Independence day celebration in Juba, South Sudan

Independence day celebration in Juba, South Sudan

The last phase of the IGADl-led negotiation….two principals, Kiir and Riek, meeting finally to decide the fate of the entire country. With them are their aides….So who are they who are entrusted with such a heavy task?

With President Kiir are two Dinkas—Chief Negotiator Nhial Deng Nhial and Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth; With Dr. Riek Machar are one Dinka and one Nuer— Chief Negotiator Dr. Dhieu Mathok Diing and Puot Kang Chol.

AND here I am thinking….tribocratically….that the very fate of the republic of South Sudan is being decided by six people—FOUR Dinkas and TWO Nuers..

NO Equatorians present, though they represent over 31% of the South Sudanese total population, no Minority Group though the account for about 11% of the South Sudan national population.

We spent a fortune, convincing the world that this is not a war between the Dinka and the Nuer, and then here we are betraying ourselves at a critical moment that really matter for both substance and a show….

My instinct is deeply disturbed…..

By PaanLuel Wel.

By Deu Lueth Ader, South Sudan

Born-to-Rule Mentality: President Kiir and his former Vice President, Riek Machar, in their reigning days

Born-to-Rule Mentality: President Kiir and his former Vice President, Riek Machar, in their reigning days

March 4, 2015 (SSB) —  A long awaited peace deal which was scheduled to be finalized on the fifth of March 2015 has been jeopardized by the adamant position of the parties.

The issue of separate armies during the Interim Period has become a contentious point upon the resumption of peace talks between the warring parties in Addis Ababa something which dashed hopes which were enthusiastically high among the people.

The successive series of talks in the Sudan then inherited bad illusions in our politicians, the art of Negotiation is either not been taught or intentionally ignored by the negotiators who are representing the parties. For the peace settlement to come, a conducive atmosphere must be created by the parties for the sake of peace, the success of every negotiation is to show a steadfast commitment for peace, Negotiation is a win-win game and to be a part of win-win game it requires from both sides to open a room for compromise, both parties must put concessions in order to expedite peace process.

The issue of separate army during the proposed Transitional Period becomes a stumbling-block before IGAD and it is totally fallacy; peace would not be achieved by IGAD alone if the warring parties are not committed to bring about peace in the country, the international efforts to end the war now began to regress and may resort at the end of the day to imposition of sanctions.

Dear readers and analysts what is the logic behind the bars in regard to the rebels’ demand for separate army during the Interim Period? The reunification of the SPLM factions initiated by the CCM in Arusha Tanzania has been welcomed by all SPLM factions. Is the SPLM/A not one face of the same coin, if the factions agreed to reunify the party then why not army which is the same SPLA whether in-opposition or in-government?

I suspected something to have infected the rebels’ leaders; their demand is retrospective, they thought to have experienced series of agreements in the Sudan then being dishonored due to amalgamation of the Anya-Nya 1 into National Army and the consequences followed by after amalgamation process. To this trepidation, the rebel’s leadership thinks that they should have their own army to secure the implementation of the Agreement.

But the Issue of Anya-nya1 and what is stipulated in the CPA are totally different with the current peace process; Any-nya1 was fighting under the name “South Sudan Liberation Movement/Army” (SSLM) with the objectives related to secularism which were contrary to the system of governance in Sudan by then. However; it made the SSLM deserved to be granted an autonomous with the amalgamation of the Any-nya1 personnel.

For the case of SPLM/A it was somehow alike to the former Anya-nya1 style but due to some lessons learnt in regard to the Addis Ababa Accord abrogation, some Modifications were added for the success of the Movement. SPLM/A was fighting under the pretext to liberate the whole Sudan but the intrigue was a quest for Secession of South Sudan which has been materialized on the 9th July 2011.

The author has to elucidate such an experiences in order for rebel leadership to find itself in which angle does it fall, the issue of separate army is an immature demand specially for a Movement believed to have been composed with predominantly one tribe. So the demand must commensurate the status quo; is South Sudan indeed in need of two armies in such fragile situation?

Rebel’s leadership must rationally think such that a robust out let is engendered, good-and-free will ought to be offered, a war which is being waged is a brotherly war which needs open minded for the sake of suffering civil population.

