Archive for January 31, 2014

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar accused the government on Friday of ethnic cleansing and trying to sabotage peace talks, in his first face-to-face interview since fighting erupted late last year in Africa’s youngest nation. Dressed in dark green military fatigues and speaking to Reuters in his bush hideout, Machar branded President Salva Kiir a discredited leader who had lost the people’s trust and should resign. The rebel leader said Kiir had lost the support of the country’s 11 million people. Asked what he wanted from the peace talks, Machar, who was sacked by Kiir in July, said he had no interest in being reinstated as vice president. “It would be best for Kiir to resign. We are due for elections in 2015. Before the elections there would be an interim government,” Machar said, declining to say who might lead it. Four of the six senior political figures accused of treason alongside Machar are in detention in Juba. Machar pressed for their release after the government on Wednesday freed seven other detainees, but declined to say if he would call back his negotiators if the government refused. “It will not be an inclusive peace process if they’re not there. A non-inclusive process would hurt the people of Sudan,” he said. Machar said Kiir had only survived the uprising because Uganda’s military had intervened. Uganda has admitted its army provided air and ground support to Kiir’s troops, raising concerns among diplomats that the wider region could be sucked into the conflict. “If it was not for the interference of the Ugandans, we would be in Juba now,” Machar said. Asked if that meant he would be in power, he replied: “Not necessarily, but Kiir wouldn’t have been president.”

By Elizabeth Apajook Deng Lual, USA

After the untimely and suspicious death of Dr. Garang, the founder of South Sudan ruling party Sudanese People Liberation Movement (SPLM), persona of President Kiir accorded many South Sudanese comfort and solace. The people were simply comforted by the fact that President Kiir was one of the founders of SPLM who would ensure the mission of SPLM is realized through implementation of Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and beyond. However, I was not impressed by Kiir’s ascendency to power because his ulterior motive to completely annihilate peace loving community of Bor was going to be realized. Mr. President since he joined the movement in 1983 and became SPLA general chief of staff and head of intelligence has been busy working to ensure the Community of Bor is wiped out.

The following discussions will highlight specific roles he played and continues to play to ensure his ulterior motive of decimating or paralyzing the community of Bor is realized. As a head of SPLA intelligence, General Kiir concocted numerous seditious claims against loyal members of SPLA/M leadership who happened to have hailed from Bor community; unfortunately as a result majority of these people were arrested and fatally tortured in the prisons characterized by harshly inhumane conditions. Notable and highly educated sons of Bor Community, who selflessly served in SPLM/A ranks and files, were hunted down and brutally murdered in cold blood. In earlier months of 1991, General Kiir claimed that he had gathered enough intelligence against Dr. Riek; that Dr. Riek was planning a coup against leadership of the SPLM/A.

Consequently, Late Dr. Garang commissioned General Kiir to arrest Dr. Riek. However, given his lack of tactics, General Kiir allowed Dr. Riek to get to Nassir where he mobilized and prepared his tribesmen into a robust military unit and summarily killed cadres of SPLM/A who were of Bor origin. Dr. Riek attacked and helplessly killed civilians in Bor area, at the time when Bor sons had converged at town of Juba. Dr. Riek and his army, mostly comprised of few former SPLA soldiers and vast majority of untrained civilians under spell of Wurnyang’s magic, killed unarmed civilians – women, children and elderly, looted livestocks and burned crops and buildings. Many civilians lost lives and many more got displaced from Bor area, thanks to General Kiir. Pass forward to post referendum. At a prayer gathering held at late Dr. Garang’s house in Juba, Dr. Riek was moved by the speeches of various elderly members of Bor community; he became emotional and broke down. Then he confessed about atrocities he committed in Bor area and asked for forgiveness – a move that was welcomed by the members of Bor community who wanted to bury the hatchet and start new a chapter with Nuer community in general and with Dr. Riek in particular. But the President General Salva – who is constantly giving amnesty after amnesty against enemies of South Sudan – ironically dismissed Dr. Riek’s turn of heart as ineffective; the President told Riek that local apologies would not suffice.

