False Friends are true enemies: SPLM Leadership dilemma

BY: Prof. Peter Adwok Nyaba, JUBA, SEPT/01/2013, SSN;

It is Arab wisdom, I believe, that runs thus: ‘God protect me from my friends; as for my enemies I know how to deal with them’. Human or societal relationships and interactions are so intricate a web of positivities and negativities that obvious contradictions coexist to the point that they are two sides of the same thing. Why not?

But friends and enemies are two sides of the same interrelationship. Speaking about ‘false friends’ and ‘true enemies’ in the context of social and political engineering of a country like South Sudan with its multiple identities one can’t but call to mind the conflicts and wars that have characterised our history.

The borderline between ‘false friends’ and ‘true enemies’ is so faint that it may not really exist in the realm. This is because the categories ‘false friends’ and ‘true enemies’ are interchangeable in practice. They perform the same tasks in the social and political construction and context.

They either accelerate or decelerate social and political processes. And in this theme resonates with Machiavelli’s philosophy expressed in his treatise of statesmanship ‘The Prince’.

Since this is in the domain of power politics it may be necessary to problematise ‘false friends’ are ‘true enemies’ as they play out in the power corridors. They both can act sometimes to lead the Prince to his self destruction.

False Friends can be some cheeky people who manoeuvre themselves into such asymmetrical relations with the powers that be and make friendship for short term material benefits.

Some are state bureaucrats who because of the pressures of the job prostrate them to play in the corridors of power such roles as sycophancy, leadership worshipping, court jesters, flatters, etc.

The cheeky ones forge a kind of friendship that bring them very close to the leader and make their way to position of authority through deception, flattery, trickery, treachery, black-mail, conspiracy, double talking, and all kind of slick.

‘False friends’ are self-seekers as well as political opportunists.

Every powerful leader, somebody whose powers are boundless, draws around him/herself a coterie of lieutenants, who could be ministers, civil servants, or security details, etc., of variegated experience, knowledge, ambitions, motivations, loyalties, and commitment.

Some of them are very intelligent and active who quickly discover the opportunities their positions and relationships carry. Others are normal mortals who perform their duties perfunctorily.

The web of relationships, which emerges between themselves on the one hand and that between them and their Principal constitutes the dealing and wheeling, sometimes involving conspiracies and intrigues, in the palace.

In this power game or contest for influence and wealth, the most powerful group popularly known as the palace Cabal (after Charles, Bartholomew and Louis in the Court of Queen Elizabeth) emerges consisting of the chief political commissar, the security chief and the financier.

At times, the principal operates and performs official duties and functions at the behest of the cabal. They tell him/her what to do, what to eat, who to meet and not to meet even among his colleagues and compatriots; where to sleep and when to go to bed.

Sometimes the principal is frightened with horrific stories of impending or foiled coups or assassination attempts on his life. This is done with the intention of eliminating imaginary enemies or pretenders to the throne.

More often than not these enemies turn out to be colleagues of the cabal whom they want eliminated due to contest and competition for influence. As a result a cult of mediocrity is cultivated and encouraged in the ranks.

Palace cabals emerge under authoritarian and/or dictatorial conditions but could also be seen in burgeoning democratic institutions. They could also emerge where internal democracy is muted; and where no or minimal channels of communications exist between the leadership and the base.

Nothing that would displease the principal is mentioned but is always kept informed that everything was well. In the end the principal finds self in a prison situation.

All his freedom to know the truth is truncated as all the information private and public is effectively and efficiently filtered by the cabal.

When a president’s motorcade cruises swiftly pass you know that the cabal doesn’t want the president to witness or see the effects or impact of his bad policies.

Nimeri is said in April 1985 to have quipped ‘the real prison is the wall of silence erected around you by your colleagues, which prevents you from seeing or hearing the truth… until I arrived this place [Bastille station in Paris], I didn’t know I have been overthrown in Khartoum’.

This brings me then to who is a true friend. In my opinion a true friend is s/he who is able to courageously tell a bitter truth and take responsibility for it.

A true friend will not shy away from criticising her/his colleague for the mistakes committed no matter how senior in the hierarchy that colleague may be.

In fact, a true friend will try to restrain his colleague from committing mistakes while a false friend or true enemy will encourage commitment of mistakes because that provides opportunities for him, even if that involved a fatal error of judgement in the interest of the country and its people.

