Category: Politics

The Ever-changing Face of Dr. Lam Akol in the politics of South Sudan

BY: Taban Abel Aguek, State MP, RUMBEK, APR/18/2015, SSN;

In a press conference in Juba last week, the leader of South Sudan Opposition Party SPLM–DC, Dr Lam Akol, criticized the government of South Sudan on being against the West. The issue seems to weave around the involvement of TROIKA in the upcoming IGAD Plus talks in Addis Ababa. The Government has since made its position clear that TROIKA should only be involved in an observer role, and nothing else. And for that, the government spelled out its concerns which are convincing to the South Sudanese public.

I believe this position of the government on TROIKA’s role is what Dr Lam has perceived as being against the West. Those people who know Dr. Lam well are now left confused on seeing him swap his attitudes towards the West in 2015.

Dr. Lam, by the time he was National Minister for Foreign Affairs – was a hard critique of the West. Both Lam and Beshir had to depend on Russia and China to thwart the West’s effort for peace and civilians protection in Darfur in 2006.

Now that Dr Lam publicly condemns the government of South Sudan on being harsh to the same West that he used to scorn upon during our days of the ‘united Sudan’ is quite interesting. Perhaps, it does justify the long-held notion that in politics “there are no permanent enemies, but only permanent interests”.

That remains that. But what is trending now is the developing perception among the South Sudan’s public that Dr. Lam Akol might have developed the ‘strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Hyde’.

This was coined from the novel by a Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, “The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. And it is commonly associated with the rare mental condition often called “split personality”, referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, where within the same body there exists more than one distinct personality.

Now this has been taken to describe a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to another.

In politics it becomes even much worse. If one cannot agree with himself, then how does he expect people to agree with him? I heard him speak over the Miraya FM the other day and there he made me think about how many faces he has changed over the period he has been in contact with our national issues.

As mentioned earlier, in the prime years of the CPA, when Dr Lam Akol was a powerful Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Government of National Unity, he was a hard critic of the West.

I remember one of the hotly contested issues between the West and Sudan was whether the UN should deploy its forces in Darfur or not. President Beshir opted to term the UN civilian protection in Darfur as an invasion of a ‘sovereign’ state of Sudan. And Dr. Lam worked for him and agreed with him even when he said that he would ‘rather lead the war against a foreign invasion than allowing them abuse the sovereignty of the Sudan’.

The person that was doing all the shuttle diplomacy was none other than Dr. Lam Akol on behalf of President Beshir. Both Dr Lam and President Beshir lost faith in the West; and therefore, they inclined to go to the East and got sanctuary in China and Russia. Yet, in doing that, he was going contrary to the position of his then nominating party, SPLM and the then semi autonomous government in Juba.

In one of his diplomatic trips abroad, Dr. Lam claimed having achieved ‘victory’ on behalf of the Beshir’s NCP when he came back with a green light for the formation of dysfunctional hybrid force “UNAMID” for Darfur. Judged by current events, the deployment of UNAMID became a victory to Khartoum and a bad loss to the people of Darfur.

Working for Sudan Tribune Daily Newspaper in Khartoum, which some circles claimed was sponsored by Dr. Lam himself; I had no any other avenue to lodge my pleas than to take to the internet. I wrote an article titled, “South Sudan: dumped in the mouths of some Khartoum SPLM Traitors” and it was posted in Sudan Tribune.

The SPLM traitor was Dr. Lam Akol and his associates that benefitted from CPA but allowed themselves to be used as walking sticks by the same old foe – the NCP.

I thought Dr Lam would stick to his old hard criticism against the West. Or else he needs to tell us what made him change his mind now to be a sympathizer of the same West he stood against during the days he was serving as a minister of Foreign Affairs in a united Sudan.

That Dr. Lam has changed face to be a supporter of the same West he fought fiercely against is to me a surprise. That is Dr. Lam’s Change of face number two.

One may wonder why this should be change of face number two. Get it here again fast tracked! Dr. Lam was the architect of the document known to most literate South Sudanese as “Why Garang must Go!”.

Together with Riek Machar they decided to launch a ‘bush coup’ against Dr. John Garang. They proudly announced a coup which did not only end in shambles but, like the current war, caused skirmishes and reduced gains of SPLM/A and South Sudan.

Dr Lam, few months after accepting to work under Riek, opted to form his own party in complete betrayal to Riek. He failed to work with Dr Garang, chose Dr Riek and divorced him again in a very short time.

That represented swapping of faces in very short time by him but we can call it Dr. Lam’s Change of face number one that we came to know.

Shortly after the failed coup in Juba on December 2013, Dr Lam Akol appeared to condemn the actions of Dr Riek Machar. He got the public support to lead the team of opposition parties at the Addis Ababa talks.

But a few days into the talks Dr Lam changed immediately from standing with South Sudanese public position to confusingly spreading his legs over on the IGAD proposals and bilaterally chose also to hold ‘secret’ meetings with Dr. Riek Machar.

Maybe those people who argue that he was lured into an idea that both President Kiir and Dr Riek will not be allowed to participate in the transitional government impacted his decision.

But still he could have been advised but he took the decision. That might have prompted him to lodge himself into possibility of replacing Kiir as the President of South Sudan.

From condemning the coup to supporting Riek, Dr Lam left many of South Sudanese confused. That is Change of face number three!

It was all announced that South Sudan wanted to hold elections in June this year. But backed up by the International Community and Civil Society Organizations, Dr Lam led a campaign against the conduct of elections. Dr Lam even went further by leading a coalition of political parties to court to challenge the decision.

South Sudan, under that pressure, rescinded the decision to hold elections. But the decision not to hold elections also carried legal implications. There is no way elections can be called off and put nothing in the vacuum. That would lead to constitutional crisis.

The best way to accommodate the peace talks without a constitutional vacuum is seeking the parliamentary extension of the term of the Government and parliament to give room for Addis Ababa negotiations with a legitimate ruling system.

That there was one Dr Lam Akol who asked for postponement of elections and the same Dr Lam who again opposed the suspension of elections represents an amusing change of mind in the swiftest of time. Change of face number four!

Dr Lam Akol ought to know – and I believe he knows – that the South Sudanese he is dealing with are not the same South Sudanese of the last decades. If Britain were to colonize South Sudan today, they would have found it very difficult. There is no way we can allow any move to go uncalculated and people are so vigilant nowadays.

It is a fact that Dr. Lam has been relevant with the South Sudanese politics since the inception of SPLM. It is a big credit to South Sudan and Democracy that there has always been an opposing voice.

According to me, that is healthy politics. But it must be noted that criticism must rightfully be placed. And one should not oppose just for the sake of being in opposition.

The Opposition and all the groups that led a campaign against the holding of elections should not look at the extension of government as means for Kiir to earn extra years in power. Rather, it should be viewed as a concession by the government.

President Beshir of Sudan has been constantly extending his rule through bogus elections. South Sudan has tried to avoid such a case. Kiir would have contested elections and likely win a five year term in office.

But the decision to delay elections was taken to give time for peace negotiations. By God’s grace, if the final peace deal is signed, then its terms may take complete precedence to what was done by parliament.

Someone needs to tell me how we can pass peace documents without a functioning Assembly? We need the assembly to enact into law the agreed terms of the peace agreement.

South Sudan is not against the West as alleged by Dr Lam. It’s him who holds records for being so ardently against the West. For him to change sides now is simply foxing.

Nevertheless, Dr. Lam Akol is a role model for so many young people. He is indeed a capable leader. But the society we are in is one of the most difficult ones. Every act is placed under a scrutiny. Therefore, one needs to calculate his actions and take decisions that garner the public support and then stay by them.

To change is not bad, but to keep changing is not healthy. It’s high time that Dr. Lam tries to make up his mind and tell us one thing. South Sudanese should not be told to move to the sun and when they are there, someone again says come to the moon.

Taban Abel Aguek works in Rumbek – South Sudan as a member of State Legislative Assembly. He can be reached at

The Regime can run as much as it could but never will it win the race of reality

By: Yien Lam, APR/08/2015, SSN;

Since the beginning of this man-made crises, the regime has tried everything that is possible to stay in power while invalidating the heinous crime that it has committed to our beloved country by killing its own people base on their ethnicity. This is the crime against humanity as it has been proven by the AU report.

As the matter of fact, the regime has been running back and forth by bluffing the world and using an ineffective organization known IGAD as the only one that could bring peace in south Sudan.

If one has the logical reason as I have, how can an organization whose member states has been the part of the ground war make the peace in the country? Be the judge!

Could that be possible if one clearly differentiate the human waste and the cow dung? This is blooey circumstance in my view on IGAD since the beginning of the peace negation and will never work as I prognosticated it earlier in the previous articles that I wrote. It is just as the business as usually.

As the reality, the regime uses the IGAD as the delaying tactics to buy time for its survival in order to mislead South Sudanese that the peace is going to materialize in the days that will never come to life.

But the truth of the matter is, one can buy people but not the truth. The regime can run as much as it wants, but will never win the race of authenticity as the western phrase goes “you can run as much as you can, but will never hide from your crime.”

This will be so with the regime of kiir in southsudan.The blood of the people that it’s premeditated killing will haunt the regime in the days to come if not months.

Moreover, the regime has not been using only IGAD as the tool to make peace in south Sudan. It went further to influence the AU commission of an inquiry headed by the former Nigeria president Olusegun Obasanjo by delaying the report that supposed to be released in February of 2014.

As the matter of fact, the regime argues that it will jeopardy the peace negotiation while in fact the peace negotiation has nowhere to go since then. It remains as it has been despite the report being delayed.

These are all the very tactics of the regime to the benefit of its survival. There will be no tangible solution in term of peace being achieved on the watch of this regime. It will remain as deadlocked as it has been because the argument that the regime always won is the intransigent argument.

This is always the argument of the persons to say at least who do not have capacity to resonate things. As the phrase goes in Nuer language, “if you chat with the girl that does not know how to deal with man, she can only say no and only no that matter to her and knows”. That girl will just repeat the word No for the period that she may be together with the particular man.

This is the same scenario with the regime that has no logical explanation as to why it does not agree to anything that could bring peace in the country.

In addition, this regime will do everything that it wants to do to stay in power but not what would make peace in south Sudan. It actually does not like the country to have peace because it will not subsist in peaceful south Sudan than what it is now.

It was not surprising to me when I heard on the news that the regime extended its years as well as the parliament’s to 2018 as the looming end of its term in July. I knew such a thing could happen because it’s all about Kiir’s. What he says is what works for the rogue regime.

In this scenario, when you look at this erroneous amendment that is not in south Sudan constitution as experts delineated, how would you really think about the peace as the regime always singing the song of it in their mouths not in their actions?

Would any of you believe in this regime to bring peace? Of course not in my view! It is really far when it comes to the reality. The regime does not favor the peace than the war in the country. This is so because it knows very well that the case of people that it killed with no apparent reason will indeed haunt them later. This is the reality and will remind as such for the years to come.

Nonetheless, it does not matter whether you’re the nerdish supporter of the regime or not. We are in it together. The matchless example of this is Gen. Bwogo Olieu who was staunched supporter of kiir and killed by regime’s.

To make myself clear to those who may be hanging around with ambivalence, this regime does not care whether you are with “them” or “us.” The aim is one. It is to kill every South Sudanese who appears to oppose it and demand his/her rights.

If you are there waiting for the donkey end of the month, well, you are on your own like Gen. Bwogo and expect worse to come in the days and months ahead. This is a truth that cannot be ignored by reasonable person.

However, you may goofily think I am politicizing it. But at the end you will see it as a mentioned Gen. In addition, I would like to add the phrase that was said by the Nuer prophet known as Ngundeng that goes like this, ” the problem is the pain only knows by one person.” This is true.

A lot of people do not know that the threat of this regime is real. I wrote an article about the incident like this in mid-October last year titled “To who might be Naïve if not nerd in this crises. “If you have enough time you can read it in

As the saying goes, indecisiveness is the disease of mind that in fact resulting in person losing all his/her potential. Don’t let yourself be a victim of your own decision as the Gen did.

Takes a decision based on the things that are going on in south Sudan right now. Are things good or bad in your view? Human being is created to use logic to digest things for his/her own survival. This problem was initially seen as the Nuer one.

