Category: Politics

The entire SPLM leadership owns up to human rights abuses & crimes against humanity

BY: SINDANI IRENEAUS, Hargeisa, Somaliland, SOMALILAND, OCT/23/2014, SSN;

The cat is out of the bag. At least the Tanzanians have made it to jump out of the bag straight to our eyes and ears. No one can any longer deny it whether now or in future. The world has also heard it.

The African Union must have taken heed of it while the ICC prosecutors should be happy and excited that they will no longer delve deep in investigating the heinous crimes in South Sudan in order to unravel the people behind the genocide, mass rape, rampant torture, ethnic targeted killings, disappearance of people, violation of individual rights and mass displacement of people in Juba making South Sudanese to live destitute lives in their own country.

If you are still wondering what I am talking about, let me make it abundantly clear that I am talking about the surprising admission by the entire leadership of the SPLM that they are responsible for the crises in South Sudan.

Allow me to quote the Arusha communiqué; entitled: The Arusha Communique: Intra-SPLM party so as to clearly illustrate the point and make it abundantly plane to everybody. I quote “The parties acknowledge a collective responsibility for the crisis in South Sudan that has taken a great toll on the lives and property of our people”.

The communiqué was signed by none other than Cde Paul Akol Kordit on behalf of SPLM in government; Cde Duer Tut Duer on behalf of SPLM in opposition and Cde Kosti Manibe Ngai on behalf of SPLM detainees and it is dated October 21, 2014.

“The great toll on the lives” means the mass killings, torture, rape, displacement and incarcerations and disappearances”.

“Great toll to property” means the destruction to private and public properties such as individual Nuer houses in Juba, destruction of public homes such as the one of the former vice president, destruction of villages in upper Nile and Bentui, looting of peoples’ houses in Juba, land grabbing and confiscation of travelers property such as goods, cell phones, money and any other things that fall into category of property.

Right from the start let me make it abundantly clear that the leadership of these factions have frankly and without shame owned up to the criminal act and brutality that has been meted to the people of South Sudan.

By admitting that they are responsible for the “crisis in South Sudan that has taken a great toll on lives and property of the people of South Sudan”, it means they systematically planned, directed and executed all that befell the people.

Secondly they are saying that whatever crimes committed by their subordinates that include the rank and file of the SPLA soldiers on both side of the divide in this criminal war, was methodically organized, plan and directed by them.

There is nothing called random killing by rogue soldiers, nothing called revenge killings or being detained innocently. All have participated in one way or another in brutally murdering innocent children, women and civilians.

They conspired to exterminate ethnic groups and planned ethnic killings in the country. They smartly planned and uprooted South Sudanese from their residences and made them to be refugees and internally displaced in their country.

They directed mass rape as a tool of war. They displaced thousands of South Sudanese and forced them to refugee in neighbouring countries. They carried out targeted killing particularly of those perceive to be against the regime. They planned and directed the torture of human rights activists in Juba in order to silence them.

Now that these leaders have admitted and owned up to the genocide, ethnic killings, raping, torture and the whole range of human rights abuses in South Sudan, let me be clear on apportioning the crimes.

By owning up to these crimes the leadership of SPLM in government has owned up to:

1. Targeted ethnic killing of more than 20,000 Nuer civilians in Juba, destruction of Nuers property in Juba, Bor, Malakal, and Unity state particularly the destruction of leer in Bentui
2. The targeted killing and disappearance of people in Juba such as the killing of Isaiah Abraham because of his writings
3. Torturing human rights activists such as Athuai; the chairman of civil rights organizations in Juba
4. Attacking innocent Nuers who were sheltering in UNMISS compound in Bor
5. Illegally using of banned chemical weapons on Nuer soldiers on Juba-Bor road where hundreds of soldiers died as a result of cluster bombs
6. Carrying out rampant rape of Nuer women in Juba by government soldiers and operatives just because of their ethnicity
7. The fact that it fabricated a coup in order to eliminate its opponents and create chaos and suffering in order to perpetuate tribal, dictatorial and corrupt leadership in Juba
8. Consciously recruiting, training, arming, directing and commanding a tribal militia to carry out genocide and commit serious human right abuses in South Sudan
9. Hiring mercenaries from Uganda and northern Sudan to propagate its genocide and ethnic cleansing policy.

Likewise by signing the communiqué, the leadership of the SPLM in opposition has owned up to:

1. The revenge killings that occurred in Akobo in the UNMISS compound.
2. Alleged killing of innocent people in hospital and in a church in Bor
3. Innocent killing of captured soldiers from Sudanese rebels in Malakal
4. Ethnic killing of innocent chollo people because of their alleged support to General Olony, the leader of the Chollo militia in Malakal.

Lastly the leadership of the SPLM detainees in collaboration with the other leaders of SPLM has owned up to the rampant corruption, tribalism, nepotism, molding a dictator, mismanagement of state affairs, inability to render services to the people of South Sudan while they were in government.

What is the implication of this admission to the future of South Sudan?

First these leaders have admitted that they created chaos in South Sudan because of their failure to provide effective leadership. They have admitted that they are criminals, thieves, trbalists and dictators who are repugnant to democracy.

Above all they have committed crime against humanity and human rights violations. They have disunited and completely broken the bridges that had made the people of South Sudan to stick together.

They have admitted that they have failed the people of South Sudan who had voted overwhelmingly for them to steer the country into prosperity and rapid development.

They have admitted that they cannot unite, lead and administer the nation other than their stomachs and their cronies.

They have above all admitted that they have failed the peoples’ mandate and instead turned to kill and maim the very people who elected them, looted the country for their individual gain, destroyed the property of the very people who they were entrusted the protect.

The question is whether in any meaningful way these leaders have any legitimacy left to continue governing in South Sudan?

The fact is that any elected leader who has turned against his people, massacred them, plunger their wealth and property, displaced them, raped and tortured them, in the eyes of the law has lost his/her legitimacy and cannot longer purport to lead and speak on their behalf.

Therefore the current SPLM leaders are not longer legitimate elected leaders of South Sudan. They deserve not to speak on behalf of the people any more.

Since they have collectively taken responsibility for the heinous crimes against humanity and human right abuses, their only option is to stand up boldly and answer to their crimes before the International criminal court in The Hague.

As they stood boldly in their gray suites in front of Kikwete; the Tanzania President and owned up to their crimes, they should likewise stand tall, boldly and upright in front of the international criminal court to defend themselves individually or collectively.

On the other hand they should also face their victims and relatives of their victims to whole heartedly apologize to them like the great men and women in South African who faced their victims and relatives of their victims and apologized under the tutelage of Bishop Tutu truth and reconciliation commission.

Finally, what is my advice in these circumstances? My brotherly advice first goes to these leaders to tell them that this is decision time.

Either they make South Sudan to take the path of reconciliation and embark on peaceful co-existence and development of the country or they would like this great nation to sink with them during this period of their demise.

Taking path of reconciliation and peaceful co-existence means the leadership in Juba should immediately resign or seek no leadership position in the transitional administration.

Similarly the leadership of the SPLM in opposition and SPLM detainees must negotiate in good faith for peace and transitional government without them.

This is because with them in any form of government, genuine reconciliation will not happen in South Sudan. It would be like covering a fire with mud without extinguishing it completely.

Secondly, I must advise these leaders that they either face peoples’ truth and reconciliation commission to ask for forgiveness from the people of South Sudan because there is no South Sudanese who has not been aggrieved by their reckless leadership or wait to present themselves to the international criminal court where they can have the opportunity to clear their names as individual or suffer the consequences of their action.

This is the only way to end the impunity that has been the order of the day in South Sudan.

My advice to the IGAD peace negotiators is that peace and reconciliation can only come to South Sudan when the root causes of the current conflict are fully discussed, agreed upon and future roadmap for thorough reforms including the institution of federal system is drawn up.

Once this is achieved then a transitional government without these the self-confessed SPLM butchers of South Sudan can be established.

Excluding the entire leadership is crucial so that reconciliation and building of the social fabric of the people of South can begin.

The SPLM leaders should be offered the chance to seek forgiveness from the people of South Sudan through truth and reconciliation commission or face the international criminal court to clear their names.

By considering or allowing these leaders to participate in the transitional or future leadership in South Sudan without reconciliation or not answering to the heinous crimes they committed against the people of South Sudan, means IGAD itself is condoning impunity in South Sudan and in fact the South Sudanese will view this as if IGAD is adding salt on the bleeding wounds in South Sudan.

Certainly this will not go unchallenged because there many patriotic South Sudanese out there who will take over the mettle of liberating the people of South Sudan from the yoke of murderous leaders, looters and plunderers of the country. I

t does not matter how long this will take but the people have to be liberated from these criminals and impunity must be ended.

My advice to the friends of South Sudan including the troika is that they should continue to stand firm in supporting the people of South Sudan during this trying time. There is no quick fix to the issues in South Sudan neither can there be quick fix by reconstituting SPLM of self confessed criminals and looters.

The current leaders are bent to continue with their determined efforts to propagate chaotic crisis in the country for their comfort and comfort of their tribes and cronies.

South Sudan is not devoid of leaders but the country has been taken hostage by leaders who have no future of the country in their hearts. For eight years they have been in government, they have only perfected the art of looting, corrupting and balkanizing the country into tribal enclaves.

Nothing is acceptable than allowing and accepting the impunity that is striding the breath and length of entire South Sudan.

What about the Tanzania government. I must extend my sincere congratulations to the government of Tanzania for bringing these leaders together to finally take responsibility for the crimes they committed in South Sudan.

They have been denying this for long and now they have owned up. My sincere advice is that Tanzania should make these leaders to realize that the confession they made is not the highway to assume leadership again but it is the rough road for them to stand up and face their victims or their relatives and say we are sorry or else they must face the law at The Hague in order to end impunity in South Sudan. T

here is no middle road for these leaders. They either succumb to the law or are forced to face the law.

For the AU commission tasked to investigate human rights abuses and crimes against humanity in South Sudan, I would say that the Commission‘s work is made easier. The people have already taken responsibility for these crimes. The only work you are left with is to identify who bears the greatest responsibility so that the law takes its course.

There is no time to waste now because the people of South Sudan need closure for their sufferings.

Last but not the least, please, ICC, take up the case of South Sudan as soon as the AU commission presents it to you. South Sudanese are yawning for justice and they want to see justice prevail and this should be done as soon as possible for any justice delayed is justice denied.