It becomes worst when the episode is fudged or glossed over in the interest of maintaining friendship thus depriving the individuals, the party or the government of the opportunity to draw lessons in order not to repeat it.

Which therefore is desirable a false friend or a true enemy? The answer is obvious. Definitely a true enemy is more desirable and indeed preferable to a false friend. This relationship is predictable and therefore one could take the necessary precautions.

But social and political engineering or real politick does not necessarily permit this clear definition of relationships. Sometimes one is forced to work and put up with false friends.

In such a situation what should a leader do to protect the interest of the nation or the party?

It becomes more complicated when sometimes false friends are blood relatives or people who share between them and the leader some strategic secrets.

In such a situation, the leader must extricate him/herself by subscribing and adhering to clear principles, strategies and correct rules of conduct of business in order to avoid the pitfall of power game.

S/he should uphold the rule of law; must respect, protect and promote human rights, civil liberties and basic freedoms as well as adhering to democratic principles and practice.

The leader should cultivate and maintain the trust and confidence of the masses of the people by doing the right things. The leader must act like a statesman whose relations with the people and power is underwritten by the constitution and the law. S/he must be seen to value neither ethnic nor local politics.

In the recent and contemporary history of the Sudan, we have had leaders who started off with grandiose political program only to retreat to the status quo ante. This is precisely because the new leaders get surrounded by false friends masquerading as staunch supporters and by doing that they elbow out genuine and committed members.

In a space of thirty five years both the ‘May’ as well as the ‘Ingaz’ revolutions fizzled out because the messengers superficially converted to the message they carried lost focus and deviated from the vision which thrust them to positions of influence. Many have since long decamped to the SPLM.

Linked to this theme, in an unfortunate manner, is the notion of somebody being another body’s person, hence the emergence of the infamous literature on the so-called Garang’s boys or orphans. This arises and sticks in a situation where political power and its exercise is not institutionalised and relationships are based on patrimonialism.

There shouldn’t be anything like somebody’s person in a political organisation which has a constitution and internal regulations which define and guide the relations between the members and the party organs/institutions.

This brings me to the question whether or not the members of a political party are or should be considered friends or comrades. I submit that members of a political party are first and foremost comrades in the struggle.

The relations between individuals are defined and spelt out by the constitution and the internal regulations/order of the party.

As comrades united by a noble cause e.g. struggling to change an oppressive regime or a liberation movement resulting in freedom and independence, they will not fear each other as their hierarchal approximate horizontal relations.

They will relentlessly criticise their own mistakes as they practise the principle of criticism and self-criticism spelt out in the internal order as a way of consolidating the organisational unity of the party.

On the opposite side relations based on social criteria e.g. on friendship amount to intertwined blackmail. Criticism here even when genuine is construed negatively, personalised and could result in conflict.

The happenings in the SPLM these days make a perfect rejoinder to the theme of false friends are true enemies. The fate of South Sudan hinges on a precarious balance as a result of heart-breaking leadership wrangles.

The unsavoury measures that dramatize ‘false friends are true enemies’ are jeopardizing and almost breaking the unity and turning into mutual enemies the top echelon of the SPLM.

It is now apparent that the SPLM must be saved from itself or it will plunge the country into the abyss. The battle among similar species is more vicious than that between different species so they say.

I would in this respect say that unveiled threats as was in the Legislative Assembly or the dangling of vacant positions in government in order to extract loyalty counter even our democratic pretensions.

It would be paramount to installing a monarch or feudal despot, Dinka egalitarianism notwithstanding.

This situation is obtaining principally because the SPLM cultivated social rather than political/ideological relations in its modis operandis since its inception.

Coupled with a power relationship based on military routine which nurtured the cult of personality, these social relations became a fetter on the emergence of institutionalized political relationship in the SPLM.

The result was that power and its exercise in the SPLM was personified ensheathed by a coterie of friends, most of them false friends.

The lack of institutionalised relations has always been the cause of tensions and splinterism in the SPLM. The fudging or rather the stifling of contradictions always came back like a boomerang.

What was not resolved in 1991 and 2004 respectively has sprouted back in 2013 with devastating effect.

In conclusion, I want to ask whether or not I did problematize the theme enough as to allow as to draw lessons. Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit is the Chairman of the SPLM and doubles up as the President of the Republic.

It is in his interest and responsibility to maintain the unity of the SPLM as well as the security and stability of the country. The social and political engineering processes to bring about unity, security and stability will not preclude having competitors whether within the SPLM or outside it.

