Category: Politics

Tribalism ignites the current & previous conflicts in South Sudan

By: Daniel Wuor Joak, RSS, APR/21/2014, SSN;

Several nationals and foreign writers have been addressing this concern for a number of years and extensively made researches on it where they thoroughly figured out that “Tribalism” is the main obstacle to future peace and harmony to communities living in South Sudan. Both British colonial power and successive Sudanese regimes in Khartoum had voiced the same concern where they rightly predicted that South Sudanese people would not afford to rule themselves peacefully if granted a state of their own.

The present situation can prove without any doubt to all of us as testimony. As South Sudanese who was born and grew up during the first Anya-Nya war and later participated intensively during the second war of struggle from January 1984, my experiences proved that something wrong is lingering in our minds that need to be readjusted in order for Republic of South Sudan to survive and be governed peacefully and transparently.

Let us not pretend that everything is alright within our setups being on the government or in the opposition sides. Our society in general, unfortunately, is very much decay from top to bottom unless is drastically rescue from eminent demise through cooperation and understanding.

All the sixty-four tribes, which inhabited the Republic of South Sudan, are very peaceful and loving people but inherited only by wrong leaders who have been blindly followed by their subjects without questioning their integrity and commitments to their well being.

Education and exposures to other world civilizations has nothing in our applied knowledge. Some of our most learned South Sudanese leaders who are supposed to be the best exemplary behaves as if they had never gone to classrooms. They always incite their tribal groups once they run short of ideas to convince their political opponents at national level.

The December 15, 2013’s saga had nothing to do with either Nuer or Dinka for that matter. It was squarely an SPLM internal matter that would have been resolved by its members from within.

The massacre and wanton killings perpetrated against over ten thousand Nuer civilians which was deliberately carried out by the so-called Presidential Guards and their colleagues from other organized forces from Dinka in Juba town for three days was an act of a defeated leader at national level.

Those leaders who challenged President Salva Kiir Mayardit from SPLM Party including Dr. Riek Machar, Mamma Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, Deng Alor Kuol, John Luk Jok, Kosti Manibe, Alfred Ladu Gore, Dr. Cirino Eteng, Madut Biar Yel, Pagan Amum, Oyai Deng Ajak, Chol Tong Mayay, Taban Deng Gai, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, Majak de’ Agot and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth etc.

Those who know the South Sudanese names very well can easily identify how many Nuer are on the list. They are only four in number among the fourteen SPLM leaders who advocated for change of leadership.

The higher figures from the group who opposed Kiir’s leadership were from Dinka. They had five and the rest were from different communities from Equatoria states. The Nuer community for that matter was victims of political conspiracy intentionally hatched by President Salva Kiir Mayardit to eliminate them from South Sudan’s politics.

The fabricated coup attempt, which was later, publicized by President Salva Kiir himself and his errand boys all over the world against his former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, was a ploy to distort and detract the attentions of South Sudanese and their well wishers worldwide who were terribly shocked and saddened with great disbelieves about the awful massacres of the Nuer community which were systematically carried out by government supporters in Juba, Malakal, Bor, Leer and Bentiu.

With this kind of systematic killings against the Nuer, the White Army and defected SPLA soldiers from Nuer in Juba, Bor, Bentiu and Malakal fought back against the government loyalists until they bravely overran the towns of Bor, Bentiu and Malakal as well as most of the counties in the three states of Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei respectively and this was the beginning of the rebellion in the South Sudan.

President Salva Kiir had in the past been mastering the same tricks against different communities throughout the country where he fomented tribal feuds amongst the Dinka themselves, Nuer v Murle, Murle v SPLA, Nuer v SPLA, Mundari v Bari, Achol v Madi, Acholi v Bari, Dinka v Fertit, Shilluk v Dinka, SPLA v SPLA etc.

Such feuds were more less land disputes or indiscriminate disarmament where he always favoured one group against another bias. It resulted to numerous rebellion movements.

With the current conflict, some selfish politicians who do not want their individual interests to be jeopardized have dragged in some communities into this war unnecessarily.

For example, the Dinka Ngok of Baliet in Upper Nile State were not at all part of this wrangling but they were rather dragged in by none others than the State Governor of Upper Nile Simon Kun Puoch and his County Commissioner of Baliet Rev. James Tor Monybony.

Before the fighting took place in Malakal town on the 3rd week of December 2013, a group of state lawmakers, state ministers, other organized forces officers and senior state officials from the counties of Ulang and Nasir, after they completely disagreed with the state governor over the killings of Nuer civilians in Juba whereas the governor himself with on denial that the government in Juba did not order the massacres of Nuer civilians.

They were rather killed by individual criminals as his unwavering support presently with the government in Juba confirmed. After the group decided to travel to Nasir area without official approval from the state governor, their convoy of twelve cars was intercepted at Baliet Count by a force being organized by Baliet County Commissioner under specific order from the state governor Simon Kun Puoch where he instructed him not to allow the convoy to proceed to the last destination as planned.

Instead the group were told to return back to Malakal or else be dealt with accordingly. While the were in state of discussions, the organised soldiers from Baliet opened fire indiscriminately killing: 1. Hon. Nhial Lual Wuol, SPLM Chief Wipe Upper State Legislative Assembly, 2. Hon. Bang Duop Lam, Chairperson of Justice Committee, Hon. 3. Thuok Puok Goot, Secertary General State Secretariat, 4. One Colonel from Police, 5. Two Majors from Police, 6. Two Captains from Police and several officials. The total of those killed that day of 20/12/2013, were 17 persons.

When the news of their killing reached Nasir and Ulang, the communities of these two counties were extremely alarmed and the White Army decided to go and search for the survivors in Baliet County.

The number of passengers in the convoy was over sixty persons who were dispersed by their attackers to wilderness. Most of them died of thrust and hunger in the forest. Instead of the people of Baliet County to apologize for the killings, the While Army from Ulang and Nasir found them prepared for war against them.

This was the root cause of the first fighting in Baliet County. It was Governor Simon Kun Puoch and Rev. James Tor Monybony who should be held responsible for the death of innocent Dinka civilians from Baliet County and Nuer of Ulang and Nasir Counties respectively.

It was not their wish to kill themselves but the war was rather imposed on them by these two greedy politicians. This is a known fact and nobody will ever deny that as long as evidences are concerned.

The same thing with the prevailing human tragedy befallen in Shilluk Kingdom where former militias recently absorbed by government of South Sudan under commands of Major General Johnson Oluony and Brig. General Ayuok Ogat and under overall influence of their mentor Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin have been badly used by government in Juba to wage war against the SPLM/A-In Opposition forces in Upper Nile State.

This exposes the Shilluk community into danger because most of their recruits hail from Shilluk tribe and the fighting is concentrating in Shilluk area whereas thousands of Shilluk have been displaced from their ancestral lands either to UNMISS camp in Malakal town or into neighbouring country of Sudan.

The blame still goes to Dr. Lam Akol who encourages the Shilluk militias to fight alongside that despotic regime in Juba for his selfish gains. He had been in opposition all these years until when he learnt that his erstwhile political rivals Dr. Riek Machar and Pagan Amum went on loggerheads with President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

He hastily came back from his self-exile in Cairo and took this opportunity to mend his relations with President Kiir in order to side-line the other two SPLM opposing leaders in his favour.

The Shilluk as community has no reason to fight the White Army or the SPLM/A – In Opposition for that matter because the two communities have a lot in common and very much integrated culturally through inter-marriages assimilation.

Because of misuse of Shilluk sons being conscripted into militia’s ranks and fight alongside the SPLA, Brig. Ayuok Ogat, one of the factional militia commanders decided to defect to the rebel ranks. His forces and that of SPM/A – In Opposition recently captured the town of Kaka El Tigariah from the government forces.

This marked the beginning of Shilluk community to disassociate themselves from Salva Kiir and Lam Akol’s bandwagon. Their marriage of convenience will soon disintegrate as already the Chollo community realised the truth.

The same scenario has also been happening in Mayom County in Unity State where the sons of Monytuil Ojang, Dr. Nguen who is the Unity State Governor and General Bapiny have been organizing a militia band under command of Major General Matthew Puol Jang.

The militia who hails from Bul Nuer clan has been fighting alongside the government against the SPLM/A – In Opposition forces all this time without being integrated into SPLA ranks like Shilluk Militia.

Sadly, they are not in payroll but miserably used to fight for the interests of their godfathers in Juba. Until the day of yesterday on 15 April, when the Bul militia fighting force realized that they have badly been misused by the sons of Monytuil Ojang in Juba by killing their own Nuer people and destroying their properties jointly with SPLA of Dinka elements, SPLM-N, JEM and UPDF forces against the SPLM/A-In Opposition in Unity State.

Over 600 of them under command of Major General Karlo Kuol Ruai have defected to the rebel’s rank and this made the capture of Bentiu very quick and easy.

Once again, the same tools also used by some politicians from Dinka Bor in Jonglei State where they deliberately dragged in their community into war unnecessarily.

For example, the people of Pigi, Duk and Twic East Counties who are all from Dinka origins had never been part of current war because the SPLM/A – In Opposition or the White Army always consider them neutral.