Sindani Ireneaus
Hargeisa; Somaliland

South Sudanese ‘Peace Talks’: What we need to know

BY: Kuir ë Garang, CANADA, OCT/12/2014, SSN;

In my last appearance on Lagos-based TVC news, I sounded a little more optimistic regarding the prospect for ‘peace’ in South Sudan, a position that’d sound naïve to anyone who’s familiar with the intransigence and job-focused nature of politicking in South Sudan.

Anyone, who takes what South Sudanese politicians say literally, risks falling into the unforgiving side of history. That is a good thing to remember when it comes to South Sudanese political mechanics. However, that shouldn’t mean a good step taken shouldn’t be acknowledged despite the constellation of obstacles facing the peace process.

The Obstacle: Jobbization of National Agenda
The talks in Ethiopia are indeed about the future of South Sudan. However, they are by no means tailored towards the future of the average South Sudanese. The talks, mostly about jobs and not peace, are purely about personal ambitions and political positions.

What Dr. John Garang De Mabior saw as jobbism disguised as patriotism among the Anya Anya II leaders is what’s characterizing the current conflict. Almost everyone in the SPLM in opposition has grievances about a job lost or a job one didn’t get.

On the government side, it’s about protecting one’s job not necessarily about standing up for the people of South Sudan. This is a great obstacle for peace in South Sudan.

As long as both parties don’t see something written down, something that guarantees them government jobs and ensure job security and longevity, we wouldn’t see the peace signed soon.

The Obstacle: IGAD, Medley of Incompetence and Dictatorship
Inter-Government Agency on Development (IGAD) is credited as having successfully mediated the peace process that culminated in Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005; and eventually ended with the peaceful secession of South Sudan from Sudan. However, a number of things have to be considered before that assumption takes hold in history as having a definitive Truth Value.

CPA was realized because of a number of factors we don’t see now in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar).
– The documents aren’t drafted by the very people who know why the war started in the first place. The warring parties just receive IGAD drafted documents.
– IGAD isn’t mediating but dictating the terms. A credible mediator doesn’t threaten but convinces the warring parties. The fact that IGAD threatens the warring parties is a clear indication of mediation and mediators’ failure.
– The key players in Sudanese war took charge of the peace negotiations in Naivasha and no great consultations were required outside the peace venue.
– When Dr. John and Taha took charge of the talks, the world knew that the ideologues behind the Sudanese religio-military, socio-economic and politico-racial dimensions were at the table and could adequately reconcile the war paradigms and dimensions.
– Taha and Garang struck a cordial working relationship that, to everyone, indicated that the language of peace was here and that ‘peace was coming.’ We don’t see that now in Ethiopia.
– CPA wasn’t about who gets what job-wise, but the security of the agreement, fail-safe mechanisms for referendum, resources sharing and everything that was in the interest of the people of South Sudan. Now, in Ethiopia, it’s all about JOBS.

IGAD has proven itself to be an utter failure. Garang and Taha were the ones who brought the CPA. The leadership, moral courage and patriotism shown by Garang and Taha have been replaced by self-interest driven talks meant to secure one’s political survival.

Mediators should create an enabling atmosphere for peace to blossom. Instead, IGAD has created a poisonous atmosphere where the warring parties don’t trust it.

How can an organization mediate between two parties that don’t trust it? This is a fallacy IGAD isn’t ashamed to maintain.

But what did we expect from the likes of Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame, Omer Al-Beshir, Ismael Guelleh, Isaias Aferweki, Haile Mariam Desalegn …among others?

These are leaders with sorry-state human rights records. How can we possibly expect them to care about South Sudanese if they don’t even care about their own citizens? Anyone who checks the human rights records of these leaders and their political control mechanisms would just feel sorry for the people of South Sudan.

How can these leaders give South Sudanese something they don’t have in their own countries?

Why would they allow President Kiir to stop what they actually cherish: Absolute Totalitarianism and Unquestionable Leadership for Life?

Lack of Accountability
South Sudanese leaders aren’t accountable to anyone. With no doubt they can do what they want and when they want. It’s regrettable that they have extended this state of mind to regional and world leaders.

They duped South Sudanese, plunged them into perpetual misery and poverty, and proved to the world that civilians don’t mean anything.

The Cessation of Hostilities agreement was signed on January 23 and Cease Fire agreement signed on May 9 by the two Principals, all of wish were violated with no consequences. The leaders recommitted themselves in June to sign the agreement and end the war by August 10.

That day came and went. Then recently the leaders of IGAD (naively, I think) conditioned the two Principals to sign the agreement in 60 days. This day came and went on October 9.

Despite the threats of sanctions and the threats of famine on the people of South Sudan, the two warring parties refused to sign the agreement. And they have done so without any consequences.

One is left to ask: Why would these people sign any agreement if they face no consequences. They treat the people of South Sudan like dirt and insects and get away with it. And they are doing the same thing with world leaders. Like South Sudanese, the world and regional leaders are just as helpless.

Why would the regional and world leaders expect leaders to comply when they aren’t accountable to anyone but themselves?

Glimmer of Hope
Despite all the dishonesty and lack of concern, South Sudanese leaders seem to have taken a small step towards peace and that is something worth noting. Federalism and creation of the position of Prime Minister were dismissed outright by the South Sudanese government side. Accepting these controversial issues is a step in the right direction.

I have come to realize that South Sudanese leaders say a lot of things they don’t mean and even things they wouldn’t do.

Michael Makuei Lueth, the South Sudanese minister of information and the current spokesperson of the government, talks in a manner that makes it hard for people to believe him. I have ceased to take him seriously. A man with no sense of courtesy towards others, doesn’t care about the consequences of what he says, is not someone you can take seriously.

He says a lot of things that are not only detrimental to the government but to South Sudan as a whole. However, I’ve come to realize that it’s what is signed in Addis that matters rather than what the perpetually disgruntled Makuei says.

And in an equally annoying manner, Mabior Garang De Mabior, the opposition PR person, says a lot of things that are dangerous for peace in the country. Mabior has great potential to positively contribute towards socio-economic development in South Sudan; however, the young man is filled with mysterious bitterness and anger that undermines the supposedly national interest he’s fighting for.

I have therefore started to see these two men as talkers rather than men whose ‘settling of scores’ statements mean anything. My glimmer of hope therefore rests with the papers signed rather than what these two men say. They are meant to talk and propagandize ad infinitum and so far their talks mean nothing.

And US’s Stephen Rapp beautifully summarises, while speaking in Juba recently, the risks of focusing on the elite power-sharing while excluding the needs of the average South Sudanese due to lack of accountability.

“But the point is if this conflict will end just with some kind of deal between elites, or some kind of power sharing, that will not bring peace to this country. It will indicate that in the future, acts of violence could be rewarded. And so genuine peace requires that accountability element…”

There are indeed on-and-of talks in Ethiopia; but they aren’t necessarily talks about peace or the well-being of South Sudanese but jobs, simple callous quest for jobs.

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese writer and author living in Canada. For contact, visit

There is no need for Federalism in South Sudan

BY: Taban Abel Aguek, RUMBEK, LAKES STATE, OCT/08/2014, SSN;

About two weeks ago, the Vice President of South Sudan, James Wani Igga, gave a well informed presentation on federalism to the National Assembly. His lecture was well researched; and to some extent, it truly met the standards of other well established researches on federations across the globe.

According to Igga’s presentation, only about 28 of the world’s 193 countries are federalists. That is about 15% of the current governance systems in the entire world. It is practiced most in the elite world of nations that have existed for centuries.

It began to be applied in the US as early as 1787, Canada in 1867 and Germany in 1871. This means that it took years of negotiation and establishment for federalism to be adopted after issues that were deemed as ‘firsts’ were accomplished by the nations that are federal today.

South Sudan became a country in 2011 and would want to become a federal state in 2014. To me it is comical.

From the federalism debate, including the research paper by Igga, it is quite easy to draw many similarities than differences between federalism and the current decentralized system in South Sudan.

The type of decentralized system of governance applied in South Sudan is very much like federalism. The question now is what do we need federalism for? Is it the name ‘federalism’ or the system of sharing powers between the central government and the states?

Federalism is a political system in which the powers are divided between the central government and numerous regional governments. But that is what South Sudan already is.

We have a decentralized system in which some powers are devolved to states. There are state governments led by Governors. Almost everything a federal state offers has already been issued by the current decentralized system.

States have their own legislatures and some autonomy of their own affairs. What has not been applied in our case is fiscal federation. But all the rest is some sort of devolution that is akin to federalism where states possess their constitutions and structures as enshrined in their laws.

There may be weak spots with the current system but they can be corrected in the final constitution of south Sudan.

In fact, some of the cracks in the current system may either be technical or political, but it requires no change of a whole system.

We as a nation, have a problem not with constitutions at all but constitutionalism. Whichever system we apply, our problems shall still exist – and at any time we apply complete federalism – things might even change for the worst.

Some people argue that federation holds the answer to domination by big tribes. Others believe it would give complete control of resources to those regions who own them. But that is a big assumption.

If there are those people who think that with federalism they will be allowed to own resources in their regions then that is a misplaced conscience.

What was fought for by all for more than fifty years cannot be allowed to be exploited by any single region or tribe in the country. All resources shall remain national resources and they can still be shared equitably even under the federation.

And the Dinka Oil in Atar and Paloch that have kept the country running since the signing of the CPA shall also remain a national resource just like any other mineral resources in the country.

So, there is no problem of Dinka with federalism. Rather, the main problem with federalism is that there is no need for federalism in South Sudan.

Various Governance researches indicated that federalism can be good in the sense that it enhances Localized Governance, Local Representation and Freedom to Form Policies.

And it still makes just very small difference and changes nothing for the better for the large masses of the South Sudanese public that are in a dire need of peace and basic services as the first things, and not the system of Governance.

South Sudan still has so many hurdles to surmount. That some other people want it to walk so suddenly in the footsteps of the United States is a nightmare.

There are disadvantages of federalism even in the A-List countries. These include conflict of authority, uneven distribution of wealth, promotion of regionalism and framing of incorrect policies. It may as well lead to pitches- State versus State- meanwhile corruption continues to thrive even more.

Moreover, it prevents the creation of a national policy. That is why the United States does not have a single policy on issues; instead, it has fifty-one policies, which often leads to confusion. And the overlap of the boundaries among national and state governments makes it tricky to assign blame for failed policies.

