Our intellectual journey towards a coherent political ideology

BY: Peter Adwok Nyaba PhD, KENYA, DEC/30/2014, 2014, SSN;


Dr. Lual Deng, in his rejoinder to my response to Mr. Abraham Lueth’s piece in reference to revocation of South Sudan membership in AGOA while cautioning Dr. James Okuk and me to focus the debate on the issues facing our country, introduced an important concept of ‘our intellectual journey towards coherent political ideals.’ I preferred to reword this conceptual construct as ‘intellectual journey towards a coherent political ideology,’ However, while retaining its structure I believe its important constituent concepts should be ‘liberation’, ‘state’ and ‘society’ put in a reverse order to place the discourse in its South Sudan historical context.

Many South Sudanese researchers and writers have published books, in referral journals and newspapers on the social and political configuration of South Sudan with little or no policy impact in the sociology and political economy of the country. The dominant political remains impervious to the oral and published critique. The rate at which our young republic of South Sudan is sliding back into prehistory is alarming. This is a modest contribution to the discourse on the inordinately huge challenges facing the people of South Sudan as they construct their state and build their nation.

The research we conducted in the context of ‘the House of Nationalities’ [Nyaba, 2000] revealed that sixty seven nationalities in their variegated demographic weight differentials, with the Dinka and Makaraka being the single largest and smallest nationalities respectively, populate South Sudan. This fact is important to note, given that these nationalities constitute the building blocks of the South Sudan nation. Indeed the concepts of inclusivity and visibility of each nationality in the national liberation process drove the idea of the house of nationalities in the context of unity in diversity.

Having said that, I want now to problematize the issues that face our young republic of South Sudan along the concepts of ‘society’, ‘state’ and ‘liberation’ in this order. In this exercise, I hope my tools for analysis and synthesis will not fail me. My theoretical foundation of this discourse grounds in Marxist analysis of history that state is a superstructure of society. That is to say, society predates the emergence of state as a social construct. The Sudanese state and for that matter South Sudan as a state is an extension of Westphalian state model transmitted to us through the agency of colonialism in the nineteen century.

Colonialism and colonial rule distorted, indeed interrupted and froze at a primoval stages what would have been the autochthonous development of Sudanese nationalities. While the colonial administration united them in one country nevertheless it instituted the policy of ‘divide and rule’ to segregate, weaken their resistance and prevent solidarity among them. The ‘Closed Districts Ordinance’ was intended to insulate the people of Southern Sudan, the Nuba and Funj from modernizing ideas and ideologies. The colonial administration tasked the Christian Missionaries with the job of block and blunting the social and political consciousness of their converts. Paradoxically the Church inadvertently produced such radical clergy as Fr. Saturnino Lohure..


Except in certain cases where slavery and disease decimated their population, the nationalities that inhabit South Sudan have remained for nearly three hundred years unaffected by industrialization, communication and information technology. Their mode means and relations of production have unchanged over the last two hundred years since the Turco-Egyptian occupation of Sudan [1821 -1885]. There has been extensive social segmentation and migration due to internal or external wars, disease and depletion of resources resulting in differentiation and emergence of subnational groups in adjacent or distant locations. Consequent to separate and sometimes isolated existence some of these subnational groups developed different dialects, traditions and customs.

This phenomenon pronounces more among the Dinka [found in Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile and Kordofan], Nuer [found in Upper Nile and western Ethiopian], Moro [found Equatoria and West Nile in Uganda], the Ateker group [South Sudan, Southwest Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda] and the Murle group [found in Upper Nile, Equatoria and Kenya]. The most characteristic feature of this phenomenon, which anthropologists described as ‘ethnic federation’, is the absence of centralized authority and with it the concept of state.

This contrasts development with the segmentation and migration of the Luo [found in Bahr el Ghazal, Upper Nile, Western Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and DR Congo], who wherever they settled established some form of centralized authority in the person of the ‘Nyie’ [Anywaa], Reth [Chollo], Ruot [Acholi, Luo (Jur Chol), Luo (Kenya)] representing a primordial state. The Azande [found in South Sudan, DR Congo and Central African Republic] established a state, which the French and the British destroyed consequent to the cooperation between Gbudwe and the Mahdist state. The key point in this theoretical configuration is, whether in acephalous or cephalous societies (where centralized authority has evolved) that society and state remain undifferentiated and power not emancipated (through institutionalization) from the person wielding and exercising it.

On the political economy plane, the mode of social production ranges from gathering, hunting/fishing to subsistence agriculture in crop production and traditional animal husbandry. The relations of production remains communal which also defines the social identity and all that goes with it. The community dominates and defines the individual’s attitudes, perceptions and preferences. The individual remains hostage to the society s/he hails from, which also expects he/r to respond according to its concerns, interests and aspirations. This plays out negatively where the individual holding public office behaves according and responds to society’s expectation in respect of public property. This resulted, more often than not, in abuse of office, corruption, nepotism and similar mal-administrative practices. When you find government, ministry or department, populated by the ethnic community from the top person to junior then you know what I mean.

Although a successor state from the Sudan following independence on July 9, 2011, state formation in South Sudan is at its rudimentary stage precisely because of the development of society and other contributing factors linked o colonialism. The Turco-Egyptian (1821-1885), the Mahdiya (1885 -1898) and the Anglo-Egyptian (1899 -1956) states in the Sudan were brutal, extractive, exploitative and oppressive that linked the Sudan to the world capital system of exploitation. This prompted massive resistance on the part of the people in different parts of the country. The state expanded establishing finally its 1917 international borders at the expense and subjugation of the various kingdoms and nationalities.