They did not participate in the massacres of Nuer in Juba and other towns in Greater Upper Nile as this was done only by some Dinka elements from Greater Bahr El Gazal.

Therefore, they were not attacked during the first and second capturing of Bor town by SPLM/A –In Opposition in December 2013, and January 2014, simultaneously.

Unfortunately, the people of Duk were encouraged by their politician Hon. Philip Thon Leek to form their own militia group and fight alongside the SPLA and UPDF forces in the area. Following the recent fighting between the government and rebels forces, Duk County became a contesting zone and that was the reason why some of the structures including the lost boys clinic was destroyed during the fighting.

Hon. Philip Thon Leek should not escape from being blamed for having encouraged the Dinka youth in Duk County to fight alongside the government and their Uganda ally forces against the SPLM/A-In Opposition forces.

The Counties of Pegi and Twic East are free from attack up to this time from the SPLM/A-In Opposition and the White Army because they have shown their neutrality openly.

Frankly speaking, the government of President Salva Kiir Mayaridit in Juba has completely lost its full support and confidence of the Nuer people throughout the Nuerland in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States because of the wanton killing and awful massacres its committed against the innocents Nuer in Juba and other towns in Greater Upper Nile states.

It is now resorting on support of individual’s personalities like Major General James Hoth Mai, Dr. Riek Gai Kok, General Charles Lam Chol, General Yohannes Yoal Bath, Simon Kun Puoch, James Kok Ruai, John Kong Nyuon, Dr. John Gai Yoah, General Johnson Gony Billieu, Major General Bol Kong, Nyang Chuol Dhuor, Hon. Timothy Taban Juoch, Justice John Gatwech Lul, Hon. Manasah Magok Rundial, Dr. Joseph Nguen Monytuil, Kuong Danhier Gatluak, General Bapiny Monytuil etc.

They have no grass-root supports and at the same time being labelled by Nuer in general as sell-outs who compromised the death of their own fellows for material gains and positions.

Whether President Salva Kiir has them in his camp, the grass-roots Nuer consider them like those perished in Juba during the aftermath of fighting. Their contributions are not valued very much at this time.

That is why some of them resort on sending people with money to bribe the Nuer White Army in Eastern Upper Nile and Eastern Jonglei States.

If they want Nuer to support their cause, why they do not approach the ones residing at UNMISS camps in Juba, Bor and Malakal instead of looking for people who have already escaped the government’s onslaughts.

Unfortunately, their cheap dealings are rejected completely throughout the Nuerland. Some of their agents went recently through Ethiopia carrying with them several hundreds thousands of US dollars to bribe the White Army and some field commanders associated with Dr. Riek Machar to return to the government circle.

But this mission ended up in fiasco where many of them have been arrested in Gambella region by the Ethiopian security or sent back to Juba unceremoniously. This is always the work of failed leaders who are virtually disowned by their own communities.

Whether they like it or not, South Sudan is in turmoil and there will be no reverse at all. Therefore President Salva Kiir and his cronies must go by all means sooner than later or otherwise, Moamar Gadhafi and Saddam Hussein’s sagas will fall on them squarely.

The Author was former MP & Minister of Education, Science & Technology (UNS) and now Executive Director of African Centre for Human Advocacy (ACHA), which advocates for human rights and good governance throughout the Africa Continent.

Conspiracy & Hypocrisy by the West & Bashir in South Sudanese Conflict.


By: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, KAMPALA, APR/19/2014, SSN;

When I was reading the News headlines on Sudan Tribune on April 19, 2014, I came across the following: “Western countries regret support for South Sudan’s secession: Bashir declares.” It immediately came into my mind that South Sudanese conflict has many players behind it, including Bashir and the West. These groups are out there to destroy South Sudan.

I opened the whole news which continued that the Sudanese president, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, said that several Western countries which encouraged South Sudan’s independence have apologized for their actions and urged Khartoum to reunite with the newborn state.

How the reunion can be done, I do not know. Whether through annexation like what happened between Russia and Ukraine where Crimea was annexed to Russia, it isn’t clear; or through Western Intervention?

I have not yet up to now understand what they will do and why did many Western Countries propose that.

However, the report went on by stating that Bashir made this when he addressed a meeting of ruling party’s pastoralists and farmers’ secretariat on Thursday evening by saying that Sudan’s enemies who supported secession of the south in order to destroy the north regretted their action, noting they are now begging Khartoum to reunite with Juba.

He said, “They pushed the south to secede in order to destroy the north, however when they saw what happened in the south they secretly told us they were mistaken and wished they had listened to us and now they asked us to reunite.”

Bashir appears to have been confused here with falsity and frustration. If he had ever said this, then he was wrong and will still be wrong in the future if he made the same statement again.

I am now made to believe that the problems of South Sudan are not caused by the people of South Sudan, conspiracy, hypocrisy and self-interest of Bashir and the West, who are planning to destroy South Sudan.

What Bashir and the West must understand is that South Sudan is a sovereign state and they should not try to influence its politics in order to destroy it indirectly.

Bashir made such statement without shame because his government is also one of the causes of the problems of South Sudan because the problems of South Sudan have their origins from Sudan.

Besides, Sudan itself is not at peace and I do not know what motivated most of the Western countries to make such awful proposal to Bashir as he proudly told his crowd.

If I can ask, where will the add Sudan after adding South Sudan to Sudan if the war is the one that can make a country lose her independence?

Conspiracy and hypocrisy against South Sudan!

This underscores the fact that some of the Western Countries have been playing a destructive role since the war broke out in South Sudan as shown by the accusation South Sudanese citizens and government leveled against the UN personnel who appear to be sympathizing with the rebels more than the government.

No smoke with fire. After reading what Bashir said and his allegation that Western countries have secretly called upon him to reunite with South Sudan, I no longer doubt what my fellow South Sudanese say about the UN role in the conflict of South Sudan.

There must be a reason why the Western Countries have taken special interest in South Sudan; may be because of the oil and other resources based on the fact that South Sudan government was becoming more independent from them than they expected.

Therefore, they are playing Samson’s politics in the Bible that if the enemy has overpowered him and he is not able to fight back the enemy and what is remaining is his death then he or his enemies must die all.

Hence, he shakes the whole building that collapses on him and his enemies.

In the same way according to Bashir and western Countries, if South Sudan has not made their expectation of being a puppet government and instead it is becoming more and more independent which denies them access to resources, then South Sudan should not be allowed to exist as a country.

The statement of Bashir shows frustration that he had undergone which was caused by the inevitable break away of South Sudan from the North.

At the same time, it unearths the false hope that Bashir has been nourishing of South Sudan one reuniting with the North.

The statement indicated that Bashir and his Western Counterparts have very shallow way of reasoning because such things will never happen in our life time as South Sudan because South Sudan will never reunite with the North.

Going back to reunite with the North is worse than killing ourselves and learning from it and then in future knowing how to relate with each other.

How can reasonable people make such empty statement? If the countries are dissolved because of civil wars then the USA and other countries in the world would have been dissolved and returned to their colonial masters long time ago.

Having briefly narrated American Civil War yet America is still there as America today, I wonder what push Bashir and Western Countries to utter such statement.

If countries are returned to their colonial masters because of the problems that they face after independence, then most of the countries that have been colonized and when they got independence became embroiled in civil wars would have not remained as independent countries in the world map today.

For instance, the USA, Rwanda, Uganda, Congo, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Angola, Mozambique, Mali, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Ghana, Liberia (Liberia got her independence in 1847), Togo, Somalia and many other countries not only in Africa but in other parts of the world would have lost their independence.

In addition, people who are related and staying in the same house fight but no one regrets for having been born into such a family. The only thing they do is to look for a solution.

Bashir and his Western counterpart who have such unrealistic hope must stand warned that they will be held liable for continuing and destruction of lives by the war in South Sudan.

The words that Bashir utters and the West’s conspiracy against the South Sudan are an indication that Bashir and the West are responsible for the current problems facing South Sudan.

They must know that South Sudan is an independent country, which means that it is a sovereign state.

No any person or anybody has any authority to invalidate the existence of South Sudan on the ground that it is facing a civil war.

In addition, many have proposed that South Sudan should be placed under the UN Trusteeship. On what ground? I do not know.

As I can understand the term it is applicable in case of South Sudan. The United Nations Trusteeship Council (French: Le Conseil de tutelle des Nations unies), is one of the principal organs of the United Nations, which was established to help ensure that trust territories were administered in the best interests of their inhabitants and of international peace and security.

The trust territories, most of them former mandates of the League of Nations or territories taken from nations defeated at the end of World War II have all now attained self-government or independence, either as separate nations or by joining neighbouring independent countries.

The last was Palau, formerly part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which became a member state of the United Nations in December 1994.

Hence, the role of this body is not extended to South Sudan because South Sudan is an independent country.

To show flaw in that argument, if Countries which are faced with problems are placed under the UN Trusteeship, then Somalia, Rwanda, Congo, Syria, Libya and the Central African Republic would have been placed under the UN Trusteeship.

