Archive for March 24, 2015


By James Okuk (PhD), Juba, South Sudan

Born-to-Rule Mentality: President Kiir and his former Vice President, Riek Machar, in their reigning days

Born-to-Rule Mentality: President Kiir and his former Vice President, Riek Machar, in their reigning days

March 24, 2015 (SSB)  –   As long as both the SPLM-IO and the GRSS continue to use violence means for securing their political interests, facts and fictions will always get mixed to produce propaganda fallacies in attempts to justify one’s evil actions. The article of Stephen Par Kuol is not absolved from such one-sided bias. It is his right to be biased for the interest of the SPLM/A-IO, but he doesn’t have a right to force it on our throats without a response.

Mr. Stephen has already damaged his credibility when he lied that he was an eye witness of ‘genocide’ in Juba while he lived in comfort in New Sudan Palace Hotel and was driven on a standard car to Juba Airport for flight check-in to Nairobi as the city was under threat of rebel attacks. Even myself who lived in 107, dodged some bullets to escape death narrowly on 16 December 2013, swallowed the bitterness of my house being attacked and looted badly with damages, and communicated with some of my neighbors who managed to reach UNMISS camp alive, cannot  temper with my credibility to lie with a conclusion that ‘genocide’ took place in Juba.

Yes, some targeted killings took place but not ‘genocide’ as the SPLM-IO propaganda machine used to lie to the international community. Also not all those who were killed in Juba during the outburst of the crisis hailed from one ethnic group. Other ethnic groups were affected too, including some foreigners. If 20,000 members of one ethnic group were killed in Juba on 15, 16, 17 and 18 December 2013, then who would have been left among them in 107, Kor William, Gudele and Jebel to run for a dear life and take refuge in UNMISS camps? Even those who took refuge in UNMISS camps were not all from one ethnic group. That was why you could see signposts in UNMISS camps pointing to one ethnic group on one side and other ethnic groups on the other side.

Armed Forces Status Issue: The amalgamation proposal is a recipe for another future eruption of senseless violence. The case of the CPA’s model of the Joint and Integrated Units (JIUs) is still fresh in our memories where the two armed forces clashed thrice in Malakal, for example. Thus, neither integration nor amalgamation of the armed forces of the two warring parties will work as long as there is no trust and good faith between them. Also the proposal pf proportional representation of the 64 tribes in the national armed forces will not set a good precedent for a one nation-building because it will, instead, entrench tribalism as criteria for tackling national issues of South Sudan. Hence, it could be safer if the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement model is adopted for tacking the issue of armed forces of the warring parties. Thank God that veteran Gen. Joseph Lagu is still alive and kicking for consultancy on this matter.

Public Disclosure of Debts: If the SPLM/A-IO has already gave a verdict that the debts of President Kiir’s Government is illegal then why should it be disclosed at will? Why should Dr. Riek’s Resistance Movement negotiate with a kleptocrat and an illegal president if at all there is honesty in what the SPLM/A-IO posits? They should they not stick to overthrowing him via violence means if they thought it was an easy matter to usurp power that way? But is the SPLM/A-IO legal itself to demand for legality of another? It should be the citizens who have not taken arms against the state to demand such disclosers of government debts; not outlaws rebels. Also the law-abiding citizens of South Sudan will not bother themselves asking for disclosure of debts of rebellions because rebels are never accountable to the citizens; only the legitimate government.

The Coup or No-Coup Narratives: This has not been falsified yet because no court verdict has taken place so far. The case has been stayed only until further notice. But how do you call shootings in an army barrack which make politicians escape from their homes and declare rebellion resistance movement against the government within a very short period? If it is running for dear lives why not run to non-violence asylum in another country rather than to violence rebellion in the bushes? Remember that a victim cannot resist, hence, no rebel can be regarded as a victim in the current crisis of SPLM failed leadership in South Sudan. That is why the Intra-SPLM Arusha Reunification Agreement forced all the so-called SPLM leaders to apologize to the people of South Sudan and be ready to answer any proven war crimes against humanity. Victims don’t apologize.

Peace Talks in Bad Faith: In Pagak consultative conference, the SPLA-IO generals told Taban Deng Gai to carry on with peace negotiations in Addis but they will continue to conduct the violent approach on the ground with Paul Malong until President Kiir is gone for good. Where the good faith to demonstrate from the SPLM-A-IO even if the GRSS failed to bring peace out from around the corner of Makuei Lueth? Hence, comes double standards of contradiction of mixture of both dialogue and violence at the same time but with the result of collapse of negotiations and continuation of warfare. This makes the region and the world skeptical about seriousness of the warring leaders of South Sudan in bringing good news to their people. Thus, an agreement could possibly be forced on their throats by before July 2015 as their hands are held on pens to sign it unwillingly with international guarantees for its implementation.

