Posts Tagged ‘PaanLuel Wel’


By Deng Simon and PaanLuel Wel

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By Elijah Deng Simon

Instead of incriminating Emmanuel Jal, Jok Madut, Ajak Chiengkou or Deng Elijah, we should be incriminating the system. It is this system that instructs us to do what we are doing; sorting the truth from different perspectives.

It is the system that creates and exploits these perspectives to turns Mabior against Dau , Puljang against Koang, Olony against Ogat, Wanni against Lado, tribes against tribes and regions against regions because the system is reaping these [regionalism, tribalism, nepotism, corruption, and divide and rule] for its own gains; to reign for 100 or 1000s years as long as we remain in our narrowed comfort zones.

Your incriminations and selective praises nurture the crippled system while reaping your intelligence and respect. A bad system would reduce you to believe that Ajak is your hero and Jal is your enemy and vice versa, when there is no profound ground to prove that the two can’t work together for a collective interest instead of your interest! 

–Way forward —

Since the coup allegation has collapsed, divide and rule has failed, regionalism as well, and war won’t bring a sustainable solution. Instead of defending “status quo” we should defend the nation and to defend the nation the perpetrators must be held accountable. It is unreasonable to end a presidential term prematurely but it is highly irresponsible and illegitimate that over 4 millions people re in a food shortage, over 1 million displaced and over 10,000 (well above 30,000) people died. So there must be a trade off and the best trade off is to teach the upcoming leaders that they will be forced to step down prematurely should they imitate Salva Kiir and his crooks.

Our lives as citizens can’t be traded off for any other gain(s). The short term solution is for Kiir to step aside and the long term solution would be to elect a patriotic and visionary citizen to reconcile and rebuild the nation after this interim government. Dr. Riek has a constitutional right but does not have to lead South Sudan as a president, however, the country has to be transformed and reconciled for the next generations to enjoy freedom,justice and equality!

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By PaanLuel Wel (Response to Deng Simon)

Elijah Deng SimonI absolutely concur with you that “Instead of incriminating Emmanuel Jal, Jok Madut, Ajak Chiengkou or Deng Elijah, we should be incriminating the system” because, as you rightly pointed out, “It is the system that creates and exploits these perspectives to turns Mabior against Dau, Puljang against Koang, Olony against Ogat, Wanni against Lado, tribes against tribes and regions against regions…” But while you may take the system to be President Kiir and his henchmen who seem to know nothing about what is going on in the country, some people would go further and say that the system in question includes not just the President, but Dr. Riek Machar (who had been no. 2 in that very system for 9 years) as well as the 11+ political detainees who are currently presenting themselves as better alternatives to the bloodied hands of President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar.

Therefore, if indeed the system is the stumbling block to the realization of long lasting peace and political stability in South Sudan, and there is no reason whatsoever to doubt that postulation, it entails that the best way forward is not just to get rid of President Kiir, but rather the whole system which include, in addition to the President, Dr. Riek Machar and the 11+ political detainees. Bearing in mind that there was no coup in Juba and that the 11+ political detainees are already out of power, the next people to go from power are President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar. The logic is simple: neither President Kiir nor Dr. Riek has been able to decisively defeat the other notwithstanding over 4-month of continuous fighting. Therefore, to paraphrase your statement, the short term solution is for President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to step aside from their respective power bases and the long term solution would be to elect a patriotic and visionary citizen (say Dr. Marial Benjamin or Wani Igga, for example) to reconcile and rebuild the nation after this interim government.

Whereas it is certainly true that President Kiir and Dr. Riek have constitutional rights to contest the ‘next election’, they should not necessarily be part of the interim government if fighting has to stop in South Sudan. Of course, such course of actions in which both President Kiir and Dr. Riek would be barred from being part of a transitional government is an anathema to their respective supporters, and few avenues abound, barring international military intervention, to bring about such course of event as they are the ones wielding Kalashnikov in the entire country. Of course, the government of President Kiir is wishing for a swift military victory over the rebels, akin to the decisive defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka. On the other hand, the rebels under Dr. Riek Machar are entertaining the thought that they would ride into Juba like Paul Kagame in the 1990s while Presient Kiir is taken to the ICC for killing the Nuer in Juba.

Well, both are wishful thinking, for the government will never completely defeat the rebellion even if they were lucky enough to kill or capture Riek Machar, and neither will the Rebels realize their conjured up triumphant march to Juba for the best the rebel can achieve is a Somalization of South Sudan.

–Way forward —

But for us South Sudanese to have meaningful, serious and constructive dialogues, the best and only way forward other than an outright military victory as wished by the government and as dreamed up by the rebel is two-fold: (1) Going back to the status quo–an interim government with both President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, in their respective pre-July 23rd positions and seniority or (2) charting a new course–a transitional government without President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, back by international military forces. But of course, my pro-rebels friends Deng Simon and Jesus Deng Mading-chuai would prefer an interim government without President Kiir while my pro-government friends Simon Yel and Gordon Buay would want nothing more than the blood-dripping head of Dr. Riek Machar.

And thus, stalemate–political and military–set in and Addis Ababa talks are treated as a necessarily evil to be tolerated but never taken seriously. The government is wishing, and the rebels are dreaming, for a decisive military victory!! The conversation is yet to commence because there are no genuine conversationalists, only Kiirists and Machariists rule the air, the web and the field!!

Till then, the present carnage in Bentiu might soon get replicated in Bor and Malakal and over again as it has been the case. President Kiir is majestically unperturbed, Dr. Riek is boyishly excited and their supporters are marching, cheering on and wishing and dreaming while the DREAM “for the next generations to enjoy freedom, justice and equality!” is being stymied!

Junub Thudan in the hands of the same monkeys in different forest!


“We have no guarantee that oil flowing through the Republic of Sudan will reach its intended destination… we cannot allow assets, which clearly belong to the Republic of South Sudan to be subject to further diversion… For this reason, I call upon this august house to support the decision of the Council of Ministers to stop the flow of oil and search for alternative sources of funding to manage government projects,” Said President Kiir on January 23rd, 2012.

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba City, South Sudan.

Amidst the interminable woes dogging the infant Republic of South Sudan since it brazenly decided to shut down oil production in January 2012, there finally appears to be a dim light at the end of the darkest tunnel—the purported resumption of the oil export through Port Sudan within three weeks.

In as much as our past dealings with Khartoum are highly suspect and thus unreliable, one is compelled this time to notice something markedly different about this latest ‘agreement’ between Juba and Khartoum. Firstly, the Khartoum government has already commenced amending their ‘national budget to reflect the recent oil agreement with Juba.’ Secondly, the two countries have reportedly completed troop withdrawal from their respective disputed borders. Thirdly, for the first time, traders in the Sudan are talking about the ‘US dollar losing ground to Sudanese Pound in the black market.’ All these happenstances are taking place in the Republic of the Sudan, not in Juba.

You gotta believe them because they are the telltale signs of Khartoum having gotten tired of playing its usual card of diplomatic deceptions in the international arena and political manipulations of South Sudan. Indeed, too many agreements have been dishonorably dishonored between Juba and Khartoum since independence, but this might be, just might be, the end of that well-rehearsed and badly played game on the part of Khartoum, at the expense of the poor and the helpless baby Republic of JUWAMA.

That the closure of oil, one that I foolishly supported on nationalistic grounds, has gravely affected the economy of South Sudan is self-evident.

Congrats President Kiir,

In my opinion, this is the best decision that GROSS has to take given all options available to it. In fact, it is the best decision ever made in Juba since 2005!! I fully support the resolution because Khartoum is behaving like a thug in total disregard to international norms and the spirit of neighborliness. We rather borrow our way into another pipeline, no matter how long it may take, than tolerating blatant midday robbery of our national resources by Khartoum in collusion with the Chinese and other hungry-oil-seekers who have the power to bear on Khartoum belligerence but chose not to. Let see what the Chinese response would be now that oil is shut down. Did you notice how quickly they reacted when Khartoum dared to shut down the pipeline but opt to look the other way when Khartoum was stealing our oil? That is not friendship; it is Neo-colonization! Oil wells, economically speaking, can be used as mortgages, to borrow from the international community as the new pipeline route is being constructed. The borrowed money could be used to run the government till things settle down.