So you should relinquish your position of separate army should you yearn for a real peace that will end the war instead of emasculating the regional and international efforts, the author is urging both rebels and Government to sideline the grudges of being mocked by X or Z and usher the way forward.

The delay tactic such that war continues would be to the detrimental of the social fabric. You need not to embed in something which may jeopardize the peace process otherwise the suffering of the whole nation would be counted on you.

The ideas expressed in this article are author’s position and are nothing to do with political dimensions, and he can be reached at, 0914527127    


The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

By Garang Atem Ayiik, Juba

South Sudan's coat of arms, in which the eagle symbolizes vision, strength, resilience and majesty, and the shield and spear the people’s resolve to protect the sovereignty of their republic and work hard to feed it.

South Sudan’s coat of arms, in which the eagle symbolizes vision, strength, resilience and majesty, and the shield and spear the people’s resolve to protect the sovereignty of their republic and work hard to feed it.

March 4, 2015 (SSB) —Today, 3 March 2015, as hope hangs in peace talks in Addis-Ababa between warring SPLMs to put South Sudan back on peace trajectory, International Growth Center sponsored a 2 hours lecture in Crown hotel by Prof. Barbara from Columbia University.

The lecture centered on challenges facing South Sudan Public Service since independent in July 2011; provides comparative experiences of other countries; and suggested possible policy options base on public service realities and context of South Sudan.

The seminar was timely in the sense that it provided participants opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future. It was a period of reflection and in fact, time for despair and hopelessness, though chair Dr. Luka tried to restore hope by zooming in pieces of achievements in public service, the conclusion was that professionalizing public services is another mountain to climb.

As always, some participants tried to justify lack competency and services delivery with old phrase of ‘young nation’ and we have to crawl first. The reason why South Sudan will never grow old or crawl from Public Service performance can be view from three-perspectives.

First, the system is crowded with retarded Arabic oriented employees, and with English language as medium of communication after independence, ability of these employees to learn and deliver has been disable.

Secondly, many officers incivil service were deployed from army with little emphasis on their educational background, experience and ability to perform in Public Services. With possible background in liberation or integration from other armed groups, provided this group with comparative advantage to occupy mid and high level positions within Public Services their qualifications and experiences notwithstanding.

Thirdly, employment recruitment process has not been transparent. Access to employment opportunities are based on what Chinua Achebe called ‘whom you know not what you know’. This further, together with poor incentives prevent entrance of many young graduates that would blend the already existing rot in public service.

In 2011, I did a quick check of 33 graduates from my former University and not more than 5 were working for the government. Illustrating either government has closed its employment doors or it employment was not attractive.

Attempt has been made to do some reforms within public services, but from the seminar, it seem there were/are resistance from within. Obviously, the above early retarded-comers will not give way easily. Whether it is e-payroll, without right ability to put in place controls, management can over-run as accountants will like to call.

At some point, participants noted that reform program that was being headed by Madam Awut hit a wall when it was met with internal resistance. What is visible in public service is a system occupy by retarded, incompetent and any attempt to reforms will be resisted.

More worrying were numbers shown by Prof Barbara showing large spending in security with minimum non-revenue income. To put these numbers in context, Peter Biar, South Sudanese economist said oil as finite resource is projected to deplete in 2017. If oil get depleted, where will South Sudan finance its public sector he asked?

With this background in mind, it seem South Sudan is trapped in bloated, and ineffective public service. How will South Sudan gets out of this mess? From it early experience, negotiation ongoing in Addis-Ababa will not improve public service capacity. If anything, ability of public service will be compromise further, as new additional army come in, additional funding will be required. This will stretch resources’ envelop further.

In economic, human capital is crucial factor of production. Current peace negotiations might provide peace but will it enhance public service capacity? In this regards, there is need to look at problems in public services with more concern, care and where necessary pressure.

To bring peace and ignore public service is to cordons mismanagement

• There is need to have a structured negotiation on reforming public service. This negotiation must seek to professionalize South Sudan public services. What if stakeholders discuss and agree on key reforms within public services?

