Category: Politics

The G-10 (former detainees) & the fiasco of SPLM Unification

BY: YIEN LAM, JUN/28/2015, SSN;

As a concerned and heartbroken citizen of this great nation, I am deeply disappointed in part with what the so-called SPLM G-10 -whatsoever, and the word Party have been used as the reunification per se. This has no meaning in my view. G-10 and its interest is different with the viable peace and the interest of South Sudanese.

As many have seen the colors of the G-10 in recent visits to Juba, whereby its leader has been awarded with his original position as the SG (Secretary-General) of the party. If that is so as we all know, do you think this group really cares about well-being of people of South Sudan?

No! This is not unless you have mental disability. The group does not mean a true reunification of all SPLMers, what it means is to seek positions in the future government of Salva kiir. That is why it goes in so quickly.

It knows very well that the regime is going to reshuffle its government by the July of this year. This is the simple calculus that can be known by anyone in the country. The group has no ammunition to give peace a shot or a viable reason other than that when it comes to the peace in Addis Ababa, trust me.

Never will its return to Juba ever produce tangible peace in our country. This group is worse than the killer regime in my view because juggling as such with the lives of south Sudanese is not worth it.

As the matter of fact, let the group not bluff the public with the word ‘reunification’ that does not bear any fruit in the group’s heart. It uses this as the political ploy.

If that was really reunification for all, why did the group go in so soon by itself without waiting the other side?

Not only that, why was reunification happening in the city of evil than the original place of peace, namely Arusha?

People, believe it or not, this so-called reunification will not be like the 1987’s when the SPLM reunified with Anya Nya II in Kuanylow where by all Anya Nya II soldiers were integrated into SPLA without addressing the root cause of division that took place in Bilpam?

Because the mentioned reunification did not address the grievances of the Anya Nya II, the problem carried on and led to 1991 internal fighting because there is no reason to rush into agreement without sorting out what initially caused the problem.

Again, SPLM as the party reunified in January 2002 In Nairobi, Kenya that produced what we call South Sudan today. Many people were thinking we will be fine within our country. But again, the SPLM was not up to the task that it’s supposed to be.

This reunification miserably did not address again the principle of reforms and the meaning of being south Sudanese with the exception of self-determination. As a matter of reality, this problem did not stop there as most people expected.

It then led to the disagreement between current president and Dr. John Garang that was solved in Rumbek conference in 2004 that also failed to sort out the differences within the party. These were all about the SPLM inhumane treatment of itself or leadership struggle.

As the result of all cited incidences due to the lack of reforms, this took the very U turn on 15 December, 2013 catastrophe that killed only one ethnic group. This are supposed to be political issues as a group of this kind alluded to in its video address.

It indeed started as a political issue. The question is, if it was a political issue as the group acknowledged it, why were the victims of the political issue only Nuer while the group was a mixture of all people? Can anyone among the G-what so ever answer my question?

So, in my view, if those of SPLM-Juba members apologize and forgive each other as Pagan has alluded to in his speech, what would they be saying about the 20,000 innocent Nuer civilians who were slaughtered in broad daylight in the city of evil as well as the Shilluk people?

Should the SPLM-Juba be ready to once again tell us that it is ok to kill you and let us unite and ready to orchestrate another killing of you? Be the judge of this reunification.

I am done with the fake reunification to be honest with you the readers. I have no problem with anyone who is trashing the reunification of SPLM party ever as Juba SPLM is saying.

If the party leaders in Juba were thinking about the lives of South Sudanese, the 15 December 2013 catastrophe could have been prevented by the party. If they failed then, what would make a sound minded person to believe that it will not do it again after its leader killed 20,000 civilians and the root cause of the problem is not even resolved yet?

People, to be sincere in this case though, reunification with kiir in power is laughable if not impossible in my view. If some still naively think that it will be good while the reforms that are badly needed have not been addressed or implemented, the road to the recovery of our country must be in distant future.

Kiir and his sycophants must not get away with the death of 20,000 innocent lives and expect to be awarded with the leadership of the people to whom their relatives were killed by him.

How would that play in the minds of the soldiers that responded to the situation in defense of their remaining relatives?

Moreover, Mr. S G, if the SPLM leader namely kiir and you did not learn from all of the above, when are you going to learn? I thought you and kiir should have learned from the past if two of you have hearts for the country than the positions that you are holding because SPLM cannot repeat whatever happened as the political issue and only victimize few.

This has to be changed for good in order to prevent the next disaster within the people of South Sudan. Believe it or not, nation is better than the party not the other way around.

Finally, reunification without thinking behind the root cause that killed the people in the nation’s capital in the first place is a provision of a disastrous future. The positions seekers must not bluff the public with empty promise that does not hold any water in the war torn South Sudan.

In this case, the people of south Sudan must work hard to achieve the amicable peace through other means not reunification per se because reunification has no fruit of peace at all than the positions aim.

Therefore, bringing peace through fake reunification of the SPLM without resolving the root cause of current conflict will otherwise be the recipe of killings more innocent lives in future that we cannot afford to allow to happen in our country again. We need to act quickly as we can to dislodge this regime.

South Sudan Oyeee
Freedom fighters Oyeee
Opposition Oyeee

The Author is concerned South Sudanese that can be reached at

The Recent IGAD-plus Proposal and Dr. Machar’s comment

BY: Rigoberto Modi, JUN/26/2015, SSN;

The drama of finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict in South Sudan has reached another stage when one reads the two documents. IGAD is for a simple solution to South Sudan’s problem. Probably, the respectable regional block has bought into the idea that the problem in South Sudan is simply power struggle aggravated by tribalism.

So give Dr. Riak recognition and make him the First Vice President with the added prerogative of creating and controlling the Nuer Economic and Political Block defined as the states of Upper Nile, Unity and Jongolei. The rest belongs to Salva Kiir and his Dinka tribe.

After all these two tribes are the majority as well as politically and militarily powerful; and this division, which appears to be based on a subtle political insight possessed by only a few like President Museveni, who has been advising everybody about the solution to Africa’s problem, appears to be fair.

So in effect, IGAD has bought into the tribal politics of Africa and is willing to become the promoter of the same.

Furthermore, IGAD has also bought into power politics and not politics of democracy and the rule of law. This kind of politics suggests if you flex your military muscles enough, you will get something of the big cake.

South Sudanese, in the face of this so-called proposed IGAD document to resolve the problem in South Sudan, turn their faces towards Dr. Riak who has all along moved in favour of system reform in South Sudan.

This must be a tough time for Dr. Riak himself, not because of having to choose between having the whole and the part, but because this proposal came at the time he was given a huge recognition by the African Union to attend the summit of heads of states.

Therefore the script between the lines is, ‘welcome to the club but be good and follow what we, your benefactors are prescribing for you and everything will be fine for you’.

On the ethical front, this was difficult too. Because it tested the honesty of Dr. Riak in saying he is fighting for the reform of the system, not just for power.

If it was an interview to determine whether he is suitable for the position or not, this test could have been brilliant.

So his response, writing to 41 heads of states and pointing out the weakness of this proposal was truly a mark of honesty and sincerity in his intention to lead the nation into reform.

If this was a game, Dr. Riak has won it and his response made IGAD to look tribal minded and bent on driving South Sudan into deeper conflict and violence.

But it is not a game, it is a real issue that affects the lives of South Sudanese people both now and in future. Hence South Sudanese people and those who support them need to pick it up from here.

Almost all political commentators who have shown honesty in discussing the issues in regards to the current conflict in South Sudan have pointed out that handling it in a way of business as usual will not be useful at all.

To the contrary, it will sink the country into a deeper crisis. Hilda Johnson, the UN Special Representative in South Sudan clearly stated, before her departure, South Sudan needs to be rebooted.

If this was taken as unfair and critical view, it is good to remind ourselves that the Men of God, the Catholic Bishops of South Sudan have issued a pastoral letter on 31st January 2014, stating unequivocally that South Sudan has to be on a New Covenant.

The message of these clergymen cannot be taken lightly, considering the number of people they represent, the institutional memory on South Sudan they access and their level of commitment which saw them reaching out to almost all those who have contributed to helping South Sudan to emerge.

South Sudan is not broken in just a small part, but at the very foundation stone and the whole superstructure is crumbling everywhere.

Just the corruption alone is enough to tell the story and branding South Sudan as the rule of kleptocracy in the light of resources that have been misappropriated in broad daylight is more than enough to prove the need for a new starting.

There is a clear justification that everything has to be re-examined and remade. Layman N. Princeton et al (2014), p 2, have a similar view that ‘a narrow bargain among elites which has been the standard practice in negotiation in Sudan and South Sudan only perpetuates the exclusionary and corrupt politics that are one cause of the crisis and will inevitably lead to future crisis.’

Which is quickly echoed by Dr. Riak in his letter that, ‘The IGAD proposal on power sharing is based on tribalism and it is a recipe for war not peace’.

And if anybody should say that the IGAD document recognizes this fundamental issue but it deferred it to be resolved in later constitutional development process, it is easy to see that such assumption is both weak and wrong at the same time.

First, it conveys a wrong message for those who are left out, like the people of Equatoria and Western Bahr El Ghazal and the Lakes State.

Secondly, anything that is not embedded in the document of agreement is relegated to second or third or no priority at all. If the experience of the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) is anything to go by, then it is a forgone conclusion.

