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Dr. Ambago Ramba: Mile 14 is different from Abyei


One may wonder why Dr. Justin Ambago did politically compare Abyei issue with Mile 14 which was recently signed on 27 September, 2012 by the negotiating team to the surprise of Dinka Malual who own the land. In your article (SSNA, 3 November), as I quoted, “It only suffices here to say that any attempt by Khartoum to appease the Messeiriya warlords by blocking the Abyei Referendum, in the face of what is an unanimous decision by the AUPSC will definitely expose the regime to the wrath of the international community”.

On the other hand Juba may face a similar fate should it attempt to stroll an extra mile trying to appease General Paul Malong Awan, Governor of Northern Bahr Ghazal State as he and his people stand opposed to the inclusion of Mile 14 Area in the demilitarized zone.

However, Abyei has been a contested area and had stipulated in the CPA, 2005 to go for referendum but Khartoum didn’t respect the agreement before South Sudan became a country, 2011. Lately, Abyei shall have its referendum in 2013, inshalla!

Besides, Abyei is an area with huge population as inhabitants than mile 14 within the areas of Northern Bahr el Ghazal in Aweil North County, Gokmachar. The Ngok Dinka Area is currently political troublesome and a social limbo to settle in peaceful hand when coming to Sudanese ways of handling political issues.

Who is appeasing who on mile 14?

Well, mile 14 is geographically not a grazing land to Dinka or any Arab tribe but home to Dinka clans. Clearly, mile 14 is not the name of the area but miles proposed to be demilitarized zone within the parts of villages were people are partially residing. These miles in the south of Kiir River fall within the villages of Warguet in the East and Majook Diing Wol in the West.

I think you were not trying to say that mile 14 was proposed to be given to Sudan for replacement of Abyei when coming to the term “appeasement “as you put it. Besides, the boundary between Rezigaat and Dinka Malual was imposed by British colonial governors of Darfur and Bahr el Ghazal in 1924, but Dinka Malual didn’t accept the agreement that go beyond Kiir River.

After talks between Rezigaat and Dinka Malual’s chiefs, the Rezigaat and Beggara of South Darfur accepted that Kiir River and beyond, from Koot Ayeek, far north of Kiir River are Dinka Malual’s land. The Rezigaat has been continuously coming to our land with their animals in search of water or grazing, through understanding or agreement with local authority; they have had shown that this land, Kiir River and extended areas belong to Dinka Malual.

Who are Ngok Dinka and Abyei Area?

The issue of Abyei is big but deserves proper analysis when compared to mile 14. Yeah, Abyei is the land of Ngok Dinka of Bahr el Ghazal region. It has been the most disputed area in the history of our generation. The dispute over the Abyei Area has been the most volatile aspect of Sudan’s 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and risk unraveling that increasingly shaky deal.

The CPA, 2005 granted the disputed territory, which has a significant percentage of Sudan’s oil reserves, a special administrative status under the presidency. Considered a historical bridge between Sudan and South Sudan, the Abyei Area has had previously been considered part of the larger Abyei District within state of South Kordofan because it was transferred. Under the terms of the Abyei Protocol in the CPA, 2005, the Abyei Area was declared, on an interim basis, to be simultaneously part of the states of South Kordofan and Northern Bahr el Ghazal.

In contrast to the border of the former district, the Abyei Protocol defined the Abyei Area as “the area of the nine Ngok Dinka chiefdoms transferred to Kordofan in 1905. Whenever I talk of Abyei as a South Sudanese, I don’t like to bring Messiryia to the attention of my readers in my writings.

Messiryia tribe doesn’t have land in South Sudan. Messiryia tribes are neighboring pastoralist population whose large traditional home area lies to the north of Abyei with Muglad as its principal town. They have had been residing in Abyei for decades but pastoralists from Kordofan, no wonder if the land of Ngok Dinka goes back to South Sudan through referendum in 2013, then individual Messiryia tribe members may decide to go to Sudan or stay in Abyei as nobody is expelling them.

Where Messiryia tribes come from in Sudan?

The Messiryia tribes are known also under the name of Messeiriya Arabs as a branch of the Baggara Arab tribes. They are originally from Kordofan. The main divisions of Messeiriya in Kordofan are Messiryia Zurug and Messiryia Humr. However, in Sudan today, still they are called Messeiriya Humr and Messiryia Zurug and they acknowledge their common history and ancestry.

Hence, I would like to assure Dr. Ambago that mile 14 and extended miles belong to Dinka Malual; there is no logical reason as to why you call it an “appeasement” if the government attempts to stroll extra miles of Dinka Malual and eloquently stated that Dinka Malual is opposing the move.

And who gave this land to Sudan? It was signed by negotiators. Some of Dinka Malual’s elders and intellectuals were consulted after a mess. I call it a mess because the land owner was excluded during negotiation. That is why you regarded us as opposition.

The political situation between Sudan and South Sudan deserves literal dialogue and mediation than appeasement since NCP leadership with its leader who had been indicted by ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity is like a wounded lion. Khartoum is politically sick and the international community and AUPSC shall be its medical doctors. At least, South Sudanese are free from Khartoum’s political headache.

Deng Mangok Ayuel is the citizen of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Aweil. He can be reached at

“Who is the enemy of South Sudan?”

BY: Mading Gum Mading, JUBA, NOV. 14/2012, SSN;

While attending the launching of Warrap, Unity, and Lakes States Youth for Peace, Reconciliation and Development (WULSYPRD) dated 11 November 2012 at Nyakuron, a long standing question popped up again. This time around, it is not from the Youth and ordinary citizens but from the prominent figures within our government. While interesting possible (expected) answers were given, figuring out most among of them logically arrived at a varied and contentious conclusion.

The first given enemy is AK-47, known for its omnipresence in the hands of ordinary citizens, is easily tipped to be the destabilizing factor in the new republic. However, a closer look at this enemy will give you a second opinion that a cycle of its lethality has to be traced which reverts back to the government.

In every country, the armed forces which are the law enforcement agents are practically part of the executive branch of the government. While the executive branch of the government is mandated to enforce the very laws made by the legislature, a failure to -or any other act contrary to this (e.g. armed forces sale of guns to civilians)- enforce them inevitably creates a state of anarchy.

Therefore, a resort by the ordinary men guided upon by those considerations which regulate the conduct of human affairs to self-defense through the acquisition of this firearm called AK-47 cannot be attributed to AK-47 per se. The good standard for determining whether the rifle’s omnipresence is the cause of rampant deaths in the country should be weighed against the circumstances aiding its use.

A South Sudanese living in his village or a cattle camp, is aware that his physical security and his belongings are protected by an able authority. Who believes and trusts a justice administration that would settle his disputes with another. Who knows and foresees that a breach of a certain conduct required by law would result in a penalty proportional to the act will follow, would not in essence bother to buy a gun.

He will not waste his precious asset to acquire AK-47 in the name of self-defense which is already provided and a soldier who illegally trades a rifle will be frustrated by the absence of a prospective buyer.

It will not be surprising that the ordinary civilians, aware that unlawful possession of a firearm is a crime, will be reporting those elements from the organized forces trying the activity in question. Therefore, the protection gap is responsible for omnipresence of firearms in the hands of ordinary citizens thus warranting their very usage by virtue of lawlessness itself.

The issue of bride wealth as one of the causes of cattle wrestling may not be ruled out in principle. However, the major cause of the insecurity in those areas in question as I mention in my first article is “the breakdown of law and order” coupled with inaccessibility in those areas by road. This is the central premise of the whole crisis.

It would be reasonable to say that one of the causes of corruption is the high demand of bride wealth given that few who could not raise cattle themselves tend to churn out a bloated budget for purchasing the cows for the purpose of marriage. Sources for such huge amount can’t pass unnoticed and a question forms in mind may – in rumors – be permissible. Perhaps if we talk about the prestige-based monopoly of the cattle in pastoralist’s life is reasonable under economic perspectives of the cattle.

There are many grounds to justify this mistaken perception of bride wealth as cause of conflicts however lowering the demand is acceptable on different grounds but I intend to focus on the law and order.

At the outset, our communities should not be taken absolutely as adapted to conflicts. My experience in those areas gave me a different view. They are peace loving communities, practically generous, law abiding citizens, and with innate sense of justice. With that said, I am going to deal with why the breakdown of law and order is the core problem.

First, every conference whether for peace and reconciliation or for formulation of customary laws always remains at the paper stage! The implementation of the resolutions is one central point endowed with failures every time a conference is made. This proves that a new approach is required. With chiefs becoming less powerful or influential – below Boma administrators – every law violation seems practically difficult to address.

The absence of capable police in those areas to apprehend the offenders is one major trigger of conflicts. The person whose right so violated and with no option left will take the law into his hand through revenge. This is the cycle.

Communal violence merges the two parties by merging into the wider community against other community. Since collective guilt and collective responsibilities are at play, making any person from the offending community is a target, and escalating the violence further.