• Young South Sudanese must be given professional space in public service. Today, there are many young South Sudanese running the show in private sector. Why not retrench the retarded, and ineffective and replace them with young South Sudanese professional. If it is lack of money, can we get money from the budget or through other incentives mechanisms?

• As suggested by Peter Biar in the seminar, can South Sudan have two extremes?We can agreed to have an effective public service and ineffective army. In other words, transfer all unproductive civil servants to the army and professionalized the public services. It is harsh position but a call to do something with state of public service.

• South Sudan needs to create a link between research institutions, Universities and policy makers. Working in isolation, diminish synergy. Solution better be made in Juba and that is why preference treatment should be given to South Sudanese including those in diaspora.

• Establish a culture of performance base management. If everyone has job description, there is no reason why every employee cannot be held accountable for his duties. It is outdated to promote on age and years of services instead of content and delivery. South Sudan should know the world.

• There is need to improve the role of oversight institutions to reduce patronage, nepotism and bribery within public sector.

Garang Atem Ayiik is an independent economic commentator on South Sudan economic policy. He can be reached at


The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

US Ambassador to the UN: Why Sanction Should be Imposed on South Sudan
Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at the Adoption of Resolution 2206 on South Sudan, March 3, 2015
Thank you, Mr. President. For the past fourteen months, the United States has supported the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD, and the region, in their efforts to facilitate talks between the warring parties in South Sudan to reach a comprehensive and inclusive peace agreement, and to establish a transitional government to oversee a process of reform that addresses the root causes of this conflict.
While various papers have been signed, partial agreements entered into, promises made, assurances delivered, the situation has only worsened for the people of the UN’s newest country. The aspirations of the South Sudanese people have time and again been thwarted. Instead of pursuing the well-being of their people, a variety of individuals have chosen to place their own narrow political interests first, rather than making the compromises necessary to get to peace.
Today’s resolution supports IGAD’s mediation efforts by laying the framework for targeted sanctions. Under the terms of this resolution, the parties must meet IGAD’s deadlines for the resolution of all outstanding issues of this conflict and to begin the process of establishing a Transitional Government of National Unity. The consequences for not doing so could include the designation of senior individuals for asset freezes and travel bans, or the imposition of an arms embargo. Having this resolution in place – with realistic deadlines based on IGAD’s milestones for resolving the crisis – we hope will improve IGAD’s chances of success in reaching a credible and sustainable peace.
We are enhancing IGAD’s leverage in the negotiations by sending a very clear signal to those who continue to choose war over peace: you will be held to account, now, as we urge you to compromise to reach an agreement, and later, when you are considering whether to follow through on its terms.
Now some have asked, why vote this resolution now when IGAD is in the midst of another important negotiating round and when an agreement may well be around the corner. The answer is that the parties need to know not only that they will be held to account if they fail to compromise to reach agreement, but also that they would be held accountable on the back end if they do again, as they have done so many times before, which is failing to implement that to which they have signed.
Today, because of this conflict, two and a half million people urgently need help with food; more than two million people have been displaced internally and as refugees by the violence. UNMISS – the UN mission that originally deployed to support the world’s newest state – is now itself providing safe shelter to more than 100,000 internally displaced people seeking refuge from violence perpetrated by the government and the armed groups that oppose it. Rape and killing has become rampant.
And just a few weeks ago, we heard about the kidnapping of hundreds of young boys in Malakal by armed groups intending to use them as child soldiers. Today in South Sudan, quite literally, a young generation’s future is being held ransom by political actors who – despite all costs – refuse to compromise.
This cannot continue, and those who frustrate peace must begin to pay the price. That is why today’s action by this Council is so important. Thank you

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution to impose sanctions on those who disrupt efforts to restore peace in South Sudan, but it stopped short of barring the warring factions from buying more arms.

The resolution passed as the rival factions faced a Thursday deadline for reaching a deal in peace talks in Ethiopia, and as South Sudan’s army, under mounting pressure, agreed to investigate allegations that a pro-government militia had abducted dozens of children.

Fighting between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels allied with his former vice president, Riek Machar, plunged South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, into a civil war in December 2013 that has killed tens of thousands, displaced two million civilians and left a trail of rapes and executions.

