By Dr. Bior Kwer Bior

When Gadet and his defecting army descended on Bor and maimed the unarmed civilians, this barbarism was invariably excused on the ground that the Nuers were avenging the death of their people who were allegedly slaughtered in Juba. Then the Lou Nuer white army came and killed the churchgoers, the patients on their hospital beds, and a score of other UNARMED civilians, and that too was excused on the ground of vengeance on the killings in Juba. The SPLM-7 didn’t raise a condemning voice, and nobody accused the Lou Nuer politicians in the government of instigating the violence. The 700+ Bor civilians killed will never get justice; their killing didn’t bother anybody’s conscience, not even in the highly conscientious UN circle.

When the unfortunate incident happened in Bor, which was largely provoked by the UNMISS’s lack of effective mechanisms to disperse a crowd, I see a change of attitudes. All of a sudden, the killing of UNARMED civilians constitutes war crime, and the SPLM-7 came out loudly looking for someone to hang. There are insinuations, especially from the DISGRUNTLED group, that the happening was somehow instigated by the Dinka Bor intellectuals in the government. This is presupposing, quite absurdly, that those people on the ground, the ones whose relatives were maimed by those rebels masquerading as IDPs in the UNMISS compound, aren’t pissed off about the fact that the killing of their relatives has virtually been swept under the rug of political expediency.

This war is messy, and I think nobody doubts this. More of these unfortunate incidents will continue to characterize our people’s troubled co-existence unless something drastic is done to speedily bring this war to an end. But if we’re going to be picky on the atrocities to condemn, we’ll keep missing the point, and justice will continue to elude us. We need to get our asses off this Orwellian world in which we believe, without a shred of qualm, that all unarmed civilians are important but some unarmed civilians are more important than others.

It would be more just if the people who are now bent out of shape by the Bor incident come out in pull force and condemn the killings which took place in Bor, Bentiu, and Malakal in which the Nuer armed youth attacked and butchered unarmed civilian from the other ethnic groups. These incidents ought to be collectively investigated so that justice is served equally.

If we don’t do this, then we are still sleeping and we will surely be jolted off this prolonged bout of sleep by the loudest bell of the unfortunate Rwandanization of our country.


By Malith Alier

It is true that President Kiir reiterated that he would not take the people of South Sudan to war many times since independence. He also promised that the events of 1991 would not be allowed to happen again during the National Liberation Council (NLC) meeting on the 14th December 2013 a day before it all unravelled into the current distressful conflict. Both, the promises of not taking people of South Sudan to war and the prevention of 1991 have come to negative. What does the President tell the people of South Sudan as the situation untangle further?

It is four months now since the beginning of the conflict, but no solution is insight. Yes there is the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) led peace process in progress in Addis Ababa. However; this may not yield instant fruits. The government negotiators are telling us that IGAD is dragging its feet and so much worse are rebels who are emboldened by easy capture of towns from the government. This precarious scenario prompted the writer of this piece to alert the government in order to devise a new approach to tackling this war.

This viewed is shared by many concerned citizens within and without the country. I have read two important articles by concerned citizens one from Australia and another from Malaysia. Both articles have one thing in common, alerting the government to change gear on the current conflict. It is now up to the government on the other hand to heed to these calls for its own survival and that of the majority of South Sudanese.

Now let’s analyse both statements by the President in the lens of management. Consider ideal and practical standards in management circles. The President thought it ideal not to take the country back to war or allow the event of 1991 to happen again. This was his vision for the country that has been in war since creation. He thought that the country could not afford another war because its people are war wary at best and with that in mind he wanted people to rebuild their lives in peace at least during his presidency. This proposition did not materialise why because he failed to take practical steps to realise that. The proposition that there will be no war is a mere wishful thinking without demonstrated path for peace.

This is where something called SWOT analysis comes in. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. I wonder whether the government advisers committed themselves to this process of identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and possible Threats to a country called Southern Sudan or later South Sudan. One expected that the late Dr. John Garang had this in mind and that was why he fought hard to retain the SPLA as one of the strengths in Southern Sudan.