At this level the customary courts, without police to suppress the violence are helpless. Even their decisions are occasionally non-complied with by many offenders. At this instant in the absence of regular police presence in the areas, it’s not to be expected law and order will prevail, that customary courts’ decisions will be respected, with limited or no knowledge at all in criminal cases; miscarriage of justice is likelihood.

It is to be pointed out that a fear of punishment is the only deterrence to commission of offences. While this is not only the case in the areas in question, it extends to all corridors of our country. The basic stage necessary for the rule of law in this country is the citizens’ compliance with the ordinary laws of the land. A model built on the law and order as a priority, an impartial justice administration that will apply the laws uniformly, and a penitentiary capable of keeping the law violators.

Only and then when peace and stability is ensured can we talk of development, prosperity, liberty.

Since we are good beginners and poor finishers, all the proposed conferences, national dialogue, amnesty for all the militias are hardly likely to produce any desired results. Golden events crowned with precious words are not practically good remedy. “Peace is a process and it must materialize in action. Words must be followed with deeds. Not talk the talk but action the action,” Hilde Johnson, the Special representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations.

The second enemy of South Sudan as majority would agree is believed to be “ourselves”. But in which part of us is the enemy residing? Can we believe that our mere tribal identity supersedes our national identity as South Sudanese? Does our diversity in broader sense fragment us along ethnic lines?

These questions are many but take a deep thought to reflect whether each is a predicament in our effort of nation building. Before we go further, remember that during the war of liberation, CPA and its subsequent independence our differences were political and are still political. The differences that divide us further are not rooted in mere tribal affiliation but the blend of divide and rule politics and economic hand outs that are solely responsible for the hindrance in realization that our diversity is our strength.

Sometimes one can wonder whether South Sudan government is a coalition of tribes. Tribal representation seems like a good cry these days to get a ministerial post, a political tool, of course, to get through at the expense of inculcating the national vision in the minds of the ordinary, tribal fellows.

A glance at the SPLM practical activities within will not leave you without heartache. A heartache that is enough to make you weep for this Country, heartache that demonstrates that gap of political ideology, a gap firmly incorporated in power distributions, a gap filled by corruption, nepotism, tribalism, and regionalism. Everything is perceived at the regional (if not tribal) and individual interest and whoever appears opposed to this deeply entrenched mentality is a bad apple. This too extends outside South Sudan and every activity intended to bring unity occasionally ends in disagreement.

As Mr. Vice President too acknowledged at the Nyakuron gathering, the internet war wagers are active participants on the other level besides the inter-tribal warriors on the ground; this demonstrates that our country stands on the foundation of incoherence.

However, I too can surmise that the enemy is within us; the crisis that threatens us, the force that could topple the very nascent nation, that could make us a failed state, which could accrue the Somalization of South Sudan, is within ourselves. Neither Sudan nor rifles. It is within the character of our culture; where the values which restrains the inner vices and develop inner virtues are eroding.

The streams of empty rhetoric have quenched any substantive discussion of truths and important issues but have fed the disillusioned populace with vacuous ideas of South Sudan independence which will never bring progress.

With lulls of independence, starting a nation building seems like a kind of sham. “Like men with sore eyes; they find the light painful, while darkness, which permits them to see nothing, is restful and agreeable” Dio Chrysostom, A.D. 40-120, 11th Discourse.

The Deputy Interior Minister too has his own observation when he visits one of the nightclubs in Juba. “The future of this generation is hanging somewhere … they will perish.” I guess they will perish from nothing other than HIV/AIDS as an amalgam of alcohol and sex is indispensable.

“Implementation” of the plans, laws, and national policies is our enemy. Our enemy is talk-talk-talk and no ACTION!
However all these don’t leave me without convictions. I believe since we know the enemy, “we can” bring it down. Of course it is not going to be an easy process.

We, however, don’t need to be spurred on by the promise of ministerial posts or rich booty in the end to start fighting this enemy, we unswervingly need to begin where we are in our huts, school rooms, playgrounds, academic theaters, professional associations, tribal, regional, states, youth unions and associations. That is one stage; a stage free from any external influence – a conscious from within us – we are all in it together.

That we are South Sudanese not SPLM, DC, ANC, our tribal entities, etc… but our tribes should be the source of our unity, the beauty of this country.

Revive the very norm that shuns injustice, discrimination of the fellow South Sudanese, corruption, tribalism, sectarianism, and embrace the moral virtues which are the sources of loyalty, bravery, piety, obedience to the just laws, and the undoing love for our country.

What the youth of Warrap, Unity and Lakes States have initiated requires all our efforts as citizens of this country to help sensitize our communities or tribes, about the importance of peaceful co-existence, reconciliation, peace and development.

A process of “mindset transformation” in the midst of this chaotic country is now a necessity if we want to enjoy the fruits of independence that we lost 2.5 million lives for.

The Writer can be reached at +211914115375

South Sudan: One year of turbulent survival, what next for a successful State?

BY: Beny Gideon Mabor, JUBA, NOV. 12/2012, SSN;
The Republic of South Sudan got independence on July 9, 2011 exactly one year and three months ago, but however, what next after independence? The Republic of South Sudan has a lot of similarities with the powerful Jewish State of Israel right from oppression to resources and the Jewish common identity worldwide. How Israel got independence compared to South Sudan?

Now,, how did Israel establish their state from scratch with such lowest population, an enemy of the whole Arab world and a lot of challenges of nation building?

Thus, what can the Republic of South Sudan learn from Jewish State of Israel? A country that is one year old with a turbulent survival, what next is the agenda of nation building in the Republic of South Sudan? I am afraid that these questions will not meet correct answers but we pray for the best from the relevant actors.

The Republic does not mean physical symbols such as National Flag, National Anthem or any organ but a country must lay down tasks for nation building which the government officials and the general public fully implement to be a successful state. These tasks are spelt out in the Constitution and subsidiary legislation to include inter alia, strict accountability, transparency, rule of law, delivery of fundamental services to the people, protection of lives and properties, infrastructural development and protection of territorial integrity and the list is long.

These tasks will not be achieved in South Sudan unless there developed an enabling strategic development plan or task by qualified people deployed to the respective institutions at all levels and then followed a political will to implement them.

In the Republic of South Sudan, quite uniquely, it has proven difficult to implement accountability amongst other elements of good governance to hold into account for somebody in power with malpractice. A case in point is 75 high profile individuals alleged to be behind painful loss of 4 billion US dollars. The 75 accused persons and other categories accused of corruption related offences are seen to have certain blanket immunity, a protection that is nowhere to be found in our laws. Yet, they enjoy comfort of such accusation despite a public outcry to weed them out in the government and be held accountable because they lost credibility before the law and the general public.

Why accountability does matter a lot? It is simply because accountability is the very fountain of democratic government worldwide. For example the world newest nation in accordance with the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 stipulates that South Sudan is established and governed on the basis of a decentralized democratic system and is an all-embracing homeland for its people. It is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-racial entity where such diversities
peacefully co-exist.

In order to swallow such bitter trust, the political stability of South Sudan will rest on the direction of SPLM ruling party through its internal democratic reform. The SPLM-led government, however, must allow political space for other political parties, civil society organizations and media to operate without intimidation.

A tangible achievement of freedom of speech is so far scored by the SPLM-led Government but a lot needs to be done more specially on the legal framework and peaceful environment for a multi-party politics.

The legal framework should include that the SPLM-led government cancel the executive and legislative participation of other political parties in the government, except parliamentarians elected. This is to enable other political parties play an oversight function of opposition politics.

There is no any basis upon which other political parties are included in the government when there is no coalition agreement. The only manner in which other political parties assume power is for the government of the day to give them the said political space in order to campaign for elections with their parties ideologies and manifestos unlike that of the ruling party.

However, my good intention is to avoid conflict of interest because a party cannot criticize a government with whom you are a part and have collective responsibility and at the same time an opposition. Thanks to other political parties who were either not consulted for inclusion or rejected an inclusion.

With this piece of analysis on our current issues, the critical questions come: What is the expectation of the general public with
regard to the management of resources that shall now be accruing from the cooperation agreement with Sudan and indeed the oil proceeds?

First, the new resources need complete new face of the government under President Mayardit with renewed promise from the top leadership down to the lower administration to ensure equitable allocation of resources in the next 42 months of the cooperation agreement and beyond.

The general public needs no return to previous history in the management of national affairs but demanding the political leadership and other relevant stakeholders a real business of nation building.

The second most prioritized agenda is peace and security of people and resources. The government must look into some key elements in
understanding security situation analysis specially the ability to quickly read a conflict or insecurity early warning in our communities and to apprehend such escalation by immediate application of operational and structural prevention. This proactive approach is in line with Article 36 (3) of the Transitional Constitution which says The security and welfare of the people of South Sudan shall be the primary duty of all levels of government.

The third priority is the diversification of non-oil revenues. In the past, Sudan was said to be breadbasket of the world. In fact, it is South Sudan which is the real breadbasket of the world and therefore the government must now focus on developing agriculture and other natural resources to meet the concept of sustainable development for present and future generations.