This is exactly the policy of divided and rule that you heed not to follow. But in the days to come, it will no longer be the case. This will not be matter whether you are Murle, Bari, Dinka, shulluk, you name it. The regime will be relentless on whoever seems to argue with its loyalist. But it will not be able to win the race of reality.

Kiir may try to divide us but People of south Sudan will be victorious at the end days if not months to come and jointly sing the song of south Sudan Oyee.

Finally, Kiir regime can do anything to keep itself in power by running to IGAD, AU and extending its term to stay in power. But will never win the race of reality. People of south Sudan are smarter than the power. However, in this case, the truth will prevail and struggle continue until the regime eventually goes down to its knees and the victory is certain.

South Sudan Oyee

Opposition Oyee

Freedom Fighters Oyee

Bankrupt, failed, collapsed: Why Kiir & SPLM/A must promote ‘Kokora’/Federalism as solution


In spite of the worsening economic and security situations and the projected imminent collapse of an already failed nation, the South Sudan warlord president Kiir and his malign and sycophantic SPLM/A are unashamedly persisting to hold on the reins of power to the very end.

No wonder that when the exasperated leading French scholar, Gerard Prunier, a former adviser to president Kiir himself, decided to resign in 2012 from the job in Kiir’s Juba inept and corrupt government, he aptly described it (quote) as “a government of idiots….rotten to the core.”

Truly, indeed, this ‘Kiir’s government of idiots’ deliberately started a totally unnecessary tribalized war that is now estimated at a humongous cost of as much as “$28 billion dollars if it continues for five years.”

Furthermore, as ominously described by the World Bank recently and corroborated by his financial personnel, Kiir’s misruled South Sudan nation is facing “a dramatic contraction of its GDP (gross domestic product), massive depreciation of its currency and exponential rise in inflation.”

With a shrinking economy, the much-coveted dollars (foreign reserves) are now scarce and Kiir has resorted to massive printing of local currency (the South Sudanese pound) in a hopeless effort to avert the inevitable financial collapse of the nation now happening and the faltering confidence from the financial markets.

Already, the nation’s oil production has drastically plummeted and it’s revealed that Kiir barely gets less than ten US dollars per barrel, and now experts and even Kiir’s own petroleum minister has confirmed the oil refineries are crumbling at an alarming rate with the unlikelihood that the foreign oil companies would ever attempt any renovations.

This senseless civil war being persecuted mercilessly and murderously by Kiir and exacerbated by the 3-year unconstitutional extension of his tyranny plus the illegally expedited imposition of the so-called Security Bill, all these actions should seriously jerk our collective national conscience and as such, it’s time for South Sudanese to take some serious reflections on the perilous future of our already collapsed nation.

For a fact, Kiir is now functionally an avowed dictator who’s heading a typically tribalized and tribally-dominated government that’s wittingly energized by a closely-knitted circle of tribes-mates sworn to viciously protect this Jieng dynasty at all costs.

Indisputably, the preponderance of evidence from different sources have now proven that it was tyrant Kiir who, along with fellow tribesmen, carefully planned the December 15, 2013 genocide against the Nuer and other South Sudanese nationals by secretively recruiting, training and finally unleashing the infamous Jieng (Dinka)-only ‘Presidential Guards,’ aka “Tiger Battalion.”

Characteristic of despots and without any moral compunction or constitutional restraint whatsoever, the illegitimate president Kiir has now incorporated his so-called ‘Presidential Guards’ into the national army not only to wreck more havoc on other citizens but also being engaged in this war to perpetuate the killing of more Nuer under his direct command.

Kiir’s shameful legacy exemplified and amplified by the gross crimes against humanity perpetuated by special tribal commanders in the tainted cloak of the SPLArmy perhaps equates in magnitude to Saddam Hussein’s or even Adolf Hitler’s.

Just imagine! What kind of nation is South Sudan today when the Army Chief of Staff, the Chief of National Security Service, the Head of the National Intelligence Service, the Chief of National Police, the Commander of National Prisons Service, the Chief of the Census Bureau, the chief of the Election Commission…etc..etc, all are the president’s own tribes-mates?

For a fact, this monstrosity known as the SPLM/A (including its entire leadership) wasn’t universally or popularly accepted or recognized by all citizens of South Sudan region as evidenced by the cornucopia of other militias that spuriously sprang up opposing it during the liberation war era.

Inevitably, with calculated reservations, many South Sudanese communities were only reconciled into joining and supporting this SPLM/A movement, after accepting the fact of its predominance during the bush war.

Also, the then prevailing military abuses commissioned and committed by this tribalized army and combined with the obvious “liberation war fatigue” among the people, Garang’s led SPLM/A emerged as the sole army despite committing numerous egregious crimes against humanity.

As a fact, Kiir’s SPLM/A leadership from the onset didn’t have the blueprint of the system of governance suited for the new nation, and since then, unfortunately, our nation under the SPLM/A, has been cruising blindly until it crashed against the rocks on December 15, 2013.

Looking back to 2005 when Kiir and the SPLM/A gangsters invaded ostensibly as ‘our own government’ in Juba, two outstanding issues that emerged were: the first was the “Mafiazation” of the twin SPLM/A dominant government and army and the second was the enforcement of a pervasive and contentious Dinka tribal hegemony in all facets of the government and the army.

Moreover, this new Kiir-led dominant SPLM party and its appendaged SPL/Army, unscrupulously manifested itself into a criminal kleptocratic organization from the top to the bottom, that’s from president Kiir himself and even to his then antagonistic vice-president Machar, down to the ministers and top army generals, they viciously set to loot the government.

Almost the entire appointments into top leadership positions were greedily filled by tribes’ mates who were completely inexperienced, unqualified, barely educated, but…so long as they have the recognized tribal marks …to enhance the mafiazation of the government.

Today, sadly for the nation, kleptocracy is the shining hallmark of the Kiir’s legacy across the entire nation, the top SPLM/A leadership quickly became sinfully rich while millions of citizens, including many relations of these top SPLM/A kleptocrats, shamefully wallow in abject depravity.

To the naivete, whilst the rapidly changing Juba skyline of multi-storied hotels and the V-8 SUV cars crisscrossing the pot-holed streets might seem like ‘some mirage of development,’ the naked reality is that South Sudan is retrogressing and sinking very rapidly so long as Kiir’s SPLM/A continues in power and the war remains unsolvable.

Most of those so-called investors and mafiasos jetting into Juba from all corners of the world are insidiously front-men or women for Kiir’s SPLM/A comrades, who use them to ‘invest’ their illicit monies stolen from our people.

Even though they look like and call themselves ‘comrades,’ in actuality, deep beneath this charade, they’re bitter rivals each one aiming to destroy and even kill one another due to lingering tribal or personal animosities.

This was what transpired exactly on December 15, 2013, ‘so-called comrades ruthlessly shooting, massacring, brutalizing, raping one another,’ we basically ceased to be a one-people, one-nation anymore.

It isn’t a national secret that practically and factually, every SPLM/A member from Kiir himself down to all the other ‘comrades’ have plenty of blood of innocent patriots they killed personally, or abetted, commissioned and sanctioned these murders, just as each one of them is practically a thief…thanks to the pervasiveness of the mafiazation and kleptocracy of their government.

South Sudan is unfortunately sinking down under because much of the oil wealth has and still is being callously stolen or being recycled among themselves into a patronage system; they capriciously reward those SPLM/A members personally loyal to Kiir.

In practical sense, every top official, be it vice president, ministers, governors….down the SPLM hierarchy, is potentially under severe likelihood of blackmail by Kiir himself or his close inner tribal circle.

For instance, millions of the SPLA soldiers and tribal militias’ salaries are first paid to the commanding SPLA generals instead of these salaries are paid directly to the soldiers, as is normal practice everywhere. Each general takes a big cut and the soldiers get peanuts!

Same practice within the ministries, embassies, co-operations and all government-affiliated agencies. The minister or ambassador or head just with absolute impunity takes all or most of the money allocated for his office. No accountability ever, but just a silence of approval.

No country being run by criminalized mafiaso leadership such as the Juba/SPLM/A government can survive, let alone sustain peaceful coexistence between themselves and the people for long.

Unscrupulously, Kiir’s SPLM/A government has severely mortgaged our nation to foreign money lenders such as the Gulf Arabs and international Mafia consortia, generations of South Sudanese will be seriously indebted to these money lenders.

The solution: In the light of the reality that any peace reached and any formulation of government agreed on that includes Kiir and Machar, or between their haplessly degenerate political protegees, e.g. Dinka/Nuer monopoly, that accord will never survive for long before another catastrophe recurred.

In their latest condemnation of the SPLM so-called leaders, the Catholic Bishops meeting in Juba lately, called this “war is being all about power and not being about the good of the South Sudanese people.”

South Sudan, unfortunately, remains an asphyxiated nation that is run by decrepit generals who have nothing with governing a country but only assiduously protecting their own interests by pillaging public resources and enriching themselves.

In summation, it’s time truly nationalistic South Sudanese citizens and the international community seriously embark on new, workable and consensually acceptable modalities for the resolution to the crises, specifically and basically governance issues.

Let’s try the Swiss-style of Federalism, by creating nation-states, for instance, whereby each state has majority control of all governance issues within its particular suzerainty, that’s complete ‘federal status.’

What is urgently and seriously needed is a newer and up-dated form of true federalism that will surely and equitably enhance our progress and cohesion separately as a people sharing a common past and perhaps a common but yet undefined and uncharted future.

That system, tried briefly in South Sudan in 1983 as ‘Kokora,’ or scientifically also christianed as ‘Federal system.’ In our current particularity, this would mean the current states (more can be consensually created, like upgrading the so-called Greater Pibor Administrative Area GPAA, into a federal state by itself) could by their own choices choose to become separate or voluntarily combine with another or others to become federal states.

We just have to look at former Yugoslavia or the once formidable Union of Soviet Socialistic Republic aka USSR, all have broken up into separate nations because of the rejection by others of domination, hegemony and misrule in the then so-called ‘united’ republics.

In USSR, the Russians people were utterly incompatible to the Tajiks, Uzebiks or even the Armenians; same in former Yugoslavia where the Bosnians, the Slavs and the Serbs were antagonistically dissimilar.

Sadly, today, the popular retired Bishop Paride Taban has seriously spoken out about the unmistakable incompatibility of the Dinka cow/IDPs pastoral invasion of his own agrarian Madi people who have visibly become marginalized in their own ancestral land.

This, like other similar scenarios happening among the Bari-speakers or others, where an aggressive and belligerent policy of ethnic domination is being enforced to the disadvantage of others could never exist in truly federated system.

In 1983, the then ‘Kokora,’ which incidentally was popularly promoted and accepted not only by Equatorians but even by many from Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazel citizens, was unfortunately controversial due to the then evolving politico-military situation in the form of the SPLM/A war.

Then, in retrospect, the much detested Abel Alier’s Dinka-dominated Arab-North puppet regime in Juba, which itself actually precipitated the mass call for ‘Kokora,’ was rightly perceived by others, not only the Equatorians, as dictatorial, tribal and abusive of their human rights.

The situation today in the independent South Sudan nation is the exact replica of 1983 Abel Alier’s Dinka hegemony but this time, Kiir has surpassed Alier in the commission and persecution of gross abuses of human rights, murders, looting and egregious crimes.

Anyway, the centrality of the argument in the way of the resolution of our current crises lies in South Sudanese changing the modality of governance in this erroneously so-called “one-nation, one-people” country.

History abounds with successful examples of ‘Balkanization’ of once so-called great nations, Yugoslavia and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) are incontestable examples and even tiny Switzerland has a workable modality of federalism, these can be modalities that we can wisely and timely emulate in our bleeding South Sudan.

The current predicament the country as is unfolding, irrevocably proves that we were never a homogeneous nation at any one time, we’re basically an aggregation of tribes that were emotionally united by our combined historical rejection of and resilience against decades of Arab North Sudanese domination abetted by past British imperial interests in the Arab world.

Arguably, in spite of so-called African-ness or geography, the Azande or Moru in Western Equatoria have almost no cultural or linguistic commonalities with the Dinka, Nuer or Shilluk (Chollo), just as the Tajiks and Turkmens didn’t have much with the Russians in the now broken-up former USSR ‘superpower.’

Furthermore, why should the Dinka, for example, just boisterously dream that they can impose their detested Jieng ‘imperialism’ on the Kakwas or Madi or Moru, for that matter, just as the Russians Czars imperialists failed to do so over Tajiks and Turkmens?

