Category: Politics

General George Athor’s first anniversary: He stood against bullies!

BY: ElHag Paul, RSS, DEC/17/2012, SSN;

19th December 2011 is the day the SPLM/A lynched Gen. George Athor in Morobo district at the foot of Poki Hills. The gruesome pictures flashed over SSTV as evidence showed the general on the ground in civilian clothes with gaping bullet wounds. It is an unbelievable to see a body of a well experienced military officer on mission to recruit in that part of the country. Ironically, this very location, Poki hill locally is renowned mythically for felling the mighty of the mightiest.

The narrative aired on the media channels in RSS on that day rang hollow. The information could not add up and this is what makes the killing of Athor a very controversially disturbing thing.

On Wednesday 19th December 2012 Athor will have been gone for one year. The real story behind his presence in Morobo district at the time where he met his fate may only be known in future. Truth has a way of coming out no matter how it is managed. Nature has decreed that human beings even the best of friends at one time will fall out and it is during such a time that the truth will then come out.

South Sudanese just need to patiently wait for the mendacity of SPLM Oyee to fall apart and the truth to burst into the open for everybody to see.

Gen. Athor’s quarrel with his own organisation,the SPLM/A, was triggered by discrimination. The SPLM body responsible for selecting candidates for general elections of April 2010 (for reasons best known to itself) barred the general from contesting for the post of governorship of Jonglei state in favour of Gen. Kuol Manyang Jouk.

Had the SPLM/A had policies and rules in place for selection of candidates, perhaps the situation would not have gotten out of control leading to unnecessary loss of life. As is always the case with SPLM the selections were solely based on personal opinions of the members of SPLM politburo which is heavily clouded with clannish and tribal bias.

It is doubtful whether this lackluster organisation now has any written rules and criteria for future internal contest for positions. As 2015 election looms the same scenario is likely to recur.

In response to this discriminatory act, Gen. Athor opted to contest the election as an independent candidate. He had massive support locally and opinion from the ground suggested he would win the gubernatorial seat. However, having lost favour of his organisation the elections were rigged in favour of Gen. Kuol Manyang Jouk. Gen. Athor asked for recount of the votes but without any good reasons this was rejected outright by SPLM confirming the electoral fraud.

With this, Athor’s recourse to justice was snuffed off. Aggrieved without an outlet like a dog pushed into a corner he rebelled and the rest is history.

To make his point, violence broke out in Jonglei highlighting the poor governance of the SPLM. This is a party that yells loudly about democracy yet intolerant of democratic practises. Democracy is a beautiful shinny garment that even Lucifer wraps himself in it. The current dictators of SPLM Oyee sang it when they were rebels only for their behaviour to exhibit their true characters as totalitarians.

The instruments of dictators fortunately are shrinking by the day. The monopoly of violence enjoyed by dictators is gradually being erased by people’s power. For instance the Arab spring and before it the various revolutions in Europe attest to it.

The control of the media similarly has been shattered by advances in information technology. Lies churned out by dictators are instantly deciphered by the public exposing the failures of the system and the incompetence of the leaders. Deception is by the day proving to be a difficult thing for leaders to manufacture. Thus the internet is proving to be their nemesis and there is nothing they can do about it.

Kleptocracy, the process by which the thieving leaders enrich themselves to maintain power for generations too is becoming difficult to hide. Stashing of stolen cash abroad is now affected by the international measures in place – transparency and anti-laundering instruments which expose culprits.

For example, president Bongo of Gabon recently found himself in deep troubles after his assets in France were made public with questions as to how he acquired them. All these developments are replacing the paraphernalia of oppressors and overpowering them in the process.

Fareed Zakaria in his book ‘The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad’ published by Norton in London in 2004 argues that when dictators as is the experience now in RSS and many African countries begin to hold sham elections the signs are on the wall that democracy has beaten them. The sham elections that they hold are a way of trying to escape reality and delusionally hold on to power because what the democratisation of every sphere of life has done is to strip them of their oracles of control, namely media, knowledge, violence etc.

Let us take the case of RSS, in April 2010 it held bogus elections in which it rigged its way into power. This was followed by bulldozing the shoddy constitution now used to abuse the people.

The fact that they stole the elections and put in place an undemocratic constitution did not give the SPLM/A the legitimacy it hoped for. Conversely, the fraud energized the people, at the time through the leadership of Peter Sule to point out the imbalance in the distribution of powers of the three arms of the government. This infuriated the rulers. Who was Peter Sule to challenge them?

In the bush they got used to exercising the ultimate power without criticism and restraint. Those who dared open their mouths like Benjamin Bol, Martin Majier, etc… were killed in cold blood. Now having gotten acculturised to mindless brutality and having acquired the reigns of state power they can not stomach any criticism positive or otherwise from anybody.

Here, Sule’s positive criticism was mistaken and he got framed. The allegation leveled against him is something that should be taken with a pinch of salt. Mendacity runs in the blood arteries of the SPLM Oyee.

As with all totalitarian regimes, the SPLM Oyee detests intellectuals, especially journalists. Since South Sudan gained independence journalists and opinion writers reporting from the country have been subjected to harsh conditions. Decent people doing this very important work which constitutes one of the major tenets of democracy in South Sudan have found themselves imprisoned, tortured and terrorised.

For instance, Ngor Garang and Dengdit Ayok of Citizen Newspaper and diplomat Dr James Okuk. The government did not stop here it even went as far as trying to terrorise international journalist working for international news organisation such as Allan Boswell of McClatchy News of USA.

The stifling of freedom in South Sudan is a serious issue and we have a painful example in the sad story of Diing Chan Awuol with the pseudonym of Isaiah Abraham. His life was tragically cut short on 5th December 2012 simply because he expressed himself. Now regardless of his political belief, association and what he wrote.

Did Diing not have a right to life like all of us? Does writing and expression of an opinion constitute a first degree crime? Was his writing about corruption, mismanagement and foreign policy blunders of the government not a fact? Why kill him?

Supposing that expression of opinion constitutes a crime, why did the authorities not charge him in a court of law? Is lynching not against the shoddy constitution that the SPLM Oyee forced on the country? If the constitution is not applicable, why have it?

Importantly, who has the power of life and death? This particular question must be explored in depth in light of the terror unleashed by SPLM Oyee in the country to silence the people. Is it the president and his henchmen who decide who should live and die, or is it the people of South Sudan as sovereign in the form of the state who decide through proper judicial process?

Don Salvatore and the SPLM can not have it both ways. They can not behave like bush rebels and also claim to be statesmen. When all these questions are taken together would it be wrong for us the people of South Sudan to conclude that president Kiir and his group collectively are criminally liable for crimes against us the people of South Sudan?

Paradoxically, late Diing was a committed member of the SPLM Oyee. He dedicated most of his life to nurturing and protecting it. The largest percentage of his writings is in support of this very organisation that brutally took away his life. He believed in working within the SPLM Oyee to transform it, unfortunately it costed him his life.

For those who think that being a member of this joint can transform it they need to think again. It is better to desert it now and avoid being tainted beyond cleaning. By deserting it you will do honour to late Diing Chan Awuol and also register a strong vote against violence in South Sudan.

SPLM Oyee’s power and strength comes from you the members. Without you this organisation would be nothing as it should. Therefore, the massive corruption, the mismanagement, the failure in foreign policy and the terror they unleash indirectly and directly has your blessing. In a sense you are an accomplice. Think about it.

If you are a decent person who espouse democratic values and respect the right of life as enshrined in the various international instruments especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10th December 1948, you to distance yourself from this murderous machine.

The sooner you do so the quicker democracy, true freedom and peace will dawn on our country thus considerably minimizing the possibility of injustice such as the one foisted on Gen. Athor which resulted into a tragedy.