The Council’s resolution does not immediately impose sanctions. Rather, it sets up a panel to identify people who are responsible for undermining the peace efforts, including by recruiting child soldiers and committing serious human rights abuses. It proposes travel bans and an asset freeze for those people, and it offers the possibility of an arms embargo further down the road.

The United States drafted the measure. China, which traditionally shies away from punitive measures like sanctions, voted in favor of it. China has significant oil investments in the country.

South Sudan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Francis Deng, criticized the timing of the measure, which he called “counterproductive” at a time when peace negotiations were underway. “What the president and government of South Sudan need is encouragement, not condemnation,” Mr. Deng said.

The Council measure passed just hours after the chief of South Sudan’s army announced an investigation into allegations that a pro-government militia had abducted dozens of schoolchildren. The United Nations Children’s Fund, or Unicef, initially reported that 89 children, some as young as 13, had been abducted from a village in Upper Nile State.

The agency later revised the figure and said hundreds might have been taken and forced to join a pro-government militia led by Johnson Oloni. It appealed to the government to gain their released.

In a statement Tuesday, Col. Philip Aguer, the spokesman for South Sudan’s army, known as the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army, said his forces were committed to being “child free” and would look into the allegations.

Unicef said it believed that more than 12,000 South Sudanese children had been recruited into armed groups since the conflict began.

Those who conscript children to fight could face targeted sanctions, according to the Council’s resolution. The American ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, described the measure as a way to press the rival leaders to make a deal. Directing her remarks to the South Sudanese factions, she said, “You will be held to account now, as we urge you to compromise to reach an agreement, and later, when you are considering whether to follow through on its terms.”

The Chinese envoy, Liu Jieyi, called on the two sides to “stop fighting immediately.” Beijing has sent the first of what is to be a full infantry battalion for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

The monitoring group Human Rights Watch said an arms embargo should have been included in the resolution. “Those who are responsible for serious human rights violations should now be named and slapped with a travel ban and asset freeze, and countries or corporations that arm them should be exposed,” said Philippe Bolopion, the group’s United Nations director.


UNITED NATIONS — The United States may have midwifed the birth of South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation. But China has quickly become among its most important patrons, building its roads and pumping its oil.

Now, more than a year after South Sudan’s leaders plunged their country into a nasty civil war, the nation has become something of a test of diplomacy between the United States and China, raising the question: Can Washington and Beijing turn their mutual interests in South Sudan into a shared strategy to stop the bloodshed?

To pressure the warring sides toward peace, the United States has circulated a draft Security Council resolution, dangling the threat of sanctions and setting up the possibility of an arms embargo somewhere down the road. The measure could come up for a vote as early as Tuesday.

China, which has long espoused a policy of not interfering in its partners’ domestic affairs, has not revealed its hand. The Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, signaled to diplomats here last week that his government could be persuaded to back appropriate punitive measures against South Sudan. The Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, Liu Jieyi, then publicly questioned the “logic” of proposing sanctions while the two sides are talking. China could abstain from voting on Tuesday and let the measure pass.

Peace talks — funded by both Beijing and Washington — are underway in Ethiopia this week between factions loyal to President Salva Kiir and his rival, former Vice President Riek Machar. Yet prospects for a breakthrough by a Thursday deadline set by the mediators appear slim. Mr. Kiir, for his part, has refused to show up.

So far, neither Washington nor Beijing has advanced a comprehensive strategy to stop the civil war. Both nations have been hesitant to substantially defang the kingpins of the war, including imposing an arms embargo or limiting how oil revenues might be used to fund the conflict. Both measures are among the recommendations of a recent International Crisis Group report on South Sudan.

“The ability of the United States and China to work toward a common strategy for peace in South Sudan is a test case for their ability to work together on the continent and beyond,” said Casie Copeland, the Crisis Group’s South Sudan expert. She described both countries as “sort of walking in a circle.”

That is not for a lack of interest — or even because of opposing interests.

Although China and the United States have stubbornly been on opposing sides of the issue of Darfur, the long-suffering Sudanese region, the two superpowers share a lot of common ground on South Sudan.