Last but not least is the economic austerity measure. The austerity measures cannot be applied to a growing economy leave alone subsistence economy like South Sudan whose economic status is basically meant for survival. In a stringent financial term, austerity measures are only applicable in a developed economy. Therefore the adoption of austerity measures in South Sudan was misplaced and there is high need to reverse it.

How can government impose austerity measures when our nascent state regardless of rich agricultural land and natural resources never produces even local products or the people have seemingly refused to work?

We have achieved independence and handed it over to foreigners, a subject to be addressed separately. We are totally consuming imported goods and services.

With the austerity measures now in place, the government and the public could not benefit anything because no reserves were saved to be protected or significantly used for the said austerity period. But rather both suffered with daunting economic challenges that the
diplomatic missions intervened and advised political leaders in both countries to sign a cooperation agreement.

In South Sudan unlike neighboring Sudan, life is so expensive as a result of high prices for such imported goods and services and we have no option than to adhere to the economical principle of opportunity cost at the expense of other important services.

With these few words, I am of the opinion that South Sudan does not have such huge workforce in the public sector that the government may impose some public service arrangements such as downsizing. We really need more teachers, more doctors, engineers and development oriented strategists at all sectors of a promising developing state, provided that such recruitments are done on the merit of qualification and national interest to save the Republic of South Sudan.

Beny Gideon Mabor is an independent commentator on politics and governance. He can be reach thro: or call

Beny Gideon Mabor,

Who can be blamed for alleged killings of Kenyans in South Sudan?

BY: Ayuen Akuot Atem, JUBA, NOV. 12/2012, SSN;
Since the Republic of South Sudan attained her independence on the 9th of July 2011, there have been numerous reports and complaints of human rights abuses, robbing and killing from the various African citizens who are aliens in the newest nation of South Sudan. On top of list of complainers are the brothers and sisters from East African countries mostly the Kenyan citizens who are residing as foreign nationals based on their mixture of business deals and a variety of reasons best known to them. The Kenyans population is huge in South Sudan since the signing of peace accord compared to other African countries populations in South Sudan

Those Kenyans came for instance for personal business or as investors while a majority came without skills and survive through “Jukally life,” the illicit life of scandal, meanwhile numerous Kenyans work with nongovernmental organizations within South Sudan and indeed the government of South Sudan contracted most of Kenyans as computers [IT] and consultants in public service sector plus their preponderance in the field of hospitality business like hotels and bars which has been dominated by Kenyans and Ethiopians.

Despite the accessibility of diverse businesses which attract different people to the newest republic of South Sudan, the local media in Kenya continuously alleges that at least fifteen [15] Kenyan nationals has been killed and 50 Kenyans are languishing in prisons of South Sudan for the last six years since the comprehensive peace agreement [CPA].

As these reports are not officially confirmed by either Kenya embassy in South Sudan or the governments of both countries, this is black propaganda without clear source.

The killing of Kenyans nationwide has been alleged and put as the daily leads or top stories in Kenya media both Newspapers, Radios, televisions and social media like facebook, which Kenyan journalists believed to be carried out by South Sudanese people. Kenya media always blames government of south Sudan and it people in general for the daily deaths of their people in the soil of South Sudan.

To me nobody can be blamed for the death of Kenyans citizens, but the death occurrence can be blamed on the fragility of security situation in South Sudan which contributes to the assumed murders.

The Kenyan media and its journalists are not acting out of professionalism and in addition they are practicing media irresponsibility which is out of ethics in journalism; why and how? First, whatever has been reported by media in Kenya reflects negativity of South Sudan and it ignores positivity and denies goodness of South Sudan civilization of inclusivity and pan-Africa vision.

Sometime back the coffin of a Kenyan citizen who was alleged as killed in South Sudan by unknowns ‘gunmen was shown or broadcast in Citizen Television of Kenya, CTV, the leading broadcasting independent company in Kenya with millions of clients across the borders. The story lead was “another Kenya citizen shot dead in South Sudan.”

Actually there were no details of the story either from the journalist or the news anchor nor the follow-up to the story as the running news to explain the full details about how the person got killed in South Sudan. Professionally that was out of moral code and it’s the incitement lead which is accountable of capriciousness message. Because if the story is without proper details such tales are not allowed for broadcast or to be run in any media, simply the question is what are you going to tell the clients?

Because media is the ear and eye of people. Such stories which are run by Kenya media reflects opposite side of the real story other than abhorrent speech, defamation, slander with the intention of spoiling a country’s and people’s reputations.

Today, the media slogan is “one world, one voice”. Does it mean Kenya media is not the part of world media which works exclusively for people’s interest than boundaries interest? Journalists also work in the context of three responsibilities such Social, Legal and professional responsibilities. Does it mean these three responsibilities are not known by Medias in Kenya?

Indeed death in South Sudan is the daily issue at countryside and anybody who knows the inside security situation in the fragile state of this country can judge me either wrong or right, unless they are Kenyans who are thugs and who are in the category of people who’re always committing deadly crimes and still protesting in the name of East Africans being mistreated so that they can be freed without trials.

The fact remains that every night in Juba and other major towns of South Sudan there are reports about dozens of peoples being killed by unknown gunmen, who are citizens and aliens and the victims of such acts are blaming the security organs, organized forces like police and government for the reason of not protecting people country wide.

This should not be narrowly taken by Kenyans as the means of implementing their hidden agenda of preaching hatred and badly inform the masses and the world through media that South Sudan is a failed state. South Sudan is not the failed country.

Kenyans, Ugandan, Tanzanians ,Sudanese, Ethiopians, Eritreans, Congolese, Arabs, West Africans and the rest of the world who are in the country must acknowledge the reality of security situation in South Sudan. I believe those Kenyan journalists have never been to South Sudan, they know nothing.

What is special about the killing of innocent Kenyans who are struggling to make a better life for themselves in newest state of African? Why to target or discriminating kill Kenyan peoples, what for? It’s exceptional practice to the real South Sudanese who feel as the indigenous African in Africa land to murder his or her fellow black African intentionally without reason.

Actually South Sudan has created a new economic image in Africa as the new Dubai in the region where various criminals including the most wanted criminals of various countries have routed to South Sudan. Majority of aliens are the ones committing crimes these days in South Sudan because they have no sense of patriotism.

After all it’s not their country and this being a new nation without proper system of immigration and aliens control.

Majority of criminals from Kenya are here in South Sudan, therefore they are the most dangerous than other Africa nationals in criminality, as Kenyans are known for looting, stealing, robbery and human trafficking and including hijacking and kidnapping of tourists and non-Kenyans, mostly the then Sudanese peoples who were dispatched by the war and took refugee in Kenya.

As the matter of fact Kenya today has greatly changed and it’s the new paradise without news of crimes because thugs and deadly criminals have migrated to South Sudan, so Kenya became free of criminals. Today 99% of crimes in South Sudan are committed by Kenyans, West Africans, Darfur and peoples of Arua district in northern Uganda plus unlicensed boda boda riders who snatch women’s hand bags, most of whom are from Buganda community of Uganda.

As the matter of facts and reality East Africa criminals hunts and kills their fellow citizens who are rich in South Sudan, knowing that it will be alleged that South Sudanese murdered them, a new tactic which they are using at the moment.

Kenyans are also practicing “tit for tat” whenever a Kenyan person dies in South Sudan, they also kill a South Sudanese in Kenya as a revenge. Like when the Kenyan teacher was shot dead in Juba, a south Sudanese university student in Nairobi university from the college of engineering was slaughtered by alleged gangsters in broad daylight.

All in all, the current security situation stimulated by Kenyan media might escalate into hatred which may result in numerous deaths of innocent South Sudanese living in Kenya or Kenyans domiciling in South Sudan because Kenya media is well known for its bad record of fueling ethnic conflicts like the Kenya 2008 post election violence in which one journalist was indicted by International Criminal Court of Justice [ICC].

These allegations circulating in Kenya media need diplomatic attention from the two countries of South Sudan and Kenya before it reaches level four or diplomatic tension.

This year Kenya leading television carry out the opinion poll survey about the security situation in South Sudan where 99% of Kenyans voted South Sudan as a “No-go nation,” meaning that it’s not a safer place for Kenyans. I think those who cast their votes in the electronic polls knew nothing about South Sudan. Then why are they still living in large numbers in an unsafe place?

The regional analysts considered the survey as the business tactic by Kenyans to deter investors who are interested to came and invest in South Sudan by amplifying insecurity situation and accelerating the fragility and hostility of peoples of South Sudan to the outsiders.

However people of South Sudan are not stupid to turn against their neighbors in whom they depend on them for imported food and basic needs. Kenya is well known for its positive offer to South Sudanese during their years of revolution.

South Sudanese cannot make stupid U-turns because South Sudan is not yet strong like some of African states to depend and stand on its own without neighboring countries help. This is a total intentional blemish, abomination and disregard of South Sudan. It’s premeditated Kenya media campaign.

Admittedly, South Sudan is unsecured because several people still keep illegal arms plus ongoing militias activities and numerous thugs who ambush people at gun point along the travelling routes. To be sincere, the death toll among the South Sudanese citizens is beyond the death claims by Kenyans and the rest of African citizens.

