Author Archive

The Problem with Nuer Extremists

Posted: October 23, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary

Amb. Gen. Gordon Buay Malek

The Madness in South  Sudan

The Madness in South Sudan

The problem with Nuer extremists supporting war in South Sudan is their inability to accept realities. In this conflict, I have realized that the extremist Nuer believe in fiction more than reality.

The first reality the Nuer rebels need to accept is the fact that the positions of Salva Kiir as the President of South Sudan and Chairman of the SPLM are non-negotiable.

What the IGAD and AU are saying is the accommodation of Riek Machar either as the Prime Minister or First Vice-President. The debate now is not about Presidency but the accommodation of Riek Machar.

Therefore, any reasonable Nuer extremist who has no intellectual disability has two options. The first option is to break away from Riek Machar to tell the world his position so that he is included in the negotiations. The second option is to remove Riek Machar from the leadership of the rebels.

I want the Nuer extremists to know that Riek Machar presented two names for the position of Prime Ministerial post should he decline. The first candidate is his wife and the second one is Taban Deng.

If the Nuer rebels do not like the IGAD power-sharing arrangements, they should eliminate Riek Machar because he accepted the executive position proposed as part of the package. You cannot say that you are against the power-sharing arrangements while Riek Machar accepted it. The IGAD only knows the leader of the rebels who is Riek Machar in reality.

If the Nuer rebels don’t want the deal already arranged, they need to jettison Riek Machar to engage the international community before they are branded as international terrorists.

When I look at it, the cows are more reasonable than Nuer extremists who don’t want to accept reality. The Nuer extremists think that they can reject the position of the international community with impunity. That is not true because anybody who will reject the fact that Salva Kiir is the President of South Sudan will be branded as a terrorist.

It is very unfortunate that cows in Nuer land are more intelligent that the Nuer tribalists in accepting realities.

The Jonglei Conflict is slowly on the Revival

Posted: October 23, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Featured Articles, Malith Alier

By Malith Alier, Juba

David Yau-Yau, the Murle militia leader who led a military rebellion against the gov't of South Sudan leading to the creation of the Greater Pibor Administrative of which he (Yau-Yau) has been appointed the administrator by President Kiir.

David Yau-Yau, the Murle militia leader who led a military rebellion against the gov’t of South Sudan leading to the creation of the Greater Pibor Administrative of which he (Yau-Yau) has been appointed the administrator by President Kiir.

Jonglei State shall never be stable as long as the cattle keepers do not change their old habits. The Murle, Dinka Bor, Nuer and Mandari communities are the worst enemies of each other. Each time there is a lull in the conflict, it is short lived as is the case yesterday.

Yesterday morning 21st October 20014, saw the slaying of a victim known as Aguto Makol (R.I.P) at Gere located between Paanwel and Bangachorot. The news of the killing reached Juba in a matter of minutes because of the telephone message that travels faster than sound. The shooting information was received by relatives, family, friends and all people of Bor County with great sadness. The implication about this killing in cold blood concerns everybody in Bor County and other travellers on the Juba-Bor Highway.

In mid December to January 2013, Juba-Bor Highway was a no go territory except for the military and other security operatives because of the activities of the white army. However, when Bor was liberated, the said highway continues to pose challenges to travellers on end. Remember that after the white and SPLA conflict this Highway was awash with arms and munitions which put lives in danger. Some cluster bombs were reported by Non Governmental organisations along that road.

Many commentators and observers on Jonglei State peace and conflict reported that the signing and subsequent creation of Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) was a major determinant of peace in the embattled State.

My measured view however is that, this is just a lull that should deceive nobody. The old habits will spring back in the face of everybody as long as there is lawlessness on the side of both governments of the two States. The vastly roaming cattle is the property of everybody to grab. Child abduction by any means continues to be more lucrative like never before. Anyone out there should tell us why peace should reign one more time.

Road motor accidents are augmented by such killings as that of the late Aguto. Two pastors of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan of Bor Diocese were killed in the same way between March and April this year by unknown gunmen. The accusing fingers point at Murle, Mandari or other criminals that waylay travellers on the Highway.