Now let’s list these in turn.

Strengths

1. The SPLA
2. Southern Sudan Interim Constitution
3. The Troika: USA, UK and Norway
4. The CPA
5. UNMIS or United Nations Mission in Sudan

Weaknesses

1. Too many agreements dishonoured
2. Militias allied to government in Khartoum
3. Corruption
4. Tribalism

Opportunities

1. Oil revenues
2. The CPA – referendum
3. Autonomy during interim period
4. Vast prime agricultural land
5. MTDF or multi Donor Trust Fund
6. Goodwill from International Community
7. JIUs or Joined Integrated Units

Threats

1. SAF or Sudan armed Forces
2. Border
3. Tribalism/nepotism
4. Oil
5. Abyei
6. Militias

Our existential threats as a country have now multiplied as opportunities diminish in the current conflict. There is a gathering cloud over the nation where rebels kill everything that has life, UNMISS is double-face, USA wields sanctions, destruction of oil infrastructure and forced oil shut down, Sudan support of rebels, IGAD dragging feet and the looming famine in about five months as predicted by UN agencies. Can the current government emerge intact under such weighty threats? The guess is yours and mine. Some people may argue that the situation is not yet desperate to require desperate measures. Whatever the case, the time is now. Formation of a war Cabinet is long overdue. The talk about government of national unity, interim government or coalition government is a non-event. War cabinet is the answer.

The essence of war Cabinet

President George W. Bush said during Iraq war in 2003 that the war was not going to be a campaign of half measures. True, there is no small war that one should handle by a campaign of half measures not least the current rebellion. South Sudanese know themselves better. They fight to the best of their ability when the fight is among themselves compared to when they fight foreign invaders or Arab colonisers. Big towns like Bor, Malakal and Bentiu have exchanged hands eleven (11) times in four months, something that did not happen in 21 years of the SPLA versus SAF war. Malakal like Juba and Wau never came nearby by the SPLA rebels leave alone being captured despite efforts by all South Sudanese to liberate Sudan from the Arab minority rule. Only Bor exchanged hands at least three times, but not in four months as seen recently. This is a breakneck speed!

The American assistant envoy to Sudan and South Sudan reminded us that it is not business as usual during his meeting in Washington with the Minister in the Office of the President, Mr. Awan Guol Riak. Nobody should remind the President and people of this country about this position. It is self-evident. Having more than twenty ministries and subject to expansion not only flies in the face of the lean government proposal but also a hindrance to a successful conduct of the war.

The war Cabinet (Ministries) should comprise of no more than fifteen ministries as follows:

1. Ministry of Defence
2. Ministry of Interior
3. Ministry of National Security
4. Ministry of Health
5. Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Preparedness
6. Ministry of Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs
7. Ministry of Dams and Water Resources
8. Ministry of Transport Roads and Bridges
9. Ministry of Communication, Broadcasting and Telecommunication
10. Ministry of Finance and Commerce
11. Ministry of Energy and Mining
12. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
13. Ministry of Education

The main aim is bringing the war to an end perhaps a benchmark of six months is in order. To do this, there are two main frons i.e. the domestic and international fronts. The domestic face of South Sudan needs to change to reflect the new realities of the war. Fuel and food rationing should apply, travel restrictions particularly that of foreigners should be imposed, recruitment which is in progress should continue, emergency laws which are ill defined in greater Upper Nile should be strengthened, contract with UNMISS should never be renewed and so forth.

On the international front, the country should try to identify hostile countries and keep a low profile from them, should strengthen cooperation with friendly nations so that more breathing space is created, do away with missions of hostile nations existing in the country and limit travel abroad by ministers and other government officials who waste scarce public resources even if they go outside to talk ill of the country and its leadership and then come back like angels to continue draining the very country they have no love for.