Diplomacy is an anti-thesis to Militancy: Diplomatic language is a language of nice and flattering expressions in order to cool the environment for tackling hot issues and gain something out of the deal at the end of the day. The diplomacy of blaming and condemning both the warring sides is a correct one as long as the SPLM/A-IO and GRSS senseless war continues. This language may only change if the principals agree or are forced to end the war by any means. So, it would be better for Stephen Par Kuol to keep his appeal to the regional and international community to himself because they are doing what diplomacy is supposed to do when there is no will for peace from the warmongers.

Dr. James Okuk is lecturer and public analyst in the area of politics. He lives in Juba and can be reached at okukjimy@hotmail.com

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 paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

Chairperson of (South Sudan)Political Parties Youth Forum and former chairman of South Sudan Youth Union declared his defection to SPLM in Opposition.

Chairperson of (South Sudan) Political Parties Youth Forum and former chairman of South Sudan Youth Union declared his defection to SPLM in Opposition.

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Agel Ring Machar joins Riek Machar (PDF)

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Breaking News (SBS Dinka Radio): Chairperson of (South Sudan) Political Parties Youth Forum and former chairman of South Sudan Youth Union declared his defection to SPLM in Opposition.

"The days we were brand of our tribes are gone, this days are days we will be be brand by what we have for our nation" says Jesus Deng, Alier Ateny and Agel Ring Machar

“The days we were brand of our tribes are gone, this days are days we will be be brand by what we have for our nation” say Jesus Deng, Alier Ateny and Agel Ring Machar

Agel Ring Machar who is also a son of the well known Member of Paliament and a medical assistant who helped many unaccompanied minors in Dimmo Refugee Victoria Adhar Arop Chop between 1986-91 left Juba three weeks ago for Nairobi.

Agel then took a decision to defect to the opposition by traveling to the Ethiopian Capital. Agel left due to what he described as, “Disappointment with the current leadership of President Salva Kiir Mayardit.”

More than ten hours ago Agel posted this quote on his Facebook page, “The unfortunate state of affairs our people find themselves in ‘MUST BE CHANGED BY ALL MEANS NECESSARY’ just to borrow a phrase.”

Agel who is a native of Warrab State in South Sudan is also an Australian who did his studies in Adelaide. He said he went back home hoping to help and see South Sudan as free country but not the country on war with herself. He was a supporter of President Kiir Mayardit until his abrupt change of mind.

In a short message to SBS Dinka Radio he said,

“The status quo and the suffering of our people is not sustainable due to lack of leadership but SPLM in Opposition will provide that alternative leadership that will allow South Sudanese to have a debate on issues affecting them. As youth; we have to rise up in order to take the duties of setting this country free.”

Agel he will release his full statement tomorrow 25/03/2015 in Addis Ababa.

Stephen Par Kuol: Rebels’ Position in Addis Ababa

Posted: March 24, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Featured Articles

The fallacies of bashing both sides in South Sudan conflict

By Stephen Par Kuol
Bishop Deng Bul (in red), praying with President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Bishop Deng Bul (in red), praying with President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

March 24, 2015 (SSB)  –  The diplomacy of war and peace making on the prevailing crisis in South Sudan has ushered in a querulous language that tends to blame both sides of the armed conflict for every thing on equal measure. It is a fallacious rhetoric that defies the logic of cause and effect. Evidently, it has it that nobody is at the receiving end of this crisis. It lyrically goes: Both sides are dishonouring Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COH), both sides are frustrating the mediators by not negotiating in good faith, both sides are responsible for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country, e.t.c. For lack of words, we have called it “both sides narrative.” It is a long thread of diplomatic literature loaded with prejudice and intentional ignorance. Subsequently, the records are misinformed beyond rebuttal. For even worse, Makuei Lueth’s SSTV has done some permanent damage on the psyche of its captive national audience who must be told exactly what Kiir’s fascist regime needs them to hear.

Like in Joseph Geobel’s culture of anti-Semitic Propaganda, in Makuei Lueth’s culture of demagogic propaganda, a lie repeated so many times can be accepted to be the truth. It is a fallacious communication in which, the three “f “words: facts, fictions, and fallacies are woven to mean the same thing (political lies). One blatant fallacy Juba is apparently getting away with for instance is the distortion that the opposition is demanding two armies for the same country. This must be exposed as a malicious misrepresentation of our position on security arrangement calling for“ a gradual and systematic amalgamation” of the two armies to create a new national army with true national character before the end of the transitional period.

