Archive for March 4, 2012

South Sudan: 30 People Killed in Fresh Attacks in South Sudan’s Jonglei State
Duoth said, civilians were preparing to hand over their guns to the government forces as they expected the protection of South Sudan’s armed forces who are present in the state. A state-wide disarmament programme began on Thursday.

Sudan to launch $1 billion sugar plant, eyes exports from 2014
Sudan is undergoing an economic crisis after losing three-quarters of its oil production − the lifeline of the economy − when South Sudan became independent in July. Boosting sugar production is a top priority as sugar is the most important food item 
Khartoum lodges complaint to UN on South Sudan’s “aggression”
Sudan Tribune
March 4, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s permanent envoy to the UN, Daffa Allah al-Haj Ali, has officially submitted a complaint to the UN Security Council (UNSC) containing details of an alleged military assault by neighboring South Sudan.
30 people killed in fresh attacks in South Sudan’s Jonglei state
Sudan Tribune
Protestors march with the flag of South Sudan, appealing for peace and an end to tribal violence inSouth Sudan in the country’s capital Juba on January 9, 2012. (Getty) Nyirol county commissioner, Kuach Duoth confirmed to Sudan Tribune that the 
Sudan’s Bashir orders mobilization of paramilitary forces, slams US and its 
Sudan Tribune
Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) is fighting insurgencies on multiple fronts in the western region of Darfur and in the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. South Sudan stands accused by Khartoum of aiding the Sudan People Liberation Movement North 

Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan
The presidents Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, Salva Kiir of South Sudan and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi presided over the port’s groundbreaking ceremony of the East Africa’s largest port, road and railway projects. construction of highway from Lamu to 

IOM: Impossible to Meet April Deadline for Repatriating South Sudanese
Voice of America
March 04, 2012 IOM: Impossible to Meet April Deadline for Repatriating South Sudanese Lisa Schlein | Geneva The International Organization for Migration says it is not able to meet an April deadline to repatriate South Sudanese refugees in the Sudanese 

South Sudan, Ethiopia Sign Strategies for Partnership
by Joseph Edward March 04, 2012 The Republic of South Sudan and Federal democratic Republic of Ethiopia in a joint ministerial meeting held in Juba, last has endorsed agreement on strategic Partnership which aimed to build foundation for future 

Letter To Jesus Of Nazareth

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

By Tears Ayuen (

Dear Jesus of Nazareth,

Though I’m not your faithful, I want to talk to you today. My friends say you’re a good friend of theirs. They say good things about you. They even encouraged me to read your biography written in a book titled The New Testament. In that book, I learned a lot about you; you performed miracles: raised the dead, fed a multitude with only two fish & five loaves of bread. You even walked on water. Wonderful! Well, the most stunning thing I got to know about you is where you were born, in a manger!! Under poor conditions! Damn! And the then ruler wanted to have you slain because he learnt you were to be great, a king, forcing your parents to flee to Egypt with you. Sadly, you lost your life to some ungrateful folks, your own people. Sorry, mate.

You know what? We share one or two things in common; I was born in a forest, under a tall tree where there were no medicines, no food no nothing. Worst of all someone lied to my then president, Omar Bashir, that I would be great. So, he ordered his soldiers to make man-made rains of bombs and missiles rain on my village, causing my mother to sneak me and my siblings into Kenya. See? We share some significant similarities though your father was a carpenter and mine, a soldier. Your mother, Mary, according the book, was a church thing; my mother, Martha is addicted to your teachings. She spends most of her time around the church. Since I was a kid, she has been reading a big book named “Kitap de Duor” that I later learned it’s the “Thuongjang” translation of your life history.

