Author Archive

Duty of Care

Posted: July 20, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Featured Articles, Malith Alier

By Malith Alier, Juba

3rd anniversary of RSS independence, Juba

3rd anniversary of RSS independence, Juba

I was going to the chemist’s shop this morning to purchase anti-malarial tablets for a sick relative. On the way, I found three individuals working on the road side trying to close a water pathway from a shower in their homestead. As I pass, one of the men at work lifts a heavy stone and hurls it on the water and therefore, splashed it on my body. I ask as to why he saw me passing and didn’t wait for me to go past before throwing that stone. As soon as I finished, a disabled big bellied man, apparently a landlord uttered something which shocked me. “de shokol” “this is work, if somebody is in the workshop and you happen to pass he doesn’t care, It is your responsibility to take care of yourself.”

Instead, it is not my responsibility but his responsibility to make sure that anyone who passes there while him or his men at work must be made aware that some work is in progress and therefore, they have to proceed with vigil. This is what is known as “duty of care.” Anyone who does something in public place must seriously observe “duty of care.” Failure to do so may lead to prosecution in the law of torts. Damages may be awarded if proven that there was negligence on the side of the one such as in above example.

Examples abound on how the duty of care may be exercised. One example is the road construction workers. They often place a sign with “slow down, men at work” or “road work ahead” a few metres away from the actual work site. This is extremely important because it alerts the road users that the conditions of the road are different and they have to approach with care. Usually, the road workers have heavy equipment and are numbered from tens to hundreds. They employ elaborate arrangements to direct traffic to safer side of the road under construction or maintenance. By alerting the road users, they have exonerated themselves of any unexpected occurrence. It is on the other hand, the responsibility of road users to decelerate and observe traffic flow as directed by the designated controller.

Another instance where duty of care may be exercised is cleaning of public spaces in hospitals, supermarkets, hotels and so on. The cleaners erect a “wet floor” sign to alert the passersby that they may tip over and get hurt. This sign serves to enhance the responsibility of the one who is doing the cleaning. It is the equation changer. The ball is now in the passersby’s court. However, this does not completely exonerate the cleaner from all the responsibility. There are further instances whereby a court case may still be instituted against the organisation.

Perhaps the one who carries the heaviest duty of care is the local government in form of City Council, County Council, Town Council, Payam Council and village as well as Boma Councils.

The local government is the closest government to the people and therefore, bears responsibility of organising, directing and warning the public of all acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in a particular locality. The local government is in charge of roads, sanitation, estates, Parks and Reserves, sports and recreation facilities, environment and many more. The local government therefore, erects road signs, takes care of sanitation, plans estates, controls parks and forest reserves and runs sports and recreation facilities in the locality. Failure to properly manage these functions can result in serious consequences of which the local government may be sued. For example if the City Council fails to erect signs warning people against swimming in River Nile, it could be sued against negligence.

River Nile is infested with crocodiles and other dangerous animals like hippopotamuses which can kill. Other dangerous objects may be under water and could harm swimmers e.g. shipwreck. It is therefore, the responsibility of Nimule Town Council, Juba City Council, Terkaka Town Council, Bor Municipal Council, Malakal City Council and Renk Town Council along the Nile to make sure that safe swimming sites are designated and nobody should swim anywhere else. The designated sites must have trained wardens who should be on site to warn when danger approaches. They can also provide assistance if needed during swimming period.

Failure to observe the duty of care is called negligence. The concept of negligence is not confined to the above two examples but is wide ranging. The doctors who treat patients in hospitals can be sued for negligence or malpractice. Take an instance where a child is crippled after administration of injection on the wrong side of buttock by a nurse. This child can sue the hospital for negligence or malpractice and he can get damages for this reason if proved that the health institution failed to properly administer the injection.

The above scenarios are slowly but surely coming to play in the lives of South Sudanese. As people migrate to cities and progress in knowledge, there is an increasing need to be mindful of the welfare of others. You and I are our brothers’ keepers!

An O

Posted: July 20, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in David Aoloch

An O

By David Aoloch Bion

Everybody is an O
The words and
The actions are U
The U is grain

Death is the last Organism of life

Posted: July 20, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan

Death is the Last Orgasm of Life

By David Aoloch Bion

Killing is the labour of life
Death is ultimate orgasm of life
The best sorrowful way to mourn
For your beloved one is to laugh
Melodically for one minute and
Compose epitaph. Death is not the
End of life but one phase of thousand
Phases of life webs. In death no
Moaning but pleasant screaming.

Killing an opponent / criminal either
On the street / on the scaffold is not a
Sound punishment and is not good
Fence. Thousands die today,
thousands make offences tomorrow.
Killing as a punishment make you no queen,
King, winner or conquerer
. Your adversary has no painful memories
Of his death at your hands and
Doesn’t know your honour and popularity
You obtain after killing.

No pain after a second after lethal
Injection / drink, bullet / first / stroke touch
His /her soul. death should not be prize for
Crimes and rivals.
Good punishment should be humiliation,
Beat a criminal / enemy half way
So he kneels before you
Respect you profoundly
Talk about your greatness and your might.

Dance of Birds

Posted: July 20, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in David Aoloch

Dance of Birds

By David Aoloch Bion

Drum of birds is on shore
Dance of parrots is on shore
Men are fishing in river

Drum of birds is on shore
Dance of parrots is on shore
Women are fetching water in river

Small birds perch on weeds to watch dance
Big birds perch on reeds to watch dance
Men and women stand to watch dance of birds


Posted: July 20, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary


Food prices have gone up sharply. Analysts say rise in inflation and the weakening of the local currency seen over the last week, might result in high lending rates] The cost of living during the month of May went up driven by high cost of living is high in south Sudan and sharp rise in price of food commodities. Show that inflation rose to according to the research carried out by the economist of south Sudan 7.3 per cent in May from 6.4 per cent in April, shooting past the Central lack of control of the economic rising food prices due to poor transportation. Further increases in price of food that could adversely affect the economy. Notable in pushing up inflation were e prices that went up in the country per cent after the country starting the aborted coup attempt in the country using hard currency fuels the economic crisis in the country this cost being passed directly to the consumers. Food index This has been due to failure of the rains last year and flooding in some parts of the country resulted in a dip in water levels at the areas that have flooded in some states way below their capacity. Building for the people of south Sudan due to hardship. The dismal rains during the season have also seen prices of common food items go up. “There was significant rise in prices of several food items including maize flour, potatoes and sukuma wiki…Okara in our local markets like jebel market . costumers and konyo konyo markets were few small scale farmers managed to bring some produces in the market which the have facing a lot of challenges in the markets which has results into these price increases outweighed falls in the prices of resulting in an aggregate Price increases were recorded in respect of, food prices mainly on account of hard currency in the economic situation .which the citizens has experienced might dampen growth prospects for the country.

See Also: Major in dilemma over high rate of inflation and the weakening of the local currency, seen over the last months might result in high lending rates. “Once again, unseasonably economic that make country development and the insurgency in the country make it difficult to sustained and the country’s continued reliance on rain-fed agriculture, are helping to pressure prices. However, with indicators pointing to robust underlying momentum in the economy, and strong credit growth (notwithstanding recent security risks), the likelihood of food-related pressures spilling over into secondary effects is high,” consumers. Said the rising inflation in south Sudan narrowing the spread with the Central Bank rate as well as nervousness around the softer pounds seen in recent days, should see the C BK resume a modest tightening cycle from July. “The April to May inflation prints most likely signals the start of a new interest rate cycle in south Sudan although we do not expect interest rates to rise anywhere near as much as they did in the last tightening cycle.

A sufficiently early rate hike will help moderate the overall pace of tightening that is required.” LIVING, COMMODITIES, FOOD, MONEY, in Share Related Stories State to go cashless from July to curb black markets were dollars is trading 430 south Sudanese pounds Majority of south Sudanese are dilemma impromptu meeting with key budget committee .Any money left after the austerity measures has been concentrated in the national capital. but the country is blessed with abundant land fertile land so the plan is to diversity away from oil towards agriculture. This will need substantial investment .not just in new technologies and training but also on physical oil is the nation greatest sources of income .but in three years since south Sudan declared its independence from north Sudan .the oil has not brought much development. The situations described by the south Sudanese economist Peter Biar Ajak says the financial situation is quite precarious .and the note also warned of massive devaluation of the south Sudanese pound SSP an exponential rise in inflation and depletion of south Sudan,s reserves all in all development was put on hold salaries came late poverty rates grew .people waving south Sudanese flags while the south Sudanese celebrate independence. there is little cheer in the economy on other hands that agriculture was not the one changes the life of people of south Sudan but the current political crisis in the country has affected the agriculture in the following areas like greater upper Nile. lake states and warrap were the cattle raiding is the order of the day were people are fearing for their lives. The only way we can help the economy of south Sudan is make our own regulation in many ways of economic sectors like customs reformed including taxation in the country.

