Category: Other

The Doctrine of Terra Nullius not applicable to South Sudan: The Case of Ramciel

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, NOV/15/2018, SSN;

Since the formation of the Government of South Sudan in 2005 that was followed by the formation of the government of independent South Sudan, the relevance of doctrine of terra nullius has become apparent. Terra nullius is a common law doctrine later adopted in the international law. In Latin, ‘terra nullius’ means a “land belonging to nobody.”

The issue of whether any land in South Sudan belongs to no one was never an issue during the liberation struggle of 1983 to 2005. But with the formation of the Government of Southern Sudan in 2005 and the formation of the government of independent South Sudan in 2011, the discourse over the land in South Sudan changed as seen in the plan to build Ramciel as the Capital city of South Sudan.

Currently, there is a heated debate on social media that Ramciel is no man’s land. Those who claim that Ramciel is a no man’s land based their reasoning on the fact that Ramciel is a vast land with no inhabitants on it and because of that, it is the land that belongs to no one.

This argument is a reminiscence of the British Colonial Masters’ argument during the colonial period.

That time, the British Colonialists argued as they grabbed African land that since the land was not occupied permanently by any community, then it belonged to no one or if the land was occupied by “uncivilized communities” in their understanding of civilization, then it is terra nullius, meaning land belonging to no one.

It was under that argument the British Colonialists grabbed African land and put it under the crown hence large part of African land became Crown land owned by the Queen or King of England as was seen in Kenya and Uganda. This was in 18th and 19th Centuries.

In 21st Century however, we are struggling with the same question of terra nullius in South Sudan in respect to Ramciel.

I must begin with the location of Ramciel located in the former Lakes State and it currently is part of Eastern Lakes State in South Sudan. Ramciel is located about 250 kilometres (155.343 mi) north of Juba on the western side of the White Nile.

Majority of the inhabitants of Ramciel are cattle keepers, which is a means of their livelihood. They move from place to place looking for pastures as the weather changes. This makes Ramciel appear as if it belongs to no person.

But some people should not be misled by the fact that if the inhabitants of Ramciel lack permanent settlement on that land then Ramciel belongs to no person or no man’s land as many argue.

The implication of the argument that Ramciel is a no man’s land is that it is a territory which is up for grab.  Those who put forward this kind of argument appear to suggest or invoke the principle of Terra nullius in South Sudan that it should be applied to all land which appears to belong to no one. If that is the case, then I must say that this argument is wrong and the people of Eastern Lakes State are justified to defend their land in Ramciel because the whole argument is intended or an attempt to grab the land in disregard to the pre-existing community rights.

The doctrine of Terra nullius they are trying to invoke in the case of Ramciel is no longer a good law as courts in different jurisdictions have declared it invalid. This was held in Australian case of Mabo v Queensland (No 2)[1992]HCA 23. This was a landmark decision of the High Court of Australia in 1992, which recognized a native title in Australia for the first time and ruled that the argument that when the British came to Australia the land there was terra nullius was erroneous.

The ruling in this case is to the effect that indigenous land rights which had not been extinguished by subsequent grants by the Crown continued to exist in Australia up to the present.

In that case five judgments were delivered and all judges, except one, agreed that:  there was a concept of native title at common law; the source of native title was the traditional connection to or occupation of the land; the nature and content of native title was determined by the character of the connection or occupation under traditional laws or customs; and native title could be extinguished by the valid exercise of governmental powers provided a clear and plain intention to do so was manifest.  The decision in this case recognized that the indigenous population had a pre-existing system of law, which, along with all rights subsisting thereunder, would remain in force under the new sovereign except where specifically modified or extinguished by legislative or executive action.
The decision in Mabo case clearly shows that the indigenous communities like those in Eastern Lakes State and other parts of South Sudan have inherent rights to their land though such land may not be effectively under their occupation but as long as there is something showing that the land belongs to them then they have a right to own it. The proof of the customary ownership by the indigenous people can be shown through cultivation and marks where cattle are kept such as cattle camps. Once proved that land belong to a particular community as in the case of Ramciel, it can only be taken away in accordance with the law as provided for under the Local Government Act of South Sudan.
The court ruling in Mabo case was in December 2004 applied in the Noonkanbah people’s case in which the Court recognized the rights of the traditional owners of a 1,811 km©˜ plot of land in Western Australia. Applying the same principle in the Northern Territory, the Government granted 40 per cent of the land, which put most of its coastline in the hands of Aboriginal peoples in Australia.
Moreover, on 26 June 2014 in the case of Tsilhqot’in Nation v British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44 at para. 69, the Supreme Court of Canada in its unanimous decision made clear that “The doctrine of terra nullius (that no one owned the land prior to European assertion of sovereignty) never applied in Canada, as confirmed by the Royal Proclamation (1763), R.S.C. 1985, App. II, No. 1.”
The Supreme Court of Canada in the same case further held that the Crown title as coined by the British Colonialists, however, was burdened by the pre-existing legal rights of Aboriginal people who occupied and used the land prior to European arrival. … The Aboriginal interest in land that burdens the Crown’s underlying title is an independent legal interest, which gives rise to a fiduciary duty on the part of the Crown.”” This means that the interests of indigenous people in traditional land as seen in Ramciel are protected by customary law is recognized by the Constitution of South Sudan.
The ruling of the Australian High is the reflected the position of the international law in respect to land rights of the indigenous communities which have been developed in two key areas. The two areas are seen in the protection of the rights of indigenous people as well the rights of women to land. The protection involves land access and it use, which are frequently tied to the spiritual, cultural and social identities of peoples. Under the International human right law as represented in the Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, the rights of the indigenous people are protected.
The above Convention was adopted by the International Labour Organization in 1989 purposely to protect the rights of indigenous people to land and to eliminate or minimize the adverse effect of the principle of no man’s land that was used by the European colonialists to grab the land from indigenous people. The Convention 169 is now legally binding on all the States of the world including South Sudan. It is reported that the Convention 169 is the only binding international instrument related to the rights of indigenous peoples and it is relevant in the present case of Ramciel of the rights of indigenous people of Ciec to land is being violated.
The Convention 169 further establishes the right of indigenous peoples in independent countries to “exercise control, to the extent possible, over their own economic, social and cultural development,” in a number of areas. The Convention includes a section on land, and requires States Parties to identify lands traditionally occupied by indigenous peoples like in the case of Ramciel and ensure that the rights to that land are protected.
In addition, the Convention provides that the State Parties (which include South Sudan) must take “measures in appropriate cases to safeguard the right of the peoples concerned to use lands not exclusively occupied by them, but to which they have traditionally had access for their subsistence and traditional activities”. This is the most applicable part to the case of Ramciel.
Even if South Sudan is not a party to the Convention 169, this Convention has become part of the international customary law which is applicable to all countries in the world which are members of the United Nations.  The Convention 169 therefore protects the rights of the people of Eastern Lakes State to the ownership of Ramciel.
Under the South Sudan law, the Constitution provides for the right to own land under Article 170 of the South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution of 2011, which provides for the land ownership. It provides that land belong to the community. Article 28 of the same Constitution provides for the right to acquire and own property by the communities. Hence, the principles of international human rights law and in particular the principles of law that protects indigenous people as enshrined in the Convention 169 read together with Article 28 put it beyond doubt that Ciec Community in Eastern Lakes State has the right over Ramciel. This put argument to rest that Ramciel is not a no man’s land.

Having concluded that Ramciel is the land that belongs to Ciec Community in Eastern Lakes, then, in the process of acquiring it by the National Government of South Sudan, the provision of law as provided for under section 88 of the Local Government Act of South Sudan, 2009, must be observed. Thus, the authority of the Local Government Council of the County which Ramciel falls under in Eastern Lakes State must be officially involved who must in turn consult the members of Ciec Community.

In other words, the Local Government Council administering Ramciel on behalf of the Ciec community must be involve to deal with the State Government and this must be done in consultation with the Community if the government of South Sudan wants to acquire Ramciel to be developed as the city of South Sudan.

