Author Archive

By Kur Wel Kur
William Nyuon Bany

William Nyuon Bany

Dear Uncle Nyuoon,
I believe in the  life after death, not only  because of my  Christian’s faith but also because of our ancestral belief (Africanism). I believe  that you’re watching and listening!  This note that contains my tributes to you aged within me, 22 years to make it specific. As I sat eyeing the empty screen of my iPad, my fears left me for a walk: The fear of judgement from others, and the fear of perception from the community of your birth. In  fact, I thank God for relieving me of these fears because, to write this note means to celebrate your life, you gave to spare others’ lives. Thanking  you, reflects the remembrance of your foot prints you left behind, your  foot prints in nationalism, in patriotism,  in protection and lastly, your  foot prints of  ideologies in which you impacted the history of South Sudan.
As I scribble this note, I don’t know where your body rests; whether your loyalists had time to bury  you properly or they left behind  your dear body unburied  to save their dear lives! It won’t matter, what matters,  are  the thoughts of you within us! With these thoughts, we can build and erect  your  monuments and statues  throughout the country!
Uncle William,  I centralise the core of this note in specific events that involved my Palotaka colleagues and I, then your other good deeds to this country will follow. To all my Palotaka colleagues, I invite you to judge this note about the man who spared the foundation of our country; a country, in the political turmoil today.  A  man whom his junior  both in ranking and aging, robbed of life; a junior he rescued at the edge of a sword for betrayal  from SPLM/A; Elijah Hon Top under Peter Gatdet Yaak, slain him  in cold blood. William Nyuoon is such a man, unique and outstanding leader!
William, I remember when you advised  us in Torit. You aired these words:  “Jesh al-Hamar, you must be willing to study; you must not dive into nostalgia, thinking about your parents, relatives or cattle; we must defeat the immigrants in all fronts. I know and am seeing it, you lack clothes and blankets; Jesh al Hamar, you must be on the lookout for patience because without it, all lives will end in seconds; so alongside patience, welcome persistence and everything else will follow.”
With your advice, we conquered dark corners in the hell of a Palotaka life; with your parental words, we lived  in the four corners of the earth so determined today. You lived among us contrary to those who existed and continue to exist among us; your  temporal life has left everlasting good memories of you; And that’s the full measure of a great man. Most great revolutionaries and visionaries,  perished in violence not in peace; the world never give them time to verbalise their wills to their loved ones.
William Nyuon Bany

William Nyuon Bany

In these regards, I oblige myself to quote one greatest man, a man in his own class, a class in the pinnacle of the humanity, Abraham Lincoln. As a president,  he summarised and uttered the sacrifices  of good soldiers in his Gettysburg address: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. ”  So William, you were such a soldier,   the haters and those unpatriotic will  regard our words about you and other martyrs  as meaningless  but they ( words) will act as reminders to those who quench the South Sudan soil with   their liquor or milk   as a recognition and libation to  those who gave their last prices for it ( South Sudan ).
In September,1992, you defected from SPLM/A at  Pageri in Eastern  Equatoria State; the news of your defection raced to Palotaka and the panic racked our guardians’ brains, who , even in the face of desperate craving of life, couldn’t stand on your way, given their knowledge of your military tactics. We hit the road to Parjok and to Pogee. However, William, you challenged your matches, the SPLA occupied towns. Magwi fell in a terrible defeat into your hands; Ikotos crumbled in front of you and you made it  to Juba not because of the numbers of your soldiers but barely because of your military tactics. A great military tactician, you were!
A testimony from Riek’s abductee of 1991 goes:
“When William came to Nasir, he ordered the release of detainees, detained just because they were Dinkas; though after  he left for a frontline in Equatoria state, Riek’s soldiers slaughtered them one after  another. However,  William showed them his nationalism and compassion to serve and save South Sudanese regardless of their tribes. Nyuoon preached differences in military and in  politics as the main causes of South Sudanese sufferings not tribes. In Nasir, Riek’s soldiers discouraged those who sang SPLM/A liberation songs; however, William challenged that behaviour, saying that our common enemy are Arabs in the North and liberation songs were composed and sung towards the Arabs in the Khartoum regime; he believed that people die because of lies and having  two different governments with contrary ideologies. William  believed in absolute  peace”.
Words from a former soldier in signaling (communication) unit in your division had these remarks about you:
“I did my military training with ‘koryom'(locust) battalion, however, the leadership of SPLM/A deployed me  in 104/105 at Adura/Ashwa base in  Ethiopia; William Nyuoon (a zonal commander) commanded axis-1 zone , which covered the Eastern bank of the Nile.
The Genius of Dr. John Garang: Letters and Radio Messages of the Late SPLM/A's Leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabioor (Volume 2) Paperback – November 27, 2013