Now to the point, having danced with angels, having drunk holy wine, having eaten heavenly birthday cake and having delighted during your two-thousandth and something birthday anniversary on Sunday, I want you to think about my countrymen, leaders in particular. Do me a favor; just concentrate on my country’s issues. Don’t even think about our neighbors. Kenyans are strong now. They hold any stubborn politician by the ear. Ugandans are super fine; they frog-march thief leaders to police stations. Forget about the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. They’re gone. Corruption has swallowed them alive, whole and intact. It’s too late to rescue them. North Sudanese will be okay. They just realized that Bashir’s 22-year regime has been nothing but thievery plus dictatorship. The youths have been politically charged. They will topple the bhang-smoking Bashir the Ghadafi way. Wait and see. Give them few days. Though Ethiopians are practicing the word “exodus”, don’t worry about them. You will find out what they are running away from, later on. Deal, right?

I’m from South Sudan, an African state that just attained independence from the descendants and believers of Prophet Mohamed, the founder of Islam who happens to be your religious rival. No, the word rival is more of a sport; he is your religious enemy. By the way, I was made to understand the other day that his followers are converting more people all over the world as many turn away from Christianity on grounds of failure to uphold Christian values by church leaders. I heard that big church leaders, really big ones, sleep around with young boys, some, with married women. Someone said catholic is the worst. It’s crazy.

Back to the point, my leaders liberated us from Arabs, a fact that makes them think that they’re untouchable, unquestionable. They’re running the affairs of the nation the way that pleases them. They have customized the national affairs. They talk too much and do little or nothing at all. They invest outside the baby-nation. They have bought expensive houses in the neighboring countries; some have houses in America and Europe! The vehicles they ride are like those of the U-S hip hop musicians – highly costly. As the people they allegedly went to the bush for get consumed by acute poverty, most of them spend money, public money, on travels and unnecessary projects. I heard they recently had a retreat in Mombasa whereby they “burnt” millions of Shillings.

Something keeps telling me that South Sudan is a polite word for corruption. Everyone talks about it; in the streets, in bars, in matatus, under trees, everywhere. Everyone speaks against it; church leaders, politicians, women, boys and girls. And nothing happens. Every new day is just like the other day. Even the president, a bearded man who always wears cowboy hat, always says he’s fighting it but his efforts are ever abortive. I’m afraid, if the president doesn’t do anything about corruption in his government, I think, dogs, cats and even cows would begin to complain about it!

My leaders are busy. In fact, they have been busy, busy working on personal projects and stealing. Yes, stealing. Even the anti-corruption guys who supposedly prevent corruption are involved. One of them is, this week, in the news for embezzling millions of pounds. See?

Opposition leaders who are suppose to act as check and balance of the ruling party are useless. They represent tribes. They don’t have substantial agendas. They’re all nothing but a bunch of sycophants. All they strive for is position.

Civil society organizations are not any better. They are run by lazy mutes. I’m not sure if they really understand their roles. Or if they do, the fact that they get funding from the government deactivates them. They’re good at keeping silent.

If you’re going to do anything, please start with SSTV. Shut it down! News bulletin begins with a minister and ends with another. All they say is where they visited and when, where they will visit and when. What they plan to do. That’s all. Directors work hand in hand with the government. They waste the young reporters as they instruct them what stories to chase and what not to, leaving no room for creativity, thus “murdering” their potentials and stunting journalistic growth. The journalists are warned against asking big men “bad questions”. You should see them in the field. No questions are asked. If any, it could be after the minister forgot to include, in his yapping, the duration of his or her visit. They shamelessly blamelessly place a minister before a camera. He then talks, talks and talks, talks about nothing. No one understands the contents of SSTV programs. They are hosted by old dudes with ancient mentality. Don’t hesitate to shut it down. Please!

The riches of the newest nation are being looted by foreign nationals with the help of our leaders. Let’s talk about job opportunities. Companies are mushrooming. Organizations are already in place and others are coming soon, both local and international. Instead of channeling all these opportunities to the badly needy employable youth, our rulers give them out to their friends across the borders. This is how it goes; an influential guy orders his friend or brother in the department of immigration to process national IDs for his girlfriend, her friends and even friends of her friends. Remember, they’re not southerners. They are economic immigrants who escape economic crises in their states. These guys eventually get jobs because they’re highly qualified and experienced. All this goes undetected because the labor ministry seems to be reluctant on this matter. It should have a committee that monitors the activities of NGOs. Most NGOs think South Sudanese are incapable of working, or more precisely, unemployable. This is why foreigners have taken over almost everything in Juba; public transport industry, hotels. And leaders pretend that there is nothing wrong with it. Hail Mary!