For South Sudan, Federalism is the one last remaining danger it should avoid at all cost. South Sudanese are there to see it happen. Should federalism be the system to govern this country, then we should agree that this was a bomb that we allowed to be planted under our watchful eyes.

First of all, South Sudan is a country so much polarized by tribalism. Federalism itself can become the first victim of the war fought in its name.

The Neimeri’s policy of re-division of South Sudan was seemingly a good one in the eyes of some leaders, but without the knowledge of its architects, ‘kokora’ emerged. There are high chances that federalism may be tribalised and kokora-ized.

The much needed stability and development in South Sudan cannot be attained through federalism. Apart from practical and technical difficulties in applying federalism, care must be taken with regards to maintaining the unity of our people.

With our already divided people, federalism may come to be the last rift that sets them apart completely into mini-states that do not want one another.

With federalism, we may arrive at a stage where our country might badly be Balkanized and disintegrated into small uncooperative states.

There is nothing that would prevent the federal states from being hostile to one another. People will tend to put their states first before the nation and doors might get slammed on vital calls to national issues.

I was privileged to attend the federalism lecture by the Vice president, and I could figure that it holds a proper insinuation.

Federalism was being demanded by South Sudanese as a second alternative after the failure to attain independence under the Anglo–Egyptian and Arab rule in the former united Sudan.

Federalism is also no longer a popular demand. It has not been subjected to a public opinion; and therefore, there is no baseline from which anybody gets substantiation as to why they think federalism is a public demand.

Federalism should not be forced down the throats of the South Sudanese people. It is not the first thing this country needs now. An attempt to force it on south Sudanese will only backfire.

Should federalism get adopted in the Addis Ababa talks as already reported in the media, then its architects must prepare the remedies to any harms it would cost this nation.

Taban Abel Aguek is a Member of Lakes State Legislative Assembly. He can be reached at

Why the Lakes state conflict is a result of a continuous misdiagnosis of its genesis?

BY: Agok Takpiny, AUSTRALIA, OCT/06/2014, SSN;

There has been a rapid escalation of violence (mostly revenge related killings) within greater Rumbek. The violence pitted Agaar against Agaar and or Agaar against GOK. The cycle exploits the discontents among Lakes state citizens towards the state government.

Some people who are not close to the people of Lakes state may think that the discontentment towards General Matur Chut’s government may be that the people after all were happy with previous governor Mr Chol Tong.

This isn’t true, when Chol was elected, there were high hopes that Chol Tong (a civilian) would be able to solve the state’s conflict. Those hopes were dashed when Chol Tong failed miserably to quell the unrest, in fact, he was even accused of taking sides.

Hence, when Gen. Matur Chut was brought in by the president, there were terrible expectations of the people that he will not be like previous governors. However, as it turned out, Gen. Mature chut is only a different face of the exact same coin (failure).

A million dollar question that ought to be asked is why are all successive governors of Lakes state failed to bring a stop to this protracted violence that cost so many lives?

Depending on who you are, there are multiples answers to what exactly makes Lakes state conflict uncontrollable. Understanding the problem in its entirety is a first step in solving it.

However, in the case of Lakes state governors, there is only one approach to solve the conflict and that is brute force. What they (governors) don’t know is that as the philosophy of the Chinese martial art (Tai Chi) teaching says: “if one uses hardness to resist violent force, then both sides are certain to be injured at least to some degree. Such injury, according to Tai-Chi theory is a natural consequence of meeting brute force with brute force”.

Undoubtedly, this has not only been gruesomely felt by the people of Lakes state alone, but by everyone in the country as the roads through Rumbek are becoming death traps.

The continuous use of brute force by the governors as a way to resolve the conflict is a result of not knowing the problem itself.

There are three legs to this conflict that need to be identified and solved one by one.

Firstly, cattle theft or robbery is one leg, the second leg is revenge killing, and the third leg is lack of cooperation between the state government and the community.

Now we have broken the conflict down into mini issues, let us then try to analyze these mini issues individually. We will start with cattle rustling, which has seen a rise recently.

-Cattle theft
Dinka have been practicing a bride price system of marriage for generations. When a young man reaches the stage of marriage, he must have at least 20 cows or more in order to get the girl he wants. To make sure that his wife will have something to eat when she arrives, his relatives and friends usually contribute some 30% to the overall dowry charged by the girl’s relatives.

Thus, if the girl’s parents charge 20 cows as their daughter’s bride price that a groom must pay and the groom has only 20 cows, the 30% contribution by friends and relatives will save the groom 6 cows which he will use to feed his wife.

However, this is not the case anymore, as we speak the average bride price in Lakes state is 150 cows. Of course, if this were wages, no one would argue because the cost of living in economics point of view does increase annually, hence it would be irrational to think that wages remain the same for about a decade.

Laughably though, in Lakes state nothing has changed, only the bride price which has seen a substantial rise in recent years. Can you see the problem?

As the bride price increases, parents or relatives of the girls have become more “protective” of their girls. In the perspective of the girl’s relatives, whoever impregnates “your” sister or daughter did not just impregnate the girl, he literally “killed” 150 cows as the girl who got pregnant outside wedlock is deemed “worthless”. Many people have died in Lakes state because of this.

Moreover, economically, people of Lakes state have not moved an inch upward, that mean getting a cow now is exactly the same (hard) as it was in 1964 (half a century ago). Unless of course you are the son of a corrupt SPLA General.

So, for a young man who has an average father (not a politician or SPLA General) to be able to get at least 80 cows in order to marry a girl of his choice, he must understandably steal or rob somebody’s cows and sell them and then buy “clean” cows for his marriage.

Here the other young men whose their cows are stolen or robbed will then regroup and launch counter-stealing, and the cycle continues. In this process, hundreds, if not thousands died. This is exactly what is happening in Lakes state.

Have you identified the problem yet?

In an ideal world, a world where conflict or even tragedy is analyzed and turned into an opportunity to put things right in order to avoid a similar fate from happening again in the future, you would have thought that strict regulations on dowry payment would have been introduced a long time ago.

However, in our world, South Sudan world, nobody bothers to give it a shot. Nevertheless, it is not too late, bride price must be reduced to 15 cows or less. This would not only reduce cattle theft as bride price would be largely affordable to everyone, the incentives to forcefully deny a girl child a much needed education would be largely diminished.

The number of girls completing their high school without to being forcefully married off by their parents would triple.

Therefore, regulating the bride price will save lives and enhance girls’ education. Punitive measures incorporated into the legislation to punish whoever breaks such a law must be strictly implemented.

-Revenge killing
Currently in South Sudan, killing a person (intentional or unintentional) is considered as a wrong payable rather than a crime. A murderer is normally only required to pay cows as blood compensation and nothing more.

To pay the cows, the murderer is usually backed up by his tribe to pay the blood cows to the victim of another tribe. Here, the members of the murderer’s tribe bear the responsibility to pay for what their member had committed. The total of cows for blood compensation is normally 30 cows.

The idea is to lessen the burden bored by the offender and to signal awareness and deterrence upon the offender’s tribe to be careful in the future undertaking and to avoid further bloodshed.

Upon receiving the blood cows, the victim’s immediate family has no right to keep all 30 cows for themselves, the whole tribe must share the blood compensation of their slain son/daughter. In some cases, the victim’s immediate family (parents, spouse, and siblings) can only get 10 cows out of 30 as their share of blood cows.

Yes 10 cows for the life of “your” brother, husband, son/daughter. It is absurd, isn’t it?

The absurdity doesn’t end there, however, the nature (health, gender, and age) of the cows for the blood compensation is obliquely defined. The victim’s family or tribe representative is only allowed to choose 5 out of 30 cows, the murderer and his tribe are allowed to bring any type of cow (barren, males, sick etc.) to make up the remaining 25 cows.

Additionally, sometimes the murderer without remorse for what he did or feel sorry for the victim’s family would come again and steal the very cows the court asked him and his tribe to pay as blood compensation.

Here, do you think justice have been served? For me this is not enough to let loose the murderer to continue enjoying his life and possibly brag about his “bravery” (brutality).

This is exactly what is happening in Lakes state and thus the victim’s family is left with no choice but to take revenge.

To correct this situation in my view need no brainer, by applying common sense one would come up with a solution. The solution is to change this medieval legal system.

Firstly, a person who committed homicide (intentional or unintentional) must be taken as a person who committed a crime against the state (not against the victim’s family although the lost will affect them the most).

Secondly, blood compensation must be changed from cows to money in the region of about SSP 50,000.

Thirdly, to ensure that the victim’s family receives blood money for their lost, the state needs to pay this money and not the murderer or his tribe.

This is not a new thing at all, in many countries, including Australia, where I live; the government must pay substantial amount of money to the family of every road accident victim.

Fourthly, the recipient of the blood money must be explicitly defined, that’s if the victim is a married man/woman and both his/her parents or one parent are/is alive, the blood money must be divided between the victim’s spouse and his/her parents only. If the victim is single, the parent(s) must be the only recipient of the blood money, in other words, the blood money must only be given to the closest next of kin of the victim.

By putting such a law in place, the victim’s family will feel that their government is there for them and that the justice will eventually be rendered.

Coupled with making revenge killing a first degree murder, the victim’s family will feel that there is no need to risk losing another family member trying to avenge the death of their loved one since the government will pay the money and the murderer will be put away for the majority of his life or even for good.

In determining the appropriate punishment for culpable homicide (unintentional murder), the state could impose imprisonment for a term which may extend to twenty (20) years, and shall also be liable to fine if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.

If the act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death, or to cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, the state government can impose imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten (10) years or with fine or with both.

Moreover, the state reserves a right to impose the death penalty or life in jail without parole for First Degree Murder (intentional murder). However, to introduce such important reforms, the state government must involve the community led by chiefs from the scratch right to the implementation of the legislations.

-Failure of communication
Although I was born in the later years of the stable united Sudan, I have learned that the traditional institution of Chiefs played a significant role in the united Sudan and has continued to exist during the early periods of our twenty one (21) years of struggle.

The Chiefs play a significant role as a bridge between the grassroots and the government fostering a two-way communication between the government and the community. Chiefs also used to preside over customary courts, which handle more than 90% of all cases tried in the then Southern Sudan.

In those days when chiefs have all of their powers, the communities in villages and cattle camps used to listen to what they had to say.

