Archive for January 4, 2012


Daily Nation–There was no mega earthquake, tsunami, war, massacre, or outbreak of rebellion last Christmas and this New Year.

Just as well, because I took time to explore one of my pet subjects; the conflict between how a country sees itself and how others view it.

I don’t know about you, but over the last year, I have noticed many women at East Africa’s airports, and on flights out of our region, who look like the South Sudanese supermodel, Alek Wek.

Most of them are usually with a European or American man aged in the late 40s to mid-50s.

On a flight from Entebbe to Nairobi on Tuesday, there were two such couples hugging all the time.

It seems over the years of Ms Wek’s stardom in Europe and the US where she plies her trade, she has become the model idea of African “exoticness” for some men.

So when the war ended in South Sudan and the country became independent, there has been a rush there by men seeking to fulfill their Alek Wek fantasies, and get themselves a clone of the supermodel.

The interesting thing is that Wek is most definitely not many African men’s idea of a beautiful woman. If nothing else, they would consider her “too thin”.

And if you want peace, never start a debate about whether Wek is beautiful. I just read an interview of her in Time magazine, and there is no doubt she is an intelligent and remarkable woman.

The thing though, is most women in South Sudan do not actually look like Wek.

Her case came to mind because, over the holiday, some good citizens of Kampala told me that Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka has some “interesting” views about Ugandans.

To start with, I have hardly met a Kenyan man or woman who, when the subject came to Uganda, didn’t remark about the “polite Ugandan women, who kneel when they greet and call you Ssebo”.

That is true, but only in a very few cultures, especially the Baganda in the southern part of the country.

Which brings us to Kalonzo. Last October when there was that big Africa Cup of Nations clash between Uganda’s Cranes and Kenya’s Harambee Stars, Kalonzo organised bus trips for Kenyan fans.

Before the convoy left, he warned the Kenyans.

“Those Ugandan sisters of ours are known for kneeling and greeting sweetly”, he said. “If we are not careful, by the time we get to the stadium to cheer Harambee Stars, only 600 of the 1,000 of us will show up”.

The rest, presumably, would have been ensnared by kneeling wily Ugandan women.

This story is still being told in Kampala, and it has actually won Kalonzo a few friends because the folks got the light-heartedness in it.

That said, I wish Kenyan men looking for these polite Ugandan women who kneel before their husbands, smother them with gentleness, mop their feet and sweaty foreheads, and bring them breakfast in bed a lot of luck.

Their best chance is in the village, because even among the middle-class Baganda, they won’t find them. When they do, they should share their discoveries with their Ugandan brothers. They, too, are looking.

These images are rarely the ones that tourism and Brand Kenya, Brand Uganda, Brand This, want to promote.

There were two big conferences on South Sudan recently; one in Geneva the other in Washington D.C.

There is a famous “Gifted by Nature” campaign that was run by the Uganda government, and we didn’t see anything of the country’s kneeling women.

Indeed, in Kenya’s case, you can be sure when an image from the country is used by international brands abroad, it will not be its marathoners. It will be “Maasai” warriors (Maasai is used here guardedly) jumping sky-high.

I have seen that on Landrover Discovery’s international ads, and on campaigns for all sorts of mobile and satellite phones in many countries.

However, when Kenya’s Vision 2030 does its campaigns, it touts the “Thika Superhighway”, M-Pesa, and the future technology city, Konza. It is just not politically correct to throw a Maasai warrior into the mix.

It’s hard to beat the power of prejudice, and the appeal of what we might call “Wanjiku’s narrative”. & twitter@cobbo3

Sudan, South Sudan to Resume Talks on Abyei in Addis Ababa

Posted: January 4, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

By Mona Al-Bashir

Khartoum – Sudan and South Sudan are to resume talks on Abyei on 17 January 2011 in Addis Ababa.

Sudanese President, Field Marshal Omer Hassan Al Bashir, directed the Sudan Government negotiators not to compromise provisions of the Agreement signed on 26 June in Addis Ababa last year between Sudan and South Sudan, and stressed the need for continued dialogue with South to reach an agreement on Abyei particularly the issue of establishing civil institutions and forming police personnel from both sides.

The President was briefed on the outcome of the monthly meeting on Abyei in presence of African Union (AU) representative, commander of the Area Security Force besides the representatives of the two countries.

Abyei Chief Administrator Al-Kheir Al-Faheim Al-Mekki, in statement to press yesterday at the Presidency following a meeting with the President, said the meeting with South Sudan on Abyei did not produce tangible results because of intransigence on the part of the South Sudan and its insistence to lead the Abyei Administration and the Legislative Assembly in contravention of the Addis Ababa Agreement which stipulates that Sudan should assume the chairmanship of the Administration while the South should head the Legislative Assembly and the formation of civil institutions and police should also be shared by the two sides.

Al-Mekki added that South Sudan is trying to exclude Sudan from the police, an attempt to renege on the agreement. He said the forthcoming meeting would be convened on 17 January and will continue until 23 of the same month in a bid to resolve the contentious points to pave the way for an agreement in accordance with Addis Ababa provisions.

He explained that item 2/5/2 of the Addis Ababa Agreement was amended at the last meeting and based on that amendment there would be three levels in Abyei : executive (administration), parliamentary (legislative assembly) and presidential (Representatives of the President of Sudan and President of South Sudan).

Earlier, the Sudanese Government pointed out that SPLA move to attack Abyei would not change the prevailing situation given SAF resolution not to pull out until the Ethiopian peacekeepers complete their deployment. “Until then SAF will stay put” he told journalists at the National Congress Party (NCP) Headquarters.