The youth are good for nothing either. I think they choose to tolerate poor governance because the leaders are their uncles and aunts who sometimes support them. However, making necessary noise against corrupt individuals would be like biting the fingers that feed you. There’s a representative in the government. The dude is rarely seen. Nobody knows what he is up to. Perhaps he fits well in the skirts of, “if you can’t beat them, join them.”

In conclusion, please make them realize what they are leaders for. President Salva says his government is zero-tolerant to corruption. Make him mean it. Make him differentiate friendship from government business. I want to see him act upon any official who fails to account for his spending. Once more, make the MPs represent their constituents, not their football teams of children and concubines. The people they go to the parliament for are pretty poor. Living standards haven’t changed since your father created earth. No roads, no health centers, no running water. It’s worst in my birth place, Jonglei. Insecurity tops the list of things to worry about when you get to my state. It’s easier to kill someone than buy a bottle of beer in Jonglei. The issue needs a simple solution but no one seems to long for it. Thanks to too much nose picking amongst the top leaders……..! Don’t tell them what I told you lest someone shaves my dreadlocks with a broken piece of glass.

A moment of truth, I lied to you about who actually wanted to murder me. It wasn’t Bashir; it was the current Vice President, Riek Machar. He got deceived by some witch that I would one day be a problem to him. He ordered his soldiers to kill me. They went about killing everyone of my kind in Bor but they couldn’t harm me because my mum fled with me. His soldiers drove away our cattle, about seven-hundred and fifty heads; our only means of livelihood by then. I was born to be a cattle keeper or maybe a cattle rustler. His actions changed the whole thing. I’m now counted amongst learned South Sudanese. My friends call me white collar hustler… [Smiles].Besides, I’m friends with him now. And he happens to be my favorite politician.

Dear Uncle,

 By Tears Ayuen

You just offered me your old V-8 and credited my bank account with a huge amount of dollars but I don’t think that will stop me from speaking my mind. There’s something that I have been keeping to myself, something that I have always wanted to tell you, something that disturbs me, something my peers abhor you for. I defend you though. It is high time now I tell you in this short note. It’s going to be disheartening, however, close your eyes and take a deep breath before you proceed to the next paragraph.

Here we go…… it’s both ironical and incomprehensible how our grandfathers, fathers, aunts, friends, mothers, sisters and even yourself bled, sweated and shed tears, sacrificially, for more than a century in a quest to detach south Sudanese from the claws of Islamic rule yet you still dumbly ignorantly selfishly plug us in the socket of Arab world by indecisively rushing to their states in order to attract investments, given the hidden agenda that comes with their development proposals.

An Arab is an Arab; be he a sheikh, politician, hawker or shopkeeper. His mission is one and simple; to Arabize and Islamize anyone, anywhere. I don’t think you need a PhD in History to trace back how they came and the price of their presence in Sudan, of which we have paid dearly. Even your seven-year son can recite it before an international audience. An Arab always strives to change you, in and out; from names, color of skin, lifestyle, name it. You ask the people of Nuba Mountains.

Let me take you back a little bit by elaborating how ungrateful ingrates this folks are. Back in the day, the Arabs came to Sudan as single male merchants. I repeat; single male merchants. They arrived and settled in Khartoum, an area allegedly inhabited by Dinka people. That was before the cleverer race invented the calendar. As they carried on with their businesses, and after they showered the unsuspecting Dinka chiefs and elders with gifts of mirrors, sweets, salt and soaps, they requested the old dudes for a number of things. First of all, they asked for pieces of land for erecting shops. And then they asked for girls for marriage, a request I suspect the sly Dinka people gladly assented to since they felt it was the best way to rid of their ugly, promiscuous and lazy daughters. Remember, today’s Dinka folks practice that business. They marry off our unmarriageable sisters to foreigners. Doesn’t that remind you of what happened the other day?

