presence of numerous ammunition in the hands of the cattle keepers has made cowards who would have not initiated the fight when they were using spears, to initiate the fight; this can also be true with cattle thieves.

Nobody could dare to go as far as Agar cattle camps to steal cows because he knows very well that he alone with his spear as a weapon cannot do any harm to the people whom he has stolen cows from in order to protect himself, besides, with spears as weapon, the thief may fear of his security because when he is caught with cows, he would be killed or he could narrowly escape death.

What perplexed me every time there is inter-clans fighting is where do civilians get weapons from after the disarmament? Do they get them from soldiers or are they obtained from relatively peaceful states? Do they get them from Khartoum or are they (weapons) obtained from the neighboring countries?

Are the rebels behind the resurfacing of weapons after disarmament? The list of questions is endless.

Having explored the above causes of the fight among cattle keepers in Lakes state, I would therefore like to give the following recommendations:

Simultaneous disarmament is all states that neighbored lakes States
A national disarmament program should be carried out simultaneously with priority given to states where heads of cattle are reared. This will allow civilians to willingly offer their guns to the disarmament team easily without hesitation because they will not be fearful of any possible attack from the neighboring states or counties.

The failure to carry out disarmament in states where possible attack is expected from is one of the reasons why reserve guns are kept by cattle keepers. The collected guns should be monitored to see whether there is a leakage or not i.e. illegal re-sale of the collected arms.

Executive chiefs should be brought closer to state government
By bringing executive chiefs closer to government, I meant, they should be fully employed with full salary, they should weekly report to their leader whom I can proposed to be a real judge appointed by the governor. They should be availed with motor-cycles so that transport should not be a hindrance to their weekly reporting.

Among their duties should be a task to monitor security in the cattle camps, they should acts as government spies as far as who wants to fight who and when are they likely to fight. Also, they cannot do this alone but they can be assisted by cattle camp leaders, sub-chiefs, and good leaders. All the leaders that work with him should also have telephones and transport materials like bicycles for good leaders and motor bikes for sub-chiefs, executive chiefs and cattle camp leaders.

The telecommunications networks should ensure that the whole of the State is covered, cattle camps inclusive.

Recently, clan fighters dodged where the SPLA soldiers were deployed with use of a mobile phone, that was why the fighting erupted in the cattle camp first but ended up intensifying in the villages leaving soldiers in the cattle camp.

By implementing this proposed measure, the government of state will all the times be updated about the entire state. When there is a looming threat, chiefs can easily enlighten the government and possible action can easily be taken immediately. This will enable the government intervene immediately, besides, the moral of the chiefs will be so heightened since they would be part and parcel of the government of state.

Rules should also be enacted so that whenever the chief goes astray in fulfilling his duties, he could be removed by governor’s decree.

Formulating and implementing laws which are more less jungle laws
Since our people do not act in line with stipulated laws which are in the constitution i.e. that is by pursuing legal procedures in settling disputes among themselves such as grazing land issues, and general aggression matters, I propose that ring leaders on both sides who initiate fighting should be made to compensate whoever was killed in the clans’ fighting.

They should also be arrested in harsh prisons so that their mistreatment becomes a lesson to others who may in future want to break legal procedures in settling disputes. With those laws in place, many may fear to bring both sides together in the context of initiating the fight.

If the number of those who were killed is exactly the same as the number of ring leaders, the ring leaders should be shot dead publicly i.e. inviting villages, make them sit down, finally the ring leaders should be shot dead in the presence of the public which is made to sit. But this process should be free from political support (where politicians take sides), this in my opinion should apply to thieves that steal heads of cattle, murders and any other crimes that correspond with such punishment.

This policy was used in the past and it had proved to be more effective in reducing the cattle theft and other crimes in Lakes state, so it is a matter of reviving the past method of governance.

Marriage laws
Many marriage-related laws are now in place in Lakes state and possibly in all four states of greater Bhar el Ghazal, for instance, 11 cows are paid to the parents of impregnated girl as cows for soothing the angry in-laws; seven cows are paid as punishment for having committed adultery.

