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BREAKING NEWS: KCB (Kenya Commercial Bank) to close South Sudan branches due to war shocks



***KCB wants to cut its exposure in South Sudan where the bank took a Sh3.4 billion hit due to hyperinflation in 2016.
***The impending closure of branches in South Sudan is likely to lead to job losses, KCB warned, saying the actual number of workers to be affected will be known in due course.
***KCB ventured into South Sudan in 2006 and the wholly-owned subsidiary quickly rose to become the most profitable unit;

East Africa’s biggest bank by assets KCB Group plans to shut down some of its branches in South Sudan, citing civil strife, devaluation of the country’s currency, and hyperinflation which negatively impacted the lender’s earnings last year.

KCB, which has 19 branches in South Sudan, now wants to cut its exposure in Africa’s newest nation where the bank took a Ksh3.4 billion ($34 million) hit due to hyperinflation in 2016.

“KCB Group board of directors has approved the temporary closure of some branches in South Sudan, driven by logistical and operational challenges that have made operating some of these branches unsustainable,” the bank told the Business Daily.

“A change in the economic situation will lead to a re-assessment of the viability of branches.”

South Sudan’s inflation rate hit 830 per cent in late 2016, and the South Sudanese pound has been on a free fall — currently trading at 108 units to the US dollar compared to 2.95 units at which it was fixed until December 2015 when Juba adopted a free floating foreign exchange regime.

The impending closure of branches in South Sudan is likely to lead to job losses, KCB warned, saying the actual number of workers to be affected will be known in due course.

“Naturally, any branch closures will lead to staff re-assessment but, as mentioned earlier, this is work in progress and we cannot therefore, at this time, quantify the number of staff who will be affected,” the bank said.

Juba woes

KCB ventured into South Sudan in 2006 and the wholly-owned subsidiary quickly rose to become the most profitable unit.

The macroeconomic troubles saw the Juba-based unit plunge into the red, with a loss of Ksh759 million ($7.59 million) last year from a net profit of Ksh17.8 billion ($178 million) in 2015.

But Stanbic, which reported a loss of Ksh1.1 billion ($11 million) from the Juba unit due to spiralling inflation, said the lender has no plans to withdraw from the troubled country despite the tough operating environment.

“Stanbic Bank is not withdrawing from South Sudan,” the bank told the Business Daily.

This is the second round of headwinds hitting KCB operations in South Sudan after the outbreak of civil war in December 2013 following clashes between government forces and rebels allied to former vice-president Riek Machar.

KCB in January 2014 shut three branches in the towns of Bor, Bentiu and Malakal, due to the conflict in the fledgling economy.

“Any business decision by KCB Group is made to protect the interests of shareholders,” said the bank.

All the four Kenyan banks with regional operations in South Sudan booked massive losses linked to hyperinflation and loss in value of the local currency.

Co-op Bank reported a Ksh498.3 million ($4.98 million) hit from the South Sudan hyperinflation, and Equity Bank suffered a Ksh129 million ($1.29 million) monetary loss.

Lack of ideology, moral politics & the rule of law: Causes of South Sudan problems

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Lawyer, Kampala, Uganda, MAR/26/2017, SSN;

Six years ago, South Sudanese overwhelmingly voted for separation from Sudan after over forty years of struggle for independence. Thus, independence made South Sudan become a sovereign state.

In that regard, when we talk of State sovereignty we mean the State responsibility and because of that responsibility the state has a primary duty to protect its citizens, which lies with the state itself (see; The Report of the International Commission on Responsibility of States to protect and Intervention and State Sovereignty December 2001)

Sadly six years down the road, South Sudan has lost the direction as it has fallen into some kind of a military dictatorship (though it is not a typical military government) that retains power through the use of political violence, kidnappings and other oppressive tactics.

These tactics are used solely to protect and maintain the interest of the cliques that have held the government and the president hostage in order to continue sacking the blood of South Sudanese amidst ruthless and aimless war.

Thus, South Sudanese are now trapped in war, famine and potential genocide though the beneficiaries of the war do not like to hear the word “genocide”.

In that respect, the recent report on South Sudan’s war, famine and potential genocide by the Enough Project entitled “How The World’s Newest Country Went Awry: South Sudan’s war, famine and potential genocide,” properly summarizes the State of South Sudan as a “den of thieves,” in which battles by profiteers over power and the corrupt spoils of power, including an “oil-fueled gravy train,” have fueled endless cycles of conflict.

In addition, the same report of Enough Project cited above pointed out that the current war is the cause the famine due to the war and political violence, which is likely to result into genocide.

This is because as report puts it, “The competing kleptocratic factions are fighting over a lucrative prize: control of the state, which in turn brings control over oil and other natural resource revenues, patronage networks, some foreign aid, massive corruption opportunities, immunity from prosecution and accountability, control over the army and other security organs, the ability to control or manipulate banks and foreign exchange, the opportunity to manipulate government contracts, and the chance to dominate the commercial sector”.

Looking at the report cited above which explains the problems of war, famine and likelihood of genocide facing the country currently, the immediate question that comes in mind is: what is the problem or what causes all these problems in South Sudan?

The simple answer is that all the problems facing South Sudan now have their genesis in the lack of ideology, moral politics and the rule of law.

Thus, where the country is run on proper ideology guided by the interest of the state and citizens, then a true, moral or proper politics develops. The true or moral politics is the politics that puts the nation interest above individuals.

Hence, where there is a conflict between individual personal political preference and that of a country itself, then those individuals who have political ideology different from the state are supposed to resign from the politics. This is the basis for which some politicians resign or are forced to resign from politics or from the government.

As pointed out above, moral politics is supposed to guide the nation towards achieving the interest of the people which was supposed to have been the case in South Sudan. Nonetheless, in South Sudan as we see today, there is lack of ideology which has resulted into the lack of proper or moral politics and absence of the rule of law as the three are interrelated. How the three are interrelated shall be explained later in this work.

But the lack of ideology in South Sudan is the cause of ill-conceived and bad politics. Hence, politics in South Sudan is mixed with personal interest and because of that the government, political party and politicians are inseparable, which complicates the issues of governance in South Sudan.

In other words, due to the misconception of politics which is perceived as personal, the Government of South Sudan is run on patron-clientelism. This is ‘a patronage network that binds both patron and client together in a system of exchange in which the relationship is mutually beneficial but at the same time the power, control and authority lie with patron (see; peace and Conflict in Africa edited by David J. Francis p.10)’

In relation to the above paragraph and in relation to South Sudan, politics is based on patron-client relationship, which is replicated at different levels, including local, national and international, and between individuals, groups, communities and states. This is seen in Juba and in various states in South Sudan, which is a mode of governance.

This mode of governance though it is bad it is not easy to eradicate as they feed into and support each other.

The type of politics discussed above comes about due to the lack of political ideology. Lack of political ideology causes messy or bad politics characterized by the systems of governance, which involve the exercise of political authority based on an individual wishes, which is further used to serve the private and vested interests of the state power-holders, including the ruling and governing elites.

Hence, in such a state of affairs, the state resources are used for personal benefits and in oppression of the citizens to protect personal interests by authorities.