After observing section 88 of the Local Government Act, the process of acquisition by the State or national Government of South Sudan of any land not only in Eastern Lakes State but in South Sudan in general must be carried out in accordance with section 89 of the Local Government Act of 2009 of South Sudan.  Section 89 provides for land acquisition and the procedure that must be followed. It provides that it shall be the function of the respective council, save that the concerned council shall—

(a)    Respect the existing customary practices, protect local heritage and observe international trends and practices in land acquisition;
(b)    Consult the community concerned on the land acquisition or usage as the case may be; and
(c)    Protect the rights and interests of the communities in areas within the local council, where subterranean natural resources are being explored or exploited, to ensure their rights to share in the benefits accruing from such resources.

Thus, section 89 of the Local Government Act of South Sudan recognizes the right of the communities to land not only in Eastern Lakes State but in the whole of South Sudan which the government of South Sudan must recognize and protect. This means that the government of South Sudan is duty bound to ensure that in case it wants to acquire any land, it must conduct consultation with the local communities before the land in question is acquired. Therefore, the communities have all right to reject the acquisition of their land if their concerns over the land are not properly addressed and met.

In summary, the doctrine of terra nullius is not applicable to Ramciel and South Sudan in General. In South Sudan the concept of terra nullius is not applicable as all the land has been under occupation by different traditional communities even before the independence of South Sudan. The fact that there is no permanent settlement in Ramciel or other land in South Sudan does not justify the other people to make careless statement that such land and Ramciel in particular does not belong to community.

The statement that Ramciel or any other land in South Sudan does not belong to any community stripping citizens (who do not have means to develop their land) of their right to land, which is fragrant violation of their rights to land or property contrary to article 28 of the Constitution of South Sudan, 2011.

What South Sudanese must understand is that Ramciel is a land owned by the people of Eastern Lakes State based on their tradition and customs. This means that land in Ramciel is owned by the Community in accordance with customary law. This customary law is derived from ancestors. This means that all members of a community of Ciec are entitled to land for purposes of deriving a livelihood and within that Ciec Community the right of the clan which own that area must be recognized.

In short, the people of Eastern Lakes should not be misunderstood, what they are claiming is not that the land in Ramciel should not be developed as capital city of South Sudan but their argument is that their rights to land in Ramciel must be recognized before it is developed into the capital city of South Sudan. This means that they must be consulted and assured of any benefits that come with the development of the land. If the communities in State where oil is found are assured of two percent (2%), which not the Ciec Community in Eastern Lakes? The benefits may be in term of employment.

NB//: the author is human rights lawyer and can be reached through +256781023707 or

We’ve to start preaching the culture of Openness and Tolerance

BY: Apioth Mayom Apioth, South Sudan, JUL/2018, SSN;

First and foremost, I am thanking Salva Kiir for having swallowed his ego and pride in accepting Riek Machar and other opposition political alliances into the fold of South Sudanese politics.

South Sudan, as a nation, would make no progress when our people are stuck in the vengeful mindset of the past. Our past should only act as a memorial cautionary tale by which we can only remind ourselves to never embark on such a tragic path ever again.

We should also congratulate ourselves for having struck a peace deal sooner rather than later. It would have been too costly on all of us if we had protracted the war for no apparent reason.

Millions of South Sudanese go to bed hungry every night, and the peace deal came at the right time to start stitching things back together.

Some people never wanted Kiir and Machar to work together again, but hey, South Sudanese politics was never about Kiir or Machar for that matter in the first place; it was about putting the interests of South Sudanese above everything else in the realm of politicking.

The bigger than life task at hand has more to do with the unity of South Sudanese; that is why we have to be more inclusive more than ever to bring an eventual lasting peace.

In 2002, John Garang brought all the SPLM/SPLA factions together for a possible reunion. He knew in his guts that a complete lasting peace was never going to be achieved without cementing one solid foundation by which we can all stand and cherish all the fruits that a just peace might bring.

It would have been ill-conceived if we had Riek Machar in his own camp alone and John Garang in another camp and all are campaigning for the betterment of all South Sudanese.

Coincidentally in the same year 2002, the Kenyan political parties joined hands together to bring an end to a dictatorial regime of Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi. When the next election came in 2007, there was no apparent interest to strike a super alliance party again because the rotten beast was thrown into the deepest pits of Hades.

On the same token, we have to come together this time around and continue to cater to our healing wounds, bodies and souls until the election day in three years’ time.

We have three political giants in Salva Kiir, Riek Machar and Taban Deng Gai who wield enormous amount of power and may potentially create another tragic civil war if they don’t curtail their political ambitions and align them with the economic interests of South Sudanese populace.

Let’s say Taban Deng Gai decides to play second fiddle to Salva Kiir for an up coming election; or the same Taban Deng Gai switches sides and becomes Riek Machar’s running mate; would that be a reason to take up arms and declare war on ourselves?

No! No one in his/her right mind would do such a thing just to cater to the needs of a warmongering politician.

The success of our peace deal may also depend on an honest integral dealing of our politicians.

A politician who decides to wear a bow-tie instead of the lengthy neck-tie is not guilty in any way to be kicked out of the Parliament since a bow tie also fits the category of a neck wearable clothing even if it has no bodily length.

Our president did that to Mabior Garang in the short-lived peace deal of 2016. Paul Mator Manyok (South Sudanese pastor from Kentucky) recently stated that this war was going to happen no matter who was the president of South Sudan.

These tribal divisions keep on cropping up and every time they rear their ugly heads, we keep on regressing back to the primordial and primitive ages of an underdeveloped Africa.

In our war of liberation against the Jellaba of Khartoum, we turned on our ourselves, and shortly afterward, Bashir started to capture the profits we won with the blood of our people; and in 2013, the same episode came back to the fore and tens of thousands lost their innocent dear lives.

As South Sudanese, it is time to start preaching the culture of tolerance toward a vast array of cultures and people who might hold different political views.

There is no where we can send the Kechipo people of Boma state; for because the land was divided amongst all the people of Africa during the Scramble of Africa in the 19the century.

The Kechipo are South Sudanese by nationality through birth and every alienable right sanctioned upon them by all the International Organizations that deal with sovereign rights of people and nationalities.

We can’t send Nyangwara people to the Democratic Republic of Congo, because the Nyangwara belong to the nation of South Sudan.

Our tribal pride can’t be any reason whatsoever to subject anyone who may come from a different tribe to any disrespectful inhumane crime of terrorism; it is about time to start accepting that every South Sudanese national has a right to life, and that right must be respected no matter which tribe that he or she may hail from.

For all our 64 tribes to coexist peacefully, we must respect the existential relevance of other tribes, to put it another way, we have a need to tag along with them even knowingly that they practice different customs and cultural norms.

In just four years after the December 2013 onslaught, we turned our country into the land where the vultures could easily get a free meal.

“It is said that power corrupts,” but it’s actually more true that power corrupts the corruptible. The sane are actually attracted by other things than power” (David Brin).

South Sudan is a broken nation. We are still nursing the wounds of the liberation war era when we were busy finishing ourselves off when in reality we were supposed to be pointing guns at Bashir.

And barely eight years later, after a sweet return home in 2005, we started the whole internecine war all over again.

Shortly after his arrival during this round of peace talks in Khartoum, Kiir openly stated that he needs to keep an open mind so peace may come to South Sudan once more.

What David Brin meant by the above quote is that if there was too much evil in you then it is possible that you may end up as a temple of the devil where it can easily spit every unspeakable venom to the passersby.

Now that the peace deal has been struck, some of our most corrupt politicians are going to start campaigning for an election that is three years into the future.

William Arap Samoei Ruto, the current Kenyan Deputy President is running coast to coast and from north to south campaigning for an election that is 5 years away.

He is not dealing with the recent mercury poisoning of a sugar import by an Indian businessman. What he cares about and what he cherishes only is the Kenyan presidency itself.

What our politicians must start doing from day one until the end of the Transitional Period is to keep channeling our energies into reconciliation initiatives and matters concerning forging a national identity.

The reconciliation and conflict resolution efforts may be too much for some of our contemporary politicians because the issues at hands were decades in the making and they won’t be so easily swept under the bed.

South Sudanese politics is changing everyone from the common person to president Kiir himself. If that is not the case, then why change of hearts all of a sudden and decide to make amends with the SPLM-IO and SSOA?

The current peace deal sways leniently towards the power base of GOSS and SPLM-IO, but we must also realize that since 2016, much of the battle has been fought in the Greater Equatoria region, so very much the first two years of the war were fought in the Greater Upper Nile region and then the last two years of the war were waged heavily in the the Greater Equatoria region.