All these laws are good but, however, the fact that marriage in Lakes state goes up to 300 cows for a competitive marriage makes the youth indulge themselves in stealing cows, cattle raiding, etc… so that they can accumulate more cows to meet such competitive marriage demands, because that is a factor which is fueling those crimes which culminate into a serious fight.

I recommend that: if a person steals one cow, he has to pay eight in return when confirmed a thief. Also, surveillance military base should be situated in the border of both states (Unity and Lakes) so that they will constantly monitor the security of the cattle and possible fighting that may erupt in the process of cattle rustling.

The maximum number of cows payable to the in-laws should range from 20 to 50 regardless of competition and the beauty of the girl. This will reduce of cows to meet expensive bride price. However, so this policy be effective, our leaders, such as executive chiefs, sub-chiefs to state government officials, should act as role models to the entire public.

Finally, the government should woo investors to invest in agribusiness so that considerable amount of redundant villagers are employed. Government can also invest alongside foreign investors. But government investment is meant reviving of old Sudan factories such as oil factory in Yirol west, establishment of irrigation schemes and infrastructural development.

These should not be only in Lakes state but also in other areas such greater Equatoria, greater Upper Nile and greater Bhar el Ghazal regions. When that is done, the youth will find no time to engage in fighting but rather they will care so much about their jobs.

At this juncture, I can robustly argue that it is because of lack of economic activities that the youth are engaged in these successive inter-clans fighting over the years. So, my appeal to the government is that it should create employment opportunities in agriculture and road construction when its current economic problems happen to change. No development without peace and no peace without economic activities that earn a living .

By Bullen Bol.
You can reach the writer by mail:

Dr. John Garang and question of South Sudan founding father: A reply to Elhag Paul

BY: Manyok Chuol, OTTAWA, CANADA, JAN/12/2013, SSN;

Elhag Paul, the prolific opinion writer and anti-Dinka activist, wrote an article which South Sudan Nation Website published on Jan/ 03/2013. Mr. Paul’s article is entitled: Is there anti-Dinka school of thought in South Sudan as claimed by Joseph Garang of New Sudan Vision? and this commentary is my respond to it. As in almost all the author’s previous articles, two key sentiments have pervaded again: anti-Dinka tirade and Dr. John Garang vis-a’-vis the question of founding father of South Sudan. The two are the only issues I’m responding to.

South Sudanese who have read most of Mr. Paul’s articles will have probably come to the same conclusion, as I have, that this writer harbors deep-seated anti-Dinka sentiments. It’s now also more apparent that Mr. Paul various attempts at denigration of Dr. John Garang and his legacy is in fact a subset of the author’s overall revulsion of the Jieng (Dinka).

I will only respond in detail to Elhag Paul’s argument against Dr. John Garang’s well-deserved and earned-most importantly, the recognition of Founding Father of South Sudan shortly. But Mr. Elhag Paul’s denunciations of the Jieng (Dinka) engender grave danger in South Sudan; I will only respond in passing because others have already advised him against his mis-characterizations and incitement against the Dinka. Unfortunately, Mr. Paul is obstinately impermeable still to their wise counsel.

Anti-Dinka diatribe versus legitimate government criticism
The Rt. Hon. James Wani Igga, Speaker of South Sudan Legislative Assembly, on 30th October 2012 cogently said, during his discussion with South Sudanese in Ottawa, Canada, that, “if we don’t bury tribalism, tribalism will bury us.”

But Elhag Paul, the inventor of the so-called Dinkocracy and associated paregmenon has consistently failed to see this abyss. He uses his right as South Sudanese to criticize the government as ruse to deplore the Jieng as he similarly incites other tribes against it.
Flaunting vanity aside, and I have no problem with it, Mr. Paul should expect South Sudanese to deserve better than the cheap but dangerous incitements he consistently propagandizes about in his articles.

If or when the other tribes rise up against the Dinka as is the goal of Elhag Paul, what is certain is that the Jieng will be forced to defend their collective right to existence and it would be utterly disastrous for our country if tribes fight each other in the way Mr. Paul envisions. By inciting tribes against a tribe, Mr. Elhag Paul should no longer claim to love South Sudan when his work can probably bring about a destruction of the country.