The Genius of Dr. John Garang: Letters and Radio Messages of the Late SPLM/A’s Leader, Dr. John Garang de Mabioor (Volume 2) Paperback – November 27, 2013

Qualities  of  his leadership

Cdr. Nyuoon possessed many excellent skills that made  him a rare leader; socially, William would play cards and other games not only with officers but also with soldiers; he laughed and joked with them.
His leadership opposed the tribalists, for example, when Dr. Garang sent two battalions: Bilpam and Mut (spear in Nuer), to him, Isaac Gatlok a commanding commander swappedd soldiers  of other tribes  with soldiers of Nuer tribe especially in strategic positions, for example, those in fields artilleries (e.g. pack or mountain howitzers) units;  that incident agitated most soldiers so a chunk of soldiers deserted the battalion; that triggered William to  call an emergency meeting with his closest officers: Ajak Deng Reng, Manyok Barach, James Kong ( his chief of staff), Chuol Maai (head of his intelligence unit) and Jacob Bol (his doctor) to discuss what they should do about Isaac’s behaviour. He told them to forge a letter of Isaac’s referral for promotion in the name of Dr. Garang, and then he would press charges against Isaac after he (Isaac) reach Bilpam(SPLM/A base).
However, Chuol Maai and James Kong in a private meeting, convinced  William to discard the  decision so he cancelled Isaac’s trip to Bilpam. As a result of Isaac’s segregation, the battalion dispersed altogether,  a fail of leadership .  Nyuoon condemned his two officers who talked him out of Gatlok’s referral in a serious mood. That also meant he could see beyond (visionary).  Furthermore,  his communications with the leader of the movement, Dr. Garang in matters partaining the future of the movement,  showed his visionary and revolutionary characteristics.
Nyuoon, as a brave commander, his bravery debilitated the rebels of Anyanya two who gave SPLM/A hard times. His military operations in Jhok-kou and in other areas of Gajak showed his bravery.
Nyuoon had a rare fairness; he treated everyone the same; he would acknowledge the contribution of others in the functioning and success  of SPLM/A regardless of their tribes. Nyuoon: the best in mobilisation, he mobilised Nuers to join the SPLM/A. He  was not corrupt, though he had capacities, he never desired to own hundreds of cattle like his colleagues in the same ranks. His simple diets  proved him innocence in corruption ordeal,  which enslaved many SPLM/A  officers; an epidemic that continues to robe us  until  today!
Kwei-nyang (his nickname) was not a  strict  vegetarian but he didn’t love meat like the rests of his peers; he also disliked foods with fat (butter and ghee),  and his favorite were milk, chai(tea) and “Ngam-Kuor” (corns with brans removed then cooked with beans) so he used to supervise foods for the sake of his soldiers not because of him. He would prioritise and care for signaling unit, intelligence unit and the rests follow when it came to what they should eat”.
Having stated the  reasons as to why high commander, William Nyuoon Bany deserves our respect, I now conclude that William Nyuoon must remain in our heart of hearts. He deserves monuments and statues in Ayod, Jonglei capital and in Juba because his nationalism and patriotism outweighed many of his peers’! So with the words of American military  legend, General Macarthur: ” old soldiers never die they just fade away”. Our passed heroes will occupy eternity of our history especially if we think about what they accomplished in their short lives.

Yrs. Kur Wel Kur. 

Originally posted on Weakleaks!:

Uncle Elijah Malok Aleng is irreplaceable. The man was brutally honest and was never afraid to speak the truth. I just wish he did not go this soon; South Sudan needs him, people of Bor community needs him, and his little grandchildren needed him the most. The legend will be terribly missed,” Aduei Riak reacts to the breaking news of Uncle Elijah’s passing .

Like the heartbreaking news of the chopper accident of Dr. John Garang de Mabior and the crew on July 30, 2005, this news of the passing of Uncle Elijah on October 30, 2014, is unbelievable! Uncle Elijah Malok Aleng passed on in Nairobi Hospital at 1.20PM today (October 30) after a month of battling stroke and diabetes.