Anyway, the girl-sweet-salt-business continued as long as the first guys found it lucrative. They invited over their brothers, uncles and friends back home to join them. They eventually multiplied and started showing their true colors – master-like behaviors. They began to control everything, both that moved and that didn’t. They did a lot with the natives. They sold some into slavery and made some laborers. But with the inability of cattle-rearing communities to succumb to change easily, the Dinka waged countless wars against their nieces but lost, forcing them to migrate to different parts of Sudan. See? Northerners are our biological nieces because their existence is as aresult of the aforementioned unions. I understand the Dinka were so arrogant, some still are, such that a slave would turn away leftovers, claiming that he should have partaken in the meals at the table with his master’s family. Since then, the feud rages on.

Now, wasn’t it yesterday that the Nile River overflowed with blood and bodies of innocent womenand children that were ceremoniously slaughtered by Arabs just because they refused to be Arabic? Or has it been too long to remember the root cause of the 21-year civil war that claimed 2.5 million lives and displaced 4 million more, including your children?

Then, what on earth makes you travel to their cities to lobby investments from their companies? Who has bewitched you, uncle? Does south Sudan have to attract investments from the Middle East? What world records have they set or broken in terms of development apart from high unemployment rates, Low wages and widespread poverty?

Or do you have shares in the Arab companies you bring in the baby country? In fact, rumors say so. I will stop here because I feel the few remarks will brainstorm you.

One more thing, I want you to talk to your daughter; the one who calls herself Lady Gaga. She drinks a lot lately. She has made a lot of broke friends who she drinks with day in day out. I doubt she attends her classes regularly. Haven’t you been wondering why she keeps asking you for more money? Apparently, she is an ATM machine. There’s this broke boyfriend of hers who has assumed the nature of a tick. The guy clings to her so badly. She pays his rent, buys him pants. I tried to talk her out of her brand new lifestyle but she instead hailed insults at me, calling me names.

Furthermore, she doesn’t wear enough clothes nowadays. The first thing you see when she appears is her breasts. They hang naked; with only the nipples covered. When asked why, she says our grandmas used to wear nothing at all. “So, why disturb someone who has at least dressed?” She asks. The next thing to worry about her dress code is her skirts. They are too short. You can see her underwear even when she is standing! And she calls anyone who dares rebuke her, uncivilized.

You must be wondering why I haven’t deposited all the money into your foreign bank account. It’s because the bank manager, on seeing stacks of dollars, and especially after I failed to account for the source, threatened to call cops on me. I lied to him that it was for a registered company based in Juba. He instructed me to get proper papers in order to bank the notes, and that was after I bribed him heavily. I have resorted to banking the money in bits pieces just to avoid possible interrogations by Interpol. I will have banked it all by June this year. If I may ask, where did you get this large sum from, uncle?

I almost forgot. I’m obliged to educate you about your concubine. Forgive my English. I would have used a better or at least mannerly reference had the English people created a polite word for concubine. She is playing you. I mean, she fakes her love for you believe it or not. Worst of all, the baby is not yours. The father of the baby is an old boyfriend who she broke up with after she conceived. I learned that the dude disowned her because he didn’t have what it takes to feed extra mouths; but he resurfaced when he realized she is alive and kicking.

Thanks to your unsuspectingness. Or is it negligence? You may find it hard to believe this: I, for no specific reason, tampered with her phone while she was in the kitchen. I entered into the “sent items” folder where I found an SMS that she sent. It reads “dear sweetheart, there’s no reason you should doubt my forgiveness. I told you last time that I do understand why you refused to take responsibility for my pregnancy. You were a student and had no money. Besides, the baby is yours….. I love you and want you so bad. The old fool left for Juba this morning, come home tonight and correct what the old man doesn’t do right…………….”

“President Al Bashir told Kiir on the AU summit sidelines that Pagan Amum was not the right person to lead a delegation to achieve an agreement,” he said, adding Pagan is a warlord who has no interest for peace and does not care about what happens to our people in the North and the South as he has no sense of belonging to this land, his family and money are abroad. (Sudan Vision, March 4, 2012).