As an example, it took centuries for the English, the Irish and the Scots to finally come to live peacefully in one country now called Britain, same for others like France, Germany… etc…etc.

Tragically, that modality of ‘Federalism’ we experimented with before didn’t survive to maturity because, one, the so-called leaders of South Sudan inside the emerging Khartoum Islamic caliphate became puppets, or two, those who rushed to join John Garang’s SPLM/A in the bush became sworn anti-Kokora propagandists, a psychological obsession that persisted till today.

Unfortunately for our nation and the predicament we are in, what we have in the domineering SPLM mis-ruling dynasty in Juba are severely post-traumatized and stressed (PTSD) generals who’re irreparably and irreversibly metamorphosed into devils who’re sworn to Satan himself to take the whole nation down the path of ruin and stagnation.

They say ‘if men were angels, no government would be necessary,’ and likewise, ‘if angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls would be necessary.’ END

Why South Sudanese shouldn’t trust the Obasanjo Report on South Sudan Crisis?

BY: Taban Abel Aguek, RUMBEK, MAR/30/2015, SSN;

Is it out of love or mockery that Africa appears to care too much about South Sudan? From the first day the conflict erupted in South Sudan, Africa has been suggesting possible remedies to the crisis in the country.

Apart from hosting peace talks in Addis Ababa, the African Union (AU) also promptly formed a five member commission of inquiry to “investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan and make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities.”

The commission of inquiry is composed of prominent and respected individuals with exceptional skills and experience. The Chairperson of the Inquiry Commission is composed of former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo, other members include Lady Justice Sophia Akuffo who is the Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, Prof. Mahmood Mamdani of Makerere University (Uganda), Bineta Diop who is AU Chairperson’s envoy for Women, Peace and Security, AU Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security and Prof. Pacifique Manirakiza who is a commissioner at the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in Banjul, the Gambia.

No doubt, this is a team of well placed African leaders that equally possess huge experience and tested competence.

Now, one wonders why a series of very dirty wars were allowed to rage on in Sudan long before the separation of South Sudan the former O.A.U couldn’t take such a step. Until today, another bad war is raging on in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains and Darfur region and the AU instead of investigating crimes committed – genocide included – chooses to protect the main perpetrators of the crimes and conflicts in Sudan.

No investigative team of inquiry has been set for Sudan. And President Beshir stays insulated from the ICC by the AU. So, there are two AU’s: one that investigates crimes in South Sudan and the other one that shields Beshir from going to the court in the Hague.

But maybe for the AU loves South Sudan so much, there can be nothing else anyone can say than to appreciate such a concern.

The report of this Commission of Inquiry has not yet been made public. But there had only been a leaked report purported to have been prepared by AU. The ‘leaked’ report almost caused an outrage and misunderstanding both in the Government and the opposition camps. Not because it carried such weird and witty recommendations like the axing of both the President and the rebel leader Dr. Machar in the formation of a transitional government, but it also looks shallow, unprofessional and lacking content to match the jurisdictions and standards of a veritable inquiry.

The AU, in person of Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamina-Zuma, has already disowned the report. That has helped a bit fix the mess.

Regardless of the fact presented by the AU in delaying the report – for fear that it may obstruct peace process in Addis Ababa – the US, the EU and so many other affiliate NGOs, still call for publication of the official report.

That makes it quite perplexing how the same agencies and organizations that call for a speedy peace process also adamantly demand for the release of the AU Commission of Inquiry report when we all know that it could delay peace.

As seen in the leaked report, any document that carries coined stories and discrepancies may likely bang the door closed on the Addis Ababa talks.

The leaked report of the Commission of Inquiry, since it now lacks any official backing and rightful authenticity, can be assumed a bluff. But the question remains: can the current team of experts investigating into the country’s crisis produce an honest, credible and unbiased report? And can this commission be fair enough in their findings and recommendations?

Methinks No!

With due respect to each and every member of the Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan crisis with regards to ‘human rights violations, atrocities and so much more, not many South Sudanese believe that this commission of inquiry is one that they should trust to carefully and honestly analyze the crisis, make proper findings and suggest the right recommendations on the conflict in South Sudan.

This is not because we may suspect the competence of the team. Neither do we think they can be manipulated by some interest groups with stakes in the war in the country.

We all know who President Olusegun Obasanjo is. He is a well respected African statesman who made a name in the making of both modern and the old Nigeria. He handed over power peacefully in 1979 after he lost elections to Shehu Shagari.

In 1976, he ascended to power by the privilege of death as President Murtala Mohammed, who he deputized, died in assassination. But he could not hold onto power during the election. Nigeria, through him, saw a peaceful transfer of power.

That he handed over power peacefully made him a darling of the West, particularly the US, Germany and Britain. But just like Dr. Riek Machar he attempted coup in 1995. The coup failed and he was not as fortunate as Riek Machar who miraculously found his way out of Juba simply to embark on a rebellion in a matter of days.

Obasanjo was arrested, tried and jailed for life. The West, because they were the architects of his failed coup, pressurized for his release. Due to that pressure his sentence was reduced to 15 years.

By a complete twist of fate, he was again a beneficiary of death as his arch enemy Gen. Sani Abacha died of an illness in 1998. A year later Obasanjo contested elections and won comfortably. Like an American President who served two complete terms he led Nigeria for eight straight years.

That Obansanjo is a believer of coups is not the point of concern. Rather, the issue – and relevance to the case of South Sudan – is his concept of reforms. Nigeria, in so many aspects, does not resemble South Sudan. So, Obasnajo’s reforms for Nigeria cannot marry up with the South Sudan reforms.

Still one asks himself if everything has worked well for Nigeria. President Obasanjo’s homeland, just like South Sudan, is until today deep in crisis. It has for a long time been engaged in a series of insurgencies and is still held knee-deep in one of the worst corruption in Africa.

The Boko Haram poses a big threat to Nigeria the way Riek’s rebels are to South Sudan. That begs the question: has Obasanjo put right his home country to even dare look into issues of other countries?

There is a belief that Obasanjo holds experience and valid solutions to Africa’s problems as he is taken to be a symbol of reform and democracy. Yet, Africa has moved much more than Obasanjo. It seems Africa is still being driven by personality cult.

Much as we hail President Obasanjo’s huge experience, there is a question of his age. It is my personal feeling that Uncle Obasanjo has not very much energy left in him. The Obasanjo of 1998 cannot be the Obasanjo of 2015. He can easily be outwitted and asked to sign a blind cheque for South Sudan.

The commission of inquiry on South Sudan crisis can be manipulated under his watchful eyes by those that hold very dangerous views on South Sudan. And that might be the greatest fear of South Sudanese.

One such fear is the inclusion of Prof. Mahmood Mamdani of Uganda in the same commission of inquiry. Like Obasanjo, Prof Mahmood Mamdani possesses an intellectual power but that cannot stop us from interrogating his inclusion into this important commission. This is because Prof. Mahmood has a long held view that Dr. Riek, South Sudan’s rebel leader, is a reformist.

At the Annual Retreat of the National Resistance Army (NRM) at Kyankwanzi on February 11th, 2014, which was later published by the New Vision of Uganda on 16th Feb, 2014, Prof Mahmood Mamdani delivered a lecture on South Sudan conflict titled “No power sharing without political reform.”

In the lecture, the well endowed Professor gave his analysis on the genesis of South Sudan crisis, its ripple effects and the way forward.

In some instances he made his views clear on Riek being a reformist – how he arrived at that only God knows – but there was never clear inclination anyone would easily put him in since he appeared spread all over and pointing the issues of the ethnicity between the Dinka and the Nuer.

True to his writing, the British heightened ethnicity in South Sudan. But he equally has his own views and one dangerous thing among them is his criticism of the independence of South Sudan.

Prof. Mahmood made it clear that he was against the independence of South Sudan. He said, “The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 turned out to be a shoddy affair, rushed by those in a hurry to birth an independent South. The people of South Sudan are just beginning to pay the price for that haste.”

Poignant to the feeling of South Sudanese, Prof. Mahmood believes that South Sudan is a “child of the war on terror.” That explicitly means that South Sudan statehood was driven not from our own struggle but born out of the war on terror. There has been no abuse like this on the history of struggle of South Sudan.

In short, Prof Mahmud Mamdani is one guy that has long formed an opinion about South Sudan. He made his position clear that he is inclined to support Dr. Riek’s reforms. He continues to blame what he termed as ‘rushed’ independence of South Sudan.’

Therefore, there can be no reason he could have been appointed into the team of inquiry on the crisis of South Sudan. According to global criteria on choosing an inquiry team should not have been a member of the team of inquiry for south Sudan. It is like sending a sensitive case of a sheep to a wolf.

Looking already at the leaked ‘fake’ report of the commission of inquiry, one wonders if you don’t see the hands of Prof. Mahmud Mamdani. While Mzee Obasanjo leads by his good name, the dirt may continue to be done by the enemies of South Sudan.

Prof. Mahmud has also been fighting against the term limits of President Museveni of Uganda. His inclusion in the committee of inquiry on South Sudan crisis only helps him find another podium from which he could fight Museveni away from home.

So there goes the story of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan! South Sudanese have to waste not their time in laying hope on this commission. They should expect a bad report that is based on manipulations under the supervision of a helpless old man.

South Sudanese shall forever continue to give their respect to President Obasanjo as one of the living fathers of the modern Africa. But that people will agree with the report of an important inquiry committee may only come as a surprise.

Taban Abel Aguek is an MP in Lakes State Legislative Assembly – Rumbek. He can be reached at

The Problem with Salva and his Unreasonable Cronies

By: Riang Yer Zuor Nyak, MAR/23/2015, SSN;

It has been reported by many media outlets that Salva Kiir and his group had a public rally in Juba on the 18th of March 2015. It is reported that the purpose of the rally was for the president to inform the public of why he had returned to Juba without a peace agreement signed. The contents of his long speech, plus other shorter ones made by his entourage, have been reported by many of these media outlets. They are more or less similar, which makes one to begin to believe that the contents are authentic. If this is the case, then let’s take a look at parts of the speech.

Salva’s Speech
Salva spoke on a number of issues. Nevertheless, he never had the intention of addressing them to display what had really transpired at Addis Ababa talks. Instead, he used them to twist the truth to achieve a goal that is as murky as his ideas in resolving the war. Below are some of the excerpts, not in any particular order.

On Two Equal Presidents
In his speech, Salva blamed the failure to reach peace on the issue of positions. He stated: “We could not reach peace because of positions. Riek wants to be equal with me and recognized as head of state. There is no country where there are two presidents”.

Throughout the whole period of the last talks, it has never been the case that there should be two presidents. The SPLM/A has never come up with such a proposal; the government delegation has never made such a proposal; nor has IGAD or any other party proposed the possibility of two presidents. Where did Salva bring such a position from as one of the causes for the failure to reach peace? He must have been thinking that ordinary South Sudanese were not able to closely follow the progress of the talks, and that they could take any statement from Salva at face value.

On Shifting from the Position of a Prime Minister to that of a 1st Vice President
“We could not agree on the structure of government since August last year. We said Riek would be number 3 in the hierarchy but he refused and said he wants to be executive Prime Minister. We accepted but I said there should be 3 deputies…Riek again left the first idea of Prime Minister and demanded to become a first Vice President…Riek always want to be number two to me so that when I go outside the country he remains acting.”

Before August of last year, the issue of a position of a prime minister was never on the table. There was only the issue of the president. The question that the Parties were dealing with was who that president should be. Should it be Salva? Should Salva leave the government, as he was responsible for the genocide committed in Juba in December, and allow Dr. Riek to reunite the country that Salva had disunited?

The idea of the prime minister was introduced in August by the IGAD as a middle ground. Their idea was for Salva to continue as president and SPLM/A to nominate the occupant of the office of the prime minister. In their minds, Dr. Riek was not even the envisioned prime minister. He was to wait outside the Transitional Government of National Unity so that he could run for the highest office in the land at the end of the transition.

In the name of peace, the SPLM/A made a concession by dropping its previous position that Salva should step down as president. Instead, the IGAD proposal was accepted with the counter-proposal that the prime minister be executive, and that the two Principles (president and prime minister) should work together without deputies. The idea was that the two needed to work together as the ones solely given the responsibility for the smooth implementation of the peace agreement. This was to eliminate excuses later that ‘we failed to implement this or that because of so and so who did not do his work’. The government and IGAD refused such a counter-proposal.