PaanLuel Wel (January 23rd, 2012)

What is unclear though is who has been affected the most between the poor and the rich, and who in particular should be celebrating the most about the grand re-opening of the oil pipeline? Is South Sudan different from its pre-independence state? Besides the National Flag, the National Anthem and the prestigious seat at the United Nations in New York City, are South Sudanese now better off economically than they were during the war of liberation?

These are seminal questions considering the state and the nature of corruption, tribalism and nepotism in South Sudan. The oil that is kept underground till our house is properly put in order is much preferable to the one flowing to enrich only the ‘chosen few’ whose ‘national headache’ do not go beyond the horizon of their stomachs’ appeal.

The second major worry is this: what course of actions would Juba take should Khartoum, basking in the full knowledge that Juba won’t dare to shut down the oil, start pilfering the oil again? What guarantees are already secured to ward off such eventualities? How does one go about guaranteeing the guarantees when one is confronted with a belligerent pariah state as the Sudan is?

By all measures, it seems South Sudan is only advancing, sorely unprepared and ill informed, to phase two of the circus, where it has, just like in the first phase, none of the plausible solutions on its fingertips. Caution, rather than celebration, should be our guiding salutation to the grand re-opening of the oil pipeline, should it materialize this time round.

PaanLuel Wël (paanluel2011@gmail.com) is the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers: He can be reached through his Facebook page, Twitter Account or on the blog: http://paanluelwel2011.wordpress.com/


Isaiah Abraham, In His Own Words

We tried in our simple way to lead our life in a manner that may make a difference to those of others…what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead…real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people…Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity… If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man…many people in this country have paid the price before me and many will pay the price after me—Assortments of quotes from Nelson Mandela, quoted in memory of Isaiah Abraham who was politically assassinated on December 5th, 2012, in Juba, South Sudan.

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba City, South Sudan.

Tribute to Isaiah Abraham: The Dark Ages of South Sudan Liberation

Tribute to Isaiah Abraham: The Dark Ages of South Sudan Liberation

That Isaiah Abraham was a passionate writer is in no doubt, and so is the prevailing conviction that he was killed due to his political writings that knew no sacred cows among the high and the mighty of South Sudan’s political and military establishments. Fundamental to Isaiah Abraham’s writings and arguments was his seemingly sacrosanct conviction that the newly independent state of South Sudan under the leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayaardit has completely lost direction because it has failed to deliver the expected fruits of independence. And because President Kiir has failed to steer the country in the right direction, his argument goes, he must be replaced with another capable leader within the SPLM party.

That new capable and enlightened leader that would usher in the new republic of South Sudan as envisioned during the war of liberation, according to Isaiah Abraham, must be none other than Guandit—Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the current Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan. Unlike most South Sudanese opinion writers who are, habitually, fond of pointing out problems—real and warranted as they might be, Isaiah Abraham was very unique in the sense that he not only pointed out problems confronting the young republic of South Sudan, he also provided solutions—contentious as they do appear sometimes to some sections of his readers and South Sudanese at large.

Isaiah Abraham was also highly controversial, heartily backing views and opinions and positions that were largely unfavorable to most sections of his readers and South Sudanese. For instance, he was supporting Bashir against Yasir Arman, Bashir against the ICC, Dr. Riek against President Kiir, the SPLM/A against the opposition parties. And although he was unquestionably a staunch supporter of South Sudanese independence, he sometimes gave credit to Khartoum in some controversial circumstances unlike most other South Sudanese who oft-time give blanket condemnations to Khartoum on all occasions.

His unyielding opposition to and strong denunciation of Salva Kiir’s presidency was uncharacteristic of other writers who might have held the same opinion on and conclusion about Kiir’s leadership. Below are some of his harshest comments about President Kiir and his rule that, some believe, must have cost him his precious life:

“The document should not have gone like that, people. Unfortunately, little did we know that Kiir has become another (Abyei Chief) Deng Majok who exchanged his ancestral land rights for a single meal? Shame on Kiir and his cohorts! Kiir must go! He is a useless leader this country could have. His foul mouthing is not tolerable anymore…mile 14 and Panthou are sold out for no reasons at all. Oil or no oil, we have been cheated by a ruthless clique in Juba…my people have suffered under President Kiir and his heartless clique; I have no kind words again against these people…the demonstration we made as people of South Sudan on Monday, not as Northern Bahr El Ghazal people, will go down in history as the beginning of things to come…Mr. President is not apologetic and this is worrying. The people of this country deserve a leader that respects their views. We have never had problems with him since he accidently ascended to power in 2005, because the situation dictated that people exercise patience…for the past eight years we have learned bitterly that Mr. Kiir is the problem and should be removed. He has failed us in many fronts, and on this matter of land he must not be forgiven…our men in uniform in Mile 14 therefore are to remain in their places and let Mulana Makuei, Mbeki or Pagan come and dislodge them by force. AU must deploy any troops around Mile 14. We will see how to go about Panthou and Abyei now that someone [Kiir] is selling our lands to Arabs.”

Isaiah Abraham had not always been too critical of President Kiir. Back in 2007, in an article entitled ‘Sudan’s Salva Kiir Has to Live Up to the Job’, Mr. Abraham lauded Kiir for his numerous achievements:

Nobody anywhere would underestimate the kind of job H.E. the President is undertaking. No one further doubts his desire and honest attempts to lead. We are proud of what he has achieved this far and only congratulated ourselves for having him as our leader over those achievements. Few glamorous among them are listed below. He has kept the Movement (SPLM/A) united and alive. He has played a significant role to bringing on board Major Gen. Paulino Matip Nhial and many more. He has warmed up relationship with other like-minded groups of the opposition side of the debate. He has also helped sustain an entity in the Government of Southern Sudan and allowed free hands to his Ministers even for them to propose their own Under Secretaries. These are lofty things done under His Excellency the President unless we forget!

In the article “Is Kiir riding on Machar’s back? March 24, 2010” Isaiah Abraham had the following telling conclusion on President Kiir:

“Despite every negative perception we might conclude about his government, our hero (Comrade Mayardit) will be remembered as a leader who first hoisted the Southern flag and established the government of the people of Southern Sudan from nowhere…Kiir as an individual espoused for his people’s cause most of his life, besides being personally a great listener and a principled man…Our big brother Kiir has his place among our founding fathers (Emidio Tafeng, Saturino Lohure, Joseph Lagu, Deng Nhial, John Garang, Samuel Gai, Ali Gutwalla, Both Diu, Lazarus Mutek, Kerubino Kuanyin, Abel Alier, William Nyuon, etc). Thank you sir, may God give you peace!”

It has never been in question that Isaiah Abraham was always fond of—or as his critics claimed, worshipped—VP Dr. Riek Machar. The tone and the themes of the article “Is Kiir riding on Machar’s back? March 24, 2010” were all choreographed to drive that point home—President Kiir was using Dr. Riek Machar’s popularity with the lay people to garner support and to win the 2010 election. That had earlier been alluded to in the article “Ugandan peace must not be abandoned, December 3, 2008” when Isaiah Abraham wrote:

“Am a very proud man as Southern Sudanese to have Dr. Machar manages this huge responsibility with maturity, calmness and forthright posture; he has shown the world that he’s more than just a Southern leader but an international one”

In the article Macharphobia and Macharmania are unnecessary, September 25, 2009he offered unrestrained praise and unrivalled admiration for Dr. Machar:

“Don’t just caught up in fear when you hear Dr. Machar name, its just too bad for you, there is no basis for doing this. Not at all! For the good of Southern Sudan and the generation to come, the man at the moment is this ’dhol’ called Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhorgun. He is a quintessence of Singapore Yew Khem Yew, the man who pulled out that country less than forty years ago, from nowhere to somewhere in the world economic and prosperous map. Please let’s try him despite his past records. In fact it wasn’t him but elements at that time, within his group that took advantage of a well to do political course to cause mayhem and destruction to our people.”

On the surface, particularly judging by the repetitive praise of and call for Guand-dit to take over from/after President Kiir, one would be adequately persuaded to conclude that Isaiah Abraham, plus his writings, was nothing more than an apologist for Dr. Riek Machar and his quest for presidency. However, after finishing reading his articles such as “Martyr Day isn’t an ordinary Day South Sudanese leaders, July 24, 2012” one is left wondering if the above conclusion hold true anymore. Did Isaiah Abraham really prefer Dr. Machar to President Kiir? What exactly was he up to in that article? Who are the fence sitters? The reformers in wolf clothes? The betrayers of South Sudanese cause who spiritedly claimed to have delivered self-determination on a silver plate unto the SPLM/A?