Unsurprisingly, the killings are usually near Bor County particularly the Paanwel-Bangachorot-Sudan Safari stretch. Child abduction in the same stretch happened on many occasions prompting the former Bor County Commissioner to request the army to create a permanent post in the area. All this arrangement was affected by the present conflict with Riek Machar.

A colleague of mind whose abduction rendition happened on the vehicle he was travelling in 2012 narrated that they abductors came from Pibor County now self-autonomous under Yauyau.

All the atrocities and abductions are set to resume. Eight months is a long time for professional killers and child abductors. The Highwaymen are back in full swing!

Ayual Community Welfare Association-Bor Town
                                                                                                                                   Date: 2nd Sep, 2014
To Whom It May Concern

Ref: Wrongful dissemination of peace and the withdrawal of Court Case

Dear Sir;

Peace is everybody’s duty, we would have embraced the above cited peace initiative had it come through robust procedures. The conflict between Ayual & Dachuek continued for almost 11 years and the number of deceased during this period has reached an imaginable point which we don’t want it to proceed anymore, for the procedure through which this so called peace between Ayual and Dachuek came has never been a right channel. It is too exclusive to the extent that Ayual members who are residing in Bor Town have been bypassed by the said committee, we have never been incorporated into peace process something which has baffled us outright.
Peace and Reconciliation Initiative:

We the Ayual Community residents in Bor Town hereby expressing our sincere concerns on the aforementioned subject that the currently underway peace initiative being initiated by the Twic East Authority & Church leaders  is unilateral & unsuccessful, for it has never  addressed the root causes of the trouble. What so called priests and Twic East Authority have swiftly jumped into peace leaving an acute problems untouched, on top of them the pending court case which is up to now on the table of Chief Justice has not yet been tried. The issue of deceased between two warring parties is yet to be tried,

Furthermore; the cause of the conflict blew up in the Churches and then spread throughout to be the problem of the community and now are pretending to be well-wishers to bring the stability and tranquility which they caused. We are unanimously rejecting this useless and unilateral peace. We are the brothers, sisters, Mothers and Fathers of the deceased hereby sending our full dislike to this peace.

Another puzzling issue is that the first trial was tried by the Kongoor Head Chief Duot Ajang Duot and the verdict then was not favorable to either side and consequently the warring communities fought, leaving three persons dead as a result of his verdict. To our dismay as a community the above mentioned chief is now the one spearheading the process of withdrawing the court case back to Twic County’s Court while he was the main cause of the first death. We were expecting the paramount Chief of Twic East in Collaboration with Twic East Authority to be the one having a right to disseminate & initiate the process instead of the first failed chief; he” Paramount Chief” has now refused to comply with the so called committee comprising of Twic East Authority, Priests and Chiefs, for the hidden agenda which is behind the scene will hamper the efforts and may result into another unfortunate.

Following Duot Ajang’s verdict another committee comprising of Greater Bor Chiefs was formed headed by Duk County’s Paramount Chief Cueei Leek Deng, his decision was seen to be the optimal solution to the problem according to many people. Now his verdict has been nullified and criticized by the initiators of this invaluable peace and reconciliation while Duot Ajang is not a Paramount Chief to criticize whatever Greater Bor decided.

Well-wishers and those who are so much concerned of our problem, we the Ayual Community in Bor Town would like to assure you that our beloved brothers or foes that we lost as a result of this conflict are so valuable to us. Therefore, we are very keen enough not to forfeit other lives and this is a reason why we condemned this wrongful procedure being followed by this partial committee. The currently peace initiative will not achieve any success other than to claim other lives, it has been tried twice in Twic East in their presence and eventually lives were lost. Therefore; we are unanimously dismissing the so called peace which is being initiated by these interest groups, for they have no notion of solving it.

Withdrawal of the Court Case on the Table of his Majesty Chief of Justice:

The Committee went beyond its capacity to the extent that they proposed the above mentioned without making some deliberations and consultations with plaintiff such that the case is withdrew with their consent. Hence; Ayual Community in its General Assembly’s meeting in Bor Town has hysterically denounced a move by disgruntled Authorities of Twic East and its Cohorts to withdraw the court case which is currently on the table of Chief Justice.