South Sudan: Kiir Says Sudan Is the ‘Main Challenge’ to the Country
Juba — Though South Sudan has decided to be a nation, the Sudan still goes after it to destabilize it, President Salva Kiir said yesterday describing Sudan as the “main challenge” to the young nation among the neighbouring Countries. 

Sudan, South Sudan to Resume Talks on Abyei in Addis Ababa
Sudan Vision
Khartoum – Sudan and South Sudan are to resume talks on Abyei on 17 January 2011 in Addis Ababa. Sudanese President, Field Marshal Omer Hassan Al Bashir, directed the Sudan Government negotiators not to compromise provisions of the Agreement signed on 

South Sudan Raid Shows Rivals’ Escalating Clashes
New York Times
NAIROBI, Kenya — About one week ago, an enormous column of 8000 armed youths was advancing through the bush in South Sudan, bent on revenge. United Nations aircraft had been steadily tracking its movements and relaying information back to the head 

South Sudan’s Post-Independence Challenges: Greed or Grievance? Elizabeth 
Peace and Conflict Monitor
It is now eight months since South Sudan joined the family of nations as a newly independent state. However, as the South Sudanese struggle to find their bearings in a very unpredictable world, compounding challenges seems to be wearing heavily on them 

Elizabeth Tesfaye Haile
January 04, 2012

It is now eight months since South Sudan joined the family of nations as a newly independent state. However, as the South Sudanese struggle to find their bearings in a very unpredictable world, compounding challenges seems to be wearing heavily on them. Elizabeth Tesfaye Haile takes stock of how some of these challenges are redefining South Sudan’s dynamics, inquiring as to whether it is greed or grievance at the heart of the simmering tensions.


South Sudan achieved its independence from the North on July 9, 2011 after a referendum in January 2011. The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement bore its fruit and ended Africa’s longest-running civil war, which claimed the lives of an estimated 2.2 million people (BBC News, 2011). However, the question remains whether South Sudan will be able to sustainably achieve peace and stability by overcoming its ongoing and future challenges. While this new country still maintains hostilities with Sudan even after its independence it has been also critically confronted by internal rebels.

Though it is difficult to exactly trace the root causes of the North–South civil war, various suggestions have been offered by scholars with regard to the causes of the war. Exclusion of South Sudan from political power and development, along with the racial and ethnic divide between the north and south since colonial times, are considered major causes for the civil war. Islamisation policies by different leaders of Sudan, especially the waging of Sharia law in Sudan by the then-Sudanese President Jaafar Mohammad al-Nimeiri, has further radicalized South Sudanese, who are animists and Christians (Batruch, 2003; ICG, 2010). In general, a historical consistency of oppressive regime from Khartoum discriminating and exploiting the South is believed to have initiated grievances by the South (Johnson, 2003, as cited in Patey, 2007).

Simmering Hostilities

However, it is not only grievance by South Sudanese that has contributed to the onset of the north–south civil wars in Sudan. Even if the first civil war broke out mainly due to grievance, the greed for resources, especially oil, has contributed its share to the onset of the second civil war. The first civil war ended in 1972 and granted autonomy to the South. Then, it is not by chance that war resumed again and the second civil war started in 1983 after the discovery of oil in South Sudan in 1979 by Chevron (U.S Department of State, 2011). Consequently, President al–Nimieri disregarded South Sudan’s autonomy and moved to change southern state boundaries to ensure the North would have access to future oil earnings (Patey, 2007). Sudan’s interest in south Sudan seemed to shift from political and territorial to economic. In actuality, no conflict remains static. Structural and situational factors, especially economic ones, can transform the objective of armed struggle and shape the character of the conflict. Hence, economic objectives might overtake political objectives when the priority becomes economics (Ballentine, 2003). Further, the nature of the resource also determines the type and duration of the conflict. Un-lootable resources including oil tend to lead to separatist conflicts and increase the duration of the conflict itself (Ross, 2003).

Economic interests also shape international interventions, as interventions are for the most part directed by powerful nations such as the United States, whose actions, in turn, are primarily dictated by their own economic agendas vis-à-vis the war-affected nations. Hence, it was only after the discovery of oil that the internationally mediated peace process began. And until that time, Sudan’s war had been neglected within the international arena, except from the humanitarian perspective (Batruch, 2003). In general, as Patey (2007) explains, it looks like the all of the same causes of civil war that have long plagued the African continent also attributed to Sudan’s North-South civil war.

Even though the civil wars have ended and South Sudan is separated from Sudan, the two governments still remain hostile toward each other. The main reason for their hostility is North Sudan’s economic fear and insecurity resulting from South Sudan’s independence. Under the 2005 peace deal, the oil wealth was split 50-50 between North and South Sudan.

However, this deal ended when South Sudan obtained its independence, taking 380,000 barrels per day of oil production and leaving North Sudan only 120,000 barrels of production per day ( Sudan Tribune, 2011). However, while the South possesses roughly 75 percent of Sudan’s oil reserves, the North has the refineries and pipelines, which could help both countries benefit fairly well from the oil (The New York Times, 2011). Nevertheless, South Sudan has already started complaining about the higher rates charged by the North for oil infrastructure. Hence, landlocked South Sudan is currently considering building its own refineries and pipelines and looking for other optional ports; this has created further frustration on the part of North Sudan (Kron, 2011). In general, high inflation, low foreign exchange reserves, huge debt, the loss of South Sudan and its huge oil income has prompted economic distress for the North, which analysts expect could lead North Sudan to resume war with the South in order to get back the South’s oil producing areas (Reeves, 2011).