What is so special about South Sudan? All these are conspiracies and masterminded into order to destroy the sovereignty of South Sudan.

What Bashir and his Western friends would have done was, instead of plotting for the destruction of South Sudan, they should have come together as good countries with the welfare of South Sudanese at heart to look for all possible solutions or means to bring to a quick end of South Sudan.

What is even surprising is that although there is still a stable government, the Western countries do not see anything good in that government, which is an indication that there are special grudges by the West against the government of the Republic of South Sudan.

Somalia, for instance, operated for 20 years without any central government or TFG that was operating in the neighbouring Kenya but the West did not quickly propose it to be put under trusteeship.

There must be a special problem which the West holds against South Sudan as a country.

What the West and Bashir did not comprehend is that problems of South Sudan are not as complex as many project them but they are caused only due to the lack of diverse approach from the leadership.

Based on the foregoing point in the above paragraph, what the West and Bashir would have done was not to plan the way on how to destroy the independence of South Sudan but they would have joined with the government and rebels to direct them on how to achieve peace.

It appears that there is a paradox and conflict of interest somewhere in searching for peace in South Sudan.

Why if it is intervention to end the war and restore the stability quickly the West talk of sovereignty of the South but if they plot against it as Bashir pointed out they do not care about the sovereignty of that country.

Bashir and the Western Countries must understand that any destruction of South Sudan will not be accepted by all South Sudanese nor it will bring to an end the problems of South Sudan.

Bashir and the West should put aside their interests in South Sudan and try to find the real solution to the real South Sudanese problems not such illusive day dream.

NB// The Author is South Sudanese Student of Law in Makerere University and he can be reached through the following contacts:; +256783579256.

War is Never the Correct Way to Solve Political Crisis in South Sudan

BY: Deng Mangok Ayuel, AWEIL, SOUTH SUDAN, APR/18/2014, SSN;

We can never ever solve political crisis by resorting to war in our country, South Sudan. Believe me. War is the utmost sign of human weakness. War kills, tensely causes hatred, division and lack of trust.

It’s unfortunate that our prominent leaders, especially Dr Machar, have lacked hearts and will for the people of South Sudan. War has no winners, all sides are losers.

I hate war. There is no need for our leaders to mobilize their ethnicities, and begin killing South Sudanese since December, 2013.

What shall we gain from war? We are one people, one nation. There is no need for war.

What can you and I do to stop our people from killing themselves? We need to share ideas, call spade a spade. South Sudanese should think twice.

We need to be constitution abiding, God fearing people, who can’t target their brothers and sisters easily.

Is Dr Machar, the only aspiring leader that people can die for if he didn’t become the party chairperson or president?

Any educated, public figure from any village in South Sudan can make it as president. There is no need for the Nuers to die for Dr Machar’s war. There is no need for Dinka as a tribe to be targeted for few Dinkas’ cases in the country.

Let’s be abstemious. It’s our turn as citizens, whose children are suffering from diseases, starving from hunger in the IDPs camps, to say ‘enough is enough’ to Dr Machar for killing South Sudanese.

We have been living from hand to mouth – life was almost so hard; many people lack clean water and health facilities.

What is the future for the people of greater Upper Nile who are currently displaced in masses?

The IGAD countries and mediators in Ethiopia should speedily find a lasting solution for this war. These mediators are not up to their mandates.

The cessation of hostilities was signed and the rebels of Dr Machar are still attacking government forces every week. Where are the former CPA mediators between the SPLM and NCP in Khartoum?

Which forces are now in Bentiu? White army …? Is it not a violation of cessation of hostilities? There is no need for the Nuers as a tribe to wage a war against the whole nation. No tribe is bigger than a nation.

People aren’t supposed to kill their innocent children for nothing. There is nowhere in the world a tribe fought about 60 tribes and won the war.

It’s our choice to take our baby nation into abyss. It’s our choice to say ‘no’ to war. Let’s decide now.

South Sudan is not for President Kiir or Dr Machar but I do support President Kiir because I don’t want power to be transferred by force.

And do you really think that Dr Machar is the right man for presidency? Dr Machar is never trusted anymore because of waging war against an elected government of our country.

People all over the world have the same wishes or desires for presidency but war is not the solution when things gone astray.

If we could have worked together as one nation in order to fulfill our economical dreams instead of competing with each other in a greedy desire for wealth, power, then there would have been no war in South Sudan.

All in all, war is never the answer to political problems. We must do all we can to find alternative means to solve these tribulations, and resolve our differences peacefully for a better South Sudan.

Are you for war or peace?

Deng Mangok Ayuel is a South Sudanese freelance writer and lives in Aweil. He can be reached at

South Sudan: A Tale of Disfigured Diversity


South Sudan is the country full of many beauties and different cultural groupings. It is the country which is full of beautiful people and plenty of resources. South Sudan beauty lies in its peoples, traditions and cultures; flora and fauna; minerals and other subterranean resources, such as goal and River Nile and such beauty would have been a blessing if properly utilized for the welfare of the citizens of South Sudan. Instead of these resources becoming the source of happiness, they become sources of miseries and disappointments.

In this article I want to the explain the causes of the problems affecting the people of South Sudan and how the story of South Sudan for the last three years of her independence is a sad one.

In the process of discussion, I will be pointing out what would be or is done to save the situation.

One of the things that are constantly blamed as one of the major the root-causes of South Sudan’s problems is tribalism. Tribalism to me comes when people use tribes as a means of accessing opportunities.

This is because resources are limited and because of this, opportunists have found it necessary to exploit the weakness in tribal lines and limited resources that cause discontent in the people, for their own advantage.

Those who blame tribes which are summed up in tribalism are wrong. Tribes are made up of the people of South Sudan and people are what’s making South Sudan South Sudan and beautiful.

Tribes represent South Sudanese identity. Instead of blaming tribes the government must be blamed.

The blame still comes back to the government and leadership because if the government was able to provide opportunities to everyone then everyone would have felt to be part of everyone and the issue of tribes would have ended.

However, the lack of flexibility on the side of leadership to make full use of limited resources for the benefit of the people is the cause of the division in South Sudan.

Different cultural groups within the country find themselves at the periphery of power and resources.

As a result, different tribes are led to think and believe that the only way to end their segregation is to get power. This is because the closer each tribe to power the closer they are to wealth.

In my understanding and experiences as having been closer to the leadership, tribes or what is wrongly called tribalism is not the cause of South Sudanese problems.

The source of South Sudanese problems has its origin in the leadership itself.

All leaders in South Sudan whether in the bushes of South Sudan fighting against the government or within the government itself are the problem of South Sudan.

Leadership has blocked the opportunities of the people because since independence, leadership has failed to acknowledge the realities of South Sudan before and after the independence.

The realities of South Sudan are that: there are many tribes, with many people of different categories, with different levels of education of which a largest number of the people has never got formal education and high levels of poverty.

The existence of the above-mentioned features would have informed the government on the approach it should have taken.

The approach of the system of the governance in South Sudan should have been through the approach based on cultural diversity the government being sensitive to the people’s needs.

Currently, the government is blinded, deaf and numbed to the people’s needs. For example, the government allows the people from different states to cry for help against some of material oriented governors but instead of helping them the central government punish the citizens by imposing on them someone worse than a robot; someone who survives on the blood of citizens.

Some of the governors the central government imposes on some states run those states like personal property.

This is due to the failure by the government to realize that South Sudan is not still under rebels but it is an independent country that needs some good administrators if it were to realize progress.

South Sudan is a country with diversity, which demands diverse approaches from the leadership.

The existence of tribes of South Sudan is not accidental as we know it. The independence of South Sudan owed its origin to the concerted efforts made by different tribes in the struggle.

As we loved tribes to fight the war for independence of South Sudan we should love everyone to participate in the government and this is the meaning of approach in diversity. The diversity would have been utilized for the benefit of the people.

The problems facing South Sudanese have never been diversity or tribes whether before independence or after independence but have been or are in leadership itself. This is because diversity has been one of the advantages in fighting Khartoum government since 1983.

Our government should have broken from Old Sudan policy of divide and rule. Before independence, tribes were used by Khartoum as a means of survival mechanism where the divide and rule method was the order of the day.

Although the government has not intended divide and rule policy in running the country, it appears that such policy is reflected in practice as tribes become the ladder of climbing the leadership post.

This as a result, different politicians struggle to divide people along tribal lines and at the same time work to divide the country as one tribe is pushed against another.

For example, when the crisis broke out in Juba in 2013, many people from Nuer or Dinka group wrote to the people of Equatoria questioning them of the tribe that they are supporting; forgetting that the people of Equatoria could act independently to lead all people of South Sudan if Dinka or Nuer has failed to lead South Sudan.

The behaviour of most Dinka or Nuer people who wrote some articles clearly indicated that most of South Sudanese have not broken with the policy of divide and rule.

There was high hopes that with independence of South Sudan, the government would have come up with national agenda that could have utilized tribes for the development of South Sudan.

The hope was that with the independence of South Sudan, the government would take concrete measures to transform different societies so that they felt as part of South Sudan and first class citizens as used to the slogan during the war.

