Is South Sudan being put in chokehold through Sanctions?

BY: Taban Abel Aguek, RUMBEK, South Sudan, DEC/13/2014, SSN;

A few weeks ago a video footage of a Ugandan housemaid who badly tortured a one year old baby went viral. Having been shared thousands of times on the social media, the video sparked outrage worldwide. The video depicts the maid, Tumuhiirwe, kicking the little girl in the face and the stomach, stepping on her and dragging her cruelly out of the room.

Watching the painful acts on the helpless little girl, one finds anger and acrimony running down the nerves. But again, this sad this story of this rude Ugandan maid rightly portrays the world we live in. The hard fact is that there are heartless people the world over. There is serious disregard to sense and logic in the whole world.

Power and abilities are simply being misused everyday by those who posses them to trample on the weak. And justice is denied to those who seriously need it.

Nations, just like people, were not born on the same day. If people were born on the same day there would be no need for baby sitters. Likewise, if nations were born in one day then there would no reason to have some countries stand before the rest and lecture them ‘democracy’. South Sudan was born in 2011 courtesy of a peaceful referendum. So, had it been a human baby, South Sudan would now have been still a feeble child.

It should be a mandate of those nations founded hundreds of years ago to nurture and help younger countries to stand on their own. But is there anything of the sort by these older and stable nations?

Nothing! There is nothing younger nations need to look up to from the developed world. There is nothing that can liberate Africa even in the aids donated to Africa in billions of dollars every year.

World’s major organizations like UN, EU or the USAID are a sham. Most of such organizations have been, and are still, used to advance imperialism.

The giant nations try to strangle the weaker nations, make them kneel and demand that they do other their interests or simply face going the Libya way.

No one denies the efforts of some world powers in the creation of the country, South Sudan. But to help mid-wife a baby is one thing but raising the child through its growth processes is another.

After its birth, South Sudan immediately became a victim of competing interests between some of the world’s powers. All other things necessary for establishing a new country were ignored as interests took the front stage.

Chinua Achebe once said that the biggest problems with nations that have for centuries been fighting for freedom is finding where to begin after they finally achieve freedom.

As a result, what the friends of South Sudan needed to have done right after independence was to seal gaps of conflicts and help the country know how to begin. But since it was in the interest of some external parties and individuals in the West to see the regime of South Sudan changed by all means war never unavoidable.

It’s now almost a year since the war broke out. IGAD and other parties have been working tirelessly to bring peace in South Sudan. However, the efforts they have heavily exerted in bringing peace in South Sudan are worthy. However, people say that prevention is better than cure.

The best thing anyone needed to have done to this country was to help it avoid war.
But as South Sudan stakeholders pursue peace options, the country continues to be faced with the threats of sanctions.

Yet, South Sudan needs peace much more than sanctions. Those people who have been helping South Sudan factions fight the war must put hands together to deliver peace, not sanctions.

With sanctions, life is being forced out South Sudan. That means there is an attempt to put this country in chokehold so as to die miserably – just the Eric Garner way.

This brings forth the questions why and what this country should be punished for? Or does this simply confirm the game of politics? If so, why is global politics done with the lives of people?

Sudan’s president, Omar el Bashir, in a media report publicly admitted that some prominent western nations who had helped South Sudan secede have apologized to him. He added quite antagonistically in a speech to Sudan Farmers Association, published by many media outlets that the western countries are urging him to re-unite the two countries.

It should remain noted that one the UK secretaries held a closed door meeting with Beshir days after the war broke out in South Sudan. A lot more things went quite so fishy under the dark curtains of international diplomacy.

Out of short confusion Khartoum turned around to support rebels. Then a few months later some rebel fighters were captured carrying the flag of Sudan.

If the US policemen who strangled Eric garner to his death had listened to his “I can’t breathe” plea, he would not have died; and if justice was availed after his death there would have been no demonstrations across the United States.

Similarly, if anyone could dare listen to the echoes for a just peace in this country then there will be no reason to go all the rough road of sanctions.

A young nation like South Sudan can be viciously kicked in the face and stomach or dragged lifelessly out of their rightful path. It can easily be strangled and the jury may opt to go by the story of its choice. But every mistake committed here may not be recorded on CCTV like in the case of the rogue Ugandan maid, but it can be captured in the hearts of people.

Earlier, it has been revealed by some media outlets that there is a plan to place South Sudan under the UN trusteeship for ten years. If UN takes over South Sudan, then another successful ‘cold coup’ has been allowed to happen. But it can only come with tough consequences.

What peace the UN has been keeping in South Sudan shall come to close scrutiny, including its own mistakes and other clear violations committed in South Sudan against its own operational rules. Those who point fingers must see their faces in the mirror before they do so.

There is no tangible achievement by UNMISS in the post-independence South Sudan to even grand them a longer stay in the country, let alone giving them the trusteeship of the country.

The rebels of South Sudan have committed grave atrocities and mistakes that would provoke quick reprisals, but the UN until today played everything down. UN arms and ammunitions were seized in eleven trucks en route to war ravaged town of Bentiu early this year, which is a terrible violation against UN rules. But the UN simply admitted that it was a ‘mistake’ and the story just ended there.