The opposition also presented the crisis as an opportunity to recruit from the under-represented communities and regions into the inherently Jieng and Naath dominated army. This is timely and critical, not only to end the cycle of political violence that tends to take ethnic lines, but also to establish a new professional national army that reflects all the faces of South Sudan as an ethnically diverse nation. In demographic term, this means proportional representation of all our 64 ethnic groups in the new national army. Our position also calls for demobilization of all irregular armed groups including our Civil Deference Force (White Army), Mathiang-Anyor, Dotku Beny or any other active community based armed group throughout the country. Another fallacious fiction is the narrative that the opposition demanded payment of war debts it has incurred since it took arms in December 2013.

To the contrary, what we have demanded and are still demanding is the public disclosure of all the illegal debts Kiir’s Kleptocracy has been incurring in the name of the sovereign people of South Sudan (sovereign guarantees). That we see as our rights as citizens of South Sudan who will inherent those debts by virtue of being citizens under the international law of agency. We have also presented wealth sharing between states and the center in a decentralized federal system. Speaking from ten years experience we believe that our proposal is beneficial to all our people in the states as the later has always been taking a lion share of the national budget (90%). This does not mean wealth sharing between the two warring parties as has been fallaciously presented in Juba’s media. This is another bizarre miss representation of the facts and issues presented in written public documents.

This fallacious propaganda cannot be allowed to go on without rebuttal. The facts must be filtered from fictions and fallacies to get into the crux of the issues at hand. In order to resolve this conflict, a new tone of communication must be created. The diplomatic community and the global media must scientifically put the accurate weight of responsibility on a balanced scale. It is imperative that each party is squarely held responsible for what it does or does not do in this blame game without rules. In another word, there is a critical need to put blame where it is due and credit where it is long over due. Flattering and diplomatic niceties do not resolve conflicts. A crisis of this magnitude in South Sudan needs aggressive and preventive diplomacy that must start with fundamental questions to address the root causes of the conflict as follows: what triggered the crisis in the first place, who did what then and who is doing what now!!

Unlike in December 2013 when Juba managed to mislead the world with the devilish gimmickry they called coup attempt, time has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Kiir himself manufactured the ongoing crisis as a ploy to extend life span of his fascist regime. That exploded in his face when his own institutions including the court and the military intelligence dismissed the coup narrative he is still chasing like a wind. Events since then have proven that it is the same tyrant regime that cooked the crisis, which is now violating all the agreements it signed with opposition since January 2014. The UN and the international humanitarian community in South Sudan have also witnessed that it is Kiir’s regime that has been hampering humanitarian operations by harassing United Nation Mission and murdering aid workers in Greater Upper Nile. With Yowery Museveni behind him and appeasement from the region and beyond, Kiir has been overtly violating all the agreements including the COH. Militarily, the two fascist regimes of Kiir and Museveni’, their allied Sudanese terrorist groups and other foreign mercenaries have been on the offensive gaining more territories to dictate the term of negotiation on the table until today.

On the diplomatic front, Kiir’s regime has been using the dialogue as a public relations exercise. They were always in Addis-Ababa to buy time as they continued to toil for military solution. In what looked like monologue with deaf, they proposed that it is the opposition as the aggrieved party to make presentations and the government reacts to those presentations. This non-dialogical approach was designed to waste time and frustrate the whole process. We welcomed that in good faith and proceeded as agreed upon. From the political framework to rainbow document, the opposition made elaborate presentations on all the areas of needed reforms in Kiir’s dysfunctional system. On structural and institutional reforms, we made the case for the need to overhaul the current civil service and the public security sector, which is currently dominated by Kiir’s clan. At the constitutional level, we exposed the decay of the regime by pointing out that the two branches of Kiir’s government (judiciary and executive) have been made the dockets of Kiir’s home state.

To entrench and institutionalize their kleptocracy, they have also taken the docket of treasury (both Finance and Central Bank). For those who know the truth, this depicts Kiir’s clannish oligarchy as a criminal establishment that must be dismantled to form an inclusive national government. On governance and system of government, we made the case for amendment of the existing one-man’s constitution to implement full-fledged federal system. In response, Kiir’s delegation acknowledged that federalism is historical and political demand of the people of South Sudan but maintained without elaboration that the time to address it is not now. On demobilization of irregular forces and formation of a new army, they have maintained that their political status as a legitimate government grants them the right to recruit from their ethnic states of Warap and Nothern Bar-Elghazal. In sum, the opposition forces and other stake holders made the case for institutional reforms, democratic transformation, peace, reconciliation and accountability for war crimes committed by both sides of the armed conflict. Kiir’s delegation dismissed all the grievances and made it a point that they will not allow any thing that tempers with the status quo. To them, meaningful power sharing with other parties for a democratic transition leading to free and fair election means regime change and ouster of Salva Kiir.