The situation is evenly spaced out and keeping an open mind must be the sure way to start stitching back our lives together.

A great political thinker should know how to play his/her cards of wins and losses shrewdly, and he/she must also know how to control the political sentiment.

An intelligent political thinker must first and foremost play his/her cards of wins and losses very well; he/she must at all times knows that she would never win all her initiated games; that is why it is always essential to be a shrewd schemer whose game plans are hard to shake off.

Political sentiment is another emotional animal that must continuously be fed by consistently doing good deeds to the general populace.

We are a nation that needs rebuilding from the ground up and from north to south and west to east.

When the election comes into play after the Transitional Period, the politicians who will bag the most votes would be those who were the best servant politicians during the Transitional Period.

There is no going around it, or cutting corners about it; otherwise, we would just keep going back to square one where we keep on fighting ourselves when in reality we should starting on taking responsible leadership for our actions and preaching.

*****Apioth Mayom Apioth has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA USA. He is an Admission Counselor from the University of North Dakota. He can be reached at:

Kenya’s Raila Odinga’s delicate task in mediating S. Sudanese rivals

BY: DENG Vanag, Secretary for Information, Public Relations and Spokesperson for Federal Democratic Party/South Sudan Armed Forces, FDP/SSAF. JUN/10/2018, SSN;

South Sudanese public, having been divided over the questionable role of the mediating party and subsequent mistrust the division has caused, the regional bloc IGAD that is the mediating party has evidently lost the confidence it needs to bring about meaningful peace deal to the war-torn country.

Principal cause of mistrust in the IGAD mediation is Western-backed Uganda and Kenya which previously took a militant stand favoring Kiir’s regime, while other member states recoiled under their sweeping influence.

The unwarranted influence led to IGAD’s premeditated and self-inflicted failure that resultantly ropes Raila Odinga into near impossible task to bring down the Jericho-like walls of mistrust setting the belligerent factions apart.

The herculean task eminently awaiting is without denying former Honorable Prime Minister’s natural gift of tact, optimism and patience forming the bane of any successful diplomacy.

Coupled with the need to juggle his known crashing hammer in Kenyan political scene with tender kid gloves and bulldozing ‘’Tinga’’ or tractor with caring hand hoe in his delicate new diplomatic venture.

While hardened determination to prove his worth shall serve to inject some spectacles into his twilight Presidential ambition and desired statesmanship at home and abroad respectively.

Success which will on the other hand magnify failure of IGAD whose peace efforts to end the war are at all times blighted by an obvious covert operation to prob up an ally in Kiir, lest his fall could cause contagious effects to his kind in the neighborhood.

This doesn’t however mean Raila’s new role as peace envoy is safe from what may be thorns thrown in his way as he marches to face off an evidently daunting task.

For once, Raila himself is not in the good books of the regional control freak, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni who always sees the former’s success as a potent threat to scuttle his own regional ambition.

Much as in the light of traditional diplomacy, neighbors are not the best mediators in the next-door squabble, despite knowing its internal political intricacies more than the far-off onlookers, due to its spills-over that divide them alongside warring factions.

Which makes the mediator to enter the bruising blame game with heavily laden baggage of preconceived line of thought to resolve the crisis.

With him {Raila} already being dubbed in both Kenya and South Sudan as yet another Riek Machar, Salva Kiir’s main rival, a remark which may be taken as sheer joke and allegation, but not completely out of context per se.

While Kiir is not fond of dealing with negotiations since they began in early 2014 with an open mind, but under more enduring influence of close minded tribal elite in the name of Jieng Council of Elders.

Without taking heed of crumbling economy as the result of devastating civil war that displaced half of the population from traditional habitat and another half being fed on an international goodwill.

All at the behest of hundreds of thousands the war has claimed and maimed with far reaching ethnic divisions to last beyond the leadership’s lifespan of the incumbent and that of his future immediate successors to reconcile.

While unlike Kiir, Machar is his own man except being more vulnerable in the negotiation given his incarceration whom Raila can easily move from his preconceived stand for Kiir to exploit to his own advantage.

Something not to be taken lightly by the former’s handlers still haunted by past experience of defaulted deals to the latter’s advantage of continuous state power stranglehold.

Whereas Odinga shall be hard pressed, as matter of necessity, to introduce real inclusivity into the process, previous efforts had been lacking and have led to their catastrophic failures.

That is by stepping out along the way to embrace all warring factions, including SSOA of which PDF is the constituent member than remaining decked in the closet by mediating just Kiir and Machar, as if they were the country and the country is them, both actors and observers alike have been wrongly hoodwinked to believe.

Known to be an independent minded persona when acting in personal capacity, however, the mission on which he Raila finds himself is a delegated authority by the Kenyan state that may be fraught with red lines to toe.

Moreover, the state he represents already stands accused of incidents favoring one side of conflict that saw three rebel members, namely James Gatdet, Dong Luak and Aggrey Idri, being deported to an enemy regime in handcuffs, with last two whereabouts still remaining unknown.

A position which is currently and fortunately on the minds of revitalization as Dr. Ababu Namwamba, Foreign Affairs Administrative Secretary has been quoted as saying in some sections of the Kenyan press, quoted accordingly:
‘’We are not talking about abstracts here. We are talking about human lives.
As the party to this negotiation, you cannot walk away with hundred percent wish list.’’

Deng Vanang;
Secretary for Information, Public Relations and Spokesperson for Federal Democratic Party/South Sudan Armed Forces, FDP/SSAF. He is cordially reachable at:

Tying national destiny to ethnic extortionists is a fallacy

By Deng Vanang, FDP/SSAF’ Spokesperson, Nairobi, MAY/13/2018, SSN;

Tribalism personifies sense of self-importance and exclusion not premised on national agenda in pursuant to nation building anchored on solid rock of lasting reconciliation, sustainable peace, unity of purpose and shared prosperity.

Having sole and retrogressive aim to promote supremacy of certain ethnic entities over the rest minus forged common national destiny as the painstakingly fought for nationhood begins to degenerate into wanton chaos and oblivion.

Particularly and more adversely on the throes of recycling violence by
repeatedly positioning the same warring tribal chiefs atop the pack as
the savagely adopted egocentric norm rather than necessary exception.

As the considered lesser mortals are abysmally destined for accommodation under the more superior ones.

Far from making everyone first among equals as currently adopted in South Sudan Opposition Alliance, SSOA of which Hon. Gabriel Changson Chang’s led Federal Democratic Party, FDP is a constituent part, with an aim to inculcate the same philosophical ideal in the yet to be concluded High Level Revitalization Forum’s political dispensation as mediated by Igad in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia.

So that being born to minority ethnic group shouldn’t longer be a fault for one to be condemned to lower rungs of society.

And neither to be wrongfully termed as one’s own making nor to misjudge God’s creation for another individual’s selfish advantage.

Something that is apparently and already seen in most of those planning to join politics as is the case with those who have hitherto done it so far.

Which starts with one having to figure out some basic arithmetic in inner self before making public the intent of political ill will.

How big is one’s tribe, clan and even sub-clan is the political math so much identified with individuals planning to oppress instead of leading.

What is more are resources one has as well as how the tribal land is immensely endowed with natural resources so as to trade them off with national leadership ambition.

With clamor for secession optionally placed on negotiating table as political gimmick to likely mature into reality in more foreseeable future.

Which unfortunately and sorrowfully comes in absence of leadership qualities and exhibited positive contribution in society one must have before throwing hat into the ring.

Once such divisive arithmetic is favorably safe and secure in one’s hand, then blown is the whistle to jump start the leadership marathon.

When the opposite is true, leadership ambition is then shelved till kingdom come as one turns to other mundane professions befitting his/her tribe.

A self-resignation to political cast system in which size of tribe and clan becomes socially constructed curse than normal order of divine pre-disposition.

Contrary to good example worth emulating in far-flung Tanzania where Presidency rotates every ten years between mainland Christian Tanganyika and minority Muslim Zanzibar ever since independence father Julius Kabarage Nyerere stepped down in 1985.

With only minority ethnic groups having been ruling through political parties sanctioned free and fair competition that favors candidates endowed with required moral aptitudes.