The former Sudan successfully resisted the massive efforts by the SPLA by metamorphosing regularly as conditions change. Neimeri was deposed by the military and General Sawara el-Dahab took over after which elections were held. Sadig El Mahdi who won the elections was deposed by General Beshir who is the current President of the Republic of Sudan. When General Beshir came, a lot of changes took place domestically including the ones earlier cited in this article.

In order to stay abreast with the Khartoum war tactics, Dr. John who was as shrewd as the Arabs employed creative reasoning premised on the commitment and motivation of the SPLA and the people of South Sudan. A training of no less than six months was accorded to recruits before going to the field. The recruits were divided into military formations and given interesting names derived from well known fierce African animals like Lion, Cobra and others. Some situational names like “Dhalan” the angry and “Majnun” the mad one were also given. Further, some targeted campaign names were also the norm. Bright Star Campaign or BSC and Operation Jungle Storm or OJS among others were operational names that caught the attention of every SPLA and were like catch phrases.

Time has come now for the President to try those solutions that work. The government of South Sudan tried reintegration of militias, pardon of military renegade officers who should have instead face the music for various crimes including treason charges went unappreciated.

The SPLA soldiers fighting the rebels needs a regular morale boosting particularly visits by the minister of Defence and the President on other more important occasions like the fall of Bentiu, Malakal or Bor. They also need replenish of military supplies and not forgetting regular salary and perks for their families’ upkeep.

The Addis Ababa peace is not coming anytime soon. This necessitates full commitment to the war by formation of a War Council. This helps solve lots of problems like waste of scarce resources.

Identification of existential threats is half the solution to the current conflict which is sometimes misunderstood as ethnic conflict between the major tribes in the country. Therefore, the government of the day should identify and effectively utilise available opportunities to achieve maximum advantage over the rebellion.


At Least 27 People Have Been Killed In UNMISS camp In Bor

By Achiek Jok Riaak 

BOR – More than 27 people have been killed during a fighting which erupted at UNMISS camp in Bor following a peaceful demonstration carryout by youth members of Bor county on Thursday.

Critic Ngueny said that Bor county youth were demonstrating peacefully with ultimate that Members of Nuer sheltering at UNMISS camp should be evacuated after they have discussed the number of issues provoking situation in Bor town.

“The youth from Bor county were demonstrating peacefully on the position that white Army who had participated during the crisis in Bor must leave the UNMISS camp within 72 hours but unfortunately during their marching toward UN Compound to hand over their petition to the head of mission in Bor, the United Nation Peacekeeping Force begun to shoot at the protesters,” Said Critic Ngueny.

No any clear information from the UNMISS office in Bor to clarify the cause of the clash between the civilians and them at the camp.

According to Ngueny statement, the youth were all annoyed on the ground following two days celebration carryout by the White Army group refuge at UNMISS camp in Bor after Bentiu, the headquarters of Unity state retaken by rebel force two days ago.

The Internal Displaced Peoples who are given protections by UNMISS at their base celebrated the recaptured of Bentiu by anti-government forces.

A UN health worker, William Oyual told the media that at least 20 people were killed during the fighting but other source said that death casualties from Nuer side are more than 61 people apart from 7 youth who got killed during the clash.

Bior Kuer, who works at Bor civil hospital, said another two people died at the health facility from wounds suffered during the fighting.

Panchol said that 14 people from protesters have been wounded meanwhile the number of the wounded people from IDPs is still unclear as the number is fluctuating from more than 60 up to 100.

The secretary of Bor community, Abraham Mach has said that youth were protesting the petition regarding the case of the White army inside the UNMISS camp.

Mach said that they give some copies to the government organs and they were heading to UNMISS compound to handed over a copy to UNMISS authorities petitioning that the White Army inside the UNMISS camp should be evacuate meanwhile in the process the UNMISS and the Nuer inside the UNMISS start firing at them not knowing that they were coming to handed the petition to them at the camp.

