Archive for the ‘Featured Articles’ Category


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 Kur Wel Kur, Austalia
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.

March 30, 2015 (SSB)  —-  Our flag drips with our blood and that of our brothers. In some neighbours’ eyes, our flag represents no country.  To them, South Sudan represents a void, which needs creation. So out of South Sudan, they desire  to create for themselves,  an economical hub.

Regardless,  these neighbours always ‘rush to South Sudan in rugs and return to their country as millionaires’,  they covete more in South Sudan. Kenya fits these descriptions.

Kenyans calculated 7 wrong calculations; these forced  them to invade South Sudan’s territory.

Wrong calculation # 1: our internal conflict.

In multiple pieces, our country broke.  A war claimed thousands  and displaced  thousands of our citizens to neighboring countries. So to them(Kenyans), the conflict weakened our military capabilities. With this hollow in our brotherhood’s bonds, Kenyans think, they can grab  anything out of South Sudan. So they invaded our God given territory.

However, this calculation will fail in the following stance. Brothers’ disagreements don’t hold  across the borders.  So if wicked and opportunistic neighbours capitalise on brothers’  disagreements, then they will wake up in another planet.  A planet where united brothers tackle the greedy aggressors.

Wrong calculation #2: Our citizens fuel.. ..

Our citizens littered Kenya, from Northern Kenya to Southern Kenya, and from Eastern Kenya to Western Kenya. South Sudanese run Nairobi (Central) economically. Kenyans might have considered South Sudanese refugees in Kakuma(Turkana’s land) in their equations (calculations); however,  the responsibility of registered refugees belong to the UN. With this calculation in minds, Kenyans invaded South Sudan.

However,  South Sudan has two capacities to neutralise the above calculation. Firstly, the government of South Sudan can call its citizens residing in Kenya, home. Secondly, the government of South Sudan can advise its citizens  living in Kenya to register as refugees.

Our citizens fuel Kenyans’ economy through renting properties,  buying food and none food items. Even transport sector:  land and air; South Sudanese spend fortunes in travelling in and out of Kenya.

In addition, 30,000 Kenyans reside and work in South Sudan. If Our government expel  them today,  Kenyans will weep and suffer. Our population in Kenya, spend every dollar or shilling in Kenya. And  negligible number of South Sudanese work in Kenya . I swear, the decision will  be a disaster. Another double economical loss. So this calculation is another dumb ass calculation.

Wrong calculation #3: politicians’ and business persons’ money

The tsunamic corruption in South Sudan today, originated from Kenya.  No doubts that Kenya police watch money in bulky cheques and bags into Kenya without a word. This money laundering, quadrupled the Kenyans’ bank profits through compound interest. Therefore, Kenyans’ economy exponentially grow every year because every dollar earn on oil, sublimes to Kenyans’ banks.

With these large amount of South Sudanese money floating in their banks, Kenyans made, yet another wrong calculation. They believe, South Sudan’s politicians can’t sprint  to war whatsoever.

However, Kenyans calculated it wrong because before anything,  South Sudanese politicians have rights to withdraw their money and invest it in some other countries such as Zimbabwe and Egypt.

Why these countries?  The best minds would have known that making businesses with sleazy neighbours like Kenyans is a grave idea. Zimbabwe and Egypt share no borders with South Sudan.  Investment will do well in Zimbabwe though Zimbabwe has thorny relationships with Britain, a father to Kenya.
Zimbabwe has the whole region(South Africa)  depending it. In the  case of Egypt,  though her situations are volatile because of dirty politics from the West. South Sudanese investment in Egypt  has a future because of the Nile(South Sudan being in the Nile basin).

Wrong calculation #4: Their universities.

From small to large universities in Kenya, South Sudan’s tertiary students fill the lectures theatres. These universities feed South Sudan with some outstanding graduates every year. This,  another wrong calculation of Kenya.  They think, because hundreds of our students at their universities,  we can’t go for war even if they annex Kapoeta.

However,  they calculated it wrong because our students run their universities financially through universities’ fees and accommodation’s fees. South Sudan has capability of sending her students to abroad, leave alone to Africans’ universities. If  South Sudan withdraws her students,  Kenyans’ universities will collapse.