However, as the SPLM/A grew bigger and the central command became too far away from the community, two-way communication was quashed. The SPLM/A adopted guerrilla style of managing people.

Everything was done according to how the local commander wanted it, chiefs were used by SPLA commanders to get what they want (food, transport and human resource) from the people.

For example, if the chief fails to collect the milk, bulls or other food items for rations or failed to bring a number of conscripts, the commander in charge of that particular operation usually punishes that particular chief by whipping him and taking some cows. There was no respect for chiefs.

Surprisingly, it got worse after the signing of the CPA. As we speak, chiefs don’t preside over customary court cases anymore, commissioners who are both organized criminals who are only after the money have created countless courts headed by gangs.

The aim of creating as many cuts as possible is to generate income for the commissioner by robbing the community through issuing unnecessary fines which are not based on any legislation.

All of these made traditional chiefs toothless in the eyes of the wild youths (gelweng). Understandably, the chiefs are now reluctant to engage with the state government to find a way forward.

To rectify this, the Lakes State government with all county commissioners needs to become more responsible, responsive and sensitive to people’s needs and expectations.

Quite frankly, one way communication and iron fist style of rule is no longer workable. People have to be taken on board and policies for them have to be made with them. The state government need to come closer to the community to be able to understand their felt needs, problems and expectations.

It should be taken further down to the village levels and cattle camps. Every cattle camp has its leader, the state government must add them into the payroll together with all chiefs.

This is particularly important because as seen in many reports about Lakes state conflict, the state police often claim that “the community has refused to share any information which may lead to arrest of the criminals with the police”, therefore using the chiefs and the head of the cattle camps to act as part of the government could go a long way to put a stop to this protracted violent.

In a country where there are no addresses or street cameras to locate criminals, the best solution is to employ chiefs and the heads of the cattle camps to track down the wrongdoers.

Now you have read the whole article, do you think all these are unachievable (legislate and implement)?

Agok Takpiny

Disclaimer: views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Agok Takpiny is a concerned South Sudanese in Melbourne Australia. He can be reached on

IGAD’s unsustainable African solution to the African problem in South Sudan

By: Riang Yer Zuor Nyak*, SOUTH SUDAN, OCT/05/2014, SSN;

Africa, as Africans know it, is full of problems which generally include social, economic and political. In this chaotic environment, violations of fundamental human rights are common. Most of these human rights violations tend to be committed by governments or powerful individuals who have close associations with some sort of armed sources of power.

Local law enforcement agents find themselves under the control and command of such violators. For this reason and others, bringing these types of perpetrators to justice is always next to impossible.

It is in this context that International Criminal Court (ICC) sometimes comes in to play so as to fill the gap. Some of the situations where grave human rights violations have been made on the continent include that of Liberia/Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, DRC, Kenya, Uganda and etc. These cases were taken to ICC at one time or others after Africa had failed to deal with them.

In other words, it is Africa’s inability to properly solve her own problems that makes the rest of the world, especially the West, interfere with Africa when universally prohibited grave human rights abuses take place.

Recent events involving the ICC show that African leaders are not happy with the Court, referring to its activities as re-colonization of the continent or unjust targeting of the African leaders. The irony is that in most cases, it is the African states that forwarded most of those cases to the ICC.

Nevertheless, the African leaders feel embarrassed, threatened and exposed. They see a need to fight back so as to stop the ICC from coming after the remaining or future human rights violators. But they cannot do it alone.

Therefore, they want to appeal to the ordinary Africans using the word “colonization” so that they can get support from the Africans in their opposition to the activities of that international court that has become a real threat to them.

Their powers to maim the continent and her people at will have come under a real scrutiny of a court that they can never intimidate as it is located a sea away from the African Continent.

From the look of things, African leaders have not really been unjustly targeted as they claim. Rwanda happened in Africa; Liberian sponsored violence in Sierra Leon happened in Africa; Darfur happened in Africa; Northern Ugandan violence against civilians happened in Africa; post election violence in Kenya happened in Africa; DRC child recruitment into the rebel army happened in Africa; post election violence in Ivory Coast happened in Africa. The list is long.

In any of the mentioned situations, no single African national court was able to deal with each of the situations. It follows that none of the African solutions was available. This was why the ICC came in so that justice could be provided for the victims.

In December 2013, Salva Kiir savagely killed tens of thousands of ethnic Nuer in Juba in just days, targeting them on the basis of their tribal origin. Up to now, no African leader makes any condemnation. They are just talking about whether or not there was a coup when they should be talking about whether or not there was or is genocide being committed. That there was no coup is now laid to rest as evidence point to the lack thereof; that genocide has been committed is clear. Yet African leaders still talk as if things are not yet clear.

Logically speaking, talking about what might have been the cause should have come second after a criminal was first stopped from his genocidal activities. But if Salva Kiir was not one of the so-called African leaders, a great deal of noises would have been made.

Here, one can conclude that being a president in Africa has really become a card to destroy African lives at will. The club provides them with an immunity that one cannot find anywhere in the African written law books. These are criminals unlike their counterparts outside the continent.

Therefore, the claim that African leaders were or are being targeted is out of question in each situation above. Each was and is a situation where a monster above local laws gets taken outside of his locality in search for justice for his victims. In simple words, a non-African solution sometimes becomes a necessity.

Then, why do African leaders make noises that they have African solutions for African problems when it is clear that they could not find their own proper solutions for the above-mentioned grave situations? The answer is simple.

The African dictators do not have the confidence to rule Africa without hurting the Africans. They do not have what it takes to peacefully and voluntarily charm Africans into following them. They simply resort to violence to maintain their positions.

To them, ruling with an iron fist is a strength of leadership for which one should be praised. When one is peaceful and democratic, one is labeled as a weak leader.

But these supposedly strong leaders feel threatened by the Court in The Hague. Each of them can see himself doing the same or similar thing in the future, or has already done what an African leader has been or is being taken to ICC for having done.

Or some of them have already been indicted and that they do not want to cooperate with the Court and are out mobilizing colleagues or members of the club to come to their defenses in the diplomatic arena.

So, when it comes to resolving a problem in which one of them is implicated, they would prefer an African forum which they can easily manipulate one way or another.

To the African leaders, especially some IGAD leaders, South Sudanese civil war is an African problem that requires an African solution since Salva Kiir is the accused author of the Juba massacres. They are not prepared for a situation where Kiir would end up somewhere outside of Africa answering questions regarding the massacres.

They see their position on this as an exercise of independence on the part of Africa. The problem is that the process for the search for an African solution to this particular African problem is not funded by the IGAD.

Non-African bodies funding this process can definitely influence the outcome. Then where is independence that IGAD is trying to assert? This lack of independence and the IGAD leaders’ need to protect one of their own can make a very dangerous combination.

This danger was clearly demonstrated in the last IGAD Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa in August 2014 when the Heads of State, including Salva Kiir, issued a document whose contents amounted to nothing less than a common declaration of war on the SPLM/SPLA.

The Summit drafted a protocol as a framework for the resolution of the problem. It provided for a transitional government to be formed in Juba. The document was not a result of any negotiation between the warring parties as the government delegation had boycotted the last round of negotiations which were to last till August 28, 2014.

In absence of the government delegation, the IGAD Mediators asked the SPLM/SPLA to continue negotiating with other stakeholders. This was positively responded to, and the negotiations continued up to the time when the Summit was convened.

Surprisingly, none of the negotiated positions were reflected in that IGAD Framework. Therefore, the document was not a South Sudanese document, and both Dr. Riek Machar and Salva Kiir rejected it — citing the need for the two parties to negotiate so as to make some concessional discussions before arriving at a final decision.

At that point, the document was left to the IGAD Heads of State who said that it was “…our document and we will sign it as ours…” without the warring parties being part of the signing.

Something needs to be clarified for the benefit of those who were not present at the Summit. The document is widely discussed in the public media as having been accepted by the government, that it has been signed by Salva Kiir and that only the SPLM/SPLA declined to sign.

That can never be any further from the truth.

The truth is that both the SPLM/SPLA and the Government declined to sign as parties to the conflict. Yes, Salva Kiir—though tricked into signing by Gen. Sumbeywo of Kenya—signed the document by appending his signature on the signature page of the document without knowing what he was signing on to.

Dr. Riek Machar was the second to be approached in this kind of trick and refused to sign a blank sheet of paper, saying that he was not ready to sign a “blank cheque”. He wanted to see, first, the document that he was being asked to sign. This was after both had rejected the document in the presence of many foreign observers.

So, this Kiir’s signature was later used, not as a party to the war, but as one of the members of the IGAD Heads of State.

It is believed that some people are not aware of this distinction and the trick used on Kiir. But some quarters, such as the government in Juba and its agents, are actively working to cover up the story of the trick and mislead the public that Salva Kiir’s signature on that document represents the position of a party to the conflict so as to make it look as if it is only the SPLM/SPLA that has refused to sign.

Others, such as IGAD and other international bodies, are intentionally and passively allowing the misleading statements to go uncorrected so as to achieve certain unfair goals. They can try as much as they want, but truth will always remain that the warring parties have refused to sign the IGAD Protocol and requested to be allowed to negotiate.

Having no other choice, IGAD granted 45 days for the Parties to mutually negotiate and conclude their own deal.

The IGAD document is difficult to categorize. One does not understand whether the document was a product of a frustration with people and groups working behind the scene, or a result of a true and genuine IGAD’s understanding of the South Sudanese situation.

Of course, one should not underrate the resolutions of the recent African Union (AU) Summit in June in Equatorial Guinea where the AU resolved to protect sitting African Heads of State from prosecution for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In either way, IGAD has shown a very serious lack of credibility as a regional body in dealing with regional issues.

By any standard, South Sudanese civil war is more serious and dangerous than the 2007 Kenyan post-election violence, which led to the formation of the Kenya’s Grand Coalition Government in 2008.

Yet, that Grand Coalition Government was better than that which the IGAD leaders want to see established in South Sudan in terms of power-sharing. It is difficult to understand the thought processes leading to such a position.

The Protocol provides for a transitional national unity government to be headed by “The head of state and government, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces…” which “…shall be the elected, incumbent president.”

According to the document, an office for a Prime Minister shall be established for coordination of the implementation of interim processes. This Prime Minister shall be nominated by the SPLM/SPLA and has to be “…credible, professional and competent person…” who shall also be “…acceptable…” to Kiir.