During the SPLM/A’s war, one of the uniting factors for all South Sudanese against the North was the desire to achieve independence so that every South Sudanese would become first class citizen within their country- South Sudan.

Nevertheless during the Interim Period and even after the independence, those entrusted with the mandate to manage tribes and diversity of South Sudan for the welfare of South Sudanese failed to meet this expectation.

The leaders of South Sudan failed to meet the expectation of all South Sudanese to create inclusive state where everyone feels part of everyone in one nation.

The concept of the national unity is one of the most important concepts that every state which needs to realize progress must undertake through robust approach.

The problem of South Sudan has been rooted in the fact that leaders of South Sudan often neglect some vital things for the survival of any nation.

The slogan of One Nation One People which is being preached today would have been the first thing immediately after the signing of the Peace Agreement (the CPA) with the North.

However, our leaders took it to be a simple matter and concentrated on minor things until it is almost too late.

I have said that it is almost too late because it has given some politicians and opportunists an opportunity to exploit such weaknesses to their advantages and almost destroying the whole country in December 2013.

What would have been done first was not to buy expensive cars such as hammers and bullet proof but building human capacity with that huge amount of money that was misappropriated.

If I can ask, why do our leaders buy cars with bullet proof? What scares them if they just use normal cars?

In relation to the above we cannot blame tribes but we can blame our leaders for failing to see the glaring truth that people of South Sudan need the improvement in their lives after struggling for several years against the North.

The whole goes back to my contention that the problems of South Sudan have nothing to do with tribes but with the leadership. The leadership has failed to come up with priorities that would have saved the nation.

For instance, we are today sailing the whole world singing the slogan “One People One Nation.” After what? Where was this vital theme for the national building?

I think “One People One Nation” slogan has come as a realization by our leaders of the fact that a country is a country only when all the people are united.

Article 9 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011 recognizes the existence of tribes and the diversity of South Sudan.

This is why it provides that the Bill of Rights is a covenant among the people of South Sudan and between them and their government at every level and a commitment to respect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in this Constitution; it is the cornerstone of social justice, equality and democracy.

In fact, it appears that our Late Leader, Dr Garang, had Article 9 in mind when he used to stress the importance of improving welfare of South Sudanese and transforming them to into strong nation.

This was revealed in one of his causal speeches in the bush when he pointed out strongly by warning the SPLM officers that they had to treat civilians with respect otherwise because if they failed to respect them, the civilians would drive them out into the sea and if there was no sea, they would find one for them.

Garang, in other words, was meaning that the progress of the nation depends on how her people are developed.

If the people are well transformed, they would love the country and strong nation would develop but if they are made victims for their own liberation, then they would hate the country and work for its downfall; hence building a weak nation on shaky ground.

Indeed, people of South Sudan are victims of their own liberation struggle.

They had struggled to achieve unthinkable because getting independence without opposition from any country even the mother country where they broke away from, is unthinkable.

Moreover, South Sudanese have killed two birds with one stone. They dislodged Sudan’s cruelty and oppression and also got their freedom.

But the freedom they gained is being challenged today by many problems due to bad governance.

Bad governance is shown through oppression, dictatorship, state cruelty and the use of state security apparatus to silence the discontented voices, which are the order of the day in different parts of the country.

As things stand now, citizens have reached the stage where they cannot criticize the government openly.

This trend is a bad sign for all South Sudanese and it is an indication that we are going back to pre-Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

What is happening in South Sudan in relation to leadership today is the reflection of Old Sudan where motivation of self-entrenchment and perpetuation in power by those who possess state power used to be the trend of politics.

There is no any sign of fostering national cohesion and national building.

Moreover, there appears to be an overwhelming desire to build personal empire by the leaders who are struggling to amass as much wealth as possible.

The implication of such desire is that it results into failure to see value in any other human beings around us because we become capitalists who see nothing valuable in human being but profit maximization.

Offices have become business ventures where leaders struggle to channel resources to private or personal accounts with the aim of accumulating personal wealth.

The desire of getting more wealth is that it has resulted into everyone not only politicians desiring political posts, which they perceive as a source of wealth.

This by implication means that the purpose of political representation becomes thing of the past in the political history of South Sudan. Instead, the politics of corruption and anarchies rule.

The politics of corruption and amassing of wealth has been one of the causes of South Sudanese problems, which is one of the causes of the current conflict in the Country.

As it has been noted by Professor Anyittey from Ghana, power in Africa is in the grip of a never-ending cycle of wanton chaos, horrific carnage, senseless civil wars and collapsing economies.

To him, the struggle for power, its monopolization by one individual or group, and the subsequent refusal to relinquish or share it and those who win power, capture the state and proceed to transform it into their own personal property are the root-causes of conflicts in Africa.

The description by the Learned Professor above fits exactly in what is happening in South Sudan.

In South Sudan, state institutions, such as military no longer defend the country but presidents and some of his wealth oriented officials.

Moreover, funding institutions, the media, the civil service, police and the banking system are taken over and debauched.

Key positions in those institutions are handed over to the president’s tribesmen, cronies and loyal supporters, sycophants, to serve their interest and not those of the nation.

The case in point here is the retention of General Matur Chut in the Office despite the fact that people do not want him.

Matur Chut would not have been the governor of Lakes State if the President of the Republic of South Sudan were not having interest to achieve personal gain in that State.

The people of Lakes State are bleeding every hour but the president seems not to be moved simply because Matur is able to control people through the use of force.

To the president, it does not matter how failed and corrupted is Matur, provided people of Lakes State are cowed into silence and no longer disturb him.

This is perfectly the kind of an ostrich politics, which puts its head into sand, imagining that the danger is gone yet it will eventually kill it.

Therefore, I wanted to stress that if the President does not take seriously the issue of Lakes State, it will eventually kill him.

As I have stated somewhere in this Article that tribes are not the problem of South Sudan but the use of tribe by individuals selfishly is the problem and one of the major causes of South Sudan’s problems.

Tribal affiliations are used by individuals to get what they want.
As a result, meritocracy, rule of law, property rights, transparency, accountability and administrative capacity vanish.

As they vanish, the exclusion of one group by the other eventuates. Those excluded from the spoils of political power become discontented and lose respect for the leadership.

This is because leadership is seen as foreign power working for its own exclusive interest and not that of the people.

Hence, some within the excluded rise up in rebel insurgency. This was seen with Yau Yau, Late George Athor and the current rebellions under Riek Machar.

The discontent of the people is seen with the way conflict erupts in South Sudan because as it has been noted ‘it takes only a small band of determined rag-tag malcontents to plunge the country into mayhem’.

The failure to meet the needs of the people owes its genesis in the way South Sudan Constitutionalism was established in 2011.

The establishment of South Sudan Constitution in 2011 indirectly contributed to the current crisis, which was an indication that South Sudan was bound to collapse under its own weight.

South Sudanese State has been established on unclear system of government. South Sudan was founded on no clear political ideology which would have guided the central government on the process of transformation and the national building.

South Sudan has been operating between ambivalent systems of governance. For instance, the ways different states operate show that they are typical federal system.

This is because states operate like independent countries with the governors having unchecked powers who violate the constitutional principles of the rule of law, human rights and democracy.

Under this system, corruption is the order of the day where governors steal national funds with impunity.

In addition, the President operates between a democrat and dictator.

The Parliament of South Sudan gave him absolute powers thinking that he would utilize them for the benefit and the improvement of the welfare of South Sudanese but those powers are now being used as a means of silencing the political opponents.

For instance, the President, instead of using them to unite the country through political dialogue uses his powers to destroy political opponents.

If I can ask, what was the reason of dismissing the whole cabinet in 2013?

The reason, which appears not to be the main reason to me that was given was a need for establishing a lean government; however, recently the same large government was re-established with the appointment of the additional cabinet ministers.

Does this not give support to the point that I made above that there is no political ideology in South Sudan but the state survives on confused ideology coupled with some form of democracy mixed with dictatorship?

In real sense, there is democracy in theory but in practice there is absolute dictatorship.

However, before I go on with this article, there is a need for clearing certain misconceptions associated with dictatorship.

Dictatorship in actual sense does not mean that the president or the heads of institutions must be dictator or morally corrupt in order to conclude that there is dictatorship.

For someone to be termed a dictator stems from the way he or she responds to the need of the people from intervention when there is leadership crisis at lower level.

For instance, if the head does not control his or her subordinates where citizens are robbed, suppressed, repressed and oppressed with cruelty and impunity then the head is an absolute dictator.

In the case of South Sudan, President Kiir may not be a dictator himself but if he allows governors to steal national resources without accountability and oppress people with impunity, then he himself is an absolute dictator because he is in command where he could easily intervene to remove or discipline the uncouth public officer.

He is liable for every action of his subordinates based on the principle command responsibility.

The point I have just made above is proved by the fact that there is a prevailing militarism and militarization of state institutions and machinery where the president is given absolute power to decide anything without seeking public opinion even what affects the public themselves.