Wrong calculation #5: real estate investment

South Sudanese politicians and business persons invest their money in Kenya’s real estate sector. They bought mansions and townhouses for rent. Some have bought 7 stars mansions  for their personal uses. So billions of dollars reel around in Kenya economy from real estate.

With this gigantic amount of money,  Kenyans think, they can get away with South Sudan invasion.  They are wrong again, because this amount of money doesn’t equate to 62 years old wealth, Kenyans, especially Kikuyu[Uhuru (president)’s tribe  of Kenya] accumulated. Make no mistake, we can match into war.

Wrong calculation #6: Diplomacy

The Kenyans despise us on diplomatic matters. They think, they can win both ways outright.  I bet in this area, we can beat them terribly because  our foreign affairs minister,  Marial Benjamin has an expertise in foreign affairs .

Furthermore,  an international lawyer, Francis Mading Deng who  represents us in UN and Another international juror,  Abel Alier Kwai can bail us out in any mess that reaches international court.  With confidence I believe,  Kenyans made the sixth wrong calculation.

Wrong calculation #7: Mombasa’ s port

All our military supplies come from Mombasa’s port. With our problems,  which need military logistics and arms, Kenyans think, they can create or destroy  anything in  South Sudan, given its position of being stationed at the shore and South Sudan being a landlocked.

However, our military supplies can find their ways to South Sudan by air. We can afford this, given our financial standard.

To rest it, Kenyans must be careful about  our president because scratching his nerves by invading our country is a grave decision.  He can give sweeping orders anytime.  Kenyans must use diplomatic options but not military pressures  because Kiir is an expert in this area.

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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.

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.

By John Masura (hot in juba)

Chairperson of (South Sudan)Political Parties Youth Forum and former chairman of South Sudan Youth Union declared his defection to SPLM in Opposition.

Chairperson of (South Sudan)Political Parties Youth Forum and former chairman of South Sudan Youth Union declared his defection to SPLM in Opposition.

March 25, 2015 (SSB)  —  Mr. Agel Ring Macar on 24th March 2015 surprised most of us when he declared through Dinka Radio in Australia that he has defected from the government and joined Riek Machar’s rebellion which has for the past one year refused to find a name for themselves but clung to the SPLM and SPLA names.

One wonders why a sudden change of heart by one time a strong and vocal supporter of president Salva Kiir. He once accused gospel musician Manasseh Mathiang in an online debate of being the worst ‘rebel’ and swore to never join a rebellion that has no cause.

Agel left due to what he described as, “disappointment with the current leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit.”

“I have come to welcome HE LT. General Salva Kiir Mayardit, the legitimate president of South Sudan and a peace loving man who has never betrayed the cause of our people.” Agel said this on SSTV in August 2014 when a crowd of Kiir supporters turned up at JIA to welcome him back from USA where he had attended US – Africa summit. I think the video is somewhere in SSTV’s archives.

I took it upon myself to explain here why I think Agel joined Riek.

Agel Ring Machar with Riek Machar in Addis Ababa

Agel Ring Machar with Riek Machar in Addis Ababa

Background to Agel Ring’s Defection

Agel Ring Machar is a son of the well known member of parliament and a medical assistant Victoria Adhar Arop who helped many unaccompanied minors in Dimmo Refugee between 1986-91.

Agel Ring Machar was last year featured in a documentary about his life called ‘Were Rebels’.

Agel’s story of child soldier returning to South Sudan was told. But in real sense Agel was never a child soldier, he spent most of his life in Kakuma and Nairobi before moving to Australia.

In the documentary, “We were rebels” Agel appeared as national basketball team captain. He was never captain or a coach of national basketball team which participated in a match against Uganda on Independence Day in July 2011. Though with no skills, he played in the game on independence day which South Sudan lost because his uncle Achuil Bangol is a board member for the team.

Agel used to date the daughter of the president until, Adut Salva dumped him for Ethiopian boyfriend because the first family was allegedly concerned about his alcoholic and violent behaviors.