A quick fix is not a solution and it has the danger of deepening the crisis by exhausting people’s goodwill and energy by coming back to solve the same over and over again.

South Sudan has already been going through this and there is no wonder that this current conflict appears to attract less attention because the world asks the question again and again.

Why is this region always in the state of crisis? Is it an atavistic tendency with the people in the region that they cannot live in peace?

But if IGAD is going for a quick fix there must be a justifiable reason.

Since this has not been communicated, it leaves people wondering whether what IGAD lacks is the technical resources to go down to the root causes of this problem and hence come up with proposal that has the capacity to bring a comprehensive solution to the crisis in South Sudan.

If this is not the case then it could be the lack of political will to bring about real change in South Sudan which is now driving the whole IGAD mediation. I am sure IGAD has the legal mandate to mediate to the length it takes to bring about real peace in South Sudan.

The light coming from the regional politics, however, suggests what is lacking is the political will to find a genuine solution to South Sudan’s crisis.

This brings about the uncomfortable view that there are spoilers right at the mediation table who are working to water down what may lead to a fair deal for all South Sudanese.

Apart from economic interest by member states, political consideration of power should be undermining IGAD’s mediation efforts. Therefore in IGAD’s proposal leaving Equatoria Region out has a pragmatic significance, considering what is happening on the ground.

The presence of a large Dinka population in Equatoria who moved in as IDPs during the previous conflict and were not repatriated, because the present government of Salva Kiir did not show any political will to implement that part of the CPA to repatriate IDPs, and now a similar wave of the same tribe coming into Equatoria at the scale that threatens to displace and dispossess the indigenous people, appears to be working on a shared political vision between the two leaders of South Sudan and Uganda.

People in Equatoria share the same culture with those of their brothers and sisters in northern Uganda. The politics in Uganda in the light of which the northerners have a lot to complain about, seems to be similar to that which shapes the policy of the government of South Sudan towards Equatoria.

That builds a good conspiracy theory of shared interest between Salva Kiir and Museveni to see Equatoria completely suppressed just as northern Uganda suffers a similar fate.

Is this far-fetched? No. It takes a very short time in Uganda to know that the northerners are called ‘Banyanya,’ a Luganda rendering of ‘Anyanya.’

Derogatorily, the ‘Banyanya’ were portrayed as South Sudanese who formed the backbone of Idi Amin’s army. These are: Kakwa, Lugbari, Aringa, Ma’di, Acholi, Langi, Alur, Karimajong, etc.

So Equatorians and northern Ugandans are painted using the same paint brush and in the same colour. So much to worry about!

So if Northern Ugandans are reasons for Museveni to be on his toe in case one day they rise, Equatorians are the same for Kiir who cited the story of ‘Kokora’ as during the celebration of Independence Day 2014.

So, as Museveni is not in favour of a strong Equatoria, so is Kiir for a strong Northern Uganda. The reasons are obvious. It is the practice of politics of exclusion and marginalisation that causes this fear.

Unfortunately, this type of politics is entrenched in the two systems currently running in these two countries. When there is a threat to overturn it, the erstwhile beneficiaries are seriously agitated and they try to do everything to stop the change.

At this point, the apparent reluctance of IGAD to dive deeper and find a more comprehensive solution to South Sudan’s problem is not unreasonable or the result of any weakness in the regional body.

This is the result of a pragmatic political consideration, one that has been the very problem of this region from of old. It also goes to illustrate how much influence President Museveni has in the IGAD processes.

So South Sudan’s problem has a strong regional connection. It is not indeed exclusively, South Sudan’s problem. It brings the regional political and economic dynamics into focus.

If indeed true peace should come to South Sudan based on justice, equality and respect for the rule of law, then what will happen to our Southern neighbour, with whom we share culture, history and a lot more in common? Most people are aware of this fact.

Therefore, there is no naivety in simply assigning messianic virtues to all those people who sit at IGAD mediation table under the rubrics of working for peace in South Sudan. Peace in south Sudan is weighted according to individual’s political and economic interests.

These interests, not being exactly the same, by applying the rule of statistical combination means you may end up getting very many and confusing outcomes.

Some of the outcomes are directly feeding into fueling the conflict. So there is a need for genuine, altruistic, intelligent and committed South Sudanese leaders to stand for South Sudanese people backed up by the nation itself.

In conclusions, Fellow compatriots, I call upon you to stand for a great future, behind the leaders who stands for peace founded on the respect of human rights and the equality of all South Sudanese people in their cultural diversity as well as individual persons.

Rigoberto Modi

Gen. Alfred Lado Gore Refutes allegations of defection and betrayal: PR

DATER: 21/JUNE/2015


JUN/21/2015; The statement that the Governor of Central Equatoria State, Clement Wani Konga made to the media on Thursday 18th June, 2015 and reported by Jok Petero in Juba on Friday 19th June 2015 is intended to mislead the public and is devoid of any grain of truth.

Firstly, there was no meeting that took place between the 3 governors of Equatoria and the Deputy Chairman of SPLM/A-IO, Lt.Gen. Alfred Ladu Gore in March. The first meeting took place on 14th of April 2015 for the sole purpose of establishing a working committee made up of Equatorians in the government and those in the SPLM/A-IO to draft a joint position of Equatoria.

The follow-up meeting was convened in May which resulted in the development of a position paper that called for adoption of federal system of governance in South Sudan during the transitional period, security reforms and general reforms.

The position paper was signed by two senior officials nominated by the 3 governors and two senior officials mandated by the Chairperson of the SPLM/A-IO.

Secondly, the 3 governors agreed that since they are in government, they will not be able to lead the political process to popularize the position paper of Equatorians.

They conceded that the Equatorians in the SPLm/A-IO are best placed to lead the political process to ensure the international community, regional leaders and IGAD are made aware of the position of Equatorians both in the government and in the SPLM/A-IO.

They pledged to make resources available to facilitate the production of the position paper and also to enable senior politicians from both sides to visit the neighboring countries.

Without these resources the meetings with the leaders of the countries like Uganda, Ethiopia and South Africa would not have been possible.

Thirdly, the visit to Kampala was primarily to make the authorities in Uganda aware about the position of the Equatorians.

To the dismay and disappointment of the SPLM/A-IO committee that visited Kampala, Governor Clement Wani Konga had written a letter to the President of Uganda saying that the Deputy Chairman of SPLM/A-IO and some of his comrades are separating from the movement and want to be provided with assistance in terms of accommodation and financial support and that the Deputy Chairman wants to open a direct talk with Salva Kiir Mayardit.

The Deputy Chairman of SPLM/A-IO, categorically rejected the request that Konga made to the government of Uganda without his knowledge.

He also made it abundantly clear that his committee was visiting Kampala to let President of Uganda know and take not of the position of Equatoria and to request the President of Uganda to support it in the IGAD peace talks and not that he was coming to beg for assistance.

The meeting in Kampala ended in total disagreement leaving Clement Wani Konga embarrassed and isolated from the other two governors of Equatoria, Louis Lobong and Joseph Bakasoro, who were visibly disappointed at their colleague, Konga.

The two governors even confided that they did not know why Konga brought them to meet with the SPLM/A-IO delegation and the Ugandan authority in Kampala.

The statement of Konga to the media, issued from his office, is simply a face-saving measure and noting more.

In conclusion, the Deputy Chairman of SPLM/A-IO wants to make it clear that the conflict in South Sudan will only be concluded through the IGAD-led peace process in Addis Ababa.

If the secret behind Konga and his colleagues’ meeting with Equatorians in the SPLM/A-IO was to divide the movement, it has failed and has exposed their hidden agenda.

Millions of Equatorians inside South Sudan and in the diaspora have hope in the SPLM/A-IO as the movement that will bring lasting peace and stability to the country and the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM/A-IO is not prepared to betray their hopes and aspirations.

The term of Kiir’s government ends on July 8th 2015 together with the state governors, so there is no point of joining a government whose legitimacy is questioned, its term is expiring and is responsible for carrying out genocide on South Sudanese citizens.

Konga’s statement, therefore, is a desperate attempt to win political favor from the embattled President Kiir to maintain him as the governor of Central Equatoria and is intended to tarnish the good name of the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM/A-IO.


Alfred Ladu Gore
Deputy Chairman and Deputy Commander -in-Chief, SPLM/O-IO
Dated: n21/June/2015

Incompetence or Indifference: AU Mediated Peace Talks?

BY: Kuir ë Garang, Author/Critic, JUN/18/2015, SSN;

It is a general knowledge in South Sudan that Inter-Governmental Agency on Development (IGAD) successfully mediated the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Sudan between 2002 and 2005. The advent of relative peace in Sudan and the eventual secession of South Sudan from Sudan can be credited to IGAD.

However, this point of view is being put to an awful test as IGAD’s negotiators seem lost and confused… or even grossly incompetent. The modalities IGAD is using are mediocre at best and uselessly circular at worse.

In January this year, South Sudan’s Assistant minister for foreign affairs, Peter Bashir Bendi, told one SSTV host that IGAD plays down any initiatives generated by South Sudanese themselves.

Anytime South Sudanese made headway in negotiations, Bendi argues, IGAD would postpone the talks without any explanation. And when the talks are resumed, IGAD would give new discussion guidelines and all parties start from scratch.