In the kind of system, as cited the above paragraph, the State governing institutions are appropriated, used, subverted, privatized, informalized and subordinated to the interests of the personalized ruler, the regime in power and its supporters as seen under the SPLM Government headed by President Kiir in South Sudan.

Therefore, in the country where the system as described above is adopted, there is no always a distinction between the public and the private sphere of governance and the political ascendancy as well as individual preferment is based on loyalty to the power holder.

Hence, the power-holder such as the president emerges not only as a personalized ruler and the prime purveyor of patrimonial resources (public resources) but also commands monopoly over all formal political activity, whereby the formal state and governmental institutions are subordinated to the ruler’s vested and strategic interests.

In truth, the state where the ruler personalizes the system, there are always organized criminal activities in the form of informalization and privatization of state governing institutions in which large scale of corruptions and fraud are legalized or carried with impunity against the citizens.

Innocent citizens who protest against bad governance or corruption as referred to above become criminals while the true criminals such as government officials who steal government resources perceive themselves innocent and prosecuted.

So, they end up organizing criminal activities sanctioned under the state laws and enforced by the State security apparatuses that go around tracking down patriotic citizens who complain against the misuse of state resources and power.

In addition, when they feel threaten and see the threat against their power, they form private militias and also privatize civil war that helps them remain in power in the pretext of protecting national interest, and consequently, there is a growth in an economy of plunder, and the ‘re-traditionalization of society’ through the use of witchcraft and occult practice in governance as seen in various government institutions in South Sudan.

The emergency and existence of the problems in South Sudan as discussed above are due to the lack of strong political ideology and the rule of law that should have guided South Sudanese leaders to lead the country to the desired direction in its development.

As mentioned above, the rule of law in simple language means the supremacy of the law. In other words, it refers to the situation where the authorities base their administrative decisions on law and everything done by the authorities must be done in accordance with the principles of law in their areas of administration and which must be in line with the Constitution.

Thus, ideology, politics and the rule of law are intertwined or closely connected. This is because where one of them is weak then the other two are weakened or become ineffective and by implication, citizens become the victims of bad governance.

In this respect, bad governance is the product of the absence of law or the rule of law. Where there is no law, there is always uncertainty and uncertainty creates anxiety among the citizens and where the citizens always experience anxiety caused by uncertainty in the governance, the citizens lose confidence in their leaders and hence politics experiences mayhem and eventual political crisis as seen in South Sudan.

Due to the lack ideology in South Sudan, there is no true or politics guided by morals and because of that the law has become an enemy to the leaders. The overall consequence of the absence of law in South Sudan is the outbreak of civil war and famine which have created a hell for South Sudan’s people. But at the same time it has created bloody and lucrative businesses for the country’s leaders and other commercial collaborators, i.e. South Sudan’s war profiteers” to the use the language of Enough Project Report.

Moreover, the absence of the rule of law caused by lack of ideology and lack of true politics has made the war crimes a source of income for South Sudanese warlords or leaders as it pays.

This is because there is no accountability for the atrocities and looting of state resources that has resulted into the current famine and starvation facing the nation.

As you read this article, thousands of South Sudanese are imminent danger of starvation caused by corruption within the system as it is the system itself, which is corrupt and which is the very purpose of the state of South Sudan.

In South Sudan, as the Enough Project found, the leading accelerator of the conflict is greed-fueled by kleptocracy in which state institutions have been hijacked by a network of individuals who are working hard to rich themselves at the expense of masses.

This group or network of people is composed of leaders and their commercial collaborators internally and internationally, backed by the use of extreme violence.

As a matter of fact, the network is composed of leading government officials, generals, businessmen, foreign investors, banks, oil and mining company representatives, money transfer entities, and others connected to the international financial system. The automatic result as expected is the disempowerment and destruction of the viability of the state institutions that are supposed to hold leaders accountable.

This is because all the parties involved want to avoid both accountability and transparency and then the National Security apparatuses comes in to brutally suppress all forms of dissent and independent expression or political activity against the corrupt leaders.

Besides the above, the insecurity experienced by corrupt politicians makes them not have confidence in national security and because of that they begin recruiting ethnic-based militias and armed to attack the communities perceived to be opponents to political leaders and their political mischief.

Of course, there is need for fairness here, the use of militias goes back to the time of the British colonial and Khartoum regimes era, when identities were politicized, just as the Belgians did in colonial Rwanda, establishing ‘tribal authorities.

However, that does not absolve the government of South Sudan as it has a primary duty to transform the society.

As pointed out above, tribal groups are recruited and dressed in the national army uniform to send the message that they are members of national army while other citizens join rebellion not because they want regime change and promote national ideology and the rule of law but they want to eliminate one ethnic group in the country.

Consequently, soldiers in the government and rebels in the bush are killed without accountability in the process of defending the national government without national agenda and rebels are killed in defense of their tribal interests threatened by the interests of the government officials. Hence, the country becomes divided and also a loser on both sides.

Sadly enough, after the soldiers or rebels have been killed in defense of the national government without national agenda or in defense of their tribal interests in the bush, no one among the leaders whether in the government or in the bush cares for the widows and children of those killed, so the war becomes most expensive and demanding venture.

Since there is no one who cares for the children and widows for those fallen soldiers, majority of the members of the army have lost patriotism and becomes mercenaries hence the army becomes a bunch of undisciplined group of individuals.

In summary, it is important to point out that due to the lack of ideology, proper or moral politics and the rule of law, the SPLM government has lost the objectives of which they SPLM of 1983-2005 was founded on.

Because of that, if the SPLM/A of 1983-2005 were to meet face to face with the SPLM of 2017, they will shoot at each other because the SPLM of 1983-2005 will think that we are still under the Sudan rule.

The SPLM of 2017 is ideologically corrupt and seriously dictatorial which has put it in terrible mess and this means that there is a need for radical change in the SPLM political structure.

There is a need for honesty to tell the leadership of the SPLM that the party is now in bad shape or political intensive care unit and because of that there is a need for restructuring of the SPLM in order for it to survive.

In addition, President Kiir should be informed that what he is told by the cliques around him in the State house is different from what is on the ground. The President should know that whereas he has weakened the rebels, he has completely lost control over the security of the country and citizens are in grave danger of death.

The president must also know that for South Sudan to be saved from falling apart there is a need for compromise. To compromise is part of ideology strategy because where there is ideology leaders are ready to compromise in order to agree on the ideological framework and development.

Finally, this article has a suggestion that the president does not want to hear but for the sake of South Sudan, the article points out and suggests that the President is no longer capable of leading the country and there is a need for him to prepare a strong person within the party that can save the SPLM from natural death or disappearance from the political scene.

If the President does not listen to this advice, he must prepare for the collapse of the country and if the country collapses and citizens get finished, then what was the purpose of liberating South Sudan and the South Sudanese?

NB//: the author is South Sudanese Human Rights lawyer, a graduate from Makerere University, School of law and can be reached through:

No Ideology, No Nation: The problems of South Sudan

By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, Lawyer, Kampala, Uganda,MAR/22/2017, SSN;

National building begins with ideological building. Without defining and identifying a proper ideology, the nation remains confused, corrupt and stranded. As defined, an ideology is a collection of beliefs held by an individual, group or society. It can also be described as a set of conscious and unconscious ideas which make up one’s beliefs, goals, expectations, and motivations.