Further, the dispute over the border district of Abyei remains unsettled. In accordance with the comprehensive peace agreement, the referendum of Abyei district has been planned to take place in 2011. However, due to the disagreement between the North and South Sudan, the referendum has been postponed indefinitely (IPS, 2011). The Sudanese army occupied Abyei town in May, 2011, violating the 2005 peace deal and conflict assumed between the Sudanese army and the other faction of SPLM, SPLM -North (aligned with South Sudan). A deal on demilitarization of Abyei has been reached on June 20, 2011, led by the African Union. The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) consisting mainly Ethiopian peace keepers is patrolling the Abyei area since June 27, 2011(Reuters, 2011). Even if the conflict over Abyei is usually described as economic, ethnic rivalries between the southern group Dinka Ngok and northern nomads, the Misseria has been a challenge for the referendum to occur (Copnall, 2011).

The Kordofan Question

Although ceasefire has been reached in Abyei, another conflict escalated in Sudan’s only oil producing state of South Kordofan, which borders South Sudan (Reeves, 2011). The origin of the conflict goes back to the dispute that marred the state’s gubernatorial elections in May 2011. The National Congress Party (NCP)’s incumbent Ahmed Haroun won the election over the SPLM-N’s candidate Abdel Aziz Al-Hilu, who alleged that the vote was rigged and refused to accept the outcome (Sudan Tribune, 2011). The conflict is between North Sudan’s army and SPLM-North (SPLM-N), and it spilled over into Blue Nile state (AFP, 2011). South Kordofan and Blue Nile states are home primarily to Nuban people who associate themselves with South Sudan and fought with SPLM-A against the Sudanese government during the civil wars. However, these states were not allowed to participate in the January 2011 referendum to form South Sudan, and the “popular consultation” process as promised by the 2005 peace deal was repeatedly delayed. Ethnic cleansing has been claimed against the Nubans by the Northern Arab militia, and the crisis has been mentioned as “another Darfur” (The Guardian, 2011). North Sudan accused South Sudan of supporting SPLM-N, although South Sudan claimed that it stopped its ties with the SPLM-N after independence (ICG, 2011). The United States proposed splitting South Kordofan in two as a mean to accommodate the rebels SPLM-N, though it was rejected by Sudan.

The humanitarian crisis is growing at an alarming rate in these two states. Approximately 1.4 million people have been killed or injured by the military (The Guardian, 2011). The UN accused the Sudanese government of bombing civilians in these north-south border areas and even bombing civilians crossing South Sudan’s border. Around 140, 000 people fled the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (BBC, 2011). UNHCR says that almost 33,000 people have fled to Ethiopia from Blue Nile, while South Sudan has absorbed more than 50,000 refugees since fighting began in June (IPS, 2011). The government of Sudan also embargoed foreign aid directed towards South Kordofan and Blue Nile state. The UN humanitarian chief is calling now for free access to provide humanitarian assistance to the two Sudanese states (UN News & Media, 2011).

The international community, including the UN and US, is committing effort to end the crisis in these states and also to stop the confrontation between North and South Sudan. For instance, the African Union panel led by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, attempted to mediate between SPLM-N and the Sudanese government (BBC, 2011). The AU hailed, on June 29, 2011, the preliminary deal between Sudan and SPLM-N, which was supposedly intended to lead to a ceasefire in the ethnically divided South Kordofan region; however, it failed to prevent the spread of the conflict or result in ceasefire (Terra Daily, 2011). Humanitarian organizations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, are also constantly reporting human rights abuses by both conflicting parties, especially that of Sudan’s government, for bombing civilians (Sudan Tribune, 2011). Consequently, both Sudan and the new nation of South Sudan are anticipating the possibility of a new war based on the current cross-border attacks and economic hostilities (BBC, 2011). The North-South border has not been officially designated since the South gained independence in July. Troop build-ups are being identified on both sides of the Sudan-South Sudan border (Straziuso, 2011).

The Internal Rebellion: Greed or grievance?

Apart from the conflict with Sudan, South Sudan itself is in civil war with different rebel groups. Meanwhile, violent cattle raiding is also igniting ethnic and tribal disputes in some communities, creating further instability.

South Sudan is an ethnically diverse country. The Dinkas are the largest ethnic group, followed by the Nuer and Shilluk (BBC News, 2011). In the country, power-sharing across tribal lines is not done. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and its armed wing, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), are the main constituents of the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS). SPLM is dominated by South Sudan’s largest ethnic group, the Dinka, and is accused of ignoring other ethnic groups, in particular the second largest – the Nuer. Military and oil interests are dictated by the Dinka, themselves driven by different objectives (The Economist, 2011). Ethnic belonging is not simply a source of identity; it is also a source of livelihood and social capital in many weak states (Ballentine, 2003). The presence of ethnic diversity usually makes a country safe from civil war, as argued by scholars (Collier, 2001). However, since the dominance of one ethnic group over the others still prevails in South Sudan, exclusion of other groups begets grievance and violence. Apart from political exclusion, several complaints have been voiced in South Sudan, including inflation, corruption, and unemployment since independence.

Hence, a series of armed rebellions have appeared in 2010-2011 in South Sudan; several in the state of Unity, such as the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) and a force led by former SPLA General George Athor (BBC News, 2011; ICG, 2011). Even very recently, in September 2011, a new rebel group called the National United Front emerged. The majority leaders of the rebel groups are also former senior officials of SPLA or militia leaders who fought in the civil wars. Although it is difficult for these rebel groups to overthrow the government at present time, indeed they will cause instability in specific regions, such as Unity state, which produces a third of South Sudan’s total oil production (BBC News, 2011).