Personal Comments 

History Book by the late Elijah Malok...Unfortunately, he passed away before launching the second edition of this history!

History Book by the late Elijah Malok…Unfortunately, he passed away before launching the second edition of this history!

It is disturbing! I have been praying…

View original 1,310 more words

By Amer Mayen Dhieu, Australia

Never mind about my death and hatred from people, I died the time I decided to join politic” –Elijah Malok Aleng

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan


I hate being a political orphan but you have just made me one. I was told I was one but I smile because I know that I am not. Now I am one because you finally made me one. My despairing journey have just begun, therefore must I speak like a political orphan.

I hate being a political orphan but you have just made me one. I was told I was one because I no longer hold any position but I smile because I know I was holding one. Now I am no longer holding that special position because you have chosen to leave me without, in a house full of bees. My despairing journey has just begun, therefore must I speak like one.

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Cdr. Oyai Deng Ajak, Cdr. Elijah Malok Aleng, and Cdr. Gier Chuang Aluong during the war of liberation–SPLM/A

I hate being a political orphan but you have just made me one. I was told I have no more politicians but I smile because I know I have one. I know politic is not about position but about the history and sacrifices you made when there was nothing to pay you for. You made those sacrifices before second generation of liberators leading our country today. You have a lot of history in you but you have left before we enjoy it. My despairing journey has just begun, therefore must I speak like a political orphan.

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Dear Uncle Elijah Malok Aleng Mayen,

With deep sorrows, our community has witnessed her second darkest day in history. With tears and pain, our nation is weeping. With confusion and heartbreak, my hands are wobbling. I am not understanding why you have to go so soon and I need reassurance from you wherever you are. I have no wish for you in heaven for I only have earthly wishes and that is I want you back right now, right here where my finger is pointing. It seems heaven is not understanding our “whys” since July 30, 2005 and this must be the reason it keep robbing us with the very last people our community want to lose.

There are so many questions to be answered and one of them is why always yous? Why always “us”? why always our community? I don’t care about whatsoever because with you I know our community is rich with historical seeds. Now you have gone, it is true that our political inspiration lineage is dying slowly. So slowly before you groom another “you” in us

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

We didn’t catch the glimpse of history in you, we were at the starting point. You went to heaven with it, leaving us like real political orphans. You have seen it all from the start to the end. You watch where it went wrong and where it went right. Nothing was important than having you around just to watch the show of what you sacrificed your entire life for.

We will never bring you back but we will forever remember you. We need your memories for our history. The history of our people, the history of our community and the history of our nation. With deep sorrows we will missed all of that. You are my legend, my hero, my inspirations and my everything I want to see in the future of our country.

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Thirty of October is a sad day for South Sudan, a sad day for Twic East County and a sad day for those who love, believe and trust in you and in the history of our great nation. You suffered a hero death, The earth was glad to have you, always wanted to forever have you, but you have gone just too soon. It is the day we both wish we didn’t live long to see but heart-brokenly we will vulnerably accept your death, although it is a tragic loss, a loss we will never replace.

We Love you, We missed you. Rest in peace legend.

Malok Aleng de Mayen on July 9 2011---South Sudan's independence day

Malok Aleng de Mayen on July 9 2011—South Sudan’s independence day

In loving memory of the Legendary leader, Elijah Malok Aleng Mayen

Died on 30th of October, 2014, Nairobi, Kenya

From South Sudan, Jonglei State, Twic East County,

Nyuak Payam, Awulian clan, Patem sub-clan.

May his loving soul rest in glory.

Elijah Malok Aleng Passed Away

Posted: October 30, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in People, Press Release

Uncle Elijah Malok Aleng Has Joined our Martyrs Today.