Let me be absolutely unequivocal and affirm that all citizens, including Elhag Paul, reserve the right to criticize the SPLM and the Government of South Sudan as national institutions. This is a right I have personally and numerously exercised. It’s unconscionable and totally unacceptable that citizens have lost their lives in exercise of this right. Isaiah Abraham killing sadly comes to mind and I fully hold the government responsible unless it comes clean but hoodwinking the public remains wholly deplorable.

Therefore, you can see this isn’t about denying Elhag Paul the exercise of such right; the issue really is the cowardly deliberate incitement of ordinary citizens against their compatriots, disguised as government criticism. All citizens reserve the right to criticize the government or the SPLM party regardless of tribe but Elhag Paul coaches his criticisms of national institutions in purely anti-Dinka rhetoric.

Such approach portends danger which Mr. Paul claims to be dispelling in the first place. There is a difference between an institution and an individual and indeed a difference exists between an individual and a tribe. Salva Kiir is an individual and also a Dinka (the tribe) in the same way that he is a South Sudanese national.

The government in Juba is for all South Sudanese. But Mr. Paul would not hold the government solely responsible as a governing national institution. Instead, he holds all Jieng guilty by association for government failures because the president is a Dinka!

But let’s also remember that President Salva Kiir is a South Sudanese national and if we are to start holding communities collectively responsible for shortcomings of individuals, Mr. Paul should use the same yardstick and hold all South Sudanese, including himself, guilty by association for their government failures as the presidency and government have a South Sudanese national association/identity.

But I say, let us not hold tribes guilty by association just because a national leader happens to be from a certain tribe. Let us therefore not hold all Jieng collectively responsible for the failures of a few. I also recognize that there may be tribalist Dinka leaders in government and such leaders should be condemned individually for abusing the public trust but it’s quite a stretch to extrapolate and suggest that all Jieng/Dinkas are tribalists for which the rest of South Sudanese must be incited against.

Let us not divide South Sudanese along tribal lines when we criticize the government. Instead, let us unite as South Sudanese in calling for reforms and an end to corruption in government as we should equally remain united in our quest for justice, equality, and prosperity – collectively as South Sudanese.

As I have stated in my opening sentences above, Elhag Paul has also on various occasions tried to put Dr. Garang’s unassailable place in our nation’s history as Founding Father of South Sudan in some kind of disrepute. Such attempts should be understood – correctly, I think, in the context of the author’s overall anti-Dinka disposition.

Dr. John Garang and the question of the founding father of South Sudan
Despite much of Mr. Paul’s objection to our nation’s recognition of Dr. John Garang as its founding father is possibly driven by his discernible abhorrence of Jieng, I continue – still – to willfully ignore all that and patiently await Mr. Paul reasons for his opposition, when he gives them.

In opposing Dr. John Garang’s being appropriately recognized as the Founding Father of South Sudan, Elhag Paul does not independently state his views or reasons in the article. He, however, chooses to grossly misrepresent the views of Dr. John Garang’s eldest son, Mabior Garang, in another interview which Mr. Paul referred to. After misrepresenting Mabior Garang’s views to affirm his biased opinions, Mr. Paul went on to forcefully claim:

“It should by now be clear [from Mabior Garang’s views which by now have been mischaracterized by Elhag Paul] to Joseph Deng Garang and those people who tirelessly try to elevate the late leader of SPLM/A into father of the nation that their consistent assertions are futile… So Dr Garang is not and can not (sic) be father of the nation he did not want to be born.”

This quoted part is the central argument/response of Elhag Paul to Joseph Deng Garang, a friend and a colleague of many years, who I surely don’t agree with his characterization of Justin Ambago as anti-Dinka. I hope readers will overlook the very many incongruencies contained in the article but carefully look at the fallacy of the central claim that “Dr Garang is not and can not (sic) be father of the nation he did not want to be born.”

Such is a claim of a person who harbors an agenda and is possibly impervious to rational arguments. I still wonder, nevertheless, how any honest and serious person can make a claim so audacious that it risked becoming utterly absolutist and to the extent facts could no longer corroborate or would seem to matter!

