Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category


By Alfred Ladu Gore

Alfred Lado Gore, with Riek Machar, in Pagak, Upper Nile state, 12 DEC 2014

Alfred Lado Gore, with Riek Machar, in Pagak, Upper Nile state, 12 DEC 2014

1. The Effects of Flawed Methodological Approach on the Fundamental Issues Arising from the Crisis Situation in South Sudan

In the methodological context of this paper, it is better to be up-front as a non-partisan method of analysis in revealing the emotions, feelings, experiences and interest of the author in exposing what is really happening with the IGAD peace process that has stagnated and in turn how it has not made any head way at all.

The collapse of the South Sudan peace talks mediated by the IGAD was expected because the process was fraught with difficulties and far from achieving its target, despite setting numerous datelines to achieve peace and restore stability to South Sudan. The failure of the talks exposed the lack of knowledge and deficiency in the methodology the mediators employed. Such failure compounds the IGAD peace process without concrete understanding of the obstacles and opportunities confronting those who want to bring fundamental political change.

In the current stage, it is not possible for the mediators to fully comprehend how peace and justice can be achieved in that young country. It is also a clear indication of the lack of the seriousness on the part of President Kiir’s regime, which committed genocide in Juba in December 2013 and horrendously waged war on South Sudanese citizens based on ethnic differences, to restore peace to the people of South Sudan, precipitating the level of political violence of unprecedented scale in the country. The stakeholders and the International Community should now know who, exactly, is obstructing peace agreement at the talks in Addis Ababa. The downturn of the peace process was not by accident but a failure resulting from a wide range of factors which became ever more apparent as some concerned parties eventually found out.

President Salva Kiir, adamantly, refused to negotiate peace agreement in Addis Ababa because some of his rouge ministers and army commanders in Juba threatened to take over the government if he signed any peace agreement with the SPLM/SPLA leader, Dr. Riek Machar. They intend to buy time to apply military solution to resolve the conflict – a fate he has failed to achieve in the last 15 months. President Kiir should have realized by now that he has failed to use military means to win the war he started. It is very unfortunate that Salva Kiir and his group have decided to prolong the suffering of the millions of South Sudanese just to remain in power for three more years using unconstitutional means.

The amendment to extend the terms of a sitting president and National Legislative Assembly is not provided for in the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan. Therefore, the government of President Kiir should be considered illegitimate. By the act of manipulating the instruments of governance in the country, Kiir has declared war on the South Sudanese and expressed complete disregards to the IGAD peace process. The regime in Juba is now a legitimate target for forceful eviction from power as it is no longer an elected government and has resorted to employing dictatorial tactics to remain in office.

It is now time that the report of the African Union Commission of Inquiry in South Sudan (AUCISS), that has been deliberately withheld purportedly to give the peace talks a chance and not to jeopardize it, is made public and all culprits mentioned in the report taken to the court of justice to prevent the repetition of government sponsored war crimes and crimes against humanity in the future. The publication of AUCISS report will put a complete stop to the impunity perpetrated by the government and its machineries against innocent unarmed civilians.

The UN Security Council resolution to pass sanction regime against certain individuals in President Kari’s regime who are accused of instigating genocide against Nuer tribesmen in Juba is timely and very much welcomed. This is a step in the right direction and will make those who claim to lead the people of South Sudan be more accountable for any barbaric actions against South Sudanese citizens. The sanction on individuals should not be misconstrued as sanction on the whole country. Salva Kiir and his cronies in Juba are trying to mislead people that the UN Sanctions will be imposed on South Sudan to evoke the emotions of the citizens. The UN Security Council document clearly says the sanctions will be imposed on individuals who are found to be instigators of the violence and, by extension, responsible for the killing of Nuer people in Juba and obstructing peace to return to the country which they have destroyed

2. A Set of Critical Choices the Mediators Must Make for Successfully Negotiated End to the Conflict.

To avoid facing challenges with the South Sudan peace negotiations once it is started again under the refurbished IGAD forum, the mediators need to approach the conflict in a constructive manner and rethink the entire process. It is important that the countries participating in the mediation are increased and selected judiciously giving considerations to the principles of neutrality, knowledge, skills and experiences. The negotiation process should be allowed to benefit from dialogue on the critical issues that would bring lasting peace to the country.

The mediators need to resist the temptation of predesigned peace agreement that the parties will be forced to sign or face consequences disciplinary action. By doing so, the interactive problems that beset the first nine sessions of the peace negotiations could be circumvented and imposition of solutions in favor of the genocidal government of Kiir can be prevented, to open up the process for constructive dialogue among the conflicting parties and participants based on democratic practices. Nevertheless, all those challenges can be corrected now by setting forth a new process and communication standards among the concerned parties. The importance of reinvigorating the peace talks cannot be underestimated. It is imperative, urgent and decisive for the success of the next round of talks, so that it does not stagnate and crumble.