In this context, whom can south Sudanese people blame for their daily death tolls? They can blame their government and the acts of insecurity cause by militias in the country. Likewise, Kenyans should not take the rampant deaths and daily killings by unknown gun men as the intended acts either by the government or the people of South Sudan.

Last but least, the Kenyan Media and its people should put in mind that the time of mistreating South Sudanese is gone. And South Sudanese people who were refugees yesterday in Kenya are now free citizens of their own nation.

The views expressed in this column belong to the writer; the author can be reached for comment at

South Sudan: To Either Abide With Human Rights and Cooperate with the UNMISS or Quit the UN Family All Together!

BY: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, NOV. 10/2012, SSN;

Following the expulsion of the UNMISS Human Rights Investigator, Sandra Beidas (a British National), from South Sudan, this new country seems to have opened yet another chapter in a wider confrontation with the international community.

This development surprisingly comes at a time when the very Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation who declared Ms. Beidas a persona non grata is desperately appealing for international assistance in settling the Abyei question in the face of the difficulties to the yet to be consolidated Addis Ababa Cooperation Agreement recently inked between the Republic of South Sudan and the unpredictable regime in Khartoum.

However the ultimate reasons behind this move by South Sudan’s government which gave this UN Official no more than a period of 48 hours to leave the country have not yet been officially disclosed.

In the absence the government’s official version of the story, the vacuum in information has led to the widespread general speculation that the South Sudan’s ruling party the SPLM as well as its military wing, the SPLA have both been angered by a UN report that was pilled and published in August 2012. Now as things stand this speculation is gradually turning out to be right.

In that report the UN came out criticizing the South Sudan army (SPLA) and accused it of incidents of torture, rape, killings and abducting civilians during the civilian disarmament campaign in South Sudan’s Jonglei State.

Earlier on, this very report which raised a lot of controversy had already been rejected by the Governor of Jonglei State. The Chairperson of the South Sudan’s Human Rights Commission and The SPLA spokesperson,were quick in joining the Governor in condemning the UN Report that they all described as a bunch of lies and a 100% nonsense.

The current situation on the ground

The issues of who decides policies in the new republic of South Sudan have since long surfaced as a central concern for both its citizens and its government of the day. Equally concerned with the matter are the countless institutions that represent the international community, the foreign governments and all the other stakeholders who operate in the country.

It’s no longer a secret that although on the face value all political and socioeconomic players in the country prefer to be seen as operating under the instructions of the de jure political leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, yet the realities at the terminals where policies are eventually translated into actions, things tend to suggest the contrary as multiple de facto deal sealers continue to dominate the scene.

The new country’s army, the SPLA has already had two bitter military confrontations with its traditional rival, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). The first was over Abyei, where a SPLA soldier was alleged to have started the shooting at a time when the SAF were at the point of withdrawal from the area as requested by both the UNSC and the AU. What followed thereafter was a full blown battle and it resulted in the total destruction of Abyei town, and the neighbouring villages with displacement of the inhabitants.

The second battle between SPLA the SAF was the Panthou/Heglig war and again it was obvious that this was equally decided by a field commander in response to recurrent SAF attacks on SPLA positions. Unfortunately while the government of south Sudan was far from prepared for this war in as far as the political and diplomatic ground works are concerned, knee jerk decision taken by this field commander almost dragged the region into yet another unplanned all-out war.

Where we stand now as a country it can no longer be denied that this last military showdown with the North is actually behind the legacy that we are living today as it drew in a lot of international condemnation, more so from friends before the enemies.

Back in Juba the SPLM led and dominated government was too slow to explain nor defend its position in as far as the accusations by the international community where Juba was considered not only the aggressor, but also condemned for occupying a foreign territory, as it failed to convince both the US administration, the African Union (AU) and the UN Security Council (UNSC) about its claim on Panthou/Heglig.

With a weak foreign policy and the absence of a competent and robust diplomatic representation in New York, South Sudan was easily muzzled into accepting the UNSC’s position that considered the presence of the SPLA troops in Panthou/Heglig illegal. And before we knew anything, the once victorious SPLA was ordered to pull out and hand the land they so fiercely fought for back to the enemies in Khartoum.

Another incidence where the SPLM led administration in Juba is seen to be weak when it comes to dealing with the SPLA ( the Military) is in fact how the financial books at the Bilpham military Head Quarters continuously escapes the auditing process that has long started in the country.

The Auditor General Hon. Steven Wundu is yet to present to the South Sudan National Parliament the full findings on the finances of the President’s Office, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and that of the Ministry of Defense.

Till such a report is presented by the Auditor General, our country’s transparency policy will remain at its best a mockery. There are general feelings that any financial auditing of the above centers of power are likely to reveal corruptions that will no doubt dwarf the missing $4 billion being used by the President as his favorite weapon against some of his former and current officials.

The fall out with the UN:

Besides the United Nations (UN) involvement with the Humanitarian Assistance to South Sudan during the long years of the protracted liberation war and well beyond the cease fire between the two enemies to the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA), this International League of Nations continues to assist South Sudan as it emerges from the rubble of war to become a new nation with full membership in the League.

Today as we hear about the widespread news of how the SPLM led government in Juba has fallen out with some officials of the United Nation Mission in South Sudan (the UNMISS) it may however be a good thing to refresh our collective memories about how the country ended up with these Blue Helmets on the ground in the first place and how it all developed to Chapter VII thereafter.

Things all started during the early phases of the marathon peace talks between SPLM and the Islamic regime in Khartoum that took place in Kenya between 2002 and 2005.

It was in fact the SPLM/A delegation to the Peace Talks who insisted on the deployment of a UN Peacekeeping Force in the country, while the Khartoum government had consistently opposed the idea.

How much did this UN Peacekeeping Force contribute to the actual realization and preservation of Peace in the period between 2005 and 2011 is left for the Sudanese across the political divide to assess.

Following the outcome of the referendum on self-determination in which South Sudanese overwhelmingly chose independence from Sudan, it was again the SPLM led government in Juba that insisted on retaining the UN Peacekeeping Forces on its territory while Khartoum opted to send them out, and this was how UNMISS came to exist in the post-independence South Sudan.

The general resentment being lately expressed by some segments of the South Sudan government against the UNMISS are in fact to some extend based on narrow party, tribal or personal interests.

It is the leadership in Juba that has failed the people of South Sudan by employing incompetent loyalist and tribesmen in the government apparatus.

Unfortunately when things go bad, something often expected of a substandard personnel, this very SPLM led government and its apologists are quick to sing their monotonous and over used song of “we are just starting from scratch or We have just come from the bush etc… etc.”

Unfortunately although the above excuses are being used in order to escape criticism, what the ruling SPLM party fails to see is that in so doing they have also painted a bad picture of not only the government but also of the country.

Under this type of impression South Sudanese are either collectively seen by outsiders as incompetent people or often loosely referred to as lazy and largely a people suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome as a result of the two decade war. It is this impression that encourages foreigners to feel justified when they meddle into the country’s affairs. After all it has been directly taken from the mouth of either the president of the country himself or his close aides.

The repercussion of expelling the UN Human Rights Officer:

What took place right from the time of when the CPA was being negotiated and throughout its implementation the SPLM/A dominated delegations that represented the people of South Sudan have demonstrated that when it comes to international politics, they are indeed far naive than their counterparts on the other side if not for the continuous assistance from the international community..

It is they the SPLM) who handed the sovereignty of the state to the international community. It’s understandable that they did it in order to keep Khartoum away from reneging on the agreement and equally to guarantee a credible monitoring for its implementation. The introduction of the UN Chapter VII into the South Sudan & Sudan/UN politics if anything it is a strong proof that the UNSC is keen to see that Peace, Order, the Rule of Law and full respect of Human Rights return and prevail in South Sudan first then the region a large.

But now that Juba is increasingly becoming uncomfortable with the UNMISS which it fought to have in the first place, then it’s likely that it will lose many of its friends who are not only permanent members of the UNSC, but they also played crucial roles in the realization of the independence of the new country.

The UNMISS boss herself a former government minister in her native country of Norway has been known for her strong ties with the ruling SPLM since the days of the liberation war and throughout the marathon negotiations that led to the signing of the CPA.

Today as things stand in Juba, it will not be an over statement to say that the very SPLM/A that benefitted from her support in the past, is now at the verge of openly label her as persona non grata if she doesn’t stop talking about SPLM and SPLA’s poor Human Rights records and the widespread corruption that has lately engulfed the new country in its entirety.

The US government on the other hand has already come up to openly condemn the expulsion of the UNMISS Officer. The Acting Spokes son at the US State Department, has made it abundantly clear that his government fully supports the UNMISS and its efforts to strengthen government institutions, provide humanitarian relief, and to monitor, mitigate and prevent conflict throughout South Sudan.