The idea to drop the creation of the office of the prime minister and replace it with the office of the 1st Vice President also came from the IGAD. Both the SPLM/A and the government were surprised at the February 1st Summit with the proposal. IGAD failed to explain why it suddenly changed its previous position on the president-prime minister arrangement. People were only forced to speculate as to the reason why the change came about. There are those who think that the change came about due to the SPLM/A demand that the prime minister should be executive, and the IGAD does not want that to be the case. There are also those who think that the idea to remove deputies, including the vice president, was not sitting well with some IGAD heads of state who started presenting themselves at the August Summit as the voice representing the South Sudan region of Equatoria. They see Wani, the current vice president, as the representative of Bantus in South Sudan, and the two principals as representatives of the Nilotics.

It is difficult to understand why Salva wanted to mislead South Sudanese in his rally that it was Dr. Riek Machar who demanded the position of a prime minister in August and, then, dropped it for the position of the 1st vice president. Again, in the name of peace, the SPLM/A did not see the reason to make that an obstacle so long as the 1st vice president could share the executive powers with the president.

I cannot, possibly, believe that Salva was not aware of what was going on in Addis Ababa. His delegation must have briefed him of all developments as to the progress of the talks. I believe that he was deliberately being dishonest. But, what could have been the reason for lying? Could it be to achieve a political goal?

On the 2002 SPLA/M Merger
“They want to take Wani’s position but what if Equatorians take up arm against government? I told Riek we will not appease you and give you Wani’s position again…I told him we will not repeat the 2002 agreement we displaced Wani and put you in his place…IGAD and other countries want me to throw away my Vice President Wani Igga in favour of Riek Machar. If they make Riek the 1st Vice President and I die, then Riek would automatically become the president but if Riek is the 2nd Vice President and I die then Riek would not be the president. That cannot happen.”

First, I find it difficult to understand why these people associate positions with individuals. There is no such thing as Wani’s position. There is the office of the vice president, and Wani just happens to be the current occupant. It does not belong to Equatorians, and as such Equatorians do not need to take up arms for that position. They are democratically, as of right of citizenship, eligible for any position—including that of the president.

Second, the 2002 merger was not a situation where Wani’s position was given to Dr. Riek Machar. The agreement was a merger between two movements (SPDF and SPLA/M). The initial idea was that the two principal leaders were to make an arrangement where one would lead and the other would follow. Salva was against that, arguing that the two men (Drs. Garang and Riek) were both from the Greater Upper Nile. He saw such an arrangement as a way of the Greater Upper Nile dominating his Greater Bahr al Ghazal. He wanted Garang to lead as a member of the Greater Upper Nile community followed by himself (Salva) as representative of Greater Bahr al Ghazal. Who followed him was not his business. Interestingly, he conveniently forgot that he and Dr. Garang were members of the same Dinka tribe. He did not see the possibility of other South Sudanese to see two Dinka men one following the other as dominating other tribes.

Eventually, the crisis created by none other than Salva himself was resolved by saying, ‘Look, we are all members of SPLA/M. We only split in 1991. Since we are now reuniting our ranks, let us go back to the SPLA/M hierarchy.’ Dr. Riek believed that the issue was not the positions. Instead, it was the issue of uniting the Southern front and demand self-determination together with one voice. He believed the he could do whatever that he needed to do to make the war a success in any position. He compromised. Dr. Garang remained in his previous SPLA/M position as number one, Salva who was then the number two (after Kerubino and Nyuon had died) remained number two, Dr. Rek remained number three, and Wani remained number four. The only person who was the victim of this compromise was Dr. Lam Akol who should have been number four after Dr. Riek and before Wani. I am not sure why it was not done that way. It could probably be that he rejoined late after the arrangement was completed.

So, there was no Wani’s position that was taken by Dr. Riek Machar. It was the agreement that the previous SPLA/M hierarchy should be used to break the deadlock created by Salva who was not in favor of two people from the same region to be numbers one and two respectively, but was in favor of two men (himself and Garang) from the same tribe to be numbers one and two in the movement’s leadership hierarchy.

Third, from his statements, it appears that Salva does not see the issues. The only issue that he sees is personal. It is about Dr. Riek Machar’s possibility to lead South Sudan as president. This is what he seems to be fighting against. His political issue is ‘Riek’; his social issue is ‘Riek; and his economic issue is ‘Riek’. But, what about real issues that are facing the people of South Sudan? What do South Sudanese think about the issues affecting them on daily basis? Criminals are killing the people in Juba on a daily basis, and Salva was not able to tell the audience how he plans to deal with it; the ever-shapeless economy is deteriorating on daily basis, and Salva did not tell the rally what his immediate plans are; and health and educational services are in their ever-unproductive states. These are in addition to the war related issues. South Sudanese think about all of these things. Should their thoughts matter?

No one thinks that Salva will die any time soon. As such, his succession should not be an issue in the peace process. Whether Dr. Riek or Wani should succeed him should be a future matter reserved to the time when his death actually becomes a reality. If he has any information pointing to the imminence of his death, he must keep it to himself so as to not allow it to be a stumbling block in the peace process.

On the Position of Vice President and Two Armies
“I don’t agree with the suggestion that Riek be given the position of vice-president. I don’t accept the issue of the two armies.”

The issue here is not whether or not Salva agrees with Dr. Riek being given the position of a vice president. Nor is it the issue of him (Salva) accepting the idea of two armies. The main issue is that the level of atrocities among ourselves has never been as high as it has been ever since the war broke out; the level of mistrust has never been as high as it has become; the level of hatred among our people has never been as high as it has been this time; and there are diverse political programs that need to be protected on both sides. The question now is how to reasonably solve this problem. He has to come up with a reasonable alternative—not just disagreeing “…with suggestion that Riek be given the position of vice president…” or not accepting “…the issue of the two armies”.

There are reforms that must be agreed up on. Once they are agreed up on, they will have to be implemented. Salva has already rejected those. But, he must accept them at the end. With his current rejection, can he be trusted to implement them later? There is a need for him to share executive powers with Dr. Riek Machar (vice president or prime minister) so that he (Dr. Riek) sees to it that they are implemented.

The two armies must co-exist. The processes of implementing the peace agreement must be protected.

On Compensation for the Victims
“There were people who supported Riek for first vice president position so that his people who died in Juba are compensated. If its about compensation, did Riek compensate Dinkas he killed in Bor 1991?″

First, Salva is not clear as to the people whom he referred to as “…supporting Riek for first vice president…” He should have made it clear so that we know whether he was talking about people in the SPLM/A, people from the International Community, or people within his government. We would like to know so that a proper response could be given.

Second, no one, at all, associates any position with the compensation of the victims of the Juba massacres—let alone the position of vice president. The IGAD who came up with the proposal do not seem to care whether or not the victims get compensated. The SPLM/A has never made such an indication. The SPLM/A simply believes that the victims will be compensated whether Dr. Riek Machar becomes the vice president, prime minister or president.

Third, he talked about the compensation of Dr. Riek’s “…people who died in Juba…” It is good that he has made it clear that he targeted the Nuer in Juba because he thought (and still thinks) of them as Dr. Riek’s people. It makes his motive for killing them clear. He has committed genocide by systematically targeting the Nuer on the basis of their tribal origin. Any South Sudanese who had been doubting up to the 18th of March 2015 has no reason to remain in doubt after the 18th.

Fourth, it is interesting that Salva associated the compensation of the victims of the Juba massacres with lack of compensation of the Dinka people killed in Bor in 1991. Is he suggesting that he killed the Nuer in Juba in avenging the deaths of the Dinka in Bor in 1991, and that the two communities are even? Or is he trying to suggest that if the Nuer whom he massacred in Juba have to be compensated, the Dinka who had been killed in 1991 have to be compensated first? He has to be clear so that the rest of the South Sudanese who are neither members of the two seemingly feuding (as Salva wants members of his tribe to think) tribes should know what do think and do.

What about the Gaat-Jaak Nuer massacres in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987? Has he prepared himself for their compensation? The Gaat-Jaak massacres were carried out during a different war; the Bor massacre was carried out during a different war; and they have to be dealt with using different mechanisms. But, Juba massacres were carried out during the current war. As such, the peace talks that are intended to end the current war must address the issue of the compensation of the victims. It is only a blind-minded can fail to see this.

On Federalism
“Riek said we must apply federalism but we are already a federal state although we don’t call ourselves one.”

If Dr. Riek calls for the application of federal system of governance and Salva believes that we are already a federal state, then what would be the disagreement? If he agrees with the call and believes in the federal system, and that he thinks that he is practicing it, then, why not calling ourselves as federal?

The truth of the matter is that we are not currently a federal state. Salva knows that. He just thinks that the people of South Sudan do not know what federal system is like. Or if he does not know, then why is he rejecting something that he does not know.

Few things that he must know are that, no national president can remove state governors and replace them where there is a federal arrangement; no national president can dissolve a state legislative assembly, as provided by the current transitional constitution, in a federally arranged state; no federal president can remove a minister at the state level in a federally arranged state; there cannot be a unitary judiciary in a federally arranged state; and etc.

Salva is simply against the idea of federating South Sudan. He knows that he is going against the aspirations of the people of South Sudan who have been demanding federal system since 1947. He enjoys controlling state power so that he is the only human being that matters in the whole country. He has to have the courage to come out publicly to declare to the people of South Sudan that he is against federalism, instead of hiding behind the illogical idea that we are already a federal state.

We need federalism now. There are those who say that federalism should wait until such time as when we embark on the permanent constitutional making process. That is unjustified. We all know what our people want. When the time comes for the making of the permanent constitution, we will still ask the people of South Sudan whether they want to continue with federalism or they want to go back to the unitary system.

On the Dissolution of Parliament
“I told Riek parliament will not be dissolved because MPs were elected by people not us. Even if they are not doing their work. I want to tell MPs here Riek doesn’t want you because he says you are doing nothing in parliament.”

First, the idea that members of the National Legislature were elected is not an issue. The whole process that is taking place in Addis Ababa is dictated by the current war situation in the country. The power-sharing that was being discussed between the two warring parties was (and is) what necessitated the idea to dissolve and reconstitute the National Legislature.

The SPLM/A does not believe in a big government. Big governments, unnecessarily, take away resources that should be used for development activities, which should benefit the ordinary citizens of South Sudan. For example, the current members of the National Legislature are not less than 400. If the power-sharing ratio is taken to be 50/50 between the SPLM/A and the government, and the current members are taken to be the government portion, then more than 400 could be added to be the portion of the SPLM/A. The country would end up with more than 800 members of the legislature. But, then, for what purpose should we embark on such a costly project? That would mean robbing the people of South Sudan of their resources. This is why it is important to dissolve and reconstitute the National Legislature so that we can maintain the same number of people as the existing one without any cost added. It is cheaper that way.

Second, the idea that Dr. Riek Machar wants the dissolution of the Legislature because he does not like the members is way too cheap a politics. They may be “…doing nothing in parliament” as Salva stated. But this is not an issue right now. Dissolution and reconstitution of the National Legislature is a necessary part of the power-sharing arrangement whether or not current members are doing something in parliament. Salva thinks that telling members of the legislature that Dr. Riek does not like them is an easy way of turning them against Dr. Riek. It only shows how out-of-ideas the man is.

On Sanctions
“Let them sanction South Sudan but if they will not ask God to stop rain in the country we will still prosper without aid.”

Salva talked of sanctions as if they are meant to be imposed on South Sudan. He knows very well that sanctions, as discussed by the United Nations Security Council, are intended to target individuals who are found to be responsible for the failure of the peace process. Those people will be banned from traveling; their accounts with foreign banks will be frozen; and the rest of the country will continue as usual.

If this is the case, then sanctions will not hurt ordinary South Sudanese. They have no money stashed away in foreign bank accounts; they do not even have money to travel abroad. It, simply, is not their sanction. Salva should just worry about himself and his partners in crime since they are the only ones to lose millions of stolen dollars in their foreign bank accounts, and their lucrative travel benefits.