In addition, the Prime Minister shall work “harmoniously” with the president and would never stand for any election for a public office at the end of the transitional period.

First, the document confirms Kiir as the head of the Transitional Government of National Unity without leaving it to the parties to negotiate. The justification seems to be that he was elected in April 2010.

If this is the case, then the IGAD is wrong. Kiir was elected under a constitution and an election law which became irrelevant on the morning of July 10, 2011. He owes his current position as the President of South Sudan to the current Transitional Constitution which gives him up to July 2015. This makes him a President by constitution—not by election.

It was the reason why he was able to remove the vice-president who had been his running mate during the 2010 elections. It was also why he succeeded in removing elected governors in Lakes and Unity states, respectively. Otherwise, he would not have succeeded in the exercises.

Therefore, IGAD’s justification for him to lead the expected transitional government on the basis that he is an elected president does not pass the test. As a constitutional president, Kiir has ceased to be legitimate from the very same day that he embarked on the unconstitutional act of maintaining power through violence and committing the ultimate crime of genocide.

He can no longer protect the constitution as he has made coups against himself by intentionally violating that constitution many times; he cannot be trusted again to protect the lives of the people of South Sudan as he has presided over numerous killings of the South Sudanese communities, the last one being the massacres of the Nuer in Juba in December 2013.

Even if he were to be an elected president, Kiir would not have been elected to bring the current situation. His unconstitutional acts of unleashing violence on his political rivals and genocide which led to the current situation would have de-legitimized his status as an elected president.

Therefore, IGAD leaders just need to come out publicly to the South Sudanese that once one becomes a president in Africa, one must always remain as such, however one behaves. That would be more understandable given our experiences as Africans who have only known dictatorships since decolonization.

Second, IGAD’s document was intentionally produced so as to indirectly prevent Dr. Riek Machar from participating in the transitional government. They badly want Kiir to lead the transitional government without opposition for bad reasons.

But they know that Dr. Riek Machar would never again allow Kiir to rule the country the way he has been ruling it since 2005. To them, the best thing to do to ensure that Kiir does not get any opposition during the transition is to keep Dr. Riek out of that government.

Words such as “credible”, “professional” and “competent” as adjectives describing the Prime Minister were intentionally used so that the SPLM/SPLA could legally be bound to look only for a technocrat, non-politician other than Dr. Riek who is known as one of the well-known politicians in South Sudan when making its nomination.

The word “acceptable” to the president was placed there to give Kiir a legal ground to reject Dr. Riek if the SPLM/SPLA later insists on nominating him for the post. Here comes the possibility of a stalemate.

To water it down, a clause is inserted that the Prime Minister would not vie for any office after the transitional period. Again, that clause was placed there as an incentive for Dr. Riek to want to wait outside the transitional government so that he could later run for an office toward the end of the transitional period.

There is a question that keeps lingering on when looking at the IGAD’s attempt to erect such a massive wall around Kiir’s position and powers during the transitional period. Why is IGAD trying very hard to see that Kiir absolutely leads and controls the government during the transitional period?

The provision that the Prime Minister shall work “harmoniously” with the president is the third legal hurdle for the SPLM/SPLA to deal with.

In case the SPLM/SPLA succeeds with the nomination of Dr. Riek and Kiir fails to reject the same, he can later have a legal ground to remove the Prime Minister as not working “harmoniously” with him.

This IGAD’s idea that Kiir should not be opposed in his decisions and activities during the transition is without a proper justification. This idea of Kiir running the government single-handedly during the transition makes one think that IGAD wants Kiir to use the period to repair his tattered self politically, militarily and diplomatically for any eventualities at the end of the period.

This IGAD’s position should be taken together with Kiir’s statement on the 9th of May 2014 when he stated that he “…must always remain the leader…” of South Sudan.

He is, definitely, being prepared for a longer political life after the transitional period. In light of this, IGAD could be seen as conspiring with Kiir against the people of South Sudan.

Third, the document is discussed on the media as a power-sharing one. The IGAD leaders have made it very clear that all the executive powers remain with the president.

The president is the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces; he is the head of state; and he is the head of government to be assisted by his deputy in all of his functions.

The office of the Prime Minister is created only to give the SPLM/SPLA a space to occupy with functions of coordination of the implementation. Yet, IGAD and its supporters call this a power-sharing arrangement. If this is power-sharing, then I do not know what is not.

One would think that a proper power-sharing arrangement would equally divide executive powers between the two power centers: the Prime Minister and the President. But, this IGAD document has not done that.

The bottom line is that, for whatever reason, IGAD has failed in its search for an African solution to the current African problem in South Sudan. By coming out with the document of the last Summit, IGAD was only resorting to forcing the warring parties to come together in a badly conceived transitional government, which, in my opinion, would be another way of telling South Sudanese to stop fighting for now, go back to Juba and re-start fighting.

What IGAD should have done was to let the parties talk. Instead of being rushed into forming a transitional government under Kiir’s leadership, the parties should have been given time to identify and address the root causes of the war, agree on who is to account for the atrocities committed in Juba in December, agree on critical reforms to be made, agree on the security arrangements, agree on the form and structures of the transitional government that would carry out the reforms, and then agree on the leadership as the last step toward signing a peace deal.

But IGAD unjustifiably jumped the gun and resorted to a process where they started with the leadership and then the government, leaving the rest unresolved. It was an attempt to simply force South Sudanese to go back to Juba under Kiir’s leadership without first addressing the root causes of the war—not even thinking of any reforms.

That was very lazy, insulting to the people of South Sudan and disrespectful of those whom Kiir savagely exterminated in Juba. It can only add fuel to a burning fire.

In Somalia, an internationally recognized Federal government sits in Mogadishu. That government and its leadership are, at least, cleaner than the one sitting in Juba and its leadership. Yet, the African Union, including some of the members of IGAD, is struggling to keep that government in Mogadishu. They are unable to force Somalis to come together under that government and leadership.

This difficulty exists partly because the root causes of the Somalia’s problem, leading to the collapse of the central government in 1991, might not have been properly identified and addressed.

After years of struggling with the situation, they still keep thinking that the problem is a lack of a central government in Mogadishu that can only be solved by putting one in place. It is a real failure.

This same IGAD is now trying to force the people of South Sudan to come together in a badly conceived transitional government under Salva Kiir who has committed genocide against a section of the South Sudanese society without first addressing the root causes of the December violence.

IGAD should understand that our problem is not a lack of a transitional government; in fact, the current government in Juba is a transitional government; it should understand that the problem that caused the war was not that Kiir was not a president; he had been the president before the war, and he has been the president ever since the war broke out.

Yet, we are in a big problem. Therefore, IGAD should stop thinking that having a transitional government led by Kiir is the magic African solution to the current war in South Sudan. This is a solution that can never be sustained.

If this is the only solution that IGAD can think of, then it must, instead, come out clearly and openly to admit that it has failed so that a different forum can pick up the task.

The way things look seems to suggest that IGAD has failed and decided, as an exit strategy, to impose Kiir on the people of South Sudan as a temporary solution to the problem. What comes after that imposition does not concern it.

It is completely conceived and done in the best interest of IGAD, not in the interest of the people of South Sudan. This is absurd. What makes IGAD leaders think that they should oppose non-African solutions to African problems, but impose a non-South Sudanese solution to a South Sudanese problem?

It is like trying to drive the people of South Sudan to the sky above by leading them into an abyss dug perpendicularly deep into the ground hoping and believing that, somehow, the abyss would eventually lead to the blue sky above the ground. This is a blind-mindedness that can only be induced by dictatorial tendencies which characterize leadership in most of Africa.

In any case, an intellect is, definitely, being insulted here. It is only a question of whose intellect it is that is being insulted: South Sudanese in particular, or African in general?

While in the process of finding a solution to the current civil war in South Sudan, IGAD must know, in case it does not know yet, that Kiir has committed genocide, and he must be dealt with as a criminal—not as what it refers to as an “elected, incumbent president.”

A proper and sustainable African solution should be that which keeps the criminal behind bars, and away from participating in the transitional government.

*The author is a South Sudanese. He can be reached at

James Gathoth Mai is an invisible Judas Iscariot of South Sudan

By: Stephen Kong, South Sudan, OCT/02/2014, SSN;

James Gathoth Mai. The invisible Judas is worse than Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus Christ. According to Matthew 27:5-8 when Judas realized his crime is too big to handle, “he threw the money into the temple floor and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, ‘It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.’ So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.

But the former Chief of Staff of the SPLA (South Sudan National Army), James Gathoth, the invisible Judas collected his money and went for vocation in Australia where his family resides.

These two men shared a lot in common. They both hated those who love them. And in death, they are friendless. During December 15-24, 2013, Invisible Judas James Gathoth Mai could not talk to his dying relatives whom their only crime is because they are born to a Nuer mother and father.

The powerful General who claimed to have liberated South Sudan from the North, offered no help. Hung up the phone and congratulated his relatives’ killers. Judas Iscariot and an invisible James Gathoth Mai are the elements and the influences of evil. Their only differences is how they used their blood money.

Then Judas Iscariot realized his mistake stood like a man and faced the confrontation with a judgment verdict of his delusion and disappointment. He Judas Iscariot of Jews took responsibility to end his own life by hanging himself.

The invisible Judas James Gathoth of Nuer never until this day realized the crime he himself perpetrated against his own brothers, sisters and their children.

The sad fact about invisible Judas James Gathoth is, his real accomplishment in life is fighting with his Nuer tribe. But the good thing is, this time he betrayed the nation. Nuer are the tribe of South Sudan, since he was the second powerful man.

The innocent Nuer who died on December 15-24 owed him protection because they were his subjects. Invisible Judas James Gathoth, committed act of Genocide against the Nuer. He Judas Iscariot James Gathoth Mai is constitutionally responsible ruler at the time of genocide.

He chose not to protect them because he was a willing full participant. I choose the word Genocide here because it doesn’t need a lawyer or law degree to define what happened in Juba against Nuer people do constitute genocide.

It is purely a genocide. Why? Because Nuer are killed, they were singled out, sometimes by the scars on their foreheads or discovered their ethnicity based on their ID cards. They are executed to death simply because they are members of Nuer tribe.

Salva Kirr gave hate speeches on two occasions before genocide took place, James Gathoth Mai whom I suspected of being an invisible Judas Iscariot concealed behind Salva Kirr and Kuol Manyang Juuk.

