The clouds of change in Republic of South Sudan

*Any leadership that will overthrow (my)… regime militarily will not be recognised by the international community,* President Kiir lectured the SPLA in Bilpham on 16th October 2012 according to Sudan Tribune. What is going on in the presidents mind? Why is he appearing desperate to ward off challenges to his regime from internal state actors? For a military president to sound so desperate does not bode well for the country. Has he lost the handle?

President Kiir should by now know that he has squandered every opportunity that has come his way right from 2005 to date. The chronology of failures is so long that even the blind now detest his leadership. Whether it is tribalism, corruption, incompetence, abuse of human rights, failure in diplomacy and you name it, president Kiir and his SPLM Oyee party excel in it. He and his party are so good in doing all the negative things in the world.

So far in only one year of independence they drove the country into a failed state, a record no country, not even Somalia has set since the emergence of nation-states in the medieval period. Thanks to SPLM and its ideology of Dinkocracy for scoring this record.

The desperation exhibited by president Kiir in his address to the SPLA is an indication that he is losing grip on power. His authority has been weakened further by the challenges his own people of Bahr El Ghazal posed to the recent co-operation agreement signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. President Kiir is now at his lowest ebb and it is clear that he as a general and commander-in-chief has lost authority and respect of the rank-and-file of his own gangisterized army.

A similar situation his predecessor Dr Garang experienced in the Rumbek meeting of November 2004. Endless advice to president Kiir from well meaning quarters to professionalise the army, and separate it from the party fell on deaf ears. He and his party preferred to keep SPLA as the army of the RSS in its present form. It is only a matter of time before he is pushed aside by one of the strongest gang in the SPLA conglomerate.

President Kiir by waving the card of *international community* to frighten his own army of gangs holding pockets of power within the centre from overthrowing him shows that he is confused and delusional. People who have decided to overthrow a government militarily always do so after having decided to take the ultimate risk to their lives and they would not flinch from schoolboy speak.

Nevertheless, president Kiir may have a point. The world is less tolerant of military coups. This is because the institution of the army (professionally) is not meant to meddle in the affairs of state management. The remit of the army is strictly to protect the country and its citizens from harm under civilian democratic governance. Equally the international community is less tolerant of dictators and totalitarian regimes like president Kiirs one.

The era of coups and dictators is long gone with the cold war. During that period coups were rampant and the leading powers of the time (US representing the West and Russia representing communism) used to promote them a lot to gain their interests. However, with the coming down of the Berlin wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the triumph of the neoliberal ideology, coups have become undesirable. The various political and economic blocks of the world influenced by the changes have inserted clauses into their constitutions to outlaw it.

For example the Commonwealth countries are all agreed not to accept any of its members led by putschists. The African Union charter like the Commonwealth one prohibits coups and any of its member state involved with such behaviour may find itself isolated via sanctions or possibly AU military intervention. So in this regard, president Kiir would be right to assume that the international community will come to his rescue in an event of a coup. After all the events in Mali is a pointer. Military officers in Mali took over the government and they had to give it up within a short time following sustained pressure by the international community.

However, motivated military officers pushed to the corner by a corrupt totalitarian regime may not care of the consequences of their action in which case it is a waste of time to try to dissuade them in a manner that reflects weakness.

If president Kiir genuinely wants to stop coup taking place in RSS he needs to immediately initiate far reaching reforms throughout his failed government. Better still if he calls for formation of a government of national unity bringing all actors inside and outside the country together to a conference where the problems of the country will be deliberated upon. Such an action will remove the need for unlawful intervention by members of the SPLA.

Looking at President Kiir lecture at Bilpham from another angle it reveals the delicate political situation in RSS. Of late things have deteriorated badly and the president seems to be panicking. The manner in which he rushed from Kampala, Uganda, straight to address the SPLA at Bilpham belies the image of a popularly loved strong man. Gone are the hey days when the opportunists surrounded him and showered him with lavish praises even when they knew that the man was not up to the job.

But they had a reason, which was self enrichment which worked. The president being gullible felt loved and believed the flattery of the miscreants around him and in return he allowed them to loot the country dry with impunity. He is now fully responsible for the mess and no doubt any future administration will hold him to account. He has unknowingly thrown away the prestige and honour that came with the independence of the country.