By Paanluel Wël, Washington DC, USA, Planet Earth.

It is crystal clear now that Khartoum is not comfortable with Pagan Amum, the SPLM’s Secretary General and the current head of South Sudan delegation to the on-going Addis Ababa talks between Juba and Khartoum. President Kiir appointed Hon. Pagan Amum last year, after the formation of South Sudan first government, to serve as his special envoy to the talks between the two countries over contentious issues of border demarcations, oil and debt sharing, transit fees, and Abyei regions, among others. Thus, since the independence of South Sudan, Pagan has been serving in that position as South Sudan’s chief negotiator to the Addis Ababa Talks.

However, the talks have been dragging on with no definitive breakthroughs. One sensitive issue, of late, has been on the question of the transit fees—the amount of dollars per barrel that South Sudan should pay Khartoum for the usage of their Chinese-built pipeline and refineries. Although much of the oil is produced in the South, Khartoum took the discriminative decision during the war to build all the refineries in, and pipeline through, North Sudan. With no refineries and pipeline of her own, the newly independent state of South Sudan is entirely at the mercy of Khartoum for the export of her oil.

That 98% of South Sudan revenues come from the oil make matters worse for South Sudanese leaders: Juba is beholden to Khartoum. By designed or pure chance, Khartoum is fully aware and exploitative of this Juba’s achillean heel. While Juba, in accordance with international precedents, is willing to offer 1-2 dollars per barrel as a transit fees for the usage of the northern pipeline, Khartoum is demanding a staggering amount of 36-32 dollars per barrel. On the debt issue, Juba is prepared to offer “Khartoum $2.6 billion in cash and forgiving $2.8 billion of its debt to break the deadlock.” Instead, Khartoum is asking for $15 billion in cash to break the stalemate in Addis Ababa Talks.

The disputed border region remains undesignated because Khartoum is refusing to recognize the old 1956 pre-independence border between the two nations. This is complicated further by the fact that much of the oilfields fall just at the border regions, particularly in Unity state and Abyei region. That makes it no longer about the exactitude of the borderline as to the location, and future ownership, of the vast oil wealth dotting the border regions. The case in point being the town of Jau, recurrently bombed and occupied by Khartoum, which is claimed by both sides though it squarely lies within South Sudan according to the old map of 1956.

Abyei region is presently occupied and militarily rule by Khartoum, contrary to the stipulation of the CPA that had proposed a joint ruling by the two parties. CPA-mandated referendum in Abyei, one that was supposed to run concurrently with South Sudan’s plebiscite, is yet to be conducted owing to the disagreement over whether or not the nomadic Mesiriya Arabs should vote. The only CPA-recognized connection of the Mesiriya Arabs to Abyei Region is a right to graze their cattle freely as they have been doing in the past. Consequently, South Sudan’s objection to the participation of the Mesiriya Arabs in Abyei referendum is informed not just by the fact that Mesiriya Arabs are not natives of Abyei Area—defined in the CPA as nine-chiefdoms of the Dinka Ngok people—but also because allowing the Mesiriya to vote in the Abyei referendum would lead to vote rigging since Khartoum would bring in any nomadic Arab tribe to vote in the name of Mesiriya. Simply put, it is seen in Juba as Khartoum’s grand strategy to outnumber the Ngok Dinka to tilt the referendum in their favor and retain control of the oil-rich Abyei Area.

The ensuing controversies over these unresolved post-separation disputes, couple with the stalemate over the talks taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, boiled over into a full blown out conflict in January when South Sudan shut down oil production over accusation that Khartoum was siphoning off South Sudan oil in direct collusion with foreign oil firms, mainly the Chinese-Malaysian’s Petrodar. Addressing South Sudan Legislative Assembly, President Kiir declared that

“At this time we have no guarantee that oil flowing through the Republic of Sudan will reach its intended destination…we can’t allow assets which clearly belong to the Republic of South Sudan to be subject to further diversion” (Bloomberg BusinessWeek, January 23, 2012).