The IGAD, African Union (AU), United Nations Security Council (UNSC), United States of America (USA), China and Troika have to make a critical set of choices to determine the nature and extend of the transitional government of national unity. They seem to be unconcerned about the fundamental issues that triggered the conflict. The conflict has not only evolved into a civil war in South Sudan, but it has sparked a cycle of horrific social disorder that is rapidly spreading everywhere due to the inability of Salva Kiir’s regime to cope with it. The level of lawlessness in the country has now started a wave of popular uprising of South Sudanese in Upper Nile, Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria regions, who elected Kiir in the 2010 general elections, to remove him from power.

The widespread disapproval of the regime in Juba is a reality that mocks the assertions that President Kiir is a legitimate president. The support of some foreign countries to President Kari’s government, even after slaughtering more than 50,000 Nuer and other ethnicities in a period of 2 days, amounts to double standards. It also confirms that these countries and some individuals connected to the IGAD peace process have interests in South Sudan that could only be protected by President Salva Kiir. The killing of thousands of innocent South Sudanese does not matter to them as long as their interests are intact. These countries and some individuals with vested interests in South Sudan have orchestrated and overseen the utter destruction of other regimes in other countries in the name of democracy and human rights. Why then is the fascist regime of Salva Kiir an exception?

Over one year following the holocaust in Juba, the country remains without human rights, basic freedoms and institutions of law to protect its citizens. It is a typical “failed” state and the most dangerous place to live in the world as independent observers have labeled it. This underscores the fact that Kiir is untrustworthy because he focuses on himself and cares less about his own people. Such a leader, automatically, breaks bond of trust with the people who support him and those he governs and should no longer be treated with high honor and respect as before. Those countries and individuals seen to be taking sides in favor of the Juba regime in the peace talks are compromise their positions and must be excluded from the talks.

The recent announcement to reconvene another round of peace talks, possibly in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, has come as relief. It is a welcome initiative and indicates the commitment to restore lasting peace in the war-torn country. But certain cardinal questions to ask are: Will the new initiative focus on the root causes of the war leading to a permanent resolution of the conflict or it will simply seek to impose peace agreement without addressing the core issues? Will the mediators approach the new peace negotiations without factoring in their subjective, preferential alignment with a warring party at the expense of another as was explicit in the, previous, collapsed peace talks?

3. The imperative need for new Paradigm shift to create socio-political space: Inclusive and Equitable Processes for Meaningful Change.

As the IGAD and its partners think of new mechanisms and strategies to end the conflict in the country, it should, seriously, consider not limiting the negotiations to power-sharing and structure of the government during the transitional period. But they should develop a comprehensive framework to resolve the root causes of the conflict to usher in a government that is transparent and accountable to its citizens.

Any attempt to bring about peace agreement that concentrates power in the hands of particular ethnic elites backed by politically aligned army, will only put in place a system that will oppress South Sudanese. Every effort must be exerted to ensure the military, security and law enforcement agencies are representative of the diverse ethnicities of South Sudan and must be separated from the political leadership. The peace talks must be approached in a systematic manner and not changing from one position to another or coming up with new and unacceptable proposals every time a new session of peace talks begin. This sort of vacillation makes the talks more difficult, problematic and counter-productive because the mediators want to patronize and impose their will on the participants by refusing to take into account their views on the settlement of the conflict.

Furthermore, the lack of well conceptualized agenda to guide the peace talks is to blame for the failure of the mediators. It is important to develop a framework containing core issues which are of uttermost concern to South Sudan such as federalism which, from 1947 has been their demand in the quest for a genuine democratic system of governance that devolves power to the masses. It is now clear that federal system of governance is the most popular demand of the people of that country, as endorsed in the resolution number 2(c) of the National Peace Conference of South Sudanese Tribes held at the Nyokuron Cultural Center in Juba on 17th – 18th February 2015. The IGAD mediators should take heed of this and include in the protocols for the peace agreement if their efforts are to bring lasting peace and stability to those people.

There are important rays of hope with the expansion of the peace process in which a number of countries are expected to take part in mediating the peace talks. Such development deeply concerns South Sudanese people of varied backgrounds and interest. They are yarning for a system of governance that gives sufficient power to the ordinary people to address issues affecting their lives in the areas of security, corruption, tribalism, discrimination, assimilation etc. The prominence of the federal system of governance lies in that it gives freedom to all the ethnic groups that make up the South Sudanese nation without any exception or exclusion. Each ethnic group will have space to spread its wings and can decide its affairs within a federal context.