In this regard, an ideology is a comprehensive normative vision that is followed by people, governments, or other groups that is considered the correct way by the majority of the population, as argued in several philosophical tendencies. Hence, as those of Karl Marx and Frederick Engel observed in their work, the ideology is set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of society such as the elite to be followed by all members of society.

In relation to politics, the ideology refers to the system of abstracted meaning applied to public matters, thus making it central to politics. Implicitly, in societies that distinguish between public and private life, every political or economic tendency entails ideology, whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought.

In the Althusserian sense, Ideology is “the imaginary relation to the real conditions of existence.”

Where the nation does not have a clear ideology like South Sudan, the whole system becomes corrupt as there is no ideology that directs people on what to do, when to do it, where to do it, how to do it and why it should be done.

The role of leaders of a country run without ideology is not defined but it is geared at retaining power hence, all intellectual tendencies are corrupted when they consort with power. This is exactly what is happening in South Sudan today.

In South Sudan you get government and rebels fighting meaningless and aimless war. The people in the aimless war are viewed as objects. This is why women and girls are raped, young boys are recruited and leaders keep on buying guns with country’s resources even though people are facing dangerous hunger and starvation.

The recent report confirms the above statement that country resources are being used in purchasing weapons while people are starving in the country. Hence, the report pointed out that the government of South Sudan is spending its oil revenue on weapons, even as the country descends into a famine largely caused by Juba’s military operations, according to a confidential United Nations report.

Thus, the report by a panel of experts, whose findings were dismissed by South Sudan’s government, calls for an arms embargo on the country – a measure rejected by the Security Council during a vote in December 2016.

The report further pointed out that the experts found a “preponderance of evidence (that) shows continued procurement of weapons by the leadership in Juba” for the army, the security services, militias and other “associated forces.”

As stated in the above report, while hundreds of thousands (100,000) of people are facing starvation in various parts of South Sudan such as part of the former Unity State, the government of President Salva Kiir continued to make arms deals hence spending millions of dollars on arms.

The reason the government of South Sudan is seen as being inhuman which it is in reality is because it does not have the ideology. Where there is correct ideology for a country, the question is always, “What is a nation?” Such a question as this is always important because it guides the government in the nation building process.

When Dr. Garang was heading the Movement called SPLM/A, not like the one we have today, there was a clear ideology called the “New Sudan” built on clear ideology. Hence, New Sudan with its ideological leaning acted as a guide throughout the war from 1983 to 2005. It was the clear ideology of the Movement that made SPLM/A strong as there was a direction where people of Southern Sudan were going.

In addition, there was a law called the SPLM Manifesto of 1983 as revised in 2008, which made the liberated areas experience strong rule of law and strong army: the SPLA.

With the demise of Dr. Garang and the rise of General Kiir, South Sudan was buried alive as it was sacrificed on the altar of corruption. Therefore, the SPLA that used to be strong in the bush was weakened in towns, which made some of us long for those days when we were in the bush in which the rule of law use to exist and everybody felt at home.

In fact, the SPLM/A used to be strong in the bush because its leader, Dr. Garang, tried by all means to avoid being hated and despised at all costs by the rural people of Southern Sudan. As Niccolò Machiavelli in the Prince puts it, a leader (or a prince) may be criticized for a lack of virtue, but he will never be hated for it. However, a leader (Prince) will be hated if he takes the property or women of his subjects.

In other words, a leader must avoid robbing his subjects of their honor. The leader will be despised if he or she has a reputation for being fickle, frivolous, effeminate, cowardly, or irresolute.

Hence, if the leader is regarded highly by his subjects, he will be shielded from conspiracies and open attacks.

In South Sudan, the President has failed to control the situation due to the fact that he fears his officials whom he allows to rob citizens directly and indirectly of their resources. This is why the President has become unpopular because he allows the national resources to be unfairly shared through corruption.

All the above problems are facing South Sudan because of the lack of clear national ideology. As the Uganda President Yoweri Museveni observed over South Sudan in regard to lack of ideology recently, there is no national ideology on both sides of the rebels and the government as they are following what he termed as pseudo-ideology of sectarianism.

Museveni expressed the above view on South Sudan when he was meeting Xu Jinghu, the Chinese government Special Representative on African Affairs, at State House, Entebbe recently. He criticized the leadership of the different parties involved in the conflict saying the leadership is making the conflict a tribal affair.

He is quoted to have said, “The main problem in South Sudan is ideological. The groups there don’t have clear headed leaders to guide the people about their future. They push the pseudo-ideology of sectarianism of tribes and yet this is detrimental to the people’s well-being. The conflict cannot be resolved through force but by negotiations aimed at two things; first are elections. It is the medicine for sectarianism because in an election, no single tribe can marshal numbers to win.”

As seen above, the main problem of South Sudan is lack of ideology, which has left the country in a confused situation in which the rule of law has become an enemy to the state. People are being tortured directly and indirectly. People are being tortured indirectly as they are subjected to hunger and poverty because of grave corruption and they are being tortured directly by the National Security which is being used by the leadership to protect their interest not that of the nation.

The army has been allowed to be infiltrated by business people who are in form of generals and whose business is to corrupt everything and also oppress junior officers and other soldiers. Currently, no one cares for the family of the soldiers killed defending government or the nation.

To make the matters worse, the president and his group have turned the nation into personal enterprise in which they are using national resources for personal benefits and also to eliminate different South Sudanese who complain with the way the nation is being managed.

In summary, without ideology, no country and without ideology, no people, as people are exploited through corruption and daylight robbery promoted by confused state of affairs.

In order for South Sudan to come out from the current crises, there must be peace and then serious reforms in the army undertaken and the rule of law must be promoted and respected while strong ideology be adopted to guide the nation in its path to development where the justice, liberty and prosperity can be achieved by all South Sudanese.

NB//The author is human rights lawyer residing in Kampala Uganda, and can be reached through: or +256783579256

Causes of South Sudan’s famine and potential genocide: A New Report

New Report Identifies Causes of South Sudan’s Famine and Potential Genocide

March 21, 2017;

In a new report published today, John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, offers an historical review of corruption and profiteering in South Sudan, detailing how a legacy of violent kleptocratic leadership has led the world’s newest nation into a crisis of famine, war, and potential genocide.

The Enough Project report, “How The World’s Newest Country Went Awry: South Sudan’s war, famine and potential genocide” details the history of South Sudan, describing a “den of thieves,” in which battles by profiteers over power and the corrupt spoils of power, including an “oil-fueled gravy train,” have fueled endless cycles of conflict.

The current situation in Sudan is described as a violent, greed-fueled kleptocracy, in which institutions of accountability have been deliberately undermined, and calls for hard-target “follow the money” investigations into the looting of the nation. The report further provides a series of critical recommendations to address the root causes of famine, destabilization and war, and to dismantle the violent kleptocratic system that is driving the suffering of the South Sudanese people.