Instead of Pibor Administration, President Kiir must create 23 states including Pibor state

state federalism
By David Aoloch Bion
In the last seven months, the Government and the Rebels in South Sudan were busy preparing for the war. They were recruiting soldiers, buying guns, attack and counterattack but there was no breakthrough in the battlefield on either side. Although, the Government has upper hand in the frontline she could not say for sure she has defeated the rebels, on the other hand, the rebels have not ruled out their hope of defeating the Government at one point. In short it is a stalemate in the battlefield.
The last seven months, our experiences tell us that, the Rebels are the initiators. The Government is the rejoinder. The rebels initiated the war. The Government responded to the war.
Now, the rebels have initiated brilliant idea or rather, let use the word ‘’ remind ‘’ because the idea was in our mind but we did not speak it out. The rebels have reminded all South Sudanese about an idea of creating more states in country in the new federalism.
Thank the rebels for let us remember something we have forgotten. The rebels proposed that South Sudan should be divided into 21 states, that is brilliant idea. The South Sudanese, the 11 million South Sudanese proposed 23 states, that is most brilliant idea. When I talk of ‘’rebels’’, it is the 40,000 rebels fighting the government. When I talk of ‘’South Sudanese ‘’, it is all citizens in the 10 states.
This is the world of democracy, where the voices of the majority are the last saying and last authority. Although, in our case the voice of ‘’one man ‘’ is strongest than the voice of the 11 million. It has been proposed by 40, 000 rebels plus 500, 000 rebels supporters that South Sudan should be divided into 21 states . And it has been proposed by 11 million South Sudanese that South Sudan should be divided into following 23 states ,
1. Imatong State:Torit :Ikotos , Lafon ,Magwi; H/Q Torit

2. Lomurnyang State : Kapoeta S. , Kapoeta North ,Kapoeta East , Budi; H/Q Kapoeta

3. Maridi State: Mundri West ,Mundri East , Mvollo ,Ibba; H/Q Maridi

4. Gbudwe State: Anzara ,Yambio , Ezo , Tumbura ,Nagero; H/Q Yambio

5. Jubek State: Juba ,Terekeka; H/Q Juba

6. Yei River State: Yei , Kajo-keji , Morobo , Lainya; H/Q Yei

7. Wau State: Bagari , Jur River; H/Q Wau

8. Aweil State: Aweil South Aweil Center; H/Q Aweil

9. Lol State: Aweil West ,Aweil North , Raga; H/Q Raga

10. Aweil East State: Aweil East; H/Q Wanyjok

11. Kiir State: Twic , Abyei; H/Q MayenAbun

12. Gogrial State: Gogrial East , Gogrial West; H/Q Kuacjok

13. Tonj State: Tonj North , Tonj East ,Tonj South; H/Q Tonj

14. Lakes State: Yirol East , Yirol West+ Awerial; H/Q Yirol

15. Rumbek State: Cueibet , Rumbek East , Rumbek North , Rumbek Center , Wulu; H/Q

16. Liech State: Rubokona , Guit , Leer , Mayendit , Panyijar , Koch , Mayom; H/Q Bentiu

17. Ruweng State: Panrieng , Abiemnom; H/Q Abiemnom

18. Eastern Nile State: Renk , Maban , Melut , Baliet , Akoka , Pigi; H/Q Malakal

19. Western Nile State: Panyikang , Kodok , Manyo; H/Q Kodok

20. Jonglei State: Bor , Twic East , Duk; H/Q Bor

21. Bieh State: Fanjak , Ayod , Akobo , Nyiro , Uror ; H/Q Ayod

22. Latjoor State: Nasir , Ulang , Maiwut , Longuchok; H/Q Nasir

23. Boma State: Pibor , Pachalla . Buma; H/Q Pibor

And Ramciel shall be the capital city of the Federal State.

In the democratic society , the 23 states should be created because it is will of the majority. As I said earlier that in our case the voice of one man is strongest than voices of 11 million ,

Who is this one man? It is President Kiir .

With humility , my dear South Sudanese inside and outside South Sudan, whether you an enemy to Mr. Kiir or friend to unite and unite behind the proposers of the 23 states and put more pressure on Mr .Kiir to force him to create the 23 states instead of creating state for Pibor county . All of us we need services like people of Pibor , it is unwise for all of us to go to war because we need states, like people of Pibor did . this is not jealousy of the right of Murle people , it is universal , inclusive solution to our fundamental problem which is the service delivery .

Dear South Sudanese Mr Kiir has been issuing decrees without consulting anyone .it is our time to force him to make a decree . Mr Kiir should know the creation of 23 states and federalism are the demands of all South Sudanese. if Mr Kiir refuse to implement this popular demand of the people . No problem , any Government that would come after him whether he (Kiir) will rule for 100 years or not will implement the 23 states and the federal system of governance , which we are operating but not written in our constitution .
Mr . Kiir should not tell us. Where is the money? , there is money! Gives us 23 states and we shall create the money from our land.

Happy Sunday, Folks.

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan


Today, Sunday, is a special day for the Christians of South Sudan and their brethren across the globe. As they converge on Churches across the nation and in Juba in particular, one theme would stand out: sacrifice. Self-sacrifice. Jesus, who Christians regard as the eternal Son of God sacrificed his life for humankind.

John 3: 16

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Sacrifice too is a special theme in the evolution of the republic of South Sudan. Ponder the millions of people who perished for us to achieve our independence.

Think of Father Saturnino Lohure, Joseph Oduho, Aggrey Jaden, William Deng, Marko Rume, Joseph Lagu, Mourtat Mayen, etc. the pioneers of South Sudanese liberationary struggle.

William Deng Nhial, Abel Alier Kwai, Joseph Lagu, Samuel Ghai Tut, Joseph Oduho, Dr. John Garang, William Nyuon Bany, Arok Thon Arok, Salva Kiir Mayaardit, Martin Majier Ghai, (Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, Akuot Atem de mayen, both not shown)

William Deng Nhial, Abel Alier Kwai, Joseph Lagu, Samuel Ghai Tut, Joseph Oduho, Dr. John Garang, William Nyuon Bany, Arok Thon Arok, Salva Kiir Mayaardit, Martin Majier Ghai, (Kerubino Kuanyin Bol, Akuot Atem de mayen, both not shown)

However, I want to concentrate on John Garang, Salva Kiir and Riek Machar.

Salva Kiir Mayaardit has totally dedicated his entire life to the liberation of his people. He joined Anyanya One movement at a mere age of 16. He was an integral part of Southern Sudanese underground movement during the ten years of the Abel Alier/Joseph Lagu regional government.

When the second civil war erupted in 1983, he was among the first Southern patriots to answer the noble call. Of the seven founders of the SPLM/A, he is the only surviving one. As John Garang said in Rumbek, 27 July 2005, Salva Kiir has never betrayed the people of South Sudan.

His crowning achievement was to oversee a peaceful secession and successful independence of South Sudan on 9 July 2011. On his shoulders was the sacrifices of all the martyrs and the destiny of the living and future generations of South Sudanese. He didn’t fail them.

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.

Riek Machar Teny, while still a PhD student in the UK, was already politically involved in charting the destiny of his people. He had, with other comrades, formed his Sudan Revolutionary Front on campus. Upon graduation in December 1983, he went direct to the bush to fight for his people. Left behind in a foreign land, with nothing to support herself and the infant son, was his young wife, Angelina Teny. Angelina and the baby had to rely on state social welfare for sustenance.

It was not until five years later than Riek had to see his family again. This was after he had heroically fought in many SPLA battles, one in which his forces wounded Omer el-Bashir, when Riek captured Mayom from the government. It was after this that Garang was moved to declare: “If only I had five commanders like Riek Machar, this war would have been over already by now.”

In 2002, Riek returned to the fold of the Movement and fully became part and parcel of the military campaign as well as the peace making process of the Movement. The CPA was signed, referendum conducted and independence declared rewardingly. None of these would have been thinkable had Riek been on the side of Khartoum government because much of Southern Sudan (the entire Upper Nile region) would have been politically unstable and militarily insecure for the referendum to take place and there would have been no independence without the CPA-mandated referendum.


John Garang had left his home district at the age of ten and went to the Bahr el Ghazal region for studies. He never went back (in the context of resettling among his relatives) up to the day he died; Garang is more of a name than a real face to most local people of his home district because they never met him in person.

John Garang is another epitome of sacrifice. He joined the Anyanya One at the age of 17, December 1962. From that time until he passed away in July 2005, he had dedicated his entire to the cause of the people of South Sudan, of the Sudan and of Africa as glean in the following excerpt from his February 1972 letter to Professor Akech:

“I am leaving tomorrow morning for the interior, about 500 miles footwork from where we last met and I will not be back for over 7 months, maybe more…The objective of liberation (of armed struggle) is firstly the riddance of oppression and exploitation and the simultaneous creation of conditions and structures for the permanent (continuous) release of our productive forces, which have been so historically damned, deformed, stunted and impeded by exploitation, oppression and humiliation. This last point is central as it focuses on the essence, the particularity of our movement. About my role as Information Officer for the Anyanya, it is true that there has been such talk, but after I finished my infantry training last October [1971], I made a concrete analysis of the situation and objective factors indicated that I could not make my total contribution in that capacity. You know what I mean. And if that be the case, it would be an intolerable situation.

I joined the Movement with total commitment and dedication. I have sacrificed (I don’t consider it so) all the benefits paper dehumanizing education is supposed to confer on the dehumanized, decultured native holder, I am resolved to give the ultimate sacrifice, my life, for I am bound by nothing else but duty and commitment to Africa and the African people starting with the Southern Sudanese people, as a matter of course. African liberation can only primarily be effected through combat and everything else must be built around the combat, must enhance and give political character to combat.

It would take me a book to go into analytical, historical and practical exposition of this line, but it is sufficient to say that this is why I turned down the “Information” work and chose active combat, and so tomorrow I go to the interior to (eventually soon) take over command of a full battalion. War is war, should anything terminate my usefulness (services) to the African people and revolution, it is incumbent upon you to continue with the struggle and/or to prepare the children and generations to come for the revolution. It is our duty.