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, executive director of SRRA, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Dear all,

It is with great pain and sorrow that I have to inform you of the passing away of one of our DPF members, facilitator  of our events, and veteran of the wars of liberation, uncle Elijah Malok Aleng Deng. I am short of words, so forgive me if I cannot say anything more for now. May God rest his soul in eternal peace and comfort his love ones, friends and comrades of the war of liberation……..Press release by Dr. Lual Achuek Deng
Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan


Books by Elijah Malok Aleng

1. The Commercialization of the Sudan Cotton–1972 (246 pages)

2. The Southern Sudan: struggle for liberty–2009 (340 pages)


Elijah Malok Aleng (From Wikipedia)

Elijah Malok Aleng is a South Sudanese public servant, general, and politician, from Bor in Jonglei State. He was born on 28 November 1937 in Thianwong, a Pen village about five miles East of Baidit in Central Bor among the Angakuei clan. He attended Rialbek Bush School in 1949, where he passed at the end of the school academic year and he attended Malek Primary School (1950–1953), and then Juba Intermediate School and Juba Commercial Senior Secondary School, graduating He then atrtended Free University of the Congo, in the present Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and later got a scholarship to study in Fribourg Catholic University, Switzerland, from which he obtained a Masters degree in Economics in 1972 In 1975 he obtained another Masters in Development Studies and Economic Planning from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

He was elected a Member of Parliament (MP) representing Bor North territorial constituency in the regional parliament of Sudan in May 1982.

Early career

He enrolled in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/SPLA) on 28 December 1983 and became active in its ranks. He started as one of the senior political commissars in June 1984, and then he went to joined the Cadet Military College, graduating with the rank of a Major. He was posted in Southern Blue Nile front, where he was the second in command after the late A/Cdr Wilson Kur Chol. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) forces of Eagle Battalion, which they were commanding, were largely made up of Dinka elements from Northern Bahr el Ghazal specifically from Abiei, Gogrial and Aweil Counties. He remained in Southern Blue Nile front until mid-1987 when he was accredited to francophone West Africa as a special envoy of the movement. He was the SPLM Resident Representative in the Peoples’ Republic of the Congo, with non-residential representation in Zaire (now DRC), Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Rwanda, Burundi and Chad. He was primarily stationed in Brazzaville, Congo, but travelled from time to time in the various capitals.

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Positions and roles in Africa

He remained in Francophone Africa until the advent of multi-party democracy in 1991. In June 1991, he was appointed Executive Director of the SRRA where he remained until January 1993, when he was transferred and became the spokesman of the SPLM in East Africa, a duty he carried out for the whole of 1993. In January 1994, he was appointed Secretary of the national Convention Organising Committee (COC), which organized the First SPLM/A National Convention. The convention was successfully held in Chukudum, New Sudan, in April/May 1994. After this convention such SPLM structures as the General Military Council (GMC), National Liberation Council (NLC) and National Executive Council (NEC) were instituted. He was elected member of NLC representing Bor North territorial constituency and he also became a member and Secretary of the First NEC in the portfolio of Co-ordination and Public Service. In 1997, he was reshuffled away from public service and coordination to an advisory role in the Office of Chairman and C-in-C of the SPLM/SPLA. In that capacity, he became the advisor on economic, financial and political affairs. In February 1999, he was again appointed, for the second time, the Executive Director of the SRRA and ex-officio member of the NEC on humanitarian affairs in New Sudan. When peace negotiations began between various Sudan governments and the SPLM between 1985-2005, he was always the Secretary of the SPLM to the Peace Talks continuing until the CPA was signed in January 2005. In 2005 he was appointed Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sudan (CBOS) and President of the Bank of Southern Sudan (BOSS).

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Elijah Malok Aleng, war veteran of both Anyanya one and the SPLM/A, former MP of Twic East in the 1980s, and the first Governor of the Central Bank of South Sudan

Post-South Sudan independence

After the independence of South Sudan on 9 July 2011, he became the de facto Governor of the Bank of South Sudan (BSS) until he was dismissed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit and replaced by his deputy Kornelius Koryom Mayiik in August 2011. He introduced the first currency ] of the country which is the South Sudanese Pound. He co-signed the historic currency with the then Minister of Finance, Deng Athorbei. As a governor he tried his best to fight corruption and misssuse of public funds .

He is still within the ranks of Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) with the rank of a Lieutenant General. He has written a book Southern Sudan Struggle for Liberty published by the East Africa Publishers in 2009.

Cautious Optimism: A Realistic Approach to African Development

Yale Journal of International Affairs: You are here at Yale to deliver the Coca-Cola World Fund Lecture entitled “Afro-Optimism, Has the Pendulum Swung Too Far?” Could you describe for us what you mean by the pendulum swinging too far, and is it necessarily a negative thing to be optimistic about Africa?