“…The President is our hero like Garang, no doubt and people wish him well. But here he needs to give that Day a flavor, and not to assume that the Day is like any other special days of the Republic. This isn’t the case. He must spare the victims of the struggle from self-inflicting indignity when someone who supposed to look after them disingenuously shows no feeling about those demised Southerners…. If it wasn’t Dr. John Garang and his men, my people, who could have been around here stealing money, then stashed it to the outside banks. We would have been under Khartoum slaved or outside the country as refugees. Garang and his loyal comrades did it singlehandedly when apologists conspire day and night to betray the cause in the name of reform. Reform about what and in what ya jama? Many martyr died in the hands of the callous and traitors and this is their day. When the traitors were left alone to manage their rebellion couldn’t do what they thought wasn’t done under Garang. When Garang left them alone, like the case now, they couldn’t produce the ‘reform’ they have been passionate about during the bush, hypocrites! It pains when some Southerners couldn’t help the widows and orphans and only concentrate about welfare of their families. Others who stayed on the fence moreover have are conspiring secretly to wreck the boat in the name of change. It starts with change and later degenerated into deaths for our people. Most of them claim that they are champions of self-determination; and that they brought on a silver plate to the SPLM Leaders. That without them, the issue of martyr couldn’t be anything. This is insulting. Self-determination or self-rule is a political term awarded when it is earned and not when it is requested. The Garang and his men earned it. His vision is a lope that makes it easier, and if there were no such a political cry, belief me/not, we would have been still fighting for separation today like others in any other part of the world. This is a bitter truth! Separatists aren’t fashionable around the world; and no short cut whether you shouted the loudest or write some many essays and history about your cause. You can agree like Western Saharans and still not separate. It takes such a high thinking to make to arrive at it… To me it is no longer a doubt, and it will be just a matter of time for these men to go if they continue like that. If Kiir is weak, how Dr. Machar, his Assistant, why neglect these families all around? Dr. Machar was made to stay low, and has accepted that status, but the tide will spare him not; there is no way the two could be separated. If Kiir goes he goes. He hasn’t been himself like before and this is too bad. All are branded failed and are corrupt. I shockingly heard funny stories about the two as to land. Why a tall leader would take over a chunk of land around Juba and then employed his own people around it. This is unbecoming for tomorrow leaders to behave that way. They have moreover shown no leadership by example, stop short of correcting mistake one year in and one year out. The rivalry between Kiir and Machar perhaps has made the country to slip up for jackals to perch it. Dr. Machar has succumbed and if to save anything he must detach himself from how things are done by corrupt barons. I have started to think twice now about the person that could have been the hope for the people of this republic in months or few years to come…The point about Martyr Day is missed by Kiir, Machar and Wani. The trio is becoming problematic to our gains. What makes them thing that the blood of our people is nothing compares to their luxuries and assets? If they care they could have given the chunk land written in their names to our widows and orphans. The wife of William Nyuon is now begging for bread while the rich are basking in ill-gotten wealth as if William did nothing substantive to our struggle? Ms Nyuon has no land to put her hand on and her daughters/sons aren’t being settled in education or a house built in Ayod County in honor of their father. The same could have been applied to all notable contributors of our struggle. What does this tell you about Kiir/Machar/Wani? Martyr Day therefore should have been a day to show kindness to our widows and orphans through gifts and words of encouragement….

Interestingly, if not controversially, Isaiah Abraham had an amazing way of adoring two contradictory heroes: Dr. John Garang as the founding father of South Sudan and Dr. Riek Machar as the great-savior-in-the-waiting for South Sudan. He backed Garang’s model of the New Sudan Vision, believing that it gave birth to the independence of South Sudan. In both the article Give Garang the respect he deserves, October 4, 2011 and the Has the battle to save Garang legacy revived SPLA 1991 ideological differences? October 20, 2011 he took on the hotly contested topic of separatists and unionists in the context of the 1991 split within the SPLM/A. Obviously, under such topical issues and circumstances, he faced the most difficult task of reconciling his support for Dr. Riek with the praise and honoring of the late SPLM/A leader, Dr. John Garang. While his argument is well presented therein, it was, and still is, far from clear if he did succeed to reconcile the two conflicting views on Dr. Machar and Dr. John Garang in the context of 1991 attempted coup.

Isaiah Abraham also preferred direct and frank negotiation between Khartoum and South Sudan considering that it is in the best interest of South Sudan. This is well illustrated in the article, Khartoum and Juba need to dialogue, March 28, 2012.” While acknowledging that Khartoum isn’t serious about international rules, they are troublemakers”, he still called on the two nations to embrace honest dialogue and negotiations to end their destructive hostilities and abide by international norms and standards: Khartoum should abide by the UNSC Resolution to end hostility with South Sudan, May 8, 2012.” This is further reinforced by his impassioned calling for better, mutually benefiting, relationship between the two countries: South Sudan and the Sudan need strong bilateral ties, December 21, 2011.”

Reading titles such as “love him or hate him, sudan need al-bashir January 1, 2011 or the “Vote for Al Bashir not Arman, March 2, 2010” one is likely to mistakenly conclude that Isaiah Abraham was a Khartoum’s supporter. But to contemplate that, deep down in his heart, he was pro-Khartoum would tantamount to a grave underestimation of his patriotism. For instance, he vigorously opposed Khartoum application to join the EAC: Turn down Khartoum’s request for East Africa membership, September 27, 2011.”

On Panthou, he felt bitterly betrayed when president Salva Kiir withdrew SPLA troops from the disputed town of Panthou. This is well illustrated in the article “Panthou: Kiir has betrayed the people of South Sudan, April 23, 2012” where he fumed:

“How come he could easily bowed to New York or Addis Ababa people who never lifted a finger to stop Khartoum from raining fire on our people day and night despite our cry? Mr. President, the interest of our people comes first. Ban Ki-moon (known then in Korea as Ban-jusa) is a letdown and an enemy of our people. Our land can’t be ruled from New York, we are own masters. Our voice was loud, but you kept personalizing the matter, who do you think you are? The issue of Panthou is larger than the president, rather is about South Sudan pride and dignity. If the people of Southern Sudan were ready, even to contribute their own lives and money, why stand own their way Mr. Kiir? You have been inconsistence throughout, and you got to give way. Sir you are one of the leaders that will be remembered for allowing his land to go (Chief Deng Majok was one) because someone who sits in New York or Washington rules over this land. You are a disgrace. If it was a defeat we would have taken it head high, and regroup and return there. What is wrong if we had stood the ground and be defeated, (an impossible thing anyway for our men against Khartoum)? Armies retreat but the war would be on. Our people are very agitated including this author for the decision to pull out troops from Panthou, the 100% South Sudan land. Juba has failed our people big way this time around. Mr. Kiir Mayardit low self-esteemed personality has made him one of the worse leaders our people have ever had.”

On international level, he was arguably a Pan-Africanist, unblinkingly proclaiming that Africans solutions are the best for Africans problems, February 22, 2010.” Isaiah Abraham was against the ousting of Muammar Khadafi of Libya by the Western Powers, calling the Libyan rebels to be ashamed of themselves (Gaddafi’s death: shame on so-called Libyan Liberators, October 26, 2011). Amidst his seething against the West and the UN, Isaiah Abraham was able to catch enough breath to utter: “Thanks USA, keep the pressure on Khartoum, October 24, 2010.” Still,he was, at the same time, warning the government of South Sudan to be extra wary of Western Military Cooperation. His opposition to Western Intervention in African Affairs, however, was more ideological and philosophical than personal—he adored Hilde Johnson, a Westerner, so much that he named his own daughter after her. Above all, he was a priest in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, a religion with Western origin and connection.