Selected report highlights:

“War has been hell for South Sudan’s people, but it has been very lucrative for the country’s leaders and commercial collaborators, South Sudan’s war profiteers.”

“In South Sudan today, war crimes pay. There is no accountability for the atrocities and looting of state resources, or for the famine that results.”

“Corruption isn’t an anomaly within the system; it is the system itself, the very purpose of the state.”

“Ethnicity has been used as the main mobilizer for organized violence.”

“The history of conflict and mass atrocities in Sudan and South Sudan is driven in large part by unchecked greed, manifesting itself primarily in the accumulation of wealth and power by the country’s leaders.”

“The competing kleptocratic factions are fighting over a lucrative prize: control of the state, which in turn brings control over oil and other natural resource revenues, patronage networks, some foreign aid, massive corruption opportunities, immunity from prosecution and accountability, control over the army and other security organs, the ability to control or manipulate banks and foreign exchange, the opportunity to manipulate government contracts, and the chance to dominate the commercial sector.”

“South Sudan is not wildly different here. The leading accelerator of most African conflict is greed-fueled kleptocracy in which state institutions have been hijacked for personal enrichment by a small group of leaders and their commercial collaborators internally and internationally, often using extreme violence. The networks are usually composed of leading government officials, generals, businessmen, foreign investors, banks, oil and mining company representatives, money transfer entities, and others connected to the international financial system. They disempower and destroy the viability of those state institutions because they want to avoid both accountability and transparency, and they brutally suppress all forms of dissent and independent expression or political activity.”

“In South Sudan (and Sudan), ethnic-based militias are recruited and armed to attack the communities perceived to be opponents. This practice goes back to the British colonial era, when identities were politicized, just as the Belgians did in colonial Rwanda, establishing ‘tribal authorities.'”
Key report recommendations:

“The missing ingredient in the international response is the creation of sufficient leverage or influence to shift the calculations of these violent kleptocrats from war to peace, from atrocities to human rights, from mass corruption to good governance. The surest way for the international community to build influence is to hit these “thieves of state” in their wallets.”

“What is needed is a hard-target search for the dirty money, the ill-gotten gains from the last decade of looting. Choking the illicit financial flows of the kleptocrats is the key point of leverage available to the international community, given the vulnerability of stolen assets that are offshored in neighboring countries or around the world in the form of houses, cars, buildings, businesses, and bank accounts.”

“Conflict can be transformed when hijacked governing institutions—first and foremost the military, which is simply a mishmash of ethnic militias—are reformed. Establishing measures of accountability is key. There must be financial accountability for the stolen assets; legal accountability for crimes against humanity; and political accountability which could exclude those responsible for the worst abuses from a future government.”

“The most promising policy approach would combine creative anti-money laundering measures with targeted sanctions aimed at kleptocratic networks, the combination of which would be robustly enforced with the objective of not just freezing a few assets, but rather freezing those willing to commit mass atrocities out of the international financial system altogether… This is revolutionary, because it would suddenly give international policymakers and diplomats a major point of leverage to impact the calculations of those willing to commit mass atrocities to maintain or gain power.”

“Given the dominant position of the United States in the international financial system, and the extreme vulnerability to which the assets of South Sudan’s kleptocrats are exposed within that system, the United States is uniquely positioned to help alter the incentives for South Sudan’s leaders away from grand corruption and war, and to give peace a chance in that embattled and long-suffering land.”

“Ultimately, South Sudanese people will drive reform and determine their future. From the outside, the United States, Europe, the United Nations, the African Union, and other concerned actors around the world can provide support and solidarity to the efforts of South Sudanese people who are on the front lines of efforts to build peace, good governance, and accountability.”
Link to full report:

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606,


The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at

Calling for National Day of Prayer is not President Kiir’s responsibility but of the Church

BY: Rev. Daniel Amum, MAR/12/2017, SSN;

The decision made by the President Kiir to call for national day of prayer is clear indication of his ignorance about the Bible teachings. So God is distraught because you took a duty entrusted to the Church. In this regards let me highlight some of biblical references and the consequences of violating them.

In the book of 1 Samuel 13:9-14, the King Saul took a position of prophet to offer sacrifice to God, hoping to win God’s favor, so that he may face the challenges posed by the Philistines. Unfortunately, the Prophet Samuel questions him what has he done?

Unconsciously, Saul reiterated that he thought of presenting sacrifice (prayer) to gain God’s favor because the Philistines were coming down against him at Gilgal. Indeed, he felt compelled to offer the burnt offering. God was extremely upset by the decision of King Saul.

Straight away, the Prophet Samuel under inspiration of the Holy Spirit criticized Saul that he acted foolishly, and he has not kept the command the Lord his God gave him. Now, if you would have waited for the Lord, He would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But as result of your disobedience, your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.

The calling for national day of prayer is political one which the President Kiir resorted to for gaining support from apathetic people. But in real sense it is a sign of the end of his leadership like Saul, who was rejected by God, because he tried to accomplish the task which was not entrusted to him by God.

President Kiir seems distracted by feeling that being a leader gives him full right to champion all affairs of nation including spiritual aspects, forgetting that God ordained certain people to carry out that job. When the Lord deserted Saul, his life was controlled by Satan that worsened his situation.

Mister President Kiir, you need to be assured that God never delights in the burning offerings, sacrifices or prayers but He delights in justice, equality, peace and freedom. Without being righteous and without fulfilling necessary duty to let citizens live in harmony and peace, your prayer will not be acceptable by God.

In 2013, the Church advised you not to conduct the SPLM Convention but you personally sidelined the Church and you went on with your destructive project, and what happened is well known to all. The truth of matter is that your toxic and poisonous leadership spoiled the minds of southerners to look at themselves as enemies.

Obedience is better than prayers and sacrifices and to heed is better than any offerings. For the rebellion you made against the Church is like the sin of divination, and your arrogance is like the evil of idolatry.

Profoundly you have rejected the word of the Lord from the Church. Now, God has rejected you as President like what He did to King Saul (See 1 Sam.15:22-23).

President Kiir, obviously God is not delighted in your national day of prayer because you failed to listen to Him through his servants and failed to do the right thing.

Now, instead of calling for national day of prayer, why don’t you visit UNMIS and see the conditions of people in Protection Camps and try to hear their stories and how do they feel about you as person and your government.

President Kiir, the only option to restore the broken relations and to stop tribal conflicts in South Sudan is your resignation, no less. People have gruesome feelings in their hearts against you and they can’t come to national day of prayer you are calling for.

The question that poses itself is, can people in UNMIS Protection Camps in South Sudan, in bushes and in Refugee Camps really come for prayers? I think they can’t because they see you and your government as the cause of their sufferings which they encountered during the dark four years in the history of South Sudan.

Mr. President, your continuation in the leadership will widen disintegration, disunity, discrimination and dislike among your subjects. It will be very hard to heal mental, physical and social breakdown in your presence.

It will be impossible to convince the remnants southerners to restore mistrust created by you because of sorrowful memories and afflictions imposed on them by your government.