This raises many questions as to why IGAD doesn’t give South Sudanese a greater role in drafting negotiation policy positions.

If IGAD successfully mediated Sudan’s CPA then why is it so hard now for IGAD to do so when the conditions of belligerence between the two warring parties are different? The conditions that led to the current civil war are by far less problematic than the conditions that caused South Sudanese to take up arms against the Sudanese government in Khartoum.

General Lazarus Sumbeiywo, who helped bring peace to South Sudan and is now part of the mediation team, knows this. The differences between SPLM-IO and SPLM-IG are ideological, personal and slightly tribal.

They are not as grossly divergent as the racial and religious differences between the then South and North.

What exacerbates the difficulty in the mediation process now in Ethiopia is the mechanics IGAD is applying. The modalities are meant to force peace, claim credit for the job well done and then blame the warring parties should this peace unravel.

South Sudan doesn’t need a myopic process as an easy way out of this war. Any short term solution is going to be a long-term political and security nightmare in the country.

Is IGAD planning to destroy South Sudan?

Why is it the IGAD that drafts the negotiation substance and blueprints? This is not peace mediation but peace enforcement.

South Sudanese leaders are the ones who very well know the problems that led to this crisis; and they are the ones who will lead South Sudan should peace come.

It is therefore prudent for IGAD to allow all policy positions and negotiation contents to be drafted by the warring parties. IGAD should only be there to actually do its job: mediate.

This draft-and-reject, draft-and-accept process is a waste of both money and time; and it continues to endanger lives of South Sudanese. The only hope for South Sudan has been placed in the hands of IGAD for South Sudan credit IGAD with CPA.

This hope is being betrayed by IGAD.

This article might appear like it’s excusing the originators of the problem. Far from it! South Sudanese leaders have shown little to no practical compassion for the suffering South Sudanese.

Neither SPLM-IO chairman, Dr. Riek Machar nor President Kiir Mayardit, sees the need to call a press conference to address the grievances and needs of South Sudanese who were killed, bereft or displaced by forces under their commands.

They hear humanitarian agencies constantly warning about famine but these leaders show little interest in the suffering of the people.

Internally displaced civilians are living in squalor conditions in UNMISS camps yet none of the leaders shows interest. They only pay lip service about being the ones fighting on behalf of South Sudanese.

So what will it take for IGAD to realize that South Sudanese leaders should be held more accountable for the current crisis?

IGAD needs to put South Sudanese at the centre of the negotiation process. And if sanctions are to be imposed then practical measures need to be taken instead of constantly warning the warring parties without actually putting in place punitive measures.

Both Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the Cease Fire have been violated with no consequences. Monitoring and Verification Mechanism is a complete joke!

So why would people who face no consequences be serious about peace talks they are not even meaningfully part of?

It is one thing to impose sanctions, but it is a completely different story to keep on warning the warring parties without any intention to impose sanctions.

If the warnings are meant to condition the two sides to sign the peace agreement then IGAD has admittedly failed.

Undoubtedly, the purpose of mediation is to create an enabling condition so that the warring parties can build lost trust. What IGAD is doing is postponement of trust building through forced agreement.

If IGAD is unable to create enabling conditions for the talks, then it’s time for IGAD to call it quit in order for South Sudanese to seek an alternative process. If IGAD can’t mediate peace, it should stop forcing it.

And this also makes one wonder if the problem is IGAD’s incompetence or indifference to South Sudanese suffering. In addition, this brings another phenomenon to mind.

IGAD’s failure tells South Sudanese that CPA was not made possible by IGAD but by the then two principals: Dr. John Garang de Mabior and Ustaz Ahmed Mohammed Taha.

The exemplary leadership and tactical humility showed by the two leaders made the difference. And peace came to South Sudan because Dr. Garang and Ustaz Taha created a level of mutual respect and trust; and they put the needs of the Sudanese people first.

This is what IGAD needs to dig out of Dr. Riek and President Kiir. Until there is a level of trust created between the two leaders, any naively forced peace will not last.

Essentially, conditioning a peace agreement that will not last would be a great disservice to South Sudanese people as it would put the nation on a constant state of war, instability and insecurity.

Development and prosperity would be impossible dreams for people who’ve not known true peace for over half a century.

Another blow to the peace process is the questionable credibility of IGAD’s mediation team and lack of exemplary leadership in the IGAD leadership as a whole. Sudan, which has General Mohammed El Dabi as a member of the three-member peace negotiation team, is a country that has its own civil wars.

It is just inconceivable how Sudan can be a credible peace negotiator when it can’t solve the war in its own backyard?

How do you negotiate something for others; something you have no ability or a desire to bring to your own country? War and famine are ravaging Southern Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and Darfur.

If IGAD and AU were serious about bringing peace to South Sudan, they have to think about nations that have credible resumes to negotiate peace.

President Museveni of Uganda has already taken side in the conflict yet he’s part of the mediation team. Where in the world does that happen? This is either an insult to the integrity of South Sudanese or it’s purely incompetence.

In addition, Ethiopia is a nation of dubious human rights records. Time and again, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and intimidation of political opponents.

A quick perusal through HRW website will convince a South Sudanese that Ethiopia is in no position to make South Sudan what it [Ethiopia] is not and doesn’t want to be.

It is therefore difficult to know if the difficulty IGAD faces in negotiating peace in South Sudan is a result of incompetence or indifference to the suffering of South Sudanese people.

If these mediators don’t care about the suffering or the rights of their own people in their own countries, how do we expect them to care about the well-being of South Sudanese in South Sudan?

Kuir ë Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically.’ For contact, visit

Wani-Igga willing to step down for Machar, relegating Greater Equatoria to bottom position

By FRED OLUOCH, TheEastAfrican, posted Jun/13/2015, SSN;


*The current VP is reportedly willing to step down from his position on condition that the Greater Equatorial region — where he comes from — gets the position of National Assembly Speaker.
*The power-sharing and the structure of the transitional government was one of the outstanding issues that led to collapse of the talks in Addis Ababa on March 6.

The government of South Sudan is working on a deal that could lead to rebel leader Dr Riek Machar’s reinstatement to the position of vice-president.

The move, aimed at saving the South Sudan peace process, would see James Wani Igga, who holds the position, become the second vice-president, according to people who attended a consultative meeting between President Salva Kiir and former detainees on June 2.

Mr Igga is reportedly willing to step down from his position on condition that the Greater Equatorial region — where he comes from — gets the position of National Assembly Speaker. This would be the third most powerful position in a transitional government of national unity.

President Kiir is understood to support the compromises on condition that Dr Machar does not enjoy any more powers than those in the current Constitution. He is also not ready to entertain the idea of two armies under two different commands during the transition as proposed by Dr Machar.

Dr Machar had earlier demanded that the first vice-presidents position comes with shared executive powers.

Dr Cirino Hiteng, one of the former detainees who was part of the consultations in Juba in early June, confirmed to The EastAfrican that the issue of Mr Igga making way for Dr Machar came up in the discussions, but said a final decision would be taken by the President and the party Political Bureau.

“Mr Wani has been very magnanimous and is a lover of peace. That is why he gave up the position of the SPLM second deputy chairman to Dr Machar in 2002, when the former vice-president joined the movement. He still holds that people should not continue dying because of a position,” said Dr Hiteng.

The power-sharing and the structure of the transitional government was one of the outstanding issues that led to collapse of the talks in Addis Ababa on March 6.

But insiders say that recent concessions by President Kiir are a pointer that his inner circle has given in to the idea of Dr Machar taking the post of the first vice-president after vigorously opposing the idea, when it was proposed by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) in February.

A day after meeting the former detainees in Juba, President Kiir in his capacity as the chairman of SPLM, unconditionally revoked an executive order he had given in February 2014, removing Dr Machar from his position as first deputy chairman. The order also reinstated Unity State governor Taban Deng as well as former Environment minister, Alfred Lado Gore.

Earlier in March, President Kiir had to issue a decree to reinstate Dr Riek Machar, his deputy Alfred Ladu Gore and chief rebel negotiator Taban Deng Gai to the positions they held in SPLM before the war broke out in December 2013.

He also revoked the freeze of their accounts and assets, granted general amnesty to rebels and former detainees, and declared a unilateral ceasefire from the government side.

The decree was to fulfil the government’s responsibilities in accordance with the Arusha SPLM Party Reunification Agreement signed in January.

According to the SPLM Constitution, the first deputy chairman of the party automatically becomes the first vice-president of the country.

Sabotaging talks

Sources in Addis Ababa indicated that the next round of talks known as Igad-Plus is likely to be very tough on those who will be seen to be sabotaging the talks because it will be expanded to include countries from the five African regions, the African Union, China, United Nations Security Council and the Troika — US, UK and Norway.

During the three-day consultations in Addis Ababa that begun on June 8, Igad chief mediator Seyoum Mesfin cautioned the warring parties that the world would be watching and that the next round of talks — whose date will be decided at the ongoing AU summit in Johannesburg — must produce a final peace deal.

The remaining outstanding issues include power-sharing, security arrangements about the two armies, and federalism.

Igad mediators had proposed that the government get 60 per cent of the posts, the rebels 30 per cent, while the former political detainees other political parties get 10 per cent.