President Salva Kiir promised amnesty for all groups who rebelled against the government after the April 2010 election, right on Independence Day. Some successes have been achieved such that some rebel groups surrendered to the Juba government. However, a majority of rebel groups are active, especially in the oil rich Unity state. For instance, though one faction of SSLA led by Peter Gadet reached a ceasefire agreement with Juba, another faction of SSLA rejected the deal and announced that the ceasefire decision was made without the consultation with the group (Kuich, 2011). George Athor, who was killed in December 2011 during a clash with South Sudan, had been a senior member of SPLA who rebelled against GOSS once he lost the April 2010 governmental election in Jongeli state (Aljazeera, 2011). He was believed to be one of the most powerful of the post-election insurrectionists (Sudan Tribune, 2011; ReliefWeb, 2011).

The Enemy From Within

Various grievances, such as rising inflation, corruption, nepotism, tribalism, inequality, and high unemployment are described by rebels. For instance, the current faction leader of SSLA, Major General Bapiny Montyuil, in an interview with the BBC spoke out against the discrimination of South Sudanese by Salva Kirr’s regime, and he stated that the people need freedom, education and development (BBC News, 2011). Apart from the presence of real grievance issues at hand, it should be noted that grievance discourses are highly crucial for rebels in order to shape popular perception about the violence, and also to recruit supporters. Rebels need grievance discourses to function no matter how their objectives vary (Collier, 2001).

On the other hand, some of the rebels’ actions clearly reflect predatory behavior and their greed for power and resources. For instance, Major General Bapiny Montyuil clearly indicated that oil and overthrowing Salva Kirr’s regime are major targets for his group. As Keen (1998, p.11) suggested, war is the continuation of economics by other means. George Athor also urged for the formation of a new government in which his group would get “two or three” ministerial posts until the organization of the vote (Sudan Tribune, 2011). As David Keen explained, much of the violence in contemporary conflicts has been initiated by elites seeking to defend their vested interests. Further, some economic aims, especially obtaining unlootable resources such as oil, can be furthered by controlling the state (Keen, 1998, p. 12-13). Also short term economic advantages of violence for rebels could include pillage or securing protection money from civilians (ibid).

Some SPLA troops also joined rebel groups. In contrast to SPLA troops’ salary delay and associated frustrations, rebel groups promised decent salary and allowances for SPLA soldiers once South Sudan is liberated from Saliva Kiir. They also announced that each household in South Sudan will obtain compensation from oil after liberation of South Sudan (South Sudan News Agency, 2011; CIA Fact Book, 2011):

“It is our position that once Salva Kiir is removed, our government will give each household across the ten states of South Sudan a share of oil money. We will ensure that the oil money is accessible to each and every citizen of South Sudan. Under Saliva Kiir regime, the oil money is controlled by Awan clan where he originated from. As soon as the current regime is toppled, each Southern Sudanese will get monthly payment from the government as the way to redistribute oil money”

As Collier (2001) argues, groups rebel when rebelling is financially viable. Rebel groups, unlike governments, cannot finance conflict through taxation or other legitimate revenues. Rebel groups might have genuine grievances, but they only rebel if they know they do well out of war. Some rebel leaders led by greed may instrumentalize ethnicity and other grievance discourses to meet their economic agenda. On the other hand, ordinary people driven by fear, grievances or need for greed may turn to violence for a solution to their economic and social problems (Keen, 1998, p.12). It is expected that grievances would arise in such a chronically underdeveloped war-torn country emerging after decades of conflict. Hence, the presence of the dissatisfactions and grievances as claimed by rebel groups in South Sudan cannot be denied; however, they could be addressed through non-violent political opposition. This is also partially due to the fact that post-conflict societies are at substantial risk because of what has happened to them during conflict. Violent ways of handling matters are usually learnt during conflict and, thus, post-conflict societies may have a limited tradition of conducting their political conflict nonviolently (Collier, 2001). Insecurity among rebels and lack of trust in the government to address their dissatisfactions non-violently, along with the lack of a strong and transparent political system in South Sudan both contribute to the problem. This is also exacerbated by the abundance of weapons, particularly after the end of conflict. However, unrealistic dissatisfaction related to individual oil income distribution in South Sudan, as claimed by rebels, is far from a true grievance; rather, it indicates greediness on their part.

Resources: Blessing or curse?

South Sudan is characterized by a wealth of resources, in contrast with the resource-poor country of North Sudan. It has one of the richest, agriculturally fertile lands in Africa with more-than-adequate water supplies. The country has about 10-20 million head of cattle and also wildlife herds, which can help establish eco-tourism in the future. This new country produces three-fourths of the former Sudan’s total oil output at nearly a half a million barrels per day. Though South Sudan’s population was based for a long time on subsistence agriculture, the country now highly depends on its oil revenue, with oil constituting 98% of South Sudan’s budget (BBC News, 2011; CIA Fact Book, 2011).

GOSS is accused of spending on military and not in human investment. Further accusations of oil revenue misuse are widespread, and the social and environmental consequences of extraction on the local communities persist (ICG 2011; Aljazeera, 2011). The oil resource in South Sudan can be a ‘blessing’ to be used positively for development, or it can be a ‘curse’, as witnessed in the Niger Delta in Nigeria, where conflict is fuelled to serve the economic interests of multinational companies and corrupt government officials.