4. The Exacerbation of Tension and Reinforcement of Ethnic Hegemonic Power: The Collapse of the Regime in Juba and Need for Its Replacement.

It is not surprising such a note-worthy system of governance as federalism, that promotes fraternal solidarity among people, close cooperation among them and their government in designing programs for peace, stability and development to advance their welfare, is opposed and brutally attacked by the regime in Juba. The government is more concerned with promoting ethnic hegemony and spreading social disorder, particularly in Equatoria region than it is with providing security and social services to its people who have experienced the most negative manifestations of that regime’s mismanagement and neglect of their region.

As a result many negative consequences have followed from there as President Kari’s regime, mercilessly, grabbed and occupied ancestral homelands and properties of the people of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Western Bahr el Ghazal claiming that they liberated them with their own blood. The harassment and intimidation of indigenous people in those regions and particularly Equatoria, is going on unabated and is increasing in intensity and coverage. This unprecedented negative phenomena unheard of in Africa, has aroused tensions all over that region. The message, therefore, is very clear and direct – the people of greater Equatoria, who are an integral part of the Republic of South Sudan standing in solidarity with the victimized Nuer people, are facing extermination threats from Salva Kiir’s regime and his war mongering supporters. Equatorians are now left with no other option but to take up arms to fight for their own survival. On account of this, they are demanding for a table at the peace talks to articulate their own views on the conflict and its resolution.

The mismanagement of national issues by the elites of the dominating ethnic groups preoccupied mostly with getting government top jobs in the last ten years overshadowed national interests, casting doubts on the question of South Sudanese nationalism. Salva Kiir’s regime is wallowing in a presumed unlimited power without resolving the nationality question to the satisfaction of the majority ethnic groups.

President Kiir has failed in his attempt to turn the country into a thriving democracy. He has also failed to formulate and implement viable socio-economic and political systems resulting in stagnation of South Sudanese economy and its isolation from the rest of the world. Everyone in the country now knows that with this infamous regime in power, with its ever dwindling support base and lack of respectability nationally, regionally and internationally; democracy, federalism, political accountability, transparency, press freedom, political inclusivity, human rights, public debate and consensus building will not be associated with South Sudan. It is not possible for Salva Kiir to achieve political and economic stability because of his inherent incompetence and divisive policies that are inflaming ethnic tensions and polarizing communities.

5. Conclusion

• The IGAD and its partners the AU, UNSC, US, China and the Troika must take a momentous decision if they are to contain the harrowing situation in South Sudan. The peace process should focus on achieving a concrete historical agreement that must reflect the broader interests of all the ethnic groups of people. Such an agreement should of necessity be within a political framework in which federalism as the most popular demand in the country is reflected in the composition of the institutions of the resultant government as well as in any of its agencies. The conduct of the affairs of the government shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character and nature of the Republic of South Sudan. Any peace agreement that will seek to promote the dominance of persons from one or a few ethnic or other sectional groups as it is evident with President Kiir’s regime will be resisted.

• Transitional justice must be central to any peace talks because it will bring about the process of healing and reconciliation. However, rebuilding this under the regime of President Kiir is impossible. It is important that peace agreement in South Sudan must be seen to be inclusive and concluded on the basis of wider consultations and participations involving diverse groups who are also victims of and neglected by Salva Kiir’s regime. Therefore, such an agreement must not be imposed from outside.
• Concentrating the peace talks on power-sharing is, understandably, the easiest way out of the current political and military quagmire. But this is ignoring the reasons why genocide was carried out by, supposedly, an elected president. Failure to openly discuss why South Sudanese citizens were killed in large number in December 2013 will constitute a missed opportunity to bring a lasting peace to the country and make South Sudan a politically and economically stable country. In this sense the core political, security and governance issues that brought about the genocide must be on top of the agenda of the forthcoming peace talks.

• Inclusive approach to the peace talks will not only represent the diversity of the three regions of South Sudan, but will bring out the actual underlying socio-political problems that started afflicting the country from before its independence. Without resolving these issues, the stability of the country is doubtful and will throw its future into perpetual political limbo.
• As South Sudanese, there is need to, critically and deeply, reflect on the way forward to save the country from total collapse and disintegration and to give the citizens the chance to transform their lives. However, this level of nationalism will only be attained in the absence of the, current, ideologically bankrupt and perennially corrupt leadership of Salva Kiir’s regime in Juba. The removal of Kiir from power still remains the desired end result of December 2013 uprising, so that it is replaced with progressive government, focused with clear vision and right-minded leadership that can swiftly restore confidence and trust of the traumatized citizens yarning for new country in which every citizen counts. Fundamental change is a vibrant reality that the people demand not political marriage of convenience as manifested in the clamor of the elites of competing ethnic groups to form transitional government of national unity that is never a remedy at all. South Sudanese deserve to be free after suffering and making huge sacrifices for their independence. They deserve to be treated like equal human beings with all rights to express themselves freely without fear of being intimidated by a biased and tribal security agencies, that have unregulated access to guns and operating in an environment devoid of law and order. For all South Sudanese to live in peace and feel secure, the current government must be unconditionally dismantled, reconstituted and guided by a democratic federal constitution.