Agel was placed at the helm of their clan’s non governmental organisation called Sudan Production Aid (SUPRAID) which was funded by various international donors. Acuil founded the organisation in 90s during the Sudan civil war. The organisation was was based in his native county of Twic in Warrap where it supported local population in providing agricultural tools and dug boreholes in the villages for the locals.

In 2001 the organisation established a local sporting activities called Twic Olympics and it successfully carried out the ‘Olympics’ annually until 2012. When the CPA was signed Acuil decided to look for greener pastures in the government and was appointed in 2008 as SPLM Secretary for Popular & Syndicated Organization.

Acuil then left the organization to Agel and due to mismanagement of funds and lack of responsibility, the NGO died in 2012.

Agel was involved in various night club brawls in Juba due to his drunk behaviours. One incident the victim suffered fractured bones and had to be compensated with undisclosed sum of money. Agel was never taken to court, he was set free because his aging mother had allegedly asked for sympathy.

When Agel was appointed as a political parties youth forum leader, he moved to one of Juba’s best hotels where he spent years. One of hotel managers inquired yesterday who will pay the expenses incurred by Agel during his stay the hotel.

"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" says 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” says Jesus Deng, Alier Ateny and Agel Ring Machar

The Reason Why Agel Ring Defected

Agel was appointed a chairman of political parties youth forum before war started in December 2013. A position he got through the help of his uncle Acuil Bangol.

He was part of the now disbanded infamous crisis of management committee that was formed immediately by President when fighting broke out in Juba. The committee was tasked to facilitate humanitarian assistance to the people displaced across the country but it turned out to be a source of money of all the members including Agel who misappropriated the committee’s funds prompting the president to disband it.

In Nov 2014 Agel’s was appointed as chairperson of the steering committee of the newly established National Youth Union. The committee was constituted a by ministerial order issued by the minister of youth, sports and culture madam Nadia Arop Dudi. Agel was deputized by musician Lam Tungwar.

This steering committee was to organise the first national youth convention in Juba where delegates and representatives from all ten states would elect the youth leaders to lead the new youth governmental organisation.

They were allocated millions of pounds by the ministry to prepare for the convention but Agel got accused of mismanagement of the funds. He was questioned by the ministry’s officials which angered him and started accusing individuals in the ministry of conspiracy to oust him as chairperson.

Agel’s private conversation where he is talking about how weak and corrupt the government is was allegedly taped by his close friend.

The conversation tapped secretly was taken to the minister who in turn sacked Agel in a decree read on SSTV during 9pm English news bulletin.

Mr. Agel Ring then traveled to Addis Ababa immediately where he declared his defection to Riek Machar’s rebellion.

Agel Ring Machar with Riek Machar in Addis Ababa

Agel Ring Machar with Riek Machar in Addis Ababa

It is crystal clear that Agel is an opportunist and a bloody job seeker like all those other SPLM opportunists.

John Masura, the number one blogger in South Sudan and founder of Hotinjuba.com


By James Okuk (PhD), Juba, South Sudan

Born-to-Rule Mentality: President Kiir and his former Vice President, Riek Machar, in their reigning days

Born-to-Rule Mentality: President Kiir and his former Vice President, Riek Machar, in their reigning days

March 24, 2015 (SSB)  –   As long as both the SPLM-IO and the GRSS continue to use violence means for securing their political interests, facts and fictions will always get mixed to produce propaganda fallacies in attempts to justify one’s evil actions. The article of Stephen Par Kuol is not absolved from such one-sided bias. It is his right to be biased for the interest of the SPLM/A-IO, but he doesn’t have a right to force it on our throats without a response.

Mr. Stephen has already damaged his credibility when he lied that he was an eye witness of ‘genocide’ in Juba while he lived in comfort in New Sudan Palace Hotel and was driven on a standard car to Juba Airport for flight check-in to Nairobi as the city was under threat of rebel attacks. Even myself who lived in 107, dodged some bullets to escape death narrowly on 16 December 2013, swallowed the bitterness of my house being attacked and looted badly with damages, and communicated with some of my neighbors who managed to reach UNMISS camp alive, cannot  temper with my credibility to lie with a conclusion that ‘genocide’ took place in Juba.