Those who have read Mr. Paul’s article will have noticed how his central claim was made through a sheer impulsive urge rather than through a reasoned presentation.

Let’s now, therefore, ask the question who a founding father is anyway. A founding father is widely recognized as a person who has established an important organization or idea or as one Wikipedia entry broadly defines national founding fathers as:
[T]ypically those who played an influential role in setting up the systems of governance, (i.e. political system form of government, and constitution), of the country. They can also be military leaders of a war of independence that led to the existence of the country [emphasis is mine].

Therefore, let’s examine and put the founding of South Sudan into this context and we will understand why Dr. John Garang is our nation’s indestructible Founding Father.

Established an important organization and fought in the war of independence
I fully recognize the important contributions of generations of leaders throughout our history, whether of political or military leaders, or of our chiefs and indeed ordinary citizens.

I’m not here to denigrate our people’s contributions or sacrifices; instead I’m here to defend a record of a man who led our people with brilliance and extraordinary skills. This man is our late leader and hero, the indomitable Dr. John Garang de Mabior.

Dr. John Garang fought alongside his South Sudanese compatriots in Anya Nya (I) and was absorbed into the Sudanese army following the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972. When Sudan’s President Nimeiry abrogated that agreement, John Garang with his colleagues including our current President, Salva Kiir, rebelled and formed the SPLM/A in 1983.

And because I’m not writing the biography of Dr. John Garang or indeed the SPLM/A, I only give you this brief history to show a lifelong sacrifice that Dr. Garang had lived fighting on behalf of his people and why he has been appropriately accorded his place as our nation’s founding father.

For 21 long years, the SPLM/A fought successive Khartoum-based regimes and came out victorious against many odds. In 2005, the SPLM which Elhag Paul now so derisively calls the Oyee Party negotiated a unique peace agreement. Unfortunately, Elhag Paul chooses to befuddle his followers who together now believe in imagined inevitability of South Sudan achieving independence without the contribution of the SPLM, including that of its late indefatigable leader, the shrewd and charismatic Dr. John Garang.

The CPA is an obviously historic achievement and many people including honest South Sudanese who do not belong to or support the SPLM recognize such feat. Only to Elhag Paul must this deed be ridiculed, downplayed, obscured and/or even denied.

But I remind Elhag Paul, despite suspecting that envy and loath of the Dinka are probably suffocating him, that the late SPLM leader negotiated the historic CPA, the peace agreement that virtually guaranteed the birth of a new nation in South Sudan. To claim Dr. John Garang did not want South Sudan born, a claim I have shown to be false, is a dangerous exhibition of willful ignorance or worst still a terrible case of amnesia on Mr. Paul’s part.

Not only is Elhag Paul’s claim mendacious, it may be revealing much of the unworthiness of Dr. Garang’s doubters of his founding father tribute.

Birth of a new nation in South Sudan
The nation of South Sudan gained independence through a plebiscite in exercise of the Right of Self-Determination, the overarching part of the 2005 CPA. All should be reminded, however, that the right of self-determination is not a concept original to South Sudan’s leaders contrary to the balderdash claim of the 28th August 1991 Nasir Coup leaders and their facts-free followers.

If the right of self-determination is not a creation of our leaders, then those who loudly claim they were the first to call for the right of self-determination, and without working hard for it, should recognize the achievement of those who actually fought and brought the independence of South Sudan.

Dr. John Garang and the SPLM crafted the CPA with skills and knowledge of the enemy and this unique peace agreement directly resulted in South Sudanese exercising the right of self-determination through the 9th January 2011 referendum vote in which our people so overwhelmingly voted for separation leading to the proclamation of independence on 9th July 2011.

The question, therefore, is: how can the late SPLM/A leader and the chief architect of CPA not be the founding father of South Sudan? If he cannot be, who else would as Elhag Paul is not admittedly opposed to South Sudan having a founding father?