Alfred Ladu Gore is the SPLM-IO deputy chairman. The views expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author on the current political issues in South Sudan.


By Anyieth D’Awol, Juba, South Sudan

rssin mess

March 30, 2015 (SSB)  —  ‘Women are the pride of our families and societies,’ we were told. ‘Many cows will be paid for you’. It is said with pride – the way it has always been and the way it must be. The intention is for the cultural systems to link families and communities together and ensured a girl is married into a family that will value her as much hers. It is said that the culture is unchangeable and where it has transformed, it is blamed on war but still, it must be respected.

Rape, sexual harassment, forced and early marriage and exploitation have become so common that what we have been told about how special we are must be a lie.The reality is,today a girl is monetized before marriage and treated like property after it. In times of conflict, being considered precious by our tribes only makes us targets, a means to inflict pain on the perceived other. In the end, it is everyone who loses. Men, women and the children we bear,our cultures and the country we all share.

As a human rights activist in South Sudan since 2005, I have heard countless accounts of inter-community violence, human loss and sexual violence. Cruelty has become the accepted culture and the only remedies are tolerance or violence. They were called remnants of war and it’s effects on culture and time will heal all. Of course, the issues never faded and time did not heal. Undeniably, it is ignoring the violence that is costing South Sudan its future, Africa its regional stability and the world its newest nation.

During the second war(1983-2005) between South Sudanese and the government of Sudan, women were kept from the frontlines. Instead, it was decreed that they were to have children to replace the millions being killed as a result of the war. This created vulnerabilities for women as the duty to procreate was now part of the war efforts. Women were killed and many suffered rapes at the hands of both enemies and their own communities.

This mentality carried on after the war. Throughout the relative peace between 2005 and 2013, sexual violence only increased in frequency and intensity.

‘I want to go home’ said Sarah,a 13-year old girl, as she stared through the bushes and trees towards her father’s home. Sarah’s neighbor had just raped her when she got home from school while her mother and father were out. After hearing her ordeal, I walked over to talk to her mother. ‘This is how it is and how it was for me too.’ She said, crying helplessly. When her father had arrived home, he beat Sarah for being raped and dragged her to the neighbor’s house. He demanded a settlement for her dowry. Sarah’s feelings and her justice were not a consideration.

This was one of my first sexual violence cases in South Sudan in early 2006. In many of our cultures, raping a girl would be considered a legitimate way to marry. For Sarah, that was the start of her marriage and the rest of her life. I do not know what became of her,how many children she has, but hers is the story of many women.The truth is, the cultures are depraved because the central values are lost. Women, culturally held dear, are degraded, in order to uphold the same culture.

The humiliation results in women reconciling to their fate, running away or killing themselves – the way it has always been, the way it must be. This is the same logic applied to the crisis facing the nation. Those who created the conditions and executed the war, guided by personal needs and grievances rather than the values of leadership, are the ones that can resolve it, exclusively.

When the political disputes between the President and the former Vice President erupted on 15 December 2013, the violence between the military quickly assumed ethnic overtones and spread across the country within days. Targeted killing of Nuer citizens in Juba started a wave of revenge killings of citizens in Bor, Malakal, Bentiu and elsewhere. This current conflict, described as senseless even by the warring sides, does not spare women or girls – they have been specifically targeted.

Killings and rapes are repaid with killings and rapes. Sexual violence has been inflicted on a scale unseen even by the brutal standards of previous wars. Victims range in age from young girls to elderly women, some in their 80s. Many stories tell of women given the option between rape and death. Women who refused to be raped were penetrated with sticks, guns and other objects and bled to death. Those who chose rape were gang raped, many not surviving the brutality. Pregnant women had their babies ripped out of them.

Knowledge that justice will never come motivates the revenge killings. Perpetrators of violence are acting to destroy everything,even our elders and our babies, our history and our future. The brutality inflicted ensures the pain is deeper, lasts longer and is never forgotten. The question is:are the issues at the root of this conflict even being addressed?