Yes, some targeted killings took place but not ‘genocide’ as the SPLM-IO propaganda machine used to lie to the international community. Also not all those who were killed in Juba during the outburst of the crisis hailed from one ethnic group. Other ethnic groups were affected too, including some foreigners. If 20,000 members of one ethnic group were killed in Juba on 15, 16, 17 and 18 December 2013, then who would have been left among them in 107, Kor William, Gudele and Jebel to run for a dear life and take refuge in UNMISS camps? Even those who took refuge in UNMISS camps were not all from one ethnic group. That was why you could see signposts in UNMISS camps pointing to one ethnic group on one side and other ethnic groups on the other side.

Armed Forces Status Issue: The amalgamation proposal is a recipe for another future eruption of senseless violence. The case of the CPA’s model of the Joint and Integrated Units (JIUs) is still fresh in our memories where the two armed forces clashed thrice in Malakal, for example. Thus, neither integration nor amalgamation of the armed forces of the two warring parties will work as long as there is no trust and good faith between them. Also the proposal pf proportional representation of the 64 tribes in the national armed forces will not set a good precedent for a one nation-building because it will, instead, entrench tribalism as criteria for tackling national issues of South Sudan. Hence, it could be safer if the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement model is adopted for tacking the issue of armed forces of the warring parties. Thank God that veteran Gen. Joseph Lagu is still alive and kicking for consultancy on this matter.

Public Disclosure of Debts: If the SPLM/A-IO has already gave a verdict that the debts of President Kiir’s Government is illegal then why should it be disclosed at will? Why should Dr. Riek’s Resistance Movement negotiate with a kleptocrat and an illegal president if at all there is honesty in what the SPLM/A-IO posits? They should they not stick to overthrowing him via violence means if they thought it was an easy matter to usurp power that way? But is the SPLM/A-IO legal itself to demand for legality of another? It should be the citizens who have not taken arms against the state to demand such disclosers of government debts; not outlaws rebels. Also the law-abiding citizens of South Sudan will not bother themselves asking for disclosure of debts of rebellions because rebels are never accountable to the citizens; only the legitimate government.

The Coup or No-Coup Narratives: This has not been falsified yet because no court verdict has taken place so far. The case has been stayed only until further notice. But how do you call shootings in an army barrack which make politicians escape from their homes and declare rebellion resistance movement against the government within a very short period? If it is running for dear lives why not run to non-violence asylum in another country rather than to violence rebellion in the bushes? Remember that a victim cannot resist, hence, no rebel can be regarded as a victim in the current crisis of SPLM failed leadership in South Sudan. That is why the Intra-SPLM Arusha Reunification Agreement forced all the so-called SPLM leaders to apologize to the people of South Sudan and be ready to answer any proven war crimes against humanity. Victims don’t apologize.

Peace Talks in Bad Faith: In Pagak consultative conference, the SPLA-IO generals told Taban Deng Gai to carry on with peace negotiations in Addis but they will continue to conduct the violent approach on the ground with Paul Malong until President Kiir is gone for good. Where the good faith to demonstrate from the SPLM-A-IO even if the GRSS failed to bring peace out from around the corner of Makuei Lueth? Hence, comes double standards of contradiction of mixture of both dialogue and violence at the same time but with the result of collapse of negotiations and continuation of warfare. This makes the region and the world skeptical about seriousness of the warring leaders of South Sudan in bringing good news to their people. Thus, an agreement could possibly be forced on their throats by before July 2015 as their hands are held on pens to sign it unwillingly with international guarantees for its implementation.

Diplomacy is an anti-thesis to Militancy: Diplomatic language is a language of nice and flattering expressions in order to cool the environment for tackling hot issues and gain something out of the deal at the end of the day. The diplomacy of blaming and condemning both the warring sides is a correct one as long as the SPLM/A-IO and GRSS senseless war continues. This language may only change if the principals agree or are forced to end the war by any means. So, it would be better for Stephen Par Kuol to keep his appeal to the regional and international community to himself because they are doing what diplomacy is supposed to do when there is no will for peace from the warmongers.

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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