The origin of the problems that subsequently befalls South Sudan since independence is in dictatorial behaviour that some of our leaders copied from North Sudan government officials and the failure of our government to study the past in order to know the root-causes of Sudanese problems in history.

In fact, our government has not taken time to study the past of South Sudanese and to relate it to the present realities in South Sudan.

South Sudanese history has been characterized by divide and rule doctrine exacerbating tribal rivalries.

Divide and rule Doctrine was used purposely by the north as a means of surviving amidst South Sudanese nationalism, which eventually destroyed the unity and territorial integrity of South Sudan.

It was hoped that after the independence, the first thing the indigenous government of South Sudan would have done was to work for social transformation, national unity and national building.

However, as noted by one of the Protestant Bishops, David Zac in one of his criticisms against the Ugandan Government that the coming of independence did not help either.

Bishop Zac, as he observed correctly about Uganda likewise for South Sudan is that not only did the independence introduce a new concept of control state managed resources where the resources are stolen with impunity but also new lines of rivalry and conflict have been created.

This is the fact of South Sudan, for instance, billions of dollars were stolen with impunity in South Sudan.

The failure by the head of South Sudan to demand this money and invest it in the improvement of the people’s welfare is the form of dictatorship we are talking about.

In a country where dictatorship exists there is no accountability.
Dictatorship, violent transition, that existed in Sudan before independence of South Sudan are the processes which South Sudan are likely to face in case of any change.

There is a clear disconnection between the hierarchies in the government; states are doing their own things in disregard of the policies of the national government.

The independence that was received with joy is dwindling as it is being replaced by disappointment.

In summary, the history of South Sudan is a bad tale as many people are suffering under some of the leaders who are not morally sensitive to the needs of the people.

This is due to the failure by the leadership to realize that South Sudan is inhabited by different tribes and they have to change their approach in management of the country.

Sadly, some leaders are out there to build personal wealth and empire at the expense of the people; talk of leaders of Lakes State who build swimming pools and some are building skyscrapers while citizens are dying every day of preventable diseases.

Meanwhile the President who is supposed to ensure that leaders under him are directed on what to do and to follow the government policy, he is not doing enough to support citizens and which will help to fuse tribal tension in the country.

In addition there is a need for the government to provide solutions to the people’s problems because the solutions of pain killer is not a good solution for South Sudan at all.

In short, there is a need for establishing a strong system based on the respect of the rule of law and human rights.

The government must respect individuals’ property. People are always proud of the system that protects their interests.

It is only in doing this that is when the democracy and unity of the people can be promoted in South Sudan.

NB// The Author is a Fourth Year Law Student in Makerere University and he can be reached through the following Contacts:

Response to Bor community in Diaspora appeal to Equatoria for welfare of IDPs


“Bor Community Association in Alberta, Canada has written to the three governors of the Greater Equatoria, South Sudan, urging them to take care of the welfare of their displaced people currently seeking refuge in the region.”

The above quoted piece by Bor Community Association in the Diaspora was posted on the 9th April 2014 to Gurtong website. The Bor community urged the governors of Equatoria to promote a peaceful co-existence between the local communities and the displaced population from Bor.

It asked the offices of the governors to appeal to the people of Equatoria to be more understanding and to continue to temporarily share resources with the displaced people while the country is finding a lasting solution to the problem.

The appeal from Bor Community Association in the Diaspora to the governors of Equatoria for the welfare of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Bor was interesting.

One would have expected that the appeal should have been instead directed to the Bor IDPs, earnestly urging them to embrace peaceful co-existence with the communities in Equatoria. The Bor IDPs have been violent on the local communities.

Who are IDPs?

This is not meant to be a sarcastic or a cynical question but rather for an understanding. IDPs can be defined as people who are forced out of their homes or ancestral lands within a region or a country either by natural disasters or man-made problems.

Natural disasters include floods that destroy homes and man-made problems include conflicts that may become bitterly fought wars, displacing thousands of people within the state, region or the country.

In the case of South Sudan currently IDPs are a reflection of the on-going conflict in the country. The division of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) into SPLM in Government and the SPLM in Opposition and the subsequent conflict, has created massive displacement of people from their homes and ancestral lands.

This in turn has produced enormous populations of IDPs where some are housed by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) camps. Other IDPs find their way to the adjacent states for security or to the neighboring countries to become refugees.

Bor IDPs in Equatoria

For the people of Bor the safest place to enjoy security is Equatoria. This is not only during the current conflict between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) into SPLM in Government and the SPLM in Opposition but even during the 21-year old war of liberation.

Equatoria has always been a safe haven for people of Bor. It is not clear whether the Bor IDPs in Equatoria have been complaining of any mistreatment by the host communities.

It is important to note that the people of Equatoria and those of Bor are of two distinct cultures. The people of Equatoria are predominantly sedentary farmers in contrast to those of Bor who are pastoralists.

As farmers the people of Equatoria are mindful of boundaries and won’t encroach into a neighbor’s field.

In contrast the main livelihood of people of Bor is cattle keeping and the movements of cattle are conditioned by the availability of pastures.

As always cattle do not distinguish between pastures and food crops. This is where problems occur between sedentary farmers (Equatorians) and pastoralists (people of Bor).

Quite often pastoralists deliberately let loose their cattle to feed on food crops in the fields.

When the farmers protest the pastoralists have no sympathy but instead threaten violence in protecting their cattle in feeding on food crops.

In Equatoria, Bor IDPs have been the problem. They are always armed, arrogant and insensitive of the feelings and situation of the host communities.

Instead of behaving like guests, the Bor IDPs behave like the masters of the land or landlords. What would one expect? Of course resentment from the host communities who are powerless because the IDPs seem to have the support of some powerful quarters.

IDPs in host communities

Generally IDPs are like uninvited guests of the host communities. However, because of the conditions that have made people IDPs in the first place, the host communities are sometimes sympathetic.

Land is availed to the IDPs and the host communities may be willing to share resources with the IDPs.

People of Equatoria are well known for being peaceful. This may explain why Equatoria is the safe haven for most warring pastoralists in South Sudan especially IDPs from Bor.

The peaceful nature of the people of Equatoria has attracted people from any corner of South Sudan to make a home in Equatoria.

Somebody may say Equatoria is a part of South Sudan and so any South Sudanese has the right to settle in Equatoria. This is true.

However, how can people abandon their ancestral areas undeveloped just to settle in Equatoria? Who will develop those areas for a high standard of living for the people there?

Those who have travelled length and breadth of South Sudan confirm that Equatoria is moving fast in development while other areas hardly see any meaningful development. Those areas are lagging behind.

People of Bor seem to take their status of IDP as an advantage to occupy the lands of Equatoria and then use the barrel of the gun to oppress the people.

The current conflict in the country is not the only one that has pushed the people of Bor to Equatoria as IDPs. During the 21-year war of liberation, Equatoria was the safe haven for all, flooded with IDPs from the other regions.

After the 21-year old war ended did the IDPs from Bor move back to Bor? Never! Instead they consolidated their hold on lands in Equatoria.

The Bor IDPs in Nimule are an example of brutal occupation of Equatoria lands with constant threats of violence on the host communities.

So the appeal from the Bor Community Association in the Diaspora to the governors of Equatoria is adding insult to injury.

The Bor IDPs in Equatoria are well armed, arrogant and intimidating the local communities on daily basis.

The Bor IDPs in Equatoria are the problem but not the peaceful people of Equatoria. This should be noted by anybody who has common sense.

Appeal to Bor IDPs

The Bor Community Association in the Diaspora is well advised to instead appeal to their community leaders in Equatoria to urge their violent IDPs to embrace peaceful co-existence as the people of Equatoria are already peaceful.

The people of Equatoria have neither threatened violence on Bor IDPs nor harm their cattle. It is instead the Bor IDPs that are wanton in behavior and deliberately letting loose their cattle in a sadistic manner to destroy food crops, thereby causing unnecessary food insecurity to the people of Equatoria.

The Bor Community Association is informed that the Bor IDPs will always threaten violence whenever their cattle are stopped from feeding on food crops in Equatoria.

Now to where should the appeal for a peaceful co-existence be directed?

The Bor Community Association in the Diaspora should stop being tribalistic if it is truly nationalistic. Tribalism is already tearing the country apart. How far should we allow this to happen?


The Bor Community Association in the Diaspora appeal to the governors of Equatoria would have been in place if the people of Equatoria were behaving like pastoralists who were always inclined to threats of violence on the peaceful people of Equatoria.

The Bor IDPs in Equatoria were welcomed and respected but have now abused that respect.

As the story of the Arab and the camel goes, the Bor IDPs cast their eyes on Equatoria lands with unrestrained appetite to occupy them permanently with no due consideration for the local communities and their legitimate right of ownership of the land.

The IDPs virtually refused to return to Bor because probably some powerful elements were on their side until the current conflict is adding more IDPs to the existing ones.

Equatoria is a peaceful region and any IDP is expected to reciprocate to integrate.

However, pastoralists IDPs in Equatoria have introduced a culture of brute violence where land grabbing is done by force. IDPs deliberately let loose their cattle to graze on food crops by force. Everything is a macho culture.