Athor rebelled to fight SPLM Oyee injustice. Like Diing who used the might of the pen, he was a well known popular personality in the SPLM/A. He gained respect from the rank and file of the liberation movement following the Nasir coup of 1991. Opposed to the coup and cut out from the main force of the movement in Equatoria, he managed without any support to hold his ground in Upper Nile for some years against SPLM Nasir faction until he later linked up with his HQs in Eastern Equatoria.

Reputed as brave and fierce man, the late leader of the SPLM/A Dr John Garang respected him and reportedly occasionally invited him to join in foreign trips.

Both Athor and Diing were killed by SPLM/A in cold blood during the Christian holy month of December a year apart. This month which means a lot to the citizens of South Sudan as Christians has been defiled by the barbaric behaviour of the SPLM Oyee – all the reason why we should reflect whether we want to continue being governed by this lot.

As for some of us we have overwhelmingly voted with our pens to see the back of this murderous organisation.

As Christians we hold the noble value of forgiveness. We do not believe in violence. We do not believe in shedding blood. Our Holy book tells us that if someone slaps you on the right cheek turn the other cheek to him. We believe in talking and solving problems amicably.

The culture of violence must stop in South Sudan. We all need to sign up against it. Killing serves no purpose at all. Some of the worst regimes in Africa like the Apartheid regime of South Africa saw sense in not killing the leadership of its opponents at the height of their struggle.

Please see ‘Killing is not a solution, uphold the rule of law’

This article was written early this year and late Diing may have read it but he did not comment on it. Its contents now more than at any time is relevant due to the reign of terror engulfing our country.

Regardless of what Athor did, good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable he did not deserve to be killed in cold blood without due process of law. He should have been accorded his right to defend himself in a South Sudan court of law for fairness to be seen to be done.

Again, regardless of what people think, Athor took a principled position against electoral theft and political bullying. His only error is that he chose violence; trusted foreign powers and got convinced that he was safe. This led to his demise.

Fundamentally Athor was brave but not shrewd. He was ignorant of political dynamics especially the constant shifts in politics in relations to interests. The only thing that remains constant in politics as articulated by the British is interest, all others are expendable. Diing in his last article tried to articulate this point vis-a-viz RSS and SPLM North and perhaps this was the bone of contention that sealed his fate.

May the people of South Sudan learn one or two things from late Athor’s first anniversary about the importance of holding on to values and principles even if it means losing one’s life. Athor in 1990s remained loyal to SPLM when he was cut off and surrounded by adversaries.

Athor in 2010 said no loudly to injustice and SPLM bullying. He deserves to be remembered for the hero he was for being principled and taking a stand against bullies, a very rare quality these days in our country.

[Truth hurts but It is also liberating]

Elhag Paul

Wau casualties of taking towns to people

BY: Martin Garang Aher, AUSTRALIA, DEC/15/2012, SSN;

Just like the time of Jervas Yak Ubangi, acting governor of Bahr el Ghazal during the premiership of Mohamed Ahmed Mahjoub (1967-1969), and on a completely differential paradox, the city of Wau on Sunday 9th December 2012, witnessed death in yet another horrible setting.

It had all began with Western Bahr El Ghazal State governor, Mr. Rizik Zakaria Hassan’s cabinet decision to transfer Wau County headquarters to Bagari, about 12 miles Southwest of Wau town, in an apparent reckoning of taking services closer to people. The decision had made the local town dwellers uneasy, prompting them to take to the streets in protest. The ensued drama was a horrendous nightmare. A video coming out from Aljazeera English Channel clearly shows people with guns firing into the crowds of unarmed civilians, many on foot, some on bicycles and others on motorbikes. The dead are seen on the ground in pools of blood in the aftermath of the shooting.

South Sudan government and the police are yet to agree on who did the killing. Whichever side will take the responsibility; the action was unacceptable and unpatriotic. The defensive governor, Rizik Zachariah Hassan is on record in denial that demonstrators were killed in the clash with the police – or the army. Earlier the minister of Information and Communications, Mr. Derik Alfred Uya, said that about eight people were killed. Numerical flaws sway between 25 deaths and the number that Mr. Derek had put forward. In fairness he had outperformed the governor who denied in totality that any of the protesters were killed.

Why did a simple street protest that teargas with batons might solve attract the full gallantry of the police? The anger shown by protesters, as alleged, in setting ablaze what was in the way could have risen to such height due to slackness in conveying to the people the decision of the cabinet to move the headquarters out of town.

One was stunned to see the repeat in South Sudan of South African police heavy-handedness, which characterized the apartheid regime and more recently, during the Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine in which the police gunned down thirty-four miners in cold blood. South Sudan government and Western Bahr el Ghazal government in particular ought to do better than allowing civilians to die for the decision that should have been communicated smoothly to the people.

Had the transfer of the headquarters been thoroughly put to the people, this incident could have been averted. The wanton use of force by the police will serve as a signal that life of the citizen is of little value. Wau and its authorities must chart a different trend in order not to bring to memories massacres that nearly made it the city of death in the past.

Similar incidences had occurred in Wau before, in which authorities had acted out of malice on people. But the circumstances were different. One of these incidences is easy to recall from history. On the night of July 11, 1965, two cousins, Cypriano Cier and Ottavio Deng Maroro Rian wedded two sisters and daughters of a prominent chief, Benjamin Lang Juk. The wedding took place in Wau cathedral whereupon a double wedding party was announced. Many southern intellectuals were invited to the party.

The government of premier Mohamed Ahmed Mahjoub saw it fit to exterminate southern intellectuals at one sweep since southern Sudan was then a war zone and activities of the Anya Nya needed to be curbed. The difference between a southerner in town and those of the outlaws Anya Nya in the bush was proving difficult. To end the southern quest for a free country, the best way to do it was to cut off the heads of southern region through her knowledgeable cadres. It follows that the wedding party was surrounded at night by the army and everyone, including the brides and bridegrooms was massacred.

Wau woke up on the 12th July 1965 to a sobering count of seventy-six dead people, forty-nine of whom were southern government officials.

Jervas Yak Ubango, the acting governor who was revered as a high quality public administrator, was forced by the government to deny the occurrence of the incidence. He, in his own right, luckily escaped death earlier that night by leaving the venue just minutes before the killing occurred. In facts twisting, typical of Sudanese politicians, Sayed Ahmed al- Mahdi, minister of interior said the army had to shoot because some of the outlaws were planning to attack the armed forces and were using the wedding as a launching pad, and that they searched the party venue and have found weapons and munitions.

Al-Ayam newspaper on the ground disapproved minister’s allegation of the plan to attack the town as well as the presence of the outlaws in the wedding party. The paper was shut down for its defiance.

Unlike Wau of 1960s, home to wolves and sheep, Wau of the modern era is expected to play a critical role in spreading development, not to serve as a city of terror anymore. If Dr. John Garang were to be alive, his astonishment in witnessing the first casualties of his aphorism of taking towns to people vis-a-vis the popular expectation of the reverse would be eminent.

Garang suggested the idea in president Kibaki’s State House, Nairobi in 2005 and in presence of many African and world’s dignitaries and heads of states and governments during the signing of Six Machakos Protocols. For South Sudanese present at the time, it was sweet on the ears. The harbinger of towns coming to the villages was what was needed, or expected so as to realize the fullest of freedom.

When Garang made the statement, however, the pressing issue was the reality of peace coming to old towns. General Lazarous Sumbeiywo, IGAD envoy in charge of the Sudanese peace process had just completed his tactical knowledge of bush dashing and had managed to bring the parties to peace together to sign the penultimate documents, which were to pave the way towards the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. It was at the State House in Nairobi that the merry-go-round came to full circle.

Because of fear that the Sudanese were infiltrating the negotiating delegations every time an agreement was about to be struck and causing delays and possible stalling, Sumbeiywo had moved the negotiations venue from Naivasha, Machakos, Nyanuki and finally to Nairobi, thereby confining the fly in fly out parallel negotiators from Khartoum to hotels.

This, for records, saw the success of peace, and as a consequence made CPA The Nairobi Agreement. It would have been Washington Agreement had the IGAD committee accepted president Bush’s request to have it signed in the White House.