Allow me to repeat again, the only suitable solution before you to resolve this chronic problem and unpleasant experiences in South Sudan is your resignation from leadership and not the calling for national day of prayer or national dialogue. These will be waste of time, energy and limited resources without tangible outcome. Done cheating yourself, whatever you initiate will not bring fruitful result.

God of justice never wanted his creatures to be oppressed by anyone, and he will fight on their behalf as He did for Israel against Egyptians. Mr. President, people were murdered in your presence, displaced internally and externally and you made no response to such tragedies that befell on them.

What kind of leader are you, who never reacted to tribulations and agonies your subjects had experienced?
Are you not ashamed to call skeletons to come for national day of prayer that will not be heard by God?

In case you still feel a legitimate President, why are you shielding yourself with tanks? Your fear from the subjects implies definite uncertainty that there is insecurity in capital Juba.

It is also well known that the criminal rate within Juba have reached to highest level, for crimes are being committed on daily basis by unknown gum men. Moreover, inflation has reach to 800%, logically can empty stomachs, dying and starving persons adhere to your prayer call? I doubt that.

Mr. President, be specific in your call for national day of prayer, which group within communities are you targeting, are you calling wealthy bellies out or dying people? Please be reminded that wealthy bellies-out group will not attend the prayer nor the dying people because they are physically weakened.

Mr. President Kiir, let me refer you again to astonishing biblical reference in the Gospel according to St. Mark, chapter 9:42 -45 which say, “if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.”

The only thing you can do to win God’s favor is true confession, repentance and turn away from your sin, no way for hypocrisy.

Mr. President Kiir, you must know that God will not accept your call for national day of Prayer because you have ruined the nation and scattered his children around by world as result of madness man-made war you employed.

In case you do have sense of humanity in your heart and feeling of the agony of God’s children that are suffering under your leadership, please take courage to step down for the sake of such destitute citizens that were compelled to live inhumane conditions within their country for which they shed precious blood in liberation war.

As Christians, you need to observe what God says in his words, for example, in book of Amos, the Lord authorized Amos to declare to the leaders of Israel that He hates and despises their religious feasts and He cannot stand their assemblies.

Even though they bring Him burnt offerings and grain offerings, He will not accept them. Though they bring choice fellowship offerings, He will not regard them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps (see Amos 5:21-24).

In same manner God is telling you by now away with your baseless call for national day of prayer.

Indeed, Mr. President Kiir, be assured that God Almighty will not attend your prayer, also He will not listen to your prayer and will not bless you unless you make justice roll in South Sudan like a river and righteousness like a running stream.

Mr. President Kiir, be reminded that the Lord had put some guidance for acceptable prayer and fasting: One is to lose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke.

Second is to set the oppressed free and break every yoke.

Three is to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter.

Four is to clothe the naked people, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood. (See Isa.58:6-7).

In the light of mentioned quotation, God will never hearken to your call because the requirements God wanted to answer the prayer is not present in your life.

The gains which are waiting for you if you do what is right in God’s sight are: your light will break forth like the dawn; your healing will quickly appear; your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. You will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here I am. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, and with the pointing finger and malicious talk” (See Isa.58:8-9).

Mr. President Kiir, prayer is conversation with God, but how can you speak to a person whom you didn’t have intimate relationship.

In case you want God to answer your prayer, you must spend yourself on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

Apart from this your call for prayer will be empty and baseless exercise you wished people to participate. So you must leave what belongs to God and mind about your own business.

Uganda rules out military intervention and UN trusteeship in South Sudan

By Ed Cropley, THE EAST AFRICAN, FEB/03/2017,SSN;

**** Patience towards President Salva Kiir’s government in Juba has worn thin as the refugee numbers have grown, fueling talk in international policy circles that “trusteeship” is a viable solution.
*** However, Ugandan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Okello Oryem, rejected the notion, saying such interference would be opposed even by Kiir’s sworn enemy, Riek Machar, currently under house arrest in South Africa.
*** Uganda sent in troops when hostilities first broke out in 2013, a move that Kampala says prevented ethnic slaughter on a similar scale to the 1994 Rwandan genocide. However, it was criticised for its action amid suggestions that it had ulterior motives.

Imposing an external “trusteeship” government on South Sudan to try to end a three-year ethnic civil war and potential genocide in the world’s youngest nation would only make its security situation worse, Uganda said on Thursday.

Patience towards President Salva Kiir’s government in Juba has worn thin as the refugee numbers have grown, fueling talk in international policy circles that “trusteeship” is a viable solution.

However, Ugandan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem rejected the notion, saying such interference would be opposed even by Kiir’s sworn enemy, Riek Machar, currently under house arrest in South Africa.

Colonial mentality

“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” said Oryem, the principal foreign policy voice in Uganda, one of South Sudan’s most powerful neighbours.

“That’s a colonial mentality. If an attempt was made to have trusteeship in South Sudan, then I think even the Machar side would resist it and fight it,” he told Reuters in an interview. “That’s an idea that should not be mooted.”

South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 but tensions between its many different ethnic groups quickly surfaced and civil war broke out in 2013 between Kiir’s largely Dinka security forces and units loyal to Machar, a Nuer.

An internationally brokered peace deal restored some calm, although that broke down in July last year with heavy fighting between the rival forces in Juba, after which an injured Machar managed to flee to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.


Uganda sent in troops when hostilities first broke out in 2013, a move that Kampala says prevented ethnic slaughter on a similar scale to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

However, criticism of its action and suggestions it had ulterior motives meant Uganda was not prepared to re-commit any troops, even under the aegis of a Regional Protection Force mooted last year by the African Union, Oryem said.

“We were misunderstood by the international community and all hell broke out – we were being accused of everything under the sun and being told to leave,” he said.

“We’ve told them we are not going to go back,” he added. “Uganda has no more interest in sending its troops and boys to South Sudan.”

Separately, army spokesman Richard Karemire said the overall security situation in South Sudan had improved since Machar’s flight from Juba. He also voiced support for the removal of Machar, once Kiir’s deputy, from circulation by South Africa late last year.

“Would South Sudan sleep in the absence of Riek Machar?” Karemire said. “Every time there is a problem, he is in the middle of it. This is something we’ve got to ask ourselves.” (Reuters) END

National Democratic Movement (of Dr. Lam Akol) position on the UNSC visit to Juba

National Democratic Movement (NDM) Position on the United Nations Security Council’s visit to South Sudan.
The leadership of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) which was formed under the savvy leadership of Dr. Lam Akol in August 2016, with the objective of rescuing our nascent state from the jaws of a weak, uninspiring and ruthless dictatorial regime in Juba under President Salva Kiir and his Jieng Council of Elders, welcomes the recent historic visit to Juba by members of the United Nations Security Council, 1-4 September.

We believe that the deployment of the envisaged Regional Protection Force (RPF) under the command of the United Nations to take charge of security in Juba will enforce security in the national capital thus saving lives of the innocent civilian population and creating a conducive political environment for the germination of free political discourse and ensuring the full implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS).

The deployment of Regional Protection Forces could be further strengthened by adoption of new political road map to resuscitate the ARCISS.

In this regard the National Democratic Movement would like to urge the United Nations, Security Council (UNSC), African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to exert pressure on the government of South Sudan to revoke all decisions and actions taken by President Kiir in violation of the ARCISS and declare them null and void.