In conclusion, the members of Bor Community in the Diaspora who have experienced peaceful co-existence in their respective adopted countries should pioneer the concept of peaceful co-existence among their pastoralist communities.

The sedentary people of Equatoria are ever peaceful and they do not need a lecture on peaceful co-existence from culturally violent people who have no sense of peaceful co-existence.

The problem is of pastoralists own making and they need to solve it. People of Equatoria are peaceful and respectful, and they do not expect less. END

Over 1,000 refugees enter Uganda daily – Red Cross

By: Francis Emorut, NEW VISION, KAMPALA, (published APR, 12, 2014);

BREAKING NEWS: More than 3,000 Sudanese refugees have over the last three days entered into Uganda according to an official of the Uganda Red Cross Society.

This brings the total of Sudanese refugees to over 70,000 since tensions flared on December 15, 2013, in South Sudan following an uprising among military officers in support and against president Salva Kir.

“The situation is still precarious and we continue to receive refugees on a daily basis,” Stephen Alatawa the operations manager of Uganda Red Cross Society, based in Adjumani district, said.

The refugees crossed into Uganda through Nimule and Elegu border points.

The deputy commandant of Ayilo refugee camp, Johnson Okot, said the camp was congested and yet they continued to receive more refugees.

The new refugees have, however, been relocated to Mungula new refugee site camp in Adjumani district.

Humanitarian agencies like the United National High Commission for Refugees, Uganda Red Cross Society, the World Food Programme and Oxfam among others are providing interventions to mitigate the effects of overcrowding in refugee camps in Adjumani.

According to the Uganda Red Cross Society 90% of the refugees are Dinkas and 60% of them are children.

Other refugees have been resettled at Ayilo resettlement camp.

The Uganda Red Cross Society has installed piped water using new technology with the help of the Germany Red Cross and the Red Cross of Norway.

The agencies are also providing psychosocial support to traumatised refugees.

South Sudan: A Nation in Disastrous Situation, Failed by Bad Politics

By: Bol Garang Bol, Canberra, AUSTRALIA, APR/12/2014, SSN;

Despite the death of Dr. John Garang de Mabior, the founding President of South Sudan
government and historically First Vice-President of Sudan who passed away in July 2005 after 23 days, the people of South Sudan were with hopes and expectations that a nation will be
born and the birth of this nation will end the long suffering of South Sudanese in the hands of their oppressors.

The birth of this nation was assigned to General Salva, the current President as a senior midwife in the ward and also due to his loyalty to the Movement where he also served as John Garang’s Vice Chairman during the struggle.

Kiir took over as President of South Sudan and Vice President of the Republic of Sudan as stipulated by the agreement signed between the NCP and the SPLM after the chair of SPLM fell vacant.

The nation was born as expected. But what matters is how the political realm of President Kiir leadership immediately after he took over as the result of demise of Dr. John Garang was and still being dominated by a section of Dinka, particularly from Salva Kiir’s home backyard, Greater Bar el Ghazal States.

Many South Sudanese see Kiir as man who misused his mandate and circled himself with individual groups who neglected others.

This group with President ears comprised, Aleu Ayeny Aleu, the Interior Minister, Telar Ring Deng, the Presidential Legal Advisor, Paul Malong Awan, Governor for N. Bar el Ghazal and Akol Kor Kuc, the Director for Internal Security and the former Deputy Speaker for SSLA, Daniel Awet Akot.

They undermined other leaders from other ethnic communities and terming them as “non-conforming Dinkas”, the term referred to non-speaking Dinka.

The others contributors in tearing the country apart are his notorious Presidential Guards. Their non-condemned actions around Salva Kiir turned the nation born with hopes and expectations into a graveyard for our people.

Not to forget in the list is the Minister for Information, Michael Makuei Lueth who is considered as risk taker who always takes hardest options of leadership through gossiping and hatred speeches to secure his position in the government.

The people of South Sudan believed that Kiir and his government had failed to steer the Country to prosperity and was now bent on silencing alternatives voices including the media, non-governmental organisations opposed to his style of leadership.

The degree to which President Salva Kiir and those around him dominate political life in South Sudan was all too apparent back in 2012 with the push to overturn that part of the constitution which limited presidents to two terms in office.

It was clear throughout Kiir’s first term (2011-2015) that he wanted to stay in power beyond 2015.

In my analysis, the South Sudan I saw, grew up and lived in it for 22 years is far from perfect. The problems the country are facing have been well-documented and there is little need if any at all to dwell on these issues.

What has become apparent however in South Sudan is that we are increasingly becoming a society that would rather focus on the problems without necessarily discussing or offering solutions to the myriad of challenges we face.

What’s needed is definitive leadership that would outline in broad strokes the path the country should take in navigating its way out of the dilemma it presently finds itself in.

South Sudan is a nation of many ethnic and religious groups; and for this, governing the society is an enormous job.

Given the presence of politically assertive ethnic groups, the stability and survival of the present democratic politics depend on how the leader controls the potential ethnic disputes that would result.

Leaders have duties to unite people regardless of their political affiliation.

John Gardner, a British writer has pointed out that the “task of leaders is to help societies understand the problems that all must face, to aid in the setting of goals and
priorities, to work with others in finding paths to those goals chosen, maintaining public
morale, and motivation and nurturing a workable level of public unity”.

Leaders must activate existing institutions in pursuit of the society’s goals or, when necessary, help redesign institutions to achieve that result. Leaders must also help people know how they can be at their best.

Many have lost faith in our politicians and, more generally, the political system in its entirety.

Just a quick glance at any of the local dailies paints a rather sad story; political leaders living in plentiful, enriching themselves with impunity at the expense of the masses they claim to serve.

This just shows how these political elites have lost connection with the generality of the people, and how bereft of genuine leaders our country is.

Faced with these realities, one cannot really blame the people for their general apathy when it comes to our politics but blames must be directed to the President for his lack of clear direction.

However, no matter how rich a nation is but without the right leaders it is unlikely to progress.

South Sudan has not made much progress because the country has been conferring undue respect to official titles without policies in their Ministries.

The members of the National Assembly have been chasing the shadow of money, and some of them lack the integrity and knowledge to perform their basic duties.

For our country to progress, we need leaders with good ears and open minds, consistently truthful and approachable.

This however is unfortunate as South Sudan is a republic which, by definition, is a State in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives.

As such the obligation of charting the course the country should take is incumbent upon the political leaders who represent the people of their constituencies.

When our politics fail therefore, the nation fails. Hard as it may be to take in, this is the fact. A dearth in leadership at the top will inevitably give way to a dysfunctional socio-economic system.

When a sitting Member of Parliament makes unwarranted claims that the Country has suffered from corruption, bad governance with such potentially volatile pronouncements, one questions if the leader truly has the interests of the people at heart.

When people jostle for power in messy internal politics instead of focusing on core issues affecting the well-being of most South Sudanese, it beggars belief as to how those very same people can claim to represent the people.

Name-calling and hurling of insults at each other hardly serves any meaningful purpose other
than to divert the people’s attention from the real issues that are affecting them.

Yet it seems this is what our politicians mostly excel at; shouting the loudest away from the corridors of power.

Yet in the House of Assembly, where their voices matter the most, they are found dozing off instead of participating in constructive debate to shape the country’s future.

Interesting too is how easily politicians can major in the minors by focusing on issues such as renaming institutions and monuments. While these may be noble undertakings, they are really not bread and butter issues that warrant the time and resources spent on them.

The people need jobs, food on the table, access to better healthcare; matters that have a direct bearing on the quality of their lives.

Bringing the argument back home, there is a dire need for those who hold the reins of power to reconnect with the general populace and direct their efforts to protecting and to serving.

The political elitism syndrome needs to be dealt away with as a matter of urgency. We are all created equal!

Yes there are many who did not “fight” the liberation war, but that does not make them lesser human beings than those who “fought” the war.

What all South Sudanese want is a functioning government based upon inclusive politics that truly have the people at heart.

Frankly, there is no place here for self-serving politicians who are only visible in their
constituencies when elections are drawing near.

The cabinet has to be visible more than just on paper and be relevant by offering alternative policies and strategies and thereby ensuring a vibrant democracy.

As long as our leaders fail to uphold the true duties of their public offices, the republic’s perfection will be stalled.

Our Country cannot be held to ransom by a select few people who further their own gains while the rest of the people struggle under economic hardship.

The current crop of politicians, regardless of party affiliation, needs to touch base with the true duty of service and realise that they are involved in processes and institutions that are bigger than themselves.

They need to appreciate that the decisions they make have far-reaching implications and that they, therefore, hold the fate of many in their hands.

South Sudan is a beautiful land with untold potential. However, as long as our politicians
continue on their current path this potential will never be realised.

Of course, this does not hold true for all our politicians as, without the need to mention names, there are some who have served the people with distinction.

It is commendable that this breed of leaders exists and they are to be emulated. Nations have risen and fallen as a direct result of the quality of the leadership and it is imperative for good governance and leadership to reign in this land if South Sudan is to develop.

Furthermore, the present brand of “winner takes all” politics which in my opinion is at the root of the unnecessary political headwinds we have had to witness needs to be revised going forwards.