The invisible Judas kept himself busy by talking on South Sudan TV, directed his messages especially to Nuer in army. On many occasions before and after Juba genocide took place, invisible Judas James Gathoth Mai was quoted by Sudan Tribune “South Sudan army chief warns against involvement in politics”.

Thank God, his goofy conspiracy backfired and failed to produce anything of value to deter Nuer sons and daughters from rescuing their own people. Invisible Judas, James Gathoth Mai is the military leader who oversaw the killing of Nuer women and children and at the same time expecting Nuer in army will bow to his plea.

My friends from Dinka Bor community argued that invisible Judas Iscariot, James Gathoth Mai did not kill the Nuer in December of 2013. I confronted them with the question who has the power to prevent Juba massacre than invisible Judas, James Gathoth Mai?

I was blasted to hear their claims that former governor of northern Bar-Elghazal Malong Awan is the one who is responsible for killing of Nuer in Juba.

The main point here is who has the power and constitutional authority to protect the lives of innocent women and children no matter what their tribe is? No other person rather than Salva Kirr and invisible Judas James Gathoth Mai.

I cannot believe that people forget the facts, shut their eye and even contradict themselves. Current Army Chief of Staff, Paul Malong, like majority of Dinkas, killed Nuer with guarantee from Chief of Staff Judas Iscariot James Gathoth that there is no Nuer threat.

Dinka are free to kill. Malong Awan did contribute with recruitment and selection of Dutku Bany and Gwelweng (Special Dinka presidential force). With instruction of invisible Judas Iscariot, James Gathoth Mai Nguth. This is cunning way to detached people’s is attention from present danger.

I am sorry to say the least but the plan worked, many innocent lives are lost because Nuer in particular anticipating the general chief of staff, a Nuer by birth, Judas Iscariot by alienation, will protect their innocent children from Dut-ku Bany and Guelweng.

Nuer always mentioned the conjunction word “if” (Dung MI, LAMI, and Kami) regardless of all the warning signs, Nuer forgot to say if. If they did the result could have been different. Many lives could have been saved from massacre.

If Nuer profiled Judas Iscariot James Gathoth Mai’s background from the time where the devil James started his military career, they should have seen too many red-flags, this is a general who spent all his military life independently killing and fighting with Nuer.

Nuer are blinded by the love of a country called South Sudan. They are hopeful the past is forgotten and life will continue.

That’s until when war broke out within the presidential guards, when invisible Judas Iscariot, James Gathoth Mai, used his constitutional power of chief of general staff to protect the Dinka presidential Guard against their Nuer colleague.

This is Judas’s response to a flashback that resulted from his discrimination and violent crime against Nuer people, this is a general who is in delusion and paranoid in fighting with Nuer resistant movement known as the separatists, or Anyanya II, abbreviated as (A.2).

The simple question is, if Judas Iscariot, James Gathoth Mai is able to protect a well equipped Salva Kirr’s Dinkas presidential Guards from their Nuer colleagues, why? And only why he never tried to stop genocides against Nuer innocent women and children from Dutku-Beny and Guelweng?

This must be a trillion dollar question. The answered is obvious, Judas Iscariot, James Gathoth Mai and his boss (Banydit) Salva Kirr Mayardit previous blueprint, the heinous crime against Nuer people.

To South Sudanese the truth is Judas Iscariot, James Gathoth Mai’s involvement in crimes, made the entire Nuer community left with nothing but the feeling of victimization, vulnerability, fearfulness, isolation and unprotected by the law.

In the history of Nuer tribes anything that threatened the lives of Nuer women and children always leads to war-cry. The technical term in Nuer is (Wiwi) when Nuer heard the messengers of war cry there is no question asked.

It is a message that tells Nuer women and children their lives are in real danger. Thank God the four sons of Denah namely Yien, Dak, Baal, and Bany heard the war cries and answered the call according to the threats.

And they will always be the first responders to anything that threatened Nuer Homeland, whether the threats arise from Sky, Land or River, DENAI SON of Geah, and Gaawar son of Kar or Jakar will always be the first defence for the Nuer Homeland and her people’s dignity.

Judas, that is the message.

For question, concerned or comment please dropped me a line at

Stephen Pajok Kong Kulang

Economic vulnerabilities that will milk South Sudan into sunset

BY: GARANG ATEM AYIIK, Independent Economic Commentator, South Sudan, SEP/29/2014, SSN;

1. Introduction
John Perkins in his book, ‘Confession of Economic Hit Man,’ explained how he and his colleagues designed economic assistance programs in Saudi Arabia that will make huge in-flows of petrodollars to United States; and make Saudi Arabia more intertwined to United State economy.
The objectives, according to Perkins, was to make US benefits from Saudi natural resources; and inhibits Saudi from implementing punitive economic policies against the United States as she did in 1970’s during the Yom Kippur war. John illustrated how Countries around world were made vulnerable to be submissive to United States.

The programs in Saudi took forms of capital intensive programs with long term contracts management and maintenance provisions to keep United States in business in Saudi. The programs according to John were intended to ensure United States milk Saudi to Sunset economically.

Though the above scenario has different connotation, its applicability to South Sudan is precise. South Sudan got her independence in July 2011. She formed a government on a background of emptiness in terms of infrastructure, social services, institutions and human capital.

This circumstance provides an opportunity for wrong policy prescription in forms of assistance programs designed to disadvantage South Sudan economy.

2. Economic Vulnerabilities
This article explores possible scenarios economic agents with interest in South Sudan can design economic assistance programs with an intention to milk South Sudan till Sun set; identify South Sudan economic vulnerability to monitor and propose policy recommendations.

A two decade war eroded South Sudan social services, institutions, human capital and work attitude. As a result of these gaps, immediately after Comprehensive Peace Agreement, well wishers and self seekers ran into South Sudan by air, land and rivers.

Ten years later, an arm of experts, advisors and businessmen are rooted in South Sudan. The legitimate concern is why experts, advisors and businessmen haven’t passed on their expertise and altitude towards the local people and institutions?

The failure of capacity building in South Sudan can be explained by two reasons; tactical behaviors by consultants not to pass capacity to locals so as to retain their jobs; and tactical behavior by public employees not to employ capable locals to reduce knowledge pressure underneath them.

I am not a believer of lack of capacity but capacity mismatch. The above scenario has serious economic implications.

First, South Sudan will be indebted to capacity building;
— second, local resources will be repatriated out in forms of salaries and profits putting pressure on South Sudan pound;
— third, lack of employment will increase, increasing social problems and these are typical problems of economic hit men – economic vulnerability.

Any public officer or institution that benefited in forms of economic assistance for more than two years, thereafter has no capacity is guilty of the above explained selfish behaviors.

You must have met those consultants whose souls almost fade when their contracts expired.

Rwanda and Singapore demonstrated that countries that have confidence in their young people; place them central to economic policy; and encourage local content and solutions make long economic strides than those that depend on outsiders—- reduction of economic hit man influence.

After all, John Perkins explained that consultants and international institutions are first for themselves and their masters. So why do policy makers place these actors central to South Sudan economic needs?

In 2012, pissed off by behavior of Sudan, South Sudan halted oil flow through Sudan. Though this was a onetime decision, its lessons live on. Whether oil flows through Sudan, Kenya or Djibouti, it is possible that economic interests and geo-economic dynamics can halt oil flow. This is an area vulnerable to economic hit men.

An economy that runs on one resource is like a driver on long road without spare parts. The uproar caused in Uganda, Kenya and around the world by recent circular by Ministry of Labor in regulating foreign nationals’ jobs in South Sudan points to possible economic and diplomatic war in case interests clash.

It is a clear manifestation of how those who come to help live to protect their interest. South Sudan needs to reduce economic vulnerability by developing good roads networks with all its neighbors for possible road transport in case the existing pipeline(s) is compromised; develop local oil refinery for local consumption and possible exports and improve road networks links to existing refinery plan; and diversify productive sectors from oil.

Lack of a pipeline, refinery and huge dependence on imports through Kenya subject South Sudan to possibility of bullying, arm-twisting and name calling with little alternative and economic breathing space.

Perkins explained how international financial institutions and consultants suffocated nations with natural resources for economic vulnerability. This is done through huge loans for submissiveness, geo-economics and politics. South Sudan needs strong institutions on public loans so that she is not suffocated.

In 1970s, Malaysia used to send her employees to Kenya Institute of Management for training in Kenya, more than fifty years later, Malaysia has enjoyed economic growth as Kenya continue to swim in poverty and underdevelopment.

South Sudan needs to conceptualize her economic path like Malaysia. In a world built on capitalism; in a world where consultants and international partners have different interests as explained by John Perkins in his book; in a world where Kenyans demonstrated against Chinese working on Thika road and condemned South Sudan for acting in her interest in the same circumstance, South Sudan is better off in the hands of her Citizens.

3. Conclusion and Recommendations
South Sudan interests are better in the hands of South Sudanese. The government needs to integrate this into migration, labor policy and education financing. Do we need a circular when a permit and visa can do the job silently?

If South Sudan doesn’t have capacity, why doesn’t South Sudan take money to Universities where capacities are made!

John Perkins demonstrated that countries with natural resources are more vulnerable to world geo-economic and political dynamics. South Sudan needs to place its people, business and capacity central to economic expansion and policies to address economic vulnerabilities.

There are lessons from countries like Rwanda, Malaysia and Singapore that South Sudan can learn. Whether to be like Kenya or Malaysia, South Sudan has herself to choose. Central is the manner and capacity to make economically conscience decisions.

Garang Atem Ayiik is an independent South Sudan economic policy commentator base in South Sudan. He can be reached at

South Sudan: The nation ran from outside its borders

By: Yien Lam, SOUTH SUDAN, SEP/20/2014, SSN;

As the matter of fact, I still see some people that are dubious and question the legitimacy of the foreigners in South Sudan affairs, specifically the Uganda role. Those individuals who are still thinking as such may have missed the point in my view. Uganda has been allowed to do whatever it can in South Sudan.

If it was not because this is a rogue government, there should be no inconsistency between president who invited the Ugandans and his minister of labour. Their message should be consistent in my view if not in the views of many.

These two leaders are expected by others to have enough knowledge about what to say on the media and what is not if it was not the government that lost its legitimacy.