Should UN commit such a grave mistake? Oh UN, why blame South Sudan for its own mistakes? To load arms and ammunitions in one truck can be a mistake, but doing it for eleven trucks cannot be a mistake.

The excuse was that the weapons were for Ghanaian forces in Bentiu. But can Ghanaian forces be taken unarmed to a war ravaged town without guns? What is the weight of a gun compared to weight of a bag? And since when did a bag become more important than a gun for a soldier?

For Ghanaian forces to be airlifted separately and their guns and ammunitions transported separately by land is unconvincing. The UN does give proper escort of wastes dump sites.

Why did UN leave arms and other important materials in trucks labeled ‘UN’ travel over hundreds of miles from the border without the usual personnel escort?

Regardless of that rightful argument, the UN or the US can still issue sanctions or order for the trusteeship of South Sudan. However, it should first tell the world what it has done about the rebels that shot down UN helicopter in Bentiu.

People also have their ears wide open to what UN has done about the fate of Indian Peace Keepers killed in Akobo by rebels and the confiscation and use of its vehicles by rebels in Bor early this year.

Without that, then UN in South Sudan will be without any business to be even in business. For UN to open its gates to the IDPs of the war it supported is nothing at all but an outright hypocrisy.

In the rush to open the gates for IDPs UN sought to settle some scores: to justify its existence in the country, to help send around the feeling of achieving the civilian’s protection and help balanced its accounts.

Much as thousands of lives were saved, the act of camping in the UN compound did sharply heighten ethnicity. Even in UN compounds, the Dinka and Nuer were made to know that that they are separated by arrows into separate positions by UNMISS. We live by what we are taught.

From the days UN opened it gates, it also helped closed the doors of trust between our tribes.

South Sudan is simply undergoing what all young nations undergo. However, it is being punished the way it cannot withstand. In that mad Ugandan maid there is a story of size and imbalance. In that poignant incidence, there is a story of secret eyes that lie within the vigilant hearts.

The US and UN have been to South Sudan the way the US jury has been to the black people in the USA. South Sudan already finds it hard to breathe in the hands of Al Beshir of Sudan.

With sanctions, it will be a complete choke-hold ushered out of no rightful justification. But still, if anyone believes sanctions can be the solutions to the current conflict then the way is very much wide open.

By the end of the day most parties shall agree that its giants controlling the world like the US and the UN need to update their own status, edit their images and change the view of their screens.

South Sudan is always prone to difficult breathe. They can be made not to breathe, but they continue to live…and march with the world.

Taban Abel Aguek is a South Sudanese citizen working in Rumbek. He can be reached through this email


  1. Deng M. Dhieu says:

    You are just opportunist Mr. Aguek. The country is in mess because of Kiir’s failure. You will never clean the disgraced image of Kiir by writing nice articles

    • Jake says:

      100% Agree with Mr. Dhiu ‘ s comment. This is just another rubbish article in support of a failed leader. The international community should Sanction anyone obstructing peace in south Sudan, even if it means Kiir and Riek. Common south Sudanese are more important than those two. Start with Makuei first. This guy must love others misery. You can see he thrives through others misery, seems he is more alive amongst death and destruction.

  2. Elhag Paul says:

    This is the mind that is tearing Lakes state to pieces.

    • Taban Hakim says:

      Aguek! How comes you quoted the heartless ugandan maid who brutally abused an Angel who can’t even speak for herself while leaving the Ugandan monster who murdered thousands of Nuer using cluster bombs. Is it not hypocracy at best? South Sudan must be sanctioned; you are supporting this tribal government because you are part of it. Instead of being sympathetic to the thousands of people who were brutally slaughtered by your tribal government, you sympathize with killer government.

  3. arabbmoi says:

    Aguek, as your writing sounds Dinkocrat way, it is not important to the rest of us. Keep on praising your blood thirsty stupid man Kiir.

  4. mayendit says:

    mr.Taban and elhag, you are but just a bunch of fools. let alone the support the writer has for his beloved country, can’t you appreciate the good correlations and perfect grammar he has for you? I have a believe that you are not a true South Sudanese but puppet idiots somewhere in Khartoum or……. you are a ruthless inciting agent for South Sudanese and their people. mentioning a numerous times about nuer being hunt down in Juba, this is not surprising enough because South Sudanese do this to themselves each time, in 1980s characterised by kokoro in Juba, Dinkas were hunted like beast in the corridors of Juba by Equatorians incited by dissident Lado Gore. through out centuries, Nuer have swiped Dinka ethnic groups in various villages including a case in point of 1991, some family lines were closed down by heartless nuer who even kidnapped children and women. if this happens in Juba it becomes a big deal why?, Nuer have also cleansed up civil servants who were saving in their counties, weren’t they people? Even killers get kill too. peace is better.

  5. Bol says:

    Hi Taban,
    Most of these commentators have lost the big picture which is avoiding total anarchy in country …. Having their brains totally consumed by tribal hatred, they are on a mission of ousting kiir at all cost. The only way to go forward is to look inward…. No help is coming. Remember there is a different between the helpless Ugandan baby and RSS. No country ever move ahead because foriegn help. We had more than enough to keep moving. Cheers.

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