The change we need in South Sudan!

BY: Justin Ambago Ramba, UK, MAR/17/2013, SSN;

Change is indeed needed in South Sudan and this is a fact which no two should differ on. Equally concerned compatriots have made this very observation earlier on though in a bit of a sarcastic way.

“ Now we have got the South Sudan state that we fought for, but still we have to create the people that we can proudly refer to as the South Sudanese”, they said.

So who are we the current people to whom South Sudan is a home? Are we not South Sudanese in any way? Of course we are. We are indeed South Sudanese in every sense of the expression. If so, then where does the problem lie? It is the answer to this question that will form the main theme of this article.

We are all South Sudanese, however our problem lies in that there are others who look at themselves as being more South Sudanese than the rest. For in South Sudan there are no less than seventy or so different ethnicities, all of which have the same equal rights to citizenship of our beautiful country. And for any one or a certain group of ethnicities to assume more rightful ownership of the country is in fact to call for a total dismantling of the country itself.

It’s now time that we face our own problems and accept them the way they are. For in reality they are all of our own makings. What we have now is the legacy of the over five decades of war that shaped our collective destiny as a nation. This legacy extends to include the Comprehensive Peace Agreement [CPA] between the north and the south, for it is this very CPA that paved the way to our independence.

Today South Sudanese both at home and in the Diaspora are concerned and indeed disturbed about the rampant condition of misrule and poor governance that the SPLM is busy administering on our people. But what is this organization referred to as the SPLM supposed to mean to all of us?

Some of us had ever since found it difficult to identify with the SPLM in as far as its ideology of the united Sudan was concerned, but then then the gap even widened on further, when the movement became a sole political instrument which was constantly abused by a particular ethnic group in its quest for dominant power over South Sudan.

Now, eight years after the end of the war, South Sudan continues to suffer under this corrupted institution of self proclaimed liberators. There is indeed much to support the existence of ethnic Sinisterism within the SPLM [ A Secular Religion of the Lie: The history of those who were Marxists, others who were Fascists, and others who were Cannibals and others who were Leftists]. It is a party that hardly ever existed except where there is feasting, embezzlement, looting and corruption.

And to put it right, the SPLM party is in fact a political tool being used by the the so called liberators turn rulers, to tighten their grip on power and never has it in any way been the ruling party of South Sudan. Sincerely speaking our country is being run by a totalitarian ruler who gives no any damn to any institution including of course the SPLM itself.

To tell the truth besides its nostalgia for the bush war, SPLM actually lacks any of the basic programs and no wonder that it remains imprisoned in the outdated mentality of mob politics. Amazing even the more is that people who went on and subscribed to this party have on several occasions suffered in the hands of their so-called comrades in a way no any different from that suffered by the majority who prefer not to subscribe.

Back in the pre-independence days it was an open secret that the majority of South Sudanese in a tactical move accepted the SPLM leadership following the legacy of the CPA. And it was also a sure way to approach the self determination referendum as a united people, yet deep inside everyone knows who is who. This one off move should not in any way be misinterpreted to mean an overwhelming support for this ailing party.

The core issue here now is that we have an independent country to run, and it can only be run as a peaceful and stable state if, true multi-party democracy, and freedom of expression is guaranteed to all. And to expect this ethnically propelled SPLM to deliver the above mentioned dividends is in fact to day dream.

Indeed naïve is s/he who underestimates the fact that the country is living this chaotic moment as a calculated policy of the current SPLM leadership and its hand picked inner circle in a bid to create a bourgeois class that can set them and their families apart from the rest of the south Sudanese proletariat for generations and generations to come.

The majority of those who initially embraced the SPLM in South Sudan as a party for realization of their long held dream for a well developed agrarian country that they could pride themselves with, are now one by one appreciating the one fact that such a dream is virtually impossible to achieve under the current ill fitted leadership.

Since last December 2012, the wave of running back into exile has doubled especially so among the most outspoken of the so-called South Sudan’s “Lost Boys”. These are the ones who will rightly reflect to the outside world how hostile the political environment in the new country has become under president Salva Kiir’s leadership. Welcome back to exile my fellow patriots and at least now you can call a spade a spade after you have learnt to do that through the hard way.

Today in South Sudan there is widespread optimism that oil will soon again flow to the Sudanese port for export after a 14-month break since Juba turned off the tap. However although Oil exports may restart but the economic problems will not end.