These include:— the imposition of the Establishment Order No. 36/2015 dividing the country into 28 states;
— reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA);
— all decisions taken since the renewed conflict took place in July 2016;
— the establishment and operationalization of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan as stipulated in the Peace Agreement and to dialogue with the stakeholders in the country to renegotiate the security arrangements in the Peace Agreement, especially the formation a new national army and other security organs.

The National Democratic Movement express deep concern regarding the oscillating position and the protracted diplomatic discourse the government of South Sudan has embarked upon pertaining to the deployment of the Regional Protection Force.

In fact the joint communique issued in Juba between the Government of South Sudan and the visiting United Nations Security Council’s delegation provided light at the end of a dark tunnel regarding the operationalization of resolution 2304 (2016) in particular, the deployment of the 4000 strong Regional Protection Force.

The Communique which was read on Sunday by the Cabinet Affairs Minister, Martin Lomuro stated inter alia that ‘to improve the security situation, the Transitional Government of National Unity gave its consent to the deployment as part of the UNMISS of the regional protection force recently authorized by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2304.’

However, on Monday 5th September barely before the ink joint communique was dry, Cabinet Affairs Minister Martin Lomuro and the Minister of Information Michael Makuei held a press conference in Juba denying government’s consent to the deployment of the regional protection force.

Dr. Martin Lomuro told reporters that in order for the regional protection force to be deployed in South Sudan, the government must agree on the number of troops, the contributing countries and arms to be carried by such a force!

On the other hand, Michael Makuei further added that there will be no force if the conditions are not met and that ‘4000 is the ceiling, but we are not duty bound. We can even agree on 10.’

The oscillating position by the government of South Sudan on the deployment of regional protection force as demanded by the UNSC Resolution 2304 (2016) was a shock to many but hardly surprising from an irresponsible and arrogant dictatorial regime of Kiir.

The government of South Sudan has lost credibility, respect and honour as far as the implementation of provisions of the ARCISS is concerned as well as any other commitments intended for the fostering of peace and stability in the country.

The continue intransigence by the government on all outstanding issues pertaining to the implementation of ARCISS, is a poignant reminder of Kiir’s failed leadership in administration of country’s affairs.

Therefore, we call upon the United Nations to show a unified leadership and consensus shown in their visit to Juba and to take serious actions against the dictatorial regime in Juba including and not limited to the immediate imposition of targeted sanctions regime. Enough is enough the time for diplomatic rhetoric is over; it is time for action.

Amb. Emmanuel Aban
National Democratic Movement (NDM), Representative to the United Nations
New York,

What Sec. Kerry Said wasn’t an Endorsement to Gen. S. Taban Deng’s New Assignment

By Dr. Gatluak Ter Thach* USA, AUG/30/2016, SSN;

Sec. John Kerry of United States held a diplomatic meeting today with members of East African foreign ministers of five countries, including Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda in his an exertion to push these countries to tackle challenges facing in their states. The agenda comprised of security issues among others affected South Sudan and Somalia, as well as the whole region.

Mr. Kerry also attended a press conference with the Kenyan President Kenyatta, where his rejoinder to a question asked in regard to the political exploitation made after the incident in Juba, South Sudan, which resulted into the decision that let FVP. Dr. Riek Machar of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in opposition (IO) left the country caused significant debate on Social Media.

The question enquired has to do of whether or United States would want FVP, Dr. Riek Machar return to South Sudan capital before protection forces arrive in the country.

Though United States proposed the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2304 to send to the protection troops to South Sudan for the protections of civilians and for the implementation of the peace agreement signed in August 2015, which Juba government had been unwilling to accept, Mr. Kerry likes to display a diplomatic card to avoid being seen hostile to Mr. Kirr regime in Juba.

This diplomatic response triggered discussions among South Sudanese who thought Mr. Kerry may have signaled a change in position when he said this: “With respect to Machar, it is not up to the United States, it’s upto the leaders of South Sudan and the people of South Sudan, the political parties and the neighbors to weigh in on what is best or what is not best with respect to Machar.

But I think it is quite clear that legally under the agreement, there is allowance for replacement and the transition of personnel and that has been effected with the appointment of a new First Vice President.”

In this regard, some debaters believed Mr. Kerry might have indirectly endorsed the controversial arrangement made by Pres. Kirr to replace Dr. Riek with Gen. Taban Deng Gai since he said it is upto South Sudanese and the region to figure out whether or not Gen. Taban can vacate the position for Dr. Riek to refill.

Unfortunately, this is not exactly what I think Sec. Kerry meant when he said, “it is upto the region, people of the South Sudan and political parties to weigh in on what is best or what is not best in respect to [Dr.] Machar” to imply that Mr. Kerry and United States has endorsed Gen. Taban Deng Gai.

What he really meant, I believe, is that people of South Sudan and the neighbors need a real peace signed by both Pres. Kirr and FVP, Dr. Riek Machar, and for the lasting harmony to emerge only when two leaders (Mr. Kirr and Dr. Macjhar) position interests of their people and the country first before their owns.

Everyone knows Dr. Riek commands over 90 percent of his supporters (military and sympathizers), who are eager to experience reforms made in the country. Pres. Kirr on the other hands has the equal support and the command of his branches.

For a survival of this signed peace in South Sudan, both leaders must work together to make it materialize and bring their divided fields into a single tukul. Sec. Kerry is not naïve on African affairs, especially the tribal politics of South Sudan.

He knows this culture. It is also true Gen. Taban can work well with Pres. Kirr since he might not bother about the reforms many of the South Sudanese wanted to be implemented for a country to subsist.

Reforms in a military and other sectors are significantly critical. For example, South Sudan does not have a trained and professional military. What it has currently is a sum of tribal militias trained to destroy and rape their country mothers and sisters. So sad indeed right!

A reform in the military is an essential aspect and a magnificent for the diverse young African nation. Gen. Taban, who already said he and Pres. Kirr agreed to merge both armies unconditionally by the end of May 2017, contrary to the security arrangement, is not a good signal to sustain this peace.

Articles 7.1 and 7.3 of ARCSS peace agreement signed in August 2015 illustrated instructions to integrate forces within 18 months, which do not support Gen. Taban’s talking points. This would be one of critical reasons that will make it difficult for Gen. Taban and the few friends to convince alerted majority of South Sudanese to buy in since they will not be seen for the implementation of the peace but as tools used to destroy the peace agreement.

According to the agreement, “the process of unification shall be overseen and monitored by the National Architecture. The Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-Integration of special needs cases shall be undertaken in parallel with the re-unification processes while the full process of DDR for ineligible candidates or residual forces as defined by the result of SDSR,” (ARCSS, 2015).

The key word is ineligible and the process to identify and accommodate them so they would not be left unserved. Is it possible to be achieved under Gen. Taban arrangement, and why would people think Sec. Kerry can pay a less care into this serious arrangement in the agreement when he knows the United States is overstretched with humanitarian a sector?