“I had just received the letter this morning, and the letter was addressed that the youth demand the urgent evocation of White Army members inside the UNMISS camp, calming that they always celebrated the fallen of others town under the rebel loyal to Riek Machar,” Mach said.

He said that, the office of Bor community is against anything that is violent, “they youth informed as that their protest is a peaceful protest, so if it is peaceful, then how can you denying them. how can you deny youth or a citizen of Jonglei who is perching in the names of peace or who is sacking she or he think is right in the name of protest.”

Abraham Mach said that they are for peace, UNMISS is here to help the people of South Sudan particularly people of Jonglei and anybody in the state and that is why UNMISS is here, they are here to facilitate peace in the country, and not to respond to any violent.

The UN Mission in South Sudan their statement released on Thursday strongly condemns the deadly and unprovoked attack on its base in Bor and they (UNMISS) has called on South Sudan’s leadership to uphold its responsibilities to protect all South Sudanese civilians and maintain public order.

The UNMISS has calls on all national, state and local authorities and forces to protect all civilians, to ensure that the inviolability of United Nations premises is protected, and to take effective measures to prevent a recurrence of such attacks.

Almost 5,000 civilians are sheltering inside the fortified base of the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in the town, one of the most bitterly contested regions in the four-month-long conflict in the world’s newest nation.

Majok said the demonstrators had clashed with peacekeepers inside the base, but it was not immediately clear who had fired the shots.

Information Minister Michael Makuei said that a “huge number” of gunmen, seeking revenge for the rebel capture of the oil-town of Bentiu two days ago, overwhelmed government forces in a bid to slaughter the terrified and trapped civilians.

Attack on UNMISS Compound: What Happened in Bor?

Posted: April 18, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan

Gunmen kill at least 20 in attack on South Sudan UN base: US envoy

Gunmen have killed at least 20 people and wounded 70 others when they stormed a United Nations base in South Sudan, the US envoy to the world body said.

Ambassador Samantha Power strongly condemned the “brazen, inhuman attack on unarmed civilians” in the war-ravaged town of Bor.

The United Nations (UN) had previously said dozens of civilians from a rival tribe had been wounded in the “unprovoked” attack before peacekeepers fought them off.

Almost 5,000 civilians are sheltering inside the fortified base of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), one of the most bitterly contested regions in the four-month-long conflict splitting the country.

“The United States strongly condemns the recent attacks by armed groups in South Sudan that have purposefully targeted civilians as well as UN Mission in South Sudan sites and personnel,” Ms Power said.

She called the latest attack “particularly egregious,” noting that the heavily armed group of attackers used rocket-propelled grenades to breach the compound and fire on the people inside.

“This latest outrage against the people of South Sudan is an affront to the international community and violates fundamental principles of civilian protection,” Ms Power said, adding that UNMISS sites should be considered “inviolable”.

The United States, she said, will collaborate with its allies to determine who was responsible for the “horrific attack” and bring its perpetrators to justice.

Ms Power also urged countries that have committed additional forces to UNMISS to speed up their deployment.

“The people of South Sudan deserve the opportunity to begin rebuilding their country, and to develop the national and local institutions they need to put South Sudan back on a path toward stability and democracy,” she added.

“But that process can only begin in earnest when all parties to the conflict adhere to the January 23 Cessation of Hostilities agreement, lay down their weapons, and engage constructively in inclusive political negotiations led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.”

Ms Power urged the country’s leaders to “put the safety and wellbeing of their fellow citizens above their own short-sighted political and economic interests, or risk the future of their country, the welfare of their people and strong international consequences”.

UNMISS said its forces returned fire – first firing warning shots and then taking part in a ferocious gun battle – before the fighters retreated.

The gunmen had initially approached the camp “under the guise of peaceful demonstrators” intending to present a petition to the UN, before opening fire and breaching the compound, according to the mission.

The civilians had fled into the base weeks ago amid brutal ethnic massacres in the world’s newest nation.

