Archive for February 14, 2015

A reunited SPLM will help resolve internal issues, bring lasting peace

By FRED OLUOCH, TEA Special Correspondent


  • EDUCATION: Dr Benjamin has professional training in medicine and diplomacy.
  • CAREER: Before 1983, he worked in various provincial and district-level hospitals in Wau and Yirol. He was also a senior registrar in general surgery in both Khartoum and Omdurman University Teaching Hospitals.
  • SPLM: He has held various positions in the liberation struggle, including serving as SPLM/SPLA treasurer-general. He was an SPLM member in SPLM\Sudan government peace talks in Nairobi in 1989 and is a member of the SPLM national liberation council.
  • MINISTER: He has held various positions in the Cabinet of South Sudan since the peace deal in 2005. Prior to his appointment to foreign affairs in July 2013, he was information minister from 2010 to 2013. He is also an MP for Uror South Constituency in Jonglei State.

The South Sudan Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin talked to Fred Oluoch about the ongoing peace negotiations, what the government is ready to compromise on for peace, and its relations with Sudan.


How far have the peace negotiations progressed and will they result in lasting peace?

In the Addis Ababa agreement of February 1, we signed areas of agreement that constitute 90 per cent of the peace agreement. We are left with about 10 per cent, which we believe will be completed when the talks resume on February 19. But the problem with the rebels is that they have been intransigent, and even the remaining 10 per cent has more to do with positions for individuals.

READ: South Sudan rivals in new ceasefire deal

But there were complaints from both sides that the February 1 agreement was imposed on the two parties by Igad. Any comment?

I don’t think anybody imposed any agreement on anybody. The two parties negotiated directly. The two principals sat alone with the two mediating teams to discuss and agree on several of these issues. Igad was fair.

Yet, there were concerns that the Addis Agreement did not build on the successes of the Arusha Accord.

Yes, this is our criticism because in Arusha, there was an agreement to reunify the SPLM. And that is why we’re saying that once SPLM is reunited, there will be no sharing of government, instead there will be distribution of responsibilities within the party. The government strongly believes that as a reunited SPLM, we will be able to resolve the country’s housekeeping issues within the party itself.

READ: No let up as Kiir, Machar allies dismiss deal

Is the government going back on the position of the prime minister, which was agreed on earlier?

Dr Riek Machar had initially wanted the position of an executive prime minister. The president rejected this outright and now wants the position of a vice president.

But South Sudan has its own political regional balances involving three regions. The three stones represent three top jobs in the country such that if the current president is from Greater Bah rel Ghazal, the vice-president is from Greater Equatoria and the speaker of the National Assembly must come from Greater Upper Nile.

With Dr Machar, who is from Greater Equatoria, taking the vice-presidency, it would mean that the Greater Upper Nile has two top positions. This could result in a new insurgency in Greater Equatoria.

As a government, which are the areas you are ready to compromise on?

We have compromised on many areas. First of all, we have accepted the formation of a transitional government to incorporate others despite being a democratically elected government.

Second, we have agreed to increase the number of ministerial portfolios so that the rebels can be a part of the Council of Ministers. We have agreed that the rebels that were part of the SPLM will be reintegrated without conditions and agreed to undertake reforms and national reconciliation together. We have also agreed on the idea of a federal system, which will be presented to the people of South Sudan.

Are there any areas that the government will not compromise on?

Dr Machar asking for the position of the vice-president is out of the question. We cannot do that, because it would involve removing a person who is already there and who forms part of the regional balance.

How soon do you foresee a transitional government in place?

As soon as we sign the agreement, the transitional government will be formed immediately to enable parliament to extend the transition period — because under normal circumstances, we were supposed to have elections and a new government in place by July 2015.

Does that mean that the government has withdrawn the threat to hold elections by June 30?

No, if we do not have a peace agreement, then we will have to hold elections because the Constitution states that a new government and parliament be in place by July 9. There is no way we will allow a vacuum or be seen as an illegitimate government.

But can such an election be seen as credible in the face of such crisis?

Why not? The majority of the country is at peace. Only three out of 10 states are affected by the war. Even in the three states where there is fighting the government has a presence. If it is not possible to conduct elections in these three states, then elections can be conducted later when they are finally peaceful. Furthermore, legitimacy comes from the people.

What is your position on the non-release of the Obasanjo report on human rights violations in the ongoing conflict? Can the report help bring peace to the country?