The rebels were demanding a ratio of 45:45:10. END

The Way forward for peace in South Sudan: Equatoria Community in UK

From: The Equatorian Community in the United Kingdom
To: The Chair of IGAD-Plus, C/o H.E Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (IGAD, TROIKA, UN, AU, EU, and China)
cc The Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS), SPLM/A-IO, and Governors of Equatoria States.

Date: 10th May 2015

MAY/23/2015, SSN,
Your Excellencies,

Re: The Way Forward for Peace in South Sudan;

We, the Equatorian community in the United Kingdom, met in Manchester, England on 18th April 2015 and discussed the ongoing conflict in our beloved country.

We appreciate IGAD and the international community’s relentless efforts in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in South Sudan. We note with great sadness that the ongoing conflict has caused untold suffering and looming humanitarian disaster to our people in the country.

We are also deeply disappointed that the parties to the conflict (GRSS and SPLM-in Opposition) have continually violated The Declaration of Principles and Cease Fire Agreements already reached.

It is our conviction that the solution to the current conflict does not lie in simple power-sharing modalities as trends of the ongoing negotiations indicate. However, we strongly feel that addressing the root causes of the war and in particular the inclusion of all stakeholders in the peace process – as stipulated in the IGAD Agreement of the 9th May 2014 – will bring meaningful, sustainable and just peace to the people of South Sudan.

In this document, we urge IGAD-plus and both the negotiating parties to seriously consider our assessment of the problems and the humble solutions offered. We have focused our attention on two main contentious areas: (1) Security, and (2) Governance.

The ongoing civil war has adversely caused severe insecurity across the country. Many citizens have been forced to leave their places of origin in search of peaceful settlements in relatively unaffected cities, towns and villages in Equatoria Region. The influx of these Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) has significantly impacted on relations between indigenous population and IDPs as the latter arrived fully armed.

Also, their presence and behaviours have consequently affected security situation in the area. The vices of insecurity, human rights violations, absence of rule of law, land grabbing and occupation, destruction of crops and so forth become rampant.

Besides, corruption and nepotism practised by key government officials including those in law enforcement agencies cause mayhem to ordinary citizens in Equatoria. This is because almost all the security sector in South Sudan is predominantly controlled by one or two tribes.

As Equatorian Community in the United Kingdom, we strongly urge IGAD-Plus and the two warring parties to take into consideration the following points:

i. Ending the War:
The negotiating partners are hereby urged to negotiate in good faith in order to settle the conflict amicably. The voices of Equatorians in the Diaspora, rebel- and government controlled areas must be taken into consideration. If given opportunity, Equatorians in the UK are willing to send their representatives to take part in the forthcoming peace talks.

ii. Reforming security sector:
The composition of the security services in South Sudan is to be restructured to reflect ethnic diversity in the country. The ten states should be allowed to employ and manage their own organise forces (e.g. police, prisons and game wardens). In addition, there must be strict control of arms; and all military installations/sites must be relocated at a minimum distant away from civilian areas.

iii. The military structure during the interim period:
It is proposed that the structure of the armed forces be reformed into the following four commands:
 A national command with equal representation from the three former regions of South Sudan, namely Equatoria, Bahr el Gazal, and Upper Nile. The leadership command of the national Integrated Armed Forces shall be representative of the three regions.
 Equatoria Division: commanded and composed of soldiers from Equatoria;
 Bahr el Ghazal Division: commanded and composed of soldiers from Bahr el Ghazal; and
 Upper Nile Division: commanded and composed of soldiers from Upper Nile.

In order to ensure that military power is not concentrated in the hands of one tribe or region to the detriment of the rest, it is important that future security arrangements and armed forces be divided into regional commands, with each of the three former regions of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal take control of their respective security forces (Figure 1).
(Figure 1: Proposed security arrangements in South Sudan)

This structure for reforming the national army should be implemented during the interim period.
Currently, the army is dominated by only two ethnic groups. Our country would not have been plunged into this devastating war had recruitment into national army was handled on the basis of proportional representation of all tribes across South Sudan.

As a matter of fact, the ongoing war initially started along ethnic dimension – Dinka vs Nuer- whereby revenge killings resulted in tremendous loss of lives from both sides.

To make sure this scenario does not repeat itself in the future, the formation of the new national army and security services must be formed on the basis of proportional representation among the three regions of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal.

iv. Return of all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their places of origin:
As soon as the ongoing war ends, all IDPs and their cattle must return to their places of origin.
—– Their presence in Equatoria causes significant insecurity and intercommunal conflicts between IDPs and the indigenous communities; left unresolved this could ignite future conflicts.
—– IDPs have contributed adversely in community relation in South Sudan, especially in Equatoria. This is because most IDPs are involved in land grabbing issues, conspiracy to out-manoeuvre the indigenous population, oppressed them and permanently occupy Equatorian land. ——– There is also the irreconcilable lifestyle difference between pastoralists’ ways of life of IDPs as compared to agricultural lifestyle of Equatorians.

v. Land issues:
Land laws should be reviewed to address respect for other people’s land. Acquisition of personal property(ies) including land must be carried out in a rightful and legitimate manner; by seeking consent of the rightful owners.

vi. Human rights:
We commend the efforts of the African Union Human Rights Commission for investigating possible human rights abuses in South Sudan. Furthermore, we appreciate the efforts and determination of the former President of Nigeria, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, for conducting investigation into atrocities committed, human rights violations, destruction of properties, other war crimes and their perpetrators. We therefore urge the chairman of IGAD to ensure the release of this report with immediate effect.

We believe that this report holds the key to bringing those implicated in committing the atrocities and other war-related crimes to face justice. We also urge IGAD plus to follow through the implementation of all recommendations in that report.

vii. Implementation of the UN Security Council sanctions
We thank the UN and its various agencies for their humanitarian support for the suffering people of South Sudan, the IDPs, those in UNMISS compounds and those in neighbouring countries.
We would also like to join other concerned members of the international community in supporting the UN Security Council resolution 2206 (2015) for immediate imposition of targeted sanctions against individuals and entities who are seen to be obstructing the peace process, and those responsible for committing war crimes.

The governance problems facing the Republic of South Sudan can be summarised as follows:

 Tribal domination of the country by one tribe: The three organs of the state (judiciary, executive, and legislation) are dominated by the same tribe; the security organs are also dominated by the same tribe; and the country is slowly moving towards tribal hegemony.
 Human rights abuse: The killings of civilians are not addressed; there is rampant injustice with impunity.
 Corruption: The citizens are witnessing looting of state resources; and there is lack of accountability for loss of those national resources.
 Structure of states in the Country: The structure of the state needs to be reviewed to determine the viability of the current ten states versus the 3 former regions (Equatoria, Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile), and the recently proposed 21 states by SPLM-IO.
 Type of Leadership: The limitation of current leadership is the focus on positions, and ruling by decrees. We need to identify the systems of Federalisms that best suits independence of each regions/state in the country.

The Solutions
viii. Federal system of Governance: Federalism should be adopted as the system of governance in South Sudan.

Given the ethnic diversity and divergent political aspirations, coupled with vastness, remoteness and poor infrastructure in the country; the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) needs to adopt a new model of governance – FEDERALISM.

Under the present government, power and resources have been concentrated at central level leaving states and counties with limited abilities to exercise real local governance; to influence development, enforce laws and maintain security. Given that the current status quo is not working well, and therefore unacceptable, the interim period is a good time to pilot Federalism, which will be ratified in the permanent constitution.

We, the Equatorian community in the UK, add our voice to the call for federalism. This is because a genuine federal system will enable separation of powers between levels and organs of the government. This needs to be included in the peace agreement to be implemented by the proposed interim government of national Unity.

ix. Develop and adopt a shared vision for South Sudan:
As South Sudan is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious country, its existence as a just, united, peaceful and prosperous country will depend on recognition of the people of Equatoria and other ethnic minorities as equal stakeholders in the forthcoming peace talks. Strong foundation for nation building in South Sudan will only be realised if our leaders consider shared vision and responsibility for all the tribes in the country.

x. Inclusive Government:
All the 64 tribes must be represented in all the national institutions (Executive, Legislature, and the Judiciary). Proportional representation of all minority groups must be clearly outlined in the future constitutional review.

xi. Corruption & employment policies:
New employment policies need to be developed and adopted that will ensure adherence to equal opportunities in all government institutions. Laws against discrimination need to be enacted and there should be transparency in recruitment and appointment of public service officials, and the security sector. Employment must be based on merit where the best person for the job must be recruited.

Financial probity and accountability for the national resources must be instilled in all Government Institutions. This should be legally enforced.

The International community, including TROIKA, EU and other countries must exercise their influence to ensure that the financial support they give to the Government of the Republic of South Sudan are properly accounted for. As Diaspora community, we contribute through the tax system in funding the financial aid to South Sudan, and therefore we too demand assurance that our tax payers’ money is being used for the intended purpose.

xii. The Presidency:
Given that the current conflict has directly implicated President, Salva Kiir Mayardiit and former Vice President, Dr Riak Machar, – both leaders have failed the nation; hence they should step aside from leading the Transitional Government of National unity (TGNU) during the interim administration.

A new leader must be selected from one of the minority tribes in South Sudan, as a neutral figure to bring South Sudan together.

Equatoria has a track record of unifying the people of South Sudan and we therefore recommend an Equatorian to be tasked with the responsibility of leading the country during the interim period as President.