China has strong economic stakes in the country; the United States is heavily invested politically. They both have an interest in restoring stability to the country and avoiding disruptions to its oil flow. Both capitals have also opted to go slowly.

Obama administration officials have deep emotional ties to South Sudan, and so far they have resisted taking any steps, like an arms embargo, that would weaken the government in Juba. As the administration’s former South Sudan envoy, Princeton Lyman, put it this week, “The position is hardening in the administration, but it has taken a while.”

All the while, fighting between forces loyal to Mr. Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and Mr. Machar, an ethnic Nuer, has killed tens of thousands, displaced two million people, brought the country to brink of famine and left a trail of rape and killing. The United Nations children’s agency last week said school children had been conscripted by a militia loyal to Mr. Kiir’s forces.

The United States and China have vastly different histories there. The United States championed its independence from Sudan, whose president, Omar al-Bashir, it loathed, and whom it referred to the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide in Darfur.

China, by contrast, was one of Mr. Bashir’s most important allies — and still is. But when South Sudan split off, it took vast amounts of oil with it, so China soon courted the new government in Juba and kept its stake in the oil fields.

That helps explains why China has taken an unusually active role, considering its traditional policy of noninterference.

It has dispatched its own soldiers to the United Nations peacekeeping mission there and persuaded the Security Council to include a most unusual mandate for the mission: Peacekeepers there are tasked with protecting not just civilians, but also the country’s oil installations, which have been attacked. China has also stopped shipping arms to the government in Juba.

The American-drafted resolution would impose travel bans and asset freezes on individuals who threaten the peace and security of South Sudan, including those who are accused of committing serious rights abuses, using child soldiers, and attacking United Nations personnel. It would set up a committee to evaluate who should fall on the sanctions list. The measure would raise the possibility of an arms embargo further in the future.

Crucial to the effectiveness of these measures are South Sudan’s neighbors, including Uganda and Ethiopia, which have ties to the rival parties. Only if the countries in the region agree to punitive measures, like sanctions and an arms embargo, Mr. Lyman pointed out, will China give its consent on the Council.

Asked why it has taken so long to propose a draft resolution on the Security Council, an American official said: “There are a lot of actors in this situation. We’ve been waiting for the right moment.”

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of diplomatic protocol. “Everyone is sort of rowing in the same direction,” he added.

A wild card is what to do about the potential war crimes committed by both sides in the conflict. The African Union has completed its own investigation into human rights abuses, but refused to make it public while peace talks are continuing. The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has urged the organization to release it.

United Nations investigators have chronicled a litany of horrors since fighting broke out in December 2013. “In Juba, I met people whose whole families have been executed, primarily due to their ethnicity, and women and girls who were taken as sex slaves after their husbands were killed,” the United Nations assistant secretary general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic, told the Council last week, urging the panel to ensure accountability for the victims.

The next question will be whether China or the United States agrees to send its friends to the dock.

By Mayol Aleng Reng- Panyagor, South Sudan

March 4, 2015 (SSB) —  For more than a year now, the government and opposition forces in South Sudan have been locked in a destructive political and military crisis. Diplomatic efforts have thus far failed to secure a lasting ceasefire – let alone lay the groundwork for a negotiated political settlement. As a result, the volatile security situation in the Horn of Africa as a whole has only worsened.

Indeed, the crisis has added a new dimension to existing tensions in the region – between Uganda and Sudan on one hand, and Ethiopia and Eritrea, every day the crisis continues additional pressure is placed on these states that have, for some time now, been locked in a distrustful and suspicious relationship to support one side or the other.

The longer the conflict drags on, the more the possibility of fixing South Sudan fades, and the higher the risk of greater regional competition.

It is unlikely that Sudan can withstand the temptation of settling old scores

There are obvious tensions between Sudan and Uganda – which no longer share a land border, and are respectively South Sudan’s oldest enemy and closest ally. Uganda has security-related, political and economic interests, which prompted it to intervene militarily in South Sudan in support of the government.