The other interesting part of the above statement is talking about rain. This suggests that Salva is turning to agriculture. But, after what? The land has been there for our people’s benefit; the rain has been there; and food has been imported from Uganda and Kenya for all of these years. He did not see any problem with this, as he was not personally affected by the situation. He never made it a point to sensitize our people to produce their own food to stop dependency on foreign produced food. Any leader who has the prosperity of his people in mind—people who have a land such as that in South Sudan should have led a crusade of agricultural production years before the current threats of sanctions. At this time, he should be talking about himself and his partners (who are going to be subjects of the sanctions with Salva) to turn to the land to grow their own food.

Our people have been trying on their own, without any assistance from the government, to produce their food for subsistence. Those who have tried to produce more end up not getting a market for their produce due to lack of roads. Salva should come up with a solution to that problem before talking about rain. God will definitely send rain, but He will not send roads to market centers.

On the Negotiation of Equals
“We want practical solutions and now is the time to do what is best for our people. No president negotiates with rebels, but I went to negotiate with Riek because I want peace, but Riek thinks we are equal that is why he became intransigent.”

If wanting peace means going to Addis Ababa for negotiations, then Salva does not want peace. This is because he did not go to Addis Ababa voluntarily, at least for the last round. Instead, he had wanted Wani to go to Addis Ababa. He had to be pressured into going to negotiate with Dr. Riek. In fact, Dr. Riek had to issue a press release urging those who had influence on Salva to apply more effort to persuade him (Salva) to avail himself for negotiations.

On the issue of equality, Salva does not seem to understand how things work. It is not written anywhere that presidents should not negotiate with rebels. He needs to understand that unique situations need unique ways of dealing with.

The delegations of both the SPLM/A and government had been in negotiations for a long time. They tackled certain issues. However, there were issues that they were not able to decide on. IGAD proposed that the two Principals (commanders-in-chief of the two armies) be brought together to resolve these issues. The idea was to expedite the process by bringing the two heads of the two warring parties together to expeditiously take care of the most difficult issues.

Looking at the roles (commanding the two warring armies) that the two Principals play in this war, and given the fact that the process is meant to stop the two armies from fighting, the two men are equal. If he does not understand that, then, he has a problem. The fact that one is a president and the other is a chairman does not make any difference. They are just titles. It is the roles of these two Principals in bringing the war to an end that matters. Salva should not attempt to hide behind a title to avoid facing Dr. Riek. It just can’t work.

On IGAD’s Shifting of Goal Posts
“All of you have seen me going to Addis Ababa to meet with my brother Riek Machar so that we resolve the issues, but always when we go we find that the goal post has been shifted to another place. And all the time when we go and stumble on a new agenda, in such a way you don’t expect peace to come.”

This statement puts the blame for failure of the peace talks on the one who frames the agenda. This is IGAD. It is true that IGAD has not been consistent in this area. They have shifted a lot, especially in the areas of power-sharing. This has been a problem. But, it could have been overcome had the government been sincere and serious. All the IGAD positions were drafted in favor of the government. In fact, the government did not go to the talks with any particular position on all the issues. They only adopted the positions put forward by the IGAD. Even then, the delegates would not want to discuss details.

The interesting thing about Salva’s blame of IGAD for failure is that he was confusing his audience at the rally. At one point, he squarely put the blame for the failure of the talks on Dr. Riek Machar. At another point, he squarely put the same blame on IGAD. Which is which? The poor members of the audience must have been forced to read between the lines to figure out for themselves what was right or wrong.

“I want IDPs in Juba, Bor and other towns to go back to their homes. The authorities will give them support.”
Sometimes I wonder if Salva listens to himself. To begin with, the IDPs in Juba and Bor are survivors. Salva attempted to exterminate their kind. They are literally alive because of the UN protection. Salva once talked about these people, referring to them as rebels. He is now asking the same people “…to go to their homes” and that “…the authorities will give them support.”

Salva has not yet apologized to these people for what he has put them through; he has not given them any sincere promise that he will never kill them again if the go back to their homes; he has not withdrawn his statement calling them rebels; in his speech on the 18th of March, he referred to them as Riek Machar’s people; and he has not yet reached a peace deal with Dr. Riek Machar. How does Salva harmonize these mixtures of positions that he has taken against these IDPs and his request for them to go back to their homes?

Martin Elia Lomoro’s Speech
Martin Elia Lomoro, the current Minister for Cabinet Affairs, was one of those reportedly made short speechs. Among the statements he made, one stands out. “Citizens of South Sudan, if you remove president Salva Kiir, you will see what will happen to you…”

This scare tactic is characteristic of the regime’s officials these days. At any time, if an opportunity avails itself, these kinds of threatening statements are commonplace. They want the people to start fearing change. But, these Salva’s cronies are South Sudanese who should know South Sudanese better. There is nothing that they can say to make our people accept their current positions as spectators who are not entitled to tasting our Independence. They are made only to smell the sweet smell of their hard earned Independence. Lomoro needs to find something better to say. Or else, he should keep quiet.

Kuol Manyang’s Speech
Kuol Manyang, who is Salva’s Minister of Defense, made a comment regarding the two armies proposed by the SPLM/A for the 30-month transitional period. He showed his rejection of it without supporting his position. He simply called it “unnecessary”. Anyone who wants to make a point always tries to justify why he or she is taking a certain position on an issue. It is this way that one’s position is either bought or rejected. Vagueness does not help. It could be taken as lack of justification or an attempt to keep people guessing as to one’s real position.

The problem with Salva and his cohorts is that they do not see politics as issue-based—issues that are socio-economic in nature. They consider it as a game of lies. They tend to think that whoever lies more wins the game. They should realize that the game does not end with the players. Players just play, and the spectators, who are the citizens of South Sudan for that matter, make the judgment. And that judgment must be based on the issues involved. If one misses the issues that matter to the people, one loses no matter how long one talks.

The issues presented to the two Principals for negotiation were the following: Federalism, Institutional Reforms, Wealth sharing, Parameters of permanent constitution making process, Reconstitution of the National Legislature, Transitional Justice, TGoNU, Leadership Structure of the TGoNU, Security arrangement, and Accountability and National Reconciliation.

Salva and his team did not want to negotiate and agree on any of these issues. The only thing that they called a compromise on any of these was for them to acknowledge that federalism is a popular demand by the people of South Sudan. However, they wanted it to be considered only after the transitional period.

Salva attempted to blame others for the collapse of the peace talks. At one time, he blamed it on Dr. Riek Machar; at another time, he blamed it on IGAD for continuously shifting the goal post. That was not true. Yes, IGAD continuously shifted the goal post. Nevertheless, the issues remained. It was Salva who refused to negotiate the issues. If his response to every issue on the table was a ‘No’, then he was the one single-handedly responsible for the collapse of the talks.

The rally on the 18th of March only turned out to be a wrong circus made of lies and threats. As such, the speakers became inconsistent, illogical, dishonest, and vague.

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

US, the first global empire built on politics of lunacy, sanctions and humanitarian intervention

QUOTE: “Is it a football match between the US and the UK where it should be played for 90 minutes, where on the earth can you time peace.” Says Baranaba Marial Benjamin, South Sudan minister for foreign affairs.

By: Simon Yel Yel, Juba, MAR/19/2015, SSN;

Sanctions, sanctions and more sanctions! Every day we wake up in the morning holding breath to hear the psychotic Samantha Power speaking on the behalf of US, UK and the UN announcing what the so-called targeted sanctions on south Sudan government. Everyone wonders what the US are really up to, is it oil or they want to expand their empire?

The items in the proposed modus vivendi by IGAD are awaiting atomic bombs and even US can’t allow the Iraqi government to have such a band-aid solution signed with ISIL.

Can US persuade Iraqi government to have a power sharing with ISIL and for ISIL to have its own independent army within Iraq for a period of even 6 months leave alone the proposed 24 months by IGAD?

The velocity with which the US wants the south government to concede the impossible and unbecoming demands of the rebels is inversely proportional to the mass of hypocrisy of drone attacks by US in Pakistan and airstrikes in Iraq against ISIL.

It was early March this year when we saw the US ambassador to UN, Mrs Power, presiding over the UN Security Council creating a sanction regime on south Sudan.

The resolutions adopted the travel ban and assets frozen of south Sudan government officials who are branded by Power to be the ones blocking peace.

I don’t know who will be the causalities of Mrs Power’s sanctions, will it be Hon. Nhial Deng, Hon Micheal Makuei and Hon James Kok Ruai for rejecting the rebels’ proposal to make Riek Machar to be a ceremonial prime minster, or Hon. Dr. Gai Yoi, Hon. Akol Paul Kordit and Hon. Daniel Awet for signing the Arusha agreement to reunite the SPLM again and maintain Salva Kiir as chairman of the SPLM?

Is south Sudan government blocking peace? Really, Mrs Power! Methinks not, unless you want the rebels to implement their failed coup on the negotiations table.

Are you really called Power? As the English dictionary defines power to be the ability to do work, am seriously doubting your reasoning capacity. Why your mind is lacking ability to think?

I thought whatever you think should reflect the English meaning of “POWER” as your name carries but naïve me! You don’t have ability to think and differentiate the truth from the imaginary, no doubt you are suffering from psychosis.

No wonder what the US wants is oil and to get it, it is a prerequisite to install their puppet.

The installation of the puppet democratically requires a lot of things to do, like economics sanctions to anger the populations to go on the street and talk trash about the government, overstepping their freedom of expressions, asking the elected president to step down and occupying the government premises.

When the government intervenes, the US and UN will come in angrily and talk authoritatively that “he (president) is a man who has killed the pro-democracy Protesters and hence, he crossed the red line and lost his legitimacy.”

From there, the military-humanitarian intervention follows in the name of human rights abuses and famine control.

From the literate to the illiterate, everyone is wondering what the US thinks the sanction is and does it make sense to sanction south Sudan when the government rejected the rebels’ unbecoming demands?

The government officials have done nothing wrong to be sanctioned unless US want them to abandon the government and join Riek’s rebellion.

Sanctions are political tools that stand between diplomacy and guns, the midway between negotiations and soldiers.

They begin where diplomacy ends and often they come soon after the futility of diplomatic dress down and feasibility studies are done to know which side doesn’t want peace, something Mrs. Power knows-not.

The failure of the IGAD to bring both parties to the agreement is due to unbecoming demands from the rebels’ side but still IGAD is not despaired to bring peace to south Sudanese.

How many years did the Sudan government and SPLA take to sign CPA? Did the USA sanction government of the Sudan or SPLA for taking long time to agree?

Where on the earth can you time peace like a football match?

We all know that after travel ban and assets frozen, the economic sanctions will soon follow to anger the population for the US to find way to intervene militarily.

Economic sanctions are a third option used when military intervention is deemed to be either inappropriate or impossible. It is a default policy option, which according to Simon Chesterman and Beatrice Pouligmy, “reflect the seriousness of the problem rather than the seriousness of engaging with it.”

The political pundits and scientists suggest that economics sanctions and embargo will soon follow this travel ban and assets freeze and finally military humanitarian intervention follows to install Riek Machar like what had happened in Libya, Iraq and other countries invaded by the US.

The first step against a “target” country is usually the imposition of sanctions- meant to destroy the country’s economy and soften it up for a possible military attack at a later date.

Sudan has been sanctioned since 1997, and there’s been what the US describes as “targeted” sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe since 2003.

Syria has been repeatedly sanctioned- even before the ongoing civil war it was sanctioned for being one of the “state sponsors of terrorism.”

Sanctions on non-NATO and non-EU member like Belarus were extended earlier this year and of course we now have US sanctions on Russia.

Various reasons were given for the imposition of sanctions on these states in different parts of the world, but the real reason is never openly stated – namely that they are, or were, all countries independent of the US and their leaders refused to show enough deference to the empire builders of Washington.

Washington relies on a cravenly pro-US media elite to make sure that the leaders in question get the full-on “boo-hiss” pantomime villain treatment like what Sudantribune is doing everyday.

There is an issue which bothers me and other people alot, why Mrs Power didn’t brand the Israeli president Benjamin Natenyahu as “war criminal” for killing thousands of Palestinians or even raise a motion in the UNSC to send peacekeepers to the West Bank to protect the dying Palestinians from Israeli daily bombardment?

This is not even double standard; this is amazing, primitive and misanthropic. One should not crudely try to make everything suit their interest, calling the same thing black today and white tomorrow.

All the Western powers led by US prefer not to be guided by international law on their practical policies but by the rule of gun shadowed by economics sanctions and travel ban, they sometimes come out openly invading countries and dishonoring the UNSC resolutions like in Libya.