However, such dreaded tribal mindset doesn’t just stop with small tribe and clan categorization.

Too, there is no sure safety net in being big per se. Break-neck competition to race up to the top and stay permanently there in the big tribe also rears ugly head.

While in its heat, those likely to be on the top and permanently so must by instinct revert from good democratic governance to more archaic typology. One that is skewed not only to massage personal egos, but to certain extent favors one’s tribe and clan for blind adoration and cultic following.

Which in subsequent begets fast lane thinking to make oneself ethnic sycophancy’s crowned king where there is no history of traditional one.

A scourge demanding quick fix remedy by simply re-inventing the steering wheels of constitution in spreading and rotating executive powers over and between arrays of political players with defined leadership qualifications long before regular and grueling elections come calling.

This constitutionally purposed power sharing will no doubt accrue tangible benefits for the country.

One among them is that the queue by those wanting to be leaders will move faster than it could take whining years and decades before one aspiring leader becomes an actual one.

Another benefit is the election must be won using different entry points by all the key players from different ethnic backgrounds and regions with guaranteed lack of post-election violence as opposed to contestation by sore, but non-invincible losers.

In addition to all the key competing political parties’ candidates turned winners, in French style cohabitation system in which the President, Prime Minister and National Assembly Speaker in a full pledged federal system designed for S. Sudan, will strictly checkmate one another against
geo – ethnic identity politics driven mega corruption.

All of whom, including the said fringe losers, shall gain due claims from such collective good governance as foolproof mitigating mechanism against instability that comes with high stake competition.

Which under more often circumstances dismembers the country into tiny dots we call nations and nation-states, ostensibly due to politics of secession arising from hard feelings of systemic marginalization and ethnic minorities alienation.

Deng Vanang
Secretary for Information, Public Relations and Spokesperson for Federal Democratic Party/South Sudan Armed Forces, FDP/SSAF. He is cordially reachable at:

Guilt-Ridden Puritanism at Kiir’s J-1: Practicing Nazism without Nazis in South Sudan

BY: Makoi Majak, Law Student, Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenya, APR/21/2018, SSN;

The deadliest conflict in human history was triggered by an irresponsible German leader whose ambition to control the world power backfired on humanity, and later on him. Today the name Hitler is synonymous with the holocaust.

Like Adolf Hitler, South Sudan President Salva Kiir has recorded his treacherous acts in the history of South Sudan and I’ve taken some pain to explain it below. Herein, I have made a correct and fair comparison of the two leaders of Germany and South Sudan and their spanner-boys, respectively.

I have tried to avoid dwelling so much on Hitler and Gen. Himmler due to the fact that their inhumane acts are in the public domain.

The Spanner-boys: Heinrich Himmler vs. Akol Koor

Himmler was chief of the notorious Reichsführer-SS and assistant of the Gestapo, two of the most murderous organizations in human history, his men were bound by an oath to torture and kill without question. Of course, laws justifying torture and other criminal discrimination were made. Himmler’s word was taken on any subject and only came second to the Führer.

On Hitler’s behalf, Himmler formed the Einsatzgruppen and built extermination camps. As facilitator and overseer of the concentration camps, Himmler directed the killing of some six million Jews.

On the other hand, Gen. Akol Koor is chief of the South Sudan’s National Security and Intelligence Service and of the murderous Unknown Gunmen, whose men, with Kiir’s blessings, can torture, kill in the broad daylight and would never anticipate a question.

Much is known about this man, Gen. Koor, yet very little is said of him. He had successfully managed to gag the media from reporting anything about him.

Secondhand information about him has it that Mr. Akol is a fairly, if not, very short person. He is a polite, introverted and curiously unimpressive folk – some of the character traits common with deadly beasts.

He walks tilting to his left side – a walking disorder arising from disability in the leg attributed to his days in the military college. His task is to do the dirty and cruel works that Kiir himself would not do.

It is believed that Mr. Akol hatched up the infamous Unknown Gunmen as an armed agency within the department of NSS whose primary objective is elimination. The organization employed violence privately to create fear, uncertainty and terror in the city of Juba.

This so-called Unknown Gunmen have managed to get away with all sorts of murder: from political assassinations to ethnic targeting of intellectuals, vocal youth in the society. Youth and intellectuals perceived to be critical of Beny Kiir’s regime have met brutal deaths in the streets of Juba, thus robbing the country of its future leaders.

The Perpetrators: Hitler vs. Kiir

Führer Adolft Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Germany (1933-1945). Hitler’s propaganda had played on the population’s fear of no hope. Germany’s economy had hit the ground stumbling under the reign of Paul Von Hindenburg.

But when Nazi party took over, they set the ground running – the economy was “booming” and there were no “work-shy” loitering the streets.

Hitler was a man who would make Germans proud for restoring their lost pride and nationalism.

He had to do away with people, Jews who had at one time in history made fortunes out of the Arian Germans, wherein Hitler hailed. Despite his good motive for Germany, Hitler destroyed the very same thing he called the “great” country.

Hitler was not alone in his vision; he had his enablers – men who were devoted to destruction of the “inferior race.”

Beny Salva Kiir, the de facto Chief of Gokrial, ascended to the helm of power through his father’s superstition prowess. In fact, people say that Kiir’s father had thrown a spear in the sky and since then that spear never fell down back on earth, signaling that Kiir will not fall from power.

He came with one vision clear in his face which he would achieve in a flash of a second.

Unlike the Fuhrer, Kiir maimed our economy by encouraging corruption and practicing nepotism. Today it is his Gokrial’s kinsmen who decide how much public money should go to the state bank and how much the President’s men should take home.

He bewitched most South Sudanese to seeing things on a reverse. Their newly acquired religion of hate known as “Kiiristianity” has sought to portray Beny Kiir as a saint among the unholy. This unruly belief has been imposed with commercial tenderness upon his guilt-ridden puritanism.

Many atrocities committed by Kiir’s tyrannical regime are undocumented, only those which happened in full glare of the International media such as the December 15th massacre of Nuer and the July 6th failed attempt to assassinate Dr. Riek Machar in J-1 have found a permanent space in our memories.

Salva Kiir orchestrated most bestial of crimes in our history and that we will live to rue his existence in our human population.


The unsuspecting South Sudanese have been taken for a ride by the liberators.

Mr. Kiir and his spanner-boy, Akol, are building their “Nazi” empire through our blood and resources. Our high tolerance for corruption, nepotism and abuse of the rule of law has reached its threshold and we must act now while it is not too late to do so.

The people should not be afraid of the bad leaders, bad leaders are afraid of a united people.

After all, the rise and fall of Hitler have significantly proven that the people have the power. They can give it to you for sometime but once they detect that you are misusing it they’ll withdraw it.

Remember, nothing lasts forever. Kiir will fall; not if, but when!


MAKOI MAJAK (The Super Citizen): is a student pursuing an LL.B Law Degree at the School of Law, Jomo Kenyatta University.

Don’t Blame Citizens for the Leadership Failure & Collapse of Country

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, APR/16/2018, SSN,
Daniel Juol Nhomngek ;

Viewing South Sudan critically points to one conclusion that it’s a collapsed nation. In other words, it is a failed state. According to Wikipedia, the failed state is a political body that has disintegrated to a point where basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly.

The failure of the State comes about when a nation is weakened as its standard of living declines, which eventually leads to the total governmental collapse.

In this respect, Fund for Peace characterizes the failed state as having the following characteristics:
(1) loss of control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force therein;
(2) erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions;
(3) inability to provide public services; and
(4) inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community.

The above common characteristics of a failing state make a central government so weak or ineffective that it has an inability to raise taxes or other support due to rampant corruption, and consequently, has little practical control over much of its territory and hence there is a non-provision of public services.

In the failed State, there is a lot of widespread corruption and criminality as there is intervention of non-state actors, the widespread appearance of refugees and the involuntary movement of populations and sharp economic decline occur.

All these scenarios exist all over South Sudan.

In South Sudan, there is a lot of widespread corruption throughout the country as witnessed in some of the states. The clear examples of these states where corruption has reached the highest levels are:

In Gok State, the governor is running the State like personal enterprise as he has taken control of everything while using state powers to silence citizens who are conscious about the duties of the State that Gok State are not executing.