Tell those citizens of Africa, snatched away from the great BLACK womb of our Mother, that time has come for their consciousness and ours on the mainland to merge (again) with one big black consciousness that will pull Mother Africa from the bloody teeth of the monster and usher in the total release of our productive forces long damned, deformed and impeded by centuries of oppression, exploitation and emasculating humiliation.”

If there is anything we can learn from the history of the liberation of our country, then it is that much sacrifice was expended for its freedom. We all sacrificed, including the current leadership of the SPLM/A in Juba with President Kiir, in the bush with Riek Machar and in the third party with Pagan Amum and even in the opposition with Lam Akol.


Let’s recall and appreciate and celebrate our sacrifices for this precious nation. Though cheapened today, it was not achieved cheaply.

Let’s not be bogged down by the dark cloud, the specter of doom, hanging over us. The US and China were once embroiled in a bitter, barbarous civil wars. They are proud nations today.

England and France and the Tsar Russia beheaded their monarchies. They are proud nations today. Europe was destroyed by two World Wars. They are a proud union today: ideologically reconciled with themselves, politically advanced, militarily matured, socioeconomically prosperous, and technologically sophisticated.

We shall be a proud nation, once more, in the not-so-distant tomorrow.

Happy Sunday!!!

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan

The 21 federal states proposed by Riek Machar

The 21 federal states proposed by Riek Machar

On 16 July 2014, the SPLM in Opposition (SPLM-in-O) under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny upped its political pressure on the government of President Salva Kiir Mayaardit by proposing 21 states for a federal republic of South Sudan.

In an apparent quick response to Riek’s proposal, a purported group of “Jieng Elders” in Juba, South Sudan, released its own counter-proposal on 18 July 2014 in which the elders advocated for a mutually acceptable administrative formula for the people of South Sudan. They recommended 23 federal states based on the 1956 colonial borders.

All this clamoring for federalism in South Sudan comes against the backdrop of sustained pressure from Equatorian leaders—notably Governor Bangasi Bakasoro of Western Equatoria and Governor Wani Kong’a of Central Equatoria—for federation, reportedly, as the best way of taking resources to the people in the villages.

In sharp contrast to Riek’s and the Jieng Elders’ proposals that use state as a unit in the proposed federalization, these leaders from Equatoria seem to be using colonial geographical regions—Upper Nile, Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria—as the basis for a federal South Sudan.

So what is Riek’s proposal? Well, according to the press statement of 16 July 2014, Riek Machar has recommended the following 21 federal states:

1. Upper Nile Region (8)

Fashoda, Fangak, Unity, Akobo, Northern Upper Nile, Bor, Pibor and Sobat.

2. Bahr el Ghazal Region (7)

Aweil, Tonj, Gogrial, Rumbek, Wau, Yirol and Raga

3. Equatoria Region (6)

Juba, Yei, Kapoeta, Maridi, Yambio, and Torit.

It is necessary to go back to the pre-independence period of the historical Sudan in order to better understand and appreciate, if warranted, Riek’s political stance on the politics of federalism in South Sudan.

As of 1 January 1956 when the historical Sudan gained her independence from Anglo-Egyptian rule, the political entity called Southern Sudan was composed of three major regions and 23 ethnic-based districts:

1. Upper Nile Region (9)

Bor, Nasir, Pibor, Akobo, Bentiu, Renk, Malakal, Fangak and Kodok.

2. Bahr el Ghazal Region (7)

Aweil, Tonj, Gogrial, Yirol, Lakes, Jur River and Raga

3. Equatoria Region (7)

Juba, Maridi, Yambio, Kapoeta, Torit, Yei River and Tumbura

During the SPLM/SPLA war of liberation, Dr. John Garang was more concerned about dismantling the center of power in Khartoum and restructuring the entire country than being bogged down by local issues of Southern Sudan. Thus, the only significant attempt made to alter the colonial borders of Southern Sudan’s administrative units during the war was one initiated by the Nasir group in Akobo, 1994.

The 1994 Akobo Conference for Peace and Reconciliation, funded by International NGOs in East Africa, was meant to end the Nuer civil war between the Jikany and Lou. However, Riek Machar turned it into the Founding Conference of the South Sudan Independent Movement/Army (SSIM/A). The Nasir faction was renamed from SPLM-United (born in Kongor in March 1993) to SSIM/A, after which the new administrative units were set up for the newly rebranded movement.

At first, the Nuer patria was allocated four states:

1. Bieh state: Akobo, Waat

2. Latjor state: Nasir, Maiwut

3. Phow state: Fangak, Ayod

4. Liech state: Bentiu

The Equatoria region was given three states while Bahr el Ghazal region was allocated another three.

However, trouble erupted when it came to the Upper Nile region, with the Nuer patria already allocated four states. The Upper Nile region was going to end up with almost ten states if the Dinka, Chollo, Murle, Anyuak, Jie, Maban etc. were going to be satisfied on the same basis as the Nuer.

Riek Machar threw democracy to the wind and decreed that there would be only five states in the Upper Nile region. The five states were redrawn thus:

1. Bieh state: Akobo, Waat, Pibor and Pochalla

2. Latjor state: Nasir and Maiwut

3. Phow state: Fangak, Ayod, Bor and Kongor

4. Liech state: Bentiu and Panrieng

5. Northern Upper Nile state: Renk, Malakal, Bailiet and Kodok

Therefore, under the SSIM/A leadership of Riek Machar, as per the 1994 Akobo conference, Southern Sudan was composed of the following three regions and 11 states:

1. Upper Nile Region (5)

Bieh, Latjor, Phow, Liech and Northern Upper Nile

2. Bahr el Ghazal Region (3)

Gogrial, Lakes and Wau

3. Equatoria Region (3)

Eastern, Central and Western

With the advance of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the constitution of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) in 2005 and into independence on 9 July 2011, South Sudan has been made up of three regions and ten states:

1. Upper Nile Region (3)

Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei

2. Bahr el Ghazal Region (4)

Western Bahr el Ghazal, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes and Warrap

3. Equatoria Region (3)

Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria and Western Equatoria

These were the administrative units of South Sudan when war erupted on December 15th, 2013. The Equatorian leaders have always been at the forefront of the call for a federal state in South Sudan. It was largely seen as an attempt by the Equatorians to extricate and shield themselves from what they repeatedly referred to as the “cow’s mentality” of the Nilotic tribes reigning in Juba, namely the Dinka and the Nuer.

Even the SPLM-DC of Dr. Lam Akol had, reportedly, advocated for a federal system in South Sudan, prior to the December 15th rebellion.


Riek Machar, upon escaping from Juba, declared an all-out war on the government of President Kiir, vowing to overthrow him. The initial momentum of the Nuer white army in the first few weeks of the conflict gave Riek some hope that he could ride to power on the barrels of their guns.

But the white army failed, not just to take over Juba as divined by Prophet Dak Kueth (the white army’s spiritual leader) but also to defend and maintain captured towns such as Bor, Malakal, Bentiu and Nasir. With the fizzling out of the white army’s magical powers, Riek Machar “cooked” his mind and publicly embraced federalism.

It was a strategic move for a man known for political dithering and indecisiveness. Critics claim that the call for federalism by the rebels was the work of Alfred Lado Gore (an Equatorian from Juba), who was the head of the SPLM/A’s political ideology and indoctrination under Dr. John Garang. More recently he was a presidential advisor and cabinet member in the government of President Kiir.

It was not long before Governor Wani Kong’a of Central Equatoria and Governor Bangasi Bakasoro of Western Equatoria came out in support of a federal system in South Sudan. Their vocal agitation for federalism almost led to another December 15th in present-day Juba as the pro- and anti- federalism camps traded accusations and counter-accusations of an alleged plot to assassinate the two governors.

President Salva Kiir, in a rare show of leadership, counseled the agitators that the issue of federalism should be decided (not through a presidential decree but) by the South Sudanese people themselves, possibly in a nationwide referendum.

Some people think that President Kiir’s response appeared to have blunted Riek’s spirited campaign of politicizing federalism as a tool for military and political recruitment among the Equatorians. Only Dr. Richard K. Mullah and Dr. Francis Nazario, with little following, have responded to Riek’s call from the Equatoria region.

south sudan, state headquarters

south sudan, state headquarters

While Riek might have expected undying appreciation and gratitude from the Equatorians, he is instead being accused of having politically hijacked the Equatorians’ ancestral call for power devolution in South Sudan. Instead of being hailed a champion of the Equatorians’ cause and interest as he had hoped, he is being branded a political opportunist, a prostitute of ideas.

Apparently, given the military stalemate on the ground and the political impasse in Addis Ababa, Riek “cooked” his mind again and came up with a freshly minted proposal to win himself new followers. Interestingly, the proposal appears to have been aimed at the entire country, including the heartland of President Kiir in Bahr el Ghazal and greater Bor.

Riek must be billing this latest proposal as a political coup against President Kiir who appears dazed by uncertainty. President Kiir has not shown any penchant of being proactive; he just reacts, in a wobbly manner in most cases.

Kiir’s only luck seems to lie in the fact that his opponent is none other than Riek Machar. That is, for the people of South Sudan, it is an unpalatable choice between two devils who have nothing to offer but death and destitution to the people.

Nonetheless, the proposed 21 federal states solution is a tantalizing prospect to most ethnic areas of South Sudan where ethnic issues have long been brewing over leadership and resources allocation. The urgency with which the “Jieng Elders” responded to Riek’s proposal underlines the seriousness of the issue.