He will have to put up with them but at the same time take responsibility for steering the process and keep the country, if not, the SPLM intact.

It must be made clear that the post-CPA SPLM is not the same as was CPA ante and I believe the Yei crisis 2004 was an eye opener.

The political freedoms multiply themselves and could only be restrained at some risks.

Those he appoints in whatever positions should be comrades rather than friends. If Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit decides to rely on gossipers, liars, soothsayers, etc., on the basis of friendship or blood relations, he can count on what happened on the global scene in the last four years. END


  1. Bhanyker says:

    This is a good piece of advice. I hope Mr president has time to read this article. In fact, Mr president surrounded him self with false friends and blood relatives. Basically, false friends and blood relatives could actually advise the president into the wrong direction. One example of those false friends, is a former legal adviser, Mr. Telar Ring Deng, Who’d always advise the president into the wrong direction. I partly believe the reason behind the sacking of entire government, that Mr Telar was very much involved.

    The question is, will the president identify who is real friend and who is false? Basically, it would take a very courageous president who looks outside the box to clearly detect the real enemies and false friends, and get rid of them. In that case i don’t think the president is able to identify such a complicated issue.

  2. Nyibil Amum says:

    Prof Nyaba,
    you have putted it right, many books, articles and analyses have been written about the situation and the dilemma which our nation IS facing today, but I never ever come across any to address our current affairs like this piece of your analysis.
    This will be your second contribution after your award-winning book published in 1998, ‘Insider View.’
    This article should be tabled in South Sudan Parliament for discussion.
    Our president has gone astray and the country is diving into hell, Kiir is leading by position and stick and not learning from the past on how to lead the new nation.

  3. Wani Tombe Lako says:

    Professor Nyaba;

    These are refreshing comments from an insider. However, the notions and practices of ‘false friends’ and ‘true enemies’ are the Scylla and Charybdis of the historical and contemporaneous anthropology and sociology of the SPLM/A, where tribal and ethnic sentimentalities and anecdotal shenanigans masquerade as factual pillars of national liberation ideology. It is a pity that the merriness in these types of anthropologies and sociologies are short-lived.

    I thought the issues you raised have always been foreseeable right from 1983 to date. I am surprised you are startled.

    With regards to 1991 and 2004, you mentioned, is it not true that when one absurdity has been allowed, an infinity follows?

    On the other hand, does the company of wicked men makes one wicked? You are right, the ‘ought’ is that the king should not be under the authority of man, but of God and the law. Therefore, what is the ‘is’ in South Sudan?

    There is a maxim in Equity which goes like, “he who comes to equity, must come with clean hands”.

    My sincere regards,

    Prof. Wani Tombe Lako

    • Malou Deng says:

      Wani Tombe,
      I don’t understand why you try so hard to fry your brain using mountains of vocabularies when you could just easily said “the SPLM or the ruling party in South Sudan is bad,” leaving you with the quality time to enjoy. I didn’t know using gigantic words that ever exist in English language equal quality to your comment!

      • Wani Tombe Lako says:

        Brother Malou Deng;

        1/ Read what you understand and avoid what you do not understand;

        2/ What you read, is how I speak, in my most relaxed and serious moods. I do not fry my brains. These brains have been conditioned to function effortlessly, after continuous fifteen (15) years of university education, at various levels, within the remit of various serious disciplines;

        3/ Professor Nyaba and many others, understand the relevance of my comments, as regards the logic, and the power of the language used, in the main article; and

        4/ Try not to be bothered by trivial issues of not understanding a certain text. Just go to school.


        Prof. Wani Tombe Lako

        • Malou Deng says:

          Dear Prof. Wani Tombe
          I am very surprised that the man of your stature with the title professor couldn’t grasp the irony of my comment! Really! Do you have to reference your 15 years of university education compared to my comment? 15 years of university education says a lot about you; who need 15 years in university to be knowledgeable? Well, that explains a lot about how insecure you’re about your knowledge! I just couldn’t believe no one tries to stop your response to me because it’s embarrassing.


          • Malou Deng says:

            Dear Editor,
            I wasn’t referring my comment to you; to stop prof. Wani comment; I would never say that to you; my comment was directed to Wani’s friends or colleagues. I believe you recall my response to Majongdit that you published about a month or two ago; when he suggested to you that you should stop publishing Mr. Paul Elhaq comments because they were too bombastic. I came on your defence and pushed back at Majongdit; therefore this wouldn’t make any sense for me to propose to you that you should stop Wani’s comments.
            Thanks for allowing me to clarify the misunderstanding between us.