The Governor in Gok State has criminalized majority of the youth who are vocal of his mismanagement of the State. While some youth are blindly supporting him because he is from their county. Therefore, every person in Gok State who criticizes the Government is seen as interested in politics and therefore outlawed.

In order to survive in Gok State and get some employment, one must at all the times praise the governor even at the face of very clear apparent failure. Some of the youth by implication become submissive as conditions demand.

Another state with high levels of corruption and mismanagement is Western Lakes. In this State, the Governor is running the State like one-man enterprise as already pointed out in the discussion on Gok State.

To make the matters worse after failing to unite the people of Western Lakes through implementing the rule of law, the government is now trying to use force to bring people together that he is creating unity, which may lead to the destruction of the community settings.

What the governor of Western Lakes should have known is that unity of the people is not brought through the use of force or putting people in one room but it is brought through making unity attractive as the Late Dr. John Garang Mabior used to say.

Another State that is corrupted is Ruweng. In Ruweng State, the governor is using force to silence those complaining about his mismanagement of the State. This is despite the fact that citizens of South Sudan inhabiting Ruweng State are being affected by careless production of oil. The plights of citizens in Pariang who are affected by oil production are not heeded to.

Though I have only mentioned the three States above, it should not be understood that there is no corruption in other states no referred to. In fact, there is a lot a lot of corruption going on there.

When it comes to the issue of criminality, there is now rampant crime at every level and in every state of South Sudan as the States are using the intervention of non-state actors to champion their interests and to protect leadership not the citizens. This explains the strong presence of unknown government though they’re known.

Indeed, the issue of unknown gunmen has now even become a major concern to every citizen as they are killing big people as well as common citizens that are perceived as threat against the government.

This has led to the widespread killings that are not accounted for but the State does not even take any measure to protect citizens which means that they are killing in protection of the State.

Apart from the above crime, there are also a lot of widespread cattle wrestling or raiding which has made the keeping of animals to be a very risky project in various cattle communities in South Sudan.

This has deprived the citizens of the source of their livelihood that has pushed them to the streets in all major cities to beg in order to earn a living.

In terms of public service, there is none at all. Public servants working inside South Sudan and different embassies of South Sudan are now over ten months without salaries yet we still believe that there is a State.

The failure to pay government employees and the soldiers in particular has pushed some of them to engage in robbery and begging on the streets in different States.

It is very sad indeed and raises the vital question as to what does the State mean to those who believe that there is a state called South Sudan?

It is the fallacy of our understanding of the word STATE. A state that does not give her citizens services is the illusive State that exists in the state of minds of those who believe in its existence.

The absence of the State or inability of the State of South Sudan to control crimes is explained by the fact that the rampant crimes coupled with the ongoing civil war have led to a very serious refugee crisis.

The widespread appearance of refugees and the involuntary movement of populations and sharp economic decline are the clear description of South Sudanese State, which are the signs of non-existing state.

However, what surprises me and others who are well informed about the vital nature of the government and leadership is the fact that many individuals though educated keep on blaming the citizens of South Sudan for the collapse of South Sudan State and economy.

This shows that they have totally failed to understand the role of leadership in maintaining law and order and state stability in general. The question that they have not addressed their minds to, is if citizens where the ones responsible for the state stability why then do, we need the government?

In order to understand this question properly, there is a need to define the term government. The government is defined as a body that has the power to make and enforce laws within an organization or group.

In the broadest sense, “to govern” means to manage or supervise, whether over an area of land, a set of people, or a collection of assets. It is for this reason some writers point out that a God-ordained government acts like a restraint on man’s selfishness and regulates his societal interactions when necessary.

As it is already pointed, the primary duty of a government is to reward the people who do good things and punish the wrongdoers. In that respect, the overall supervisor of any government is the head of state. The head of state plays an important role of being an impartial guardian of the constitution and representative of the people.

The Government plays the role of: ensuring a secured and stable environment to enable free trade, innovation, development, quality education and production through securing the national borders, and protecting against internal threats such as racketeering, intimidation, violence and corruption, and defend the country from any external threat to our way of life.

As seen in the above discussion, government and leadership are what define the state and without them the state will be a failed state as it is the case of South Sudan. It is somehow said to see that in spite of this fact, some people who claim to be educated keep on blaming the citizens for the crisis in South Sudan.

Blaming citizens for the collapse of the country is the failure to understand that leadership and government are everything. The country that does not have an effective government and leadership is the failed country.

The effective government in this context is that government that delivers quality public services, the government that has the quality civil service, which is independent from political pressures.

To sum up, it must be stated that the problems of South Sudan are not due to the weaknesses of citizens but the ineffective leadership that has made the government ineffective.

The author is South Sudanese lawyer residing in Kampala and he can be reached through

The catastrophic consequences of South Sudan’s civil war

BY: John Juac Deng, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, FEB/11/2018, SSN;

The independence of South Sudan has been one of the more stirring evens in recent years on the African continent, and yet conflict and instability remain unavoidable in the new state. While there continues to be tension between Juba and Khartoum over oil and several border issues, international community’s major concern is the outcome of the civil war.

Africa’s 55th sovereign state has been mired in bloody civil war since 2013, when President Kiir dismissed Vice President Riek Machar and the rest of his cabinet, accusing them of instigating a coup. Kiir’s move triggered the most full-blow fighting in the capital, Juba, between government forces and rebel soldiers led by Machar and spread to three large provincial cities.

It is still uncertain as to whether Machar had actually planned a coup, but he had intended to challenge Kiir for the leadership of the governing party so that he could run for president in the 2015 election.

South Sudan is new to the ways of democracy and struggling to forge a unified identity out of a patchwork of over 60 often feuding tribes after the longest liberation war.

The only peaceful route to power is through gaining control of the SPLM, and this implied challenging Kiir at the planned third SPLM national convention. Within a more institutionalized political system, the discontent within the SPLM could have left and formed an opposition party. In contemporary South Sudan such a move would be tantamount to a long and possibly indefinite walk in the political wilderness.

The SPLM is thoroughly inter-meshed with the state, and in the stranger world of fact, Kiir is chairman of the SPLM as well as commander-in-chief for the SPLA.

Within the neo-patrimonial state, it is difficult to distinguish between the office of the president, the party leadership and the national army. This has made the state captured by the SPLM different factions attractive.

Consequently, power structures are not transparent, and it is difficult to establish the relative influence of political factions.

In other words, it is much to be regretted that the warring parties are so stupidly blind to their power game that they cannot see the advantage of having a peaceful environment and economic growth in South Sudan.

Despite high-profile mediation efforts by many African and Western governments, they have refused to end the five-year-old conflict that is undermining development gains achieved since independence and worsened the humanitarian situation.

The continuing fighting has killed over 10,000 and displaced 1.5 million people from their homes while a humanitarian crisis threaten many more. The worst fighting has taken place in the oil rich town of Bentiu in Unity State, where hundreds of unarmed civilians have been murdered and their properties either destroyed or looted. Adding to these tragedies is a growing insecurity nationwide.

The United Nations has threatened to impose sanctions on both sides as they are guilty of the use of child soldiers and massacre of civilians, but the threat has not had any significant impact on the warring SPLM leaders.

While Machar, languishing in South Africa’s confinement, says his rebel forces are committed to upholding the agreement, he believes that Kiir’s forces have already violated ceasefire.

On the contrary, the Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) said Tuesday that Machar’s rebel groups violated cessation of hostilities agreement signed last month in Addis Ababa.

The Juba officials have dubbed the rebel chief as a divisive pretender for power. Machar is a wily operator, switching sides on several occasions during the north-south strife as he sought to strengthen his own position and that of his Nuer ethnic group in the murky political waters of South Sudan.

He is very ambitious to take the top office in the land, and nothing else matters, but most people in the country do not see him as a national leader.

On the other hand, the civil war in South Sudan has had major repercussions on the already struggling economy. The economic future will largely depend on the outcome of the civil war and its substantial proven oil reserves.

From the beginning of the conflict until the end of January 2014, oil dropped 20%, which had a huge effect on world markets.

When Kiir and Machar did not reach to uphold the peace agreement, the production decreased even more and the economy continued to struggle. The Juba regime derives about 98% of its budget revenues from oil.