There are many factors that could make South Sudan vulnerable to future wars and make the resource more of a curse than a blessing. Its high dependency on natural resource exports, weak institutions and poor governance, unemployment, lack of diversified economic opportunities, limited education, vast geography and conflict history are some factors, among many (Pineda & Rodriguez, 2010). A high level of natural resource dependence is a risk factor for civil war, fuelling competition over resources. A high level of dependency on primary commodities also makes the country’s economy vulnerable to price instability and global financial shocks. In addition, the vast geographical area of the nation matters, as distance could pose difficulties for the government to effectively address and manage rebels (Collier, 2011). Last but not least, the presence of diasporas abroad is also another factor, since they serve as huge contributors to rebel finance. South Sudan has a vast number of diasporas, who fled their region mainly due to the civil wars (ibid; Ballentine, 2003).

The nature of the resources in South Sudan, mainly oil, is also another factor that poses a challenge. Different resources are associated with different types of conflict. Oil is an un-lootable but obstructable resource, since it must travel through a long, above ground pipeline. Hence, it presents rebel groups with an unceasing flow of extortion (Ross, 2003, p.65). For instance, during the second north-south Sudan civil war, SPLM periodically attacked the workers and equipment in pipeline construction. SPLA then used the money it extorted from western oil firms that wished to protect their equipment to fund itself (ibid).

Even if there are various factors that could make South Sudan’s resource a curse, the situation with resources is not bleak, as long as GOSS chooses the right path for development. Natural resources can be a blessing rather than a curse if GOSS could manage its wealth and invest it in human development, diversification of its economy, such as by strengthening the agriculture sector and investing in science and technology. As Pineda and Rodriguez (2010, p.10) argue, countries can benefit from natural resources and can create sustainable economic growth and development through proper export diversification, human and physical capital investment, volatility and real exchange rate control. Further, many success stories have also been witnessed from natural resource wealth including those of Norway and Dubai. Even without going the extra miles to Europe or the Middle East, lessons could be learnt from the African nation of Botswana. Botswana more importantly invested in its own people, which South Sudan can learn from.

The way forward

Since the South recently achieved independence, long–suppressed grievances increasingly emerged (ICG, 2011). There are high expectations of the new government by the people, which could be very challenging to be met by this undeveloped nation in th short term (Aljazeera, 2011). Some of the expectations set by rebels, such as individual distribution of oil money, are unlikely and unfeasible for South Sudan to realize. South Sudan is one of the least developed nations with very poor infrastructure and social development. According to the United Nations, approximately a third of the South Sudanese population will need food aid starting this year because of crop failures and the widespread violence that killed more than 3,000 people in 2011.

Further, inflation also topped 80 percent, and trade income including oil has been reduced due to disruption by border violence (Reuters, 2011). Moreover, any revenue generated in South Sudan including oil money needs to be spent on sustainable investments, such as human development and building infrastructure for trade and development. Hence, direct distribution of wealth as stipulated by rebel groups is unsustainable and will not help South Sudan tackle its inherent poverty sustainably. Nevertheless, the construction of sustainable peace in post-conflict societies such as South Sudan must aim to address realistic grievances, such as equal representation of the peoples of South Sudan in all political, social and economic spheres, are paramount for sustainable development.

Looking Beyond Juba

In line with this, GOSS need to commit itself to constructing a government where each ethnic group is fairly represented. GOSS needs to also fight corruption and build transparent and accountable governance. Effective governance serves as a bridge to avert the relationship between natural resources and the opportunity for rebellion (Ballentine, 2003). National and international actors must also look beyond Juba to the many challenges and threats throughout the regions of the emerging Republic (ICG, 2011). The international community could also play a role in negotiating power re-distribution in South Sudan.

GOSS should strengthen its provision of public services, such as education and health services, and invest in employment creation for the young population (Collier, 2009). Only 27% of South Sudanese aged 15 years and above can write and read (CIA Fact Book, 2011). Education is one among other elements considered a risk for natural resources to become a curse rather than a blessing (Pineda & Rodriguez, 2010; Ballentine, 2003). There is also a positive correlation between economic decline, high levels of poverty and unemployment, and the incidence of armed conflict (Ballentine, 2003). Hence, GOSS should diversify its economy, encourage private investment, and decrease its prime dependency on natural resources, thereby also creating diversified employment. It should also encourage its diasporas to invest and contribute to South Sudan’s development.

The nature of un-lootable resources is more of a benefit for the government than it is for rebels, especially as it tends to make non-separatist conflicts short. This is because un-lootable resources require effective rebel and group leadership, in contrast with lootable resources such as diamonds, which can be easily exploited (Ross, 2003). Hence, this could be used as a window of opportunity by GOSS if it can establish a stronger, representative and united party to hasten the end of conflict. Further, the GOSS needs to take care while handling civilians in conflict regions. Taking harsh measures against civilians purported to be associated with rebel groups can further intensify the conflict (Keen, 1998).

GOSS needs to provide adequate compensation for its soldiers so that they will not be attracted to other economic benefits. For instance, the former Sudan’s soldiers during the North-South civil war sold arms and ammunition on the open market, which finally reached the hands of the rebels. It should also not be assumed that violence is always characterized by rivalry. Cooperation can also happen between opposing groups and members when the need exists (Keen, 1998).