How can resentment and jealousy so flagrantly scapegoat in such a way that would allow a person of apparent intelligence in Elhag Paul to make a decidedly bogus claim that Dr. Garang did not want South Sudan born when a schooled and objective reading of the CPA makes it abundantly clear that the SPLM and its late leader wanted South Sudan achieve independence.

It is for these reasons that Dr. John Garang is duly recognized as South Sudan founding father even as it irritates Elhag Paul.

In closing, Dr. John Garang was a visionary of immense intellect and political skills who outwitted his detractors in life. But it is astounding that the late SPLM leader continues to defeat his opponents even in death!

By: Manyok Chuol, Ottawa, Canada

Diplomacy and Economic Advancement in the Republic of South Sudan

Strengthening South Sudan’s Foreign Relation through Trade Initiatives

BY: Goy Leek, AUSTRALIA, JAN/8/2013, SSN;

As a new nation created in this magnificent techno-age of the 21st century, the Republic of South Sudan is faced with numerous challenges. One such challenge is the need to anchor the nation on a firm economic platform so as to advance the livelihoods of the populace. Being a new nation, she is now a witness to economic growth models of new emerging world economies. The countries with such economies have at times been dubbed as either “developing” countries or new global “economic partners.” These countries have at one stage of their emergence gone through the trails of turmoils currently experienced in South Sudan before gaining their economic stability.

Therefore, in addition to bolstering prosperity, these countries have formed alliances such as the international economic body of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South African (BRICS) in a bid to combating economic dependency on large global financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Besides, there are the continental economic bodies such as Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations which were later merged to form the Union of South American Nations (UNSAN) with a single objective to establishing an economic platform within South America.

Regionally, there existed the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and East African Community (EAC) clearly aiming at intensifying economic activities through partnerships and cooperation. These allied countries have adopted a cohesive strategy of unionism through trade economic practices to achieve the goal of economic stability by amalgamating their resident economic sectors.

The cooperative approach identified by the above mentioned states to achieve the economic strength through the shared market and diverse resources utilization is something that has boosted local growth and development within the alliance. At the core of such formations of alliances, there is the existence of a fundamental and an amicable diplomatic protocol and policy agenda that aims to drive the programs of the coalitions forged. The battle waged against economic dependency as branded by most of these nations is a path that has been confirmed by many economists and capitalist nations as a practice of a progressive economic independence.

South Sudan therefore as a nation aspiring to establish its economic status regionally and internationally is not an exception in this scenario and thus requires an ultimate consideration of prioritizing its economic programs alongside its diplomatic discourses so as to create leverage in the world’s industrial and technological market for a profound economic stance.

At this juncture, the RoSS is also an observer to various trade and industrial activities of the already “developed” countries with established strong economic foundations. These countries are continuously strengthening their economies effectively through political and diplomatic leadership. As widely perceptible, most “developed” countries have limited economic resources and less agricultural activities to bolster their manufacturing and industrial sector. Therefore, they profoundly rely on the robust foreign markets for raw materials particularly in Africa. Their demands are being met almost instantaneously by the host ‘green states’ unfortunately at stumpy values.

The resource relation between the west and Africa which is intermittently silhouetted and embedded under an unreciprocated financial relief is indeed a delicate one. It provides the “developed” countries with greater advantage to advance their industrious business practices. On the other hand, the green states are entangled in myriads of debts unable to visualise the effects of the business practice.

So, however much the race is getting steadier and increasingly unrequited, the RoSS is also witnessing the challenges facing these ‘developing’ and ‘developed’ countries. These challenges range from the recent global financial crisis to the euro-zone economic crisis and from the political turmoils of the Arabian countries especially the Middle East, the northern and western Africa to the current second-phase neo-scramble for African resources by the west and the new economic super-power – China. These events though seemingly distant and outside our diplomatic and economic scope do require prominent considerations should South Sudan aspire to be considered globally while satisfying its economic agendas at home.

Comprehensively, the Republic of South Sudan needs a strategized global economic exposure through diplomatic proficiency given the involvement of the international community in most of the Republic’s affairs officially from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development era to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and onto the contemporary issues such as Abyei, the oil saga, internal insecurity and many more.