Not only has the civil war had major effects on oil production, but also South Sudan’s relationship with the former colonial master heavily influences its national economy since the new-born country seeks to build another pipeline.

Beyond oil, its economy depends upon agriculture and pastoral activity. South Sudan is one of the richest agricultural areas with its fertile soil and abundant water supply.

Agricultural activity is mainly pastoral, with the main domestic livestock being cattle, along with smaller livestock such as sheep, goats, camels and chickens. The central economic question relates to the length of the conflict and its outcome.

Despite its abundance of natural resources, South Sudan remains one of the most underdeveloped countries in the world. For example, only 15% of South Sudanese own a mobile phone.

Before fighting broke out in late 2013, the country looked to undertake many development projects including railroad projects, tarmac key roads, redevelopment of the port at Lamu and hydroelectric dam.

For these big economic projects to take off, a peaceful environment is urgently needed, so the small business owners call upon Kiir and Machar to focus on restoring peace and economy. The economy has felt significant negative effects from the conflict.

Even before the conflict, South Sudan experienced widespread poverty and now according to the UN, 3.7 million people are in need of food due to the displacement of thousands of South Sudanese and increased poverty.

In conclusion, South Sudanese have known little but war. The current conflict has led to a terrible human slaughter, worst humanitarian and economic crises and intensified debates in social media over SPLM’s capacity and suitability to govern South Sudan.

The intensification of identity politics might also affect the political demands on the opposition and narrow down the range of possible solutions to the conflict.

In the worst-case scenario, it might damage the integrity of South Sudan as a political unit; an integrity which was fragile in the first place.

So, one believes that a solution to the conflict is urgently needed; otherwise, the social media revolutionary warriors should continue to issue a ringing declaration calling upon the nation to rise and strive for national salvation.

John Juac Deng
Independent writer

Lol State is a disaster like the rest of the country and Pres. Kiir says, “It isn’t my fault!” Who’s to blame then, Mr. President? The Jieng Council of Elders (JCE)!

From: Amma Emmanuel , Australia, DEC/10/2017, SSN;

Lol state is a disaster like the rest of the country and the president says, “It is not my fault”! Who is to blame then Mr. President? The Jieng Council of Elders (JCE)!

When Decree No. 36 of 2015— mandating the creation of 28 states in the Republic of South Sudan—was issued, the entire population of the then Raga County in Western Bahr el Ghazal, led by chiefs and intellectuals, rejected the decision to carve Raga County and merge it with North and West Aweil to form the current Lol state.

They wrote one memo after another, held rallies, and sent delegations to Wau and Juba to explain why they rejected the order. They said, as stakeholders, they were not consulted in the matter so as to express their views, nor were they aware of a study conducted prior to the order to reassure them their farms would be protected from the cattle belonging to the new settlers; their voices heard; and their democratic representation preserved from the mechanical majority decisions that the new status quo would bring.

In addition, they pointed out that this order violates Article 161 of the transitional constitution and breaches the August 2015 comprehensive peace agreement, therefore, threatening the peace in Raga and the area at large.

The people of Raga are known to be diplomatic, religious and law-abiding people; they lived peacefully with their neighbors from Aweil West and North for decades. The abduction of women and children or pillaging of villages, as regularly reported in other parts of the country, was unimaginable.

Thus, they believed that Decree No. 36 of 2015 was an attempt by enemies of peace to end this amicable relationship and set the area ablaze, as had occurred in other regions of the country.

In October 2017, President Kiir issued an order to the army to ensure withdrawal of pastoralists and their cattle from the Equatoria region and resettlement in their respective states in Jonglei and Lakes. The order cited complaints from farmers and chiefs from Equatoria that cattle were destroying their crops, their main source of livelihood.

This was not the first time that such an order was issued, nor the first time that farmers complained.

President Kiir issued a previous order to relocate the pastoralists in Western Equatoria to their respective states; however, farmers in Equatoria and Western Bah el Ghazal continued to complain about cattle destroying their crops.

The strife between farmers and cattlemen transcends contemporary times, dating back to the colonial era. It was on the basis of these differences in livelihood that British colonials delineated district and state boundaries; farmers remained in Western Bahr el Ghazal and Central and Western Equatoria, while the regions north and east of these areas—up to the border with Sudan— were designated for pastoralists.

Natural features, such as rivers, functioned as borders in some areas in Upper Nile. Over time, with the exception of minor incidents of cattle-raiding that occurred over the border, this solution brought sustainable peace between the tribes, leading successive administrations to maintain it after independence in 1956.

It is due to this history that when Decree No. 36 of 2015 was issued, the people of Raga were initially in disbelief. They thought it was an error that might soon be corrected; however, it became a nightmare when days passed and reality set in.

Why merge Dinka Malwal from Aweil— who are pastoralists— and Fertit from Raga— who are farmers— in one state at a time when President Kiir was issuing orders to pastoralists in Equatoria to move to their states in Jonglei and Lakes?

If the argument is to make public services more accessible to these rural communities, why not maintain Raga as a separate state?
Why risk people’s lives and resources on an arrangement that was deemed a failure from day one?

And why are some trying to damage the harmonious relationship between the two communities of Fertit and Dinka that existed for decades?

If it is about the unwarranted fear of unfounded old claims that the people of Raga wanted to be annexed to Darfur or that Khartoum wanted to take Raga, the Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders (JCE) needs to understand the following:

•When Khartoum claimed Abyei as a territory of Sudan, it was not because of its people or their religious affiliation, but because of the land and its resources.
•When Khartoum fought back to regain control of Panthow, it was similarly on account of the land and gas reserves.
•When they pushed the border of Darfur and Kurdufan further south to include Kafia Kenje, Hufrat el Nahas, Rodom, Abyei and other areas in Upper Nile during the Nimeri regime— continuing to occupy them up to this moment— it was because of studies that proved these areas were rich in minerals, gas, and other valuable resources.

That being said, if Khartoum one day wants to claim Raga it will be as a result of land and resources and not because of its people or their religious affiliation. The union of Raga and North and West Aweil and the formation of Lol State should not and will not be a condition for the two communities to come together and stand up against any foreign threats.

International borders are normally protected by the national government rather than the tribes or “Mathing Anyor”. A country incapable of coming to the defense of its people and borders is useless and, likewise, a government unable to defend its citizens is no government at all.

The government in Juba, carrying a guilty conscience after not being able to fulfill its responsibilities to Abyei and its people, has resorted to these divisive, destructive, and unstudied policies.

One of the most important responsibilities of a legitimate government is to protect its citizens from any internal or external threats. The constitution places that right in the hands of the national or central government with the national army and security organs positioned as tools to enforce executive and legislative decisions.

To delegate this power to any entity other than the government is inappropriate and disgraceful. Therefore, the government’s desertion of Abyei and betrayal of its people is a show of weakness and a symbol of failure.

Furthermore, the JCE’s imposition of North and West Aweil on Raga—on the premise of a false allegation of Raga wanting to be part of Darfur—is utterly a disguise for its immoral intentions.

To the unaware or absentminded, the 2010 referendum results showed that more than 97% of the people in the then Raga province voted for secession, making Raga one of the areas with the highest volume of votes in support of separation.

Furthermore, those who were displaced and resettled at the outskirts of Khartoum for years overwhelmingly voted for separation and immediately returned to their ancestors’ land and started development. Every single village in Raga country that was deserted during the liberation war has been rebuilt and normal life resumed. That is why Raga did not experience any shortage in food or hunger all this time.

Raga learned that if they wanted to keep their land from any foreign ardent desire to snatch or annex, they had to return, rebuild, develop, and rely on themselves. To them, Decree 36 and the creation of Lol state is synonymous with Khartoum’s ambition to take their land; this time, however, concealed under the façade of federalism- what they will resist teeth and nails!

People of Raga are patriotic; they value their land and honor their martyrs. Like many other people who had untold stories of patriotism during the liberation war that Khartoum deliberately distorted and/or never documented, Raga had stories of honorable youth –accused of being fifth column in the Anyanya movement—who were dragged from their homes and shot by the army in broad daylight, their bodies left on the streets.

These are the unknown soldiers who shed their blood so that Kafia Kenje and Hufrat el Nahas could be a part of Raga and the whole South.