Rather than being seen as a hero the president is now seen and rightly so as a villain and huge liability. Heroes are saviours and caring people. They are not looters, abusers of human rights and destroyers. So the self praise the SPLM/A members accord themselves as heroes and saviours has no ground anymore. Their poor governance and uncivilised behaviour have exposed their true characters and their claims to glory increasingly looks stuff of delusion.

This delusion which no doubt also infected the president appears to make him to think and believe that the international community will save him if he is overthrown by the SPLA. Neither the international community nor his rebellious SPLA will save the president. The international community is not only feed up with his poor governance but dismayed with his inability to interact with them positively. If he is removed they may not shed a tear for him. In fact they may even breath a sigh of relief.

On the other hand currently the SPLA is more disillusioned than at any other time in its history due to the growing fissures in its structure of gangs and lack of adequate leadership. The jockeying for power by the various gangs in SPLA in itself is one of the reasons for the instability and non stop rumours of coups in the country. With this development it would be surprising for the SPLA to be sympathetic to the president. This leaves the president with only one option, seeking redemption through acting wisely.

He can save himself by taking the bold decision of dissolving his government and replacing it with a government of national unity consisting of all stake holders. Anything short of such an act may not work and his rebellious army will remain a thorn in his throat.

Although the world presently discourages coups which decent people around the globe support, this phenomenon since the dawn of globalisation two decades ago has been replaced by intervention from non state actors. In a sense coups have been replaced with various types of popular uprisings. Some peaceful and others violent. All in search for genuine democracy or other forms of governance such as the current wind of change blowing through the Arab world. The fake regimes that call themselves democracies such as the SPLM led government of president Kiir are in for a shock. They can come in *sheep cloth*, they can shout all the slogans of democracy and they can lie but they will not escape the wrath of the people. This is a simple rule of life made clear by the saying, *You can fool the people for some of the time but not all the time*.

The unpleasant and toxic environment engulfing the country today is the result of president Kiir and his SPLM Oyee party misrule. Since they returned from bush and assumed power in 2005, they have indulged in unnecessary excesses in tribalism, corruption, violence and abuse of human rights. This has now motivated many people to seek ways of changing the system.

Juba, the under developed capital of this nascent state is now awash with daily stories of attempted coups. Since July 2012 hardly a day passes without talk of a failed coup. Therefore, it was not a surprise to learn from the president during his lecture to the SPLA at Bilpham about a coup. The president announced the detention of Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec as a suspect and also a collaborator (please see Sudan Tribune of 16th October 2012)

Now, the Nuer Youth have entered the fry demanding the release of Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec. The fact that the Nuer Youth are taking matters into their own hands in demanding the release of their own shows the level of distrust between the people and the GoSS.

In a normal functioning state, government agents should not be protected by their tribesmen. The constitution should be the protector of every citizen in the land. But given the glaring failures of the system in GoSS, who can blame the Nuer Youth.

The justice department and the law and order agents (who mostly come from one tribe) have consistently violated the constitution without any regard for the consequence that would emerge from their negligence and abuse of it. Take for example, the killings of innocent citizens by police as in the case of John Lewis and the execution of George Othor by the army without any due process. In both cases there have not been any enquiries to establish the truth; attempt to account to the relatives of the deceased and for the state to learn lessons from these sad incidents

Two days ago I had discussion with a Nuer friend on the subject. He was adamant that president Kiir was playing divide and rule politics by scapegoating Maj. Gen. Gatwec. According to this friend, the trick is to divide the Nuer community by making one Nuer incarcerate the other to sow seeds of bitter divisions among them. Once the Nuer are divided president Kiir can then get rid of those Nuer he does not like from the army and government by using those loyal to him with the ultimate result being a politically weakened and decimated Nuer community that poses no threat to the status quo.

There is some sense in this simple but powerful analysis. Sounds like what happened in Equatoria from 1983 to date. Equatorians could only join SPLM/A as individuals and remain isolated individuals. By being isolated they automatically become weak and vulnerable. They are not allowed to be in groups because group thinking and group action are the basis of power. The leaders of the movement themselves preached and implemented what they do not practise. They fragmented others while regrouping themselves to consolidate power and dominate the rest.