Enraged by the accusation of oil theft and caught off-guard by South Sudan unilateral action of shutting down oil production, Khartoum responded by forcefully and unilaterally confiscating South Sudan oil:

“Sudan has confiscated 2.4 million barrels of South Sudan’s oil, bringing the total volume of crude Khartoum has seized in a row over oil transit fees to more than 6 million barrels since December, a South Sudanese official said on Tuesday. This included 1.2 million barrels taken in December, four shipments totaling roughly 2.5 million barrels in January and another 2.4 million barrels reported this month.” (Reuters, Feb 14, 2012).

Khartoum officials justified their illegal seizures of South Sudan oil by maintaining that their country

“is entitled to a share of the oil because South Sudan has refused to pay the related fees since it seceded, fuelling inflation and a foreign currency shortage in the northern country.” (Reuters, Feb 14, 2012).

In spite of combative response from Khartoum, Juba has stood firm and went ahead to complete the process of oil shutdown. Austerity measures have been adopted to balance the budget and sustain the government. Dr. Machar, the vice president of South Sudan defiantly announced to the BBC that “we can live without oil” while Pagan Amum, the ruling party general secretary, said that the decision to shut down the oil was a “matter of national pride.”

In a surprising twist of fate—a blessing in disguise for President Kiir—the government of South Sudan, considered by most citizens to be totally corrupt, generally mismanaged and irreparably inept, received an astounding support and praises across all ten states of the republic for shutting down the oil and standing up against Khartoum. Remarkably, in a young country torn apart by tribal clashes, internal rebellions and besieged by abject poverty and underdevelopment, President Kiir uncharacteristic decision to order the closure of oil wells seemed to have buoyed his popularity among the citizens. The only other occasions whereby South Sudanese matched in unison were on the occasions of the signing of the CPA, the announcement of the referendum results and the proclamation of the South Sudan’s independence.

Juba’s vulnerability to and dependence on Sudan’s oil facilities has compelled South Sudan to seek an alternative pipeline to export her oil to the international market. Following the bitter fallout in January, Juba signed landmark agreements with Kenya-Ethiopia, on one side, and Ethiopia-Djibouti on the other side. The deal with Kenya-Ethiopia to build a pipeline/railway/highway from the Kenyan port city of Lamu through Isiolo to Juba was finally realized this week when the three head of states—President Kiir of South Sudan, president Kibaki of Kenya and Prime Minister Meles of Ethiopia—inaugurated the project dubbed by the media as Lapsset (Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor).

Although disputed by many experts, the Lapsset project is slated to be complete within 1-2 years. Whether—or how—South Sudan will remain financially afloat within the next 1-2 years is another question altogether. And so is the question of ‘what will happen to the Lapsset project’ should the talks in Addis Ababa bear fruit and Khartoum accept the proposed transport fees: Will Juba bolt out of the Lapsset project or will it dump Khartoum no matter what they are prepared to consent to at the moment? If so, then there is no point of continuing to discuss the transit fees anymore: South Sudan should rather concentrate on the other post-independence remaining issues like the border, debts and Abyei region.

Whichever way Juba goes, the inauguration of the Lapsset project will further compound the Addis Ababa discussions because Khartoum would undoubtedly complicate the negotiation process if they are aware of the total loss of any future transit fees because of Lapsset. Since there is no any indication that Juba is bluffing—using the Lapsset project merely as a negotiating strategy to put pressure on Khartoum, it is inevitable that the full realization by Khartoum of having loss the life-giving oil revenues from South Sudan oil will be of a great devastation to their economy. Khartoum might invade the oilfields or declare total war on Juba as it did in Abyei—something they are threatening now on the pretext of an alleged South Sudan’s aggression on Sudan’s territory though it is the Sudan Revolutionary Forces who carried out the humiliating assault on the SAF. President Kiir must prepare—finding a way out of this looming explosive hostility.