          • diktor agarab says:

            Malou Deng,
            This is not kindergarten where you’ll be spoon-fed. If you don’t understand the topic under discussion, ignore and move on because nobody is forcing you to stop and peruse. Or, am I too bombastic for you?

  4. Kong Puok Tongluot- Finland says:

    Jaldoung, Prof. Peter Adwok Nyaba. Hi
    The false friends and true enemies, your article, has comprised of and known for unique combination of talents as distinguished. keep up, please.
    In fact, that so-called President Salva Kiir meant to divorce those his boys and girl friends who had decried and disobeyed him in his duty, because of tribalism or corruption rampage. His only skill is intelligence which means gossip seeking, that’s why he became reliable for gossipers, liars, soothsayers, leakers and agitators.

    Uncle, here as frankly written and spoken by you, Salva would need to be impeached, if only the legislature members were not salary makers. Because he failed already to unite South Sudan nation, provide guidance and services for its vulnerable peoples.
    If there isn’t any impeachment for him, then we must lobby to change him in eletion 2015. God bless you, uncle Peter Adwok Nyaba.

  5. Mankien town says:

    Thanks you, Prof. P. Adwok NYaba, you have outlined the good way that our country could go through the best practice of democracy.
    the way our country is heading now is nothing good rather than backwards, as one can analyse the current situation, but there is saying that a good sitting arrangement can only be made by the teacher.
    thank you once more

  6. Machar says:

    Dear Professor Adwok,

    This is a very informative piece indeed although I have sensed that you tried as much as possible to avoid calling the spade a spade! The title is catchy and I know you must know beyond what you have presented.
    My expectations were high when you compared the current situation to 1991 and 2004 and also when you lightly refered to the Political Tsunami in the making and considered it similar to what happened “globally” although you meant what happened in North Africa.
    Professor, we need strong pens with strong analytical prowess to enable this country move forward.
    I am greatly informed by your article although I expected more from your coded piece.


  7. Elhag Paul says:

    Dear Dr Nyaba
    Thank you for lending weight to our conclusion that if the Jieng/Oyee are not saved from themselves, they will eventually sink all of us and the country.
    On this you have been crystal clear: “It is now apparent that the SPLM must be saved from itself or it will plunge the country into the abyss. The battle among similar species is more vicious than that between different species so they say.”
    Now it is up to the people. The Oyee machine is gone bust.

  8. Tongun Lo Loyuong says:

    This is an exceptional piece of intellectual exercise (aka intellectual masturbation). But for those of us peasantry, we ask: what does all this fuss mean in terms of providence…daily bread that is?!
    We all know that given privilege and resources, one can excel in all sorts of intellectual fanfare– persuasively and forcefully calling a spade a king and a king a queen, but so what?
    If we can answer that for the majority of South Sudanese in terms of livelihoods, there lies the key to our nation building aspirations.

    With due respect, prof, I know this is precisely what you did, but you failed in terms of policy language. I was hoping you would translate your ideas into an inspiration, namely the language of the people– the rural people that is, if there’s such thing in South Sudan’s political discourse! Nonetheless, welcome to the right side of history!

  9. Dear Prof. Adwok,
    Your Article has by far outmaneuvered the previous Politics of Liberation in Southern Sudan in a sense that makes it come in for intellectual mediocrity, sycophancy and outward pomp and display that hides true enmity within your party varying from the psychological understanding of each of the readers.
    Knowing the fact that we are living in a more primitive society, false friends do some times appear with blameless exterior in unschooled mind.
    I am of opinion that your views for our national prosperity and unity are cohesively recommendable in the depth. In fact more of it is less understood in our social primitive thinking which confuses far-sighted ideologies and patriotism with tribal inclination and lust for political power.
    I hope that our President Salva Kiir cannot be led astray from direct political and moral compasses……..we want him to shed some light on all these camouflage.
    David Deng Mading, Lakes State

  10. Dr JAC Ramba says:

    Dear Prof. P.A. Nyaba
    Thank you for bringing a logical sum up to the realities of South Sudan’s politics over the past three decades or so. I also thank all my fellow compatriots who commented before me for clearly seeing what the article stood to highlight.
    Historically, politics is full of déjà vu situations. But while people in other parts of the world are keen to learn from their past, South Sudanese are not.
    I like your sincerity and I wish the rest were all like you, but that’s another thing. For the time being all that you have described about the totalitarian nature of the leadership could have only been achieved through the work of wicked opportunists.
    However since it has long been the way how things were and are still run in the liberators camp, I fail to see how any amount of writing can change anything in that rotten SPLM. Simply it is just too deformed to be reformed. Don’t you people think that it is now time to call it quits! The future of South Sudan begins where SPLM ends!