AFP

President Kiir Should Learn From the Past

Posted: April 18, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in Featured Articles, Simon Yel

By Simon Yel

President Kiir will not learn from the past until he heard in SSTV or miraya FM that ” president Kiir was ousted some few hours ago” in the way he did not learn the plan of disgruntled group when they had conducted their press release on Decc.6.2013 and boycotted the NLC meeting not until the bullet missed him in December 15th.

President Kiir will not will discover the plan of UN chief Hilde Johnson until he is arrested by UN soldiers like Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast in the same way he didn’t discover how Riek and Taban managed to escape Juba .

President Kiir will not learn that UN is supplying weapons to the rebels and equipping her troops to fight the gov’t until UN start capturing Lakes,Wau and Warrap . The recently intercepted UNIMISS vehicles in Lakes state full of munitions and lethal weapons should have been a great lesson for him to learn from though he always refuses to listen to NS reports, I didn’t know that he will also refuse to use his own eyes to learn what the hell Halide is doing behind the scene of keeping peace but it became the same ” as ears as eyes”. Yesterday(16.4.2014) during the launch of Food Security Council and the Agriculture Season 2014 , he ordered the security organs not to search again the UN vehicles and other related humanitarian organisations but in the same day evening , the three(3) UN ferries were caught on river Nile near Bor( Bor port) heading to Bentiu full of ammunition and lethal weapons.

President Kiir will not learn operations of United State foreign policy of regime change until he is killed like Mamuar Gaddafi of Libya or he is in dock at ICC like Charles Taylor of Liberia or until Pentagon release another press confirming their support to the regime change like what they did in south Vietnam “For the military coup d’etat against president Ngo Dinh Diem of south Vietnam , the U.S. must accept its full share of responsibility,”says Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1963.

President Kiir will not learn the interest of EU and USA diplomats nor even learn from president Putin’s speech during the crisis of Ukraine and I quoted ” our western partners have come to believe in their exclusivity and exceptionalism, that they can decide the destinies of the world, that only they can ever be right. They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle “If you are not with us, you are against us.” To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions on the UN Security Council and the UN”, until John Kerry and William Hague call for military action against his gov’t and say ” he is a man who has killed thousands of innocents civilians on tribal line and he has across the red line and hence lost his legitimacy” . I though what is happening in Syria and Ukraine should have great lesson for Kiir to learn who exactly the western nations are .

President Kiir will not learn about how many gov’ts did US overthrow until he reads the newspaper while in prison that USA had overthrown 24 gov’ts eg ,Syria, Guatemala, Indonesia , Cuba, DRC, Dominican Republic, South Vietnam,, Brazil, Argentina, Angola, Turkey, Philippines, Iran, Libya , Somalia, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Chile , Poland and recently south Sudan .

President Kiir will not learn that the UN has a record of overthrowing one gov’t on her own , the gov’t of Ivory coast which UN had claimed that “Gbagbo made mistake after mistake and in the end he lost everything ,We intervened to prevent a disaster” until Halide Johnson says ” Kiir made decree after decree and he lost the legitimacy’’ and ordered UN to clear his stronghold like Aweil, Rumbek and Warrap like what UN had done in Ivory cost clearing Yopougon the stronghold of Laurent .

How History is made?

Posted: April 18, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël in David Aoloch, Poems.

By David Aoloch Bion

—–

History is not stolen at midnight

By cunning

Not robbed at noon

By might

But a honour confer upon the wise

Who sacrifice to allow those deny

Free right of sunshine by unjust cloud

Of human wickedness to see the sun

—–

Never open history

And you don’t find your name there

And you become rabid

Start to kill people

Where were you

When they were writing the history?

Is their blame?