International Responsibilities

In a nutshell, it should be noted that South Sudan’s stability cannot be achieved without addressing Sudan’s stability and the north-south hostility. Hence, there is a need for the international community, including international institutions such as the UN, IGAD and AU, to facilitate dialogue and cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan by arranging conditions for agreement, particularly on oil and border disputes. Both Sudan and South Sudan benefit from their peaceful coexistence, as they depend on each other for exploiting oil resources in South Sudan. South Sudan’s plan to construct its own pipeline and refineries will not be viable in the short term; hence, it is a must for South Sudan to depend on Sudan’s oil infrastructure for an indefinite period of time.

Moreover, a coordinated international effort including the US, EU, China, the Arab League, and other friends of Bashir’s government is required in order to stop Sudan’s civil war. China, the oil partner of both countries, is considered to play an immense role in bringing peace between the two countries (Sudan Tribune, 2011). Achieving Sudan’s stability is very complicated and thus demands an all-inclusive approach. Although relying on past experiences, it is expected President Bashir will refuse international requests to stop the conflicts. However, there is a chance that his government will agree to international help, since the country is economically weakened. External interventions to cease the civil war in Sudan may also include arranging debt relief by the US, facilitating the writing of a new constitution, legalization of the north-south border, facilitating dialogue between Sudan and its rebels, popular consultation about CPA with the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, and arranging Abeyi’s referendum and new election in Sudan.

In the coming days, the Juba-based leadership and their external friends might have to look beyond Juba. If, after all, they do not want South Sudan to join the long list of failed states, they must diversify their economic interests and start perceiving the population as a resource rather than a burden.

South Sudan Raid Shows Rivals’ Escalating Clashes

Posted: January 4, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan


NAIROBI, Kenya — About one week ago, an enormous column of 8,000 armed youths was advancing through the bush in South Sudan, bent on revenge. United Nations aircraft had been steadily tracking its movements and relaying information back to the head office in Juba, South Sudan’s capital. Several hundred peacekeepersand government soldiers were rushed into place, but the authorities knew they were far outnumbered, and so they told residents to flee.

“This was a massive, overwhelming force,” said Lise Grande, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan.

When the 8,000 rowdy fighters stormed Friday into their destination, the eastern Pibor area, they unleashed a spasm of destruction and violence on a rival ethnic group, burning down huts, looting stores and mercilessly hunting down women and children, witnesses said.

They rampaged for several more days, and the young fighters were even so bold as to trade shots with the South Sudanese Army. But by Wednesday afternoon, the column of fighters seemed to be retreating, heading home with tens of thousands of stolen cows. And though the precise number of deaths is still unknown, a number of bodies have already been discovered, and Ms. Grande said the death toll would probably be “in the tens, if not the hundreds.”

South Sudan, the world’s newest country, was born last July in ceremonies pulsating with pride and jubilation. Now, it seems to be exploding in violence. More than 1,000 people have been killed in the past several months in clashes between rival ethnic groups, often over cattle.

Tensions between the neighboring Lou Nuer ethnic group and the smaller Murle have been percolating for months, if not years. Both prize cattle and have been viciously raiding each other’s herds. This has escalated into full-fledged fighting between Murle and Lou Nuer youths, who are typically armed with automatic weapons. A few generations ago, such fighting was done with spears.

The Murle killed more than 600 Lou Nuer last summer and abducted scores of women and children, which led to reprisals and then counter-reprisals. South Sudanese religious leaders tried to broker a truce in the fall, but the talks broke down over mistrust. In December, the Lou Nuer began to assemble its youths for a revenge raid. A force of 8,000 marched toward Pibor, razing the Murle village of Likwangoli along the way.

South Sudan’s vice president, Riek Machar, who is a member of the greater Nuer ethnic group, visited the massed fighters near Pibor last week and begged them to turn back. He was rebuffed as well. And so on Friday, around 1 p.m., the column of Lou Nuer fighters burst into the Pibor area, though most of the residents had heeded the warnings and fled.

The Lou Nuer then waded into the bush around Pibor town, attacking civilians. When some fighters tried to cross a river and enter Pibor town, government forces fired at them, and the United Nations even mobilized armored personnel carriers, which might have been what caused the Lou Nuer to turn back eventually.

Several Murle leaders are now expressing frustration over the lack of protection.

“I’ve heard reports of pregnant women getting sliced up and their babies killed,” said John Atiel, a Presbyterian pastor and a Murle, who spoke by telephone from Juba.

He said that government forces had been unable — or unwilling — to safeguard civilians and that 150 people had been killed, maybe more. Calls to South Sudanese government officials went unanswered on Wednesday.

Ms. Grande said that the United Nations had protected the town of Pibor as best as it could with its limited resources in South Sudan, where there are far fewer peacekeepers than in Darfur, the long-troubled but now relatively quiet area of western Sudan. She said the death toll could have been much higher had the United Nations not been closely following the movements of the Lou Nuer fighters.

“It’s not that the U.N. was panicking and saying, ‘Run for your lives,’ ” she added. “A key piece of protection is early warning and telling people to get out of the way, and that’s exactly what we did.”

As many as 50,000 villagers are now displaced, living in the rugged South Sudanese bush with little food or water.

“The humanitarian situation is grim,” Ms. Grande said.

Meanwhile, the aid organization Doctors Without Borders has lost contact with more than 100 of its local staff members, who scattered along with the local people into the bush.

“We know roughly where they are,” said Robin Meldrum, a spokesman for the organization. “But we’re still worried. We don’t know if they’re safe or not.”


Humanitarian Situation in South Sudan Town “grim”: UN official

Posted: January 4, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) — A UN official based in South Sudan on Tuesday told reporters here that there are many people in need of humanitarian aid after an incursion of Lou Nuer fighters into Pibor, a town in South Sudan’s Jonglei state.