    • Elhag Paul says:

      Dear JAC Ramba

      “The future of South Sudan begins where SPLM ends!” I could not agree more. Thank you for the all-capturing sentence. Brilliant

  11. The sage: “God protect me from my friends, I will take care of my enemies” is a French maxim.

  12. Lino James says:

    Hi uncle
    You shot it in the heart. More silence brings snakes into the house the way mr. President acts puzzles all people around; he needs to be advice not to be press for sake of positions or intrests so keep going

  13. Jijury says:

    With due respect Prof Adok Nyamba, those false friends are the right elements to correct and censure president for any wrongdoing. Many wrong things have been done under Salva Kiir’s leadership and those false friends have warned and advised the president on many occasions to see the rain before it falls; however, president Kiir hardly listened to their advices. therefore, if that’s a reason for you to label them as false friends then you are very wrong. The citizens of South Sudan would rather believe those so called false friends who publicly criticized the president than an insider who only spoke out after he lost his position.

  14. Dear Professor,

    To take shots at Leaders and Bureaucrats from whom the South Sudanese at large already have a healthy dose of cynical mistrust, you ought to be reminded that you are in the list of those who failed this country.
    Why were not critical of the system when you were part it?

  15. Dear Professor,

    To Take shots at Leaders and Bureaucrats from whom the South Sudanese at large have a healthy dose of cynical mistrust, you ought to be reminded that you are in the list of those who failed this country.
    Why were you not critical of the system when you were part of it?

  16. Lual Nyanthon says:

    I want to thank comrade Adwok Nyaba for great article and wise intelligence and analysis for telling the truth from the bottom of his heart. Trully, I’m very much inspired by all definitions and classification of false friends being true enemies on this planet. This article reflects the reality about how Salva Kiir conducts routine political activities. The article clearly defined what the future of the SPLM will be under the leadership of Kiir Mayardit. Thanks again Adwok Nyaba for great contribution.

  17. Lare Justice says:

    Well, in that case, if our Lawmakers can’t even dare to impeach the president, then we ought be ready to make some moves either to convince our 80% of Army to overthrown this madman or just join the so-called David Yau Yau and start moving toward Warrap State, the Cowboy Coward homeland or shut up people.

  18. There are so far two occasions where I find the veteran Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba writing objectively though not necessarily sincere; 1) when he is on a sick-bed and 2) when he is out of power.

    This is one of the best articles written by Dr. Nyaba. The article is a very interesting and tricky one because it has a long introduction to a short but a threatening conclusion. The conclusion tries to woo President Salva Kiir to take a retreat from the direction he has taken now. The conclusion is not different from that of the former VP Dr. Riek Machar when he was approached for reconciliation with President Kiir.

    For the sake of unity of the SPLM President Kiir shouldn’t have touched the untouchable comrades, both Dr. Nyaba and Dr. Riek seem to have agreed here.

    Reading between the lines and digesting Dr. Nyaba’s conclusion, it could be deduced that he is portraying himself as a ‘true enemy’ of President Kiir because he has never been a ‘false friend’ to him.

    Now as a ‘true enemy’ of President Kiir what is Dr. Nyaba going to do to tame his SPLM Chairman? Is it by telling him to keep the party united when it is already breaking up to the core? Does Dr. Nyaba understand that the SPLM comrades can never get united when it comes to power monopoly? Who will afford among the SPLM top comrades to lose the title of ‘Banydit’ and ‘Guandit’? Dr. Nyaba himself nominated himself as an independent gubernatorial candidate for Upper Nile State in 2010 when the SPLM couldn’t give him the chance, though he retreated later after a gentleman deal for a ministerial position.

    I am convinced beyond any reasonable faith like El Hag Paul and others that unless the SPLM disintegrates and dies naturally, the Republic of South Sudan is not going to survive for longer. The SPLM has become a prisoner of the past and it will not have any use for the future of South Sudan.