Raila Odinga: This is an interesting subject. African experts are divided between those who call themselves Afro-pessimist and Afro-optimists. There was a time when there was a lot of pessimism about Africa—it was a “hopeless case”, a “basket case”. There was really no need to waste time on Africa; people were just going there to sympathize. On the other hand, the optimists are those who believe in the ability of Africa to develop—Africans can develop Africa. There has been a divide between these two views. Optimists now believe they are right, that this really is Africa’s time. The 21st century is going to be “Africa’s Century.” Even those who were pessimistic yesterday, are being convinced that here is something happening. So the question is, how far has Africa gone? Are we celebrating too early? That is the reason why we are asking, “has the pendulum swung to far?”

YJIA: In the 50s and 60s, many people were talking about “Africa emerging.” Today they are talking about “Africa rising”, but the language and rhetoric seems to be the same. So what is different this time, and are we simply going to be saying the same things in 30 or 40 years time?

RO: Looking at Africa’s history, first we have the independence years—when Africa divided from colonial rule. There were a lot of expectations from the moment the colonial flags went down and were replaced by the new independent flags of each country. There was an aura of celebration. It was short-lived however, and there followed a period of stagnation. A period of military coups and single-party dictatorships, these characterized politics in most of the 70s, 80s, and 90s—you could say up to the fall of the Berlin Wall. When the Berlin Wall fell, and the “winds of change” started to blow in Eastern Europe, this wind also began to blow on the African continent. So that is when the new changes came. First, the military regimes where removed or overthrown by popular uprising, and the same thing happened to the single party dictatorships. As we say, multiparty rule became in vogue during most of the 90s and into the year 2000. The change during this period was seen in term of development. Most economies—which had been more or less dependent on aid and had registered negative growth—began to register substantial growth. In the past decade, the African continent has become the fastest growing part of the world. You can see now that: out of the ten fastest growing economies in the world, seven are African. And a number of those countries are registering double digits in growth. Africa is the “last frontier” of human development. That is the difference. If you look at the independence period, there was a lot of optimism but this led to a period of stagnation and dictatorship. So we can say now that this the second liberation.

YJIA: Regarding development, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on what is now a very fashionable question—that of China’s involvement on the continent. Do you think that African governments are doing enough to ensure that this relationship is not one of exploitation? After the Chinese leave, will Africa be able to maintain the infrastructure that has been left?

RO: Whenever China is mentioned, I always say China is the elephant in the room. It evokes different feelings in different people’s minds. Sometimes fear, trepidation of course—over-excitement. I would say that China is in Africa not just to help Africa, but primarily for China’s own strategic interests. This is logical; every country acts for its own strategic, national interests. So China is coming as a friend, but I know that China, of course, is interested in Africa’s raw materials. Now the question has always been: what is Africa getting in return? Is Africa getting value for its goods and products to China? I say that every nation must strike a bargain in dealing with China, especially knowing that China is acting in its own interests. Therefore each and every project must be negotiated to present the most viable commercial terms for Africa. China cannot just come to fill a vacuum—a vacuum that was left there by the West, the traditional partners of Africa for many years. The West pulled away from some of the strategic areas like infrastructure development. China however is helping Africa to construct roads, railways, airports, and so on. In exchange, it is getting Africa’s raw materials which it needs for its own industries. It’s getting the iron ore, copper, bauxite, oil, gas, and so on and so forth. So I would say that first there has to be value addition, and second there has to be technological transfer. This is so that when the Chinese leave ultimately, they don’t just leave this rotting infrastructure on the ground. It must be a sustainable development, so that people are not only able to sustain what has been developed but they can continue that process of development.

YJIA: Let us turn the conversation to Kenya and politics in Kenya in general. You are the leader of the opposition at the moment. What do you see your role is as leader of the opposition in a country like Kenya?

RO: As you know, the opposition is a coalition, CORD—“Coalition for Reform and Democracy”—consisting of 3 political parties. We had a pre-election pact to vie for the presidency as a coalition, which we did not win. We then made a post-election pact to create a strong opposition, both in parliament and out of it. In parliament, we have members in both the National Assembly and in the Senate and we have minority leadership in both. We have also got the whip. We ensure that our team in parliament keeps the government on its toes by making contributions to bills and motions and by presenting some legislation ourselves. Outside [parliament], I lead the coalition, and here of course, I ensure that the parties themselves are strong and organized. We ensure that they keep in contact with the membership on the ground and that the policies are being implemented correctly. As you know, we now have a devolved system on the ground. We have 47 counties and 24 of these are governed by the coalition, so we must ensure that these county governments are actually working and implementing the policies of our coalition, and that people are getting the services that were promised to them in our manifesto.