They act as they please; here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle “if you are not with us, you are against us.”

To make this psychosis aggression look legitimate, they force unnecessary resolutions from international organisations, and if for some reasons this didn’t work, they simply tend to ignore the UNSC and the UN overall if there is little resistance within coming from Russia and China.

There are numerous write-ups on the debate of whether or not sanctions work; on what sanctions are intended to achieve, and if sanctions-imposers really want sanctions to work the way they declare through their public utterances.

Whether sanctions are declared or imposed through individual countries, regional bodies, or through the United Nations, there is always a political context to every sanctions regime.

There is always something behind the curtain when US talk of humanitarian interventions, human rights abuses and sanctions but one day the world will say enough is enough.

Russia and China stopped the US invasion of Syria and what they did to Ukraine is the answer to that but who will really stop the US invasion in south Sudan, Russia or China?

I personally don’t know yet because their stand is not clear to me on south Sudan.

The US can not tolerate any power challenging them in their doctrine of Full Spectrum Dominance and any possible challenger must be destroyed. Like what they are doing now to Iran and Russia.

The US, in their self-anointed role as “masters of the world”, deluded by their own belief in their own exceptionalism, continue to commit atrocities and destroy peoples and states worldwide, and they remain unchallenged.

They sell their aggressive wars to the people as “humanitarian interventions” or “democracy” operations, but the reality is that all of the recent US aggressive wars have been and continue to be illegal acts and crimes against humanity and peace but no a single country stood up to challenge their evil acts.

I would like to tell the people of US, the people who, since the foundation of their nation and adoption of the Declaration of Independence, have been proud to hold democracy above all else; south Sudan will never go silent if you want to walk on us proudly and unchallengeable as” masters of the world”, you ought to know that we are “masters of our own.”

If you aggressively invade a country for territory or any other reason it is illegal, if you do the same for ideological reasons or because you are against the president or government it is also illegal. And that is exactly what the US has been engaged in time and time again to expand their empire and promote their interest.

Can anyone imagine Guem, an island neighboring Philippines to be under US administration? Do you know how far is the US with Guem?

US just hand-picked a typical American not from Guem to be the governor. How do you call that, it is democracy or colonization? This is what Mrs. Power wants, turning the independent country (south Sudan) to be a territory of the US.

There is a long list of countries where the US has organized coup d’états, supported revolutions, overthrown governments, invaded, annexed, supported groups or forces who overthrew or attempted to overthrow governments or outright executed the leaders. Again all of these “interventions” were illegal, and south Sudan soon will follow.

The toppling of the governments by their (US) puppets can be portrayed as a “democratic revolution” like in Ukraine and other countries while condemning and killing the same democratic revolution to take place in other countries.

The same democratic revolution happened in Jordan and Saudia Arabia but it all died down because the US is friend to the governments.

Terrorist proxies, described of course as “rebels” and “pro-democracy freedom fighters,” are also used to foment civil war with the aim of destabilizing independently-minded governments -and providing a pretext for a US-led “humanitarian” military intervention.

All what had happened in many countries invaded by US are likely to happen in south Sudan. Imagine Susan Page saying that the rebels in south Sudan are fighting “a just war.

It is just a matter of time and the US will declare officially their support to Riek’s rebellion and called it “pro-democracy fighters” to fight illegitimate president.

If the rebels of Riek need further support, and the supply of arms, equipment and money is not enough, then of course there’s the option of direct military intervention to help them defeat the government- as occurred in Libya in 2011.

Mendacity is indeed the hallmark of modern US imperialism.

The current US Empire is a more dishonest project than the British Empire- because at least then the British openly acknowledged having an empire.

But the US never acknowledges its empire building- not only that, imperial propagandists have the chutzpah to falsely accuse others of territorial expansionism and of trying to build their own empires.

It is clear that by any objective assessment US imperialism is the biggest cause of instability in the world today and has been for many years now.

The rise of ISIL and the growth of jihadist groups generally is directly caused by US’s hegemonic aspirations in the Middle East- and its decision to target secular, independently- minded governments such as the ones of Saddam in Iraq, Gadaffi in Libya and Assad in Syria, which were bulwarks against Islamic fundamentalism.

Sometimes it seems to be an almost useless fight to try to bring the truth to the American people and the world given the way they have been lied to and convinced of their own exceptionalism but the truth must be known and in the end it is only the truth that will set us all free from tyranny.

Even simple readers from the West and West sympathizers in Africa have been conditioned to attack the messenger for the message and try to discredit anyone who shows them the illegality of their leaders, I am sure I will be attacked for what I have written here but if one person sees the truth then the effort was worth it.

To conclude, I want to make it very crystal clear, as they (US) always say, to the US, UK, UN and their sympathizers that your days are numbered and the war you are trying to weigh on south Sudan is very expensive and I want to assure you that south Sudan can’t and will never be like Libya and Iraq that you have easily invaded, you will never get away with this time.

The writer is south Sudan citizen and can be reached at or 0955246235

Hypocrisy and Self-Interest at the failed IGAD-brokered South Sudan ‘Peace Talks’

BY: Kuir ë Garang, ALBERTA, Canada, MAR/11/2015, SSN;

Now that the warring parties have failed to sign a peace deal to end the 15-month old conflict in South Sudan, the jittery public is asking: “What’s Next?” And ‘what’s next’ is the unquestionable reworking of the entire peace process. Winning militarily is an illusion.

In October last year, Ethiopian Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn told a press conference after the two principals in the conflict failed to strike a deal arguing that changing the negotiating strategy would not bring results. Bizarrely, he advocated for the same strategy that was proving fruitless.

When the last round of the talks failed [again] on March 6, Mr. Desalegn, however, seemed to have had an epiphany. Having come to the realization that using the same strategy over and over without results is foolhardy, the Prime Minister finally called for a change in strategy.

While we all understand that the two principals have failed South Sudanese for having started the war and failing to end it, we have to remember the mediocre method used by IGAD and the patronage being exercised by the regional leaders and the African Union.

In January, the deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter Bashir Bandi, gave an interview to SSTV and what he said underlined what many of us have been advocating for for months. Mr. Bandi explained how South Sudanese brokered ways forward were frustrated by IGAD’s mediation team.

Anytime South Sudanese made progress at the talks, he argues, IGAD would postpone the talks without giving any reasons and without consulting the two delegations.

Besides, IGAD is not mediating the talks, but forcing them. There’s never been a peace initiative in which talks are given strict timelines and the parties threatened to sign or they be punished. We don’t need the peace talks if the arsenals mediators have are threats. Threats are symptomatic of mediators’ failure.

The attitude regional and African leaders have adopted towards South Sudanese leaders is condescending, patronizing and disrespectful. With no doubt, South Sudanese civilians are suffering and dying and the country’s development has been frustrated. However, regional leaders are treating South Sudanese leaders like idiots, who can’t think for themselves.

Unfortunately, the leaders are playing along with such disrespectful patronization. And I agree with Dr. Marial Benjamin: there’s nowhere in the world where you give peace a deadline.

Dr. Riek Machar and President Kiir Mayardit have brought the country to its knees and it’s high time they pulled it back up. Time and again, the two leaders have asked to be allowed to negotiate as South Sudanese but IGAD refuses to listen.

Kiir and Riek should realize the patronizing manner in which they are being treated and take charge of the talks. Do we really need such useless IGAD’s mediation?

Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin has proven incapable of mediating peace. Instead of the stakeholders drafting positional papers, which IGAD can just work through for a compromise, all draft papers are written by IGAD and given to the two sides with “sign it now or be punished!” That’s not mediation but self-serving blackmail!

Is it really impossible for Kiir and Riek to call a south-south meeting in Nairobi or Addis Ababa and strike an understanding without the patronage and condescension of the ineffective regional leaders?

And how do we expect people who haven’t brought peace to their own countries to be interested in peace in South Sudan?

Ethiopia arrests political opponents, journalists and bloggers. It still hasn’t solved the problem of Oromo Liberation Front. Human Rights Watch in May of 2014 called for Ethiopia to respect human rights and prosecute security forces abuses in Gambella, Somali region of Ethiopia and in Oromia. A HRW report in October of 2013 documented incidents of torture by the government.

Sudan and Uganda, both of which ruled by dictators, are classic examples of hypocrisy at South Sudanese talks. Sudan is ruled by a legal fugitive, it’s fighting wars in three fronts (or more) and its human rights records are appalling. The cases of Amin Medani and opposition leader Farouk Issa are current crack down on political voices.

And the dear Yoweri Museveni has essentially occupied South Sudan as he dictates what President Kiir does. Museveni tries to portray himself as the regional superman. His ego is inflated by regional conflicts. His presence in Somalia, interference in Congo, Rwanda, Sudan and South Sudan shouldn’t be seen in naïve lenses as Mr. Savior at work. Museveni’s power thrives in these conflicts. End the conflicts and his influence disappears!

It is therefore crucial for Kiir and Riek to chart a different course for peace in South Sudan. It’s naïve to expect that people who don’t and can’t respect human rights records in their own countries would wish for peace in South Sudan.

The decision not to release AU report on post-December 2013 conflict is testimonial of how African leaders view human rights.

But remember, this article by no means absolves South Sudanese leaders of the atrocities committed by their forces. And this also doesn’t mean Riek and Kiir have no part in the hypocrisy surrounding the peace talks.

Indeed, South Sudanese would open their hearts to forgive if the leaders showed some elements of care, leadership and responsibility. Good leadership is about sacrifices on behalf of the people.

Beside IGAD’s hypocrisy, the two leaders have not set any example in regard to forgiveness, letting go and striking a peace language that’d herald in the advent of peaceful atmosphere in the country.

And unlike IGAD’s leaders, who threaten Kiir and Riek instead of doing their job for peace to come to South Sudan, the United Nation Security Council Resolution 2026 (2015) that calls for targeted sanctions on individuals is appropriate.

It’s not a blind, unstructured threat like what IGAD usually mete out on South Sudanese leaders. The proposals would be calculated, targeted sanctions on individuals that are obstacles to the talks. To claim that sanctions would be counter-productive is to lose sight of who is fighting in South Sudan, who is suffering and who is imposing the sanctions.

I don’t know why South Sudanese leaders worry if they aren’t obstacles to peace talks!

It’s therefore time for our leaders to restore the dignity of the country through peace by seeing regional leaders for what they are: hypocritical self-interested group.

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

South Sudan’s senior officials’ irresponsible use of language

BY: ELHAG PAUL, South Sudan, MAR/04/2015, SSN;

“These are people who must make their living by sucking the blood of other.” Michael Makuei, the minister of Information of the Republic of South Sudan roared in a press conference labelling the Human Rights Watch. His colleague Martin Elia Lomuro, the minister of Cabinet Affairs sitting next to him leapt in “mosquitoes” complementing the link of the dehumanisation process to which the former delightfully repeated “mosquitoes, yes.”

While the press conference held on 16th February 2015 to castigate the media and non -governmental organisations sounds hilarious, it is in fact very concerning. How has South Sudan descended to this level of thuggery? Do responsible people representing a state speak like that? Where is the etiquette of diplomacy associated with the conduct of state affairs? Painful to say but these two ministers have vindicated Gerrard Prunier’s observation and conclusion that South Sudan is governed by “idiots ….rotten to the core.” What these two have done has brought further disrepute to the people of South Sudan collectively. The world must wonder how a country of 8 million can allow itself to be led by such “idiots”.

Recently, the former president of Kenya Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi made a telling remark about South Sudan which could be construed as offensive as he appeared to question the very right of the people of South Sudan to self determine. His kind of speak echoes the language of the colonialists who flocked to the continent during the scramble for Africa sanctioned by the Berlin agreement of 1884.

Moi said definitely in anger that perhaps the people of South Sudan “were not ready for independence.” Though his comment self evidently is harsh, it is difficult not to sympathise with him given his own personal contribution in the liberation process. The irresponsible and criminal behaviour of the SPLM exasperates everyone and pushes people to say things they would not say under normal circumstances. Moi is likely to have assessed South Sudan based on the behaviour of SPLM not realising that South Sudan truly has other competent leaders suppressed by SPLM violence.