Lise Grande, who is UN deputy special representative of the secretary-general and resident and humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, made the statement as she briefed journalists via video teleconference from Juba, capital of South Sudan. She discussed the movement of troops into Pibor, which was the latest event in a history of conflict between the Lou Nuer and Murle peoples.

“The situation on the ground now in humanitarian terms is grim, ” she said. “Because people fled town, they didn’t take anything with them, they’ve been in the bush many of them for up to a week. They haven’t had food, they haven’t had access to clean water, in a number of cases some of their people are wounded, they haven’t had shelter.”

Grande said that the Lou Nuer moved its columns of fighters into Pibor on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 causing the “overwhelming bulk” of Murle residents of the town to flee. The Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), reinforced by additional troops from the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), surrounded the town to defend it from any attack by the Lou Nuer. The Lou Nuer left town on Tuesday morning.

Hours after the Lou Nuer departed, Grande, accompanied by representatives from UN and other humanitarian agencies, toured the town and evaluated the situation.

“While we were there the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) flew in the first food and distributed it to the most highly vulnerable,” Grande said. “In this case it was unaccompanied children and orphan children. Already today food has gotten to them, and in the course of the next week WFP is going to be providing additional support.”

Grande explained that the UN and its humanitarian partners are at work on solutions for the people returning to Pibor as well as the town of Lukangol.

“Already we are mounting a massive emergency support program to help the people as they come back,” she said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also weighed in on the situation in South Sudan. According to a readout, he spoke on Monday via phone with Salva Kiir, president of South Sudan and ” expressed appreciation for his commitment to protect civilians while exerting efforts to resolve through dialogue ongoing tensions.”

“In this regard, the secretary-general noted that the commitment to the rule of law and respect for human rights was fundamental,” said the readout, which was issued here Monday. “He said it was also important to address the root causes of the conflict.”

The Lou Nuer and Murle have been at odds for years over land and water for cattle grazing, resulting in cattle raids and the abductions of women and children.

“Alarming malnutrition” in Sudan conflict zones: UN

Posted: January 4, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

(Reuters) – The United Nations has received alarming reports of malnutrition in two Sudanese border states where the army is fighting insurgents, a senior U.N. official said on Wednesday.

Fighting broke out in June between the Sudanese army and SPLM-North rebels in South Kordofan and spread in September to the state of Blue Nile. Both states border newly independent South Sudan.

The violence has already forced about 417,000 people to flee their homes, more than 80,000 of them to South Sudan, the United Nations estimates. Locals have faced air raids and sporadic ground fighting, according to rights groups and refugees.

“I received alarming reports with respect to malnutrition and the food situation, particular in areas that are controlled by SPLM-North,” Valerie Amos, U.N. Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, told reporters in Khartoum.

She urged Sudan to lift a ban on international U.N. staff traveling to both border states.

Since the outbreak of fighting U.N. agencies and aid groups have only been able to keep small teams of local staff on the ground and the government has stopped any aid workers visiting areas where there has been fighting.

“We need to ensure that the U.N. capacity, which is there to support government efforts, is made up of a mix of U.N. staff, national and international, to make sure we have the right skill set of support,” Amos said after talks with Sudanese officials.

Social and Welfare Minister Amira Fadhil told journalists the ban was there to protect foreign workers and would stay in place.

“We fear for the security of foreigners. That’s why we think the presence of a Sudanese organization makes sense. But we want to grant access as soon as possible,” she added.

South Sudan declared independence in July, under the terms of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war with the Khartoum government.

Both Blue Nile and South Kordofan contain groups who sided with the south in the civil war and say they continue to face persecution inside Sudan.

SPLM-N is one of a groups of rebel movements in underdeveloped border areas who say they are fighting to overthrow Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and end what they see as the dominance of the Khartoum political elite.

Sudan and South Sudan, who still have to resolve a range of issues including the sharing of oil revenues, regularly trade accusations of supporting insurgencies on each other’s territory.

Their armed forces clashed at Jau in a region claimed by both sides last month in a rare direct confrontation.

(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Edited by Richard Meares)

Humanitarian situation in South Sudan town “grim”: UN official
3 (Xinhua) — A UN official based in South Sudan on Tuesday told reporters here that there are many people in need of humanitarian aid after an incursion of Lou Nuer fighters into Pibor, a town in South Sudan’s Jonglei state. 

Juba denies presence of Darfur’s JEM rebels in South Sudan
Sudan Tribune
January 3, 2012 (JUBA) – The government of South Sudan on Tuesday denied reports claiming that the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), one of the Darfur rebels fighting Khartoum, had crossed the international border into the newly independent country. 

Aussie warns on South Sudan violence
Sydney Morning Herald
An Australian aid worker in the troubled new African nation of South Sudan is warning the brutal tribal violence sweeping the country is set to worsen. Up to 25000 women and children have fled into the bush as fighting between rival ethnic groups 

Shell eyes possible South Sudan opportunities
Reuters Africa
By Tom Bergin LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it is eyeing potential opportunities inSouth Sudan, which last July broke away from Khartoum, taking with it two-thirds of Sudan’s 500000 barrels per day of oil production. 

“The Village”: A Look at Life in South Sudan
National Geographic
This group was formed in 2007 when Dr. Jack Hickel from Anchorage saw for himself the extent of the medical need in Old Fangak in what would become South Sudan, and decided that Alaskans could help the people in this community a world away through aid 

Humanitarian situation in South Sudan town “grim”: UN official
3 (Xinhua) — A UN official based in South Sudan on Tuesday told reporters here that there are many people in need of humanitarian aid after an incursion of Lou Nuer fighters into Pibor, a town in South Sudan’s Jonglei state. 