Our diplomatic participation in economic forums regionally and globally is highly crucial however sensitive the internal state of affairs are. The basic reason is that the policies for the new nation need to be represented accurately and candidly with maximized advantageous outcomes; this will prevent being misconstrued as a nation with a contrary agenda other than that popularized during the CPA under the banner of democratic reforms by means of secular transparent government.

The international community’s involvement in the affairs of South Sudan since its creation through to its infancy is nothing new and thus requires proper projection of the obligations and the fundamental pledges the nation made upon the inception of independence so as to retain the high-spirited jovial atmosphere of independence into the future for future generations. Thus, the best way for the Republic South Sudan to remain intact with local development which is a prime recipe in nation building is to equally brandish it’s foreign and public policy by prioritizing economic diplomacy to assert itself locally and globally.

Our nation’s foreign policy requires a world-class statecraft construction or otherwise refurbishment so that it reflects our need for economic growth as per foreign relation expectations internationally and at home.

During the endorsement of the first South Sudan’s foreign policy by the cabinet ministers three weeks after independence, the preamble of the document read out by the then caretaker minister of Information, Barnaba Marial Benjamin stated that “being the newest nation state vying to carve out a respectful position amongst the world body of nations, South Sudan is keen and resolute in establishing a democratic secular transparent system of government, reflective of established international norms and standards such as the observance of the rule of law and respect for human rights.”

These pledges are indeed appropriate and perhaps flamboyant; however, they can only reach their optimal impact when itemized in accordance with proper resource economic sector, suitable regulatory trade conduct and accommodating legislative programs of resident innovative potentials and skills.

Therefore, as much as we aspire to position ourselves as a nation on the global diplomatic stage, our principle objectives inclusive to the above mentioned obligations needs to also incorporate our readiness and strategic responses to immediate challenges experienced locally since they can gravely influence and overshadow our reputation internationally.

To achieve this, it is vital to encourage members of the public to participate in pioneering projects towards local businesses by primarily emphasizing on the promotion of transparent, free and fair economic practices through indispensable regulations. The promotion of local businesses and renewing the trade systems at home will highly give a recognizable credibility to our intercontinental trade partners that consider engaging in mutual and bilateral relations with the Republic of South Sudan.

With these few items on the list of initiatives that our foreign ministry needs to engage itself in, the nation will be best placed to operate and create a frontier and a market for our natural resources hence providing our societies with renewed sense of economic potency.

Furthermore, it will also be beneficial to engage our diplomatic missions to venture into appropriate representation of the need for economic relations by conducting robust generation of modern economic diplomacy. The frontline staff in the foreign missions should prioritize this task to effectively implement the agendas of the government.

Although it will be a daunting task for the sixty three identified foreign missions, the task to internationally represent and translate our government’s agendas will require reflective presentation though being the first Foreign Service officers from the republic of South Sudan. Their role will be met with intricacy requiring efficacy of their competence and expertise irrespective of acquired prior experiences.

Hence the needs for committing and engaging in the commercialization of our natural resources are far a greater benefit for the nation at large to administer its highly needed primary services such as healthcare, education and security.

As much as our foreign missions take their responsibilities into establishing long lasting relationships with foreign countries, the government of South Sudan should not do so at the expense of the local public. Firm and dignified foreign policies that are coherent will only thrive and prosper under the effective articulation and translation of our public policies that have comprehensive public rating and ultimate benefits to the local populace.

It has now been seventeen months since the endorsement of the first foreign policy document by the council of minister of the government of South Sudan; the intentions have been widely known such as to firstly adjust the nation’s diplomatic relations and concisely delivering on that premise.

Secondly, the platforms on which these ties were to be conducted have been laid out in the structures of embassies, consulate generals and permanent missions. Currently, the stages of establishing the foreign offices have now passed and the firm task of introducing and strengthening mutual bilateral relationships has begun. Therefore, lowering the guard or slacking on the policy could be highly detrimental on grounds of economic development.

The quest to build a knowledge-based foreign policy to foreign publics is highly dependent on how best our missionaries (ambassadors) will educate these foreign public on our economic and financial systems through making available means for free trade, safeguards and protection of prospective investors to embark on transparent market-based economies.