Dr. Riek clearly heard Mr. President’s call for bigger platform on which to deliver his apologies for atrocities he committed; and came up with and worked for an idea of national reconciliation. However, the same president who called for bigger platform pushed off Dr. Riek from organization of national reconciliation. The president’s moves are aimed at stonewalling any reconciliation between Dr. Riek and Nuer community on one hand and the community of Bor on the other hand. The president would like Nuer community and Dr. Riek to remain as sworn enemies of Bor community; this fits the president’s ulterior motive to annihilate Dinka Bor community. President Kiir’s selective disarmament process leaves a lot be desired. Peace Loving community of Bor was targeted for disarmament while hostile communities of Nuer and Murle remain at large with guns. While Dinka Bor community has given up their guns, the government stood by while civilians are raided and helplessly killed by these belligerent communities. To make matters worse, supposedly SPLA forces stationed in Bortown comprise of members of these hostile communities of Nuer and Murle – forces which are reluctant to pursue their own tribesmen who are committing atrocities against civilians.

While sons of Nuer and Murle are stationed in Bortown, sons of Dinka Bor are assigned to South and North borders where they would not be able to defend their civilians; majority of the SPLA cadres of Dinka Bor origin have been prematurely and disgracefully retired. Literally, this president is working overtime to ensure the community of Dinka Bor is at a position where they cannot defend themselves. If all of the above scenarios are not enough to make my case, let’s look at the president’s activities leading to “coup attempt.” President was expected to set a reconciliatory tone in the meeting of SPLM, but he instead veered off from the tabled agenda and personally attacked Dr. Riek. The president went further to dare Dr. Riek to commit similar atrocities of 1991. Sadly, Riek repeated his actions of 1991. He helplessly raped and killed elderly, children and women. Sick people in Bortown civil hospitals, people who had sought refuge in churches and elderly were killed.

The forces tore down buildings and anything they could find. Atrocities Riek and his forces committed this time around are two times those of 1991. I am sure the president would be contented now for many civilians who are killed and more displaced and it would take several years for Bor to be Bor again. Though one would clearly see President Kiir’s intention to destroy Dinka Bor community, one would not understand what could be the genesis of this deep-seated hatred. He is bent to annihilate Bor community in part or as a whole.

Elizabeth Apajook Deng Lual: the author is an anthropology student at University of Maryland and could be reached through



I have been reading discussions in the social media; in which the discussants are calling for an immediate investigation on the ongoing destructive war that has plagued our young country. In these discussions some panellists are urging for speedy end to the conflict, while others are pushing for investigating the people they believe were responsible for the outbreak of the current fratricidal conflict immediately. Questions are also being asked, in these discussions, as to whether there was a coup or just mere misunderstanding in the presidential guards Headquarters in the night of December 15th, 20013, which brought down our country to the current crisis situation; or whether there was a coup in the making and was thus pre-empted by the army which later spread to engulf three states.

In fact I read most of these discussions with interest and sadness. Interest because the discussions centre on the current sensitive issue of killing one another and which has widely been condemned not only by South Sudanese but by all the peace loving people worldwide and who are calling on the warring factions to stop the conflict that has already destroyed some of our cities and tearing families apart. Sadness, because some panellists appear to have moved away from the immediate issue of condemning the savage killing of innocent citizens and calling for peace. Instead the panellists are pointing at figures they are accusing as being responsible for the ongoing carnage. Most people who read these discussions may have expected that, the discussants should have continued with the condemnation of these unfortunate killings and appeal for the stoppage of the ongoing war which if not stop, is pushing our country every day into abyss. However those who called for immediate investigation could be forgiven because their discussions took place against the background of intense environment and extreme emotions.

However, the immediate thing that is needed now, is first to stop the conflict and when all is over and peace has been restored and our people are at peace with one another, it will be the time to call for genuine investigation by international teams of experts. It will be then that each and everyone, who have knowledge about what went wrong and the people who were involved in this madness will come forward and give evidence against the alleged culprits.  Equally important to stress here is that, these public discussions should also appreciate, at the same time, the authorities in the eight states of our Republic, who kept peace and made sure that no reciprocal atrocities were committed.

Once we succeed to stop all this madness, it will be then that, we shall invite the international human rights experts and the International Criminal Courts judges to come and investigate; first the causes of the fight that led to the carnage and then identify the culprits for prosecution. I am sure each of the people involved in this fratricidal conflict will be thoroughly investigated by those neutral bodies and are either acquitted or punished.