YJIA: With regard to devolution, you are now pushing for a referendum [to change certain aspects of the constitution] in Kenya. How much of this push for the referendum ties in to your role as leader of the opposition?

RO: Our main role is to make sure that the coalition is relevant. Secondly, we need to ensure that the government is actually delivering to the people the promises they made during the electoral campaigns. In the process of this a number of weaknesses and challenges have arisen and become apparent with the devolved system of government. One is in terms of constitutional implementation with regard to devolution. In the constitution there was a provision that a system called provincial administration would be restructured to fit into the devolved system of government, because it was part of the unitary system of the past. However, this government has actually refused to restructure it. They have simply renamed it—so for example, at the county level, you have the governor, on the one hand, as well as the county commissioner…so now there is a duplication of each position at each level of administration—it is a recipe for confusion.

The other issue is that of the allocation of resources. The constitution says that a minimum of 15 percent of national revenue shall go to the devolved units. The government, however, is using accounts from five years ago to allocate resources. This means that our governors have actually discovered that they do not have sufficient funds to execute their mandate. For example health care has been widely devolved but there is no money to pay the doctors and nurses, so they are going on strike. A different issue applies for transport, agriculture, water, and rural electrification at the county level. They have devolved and can only just pay the salaries but they cannot do anything else, so they are paying salaries to people who are doing nothing. We need to be more specific and increase allocation of funds for the county government so that it is not left to the generosity of the executive. Education should also be partially devolved and school infrastructure becomes the problem of the county government, and the national government should only deal with paying salaries. So these are some of the changes we intend to introduce.

The other issue is the management of land as a resource. The national government is trying to interfere with this. We want the land commission to be fully empowered in order for them to administer authority over land in the country.

Finally we want the electoral commission to be restructured so that it cannot be manipulated by the national government. We want it reduced in size from nine to five people who are not employed full time. We want to have them appointed by the political parties, and once they are appointed, they themselves will elect the chairman. This will actually assure a fairer electoral commission.

YJIA: Staying with the idea of the referendum, your political party, the Orange Democratic Party, was based on a former referendum in 2005 [the “yes or no” campaign for the constitution]. What would you say to critics who claim that your current push for a referendum is simply a political move?

RO: As you know there has been a lot of water

Conflict Alert: Looming Military Offensives in South Sudan

Posted: October 29, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Reports

Warring parties in South Sudan’s civil war are preparing for major offensives as seasonal rains ease. Hardliners in both the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) are entrenching their positions, and think, as one opposition commander declared, “we will settle this with war”. Renewed conflict is likely to be accompanied by widespread displacement, atrocity crimes and famine. Despite some progress, nine months of peace talks in Addis Ababa have been unable to stop the fighting. With splintering interests, weak command and control and proliferating militias and self-defence forces, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the regional body mediating peace talks, must expand and strengthen its political links on the ground with senior commanders, armed groups and militarised communities not represented in Addis Ababa if a future agreement is to have meaning. The coming violence will present new challenges for UNMISS as it prioritises protection of the nearly 100,000 civilians sheltering in their bases.

The soon-to-end rainy season was accompanied by reduced fighting, which allowed both sides to import arms and marshal forces that were hastily mobilised at the outset of war in December. The government is emboldened, perceiving a diplomatic swing in its favour, following Kiir’s July visit to Washington and the August IGAD heads of state summit, giving it the space to launch a major offensive while stalling in Addis Ababa. It has spent tens of millions of dollars on arms – largely from oil revenues – (rather than humanitarian assistance for its people); strengthened its military cooperation agreement with Uganda; undertaken mass recruitment, including of children; and mobilised police units in efforts to regain some of the strength it lost with the defections of troops and loss of weapons to the SPLA-IO. However, major government victories are unlikely to end the rebellion. Furthermore, given the Ugandan army and Sudanese rebel deployments on its behalf, government advances will likely threaten Sudan’s national security interests, increase regional tensions and further inflame the conflict.