The people of Raga will never dishonor their martyrs nor forget the sacrifices they made on behalf of liberation. They voted overwhelmingly to fulfill their dreams and to prove to their families that the bloods of their sons, daughters, husbands, brothers and sisters were not shed in vain.

Therefore, to accuse them of wanting to get Raga annexed to Darfur is smearing their struggle for the liberation of this land; it is just another imprudent attempt by the JCE to justify their unacceptable land grabbing policies.

Angelo Marak, a former speaker of the defunct Northern Baher el Ghazal legislative assembly, told Radio Tamazuj that the “two-state solution would be better option than unattractive unity between the two communities forming Lol State.”

He attributed the reason behind his suggestion to the fact that Raga community leaders completely rejected the Lol state decree due to fear of the destruction of their farms, the grabbing of their lands, and the alteration of their culture by the Dinka and their cattle.

Two separate memos, one from the intellectuals and youth from North and West Aweil in Juba and the other from the concerned citizens of the former Aweil North and West counties in the diaspora, appealed to the president for the creation of an Aweil state separate from Raga. They cited the same reasons above, stressing that both communities would live peacefully in separate states as they had done in the past.

In his article, Why Lol State should be partitioned?”, Kuac Deng stated that the creation of Lol state has put Aweil North and West in a precarious position, with rebellions and assassination attempts by the people of Raga who rejected to be part of the new state and a government in Juba with no solutions to offer.

He talked about the dire economic situation comprised of unemployment; mass out-migration due to insecurity, and lack of social services. Accordingly, he urged people of Aweil North and West to stand up for their rights and claim a separate state, stating, “Unity is a shared responsibility and cannot be forced” and a separate state will guarantee peace and harmony with itself and neighboring states.

This is the situation in Lol: rejection of Decree No. 36, rebellion, demands for two separate states, insecurity, hunger, no salaries for more than six months, corruption, lack of essential services, mass exodus to neighboring countries and more. Unfortunately, this is the situation all over the country and not in Lol alone.

The president was honest to say, “South Sudan is a disaster” as reported by the Washington Post, but whose fault is it and who should be held accountable? If the president denies responsibility, then who is responsible? The Jieng Council of Elders!

It is unthinkable for a sitting head of state to confess to the media that his country is a disaster or to exhibit indifference towards the suffering of his people. A president who refuses to bear responsibility for the mess and damage his government has created loses legitimacy and must cede power to someone who is competent, someone with a clear vision, someone willing to hold themselves and others accountable.

South Sudan deserves to be in a better position twelve years after independence, but here we are—according to many observers—a failed state littered with widespread corruption, a deficit in public services, and an indecisive governing body, among other issues.

South Sudan has become a playground for neighboring countries whose armies freely enter the region and whose aircrafts readily violate the country’s airspace. South Sudan is on the verge of collapse!

The IGAD Revitalization Forum to resuscitate the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARSC) will be held in mid-December of this year. It is the belief of the author of this article that IGAD will never bring a total, just, and lasting peace to South Sudan if Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri Museveni play a role in the Forum and become signatories to any agreement reached.

Museveni, whose soldiers defended Kiir, is part of the problem and Kenya is only interested in South Sudanese dollars—not its people.

A total, just, and lasting peace will come when all 64 tribes of South Sudan stand up and say enough is enough. Mounting calls for the dissolution of the JCE could be responsible for the JCE’s recent decision to rebrand itself as “The Concerned Citizens of South Sudan” and, as reported in the Sudan Tribune, the Aweil Youth have declared, “Kiir and his administration are responsible for failing the country and dragging South Sudanese to tribalism, segregation, and nepotism”.

Each day passes, South Sudanese are realizing how Kiir and his administration have failed the country and how they should come together before it is too late. These occasions are evidence of imminent change, the presence of a blurry, yet unfading, light at the end of the tunnel.

It will not be easy to effect change; it will be rough, thorny, and bloody; however, as Nelson Mandela famously stated:
“There is no easy way to freedom anywhere and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountain tops of our desires”.

Amma Emmanuel:
Dec., 2017

Kenya has a Win-Win Choice in the Upcoming General Election

By: Agou Anyieth Kur, Political & Communication Strategist living in Canada, AUG/07/2017, SSN;

An appeal for a peaceful and fair democractic process.

As you go into the August general election, I want to draw your atten-tion to something that might not be too obvious in all the current hus-tle and bustle towards the general election. This concept of mine as given away by the title of this article is that contrary to the zero-sum narrative coming from your political class and the media, I implore you to view the forthcoming general election as a win-win contest and a celebration of your democratic journey and self governance: Madara-ka, as it is popularly known in your country.

“Siasa Mbaya”

In the East African region and other parts of the world, you have seen the suffering, destruction and death caused by Siasa Mbaya, to use the famous phrase by Mzee Daniel Arap Moi, the former president of Kenya. But what exactly is Siasa Mbaya?

If it will help, let me disclose right away that, I, the author of this article, I am from South Sudan. That must have rung a bell in your head even if you haven’t been keenly following the political happenings across the region and around the globe in the past few years.

At this very moment, the degree of human suffering happening in South Sudan is so despicable and un-imaginable for this century. Innocent civilians are needlessly dying and starving because of a recklessly-played politics that disregards the aspirations that many South Sudanese had for their country.

Syria and Yemen are comparable cases to South Sudan but I will stick to South Sudan for illustration since it neighbours your beautiful country and you possibly know it better than the two aforementioned coun-tries.

Having given this example, I hope I have laid bare the dire con-sequences of Siasa Mbaya without having to explicitly define it. From Siasa Mbaya, a chain of unfortunate events can transpire leading to an all-out war and needless suffering as is the case in South Sudan. When Thomas Hobbes, a 16th-century political philosopher wrote in his Leviathan about the state of war as being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”, I would say that he had South Sudan in mind.


Despite the post-election doom and gloom being predicted by some pundits, how colourful the Kenya’s 2017 presidential field is should not go without getting noticed. It may appear obvious but it is worth the praise and pride of every Kenyan.

From Mr. Mohammed Abduba Dida, to Dr. Ekuru Aukot, to the front-runner duo of Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, Kenyans should be thankful of the diversity of the leadership that they can choose from and the state of their democra-cy.

It is not perfect but it can get better. In my opinion, this current Kenyan presidential campaign is less nasty than the 2016 circus show that ended up producing Donald Trump as the president of the United States.

I will pay much attention to the two front-runners for now since only both of them have considerably higher chances of winning the upcom-ing election in comparison to the rest.

To begin with H E. President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, some may question his ability but only a few may doubt his kindness, sincerity and good intentions. To the young people in East Africa and across our continent, President Kenyatta is well respected for his modern views and his desire to make Kenya a more developed nation.

Up to this point, he has done a hugely com-mendable job to that effect notwithstanding the corruption scandals that have been a little of a nightmare during his first term. Coming to the Former Prime Minister, the Rt. Honourable Raila Amolo Odinga, a lot of great things can be said about his illustrious career in Kenyan political scene.

Very few opposition leaders across Africa come close in comparison. From his progressive views of the world to his lofty ideals of what Kenya can be going all the way to his contributions (alongside others) to ensure that Kenya gets on a multi-party demo-cratic path, a progressive constition in 2010, it is not an easy task to find a living match for Raila across our continent.

Having Uhuru and Raila among those from whom Kenyans can choose their president in the August 8 election is another thing that you my Kenyan brothers and sisters should be proud of. I think no sane Kenya would opt to trade leaders with North Korea (where there is no diversity of leader-ship to choose from) or Zimbabwe (where our once revered African elder has now clung on to the presidency and would not let go to allow for diversity of leadership and fresh ideas to chart the future).

Kenya still remains a beacon of hope, peace, progress and democra-cy irrespective of the happenings of 2007/2008. Your elections may not be perfect (and elections never are in most parts of the world) but they are regular and your democracy is maturing with every election. 10-15 years from now, your democracy might be the closest thing to perfection in the whole of Africa.

That is, of course, if you build on the constitutional progress of the past few years. Any bystander, like I am, would seriously advise you not to squander that due to some short-sighted and hollow tribal vanity. You would not want your coun-try to go the South Sudanese way.


As the 2007 Election violence had taught you, I have heard voices ranging from ordinary Kenyans to leaders saying that “never again should Kenyans shed blood because of an election.” But do you really mean those words?