—–

Never enter library

Find the name of your age mate

Who fought a great battle

Who made a political achievement

And you model yourself after him

Realigning his campaigns and decisions

You can kill as many as Hitler

And you can kill yourself as Hitler too

And never make the history you aspire


By Malith Alier 

Reports coming from Bor, Jonglei State’s capital that people are being killed by UNMISS “protection force” is the first of its kind. Under whatever circumstances, it should never have happened. The UNMISS which has now taken a partisan stand did not use force in Gumuruk and Akobo when about seven members of its staff were killed by attackers from the Counties of Pibor and Akobo respectively.

The latest development is a sign that the current conflict has so far acquired a three notch height. It is advisable for UN mission to note that fact. More than five people dead and many more injured by the UNMISS which is suppose to protect civilians is not a simple matter. Let’s recalled that UNMISS was advised to evacuate those they think are in danger to safer places because its compounds were never meant to be for camps of displaced people. From now on nothing will prevent such occurrences from taking place while this conflict persists.

The people of Bor are not to blame in this situation because of UN and government negligence. This is because there are many unpalatable events that have spelt doom to cooperation among the host community, IDPs and the UNMISS.

First of these is the weapons saga that surfaced in Rumbek early in the year. This has had irreparable damage to the relationship. The same saga surface once again when a boat carrying fuel was discovered to have a hidden cache of weapons and munitions on board. This caused disagreement between the State Governor on the one hand and security and the residents of Bor on the other. The Governor argued that they should be allowed to proceed to Bentiu which is still experiencing fierce battles and also under threat of rebel control citing their clearance from Juba by Ministry of Interior.

Secondly, is the imposition of a Governor on the people of Bor and other scores of Counties whose inhabitants have not rebelled. He himself is seen in the lens of rebellion because his County of Fangak is under rebels’ control. This is evident from the fact that he recently appointed new County Commissioners of Fangak, Uror, Nyirol, Ayod and Akobo replacing the ones who joined Riek Machar conspirators. Note further that he had stones thrown at him with his entourage at the same camp when he went to persuade the IDPs to leave the camp and join the rest of civilians. Therefore, he is neither credible nor reliable in the eyes of the rebels and government supporters. The rebels think of him as a sell-out but the government supporters regarded him as sympathetic to rebels. His appointment of Baba Medan whose County was involved in another devastating rebellion is like adding an insult to injury.

Thirdly, those who shelter in the UNMISS camps are rebel core supporters who celebrate every little victory scored by the rebels either on the battle field or in Addis Ababa on political level. The capture of Bentiu was a major victory they celebrated in such away to annoy the residents of Bor City. There is a saying that says do not abuse the crocodile while you have not crossed the river. The rebels should have known that those who dying on the front line have family members in Bor who do not share their happiness brought about by the fall of Bentiu. Had they celebrated quietly in doors, the results should have been different. What they did was an intolerable height of folly.

Last but not least is the genesis of this entire ongoing and unfortunate hostile environment beginning last December. It has stoked hostilities and drove wedges among communities and between communities and the UN Mission. Riek Machar and President Kiir will have an uphill battle to reunite a country ethnically divided down the middle if either wins the fight for the soul of South Sudan.

The people of Bor are among the most tolerant people in this country. This tolerance was shown the night before the fall of Bor on 18 December 2013. Two brothers close to Nuer camp popularly known as “ci Nuer ben?” in Dinka were mercilessly slaughtered by the rebels who hid in the camp. There was no retaliation despite Dinka being the majority in the town.

The events of 1991 seemed to have been tacitly forgiven however, the 2013 and running conflict where the so-called white army ransacked and killed thousands of innocent people for the second time will take years to heal. The living dead still haunt us in whatever we do. Nobody celebrates death except the IDPs in Bor compound under the watch of UNMISS. This celebration is utterly intolerable and deserves what it gets. Just imagine if it were the other way round. Would they accept it, absolutely no?

The demonstration in Bor is a result of temperature boil over in the heat of towns falling to rebels and the subsequent celebration by the displaced people not knowing that they are in a different territory that is mourning not only the lost of towns but their sons being killed in the battles. People should not offend sensitivities of others particularly in relation to death. It is un African to celebrate death event that of your enemy.