    Thus, it is better for Dr. Nyaba to forget about the SPLM and go back to his communist party before the waves of change swallows him and those who don’t want the SPLM to disappear peacefully. Also Dr. Riek may go back to the academic world in Juba University or in Khartoum University if he is incapable to quit the SPLM and join or form another political party. The SPLM time is over! It is time for South Sudan.

    • nyputa says:

      Dr. James Okuk,

      How do people go back to sudan? can you explain more?

      • nyputa,

        Going back to the communist party is not going back to Sudan. Also quitting the SPLM in order to go teaching in a University or form/join a political party is not going back to Sudan too. I hope this explanation is sufficient.

    • Nul says:

      Dr. Paul Okuk,
      This is not a comment but should have been an article of its own. For your information the SPLM is not going to die as you pray every day. Why don’t you ask you uncle to register a new political party? South Sudan is a democratic country instead of hopelessly declaring the death of a noble party which has saved the marginalized of the marginalized.
      Dr. Aduok was in Panyagoor in 1992, how did he leave? In reference to his sweet days as a true friend to Jieng as Alhag always put, has Aduok ever visited The wall of Bor which he intended to sweep away?. Go to hell or hang!

  19. Mack says:

    Great piece of advise to the leadership and whoever vies for it, Professor Nyaba.

    Elhag Paul, Jieng tribe is innocent of all misdeeds ever or being committed by SPLM. SPLM is a party, but Jieng is not. Can your hatred of Jieng be attributed to your family, children or tribe? I don’t and logic doesn’t believe so. Do self soul searching, brother, and refrain polarizing Jieng for whatever mistakes committed by SPLM or government.

  20. pan door says:

    Prof. Adwok has hit the nail on the coffin by coming out explicitly that the President is surrounded by a coterie of simpletons and non-entities as well as self seeking politicians whose intentions are to accumulate wealth through blackmails and all sorts of mis-informations and ill advices. It has become a public knowledge that the President has already turned dictatorial. But remember the days of dictators are numbered.

  21. Lual says:

    Comrade Mack, Elhag has a good reason for pointing his finger toward Jieng because Jieng tribe declared WAR against Nuer and other small tribes through the SPLM party. Jieng also as the tribe have enriched themselves with fruits of the liberation struggle which was fought by all tribes in South Sudan.
    As I’m speaking, professor Adwok Nyaba, the author of this great article was a real victim of the liberation struggle and he is much better than Magok Rundial who never fired a single bullet in Liberation war. In addition to that Jieng as the tribe wanted to implement the notion that Dinka tribe was born to rule, and not to be ruled.
    I don’t think that South Sudan will be stable Country as long as Salva Kiir Mayardit is now consolidating his power and only accepting the discipleship minded followers such as James Wani Igga, the current vice president and newly Parliament speaker, Manasa Magok Rundial, the little known politician to many members of SPLM.

  22. Deng says:

    I doubt the president and his blood relatives will understand the whole of this article, it’s academic and not politics, it’s not written in a layman’s language, and although Mr President is a PHD holder…he will surely struggle to keep up. that having been said, prof Nyaba is writing in good faith and has pointed out the fetishes that are dragging the SPLM to the abyss.
    We have a problem and the policies as Nyaba puts it are intricately linked to the past, whether it be Nimeiri, Bashir or Garang era…….its time to move on. and we need more courageous people to come out and stand up whether it’s Isaiah Abraham (RIP), Nyaba, Riek, Pagan or whoever that is brave enough to stand up to the government, whoever that is brave enough not to be fiddled with like the current puppets who are threatened to abide or roam the street and respond by clapping to their master like a bunch of refugee kids being promised football balls by a kawaja…when they can’t understand what’s being said in the first place (though them in the government understand but because of their selfishness…..and maybe because of their cowardice they silently abide without questioning).
    LEARN, JUNUBIN, LEARN, we are all south Sudanese and no one is above RoSS!!!