Isaiah Abraham displayed his uncompromising loyalty to the SPLM/A in the article Southern political expediency is no brainer, June 23, 2009 when he said the following to those who accused him of being an agent of the group whose pockets are stuffed by the NCP:

“No way, am no 467 of the Tumsah Battalion and will be the last to leave the party when my breath is gone! What will I tell those who die ahead of me when I join them if I shuttle between my stomach and my heads? Shame on me if…”

He showed his admiration for and the belief in the SPLA in the article Rebellion or no rebellion, the South is moving on! April 5, 2011 when he offered this opinion about the SPLA—South Sudan Army:

“Our army isn’t the best yes, and has public relation problems and lacks training, but they are the best fighters when it comes to defense…”

In support of the oil shutdown by the government of South Sudan, Isaiah Abraham had the following words from the article South Sudan must not waver in its decision to keep oil production shut, February 28, 2012”:

“After the shutdown of oil production therefore, our people must not look back or compromise so to start returning our market through the Republic of the Sudan. There is no way again for our leadership in Juba to rush back to beg Khartoum for continuation of facilities usage. We will find our way here, and around our friendly countries not anymore through the rogue Republic called the Sudan…I’m back again to salute our leader Comrade Salva Kiir Mayardit and his able team led by a warrior Comrade Pagan Amum Okiech for a job well done. Brother Amum has shown again and again that he is there for the people of South Sudan, something a gang of malicious men and busy bodies among us are hell bound to die about. They must shut up, and leave such rare shots to do the job for them.”

Isaiah Abraham had unequivocal view on the Abyei perennial dispute, declaring that Abyei must be liberated at the barrel of a gun. In the article, I fear for the future of Abyei and other disputed areasOctober 13, 2012 he complained about the occupation of South Sudanese border areas of Abyei, Panthou, Hofra Al Nahas, Kofi Kingi, Kaka and 14 Mile, concluding that the talks between the two countries over these issues have failed miserably because the talks usually shy away from addressing the fundamental problem of land ownership. He blamed our leaders for their poor sightedness and urged them to chart a new better-informed way forward based on the bitter lessons of these wanton failures.

Isaiah Abraham was never shy of combative debate when it came to issues dear to his heart, particularly those he considered indispensable to the betterment of the republic of South Sudan. In one of his longest article, South Sudanese leader will not be re-elected, September 11, 2012 which he wrote in defense of Mabioor Garang de Mabioor, he viciously attacked his colleague and fellow Citizen-Newspaper-Columnist, Mr. Ateny Wek, arguing that he (Ateny) had taken sides by wrongly attacking the son of the late for simply exercising his freedom of expression as a free citizen in a free nation.

But his views on certain issues were not immutable; one would fairly argue that his opinions were generally circumstance-driven and time-dictated. For example, when the SPLM leader banned the SPLM-DC on its inception, Isaiah Abraham took the opposite view and argued that SPLM-DC shouldn’t be banned. Later on, May 29, 2012, he strongly urged the government of South Sudan to immediately ban SPLM-DC, accusing the official opposition party of political sabotage and collaboration with the enemy—Khartoum government.

Before his untimely, unfortunate and conspiratorial death, Isaiah Abraham had been threatened many times in the past, one of which is vividly recounted in the article, Writing isn’t about fame or money September 7, 2009.” As narrated by Dr. Majak D’Agot, and Nhial Bol during the Memorial Services of Isaiah Abraham, Juba, December 13th, 2012, the threats against Isaiah Abraham were real, relentless and nerve-wracking to the extent that Isaiah Abraham—fearless and committed to his noble cause as he was—was contemplating seeking asylum in a foreign country. Unfortunately, as we all know, he met his death few days before his friends could come to his rescue.

Ironically, Isaiah Abraham managed to survive the over 22 years of South Sudan liberation struggle against the consecutive repressive regimes in Khartoum only to die at the hands of his fellow South Sudanese countrymen and -women. Surely, it is “Not Yet Uhuru” in the Republic of South Sudan!!

PaanLuel Wël (paanluel2011@gmail.com) is the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers: He can be reached through his Facebook page, Twitter Account or on the blog:http://paanluelwel2011.wordpress.com/


Tribute To Isaiah Abraham: Verbatim from the Memorial Services of Isaiah Abraham

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me. By Martin Niemöller, a prominent Protestant pastor who opposed the Nazi regime. He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, Germany, 1937.

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba City, South Sudan.

Tribute to Isaiah Abraham: The Dark Ages of South Sudan Liberation

Tribute to Isaiah Abraham: The Dark Ages of South Sudan Liberation

Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol Chan, aka Isaiah Abraham, was killed on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012, at his Gudele House, Juba City, in South Sudan. He was buried on December 9th, 2012, at his ancestral hometown of Kongor, Jonglei State. His Memorial Services, attended by around 7,000 people, was held today, December 13th, 2012, at May 16th Street, Pande Bioor Ajang Duoot (Bioor Athuot), in Juba City, South Sudan. Below are the verbatim from the charged funeral that was attended by all the leading politicians—Ministers, MPs, Governors, and state officials, business people, civil society groups, foreign dignitaries and ambassadors, media groups, and the lay people from all over South Sudan. The verbatim were collected and translated by Deng Dekuek and posted on his Facebook Page, just as the funeral was unfolding.

For those who might be wondering if the President, Salva Kiir, and the Vice President, Dr. Machar, were in attendance, they were not. They were invited but they decided, for one reason or another, better known to themselves and their advisors, not to attend, at least in person. I say ‘at least in person’ because there is no way that they could not have been, alertly, following the proceedings and speeches from the funeral, deep inside their houses/offices.

Not only the President and his Deputy who were conspicuously absent, so too were the prominent ministers from Greater Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria Regions. Perhaps, according to Mach-Kuol, the Equatorians view it as an internal Dinkan power struggle that they should never involve themselves in while the Bahr el Ghazalians top politicians were, ostensibly, expecting a hostile reception from the relatives of the deceased owing to the fact that some people have been trying their best to twist the tragedy as a Bor Dinka vs Bahr el Ghazal Dinka strife. Yet, the first victims of such cruelty—Dengdit Ayok, Nhial Bol and Deng Athuai, among others—were sons and daughters from Greater Bahr el Ghazal Dinka.

Mach-Kuol still has it that Dr. Riek Machar was in a catch-22 position. While his heart might have been overwhelmingly with the grieving people of South Sudan over the assassination of Isaiah Abraham, his only true supporter from the Dinka Community who had come out openly, campaigning for his presidency when it is a near taboo within his community to do so, he (Dr. Machar) was equally aware that his mere presence, and even the slightest speech, on this occasion could have been used against him, with the claim that he is exploiting the death of Isaiah Abraham to his selfish political advantage by driving a wedge between the Bor and Bahr el Ghazal Dinkas so that he can later receive the presidency on a golden plate after the Dinkas have finished themselves. This is the best way—maybe there could be other plausible reasons—one can fathom his absence from the Memorial Services of Isaiah Abraham.

Interestingly, outraged as their messages boasted, none of the said speakers, particularly those in the echelons of government, have dared to resign till the killers of Isaiah Abraham are apprehended. Action speaks louder than words. Only the mass resignation of the said government officials—federal and state—would be as embarrassing to the government as much as the killing of Isaiah Abraham. Would President Kiir dare to accept their resignations and replace them? It is highly unlikely for the president lest he incriminates himself. The “outraged” officials would then have killed two birds with one stone: backing up their words with actions while still retaining their seats, and more importantly, compelling the government to identify, arrest and prosecute the killers of Isaiah Abraham (the killers are known, read the verbatim).