Juba denies presence of Darfur’s JEM rebels in South Sudan
Sudan Tribune
January 3, 2012 (JUBA) – The government of South Sudan on Tuesday denied reports claiming that the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), one of the Darfur rebels fighting Khartoum, had crossed the international border into the newly independent country. 

South Sudan ‘Lost boy’ tells of hope for new nation
Duany recently visited South Sudan and writes for CNN about his hopes for the new nation, which turns six months on January 9. (CNN) — It’s been almost two decades since I was separated from my family, my home and my past as a war child. 

Healthcare staff missing in South Sudan
LEKONGOLE, South Sudan, Jan. 4 (UPI) — Most of the 150 locally hired staff at Doctors Without Borders clinics in South Sudan have vanished since fleeing heavy fighting, the group said. Two healthcare facilities operated by the medical humanitarian 

South Sudan: Nuer Students Meet Youth Minister, Ask for Sport Materials
 and that he will meet the concerned director in his ministry. He added that the minister has called on him to always be in contact.He also called on the youth in Diaspora and in South Sudan to promote peace and participate in nation building.

“Alarming malnutrition” in Sudan conflict zones: UN
Fighting broke out in June between the Sudanese army and SPLM-North rebels in South Kordofan and spread in September to the state of Blue Nile. Both states border newly independent South Sudan. The violence has already forced about 417000 people to ….

JUBA, 4 January 2012 – The President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit yesterday officially launched the National Registration Center for the nationality certificate, identity cards and passports of the Republic of South Sudan. H.E Kiir also at the same time launched the issuing of the three national documents in a special ceremony organized by the Ministry of Interior at the main office of nationality, immigration and ID cards in Juba, under the theme: “The New National Identity for the New Nation”.

President Kiir launches the national registration center.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
During the launching ceremony, President of the Republic H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit received a new passport of the new nation as the first South Sudanese citizen to receive the new passport.
In his launching remarks, President of the Republic extended his sincere gratitude to the minister for Interior Hon. Alison Manani Magaya and his team in the ministry for a quality work done in issuing the national documents. He also appreciated the two ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance for joining hands with Ministry of Interior to set up mechanisms for issuing the national documents.

President Kiir addressing the participants at the launching ceremony.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
President of the Republic strongly directed the two ministries of Interior and National Security to identify all the foreigners in the country and investigate those who entered in the country without work and residence permits and take any necessary measures against them. President Kiir warned authorities in the ministry not to issue diplomatic and special passports to the citizens who do not deserve them. H.E Kiir also warned government officials intimidating police officers issuing the passports and giving them bribes for diplomatic and official passports. He ordered the officers to report such cases to the authorities.
President of the Republic appealed to the politicians having hands in the crisis between Lou Nuer and Murle in Jonglei state to stop instigating tribal crisis between the two ethnic groups and work for peace and stability in the area. He reaffirmed that the government will not allow the two ethnic groups to continue killing themselves.

Hon Magaya stresses a point during the ceremony.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
On his part the minister for Interior Hon. Alison Manani Magaya announced to the public that the nationality certificate is the key document to the other official documents through which ID cards and passports can be issued. Hon. Magaya declared that the new national documents of the new nation will be very restricted to make sure that they do not reach non-South Sudanese. He called on the citizens to cooperate with the authorities in the process of issuing the documents adding that the first generation passport of RSS will be slowly withdrawn while the second generation is being issued. Hon. Magaya emphasized that the Ministry of Interior has set up mechanisms for recognizing the presence of foreign nationals in the country and make sure that they have work and residence permits.
The two ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs Hon. Kosti Manibe and Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial who is responsible for diplomatic and special passports expressed readiness for facilitating the issuing of national documents to a deserve citizens.

Mr Koler speaks during the ceremony.
[Photo: Thomas Kenneth]
The Vice President of Muehlbauer a Germany based company which manufactured the new RSS passport Mr. Mattauis Koler said when addressing the ceremony that the Republic of South Sudan passport is a first class electronic passport. He appreciated the Government of South Sudan for supporting the company in preparing the new passport.
Reported by Thomas Kenneth

South Sudan launches passports and national ID cards

January 3, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan has launched official passports and identity cards for the first time since the country’s independence in July.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit announced the official launch of the documents at a ceremony in Juba the Sudan Radio Service reported on 3 January.

Kiir demonstrated his own documents adding that they were the property of South Sudan. The launch of the ID documents is the latest stage in adjusting to the country’s secession from north Sudan as part of a landmark 2005 peace deal, which ended decades of conflict.

“During the time of the struggle when we were at war, there were friendly countries that gave us their passports that we used for travelling, and other travelling documents as well we used them. And today we have our own documents and we must own these documents with seriousness, these are the first documents that we are going to own as a new country.”

The President warned South Sudan’s interior and foreign ministries to only issue diplomatic passports to deserving people. It would “tarnish the image of the citizens of South Sudan. Don’t allow this again”.

The new passport is internationally recognised, Kiir said.

In July 2011 South Sudan introduced a new currency, the South Sudanese Pound (SSP).


Job Vacancy in South Sudan

Posted: January 4, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Jobs

Please directly contact the employer if you have any further questions.

To anyone of interest, please circulate the following job vacancies:

Vacancy Announcement, M&E Officer – Data Manager.docx
AVR Facilitator JD.DOCX
Advert Finance Officer0001[1].pdf