The meeting of the community described the proposal as “RED LINE & UNEXPLODED BOMB” should it happen, For; this case was referred to High Court because of its complexity, three cases were referred to High Court in Juba during by then namely: KOCH & DEER of Makuach Payam, LITH & KUAI of Baidit Payam and AYUAL/DACHUEK of Nyuak Payam the above mentioned two cases were exhausted through Special Court that was formed by the high Court leaving our case pending. We expect fairness in special court; for we have been anticipating unfairness in the withdrawal of our case back to Twic East should you allow these Chiefs and Twic East Authority to deceive you in their own peace, neglecting the concerned warring parties. Court Case is a personal affair it is our own affair as a community to decide who will try our Case and cannot be imposed on us, therefore we need not to be dragged into what we have never planned for,

It is so imperative that the initiators of the said peace are group of opportunists and bad-wishers of our conflict since its inception. We urge all concerned members of Twic East wherever they are, Jonglei Government and the Judiciary not to comply with them, for we have never been convinced beyond reasonable doubt such that we join what they are disseminating.

On the 31st Sep 2014 General Assembly’s meeting held in Bor Town concerning the ongoing peace initiative, the community recommended the following for the success of the reconciliation:

•    Peace initiative must address the root causes of the conflict
•    Court Case must be exhausted first before any peace process made
•    Withdrawal of the Court Case must not be used as a pretext to achieve peace and reconciliation
•    Our Case must be tried at the level of high court for its complexity
•    Wanglei Land must remain as Ayual property in accordance with Greater Bor Committee’s decision.
•    The current committee must go back and start the process afresh should they meant peace in reality

We are not against any peace process, but against wrong procedures being initiated by the committee.

And thanks

Jok Chol Deng.
Ayual Community Chairperson in Bor Town

Understanding Thanyang Jam statements and the so-called Jonglei State Students in Uganda press release


We are disposed in the world were the self-proclaimed-bright ones in their own wisdom tries to drag those ones whom they presumed to be fools in to the abyss of darkness forever.

I sometimes watch this and go back and ask God that in your own infinite wisdom, when do you think this will end? In the ten commandments you gave to Moses you said that,” I am the lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery”. You continued after having mentioned other commandments and said, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor”.

But now we, the human beings especially in South Sudan are playing cat and mouse games in order to gain subsidy from our masters and you do not seem to care. We are killing ourselves and those ones who can bring it to an end are either quiet, bribed or killed for their righteousness and rejects to alliance with the club of blood suckers and you do not seem to care. So, in your infinite wisdom, when are you showing yourself to our tormentors? When are you planning to rescue the righteous South Sudanese civil populace?

Let me start with Thanyang Jam’s statement as the PART. 1 of this article

Until the truth comes out, we shall not stop talking.

In the infamous and unethical article published by Sudan tribune on Thursday 9 October 2014 with the head line,’ South Sudan Students’ Union in Kampala switches allegiance to rebel’.

In its intro, the article continued that,’ The Greater Upper Nile Students in Uganda has declared its support for South Sudan’s rebels faction led by former vice-president Riek Machar’.

Looking at the headline and the intro that follows, you definitely know that there is no clarity in this article because how can “South Sudan Students in Kampala [headline] abruptly become Greater Upper Nile Student in Uganda [intro]?”

Obviously something is misleading here!

In Kampala, there are so many Students Unions and Associations ranging from clans’, tribal and regional Associations but are all under the umbrella of South Sudanese Students Union formed in 2007 by late molana Akuach (Makerere University) and Panom Koryom (Nkumba University).

So, there is no relationship at all as Sudan tribune claims, it is unethical to release the news without verifying it-no wonder, the government accused it [Sudan Tribune]times back and warned Juba monitor not to publish news from Sudan tribune because of the same issue.