This SPLM/A Machiavellian policy is responsible for disempowering Equatorians to the extent that they are made to feel ashamed and unpatriotic to talk about their rights and interest in the system. It rings bells. SPLM/A are masters of the animalistic behaviour of isolate and kill. Watch the carnivorous groups like lions, hyenas, wild dogs in wild life films, they always single out the weakest member of the preyed herd, isolate it and then kill it.

During the reign of the late Dr Garang, he practised *isolate and kill* to devastating end to the extent of fragmenting families. He set brother against brother, son against father, sister against sister, daughter against mother, nephew against uncle, niece against aunt and so on. The ugliest scenarios are those where a brainwashed relative of the victim (executed or murdered by SPLM/A) become the justifier of the heinous act.

Today, it is a fact in RSS that the Nuer is the only group that poses threat to Jieng hegemony by virtue of their accidental numerical presence in the SPLA. It is no secret that the Jieng are perturbed by this anomaly which only happened after 2005 when the various Nuer armed groups were allowed by instruments in the CPA to come under the SPLA. Historically and this continues to date, the rivalry between these two groups has been an uneasy one laced with deep distrust.

In light of the above and the present circumstance where rumours of coup are rife it would be wise for the leadership in Juba to handle the detention of Maj. Gen. Simon Gatwec with utmost care and fairness. Such care and fairness also should be extended to all those political detainees languishing in torture houses of SPLM/A. These arbitrary detentions without due processes are the very reason why this government has failed and people are looking for ways to bring it down

Finally, president Kiir can not talk his regime of failures out of removal from power by waving the international community as his protector. The clouds of change began forming out of his poor governance; the speculations of coups; the gathering discontent expressed on the outset by the Nuer Youth at home and in Diaspora; and Governor Paul Malong Awan bitter complaints about Mile 14.

These concerns are coagulating into the storm that eventually sweeps the SPLM Oyee away once and for all from the political space of RSS.

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


  1. John Ojulu says:

    Thanks, Mr. Paul for your narrating this issue, by the way the Government Republic of South Sudan belongs to all of us. Since independence everyone of us is glad regardless of what happened during the struggle, we all united our hearts and minds and forgot whatever between our tribes. We all felt proud to be like those nations who won their independence before us. But there are people whose motivation and intentions are to dehumanize other tribes or people in order to achieve their goals and interests. They’re never satisfied by inclusive unity that covers everyone of us.
    To tell you, the fact may speak by itself very soon, this president failed our nation in a very dangerous way, and we will not be like Somalia or other failed nations in the World. Very soon our problems will cover the World news. This fault is from all South Sudanese because this time South Sudanese cannot forget that it is dangerous to let the new country to be led by uneducated person who never been in school, just only had military training.
    If you talk to his people or read his backgrounds he never been in school, he learned languages both Arabic and English through communications, he doesn’t even know how to read and write Jieng or Dinka languages. Even to represent and speak on behalf of the nation that has so many educated people including his own people. This alone is shame to South Sudanese.
    Now he wants to mess up the country again, he is misled again by his own tribal-men to cause the problems against Nuer because what he is trying to do is dehumanize Nuer-official in South Sudan Armied forces.
    He feels insecure with the presence of Nuer numbers in South Sudan armied forces. Nuer are serious at this time, and I am sure our new nation is in disaster, but may be Dinka will advise themselves not to provoke this again, if they will do this again against Nuer tribe, it will be our stupidity to let Nuer fight this war alone. We heard that General Simon Gatwech did not do anything nor plan a coup, he was arrested because of set up or make up. General Simon and General Bol are under suspicion from Dinka Generals in Bilpam because of 1991 coup of Riek Machar and Lam Akol, those two Generals were the two officers who defeated SPLA forces before collapse of SSIM/SSIA.
    This president with his men will stir up our country and fail it completely. Author John Ojulu, South Sudan

  2. 4justice says:

    The people of South Sudan have inadvertently elected a Down;s Syndrome leader.