The Senior US Official went on to stress that and I quote:

“Human rights monitoring, investigation and reporting are core elements of the UNMISS mandate. It is important that the Mission’s Human Rights Officers are allowed to carry out this work without fear of reprisal or expulsion,” Toner said.

“Fostering deeper respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights will strengthen South Sudan’s democratic civil and national identity, as well as encourage further progress in that regard.” He added.

Reading the US government’s position on this issue and considering the fact that it has always been Ms. Susan Rice, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nation who time and time again stood with South Sudan in its disputes with the republic of the Sudan, one can see that this new country is likely to frustrate its intimate friends.

The issue of Human Rights will remain central in the South Sudan politics be it locally or internationally. Furthermore, whether this plays to the taste of those who formulate policies for this embattled SPLM led regime or not, one is certain that the country needs the UN more than the UN needs the country and especially so at this crucial moment when every thing is in tatters.

The SPLM led government in Juba may think itself smart when it is given the free hand to isolate the actions of UNMISS staff whom they disagree with and then proceed to deal with them as individuals often away from the mother organization, the United Nations in New York.

However let’s not forget to appreciate that these individuals on their own are just as effective as any of us. Nonetheless the UN must stand by its members of staff if it is to succeed in its mission specially so in volatile regions like South Sudan.

Allowing host governments to treat UN staff members as if they were just mere individuals in spite of the fact that these UN Reports do in fact represent the organization’s view doesn’t really go well and no specific individual staff should be crucified for it as if they are just ordinary attention seekers or people who represent no one but themselves.

For how long will this go on? Not too long the former UN Human Rights officer Benedict Sannoh was ruthlessly beaten up by the South Sudan police personnel in Juba, the new country’s seat of government, and now they have expelled yet another UN Human Rights Investigator. At the local level Members of the Civic Society, Journalists, Opposition Politicians and Human Rights Activities are routinely being harassed, beaten and continue to suffer arbitrary arrests by security personnel.

The world needs to act and fast. Otherwise for how long will the donor community continue to pour in its hard earned taxpayer’s money from the western countries into this system of governance that has failed to come into grips with the basic principles of Human Rights?

In conclusion there must be a way out of this new country’s Human Rights Crisis whether SPLM wants it or not. No country or any society for that matter should be allowed to terrorize its citizens by denying them what is easily taken for granted in most parts of the civilized world.

UNMISS is there to stay in South Sudan specially so when the current leadership needs to be re-cultivated into the universally accepted human values of democracy, freedom of speech, and Human Rights in its broadest term.

This can only be achieved by more resilient Human Rights activists on the ground, dedicated and motivated investigators and die hard propagators. I don’t mind if UNMISS is to cease all other activities in South Sudan and concentrated only on Human Rights, for that is the only way to build a peaceful and inclusive society on the rubble of the five decade war that has practically destroyed all the fabrics of humanity and civilization in this part of the world.

The other alternative available for the proud and arrogant SPLM leadership is of course to remain defiant and possibility quit the UN family of nations all together if they have the guts for that. Let us now see who will blink first, the SPLM led government of South Sudan or the UNMISS as backed by the UNSC and the international community at large!!!

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can reached at: or

Deadly land grab of Juba Day Secondary School: Between becoming a Private Hospital & a Church!

By: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, NOV./9/2012, SSN;
Land grabbing is rife in the new Republic of South Sudan and more so in its capital and seat of government, the town of Juba. And before we get into the story of this highly learned medical doctor who became a central person in the latest scandal of grabbing land from the premises of the Juba Day Secondary School, it would be better to display some other examples.

In conformity with this widespread phenomenon of land grabbing known locally as *Nyakama* in Juba, a lawyer involved in a case of land grabbing went missing for some days in Juba. And according to the South Sudan Law Society which gave an interview to the media, said that:

*Before Mr. Bulabek Ring was kidnapped, he was working on a legal suit of an alleged house grabbing in Malakia area against an Army General. The Union said before Mr. Ring disappearance he was intimidated through a phone call directing him to withdraw from the case but he refused to comply.* (Gurtong, JUBA, 26 October 2012)

The above is just one example of where people higher up in the government are abusing office, encouraging lawlessness, kidnapping lawyers and exercising a Mafia-like life style with total impunity in a country where Human Rights Abuse is glorified. If even lawyers are not safe to defend the rights of the poor and the weak, so what type of a society are we in?

Moving to the showdown between the Juba Day Secondary School students and the Police Officers, dubbed as *The Juba Day Crisis,* I suggest that you read this extract as a prelude to the discussion that follows as it summarizes the background and underlying factors to the crisis at hand:

*In the immediate AFTERMATH of this crisis an investigation was carried by a high level CES (Central Equatoria State) government panel. The panel found out that on a map of the 1980s (at the establishment of the Juba Day Secondary School), the school premises extended right to the banks of Khor Bou. But later, the CES Ministry of Planning and Physical Infrastructure manipulated the map and through the abuse of office/political power, the then Minister vetoed the decision/advice of his Ministrys Town Planning Board decision and issued the piece of land (about half of Juba Day Secondary School land) to a private investor who happened to come from the same Payam with him as a private land for building a private hospital.* (Extract from Friday, November 2, 2012)

As a medical doctor myself, I regret to learn that a fellow medical doctor was in fact in the center of this crisis as he tried to acquire land that is clearly a school compound regardless of all his good intentions. Hospitals are good, public or private; however they should not come at the expense of equally strategic institutions like schools.

As Juba Day School premises became open for grabs, it was not only the medical doctor who has a taste for that piece of land. Sharing him on the assault on what is a school property is yet another self-styled Prophet/Bishop Abraham Chol of the New Cush Church.

The presence of this squatter church on the school property and in close proximity to the classrooms has disrupted the learning environment for the students. Students and teachers alike felt intimidated by the worshipers who resort to an outrageously loud preaching style and gospel music, which on many occasions have amounted to frank noise pollution.

With this seemingly unstoppable daily distraction from this squatter church, the rightful occupants of the compound none other than the students themselves chronically suffer lack of concentration in their learning activities. This too is another disturbing component of the existing land grabbing in the Juba Day Secondary School.

Without any prejudice, the church presence on the school ground is equally an important part of the crisis that needs to be urgently addressed before it also becomes an occasion for civil unrest as the self-styled Prophet/Bishop Chol and his congregation have vowed to fight back should the school administration or the students try to forcefully evict them.

Yet to the best of my knowledge these particular issues were already presented to the Central Equatoria State (CES) Parliament this year where it was resolved that the piece of land and indeed any public land should be retrieved by the Ministry of Planning & Physical Infrastructure and be put back for their initial intended rightful use.

Then how comes that the CES resolution on this particular case was ignored by the departments concerned is the question! Furthermore one even wonders as to why the medical doctor at the center of this crisis together with his sponsors chose to insist in contesting a piece of land that is known to everybody as being a part of a school premises?

Have we really run out of land to the extent that we have to grab school premises in broad daylight?! The reader and all involved should answer.

Another worrying issue is the fact that land grab in Juba Day is not an isolated incident, and it is rightly believed that many similar cases have happened in the past. So why is it that the resolution on the Juba Day School premises and indeed for that matter all the other resolutions on solving land problems have remained unimplemented?

It is either the Minister for Planning & Physical Infrastructure or the State Governor who must solely bear the brunt of this crisis. Is it not their foot dragging on issuing the right directives the main reason why citizens are taking the Law into their own hands? This if anything, it is indeed a gross negligence of duty!

To set the record right, it is worth stressing here that nobody in their right senses will condone the idea that citizens take the Law in their hands. However it does happen when Law enforcement is tempered with in favor of the influential and the powerful.

Students have no right whatsoever to dispense justice. But if we the so-called elders are not even abiding by the Law and by design choose to be bad role models, how then do we expect our young generations to learn how to respect the Law?

The second part to the Juba Day Crisis is the ordeal that involved the police officers who came to restore order in the school. It is regrettable that a fully independent nation like the republic of South Sudan is still lacking the basic skills of containing demonstrations and mob unrest. It seems clear that even there is no competent personnel or a department in the Police Services to deal with civil unrest, I mean a Civil Defense Service.

Walking into a school compound with guns loaded with live bullets is a violation of human rights. And worse still, firing live bullets on unarmed civilian population, leave alone when they are school children is even a worse violation.

Below is a report of an eyewitness. It is worth reading:

*From observations of bullet holes in the pre-fabricated walls of the office block where students and teachers took cover, the gunfire was directed to the students with the aim to kill.*

*The gunfire angered the students to react with stone throwing at the Police but the Police pursued the students and teachers to their hiding places by breaking into two rooms and shooting into them.*

*The shooting resulted in two injuries; one girl student of Senior one was shot through both knees when she was inside with one teacher who was shot through his thigh.*

*Another teacher was hiding in a building, however the door to the building was broken down by the police and the poor teacher dragged out and beaten up by the Police who refused to listen to his explanations that he was a teacher.* (Extract from a report on, Friday, November 2, 2012)

The above eyewitness statement sheds light on the magnitude of the ordeal suffered by the family of the Juba Day Secondary School, *Teachers and Students.* So now where does the government both at the State level as well as the national level takes us from here is the question of the hour.