Coming to Thanyang Jam Dhuor, he is a student of masters of Makerere University who has been there for almost 4 years now (instead of 18months); he is a sick-man in the leadership of Greater Upper Nile since its establishment in 2011 in Kampala. He contested with capable Molana Deng Gai Galuak of Cavendish University of which he (Jam) won and sworn into power in June 2013 instead of April but his weaknesses delayed the process. Constitutionally, his term ended in April this year but his weaknesses forced him not to call a meeting and dissolve the leadership, he stays in BweyaleRefugee camp most of his holy days’ times and so has not been around Kampala with students. I can remember when he was sworn in to power, he was getting it hard to read his own speech fromthe script, you get to question yourself whether the former Juba University graduates (Thanyang) was the one who wrote his speech or somebody did.

Since, when he was sworn in to leadership, Thanyang has never called a single meeting as a leader. To make matters worse, he was more muddled by the crises of 15th Dec 2013. I believe he is one of the majorities who believed that South Sudan war is a tribal war not political and so could not stand the most diversified Region of Upper Nile submerged by intellectuals and radical groups undermining his own level of intellectuality. He is the type that feelsblissful and safe when addressing his ancestral acolytes

Thanyang is one of the folks who believe in divisionism based on regionalism, he is among the people who have learned nothing and forgot nothing about how such branding has brought/still bringing devastation in South Sudan, I knew him and still knows him as such, citing the comment he made on Sudan tribune that, “the government is not serious about [the] death of our people in [the] Upper Nile region since the leadership came from Bahr el Ghazal”.

“We have been in support of the government for the last nine months of conflict, but we were surprised by the government for their continued ethnic targeting and poor response to bring peace in the country,” he added

Looking at the statement above, you will eventually know that the guy is either coming from Equatoria region or Upper Nile, and since there is no Nuer in Equatoria, then inevitably the fella is from Upper Nile (simple analysis)

Another thing any can know is that, the guy is quietly hiding behind the ethnic wall and is trying to look for sympathy from the Nuer and Dr. Riek is the other pops (interviewees) in the article, are of course his tribal devotees also shouting the same as Mr. Jam Dhuor, “WE HAVE SHIFTED ALLEGANCE TO THE REBELS and blah blah blah…..” where! If he was right that he is not a member of a tribal backyard, why didn’t he have members from other tribes of upper Nile to back him up since he claims that he is the leader of Upper Nile Students in Uganda?[Because as I earlier said that he is one of those who  have misconstrued the rebellion as a tribal resistant against the government instead of political struggle among the elephants within the party, Thanyang is on a move]

Believe me, Thanyang is not a type that will make his names through in the leadership of the rebels wherever they are! And whatsoever comments he made to quench the hearts of the rebel bosses will still yield zero, I know there are some famous Nuer students who are already rebels clearly knows him than I know him. I am not judging him (Thanyang) but I am just telling out how he exactly is. I am only trying to tell him (in another way) not to put others in his opinion as a leader without getting and considering the views of those ones he lead [this is what we call dictatorship and that forces rebellion in people if he does not know]

No one is clean enough among the leaders either in opposition or in Juba’s leadership to bring South Sudan out of this mess;what can suit my heart is accountability and bringing the culprits to face justice and baring both parties from being partisan in any South Sudan leadership. They are all living embodiments of what they preach! So, there is no different whether to be with the government or rebel. Members in the government are rebels in another image and so are rebels. It is all based on how best you throw your political coin.

In conclusion: Greater Upper Nile Students Union existed but not existing anymore now! It was killed by Thanyang Jam, a coward who assumed that since the government is having a war with rebels in South Sudan, [and Kiir Mayardit-the president is a Dinka whereas the rebel leader-Riek is a Nuer]then, the war is between Nuer and Dinka, we can’t come together to discuss our affairs as an association and straight away switching side to becoming a tribal member contrary to why he was elected (he can’t stand Nuer and Dinka coming together to discuss their future in the Union. Therefore, he killed the Union immediately)

His term ended in April this year and is only operating in dreams and imaginations. Lengthening of one’s term unconstitutionally or breaking of some constitutional articles kills an institution, if you never know, then go back and trace the root course of current South Sudan crises.