To avoid the issue of ethnic domination of the country in the future, consideration should be given in the permanent constitution to ensure that no President of the country serves more than two terms or 10 years. Term limits for the President must be 2 terms of 4 or 5 years, which cannot be changed by parliament, but by a referendum.

Secondly, the presidency must rotate among the three greater Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr el Gazal regions.

xiii. Elections: There should be free and fair elections after the interim period.

xiv. Chiefs: The traditional role of chiefs should be restored and recognised in the constitution. It has to be made clear that the chiefs are accountable to the people rather than the Government.

xv. Constitution:
The present constitution of South Sudan was written by the SPLM within the framework of the CPA and do not represent the principles and norms of an independent state. We therefore condemn it and call upon the forthcoming interim government to organise a constitutional conference for all stakeholders to review it and come up with a permanent constitution that is grounded on certain principles and norms agreed upon by all South Sudanese to form the backbone of governance and the supreme laws of an independent South Sudan.

In conclusion, we welcome the expansion of IGAD to IGAD-plus and we hope that you will now try to deliver the much needed peace for the suffering people of South Sudan. To realise this, we call upon the inclusion of all stakeholders, especially Equatorians in the forthcoming negotiation.

Federico Awi Vuni
Chairman, Adhoc Committee,
Contact email:
Skype: redbox08

Kiir Government is Tribal Government serving Dinka interest in Chollo Kingdom

By: Michael Kalakon, MAY/15/2015, SSN;

Land dispute is killing people in Chollo Kingdom. All records show that Salva Kiir regime is a tribal government just for the interest of his tribe. Reference to Niavasha peace agreement chapter II, article five (5) concerning land ownership, it says very clearly that community land shall include all lands traditionally and historically held or used by local communities or their members; they shall be defined, held, managed and protected by law.

Now when we come and look into the situation in Upper Nile State, Dinka are claiming land traditionally and historically held or belonging to Chollo people Community.

And Kiir regime did arm Dinka civilians to empower them against their neighbours, the Shilluk under the pretext to protect the oil pipelines as if there is no national army in the country, and yet the Shilluk tribe didn’t fail to understand the Dinka and their government’s plan.

When these oil pipelines were under imminent threat, Dinka militia didn’t fight to protect the oil pipelines.

Instead, Chollo youth under General Johnson Olony were the force that liberated all Upper Nile region up to Wat Akon!!

And immediately after liberation of Wat-Akon county, General Johnson Olony’s vehicle came under heavy attack in Renk town, the attack was planned by the government of the county and no serious investigation done by the government of Juba.

Again, when General Johnson Olony arrived in Makal, another deadly plan was made by the state government in cooperation with Dinka militia in Makal town against General Johnson Olony and his fourteen officers were killed including his deputy, Major General James Bwogo!!

That took place in north of the town of makal. Kiir regime in Juba didn’t take any serious investigation to bring the criminals before the court of law, this negligence made it very clear that the government in Juba was behind all these incidents.

When General Johnson Olony reacted, all SPLA Dinka and Dinka militia including Mathiang Anyor which is Salva Kiir’s own specially trained militia that he used to kill Nuer in Juba, were sent to Chollo land supported with 45 tanks and many heavy artillery to fight the Chollo youth under general Johnson Olony who are defending Chollo land against land grabbers.

Not only that, but president Salva Kiir himself unlawfully grabbed Chollo land and gave it to his Dinka, that was Pigo area, the land of Adhiethiang which, he, Kiir. gave to Padang Dinka.

Now the big question is this: is Chollo Community part of South Sudn or is it enjoying the supposed independent nation of South Sudan?

Or has the Chollo kingdom actually switched from a bad Arab colonial rule to a clearly worst Dinka colonial domination?

Today in the Chollo land, Dinka militias supported by Salva Kiir in Juba are doing worse than the Arabs in the history of the Chollo Kingdom, that kind of practice never was done by Arab Northerners in chollo kingdom in the history of the old Sudan.

The lands that we’re talking about today were held by Chollo kingdom before 1545, by then there were no Dinka around in those areas. However the only tribe that was neighbour to the Chollo was Anyuak tribe.

Supposedly the Dinka started moving into the land at about 1905 according to the available records of the area. Until 1937 there were no Dinka inhabitants in Makal town, according to The Rev. J. A. Heasty’s reference book, “The American Mission, Dolieb Hill, The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. 1937.”

So even, if we can ignore the above-mentioned records and just take it from Sudan’s independence time in 1956, nothing could have brought the Dinka into Chollo land if it wasn’t for president Salva Kiir, the one person now creating and exacerbating the problems between the communities.

Indisputably, the Boundaries are very clear and they are strongly in favor of Chollo community.

Dinka Apadang made three (3) attempts to claim Chollo lands but both three attempts came out in favor of Shilluk communities, two of those attempts were during South Sudan regional government, 1980 and 1982.

Committees were sent to the area to look into the disputed land, the outcome of the finding was in favour of Chollo Community.

Another attempt was in November 2004 during visionary leader and SPLA/M head, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, who just ignored Padang Dinka claims because it was an obvious case and it was a nonsensical claim from Dinka Padang, knowing that land belonged to Shilluk community.

Now when the ignorant President Kiir took over, the case came up more deadly again, the tribal President backed up his tribe using state power to fight the Chollo for the benefit of Padang Dinka tribe.

Finally, we know very clearly that in this country, South Sudan, you can not differentiate between the Dinka as a tribe and the Kiir-led government nor between the national army, the SPLA and Dinka Militias.

This is because the SPLA is basically conceived as purely a Dinka militia and just likewise, the Dinka militia is the SPLA.

But will the Chollo (Shilluk) allow Dinka to take over by arms their land in their watch because president Salva Kiir’s regime is supporting his own Dinka?

This question absolutely remains for the Chollo Community to promptly respond to it.

The author is a concerned Chollo.
His is living in Diaspora (USA) and can be reached at:

Decentralized Federal System: the Best Option for Diversity Management

By John Juac, CANADA, APR/12/2015, SSN;

South Sudan is divided into ten states which correspond to the three historical regions of old Sudan known as Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile. These states are further divided into 86 counties and several Payams and Bomas; the transitional constitution of the new country, which was enacted in 2011, describes a decentralized system of governance with three levels of government: “the national level, which will exercise authority within a state in respect of the people and states; the state level of government, which shall exercise authority within a state, and render public services through the level closest to the people; and local government level within the state, which shall be the closest to the people.” (The Transitional Constitution of Republic of South Sudan 2011).

According to this constitution, while the national government has far-ranging powers, states also have broad executive and legislative rights giving them a fair degree of self-governance.

In many respects, some argued, the transitional constitution is fairly progressive with respect to devolving decision-making authority to appropriate levels of government. And this is especially true in relation to service delivery which is primarily the functions of states.

Even the local level of government is expected to undertake many functions that enhance broad citizen participation, the hallmark for good governance.

The constitution also recognizes traditional authority and lays a good foundation for a decentralized federal system of governance, and yet there has been a public debate in recent months about the merits and demerits of unitary and federal systems.

In a Sudan Tribune opinion editorial, one of the debaters made a strong case for a reversion to a unitary state, and argued that “economically, federalism hurts poor states and most of the time, it encourages unnecessary competition and selfishness. In another word, it breeds inequality and we do not want it happen in our land. Some states are rich while others could be left behind,” (Sudan Tribune2012).

Such arguments suggest two things: an inclination to weaken the decentralized structures in favor of a unitary state and a wrong assessment of governance systems in Africa and elsewhere.

The available written materials show that a unitary governmental system has failed many African nations in the past. So would South Sudanese still need unitary state structures to fail them?

One thinks that arguments in favor of a unitary state in a new country like South Sudan are wrong headed. Africa’s post-independence experiences with unitary state structures has been disastrous.

Unitary systems have produced the high levels of inequality, marginalization of vulnerable groups such as women, rural people, ethnic minorities, urban poor, and the promotion of policies that have made corruption and rent seeking endemic.

Unitarism concentrates power in the center and enhances the ability of the ethno-regional groups that control the central government to maximize their interests and values at the expense of other citizens, especially those which are not politically well connected (Kimenyi and Meagher 2004).

There is often a strong motive for ruling elites to concentrate political power in the central government, and this concentration of political power enhances the ability of ruling elites to redistribute income and wealth in their favor and their supporters’ favor, usually at the expense of the larger majority.

As has been the case in many African countries during most of the post-independence period, the common tendency for leaders has been to create strong unitary states.

Furthermore, those countries that had some form of decentralized governance structures before independence often had post-independence rulers that abolished such systems, arguing that they were not effective instruments of governance and economic development. These leaders saw the unitary system as the best institutional arrangement to unite the diverse ethnic and religious groups that inhabited their countries.

But the results of the strong unitary states on African continent are well known- abuse of power, high levels of corruption and financial malfeasance, as well as oppression of minority and other vulnerable groups and regional inequalities.

Many groups that came to view themselves as disenfranchised and deprived by the existing system of governance resorted to destructive mobilization in an effort to improve their participation in political and economic markets and to minimize further marginalization.

The results were brutal civil wars and extremely high levels of political instability.

Some of us who argue in favor of a unitary governmental system really do not know much about South Sudan. South Sudan is a very large country with a population estimated at slightly over 8 million with complex ethnic diversity.

There are more than 60 different ethnic groups of varying sizes currently residing in this new country, making diversity management particularly important. Effectively delivering public goods and services in such a varied and complex environment presents many challenges.