The struggle for liberty, freedom and human dignity that characterized the resistance of the people of South Sudan did not end with colonial pacification. It continued after independence of Sudan on January 1st, 1956 against the national governments. In order to achieve independent statehood and international recognition the people of South Sudan had to fight two wars. The two wars and the culture of armed resistance to political exclusion, domination and oppression meant that South Sudan had to forfeit socio-economic development of its human and huge natural resources.

The underdevelopment of the natural resources of South Sudan registers in the low level of social awareness and political consciousness of its people. Social awareness and political consciousness reflected in the culture of political organization and action are a function of socio-economic development. Industrialized parts of the Sudan [Khartoum and Gezira] demonstrate high level of social awareness and political consciousness compared to the less developed parts. In South Sudan, the wars and culture of resistance operated to block potentialities for social and economic development while at the same time unlocking the potentials for violence and war.

This explains why it is easy to mobilise South Sudanese for war than for passive political resistance characteristic of urban proletariat and lumpens in North Sudan. The struggle for social and economic rights in the cities and towns in northern Sudan translate into political struggle resulting in change oppressive regimes e.g. in 1964 and 1985 popular uprisings. It is worth noting that the civil wars fought in southern Sudan created conditions for the success of the two respective popular uprisings.


The concept of liberation links up with the struggle against oppressive reality, which submerges people’s consciousness. As a process liberation obtains in the context of conscientisation, whereby people conceive and change reality consequent to praxis – reflection and action [Paulo Fererri, 1974]. Thus transforming an oppressive reality essentially means liberating the oppressed and the oppressor. In this context, liberation must occur initially at the personal level before it works to produce a counter society emerged from oppression. In 1983, Dr. John Garang de Mabior deserted his post in the Sudan Armed Forces to establish and lead the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army [SPLM/SPLA] to wage the ‘revolutionary’ war of national liberation. The SPLM/SPLA, a section of the national democratic revolution, emerged from South Sudan, which due to its underdevelopment constituted the weakest link in the Sudanese state system and an unlikely spot for revolution .

The ‘society’, ‘state’ and ‘liberation’ linkages played out in a contradiction that produced the current social and political environment in South Sudan, which justifies the notion that revolution leading to social change or transformation can only spearheaded by a conscientious organized working class armed with a political ideology for this transformation. South Sudan consequent to its underdevelopment had no organized working class. The onus of liberation therefore fell on what Amilcar Cabral termed ‘bourgeois petit’ the literate section of society whose dominance in the state and society accrue not from social production of economic wealth but from letters.

According to Cabral, for the petty bourgeois to transform a socially and economically underdeveloped society as obtaining in South Sudan it must commit class suicide to resurrect in the guise of revolutionary intellectuals closely allied in solidarity with the masses of the people. The war of national liberation the SPLM/SPLA spearheaded instead produced a military elite – the SPLA generals, who due to lack of political ideology of transforming society, emerged completely detached from the masses of the people. The clutch slipped and the wheel turned full circle to the starting point of social domination and oppression.

South Sudan is in a state of civil war. Its people have never been as fragmented as today along ethnic and regional fault lines in a manner that jeopardizes its sovereignty and independence. The war quickly eroded the social capital that bounded the people for decades if not centuries enabling them to resist their common enemies. The state in South Sudan is at risk of failing and total collapse. The writings on the wall suggest that UN Security Council or IGAD Regional intervention is imminent. Several factors conspired to construct this socio-political architecture.

The SPLM/SPLA lacked political ideology

As mentioned above the SPLM/SPLA emerged from the backward parts of Sudan characterized by shallow culture of social and political organization. It was a military rather than political insurrection. The failure to evolve a political ideology reflecting the objective reality obtaining in the country and the aspiration of the people condemned the SPLM/SPLA to militarization of society and militarism as its modis operandis rather than political organization for military action. The subculture of militarism eclipsed the political message and character of the SPLM/SPLA pushing to the background the liberation process of conscientisation and transforming the oppressive reality through praxis. The SPLM/SPLA therefore became a militarist machine conditioned by military doctrine and routine that produced and promoted a cult of personality and a subculture that emphasized hierarchical rather than horizontal or comradely relations in the ranks and file as well as between the combatants and civil population among whom they operated. The execution of military action outside its political and ideological context generated serious contradictions within the SPLM/SPLA ranks.

The SPLM/SPLA shunt political education and organization

The conventionalization of the guerrilla war, consequent to availability and external access to abundant military logistics, accelerated the pace of war [Nyaba, 1997]. This deprived the SPLM/SPLA of the opportunity to undertake political mobilisation, education and organization. It is not feasible to conceive of social transformation of an oppressive reality without political education and organization. Political enlightenment and education is necessary for attitudinal change to enable correction perception of the oppressive reality, which submerges the people. Organization is a necessary tool for uniting the people for action.

The absence of political education and organization inadvertently forced the complete and absolute reliance on military discipline leading to alienation of the masses of the people. The SPLM/SPLA interaction with the civil population in essence appeared like liberating the people with the tools of domestication. It produced and passive, rather than active, mass not involved in their own liberation. The condescending attitude of many SPLA combatants that ‘we liberated you’ smacks of this militarist arrogance.

Without change of attitudes, because of political education, it was not possible to disseminate and inculcate in the masses of the people the ideas and principles of social justice, equality, freedom and democracy without which we cannot envisage liberation. Therefore social awareness and political consciousness of the masses fossilized at the primoval level of society.