So what is the counter-proposal of the “Jieng Elders”? Firstly, it must be stated here that the so-called “Jieng Elders” may not even be associated with the government of President Kiir. In other words, their proposal should not necessarily be taken as the official position and response of the government.

Here is their proposed federal system in South Sudan, comprising three regions and 23 federal states:

1. Upper Nile Region (8)

Liech state: Rubokona, Guit, Leer, Mayendit, Panyijar, Koch and Mayom; with H/Q at Bentiu

Ruweng state: Panrieng and Abiemnom; with H/Q at Abiemnom

Eastern Nile state: Renk, Maban, Melut, Baliet, Akoka and Pigi; with H/Q at Malakal

Western Nile state: Panyikang, Kodok and Manyo; with H/Q at Kodok

Jonglei state: Bor, Twic East and Duk; with H/Q at Bor

Bieh state: Fanjak, Ayod, Akobo, Nyirol and Uror; with H/Q at Ayod

Latjor state: Nasir, Ulang, Maiwut and Longuchok; with H/Q at Nasir

Boma state: Pibor, Pachalla and Buma; with H/Q at Pibor

2. Bahr el Ghazal Region (9)

Wau state: Bagari and Jur River; with H/Q at Wau

Aweil state: Aweil South and Aweil Center; with H/Q at Aweil

Lol state: Aweil West, Aweil North and Raga; with H/Q at Raga

Aweil East state: Aweil East; with H/Q at Wanyjok

Kiir state: Twic and Abyei; with H/Q at Mayen-Abun

Gogrial state: Gogrial East and Gogrial West; with H/Q at Kuacjok

Tonj state: Tonj North, Tonj East and Tonj South; with H/Q at Tonj

Lakes state: Yirol East, Yirol West and Awerial; with H/Q at Yirol

Rumbek state: Cueibet, Rumbek East, Rumbek North, Rumbek Center and Wulu; with H/Q at Rumbek

3. Equatoria Region (6)

Imatong state: Torit, Ikotos, Lafon and Magwi; with H/Q at Torit

Lomurnyang state: Kapoeta South, Kapoeta North, Kapoeta East and Budi; with H/Q at Kapoeta

Maridi state: Mundri West, Mundri East, Mvollo and Ibba; with H/Q at Maridi

Gbudwe state: Anzara, Yambio, Ezo, Tumbura and Nagero; with H/Q at Yambio

Jubek state: Juba and Terekeka; with H/Q at Juba

Yei River state: Yei, Kajo-keji, Morobo and Lainya; with H/Q at Yei

From the Nuer dominated rebel movement under Riek Machar to Jieng Elders to Equatorian leaders, it is obvious that the debate for a federal South Sudan has ethnic, rather than ideological, undertones. For the sake of this analysis of the politics of federalism in South Sudan, it is therefore tempting to surmise that the Dinka community is largely opposed to federalism while the Nuer nation and the greater Equatorian community are for a federal republic of South Sudan.

That, of course, would be a gross misrepresentation of the complex politics of federalism in South Sudan. For example, not all Nuer support Riek Machar’s rebellion, for the bulk of the government army fighting the rebels in Bentiu, Malakal, Renk and Nasir are Nuer sons.

Moreover, unlike in 1991, most Nuer top leaders—political and military ones—have shunned Riek Machar. Arguably, there are more Nuer leaders in Juba with President Kiir than there are with Riek Machar in the bush (or is it in Addis Ababa?).

All in all, it looks like Riek is scheming and President Kiir is clueless. Riek’s political maneuverings may not succeed because he is, just as was the case in 1991, relying on one tribe: the Nuer nation. Riek has to transcend Nuer nationalism to fulfill his quest for political power in South Sudan. A nation of over 64 tribes can never be ruled by one tribe and remain stable and prosperous for long.

Besides, the Nuer can’t complain of power marginalization in Juba. In 2013 before hell broke loose, the Vice President, Minister of Defense, and the Chief of General Staff were Nuer sons. The national army has three sectors and eight divisions. Nuer sons headed two of the three sectors and three of the eight divisions. The national army itself was about 60% Nuer, an oddity given the fact that the Nuer are only about 15% of the national population.

south sudan map by counties

south sudan map by counties

President Kiir needs to wake up from his political stupor. The era of his J-1 decree spree may be over and he ought to start playing politics as it is. He needs to court and maintain his political base lest he will lose it the way the white army lost all the towns it had captured from the government.

The fact that many South Sudanese may not identify with Riek Machar does not mean that they automatically prefer the president. The people will go with whoever cares for and about their interests and the wellbeing of their loved ones.

Not President Kiir, not Riek Machar, and not even the so-called SPLM-Leaders of Pagan Amum and Madam Nyandeng, have shown any sign of leadership that would lead to a politically stable and socially prosperous South Sudan.

PaanLuel Wël ( is the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers. He can be reached through his Facebook page, Twitter account or email:

The Red Army Foundation, Juba

The Red Army Foundation, Juba

The two parallel things president Kiir should do to win the minds and hearts of South Sudanese.
By David Aoloch Bion
The seven things to evaluate South Sudan political crisis.
1 South Sudan is now the contended child by two women before King Solomon in the Bible. The presidency is the contested child. The SPLM in Government is the mother of the child. The SPLM in opposition is the mother of the dead child. The IGAD is the King Solomon, hearing the case of two women. The rebels or the mother of the dead child (failed coup) says “if I don’t get presidency, South Sudan (the living child) must be cut into two. Cutting into two means South Sudan should be restructured under federal system of governance, South Sudan should break up into autonomous states that could become independent countries, should one ethnic group still, continue, to dominate the politic and monopolize the resources.
2. Dinka Domination, it have been planted in the minds and hearts of 63 tribes of South Sudan that Dinka tribe has established itself or is trying to establish itself to dominate other tribes as the Arab did in the old Sudan.
3. President Kiir has lost legitimacy and support in Greater Upper Nile. Even if he gives them honey and milk or he makes the rain pour in dollars in Upper Nile, they will not recognize him as the legitimate president.
4. President Kiir has lost diplomatic support in the region. This is why the Kenyan, welcomed rebel leader Riek on the red carpet with full military honours. This is why Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea secretly supply the rebels with guns and ammunition.
5. The US, EU and UN have put president Kiir on the top of the “list of shame”. This is the list of the South Sudanese political and military leaders who will be tried by Hybrid Court either inside South Sudan or outside by the ICC in The Hague for their role in current crisis. This list of shame would have been published by UN Human rights and then forwarded to the ICC for indicting but was delayed, put on hold because it was going to jeopardize the peace process in the country. As soon as president Kiir signed and restore peace in the country, he will be indicted immediately by the ICC. This is what the UN chief Hilde Johnson in South Sudan meant by ‘’accountability at end’’
6. In Juba, on December 15, 2013, a fighting broke out between the soldiers loyal to president Kiir and soldiers loyal to former Vice President Riek Marchar. The history shows that if such scenario occurred, it is called a “coup”. When president Kiir announced that the coup was attempted in Juba. The World rubbished Kiir’s statement. The World says “it is not a coup”. What if those soldiers force president Kiir out of Juba, what would the world says? .wouldn’t they say president Kiir was overthrown in a coup? This proven that president Kiir is the ‘’most hated man’’ in the world today.
7. The rebels win support from Greater Equatoria because of their call for federalism.
With these underlying background in mind that the region and the world are trying hard to failed the people of South Sudan as leverage to bring down Mr. Kiir Administration in Juba. Mr. Kiir on the other hand, should apply his political efficacy to do two parallel things.
a. He should continue with peace process in Addis Ababa mediated by IGAD as an indirect ploy to get breathing space around the World. This is to gain trust, confident of the world leaders because the decision made in other part of the world affect us in one way or the other , because we are not an Island; we are part of the wider international community. This international community is the mirror we can see and evaluate ourselves.
b. On the other hand, he should immediately start the political reform aim at moving the country forward and out of the mess and frustration instead he waits until the peace is reached. Mr. Kiir should initiate the change, the change his people want in order to win their minds and hearts. Mr. Kiir should not insist “on his no reform, no change policy’’, because he is strong militarily or the SPLA have defeated the rebels in Nasir, the rebels stronghold. Mr. Kiir must know that she is the mother of the living child, the rebels are the mother of the dead child and for that reason, he should compromise and concede at the extreme end of the argument to avoid the child cut into two. President Kiir has something to lose. The rebel leader Riek has nothing to lose.
In the political reform, Mr. Kiir should do two things;
a At the grassroot level, he should convene the conference of the Paramount Chiefs and Chiefs of South Sudan in Juba
b At national level , he should authorize the Parliament to write the permanent , federal constitution that he could not interfere and manipulate like the first ones , he interfered and manipulated until the day he sign it into law , He should do it before the rebels come to deny them a chance of taking part in constructive ,political process in country as punishment for their violent strategies . He should not wait for the rebels to come and write the constitution with him or allow the constitution to be written outside the country as suggested by some elements, this disobey the sovereignty of the state
This is the speech he should deliver to the chief’s conference in Juba
‘’Honourable chiefs, you are elders of this country, I have called you to explain to you;
a. The genesis of crisis that started on December 15, 2013.
b. Why am I called “corrupted, failed, weak and murderer” by the politicians and media in South Sudan and around the world.
Before I explain the two issues, I will tell you briefly about the history of SPLM/A from 1983 to 2014.
We founded the SPLM/ SPLA in 1983, we got leadership crisis at the time that resulted into war of SPLM/A led by Dr. John Garang and Anya Anya II led by Samuel Gai Tut. We, John Garang faction defeated the Anya Anya II. That was first phase
In the course of the struggle, many commanders left the SPLM/ SPLA. These commanders who left SPLM/A included Kerbino Kuany, William Nyuon, Glario Modi, Dr. Lam Akol, Dr. Riek Machar and many others. That was second phase.
At CPA negotiation, Dr. John Garang sidelined me. I stayed in Yei for two years without contact or update from him on the peace process. When I asked John Garang on how the peace is progressing my words were manipulated. However, with my good conflict resolution skills, we resolved our differences with John Garang in Rumbek in 2004 peacefully. That was third phase
In January 9 2005, the peace was signed, on July 31, 2005 . John Garang died ( MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE ). I was appointed by SPLM leadership. The same day, I was appointed,
My leadership was undermined, agitated, sabotaged, contempt with by my colleagues who are now in opposition either leading the rebellion or mobilizing resources to bring me down. I just ignore their subversive activities . That was the last major phase I could remember.
In all these circumstances, I remained committed to the vision of SPLM/A which was the liberation and the independent of South Sudan that we achieved in 2011.

Honourable chiefs
My one objective from 2005 to 2011 was the independent of South Sudan. The second was the development that I delegated to your ministers . Millions of pounds were allocated to every ministry yearly.
In 2011, we got independent; we also realized that 4 billion dollars were stolen by 75 officials
Immediately after independence, I was about to begin on development proper, then we had the oil crisis where the oil was shut down and the Helgig war. the economy was in austerity .
No sooner had I solved the oil crisis than the coup was attempted and the subsequent civil war we are in now.
The genesis of the coup , the coup plotters says , I did not make development in last 8 years , for that reason I should step aside and give them the SPLM presidential election ticket in 2015 .They gave ultimatum on December 6,2013 , if I don’t listen to their demands there will be ‘’chaos , disorders and South Sudan will be in abyss’’ . Were they right ? They were not right because they were with me in the last 8 years they said I have failed the nation. If there were no development in last 8 years, it is our blame and failure all of us. If there were development in the last 8 years, it is our achievement and congratulation all of us.
So, On December 15 2013, the so called strong, incorruptible politicians started chaos…
My dear chiefs, I was not given a chance to do the best for the nation. , if the politicians of South Sudan were sincere enough, they would have let me finish my one term in the office, after they should begin asking me to step down.
Where is my mistake here? For the development. There is a division of labour. This is why we have ministers, governors and commissioners, every year a minister is given money for development. he breached trust his people put in him . He did not fulfill his obligation. He took the money and put it in his private account. Is this my mistake or lack of patriotism? It is the putting of money above one patriotism. Look at the MPs, they are given one million pound as CDF every year and in the constituencies, there are no health centers, no schools, and no roads. And this money has been given to the MPs for the last 8 years. Is this my mistake or the lack of patriotism on the part of the MPs? Look, the commissioners are given 3 million pound as grant for development. I will not talk how much money is given to every state yearly for development, and there are no roads, schools, and hospitals in both states and counties around the country. Is this my mistake or lack of patriotism on the part of governors and commissioners?

My dear chiefs, they call me “corrupted, failed, weak, murderer”
I am innocent, I have done nothing wrong. I am just a VICTIM OF BAD TEAMWORK, bad ministers, bad governors, bad commissioners who put money and personal interest above their patriotism.
The only mistake I made was 75 letters I wrote asking the 75 men and women to bring money instead I would have arrested, forced them to bring the money.
They say “I am clinging on to power, I am not, will I live forever? I will not, then why I cling on to power? I am ready to relinquish power when my term ends. For example , if someone just wake in morning and tell you , give me power , I want to be chief of this village in contemptuous manner , will you agree , of course not , this is what my colleagues are doing .
Today, I announce to you that I will not abide by the mess and conspiracies plan out of the country; I stick to my original plan. I will step down in 2020. From 2011 to 2020 is two term. This is in line with the two presidential term limit which will be enshrined in the permanent, federal constitution within one month time from now. Thank you ‘’’
After this speech, Mr. Kiir should take photos with each chief and he should give the golden handshake to each chief. This will win chiefs minds and hearts and the chiefs will win the minds and the hearts of the people in the villages.
On the second day, Mr. Kiir should head to South Sudan legislative Assembly and he should give this speech too;
“Honourable MPs, South Sudan is now the contended child by two women before King Solomon in the Bible. The presidency is the contended child. The SPLM in government is the mother of the living child. The SPLM in opposition is the mother of dead child (failed coup). The IGAD is the King Solomon. The rebels or the mother of dead child (failed coup) says “if I do not get presidency South Sudan (the living child) must be cut into two. This means South Sudan should break up into different autonomous states. These states could become independent, should one ethnic group still dominate the politic and monopolizes resources. This is what they mean by federalism.
Honourable MPS
I don’t understand the different between federalism and the current system we are operating. to cut it short , we are in the federal system , this is why we have 10 states , ,10 assemblies , 10 governors. If the disciple of federalism are not calling for independent under codename federalism then they would have called for the amendment of constitution. Today, I discover one thing, the word federalism is not written in the constitution, and it is the cause of all debates about federalism. .as the legitimate president with political efficacy, I have dissolved the Constitution Review Committee that was going on drafting the constitution. I am not waiting for anyone outside to come and do good thing with me because those guys they taint my image around the world that I am corrupt, weak , failed and murderer Today , I authorize you, MPs to write the permanent, federal constitution of Republic of South Sudan within one month, with following, federal features, controlled by the centre
1. Police, wildlife, prison, fire brigade and national security and army
2 foreign relations
3 National defining resources like oil and gold. These national defining resources should be distributed in the following percents
1 5% to locality like Maluth country
2 15% to state like Upper Nile State
3 80% to federal government and will be converted to 100% and divided by 10 states.
4 2 presidential term limits

On my part as the president of the Republic, I still stick to my original plan. I will step down in 2020. Before 2020, I will construct the triangle road – a tarmac road from Juba to Malakal from Malakal to WaU and Wau to Juba .
Lastly, I thank people of Greater Equatoria for not challenging my government with open rebellion, for that reasons, I will make sure that a presidential candidate from Greater Equatoria set good policies to win the presidential election in 2020 and I will hand over power to him. This is to change the mindsets that believe in the Dinka Domination. It is becoming false belief that Dinka are now dominating other tribes. I will hand power to another tribe in 2020. I will not hand power over to anyone who threats the nation with violence, I am sure 100% if it is by force no one will take power from me , you have seen in last seven months but for sake of justice for all , prosperity for all , liberty for all , I will concede . It is our country all of us , whether you are small tribe like Pari or big like Azande . This is to tell people from Greater Upper Nile that your violence will not take you to the state house. This is to tell anyone who want to be president, you must renounce violence.
Look peaceful people of Greater Equatoria get it before you violent people of Greater Upper Nile. Thank you. ‘’
if Mr. Kiir does this, he will win the minds and the hearts of desperate, frustrate citizens .

Riek Machar Backs Mabioor de Garang against Lul Ruai Koang, rebel military spokesperson

Riek Machar backs Mabioor de Garang against Lul Ruai Koang, the rebel military spokesperson

SPLM-Leaders Meets President Museveni in Kampala

Posted: July 18, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in PaanLuel Wël

SPLM-Leaders Faction, formerly known as the SPLM Political Detainees

SPLM-Leaders Faction, formerly known as the SPLM Political Detainees

South Sudan is a violent place. Yes. It is also an interesting one.Yes.

Take for instance, the former political detainees of the ruling SPLM party are now calling themselves SPLM Leaders. And you just wonder how about those in Juba, aren’t they SPLM leaders too? How about the rebels?

In fact, there is more clamor for “SPLM” name tag than there is, probably, for “South Sudan” in the animal kingdom of South Sudanese politics.

Bizarrely, the recently appointed chairman of the rebel’s National Committee for Information and Public relation, Mabioor Garang de Mabioor, who is currently embroiled in a bitter quarrel with the rebel military spokesperson, Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, insisted today that they (the rebels) are the SPLM and should not be called SPLM in Opposition.

Then you wonder, how about those in the government, what are they if they are not SPLM too. If the rebels are to be called the SPLM, what would you called the ruling SPLM party in Juba? Of course, you can’t call both of them with the same name without inviting unnecessary confusion.

There has to be a way to differentiate the three contending camps. It has been SPLM in government for those in Juba; SPLM in Opposition for those who have taken up arms against the government and the SPLM political detainees for those who were suspected of having a hand in the proverbial coup of December 15th.

Mabioor is on record that it was Kiir who rebelled against the SPLM on December 15th, not Riek or him. Perhaps, that is why he thinks they are the SPLM and the government is, by implication, the rebel.

Pagan Amum and John Luk and Madam Nyandeng are on records that it is Riek and Kiir that are shedding the blood of South Sudanese. Nyandeng is on record that both Kiir and Riek should not be part of the transitional government. They should rather go and prepare for the forthcoming election while neutral persons executed the necessary sociopolitical reforms in Juba.

Perhaps, that is why the group billed themselves the SPLM leaders—Riek and Kiir, presumably have squandered their chances.

Interestingly too, the SPLM-Leaders, especially the vocal Pagan and fiery Nyandeng have been uncharacteristically quiet about the fashionable debate on federalism. What is their position? Who do THE leaders think?

Riek is for it; Kiirdit prefers the people themselves to decide, possibly in a general referendum. Listen to Wani Kong’a and Bangasi Bakasoro and you would be forgiven to think that they forcing Kiir to decree it today, not tomorrow.

All are for the SPLM; all are for federalism, but none is for South Sudan, and are all against South Sudanese. They are dying, suffering etc.

Well, back to the topic. The SPLM-leaders—former cabinet affairs minister Deng Alor Kuol; former minister of telecommunications and postal services Madut Biar Yel; former youth minister Dr. Chirino Hiteng; former finance minister Kosti Manibe; former roads and transport minister Gier Chuang Aluong; former justice minister John Luk Jok, and former Lakes state governor Chol Tong Mayai;  Pagan Amum Okiech, former secretary-general of the ruling SPLM party; Oyai Deng Ajak, former minister for national security; and Majak D’Agoot, former deputy minister of defence–are in Uganda to meet with President.

Uganda has been the most dangerous place for South Sudanese leaders. The pioneering father of South Sudanese liberationary struggle, Father Saturnino Lohure, was killed in Uganda. Dr. John Garang died while oh his way from Uganda. Recently, George Athoor Deng was murdered in Uganda.

What are these leaders doing there, South Sudanese people are asking.

By PaanLuel Wel, Juba, South Sudan.


17 July 2014

UN: South Sudan arms embargo crucial after massive Chinese weapons transfer

The United Nations Security Council must impose a comprehensive arms embargo on South Sudan, Amnesty International urged after receiving reports of Chinese small arms and ammunition proliferation amongst both sides in the conflict.

The organization also has confirmed that China supplied a further 1,000 tonnes of small arms and light weapons worth US$38 million to the country just over two weeks ago.

“China is playing a dangerous diplomatic game with the lives of millions of people in South Sudan. It has pledged to provide peacekeeping troops to protect civilians, and at the same time has sent over 1,000 tonnes of arms,” said Elizabeth Ashamu Deng, South Sudan Researcher at Amnesty International.

“Such arms are likely to fall into the hands of both parties to the conflict and be used to fuel the atrocities threatening civilian lives.”

The Security Council, of which China is a permanent member, has already condemned violations of international humanitarian law in South Sudan, including extrajudicial executions and ethnically targeted violence.

In May, the Security Council amended the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan (UNMISS) to focus on protection of civilians, supporting the implementation of the cessation of hostilities agreement, investigating human rights abuses and violations and creating conditions for delivery of humanitarian assistance. China has pledged a full battalion of some 850 troops to join this peacekeeping operation.

A UN arms embargo designed to help stop gross violations of human rights and war crimes would require every state to take all necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of arms to South Sudan. Pending such an embargo, states should immediately suspend international arms transfers to South Sudan.

The Chinese shipment

Chinese state-owned defence manufacturer NORINCO sent more than 1,000 tonnes of weapons and munitions worth millions of dollars to the South Sudanese government armed forces in a shipment that arrived last month. It included rocket systems, thousands of automatic rifles and grenade launchers, 20,000 grenades, hundreds of pistols and machine guns, and several million rounds of ammunition.

According to the shipping documents and related information, the massive arms shipment was loaded onto the Hong Kong-based vessel Feng Huang Song in two batches before leaving the Chinese ports of Dalian on 8 May and Zhanjiang on 15 May 2014. It reached Mombasa, Kenya on 7 June and the cargo was unloaded three days later, destined for the South Sudanese government in Juba in fulfilment of a contract signed on 3 April, 2013.

Amnesty International is aware of reliable reports that Chinese ammunition manufactured in 2013 for Chinese-made CQ assault rifles has recently been used by armed opposition fighters as well as government-aligned armed groups. CQ 5.56×45 assault rifles were first observed in South Sudan in 2013 with South Sudanese rebel groups, some of whom stated they had been armed by Sudan. In addition, Chinese heavy machine-gun ammunition manufactured in 2013 has been found in the hands of fighters of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), a Darfuri rebel group that has fought alongside South Sudanese government forces and committed grave human rights abuses.

“This additional flow and proliferation of deadly equipment from China into South Sudan’s raging war will set the country back decades and pave the way for increased criminality and violence among civilians – even long after the current armed conflict ends,” said Elizabeth Ashamu Deng.

“Given the ongoing pattern of atrocities in South Sudan, it is a no-brainer that these weapons and munitions will be used to commit and facilitate further serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The Security Council must roundly condemn any such flows of weapons and impose a comprehensive embargo on all arms transfers to South Sudan.”

Ongoing atrocities

Since the armed conflict erupted on 15 December 2013, the USA and European Union have already suspended military support to South Sudan. The decisions came amid ongoing crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by both South Sudanese government and opposition forces.

On two recent missions to South Sudan, including one this month, Amnesty International documented how both sides have targeted people, including women and children, based on their ethnicity. They have killed individuals seeking refuge in hospitals and places of worship. These atrocities have generally involved the use of small arms and light weapons.

“The rebels shot dead the four people in the beds next to mine,” a civilian patient named John told Amnesty International, referring to a raid on Malakal hospital by forces loyal to former Vice President Dr Riek Machar in mid-February 2014. Individuals have also been shot dead in hospitals in Bor and Bentiu.

In the South Sudanese capital Juba, too, civilians have repeatedly been targeted using small arms and light weapons. A resident of the city’s Jebel Kujur area described to Amnesty International how government soldiers attacked his home on 17 December 2013:

“My house was surrounded with heavy artillery and many soldiers as well. Gun shots were fired at me and my relatives in the house, and three of them were killed on the spot.”

Nyaliap witnessed the massacre of 11 men in Pariang County, Unity state by government forces in December 2013. A group of about 20 soldiers “stripped them naked and tied their hands behind their backs. They lined them up…and they [shot] them from behind.”

Amnesty International continues to call for accountability for all those responsible for such actions by government and opposition forces, which constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious human rights violations.


The Bloomberg news agency reported on the Chinese arms transfer on 9 July (“China Sells South Sudan Arms as Its Government Talks Peace” by Ilya Gridneff) and also released the shipping documents to Jane’s Defence Weekly (“South Sudan takes delivery of Chinese ATGWs” by Jeremy Binnie).

The Chinese company NORINCO combines manufacturing, research and trading of arms and related equipment.

Between 2007 and 2008 various large shipments of arms arrived in South Sudan from Ukraine via Mombasa. It is not clear if Ukraine was aware that South Sudan government forces were the intended end-user, and not Kenya, as stated in the documentation.

Public Document
For more information please call Amnesty International’s press office in London, UK, on
+44 20 7413 5566
twitter: @amnestypress
International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK


By Concerned Jieng Community Elders, Juba, South Sudan.

south sudan, state headquarters

south sudan, state headquarters


People of South Sudan have not agreed on the system of governance they should adopt to rule themselves peacefully. The recent Agreement between the government and the Murle Community led by YauYau has revealed the tendencies of people of South Sudan to govern themselves through ethnic administrative set up like the choice of Murle for autonomous administrative unit away from greater Jonglei state.

This move is indicative of the rejection of the ten states inherited from the government of Khartoum as stipulated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). It further suggests also that majority of people of South Sudan prefer ethnic administrative arrangements better than former greater regions of the provinces of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr al Ghazal as a solution to tribal rivalry over the resources with the strongest dominating the ethnic minorities or minority making false claim of marginalization in the larger administration, thereby creating enmity between ethnic communities that eventually result into violence of the rivaling communities.

Given the above argument, the choice to opt for an ethnic administration, can easily be adopted from the past colonial administrative set-up of twenty-three districts, as they stood on 1st` January 1956. These districts were wholly or partially set up on ethnic arrangements, except in few cases where some minority communities were put together with larger communities for possible governing conveniences at that time which might have now negatively or positively changed with the change of communities’ attitude towards each other.

Therefore, a solution acceptable to such minority could be addressed in whatever suitable manner. In general therefore minorities must be accorded or facilitated chances of choices to remain in their current authority, form their own administrative unit when viable or choose to join another community or administrative authority they share borders with.

The 21 federal states proposed by Riek Machar

The 21 federal states proposed by Riek Machar

Federal Arrangement:

Many people of South Sudan are demanding for application of federal system as one of the solutions to govern the country peacefully. There is no problem with the federal governance except the fact that the country was marginalized by Khartoum and left without development. Therefore, there was need for the country to consolidate itself for some reasonable period of time to use available resources for equitable development until suitable time to apply federal system where-after each administrative unit or state would have a chance to run its own affairs with available resources of that state without much difficulty. But as things stand now, this step has to be skipped and the federal system be introduced because the demand for it is a wish of the majority.

There are many countries which are federal based. Some examples of nations with good federal systems are Germany, Canada, etc. These federal systems can be examined and improved for application that suit South Sudan. For example in these federal systems, each Federal state depends on its resources except where government have the right of resources like customs, taxes and other specified rights spelt out in the federal constitution.

The rich states make contributions to the federal government pool fund for its budget and contribution to the poor states. The federal government source of revenue comes from customs, VAT, etc., and other specified taxes in the constitution. These taxes are either collected directly by the federal government or by the state or Municipality on behalf of the federal government.

Other detailed power structures of federal arrangements are embodied in the federal system of governance depending on the model of choice from any federal arrangement and to be agreed upon and adopted by the people of South Sudan.

south sudan map by counties

south sudan map by counties

Constitutional Review for Permanent constitution preparation:

For the people of South Sudan to develop and adopt a system of federal governance, they have to go through established institutions of the Transitional constitution for governance if they believe in good governance that respects established systems. Therefore, the current constitutional review process must be followed without resorting to short-cut initiatives to avoid future shortcomings that may result into poor definitions and wrong application of federal system in the constitution that would eventually fail good governance. Hence, the application of a federal system must pass through a constitutional review process leading to permanent constitution.

The Three Provinces of Southern Sudan and Districts as of 1st` Jan. 1956:

Equatoria Provincial Districts:

1. Kapoeta; 2. Torit; 3. Yei River; 4. Juba; 5. Maridi; 6. Yambio; 7. Tumbura

Bahr Al Ghazal Provincial:

1. Yirol; 2. Lakes; 3. Jur River; 4. Raga; 5. Aweil; 6. Tonj; 7. Gogrial;

Upper Nile Provincial Districts:

1. Renk; 2. Malakal; 3. Nasir; 4. Pibor; 5. Akobo; 6. Bor; 7. Bentiu; 8. Pangak; 9. Kodok.

The above former twenty-three provincial districts can be developed into states to replace the current ones inherited from Khartoum.

Specific cases:

Distinct cases that may require ethnic solutions could be resolved in direct consultation with the affected community wishing to either have its own administration, be joined to another community of their choice or remain within the same community. There shall be developed standards and criteria that can qualify an ethnic community to have a state in the consideration of population, resources and security.

Proposal for federal states:

The sub-committee charged with the purpose for structure of federal states agreed that the colonial districts are the best that can be used to structure federal states as this was based on the nationalities or ethic structure which was wholly in some cases and partial on others given realities on the ground.

This arrangement would allow nationalities to develop their languages with no serious problems, easy understanding of themselves due to illiteracy, backwardness and suspicion. In this manner much would be achieved in the long run when education changes the attitude of suspicion and backwardness thereby coming together and embracing larger communities for better understanding, achievement in development and love for greater improvement of life.

The committee then went down to discuss the terms of references: population, economy, cultural affiliation, geographical alignment, security consideration or any other dictating realities on the ground like ethnics integration settlement for instance.

south sudan map by state

south sudan map by state

The committee was able to arrive at the following results after heated debate and reasoning as thus:

List of States, Counties and Headquarters (H/Q):

E1 Imatong State:Torit +Ikotos+ Lafon+ Magwi; H/Q Torit
E2 Lomurnyang State: Kapoeta S. + Kapoeta North + Kapoeta East + Budi; H/Q Kapoeta
E3 Maridi State: Mundri West+ Mundri East + Mvollo + Ibba; H/Q Maridi
E4 Gbudwe State: Anzara + Yambio + Ezo + Tumbura + Nagero; H/Q Yambio
E5 Jubek State: Juba +Terekeka; H/Q Juba
E6 Yei River State: Yei + Kajo-keji + Morobo + Lainya; H/Q Yei

B1 Wau State: Bagari + Jur River; H/Q Wau
B2 Aweil State: Aweil South + Aweil Center; H/Q Aweil
B3 Lol State: Aweil West + Aweil North + Raga; H/Q Raga
B4 Aweil East State: Aweil East; H/Q Wanyjok
B5 Kiir State: Twic + Abyei; H/Q MayenAbun
B6 Gogrial State: Gogrial East + Gogrial West; H/Q Kuacjok
B7 Tonj State: Tonj North + Tonj East+ Tonj South; H/Q Tonj
B8 Lakes State: Yirol East+ Yirol West+ Awerial; H/Q Yirol
B9 Rumbek State: Cueibet + Rumbek East + Rumbek North + Rumbek Center + Wulu; H/Q Rumbek

U1 Liech State: Rubokona + Guit + Leer + Mayendit + Panyijar + Koch + Mayom; H/Q Bentiu
U2 Ruweng State: Panrieng + Abiemnom; H/Q Abiemnom
U3 Eastern Nile State: Renk + Maban + Melut + Baliet + Akoka + Pigi; H/Q Malakal
U4 Western Nile State: Panyikang + Kodok + Manyo; H/Q Kodok
U5 Jonglei State: Bor+ Twic East +Duk; H/Q Bor
U6 Bieh State: Fanjak+Ayod+Akobo+ Nyirol+Uror ; H/Q Ayod
U7 Latjoor State: Nasir+ Ulang + Maiwut+ Longuchok; H/Q Nasir
U8 Boma State: Pibor+Pachalla+Buma; H/Q Pibor

All the borders of these new states shall be based on 1956 borders of the three provinces of Southern Sudan by then.

Capital City

1. Ramciel shall be the capital city of the Federal State.
2. Juba shall be the temporary seat of the Federal Government until relocation to Ramciel is determined.
3. The residents of Ramciel and Juba shall have full measure of self-government. Particulars shall be determined by law.
4. The Administrations of Ramciel and Juba shall be responsible to the Federal Government until relocation to new Capital of Ramciel is finalized.
5. Residents of Ramciel and Juba shall in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, be represented in the National Legislative Assembly.
6. The special interests of Lakes State in Ramciel and Central Equatoria in Juba, regarding the provision of social services or the utilization of natural resources and other similar matters as well as joint Administrative matters arising from the location of Ramciel within Lakes State and Juba within Central Equatoria State, shall be respected. Particulars shall be determined by law.

*This is based on a thorough consultative study with various communities of South Sudan from September 2013 – June 2014.

Is There True Love ?

Posted: July 17, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in David Aoloch

Is there a true love?

By David Aoloch Bion

The true love
Is not taking vows near
The alter in the temple
or in the garden
And break them when divorce come
or when one dies
The true love
is making he and she
The Siamese twins
Who can’t
Separate either
In the thread of air.
In the pebble of soil
The true love
is Siamese twinness
Now and hereafter
.but it never since the creation

The days when one man, his wife and two young sons would come, kill, hijack, own, deny disregard, work tirelessly to distort or try to burry part of history made by fighters before him are long gone and consigned to history books…writes Lul Ruai Koang, Military Spokesman for SPLA in Opposition


Office of Director for Information & Moral Orientation&

 Military Spokesman for SPLA in Opposition

 Date: 16-7-2014

 Report N0.79

 Sub: SPLM/SPLA Official Website Exists Not Fake


 The Director of Information in the Office of Commander In Chief and the Military Spokesman for SPLA (Opposition) takes this golden opportunity to put records straight following reports published by Nyamilepedia and Sudan Tribune on 15th July 2014 which states that ‘’the SPLM/SPLA’s Office of Information and Public Relations informs the people of South Sudan and their sympathizers that the armed opposition is currently building a website and a smartphone app that are yet to be launched.”

Captain Mabior Garang De Mabior went on to deny the existence of, disowned it as the official website of the movement and urged the people to ignore it.

The Office of Director for Information and Moral Orientation in the Office of Commander In Chief and the Military Spokesman for SPLA (Opposition) would like to inform the people of South Sudan, supporters and regular readers that the website had been the official website of the armed resistance movement for the last four months and that it’s being hosted in Calgary Canada under able leadership of  Comrade Charles Piones as its co-founder and founding Chief Editor.

Comrade Mabior, while still the Deputy Spokesman for SPLM Delegation on Peace Talks in Addis Ababa did not bother to establish a website for our supporters to be kept updated about peace talks as well as made no efforts in knowing the level and degree of sacrifices made by our Gallant SPLA forces in the battlefields.

It had been this very website he is denying and disowning today that kept the whole world informed about PLM/SPLA’s remarkable achievements.

Secondly, upon his appointment as the Chairman of National Committee for Information and Public Relations, Comrade Mabior Garang De Mabior did not take a minute to be briefed by officers in charge of Department for Information and Moral Orientation on SPLA Affairs in order to familiarize him-self with what had transpired, achieved and put in place long before his appointment.

If Mabior wants to establish a website for his shadow Ministry of Information and Public Relations, he should not and must not start by denying, disowning, discrediting and throwing into dustbin efforts and sacrifices made by other comrades in the armed resistance.

The days when one man, his wife and two young sons would come, kill, hijack, own, deny disregard, work tirelessly to distort or try to burry part of history made by fighters before him are long gone and consigned to history books.

There is no room for hijackers in people’s resistance movement the SPLM/SPLA but only those who come to add value, compliment, supplement, improve or create new things without getting into conflict with comrades.

 Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang,

1. Akobo
2. Bor
3. Raga
4. Wau
5. Gogrial
6. Yei
7. Maridi
8. Torit
9. Kapoeta
10. Pibor
11. Fangak
12. Tonj
13. Yambio
14. Juba
15. Yirol
16. Rumbek
17. Unity state
18. Fashoda
19. Soba
20. Northern Upper Nile
21. Northern Bahr el Ghazal state


South Sudan’s Machar unveils plan to create more states (ST)

South Sudan’s former vice-president, Riek Machar, who for the past seven months has been leading an armed opposition faction of the ruling SPLM party has unveiled his group’s plan to create more states in implementing a resolution on a federal system of governance in the country.

The proposal calls for restructuring South Sudan into more administrative units, transforming the former 21 British colonial districts into new states.

Currently South Sudan has 10 states which Khartoum created in 1994 when the two countries were still one.

In a press release issued on Wednesday by the rebel leader’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak outlining the proposal, the new states boundaries shall remain as they stood in 1956 when Sudan, from which South Sudan broke away in 2011, became independent.

Dak said the proposal is a public document meant for a wider consultation with the stakeholders in the country and abroad.

“Stakeholders and the general public are welcome to discuss or comment on the proposal,” he said.

The opposition leader’s spokesman explained that a resolution was passed by the rebel group in April in Nasir adopting a federal system of governance for the country.

He said creation of more states will also promote development as it will take towns to the people.


In the new states proposal, former Kodok district becomes Fashoda state with its capital in Malakal town while Renk district, combined with Akoka county shall be known as Northern Upper Nile state with capital in Paloich town.