South Sudan as a country which suffered from marginalisation before because of Arab domination has rights to reject any leader whose agenda is to create bad blood between tribes and whose career is based on ethnic dichotomy.

Where is the genesis of the conflict between these two hardworking tribes who should otherwise compliment each other in nation-building?

The Dinka community has nothing against the Nuer and/or any other tribe for that matter; and if Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar have their own problems with themselves they should keep the Tribes out of it!

Bol Garang Bol is a South Sudanese living in Canberra, Australia

He can be reached at

Search for Indigenous Solution to South Sudan Problem

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, APR/08/2014, SSN;

On the 9th July 2011 South Sudan declared itself independent from the old Sudan after decades of bitter and devastating armed struggle that caused so much loss of lives and destruction of property. South Sudan celebrated with fanfare the end of half century of utter subjugation by neocolonial system of governance in the old Sudan.

It is not within the scope of this article to go into the details of half century neocolonialism in South Sudan. Suffice to say that barely two years of independence the people South Sudan started to experience problems of governance. It seems yesterday’s mentality of liberation with undisciplined volunteers has not yet changed into the mentality of fostering socio-economic development through discipline.

In 2005 after a comprehensive peace agreement with the government of the old Sudan, South Sudan became a self-governing autonomous part. The ruling party was the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) with its military wing, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) which had prosecuted a 21-year old war for the freedom of the people of South Sudan. The vision of the SPLM was clear. It was to establish conditions contrary to conditions in the old Sudan.

Some aspects of the vision include establishment of democracy and good governance. On democracy the SPLM vision is the establishment of democratic path of development which empowers and encourages active participation of all citizens at all levels.

On governance the vision is the establishment of good governance where the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority in the management of the country’s affairs at all levels shall be people-based so that individuals and groups have an effective say in management and in decision that affect their lives.

The vision of the SPLM couldn’t have been clearer.

South Sudan Problem

South Sudan problem is in fact the problem of the SPLM as a political party which should not have been the problem of South Sudan in the first place. However, as the SPLM is the dominant ruling party in government, the problem has become a South Sudan problem because of the split of the SPLM and defections from the SPLA that has become of national concern.

The problem started when voices began to be heard of poor service delivery by the SPLM led government. Cases of rampant corruption were also heard loudly. According to an opinion poll in Sudanic Magazine of March/April 2008 Vol. 1 Issue 2, the Government of Southern Sudan was perceived as 90 per cent corrupt. Arguably the disappointment with the SPLM led government started to grow.

The problem came to a head when there was a crack in the SPLM leadership. This was partly due to contradictions in what the vision of SPLM was and what was actually happening in practice on the ground.

The contradictions seem to have been too much that the SPLM leadership was categorically split right in the middle with one part as SPLM in Government and the other SPLM in opposition. The SPLA was also divided in loyalty. Some SPLA commanders and their men defected to the SPLM in Opposition with their equipment.

The split was no longer an SPLM problem but a South Sudan problem that had dragged in the United Nations (UN), African Union (UA) and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) in the interest of peace and stability in the region and also to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in South Sudan.

Attempts for a solution

As highlighted above collective efforts to reconcile the differences between SPLM leaders that were supported by the countries of the region, international partners and the African Union did not succeed. By the end of November 2013 tensions between the SPLM in government and the SPLM in Opposition increased. The SPLM in Opposition accused the SPLM in Government of dictatorial tendencies and unilateral decision-making.

The split in the SPLM leadership produced a violent confrontation. In Juba on 15th December 2013 various elements of the presidential guard started fighting in their barracks. However, the SPLM in Government was quick to describe the fighting as an attempted coup d’état perpetrated by forces allied with the SPLM in Opposition. The SPLM in Opposition on its part denied any involvement in the alleged coup d’état.

A delegation of the IGAD Council of Ministers supported by the UN and AU travelled to Juba in an effort to persuade the parties to settle their differences peacefully. A second IGAD delegation led by the President of Kenya and Prime Minister of Ethiopia visited Juba for the same purpose as that of the first delegation.

The efforts made by the President of Kenya and Prime Minister of Ethiopia culminated in the convening in Nairobi of an extraordinary summit of IGAD member states where three special envoys to support the Government of South Sudan and the SPLM in Opposition were named. The aim was to enable the parties to reach in an inclusive manner, a resolution to the problem and to initiate a dialogue by 31 December 2013.

Problem persisting

Events took a violent turn of intense fighting on 15 December 2013. However, people are now in April 2014 and it is now about 5 months since fighting started. The problem between the SPLM in Government and the SPLM in Opposition seems to be persisting. Now what do people think of the problem and its implication on the governance of the country?

The membership of SPLM is not the entire population of South Sudan and the SPLM is just one single party among many in South Sudan. Instead of relying on IGAD, the UN and the AU to resolve the split in the SPLM, it is also important for the people of South Sudan to look at themselves as a key factor in resolving the violent conflict that is tearing their country apart. South Sudanese need to be confident and self-reliant.

No solution should be imposed without an inclusive participation of all political parties for a consensus on the way forward in the best interest of South Sudan as a nation but not necessarily in the interest of an individual party. The international community should take note of this.

The split in the SPLM has caused much pain to people of South Sudan. However, it seems when South Sudanese are taking sides it aggravates the problem. There has to be a common ground to resolve the problem.

The common ground should be a progressive provisional government. Blaming either side vehemently is not the way forward but seeking a common ground is in the interest of national unity.

South Sudanese indigenous solution

The SPLM in Government and the SPLM in Opposition seem to be too dogmatic and only appear to care much about their leadership’s survival and power in the country. They are like two boxers in a ring each one wants to win by all means. The two boxers do not see a win-win situation as an option but an all knock out of the opponent for a glory in the ring.

South Sudan is bleeding with the people enduring untold hardships instead of enjoying the fruit of their bitter struggle for independence from Arab Islamic bigotry and tyranny in the old Sudan. As it were, the people of South Sudan seem to have been thrown from the frying pan into the fire. Can the people of South Sudan truly put on a cap of extraordinary nationalism?

The SPLM in Government and the SPLM in Opposition should be made acutely aware that their belligerence is an absolute liability for all in South Sudan. People need a leadership full of confidence, to give and take, and decisive enough to bring the peace for which people are yearning.

A win-win situation for the SPLM in Government and the SPLM in Opposition is possible where a progressive provisional government is headed by technocrats of proven integrity but excluding either of the belligerents.

When the November 1958 military regime of Ibrahim Aboud was overthrown through a popular civil disobedience, Sir el Khatim el Khalifa, an Educationist, headed the provisional government. Also, when the May 1969 military regime of Jaafer el Numeiri was toppled Djouzili Daffalla, a Medical Doctor, headed the provisional government.

Why is it so scary to allow South Sudanese technocrats, who may include politicians of integrity, to head a provisional government as a compromise in the face of unnecessary devastation of the country?

The belligerence in Addis Ababa peace talks could be the fear in individuals who think they may face charges for crimes committed against humanity because of their perceived contribution to the carnage caused by the unfortunate split in the SPLM and the defections from the SPLA.

I am confident that the people of South Sudan will accept the offer of immunity for the anxious SPLM leaderships in return for them handing over power to technocrats to head a provisional government for the benefit of all. This can be through a negotiation with open minds and hearts.

This will be a typical South Sudanese own indigenous and genius solution to the violent conflict and the bitterness the conflict has generated. This is in order for security and stability to return to our beloved country with minimum delay for people to go about their daily business with peace of mind.


People of South Sudan are of one destiny. It is only unfortunate that they seem to be lacking a clear direction provided by a visionary leadership that is very caring for each and every ethnic group in the land. This is because people are frequently inclined to be instinctively tribalistic.

We in South Sudan need decisive leadership that is seen to protect each and every South Sudanese regardless of ethnicity or region. Upholding the rule of law to the letter is paramount so that none feels injustice in the Republic of South Sudan.

In conclusion, we all need to strive vigorously to make South Sudan progressively free of those who are inclined to be instinctively tribalistic for the national unity of South Sudan to flourish like flowers with some of the most beautiful colours on planet earth. END

Dinkocrats going bananas in Juba on hearing president Obama’s sweeping sanctions!!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, APR/05/2014, SSN;

Kiir’s minister of misinformation Michael Makuei was reported to have gone bananas on hearing president Obama’s authorization of the “ground sweeping sanctions” against all south Sudan’s warlords in government and in opposition, obviously including both President Salva Kiir and his ex-deputy Dr Riek Machar.

Makuiei who looks and behaves like someone fresh from the cattle camp is one of the many unpolished characters in Kiir’s current cabinet. A lawyer and judge by profession, there is hardly anything in his crude behaviours to suggest he had even seen a blackboard let alone going to school or holding a degree in Law from Sudan’s prestigious University of Khartoum.

His comments here sums it all:

“In the first place, I don’t know what are the criteria used by him (president Obama) to decide who (whether X or Y) has committed human rights violations or abuses,” he said

“The investigation has not yet started, and based on that investigation, this would have been the most appropriate time for him (Obama) to decide as to who violated and what action should be taken against them,” Makuei continued rambling.