Verbatim from the Memorial Services of Isaiah Abraham as Recorded and Translated by Deng Dekuek According to his Facebook Page Postings.

| Twic East MP, Deng Dau Malek: What are we doing in the government if the government is killing our people… If the government is genuine, it should not be part of the investigation… The bounty is not worth it… If a nation cannot protect its people then we should form our militias (loudest and longest applause)… NCP has taken over the government; if you bring the behaviors of Saleh Gosh to South Sudan, even the President will not survive! You’re threatening our children. We are capable of protecting our children and ourselves…South Sudanese are people who cannot be threatened. If you threaten them they become wild… So don’t threaten them! The establishment killed Isaiah; we are saying it here and we don’t want people to run to Salva and say people are talking shit… We are saying it in broad daylight. We were asked a specific question in Kongor during the burial…1. Who killed Isaiah? 2. Who is going to form the committee? 3 Who will be investigated… You Bor people, if you can’t answer these, then what are you doing in the government…. You’re either with the killers or with Isaiah… If the government is not responsible, then those who did this should clean up after their shit! If you want to take our lives, you will take it at a very expensive cost to yourself.

| Oyai Deng Ajak, Minister of National Security: I don’t want people from Bor to resign from Government and if it is confirmed that it is the National Security who killed Isaiah Abraham, I will resign from the Government…If the government is killing our people, we will fight the government…we shouldn’t resign… In revolutionary school, we were not taught to resign; we should fight for reform…Nothing will save face for us in National Security until we find the killers of Isaiah Abraham…The people threatening people are not using communication systems from South Sudan but are using Skype and it has been very difficult for my team to track them and we hope FBI will help us with this….On Sunday, 3 days before the killing, we had a meeting with Beny Kiir about security meeting with Khartoum… Then after the meeting, the President said he would call a meeting of all security organs to review security situation in Juba… Then following Isaiah’s death, we were all called with all our directors including the Governor of Central Equatoria. We briefed the President… In a serious way the president said you all have to investigate… The interior is investigating, the national security, CID, military intelligence is investigating…you need security sector reform, that is what I have told the President…

|  LAWRENCE KORBANDY,  the Head of South Sudan Human Rights Commission: The Minister of National Security should resign and those of other security organs if the government is sincere…. Government should not condemn government, it should let civil societies condemnn it… South Sudan will be born as a failed state prediction is becoming true…Human Rights Abusers are more than the citizens here in South Sudan… Journalist, I must tell you this: the assassination of Isaiah should be a determination for you to wage war against what you see is wrong in this country.

| Nicodemous Arou Maa’n: I know you security people are in attendance, I ask you, who are you protecting by killing people? Who is it that you are protecting? The government is messing up and if you don’t want to be corrected, whoever the coward you’re and responsible for the death of Diing, please avail yourself!

| Ministry of Interior representative, General Kur Michael: The killers are unprofessional, they don’t know the messages are recorded not just in the phone (end of speech, the shortest). This was in reference to the fact that the killers took Isaiah Abraham’s phone that contained all the threatening messages he had received earlier before his death. The messages are not just only in the phone; they can be found too at the Mobile Phone Provider Headquarters where everything is recorded and kept electronically.

| The Citizen Newspaper Editor, Nhial Bol: Isaiah asked we go into exile, I told him I am too old but I promised to get him a ticket on Friday but he died on Wednesday. The bounty ($50,000 USD) should go to the National Security because they know who killed him… Please minister takes your money…Government investigates yourself…the money should go to National Security, the same security sending people messages… You think we will leave Juba, you will have to leave like Jallaba…we won’t leave this country and you can be assured of that.

| Deptuy Minister, Dr. Majak Agoot: Before I went to Bor I was informed by Isaiah that he was receiving death threats from unknown numbers… We wanted to help him after Majok Ayom’s burial but he was killed on the day we returned from Bor… Isaiah is bigger in death than in life… This community has witnessed a number of mysterious deaths since the times of struggle… We want this to be the end of mysterious deaths in this community… If the government doesn’t find the killers, then there is nothing that will change the view that this was an officially endorsed killing.

| Deptuy Minister, Dr. Majak Agoot, quoting a Twic East Dinka Paramount Chief, Manyok Ajak: South Sudanese are calling for a second liberation because this is not the government we fought for…. A country founded on the ideals of freedom and human rights should not be killing its people. As a cattle keeping people, if a cow does not nurture its young one, it is sold. And if the neighbor knows this cow is worthless, he won’t buy it. Then the only option is to kill it because it is no good except for its beef.

| Gabriel Alaak Garang, Master of Ceremony and the SPLM Secretary for Finance: All the three organs of the security are represented here. Manyok Biar, Mading Ngor, Deng Atem, Kuir Garang, Mabior Garang and many more are being threatened… The message to the killers is: you kill them in cold-blood if you have a problem with us. We will not tolerate this. You want to kill innocent people, there are rebels in this country and some live in Juba, why don’t you kill them? This is a message to those who have been threatening people… I understand that some people are still receiving death threats… Why do you kill writers? IT IS AN OPINION! You don’t kill people because they talk. South Sudan cannot be developed by those who don’t talk.

| Civil Rights Activist, Deng Athuai Mawiir, addressing President Kiir: You put all your cousins as security and you let 30 people drive you… What are you afraid of? If you’re afraid of governing your people… If you can’t govern your people… You cannot govern with left-hand looking for history and steal from the people with the right-hand! To the international community, don’t leave us alone we will push this government away by all means.

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty

| Civil Rights Activist, Deng Athuai Mawiir, addressing Isaiah Abraham mother: Those things that have happened to you are those that happened to my mum during Anyanya I, she lost her husband and most of her sons… In July, I looked into a grave but I returned from the brink… They’re still threatening people; we will bring you [the government] down…we will bring you down…we will bring you down!

| Political commentator and Opinion Writer, Ateny Wek Ateny: On behalf of South Sudanese Writers and Opinion Writers, the security is indiscriminately threatening all South Sudanese… The hope for a democratic nation is waning… Only a fool would consider a writer as threatening…. It is better to live with an intelligent adversary than to live with a fool…the 50,000 bounty would have helped if it were paid to protect lives.

| Prof. Taban Lo Liyong: We have MPs who don’t talk, they make laws but they don’t follow up how the laws are being implemented… This is why we have to write and teach this nation…

| Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth: You security people, bring the people who killed Isaiah to book, if you can’t then you’re the very people who did it. You cannot protect government through murders, threats and intimidations… A liberation without democracy, a liberation without rights is not a liberation… The writers are the correctors… Don’t misbehave in the name of the government… The 50,000 USD bounty is not a solution… It will not produce anybody… We tolerated death in the name of Liberation Struggle… But we will not tolerate deaths from cold-blooded murders…. We will give the government the benefit of the doubt but if you fail to bring the murderers to book…we will bring them as Bor Community.

| Late Isaiah Abraham’s Mum, Abuna Rebecca Lueth Wel: My sons died for this country… The eldest one was killed in Nasir, the other one was killed in Itang, and another one was killed in Yei and now you killed this one for me… I have been wondering when the Arabs came to Juba to kill Isaiah… I wrap my head in a white cloth because I wish South Sudan to be in peace and he who wraps his head in black and kills people at night is responsible for ruining your country; please count me out.

| Aguil D’Chut Deng: I am so glad that the head of security is here and he can go and tell President Kiir Mayardit… “Mr. President, if we can’t catch Yau Yau why are we killing the innocent people in front of us?”

| Susan Page (US Ambassador): I will talk about accountability and this is what it is called for here… I am surprised that the ministers, MPs and government officials are speaking against their own government. This is encouraging…. Accountability starts at the Ministry of Justice, if you catch these people, you must take them somewhere for justice to be served.

| Atem Garang Dekuek: The government we fought for and brought into power was for our prosperity…. If we feel that the government doesn’t serve our interests, we will go back to the villages…Death of Isaiah is a challenge to the government… People will assume 2 things… 1. The government is weak and cannot protect its own… 2. The government killed him… Whatever the case, if the killers are not brought to justice, the credibility of the government is questionable. Why did the police destroy the crime scene? The FBI should start by investigating the police….The Bounty ($50,000 USD) should be used to hire writers….if you’re stupid and cannot reply the writings, you shouldn’t be killing people.

| James Koak Ruei, Jonglei State MP: This country is being robbed; they came here by air, by road, by foot… You priest need to pray for this country… This culture of murdering people at night is not with us Nilotic people…we fight people in broad daylight; this demonic spirit needs to go…Jonglei State, the largest state where the liberation war started. Jonglei State where the loudest patriots hail from. Jonglei State with the largest population. Jonglei State, I will speak on behalf of Jonglei State. Isaiah is from the third Battalion that formed SPLA, Tiger. This is the government of Tiger, can Tiger kill a Tiger? Who’s this government that is killing people? We in Jonglei cannot tolerate this? This government is a result of Dr. John Garang, he is a son of Jonglei.

| The heartbreaking speech from the 14-year-old Aluel Isaiah Abraham: I believe my father was killed because he wanted a better South Sudan and I am not afraid to say that…my father’s passion for South Sudan has left me without a father, left my siblings without a father, left my mother without a spouse.

Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol, the first martyr for the Freedom of Expression in the Republic of South Sudan

Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol, the first martyr for the Freedom of Expression in the Republic of South Sudan

Finally, all credits should go to Deng Dekuek who painstakingly recorded and translated, some from Dinka to English, the above quoted portions of speeches. I will upload sounds and bits from the Memorial Services tomorrow! It is my sincere hope, wish and prayer that none of this quoted speeches would ever find its way into the dirtiest hands of the security agency, to be used against any of the above mentioned speakers to either threaten, harass, kidnap, maim or kill them, on an account of what is quoted within these pages. This is only but a small token, a meriting tribute to our fallen comrade, Isaiah Abraham!!

PaanLuel Wël (paanluel2011@gmail.com) is the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers: He can be reached through his Facebook page, Twitter Account or on the blog: http://paanluelwel2011.wordpress.com/


“The South bears no grudge against any nation; it has no grudge against Great Britain, nor against the United Arab Republic [1]. With the former she hopes to share the benefits of the Commonwealth of free nations, and with the latter she is bound by the Nile. Neither have we in the South any ill-intentioned towards the North; we demand nothing short of self-determination, after which we shall be good friends.” –A quote from The Problem of the Southern Sudan (1963), by Joseph Oduho and William Deng Nhial.

By PaanLuel Wël, Washington DC, USA, Planet Earth

3.    Anya Nya One Era

With the defeat [2] of the Southern Mutineers in Torit in 1955, the North shifted its attention to Southern Sudanese politicians in parliament who had refused to back the new constitution—the constitution could only be passed in a unanimous decision—and in the process, succeeded to paralyze PM Khalil’s government. In a grand conspiracy to neutralize and to rid the government of Southerners’ perceived undue influence, the North engineered a bloodless military coup against PM khalil’s government so as to get rid of parliament, and by extension Southern Sudanese’ political voice. Consequently, in 1958, General Abboud declared [3] a coup, dissolved parliament and installed himself as the new leader of government. In February 1964, the Abboud regime expelled [4] Christian Missionaries from Southern Sudan, accusing them of inciting Southern Intellectuals against the government of the Sudan. However, that was a pretext for the real reason for their expulsion was due to the education they were offering to Southern Sudanese that sharply contradicted and undermined Khartoum state policy [5] of Arabization and Islamization—Arabic was declared the state language and Islam the state religion while Christian Missionaries were teaching English and preaching Christianity in the South.

Soon after, Southern Sudanese politicians were harassed, suppressed, detained and humiliated for their political activities [6]. With political freedom curtailed within the country and with no ready army to fight for their interests, Southern Sudanese politicians led by Father Saturnino Lohure, Joseph Howaru Oduho and William Deng Nhial secretly left the country in a row into the neighboring countries where they regrouped and reorganized themselves into a formidable political and military force ready to instigate a revolutionary struggle to free South Sudan from the North. Among those Southern leaders [7] who emerged from this political sensitizations and organizations were: Father Saturnino Lohure, Joseph Oduho, Akuot Atem Atem, Aggrey Jaden, Gordon Muortat Mayen, William Deng Nhial, Marko Rume, Muorwel Malou and Joseph Lagu Yanga, to mention but just a few. The Sudan African Closed District Union (SACDU) [8] was formed thereafter by Father Saturnino Lohure (Patron), Joseph Oduho (chairperson), Marko Rume (Vice-Chairperson) and William Deng Nhial (Secretary General).

This was the beginning of the Anyanya One Movement that later signed the Addis Ababa Accord in 1972. SACDU started mobilizing Southern Sudanese politicians, students, civil servants and peasants in an effort to launch an effective military campaign against the Arab north. In 1967, the SACDU changed its official name to the Nile Provincial Government (NPG)—basically the government in the Anyanya One liberated areas—and Gordon Muortat was elected the new leader of the Movement. However, in 1969, Joseph Lagu—Muortat’s Chief of General Staff of the Anyanya Forces—staged a bloodless coup with the help of the Israelis and took over the Movement—again renamed as the South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM), with Anyanya as its military wings. It was under the stewardship of Joseph Lagu, Joseph Oduho and Emmanuel Abuur Nhial that the Anyanya One Movement negotiated and signed the Addis Ababa Peace Accord in 1972.

And like its descendant—the SPLM/A, Anyanya One Movement was rocked by political infightings [9] and endless power struggles. There was a power struggle between Father Saturnino and Gordon Muortat, between Joseph Lagu and Joseph Oduho, between Father Saturnino and Joseph Oduho, between Joseph Lagu and Saturnino Lohure, between William Deng and Joseph Lagu and Joseph Oduho. Equally, Samuel Gai Tut and Akuot Atem Mayen were accused of corruption and insubordinations [10]. When distributing firearms and ammunitions secured from abroad, Father Saturnino was accused [11] of favoring Catholics and his Lotuho officers like Joseph Oduho as opposed to Protestant, Madi officers like Joseph Lagu. Father Saturnino was further accused of siphoning off money donated by Anya nya friends from the International community, chiefly the Vatican,  by diverting the money into his personal bank without informing the rest. And there was even a coup [12] like the 1991 Nasir coup, staged by Joseph Lagu against Gordon Muortat Mayen. But unlike the failed Nasir coup [13], it succeeded to topple the leader, and brought about political stability that afforded the Anyanya forces to fight the Arab more effectively rather than dwelling on their internal issues.

The biggest setback for the Anyanya One Movement was when they lost Father Saturnino Lohure [14] on 22 January 1967. He was killed in Uganda near Kitgum on his way to Southern Sudan by the Ugandan forces. Politics and religion played a leading role in his death because there was a bitter power struggle between the Catholics and the Protestants in Uganda. Father Saturnino—an ordained Catholic Priest and a politician initiated into, and well versed in, the nitty-gritty of dirty politics—somehow found himself taking side [15] in the internal Ugandan power politics.  That made it easier for the Arab North to influence the powers of the day in Uganda to eliminate him. The trend is strikingly scary—Dr. John Garang, George Athor Deng and Father Saturnino all died in mysterious circumstances in, or on their ways from, Uganda.

The Addis Ababa Agreement of 27 February, 1972

According to Ezboni Modiri [16], the head of Anyanya One Delegation to the Addis Ababa Peace Talks, the outsiders imposed the Addis Ababa Agreement on the SSLM. To be appreciated is the fact that the Anyanya One Movement had a strong diplomatic and the military backing of the Christian Missionaries in the West—who were bitter after their expulsion from the Sudan, and military support from Israel—a nation that was embroiled in a do-or-die conflict with the Arab Nations, Sudan included. However, by 1971, the Christian missionaries were already frustrated with the protracted war and the destruction it was causing in the South. Moreover, they were duped [17] by Khartoum government that had appeared to be Pro-west and ready to settle the war in the South if only the West, and Christian Missionaries in particular, would rein in the Anyanya One Rebel. Instead of continuing to arm the rebels, Christian Missionaries started campaigning for political settlement through peaceful negotiation between the government of the Sudan and the rebel of the SSLM.

And in a similar deceptive move the NCP tricked [18] Dr. Riek Machar to sign the Khartoum Peace Agreement of 1997, the government in Khartoum was sending out false feelers and duplicitous indications to the West that it was ready and willing to end the war and gave Southerners their political demands. Israel too was beginning to relax their military and training support to the rebels. Confronted with a situation of losing all allies that had been arming and training them, the Anyanya One Movement under Joseph Lagu [19] acquiesced to the demand of the Christian Missionaries and entered into a Peace Process with the North in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As Arop Madut-Arop succinctly explains, Southerners were caught up in the proverbial catch-22 situation: “to go back to the devil—their supposed enemy, or plunge into the deep blue sea—the denial of the material support [from their allies in the West and Israel] in case they refuse being herded back into the enemy camp” [20].

Abel Alier Kwai (as the Vice-President of the Sudan) and Dr. Mansour Khalid ( as the Foreign Affairs Minister) led the delegates from the government of the Sudan while Ezboni Mondiri Gwonza led the delegates from the rebel sides [21]. The delegates to the Peace Process from the Anyanya One Movement were: Ezboni Mondiri (leader) Dr. Lawrence Wol Wol (S.G), Mading de Garang (Spokesperson), Colonel Frederick Brian Maggot (special military Rep.), Oliver Batali Albino (member), Anelo Voga Morjan (member), Rev. Paul Puot (member), and Job Adier de Jok (member). The negotiation process began in January 1972 and the agreement was signed on February 27, 1972.