In truth, peace was coming. To many who had never been to towns in the old Sudan, the idea of towns coming home in the villages was just right. At least the overweening behavior of town folks would come to an end when the country achieves independence. No one would again ask anyone about having been to Juba, Wau, etc. In fact, it would be the village folks that would be asking themselves if towns have come to their villages.

But a few must have given it an in-depth reflection if it would involve administrative reordering and shifting. Indeed, following this lack of knowledge, what happened in Wau has doled out that there must have been a belief in a cheeky hypothesis that towns would be built from scratch and people asked to inhabit them in full functionality. It is a terrible misunderstanding! However, Wau is a city of controversies where death en masse had horrific historical precedence.

Martin Garang Aher is South Sudanese living in Western Australia. He can be reached at

Silence may be taken for complicity: An appeal to Mr. Oyai Deng Ajak, Dr. Majak D’Agoot Atem, Mr. Nhial Deng Nhial and Dr. Riek Machar

BY: Kuir e Garang, CANADA, DEC/13/2012, SSN;

For those of us familiar with American war against Fundamental Islam, or as some people euphemize it, War on Terror, the silence of moderate Muslims is believed to be the problem. Their silence is believed to be the problem because Muslim fundamentalists are a vocal minority. The majority of Muslims are law-abiding citizens, who also respect the value (or as religious people say, sanctity) of life.

In South Sudan the same general sentiment applies. South Sudan is a country that could act as an example for the rest of Africa if not the rest of the world. Unlike other African countries that came out of independence with little to no African political culture to learn from, South Sudan has a wealth of political and economic information to learn from.

We could avoid all the factors that led to economic stagnation and political volatility from the post-independence years to the present. Issues such as tribalization of national interests and suppression of free speech are some of the examples. So far, it seems we’ve not learnt anything from that.

But my main concern is that the country will soon be branded by the rest of the world in unflattering light while clear-minded people like you remain silent or indifferent. Why? Why? Have freedom fighters become callous villains?

Recent incidences such as the assassination of political commentator, Isaiah Diing Chan, the disappearance of Wiyual Manytap and the senseless killing of over twenty young people in Wau (which reminds us of Wau massacre of 1965), are a few of countless counter-productive issues worrying us.

We love this country and we’d want it to prosper to its utmost potentials. Our hearts are bleeding as we see the country drift into a POLICE STATE. Who’d want to invest in such a nation?

Why is voicing a personal opinion treated disdainfully with a draconian steel? And a colleague of mind today wrote: “…this president has been gradually becoming more and more royal before our very eyes!!” That is true but sad, really sad!

It’s not that you’ve forgotten the principles that engendered the birth of SPLM/A, it is that there is something happening within the government; something we don’t understand. Another colleague of mine recently wrote an article in which he painted SPLM as a medley of micro-factions with competing interests. That is scary.

In such a situation, SPLM will not be productive unless those competing interests are either reconciled or the party disintegrates. There is something happening within the government that outsiders don’t know. But how and when is that going to end so that meaningful democracy and development you all fought for can start?

The agents in the National Security have actually become the agents of the average citizen’s National Insecurity. People with different opinions aren’t national security issues we should watch.

Are we building a nation-of-a-single-opinion dictated by the state?

Your silence, while the average citizens are terrorized or killed by people, who are supposed to protect them, will be taken for complicity in the current reign of terror against our people.

The guns didn’t go silent; they turned against the very people who were supposedly liberated. As others pull the guns to kill, you’re killing our people thorough omission, as they say in Ethics. Your inaction is as brutal as the action of those terrorizing our people.

The legacy of SPLM as the party of the people is fast fading as people have become disillusioned with the party that has turned into a death processing factory. I don’t see why any conscientious South Sudanese would vote again for a party that cares not a bit about the very people that put it there.

You have to come out and tell South Sudanese what is happening within the government (good or bad) that is keeping you quiet. If there is nothing major keeping you quiet, as the country is almost off the cliff, then it’s high time you change the direction of the country.

Your silence is crippling the nation. If you can’t change the system then resign so that South Sudanese can see your clean conscience. If you continue to serve in a system that is callously killing people and leading the country nowhere as you watch, then some of us would question your moral outlook.

As the National Security Minister, Mr. Oyai Deng Ajak, the killings are in your hands on principle unless you, with the president, exonerate yourselves, or reform national security for the better.

I heard about you as a teenager living in Western Equatoria (now Central) when you bravely headed Operation Jungle Storm (OJS) in early 90s. People applauded you as a flawless hero. Why are the people you fought to protect being killed by people under you?

Because you are inside the government, it is sometimes hard to see things clearly from within. You have to remember that the government of South Sudan is looking more like the government of Sudan in structure, functionality and intentions: torture houses, political assassinations, disappearances of vocal citizens, national security censorship of newspapers, total powers of the president, intimidation of opposition members, willful corruption, nepotism, ruling of the country by a small powerful few, governance (Council of ministers, Council of States and National Legislative Assembly) and the list continues.

Please, protect our people!

Kuir e Garang is a South Sudanese poet and author living in Canada. For contact visit or follow him on twitter: @kuirthiy

Requiem for Isaiah Abraham

QUOTE: “One man with courage makes a majority.” Andrew Jackson, 7th President of U.S

BY: Fanwell L. Edward, Accra, Ghana, DEC/11/2012, SSN;

Grief-stricken women wailed uncontrollably as the coffin sank slowly into the deep grave on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Like the setting sun sinking behind the hills yonder, the coffin finally rested at the bottom of the dark, cold grave to announce the end of a bright day and the beginning of a long, starless night that shall forever remain dark and dreamless. Their faces distorted by pain, sweat glistening on their distraught foreheads and tears of bitterness and loss streaming down their aged cheeks, the men sat motionlessly as a speaker struggled to offer a befitting eulogy. The shock has been unbearable because death came unannounced in the small hours of Wednesday morning. The shock has been profound because death came probably in a vehicle purchased by the precious blood of the citizens of this tormented land. The shock has been great because death came probably by orders from someone(s) whose duty was to protect the deceased and other citizens from unwarranted, senseless death. The shock has been heartbreaking because death came in the dead of the night specifically to silence the steady voice of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol and ours, too.

It was of no consequence at all whether one concurred or disagreed with everything he wrote, but Isaiah Abraham, as he was known on the Internet, was no doubt a very prolific writer of opinion on issues related to South Sudan and Sudan. His in-depth familiarity with current affairs and their minute details befitted a well-versed, versatile opinion writer. His articles, written in impeccable English, beckoned one to read them to the very last word on the page.

However, it was neither the wordsmithery nor the clarity of thought that almost always enticed one to read Isaiah Abraham’s opinion pieces. On the country, one was more often than not led hesitantly to the bottom of the articles rather by the writer’s unyielding propensity not only to serve a smorgasbord of often unrelated and downright contradictory issues on a single plate but also by his unusual ability to glide comfortably from one glaringly contradictory opinion to another in the same breath.

His articles might have at times married contradictory views and positions, causing many readers to misunderstand him at times and perhaps miss the salient points of his articles in the process. But since when has it become a crime for a writer to have his/her own style of writing and his/her own opinion on matters related to current affairs of the new republic?

It is telling that by aiming their bullet to the brains of Isaiah Abraham, the assassin(s) deliberately or inadvertently sought to send an unmistakably strong message to the rest of opinion writers that their brains will be wasted physically too unless they refrain from writing articles that are critical of the government or the so-called SPLM-North, for that matter. The new centurions could not be more wrong.

In fact, it could be stated with a great deal of confidence that the bullet that penetrated the skull of Isaiah Abraham has also pierced every heart of conscientious South Sudanese both in the writers’ community and in the community at large. Instead of killing our brains, the bullet of the assassin(s) has acted as a light bulb, illuminating thoughts that have thereto lied dormant in some dark corners of our brains.