Our politicians seem to have been completely misled into believing that they can in the name of the so-called private investment, have a free hand to tamper with the land regardless of whether it is a designated land for a particular purpose or not, a private property or not, a community land or not.

This is crazy! But remember that none of us is missing to see the underlining motives, which is nothing but greed and corruption!

Land grabbers are criminals even if they claim to have got the land through the Land Department, because what often takes place in such deals are in fact illegal, as dirty money often change hands in the deal. As such there are no justifications when it comes to land grabbing. Church or hospital, you cannot build them on school property!

The Juba Day School premises must remain intact and a property of the school which can only be put into use by the ministry of education and for the good of the students and the school.

My advice to my fellow colleague, the medical doctor at the center of this crisis, is for him to look for another indisputable piece of land for his private hospital or better still he can purchase one if he so wishes to. However the bottom line is that he should better keep away from our schools. Our children need those schools.

It is needless here to emphasize that a medical doctor of your caliber is expected to know better that good education is not only attending classes, for it extends to encompose other physical activities and extra curricula activities which need enough space.

However, I understand very well that you too are a victim of the Oyee system where corruption and smearing lawlessness is rampant. They, the SPLM CES Mafia, must have pulled you into this mess.

As for our law enforcers, I have this to say: *You do not only need to step up your roles in maintaining a lawful society but you also need to know the limitations to the degree of force to be used.* Heavy-handedness in Law enforcement is itself a punishable crime if we were to be in a civilized society!

Where on earth can you just walk into a school carrying guns with live munitions and shoot indiscriminately at unarmed school children and their teachers and get away with it? Is that possible in the Republic of South Sudan?

The answer is yes, but for Gods sake this culture of impunity must end!

Some my argue that that there were no fatalities in this Juba Day Incidence, however judging by the way the victims sustained the injuries, it could as well have led to loss of lives. After all it was a shooting from close range!

This case must be thoroughly investigated and anyone found on the wrong side must face legal actions. No doubt it is a case of the public against the state.

State officials right up from the State Governor to the Ministers involved, the Directors and the Survey Department officials must answer questions. Irresponsible people should no longer be allowed to run our affairs anymore.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP): He can be reached at: or

(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and not of the website)’

Gold fever sweeps South Sudan ahead of new mining law

By Hereward Holland
(Reuters) – Taking a break from the toil of digging, Leer Likuam sat on the edge of a shallow trench, puffed his pipe and boasted he once found a 200 gram gold nugget bigger than his thumb.

In Nanakanak, a village of stick huts in an area that has attracted hundreds of diggers since Sudan civil war ended in 2005, Likuam find would have been lucrative but unexceptional.

Everything is luck, he said through a translator. On an average day he might dig up six grams, worth around 1,200 South Sudanese pounds ($270), he said. Some days you’re lucky.

Word of NanakanakS riches has spread. In the capital Juba, international mining firms are lining up at South Sudan ministry of petroleum and mining, aiming to get their hands on part of the vast, unexplored territory.

Officials say firms from China, Australia, the United States, South Africa and other African countries plan to apply for licenses when new mining laws are passed later this month. After many delays, parliament is set to begin debate on the bill on Monday.

The South voted to secede from Sudan, then Africas sixth largest exporter of oil, in a referendum last year.

The new nation inherited three-quarters of the united country oil production, but in January a row with Khartoum led it to shut down the industry whose receipts gave South Sudan 98 percent of its income.

The sudden loss of funds prompted Juba to introduce severe austerity measures, centralize and expand tax collection and explore fresh sources of revenue to replace petrodollars.

Oil production is expected to restart in the next couple of weeks, reaching around 230,000 bpd by the end of the month, but in the meantime the government hopes to pass mining legislation that will formalize the industry, let them tax precious metal and mineral exports and sell concessions to large-scale investors.

It will diversify the economy. The mining sector has great potential, Petroleum and Mining Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau told Reuters.


On the international market, Likuams prize lump would fetch $11,000, an enormous sum in a country where the average teacher earns just 360 South Sudanese pounds, about $90, per month.

Likuam is not the only man with the golden touch.

Around him dozens of other Toposa tribesmen and women, festooned with plastic necklaces, brass piercings and beaded amulets, hack away at the red soil with metal poles and shovels, digging small craters in a boozy revelry.

Despite the morning hour, girls distribute crates of lager, sarko moonshine and pitchers of bitter smelling beer brewed from sorghum.

Many of the miners claim to have found nuggets of a rival size, or even larger.

Nobody knows the extent of South Sudan mineral reserves because the 22 year war prevented exploration.

The latest geological surveys date back to the 1970s and 80s, but mining officials say diamond and gold deposits in South Sudan mineral rich neighbors are encouraging. They describe the 16-month-old country as virgin territory.

We are neighbors to the DR Congo and Central African Republic so we cannot rule anything out. Geology does not know borders, said James Kundu, acting director general for geological surveying at the ministry.

As well as gold and diamonds, he lists potential deposits of chromite, copper, uranium, manganese and a belt of iron ore, which is often associated with aluminum. A lot of records were lost in the war. One report by a Belgian company was half-eaten by termites, Kundu said.

There is a lot of stuff here but people do not know about it. They are too focused on oil, said one international gold trader who preferred not to be named in connection with the as yet unregulated trade.

It is the best stuff I have seen in central Africa, he said, explaining that the samples he has tested show a purity of over 22 carats (91.6 percent gold) compared to around 18 carats in the Central African Republic.


Locally, artisanal miners like Likuam are making their fortune, investing much of the money in the traditional method of storing wealth – cattle. In the last year alone, Likuam has bought 10 cows, each worth around 1,000 pounds.

In another nearby artisanal mining spot called Napotpot, Julia Lakalay panned the red earth with water she had carried two km (one mile).

The gold mining has completely changed my life, she said, swathed in colored beads and spattered with mud. In my village I could not even earn 1 pound. Now I am earning 200 pounds per day.

Merchants in Kapoeta, a local town of tin shack pubs, dirt roads and scampering goats, say the price of gold is inflated by the scarcity of dollars, a problem across the country since the oil shutdown.

In the absence of banks or an official exchange rate between the pound and the Kenyan shilling, Kapoeta economy relies on gold as a form of cross-border currency.

The main purpose to buy gold is to change currency. We buy gold, take it to Kenya, sell it to dealers, and buy more stock to bring back, said Kenyan businessman Junius Njeru, weighing a pile of gold nuggets.

It is in your pocket, nobody searches you, he said, describing the process of taking the gold across the border.

Miners sell the gold for around 200 pounds ($46) per gram, leaving traders a narrow profit margin for resale on the international market at $55.


Officials hope the new mining law will bring this trade out of the black market and, by selling land to prospecting companies, eventually let the national and state governments benefit from the underground treasure.

The mining companies with 42 so-called grandfather exploration permits approved by the semi-autonomous southern government before independence will have two weeks to claim their licenses after the bill passes through parliament, which could take as little as one day.

Norway, the United States and Botswana helped draft the law that caps large-scale exploration licenses at 2,500 square km. To prevent exploration companies from sitting on the land, the law forces them to surrender 50 percent of their concession every time they renew their contracts, which will be variable.

Firms that find enough minerals to start digging can convert their license into a mining permit.

If you put them in a queue, there is at least 20 meters of investors waiting to get a license … Others must know that if they want something, they must come quickly, said Rainer Hengstmann, a ministry adviser working for consultant firm Adam Smith International.

However, in a landlocked country with just 300 km of paved road, Hengstmann cautioned it will take many years to get commercial mining off the ground.

You need a railway if you want to go large-scale. It will take time. They really need roads and power, he told Reuters, echoing investors complaints about the lack of infrastructure.

Ministry officials say two firms, New Kush and Consolidated Mineral and Energy Resources Investment Company (CMERIC), are exploring actively on their grandfather licenses.

But Equator Gold, a British company working on the CMERIC license, says it will still take several years to actually produce anything.

I think there is going to be a big rush to get land but exploration takes a long time, said Emma Parker, the firm chief operations officer. The progress has been slow but the geology is interesting. There is big potential.

(Editing by Alexander Dziadosz and Sonya Hepinstall)

Response to Mad Mading de Yaks article: Is it the Forgiver or the Gossiper?

The Bearer of Bad News is responding to an article published in the New Times weekly Newspaper, Issue number 069, dated November 05, 2012, entitled

    (Deng Dau Deng: Man who advised John Garang on what to do)

authored by Noble John Mading Yak. In that article, Mading was praising one of the spoilsports, Hon. Deng Dau Deng Malek, and trying to reprimand the Presidents work and demeaning others. It is appropriate to quote him. De Yak has said in his article that when we say Dr. John Garang de Mabior has never died, this means that he had some capable people whom he always shared ideas with and said people like Hon. Deng Dau Deng was a good example.

Furthermore, the quote continues: if he is given a ministerial post in the national government, he can change the disappointing face of this nation. Unquote.