As much as our aim as a republic is to build close links with foreign public, our diplomats and all government officials should be encouraged to make use of this 21st century’s technological capability to reach out to our own home populace to reform and renew the economic sector so as to support our local industrial sector and not just focus on the foreign policy that could be void of substance when it comes to stronger economies.

So that our local economic activities remain to boost our foreign policy, the government of the Republic of South Sudan should consistently encourage our foreign staffers to innovatively create projects and programs that are aimed at enhancing the fiscal objectives of South Sudan’s foreign policy. These programs should include the likes of educational and internship scholarship programs, entrepreneurial empowerment, the enhancement of our social and public policies and even contemporarily on challenges such as the currently pending CPA protocols and various issues contributing to insecurity in South Sudan’s ten states.

Likewise, building and nurturing our young entrepreneurs to gain stability is an aspect of proper economic planning through economic diplomacy to instigate the utilization of local resources. Such an approach will give rise to an economically established society that is capable of supplying its local communities with basic products and services currently supplied by foreign bordering countries.

By doing so, the government of South Sudan is set on the right foot to empowering young people fulfilling some of their talents and potentials and hence strengthening our economy where the nation will be best placed to combat minor resident challenges while getting groomed to be own community problems solvers rather than remaining ardent consumers and a shallow dumping ground for international inadequate aid.

In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that South Sudan’s foreign affairs and international cooperation ministry is in the right direction in respect to its effective establishment of foreign missions and constant engagement in relative issues at regional and international levels.

However, we have to qualify a fact; the recent attempt by the RoSS to be included into the East African Community (EAC) was perhaps hastily presented. The fact that the application for membership was adjourned for further scrutiny and review against the union’s criterion presented a rather grim and an uncomfortable reality. South Sudan for so long and presumably just before the end of the CPA period had had the wild thought that it was going to be automatically amalgamated into the economic union of the Eastern African countries bloc.

The categorization for the acceptance based on the proposal was somewhat allocated into a very worrying basket – together with Somalia (nothing is surprising given the history of instability within the two regions). However, to those who are familiar with Somalia’s state of affairs, you will find it remarkably preposterous for the new nation to be in the same classification with Somalia at least as per the struggle agendas and the legacy of the dispute resolution through the accredited CPA process.

The reality of such a finding does not project a good reflection of South Sudan’s foreign policy especially in the EAC region as the region should have remained to be RoSS’s robust diplomatic stronghold. The Countries of East Africa; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi are all familiar with the situation of South Sudan, therefore, subjecting RoSS’s application for further scrutiny is grossly either a lengthy conduct inappropriate to the procedures or an outright scepticism and denial of granting entry into the union.

For the government of South Sudan, it is a sign that should have been closely followed with intensive probing and fact finding missions especially when the Government of South Sudan considers itself worthy of the inclusion and has shown admiration to the regional bloc.

Therefore, a stronger foreign relations policy with an enshrined economic aspect will noticeably ensure a stronger South Sudan with a capacity to address its internal issues without external interference pertinent to our sovereign values.

The writer currently resides in Australia. He can be reached through the private e-mail of;

Appeal to all Concerned Citizens of South Sudan

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, JAN/7/2013, SSN;

Let me start by wishing you all a happy new year although belatedly. Nonetheless a new year is always a thing to be optimistic about. It is thus my wish that the year of 2013 will bring along with it the much needed political will from all the stakeholders in our new country which unfortunately was made to spend its eighteen months of independence in misery, misrule, corruption, lawlessness , insecurity, and impunity. In short we are a failed state right from birth if not from conception as such.

The challenges ahead of us are numerous, but there must be a way out of it. Many of us have unfortunately stayed behind instead of stepping forward to actively play their national duties. It is only the people of South Sudan who can sort out their own mess. Sticking one’s head in the sand and pretending that all is alright when everything around you is degenerating is but a betrayal of your country.