Mr. Kerry has also repledged again today 138m US dollars for the humanitarian assistance in South Sudan with signs that peace must be implemented. The United States has been the largest donor with a close to 2 billion dollars in the humanitarian assistance to South Sudanese people since an eruption of the current crisis in 2013.

As he said, the donation is not forever and leaders plus people in South Sudan must have to put their act together and say enough is enough, but this should not be done with a less care without acknowledging of a perpetual repercussion by allowing the interests of the few to continue endangering the lives of innocent citizens.

Presently, the choice for the additional force, which would be sent by neighboring countries after an eruption of fighting in July which claimed hundreds of thousand lives and resulted in rapes, including of Western aid workers, should be taken as an opportunity instead of how juba is taking it now.

Gen. Taban has advocated against the move which the United States government ferociously fought heavily for in order to restore armistice in the war-torn nation of South Sudan which Mr. Kerry reaffirmed today that the deployment of the 4,000 protection forces to South Sudan authorized earlier this month by the UNSC to be deployed as soon as possible for the protection of civilians, women and girls, as well as ensuring the implementation of the peace process.

“We need to move forward [to send protective forces],” Mr. Kerry. However, the government of South Sudan, from its Pres. Kirr, ” has resisted the planned deployment in Juba of a 4,000-soldier protection force” instead of agreement for the protection of their own people even though the country is unable to protect the citizens when the evidences can tell it all.

Current Displacement in South Sudan

· 2.5 million people (one in five) have been forced to flee their homes due to brutal war.

· Out of these, 1.6 million have been internally displaced in South Sudan

· More than 830,000 have sought safety in neighboring countries, mainly Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.

· 4.8 million people are in desperate need for food and clean water.

Current Economic Crisis in South Sudan

It is fact that most people in South Sudan rely on subsistence agriculture based on crop production and cattle for basic survival. Those who have been forced to flee their homes have lost their means of feeding their families because they were forced to abandon their farms and livestock. According to economic experts in the country and in the world, South Sudan has flown into an economic “free-fall” characterized by food and fuel prices which have skyrocketed and an ever-rising cost of living. The trade and local markets have been disrupted and food stock has depleted.

Human suffering in South Sudan

South Sudanese’s ability to manage with rising food insecurity is being stretched to a breaking point that it is difficult for the poor families to support their children. The political and security crises in South Sudan are really the one of the world’s worst food and humanitarian crises. It is worse than anything else in the world though international media has harder time to copy it. Here are saddened stats for the nation:

One in three people are severely food insecure.

5.3 million people of an estimated 11m (2015) are expected to face severe hunger this year.
More than 686,000 children (one in four) under five are estimated to be acutely malnourished.
6.1 million people will need some humanitarian assistance by the end of 2016.
87% of people have no access to improved sanitation and only 47% have access to safe water.
Dozens of cholera cases have been registered across the country in July 2016.
Sexual and gender-based violence is rampant, and it is estimated that 15,000 to 16,000 children are currently recruited by armed actors.

In looking into these painful stats, I agree Mr. Kerry and rests of us would like to see these sufferings reverse sooner. If the regime in Juba cannot provide conducive environments for these populations to support themselves, why would the regime refuse to allow those who could help them meet their citizens’ needs?

The card Pres. Kirr and folks in Juba are play is “sovereignty.” Without going deeper into the English definition of this term, is South Sudan a sovereign or independent state? The UNMISS forces were in South Sudan before 2011. Ugandan forces were allowed to South Sudan from 2013-2015. The country has been heavily depending on foreign aids before and after the crisis of 2013.

In addition to mentioned stats above, the country lack infrastructure developments, such as roads, hospitals, basic education, etc. Most children of those with means attend schools in neighboring countries or in the West. The real definition of sovereignty is not what is being seen in South Sudan since 2011 upto now.

The country is not sovereign yet because it is unable to protect, serve and/or deliver what it means to be a sovereign state, and everyone in the world knows this fact.

Dr. Gatluak Thach lives and works in the United States of America and he can be reached:

Popular Struggles and Elite Co-optation: The Nuer White Army in South Sudan’s Civil War

The Small Arms Survey’s Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA) for Sudan and South Sudan project is pleased to announce the release of a new Working Paper by John Young.

JUL/07/2016, SSN;

This paper reviews the limited literature on the history, organization, and operation of the White Army in the context of the civil war that erupted in December 2013. Based primarily on interviews, it provides a broad picture of the contemporary white army and attempts to give its fighters a human face.

Second, and in particular, it examines the motivation of white army fighters, their understanding of the war and the peace agreement, what they want for the future of South Sudan, their response to accusations of human rights abuses, and other issues.

The white armies of the Eastern Nuer figured prominently in Sudan’s second civil war (1983–2005), were a major source of instability during the transitional and independence period (2005–13), and served as the main fighting force of the opposition to the government in the South Sudanese civil war that broke out in December 2013.

Despite the long and significant role of the white armies in these conflicts, no major studies of them have been published and only a handful of less than comprehensive research papers.

As a result, the role, interests, organization, hierarchy, relationship to other political and military actors, and general attitudes of white army fighters are poorly understood.

One of the objectives of this study is to attempt to understand how white army fighters view the war and assess their attitudes to the peace agreement and peace process at the time of writing.

The second component of this study takes up issues of a ‘technical’ nature, in particular a comparison with other irregular South Sudanese forces, the organization of the white army, its leadership and hierarchy, its links to Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) regular forces, its components, recent internal changes, and the way in which it fought government forces.

The study is also based on the conviction that the interests of the white army fighters need to be addressed, even though they are poorly articulated and understood, if there is to be any hope for sustainable peace in South Sudan.

Among the paper’s key findings:
The war of the Eastern Nuer white armies against the Government of South Sudan was a popular war that had the almost complete support of the communities from which the fighters came and involved very little outside support.

The white armies of the Eastern Nuer can be distinguished from other community-level youth-based self-defence groups and militias that developed in South Sudan by their measure of autonomy from external military and political forces, lack of a formal military hierarchy, internal mobilization, strong links to the fighters’ communities, and capacity to fight beyond these communities for broader objectives.

The 1991 attack on Bor led by Riek Machar marks the birth of the Nuer white army, and that attack involved widespread abuse of civilians and looting that were motivated by deep-seated hatred of the Dinka and a desire for revenge.

White army attacks on government-held towns in Jonglei and Upper Nile in the wake of the mid-December 2013 killing of Nuer civilians in Juba, which white army fighters held to be the responsibility of Dinka in general and President Salva Kiir in particular, involved similar motives.

It is common to attribute the December 2013 war to a power struggle within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) leadership, and both the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-led negotiations and the Arusha SPLM reconciliation talks were based on this assumption, and thus have focused on elite power sharing and SPLM reconciliation.

However, not one white army fighter interviewed during the course of this research said that this was his motivation for fighting, and nor did any of them say they fought because Riek Machar was removed from the vice presidency or to gain positions for Nuer in a post-conflict government.

Without exception, the fighters said the reason they fought was revenge for the killing of Nuer civilians and family members in Juba in mid-December 2013 and to free members of their families from government-occupied towns.

Although SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar claimed in testimony to the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AU CoISS) that from 17 December 2013 he was in control of all the armed opposition forces, which necessarily includes the white army, this claim is not borne out by this study.