The SPLM/SPLA leadership disdained institutions and democratic structures

As a corollary of shunning political education and organization was the SPLM/SPLA’s disdain of institutions and structure in the SPLM. That explains why the SPLM produced its draft constitution only in 2008 exactly twenty-five years after the launch of the SPLM/SPLA and the publication of the SPLM Manifesto in July 1983. The resistance to construction of institutions and structures in the SPLM corresponded to the certain logic of absolute power whereby the leader did everything from reflective thinking and conceptualization to the distribution of material goods military or otherwise.

This led to marginalization and exclusion of colleagues in decision-making process of the SPLM generating contradictions within the SPLM/SPLA leadership leading to factionalisation and splinterism. Dr. Lam Akol’s clandestine paper “Why Garang must go now” (1990) came in this context. The refusal to construct institutions that defined the roles and responsibilities in the SPLM/SPLA eventually led to the Nasir Declaration [August 1991] and precipitated the split with the SPLM/SPLA.

The absence of political structures, rules and procedures to resolve the internal contradictions meant that no avenues existed in the movement for venting the excessive internal pressures the leadership contradictions generated. This condemned the SPLM/SPLA to rely on violence and military action as means of resolving the contradictions.

The SPLM/SPLA lacked political programme

It is virtually impossible to envisage liberation without a minimum political programme for social and economic transformation. To date (December 31, 2014), the SPLM has not produced a political programme, which is an elaborate document that translate the SPLM vision and strategic political objectives in policies and plans of action the SPLM government implements to transform the lives of the people in accordance with liberation agenda.

During the war and SPLM/SPLA’s emphasis on war efforts registered in two negativities. The first one was that it failed to evolve a society in the liberated areas counter to the society under the oppressive regime. The concept of ‘counter society’ encapsulated in the concept of ‘strong rear base’ developed by the Chinese [against the Japanese and the Nationalist] and the Vietnamese [against the Americans] is relevant to the situation in South Sudan. The rear base is the social, economic and political bases of the guerrilla army where the SPLM would implement its political programme and exercise political authority establishes its administration and implements the concepts of justice, social equality, freedom and democracy. In the rear base, the SPLM would build an economy to support its war efforts instead of relying wholly on external resources.

However, instead of developing and applying the concept of rear base in the liberated areas, the SPLM/SPLA encouraged migration of the population to become refugees [Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda] as a means of accessing logistics and food for the army. This generated another negativity. The SPLM/SPLA became dependent on external resources unlike the Anya-nya, which relied on the people in matters of food, health care and other necessities. The SPLM/SPLA forced the population that remained behind in the villages to rely on international humanitarian assistance to generated food for the army. This produced relief dependence syndrome, which still stalks the people to date in some areas.

The second negativity involved the relation between the SPLA combatants and the civil population among whom they operated characterized by brutality, dehumanization and abuse of human rights. Absolute dependence on external resources produced in the combatants an attitude that engendered disrespect for and condescendence upon the civil population.

Inability to transform the SPLM/SPLA into their respective professional spheres

The factors above combined to prevent the separation of the SPLM/SPLA into their respective professional spheres. In fact, the SPLM/SPLA evolved like Siamese twins conjoined in the heads that a surgical operation to separate them into their respective professional spheres would result in their mutual death . The lack of political education and organization; absence of constitutional order implying lack of institutions and structures in the SPLM/SPLA and lack of political programme virtually delegitimized the SPLM, demystified its leadership and disempowered its cadres. Thus, the SPLM/SPLA failed to self-transform into a mass based political party sensu stricto on the one hand and professional army on the other.

The CPA thrust the SPLM unto an unfamiliar domain of government and governance. The tragic and sudden disappearance of Dr. John Garang complicated the SPLM/SPLA political predicament as it embarked on CPA implementation. The new SPLM leadership was inept and could not manage the baggage of contradictions accumulated without resolution over twenty-one years of armed struggle.

One such contradictions is the lack of institutionalization of the SPLM/SPLA political and military power. Since its inception in 1983, power in the SPLM remained personified in the person of the Chairman and SPLA Commander in Chief that all contradictions in the SPLM/SPLA leadership revolved around that issue. It was the drivers of the split with Anya-nya two in 1983 and again within the SPLM/SPLA following the Nasir Declaration 1991. Power was the driver of the Yei crisis 2004 at the eve of the CPA and finally of the events leading to December 15, 2013 and the current civil war.

The wielding and exercise of SPLM political authority without rules and procedures negatively affected the relations within the Movement. It engendered a subculture of political patronage and clients, which eschewed democratic principles and practice. In this connection, the political tact and stature of the leader became the determinant factor in the functioning of the SPLM system. Thus although patronage system obtained Dr. John Garang managed through his personal charisma to keep the system functioning, what Dr. Lual Deng (2012) described as ‘the power of creative thinking.’ That explains how the SPLM/SPLA survived through difficult and challenging political and military situations in spite of its internal contradictions generated by the factors I discussed above.

The contradictions rocked the SPLM/SPLA generating strong ethnic under currents and civil war barely three years after independence because of those factors and the failure to resolve them through political and ideological debate, and internal dialogue. However, it was more the leadership style of comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit that permitted the fashions to reach boiling point and eruption of violence. Comrade Salva Kiir employed his military intelligence skills rather state and the SPLM institutions to manage the government of South Sudan. He built a series of spies and informants networks to inform his decisions. For the first time ethnic and regional lobbies surrounded the SPLM leadership the most notable being the Bahr el Ghazal Elders mainly from Warrap and the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) entailing Dinka also from Upper Nile.