Well, the Obasanjo report was deferred by the AU Peace and Security Council because the timing of its release was not proper. As a government, there is no question that we believe in accountability.

How then can those who committed atrocities in South Sudan be held accountable?

As soon as we have a government in place, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be formed and investigations will be carried out.

What is the position of outstanding CPA issues with Khartoum given that the war has stalled progress for almost one and a half years?

We signed a co-operation agreement with Sudan in September 2012 and various committees were formed. All the committees are now working in order to implement the issues of the agreement. So there is movement in that direction.

I can assure you that we are also improving relations with Sudan, trying to implement border demarcation and resolving other areas involving trade between the two countries.

Col. Paulino Zangil of the GPAA Joins Riek Machar’s Camp

Posted: February 14, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Press Release

COBBRA Forces Press statement

SSDM/A Cobra Faction

SSDM/A Cobra Faction

“On behalf of the COBRA forces, we declare our opposition to the regime of Salva Kiir Mayardit.” reads a declaration signed by the Commander of Greater Pibor forces, Col. Paulino Zangil.

“The Greater Pibor Administration Area is a hoax. It is meant to deceive the people of Greater Pibor” Reads the statement.

“The Murle are for Federal System of Governance. We therefore declare Pibor as a State” the statement reads.

COBRA and Murle people have rejected to fight their neighbors and the SPLM/SPLA[IO] alongside allied forces of Salva Kiir, and now declares war against the government.

“We also reject the attempt by the regime to use the COBRA forces and Murle people to fight alongside it in this unjust war” Said Col. Paulion Zangil, the Commander of Greater Pibor Forces.

“The COBRA forces and the Murle People are for peaceful coexistence with their neighboring communities (Lou Nuer, Dinka, Anuak, Toposa, etc). As such, we condemn the regime’s tactics which promote ethnic conflict between neighboring communities” the statement reads.

“We are announcing through this press statement our joining the armed struggle led by SPLM/SPLA under the leadership of Dr. Riek Machar Teny” reads the declaration.

“We call upon all the people of Greater Pibor to join COBRA in the struggle. We also urge the rest of South Sudanese to rise up against the regime in Juba” the statement concludes.

This declaration was submitted and signed on Feb 13, 2015 by Col. Paulino Zangil, the Commander of Greater Pibor Forces through SPLM/SPLA.

By Daniel Machar Dhieu, Borssss

February 14, 2015 (SSB) — Happy valentine day to all South Sudanese both within and outside the country, I know some people are in environment of celebrating while others are mourning according to your day day-break. Today is a big day worldwide but it may not be celebrated importantly in South Sudan due to either security or environment hostility or in other-word due to politic influence. Since Wednesday there is report of violence and insecurity in Pibor, Juba and Bor town.

What is wrong with South Sudan leadership and communities at large? Remember, on Wednesday 11th 2015, people of Sherikat estate went on demonstration asking Juba county commissioner to cancel the order that direct security agent to demolished Sherikat estate. In this demonstration the national security arrested four people including their leader (Arol) who led the demonstration and foremost Journalist Mading Ngor on that day. Mading was released and Arol remained at security custody.

Also yesterday Friday, one people was killed in yesterday evening fresh attack in Juba (Gumbo) at 5:30 Pm It was gathered that the unknown gunmen attack Market just next to Highway to Nimule at the Junction to Rajaf and Nimule. According to the report from local businessman told me that, the incidence happened at 5:30 pm, and according to him they believed the attack as the work of robberies with the intention of robbing the market. The state Police authority is looking for the criminals to be brought to book said the businessman Marial Mabor Achiek.

There had been rumor that some people suspected from Murle community were planning to attack Gumbo Market especially where people sold cattle, the rumor were reported to security agencies in the area but they ignored the threat, so this how attack was actually carried out as physically attack not rumor. However, one person killed in the reported attack is not actually clear from which community while the wounded people are from two communities of Abii and Dachuek (one from Dacuek and two from Abii).

In other report, unknown gunmen from unknown source attack Super market in Bor town particularly in Marol Market. They attackers bomb the super market for Ethiopian Businessmen using garaneted bomb machine they wounded three men in the Super market no person reported dead they are taken to Bor town Hospital under treatment. These criminal who attack the market are not identify and the police authority in Bor Town is after them searching for these robbery to brings them to book if courted by police.