We have all witnessed how our country has rapidly degenerated into the dire socioeconomic and political chaos. Our economy which was in fact “a single item (resource)” economy has now been grounded by political amateurism. The other talk about the diversification of the economy is at its best a political rhetoric, much more so used by the leadership as a form of a political smoke under which much more money from the public coffers went missing. Or simply stolen as put by Salva Kiir the country’s head of state.

The freedom of speech is now a punishable crime in our country. When we differ on policies and views, it is meant to enrich the debate in order to find better and informed choices for solving our national problems. That is the essence of the debate.

As citizens of one country we can differ on opinions and that makes us rivals, but never ever as foes or enemies. The sad facts that marked the past eighteen months where the ruling SPLM-led government openly demonstrated to the world that it is not ready to hear dissent voices not even amongst its ranks and files, speaks volumes.

Incommunicado arrests of activists, intimidation of known SPLM supporters turned critics, of opposition party members and censoring their activities, harassment of civil society members and assassination of opinion writers have all contributed to taint a very nasty and horrible image of our nascent country.

What Hopes do we have in 2013

It is now an open secret that since its inception in 1983, the ruling SPLM party as a result of its gross mismanagement of the new country is currently suffering its ever major unpopularity amongst most sectors of the South Sudanese communities at home and in the Diaspora. It is against this background that the embattled and corruption ridden party is about to hold its convention in 2013. But the million dollar question still is will it come out with changes to the wider community?

Will the SPLM’s 2013 party convention find solutions to the countless and the immense mess that the party has got the new country into as a result of its amateuristic policies and conduct?

For if anything good is ever to come to the country then much change in the attitude of the ruling SPLM towards other political parties and civil societies that exist and operate in the country must be a priority, otherwise the result of failure to do so is everybody’s guess.

However better still we hope that the SPLM can be able to change its “rotten to core” leadership which has practically run out of ideas, otherwise what we are seeing is a country being rushed into a totalitarian rule under a one man dictatorship.

On the other hand the same year of 2013 can be considered a year for the opposition political parties to start preparing for the coming 2014 elections. They will need to start making plans for a strong coalition, strong candidates and start organizing themselves to lead a political campaign of their life time.

The memories of the 2010 Sudan General elections that brought the current corrupt politicians into office is still fresh in every one’s mind. All can still vividly remember how the SPLM internal electoral politics were carried out and the same can as well be reminded of how those who refused to confirm with the ruling party were made to pay the ultimate price.

The Sudan 2010 General Elections were widely fraudulent. All opposition candidates and their supporters were intimidated, harassed and the whole electoral process was terribly manipulated in favour of the SPLM. This must never be allowed to happen again, for despite the fact that all the above mentioned malpractices by the SPLM during that infamous election were tolerated, however those circumstances were different and they have so far changed. Any attempt to repeat any of the countless “politics of bullying” will no doubt have a detrimental effect on what is left of the new nation’s fabric of unity!

The anticipated Political coalition of the South Sudan’s opposition parties must see to it that the country’s new constitution comes into existence through the right process. In other words it has to be approved directly by the people through a popular ballot and never ever by the current SPLM’s rubber stamp parliament.

The Political coalition of South Sudan opposition political parties is the only way out to defeat the corrupt SPLM. There must be an end to what our beloved country is now going through. The inherently corrupt SPLM politicians and party officials have all stolen from the public coffers and many are squarely behind the gross deterioration in the security situation the country wide. To continue under this era is in fact to reverse our sense of independence and freedom.

The international community should still continue to play its vital role in helping this country to embrace democracy. It has to press very hard for the first ever post-independence election to be held on time. It must also start to prepare the platform for free and credible elections. Elections that’s far away from fraud, gerrymandering, vote stuffing and all kinds of political malice if we are to avoid the Kenyan experience of 2007.

To wind it up all, one must stress the importance of a free press and the freedom of speech. This has to start immediately if we are to mark a line between the dark moments that extended throughout the 2012 period. Without these freedoms not only the talk about a new constitution becomes meaningless, but even going for an election becomes an act of ticking the boxes and an outright political hypocrisy.

Hence there is only one conclusion here and that the year 2013 must be a busy year for all those who want to see South Sudan come out of its current man-made misery.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party (USSP). Can be reached at: or