As I know if not you, South Sudan has been ran outside its border by Uganda to be specific. Would anyone be able to deny that rather than Kiir and his likes? Of course not! Kiir and his sympathizers would have been ditched if south Sudan was not ran by foreigners.

This is simple and nobody would have missed it in terms of rationality. If that is so as many know, what would prevent the foreigners to be the most employed people in the country? People, let as give sincerity a chance in our country’s affair.

In this case, however, even if it is being ran outside its borders. Kiir and his likes already dug their holes in which they will be buried because there is no country’s president that can systematically killed one ethnic group within his own country.

Never in the world! This is the first and will be the last. In addition, Kiir Mayar and his government ran out of options. It is now a matter of time for them to pack their belongings and go.

In this case as the saying goes, “what presents you to sleep at night is created by you,” this is exactly what is happening now with Kiir Mayar. Believe it for certain, Kiir Mayar is not sleeping as normal as he used to be before his fake coup attempt.

As the theme goes, South Sudan became what I term as “a state in Uganda.” This was and still so because Uganda has more interest in south sudan than anyone else in terms of foreign employment.

For example, all peddlers who are running everything in Juba markets now are Ugandans. In addtion, military deployment in south sudan is paramount and is the key of all that keeps the kiir’s government in life support and I don’t know for certain how long it’s going to be for the regime to govern as such. Be the judge as I said in my article in March this year title below.

“Can tranquility be brought back to South Sudan by IGAD without UN?”

Well, as the question needs thorough answer, mind is no. IGAD cannot and will never bring a tangible peace in South Sudan because some of its member states are deeply involved in South Sudan crises.

As a concerned citizen of this great Nation, I sincerely believe that peace will not yield any fruits because of member states of this organization — Uganda in particular.

Without Uganda backing kiir, peace could have been achieved long ago. For that matter, I truly believe an IGAD in which Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is the member of, cannot bring peace. The Uganda is preoccupied by interest in the country and the hatred of what would be democratic system.

For that reason, the Uganda leader sees it as the threat to his leadership. That was why the cessation of hostility signed on January 23th of this year was violated by him and kiir’s government repeatedly.

This is a pure and clandestine plan for them that the others know not about it. It was done so by that a leader to ruin South Sudan in pretext of protecting the infrastructures of the country.

They have seen IGAD of doing nothing in terms of keeping its commitment. This is the one reason why the fighting still dragging on for nearly three months now. When you look at this, how in the world peace could be achieved with Kiir’s government while Yoweri Museveni is already playing his game?

In other word, how can you deal with snake without taking its venom out? Should that be possible? To me, I honestly doubt the ability of that organization to produce the tangible result in terms of peace with the absence of the UN.

Kiir could have not insisted to refuse peace repeatedly as he did ever because he does not have any Army of his own that he can count on rather than Museveni’s. In this regard, if we know it as such, how does an organization like this could make peace while its member states are deeply assisting other side than another?

Realistically, Peace cannot be negotiated with organization that lacks neutrality in my view. This would be like fighting a hand-cuffed individual. Nonetheless, fighting with two dictators whose common interest is to crash anyone who happens to come through their ways is tough if not complicated.

But truth cannot be bought but time can. It is always hard for the truth to be heard. But never perish as the lies may have been. Time for the truth to be revealed will come. This will only be a matter of time. Truth may be skinny. But will never die. Kiir and Yoweri Museveni of IGAD may do whatever they can in order to dictate the truth. But will emerge at the end.

However, The United Nations needs to be careful though. It should not allow its staffs to be abused as such with no actions taken. This will not be good for its integrity in the world. It must know that, all dictators are being deterred by action. Without action as it seems to be the case in South Sudan crises, will only influence the abusers to do more in the days, months and years to come.

On the contrary, UN must be the only mediator that could bring a viable peace in South Sudan because it has no interest of any kind whatsoever. Its interest always is to save lives of human beings which is not the case now in South Sudan since the cessation of hostility was signed.

If that is the reason or the meaning of the United Nations as I know, it will be good for the organization to speed its effort of resolving the South Sudan crisis than delegating its powers to an untrusted organization.

The toothless organization known as IGAD has been conquered by some of its leaders’ interest whose aims is for self-seeking rather than bringing peace in South Sudan. For this purpose, I urge the international community to act as quickly as possible because IGAD has shown its colors as not only bias also inactive organization whose member states have already interfered in the country’s affairs.

Due to that, it cannot be trusted to bring peace in the Country. This is a very urgent message to the world’s body to act as soon as possible. Otherwise, South Sudan will be football field for anybody.

UN needs to work collectively as fast as it possibly could. It could not wait to none other than itself. This would be so because Uganda’s attitude will never change.

As the matter of fact, this was the reason why it defied the world condemnation of its troop’s withdrawal. If Uganda defied Norway, United States, European Union and so forth as all know. Who else does the world think Uganda will respect? IGAD! NO! This does not make any sense at all.

In my view, that would only be the collective of all, that is the reason why I suggested United Nations as the right body to put its feet on this issue. There is no other organization that I can think off would fit to that category to solve and bring back calmness into South Sudan ever.

Nonetheless, if United Nations does not act as it should, this will be worse and its comparison will not be found because President Kiir and his mercenaries will continue whatever they initiated in Juba on December 15th last year.

The world needs not to continue watching remotely as it has been for the last three months, otherwise the consequences of its inaction will have ripple effect on South Sudanese. Therefore, I urge UN to intervene sooner than later.

In short, Kiir, M7 and the IGAD cannot and will never bring peace in South Sudan crisis. They are instead fueling it in order to keep the game running. If United Nations wants to save lives in South Sudan as it always does around the world, it must step in for peace to be achieved in the country.

Otherwise, peace will never be seen in that country as long as the Country is being led outside its borders.


South Sudan Circular on Terminating Foreign Nationals by Mid-October 2014: False, Facts & Policy Options

BY: Garang Atem Ayiik, SOUTH SUDAN, SEP/19/2014, SSN;

1. Introduction
This week, Ministry for Labor issued a Ministerial Order that ordered all companies, and NGOs to terminate all foreign nationals working in South Sudan by mid-October 2014.

The same circular went further to mention some specific positions to be advertised and filled with nationals with the assistance of the Ministry. Specifying the roles to be South Sudanized, adds further confusion ‘to all’ mention in the circular.

This circular is already making head-line. Kenya Citizen TV reported Kenya Amb. To South Sudan having said that all African ambassadors in South Sudan are considering approaching South Sudan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discussed this issue.

As usual, though this is a good policy intended to helps localized opportunities to South Sudanese, it seems the Government of South Sudan has done this out of emotions with little due process, without due diligence to diplomatic implications, and operationalization considerations.

This article aims to discuss the impact of this circular from an economic policy perspective, suggest possible implications and policy options.

2. What does the circular mean?

South Sudan through Ministry of Interior, ordered foreigners nationals driving motor cycles in South Sudan early this year. There was rapid and immediate uproar from Uganda. This got the attention of Ugandans Parliamentarians, with some members looking at South Sudan as attacking her economic interest.

Some members of Uganda Parliament asked the Government of Uganda to pays South Sudan with the same coin. However, these calls died down after it received low reception from the executive.

Though the motors cycle boys’ case was a tangential issue, this circular touch on economic hearts of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopian, Eritrea, Africa and the World at large.

In a world runs on principle of self interest, will these nations allow South Sudan to edge them off the economic cake and did South Sudan anticipate these nations reaction and her respond?

This is viewed from the background that these nations contributed to significantly to well-being of South Sudan and to some extent; these nations consider themselves as stakeholders in South Sudan.

As an economic student, from theoretical perspective, I surely agreed with the need to put monies in the pockets of South Sudanese. These has multiples merit, first, incomes for the local will be re-invest in South Sudan and hence encourage local economic growth;

Secondly, reduced repatriation of salaries will reduce pressure on South Sudan Pound; and thirdly, improves standard of living for South Sudanese through employment creation.

With all the due advantages, the circular was a wild miscalculation. In late 2013, the Government through Central Bank issued order to devalue South Sudan pound from 3.16SSP to 4.5SSP.

Though at that time, I supported devaluation, I knew the way the devaluation was framed, it was not going withstand test of public pressure. There was no economic helmet to short term economic stones.

Again, the government is at it – a good intention but a wrong thought process and approach. Already Kenya media is leading hype with report of its 30,000 nationals being targeted for termination.

If it is true what Citizen TV reported its evening news of 16 Sep 2014 that Africa ambassadors in South Sudan are planning to see South Sudan Foreign Affairs Ministry on this, it is likely that South Sudan does not have economic and diplomatic muscles to withstand such pressure.

It is possible like the devaluation directive with all the due advantages, this circular will at some point be rescinded. In 2012, as graduate student at University of Nairobi, I overheard two Kenyans saying ‘tumewaletea peace, na wajinga are killing our people’. Translated to ‘though we bring them peace, stupid South Sudanese are killing our people’.

This was at period of hype reporting in Kenya whenever dead body was brought from South Sudan. The media reported another body from South Sudan. This reporting disregarded the realities of South Sudan.

This circular creates the following impact: one, it will create an opportunity for hype reporting in Kenya, Uganda and other nations about how thankless South Sudan is;

Second, it will creates a diplomatic war that South Sudan has no capacity to win, and mostly at such times when she is very vulnerable due to internal challenges.

Thirdly, it paints South Sudan business environment as gloomy and unfriendly. Such directives are done through regulatory frame-work and not through attention-calling approach.

In all economic jurisprudence, no government can participate in directing investors on who run their business, government give guidance and follow up compliance.

Already there are reports that South Sudanese are some of most reliable workers in the world. With this in the air, what will convince investors to invest in South Sudan when they are compulsory provided an option of employing from unreliable labor in the world! This circulate pollutes South Sudan business environment.

This circular point to serious policy contradictions within government establishments. At some point, the government is a number one pro-East Africa Community whose key principles included liberalization.

This circular is a total departure from this understanding. Though it is author’s believes that this circular will never be implemented in spirit and letter, it will cause diplomatic and economic damage.

3. Conclusions and Recommendations

At such times, the government does not need to piss off her allies and investors. In economic policy, it is about incentives, understanding the respond of the economic agents involved and prepare for perceived reactions. South Sudan should know better.

Can government tries fiscal policy – say a firm that employ 80% of South Sudanese work force, get tax preferential treatment! There are ranges of policy options to choose from;

It was not necessary to create unnecessary diplomatic and economic war. The government needs to coordinate and analyze her decisions. Was it really necessary to ask for namely calling from the region?