The substances of the 1972 Addis Ababa Accord were the same as those of the 2005 CPA [22] except that there was no standing army of South Sudan—the South was granted political autonomy with an elected regional assembly and a regional president based in Juba. The president of Southern Sudan was, just like during the CPA transitional period, automatically the Vice-President of the Republic of the Sudan in Khartoum. The only conspicuous differences between the 1972 Addis Ababa Accord and the 2005 CPA was that the CPA guaranteed a fully funded Southern Army composed entirely of the SPLM/A rebels and the referendum clause on self-determination.

4.    The Post-Addis Ababa Accord Era

Although the Addis Ababa Agreement was signed in February 1972, it was not until on March 27, 1972 [23] that it was finally ratified by the SSLM. This was mainly due to the opposition by some members [24] of the Anyanya Forces that led to the deferment of the ratification process that was initially scheduled on March 12, 1972: lack of a Southern standing army to protect and to enforce the full implementation of the Addis Accord led some members of the Anyanya One Movement to oppose the agreement. Known as the Progressive Group, these military officers felt that the Agreement was rushed, that the Anyanya One Forces were poorly trained and ill-prepared for integration and that the North could not be trusted to adhere to the stipulations of the agreement without the presence of a strong Southern Armed Forces. Moreover, they strongly felt that the agreement was an embarrassing anticlimax to the goal of their armed rebellion—full independence of South Sudan from the North, a topic the Addis Ababa Accord never broached.

Emmanuel Abuur Nhial led this Progressive Group and its members included the following Anyanya One military officers [25]: Emmanuel Abuur Nhial, Alison Manani Magaya, Afred Deng Aluk, Stephen Madut Baak, Paul Awel, Camilo Odongi, Habakkuk Soro, Disan Ojwe Olweny, Albino Akol Akol and Captain John Garang. A letter [26] and leaflets were written and circulated to all the Anyanya Camps in which the Progressive Group called for the total rejection of the Addis Ababa Accord, committed themselves to resist its implementation, recommended the detention of Joseph Lagu and agreed to appoint a new leader to continue with the war. But Saturnino Ariha—the Anyanya Commander of Eastern Equatoria—leaked their plot to Joseph Lagu [27] before it was executed. Immediately, Camilo Odongi and Disan Ojwe Olweny were arrested and the group went underground.

In his 1987 interview with the Heritage Foundation, Dr. John Garang rationalized their actions by saying the following: “We calculated that the clique in Khartoum would erode the government in Juba because its basis for the Agreement was first to absorb the Anyanya into the National Army, second to integrate it after absorption and third to destroy it. So you have the process of achieving a cheap victory over the Anyanya forces” [28]. After the ratification of the Accord, Abel Alier Kwai—the then Vice President of the Sudan—was appointed as the first President of the High Executive Council: the autonomous government of the South. Joseph Lagu and his high-ranking members of the Anyanya Forces were promoted, absorbed and integrated into the National Army. The rest of the Anyanya forces such as William Nyuon Bany [29], who later emerged as a leading member of the SPLM/A, were absorbed and integrated as foot soldiers.

On the political front, there were a lot of power struggle and political infighting [30] within the High Executive Council—the Juba-based Southern government. Tribalism and the hidden hand of President Nimeiri played the leading role in the struggle for power in Juba: President Nimiri was keen, and did succeed, to play one Southern leader against the other.  For example, Joseph Lagu was accusing Abel Alier and Bona Malwal of fostering tribalism and Dinka domination of the High Executive Council. On the other hand, Clement Mboro and Abel Alier were accusing Joseph Lagu, Joseph Tombura and their Equatoria backers of siding with Nimeiri to divide and to weaken Southerners through the redivision of the South into three regions—the so-called Kokora.

It was a messy, self-destructive political maneuvering that delighted President Nimeiri and benefited the North at the expenses of the South. So when President Nimeiri finally discarded the Addis Ababa Agreement, it was a smooth walk in the park for him for there was no credible opposition to his decree since he had done decisively with both the army and the politicians in the South. Abel Alier and Joseph Lagu, through their ceaseless, self-defeating political squabbling, gave him the free ride he needed to breach the agreement. One is left wondering with whom they thought they were dealing with?

The situation was not less contentious on the military front too. The absorption and integration process of the Anyanya Forces into the National Army was a full-fledged game of cat and mouse between the two forces. It appeared each knew what the other party hidden agenda was and each was therefore fully prepared to pre-empt and to impose their plan on the other. The Anyanya Battalions [31] knew that the absorption and integration exercise was a charade meant to dilute their power, to transfer them to the north and then to disintegrate them through well-coordinated retirement process. By all means and intents, that was only going to happen over their dead bodies. The Khartoum government, on the other end, also knew that they would never have full control of the entire country, especially the South, with Anyanya Battalions still intact and fully armed in the South. The solution was to absorb, integrate, transfer and then to retire them—lest the goal of Islamization and Arabization would never see the light of the day in the South. But the well-armed, fully-organized and highly-alerted Anyanya Forces were widely suspicious of and openly hostile to all policies recommended by the Khartoum government [32].

Matters were worsened by the presence and sustained agitation of the Underground Movement within the Anyanya Forces—those military officers who had been opposed to the Addis Ababa Accord led by Emmanuel Abuur Nhial, popularly known as Abuur Matuong. For instance, when the integration process began in Malek, Upper Nile, it was abruptly abandoned “when a young officer, Captain John Garang de Mabior, put forward a request before the Technical Committee for Absorption to suspend the process of reintegration in Upper Nile for the time being until such a time that it was conducive to make the absorption work. The head of the absorption team, Brigadier Mirghani Suleiman, was stunned that a junior officer could speak on behalf of his senior commanders” [33].

But Captain Garang, the brain behind the Underground Movement, was not done yet, for he went on to write leaflets instructing Anyanya Forces in Equatoria to resist integration [34]. Joseph Lagu wrote that “around May-June, a leaflet appeared in Torit District asking the Anya Nya to refuse integration with the Sudanese army…The leaflet…originated in Bor…It was masterminded by John Garang…Following the appearance of the leaflet, I sent for Captain John Garang to report to Juba without delay and he came as ordered. His prompt response softened my feelings. I showed him the leaflet and asked if he were the author. He looked down, then raised his brows and said “yes.” I admired his courage and honesty, I decided to build rather than destroy him” [35].

But it was in Bussere, Bahr el Ghazal, after Joseph Lagu transferred him there for instigating troubles in Malakal, that Captain John Garang had his biggest impact. Most of his buddies in the Underground Movement were stationed there. Upon his arrival, Captain John Garang “organized the officers and taught classes on Economics and radical sociology and political theories…[the Addis Ababa] Agreement was radically analyzed and interpreted by this group as hollow and a palliative use to disarm the Anya Nya through a facade of peace Agreement” [36]. According to Joseph Lagu, “a series of problems started there following his arrival” [37]. When the Nimeiri government sent Joseph Lagu to Bussere to calm down his rebellious forces, Lagu was jeered and declared a traitor by the soldiers. Lagu left swiftly dismissing the group as a tribal army—over 90% of the battalion were Dinkas led by Lt. Colonel Afred Deng, Lt. Colonel Joseph Kuol Amuom, Major Stephen Madut Baak, Major Albino Akol Akol, Major Thomas Dhol, Major Santino Ajing Dau and Captain John Garang. A delegation sent from Khartoum to arrest Captain John Garang left empty handed after the Battalion threatened to rebel should the Captain be detained [38]. Thereafter, the young restless Captain was a sent to abroad on a government scholarship, thus, ending his trouble-making in the army.

But it was not only Captain John Garang who was causing lots of headache to the government. As the country was commemorating the third anniversary of the Addis Ababa Agreement in March 1975, a military unit of Southern soldiers mutinied in Akobo, killing their commander—Colonel Abel Chol, in the process. The mutiny was triggered by a rumor that they were about to be disarmed and disbanded. While most soldiers in the group were arrested and disarmed, the ringleaders led by Lt. Vincent Kuany and Corporal James Bol Kur marched to Ethiopia where they founded the Anyanya Two Movement on February 20, 1977, in Bilpam. Similarly, in 1976, there was another mutiny in Wau led by Captain Afred Agwet Awan, allegedly sparked by a letter written by Benjamin Bol Akok from Juba to Joseph Oduho and Malath Joseph Lueth in which Bol was “informing Oduho and Lueth that time was opportune to start the war for total liberation of South Sudan” [39]. Brigadier Emmanuel Abuur Nhial—the most senior Southerner in the army by then—was killed while pursuing Afred Agwet Awan [40] to persuade him to come back to town.