That is very clear from their English, which is heavily loaded with legitimacy and the sovereignty of South Sudan. From what we have heard so far, Kiir and the company have arrogated the sovereignty of South Sudan to themselves as their sole possession. According to them, legitimacy and sovereignty give them all the rights including the right to amend the existing transitional constitution to indefinitely cling on to that dictatorial power.

It goes without informing the people of South Sudan, the region, Africa and the world that the same rule of guns attitude that Kiir and his cronies used to obstruct the democratic process and commit mass homicide, has not been deterred. They took it to the peace table in Ethiopia, not only once, but several times during the course of the IGAD mediated peace talks. That attitude was well represented on the table by Kiir’s cheeky team of negotiators. We the opposition and the IGAD envoys have been through the thick and thin of that since January 2014. We had always been there to take the pain of Nhial Deng’s eloquent blusters, Makuei Lueth’s sarcastic outbursts and Kok Ruei’s thunderous tantrums! The truth must be told that Kiir’s delegation had never gone to Addis-Ababa in genuine search for peace.

Counting on military victory in the field, they had only two things to offer on the table: permanent ceasefire and re-integration of opposition forces into their tribal army( Mathiang Anyor) within three months. Any thing else is deferred to what they called National Dialogue in Juba. They also challenged the opposition to represent only those areas under their military control. The Mediation and all the stakeholders present heard that loud and clear as a negotiation of the victors versus the vanquished. The rest are contemptuous gestures against the opposition parties (whether armed or not), civil society organizations and the clergy. It is a militaristic attitude that tends to push all to protracted armed struggle. Otherwise, one can conclude with ease that Kiir and the company have lost the political debate. The only song they can sing with rhyming lyrics is the Legitimacy. What they are deliberately ignoring though is the cold truth that the clock is ticking toward the end of their bogus legitimacy.

It is time for, Kiir and the sycophantic surrounding to understand that the aetiological meaning of the Greek word “tyranny” means illegitimate rule! In Dr. Richard Mula’s recent articulation at the talks in Addis-Ababa, “Kiir’s legitimacy has been eroded by his own despotic behaviour that has plunged the country into this mess”. Secretary Kerry of United States also put it correctly that “Legitimacy is not a presumed right of Kiir’s government”. True, it is the people who confer legitimacy and it is never a divine entitlement. It follows that the same people who conferred it can revoke it at any given time. The conventional practice teaches that it is not the election that sustains legitimacy but how the elected political leader in question governs the country.

In any case, this destructive war of shame must be ended sooner than later. But this needs courageous leadership from both sides. Dr. Luka Biong of Juba University has said it all in his recent article that “the Chairman of the SPLM and the President of the Republic has a moral and national responsibility to provide leadership toward national consensus to resolve this crisis”. Other parties and stakeholders including civil society and the clergy have the same responsibility to bring peace but the reality on the ground in South Sudan is that Salva Kiir wields the most omnipotent power to bring it by stroke of a pen. Kiir in his diatribe blamed Dr. Riek Machar for every thing but, the world should have known by now that Dr. Riek Machar has lost it all since July 2013.

To add wound to the insult, members of his community were callously butchered in Juba. The survivors of that genocide are now subjected to protracted suffering in UN camps throughout the country. He had to escape for his own life in what turned out to be a fabricated coup. Putting the credit where it is due, he has courageously managed to turn all that humiliation and mass anger into a national resistance movement calling for institutional reforms, peace with justice, democracy, reconciliation and national healing. He does not have any thing else to offer, but he is ready to do every thing including swallowing his pride to work with Salva Kiir again to stop the blood-letting. He has been in Ethiopia now for the last one year to achieve just that.

Hence, the ball is on Salva Kiir’s court. The word though is that the time for presidential amnesties, re-integration, cosmetic deals and political accommodations is over. The prevailing crisis in South Sudan needs comprehensive political and security arrangement to get our people out of this slippery pool of blood.

The author is the former minister of education in Jonglei state and currently the chairman of the national committee for education in SPLM-IO. He is reachable atstephenkuols@yahoo.com