“I think, tribalism is a mental prison…and pride of identity couple with arrogance is one of the leading factors that limit one’s ability to abandon it”, Duop Chak Wuol.

The next article [part. 2 of this] will focus on the press release of those ones who claimed to be the “Jonglei State students in Kampala”.

The writer is an independent journalist and a Commentator on Contemporary South Sudan; And can be reached on 0955091449 and

By Morris Mabior Awikjokdit

South Sudan as an internationally recognized state is a liberal democratic society and it should work hard to adopt her national education policy. Dr. Riek Gai Yosh, Minister of Education science and technology is at the right track as wrote by one of the prominent columnist in Juba Telegraph daily English newspaper but I am of the view that more efforts is required for the Minister to pay honorable tour to states so that he can witness himself how education is operating at the grass- root levels. Dr. John Gai is a man who will shape education of South Sudan to the required degree due his bi- literal relations with the foreign countries. With his appointment, there are some gradual changes taking place day and night and more doors have been opened up for scholarship outside the country. That is a very good move Mr. Minister. Hence, it is the values of liberal democracy that must guide the formulation of educational policies and their implementation. The core values of philosophical rational and moral autonomy. Equality, fairness and liberty underpin the concept of a liberal democracy. In this system, the people of the Republic of South Sudan are expected to participate fully and rationally in the affairs of their country.

A basic principle is that their consent is the only legitimate justification for their being governed. In a liberal society, therefore, the state is obliged to protect and promote fundamental human and civil rights, to propound educational policies and aims which focus on nurturing the holistic development of individuals, and to promote the social and economic welfare of society through the provision and renewal of skills, knowledge and competencies necessary for the development of society and the economy of South Sudan.

The philosophical for educational provision is to be informed by these principles which can form the basis for a shared commitment among all partners towards educational development in the country. Clear articulation of the principles for the development of education contribute to establishing the direction such education ought to take. Further, it provides justification and support for resources allocations to educational development in states, counties up to the payam levels. Within this framework, the philosophical rationale for future development of education of South Sudan should be based on three broad- base considerations:-

  1. The role of government in education of South Sudan.
  2. Principles for the development of education policy and practice; and
  3. The aims of the national education system of South Sudan

The role of the government of South Sudan in education

Education is defined in the Transitional constitution of South Sudan 2011 as a right for each individual to learn whether you are young or big. Both ages have equal rights to go to school and learn. It is a mean for enhancing the well- being and quality of life for the entire nation and society. The government’s role in education arises from its overall concern to protect the rights of individuals, promote social well- being and achieve a good quality of life for every person through all embracing economic development. The government must therefore seek to create, promote and support the conditions within which education can realize its potential in society.

The government respects the legitimate interests of various partners in education and supports the distinctive characters of individual schools, colleges and universities. They, in turn, have a corresponding obligation to respect and support the principles and rights upon which a democratic society is based. Because of the centrality of knowledge, skills and technology in shaping the organization and productivity of the economy, education is a productive investment. Since knowledge, skills and technology develop and change so quickly, this investment must be continually renewed.

Individuals must learn continuously throughout their lives acquiring new skills and technologies. The establishment of a liberal economy, in which internal and external competition are central values accentuate dependence on the knowledge and skills of the people and their ongoing access to education. Investment in education, therefore, is of crucial concern in the strongly competitive climate of the modern world. Hence, the government of South Sudan should strongly reaffirms the important role education plays in human resources development as the basis of all other development, it will act therefore, as the watchdog for enhancing the contribution of education and training to economic development and improved social cohesion. There are three major principles that inform the government’s important role in education:-

  1. The government is the custodian of the human rights of all individuals, including their right to education. It’s concern, therefore, will be with how well national education policy and practice promote equality, equity, efficiency, partnership, pluralism, transparency and accountability;
  2. The demands of national development require that the government pay attention to the role education plays in human capital formation, particularly in developing the types of knowledge, skills, values and competencies that are necessary for economic development and social welfare;
  3. Democratization of education, with its demands for partnership in educational provision, requires that the government of South Sudan should create an enabling environment and establishes rules and regulations, that will protect the right of various educational agencies to full and fair participation in educational development.