Now that Isaiah Abraham rests peacefully in his grave in his village, his assassin(s) have joined the ranks of the walking dead men whose consciences have been forever darkened and hardened by their evil deeds. The new tormentors of the people may soon discover, to their horror, that although we each have only one earthly body that they can kill, good ideas do not possess a single brain that can be killed at will. On the contrary, as good seeds germinate in several soils, good ideas also germinate in a multiple fertile brains, with which South Sudan is blessed.

Therefore, the earthly body of Diing Chan Awuol might have succumbed to the assassins’ bullet, but many of the ideas that percolated in his brains are currently germinating in many a brave mind in South Sudan.

My heart goes out to his immediate and extended family, relatives, friends and those who knew him as a writer and as a person. One would also wish to console Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba who has been unfairly attacked by some writers for his latest article which was critical of the deceased’s style of writing. I have no doubts that Dr. Ambago is as dumbfounded and shell-shocked by the brutal murder of Mr. Isaiah Abraham as we all are.

Instead, we should by all means and unequivocally direct our condemnation to the writers and government officials who constantly use inflammatory rhetoric to impinge upon the patriotism and nationalism of fellow South Sudanese espouse different political viewpoints. Indeed, each time we consciously or unconsciously dehumanize fellow countrymen and women through our words or deeds, we unwittingly encourage the unscrupulous among us, and they are many, to cause bodily harm to equally patriotic citizens who are wrongly perceive to be ‘traitors.’

President Kiir has promised an immediate investigation into the murder of Isaiah Abraham. The government has promised to spare no effort to apprehend the culprit(s) and to bring them to book. Some $50,000 reward has also been announced for information leading to the arrest of the assassin(s). As sure as the sun will rise from the east, we are sure that neither the official crocodile tears nor pretentious presidential promises will result in the capture and prosecution of the assassin(s).

Unfortunately, our government and its ‘irrelevant’ organs lack credibility because of the numerous unsolved cases of murder, beating and kidnapping that occur in our country on a daily bases. Why would this one, which has the marks of ‘security’ organs and SPLM-North written all over it, be different from the myriad unsolved murder cases?

Hence, it is one’s sincere prayer of supplication to the Almighty that we, as a people, find rays of hope and consolation in the midst of this colossal loss to engage in an honest soul-searching with the view of regaining our inner moral compass so that we internalize the sanctity of human life and the inviolability of human dignity and liberty.

That would be a fitting requiem for the soul of Diing Chan Awuol who left us too soon. After all, before we are identified as opinion writers, doctors, teachers, pro-government or members of the opposition, it is necessary to remember first and foremost that each one of us is someone else’s spouse, brother, sister, father, mother, grandparents or distant or close relative.

Therefore, it behooves us to become acutely conscious to the fact that by killing one person we kill not only his/her innocent relatives and friends but we also kill both the spirit and conscience of this young country in the process.

May Isaiah Abraham rest in eternal peace, and may other writers of political opinion and commentary keep the spirit of the deceased alive by soldiering on and writing boldly until the assassins and oppressors of public opinion realize the futility of their own murderous actions.

There is no political opinion dangerous enough to warrant the illegal or legal taking of human life!

Farewell, Comrade Diing Abraham!

The author is a South Sudanese working and living in Accra, Ghana, West Africa, and can be reached at

Tackling insecurity of paramount importance to avoid disunity in South Sudan

By Jacob K. Lupai, RSS, DEC/10/2012, SSN;

South Sudan fought two bitter wars (1955 to 1972 and 1983 to 2005) against what was perceived as gross marginalization by successive governments of the old Sudan which perpetrated insecurity as a strategic mechanism to cow and silence people. In major southern cities such as Juba, Malakal and Wau people lived in constant fear for their security during the two bitter wars. Finally, as though the southern ancestral spirits had heard more than enough of the lamentation of the people, South Sudan achieved what it had set itself to achieve, total independence.

With independence expectation was very high for better security to people than under the successive discriminatory and oppressive governments of the old Sudan. South Sudan had lost many precious lives during the struggle for independence. Nonetheless, it was understandable that the precious lives lost were a price to pay for freedom. As people had suffered so much independence was seen as the ultimate solution to the long suffering. Insecurity in particular was to be seen a thing of the past as it was associated with the brutality of the successive northern dominated governments of the old Sudan when people in South Sudan were massacred, for example, in Juba and Wau and also in villages with impunity.

Security situation in Juba
When South Sudan attained independence Juba became the capital though the government now has the prerogative of relocating the capital. As the capital and the seat of the national government, Juba was expected to be provided with adequate security for its residents. However, insecurity in Juba has become so rampant that life is becoming almost unbearable. Regrettably more often people in uniform are accused of insecurity in Juba. Night robberies and killings are blamed on the people in uniform who carry guns and terrorize neighborhoods where innocent lives are unnecessarily lost.

Due to rampant insecurity people in Juba are wondering what is precisely going on. Some are even questioning whether it was right to vote for independence in the referendum in 2011. This is because on the ground insecurity is so frightening that people are panicking and preoccupied with the fear of the unknown for their lives. One citizen full of fear said it is God that is protecting people in Juba. The faith in government to provide the needed security to people seems to be waning. The implication is that the government is not sufficiently doing enough to curb the rampant insecurity in Juba. This is a challenge to the government.

One high profile case of rampant insecurity in Juba is the murder in cold blood of a prolific writer and commentator well known to readers as Isaiah Abraham. According to his biography the late Isaiah Abraham was a soldier with the rank of a major in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and had fought battles for the independence of South Sudan. At the time of his death Isaiah Abraham was the Director of Finance and Administration in The Employees Justice Chamber, a senior government position. For such a high profile individual and a senior government official to be murdered in cold blood with impunity, how secure would the ordinary folks feel? There is an assumption that Isaiah Abraham lost his life because of his critical views.

Arguably, the government couldn’t have officially ordered the execution of Isaiah Abraham Mafia style. Most probably Isaiah’s critical views were a threat to those who were not secure, lacking in confidence. A system that does not tolerate and weather storms of criticism may become very unpopular, losing a vital support where it needs most. No one is divine and so mistakes in a system and outside the system will always be made. The one criticizing is not divine and the other one being criticized is not divine either. Why then murder somebody for criticism if all are not divine in the first place but are only human? Something somewhere may not be right. This brings us to what is known as post traumatic stress disorder.

Effect of post traumatic stress disorder
Mr. Nhial Bol, a brilliant commentator and the Editor-in-Chief of the Citizen Newspaper in his column in one of the paper’s editions, was the first to talk about South Sudanese being traumatized. In addressing the launching of a conference on agriculture and food security at Nyakuron Culture Centre in Juba, the President of Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, also told the conference that the population including leaders is traumatized by decades of war and are in need of counsel ling in order to progress (Sudan Tribune, November 28, 2012).

According to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan government soldiers committed murder, torture and rape in the largest and troubled South Sudanese State of Jonglei (Sudan Tribune, August 24, 2012). Could this have been caused by people traumatized? Hopefully this may be a problem identified which is a problem half solved.

To begin with let’s look at what trauma is. According to a dictionary trauma is emotional shock. Let’s then look at what is post traumatic stress disorder with the acronym of PTSD. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can occur after a person has experience a traumatic event such as combat or military experience, sexual or physical abuse or assault or a serious accident. It is an anxiety disorder in which an individual’s ability to function is impaired by emotional responses to memories of a traumatic event. PTSD often leaves one feeling vulnerable, out of control and as if one is in constant danger. These feelings are persistent, are strong and do not disappear over time on their own. Everyday life, work and relationship can be negatively affected.

From the definition of PTSD it can be deduced that an explanation is offered of the poor relationship between people in uniform and the civilian population in Juba and indeed in South Sudan. This may also explain the night robberies and land grabbing by suspected men in uniform. However, some people develop PTSD in response to traumatic events while others do not. This brings us to consider insecurity as the product of organized crime or crime committed by those who do not develop PTSD. Organise crime should therefore be a focus of enquiry to establish the extent to which it is the cause of insecurity in Juba and other towns, and also to establish who are the perpetrators.