Through his style of leadership, President Salva Kiir Mayardit has brought South Sudan to the edge of disaster. In less than three years, the state in South Sudan made a quantum slide from fragility to failure and now tending to collapse. The society is demoralized and in despair. The economy is in shambles as the only foreign exchange earner is pumping incredibly at a loss that it might as well been better to stop production. The IGAD peace process hung up unconscionably at the sharing of power between President [Salva Kiir] and the proposed Prime Minister [Dr. Riek Machar] while innocent lives continue to perish. The current context of South Sudan is pathetic. No patriots would countenance it on account of speculation for whatsoever advantage.


Having attempted above to locate the political malaise, I want to discuss the intellectual journey proposed by Dr. Lual Deng at the beginning of the discourse. The elements of this journey are the present social and political context in South Sudan, which we attempted above to analyse. The social and political forces capable of participation in the journey, their ideological disposition, the time span of the journey. The journey trajectory situates in the globalized world defined by high level of technological and scientific development.

Before embarking on the journey I realize that South Sudan and its people have yet to place their feet on the first step are the bottom of the world socio-economic and technological development ladder hundred ninety three years since the Ottomans linked the Sudan to the world capitalist system of extraction and exploitation. This is subject of Eddie Thomas eye-catching latest title “South Sudan: A Slow Liberation” [Zed Books in press].

What then have the political, military and business elite that drive the social and political engineering processes of the state in South Sudan being doing? A cursory look into this dominant class reveals an astounding reality that it remains primitive intimately attached to archaic values and traditions of their respective ethnic formations. In 1999, I participated in a study that became the basis of implementation of USAID funded multimillion-dollar Sudan Transition Aid for Rehabilitation [STAR] Programme in ten counties of Central and Western Equatoria and Lakes in Bahr el Ghazal. The Programme provided cash to the civil society groups to engage in business that would generate wealth. After three years, the Programme discovered that the recipients of the STAR loans had invested much of the money in traditional economic activities that frustrated its strategic objective of recycling to other beneficiaries the reimbursed money.

Between 2005 and 2011 when South Sudan became independent, it had received in total about US Dollars sixteen billion from the oil revenue. I want to ask the economists what percentage of this money was invested in productive economic projects [agriculture, industry], in services sector and in education? Our people instead of ordering new cars from manufacturers in Japan, carrying cash dollars went to Uganda to buy dilapidated second sometimes third hand right-hand steering wheeled mini buses that became traffic hazards on our roads. South Sudan because the only country in the world where the US dollar note became a commodity on the formal and informal markets and which worked to service the economies of its neighbours than its own.

The political, military and business elite most of them former SPLA combatants were now involved and entangled in an intertwined blackmail that they closed their eyes and ears to what they were doing bringing down the country. They eschewed the SPLM vision and concepts of social justice, equality, freedom and prosperity as they engaged in cutthroat competition in the context of primitive accumulation of wealth. They jettisoned the comradeship cultivated in the context of the war of national liberation. This is how social and blood relations, rather than institutional and political relationships, imperceptibly crept into their practice. This engendered corruption, nepotism and ethnic favouritism (tribalism). The social, economic and political environment favoured erection of ethnic and regional lobbies as agencies for extracting favours in the form of government contracts, appoints to constitutional post and others.

The experience of the last ten years epitomizes the historical failure of bourgeois petit as agents of social transformation of an underdeveloped country like South Sudan. This brings me back to Cabral that the bourgeois petit represented by many of us must commit class suicide to resurrect in the guise of revolutionary intellectuals armed with a political ideology that places the people at the centre of our development discourse. In this connection, the class suicide blends well with the intellectual journey towards a coherent political ideology for transforming South Sudan. It cannot be another way.

Are we ready to commit class suicide to have solidarity with our people? Many of us outshine ourselves opportunistically endearing ourselves to our ethnic communities when in the heart of our hearts we foster different value systems. Do the elements that make up the Jieng Council of Elders genuinely believe in what they are doing propping up President Salva Kiir Mayardit in all the horrible things he is doing? Do they countenance the collapse of South Sudan as long as Salva Kiir is president? It is necessary to reflect before the suicide lest we may not resurrect after all. For committing class suicide means eschewing archaic ideas, false beliefs and deflating inordinately large self- or collective-ego.

This brings me to another question: in what coherent political ideology do we encapsulate the concepts of social justice, equality, freedom, democracy and prosperity for all? According to Marxist historical materialism, history does not repeat itself. You cannot catch a train that has already left station. South Sudan is in such pains today because the bourgeois petit are generating contradictions trying to recreate the conditions of primitive accumulation humankind passed five hundred years ago. This is not permissible. We should start where the world is while we live.

It is feasible and possible to implement social justice in South Sudan. Why not? The social stratification in terms of economic is bridgeable. The Government of South Sudan, with the resources available, can create conditions for social justice by combating the tendency to ethnic and regional favouritism in ditching out government contracts in order to promote equality in society. Since the bourgeois petit is not economically powerful to undertake large scale industrial installations, the government of South Sudan should undertake the construction of large industrial and infrastructural projects like railways, huge hydroelectric power planta and dams, power transmission grids and highways which need huge investments. The government can undertake these in the context of public private participation. In this way of wealth generation and distribution, it is possible to realise prosperity for all and in short time of ten to twenty years.

Democracy is another component element of social transformation. Democracy is not a raincoat you put on only in summer. A cultural trait stays with you in all that you whether private or public. The society cultivates and internalizes democracy [theory and practice] through participation in social, economic and political engineering processes of state formation and nation building. There is no other way you can parachute democratic principles and practice except in the context of the struggle for social transformation of society. That is why the concepts of democracy and democratic transformation blends with the class suicide the bourgeois petit must undertake. In this case, the concept and practice of democracy registers in active participation in the engineering processes and not establishment of bogus and briefcase political parties.