It is already perceived that foreign Aid, investment and trade will help, especially the Juba elite. But there is no wonder that President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s government will again prioritize security, focusing on managing ethnic conflict and relations with Khartoum. All these will undoubtedly continue to be at the expense of any true development all across the country.

Yes President Salva Kiir Mayardit will pour all the Oil money in securing his position as the head of state. He will also use the oil money to win over vice president Dr Riek Machar who is now more prepared than ever to contest for the top job. Ethnic conflicts will undoubtedly increase in the coming few months especially towards the election year – 2015.

And whether we are all together done with Khartoum or not, the truth be said that South Sudan is no longer going to accept Salva Kiir Mayardit’s candidacy in the forthcoming election, and even much so of any of his kitchen cabinet candidates for that matter. It’s here that the much talked about change will have to come, with the next president coming either from the Greater Equatoria or the Greater Upper Nile regions. As bluntly as I put it, it may be this country’s only way out of the imminent implosion ahead.

Author: Dr. Justin Ambago Ramba. Secretary General – United South Sudan Party (USSP). Can be reached at:


  1. anok maketh says:

    Hello Dr. Justin, I really appreciate your efforts, same goes to other writers as well as our social media hosts who continuously kept this nation’s issues conversation going, especially after the callous murder of Isaiah Abraham which was meant to deter opinionated citizens from writing. However, am kind of disappointed by most of opposition parties in the country. I would like to express my skepticism about the goals & version of some of the parties like that of yours (USSP). As a highly-ranked individual in the party, you should be careful not to alienate others who do not belong to your party yet because you never know who is going to join you tomorrow or might have joined you if your principles represent everyone.

    Your articles always contain discriminating language seemingly based on tribal grounds, hence that makes you no different than the current SPLM party. How is Dr. Riek better than Kiir since both are from SPLM? He has been a part of the system since 2005, partaking in looting spree for the very 2015 election while hundred are starving in the country side. No doubt these two are power hungry individuals.

    I myself criticizes Kiir’s policies as a person not Bhar el gazelian. Should Bhar el ghazelians be ashamed of him? yes! as per our cultures, but with educated people like you & the rest, it does not make sense. I would like to quote what I am talking about here from your article:

    “Some of us had ever since found it difficult to identify with the SPLM in as far as its ideology of the united Sudan was concerned, but then the gap even widened on further, when the movement became a sole political instrument which was constantly abused by a particular ethnic group in its quest for dominant power over South Sudan” Please correct me if am wrong!!!!!

    As for the needed change, I would say “Good luck with that,” Kiir is not going anywhere, you know the man, as you mentioned why he gave up panthou just to get oil money to bribe off these growing voices against his regime, we will see.

  2. Kong Puok Tongluot- Finland says:

    Dear Dr. Justin Ambago,
    Yes indeed, we need a change, but according to constitutional act. We should respect any Government’s period.

  3. Valentino says:

    I thought, Dr. Justin Ramba, your Party was going to nominate someone to contest for the top Job come the year 2015, it is not your job to choose for the SPLM its next president as you are not an SPLM member. Interestingly, you have brought forward a regional propaganda such as Greater Equatoria or Greater Upper Nile to be the basis of which the next president should come from. Leave the affairs of the SPLM be decided by the SPLM members themselves but not by you, Dr. Ambago. I believe you understand how political Parties are being run in regards to their Constitutions, objectives and principles. You have the right to criticize the SPLM led government, but it is not your right to choose the alternative leader for the SPLM period.

  4. Dan says:

    I disagree with you when you say people from Bahrelgazel should be ashamed of Salva Kiir’s performance as a president. It should be the other way around. I say this because some Dinka groups from that region still believe that bullying, unwarranted violence or killings are considered as signs of bravery. Salva kiir is not the best, but he is not the worst of all the mobs around him either and he should be allowed to try his luck again if he chooses to do so.

  5. anok says:

    You’re entitled to your opinion, Mr.Dan, but you & me know well that this belief exists in our culture unless you are not from Dinka or other South Sudanese tribes who believe in the same. Public figures are considered as role models to all. And when they failed, people will be quick to judge them as to where they came from. As for this case here of our president, it’s definitely could be the whole Dinka that should be ashamed of his leadership style. Is this a right way to see things? Of course Not, but as you said, bullying, killings e.t.c are still considered as good things for some in our societies. Is this right? Of course not, but these are the realities today in our country.

    Facts or truth hurts to be digested or admitted sometimes, but at the same time a wise society might rather deal with it head on now than later in order to achieve progress. Who wants this nation to suffer years in limbo?!!!!!!!!!!!

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