The answer is no. The culture of violence and abuse is brushed off as a by-product of bigger problems, rather than the problem. Indeed, fear and threat of violence is what makes the powerful, powerful. The need and urgency to address the violence is treated as inopportune and that accountability will cause more violence. We are persuaded that accountability is less important than peace. But, what is peace when there is so much violence? And what is a peace that does not address all this violence?

From my experience, time alone cannot heal all, especially that which is repeated. During the latter part of 2014, many of us held onto the hope that the AUCISS report, completed in October 2014, would be released. It would reveal the full scale of what our people have suffered over the last year and name those responsible. Signed agreements between the warring parties promised an inclusive process to address the root causes, ensure justice and accountability and guarantee those responsible would be excluded from any future government.

In late January 2015, Africa’s leaders decided that the report was untimely because the report might derail a peace agreement and postponed the consideration and release of the African Union’s Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS) report.

The March 5 deadline for the warring parties to sign the peace deal came and went and we do not have peace,nor reasonable prospects for it and the violence simply continues.African leaders took a huge gamble that the parties would sign a peace deal. It is questionable that either party has the will or the power to bring peace to South Sudan, put it on the path to prosperity and reconcile the people.

Signing a peace deal for fear of the truth will not bring us the peace we need. Rather,confronting the truth will be the first steps towards forging the peace we must have if this nation is to emerge from this dark period.

On March 5, a draft of the AUCISS was leaked. The African Union’s response, on March 16, stated ‘categorically that the so-called ‘report’ … is not that of the Commission of Inquiry. ‘The claim of ignorance is degrading to those who died, those that continue to suffer and those who spoke to the Commission.

It is clear the document is unfinished but people have been quoted, others named and incidents described. In light of its content and what we already know, the decision to indefinitely postpone the consideration and release, is shocking.But the problems we face are clear and the opportunities to rectify them exist.

With honesty and a chance of a future that is different from what we have had,we may start to live by the values that actually matter and end the violence. Nearly four years ago,the people of South Sudan celebrated independence peacefully and united with extraordinary joy. That is the nation we want.

The prospect of a real future has been our most tested route to silencing the guns.The final and official AUCISS report should be released if the intention is to end the war and the culture of violence. From that point, we may find our path to a more hopeful future.

Anyieth D’Awol is a human rights activist and Founder and Director of the ROOTS Project, a civil society organization based in Juba, South Sudan


By Emmanuel Malual Makuac, Kenya

March 30, 2015 (SSB)  —-   Thousands of South Sudanese Christian march in Church processions to join the rest of the world in celebration of Palm Sunday, the day Christian commemorate Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey.

On the celebrations and prayers for South Sudan, the Christians in Eldoret center their prayers on peace and reconciliation in the country ahead of the peace talks resumption in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in April 2015.

The faithful Christian ask God to open the way for two leaders of South Sudan, the armed rebel leader Riek Machar and President Kiir Mayardit to put aside their differences and bring peace to South Sudan.

One of the pastors denounces the issue of tribalism and war in South Sudan saying that politicians have planted the seeds of ethnic hatred. It need to be uprooted by the youth, he said, telling the youth not to blindly follow the politicians for political reason or along tribal lines.

He continues by declaring that South Sudan belong to all of us regardless of our tribes, religions, gender.

“We are one people for the betterment of the country,” he stresses. Our country is in serious crisis cause by certain individuals who need power by force, the pastor added.

The prayers for Palm Sunday was attended by four churches in Eldoret to pray for one voice so that God can answer their prayers to bring peace in the republic of South Sudan.

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By James Okuk, PhD, Juba.

Dr. James Okuk

Dr. James Okuk

March 29, 2015 (SSB)  —-   When faced with choice between two evils, choose none even if one of the choices is a lesser evil in a utilitarian term of “principle of double effects”. This is the bottom line of postulates of Christian morality. Hence, the Democratisation and Human Rights independent journalist, Mr. Peter Gai Manyuon, is advised to note this about Dr. James Okuk because the biography he provided is purely propagandist and out of anger against for no any substantiated apparent justification.

Mr. Peter would have not looked nonsensical had he remained general without getting specific about the personality and academic qualifications of Dr. Okuk, which he is ignorant about. Also it would have been less stupid had he consulted the Library of University of Nairobi to get the correct title and content of the thesis and be informed whether it was given to South Sudanese intellectuals globally to critique. University of Nairobi is a no-joke academic institution. If it awards a student a PhD degree it means it.

Dr. Okuk was ranked one of the best and youngest of his batch, supervised for four years by Prof. Joseph Nyasani and Associate Prof. Dr. Karori Mbugua who are well known for their intellectual keenness in the area of political philosophy. Three of his colleagues failed to make it in time as they stumbled in defending their theses in front of tough external examiners.