Historically, Uganda provided substantial support to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) during its armed struggle against Sudan, which reciprocated by giving support to the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Uganda also sought to protect its lucrative bilateral relationship with South Sudan since it had recently become a major trading partner, to the detriment of Sudan’s geopolitical and economic interests.

It also aimed to protect the thousands of Ugandans working and operating businesses in South Sudan. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni assiduously cultivated close personal ties with South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir. The scenario most feared by Uganda is an outright victory by the opposition forces. This would lead to Kiir’s removal from power, which would be a strategic setback to Uganda and erode its capacity to influence future developments in South Sudan.

The proximity of Ugandan forces to the oil fields in the Unity and Upper Nile states caused great anxiety in Sudan regarding Uganda’s intentions. Sudan was deeply concerned by the possibility that the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), a coalition of armed groups opposed to Sudan, might receive a significant number of weapons from Uganda.

Ethiopia feels the crisis must be stopped before it explodes beyond repair

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir’s visit to South Sudan in early January 2014 was supposed to symbolise his support for Kiir’s government against Machar – who for so many years had been Sudan’s key ally. Yet, there are real concerns that Sudan might already have reverted to its longstanding tactic of supporting the opposition forces, which are on the lookout for foreign sponsors and conduits for military support in the region.

The South Sudanese crisis has enabled Sudan to present itself to the international community as a force for stability. Yet, it is unlikely that Sudan can withstand the temptation of settling old scores with the greatly weakened South Sudan. A protracted civil war in South Sudan would be beneficial to Sudan’s interests in the short to medium term, as it would prevent the emergence of a stronger and oil-rich state allied to Uganda – thereby allowing Sudan to re-establish its influence over South Sudanese politics.

The tensions between Ethiopia and Eritrea are far more obvious. Since 1998, these states have been involved in a bitter and undisguised ‘long game’ of undermining each other’s security, building opportunistic alliances and fighting cross-border proxy wars. Ethiopia has consistently avoided direct involvement in the South Sudanese crisis because of wider geopolitical, diplomatic and security considerations. The state believes that unilateral and partisan military intervention is counter-productive, and would only exacerbate the existing fault-lines in South Sudan.

It has thus strongly asked Uganda to pull out its troops, even if they had entered South Sudan at that government’s request. Ethiopia believes that Uganda’s military intervention has created harmful regional dynamics, endangering the mediation efforts of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), of which Uganda is a member. Ethiopia sought instead to play a balanced but highly visible role in these mediation efforts.

The crisis may have presented a political opportunity for Ethiopia to play such a role and to prove itself as a reliable partner of the international community. Yet, the state has a very high stake in this crisis.

Firstly, the crisis has provoked an influx of large numbers of refugees into Ethiopia. It is currently struggling to accommodate the more than 100 000 South Sudanese.

Eritrea may have risked reaching out to South Sudanese opposition forces in support of Sudan

Secondly, Ethiopia feels that the crisis must be stopped before it becomes an ethnic conflict beyond repair, which would complicate and even sharpen the political divide between the Nuer and Anuak ethnic groups that live in Ethiopia’s Gambella region. This border region, where a Nuer president was appointed in April 2013, has experienced persistent struggles for power between these two ethnic groups.

Thirdly, deteriorating security on Ethiopia’s long, porous and politically explosive border with both Sudan and South Sudan poses a direct threat to Ethiopia. More than any other state in the region, Ethiopia seeks to prevent at all costs the total collapse of the South Sudanese government and a prolonged civil war. This could in turn lead to the marginal areas of South Sudan being used by Eritrea to infiltrate Ethiopian rebel groups and conduct destabilising activities inside Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is also very concerned that a South Sudan-style crisis could materialise in Sudan and ultimately lead to a full-fledged war between the two states. It has more than 4 000 troops in the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), which was deployed to prevent a border war between Sudan and South Sudan. Ethiopia is also actively involved in efforts by the African Union to broker peace talks between South Sudan and Sudan; as well as between Sudan and the SPLM-North, which is part of the SRF.

Since February 2014, unconfirmed reports suggest that Eritrean operatives are covertly providing support to South Sudanese opposition forces. This would be deeply unsettling to Ethiopia, which sees Eritrea as the principal source of instability in the Horn of Africa for as long as President Isaias Afewerki remains in power.