Essentially, if we succeed to stop the ongoing fight between the government and those fighting against it, and the country is at peace with itself, lot of home work will be made in effort to correct some of the factors that often make our people; the Nuer and the Dinka in particular; prone to ethnic fighting whereas they have almost been integrated through intermarriages and migrations and immigrations through centuries of mixing freely among themselves. Surely there are a lot of things that must be corrected once peace has been restored.

The first important thing that I think, will be corrected once the ongoing madness is over; will be the reorganisation of the SPLA as to make it a professional national army of our young Republic. Looking at the current composition of our army in the post war period, one is truck in the face to notice that most of the officers in the army garrisons are from among those have gone to Khartoum many times and having acquired wealth; responded to the Presidential Amnesty; are forgiven and integrated into the SPLA! This is the crime for which President Kiir Mayardit has, unfortunately, become a victim but of good intentions.

Furthermore, it is very unfortunate that the integration of some of the former streets boys who became responsible soldiers in our army; without firsr giving them some ideas about the mechanics of modern warfare, are responsible in parts to what happened on December 15 and 16 and is ongoing.  Sadly, the once mighty and gallant SPLA in the pre war period, has now become a laughing stock just because, of the presence of large number of former street boys who became officers by default. These facts apparently can explain some of the atrocities committed on the innocent people and property not only in Juba but later in Bor, Bentiu, and Malakal and elsewhere. The destruction and atrocities witnessed in the three states, could have not been carried out or committed by professional soldiers under professional commanders.

The second thing that must be corrected as soon as we have restored peace in our country, will be to stem out the culture of revolting, amnesty is given in efforts to maintain peace in the young nation, and those returnees; are integrated into the national army which is supposed to be a professional army. Now our army is full of people who have previously committed atrocities or genocide in the past and were forgiven without addressing the causes which made them prone to rebellion; and are easily convinced, are pardoned and are integrated into the national army. It will be necessary for the ministry of defence to redeploy some of these former street soldiers in the SPLA and put them into reserve camps where they can be able to produce their own resources in addition to their salaries as members of Reserve Defence Force.

It should also be a practice that former soldiers covered by presidential amnesty should be put in these reserve defence force camps. I am sure many donor countries that have gratefully being helping us in the pasr will be willing to avail funds for the construction and building of the envisaged Reserve Defence Force Camps in certain productive areas in the South Sudan. Once these non professional personnel are cleaned out of the national army, the immediate thing for the defence ministry will be to recruit younger new recruits; and if practicable; among the primary and secondary schools leavers; into the new national army.

The third thing that I would like to stress here has to do with one vital question; and that is; what will be the role of the South Sudanese intellectuals; and their efforts for the reconciliation and national healing; once the ongoing destructive and fratricidal fight has been halted? As the cream of their society i recommend that, the Naadh and Jaang intellectuals, in particular, must meet, as soon as the war is over, discuss and devise ways and means as to how to make our people abandon their time honoured culture of injury to one is an injury to all, as well as the culture of cattle rustling. Although the former has enabled our people, in the past when they successfully fought wars against their enemies, it is high time to abandon this culture now that we have a country of our own.

One sad example to demonstrate what I am talking about is what happened to my nephew in Kuajok last December, when his close friend of many years, a Dinka whose mother is a Nuer, killed him and five others on hearing that one of his uncles (a Nuer) was killed by Dinkas in Juba. When the news reached me I did not know how to respond because, my daughter is married to a Nuer husband and the couple, have been blessed with three nice children and are with me in the house. If my nephew was killed by a half Nuer would my grand children be killed in revenge because they are half Nuer? Thank God the issue has been handled with wisdom.

Let us stop this culture of an injury to one is an injury to all and adopt a civilize culture where an injury to one is his own problem. He can then take the person that injury him to the police and to the national court to answer the charge brought against him. This should be our culture instil to our youth. It should also be included in the civic lessons in our schools.

Indeed the South Sudanese intellectuals and on the top the Nuer and the Dinka intellectuals; who claim to be national leaders and who, at the same time, remain primordial and parochial in their thinking and behaviour, must now start without delay to educate themselves of how to be nationalistic; it will be then that they will in turn educate their respective constituents. As educationist, I am aware that education is a slow process but it is worth an attempt and worth undertaking. Unless  the urge to loot cattle or take side in any unprovoked  fight, by the cattle owning nationalities which  was one of causes that led to the death of thousands of innocent people during the Anya Nya/ SPLM war; has also been the cause of instability in the cattle owning states, even long after our country became independent; and which caused the loss of thousands of innocent lives in the last eight years since the descent of peace on our country.

Unless this damaging culture is stemmed out, any future efforts and attempts to start building a nation called South Sudan, will be like chasing the wind. This culture which might have understandably brought glories in the past; should now be the role of the Naadh and Jaang intellectuals to persuade their people to stop these divisive cultures. Because, if these two cultures are not addressed sooner than later, they will continue to be the causes for continuous future disunity and instability in our country;  it will also be a future hindrance to the progress of our people.

Compatriots, the entire world is laughing at us; just only two years of independence and we are not only brutally killing one another but vandalizing our own cities– destroying all our own resources given to us by people of good will so as to pull our young state out of the age long state of backwardness. Let us all join hands and stop this war of our own making; because the victims of this war; as being reported daily by the world media; are our own relatives on both sides, our poor innocent natives and our own cities we built from scratch. Indeed rebuilding the destroyed cities that were wilfully destroyed; will be likened to a person forced by circumstances to eat his own vomits; very painful indeed!

Finally; needless to remind the readers that; all the most powerful, stable and highly developed countries of the world of today; arguably, went through the same madness or even worse than what is happening now in the South Sudan. When this uncalled for conflict is brought to a halt, there will be a dire need to revisit the Wunlit Experience; the people to people conference in the nineties that brought peace, reconciliation and stability among the then embattled Nuer and Dinka Nationalities; a move which contributed to the unity of purpose between the two nationalities and which effectively contributed  to the success in bringing to a halt the twenty one year war to its logical conclusion.

Hon Arop Madut Arop, MP for Abyei in Juba, and the author of the following books on


Can be reached at

Salva Kiir: The Tiger of South Sudan (a poem)

Posted: January 31, 2014 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in David Aoloch, Featured Articles, History, People, Poems.

The poem                  

President Salva Kiir Mayaardit

President Salva Kiir Mayaardit


Salva Kiir: The Tiger of South Sudan


By David Aoloch Bion


O Earth! O Heaven! O Void!

Behold the warrior, the liberator,

The victor of all times

Wearing white crystal sublime

Feather of an ostrich on his head

In the art of war, he grasps bullet,

Crushing them in the air by hands

In the science of politic,

He rule the wind

On his leaf of marble engrave

No alphabet of gaffe and blame


In the sky, the sun shall rust

Upon the earth his spectacle achievement

Shall never rust

Shall shine until chimpanzee transpose

Into man and man in to angel……

Here superlative of shape,

Perfection of spirit shall continue

From er ,est,to transcendentalism


In long scope of life

He took a risk

At risk of cutting his hand he raised

Fundamental problem by hand

At risk of harming his legs

He ran in thorny bush without shoes

At risk of losing his life

He fought in battle of century

At verge of failing liberation

He’s resolute in thought and action

At Sudan’ critical crisis time

He judiciously declared the independence

At winning victories in war and politic

He’s magnanimous with vanquished


O Crested Cranes! O Thistles! O mankind!

Behold, the Tiger of South Sudan

Bearing the shiniest black beards

The flashing threads of metaphysics

Wearing the prettiest panama-hat,

 The trades mark of his statesmanship

Carrying blackest ebony stick,

The long metaphor of decent national culture


He’s glorious star of the Rainbow Batch

Who formed the liberation movement

Who fought the war for two decades

In famous battle of century, the dogs of war saw the cat

And the dogs died of fearsome of the cat

The cat the dogs saw and died was the Tiger

Who fought and won hundred battle and fight

In twenty-one year civil war

Who won the independence of South Sudan


At mountain high of the nation

He stands tall among men and animals

He sways like laurel swing gentle by breeze

At dawn the yellow crowned cranes wake up people

By twittering the song of praise and honors like bugle,

Dancing and clapping in meadow and farms

In their metallic voices cheep this song


Uphold the Tiger of South Sudan

So he leads heavenly light

Long his wise leadership reign

So peace and prosperity floods

The periphery of the society

O God

Uphold the Tiger of South Sudan

Whom we love

Before we were born”


Eagles! O Daffodils! O Buffaloes

Behold, the Tiger of South Sudan

On bowers, of sycamore branches on

The bank of mighty Nile River

Thousands eagles sing in celestial voices

His lofty achievement shall we sing now

Shall inspire poems, arts for boys and girls

For season, after season

For ever more


For capturing garrisons, out posts

Eliminating ambushes defeating attacks

Liberating towns, cities and

Regions in bright star campaign

In the battle, his trench is the righteousness of the cause

His shield is his valor

“Why you don’t cover and conceal?”

The brave and unflappable Tiger replies

“Man of right and just cause

Doesn’t care what will happen”


O saddle-Bill Stock! O Tulips O Rhinos

Behold, the Tiger of South Sudan, the just,

The courageous and wise Man

When the myth arisen

“Eastern Nile tribesmen were born to rule

Western Nile tribesmen were born to die

In the battle during the liberation”

The Tiger raised his fur of wisdom

He disproved this lying and gossip,

Of cowards and men, rebuking

“In the liberation,

No western man

No eastern man,

No southern men

Or no northern men

We’re freedom fighters

Only we’re one,

Our mission is one

We’ve one horn sharpened bull the Thunder”

He’s no innocent blood in his hand

He leads blameless life in the bush war

His bodyguards never took the booty

He never took the booty

That’s why he lives today

In the mind of birds, flowers, animals

Stars and men.

He doesn’t crack joke or humor

But with one sincere word

He touch the moon with actions of million words


O White Egrets! O Africa Violets! O Gazelles!

Behold, the more gracious Tiger of South Sudan

By his tongue, he proclaimed the independence when all tongues were scared to pronounce

The letter”I” leave alone the word “independence” for fear of tongue being cut off

He marked zero hour of birth of state

By breaking the white ostrich egg

In the flashing light of the shell

Many creatures symbolizing the new nation waltzing out

The butterfly danced out with the book of art and beauty

The flower with the book and poetry,

The dove with the book of literature and theology

The nestling with the book of politic and history

The wind with book of science and technology

He put first brick of democracy and justice

And prosperity, the next seeds finish the roof

What he plant will not grow down like the tail of cow

The feline purer politic will grow up

Like calf, begets cattle, milk, butter and ghee

He’s charismatic and pragmatic

Lion that no enemy can tame against his will

A tiger whose fur doesn’t

Fall of rainfall

Or rise of sunshine

He’s unchanged as lug in all seasons

That is why he forgives

Several times she catches wild animals

Red handed

 A Lie kills the truth once and for all

                                                                                                                            But the truth spare and give

Second chance


O Woodpeckers! O Lotus! White-tailed mongooses

Behold the Tiger of South Sudan

The Thistle, the Daffodil, the Eagle of national unity

In his honor and glory

His people sing a song

‘’O feline, priceless national cedar

Under your shadow, we stand.

In darkness, your brilliant stripes

Illuminate and direct those

Who lost the national compass


On the farm the animals sing the anthem

The Green Whales

We are the green whale

We live in deep and dark water

Elephants trample, trample, trample

The earth, the grey of my father

Neither the fire nor

The harpoon can reach us

The elephant trample, trample, trample

The earth the grey of my mother


The war, famine, drought

And all  natural or man made

The disasters  can dry our greenness

Elephant trample, trample, trample

The earth, the grey of our God


O African Golden  birds! O saguaro! O Angels

Behold, the tiger of south Sudan

In punctilious limelight, he stands in

Eyes of the world

He doesn’t speak words or sentences

Without tint of Aesthetic

Or pip of moral senses

O Birds, O Flowers, O Living ones

On the land and in water

Look! At the writing on the whitest clouds

The tiger is a lightning shaft of God

In Hebrew tomorrow,

He must be near the grow

The grow of grassless meadow and

Treeless forest


God will come

He will cut the river of blessing

Through the meadow and forest

He will give the Lighting Shaft

Transcendental seeds


The Lightning Shaft will show them

Everything will grow with novelty

The grasses, trees, tongues, hands

And teeth and fangs

On trees bees will build hives

The cows will eat grasses

The south Sudanese will enjoy

Watching bees and cows


The tongues that say evil, vices

Will moult like snake skin

The new tongues shall speak

Golden phrases of peace and prosperity


      The hands that kill

Will moult like legs of birds

The new hands will carry olive branch

And will be feared all over  the world

As prophet Isaiah says


David Aoloch Bion is South Sudanese poet, novelist and short story writer. Born in 1976 at Bor Jonglei in Sudan.He joined the rebel SPLA Red Army (minor soldiers) in 1989, where he started school. He is now studying Bachelor Degree in Public Administration at Kampala International University in Uganda. In 1993 was in Red Army at Ashwa SPLA Training Camp along side Banat (girls) Battalion. Phased out in 1994, he stayed in the SPLA Nimule Corrider and Uganda. In Uganda, he wrote a good a composition during of the class work, that his teacher didn’t mark but put note on ‘’ this is a paraphrasing or text somewhere ‘’, the teacher said, he was not the one who wrote that good composition and he gave him another topic to write on her presence., he wrote it as good as first one, the teacher marked it and she praised him as a good writer, from that time he start to write. He wrote 200 poems,70 short stories, An Irontail Scorpion (2011) and The Feather of Glory (2013)

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) has asked for the release of the four political prisoners in Juba whom the South Sudanese government on Tuesday said it would prosecute for an alleged coup attempt. The detainees are Pag’an Amum, Majak D’Agoot, Oyai Deng Ajak and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, four politicians and ex-officials hailing from the states of Upper Nile and Jonglei. Meeting at the level of Heads of State and Government on Wednesday, the AU Security Council issued a communiqué underlining the importance of the detainees’ participation in upcoming political talks in Addis Ababa.


The United States has called on South Sudan to release the last four of a group of detainees held on suspicion of trying to stage a coup, a move that could clear a major sticking point in talks to end weeks of fighting. The senior political figures were arrested after clashes broke out between rival groups of soldiers in South Sudan’s capital Juba in mid-December. South Sudan freed seven of the detainees, including the country’s former justice and finance ministers, on Wednesday and handed them over to neighbouring Kenya. But it said it was still examining evidence against the last four, including the former secretary general of the ruling The Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement. “We welcome the release of the seven detainees and we believe that is a positive step We will continue to urge the release of the remaining four detainees,” US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns told the Reuters news agency on Thursday on the sidelines of an African Union summit in Addis Ababa.

By Dennis E. Paul

Within the core of the civil conflict is a degree of cowardice represented by the killing of unarmed civilians. Recent (January 27, 2014) reports of murdered civilians in Malakal, as the reports of massacres in Juba – and countless other places – are reverberating through world news releases.

Aside from accounts of the terrifying suffering, the events are extinguishing the belief that South Sudan can self-govern.

Additionally, in the background of tribal injustice is the inability of the government to create judicial responses to criminal acts.

Whether we hang our hat on wishful thinking or on an attempt to impose only-you-can-get-South-Sudan-out-of-this-morass, the impetus is to restructure a struggling government whose failings has caused immeasurable suffering. Suppression of party opposition is a poignant observation.

And if there has been tremendous progress in South Sudan [“WHO CARES!” by “Doggie,” PaanLeul Wel blog] then why was there a rebellion?

Will a new government protect South Sudanese or will there be greater unresponsiveness to minority issues?

What force can change – what stimulant can entice change – in the presently discredited government?

A relevant observation of Simon Yel in “The Question of Self Drive Rebellion in South Sudan,” (January 28, 2014, PaanLuel Wel blog): “the rebellions seeking secession are often driven by their perceived political, economic and cultural oppression.”

And regarding international influence, Simon Yel reports: “[during the 1970s and 1980s, rivalry and competition between super powers] took various forms: supporting governments, overthrowing governments, supporting/opposing political parties, covert activities in support of or in opposition to governments, and supporting, if not initiating rebel movements.

How many complaints?

How many formal complaints regarding human rights violations were submitted to the government of South Sudan? How many went unanswered?