Unquestionably, Kiir Mayardit has done more than enough to partisans of sabotage and those who exacerbate many. I thought Mading would stop superimposition. Deng is a Kind of person that gives politics a bad name and he Was uniquely responsible for setting a stage for the recent Mabior de Garang Mabior (Dr. John Garangs son) opposition.

Deng has never been adviser to Dr. Garang either on political issues or the others. It would be better for Mad Mading to mention other people other than Deng Junior. Deng became known to Garang only after his leg amputation but also only after he claimed to be a close relative to Dr. John Garangs wife, Nyandeng (Brother-in-law). His first request was for the survival of his family and a scholarship for the course he finished after long time.

Mabior Garang can be a leader of this country only if his time comes but it is visionless to be mislead and think prematurely by a politician who is a senior member of the ruling party. Mabior Garang speeches always have defined sources. The once green-eyed boy (Deng) can not think right now of being an orphan in this different situation.

Conversely, Deng Dau has been a renowned forwarding agent/boy who tried his best to diminish or defame others in order to control the then sweet yoke of the greed but Kiir decided to help that bluffer.

Mad Mading, what kind of reform do you think Deng can offer? Are you campaigning for presidency on behalf of Deng or what are your words representing? Liberation of South Sudan was a collective task, South Sudanese participated for 21 years not only Deng Dau. It is unwise for Mad Mading to state that without Deng Dau, the result of 21 years of Struggle (CPA) would have not been achieved.

Greed can never be forgotten by those who were breathing during the struggle. In fact, if the current government is being led by a tyrant, there could be no even a handshake with controversial figures like this one and his colleagues. But because Kiir was a man of God, the so-called spy is now an aristocrat; otherwise the messy system as called by Mading Yak Choldit would have been something not to talk of in the streets or therein.

Not only that, he should have been banished from the country for playing a demon role or incapacitated or incarcerated straight away because of earlier memories. The callous of 21 years is canvassing for the unknown.

The article of Mading Yak Choldit gripped my imagination because many people including me tried to extricate themselves during the struggle because of fear from that goody-goody. Mading is deluding himself and so his MP. Their impetuous behaviors one day will get both of them into trouble. What went wrong during the struggle was known to all of us and it can clearly be detailed, but because Kiir is a simple, humble, forgiving messiah and a devoted Christian, he chunked the old issues for the betterment of this nation.

Mad Mading Yak also stated that Deng Dau Deng had been sidelined in the national government. My sincere advice to Noble John Mading is that misinterpretation of facts may get us to hell. My mad boy, this country was not liberated to be consumed by only a few individuals.

South Sudan is a country with 64 tribes whose interest needs to be nationally recognized. Take a look at Kiir Mayardit mercy style of leadership, Deng Dau Deng is an MP of Twic East County and that is already a prestigious position and in addition to that, Kiir appointed him to head the commission (for disabled, widows, etc..) whose budget is nearly equal to a ministry. Two bundles of salaries/Wonga are more to a person of such a character and educational level and one wonders the source of making noise at Kiir Mayardit.

How many positions do you want a man with that controversial character to handle? It is also very important to quote Mading Yak Choldit. Mad De Yak said and I quote, that Deng a good dad who can never abandon his children, he is a good dad who can never eat before his children. He is a simple man who lives a simple life with his family in a small Compound which he built with his own Salary. (End of quote). Noble Mading Yak is a crazy toddler who can even be good-fella.

Mad Mading has a reasoning capacity of a 5-month old child. Do you know that Deng is having shares allegedly with the controversial Ayat company? Who told you that Deng is the poorest person among other officials? Do you not think that the money generated from this foreign company is even enough to build a house? The question a wise South Sudanese can ask is, from which country does this company (Ayat) come from and what is the hidden motive of the company before a government top official could be pushed by ignorance and pulled by money?

I was also shocked when I saw (MP) Dengs photo on the newspaper in August 2011, advertising for JIT water by appealing to the public that JIT water was safe to drink and nothing to fear from. This role could only be played by a marketing person not by such a national figure. No way, a cashier, an auditor and account controller of his own commission could never prosper, my friend. He has built many things, leave alone a small compound of such assumption.

It is better to stop demeaning others for the sake of selling someone who was/is seriously dangerous. The head of gossiping club is visible everywhere. Any way, he might be the one bragging to that confused group and his family in order to come out with useless point of finality. He might be on the top of the list of 75 people accused of having looted the country in contradiction to what Mading has said.

Mad Mading De Yak Choldit also authored that if his father, Martin Majier Gai, and John Garang de Mabor, among others from his clan had lived up to this time, the bad situation would have been averted. De Yak should know that the untimely death of our great leader John Garang is regrettable to all of us and the world in general.

Mama Eve and Dad Adam (Old Testament) never died in one minute for sure, Mading De Yak. Our heroes/heroines fought a good fight and the blood they poured is what concluded the final walk to freedom. Seeing them departing before witnessing the birth of the republic of South Sudan is soul-destroying. May their souls rest in an eternal peace. But Mading De Yak, there is no way of wishing the living heroes/heroines bad luck and praying for what God has never created to happen to others.

Mading must digest, all the 64 tribes of South Sudan including the Nuba who are still a falling prey to the authoritarian regime in Khartoum participated. Blue Nilers can never be forgotten for the cause. People died in large numbers from three regions of South Sudan plus contested two regions of our friends, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

We know where the bastards are and I do not mind of humoring the old fool for a while. Summarily, Deng was not the only person confronting the enemy. After he allegedly shot his own leg with his own gun which resulted into the amputation, he resorted to a new deadly strategy of mucking others for nothing. He became a real insider and inexperienced consultant for the sake of survival.

De Yak continued by saying if Malong was made a minister of National Security and Deng for a strategic other position, then, there would be a reform. Let me say that all of us were aware of who was always behind the coups that created a lot of fear among the populace after the signing of the CPA. Coup is being used as a short cut to those positions stated by Mad Mading. This was what went wrong undoubtedly in the Country.

If South Sudan is failing to govern itself very well, then these two guys Mad Mading is praising to bring changes are part of the evil and the reforms De Yak is talking about to come from them would just be a myth. It is illicit to choose the position in the government and go ahead to create chaos. Kiir bears a blame for always seeing saboteurs as leaders.

Interestingly, Mad Mading de Yak added that and I quote: He (Deng) is the only man who has changed the politics of Twice East County. Schools, health centers, roads are being developed under his leadership unlike his predecessor who was doing nothing, and very extravagant by spending a lot of money in London because of mere Malaria infection. Unquote.

The said predecessor was actually sick that resulted into surgery. Parliamentarians were all aware of the danger Chol (predecessor) went through, only Deng used this bad allegation against his predecessor to win voters during 2015 elections and to continue rallying others for the purpose of next elections. The development that is taking place in Twic East County can be stated by somebody who hails from there. This braggart always mentions stupid things to be the best and I am not really sure of any rapid development in his county.

Mad Mading could have appreciated him (MP) not because his name (Deng) never appeared among the first 27 officials who have been named of taking away millions of dollars from this Country but because of his work in Twic East County. Let me say that 27 officials were just assumed and published by enemies of the state. This could have been the work of an insider with an outsider or outsider with motives of tarnishing our image. This statement might have been passed to or directly to Mading De Yak from that dullard. It was very clear that some MPs from the ruling party incited the public to demonstrate so that the names of 75 officials must be revealed.

Mad Mading, if you do not know how to thank people, then you must shut-up thanking the criminals/spies. Does the President know who is in connection with an American Journalist, Mr. Boswel?

Resettlement was an obvious project not because Deng has been the President of Kakuma Refugee Camp. UNHCR has been there before you and Deng Dau, and it has been doing this work in war affected Countries like Rwanda among others. Going to USA, Australia, and Europe among others was not an individual effort my friend. The project of going abroad was initiated by Dr. Garang himself not Deng as Mad Mading suggested.

Deng is not a store of Garangs information at all, as Mad Mading said. Garang was more clever enough than him (Deng). Garang has never been a gossiper, Garang was not jealous or envious like that man and Garang never had a gossip column.

Mad Noble Mading de Yak, gotcha! Garang has stored information somewhere else not in a person who indulges in hypocrisy.

(To be continued only if Mad Mading de Yak responds to this article)

(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and not of the website)
By Alier Juba: Reach me at:

Basic Salary Cuts for Government Employees: Who did it?

BY: Machien Luoi, BENTIU, UNITY STATE, NOV. 7/2012, SSN;
The Republic of South Sudan (RSS) shutdown its oil production earlier this year over dishonest distribution of the oil resource revenues with the Sudan. Oil revenues compromised over 95 percent of RSS budgets prior to the relationship breakdown between the two countries. Moreover, conflict between the two countries raged over contested border areas of neighboring states, particularly at Panthou in Unity State, a South Sudan territory claimed by the Sudan. Consequently, South Sudan economy went down drastically forcing the RSS to operate on austerity budgets.