This brings me to the political format and organisation for participation. In the recent SPLM/SPLA Consultative Conference on the IGAD Peace process in Pagak, I was put to task explaining why it was necessary to reconcile the SPLM leadership and reunite the SPLM. The conference was negative charged against the Intra-SPLM Dialogue in Arusha, Tanzania. I had to mark every word I uttered. I told the conference the story of the conference of reconciliation of Jikany and Lou in Akobo in 1994. The Moderator of the reconciliation conference was a Ugandan Bishop of seventy-seven Churches. He told us a story concerning his two-year old son. I hope I will not be bothering you.

“As I prepared for Sunday service my son kept interrupting my preparation. I would give him arithmetic problem to solve. He would do it correctly. I did it several times while the time for my sermon in the Church was approaching. This prompted me to pull down and tear to pieces the world map that hung on the wall. I asked him to fix it and in two minutes, he came back with the map fixed correctly. I asked his to tell me how he did it.” The boy replied, “on the reverse side of the world map was a man, so what I did was to fix the man”. “Fixing man to resolve the problems of the world became the subject of my sermon that Sunday.”

There is nothing wrong with the SPLM per se; the people who make up the SPLM constitute the crisis in the SPLM. You will find this in what I recounted above that the SPLM leadership lost the vision that attracted the masses of the Sudanese to the SPLM to sacrifice their lives for the ideals of social justice, equality, freedom, democracy and prosperity for all. The Arusha process is an exercise in self-appraisal, criticism and self-criticism the entire SPLM membership, the half-hearted hang-ons who believe in the arrival rather than the journey, must urgently undertake to save the country from collapse.

The young republic of South Sudan and its people are in the present situation because of the SPLM historical failure to evolve a political ideology, to construct a constitution with institutions and structures, to formulate a political programme for social and economic transformation of the oppressive reality that submerged our people. In this context and for over twenty-one years the contest for power at the top consumed the energy of our people. This divided instead of uniting them as soon as the contradiction with the north had been resolved through the referendum.

The SPLM remains the only viable political forces that united South Sudanese across ethnic and regional fault lines. It is therefore the only guarantee against fragmentation of South Sudan. However, it must reconcile and reunite its ranks, reorganize and revitalize itself, build its institutions and institutionalize its relationship along the ideology of social democracy as practiced by the labour Parties in northern European countries.


The intellectual journey towards a coherent political ideology spurs serious reflections and I hope we can discourse this to its logical conclusion. For those of us in the DPF who are not SPLM members or who have an axe to grind with the SPLM I would implore that we discuss these issues sombrely. We should learn to live with our differences whether gender, political ideas, facial marks or body complexion. This is the essence of democracy. They may lead us to unity of ideas

There is nothing outrageously fatal with having one strong political party in South Sudan. If we have to catch up with the rest of humanity by stepping onto its development ladder, we cannot do that while struggling against ourselves in futile and meaningless battles that prevent us from focusing on building our country and improving our people’s quality of life.

We may have to explore the different experiences on the African continent and elsewhere and draw leaf from them. The social and political stability in Tanzania attributes to the maturity demonstrated by Chama Cha Mapenduzi (CCM) initially under the leadership of Mwalimu Julius K Nyerere. The ethnic federalism implemented by Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Party (EPRDP) has somehow created conditions of political stability in Ethiopian.

Let us pursue the dual processes of peace making and Intra-SPLM Dialogue as elements of our intellectual journey towards a coherent political ideology, a stable and peaceful South Sudan.

Thanks you very much for your time.

Nairobi, Kenya
December 30, 2014.


  1. Nikalongo says:


    Whoever your audience is, this is the best article you have ever written on the genesis of our should have been transformation from a collection of angry tribes unified by a common enemy into a nation of dreamers and achievers. With that wealth of knowledge and understanding, I expected you playing a mediator role instead of sitting in Pagak or Juba dinning with those whose ideas and actions you so much abhor. Who are u? You are just one of the hooligans, an elite party member. Paulo Freire (1921-1997) that you quoted, fought the system from outside. You are an insider, a gang member and a beneficiary of the status quo. You want to be true to the article you wrote, come out and be counted among those working for true peace. Juba and Pagak is today about the elites’ version of peace (how positions will be shared). What about the thousands murdered (Juba, Bor, Malakal, Bentui, Akobo, Mayom, etc) in cold blood Adwok? They had to die so that all elite members (SPLM-IG, SPLM-OP and SPLM-Detained) can continue to live life and live to capacity.

  2. Dear Dr.Peter Adwok Nyaba:

    Happy New Year 2015! Welcome back again to your beloved family in the discussion board in the forum South Sudan Nation! You had been missed!

    Okay,you know,sometime,I respond my comments in hasty in prethought!I read your written article in part.I printed out.
    I want to study before I can offer my input in your article in the first.

    According to what I have understood across,you seems to be talking about ACTUALIZATION ABOUT THINGS GOING WRONG IN THE COUNTRY in all part of point of view! It may take time for me to respond to your article! This will depends on my leisure time!

    Be apprise that first,and foremost,writing better,it needs good planning in order to organize your good ideas much better.For example,it needs prewriting activies in order to generate much opinions to follow!Thank you!Take care yourself! Things will come better sooner or later in our beloved homeland in the Sudan!!!! Begin arming yourselvf teeth nails,and all part of your bodies! Back to you to the audience in the forum on the board discussion board South Sudan Nation!