An examination of the history of the white armies going back to 1991 suggests that neither he nor anyone else can be said to control them, and nor did Riek or his representatives have any role in the mobilization of the white army after the Juba killings.

Lam Akol’s statement to the commission of inquiry that Riek ‘took over a rebellion that was not his’ (AU CoISS, 2014, p. 131) is thus an accurate assessment.

It is the white army and not the black or regular forces of the SPLM-IO that largely captured the government-controlled towns of Jonglei and Upper Nile, but the fighters’ lack of interest in sustained military operations meant that they soon returned home, leaving the towns to the regular SPLM-IO forces, who proved incapable of holding them.

Although attacks by white army fighters on government-held towns has led to the popular perception of them as wild, violent, and beyond control, in their home areas they have generally been well behaved, followed the direction of elders and the civil authorities, and are being used by local SPLM-IO administrations as an important element in preserving security.

The fact that Salva Kiir, whom the white army fighters hold responsible for the killing of Nuer civilians in Juba, remains the president of South Sudan and the continuing presence of Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) soldiers in the white army’s homeland means that, irrespective of the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, white army fighters do not recognize that the war has ended, at best only a ceasefire exists, and in the present circumstances there can be no consideration of a civilian disarmament process, which is critical to any sustainable peace.

The SPLM-IO has made no effort to politically educate the white army fighters and as a result most of them fought simply out of a desire for revenge and hatred of the Dinka.

But the limitations of this approach are becoming clear and the fighters are not happy with the outcome of the war, are increasingly distrustful of the SPLM-IO leadership and the peace agreement, and a minority have concluded they have been betrayed and want to resume the war.

Popular Struggles and Elite Co-optation (HSBA Working Paper 41) is available for download from

For more information, please contact:
Yodit Lemma
HSBA Project Coordinator
Small Arms Survey

Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA) for Sudan and South Sudan
Small Arms Survey
Maison de la Paix, Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2E
1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Follow the HSBA on Twitter (@Sudan HSBA) and Facebook (Sudan HSBA – Small Arms Survey)

Kiir now clears Machar’s return Monday after first blocking till after weapons verification: LATEST

Various Sources, APR/23/2016, SSN;

Finally, the Kiir’s government has just surprisingly given clearance for Machar’s return, announced the security chief in Juba, questionably blaming the delay due to some mysterious so-called “on-going maintenance at Juba International Airport on weekends & delay by note verbale from Ethiopian Embassy, the two Diplomatic aircrafts will only land on Monday 25/04/2016.”

South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar had once again missed the deadline to return to Juba over what his aides blamed on new demands by President Salva Kiir’s government.

The language used in the landing permit however did not mention the agreed 195 troops of the SPLA-IO, their weapons and the coming of the chief of general staff ahead of Riek Machar.

It is however thought that the “accompanying delegation” mentioned in the clearance would encompass both military and civilian personnel who will accompany Machar

A new date for his return has been set for Monday, according to Machar’s spokesman Machar James Gatdet Dak.

“The government denied him landing. He has been waiting at the airport the whole day. We have just received word from the government that we wait until Monday,” Dak told the Sunday Nation.

Earlier, there were reports that the government insisted on verifying the identity of 195 troops who were to accompany the rebel leader.

The government also insisted on verifying the weapons at Gambela Airport in Ethiopia before granting permission to land in Juba.

It is not clear whether the said verification will be completed before Monday, the day scheduled for the return of the top leader of the SPLM-IO.

Earlier, officials of the opposition faction said the weapons verification had already been done by the Ethiopian authorities.


A senior government official this morning said that there was no reception planned for Machar today, also reiterating that they wanted ceasefire monitors to first go to Gambella to check the weapons that Machar would be bringing with him.

Minister of Information Michael Makuei said after a cabinet meeting yesterday, “CTSAMM which is the verification body will send a team of verifiers to Gambella to go and verify the 195 soldiers who are coming plus their individual weapons and plus these 20 PKMs and RPGs.”

The Joint Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (JMEC) had originally proposed that its ceasefire monitors (CTSAMM) carry out this task.

“It is thereafter that team will inform the government that they have done verification and based on that recommendation the government will issue the necessary clearance for the planes that will bring them,” Makuei added.

The minister said that the government expected Machar in Juba “probably Monday.”

“We expect Dr Riek Machar to move in soon as possible together with general chief of staff. Any delay the day after the government will not be ready for it. Any further conditions will not, and I repeat, will not be accepted by the government of South Sudan,” he said

“If the [ceasefire monitoring] team leaves today then definitely the team will be there to do the verification and probably by Monday we expect him in Juba,” Makuei further added.

Analysts say contentious details of the peace agreement signed last August could be the cause of the delays in forming the transitional government.

The stalemate, however, only tells half the story. Long before the deal, officially known as Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, the government and rebels had signed seven peace agreements since fighting broke out between factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in December 2013.

All of them were broken within hours with each side accusing the other of violation.


When the agreement was signed, fighting resumed two days later. It has never been clear who fired the first shot but clashes took place in Central Equatoria State and oil-rich northeastern Upper Nile State where a battle for the control of Malakal Town flared. Many civilians and aid workers died.

More than 50,000 people have been killed and about two million others displaced since the conflict started, according to the UN. Other relief agencies give higher figures.

The current deal was nearly missed when rebels accused the government of changing details in the draft.

The initial draft provided for power-sharing only at national level.

In fact, it proposed for the country’s transitional security arrangements to be handled by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development regional bloc. These were opposed by rebels.

Igad mediators realised the problem and changed the document to allow transitional power sharing at all levels. Still, President Kiir signed it “with reservations.”

In changing drafts to suit parties’ demands, some experts think mediators may have made it difficult to implement it.

“The fact that the implementation is going through hurdles is telling,” Steve Paterno, a conflict research consultant from South Sudan told the Sunday Nation.

“The deal is impractical. Both armed parties acknowledge this. The government says it has reservations. In the words of Riek Machar, it is a bad agreement.”

When Igad proposed that regional armies be in Juba during the transitional period, Machar’s side said the country should not be in the hands of foreigners.


The final document establishes 30 ministerial posts, with Kiir’s side taking 53 per cent, Machar having 33 per cent, seven per cent for political detainees and another seven for other groups.

At local governance level in clash-torn states, rebels would have the majority stake (53 per cent) while Kiir’s party would have 33.

A Kenyan diplomat who handles South Sudan affairs said on Friday that Igad was just looking at a way of accommodating everyone.

“Neither was willing to compromise and it was clear everyone was looking at remaining in government,” the diplomat said.

“By having a temporary government, mediators felt it would allow for the country to get a permanent solution.”

This arrangement is to last 30 months from the date of creation after which there will be elections.

But the Igad deal created two commanders-in-chief and two armies as the leaders worked on a unification programme.

The fact that regional power-sharing is pegged on where each side controls partly explains why fighting resumed after the agreement was signed.

Both sides defend the arrangement, saying it is only temporary.

“This is what we agreed on because we knew it was workable. Each of us has created a structure and the police will have a joint training,” Machar’s spokesman Dak told the Sunday Nation.