At the same time, state and opposition-supported, ethnically-based armed groups, such as the Nuer White Armies, have flourished and are only tenuously controlled by their sponsors. Including the Ugandan army and Sudanese rebels backing the government, there are now at least two dozen armed entities operating in South Sudan. The fragile coalitions threaten to further fracture, particularly in oil-producing Upper Nile State. Many of them, as well as some powerful generals from both the government’s Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA-IO, have expressed their intention to fight on, even if the political leaders sign an agreement.

Despite these obstacles, the IGAD mediation team has focused on trying to broker a deal between Kiir and Machar in Addis Ababa, ignoring other actors. As Crisis Group warned in July, this lack of broad-scale engagement has led many commanders and armed groups to reject the political process. Most of these parties have their own interests. IGAD should work with the African Union High-Level Panel on Sudan and South Sudan (AUHIP)(that is supporting the Sudanese dialogue process), led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, in order to secure the withdrawal of the Sudanese armed groups as called for in the January cessation of hostilities agreement and previous AU-mediated agreements.

Furthermore, despite many threats, IGAD has not taken punitive measures against the two main parties for violating cessation of hostility agreements, committing war crimes and otherwise undermining the peace-talks, and nor has it requested the African Union or UN Security Council to do so. Armed actors increasingly believe there is little muscle behind the mediation, which is challenged by divisions within the regional body. IGAD should continue the process with the two main parties, but given the deteriorating situation on the ground, it must expand its efforts and strengthen its links to other groups and militarised communities not represented in Addis Ababa, through increased political presence on the ground (not simply the Monitoring and Verification Teams observing the ill-implemented cessation of hostility agreements).

Its mediation should be supplemented by separate but linked negotiation tracks on issues not being comprehensively discussed in Ethiopia, particularly the Tanzanian-led SPLM party talks; a re-activated Political Parties Forum; engagement with armed groups; and processes to address violent communal conflict. Promising internal SPLM party talks have begun, sponsored by Tanzania’s ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM; in English Party of the Revolution), however they have not yet changed the calculus for war on the ground. The Political Parties Forum should be re-activated and the leader of the largest opposition party, the SPLM-Democratic Change, should be permitted to travel from South Sudan to re-join the talks. Much of the dialogue and work with community representatives, armed groups and militarised communities should take place in South Sudan, not in Addis Ababa.

China and the U.S. should play a more active, neutral, consistent and transparent role in ameliorating the regional divisions to help break the impasse. The two should take a harder line with their allies within the region who continue to enable the war and are party to cessations of hostilities violations. The limited U.S. and EU individual sanctions, aimed at punishing a few commanders on both sides that are seen to have broken the cessation of hostilities, have thus far had little impact on the combatants’ calculations and individual IGAD, AU or UNSC sanctions are similarly unlikely to turn the tide unless used as leverage to further political negotiations.

In light of the anticipated intensification of fighting, UNMISS’ mandate, due to be renewed on 30 November, should continue to focus on civilian protection. This is particularly true of protection of civilians already sheltering inside UNMISS and, where possible, it should extend protection beyond bases. Hosting nearly 100,000 civilians inside of its bases for an extended period is far from ideal, however the mission must continue to provide protection until conditions allow for their safe and voluntary exit from the bases. Civilians should not be moved into less protected UN humanitarian sites or other specially-designated sites where protection standards will not be the same as within a peacekeeping base. Supporting further ethnic divisions by moving people to their “ancestral” lands where famine and conflict are likely in the coming months is also not a viable option.

Many recommendations Crisis Group made in its December 2013, Open Letter to the UN Secretary-General, its April report, A Civil War by Any Other Name, and July conflict alert, Halting South Sudan’s Civil Warremain relevant to averting further escalation, improving the peace process and ensuring UNMISS has an appropriate mandate and posture. To stop further intensification of the war, IGAD should take the following steps:

  • increase its political presence on the ground in South Sudan, with a specific focus on engagement with commanders and armed groups;
  • start dialogue with all armed groups and militarised communities;
  • open four separate negotiation tracks, both in Addis and South Sudan, sequenced and pursued so as to contribute to the broader national political dialogue and focused on: 1) the SPLM (supported by Tanzania’s CCM party); 2) a re-activated Political Parties Forum; 3) armed groups; and 4) communal conflict; and
  • work with the African Union High-Level Panel on Sudan and South Sudan (AUHIP) to secure the withdrawal of the Sudanese armed groups as called for in the January cessation of hostilities agreement and as well as previous AU-mediated agreements between Sudan and South Sudan.