To deal effectively with these immense human development obstacles that our country faces, we must design and implement governance structures in which the civil servants and political leaders are accountable to the people and constitution.

Such governance structures must also allow for broad participation of South Sudanese people in social, political and economic affairs. Only a decentralized system would bring these desired outcomes in South Sudan.

The lesson from other highly heterogeneous countries is that “decentralized governance is the best suited in dealing with diversity, improving the delivering of services and entrenching participation and accountability” (Kimenyi 1997).

As the experiences of other African nations have shown, concentration of political power in the center is associated with a whole range of outcomes that undermine national unity and national development.

The story which has repeated itself over and over is that people of South Sudan have set out on the democratic path with revolutionary enthusiasm, but before long they have lost their way and settled back into a more centralized authoritarian regime.

This centralized authoritarian regime is characterized by the dominance of unable personalistic leaders who often pursue disastrous political, social and economic policies, widespread and blatant corruption among cabinet ministers and civil servants, arbitrary infringement of the rights and liberties of citizens, lack of standards of bureaucratic efficiency and performance, the pervasive alienation of traditional rulers, the loss of authority by legislatures and courts, the fragmentation and complete disintegration of broadly based political parties.

The primary fact is that all these problems are in the large part the product of the highly centralized system coupled with a dictatorial tendency.

The ruling political gangsters in Juba have reneged on a promise to move the country from its transitional constitution to a permanent framework of governance and focus on strengthening the federal system.

Now there are concerns that the centralization of political power in Juba is marginalizing some national groups and is creating corruption and wasteful allocation of scarce public resources.

The states and their constituent local governments are not really constitutionally functional entities. So what will you do as responsible South Sudanese citizens to rectify this situation?

You must forge a united urban revolutionary front, regardless of your political persuasions, ethnic and regional backgrounds, to resist the temptations by the ruling criminals and thugs to concentrate power in the national government at the expense of state and local levels of government.

For this nascent nation, a major focus must be the strengthening and not the weakening of decentralized federal system. Actions that weaken state governments are likely to create a volatile situation, as some national groups will be marginalized and deprived

According to experts, there are several advantages of a decentralized system of governance for a country like South Sudan.

First, decentralization when it is guaranteed by the national permanent constitution, brings government closer to the people and makes it relevant to their lives and the problems that they face.

Second, decentralization enhances the ability of the people at the local level to participate in the design and implementation of policies affecting their lives. This is especially critical given the fact that the people at the community level have more information about demand and supply conditions in their communities than those in Juba, and hence are able to help the government adopt policies that significantly enhance the efficient and equitable allocation of public resources.

Third, decentralization increases competition in government provision and therefore enhances government efficiency.

Fourth, decentralization improves accountability since civil servants and political leaders are forced to work closely with those who provide the resources- the tax payers that pay their salaries and support their activities.

Finally, decentralization enhances the ability of local communities to maximize their values and thus minimizes the conflict that often arises when some groups are forced to sacrifice their traditions and cultures in favor of some national values dictated by those groups that control the central government.

Only a decentralized federal system of governance would bring these desired outcomes in South Sudan.

John Juac Deng

Why the AU-UN Trusteeship for South Sudan must be Supported


Since the outbreak of the violent conflict in the new republic of South Sudan in December 2013, the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) composed of the East African countries bordering South Sudan, have tried to broker peace between the two warring parties of the Government of South Sudan under Salva Kiir Mayardit and the rebel movement led by former Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

The reasons for the outbreak of the military confrontations which resulted in the massacre of hundreds and thousands of the Nuer ethnic group in Juba, from 15th-18th Dec, and thereafter, are now, well documented. Contrary to the lies of President Salva Kiir, there was no attempted coup.

We are thankful to former Nigerian President Gen Olusegun Obasanjo and his team for a job well-done, but are disappointed that in spite of repeated calls the official document has not yet been released.

We the concerned citizens of South Sudan especially the suffering women and children, who have born the brunt of this tragic war, demand for this Report to be released without further delay.

We are also grateful to the many patriotic South Sudanese who risked their lives to speak the truth to expose the heinous atrocities committed by the government of Salva Kiir Mayardit against its own citizens.

There are compelling reasons for this rouge government to be declared an illegitimate terrorist organisation, and those found wanting there in, held politically and criminally accountable.

The world cannot afford to have double standards. There should be nothing like African solution for African problems. African problems are human problems.

The same international legal standards that were used to hold those who violated human rights; committed war crimes; and perpetrated crimes against humanity in Bosnia, Rwanda, and elsewhere, must be unequivocally used to hold Salva Kiir and cohorts to account to ensure that such gruesome crimes are never repeated again in South Sudan.

In January 2014, a Cessation of Hostility Agreement was signed between the forces of President Kiir and that of Dr. Riek Machar. But this Agreement continued to be violated to date by both parties.

Several Peace talks conducted in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa between government and rebel representatives followed by face to face talks between the two protagonists Salva Kiir and Riek Machar have yielded little result.

The two SPLM/A factions continue to trade blames while stock piling weapons to secure final military victory against each other. The outbreak of the recent horrendous fighting especially in Upper Nile and Unity States are testimony to this.

The actions and inactions of the government is a clear demonstration that they are not interested in negotiating peace in good faith. President Kiir and cohorts continue to beat war drums while entrenching their position to illegally remain in power come July 9th 2015.

He has repeatedly rejected any provision to accommodate Riek Machar in a transitional government in any capacity. He dreads his former Vice President and finally enlisted the support of his preferred Vice President, James Wani Igga to rally Equatorian governors to defend a worthless position.

In his attempt to address the nation after collapse of the peace talks on March 6th, the President meaninglessly rumbled on making many incomprehensible childish statements to the astonishment of many.

One of the statements which caught my attention on the SSTV was that, if Riek becomes the Vice President what would happen if he (Kiir), accidentally dies? I have never heard of such childish nonsense with respect to cardinal national issues in my entire life before.

Is Kiir seriously imagining that he will continue to own and rule the South, even from his grave?

The venom of Kiir and cohorts; the likes of Makuei, Barnaba, Martin Elia Lomoro, against Western countries that helped us get our independence in the first place, is truly astounding.

As though the government alone cannot fight its battle, the government of Kiir has employed the services of the evil unconstitutional Jieng Council of elders, to randomly attack it’s carefully chosen targets: the IGAD, AU, the Troika, president Obama, alleging them to be perpetrators of the destruction of South Sudan.

Forgetting that they are the very ones who have destroyed the South and there is nothing further to be destroyed. People of good will worldwide can now only rescue the country from the abyss.

These war of words are intended to achieve at least 3 things:
-1) With-holding the imposition of the UNSC approved sanctions regime;
-2) Stopping the release of the AUPSC Inquiry Report and the grave consequences it would have on alleged perpetrators of the targeted killings in Juba, some of who are members of the Jieng Council of Elders;
-3) Preventing application of the AU (leaked) Report recommendation particularly the AU-UN Trusteeship of South Sudan.

Let the citizens be not deceived. These targeted sanctions will not affect the whole country but only the individuals deemed to be obstructing the peace process- and they are known. Sanctions will reduce their abilities to travel and use the money they have looted from government coffers to buy arms to cause further death and further destruction.

There is also a tacit declaration of war should the government of Salva Kiir be destroyed, in the process.

The Jieng Council of evil Elders transformed itself from the notorious “kitchen cabinet” during the CPA implementation, to a parallel institution that advises the president on national matters and interferes and intervenes whenever in their view their tribal interests are being threatened.

To make things worst, it has now transpired that this illegitimate Council and its destructive activities are being fully funded by the President through the illicit disproportional budget of the presidency.

They have held the President hostage for a long time and should not be allowed to hold the country and the world at large, hostage too.

Their emergence on national matters is timely because it does support the cause for the country to be put under AU-UN Trusteeship until such a time when the general public are sufficiently literate and political aware to make their own judgments on matters that affect their lives, welfare and prosperity.

These men of letters are taking advantage of the semi-illiteracy of our President and the illiteracy of their so called political constituencies- their tribes. They are greedy selfish bastards who care for nothing but their political survival and privileges. They too should be held to account morally, socially, politically and criminally.

After failure to secure a peace agreement on 6th March, 2015, the negotiating body has now been expanded and renamed IGAD plus which include new players such as South Africa, Algerian and the Troika, namely United States, United Kingdom and Norway, the principal countries, that help negotiate the CPA 2005, which finally led to the independence of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011.

As expected Juba government immediately denounced this move and threatened not to attend should the Troika form part of the next negotiating body. They have since disclaimed the threat.

Despite the threats of the government and the evil council of Elders, the UN Security Council should immediately start implementing the sanctions regime they have approved.

The AUPSC Inquiry Report, must be released without further delay. Anything short of this is a total betrayal of the people of South Sudan by the continental body that has falsely raised our expectations, in the first place.

Going by the adage that there is no smoke without fire, the Recommendations of the (leaked) AUPSC Inquiry Report should be supported as the only sustainable solution to the profound political crisis in the country.

Indeed the violent reaction of the Jieng Council is a litmus test that these recommendations could work, otherwise they wouldn’t be petrified by it.

Power-sharing will never be a sustainable solution to the conflict in South Sudan. It will only act as a cease fire that will surely ignite again in not too distant a future.