You see, this is the same Michael Makuei who was involved in physical shovels and abusive words with the UNIMISS forces in Bor when his heavily armed guards were refused entry into the UN compound.

Do we really want to be told that this very minister is the first on Obama’s list of people who obstructed the UNMISS duty in South Sudan?

But see how he is reacting now and asking for an investigation to be carried out, as if he is just waking up from a deep sleep, and all that he did was a “sleep walking”.

On the other hand was it not his boss, the South Sudan’s Vice President, James Wani Igga, who addressed the SPLM mob as they demonstrated against the UNMISS in Juba, accusing the UN of being a colonialist organisation?

This is more than a gone case by the way. And we all know that the international community is fully behind Obama’s sanctions.

We also know that it only a matter of time before the remaining Oil production in Poluch, Upper Nile State is brought to a complete halt by the imminent rebel attack on the site.

With these glaring facts, Kiir and his dinkocrats are between a rock and a hard place.

They will have to both choose between using their cows’ dung for fuel, cows’ milk for food and export the cattle hides to fetch them the much needed hard currency.

Or with a local currency in a free fall and an economy that never ever existed, their other alternative will be to continue begging Museveni of Uganda for both food and endless military protection, crowning him as Master of the Dinka and Ruler of the Great Lakes region.

Which is the lesser of two evils, when the choice is in fact between the devil himself and the deep blue sea!

For those you who follow articles on South Sudan, there is a well written piece of Ed/Op under the heading “Kiir should plan his exit strategy: A Citizen’s Concern’s point of view, by: Abraham Deng Lueth, B.S., MPA, Kansas City, MO, USA, APR/03/2014, South Sudan Nation.

This beautifully thought through article, represents the author’s attempt to assist President Kiir with an exit strategy.

However the truth remains that Salva Kiir’s leadership has long been identified by many analysts as a system too deformed to be reformed.

And the only way for Salva Kiir to appreciate what the author has suggested to him is for something dramatic to happen.

As a less humiliating exist strategy after those who stood with the independence of South Sudan are turning their backs to him en masse, our friend’s advice is still not in any way an easy prescription that Kiir can adhere too, nor is it an easy pill for him to swallow.

But at this very advanced stage of his mental confusion, Kiir has obviously repeatedly made many wrong decisions than he had made right ones. It all boils down to his state of mind.

Thus anything new can only make sense to Kiir and his coterie if they underwent mind transplants first.

The truth is that these type of operations are not feasible even in the far future and South Sudan cannot be kept waiting forever when atrocities are being committed everywhere.

Instantly calling it quits after reaching this stage would have been the only logical thing to do.

Yet logic, like common sense, are things that have long left the country the moment these guys came the default rulers in the embattled South Sudan.

Hence, it is impossible for president Kiir to relinquish power voluntarily. Even if he were promised another chance to rule South Sudanese in the next world, he won’t do it.

Voluntarily stepping down is just too much for this dictator’s inner psychic which has long been mal-conditioned to recognise no any other possible successor.

Practically speaking, this dictator has very limited choices and I hope President Barack Obama sees it the way I see it.

To me Salva Kiir and his followers have only two exist strategies to choose from.

To cut a long story short, as things stand now President Kiir can either choose to exit power the Sadaam Hussein’s way or he chooses the Muamar Gadhafi’s way.

There is no any third option left for this dictator after he has caused the death of tens of thousands of innocent civilians!

Dr. JAC Ramba. A voice for the voiceless.

Reconciliation & Peaceful Co-existence of People in South Sudan

BY: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, APR/04/2014, SSN;

On the 15th December 2013 gun fire flared up in the headquarters of the presidential guards (Al Qiyada) and within hours it spread across the capital of Juba. Precisely in two days, fighting had engulfed the length and breadth of Greater Upper Nile Region.

The uninformed in the world must have been wondering what on earth was happening in South Sudan with people who have just restored peace to their country after destructive wars and much bloodshed. Concerned South Sudanese must have also been wondering to where all this was leading.

For South Sudanese to turn the guns viciously against each other as people of one destiny was totally unacceptable. History may judge the people of South Sudan harshly.

In view of the massive destruction of resources and lives in such a short time that seems to be already polarizing people along ethnic or regional lines, the appropriate approach is reconciliation for a peaceful co-existence of the people of South Sudan.

The world is watching and will judge whether the people of South Sudan are mature and fit to govern themselves in contrast to the people of Somalia in the Horn of Africa. However, South Sudanese should be confident that they can govern themselves.

What is important, though, is to rise above ethnic and political differences in order to focus on nation building for prosperity for all.

Reconciliation and peaceful co-existence

There is unlikely to be short cut to peace in South Sudan without the process of reconciliation. For peace to take roots reconciliation should be based on the concept of equitable distribution of power and wealth, and observance of the rule of law.

A prosperous nation cannot be built on the basis of discriminatory practices whether knowingly or unknowingly.

South Sudanese must accept each other from the bottom of their hearts as citizens of one country. The crude scramble for power and economic domination will not be helpful in fostering the spirit of togetherness and national unity.

Here a federal system of government may offer a solution.

For a way forward South Sudanese may need to be sensitive about the world around them in contrast to ethno-centricism where one ethnic group dominates the affairs of the nation as though other ethnic groups do not exist. People should treat each other with humility as of one destiny.

Unless people rise above ethno-centricism as, for example, a Dinka protects a defenseless Nuer and a Nuer does vice versa, people are in for a very long bumpy ride to nationhood.

Although the present conflict has unfortunately taken ethnic overtones as Dinka versus Nuer, reconciliation efforts should be conducted among South Sudanese of different ethnicities to address grudges and under surface bitterness against each other.

Self-examination for a way forward

People may need to understand that mistakes have been made either knowingly or unknowingly. A way forward is for people to self-examine themselves and accept that mistakes have been made and to be acknowledged publicly.

For example, land grabbing has been perpetuated by the illiterate, semi-literate and the literate simply because of the seemingly misguided assumption that with their kinsmen in power the rule of law does not apply.

This seems to be confirmed when land grabbers are neither condemned nor persecuted often, a license to grab more lands of others.

Another scenario is where people claim they are internally displaced persons (IDPs) and then occupy the land of others. Sometimes the IPDs are armed and terrorise the locals. In such a situation IDPs are nothing but mean occupiers and oppressors.

Now how can such behaviors as land grabbing and forceful occupation of land of others promote national cohesion and unity? Only the naïve can think so.

Some shameless land grabbers will even go to court without legal papers of land ownership in an attempt to justify their grabbing of land from legitimate owners.

It is not difficult to understand why land grabbing is persisting. This is simply because land grabbers erroneously assume that as their kinsmen are dominant in the system, they are protected against the unprotected land owners.

With this type of crude behavior that is unfortunately being condoned, how can a prosperous, strong and united country be built?

Peaceful co-existence for unity

Reconciliation and peace can be realized in South Sudan when people rise above ethnic divide. The first few days of the fighting that sparked off in Juba on 15 December 2013 took an ethnic dimension.

According to the South Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC) Interim Report on South Sudan Internal Conflict December 15, 2013 – Marc h 15, 2014, there were accusations and counter-accusations that the Dinka massacred Nuer in Juba and more precisely in Munuki 107 residential area and that the Dinka were massacred in Bor, Akobo, Bentiu and Malakal.

The conflict has produced two opposing parties, the SPLM in Government and the SPLM in Opposition.

The Report of 6 March 2014 of the Secretary General of the United Nations on South Sudan asserts that, “Both parties to the conflict have been responsible for ethnically targeted attacks on civilians and have failed to comply with international humanitarian and human rights law (p.7)”.

The UN Secretary General’s Report suggests that massive human rights violations might have been committed against innocent civilians because of their ethnicities. This clearly indicates the urgency of reconciliation to restore peace in South Sudan.

The talk of inclusive or interim government before any reconciliation with commitment to put things right may hardly produce the desired result. Reconciliation for peaceful co-existence must go concurrently with an agreement on governance.


Reconciliation is of paramount importance to create peace in South Sudan. Without reconciliation and a comprehensive peace agreement the alternative is likely to be a prolonged conflict that may lead to the disintegration of the country.

What will stop any of the Greater Regions of South Sudan to declare independence and then strenuously defend and protect it at any cost?

Arguably South Sudanese are not one people but are people of one destiny as evidenced by the overwhelming vote for independence in January 2011. The solid unity displayed in the referendum was a collective expressed fear of being second class citizen under the known discriminatory system of Arab Islamic Sudan.

As it were, the people of South Sudan vowed never to be marginalized again in their life time hence the vote for independence.

Now how can one in their right minds turn a blind eye to marginalization of others in independent South Sudan?

In conclusion, the basis of reconciliation in South Sudan should be the strong desire for a system that does not marginalize others through ethnic or regional hegemony. This is in order for people to live in harmony.

There are more than 60 ethnic groups and three Greater Regions in South Sudan. All should therefore be treated with sensitivity in promoting national unity. END