  3. Daniel M. says:

    I do Appreciated some of the your argument you have raised, you have made some important points in regards to what South Sudan lack particularly the SPLM Party. But the real issue is, being part of the SPLM elites just make it difficult for ordinary South Sudanese to believe you, given the fact that you were a former minster, can you tell us what have you done when you were a Minster of higher Education and what are your failures and success. if not then, I would suggest you need to advise your friends in both three camps to make peace so that South Sudanese can go back to their homes. Few weeks ago, you were telling difference things about how Kiir need to be removed from Power, yet again you,re making confusions about what SPMA lack and also you have mentioned the way how the army is being politicalized. But the big Question I would like to ask DR. Adwak, why are you part of Riek camp if dislike politicizing the army? isn’t the same concerns you are talking about Riek and his generals are doing?. you as being From Shulluk community shouldn’t be part of it, you should have advise both camps to make a peace because many South Sudanese has already stated clearly that they do not wanted war, However this war has been imposed on them by self proclaimed South Sudan leaders as you being one of them, while saying that you wanted to bring freedom, what freedom? if freedom fighters is becoming a murderer. For example, thousands of Shulluk civilians were killed for reason that their sons were fighting alongside government soldiers, how that make rebels killing different from killing in Juba if you wanted to talk about fairness in your arguments? How do you become a leader or make a democracy if you murdered civilians in the hospital bed, churches, masques and etc. All I am saying is that this war need to be stop so that South Sudanese can site down and reconciles among themselves, not arguments about what should has had been done, because that time is already gone and we cannot bring back the past. All we need to do is to bring peace so that we can figure out how to create a way of governing our country.

  4. Yuot Cuerkok says:

    This is the best opinion article that I have ever read on SouthSudannation. Dr Adwok, please keep writing this articles for you will educate the younger class of SS intellectuals. The likes Pres Kiir do not read. .Dr Riek reads a lot but he is very slow in the implementation of his acquired ideas.

    • info@southsudannation says:

      Yuot Cuerkok,
      I just beg to disagree on your opinion that ‘..he (Dr. Riek) is very slow in the implementation of his acquired ideas.’ The man, to his credit is a book worm and surely his results don’t show because of the obstructive mechanism in the Kiir government and the defunct SPLM machinery.
      Anyway, let’s wait and see if the revolution succeeds or not before rushing to judgment/


  5. Eastern says:

    Dr. Adwok,

    This is a great piece, with your permission, I will save a copy in archive.

    What you have opined is a true reflection of SPLA/SPLM, which you folks continue to clink to. SPLA/SPLM is a bed of intrigue, deceit, arrogance,………………..name it.

    Thank you though for always sharing your views in open fora.

    Happy new year!

  6. wani says:

    Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba PhD
    In South Sudan intellectual opinions are thrown under the bus. Such a government full of illiterates don’t even have time to reflect on ideals nor listen to fresh ideas, let alone reading your well articulated articles to enhance reforms. I read one of your comments Dec.30/14 addressed to Paul El Hag about his views and he suggested the dismantle of SPLA/M party, from it I noticed you are a staunch supporter of this regime. Even though from your own words in this article you clearly stated how the party has no vivid visions. And I quote: “One such contradictions is the lack of institutionalization of the SPLM/SPLA political and military power. Since its inception in 1983, power in the SPLM remained personified in the person of the Chairman and SPLA Commander in Chief that all contradictions in the SPLM/SPLA leadership revolved around that issue. It was the drivers of the split with Anya-nya two in 1983 and again within the SPLM/SPLA following the Nasir Declaration 1991. Power was the driver of the Yei crisis 2004 at the eve of the CPA and finally of the events leading to December 15, 2013 and the current civil war.” I have no PhD and am not a doctor but this quote sounds a contradiction by itself. You as an intellectual should not advice for such a diverse society like South Sudan to be governed by a single party authoritarian regime like the present SPLA/M party, that is in fact the reason why we are in chaos to date. Some of the governments like Uganda or Zimbabwe are examples where educated people like yourself has no room to breath and survive or unless you submit to jungle gangster-ism. I also take a different tone to your suggestions of some governments as examples that according to you SPLA/M should copy from, such as Ethiopia’s (EPRDP), and Tanzania’s (CCM). Just check the Human Rights records of the above states and you will notice we don’t need such examples in South Sudan. However I am not going to concentrate on individual opinions until it becomes a law or its being discussed in national parliament.
    Hence forth; I too do have a brief suggestions of my own if anyone would listen and it is directed to the current regime leadership and its supporters, and to all citizens of South Sudan and here they are;
    1- SPLA/M has fulfilled its mandates as a “LIBERATION” movement, now that South Sudan is an independent Country, time has come for SPLA/M to either step aside or dismantle, a national armed forces (SSNAF) be formed in equitable representation of the newest Nation. To continue using this name may be a good reason for Khartoum’s suspicions about Dr. Garangs ideas of liberating the whole Sudan is still alive, and hence the contentions of supporting each other’s rebel groups will continue. Bombs are dropping in W. Bahr Ghazal as we speak.
    2- President Salva Kirr needs to admit that he lacks the charisma to unite the country, he can no longer maintain the integrity of the nation and so he needs to relinquish his position and hand over the presidency to one of his trusted party member so that an interim government is formed without him in order for national reconciliation can be initiated, here I would also like to suggest that Pres. Kirr’s arch rival Dr. Riek Machar need to step aside as well until fresh multi party elections are fairly conducted and the two rivals could contest again on the basis of past merits. Although the oil has spilled on the ground and some groups may want to seek revenge but there should be some sort of amnesty to protect these rivals for good change of hearts if the above scenario materialized. This could also grand them good names as the two leaders who fought and brought independence and stepped aside for the love of their people and nation. They will be honored and respected as heroes both nationally and internationally.
    3- The issue of land and illegal occupations must be addressed urgently, the pretexts of “we liberation you” does not grand legal rights for any legitimate freedom fighter to grab any land, although real estate is a profitable business by itself and it is the local governments affairs to allocate lands, it should not be used to settle migrations of other ethnicity as a group but rather individually anybody should be allowed to acquire a piece of property for the purpose of constructing a permanent structure for that individual’s dwelling place or commercial purpose which if they decide to sell it earns them money, but not to “occupy” without local inhabitants approvals. History has proven that illegal occupations brewed conflicts all over the world and in particular Africa where enmity engulfed succeeding generations and burdens for governments and civilians for ages until proper settlements are set up or innocent bloods will continue to spill.
    4- Last but not the least, South Sudan is diverse with very distinct characteristics, traditions, dialects, and customs. Tribalism is a reality and it must be given full attention, it must be addressed as national affair, dominations and repressions are to be discouraged. This summer all the parties are set to go into all out war. Catastrophes is looming and for those civilians who presume they are on the lines of crossfire need to start taking extra precautions, please leave before time runs out. Don’t be a human shield.
    In conclusion for the end of 2014 and start of 2015, my warm regards to all our people I wish you all the best.
    Happy New Year 2015.
    Eli Wani