In response to the austerity pressure, some states in the RSS immediately cut civil servants basic salaries. Western Bahr El Ghazel is claimed to have cut salaries by 50 percent while in Unity State basic salaries for civil servants were curved by 25 percent. What this meant was that a civil servant, who earned 600 SSP a month before austerity budgets, earned 300 SSP for 50 percent cut for Western Bahr El Gazel and 450 SSP after 25 percent deduction in Unity State.

Of late, citizens in some states began to ask why their small incomes were getting sliced. Questions arose on whether the policy that slashed their basic income was a national government initiative or respective states decided on their own austerity policies.

Latest exchanges between the national government and some state governments are a revelation that neither the national nor the state governments can clarify specifically where the decision to cut basic salaries for civil servants came from. They are now trading accusations.

According to the National Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) in their recent statement dated October 24, 2012, the National Government did not order for *any cuts in the basic salaries of government employees whether at the state or national level. Any state authority that cuts the salaries/wages of its workers is not implementing the policy of the national government. It has nothing to do with the austerity measures undertaken by the National Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.*

According to the Mr. Kosti Manibe, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, the national policy of austerity reduced *housing allowances by 50 percent.* The states of course have no civil servants housing allowances. Conditional salary transfers were reduced *except for elimination of job specific allowances,* while Block Grants to the States were deducted by 25 percent, according to the Minister.

It is not clear from the MoFED and Mr. Kosti Manibe what *elimination of job specific allowances* implies. Were these eliminated *job specific allowances* to special civil servants, politicians or who?

Certainly this is confusing and ought to be clarified. Maybe the states took advantage of such unclear pieces to reduce basic salaries for government employees. Other states may have chosen to use Block Grants for basic salary payments to government employees in their respective states. This is not difficult to comprehend.

According to the Minister, *States are free to use their Block Grants in the way they want.* Thus, if 25 percent of the Block Grant to the states was cut by the MoFED, in response the states can also incise the basic salaries of employees paid on the Block Grant to adjust to the austerity reduction.

While the national government is not responsible for how states use their Block Grants, states did not choose to cut 25 percent of their Block Grants, the national government did. If the states and national government were not on the same page on the issue, states that are using Block Grants for payment of government employees may scapegoat the national government for the lost percentages of their Block Grants, after all they could use the Block Grants as they wish.

So far, there has been misunderstanding and confusion over who cut the basic salaries of government employees. National government is obviously not taking responsibility. The states are pointing fingers at the national government on the matter.

For instance, the Deputy Governor of Unity State rejected assertion by the National Minister of Finance and Economic Planning that it is not responsible for basic salaries cut calling it, *a clear accusation against state governments.* The Deputy Governor said that his government lost $ 500,000 in 2012 because of the austerity measures.

Unity State previously received $ 12 million from National Government. That means there is 4.2 percent of $ 12 million that is lost to the austerity policy. What is not clear from the Deputy Governor is whether $ 500,000 is from the eliminated *job specific allowances* or from the 25 percent deduction in Block Grant to the State or a combination of the two?

At this juncture into the austerity measures policies in the RSS, neither national government nor state governments have answers for the deduction of the lowly paid government employees in South Sudan states. But who has answers?

In the light of this article, the ball is back into the court of the National Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to make specific some of the issues they tried to clarify recently with regards to the basic salary cut for government employees in the states.

It is necessary to shed light on this subject. It is painful to use the austerity policies to disadvantage the very people who are most affected by the economic downturn and austerity policies of the country.

Something is wrong somewhere as accusations between national government and state governments are indicative of the mess.

The writer is a South Sudanese residing in Bentiu, Unity State and can be reached at
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and not of the website)

As Pres. Bashir cries over Yarmouk Weapons Factory, thanks to whoever did the job!

BY: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, NOV. 6/2012, SSN;
In the last week of the last month of October 2012 the worlds audiovisual media was taken up by the news of the bombing of what came to be known later as the Sudan secretive weapons factory located in the heart of Khartoum south, in the Shaggara area. It was indeed breaking news of a special taste to the Sudanese across the political divide and the world community at large.

If you are from Darfur, the Blue Nile region, the Nuba Mountains or the Republic of South Sudan, then this must have been a happy day for you. After all the Yarmouk factory that specialized in the production of lethal weapons and munitions is no more. God must have heard and responded to the prayers of the millions who lost loved ones, suffered injuries and those displaced as a direct or indirect result of weapons, bombs and munitions produced in this once infamous facility.

Khartoum with the help of its allies in Tehran has for many years tormented the lives of women and child across the country. The fact that Sudan is a country at war with itself makes the very idea of building a war production facility with the sole aim of exterminating its own citizens totally unpopular not only with the rest of the peace loving nations, but it must have found no approval from God the Creator Himself as opposed to what the Islamist bigots would want us to believe.

The history of foreign air strikes on the Sudan is a long one. Following the bombing of the secretive chemical project in Khartoum North (Bahri) by the US during President Bill Clinton term in office, this embattled country under its vision-less leaders had suffered other attacks on its eastern coast. Since then every time an airstrike takes place against Sudan many covert activities, the government is quick to blame it on the Jewish state of Israel. This time around however it seems that the shock was too much for it took Khartoum many hours before it finally did what it normally does and that is by again pointing the finger at Israel.

Whatever sufferings the people of Darfur, Blue Nile, Nuba Mountains or even the new republic of South Sudan are made to go through, it can no longer be doubted that the Islamic Republic of Iran definitely has a hand in it. No wonder that Tehran is the hand and Khartoum is the glove!

The Israeli government on the other hand has decided to put a lid on this issue. It neither confirms it nor does it deny it. However many Jewish media outlets already glorified the raid and they see it as a warm-up to the bombing of the much controversial Iranian Nuclear Plants.

Sudan says that the bombing incidence will never stop them from supporting the Hamas led government in Gaza. However this is exactly what the Israelis want to hear. At least it justifies their hostility towards Khartoum and gives them a reason to bomb it again.

And again as if to push the Islamist regime in Khartoum into yet a deeper corner, the Iranians made no secret of their love affair with this criminal government. Israel got what it wanted as a proof for just a few days after the bombing of the Yarmouk munitions factory (widely believed to have been constructed by Iranian money and expertise and is in fact being run by them), two Iranian warships docked at the Sudanese port of Port Sudan. This if anything, it confirms the Khartoum-Tehran deals and love affair.

All these developments did not go well with the Sudanese masses who are predominantly Sunni Muslims and they find it extremely uncomfortable to put up with what has become a massive Iranian Shiite presence in almost each and every square inch of Khartoum City, the countrys capital.

The average Sudanese Sunnis are beginning to show concern about their government total dependence on Tehran, while risking the loss of relationship with Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and rich Gulf States like Qatar.

But of course at the end of the day who am I to advise the enemies in Khartoum. After all the purpose of my writing this piece is in fact to remind the al Bashir regime that for every predator on earth, there is a tougher predators to keep it under control.

Ali Karti the Sudanese foreign minister, can now is heard shouting at the top of his voice like a rabid animal in condemnation of what he sees as a wrong decision when the Iranian vessels were allowed to dock at Port Sudan.

The senior Sudanese diplomat is obviously salivating to get financial support from Arab Gulf countries to help with his countrys ailing economy. He knows too well that with the exposure of the true extend of to which the Khartoum-Tehran cooperation has reached, no Arab Gulf State will be willing to retain any intimacy with Sudan under Bashir.

The time has also come for al Bashir and his National Congress Party (NCP) to acknowledge that the ill equipped army they seem to be betting on is only fit for killing innocent women and children since they are nothing but digitally programmed religious fanatics whose sole function is to indiscriminately drop barrels of explosive materials on any moving target in what is perceived by the bigot state as the Enemy Territory..

We all regret any loss of lives that might have resulted from the raid on the Yarmouk Killing Facility. However the truth be said and loud, for our people have so many suffered in the hands of al Bashir and his Mujahedeen (Al Qaeda in the Sudan), that the news of this bombing deserves nothing, but a national celebration.

And this is To Whom It May Concern, Please whoever bombed this notorious munitions factory in the heart of Khartoum, deserves a medal of the highest status from the people of Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, the Blue Nile and the Republic of South Sudan.

As we sincerely endeavor to see peace reign in our region, it is our wish that sooner than later that the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) fleets of Antinov which rains bombs day and night over our innocent brothers and sisters should also meet the same fate like the infamous Yarmouk weapons factory. Can someone do that for us?!

As for the residents of the Sudanese capital city, this is the first time for them to have a firsthand experience of what it means to be bombed from the air. At least now they are in a position to understand and appreciate the sufferings of their fellow countrymen who are exposed to this type of terror and horror on a daily basis.

The only difference between the two is that one group is forced to pay the price of their government wrong policies while the other group in the marginalized areas have theirs perpetrated by the Sudanese Army who on the contrary is supposed to protect them.

In the end do not you agree with me that those who suffered and continue to do so as a result of the indiscriminately aerial bombardments by the Khartoum regime have every right to celebrate the bombing of this notorious Yarmouk Killing Facility?

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. The Secretary General of the United South Sudan Party (USSP). He can be reached at: or