President Kiir has made it abundantly clear that he loathes Riek Machar and does not wish to work with him ever again in his life time.

He attempted to assassinate his arch foe in Dec 2013. Even if both men are forced to compromise to form a transitional government of national unity, they are too suspicious almost paranoid of each other especially the President.

It will only be a matter of time before the one who strikes first will eliminate his rival which could again plunge the country into a fresh crisis.

The issue of power struggle between the protagonists is only one dimension of the conflict and should not be blown out of proportion by IGAD Plus, but put into context in so far as the larger national political dynamics are concerned.

The leaked AU Report has pin pointed the root causes of the South Sudan conflict when it asserted that the CPA, while it addressed the North South dichotomy, ignored intra South-South political dynamics.

That the CPA, gave the SPLA/M government the culture of “entitlement”. During the CPA implementation from 2005-2011, the SPLM government and key personalities in the SPLA constructed a government that gave them absolute power over the executive, the legislative and the judiciary at all levels of government.

This anomaly was compounded by the practice of tribalism, nepotism and corruption in recruitment of personnel in the military as well as in the civil services.

There is no rule of law in the country but what is grimly described as “rule of the gun”. The culture of corruption and impunity are rampant.

In fact the former UNIMISS chief in South Sudan Hilde Johnson affirmed that the foundation of the new state is totally flawed and should be “rebooted”, if any sustainable peace and obviously development is ever to be achieved in the new nation.

The problems in the country are now so deeply entrenched that the only viable solution is the implementation of the (leaked) AUPSC Inquiry Report recommendations that South Sudan should be placed under an AU-UN Trusteeship. The recommendation of the collegial presidency that will be overseen by the AU-UN, along with implementation of federalism, is a particularly welcomed development.

The collegial presidency will in the short term, eliminate the issue of political rivalry between peoples of the three former regions of Bahar El Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile at the same time give each region equal chance to participate in governing the country.

In fact after the transitional period, the collegial presidency could be transformed into rotating presidency between the 3 regions to ensure that democracy is not abused by the majority to exclude others from national leadership.

However because there has been profound destruction of the moral and social fabrics of the society; coupled with lack of basic infrastructure development; and the necessity to implement transitional justice, peace and reconciliation.

In my view, 5 years is too short a period to achieve all these and to lay a foundation for sustainable political stability and ultimate national development based on the principles of equality of citizenship, the rule of law, equitable access to finance, employment opportunities, health and education services.

The transitional government should therefore be extended for 7-10 years.

Equatoria’s demand for the Position of Vice President
Prior to their latest intervention, the Equatorian governors took a good stance in representing the position of Equatorians with respect to federalism. This position should be maintained at all cost. It is what will bring political justice and dignity to the people of Equatoria.

The position of Wani Igga as the Vice president or vice president is worthless. Wani Igga has always been a loyal servant to the SPLM first to Dr. John Garang and now to Salva Kiir. His constituency is the SPLM and not the people of Equatoria.

Why is he silent when the land and people of Equatoria are being violated by the government? Why did he not hold the executive to account when he held the second most powerful position of the Speaker of the Assembly from 2005-2013?

From the time, he joined the SPLM/A Wani Igga was a loyal son to Dr. John Garang and now he is a loyal son to Salva Kiir. Isn’t it ironic that when the position of Wani is being threatened the President sends Wani to seek protection from his fellow Equatorians and in turn asks Equatorians to protect their son?

The present illegitimate Transitional Constitution 2011, gives the President too much power. And this Constitution along with Kiir’s government must be dismantled. In his mind, Kiir believes he is a sovereign not simply an elected (2010) Vice- President of the Republic of Sudan.

He or any other leader is yet to be elected as the first President of the Republic of South Sudan, when the time comes. Thanks to the clarity of the leaked AU Report on this issue.

In a system where the President wields absolute power and the organs of government have no checks and balances of power, the position of the Vice President is rendered worthless. Vice President Wani Igga should have by now asked Kiir to step down and give him Wani Igga, the chance to be President to restore peace to the country. The question is, when will he pluck sufficient courage to confront his boss?

Where is it written in that flawed Constitution, that Equatorians must always deputise a Dinka, or a Nuer ? Under no circumstances should Equatorians or any of the so called minority groups from the 63 tribes should accept being treated as second class citizens in their own country. Does that ring a bell?

The new republic of South Sudan is not a free gift to the people of Equatoria, it is a right that was also purchased with our sweat and blood.

From 1955 to 2004, the war of liberation was fought more viciously on Equatorian soil and today the capital city is located on our land too. If the present leaders of Equatoria, accept servitude, the next generation of Equatorians will assume that it is normal to be slaves to other men and women.

The onus is on the present generation of Equatorians to ensure that our young people learn the art to stand up for their human and civic rights and duties. Finally, let us join ranks and not be disunited, by the worthless position of vice presidency.

This could well be a cynical strategy to tie us down in internal squabbles to distract us from engaging in tackling the real national issues that plunged this nascent country into war in the first place.

Citizen Joana Adams

Shilluk Kingdom: The Monarchy Belittled and Betrayed by its own Sons

BY: Mayak Deng Aruei, Doctoral student, USA, MAY/03/2015, SSN;

The Chollo/Shilluks who are going through many horrors of our time must know that their own sons have opened a death corridor, and which passes through their homeland. There can be no meaningful peace in the Kingdom of Shilluk if their sons don’t stop being too ambitious to lead, too vocal in South Sudan’s affairs and too easy to catch political fires. The fact that certain people want to lead, be seen as leaders and want to make profound impacts on political grounds, their people will be forced to take part in the madness fueled by tribal sentiments.

So long as Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, Gen. Pagan Amum Okeich, Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak and Gen. Johnson Olony/Oliny or whatever the correct spelling is, and if they continue to aim high for military and political influences, Shilluk Kingdom would not be peaceful.

For unknown reasons, people are mixing national affairs with local’s land disputes. That is not only in Shilluk Kingdom, but across South Sudan where people are so confused, and cannot differentiate between national issues and local issues. Please go down the river of life and follow the trail.

First, let’s look at what the Shilluk Kingdom really means to South Sudan as a sovereign State. We know for a fact that Chollo/Shilluks have been ruled by Kings for centuries, and they are still under Monarch with some influential Chiefs leading the way in the affairs of their Society and the Nation as a whole.

Are we supposed to be discussing tribes when talking about crises in the Republic of South Sudan? Hell yeah, why not? The raging fire in South Sudan was fueled by tribal hatreds, and Shilluks have their part in the crisis. For that reason, reaching to the bottom of our problems is the way to prepare for better future, absence the tribal mindsets.

There is something very unique about the Shilluks, they have been very active in Sudan’s politics, played crucial roles in the liberation struggles, took part in the split of the SPLM/SPLA in 1991, famously engaged the Government of Southern Sudan on many avenues, and continued to do so after the independence of South Sudan. But why are Shilluks seen everywhere while their numbers are very few?

For God knows, Shilluks are too ambitious to lead and fragmented to hang on to their cause. Well, that is a too simplistic way to describe a tribe.

As a matter of fact, Shilluks are not alone in that quest, some small sub-tribes of Jieeng/Dinka (Chiefdoms), well known for shaping young boys into effective leaders have built enemies over time, out of nowhere, and have had their villages overrun several times, and by those who charge them with being too eager to lead, along with coined/made up terms, “born to rule.”

Without exaggerating what this community (Shilluk) really means to South Sudanese, we must give credits to those who have sacrificed their energies and times for the good cause of South Sudanese. For one thing, politics is not for everyone, but those who aspires to be politicians know or should know the risks associated with leading in a multiethnic nation like the Republic of South Sudan.

In the fresh politics of South Sudan, some of Shilluks, politicians and army officers are household names, for good or bad. We know that people like Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak, a courageous SPLA commander, the first Army Chief of SPLA General Staff in the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan, former minister for Regional Cooperation, and lastly served as minister for Security in the Office of the President was a well respected Officer during the liberation struggle.

Along the same line, Gen. Pagan Amum Okeich was one of the high ranking members of the SPLM/SPLA (after the SPLM/SPLA-High Command became defunct), one of the key players in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), SPLM Secretary General between 2005-2013, and who campaigned pretty hard for the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

And of course, we know the two vocal doctors: Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin and Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba. As many people may remember, Dr. Lam Akol was alleged to have been the main Architect of the 1991 SPLM/SPLA’s split, a political Monster in both the Sudanese and South Sudanese politics, an academician whose education never become obsolete and the most feared opposition leader by the South Sudanese Government in Juba.

For the record, Dr. Lam Akol has written about the tragic event of 1991, presented a very detailed account of the event, and those who read for future generations can infer that he has admitted his roles, and blamed some acute fouls (killing of Dinka’s officers) on his boss, Dr. Riek Machar.

Before heading to the warlords, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba is another controversial political figure who switches sides whenever his political views are threatened, and never keeps quiet regardless of mounting pressures on his life. Let’s also give him credit for he sacrificed his leg for the good cause of South Sudanese.

Down the line, we know those of Colonel Robert Gwang (may be a General now in the Government of take-whatever-you-like/want), the then leader of the SSDM/A-Upper Nile Faction. In that same death squad, the now Gen. Johnson Olony was one of Robert Gwang’s deputies. The two warlords had a heated showdown before Robert Gwang signed his own peace deal with the Government of South Sudan, leaving Johnson Olony to sacrifice few brainless boys for his own political good.