As the conflict threatens to intensify once again, the United Nations Security Council should take the following actions:

  • institute an arms embargo for South Sudan, which must then be carefully monitored to prevent further escalation; identify the government’s and opposition’s sources of weapons and how they are paying for them; and increase leverage over the parties;
  • establish a Contact Group that includes IGAD, the AU, UN, Troika (U.S., UK, Norway), EU, China and Tanzania to facilitate coordination and discussion on the way forward; and
  • maintain UNMISS’ core protection of civilians mandate, including allowing civilians to shelter within UNMISS bases until they are able to make a safe and voluntary exit.

Greater coordination between regional and international actors is urgently needed to ensure the high-level peace talks better reflect the growing number and power of increasingly autonomous armed groups in South Sudan as well as the regional dynamics behind the war. A clear strategy for engagement with armed groups and facility for linking local negotiations with a wider national process will help prevent the civil war deepening and spreading further in South Sudan and the region.

An Assessment of the so-called Governors’ Forum

Posted: October 29, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan

By Malith Alier, Juba

Opening ceremony: ministry of Communication

Opening ceremony: ministry of Communication

The Office of the President (OP) spends millions of money each year on a forum known as the Governors’ Forum. The Governors’ Forum is a gathering of the ten States Governors to discuss “relevant” matters that affect their respective states and in relation to the central government in Juba. The OP organises this forum since 2011.The fourth Governors’ Forum in a row kicked off yesterday at Freedom Hall in Juba.

The roads leading to Freedom Hall were littered with soldiers from the army and the police to protect VIPs attending the gathering. It is like previous gatherings were some main roads are temporarily closed for security reasons. This is usually done as a matter of precaution because South Sudan is not a haven for terrorists like al Qaeda or Boko Haram. The nearest to home terror group is al Shabab which mostly operates in Somalia and Kenya. That is just a side ditch for your consumption.

The Governors’ Forum was and continues to be a well intentioned forum for this country with a decentralised regime. The existence of National, State and County Governments meant that a forum such as this, acts to bring those levels of government together to discuss matters of governance in a single arena. This is also the case in other nations with such arrangements such as federal systems of governance. It is therefore, appropriate for South Sudan to have such forum.

The OP was right to initiate such a forum. However, there are concerns with the phrase “Governors Forum” and also with what is under discussion since 2011.

The phrase “Governors Forum” does not bring out clearly the meaning and the arrangement in which various levels of government participate. It’s not only the Governors of the ten states who participate in that forum but also the OP and other national ministers and even some county Commissioners and parliamentarians from states and National Legislative Assembly. There participate also the other areas Administrators like the Pibor and Abyei. This is where the problem lies and therefore, makes the discussion a talkfest.

Some of the governors expressed lack of follow up on the past forums. Governor of Warrap in particular expressed to the media non compliance to the previous resolutions. This is true. The citizens witnessed the past forum but nothing tangible was so far achieved in the history of such forum. If my memory failed me, anyone can correct it.

There exists a presidential advisor on decentralisation and intergovernmental linkages. This is where the so-called “Governors’ Forum” should have been modelled on. Simply put, the forum should be renamed “Inter-Governmental Forum/Board” because it involves all levels of the decentralised government. The gathering should be upgraded from its parochial to broader perspective that includes every. The ten Governors feel that the forum is solely theirs and tend to think in narrow way.

The other thing is, what has the forum achieved in its four year history? Evidence suggests that nothing this country should be proud of for putting money on the forum. The Governors, because of their narrow approach tend to push for their state interests to leaving the rest of the country behind. They mostly dwelled on further budgetary allocations even in 2014 where war is raging in many parts of the country.

Over the past two days, no governor or other participants talked about federalism, power sharing or the predicted famine. These are the pressing issues under the spotlight. Don’t tell me that the theme for this year’s forum is “National Reconciliation to Restore Peace, Unity and Reconstruction.” Reconciliation and reconstruction are far way like cupids in the sky.

The Governors’ Forum will continue to be a talkfest if not renamed Inter-Governmental Forum or Board. The Forum is broader than just governors of the ten states. It includes other emerging administrations and even the central government. So, the OP should be open-minded.