Organised crime in relation to security
Organised crime can be a serious security problem. Independence to South Sudan has made it a home to the various nationalities in Africa. Citizens of the neighbouring countries are in South Sudan seeking greener pastures. Included may be hardened criminals who can go to any length to kill and rob people of their valuables. The problem is compounded with the help of local accomplices. With the greed for quick and big money in the shortest possible time, it is not difficult to understand why and how organised crime may exacerbate insecurity.

Organised crime is an enormous challenge to security and intelligence agencies. It is a test of the resolve of the agencies. The suggestion that there may be organized crime should be of interest. It is the work of the security and intelligence agencies to develop and test theories of why and how crimes are on the rise, for example, in Juba. This is to create lines of enquiry for evidence of organized crime and how to combat it. The public also have a role to play in combating organised crime.

Tackling insecurity in Juba paramount
On the untimely death of Isaiah Abraham murdered in cold blood by what appeared to be the work of professional contract killers, the President of Republic has ordered a thorough investigation to uncover the deadly criminals to face justice for their heinous crime. This is encouraging and should be the precedent for any heinous crime committed in Juba and in South Sudan in general.

Any life of South Sudanese is precious and, security and intelligence agencies should be well prepared to investigate crimes to the logical end. A criminal investigation should not be allowed to stop short of the final outcome of such an investigation and PTSD should not be used as an excuse to absolve criminals. It should be left to doctors (psychiatrists and psychologists) to determine that somebody has clinically developed PTSD. Even so the traumatized should be accountable for their actions or be detained in a mental hospital so that they are neither a danger to the public nor to themselves.

Quite often a criminal investigation is hardly completed and when the suspect is under arrest he or she may be released to the street the following day probably without charge. Law enforcement agencies need to have trained personnel who have investigating skills and also understand the law. South Sudanese who had served in the North may be well versed in investigation of crimes and the law. It is important that the experience, knowledge and skills of such people should be tapped to benefit the public in South Sudan. The negative attitude of looking at people who had served in the North as Jallaba agents should be a thing of the past. South Sudan is now an independent country and so people should move forward with confidence in each other to solidify unity for national cohesion.

Tackling insecurity in Juba needs every effort of law abiding citizens. It is natural that among people in uniform there are criminals as there are also criminals in plain clothes. No one therefore should be seen as above the law. It should not only be the manner in which Isaiah Abraham died to prompt a thorough criminal investigation. Any murder of a citizen or a crime committed should equally be thoroughly investigated and the culprit must face the law. Preemptive action is also needed to tackle insecurity. This is how insecurity can be tackled successively in Juba and indeed in South Sudan in general.

Tackling insecurity in Juba in particular and in South Sudan in general is of paramount importance to avoid disunity which may ultimately lead to the disintegration of South Sudan. Corruption and tribalism or nepotism are already a worry and to add insecurity as another big worry will be too much and unwanted burden in sustaining national unity and cohesion. It is now recognized that what is negatively going on in South Sudan may be because people are traumatized. There is already a suggestion that traumatized people need counseling. This is an appropriate suggestion and should be pursued further.

Counseling facilities should be made available for the traumatised to get help. Such facilities should have expert counselors to handle cases of trauma. Special focus should be on the people in uniform who might have borne the brand of the two wars of liberation leading to the independence of South Sudan. The people in uniform could have been the most traumatised.

In combating insecurity there is a need to streamline security and intelligence agencies. It is possible that some of the agencies may have inexperienced personnel who are below standard and are partly the cause of the problem. In Juba it is evident that some security and intelligence agents are out to harass and intimidate people instead of being helpful as ears and eyes to detect dangerous elements and situations that may be detrimental to national interest and security.

For example, in opening the Juba City Council new block of offices, the City Mayor complained openly of the interference with his workers by the security and national intelligence agents. The agents often arrested the City Council workers for unknown reason thereby affecting the workers’ performance in their daily routine. How were the workers a threat or a danger to national security that they had to be arrested is an open question. If there was something serious the workers were committing shouldn’t that have been brought to the attention of the Mayor?

Another incident was the detention and beating up of journalists by the police who were themselves detained for further questioning, obviously for the crude and primitive way of manhandling the journalists (Sudan Tribune, December 07, 2012). This should be a signal to streamline the security and intelligence agencies for a better relationship between the men in uniform and the civilians in promoting mutual understanding and unity.

The order for a thorough investigation into the death of Isaiah Abraham should be strongly supported by the public. How to show the strong support is by a massive peaceful demonstration organised by civil society organizations as a show of solidarity against crimes and insecurity in Juba and also to send a clear message to the criminals that the South Sudanese nation will not tolerate heinous crimes committed on its soil. It is also for the President to appreciate that the public is totally behind him in the perpetual dark hours of insecurity in Juba. If an SPLA soldier and a major can be murdered in cold blood the way Isaiah Abraham was murdered who is safe in Juba. The security and intelligence agencies obviously have a huge responsibility to assure people of their security in Juba.

Lastly, but not the least it is important for the public to consider neighborhoods watch. The principle is that neighbours keep watch of each other’s welfare and property. Any suspicious movement either by day or night by individuals or groups should immediately be spied on or confronted by the people in the neighbourhood. As a sign of solidarity in combating crime, when there are screams or loud noises, neighbours must all pour out from their houses with whatever resources they have to confront what may be a crime to be committed. Neighbours may make a citizen arrest to hand over the suspected criminal to the police.

One advantage of a neighbourhood watch is that it promotes unity in fighting crime. In this way insecurity in the neighbourhood may be reduced. This in turn will ensure people’s safety with a credit to all for being so vigilant.

In conclusion, may God the Almighty rest the soul of Isaiah Abraham in eternal peace. Isaiah’s brilliant writing and commentating will always continue to inspire old and young generations of writers and journalists in his native South Sudan and beyond.

The author can be reached at

Remembrance of Isaiah Diing Chan Awuol & Petition to gov’t of South Sudan leadership:

Salva Kiir Mayardit, the president of South Sudan
Riek Machar Teny, the Vice president of South Sudan
Achuil Tito, Inspecting general police
Minister of defense leadership
United Nations and South Sudanese as a whole

Petition to Government of South Sudan leadership:


We the relatives of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan in the United States of America were bothered by unexpected death that had occurred in December 5, 2012 in the hands of the very government that we fought for years. We condemned those who murdered Diing and the SPLM system for being the threat to development and freedom of expression. Democratic system is all about freedom of political expression, freedom of speech, freedom of press, and the respect of life and dignity. We the relatives of Diing in the U.S. support the freedom of expression as a corner stone to democracy but not dictatorship system in the South Sudan. The same dictatorship system in the Sudan permitted the South to fight the North Sudan because of injustice and marginalization.

We the relatives of Diing Chan in the U.S know that we have lost an Icon that will not return, but we are still waiting patiently for the investigation and justice that was promised by President Salva Kiir Mayardit, the president of South Sudan. For those who do not know Diing Chan Awuol, he came from a strong society that cannot afford his death if this incident was in the warfare, but because thieves ordered by unknown politician(s) that have no idea about democracy caused heartbreak to the entire Padol Section, Kongor community, Twic East County, Bor county, Duk county, and the South Sudan in general. We are not to remain silence because someone who murdered Diing has a feeling and breath like we do in the South Sudan.

Diing Chan’s death must be thoroughly investigated to restore the mind of our community otherwise we have lost hope in SPLM leadership.

Isaiah devoted his energy and time for the well-being of the entire South Sudan. He was the advocate and fought in many battles for the independence of the South Sudan. Those murderers must know that the struggle for the independence was a sacrifice by South Sudanese entirely not just them the leaders. Diing Chan never ever associated or praised tribalism, nepotism, injustice, or corruption in his writings, but he only talked about inhumanity that would affect the future of our Country in the long-run.