Conclusion, I would like to apologize to the Editor in Chief and managing Editor of Juba Telegraph daily English newspaper for the promised I gave that I will make a fantastic contribution throughout the week but I have been kept off by Greater Tonj community conference arrangements. The paper should design for me column page for my daily contribution on national education policy of South Sudan.

The author is a freelance opinion writer and a professional experience teacher based in Warrap state- Kuajok. He can be reached by email: or contact: 0954243501 


(undated but after July 4, 1998)

The Co-ordinating Council of the Southern States Office of the President


Brother Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmed El Bashir, President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces

May peace, compassion and blessing of Allah be upon you.

SUBJECT: Threats to the Khartoum Peace Agreement

My Dear President,

As you are aware, the state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal witnessed in the past few days extremely dangerous and bloody events perpetrated by some armed elements of the government.

1. These armed elements of the central government executed 13 officers, NCOs and men of the South Sudan Defense Force (SSDF) who were giving protection to governor Kwac Makuei Mayar who was recently elected by the State Assembly by a democratic majority in implementation of the Khartoum Agreement. The strange thing about this sad incident is the fact that the 13 innocent persons who were killed in cold blood were among the heroes and strong believers in the Peace Agreement who fought courageously in Aweil against Garang=s forces that launched a savage attack on the town. They were able to repulse the attack and liberated the town and recaptured the tank which the SPLA had captured from the government army.

2. In the handling of that incident, we noticed sadly, the undermining of the role of the Co-ordinating Council. I should have been kept in the picture as soon as it happened in my capacity as the executive and political authority in the South. But what happened is that I only heard about the incident very late after the formation of an investigation committee. However, despite the bitterness and sadness I felt about the incident, my meeting with you about the incident and your stern instructions for the immediate solution of the problem and to restore the situation to normality, helped again to rekindle good feelings in me and contributed to the elimination of the uncertainty and doubts which surrounded the incident. The atmosphere was clear again.

But the other unfortunate thing again is the fact that the investigation committee failed to travel to Aweil for unknown reasons. My own firm conclusion is that the government is condoning and supporting those who committed the crime and not showing any seriousness in finding the solutions which are expected by everybody. The governor of Northern Bahr el Ghazal has concrete evidence showing that he was the one who was deliberately targeted for assassination. The strange thing about the present serious security situation is that the investigation seems to have been called off or suspended without my knowledge. I do not therefore know what the next step is supposed to be.

3. Apart from the events of Aweil, the situation in Unity state constitutes another area of concern. Since September 17, 1997, Unity State has been the theater of a criminal war. Paulino Matiep is waging an aggressive and destructive war against the South Sudan Defense Force (SSDF) and innocent civilians resulting in the destruction of homes, property, and services infrastructures. In his last attack, Paulino Matiep burnt and destroyed the hospitals at Nhial Dieu, Kok and Duar as well as Ler main hospital. The first three hospitals are specialized hospitals for the treatment of kala azar. The destruction is estimated at 350 million dollars. Paulino Matiep also stole cattle, burnt and destroyed villages and school buildings at Rub Nyagai, Nhial Dieu, Chotbiel, Kok, Buau, Ngorny, Tut Nyang, and the headquarters of the province, Ler. The value of property destroyed is estimated at 50 billion Sudanese pounds. It is to be noted that those areas affected are areas that have never witnessed any kind of destruction during the whole period of the civil war.

One of the most disappointing aspects of this situation is that the victims of this senseless destruction are the very people who have been singing and praising the new era of peace ushered in by the Khartoum Agreement. Now their reward is the destruction of their lives and property. At this juncture, may Your Excellency allow me to remember with appreciation and admiration the loyal son of the Sudan, the Martyr Al Zubeir Mohamed Saleh who exerted strenuous efforts to stop bloodshed in Unity state through reconciliation and compromise which bloodshed was instigated by Paulino Matiep against his own peaceful people and against the security, stability and development of the area.