These dudes, Gwang and Olony are criminals, they ought to be charged, tried for using children to fight senseless wars, abusing their youthful time and diminishing their opportunities to succeed in life.

The warlords (Robert Gwang and Johnson Olony), with the help of the Sudanese Government in Khartoum engaged the Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan before the historic Referendum. If there is any particular tribe that South Sudanese should fear, then it is not the Jieeng/Dinka or Nuer/Naath, but the Shilluks in the Shilluk Kingdom.

Given their acquaintance with Arab civilization, the Shilluks are relentless, and they forge political Alliances in any community. Let’s analyze the grand picture, especially their quest for power and recognition in all walks of life.

Let’s take a deep breath, and focus on political venom that they inject in any political wrangling. Well, that is not all fatal, and can be utilized for the good of South Sudan. It is of a prime importance that we (South Sudanese) reexamine who we are, and move forward with a full understanding of ourselves.

While they have been known as trouble makers, we should consider that particular community as a model for coexistence. Over the years, Shilluks have been very influential in all corners of politics in the Sudan and South Sudan, and if they have managed to play such roles, overcame being too few, in the middle of populous tribes (Dinka & Nuer), then who cannot wow his/her supposedly hardcore political rivals?

Not yet finished with the narrative story of the century. The Shilluks are well known for befriending all kinds of people, and they entertains political marriages throughout South Sudan. Take for instances the many Shilluk Kingdom’s daughters that are married, have established their families in Dinka’s prominent families: Paramount Chief Deng Malual Aleer of Nyarweng and other families across South Sudan.

As recent as the 1980s, Cdr. Nyachigak Nyachiluk, one of the first SPLM/SPLA fearless field commanders, and a prominent Murle, got married to a daughter of the Shilluk’s Paramount Chief, Amum Okeich, sister to Pagan Amum and he has been all at odd with the Government of South Sudan.

And the other being the then Cdr. Oyai Deng Ajak, who got married to a Dinka girl (name withheld for the obvious reasons), a marriage suspected by many to have earned him the greatest trust among Jieeng. All of these events make Shilluks rather very unique people one can work with, and people who have crossed tribal boundaries.

While Shilluks are easy going, they are also very sticky, and cling to their ambitions at the expense of their kinfolks.

Despite all the shortcomings, Shilluks Kingdom is very crucial and a place where people should look for coexistence rather than killing their ambitious effort to lead others.

If Dr. Lam Akol fearlessly contested against President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, the Tribalists of our time, lost the election and still kept his ambition high enough, and engaged the Government of South Sudan and lived through State directed wraths, what else is the effective leadership?

If the then Cdr. Oyai Deng Ajak successfully led predominantly Dinka soldiers, and succeeded in getting the Movement to where it should have been, what else is the effective leadership?

If Pagan Amum has won the hearts of Dinkas & Nuers, pushed the Sudanese Government in Khartoum to sign the Referendum bill, what else is the effective leadership?

If col. Johnson Olony fought a meaningless war against the Government of South Sudan, signed the peace with the Government and was trusted again to deputize Gen. Johnson Gony Biliu, what else is the effective leadership?

Just a side note: not everyone who is too ambitious become a leader? Greed and dishonesty brings people down. Oops, I don’t know about the 75 blacklisted corrupt officials in the Government of South Sudan? The President of the Republic reserved the right to retract the charge he made, withdrew the case and we don’t know what happened since then?

With all the back and forth gear shifting, there is a huge price attached to being too ambitious. We know for a coin that Government of South Sudan tried several times to connect Dr. Lam Akol with armed militias in Shilluk Kingdom, charges he denied categorically, and was exiled for two years.

In all of these messes, a reality check will surely guide us through the moment of confusion. How many innocents have been lost or have lost their lives in those wars fought by those officers against the SPLA-Government, whether they have some links with Dr. Lam Akol or pure loyalists of Gen. Johnson Olony?

As recent as April 2015, Dr. Lam Akol’s house was allegedly surrounded by security elements/national security agents, and it happened immediately after fighting broke out between Gen. Johnson Olony’s Government allied militias and armed guards of Governor Kun Puoch. Who is losing in all these maniacs?

The last statement made by Gen. Olony claimed that he is still with the Government. What? So, killing in South Sudan is an entertainment? Where in the world can active army General stage a coup against state’s government, and still be considered as being loyal to the central Government?

Won’t it be nice to connect all the dots? During the second South Sudanese liberation struggle, there was a Dinka’s Band known as “Akut ë Kuëi.” and they composed songs that warned Jieeng/Dinkas (Junubiin in general) against taking part in many meaningless wars. They had this to say: ‎”…Muɔnyjäŋ wek bë thöök ë tëreek, wek Jiëëŋda bë thöök ë tëreek ( Jieeng you will be finished by wars…).”

As we speak, Dinkas, Nuers and Shilluks are finishing themselves for no good reason, and the same song can be applied to the three tribes that dominate South Sudanese politics. It was not long ago that Gen. Johnson Olony was a notorious Rebel commander, allied with the Government, fought against rebelling SPLA’s forces around Malakal, was seriously wounded, and has now started another war with the Government and under the pretext of not wanting the Governor of Upper Nile state.

What do we make of all those scenarios? Well, you can make your own judgments, generate your own opinions, but I will tell you one thing. Leadership is not all about doing good things all the times, it is about mobilizing, energizing and keeping followers closer to the visions. Good leadership delivers on promises, and leaders in that path try to strategize on the best course to serve the people.

The other day, Dr. Lam Akol was asked by the SBS Radio’s Host, and about his former political rival, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, and he had this to say: “Dr. John Garang always knows what he is doing, how he is doing it, and you can only disagree with him because you don’t like what he is doing.”

That is statement tells us something very important, and all the aspiring politicians should take note: honesty in politics is a path to success, and provides a road map to all sorts of shortcomings. For those who only hate their opponents, dismiss what they are doing and fail to avail their own visions, they run the risk of being seen/viewed as incompetent leaders.

As the freedom fighters get weaker and weaker every single day, former child soldiers, the Red Army/Jesh Al-Mer are filling in the gaps (few are towns’ mayors, counties commissioners, military officers and others are states ministers).

The displacements and replacements of the warlords is not going to be done in a single day, a month or a year, it will be a gradual change that the society as a whole must envision. We know for one that humans do not live forever, and the mentality of leaders’ children taking over without proper training is just too unrealistic. We can tells from the files and ranks of the SPLM/SPLA, and the kinds of people who made names during the liberation struggle.

The Shilluks case was presented as a way to reexamine who we are as South Sudanese, and why certain people are dominant and visible in politics, and all other areas of life. People don’t wake up on a given morning and become Army Generals, the same thing applies to competent leaders/politicians.

If South Sudanese really want to achieve beyond extraordinary, then they should stop fighting senselessly, invest in education and start the reconstruction of their COUNTRY immediately. What? Can South Sudanese really strategize on the best course to run the country?

Yes we can, but only if competent leaders are put in charge of public programs, and not those who cannot even prepare a simple speech for a symbolic commencement since independence. We have learned that political wrangles, aided by illiterates are very catastrophic, and should cease if South Sudan is going to be a nation where citizens move freely.

The fruits of our independence have been enjoyed by few, and that is why South Sudan has been burning all these years.

A while back, somebody familiar with the refugees’ lives had this to say: “A hungry refugee is an angry refugee.” In our case, poor freedom fighters can plunge the country into meaningless wars, and they are likely to revisit what they are good at, killing self-made enemies and political opponents to get by.

Take for instance the bunch of semi-literates and illiterates in the Tiger Battalion (Presidential/Republican Guards), loyal to individuals rather than the country and the White Army from the let’s go, and who plunged South Sudan into the ongoing war. Those who read should feed their brains with things that make sense, and those who hear should feed their hearts with courageous songs that encourages people to live side by side.

In concluding this piece, Shilluk Kingdom is in peril because its own sons are too ambitious to lead, and they have done that for decades. That is not a bad thing, but in a NATION where tribes rule, a Kingdom like Shilluk, and in the middle of war-liking Nilotics is likely to be burning every year.

As a refreshment, Shilluks fought in all wars: alongside the Khartoum based regimes, in the SPLM/SPLA Main Stream, split along with Dr. Riek Machar in 1991, defected with William Nyuon Bany in 1992, defected back/returned to the SPLM/SPLA in 1992, fought successful battles in the Bright Star Campaign, implicated in the 2013 coined up “attempted coup”, are part of the G-10 and some are active players in the SPLM-in-Opposition’s political drama.

We are quick to judge what Shilluks are all about, but they are nationalists, key players in South Sudan’s politics, and they would be like that until Dinkas & Nuers start investing in education rather than fighting senseless wars, and over the chairmanship of the derailed ruling Party.

The terms ‘Belittled and Betrayed’ opened up a pandora box for discussion, and may or may not mean much when it comes to political aspirants across the board. The Siege and the Surge continue, Junubiin!

The author here is Mayak Deng Aruei, a doctoral student in Organizational Leadership: Organizational Development. He is also the author of ‘Struggle Between Despair and Life: From Sudan’s Marshland Village, Child Soldiering, Refugee Camp and America.’ He can be reached at