He never ever mentioned/talked against Nuer since Nuer faction of Riek Machar killed his brother Awuol Chan Awuol (a major general, too) in Nasir in the 1991 defection. He had even encouraged UN to provide and delivered rations to the people of Akobo for many years despite the fact that Nuer were the ones residing in that region.

Isaiah Diing Abraham was born in 1962 in Kongor area, Twic East County. He comes from Padol sub-clan in Kongor community. Diing was ordained as a pastor in Nairobi in 1998, and served as a deacon in the Narus area of Eastern Equatoria. Dearly, if the Taposa community heard the death of Isaiah, they would have seriously condemned the act like we do because he was the one who always mediated the chiefs from Taposa with the SPLM/A from 1992-1994 around Kapoeta and Narus at the time he was an intelligence and an SPLA official. Taposa community called him Piyo. We do not know the meaning.

Diing has brothers and relatives in the SPLA, police, and wildlife reserve forces in the South Sudan. And he has family of two wives and five children plus several kinships. Job/military career during the second Sudanese civil war, Isaiah Ding Chan Awuol served as military and political officer, he was trained in Bonga in the Tiger battalion of the SPLA achieving the rank of a Shield Seven Captain before he became a major-general in the SPLA.

School/education: Isaiah held a BA in business administration from Day Star University and a masters degree from Nairobi University, Kenya.

We are stopping here because we are still mourning. We know that if we turn sharp objectives on our face like that, then we are going nowhere and the world will laugh at us-South Sudan.

In conclusion, here are some recommendations that we want from our government in the case of the death of our brother in the hands of selfish and greedy politicians.

1. We wanted to encourage our government to bring justice and rule of law to those who committed this horrible heartbreaking to our society be brought to book and face justice.

2. We want interior minister and its deputy to resign immediately because they are not performing their jobs in the capital city. They are definitely not protecting the lives of innocent citizens in and around Juba city.

3. We are demanding the relocation of police and SPLA that conduct night patrol in Juba and we demand a new police force be brought to Juba to protect the lives of the innocent and their properties. It’s become clear that the police in Juba are criminal because they carried out the dirty game directed to them by empty-headed dictators /politicians, they are the ones looting civilians, they are the ones arresting journalists and beating/torture, and warning them as if the government is their property.

4. Finally, that Justice must be served, culprits to be brought to justice. If no suspect, the law enforcement leaderships and authorities must resign immediately to avoid the future deaths among ourselves.

1. Bol Deng Bol
2. Bol Diing Duot
3. Diing Arok Anyang
4. Chol Bol Dut
5. Deng Reech Akoy
6. Diar Deng Diar
7. Adeer Mapior Awuol
8. And all
For contact;

Isaiah Abraham’s brutal elimination by extremists is another step to backwardness

QUOTE: “If you accept yourself for what you are, you can accept others for what they are too.” Buddha


Isaiah Abraham, aka Isaiah Ding Abraham Chan Awuol, passing is tragic news. Like most of his readers, I could not come to termS with the brutal killing for an intellectual, outspoken, fair-minded commentator. I am so saddened and shocked beyond conscience. His death, without doubts, is another painful, incessant blow to freedom of speech in our country.

Given his numerous informative, insightful and sometimes inspiring articles on relevant issues affecting South Sudanese, I am convinced that the deceased was killed by the wolves in sheep clothing purporting to be serving our government.

Isaiah was an intellectual who truly understood ways to critique a system. None of his article among the heap amounted to sedition. He had never once tried to vilify South Sudan government. His unsparing critique for our corrupted system of governance was positive. In fact, he usually debated pessimists who had never harboured hope for SPLM-led government. He was SPLM/A’s staunch supporter. While he could debate for the SPLM/A, Isaiah never turned blind eyes where the SPLM/A system had failed. Perhaps this was where he garnered enemies who later killed him outrightly.

Guess what… those whom the deceased found himself debating against will go like this: ‘Wish you could come back to life, Isaiah, you would agree to what we told you.’ He was a victim of the Party he supported. Can we blame Isaiah and others who speak up for and against the government? NO. Big NO, all times.

Our views and opinions on government are, supposedly only, the mirror with which the government will see and reflect and decide on how to run a country efficiently and effectively.

Political pundits often hinted that even if one is not interested in politics, politics will always has interest in you!

Political leaders compete just to win you onto their sides. So, if politicians compete for our votes, then we must have opinions on who to support. We must state our visions for our lives. And a politician or a party that meets one’s expectations wins one’s support. Isaiah was, therefore, articulating his views and opinions about the system of governance in our country.

If you (the killer/s) thought that Isaiah had gone too far hence causing his death, then please have courage and come forward and let us know where and how the deceased betrayed South Sudan.

True democratic countries understand the importance of citizens’ participation in political process. Because of this, freedom of expression is enshrined in the Constitution. Such a Constitution allows citizens not only to comment on political issues affecting their lives, but also, their speeches and comments are expressed without fear for they are protected by the Constitution. What did South Sudan Constitution says… what sort of the country we want to see???

Isaiah’s mindset, particularly his writings, had never been tribal. His writings only spared patriots who put National interest before individual interest. He was frank and honest on issues, that’s why his writings are widely read. He was a commentator who called a spade a spade. He could condemn all tribal extremists with all terms.

For all years of his political writing, Isaiah’s tribe had been a mystery to his readers who didn’t knew him in person. I have never thought of him as Dinka from Bor-Twic East, Kongor. His unsparing critique to all tribal allegiance coupling with his unadulterated praise to all patriots regardless of tribes and regions revealed his true uniqueness.

His support for the SPLM/A under Kiir’s leadership, since 2005, was unwavering. Check his writings and you will believe me.

Isaiah was a person of outstanding courage. Such a virtue lured him to risk his youthful life for the National cause/call in 1983 to violently fight for freedom against Arabs oppression. He is a hero who survived violent war of 21 years only to be killed in a process of peaceful struggle for development of his people in South Sudan.

Just as South Sudanese broke off from a frying pan of unjust historical oppression in the North, South Sudanese found themselves plunked into the fire of moral, economics and political corruption in the South. It is such vivid corruption which the deceased sought to criticize.

Despite frequent warnings arguing him to stop writing, Isaiah was braved enough to be who he is, (a true teller, a man of instinctive moral conviction) to face pressure from corrupt peers.

It is so ironic and tragic that the known, high ranking, corrupt officers are left enjoying freedom while innocent citizens are being spied on, stifled, tortured and butchered day in day out. Such a wanton, callous, vicious behaviour reinforce the deep-seated malpractice in the system. As if such behaviour is not shocking enough, our government blub when murder incidence occur that the culprits and perpetrators be brought to Justice. So far, however, no nocturnal killer had been apprehended.

This allowed me and others to hypothesize that the killers are but just uncouth agents serving the most corrupt government’s officers.

Isaiah’s recent call for SPLM/A leadership change (Kiir to be replaced by Riek Machar) come 2015, had nothing so terrifying in it. He was expressing his honest view about the country and the party he loves. Could this be the cause and cost of his head? Only God knows.

As mentioned somewhere by another commentator, we will not bury our heads under the carpets despite such cowardice, cruel, despotic, despicable killing. We will continue to harangue and air our grievances till our government realized that government with virtues is far more superior to government with brutal force.

True “government of the people and for the people” must ensure accessibility for basic government’s services to all people all the times. Government prime function is to improve peoples’ living standard. If this is true, then it is also true that: Till food crisis ceased in our country, we will remain angry citizens. Till health and medical facilities reach all people all over the country; till transportation infrastructures and public institutions are established; till security for all citizens all over the country is ensured; till our people access clean drinking water and modern housing and freedom and opportunity and hope; we will not keep quiet.

Rest in External Peace, Isaiah. Your contributions to freedom for us all deserves our heartfelt appreciation.

Abraham Maker Kuol lives in Perth, Western Australia. He is reachable on

Who Killed Isaiah Abraham?