Regarding my relationship with Dr. Lam Akol, I don’t need to waste time on it because it is a blood and lineage link that no human being can take away. Dr. Lam is my paternal uncle from Doleib Hill (Katum Ted as called by Nuer) in Panyikango County of the Royal Shilluk Kingdom in Upper Nile State, and with pride of what he is, both intellectually and politically. Dr. Lam is an honest and genius hardworking astute politician who doesn’t entertain lies in order to cover the truths that need to be known with time.

However, what I write is my own intellectual property with copyright, and what Dr. Lam writes is his. If our writings happen to converge at some instances then you need to treat them as incidents of truth coincidences worth noting. Dr. Lam cannot accept to write an article, leave alone a thesis, for another person. Get this well from me if you have not got the chance to know him very closely.

Any way let me get back to what is at the stake without unnecessary distractions as it is said that small minds find consolation in discussing people while big minds find delight in discussing ideas.

First,  Mr. Peter Gai, should know that shame is the destiny of liars and evil-promoting propagandists, not those who have the courage to revere and say the truth even while in the lion mouth.

Secondly, any human life matters because it is a sanctity matter; no laughing and no celebration. That is why lies shouldn’t be tolerated on loss lives of people in South Sudan whether they are Nuer members or non-Nuer ethnicities. The lie on above 20,000 Nuer members killed ‘genocidedly’ in Juba on 15, 16, 17 and 18 December 2013 shouldn’t continue to be tolerated because this is not a laughing matter.

We should be accurate on death counts and know what constitutes ‘genocide’ strictly as defined in ICC Rome Statute and in the UN ocuments.  If there are people who thrive or want to gain power on dead bodies in South Sudan, I think it is time to tell them ‘enough is enough’ against this evil tactical practice.

Thirdly, we don’t need to crack our heads on this matter because we can come up with some basic understanding based on simple logical calculus. It could go like this:

1) Check the Number of Nuer Population in Juba before 15 December 2013.

2) Check the number of Nuer members who took refuge in UNMISS camps (Jebel and Airport) on 16, 17 and 18 December 2013 in Juba but don’t include the non-Nuer members who took refuge there as well.

3) Subtract the latter (2) numbers from the former population (1).

4) Subtract the number of the Nuer members who managed to escape from Juba via UNMISS camps or through other routes.

5) Add the number of the Nuer members who are still camping in UNMISS at Jebel in Juba now to those who went back to their homes and to those who have managed to escape from Juba to other safer places inside or abroad.

6) Subtract the comprehensive addition (5) from the Nuer population in Juba before 15 December 2013 (1) and you can get to a conclusion that the actual number of Nuer members who targetedly got killed in Juba will not be above 20,000 as it has been propagated by SPLM/A-IO and their sympathisers.

Fourthly, what is known, though not presently said, is that the biggest death in Nuer tribe came from the very Nuer politicians and liars (i.e., politikach in Nuer Language) themselves who mobilised the White Army and other Nuer sectors to die in masses in front lines  of the current senseless war of power greed between the cursed SPLM leaders?

The Nuer tremendous loss to young men in front lines in and around, Bor, Malakal, Poktap, Nasir, Ayod, Bentiu, etc, is very painful but it is the consequence of taking up arms against a constitutional government. The same goes to the Dinka, Shilluk and other Sudanese who were killed by the Nuer members in the course of the current war.

That is is why the bashing of both sides (government and rebels) in the current war in South Sudan is correctly justifiable.

Yes, any war criminal on humanity whether he hails from Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk or any tribe in South Sudan should face the force of criminal law (nationally or internationally) in reparation to the innocent victims but not soldiers or armed groups in front lines. That is, rebels and other war inciters and violence pursuers should never be treated as victims because they are equally the selfish perpetrators who have harmed the Republic of South Sudan in the situation it is today.

Regarding the fact of who have been occupying lands of other people in South Sudan, we don’t need lectures but practical examples on this matter. It was the Nuer who have been occupying Tonga Nyijwad (Pangak as they renamed it), Doleib Hill, Obel, Ashabinil, Wic Liel (Wic Mabor as they renamed it), Adhithiang, Warjwok, etc of the Shilluk Kingdom since the time the Nuer militias allied themselves with Jellaba.

Thy even wrote to Upper Nile Governor without any shame to allow them to have their county names and chiefs stationed within the Shilluk Kingdom. On the other hand, the Dinka tried to annex Atar, Obang, Wic Pig, Anakdiar, Wic Uluth, Nyigiir (Bilthiang as they renamed it), Thangrial, Melut, etc but didn’t occupy most of the claimed annexes as the Nuer did.