Already there are quotas in some sectors to be employed as South Sudanese. The government should make NGOs and private sector to comply with this for now instead for asking for lofty dreams;

Decisions such as devaluation, or directive to pay local staffs working with NGOs that cannot withstand test of time and realities should be avoided. These decisions portray lack of understanding, and appreciation of local and geo-economic realities;

The government has soft and friendly ways of implementing this directive in non-attention calling fashion. Doing audits to sustain compliance with employment quotas, and do human resource audit in South Sudan and thereafter, regulate entrance through work permits and entry visa. The government can use sectors’ regulators to ensure compliance.

The government has an option of refusing to issue permits and visas base on judgment of cadres that she needs to import.

After all, it is a legal non-sense to ask an employer to terminate an employee with a valid work permit and entry visa to South Sudan;

Economic decisions need to be institutionalized. Economic policy requires systematic analysis likely insufficient on an individual capacity.

It is better to subject policies to independent policy test through think tanks and expert advisers. Otherwise, South Sudan might continue to make short-sighted harmful economic policies.

Garang Atem Ayiik is an independent South Sudan Economic Policy Commentator base in South Sudan. He can be reached

Will the Ministry of Labor Order to replace aliens with nationals be implemented?


This question is very easy for the Minster of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development to answer because it is apparent that no government minister could issue orders and fail to follow up on them.

Nonetheless, as a citizen of this country and very familiar with the way things have been happening, I am a bit skeptical of how this question can be answered adequately. However, before I could attempt to give any answer to such question, I wish to give my readers a brief background of what I intend to share with them on this particular issue.

Over the past few days, international, regional and national airwaves have been hit by the news that the government of the Republic of South Sudan and particularly its ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development has issued orders to all government institutions, NGOS, private sector, commercials banks and private companies to sack some aliens employed in their institutions and such vacated positions be given to south Sudanese citizens.

The ministry has given all concerned institutions one month up to mid October 2014 to implement this order. What impressed jobless south Sudanese most is the articulation and clarification made by the Undersecretary of the ministry of Labour and public service when she said among other things that, during the war, foreigners were the ones occupying most of the jobs in south Sudan because some educated citizens were at the battle fields while the rest were overseas and now that the country is three years old, the citizens have come back and should be given the opportunity for employment.

The customary blanket excuse that south Sudanese do not have required skills and knowledge has been rubbished by the undersecretary which makes things easier for me not to delve further in counteracting that argument.

Although the citizens of south Sudan both employed and unemployed have applause the idea by the ministry, there are enormous challenges that are associated with this order including but not limited to the misinterpretation of the order by the foreign and neighboring countries, yesterday, I got a phone call from Kenya enquiring that the government of south Sudan has been said to have given all the Kenyans in south Sudan up to October to leave the country and this, the caller said is what they heard on Kenyan televisions and read in their newspapers.

Even if I am not a ministry of Labour spokesperson, I felt obliged to answer and give clarifications in my capacity as a citizen of south Sudan to this caller that, the order was not about chasing the Kenyans or foreigners away from south Sudan but it was about the foreigners that occupy jobs for the local citizens.

The caller was convinced and satisfied with the answer but what I do not know now is whether this one Kenyan I have talked to will be able to convince and clarify to all the 40 million plus Kenyans that have heard in their national televisions and newspapers that south Sudan has not given their citizens less than three weeks to leave the country.

Having been to Kenya for several years myself, I have been a victim of prejudice of the Kenyan media when things would happen back here and they are reported subjectively on the other side, my Embassy in Kenya then was nowhere to protect me and other vulnerable south Sudanese from abuses by the Kenyan citizens, I don’t know if things have changed now.

In Kenya and I think also in Uganda, any little mistake that happened in south Sudan is amplified and it is immediately taken out against the south Sudanese citizens in their countries.

The funny thing is that, even the Kenyans and Ugandans who are in this country and benefiting greatly get worse and fail to convince their colleagues that south Sudan and the people of south Sudan are not what they say they are in reality.

Instead, those Kenyans and Ugandans who stay here report negatively about south Sudan and I can confirm this when in December 2013, the crisis broke out in south Sudan and the Kenyan government evacuated its citizens.

Upon their arrival in Kenya, the Kenyans who were in south Sudan gave some unbelievable reports that they were raped, killed and their money taken and this was on the national televisions and all the newspapers.

The irony in these stories was, the people who were giving account of what happened to them in south Sudan including being killed were the ones talking and one wonders, how would a dead person resurrect and give account of how s/he was killed.

Funny enough again, some of these stupid Kenyans came back to south Sudan even before the south Sudanese themselves and before the first cease fire was signed and this tells you that, maybe, because Kenyans and Ugandans are very selfish people, they didn’t want their other colleagues to come to south Sudan and get the business opportunities that the few of them are monopolizing.

I don’t have anything personal against Kenyans or Ugandans in this particular case but I am just trying to give some few examples of the hypocrisy that the foreigners have about this country although they are the real beneficiaries as most of them are employed in the private sector, NGOS, government institutions and commercial banks.

Now is the time when the real screening should be done, just like the ministry of Labour has realized, there is no reason why 99.9% of the employees should be foreigners whether in the NGOs, Private sector, private companies, commercials banks or hotels.

This has been the trend since independence and it is unfortunate that this decision has come a little too late as these foreigners have already milked the country dry of the resources that are not rightfully theirs.

For instance, in the commercial banks here in south Sudan, you would realize that apart from having employed all foreigners, these foreigners have come up with a very witty policy of running this country dry of its resources by allowing their citizens to transfer their money from accounts here to accounts in Kenya or Uganda and south Sudanese are denied these services.

The few south Sudanese employed at such banks are being intimidated and threatened with losing their jobs if they raise any alarm as most of them are junior staff.

It is also in these commercial banks that the foreigners instead of giving hard currencies allocated to them by this country’s central bank to all their customers, they only allocate them to their citizens who instead of travelling outside or sending them to their families take it back to the black market and bring the money back to their colleagues to be transfer to their home countries.

This routine contines while the ordinary south Sudanese who should rightfully get these services are suffering, the same activities are what are happening in the private sector and NGOS where the human resource managers are foreigners as they take advantage of their positions and invite their colleagues from their countries and employ them in positions where south Sudanese are supposed to be employed.

This is the reason why, in almost every company, commercial banks and NGOs where foreigners are, you would find that from the executive director to the receptionist or even a cook, all of them are foreigners.

So, the ministry of Labour having seen these cheating and illegal businesses was justified in issuing such order in order to salvage the country from sliding into a xenophobic condition because the opinions in the streets against foreigners from the citizens of this country are not something that someone would wish to linger for too long.

Ok, having said all these justifications, is the order implementable? The question is hard, why, because, as reported in the Voice of America Radio this morning, this is not the first time such order has been issued.

The previous ministers of Labour have issued such orders before but they weren’t implemented because these sectors that employ foreigners have vested interests in each and every alien that they employ.

Some of these foreigners are either their business associates, their in-Laws, their friends or their wives and husbands, yes, one can employ his/her wife in these sectors if they have acquired south Sudanese nationality by naturalization but the question is, do all these foreign wives and husbands working in our government institutions have such documents? I don’t know.

Another thing is that, all these aliens working in commercial banks, private sector, private companies and NGOS and dealing in unscrupulous businesses are working in cohort with the mighty in this country and therefore they are so connected to the extent that, ordinary citizens have been rendered voiceless and useless to raise any concerns even when things go wrong in their watch.

The foreigners in the commercial banks in particular are very much protected as they help in facilitating the illegal activities of these big people in the issues that I have highlighted above.

Nevertheless, it is good that, the successive ministers in the ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development have continuously realized that unemployment is what this country is struggling with.

As such, they are one after another diagnosing that employment of aliens in the above mentioned sectors is the reason why south Sudanese do not get jobs and therefore a solution has to be found although there are too many roadblocks ahead.

In that case, I wish to assist the ministry by suggesting the following recommendations:

1. The ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development should give this order to all the targeted sectors and attach to it a circular for such sectors to form committees to study files and recruitment of the staff in each sector with priority on non-nationals to be first eliminated.

The ministry of telecommunication has led in this area and I applause the minister for that initiative.

2. The ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development should form its own oversight committee to also go after all these sectors and make their own screening to ensure that no stones are left unturned in those sectors that people want to continue maintaining the status quo.

3. Just like the minister of telecommunication said, screening and reviewing the files of the staff should not only be to remove foreigners, but it should also be to check the performance of each staff and give recommendations for their promotions or otherwise, because, here, sacking aliens does not mean employing illiterate south Sudanese.

4. In keeping in touch with our neighbours and other countries of the world, the ministry should ensure that, a copy of this order is copied to all our embassies abroad and the ambassadors should be asked to share this information with the host countries such that it is not misinterpreted to mean that south Sudan does not want foreigners in the country.

My fear is that, if this information is not corrected, our citizens in the other countries will be abused and mistreated particularly in Kenya and Uganda because I have experiences in how the media from these countries and their citizens take something from south Sudan in a subjective and wholesale manner.

5. The ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development should if it goes through this order ensure that, capacity building and on-job training of the civil servants is given a priority in all sectors such that in the next few years, south Sudan should not be a laughing stock to foreigners who think that they are here because south Sudanese do not have the required skills and knowledge to be employed in managerial and administrative positions.

6. The ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development in collaboration with the ministry of justice, ministry of commerce, trade and investment should ensure that all licenses for those commercial banks, private companies, NGOS are withdrawn if they fail to cooperate and implement the orders.

In conclusion, I appreciate the decision by the minister of Labour, Public Service and human resource development for keeping with the spirit of his predecessors to open up jobs opportunities to their fellow citizens, the only difference for honourable Minister now is how he would implement this policy because its implementation has always been the problem not the issuing of orders.

As for south Sudanese, it is our right and we should not be embarrassed to demand for employment from our government and ask the foreigners to leave our jobs.

In every country, there are jobs that are reserved for nationals and south Sudan should not be an exception.

Finally, all sectors must collaborate and cooperate with the government and particularly the ministry of Labour, public service and human resource development in ensuring that this policy is implemented because lack of employment opportunities for south Sudanese youth has tremendous impacts on the economic, security and general development of this country.

Juma Mabor Marial is a Trainee Advocate based in Juba
Reachable at: