Archive for March 17, 2012

(From left) Ethiopia PM Menez Zinawi, Kenya President Mwai Kibaki and South Sudan President Salva Kiir at the official launch of the Lamu port. Picture: Gideon Maundu

(From left) Ethiopia PM Menez Zinawi, Kenya President Mwai Kibaki and South Sudan President Salva Kiir at the official launch of the Lamu port. Picture: Gideon Maundu


Sudan has voiced concerns that the commissioning of the Lamu Port and several other key infrastructure projects in the Horn of Africa risk undermining its economy, a sign that Khartoum is increasingly feeling isolated from the region.

Sudan’s deputy head of mission in Nairobi said there was a plan to alienate the country from the regional economy. Ali Mahmoud Abdurrasoul, the Sudanese Minister for Finance and National Economy, said that out of the nine infrastructure projects under the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad), only two included Khartoum, with the majority involving Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and now Somalia.

Khartoum officials said the country has tabled a complaint of economic sabotage with the African Union team handling its negotiations with Juba.

The new pipeline deal came only months after the East Africa Community declined Khartoum’s application to join the bloc, while agreeing to admit South Sudan as an observer member.

It is such developments that convince Khartoum of the ill intentions of the EAC member countries. The commissioning of the Lamu project is realigning East Africa’s geopolitics. Khartoum views the planned crude oil route as a plan to sabotage its economy, while a senior Ugandan official said the pipeline’s route should be extended to connect the country’s new oil fields.

Sudanese officials attending a regional infrastructure conference in Nairobi last week said the alternative pipeline from Juba to Lamu will make existing pipelines and refinery in the country redundant.

Dire situation

“We are concerned that the pipelines will be a loss for us. It’s a win-lose situation and not a good way to encourage regional economic integration. It is not good for regional politics,” said Hassan Elashi, chairman of the Sudan Chamber of Commerce at the conference on infrastructure and investment organised by Igad.

Khartoum officials appear to have been caught unawares by the swiftness with which Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia moved to commission the mega Lamu project.

With the transfer of most of the undivided country’s oil fields to South Sudan, Khartoum has been banking on transport and refinery fees to fill up the revenue void left and to keep its Chinese-built oil infrastructure working. But, Kenya maintained the project is for the benefit of regional efforts to develop joint interconnecting infrastructure projects.

“It is important we make it clear that the idea of this port was floated four decades ago. It was not motivated by the differences between the North and the South. It should be celebrated as a new trade corridor,” said Kenya’s Transport Minister Amos Kimunya.
South Sudan officials said differences with Khartoum over crude transport and refining will take time to resolve and the preference is to have other alternative routes to transport the crude oil.

“South Sudan is very careful now and we cannot trust just anyone. We want to have as many alternative routes as possible,” said Ngiol Bol, Director General of Rail and the Ministry of Transport in South Sudan.

Uganda put out too

Like Khartoum, Uganda too is seeking explanations from Kenya on why it was not adequately consulted and involved in the project when it has made oil discoveries of commercial value.

“Kenya was aware of our oil discovery and should have carried out wider consultations with us,” said Uganda Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Irene Muloni.

Uganda said it has started engaging Kenyan officials so that the design of the pipeline also links up the country’s oil fields.

“Discrimination against Sudan will not be tolerated. It is not fair that Sudan is a member of Igad but most projects leave out Sudan,” said Mr  Abdurrasoul.

Mayom Kuoc Malek, Deputy Transport Minister in South Sudan, was however insistent that as a landlocked country, it would make sense for Juba to diversify her  routes to the outside world.

“We need to have a pipeline in friendly countries that will not destabilise the transportation of  our products.,” said Mr  Malek, who noted that the resumption of the Northern oil route depends on what happens politically in the near future, and especially in the on-going negotiations in Addis Ababa.

South Sudanese rally in TA against deportation

The state has set an April 1 deadline for South Sudanese to return to their newly-established state.

South Sudanese protest against deportation in TABy Ben Hartman

More than a thousand South Sudanese and their supporters protested near the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on Saturday night under the banner “South Sudan is dangerous,” to ask for more time in Israel before returning to their country. They are due to be deported this month.

On January 31, the Population, Immigration and Borders Authority said that because South Sudanese now have their own country, and one that has friendly relations with Israel, they have until April 1 to leave Israel willingly or face deportation. Those who leave by the deadline will receive 1,000 euros per adult.

Protesters said they were not looking to stay in Israel indefinitely, but that due to the unstable nature of life in the country founded last July, being sent back now would place their lives in danger.

Members of the community and Israeli NGOs say there about 700 South Sudanese in Israel, while the Population, Immigration, and Borders Authority says the figure is around 3,000. In any case, they make up a small part of the more than 50,000 African asylum-seekers in Israel, the vast majority of whom are from Eritrea or Sudan.

According to authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad, as of April 1 every time that Interior Ministry immigration patrols encounter South Sudanese migrants, they will have the option of arresting them, and sending them either to jail or to South Sudan.

Haddad added that since the announcement was made at the end of January, she does not know of any South Sudanese who has submitted an appeal to the Interior Ministry asking to stay in Israel.

South Sudan ranks near the bottom in almost every quality of life indicator and is severely lacking infrastructure, schools, hospitals and safe drinking water. While the desperate conditions and the continuing tensions with the north, that is with Sudan, could endanger many of those returning, because they do not face political persecution from the government in Juba, they have difficulty making a case that they are still political refugees.

Orit Marom of the refugee assistance organization “Asaf” said that the price of the cabinet decision to deport the South Sudanese “will be possible death, from war or famine, for many of those children who are here tonight.”

The demonstration was met by a few dozen counter-protesters who came to show support for the deportations.

Speaking of an “occupation” of Israel by “African infiltrators,” they described the migrants from South Sudan and across Africa as devastating for the quality of life in their neighborhoods, most of which were impoverished long before the influx of African migrants began in recent years.

One of the leaders of the counterprotest, city councilman and/ Hatikva neighborhood resident and activist Shlomo Maslawi, said the migrants have brought “a total collapse in the health and social services of the areas where they live. We are afraid and we no longer feel at home in our own neighborhoods.”

Natalina Kerba, a mother of three from South Sudan who has lived in Israel for six years, came from Nahariya to attend the protest. She spoke for many of the protesters when she asked the crowd from the stage on Saturday night, “Is there anyone here who would send their children to a place with no clean water, without enough food, to a place with no security?”

By PaanLuel Wel

Forget about the 25% for women, Welcome to 100%!

While South Sudanese womenfolk are still up in arms protesting the recent lopsided appointment of South Sudanese Ambassadors, two talented young South Sudanese ladies, in the spirit of Kony2012, have taken to YouTube to showcase their talents. AfricanBeauty90 and WinnieTooSexy, the two South Sudanese ladies marching in the footstep of mighty Oprah Winfrey and Tyra Banks, have recorded and posted many videos on Youtube and Facebook, talking about pertinent issues facing South Sudanese youth in the West.

Surely, some rich baron in Juba ought to take notice of their invaluable talent and sponsor them for the sake of the nation and talent building/cultivation. TV or Radio TalkShow would be a real hit! What is more to/for the rich dude: clean money, beautiful ladies talking about important social problems, dreams/aspirations, encouragements, mentorship or what have you plus a bonus of good publicity for the investor/sponsor, christened as “someone who has the nation interest in heart.” Talking of killing ALL birds with one stone! That is the beauty of capitalism!

Here are the purview of their videos, really cool in the sense of the word COOL as used by ——————-. If the videos are not COOL enough, rest assured that the ladies themselves are breathtaking. It is not for trivial reason that they describe themselves as AfricanBeauty90 and WinnieTooSexy!

1. WinnieTooSexy!

No Boyfriends Until You Get Married In Dinka

Things Sudanese Mothers Say in Dinka

No More Rides, So Walk in Dinka

2. AfricanBeauty90

How a girl acts when she likes you

Ladies theres no need to wash out your vagina with SOAP

I am a virgin and I LOVE it

As they say, the taste of the pudding is in the eating! See and hear for yourself if you are remotely related to Doubting Thomas! But as you going about your seeing and hearing, be prepared to blush a couple of times: Yes I was!!!

But should you feel that gender equity is not being respected here, hence inadvertently committing the same sin of Prezzo Kiir—the two above being women—then here is a consolation price in the form of a young talented South Sudanese musician: Major Lak.

major lak- Jamrac

major lak- Mama

major lak- Sukar

major lak- Chieng atek-thok

Please check them out on YouTube and Facebook, you will never be disappointed! It would be nice to have an interview with them if time, their availability and readiness permit!!

Support them if you like what they are doing! It might seem like a waste of time to some good-intentioned folks but remember the words of Albert Einstein: “Creativity is the residue of time wasted.”

PaanLuel Wël is the Managing Editor of PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese bloggers. 

Jonglei state Conflict Analysis: Why Second Disarmament Is Not a Solution

By Agereb Leek Chol, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

Protecting civilians should be the primary job for the government. However, the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) has failed tremendously to stop massacres in Jonglei state. In Jonglei’s Tribal Conflicts: Countering Insecurity in South Sudan estimated that 2,500 people were killed in 2009. My research dating back from 2005 until 2012 finds that 7334 were killed in Jonglei state because of cattle raids, counter attacks, and rebels casualties. These killing were exacerbated by the 2006 ‘forcible disarmament’, which left the Nuer and the Dinka Bor vulnerable to Murle’s raiders? The GoSS failed to simultaneously disarm everyone in Jonglei state.

As a result, the Murle raiders took this opportunity and attack the Lou Nuer clan sometimes in January 2009 in Akobo, in which children were abducted. As a response, a well-armed youth from Lou Nuer from Akobo, Uror, and Nyiro counties lunched launched retaliatory attacks in Likuangole between 5 and March 13, killing 450 people. In April 18, 2009, the Murle gunmen retaliated by killing at least 250, and abducting women and children. Homes were burned down and 16,000 people were displaced (Crisis Group, 2009). The Dinka Bor on the other hand, experience similar attacks, but never retaliated until their official attacked in February 8, 2012, which left dozens dead or wounded.

The cycle of violence is has been described as ‘tit-for-tat’ strategy in which one tribe attack and the other retaliate.  However, the GoSS and news media have called these conflicts “intertribal violence” and have invoked the primordial assumptions that guns are the main cause of the conflict. Calling these conflicts “intertribal violence” masks the main causes of violence. The Governor of Jonglei state has tried over and over to bring peace among the warring tribes, but often is violated by Murle’s raiders. The influx of modern weapons during the civil war between the north and south Sudan has change how wars were fought. Today, one man can massacre a whole village with one guns compared to the traditional weapons.

Looking at the conflict in Jonglei state, the problem is a multifaceted issue, and this is clearly different than simple conflict due to ethnicity or clans. The data I collected from 2005 to 2012 shows that 8059 people were killed and 2432 were wounded as a result of rebel attacks, cattle raids, and retaliation in South Sudan. Majority of these attacks are carried out using assault rifles, AK47, grenade launchers, and machine guns. Disarmament is one step to bring stability in South Sudan, but is second disarmament in Jonglei state the only solution? How can the GoSS main peace after the disarmament? Perhaps the GoSS should understand that ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’.

In the article, Challenges to Protection of Civilians in South Sudan: A Warning from Jonglei State, Ingrid Breidlid and Jon Lie write,

“While several of these conflicts have erupted as a result of traditional cattle-raiding practices and competition over resources (land, water and livestock), socio-economic grievances and legacies of the civil war, including ethno-political tensions, contested administrative and tribal borders, youth unemployment, erosion of traditional conflict resolution mechanisms, lack of integration of former militias, and the proliferation of arms have further contributed to the complex security scenario. In many cases, these factors have in turn been manipulated by political actors at the local, state, and/or national levels for political and economic purposes” (2011, 10).

The following tables will give the narrative of the conflict. The tables will also discuss the main causes of the problem, and how the government of South Sudan responded to the conflict. These tables will also indicate the month, year, and the location to identify which part of the country has experienced more conflicts. A report by International Crisis Group (ICG) , Jonglei’s Tribal Conflicts: Countering Insecurity in South Sudan writes, “given long histories of attacks and counter-attacks among Jonglei tribes, pinpointing how and where a particular conflict cycle began is difficult, but a look at recent events relating to each situation offers context to 2009’s violence” (2). This is why one needs to be aware not to generalize if one tribe is mentioned more than the other.

A. Lou Nuer and Dinka Conflict

To understand the conflict between the Dinka and Lou Nuer in Jonglei state, one has to look at what event exacerbated the violence. The conflict between the Lou Nuer and Dinka communities in 2009 has been in many ways the most “volatile” and “politicized”. The Dinka is the largest tribe in the South with the Nuer being the second. The current President of South Sudan is from the Dinka tribe and the Vice President is Nuer. The conflict between the Dinka and Nuer is not a recent phenomenon. Dinka and Nuer have raided one another for cattle for centuries, but often made peace with one another, and in fact supported each other communally and inter-married for centuries. However, the political split in 1991 between Dr. Garang de Mabior, from Dinka and Dr. Riek Machar from Nuer over the leadership of the SPLM/A is still vivid in many minds. This split led to the death of 2,000 thousands of Dinka Bor under Dr. Riek Machar leadership (Amnesty International, 1992).

From January-May 2006, the SPLA carried out a “forcible disarmament” of Lou Nuer communities in Wuror and Nyirol counties. Brewer writes, “Nuer-Dinka tension flared in the late 2005 when the Lou Nuer, one of the main Nuer groups, requested permission to graze their cattle in the lands of the Dinka Duk County before their seasonal migration (Brewer, 2010, 3).  This obviously was not tension resulting from a difference of mere ethnicity or bloodlines, but scarce distribution of physical resources.  International Crisis Group writes,

“During the dry season, they must travel with their cattle to the toiche areas in search of water and grazing areas. If they go west, they enter either Dinka or Gawaar Nuer territory. If they go northeast to the Sobat River, just across the border in Upper Nile state, they enter the territory of another Nuer sub-clan, the Jikany. Lastly, if they travel south to Pibor, they enter the territory of the Murle. In short, Lou must migrate either to Dinka, Gawaar, Jikany or Murle territories to sustain their cattle, a reality which is itself a primary trigger of conflict” (2).

During the meetings, Lou Nuer refused the demand because they have never been asked to do so in the past. “The campaign was initiated at the request of communities who needed to negotiate access to cattle camps. It sought to remove weapons from local pastoralist groups, primarily the Lou Nuer, many of whom perceived it as a political crackdown” (HSBA, 2006, 4). According to Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA), the Sudanese People Liberation Army (SPLA) made it clear that forcible disarmament  would proceed if weapons were not surrendered voluntarily (2006, 3). HSBA writes, “The reason many civilians were reluctant to disarm were that the terms of the campaign were never entirely made clear. Compensation was offered by the Jonglei governor, Philip Thon Leek, a Nyarweng Dinka from Duk County, for voluntarily returned arms, but the details concerning the source of these funds were lacking” (2006, 3).

Given these ambiguities, the Lou Nuer and Gawaar refused to hand over their arms, justifying their position that they needed to protect themselves from neighboring Murle, who retained their weapons. When the SPLA started to disarm Lou’s civilians, the White Army attacked the SPLA, and this altercation led to the death of 1,200 Lou, and 400 SPLA soldiers. International Crisis Group (ICG) writes,

“The devastation generated considerable resentment. The Lou felt singled out, which increased their perception of a state government biased in favor of the Dinka because they were the only community disarmed at the time, they were left vulnerable to the neighboring Dinka and Murle. Cattle raiders took advantage of the newly vulnerable Lou, who as a result began rearming over the next eighteen months”(Crisis Group interviews, Bor, 27 October 2009; Juba, 2 November 2009).

The government failed to organize a successful civilian disarmament because there were no clear guidelines followed by the SPLA. HSBA defines civilian disarmament as “a generic concept that encompasses a wide variety of interventions. These range from tightened regulatory mechanisms for private arms possession and forcible firearms seizures, to public awareness and sensitization campaign and weapons buy-backs, , collection, destruction programs” (2006, 2).  Clearly, these measures were not articulated well enough in the CPA, otherwise the government might not have run into these problems. According to HBSA, the SPLA collected some 3,000 weapons in Lou Counties and 708 guns from Rumbek central and Rumbek east. However, collecting these weapons resulted in the death of 1,200 White Army youth from Nuer and 400 SPLA soldiers as well as thousands of deaths during periodic cattle raids.

Table1. Dinka and Lou Nuer conflict from 2006-2012

Month & Year Location ETHNICEthnic group—instigators EthnicEthnic group—victims Total death Casualties ChildrenAbducted Arson Displaced GOSSresponse MainMainCause
May, 2007 Jonglei state (Duk) Dinka Lou Nuer N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Investigate-d by theGovernor 20,000 head ofcattle stolen
May, 2009 TorkeijUpper Nile Lou Nuer Jinkay Nuer 71 50 N/A N/A N/A N/A Land disputesAnd retaliation
Aug,2009 JongleiWernyolPanyangor Lou Nuer Dinka 42 64 N/A N/A 24,000 Security services deployed RetaliationFor thetheft of 20,000


Sept, 2009 JongleiDuk padiet Lou Nuer Dinka 167 N/A N/A N/A N/A Police deployed Slow responseby GOSS
Jan 7, 2010 Wunchai,Warrap Nuer Dinka 140 90 N/A N/A N/A N/A 5000 cattlestolen
Jan 6, 2010 TonjWarrap state N/A Dinka & Nuer 40 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Cattle raid
Sep, 2011 MayenditUnity  state “Raiders fromWarrap” Dinka 28 18 N/A N/A N/A N/A Theft of100,000 cattle
Total 488 222 24,000 125,000

In May 2007, the theft of 20,000 cattle by Dinka of Duk County from Lou Nuer led to many skirmishes. Governor Kuol Manyang led a team to investigate and reclaim stolen cattle, but the cattle were disbursed in many areas, especially in Wernyol.  Only hundreds were able to be reclaimed. The Lou Nuer felt that the government wasn’t doing enough to protect them. Again in January 2009, seven wildlife and police personnel were killed in Poktap, in Duk County, on a convoy delivering salaries to state employees in Lou-dominated Nyirol country. This incident prompted a suspicion that Dinka citizens and Duk County commissioner were behind the attack.

By 2009, tensions were rising between these communities and it needed a response from Governor Kuol Manyang, who then convened a peace conference with chiefs and representatives of Dinka and Lou Counties. The chiefs made recommendations to address Lou’s demands regarding Poktap’s attack, recovery of stolen salaries, compensation for families killed, and the return of 20,000 cattle stolen in 2007. According to International Crisis Group, the paramount chief of Uror County, Gatluak Thoa, from Lou Nuer tribe made it clear that if these recommendations were not pursued, the government would be responsible for any fallout. Gatluak Thoa gave the government three months before taking matters into their own hands.

By August 28, 2009, Lou youth attacked Wernyol, in Twic East County, killing 42, wounding 60, and displacing hundreds. Immediately, National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) were dispatched to confront the youth. This step by the government prompted criticism because the government intervenes when the Dinka tribe is under attack, but not the other way around. On September 20, 2009, the group of 1,000 Lou youth struck Duk Padiet, targeting not cattle, but administrative centers.  One hundred sixty seven people were killed including civilians, police, and SPLA soldiers. This incident indicates that the conflict is now politicized. The main concern by Lou Nuer disarmament is because it ‘exposes them to their tribal enemies’ because the government can’t protect them, and that the neighboring tribes should have been disarmed at the same time (Young, 2007, 12).

B. Lou-Murle conflict

To address Murle’s conflict, one needs to understand the history of war in this region.  Murle region was controlled by Ismail Konyi, a leader of Murle Pibor Defense Forces. During the North-South civil, the Ismail Konyi rebels were fighting against the mainstream SPLA with the support of the Khartoum government. Despite Konyi being integrated in GoSS government in 2006, his relationship with the Khartoum government still exists. During the government disarmament period in 2007, Konyi was dispatched to Pibor to collect arms from his tribe. However, Ismail Konyi never carried out what he was asked to do. International officials in Pibor County stated that “Ismail Konyi was using funds intended for disarmament to buy local support and undermine the commissioner” (Crisis Group interview, UN disarmament expert, Juba, 2 November 2009). Immediately, Governor Koul Manyang and the Commissioner wrote to the President for his removal. The President demanded Ismail Konyi return to Juba, in which he refused and instead returned to Khartoum. Three months later, Ismail Kony returns to Juba.

In 2008, GoSS Vice President Riek Machar returned to Pibor with Ismail Konyi to dissuade Murle from attacking Lou Nuer. In early 2009, Riek Machar and Ismail Konyi traveled to Lou to inform them of the new Murle pledge for peace. Soon after these officials left, Murle raiders attacked areas in Akobo County, which severely discredited any ‘peace negotiation’. The Lou Nuer rearmed themselves again to retaliate against the attack by Murle.

Table2.  Nuer and Murle conflict from 2006-2012

Month & Year Location ETHNICEthnic group—instigators EthnicEthnic group—victims Total death Casualties ChildrenAbducted Arson Displaced GOSSresponse MainMainCause
March, 2009 Akobo &Pibor,Jonglei Lou NuerMurle 750 1000 N/A N/A N/A Ismail Konyi dispatched 600 cattlestolen
March,2009 PiborJonglei Lou Nuer Murle 450 45 N/A N/A 5,000 N/A Retaliation
April, 2009 Jonglei,Akobo Murle Lou Nuer 250 70 N/A N/A 16,000 Lou-MurlePeace talk Retaliation onMarch attack
August, 2009 Jonglei,Mareng Murle Lou Nuer 185 18 N/A N/A N/A Governor condemne-d the killing N/A
August, 2011 Uror, Jonglei Murle Lou Nuer 640 861 208 7924huts N/A SPLA forces deployed Theft of 38,000cattle
Dec, 2011 Pibor, Jonglei Lou Nuer Murle 3,000 N/A 1293 60,000 SPLA & UN dispatch Retaliation attack, wWhich of375,186 cattle


March, 2012 Nyirol, Jonglei state Murle Nuer 30 15 NA N/A N/A N/A 15, 000 headsOf cattle stolen
Total 5305 2009 1504 0 80,000 428786 cattle

January 2009 attack in Akobo resulted in Lou youth from Akobo, Uror, and Nyirol Counties attacking the Murle from March 5-13, killing 450 people. On April 18, 2009, Murle gunmen retaliated by killing 250 people in Nyandit. They also abducted children and women. During this attack, 16,000 people were displaced (Human Right Watch, 2009). The “tit -for-tat” clashes between Lou and Murle reoccurs because the government is not doing enough to stop the Murle from attacking Lou. The Murle leaders aren’t doing enough to discourage youth from raiding other villages.

One interesting data about Nuer and Murle conflict is December, 2011. The attack by lou youth from Nuer, which claimed 3000 lives is disputed by the U.N. The U. N officials who were in area think the numbers were in hundreds. The themes in this section include child abduction, cattle raids, and retaliatory attacks from both tribes. The data shows that 208 children were abducted by the Murle. However, I predict these numbers to be higher.  Jonglei state government rarely keeps records of attacks, which makes it hard to track those abducted.  According to Jonglei state government report in 2009, 380 children were abducted. (Breidlid & Lie, 2011, 10). This piece of data is missing in the table. This clearly shows that the data is possibly missing more cases.

C. Lou Nuer-Jikany Nuer land dispute

The Lou and Jikany are sub-clans of the Nuer tribe; however, both clans have been in conflict with each other because of prior land disputes. The Lou and Jikany for example, are from Nuer tribe, but they are also involved in similar feuds paralleling the Dinka and Murle. So, why then do we still call the conflict as “inter-tribal violence” if two sub-clans from one tribe are fighting against one another? The conflict between Lou and Jikany stems from the North-South civil war.  International Crisis Group writes, “In the 1980s, the SPLA carved the South into operational zones. However, some interpreted these as administrative boundaries and began moving accordingly. Lou occupied areas along the western bank of the Sobat, traditionally home to the Jikany, resulting in significant Jikany displacement to other parts of Upper Nile state” (7).

In January 2009, Wanding payam, a disputed territory, was handed back to the Jinkany communities; however, the Lou tribe who once inhabited the area in the 1980s never fully left the territory. In the spring of 2009, a “series of cattle theft, the murder of Jikany trader in Akobo and abductions of Lou children brought more tensions between Lou and Jikany. In May 2009, Lou youth retaliated killing 71 and wounded 50 people”(Crisis Group interviews, Lou, Juba). After this event occurred, the government didn’t take any initiatives to stop the conflict in order to prevent further retaliation.

D.  Dinka and Murle conflict

Table3. Dinka and Murle conflict from 2006-2012

 Month & Year  Location ETHNICEthnic group—instigators EthnicEthnic group—victims Total death Casualties Women &ChildrenAbducted Arson Displaced GOSSresponse MainMainCause
October, 2007 Bor, Jonglei Murle Dinka N/A N/A 2 N/A N/A N/A Child adduction
Dec, 2011 JaleJonglei Murle Dinka 42 17 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Jan, 2012 DukJonglei Murle Dinka 47 7 N/A N/A N/A UNDispatch-ed 200 heads ofCattle stolen
February, 2012 Bor, Jonglei Dinka Bor Murle 9 11 N/A N/A N/A N/A Retaliation
Total       98 35 2        

The Dinka Bor and the Murle inter-tribal conflict is reported that cattle raiding and child abduction are the main causes. However, the data collected from 2006 to 2012 shows that one boy and a girl were abducted in Bor. The killing in December 7, 2011 in Jale payam in  Jonglei state is believe to be an intentional killing by the locals. According to Borglobe news reports, the “Murle raiders always target to abduct children, but surprisingly, they killed children and elderly this time in a move seen as a hate violence” (Borglobe, 2011, 7). The data presented above doesn’t explain the entire conflict between these tribes. There is no doubt that many children have been abducted in Bor and other places then the data shows. The Jonglei state police lack the capacity to investigate these abduction.

E. Armed rebels groups in South Sudan

Jonglei State, Warrap State, Unity State, and Central Equatoria are some of the areas that are experiencing rebel conflicts in addition to ‘intertribal cattle raiding’.  Table 4 below maps rebels’ activities in the South Sudan. The rebels groups which are creating havoc in the South belong to a former SPLM/A commander, George Athor who rebelled  during the April 2010 elections after losing to the governor of Jonglei State, Kuol Manyang Juk. George Athor’s rebellion was politically motivated. Despite his death in December 2011, his rebels are still active in Jonglei State.

Table4. Rebel attacks: South Sudan rebels and the LRA from 2006-2012

Month & Year Location Instigators Total death Casualties Arson Displaced GOSSresponse MainMainCause
May, 2006 Motot, karam , Yuai,Jonglei South SudanRebels 113 N/A N/A N/A N/A Disarmament campaign
May, 2006 Uror, Nyirol,Jonglei South Sudan Rebels &SPLA 1600 N/A N/A N/A N/A Disarmament campaign1200 Lou youth and 1400 SPLA killed
Oct, 2009 Terekeka,CentralEquatoria LRA rebels 30 N/A N/A 22,000 N/A N/A
Oct, 2009 WesternEquatoria LRA rebels 205 135 67,700 N/A N/A
Oct, 2010 Mayom,Unity State South Sudan Rebels 75 18 N/A N/A SPLAforcesdispatch 600 cattleConfiscatedRebel’s homes
May , 2011 Nyandeit,Unity State South SudanRebel 86 N/A N/A N/A SPLAForcesdispatched RebelsAttacking SPLAstations
June, 2011 Tony, Warrap state South Sudan Rebels 50 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Dec, 2011 Pigi ,Jonglei South Sudan Rebels 9 13 N/A N/A SPLAForces dispatched VotingFraud
Total 2168 166

The second armed group is the South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA), a rebel group made up of forces formerly loyal to Peter Gadet who had accepted an amnesty from the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit. However, majors of SSLA forces haven’t been integrated into the SPLA and they pose a threat to peace. The data collected from 2005 to 2011 shows that together George Athor’s and Peter Gadet’s rebels’ clashes with the SPLA have killed 2168 people in South Sudan. The SSLA accused the government of South Sudan of corruption and underdevelopment. According to the BBC, “they are angered by what they believe is the domination by the Dinka ethnic group” (BBC, October 29, 2011). Senior officers – majors — of these rebels are from the Nuer tribe. Their confrontation with government soldiers has resulted in the deaths of many civilians.

The third rebel group is the Lord Resistance Army (LRA), which is under the leadership of Joseph Kony. This rebel group is at war with Ugandan government, however, they are operating in the border of Centeral Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria, and the Congo.  The LRA is a proxy rebel group being used by the North to disrupt peace in South Sudan. Despite South Sudan becoming an independent nation, LRA are still killing civilians in their villagers. In The Lord’s Resistance Army in Sudan: A History and Overview, Mareike Schomerus writes “Khartoum ran a proxy war through the LRA against the SPLA and UPDF, while the LRA obtained supplies and assistance in its attempt to overthrow Museveni” (2007, 18). According to the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report from June-August 2011, 70,000 people were LRA-induced IDPS in Western Equatoria since 2008. In Cakaj’s article, The Lord’s Resistance Army and the Threat Against Civilians in South Sudan, a UN report indicated that 205 people in Western Equatoria were killed in October 2009, and 135 people were abducted. Over 67,700 people were displaced from their homes as a result of LRA attacks in this region (Cakaj, 2009, 2).

Cultural Abuse

Clearly, cattle raids, and child abduction are the main triggers of the conflict. The question is why does Murle raid other tribes for cattle and abduct children?  According to Gurtong website, “The Murle social and cultural life is centered round their cattle. They breed them, marry with them, eat their meat, drink their blood and milk, and sleep on their hides. The Murle compose songs full of references to the herds captured in battle or raids from their neighbours. Raiding and stealing of cattle is a question of honour and valour. Every important social event is celebrated by the sacrifice of a bull in order to ensure the participation of the ancestral spirits as well as to provide food for the assembled guests and relatives. Kinship obligations are expressed in terms of cattle”. To put it succinctly, the Murle culture is somewhat abusive because “the Murle compose songs full of references to the herds captured in battle or raids from their neighbors.  If this is true, how do we expect the disarmament to materialized knowing that the Murle raiders will rearm to carry on their tradition?

Child abduction

In case of child abduction, how does this translate into “intertribal violence”? This discourse suggests that these tribes are fighting because they hate each other base on their tribal identity. I would assume that the Murle tribe abduct women and children to make them part of their community. Perhaps Abner Cohen’s explanation which “placed a greater emphasis on ethnic group as a collective organized strategy for the protection of economic and political interest” (Jones, 1997, 74) might shed some light on this issue. Whether these abductees are assimilated into Murle’s culture or sold into slavery, this business has created a deep hatred against the Murle tribe. Typically, the Murle tribe abducts women and children ranging from one year old to sixteen years old. No one knows exactly when this tradition of child abduction started in Murle’s culture. Recently, the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit was quoted saying that the Murle tribe are suffering from “syphilis” during the aftermath of Yar and Ajak abduction. The abduction of Yar and Ajak in 2007 made headlines in American news media. Their uncle, a Lost Boy from Minnesota State University mobilized his classmates to write petitions to the U.S government. The students’ work became known as Save Yar Campaign.

The question is what laws are put in place by the GoSS and the Jonglei parliament to retrieve those abducted to their parents? What form of identification should be followed once they are identified? What is the level of punishment? Perhaps deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing should be used to identify the victims. Relying on physical identification marks to identify these victims can complicate the process. Recently, when 6000 youth from Nuer tribe launched attack in December against the Murle tribe, they brought back women and children who identify themselves as Dinka Bor. For example, one family whom I know identifies their daughter which was abducted in 1997, and now she’s claiming to be Murle. She speaks Dinka language fluently and she fit her mother’s identifications. What do you do in this case? DNA testing is expensive, but parents should be given the option.

Cattle raids

Cattle keeping have been the tradition in these communities for centuries. The question is what mechanism has been put in place to protect cattle camps? What laws are put in place to punish cattle thieves? What laws are put in place to manage grazing land? We have to predict that not everyone is going to hand over their guns. What is GoSS’ position on those who defected from the Sudanese People Liberation Army (SPLA)? These defectors have been implicated in the raids. The attack on January, 2012 in Duk Padiet County is interesting because the commissioner believes that Murle’s soldiers in the SPLA carried out the attack. According to the (, the commissioner reported that “Some of the attackers who were killed during the clashes with the local youth were wearing SPLA uniforms” (thenewnation, 2012, 18).

Why civilians demand weapons?

The Small Arms Survey field research, which focused on social factors fueling the civilians’ demand for weapons, suggest the following to be exacerbating the violence:

  • Protection of livestock from cattle rustling. The majority of people in Jonglei live in rural areas and they rely on livestock as a source of livelihood, arms are important to protect cattle
  • Protection from crime against individuals, their household, and their communities: the failure by the government to provide security forces locals to acquire guns to protect themselves from violent crimes
  • Communal self-defense and deterrence: “Pastoral wars- over pasture, farmland, and wells, but also arising from political and commercial rivalries played out between elites—are endemic in the region. Communities unable to protect and defend their communal resources risk them to better-armed rivals. As a result of these and other security dilemmas, tribes seek to maximize their firepower as a form of deterrence” (HSBA, 2007, 3).
  • Anticipation of renewed political violence/civil war; there is a fear among South Sudanese that war might resume again because of rebellion and Khartoum’s threats makes the locals adamant to increase their arsenals to protect and fight in the next round of war.
  • Cross-border insecurity from armed groups: Lord Resistance Army (LRA) activities in the border of South Sudan, Uganda, and Congo have led to insecurity and displacement in South Sudan. This group has been accused of killing, kidnapping, and banditry in. Rebel’s confrontations with the SPLA have led to the death of many civilians. These alone force civilians to acquire guns.
  • Bride’s wealth and dowry: the demand to pay dowries among pastoralist tribes in South Sudan exacerbates the conflict because young men want to follow traditional customs. This indirectly increases the demand for small arms in order to carry out cattle raiding and when locals knowingly continually demand high dowry in cattle-scarce areas this is a form of “culture abuse”.
  • Offensive attacks: Communities who often carry out attacks on other tribes benefit from the spoils of conflict. These benefits include stolen cattle, children, and house goods.

The government of South Sudan is aware of these issues mentioned above. How are these problems framed as ‘tribal issues’ since the conflict is a multifaceted problem? How is disarmament a solution if these problems are not address? In order to solve these issues, the government first needs to abandon this term, and deal with the insecurity. This language reifies the discourse. The question is how can the government of South Sudan (GoSS) disarm civilians peacefully and maintain peace? What the government forgets to understand is the underlying motives for why these civilians refused to hand over their arms. As an SPLA official during the campaign stated, “You’ll kill 500, but the rest will hand the guns over. It is necessary to use a well-equipped force to disarm. We don’t want to hurt anyone, but we must start somewhere, and we must do our best to provide security to those disarmed” (Brewer, 2010, 7). The government only seems to be interested in collecting arms, but neglects civilians’ protection. This attitude that killing 500 people will deter people to hand over their guns voluntary is problematic.

Who is responsible for the many deaths in Jonglei State and other part of the country? The government which failed to provide protection or the civilians who take matters into their hands and retaliate?

Recommendations to the Government of South Sudan (GoSS)

In order for the government to stop the violence, the following issues must be addressed.

  • Conduct disarmament simultaneously in ten states. First, the government needs to deploy police and SPLA soldiers in all counties so civilians feel protected, and then disarm all civilians. Soldiers should remain until a South Sudan police force is well equipped enough to take over. The government should also make it clear that that civilians found with guns after the disarmament will be fined and sent to prison.
  • Armed police officers in order for them to respond to well-armed criminals. Most importantly, build police stationss in 11 counties, Payams, and bomas. These stations can easily communicate when these criminals raid and abduct children.
  • Create gun control laws. For those who wish to own a gun for hunting, they must apply and receive approval from the government.
  • Build better schools and hire South Sudanese to teach skills to earn a living.
  • Control South Sudanese borders to stop weapons supply. Without well trained border security officers, guns will always return to the hands of civilians.
  • Regulate cattle business: The GoSS needs to put in place a formal system to monitor cattle’s sale. In order for someone to sale their cows they have to show proof of ownership. South Sudan is not ready to engage in a free market where by the market decide the prices.
  • Raiders should never be pursued by cattle owners. Camp leaders should report the attack to the police to pursue the attackers.
  • Fixed bride price for tribes who still practice dowry payment.
  • Abducted children should be documented immediately. To combat this, the government must create a department that investigates cases of kidnapped children until they are returned to their parents.
  • Pastoralists in search of grazing land have to request in advance before they can travel. It has to be approved by local leaders, and signed by county commissioners. Should there be any damage to local farms, the cattle owners should compensate for the loss.
  • The GoSS should establish a ‘state army’, which can respond to any emergency in each of ten states instead of rely on the national army.
  • More representation of each tribe in the parliament. This will prevent small tribes from being marginalize in the government.

It is my hope that with these recommendations put forth by South Sudan’s leadership and the Jonglei state administration, the ‘intertribal cattle rustling’, which the government calls “intertribal violence”, will decrease.  Disarmament will never eliminate cattle rustling and child abduction. The GoSS must work hard to create strict laws that punish those who are involved in the child abduction business. South Sudan’s borders need to be well secured; otherwise, illegal guns will be a threat to peace in South Sudan.

The Author is a student at Clark University, Worcester, MA. He can be reached at


Breidlid, I., & Lie, J. (2011). Challenges to Protection of Civilians in South Sudan: A Warning from Jonglei State. The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs1, 1-45. Retrieved December 5, 2011, from the The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs database.

Brewer, C. (2010). Disarmament in South Sudan. Center For Complex Operation 1. Retrieved September 28, 2011, from

Cakay, L. (2010, January 12). The Lord Resistance Army and the Threat Against Civilians in South Sudan. Enough. Retrieved February 24, 2012, from

Jones, S. (1997). The archaeology of ethnicity constructing identities in the past and present ([Online-Aug.].ed.). London  Routledge.

Schomerus, M. (n.d.). The Lord Resistance Army in Sudan: A History and Retrieved November 27, 2011, from


IRIN humanitarian news and analysis from Africa, Asia and the Middle East – updated daily. (n.d.).IRIN  humanitarian news and analysis from Africa, Asia and the Middle East – updated daily. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

News24, South Africa’s premier news source, provides breaking news on national, world, Africa, sport, entertainment, technology & more. (n.d.). News24, South Africa’s premier news source, provides breaking news on national, world, Africa, sport, entertainment, technology & more.. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

Latest US news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | | The Guardian . (n.d.).  Latest US news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | | The Guardian . Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

BBC – Search results for Africa. (n.d.). BBC – Homepage. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

Bor | Southern Sudan | Jonglei | News. (n.d.). Bor | Southern Sudan | Jonglei | News. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. (n.d.). Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

Gurtong. (n.d.). Gurtong Peace Trust . Retrieved March 4, 2012, from

Herald Sun |  Latest Melbourne & Victoria News | HeraldSun. (n.d.). Herald Sun |  Latest Melbourne & Victoria News | HeraldSun. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

Kuich, B. T. (n.d.). Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan. Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

ROSENBERG, M., & BOWLEY, G. (n.d.). The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. Retrieved March 3, 2012, from

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Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment – Empirical research & support of violence reduction initiatives. (n.d.). Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment – Empirical research & support of violence reduction initiatives. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

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News | English. News | English. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from

Humanitarian disaster unfolds in South Sudan

Posted: March 17, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan
Tags: ,

South Sudan: UN Desperately Seeking Helicopters
The United Nations is pleading with members to provide military helicopters for its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, where recent tribal violence has displaced more than 100000 people, a UN report showed on Thursday. The chopper shortage arose 

Humanitarian disaster unfolds in South Sudan
The governments in South Sudan and Sudan continue to be mired in disputes while a humanitarian crisis looms. Washington, DC – Less than a year since South Sudan’sindependence, thousands of people in the region continue to face the stark realities of
Progress on citizenship and border issues in Sudan and South Sudan?
Christian Science Monitor
South Sudan and Sudan appeared to make progress in their latest talks in Addis Ababa, despite heightened regional tensions, writes guest blogger Amanda Hsiao. By Amanda Hsiao, Guest blogger / March 16, 2012 • A version of this post appeared on the blog 
S. Sudan Agrees to Release Child Soldiers
Voice of America
March 16, 2012 S. Sudan Agrees to Release Child Soldiers Hannah McNeish | Juba The United Nations says a new deal signed with South Sudan’s army could lead to the newest country being delisted from nations which use and recruit child soldiers.
Lugar frets over Sudanese conflicts
WASHINGTON, March 16 (UPI) — The “genesis of dozens of violent conflicts” in an independentSouth Sudan erases some of the confidence for regional peace, a US lawmaker said. This week, the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan expressed concern about 
South Sudan’s Army Promises to Free Child Soldiers
Voice of America
16 March 2012 South Sudan’s Army Promises to Free Child Soldiers TO DOWNLOAD the MP3 of this story, click on the MP3 link in the upper right corner of the page. Double-click any word to find the definition in the Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary.

SUDAN: Aid needs urgent as refugees head south
YIDA, 16 March 2012 (IRIN) – The international community should act urgently to provide assistance to thousands of people affected by conflict in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states in Sudan, and the many refugees who have fled across the border into 

UN’s Ban commends Sudan and South Sudan on political progress
MI News 26
NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday commended the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan for the progress they have made in talks aimed at resolving post-independence issues. Ban said both parties have 

UN desperately seeking helicopters for South Sudan
The Sun Daily
UNITED NATIONS ( March 15, 2012) : The United Nations is pleading with members to provide military helicopters for its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, where recent tribal violence has displaced more than 100000 people, a UN report showed on 

South Sudan criminalizes money-laundering
Sudan Tribune
March 17, 2012 (JUBA) – The eight-month old independent state of South Sudan has criminalized money-laundering as part of the ongoing effort to arrest the rampant corruption in the country. Over one billion US dollars of public money has disappeared 
South Sudan cabinet to convene emergency meeting over looming food crisis
Sudan Tribune
March 16, 2012 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s cabinet is set to convene an “emergency meeting” immediately after the country’s president, Salva Kiir, returns from a trip to the Bahr el Ghazal region, a senior official told journalists on Friday.

Sudan Urges a Deal On Security Issues With the South Before Presidential Summit
Khartoum — Sudan’s foreign minister has urged South Sudan to settle security file in a manner to pave the way for the implementation of the recent border and four freedoms agreements reached this week in Addis Ababa. Delegation of the two countries 

UN sees progress with Sudan aid, wants more access
Yahoo! Contributors Network
Clashes broke out between Sudan’s armed forces and rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan last June, then spread to Blue Nile state in September. Both areas border newly-independent South Sudan.

Why Bashir wants to meet Salva Kiir

Posted: March 17, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan
Tags: , ,

By Monica Lakes
Before stating the reasons about why Bashir wants to meet Salva Kiir, one would first have to outline that Khartoum has never honoured any agreement since creation. It is their sworn position that they (old and new NCPs) have and will never implement any agreement with infidels or even with muslims who are not of the Arab origin. The proof is that the CPA protocols on Abyei for self determination and popular consultation for Southern Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile were never implemented. This is not to mention the old agreements: Addisababa agreement (1972) and the Khartoum/Fashoda agreements of 1997. There were even more other dishonoured agreements dating back to pre 1956. Anyway, that is history and it is necessary to reflect back those lessons.
We are talking about the recent Addisababa agreement that was initialed by Pagan Amum, the Chief negotiator on behalf of Juba. On the part of SPLM, it can be stated with confidence that there was and still, no hidden agenda about signing the agreement. SPLM initialed the agreement in good faith so that the two sister countries of South Sudan and Sudan live as good neighbours and for the people in both countries to enjoy life and rebuild their livelihoods peacefully.
 However, when it comes to the NCP with its known records of reneging, stalling and abrogating agreements, many things come into consideration. First, let us examine this story before finding the reasons for the NCP in supporting the agreement and what caution that the SPLM government in Juba may need to take.
The story is about a lion that camouflaged itself as a cow and joined a herd of cattle. When the herdsman settled his cows and was tying down the animals into their respective positions for the night, he saw the cow-lion smiling to itself in anticipation of what will happen in the night. The lion imagined that during the dark night, the first victim would be the herdsman himself in which case, the whole herd of cattle will remain as the lion’s property after the elimination of the owner. The herdsman after discovering the plot pretended that he did not see anything. He then made plans that resulted in successfully slaying the beast before it implemented its treacherous intentions.
The negotiating committees have gone to Ethiopia many times to discuss pending CPA issues and with no breakthrough. Then, in what would have been an NCP success story when the AU was supporting the NCP position on oil, the SPLM foiled up everything and concluded the abortion with closure of the oil pipelines. Khartoum pretended that it would not hurt their economy, but the truth is that it bites large chunks of it daily. Like a tired fish that allows itself on a pulling hook so as to gather strength to let go, the NCP found interest in the logic of the SPLM’s sincere position of the “mutual interest” for the people of both countries to be free and live peacefully – Simple and attractive.
Bashir and his NCP are now sure that they have made adequate plans. First, Bashir has made great homework within the AU. The AU believes in them more than in the SPLM. Whatever their manner of work may be, it is just the same approach as the one with Scott Gration when he (Scott) was the USA representative in Sudan. Scott had always believed in the NCP. In addition, the NCP has rallied Eritrea, the new Islamists in Egypt and Libya, and then Chad and Central Africa, on its side. These countries are all working to see to it that there must be a destablised South Sudan through a regime change that will keep the country ungovernable for as long as it can take to erase traces of SPLM in the entire South Sudan and Sudan. Already, the NCP has trained militias that can be deployed to attack South Sudan from their soils. They will provide logistics and material support to the militias.
The NCP has cowed some other neighbouring countries such as Kenya and putting them to dummy status. Ethiopia and Uganda are the two countries the NCP seems to be getting some difficulties with in implementing their treacherous agenda against South Sudan. In its quest for wider influence internationally, the NCP has secured China and Russia (UN veto holders) for protection against economic sanctions and arms embargo. The Islamic Middle East, especially Iran, is fully behind Khartoum in providing military and economic support.
On the military front, Sudan will not defeat SPLA-N because the closure of oil pipelines has denied it of financial income to pay the mercenaries and purchase of arms. Sudan’s short term plan is therefore to accept the agreement so that the pipelines are opened and for them to make a speedy plunder of oil. Recently, Omer Bashir went to China and was advised to accept the agreement and China will help on rapid stealing of the South Sudan oil and delivery of lethal fighter planes to Khartoum to use in its monger war against Southern Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile, and also as deterrent to South Sudan.
The plan by the NCP for the meeting is to buy time so that the NCP makes its treacherous plans against South Sudan complete. It would be advisable to inspect Omer Bashir when he is coming to meet Salva Kiir. He may be carrying explosives. Moreover, the security in Juba must step up vigilance so that the NCP trained terrorists that have infiltrated the city should never get any chance to implement their dirty and treacherous plans.
Monica Lakes

Subject: Press statement on Bashir’s planned visit to Juba

Dear all – Please find below and attached a press statement from a
coalition of South Sudanese civil society organizations, including the
Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), the South
Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA), and the South Sudan
Law Society (SSLS), concerning Omer al-Bashir’s planned visit to Juba.

For questions or comments, please contact David K. Deng at +211 955
518 206 or



Arrest Bashir in Juba or meet him elsewhere

17 March 2012

South Sudan should not tarnish its reputation as the world’s newest
nation by hosting the international fugitive, Omer al-Bashir, a
coalition of South Sudanese civil society organizations said today.
Bashir is scheduled to visit South Sudan in the coming weeks to try to
resolve a bitter dispute over oil, among other outstanding issues from
the 2005 peace agreement.

Earlier this week, South Sudan’s chief negotiator Pagan Amum told a
press briefing in Juba that the government has “problems to settle”
with Bashir, and that since they are not a member of the International
Criminal Court (ICC), they are under no obligation to arrest him.

“Although the government of South Sudan may not be legally obligated
to arrest Bashir, to host him in this manner sends the wrong signal to
both the international community and the survivors of his atrocities,”
said Dong Samuel Luak, secretary-general of the South Sudan Law
Society (SSLS).

Since independence on 9 July 2011, South Sudan has struggled to
establish itself as a nation committed to rule of law and
accountability in the face of endemic inter-communal violence, a
security sector that commits human rights abuses with impunity, and
massive challenges of post-conflict reconstruction. In his
independence day speech, president Salva Kiir declared his
government’s intent to ratify the core international human rights
treaties that proscribe the minimum standards by which states must
treat their citizens. Nine months after independence, the government
has not ratified any human rights treaties; nor has it laid out a
timeline for when it might do so.

South Sudanese civil society actors have voiced concerns about what
Bashir’s visit may signal given the government’s complacency about
committing itself to international human rights standards. “When
Bashir is greeted at Juba international airport with all the pomp and
circumstance of a visit by a head of state, he will have won an
important victory before he even steps off the plane,” said Edmund
Yakani, program coordinator of the Community Empowerment for Progress
Organization (CEPO). “South Sudan will join a short list of nations
that have tacitly supported Bashir’s crimes by failing to treat him as
the indicted war criminal that he is.”

Adding to the symbolic importance of the event, the announcement of
Bashir’s visit coincided with an important milestone for international
justice. On 14 March, the ICC found Thomas Lubanga, a Congolese
warlord, guilty of serious war crimes. The first ever verdict from the
ICC was hailed as “an important step forward” by UN secretary-general,
Ban Ki-moon. Proponents of international justice maintain that the
Lubanga verdict and similar verdicts from other international
tribunals demonstrate that the international justice system can be
effective at holding perpetrators of the most heinous international
crimes accountable.

“Sooner or later Bashir will have to account for the war crimes,
crimes against humanity, and genocide for which he is indicted by the
ICC,” said Boutros Biel, executive director of the South Sudan Human
Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA). “The government should
demonstrate that it takes international crimes seriously by refusing
to meet Bashir in Juba and immediately moving to ratify the Rome
Statute and the core human rights treaties.”

David K. Deng
Research Director
South Sudan Law Society

SPLM Chairman’s Address to the UN Security Council

(Nairobi, Kenya: November 18, 2004)


Your Excellency President Mwai Kibaki;


Your Excellency, Mr. Kofi Anan, the UN Secretary General;


Your Excellency Ambassador John Danforth, President of the UN Security Council;


Your Excellencies:  Ambassadors of the Member States of the United Nations Security Council;


Your Excellencies:  Representatives of the African Union;


Your Excellencies: Heads of State and Government of IGAD Countries or their Representatives;


Your Excellencies: Gen. Sumbeiywo, Chief Negotiator, and his colleagues: Ambassadors of the IGAD Sub-Committee on Sudan;


Your Excellency the Representative of the African Union;


H.E. The First Vice President of the Sudan, Ustaz Ali Osman Taha and Members of the GOS and SPLM Delegations;


Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;


First and foremost, I would like to thank you heartily for having invited the SPLM to this significant and historic UN Security Council sitting on Sudan to give our perspective on the peace process and the situation in our country in general. I understand that this is the fourth time in its history for the UN Security Council to meet outside its New York Headquarters. But only for the second time in Africa.  We appreciate this significant gesture and concern.

This is indeed another momentous occasion in the history of our country.   I would like to take the opportunity to reiterate our unwavering commitment to the peaceful resolution of all conflicts in the Sudan.  It is our hope that the sitting of this august body in Nairobi, will expedite the bringing of the IGAD Peace process on Sudan to a speedy closure.

The core of the peace agreement in the form of the six Protocols is already in place.  The task that remains is to finalize the agreement on the comprehensive ceasefire and modalities for implementation, which shall be annexes to the peace agreement.  The Parties signed the six protocols with the view to implementing them and with the primary aim of ending the war.  The two annexes – on Comprehensive Ceasefire and Implementation Modalities – should therefore obviously not be stumbling blocks to closing the deal.  In this regard I want to assure you that the SPLM is willing and prepared to work with the other Party to move speedily to complete and sign the final comprehensive peace agreement in the shortest time possible.  We in the SPLM absolutely have no reason to cause delays; on the contrary we have every reason to expedite the process and to sign the final agreement today rather than tomorrow.

Under the ceasefire negotiations of the first Annex, there are two outstanding issues, the cardinal being the funding of the armed forces.  According to the Security Arrangements Protocol (section I b), it has been agreed that the two armed forces, namely, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) are to be “considered and treated equally as Sudan’s National Armed Forces (SNAF) during the Interim Period”.  This entails that the two armed forces (SAF and SPLA) as well as the Joint Integrated Units (JIUs), which shall be constituted from the two armed forces, are all to be funded in all aspects from the National Treasury.  It was precisely for this reason that the SPLM settled for only 50% of revenues from oil extracted from Southern Sudan, and only 50% of non-oil revenues collected in Southern Sudan so as to enable the National Government retain sufficient financial resources to meet national obligations including expenditure on the national armed forces.  The other party’s position on this issue is both untenable and inconsistent with the meaning and spirit of the Security Arrangements Framework Agreement during the Interim Period.  It limits funding from national coffers, to only the (SAF) component of the National Armed Forces meanwhile completely ignoring funding of the other component of SNAF, i.e., the SPLA, or relegating it to funding by the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS), which is a sub-national level of Government and therefore not responsible for funding of national institutions including the SPLA.

The second outstanding issue in the ceasefire agreement, though relatively less problematic than that of funding of the armed forces, is the timeframe for incorporation of Other Armed Groups (OAGs) into SAF or SPLA structures depending on their individual choice, as stipulated in the Security Arrangements Agreement signed by the Parties in September 2003, in which Para. 7 (a) states that the process of integration of OAGs should be accomplished before the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) comes into effect, so that by then, there will only be two armed forces (SAF and SPLA) as agreed upon.

Regarding the second Annex on “Implementation Modalities” for the agreement, sufficient progress has been generally achieved in respect of the two areas (Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile) as well as Abyei.  Further work needs to be done to bridge the gaps in relation to power sharing.  However, the biggest obstacles are in the implementation modalities for the Wealth Sharing Protocol, where two main outstanding issues must be resolved.  Firstly, the Government of Sudan (GOS) proposes a system for the transfer of funds that seeks to deny GOSS direct access to its share of oil revenues, insisting on a bizarre position that the GOSS receive its share in local currency. Secondly, GOS is still unwilling to share information on oil revenues.  The SPLM finds these two positions incomprehensible and therefore unacceptable.  For us the GOSS must have direct access to its share of oil revenues and we believe in the principle of transparency in the sharing of information concerning oil revenues; and this is precisely what the Agreement on Wealth Sharing says in Para 4.1:  “The SPLM shall appoint a limited number of representatives to have access to all existing oil contracts.  The representatives shall have the right to engage technical experts.  All those who have access to the contracts will sign confidentiality agreements”.

Mr. President, Your Excellencies; in summary of this part of my presentation, I want to state the SPLM position in unequivocal terms that the GOS and SPLM have the core agreement already in place in the form of the six protocols, and as stated in the 5th of June 2004 Nairobi Declaration, we consider the Sudan peace agreement essentially already completed.  The two outstanding issues in each of the two annexes of ceasefire agreement and implementation modalities should not take time to resolve, especially in view of the very precarious situation our country is in and the fact that peace has a price.  Once more, I want to assure Your Excellencies, that the SPLM is willing and ready to work with the other Party to resolve the outstanding issues in the two annexes to bring the process to a speedy closure and to work in partnership with the National Congress Party in establishing a new coalition Government of National Unity in accordance with the six protocols.

Mr. President, Your Excellencies, the SPLM views the agreement as a prelude to the beginning of the process of democratic transformation, a paradigm shift in socio-economic development of the country, and observance of human rights and freedoms as endorsed by the Parties in a comprehensive Bill of Rights in the Power Sharing Agreement. The SPLM will seek to participate effectively in the coalition Government of National Unity and other levels of Government to ensure the realization of a new political dispensation in the Sudan.  In this context the SPLM shall work energetically in partnership with the National Congress Party (NCP) and all the other political forces in Sudan to ensure timely, free and fair legislative and presidential elections.  In this context we are committed to preserve peace, stability and territorial integrity of the Sudan during the interim period and to ensure the holding of a free internationally monitored referendum on the right of self-determination for Southern Sudan towards the end of the six-year Interim period.

We remain fully committed to the implementation of all aspects of the peace agreement and will make full use of the Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC) throughout the Interim Period to assess and monitor the implementation of the peace agreement. This is necessary to rectify any shortcomings, without renegotiating the agreement.  Through international guarantees and assistance, the international community will play a significant role in the implementation of the Sudan peace agreement, and the present sitting of the Security Council in Nairobi is a positive signal, which we very much welcome and appreciate. We appeal to the international community to assist us in the faithful implementation of the peace agreement because even if either party to the agreement feels that there are too many risks associated with the agreement; in the final analysis the cost of non implementation of the agreement would be much higher than the cost of implementation for the country as a whole, and both Parties are therefore best advised to desist from anything that might undermine implementation of the peace agreement.

Mr. President, Your Excellencies, before I conclude, I would like to highlight an issue of grave concern to the Sudan and to you in the Security Council.  You are undoubtedly aware of the fact that our country is in dire straits.  The situation in Darfur is rapidly degenerating into chaos and anarchy as the Government counter-insurgency policy and campaign in that Region has seriously boomeranged and continues to spiral out of control.  Furthermore, the GOS has recently foiled a coup attempt and the prospects for fresh insurgencies emerging in other parts of the Sudan are increasing.  The GOS destabilization of Southern Sudan through its militias continues unabated. The IGAD peace process has almost stalled leading to a precarious ‘No War No Peace’ situation in Southern Sudan, Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile.  To make matters worse, the GOS is threatening to unilaterally go ahead with the selective implementation of aspects of the Naivasha Protocols, notably the Wealth Sharing Protocol, even in the absence of a final Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which is a euphemism for the longstanding GOS policy of “Peace from within”.  This overall situation if left unchecked can eventually cause Sudan to implode and degenerate into another Somalia and serious insecurity consequences for the whole Region are obvious.

The only way to avert this looming tragedy is to expedite the Naivasha process and speedily conclude the comprehensive peace agreement on Sudan; and to install a broad based coalition government of national unity that can best deal with such threats. It is imperative that the International Community does its utmost to consolidate the Sudan peace process.  We therefore call upon the Security Council to pass a specific resolution in this important Nairobi sitting that, inter alia, recognizes, endorses and declares the six Protocols signed thus far by the GOS and the SPLM as binding and irrevocable commitments that the Parties may not under any circumstances whatsoever renegotiate.  This is in addition to Your Excellencies urging of the Parties to expeditiously complete negotiations on the two annexes and sign the comprehensive peace agreement by a specified date.  As I have already said earlier, I see no serious obstacles that could prevent us from signing the final peace agreement by the end of this year, 2004.  The four main remaining issues outstanding in the two annexes can be resolved in a matter of days, and the situation in the Sudan is sufficiently serious for the two Parties to appreciate the urgency of quick conclusion of the Naivasha process and signing of the comprehensive peace agreement. Furthermore, the Parties could use this comprehensive peace agreement as a basis for making a fair and just peace for the country as a whole including Darfur (thanks to the current efforts of the UN and the AU under the Abuja Process) and Eastern Sudan, applying and adapting the agreements to the particular situation as well as using the new political dispensation to maintain peace, stability and territorial integrity of the country during the Interim Period.  We firmly believe that this is the way out of the current Sudanese crisis and debacle, and the SPLM assures you, Excellencies, as well as the GOS, that the Movement will play a positive role and working in Partnership with the National Congress Party and other political forces to bring comprehensive peace to all parts of the Sudan.

Mr. President, Your Excellencies: allow me on behalf of the suffering people of the Sudan to conclude by thanking you most sincerely for having organized and held this historic and rare meeting in our neighbourhood.  This signifies your recognition and awareness of the gravity of internal Sudanese conflicts.  The Sudanese people eagerly await the outcome of your deliberations and hope that you will not leave this venue without sending them a message of hope for Christmas and the New Year.

We would also like to pay tribute to the IGAD Secretariat headed by H.E. Ambassador Lt. Gen. (Rtd.) Lazaro K. Sumbeiywo, IGAD member states, the IPF Quartet, namely Italy, Norway, UK and USA, the Government of the Netherlands and the African Union (AU) for their unrelenting efforts in the search for a just and lasting peace in the Sudan.

Thank you for listening.

Dr. John Garang de Mabior

Chairman and Commander-in-Chief, SPLM/SPLA