4. From the surface the problem appeared to be the failure of Mr. Paul Lilly to secure election to the post of governor of Unity state. Paul Lilly was the favored candidate of Paulino Matiep. But the successful candidate was Mr. Taban Deng Gai. The election of Taban Deng Gai was received with open hostility by Paulino Matiep who declared that he would not co-operate with him [Taban Deng Gai].

Since then, I have considered Paulino Matiep one of my officers in the SSDF subject to my orders. All my contacts with the Sudan army were limited to asking the army not to supply Paulino with ammunition and other military hardware in his fight against SSDF. To my great surprise I was informed recently by the Minister of Defense that in fact Paulino Matiep is a general in the Sudan army and enjoys all the rights and privileges of a general. If this is the case, the question to be asked is, in whose interest does the Sudan army fight against the SSDF which is its ally? It would have been understandable for Paulino to defect from the SSDF to join Garang=s movement. But we cannot understand why Paulino defects from the SSDF to join the Sudan army and then turns into an enemy of the SSDF and fights it with the military resources of the Sudanese state to which we all belong, instead of supporting and co-operating with it in facing the dangers and challenges to peace and stability in the area.

5. We stood very firmly with Mr. Arop Achier the present governor of Warab state although he was elected with only a majority of two votes (against the candidate who was put up by Major General Kerubino Kuanyin to oppose Mr. Arop Achier=s election) because ministers in the state who were not members of the state assembly were allowed to participate in the voting. So, if the current crisis is caused by competition over the position of governor, why cannot we all support the governors who have been elected by the majority vote in the legislative assemblies of Aweil and Bentiu? Why do we use double standards in these two cases to the extent that some of us have taken a stand that is contrary to all documents and agreements to which we in the various southern factions have committed ourselves, thereby causing the actions and omissions disunity rather than unity?

6. Among the things we hear but which we are not able to believe is an assertion that the Sudan army is totally opposed to the provision of the Khartoum Peace Agreement which allows for the formation of a military force in the South, the SSDF. The Army=s rejection of the SSDF is very evident from some of the issues we have raised above. This is also clear from the repeated refusal by the Army to supply the SSDF with ammunition, weapons, uniforms, and other military materials to the degree that the SSDF has become unable to maintain security and stability or protect the Peace Agreement.

We do understand at this early age of the Peace Agreement that there are doubts and reservations about the SSDF. But the question is, what interest will these doubts and reservations serve given that we have decided to make peace our destiny and a major historical achievement which we must protect? We have through our voluntary and free will promised and committed ourselves to implement the provisions of the Peace Agreement in the hope that there will be reciprocal commitment so that we can build bridges of confidence and unity, and provide chances for better understanding, co-ordination and co-operation between the SSDF and the Sudan army.

7. My dear President,

The historic Khartoum Agreement is now being put to a serious test and is facing a real danger because of some wrong calculations by some military leaders and shameful divisive tactics of those who are opposed to peace and stability in the country.

But at this very critical moment in which the survival of the Peace Agreement is being called into question, the genuineness of the National Salvation Revolution and its commitment to live up to its promises remains to be the only remedy and hope for us and the people. We consider the Peace Agreement as one of the major achievements of the National Salvation Revolution of which it should be proud and preserved.

The major events which our country witnessed, beginning with the signing of the Khartoum Agreement and the translation of its provisions into reality on the ground, have no doubt improved the image of the Sudan in the international community and among the people of Sudan in both North and South. History will record with great appreciation and praise such great historical events witnessed by our country like the Revolutionary Congresses, the election of the governors of the Southern States by the State Assemblies, the formation of the Co-ordinating Council and governments of the Southern States and the promulgation of the Permanent Constitution which enshrines the Khartoum Peace Agreement as one of its fundamental principles.

8. One of the functions of the Co-ordinating Council under the Peace Agreement is the responsibility for security in the South. It is our view particularly after the events of Bentiu and Aweil that if the responsibility for security is not fully handed to the Co-ordinating Council and the governors in their states, the Peace Agreement as a whole will be threatened and will be rendered empty of its content and therefore meaningless.