Some argue that the Government of South Sudan is represented by multiple tribes. Mangong Mawien Maddut, in “An Open Lettter to Uncle Adwok Nyaba,” PaanLuel Wel blog (January 29, 2014) provides this:

former vice president Dr. Riak Machar was a Nuer, not a Dinka, the current vice President James Wani is a Bari, the former defence minister, John Koang was a Nuer, the former minister of interior Allison Manani Magaya was not a Dinka, security former minister Oyal Deng Ajak is a Shilluk, Pagan Amum who was a secretary general of the ruling party SPLM is a Shilluk, Mamur who is a current minister of security is not a Nuer, the Cabinet minister now is not a Dinka.”

So it is, according to Mangong. But what happened in the Juban government? Are some representatives and administrators more politically mature than others? Are some more receptive to cross-ethnic views? Are some holding distain and envy at the heart of their presence in government? Has competition for political power overwhelmed rational thinking? And are civilians represented not integrated in mind and spirit?

One would ask (with a most humble demeanor) that the SPLM recognize its failure to integrate, whether in attitude of the upper hierarchy or through the lower echelon of power and responsibility. [For more on SPLM reform, see “What is Hot in South Sudan Today? Comprehensive Situation Analysis and Recommendations,” by Malith Alier, January 28, 2014, PaanLuel Wel blog]

One can argue who has fought hardest. Which tribe sacrificed more lives. But now the ideals held in the new nation begs for relief from tribalistic-winner-take-all myopia.

How marginalized were the Nuer?

How many complaints regarding atrocities were voiced?

How can conflicts for competitive interests be resolved? What multi-ethnic agencies/organs will see South Sudan through this horrendous hour of darkness?

In traditional tribal scenarios, rules and laws were broken but were remedied within the tribe. Rules were respected and enforced.

Now, new scenarios, new opportunities and new choices confound South Sudanese.

Transition to the “new cultural world” creates tremendous obstacles. Many obstacles create frustration that cause many to return to the bush. Others are undaunted by obstacles to advancement.

Can we encourage a new course?

Will a new government protect a new society?

Or will we see a redundant blind pursuit of oil revenue.

In reality we are forced to look for the light at the end of the tunnel; not backward toward at the abyss of mistakes.

How can we make self-governance work?

How can we make this thing called South Sudan work?

Is South Sudan going to take a path defined by self-righteous thugs who see no doors of opportunity, but sadistic satisfaction of rule by the gun? By those bound and constrained by illiteracy?

How long would this contamination last?

Will cowardace and inexcusable human rights abuses persist due to an insensitive, undisciplined police force? And by a militia bathed in hate from undeserved suffering?

What would be in the blueprint?

So that children, whether farm or in the city, whether Nuer or Dinka, Shilluk or Merle, Latuka or Zande will live without fear.

What would be in the road map? What are the issues that keep South Sudanese from cooperating? What are the issues that refuse goals of Dinka and Nuer? What issues differ? What issues are similar? Security? Freedom from ethnic violence? A fair shake in the economic fabric of a new nation? What are the goals that Dinka and Nuer Share?

Both Nuer and Dinka have been violated.

For now, can you, Nuer and Dinka, develop sufficient courage and muster enough trust to protect what is left of the communities of innocent – the children – and offer South Sudan relief from hate, malice and rule by the gun? Can militia relieve itself of the hate that is in your hearts? Can the South Sudan military place their hate elsewhere and offer civilians the right to life?

The release of arrested ministers.

Is their retention going to perpetuate a lie. Is this going to be the issue that contaminates all hope for all South Sudanese – ten thousand dead, 500,000 refugees in desperation, waiting for relief from peace signatories? [seven have been released as of January 29, 2014 (Sudan Tribune)]

Rebecca Nyandeng Garang, Presidential adviser on Human Rights and Gender and widow of the late SPLM leader, Dr. John Garang, has urged South Sudan President Salva Kiir to release the detained former ministers. (New Vision, January 29, 2014). Her insights are invaluable.

Addendum: If you have a moment, you might want to look at “Youth group aids conflict-stricken people in South Sudan,” RadioTamazuj, January 24, 2014. It offers a moment of reprieve from malicious deaths and suffering.

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