In reality South Sudan has all along been ready to self govern. The problem giving rise to Moi’s question is the fact that he Moi and all the other African leaders in the last 3 decades believed only in the SPLM as they still do now in the IGAD peace talks. They have refused to acknowledge and work with the real leaders in South Sudan who do not espouse the violent and tribalistic agenda of the SPLM. The former president would have done better if he said perhaps the SPLM was not ready for independence because this would be the truth given the organisation’s formative objective. Please see ‘Kenya’s ex-president criticises S. Sudan leaders over conflict’

South Sudan has competent world class leaders who could lead it smoothly without problems. For example, Peter Sule, Richard Mulla, Bishop Paride Taban and many others. South Sudan has unfortunately under the SPLM become the laughing stock of the world. Though this appears to be the case, in reality South Sudan has sons and daughters of high calibre meeting the world standard of leadership who can easily run the country competently and appropriately. The only thing preventing the qualified people from ascending to power is the violent nature of SPLM coupled with the decades long of Arab oppression that rendered the people helpless. Surely, the nonsense in Juba is bound to change for the better sooner or later.

The press conference held by the Ministry of Information was not necessary at all and there was no credible reason to hold it in the first place. The matter vexing the ministers could have been raised and discussed amicably with the head of UN Margaret Ellen Loj in their air conditioned offices avoiding the exposure of their crudeness and ignorance.

Both ministers are on record on numerous occasions chanting that South Sudan is a democracy. Surely democracies are comfortable and cool with the media. Democracies do not go out hunting journalists and shutting down radio stations etc simply because a political opponent has aired their views in them. Makuei’s misplaced anger is because Rebecca Nyandeng Garang was interviewed by Radio Miraya. He ranted “Miraya you are interviewing rebels. If it happens again we are shutting you down. And this must be made clear. We are shutting you down if you interview any rebel here to disseminate his or her plan and policies within South Sudan.” The intimidation and harassment comes out clear in this message. It basically boils down to an issue of control backed by threats of violence.

The contradiction in Makuei’s utterance is that he as a yester decade rebel has forgotten that rebels rebel for a cause. It is not for nothing that people take up arms. The government must be doing something seriously wrong. It is advisable for them to review themselves.

If President Kiir’s government is a democracy as they forcefully claim when it suits them, is there any need for ranting against the messenger (radio Miraya)? The primary role of media in a democracy is to facilitate the flow of information and ideas in order to enable citizens to assess the ruling party and also to assess the opposition parties. Media is a one of the key tools known worldwide that holds government to account. In addition media is a medium of education, and helps in developing the whole population generally.

Now to then try to control the media crudely like what the two ministers have done hugely undermine their claim to South Sudan being a democratic country. Granted the media has a vile side to it. For example in propaganda or character assassination it can proof to be a lethal weapon. But to deal with this problem a democracy resorts to the courts and not oppressive practice the type of which the duo displayed.

The sad part of this story is that the ministers concerned have publicly displayed their personal incompetence with the issue. They do not know that Radio Miraya was not just set up like a stall in a market. Even in a market a stall has to have a license from the local authority. The radio station in question is covered by a bilateral agreement between South Sudan and the United Nation. Which means the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would have the lead responsibility and not the Ministry of Information.

However, for any breaches of the agreement by either side there must be reference to the agreement. So the ministers having decided there was a breach, they should have passed the matter over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deal with. Or, the lest they could do was to consult with their legal advisers with reference to the agreement for appropriate measures before going to the street on riot. Had they done this, they would have saved themselves the embarrassment of a climb down by Makuei the following day when confronted by Ms Loj over the threats they made.

Makuei, the crude face and trademark of Dinkocracy ended up coiling his tail and assuring the UN that Radio Miraya broadcasts would continue according to UNMISS mandate as stipulated in the status of forces agreement signed between the UN and the government of South Sudan. All the bravado of the other day dissipated into thin air. What a disgrace? Please see ‘South Sudan UN chief Løj meets Makuei over Miraya shutdown threat’

This self inflicted humiliation would have been avoided were the Dinkocrats in Juba to be conscious enough to know that in this 21st century it is utterly useless to try to control the media. Virtually nothing can be hidden in this world of information technology. With the internet the globe has become so little that within minutes somebody as far away as New Zealand would know what is going on in the other end of the world.

Thus closing radio stations, killing and detaining journalists is not enough to silence the people and keep them ignorant of the government abuses and crimes. The panacea is simple, just do the right thing and everybody will be happy.

Which brings us to the abuse of this specific case. The current leadership in South Sudan, especially the SPLM party is heavily influenced by the behaviours of the rulers in Khartoum. The elites in that country are fond of dehumanising the people of African origin because they want the country to be perceived as an Arab country.

In 2012 at the height of the Panthou war ignited by President Salva Kiir, President Omar Bashir of the Sudan publicly called Kiir and the SPLM insects. The former was caricatured in the Sudanese media like a beetle with his head attached to a body of a flying insect being sprayed off by a fog of Piff-Paff insecticide. Piff-Paff is a brand name of the company that produces the insecticides in pressurised can in the Sudan. The simple genocidal message to the people of Sudan was that South Sudanese represented by SPLM government are not human beings and so they could be gotten rid off like flies.

In response the SPLM through Dr Anna Itto called President Bashir a mosquito. That was an unfortunate thing showing Anna’s ignorance of the magnitude of the issue. Instead of the SPLM leadership seizing the opportunity to make a political capital by exposing the genocidal mind of Khartoum establishment by pointing to such language as evidence of what was going on in Darfur, Nuba mountains and Blue Nile in that country they shot themselves in the foot. Please see ‘The Oyee deniers of truth in South Sudan’

SPLM sadly copied the abuser to proof itself equally an abuser. This recent exchange between President Bashir of the Sudan and Dr Itto of the SPLM is pertinent to what happened in the press conference hosted by Makuie. For the ministers to absurdly complement each other in the use of a dehumanising language against staff members of non-governmental organisations is very concerning. What precisely was their intent? Was it an incitement or a behaviour of ignorant people? If it is the former that then can be a crime. If it is the latter then they should not be representing the people of South Sudan.

It is pathetic that Makuei who is spoken of as a lawyer behaves like a bully in a cattle camp (Luak) with his colleague cheering him up. If President Kiir was a true leader with values and a true sense of right and wrong, these irresponsible ministers should be disciplined to give his ugly government a little face lift.

Irresponsible use of language by people in power is inadvisable. Just see what President Kiir’s repeated use of the emotive 1991 split in his speeches to the SPLM did in December 2013. It landed the country into mud and it is still stuck in it. In Rwanda in mid 1990s the use of language inappropriately was the catalyst for the subsequent genocide that cost nearly a million lives. The Tutsi victims were labelled in the local language ‘Inyenzi’ meaning cockroaches and this was spread through the media. To be specific, this vile message was broadcast through Radio Television Des Milles Collines (RTLM) and it circulated like a wild fire on dry grassland.

The crucial elements triggering the genocide in Rwanda were the use of dehumanising language and control of the media by the perpetrators.

The similarity with the reckless behaviour of the two Dinkocrats in their press conference to say the lest is shocking. They need to know that this is a very dangerous slippery slope to justify grave harm to other people. This is not to say the action of the duo could result into a genocide because their ranting was directed to a small community of NGOS. However this could make the community of the NGOs in South Sudan to become target of attacks something no normal person in their right sense would want to see happen at all.

That ignominious press conference symbolises the way how the institutions of South Sudan government are filled up with SPLM party apparatchiks and heartless opportunists without the right experience and knowledge for the purpose. A good number of them are blatant liars.

For example, Ateny Wek Ateny the presidential spokesman masquerades as a lawyer when in reality he is a drop out of a law school in the early stage of the course in Hertfordshire, an area east of England. Ateny educationally is a clone of Telar Ring Deng. Do you remember the story of the latter in parliament in relation to his appointment as a minister for justice? Was Telar confirmed to the post? No! If these people were not Dinkocrats would they be in government? I leave you to work out the answers for yourself.

Now think about how possible is it that a truly qualified lawyer can behave like Michael Makuei? Sensitivity in the use of language is the hallmark of the legal profession. How come then that someone who is a qualified lawyer would be so lackadaisical like the minister of (Dis)information? Do you remember his behaviour at the UN Protection Camp in Bor in April 2014? Was that really a behaviour of a lawyer?

If you add up his daily gaffes and the frequent crude presentations and scandals you are likely to reach an interesting conclusion of this man. One wonders how he could be a minister in 21st century if it were not for the Dinkocracy stringently applied by the SPLM in the country. As the rulers of South Sudan they only bring us shame, shame, and shame. Oh’ dear!!!

Now is it really necessary to have the ministry of (Dis)information in this day and age? This structure is an outdated thing which belongs to yester century. It should be abolished with its remit transferred to the ministry of culture as a directorate.

Hardly people talk of ministry of information in this modern world because it has become obsolete with the rise of information technology. Its purpose specifically was for state propaganda to disseminate and present the country in good light. A sort of public relation outfit. Dictators, innovative as usual quickly capitalised on its ability to shape and numb the collective mind in their interest seized on it and converted it into an instrument of repression/oppression, exactly what the Dinkocrats are doing.

SPLM wants to shut up the opposition but this is not going to happen. They can shut down the entire social media in South Sudan. It is not impossible. Yes, in theory they could especially given the oil cash but the draw back has serious economic repercussions that would be so dire that eventually it will bring them down. An outcome they strive to avoid but then becomes the inevitable. So it would be a defeatist or rather a suicidal approach to take.

Again if they opt to shut down the social media they will deprive themselves of the best available means and methods of harvesting intelligence. Social media overtakes radio stations and print newspapers. Therefore, shutting down radio stations and newspapers is not a solution to control information. The only way to control damaging information is by engaging your opponents with counter narrative which people in the west call ‘winning hearts and minds’. But to win hearts and mind needs the government to treat people equally with respect which Dinkocracy does not know.

Social media now delivers information directly to the audience in the comfort of their bedrooms, house vicinities, cafes, restaurants and everywhere via simple gadgets like mobile phones, IPADs, laptops etc. Thus the rebels or to put it correctly for that matter as in the case of South Sudan freedom fighters like Major Lasuba Lodoru Wongo, Dr Riek Machar and others will always be heard and communicated with right in the belly of the best (government controlled areas).

With this could the duo not see that they are time wasting trying to muffle Nyandeng? Patrick Dixon, the author of ‘Futurewise’ puts it succinctly that internet has taken power from the dictators and given it to the people. This is what democracy is all about. Note, the writing is on the wall.

Dinkocracy will not survive in the present world of social media. The holders of this vile ideology either tame themselves, go back to their luaks, and behave in a civilised manner or they face the gathering tsunami of South Sudanese anger in a peoples revolution.

The food for revolts is not what the rebels say or will say in Radio Miraya. It is what the government does – bad policies, bad practices and bad governance that feed rebellion such as the killing of Isaiah Abraham, Cecilia Oba, ethnic cleansing etc. The ugly and stinky information generated by acts of government in the form of abuses enables rebels to make their cases which then snowballs into regime change/revolutions. It is here that social media becomes a tool to facilitate revolts.

Paul Mason in his book ‘Why it’s kicking everywhere’ published in 2012 by Verso argues that “new technology underpin our ability to be at the same time more individualistic and more collective, it shapes our consciousness and magnify the crucial driver of all revolutions in the perceived difference between what could be and what is.” (p85).

In a nutshell this is the connectedness with all that is needed to fell a dictator and dictatorship.

For better understanding of the impact of social media in bringing down governments please watch the following videos: 1) Egypt’s social networking revolution.
2) Inside story – the tool for revolution?
3) Dictatorships and revolutions in digital age: people power after Tunisia, Eqypt, Libya
4) How social networking can spark revolutions: impact SMS, Twitter, Facebook on democracy, dictators

In conclusion, the press conference held by Michael Makuei has done more harm to the government of South Sudan. It has tarnished the image of the country and anybody who doubts the genocidal tendencies of President Kiir’s regime must think again. This regime of terror must go because it is a danger to itself, South Sudanese people and the international community.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]
Elhag Paul

The Problem of Nimule Jienge scramble for Ma’diland


The problem of Guru (Nimule) is like the Hydra; the daughter of Gaia, whose head when cut off, a few will spring up — even more dreadful than the previous! In the case of Guru (Nimule), Hydra is the goddess of greed and lust for power, personified in few individuals at the center of an intricate and big web (exclusive clubs) with their leaders in the center of each web.