9. One other threat to peace which is by no means less dangerous than the ones mentioned above is the total lack of financial resources for the Peace Agreement=s implementation. Since its establishment the Co-ordinating Council has been experiencing serious shortage of finance. It is a fact that the Council in the last four months received something less than 2% of its budgetary allocations. This has had very negative effects on the performance of the governments of the Southern states and the Co-ordinating Council at its headquarters in Juba.

My dear President,

You are the captain of our brilliant ship. We have great trust in your abilities and great leadership. We believe that with your wisdom and clear vision our country will overcome all these difficulties and tribulations with the help of Allah.

Accept your excellency my great thanks and appreciation.

Dr. Riek Machar,

Assistant to the President of the Republic

President of the Co-ordinating Council for Southern States


1. Memo from governor of Unity state on the security situation in his state. It was discussed in an emergency meeting of the Co-ordinating Council on July 4, 1998. The Council resolved the following:

a) Declare the provinces of Rup Kotru and Ler as disaster areas.

B) Formation of a committee to assess the damage caused by the fighting.

2. Fighting still continues in Unity state.

By Malith Alier, Juba

President Kiir and Museveni in Kampala, October 2014

President Kiir and Museveni at the state house, Entebbe, October 2014

In South Sudan, one can encounter tens or even a hundreds of handshakes in a good day like Sunday or SPLA Day celebrations.

Greeting through handshake is an induced affair among family, friends and colleagues as a gesture of social “meeting of the minds.” It goes beyond acceptance and understanding across humanity.

Greeting as a social tool for communication can be done in various ways. It can be through hand wave, signal, verbal or handshake.

It happened that handshake is preferable to all these other mode of passing good wishes. Handshake and bodily contact are very common among close friends and family members who have stayed apart without seeing each other for quite some time. It is not uncommon to see a couple patting their backs with their chests in complete contact. Seen at this portrait, the ones in such contact are in complete meeting of minds as in business agreement. Some people kiss one another as is the case with Ethiopians. Other people or societies have the habit to tapping their fingers in unison to show rhythm.

This writer went to a courtship one day in Juba and was mesmerised by ladies from Ngok Lual Yak who insisted that we should tap our thumbs in the way they do it in that community. This style of greeting made us refresh our traditional handshake to something worth remembering for life.

The handshake we have come to cherish so much has its dangers as exhibited by the recent outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa. Specifically, the countries of Liberia, sera Leone, guinea among others have known that the virus is spread through body fluid like sweat, saliva and other fluids.

The Ebola outbreak reverberates throughout the world and many people originating from West Africa, the epicentre of the virus carry it to far away nations like Belgium, USA and France. This has prompted many countries, South Sudan included, to take precautionary measures against the deadly super virus.

Last Tuesday, the government of South Sudan through a Council of Ministers resolution, banned handshake as a precaution against Ebola virus. Whether the ban will be observed by anyone is another matter altogether considering the fact that the masses have come to live with handshake for very long. For South Sudanese society, refusal to shake hands is considered mean.

This year, the country experienced the outbreak of cholera for the first time since CPA. Cholera is another contagious disease just like Ebola. It can be spread through contact with a patient and kills within a short period if not treated.

Shaking hands further comes with other nuisances like waste of time as well as being an obstacle to other people in public places. On many occasions, individuals who bump into each other would stand just where they met to shake hand and exchange a few words about everything though trivial.

The West African nations are well aware of those dangers associated with shaking hands. Particular individuals who have no custom of using hankies or serviettes blow and rub their noses and swipe the fluid on their clothes. This category of people is the one quick to offer “free” handshake with anyone without warning.

Stories abound about some people who have fore knowledge of the dangers of handshake and decided to use gloves or handkerchiefs to protect themselves from the people above. These self conscious people are often ridiculed for being aware of the unintended consequences of shaking dirty hands. To them, their motto is caveat emptor or simply let the buyer beware.

However, this approach is absentmindedly used against them by complacent traditional supporters of handshake.

Perhaps it is now time to consider further measures beyond handshake. Some people have already decided not to share beds with partners until their country is totally declared free of Ebola.

Final precaution; don’t drink too much, you might forget yourself and unknowingly come in to contact with Ebola carrier travellers in the pubs!