BY: WAN DIT, Former security member, DEC/07/2012, SSN;

South Sudanese political commentator and analyst, Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol, who was from Bor, Jonglei State was terminated on 4 December with one bullet to the head at point blank. Famous Isaiah Abraham, the late was fierce and very brave writer who questioned the government. I don’t know if it is wise or brave but his death has made me leave security and tell this.

As a member of security service, there is no organization of information in the security organ. No secrets, we all know and those people with connections know secret information too. Isaiah’s death come as a shock to many people all over the world but those in security, it was made with deafening silence.

However, for those with knowledge and know it was clear he either shut up or be eliminated. What is responsible for his death is his article in which he wrote saying the president must step down. That was the last straw and it was decided to eliminate him.

Once the decision was approved by the big people, those of us with an idea tried to convince otherwise but was difficult without risking my life. I am a small man.

So how was Isaiah killed? Those who know have gone overseas now but we in the security job usually take a person number from the phone companies, Vivacell or zain or MTN, and then we see who you talk with or to often or every time and then we get that person.

That person is then used by the security to get its victims by telephone call or we go their homes.

In the particular case of Isaiah Abraham, he was killed by members of a special protection of president guard unit, called ‘Tiger.’ It is open secret known to all that they have jails in their compound next to the president’s official residence, J1. They have killed many people and buried them there, even including a guy who used the First Lady’s name for business.

So, on that fatal night, Isaiah Diing was called out from his home and was made to sit down and then shot in the head. Only one bullet. He was killed by another Dinka, his tribe people. The murdering people made sure that national security was not patrolling at night in that particular area of Gudele.

So, my brothers, watch out. Security people say the following people are next because of too much talking against the government and ministers.

So, please, brothers watch out. Mabior Garang, Kuir e Garang, Deng Dekeuk, Mading Ngor, Zachariah Manyok Biar, Elhag Paul, Justin Ambago Ramba and James Okuk.

Former Security Member

National leadership insanity: Should Pres. Kiir & others abdicate?

Editorial Analysis, NOV. 30/2012, SSN; Lord have mercy! Now that the country’s president, Kiir Mayardit, has publicly confessed to the entire nation that he also is afflicted by and suffering from the mental disease recently diagnosed by his vice, Machar, it is definitely conclusive that South Sudan is being mercilessly ruled by a leadership with sickened mental capacity.

What has surprisingly and shockingly surfaced in Juba, which is no longer a secret, is that both President Kiir and his vice, Machar, along with most SPLM/A current and former liberation war veterans who are also now in top positions of the SPLM-dominated government, are morbidly mentally traumatized, with obvious clinical symptoms and signs of the affliction commonly diagnosed and known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Echoing his vice president, President Kiir blandly reiterated, while addressing a conference on agriculture and food security in Juba on November 28, that indeed, South Sudan “leaders were mentally traumatized by decades of war and are in need of counselling.” He acquiesced that, “Even me I need people to come around me and talk to me.”

A few days earlier in the week, Dr. Machar (no medical doctor) had brought the whole problem of PTSD into public scrutiny when he was launching a national reconciliation preparatory meeting in Juba which purportedly would seek to heal what he described as serious ‘mental wounds that have visibly divided communities’ due to the ‘prevalence of trauma which is still haunting leaders and communities in the country locking them in mental wars in their minds.’

Presuming that both Dr. Machar and President Kiir are correct in their prognostication of the prevalence and morbidity of PTSD among the top leadership, mostly SPLM/A leaders and the population at large, clearly this potentially doesn’t bode well for the good image and governance of the nation.

Though Machar himself had publicly apologized for and taken complete responsibility for the alleged ‘war crimes’ he personally commissioned and committed against a particular community (Dinka-Bor), his main overriding worry currently is that his repentance and capitulation to Dinka-Bor community in general, and especially to the widow of Late Dr. John Garang in particular, has opened up a dangerous precedence.

Every community (tribe) has the right now to also demand some apology for similar war crimes egregiously inflicted on their people and furthermore, individuals or their relatives, who underwent illegal tortures, imprisonment and other human rights abuses by people now in positions of power during the liberation war, also have the right now to demand some forms of redress.

Certainly, this must include those who worked for the enemy jellaba Arab Sudan also, as many were unquestionably involved in the killings or complicit in the arrests and torture. Some of those jellaba sell-outs are now ministers or top advisers in Kiir’s government.

Understandably, from president Kiir to Machar, down to ministers and commanders, there is genuine anxiety associated with rumination, flashbacks and apprehensions about the probabilities of scenarios of retribution and vengeance unraveling in the country, hence, this explains Dr. Machar’s urgency for the so-called national reconciliation.

Since he has been severely enfeebled and blackmailed by the Dinka-Bor community, Machar is now on a wild goose chase to resuscitate his ambition of becoming the next president even though he is precipitously sliding down a slippery rope.

It isn’t surprising to most citizens and foreign observers of South Sudan that Dr. Machar is practically a lame-duck in Kiir’s government. People once hoped that Machar would stand apart from president Kiir by standing up against the multi-billion dollar corruption, the on-going arbitrary arrest and torture of journalists and human rights campaigners and other unlawful actions.

Enigmatically, Dr. Machar has instead come out vehemently supportive of his boss by minimizing the extent of the corruption and the arrests; he’s practically condoning these unpopular actions of the president’s misrule.

Anyway, what is shocking is that although president Kiir and the others had eight long years to seek the best treatment abroad for their mental affliction by PTSD, the president instead only resorted to some unorthodox and animistic palliation such as relying on the aura of those ‘around him.’

It is very uncommon, for the record, to have top leaders of guerrilla or major wars between nations, e.g. Uganda’s president Museveni or president Bush senior and legendary General Schwarzkopf who launched the US Kuwait liberation from Iraqi, or Israeli commanders like Moshe Dayan, have ever been reportedly suffered or manifested symptoms of PTSD.

In well-documented studies in advanced societies, e.g. USA, the preponderance of PTSD is often among the lower members of the army who supposedly are directly involved in the real physical acts of the battles, such as firing the guns on the front lines, directly committing acts of killing and torture, rape and other egregious crimes. Why president Kiir?

More importantly, however, it must be strongly pointed out at this juncture that PSTD or whatever anxiety disorders these leaders are oppressed and obsessed with, they can’t be taken as lame excuses for the serious failure of governance, absence of the rule of law, rampant corruption and generalized decay now destroying our country.

What should be of urgent significance in the country and a concern to the leadership is the immediate cessation of localized violence between or among the various tribes which are mostly politically motivated by the leaders themselves which is causing unnecessary deaths across the states.

Our kind of politics today under the Kiir-Machar dictatorship is shamefully organized along ethnicity or tribalism; it doesn’t need a rocket scientist to ominously predict that given the way things are being handled, another major fratricide of the 1991 magnitude or worse, might reignite sooner if the current targeted incarceration of top Nuer generals persist, a war that will polarize and engulf the whole nation.

As a consequence, the Kiir-Machar regime has evidently lost confidence even among its supporters as witnessed by the inexplicable absence of the majority of governors from the so-called Governors conference. Perhaps the governors have reasonably sensed the utter futility of supporting a regime that’s not delivering!

The so-called national army, the SPLA, is still much visibly tribalized, badly polarized and practically operates above the law; its appendage, the so-called national intelligence and security service is nothing but a personal security and political tool for one tribe and one leader to intimidate, oppress, incarcerate or even eviscerate any person on command from a tribal hierarchy.

Corruption, the bane of Kiir-Machar reign, is unstoppable and being committed with absolute impunity, while the generalized immiserization of the majority of the population continues unabated.

The economy is in utter ruins, with or without oil revenues. National resources are cheaply on sale to foreigners and the corrupt leaders, the commercial and economic sectors have been taken over by Somalis, Ethiopians, Eritreans, all to the detriment and oppression of the local people.

Embarrassingly, the national police service is nearly dysfunctional, with crime and killing, exacerbated by the appalling economic situation, is rampant and uncontrollable despite the massive recruitment and support from the UNMISS. Citizens are literally paying exorbitant sums of money just to get any service from the police.