Le me end with this recollection from 2008. When the National accord was signed, I was watching your parliament’s special sitting when it approved the National Accord. Sometime around noon after the Ken-yan army band had played the national anthem, they marched to the tune of the gospel song: “Baraka za Mungu kweli ni-za ajabu” , which translates to “the blessings of the Lord are truly miraculous.” That moment reflected your ideals and aspiration as a Godly nation of “Amani and Umoja” and it is what you should all aspire for ahead of the upcoming election. Don’t mess your country up.

Agou Anyieth Kur
Political and Communication Strategist living in Canada.

Money the root of all Evil: Assessing its veracity in the context of South Sudan

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Kampala, Uganda, JUN/09/2017, SSN;

It has been a while since I thought about this topic concerning the role of money in crisis of South Sudan. When Comprehensive Peace Agreement (the CPA) between the Sudanese People Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and National Islamic Front (NIF) regime, Southern Sudan was created, which was administered as an autonomous region from Northern Sudan.

The autonomy of Southern Sudan was to last for six years (2005-2011), which should be followed by referendum, in which all South Sudanese or sixty four tribes currently in South Sudan have to decide whether to become independent nation called South Sudan or continue to be part of larger Sudan.

Indeed, after six years South Sudanese decided to vote for separation. Consequently, they voted for independent South Sudan and in July 2011 the current Official Flag of South Sudan was raised and the Flag of Sudan that many of us associated with all predicaments that were facing South Sudanese under Khartoum was lowered. As the Official Flag was being raised, the crowd was wild with joy while braving simmering sun of Juba.

However, one thing was clear. One thing that was clear was money. Money, which is defined as any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a particular country or socio-economic context, or is easily converted to such a form, was becoming a great major player in the governance of South Sudan.

Nonetheless, though the Money was becoming so important to the extent that development of South Sudan was going to depend on its availability, another side of the money is that it is so corrupting that even the simple act of thinking about it can lead people to act in unethical ways (, this article assesses the veracity of the statement that money is the root cause of all evils in South Sudan.

But before we assess the evils caused by money in South Sudan, it is important to list all general evils that are associated with money worldwide, which are:

Money causes dishonesty just to earn more money; in addition money causes corruption as a person or authority operates under the conflict of interest; money leads to the abuse of political power; bribery; moreover, use of money has given rise to greed and exploitation of poor which has resulted into greater inequalities of incomes and wealth.

The economic exploitation caused by greed of money triggers social upheavals in different countries as was seen in the case of Arab spring in 2011; money helps in extending the scale of production, which after certain limits may result in a situation where production far exceeds the demand. This leads to fall in level of prices, unemployment, decline in incomes and thereby misery for the masses.

Money has encouraged many kinds of anti-social activities like gambling, fraud, robbery. It makes people greedy and acquisitive. It encourages tendencies of exploiting others. However, it cannot be denied that most of the evils listed above arise because of improper use of money.

Money has caused political corruption due to politics of money. The Government officials use powers for illegitimate private gain. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties, is done under color of law or involves trading in influence.

Forms of corruption money encourages includes bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, parochialism, patronage, influence peddling, graft, and embezzlement. Money causes corruption which in turn facilitates criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, though is not restricted to these activities but to any unjust misuse of power against citizens or to the disadvantage of the citizens..

In addition, misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is also considered political corruption caused by greed of money. This is because greed for money hates freedom of speech and expression. It is been reported that in worldwide, bribery alone is estimated to involve over 1 trillion US dollars annually. A state of unrestrained political corruption is known as a kleptocracy, literally meaning “rule by thieves”. Protect ion of political corruption has led to institutional corruption, which are distinguished from bribery and other kinds of obvious personal gain.
As Panama Papers leaks revealed, government officials secretly owned companies, many of which are based in the UK’s tax havens. Panama Papers were documents, which belonged to the Panamanian law firm and corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca, that were leaked in 2015 by an anonymous source, some dating back to the 1970s. The Panama Papers are 11.5 million leaked documents that detail financial and attorney–client information for more than 214,488 offshore entities. This law firm supported dictators, money launderers and tax evaders all over the world to escape taxes and also steal money from theirs nations.
The above are general evils associated with money and therefore it is true to say that money is the root of all evils. The same evils are seen in South Sudan as shall be discussed in the following examples—
There has been faking of qualifications in South Sudan since education is equated with money. Hence, the higher one is educated the bigger the salary or money one may earn. In order to get good post in the employment one must be educated so forging of academic qualifications become handy business in South Sudan. As a result, education has lost its values and importance in South Sudan because it is seen as a means to the end. This is because according to those forged documents the end of education is not knowledge but money.
To prove the above point, in 2016 Busoga University was closed after awarding 1,000 South Sudanese fake degrees in 60 days. In addition, there are also many forged academic documents in various offices in South Sudan because people see education in term of money not knowledge.
Moreover, we have seen in South Sudan rampant misuse of diplomatic passport because of money. It is not uncommon to get ordinary citizens holding diplomatic passport simply because it protects them from paying migration fee or ticket fee of fifty dollars or so. This is just to defraud the country with resources or money. This is because the burden always comes back to the country since it is the one to pay the money to foreign countries in term of diplomatic fee that was not charged against South Sudanese nationals holding diplomatic passports.
The government should collect all Diplomat passports from citizens who do not have any international work related to the business of South Sudan and at the same time they must be tasked to pay all whatever money they would have paid in all the travels they have undertaken. Otherwise, allowing them to use diplomatic passports though their works have nothing to do with diplomacy is abuse of a country and foreign affairs or foreign relations.
Because of money, there is also lucrative black market, evil practices caused by desire for more money. Many bank officials in both Central and commercial banks of South Sudan, for instance, horde hard currencies through the process of insider trading in order to sell them in blank market at higher prices just to get uncontrolled or huge profits. This, as a result, pushes up prices in the market to the economic detriment of the ordinary citizens.
There is much secrecy in dealings in different offices in South Sudan as Money, Politics and Power are interrelated and because of that transparency and accountability are hated in South Sudan. This is because of corruption caused by money. In 2010 during general elections, many youth sold the truth for money. For example, General Daniel Awet is a well-known General in Southern Sudan because of his role in liberation war but because of money the youth lied that he was not well-known simply because they need money; hence truth became an enemy to them.
Money causes corruption which in turn causes financial and political scandals. Politics in South Sudan is based on tribalism, discriminations and nepotism because of money. All is caused by politics of money and because of that money has destroyed unity among us South Sudanese as it has destroyed our traditional African morals that used to hold us together.
Due to the lost of morals, which are replaced by immorality, many of us have resorted into doing abominable things. For example, some people bury money under the ground; some put money in a coffin like dead people and hire people to cry for that money as a means of stealing the money to the neighbouring countries. This is a worse thing any human being with moral values can do but because money has made us to lose morals, we no longer care about integrity.
Because of money, many army generals have destroyed the army because they steal money from soldiers to build their own houses. In addition, many people join rebellion with the aim to get higher rank in order to get good position and a lot of money. This is why rebellion has become a good business as many who join rebellion do not join with the intention of bringing change but with the intention of getting position in the bush and when they join government later they will be incorporated or integrated into the SPLA with the ranks they obtained in the bush. Hence, the whole meaning of rebellion has changed.
Because of money, professionalism has been lost in almost all areas. The worst hit areas by the lost of professionalism are army and legal profession. This is because people working in these areas are only looking for money not practising their professionalism. This is why, for example, the army has been turned into where people in the government employed their own relatives who are not fit to serve in the army. All in the name of money.
In summary, money is the root cause of all evils in South Sudan. Greed for money is a ‘bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction’. Unless we have the law to control the people South Sudan will be sold for money. We already have that indication as there are agents of Khartoum working with the government. The work of these agents is to keep on informing Khartoum of all the latest development in South Sudan.
In addition, the office of the president of South Sudan is turned into business ventures and this is why there are no any secrets in that office. Those inside the office of the President are agents of undisclosed principals. My humble opinion is that the people who corrupt the nation should be sentenced to death once proved in court of law and found guilty in order to save the country from the present serious corruption caused by greed of money.

NB// the author is human rights lawyer and can be reached through: