Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category


By Gai James Kai, Kampala, Uganda

July 29, 2015 (SSB) —- The more we analyses these events happening in our so-called ‘‘August house,” the more the site of the state oppression comes up. In every facet of our life, the agents of the state oppress us, with the political leaders unable or unwilling to intervene. For some small needs, bribes are demanded in most part of South Sudan and the good for voting (poor citizens) suffer the most! If citizens rightfully protest, they are mercilessly and brutally beaten up by the police under the full glare of their representatives, or throw into jail for no reason. Be aware that no police in a democratic country beats up people like our police do, sometimes using live bullet instead of teargas uses by the most Low Developing Countries – LDCs.

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By Taban Abel Aguek, Rumbek, Lakes State

Bishop Deng Bul (in red), praying with President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Bishop Deng Bul (in red), praying with President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

July 28, 2015 (SSB) — The efforts for peace in South Sudan and the international community shall always never skip a mention. Even as people criticize IGAD, TROIKA or the negotiating teams, it’s good to appreciate their commitment to bringing peace in South Sudan. That makes stronger our belief in being members of the family of nations of Africa and the world.

But despite the efforts by IGAD and the International Community to bring to an end the war in South Sudan, it is a feeling of large masses that their mediators are not honest in drawing solutions to the conflict. Each time the warring parties refused to sign an agreement, IGAD has always gone back to the drawing board but only to reappear with no significant improvements on the issues of the agreement that touch on the lives of common citizens. Secondly, the IGAD mediators seem to care too much about what rebels want than anything else since the negotiations started in January 2014. It’s why negotiations have stuck at the point of Dr. Riek’s demands, referred to as ‘contentious issues,’ and not at the Government side.

These contentious issues are power sharing, system of governance, the issue of two armies, the compensation and reparation of the victims of the conflict. Out of all these that were presented by the rebels and rejected by the Government through IGAD One, only federalism has been left out by IGAD Plus in their latest peace proposal. And from here the word ‘compromised’ was forged. But is that enough to be called a compromise?

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By Opoka Christopher Arop, Juba, South Sudan

war

July 28, 2015 (SSB) — For a people that are so proud and pomp with pride; hearing foreigners call our conflict “senseless” has been a disturbing pill to swallow. I had expected some army Generals and senior government and opposition politicians to posit some epic rants about this predisposition. I never for once thought this day would pass, when our gallant “liberators” would sink as low, and embrace as a fact that our or “their” war has been “senseless” indeed. And “senseless” in every demeaning and belittling interpretation you can make of the word.

There has been little or none whatsoever of a thread of protestation from both the government and the rebel, in government and outside government. I say this and attempt to generalize the word rebel, because I have now conceded that we are all rebels in one way or another and in every way at the end. We have reached a time in our short history where, ideas alone can send you to the gallows faster than convictions for poorly orchestrated staged coup, by people who were both premised to kill each other, that fateful December 2013; many years earlier or in 2014, 2015 and of course in the many years to come. We are all rebel, and we must be proud, at the very least, those of us, that are labeled rebel, for our ideas now, and perhaps later for our actions and the actions of those that are triggered by our writings and speeches.

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By Peter Mapuor Makur Malith – Nairobi, Kenya

South Sudan Rebels: Nuer White Army Fighters

South Sudan Rebels: Nuer White Army Fighters

July 28, 2015 (SSB) — Is ethnicity a curse or a blessing? Ethnicity is a debatable issue in political relationships. Particularly in Africa, ethnicity has been at the heart of much of the contemporary conflicts. Ethnicity is often portrayed as a trigger factor in many conflicts. Ethnicity is also often being blamed as a tool to mobilize people during conflicts.

In many parts of Africa people from different ethnicities live in peace and co-exist without any conflict. The country in point is Tanzania in East Africa. Tanzania is believed to be less ethnically politicized despite having one-hundred-20 ethnic groups. The two largest ethnic groups in Tanzania are linguistically and culturally closely related. The traditional homelands of the Sukuma and Nyamwezi are in western Tanzania, south of Lake Victoria. Then why is ethnicity such a great cause of conflict in other parts of Africa?

In most African countries, there’s a struggle over “who the God’s chosen people are” especially in the struggle for Christianity and Islamic religions. Religion just like ethnicity, people are sensitive about it because religion forms part of an individuals’ identity. Religion is not only an integrated part of individual identities, but it is also important for group identity. Religion and nationalism goes hand in hand.

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By Opoka Christopher Arop, Juba, South Sudan

July 28, 2015 (SSB) —- Part of the reason our country has gone through all these dark pages in our short new history is because of a failure by the political leadership to identify and implement a development path. This failure was first among the political elite, but it soon spread to the middle class and then slowly but surely it consumed the civil service as more and more people became overexcited by the opportunities now before them, and nationalism and a specific development objective was thrown out the window.

One development expert and a former Ambassador of Germany to one African country said during a media experts workshop on China—Africa relations: “Many African governments are not asking why German companies are not fully involved in building Africa, but instead the German people are willing to send donor aid…the other question is why Chinese companies are all over Africa, doing all and everything…” the Ambassador stated to a seemingly astonished audience. The official was the least surprised.

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By Sunday de John, Nairobi Kenya

 kiiriiek

July 27, 2015 (SSB)  —-  With proposed peace pact delivered to the belligerent parties, it is inevitable that what everybody has been yearning for is already underway. What boggle one’s mind are the perception by stakeholders and the content of the proposed agreement.

In many instances, there are discrepancies glaringly alarming within the paper that are sending chills down the political spine of the warring parties and other stakeholders in the political dispensation. On either side, what the mediators referred to as Compromise Peace Agreement has caused mixed reactions with possibility that the reactions would disregard the feasibility of the motives behind this great work of the interested well wishers.

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By Ajo Noel Julious, Juba, South Sudan

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.

July 27, 2015 (SSB) —– Land in South Sudan is a prickly thing, complicated even further by the confusion associated with legal land ownership. The parallels and discrepancies between provisions in the laws and practice on the ground have driven the confusion. The absence of sound government policy on land ownership has made it even worse.

Starting at the beginning, economists divide the factors of production into four categories: land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship. The first factor of production is land, including any natural resource used to produce goods and services. Thus, land is an essential element of any well-functioning economy. In this piece, I will focus on land as the first factor of production, but will specifically address the plots, hectares, acres, and miles of land used for establishing residential houses or businesses.

Under the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011, the people of South Sudan own all the country’s land and its usage is regulated by the government in accordance with the Constitution and Law. The applicable law in this case is the Land Act of 2009.

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