  7. False Millionaire says:

    Dear uncle Nyaba,

    Wishing you best luck n a happy new year,if you ever get in contacts with uncle Dr Lual Deng,let him know that the many childern he had taken so much pain to teach,feed n guide to the straight path are surviving so brilliantly.Among them is me.That as Libeya is collapsing,a miracle has occurred in Ivory Coast.A certain great economist he knows so well by the name Dr Alassan Alwatara,having taken over Ivory Coast from the pit under Laurent Gbagbo with the help of french military,he is quickly transforming Ivory Coast into a piece of Gold.Abidjan where uncle Lual had worked as regional director of development for the world bank,that which he told us that his daughter thought it was some where in USA as she went there for a holiday,that which degraded back to a mere African city under Gbagbo,has been upgraded so brilliantly n will reach a glorious status of a modern city very soon.Abidjan n the city of Yamassoukourou have been linked by a modern German’s like highway.Road network every where is in construction.The security has improved n the application of rule of law is examplary.The citizens divided behind ethnic lines under Gbagbo have come back to see themselves simply as fellow compatriots.Dr Alwatara has succeeded to get into the head of his compatriots that stupidity is evil.Nepotism is evil.Corruption is evil.Tribalism is evil.Incompetence is evil.The results:the salaries are paid on time n every where in ivory coast.Business is booming with Ivory Coast’s food products exported to all markets worldwide.The success within a short period is such that,ivorian citizens in diaspora,particularly the supporters of Laurent Gbagbo who considered Dr Alwatara as a mean witch doctor who was good for acts of sorcery at the beginning are now returning home in mass.

    Coming to you,the childern who read your books n your articles like us are as much your disciples as those you have taught in the class rooms.You are our most respected master therefore,a reference whose principles of teaching deserve to be put into consideration when making difficult decisions.But you have put us in great confusion n extreme doubt.You have spent a good part of your life in the SPLM/A.Anything that is good or bad about th SPLM/A you know to the core.The root cause of the events of 15 December 2013 you know so well.We were relieved to see that you had survived n out of Juba.But we were surprised to see you surfacing in the camp of the SPLA-IO.We ask ourselves over again n again,that as the SPLA-IO are murderers of the innocent people in much thesame way as Juba,that as the two camps are responsible for the tragic events,what really is the motive that takes you there?But we are conscious that you are a human being.So feel free to make your choice as you like.But I am sorry to say:you are sacrificing every thing you stand for as a great intellectual.

    The situation is:a master carrying the light in a boat in the middle of a crocodile infested river,a desperate society roaming in darkness becouse of lack of light,the society will never join you in the river.The ball is on your side.Is it too much a sacrifice to abandon the river n join the side of the people?your great principles as you attempt to communicate by articles are not recieving due attention.That’s becouse you are on the side of the enemy.Uncle Dr Francis Mading Deng was criticized for representing Juba in the UN but he tried to explain that he is sacrificing his conscience becouse of Abeyi.The two of you with uncle Dr Lual Deng among others should constitute a club of intellectuals with objective to develop consciousness of our masses.It should be from among you that there should come the like of Alassann Alwatara to move us out from the depth of darkness that we are in!!!

  8. Peter Adwok Nyaba says:

    I wanted to thank and commend all for the responses. This will help improve and sharpen the ideas I have generated. The task of yhe intellectual is to generate knowledge in order tp improve society. The greatest weakness of South Sudanese is that they seldom debate their issues to the logical conclusion that benefits society. More often than not we are conditioned by concepts linked to our village or rural environment and become major contradiction in a multicultural environment in the urban centres. I will not respond to each but what I would like to say is that debate will not be fruitful or meaningful if we debate with masks on our faces. Individual identity is important instead of such fake names like alse millionaire, Eastern etc. Let us know ourselves and what we do such that we can internalize some of the good ideas that pop up. All in all, I thank you.

    Peter Adwok Nyaba

    • Eastern says:

      Dr. Nyaba,

      My use of the alias Eastern is to protect me from many a Kiir security operatives or beneficiaries lurking out there to hurt anybody with dissenting views to theirs.

      Remember how they gave you hard time in Juba?

      Thanks for expressing your opinion in the forum.