Such support will probably never be fully corroborated, since it is as secretive as it is sensitive. The disclosure of its true extent would not only threaten its effectiveness, but risk major embarrassment to Eritrea – which vigorously denied these reports.

Yet, considerably isolated from Horn of Africa politics and diplomacy, Eritrea is visibly not enthusiastic about the mediation undertaken by IGAD. Eritrea views IGAD as a tool of Ethiopia’s ever-increasing military and economic predominance in the region. Controlling extensive clandestine networks, Eritrea may thus have risked reaching out to the South Sudanese opposition forces in support of Sudan’s interests – and in the hope that fragmentation or a government change could later on cause a spill-over of the violence into Ethiopia.

This would be the simplest and cheapest way to keep Ethiopia entrapped in South Sudan’s unrest for many years, as armed factions seek passage through Ethiopia to conduct military operations. As a result, Ethiopia would eventually lose the political capital that it so carefully expended in the hopelessly uncertain course of mediating the crisis.

Eritrea’s priority would be to strategically use resulting dynamics to lift its shakier regional position, and improve its own political vulnerability and economic difficulties. It is also of great importance for Eritrea to solidify its renewed strategic relationship with Sudan. Both Eritrea and Sudan had officially proclaimed their political support for the South Sudanese government during Al-Bashir’s official three-day visit to Eritrea in late January 2014.

However, this visit did nothing to allay the apprehension of their strongest rivals – Uganda and Ethiopia. On the contrary, it essentially confirmed their mutual interest of curbing the greater role that Uganda and Ethiopia play in South Sudan.

All this seems unlikely to Western analysts and diplomats, who hastily argue that the fear of a Sudan-Eritrea ‘axis of evil’ is misplaced; that there is no compelling evidence to date of Eritrean misdemeanours; and that Eritrea is currently weakened to the extent that it can no longer compete in any way with Ethiopia in South Sudan.

Nonetheless, it fits perfectly into Eritrea’s interests to ensure that the South Sudanese crisis would produce losses for Ethiopia and minimise its broader regional influence – especially owing to disagreements with Uganda and Sudan.

The writer, Mayol Aleng Reng, is an aid worker in Jonglei State, South Sudan. He can be reached at his email address:


The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

By Mamer Deng Jur, Australia

Dear David Aoloch Bion,

March 4, 2015 (SSB) —  We are not those people Mr. Ayuel Madut Chan was lecturing out to online community as if he was addressing a successful nation. So please! Please! In the name of Bor Community, do us a favor, stand up and explain, to Mr. Chan and online community to understand that, we are not those people he labeled as:

1. Thugs (Criminals)
2. Cowards
3. Unintelligent
4. Unfair (lack justice)

Seriously, David your article about credentials was weak in thoughts and analogy, and proved that your intention was faked, but not real.

Beside, David you have made a very bad mistake, by calling Bhar el -Ghazal community, where our president,Salva Kiir Mayardit hailed as ‘loose and lawless’ without explaining it in 3D (dimensions). Why you gave them names. And what did you meant by ‘loose and lawless (half lawless), anyway? Reminder, the readers on this beautiful website are not judges to interpret what you meant by ‘loose and lawless’.

Ironically, you have also failed hard to mention and explain what were Kiir failures, rather than just boring people with a number of insufficient achievements that lack accuracy and logic analysis, which were in my opinion in other ways, mocking a son of Bhar el-Ghazal community and their son Salva Kiir.

I would not be that sorry for this intelligent person (Mr. Chan) to refer you as hypocrite and Lucifer, because you are a coward writer who failed seriously to balance the argument, and not expressing your intention firmly and wisely, rather than hiding your real intentions. I think, if you had explained yourself clearly.

I think, Mr. Chan would have never stood and replied your article, challenging Bor’s people moral values, intelligence, and questioning their fairness! But because of your writings, we are now in this position to defend our ground firmly as if we were tosa dogs kept to fight. Giving a logic and sufficient explained argument is always the way forward.