Bur thanks to Kiir-Riek current war of power that has flashed the Nuer out of the Shilluk lands. It will not be an easy matter for them to reoccupy those lands again. The Dinkas of Upper Nile have been good neighbours of Shilluk and they will dialogue it out in a peaceful manner to resolve the conflicts on the claimed lands. There will not be any intention of genocide between them. The Nuer needs to learn the value of dialogue in the civilised world. Violence will not help them!

Finally, you would have better left the response to Mr. Stephen Par Kuol because we know each others. But for your information, he has not been an Ambassador yet, perhaps in future if things went well with him. The fact that he kept quiet is an indicator that he got cornered on not telling the truth as it should have been told. He know his bias and it is understandable to some of us.

Dear Mr. Peter Gai, know that I don’t claim to be a lecturer in Juba University. I have been lecturing there actually and graduated two batches, so far so good. Take time to go around and you will be amazed of my students in the real world who will tell you how they appreciate my nationalistic contribution in teaching them in an excellent manner. Some of the finalists whose research projects I supervised hail from Nuer tribe and they will admit to you how I directed them to write objective research papers using academic methodology.

This is enough to tell you that I am already working and contributing concretely and positively for the well being of the Republic of South Sudan. Why should a worker be under pressure of seeking for a work? Illogical, isn’t it? Some of us respect law because it is safer to do so. That is why we cannot join Dr. Riek’s rebellion or form one even when the SPLM leadership behaves badly. We believe in non-violence approach in resolving conflicts. You will one day come back to where we stand and you will then understand it better.

Neurologists have no use to truth-tellers and sincere intellectuals. It will be waste of money to see them, but if you think you need to because of the anger and lies that came out in your thoughts against my article, you may try. Perhaps some of us who are the willing are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. After all, stay well!

Dr. James Okuk is lecturer and public analyst in the area of politics. He lives in Juba and can be reached at okukjimy@hotmail.com

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The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

Coup against “turn- to -eat philosophy” as Parliament extended its life without consultation from voters: The case of constituency No 13

By Michael Mading Akueth, Panyangor, South Sudan

Demo-cracy or Demo-crazy?

Demo-cracy or Demo-crazy?

March 26, 2015 (SSB)  —-   In 2010, there were serious debates about who should represent us in Parliament, South Sudan. The communities met and debate about it.

There were many leaders who had shown interest to contest in the election and their manifestos were amazing but because in the past someone from their areas were a member of parliament they were told that the chance does not belong to their payam.

The term which I called “turn- to -eat philosophy” was the set criteria for selection; peoples’ leaders who were very popular and result-oriented were turned away and the person whose his community have the turn -to -eat was chosen to represent us in Parliament.

They could argue that your leaders had represented us in parliament and government during the Khartoum regime and it is now our turn- to- eat.

We want to send our son to parliament so that we could be able to eat enough this time like the way you did. How did this concern me? I was not in the last elections and you are now accounting people who did not affect my life in away.

It was surprising that the spirit of choosing leaders according to their potentials had disappeared and the spirit of our turn to eat had taken over. What a tragedy?

The community that was known for visionary leadership had dropped her standard of leaders’ vetting from charismatic skills and service delivery to simple vetting of our turn- to -eat.

We were listening with surprise because there was no programmes which the leader was showing to voters for them to vote for him but he was simply saying it is our turn- to- eat.

He mentioned leaders in his opponent payam even people who are working in government as servants who were employed because of their skills to disqualify his opponent thirst for the seat.

He won for sure because he could count more people from his opponent side who are working in government and his opponent gave-up and allow him to go to parliament.

Now that you have stayed for 5 years and your term has officially ended according to our community criteria (turn –to- eat), Do you have a moral authority to continue in parliament for the extend period of three years?

You and your community set the precedent in the last election that you are not going to parliament to delivery services but it is your “turn- to- eat” since our communities had their chance in the past.

This was the judgment and other community members accepted the “turn –to- eat philosophy” as the guiding tool to reach consensus in any election.

Therefore, though the parliament has extended its life for three years, we don’t think it is honorable for the area MP for constituency 13 to continue serving in the extended period of Parliament because He is breaking the rules which took him to parliament in 2010.

I’m presenting my opinion here as a voter who had voted for him in the last election and who believes in promises as true covenant of love. He will be robbing our community if he continues serving in the three years extended period of parliament.

Since he is renowned lawyer who had been fighting for people rights and democracies; he will not accept to continue representing us in parliament against our wills. This is will be a clear promotion of impunity.

I want to remind him not to forget our criteria which took him to parliament in 2010 “turn- to- eat philosophy”.