These unknown gunmen attack the market at 9:40 pm before closing time because market used to close to at 10:30 pm or late sometimes. These attackers are actually believes to be planning to threat the normal operation time of market sale-point so that people can simply close at early time as possible due to threat. Other thing, these people might have planned to rob the market in-order to develop their stomach with some people property. However, the situations in Bor town is now calm and friendly to walk-in and do more as security in the town is on high alert.

Also, in Pibor town some members who were and believed to be loyal to David Yau-Yau who is the currently the chairperson of Greater Pibor Administration Area (GPAA) has defected to South Sudan current rebel group led by Dr. Riek Machar Teny or SPLM-IO based in Akobo town. They defected commander from Cobra faction has accused both government in Juba and Cobra and GPAA Leadership as failed leadership, and actually declare their opposition to the regime of Salva Kiir Mayardit. They defect group accused the regime of killing people innocently without providing people security guideline. They also, accused government of dishonoring peace agreement with forces. They also, accused Kiir’s government of trying to use the Murle forces in Jonglei state to fight against the rebel group and Nuer communities seen to be anti-government, saying the Murle had chosen a peaceful co-existence with their neighbors.

The Pibor area force commander seemed to have echoed a previous observation by the administrative leader of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area, David Yauyau, who in last year disapproved government, plans to involve Murle in the conflict, saying his area should not also be used as a launching pad to attack the rebel positions and preferred dialogue with Machar’s group. The commander of the Cobra forces further declared his full support to rebel group to bring conflict to an end according to him.

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

BY Dut-machine De Mabior, Kenya

June 2015 elections

June 2015 elections postponed

February 14, 2015 (SSB) — Today I am punching the keyboard of my machine in a jovial mood for having learnt that the government of H.E Gen. Salva Kiir has heeded to the calls of many and analysed the civil conditions in the country and concluded that the 30th June 2015 elections are not as important as the lives of those citizens in dire need of peace. Others perhaps had developed a myopic feeling towards my concerns but I will always be inclined to where the truth lies. So, today; I stand like I have always done with the government right decision.

Extending the presidency and the elected position for two years is the popular decision made by the GRSS since the hell got loss in Juba in the mid of December 2013. This is the decision that will be applauded by whichever side of the political divide because it’s indeed in the best interest of the nation. Elections can’t be priorities when the electorates are starving in the IDPs camps. No human being will ever wake up to attend to political responsibilities when the basic needs are not catered for. Am glad to eventually point out that off late sense is being restored and my sincere hope is that this decision was not made to please the western nations who had confirmed their disappointments in the poles but to rather benefit the locals.

I hope those in my brackets of being opinion givers, indeed the very people who condemned me on this very platform on my article “SOUTH SUDAN’S 2015 ELECTIONS: AN EPITOME OF FAILURE” will now take to this podium once again and condemn the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) for making a decision in favour of the concerned nationals. My friends dismissed my opinion to hell when I cited that peace is paramount before the poles; the same reason why H.E and his cabinet prolonged the validity of the government term in office.

I will never on any ground dismiss my elected government on the basis of being illegitimate when the decision has been made to favour me; the common man. I hereby declare my approval to the extension of the Twic East County Parliamentary seat and the Roor State Mp occupied by Hon. Deng Dau Deng Malek and Hon Amuor Kuol Ager.

Your Excellency, this decision has once again restored the confidence of South Sudanese in you. You have demonstrated that the hell you suffered in the bush to have them a free home was not in jeopardy. It’s a clear indication that indeed you are committed to the better living conditions of everyone even if it has proved difficult to implement. It’s always a good ordeal to think of people before taking and public decision, a practice I would wish to have been there in place since the inception.

I am pleased on my own behave and on behave of those who hold the same opinion that postponing the elections is the ultimate choice for now.

If indeed my colleagues are independent minded, if they support the government’s decisions not blindly, if their stand is not compromised by situation, then; I am waiting to see their writings here dismissing the decision of the mighty government to postpone elections. Sycophancy will be proved here in this situation if you don’t cling to your initial opinion about “MUST ELECTIONS IN 2015”. But if you agree this time, the cabinet cited the same reason as me, why didn’t you say yes then?

As I concluded, I have no much to write but only to affirm my position once again that the grounds you have made the decisions on are valid. Thank you Mr. President.

The author is a student of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Kenyatta University; Nairobi Kenya.

 The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.