When, in 1973, the government requested Peter Cyrillo, a former Anyanya Officer, to transfer Battalion 116 from Juba to a new location, Cyrillo was “beaten up and arrested by his own trooped” [41] till an assurance was given that there was no such plan anymore. In 1974, the same Battalion 116, under the command of Habakkuk Soro, forcefully occupied Juba airport and wholly sealed off Juba city when a rumor, supposedly spread by two southern students at the university of Khartoum—Lual Achuek and Walter Kunijwok Ayoker—reached them that there was an imminent coup against President Nimeiri. Interestingly, by this time, Nimeiri was the darling of the South. Sometimes, even individual soldiers were brave enough to stage their own rebellion: in 1982, Bol Madut “single-handedly shot his way into the bush hoping that the rest of [his] Battalion 110” [42] in Aweil would follow him to start the revolutionary struggle.

To fully capture and appreciate the general mood in the South by that time is to think of the Jews during the birth of Jesus of Narareth in the 6-7 B.C. The South was in a grip of an imminent war and every Anyanya officer thought he could be the first to trigger it much the same way that the Jews were expecting the birth of the Promised Messiah and every family thought they were the one to bring Him forth. The image conjuring up from all these incidents is that rebellions, mutinies and the threat of war were the order of the day by the late 1970s and early 1980s.

So when Kerubino Kuanyin rebelled on May 16, 1983 [43], it didn’t come as a big surprise to anyone. But little did the Khartoum government thought that it would blossom into an all-out war that would culminate in the permanent breakup of the Sudan. To most observers, it was just one of those crazy occurrences that had come and gone with everything remaining business as usual. In fact, even among the Underground Movement coordinated by Dr. John Garang after the unfortunate death of Abuur Matuong at the hand of his fellow Southerner and Anyanya One colleague—Afred Agwet Awan, the scheme to launch the armed insurrection was scheduled to begin on August 18, 1983 in homage to the 1955 Torit Mutiny that had occurred on August 18.


[1]  A defunct union between Egypt and Syria

[2] Scopas Poggo, “The First Sudanese Civil War: Africans, Arabs, and Israelis in the Southern Sudan, 1955-1972” [2008].

[3] Bona Malwal, “People & Power in Sudan: The Struggle for National Stability” [1981].

[4] Douglas Johnson, “The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars: Peace Or Truce” [2011].

[5] Richard Gray, “A history of the Southern Sudan 1839-1889” [1961].

[6] William Deng Nhial’s Letter to Dr. Richard Gray [1962]

[7] Joseph Lagu Yanga, “Sudan: Odyssey Through a State (From Ruin To Hope)” [2006].

[8] Abel Alier Kwai, “Southern Sudan: Too Many Agreements Dishonoured” [1992]

[9] Joseph Lagu Yanga, “Sudan: Odyssey through a state: from ruin to hope.” [2006]

[10] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[11] Joseph Lagu Yanga, “Sudan: Odyssey through a state: from ruin to hope.” [2006]

[12] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[13] Peter Adwok Nyaba, “The Politics of Liberation in South Sudan” [1996]

[14] Steve Paterno, “The Rev. Fr. Saturnino Lohure: A Roman Catholic Priest Turned Rebel, the South Sudan Experience” [2007]

[15] Scopas Poggo, “The First Sudanese Civil War: Africans, Arabs, and Israelis in the Southern Sudan, 1955-1972” [2008].

[16] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[17] Yosa Wawa, “The Southern Sudanese Pursuits of Self-Determination: Documents in Political History” [2005]

[18] Mansour Khalid, “War and Peace in the Sudan: A Tale of Two Countries” [2003]

[19] Joseph Lagu Yanga, “Sudan: Odyssey through a state: from ruin to hope.” [2006]

[20] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[21] Abel Alier Kwai, “Southern Sudan: Too Many Agreements Dishonoured” [1992]

[22] Steven Wondu, “From Bush to Bush. Journey to Liberty in South Sudan” [2011]

[23] Bona Malwal, “People & Power in Sudan: The Struggle for National Stability” [1981].

[24] Dr. John Garang, “Captain John Garang’s Letter to Gen. Joseph Lagu of Anyanya One” [1972]

[25] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[26] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[27] Joseph Lagu Yanga, “Sudan: Odyssey through a state: from ruin to hope.” [2006]

[28] Dr. John Garang’s 1987 Heritage Interview with Arop Madut, “Colonel Dr. John Garang Speaks To Heritage On War and Peace in the Sudan, Nov. 2, 1987.” [1987]

[29] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[30] Joseph Lagu Yanga, “Sudan: Odyssey through a state: from ruin to hope.” [2006]

[31] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[32] Abel Alier Kwai, “Southern Sudan: Too Many Agreements Dishonoured” [1992]

[33] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[34] Joseph Lagu Yanga, “Sudan: Odyssey Through a State (From Ruin To Hope)” [2006]

[35] Joseph Lagu Yanga, “Sudan: Odyssey Through a State (From Ruin To Hope)” [2006]

[36] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[37] Joseph Lagu Yanga, “Sudan: Odyssey Through a State (From Ruin To Hope)” [2006]

[38] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[39] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[40] Joseph Lagu Yanga, “Sudan: Odyssey Through a State (From Ruin To Hope)” [2006]

[41] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[42] Arop Madut-Arop, “Sudan’s Painful Road To Peace: A Full Story of the Founding and Development of SPLM/SPLA.” [2006]

[43] Gabriel Achuoth Deng, “Wars and a new vision for the Sudan: (a political lesson)” [2005]


“An estimated $4 billion are unaccounted for or, simply put, stolen by current and former officials, as well as corrupt individuals with close ties to government officials. Most of these funds have been taken out of the country and deposited in foreign accounts. Some have purchased properties; often paid in cashWe fought for freedom, justice and equality. Many of our friends died to achieve these objectives. Yet, once we got into power, we forgot what we fought for and began to enrich ourselves at the expense of our people.” By President Kiir

By PaanLuel Wël, Washington DC, USA, Planet Earth

South Sudan is screwed up! The contents and wordings of the recently released Presidential letter that scandalously alleged that “an estimated $4 billion [are] stolen by current and former [government] officials, as well as [by] corrupt individuals with close ties” to the government of the Republic of South Sudan is, at best, a resounding confirmation of the obvious and, at worst, a flagrant betrayal of nation’s expectation in post-independence era. The letter is a somber reminder of and unsettling testimony to the extent and magnitude to which the current Juba-based SPLM/A has betrayed and abandoned the exceptional aspirations, noble dreams and great vision of the former bush-based SPLM/A.

In that infamous letter of 03 May 2012, President Kiir, the author, squarely admits that “the people of South Sudan and the International Community are alarmed by the [unprecedented] level of corruption in South Sudan.” President Kiir goes on to claim that corruption has no place in his government; acknowledges that many people are suffering in South Sudan, and “yet some government officials simply care (more…)


Are you (or do you know any South Sudanese) Serving in the US Army? Please contact us with the names and contact information!

We at the South Sudanese Bloggers’s blog were greatly inspired by this article about Peter Kuch, a young South Sudanese American serving in the US Army.

As a follow up on and an expansion of that inspirational work by Drew Brooks, we thought it would be a great idea to compile a list of South Sudanese Americans serving in the U.S military and to dedicate their courageous stories and wonderful achievements in a seminal article to be shared with our South Sudanese communities around the world.

We think South Sudanese communities worldwide will be interested and proud to know how their (these) brave young men and women are helping this great nation–USA. We hope their (your) achievements will inspire some people in our communities to do more with their lives given our dark past in Africa and today challenging realities in the West.

We believe our communities need role models and we think the young ladies and gentlemen in the US military exemplify this role. You can reach us at  paanluel2011@gmail.com,  madingbor1983@gmail.com or just leave a comment on our Facebook page.

We look forward to your collaborative responses!

All the best, 

Agereb Leek Chol and PaanLuel Wel on behalf of the South Sudanese Bloggers’ Teams.