Having retraced the fundamental root and the picturesque trajectory of the on-going differences and quarrels between Juba and South Sudan, it is just fanciful to hear Khartoum announcing today that any “Breakthrough in Addis Talks Depends on Changing the Current South Sudan Delegation.” In other words, Khartoum sincerely believe that should President Kiir nominate someone else other than Hon. Pagan Amum, then they would be able to get $32-36 per barrel as a transport fees, and $15 billion as a compensation for the loss of oil revenues following South Sudan secession. What is more, even the indefinitely postponed Abeyi’s referendum would go ahead with Mesiriya accepted as voters. South-North border demarcation would get started with Khartoum’s interest well catered for in total disregard to the 1956 pre-independence borderline.

This is how Mona Al-Bashir of the Sudan Vision, a northern newspaper, summarizes Khartoum’s views on the stalemate, blaming everything on Pagan Amum:

“Prof. Ibrahim Ghandour, who is also the NCP Spokesperson, indicated that previous round of talks had failed because South Sudan delegation was not willing to arrive at an agreement and the delegation members harboured ill-intent towards Sudan and their leader [Pagan] is also notorious of his hostility towards the North and the Arabs. “President Al Bashir told Kiir on the AU summit sidelines that Pagan Amum was not the right person to lead a delegation to achieve an agreement,” he said, adding Pagan is a warlord who has no interest for peace and does not care about what happens to our people in the North and the South as he has no sense of belonging to this land, his family and money are abroad. Ghandour, however, pointed out that the Sudanese Government cannot interfere in the process of how the South selects its delegation but if it wants to achieve peace with Sudan it should alter its delegation members” (Sudan Vision, March 4, 2012).

In spite of the independence of South Sudan, Khartoum still behaves, and considers South Sudan, as if it is still just one of its provinces. South Sudan, to those in Khartoum, is just but a colony to be manipulated at will no matter how it may claim to be independent. In fact, judging by their official demeanors, utterances and actions, South Sudan independence is yet to register in the minds of Khartoum officials. They might be milking the past. During the 1960s as many African countries were shedding off colonization, it was not uncommon for the head of a newly independent African state to receive direct orders from London or Paris. For example, the market and the price of their agricultural produce were pre-determined according to the whims of the former colonial master.

By publicly asking an independent state to alter the list of its delegation to the negotiating table, Khartoum appears to be harboring a neo-colonial mentality of the past whereby African independent states remain subservient to their former colonial masters in spite of their proclaimed independences. Yet, there is nothing on the ground to substantiate Khartoum’s European-ness over Juba. South Sudan has more resources—oil, arable land, minerals etc. South Sudan does not depend on Sudan’s market for agricultural produce nor oil: China is the main consumer of most raw materials from Africa. With the commencement and the future completion of the Lapsset project, Khartoum will be more dependence on Juba for economic opportunities than vice-versa.

Therefore, to prevent Khartoum from proclaiming unmerited propaganda war against Juba, President Kiir must stand behind Pagan and his team. After all, whatever that Pagan present at the talks is what President Kiir and his cabinet proposed and consented to, to be presented at the negotiating table. Picking another person will not change the parameters of the talks since none of the South Sudanese chief negotiators would ever venture outside the officially sanctioned mandate from the government of South Sudan. Khartoum displeasure with Pagan could be attributed to Pagan’s sharp-shooting, take-no-nonsense approach to negotiation. Take for instance Khartoum ludicrous claim of South Sudan’s aggression reported to the UN Security Council today: such gibberish would not be entertained before Pagan.

There are unconfirmed rumors that President Kiir is considering replacing Pagan Amum. President Kiir must never listen to one-sided story from Khartoum. Any changes called for must be initiated and executed by both parties—Khartoum must also replace the head of their delegation if Juba has to reciprocate in kind. Since when has Khartoum been the official advisor to Juba? Do they really have South Sudan’s interest at heart? Definitely not and so is the implausibility of their call to ouster South Sudan chief negotiator. Assumed that President Kiir give in and recall Pagan tomorrow, will South Sudan replace the next head of the delegation if Khartoum is not happy with him?

PaanLuel Wël is the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese bloggers. He can be reached through his Facebook page, Twitter account or on the blog.