  23. Michael Abu says:

    The article had well compared what was going on in Europe during the Dark Age to what is going on in our country today. No doubt that if the current leadership will still lead the country after the 2015 election, then we fought for nothing because president Kiir had no vision that will change the situation that our people are facing. No one ever, heart president condemning the killing of the civilians by other civilians or fake rebel such as David Yau Yau of Jonglei who made the life of civilians in that state miserable.
    Also, the parliamentarian will be blamed for what is going on in the South Sudan today. They have failed to question the authority of the president. they are the one that creating the vacuum where the president wake up in the morning and just issue the decree without proper use of the constitution, if there is a constitution that guided the government of the South Sudan.
    Till the parliament has courage to challenge the president policies or authority, there will be no good governance whether the Dinkas will be dethroned as some others see them as the problem and other tribes will take the leadership of the country. It will be the same system as Dr. Adwok said it that we don’t learn from the past history whether being the SPLM as a flag bearer party or other parties that might one day have their chance to win the majority when the democracy come to our country and if the constitution will allow the multi-parties to compete with one another to allow people to choose the right party that will present their interest not the president interest or friendship interest.

  24. Leader says:

    please leave El Hag Paul to pursue his crusade against Jieng. He will not listen or stop his raging hatred until he sees total destruction of Jieng. But he should be reminded that the Jieng are here to stay and no one including him will eliminate them in anyway. Even Omar El Bashir despite the the fact that he was fighting the Jieng SPLM/A still needed Jieng in his administration. E,g George Kongor Arop and Moses Machar Kachuol were his deputies at some points. He could not chose a 2nd Vice President from the militia collaborators lots of El Hag Paul.

  25. Mathew Riek says:

    Does Prof. Nyaba think Dr. Riek was a true enemy better than a false friend? Dr. Riek had all along criticized Kiir and has been thrown out. Everything that Kiir does right now is all done with the goal to sideline Riek. He has been misguided that things have been bad in South Sudan because of Riek. Is that true?

    Also people, let us judge our officials by what they do not what they say or write. Yes, Dr. Nyaba’s article says the things we need to hear, but I wish I could have heard him since the destruction of South Sudan by Kiir started in 2005. Now, that he has been fired, Dr. Nyaba wants to cry like us, the forgotten! Hell, NO!


  26. Yai Joseph de Dut says:

    Comrade and veteran Prof. Nyaba !

    Your article is well constructed linguistically, but lost its piquancy as you have described the country’s situation as, “It would be paramount to installing a monarch or feudal despot, Dinka egalitarianism notwithstanding.”

    I wish you said those views before your recent dismissal from the cabinet. Because, Gen. Salva Kiir is the same one of 2011.

  27. Alierthiy says:

    Election is 15 months away; will Elhag, Ramba, Okuk and lots of SPLM haters run for political offices? Just live with this bitter reality, SPLM will not quit ruling South Sudan unless the noisy lots in foreign countries join practical politics in the country.

    As for Prof. Nyaba:
    You’d been a minister for eight years, and that you’re out cabinet, can you embark on your memoirs. Time to settle down, big man!

  28. Michael Thon says:

    PROF. Nyaba,
    This is exceptional and very educative. You are known as a person who would always come out openly and speak his mind. Thank you so much, history will defend you one day because all you have said in this piece is the exact situation in south Sudan.

  29. Both Nguot says:

    Dear Dr. James Okuk, i just want to remind you to go back to the statement which appeared in sudantribune August 21, 2013 (JUBA) and find out whether it was Dr Riek Machar who ask for reconciliation or Salva Kiir. please read the statement posted and titled… (Kiir meets senior party officials to reconcile current political crisis)

  30. Gatwich Koang Toang says:

    Thank you professor Nyaba, but the only thing is that you were there sleeping under one mosquito-net with him (president) and you didn’t advise your friend.

  31. Gatwich Koang Toang says:


  32. Peter Adwok Nyaba says:

    Dear all

    I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who commented on this posting, our difference of opinion notwithstanding. I respect you and enjoyed your interventions. South Sudanese are by their nature independent and express their views without fear or favour.
    Having said that, being in government whether in Khartoum (2008 -2011) or in Juba (2011-2013) there has not been a time I refused to express my opinion about a national issue simply because I was in Government. Of course many of the things discussed in the cabinet remain classified and I was bound by the principle of collective responsibility and would not divulge state secrets.
    Out of the government the situation is different for me and will remain so may be until I depart from this life.
    I have realised that some people took exception of “It would be paramount to installing a monarch or feudal despot, Dinka egalitarianism notwithstanding,” and indeed the word paramount should have been tantamount instead I am sorry for that omission. This could have been a source of confusion.
    However, there was no bad intention. The Dinka and the Nuer are egalitarian nations and what I meant was that it should be they including the president himself to come out against totalitarian rule more than other south Sudanese. We the Chollo would be happy having a governance system based on our values no matter how archaic they may be.
    May be I should add here late Simon Mori’s response to our argument in Itang refugee camp about the ‘New Sudan’, when he said ‘this New Sudan of yours is going to be older than the Old Sudan’.
    In retrospect, he was right. In the Old Sudan there was always respect for public property and those who found themselves on opposite side with the law faced it squarely. The Teckma, the Text Books and the flimsy five million dollar case against General Lagu would look like children fairy tales compared with the Dura saga and many other financial scandals nowadays in our independent republic.
    May be the last thing, I would be happy with the Editor if he kindly accepted the fact that although I taught and established the Department of Geology in the College of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, University of Juba in 1977, and also taught in Asmara University (1990 – 1991) I have not had the opportunity to be promoted to professorial position; As Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research I made it clear that the academic title ‘professor’ would not appear before my name. So please forgive me, I am not a professor.
    Thank you all,
    Peter Adwok Nyaba