  3. Peter Madual says:

    Thank you, my compatriot EL-Ahag Paul, for the well written article. It’s crystal clear the Dinkocracy government is going to collapse very soon. In fact, South Sudan is already a failed state due to the Dinka’s political agenda, as you have mentioned much of it, to implement the system divide and rule that Kiir has considered important and is given priority in Mayaried political deliberation. The Dinka government has been able to shape the dominant ideas in our communities which in a way or other will have a negative, long-term effect on south Sudan politics. If those Dinka dominant ideas work against Equatoria, Nuer and Cholo, then south Sudan is at the mercy of Jieng. Kiir indeed, is a wretchedness guy. For example, he’s using self-seekers people like Stephen Peterino, Luk Dank and to mention few against those leaders whom they think are threat to them. There is no rule of law in the SPLM led government. The idea of Dinka superiority is particularly evident in the SPLM. In other words, Dinka believed that they’re born to rule.

  4. Peter Madual says:

    I would depict the SPLM is a cause of moral decay in Juba and the looming civil war in our country as well. Therefore, Equatoria youth should follow the same pattern of Naath Youth. For example, demand the release of honorable Peter Abdelruhamman Sule. We must retaliate now before it will be too late. Nuer youth has power to get ride of Dinkocracy. Nevertheless, non Dinka must act as one team. The good news is, the international community has already known Dinka people.

  5. Michael Manut Lual says:

    Dear Peter Madual. The way you are talking is very harmful to our nation, please better to change that mind of yours, don’t abuse Dinka in general, you just deal with your president who is joking with you!

  6. Bior Makuei says:

    It really makes no sense taking people like Madual and Paul to school. Why calling it Dinkas’ government when vp and defence minister are from Nuer? Equatorians like Paul are now talking about country misrule while during struggle time they worked extremely hard not to see the birth of this nation. Equatorians collaborated with Arabs in fighting splm/a, they always complain about “Dinkocracy”, why don’t you guys complain when Arabs were having sex with both your women and men (lubus mapi)? Somebody here talked about Pres. Kiir not being educated! I know you know why, you chose to be ignorant. Kiir didn’t go to school because he chose to be a freedom fighter. This nation became what it is now because of their sacrifices. People like Paul will write, write and write but will never achieve anything. The problem with Nuers (not all but most) is that they are easily deceived, like the infamous Nasir declaration. Why did Riek then return to splm/a?

    • Gatkuoth Lok says:

      To Bior, Kiir did not fight to liberate South Sudan, rather fought to liberate Sudan, unfortunately you missed to know what is at your disposal!!!!!!

  7. kay yiey says:

    Dear Bior Makuei and others Dinka guys,
    this is a right time to remind you that the rest of the world is already aware/sure, watch out, all individual tribalism contribution to the Government of South Sudan and Splma itself, as ruling party specially during the struggle and after Independence. Just talk to President’s advisers not to focus their interest on the area of money squandering, to mess up with country resources while it is early to emphasize on developmental issues as the best way forwards to shape up our nation in Dinka Leadership.
    Never get a noise quickly if citizens point out much weakness toward Kiir Performance and don’t develop the defensive mechanism to your tribesmen or women in power, leadership is rotating to each one of us. Utilize your time, get prepared to deal with Nation money for your own Good and remember don’t be armchair leaders who is sitting in beautiful house but cannot map out what is taking place on the country side!.

  8. Gatkuoth Lok says:

    It is not good to be invincibly ignorant of what is going on in South Sudan, and even deny things which are undeniable and undoubtable like domination, cronyism, re-socialization of people who are to do what they are wanted do against their people. ElHaj Paul sounds somewhat because what is happening in the country renders Gatwech’s detention and people like Mualana Sule staying in prison without being tried unacceptable. To me Gatwech is feared due to his support from almost every LOU NUER YOUTH, seen during their confrontation with Murle youth, another reason as to why he is imprisoned may be the 1991 salvation event where Gatwech under the command Dr. Machar, the vice-president penetrated to Bor Town as was alleged. If this is the case then Gatwech should be pushed to walls while leaving Dr Machar in your very eyes. I remember when we were still in the bush one could just be accused of collaborating with the Arabs in Khartoum such that even his very own brother could say Garang oyee in support of his brother’s death!!!!! This is what is happening again and again in South Sudan. However, we are not all common herd to fail to understand what my friends are up to, so to say. However, the Dinka people should bear in mind that the accusation made against them every now then is good and necessary such that you, the Dinka intellectuals can join the debate to prove others wrong of non-existence of Dinkocracy and those words waged against you. Silence may mean you support the president in his administration because he is your tribesman and that is why almost every institution is full of you.

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