Diplomatically, the nation is, for all practical purposes, back into jellaba Arab Sudan suzerainty, not unsurprisingly. The oppressed and impoverished South Sudanese are asking if this is the independence they were promised.

Culturally, as the often sincere and blunt State minister of interior, Salva Mathok, painfully remarked recently, “our younger generation, the hope of the South Sudan nation, is finished.”

The tragedy is that they are becoming morally decadent, uneducated and practically and hopelessly lost in the immoralities engendered by the foreign sex-workers who infested prostitution lodges everywhere in the city, ostensibly licensed by the government and owned by many of the top leadership.

Already a failed state, is it any wonder that the young are now either into drugs and diseases or engaged in cattle raids and recruitment as proxies armies?

Finally, if indeed the nation’s leaders are severely afflicted mentally, psychologically or physically, be it with PTSD or other mental afflictions during the liberation war, that might retard or incapacitate them in carrying out their national functions or duties, some forms of treatments, if not already too late, might just be helpful.

Otherwise, the best thing for the nation’s good is that Kiir must thoroughly scrutinize and cleanse his government. If the prospective patients must be kicked out, that’s acceptable.

Otherwise, if all must abdicate, including the president or the vice, either on their own volition or forcefully ejected due to insanity or some manifestations of the same, that would be still better, as our young nation can’t be efficiently run by mentally tormented leaders! Amen.
By Website Editor

Khartoum has a case against Juba on SPLA-North activities


Sudan and South Sudan have agreed to disagree. The two countries were made to sign an agreement known as Cooperation Agreement two months in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the very agreement sponsored by the African Union. The agreement at the moment is running into trouble when the devil(s) emerged in the details. The Security Agreement in particular is overshadowing others in the process of implementation.

Each country has stuck to its old school of finger pointing. The euphoria that was created as a result of the deal (Cooperation Agreement) is quickly turning into anxiety, apprehension and uncertainty.

South Sudan is being denied oil transportation through the Republic of the Sudan as there are reports of aerial bombardments by Khartoum against South Sudan. The United Nations Mission on the ground is conspicuously in the hiding, while the African Union is lip tied on accusation and counter accusations between the two countries of the Sudan.

Chronically, the Sudanese leaders from day one have charged that South Sudan is supporting and harboring their dissidents and are arming rebels fighting their government. The world has all along stack odds against Juba on this matter of SPLA-North; that Juba should sever its link with the rebels fighting Khartoum regime. The United States of America in (USA) in particular was critical, a confirmation of which that led to scandalous alleged apology written by President Salva to President Obama Hussien of the USA.

South Sudan Information Minister has since attempted to undo the damage to no avail. What on earth could it be that a leader of another country will have to kneel down to another leader in another part of the world? South Sudanese conscience was wounded if the purported letter was indeed written and dispatched to Washington.

But the sequence of theories helps us understand where did things go wrong in the first place for the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. Before anyone jumps to poke blame against the Republic of the Sudan for A and B matters and condemn it, there is an compelling need to reexamine our approach toward Sudan and see whether there is somewhere we can find accommodation for our good relationship.

We should also be an active solution-oriented partner than being stuck in our comfortable closet of being dismissive of Khartoum. Therefore the charge that our country is supporting SPLM/A-North must not be thrown out of the window just because Sudanese were our enemies.

By the way, I don’t like this name call ‘South Sudan,’ it confuses us with the Sudan. Who are the Sudanese and who aren’t? After July 9, 2011, I should have named my country something else. Nile or Azania remains my favorites names, not an amorphous thing call ‘South Sudan.’. Anyway we are straying.

Our differences with Khartoum were all about our political destiny and that was squarely achieved on July 9, 2011. It was the hardest part of it all! The Sudanese to their credit made a bold move to recognize us, and the rest of the world joined them. We parted ways in a civilized manner something that surprises many. We are no longer enemies with the Republic of the Sudan but just neighbors.

They need us and we need them. Differences that are there are normal between and among neighbors. Neighbors quarrel and still maintain their socio-economic ties. Even Israel is doing the same with Egypt and others.

We must not let SPLA-North spoil our relationship with the Sudan. For the sake of peace at the border, it’s time to ask the rebels fighting the North to stop their activities now. We want borders open and movement of goods, people and services to flow. We need South Sudan and Sudan relations so urgently.

The argument by South Sudan leaders that the matter of SPLM/A-North is an internal matter doesn’t hold water. It is not enough in itself. How about our charge that Dr. Lam Akol of the Democratic Change and Major David Yau Yau are supported by Khartoum, isn’t that not an internal affair of our country?

Why do we call their differences with their rebels ‘internal affair’ and never call ours the same?

We must choose between peace and war and not both. Peace is what our people want, not war. Khartoum will continue to find a reason to disturb our hard-won peace. They will go for feeble-hearted and apologists like Dr. Lam to press their case against us.

Khartoum might not be realistic in their demand on disarmament of their dissidents, but we aren’t being truthful. One of the Azania’s (South Sudan) strategic goal is peace and development so as to improve the living standards of our people. Our leaders must demonstrate to Khartoum their willingness to open a new chapter, so for our people to enjoy peace and development after ages of neglect.

Denying must be flavored. South Sudan isn’t doing its diplomatic responsibility. Khartoum has stolen the show there. Everything is upside down as we chase after rotten image. The United Nations Mission in our land is breathing fire on our necks. They are everywhere wiring nasty things against us.

When it comes to issues like the bombardment of South Sudan, unfortunately they are nowhere and when it comes to negativity on anything against South Sudan they’re in hand to report to New York and Brussels. I suspect they have given a word that South Sudan is indeed supporting SPLM/A-North. The United Nations Humanitarian Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) decried one moment when they spotted soldiers of Revolutionary Forces in Yida Camp. No single leader from South Sudan came out to deny or refute what the UNHCR was saying, a proof that something is indeed going on right there.

Our leadership in Juba should not live the lie that the world doesn’t know who arms rebels fighting Khartoum. UN Mission is informing them about every activity in our land. Moreover Khartoum has their own informers, Southerners whose loyalty is divided, especially those on the payroll of Khartoum, those that claim to be opposition groups but they aren’t. The Democratic Change of Lam Akol is on top of things.

We have also many Northerners around and they could provide relevant information about the presence of some rebels around some cities in the country. May be there is no hard proof that Juba is in indeed supporting rebels, but the simple truth that we never severed our links with the SPLA-North more radically keeps some doubts hanging that South Sudan is backing the rebels fighting the regime in Khartoum.

It will be painful to do just that radical move, however; these people (Nuba Mountains, Fur, Masalit, Zangawa, Funj, etc) are closely associated with South Sudan. We will help them on matters of peace and development. The world should have helped them in their political predicament.

But we are also not any better; we ought to talk to Northern rebels to join the march for peace and stop using our territory as spring board to topple our neighbor. We can go further to pledge material support for their development and not guns and ammunitions. Through force a change will not be meaningful in Khartoum, after all, the rebels have no unified agenda for change there.

Dr. Khalil Ibrahim’s outlook was more unifying than our current tribal warlords. South Sudan would have been available then if they had joined our struggle to effect change in Khartoum. After the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), particularly after independence of South Sudan, we have evolved into a different entity.

As for Khartoum, they must show maturity and patience against the Republic of South Sudan. They got to kick out Lam Akol and stop supporting David Yau Yau or any other clandestine groups. Time for injecting new spirit and cooperation is here. They got to respect the agreement they have signed with the Republic of South Sudan. They should cease fire on the air against innocent civilians.

Their rebels aren’t Southerners and our people can’t going to die again like that. They should allow oil production to resume and stop their rogue media from making inflammatory remarks against South Sudan leaders or the ruling political party in the country (the SPLM).

If Juba is wrong Khartoum must not go wrong also.

Isaiah Abraham lives in Juba;