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The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

Dear Brother Agel Ring Machar

Posted: March 26, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Featured Articles

By Manyiel D’Awet,

"The days we were brand of our tribes are gone, this days are days we will be be brand by what we have for our nation" say Jesus Deng, Alier Ateny and Agel Ring Machar

“The days we were brand of our tribes are gone, this days are days we will be be brand by what we have for our nation” say Jesus Deng, Alier Ateny and Agel Ring Machar

March 26, 2015 (SSB)  —-   Brother Agel, been a long time but I remember you as one of the many that always believed and supported my aspirations to become a doctor. To reciprocate, I respect your choice to join Riak even though I may not agree with it. I honestly would like to know the rationale behind your decision. I cannot judge u as a person because non of us is perfect. However as a fellow intellectual, I believe we have the brains to reason and forge a brighter future for South Sudan and Africa in general.

As you know most of our current leaders are old and practice the old traditional styles of leadership. That is either lead by claiming intellectual superiority without substance or via tribal strength. None of our leaders is prioritizing nation building or the lives of the ordinary citizens. These are known facts as proven by the billions transferred into private accounts of past and current leaders of our country. Meanwhile they drive in their fancy cars watching children searching for food in garbage bins. Not to mention lack of standard hospitals, schools, electricity, clean water or sanitary drainage system.

None of these leaders managed to advocate for these vital projects even though some of them were actual ministers overseeing such projects. And yet all their government houses were fully refurbished, some exceeding modern celebrity standards. And I know this because I’ve visited most of them!

Now that there is a crisis in the country for which all parties are accountable for, I scarcely fathom the idea that respectable intellectuals choose to support such incompetent leaders. How do people know the ugly past and recurrent failures of these leaders and still vouch for them blindly.

I’ve slept well at night throughout this conflict consoled by the belief that time is on our side, that these old folks’ time will lapse and a younger brand of fresh and civilized leaders will sprout. However the behavior of some of my colleagues is beginning to cast a dark shadow on the bright future I’ve always seen for our country.

Whatever happened to principles of patience or impartiality. Whatever happened to reasoning and common sense. Kiir and Riak are not the only leaders destined to rule South Sudan. Whatever happened to confidence and dignity. I believe that there are many individuals in these two camps that are capable of leading.

The question is must one climb the back of a renowned politician to reach the top? Is it too hard for one to forge his own path and determine his own destiny? If aspiring leaders are afraid of talking to ordinary citizens and drafting their own agendas, then why waste time talking politics rather than minding your own business? Are Kiir and Riak the only leaders with vision and policies for our country.

Agel Ring Machar with Riek Machar in Addis Ababa

Agel Ring Machar with Riek Machar in Addis Ababa

Brothers and sisters, I believe that every South Sudanese citizen with a brain can lead our country provided that he/she dissociates from the leaders that already have their hands dirty. I believe in a leader that believes in themselves and relies only on the people he intends to govern and not regional or international help.

To all my fellow intellectuals, please STOP political prostitution no matter what your end game is.

Finally please do not be offended by my rants as I’m only offering advice that you may or may not follow. But there is no denying that our country needs us to put our heads together and shun all those trying to bring us down.

God bless you all.

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The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

Peace with Justice is Imperative for South Sudan

Posted: March 26, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary

By Garang David Bol, Lira, Uganda

addistalks

March 26, 2015 (SSB)  —  The South Sudanese people want peace as well as justice. This is the answer to those who are reluctant to allow the release of the African Union Commission of equiry report into the atrocities committed in South Sudan from 15th December 2013.

The commission headed by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo completed its  assignment Months ago and has been ready to publicize the report.

Nevertheless some politicians, probably those guilty of committing the heinous crimes against the people of this nation have been urging for a delay in making the report public, on grounds that, the politicians adversely depicted in the report would refuse to cooperate in the peace talks scuffling effort to bring peace.

Such politicians want justice to be  a hostage to the peace process. Without justice, peace will remain elusive, without accountability and reconciliation, peace will continue to evade us. A peace agreement must take into account the Obasanjo findings.

The people of South Sudan do not  want people who participate in killing them to be given any role to misgovern their country again. They have suffered too much at the hands of these murderers they are asking for abreak. They
deserve it.

This fear that the participants in the peace talks will not sign the agreement if they are found with mud in their faces is baseless. In the Arusha deal which brought about the re-unification of the ruling SPLM, all sides agreed that whoever took part in human right violation or abuses must be held accountable.

Who then is this one who will disengage himself or herself from the peace process when justice is being sought? let Obasanjo allow all Sudanese to learn who has done what Southerners are merciful  people.

Perhaps they will forgive the human right violators. But that should come from them after they have received apologise and pleas for mercy from the perpetrators.

The author, can be reach on the following E-mail:  garangdavid@hotmail.com, Lira District, Uganda

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The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.