  33. Juliet says:

    the likes of Professor Peter Adwok are the ones who created all these messes, one time a staunch supporter of president kiir when in office and turns wild when removed. at which occasion did you happen to criticize kiir leadership during your ministerial portfolios?

  34. Peter says:

    I think Prof Peter Adwok is crying because of he has been left out of the new cabinet. WHEN YOU WERE A MINISTER YOU DID NOTHING. THIS IS A NEW GOVERNMENT ALL THE OLD SPLM NEED TO STEP ASIDE IT IS TIME FOR NEW SPLM…..

  35. Tongun Lo Loyuong says:

    Dear Ms. Juliet,
    I beg to disagree with you and few others before you who have hurriedly dismissed this great piece by Prof (I insist to call him one as a compliment) Adwok on the basis that he did not speak out earlier while he was a Minister in the government. As you can see above, I have disagreed with this exercise mainly because I thought such a powerful message could have yet been transmitted in a language that was more digestible to the common folks.
    I also expected some concrete policy recommendations on the way forward since Prof. Adwok was an insider and surely have made recommendations on some of the issues he raised in some past cabinet meetings. I would be surprised if he didn’t! Yet I think he did the right thing by not publicly criticizing the government he was serving. Doing so as Adwok seems to suggest would have violated the bylaws of the government (if any) or breach confidentiality policies that could also easily be fabricated and charged as undermining the national security of the country.
    As a matter of moral principle you cannot serve a government by day and criticize it by night. As such, it is better to agree or disagree in relation to the substance of the article than on the trivialities of why Prof. Nyaba hasn’t publicly criticize the government while he was serving.
    Yes he could have resigned, and only he knows why he didn’t if he was as dissatisfied with the performance of the government already. But even then an argument could be staked that he wanted to change government policies from within!

  36. Mankien town says:

    thank you Peter nywok Nyaba,

    i like your articles always because they are analytical and literal,
    your are better than others who eat public funds and don’t know how to write theirs names, thanks you sir,

    Mankien Town.

  37. Col. G.Yuoi Latjor says:

    One thing I have noted from South Sudanese citizens other than Dinka and Nuer is lack of confidence that they can lead South Sudan as president. Why? Numbers are the problem and nothing else beyond that reasonability. Paul Elhag and others are better examples I could give.

  38. Moses Akech Thiek says:

    The wealthy piece of article inundated with factual insights I ever read. Thanks a lot, Prof Nyaba, yours is surely a huge contribution to the people of this nation and as well a clear manifestation of a “true friend” to Kiir administration and the people of South Sudan.

  39. king Amos says:

    dear Nyaba,
    anyway this is a good arclicle for public consumption but remember from the beginning the movement at Bongo and Bilpam training centres up to date, the man has many colours as he said false and true friends. He contains these types of friends since his vision aiming to fail this country right from 1983 up to 2013, when he was removed in the government position and remember he was part of 1991 with Riek Machar.

  40. Peter Gai Manyuon says:

    Dear Readers, realistically and logically, i agree with Prof Nyaba for writing this article that resonates. Keep it up with this momentum of execellent. Thanks, Peter Gai Manyuon, Independent Journalist

  41. mony-nyiir says:

    this is the best article i have ever read from you Dr peter, i am waiting to read your book which u have recently launched , bad enough it was out of stock by the time i went to buy it …….

  42. majok Bol says:

    All Adwok and the rest who appreciated the article are cowards. What is wrong if Adwok and like of Riek tried to make peaceful change in the SPLM if they are serious. Rebellion or coup is not a solution but destruction.

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