Before I retire, I would like you to know that you have given away unavailable position to Mr. Chan in order stab every sons and daughter of Bor community in one way or another because your weak writing had failed you to explain yourself clearly.
How I wish you would have explain what you meant by referring Bhar el – Ghazal community as ‘loose and lawless’ or half lawless.

My advice to anyone who have had read Mr. Chan’s article. Bor’s people are not those he has mentioned in his article, which is full of taunting remarks. For clarity, we are not thugs, cowards, unintelligent, and unfair. Whether we are in Australia, America, Canada, and even in South Sudan. Our respect for laws is in our blood;it doesn’t need to be in written form. Our moral values are our laws.

If a community can show fairness, distribute things fairly and treat everyone fairly and equally, then you are doing what is called humanity and that what the people want. Bor people are blessed with those! A leader is a person who has respect for others and always on the lookout to the needs of the people rather than looting them indirectly.

Being humble is not something that anyone could learn in school, it is born with a person. Humility is one of the best qualities of a leader. Money can buy everything a person wants but cannot buy a good working brain. You want to prove it! I am ready for you.

For now, let worried a lot about our current front-line issues; peace between the government and the rebels; people are sick of seeing blood flowing every year. And the past events of (29 to 30 years ago) are only references to the current events.

They will help and guide us to correct what was done wrongly in the past, not to be repeated today as we talk and write. But they will not solve our current issues, if we look blindly back and talk critically about the past events.


Allow me borrow a quotes of a greater philosopher of all times Albert Einstein. ‘The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits’. Secondly, “everyone is a genius.

But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.

Therefore do the math.

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

By Michael Mading Akueth, Juba


March 3, 2015 (SSB) —  The citizens of Republic of South Sudan are consciously waiting for the two principals President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to bring peace to the country.

There is a high assumption that if the two principals compromised and reach the peace agreement the country will be peaceful and life will return to normal which I think it is not absolutely true because the IGAD led peace process is not inclusive and fail to understand the dynamics of South Sudan conflict.

It is based on the assumption that SPLM in government and SPLM-IO are the only two actors in this conflict and if the two parties reach an agreement then the rest will surely follow and the country will be peaceful.

This is a myth, the government is not only formed by the SPLM; there others parties inside which are not being consulted much on the peace process which I think have an interest too. What will be their fate after peace agreement?

The mediators have not taken time to properly study the dynamics of the current conflicts and truly define the term peace which they tirelessly want to bring to South Sudan.

They should ask themselves several questions before they drafted peace agreement proposals; what type of peace do we want to bring to south Sudan? Who are other actors that we should include in the process? Do all the parties feel well represented in this peace talks?

In the ancient times historical literatures, the term ‘peace’ originates from the Anglo-French pes, and the Old French pais, meaning “peace, reconciliation, silence, agreement” But, Pes itself comes from the Latin pax, meaning “peace, compact, agreement, treaty of peace, tranquility, absence of hostility, harmony.”

Although ‘peace’ is the usual translation, it is an incomplete one, because ‘shalom,’ which is also cognate with the Arabic Salaam, has multiple other meanings in addition to peace, including justice, good health, safety, well-being, prosperity, equity, security, good fortune, and friendliness.

At a personal level, peaceful behaviors are kind, considerate, respectful, just, and tolerant of others’ beliefs and behaviors — tending to manifest goodwill.

In the view of the above definitions, which peace are we waiting? The communities are more divided than ever before and the hatred level is growing every day. Will there be harmony after peace agreement among the communities? What about the issues of justice for the victims? Will there be good security, prosperity, equity and reconciliation? Only God knows the best answers.

The political parties are divided and disintegrated into small unit which are only begging the two principals to remember them in their kingdoms.

With this huge pressure of sanctions on the South Sudanese leaders; I’m afraid, they will compromise and sign peace deal against their will which will not benefit any citizen in this country. This peace agreement will be done on the rush and fear of sanctions and it will definitely fail to meet minimum standard of sustainable peace.

IGADs and friends of South Sudan will leave South Sudan divided and disintegrated more than before because they did not diagnosed and prescribed good solutions for peace agreement. The country will miss another great opportunity to define honorable peace that could lay solid foundation for this nation.


The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.