Nasir district and Baliet county become Sobat state with capital in Nasir town and Fangak district as Fangak state with capital in Fangak town, meanwhile Akobo district becomes Akobo state with capital in Waat.

Pibor district becomes Pibor state with its capital in Pibor town and the old Bor district shall become Bor state with Bor as its capital, while Bentiu district remains Unity state with its present capital in Bentiu.

Aweil district is already Northern Bahr el Ghazal state with capital in Aweil town, but Wau district shall be elevated to state with Wau town as its capital.

Former Raga district as Raga state with capital in Raga town and Gogrial district becoming Gogrial state with capital in Gogrial town. Tonj district as Tonj state with capital in Tonj and Rumbek district as Rumbek state with its capital in Rumbek.

Yirol district becomes Yirol state with capital in Yirol town while Yambio district as Yambio state with its capital in Yambio. Maridi district becomes Maridi state with capital in Maridi town.

Yei district elevated to Yei state with its capital in Yei and Juba district, which is currently the seat of the national government, becomes Juba state with Juba as its capital.

Torit district shall be elevated to Torit state with its capital in Torit town while Kapoeta district shall detach and form Kapoeta state with capital in Kapoeta town.

Dak further said the proposal by the leadership of the SPLM [in opposition] also recommended relocation of the national capital from Juba to Ramciel in the centre of the country.

The opposition faction also expressed the desire to restructure and reform all sectors of governance on the basis of a democratic federal constitution.

By Malith Alier, Juba


First of all I welcome myself back on panluelwel blog since I have been off the stage for about three weeks. The year twenty fourteen is such a bad year as ushered in by the December power struggle in the SPLM. It is not out of place to call it annus horribilis or horrible year. War, predicted famine, cholera, sanctions, defections, named them have dented our resolve to progress peacefully like China.

The UN predicts that this country is likely to experience famine in six months time right after the last year unfortunate events. For this reason, the very UN has intensified appeals for donations to counter the looming famine. This burden is the responsibility of all, beginning with South Sudanese themselves and not least their government.

However, the government has other ideas. The president today, donated food to the fasting South Sudanese Muslims to break their month long fast. The donation was announced by the presidential advisor on religious affairs, Fr. Mark Lotada.

However, He did not disclose why it was necessary for the president to donate food worth SSP 300,000 to the relatively affluent Muslim community in the country. The Muslims have investments in every sector in the country not to say the individual business each Muslim owns. They have large investments in property, schools, healthcare, agriculture, banking et cetera. Their per capita income is higher than anyone else, organisation or individual in South Sudan.
It is not the first time for the president to do something marvellous for the Islamic community.

Every year since CPA and every Ramadan, the president throws up breakfast for the community as it ends the fasting month. Despite the apparent glaring absurdity, the rest of the country turns a blind eye on the habit. It is not clear whether this is political or social endearment. Another thing which is not clear is whether the President’s contribution comes from his pocket or from public purse. This is what the religious advisor or the Bureau for Religious Affairs in the Office of the President should tell us.

Critically, South Sudanese ought to look at the interaction of the government and religion in the context of the Interim Constitution. The Interim Constitution states that the country is a secular state that bears no association with any religious tenets and dogmas. It therefore, shouldn’t condone and promote any religion particularly in the public affairs like important gatherings such as Independence Day celebration and other important public functions. This seems not to be the case.


More often than not, the two dominant religious leaders have been invited to grace government and public functions contrary to our conviction as enshrined in the constitution. This is one of the numerous violations of the constitution by the present government. Christianity and Islam are not the only two religions in the country. There are other religions that should be accorded the same treatment if it is acceptable to include religion in the functions of the state. The same government who was formed because of alleged discrimination should know better than this.

Some of the reason for the exclusion of religion in the government and public affairs stems from the old Sudan where religion (Islam) and the state are part and parcel of the other. The issue of religion was therefore, used to exclude others from government. There was a mantra that no non-Muslim should rule Muslims. This is the concept of an infidel who should be converted to Islam by all means. This is the basis why south Sudanese in their protracted struggle and after the CPA decided it was time to exclude religion in State affairs. Religion is a private matter between god and individual and should be treated as such. If religion is regarded as a tool for discrimination then it is wise to place it outside public affairs so that individuals exercise it in private with whatever they believe in.

The generosity of the President and the first family is unprecedented after the December fifteen crisis. Food has been donated to the SPLA wounded soldiers and even to the displaced people in camps. This is something that is commendable in all respect. However, a friend in need is a friend indeed. The Muslim community does not deserve the same treatment particularly if the funds donated come from the public coffers. At the time of crisis like this, generosity should be seen to target the deservedly needy and we have many of them in and outside the country.

The Islamic community in south Sudan is affluent and influential minority group that has a grip on the country’s wealth. It has a skewed economic advantage based on neo-colonial era after 1956 Sudan independence. It was the Islamic community that was solely exploiting the country through commerce and other means not available to the indigenous people of South Sudan. Their endeavour started with slave trade which later commuted to commodity trade in the later part of 19 century. This is simply to say that the Islamic community in the former Sudan and the Muslim minority group in present day South Sudan have long association with wealth and influence over other communities in the regions.

That influence many times is negatively antagonistic to the indigenous people of African descent. Enslavement, conquest, forced conversion, political hegemony and divide and rule are some of the negative aspects they brought along with them.

The Islamic terrorism which is menacing the world awaits South Sudan as the Muslims amass in the country. Somalia is in chaos, Kenya is under attack from Al Shabab, Uganda was bombed in 2012, CAR is in disarray. Therefore, there is no cause to entertain Islam which is associated with terrorism. The South Sudan Islamic community which is the darling of the president is indeed a hydra with so many heads that make it capable of striking without notice. The examples above confirm this fact.

Politics breeds strange bed fellows. The government should note that mediocre politics and softly approach has already landed the country in current abyss.
A complete separation of religion and state is the best way forward for South Sudan. This helps the state to avoid unintended consequences as was the case in the old Sudan and other Islamic countries.

Despite the fact that we have a constitution that separates religion and state, nobody has so far challenged the state for non-adherence to the constitution. The Constitution seems to have been taken for granted not only in reference to religion but also in many other respects. This must cease. Organisations or even individuals must come out to challenge the state in matters of the Constitution.

This is a democratic right enshrined in the same Constitution. A nation that does not honour its Constitution goes adrift and may land in chaos. This is not an outlandish proclamation, it has already happened to us twice in the old Sudan and now.

Sudan – Assessment of Justice, Accountability and Reconciliation Measures, 2014



Posted: July 15, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Featured Articles

By Philips Al-Ghai

south sudan map by counties

south sudan map by counties

While the country lies apparently on the verge of falling apart, recent weeks have seen the infiltration of calls for federalism into the national agenda.

Typically, like any other political debate in S. Sudan, cheerleaders have already spiced it with sentiments that suggest dishonesty, contempt, and mistrust as they attempt to lure their flocks into embracing their take. Phrases like “rebel agenda”, “agenda of Equatorians”, “saving Equatoria from Dinkocrats”, “to get rid of Dinka” etc are currently floating in the mouths of many.

Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that 1) Federalism is a national agenda and deserves opinions of S. Sudanese from all walks of life. Those harboring cognitive allergies to this topic might need to see their psychiatrists. 2) It should not be used as a tool to hold the current government for disguised political ransom. It carries more value for all S. Sudanese than just individual interests.

Although I am a strong supporter of federalism, a system that would mark the next politico-economic step towards the prosperous S. Sudan in my definition, recent calls for federalism leave a lot to be desired.

Let’s be a bit rational about this. It is an overhaul of the existing system, a change easier said than done in reality.

Establishing a viable federal system would need careful study of failures of the current political system –which are countless of course, identifying common pathologies that need to be remedied by the federal governments, and ensuring that better alternatives are at hand. Otherwise, recycling the present selfish, abusive, aliens-to-the-rule-of-law, unambitious, ‘Oyee’ stooges in the national parliament, as crude as they are, for instance, would spell a whole different disaster for ordinary S. Sudanese who are certainly in dire need of change. It is in the hands of these same individuals that the nation is rocked by conflict, still nursing unspeakable poverty and poor delivery of services. What would federalism bring if it happens tomorrow? Just as the conversion of units doesn’t change the quantity of a substance, giving these lots new micro-niches in the name of federalism won’t make them any different at the look of things.

Furthermore, the federal system, whichever form it will be, would require prior evaluation of the national budget, current & future state of the economy, and terms of sharing resources, just to name a few. Yet none of the above is possible with the current state of affairs. So, how is federalism possible without any of these? Or are they not necessary altogether? These, I feel, cast serious doubts on sincerity in the voices calling for federalism now.

Although it is a commendable agenda, federalism at this point is utterly misplaced and mistimed. An unrealistic, disguised maneuver of opportunists trying to nurture safer foraging nooks for themselves, it seems. A resolute action to taming the reigning bloody thieves would have laid concrete foundation for the revolution of people’s power that can be advanced into federalism.

Whatever the motives, we must not lose sight of the future. Federalism promises long-term solutions to most of our problems. I believe. But it must be given direction. It must be geared towards salvaging S. Sudanese from the rule of elites. A slight mistake in crafting it, which is likely to happen if we choose to cloth the elites with federalism and shuffle them around, is bound to break S. Sudan into pieces that would be hard to assemble.

We must approach it with more rationale than taking it at face value!


Philips Al-Ghai is a proud S. Sudanese and can be reached at or on Twitter @ Al_Ghai211.