      The Eastern Rock

  9. wani says:

    Again your article is cynical, you call Dr. Nyaba enemy, to who. You are a terrible student to call your former teacher names. Dr Nyaba is learned professional whom do you think he should side with, bunch of illiterates or hang out with people of similar caliber? Juba regime is full of jungle gangsters who resent common sense and intellectual brainstorming, all they know is the speaking in the language of gun barrels, we for you and your hooligan masters in Juba’s info. “NO ONE IS BULLET PROOF” you ask for war you get war. My only concern is for innocent lives which will be lost during this coming season. IF YOU ARE A CIVILIAN AND NOT CARRYING GUN PLEASE GET OUT OF THE WAY THE SOONER THE BETTER, DON’T LET YOURSELF BE USED BY SPLA/M JUBA AS HUMAN SHIELD.
    May I asked if you would prefer sitting in a classroom lectured by Salva Kirr? or Dr. Peter Nyaba. And don’t just choose because of tribal affinity but be wise and choose knowledge not illiteracy.

    • Nikalongo says:

      Eli Wani,

      The killers sitting in our Presidential Palace are as rotten as those taking a “time out” in Pagak and Akobo. If Adwok is what you really think he is (the clever and learnt one), tell him to abandon the rebellion and join those working for real peace. He resigned officially from SPLM on SSN (Editor can attest to this) just to turn around and rejoin SPLM. Nyaba is a liar Eli. Being articulative is the best deception is politics and Nyaba is being deceptive. But deception has limits because “Real people” will not see the difference between him (Nyaba) and the “pack” as long as he is talking and writing for the Pagak gang. South Sudan and her people are entitled to real peace and not the “elites’ version of peace” (power sharing).

      • Eli says:

        It’s call freedom to choice, freedom to express your opinions however you like, freedom to live free, freedom of thinking out of the box. I don’t agree with everything Dr. Nyaba says, but I respect his opinions, please read my long reply to him again in my comments. The struggle I am in is to let people like you to be able to say your real name on forums freely without fear of being harrassed or suffer pain. Isn’t that why selfless French journalists died for?
        FREEDOM IS NOT FREE, Someone has to sacrefice. And they are called freedom fighters not status guo reluctance.
        Eli Wani

  10. Nyaloah Son says:

    Happy new year 2015

    Dr Nyaba!

    you are the only politician in our beloved republic of south Sudan who known of truths and radicalism.
    I went through Ur article vividly and thoroughly line by line, and thanks God that I came across it.

    Dr n Nyaba! u elaborate more in matters of concerns and realities to as why country failed. Bear in mind that though u are an SPLM/SPLA, your party has failed the country that we all fought for.
    As u the SPLM elites, I really blame u that since our beloved hero Dr John died, it was so unwise for u to chose this animal called kiir who has turned and failed the nation to the maximum.

  11. False Millionaire says:


    What revolution?you call a random killing of the innocent people a revolution?
    let me tell something sir,I believe to appreciate you so much but that is in the context of being a serious worker as an editor.I get my bread by sweat too.Your website will go down in history as the only successful South Sudanese information n communication enterprise of our time.But it’s a great surprise that you are stigmatizing your good image by relegating your status in seeming to give undue credit to criminals who are only good for the gallows.Killing innocent people in order to come or stay in power,is that the successful revolution you imply?

    • info@southsudannation says:

      Mr. False Millionaire,
      I’m greatly surprised by your misunderstanding of my choice of the word ‘revolution’ in reference to what those of Dr. Machar and group are striving. And that was in reply to Mr. Yeur.
      I meant to imply to the expected changes that many South Sudanese collectively are yearning for and that have now been so clearly articulated by Machar. As always, I am one of those who earnestly condemn any killings of our citizens regards of which tribe and whichever leader, be it Kiir or Machar.

  12. False Millionaire says:


    Don’t forget that you ran away with my sister in law.In fact you are being sought after with a plan to club you in the head.That’s a dinka method of correction before reconciliation.The girl will be handed over to you after as a compensation price.But you will still have to pay the dowery.What I am doing behind for you,you don’t see.I am telling your in laws to lay down arms n to seek to call you n your family for a dowery meeting.I am promising a cow,a heifer n a young bull as a help for your marriage.What fails you to see that I am your twin brother?Why are you selling me out on the forum?Uncle Nyba is God n we are down to earth thirsty to consume more of his lessons.That’s exactly what we are doing.But we must sit on our side of the crocodile infested river as he is lecturing us from among the crocodiles.It’s impossible to join him n that is our problem!!!

  13. Eli says:

    Mr False,
    Sorry I don’t have cows if all you need is meat I have elephants. Lol.
    I dididn’t run away with Aluel, but she ran away with me. Yes I know I didn’t pay a cent to her so called relatives because they don’t deserve anything. But I take care of her mom, her siblings and her. As long as she is happy am happy. Love is better than money. If you club my head, then how will I think better to get the money to buy the cow? Perhaps clubing people’s heads must stop so that your people don’t develop brain hemorrhage and so they can think well.

    Once upon a time a man was caught cheating with another man’s wife, the relatives demanded a hefty fine when they when to court, the presiding judge asked the cheaters as to how many times did you two cheated? “Two times” they said. “Then pay the price for two rounds which is about TEN Birr. End of case.
    The above is a true story it happened in Ethiopia in one of the South Sudanese refugee camps. As a S. Sudanese I wouldn’t do that to anybody, but if that is what the law says, who am I to argue? I am not above the law of a nation.
    Take care bro. in-law, your sister Aluel is still in Uganda for holidays.
    Eli Wani

  14. Morris K. Yoll says:

    Dr. Adwok,
    Greatly, your article impressed me. It is a good one. Nonetheless, I wonder as to what kept the SPLM party in darkness all this time with people like you as elites of the party? Thanks for the article. It’s informative.

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