Essentially we have four major nightclubs: Juba nightclub, Torit nightclub, Nimule nightclub and Kampala nightclub (still emerging).

Juba is the epicenter (the mother) of all the dramas in Ma’diland. Her ultimate goal is to take over Ma’diland, for the benefit of the Jieng and she is doing so with the help of a handful, less than 1 %, corrupt and greedy sons and daughters of Ma’di.

In the Words of Gen Martin Kenyi, these few are the loudest, I would add amplified by Juba.

The below chart illustrate the actors who are involved in scramble for Ma’diland:(Chart unavailable)

In Ma’diland the epicenter of the drama is Nimule, with late Kisire being the leader of the Nimule nightclub – for over the last 7 years. However his demise is switching the center of power to Abila (to the Ganyipira group).

During Kisire’s reign, the Abila group was subdued and Kisire’s nightclub had monopoly of power. His demise has left a vacuum in his nightclub, which now Abila group is trying to fill.

The demise of Kisire and his senior aide (the two were recently assassinated in Nimule) is subject to many speculations and conspiracy theories, but one can’t rule out the Abila group from having a hand. Both Abila group and Kisire group have Juba as their power base. It is widely believed that Juba fell out with Kisire and found favor with Abila group, which led to the demise of the former leader’s demise.

The epicenter in Torit is governor Lobong and his deputy Jerome Surur. Lobong survival in the past was due to partly his seemingly unwavering support to the power base in Juba. Some insiders also said he bribes Juba with kilos of gold, to remain in power. December 15 came as a blessing for Lobong to remain in power. Juba has power serious issues to deal with, than worry about removing Lobong from power.

For now Juba would rather keep him in power than fire him and risk the anger of the Toposa – if not a sizable number of disgruntled Equatorians.

Currently in the center of Nimule nightclub is the power-broker, little David Eriga, who acts as a go-between broker with Torit and Nimule. Eriga however has got no influence, neither in Nimule nor in Torit. The day he losses favor of Torit, he may face the fate of chief Ajugo.

Insiders from government have it that Ajugo found his death in the hands of a Dinka man sent from Juba. The security apparatus in Juba knows this well, but as a escape-goat to cover the plot, Ma’di community leaders got rounded up and jailed and tortured for months.

At the end, the case died without the killer of our chief being brought to face justice and to this date justice did not prevail to dry up the tears of mourning mother, wives and children of late Ajugo.

Bilal is also a power-broker just like little Eriga. In the past he had direct access to the power-base in Juba through a men like Salva Matok (Kiir’s close confidante and former interior minister). But over the last 24 months, things have changed dramatically for him, and Bilal’s relevance to Juba power-base has diminished much to ZERO.

In fact Bilal has no influence by himself and his power to intimidate his fellow Ma’di was taken away from him immediately after Salva Matok lost his power. Bilal’s survival depends on the expectations from the benefits of the promises he makes to Juba and Torit.

The day he losses favor of Juba, his fate may not be any different from that of Kisire and Gwanya. If and when that happens, many Ma’di boys will get themselves in detention falsely accused of murder.

Another pseudo-power, that of Igga Emilio, whose place in this complex of social dramas is worth head scratching. He is caught between the expectations of the Ma’di community and the interest of power base in Juba. The rather cozy relation Emilio has with Kisire’s group in the past made the Ma’di community to look at him with suspicion.

Months before coming to take his new job as Chief Area Administrator, the relationship between Emilio and Kisire’s group was already badly damaged. The demise of Kisire put a final nail on the relationship between Emilio and Kisire’s group (which’s almost now dismantled)!

Today the relevance of Emilio to Torit is also fast diminishing. The arbitrary arrest of his community members on allegations of being rebels of Gen. Kenyi has put Emilio in very awkward position. Emilio being trusted less by his power-base in Torit, and he is seen helpless if not irrelevant by many members of his Madi community.

Though he has a military background, a brigadier without any army to command is not commander. It is hard to speculate on Emilio’s fate but Juba is merciless to those who are not useful in the ploy to achieve its priced objectives- THE MA’DI LAND.

It is important the rest of South Sudan, Equatoria in particular, study this case very closely because it lays bare the playbook of the Jieng council of elders in turning South Sudan into Dinkaland! We are reminded of the Colonial powers, DIVIDE AND CONQUER!, the born-to-rule!

Somewhere outside the web, are Gen. Kenyi and his boys, who believe it is the personal responsibility for every Equatorian to rescue South Sudan from Juba. For now Juba thinks Kenyi is only a nuisance – mere irritations. But when that irritation starts to get more and more, Ma’diland will be an epicenter of a bigger drama – that may become serious concern to Juba leading to genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Ma’di people in the name of fighting rebels, playbook scenario seen in the Nuerland and Juba itself.

Only few months ago when Jada Tibi struck two trucks on Nimule Juba-road, Juba become very concerned. It was not possible to ignore the irritation Kenyi caused to Juba. If only Juba can learn a lesson from the past, it will avoid making the same mistake again and again.

As for the power-base in Juba, its commitment to subdue Ma’di people and grab the land of the natives is something which seems to be a raison d’etre for people like Mathok and the belligerent, notorious information and official spokesman of RoSS Minister Michael Makuei Lueth.

Somewhere in the outskirts are Ann Itto, the acting secretary of SPLA, and Former Ambassador John Andruga, who are fighting for their political survivals. Whereas he has failed to find relevance in Juba, John Andruga is trying to rediscover himself through his farming project.

As for Anne Itto, she is just hanging around – without whatsoever predictable future. Both Ann Itto and John Andruga have no influence in Juba – either negative or positive. Their inability to explain their helplessness has put them in rather the bad books of a big block of the Ma’di community members.

For now the whole of Ma’di, community is left like a volcano waiting to explode. A volcano is a chaotic system, and in chaos one can only expect of strange attractor, either a subset of phase, where all trajectories strive.

The way things are, the global dynamics of the complex web where Hydra of Guru lives is difficult to predict with certainty. But one thing is sure, one problem temporarily solved in Ma’diland brings a new one, just like the new heads of Hydra spring up from a cut.

Now there is no brand of unknown faces coming in Nimule and Ma’di land in the name of peace and coexistence between the host community and their uninvited guests, the Dinka Economic Displaced Persons/EDPs, mainly from Jonglei.

The Juba-based government has recently carried intimidation and bullying arrests, and constant disappearances including recent unlawful kidnapping of Deputy Lopirigo Lagu Jabakana, who was snatched– for a better word– kidnapped when he was attending the funeral of his relative in the village of Arapi, Amoria, Pageri boma.

He was snatched three weeks ago till this date nothing is known by his family of his whereabouts. It seems the government has succeeded in its bullying of the citizens into silence.

The new leader of Nightclub, supported by David Eriga with the money given by Reconcile International, a long local NGO based in Yei being funded by Danish Church Aid. These organizations have committed crimes by drafting irrelevant Memorandum of understanding between the Dinka Squatters in Nimule and these few corrupt indigents to attempt to legalize the squatters, displaced and robbers the Ma’di land.

This document if signed will give permanent habitat for the Jieng Nomads who decided to squat permanently and occupy the Ma’di land.

Again, let those with eyes see and those with ears hear what is happening in the Ma’diland where the playbook of the colonial and the born-to-rule dark policy of the Jienge is displayed in broad daylight, for after her, this shall be replicated all over South Sudan, Equatoria in particular.

The government of Kiir is using the country’s money to bribe, corrupt and starve the desperate indigents to the benefit of the Jieng. As it may seem believed but also uttered by them, they fought for their independence from the Arabs, now we have to fight them for ours!

They are forgetting, South Sudan’s journey to independence was unequivocally born in Equatoria, amplified by the Nuer (Anya-nya II) and celebrated in Juba (Equatoria land). While the Jieng fought and died for a united Sudan, the rest of the 63 tribes never wavered from an INDEPENDENT SOUTH SUDAN, for which we shed our blood and will continue to do so FOR THE NATURAL RIGHT TO LIVE IN OUR ANCESTRAL LANDS!

David Aju Kanyara

“The voice of the voiceless”

The Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s role in Peace process in South Sudan

By DENGDIT Ayok, South Sudan, FEB/26/2025, SSN;

Chama Cha Mapinduzi, hereinafter referred to as (CCM), the ruling party in the United Republic of Tanzania, under the leadership of president Jakaya Marisho Kikweti, and its Secretary General Mr. Abdel Rahman Kenana, is a name that was not known to most of the people of South Sudan before the current SPLM’s war; but it had surfaced in line with the regional efforts geared towards finding a solution to the SPLM’s created crisis in South Sudan, which has put our nascent Republic on the brink of collapse, before entering its fourth year.

It is obvious that the CCM party is working side by side with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member states for the achievement of peace in our country through the Arusha intra-party peace dialogue, which is part and parcel of the broad-spectrum for the realization of peace in the country through an initiative it had made in September last year when the three groups of the SPLM at loggerhead on power were invited to sit together and sort out their differences and reunify their ranks.

It is worth noting that the CCM efforts yielded fruits within a short time, in less than three months, in bringing together the conflicting views of the three faction of the SPLM. This commendable success led to the signing of the framework document on October 20, 2014, in which the three groups have confessed that their differences were the reason for this war and recognized their collective responsibility towards the ongoing strife, a confession which will surely condemn them sooner or later!

History has right now recorded that the Tanzanian initiative is the best and the quicker in finding solution to the crisis in comparison with the IGAD mediation which was and still a big mess in terms of wasting the whole year in talks without achieving anything.

The parties to the conflict have been signing deals followed by numerous violations in hours on the same day of the signing, starting from the January 23th 2014 agreement on cessation of hostilities, until the last agreement signed on the Establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity in the country.

The war is now raging in the edges of Upper Nile, in the face of the ongoing round of peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, which is considered to be the final round according to the timetables stipulated in the last agreement.

The philosophy behind the Tanzanian initiative, in bringing the three SPLM factions together in talks, is achieving peace within the SPLM first, as a party that holds power and has full control over the state, as a way forwards for realizing a comprehensive peace in the country at large.

This means that the Tanzanian role though limited on the intra-party dialogue, is a successful and a quick regional hard work for the realization of peace within the SPLM in the first place and in South Sudan at large, and evidently, the three SPLM factions have signed the reunification agreement on the 21th of last month, despite the challenges ahead of the reunification scenario.

This move, however, is a historical credit to the CCM party initiative and the Tanzanian political leadership, and which South Africa has joint lately under the leadership of President Jacob Zuma.

The initiative has up to now achieved a lot with the timetable for the implementation of the Arusha agreement signed last week and the return of former political detainees to Juba within a period not exceeding 45 days fully guaranteed.

This, on the other hand is connected with the ongoing round of talks in Addis Ababa, because the return of former political detainees without the armed opposition will not make peace a real and comprehensive peace for the whole country.

Therefore, the two sides in Addis Ababa are expected to expedite the talks and strike the final deal and bring peace back home soon and save the nation from death and destruction.

The CCM as one of the African liberal movements will always remain as a source of pride for the people of South Sudan and will be given much respect and great appreciation for this historical efforts in bringing peace to our country, and teaching the SPLM leadership the meaning of making sacrifice for people, struggle for the sake of people, vanity of power struggle, the beauty of peaceful dialogue, harmony, sorting out the internal political differences amicably and showing them that high political greediness and wrangling for political positions through the barrel of the gun that had plunged to country into the oven of this war is meaningless.

What happened in Tanzania after the killing of thousands of innocent of our people could have been done in the Nyakuron meeting, had the SPLM leaders then adhered to the spirit of resolving their differences in a peaceful manner. The name of Arusha and the United Republic of Tanzania in general will remain in our historical heralds like Naivasha, Karen, Nakuru and Nanyoki in Kenya.

Notwithstanding the signing of the SPLM reunification deal, the SPLM leaders up to this moment stand in the shadow of John Garang’s legacy, they haven’t come up with a national political ideology and a clear vision for leading the country after the independence.

They haven’t yet produce any idea in the art of possible, except this war which they have produced against men, women, children and the elderly of this country as a mechanism for getting political positions.

The help of the CCM and the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa and the entire region is still needed even after the realization of peace, for the SPLM leaders are not trustworthy, and there are no guarantees that what has happened in December 2013 will not be repeated.

*The author is a journalist working with Almaugif Arabic daily newspaper in Juba. He is reachable at